Saturday, December 31, 2022

Taking A Look Back At That 2022 Bucket List

I almost didn't do a bucket list in 2022 and now I'm really wishing I hadn't. I always have big plans, but, then, things never work out the way I planned. 

BUT....I shouldn't be disappointed. I did so many other things in 2022 (that I didn't expect to do) that, surely somewhere along the way, it all balanced out. Right??? πŸ˜‰

Okay...let's take a look and see how I did with this year's grandiose mean...bucket list and projected plans. πŸ˜†

1. Purpose to and sow daily towards gaining greater health in every area (spirit and soul and body - I Thessalonians 5:23; prosper and be in health - 3 John 2) ⌚

I didn't come anywhere near what I had hoped to achieve with this one, but, I think the problem is, that I try to do it on my own. In the days ahead I am going to try to slow up and let the Lord lead instead.

2. Keep up with daily scripture reading and Bible study πŸ“–

I've missed a few days here and there, but, overall, I've done pretty well with this one. Even though it doesn't always happen, I try to remember to put time in the Word first.

3. Read at least 12 new books πŸ“š

To be honest, I've not even counted. I've read a few books this year, but I don't think anywhere near that many. If I surprise myself and find that to be in error I will correct it later.

4. Focus on simple and nutritious foods πŸ₯—

I tend to eat fairly simple anyway, but nutritious? Maybe early on, but most of the year...not so much. I need to do better in 2023.

5. Look for, and learn to appreciate, memory-making opportunities with friends and family and take full advantage of every one πŸ‘ͺ

Yes. In 2022 I deliberately looked for and took advantage of every opportunity offered (the ones I could anyway) to spend time with family and friends, and, even though I had to push myself out of my comfort zone a couple of times, I tried to follow through with every plan and invitation that came along.

6. Share Christ's love and the gospel message with others at every opportunity πŸ’“

In looking back, I didn't do as much as I would like to have done, but I did what I could when I had the opportunity to do so.

7. Make an attempt to use it up, make it do, wear it out, or do without before spending unnecessarily

In some areas, maybe, but not to the extent that I wanted to. I hope to be much more some areas 2023.

8. Get 30 minutes of some form of physical activity in, at least, three to five days a week (walking, hiking, dancing, gardening, yard work, etc.) πŸ‘Ÿ

Ya...whatever! Not even close! πŸ™„

9. Stay politically involved throughout the year by praying for, writing to, and encouraging government officials in every branch and every level as led by the LordπŸ’“πŸ€πŸ’™

Nope. I sent a few emails here and there, but have not been consistant at all in praying for and encouraging government officials.

10. Post my weekly master to-do list and menu plan here on the blog πŸ“œ

Might have missed one or two...not sure...but pretty much kept up with this one.

11. Complete the 52 Week Money Challenge for the second year in a row πŸ’΅

Yep! Am hoping to do it again.

12. Attend a friend's wedding in April πŸ‘°

Sadly, the wedding was canceled, so, no, didn't make it to this one.

13. Welcome two new grandbabies into the family (one due in June; the other in August) πŸ‘ΆπŸ‘Ά

Yes! Welcomed two beautiful new granddaughters into the world in 2022! I can't believe how fast they're both growing!

Kelly Margaret Anne

Bethany Annabelle Grace

14. Attend oldest granddaughter's wedding in September πŸ‘°

Yes! Heather and Corey had a beautiful wedding! It was a privelege and honor to be a part of it!

15. Deep-clean, purge, and reorganize the livingroom and Van Gogh room (a.k.a. my office) 🏑

I did, but it's time to do it again!

16. Plan, plant, keep up with, and harvest a productive vegetable garden 🌱

I started out okay, but, in the end, this year's garden was a total fail. The extreme drought didn't help, I'm sure.

17. Repair outside walls and paint house 🏠

Nope! Not even close!

18. Clean out the old shed and get a new one in it's place (or reroof and repair the old one) 🏘

Another big nope! Didn't happen! 

19. Explore at least one new-to-me trail πŸ₯Ύ

Not that I recall, but I did go a lot of places with different ones of the kids and their families, so, it's possible that I did and just don't remember.

20. Log at least 12 new geocache locations 🧭


21. Visit at least one Missouri state park  that I've never been to before 🏞

Actually, I visited FIVE! Woo-hoo! Someday I hope to look back and see that actually visited all 92 of them! 

22. Visit a state that I've never been to before πŸŒ„

No. Could have gone on a trip with Amanda and her family that would have taken me to a few new states, actually, but had a previously scheduled outing and couldn't make it. But that's okay! Maybe in 2023!)

Well, I guess that's it for now. I'll think about 2023 and, maybe, come up with a new list.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Off and Running With the Winter Food Challenge and Sharing A Recipe For Turkey Bean Soup

I had posted in a previous post that black-eyed peas were on the menu for New Year's Day. 

Well...that was before I remembered that I had used the last of the black-eyed peas in the Basic Dry Bean Mix that I put together last winter, which, fortunately, I still have some of left in the pantry.

In thinking about it, black-eyed peas are black-eyed peas. It doesn't matter if you eat a few or a lot (or any for that matter!), but, in keeping with the long-held New Year's tradition, I would like to say that I ate, at least, a few. 

I have to work New Year's Eve and part of New Year's Day, so I won't have a lot of extra time to cook. I decided to cook today for the weekend ahead.

Instead of rushing out and spending money unnecissarily to purchase, and serve, just plain ol' black-eyed peas, I decided to kick into gear on the Winter Food Challenge and use up some of what I have on hand and make a terrific bean soup. 

I thought about making the Wintery Day Bean Soup that I discovered last winter, but, since I've got lots of chopped turkey leftover from Thanksgiving and plenty of bone broth in the cabinet, I decided to make a turkey bean soup instead. Here's what I came up with...


2 cups dry bean mix
1 large onion, diced
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
2 quarts of chicken bone broth
4 cups chopped turkey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
black pepper to taste

Note: You can use regular chicken broth or boullion cubes in place of the bone broth if you prefer and I rinsed, soaked, and precooked the dry bean mix in a dutch oven before making the soup. 

After cooking and draining the beans, saute the onion in butter and add it, along with the rest of the ingredients, to the dutch oven and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least an hour. 

I plan to have some of this soup tonight with leftover cornbread from the freezer and plan to have some for lunch on New Year's Day. The rest will be separated out into freezer bags, frozen, and eaten for lunches on cold, wintery days.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-Up-The-Food, Winter Challenge Plan 2022/23

Over the summer and fall of 2022 I built a winter food supply by adding a few extra items to the cart every time I shopped. I stocked up on grains, spices, and other bulk items at the Amish and Mennonite stores. 

Now that winter has arrived, and the holidays are over, it's time to start saving money by digging into that supply and plan meals around the food I have on-hand.

When I've done these challenges in the past, I've begun by doing a complete food inventory, but, now that I live alone, I pretty much know what I have on-hand, so will skip that step altogether.  

I will shop for fresh items and other items needed to round out what's on hand as I go, and will post my progress along the way, sharing meal plans and recipes when appropriate.

I looking forward to be taking on this self-imposed challenge and would like to invite anyone else who'd like to join me to, please, do so. 

Monday, December 26, 2022

Master 'To Do' List and Menu Plan Monday - December 26, 2022

It's the last Monday of 2022 and another new year is upon us again already. (I'm still trying to figure out where the last one went!) Did you have a nice Christmas?

I had a wonderful Christmas here. In truth, one of the best that I can remember...good fellowship with family and friends and blessings at every turn. The best gifts have been those that money can't buy. God's mercy and goodness have been witnessed on multiple levels and I praise Him for His loving hand of protection over my family. It's been an amazing Christmas season!

Christmas Eve Bison

I've still got company in for the holidays, so will make this short. Won't you join me?

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

- Clean house
- Do laundry
- Take down, organize, and put away Christmas decorations
- Strategize and plan for the new year in the areas of health and finances
- Get car and part to Bud so he can get it fixed and I can get back on the road 
- Work
- Ring in the New Year

Christmas Eve marked the 35th anniversary of my
husband's proposal. I'm so glad I said, "Yes!"

This week's menu plan...

...includes cleaning up (and freezing what I can of) leftover holiday foods, then, get into healthier foods and a better eating plan in the new year (AND get back to regular exercize, too). I will focus my attention on foods on-hand (freezer, dry goods, canned goods, grains, and spices) over the course of the winter, only buying fresh items as needed, and will replenish my pantry in the spring. 

I plan to make black-eyed peas and cornbread for New Year's Day. 

How about you? What are your plans for the new year? I have to work New Year's Eve and in the afternoon of New Year's Day (First Day Hike). Other than that I really don't have any plans at this point, but, that could always change.

I guess that's all for today. You have a nice day and a great week ahead and I'll be with you again soon.

Until next time...

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Friday, December 23, 2022

Merry Christmas Eve Eve

As my children always proclaimed on the 23rd of December, "It's Christmas Eve Eve!" and I hope you're having a great one!

White-out Conditions on the Tallgrass Prairie
Yesterday Afternoon

The kittens and I weathered yesterday's storm without incident and, even though temperatures are still very cold (6 degrees with a windchill of -12), the sun is shining and, from here on, we only go up. The best part is, it will stay cold enough, just long enough. that we will get to enjoy a white Christmas this year! 

Snow Drifts Along a Country Road

Amanda called earlier. She and her family should be here sometime mid-afternoon. They will spend the night here, then head on to Springfield in the morning.

(By the way, Amanda started her own blog! Check it out by clicking HERE!) πŸ’—

I have to work tomorrow. Come late afternoon (I can see it now) I'll be like Bob Cratchit chomping at the bit to get back to hearth and home where warmth and glowing lights await me. I'll throw my scarf around my neck, lock the doors, and hurry home to feast with family. πŸ˜† 

Mervyn Johns as Bob Cratchit
A Christmas Carol 1951

So, how are you spending Christmas Eve Eve? What are you most looking forward to over the weekend?

However you're spending your day today and, whatever you're most looking forward to over the Christmas holiday, I'm wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Until next time...

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Thursday, December 22, 2022

Thursday Things - December 22, 2022

It's a windy, snowy, and frigid cold morning here on the tallgrass prairie of southwest Missouri. 

View From The Back Porch

Temperatures have plummetted from a balmy 39 degrees at bedtime last night to a cool 3 degrees (and still dropping) this morning. What's the weather like where you're at? 

Despite the frigid cold, it's warm and cozy inside. Christmas lights glow in every room and I've got a pretty wooden-wicked candle burning in the kitchen. Alexa is softly playing Christmas carols on the Echo Dot and the kittens are snuggled up together on the bed in front of an infared electric stove with flames. It's all very cozy indeed!

As my car is still down, Amber will be dropping by shortly to pick me up and take me to deliver a pan of Christmas lasagna and a loaf of homemade bread to a friend. I think we're both looking forward to getting out in this crazy weather! 

The part for my car arrived just a few minutes ago. After we get past this extreme cold snap, Bud will be able to get that fixed and have me back on the road again in no time. I'm thankful that he's able to do the work.

Aaron, Amanda, and Alysia may be down tomorrow. They have to make connections in Springfield to pick Kayla up for Christmas, so, since time and circumstances allow, they have decided to pass through this way to get in another quick visit before Christmas, which is great!

Well, Amber just called and she is on her way, so I'm going to close for now. I'll be with you all again soon.

Until next time...

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First Day of Winter



Wednesday, December 21, 2022

First Day of Winter

I had planned on writing a post this morning, but, got busy and the day got away from me. The hour is late, but it's still the first day of winter. Happy Winter Solstice! 

I spent yesterday cleaning up after baking, packaging, and delivering approximately 35 dozen cookies on Monday and doing laundry.  The kitchen was my biggest mess. Usually, I clean up as I go along, or, at least, before going to bed, but that night I was so tired that I just couldn't. Flour, sugar, molasses, and other sticky ingredients were everywhere!

Today Carla and I had a nice visit after having lunch at Mary's. The afternoon and evening were spent making the filling and putting together the Christmas Eve lasagnas. The baking dishes are full, wrapped, and sitting in the fridge, allowing the flavors to meld, while they wait to be baked.

Now, it's nearly midnight and, if I don't get this post out soon, the first day of winter will be over. I'll talk to you again soon! Good night! πŸ’—

Until next time...

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Monday, December 19, 2022

Master 'To Do' List and Menu Plan Monday - December 19, 2022

It's late Monday evening and I'm just now getting a chance to sit down and think about the week ahead. Since the hour is late, I'm not going to labour over this post. I'll keep it short, sweet, and to the point. I hope your week is off to a great start!

The week here began with a start when one of the grands had a medical emergency in the middle of the night, but God is good and, praise His holy name, all is well. As a family we have much to be thankful for.

After getting a few hours sleep after dawn this morning, I spent the rest of the day baking and packaging dozens of spicy brown cookies to share with family, friends, and neighbors. Being as my car is down at the moment, the kids ran me around the neighborhood to deliver them.

Now...I'm watching Going My Way with Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald, enjoying a much needed cup of tea, and visiting with you.

Let's take a look at the week ahead...shall we?

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

- clean house
- do laundry
- bake cookies and deliver to family, friends, and neighbors
- wish granddaughter, Sarah, and my Aunt Bev a Happy Birthday
- watch Christmas movies
- make Christmas Eve lasagna
- work
- celebrate Jesus' birthday by coming together with others and reading the story of His birth from the Bible

This week's menu plan will focus on simple, on-hand foods and holiday fare. Nothing fancy here this week. 

Well, that's it for today. I'm headed for bed. Good night! 

Until next time...

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