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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

There's a printer give-a-way!

While checking out some of my favorite blogs I came across this give-a-way that is good through December 31, 2010. 

If you're feeling lucky - it's worth a try...

Good Luck,

Friday, December 10, 2010

Great artist!

Oil Painted Santa Giveaway

Nathan Pinnock is an artist that has great imagination and can truly paint people!   I encourage you to go take a look at his gallery - you'll find yourself smiling in his Christmas grouping.

I should add that there is a give away over at Home Hinges... for the above painting...
Home Hinges button

Santa Claus is com'n to town.....


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Homemade Ornaments...

Seeing the world through the eyes of a young child can add so much to our "traditions". What we 'adults' do with nothing more than a shrug, becomes a new adventure when you share them with the younger set.

Today our first adventure was paper flower ornaments.

step one - grandma forgot the camera!  You cut cool Christmas scrapbook paper into strips the same size.  Then you get your camera and start snapping as your little one uses a glue pen to outline the shapes on the paper.  Next sprinkle some snow glitter on the strips of paper.
Then you put them all together with a brass brad and spread them out to make a flower...

Then you take a fun picture with the little one grinning in the background!

Next was the Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments.

We mixed up 1/3 Cup of Cinnamon, 1/3 Cup of Applesauce and 1 tsp white glue (I'll leave out the glue next time) until it was like a big blob of Chocolate ~ as my granddaughter says. Just a suggestion ~ if your little one does not have a long attention span, 1/3 cup is plenty for the first adventure...

Here are a few photos of our process...
You have to make a ball and then press it down...
Next cut out a shape and don't forget to make the hole for the ribbon for hanging!
The last step was to put them on the cookie sheet to be put in a 200 degree oven until they have dried out...we don't know yet how long THAT is going to take! 
...but the house is smelling very Christmasie...

Enjoy your Christmas traditions!


Friday, December 3, 2010

December so soon?!

In June you think December will never arrive and then you blink and it is here! That was the case again this year.

My favorite things this time of this year...
1) Christmas Music
2) The smells of home cooking
3) All the decorations in the stores
4) Hanging of the greens at church
5) Watching Christmas movies with my family
6) Christmas morning breakfast

Enjoy your traditions this Holiday Season!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Online Give-Aways!

Oh how I try to win from online blogs! Tatertots and Jello is giving away a wonderful little machine called a silhouette! I've tried several times for this little baby - it works for scrap booking, material, cakes, cards - just anything and everything you might want to create!

Click on the Tatertots and Jello icon above to go see all the info on the Silhouette-Sd

You must read the fine print of these give aways ~ some require you to return to their site and see if you've won, and some will e-mail you. Other sites are so popular you're up against 30 thousand entries (which is still better than winning the lottery)to win one little thing like a camera or mixer.

Still, I enter - it is fun!

Enjoy your family this week!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Something New - Curry Chicken!

My something new this weekend was to cook a family recipe for the first time; T.L. Osborn's Curry Chicken.

T.L. is my great-uncle (my grandpa's brother) who travels the globe as a missionary. When he came back from a trip to India he came up with this recipe.

2-pkg chicken thighs - boil without skin in chicken broth - remove, pick meet from bones, and set aside
1 doz eggs - boiled, peeled, and set aside

In food processor - process to very, very fine pieces -
3 medium green bell peppers
1 large onion
3 cloves of Garlic (the little sections)
1/2 of jalapeƱo - cleaned with no seeds

4 TBS Curry Powder
handful of salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Put the pepper mixture, curry, salt & pepper in the broth and let boil for 20 minutes.
Okay - ever watch those professional cooking shows - they all harp on doing taste tests, now is the time - you may want to add more jalapeƱos &/or add red pepper flakes to taste. This dish can get VERY hot!
Add chicken and eggs and let boil another 5 minutes
Shut off flame/heat and let all steep overnight.

Serve over rice with salad and bread on the side.

This is a family favorite and we always love walking into my mother's house and smell curry chicken cooking away.

The funniest story with this mom was cooking for 12 and tripled the recipe (including peppers) well, it was so hot we ended up with 1 Cup of rice to 1/8 C of soup! Poor mom, she was the brunt of that story for ... well, she's still living that one down!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Found IT!

It is a wonderful feeling when I overcome small obstacles like...where's that font color! I know that some people think that is a laughable statement, but not to me. Next obstacle….changing them again when I change the background.

Yes, there are many links to help you understand this blogging monster, but I don’t really have hours and hours to read. I tend to follow my bosses philosophy – just hit enter until it works the way you want ~ HA! That theory is easier to follow when you have an 800 number for free assistance.

The big life lesson today is to reach out beyond your comfort zone and try, just try something new. Click a new button, shop at a new store, try a different dish at your local restaurant and laugh if it any or all ‘bomb’! When we laugh at ourselves, we are laughing with the world ~ not watching with fear and tears.

Plan something this weekend you’ve never done before~and let us all know of your experience.

Happy growth!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Where is that font color button???

I'm venturing out and now discover that I must change the color of my font used...I'll work on that.

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Leftover Rotisserie Chicken...never again!

Okay, If you are keeping track ~ this is a Life's small lesson ~

I live alone so buying a whole rotisserie chicken means I'm going to be creative with alternative combinations for that big bird. Here is my all-time favorite recipe for left over bird!

Pull the chicken/turkey off the bone and then chop it up and put in a large bowl

Depending on the amount of chicken leftover, peal, core, and chop up 1 to 3 apples *put the slices in a Ziploc and sprinkle just a little lemon juice in it and shake the apple slices around until coated - this keeps them from turning brown - next lay them on a paper towel to drain for a few minutes before adding to the bowl of chopped chicken

Grab chopped pecans and add 1/2 to 1 Cup of these to the chicken, based on your taste preference

Now, stir in Mayo, again to your preferred taste and consistency and you're done

See - EASY! Chicken Apple Salad

You can now use this as a sandwich filler, topping for a salad, or just straight out of the bowl. (I'll never tell!)

Enjoy your next rotisserie chicken with all the confidence that you will finish the whole bird.

OH! I have no pictures as this dish doesn't last long enough to photograph.

Happy Cooking ~

Sunday, October 17, 2010

21 pieces of brave...

This is the link of a new friend. She has been blogging about her life with the love of her life, a preacher named Dan, and their 4 kids. I invite you to go read a little about the challenges they have faced and find out where their source for strength, hope and bravery is ~

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oklahoma Earthquake

WOW! Did you feel the earth move this morning around 9am? This was my first earthquake and I probably would not have gone with my first explanation if my co-worker had not been through an earthquake before and confirmed it was just that!

I have been visiting a certain webpage today...
and clicked on Did You Feel It? to see the particulars. You can also report an earthquake if you want. Oklahomans seem to be very vocal on this quake as there have been more than 6 thousand reports on this event. People from Texas to Kansas felt this quake!

If you've been wondering about additional pictures of my tree, it has not turned yet so just keep checking in...

Hope the rest of your day stays steady under your tootsies ~

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall Tree Planting

Autumn is here! It's time to take those evening walks and look up...the trees are going to be on fire with color. In a few weeks I'll be posting a picture of my Chinese Pistachio tree with it's fall colors.

If you have been 'planning' to plant a tree in your yard - now is the time! Check with your area nursery for a list of options and then make it a family/neighborhood event. When everyone helps ~ everyone learns and enjoys...

I was lucky enough to have my son, one of the boys from the youth group, and other boys in the neighborhood to help out. There were several theories on 'how to plant a tree' and the best news is that after a year...the tree still lives! did I get in this picture???? Hmm~ when planting your tree, better take stock in your choice of clothing, or be caught like I was in your not so flattering combination! LOL

Happy Fall Walking!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Autumn Beauty...through a haze

We are getting those little glimpses of fall here in OK these days. A couple of hours of a north wind before the south wind comes back through. Maybe three or four days of temperatures that are comfortable before the heat and humidity comes sneaking its way back into the heat of the afternoon. It's a great seasonal change month...achoo...with a haze!

Along with the changes of wind and temperatures, we get to deal with the dreaded fall allergies. UGH! When you understand that Oklahoma has a ton of man made lakes, you begin to understand all the allergies. Even transplants to Oklahoma generally develop allergies over time. What to do? Learn the allergy meds and which one works in the spring versus the fall.

Well, I am having the fall allergy challenges this weekend and am not convinced that I have a handle on this stuff. Usually I loose my voice - which is not a big deal since I know sign language - but it is a big deal because even the doctors' offices can't communicate using sign language! HA! So I whine silently to myself and keep taking the allergy medicines (over the counter of course) hoping that I wake in the morning feeling like a million dollars.

And this is the point in this posting that I sneeze three times, take the last dose of meds tonight, and turn off the computer for the evening. Sleep well...

Friday, September 10, 2010

It takes more than just one!

Have you ever had to have an extra income? You are not alone. I've had several odd jobs over the years - secretarial, book keeping, music, piano teacher, hardware stores (one of my favorite places to be), Swarovski Crystal retail sales, and several home businesses as well. As you age you have this urgency to have an extra income even more - some hope of retirement perhaps!

About a year ago I decided to become a Scentsy Consultant to earn some extra money and have had a blast every step of the way since. My daughter is one of my very best friends, but she now lives 12 hours away so I had to find something to do in the evenings and on weekends. It has been a BLAST ~ wait, I think I've already said that! During the process I've connected to several former friends and their children. That is one plus I didn't think about happening when I decided to start this most recent home business.

Now, let's get honest - it isn't an overnight, get rich quick process when you begin a business, well not usually ~ but it is fun. Hey, if we have to have a second job, we should enjoy what we are doing! When you make this decision it is important to set goals and the first is - am I going to commit to this project? If you are not ready to commit you are just wasting your start-up money so be sure you are going to put the effort into your business.

Who loves to open presents at Christmas? I DO! With this company twice a year we unveil a new selection of scents and new warmers to boot. It's like Christmas three times a year! Amazingly, each scent triggers a memory of some sort. Sitting around with the girlfriends and talking about our memories when the new scents arrive becomes something you look forward to.

Seriously - if you've not checked out Scentsy, hop over to my web site and take a look. The extra plus here is that there are no flames to put your house/office/bedroom at risk of a fire. (can you tell I sell insurance?) You see, there is a light that warms the wax scents and fills your home with ... well,memories!

OH - you need the website huh -

This year we have a couple warmers that are also fundraisers for different entities - the armed services and cancer research. I read a report that said Scentsy donated $150,000 to a project last year. Everyday this company is helping someone else!

Well, I hope I haven't just rambled - but then again I do that sometimes. :-)

Be sure to reach out to someone today and let them know they count!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New Leaf...

Last time I blogged, I was heading off on vacation and said I'd keep you informed on what was happening ~ best laid plans! The internet was not working well at our location so I wasn't able to write a thing! We had a great time and the temperature was way cooler than it was in Oklahoma! I am going to try to turn over a new leaf this fall - blogging daily ~ about anything and everything for now.

Well, now that I've apologized for my absence let me take off on my topic tonight - cooking. Have you ever watched Iron Chef. This show is CRAZY! Some of the items they have to create a dish from is totally nuts...and I'm not talking pecans folks. I like to experiment and pretend I'm some great chef as I create, but I can't get my cats to respond other than looking at me from their respective napping spots. Now, let me just pop a can of tuna open and they sing my praises while intruding into my space because of one metal can getting opened!

I do have a favorite way to fix pasta and potatoes. Let's talk potatoes - boil a red potato until it is just tender. While the potato is boiling in a small frying pan cook - sliced bacon, onion, garlic,chicken, broccoli, and what ever is in the frig that fries up well. When the potatoes are done, put them in the skillet and let everything cook for a minute or two - add butter or coconut oil if you need some additional moisture. If you put in broccoli and red peppers, you have some nice color along with the potatoes. It's a really tasty and easy meal for just one person.

Let me encourage you to try a new dish this weekend ~ and share your experience ~ you just never know...

Friday, July 16, 2010


Ever need a new perspective? Friday I had the opportunity to obtain a perspective with a view. This was a bonus to a long needed vacation. Don't believe I need a vacation, just check with the woman in the audit department! Yes, I apologized. Anyway, back to point...when taking off there was a major, ugly looking storm just east of the airport. I knew we'd have to go around the storm to stay safe but was a little surprised to discover we went 100 miles west 50 miles north and back 100 miles east to begin going north!

At first I was a tad miffed that we were going west...I know those roads down there!... but then I began watching the countryside and how beautiful it was. The rain that caused so much heartache in many cities also was responsible for acres of beautiful green in a multitude of shades. The tree lines looked like veins of hope meandering throughout miles of nothingness - I wonder if the pioneers had the same sense of awe when traveling across the plains. The perspective; even though I might have a bad time (flooding) there is beauty just waiting for me to turn my head and look (the greens). Why is it that we tend put on the blinders when we go into the struggles of life and it takes a small tornado to get us to look the other way?

Anyway, as the plane turned north and the setting sun was blinding me as it came through the window, I closed the shade. After about 12 pages in my book I decided to take a look again. WOW! I'd never witnessed the effect of clouds, moisture, and a lowering sun like I did Friday night. As the shade went up I noticed a type of white rays with what appeared to be diamonds sprinkled on the ground. I think the diamonds were lights from cars and stores, but it was just amazing how it all came together to look like a fairy land.

Now the humor of the evening. That little jog from the normal routing into Chicago caused the flight to arrive at 9:22pm instead of 8:54pm and there were people actually running down the isles to try and catch a connection with a 5 minute window. My travel neighbor just looked at me and I said "She's very optimistic" he replied with "SHE is very unrealistic". I laughed!

Well there is the first venture of vacation 2010. Today we have to do last minute power shopping and pack both food and van. New York here we come! Holy Mole! I just received the bulletin of the departure time....4am!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

small life lesson on a few exotic fruits ~*~

We had this wonderful church breakfast this morning and I had the honor of bringing fruit. Well, this brings up the question of just how much I know about some of the ‘exotic’ fruits like Mangoes, Kiwis, and various melons? I’m happy to report, quite a bit!

The biggest issue when selecting do I know if the fruit at the store is ripe. Well, like all internet people, I looked it up!

Let’s begin with a mango – this information is from

A mango is ripe and ready to be eaten when:

1. The colour turns from green to orange, red or rosy, depending on the variety.

2. The skin gives a little when pressed softly. If it is too mushy, the mango is over-ripe.

3. The mango gives off a delicious sweet fragrance.

Thank you! Cutting a mango used to be a mystery to me, but I finally found out the seed is the length of the fruit and shaped like an eye, narrow on the edges and fuller in the middle. Once I learned that shape I was able to get one cut up fairly well. There are cutters or splitters you can purchase, but once you understand the shape of the seed it is just as easy to use a knife. One note to remember – you peal the skin off and they are super slick!

I love to eat this fruit in a chutney type mixture. Simply dice Mango, onions, tomatoes, and add some red pepper flakes for punch. Serve this on noodles or chicken or a salad as dressing. Yummmmmy!

Now, Three Easy Ways to Cut a Mango (borrowed from Their website has great photos to help you along.

A mango has one long, flat seed in the center of the fruit. Once you learn how to work around the seed, the rest is easy.

Always use a clean knife and cutting board to cut a mango. If you've handled or cut any type of meat or seafood, you must ALWAYS sanitize your hands, work area, utensils and cutting board before handling or cutting any fruits or vegetables, including mangos.

Always wash the mango before cutting.

"Slice & Scoop" Mango Cutting Method

  1. Stand the mango on your cutting board stem end down and hold. Place your knife about 1/4" from the widest center line and cut down through the mango. Flip the mango around and repeat this cut on the other side. The resulting ovals of mango flesh are known as the "cheeks". What's left in the middle is mostly the mango seed.
  2. Cut parallel slices into the mango flesh, being careful not to cut through the skin.
  3. Scoop the mango slices out of the mango skin using a large spoon.

"Inside Out" Mango Cutting Method

  1. Stand the mango on your cutting board stem end down and hold. Place your knife about 1/4" from the widest center line and cut down through the mango. Flip the mango around and repeat this cut on the other side. The resulting ovals of mango flesh are known as the "cheeks". What's left in the middle is mostly the mango seed.
  2. Cut parallel slices into the mango flesh, being careful not to cut through the skin. Turn the mango cheek 1/4 rotation and cut another set of parallel slices to make a checkerboard pattern.
  3. Turn the scored mango cheek inside out by pushing the skin up from underneath.
  4. Scrape the mango chunks off of the skin, using a knife or a spoon.

Hint: If you are making a recipe that calls for diced mango, make both directions of parallel slices in step 2 closer together. In step 4, slice the mango flesh away from the skin in several shallow layers, rather than scraping down to the skin in one step. The result is small pieces of diced mango and no need to further cut up the mango pieces on your cutting board.

Using a Mango Splitter

  1. Stand the mango on your cutting board stem end down and hold. Center the Mango Splitter above the mango, with the opening in the splitter aligned with the widest part of the mango.
  2. Firmly push down to separate the mango flesh from the seed.
  3. Use the "Slice and Scoop" or the "Inside Out" methods shown above to separate the mango flesh from the skin in cubes, dices or slices.

Now for Pineapples ~ information from the!

Pineapples are a great source of valuable enzymes, vitamin C, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy this tasty tropical fruit, but trying to pick the perfect pineapple doesn’t have to be a hit-and-miss effort.

Pineapple season is March through July in Hawaii where they peak in April/May. They will not ripen nor will they become sweeter after they’re harvested. Pineapples do not have extra starch reserves, like bananas or pears, which can easily be converted into sugar after they’re picked. To select one of these popular Hawaiian jewels:

  • Look for a pineapple that has a nice golden color with fresh, deep-green leaves.
  • Avoid a pineapple with any bruises, brown dry leaves, mold, or soft spots.
  • Tug on a leaf from the middle. If the pineapple is ripe, it should slide out easily.
  • Smell it — ripe pineapples should smell fresh and fragrant at the stem end. (Pineapples ripen from the bottom up.)

When you twist the crown of leaves, they should twist off easily indicating the fruit was picked ripe. Enjoy pineapples as a healthy snack, in marinades, salads, salsas, desserts, and as a complement to meat, chicken, or fish.

One of my favorite uses for fresh pineapple is to add a sweet punch to grilled veggies. Here’s my recipe…

Grilled Veggies by Tonya Huffman

1 medium zucchini squash

1 large yellow squash

1 large red bell pepper

1 large Yellow bell pepper

1 small green bell pepper

1 LARGE onion – it can be any color

Mushrooms to taste

3-4 small red potatoes

1 small sweet potato

1 fresh pineapple – small

A bottle of dried red tomato salad dressing

Chop everything except the potatoes & mushrooms and put in a LARGE zip-lock type plastic bag – then pour the salad dressing into the bag and occasionally turn the bag over so the dressing can ooze through everything. You can do this one to two days ahead.

A few hours before you grill, clean and cut your potatoes up and boil them until they just begin to turn soft. Then drain them (gently running cool water over them) and add them to the bag of veggies about an hour before you grill.

Add the mushrooms about 10 minutes before you grill – they REALLY absorb all the flavors which can be overwhelming, even to mushroom lovers.

The pineapple gives this grilling experience a cool sweetness with a little acidity. You can add jalapenos or another pepper type if you like things a tad more hot and spicy.

You can make foil pans from heavy duty foil to grill your veggies in OR purchase a grill wok – make sure the sides are deep. Cook your veggies first as they will probably take longer than the meat. Stir/turn frequently

You may like different veggies – that’s fine. Change it up every time so no one gets bored with your grilled veggies.

How to Choose a Ripe Melon

Get produce shopping tips for cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon

By Jackie Plant Posted June 18, 2009 from Woman's Day; July 7, 2009

Not sure which melon in the bunch is ripe? Here’s how to find out.

Look for an indented stem end; this means the melon came off the vine at the proper time (not too early).

You want a smooth rind that is white, yellow or pale green. A ripe honeydew should have a slightly fruity aroma and be soft at the stem end.

If it sounds hollow when you give it a good thump, it’s ripe. Look for a firm, nicely shaped melon that has a creamy yellow underside where the melon had lain on the ground long enough to ripen.

Selecting Kiwi

You will know if your kiwi is ripe if it is not to firm and not too soft. Look to make sure there is no discoloration and no dents. To speed up the ripening process, place kiwis in a paper bag with a ripe apple, and keep that bag out on the counter.

With the heat of summer coming on strong, I hope this small Life Lesson on fruit will help you to have a most refreshing mid-summer's night treat!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

BIG lesson at the fruit stand!

This is day one of blogging at Life's Lessons...BIG & small...and we get a BIG lesson today!
  • Don't leave your keys in the car when shopping at a road-side fruit stand.
The day was progressing along well; run to Whole Foods and pick up blueberries, strawberries, and apples. Swing by the watermelons and see what I think...ugh...not getting those. Whipped into another store and hit the fruit lover's jack-pot! Pineapples, mangoes, grapes, cantaloupes, and bananas. Swing by the watermelons and see what I think...ugh...not getting those either! Well, I'll just have to think through the arrangement of fruit for breakfast in the morning at church..wait, there was the fruit stand on the way to town, I'll stop and check there for my coveted watermelon centerpiece! Yeah!!!

Oh good ~ the stand is still open... the temperature and humidity are really climbing today, but I can grab a watermelon, jump back in the car and be on my way in just a few minutes so my fruit won't be damaged. This will work perfectly!

Watermelon is quickly selected and I slipped it on the front floorboard and shut the door when I registered a faint... click .... CLICK! Oh no...please no... not that crazy glitch that recently start with my 1995 faithful auto. You see, she has recently decided to lock both doors when the passenger door is shut a certain way, which I seem to have perfected, and leave the human securely locked outside her doors.

Today the car won!

I had tossed my keys in the floorboard while selecting a melon a mere 10 feet away. Big mistake...BIG mistake! The spare keys were in my purse, proudly sitting in the passenger's seat. You're thinking...cell phone, use your cell phone and call someone. Yep, that thought crossed my mind and plummeted into the depths of "Oh brother". My cell phone was also tucked away in my purse, still proudly sitting in the passenger's seat.

Well, I realized today that I only know maybe five phone numbers by memory and two of those don't answer a call from a number they don't recognize. Not helpful at all! I could stand and see my phone which has a lock smith's number programmed into it for just such occasions - planned ahead, just not enough. Asked to borrow a phone at the fruit stand (thank God I purchased a melon from them) and called my sister's mobile - remember those that don't answer an unknown number - person one is my sister. Mom & Dad! They should be home - ring...ring...ring...ring...Hello/screech! Mom answered at the same time her fax machine switched on - THAT was an interesting phone conversation between screeches. [I can smile about it now] After what seemed to be 30 minutes of discussion dad was coming to the rescue!

It took a while, but one and a half hours and one banjo song later, I'm jumping in my car and taking off for home and the A/C. Ever said a prayer for fruit? I did today! God tells us nothing is too small to bring before him and even my littlest blueberries were spared.

My life lesson today -either have keys or cell phone in your hand when visiting a road-side fruit stand!

Your life question today - how many phone numbers do you know from memory?