Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Today was just one of those days, you know when it seems like you have too much on your plate to get through it, but some how you manage!

My first venture of the day was completing my catalog for The Gourmet Cupboard, but first I want to talk about my second venture, which was a visit to my eye doctor.  Now I have worn glasses since I was 10 years old, so I have been going to the eye doctor for over 30 years - this visit was just one of many for me. Eyes checked and guess what, I now need bi-focals or progressive lenses, I opted for the bi-focals as they were much cheaper and I only need them for close up reading.  What was new was that my youngest, who is only 7 had her first eye exam.  Let me set the stage for her eye appointment......

Thursday, November 25, 2010


It is 4 am and I am the only one in my house who is awake (except for the cat), which is just the way I like it - as early mornings are the only part of the day that I get all to myself.

I woke up today to find snow on the ground and it's what I call a "perfect snow" - just enough for the kids to go out and play in, but not enough to make traveling difficult.  We had been hit with Arctic storms this past week which included a wind chill that hovered around 0 degrees (fahrenheit) and constant winds with gusts  over 60 miles per hour.  Our neighborhood boasts siding torn off houses, trees & tree limbs on the ground, whole trees uprooted and miscellaneous bits and pieces taken from one neighbor's yard and "passed around" to the rest of the neighbors.  The snow has blanketed the wounds that were visible and once again the landscape "appears whole and perfect". 

I started contemplating about how many of our friends, neighbors and loved ones also appear "whole and perfect" this holiday season, but may be suffering from their own wounds of a lost job, looming foreclosure, suffering health or other burden? 

I am taking some quiet time this morning to be thankful for what I have and saying a prayer for those who "have not". 

Happy Thanksgving to you and yours......

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Junk Drawer

A major point of contention in our house is our "Junk Drawer".....while I am of the firm belief that everyone's house claims at least one of these, my husband maintains that most people don't have them.

So who is going to back me up and admit to that junk drawer? 

Some things that I find interesting about Junk Drawers:
1)  If you start it, they will come (stuff will show up in your drawer that you never put there and was previously lost for days, weeks and sometimes years).
2)  Junk Drawers are fertilized every night by the Junk Drawer Fairies, I know this is true because the junk in the drawer grows overnight.....Seriously, I am not kidding, this really happens.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I am Thankful.....

I am Thankful for the Strong, Supportive and Loving Women in my Family!
I have not been very inspired to write over this weekend, probably due to the cold, Gray, windy pre-winter days we've had over the past few days and from the sounds I am hearing outside our weather pattern is going to continue today.  This week is also the week of Thanksgiving so I thought I would write about what I am thankful for and what inspires me (besides the weather).  When I write I usually do what I call a "one draft wonder", which to me is translated as:

a)  I "wonder" why I waited until the last minute to do my writing, and.....
b) Since I procrastinated, I am going to have to do this in "one draft", thus.....
c)  I am left with the "one draft wonder"

My writings could probably be improved if I took the time to do more than my one draft, but since I primarily write for myself, "Myself" does not care if it is not perfect and "Myself" knows that if I spend too much time on edits, I will eventually loose the original message.   Although, I rambled to to get to this point I am thankful for the fact that:

1)  I am not, nor will I ever be a PERFECTIONIST (as also attested by my "comfortable" house, my Gray hairs, and my not so designer clothes).

Friday, November 19, 2010

Handmade Christmas This Year.....

Riding on Grandpa's "Christmas Tractor".  Grandpa is
on the far left (with the cap), making sure
everyone is safely tucked in.  My two daughters
are the last two on the far right.
Tis the season to be JOLLY......, o.k. maybe jolly is a stretch!  As with many families this year finances are tight around our house, what was once a two income house is a one income house, so necessity forces creativity.  I have always been creative & crafty, but with a budget that doesn't even allow for purchasing craft supplies, what to do, what to do?

I started thinking about Christmas past and what I remember about Christmas while growing up.  Only a few Christmas's really stand out for me.  One of the most memorable Christmas's happened the year I was fourteen. 

Something I Love

My Great Grandma, probably taken around the early 1900's
I re-designed my header yesterday, both as a way to let people know that my blog is not exclusively for my business, but it is also an extension of myself.  I have a love of old photos and what I perceive as a simpler way of life.  Some would argue that back in the days of  pioneers life was not simpler, but rather it was harder ~ just the act of eating and providing shelter required more work.  I think I would have enjoyed that lifestyle and the sense of accomplishment that comes with providing for your family. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Couldn't Sleep & My Mom Mess Up

My Hubby with My Girls!

Last night was one of those nights where no matter what I did I remained wide awake - not such a big deal if I wasn't a morning person who is usually up to watch the sunrise!  11 pm, came and went, 12 am came and went and finally at 1 am I was sleepy - yeah for checking out the inside of my eyelids.  The attached photo is something that I am using this morning to draw some motovational inspiration from.

Needless to say I overslept this morning (got up at 7 am), so now I already feel like my day is not starting out right.  I usually have the early mornings to myself and with cup of coffee in hand, I take that time to catch up on emails, check the news, the blogs I follow and check facebook for any updates or new "LIKES" on my pages. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Family Past and Present

Family on my Dad's Side, taken around 1910-1915.  My Great Grandma (my Dad's maternal Grandmother) is on the upper far right.  This photo is my Great Grandma's immediate family which consisted of 13 total kids and her Mom & Dad.

Rick Steves' European Christmas

This is a nice watch (almost an hour long).  Full of Christmas traditons all around Eruope!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My 50+ Challenge

I ran across something similar to this on a blog and thought this was a pretty great idea, however I am going to modify this to suit my needs. 

So here is the way it will work.....I am incorporating a list of topics that I eventually want to create posts about and as I create each post I will come back to this original post and create the link.  With this list I should always have something to write about, if there is something missing that you would like to see me write on, just post it in the comment section and I'll see what I can do.

Here is my list:

  1. Birthdays
  2. Blogging
  3. Bucket List
  4. Camping
  5. Childhood friends
  6. Christmas
  7. Comfort food
  8. Computers
  9. Cooking
  10. Creativity
  11. Decorating
  12. Event Planning
  13. Family
  14. Family Recipes
  15. Family Traditions
  16. Friends
  17. Fun
  18. Gaming
  19. Grandparents
  20. Happiness
  21. Heritage
  22. Holiday Traditions
  23. Home business
  24. House
  25. How I met your Dad
  26. Kids Activities
  27. Learning
  28. Lost Opportunities
  29. Motivation
  30. Movies to watch
  31. Music
  32. Organizing
  33. Outside my comfort zone
  34. Passionate About
  35. Pets
  36. Photography
  37. Public speaking
  38. Reading
  39. Remember When
  40. Shopping
  41. Simple pleasures
  42. Surprises
  43. The first movie I remember seeing
  44. Travel:  Where I've Been
  45. Travel: Where I want to Go
  46. Volunteering
  47. Worries


Friday, November 12, 2010

New Spice | Study like a scholar, scholar

Love this!

Mama Pic and The Cookies That Didn't Get Made......

I plan and I plan, but you know how it goes!  The butter is still sitting on the counter so it will be "soft enough" for the cookies, but that's as far as I got towards yesterday's cookie making endeavor!  The day was not a total loss, I did help my daughter make her first "omelet" and the look on her face when she was all done was one of those "Mama Pics". 

The moms out there know what I am talking about, but for those of you who don't ~ a Mama Pic is when you take a snapshot in your head and add it to those other "Mama Pics" that already reside there.  Mama Pics stay in your head and are ready to be used during times of extreme parenting stress.  I classify "extreme parenting stress" as those times when the Red Cloud descends and is preceded with "BECAUSE I SAID SO" and the silent counting to 10 starts.  When you have Mama Pics to pull out they assist with making the 10 count successful.  They also provide you with a reminder that your child is not possessed, but merely struggling with the terrible twos, threes, fours, puberty, pre-teen, teen or young adult syndrome (by the way, this list is not all inclusive).  So now you know why those Mama Pics are so important, they make the hardest job in the world worth it all!

The omelet that gave me a "Mama Pic"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

Today is the day that is set aside to remember our Veterans, from the past to the present and the freedoms that they fought for.  Although many would disagree on the necessity of war, the fact still remains that these Men & Women were, and are willing to put their lives on the line to protect those freedoms that we quite often take for granted. 
On this Veteran's day I choose to stay at home and I will be making cookies with my kids because I have the freedom to choose what to do and I choose to spend it at home enjoying the most inportant thing in life ~ FAMILY!

Thank you to all of our Soldiers, both past and present, those still with us today and those long gone......

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Emergency Plans

One of my favorite Facebook sites is "Hope for the Best but Prepare for the Worst". So in keeping with that, the following emergency documents (.pdf version) are available to download, save, print and most important ~ USE! Thank you to my local emergency management agency for providing these.

These are based upon completing one each month so that within one year's time you will have a complete action plan in place, however for myself I plan on doing these as fast as I can so that they are complete and in place (I don't want to wait a year to be ready). 

Also, since I cannot pass up a marketing opportunity....I know The Gourmet Cupboard mixes will fit right in when assembling the 72 hour kit, many of the mixes are "just add water" so they will be perfect as emergency rations.  The dry food mixes have a shelf life of 6 months to one year, so I will just mark the kit with an expiration date about a week before it actually expires.  Once that date rolls around I will pull out the mixes and replace with new.  Then we'll just use the mixes that are about to expire for family meals (no waste).

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Christmas Countdown

Yes, I said Christmas Countdown not Holiday Countdown!  I am a Christian, therefore my holiday of choice is and always will be Christmas.  I do not begrudge others their choice of holidays, but since this is my blog you will find references throughout to what I believe in and no apologies for not including any other "holidays"....so Merry Christmas!  Just as it is my choice to what I believe, it is also your choice to continue to follow and read my blog.

You will not find me putting down any one's beliefs, I will just not be pretending to be anything other than what I am!  I won't try to convert you, but I will respect you and your choices.  I have several friends who do not share the same beliefs that I do.....what does that mean to me?  Nothing, as they are free to make whatever choices that they want just as I am free to make the choices that I make.  Will I pray for them, you bet!  Will they be offended by my prayers?  Not if their own beliefs are strong enough, because how can you be offended by something that you do not believe in or believe exists?  If you are offended then you are giving credence to that very thing that you claim to not believe.....

I make no apologies for being who I am, if you personally know me then you know that what I am stating here to be the truth.  So again, I would like to wish everyone Merry Christmas a little early.  I have added a Christmas Countdown to my blog which also links to a "Letters to Santa" site. 

I hope you can find something on my blog or on one of my favorite sites that will enrich your life. 

Merry Early Christmas and Happy Cooking,