Friday, July 30, 2010


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Canning seems like  IS a lot of work.  I was given about 10 yellow summer squash the other day.  I knew I couldn't use them all at once.  I was blog surfing the other day and saw that someone else made pickleld squash.  "Interesting!" says I.  I guess you can pickle just about anything.  I gave it a try today.

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Pickled Squash

1/4 c. salt
2 1/2 pounds yellow squash (or yellow squash and zucchini) sliced into rounds
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
2 small onions, sliced into thin slices
2 1/4 c. white sugar
2 c. distilled vinegar  ( I used apple cider vinegar as I saw on other recipes)
1 1/2 T. pickling spice
generous pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

In a large, non aluminum pot, comine the squash, bell pepper, onions.  Cover with salt, let stand 2 hours stirring occasionally.

Just before 2 hours time is up, combine the sugar, vinegar, spices in sauce pan.  Bring to boil.  Drain well the liquid from the vegetables.  Pour the spice brine over the vegetables.  Let stand another 2 hours.  Boil vegetables again.  Let simmer about 5 minutes.  Ladle vegetables into pint size, sterile jars, filling with liquid to within 1/4 inch of rim of jar.  Wipe rims with clean cloth.  Seal with lids and rings.  Process in boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.   Remove let stand 24 hours before storing in cool dry place.   Any jars that do not seal should be stored in refridgerator no longer than two weeks.

*I'll have to let you know how these pickled squash turn out.  My house sure smells heavenly.  I love pickles!

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

~~It's Thursday~~

Outside My Window~  Humid.  A nice thunderstorm came through this morning and gave us a good soaking rain.

I am thinking~ Still thinking and dreaming about a little camp trailer.  Still thinking and dreaming about our next transfer.  I am thinking that for such a heavily populated area, the radio stations are not that great here.  I am thinking, why can't folks at the store push their carts the extra 15 feet to the cart return instead of leaving them resting against my vehicle?  Why do folks on t.v. say "Umm." so much?  I am still laughing at the lady who asked me at church last night to help work a church function.  She wanted to be sure to ask all the folks who had more time because we "Don't work"    Still thinking...yup.. I am!

 From the kitchen~ Grilled chicken with grilled veggies and the last bit of cantaloupe.

I am thankful for~   I am always grateful that the Lord meets our needs over and above what we could ever ask for.

I am wearing~   A light blue, floral print wrap skirt with a pink tee, bare feet with rapberry colored toes.

 I have been~  We straightened the house this morning.  I washed my bed sheets yesterday (April Jo ) #2 son vacuumed for the first time and had a blast!

I am reading~  Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries (You know from the Jane Austin books?)  These are a series of books set in the Victorian era.  I think I have gotten them out of order.  I am reading Suspense and Sensibility.  Seems to be decent so far.

I am watching~  I was internet surfing yesterday and found that PBS has movies online and happens to be playing Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot for a very limited time.

Around the house~ Smelling a vanilla cupcake candle and a bit of mulberry potpouri.  Things are clean and organized.  Trying to find a radio station to listen to. 

I am Praying~ Praying for myself.  Praying always for wisdom. Pray for us.  I can't say why, but we are going through some unchartered territory  and are not sure how to handle it...(not with our children or our job or immediate family.)  We need the Lord's wisdom and peace.

Upcoming Events The weekend of August 8th we'll be going away again.  We are going to take that weekend and go see the New Jersey State Fair.  Does that sound too redneck?  I can't wait.  I love going to a good fair.  We haven't attended one since we lived in San Diego, California.  We are going to attend a fiddle competition and see the demolition derby.  I am going to try to reserve a hotel room close by the area of the fair and see if I can find a hotel with a pool.

Erie County Fair by e_felger.

My manly man will be going to training in Fort Worth, Texas next week.  We like to take that time and make it a party at home.  Not sure what we'll do for sure.  We may rent movies, get Chinese take-out and go swimming.  I'd love to go camping again.

A Few plans For The Remaining Week~  Tomorrow I'll be babysitting.  I babysat last Friday also.  #2 son had a great time playing with J.C.  it was fun for him. 


J.C. has been here before. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Terrific Tuesday

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Just a quick update...

We had a wonderful weekend visiting our old friends.  Our visit with them was sweet.  The church we visited was great, the people friendly and the Pastor was great.  ((I am sorry we didn't get more exciting pictures.))

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(This was the view from our hotel room window.  We enjoyed the pool, refreshing ourselves form the 100 degree afternoon.)

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(brown bear loved going on this trip too!)

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We saw some beautiful countryside when we drove the back roads to the Jersey Shore.  I was a bit disappointed that we didn't see more shore.  The coast roads here are not like the ones on the west coast that you can drive along side the ocean and pull over when you like to walk on the beach.  It takes a bit more effort to get to the beach here...and usually costs money.

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(Our pets always know when we are getting ready to go somewhere without them.)

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We had a bit of an exciting time last week.  Monday, we took a drive to look into some auto parts for my manly man's Toyota project.  We ended up at the beach for quick peek at the surf and sand.  Upon our return to the van, I spotted a Box turtle.  My manly man was intrigued by my find and decided to 'rescue' it.  When he got home he did a bit of internet research and found that it is illegal to have these turtles unless you have a special wildlife permit.  Ha!  Sooo...he decides he is going to return the turtle to the beach when he goes for special training in that area Friday the 30th, almost two weeks away!!.  Until....the turtle jumped out of her box on Tuesday, onto our garage floor, and started laying eggs!  Momma said take her back today!  They did ...and snapped this picture of her and the eggs she laid. 

Have a great week.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's Thursday

Outside My Window~  Hot Summer.  This weekend is supposed to be unbearably hot.  My garden is still not doing so well. 

I am thinking~ I am thinking about fall and the start of home school.  I really should get some lesson plans started.  I am thinking about finishing up a photo project and organizing pictures into albums.  I am thinking about tall pine trees, the scent of juniper and the mountains in eastern Oregon this week.  I am still thinking about a cute little camper and taking it out to camp somewhere.

 From the kitchen~ Something in the crock pot for today...spaghetti or ribs and scalloped potatoes with green salad

I am thankful for~   I am thankful for my job.  I love staying at home and enjoying the company of my children and my dog.

I am wearing~     I am wearing a denim skirt and my nightshirt.  My hair is up, being colored light brown.  I colored it Tuesday, medium brown.  I think my manly man though it was too dark.  He came home from work that night and said..."Did you color your hair?  You diiiiddd color your hair didn't you?"  Then he walks to another room and when he returns he is chuckling.  Why can't he just say it was too dark?  It WILL eventually lighten week, maybe.

 I have been~  Not doing too much.  Wishing we had a little hot tub or wading pool that wasn't full of tomatoes!

 I am reading~  The Teaberry Strangler by Laura Childs...another very decent mystery with recipes and tea party ideas.

The Teaberry Strangler by Laura Childs

I am watching

The Bionic Woman



Around the house~ It's still pretty early around here.  I hear the  wind chimes and Cicada's outside. #1 son is already at work this morning.   I am going to mess around on the computer today so it will stay fairly quiet.

I am Praying~ Praying for myself... praying  that God would give peace and wisdom.  Praying for the desires of my heart...I have several of those!

Upcoming Events We are taking #2 son and traveling 2 1/2 hours south this weekend.  We have some special, long-time friends in the area and we want to see them.  

They are missionaries on deputation (raising support) to go to New Zealand.  They will be at a church Sunday presenting their ministry.  We'll be staying in hotel Saturday and hopefully swimming a bit (it is supposed to be 100 degrees!)  On Sunday morning we'll attend church with them.  Afterward we'll return home, taking a leisurely drive up the NJ coast. 

~~Have a great weekend friends!~~


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday Recipes

Vanilla Crack

oven to 350 degrees

1 Box salted soda crackers
2 sticks butter
1 C. granulated sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 C. chopped, salted peanuts

Line a 10X15 inch cookie sheet with foil.  Spray with non stick spray.

Cover pan completely with a single layer of soda crackers, salt side up.  Set aside.

Combine butter with sugar and vanilla in a heavy saucepan.  Bring to full boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly.  Boil exactly 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Pour hot mixture over the soda crackers as evenly as possible.  Sprinkle nuts over top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Remove pan from oven.  Cool on wire rack.

When cool, break cookies into random size pieces. 

chocolate caramel toffee crack
 (internet picture for chocolate caramel  crack(ers))

Chocolate Crack

Oven to 350 degrees

1 box graham crackers
2 sticks butter
1 C. brown sugar
2 C. semi sweet chocolate chips

Line a cookie sheet with foil.  Spray with non stick spray.

Line pan completely with a single layer of graham crackers.  Set aside.

Combine butter with brown sugar in sauce pan over medium high heat.  Bring to boil stirring constantly.  Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Pour the mixture as evenly as you can over the top of the graham crackers.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Remove pan from oven, immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips and spread with rubber spatula.  Let cool.  May cool in fridge if desired. 

When cool, break into random sized pieces.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Funny

We were in the van driving home from church yesterday.  We were all conversing.  We asked our dear #2 son what he learned in Sunday school class.  He didn't understand what we were asking him at first.  So I asked "What did Mr. Cobb teach you about in class?"

"Oh!"  says #2 son  "It was about the blond man."

"The blond  man?"  I ask

"Yes!  The blond man who went up to Jesus and asked to be healed from his blond-ness."

((The blind man. (John chapter 9))

Needless to say, we were all in stitches laughing so hard!

Thank you Lord for giving us our dear boy who makes us laugh everyday.  Our lives would be so empty without him!

Friday, July 16, 2010

~~It's Friday~~

Outside My Window~  We've had two days of refreshing rain this week!  We needed it very badly.  Things are getting dry.  My garden isn't doing so well this year.  The tomatoes aren't very bushy/full.  My zucchini isn't producing fruit, even though it flowers.  It looks like it's dying too.  My cucumber is really slow growing this year.  I think I am finally getting a fruit off it though.  The bedding plants I bought from the nursery are growing worse than the ones I purchased at Wal Mart!

I am thinking~ I am thinking about my post on brotherly love.  I am going to write up a rough draft this weekend.

 From the kitchen~ Have you missed my weekly menu this week?  We have been eating lots of leftovers this week.  We attend a birthday party on Saturday and were sent home with a ton of leftovers, pork, chicken rice and ribs.  I sent some home with Bachelor David and still had a ton left!  We enjoyed a wonderful Sunday dinner after church...pork roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, fruit salad, dinner rolls and cherry cheesecake.  Homemade!  It was so good I am still thinking about it!  Also bought a great watermelon at the produce stand this week...a Sugar Baby.  Wow, is it ever GOOD!!

I am thankful for~   I am thankful that the Lord continues to meet our needs over and above what we could ever ask.  I am thankful for a wise husband. 

I am wearing~     Knee length, denim shorts, black tank top.  Not going anywhere today so I can dress this way!  I ended up with a fantastic tan after our two days at the river last week!

 I have been~  I was able to  spend a few hours with my manly man this week.  I drug him out shopping with me.  He took me the thrift store, Burlington Coat Factory, Aldi's, the produce stand,  and Red Robin.

 I am reading~  I am reading a book by an author I love, Joanne Fluke.  Her heroine bakes lots of cookies.  There are printed recipes in the book too!  All of these books are a decent, clean mystery.

I am watching

The Bionic Woman



Around the house~ Listening to oldies c.d.'s on my stereo.  The house is freshly vacuumed.  I am smelling Mulberry potpourri.  The AC is working great at keeping the house the temperature I want it!

I am Praying~ I am praying for the bachelors.  Bachelor Mickey is supposed to be released from the 'rehabilitation' center this week.  Not sure what the plan is for that situation...I know it's in  My Lords hands!  **UPDATE!!  Bachelor Mickey  is back home.  His guardian is finding him day care during the week day.  I spent 2 1/2 hours with him Wednesday, the day after he was released from the rehabilitation facility.  He is extremely slow moving, easily confused, and quieter.  Continue to pray for that situation.  I don't know how much Bachelor David can handle with Mickey's care in the evening and on weekends.

Sharing with You~  Recipes!

Vegetable Rolls with Peanut Sauce

2 T. Rice Vinegar

2 T. fresh lime juice

1 T. finely chopped unsalted, roasted, peanuts

1/2 t. sugar

1/8 t. salt

1 ounce cellophane noodles

1 C. boiling water

4 (8-inch) round rice paper sheets

1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and cut into matchstick strips

1 carrot, shredded

4 green onions, light green parts only, sliced into long thin strips

1/4 C. packed fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 C. packed flat leaf parsley leaves

To make the dipping sauce, combine vinegar, lime juice, peanuts, sugar and salt into small bowl; set aside.

Combine the noodles with the boiling water in medium bowl.  Soak the noodles for 12 minutes, drain.  Pat dry with paper towels.

Half fill a large skillet with warm water.  Soak 1 rice paper round in the water until just pliable, 30-45 seconds.  Pat with paper towel.  Place 1/4 of the noodles on the bottom third of the rice paper; top with one fourth each of the cucumber, carrot, green onion and cilantro.  Tightly roll rice paper around filling to just cover filling.  Place 1/4 of the parsley in a single row along the roll then continue rolling.  Place seam side down on plate and cover with a damp paper towel.  Repeat with remaining ingredients .  You should end up with four rolls in all.

With serrated knife, slice each roll on the diagonal into 4 pieces.  Serve with the dipping sauce.

**I have seen a recipe similar to this with ground or finely dice meat on the inside as well.  A nice ground chicken or turkey would be nice.  You  may be able to substitute peanut butter for chopped peanuts, not everyone has peanuts in the pantry.**


Wild Rice Salad

1 C. wild rice

1/2 C. basmatti or long grain white rice

1/2 C. citrus vinegarette *recipe follows

1 orange

1/2 C. dried cranberries

1/2 C. orange juice, warmed

4 green onions

1/2 C. pecans, toasted and chopped

1/4 C. fresh parsley, chopped

salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Place the wild rice in a large saucepan, cover with 4 C. water and add dash of salt.  Bring to boil, lower heat, cover and simmer until grains are tender but still chewy, about 30 minutes.

Bring 4 C. water to boil in large saucepan.  Add basmatti rice.  Boil for 10 minutes, uncovered, until grains are just tender. Drain.

While rice is till warm, toss both types of rice with half the dressing, set aside

Remove the skin and pith from the orange.  Slice the orange then cut each slice into bite size pieces.  Soak the dried cranberries in warm orange juice 15 minutes to soften.  Drain and pat dry.

Shortly before serving, add the fruit, green onions, nuts, and parsley to the rice.  Toss with more dressing, season to taste.

Serves 4-6

**Citrus Vinegarette

1 T. orange juice

1 T. fresh lemon juice

1 T. balsamic or red wine vinegar

6 T. olive oil

slat and pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together until incorporated.  Season to taste.


Fiesta Taco Casserole

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 can (15-16 oz.) spicy chili beans in sauce, undrained

1 cup prepared salsa

2 C. coarsely crushed tortilla chips

3/4 C. sour cream

4 medium green onions, sliced

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 C. shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese

(tortilla chips, if desired)

(shredded lettuce, if desired)

(salsa, if desired)

Oven to 350 degrees

In 10 inch skillet, cook beef over medium heat 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally, until brown, drain.  Stir in beans and salsa.  Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.

In ungreased 2 qt casserole dish, place broken tortilla chips.  Top with beef mixture.  Spread with sour cream.  Sprinkle with onions tomato and cheese.

Bake uncovered 20-30 or until hot and bubbly.  Garnish with optional tortilla chips, shredded lettuce, and salsa on top of hot casserole.


Chicken Thyme Penne

3 C. uncooked penne,  cooked according to package directions to al-dente.  Drained and cooled completely.

4 C. cubed, cooked chicken

2 C. red grapes, halved

2 medium stalks of celery, sliced

1/3 C. onion

3 T. oil

2 T. fresh thyme leaves(may substitute 2t. dried)

1 1/4 C. mayonnaise or miracle whip

1 T. milk

1 T. honey

1 T. coarse ground mustard

1 t. salt

1 C. chopped walnuts, toasted

In very large bowl, mix cooled pasta with chicken, grapes, celery and onion.  In small bowl mix oil and 1 T. thyme.  Pour oil mixture over chicken.  Toss to coat.

In another small bowl, mix mayonnaise the milk, honey mustard, salt and remaining thyme.  Cover chicken mixture and mayonnaise mixture separately and refrigerate at least 4 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

2 hours before serving, toss chicken mixture into noodle mixture.  Cover and refrigerate until serving.  Just before serving add walnuts.


Upside-Down Apple Coffeecake

1 medium apple

1/4 C. brown sugar

1 T. water

1/2 C. fresh or frozen cranberries

1/4 C. butter, softend

1 C. granulated sugar

1 C. applesauce

1 egg

1 3/4 C. flour 1 t. baking soda

1/2 t. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut apple in half.  Remove core.  Slice apple 1/8 inch thick.  Stir together brown sugar and water in medium saucepan.  Add apple slices.  Cook, stirring gently over med heat, until apple slices are softend, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle cranberries in bottom of nonstick or greased 9 inch cake pan.  Arrange apple slices over cranberries, drizzling with brown sugar sauce.  Set aside.  In large bowl, beat butter with granulated sugar until combined.  Add applesauce and egg.  In separate bowl, mix together, flour, baking soda and cinnamon.  Gently blend dry ingredients into wet ingredients until througholy combined.  Spoon batter over apple slices in cake pan.  Spread evenly.  Bake 30 minutes or until cake tests done.  Cool 15 minutes on wore rack before turning cake out of pan.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Camping, Cooling, Contemplating





Outside My Window~  It's not as hot as it has been.  We are getting some much needed rain showers.  Our grass is very dry.  Walking in my back yard, I am reminded of how fresh hay smells.

I am thinking~ Still thinking about writing a post on brotherly love.

 From the kitchen~ Not sure what to cook.  It will probably be something that doesn't heat up the kitchen. 

I am thankful for~   I am thankful for being able to spend time having an adventure with my boys.  Not too much longer and my nest will be a bit emptier.

I am wearing~     My p.j.s!!  I will get dressed sometime today!

 I have been~  Seeking relief from the oppressive heat, I took my sons to the Delaware River to camp.  I am sad to report, it wasn't any cooler unless we were in the water.  We came home refreshed and much redder more tan.

 I am reading~  Found a great book.  It is the first in a series.   I'll try to patiently wait for the second book to be released.


The heroine in this book is a church secretary.  Her job as church secretary is defiantly more exciting than my job as church secretary ever was!

I am watching

The Incredible Hulk Returns with Bill Bixby


The Incredible Hulk cover


Around the house~ It's very quiet.  We are recovering from camping!  #2 son is happily creating with his Lego's.  #1 son is awake...not sure what his plan is for today.

I am Praying~ I am praying for the bachelors.  Bachelor Mickey is supposed to be released from the 'rehabilitation' center this week.  Not sure what the plan is for that situation...I know it's in  My Lords hands!

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Sharing Something Else~  Sharing our pictures from our camping adventure!

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All loaded up and ready to hit the road.

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We're almost there!  This is the small toll bridge we took across the Delaware river.

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Couldn't wait to get in the water!  It was shallow and very warm and still refreshing!  Can you tell that is me?

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#2 son found a HUGE grub where he was playing with his army men.  Yuk!  Good for fishing bait though!

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Cozy campsight.  Still very warm out.  We had to have a fire for making s'mores!

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Homemade breakfast burritos!  So good...ham, potaoes, onions, green pepper, pepper jack cheese and scrambled eggs.  Yumm!

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Too hot and humid for much walking.  I feel like I'm melting!

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 Pretty fern meadow.

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Army men camp.  The green guys are protecting from the invading tan forces.

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My bearded fellow camper.

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Have a great weekend friends!





Monday, July 5, 2010

Off to Adventure

Going off tomorrow on a mother and son camping adventure.  Will post about it upon our return.  I'm pretty excited about it!