Monday, October 29, 2018

Emma's Apple Cake (with gluten free and dairy free options)

(The photo above is from Pixabay, but it just reminds me so much of the apple barn I visited as a child.)

I'm sure I'm not the only one looking for good apple recipes this time of year!  Recently my friend Nikki posted on her Instagram about an apple loaf cake her daughter Emma had baked.  It looked so good that I asked Nikki if I could have the recipe.  This past weekend I finally got around to trying the cake.  It was SO delicious!
This cake is baked in a loaf pan.  You can see the "apple pie" layer in the middle and on the top.
Here is Emma's recipe, and I will tell you how I adapted it to be gluten free and dairy free.


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk (Emma says: you might add a bit more if the mixture is too thick.)
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling
2 medium apples, diced
1/3 cup apple butter

For the topping
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp.all purpose flour
2 Tbsp cold butter (small pieces)
1 tsp. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan with some non stick spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl stir together the flour, baking powder,  and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl using a hand held mixer cream together the butter and sugar for a couple of minutes, then add eggs and vanilla and mix for another minute.
4.Add the dry ingredients along with the milk. Mix just until batter comes together, then set aside.
5. In a bowl stir together the diced apples with the apple butter and set aside as well.
6. Lastly, make the topping: in a bowl add all the ingredients for the topping. Using a pastry blender, mix together cutting the butter into tiny pieces that are well distributed throughout.
7. Pour half the cake batter in your prepared pan, then spoon over it half the apple mixture (push into the batter a bit), followed by the remaining batter, remaining apples and finally finished off with the topping.
8. Bake about 50 minutes to an hour,  then allow it to come to room temp before serving.

(When I made this, I had left some longer ends of parchment paper when I lined the bottom of the pan.  I think it made it a lot easier to get the cake out of the pan.)

For gluten free:  I substituted the  Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour for all-purpose flour in both the cake batter and the topping.  I've mentioned before how much I love this flour, as it can make any cake, cookie, muffin, or biscuit recipe gluten free without having to make a lot of special adaptations.  I include again a photo of this flour, so you will be sure and recognize it at the grocery store.

For dairy free: I used almond milk (in this case the vanilla flavor as that's what my hubby likes) instead of regular milk in the cake batter.  I also substituted canola oil for butter in the cake batter.  In the topping, I also used canola oil instead of butter.

My very first order of business before trying this recipe had been to locate some apple butter.  I had looked at both my local supermarket and Wal*mart, to no avail.  Now, I know that both places do carry apple butter, and was able to find it on my second try.  It's near the jams and jellies, and was on a much lower shelf than I expected.  At the supermarket, I was very pleased to find the product below:

The only ingredients in it are apples, and apple cider concentrate.  No sweetener, no spices.  It was actually perfect for this cake, and there is still plenty left in the jar to bake several more cakes!  You can read about it here: Tap'nApple

Hope you'll enjoy this cake as much as we did!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Friday five

Time for another Friday five.  So many blessings and so many things to be thankful for, it is hard to know where to begin.  So I guess I'll just jump in.

1.  Happy mail!  Last weekend, a friend on Instagram (@justbeeing_maryjane) offered some of her unused journals to followers -- she posted pictures of the journals with a number on each one.  If we saw one we liked, we were to message her ... the first one to reply would receive that particular journal.  I chose one and Mary Jane messaged me when it was on the way.  I expected a journal in a mailer ... wow, was it ever so much more than that. 
Back of journal I chose
Front of journal
The journal was packaged inside a sweet yellow-checked bag sealed with a pumpkin sticker.  And there was the most gorgeous autumn-themed card made by Mary Jane herself.  The details on this card are so lovely -- the tiny leaf punched out at the lower right corner, and the adorable wooden leaf tied near the top with a bit of baker's twine, and more.

To say that this happy mail made my day would be a huge understatement.  Thanks again so much, Mary Jane!

2.  Buttercup squash from a friend's garden, dropped on my porch this week.  She had five extra and asked if I could use some.  Not wanting to be selfish, I asked for two.  (I had one on hand which I'd purchased at the supermarket.)  My husband's take on this: "I would have asked for all five."  We love buttercup squash -- it's our absolute favorite.
Just a generic photo of squash, pumpkins and gourds from Pixabay
3.  Fall cooking.  It was so nice to make an oven meal this week.  Turkey loaf, baked potatoes, baked buttercup squash.  And on Sunday, for guests, I made Creamy White Chicken Chili in the slow cooker, served with gluten free buttermilk cornbread muffins.  Oh, and another night we had this Roasted Squash Medley with leftover meat loaf.  Love being able to serve these heartier foods after such a long hot summer in which one just didn't want to use the oven or serve hot meals.
White chicken chili
4.  Getting out for a walk every day this week.  This is a biggie!  Several days there was a cold wind blowing, and yesterday snow pellets were stinging our faces, but it was better than the heat and humidity of previous months.  So grateful for a congenial walking companion and a scenic walking route.

Part of our walking route
5.  The thoughtfulness of cousins.  Recently the curtains at our beloved family cottage had to be replaced.  With colorful folk-art motifs, these had been chosen by my grandmother in the 1950s and had a special place in the memories of many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  My cousin W. and his wife C. framed pieces of the aging and irreplaceable curtain fabric as keepsakes, and even made some pretty sachets from the smaller pieces.  Such a thoughtful gesture!
Framed curtain fabric
Sweet sachets.  I plan on sharing mine with my daughters.
Our beloved family summer place

There you have this week's Friday five.  I could have shared much more.  It's such a blessing to see God's goodness in our lives each and every day!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Red leaves and a recipe

Recent rain and wind have really done a number on most of the fall colors and foliage here in our area.  The red leaves, in particular, are among the missing.

( This morning, though, I had occasion to drive about a half hour south of here and saw that the foliage there is actually still pretty nice.  There are even some glorious red and red-orange trees!)

At the edge of our driveway stands a tree with a few red and yellow leaves still clinging to it.  As they fall, I occasionally see one that is worth scanning to save and share.  The one at top is like that.  Yes, there's a hole in it, but I just liked the way the red and the yellow blended together.

And here's another one, below.  I really liked the sort of square, or diamond-shaped, yellow area at the bottom center of the leaf.  It's amazing (at least to me, but then I amaze easily) how the yellow area has such straight edges on three sides.  And in the bottom right part of the yellow part, look -- it's a heart shape!

I also have a good new-to-me recipe to share.  As I've mentioned, we eat very little red meat these days for health reasons.  We will occasionally get a burger when we eat out, but it's seldom.  We do love meat loaf, though, and so for quite awhile I've been making my regular meat loaf recipe with ground turkey.   It's very good, but recently I saw a recipe for Savory Turkey Loaf that I wanted to try.  So I made this on Monday and we enjoyed it with baked potatoes and baked buttercup squash -- a perfect oven meal for autumn!

2 pounds ground turkey
3/4 cup quick oats
1/2 cup applesauce
4 teaspoons instant minced onion
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
Barbecue sauce for top of loaf

Heat oven to 350º or 375º depending upon what else you may be baking in the oven at the same time.

Mix all ingredients except barbecue sauce in a large bowl.  Mix lightly but thoroughly.  I found that a large mixing spoon worked well.  Form into an oval loaf in a 13x9-inch baking dish.  Spread barbecue sauce over the top of the loaf. 

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

I adapted this quite a bit from a recipe in Gooseberry Patch's Slow Cooking All Year 'Round.  It was intended to be cooked in a slow cooker,  so you can do that if you prefer, for 5 to 6 hours on Low.

I wasn't sure about the applesauce, but I had about a half cup left after making applesauce muffins, so used it in the loaf.  It added a nice touch, and so did the garlic.  I think I'm going to keep those single-serve applesauce cups on hand for easy use in this recipe.  We liked this a lot and will be making it again and again, I'm sure.

I think you'll enjoy this recipe (and the entire oven meal!) if you try it.  A blessed autumn to you!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Friday five (fall baking edition)

I didn't intend for this Friday five to be all about fall baking, but it sort of turned out that way, so ... here we go.

1.  First, let me say how thankful I am for last weekend's couples' retreat at The Wilds of New England!  My hubby and I just never want to miss this time.  It's like a yearly reset for our marriage; edifying Bible teaching for couples along with great food, fellowship, music, campfires, coffee, hayrides, ice cream and so much more.  All this in a glorious setting of New England fall foliage.  Yes, there is a baking connection here:  Friday night's dessert was homemade pumpkin whoopie pies with a delicious spiced filling.  Mm-mmm!

2.  A working oven.  Last Thursday we had guests for brunch and then a guest at supper.  My oven was going a good bit of the day.  That evening, I turned the oven on again to a low temperature, to dry out a metal pan.  There was a strong smell of gas and I remembered that my hubby had been saying he needed to order a delivery of propane, so we both assumed we might be running out.  But the burner flames looked fine.  Still, I turned the oven off immediately.
     When he called the next day to order the propane, he unthinkingly mentioned the strong gas odor, and was told they needed to send a technician out to look over the tank and stove.  In our state, maybe others, this is required by law if a customer mentions a strong propane smell.  He did come, everything is fine with both stove and tank and our tank is now full (we were not running out, as we thought, but it was time for a delivery to get us through winter).    So thankful for a working oven, as I've been baking a lot the past couple of days -- it's my turn to bring snacks for Sunday's coffee break at church.

3.  Aprons.  The older I get, the more necessary I find it to wear an apron when I cook, just like my mother and grandmother always did.  Thankful for cute aprons!
An apron I made for my granddaughter Sarah one Christmas
4.   Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour.  I like to use this for cookies, cakes, muffins, and biscuits because it means I can just use my old favorite recipes, substituting this cup-for-cup for regular flour.  (Don't try to use it for pizza or yeast breads, though, because it won't work.)  I absolutely love being able to use some of my old recipes again!
5.  Recipes.  As I was baking in my kitchen this morning I was thinking about how thankful I am for recipes old and new, but especially those that have been handed down from loved ones.   I guess this came to mind because I was making a Cranberry Coffee Cake.  This recipe got its start with one from my mother's good friend Evelyn, a fabulous cook and a faithful sharer of good recipes, so that's probably why it came to mind.

That, and all of the clearing out I've been doing at my childhood home, has really got me thinking about the importance of recipe boxes and notebooks.  This deserves a post all its own, so watch for it -- hopefully soon!

In the meantime, why not do some fall baking of your own?  You can check out some of my favorites here -- Some of my favorite apple recipes, pumpkin and squash recipes (this post also contains some main dish recipes) or just click "pumpkin" or "apples" in the label cloud.  Happy baking!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Wednesday Medley

Gorgeous vintage fall floral from Little Birdie Blessings
 I hadn't found the time to participate in Terri's Wednesday Medley previously, but thought I would jump in when I noticed this week's questions.

Here's the Medley:
1.  The Circleville, Ohio, Pumpkin Festival starts today.  All things pumpkin are everywhere. What is your one very favorite pumpkin flavored food or drink?  Do you wish it was available all year or do you only want it in the Fall?
Oh, this is a really difficult question.  My friend Gina makes a pumpkin roll that I have always loved, but I also have a recipe for pumpkin streusel coffeecake that's a real favorite.  Oh, and I can't forget these wonderful gluten free pumpkin chocolate chip doughnuts.  Really, I just love pumpkin treats and would be hard pressed to pick just one favorite.  Why not click "pumpkin" in the label cloud and try one of my recipes?  I think I really do prefer pumpkin treats in the fall.  It's nice to keep some things special for the season, don't you think? 
2.  What product would you seriously stockpile if you found out they weren't going to sell it anymore? 

If I had known, some years ago, that Celestial Seasonings was going to discontinue their Canadian Maple tea, I would have stockpiled it!   If they ever discontinue Candy Cane Lane, I might have to stockpile that.
Anyone else remember this?
3.  What is the most interesting thing you have seen online this week?
Now, that is a good question.   I'm currently enjoying the 12 days of Annestagram on Instagram, where folks are posting autumn related photos with an Anne of Green Gables theme.  The hashtag is #12daysofannestagram, should you be interested in checking it out.  The photo below is from my daughter Carrie's Instagram.
4.  Is it better to be a "big fish in a small pond" or a "small fish in a big pond"?
Oh, I definitely prefer being a small fish in a big pond.
5.  My Joe has become obsessed with playing chess on the computer.  Do you play chess?  Are you good at it?
I don't play chess and am pretty sure I would be terrible at it.  I don't do well with any games that require strategy.  My hubby enjoys chess but seldom plays it.
I would rather bake, like this Pumpkin Dutch Apple Pie.
6.  Tell us something random about your week.
The weather is certainly random these days!  We've had quite a bit of rain and wind, also some gorgeous sunny days and a mixture of all three.  Cooler temps too, which is nice.   Snow in the mountains...

So ends my first Wednesday Medley!  It's been fun.

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Best Breakfast Potatoes ... and a bushel of laughs

I will get to the recipe (you can see the potatoes at left in the photo above) in a moment, but first, a little background. 

During our recent trip to Elko, Nevada to visit family, one of the nicest blessings for me was the very rare opportunity to go out for breakfast with both of my daughters.  I'm so tickled that they thought of doing this.  It was a wonderful time, with conversation and laughter flowing freely.

Joanna, who lives in Elko, suggested McAdoo's, and it was a wonderful choice.  We all chose the breakfast croissant sandwich, and it was a fantastic choice, as it was filled with things like egg, bacon, greens, and avocado among others.  We also found that the potatoes that accompanied this sandwich were amazing!

We spent more than a few minutes trying to dissect the recipe -- but we also spent a great many minutes laughing hysterically.  Our server brought Joanna a bottle of ketchup to accompany her potatoes, and the problem started when the ketchup refused to leave the bottle.  (It was a brand new bottle.)  I think many of us have probably had a similar experience with new bottles of ketchup.  Usually a quick jab into the ketchup with a knife breaks the suction or whatever is holding the ketchup back. 

In this case, the knife maneuver did not work.  Worse, when Joanna attempted to remove the knife from the bottle, it would not come out.  No matter how much she worked at it, it would not leave the neck of the bottle.  Carrie then stepped in and held the bottle with both hands so Joanna could jiggle the knife with both hands.  Still no go. 

By this time, we were all laughing hard.  I wanted so badly to take a video with my Kindle, but two things held me back: I was shaking with laughter so couldn't have held it steady; and also I was pretty sure the knife was going to come out quickly, spattering ketchup everywhere, including my screen.

That didn't happen, however.  At this point, a rugged-looking young man seated near us had grasped the situation, and he signaled to Joanna to let him help.  She handed him the bottle and ... guess what?  He couldn't budge the knife either!  We had to return it to the counter like this:

Fast-forward to last week when we were having guests for brunch and I wanted some sort of easy potato dish to accompany an egg bake.  I was looking through my Gooseberry Patch fall cookbooks.  In Flavors of Fall, I came upon a recipe called Golden Parmesan Potatoes and decided to try it.  I had to adapt it a bit anyway to meet a dietary need, but that adaptation turned out to be just the ticket to potatoes that tasted very much like those we had at McAdoo's.  (I also cut the recipe in half to make a smaller amount, so that is how I will write it.  If you need a larger quantity, just double the recipe and use a 13 x 9-inch pan.)

I made these again for a supper guest the same night.  Absolutely delicious and so easy!

2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons Italian seasoned bread crumbs (I used gluten-free)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 medium potatoes (or 6 small ones) scrubbed, rinsed and cubed
3 Tablespoons butter or olive oil

Heat oven to 375º.

Combine the cheese, crumbs, salt and pepper in a gallon size zip-top plastic bag.  As you prepare the potatoes, put the cubes right into the bag of crumbs.  When all the potatoes are in the bag, seal it and shake very well to coat the potato cubes with the crumb mixture.

Coat the bottom of a 9-inch square pan (I recommend non-stick metal) with either butter or olive oil.  Add potatoes and any remaining crumbs.

Bake at 375º for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes or so.  Serves 3 or 4 generously.

We loved this and I hope that you will, too!  No ketchup required.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday five

Time for a quick version of Friday five! 

1.  A lakeside lunch with two cousins, last Saturday.  So much fun to have reconnected now, after all these years!

2.  Seeing God give wisdom every day as we look to Him.  Watching Him give guidance and direction for every day if we will only pay attention.

3.  My favorite lamp being repaired!  It stands by my favorite chair and I rely on it to see my Bible in early morning quiet times, or  occasionally to see needlework of an evening.  Recently it stopped working altogether, but my wonderful hubby was able to find what he needed at Walmart and fixed it in minutes!

4.  Wonderful fellowship yesterday with friends visiting our state all the way from Nevada.  Their first time seeing New England fall foliage, and they loved it!

5.  And the reason this must be quick: Mr. T and I have the opportunity to head out to a couples' retreat this afternoon!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Creamy Sausage Stew, take 3

Photo from Taste of Home
Sunday we had guests for lunch  after church, and I made this sausage stew in the slow cooker to serve with corn muffins.  It's a perfect meal for fall!  I've had this recipe for a long time and have posted about it at least once previously.  I found it in a Country Woman magazine in 1995.  It was a great recipe to begin with, but I have tweaked it over the years.

As I noted in my other post, I usually use half the amount of sausage, cut in smaller pieces than specified, and I usually use light or turkey sausage.  I also use half-and-half instead of the heavy cream.  It even works with fat-free half-and-half!   The dish still tastes very rich but it is a lot lower in fat. 

You can find my other post about the sausage stew here and the original recipe from the Taste of Home site here: Creamy Sausage Stew.   The original recipe called for roasting the vegetables and sausage, and it is very good that way, but I have been tweaking it to try and make it work easily in the slow cooker.

Here is my most recent take on this recipe:

8 medium potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 to 2 yellow onions, cut in 8 wedges each
1 large green pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 large red pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, halved
14 ounces turkey kielbasa or smoked sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced about 1/2 thick
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Half-and-half to taste
Cornstarch and water to thicken if desired

In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients except for the half-and-half and optional cornstarch/water.

Cook on High for about 2 hours, then turn to Low and cook for 3 to 4 more hours.  (Or you could just cook it on High for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.)

When ready to serve, add half-and-half to your taste.  If it seems too liquid or not as creamy as you'd like, just mix equal parts of cornstarch and water and add to the stew, stirring well and allowing to cook for a few more minutes until it is as thick as you'd like.

This got great reviews from our guests on Sunday, with everyone having a second bowl of stew!  I hope that you and your family enjoy it also!

Friday, October 05, 2018

Friday five

Not sure how another Friday rolled around so quickly, but it has!  Here are five blessings from the past week:

1.  Safety as thousands of miles were traveled during our vacation.  We traveled from our home in NH to Boston by bus, then flew to Salt Lake City.  Our family picked us up there and we drove to Nevada.  We took a four-day road trip to south central Idaho and then back to Nevada.  This past Monday we all drove to Salt Lake City, then we flew out from there Tuesday morning.  Had a brief layover in Minneapolis, flew from there to Boston, caught a 9:30 pm bus to NH and were home shortly after midnight.  Whew!  It makes me tired just to think about it (still a bit jet-lagged!) but so thankful for the safety God gave.

Yes, there are even Dunkin' Donuts out west!  America truly does run on Dunkin'.  This one is in Wells, Nevada. ⬇

2.  The kind and generous hospitality of friends.   During our vacation, Mr. T and I were blessed to stay in a lovely quiet apartment in the basement of our son-in-law's parents' home.  D and J stocked the pantry and fridge for us and even loaned us a car during the time we spent in Nevada.  We definitely feel that this blessing enabled us to come back more refreshed and rested!

3.  Wonderful fellowship with God's people.  We attended church services last Sunday with folks who have come to be like our own church family.  In the afternoon, several families from church joined us at a local park.  The kids played safely while the adults visited ... just a lovely time of fellowship.  Wednesday evening saw us back with our own church family here in NH, which was certainly a blessing as well.

4.   Quality time spent in God's magnificent creation.  We were so blessed to enjoy a hike in Lamoille Canyon last Friday.  I was even able to spend some time in prayer as I rested on a large rock in the midst of this beauty.  (Photos below are from my daughter Carrie.)

Sadly, a fire began near the Canyon on Sunday.  You can read about it here: fire in Lamoille Canyon and see an update here: Range Two Fire.  Thankfully, the fire was 50% contained as of last night, and rain was helping with the firefighting efforts.  Still, those who know about such things say that the canyon, a treasured local resource loved by many people, will not be the same in our lifetime.  So thankful we have had numerous opportunities to enjoy its beauty over the years!

5.  The chance to attend a grandson's soccer game last Saturday.  We can occasionally get to a local grandchild's game or event, but have never been able to do this with regard to the Nevada grands.  So thankful for this opportunity, even though his team lost this game.

And a bonus, because I forgot to mention this last week.

6.  The fun of baking with grandkids, using the Concord grapes from our daughter and son-in-law's backyard.  They had a bumper crop of grapes this year, so we enlisted the kids and baked two grape pies.  Their grapes were quite small, so it took many hands to slip off the skins to make the pie.  Emily, a pie crust expert (at age 10!), tutored Julia in rolling out and crimping.  The result was delicious, although I failed to get pictures of that.  (These photos are also by Carrie.)

 If you should be interested in baking a grape pie of your own, the recipe for grape streusel pie is here on my blog in this post: Grape Streusel Pie.  You will need to scroll down to get to the recipe.  I was so glad I had written about it, since after volunteering to bake the pies, I realized I didn't have the recipe with me.  I did a search on my own blog, and voila!

So ends another Friday five!  Hope you've enjoyed these glimpses into our vacation.  I hope to write some actual vacation posts soon.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

October goals

Lovely autumn graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings

I'm a few days late, but it's a new month, and so it's time to set some goals for October:

* Continue with my Bible study of Colossians
* Memorize at least 4 Bible verses and review some older ones.
* Add 4 pages to my "What Do I Know About My God?" Scripture notebook
* Continue study for Sunday School -- A Woman Who Reflects the Heart of Jesus
* Get to bed by 9 pm each night  
* Limit sugar and red meat.
* Drink enough water each day.
* Walk and/or exercise each day.
* Keep up with Flylady's homemaking zones of the week.
* Do something creative each day
* Post in this blog at least twice weekly if possible
* Continue working on several UFO craft projects
* Continue planning for family birthday gifts and crafting any handmade ones
* Continue stocking my Etsy shop and continue selling vintage items
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family
* Help and encourage my local daughter as I'm able
* Get together with friends from Nevada who'll be visiting our state
* Attend a couples' retreat with my hubby
* Continue to encourage and support my hubby as he works through a pastoral search for our church
* Clean church and set up for fellowship time
* Sort out and declutter my dad's house; work on estate
* Plan meals with a greater emphasis on healthy eating

OCTOBER'S HEALTHY HABITS:  Drink enough water/exercise/eat healthfully/get enough sleep
WORD FOR 2018: Settled

And here's how September went:

* Continue with my Bible study of Colossians -- done!
* Memorize at least 4 Bible verses and review some older ones -- done!
* Add 4 pages to my "What Do I Know About My God?" Scripture notebook -- done!
* Continue study for Sunday School -- A Woman Who Reflects the Heart of Jesus
-- done!
* Get to bed by 9 pm each night-- not done
* Limit sugar and red meat -- did well limiting red meat, not so well with sugar
* Drink enough water each day -- doing better with this, but still not the best
* Walk and/or exercise each day -- technically not done, but we did do a ton of walking and hiking on vacation, so I'm calling this done!
* Keep up with Flylady's homemaking zones of the week -- not done
* Do something creative each day -- done!
* Post in this blog at least twice weekly if possible  -- done!
* Continue working on several UFO craft projects -- not done
* Continue planning for family birthday gifts and crafting any handmade ones -- done!
* Continue stocking my Etsy shop and continue selling vintage items -- done!
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family -- done!
* Help and encourage my local daughter as I'm able -- done!
* Fine-tune our vacation plans -- done!
* Attend a ladies' retreat !!-- done!
* Continue to encourage and support my hubby as he works through a pastoral search for our church -- done!
* Clean church and set up for fellowship time -- done!
* Sort out and declutter my dad's house; work on estate -- not done, but I've kept at it
* Plan meals with a greater emphasis on healthy eating -- done!

SEPTEMBER'S HEALTHY HABITS:  Drink enough water/exercise/eat healthfully/get enough sleep
WORD FOR 2018: Settled

Hoping to have a more productive month in October, but we will see.  Later this week I hope to write a few blog posts with pictures and details about our vacation to Nevada, Idaho and Utah.  Stay tuned!