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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Broccoli Cheese Soup

With the coming on of fall, a nice hot bowl of soup was being called for.  Papa Bear is spending all his time in the fields which left me eating this whole batch all by myself!  (oink oink oink)  This recipe is quite simple to whip up and put in the crock pot leaving only some stirring while it cooks.

Broccoli/cauliflower soup

1/2 C. onion, chopped
2 Tbls butter or margarine
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10 oz) bag frozen chopped broccoli
1 1/2 C. Milk

Saute onion in butter.  Combine all the ingredients on low in crock pot for 3-4 hours.  You do NOT want to add salt to this recipe.  For a thinner soup, add additional milk one cup at a time.  I usually end up adding at least two cups.  I don't like the big chunks so I throw just the veggies for a quick spin in the food processor.  

This recipe could be used with just broccoli, just cauliflower or just whatever veggie you would like to use.  it pares very well with a nice thick slice of homemade bread. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Weeds Be Gone

Have you ever taken a look at something and think to yourself, "What have I done"??  I guess really, it happens to be what haven't I done.  I haven't been giving hardly any attention to my yard this summer.  Papa Bear sees to it being mowed, other than that, it has been sorely neglected.  The garden, back flower bed, side flower bed and strawberry patch have all been taken over by the weeds.  In the quiet of the night, when the windows are open, I sometimes think I hear a faint whimper. 

Today, I began to tackle the weed problem.  Have you ever tried to weed an overgrown strawberry patch and NOT pull up the plants?  Whew, glad that is over.  Strawberries look great and now I can actually see how much room I have for more plants in the spring.  MmMmMmmmm  I can almost taste those sweet juicy bits of goodness already. 

I'm kind of excited about my back flower bed.  It is mainly hostas with a little something thrown in here and there.  My mind is already planning what to do with the spare area in the spring.  (It is possible a groan may have just come from Papa Bear).  I do enjoy my hostas, but am thinking a little pop of color here and there might just be what it needs.    

My garden, well, that's a different story.  I knew I was going to be gone three weeks this summer, so only an eating garden was planted, not a canning one.  I'm done eating.  I started to pull the weeds and have decided when these last peppers are finished, I'm just going to pull the whole thing up and till it under.  It can have a nice rest until spring.  Watch out next year though, I plan to double it's size and grow enough food to feed a small army! 

The bottom of my garden shed is rather unattractive.  I've been wanting to plant something on the side to try and hide it.  Mums are on sale right now so I'm thinking that is the route I am going to take.  Mums are a nice green plant all summer and then bloom into gorgeousness in the fall...they are also very low maintenance, which is my kind of plant.  But...this will mean bugging on Papa Bear once again to help dig another flower bed.  This man of mine is a saint I tell ya. 

All in all, the yard is starting to look better.  I'm definitely looking forward to spring and the changes that will be made. 

Mama Bear

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Guns, Buns and Abs Challenge

I think about getting fit and healthy often.  Lots of thinking.  Yep, I am great at thinking about it.  With all this thinking, why am I not getting more fit and healthy?  Let me be clear, I DO actually give it a try from time to time, I just don't seem to stick with it very long.  A month or so ago I bought some work out clothes and a good pair of walking/running shoes.  My thinking is if I put money out on it, I would actually stick with it.  Yep, that's what I thought.  Didn't work.

Here is the problem, Papa Bear and I are taking our Boy Scout troop hiking, fishing and camping in the Idaho mountains this summer.  **Hiking** am I supposed to do this when I am so out of shape?  How am I supposed to out-run the boys when we are being chased by a bear? 

Well, dear friends, I am going to do it!  I am going to start with a 30 day arm, hiney and abs challenge.  I am going to reward myself at the end with a mani/pedi.  I'm also going to see if I can enlist a few of my friends to do this with me as I always do better when I have to be accountable to others.  If you would like to join in, the challenge is as follows:

 Click on picture to enlarge

Who is in for the challenge with a mani/pedi (or reward of your choice) afterwards?

Friday, April 25, 2014

New Spring

Spring has finally found her way to our neck of the woods, she had gotten herself lost and I didn't think she was EVER going to get here.  Now that she has arrived, she has brought with her all the joy and beauty she has.  Flowers are in bloom, grass is green, leaves are starting to open.  The birds and squirrels I have fed all winter are busy making new homes for their little families.  If we take the time to sit outside and do nothing but enjoy the goodness of Spring, we  find ourselves renewed with energy and newness.  In the midst of busyness by our animal and bird friends, we find  peace and calmness all around.  By the simple act of sitting outside, I am able to soak up the suns goodness, watch the creatures prepare for new families, witness the new growth of vegetation and empty my mind of old stuffy, musty, useless thoughts that have accumulated there over the long winter months.

Another event that comes each year with Spring is the annual spring cleaning of 'stuff'.  Yards are being raked and mowed.  Gardens are tilled and planted.  Cars are being cleaned inside and out.  Windows are opened to let the winter stink out.  Bedding is on the line, homes are given a top to bottom scrubbing and the purging of unwanted stuff is in full swing. 

What types of unwanted items do you purge?  Clothes, shoes, purses?  Items from the back of the closet you haven't seen since last years cleaning?  Toys the children no longer use or have broken?  This year I am purging something Facebook page.  It's going to take me a bit of time to achieve my goal, but I am set on getting it done.  I was reminded recently of something I myself have said several times: "If all a person knew of Christianity was what they learned by watching you, what would they learn?".   If all someone knew about me was what they read on my FB wall, what kind of person would they think me to be?  My goal is to remove unwanted posts all the way back to the beginning of my FB birth.  Once this undertaking is complete, I think my new clean page will bring me joy and peace.  Peace of knowing those who look at it will not be led astray.

Happy Spring to you all.  My hope for you is finding your own joy and peace in purging what is no longer needed or wanted in your life.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

BSA needs equality for all

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is an organization  near and dear to my heart.  I joined fifteen years ago when my youngest son started as a Tiger Cub.  He has long since aged out of the Scouting program, but I am still quite involved as Scout Master for Troop 1056.   Each year, our Troop attends a week long summer camp program at Ingersoll Scout Reservation.  Throughout the many years, I have had the opportunity to watch young scouts on staff grow from little thirteen year old CIT's to mature young men taking on the leadership roles at camp. 

I want to tell you about one scout whom I watched grow before my very eyes over the years at camp. I met him as a CIT when he was young and silly and full of so much energy and goodness.  It was impossible to be down when he was around.  In fact, I don't recall ever seeing him not upbeat.  This boy was on staff for many years and made a big impact on both youth and adults.  In addition to his Scouting duties, he was also active in other youth organizations, making a difference  wherever he was involved.  He was respected by both his elders and his peers.  All this while he was still considered a youth himself.  This leads one to believe his involvement would continue as an adult.  Unfortunately, he is not being allowed, and so many youth are missing out.  You see, this Scout, now a Scouter (leader over the age of eighteen) is gay.

BSA has a ruling allowing gay boys to be Boy Scouts, earning merit badges, being voted into the Order of the Arrow, becoming Eagle Scouts, and leading younger scouts....until they are eighteen.  Once they reach this age, they are considered adult leaders in the program.  A program that does not allow gay or lesbian leaders.  As a woman, I am able to lead the boys, go swimming with them, go camping with them, have them in my car with me, yet a gay man or lesbian woman cannot.  What is up with that? 

Just recently, a United Methodist Church in Seattle Washington has had its Charter with BSA removed because they stood behind their Scout Master, who happens to be gay.   

Shame on BSA for depriving this Troop of its Scout Master.  Shame on BSA for depriving so many youth of great leadership from the Scout I told you about.  Shame on BSA for being closed minded.  This organization will allow Scouters who are alcoholics or drug addicts (not under the influence while doing their Scout duties).  BSA will allow Scouters who have no business being leaders due to their inability to know how to properly deal with youth, yet they will not allow persons to be Scouters who have a Scouting background and are proven to be excellent leaders and role models just because of their sexual orientation.  I believe it is time for the Boy Scouts of America to re-evaluate their discriminatory policy against gay and lesbian Scouters.