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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Beginning of Holy Week

Today, Palm Sunday, marks the beginning of Holy Week, a most important time for Christians.
This week, I will be linking back to my Holy Week posts from last year. If you were a reader last year, it's always good to have a reminder. If you are a newer reader, I hope you will enjoy.

Friday, March 30, 2012

DIY for Spring Gardeners

I was cruising around the internet this morning and found this great idea for watering plants at A journey to a Dream blog.

Not only is it pretty cool, it also practises something I'm a big fan of~~recycling!

Hop on over and take a look.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

MmMmMm...yummy banana bread

My kitchen is smelling all kinds of scrumptious this morning. As I sit here and type, there are exactly 34 minutes left on the timer until the yummy banana bread can be taken out of the convection oven. After that, I will force myself to wait the required 5 minutes for the bread to start cooling.

Watch out though, once that time is done, the bread will be sliced and butter slathered on it. I will then sit down with said buttery bread and a nice hot cup of my fake coffee and enjoy a little bit of me time.


How can 34 minutes move so slow??

Betty Crocker's Banana Bread

1 C. sugar
1/3 C. margarine or butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 C. mashed bananas
1/3 C. water
1 2/3 C flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
I do not add nuts but I do add 1 tsp. cinnamon

Heat oven to 350*. Grease bottom only of loaf pan.
Mix sugar and margarine in 2 1/2 quart bowl.
Stir in eggs until blended.
Add bananas and water (beat 30 seconds)
Stir in remaining ingredients just until moistened.
Pour into pan.
Bake 55-60 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 5 minutes (this is SO hard for me!)
Remove from pan and cool completely before slicing (as you read above, I skip this part).

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fridge Addiction

I think I may have an addiction to cleaning out my fridge. I have it scheduled for Monday morning, and it seems I'm just itching to get in there and do it. Even throughout the week I *have* to keep it organized. Each shelf is designated to certain items. Heaven help the poor soul who puts a condiment on the left over shelf!

What I'm wondering is how I can get this clean/organized fridge addiction to spill over into the rest of my house?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Great Blog Find

As I was doing my morning cruise through Prairie Homemaker, I came across a link to a blog which sounded a bit interesting to me. Much much time later, I finally pulled myself away from it. The Legacy of Home is dedicated primarily to homemaking and the joy of it.

It's so easy to find ourself going through the motions of keeping house only because it needs to be done. I have been guilty more than once of this. This blog is a wonderful reminder to me that I actually do enjoy taking care of my home.

Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and go over to The Legacy of Home for a visit.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A long, cool drink

Jesus cried out, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, 'Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water.'"
John 7:37-38

Each year the local FFA grows plants and flowers to be sold in the spring. I look forward to the plant sale as soon as it starts getting a bit warmer out. Each year I go way over-board, coming home with my trunk stuffed full of my purchases. Before long, planters are placed around the patio and yard filled with their beautiful flowers. I take the time to water and care for them daily. It brings me joy to simply walk around the yard and look.

Then I get distracted.

Before long, my beautiful flowers are dry and droopy. I run for the hose to provide them with a much needed long drink, hoping they will be able to revive.

We need the water of God's Word as much as my flowers need the water of my hose. When I get distracted by life and neglect my time in prayer and with my Bible, I get dry and droopy. The great thing is, by believing in Christ, I can tap into an endless supply of life giving water. When I stay in the Word, I feel stronger, able to survive the day.

My question to you: Have you turned to Christ lately for a cool drink of the water of life?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wanna Comment?

It has come to my attention there are some of you dear readers who would like to leave comments on Bear Necessities, you just don't know how. Well, we can fix that right now, it really is an easy thing to do. In fact, I explain how to do it in any earlier post right here.

As a blogger, it is always nice to hear some lets me know I'm not here just talking to myself! LOL

Beer Bread

When Little Bear was just a cub, he loved my beer bread. Of course, we called it 'dense bread' as I didn't want him running around saying he got to have beer. In the summer, we would make a tray up with sliced cheese, deer salami, fresh fruit and veggies and slices of dense bread w/butter. This was a regular summer supper for us.

The bread itself is very simple to make. It takes a couple of minutes to make and an hour to cook...presto!

Beer bread

3 C. self rising flour**
3 T. sugar
1 12oz. can of beer @ room temperature

Mix all ingredients. Put into greased loaf pan. With wet fingers, smooth out top.

Pre-heat oven (very important) to 325*. Bake 45-60 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly then remove from pan.

**Self rising flour**
1 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Whisk together well. Be sure to adjust for 3 cups needed in recipe

Sprite or 7UP can be used instead of the beer, it just isn't quite as good in my opinion.

This bread is best eaten the same day. It's also a perfect bread for adding flavorings too. I like to do a heavy sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar to the top and make toast. Italian spices can be mixed in for eating with spaghetti or lasagna. Horseradish and ground black pepper is tasty for eating with cheese. Use your imagination!

Since this is a very dense bread, it is great to also eat with soups and stews in the cold weather time.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Don't be a party jumper


For my Illinois readers, tomorrow is a very important day for us. Tomorrow are the Illinois Primaries. Some don't get out and vote at this time thinking it's not a 'real' election. Boy oh boy are they ever wrong! It's a chance to choose the best candidate for your party.

There is one part of the primary process that gets on my nerves and that is party jumpers. Those people who jump party lines to vote for who they feel to be the weaker candidate to go up against their own candidate. To me, this says they don't have faith in their own party. I think party jumping is just a shame.

Please take the time tomorrow to get out and exercise your right to vote. Every vote counts.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The corner station

When I was a little girl, my little town had a corner full service filling station. Full service meant not only filling up the gas tank, but also cleaning the windows, checking under the hood, putting air in the tires and asking about your day~and waiting for the answer. They also did repairs in the garage.

As kids, it was a great treat to take 3 dimes in and get a bottle of soda. It was also fun to jump on the hose run across the drive to make the bell ding.

When I was in 8th grade I had a huge crush on the high school boy working there. I would get lots of sodas each day just to see him. *sigh*

I understand progress is needed in order for small towns to thrive and grow. That old corner filling station has been gone for many many years. In fact, only the garage part of it is still standing and it is now used for private storage. I just wish progress didn't have to mean getting rid of the very things that make a small town quaint and homey.

In my own little world, my town would still have the filling station, and the barber shop for all the men to sit and tell their stories. There would be a grocery store with a butcher to cut your meat and bag boys to not only bag up your items, but to also carry them out and put them in your car.

The bank would be locally owned. Main Street would be a bustle of activity on Saturday mornings. Kids would be out riding their bikes and playing ball on the diamond and using their imaginations to keep busy all day.

Parents would sit on the front porch to watch the children play in the evening. Neighbors would visit with neighbors.

You all might as well go on with the rest of your day, I think I'm gonna stay here in my own little world in my own little town with a bottle of soda from the filling station where that cute high school boy works.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bike Time


With the mild winter we have had here in Illinois and the above average temperatures we are experiencing, motorcycles are are out and about already. Please look and double-look when crossing intersections.

That said, I had my first ride of the season last night. Papa Bear was a sweetheart and did all the maintenance on my bike this year to get it running before July! Unfortunately, his wasn't quite ready to go so I took my first ride of the season by myself *sigh*

Looking forward to an evening here soon where neither one of us have anything going on so we can get out and ride.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Couch to 5K

Today I am starting on a nine week journey. Don't know how much fun this journey is going to be in the beginning, I'm sure though I will be loving it by the end. You see, today I start the Couch to 5K program. The idea is to take me from a couch potato to running a 5K in just eight weeks.

Even though the program is for eight weeks, I'm starting it by first doing a week of conditioning my body. Drinking lots of water, eating pretty healthy, and doing some basic exercising so my body doesn't go into shock.

I'll be keeping a journal during this journey. Tracking my eating, my sleeping, my water and my program progress.

I tried to do this about a year ago and failed miserably at it. I don't think my heart was in the right place. I think I might be ready now...uummmm...I HOPE I am ready this time.

If all goes well, I will be able to run in my little towns 5K race during the summer festival~that is my goal.

Well dear reader, that's what I have going on, feel free to keep me accountable!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Fake Coffee


I stand before you this morning to say, "My name is Mama Bear and I am a fake almost every day". Judge me if you will, but it's not going to change.

You'll remember a few weeks ago I shared with you about EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, my friend Lori turned me on to. This technique has made a huge difference in my life. Lori also helped me in another area I was having much struggle with, coffee.

I like coffee, I really really like coffee. Not to the point of being a coffee snob or anything like that, I just really really enjoy drinking coffee throughout my day. Due to health issues, I am no longer able to do that.


Lori came to my rescue once again and turned me onto a product I can drink in place of my decaf pots of coffee each day.

Cafix is an all natural drink that is naturally caffeine free. I can drink as much of it as I want and it doesn't cause me any pain. I like that it is instant so I can enjoy a cup anytime I want.

The flavor is just a bit different than coffee, however, it definitely takes care of my coffee fix.

I do want to caution you, even though I can drink Cafix all day without it causing me health problems, I don't. Well, let me clarify that I won't do it again. You see, it is all natural...ALL gets you moving (if you know what I mean). Nope, won't make that mistake again.

If you are interested in trying this wonderful hot drink of happiness and you are local, visit Lori at Optimal Health in Princeton, IL. If you are not local, I'm sure you can do a Google search and find it in a health store near you.

I'm going to take a small break and enjoy a cup of my fake coffee, I do hope you all have a day filled with friendships, happiness and blessings.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Start of Spring Cleaning!

It's time! It's time!

With Spring right around the corner, I find myself in the Spring Cleaning mood. I have been doing a bit here and a bit there and this morning I am pleased to announce my kitchen has been purged, decluttered, organized and spring cleaned!

So, two rooms down (bathroom was the first I did), five areas left. I think the next will be the laundryroom. Once it is done, Papa Bear is going to build two more sets of cabinets for me. After that, the whole room is getting a fresh coat of paint and some new curtains.

I love this time of the year when it is barely warm enough to crack a window just a bit to let in some fresh air, yet not warm enough to really get out and do anything. Once it's warm enough to be out, I find I have to literally force myself to get anything done inside.