Blog: Grannie Annie's Ramblings

It is my hope that by sharing my daily trials and past experiences someone will learn and be helped or at least get a kick out of my quirky sense of humor. They say it takes give and take to make a marriage work, well let me tell you it takes give and take to make a life work. What you put into life makes the path you choose rocky or smooth it is up to us to choose. I have made my mistakes, stubbed my toe many times now I hope to save someone some sore toes.

Review on book by Lucille O'Neal
Friday, February 25, 2011


A book review on  


Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go by Lucille O"Neal

A story of the hardships and triumphs of a single black mother brought up in a religious family that highly disapproved of her wild ways. When she finds herself pregnant and abandoned by the baby's father she pulls on the strength ingrained in her from her upbringing. With a sense of humor, pride and unbelievable courage she raises her family. One who just happens to be basketball superstar Shaquille O"Neal.

If you want to read books for free, make a book review, then get another free book contact

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Home Jewelry Parties
Friday, September 24, 2010

Well I finally bit the bullet and had my first home jewelry party. What a hoot! It was really a lot fun. It was so nice to hear all of the compliments, to know that other people actually liked my designs and would want to buy them was so rewarding. That was the whole idea I know but to have it happen in real life was something else.

My sister hosted this party which was easier on the nerves for me. Now I just have to get out there and find someone else who will host more parties. I have restocked my inventory, the really fun part, and am ready to sell, sell, sell!

I am working on a catalog but the trouble with that is all of my pieces are one of a kind so updating the catalog would be a real problem. The thing that those attending my party did like was that they didn't have to wait for their orders. They could just take their purchase with them and they really liked that. People aren't used to that so that is a real plus.

You will find some of my designs on my public blog

My thought is to put more  of my designs on Cabin Annie's and use it for online parties. When I get it all figured out I will let you know so if any of you want to earn some free jewelry you can get in on it. For now you really should check out what's going on at the cabin.

Take care- until later tater!

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Transplanting from the Cold Frame
Monday, May 10, 2010

Since the last time lots has changed, for one thing the plants are outgrowing the cold frame. That should be a good thing, right, normally that would be but our weather has been cold and somebody has unleashed a south wind from _ _ L L. It seems like every day is wind gusts of 30 or better so between that and getting down to 30 at night the plants have gotten crowded in the cold frame.

Last week I put 6-8 inches of good clean grass clippings on the garden, thankfully it was enough to save the carrots and beets from the freeze last week. I had bunched it right up to the 1" high plants and they made it just fine. The cabbage and broccoli got bit some, a few made it and I don't lack for plants to replace them. I plan on donating my left over plants to a neighborhood garden a local church is planting so hate to use more than I have to.

Tomatoes, two kinds of hot peppers and more cucumbers got parolled from the cold frame yesterday and look good and strong this morning. We are having a nice mist for a few days so it was a perfect time to transplant them. They were pretty tall so it is quite a shock for them and the cool damp weather is just what the doctor ordered.

The potatoes have broken ground this last couple of days, I was beginning to wonder if we were going to have fresh creamed potatoes and peas but God willing it looks like we will if the cow doesn't go dry. Now all I have to do is buy a cow. I am trying to find a source for fresh country milk and cream, pretty hard to do any more, most people around here don't seperate their milk anymore, just store it until the commercial trucks come and take it away for them.

Well, keep the weeks down and the water coming for those fresh veggies.

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How I saved $45 by walking.
Friday, April 23, 2010

That's right I made $45 at least this morning, got a little wet doing it but it was well worth it. Now I don't get paid to walk, if only, wouldn't that be great. I picked up somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 dozen nightcrawlers and at $3 a dozen that's $45 I saved by not having to buy them for my fishing this summer. OK it's creepy to some but it's worth it to me when we sit down to a mess of those fresh fried fish. Hey, besides that someone has to feed the fish and lots of them eat the worms off my hooks without me catching them so that is a good deed I am doing, right?

So far the buried cooler is working, this morning's catch went in the cooler and that will be all it will hold I think; there was already 5 or 6 dozen in it. They are working on the rhubarb leaves I put in a few days ago, I will put something else in the next day or two. Worms are vegetarian and love anything fresh from the garden just don't give them anything dairy or meat.  Also will add some dry bedding to help soak up some of their 'moisture'.  Shredded newspaper works well and a good way to recycle, a green living tip also! 

So get out there and gather some worms. No? Then just get out there and walk, enjoy Mother Nature and her wonders. Remember she speaks many languages, see how many you can hear-

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Gone Hunting
Friday, April 16, 2010

This post isn't going to be for everyone but if you are a redneck you will have been there, done that!When trying to pick a category for this blog I was really stumped. It just didn't fit any one section but I figure if we are living off the land that's Green Living right?

We love to fish and use a large worm called night crawlers, well the night crawlers do just that crawl out at night and only after a rain. So we gather them at dawn in the rain most of the time and I love doing it. My mother-in-law got me started many years ago. Her method was to take a flashlight during a nice warm rain and haunt the alleys and streets around the town park. The crawlers were out but as soon as they felt the light on them, zip down the hole they went. If you haven't been night crawler hunting you really can't imagine how fast the little buggers are. If you were lucky enough that there were some just outside your flashlight's range those were the ones you aimed for. Oh and one interesting little tidbit, they  breed at night and if you could catch them in the act you could grab two at a time. Our 4 year old son ask what they were doing and my MIL told them they were wrestling. Good save Mom. We spent many rainy nights this way and laughed while getting soaked, but we had the last laugh as we enjoyed eating the many fish caught with those juicy night crawlers.

We live in the country now on a Wildlife Habitat area with an irrigation lake at our front door. Where the water is let in to the lake - the inlet - is where I have the best luck. The ground is lower there so the worms have to stay out longer.

Well twice this spring I have gotten to go worm hunting. Yesterday morning was the best so far this year. I gathered around 3" in an ice cream bucket. We keep them in small Styrofoam containers in an old refrigerator in our garage; that way everyone can help themselves for we like to share. When my garden gets to over producing that is the only refrigerator for the overflow. Now the worms can't get out of their containers and the two are on different shelves but still, worms and food?

Yesterday after studying some ideas on the Internet I took an old insulated cooler and buried it for a worm farm. The drain was broken and we had it taped so no big loss. I drilled holes every 5" in the bottom, laid window screen over the bottom inside. Then I layered the cooler 1/2 full using couple of inches of soil from the hole I dug, moistened 1" strips of newspaper and bought worm bedding. I found 6-7 worms while digging the hole so I put them in the cooler to test it for a week before I put the big batch in as the pieces I read said to do. This morning they were scattered out and that is a good thing according to the so called experts. I will transfer the others the first of next week.

So that's the extent of my hunting, that and my excursions with my camera.

Took time to plant two rows of peas today, late getting my Good Friday potatoes in but did it anyway. I thought they had gotten thrown out so when I found them I just had to plant them. Radishes and onions are up, the cold frame is doing fine, most things are up, had to transplant broccoli and cabbage yesterday. Found a few of the giant sunflowers coming up from a head I laid in the box last fall, a nice surprise the birds will enjoy this fall.

There are flowers sitting around my house everywhere, even the bathroom, I am forcing blooms on plums and crabapple, cut some forsythia and hyacinths. Oh the smell of the hyacinths, mmmm. Tulips are starting to open up this morning so will have lots of color soon.

Well, if you are bored and don't mind some advice, get out of the house. Take a walk with Mother Nature and listen to all she has to say!  She speaks in many languages!

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We're Up and Growing
Friday, April 09, 2010

Despite the weather diffidently taking a cold turn the seeds jumped, especially the broccoli. About the time I think I am really doing better at getting the seeds planted thin they come up in bunches again. The bunches are scattered but still I have room for improvement. So far no tomatoes in the paper peat pots are up. But I don't doubt but what they will.

The horseradish is breaking ground now all over the old patch, haven't seen any in the new patch but it should soon. Some of last years perennials are up, hyacinths are showing color and the tulips are ready to bud. Again last fall I forgot to dig and divide my newest lily so will do it this week. It is not the evasive kind like daylillies but still has to be divided. Have a lot of older daylillies to get rid of yet, don't ever plant them where you don't want them to take over because they will. If you want them contained bury a tub and plant the bulbs in it. Make sure to leave the rim of the tub above ground a couple of inches. You will still want to thin them out every couple of years.

By the time I get home from having a wonderful fun time spoiling three of our grandchildren Monday, I will be surprised by the changes spring has brought to my garden and flower beds for sure. Hopefully they are all good ones. Will let you know next time. For now I hope the hubby is watering the coldframe daily and Mother Nature keeps the sun shining!

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We're Off and Growing
Thursday, April 01, 2010

Well that might be a little presumptous on my part but the cold frame is planted. I did get lazy and left last years soil, just gave it a good boost with more compost and sand. It is packed full with tomato, cabbage, broccoli, summer squash, two kinds of cucumber, basil, jalapeno and another kind of hot pepper I can't remember the name of and morning glory seeds. Some of the tomato seeds are in my homemade newspaper pots, last year I had some trouble with shock when they were transplanted so thought I would try something a friend suggested. The paper will disintegrate letting the roots spread out as needed. Check out hot they are made on my site

With 200 onion sets and two rows of radishes planted we are well on our way. The hubby helped me put up the panels for the peas to grow on and hopefully the soil will warm up enough in the next couple of weeks they can be planted.

The rest will have to wait until we are sure Mother Nature is in her Hawaii mode for sure or they might get their topnotches frosted. Waiting to be planted are carrots, beets, koli-rabi and beans at least.

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~~~Computer Printing on Fabric for Quilts~~~
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Computer Printing on Fabric


Computer and inkjet printer

muslin or any light colored 100% cotton

8 1/2” x 11” rectangles light colored fabric or muslin

8 1/2” x 11” rectangles of wax paper




If you haven’t tried printing on fabric now is the time to try, it’s a very simple process and anyone can do it.

I cut muslin and a piece of freezer paper the exact size of the copy paper 8.5 x 11 inches. For me the easiest way to do this is to lay my muslin over my ironing board then lay the wax side of a large piece of freezer paper down on top matching the edges as close as you can. Then using a hot iron press the two together. If you get bumps just lift the paper and press again. Then take your bonded muslin and paper to a flat surface and lay a piece of 8.5 x 11 copy paper on top. Using a ruler either draw around the copy paper and cut out through the bonded fabric and freezer paper or use your self healing mat, ruler and cutting wheel and cut out your sheets. You can use the paper several times but make sure the two layers are well bonded and there are no strings when you run them through your printer. Using your inkjet printer put the fabric side down one sheet at a time. Choose your picture and tell it to print, it is that simple. Don’t be discouraged if one has stray ink smudges on it once in a while, set that one aside and print another.


This process is fun for quilts, pillows panels to sew on purses, shirts or anything else you can think of.



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~~~Seeds are ordered~~~
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March 23 ~ ~ Now I officially am ready, ordered the seeds a couple of days ago, have the hubby on a compost run as I type. Spread the wood ashes around that we had dumped on the snow all winter hoping we hit the garden area, and yes we did hit the garden, thank you.

Looked at the cold frame, pondered, looked some more, hmmm, maybe I can get by another year without digging it out. But remember old girl you weren't real happy with the horse manure you got last year and the hubby did offer to get you some this year instead of you getting it. All you have to do is dig out the old and start with new so get with it, take his help when you get it silly.

Don't you hate it when you listen to those little devils when they cause you more work? In the long run it will be worth it and I will be glad I did so right after I get done here it's a digging I will go. The seeds should be here any day and we want to get them in the soil as soon as we can now. Our weather has made a turn and with our light bulbs in the cold frame and Mother Nature's help the seedlings should be sprouting in no time.

Oh by the way we have a new nephew Jaxson Danial Butcher was born March 22 to the hubby's neice Cari and Jason. They waited so long and had several miscarriages so this is a real Easter miracle for them.


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Easter Bunny Cake
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

~~~Getting Kids Involved in Cooking~~~

Family get togethers are meant for making memories and sharing old ones. This certainly includes the young people in our families. Getting those young ones involved in the planning and cooking of meals is a step in making sure they will continue building family closeness in their own futures only if you make it fun. By letting them help choose the menu and then making or helping make some of items they build pride and confidence in themselves along with learning to cook.

Here are a few simple recipes and ideas to get those youngsters involved that have worked for us. Remember they are young, will make mistakes, but we did too and just because the end results may not be perfect EAT IT ANYWAY. Give them some leeway to express their creativity and learn.

Bunny Cake

A bunny cake is simple to make from a 9x13 cake. After you cool the cake freeze it for a few minutes to make it easier to handle. Cut 2x9 off one end for the two ears. You will cut this piece in half. Cut three 3 1/2" (you can adjust this size) triangle corners off the square you have left, put two together at the top forming a square for the head and one at the bottom of the square for a tail on the corner you didn't cut off, the ears on top of the head. Shape them as bunny ears; frost the whole thing with a fluffy white frosting and sprinkle with coconut if desired. Add a pink Jelly Bean for the eye and red licorice whiskers. Refer to the photo for placement and cutting lines.

You could use a smaller cake pan for the main body and put the rest of the batter in a small round pan for the head. Frosting hides a multitude of sins in the cake.

My Mother-in-law gave me this recipe and we all love it. A quick and easy salad my grandchildren like to make as well as eat –

Jell-O Fruit Salad

1 small package Jell-O any flavor strawberry is their fave

2 C sliced strawberries any fruit fresh or canned

2 C cool whip

2 C cottage cheese

2 C marshmallows

These amounts are all adjustable if I am short on something oh well, it is delicious anyway. Nuts are good also but one of our grands doesn’t like them so, you know we have to spoil the grands when we get the chance.

Refrigerator Muffins (feel free to cut the recipe in half if you wish)

3 Cups sugar                1 qt. Buttermilk

1 C shortening                        4 eggs

5 tea b. soda                4 C All-Bran cereal

1 tea salt                      2 C 100% bran

5 C flour                      2 C boiling water


Pour Boiling water over 100% bran. Cream shortening and sugar, add eggs, buttermilk and 100% bran. Sift flour, salt and soda together. Add all together with All-Bran. Fold in only until moistened. Pour into greased muffin tins or muffin cups and bake 15 to 20 minute at 400 degrees. This batter will keep in refrigerator for 6 to 8 weeks. Keep batter covered. I use any bran cereal. When I want to use some batter I pour out how much I need and add slivered apples, raisins, dates, nuts or whatever I want before putting into the liners. For holidays use holiday colored liners.


Child’s Apron



1 hand towel

1 child’s tee shirt

Sewing machine

Bias tape


Cut hand towel in half, lay aside. Cut the top of apron according to picture using the neck opening for the neck of your apron. I chose to make a narrow shoulder but the picture shows a narrow and wide cutting line marked with a sharpie.


After cutting out the tee shirt top lay it out flat, align the half hand towel cut side next to the bottom of the tee shirt bottom. Gather the hand towel to match the width of the tee shirt. Stitch the hand towel to hold gathers. Pin the towel to the back of the tee shirt so you can sew on the hemline of the tee shirt and through the gathering stitching on your towel.


Fold your bias tape over the raw edges of the tee shirt starting where the towel and tee shirt join, stitch around to the other towel/tee shirt joint and cut even with the towel. Attach the same bias tape for the ties or use tie material of your choice.


Enjoy cooking with your little ones in their very own apron. Feel free to personalize with the child’s name or picture. My granddaughter and I love to cook together so I made this one for her.



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Turn Junk Mail into Plantable Gifts
Sunday, March 21, 2010

Plant your Junk Mail



We all know the price of greeting cards! We all know the amount of junk mail we get every day, right? So why not solve both problems and make greeting cards out of the junk mail you say? Better yet lets make your greeting card a gift while you are at it. Lets put flower seeds in the paper so the receiver can plant the card and watch the gift grow. Here is how I do it.

Sort your paper carefully, no glossy paper will work, envelopes will work but be sure to remove the plastic windows and stay away from those advertisement inserts with all of the color. Remember when you mix several colors you usually get an ugly gray so sort, sort, sort! You can use food coloring to get a certain color. Copy paper from your own printer works great. If you really don’t care what the color is paper egg cartons work wonderful for pulp.


Materials you need- junk mail got any? Of course! By now you know what kind of paper you need.

Seeds of a variety easy to grow

Paper towel

Lots of newspaper

Picture frame apx. 14”x16” no larger, I made mine out of trim boards I had laying around

6” deep plastic tub that your frame will lay in with room for you to pick it up

Electric blender

Window screen



The size of your frame will be the size of your paper sheets you have to work with when you are done. Staple the window screen over your frame. This needs to be very secure; I brought mine all the way around the frame and stapled it on the inside. Place your screen-covered frame in your tub with the flat side down.


Ok lets get our workspace ready, cover the table with several layers of newspaper. Have your paper towels handy and a towel, you could sure use rags or towels instead of paper towels if you have enough it takes quite a few. You can reuse the paper towels, I let them dry and use them again on my next batch, I have even been know to iron them during the process or hang them out to dry then store them in my tub with the screen until next time.


Tear your paper into shreds or run through a shredder if you are lucky enough to have one, fill your blender half way with your shredded paper and add around 2 cups warm water. Blend until you have the paper all ground into a pulp. Pour into your tub over your frame. You may need to adjust the amount of water according to your blender the amount will not hurt in the end. Repeat several times while you are in the mess you might as well make several sheets. Now is the time to decide on the color you want. If you want more than one color do one, rinse the tub and do another.  


Now comes the fun part take hold of your frame and swish it around to remix the pulp and water evenly in the tub then slowly bring your frame straight up out of the mixture. Hold it over the tub until you can see if you have an even thin layer of pulp distributed over your frame, if not immerse it again swish and repeat until it is. When you are satisfied lay it over the edge of your frame. Sprinkle your seeds on your pulp quickly before all the water runs out, you can gently mist over your seeds if they don’t seem to be imbedded. You will get the hang of this step quickly don’t worry. With your flat hand carefully press the water out of the pulp. Now flip your frame over and carefully pop your paper pulp out on your paper towel covered newspaper by tapping on the corners first. If it tears and isn’t in large enough pieces to use   just put it back in your tub and try again. Once it is out of the frame it should not be disturbed until it is fairly dry or it will tear so be sure you can leave it where it is several hours or overnight depending on how thick your paper is and much water you get out of it. You will have to experiment to learn how thick or thin you want your paper but the thinner the better for planting I feel. Normally if your paper wrinkles or curls on the edges press it flat with your iron; but for planting seeds I wouldn’t put the heat to it.


Well there you have the basics, how you make your card or gift of planting paper is up to you. I usually include a handmade packet of the same seeds I have imbedded in the paper with my card; I have found people don’t want to part with the handmade card. I have added a photo of one of my basic seed cards to my album for an example; all it needs is the message tag on the front and the packet of seeds inserted. This one has zinnia seeds in the pulp. You will notice this one is a dark green; I spray painted the paper with florist spray paint. The idea is that the recipient will tear the card up and plant the shreds but I have yet to find anyone that has parted with their card.




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Seeds over plants, that is the question?
Saturday, March 20, 2010

Today is the first day of spring, YIPPEE, now if Mother Nature will just remember and no one upsets her this year. Here in Nebraska we have had our share of winter. It started early and continued to be cold and snowy all winter. The last decade has been so much warmer and so much less snow that we were beginning to think Mother Nature forgot where we were; well she woke up and remembered what she used to do to us. Even at that we were so fortunate compared to many other parts of the country. I for one am all for keeping her on our good side so be good to her I will!


Now with spring brings gardening and the yearnings to get my hands in the dirt. Last year I built a coldframe, I can’t say it was a total success but it did very well and I certainly was pleased with the money I saved. Overall we had the best garden we have ever had for several reasons. I will get into that later for now I want to encourage you to try starting your own plants. Whether you build a coldframe or not you can save so much starting your own plants over buying them. The nurseries have to make money to stay in business and that is to be expected, we can’t grow everything so we are glad. I love roses and I can’t start them, believe me I have tried starting with slips time after time and just can’t seem to get it right. So I buy them but I save planting everything I can.


Last year I grew everything in our garden and shared plants with several other families, this year with good luck I plan on selling some of my extra plants to a store also and paying for my seeds that way. I did have some trouble with shock on my tomatoes last year so this year I will transplant the seedlings when they are about 5” tall into pots I made from newspaper then later transplant right into their place in the garden when they are around a ready. I will post my pots on Thrifty Fun for those of you who may want to use them. I could have purchased peat pots but there goes some of my savings again and I have a friend who makes all of his own pots from newspaper with great success.


Another thing I learned last year was to hold down on the number of seeds I plant. I purchased good seed from mail order companies such as Gurneys and the quality is so much better that every seed must come up. Their seed is no more expensive and they have sales in every catalog, great quality of the seed and money back guarantee on everything that I can attest to they stand behind. The only trouble I had was on a grass plant I ordered, it wasn’t in the best shape when it came and then I had to be gone for a few days and forgot to plant it, when I got back it was beyond help. I contacted the company and they replaced it no questions asked even after I admitted I hadn’t watered the somewhat questionable plant.


The variety I grew last year was 4 kinds of tomatoes, 2 kinds of cucumbers, giant sunflowers, (see the photo of a squirrel sitting on one in my photo album) peas, beans, koli-rabi, 2 kinds of carrots, onions, beets, and 3 kinds of radishes, cabbage, broccoli and summer squash.


I have posted several pictures of last year’s garden to show you just how bountiful it was. We have a heavy black soil so we have added sand the last 4 years, compost the last two and a fertilizer made locally the last two. Our local sanitation department (trash pickup) makes compost and sells it for practically nothing. If you are planting grass sprinkle it on your area and then seed it, your grass will jump. My favorite way to break up a heavy soil is wood chips from a horse barn; that combination of horse manure and those wood chips is the best I have found to loosen up hard soil. Top that off with a load of sand and you have a soil that can’t be beat in my estimation. I use weed free grass clippings for mulch as deep as 6 to 8 inches. Friends are glad to have somewhere to go with their clippings and deliver it to me for nothing but I share my garden bounty with them and they love it.


This winter we have not had to purchase any vegetables other than fresh such as lettuce, tomatoes and radishes otherwise we are still eating from what was grown in my garden. Green beans are the one thing I don’t freeze, we prefer them canned but otherwise I freeze everything else. Of course we have canned tomato juice and stewed tomatoes, preserves from wild chokecherries and plums and apples from my tree. We have a horseradish patch and each year we have a “grinding” party where we put up around 100 pints of horseradish that we share with all. We get requests for it all year long and each year new people show up at the “grinding” party. There are lots of tears and laughing as the memories are made and the horseradish gets prepared for another year.


So as you can see I am really glad spring is here and I have an excuse to play in the dirt again. My seeds are ordered, my hubby is going after the manure and compost first of the week and aplanting I will go! You really should try it, it is so rewarding.




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Denture Delimma
Friday, March 19, 2010

Well, I got my wish! I have perfect teeth, they aren’t real but they are real perfect!

As for my wish yes, years ago when my teeth were uneven, some discolored, the back ones missing; so when I tried to eat chips and other wonderful crunchy foods I got bit instead of the food, I wished desperately for a full set of beautiful “chompers”.  Just can’t bring myself to say f----- teeth for some reason, after all they are for old people and no one in my family has had ever had any. Now I admit I have always been a teeny bit different than others in my family but even I have my limits. For the sake of my family, friends and all of you may I stay a teeny bit different if you haven’t been unfortunate enough to have gotten the same wish bestowed on your unsuspecting mouth. Now that's a Dental Delimma in my toothless opinion!

Anyone who knows me well will tell you my mouth has always gotten me into trouble from time to time and still does but never did it do anything so bad to deserve this treatment.

Okay, it’s a done deal; now deal with it, right? Right! What I really am wanting to do is share a little of what I have learned that may help any one that finds themselves facing this situation.

First of all there is food, we still have to eat like it or not and I mean like it or not. I do not like it and oh how I used to, now not liking it has been a good thing for I have lost a few pounds, which I am grateful for. As of yet Weight watchers hasn’t contacted me for my secret but I’ll keep a line open; and no I wouldn’t recommend this method.

Now I love soup of any kind, rice and yogurt. Then there are ice cream and malts of course and now I have an excuse to eat them without the guilt. With great pride and determination there has been no ice cream brought into this house since I have had the excuse, with no limitations I am afraid of what I might do. You’ve seen those movies with the distraught women digging in the ice cream bucket with their big ole’ spoon, well I am afraid I might by-pass the spoon and only come for air when I hit the bottom!

Right now my favorite piece of equipment in my kitchen is my 1-cup electric blender. It has become my new best friend and no longer is delegated to under the cabinet. Front and center for my friends. It us the main tool in my cooking these days and the reason I am still alive at all. It is said we should live and learn; well I am proof of that. I am alive and relearning how to prepare food and now would like to share some of my findings with you in case you ever find yourself in my predicament. One would not have to get your teeth pulled to enjoy these few recipes but they certainly are tried and true “chomper” recipes.

As for yogurt I am enjoying it often, my favorite way is crumbling a muffin, (one that I made with Malt-o-Meal cereal thinking it was a bread I could eat because it would be soft, wrong the cereal grains got under the plates and went to war) in a cereal bowl, cutting up mixed frozen fruit and topping with fat free vanilla yogurt and a touch of milk. Now that’s a treat.

Another favorite is shrimp salad served in a half avocado shell. This one I learned in Mexico and have adapted to work with tuna also. I boil my shrimp and run it through my one-cup electric blender along with the celery. I add the rest of the softer ingredients as one normally uses, mayo, relish, garlic salt and what ever you like. Clean the avocado and cram just as much shrimp salad as I can into it, piling it up in a nice mound. The other half of the avocado I slice and lay around the filled half, sprinkle with more garlic salt, wipe the saliva from my mouth as I grab my fork and hurry to sit down to enjoy my feast.

Not being one to ever like gravy on my potatoes, I know weird again, yes I like both just not together, give me rice any day. Off course one can’t make just a cup of rice, no I don’t like the instant, so I have a lot of the wonderful fluffy stuff to do something with. In our house the hubby eats potatoes only so I can do anything I want with the rice. A few ways I have found that appease the new “choppers” are buttered or heated with stewed tomatoes (sometimes a little salsa and parmesan cheese) or cheese melted over it and of course put in stew, a hubby pan and one for me of course.

The stew is all cut up really fine except the meat, which I run through my trusty little chopper just before serving so hubby has his chunky meat.

These recipes are of course not limited to the sore of mouth, aged, or sound of mind of which I am proof so feel free to try them. You don’t have to tell where you got them, no one will know.

Well if you are still with me, you may just be a chomper candidate someday if the need arises. We’ll hope the need does not indeed knock at your door. Remember to be careful what you wish, it might come true and you will pay for it with your mouth!




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If it's not in the laundry room it doesn't get washed!
Saturday, January 23, 2010

When our boys were little I got into the bad habit of going to their rooms before doing the laundry to make sure all of their dirty clothes were in the laundry room. They got more and more dependent on me picking up their dirty clothes instead of taking care of it themselves.

Deciding I wasn't teaching them anything by doing it for them I had to take action. So one Saturday I warned them that from that day on anything not in the laundry when I was ready to wash wasn't going to get washed.

Monday morning rolled around and things went fine but Tuesday the sky fell in. Neither son had clean jeans. I simply told them "gosh the wash was all done Saturday so you should have enough for the week."

"But Mom, I can't  wear dirty jeans" came from both of them as I just shrugged my shoulders and said "and I can't wash them if they aren't in the laundry.

I never had to pick up their dirty clothes again. By the way they didn't get their jeans that dirty in one day so they were okay to wear them another day in spite of what they thought.

I can't take credit for this way of handling the situation, I had just that week heard it on the radio. Another suggestion the doctor told was when your child wants to run away tell them that is ok but they must leave the same way they came into your world, naked. More times than not it will make the child laugh if you deliver the sentence right. It worked for me with our oldest son.

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Organizing my crafts
Thursday, January 21, 2010


With a long flight in my near future I am busy planning which crafts to take with me and how to pack them.  With regret I don't have the project ready I would like to take and rather than hurry the preliminary steps which I know I would regret later I will make myself wait to get into it when I get home.

For this time I will just take a set of pillowcases that I have kept for such a trip. I try to keep a simple project put together in a clear gallon zip lock bag ready to throw in my bag just for this purpose. My travel projects must be small, flat and simple that I don't have to think to hard to work on. I want to be able to work on the project and still visit with people or look around at the scenery. Airlines allow small scissors or nail clippers so sewing projects work well for me.

I always travel with a book also, in case I can't get to sleep at night. Sometimes a motel is noisy, the bed is too hard, at my age hot flashes can be an unwanted guest and frankly sometimes I am too excited to sleep so a good book will relax me.

An oversized canvas bag works great for me as a carry on. I stuff my purse, camera, craft project, book, snack and a set of "undies" all in it and it stays in my possession at all times. That way I am set if my bags don't get to my destination for some reason. I don't ever pack more than will fit in that canvas bag and one large carry on bag that will fit in the overhead compartment so there is no chance of loosing my things but still pack the "undies" out of habit I guess. A girl just never knows.

This trip is to Texas, stay with my in-laws and then into Mexico to OUCH get my teeth pulled by the family dentist. On my numerous trips over I will switch from my purse to a fanny pack, and with my build they look so cute, but for safety's sake I will swallow my pride. Only the necessities will be put in it which means no credit cards and no cell phone. A friend used his cell phone while in Mexico once and somehow his number was tracked, stolen and he then got a very large phone bill the next month. A good lesson for the rest of us.

One more hint I would like to share that I have enjoyed through the years involves bringing smiles to children that I run across on my ventures. I keep small change in a handy pocket, now we all know children should be taught not to talk to or take anything from strangers, but there isn't any rule about my showing a child when I just happen to spot a nickel on the floor and they can pick it up is there. Most of the time the parents don't know I have put it there but if they happen to catch me they go along with it with a smile and silent "thank you." 

If you have traveling plans in your future, be safe and take time to enjoy the little things that bring you pleasure.

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A PBJ Marriage
Friday, January 15, 2010

That's right a Peanut butter and Jelly marriage. We learned a very good lesson right at the start about finances I would like to share with you all.

Shortly after we were married my husband, Bob took a better paying job that involved a move. Well we were making payments on a well used, pink 8'x 30' trailer house and had just found out we were expecting our first child. Needless to say we were broke with a capital B. The raise was badly needed so we did our homework and figured out just what we would need to make the move. If we borrowed a truck to move the well used, pink 8'x30' trailer house ourselves we could save a bunch. Bob hadn't taken a vacation he had coming so we would have that check to make our lot rent and buy groceries for the coming month when we got moved. We could do it by watchng our pennies, if we could find any.

He took the job and we moved. The trailer court was so much nicer than where we were and the town was larger, a great hospital for the arrival of our expected baby in seven months. Life was getting better and better all we had to do now was wait for that vacation check.

We had managed to make the lot rent payment but it nearly broke us, not to worry, the check would be here any day now as they promised. Then we could buy groceries until then we had, you guessed it peanut butter except we didn't have any jelly! A man at Bob's new job had given him a dozen eggs and we had a loaf of bread. We would be fine for a couple of days, then a couple of more days passed, then a week. It is amazing what one can do with peanut butter, bread and eggs. One day Bob would make our sandwiches then the next day I would make them. At least it was a change. And eggs, you all know there are dozens of ways to use eggs so with a smile and the innocense of youth we lived on peanut butter, eggs and one loaf of bread for three weeks.

We made daily calls, and they made daily excuses why the check hadn't been mailed, finally they admitted that they told us wrong Bob had not earned a paid vacation, just vacation time. Yes, we were very unhappy to say the least, but we should have checked into it more to start with since we were depending on that money. You can't count on what should be you need to see it in black and white.

Obviously, we survived and to this day we still look back and laugh about our PBJ start to our marriage. Oh and by the way we still like PBJ but load on the J now.

So you see money isn't everything, attitude makes up for a lot.

Keep Smilin' and see ya soon!



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