Friday, November 16, 2018

Friday five for November 16

Another Friday, and let's see if I can find five things to share about my week!  I recently came upon and scanned the vintage syrup advertisement above, and thought I would share.  This image reminds me so much of winter days in my childhood!  It looks like winter here today, so it seems appropriate.  (Feel free to snag this image if you can use it for something.)

But on to the Friday five.

1.  Attending our oldest granddaughter's high school musical on Saturday night.  It made for a later night than usual for us, but we were glad to take the time.  The kids did an amazing job in both acting and singing.

That's Sarah at left below with another granddaughter, Emily.  This was taken in Salt Lake City in summer 2017.

2.  Managing to accomplish a lot of housework between Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon.  It felt good to have both time and energy to do several household tasks.   Scrubbing the tub was one of them.

3.  Having beautiful weather here on Monday.  Someone said it felt like spring, and I guess it sort of did.  It wasn't warm enough to be what we think of as true Indian summer, but it was a really nice day to get out and walk.  I was invigorated enough to tackle more housework when I got back.
Berries along our walking route
4.  Saving over $26 on groceries yesterday between regular coupons, digital coupons, and a $15 discount from our supermarket's rewards program!

This was a good week for this to happen, since I was buying snacks for the coffee time at church this week, a few extras for Christmas and Thanksgiving baking, and some items for the food pantry.
5.  God's grace to have a good attitude about snowstorms -- two in one week, and it's not even Thanksgiving yet.  The challenging thought is that this snow may not melt as many early snowstorms do ... it may be with us for the winter!  But I do have to admit it's pretty.  Photo below is from a November snowstorm last year, along our walking route.  We have more than that, currently -- several inches of the white stuff.
And that's Friday Five for this week!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Wednesday Medley for November 14

Church at Lamoille, Nevada
Again this week,  I'm joining in with the Wednesday Medley hosted by Terri at Your Friend from Florida.  Would you like to join in also?  Just head over to Terri's blog, get the questions, then copy, paste, and answer them on your own blog.  Then you can go back to Terri's and link up!

Here are this week's questions:

1.  With the holidays coming, what is your most essential appliance to help you prepare for the celebrations?
Oh, good question.  I think maybe just my regular workhorse kitchen stove -- roasting a turkey, baking pies and cookies, cooking vegetables like mashed potatoes and squash, sauteing onions and celery for stuffing, and much more.  The refrigerator would be a close second!

2.  What is your favorite (clean) word?

I have no idea.  Clean words are the only kind I use, though.
3.  Are you a good judge of character?

I like to think so.
Sunrise photo taken last week by grandson Sam
4. What is the last thing you took a picture of? Can you share it with us?

Yesterday's snow as seen out a dormer window.
Had to snag this off my Instagram
5. Tomorrow, November 15, is Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day.  How do you intend to celebrate?

Actually, our downstairs refrigerator temporarily stopped working a few weeks ago -- so I cleaned out the regular kitchen fridge to make room for some of the contents.  It's still in pretty good shape.  However, I do have some veggies -- peppers, mushrooms, part of an onion, and some brussels sprouts -- that I want to roast tomorrow, so one could say I'm celebrating this "holiday" in that way.
Isn't this little grandchef too cute for words?  I made the hat for her birthday last week.
6. Tell us something random about your week!

The weather has been extremely random this week! Monday was sunny and somewhat warm.  Tuesday we woke up to three inches of snow; then the snow eventually turned to rain, and it's been very windy.  Today is very cold and windy.  My friend and I did get out for our walk in spite of the wind chill which made it feel like 10 degrees!

And there you have it!  That wraps up Wednesday's medley fun for this week!

Monday, November 12, 2018

A keeper recipe: Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meat Sauce

Photo from RefreshHer
Several weeks ago I saw this recipe:Slow Cooker Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meat Sauce at my friend Denise's blog and knew I just had to try it. 

We love spaghetti squash and I serve it often in the fall, but I never knew it could be cooked successfully in a crock pot.  Well, it certainly can! 

To make this dish, as you will see, one first browns ground turkey and then adds it to a crock pot with the other ingredients.  Then the spaghetti squash, halved and seeded, is placed on top.  It cooks on High for four hours, then the strands of "spaghetti" are loosened and removed to a bowl or plate, with the sauce placed on top.

I usually avoid slow cooker recipes that involve browning meat as a first step; I guess I am just too lazy and I want to skip washing that extra skillet.  But in this case, of course, since it was ground meat, I did brown it.  I also added the onion and some chopped green pepper while browning (I didn't have mushrooms, so left them out and used peppers instead).  For spaghetti sauce, I used our supermarket store brand in the plum tomato and olive oil variety.

By the way, a good tip for cleaning out the "innards" of  spaghetti squash is to use a grapefruit spoon.  The serrated edge works so well to get every bit out.

When I prepared this, my two halves of spaghetti squash wouldn't lay flat atop the meat sauce in the cooker as Denise's did in the photo of that step in the recipe.  So I laid one of them flat and the second one sort of sideways.  They both cooked just fine, so don't worry if you have to position your squash halves like that, also.

This is such a delicious meal!  We enjoyed it very much and had the leftovers a night or two later.  They reheated well in the microwave.

I highly recommend you visit RefreshHer -- not only for great recipes like this one, but also for spiritual refreshment and encouragement for homemaking and family matters.  And I do hope you'll try this marvelous fall supper!  I think you would enjoy it as much as we did.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Friday five for November 9

How did it get to be Friday again?  Regardless, it has come around and so I will attempt another Friday five.

1.  Fall decorating.  Always tweaking my hutch, I recently found this battered old metal pickup truck (above).  It's nothing special, no identifying marks or anything, but I liked the look and the color.  I remembered I had some little raffia pumpkins that are so small I seldom use them.  I thought they might be the perfect size to fit in this truck bed.  Yep, they were!

2.  Rediscovering and using seasonal decor, especially things I have made, like the embroidered picture below.   If you'd like to read the story of how I made this, and a link to the embroidery pattern, read this post: Give Thanks embroidery project.

3. A focus on gratitude and thankfulness in my quiet time.    I am using the "Give Thanks" Bible Reading plan from Rachel Wojo for Scripture journaling in the month of November.

4.  Having wonderful weather for walking.  Even though we've had some rain this week, my friend and I were able to walk four days out of five.  No complaints from either of us about cold or drizzle -- we far prefer it to humidity and heat.
Oak leaves along our walking route
Bittersweet in a tree along our walking route, last fall
5. Finishing up my study of Colossians which I've been working on forever, it seems.  Such good stuff I am sorry to see it end!  I just pray to apply what I've learned!
Graphic from Baptist Bible Hour
And I would be remiss if I did not also thank the Lord for a sweet granddaughter, Arielle Grace, who turns four years old today!  (Photo borrowed from her mom's Instagram)
And that's my Friday five for this week!

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Wednesday Medley for November 7

image source
This week I'm joining in with the Wednesday Medley hosted by Terri at Your Friend from Florida.  Would you like to join in also?  Just head over to Terri's blog, get the questions, then copy, paste, and answer them on your own blog.

Here are this week's questions:

What is your claim to fame?

Probably the most "famous" thing I have done is to write a book for  young people that was actually published, back in the 1990s.  Yes, I did start by writing it in longhand, though it didn't take as many notebooks as those shown below.
What is something you like to do the old-fashioned way?

Washing floors.  I much prefer to wash floors on my hands and knees.  You can see more that way.  (That said, I think -- or maybe I should say my knees think -- my days of washing floors this way may be numbered.)
What did you think you would grow out of but haven’t?

Biting my hangnails.  But there's always ....
Gorgeous graphic from Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
 What is the dumbest thing you’ve done that actually turned out pretty well?

NOT one of  the cakes I made; this is a photo from Pixabay
Agreeing to bake and decorate not one, but two wedding cakes.  This was many years ago.  I would never be dumb enough to agree to that today, but the cakes turned out fine in spite of me and probably due to a lot of help from my hubby. 
If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?

You know, as a kid I hated my name.  I have no idea what I thought I might like to change it to.  Not sure I ever thought that far.   Now I actually like my name.
Our old dictionary actually contains names and their meanings.  This isn't it, though.
What is something random you can tell us about this week?

Oh, let's see.   I'm pretty tickled that I've been able to start a couple of handmade gifts for birthdays and Christmas.  I haven't been able to do that in a year or two.  Happily, I think my creativity is returning and I'm maybe (maybe) managing my time a bit better than I had been.

And that's it for this week's Medley!

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Pumpkin Snack Cake with Praline Frosting

Photo from The View from Great Island
Another gloomy rainy day here in New Hampshire!  If you feel like doing a little fall baking to lift your spirits, I highly recommend this Pecan Praline Pumpkin Snack Cake!

This past weekend,  I was in the mood to bake.   And we were planning on having a guest, maybe several, over for supper on Friday evening.   I had seen this Pumpkin Snack Cake with Praline Frosting on the Instagram feed of The View from Great Island, one of my favorite recipe blogs.  It looked so scrumptious that I went to the blog at once and pinned the recipe to my Perfectly Pumpkin Pinterest board.

The only change I made in the recipe was to use the Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour, rather than regular all-purpose flour.   This baking flour is such a blessing because one can make regular recipes gluten free very easily by using it cup for cup in place of regular flour.

One thing that was not addressed in the recipe was how long to let the cake cool before topping it with the warm icing.  As I looked through the comments, I saw that someone else had asked that question, and Sue replied she had allowed the cake to cool about 30 minutes before adding the icing.  I added the frosting very, very slowly, spreading it as I went.  It came out perfectly.

We ended up not having company that night, so I shared a tin full of the cake with my uncle and aunt.  They really enjoyed it and commented especially on the delectable moistness of this pumpkin cake.  That, and especially the praline frosting, are what makes this cake so outstandingly delicious.

If your family enjoys pumpkin recipes, I'm sure you'd love this cake.  We certainly did!

Friday, November 02, 2018

Friday five

Gorgeous graphic from Baptist Bible Hour
Time for another Friday five!  I'm pleased to be able to say that I've kept up with the "Best of My Days" daily calendar that I mentioned in an earlier Friday five. 

It's really helped me a lot with remembering things to be thankful for each week.  So here goes:

1.  Breakfast out with my hubby on Saturday and a coffee date (below) on Wednesday.  Always a treat to spend quality time together!

2.  Colorful foliage still, in spite of wind and rain that has knocked a lot of the leaves off.

3.  Being able to get out for a walk nearly every day, in spite of rain.  And new sneakers!  The photos below were taken along our walking route last year.  I haven't brought the camera along at all this year.

4.  A good month of sales in my Etsy shop.  Below you see a few of the things that have sold recently.
Thanksgiving stickers
baby buttons
tiny needlebook
5.  Seeing God provide wisdom, safety,  and strength for the challenges of every day as we look to Him.  This is definitely the biggest blessing out of my Friday five and should absolutely have been #1 on my list.
Image from
How about you?  What are you praising God for this week?