Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Tuesday Tidbits - Flowers Blooming and After Easter Bargains

I planned on posting earlier today, but didn't make it. Better late than never, I guess! 😊

Yesterday morning I picked the last of the lilac blooms. Most of them got nipped with the previous night's freeze.

Later in the morning, Amber and Mercy and I took a short drive in the country in search of two of our favorite wildflowers. 

We stopped, first, at a friend's prairie where we picked a few sprigs of Indian paintbrush. 

Afterwards, we went around the corner, past where we lived when we first moved to the area, and on down to the low-water bridge where the sweet williams bloom. I so miss living out here sometimes!

After adding a few sweet williams to the sprigs of Indian paintbrush, we circled on around, crossed the main highway, held our breath as we hurridly crossed the old, rickety, wooden bridge, and made our way back through the country and home. We weren't gone long, but it was certainly enjoyable!

Later in the day, I discovered that the first of the irises had bloomed! My favorites...the ones that smell like grape Kool-Aid...the 'Keith Millers' (named after the father of the friend that first gave me the starts).

Star of Bethlehem is blooming, too. It's not a native plant, but it sure is pretty! The delicate, white flowers can be found blooming in little clumps all over the north lawn.

I thought about going to Nevada (the town of, not the state of) today, but, with so much to do here, I decided that I really wasn't up to it. I decided, instead, to get what I could at Dollar General and save my trip to one of the bigger towns for another day.

While at Dollar General, I hit the jackpot on early preparation for Easter 2024. All the Easter stuff was 70% off!

I got 15 baskets (not enough for all of the grands, but enough for the youngest ones), 10 bags of grass, and 2 packages of egg-dye for 30 cents a package. I also got a stuffed bunny for the baby (due in August) for $1.05 and a pretty pot of spring flowers (fake, of course) for $1.80. 

Well, that's all for now. I need to be moving towards getting ready for work tomorrow. I hope your week is going well and that your Tuesday has been a great one!

Until next time...

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Monday, April 24, 2023

Master To-Do List and Menu Plan Monday - April 24, 2023

It's a sunny, but cool morning here in southwest Missouri (37 degrees). According to the local forecast, we can expect abnormally low temperatures and rain almost every day this week. We've had frost warnings the past two nights and I guess I totally missed the auroras in our area last night. I had no idea that they would be this far south. (Saw them once in northern Minnesota. Beautiful!)

Can you believe that we are in the last week of April. How was your week and weekend?

Indian Paintbrush Blooming on the Prairie

My week and weekend here were good. I worked Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. We had school groups Wednesday and Friday with a total of 168 students.

School Groups This Week

Thursday was spent cleaning house, doing laundry, and working around the place. I managed to sort through several more boxes from the shed this week, too. This is stuff that we moved down with us from Blue Springs over a quarter-of-a-century ago. Ridiculous!!! 🙄

The Hope Chest That My Parents
Gave Me For My 13th Birthday

Among things brought out was the hope chest that my parents gave me for my 13th birthday. It was in pretty rough shape, but Tony took it over to his place, sanded it down, repaired it, restained, and revarnished it. It's as pretty now as it ever was!

Lady Cardinal

Other than that, that's pretty much it. Let's get started on this week's post...shall we? 

Eastern Meadowlark

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

- Clean house
- Clean the fridge
- Do laundry
- Mow (Actually, son and grandsons have been taking care of this for me and I appreciate it! They do let me help with the weed-eating though...some anyway.) 😏
- Sort through more boxes from the shed
- Make a trip to the vet to pick up flea pills for the cats
- Pick up a few groceries
- Check out the local greenhouse and, hopefully, purchase some bedding plants
- Work

As for work, it's taken time, but I am finally getting back to my old, pre-COVID, pre-grief self and am back in full program-planning mode. I have a string of programs lined up to run from now through the end of the year, at least, and am extremely happy to be able to do them. Things feel almost 'normal' again...at least at work. Part of the week this week will be spent pulling out old program boxes and reorganizing them with fresh ideas. 

One of the Programs That
I Plan to Revisit

This week's menu plan...

Breakfast ideas...

Right now I'm enjoying a Dave's Killer Bread Epic Everything Organic Bagle with Neufchatel cheese and a cup of hot tea with French vanilla creamer. Other ideas for this week include...

- Apple-cinnamon oatmeal
- Turkey bacon, egg, and toast
- THM pancakes with blueberries, yogurt, and sugarfree syrup
- Cottage cheese on toast

Lunch ideas...

- Soup and grilled cheese sandwich
- Sandwich with chips, carrots, and dip
- Hummus with Wheat Thins and fresh vegetables
- Homemade pizza
- Bean and cheese burrito with fresh vegetables and dip
- Leftovers

Supper ideas...

- Oven-roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, and brussel sprouts
- Potato soup with crackers
- Fish sandwich, baked potato, and coleslaw
- Pork chop with potatoes and cabbage
- Turkey burger and macaroni and cheese
- Breakfast for supper
- Leftovers

Well, that's it for today! You have a great week ahead and I'll talk with you again soon! 

Until next time...

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Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Tuesday Tidbits - Rainy Days and a New (To Me) Vehicle

Good morning! It's a beautiful, rainy, spring morning here in southwest Missouri! I don't think the rain is supposed to last long, and it's not going to amount to much, but we'll take whatever we get. We sure need it!

On mornings like this I am reminded of my dear friends, Susan, Peter, Jed, Bill, and Lisa. Most of these friends have been companions since childhood and I've revisited them nearly every spring for decades. Which friend (or friends) on which day depends entirely upon the weather. 

When I was a child I hated the rain. Then my mother introduced me to Susan Amantha Cottonwood. After meeting Susan, I learned to appreciate the rain and the joy that it can bring. On warm and rainy, puddle-jumping days, I still like to revisit Susan.

Now, understand, that my friend, Peter, has been around since way before I was born, but, when my children were little, someone thought to bring Peter to life in an animated short. Even today, if it's one of those cool, rainy, let's-settle-in-for-the-day kind of days, then that's when I like to visit my dear friend, Peter, and his artist friend, Beatrix

On the stormiest of days of all, when the wind blows wildly hard, with thunder rolling and lightening flashing, that's when I like to revisit Jed, Bill, and Lisa. They're my friends from The Key to the Treasure by Peggy Parish. I used to reread that book every spring as a kid. Then, when my children were little, on the day of the first bad thunderstorm of the season, we would stop what we were doing and read the whole book from cover to cover in one fell swoop! Oh, how we looked forward to, and enjoyed, that annual event! Even now, I still enjoy doing that on occasion! 

Well, here we are, I've been so wrapped up in writing about that rain that I didn't even realize that the rain has stopped and sun is shining. I didn't think that it was going to amount to much. But that's okay...I enjoyed revisiting my rainy day friends anyway! 😊What's the weather like where you're at today?

Yesterday I got a new vehicle. (It's new-to-me anyway). Over a year ago the Lord prompted me to put back part of my income tax refund to go towards a new vehicle and I'm glad that I listened. 

My car (my dad's '98 Taurus) has been a great car, but it's old and is starting to have issues. Dad bought it used back in 2005 and he drove it until he passed away in 2016. I've been driving it ever since with very little having to be done to it, other than basic maintance. There have been a few bigger things here and there, but, nothing major. Even though the car still runs great, there is evidence that it's days are numbered and, being that it's mileage is just shy of 300,000 miles, I can't complain. 

Anyway, the Lord opened the door and I have new-to-me, older, but very well-maintained, vehicle with low mileage...a 2002 Chevy Venture and it is in excellent shape. Thankfully, I was able to pay cash for it outright. The best part is, I bought the van from my mechanic. He knows the vehicle inside and out and he is the one that will be maintaining it!

Well, that's all for today. You have a great Tuesday and I'll be with you again soon!

Until next time,

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Monday, April 17, 2023

Master To-Do List and Menu Plan Monday - April 17, 2023

After a cool and windy weekend, the week ahead promises to be much better. Right now it's 52 degrees and sunny; the high today is expected to reach 70. How was your week and weekend? 

Springtime at the Creek

My week here was long, but good. I worked a lot more hours than usual and that trend will continue over the next several months. In the flesh, I'm not thrilled about it, as I have more to do at home than I can keep up with now, but the money will be good and, ultimately, it is a gift from God. Therefore, I will rejoice and be glad in His provision.

My lilacs are blooming! After the cold snap we had I wasn't sure that they would make this year, but they did! Lilacs are one of my absolute favorites!


The kittens, Bear and Tiger, celebrated their first birthday this week. I can't believe that they're a year old already! Seems like just yesterday that they were two, tiny, little babies born in the bottom of my bedroom closet; now, here they are, both big, ol' full-grown, adult cats. Another gift from God! He knew that I needed them at that particular time in my life and what a sweet blessing they've been!

Bear and Tiger

Bear is especially attentive. When he's in the house, he has to be sitting beside me, laying beside me, laying on me, or touching me. A lot of times he'll crawl up in my lap, turn on his back, and put his paw on my face. He's such a sweet boy! 

Bear and Tiger as Newborns

Tiger and Bear in That Same Bed Yesterday Afternoon

I love both of the kittens and their sweet mama, too. She's turned out to be an awful good cat and all three of them are excellent hunters! Not a single mouse, rat, vole, mole, or shrew is safe around here! Almost daily, I am gifted with one or more of the above mentioned rodents on my front door-step. I have received other offerings as well...birds, rabbits, and squirrels. I don't like it when they catch birds, but, at least, they consume them; the rodents they don't.

I had my six-month check-up and bloodwork drawn Thursday and, praise be to God! My thyroid levels are finally down in the normal range and everything else is GREAT! I praise God for health and healing in every area! He is so good!

Well, as usual, my day is getting away from me and there is much to do. I will get right on in to this week's post and, hopefully, be able to share more with you later in the week. I've got to get myself together and post more often. Even just snippets here and there would be better than nothing. Thanks for bearing with me though and for remaining faithful as a reader. You are much loved and very much appreciated! 💗

Eastern Meadowlark

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

- Clean house
- Do laundry
- Sort through some boxes out of the shed
- Mow
- Answer and mail a few letters and cards
- Work

At the Eagle Tree

This week's menu plan...

I have a lot of odds and ends in the freezer and fresh items that need used up. I will concentrate on them exclusively this week. 

Breakfast Ideas - 

- Apple-cinnamon oatmeal
- THM pancakes with blueberries, yogurt, and sugarfree syrup
- Mini bagels with cream cheese and fruit
- Eggs scrambled with asparagus and fresh greens and toast
- Cottage cheese on toast

Lunch Ideas - 

- Sandwich with chips, carrots, and dip
- Soup and grilled cheese sandwich
- Hummus with Wheat Thins and fresh vegetables
- Bean and cheese burrito with fresh vegetables and dip
- Leftovers

Supper Ideas -

- Ham slices with potatoes, green pepper, and onion
- Butter and garlic pasta with oven-roasted chicken and mixed vegetables
- Pork chop with baked potato and fried cabbage
- Chicken ranch salad with French bread
- Turkey burger with macaroni and cheese
- Breakfast for supper
- Leftovers

Cherry Blossoms

Well, that's it for today! You have a great week ahead and I'll be with you again soon! God's blessings over all!

Until next time...

P.S. - Please pray for Ron and Shelly Hamilton and their family. Ron (Patch the Pirate) is in the final stages of life and, even though there will be great rejoicing in Heaven when he arrives there, my heart aches for Shelly. I can feel her pain and know that sliding-towards-the-edge-of-a-precipice-with-no-way-of-stopping feeling. Just pray for them, please. Pray God's peace, comfort, love, and care over them in this particularly difficult season. Thank you so much!

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Monday, April 10, 2023

Master To Do List and Menu Plan Monday - April 10, 2023

It's Monday night, heading rapidly into the wee hours of Tuesday morning, and I'm just now getting a chance to sit down, collect my thoughts, and try to put them down in a post.

Violets From My Yard

I intended to post several things relevant to Passion Week last week, but it didn't happen. The week and weekend turned out to be quite full with lots of good stuff and some not so good.

Some of the good stuff...

Seder Supper

Easter Eggs

Cream-filled, Faux 'Laura Secord' Eggs
 Handmade By Daughter Amber

Easter Baskets For the Grands

Grandlittles That Were Able To
Come To This Year's Egg Hunt

The not so good...

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, a block down the alley, my cousin's place burned to the ground. My cousin lost everything in the blaze; a friend that was visiting for the weekend lost his life.

We cancelled the planned breakfast for Resurrection morning, but, despite little sleep and the awful tragedy, we decided to go ahead and meet for Sunday morning Bible study. Everyone stayed afterwards and we had breakfast for lunch. Throughout the afternoon and evening family and friends came and went, gathering in love and support of my cousin. Monday morning Aaron and Amanda and the girls joined us.

Now, here it is, late Monday night and I'm absolutely exhausted. I wanted to get something out, though, before going to bed. Let's take a look at the week ahead...shall we?

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

- Clean house
- Do laundry
- Celebrate the kitten's (Tiger and Bear's) first birthday
- Go to the doctor
- Figure mid-month budget and bills
- Work

This week's menu plan...

I haven't had a chance to even think about what's on-hand and how to put it together, so, I'm going to skip making a plan this week and just focus on what's on-hand. Whatever needs used up first...that's what I'll eat. 

I hope that you and yours had a wonderful holiday weekend, a beautiful Resurrection Sunday, and a nice Monday! Have a great week ahead!

Until next time...

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Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Passion Week - Resurrection Cookies (Recipe)

I've share this before, but this is a recipe that I made with my children several times over the course of their growing up years. What a great way to teach the Biblical account of the Resurrection!

You will need:

1 cup whole pecans
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
a pinch salt
1 cup sugar
a zippered baggy
a wooden spoon
scotch tape

These are to be made the evening before Resurrection Sunday.  


Preheat oven to 300 degrees *** (this is very important --- don't wait until you are half done with the recipe). 

Place pecans in zippered baggy and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces.  Explain that after Jesus was arrested He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read: John 19:1-3.
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink. Read: John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read: John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.  Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers and the bitterness of our own sin. Read: Luke 23:27.

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read: Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read: Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in the broken nuts. Drop by teaspoonsful onto waxed paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read: Matthew 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door, and turn the oven OFF.

Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read: Matthew 27:65-66.


Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read: John 16:20-22.

On Resurrection Sunday (Easter) morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.  Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Resurrection Sunday (Easter) morning Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read: Matthew 28:1-9.

What a great way to share with your children the fact that we do, indeed, serve a risen Saviour and His name is Jesus! Praise be unto the Lord! 

Happy Passion Week!

Until next time...

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