Thursday, January 3, 2013

Book Review-The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure

I picked this book up a couple of weeks ago. It was published in 2011and was charming and utterly enjoyable.  The Little House books have always been my very favorite books.  I was thrilled when I found out that other people feel the same way and that others had written about the Little House Books.  Sometime last year I had posted a book review on the Little House Sampler after we visited the Little House in the Big Woods in Pepin Wisconsin.  The author, Wendy McClure talks about visiting this town also and I could just picture everything she was describing.  I have always wanted to visit the places where the Ingalls family lived and this book did just that in up to date details.  Her journey took her to the Little House on the Prairie and seeing the Laura and Nellie Pagents, the plays put on about the Little House on the Prarie.  She did research and figured out what happened in real life and the way it was instead of the story that Laura and her daughter Rose made up.  It seems as if the Little Books are fact and fiction.  She went down to Mansfield MO to visit Rocky Ridge where Laura and Almanzo spent most of their married life.  It was worth the time to see it.  She also made it to upstate New York where Almanzo grew up in Malone, New York. It is the original house.  I think one of the best stories though is when she wanted to get the real Ingalls feeling and to go on a homesteading weekend that turned out that most people that went to it were religious zelots waiting for the end of the world to happen so they could ride it out with their self sufficency.  I recomend this book wholeheartedly.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Recipe-Hearty, Creamy Turkey and Vegetable Chowder

I used a turkey roast that I had already cooked.  A turkey roast is dark and white pieces together.
This recipe I found from the Looneyspoons Collection which are funny cookbooks written by two sisters-Janet and Greta Podleski.  Here is their website.

This was really tasty, easy and good for you.  317 calories per serving, 4 grams of fat, 27 grams of protein.
Here is the recipe as I made it

8 oz. cooked turkey cut into chunks
3 oz. Canadian bacon diced
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. minced garlic
4 cups 99 percent fat free chicken broth
2 cups diced carrots
3 medium sized potatoes peeled and diced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 can cream style corn
1 cup whole kernel corn
3/4 cup light sour cream

Put all the ingredients except the sour cream in a 3 quart stove top pan and bring to a boil, letting it cook for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat and stir in the sour cream letting it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. 
Serve hot and enjoy. 

Note-I had some leftover corn and peas mixed together and threw those in for the 1 cup of corn. 



Showing off my new nail color that Nicole, my Nephews girlfriend gave the gals of the group.  It is called Sugar-Sugar and it complemented the triple bracelets that my niece Angie gave to me.  I love this color of red!

Nicole also gave a bag of Santatizer.

Clever was a hit.  Thank you Nicole and Angie.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

cat stuff

This new toy I got for the cats so they would get some exercise in the winter.  It seems to be a hit especially for Lily. She will start playing with the string when it's not on.  The contraption runs on 3 double A batteries and has two speed settings.  It just pulls the string around as in hiding it and then flings it out to get the attention of the cat.  Then they chase it and catch it. 

It's silly looking with a little face and ears (like the cats really pay attention to that).
Lily getting some action in on it.

It has caught Sebastions interest.  Smoke the oldest cat lays down and bats at it a little bit. 
Stonewall pays no attention to it.  He is a hard sell.  One time he had torn his scratching post up as he had really used it.  It was falling apart, I bought him a new one and he wouldn't use it for a YEAR! 

Another item the cats seem to like is this themal cat pad.  It warms up to their body temperature.  Here is Lily snoozing on it.

Stonewall finally gave in and started using it.  He turned his nose up at it at first.  So you know it must be good if it has his paw of approval on it. 

The pad that Stonewall is sitting on is the pad that I stamp on.  The cats love it.  I had bought a new one because my old had a bunch of claw marks in it. The new one now has it too.  I think Stonewall is licking his mouth.  He was just bent over sniffing noses with Lily.  He is smitten with Lily.  She can walk by and smack him and he doesn't do a thing.  Any other can he would chase after and beat up.  We call it a May-December relationship. 

Monday, December 31, 2012

mug shots

This summer we are planning a trip that will take us into Toronto Canada to watch the Tigers play the Blue Jays.  We are applying for an alternative to a passport-simply because we don't want to spend $200.00 for each person.  We don't plan on flying to Europe anytime soon.  We have to send in 2X2 pictures of ourselves and the stipulations on the pictures are an enormous task.  The background has to have nothing on it.  It cannot be too dark or too light.  There can be no shadows, no glare on the glasses.  The head cannot be too big or too small.  It has to have some upper torso showing and these are just a few of the rules. 

This first one of Tom is too dark.

This one is too light with a shadow and a little glare on his glasses.
I told him he didn't need to put his head back like a mug photo.

This one has the glare of the windows that are behind the photographer.

This one, the side of his face is too light.

This is the one we went with.  Natural color, no glare, just a little shadow, a little hint of a smile so he looks somewhat friendly. 

Here is one mean looking Mama, it scares me when I look at it!
You don't want to cross her.
I decided I needed to have a hint of a smile.

What a much better.
Smile and the rest of the world smiles with you.
I went with this one.

And made it a little lighter.

Here is one happy fella, we only needed one take with him.

And I just lightened it up too. 

Hopefully these work.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Treasures Received

This wonderful 3-D pottery cardinal I pick up on our recent trip to Detroit at Thanksgiving.  It is from Pewabic Pottery.  My goal was to pick up something with red paint and I spotted it first thing.  I love the texture of the block and the branch.  It is hanging in my bedroom under my Cardinales painting by Gennine. My husband Tom knows how much I love this place and said pick out whatever you want since your birthday is coming up.  Is that not great?

This special gift was made for me by my niece Angie.  It is a pincushion and I just love it!

This cool art panel by PAPAYA my sister Linda gave to me.  It is inspirational, see the light bulb in the upper left corner?  This lovely lady has sparkles and flowers, all the things I love. 

My friend Theresa (and fellow cat lover) picked this up for me.  Needlework, felt cats surrounded by the buttonhole stitch.  It is very dear to me just like my friend. 

My sister also ordered this doll for me.  It is appropriately named "the sisters doll".  She found this artist at an outdoor art fair and the name of her company is Endearments.  She will custom design dolls for the customer. Her name is Rebecca Dearing and you can email her at if you are interested in a doll.

Love the faces and the hair!

Also from my sister I received this really neat floor clock.  It sits perfectly in this corner between the foyer and great room.  So pretty with scrolls and leaves, such a unique piece. 

My niece Angie made this really clever plate with all kinds of great sayings on it.  It will be a conversation piece when serving cookies, muffins, vegetables....etc.  I also liked the setting with some Santas and our parents pictures. 

Here it is, closer so you can read it. 

My inspiration corner.

I enjoy sitting at my desk, though I need to clean off my bulletin board for the new year. 
It's easy to let things pile up on it.