Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring At Last!

Spring has finally arrived and everything is blooming and putting out new growth. In the last week or so, the trees have really greened up and the air is so sweet. The mornings are comfortable, but not hot or muggy feeling and I'm so happy that the cold seems to be behind us now.
I've not felt too good over the past couple weeks, but I've slowly but surely started cleaning up the yard and have been planting a few things, and even got most of the bushes in the front trimmed and shaped as best as I can do. It's amazing what a bit of color can do for a yard. It just makes you feel good!
There are a half dozen wrens that hang out in the back yard and this one was sitting in the drizzling rain, waiting to see if it was safe enough for it to mill around under the birch tree for something to eat.

When I took this picture, a few more wrens showed up and were happily foraging under the bird feeder.

If you look at the upper left-hand corner of this picture, there's a speck of red.......that's actually a rose. You can see the cane to the right of the tree. I'm guessing it must be about 12 feet tall!

Here's a closer look at that rose. Isn't it gorgeous?! 

This is a hosta that was here when we moved in last year. I planted another one a few feet away, but it isn't up yet. I'm trying to fill in this area at the corner of the house and I'm off to a good start!

A nice bit of color peeking over our fence from the neighbor's yard.

We're getting some much needed rain today. Nothing hard, but a nice drizzly rain and something to wash the thick coating of yellow pine pollen off of everything. The pollen counts are really, really high right now so the rain is a welcome relief. I don't really suffer with allergies myself, but my nose and throat still get a little irritated when I'm outside. I'm thankful it's not any worse because I know how some folks suffer during spring.
It's good to be back blogging again, and will be posting more pictures as my yard progresses and more of what I've planted comes up.
Hope you're having a wonderful day today and wonderful weather wherever you may be!

Monday, March 5, 2012


One of my favorite go-to meals is, burritos. They're quick and easy to put together and everyone loves them.
Everyone has their own ways of making them, including what seasonings they like to use, but I thought I would share my recipe and hope you like it.

First thing I do is cook the ground beef and chorizo sausage. I use about 2 1/2 lbs. of the ground beef and one tube of the beef chorizo. I don't use packaged seasoning any more, and much prefer the flavor of the chorizo to anything else. It also comes in pork, and even vegetarian!  

Meat, cooked and drained.

Re-fried beans.

A bit of lettuce, tomato, and onion...

I start with the beans, then meat. Sour cream and onion; lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheese. I like to add some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, as I do like spicy things. Last thing to do is to roll it up and that's it!

There's often enough leftover for another meal, so all you need to do is put the meat and beans in containers and keep them in the freezer until you're ready for them. We also like enchiladas, but that'll be a recipe for another day.   :) 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Sad News.......

My husband's mother passed away earlier this afternoon. It was very peaceful and for that I am grateful as she had been in poor health for quite some time. God is a merciful God, and He decided it was time for her to go home.
I loved my mother-in-law very much. She danced to the beat of her own drum and was quite the character! She was full of wisdom and we spent many hours over the years, talking on the phone, and shared many of the same interests.
Bill was on his way to Virginia on a work-related trip and ended up changing his flight plans after talking with his Dad. Sadly, he didn't make it to the hospital before she passed away, but it looks like he'll be spending the next few days with his Dad, and I know my sister-in-law and her fiance are there as well.
I'm going to miss her but I know she's in a much better place, and I'd like to think she's running through a meadow of pretty flowers.......healthy, full of life, and bursting with joy.
That's what I believe, and that's what helps me deal with her loss. But one day I know I'll see her again, and others that have gone before her.

I love you, Mom, and you'll be in my heart forever.......

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spring Cleaning

 My kitchen window.......

The weather has been getting warmer and spring is just around the corner. I'm so glad to feel it warming up again, even though we've had a pretty mild winter here, and now I'm in full swing with my spring cleaning.
This morning I took all the cushions off the couch and love seat and vacuumed up crumbs and whatever else happened to be under there. It always amazes me how much stuff ends up under a couch cushion, but now it's clean. Then I vacuumed the living room, wiped off the coffee table, picked up some odds and ends, and now I've started on the kitchen and have some laundry going.
However, my biggest chore to do yet today is the kitchen pantry. I remember when we first moved in to this house (just shy of a year ago now) and how tidy and organized the pantry was. But now it's just a big, cluttered mess and I cringe every time I open the door to get something out of it. I only have myself to blame for the shape it's in, not keeping things where they belong and now it will probably take me at least a couple hours to do and I'm not looking forward to it. Anyone else ever feel the same???
But, as I get more and more things done, I have to keep reminding myself that I'm actually getting something accomplished and I need to stop fussing over what's still waiting for me to do. For some reason I seem to think that I can be in several different places at once, tackling all these chores, then feel like I've failed when I don't get them done. I don't know why I'm like that, but it's a work in progress, as am I!
Time to get back at it again and get more things crossed off of my list.
Hope you're all having a wonderful day and as always, I look forward to hearing from you.   :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy Birthday, Courtney!

I just wanted to wish our daughter, Courtney, a very happy 24th birthday! She and her husband, Eric, just moved back to the Pacific Northwest where his parents live, and while I hate that we're so far away from each other, in our hearts we're with her on her special day.

Such a little cutie!

Hope you have a really wonderful day. We love you!

Our girl all grown up!

Chicken Paprikash

Every so often I find a recipe in a magazine that becomes a big hit in our house, and this one is certainly no exception. This particular recipe comes from the "Food Network" magazine and what I like about it is that it's not expensive or time consuming to put together, has wonderful flavor, and even if you're not a big fan of chicken thighs (like me)'ll still love it!

  • kosher salt
  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut in half
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 ounces egg noodles
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a separate pot over medium heat, 2 minutes. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook 3 more minutes. Combine the flour, paprika, marjoram and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; add the chicken and toss to coat.

Push the bacon and vegetables to one side of the pot and increase the heat to medium high. Add the chicken and any remaining flour mixture to the other side and cook, turning, until browned, about 6 minutes.
I didn't have any bell pepper, but it tastes wonderful just the same!

Stir together the chicken, bacon and vegetables and cook 2 more minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir, then reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and simmer until the chicken is almost cooked through, about 10 more minutes. Meanwhile, add the noodles to the boiling water and cook as the label directs; drain.

Uncover the pot with the chicken, increase the heat to high and cook 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the sour cream and parsley and cook 2 more minutes.

Season with salt. Serve over the noodles.

I doubled the recipe this time around, and had more than enough left over for Bill's lunch the next day plus another meal.
Serve this with a nice green salad, or maybe some corn bread and dinner is ready!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

This arrived earlier this afternoon. What a beautiful gift from my husband!
I love him more and more every day, and I am truly blessed that's he's in my life!