Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The letter "J"

Okayyy...I want to do this and I am determined to do it before head off to bed.
Sometime last week, I told Mrs. Nurseboy that I wanted to play her letter game so she assigned me the letter "J". Mrs. Nurseboy shared 10 of her favorite things that start with the letter "F" last week.
Soooo, here goes!

JESUS.... He is truly the best thing that ever happened to me! I was born again on July 13, 1975 and I’ve never been the same since! He is my everything!

Jokes....... I know you may wonder why I like jokes but it is because I love to laugh. I HAVE to laugh. Laughter is so much of who I am. Most of the jokes I know are the kind that make people groan AND laugh.. Those are my favorite kind. My close friends and family even label jokes “Jewel jokes”!

January....... It marks the beginning of a new year. I love the feeling of getting an opportunity to do better, to try again, to achieve more. I love the feeling of newness that January brings. The clean slate of a new year to write upon.

Jaunts....... I love to take pleaure drives, some with definite destinations. Sometimes not. Sometimes when I’ve been to the doctor or somewhere, I’ll drive through somewhere, get something to drink and then just find a long way home, driving on backroads slowly, enjoying the scenery and solitude.

Java........ Does anything taste or feel better on a cold winter’s morning than a steaming cup of creamy coffee? Mmmmmm And as I've said many times, I am not big on sweets BUT when I am drinking my morning coffe, I ALWAYS have something sweet with it....a donut or poptart or something!

Jets........ I am so thankful for the time-saving travel that jets provide!!! It is unbelievable to me how much time can be saved by flying! And I love it! I feel so adventurous and worldly when flying anywhere. Well, and I did much more so when they used to fly you on the bigger jets....you know, three seats across on both sides of the plane

Johnny....... My twin brother. Do I need to say more? We share a special bond and we just get each other, you know? Sometimes, the only time that we phone eachother is to tell eachother a joke that we've heard. Orrrr to growl over American Idol or America's Got Talent orrrrr scream over Ohio State Football when they are playing. *smile*

Jitterbug......Ohhhh, but I loved to dance when I was in high school and the few years afterward AND at the occasional wedding reception. My sister Debbie and I could do a MEAN jitterbug, which we learned from watching American Bandstand (a few decades ago). We were good! Heavens, I'd like to see us try to do THAT one now! She's on oxygen and I still have a few aches and pains here and there! LOL My twin brother, Johnny and I were voted the best dancers in our senior class.

Junk food......I looooove junk food. I've never met a drive-thru that I didn't like. *sigh* And chips. I loooooove chips. Regular Dortios are my favorite. As I said in a previous post, I'm not much on candy and chocolate. BUT, if it's not healthy or good for you.....yep, I probably love it AND, at times, crave it! ANY double cheeseburger made by any number of fastfood places or restaurants. Is there anything better than a GOOD cheeseburger WITH lettuce, tomato, pickle and mayo??? (I'd say onion, too, but I can no longer tolerate onions..*sigh*)

Joseph.....of the Old Testament. This is my favorite story in the Old Testament. There are so many lessons to be learned from really reading through these chapters. Sometimes we think....or perhaps it is just me......that because the stories in the Bible cover just a few chapters or pages, that they didn't really cover that many years. But Joseph spent MANY years in Egypt, all the while keeping a right attitude and believing that God was in control. Oh, and when he is finally reunited with his brothers and father......I cry every time I read these passages. Talk about unconditional love and forgiveness. Genesis 37-50.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

You won't believe this!!!

I am walking unassisted!! Yes, you read correctly!! I had my last session of physical therapy last Friday. AND I was about half-way there, driving along, and I kept thinking that I had forgotten something. Sure enough, I had! It was my cane! Yes! I haven't used it here at home for some time, as I've gotten much stronger through exercising. When I walked into the therapy center, my therapist looked at me and said, "You're walking without your cane!" I told him that I had forgotten it and he said that was good because it means I am getting stronger!
If anyone had told me two or three years ago that I would be walking normally and unassisted again, I just don't think I would have believed them. And I was in so much pain. Now, I am almost pain-free. I AM pain-free in my hips but I still have some lower back pain and arthritis pain, but it is minimal compared to what I used to have to deal with.
Erin didn't work on Tuesday, so I went over for a visit in the afternoon. I used my cane to walk across the yard. After I loved on the boy for awhile (Jaylon), I thought I would try walking up their driveway and take the road back to our driveway and down to our house because it was such a beautiful day. And I made it without any trouble and I didn't suffer later for it, either!
I am so thankful to the Lord for how far I have come and the progress I continue to make in gaining my strength and being able to walk unassisted again.
I am now endeavoring to strengthen my back and to further strengthen my legs, though with the MAIN MAN occupying my time (and I'm not complaining, believe me! *smile*) finding time to exercise is a little difficult but I'll manage!


I'm tired. I'm sleepy. I'm tuckered out.
Have I under-estimated how much energy it would take to care for our new little grandson? I mean, how hard can it be? And Ed is here helping me. He really is but most of the time, I take care of the little guy myself.
Plus, I try to keep my daily things done here at home.
Come Friday night and Saturday, I am ready to sleep and lay down and rest and doze and nap and....well, you get the general idea.
This morning, I crawled back into bed...INTO bed..not just laying down on top of the covers...at around 11am.
Of course, I had been up since 7:30am. I had done laundry, fixed breakfast (bacon,eggs,toast), cleaned my stove really good, fed the pets, and done my general tidying-up.
I finally got up at about 12:30pm, showered, washed my hair, fixed my hair and we went to Grand Buffet for a late lunch, then to Walmart for a few things, and finally home again at about 5pm. I put everything away, fixed myself a nice, cold glass of fruit punch and sat down at my computer to catch up on things and pay some bills.
And to yawn....and stretch....and long to lay down again. *feeble grin*
I hear the bed calling my name....*sigh*
But I haven't posted since Tuesday! I just haven't been able to find the time or felt coherent enough to form a decent post.
Oh, and talk about Wednesday night and going to church! Wow....I was so tired by evening, I could hardly think about going to church but we did and I'm so thankful that we did. It always amazes me at how much better I feel after entering the sanctuary of the Lord, worshipping Him, singing and playing and losing myself in His presence, feeling His strength become my strength.
"He gives me strength as I worship Him,
And my heart is filled with praise,
Jesus breaks the bands as I raise my hands,
And gives glorious victory."
I think my body just needs to do some adjusting and getting stronger, as I take care of this precious little Jaylon. He is a joy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I've never made Chicken Enchiladas. Nope. Not once. Nada. I guess most people have? Well, they just sounded delish to me a couple of weeks ago, so I thought, why not? I had everything I needed....almost. And it was Saturday, so I had all day.
Here is the basic recipe I used:
2 grilled chicken breasts, seasoned, cooked and shredded
4 large tortilla wraps warmed
1 can of enchilada sauce
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 package of shredded cheddar or taco cheese
1 tomato diced
shredded lettuce
sour cream
I mixed the soup and half of the enchilada sauce together in a saucepan and heated it thoroughly. I spread about half of this in an 8x8 baking dish. I then spread some of the shredded chicken down the middle of the tortilla, topping it with a little of the sauce and shredded cheese. I then placed this seam side down in the baking dish. Once I was finished making the wraps, I poured the remainder of the sauce over the enchiladas, covered the dish with aluminum foil and baked this for about 25 minutes. The last five minutes, I removed the foil and melted cheese over the enchiladas. For serving them, I topped them with the shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and sour cream.
I served them with spanish rice and refried beans, which I also made. I just used Rice-a-roni spanish rice and fixed it according to package directions. I added just a little chili powder to the rice and had I had hot sauce, I might have added a sprinkle or two of that also.
I made my own refried beans by using one can of pinto beans. I drained the beans. Then I browned 2 slices of bacon, that had been cut into one-inch pieces, until it was cooked and soft but not crisp. I added the beans to the bacon and drippings, salted them a little, let them cook for a bit. Then I mashed them with a potato masher into the bacon and drippings as they cooked. I mashed them until they were almost entirely smooth. I removed whatever remained of the bacon and discarded it. Oh, and I added just a tad of Liquid Smoke, too. Ed said these were the best refried beans he had ever had!! *smile*
Here is a picture of the end results!:

Another dish that I fix that we really enjoy is Creole Weiners. I got this recipe from my old Betty Crocker Cookbook that I've had since high school!
Creole Weiners
8-12 slices of bacon cut into one inch pieces
(I usually use a 12-16oz. pkg)
3 cups of chopped onions.
1-2 cans of diced or stewed tomatoes
(I prefer stewed but have used diced. If you use
stewed tomatoes, you will need to dice them up.)
1 lb. of weiners/hot dogs
(you can also use smoked sausage cut into serving-size
1 12-16oz. pkg. of cooked noodles
Brown the bacon to desired doneness. Add the onion and sautee. Add the tomatoes with juice. Salt and Pepper to desired taste.
Add the hotdogs and let them simmer until thoroughly cooked.
In the same skillet or in a larger kettle or dish, pour the hot dogs and all over the cooked noodles and mix thoroughly. Serve!
We absolutely love the flavors of this dish!!! And it is so easy to fix!! Enjoy!!

True Randomness

As we were raising Daniel, our son, we monitored the music he listened to along with the movies he watched, etc.
Sooooo....one day he is doing schoolwork or something and, all of a sudden, I hear him singing this song...."I like big butts and I cannot lie...."
"Daniel!!! WHAT are you singing and WHERE did you hear it?!?!?!"
"Mom! It's a song from Shrek," he said in his defense.
Huh????? A song from Shrek, the children's movie we saw.....as a family?
THAT song was in it? Why didn't I remember hearing that one?
"Mom......Donkey sang it about the girl dragon he was in love with."

I guess what got me to thinking about this special memory in our family's past was the Big Bottom Memorial I told about in this post. And although I was a bit upset that long-ago-day when my son went through the house singing about liking big butts, it has become a fond and funny memory that we still laugh about when reminiscing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy 23rd Anniversary, Ed!

Today is our 23rd wedding anniversary! I can hardly believe that it has been 23 years! How the time has flown! We've had our share of difficulties through the years, but these are definitely the best years of our lives/marriage. I've not always been the easiest person to love and yet he has loved me faithfully and truly through the ups and downs. I can't imagine my life without this wonderful husband of mine and I don't even want to try. We've become best friends and truly "these two have become one".

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Our Valentine's Day Drive

Ed and I got up early this morning and went for a drive. I have never been to McConnelsville or Stockport, which are little towns on the Muskingum River. So that is where we headed. Though it was a bit chilly and snow was flurrying about, we had such a good time. We originally planned to have lunch at the Stockport Inn,
but upon arriving discovered that they were having a private wedding at their facility, so we had lunch at a neat 50's diner in McConnelsville instead. It even had a jukebox! Yes! *smile*
Okay, the smallest Kroger store in the world must be this one in McConnelsville! I could hardly believe it! I just had to take a picture! (It doesn't take much to excite me,k? *smile*)
McConnelsville has many beautiful and historic buildings. Here are a few other pictures that I took:
In the picture above, in the middle of the building is the old opera house which is now a movie theater. We peeked in the window and could see that it was absolutely beautiful inside. I wish we could have gone in, but it was closed.
Above, is the courthouse which is located on the traffic circle in the center of town. Below is a beautiful Methodist church.

Oh, and there's one more picture to post. You see, as we were approaching our turn to go into Stockport, there was a sign that said: "Big Bottom Memorial ahead". Wellllll, I told Ed we HAD to go see THAT! I mean, a memorial to big butts? Hello? *smile* But, as it turns out, it wasn't that at all. It was a memorial to the Big Bottom Massacre which ocurred during the Revolutionary War on the bottomland in this area near the Muskingum River.
And while I'm posting pictures, I might as well post one of my gorgeous little grandbaby! *smile* Okay, make that TWO! Pictures, that is, not grandbabies! *smile* He will be 9 weeks old Monday!

Happy Valentine's Day to All

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chocolate? Meh...

I just don't understand people's love of chocolate. Yes, you read correctly. Don't get me wrong. I eat an occasional candy bar. Soooo occasionally that I can't remember the last time I ate one or even put chocolate in my mouth. If Ed gets me anything for Valentine's Day, it isn't chocolate. Flowers maybe. But what I would really want would be a nice steak with potatoes and rolls. Oh, and a luscious side salad. And no dessert, please. I would rather have the other food: potatoes, bread, vegetables, meat, pasta. *sighhhhh*
A good example of my not caring so much for chocolate: Ed made a batch of fudge last week and I didn't eat one piece of it. He, Erin and Daniel have eaten all of it. Now, I took a taste of it off of the spoon as he was spreading it in the dish to cool and it was very good, but I don't get excited about it or anything. *smile*
It isn't that I don't ever eat anything sweet because I do. I have a little something sweet every morning with my first cup of coffee. But as far as dessert goes with a meal, I rarely have it. And once I have my coffee and sweet treat in the morning, I am satisfied.
So, many of my favorite food shows have been doing special presentations showcasing chocolate. I'm not even remotely interested. Although, I DO make this chocolate trifle that is to die for.....IF you like chocolate. Hmmmmm....I'm wondering if I ever posted the recipe here? I'll have to check and if not, I will post it. My friend, Tammy, made it and insisted that I have at least a healthy taste of it and I have to tell you, it was yummy!!! Now, I've made it two or three times but have not eaten even a taste of it, either time. The times that I have made it was for carry-ins or potlucks at church and it was gone in no time!

Chocolate Trifle

1 box of brownie mix/prepared according to package directions (9x13 size) or
2 boxes of Little Debbie fudge brownies
2 small boxes of white chocolate instant pudding
2 small boxes of chocolate instant pudding
6 cups of milk
1 bowl of Cool Whip
1 Butterfinger candy bar/ crushed
Caramel Ice Cream Topping (optional)
Pecan pieces (optional)

Crumble half of brownies in the bottom of trifle dish. Prepare each pudding with just 3 cups of milk each. Let the pudding set up till firm. Spread the white chocolate pudding over brownies. Spread the chocolate pudding next. Top with half of the Cool Whip. Sprinkle with half of the crushed candy bar. Drizzle with caramel topping. Repeat the layers. Again, sprinkle the top with crushed candy bar and drizzle with caramel topping. I've also sprinkled pecan pieces on the first and second layers, too. I guarantee this to be a hit with whomever you serve it to!!
AND whether I used brownies that I baked from a mix or the Little Debbie brownies, no one seemed to notice and everyone liked it just as much.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Week one down! And we made it!

We finished our first week of caring for little Jaylon and we didn't have any major mishaps. Well, Ed did have to change his first yucky diaper while I was at physical therapy Friday. :-/ It was a doozy, I guess. He said he gagged a few times. Oh my. Anywayyyyy......once I got home from PT, we bundled up the boy and went to Jack's Steakhouse for lunch. Here's a pic of Jaylon in his carseat, ready to go.

He slept the whole time and everyone thought he was gorgeous. *smile*
Sooooo, we got home and the little guy woke up, so Ed was holding him while I got his bottle ready. All of a sudden, Ed jumped up and said that he was getting all wet! Soooo, I took Jaylon and put him on his changing table, only to find out that his diaper was down around his knees! It was so funny! Poor little guy. So, I'm going to have to give Ed some gentle pointers on how to properly diaper a baby. *smile* Today (Monday), I got home from PT just in time to change another yucky diaper that the boy did. Just in time to save Ed from having to do the honors.

I'll be honest, though, and say that Jaylon can be a handful to diaper! Whew! He usually cries like crazy as soon as the air hits his little bottom and he moves his little legs around so much it's hard to get the clean diaper positioned and all. But I do manage to get it done! Yeah! AND when the boy is hungry, he wants his bottle NOW! I mean, he cries and cries, so I've gotten to the place where I endeavor to have his bottle all ready to go. *whew* It's keeping me on my toes but I feel so blessed to be caring for our little grandson and Daniel and Erin thanks us all of the time.

I meant to post this last Friday evening or Saturday morning but I just can't seem to get anything done on time. It's taking some time to get a schedule down and to get organized and all with the new grandbaby here every day.

Ohhhhh.....and last night, Daniel and Erin called to ask if we would keep him overnight so they could get a good night's sleep to start the week and of course, we said yes. Well, Jaylon went to sleep at eleven o'clock, slept until 3am, was changed,fed, and back to sleep by 3:30. He woke up this morning around 7:30. I was simply amazed! Daniel never slept long periods of time like that until he was about 13 months old.

Soooo, Jaylon was very good during the night BUT the kitty of the house, as pictured below, was not!
She is just unsettled when Jaylon is here. So last night, she kept jumping up on me in bed and would knead me from one end to the other and then walk up around my head, purring and rubbing against me. Usually, I'm not even aware of when she gets on the bed because she does it very subtly and just lays against my legs on the edge of the bed. But not last night! And I couldn't shut the door because of the baby. So it was a pretty restless night and I'm feeling it tonight, so bedtime is coming early!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Old Shep

Taking a picture of Ellie laying in her box with "Shep" on the side of it reminded me of that song, "Old Shep". A few years ago, I was part of a group from church that went to a local nursing home where we sang and played music. Now we would endeavor to mix in some new songs with the old, mostly for the sake of the younger people who worked there, I suppose. BUT the older residents wanted nothing to do with them and invariably requested the old songs, which I love, too. "Old Shep" was a standard. We sang it everytime and it touched hearts everytime, including mine. We had a gentleman in our group that strummed the guitar and sang it in his beautiful baritone voice. In case you haven't heard it, I thought I would post the lyrics here for you. I'd post a video but I would want to listen to it first and am unable to do so. If anyone would want to find one and recommend it to me, I would gladly post it here! Thanks!
When I was a lad and old Shep was a pup,
Over hills and meadows we'd stray,
Just a boy and his dog, we were both full of fun,
We grew up together that way.

I remember the time at the old swimmin' hole,
When I would have drowned beyond doubt,
But old Shep was right there,
To the rescue he came,
He jumped in and then pulled me out.

As the years fast did roll,
Old Shep he grew old,
His eyes were fast growing dim,
And one day the doctor looked at me,
And said I can do no more for him, Jim.

With hands that were trembling, I picked up my gun,
And aimed it at Shep's faithful head,
I just couldn't do it, I wanted to run,
I wish they would shoot me instead.

He came to my side and looked up at me,
And laid his old head on my knee,
I had struck the best friend that a man ever had,
I cried so I scarcely could see.

Old Shep he has gone where the good doggies go,
And no more with old Shep will I roam,
But if dogs have a heaven, there's one thing I know,
Old Shep has a wonderful home.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Little does she know

I am dying laughing here! You seeeee.....Ellie, the kitty of the house, has a new box to lay in! LOL What she doesn't know is that it is a dog biscuit box AND it says "Shep" on the side of it!

Being the frugal people that we are, we had previously made her bed in a shells and cheese box, but she was gradually outgrowing it. Soooooo, when I saw carrying this box out of the pantry I stopped him and said, "Hey, that would make a nice bed for Ellie." AND when I saw what it said on the side of it, I was just struck with crazy laughter. And then when I saw her laying in it, that did it! Dying with laughter. AND Ed has been going throught he house saying, "Hey, Shep.." to her.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I have to make this quick!

Jaylon is napping in Grandma's bed and he is due to wake up just any minute! *whew* This has been an adjustment this week, taking care of a 6-week-old baby. But I love it and Ed helps me. BUT I'm still going to physical therapy AND carrying little Jaylon about, so my body is kind of rebelling against me.

I was in bed by eight o'clock Monday night! I couldn't stay awake or up any longer!! I tried to nap when Jaylon did but I found it difficult to relax for some reason. Tuesday, I did a little better, but today, with physical therapy again this morning, I am feeling drained. I did lay down with Jaylon for a little while but was not able to really rest because he squirms and makes little noises and I am such a light sleeper. But I wouldn't trade watching the little guy for anything!

The days go by so quickly and I do manage to keep things done here at home but I just can't believe how busy a little one keeps me. Of course, by saying "busy", alot of the time is spent holding and lovin' on that baby boy....*smile*.....AND feeding him AND talking to him. I can tell he is wanting to say something back to me soooo much 'cause when I am talking to him, he just squirms and stretches and moves his little mouth and tongue....it is sooo adorable! Just any day now he'll be cooing and making all of those adorable little baby noises. *smile*

I am getting so much stronger in my legs and back through doing my physical therapy. I hardly use my cane here at home any longer but with the snow and ice still lingering outside, of course, I use it when I go anywhere. I am so thankful for the progress I am making and I still am amazed that I am able to walk almost normally again. I feel like I have a new lease on life! BUT I am trying to pace myself and not get too carried away! *smile*

Well, I had better go because I haven't give much thought to what we are having for supper and the Main Man is going to be waking up soon. I hope you are all having a great week!!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

What holiday are you?

I saw this at Barbara's blog and thought it looked like fun! I believe most of the info is accurate, except for the last one. I am fairly low-key when it comes to preparing for the holidays, so I don't know where THAT came from. *smile*

You Are Thanksgiving

You are a bit of a homebody who enjoys being in the company of people you love.

It doesn't take a lot to make you happy. You're enjoying life as it is.

You have many blessings in your life, and you are grateful for each one.

You believe that life is about what you *do* have. You feel like you have enough of the good stuff.

What makes you celebrate: Family, friends, and the changing of the seasons.

At holiday get togethers, you do best as: The host of the party

On a holiday, you're the one most likely to: Spend so much energy preparing that it's a full time job