Friday, November 25, 2011


Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Here is a cute poem written by a good friend of ours, John Norton, that brings the holiday madness into perspective, enjoy!

It’s a month before Christmas exact to the day, the turkey is over (and oh by the way)
It was a fabulous feed, nine courses and more, we just put fat on our core.
We all might be sleepy, but no one is napping, Midnight is coming and we’d better get cracking!
Survey the papers! Gas up the cars! Let’s look for bargains - we’ll drive near and far!
Black Friday is on us get ready to roll, or stand in long lines (but don’t mind the cold)
At last! Midnight is here, swing open the doors. Try not to get trampled or knocked to the floor.
Bargains that tempt us await in the aisle, they make my pulse quicken and soon I will smile.
As TV’s and iPods, cell phones and more, dolls for the girls and boys toys galore.
Fill up the cart with all kinds of stuff; we’ll survive the madness and the all night crush.
We bought lots of treasures at crazy low prices, spent all our money, have a credit card crisis.
Use all that plastic, a few different cards, load ‘em all up and spend without fear, for
What the heck they might be paid by next year!
No matter at all that we couldn’t pay cash, and that our financial future is now in the trash.
The economy needs me, to what ever the end, the heck with frugality, just spend, spend, spend!
When it’s all said and done and the stores finally close, we’ll pause for a thought, and maybe we’ll know,
that all of this stuff we don’t really need, but we got caught up in a big spending spree!
We just need each other, family and friends, not all that stuff whose use will soon end.
The heart of our being to have and to hold, the love of our family that will never grow cold.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Homemade Microwave Popcorn

I love popcorn, but I don’t love the cost of pre packaged microwavable popcorn. Once up on a time I owned a hot air popper and I was thinking of getting another one. With a hot air popper I can control how much butter and salt is on it and with out all the preservatives. But, I have a small kitchen, where would I store it, and then I really didn’t want to pay for one.

I started wondering about microwaving it myself in a container; I tried a glass bowl, but it didn’t pop well and the bowl became very hot. So, I did what I often do when I have an idea or need a solution to a problem. I went online and did a Google search! And guess what I found, other people are making homemade microwavable popcorn successfully and blogging it! Yay! I spent a little time looking at a few ideas and then tried it myself. It’s so simple, a lot less expensive too, and I feel it gives me a little more control over what I put into my body via my food.

homemade microwaveable popcorn

So here’s how you do it. Use a brown paper lunch bag, place approximately ¼ cup of popcorn into it, fold the top down two times (you can tape it if it won’t stay closed but I didn't have a problem with that), and microwave on your popcorn setting. Yup, that’s all there is to it. If you want butter and salt, you can pour your popcorn in a bowl and drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with it with salt; stir it well and you are set.
popped with butter

Or, you can add your butter and salt to the bag before you microwave it, but place your bag on a plate so that you don’t mess up the bottom of your microwave and then you will have something to hold onto when you remove the bag from the microwave. The bag will be very hot from the butter fat (and so will the plate); watch it as it pops because, as with store bought bags, it can catch fire if it stays in there too long.

I love popcorn this way, I love that it saves money, that I control what goes into my food, and I really love that I don’t need to use store bought microwaveable bags to have easy and convenient popcorn for movie night. You’ve got to try this one!

I linked this post to GRAND Social at Grandma's Briefs.

Friday, November 11, 2011

If I Had Time Today……

It is such a beautiful fall day here in Arizona; I’ve got all the blinds open and drapes pulled back, the windows are open and I'm enjoying the cool air and beautiful view. It is a work day for me; I work out of my house most of the time. I have a few grandchildren here napping right now, and I know that if I don’t take this time, while I can, to put my feet up I’ll regret it later. But I can’t help myself because after the summers we endure here, I have a huge list of things to do. I feel like I should be up doing chores; things that need doing, and things that I want to do just because I want to.

To say I’ve been busy lately is not even close to an accurate description of how I spend my time. I’ve been on overload for a few months now; between working and taking care of my grandkids while their moms and dads work, I’ve been logging in about 60-70 hours a week! I don’t know how I’ve been doing it, but my home and yard is beginning to look rather neglected. Oh and yes, so is this blog. You’ve noticed? Oops, sorry about that. Well, what can I say; I’m only one grandmother trying to do her best.
So, since I don’t have time for all the things I’d like to do, I decided to day dream about them while I put my feet up. I think the first thing I would do is enroll at a near by community college and take an art class; get my creative juices flowing again. Then, perhaps I could get out some of those quilting projects I’ve never finished and sit on the back patio with a nice glass of ice tea and listen to an audio book and quilt away the afternoon. Maybe I would just read all the great blogs online and not worry how much time is passing by as I scroll through page after page oohing and ahhing at all the clever projects.
I could call all my old friends who are wondering what has happened to me and catch up on all the news. Maybe I could even visit some museums, or go window shopping at that fancy mall in Scottsdale. I might take a drive up to Sedona and marvel for the hundredth time at the beauty of those red rocks. Or even have a spa day, and luxuriate in all the comfort and attention.
Of course I could actually start that exercise program, and go hiking on my mountain. Maybe I could visit a riding stable and take a horseback ride through the desert. Or, I could just sit here in my recliner, and feel the cool breeze, listen to the quiet, and wait for the little loves of my life to wake and climb into my lap for some hugs and kisses. Now that sounds like a plan I can manage and have time for today.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Family Harvest Day 2011

As I write this post I am thinking about this last year. You see, it's my one year anniversary of starting this blog. I thought I would be having a big celebration with you all but I don’t have time or energy just now to do that. And really, I opened it up to the public in March of this year (it was a family only blog before) so I’ve decided to wait until next March to celebrate. I’m not as busy that time of the year either. Any suggestions on how I should celebrate my blogiversary? I would love to do some giveaways at least; we’ll see how the bank account looks by then.  

But today I wanted to let you know that our Family Harvest Day was a wonderful time, and we ended up having it here at my home. The grassy area in the nice gated community where we had planned to have our Harvest Day, was reseeded only days before our gathering date; all nicely wet and fertilized. Yes, you have to go with the flow sometimes and the show had to go on. It was standing room only around here at my house, but we had fun anyway.

I served pulled pork that I slow roasted in my oven in roasting bags. It was so good! Everyone brought sides and desserts to share. I used my corelle dishes I had purchased along with the vintage flatware; we drank ice tea and lemonade from Mason jars. We made our scarecrows in the driveway. Not everyone made a full size scarecrow; and some went home before this picture.

I nixed the games I had planned due to lack of room and grass for the kids to run on. The kids had fun playing with all my toys; my house looks like a daycare with toys and play areas set up in several rooms. Yes I had a mess to clean up but I didn’t have to pack and haul my food, decorations, etc anywhere either so it worked out just fine.

It was another wonderful memory maker, family bond builder, and fun day! I hope you are enjoying your fall; make some memories with your family this season.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Uses for Coffee Filters

I receive some good email tips from time to time, here are a few.

Coffee filters make excellent covers for bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave.

Separate your good dishes by putting a coffee filter between each dish. 

Place a coffee filter in a stored cast iron skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

After frying, strain the oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter so you can use oil again.

To weigh chopped foods, place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.
Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods like tacos.
Line a planter with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.
Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter to prevent a Popsicle from dripping.