Thursday, December 24, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF MY WONDERFUL FOLLOWERS! I wish you Christmas blessings and joy.. and time spent with the ones you love.


Sleep well tonight and dream of the baby Jesus.


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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Cookies - Gluten Free! and WW 2 points only!

In my last post, I showed a picture of some yummy gluten free pumpkin spice cookies that I made. I love anything pumpkin, and actually saw these made on a YouTube video, and just HAD to try them.



And oh boy were they good! I got the recipe off of You Tube, from  Hectanooga1.  Here is a link to her video for these WW 2 point cookies. Her channel is wonderful, with MANY cooking videos and MANY crochet tutorials. 

One of my followers requested the recipe so here it is:

The above recipe is a JPEG file, so if you want to print it out, hover over it, right click, and then "save as" to whatever folder you want it in.. and then go to the folder and print it. You could also try just right clicking on the recipe photo and depending on the program you are using, print it right from there.

Here are a few pictures to describe the process. Below is about the size you want (about 1 tsp) and use an ungreased cookie sheet. My cookie sheet is very well worn loved.


Your dough should be soft and a little bit sticky, but not too much.
Smash them down with a wet fork as they don't spread much.
Make your glaze.

The glaze should be runny (and oh so yummy!)
Fresh out of the oven... you can sneak a few without the glaze - just to sample them!

And voila! with glaze and nuts sprinkled on top. I used walnuts but pecans would also be delicious.
My recipe is gluten free as I absolutely CANNOT eat any form of wheat or gluten. My hubby loves them! If you want to make these little morsels with regular wheat flour, just use wheat flour instead of the gluten free mix or GF flours, and don't add the Xanthan Gum, and you'll need to add baking powder per the above recipe.

If you need the recipe in a larger size and/or can't print or save it, let me know and I'll be glad to email it to you.

Hope you try these and enjoy them as much as we did! I'll definitely be making more.


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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Checking in........

Hello dear followers, 

I'm just checking in to say hi. Here's what's been going on in my world:

Went to visit my sister who was staying for a week at the Crooked River Ranch south of Madras, Oregon. Beautiful Smith Rocks in the background.




Halloween came and went - my sister in La Pine always decorates her yard to the n'th degree!







I made a bunch of paper rosettes for my Etsy shop.



My husband and I spent THREE hours putting together a shelf for my craft room.... what a complicated mess that was! We got it from our local Habitat for Humanity store for just $18.00 - brand new in the box and I can see why whoever bought it donated it..... had about 50 pieces to figure out what to do with!



I wish I had about TWO more of theses.

We had snow two days before Thanksgiving - 11 inches and COLD temperatures.



I made some pumpkin spice cookies 2 days before Thanksgiving as my son was coming for a visit. I was SO excited!



And I baked some pies.....



Apples and pumpkin... but they didn't turn out very good for some reason. Apples were too dry and the pumpkin pie was too brown! Don't know why it was so brown looking... must have been the "off brand" of pumpkin that I used.. and it was bland. Geesh.. all that work! but they were pretty good anyway and it's the thought that counts, right? (and the whipped cream helped :-))

Thanksgiving dinner - yum! alot of work but I guess I can handle it one day a year (or two!)



My husband, kitten Maddie and my sweet son.

My son did alot of shovelling and sprinkling of "ice melt" on our steep driveway and stairs.
Three days after Thanksgiving, we had freezing fog.. that did this to the trees (below)... what a beautiful sight after the fog evaporated.





We had a few nights over the Thanksgiving weekend of zero degrees..... bur.r.r.r.r.r. very cold here for this time of year.  And we thought we were moving to a warmer climate? really?

I know I haven't posted any "Serene Saturdays" for awhile, but I must say, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, with my son here, was one of the most serene, relaxing and enjoyable days I've had for a long time. 

Now... it's time to get ready for Christmas!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Thanks.



Thanksgiving Day is a good day......
to recommit our energies......
to giving thanks and just giving.

~Amy Grant~

I love the tradition that is Thanksgiving...... I have such happy memories as a child and in my growing up years when my mom was always at the helm of the "Thanksgiving ship"!!!  She prepared it all!  There was such magic in it... the friends and family all gathered around the table all decked out with the good dishes, and grandma's special crystal water glasses (that we, as children, even got to drink our water from!). I don't know how she did it, but I'm so grateful for those wonderful memories.



I have lost much in the last few years, but I continue to find many blessings in my life and am thankful for each and every one.

I am also very thankful for you, my loyal followers!  I feel like you are becoming my friends.

Have a very happy and wonderful day (and try not to stuff yourselves too much)!



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Monday, November 16, 2015

Still no "serenity" time for me! Part II of our move.

Hi friends,
This post is now a little outdated, but I'll publish it anyway..... I started this "Part II" about a week ago but never got back to it as have been sick... gee.... why would that happen?? after months of stress and rush and hustle and bustle, my immune system finally gave out I think.

So here are the pictures I had ready to post, but since then, I've managed to clean up most of the boxes and tubs INSIDE the house (not in the garage though) and things are looking pretty orderly inside now.. and it's beginning to feel like home.
Living room of our new place.... another pile of "stuff"! (since this picture I've gotten things more in order).

Below are two photos of our living room now - much better!




My china hutch is filled to the brim - I've been able to unpack TWO big tubs of china and glassware that I've had stored for the last 20 years! I need to rearrange and get more shelving up, but for now, at least it's all IN the house.




More "stuff" to unpack. There's that pretty green wall in the kitchen. I'm already sick of cardboard boxes! (since this photo was taken, I've been able to unpack all of those boxes!) phew.....
First thing we did after we moved here, was explore our neighborhood. Up the hill from our house, about 1/2 mile, is this wonderful view of the Cascade Mountain Range which is to the west of Madras.

View of Mt. Jefferson from that same spot.. we can walk here from our house! (or ride bikes? maybe.. if I had one).
The street dead ends here, and this is the Willow Creek Walking Trail that goes all around Madras. It's about 10 miles of paved and gravel trail, for biking and walking.... and lots of gorgeous views I'm told. I have to explore it.

The walkway has some pretty changing colors and little wood bridges.  I'm estatic with all of the colors here! Around La Pine and Sunriver, there really isn't much color in the Fall. (NOTE: this photo was taken probably 3 weeks ago and now there are no more leaves.. they are all on the ground).


We can  access the walking trail about 2 blocks down the road from our house.... I love that! Although our house is in town, we feel like we're a little bit in the country too.

I've lived on acreage and out of town from any town for the last 15 years, so it's quite a shock moving back IN town. It will take some getting used to, but our neighborhood is pretty quiet for which I'm very thankful.



To add to our moving journey, we've "adopted" a little sweet kitten. I should say, she adopted us. We already have TWO large older cats and didn't really need or want another one! Two days before our "big" move on Sept. 29th, we were at our house trying to do as much painting as possible.  I thought I heard a loud meowing somewhere close by, but thought it was from one of the neighbor's yards. I went to bed that night (on the floor) and heard it again, but didn't think much of it. 

Then the next morning, I was looking out our bedroom window, and saw the neighbor calling over our fence to where the sound was coming from.. and yes I had heard right, it definitely WAS a loud meowing.

I went outside... had never met the neighbor.... but we were both concerned as that meow was pretty desperate! I stuck my head through a loose board in our fence and called and called, and finally out of the junk pile came this tiny little calico kitten, not more then 5 weeks old. Poor little thing.  She jumped right into my arms, purring right away, and she's been ours ever since.

My sister named her "Maddie".... for "Mad-ras"..... (Note: since this photo, she has grown over double in size!).

So.... we had a tiny kitten to take care of, plus feed via bottle, PLUS paint, PLUS go back to our other house and make the big UHaul truck move.. all with her underfoot or in my arms! I was literally walking around holding her, while carrying stuff to the UHaul truck and telling everyone what to put where. Oh what fun..............  (not really).........the neighbor lady gave me a little carrier and some organic cow's milk. My sister got us a little kitten bottle the next day and some kitten formula (I know, I know.. cow's milk is NOT good for kitties!). 



For the first few days, we fed her with a medicine dropper every 2-3 hours. All of this being done while doing more packing, carrying, loading the UHaul truck, etc....... and let me tell you, she HATED that carrier with the door shut! she howled all the way to Sunriver in the car, and until I got her out... and then she was fine. And funny thing, she loves to sleep in it with her little fleece blanket that I got her, as long as the door is OPEN.

We got through the move with her in "her room" at the other house, (spare bedroom that was empty)..... so would put her in there in her carrier, and close the bedroom door so she wouldn't get stepped on.

We got the truck loaded, packed her back up in the carrier, and she howled all the way back to Madras! But as soon as we got there and let her out, she knew it was her new "home" and has been very happy here ever since.




I swear she's tripled in size in the 6 weeks we've had her! She LOVES to go outside and explore and is a real lover.. and a real climber (and now a real biter and scratcher!). She wants to play with our two "mature" cats and so far, they don't want much to do with her.


She still sleeps in her carrier (which she has now almost grown out of) in "her room"... which is our 3rd small bedroom... she has taken it over. Her carrier/bed is there, with her blankets, toys, food and litter box. I think our two older cats are jealous, but we have let them come in the house to explore too and check her out. (They are mostly outdoor cats).  Below is most current picture - she loves the windowsill now.



Some "befores" and "afters":





The "real" brick fireplace is non-workable right now (and may never be).. so we took the electric fireplace box out of our electric fireplace (piece of furniture) and stuck it into the brick fireplace, so it looks like we (almost) have a real fire!  Since the above photo, we've put some white bead board trim around it. We really enjoy it and it adds some heat to our living room.


On our "to do" list is to paint the brick a lighter color.



See the black fireplace in the above photo? That "was" our fireplace piece of furniture that we pulled the box out of and put in the brick fireplace. We put a shelf on top to hold more of our stuff nice things.  Eventually we'll put some glass shelves in the bottom.

Oh... and a not so good thing.... the fence in our back yard started to fall over! It seemed so sturdy when we bought the place... but a couple of heavy rains did this..... oh the joys headaches of home ownership. :-(






............ until next time.......

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