FEBRUARY IS CREATIVE ROMANCE MONTH

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16507871_10208305925788410_7103125311010103263_nThis is Allyson & Jim…  and a story about one dreggy day.

So here’s the deal…  every woman is different and their needs and wants are different.  There’s a magical time in a marriage when a husband “gets” his woman…  that is, he understands her and realizes that, while she may be different from any other, that’s okay, because she’s the only one he absolutely has to get to know very well.  In the marriage vows, I believe it’s worded like this:

forsaking all others and cleave only to her.

Married people leave all others…  and cleave to one.  Forever.  It can be a long time if you’re with the wrong one – but time can fly by with the right one.

About a week ago, I stumbled upon a post from Allyson on facebook.  It was a photo of Jim.  I laughed…  it was a good fifteen minute laugh, which as everyone knows, is like doing 100 sit ups.  Okay I think it’s more like 60 sit ups, but anyhow…16708458_10206359702110139_8345702575977823596_n

The post said:

Jim wearing his geezer glasses and squatch hat because I needed to be entertained after the dreggy day I had.

After I regained my composure, I asked Ally if I could use this photo in my blog, (half expecting her to say no).  What a sport she is (and he is too, I might add)…  because they gave me permission.  To Jim I say – WELL DONE!  Does he know how to cheer Ally up, or what?  ❤

You know, young people think it’s all about the bedroom – but guess what?  As your marriage matures and deepens, it’s so much better and much more meaningful. ❤

We’ve all had “dreggy” days, haven’t we?  We need that partner in life who understands that a little comic relief can go a long way to making it all worthwhile.  Our jobs – how we make a living – that’s not our life.  The happiest couples are the ones who understand that simple truth.  I see posts from many friends on facebook – posts that reflect family fun and adventures.  Those are the families that will be okay because they know how to really enjoy one another.  ❤

I guess today I’d encourage everyone to lighten up and learn to enjoy the members of your family.  Life is fleeting and uncertain.  If you see that your significant other has had a “dreggy” day, step up and make it better!  You have that power as the life partner and soul mate to do that – you’re the only one who can!  Actually, as the life partner – it’s in your job description, if you want the truth about it.  As Nike says…  JUST DO IT!  Be the life partner who does funny stuff to make life more fun for the rest of your family.  ❤

Take the creative romance challenge…  and remember – it doesn’t have to involve much – sometimes it just takes a pair of geezer glasses and a squatch hat.  I don’t know about you, but I call that CREATIVE.  ❤

Keep posting those cute photos, you guys!  God bless you – and keep laughing.  ❤

 

 

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SESAME STREET DAY

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As I read up on all things SESAME STREET, one article mentioned that this year marks the 47th anniversary of the popular children’s program!  I couldn’t believe it – where does the time go?  Do you remember watching Sesame Street on your local public television station?

Now, of course, they travel with the stage show Sesame Street Live.  Isn’t it great that the characters come to life for children everywhere?  I wish they would have had that back when I was a kid!  In 1969 I was 8 years old already.  By the time they hit the road – I had hit the road and lost interest in kid stuff.  LOL!

Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?  I think most kids like Elmo the best (certainly since the Elmo doll sold out a few Christmases ago).  My favorite…  wow – I hate to admit it.  I’m just gonna say it real fast…  my favorite is Oscar the Grouch!

I like the Cookie Monster too – but I like Oscar better.  Why would I like him?  I admire him because he’s not afraid to be a grouch.  He lives in a trash can and he’s grouchy.  You know what to expect.  He doesn’t try to be something he isn’t – and I like that.  A curmudgeon’s curmudgeon.  Oscar should write the how-to book on how to be a grouch with grace.  He’s a grouch, you know he’s a grouch, he’s okay if you’re not okay with that.  He doesn’t put on airs or fake being nice.

I wouldn’t have a problem inviting Oscar into my house.  Cookie monster would not be happy at my house because I don’t keep cookies on hand – but I’d try to bake some real quick if I knew he was coming.  Of course, the last batch would be burned.  The last batch that goes in the oven always burn because I get bored with the process and forget about them until the smoke alarm goes off.  :-/  Sigh.

Celebrate Sesame Street with your little ones today.  That’s the most fun, isn’t it?  It’s great to see the looks on their faces when you share something great with them.  Enjoy those moments together.  🙂

 

 

NATIONAL BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE WITH ALMONDS DAY

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Bittersweet chocolate is chocolate liquor to which sugar, cocoa butter and vanilla have been added.  It has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate.  Recent studies have revealed health benefits from eating small quantities of bittersweet chocolate. Almonds have health benefits as well.
 So of course for this day I have a low-carb recipe for you! sacher-cake-1194524
LOW-CARB SUGAR-FREE CHOCOLATE HEAVEN CAKE
Ingredients:
10.5 oz. dark 70-75% chocolate
6 oz. butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 eggs
6 Tbs. heavy cream
4 tsp. granulated Splenda
Instructions:
Melt chocolate & butter together over low heat in saucepan.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before adding vanilla extract.  In another bowl, beat eggs, cream and Splenda together for 3-4 minutes with a stick blender or hand whisk.  It will be frothy and remain runny.  Slowly add egg mix to chocolate mix in the saucepan, stirring constantly.  As you add more egg mix, the chocolate and butter will thicken to the consistency of custard.
Grease an 8″ round spring form pan with butter and line the loose bottom with parchment paper.  Push paper through the outer ring to seal and stop the cake batter from leaking.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Garnish with slivered almonds, if desired.
The greater percentage of cocoa you use, the less sugar there is – but if you try to use anything higher than 75% it gets very bitter.  Most of the time I use 70% because it seems to be easier to find.  I get it at my local Walmart. 3b00db48ffe0a619
Feel free to put as much whipped topping on your cake as you want.  There are no carbs in Reddi Whip (my favorite).  Of course, I put it on my cake and immediately shoot a little in my mouth when nobody’s watching!  Just because I’m adult doesn’t mean I have to act like one.
I don’t know of any businesses with freebies today.  It’d sure be nice if our local nut shop would give some bittersweet chocolate and / or almonds away today.  Eating low-carb can get a little expensive.  That’s why I got so excited when I found 70% cacao bars at Walmart.  Score!!! 
Have a blessed day – and enjoy your cake!  🙂

DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING DAY

tl-11-5-digital-scrapbooking-dayEveryone grieves differently.  Some folks want to lock photographs away so they don’t have to look at them and be reminded of their loss.  Others, like me…  well, we tend to invest time, money and effort into preserving photographs the best we can.  We realize that this is all that’s left to cling to of a simpler and perhaps happier time in life.

I was a traditional scrapper for years…  I didn’t say I was an organized scrapper.  I had a room that was set up just for scrapping.  There was room for a table and some plastic bins to keep my papers and other necessary tools in – and even though I was careful to pick up when I was finished, the room was always a mess!  I had ribbons hanging from spools and I just was not happy with the way the room looked overall.

I knew there must be a better way.  I looked into digital scrapbooking in the early 1990’s.  I weighed the cost – actual paper, frames, tools and the latest stamp from Stampin’ Up! was breaking the piggy bank.  I put an ad in my local newspaper and sold all of my STUFF for $500.  Yes, there really was that much!  My room was suddenly cleaned out and it even lightened my soul – I truly believe that!

I took the proceeds and invested in INK for my printer – THAT is the largest expense in digital scrapbooking!  There are literally tons of digital scrapbooking websites out there, and they all offer freebies.  I have not had to pay for backgrounds, papers or tools at all.  Of course, these freebies are for personal use only.  That’s fine with me – it’s my scrapbook and not for the world to see.  Would the world be interested?  Um…  probably not.  But here are a few nice designs that others made with SCRAPBOOK MAX!images-34

images-35untitled-6untitled-4That’s the same “leaf frame” I used in my banner today.

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There is a one time expense to get a quality scrapbooking program.  I chose SCRAPBOOK MAX!

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http://www.scrapbookmax.com/?gclid=Cj0KEQjw4_DABRC1tuPSpqXjxZwBEiQAhMIp6zBndMaWc1miisz-0uITWNGozsevyzc7C9hNnA4p_5MaAoWb8P8HAQ

It costs $40 and has a few free sets included. You can add as many sets as you want, but I’ve not bought any additional sets.  I go on different digital scrapbooking sites and grab up freebies.  I have about 50 flash drives filled with free scrapbooking offers.  I also use cute stuff from Pinterest and pretty much anywhere from the internet – I’m not breaking any copyright laws because it’s just going in my personal scrapbook.  Who’s gonna know (or care)???

SCRAPBOOK MAX! will send you a CD which is helpful because there’s always a chance you can lose it on your computer.  Don’t ask me how I know that.  :-/  Yeah, I’ve had to re-install it a time or two.

Digital scrapbooking has eliminated the clutter around me.  It’s given me more freedom to create than traditional scrapbooking.  It’s the method I prefer to be sure.  I know a lot of women like to have stamps and scissors and paper and tangible materials around them, but I don’t.  I want flash drives in a basket that I can grab quick and use to create magnificent scrapbook pages.

It takes some time, but once in a while you run across a free set!  Yay!!!  Also, at crafthub.com, they help you find all sorts of digital freebies!  I have more time than money, so I don’t mind searching the internet for free scrapbooking elements and sets.

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On a good day, you will find this:images-41

After you do your HAPPY DANCE – you download and leave some love for the nice people who made it FREE for the taking!  🙂

Lucinda wrote a poem about Jesus’ Scrapbook.jesus-scrapbook

We chatted a bit yesterday about this poem and she commented that Jesus’ scrapbook is probably not DIGITAL.  LOL!  I’m not sure that matters – as long as He has our photos and other good stuff in there, right?  😉

Our memories are worth keeping.  Some days, I just get my scrapbooks out and start looking through them.  They help me remember my family and friends.  🙂

 

 

NATIONAL MEN MAKE DINNER DAY

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The bonds of matrimony are like any other bonds — they mature slowly. – Peter De Vries

My husband makes dinner every night – I can’t cook worth a lick!  But guys, if you are as lost in the kitchen as I am, here is a recipe that even I can make – and it’s pretty tasty too!

On a low-carb diet, it’s not uncommon to be craving Italian food.  This dish combines a little Italian flavor with some Greek flavor.  I think you’ll like it!

PESTO CHICKEN CASSEROLE (Makes 4 servings)

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 lbs. chicken thighs (or breasts if you like white meat)

4 oz. red or green pesto

1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

1/2 c. pitted black olives

1/2 lb. feta cheese, diced

1 clove garlic, chopped

Salt & pepper to taste

Butter for frying

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Season with salt & pepper.  Fry in butter until golden brown.  Mix pesto and heavy cream in a bowl.  Place fried chicken pieces in baking dish along with olives, cheese and garlic.  Add pesto mix.

Bake for 20-30 minutes.

VOILA’!!!

I usually toss a little salad to go with this – some baby spinach and assorted veggies that you like.  Make some homemade dressing with olive oil and vinegar or use a ranch or blue cheese – something low carb.

To keep the fire burning brightly there’s one easy rule: Keep the two logs together, near enough to keep each other warm and far enough apart — about a finger’s breadth — for breathing room. Good fire, good marriage, same rule.  – Marnie Reed Crowell

As important as the meal is – it’s equally important to set a pretty table.  Oh – and don’t forget to light the candles.  Soft music is optional.

I hate to mention it…  but it’s also a great idea to plan to clean up your mess in the kitchen after dinner.

Just a thought – as nice as it is to have a special holiday for this, it’s also wonderful for men to cook when wives are super busy or when they’re feeling under the weather – or caring for children who are sick.  Have a wonderful day – happy cooking, guys!  🙂

 

 

WORLD MENOPAUSE MONTH

tl-october-is-world-menopause-monthI used to sleep at night…  now, I write – and write – and write some more!  I used to eat larger meals…  now, I order off the senior menu at Denny’s.  I usually don’t have a happy plate when I’m finished either.  I drink coffee in excess and less water – but I’m working on getting that changed around.  If it sounds as though I’m complaining, forgive me…  I’m not.  I keep telling myself that I am blessed – a hysterectomy was necessary to get rid of ovarian cancer.  It didn’t spread and I’m alive.  I’m alive to complain about these changes!

gods-got-youAll I ask is that you ignore me when I’m standing at Braum’s with the freezer door open, frantically fanning cold air on myself.  Just act like it’s a perfectly normal thing to do.  Feel free to join me if you’d like.  Let’s have a party – the more the merrier!

Isn’t it fun when you walk into a room and just stand there at the door thinking, “OK, why did I come in here?”  Mentalpause!  That mental pause you need in order to grasp your bearings is enough to make you want to carry one of those voice-activated mini-recorders around with you.  You can say to it, “I’m going to the kitchen to take my morning pills.”  Then when you get to the kitchen, play it back.  Yeah – that’s one option.

How much warning do you get before a hot flash happens?  I don’t get any warning – is that normal?  I can be going about my business one minute and look as though I’ve just swam the English Channel the next because my hair is wet.  It’s embarrassing!  I’ve tried to find a more flattering hair style to deal with these new challenges.  I’ve decided there isn’t one…  so I’ve learned to like hats.  I never really thought of wearing hats back in my 20’s, 30’s or 40’s – but this gal sports a hat most of the time these days.  I have a nice variety of hats – I even have a red hat with a purple ribbon.  That never made sense to me when I was younger.  Now…  ah – it’s all making so much more sense to me!  Red Hat Society…  sign me up!

My moods swing like a pendulum sometimes.  I’m not sure how much of that is lack of sleep, but I’m sure the majority of times it is a direct result of insomnia.  I hesitate to take a PM medicine that promotes sleep since I already take an NSAID most mornings for arthritis pain.

Nope – still not complaining!  Just so ya know…  just assessing the changes since the change.

My mother’s generation referred to it as THE CHANGE OF LIFE.  I remember wondering how much different life could get.  Now I know.  Wish I had my mom around to talk with.  It’s funny, she always told me that when my hair turned gray, it would turn a very pretty gray.  I remember thinking, “Oh that will be a long time from now…”  Well – BOOM – here I am, gray hairs and all.  When a natural blonde turns gray, sometimes it can look a bit mousey and dull.  Mine isn’t mousey and for that I’m thankful.  I’m pretty sure my mom would laugh if she could see me now.  Yeah – we’d giggle together.  ❤

Lately I’ve seen the ads for Crepe Erase – it’s supposed to get rid of the elephant skin – well, I don’t care because this body is never going to pose on a beach in a bikini like Jane Seymour – so…  no sale.  Sorry.  Age and weight loss is an interesting combination.  I’m not sorry I lost the weight though because my overall health is so much better.

My neighbor caught me in the back yard last winter after a heavy snow.  He apparently thought it was odd that I was rolling around in it.  I made a feeble attempt to explain, but it just turned into muttering as I walked away from him toward my back door.

Even though it’s called MENopause, I’ve not been impressed with any man’s understanding of it.

We bought a new vehicle a few years back – one of the best-selling points for me was the dual temperature control – I can set my temperature at 60 degrees in the middle of winter – YES!

There’s an interesting dynamic in our house every winter.  My husband takes blood thinners and gets cold very easily.  So, he cranks the heat up to who knows where and I’m wearing very little because I’m dying of heat stroke.  Is it any wonder I go to the back yard and roll in the snow?

I should charge admission…  it’s apparently quite entertaining.  Huh…  I’ll have to think about that.  🙂

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL PUMPKIN DAY

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The word pumpkin originates from the word pepon, which is Greek for “large melon”.  Within recent years, white pumpkins have become more popular in the United States.

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being-a-christianpumpkin-scripturethank-godHow about a recipe?

PUMPKIN SOUP (Makes 8 servings)

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. sweet Italian turkey sausage

1/2 c. chopped onion

3 c. chopped pumpkin (or butternut squash)

4 c. chopped kale

4 c. chicken broth

4 c. water

Parmesan cheese for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

Cook sausage in a medium saucepan.  Add onions & saute’ until translucent.  Pour the broth and water into the saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat.  Add kale and pumpkin.  Simmer until pumpkin is soft – about 20 minutes.  Serve hot, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese.

my-favorite-basketthe-orange-armypumpkins-and-patchesautumn-pumpkinspumpkins-just-their-sizeIt’s a great day to go out to the pumpkin patch!  Enjoy the moments while you can!  🙂