Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday already?

My how time flies...I can't believe it is already Wednesday, much less the ninth of September. Did summer just get started? Well, it seems that way. Summer always goes much too quickly.

Well, today is soap day. Meaning I'm almost out of laundry detergent so I had to make a batch. If you are looking to save money, you should really try this. I can make about 4 to 6 batches (depending if I use any of the supplies for other cleaning projects) with one box of borax, one box of WASHING soda and a few bars of soap. AND each batch fills up 4 empty laundry bottles. The supplies cost me about the same price of one of the "name" brands of detergent. Hm, same price and I get tons more laundry detergent.

Here's the recipe I use:

Hot water
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
1/3 bar Soap (grated)

In a large pot, heat 3 pints of water. Add the grated bar soap and stir until melted. Then add the washing soda and borax. Stir until powder is dissolved, then remove from heat.
In a 2 gallon clean pail, pour 1 quart of hot water and add the heated soap mixture. Top pail with cold water and stir well.
Use 1/2 cup per load, stirring soap before each use (will gel).

You can also add some scent if you want to. I think I'm going to go to Michael's (craft supply store) and buy some of the scents they sell for making hand soap. That should work well. I've also heard that you can just add some essential oil to scent the detergent.

Well, I've got to run. I promised Rylie that I would have some fresh baked chocolate chip cookies for her when I pick her up from school. Usually I have a ton of "chips" in the freezer but all I have right now are butterscotch and white chocolate and she wasn't going for either one of those. My girl likes her

See ya later!
Jill Marie

Monday, August 24, 2009

My apologies...

It's been a long and busy summer and Rylie and I have been very busy. Okay, most days we woke up, put on our suits and headed for the pool. We also planted a vegetable garden and worked in the yard a bit.
Rylie lost one of her fillings and we had to make an emergency visit to the dentist. Usually she does pretty well but that day she just screamed and cried. We had to put her in the papoose (sp) because she was moving so much. That is just so pitiful, to see your baby in restraints like that.
Yep, it's been a busy summer, although nothing was as busy as the past 5 days, or so. Let's see, last Wednesday we had steak for dinner. A piece seemed to get stuck in my throat. I wasn't too worried because this has happened, in the past year or two every, every couple of months. Usually I just stand over the garbage disposal and let whatever slide up my thoat. Well, I did that...all night long. And all the next day. I couldn't even keep water down. Even if I sucked on an ice cube, it would take just a minute and I'd be gagging again.
I went to the clinic and the doctor said it was GERD (acid reflux). He gave me a presciption for a medication to stop me from throwing up. I'm not even going to say how I was suppose to take it, but I couldn't keep anything in my stomach so I'm sure you can guess. Then a half hour later I was suppose to take a Nexium. Well, I still felt "gaggy" so I waited an hour. I took the Nexium and up it came. I took it again and it popped back up to say hello. After the third attempt I just gave up.
Ray got home and took me to the ER since it had been 24 hours since I had been able to drink any water we were a little worried about dehydration. They took x-rays and said I would need to stay overnight and have a scope put down my esophegus the next morning. Well, Ray and I had some pretty BIG plans for the next day (Friday). The doctor called specialist and explained the situation and he said he and his nurse would come in that evening. So at about 10pm I was sedated and they popped this scope down my throat.
They found the impacted food and removed it. They also informed us (I don't remember, I was pretty high from the demerol and whatnot) that I have a hiatal hernia in my throat. Apparently that makes my thoat real narrow and I have to take very small bites and chew very thoroughly.
Friday morning arrived and Ray, Rylie and I got dressed and headed for the courthouse. We were getting married. We had our birth certificates, drivers licenses and I had my divorce papers. Unfortunately, I was missing one page...the one with the judge's signature. Oops!
Luckily, the clerk was able to call the county clerk in Wood County and verify that the divorce was finalized on Feb. 29, 1996. Yea! It was a go. So we went downstairs and met a very nice minister who married us on under a tree on the front lawn of the Lucas county courthouse.
Then today is the first day of kindergarten for Rylie. I am a bit worried about her. She doesn't eat much breakfast and she isn't used to getting up so early. I hope she is okay. I also feel a wee bit guilty because everyone said I was gonna be one of those mom's who cry. I didn't.
Instead I came home, cleaned the front bathroom, did two loads of laundry, cleaned Rylie's bedroom (thoroughly) and am sitting her catching up. I don't know, maybe it will hit me later. It's not like I don't care. I'm worried about how she will do, if she is hungry, if she is tired and whether or not she will make friends. I just haven't cried or had a breakdown like everyone predicted.

Here's a song for Rylie's big day. "Fireflies" sung by Faith Hill.

Before you met me I was a fairy princess
I caught frogs and called them prince
And made myself a queen
Before you knew me I'd traveled 'round the world
I slept in castles
And fell in love
Because I was taught to dream

I found mayonnaise bottles and poked holes on top
To capture Tinker Bell
And they were just fireflies to the untrained eye
But I could always tell

I believe in fairy tales
And dreamer's dreams
Like bedsheet sails
I believe in Peter Pan
And miracles, and anything I can to get by
And fireflies

Before I grew up I saw you on a cloud
I could bless myself in your name
And pat you on your wings
Before I grew I heard you whisper so loud
life is hard and so is love
Child, believe in all these things

I found mayonnaise bottles and poked holes on top
To capture Tinker Bell
they were just fireflies to the untrained eye
But I could always tell

I believe in fairy tales
And dreamer's dreams
Like bedsheet sails
And I believe in Peter Pan
And miracles, and anything I can to get by . . .
And fireflies
And fireflies . . .

Before you met me I was a fairy princess
I caught frogs and called them prince
And made myself a queen
Before you knew me I'd traveled 'round the world
AndI slept in castles
And fell in love
Because I was taught to dream

Well, have a great day and I promise to try to get back into the swing of things on here.
Jill Marie

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Home Remedy and my take on the final American Idol performances

Happy Thursday! I like Thursdays...they seem so cheerful to me. Especially when they come before a 3 day weekend. =)

Here is a home remedy for a cough with mucus:
Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1/2 tsp. each of ginger, ground cloves, and cinnamon. Filter. Sweeten with 1 tsp. honey and drink.

Did anyone else watch American Idol? We did and I can't tell you how happy I am that Kris Allen won. I was really cheering for Danny Gokey, but I liked Kris too.

One Tuesday, their final performance, I was a wee bit ticked off with the final song. It was one that Kara DioGuardi (the new 4th judge) co-wrote. It seemed to be a song written just for Adam Lambert. Even Kara admitted that it had been written in a key too high for Kris. It appeared as though they had written a song perfect for Adam and made to help Kris fail. And oh how Kara glowed after watching Adam's performance of her cutesy little song. It wasn't too hard to see that she had written this with only Adam in mind. But Kris did his best and after almost 100 million votes he won American Idol.

I don't want to take anything away from Adam. He has a great voice and I think he'll do great on a big stage (Broadway). Kris and Adam are just two very different performers. You'd go see Adam if you wanted to see a huge performance, a big "show". If you want to feel like someone is singing to you, like your hanging with the guy...then you would go see Kris. Kris reminds me of someone like John Mayer, where Adam reminds me of...sorry, but I kept thinking this every time I saw him sing and I have to be honest, he really reminded me of a drag queen. You know, like he was putting on this really big show. While Kris just seemed more REAL and honest in his performances.

I'm sure I'll get more than a few hate-mails if any of the Adam fans find me here in my little blog. I really don't mean any disrespect by it, but that is honestly what I kept picturing in my mind when I would watch him sing. His performances were just so "showy" and that's what I would think of. Where Kris just seemed more authentic with his performance.

Yeah, I'll admit after watching many of Adams performances I would sit there and say "wow, what a show" and "that boy can really scream high". But when I would watch Kris sing it almost always touched me in some way and it always left a smile on my face. I think it would be really cool to see him perform live and watch him just sing on with his acustic guitar (maybe a few back up instruments). Kris has the ability to touch you with his voice without needing to scream and screetch or put on a big "show" and that is what I like about him the most. Plus, that lil' boy is cute too. LOL

Well, I hope ya'll have a happy and safe holiday weekend.
Jill Marie

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's all child's play...

Good morning. Yesterday was just way too busy and I didn't have time to get on the computer and make a post. So today I wanted to give ya'll those recipes for childrens activites that my neighbor gave me. These are for clay, paint and paste made right in your kitchen. The kids will have fun working on projects and helping make the art supplies too.


1 cup flour, Add cold water until water and flour is as thick as cream. Simmer and stir for 5 minutes. Add wintergreen for nice smell. Add food coloring for nice color. Store in refrigerator in airtight Jar.

Liquid starch and a little food coloring mixed together. Use a pastry brush ,or paint brush. Or Mix soap flakes and a little water to make paste. Add food coloring. Store in baby food Jars.

Mix 6 Tbsp, each of bluing, water and salt. Add: 1 Tbsp. ammonia. Mix well and slowly pour over 3 or 4 small rocks or coal in an old pie pan. Crystals start to grow very soon and continue to grow as long as liquid stays. You may add a few drops of food coloring to rocks.

3 cups flour 2 tsp. food coloring 3/4 cup salt 1/2 cup water
Sift flour and salt together Into a pan. Mix coloring and water and add gradually to flour and salt mixture. Knead as you would bread dough until mixture is smooth and easy to handle. When not In use, place in plastic bag and keep in cool place.

Mix flour and salt with a little water to make a paste like thick gravy. Add food coloring. Used best on shelf paper.
1 can shaving soap (non-mentholated). Mix powdered paint or food coloring for desired color. If soap begins to dry add a few drops of water or more soap. This paint cleans up easily with 9 paper towel and washes off clothes and hands easily.

2 cups flour, 1 cup salt and a few drops each of: oil of cloves
and food coloring, and water. Mix flour, salt and cloves. Add
food coloring to water and then add to flour and salt. Can be
stored In plsatlc bag for a month. Don't refrigerate.

1 handful of flour, add water (a little at a time). Mix until
gooey, It should be quite thick.

1 cup salt 1 1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup water 2 Tbsp, food coloring Mix all ingredients together thoroughly in a bowl. Can be stored for weeks in a plastic bag or covered Jar in refrigerator.

In the top of a double boiler put:
1 cup salt, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 3/4 CUP cold water
This mixture will thicken quickly. Place on waxed paper to cool before making your project.

I apologize for any typo's. I scanned the paper and saved it to my computer. Unfortunately, the scanner didn't recognize some of the charaters and I had to try to catch them all and correct them.

I was in the kitchen making Rylie's breakfast yesterday when the doorbell rang. It was the FedEx lady. She had a nice little delivery for me. It was the Wave Petunia's I won in a contest last fall. I was so excited, I just couldn't wait to get them planted. I planted most of them in the middle of the yard around one of the water features (I'd really like to re-do that one) we have.

I'll have to take some pictures of the flowers once they take ahold and get busy growing. I am so excited about summer! On Monday I went and bought a few vegetable plants and put them in the garden...after I made it a wee bit bigger. LOL So from seeds I have 3 kinds of radishes, carrots, lettuce, green beans, spinach, cucumbers and onions. From the nursery I have zuchini, squash, watermelons, cantaloupe, banana peppers and habeneros. Mmm, I can't wait until it is time to start harvesting some of those goodies.

I'm off to finish some things and then hopefully enjoy a beautiful day.
Jill Marie

Monday, May 18, 2009

Baked Ziti

I was trying to figure out what recipe to share with ya'll today when I got an email from our neighbor with a recipe she had promised to send me.

* Salt
* 1 pound ziti
* 1 pound hot Italian turkey sausage, casing removed
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
* 6 ounces pesto
* 15 ounces ricotta cheese
* 1 (9-ounce) package washed spinach
* Butter, for baking dish
* 2 cups shredded mozzarella, plus more for topping
* 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan, plus more for topping
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add ziti and cook until al dente. Drain in a colander.
In a large skillet over medium heat, saute turkey sausage. Add onion and garlic and saute until the sausage is cooked through. Use your spoon to break up the sausage while it cooks. Add the can of diced tomatoes and pesto and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the ricotta cheese, spinach, Parmesan and mozzarella to a large bowl, and stir to combine.
Butter a 4-quart baking dish, add the cooked pasta, then sausage mixture and cheese mixture. Top with a sprinkling of mozzarella and Parmesan.
Bake until completely heated through and golden and crisp on top, about 20 minutes.

Sounds delicious to me. And...I have spinach planted in the garden so soon I'll be able to add FRESH spinach. Yum!
I also went and found a really simple recipe for those of you who have to work and need to put a dinner together quickly. Just add a veggie and/or a salad and some hot garlic bread or rolls and your ready to go.

1 box ziti noodles
1 jar spaghetti sauce
ricotta cheese
shredded mozzarella cheese
In a large oven safe dish, pour in the whole jar of spaghetti sauce. Add ricotta cheese, mixing as you go, until the mixture turns an orange kinda color. Meanwhile, cook the whole box of ziti noodles according to the instructions on the box. When they are cooked and drained, dump them into the dish with the spaghetti sauce/ricotta mix. Stir so all the noodles are covered with the sauce. Cover the whole mixture with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Bake in preheated oven at 350* F until mozzarella cheese is melted.

I often forget to buy garlic bread so I put some cheap dinner biscuits on the pan and lightly spray the tops with butter flavored cooking spray and shake a bit of garlic salt on them. It's a quick and easy way to flavor up the package of 33 cent dinner biscuits I get at Aldi's.

It looks like it is going to be a very nice day here ((keeping my fingers crossed)). I've got some laundry to do, a garden to check on (we had a freeze warning last night, ugh) and I might try to find the time to make some salt clay for Rylie today. The same neighbor who gave me the Ziti recipe sent me a page of homemade paint and clay recipes. I'll have to put some of them on here at some point.

Have a great day everyone!
Jill Marie

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cleaning Tip & Home Remedy

Good Morning! Since I was busy crying with pain last week, over my kidney stone, I've been spending most of this week trying to catch up on household chores. So here is the tip I should have posted on Tuesday.

Smelly Shoes: Simply fill a tube sock with kitty litter, baking soda, or tea leaves; tie the end closed; and place the filled socks in the shoes when you're not wearing them. These sachets can be used over and over in any kind of shoe.

And here are some home remedies for dealing with morning sickness. If you are a first time mommy you should know that morning sickness is just a "morning" thing. It can hit you any time of the day, or all day long.

Morning Sickness

Keep a snack by the bed to eat before you lift your head from the pillow in the morning. Then, get up slowly.

Make sure your stomach is never completely empty. Carry fruit, cheese and/or crackers around with you to nibble on throughout the day.

Mix 1 tsp. each fresh juice of mint and lime, and 1 Tbls. honey. Take 3 times a day.

Eat a high protein snack before bed at night.

Eat a diet high in carbohydrates and protein, low in fats.

Sniff a fresh lemon peel.

Avoid strong odors and stuffy or smoky rooms.

Suck a piece of peeled ginger root.

Drink red raspberry leaf, peppermint, squaw vine or spearmint tea.

Drink ginger tea made by boiling some ginger root in water. Strain it and add honey to sweeten.

Try taking your vitamins later in the day.

If you are vomiting a lot, try limiting your diet to a single food, one that you know you can tolerate. Add one additional food per day as you can tolerate them.

Everyone is different and what may work for one person may not work for someone else. The most important thing is to make sure your baby is getting enough nurishment. Be sure you discuss the morning sickness with your doctor. Let him know what you have tried and whether or not anything is working for you.

I hope ya'll have a great day. It looks like another gloomy and wet one here. Blah... =(

Jill Marie

Monday, May 11, 2009

Olive Garden Salad & Bread Sticks

Forgive my absence. I had to go to the doctor and ER last week. Another bout of kidney stones. I can't even begin to describe the pain and the pain meds make me loopier than usual. =)

Saturday my daughter, Samantha, took me out to lunch with her boyfriend and his mother. We went to Olive Garden. My main entree' was alright, but I still love the salad and bread sticks the best. I looked around online and found these recipes to share with ya'll today.

Olive Garden Salad Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 Tbls. corn syrup
2 Tbls. Parmesan cheese
2 Tbls. Romano cheese
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
1 Tbl. lemon juice

Olive Garden Salad Mix
1 bag American blend Dole Salad
4-5 slices red onion
4-6 Black olives
2-4 Banana peppers
1/2 cup croutons
1 small tomato, quartered
Freshy grated Parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients in a blender or processor until well blended. If this is a little too tart for your personal taste, add a little sugar.

Olive Garden Breadsticks
1 Loaf unfrozen bread -- thaw in bowl at room temp
Garlic powder
Dry oregano leaf -- rub to a powder between fingers

When dough is soft enough to knead, spray your fingers with Pam or oil and knead just until you can shape into cigar-sized pieces (about 8 to 10). Place these 3" apart on Pam-sprayed cookie sheets. Let rise in warm place until doubled - about 1-1/2 hours. Then holding Pam (I use butter flavored Pam for this) about 8" from sticks, lightly spray top of each and then dust with garlic powder and oregano. Bake at 375 for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on rack to serve within a day or two.

Mothers Day was a really good day. Ray made me breakfast in bed...really! LOL It was a great start to the day. I had bought wooden picture frames about two weeks ago and had Rylie paint them for her grandma's, so we had those to give them. So that morning Rylie and I went to the nursery and bought a planter for both grandmothers.

Ray, Rylie and I spent the day working outside and whatnot. Then we took our mom's to Red Lobster for dinner. We only go there about once every 3 or 4 years so, of course, we made pigs of ourselves. It was delicious. I think, if I let him, Ray could eat two of the Ultimate Feasts all by himself. LOL

By the way, did anyone watch the Celebrity Apprentice? OMGosh...I could not have been more annoyed. When we first started watching the series I kept ignoring Ray and the smart alec comments he would make about Joan Rivers and her daughter, Melissa. However, several weeks ago that ol' hag Joan started showing her true colors and let me tell you, she is a very ugly person inside. I believe if you lifted up their shirts you'd see the umbilical cord which still has Melissa attached to her mommy.

Joan attacked another woman, Annie Duke (a famous poker player) week after week. All because she thought Annie had "betrayed" her daughter. Give it up's a flippin' game! I'm sorry, I never saw the scene where anyone swore allegiance to her precious lil' Melissa. What the heck? But apparently when you "betray" that old woman's daughter you better be prepared to be viciously attacked by an old vile mouthed plastic faced viper that wears a ton of make-up.

I guess I expected a little more class from an old woman like Joanie. For someone who thinks she is so much better than everyone else she behaved like pure trash! I'll just say this, I am a mother of four, I shop at Aldi's and live in a double wide and I believe I have more class in my little finger than ol' Joanie has in her entire body. Joan Rivers may have won the Celebrity Apprentice, but I'd give the award for grace and class under attack to Annie the poker player. Annie also appears to be a much better business person too.

Old Joanie was also infamous to attacking Clint Black, accusing him of being egotistical. OMG, is that calling the kettle black or what?! I don't think I've ever seen anyone as egotistical, nasty, vile, and sure of their superiority than old lady Rivers. Just my opinion.

Anyway, I'm hoping for a nice day here. I'd really like to get outside and work in the garden.

Have a good one!
Jill Marie