Monday, November 28, 2022

What a welcome gift!

Goodness!  We looked out our front window to see my dear friend with such a treat! 

She brought me a fluffy warm blanket, delicious turkey soup, this gorgeous kettle, towels, wax melts! The soup was still hot! 

I'm so grateful for all my wonderful loved ones! 

This has been a busy month.  I made many journals to sell... and a couple for gifts... And for the first time ever I have already bought and delivered all my Christmas gifts.  I still want to get my son some fun things and mail a few gift certificates in my Christmas cards. I had planned to get them ready,  but it just didn't happen.  I didn't know how I'd feel after D-day Wednesday... But I am going to say I'll feel great!  Sure! Might as well think that,  huh? Everyone loves to have gums scraped! 

I think I'm done with the house with decorating... I didn't do very much at all. 


Just relying on a few pretty areas and the true spirit of Christmas. 

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving.  I made the usual sides and baked a tiny ham. We enjoyed the day and several meals of leftovers! 

Today should be the day my crew comes to take care of some trash, get rid of my old couch and love seat, and do a few chores! I can't wait for the extra room. My furniture was mostly bought on Swapshop, and it has seen better days.... twice! We aren't replacing it right now,  but I'm so sick of it! Nobody comes to sit on it anyway! 

See you soon! 







Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Not a hunter... ever...

I really try to stay non-anything and pro-positivity... I do. But if you live in Missouri in November, even if you never leave the house, you are touched by the most anticipated season of them all.... one might guess Thanksgiving or even early Christmas? No.

It's Deer Hunting Season. Yeah,  the one where people flock to the woods at dawn to drool over their dominion over Mother Nature...  Ugh... early spoiler alert. If you're a hunter or love hunters,  you might just wait for all my other posts... this one is not for you... Or actually, it is... but you don't like what I'm about to say. I don't like it either. 

I have hated hunting since I was old enough to hate anything.  Never allowed to actually hate hunters since my upbringing had taught me not to hate people... so I don't.  I actually love several hunters I know.... but I do hate hunting.  

I woke up to this post on mighty Facebook. 


I really like this kid. He is the kindest neighbor and even blades our driveway as a gift to us when it snows.  He's a peach... And it is totally his right to do as he pleases... he no doubt will eat the venison, and he is no worse than anyone who walks the earth.  

But that is his side of the cornfield... on my side... while he waited the three years for that deer to mature, I watched the majestic animal through my studio windows, out my living room door.. He was a gentle shadow in the misty dawn... My son watched him graze last night on his final day on earth...  He often stood staring across that very field as if... (yep. I'm hugging a tree here.)

I might have always wondered where my deer went.  I might have secretly known it wasn't good.  But to see this... my heart has been broken by real loss this week.. one of my dearest friends lost her fight with cancer... There are so many true tragedies... (and yes, true blessings. I know)...  but this is what drove me to a personal meltdown... this little Bambi incident.... My son had to tell me in no uncertain terms to get a grip! 

But... Mighty Hunters, pounding your chests like you've accomplished something?  Uh... you had a high powered gun and a sight, and a camera .....and a field filled with corn.  And don't tell me it's good for the deer population and they would starve off if we didn't keep the census low... I happen to have been here when the Dept. Of Conservation "bussed" in deer years ago... that's why we have so many.   Lol... if my facts are wrong, don't bother to school me...  my mind is made up. Don't confuse me with facts. 

Farewell, Beautiful.... 

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

...And she's over!

Cards for Halloween
Hello, lovelies! 
Can you believe it? Beautiful October has come and gone!  She was especially lovely here in Missouri... but I imagine the same is true where you are...
I guess the Halloween needs to come down and make way for the turkeys! Or perchance some winter and Christmas? I'm trying to be busy all through November and get a lot ready for Christmas because I have a date with a dental surgeon the 30th of November to remove all my teeth... all... I'm to go without any until the new year... 
And this is to be ready if or when I need a heart valve replaced.  I'm just a wealth of great plans here at Meadow Lane,  huh? No wonder I can never sleep!
I've had a lot of fun this month with writing and planners, porch visits, special little gifts... 
And of course,  Callie. 
Neither my son nor I  have felt really stellar, so I just didn't post.  However,  November is calling!  Have a good one! 
Did you have trick or treaters? We had zero... I really missed them.  But now... there are five ... ahem! four little sacks of treat begging for someone to love them! 
I almost made it through this post without commenting on the cost of  maxillofacial surgery! Holy cats! Something like a car... 
Have a fun November. October will be back next year! 

Monday, October 10, 2022

Lovely Days

This has been such a pretty month so far! 
I think I've read a few more books this year than usual.  I used to be such a reader.  My mom couldn't get me to take my "nose out of a book" for love nor money. I don't know when or why I slowed it down.  I do know I swapped over from general reading and pursued self help books for a long time... Then I had such a time with cataracts and horrendous vision but the surgery was a great success for that.  
Anyway... I'm back!  If I had a few more spots in this house with a  comfy chair, I'd read a lot more!  
I guess making junk journals is more my addiction, but I have read six books in 3 months... 
please tell me in the comments what books you're enjoying! I would love to read them. 
Here's what's for dinner! 

Air Fryer Balsamic Chicken

INGREDIENTS
  • ¼ cup Balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Feshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon
  • 2 Whole chicken breasts boneless, and skinless
  • Cooking Spray

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a small bowl combine the vinegar, honey, mustard, lemon, olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken pieces to a large resealable bag and pour the marinate over it, and seal the bag, and refrigerade for at least 2 hours.
  • Line the air fryer basket with parchment paper or cooking spray. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it on the parchment. Spritz with a little bit of the leftover marinade.
  • Cook at 375ºF / 190ºC for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken, spritz it with marinade, and cook for 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF / 75ºC and the chicken is no longer pink inside. Let sit for 5 minutes then cut the chicken breasts into thick slices, and serve with baked potato wedges or a delicious green salad.
Sounds pretty good.  I'll let you know how we like it! 

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Slip sliding into Autumn

I have the hurricane on my mind this morning! I hope you and those you love are safe.  But so many are in a state of shock and darkness.  Our skies are perfectly Autumn blue, and we have been having the essence of perfect weather here.  
I've been getting a room ready for a new floor... the laundry/ storage room we call "the knotty pine room." Right now I'm waiting for the product to get to the carpenter. It's always something.  Hoping it doesn't end up like the kitchen counter tops ordered May 2nd... I finally just canceled after hearing that I was next about twenty times.  
I really don't have a lot of news. I'm making my Halloween cards this week...  that always makes me quite cheerful! It's my card season. I often send about 40 Halloween and 40 Thanksgiving.  And Christmas? About 130... then I send Valentine's and St. Patty's and Easter... 40 each... then I rest the USPS until the next Halloween.  I might change all that up this year.  It's just so fun though! I love creating cards from paper and "junk."
I'm using the little tip-in art cards from Jenny Penton. She's a planner creator I really love to follow.  Planner Perfect is her brand... I've been using her method about 7 years or more. She sells her exquisite leather traveler's notebooks also.
I've had some porch visitors lately.  A former student who is a missionary in the Philippines brought his wife and daughters by last weekend.  What a joy to meet this wonderful family.  They teach the scriptures, provide meals for children, help build homes... He told me about the kids he adopted ten years ago who are in college now... I was really blessed by that visit! He and his family came with arms filled with mums and pumpkins... he'd remembered how much I love to decorate. 
My son helped me arrange our book shelf..  His extra height was much appreciated! As you can see, I've moved a lot of books to other places... I have his short story and mine featured.
Although October hasn't arrived yet, I still feel that urgency to prepare for winter.  This year we did get two small propane heaters in case of power outtage. My dream would be to have the fireplace working against, but that isn't happening this year.  
Getting ready to have a cup of hot tea and watch a movie.
Right now I have a cat asleep on my lap. My fuzzy prodigal daughter returned to me. For two years she had become hopelessly in love with my son and barely gave me the time of day... I was kind of sad actually. Well, overnight Miss Fickle came back to me and ignores him... I can tell he's sad, but he hides it well with a laugh.
Have a lovely weekend.


Friday, September 2, 2022

September's Song

I have always loved this month. Back to School.  Cooler days and chilled nights. Bright blue skies. Autumn's arrival. New clothes... what's not to love? 
My grandparents were married on September 1, 1919... I've written about them many times.  One of my grandmothers had a September 18, 1899, birthday.  
So here is my Rx for a lovely job I'm currently undertaking.  Is there anything more personal than our clothing? I have spent a fortune on clothes in my past.  And now?  Most people would be surprised!  Zero.
During my teaching days I bought a lot of bling. I wore "ugly" sweaters before they were cool... every holiday... and in between. I had a little of every color, despite knowing I was a spring... animal prints?  Sure.  Tailored. Casual. Tie dye.  You name it.  If I woke up on a Tuesday and felt like Annie Hall, I could do that.  Or I could pull off Elvis if I so chose
Then... I retired. I suddenly realized my skin didn't feel good with sequins.  My soul didn't like all that glitter... I think I decided to speak for myself and to mute the voice of my wardrobe.  (Sometimes, admittedly, both of "us" should have been silent! )
I discovered a brand of clothes on QVC called Anybody... soft,  rather plain... so very comfy.  For two years I still bought a lot of variety in that brand. Then in the fall of 2019 I tried a soft, narrow-ribbed, long sleeved knit top...
I decided to go for it,  and I ordered it in pumpkin, slate blue, fir green, Grey, blush pink, black, ... Every. Single. Color.  except white.  I'm just not clean enough to wear white more than two or three minutes... lol... I don't know why... it's just instantly spotted or stained for the whole day...
 I wear the tops with a mix and match of long knit skirts. Once in a while I layer one with a sweater or sweatshirt... That's it.  They wash and dry and look the very same as they did on day one. We run the AC so cold,  I wear them 365 days a year.  In fact,  I've worn one of those shirts for the past 1100 days... what a style maven! 
So on Wednesday I nominated myself to bag up my former wardrobe and pitch it.  I didn't donate as I should have. I didn't feel like washing all those clothes,  mending,  deciding if they were worn too much... thinking who might benefit and who might judge...
I selfishly just bagged and pitched four large black trash bags... hangers and all... wedding dress?  Prom dresses... coats... scarves... jackets... bling and working girl... out! I saved only a few pieces I honestly loved.  
I discovered I really passionately hated some of those clothes. I felt so free... Am I this plain,  Type 2, nondescript woman?  Right now I am.... passionately so. 
This top honestly doesn't look so asymmetrical on me... I'm not thin enough for it to "swing" I guess... yep. That sounds about right.  
I went wild with fruit from Aldi delivery.  These are delicious!  And I have the perfect excuse, my son's birthday! 

Chewy Chocolate Cherry Brownies

prep time: 20 MINUTES
cook time: 40 MINUTES
total time: 1 HOUR

Chewy Chocolate Cherry Brownies - a chocolate and cherry explosion of flavour as chewy brownies get pieces of sweet cherries baked right in and even more in the delicious frosting.


Ingredients

For the Brownies

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup good quality cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 ounce unsweetened bakers chocolate, melted (1 square)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh cherries, chopped and cut in quarters

For the Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1 tbsp milk; only enough to bring the frosting to a spreadable consistency.
  • 1/3 cup fresh cherries, chopped
Instructions

To prepare the brownies

  1. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter over low heat
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar, melted chocolate eggs and vanilla.
  4. Stir slowly until the sugar is dissolved. Pinch the mixture between your fingers to make sure that you cannot feel any sugar granules. This is an important step in baking fudgy brownies.
  5. Gradually mix in dry ingredients.
  6. Fold in the chopped cherries.
  7. Spread the batter into a greased or parchment lined 9x9 baking pan.
  8. Bake for about 35 - 40 minutes at 350 degrees F (325 F for glass bakeware) Cool completely before frosting. When cooled, if your edges are too high you can trim them horizontally with a serrated bread knife to level the brownies.

To prepare the Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Mix all the ingredients together except the cherries and beat very well until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Add the milk last to get the frosting to the right consistency.
  3. Finally fold in the 1/3 cup chopped fresh cherries.
  4. Spread evenly on top of the cooled brownies before cutting into squares or bars.

Notes

Note. You can also make these with frozen cherries when not in season.