Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Recipe - Peanut Caramel Popcorn

I've been a fan of Cracker Jack since childhood, so I decided to try a batch of this homemade version this week. It turned out quite nicely and paired very well with a glass of apple cider! 


1 cup margarine
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light or dark corn syrup
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
6 qts. popped corn
1/2 to 1 cup peanuts 

Melt margarine in a large saucepan. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla. Gradually pour over popped corn and peanuts. Mix until coated. Makes 6 quarts.

After mixing spread mixture out on cookie sheets and break up before storing in an airtight container. 

Until next time...
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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

A Second Chance Winner

Sadly, I have been unable to make contact with the winner of the 2022 planner that was selected on Sunday. 


The rules of the contest give the winner 48 hours to make contact and it has been more than that now. 

So, for the rest of the entrants, that means a second chance!

Mandy, you are the second-chance winner of the Homemaker's Friend 2022 Daily Planner! Please contact me within 48 hours with your full name and mailing address at and I will get the planner right out to you.

Congratulations, Mandy!!!! I hope that you enjoy this beautiful daily planner designed by Sue Hooley of Homemaker's Depot.   ðŸ’—

Thank you to all who have entered this drawing! Random Result Generator was used to determine today's winner.

Until next time...

Recent and related posts that you might enjoy reading...

Homemade Dryer Balls (Or Refurbishing the Ones That You Have)

Homemade Dryer Balls (Or Refurbishing the Ones That You Have)

The wool dryer balls that I purchased several years ago were in bad shape and no longer effective in cutting down on dryer time. 

My first instinct was to just throw them away and buy more, so I put them in the trash can that I keep near the dryer. I use it to put lint in that I clean from the dryer screen.

As I sat down at the computer to start looking for new dryer balls, and, with times being what they are, I wondered what instructions could be found online for making homemade dryer balls.

In exploring the possibilities I came across this site:

Instead of ordering new dryer balls I decided to make my own.

Instead of starting totally from scratch, I decided to retrieve and refurbish the dryer balls that I already had that were falling apart. 

This was the end result...

By inserting a falling-apart dryer ball inside of a first sock, then, twisting, and folding over, then inserting the whole thing inside of a second sock (turning inside-out, if necessary, to make them come out right), twisting, folding over, and whip-stitching the edge down, I got a whole new dryer ball and the old dryer ball just added extra weight, which should add to the savings even further.

I repeated the process with each of the other five dryer balls that I had retrieved from the trash and ended up with half a dozen newly refurbished dryer balls at no cost using items already on hand. 

That's a savings of $30.00 over dryer balls previously purchased and I'd say that's a win-win all the way around! 

Until next time...

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Monday, October 25, 2021

Master To-Do List and Menu Plan Monday - October 24, 2021

Greetings and Good Morning! ☕

I hope that you had a nice weekend where you're at and that your week is off to a great start! Happy Monday! ðŸ’—

My Mums - October 2018

The weekend here disappeared in one big blur and I accomplished very little over the course of it, but the days leading up to it were quite productive with much being accomplished. 

I got together with my lawyer early in the week and got some paperwork taken care of, wished grandson, Timothy, a Happy 15th Birthday, and enjoyed an afternoon and a couple of evenings visiting with some of the children and their families.

I got the weed-eating done and all but one of the iris beds mowed down. After I get that done, I hope to get the trees trimmed up and a bunch of saplings that have sprung up cut down. Then, I want to work on the back fencerow. It is a mass of tangled weeds and vining plants including honeysuckle and poison ivy. I hope to get all of that cleaned up before the snow flies.

I also rode over to Aldi's with Amber and got started on a winter stock-up.

The big news this week is...I found out that I'm going to be a grandma again (this makes grandbaby #21) and am in the midst of getting a new roof put on. I am very excited about both and blessed beyond measure!

Roofing Materials

For those that have been inquiring about my outed-rib, it had settled down considerably and I had had no pain medication for several days. This morning it's giving me absolute fits. I will be taking some pain medication as soon as I am able. 

Let's get started on this week's post...shall we?

Mums @ Garden Shop in Nevada, Missouri

This week's to-do list...

- work
- mail planner out to contest winner
- clean house
- do laundry
- mow down the last iris bed
- trim up trees
- start on back fencerow
- pick and put up pears
- pick up pecans and walnuts
- weatherize windows
- light the heating stove
- enjoy a visit with youngest daughter and her girls
- wish granddaughter, Kayla, a Happy Birthday
- have friends over for supper and a movie

This week's menu plan...

Monday - Breakfast sausage patty with fried potatoes and sautéed onions and green peppers
Tuesday - Chicken Barley Soup (page 133 DINING ON A DIME COOKBOOK - Volume 1) and baking powder biscuits with Peanut Caramel Popcorn (page 379 DINING ON A DIME COOKBOOK - Volume 1) and apple cider for dessert
Wednesday - Broiled salmon, baked sweet potato, and sautéed spinach
Thursday - Black bean and cheese tostadas with guacamole and plain yogurt (instead of sour cream)
Friday - Mushroom Chicken (page 254 DINING ON A DIME COOKBOOK - Volume 1), Sue Gregg's Cheesy Potatoes, oven-roasted carrots, and green beans with Chocolate Oatmeal Cake (page 280 DINING ON A DIME COOKBOOK - Volume 1) for dessert
Saturday - Turkey burger with oven fries
Sunday - Leftovers

Well...that's it for today! Have a great day and a wonderful week ahead and I'll be with you again soon! 

Until then...

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Another great Christmas gift idea...

Sunday, October 24, 2021

And The Winner Is....

The winner of the Homemaker's Friend 2022 Daily Planner is...


Congratulations, Michelle!!!! I hope that you enjoy this beautiful daily planner designed by Sue Hooley of Homemaker's Depot. I've used them for years and have given many away as gifts. They have become my mainstay. 

Michelle, please contact me at within 48 hours with your full name and mailing address so I can get the planner mailed right out to you! If I do not hear from you within 48 hours an alternate winner will be selected. 

Again...CONGRATULATIONS, Michelle!!! 💗

Thank you to all who have entered this drawing! Random Result Generator was used to determine today's winner.

Until next time...

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Friday, October 22, 2021

Moving Into Hard Economic Times

There's no doubt that we are moving into some hard economic times in our nation...perhaps some of the hardest that we've ever experienced as a whole. 

In the midst of supply chain disruptions and the rising costs of gas, food, and everything else, in what areas are you and your family feeling the biggest impact thus far? In what areas do you anticipate feeling the biggest crunch in the months ahead? And what steps are you and family taking now to prepare for the coming winter?  

Until next time...

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Thursday Things - Cooler Weather, Yard Work, The Full Moon, and Night Things

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Thursday Things - Cooler Weather, Yard Work, The Full Moon, and Night Things

It's a beautiful Thursday afternoon here in southwest Missouri. The sun is shining and it's a cool 60 degrees...which is absolutely perfect for working outside. 

I got most of the front yard weed-eated yesterday (hopefully for the last time this year) and mowed down all but four of my iris beds. Due to my aching rib I had to quit before I was done, but I hope to finish it up before nightfall this evening.

Have you seen the full Hunter's Moon? It reached its full capacity yesterday, but will appear full another night or two. If you've not seen it, there's still time. It's gorgeous!

My Firepit

The past couple of nights I've built a fire in the fire pit and enjoyed sitting outside observing the transition from late evening to full night. I love seeing the trees across the way silhouetted against the sky as the colors fade from brilliant shades of red, orange, purple, and gold into ever-deepening shades of gray as the sun slips slowly below the western horizon giving way to darkness from the east. 

Across the Way to the West

As the transition takes place a stillness settles over our little community. At first I can hear voices as neighbors finish up their daytime activities and pull in for the coming night. Then, the crickets begin to sing. 

Not My Video, Nor My Crickets, But Very
Similar To The Sounds That I Hear

Overhead a lone pair of geese honk and chatter to one another as they quickly make their way across the darkening sky above me. I wonder if they will spend the night at a nearby farm pond or will fly on through the night trying to reach a destination unbeknownced to me, but ordinally directed to them by their Creator. 

As darkness continues to fall, I turn to see that great and full Hunter's Moon as it rises in the east. I see its glimmering light shimmering through the barer-today-than-they-were-yesterday trees behind me. 

Not My Video, Nor My Fire, But Very
Similar In Sound To My Experience

Shadows lengthen and distort, and sparks fly upward and away disappearing into the night, as the fire leaps higher playing merrily in the firepit. I sit and think. I wonder about one thing, then another. I pray and talk to God. I miss my husband and wish he was here. How he would enjoy doing this very thing! 

John and I - October 24, 2018

Soon I hear a night noise that I don't recognize and something runs hard behind me. It fairly brushes the back of the chair that I'm sitting in. Was that the doe that crosses my yard on occasion? If so, where are the twin fawns that often accompany her?

I'm not sure that what I heard (or felt run past me) was a deer. If not, then what was it? 😳

Okay...that's it! I'm done! I stand up, grab my folding lawn-chair, and head for the house. It was enjoyable and I'm sure I'll do it again (maybe even tonight), but, for now, I'm done!

I go in the house and get started on work that should have been done hours ago. 

Later, I step outside one more time just to see that beautiful full moon, high in the sky, reflecting brightly, illuminating everything within reach of it's gentle moonbeams. 

The Full Hunter's Moon

The stillness and beauty of the night, along with the overwhelming goodness of God, prompts me to whisper a prayer of thanksgiving. His love for us is so great; His blessings are many. My heart is so full that I can barely contain the emotion that floods my soul. What a grand and glorious God we serve!!!

Until next time...

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Recipe - Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Recipe - Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

My husband's dad first introduced me to pineapple upside-down cake when I was just a kid. It was his favorite cake and it's one of mine, too! I decided to make one last night and thought I'd share the recipe with you here today. 


1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
9 pineapple rings (drained) (or, as you can see, I used pineapple tidbits instead - 1 20 oz. can drained)
1 1/3 cups flour
1 cup sugar 
1/3 cup oil 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1 egg

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a 9-inch square pan, melt butter in oven. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over melted butter. Arrange pineapple tidbits over brown sugar.

In a medium bowl, beat remaining ingredients with electric mixer on low for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter over pineapple tidbits.

Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. If desired, immediately place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; turn plate and pan over. Leave pan over cake a few minutes so brown sugar mixture can drizzle over cake; remove pan. Serve warm. Store cake loosely covered.

My Husband's Late Father and Great Lover of
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, Rudy Knox

Until next time...

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Don't forget to enter the drawing for the Sue Hooley 2022 Daily Planner giveaway! For more details click HERE.

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Monday, October 18, 2021

Master To-Do List and Menu Plan Monday - October 18, 2021/Trip to Stockton Photos

Good morning, Dear One! It's Monday! 💗

And what a beautiful Monday morning it is, too! Right now it's  55 degrees, the sun is shining, and a high of 74 is expected. The ten day forecast promises more of the same...which is great! No a/c and no heat equals money saved! Yeah!

We found ourselves right smack-dab in the middle of the
monarch migration fly-zone last week and was blessed
enough to witness, literally, hundreds of monarch butterflies
flying and feeding among asters growing near the lake.

How was your week and weekend?

My week here was good. I spent several days away with a couple of the kids and their families at the lake. We got a cabin in Stockton and enjoyed three nights and four days of fellowship, food, fun, and fishing. I will share photos throughout this post.

View From the Deck

My Room

I dropped my car off at the shop on our way to Stockton and got it back by week's end. The speed sensor is fixed and for less money than first quoted. So glad to finally have that done!




My Big Catch of the Day

The Pretties Little Bluegill I've Ever Seen

After we got home I picked up more pecans. I have already harvested more than I expected to and have started cracking them and picking out the nut meats. I have about a quart of nut meats in the deep-freeze, thus far, and have probably got enough pecans picked up to put up two to three times that amount more.

Speaking of pecans...the squirrels at Stockton were super
busy preparing for winter. This fellow had, not one, but TWO
pecans in his mouth at the same time! So stinkin' cute! 💓

I didn't get to the weed-eating and yard clean-up that I had planned to over the weekend. I ended up pulling a rib and spent the weekend nursing that instead. Am missing work today because of it, too. So painful! 😭

Evenings in the cabin were spent reading...

...preparing the tackle boxes for the next day's adventure...

...discussing favorite fishing equipment used...


...doing handcrafts...

...or sitting around the campfire...

...visiting and relaxing.

Let's get on with this week's post...shall we?

Boats at the Marina

Feeding the Fish at the Marina

Seven of our Twenty Grands

This week's master to-do list...

- clean house
- do laundry 
- prepare a food and financial plan for the coming winter
- weed-eat
- get flower gardens put to bed (all but the zinnias and leaving them for any stray hummers that might be passing through)
- trim trees (bought myself a battery-powered pruning saw) 
- get together with family and friends

The grands had never seen a bullfrog before. This big fellow
showed up near a pool of water in the backyard after a morning
rainstorm. Granddaughter, Essie, who isn't afraid of anything,
chased the frog down and posed for a photo before releasing it.

A Fine Figure of a Bullfrog

This week's menu plan...

Monday - Broiled salmon with baked sweet potato and sauteed spinach
Tuesday - Pizza dippin' sticks and sauce with pineapple upside down cake and apple cider for dessert
Wednesday - White Chicken Enchiladas with black beans
Thursday - Stuffed banana peppers in sauce over spaghetti squash (freezer) with oven-roasted carrots and green beans
Friday - Oven-roasted chicken breasts with macaroni and cheese and green beans
Saturday - Chili with cornbread (freezer)
Sunday - leftovers

Leaves in Water
One of my favorite things in autumn! 🍁

That's it for this time! Have a wonderful week ahead and may the Lord's richest blessings be yours!

Until next time...

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Don't forget to enter the drawing for the Sue Hooley 2022 Daily Planner giveaway! A winner will be picked THIS WEEKEND, so there's only a few more days left to enter! For details click HERE.

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