Monday, November 23, 2015

Missing in Action, But Busy

I've taken a rest from blogging just because I've had very little to say.  The time was spent on reflection.  I can't help but be a little sad about what is going on in the world.  If I could I would help take poverty away from everyone.  It's not a sin to be broke.  It can be difficult, especially when there are children involved.  But, from experience, I found being at the bottom of the economic food chain is humbling and challenging.  I hope all of the true refugees from the Middle East find food and shelter to protect their families.  I won't say what I wish for the terrorists who hide behind women and children like cowards.

Thanksgiving day is three days away.  We've decided who will make what foods and have made our lists.  This morning I went to the WalMart grocery store to price match a few items and pick up the things I need to make my dishes.  My contributions are:  Watergate salad, shrimp cheese ball, olive cheese ball, jello, chocolate cream pie, and a  salad.  I'll begin today to prep some of the items.  I can clean and cut the veggies for the salad and make the cheese balls.  The pies and other items will get made late Wednesday.

I had lettuce, feta cheese, carrots, and chick peas in the refrigerator.
I needed a cucumber, celery, and radishes to complete the salad.
I found a bottle of organic balsamic vinegar dressing which
promises to be a yummy addition to the salad.

All of the main ingredients for the olive cheese ball.  Adding a
few drops of hot sauce and some garlic powder for
taste is all that's needed to make a quick and easy

I also bought three poinsettia plants (white) to decorate the house for Christmas.  This and the tree and the nativity are pretty much what I do to decorate for Christmas.  This week the plants were 3.94, but next week they'll bring the price up.  So, even though I don't decorate until after Thanksgiving, I grabbed them while the price was right.

It was a surprise that the poinsettias were so large and healthy. 
You know I had to grab them while the grabbing was good.
The plants usually last for a few months after Christmas.


1.Master bath was scrubbed from top to bottom
2.Laundry room was also scrubbed
3.Kitchen was scrubbed down as well
4.I cooked a batch meal of green peppers from the garden (last year's) and sweet Italian sausage.  I use food saver bags for the freezer so the food will last a while.  I'm in the middle of eating from the freezer to make room for fresh sale items.
5.Four loads of laundry
6.Stayed with the five year old when mom went to the turkey dinner with his baby sister at preschool.
7.Finished my Christmas shopping.
8.Mailed out two birthday packages.
9.Attended a small gathering for daughter number one's birthday.
10.Bought daughter number three's birthday gift.
11.Checked out the Dollar Tree
12.Bought a warm winter coat.
13.Donated three coats I don't wear.  Even though they were in great condition they were 11years old.
14.Made three jars of applesauce.

I used apples that I didn't want to go bad so there are only
three jars of applesauce.  Since there was a small amount,
I froze the jars instead of canning them.

Olive Cheese Ball
1 8 oz cream cheese
1/2 jar green olives, chopped (small pieces)
1/2 can black olives, chopped (small pieces)
3 to 5 dashes of hot sauce
garlic powder to taste
Combine all ingredients, then form into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate
Best if made a day before it's eaten.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Dog Treats Are a Bomb!

I watched a video that demonstrated how to make healthy treats for the pup.  It was simple enough -

slice up a sweet potato sprinkle garlic on it and dehydrate it.  Her dogs loved the treat.

Slices of sweet potato in the dehydrator before the
drying process.  I got  32 slices from a medium size

I had one sweet potato in the fridge and followed the directions, thinking Marley would love these as a treat.  No, she does not.  So I'll be adding sweet potato to my dehydrated veggies I use to make soup.

The finished product, sprinkled with garlic powder.

The sun was shining through the clouds Saturday morning so I took the opportunity to sweep all the leaves and debris from the patio to put on the soil in the garden.  It looked so neat and clean.  The feeling of pride came over me as I stood back to witness the result of my efforts.  An hour later, a strong wind and pouring rain slid in.  My patio again needs cleaning.  I guess that is the meaning of pride before the fall.

This is quite a pile for the small space I have in my yard.

The last of the blackberries trying to ripen before the frost.

The pile of leaves went into the garden to nourish the soil
over the winter.
I did a small grocery shop at the beginning of the week.   Other than that, I've stayed home the week nursing a cold.  I'm not a true germaphobe, but when I'm sick I make sure the bedding is washed often and the kitchen is free of as many germs as possible.  Re - infecting myself - or others - would not be wise.

The store visit was short as I only picked up tomato soup, bananas, and protein bars.  I chose the bars that were on sale, but I won't be choosing that flavor again.

I like the brand of protein bars, just prefer other flavors.  The
soup is yummy and holds four servings that are very filling.

I also made a loaf of bread which I would show you in a picture, but it's all gone!  So good and cheap, cheap, cheap.

As you know, I have a list of yoo toob videos I watch.  This morning I watched a rather crude one that depicted the evils of processed foods. Although I tend to agree with the concept, a video needs to be encouraging to young families and presented in a way that gets them thinking, not feeling inadequate.  There are lots of families in this country that can't afford to purchase all the best foods for their families.  It would be ideal, but this is real life.  These families try to do the best for their children, but can't always buy the best of foods.  It's a balancing act, to say the least.

This is a comment made by a mother that I could feel the pain in her heart when she saw the video.

(Comment removed to delete video)

I don't often offer the name of my blog on other sites, but I felt like this mom belongs here with us.  I hope she takes me up on my offer.  Even more so, I hope the blog helps her.

Stay safe.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Thankful for My Friends

I'd like to talk about friends that I'm thankful for today.  The way I try to remember things is by starting as far back as I can remember, then moving forward.

My best friend when I was a child was Jimmy.  Jimmy lived in the house behind us at 210 Flint St.  I'm ashamed to say I can't remember what Jimmy looks like, nor his last name, but I remember his soft spirit and kind words.  We were spiritually unable to separate, forever talking over the fence. 

After we moved to a suburb, I can honestly say there was no one I remember as being a good friend from the time I was 10 until the time I was married. It was OK because I had a close cousin or two and never gave it a thought.  Besides if the truth be known, high school was a time of a wild spirit.  Not as wild as most, but for me, well let's just say I was having some fun.  I went from extremely holy little girl to flower child.

After I married, one sister in law and I connected in a way that Jimmy and I connected.  That was forty six years ago, and we are still connected, even if we live 900 miles apart.  She and her family reached out to us when we were going through some dark times. (Health issues in the family.)  She never forgot me as being her friend and treated me the same as always.  She made me laugh at a time I thought laughing would never be heard again.  For this I am forever grateful to you D.   xxx  ooo

We moved to a small town when our eldest was in first grade (or there about) where I knew no one.  Again, this was OK because I learned as a child to be self sufficient.  I liked my own company and lots and lots of books.  When our third child started private school, I met a woman whose son was in our forth child's kindergarten class.  She would gather up a few of us moms to say the rosary every week.  We had the same values and the same sense of humor.  Needless to say, we clicked.  We are still friends all of these years later, even though we are separated by the same 900 miles D and I are.
We'll call her P or F depending if you use her birth name or 'street' name.  P made the arrangements for the get together after Bob's funeral mass and to this day I don't know how she did it.  She just did because she didn't want me to stress.  It's difficult to remember most details of that time, but I do remember what a show of love and caring P demonstrated to her friend.  xxx ooo to you P or F.

It's time to move to current days.  I made new friends, but kept the old, one is silver and the other is gold.  In the time since my husband's passing, I've made two close friends.  E lives in California which is three thousand miles on the opposite coast from me.  E has the most gentle and loving spirit of anyone I've ever met.  I'm not sure she sees herself this way because of her humility.  She loves God with all her heart and wants nothing but to become what He wants of her when her time comes.  I want her to know that loving God has nothing to do with worldly religion and it's rules.  It's what you are and what you strive to be - loving and merciful.

Friend number two is a fellow Catholic girl.  You can't imagine how excited I was when I first spoke to her.  I think I rattled on for twenty minutes about how excited I was to be able to discuss our religion with someone.  I then found out she was a history teacher in a Catholic school AND (get this) taught religion to her students.  I hit the jackpot!  The beginning of a long and happy friendship.  It's come to the point that we talk every day and discuss everything from deep subjects to the bargains we found that day.  A kindred spirit.  It doesn't take much to make either of us happy and excited.  Did I mention she's the absolute queen - hands down - of bargain shopping?  She keeps annual totals of her savings and the one year that sticks out in my mind is a couple years back she saved 14000 dollars on her purchases.  I may have forgotten to mention how organized she is.  She's trying to teach me.  Trying!  I simply adore her, too.  xxx ooo J.

That concludes the five best friends a person meets in their life time.  I'm certainly opened to more, but gold is difficult to mine.  I love you all.  Thank you for seeing the inside of me.

The last one to mention is not a friend, but I feel a kindred spirit with her.  We've never met and most likely never will, but I was led to begin praying for her and her lovely family a while back.  Her heart is genuine and she loves God.  You can 'meet' her by going to her yoo toob channel 'The Frugalnista'.

Stay safe.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November, The Month For Being Thankful

Today is November first,2015.  The month that America celebrates Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of the month.  I thought I'd start out the month on Angie's House by sharing those things that are important to me that I'm thankful for.  Most of my list may be boring, but these are the things that are important to my and my well being.  I consider them gifts and know that any of them could be altered in the blink of an eye.  All the more reason to be thankful today.

My family.  They support me in all ways. 

When I had little cash my son in law number two would travel to my house to remove snow in an area that produced snow every day.  He would still do it if I still lived in snow country.  He would also pay for my vehicle repairs expecting nothing in return.

My son who promised his dad that he would live with me for at least a year after his dad passed away so I wouldn't be alone.  He gave up his social life to make sure I was taken care of for that year.

All the kiddos love their uncle.  He's fun, too.

To daughter number one who takes off time from work so she can support me during doctor visits and scary tests.

Daughter number one (again) who has phoned me every night since she's left home for college when she was 18.  She's now in her early forties.  I can literally count on one hand the days she's missed in all those years.

Daughter number one who's publisher is currently blitzing
 her newest novel, 'Undercover in Six Inch Stilettos'. 
As her mom, I'm shamelessly promoting her efforts by
by letting you know the book will be available in 10 days
on  Search author Carolyn LaRoche.

To daughter number three who calls me a couple times a week to see I if I want to go on an adventure with her and the kids.

Daughter three with a mom whose eyes closed when the
picture was taken.

To son in law number one who fixes what needs to be fixed and goes to breakfast with me when he's off work.  He takes me to Sam's Club and carries the heavy items in the house so I don't have to.

Son in law number three who hugs me when I cry because my heart hurts.  He's very tall and cleans the high  windows so I don't have to crawl on a chair and changes light bulbs when I can't reach them.

Daughter number two who has her kiddos call me once a week to say good night and tell me they love me and miss me.

And last, but not least, Marley the pup who keeps me company 24 hours a day.  She is so magnanimous that she allows me to sleep in my bed with her.  Her happiness when I walk in the door feeds my spirit with all those things that are good.

You've seen this mug before.  Marley is my 'roommate'.

I'm thankful for my small grandkids who rush me with loud happy cries of "LaLa" when I walk in a room.  And the two older ones who like to spend time with me and are not afraid to hug me or hold my hand while walking in public.  The oldest is twelve.  You know how holding grandma's hand in public may be shameful to some twelve year olds.  Not this one.

I have more grandchildren, but they don't know me well yet because my son married their mom only a year ago.  It doesn't help that they're 900 miles away.

I'm thankful, most of all, for the man I married who would give up his spending money on a Friday night to buy pizza and a DVD for his family, he going without during the week.  He thought family was the most important thing on earth and taught me many things about humility and true love.  He always said I was the smart one, but if truth be known, he was the wise one.  Wisdom trumps smart any day.

Our last dance at daughter umber two's wedding.

I pray that each of you have many things to be thankful for.  I'd love to hear from you, hoping you feel comfortable in sharing your blessings with us.