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Friday, December 30, 2011

Shoes in the shower

My daycare children think I'm so silly. They just can't figure out why I was standing in the shower, completely dressed and with my shoes on!

How was I going to get my feet clean?
Am I going to wash my clothes too?
Is Papa Bear going to be mad at me for having my shoes in the tub?

Actually, I was trying to get the water deposits off the shower walls. I have beautiful huge tiles that show every little spot. I've tried commercial cleaners. I've tried the Magic Eraser. We use a squeegy after every shower. Still have spots. This morning, I remembered about the millions of uses for white vinegar. Out comes the vinegar and sponge, I stepped into the shower (completely dressed and with my shoes on!), and the cleaning commenced.

I am proud to say it worked like a charm! I just poured some vinegar onto the sponge, put a bit of elbow grease into it, dried the tile and it looks absolutely beautiful again. The real test will be after showering (for real, you know...not with clothes and shoes on) and using the squeegy. Hope it holds up and I don't have to do it all the time.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy Drying

Here it is December 29th, and I have my clothesline full!

I hung out towels.

I hung out Papa Bears working clothes

I hung out cloth napkins.

Then I got sad, I didn't have any more laundry to wash and hang out. Oh, believe me, I thought about washing my bedding that was done a few days ago just so I could hang it out again (I did this on Christmas). I decided against this and instead rounded up all the throw rugs in the house. They will soon be done and out on the line.

If you are a follower of Bear Necessities, you already know how easily amused I am. The fact that I was hanging on the line today brought immense joy to me! Normally, we would be in cold snowy conditions. When it's like that, I have drying racks strategically placed around the house. Going outside to hang is so much more fun.

I wonder if my neighbors would think I was weird if I asked them for their dirty laundry?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wanna Kwanzaa?

I've been doing some reading on Kwanzaa, the celebration of the seven days between Christmas and New Years by many African Americans. The more I look into this, the more I think it is something to be celebrated by ALL people, regardless of whether you are black, white, yellow, green or purple. Whether you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, atheist or (insert the belief of your choice).

The Seven Principles are as follows:

Day 1. Umoja means unity.
Day 2. Kujichagulia means self-determination.
Day 3. Ujima means working together.
Day 4. Ujamaa means supporting each other.
Day 5. Nia means purpose.
Day 6. Kuumba means creativity.
Day 7. Imani means faith, especially faith in ourselves.

See what I mean, these Seven Principles can be applied to all our lives. Here is a better breakdown of each:

Umoja (oo-MO-jah) Unity stresses the importance of togetherness for the family and the community, which is reflected in the African saying, "I am We," or "I am because We are."

Kujichagulia (koo-gee-cha-goo-LEE-yah) Self-Determination requires that we define our common interests and make decisions that are in the best interest of our family and community.

Ujima (oo-GEE-mah) Collective Work and Responsibility reminds us of our obligation to the past, present and future, and that we have a role to play in the community, society, and world.

Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah) Cooperative economics emphasizes our collective economic strength and encourages us to meet common needs through mutual support.

Nia (NEE-yah) Purpose encourages us to look within ourselves and to set personal goals that are beneficial to the community.

Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah) Creativity makes use of our creative energies to build and maintain a strong and vibrant community.

Imani (ee-MAH-nee) Faith focuses on honoring the best of our traditions, draws upon the best in ourselves, and helps us strive for a higher level of life for humankind, by affirming our self-worth and confidence in our ability to
succeed and triumph in righteous struggle.

So, dear friend, I wish you a Happy Kwanzaa this week!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Family dinner, skate key and 3 TV stations

I would like to share an e-mail with all of you. Some if it was a bit before my time, much of it though I remember well.

'Someone asked the other day, 'What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?'
'We didn't have fast food when I was growing up,' I informed him.
'All the food was slow.'
'C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?'
'It was a place called 'at home,'' I explained.
'Mom cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.'

By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.
But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it :

Some parents NEVER owned their own house, never wore Levis, never set foot on a golf course, never traveled out of the country or had a credit card. In their later years they had something called a revolving charge card. The card was good only at Sears Roebuck . Or maybe it was Sears & Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore. Maybe he died.

My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was mostly because we never had heard of soccer.

I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow).

We didn't have a television in our house until I was 9.
It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air at midnight, after playing the national anthem and a poem about God; it came back on the air at about 6 a.m. And there was usually a locally produced news and farm show on, featuring local people.

I was 11 before I tasted my first pizza, it was called 'pizza pie.'
When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slid off, swung down, plastered itself against my chin and burned that, too. It's still the best pizza I ever had.

I never had a telephone in my room.
The only phone in the house was in the living room and it was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn't know weren't already using the line.

Pizzas were not delivered to our home, but milk was.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers including me, six days a week It cost 7 cents a paper, of which I got to keep 2 cents + tips. I had to get up at 4am every morning. On Saturday, I had to collect the 42 cents from my customers. My favorite customers were the ones who gave him 50 cents and told him to keep the change. My least favorite customers were the ones who seemed to never be home on collection day.

If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren. Just don't blame me if they bust a gut laughing.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday Dear Jesus!
Happy Birthday to you!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What season is this?

"Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la, la la la la"

Turn on the TV and there are Christmas movies and commercials all over the place.

Drive around town and houses are all decorated up with lights and such.

Children are having Christmas parities at school.

Santa Clause has been making appearances at Malls and stores.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all into Santa and decorations and watching the grandkids open their gifts on Christmas morning. I only wish there was a little less emphasis on Santa and the commercialization and a little more on it being Jesus' birthday. More on the season of Advent leading up to Christmas morning.

For many people, by the time Christmas finally gets here, they are so ready for it to be over. I guess that is what happens when Christmas starts being forced on us in October!

If more attention was paid to Advent and Jesus, I don't think this would happen. The weeks of Advent are as follows:


Hope for good things to come
Love for what we have
Joy at good things delivered
Peace in our hearts

How is it possible to ever get tired of this? By celebrating Advent, and not just Santa, we are filling our minds, and hearts, and lives with the goodness of Jesus...and that is way better than movies, and decorations, and presents any day!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Easy Potato Soup

We enjoyed a yummy soup for supper last night that was so incredibaly easy to make, I thought I would share it with you all.

6 cups water
8 chicken boullion cubes
4 medium potatoes-diced
1 small onion-chopped small
2 stalks celery-sliced
1 carrot-diced small
1 C. instant potato flakes

Place all ingrediants except the potato flakes into a pot, bringing to a boil. Turn down and simmer about 1/2 hour or so until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally. Once veggies are cooked to your liking, turn the heat off and add instant potato flakes. Let sit about 5 minutes uncovered for flakes to absorb some liquid.

This is wonderful served with hot creseant rolls.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Help

I have just finished watching a movie that is both heart breaking, eye opening and inspirational. The Help had me laughing, crying and in disbelief. Is this really how Negros were treated? Were maids expected to do everything for the home, including raising the children, yet not allowed to even use the restroom?

I'm very thankful my parents raised me to see equality in all races. None is better than another. I understand this book/movie was based on a different time and mindset, however, I am just mortified at how things were.

That said, there is a desire in me to treat others better. Because someone is getting paid to do something for me in no way means they are less of a person. Obviously, I don't have 'hired help' in my home, but I do interact with others who are paid for providing a service...the cashier at Wal-Mart, the waitress, the Post Master, the shoe salesman, the kid handing me my Big Mac. Instead of paying, getting my change and offering a quick 'thanks' on my way out, I'm going to make a point to ask how their day is, a point to look them in the eye and say 'thank you', and mean it!

I'm inspired to speak up when I see something not right. Not just look away and hope someone else will step in. "Change begins with a whisper".

For those of you who have read the book/seen the movie, I will never look at chocolate pie the same, and probably never be able to eat it without getting the giggles.


Monday, December 12, 2011

My bird friends

Do birds have email, Facebook or Twitter? Just how do they spread information to their fellow winged friends? I'm only wondering this as it seems the number of birds in my yard increases daily. I'm am not exaggerating (something I tend to do from time to time) when I tell you there are at least 50 Sparrows in my yard at feeding time.

I have two bird feeders, three suet hangers and what I scatter on the ground. There is also a pie pan I keep filled on the ground for the five squirrels to come eat out of.

This all started last summer as a way for the children to watch some birds, it has now grown into an obsession. I find myself sitting back with a nice warm cup of tea, watch the activity outside my window. Last winter there were four Blue Jays and several Cardinals and Woodpeckers, I'm hoping they will find their way back again.

Now, if you will excuse me, I see the birds are flying in and I don't want to miss the show.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Challenge Yourself

A member on Prairie Homemaker, a Christian homemaking site I've been part of for years, posted a challenge to us all. Her challenge was to change/do one thing each week. This sounds like an easy enough thing to do, I mean really, how hard can it be to do something for one week, right?

I failed miserably the first week. I challenged myself to keep the kitchen table cleared off. Seriously, how in the world did I flunk this?? I started out so well getting it cleaned off, put a new tablecloth and Christmas decoration on it. That was the extent of it though, it has remained a catch-all. Despite my Epic fail, I am not giving up! My goal today is to get that blasted table cleaned off again. By cleaned off I mean putting each item where it goes, not just moved it to another spot so I can claim victory over the cluttered table.

My challenge this week is to have the dishes and counter clean before going to bed. This one is going well so far. I do love getting up in the morning to a nice clean kitchen...well, minus the cluttered table that is. Now, if only there was a way to wake up to breakfast already cooked, I would be a happy little girl!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor Day

70 years ago today, at 7:55 AM, the United States was attacked. The number of survivors dwindles every year, soon there will be none. This is a very important day in our history, yet there was barely any mention of it in the news this morning. 70 years ago this morning the United States was brought into WWII, yet when I talked with some children, they didn't even know what Pearl Harbor Day was.

I would like to take this time to offer my condolances to the families of all those who lost their lives, may the sacrifices they made never be forgotten.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

First Snow

Last night was a wonderful, magical evening. The sun had left us, the night was calm and still. I was enjoying time decorating our home for Christmas. As I stepped out onto the porch my first thought was, "You silly, you really should have worn a coat". After putting on the appropriate attire for standing in the chilly night air, the garland and lights were beginning to take form as I hummed Christmas tunes. This is where the wonderful magical part comes started to snow. Not just any snow either, but our first snow of the winter.

That first snow that means Fall is over. The snow that is waited for with anticipation by children (and some of us adults). The snow that tells us in the very near future there will be snowmen in yards, ice skating on frozen ponds and sledding down hills.

Snow brings with it a beauty like no other. A new-fallen snow covering all the ugliness in the world. A reminder to let go of the bad ugliness in our lives and let a new beauty in. Much change takes place outside during the snow covered winter, is it not possible for change to also take place inside ourselves?

Yes, the first snow of the winter is a wonderful, magical time filled with beauty and endless possibilities.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Decorating Time

I very much enjoy decorating up the house for Christmas. Getting out the tree, hanging the ornaments, setting items around, listening to Christmas music, drinking hot chocolate. It's a magical time of year.

I'll admit, I do miss having a real tree. I have wonderful memories of going to pick out just the right one with my boys. We would walk all around inspecting about every tree available. We would have to check the height, the width and the smell (don't even ask). Getting it into the house on the other-hand leaves me with a whole different set of memories. Imagine, if you will, myself (with no muscles) and two children. First was getting it off the roof of the car, then up the stairs and around the corner to get into the door, which just so happens to be smaller than the tree. Getting it set into the stand was something that should have been video taped...I'm sure we would have won the $10,000 prize on Funny Videos.

Since putting the wood burner in the living room several years ago, for safety reasons we made the decision to no longer have a real tree. Now that I think about it, since Papa Bear and I are empty-nesters, the whole Christmas Tree picking out probably wouldn't be as much fun, and I'm pretty certain I couldn't get him to do the 'smell test' with me.

This evening I will be doing the annual decorating. Christmas music will be playing, hot chocolate will be consumed, the tree will come out, and pine scented candle will be burned. It may not be the same as when the boys were small, it's still a most enjoyable magical time.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Garage cleaning blues

The crispness in the air, the leaves off the trees, the frost on the window reminds me of....

the huge mess in the garage needing to be cleaned.

We have a very small one car garage. In fact, it's so small, when I pull in, I have to pull in close to the wall on the passenger side which still only leaves me able to open the drivers side door part way. I have to get in and out sideways.

Having such a small garage means all the 'stuff' I store in there throughout the year has to find another home for the winter. And there is alot of 'stuff'. Each year when it comes time to clean the garage, I vow to not let it get so bad again....I can't even remember how many times I've made that vow, but I haven't lived up to it yet.

Now, the frost is here, and I need to attack it again. I'll spend a couple of days going through all the 'stuff', getting rid of much of it so I don't have to try and find somewhere else to stash it. I'll run across items and say to myself, "Oh yeah, I forgot all about this".

As much as I dread this annual task, I dread even more having to scrape my car windows, or worse yet, having the car doors froze shut. Being a volunteer for our local ambulance, it's important for me to be able to respond to a call immediately.

Alright, after this winter, I vow to not let my garage get so bad....yeah right, who am I kidding?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Little Town

I don't know if I've shared with you about my little town. It's a great little town. My parents moved us here in 1969 and I can't imagine living anywhere else. Oh, believe me, I've tried a couple of times, and each time, I couldn't wait to get back to my little town.

You see, in my little town, we have some wonderful people. People who look out for their neighbors. People who ask "How are you today?", and want to hear your answer. People who pitch in when someone is in need. My little town has two small churches, both of them having families dating back to the beginning of times. There are places to eat, places to drink and a place to get your gas. All these places are hotspots for catching up on the happenings around town.

We have a police chief, a fire chief and an ambulance director, all of which can be called at their homes. We have a Mayor that has lived most of his life here. We have two town workers and they were both raised here as well.

My little town has Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. We have youth baseball that most kids in town play in the summer. We also have the Community Club that basically is the backbone for things getting done. Most importantly, we have the VFW...and the 2nd Saturday Chicken Fry! Oh man, my mouth is watering just thinking about the Chicken Fry. I've been attending this since I was just a little girl. Everyone knows about the Chicken Fry, and it's also known to come early or take the chance of the chicken being gone.

Unfortunately, my little town no longer has it's own school system. Many years ago we went together with several other little towns to make one big school system for us all. Due to this, our High School building was no longer needed and was torn down. I live across the street from the school and can tell you what a sad sad summer that was. Many people brought their lawn chairs and sat in our yard to watch. On the plus side, our children have the opportunity for a much better education. I guess I'm just taking a walk down memory lane though and missing the good old days at WHS.


I love my little town. Over the past forty-some years, I think I have covered every square inch of it either by walking, biking or skateboarding. Life long friends have been made here. My first kiss was at a football game here. I learned to ride a bike on it's streets, shoveled it's sidewalks, cleaned trash out of it's ditches.

Yeah, my little town is a great place to be, I sure am thankful my parents wanted to move out of the city and raise their family here.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bunny herd

Every so often I get the urge to move around my furniture. Being in a small house, there isn't a whole lot of room for moving, but sometimes just changing a few things scratches the rearranging itch for me. Yesterday I decided the couch was going to go on an angle instead of flat against the wall, no big deal, right?


Upon moving said couch, I was greeted by an angry herd of dust bunnies! Let me tell you, they were none too happy about being rounded up either, they fought me every inch of the way. I think they were even trying to bite my ankles.

Have you ever tried to round up a herd of dust bunnies? It's no easy task. They skitter around this way and that. Oh sure, they look all innocent and quiet, I assure you, they are most definitely not. Just when you think you have them right where you want them, they take off in all different directions.

I am proud to say, I finally won the battle with these little critters. They are safe and sound in their new home (Sshhhhh...they don't know it's a garbage can, I told them in was a high rise apartment). The couch is at an angle and my need to rearrange has been taken care of (for today).


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving pizza

Pizza from a bar was our Thanksgiving feast this year. I would normally hang my head in shame after saying that statement, what do you do though when you enter a town on a holiday that has nothing else open?

Papa Bear and I drove 13 hours to visit Ben in South Dakota over the long weekend, not knowing we would be in the middle of nowhere at least 7 of those hours. At one point, we had traveled so very long and not come across a town, I thought we were going to have to pull over on the side of the road or I was going to wet myself right there in the truck! Good news for the truck, we came to a gas station that was open. Before you laugh at me, if you have ever been at that critical point, you know the relief I felt and I didn't even care it wasn't exactly the cleanest restroom I had ever been in.

Upon arrival in Ben's town, we quickly realized the hotel and the bar were about all that was open. Since the hotel didn't serve any food, that left us with bar pizza. Oh well, we got the pizza, went to Ben's house and enjoyed time together.

It did this Mama's heart good to see her son. I'm still not completely sold on the idea of him being 13 hours away, but I'm not completely horrified by it anymore either. Our visit and time together was much too short, and Mama had tears when it was time for good-byes. Thank goodness for phones and texting. (Should I mention that I texted him just minutes after our leaving to let him know I missed him already??)

Why is it the offspring enjoy the cutting of the apron strings much more then the parents do?


Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday?

Admitedly, I am a wanna-be Black Friday shopper. I did actually sit in the frozen foods aisle last year after midnight for several hours in order to get a wonderful deal on a TV, but that is the extent of it for me.

I have a wonderful friend who is a Black Friday shopper from way back. She and her husband plan their stradegy, split up when they hit the stores, check out and get home before most of us are even up in the morning. I marvel at their talent.

I'm hoping to spend good quality time with them next year, learning from the Masters.

So Dear friends, do you do Black Friday?


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Keep it to yourself


Yesterday I said it was the season to be's also the season for a rise in break-ins. Thanks to social media sites, our comings and goings are being made public for the whole world to see. This includes people who might have a bit of a dishonest side to them.

I know we are all excited to go over the river and through the woods to grandmas house, keep it to yourself until you are home. Once home, feel free to blow up Facebook and Twitter with the fun times. If you announce it before-hand, you are announcing to the world of your home being left unprotected. You are announcing to the world to please come break in and take everything that is important to us. By the way, since we are gone for a few days, feel free to sleep and shower, I'll leave food in the fridge for you.

If you can, it's also a good idea to put some lights on a timer making it look as if someone where home.

Take all the precautions you can while gone, it would sure ruin the trip to grandmas if you came home to a break-in.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hanging of the lights

Christmas in October? That's what seems to happen anymore, Christmas items come out in the store the same time as Halloween items. I'm a firm believer in each holiday getting to have their own time. Easter eggs should not be hid in July (eewww, can you imagine the smell of the ones not found?), Tom the Turkey should not be running around going gobble gobble gobble when the Ground Hog is trying to see it's shadow, and Fireworks should not be going boom boom boom while the Valentine heart is working it's magic (well, on second thought, maybe those two should go together).

After saying this, I almost hang my head in shame to tell you today, three days before Thanksgiving, we are putting the Christmas lights up. Does it make things better to say they won't be on until after Thanksgiving? Oh yeah, no decorations will be going up...there, that makes it better...right?

I love love love driving around to look at homes decorated for Christmas. I would love to have one of those beautiful homes. For now, I am content to be able to have lights on the house, for now. I have some very dear friends who are into the whole outside decorating, maybe if I rub elbows with them some of their creativity will rub off on me. That would be super cool.


Friday, November 18, 2011


I have several ponderings going on in my brain today, too many to pick just one thing to write about, so I thought I would give you a peak inside my head. Warning: May be harmful to your health

* I am pleased to announce the first lighting of the woodburner has taken place today. I must tell you though, it was no easy task getting that thing going. There is a wind blowing about 500 mph right down the chimney. Persistence paid off and it will soon be toasty warm in here.

* Is it wrong to say "Bless you" when the dog sneezes?

* I'm trying the new Downey Unstopables in my laundry today and the laundry room is smelling just wonderful!

* Is it possible to overdose on peppermint hot chocolate? If it is and you don't hear from me for awhile...send help please.

* If the wind blows hard enough to take the last leaves off the tree, why does it not then blow them out of my yard?

* How do birds keep from getting frostbite on their skinny little legs?

* Papa Bear is absolutely the best husband ever. He takes care of me, he supports me in my interests, he puts up with me. That man needs a halo.

* I'm having fun watching the ticker on this blog now, it's interesting to see how many people actually come here. I had no idea there were so many. Thank you to all who take the time to come to Bear Necessities and read my ramblings!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Butt wipes

I've been giving thought this morning as to what I'm thankful for. There are so very many things, making it difficult to pick just one. The health of my family. My dear close friends. Roof over my head, food in my belly, clothes on my back and a flush toilet. Yes, these are all things I'm thankful for.

As I sat here contemplating which one to write about, an event happened in my life bringing a new thankful thing right to the top of the list...butt wipes! For you readers who join me in having children pre-butt wipes, you know what a luxury these little bits of disposable goodness are.

Back in the day, when there would be a diaper blow out, in a cloth diaper of course, we would use washcloths to clean up the mess. Yep, no just wiping the dirty area then toss wipe, diaper and all in the trash. No sir, after wiping the dirty area, we then had to clean up what we cleaned up with...kind of a never ending cycle.

As I cleaned up a dirty area this morning, I realized how very thankful I am for butt wipes.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Faith like Job

I was thinking today about Job's wife and her reaction as Job went through his own personal hell.

Job was a wealthy man with several children. His love for the Lord was great. That old stinker satan told God he could break Job. God had lots of faith in Job and let that old stinker try. Job lost his children, his servants and his livestock. He had boils festering all over his body. Life in general was not a bed of roses for Job at this point.

Job still loved God.

Enter Job's wife. She did not have the same faith as her husband. She said to him, "Why don't you just curse God and die?"

Job still loved God.

How many times have we gone through rough stuff and wonder why God is letting this happen? Did you ever think maybe God is letting that old stinker satan try his best because God has so much faith in you?


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Woodburner time

Sitting here in my comfortable chair, drinking a nice warm cup of tea and watching the last few beautiful yellow leaves falling from the tree out front. The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing and the temperature demands a light jacket. It's the time of year to put up the lawn furniture and get the Christmas lights hung before the cold sets in. Time to put the finishing touches on the outdoor projects. Time to clean out the garage so the car can go in it.

This is also time to get the woodburner ready for the long winter. We've had ours inspected and cleaned and the wood pile has been moved closer to the house (thanks to hiring the neighbor boy).

Not that I'm wanting the beautiful fall weather to end soon, but I'm ready to get that woodburner fired up. To hear the crackling of the wood, to feel the cozy warmth, to smell the wonderful wood smell outside. I'm looking forward to nights of the wind blowing the snow while I sit in my comfortable chair drinking a cup of warm tea while crocheting in the warmth of the fire. I'm looking forward to snuggling with Papa Bear and watching a movie.

Reality check

Oh drat, my mind completely forgot about the cleaning of the woodstove and going out into the cold to bring wood in. Why is it there must be work involved in order to enjoy this simple pleasure? Wait a minute, if there is work, then it no longer is simple...and no longer just a pleasure. I am definitely not liking this now!

Back to my own little world

Aaahhhh, this is much better. I'm back sitting in front of the woodburner in my comfortable chair drinking tea and crocheting. I really love my own little world.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Got nothin'

Those who know me well will understand what a milestone this is for me....I have nothing to say! I've searched my mind this morning trying to find something of substance to share with you, and I got nothin'. I didn't think this was even possible! So, Dear Reader, my empty head and I bid you a very happy Monday and may God bless you with happiness today.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Definate God Moment

Have you ever experianced a moment you just know is from God? I had one of those last night and was it ever awesome! I was driving out of town, in a hurry of course, and was stuck behind a pickup going below the speed limit. As I put my hand on the turn signal, I had a vision of running into a deer...I took my hand off the turn signal and right then a deer ran out in front of the pickup!

Boy, did I ever let out a big "Thank you" to God. I then had to call my friend Alicia and tell her about my God Moment 'cause it was way too awesome to keep to myself!

Monday, November 7, 2011

All Saints Day

Church yesterday morning was a very moving service. All Saints Day always is. The names of loved ones who have passed in the last year are read one at a time while someone comes forward and lights a pillar candle for them. Yesterday morning, 17 names were read. After this, the entire congregation is invited forward to light a tea light in memory of any loved one who has passed. Watching this service is moving enough, but to actually take part in it, well, let's just say I don't think there were any dry eyes in the whole place.

If you are ever able to witness this service, I urge you to do so.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Psalms 25:15-18

"I look to the Lord for help at all times, and He rescues me from danger. Turn to me, Lord, and be merciful to me, because I am lonely and weak. Relieve me of my worries and save me from all my troubles. Consider my distress and suffering and forgive all my sins."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Baked Pumpkin Seeds

Halloween is over and you now have several pumpkins in your yard needing some attention. Before deciding to discard the lovely orange decorations, why not decide to eat them? Well, maybe not the whole thing, but who can resist those scrumptious seeds hiding inside? Mmmmmm. Just thinking about it brings back childhood memories of my mom making up this delicious snack for us (of course, us kids had to separate the seeds first from all the pumpkin guts).

Here is a recipe I have been enjoying for quite some time:

Baked pumpkin seeds

1 1/2 tablespoons margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds

1.Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
2.Combine the margarine, salt, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce and pumpkin seeds. Mix thoroughly and place in shallow baking dish.
3.Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

I have been using olive oil instead of the butter for a healthier snack, however, I must admit I like the butter flavor better.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pan fried Tilapia

I'm not a big fan of eating fish, it's something I have been learning to do since it is good for me (why can't everything that is good for me taste like chocolate??). I usually bake my fish with butter and seasoning. Not bad, but I get a bit tired of that. So...last night I decided to make my own recipe! I've quite telling Papa Bear when I've done this as it's hard not to laugh when I see the look of fear on his face. The poor man, he is such a sweetie to always eat whatever it is, he just politely asks me not to make it again.

This fish though, he requested it again! Yippee! I'll share the recipe with you, as long as you don't laugh at my secret ingredient...homemade teriyaki sauce.

Pan fried Tilapia
mix together beaten egg and teriyaki sauce
mix together whole wheat flour and cornmeal
mix together garlic-pepper, onion powder and a bit of chili seasoning

Dip thawed Tilapia in wet mixture, then cover well in dry mixture. Place in heavy pan (I use cast iron) with 1/4 inch hot oil, sprinkle generously with spice mixture. Cook over medium heat until brown. Carefully turn fish over, careful not to splash the hot oil. Generously sprinkle spice mixture on this side. Cook until done...usually about 10 minutes total time. Remove from pan to paper towel before serving.

I served this with butternut squash risotto and steamed asparagus.

I know the frying kind of defeats the purpose of healthy, but hey, just gotta live on the edge sometimes.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Explore feelings? Nah...nevermind

Several years ago (many many several years ago) I had my 32nd birthday. This was the birthday that sent me for a loop. You know what I mean, that certain birthday that really gets to you. Yeah, 32 was it for me.

I was at a rough spot in a former relationship...and I found my first real wrinkle!

To try and counter the bad feelings, I started tanning again (yeah, that's a smart thing to do when a person is already concerned about wrinkles), got another tattoo, totally changed my hair...and got my navel pierced. My little bear, Ben, went with me for the piercing and picked out my navel ring. In the several (many many several) years since that time, that ring has never been out. I had a hysterectomy and it stayed in. Yesterday, it had to come out.

I was having a medical procedure done that required absolutley no jewlery to be worn. After explaining the length of time said ring has been attached to my body, I was given the option to leave it in...but would have to sign a release form in case of getting burned. Would you believe I actually was considering it?! I didn't realize the attachment I have to this silly little thing.

I'm sure I could take some time and search my mind as to why this bothered me so...but that would take effort. Instead, I just put it back in and all is right in the world again.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Please schedule your appointment

The end of the month is fast approaching and so is the end of Breast Cancer Awareness month. This in no way means we should drop our guard on this terrible disease though.

With permission, I'm going to share with you my friend Kims story:

Yes-mammogram's can save lives. Case in point: I had my mammogram on Oct. 4. A recheck was advised and calcium deposits were detected (the deposits mean that there are active cells). A biopsy confirmed atypical aplasia, which means we caught it BEFORE it turned cancerous!! I'll be going in for a lumpectomy in the very near future. GET THOSE MAMMOGRAM'S, PLEASE! ♥

Please, dear reader, I can't stress enough the importance of monthly self breast exams and an annual mammogram. Is it a great time? Well, only if you enjoy getting your boobies squished, but the small amount of discomfort is nothing compared to breast cancer. Please, please, pretty please with a cherry on top--schedule your mammogram.

The last few weeks have been tough on the old menu making. Papa Bear isn't home until late every night and I have a hard time making a whole meal just for myself. Because of this, my eating habits have gone by the wayside. Time to get back to real meals and healthier eating.

Beef stir-fry over noodles

Baked Tilapia
seasoned rice

Meal at the Rescue Unit

Grilled marinated chicken breast
Fried potatoes and beets

Dinner at the Cafe`

Sunday, October 23, 2011

20 Years ago today...

20 years ago this morning, my youngest son made his appearance into this world. He gave us a good scare, not taking any breaths....I should have known right then and there he was going to be a stubborn one! I won't say life has always been rosey, but he sure has kept it an adventure for us!

Now, 20 years later, he is no longer my little boy. He is growing up and living on his own in a totally different state...much to the dislike of Mama Bear. I do believe it just might be time for me to get those scissors out and cut that apron string. *sigh* I think he's been trying to untie himself from it for the last few years, but Mama has a bit of a stubborn side to her also and has been ignoring him.

So my dear son, Happy Birthday to you! Mama and Papa love you very much.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I don't want to forgive them! They hurt me, took something of mine, talked about me, snubbed me...I don't want to forgive!!!

Ever feel like this? Like you have been wronged? Ever want to burn a hole in someones forehead with your laser-beam eye? Yeah, I think we've all been there. It's normal to feel anger when we have been hurt. Guess what, we're supposed to let it go! Are you believing this?? Someone hurts us and we're supposed to let it go!! Who came up with that rule? {pause for reflection} Oh yeah, the Bible says it. That Bible sure can make life difficult sometimes.

Forgiveness is an area I've been in struggle with lately. I try to practise it. I think I do ok with it...then something happens that brings the bad feelings back to the surface and it seems all the forgiveness I thought I did is gone. *sigh*

All I can do is pray for the Lord to help heal my hurt heart and feelings. Only He can do it. Trying to do it on my own isn't working. One of my favorite scriptures is "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". Why then do I feel the need to try and do things on my own?

I need to remember also that if I want the Lord to forgive MY wrongs, then I need to forgive those who have wronged me. Besides...unforgiveness and bitterness causes wrinkles!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Closet cleaning time

Fall is upon us and it's time to change our closets and dressers from warm weather clothing to cool weather clothing. Here are some tips on doing just that:

Take everything out of your closet. Even your shoes. You can start with the hanging items and move to the folded clothes and drawers. Or start with folded clothes and drawers, whichever is more of a mess. But take everything out.

Dust all the shelves, hanging rods and shoe storage areas. You want your closet to sparkle and avoid having dusty marks on your spring clothes, so clean it out before putting anything back in.

Clean the inside of the drawers with a damp, soft cloth. This will remove all the lingering little pieces of fluff, dirt, drawer-sachet-explosion and mess.

Vacuum the floor and wipe down the baseboards.

Wipe down the closet door.

Put your spring and summer clothes into storage. Make sure they're neatly folded with tissue placed in easily wrinkled clothes. Use sachets to keep them smelling fresh and mothballs to deter varmints.

Pull out your fall and winter clothes. Evaluate each item. If it's stained, set it aside to be cleaned (either at the cleaners or your hamper). If it needs repair, put it into a repairs area. If it's too small, give it away. If it needs ironing, set it in the ironing pile. The goal is to walk into a closet that is full of clothes that you can get dressed into comfortably and quickly.

Place your clothes back in the closet and dresser. As you hang them, turn hangers around backwards. As you wear an item, place the hanger the right way. When it comes time to do your spring closet cleaning, you will be able to see which items you are not using and able to remove. Make sure to organize like items together as you put them away.

If your no longer wanted clothes are in good shape, consider donating them to your local thrift store.

Now, stand back and admire your work!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday's Word

Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 1 Corinthians 15: 33

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Doily confession

It's been said that confession is good for the soul...*sigh*...I'm a doily-aholic. There, my dainty little secret is now out there for the world to know. I'm also pretty fond of runners. In fact, if it weren't for the fact that Papa Bear would go crazy, I'd have doilies and runners all over the house! In truth though, I only keep a few of them out.

You know, I do believe I feel a bit better now for sharing my secret with you.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Three Simple Rules

This summer, I picked up the book Three Simple Rules. If you don't mind, I would like to share some of this book with you.

There are three simple rules that have the power to change the world...
*Do no harm
*Do good
*Stay in love with God

~Do others look at us and see God at work in our life? Is our way of living life-giving rather than life-draining?

~When we agree that we will not harm those with whom we disagree, conversation, dialogue, and discovery of new insight become possible.

~To follow Jesus is to desire to be like him in our living and our dying. For some of us, that choice is just too frightening and too demanding; so we follow at a distance or turn away.

~To do no harm means that I will be on guard so all my actions and even my silence will not add injury to another.

~Doing good is not limited to those like me or those who like me. Doing good is directed to everyone, even those who do no fit my category of 'worthy' to receive any good that I can direct their way.

~Staying in love with God is the foundation to all of life.

~The failures of the past are to be forgotten and the new possibilities are to be embraced.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Homeless Poem

I have a Master
we don't have a home...
we wander through town
he calls us "rolling stones"..

People call him crazy
they can be so cruel...
some people call him lazy...
this is so untrue...

My master is a Veteran
he was a prisoner of war
now he's just forgotten
but that's what he's got me for.

Some nights we go hungry
Some nights we are cold
but my master does his best
even if he's kinda old...

I help him search the garbage cans
for our daily meal....
and a place to rest our heads....
a cardboard box is our best deal....

and when tomorrow morning comes
and the policemen kick us out...
at least we have eachother...
For that is never a doubt.

written by Savana Frame

Monday, October 3, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thankful Plumbing

I am very thankful for indoor plumbing. There, I said it and I am not ashamed.

I have a passion for things of the Little House on the Prairie era. There are just some things I would like to stay modern about though. When I am at Boy Scout camp each summer, I use non-modern methods of plumbing...which make me appreciate my toilet so much when I get home. Are you snickering at me right now? Go ahead, go without your flush toilet for a bit and see if you aren't right there next to me in being thankful. Are you at the age of getting up each night? Imagine it's winter, or pouring down rain, and you have to walk 25 yards out in the dark just to take care of business.

Yeah, I'm pretty thankful for my toilet.

**To see more of my Thankful Thursdays, scroll down a bit and you will see a link on the left hand side for them**

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Apple of a Day

Apples, apples, everywhere are apples! At least, that's how it was in my kitchen yesterday...and I enjoyed every minute of it.

My dear friend, Alicia, came over yesterday for a lesson in canning. When we talked about getting together, I don't think she really had any idea what she was getting herself into. She was a trooper though. I showed her what to do and she put up 13 quarts of applesauce, filled the dehydrator, made three batches for leathers AND made her very first pie! I'm sure she slept well last night.

Providing for our own needs is becoming a lost art. It's wonderful to see someone get excited about it. Alicia has also re-newed my interest in it. I've been wanting to teach myself to can meat and soups the last couple of winters, I just haven't seemed to get it done. Now though, I have inspiration! Once I learn, then I will teach this to Alicia also. I guess with only having biological sons, I haven't had a daughter at my side to teach these skills to.

If canning/preserving is something you are interested in but don't have anyone to teach you, don't despair! I didn't either. I purchased Ball's Blue Book of Canning at Wal-Mart, watched yard sales for supplies, used the internet alot, and just learned my way through it.

So, dear reader, get out and get yourself some fresh fruit and veggies and preserve away!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bedroom checklist

A woman on Prairie Homemaker (a wonderful frugal Christian site) was asking about cleaning/organizing her bedroom. This led me to find something that I could also use as the bedroom is a constant trial in my domestic life. This week, I will be working on following this list.

bedroom checklist

 if you don't like something in your closet, you probably won't ever like it, so pass it on
 turn all of your hangars around backward and then when you wear something, hang it up the right way
 make a list of any essentials you need for the holiday
 pack away your seasonal wardrobe so that you have more space in your dresser and closet

flat surfaces
 scale back the number of knick knacks and mementos you keep
 clean off flat surfaces and find homes for the things you tend to just set down.
 sort through books & magazines and give away any that you won't read again

 sort through the piles in your room and find homes for the items
 empty the closet shelves and sort through any long-term storage
 in the guest room, organize and sort through your storage to create an inviting space

 wash mattress covers & replace any old or worn out pillows.
 wash sheets and hang comforters outside to air out.
 dust ceiling fans & reverse fan direction
 dust high shelves, window & door frames
 dust dressers/tvs
 dust shelves/knickknacks
 clean blinds and shades
 clean windows/mirrors/screens
 spot clean upholstery & carpet
 clean under/behind the couch
 wipe baseboards
 vacuum and/or mop

 don't let flat surfaces accumulate stuff, find a home for the stuff
 don't use your master bedroom as a catch all
 dust & clean glass/mirrors weekly
 pass on any clothes that you haven't worn after 6-8 weeks unless they're special occasion items

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Autumn!

"It's the most, wonderful time, of the year...."

Yeah, I know, that song goes with winter, but I believe Autumn is the most wonderful time. I love the little bit of chill in the morning and evening with beautiful days. Colors will soon begin to pop in the trees. Farmers are in the fields. Time is spent with good friends around a fire...which means marshmallows!

Papa Bear was busy last night so I sat outside at the fire ring by myself. Mind you, there was no actual fire in the fire ring, but I sat there in the cool darkness just in awe of how beautiful and still the night was.

So, dear reader, I wish to welcome you to the first day of Autumn.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday's Word

I've been spending some time in Psalms this week. I look back over the years and wonder why I've waited so long to have an interest in this book of the Bible.

Those who know you, Lord, will trust you; you do not abandon anyone who comes to you. God remembers those who suffer; he does not forget their cry, and he punishes those who wrong them.
Psalms 9:10,12

I would also like to ask for prayer for a classmate of mine who was in a car accident this morning. Her name is Sherri.

Monday, September 19, 2011

How to fold a shirt

I thought I would give you, dear readers, something to do when you are sitting around being bored. Go ahead, give it a try. I bet you watch this video more than one time.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Goodness gracious, I haven't posted since Wednesday...what ever was I thinking? I do believe I will excuse it with being busy..yeah, that's it, I was busy.

For real though, I have been keeping myself busy with odds and ends stuff. I also received my fruit from the co-op which I needed to start on. The two bushels of apples will wait in the garage a bit as I have a list of items I want/need to accomplish in the home. *Sigh* Isn't a household list something that never goes away?

One day, my yard will be perfectly groomed. My home will be perfectly clean and organized. My cooking will rival that of any chef. My free time...well, I'll HAVE free time.

Oh, sorry about that, I was daydreaming again.

Here goes the menu for the week:

Homemade ham and bean soup
crescent rolls
home canned peaches

Grilled pork chops
seasoned rice
homemade applesauce

Wednesday and Thursday
Working on cleaning out the freezer, so will be cooking things long since forgotten out of it.

Buffet at the Cafe`

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Blue Cheese Burger

I've had a request for my Blue Cheese Burger recipe so thought I would share it with you all. As many of you know, I am not a complicated cook by any means...short, sweet and simple is how I like to go.

I start by mixing some crunched up crackers and a little of my favorite BBQ sauce (of course, only Main Street BBQ Sweet n' Sassy Sauce will do around here) in with the burger. Once this is done, I divide the meat out into burger size portions. Each portion is divided in half. I make a ball and flatten out one half and then sprinkle some dry blue cheese crumbles on it.

I make a ball and flatten the other half, laying it on top the first part, crimping the edges and making it the shape I want for the grill.


Near the end of cooking, I like to spread just a touch of BBQ sauce on top the burger and let it cook in. We also top this with creamy blue cheese dressing on the bun. MmMmMm...enjoy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cute cute cute

Is this not just the cutest little thing? I have a family of ground squirrels living in/under my yard. Every day I am able to enjoy watching them eat from under the bird feeder.

Unfortunately, my cat also has been enjoying a snack! Darn cat. He is forced into being an indoor cat, but he very much wants to be outdoors. This is a battle we have fought for the last 10 years when we found him as a little kitten. Anyway, any chance he has to scoot out the door, he takes. To top it off, after he sneaks out, he then feels the need to bring me his leftovers! Darn cat.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Still working the menu!

I am pleased to say I am still (for the most part) working the weekly menu!! I know, I know, I haven't posted the last couple of weeks, but I DID have a plan to work from!

Roast w/gravy
salt potatoes
green beans

Grilled chicken salad

Blue cheese burgers on the grill
steamed broccoli
fresh tomato

Marinated elk steak on the grill
grilled potatoes
fresh fruit

Buffet at the Cafe`

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where were you?

"Where were you when the world stopped turning?" This song by Alan Jackson, 10 years later, still brings a sadness to my heart.

There are dates in our lives that will always be etched into our minds: the day we are married, the day our children were born, the day the first men walked on the moon, September 11, 2001.

I was sitting in my chair, drinking a cup of coffee and talking to a dear friend while we both watched Good Morning America. I'll never forget the feeling of unbelief as I watched so many people die.

My oldest step-daughter was getting married that day and we had a whole morning of pampering planned, but none of it happened. The wedding took place, but for me, there was a damper on it.

I called my younger brother, who is in the National Guard, and cried.

I waited in line for what seemed like an ridiculous amount of time to get very expensive gas.

Papa Bear and I took Little Bear with us to Aldi and bought two shopping carts piled full of items.

My view on my security has changed since that day. I no longer believe we are safe. I know at anytime, we could be the next target. I've studied survival skills and how we would live without modern conviniances.

102 minutes, 10 years ago. Where were you?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Budweiser Commercial

I have seen this commercial serveral times floating around the internet and with the 10 year anniversary of 9-11-01 soon upon us, I just couldn't pass up sharing it with all of you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Texas Wildfire

I'm sure we are all aware of the wildfires devestating Texas. This morning I got word of a friends home that was destroyed. All her pictures are gone. All items belonging to her mother, who has passed, are gone. Pretty much anything she owns, is gone.

Thankfully, both her husband and herself are physically fine. Emotionally though, I can't even imagine the pain.

This bad news has me thinking, what would I grab if I had to evacuate my home? Some obvious things would be the computer, my home binder with all my important information in it, money, medications, clothes, address book, the tote with my son's belonging who is now in heaven.

I think about pictures and how they are all over the place around here, not nice and neat in albums (Put that on my to-do list). What about the quilts my grandmother made? All the childhood items belonging to my children?

This leads my brain to thinking, what if my home caught fire and I didn't have time to grab items of importance?

I do believe I will be giving this situation some long thought. Maybe it's time to start looking into a fireproof safe.

My prayers go out to Marilyn and Dale.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday's Word

Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed.

Ephesians 4:29

Negative comments only discourage and tear down. Positive comments encourage and build.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Immune Defense

It's the time of year that brings a bit of crispness to the air in the morning, fields are drying and will soon be harvested, and noses start running.

It's the time of year I break out my two favorite products: local raw honey and Emergen-C. I drink this daily in a cup of hot water, sometimes multiple times a day. With my line of work, I am constantly surrounded by snotty little noses. Since starting this drink several years ago, my own personal snotty nose time has been greatly reduced.

If you are unable to find local raw honey in your area, you can use the store-bought kind, I just prefer the local raw type as it also helps with allergies.

So, why not invest in a box of Emergen-C from your local Wal-Mart and give it a try? What do you have to lose...except the snotty nose?!

Friday, September 2, 2011

You grew up in the midwest if...

You know how to polka, but never tried it sober.
You know what knee-high by the Fourth of July means.

3. You know it is traditional for the bride and groom to go bar
hopping between the wedding and the reception.
You know the difference between "Green" and "Red" farm
machinery, and would fight with your friends on the playground over
which was better!

5. You buy Christmas presents at 'Fleet Farm'
or 'Tractor Supply'.

You spent more on beer and liquor than you did on food at your wedding.

You have ever tried to get your city cousins to pee on the electric
You or someone you know was a "Bean/Sugar Queen" at the
county fair.
You know that "combine" is a noun.
You let your older siblings talk you into putting your tongue on a
steel post in the middle of winter.
You think Lutheran and Catholic are THE major religions.
You know that "creek" rhymes with "pick".
Football schedules, hunting season and harvest are all taken into
consideration before wedding dates are set.
A Friday night date is getting a six-pack and taking your girlfriend
shining for deer.
There was at least one kid in your class who had to help milk cows in
the morning... phew.
You have driven your car on a lake.
You can make sense of "upnort" and "batree".
At every wedding reception you have ever been to, the hokey pokey and
the chicken dance have been played.
Your definition of a small town is one that only has one bar.
The local gas station sells live bait.
At least twice a year some part of your home doubles as a meat
processing plant.
You think that the start of deer season is a national holiday.
Pop is the only name for soda.
You actually understand these jokes.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Free Movies

Who doesn't love free? I'd like to pass on to you, my dear friend, a site that has gobs of free movies to watch.

I've been eye-balling a few of the movies already, now just need to find the time to sit and watch them.

What a great way to spend a little time with the family that is absolutely free! So, pop the popcorn, grab your beverage of choice and relax with a good movie.

Wednesday's Word

But God was with him and brought him safely through all his troubles.
Acts 7:10

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Important Cell Phone information

Print this - keep it in your car - cell phone info.

4 Things you might not have known about your Cell Phone

For all the folks with cell phones. (This should be printed and kept in your car, purse, and wallet. Good information to have with you.)

There are a few things that can be done in times of grave emergencies.
Your mobile phone can actually be a life saver or an emergency tool for survival.

Check out the things that you can do with it:

FIRST (Emergency)
The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile network and there is an Emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you, and interestingly, this number 112 can be dialed even if the keypad is locked. Try it out.

SECOND (Hidden Battery Power)
Imagine your cell battery is very low. To activate, press the keys *3370#. Your cell phone will restart with this reserve and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery. This reserve will get charged when you charge your cell phone next time.
THIRD (How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone? )
To check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the following Digits on your phone: *#06# .

A 15-digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe.
If your phone is stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless. You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it either. If everybody does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones.

And Finally....
FOURTH (Free Directory Service for Cells)
Cell phone companies are charging us $1.00 to $1.75 or more for 411 information calls when they don't have to. Most of us do not carry a telephone directory in our vehicle, which makes this situation even more of a problem. When you need to use the 411 information option, simply dial:
(800) FREE411 or (800) 373-3411
without incurring any charge at all. Program this into your cell phone now.
This is sponsored by McDonalds.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Enjoying Life

For those of you who know me, you know my life is generally crazy busy most of the time. Papa Bear and I don't spend a whole lot of time together because of it (and because of his crazy schedule). The last couple of months though have been like a breath of fresh air. For one reason or another, I have gone from being busy three or so nights a week to only maybe one! Can you hear the excitement in my voice? Yippee Skippee!!

Because of this freedom on my time, Papa Bear and I have been able to spend much needed time together. We camped the last two weekends...something we hadn't been able to do all summer up to this point. We've been taking rides on the bikes. I ride with him to Menard's just 'cause I can.

I'm sure this will not last long as Boy Scouts is starting back up soon, but I am going to very much enjoy it while I can.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Flashback Friday

I was thinking the other day about all the old shows I used to watch with the children on Nick Jr. Little Bear, Franklin, Blue's Clues, Alegra's Window....and one of my favorites--Gullah Gullah Island.

Don't get me wrong, I like many of today's shows also, but my heart has a special spot for some of these 'oldies'.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Yellow Shirt

This is a story sent to me by my dear aunt. It is just a story, yet very touching.

The yellow shirt had long sleeves, four extra-large pockets trimmed in black thread and snaps up the front. It was faded from years of wear, but still in decent shape. I found it in 1963 when I was home from college on Christmas break, rummaging through bags of clothes Mom intended to give away..
'You're not taking that old thing, are you?' Mom said when she saw me packing the yellow shirt.. 'I wore that when I was pregnant with your brother in 1954!'

'It's just the thing to wear over my clothes during art class, Mom. Thanks!' I slipped it into my suitcase before she could object. The yellow shirt be came a part of my college wardrobe. I loved it..
After graduation, I wore the shirt the day I moved into my new apartment and on Saturday mornings when I cleaned.

The next year, I married. When I became pregnant, I wore the yellow shirt during big-belly days. I missed Mom and the rest of my family, since we were in Colorado and they were in Illinois .. But, that shirt helped. I smiled, remembering that Mother had worn it when she was pregnant, 25 years earlier.

That Christmas, mindful of the warm feelings the shirt had given me, I patched one elbow, wrapped it in holiday paper and sent it to Mom. When Mom wrote to thank me for her 'real' gifts, she said the yellow shirt was lovely. She never mentioned it again...

The next year, my husband, daughter and I stopped at Mom and Dad 's to pick up some furniture .. Days later, when we uncrated the kitchen table, I noticed something yellow taped to its bottom. The shirt!

And so the pattern was set.

On our next visit home, I secretly placed the shirt under Mom and Dad 's mattress. I don't know how long it took for her to find it, but almost two years passed before I discovered it under the base of our living-room floor lamp. The yellow shirt was just what I needed now while refinishing furniture . The walnut stains added character.

In 1975 my husband and I divorced. With my three children, I prepared to move back to Illinois . As I packed, a deep depression overtook me. I wondered if I could make it on my own. I wondered if I would find a job. I paged through the Bible, looking for comfort. In Ephesians, I read, 'So use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will be standing up.'

I tried to picture myself wearing God's armor, but all I saw was the stained yellow shirt.. Slowly, it dawned on me.. Wasn't my mother's love a piece of God's armor? My courage was renewed.

Unpacking in our new home, I knew I had to get the shirt back to Mother. The next time I visited her, I tucked it in her bottom dresser drawer.

Meanwhile, I found a good job at a radio station. A year later I discovered the yellow shirt hidden in a rag bag in my cleaning closet.

Something new had been added. Embroidered in bright green across the breast pocket were the words 'I BELONG TO PAT.'

Not to be outdone, I got out my own embroidery materials and added an apostrophe and seven more letters.
Now the shirt proudly proclaimed, 'I BELONG TO PAT'S MOTHER.' But I didn't stop there. I zig-zagged all the frayed seams, then had a friend mail the shirt in a fancy box to Mom from Arlington , VA. We enclosed an official looking letter from 'The Institute for the Destitute,' announcing that she was the recipient of an award for good deeds. I would have given anything to see Mom's face when she opened the box. But, of course, she never mentioned it.

Two years later, in 1978, I remarried. The day of our wedding, Harold and I put our car in a friend's garage to avoid practical jokers. After the wedding, while my husband drove us to our honeymoon suite, I reached for a pillow in the car to rest my head. It felt lumpy. I unzipped the case and found, wrapped in wedding paper, the yellow shirt. Inside a pocket was a note: 'Read John 14:27-29. I love you both, Mother.'

That night I paged through the Bible in a hotel room and found the verses: 'I am leaving you with a gift: peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't fragile like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really love me, you will be very happy for me, for now I can go to the Father, who is greater than I am. I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do, you will believe in me.'

The shirt was Mother's final gift. She had known for three months that she had terminal Lou Gehrig 's disease. Mother died the following year at age 57.

I was tempted to send the yellow shirt with her to her grave. But I'm glad I didn't, because it is a vivid reminder of the love-filled game she and I played for 16 years. Besides, my older daughter is in college now, majoring in art. And every art student needs a baggy yellow shirt with big pockets.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Life List

I think we all have things in life we would like to accomplish. Things wanted to be tried, to be experianced, to be learned, to be enjoyed. Since I was just a girl, I have had a 'life list' of these things. Over the years, things have been added and things have been able to be removed. Now, my list isn't anything big and grand, I have no desire to jump out of a plane or climb a huge mountain or walk on fire. My list is rather ordinary, nothing special about it. Never-the-less, it is made up of my hearts desires.

Some things I would like to do include:

*learn to knit/crochet from a pattern
*learn to sew
*run a 5K
*read the Bible from cover to cover
*not have to work anymore
*own a brand new vehicle

As you can see, my list is pretty simple.

So, dear friends, do you have a list? Do you have desires yet accomplished?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday's Menu

Good Monday morning dear friends. I do hope you were able to have a restful weekend. I'm happy to announce my menu planning went well for last week, I was able to follow it every day! So, here goes with my second weekly menu.

BBQ pork sandwiches
sauteed zucchini

Hamburger Helper
green salad

Leftovers for Papa Bear as I have a dinner-meeting


Buffet at the Cafe`

I am very much looking forward to Taco night, it has been years since I've made them and they are just so yummy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday's Word

I've been reading in 2 Corinthians lately, here are a few passages that I've underlined in my Bible.

The scripture says, "I spoke because I believed." In the same spirit of faith we also speak because we believe.

For this reason we never become discouraged. Even though our physical being is gradually decaying, yet our spiritual being is renewed day after day. And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble.

In everything we do we show that we are God's servants by patiently enduring troubles, hardships, and difficutlties.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday's Menu

Wow, it's been 12 days since my last post...what's up with that? I guess with the weather turning nice I'm out with the daycare children more. I've also spent quite a bit of time working on the house...not that my cleaning list is anywhere near done, but it sure does look much better in here. I've also been working hard on clearing my calendar some. Instead of being gone 3-4 nights every week, I'm down to 1-2 instead. I'm enjoying spending more of my free time with Papa Bear! We were actually able to take the motorcycle out two weekends in a row!

Now that things are getting a bit more settled in my new routine, I'm finding myself able to do blogging again. Thanks you, dear friends, for being patient with me as I try to find a healthy balance between real life and internet time.

In my new schedule, I'm going back (trying to anyway) of having a weekly menu. This is the first week (and we'll see how many weeks actually follow! LOL )

Tuna pasta salad
fresh fruit salad
fancy crackers

grilled chicken breast
fettuccine Alfredo
green beans

seasoned burgers on the grill
homemade fries
fresh tomato

baked fish on the grill
seasoned rice

Buffet at the cafe`

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wednesday's Word

Today isn't exactly scripture, however, it is something worth thinking about.

You can't truly love someone unless you respect them.

How many times have we shown disrespect to our loved ones in the form of either words or actions? How many times have we cut down our spouse to our friends? Discussing a problem with a friend is different from cutting down/disrespecting someone. "My husband doesn't do things right." "My wife is the worst housekeeper." These are the types of things that are disrespectful.

Before opening up and saying something about someone you say you love, consider if you would say it if they were standing right there with you.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Done for another year

Well my friends, VBS is over for another year. It exhausts me, yet brings me such joy at the same time. We had our program in church this morning and the children all did such a wonderful job...and they got me in trouble too!

I always do something silly if the children bring friends and reach a certain attendance number. This year I told them I would hula-hoop. My mom and I had a thing going all week with the kids that she was going to get mad at me if I hula'd in of course when I was done this morning she came down the aisle and used my FULL name!! (You all know you are in real trouble when the full name gets used). She then scolded me and took me out of the sanctuary saying I had to go sit in the naughty chair...all this to the delight of the children! THEN the kids went and tattled on me when I got out of the chair! LOL Oh, it was such a great time!

We ended the week this evening with a pot-luck down at the park followed by ice cream sundaes. I know I've said it many times before, but you just can't beat small town living!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cleaning Bug

This so applies to me!

Well dear friend, there is a bug in my house and I fully intend to take advantage of her visit....I'm talking about the ever elusive cleaning bug! She doesn't make a stop at my house all that often, however, I am embracing her visit with open arms. We sat down together this morning with pen and notebook and pretty much filled the front and back of a sheet of paper with the items we would like to accomplish while she is here.

Tomorrow, my day is completely empty ( I know, what's up with that??!) except for lunch with a dear friend. My bug friend and I are going to get an early start on our list and work straight through the day on it. Our goal is to have at least half of it done by the time we turn in for the night.

Due to previous plans, we may not get gobs of time on Sunday, but we're going to give it our best shot on getting the entire list done this weekend!

Hmmm...if my bug friend and I achieve this goal, I must reward us in some way. I'll have to put my thinking cap on about that. Maybe I'll let Papa Bear treat me to dinner out .

Well, off I go, I'll report back to you all on Monday how it went 'cause I'm sure you'll all be sitting on pins and needles waiting to hear.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Death of soldier

I am posting this in hopes that the person/people responsible for the death of this young man will be found. This hits very close to home for a dear friend of mine.

DENVER (CBS4) – A Fort Carson soldier was shot to death on the streets of Denver on Saturday. On Tuesday his parents asked the public to help them find whoever killed him.

Sgt. Anthony Silva, 25, was walking his dog in the 3800 block of Paris Street when he was shot several times. He had been staying at a nearby Motel 6 along Interstate 70 waiting for his father pick him up and drive with him to Illinois.

Silva’s family said they have no reason to believe anyone was specifically trying to target Silva. They believe it was a random crime.

Police haven’t revealed much about the shooting, but they are asking for any witnesses to come forward.

Silva was about to complete his service in the Army after 5 years. He had hurt his back and was leaving the Army for medical reasons. His family said it’s ironic that he spent so much time fighting overseas only to get shot on the street in the U.S.

“He just got out of the Army on Thursday. He was on a leave until he was going to be discharged in August. He was coming home and he had such plans to start his new life as a civilian,” said Diane Silva, Anthony’s mother. “Now it’s the end instead of a new beginning. And he was such a friendly, fun-loving guy with the greatest smile. He loved his dog, he loved his family, he loved his friends. He’s going to be missed so much.”

A makeshift memorial put up by the Silva family at the location Anthony was shot.

While the family was giving the news conference, Diane Silva received a cellphone call that was a reminder that their hometown was holding a prayer service at that moment for Anthony. She broke out in tears at the news.

“He was looking forward to a brand-new start, resuming friendships, going to school,” said Dave Silva, Anthony’s father.

Diane Silva said the streets in their town were lined with American flags to welcome Anthony home.

Anthony’s brother, Joe, is 19-years-old and had been waiting to spend time with his brother again.

“He’s a great guy. He was about to come home. He’s been gone for the last five years and (we had) a lot of catching up to do on the brotherly activities,” Joe Silva said.

The family has collected reward money from friends back home to add to the $2,000 being offered by Crime Stoppers. They say the reward for information is now up to about $5,000.

Anyone with information is asked to call Denver police at (720) 913-2000. Remain anonymous and call Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-STOP (7867). Text to CRIMES (274637) then title DMCS and enter the message or send an e-mail to