Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

What better day to do a grateful/thankful Thursday Thirteen.

1. My faith - when times get hard I'm so glad I have it.
2. My family - I have a great husband, two great kids, a great sil and dil, and Peanut should have her own number, but I have a lot to be thankful for so I have to group her here.
3. We're expecting another grand daughter in March.
4. Our health
5. Our jobs
6. A warm comfortable home
7. Cars that get us around (they need a little work from time to time, but that's another thing to be thankful for - a hubby that keeps them going).
8. Lots of friends
9. All my newfound bloggy friends
10. My talent for most things crafty
11. Available foods in lots of varieties
12. The memories of a wonderful trip to Alaska this past summer.
13. This one kind of comes under family, but I know a lot of folks that don't want to be around family, and I love being around mine. They are a fun bunch to be around. So I'm thankful for all our fun times together working, playing or just relaxing and being together.

I am truly blessed and am thankful that all that has been given to me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday Tried and True

Just found out about this meme and thought it sounded like fun. Jen started it to get more good recipes to cook. I found out about it from Harmony's and thought it looked like fun. Checking her's out though she has a lot of my recipes, but I'm sure I can think of a good one.

Chocolate Brownies

1/2 cup butter
2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sifted flour

Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8 x 8 pan.

Melt butter and chocolate over medium heat. Once melted remove from heat and add sugar. Blend in eggs one at a time and add vanilla. Stir in sifted flour til absorbed. Pour into prepared pan. At this time I usually add a handful of chocolate chips just to make it more chocolately. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Do not overbake.

Where the Traffic Median Is a No-Pilates Zone

I was just reading an article in the New York Times prohibiting exercisers from doing exercise in the median in Santa Monica area. I guess it is a neighborhood of very nice homes across from the beach and people are actually holding classes in the median. The police are stopped there and moving people along and in some instances ticketing them. It's okay to run, jog or walk, but you can't stop and do sit ups or push ups or that kind of activity. Crazy huh? What do you think? Should a public beach and public street prohibit recreational activity? Put another way should people living in an affluent area have to hear coaching (one, two, three, four) starting at 6:00 a.m.? That's a sticky one. Like usual I can see both sides. Wonder if they couldn't restrict it to a certain area? Guess I don't have to worry about that here in Michigan...we have a heavy wet snow on the ground.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pot Roast with Mushroom Gravy

I love doing this recipe. There is nothing better than coming home to a nice hot meal.

Here's the cast of ingredients. I had regular Idaho potatoes, so I peeled them, and I didn't have a pot roast, so I used round steak.

Pot Roast with Mushroom Gravy
1 pound red potatoes, cut into wedges
8 ounces baby carrots
1 package (8-ounce) presliced fresh mushrooms
1 onion, cut into 1-inch wedges through the core
2 ribs celery, sliced
3 pounds beef chuck roast
1 can (14 ounce) reduced-sodium beef broth
1 can (10 ounce) mushroom gravy
1 packet (1.5 ounce) slow cooker beef stew seasoning mix

1. In a 5-quart slow cooker, combine potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, onion, and celery. Place roast on top of vegetables.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together beef broth, gravy, and beef stew seasoning mix. Pour over roast.

3. Cover and cook on LOW heat setting for 8 to 10 hours.
This recipe is a new favorite in our household from Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade. It goes together in a short 15 minutes (even when I’m still half asleep). Today I stopped at the local Panera for a crusty loaf of bread to go with it. DELISH!!

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen things about me that start with “a”.
1. I was Adopted at age 14 by my step-father.
2. I am an Aunt to 28 nephews and nieces.
3. I have an Adorable granddaughter with a second on the way.
4. I’m an Avid reader.
5. We went to Alaska for the summer.
6. My brother lives in Anchorage
7. I Achieved an Award in Home Making in High School
8. I have an Amazing husband
9. I Admire my two grown children
10.My niece had twins this year in August
11.I believe in the motto “An Apple a day keeps the doctor away”. (okay, I’m searching here)
12.I usually Arrive early to work and appointments
13.I’ve got to go now and place my Avon order on Tara’s site.
Okay, there you have it, 13 things about me starting with the letter “A”.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bar Stool Economics

I've seen this before through email, but I saw it over at Faith and Facts and thought it was worth repeating.

Our Tax System Explained: Bar Stool Economics

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. ‘Since you are all such good customers,’ he said, ‘I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.’ Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.

But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

‘I only got a dollar out of the $20,’declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,’ but he got $10!’

‘Yeah, that’s right,’ exclaimed the fifth man. ‘I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I got’

‘That’s true!!’ shouted the seventh man. ‘Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!’

‘Wait a minute,’ yelled the first four men in unison. ‘We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!’

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
University of Georgia

Eye opening isn't it!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Butterfly Award!

Look what I received from Harmony!

You think she likes my blog so much because of Peanut? It's an honor.

Thank you, Harmony!

Rules if you choose to participate

1. Put the logo on your blog
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you
3. Nominate at least seven other blogs
4. Add links to these blogs on your blog
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog

And I pass this award along to:

Crazy Mom
Hailey's Mom
Raising A Girl
Mom of 3 Girls
Mom Knows Everything
Grandmother Wren

That's hard to choose, because there are so many interesting blogs out there. Congratulations to all.

Thursday Thirteen

Just like everyone else I have a million things going on in my head. Which leads to this weeks Thursday Thirteen - Thirteen random thoughts.

1. What's for dinner tonight using the left over roasted chicken?
2. Remember to work on the quilts tonight.
3. Get the bread out of the freezer.
4. Why did I get up 10 minutes early?
5. Hope I get to see Peanut this weekend - scroll down and see the video from last weekend and you'll see why, the girl just melts my heart.
6. How are we going to get Mom to Tennessee in February?
7. Does anybody just drop ecards? I find the coolest sites and have to stop and read.
8. I need to find a good idea for my handmade Christmas gift this year - any suggestions?
9. Is Christmas really only 43 days away? yikes! I'd better get a move on.
10. Is everyone really going to lose their jobs? Scary!
11. Wonder if we'll find out the gender of the next grandbaby before he or she is born?
12. Hope my sister enjoys her trip to Florida this February (their vehicle is full so Mom won't fit lol, good idea though).
13. It's raining again.

Do I really even want to post this? But there you have it, my scrambled thoughts in the early morning. Does anybody else just jump from one thought to the next like that? Focus, I just need to focus. Thanks for stopping by and Happy TT

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Don't You Just Love Contests?

My friend at Two Lines On A Stick is in a district wide contest with Avon. The first rep to get an order from each state wins a prize. If she's the first Missouri order, then she gets the "Missouri Prize". Also the rep who has the most states total (even if they aren't the first order-er from that state) wins a prize at the end. Anyone who gets all 50 states also wins a big prize. You can read all the details at her site. Go check it out and give her a little linky love.

Check out her cute baby while you're there.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Peanut Reading...In Her Own Words

We were watching Peanut on Saturday and Papa put her in the highchair to stay put while he carried in more wood. She must have liked it because she just sat there for quite a while reading to herself. Guess she was reading to us since it was out loud. I am so mesmerized by this child...what can I say? Can't wait for our second one in March. Fun times two.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cauliflower Popcorn

Hubby found this recipe in one of his magazines and we thought we'd give it a try. If you have some cauliflower around you might give it a try. I made the pieces much smaller than in the recipe, more the size of popcorn and we didn't salt until after putting it in paper towel lined bowls. With the size change it only took about 25 minutes to bake and I watched it a lot to keep from burning. We were trying to think of an advantage to using this over the real popcorn and couldn't really come up with a good reason. Cauliflower is a healthy choice of fiber as is corn... anyway give it a try you might like it.

Cauliflower Popcorn (yields 12 bites)

1 head cauliflower
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 movie-popcorn container or empty Jiffy Pop container

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Cut out and discard cauliflower core and thick stems. Trim remaining cauliflower into florets the size of golf balls. In a large bowl, add cauliflower, olive oil and salt. Toss thoroughly.

Spread cauliflower on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, if available, for easy cleanup. Roast for one hour or until much of each floret has become golden brown. That’s the caramelization process converting the dormant natural sugars into sweetness. The browner the florets, the sweeter they’ll taste. Turn three or four times during roasting.

Use crumpled-up aluminum foil or paper towels to create a false bottom in your popcorn container. Fill it with cauliflower and serve immediately.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Digital TV is Coming!!

In case you haven't heard, full-power analog TV broadcasting in the United States will end on February 17, 2009, after which full-power TV broadcasts will be digital only. Television sets with only an analog broadcast tuner will require a converter box to receive full power over-the-air broadcasts with an antenna because of the Nation's transition to digital broadcasting. Such analog TVs should continue to work as before for other purposes (e.g., for watching low-power, Class A or translator TV stations still broadcasting in analog, with cable and satellite TV services, DVD players, watching pre-recorded movies in VCRs, or playing video games).

Is there anyone else out there that is still using a television with an antenna? Sometimes I think we are the last to do everything. Now we are being forced into a change, like it or not. So, I'm on top of it and order my coupons from We got the coupons and they sat around for a while then hubby says "do we still have those coupons?". In our area one of the channels actually switched to digital in early November.

Fortunately, hubby, whose nickname is 'maintenance man', is also good at this kind of stuff. He went out and bought the converter boxes and had them installed immediately. I was so relieved, because this just isn't my bag. I've decided it's because I don't like to read directions.

The only down side that I can see at this time is having two remotes for each television, one for the converter box and one for the TV. Other than that the picture is great (a little smaller) and it has a few more features. We now get 19 channels (we always got around 8 or 9 including Canada which we can't get anymore). One of the added features of the digital box include choosing audio language. You can change languages when the channel provides alternate languages using the audio key. You can also press a (still) button to freeze the image on the TV screen. But some of the features that I like the best (and all you cable watchers are used to) is the Channel Banner showing the station, channel number, and program title. There's also an EPG (Electronic Program Guide) button that when pressed will display a list of programs scheduled for the next few hours. We've been catching up on Leave It To Beaver episodes along with the occasional Wagon Train.

So, if you're in the dark ages with us, don't be afraid. Digital TV is a postitive move (hope there are no surprises waiting for us when the full transition takes place). Order those coupons now and welcome to the 21st century.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

If this had words they would be "Thanks Dad, this IS fun"

Seven Random 'weird' Things About Me

I've been tagged by Danica to reveal 7 things that are weird about me. If I had seven things this would be easy, but here goes (you know there are a lot more than 7, but you'd have to ask someone else lol).

1. I hate cloths shopping (most of my cloths are very old)
2. I hate shoe shopping even more - has something to do with feet that are hard to fit.
3. This shopping thing must be across the board, because I hate grocery shopping too. Usually the pantry is empty and that means it's time to get more food.
4. I do buy my lottery tickets faithfully - haven't won anything BIG yet (if I did I'd stop buying them).
5. When I read a book everything else falls by the wayside - cooking, laundry, sleep (you get the picture).
6. I can't just watch TV. I'm either knitting, sewing, doing a sudoku or hand held electronic game - if not then I'm sleeping lol.
7. I'm addicted to blogging.

Now for the next part... tag 7 more bloggers - this might be hard.
1. Tammy
2. Mom of 3 Girls
3. Hailey's Mom
4. Harmony
5. Raising a Girl
6. 3 Sides of Crazy
7. if you're reading this and want to play along - jump right in.

Monday, November 3, 2008


As promised I want to share a couple of pictures of little Peanut. They came over just in time to go door to door. A quick couple of stitches on the witch hat (to make it stay on) then we were off. The first house we went to she just looked at the bowl of candy and didn't have a clue. That didn't last long. She learned that when a bowl was put in front of you you pick out something pretty. Oh yeah, one in each hand. And I think the biggest treat for her was to walk - in the street - on her own - door to door. She absolutely loved it. She had such an attitude about herself. See if you can see it in the pictures. She ended up with quite a haul and is decidely a chocolate lover.

Is she precious or what? I'm so glad they brought her out and shared this special day with us.