Saturday, September 29, 2007


I'll be on blogger hiatus for awhile, school is demanding every bit of my attention, both classes need about 18 hours a week each to do well and since I don't have an extra 30+ hours a week to spare, I have to make practical use of my time. See ya all soon :)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Tamale Casserole

I've been trying out crockpot cooking. Paul is on a different shift for a few months and leaves before I am home to fix dinner, I've never been too impressed with crockpot cooking, but I've found a few good ones lately. Here's one we liked, I got the recipe off another person's blog (sorry don't remember who) but I changed a few of the ingredients to match things we like. Next time I make it I'll be using shredded beef instead of ground beef. Here's my version:

Tamale Casserole

1 pound ground beef
1 egg
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 (15.25 ounce) can hominy, drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 jalapeno pepper diced (I used the sliced ones from the jar)
1 (1.25 ounce) package chili seasoning mix
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1. In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. In a crockpot, combine the egg, milk and cornmeal until smooth. Add hominy, tomatoes, jalapenos, chili seasoning, seasoned salt and beef. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours and 45 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and cook 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Even though I work in hospice I don't really get to spend much time with the patients or to really get to know them. This week I've had the honor to sit with a family while their loved ones' journey in life draws to an end. I've held the dying person's hand, I've held the spouse while they cried, I've listened to wonderful stories about their life...the nurses say it's an honor to do this job and they are right, it's also very very spiritual. The hardest part for me that it forces you to face your own mortality. Sitting next to the person today, I just kept thinking what will be like for Paul and I, who will go first, will we be ill or will it be sudden, will we have lots of kids and grandkids around us, will we be strong enough to sit there and hold the other person's hand, but in the end none of us know, we will all go eventually, we will have no say in how it happens or when, it's all on God's timetable. So let us create lots of memories and enjoy the journey.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Vacation Day

Since I am on break from school I decided to take a few days off, so yesterday we had a vacation day. Got up early and left the house around 8AM. I took Paul down to Southern Ohio and showed him all the places of my childhood. Here is the start of the hills of Southern Ohio (we're right outside Lancaster), in the distance you can see the early morning fog. The fog in the autumn is one of my favorite parts Southern Ohio.

The 4lanes narrow down to 2 outside of Nelsonville.
Almost to Athens! We stopped and visited my old workplace and got me caught up on all the town gossip. If you've never lived in a small town, you're missing an experience and half. Everyone knows everything about everyone. I hadn't realized how much I missed the town gossip.

My sweety looking sexy in those sunglasses :)

This is Perks, the coffee shop I worked at through college. I spent many hours working and studying there.

The gateway to the campus of Ohio University, our alma mater. Ironically Paul went to OU also and was there for about two of the years I was there. Just took us many years later to meet :)

We had lunch with my wonderful friends. I really miss them.

The football stadium, which is actually where I had the majority of my major classes (there are a few classrooms inside).
I love the old barn that are everywhere down there.

Cow crossing warning sign. I loved this sign! Paul exclaimed "there are cows in the middle of the road?!?" I just laughed, cause there is! The camera was too slow and I missed the caution sign of the guy on a tractor.

Vacation Day Continued

We stopped at the cemetary where my mom and dads parents are, this is the first road off the highway, its a gravel road which Paul swore was only big enough for 1 car, a few miles up a twisting turning hill we turned onto a smaller gravel road which only have a one lane for cars, it even has grass growing in between the tire tracks.

This is the view of the cemetary from the gate.

Paul debating about using the outhouse

A tombtone at the cemetary.

More cows and country life.

This is the tiny dairyette I worked at through highschool. We stopped and got ice cream cones.

This is the CoolSpot, it's a gas station, convenience store, restuarant in Coolville (the town I grew up in) For some reason everyone around there thinks it's the coolest place ever, I fail to see the wonders of it, but they do have a cute setup.

The other side of the gas canopy.

Me outside the store with the chainsaw carved bear.
From Coolville we went up to Parkersburg, WV to see my brother at work.

View of the Ohio River from the bridge.

My favorite part, spending time with my brother. I love this picture! I still can't believe he's so much taller than me.

It was a long day, we finally got home about 9:30pm, but it was a fun vacation day.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Thoughts for the new week

12Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
16Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-18
1Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 5For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
7Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
8Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 9Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. 11He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. 12For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

1 Peter 3:1-12

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sweets for your sweet

Here's a quick and easy caramel rolls recipe to surprise your sweety in the morning.

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
36 pecan halves
2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Heat oven to 450ºF. Place 2 teaspoons brown sugar, 2 teaspoons butter and 3 pecan halves in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups; place in oven until melted.

2. Stir Bisquick and cold water until soft dough forms; beat vigorously 20 strokes. Gently smooth dough into ball on surface sprinkled with Bisquick. Knead 5 times. Roll dough into rectangle, 15x9 inches. Spread rectangle with 2 tablespoons butter; sprinkle with 1/4 cup brown sugar and the cinnamon. Roll up tightly, beginning at 15-inch side; pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Cut into twelve 1 1/4-inch slices. Place slices in muffin cups.

3. Bake about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately turn pan upside down onto heatproof serving plate. Leave pan over rolls a minute.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Love a Bargain

Ohhh baby, I love getting a bargain. I've been pretty thrifty for years. In college I wouldn't buy anything that was over $2, luckily I'm not that bad anymore, but I do try to save where I can which means stocking up on items when they are on sale. Friday, one grocery store was having an awesome sale on pork, I got us a variety pack which had a huge pork roast, 6 pork chops and 4 pork ribs all for $8. Today, I found King size sheets (the nice old fashioned lace trimmed ones) marked down from $55 to $21. I also picked up some dry sauce packets for .25 each, normally these are around $1 a piece. Since they were such a good price I stocked up.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Whooooo Hoooooooo!!

Got my grades today!!
Intro to Anatomy & Physiology - A
Intro to Chemistry - B

Not too shabby, huh?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

School and Food Storage

Gosh, I didn't realize it had been almost two months since the last post. School has been keeping me busy, way to busy. Someone asked what I was planning for Labor Day, my answer was "study" UGHH This is the last week, have the Chemistry test on Tuesday and Biology on Wednesday. It looks like I'll end up with a B in Chemistry, I have to get a solid A on this last test to bump it up to an A in the class and I'm not counting on that happening. Biology is a solid A right now, so we'll see how the last test and final turn out. I have two weeks off of school after the tests, I plan on starting Christmas presents and am hoping to get alot of them done before classes start again. Next quarter I'm taking Anatomy and Microbiology, it's a total of 10 credit hours and two labs on Saturdays, I am going to be suffering.

Been doing a little bit of work with the container garden, no where near what I had hoped, but we do have a nice little supply of herbs for the next year. And Paul's mom brought over a ton of tomatoes and zucchini so we'll have fresh tomato sauce for the winter and I dried the zucchini to put in casseroles and soup during the winter. Since my canner is still at dads I had to either freeze the veggies or dehydrate them. Also in the picture is homemade chicken broth. I highly recommend making your own chicken broth, it's easy, tastes so much better and saves money. I buy a whole chicken, usually around $3, boil it with water, onions, and herbs until the chicken is cooked. Then you take the chicken off the bones (very easy) and divide it up into containers for meals, we usually get 3-4 containers of meat. What's left is yummy chicken broth, strain the broth to remove the herbs. I store mine in glass jars which go into the freezer, there is usually 2 big jars worth of chicken broth. You can make homemade chicken soup with this or cook rice and noodles in the broth to give the food a richer flavor. So for a $3 chicken you can make 4 maybe even 5 meals. Oh if you keep the broth in the fridge you do need to use it fairly quickly, it doesn't keep forever in the fridge, that's why I keep ours in the freezer.

The other things we've been working on is our food storage/emergency prepardness kit. Most people don't like to do this, talk about this or even think about it, but emergencies happen and saying well I live in the city I'll be fine is silly. Remember the blackouts a few summers ago in New York, the winter storms that knock out travel and electricity, that can happen no matter where you live. We have a pretty good supply of food put away, with what's in the cabinets and stored upstairs we would be fine for 3-4 weeks, granted we'd eat alot of soup, but we wouldn't starve. Don't forget if you don't have a gas stove you'll need to plan a backup source for cooking. The big thing now I've been working on is water storage. You have to have water, to flush the toilet, to fix food, to give the animals. We need to purchase some big 5 gallon water containers for us for meals and drinking water, but until we do that, I've been washing out (dishwasher to make sure it's clean) juice containers, filling them up with water and putting the cap back on. Water will keep this way for 6 months, so be sure to put a date on the container. It's an easy way to start storing water. Granted you might not want to use it for eating and drinking, but it will be good for washing out clothes, washing yourself and flushing the toilet. Ok enough of my lecture on prepardness.

I'll leave you with a picture of my cutie :) As you can tell on the carpet, he's going through his end of summer shedding. Poor Paul is not enjoying it either. This is a picture of him with his new ball, it's so cute whenever he get a new ball he has to take it with him everywhere, even bed. He's hiding under the table to enjoy the ball.