Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Peek Into My Week. . . Or Should I Say Weeks!

Today. . . July 3, 2015.  Happy Independence Day everyone!  I hope you have a fun and safe day!

Something from my playlist. . .

Mother Nature . . . It's hot, hot, hot outside!  We have had record breaking heat the last week or two.   A little while ago I looked at the outside thermometer, and it said it was 98.4 degrees . . . too hot for me!  There is a slight breeze that makes it feel a tad cooler, thank goodness!  A perfect day for a baseball game and fireworks!!

On My Mind. . . I have been away from my blog for way too long, and time really does go by very fast!  It has been almost a month since my daughter broke her foot!  Since I last connected with everyone, she has had surgery, had two pins put in her foot, and direct orders to not put weight on it for 6 weeks!  So, her sweet mother-in-law and I have been taking turns, keeping watch over her and her 4 little children.  It has been fun to be with them . . . although, I had forgotten how much little children can wear  you out . . . but it's a good thing, not a bad thing!  I just pray that she will heal quickly, and not have anything go wrong during the healing process. Don't look too closely at this picture if you're squeamish!

In My Yard. . . My garden is coming along!  My husband hates weeds, and keeps it looking beautiful . . . all the time!  I told him that he needed to leave a few weeds in it for the bugs to eat, but he just shakes his  head at me...;0)

Comfort In The Kitchen . . .

A few weeks ago we went camping, and made, Mountain Dew Chicken - it was delicious!  I wish I would have taken a picture, but, you'll just have to use your imagination, and take my word for it!

Mountain Dew Chicken

  • 1 lb bacon
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts, I used 4 large chicken breasts cut in half
  • 5 lbs red potatoes sliced
  • 2 lbs carrot cut in thirds
  • 3 large onions cut in fourths
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 tbs Lawry's Seasoning Salt
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 can Mountain Dew (I usually use 7-Up)
  • 14 inch dutch oven
  • 28 charcoals
  • 1 gallon bag
  1. Cut and prep meat and chicken.
  2. Heat camp-chef cook bacon in Dutch oven. Crisp Bacon and remove leaving grease behind.
  3. Combine flour and Lawry's in a gallon bag and add chicken and coat chicken in mixture. Brown chicken in the bacon grease in your dutch oven. Depending on how fatty your bacon is, you may have to add a little oil.
  4. Leave the dutch oven on the camp-chef and turn it to about med-low, you will need to adjust it so you don't burn the chicken.
  5. Put the cut up vegetables in a large bowl and mix together; Pour them over the chicken, and pour the Mountain Dew or 7-Up all over the top.
  6. Cover oven and put 17 hot coals on top. This will give you approx. 320 degrees.
  7. Cook 45 minutes. Remove lid. Pull the chicken up from the bottom of the dutch oven, and just lay it on top of the veggies.  Cover the chicken and veggies with the cheese and the bacon. Replace lid. Cook for 10 more minutes. Serve.
  8. This can also be made and cooked in the oven, just make it according to the directions, but cook it in the oven at 350 for about 1 hour, until the chicken is tender and cooked through.  Yummy!
I like to serve with a big green salad and rolls!

Camping Fun. . .

We had a really fun time camping, here are some highlights - bear with me I have lots of pictures!

This was looking out of the front door!

 Looking out the back door!
Everyone had fun fishing, even Cole!  Not sure Amber loved getting drenched!

This dog loves water . . . and sticks!

Tay was happy keeping her sweet, Bandit out of the water.

Grandpa helping Christian with his line, maybe he'll catch a bigger fish... ;0)

Averi and I just chillin', taking in the scenery . . . and the sounds!

We saw this beautiful Sandhill Crane.  She must have had babies the way she was prancing around, trying to distract us.

This was her taking off - very large wing-span, just couldn't capture the picture, but I loved the way it turned out!

Check out this funny cloud...what does it look like?  We could see a monster, blowing air through another cloud making a hole in it . . . what do you see?

The wildflowers were just gorgeous!

This little lake is so pretty! 

 And, you know how I love clouds and sunsets! 

Saving the best for last!  The following pictures are of the Northern Lights!  We were so fortunate to go outside at just the right time to capture their beauty.  This is actually the second time we have seen them at this location.

    You cannot rob me of free nature's grace,
    You cannot shut the windows of the sky
    Through which Aurora shows her brightening face.

    Can't wait to catch up with everyone!  Have a wonderful, fun, safe week-end!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Peek into my Week . . .

Today . . . June 12, 2014

Mother Nature . . . I woke up to the most beautiful morning!!  The sun is shining, the wind is blowing, but,  the temperature is perfect!  Will it stay that  way - most likely, NOT!  We can't change Mother Nature!

On My Mind . . . Last week, the retirement center where we have my mother called my sister and told her that our mother had left her electric wheelchair at the top of a stair case (two flights), walked down the two flights of stairs, and had left the building, out a back door with an alarm.  She was leaving to go with an imaginary boy friend.  They told her that we would need to move her to their memory care unit, or take her somewhere else.  The week before, we had looked at one of the memory care rooms in their Memory Care Unit,  and were still trying to decide what to do . . . I guess we had our decision made for us, didn't we!.  Mother was not happy!  What hard decisions to make!  Mother has dementia, she hallucinates, and gets so confused sometimes, but the decision was still a hard one.  I think she is feeling a little more content where she is.  It's a beautiful, new unit with only 10 rooms, so she will get more one on one attention.  Old age is no fun!

Then . . .

On Monday, my daughter called us at about 9:30 a.m. and said that she had fallen, and thought she had broken her foot!  I won't even tell you what she was doing when she broke it, but I will say . . . never stand on a toilet seat when you paint the bathroom... ;0)

She lives about 30 minutes away, and has four little kids, so we hurried as fast as we could to get to her.  Her husband works about and hour and a half away, so we knew we had to hurry!  When we got there, her poor foot was so swollen, and she was in a lot of pain.  I was very relieved that her dear friend and her husband were already there ready to do whatever they needed to do. My husband took her to the emergency room, and sure enough, it was broken in two places, on the outside of her foot.  She will most likely need surgery to fix it, but the doctor can't do a anything until the swelling goes down.

My daughters x-ray!

So, next week, she has an appointment to see the doc!  I'm so glad we live close, I will be spending more than a few days helping her!!  She has a wonderful mother-in-law, and awesome friends, she is very blessed. . . life certainly does throw us a few curve balls!!

In My Yard . . . The garden is coming along!  Most everything is popping up, and my husband is really excited to pull and eat radishes!  I'm not a radish fan, so they are all his!  The horses are always happy to see me in the garden!

Comfort from the Kitchen . . .

Tomorrow, I'm making dinner for my sweet daughter with the broken foot... :0(  It's her husband's birthday on Sunday, so I thought I would make him something kind of special, and call it, his birthday dinner. This is my version of Swedish Meatballs.  I like to serve it with mashed potatoes, but he likes noodles.

Swedish Meatballs and Gravy

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 pounds ground beef 
  • 1 med potato peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, potato, eggs, allspice, nutmeg and cooked onion; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch meatballs, forming about 24 meatballs.  

Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Add meatballs, in batches, and cook until all sides are browned, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.To make the gravy, melt butter in the skillet. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in beef broth and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in sour cream; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in meatballs and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through and thickened, about 8-10 minutes.

*If I am in a hurry, I will use 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup and a can of milk or half and half for the sauce.  Just take the meatballs out of the skillet, add the soup mixture and bring to a simmer.  Add the meatballs back to the skillet and cook until slightly thickened.  It's really good too!

A Little Sweetness . . . 

Clara, graduated from pre-school, and it was very cute, and very exciting! She is such a happy girl, and loves to have fun!  We are so proud of this spunky little monkey!

Just Sayin'. . . 

Something from my Playlist . . .

Glen Campbell is truly one of my favorite singers, I almost cried when he was diagnosed with Alzimers. He is so talented, not just as a singer, but also as a musician. . .so gifted. . .Enjoy!

Have a wonderful week-end!!


Friday, June 5, 2015

A Peek Into My Week . . .

Today . . . June 5, 2015

Mother Nature . . .We are finally getting some dry days and even a few warm days!  At the beginning of the week, we had terrible winds, and bad thunder storms, the wind was very damaging in some areas, up-rooting trees, and knocking down outbuildings.  Eastern Idaho is famous for it's wind, and these 60 mph winds helped us live up to our name!  Everything is beautiful and green, because of all the recent moisture, and it looks like we are expecting . . . more rain this week!  Hopefully the wind will behave it's self.

 The view from my back window last week - it was just pouring down!

On My Mind . . . The youth in our church are going on a pioneer trek next week, so I have been thinking a lot about the trials that my pioneer ancestors went through as they trudged across the plains with their families.  I love these words from Isaiah 43:2, and often wonder if any of those early pioneer relatives happened upon them, and used them to get through their trials. 

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. 

Can you imagine wading through the water, wearing a skirt!  Can you imagine the weight of all those wet clothes, not to mention wet shoes, if they were lucky enough to have them.  I'm sure that if they crossed the plains in the summer, that they were hot, sweaty and miserable.  But they kept walking, despite being hot, tired, hungry and afraid.  I'm sure that the dusty trail ahead of them looked endless as they put one foot in front of the other, day after day.  When they finally reached the valley, they were thin and gaunt, ill and worn, but they arrived!  So . . . today, I am thankful for trials that I don't have! 

In My Yard . . . We finally got the garden in!  Because of the weather, it was hard to find a day that the ground wasn't saturated and muddy.  This year, I'm putting in more tomato plants than normal, and also more cucumbers.  It's wonderful to look out my window now, and know that we are done with the planting.  Although, I know that the hard part comes in a few months when the harvest comes and everything needs to be canned or put in the freezer!

Comfort from the Kitchen . . .

This is dinner tonight with a green salad . . . yum!  It also makes wonderful left-overs to just heat up  or eat in a warm tortilla.

Chicken Fajita Rice

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you can also use a rotisserie chicken to make things easier!)
1/4 t. cumin, 1/8 t. salt, 1/8 t. pepper, 1/4 t. chili powder for seasoning the chicken breasts
1 cup diced green peppers
1 cup diced red peppers
1 large onion, diced
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups cooked white or brown rice
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. salt
black pepper
1 lime, zested, then juiced
1 t. hot sauce
1/4 cup salsa
1/2 cup tomato sauce
3 T. olive oil
1 ripe avocado
  1. Season the chicken with cumin, chili powder salt and pepper on both sides. add 1/2 T of olive oil to each piece of chicken and rub in with the seasonings.
  2. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Dice the chicken into large bite-sized pieces and set aside. If using a rotisserie chicken, shred the meat and toss with the 1/4 t. cumin, chili powder and the 1/8 t. salt and pepper.
  3. Add the peppers, onions and garlic to a large skillet with 2 T. of olive oil. Season with 1/2 t. of salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Let cook until slightly charred over medium-high heat, 15-20 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add the 4 cups of cooked rice, the diced chicken, tomato sauce, salsa, 1/2 t. cumin, 1/2 t. chili powder, 1/2 t. salt, more fresh ground pepper, the hot sauce and the juice of the lime to the pan with the sauteed vegetables.
  5. Stir, while gently breaking up the rice and let cook for 5 minutes more to let the flavors combine.
  6. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
  7. Dish out into bowls and top with the lime zest and the avocado.

A little Sweetness . . . 

A week ago, my beautiful little granddaughter, Averi, who is visually impaired, and several other special needs kids, were given bicycles, by a local bike shop in our area.  They had a special awards ceremony for them . . . it was so cute and such a special occasion for these kids!!

 She was very nervous!  I love the reassuring hands of her mom and her school principle.
 Mom and dad assisting, she was so happy!

 Averi has a tiny bit of vision, so she's looking really close to see what color the handle bars are.

 Dad helping, but her aide standing nearby to help if needed - she's the most awesome lady, she's like her second mother!

 Averi and her best friend . . . her sister!

Her favorite thing to do know is, ride her bike to school!  I know, kind of scary, but mom, and her entourage of friends are always close by!

Just Sayin' . . .

Something from my Playlist . . .

I love this song!  It was the theme to one of my high school dances.  Do they still have theme songs at school dances? 

Have a wonderful Friday!


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Peek Into My Week . . .

(source is from Maddy's White Fuzzy Kittens)

Mother Nature . . . Still raining!  It looks like we will get a small break this coming week-end.  The temperatures will be in the upper 70's and the forecast actually says, no rain, I'm so excited!

Today, we have bad thunder storms with heavy dark clouds, threatening to hail on us!  The wind is suppose to be about 60 miles per hour in some areas . . . I hate wind!   I can hear the thunder as I am typing, the hail and rain is on the way!  Here's what it looks like from my yard, looking West...yikes!

On my Mind . . . It's my husbands birthday tomorrow, the 28th, and I can hardly believe we are as old as we are!  It truly seems like just yesterday we were newly weds, raising our family, and trying to conquer the world!  Where on earth did the time go?  I see kids I went to school with, and I always wonder if I look as old as they do . . . they probably think the same thing! Oh well, were only as young as we feel, and right now, I feel pretty good!  I hope he has a perfect day! 

In my yard . . . The rain has been really good for the new grass seed we planted this Spring, it has filled in nicely, and we are even mowing it.  The garden is all but drowning, but I think it will survive!  The radishes are coming up and so are the carrots, although it hasn't dried up enough to plant any more seeds.  Everywhere I look it's green and beautiful, now we need sunshine!

Comfort from the Kitchen . . .

This is the cake that I am making for my husbands birthday tomorrow - oh.the.yummyness!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Bar Dessert

  • 8-ounces chocolate ice cream topping
  • 1 jar caramel ice cream topping
  • 12 - 18 store-bought (rectangle) ice cream sandwiches
  • 8-ounces frozen COOL WHIP whipped topping, thawed
  • chopped peanut butter cups - as many as you want!  Sometimes I use toffee bits, or butter-fingers chopped up.  Any kind of candy bar would be good, use your imagination!

Heat the chocolate syrup in a microwave-safe bowl for about 1 minute; set aside.

Layer half of the ice cream sandwiches on the bottom of an 8x8 square baking dish. Evenly pour half of the chocolate sauce over the top. Spread with an even layer of half of the COOL WHIP, then sprinkle with half of the peanut butter cups. Repeat the layers (sandwiches, caramel sauce, COOL WHIP) ending with another sprinkle of peanut butter cups. Cover loosely with foil and freeze for at least 1 hour. To serve, cut into squares.

*Note: This recipe can be doubled, using a 9x13-inch pan. I will double this recipe for my family!

A Little Sweetness . . . We went with my daughter and her husband to decorate graves on Sunday.  I was very proud of the way my, Little's behaved themselves at the cemetery.  Caleb couldn't wait to get out and clean up the headstones . . . he was just precious!

Tanner loved being a big boy and helping, so cute!

We decided it would be appropriate to put a marker at the cemetery for my brother, who passed away last year.  His daughter had him cremated, and has decided to keep his ashes where she lives.  We wanted to have some kind of marker for him by my parent's headstone, so this is what my sister decided on.  I think it turned out really nice, and they got it set just in time for Memorial Day.

Nathan really wanted to have his picture taken next to this headstone, which just happens to be my great grandmother, Ann Zooley Taylor's headstone - now how did he know that this is one of my favorite grandmothers?  Gotta love his shirt!

The kids were so cute at Hannah's grave, they were so excited to put this little pin-wheel in the ground, and put flowers by her headstone...very sweet indeed!

Caleb is a very sensitive little boy, very caring and always excited to be helping with anything he is asked.  He was so cute as he washed off her headstone and cleaned it so carefully.  I know that Hannah will someday thank him for caring. . .

Just Sayin'...

Something from my Playlist...

Oh yes, one of my favorites!  Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to listen to, James Taylor!