Monday, March 4, 2019

The Way Grandma Made Dessert

Do you have 3 apples you need to use up? 

Here's an easy way to make a simple dessert that serves four. 

Folks, I'm not breaking new ground here! Just suggesting you won't dread making a dessert so much if you approach it in a less formal way.  

It May Not Be Pretty, But It Tastes Good

In addition to 3 peeled and sliced apples (maybe 4 if they're small) you'll need:

Flour, sugar, cinnamon, butter, 1 lemon, and an unbaked, 9-inch pie crust.

My Grandma was a good cook, but she seldom measured anything like people do today. 

She had lots of kids, including 3 sets of twins! She didn't have time to measure.

Me (15 with "The Bubble" hairdo), Grandma, My Older Brother

Grandma trusted her cooking would come out right if she added what she had on hand and tasted it a few times along the way. 

That's how I tend to make this dish...simple, quick and easy! And if you cut up the apples for them, even little kids can have fun making this dessert with you.

If you have a favorite pie dough recipe, as I'm sure Grandma did, go ahead and whip one up! Otherwise use a pre-made one.

I like to keep this brand on the fridge or in the's easy to keep on hand, and most people think it tastes like it's homemade.

To squeeze the juice from the lemon, I use this cheap inexpensive little squeezer I bought at the grocery store (probably Walmart) a while back. 

It isn't fancy, but it's easy and can be put in the dishwasher

Sometimes spending less works better!

I've bought several other type squeezers that broke right away

With just a few twists, all the juice ends up in the bottom of the attached cup and can be poured out right onto the apples!

In a large bowl, mix the lemon juice into the sliced apples then sprinkle in as much cinnamon as you like. It's up to you! I go crazy because we like cinnamon.

Add sugar depending on how sweet you like your apple dessert. We tend to like ours less sweet so I use just 2 to 3 Tablespoons. 

At this point, the simple way to determine if there's enough sugar and cinnamon for you is to taste it by eating a slice of apple... No duh huh? You'd be surprised how many people want exact measurements.

Add a bit of butter by cutting up a few slices from a butter cube and mixing it into the apples. 

To thicken the juices that the apples will create while cooking, sprinkle 2 or 3 tablespoons of flour onto the apples (maybe more if they're really juicy) and stir it in well.

Spread your pie crust into an ungreased baking dish. I used an 8 by 8 inch cake pan, but use what you have on hand.

Pour the apple mixture into the middle and pull the sides of the dough up snug around your apple mix to keep the juices inside the crust as it bakes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 38 mins. Check at 30 mins to see if the apples are done enough. Stick a fork into a piece of apple and taste it...if it makes you happy, it's done! Otherwise give it 5 more minutes and taste another piece of apple, but don't overcook it.

What's your story? I'm joining the gals at Celebrate Your Story! this week. I hope you'll drop by the party and join in.

Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Don't Miss A Good Movie: Hunter Killer

We watched a good movie today, Hunter Killer, which we rented from Redbox. We just can't figure out why we missed it when it was at the movie theater last October.  

It appears the critics didn't like it for whatever reason, and it received a "4.7" on Rotten Tomatoes and a "6.6 out of 10" on IMDb, but don't let that stop you if you'd like to watch an action packed movie with a good storyline.

Hunter Killer, starring Gerard Butler as a submarine captain, was a 9 out of 10 for us! 

We both thought the storyline and Naval references and language were well done and consistent with our experience. 

We do have a history with the U. S. Navy and Naval military personnel since Bill and I spent most of our government careers working on nuclear shipyards and Naval Activities in California and Washington, at times working directly for the Commanding Officer. 

That was another lifetime ago, but I bring it up because it gave us a lot of inside "command and technical" submarine knowledge, which we used to judge this movie. 

If you take the time to watch Hunter Killer, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. The only thing we missed was the theater popcorn, but at $1.75 for Redbox versus about $12 at the early bird showing at the movie theater, it was probably a much better bargain.

Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Fixing The Kitchen Knobs

The builder's wife is a designer, and she used a variety of knobs and "aging" to make our kitchen appear to have evolved over time.

We're planning to sell the house soon. If we were staying, I would have the cabinets re-painted (probably black) to do away with the aging. 

But I'll leave painting up to the next owners because I've learned from experience that changing one thing can lead to a whole bunch of other changes being needed!

A while back I found some metal knobs that sort of matched our metal ones on the pantry shelve doors above. 

The knobs were on clearance at Target in the Fixer Upper folk's section called Hearth and Hand

The original price of each knob was $3.99, but they were on clearance for around a dollar apiece. I bought all they had and put them away for a future project!

Half of the upper and lower cabinets in the kitchen had glass knobs. 

The glass broke on 3 of these knobs

The glass knobs on one top cabinet and two bottom cabinets broke off. I ignored them as long as I could even after I found metal ones to replace some of them. 

I vacillated because I thought I would need to hire someone to replace the knobs. Wild Bill has chemo-related neuropathy in his hands, which makes even buttoning a shirt hard to do.

I figured the knobs I had stored away would work, but thought special tools would be needed...ones I didn't have.

The other day I started thinking, "How hard can it be?" 

These bottom cabinets were glass knobs

Turns out, not hard at all! All I needed was my little needle nose pliers to loosen the backs that were on too tight! I was even able to screw the new knobs on with just my fingers. 

All six bottom-cabinet-glass-knobs were replaced with metal ones. That way I was able to use one of the good glass knobs from the bottom cabinets to replace this upper glass one that was broken.

I've been finding that some things are a lot easier than you think they will be, it just takes getting started. 

Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Susan Branch And Why Nana Got A Warning

Was happy to read Susan Branch's post on "Tidying Up" via the KonMari Method!

Susan's Books On

Susan has a lovely way of expressing herself in her books and on her blog, and she even made the act of decluttering seem easy and beautifully done. You can read her post on her Marie-Kondo-inspired decluttering HERE.

I know I'll never have perfectly pressed dinner napkins like Susan, but still I love to read about hers as I dream of my "perfectly done" house on Someday in "someday I'll..."

Whenever I visit Susan's blog, I'm always inspired to decorate with the things I have, putting out the everyday things we use and love rather than hiding them away in the cabinets.

The other thing I want to share has to do with Marie Kondo too! 

Middle Daughter has "Kondo-ized" her house so much her children (Livvie 6 and Ben 9) have done (and re-done) the playroom so many times they've become experts at purging and organizing too.

Last weekend, the kids stayed Saturday night with their other grandma..."Nana"...and when Nana brought them home on Sunday she shared the following story: 

Livvie noticed Nana's bottom kitchen cabinets were somewhat messy, so both kids got to work removing all the pots and pans. 

After Nana chose the things that "sparked joy" for her, the kids organized the bottom cabinets and left everything clean and tidy. 

Livvie Not Always Clean And Tidy!

Nana was (to say the least) very impressed with the job they did in her kitchen. 

Nana laughed when she told Middle Daughter that Livvie even gave her a warning that she would be checking the cabinets next time she visits to make sure Nana is able to keep everything in its place!

The thing I love about Marie Kondo's book is that it inspires people to buy less, store less, and enjoy life more.

Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

What's Going On With Blogger?

Does anyone out there understand what's happening with Blogger? 

Appears they are no longer supporting comments, etc., but I'm not real clear on it.

Hard At Work On Her iPad 

If you have posted information about the changes they are making would you please put a link in my comments so we can come read what you have written? 

The information they are putting out is driving me crazy...and that isn't a far drive! Thanks for any links or info you can provide.

Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

CopyKat: Knick of Time's Spring Wreath

I'm a little embarrassed to tell you I still have my Christmas lights up on the mantle, but honestly I have been known to rock my Christmas lights all the way to St Patrick's Day in March!

I did get the Christmas tree down the first week of January so that does put me ahead of my usual timeframe! 

I just couldn't get inspired to change the lights out for something else until I saw THIS post at Knick of Time featuring the frame and wreath above. Love it!

I'll be back soon with my own version of her wreath decor. In the meantime, let me know if you have a good idea for a spring wreath for your mantle or home...I'd love to come check them out.

Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

A Look Back...And What's Ahead

I'm always amazed that other bloggers have so many things to share in their "Best of the Year" posts on what projects they did best last year.

How do they manage that? 

After all, this bead board wall and the cabinet on the other side took us over a year to get finished! 

I didn't even take a photo of the finished cabinet when it was done.

When I looked back the other day all I could wonder was what did I do all year? Granted it wasn't a stellar year for our family's health problems (yes that's an understatement) but still I'm bereft of many proud moments to brag on! 

As Bridget Jones would write in her diary: "Must do better next year!"

So I don't have a "Best Of's" post for you, but here's a few milestones of the past year and a glimmer of hope for the coming year. 

The wall above the fireplace (where the wall mount for the TV was until last year) finally got the holes repaired professionally and now is presentable! 

However, if I had it to do over, I would just leave the TV up there...

The builder built our spec house with this area planned for a TV and it really makes for better room arrangements. 

So lesson learned for me with this house (and the next) is "go with the plan, don't fight it."

We also had the handyman do some minor repairs and paint trim in most of the house and then paint the master bathroom. It looks so much better with just a few of the little things done.

We're in disarray right now trying to remove to storage everything that's not necessary and downsize things we no longer plan to keep. Once that's all done, I will share what remains.

Debbie at Debbie-Dabble questioned again this year why she sticks with blogging. She stays because of the friendships and I have to agree with her!

I thought seriously about closing this blog and starting a new one later since we plan to sell Rivercrest Cottage and move in another direction now that Wild Bill's parents are gone. 

Still Waiting For A Magical Snowfall This Year!

Then it came to me that I should see the blog out until we lock the door one last time, so that's what I intend to do. 
Spring Will Bring Back The Green Grass Soon.

I appreciate when you drop in, and I hope you'll give me lots of advice along the way with staging and selling the house as we go through the next few months of the selling process.

I could not have gotten through the last 6 months without your hopes and prayers for us...truly! 

For me, sometimes just popping by your blog and reading about your day or your project allowed me to take my mind off more serious problems even for just a minute or two. It helped so much!

The word I've chosen for the coming year is "JOY!" with an exclamation point! If you don't have a word for the year, I highly recommend mine.

Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Paint It White Wednesday...The Joyless Cabinet

I was thinking of donating a cabinet to a local charity when I saw this post from the Fusion Mineral Paint website. 

I've kind of lost my interest in doing makeovers lately, but the pictures of this cabinet makeover inspired me to try again.

I know some people don't like painted wood furniture, but chippy white makes my heart sing!

This No-Longer-Brings-Me-Joy cabinet is going to get a white Fusion Paint makeover starting today. I have enough Fusion Paint left over from last year to do this project, so I won't be adding to my clutter.

If you want to see how the cabinet in the first photo was prepared and painted, you can see the details at the Fusion Paint site HERE.

I'm going to follow their instructions step-by-step, and we'll see if my paint job turns out as pretty as theirs! 

Note: All thoughts are strictly my opinion. I received no compensation or products from this company for my opinions expressed here. 

Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Joy Of Tidying Up...On TV

It's been a few years since this book changed my life... 

If you haven't heard, Netflix now has an 8-part TV show starring Marie Kondo and eight American families/couples. 

If you've read Marie's book, you'll love the show...if you haven't read Marie's book, you'll probably love the show too!

Each episode starts with a real-life mess of a home. Through a series of weeks, Marie and an interpreter (Marie speaks some English, but mostly Japanese) visit the home, explain and demonstrate the "KonMarie Method" of tidying up, and help the participants work through emotional issues that come to the surface.

Wild Bill and I binge watched all eight episodes in one day. If you can keep a dry eye through most of the episodes, you will do far better than I did!

Our whole family has been reporting in on the progress that's been made in our respective homes since watching the eight episodes...pantries, closets, shelves, and whole rooms have been cleaned out and made over!

Reading Marie's book does get you going, but if you watch the TV show it will really enforce Marie Kondo's principles in your life. 

I have to admit, back when I sorted my belongings after reading the book, I might have found joy in too many of them!

After seeing people on the show pile up their belongings and talk through their emotions, I had a renewed desire to go back and determine again if I really felt joy with all my things.

Thanks for dropping by!

NOTE: For my post on this book, which I did in 2015, here is a link in case you would like further info Life Changing Books and here's a link to Marie Kondo's KonMarie website.

Joining the party here:
Keep In Touch Party

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Blessed With Another Life Lesson

The results of Wild Bill's PET scan, done on Dec 19th, were as best as we could hope for... 

Wild Bill no longer has to do Chemo treatments -- he's done for now!

He'll do another scan in 3 months to ensure there's no residual cancer cropping up, but for now he's healthy. 

We can close that chapter of our life and move forward to the next...once we figure out what it is!

Last Christmas - No Idea What Was Ahead Of Him!

We have our Christmas miracle! Remember...Just 7 months ago even the second opinion doctor at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center said there was no hope of recovery -- everyone agreed he would be gone in 8 months or 12 months at best!

They say we're here on "Earth School" to learn life lessons. It seems to me the lesson I've experienced over and over is:

 "life is short -- live each day as if it's your last!"

I'm probably a dimwit since so many times the Lord has had to send me experiences to relearn that lesson. I feel like Bill's recent illness was one more of those experiences. 

Mom and Pop - 70th Anniversary Party Mar 2017

In March a year ago, Bill's parents were both in their 90's and still going strong! The photo above is from their 70th anniversary party. It seemed like they would live forever and so would we! Even March 1st of this year they were doing really well.

Then his mom got ill in May, Bill was diagnosed with 4th stage terminal cancer on June 6th, and his mother died the next day. 

Subsequently, his dad was doing well, but fell on Nov 8th and died 4 days later. 

Pop A Few Days Before He Fell In Nov 2018

It seems crazy when I think how we had vowed back in June that if we only had 8 to 12 months, we would make it the best year ever... God sure had other plans!

I should have known better because way, way back in March1991 (in a 20-year marriage held together "for the kids") I was in a terrible wreck with two of my daughters in the car. 

I could see the wreck coming, in slow motion in my mind, knowing we were going to die. All that I could think, over and over, was, "Life's too short. If I could, I would live life so differently!" 

My car was totaled and the other car was extensively damaged. But both daughters and the people in the other car were safe but bruised, and except for a gash on my head, so was I. 

Within a few weeks, our house was for sale. Within a few months, I was legally separated. Within 2 years, I was finally divorced! I vowed to remain single the rest of my life.

In early 1992, I met Wild Bill -- who was a "friend only" for years until fate changed that...but that's a story for another time because we're talking about life lessons here!

Wedding May 1997

One Daughter's Wedding 2004

When Wild Bill and I moved to Texas in 2005, we had a 2-person team of realtors who helped us with our relocation. 

"D" was a divorcee, about 48, very pretty and well put together. 

"C" was her business partner...a family lady who was a little younger, a little frumpy, a little plump. "C" worked the office while "D" was the "seller" and star of the team.

Around 2008, "C" got a divorce. "C" started riding a bicycle with a bike club. At first 5 miles, then 10, 20, 50-mile bike trips! 

Subsequently, "C" lost weight. "C" got a tummy tuck, a boob lift, a little nip and tuck of her face, and a more professional hair style. When I stopped by their office, I hardly recognized her!

Soon "C" and "D" split up their 2-person team. "C" wanted to be a seller, she wasn't willing to be the office-side of the team any more.

Eventually, "C" had seemingly reached perfection. She had even bought a brand new luxury car because she was making far more money selling real estate on her own. 

One day "C" was sitting in her brand new car at a 4-way stop light headed north in a lightly traveled, rural area -- probably knowing she had the life she always dreamed of -- when a south traveling car, on the other side of the road, tried to beat a yellow light just as a car with the green light moved forward right into his path.

The two cars hit at an angle, and one car was forced by the impact right into "C's" lane and hit her brand new car head on.

"C" didn't even have a chance to think, "Life is too short!" She was killed instantly.

If you think this is a strange story for Christmas, you're probably right! But, I think of "C" every time I think life is going along well. And I think of "C" when life sucks too!

And even though Wild Bill and I are hardly young, I hope I never again get complacent and forget that life is just too short! 

A Little Shocked After Second Opinion Appointment

Please Remember

  • Whether you're 70 and told you're dying of cancer soon...and don't...
  • Or you're 44, perfect, and think you'll live forever...and don't...


Proud To Be World's Worst Selfie Taker

The merriest of Christmas to you and the happiest of New Year's. As the song says...If you get a chance, I hope you dance!

Thank you for staying with me through all this post if you did. I'm curious whether life keeps sending you a repeated message over and over? Do you pay attention or does it get ignored until it hits you over the head like a bat out of hell?

Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A Charming Way To Serve Fudge

Ever have your fudge turn out just a little too soft to cut properly? 

Maybe we could serve our too soft fudge in this charming way...

Making Gift Fudge At Mamas Mercantile

Don't get me wrong...looks like Mamas Mercantile's fudge turned out perfect! 

But I think if my fudge doesn't turn out as solid as hers (and I admit it doesn't sometimes) this would still be a perfectly lovely way to serve it.

Hop on over to her post HERE and check out all the gifts she whipped up in her kitchen...Even Mama's "gift soap" looks good enough to eat!

Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Golden Boys And Me...A Colorful Room

I was tired of looking at our neutral beige walls and furniture, so I went looking for some colorful inspiration. I found it on the blog, Golden Boys and Me...

Warm Colorful Room On Golden Boys And Me

After years of going mostly neutral, I find this year I'm loving red again!

Here's an old photo of a red plaid duvet from Pottery Barn and some old red floral shams my mother gave me a long time ago. 

I sent the floral shams to a blogging friend who is a terrific sewer, hoping she can remake them into something for her home, but I still have the red plaid duvet to use on one of the beds.

I found the storage box with these $5 red throws I got a bargain on a few years ago...

They're from Old Navy's store. One of them cheered up a leather chair one Christmas past...

The other one livened up the corner beige chair like it will do this year too...

I found this photo of our living room from last year when I put an old family quilt on our love seat... 

Even though there's very little red in the old quilt, I think I'll dig it out and cheer our place up a little like the room on Golden Boys and Me's blog.

The red in this old chair wreath is perky and cheerful -- just right for adding red to the dining room...

And last year or the year before, Oldest Grandgirl made this cute red Christmas Elf picture for me, which I'll frame and hang up this year.

hmmm...the little blond elf in the drawing sure looks familiar! 

I wonder if she was looking in the mirror when she was drawing it?

If you want some ideas for a cheerful room or two, head on over to this post on The Golden Boys and Me

I think her home will give you inspiration.  And...I don't want to spoil the surprise, but her kitchen has a sleigh hanging from the ceiling!

Thanks for dropping by!

They're saying it might snow here this Saturday...YAY!!!