Monday, April 20, 2015

The Weekend

A drive in the country.

Beautiful spring flowering trees.

A freshly mowed lawn.  Thanks to BG.

A few chores got crossed off the list.

A Bald Eagle sighting.

And last, but not least, lots of good food to eat.   

We went to my favorite place Friday evening to eat fish and the best mashed potatoes around.  I was so hungry and tucked right in without thinking about the camera ever present in my purse so I didn't get a photo.

We now have a new front porch/patio to walk onto out our front door.  It was a long wait, but it's done now as of Friday.  I loved checking that one off the long to-do list.

Such a nice weekend and most of the storms missed us.  How was your weekend? 

Lastly, I was excited to have found a barn or two on our drive to snap, so I'm linking today to Amy's The Barn Collective.

Happy Monday to you!
xo Cheryl

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Worry.  It's something most of us do from time to time.  Like when you wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep and your mind starts meandering and then often heads down the worry path.  

I think about the state of the world, there's plenty to worry about there. 

Or, I worry that the man will never come to replace our front porch.  It's been over a year now.  So many things to do here and at The Project and I wonder when they'll ever get done.  Oh, they will in due time.  Maybe not as soon as I want them to.
I worry that I'll wake up with something out of whack and I'll never be the same again. 

I wonder if a noise of unknown origins woke me up and if I should look around the house, but what if someone is waiting to bop me in the head if I walk down the hall? 

After saying a prayer for whatever the worry of the night is, I fall back asleep until a kitty wakes me up for food.

What I no longer worry about is whether I am using the most correct grammar in my writing.  I know you know what I mean.  I think.  Don't you?  Ha! 

I no longer worry if my house is spotless as I once did and there are a few cat hairs around.  The kitties are part of our family and we all love them. 

I don't worry overmuch about appearance like I did when I was much younger.  So what if I can't hold my tummy in any longer or the neck sags or my skin is getting crepey. 

There's something to be said for getting older, and there's too much life yet to live without worrying about the unimportant things and especially things you have no control over.  Well, maybe I could quit eating chocolate, but the rest is beyond my control and I do use moisturizers daily. 

Some good news...the concrete for the front porch is supposed to be poured Thursday!  We got the phone call just after BG got home from work.  So, one less thing to wonder about if I wake up in the middle of the night.  It is still Wednesday as I write this.

The weather is warmer and we're still getting showers now and then.  The redbuds are blooming and the lilacs are beginning to bloom, too.  It's a beautiful spring! 

Happy Thursday to you!
xo Cheryl

Monday, April 13, 2015

What's Happening At My House

I am trying to write this post at the same time I have a sleeping kitten in my arms.  If my camera was nearby, I'd take a selfie of us both even if my hair is plastered to my head from perspiring with the heat this kitten is generating.  He may be very not so much.  

The things we do for our furkids.  He was banished to the basement after knocking a plant off a table and all the soil ended up on my carpet.  Now a few hours later, he was let back upstairs and I think he is trying to get back into my good graces.  Or maybe he just wants to know he is still loved.  Little stinker.  He is cute but a handful.  He will be going to live with my daughter when she gets moved into her new home.  Whenever that may be.  Sissy is actually her cat, so she will be moving, too.  I'm not sure how that will play out as the two don't exactly get along.  

I have a recipe to share.  I've decided to clean out the cupboards and freezer before buying more groceries as I have lots of food on hand.  It's just too easy sometimes to grab something at the store, but I've been noticing some expiration dates are looming so I need to use what I have.  As high as groceries are getting to be, I hate for good food to go to waste.  I made a delicious Broccoli Cheese Soup for supper with some odds and ends of cheese and a package of broccoli that needed using.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

6 TB butter
1 onion, diced
1-14 oz pkg frozen broccoli, thawed (I chopped it up more finely)
4 cans chicken broth (I made my own using chicken base)
1-1 lb. loaf Velveeta (or shredded cheddar cheese)
2 cups milk (I used 1 pint half and half)
1 TB garlic powder                   

2/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup water

Melt butter over medium heat in dutch oven or large pan.  Saute onions in the butter until softened and then stir in broccoli and cover with the chicken broth.  Simmer 10-15 minutes until broccoli is tender.  Stir in cheese on low heat until melted and then stir in garlic powder and milk.  To thicken soup, mix cornstarch in the water and add as much as needed.  Very easy and quick to make and very tasty!

Note:  I made my own chicken broth with the chicken base, about 1 heaping teaspoon per 2 cups water.  Also, I only had about 1/4 lb of Velveeta left, so I cubed that and added enough shredded cheddar to make 16 ounces.  Lastly, I only needed about half the cornstarch mixture to thicken.  We love this soup and my daughter says it's the best broccoli cheese soup she's ever eaten.

Today is National Lineman Appreciation Day.  I would like to thank my lineman hubby and all the men and women who work across the country keeping us in power during all kinds of weather.  They will work all night long or as long as it takes until the electricity is restored.  And often in very hazardous conditions.  

My hubby is still going strong at 66 years of age and wants to work at least 2 more years when he will have in 40 years as a lineman.  That is him on the pole in a photo taken last year.  

I recently read an article in the latest Rural Missouri magazine we get about a man who retired last year at age 77 after working as a lineman for 54 years.  I asked BG if he had seen the article and he got a gleam in his eye as he said that he had.  I said "Don't even think about it!"  lol!  I don't think he'll want to work that least I hope not!  But, I do appreciate all the long hours and hard work he has done.  And I love that he loves his job so much.

We have had more rains and there seems to be a chance of rain nearly every day this week.  April showers bring May flowers, they say.  I can't wait to get started on planting flower pots.  I have seen beautiful flowers at the shops but have resisted buying yet.  Soon!

Happy Monday to you!
xo Cheryl

Thursday, April 9, 2015

What's Your Weather Like?

This was another stormy day here, but I think it's over as I write this.  Tomorrow is Friday already.  You've heard this before, but where does the time go?  I know it goes too fast.  I didn't get the things accomplished that I set out to do. 
I spent part of the day trying to figure out how to install a new printer/scanner.  My old one quit on me and I had to quit on trying to install the new one.  It'll have to wait until one of my children is around and has time to look at it.  Just call me tech-challenged.  After I already made a mess of things at my desk, I started going through stuff that needs organizing.  That will have to be finished another day as it turned out to be a bigger job than I anticipated. 

Sometimes I think I have ADD because I can wonder off into another room and easily forget what I was doing and start on something else.  I did keep the laundry going while keeping one eye on the radar online to see when the storm was going to hit here.  Thankfully, we didn't have much damage.  A good sized limb came out of one of the trees.  We had rain and a little hail last night.

I hope the spring flowers weren't battered too much.  The forsythia and tulip you see here are at our other house, the one I call The Project.  There are several forsythias there and red, yellow, and pink tulips.  

Robins, goldfinches, cardinals, woodpeckers, house finches, chickadees and more are still busy at the feeders.  I had to laugh yesterday when I looked out my window.  There sat a cardinal on the feeder looking at me and then at his empty feeder then back at me.  We watched each other for a few minutes until I told him I'd be right down with some sunflower seeds.  I think we have an understanding.

My favorite weather is bird-chirping weather.
~ Terri Guillemets
Happy Thursday (and Friday) to you!
xo Cheryl 

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Weekend and The Winner

We had a beautiful Easter weekend.  The redbuds are beginning to bloom in my yard and the forsythias are in full bloom.  It's such a beautiful time of year that you just can't help but smile when you see green grass and pretty flowering trees out your window.

We made another trip to Nebraska Furniture Mart on Saturday which is 12 miles west of downtown Kansas City.  It was a nice trip and we got to see our son and his girlfriend again and had another good visit. 

This store is huge and BG and I walked over much of it.  I snapped this shot as we were about to the end of our ride on the escalator.  This is just a small portion of the main floor.  What brought us back to this place was the free shipping and sales which ends on Tuesday.  I did order the tv stand that I showed in this post.  I also bought a new mattress that I hope will help my aching back.  

We also looked at recliners and I fell in love with this leather beauty.  There is just one problem.  How would it hold up with kitties in the house?  Give me your opinion please!  Especially if you've had leather and kitties in the same house!  I looked at the fabric recliners, but they all pale in comparison to this beauty.  We brought the ordering info home and we need to make a decision today before the sale goes off tomorrow with the free shipping!

We spent quite a long time looking and pondering.  We don't make purchases like this as often as some folks I know, so I make sure it is something I'm going to love!  Once we made a decision on the mattress and while still pondering the recliner, I just enjoyed looking at the decor items.  BG dutifully followed along...hating every minute, I'm sure.  lol!  I spied a pillow and thought it was something I'd like.  That is, until I saw the price tag.

Nearly 85 bucks for a throw pillow...I don't think so.  I must say, though, that this store has it all and most things have very reasonable prices.  I mentioned that it is huge, with a total of 1.1 million sq ft of retail and warehouse space. No wonder my poor feet and knees were aching at the end of the day!  I had fun looking and I'm glad we finally got the tv table and mattress ordered.  We were needing them.

Now...on to the big news for today.  I have a winner to announce for the pretty mugs that I found one day at my favorite resale shop.  I didn't get a picture, but I put the numbers into the random generator and number 3 came up on my screen.  And the winner who matched number 3 is.... 

Ginny from Let Your Light Shine blog.

Congratulations, Ginny!  If you will send me your mailing address, I will get these sent to you soon. 

Happy Monday to you!
xo Cheryl 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Of Rainbows and Promises

We have had sunshine, rain, sunshine, and a little more rain the last few days.  After Wednesday's rain, I walked into the kitchen and glanced out my window as usual.  The photo above is what I saw.

All thoughts of what I was going to the kitchen for were forgotten as I grabbed my camera and made a mad dash out the door to get a better look at this most beautiful rainbow that appeared to be taller than I've ever seen!  It was incredible and so large that I couldn't get the whole rainbow in my viewfinder.   It was also a double rainbow which you might have noticed in the first photo. 

Here's the other end that didn't get captured with my little Elph camera.  After a few clicks, I just stood and gazed at this awesome sight and I thought of God's promise when he set the bow in the sky.  

I also thought of many promises I've made....some I've kept and some I've broken.  We can be assured that God always keeps his promises.  He sent his son to die for our sins and raised him up again on the third day so that we who believe in him will not perish but have everlasting life.  Jesus said, "For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”  John 6:40

That is what Easter is all about.  Not getting baskets of candy or shopping for the perfect outfit to wear to church or coloring eggs.  Those things are fun and part of our celebrations, but we must remember the real reason we celebrate Easter.  He Is Risen!  Amen.  

I wish each of you a most wonderful and blessed Easter holiday!  I will see you next week. 

If you haven't entered my giveaway, there is still time. Just leave a comment in my previous post by Saturday midnight.
Happy Friday to you!
xo Cheryl

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fool's Day Giveaway

Oh, no.  I would never give Stormy away!  She was watching me trying to find room in my kitchen cabinets for the new spring mugs I found last week at the resale shop.  I didn't have a lot of success, so I had an idea...why not have a giveaway!  

These are the pretty spring mugs I will give away (and a few other things) and I will announce the winner next Monday.  The only thing I ask of you to be entered in the drawing, which will close on midnight Saturday, is to be a follower of this blog and let me know in a comment that you would like to participate.  I hope to find these pretty mugs a happy home.  No fooling!

We had a beautiful day yesterday.  I was out and about part of the day, but the biggest part of the last 2 days has been spent getting everything together for the tax man.  Of course, I had a paper to look for that should have been put in the file cabinet.  I always seem to have this problem every year.  I really do think they unlock the drawer and climb out and go hide just to drive me nuts!  

I have some new followers.  Some didn't leave a comment, so I don't know who you are.  If you would let me know where to find you, I'll visit back.  I have been slow with visiting lately, but with tax season and spring happenings going on, it's a busy time and that means less computer time.   Hope all is going well with you on this first day of April.  Have you been fooled yet?  Nothing here...yet! 

Happy Wednesday to you!
xo Cheryl      

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday's Five

I need help.  It's so hard for me to resist a bargain in magazines and books, even though I need more like I need another hole in my head.  The bundles of magazines and the book were at my favorite thrift shop Wednesday and I grabbed them along with the cute mugs.

Aren't they just the cutest?  I love the little bee with the raised wings.  They have to be handwashed, which is pain for someone who loves her dishwasher, and I don't know where I'll put them, but I'll make room somehow.  They just cried to come home with me, too.

After shooing Stormy and her nose out of the mugs that I set up for the photo, she decided to take a nap on a stack of place mats.  I love that girl and you know she gets away with about anything.  

We had a good rain Wednesday night and I went to The Project (other house) to check the closet where we had discovered mold and it was wet around the baseboard.  Phooey.  BG's patching job didn't quite do the trick.  We knew a new roof over the addition to the house was needed and would have to wait for better weather.  We were hoping though that the patching would keep out moisture until then.  Didn't happen.  

BG and I are going out for dinner tonight.  We have a gift certificate at a steak house we haven't used yet.  So that is probably where we'll be going.  Do you have big plans for the weekend?  Hope it is a good one!
Linking to:
 Nancy's  Random 5 Friday

Happy Friday to you!
xo Cheryl

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Play Time

Good afternoon!  It's a rainy day here in my town and it's a good excuse for me to just play today.  I've been playing around in PicMonkey with the new Dodge and Burn editing features which are new and available to Royale members.  

First up is Burn which creates shadows and darkness.  I took the photo of the crocus on Sunday when the sun was brightly shining.  I used the Burn feature to darken some of the white areas which the sunlight made.  The original is on the left.  I didn't overdo the shadowing and this was my first attempt, but I think you can tell the difference. 

Next, I tried to lighten the dark bags circles under my eyes and also worked on the sagging neck.  The original is on the left.   I think Dodge helped a bit with the eyes.  Wish I'd had this feature before I posted the original photo a few posts ago.  Ha! 

I love PicMonkey.  It is my favorite editing site when I need one.  I only realized just a few months ago how good is the sharpen feature.  I do wish they had a good watercolor feature.  For that, I go to PhotoScape and BeFunky. 

Most of my editing is limited to resizing, but once in a while it's fun to play!  Do you have a favorite editing site?  

Now, it's time to stop playing and think about a few neglected chores that need to get done today.  And it will soon be time to start that pot of vegetable soup I'm having for supper tonight.  I had a chuck roast with potatoes and carrots last night and I like to put the leftover roast into a pot of vegetable soup.  Yum, yum!  It will taste good this chilly evening. 

Happy Tuesday to you!
xo Cheryl  

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday's Random 5

I picked the worst day of the week yesterday to get groceries.  But I had some other necessary errands to run so it had to be done.  It was rainy and chilly!  We're supposed to warm up again so maybe the robins will finally make an appearance in our back yard.  They seem to be a little late this year.  

I'm still unable to read as much as I'd like.  Hope this passes soon.  I used to have a doctor (he's retired now) who had much the same problems I do with vertigo, only worse.  He had to have a new striped carpet taken out of his office because it made him dizzy walking over it.  I kid you not!  

This news item made me smile.  A Fort Worth woman just celebrated her 104th birthday.  She credits drinking Dr. Pepper, 3 a day, for her longevity.  She said that "every doctor says that they'll kill you, but they die and I don't.  So there must be a mistake somewhere."  

It seems there is a lot of the color orange to be seen this spring.  In clothes and home decorating items.  I bought an orangey top a week ago, but I don't have anything orange in my house except the real thing which I ate this morning!  Do you love the color orange?

Here's a strange...we've had 2 dead possums on the shoulder of the highway not far from our house.  This morning I see another one dead in our back yard. What is going on?

 Linking to Tanya's Willy Nilly Friday 5

Happy Friday to you!
xo Cheryl