Saturday, March 30, 2013

What Are You Thankful For?

I love spring.  It's time for fresh beginnings, baby animals, and nature blooming. Today I am remembering and thinking that we need to remember to be thankful every single day.  Many times in life we take too many things for granted.

I think it is great to write something down for each day of the year.  What a great way to cheer yourself up when you are feeling bad.

I made a thankful list for each day of November and I wanted to share it now.  We tend to forget about the little things in life that we should be thankful for.  Think about it...we all have something to celebrate every single day no matter how small it may seem.

Today I celebrate and I am thankful that Spring is here:):)

What's on your Thankful List?   

Here is my previous list but I will get started on a new one:)

November Grateful List- a grateful thought each day in November.

November 1
I am thankful to have such a wonderful and loving husband who makes me happy every day!!! I get to spend my life with my best friend:)

November 2
I am thankful that I have a roof over my head and a wood stove and cut wood so I can stay warm.

November 3
I am grateful for my eyes that work. They let me read so many wonderful books and take me to so many cool places:):)

November 4
I am thankful that my stepdaughter and I get along so well. She is coming for breakfast without her kids today. It will be nice to have adult time:)

November 5
 I am so thankful for indoor plumbing:) especially when it is cold outside.

November 6
I am thankful for all the dedicated and caring veterinarians out there. I had to take my little pug, Niki, in for a herniated disc. Her vet seems very optimistic about her recovery. So yes I am thankful for vets and modern medicine which can ease the pain for her.

November 7
I am thankful that we still live in a Free Country. At least more free than many others. We can have our own opinions, even when they are strong ones:) and still rise above. Remember we all have one same goal....we just want to be happy:) and have a future for our children.

November 8
I am very thankful for the small town and community I live in. The people here are very real and hard workers. What you see is what you get. They are not impressed by the house you have, the car you drive, or the clothes and jewelry you wear. They care about the person you are, your values and how you treat others. The don't put up with slackers and whiners. We are a "get r' done" mentality. Neighbors are there for each other and will lend a helping hand if needed.

I like that we can rely on ourselves here to get things done. The old timers say during the Great Depression....they didn't even know it was going on. It didn't affect their lives as they grew their own food, still bartered and took care of themselves.

I like the safety I feel here. The common courtesy and respect here. They are not nosy but genuinely care. It's nice to get a call from the post office that I have a package. It's nice to have a neighbor who will lend a helping hand. It's nice to know if my cows get out, someone will help. It's nice to know if something seems fishy at my place I will get a call from the man across the mountain from me. It's nice to get a call from a neighbor who says "Lisa c'mon over with a shovel and bucket...I got a load of chicken manure and you can take all you want for your garden", lol. 

There are just a lot of really nice, decent down to earth people in my community. I'm glad I chose to learn so many things from these people rather than come in as a NY know it all, lol.

I am happy to be a part of my community:)

November 9
I am thankful for the sun. When I look up at the sky and see the sun shining I feel a burst of energy and I know it's going to be a good day. I am also thankful when the sun is out as I know my solar panels are absorbing it and filling my battery bank. Yay for free electric:):)

November 10
I am thankful for my hearing. I get to hear the music of the world:). 

Some of my favorite things to hear:
Children laughing.
Rain drops falling.
Waves crashing.
Fire crackling.
Music to sing to and dance to.
Birds chirping.
Leaves rustling.
Turkeys clucking.
My pug howling and making me laugh.
The coffee pot dripping.

November 11
I am thankful for the animals. First I love my pug. She makes me laugh all the time. I like being able to watch the deer and turkey on my property as I got to do yesterday:). Of course the cows...well that's a love hate relationship, lol. I like to watch the birds(hummingbirds are neurotic), see the squirrels, and even the mice are long as they stay out of the van:) When I am in FL, I love to see the manatees and the dolphins in my old canal. They are so cool to watch.

Animals brighten our world.

November 12 and it is bill day..Ugh!! I am thankful that my husband and I can pay our bills each month:) I am also thankful that we have the same values about money...."Our security far outweighs anything that money can buy"

November 13
Today and everyday I am thankful that I have no regrets. Of course I have made many mistakes in my life but I don't regret them. I look at it all as the learning lessons of life and since I am very happy with who I am and where I am in life I don't regret a single thing. After all...if I didn't do my life exactly the same way I would not be where I am today.....and I love my "today":D

November 14
I am thankful for lazy mornings spent with my husband. There is heavy frost on the ground outside. My husband and I are toasty warm from the fire he started. We are both drinking coffee and while he watches TV I am online. Of course the dog is snoring away, lol.

November 15
I am thankful for a good night's sleep when I have them. I don’t always have them.

November 16
I am VERY THANKFUL for my good health. I have so many friends and family who are not so fortunate. Sending good thoughts to all who have health issues.

November 17
I am thankful for comfortable road trips. We are gearing up to go south and I am so thankful we can drive in the comfort of our own motorhome with our own bathroom, kitchen and bed:):)

November 18th
I am thankful that my life is very rarely boring. I love life with my husband and being able to try and do so many different things:) Whenever Mike says "I have an idea" I know it's time for another roller coaster ride, lol, and I wouldn't trade with anyone:)

November 19 
I am thankful for Cookies and Holiday baking. I just started baking goodies to make my Christmas Cookie Plates to give away. I have to start early since we will be on the road before Christmas. So far I have chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles made. I made the dough for chocolate crinkles and oatmeal/cranberry/white chip cookies which will be baked today. Later on I will make some mini pecan pie muffins and molasses cookies. Closer to the giveaway day I will make buckeyes, raspberry thumbprints, and mounds bars. And for my friend's fur babies they will be getting homemade peanut butter dog bones. Niki loves those:)

Here is the recipe for the Peanut Butter Dog Treats:)

2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup skim milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In another bowl, mix peanut butter and milk. Add wet mixture to dry, and mix well.

Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface and knead. Roll out to 1/4-inch thickness and cut out shapes. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake 20 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container.

November 20
I am thankful for hair dye, lol. I did my hair last night and I look at least 5 years younger:):) I'm glad it's done.....I really hate primping...Ugh!!!!

Why is it guys can get away with it and look "distinguished" while women just look old with gray hair???

November 21
I am thankful for all of my friends. I have real friends throughout the country and also many "invisible" cyber friends who I hope to meet someday:) Did somebody say road trip, lol?

November 22...Thanksgiving Day
I am thankful to be invited to my stepdaughter's house for a Thanksgiving feast:)...and thankful for the abundance of food today. Anyone have Tums, lol?

November 23
The Infamous Black Friday and I am so glad that I hate shopping and I won't be one of those crazy fools out in the stores today to buy crap I don't need, lol. I am thankful I have everything I need and I'm not a slave to consumerism:):)

November 24 
I am thankful for my parents. My father for the stability and calm logic that I got from him. My mother, who I was raised by, for her craziness and funniness. I may not have had a regular upbringing but there was a lot of laughter and I was taught some simple things that seemed to have missed a lot of adults out there:shocked: My mother taught me to be nice and respectful to others by example. She taught me manners. She taught me how to cook, clean and do I was better prepared to live on my own. She taught me to drive, a little early, lol, but hey I knew how to drive:). She took me to casinos and taught me about gambling, again too early but it was fun, lol. She taught me about paying bills and about bouncing checks:eek: Yeah sometimes I was more of the adult than her but I look back on the good of my childhood. There was a lot of laughter and a lot of good and I don't carry any baggage from my past. I CHOOSE to remember the "good" and not dwell on the bad. So thank you dad for giving my my steady personality and thank you mom for being a little was fun a lot of the time:)

November 25
I am thankful for the joy and laughter in my life. I find something every day to laugh about....hence my laugh lines, lol. This morning I woke up to my hubby making me laugh. He is good for my well being and my soul:):) 

Try to find something to laugh at every day....either a joke or a video:)

November 26 
I am thankful that my local university offers Craft Enrichment classes. Next spring my stepdaughter and I are taking the glass fusing and slumping class:):) I love how this stuff looks. Maybe the next class will be welding:)

November 27 
I am thankful for libraries that are full of books. Oh how I love to read. Forget the calgon, lol, books take me away to so many cool, interesting, and crazy places. I love reading:):) In desperation I will read all brochures and even yellow pages while on vacation, lol. I's a sickness but I learn so much as long as it's what "I" want to read:):)

November 28 
I am thankful that I am not prejudiced. I have respect for all people regardless of color, race, religious beliefs, sexual preferences, income, shape, size.....whatever you are and whatever your beliefs are. I believe that we are all “human” and we all want the same things out of live it the best way we can and to try to be happy. It is not my job to judge especially when I don’t know someone. I try to walk in someone else’s shoes before I decide to like them or not, lol.

Do not hate...I also believe in Karma:):)

November 29 
I am thankful for the thoughtful people in my life. This week I stopped at the farm supply and my friends gave me a dozen farm fresh eggs....just laid that morning:):) and they taste delicious. Last night my stepdaughter gave me a sampling of the soaps she made and they smell so good:ok:. She gave me a Lavender and Tea Tree Shampoo Bar, a Lemongrass Kitchen and Bath Hand Soap, and a Grapefruit and Loofah Exfoliating Bar.:):) Can't wait to try them.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

How To Make Your Own Cookbook And Some Sweet Recipes

Have you ever thought of making your own cookbook?  It is so easy and so much fun.  I will also share Lemon Blueberry Trifle and the Snickerdoodle recipes.

Well I got to do it with a special group of my online friends and we had a great time.   My husband calls them my "invisible friends", lol.  One of the people from our group, Lilylady, asked us if we would like to get together and make a cookbook.  Of course we thought this was a very cool idea.

Lilylady knew of a site that helps people across the miles, or even in the same house, contribute their recipes and make a book from it.  All of us used the site and typed in our recipes.  We also sent pictures to Lilylady.  She then organized our recipes and added our pictures.  Once the cookbook was complete we waited for it to get published and then we ordered our own copy.  Some of us ordered more than one to give as gifts for friends and family.  This does make a great gift.

The site that does the work for you is Create My Cookbook.  It is a great deal.  Our group opted for the spiral bound book.  You can get up to 100 pages with text and pictures for $19.95.  That is a great price to have just one or ten books made for you.

This is our book:
Our Cookbook

Let me share what my group of friends put together.

This is the cover from our book, which is the view from my kitchen:

Lily wrote a dedication on the first page:

The back cover:

And now for the fun.  I chose a couple of sweet treats to share.

The first recipe is for Snickerdoodles.  I made this recipe for my Christmas Cookie trays and they are wonderful...year round:)

This is how it looks in our cookbook:

The recipe for Snickerdoodles.

The next one is for Lemon Blueberry Trifle.  It is also delicious.

How it looks in our cookbook:

The recipe for Lemon Blueberry Trifle

I hope you enjoyed the recipes and the idea of making your own cookbook.  It was great fun and I want to thank Lilylady and my online friends again for making me part of this.

Think about doing this for a holiday gift, birthday, family reunion, or just to pass down in your own family.  It is a wonderful idea.

Our Motorhome Remodel...Before and Afters

I'm a little late posting this.  For some reason I thought I had the pictures already in this section.  I added them to the "Before and Afters" on my blog.  I apologize for the delay.

Here are the before and after pictures of our motorhome remodel:

Looking from front to back "before"


and looking forward:

The old counter before:

The new counter with all the space:)

All the new storage space under the cabinets:

The "wet" cabinet where the water heater is:

My new storage:

The side door before from a stock photo:

And our new screen door after:

From the inside:

That is our Winnebago Era Remodel.  We love all the new space, storage and especially the new screen door:):)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Meatball Sub Casserole

I made this to bring over for my stepdaughter and her family.  It was a hit:)

Meatball Sub Casserole:


1 large package of frozen garlic bread
45 oz. jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1(about 35) package frozen Italian meatballs
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat the bread according to the package directions.  Finish off under the broiler so the bread won't get too soggy.

Once that is finished cool the bread and break into small chunks.  Spread in bottom of 9x13 pan.

Sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and broil for a minute or so.

Meanwhile put the frozen meatballs in a pot:

Add the sauce and mix.  Heat until the meatballs are hot about 20 minutes.

Add that to the top of the bread and cheese in the pan:

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted.  I popped it under the broiler to get the cheese really browned.  I like it that way.

I hope you enjoy this as much as my family did:)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Chapter 136...Our New Pool Table...And A Fun Pool Game

Good morning.  Today's story is about how to install a new pool table and a cool game to play.

Mike and I love to play pool.  A camping couple who Mike and I know taught us this fun game.  Thank you Ernie and Linda:)  It is called 101 which is a great game for two or more people and luck can be involved which makes it fun for everyone.  We gave our old pool table to my stepdaughter and her family.  They now play 101 most nights.:)

Here are the rules for 101:

Each pocket is assigned an amount from 1-15.

On your turn you can shoot at any ball you want into any pocket.  If you get the ball in a pocket you get to keep going. Once you miss you stop.  Add up the points from each pocket and that becomes your score.

"If" you happen to scratch(hit the cue ball into a pocket) you lose all of your points but just for that turn.

After your turn is done, all balls that went into any pockets are taken out and then lined up in a row on the center dot.  See picture:

So you know where the pockets and points are:

The object is to get to 100.  Once you get to 100 you write your score down and wait.  Now you have to get 1.  At this point all of the other players will try to keep you from getting any ball into the "1" pocket.  If you scratch you still have your 100 but if you go over by hitting a ball into a pocket other than the "one" pocket you lose.

The first person to make it to the final 101 wins.

It's a really fun game.  Try it:) on to the rest of our Pool Table Story

Unfortunately we gave our old pool table away too soon and Mike and I had to wait a few weeks to fix the troubles that happened when we bought our new pool table.  We decided to spend a little more money and get a real slate pool table.  We found a distributor down the mountain about 1 1/2 hours away.  Mike and I got up early one morning to look at their pool tables.  We got there when the store was opening.  After finding a table we liked we started picking our options.  First there is the wood color.  We went with Original Cherry.  Then  we got to pick the legs.  There were two choices.  One was A standard block leg and the other was a claw like leg.  Mike and I both liked the claw leg.  The only problem was the claw leg that came with that table "wasn't" the same color as the pool table top.  Hmm...even the salesman/owner agreed.  Mike and I weren't happy about that.  The owner said he would call the company, Olhausen, and see if they could send a better match.  The owner told us when he got them in, they would deliver the table for us and bring both sets of legs.  We could decide once we saw the table inside the house.  OK...sounds good.  Then we picked the fabric color and talked about the date for delivery.  The owner said he would call us when he got the new legs in.

We went home and the next day we delivered our old pool table to the kids house.  A week later Mike called the pool store to see what was going on.  The owner told Mike we were scheduled for delivery the next Tuesday.  Great.  So on Monday, Mike called to check and the man that answered said the owner had a heart attack and died.  Talk about a fluke thing.  The poor man was fairly young.  But now Mike is in a panic.  We gave them a deposit and now we don't even know if they will stick to our contract up or close up shop.  After being avoided by phone calls Mike finally spoke to the widow.  She said she needed to cancel our order.  Mike said "if we show up and load it ourselves will that work?"  She said yes.  The next morning we got the motorhome ready by taking out the sofa bed and packing extra blankets and pillows.  Then we drove van down the mountain on an icy day and our adventure began.

We go the top of the table in the motorhome aisle.  Gotta love the crazy stuff we do, lol.

In the back we were able to load the three pieces of slate, the legs, the felt, and the accessories.

Now for the trip home.  It was much warmer down the mountain so we had no problems.  Going back up to the higher elevations we ran into icy roads and a lot of downed trees.  This really wasn't the best day to do this but we had to do it before the widow closed the store on us.

Once we make it home we unload the motorhome in between the rain.

Here is Mike checking out the new legs for the pool table.

And we got the top piece down.

While it is raining, mike works on the legs.

He has to screw a long bolt into each leg so it can be screwed into the top of the pool table.

The first two legs are on.

Mike getting ready.  I will lift the end of the table and he will attach the leg from underneath.

The legs are on and Mike is making sure they are aligned properly..

Measuring to make sure the legs are all in the same position on the top.

Screwing then top and the legs together.

Now it's time for the slate.  This table has 1 inch slate and the slate weighs about 450 pounds.  Thankfully it comes in three pieces.  Mike and I carefully slide one piece at a time onto our hand truck and take it down the the house.  The hand truck with the slate can't fit through our front door so at that point we have to lift it and turn it sideways.  

One down and two more to go.

Yay the second one is on the table

And the last one.  Now we have to make sure everything is even and lined up.  Thankfully there is a red semi circle drawn onto the pieces of slate.  Match up the lines and it "should" be right.

There are holes along the ends of the slate.  That is where the screws go in and then get screwed down to the wood pool table top.  Mike is screwing the slate to the table top.

Mike making sure things are level.

And now it's time to fill in the spaces between the pieces of slate.  Mike does it the way he has done in the past.  He uses spackle.

He scrapes it down and lets it dry.

Now he has time to work on the rails.  There are six bumper rails that need to be covered with cloth.

Stapling the cloth to the bumper rails.

Mike sanding the spackle off the pool table.  The first round.

Once the sanding is done and new spackle is added and resanded the slate top is smooth and level.  Time to put the felt on the slate.

Here is Mike stapling the felt to the table top.  It gets stretched and pulled under the slate and stapled into the wood.

The felt is done on the sides.  Now it's time for the pockets.

Oh joy... pockets.  What a mess of bolts and screws.

Mike cutting holes into the cloth where the bumper rails need to be screwed/bolted down.

Making sure it's all still level.

Getting ready to attach all the brackets to the finish wood.

Bumper Rails Are On.

The pockets are done.

We still have to add the "finish" pieces of wood but we've been without a pool table for too long.  Time to play a game:):)

The finish pieces being added.  You can see the brackets on the back side.  That's how they get attached.  Mike added those.  The way they came from the company was a nightmare.

The finishing touch.

Mike and I are now very happy.  We have our new pool table and it is safely up the mountain and ready for use:):)

I hope everyone enjoyed this chapter of our lives.  Have a great day and I will post again on Thursday, Saturday, and Monday.