It's that time of the year....

It's that time of the year....

Friday, January 31, 2014

Goodbye January…

and I will not be sorry to see you go.  But the good news is that it is only 48 days on the countdown till Spring.  We are under winter storm warnings for the next few days for mega amounts of snow.

I did it.  I marched into the rental office yesterday and told them I wanted my window NOW!!  ‘Oh well, Beth, we are waiting for insurance to approve it’ to which I replied “I know that isn’t true as Tom told me before Thanksgiving that it would be 10 – 12 days.” Well, she said, ‘I will just call Tom,’ which she did.  Tom said he had nothing to do with the window call Dennis.  Dennis said that Pekin Glass was supposed to have come and put that window in for me.  Somehow all of this passing the buck reminded me of my package and the many hundred miles it traveled to reach me.  Anyway, I received a call late yesterday afternoon telling me that someone would be here sometime today to put my window in.  We shall see.  I am not holding my breath, especially with the weather forecast.

But, it is Friday and it is inching ever closer to Spring.  The days are getting longer and I have hope in my heart for all things good.  I have plenty of food and books and as long as the heat and electricity stay on I am good to face the rest of winter.  I do have a doctor appointment to fit in next week and some lab work to be done and I am hoping the weather will cooperate.  Winter  comes, but spring is close behind. (a phrase from an old George Jones song)

Have a good weekend.  Stay safe and be happy!!



Thursday, January 30, 2014

I have it…

my package that is.  It only took 9 days to deliver a priority mail package 500 miles??  Priority mail is called 3 – day Priority Mail.

Things are looking brighter on the countdown till Spring as it is only 49 days to go.  It is cloudy and 25 degrees this morning and  the wind is gusting at 28 miles an hour.  The forecast is for snow for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

I am going out this morning to the post office (to mail a couple of packages with fingers crossed) to the bank, Kroger store and to pay my rent.  I have taken a picture of my kitchen window and I am taking that with me to have put in my folder at the rental office.  It is very cold, dark and depressing in my kitchen and I am intending to tell them that.  Not that it will make one bit of difference.  LOL

This is a short post as I have to go out and get my car warmed up so I can get moving.  I went to Food Depot yesterday morning and it  was filled with wall to wall people out shopping to beat the forecast. 

Have a peaceful day.  If you have snow and like it then I am happy for you.  If you are like me and getting very tired of snow and winter then get to the grocery store and stock up the first chance you get.

Stay safe and be happy!!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

An official rant day and…

the countdown till spring has reached 50 days.  We are almost through with the month of January,   I can’t say that I will be sad to see it end.  It has been nothing but snow and bitter cold here since the end of November.  I have done nothing but eat and sleep and eat and sleep and eat and sleep.  I have almost gained back all of the weight that I lost last summer during my cancer treatment.  I have only ventured outdoors to clean the snow off my car and run errands for the past 2 months.  I can just about count these times on one hand.  My usually sunny nature is somewhat tarnished and I am beginning to look at the postman with a jaundiced eye.

And….I am beginning to have this awful fear of putting anything important in the mail wondering if it will get to its destination.  I can certainly understand why the postal service is going broke.  It is very poorly managed.  A check on the status of my package shows that it is still in Hazelwood MO today, January 29,  still being processed.  You know Hazelwood MO is only 18.3 miles from where my brother and his wife live in O’Fallon IL.  I think I should call him and ask him if he will drive over to the sorting facility and bring the package to me.  It would only be a 360 mile round trip for him.  I am waiting with baited breath to see where my package ends up next.  Rae thinks the next stop will be Houston Texas but I was more inclined to  think that it is destined to be in the process of being processed through the Hazelwood MO sorting facility forever.

It has warmed up to 5 degrees here this morning.  I am planning a grocery run when it warms up a few more degrees.  That is if my car will start.  I haven’t started it since Sunday as it as been too cold to venture out.

Have a great day everyone.  Don’t forget to check in tomorrow for an update on my package.  Stay safe and be happy!!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Update on the countdown…

till Spring which stands at 51 days.  It is minus 4 actual temperature and the wind is only 8 miles an hour this morning so we are having a heat wave!
I copied the below information on my package from the USPS web site where you go to track a package. 



  • Expected Delivery Day: Friday, January 24, 2014
Product & Tracking Information
Postal Product:
  • Priority Mail 3-Day
    • $50 insurance included
    • USPS Tracking
Date & Time  January 28, 8:30 am

Status of Item  - unknown

Location – unknown

January 26, 2014

Depart USPS Sort Facility

January 25, 2014 , 1:45 pm

Processed through USPS Sort Facility


January 25, 2014 , 3:28 am

Processed at USPS Origin Sort Facility


January 21, 2014 , 4:48 pm

Dispatched to Sort Facility

CEREDO, WV 25507 

January 21, 2014 , 9:49 am


CEREDO, WV 25507 
Have a peaceful day!  Stay safe and be happy!!
NOTE:  for my sister.  Print this  off and take it to show the post office in Ceredo.  I think maybe they need a good laugh!

Monday, January 27, 2014

I have figured out…

why the postal service is so broke!!  But before I tell you why I will just let you all know that there are only 52 more days till Spring.  It is bitter cold below zero and very windy.  Right now my garbage can is lying on top of my back porch where the wind blew it last night.

And now back to the miserable state that our postal service is in.  My sis in West Virginia and I send each other a package every few weeks.  I send her my new books that I have purchased and she sends me things that she knows will make me happy.  She fixed a large box of gifts for me for Christmas.  She mailed it Priority Mail on the 4th of December and I was to receive it on the 3rd day after mailing.  I received it almost 2 weeks later.  One of the items that was packaged in  heavy foam in a box and securely placed in the package to be mailed was broken to bits.  It had been a beautiful manger scene with a music box.  Several of the gifts had torn wrapping paper.  She is still waiting for a claim to be answered that she filed with the postal service.

But wait!! that is not all.  I had ordered some of the cook booklets like the one I had in my giveaway right before Christmas.  She mailed the package to me on Tuesday, January 21st and I was to receive it no later than January 24.  Needless to say I don’t have it yet.  The package started out at the post office in Ceredo WV on the 21st.  It arrived in Des Moines IA yesterday January 24th.  Des Moines is 271 miles from me.  Today it was shown to have arrived at Hazelwood MO which is 169 miles from me.  It makes no sense at all to me the way this package has been routed.  Will I ever get the package??  I hope so as I have promised a couple of those cook books to friends.  If they are reading this, I am trying.

Oh, I could go on and on about letters sent to me and received weeks later and how if I mail a letter or card to someone here in town the letter is sent to Champaign IL for sorting and processing.  Makes no sense to me that local mail has to travel an almost 200 mile round trip before it gets to its destination.

If I sound aggravated, well I am!!  I will not be sending anything priority mail from now on.  It doesn’t get to its destination any sooner than regular mail.  Do any of you have any postal horror stories?? 

That is my rant for today and it isn’t even Wednesday.

Do stay safe and be happy!!  Me, I’m gonna have a good day today!!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

On the downward trend…

the countdown till Spring stands  at 53 days!  I am getting ready for another big freeze as the high temp tomorrow will be below zero.  We have snow predicted for late morning.  Of course no one will see my post till tomorrow and by then it will be 52 days.

Nothing much happening here.  I haven’t had my fried baloney sandwich yet as I am psyching myself up to it.

I am going to try and make a store run one more time before it starts to snow.  Bananas, milk, that kind of stuff.  I have let my bananas get too ripe so I am going to have to make banana bread today or tomorrow.  The recipe below is the one I am using.  I have tried it before and it is really good.


Chef John’s Banana Bread

From All



cooking spray

3 ripe bananas

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup softened butter

1 cup white sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

2.  Grease a 9x4 inch loaf pan.

3.  Mash bananas in a bowl.

4.  Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in another bowl.

5.  Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer or spatula in a large bowl until smooth.

6.  Stir in mashed bananas.

7.  Add eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, fully blending in each egg before adding the next.

8.  Stir in vanilla extract and milk.

9.  Stir in chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, and flour mixture until just incorporated.

10.  Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan. Tap pan on the counter to release any air pockets.

11.  Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour 10 minutes, or until an inserted wooden skewer comes out clean.

12.  Let the bread rest in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Remove from pan. Slice and serve.


Have a good day today.  Stay safe and be happy!!



Saturday, January 25, 2014

Questions answered…

and countdown till spring which is checking in at 54 days.  It is very windy this morning and blowing the snow around.  It is 30 degrees and the temp is to keep falling until the actual high on Monday is to be 4 below. 

Blogger is not publishing my posts until many hours after they are made.  I am being scroogled again.  Have you seen that ad on TV about being scroogled?  Very interesting.

And now question and answer time.

Question from Keith: “Have you ever eaten fried baloney.”  Answer:  Yes I have, many times.  I grew up #6 in a family of 8 kids.  Baloney was a delicacy which we had when daddy was able to splurge.  I have mentioned before that on Saturdays if daddy had the money our Saturday lunch would be baloney/cheese sandwiches, strawberry pop and chocolate marshmallow cookies with raspberry filling.  And just writing this has triggered a memory as to why I don’t like Jell-O.  Mom used to fix jell-O with fruit cocktail in it.  It made me violently ill once when I was about 7 years old.  To this day I don’t like jell-O and never fix it unless I am scheduled for a colonoscopy. 

Question from Blondie:  “Is it possible to get your baloney at a deli?”  Answer:  No, The stores here don’t carry baloney in their delis. I wish that they did.   I have been thinking about having some shipped to me from Boston.  LOL 

Answer for you all.  That is a small package of baloney that I purchased yesterday.  This is the first package of baloney that I have purchased in at least 10 or more years.  So I am going to fix me a fried baloney sandwich and see if the magic is still there.

Closing off with lyrics from one of my favorite songs written and sung by Neil Diamond, one of my very favorite singers.


Lyrics to Talking Optimist Blues (Good Day Today)

~ Neil Diamond and Gretchen Peters ~

I got worries by the ton
Gettin' cancer's only one
Overtaxed and alimonied
Tired of eatin' fried baloney
I got burdens on my shoulders
Dying young or growin' older
There's some brain cells I'm missin'
But despite it all, I'd like to say
I'm gonna have a good day today

Gonna have a good time anyway
Put it all behind me, lay it all away
Gonna be a good day today

Bills and pills and former wives
Past mistakes and former lives
Bank account is overdrawn
Out of Prozac, hairline's gone
Hearing voices in my head
Say I should've stayed in bed

Nothing worse can happen anyway
I'm gonna have a good day today
I'm gonna have a good time anyway
Put it all behind me, lay it all away
Gonna be a good day today

Pulled my back and wrecked my car
Girlfriend stole my VCR
Letter came from Sixty Minutes
Say they wanna put me in it
Tell me my career just died
Years ago I might've cried
Now I'm just too old to do it
May be true, but screw it anyway

I'm gonna have a good day today
I'm gonna have a good time anyway
Put it all behind me, lay it all away
Gonna be a good day today
I'm gonna have a good day today

Stay safe and be happy!! Me, I’m gonna have a good day today!


Friday, January 24, 2014

Take heart…

there are only 55 days left on the countdown to Spring.  The weather is still miserable at 2 degrees with a wind chill of minus 20.  The wind is moving to the southwest though and the temp is to warm into the 20s today.  January seems to be dragging on forever.

I am going out in a few minutes to see if my car will start  and clean the snow off.  Then a trip to the Kroger store to stock up.  We have a winter weather warning for more snow tomorrow. 

Nothing much happening here.  I won’t cook today.  The steak was good  but I only ate one small piece.  I usually bake a chicken as it is much healthier.

I have been to the store and am home again.  This time I didn’t forget the baloney so I am good to go.  I also got Cottonelle TP  too.  What more do I need to ride out the coming snow and cold then baloney and TP??


I am about to finish the Lisa Gardner book.  She is one of my favorite authors however this story is even grossing me out a little and I have read just about everything in my murder mysteries.  I probably need to read a Harlequin romance next to get my mind straightened out again.  Winking smile

Wow, in the time I have been typing this and running to the store the temp has warmed up to 7 degrees.

Have a peaceful weekend.  Stay safe and be happy!!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Greetings from…

the frozen Tundra where the countdown to Spring is limping along at 56 days.

A group of arctic hares on Ellesmere Island photo courtesy of Wikpedia

It is bitter cold this morning at 4 below zero with a wind chill of 20 below.  The sun is shining brightly again and the high today is to reach 1 degree.   The weather is to remain like this through next Wednesday with a slight moderation on Saturday.  I guess that will be the day that I make a run to the grocery store to stock up on baloney.

I have frozen my patootie again this  morning.  I changed my bedding and walked out in the bitter cold again to the laundry room.  I have to go out in a few minutes again to put stuff in the dryer.  Then once again to take it out.  After that I will be lazing for most of the day. 

Yesterday my niece came over and had ham and beans with me.  The small container remaining has been relegated to the freezer.  Today I am fixing baked steak.


Baked Steak

2 to 3 pounds of tenderized round steak

oil for browning steak

seasoned flour for coating steak

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

1 jar of whole mushrooms

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut steak into serving size pieces.    Dip into the seasoned flour (I use Season All salt).  Have oil in pan hot.  Brown on one side and turn and brown on the other side.  Remove steak to a 13X9 baking dish that you have sprayed with cooking spray.  Spoon 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup evenly over the top of the steak.  Pour the jar of mushrooms including the juice over the cream of mushroom soup.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35-45 minutes.  Uncover and put back in the oven until steak is browned.  Serve over mashed potatoes or cooked noodles.

As you can see I will have leftovers here too but this is really good reheated.

Have a great day.  Stay safe and be happy!!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ham and Beans…

and the countdown to Spring continues at 57 days.  It is 10 degrees this morning with a wind chill below zero.  I about froze my patootie off just walking the few feet to the laundry room to start a load of clothes. 


patootie  definition

  • interjection of disappointment.
  • buttocks.


I love all of my blogging friends!  One blogging friend has been a delight  for me lately.  She is very interested in the differences between the United States and where she lives in Tasmania.  She is interested in our culture and the things that we eat.  Today she stated in her comment that she didn’t know what our ham and beans dish was.  Please stop by and say ‘hi’ to


Below is the recipe I sent to my sister in law when she first married my brother a few years ago.  The recipe is from my blogspot recipe blog.

Ham and Beans

You will not believe this and I am still smiling. My new sis in law sent me an email asking me how to fix ham and beans. I thought everyone was born knowing how to do this. Maybe not, so here are the instructions I gave her.

1. Sort through beans and pick out rocks, etc. 
2. Rinse beans a couple of times.
3. Pour boiling water over the beans in the pan you are going to cook them in. Cover and let sit for half an hour.
4. Drain beans. Add 1 chopped onion. Cover with water but don’t drown the beans.  Add ham bone or bits of ham.
5. Bring to a boil, stir,cover,then turn heat down to simmer and cook till done. Approximately 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours.  Remove the bone and put ham from bone back into the beans.
6. Season to taste. 

Now get busy and make some corn bread!!

You may use any kind of dried bean you like.  Yesterday I used dried baby lima beans and they were delicious  I usually use Jiffy Cornbread mix but I do have an easy recipe using corn meal.


Have a wonderful day!  Stay safe and be happy!!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winter is back…

with a vengeance.  That doesn’t stop me from doing the countdown to Spring which stands at 58 days.  It is 4 degrees as I type this, the sun is shining brightly, the wind chill is 18 below zero and the wind is gusting to 38 miles per hour.  We got about 3 inches of snow but with the wind gusting so high it has drifted again.


This is looking out my front storm door.  It is frosted clear to the top.  Those are the angels that I keep above my door.  The sign reads ‘Angels gather here.’


You can see here the footprints my paper carrier left this morning.


Here you can see how the snow has drifted again.  Needless to say, my car is covered again.  Need I repeat that I am getting really tired of the snow and cold??

I have a pot of ham and beans cooking.  I will make corn bread to have with that.  Of course I am cooking way to much for one person so feel free to come on over and have a bite to eat.

I hope the sun is shining wherever you are and the ground is bare of snow.  Stay safe and be happy!!


Monday, January 20, 2014

A new Lisa Gardner book…

and the countdown to Spring is fixed today at 59 days.
I have been out today (Hooray) to Wal*Mart and Food Depot.  I purchased a new Lisa Gardner book which I can’t wait to get started on.  I paid my fuel bill for the past month.  It had jumped over 50% and I think part of it was because of my window along with the bitter cold temps. 
“In #1 New York Times bestseller Lisa Gardner’s latest pulse-pounding thriller, Detective D. D. Warren must face a new fear as a serial killer terrorizes Boston.”
I noticed that the workers have completed  a good portion of the roof on the apartment building.  When I went to get my camera there were half dozen guys on top of the roof.  By the time I got outside again there was only one guy on the roof. 
Our snow is almost gone.  We are under another winter weather advisory for tomorrow for more snow and bitter cold temps.
Have a great week.  Stay safe and be happy!!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Random acts of kindness…

and the countdown till Spring is passing slowly.  Today marks 60 days until Spring.  It is 18 degrees and the wind chill is 4 degrees.  The wind is gusting to 30 miles per hour.  In a couple of hours I am going to bundle up and go out and clean the snow off my car for the umpteenth time this winter. 

I have the Peoria Journal Star delivered daily.  Each day they have a feature called Random acts of kindness.  I will confess that these articles often have me sniffling a  bit as do some of the ads on TV.  During the Christmas season when local TV was showing greetings from our military personnel overseas I sniffled a lot.

Anyway I have been in the house since Thursday and I am beginning to need to get out and go somewhere,

I don’t know yet what I am cooking today.  I have so many leftovers crammed in the freezer along with the TV dinners I bought to stock up before the last snow storm.  I need to eat some of the leftovers. 

I have never really learned to cook for one person, another thing that I need to put on my bucket list.  My bucket list is so long…  I remember that movie came out shortly after I lost my husband.  I purchased the DVD and my neighbors next door came over to watch the movie with me.  I never did watch it all of the way through.

Have a Blessed Sunday!!  Stay safe and be happy!!


Saturday, January 18, 2014

It is…

61 days till spring and we are under a winter weather advisory for 3 – 5 inches of snow beginning mid morning.  It was very cold this morning when I got up at 6 degrees with a wind chill of 10 below zero.  It has warmed up to 19 degrees with a pretty nippy wind.
The apple pie turned out good.  I  had a piece of it with peppermint ice cream.  I also made homemade vegetable beef soup and that was good too.  I will have some of that for my lunch today with some toasted garlic bread.  The rest of the pie goes in the freezer or I would end up eating it all. Info for Vee.  I usually do cook for myself and only eat TV dinners in an emergency.  I have only eaten 1 TV dinner in the last few weeks.
I am about to finish the Heather Graham book and I am checking my bookshelf to see what I will read next.  If I get a chance to get out to Wal*Mart I will see if Emilie Richards has anything new out.  It is cheaper to buy books at Wal*Mart than Amazon but I really like the books delivered to my door.  I am ashamed to say that I have never become involved with the library here as it is downtown and there are those awful one way streets to contend with.  I practically lived at the library at home and had an online account with them.  Maybe I will make that something for my bucket list.  Master the one way streets downtown.  And maybe I will take a space ship to the moon.
I noticed that the workers are out in the cold this morning still working on putting a new roof on the apartment building.around the corner from me  I feel sorry for them and I hope they are getting overtime for working on Saturday.
I hope your weekend is a good one.   Stay safe and be happy!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Apple Pie and…

the countdown till Spring continues.  It is only 62 days till Spring.  I am ignoring the fact that we have new snow on the ground and the temp is 6 degrees and the wind chill is below zero.

I am all psyched up this morning to make an apple pie.  I haven’t made one for a long time.  I am lazy so I use the rolled up pie crust in a box now.
The following recipe is from my Wordpress recipe site.

Apple Pie

  • Pastry for a two crust 9 inch pie
  • 1 cup of sugar mixed together with
  • 4 tablespoons flour and
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon and mixed lightly through
  • 7 cups sliced apples
Heap these ingredients into a pastry lined pan.  Dot with butter.  Put on top crust.  Crimp edges.  Cut slits in top and sprinkle with sugar mixed with a little cinnamon.  Have oven preheated to 400 degrees.  Bake about 1 hour or until crust is a deep golden brown.

Other than the apple pie I am doing nothing today as I have already cleaned the bathroom and run the sweeper this week.  I am reading a very good book by Heather Graham right now titled ‘Picture Me Dead.’  Murder mysteries are my favorites but I do like a little bit of romance thrown in.  I LOVE the books by John Sandford and I am going to have to  check Amazon to see if he has  anything new coming out this year.
heather graham

“Ashley Montague is nearing the end of her police training--but nothing has prepared this rookie for the rite of passage that will take her on a deadly ride into the underbelly of Miami's drug world. It begins with the shocking discovery of a body on the highway and her glimpse of a mysterious hooded figure watching from the side of the road. Then Ashley's investigation into the incident reveals a surprising connection to another crime scene miles away.”

This is a very interesting book.  It is one of her older ones from 2003.  Why I have the hardback and just now getting around to reading it I have no idea.  I probably got it at the big book sale that the Genealogical  Society has each spring.  Another thing I am really looking forward too.

I hope you all have a good weekend.  Stay safe and be happy!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cold and blustery…

on this the 63rd day on the countdown till spring.  My post never showed up on the blogger list for yesterday.  That happens frequently with blogger.  Sometimes I think a lot about leaving them and concentrating on Wordpress but they are not so great either.  I do miss the early blogging days on Windows Live Spaces.  If you want to follow my blog your best bet is Bloglovin’ which you will find in the left hand column of my blog.  Just check the box in the left hand column.


Windows Live Spaces was Microsoft's blogging and social networking platform. The site was originally released in early 2004 as MSN Spaces to compete with other social networking sites, and re-launched in 2006 as a part of a shifting of community services away from the MSN brand. Windows Live Spaces received an estimated 27 million (27,000,000) unique visitors per month as of August 2007.[1] Despite being considered a useful messaging and communication tool, Windows Live Spaces has been criticized as not being as powerful as some of its alternatives.[2] It was shut down in 2011.  (from Wikipedia)



I have errands to run this morning  and a trip to Kroger.  I will catch up with you all later.

Stay safe and be happy!!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

And the days…

are dwindling down and it is only 64 days till Spring!!

It is not very spring like out this morning.  It is 14 degrees and the wind chill is 3 degrees.  The big snow didn’t happen here yesterday although it hit with a vengeance in Wisconsin.  I am sorry for my blogging friends and family in Wisconsin but I am very happy for little ole me here in central Illinois.  I can look out at an almost bare ground this morning.

Work has begun on the big apartment building  2 doors down from me that lost its roof during the tornado,  I have continued to see action even on the coldest days of work being done on the 2 houses around the corner from me.  Across the street from me lives an older lady.  She had a big tree on top of her house which extensively damaged her roof.  I can look out my front window and see the big orange X painted on her garage door.  Her roof has been patched but not fixed.  Whenever Spring finally comes there will be constant activity of rebuilding. 

Of course I still don’t have my kitchen window in yet and I intend to make mention of that when I pay my rent this month.  I pay enough to be making a house payment each month.  I had considered buying a house when I moved here but I decided against that.  My rent is due to be raised April 1st and I don’t feel inclined to pay that increase until my window is fixed.

This is Wednesday and I have had a nice little rant to celebrate.  Just because I am wanting to see daylight in my kitchen again doesn’t mean that I don’t relish each new day that I am given because I do!!

Have a bright sunshiny day.  OOPS!!  I just looked out the window and it is snowing like crazy!!  That is what I get for lording it over my Wisconsin friends!  I have learned my lesson!

Stay safe and be happy!!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014


the countdown to Spring is on a downward trend.  It is 65 days now till spring. 

I know a lot of you like the snow and the winter weather.  Me, not so much.  I like to look at the snow and I feel all warm and fuzzy when I am safe inside and a blizzard is blowing outside.  A good book to read and something fattening to eat and I am in HOG HEAVEN for 2 or 3 days.  Then reality sets in and I start to realize that I am stuck indoors for an indeterminate period.  Winter weather started here right after the tornado on November 17th and we have had bouts of bitter cold temperatures and mega amounts of snow.  We have a winter weather mixture predicted for this afternoon.


hog heaven


: a very pleasing or satisfying state or situation


Full Definition of HOG HEAVEN

:  an extremely satisfying state or situation


Example of HOG HEAVEN

  1. We had plenty of food, good wine, and beautiful weather. We were in hog heaven.

First Known Use of HOG HEAVEN



Have a wonderful day.  I hope the sun is shining where you are.  It is dreary and cloudy here this morning.

Stay safe and be happy!!


Monday, January 13, 2014

Who’s counting??

It is 66 days till Spring.  It is 41 degrees and bright sunshine this morning.  The snow is almost melted away except for gigantic  piles where the snow has been cleared from the parking lots.

I have already had my tank filled with gas and been to Wal*Mart this morning.  Gas is $3.17 a gallon today.  Down about 20 cents from what it was running during the Christmas season.

I am in the cleaning mode today.  Maintenance put down a lot of snow melt and that has been tracked in my front door and the back door.  What a big mess!!  I have the rugs in the washer and I have to go check on them in a minute.

I did make the potato soup yesterday.  It was very good.  I made a pot with ground beef (which my son in law likes) and a small pot with ham for my daughter.  I sent most of it home with the kids but I did keep a small bowl and that is what I will have for lunch. EASY is the way I make potato soup!!  Peel however many potatoes you want and cut them in cubes.  Peel a nice sized onion for each pot and dice it.  Put the potatoes and onion in a big enough pot.  Barely cover with water and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down and cover the pot.  Cook till potatoes are tender.   Previously brown ground beef until done.  Drain.  Cut cooked ham into small cubes.  Season to taste with Season all salt and pepper.  Add the cooked ground beef and the ham to the separate pots of the cooked potato and onion.  Add milk (about 2 cups per pot) and heat thoroughly.  Taste and add more seasoning if you want.  And that is it.  I never use a recipe for most things.  I just do it.

And now I have to go check on the rugs.  After The Young and the Restless I will get the sweeper out and get busy.

Stay safe and be happy!!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

And the countdown till Spring continues…

at 67 days!  It is bright sunshine here today and the temp is 28 degrees.  It is predicted to warm to the upper 40s today which is a tropical heat wave.  I was just reading one of my  blogging friends posts.  She lives in Tasmania and she said her temp there today is to reach 98 degrees.  That is a bit hot for me although in the summer in central Illinois we usually have quite a few days when the temp is that warm.

I have been forgetting to mention that my doctor visits on Friday were fine.  I did have to have some lab work done while I was at my primary care doctor’s office.  I met the nicest ‘young’ man who was 86 years old and his wife who was waiting there for lab.  He was a World War II Veteran and he was telling me all about how his ship carried the soldiers to the islands where they were needed.  He was telling about Pearl Harbor Day.  It was awesome just listening to him.  Such a wonderful guy and such a lovely wife.  I wanted to hug them both but I didn’t and now I wish I had.  I do so appreciate our veterans.  The number of our older vets is getting to be so small and they have such stories to tell.  When I see a veteran I stop and thank them for their service for our country.  May God Bless them all!! 

I am making potato soup today.  I haven’t made that for a long time and it sounds pretty good.

I hope you all have a blessed day.  Stay safe and be happy!!



Saturday, January 11, 2014

What is baloney and..

the countdown to spring which stands today at 68 days.

You all see me mention baloney many times in my blog.  I have to confess that the references to baloney are an inside joke between several of my blogging friends and I that goes back several years.  (Did I say that correctly should I have said me?  I used to ponder that question a lot when I proofed and corrected officer performance reports in years gone by.)  I even had one of my readers ask what baloney was.


Baloney is actually a slang term for bologna.  I never buy baloney even when we are under a severe winter weather warning because it is loaded with a lot of salt and fat.  I do like it fried in a pan and put in a sandwich with cheese.  And now I promise that the next time I go to the store I will buy some baloney.

And this post has been a bunch of baloney.  LOL!!

Have a peaceful weekend.  Stay safe and be happy!!


Friday, January 10, 2014

West Virginia chemical spill cuts water to up to 300,000, state of emergency declared…>=43001

This is a very frightening situation.  My nephew is an attorney at the state capitol building in Charleston which is one of the areas affected by the chemical spill.  My prayers are with them all.  The county that my sister lives in is not affected so far.

And this is it on the Spring countdown.  We leave the 70s and go to 69 days till spring.

This is a very short post.  I will add more later when I get back from my doctor appointments.

Stay safe and be happy!!


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Snowing and…

the temp right now is 23 degrees and the countdown to spring is 70 days.  The side streets here in town are unplowed and it is treacherous going.  But I did make it to the stores for the first time in 7 days.  My cabin fever is temporarily halted.

I made it to the pharmacy for prescriptions and then to a couple of the grocery stores for restocking.  I still forgot to get baloney!!  No milk or bananas in Krogers.  In fact there were signs posted all  through the store about how their trucks couldn’t get here from Indianapolis!  Schnucks had milk and bananas but I still forgot the baloney.

I was able to get necessary ingredients for chili which was important.  When I made chili on the weekend I was almost out of chili powder and my chili was way too bland.  Ground round was on sale for $4.79 a pound but  you had to buy it in a big package to get the sale price. I plunged right in and bought an almost 5 lb pkg and now I am browning it off in a big pot and will separate it and freeze to have ready for cooking.  I would have saved part of it for a meat loaf since Debbie’s looked so good yesterday but I decided I was too lazy to do that.  I also bought a big chicken to cook on the weekend.

I will be late with my post again tomorrow as I have 2 doctor appointments.  And then a 3rd doctor appointment next Tuesday.  Then I hope that is it for a few weeks.

Stay safe and be happy!!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014


It is 8 degrees above zero this morning and the wind chill (sorry Debbie) is 10 below zero. It is only 71 more days till Spring.  A bit more snow is predicted for today, but only an inch or two.

Maintenance finally came yesterday and cleaned the sidewalks.  I set the alarm for 6 this morning so I could make my way to the laundry room early.   I have made a good start on the day.

I got out yesterday afternoon and started my car.  It turned right over much to my surprise.  I also cleaned the car off and I hope to be able to get to the pharmacy and grocery store tomorrow.  They still haven’t plowed our street yet but I noticed that my next door neighbor made a couple of runs yesterday.  It is to get in the upper teens tomorrow so I will give it a try.

Nothing else to report here except I have cooked the last few days and only eaten one of the fat laden TV dinners.


One of my readers was unsure what I meant by cabin fever.

Cabin fever is an idiomatic term, first recorded in 1918,[1] for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in a small space, with nothing to do for an extended period. Cabin fever describes the extreme irritability and restlessness a person may feel in these situations.[2]


Stay safe and be happy!!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Neither wind nor snow…

nor a real temperature of 8 below zero will stop me from my appointed duty of telling you all that it is only 72 days till Spring.  It is still –8 degrees this morning and the wind chill is way down there.  The snow has drifted several feet high in some places and you can actually see a bare spot of ground here and there.  Our official snow total was 9.4 inches.

I have been stuck in my house for days.  I have cabin fever and all I have done is eat and read.  I think I have gained 5 lbs.  Today I am going to run the sweeper and dust the furniture.  Something to keep me busy.  I am about halfway through the Nora Roberts book.  Next is Janet Evanovich’s ‘Take Down Twenty.’  A Stephanie Plum novel which I should have read by now but I keep saving it because I love the Stephanie Plum stories.

Image from

Powerhouse author Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels are “laugh-out-loud funny” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), “brilliantly evocative” (The Denver Post), and “making trouble and winning hearts” (USA Today). 

If it reaches the expected high today of 12 degrees I will go out and see if my car will start.  Cleaning it off will have to wait awhile

Stay warm!  Stay safe and be happy!!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Snow is drifted everywhere…

and the real temp is –14 with the wind chill reading at 31 degrees  below zero right now. It is 73 days till Spring!!  The high for today is to be –12 and the wind chill is to be 40 – 50 below zero because the winds are to be  gusting higher.


Footprints from the paper carrier.

And so life goes on as does global warming??  I am in sweats again today.  I did put some makeup on though as I scared myself each time I looked in the mirror yesterday.  I will spend the day cooking I think and reading more on the Nora Roberts book.  It is very interesting although a tiny bit on the supernatural side, but then a lot of her books are that way.  This is a trilogy and there are 2 more books to follow in this series so of course I am hooked.

And speaking of books, the downloads for Nook and Kindle are different.  I like my Nook but I much prefer a book that I can hold in my hands.

Stay warm…and Stay safe and be happy!!



Sunday, January 5, 2014

The weather outside…

is frightful, but inside it is 72 degrees and the countdown till Spring continues at 74 days.


Number of Active Alerts: 2

ALERT 1 - Winter Storm Warning


Event Start: In Progress

Event End: Monday, January 06, 2014 12:00 AM CST

ALERT 2 - Wind Chill Warning


Event Start: Monday, January 06, 2014 12:00 AM CST

Event End: Tuesday, January 07, 2014 12:00 PM CST


My car looks like a giant snowball this morning.  It is still snowing heavily and we are to get several more inches before the below zero temps start moving in this afternoon.  I am in the hibernating mode with sweats and sweatshirt on this morning.  This is a no makeup day so I look rather like the wicked witch of the west.  I am doing nothing but waiting out the storm and praying that my furnace and power stay on.

Stay warm.  Stay safe and be happy!!


Saturday, January 4, 2014

One day closer…

at 75 days and counting down till Spring.  The weather forecast is awful with 8 or more inches of snow forecast and way below zero temps moving in tomorrow night.  I am hibernating.  The sun is shining brightly this morning and one would never imagine what is to come.

A blogging friend White Angel asked what a TV dinner was.  Well….

healthy choice

I usually buy Marie Callender or Stouffer TV dinners because they taste the best and are loaded with a  lot of fat, sodium and sugar.  There was no image on the net of my favorites.  Seriously,  they are very unhealthy and I try not to eat them very often.

I finished the Lisa Gardner book and I am now starting Dark Witch by Nora Roberts.

From Amazon .com

“From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a trilogy about the land we’re drawn to, the family we learn to cherish, and the people we long to love…
With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.
County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.
Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.
When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.
Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…”


So I am all set to weather the storm.  Lots of unhealthy TV dinners and plenty of real books and over 100 books loaded on my Nook.  I am hibernating!

You all Stay safe and be happy!!


Friday, January 3, 2014

And the countdown continues…

at 76 days till spring.  It is bitter cold here today.  The temps fell below zero overnight with more snow to come the next few days and the high on Monday to stay below zero.

My daughter came by this morning and took me to pay some bills  and get some groceries.  I stocked up because Boston Boy told me that one should always stock up when we have winter weather warnings.  lol   I purchased 10 TV dinners for the freezer for when I don’t feel like cooking and assorted other good stuff.  I made tuna casserole yesterday and put some of that in the freezer.  I think I may make some chili tomorrow.

I am still feeling like Scarlett today and not doing anything.  I am reading a book by Lisa Gardner.  I average reading 3 or 4 books a week, one of my greatest pleasures in life.

I am resigned to the fact that I can’t expect to get my window put in till Spring.   That is OK because I sure don’t want them putting a window in when it is below zero temperatures.

Nothing new to report here which is always good news.  The weather is boring and to answer a question about why I don’t go south for the winter…when I hit the lotto or someone leaves me a bundle then I will.  For right now, I can’t afford to maintain two households.  However I do have relatives in Florida and I am always open to suggestions.  Seriously, I do have numerous health issues that I don’t mention in my blog and I need/want to stay in close proximity to my doctors.

Stay warm and Stay safe and be happy!!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

And the countdown begins…

Just think it is only 77 more days till Spring.  I have counted down the days till spring each year since I have been blogging.  I usually don’t start this early but this season winter started in November with snow and bitter cold…and it just keeps on coming,  I woke up this morning to more snow and bitter cold temps again.  I am not a fan of snow or cold and I know that some parts of the country have it much worse than here.  The northern part of the state where my son lives has really been pounded with the snow, some of it lake effect.

I haven’t done anything productive so far in this new year.  I don’t make resolutions because I don’t keep them and then I feel guilty.  I look around and I see things that need to be done and then I pretend that I am Scarlett O’Hara and  say I will think about that tomorrow.  And we all know that tomorrow never comes, there is only today.  I have errands that I need to run, a couple of bills to pay and definitely a trip to the grocery store.  That will have to wait as maintenance just used the snow blower on my back sidewalk again and blew the snow up against the tires on my car.   I will try to get out later this morning and clean the car off.

It is still snowing out but the sun is trying to shine so maybe the snow is almost done for today.  This is the time of the year when it would be nice to live in Arizona.

Enough ranting for today and this is Thursday instead of Wednesday which is the official rant day.

I hope it is not snowing where you are today and the sun is shining and the temperature is warm.  I think I am talking to my friends in Australia  because most of the United States is under a massive storm warning today affecting millions of people.

Wherever you are, just be glad to be alive and Stay safe and be happy!!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What happened??

I turned my head for just a minute and 2013 was gone and now 2014 is here.

January 2013 started like most  of the Januarys since 2006.  Jim was no longer with me.  This was the beginning of the 7th year without him.  Of course I missed him, but I have precious memories and they sustain me.

February, March and April were filled with doctor appointments but nothing  out of the ordinary.

On Memorial Day in May (Friday the 31st) my daughter went with me to my old home place to put flowers on Jims grave.   We made several stops so that I could see old friends for a short visit.  I arrived home in late afternoon.  My daughter and I had stopped at a couple of places to buy flowers, some to put around the light post at the end of my driveway and some for a planter.

My world fell apart when I opened my mail box that Friday afternoon  and I saw a big fat letter from Illinois Cancer Care announcing that I had an appointment there (located here in Pekin) on next Tuesday.  This was the first notification that I had cancer.  I told my daughter that there was surely some mistake as I hadn’t received the results of the biopsy that I had done.  I called Cancer Care and was told there was no mistake.  I had received a telephone call a couple of days earlier that I was to see the surgeon that did the biopsy on Saturday and be sure and bring someone with me..  What had happened was that his office had made the appointment for me before I had been officially notified of the results of the biopsy.

What followed was a grueling round of scans and many doctor visits including a stress test (and many other tests) before I finally went in the hospital in July for surgery and radiation.  I was in the hospital for 5 days then home for 2 weeks and then back in the hospital for more radiation which finished on August 10th.  The recovery has been slow but I am doing well now, thank God.

On November 17th 2 tornadoes touched down here in Pekin.  One of the tornadoes cut a swatch  through the area that I live in.  Approximately 150 homes were damaged or destroyed in my city that day.  My kitchen window was blown out and there was glass everywhere.  Just yesterday I was cleaning underneath the stove in the kitchen and found more glass.  My kitchen window is still boarded up inside and out and it is dark in my kitchen even with the lights on.  My neighbor across the driveway from me suffered severe damage and has had no repairs done there yet.  I was told before Thanksgiving that it would be 9 – 12 days and my window would be put in.  And I have some ocean front property to  sell you too, located right here in central Illinois close by the Illinois River,  Oh and that reminds me that we had torrential rains here in early spring 2013 and the Illinois River was flooded big time.  I don’t live far from the river but my part of the city was not affected by that although Peoria was hit hard as was part of downtown Pekin.

To sum it all up, it was a rather nerve-wracking year but it was also a year filled with divine interventions.  I found a new friend in Sally (who is in remission for over 2 years from cancer) and I discovered that my next door neighbors would help me out when I needed them.  All totaled it was a good year and I am ever grateful to be sitting here typing this and thanking God for the privilege.

Happy New Year to you all, my blogging family.  May 2014 be a year filled with lots of love, peace, happiness and good health.  For right this very minute in time, Stay safe and be happy!!