Friday, October 31, 2008

Funny...

Okay, I'm not sure how this will work. I'm hoping I do it right. My son, David, sent me the link to this. It looks a bit weird at first, but wait for the baby to enter the room. I was laughing my bum off.


See more Will Ferrell videos at Funny or Die


Okay, I did something wrong. Here's the link http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/33f2687080/good-cop-baby-cop-from-will-ferrell-and-adam-ghost-panther-mckay

Take Care!
Jill Marie

Yipee

Yeaaaaa ME! I never win anything. And let me tell you, I enter a LOT of online constests and sweeps. I enter the Publisher Clearing House every day. Must be that wee lil' optimist hiding out inside of me. LOL

But today I open my mail box and there is an email saying I've won! No...it was some send us your credit card number and we'll mail you the details scam. LOL Nope, it's a real deal. Here's a copy of the email and some pictures of the flowers I'll be receiving this spring.


Dear Jill,
You've won FREE Easy Wave Petunias!

Congratulations! You are one of the lucky 600 winners that will receive a FREE sample of Easy Wave® Burgundy Star Petunias and Serena® White Angelonia!

We're including a 6-pack of Serena® White Angelonia as an added bonus. Just plant it in full sun along with your Wave Petunias for a colorful addition to your garden.

The approximate ship weeks are as follows. ONE ADDITIONAL CONFIRMATION EMAIL WILL BE SENT TO YOU CLOSER TO THE SHIP DATES. Please note that these dates are subject to change.



Now, I've got to start planning my garden for next year to figure out where I'm going to plant those beauties. I'm so excited! I only have about 5 and 1/2 months to wait...lol.

What a wonderful way to start my weekend. I hope yours is just as exciting.
Jill Marie


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dealing with blisters

Ahh, a nice new pair of red high heels that make your legs look long and sexy. Until you get home from a night of dancing and you don't feel so sexy with that throbbing blister on your heel. Okay...so for me it isn't red high heels, and we don't go dancing. It's more like a pair of tennis shoes from Payless and chasing after a rambunctous 4 year old. LOL Either way, here's some information that might help relieve the pain.

Blisters are your body's way of saying it's had enough. Be it too much friction or too much ambition, a blister—much like a muscle cramp or side stitch—is designed to slow you down and make you better prepared for physical activity.

Though the following remedies concentrate on blisters of the feet, many of these recommendations can be applied to treating friction blisters on the hands or on any other part of the anatomy where your body has said slow down.

Decide whether to prick or not to prick. Once you have a blister, you have to decide what's best to do with it. That is, should you protect it and leave it alone, or should you prick it and drain the fluid?

Experts say you should prick large blisters that are painful, while leaving intact smaller blisters that cause no discomfort. Also, blisters that are likely to break on their own should be drained by you. That way, you can control when and how the blister is opened, instead of leaving it to chance.

Be wise and sterilize. For those who wish to drain a blister, the first thing to do is clean the blister and surrounding skin, and sterilize your "instrument." You should sterilize the blister and surrounding area with alcohol. Also, use alcohol to sterilize the needle. Or you can heat the needle with a flame until it is red hot, however, let it cool before touching the skin.

Keep the roof on. "I think the biggest mistake most people make when treating their own blisters is that after they drain it they pull off the roof—the skin that goes over the top of the blister—and this is a terrible mistake," says Richard Cowin, D.P.M., director of Cowin's Foot Clinic in Libertyville, Illinois. Always leave that roof on, think of it as nature's Band-Aid.

Try a triple whammy for germs. Recent research has shown that triple antibiotics (such as Neosporin, to name one) can eliminate bacterial contamination from blisters after only two treatments, whereas old standbys such as iodine and camphor-phenol actually delay healing.

Keep the dressing simple. After you've treated the blister, you'll need to keep it covered and protected while it heals. Band-Aids are sterile inside the wrapper, so you're actually putting on a piece of sterile gauze that has the adhesive already in place.

Give it some air. Most doctors suggest that you remove your blister dressing nightly and let it get some air. "Air and water are very good for healing," says Dr. Cowin, "so soaking it in water and keeping it open to the air at night are helpful."

Change wet dressings. Though some physicians say you can leave a dressing on for two days without worry, all agree that if a dressing becomes wet for any reason "you can consider it contaminated and it should be changed." That means you may need to change it quite often if your feet perspire heavily or you engage in activities that will lead to sweating and damp dressings

Prevention is always the best option, so here's what experts recommend to keep blisters from developing in the first place.

Try a heel lift. Blisters that appear on the back of the foot usually result from the shoe's heel counter hitting the back of the heel in the wrong area. All you usually have to do is put in a heel lift at the back of the shoe.

Keep your socks on. "One of the fashions we're seeing again is people going without socks," Dr. Cowin says. "The people who do this suffer blisters on the back of their heels all the time." He recommends that those who want to flash some ankle without suffering the consequences invest in "footie type socks that only go around the foot area." These are available for both men and women nowadays, and they are much better than going sockless.

Powder daily. "Powder should be everybody's friend," says Dr. Conrad. "Make powdering your feet part of a daily routine."

"When people come in with shoes that fit but that still give them blisters," says Dr. Cowin, "I simply tell them to start off by applying baby powder to their feet before putting on their socks. This helps the sock to glide over the foot a little more and prevent blisters."

Coat to protect. If you're planning a long walk, run, tennis match, or whatever, one way to guard against blistered feet in new shoes is to coat blister-prone areas with petroleum jelly. "That will cut down on friction," says Dr. Conrad.

Dr. Ellis says A&D Ointment (typically used for diaper rash) is actually thicker than petroleum jelly, "and the thicker the better," he says. For walkers or runners who insist on going without socks, greasing up blister-prone areas is highly recommended.

Try new socks for new shoes. "If you've got a new pair of shoes that are rubbing up blisters, the first thing I'd do is change to different socks," says Dr. Ellis. "I recommend acrylic socks (available in sporting goods stores) because they're made in layers that are designed to absorb friction so your foot doesn't."

Toughen with tannic acid. Studies have shown that applying 10 percent tannic acid to vulnerable areas of the skin twice daily for two to three weeks makes the skin tough and less prone to blisters. "If you're a hard-core athlete or distance runner, you can use something like that," says Dr. Conrad. "But weekend athletes and beginners really don't have any business using tannic acid unless it's been suggested by a physician."

HOME REMEDY-- If you don't have any triple antibiotic I did find this helpful home remedy. I actually used this when one of my toe nails became infected and fell off. It seemed to work pretty good and my toenail bed healed well.
Broken Blisters

To disinfect a broken blister, dab on a few drops of Listerine®... a powerful antiseptic.

Have a great day!
Jill Marie

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cleaning and disinfecting cutting boards


I had a wee bit of information on using vinegar to clean cutting boards but decided to do a bit of research to find more information about the use of cutting boards. The following is some really good advice on cleaning and maintaining your cutting boards.

Whichever kind of cutting board you use, all cutting boards should be cleaned and sanitized frequently. Some of the various techniques recommended for cutting boards are as follows (you decide which is best):

Hot water and soap - Scrub board with hot water and soap. Rinse and dry thoroughly. NOTE: NEVER submerge cutting boards in a sink of water! Wood is porous and will soak up water causing the cutting board to crack when it dries.

Vinegar - To disinfect and clean your wood cutting boards or butcher block countertop, wipe them with full-strength white vinegar after each use. The acetic acid in the vinegar is a good disinfectant, effective against such harmful bugs as E. coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus. Vinegar is especially good for people with chemical allergies. Keep a spray bottle of undiluted vinegar handy for easy cleaning and sanitizing.

Hydrogen Peroxide - 3% hydrogen peroxide can also be used as a bacteria-killer. To kill the germs on your cutting board, use a paper towel to wipe the board down with vinegar, then use another paper towel to wipe it with hydrogen peroxide.

Bleach - Sanitize both wood and plastic cutting boards with a diluted chlorine bleach or vinegar solution consisting of one teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach in one quart of water or a one to five dilution of vinegar. Flood the surface with a sanitizing solution and allow it to stand for several minutes, then rinse and air dry or pat dry with paper towels.

All cutting boards, and other food surfaces, should be kept dry when not in use. Resident bacteria survive no more than a few hours without moisture. Keep moisture of any type from standing on the block for long periods of time. Beware of moisture collecting beneath the board if you leave it on the counter. If you can, prop one end up when not using your board.

To eliminate garlic, onion, fish, or other smells from your cutting board,:

Coarse salt or baking soda - Rub the board with course salt or baking soda. Let stand a few minutes and wipe salt or baking soda from board, and then rinse. You may need to re-season after rinsing your cutting board/chopping block.

Lemon - Another very easy technique is to rub fresh lemon juice or rub a cut lemon over the surface of the cutting board to neutralize onion and garlic odors. You may need to re-season after rinsing your cutting board/chopping block.

Vinegar - Keep a spray bottle of undiluted vinegar handy for easy cleaning and sanitizing. You may need to re-season after rinsing your cutting board/chopping block.

Use a good steel scraper or spatula often when using the board. Scraping removes 75% of the moisture that builds up on a wooden cutting board. An occasional sanding will return a wooden board to a smooth luster. But never scrub a wooden board with a steel brush (a steel brush will ruff up the finish and should be avoided).

Wooden boards need oiling or reseasoning once a week to seal the grain against bacteria. An oil finish helps to prevent the wood from cracking or pulling apart at the seams.

Before applying oil to butcher block, warm the oil slightly. Apply oil with a soft cloth, in the direction of the grain, allowing the oil to soak in between each of the four or five coats required for the initial seasoning. After each treatment, wait about four to six hours and wipe off oil that did not soak into the wood (oxidation or hardening of the oil will take approximately 6 hours). Re-oil the butcher block monthly or as often as needed.

Before using a new butcher block, season it to prevent staining and absorption of food odors and bacteria. Proper surface treatment is important to guard against germs and/or mold growth on both new and older boards. The wood surface needs an oil that can be repeatedly applied to fill the wood pores and repel food particles, liquids, and oils. Never use any vegetable or cooking oils to treat or finish a cutting surface, as in time the wood will reek of a rancid spoiled oil odor.

USP-grade mineral oil is a popular choice as it is the cheapest pure food-grade oil you can buy (do not use vegetable or olive oils because they can turn rancid). Mineral oil remains safe throughout its life. There are various oils available for cutting boards and butcher blocks. Some are called "Butcher Block Finishes" or "Mystery Oil." Save some money by visiting the local hardware or drug store and purchasing Mineral Oil. (not mineral spirits - this is paint thinner).

When you see the words "food safe finish" in a description of a wood product, this generally means mineral oil has been used. Simply wipe mineral oil on the surface of your board and watch it soak in. When the wood won't take any more oil, you can wipe off the excess with a clean dry cloth. Don't worry about applying too much oil - more is better.

Beeswax is often added to mineral oil and walnut oil to give a tougher finish. The wax of bees has been used for centuries for waterproofing and sealing materials from baskets to cloth and for preserving foods and other perishable materials, including wood. It will make wood water-resistant (though not water-proof) and will help protect the wood surface from use and wear. It will also give a wood surface a nice smooth feel to the touch and leave a gentle, sweet fragrance. Simply shave about 1/2 teaspoon beeswax into a microwave safe dish with a cupful of mineral oil; microwave on high for about 45 seconds. Apple to the cutting board or butcher block while still warm. Save or dispose of the remainder of the oil.

Beeswax Top Coat - A beeswax top coat is an optional addition to the re-finishing process, but is well worth the time. The beeswax sits on the surface of the wood in contrast to the oil that soaks into the wood. As a result the beeswax fills in pores and gaps that thin oil can't bridge. This helps to keep moisture, bacteria, and other contaminants from getting into the wood surface. To apply the finish, simply wipe it on with a clean cloth. The beeswax is a soft paste that has a similar consistency to that of a shoe polish. Excess finish can be easily buffed off with the cloth. Once the finish has had some time to dry it can be buffed to a shine.

To avoid cross contamination, with a wooden cutting board, it would be a good idea to carve a small "v" into the corner of one side of your cutting board and a small "m" into the other side. Then you can always cut your veggies on one side and your meats on the other side and not worry about any chance of cross contamination.

If you are using a plastic cutting board, then you may want to pick up a few different colors. One for poultry, one for red meats, and another for your veggies. That way you don't have to worry about any possible cross contamination. Although you should still thoroughly clean and disinfect your cutting boards after each and every use.

Yesterday was just a bushel load of fun. Not. I had my "annual" exam by the mid-wife at the clinic. Actually it was only 6 months since my last pap test. However, the test yielded "no cells", whatever that means. Hm. They said that didn't really mean anything but they wanted to do the test early. Ohhh-kaaaay... She also scheduled me to come back again in another 6 months for my next pap. Oh joy, joy...lucky gal that I am, huh?


Hm, that reminds me...isn't it about time for the old mans bootay exam?

LOL Oh I can be a wicked one when I want to. Butt (lol) seriously, it's important for his health. Especially at his age. He has an appointment to discuss his stress test with the doctor on the 1oth, I should probably bring the bootay exam subject up then. Hey! It's purely out of concern for my honey buns! LOL

Have a good day and I'll see ya'll soon!
Jill Marie

Monday, October 27, 2008

Easy Halloween Desserts

I got an email from Pillsbury the other day and thought I would share some of their very easy Halloween dessert recipes everyone.

Halloween Party Pops
Halloween prep is super fun when you invite your little gobblins to help decorate adorable cookies on sticks.

INGREDIENTS
Cookies
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookies
16 craft sticks (flat wooden sticks with round ends)
White Frosting
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
Chocolate Frosting
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
Assorted candies (gumdrops, candy corn and licorice)

DIRECTIONS
1. Freeze cookie dough 1 hour.
2. Heat oven to 350°F. Cut frozen dough into 16 (1/2-inch) slices; roll each into ball. On ungreased cookie sheets, arrange balls in circle, 3 inches apart and 2 inches from edges. Securely insert a craft stick into each ball with end pointing toward center of cookie sheet.
3. Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
4. In small bowl, stir white frosting ingredients until smooth. If necessary, add additional milk 1 drop at a time for desired consistency.
5. In another small bowl, stir together all chocolate frosting ingredients except assorted candies until smooth. If necessary, add additional milk 1 drop at a time for desired consistency.
6. Frost half of cookies with white frosting; frost remaining cookies with chocolate frosting. Arrange candies on frosted cookies to create jack-o'-lanterns, cats, owls or ghosts.


Frightfully Easy Ghost Cookies
With only three ingredients, these cookies are so easy you'll want to make a whole ghostly gob of them!

INGREDIENTS
12 oz. vanilla-flavored candy coating, cut into pieces
1 (1-lb.) pkg. peanut butter-filled sandwich cookies
64 miniature chocolate chips (4 teaspoons)

DIRECTIONS
1. In small saucepan, melt candy coating over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth.
2. Line cookie sheets with waxed paper. Holding cookie with tongs, dip entire top and side of each cookie into melted coating, letting excess drip off. Lay flat, coated side up, on waxed paper-lined cookie sheets. Place 2 chocolate chips in coating to form eyes. Let stand about 10 minutes until set.


Spider Web Cookie Pizza
So cute, it's scary! A simple cookie crust becomes a web of delight!

INGREDIENTS
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 12-inch pizza pan with foil; grease foil with shortening. Cut cookie dough into 1/4-inch slices; arrange evenly in pan. With floured fingers, press slices to form crust.
2. Bake 16 to 20 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
3. In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Use foil to lift crust from pan. Carefully remove foil from crust; place crust on serving platter or tray. Spread cream cheese mixture over crust.
4. In a small resealable food-storage plastic bag, place chocolate chips and oil; seal bag. Place bag in bowl of very hot water. Knead bag several times to melt chips. Cut small hole in 1 corner of bag. Working from center to outer edge, pipe chocolate to form spiral design over top of cream cheese mixture. Working from center of spiral to outer edge, draw tip of knife lightly through spiral to form web design.
5. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. To serve, cut into wedges or squares. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pizza.


Peanutty Halloween Cookie Pizza

INGREDIENTS
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup Halloween-colored candy-coated chocolate candies
1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts
1/4 cup vanilla creamy ready-to-spread frosting (from 1-lb container)

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 12-inch pizza pan with foil; grease foil with shortening. Break cookie dough into 2-inch pieces; arrange evenly in pan. With floured fingers, press to form crust.
2. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
3. Use foil to lift crust from pan. Carefully remove foil from crust; place crust on serving platter or tray. Spread peanut butter over crust. Sprinkle with chocolate candies and peanuts.
4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave frosting uncovered on High 10 to 15 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle. Transfer to small resealable food-storage plastic bag. Cut small hole in 1 corner of bag; drizzle over cookie pizza. Cut into wedges or squares.

I went to the store the other day and bought some things to work with Rylie on learning her ABC's and numbers. I just want to take a minute and salute the people who go into the education field. It is hard enough for me to get this one child to sit and concentrate and listen to me...I cannot imagine doing this stuff with a roomful of 20-30 other children her age. So kudo's to those of you who teach our children.

Anyway, on of the big things we need to work on around here is Rylie's hand-eye coordination. I thought maybe today we would make some Halloween decorations or crafts. That way she can practice using little scissors and stuff. Which reminds me, I need to find her craft scissors, I hid them after she used them to cut her hair last spring.

Anyway...here are a few sites that I found for crafts. I'm including the HP site as it has some cool things like invitations, greeting cards and scrapbooking things that mommies may be interested in.

Making Friends

Kaboose Crafts

Enchanted Learning

HP Creative Studio

Even if you don't find something at any of those sites that is exactly what you want to do, you might find something that inspires an idea or whatnot. I think I'm going to check out some of the pumpkin carving templates they have on the HP site. This would be a good night to do Rylie's pumpkin. Yesterday Rylie and daddy made some Halloween sugar cookies, so I think they will frost them tonight and then we can do the pumpkin.

Have a wonderful day!
Jill Marie

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Boil, Boil, Toil & Trouble...

Well, if you've ever had a boil, ouch, then you know just how painful they can be. Here is a bit of information about boils and different home remedies to try and get rid of these painful little bumps.

Boils--
At the outset, a painful red nodule appears on the skin. The nodule grows bigger and then breaks down in the middle where pus collects. The boils patient experiences a lot of irritation and itching. The boil may appear as a single skin boil, or many boils in the same area or in different areas at or about the same time, or boils may come in successive crops. The swelling may either be limited to one hair follicle or extend to several follicles. When skin boils ripen, they give out a discharge. Fever may sometimes arise in a person with boils.

Causes of Boils--
Staphylococcus germs--Boils are caused mainly by staphylococcus germs. These enter sweat glands or hair follicles. The essential cause of boils is thus bacterial. However, there are several factors which predispose the growth of bacteria in hair follicles.
Toxic condition in blood stream--The chief factor is a toxic condition in the blood stream. This arises due to a faulty diet and a frenetic pace of living. Boils generally appear when a person is in a run-down devitalised condition.

Home Remedies--

Cover the boil with Hunt's® tomato paste as a compress. The acids from the tomatoes soothes the pain and brings the boil to a head.

Garlic and Onions have been proved to be among the most effective home remedy for boils treatment among several other remedies. Onion juice or garlic juice may be applied on boils externally to ripen them, break and evacuate the pus. Juices of both these vegetables can be mixed in equal quantities and applied on the boil for beneficial results.

Apply warm moist compresses three to four times a day over tender areas. This helps to bring the boil to a head and promotes easy drainage.

At the point when the boil swells, get red and very hard place a small piece of bacon fat to the sore then cover with a larger band aid before going to bed. By the next morning it will have lanced itself or will have the white head on it to lance. Some remedies say to put a copper penny over the bacon before covering it with a band aid.

Make a mixture of Epsom salts & Crisco (the solid kind). Put the mixture on a big bandage & cover the boil. One person who recommends this method says that usually in 15-20 min the boil will burst.

Mix Vicks and sugar together, place it on the boil and coverd it with a band aid.

Soak a piece of bread in milk and place it on the boil. You can use a gauze pad to hold it in place and tape it.

A slice of raw potato taped over the boil.

Keep in mind that anytime you touch the boil, especially after it bursts, to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. I've heard that you can very easily tranfer the bacteria from the boil to other parts of your body simply by touch. Yuck!

We had two little boys come to our house yesterday and offer to rake and mow (with a push mower) our lawn. They said they would do this for $2 each. Now our lawn is small, barely bigger than a postage stamp, but $4 for mowing and raking?! So we said "okay, have at it". Although we did pay them more than the measly $4 they asked for.

Well, this was right at dinner time and Rylie wanted to go out and "help the boys". So I put some spaghetti (paw-ghetti in Ry's words) on her plate and told her she could go outside and help after she ate. This is a child who will sit and talk all through dinner and do anything she can to avoid eating. Well, last night she sat there and had no time to talk because she was busy shoveling spaghetti in her mouth.

There wasn't even the usual eating one strand at a time and slowly slurping it up like a little worm. No, this was trying to get as much spaghetti on her fork as possible and when that didn't go fast enough, she was using her other had to hold the spaghetti on there to shovel it in. Her usual time of 20-30 minutes to eat maybe a 1/3 of her meal was cut down to 5 minutes and her dinner was all gone. LOL

So she got her jacket and ski vest on along with...oh mah gosh...her toy high heels, pink head band and Hannah Montanna sunglasses. I'm just thankful she didn't remember her pink feather boa, which she did wear to Wal-Mart the other day. Yep, that wee one is gonna be some real trouble for her father and I.

I wish my camera was working, because I would love to get a picture of her the way she was dressed to go to the store. She was too cute and I kept waiting for the papparazzi to pop out and begin snapping pictures. Although, I have a feeling that even if that did happen, it wouldn't even phase her, she'd probably just start smiling and posing for the camera's. I think our little one is fated for a big future. Or else she'll end up being the crazy ol' lady who lives down the street that wears outlandish hats & feather boa's to go to the grocery store and talks to her cats, lol.

Have a beautiful day!
Jill Marie

Monday, October 20, 2008

Removing crayon from walls cleaning tip

We have a pretty busy day tomorrow, starting at 8 am with a dental appointment. So I figured I better get on here tonight and make my regular Tuesday cleaning tip entry early. So for those of you with "art loving" wee ones like mine, here are several tips for removing crayon from the walls.

Removing Crayon on Walls or Washable Wallpaper

Spray with WD-40®, then gently wipe, using a paper towel or clean cloth. If the mark is stubborn, sprinkle a little baking soda on a damp sponge and gently rub in a circular motion. If the WD-40® leaves a residue, gently wipe off with a sponge soaked in soapy water; rinse clean; blot dry. Another method is to use a hair dryer - it heats the wax and wipes away instantly. If the color remains, like red usually does, wet a cloth with bleach and wipe.

Toothpaste (regular paste–not gel). This one’s my first pick always (good old regular Crest), it also helps clean up permanent marker stains pretty easily.

Baking Soda - make a paste with water and use it to gently scrub the mark. You could also just sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and rub.
Baby Oil - apply directly to crayon stains then rub off.

Mayonnaise - Glob some on the stain and scrub a bit in a circular motion, then wipe off.
Shaving Cream - apply to markings, rub in, then wipe off.

Ammonia - soak a section of cloth in household ammonia and scrub markings. You may also luck out with an ammonia based cleaner like Windex and a hot soapy cloth.

Vinegar - soak a toothbrush in white vinegar and scrub marks off.

Hand Lotion - rub directly into crayon and wipe off.

Powdered Dishwasher Detergent - make a paste with water and gently scrub area. Some detergents contain bleach so be careful on wallpaper.

Powdered Household Cleaners - such as Ajax or Comet. Mix with some water or sprinkle on a damp sponge then scrub gently.

Non-stick Cooking Spray - just spray it on then wipe off the marks. Not the best solution for wallpaper since this could leave a grease stain.

Hairspray - spray generously on walls then scrub off the crayon.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser - go gently, you don't want to rub off any paint.

Rubbing Alcohol - Saturate part of a clean cloth then rub stains.

Moist Baby Wipe Towelettes - Rub them directly on the crayon stains and scrub markings off.

You'd be amazed at the things baby wipes are good for. I try to keep them in my car, as I mentioned before, and in the house. I've heard that they are good for removing grease stains from carpet.

Now, I've used Rubbing alcohol to remove ink (yep, my lil' artist again) from the walls. I think I tried it on crayon and I don't remember it working all that well. However, I've read that a lot of people had great success with the toothpaste removing crayon marks from walls. And toothpaste is something we all have around the house. I hope ya'll got some anyway. LOL

Well, have a wonderful Tuesday and say a prayer for my peace of mind about a quarter after 8 tomorrow morning. Rylie has been getting better, but sometimes she likes to be a pistol at the dentist.

Take care,
Jill Marie

Homemade gifts

I love to make homemade jams and jellies. It's a bit time consuming but so worth the effort. One of the things I don't like about it, is the cost of the canning jars. It's not bad really, however, I am usually buying 2-3 boxes (12 jars each) of jars, a few bags of sugar and fresh fruit. In the end the initial investment for 36 jars of jam is probably somewhere close to $50. But then where can you buy 36 jars of jam for less than $2 each?

So, here are a few "Easy" recipes if your interested in making some homemade goodies. I got these from the Ball Recipe page. I haven't tried the "freezing" method yet, but plan to give the Pumpkin Butter a try. Maybe the Apple Butter too.

QUICK PUMPKIN BUTTER
Makes about 5 (8 oz) half pints
Supplies You Will Need:
Blender
Ladle
Funnel
5 Ball® Plastic (8 oz) Freezer Jars

Ingredients You Will Need:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 (1.59-oz) pkg Ball® Simple Creations® Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 cups peeled, cored, coarsely chopped apples (about 3 large)
1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice or apple cider
3 cups pumpkin puree

Step 1, Getting Started: Read all instructions before starting. Assemble all supplies and measure all ingredients.
Step 2, To Prepare Quick Pumpkin Butter:
1.) STIR sugar, brown sugar, contents of pectin package, and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl until well blended. Set aside.
2.) COMBINE apples and apple juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.
3.) PLACE apples and apple juice in a food processor and process until smooth. Add pumpkin purée and blend until combined, about 30 seconds. Stir in apple-pumpkin purée to the pectin mixture. Stir 3 minutes longer.
4.) LADLE butter into clean 8 oz plastic freezer jars to fill line. Twist on lids. Let stand until thickened, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately, refrigerate up to three weeks or freeze up to one year.

QUICK TIP
For an even easier version, substitute 1-1/2 cups applesauce for the apples and apple juice. Blend with pumpkin purée and continue following instructions as above.

QUICK APPLE BUTTER
Featuring Ball® Simple Creations® Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin
Makes about 4 (8 oz) half pints

You will need:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1.59-oz pkg Ball® Simple Creations® Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
5 cups peeled, cored, coarsely chopped apples (about 5 med)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
4 Plastic Ball (8oz) Freezer Jars

Directions:
1.) STIR sugar, brown sugar, contents of pectin package, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg in a bowl until well blended. Set aside.
2.) ADD apples and lemon juice to food processor or blender. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add apple puree to pectin mixture. Stir 3 minutes.
3.) LADLE jam into clean jars to fill line. Twist on lids. Let stand until thickened, about 30 minutes.
4.) SERVE immediately, refrigerate up to three weeks or freeze up to one year.

TROPICAL BREEZE FREEZER JAM
Featuring Ball® Simple Creations® Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin
Makes about 5 (8 oz) half pints

You will need:
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 1.59-oz pkg Ball® Simple Creations® Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin
2 cups finely chopped pineapple (about 1 whole pineapple)
1 cup crushed banana (about 3 medium)
1 cup crushed mandarin orange segments (about 2 11-oz cans)
1/4 cup dried coconut
5 Plastic Ball® (8 oz) Freezer Jars

Directions:
1.) STIR sugar and contents of package in a bowl into well blended.
2.) ADD pineapple, banana, mandarin oranges and coconut. Stir 3 minutes.
3.) LADLE jam into clean jars to fill line. Twist on lids. Let stand until thickened, about 30 minutes. Label.
4.) REFRIGERATE up to 3 weeks.

If you do decide to try giving homemade gifts, be sure to label the jars with the "use by" information. It might even be neat to print out the recipe and give that too.

If I have any jam left by the time Christmas rolls around, meaning if Ray didn't eat it all, I usually give it to friends and family along with a little something else homemade. This year the little something else homemade may be an original painting by Rylie. I've had her busy with a fun little art project called sand painting. I really wish my camera worked, because I would love to show you some of her artwork.

I went and bought 2 canvas's that were on sale for Rylie to start her paintings on. These are for 2 family birthdays we have coming up. However, it could also be done on a plain block of wood with a hanger on the back. Or you could pick up an old painting at the salvation army or a garage sale for a dollar and let them paint over that. You might even be able to find a cheap canvas painting or something at one of the dollar stores that they could paint over.

You just need to make sure that it isn't something that is going to be covered by glass. The really neat thing about sand painting is the texture. The kids can even build up the painting and make little hills, etc. Just make sure you do this with plenty of time for it to dry before you need to give it to someone.

Items needed:
Canvas, wood or whatever to paint on
White glue
Sand
Tempra or acrylic paint

Well, I just mixed it up. lol I mean, I had no "recipe" to go by. You can make it thicker (more sand) if you want to, which is cool if you want to have the paintings to have more texture to them. I basically mixed up the sand and glue in a big jar (with a lid so I could re-use it) and made it pretty thick. Then I used little plastic cups to mix up the sand mixture with the paint. I gave Rylie plastic ware and popsicle sticks to "paint" with. Uh, I also put a big old plastic table cloth down to catch any spills, and believe me there were spills.

Make sure you do this on a day when the kids have plenty of time. I know that Rylie really had fun and she actually spent an hour to an hour and half working on her projects. As a matter of fact, we got them out the next day and she worked on them again, trying to make sure she got all the empty spaces filled in.

I wish I could take a picture to put on here so you could see what this looks like. All I can say is, if your looking for a project for the kids to do, this one is a lot of fun. I love being able to teach Rylie new things and that giving a homemade gift is way more fun than something just bought at the store.

Have a great day.
Jill Marie

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dinner...we are full! And I'm thinking...

I am stuffed. I have this recipe that I've shared before for a cheap and easy roast dinner. The recipe is as follows.

CHEAP ROAST
"Cheap" Round Bone or Blade Cut Roast
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Aluminum foil, wide heavy duty
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350degrees. Tear off about 2 1/2 to 3 feet of foil. Fold in half. Lay roast in middle of foil. Spread both soups over roast. Wrap and seal so juices won't drip out. Cook 3 hours at 350degrees. Be careful when you unwrap foil, so juices don't spill. Great because the cleanup is so easy!

Well, I got to thinking...uh oh! Don't let me do too much of that. Anyway, I got to thinking about how Ray really likes the gravy made with that recipe. Well, I happened to not have a roast on hand. However, I did have some stew beef in the freezer. So I threw the beef into the crock pot, mixed up the dry onion soup and the can of mushroom soup and poured them over the stew beef.

I let it cook all day long. Then just before Ray came home I started making mashed potatoes and fixing egg noodles. It was a good and hearty dinner. I even made a chocolate cherry cheesecake. Inspired by one of my recent recipe posts, Chocolate Covered Cheesecake.

Okay, I cheated. I didn't make it from scratch. Instead I got to thinking, see there I go again...lol. I thought why spend a bunch of money on a lot of ingredients for a dessert just for me, daddy and Rylie. So I grabbed one of my quick and easy boxes of Cheesecake mix that I bought at Aldi's for about $1.99. I prepared the crust and began on the mix. After it was all mixed up I added a wee bit of Almond extract (it gives the taste of cherry), chopped up maraschino cherries and slivers of chocolate from a Hershey's bar.

Oh, and then I thought...MORE CHOCOLATE! So I grabbed a package of frozen leftover chocolate from the last time I ran the chocolate fountain (do you have one of those? I love mine!). I melted that and poured some over the crust and cooled it a bit before topping with the cheesecake mixture. All I can say is "mmmmm, I am stuffed." Ray is too, he liked it all, the dinner and the dessert. Rylie wasn't so keen on the beef and noodles but she did seem to enjoy the chocolate cherry cheesecake concoction.

So as I stood in the kitchen this afternoon, peeling potatoes, I began to think. Yeah, that annoying habit again. How many times have I been right here doing this same exact thing. When Rylie and the older kids think back about their ol' mom is that all their going to remember. "Mom cooked and clean" Are they going to think that "cooking and cleaning" was all there is/was to me?

I stood there peeling them taters, watching Rylie in the dining room. She wasn't doing much, just listening to her mp3 player and singing to herself. I thought about how beautiful she is, how her future can be absolutely anything in the world. She could be anything, do anything. She is so special (as all the kids are). I love that baby girl and sometimes when I think about my kids I tear up as the full emotion of my love for them fills my heart.

I wondered if my mother ever stood and watched me playing as a child and had the same type of thoughts pass through her mind. I wonder if I disappointed my parents. I could have been anything, done anything. I didn't. Don't get me wrong. I had dreams, I had desires for my future. But I was afraid. Afraid of the unknown and going head-on into my future alone. So I hung my sorry little star on the first man to offer me a future with him.

Regrets? Yes and no. I regret no taking the chance on that other road that seemed so dark and frightening. I wonder what was over the that hill I couldn't see beyond. It may have been something very beautiful and fulfilling. On the other hand, it could have been something even more dangerous than the road I took.

Going down that road would also mean that I wouldn't have found and seen the love & beauty of my 3 older children. Although, the path I took was hurtful and dangerous to me in certain ways, I was also blessed with the love and life of my children. Would I trade the life of my children to have the life I dreamed of as a child? NEVER! Not in your wildest dreams.

Ahh, sometimes I wonder about my mind and how it works. How can this simple, nothing more than a housewife and mommy, have such vast and deep thoughts in mere seconds. Maybe I'm just suffering from a wee bit of attention deficit or something.

Oh dang...what do I tell my daughters about following their dreams or the dreams of the man they may fall in love with. (LeAnn's "I Hope You Dance" is playing in the background right now) I want my daughters to dance, but how are we ever sure if the dance we choose to start is one of our own desires, or something that we just "fall" into because it's what someone we love wants?

I hope and I pray that my daughters are stronger than I am, or ever was.
I hope they are smarter than I am.
I hope they have more self-confidence than I've ever had.
I hope they give more than they take.
Yet I hope that they are given to, rather than taken from.
I hope they never have regrets.
I hope they love...wisely.
I hope they are loved...dearly and tenderly.
I hope the road they travel is so beautiful and fullfilling that they don't give a second thought to the path they didn't take.
Why is it that I cry when I think about my daughters and their future and what I'd like for them?

Oh...well, I don't think I'm gonna make mashed potates for a few days. I need a break from all this emotion and thinking for a bit.

Jill Marie

Home remedy--Blood Pressure (low & high) advice

Blood Pressure

Low BP

Drink a glass of raw beetroot juice 2 times a day, for at least a week.

Medical advice for hypotension:
Try a tight squeeze. Studies have shown that relatively simple physical actions that momentarily elevate blood pressure can offset hypotension. Squeezing an isometric handgrip before getting up, for example, can increase blood pressure enough to counter the momentary dip it takes upon standing.
Do some mental math. More amazingly, the researchers who documented the handgrip effect found that doing complex mental arithmetic (try counting backward from 100 by sevens as fast as you can) elevated blood pressure and offset hypotension even better than physical activity.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals. If you typically experience hypotension after meals, try eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. Also, find out how much salt and fluid intake your doctor recommends. Restricting them may contribute to hypotension.
Sleep on a slant. The way you sleep may also be important in helping control hypotension. Try sleeping with the head end of your bed elevated 8 to 12 inches above the foot end (use concrete building blocks). On rising, sit up slowly and dangle your feet over the edge of the bed for a few moments before standing.

High BP

Mix 1/2 onion juice and 1/2 honey. Take 2 tbls once a day for 1-2 weeks.

Eat 1 Papaya on an empty stomach daily for a month. Do not eat anything after for about 2 hours.

Medical advice for hypertension:
Watch your weight. Even with relatively minor amounts of weight loss, one can see a measurable fall in blood pressure.
Cut down on alcohol. Because the connection between alcohol consumption and high blood pressure has been well documented, people with hypertension should limit their alcohol consumption.
Shake the salt habit. The link between sodium and high blood pressure has never been proven beyond doubt. But what is known is that a salt-sensitive subset of hypertensives probably exists, and you may be one of them.
Potassium, please.
Research show that ..."If you're on a low-salt diet and getting 2 grams of sodium (2 grams of sodium equals 5 grams of table salt) per day, then you should get 6 grams of potassium."
Aerobic exercise. While numerous studies have shown the beneficial effects of aerobic exercise on high blood pressure, the primary advice for hypertensives is to proceed with caution. Think vegetarian. Studies have shown that vegetarians have lower blood pressure than the general population—10 to 15 mm Hg. lower for both systolic and diastolic pressures.
"Take one dog and call me in the morning." Pliny, the Roman writer and philosopher, first wrote that prescription (or something close to it) centuries ago, but modern science is showing that it's a valid treatment for high blood pressure. (That's my oldest daughter, Samantha)>>>


Good Morning lovelies! I feel so much better today. I got a wee bit of a cat nap last night while Ray and I were watching "Ghost Hunters" (I think I have a small crush on Grant) that we had saved on the dvr. Then I went to bed an hour early, yes...I missed the debate. I'm hoping that Ray dvr'ed it for me. Then I slept in by almost an hour this morning. I think that a total of 10 hours better have caught me up. 10 hours...ugh...I actually slept away ten whole hours of my life. That makes me feel lazy just to read it. Well, what's done is done and I have a lot to do today so I better get on with things.

I hope this wee bit of information about blood pressure is useful to someone. As someone who has chronic hyperstension it makes me feel a bit deprived. Look at what those with hypotension have to do: squeeze something or do some math before standing up, sleep on a slant and eat more often. While those of us with hypertension have to lose weight, stop drinking, stop eating salt (goodbye pickles and mild peppers), exercise, stop eating meat and get a dog! Sheesh!

Life just isn't fair. I don't want to give up my mild peppers and pickles. Yet I know how very bad they are. When I was preggers I loved eating mild peppers. I craved them badly, just talking about them...mmmm, I can't taste them now. Anyway, I would buy a jar of them and eat the whole danged jar in just one day, practically one sitting. Then I would keep the juice and go in and drink it. YUM!

Then evening came and...well, can ya picture an elephants leg? Yeah, that's about what my leg looked like from the ankle to my knee. It was not pretty and it hurt something bad. Ladies, the water retention during PMS ain't nothing compared to what happened to me. But it was that awful terrible craving. The next week...I decided that maybe it was just a coincidence and it was probably okay to get my peppers again, I'd eat them more sparingly.

Yeah right! Just eating one? Yeah at a time. I went back and opened that frig enough times to empty that darn jar. Well, at least I got a bit of exercise from the walk to and from the frig. What? I'm trying to be optimistic here.

Speaking of peppers and pickles (mmm, I want some now), I scared myself a wee bit yesterday. I was making scrambled eggs for Rylie and myself. I got her's done and settled her down to eat and started to make some for myself. I was standing there thinking about adding ham and cheese when I suddenly had this strange thought to add chopped pickles. Yeah, gross right? But I actually considered it and that's what scared me. When the heck is Auntie Flo suppose to make her visit? Luckily, my favorite auntie showed up and made my day. She was such a sweetie to come a day or two early and reassure me.

Well, hm...I did it again. I rambled my way from blood pressure to pickles and peppers to Auntie Flo. I never cease to amaze myself. I'm just a special kind of gal like that, I suppose.

Take care!
Jill Marie

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Baby wipes, germs, baggage and sugar

"What the...Baby wipes, germs, baggage and sugar?! How did I manage to connect all of this into one entry? Read on to get into the inner workings of the mind of this blonde housewife.

This (Healthy Living Article) is the reason I carry a small package of baby wipes in my car.

The worst kinds of bacteria were found in cars in humid climates such as in Florida, while molds were rampant in cars in cold places like Chicago. “They act like a refrigerator in Chicago and a sauna in Florida,” Gerba says.

Protective Step: Wipe down the surfaces of your car with disinfectant wipes. Minimize eating in your car as much as possible; food is a major cause of bacteria. If you must eat while on the go, vacuum up any particles left on the seats, upholstery and carpet.


Okay, I also have a four year old who can be quite messy wherever she is, so it may not be the only reason why I keep them in the car. I actually began keeping baby wipes in the car several years ago. You'd be amazed at how well they clean up the dust and how often they come in handy when your on the go.

It's amazing the "baggage" we carry around when we have children and a man in our lives. Yep, after the kids come we all upgrade to a larger bag. Mine is slightly smaller than a baby bag. It always has gum, chapstick (which Rylie calls her lipstick), a baggy with baby wipes, a baggy with pretzels or some other snack and sometimes even a small drink. If the ol' man is with us I also, inevitably, end up carrying his keys, sunglasses & his "I can't read this" glasses, lighter and smokes. So I have to carry a big old bag or else I wouldn't have room for my drivers license and a stick of gum!
I remember, after my divorce and before I met Raymond, I went to the bank one day and the teller commented on my purse. She was amazed that I was able to fit all my "stuff" in it. It was probably about 4" x 7" and little more than an envelope. I kept a wee folder thing that held my license and bank card, a sm. coin purse, my lipstick and keys in it. That was about all I needed wherever I went.


LOL...I just had a thought. Maybe I'll get that wee lil' purse back out. I'll fold it up and put it in my big old bag that I carry around now. Then the next time we all go somewhere and Ray ask's me to put his "stuff" in my purse...I'll just pull out the lil' purse and hand it to him. ROFLMBO! Oh, can you imagine the dirty look I would get? Well, I could always put a NASCAR pin on it to make it more "manly".

LOL...oh the lack of sleep last night makes me so much more amusing to myself. Yeah...for some reason I couldn't sleep last night. So I was up...late. I finally got on the computer and started playing around with some pictures. I also made a new title for my photo blog, Jill Marie's Memories. I finally laid down around 2 am and who knows what time I finally fell asleep, I think the last time I looked at the clock it was around 2:45 am.

Well, I guess I'll take my 4 hours +minutes and be thankful that I was able to get that. It's been a while since I've had insomnia, I hope this doesn't become a "usual" thing again. It always seems to happen when I'm under quite a bit of stress or emotional strain. Hm...yeah...it couldn't be that could it? (she asked sarcastically)

Which brings us right back around to the subject of "baggage", albeit a different variety. If we all carry a bit of emotional baggage with us, from our childhood, past relationships, hurts, etc...then there must be a 50 foot freakin' truck behind me. No wonder I walk around feeling as though I'm about to be plowed over. Add the emotional "crap" we pick up via our relationships with others and the bits of baggage we pick up from them and their relationships, etc., and my 50' freakin' truck just turned into a gosh danged runaway train! Holy sugar buns! Get out of the way, I have to make a run for it!

Hm, I'm feeling a bit loopy. But golly kids, I sure am entertaining myself this morning. Sugar...that is my "replacement" word. I use it in place of the word "chit" (you know what I mean). If I get really frustrated I say "oh, sugar shack!" Rylie doesn't know what word I am replacing (I don't think she does anyway), but she is too funny. She knows that "sugar shack" is more serious than plain old "sugar". If she hears me say "oh, sugar shack!", she will turn around and say "Mommmmy, don't say sugar shack. Say sugar."

Of course, I use the words "freak, fudge and jack" in place of the "biggie". Of course, "jack" has 2 different meanings in my vocab. I use it in place of the "F" word, but if I call the ol' man jack...well, that's mainly an abbreviation. You get the idea. LOL

Okay, I am finding no way to turn off my mind and it's weird and wild ramblings today, so I am just gonna say good-bye and don't let any sugar stick to your shoe. LMBO! Oh...I need to take a nap today.

Later kids,
Jill Marie

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday--Copper Cleaning Tip

Here are a few tips I've found for cleaning copper. Of course, if you have an antique piece and it is just for show be very careful. In that case, I would not recommend using the one that requires the use of steel wool, or at least try it in an inconspicuous place first.

Cleaning Copper:
  • Polish with Bar Keepers Friend and fine steel wool. Use plenty of elbow grease. Keep the kettles extra bright by washing well with soap and water after polishing.
  • Dip half a lemon in kosher salt and rub well. Then polish with a soft cloth and beeswax for a deep, lasting copper shine.
  • Table salt and vinegar remove oxidation from copper.
  • Salt, Vinegar, and Flour. Dissolve 1 teaspoon salt in 1 cup white vinegar. Add enough flour to make a paste. Apply the paste to copper and let sit for 15 minutes to 1 hour. Rinse with clean warm water, and polish dry.
  • Lemon and Salt or Baking Soda. Make a paste of lemon juice and salt, and rub with a soft cloth, rinse with water, and dry. Or use a slice of lemon sprinkled with baking soda. Rub copper with the lemon slice and rinse with water and dry. Vinegar and Salt. Pour vinegar over the surface Sprinkle salt over the acid and rub in the mixture. Rinse with warm water and polish dry.
  • Lemon Juice and Cream of Tartar. Make a paste of lemon juice and cream of tartar. Apply, leave on for 5 minutes, and then wash in warm water. Dry with a soft cloth.

Another tip I found was to polish copper, rub an ample amount of catsup on the copper and let it stand for 5 minutes. Rinse off the catsup with hot water and dry to find an incredible shine.


However, only use that on the bottom of copper pans or outside of tea kettles because I also came across the following information.

Copper Utensils with copper interiors should never be used for acidic foods, with pH of 6.0 or below, since toxic compounds can form if food is cooked, stored or served from such containers. Even if copper pans are lined with tin, they should not be used for acidic foods such as fruits, fruit juices, salad dressings, tomatoes, vinegar containing foods, etc. Copper bowls may be used for beating egg whites, or copper kettles for cooking high sugar foods like fudge, for these foods are alkaline. Utensils with copper on the bottom or outside, and stainless steel, aluminum, or a porcelain enamel interior finish are safe to use and conduct heat well.

Avoid high heat which discolors copper bottoms.


It is just amazing the amount of information you can find, about a single subject, on the Internet. Sometimes I it's a bit hard to find an answer for my question. However I often find if I change one word or drop a word from my query that I will find answers somewhat relevant to my search and, in fact, it often leads me to another link that will have my answer.


Happy Tuesday!

Jill Marie

Monday, October 13, 2008

Blog HTML help needed, please

Okay, I've been playing around with my layout, colors, title background, etc. But what I now want to do is a wee bit more complicated. I want to add my own background (http://img530.imageshack.us/img530/6012/daisybkgsmts9.jpg) to my blog. I've tried a few things, over and over, but am having no luck.

This is one of the things I found online and have been trying to do:
body {background-image: url(URL address of your image);

However, I am not having any luck with this. Can anyone out there help? Or refer me to someone who might be able to help me?

Much appreciation for any advice,
Jill Marie

PS~ If you happen to know the correct size (pixels width and height) for backgrounds, I'd appreciate that information too. :)

Monday Morning Recipe and a widget

Today I thought I would share the recipe I use for Chicken fingers. Rylie is an extremely picky eater but this is one recipe that she really likes.

I used to crush saltine crackers, add seasoning and use that as my coating for chicken fingers. Rylie and Ray liked them a lot, especially because it was nice and crunchy. Then I found this recipe and tried it. They really liked these chicken fingers and I like the fact that they are so much healthier. especially if you use a low-fat dressing.

Crunchy Chicken Strips
Start to Finish: 20 minutes

Ingredients
Nonstick cooking spray
2-1/2 cups crushed bite-size cheddar fish-shaped crackers or pretzels
2/3 cup bottled buttermilk ranch salad dressing
1 lb. chicken breast tenderloins
Bottled buttermilk ranch salad dressing

Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil; lightly coat foil with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a shallow dish place the crushed crackers. In another shallow dish place the ranch dressing. Dip chicken tenderloins into the dressing, allowing excess to drip off; dip into cracker crumbs to coat. Arrange chicken in prepared pan.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170 degrees F). If desired, serve with additional ranch dressing.
Makes 4 servings
Quicker Crunchy Chicken Strips: Prepare as above, except use one 10-ounce package of cooked refrigerated chicken breast strips instead of the chicken breast tenderloins and bake only 5 to 8 minutes or until heated through.


How do you like my cool little music widget? I saw one of these over at Indigo's blog Scream Quietly. Indigo's blogs are really amazing. Her writing really has the power of visualization and a way of reaching out and touching people. She actually has more followers than I've even had of total visits yet. If you haven't read any of her writing yet, you should really check it out. She also recently got her AOL journal transferred over here: Quiet Screams of Raven's Lament.

I love the song Concrete Angel by Martina McBride. I just don't know how long I'll be able to leave it up. I cry almost everytime I listen to it. If you don't know the song, please take a few minutes and stay and watch the video. It's very touching and, unfortunately, not an uncommon problem. I don't know about anyone else, but every time I hear or read some story about child abuse it touches me deeply. I empathize with the children and become so angry at the abuser and those who were aware and yet did nothing about it.

Of course, I'm not surprised by my low number of visits and followers. I mean who really wants to read about cooking, cleaning, etc? It's certainly not an exciting read for (most) men. Women, well they get enough of that stuff at home and certainly don't want to spend their precious few minutes reading about it. The rest of the stuff here is either family stories about what we've been doing or an occassional tag here & there. Nothing too exciting to make people come back time and again.

I often wish I had Indigo's God given talent of writing. I think it would be so special to be able to write and have it really reach out and touch people. Ahh, but then I would have to have something to write about. Hm. There are stories within me, I just don't think it's somewhere that I want to go. Just a dark murky place that I really do not want to revisit. I've been down that scary road one too many times and it always takes me on a journey that I really don't want to be on. It's a ride that I can't seem to control. I try to take it slow and control it, however, it always seems to have a way of veering off the course I've set and careening wildy, picking up speed and taking me to an inner valley of darkness that I don't want to go to.

Ahh, and I've probably just written a bunch of crap that no one really understands. That's okay. I know what I mean and I am sure there are a few of you out there that know the feeling all too well.

Well, so much for my trite little post about a recipe.
Have a beautiful day,
Jill Marie

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Essentials of Happiness...


Well, it's been a while since I've sat and played with photo shop. But I found this quote and liked it, so I made a little graphic. If you like it feel free to snag and use it.
I'm having a wee bit of trouble figuring out how to post pictures from flckr or Image Shack. I'm probably missing something completely simple, but I'm so used to the way I did it on aol and am just not quite figuring this new format out. Any advice you can give will be very much appreciated. I feel like such a newbie again.
Have a peaceful Sunday.
Jill Marie
BTW-I've figured out the whole picassa thing. I just need to know how to share pictures directly from an image web site. Thx.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Words...

Okay, time for a little english lesson. Learn from it what you will. Most likely these words will mean little to you except as words you use to describe other people or perhaps things.

Main Entry: ir·re·spon·si·ble
Function: adjective
Pronunciation: "ir-i-'spän(t)-s&-b&l
: not responsible: as a : not answerable to higher authority b : said or done with no sense of responsibility c : lacking a sense of responsibility d : unable especially mentally or financially to bear responsibility

Main Entry: child·ish
Function: adjective
Pronunciation: 'chil-dish
1 : of, relating to, or befitting a child or childhood
2 a : marked by or suggestive of immaturity and lack of poise b : lacking complexity : SIMPLE c : deteriorated with age especially in mind : SENILE

Main Entry:
out·ra·geous
Function: adjective
Pronunciation: (")aut-'rA-j&s
1 a : exceeding the limits of what is usual b : not conventional or matter-of-fact : FANTASTIC
2 : VIOLENT, UNRESTRAINED
3 a : going beyond all standards of what is right or decent b : deficient in propriety or good taste

Main Entry:
self-righ·teous
Function: adjective
Pronunciation: -'ri-ch&s
: convinced of one's own righteousness especially in contrast with the actions and beliefs of others : narrow-mindedly moralistic

Main Entry: self-serv·ing
Function: adjective
Pronunciation: -'s&r-vi[ng]
: serving one's own interests often in disregard of the truth or the interests of others
- self-serv·ing·ly adverb

Main Entry: ex·plo·sive
Function: adjective
Pronunciation: ik-'splO-siv, -ziv
1 a : relating to, characterized by, or operated by explosion b : resulting from or as if from an explosion
2 a : tending to explode b : likely to erupt in or produce hostile reaction or violence
- ex·plo·sive·ly adverb
- ex·plo·sive·ness noun

Main Entry: apol·o·gy
Function: noun
Pronunciation: &-'pä-l&-je
Inflected Form(s): plural -gies
Etymology: Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French apologie, from Late Latin apologia, from Greek, from apo- + logos speech -- more at LEGEND
1 a : a formal justification : DEFENSE b : EXCUSE 2a
2 : an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret
3 : a poor substitute : MAKESHIFT
synonyms APOLOGY , APOLOGIA , EXCUSE , PLEA , PRETEXT , ALIBI mean matter offered in explanation or defense. APOLOGY usually applies to an expression of regret for a mistake or wrong with implied admission of guilt or fault and with or without reference to palliating circumstances . APOLOGIA implies not admission of guilt or regret but a desire to make clear the grounds for some course, belief, or position . EXCUSE implies an intent to avoid or remove blame or censure . PLEA stresses argument or appeal for understanding or sympathy or mercy . PRETEXT suggests subterfuge and the offering of false reasons or motives in excuse or explanation . ALIBI implies a desire to shift blame or evade punishment and imputes mere plausibility to the explanation .



Hopefully, these are not words you, or others, would use to describe you on a daily basis. Oh, I'm sure there are times when we all feel like we've acted childish or irresponsible. I know there are times that I look back and think..."what the blazes was I thinking? Why did I do, or say, that?" But I think that when we reach that point we all know when we are in the wrong and it is time for us to suck it up and make our apologies. At least I HOPE that most, if not all, of us know when that time it.

I know that when one of my weakest moments hit me...and I knew it as it was happening. I just couldn't stop myself from my angry and hateful reactions at the time. But I can't let it go for long when I know how wrong I've been. Within hours of my mis-behavior, I was sitting at my computer composing an apology letter. Not only did I e-mail to the other person, but I also felt so guilty and the need to publicly punish myself (or something), that I actually posted the apology in my journal too.

Of course, there is always going to be a time when we need to apologize. Unless, your perfect. Hm. But I wonder about those who don't and yet they know that they should. Why don't they? Are their egos so big that they just can't get over themselves? Or are they just too ashamed to admit to their faults? Does that mean they are weak? What would they do, if it's someone they loved and cared about, and that person were to die in an accident tomorrow? What makes them think they are always right? (I mean if they don't feel the need to apologize they must feel they are right, even though they KNOW they are wrong.) Why do they feel the need to deflect the attention off their wrong-doing by attacking, or throwing blame elsewhere? Do you ever wonder about the self-confidence of someone who feels justified in attacking others (physically or verbally)? Hm, so many questions.

Yes, as you may have gathered there has been an "incident" 'round these here parts. I'm not too happy about the offending party, although I had thought they were going to make amends (apologize) to the offended party(ies). However, as far as I can tell they are going to continue their childish and egotistical behavior. I shouldn't be surprised, I suppose, seeing as the venomous attack that came from this persons mouth earlier this summer toward someone they should never ever even raise their voice to.

Well, I hope ya'll are having as wonderful a weekend as mine has been disturbing. (Did that make sense? ie: I hope your weekend has been the complete opposite as mine has been thus far.)
Jill Marie

Friday, October 10, 2008

Wine and knowledge...


"Wine should be taken in small doses; knowledge in large ones." — Chinese proverb

"However, one should share wine in a large dose and knowledge in a small dose." — Jill Marie
{{{wink, wink}}} Just my own humble opinion.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bladder Infection Home Remedy & a Chocolate Covered Cherry Cheesecake recipe

Good Morning! Here are a few tips for dealing with those nasty bladder infections. I usually just pop a few Azo's and wait for the sucker to clear up. I know, Iknow, nothing will take care of them like a prescription from the doctor. But I see my doctor so much...he may be starting to think we are in some kind of a "relationship" or something. lol

Bladder Infection

Take a bag of fresh or frozen cranberries and boil them in water (they will fall apart). Cool and drink. Don't add sugar! This remedy is also useful for people with kidney problems.


One teaspoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of garlic juice mixed in a glass of warm water. Drink three times a day, before meals. A teaspoon of pure garlic juice is effective in killing off the bacteria responsible for many bladder infections. This treatment can be repeated as often as needed.


Avoid alcohol, caffeinated and carbonated drinks, and spicy foods. They can worsen symptoms. Avoid sexual intercourse while you are having symptoms. Refrain from taking bubble baths or using bath oils while having symptoms.

I also came across this yummy sounding recipe in my Pillsbury newsletter. Mmmm, it just sounds too delicious not to share with ya'll.

Choco-Cherry Cheesecake
Bars Simple chocolate-topped bars have a creamy filling and tender cookie crust.

INGREDIENTS
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® Create 'n Bake® refrigerated sugar cookies
1 egg, separated
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3 drops red food color
1 jar (10 oz) maraschino cherries, finely chopped, drained on paper towels
1 bag (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup whipping cream

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 350°F. In ungreased 13x9-inch pan, break up cookie dough. With floured fingers, press dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown.
2. Meanwhile, in small bowl, beat 1 egg white until frothy. Brush egg white over crust. Bake 3 minutes longer or until egg white is set.
3. Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add egg yolk, 2 eggs, the condensed milk, almond extract and food color; beat until well blended. Stir in chopped cherries.
4. Pour cherry mixture evenly over crust. Bake 16 to 20 minutes longer or until set. Cool completely, about 45 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, heat chocolate chips and butter over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Cool 20 minutes.
6. Stir whipping cream into chocolate mixture until well blended. Spread over cooled bars. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until chocolate is set. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows.
Store in refrigerator.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.


Mmmm, Chocolate & Cherries & Cheesecake! Three of my favorites all in one fairly simple recipe. Well, I guess the family knows one of the new recipes I will trying out on them this holiday season. Hm, I bet I could even make the crust ahead of time and freeze that and pull it out the day I'm ready to make it.
I'm always looking for ways to do a wee bit of the work before we have a get-together. Then I can finish making it the day before or the day of and still have fresh baked food without a ton of baking while I'm also trying to clean up and get ready for the party, or whatever event.

I am a wee bit curious, what are all you former AOhelLer's doing with your journals? Did ya get it all transferred? I got mine transferred last night, but now I'm not sure if I want to go back and work with that or stay with this new little blog I've got going on. I may just keep the old one up so I can go through it and find some stories about Rylie to add to her scrapbook.
I just don't know. I really kind of like this new little spot "Fryin' Up The Bacon". Anyone have an opinion? Feel free to share it with me.
Have a wonderful day,
Jill Marie

I almost forgot! I kept a stats counter on my other journal and these are some of the interesting places I got hits from in the last month on my "This Simple Housewife's Contribution to the World" journal.

Num Perc. Country Name
368 88.89% United States
13 3.14% Unknown
11 2.66% United Kingdom
4 0.97% Canada
3 0.72% Australia
2 0.48% India
2 0.48% Philippines
2 0.48% Singapore
2 0.48% Sweden
2 0.48% Malta
1 0.24% Germany
1 0.24% Colombia
1 0.24% Mauritius
1 0.24% China
1 0.24% Jamaica

Please login if you've just happend to stumble across my blog and say "hi". I'd love to hear from you, find out how you found me and if you found any information you will be able to use. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Antiquated? Me?!

Me? I think of myself as a bit old-fashioned. As a matter of fact, if anyone from the family wants to know what I would like for Christmas or my birthday...I'd really like a few nice 1950's looking aprons. Ray and Rylie got me on last year, however, it was made to look like the front of Mrs. Claus clothes. Not something that I can really use all year long.
Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, being old-fashioned. I am. Not a perfect lil' June Cleaver version. Yes, I am old-fashioned however, I'm not stuck in "old" thinking. I don't believe that you have to be the same religion as me or your going to the hot spot for bad boys and girls. I don't believe I have to shove my thoughts, way of life and other beliefs down your throat. I don't even believe that a womans place is in the home. Mine yes, but not everyones.
Yes, I enjoy(ed) being barefoot and pregnant. For myself, there is no greater time than when I carried my children and my body held their developing little selves. It wasn't great for me health wise, but I loved it. I loved feeling my children moving and imagining their little faces, toes and fingers.
I loved rocking my babies to sleep. I love baking cookies and other treats for my children (even though most of them are on their own now). I love growing flowers from seeds and then harvesting seeds for the next year. I love growing my own vegetables. I love (even though it's a lot of work) making my own jams and jellies. I love a lot of things that so many young women wouldn't even think of doing. In essence, I love being a housewife and a mommy. I love taking care of and helping those I love. It's not all I am, but it is one of my most important contributions to those I care about.
Anyway, I realized that compared to a lot of woman today I am old-fashioned. So I got to wondering about the word and it's meaning. Here is what I found.

DICTIONARY
Main Entry: 1old-fash·ioned
Function: adjective
Pronunciation: -'fa-sh&nd
1 a : of, relating to, or characteristic of a past era b : adhering to customs of a past era
2 : OUTMODED

THESAURUS
Main Entry: old-fashioned
Function: adjective
Text: 1 pleasantly reminiscent of an earlier time
Synonyms antique, oldfangled, old-time, old-world, quaint
Related words antiquated, obsolete; historic, historical, olden, traditional; outdated, outmoded, out-of-date, outworn, passé; dated, fusty, moth-eaten, musty; aged, age-old, ancient, antediluvian, fossilized, hoary, venerable; bygone, erstwhile, former, late, past; forgotten, remote; ageless, dateless; timeless
Near Antonyms fresh, new, up-to-date; chic, fashionable, smart, stylish; modernized, refurbished, remodeled, renewed
Antonyms contemporary, hot, mod, modern, newfangled, new-fashioned, ultramodern
2 tending to favor established ideas, conditions, or institutions -- see CONSERVATIVE 1

Okay, yeah...I would say that I relate to "characteristics of a past era". Hm, but I like the phrase "pleasantly reminiscent of an earlier time". Yep, I like that one a lot. Um, I am not jumping up and down about the related words "antiquated, obsolete; historic, historical, olden, outdated, outmoded, out-of-date, outworn, passé; dated, fusty, moth-eaten, musty; aged, age-old, ancient, antediluvian, fossilized, hoary, venerable; bygone, erstwhile" and etc.
Well, I don't know why I felt this information necessary to include here. Just something to ramble on about, I suppose.
I'm not sure if I'll be by tomorrow. Ray has his stress test at 11 AM and they say it could take anywhere from 3 to 4 hours. I am praying all is well and his symptoms of late are just a lil' bit of a freak thing. His BP is picture perfect, he's 5'11" and only weighs 160lbs. He is a smoker, but we're hoping to eliminate that nasty little habit. He's basically a very healthy male. And I know for a fact that he gets a LOT of "cardiovascular exercise". Uh, I believe it's considered cardio anyway. ;)
Okay, have a good night.
See ya later!
Jill Marie

Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!


Good Morning. Coffee...I like the fake stuff...that powdered sugary stuff that they call cappucino. However, I don't particularly care for that bitter, mud tasting stuff most of ya'll drink, but I understand some of you just can't live without that stuff. So here are some tips for keeping your coffee makers clean and a few special coffee recipes.

Do people actually grind their own coffee? I guess they must because I found this tip to clean sharpen coffee grinders blades.

Coffee Grinder: Grind up a cup or so of rice in a coffee grinder to clean the grinder and sharpen its blades.

And here are some instructions for keeping those coffee makers clean

Coffee Maker: Cleaning your coffee maker the right way will keep every pot tasting the best it can possibly be. It should be done at least once a month, to ensure good tasting coffee.
1. Mix a full coffee pot with a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 2 parts of water. For extremely slow coffee makers, use full strengh vinegar and add a tablespoon of baking soda. In the area where you usually add coffee, put in a filter.
2. Pour the mixture into the water reservoir of the coffee maker and turn the coffee maker on.

3. Wait until the mixture has completely run through, toss out the filter and shut the coffee pot off for 3 minutes. Pour the vinegar and water mixture down the drain. Rinse the coffee pot, and fill again, but this time with with plain cold water. Use another clean filter.
4. Run the plain cold water through the water reservoir to remove the mixture completely. Pour this water down the drain also.
5. Run completely through, turn the drip coffee maker off and let it cool for 5 minutes before using it to make coffee. If you are cleaning a coffee maker that hasn't been cleaned regularly, repeat this step again with a fresh vinegar and water mixture. (*Repeat the rinsing process to make sure all of the vinegar and water solution is completely gone. )
6. Never wash the coffee pot with soap, this will bind with the oils deposited by the coffee, and will leave a taste behind. Do not wash in the diswasher, for the same reason. Instead, put about two cups of crushed ice, 1/4 cup rock or table salt, and 1/4 cup lemon juice (bottled or fresh is fine) and swirl around the pot. Measurements are not that important, just guesstimate.
For tough stains scrub using a paper towel or clean (not soapy) dishtowel. Rinse thoroughly. This is how restaurants clean their pots, for that rich taste that is so elusive at home.
A few more tips:
Cleaning your coffee maker takes away hard water deposits, old oils from previously brewed pots, and other impurities that can make your coffee taste bad.
Clean a brand new coffee pot prior to using.
Never pour water into the reservoir by using the sink faucet or hose.
For a richer taste, sprinkle a dash of salt on the grounds before brewing. Restaurants do this also.


These are some coffee recipes I found that some of ya might want to give a try.

White Chocolate Coffee
3 oz white chocolate, chopped
2 cups half n half
2 cups hot coffee
Whipped cream
Preparation:
Heat the milk and chocolate together in a saucepan until melted and smooth. Stir in coffee and serve with whipped cream on top.
Serves 6

Pumpkin Pie Latte Recipe
1 tbs canned pumpkin
2 tbs vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon, ground
1 cup milk
1/2 cup strong coffee, or 1/4 cup espresso

Preparation:
In a saucepan, heat milk and pumpkin until steaming. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Put mixture in a blender, and blend for 15-20 seconds until thick and foamy. Pour into tall glass, then add coffee (or espresso). Top with a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice or ground nutmeg.
Serves 1

Holiday au Lait
1 cup hot coffee
8 oz milk
1 oz vanilla syrup or extract
1/8 tsp of each: cinnamon, sugar, allspice, cloves

Preparation:
In the bottom of your mug, mix the spices and vanilla. Fill halfway with hot coffee, then the other half with warm milk.

Cinnamon Caramel Iced Coffee
6 tbs ground coffee
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup caramel dessert syrup

Preparation:
Mix the cinnamon into your loose ground coffee and then brew a pot of coffee by whatever method you prefer. Add the caramel syrup to the cinnamon-spiced coffee, and stir well until completely dissolved. Chill through in the fridge, and serve over ice cubes, with added milk or sugar to taste. The syrup makes this iced coffee pretty sweet as it is.


Well, I guess that's about it for today. Have a terrific day.
Jill Marie

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday Recipe--Easy Pot Roast and basic training

It's Monday, which means it's time for a recipe. I guess I'll follow the same format I did at my AOhelL journal. Monday-recipe, Tuesday-cleaning tip, Thursday-home remedy, other days are kind of whatever entries.

I've given this recipe several times, however it's one that I use a lot at home. It's a quick and easy recipe for Pot Roast.

Cheap Roast
"Cheap" Round Bone or Blade Cut Roast
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soupAluminum foil, wide heavy duty

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tear off about 2 1/2 to 3 feet of foil. Fold in half. Lay roast in middle of foil. Spread both soups over roast. Wrap and seal so juices won't drip out. Cook 3 hours at 350 degrees. Be careful when you unwrap foil, so juices don't spill. Great because the cleanup is so easy!

Using the foil does make the cleanup easy, however if you don't have the foil don't worry about it. I spray my big pot with a non-stick spray and just throw it in there to cook. Sometimes I just make it in the crock pot.
This recipe is definately one of our favorites, Ray loves the gravy this meal makes on it's own. Serve with mashed potatoes and hot veggie. Although I usually just add peeled potatoes and carrots about an hour or hour and half before the time is up.

David (my oldest son at 22) got the big call on Thursday. He leaves for basic training at Fort Benning, GA on November 15. For those who don't know, David was suppose to leave last spring for basic training. However, when he got to Cleveland for the bus to leave, at the last minute someone noticed his lazy eye and told him they could not accept him. So David spent the next month collecting letters of recommendation from his eye doctor, his HS principal and a House Representative.


In August we found out that his fight for his right to serve his country had paid off and they would accept him. We've been waiting since then to find out when he would leave. Now we know...sigh.


Yeah...okay, so that isn't a recent picture of David, but that is probably how I'll always see him. This one is a more recent picture. I took it this past spring over at Swan Creek Park.

Yes, I am proud of my son and his desire to serve his country. I guess, as most mothers must be, I'm a bit ambivalent about the entire thing. However, I know that the experience will be good for him and teach him a lot. I'm just a wee bit afraid of where it is going to take my child to. Not to mention the possible dangers he may face.

Here's an interesting quote I'd like to leave you with today: "Most people search high and wide for the keys to success. If they only knew, the key to their dreams lies within." — George Washington Carver

Have a beautiful day!
Jill Marie
PS--Way cool little thing ya'll have over here at blog spot! I accidently shut down my computer when I was almost done with my entry. I logged back on and found that my entry had been saved as a draft. I am loving that little feature! :D

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Not the same ol' pumpkin patch we went to as kids...

Hello, I hope everyone is having a safe and happy weekend. I just thought I'd get on and update with what was going on around here with some fun pictures from Saturday.

We spent yesterday at a place called Wiards up in Michigan. We went with Ray's daughters, their spouses and children. It was a blast. I've been wanting to go some place like this with Rylie for the past 3 years.

That is a picture of a very excited Rylie as we got into the truck in the morning to leave. She talked all week about how we were going to a pumpkin patch with Aubreigh (her 21 mo. old niece).



It cost $10.95 per person (over the age of 2) to get in for the day. We thought it a tad expensive, for example, they should have had a lower price for children from age 3 to 6, or something. However, there was a lot to do once you got inside the gate. They had all kinds of blow up forts and slides for little ones. Face painting, miniature golf, sand art, apple cannons, hay rides and fire truck rides. We even went through the corn maze, which I had never done before.



This is Ray holding our grandson, Carter (11 mos.). The cute lil' red head next to him is our grand-daughter Aubreigh (21 mos.) and of course the little blonde posing like a model is our Rylie Jo.
I'm really not sure who had more fun yesterday, the little kids...or Ray. Shortly after taking this
picture we happened upon one of those "strong men" contests, where they hit the mark with a sledge hammer and try to ring the bell. Well, the girls significant others, Robert and Joe, decided to challenge Ray. So they went and bought tickets to give it a try. First Joe went and then Robert, they did okay...but they didn't hit the bell. Well, when it was Ray's turn, he said so "you think I can't ring the bell, huh?" And then the girl handed him the hammer, except it was a different one (Ray had talked to her while the boys were buying the tickets) and he turned and brought the smaller hammer down on the kiddie game and rang the bell.



This one is a picture of some of the kids on the hay ride. Steph (our oldest at 23) is in the center of the picture in the gray Old Navy hoodie and Aubreigh is sitting in front of her in the hay. Rylie is next is the bright yellow shirt, I loved that shirt, it made it super easy to find her in the crowd. Aimee (one of the middle kids at just 21) has the long black hair and is holding baby Carter. Carter and Aubs loved sitting in the hay and playing with it. It was a lot of fun. I wish I could get Ray alone on one of those wagons at night. ;)
Rylie hitched a ride with daddy as we walked over to the apple cannon, where Stephanie won a 2 day pass. From there we went on to the corn maze. First we all found our way out, except for Robert. Finally Joe decided to go back in the exit pathway to look for him. After about 3 minutes Robert came out the entrance pathway. Robert and Ray were jumping up to try and snag apples from the tree branches while we waited for Joe to find his way back out.


"I not tired Mama"
We spent several hours at Wiards and by the time we got in the truck to leave this was Rylie after about 10 minutes.


Well, after we left Wiards we stopped by a wood craft sale that an older couple were having in the driveway. We bought two big wooden Christmas Decorations for our yard. Then we all went out to eat. After that we stopped by Wal-Mart and then all came back to our house and played Euchre for a few hours. It was a long day but so much fun.
Have a good one!
Jill Marie