Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A quick thought about remembering our injured soldiers

As Christmas draws closer (yes, I realize Thanksgiving isn't over yet), I thought this would be a good idea to share with everyone. Add the following address to your Christmas (Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, or whatever) card list. This is an easy way to share your joy with someone who could really use some joy in their life.

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue,NW
Washington , D.C. 20307-5001

We do these meme's and awards and pass them on and get people to participate in that sort of thing. I was just thinking it would be really great if we could get something like this going around and get everyone to send at least one (prefearbly more) card to a soldier who really deserves to receive some mail from the citizens of the country he has served so bravely.

So if you are going to send out a card, please copy and paste this into your blog and ask others to join you. Me? I've written this address on the front inside cover of my address book so that I will remember to send a card every year and hopefully every holiday. Maybe even for no reason at all other than to say "Thank You" and let these men know we are thinking of them and thankful for all they have done.

Thanks for the information Linda. Apparently someone got their cards returned so they recommend sending it to this address,
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
To rush delivery, mailers should not send care packages, money or any inserts, including glitter.

Have a beautiful day.
Jill Marie

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A quick laundry tip

Sometimes I wonder what in the world was I thinking? This past weekend Ray worked on a snowmobile with his brother. By the time he came home he was covered in grease and oil, but that wasn't the worse part. He stunk of gasoline...ewww! So I had him take his clothes off in the laundry area and I threw them in the washer right away. fore thought or anything. Do you know what they smelled like after the cycle was done? Gasoline. Yep. Then I thought, "Hey! I have a remedy for that and why didn't I think of it before?" So I tried it...

Gasoline On Clothing: Gasoline is an oil based product, therefore, use another oil based product to pull out the odor (which is left because all the gas oil has not been removed yet). You can use any kind of oil that normally washes out of clothing, like baby oil. Put some of the oil into the washer along with the items, let it swish around for a while, then put in the detergent and all should come out okay.

Well, I didn't have any baby oil in the house but I did have some mineral oil. (Baby oil is basically just mineral oil with some scent) So I poured some of that in and let it agitate for a few minutes, then added detergent and let the machine run through. When it was done, there was absolutely no odor of gasoline left on the clothes. YEA!

An unforeseen benefit? I usually keep the lid on my washer closed because it has this "odor", it's kind of like a mildewy smell, sort of. However, since I washed the work clothes with mineral oil I have not smelled that odor. So if your machine has an odor you might want to try running a wash cycle with just water and approx. a 1/4 cup of mineral or baby oil.

I have a full day today and lots of things to fit into a few hours so I'm gonna get of off this machine and get started.

Have a wonderful day!
Jill Marie

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandma Corral

Turn off music playing on the right side to hear audio.

Okay, obviously I do NOT know what the haymaker I am doing. I go through all that and end up with the video in a new entry...then I copy the lil' embed code on that (the video here) and am able to post it to my last entry and it works! What the molasses is up with that?!

Ha! And now when I've typed after the video...the video disappears. . . Ohmahgosh! I don't know. Do I look like a techie to you? I'm baffled, but I have other things to do, so look below to see the video. I don't know where the heck this one went. LOL

Some yummy holiday desserts and a Happy Birthday Wish

Good Monday Morning! Only 3 days left to get ready before the big day. I'm going to post some cookie and other treat recipes. I'm sitting here wishing I had fully embrace my anal side and kept a list of what recipes I had posted so far. I hate to bore you with repeats, but I can't remember what I have and haven't posted so far. Oh well, here goes...

White-Chocolate cherry Shortbread
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter
12 ounces white chocolate baking squares with cocoa butter, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 drops red food coloring (optional)
2 teaspoons shortening
White nonpareils and/or red edible glitter (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread cherries on paper towels to drain well.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in drained cherries and 4 ounces (2/3 cup) of the chopped chocolate. Stir in almond extract and, if desired, food coloring. Knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball.
3. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar, flatten balls to 1-1/2-inch rounds.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
5. In a small saucepan, combine remaining 8 ounces white chocolate and the shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. If desired, roll dipped edge in nonpareils and/or edible glitter. Place cookies on waxed paper until chocolate is set. Makes about 60.
6. To Store: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Spritz Blossoms
1-1/2 cups butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 recipe Powdered Sugar Icing
Coarse sugar; silver dragees

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In large bowl beat butter on medium to high speed 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and baking powder; beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in egg, vanilla, and extract until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can; stir in remaining flour.
2. Push dough through cookie press onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
3. Brush with Powdered Sugar Icing; sprinkle with sugar. Place a dragee in center. Dry 30 minutes on waxed paper. Makes 80 cookies.
4. Store in airtight container in single layer at room temperature up to 3 days. Freeze up to 3 months.

Brown Sugar Shortbreads
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Nonstick cooking spray
Granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, apple pie spice, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Gradually beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.
2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Coat the bottom of a cookie stamp with nonstick cooking spray and dip the stamp in granulated sugar. Flatten each ball of dough, imprinting the pattern.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. Makes about 36 cookies.
4. To Store: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Salty-Sweet Butterscotch Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
3/4 cup coarsely chopped salted dry roasted cashews
2/3 cup butterscotch-flavor pieces

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Stir in cashews and butterscotch pieces.
2. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. Makes about 48 cookies.
3. To Store: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup shortening or butter*
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Early in the day or the day before:
In a large bowl cream the shortening and the sugar. Add the eggs, extract, and milk. In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients with a wire whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl. Mix with mixer until well combined. With hands, shape dough into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Roll** half or 1/3 dough at a time, keep the rest refrigerated. For crisp cookies, roll dough, paper thin. For softer cookies, roll 1/8 " to 1/4" thick. With floured cookie cutter, cut into shapes. Re-roll trimmings and cut.

Place cookies 1/2 inch apart on cookie sheets. Decorate*** Bake 8 minutes or until very light brown. With pancake turner, remove cookies to racks; cool. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

***To decorate with colored sugars: Prepare cookies by brushing with heavy cream or an egg white slightly beaten with 1 tablespoon of water. Sprinkle with decorative toppings.

***To decorate with food colors: Mix 1 egg yolk and 1/4 teaspoon water. Divide mixture among several custard cups. Tint each with different food color to make bright colors. (If paint thickens while standing, stir in a few drops of water.) Paint designs on cookies with small paint brushes.

Fruit-Filled Chocolate Meringues
Serves: 6
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Dash salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
3/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
3/4 cup fresh or frozen whole raspberries
1 Tbsp. superfine or confectioners' sugar (for garnish)
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In mixing bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar, vanilla and salt until soft peaks form (tips of peaks will curl over when beaters are removed).
3. Beat in sugar a little at a time until soft peaks form (peaks will remain upright when beaters are removed). Sprinkle cocoa over top and fold in gently.
4. Drop meringue by 1/4 cup portions onto parchment paper that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Indent center of each with back of tablespoon.
5. Bake 45 minutes or until dry to touch. Remove and cool. When completely cooled, store in air-tight container to prevent meringues from becoming soggy before serving time.
6. Just prior to serving, fill center of each meringue with mixture of fruit so berries mound slightly. Lightly dust fruit with sugar to garnish. If confectioners' sugar is used, sift lightly over berries using small strainer and spoon to move sugar through strainer. This technique achieves light dusting desired.


2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 pkgs. (6 oz each) semi-sweet choc. chips (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Mix milk, sugar and salt in 2 qt. saucepan. Heat to boiling over low heat. Boil and stir for 3 minutes (be exact about time, or until candy themometer registers 225degrees). Remove from heat; add marshmallows, choc. chips, vanilla and nuts. Stir until marshmallows and choc chips are melted. Pour in buttered sq. pan, 9x9x2 inches. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into 1 1/2" squares.

I used that sugar cookie recipe to make my sugar cookies the other day. Let me tell you, I have made probably a dozen or more different sugar recipes over the years. The test that tells me whether or not it's a good recipe...when I taste the dough just after it's been made. That takes me back to being a kid and tasting the dough as we were rolling out cookies. This one passed my little test and yes, it made some delicious (baked) cookies.

I only made about 18 cookies. Then I put the rest of the dough into a zippered bag and froze it. I have so many different desserts that I only need a bit of each one to put out. The rest I can freeze and use for Christmas. I need at least a dozen of each cookie. So why do I make a 18? Ray and Rylie! They seem to be under the impression that they are my official taste testers, lol.

Which reminds me, Rylie has a special message for you Grandma Corral! (((crossing my fingers and hoping I do this right))) Okay, first scroll down the right side of my blog and turn off the music playing. This little thing has audio and you'll want to be able to hear it.

(Mumble, grumble...mutterings a child shouldn't hear...grrrr) Okay, went to post the entry and everything after the above was gone and it didn't even publish it. Oh, I hope it's not because of the Motionbox thing I'm trying to put on here. Let's try this again.

Aw! SUGAR SHACK! What the haymaker am I doing wrong here?! Guess I better go find some tutorial on blogspot about posting video. I thought just pasting the html thingie would do it. I'm so (mumble grumble)... Okay, I think I found it. I just have to go into Edit Html mode and type this and put my video code into that. I think... No! The video embed code I already have has that in the code...SUGAR SHACK!
Wait...I think I have it with You tube now...
Okay, not...but it did post above, so I guess I'll just have to upload to youtube, click the post to blog and then come back and edit that entry to include whatever ramblings I want to add to it. LOL

Have a great day everyone!
Jill Marie

Sunday, November 23, 2008

ONLY 4 days! Oh my...

Okay, I was sitting down to type out a list of DONE and TO DO LISTS and figured I'd just go ahead and make an entry based on my lists. So here they are.


Desserts & Candies:
Chocolate and Cherry center truffles
Cherry Walnut Balls
Pecan Tassies
Brownie Tassies
Ande's Mint Cookies
Roasted Peanut Chocolate Fudge
Chocolate Peanut Clusters
Peanut Butter Blossoms
Macaroons ready to dip in chocolate
Molasses Cookie dough-rolled and ready to bake
Sugar cookie dough mixed up and in fridge

Cream cheese & Ham Crescent roll-ups

Master Bathroom- do a quick touch up Weds. nite
Main Bathroom- do a quick touch up Weds. nite
Living Room
Dining area
All rugs shampooed
Cleaned Master bedroom- & washed bedclothes

Turkey is now in the fridge & defrosting


Wash bedroom curtains
Bake and frost Sugar Cookies
Re-shampoo tough stains in living areas
Do some laundry

Sweep and mop linoleum floors
Clean Ray's office (okay, it's a least vaccum)
Clean Rylies room & shampoo carpet

Quick touch up on bathrooms
Vaccum carpets
Clean up this & that as Ray & Ry mess it up :)
Put side dish ingredients out and the cookware they'll be made in
Make sure I have enough soda and stuff
Plates, silverware and cups

Thursday Morning:
Take a deep breath because I won't have a chance to breath until after dinner is done and everyone is eating.

Okay, some may look at these list and think 1) She is soooo anal. (Uhh, yeah, that's my life in general.) 2) Looks like it's about all done. Well, I look at this list and think "Oh my gosh! I've only got one appetizer ready to go?!" Okay, calm down. I do have the stuff all on hand to make my hot spinach dip...uh, I take that back. I need the parmesan cheese and the nacho's for dipping. Stephanie is bringing cream cheese and ham roll ups. Aimee is bringing either a pie or a cheese cake I'll need to double check on that, because if she is bringing a cheese cake then I'll make some pumpkin pie.

Yeah, I already have the turkey in the fridge. It is a big ole 22 lb bird and I want to make sure it is not still frozen on the inside. I've had the problem before. I've also been thinking about brining the bird this year. It sounds like it would really add a lot of flavor to the turkey. Does anyone else brine their turkey, or have you ever done it? I'd really like to know what others think and if they would recommend it. LOL, like I need something more to do, right?

Yeah, I'm a gluten for punishment. I make myself crazy by over doing and making way more than is necessary. I just want everyone to have a good day and lots of food to enjoy. I want to make the day perfect for everyone else. I do my best but in the end I always feel like I messed up something or forgot to do something.

Well, that's my list as I have it...I'm sure I will be adding more things to my to do list as I think of them. Which reminds me...I was gonna make some White chocolate chip chocolate cookies. Okay...I've got things to do. See ya in the morning!

Jill Marie

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's all about perception...

I receive these mailings which include a horoscope (which is often vague and could apply to absolutely anyone) from a place called The Daily OM. I like them because they are often thought provoking for me. For example, the following is one of the daily om's I received this morning.

November 21, 2008
Reversed Perceptions
Being Projected Upon
We all have issues, as well as undesirable qualities or traits that we don’t like about ourselves. Most of us realize that we are not perfect and that it is natural to have unpleasant thoughts, motivations, desires, or feelings. However, when a person does not acknowledge these, they may ascribe those characteristics to someone else, deeming other people instead as angry, jealous, or insecure. In psychological terms, such blaming and fault finding is called projection.

When we are the target of projections, it can be confusing and frustrating, not to mention maddening, particularly when we know that we are not the cause of another person’s distress. Even people who are well aware of their issues may find that sensitive subjects can bring up unexpected projections. They may feel insecure about a lack of funds and thus view a friend as extravagant. Or, if they really want to get in shape, they may preach the benefits of exercise to anyone and everyone.

While we can try to avoid people we know who engage in projecting their “stuff” onto others, we can’t always steer clear of such encounters. We can, however, deflect some projections through mindfulness and meditation. A useful visualization tool is to imagine wrapping ourselves in a protective light everyday. At other times, we may have to put up a protective shield when we feel a projection coming our way, reminding ourselves that someone else’s issues are not ours. Although it’s difficult not to react when we are the recipient of a projection, it is a good idea to try to remain calm and let the other person know if they are being unreasonable and disrespectful. We all know that it’s not fun to be dumped on. Likewise, we should be mindful that we don’t take our own frustrations out on others. When we take ownership of our thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings, we are less likely to project our issues or disowned qualities onto others.

This got me to thinking about myself (and others). So I decided to analyze one of my latest "perceptions" of someone that I had actually done in front of ya'll. It was my post on Wednesday when I wrote about Rose's Reasonings. I actually had the gall (although I did question myself about it a bit at the time) to say that I thought Rose was a bit "preachy".

I've been back and re-read some of Rose's entries. I'm beginning to question myself on the fact that I thought Rose was "preachy". Here's the thing, the Bible is written in a way that is a bit hard for me to understand at times. Rose seems to be very knowledgable about the bible and religion and all the terms/phrases people use to discuss it. A lot of the discussion seems to go flying right over my head. I've found that on some of the entries, if I go back and re-read it a few times, some of it begins to make sense to me. And to top it off...I actually agree with some of it and am thankful for the clearer understanding!

Then there is the fact that a wee bit of political discussion was there too. It's hard to keep politics off your blog when it is where you share you opinions, thoughts, and ideas with people. I know that I put a few of my own thoughts on things that were happening during the Presidential race in my entries. Not to say that people shouldn't share their views and opinions in their blog if that is what they want to do. I tried not to because I did not want to offend anyone.

So between the talk that I may not have understood completely and the differing views on politics I may have come to the conclussion of Rose being "preachy" when I was really just projecting my own lack of understanding and differing views.

Wow...can you imagine if we were all able to dissect our feelings and analyze where they were coming from before we opened our mouths? Is another person really attacking us, or is it just our own (mis-)perception and feelings of inadequacy that makes us feel that way? Or is it their own perceptions about us that makes them feel the way they do about us?

Now, throw in a set of third perceptions if your hearing something from someone that they are telling you about another person, or what that person said. Holy Crickets! Can you see where things could just blow up into a big fiasco over nothing at all? Mis-perceptions, Mis-understandings, and Mis-spoken words...could all turn into a huge ole mess. I know...I've seen it many times over the years.

I've even been thrown under the bus by people I've had discussions with on topics we've agreed on. Then when that person became upset with me, for whatever reason, they went back and talked with someone else and told them I said all this crazy-ness that was actually a discussion that two of us were having and both felt the same way about at the time.

Which is a good example of why "if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything". If you don't say anything, then nothing can be said about you, right? That is a problem for me, even though I often try to monitor what is coming out of my mouth. I've become better about it over the years, but I'm not quite "there" yet. I find that when I feel strongly about someting I often voice it right out, even if I should just keep my mouth shut.

I see this most clearly in my relationship with "the ole man". Just a few days ago I was in the kitchen and he said something that just hit me the wrong way. I don't even remember what it was that he said now. Well, that night he and Rylie wanted to order pizza. I didn't feel like having pizza so I ordered a fold-over sub. When he asked me how much the total was, I told him and he said something about the expense.

Well, I automatically took that as an attack on myself because it would have been cheaper if I had just eaten the pizza and not ordered a sub. The next thing you know we are in an argument and neither one of us really knew where it was coming from or what we were arguing about. It was because of my own perception of what he was "really" saying. He didn't say "You flippin' idiot, why did you order that instead of just eating pizza?" But that was my perception of the meaning of what was coming out of his mouth.

I have this thing with always feeling undeserving and responsible for almost everything that can possibly go wrong. I apologize for things I have no control over, for things that I had absolutely nothing to do with. For example, if Ray doesn't have a second helping at dinner I flippin' apologize to him for the dinner not being good. He looks at me and will say "It's good, I'm just not very hungry", and I will apologize to him for that! How crazy is that?

It drives him absolutely mad, although we've learned to laugh about it over the years. Sometimes he'll say "I'm sorry" when he knows I'm about to apologize for something totally out of my control, or whatever. Then we'll get into this silly game of "No, I'm sorry".

Perceptions (my own and others of me) and brain to mouth monitoring...a few things I want to keep in mind as I go through each day. Things I want to learn to keep in check and be mindful of each and every day.

Well, enough rambling from me. I hope everyone has a really great weekend. Remember, Thanksgiving is coming up real quick here. I'll be doing recipes on Monday, if anyone has a recipe that they would like to share please send me an email with "recipe" in the subject line.
Thanks and Hugs!
Jill Marie

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Common Cold Home Remedies

Good Morning! Well, it is definitely that time of year when we have to begin to worry about the flu and common cold. For the flu? Best bet is to try to avoid it altogether by getting a flu shot. The common cold is not as easy to avoid so here are some home remedies I've found that may help you out if you should catch the cold this year.

Colds & Flu

Here is a delicious recipe for a cold and flu soup: Sauté 6 crushed cloves of garlic in 1 tsp. vegetable oil until golden. Pour in a quart of beef or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and whisk in 2 egg whites. Beat together 2 egg yolks and 2 Tbs. distilled white vinegar; pour this mixture into the soup. Season with salt and pepper and top with croutons, if desired.

Lemon is the most important among the many home remedies for common cold. It is beneficial in all types of cold with fever. Vitamin C-rich lemon juice increases body resistance, decreases toxicity and reduces the duration of the illness. One lemon should be diluted in a glass of warm water, and a teaspoon of honey should be added to it. This should be taken once or twice daily.

Regular intake of vitamin C-75 mg for adults and 35 mg for children-will prevent the common cold. If, however, a cold has already appeared, large doses of this vitamin will relieve the symptoms and shorten its duration. One to two grams (1000 mg to 2000 mg) per day is approximately the optimum amount of this vitamin for this purpose. Swallow one or two 500 mg tablets of vitamin C at the appearance of the first sign of the cold and continue the treatment by taking one to two 500 mg tablets daily.

Ginger is another excellent remedy for colds and coughs. About ten grams of ginger should be cut into small pieces and boiled in a cup of water. It should then be strained and half a teaspoon of sugar added to it. This decoction should be drunk when hot. Ginger tea, prepared by adding a few pieces of ginger into boiled water before adding the tea leaves, is also an effective remedy for colds and for fevers resulting from cold. It may be taken twice daily.

If you have a stuffed up nose, that you just can't seem to get any relief from, I still believe in good ole Vicks Vapor Rub. When I'm sick and having trouble breathing I like to rub this on my chest and maybe a little under my nose. It may be just like hot tea and toast, or drinking ginger ale. Those are things my Mom use to do for me when I was sick and they always make me feel a wee bit better to this day.

You can also try putting some Vicks into a pot of steaming water and leaning over it with a towel draped over your head. Do I need to caution you that the water is HOT and not to get too close or stick you face into the hot water? Or to turn the stove off before leaning over it with a towel? LOL Well, just in case the woman who sued McD's over hot coffee is reading this, consider that your warning.

Last night I made more truffles, but instead of chocolate this time I made the centers cherry flavored. I also made some more Andes Mint Chip Cookies. Today I just might get around to making sugar cookies. The ones I made before with just colored sugar on top and frosting on the back went over really well.

I did get the Macaroons done the other day. I also made some chocolate fudge. I usually add some walnuts and marshmallows and make it a kind of rocky road thing. This time though I've been having this salt and chocolate craving, so I added Roasted Peanuts. Mmm, it is so good and satisfies that salty sweet craving just right.

Okay, I tend to go a wee bit overboard during the holidays. However, keep in mind that most of what I make is freezable for up to 3 months. So I can put some of it out for Thanksgiving, and then if we have a get together, or something, I'll put some out then. Usually by the time Christmas rolls around I have to make some more of this or that. I give some of it as gifts and then put some out for Christmas day.

I just like having a wide variety of different things for everyone to try. Usually everyone has a favorite...which reminds me, I still need to make the Chocolate Saltines, they're one of Sammi's favorites. Oh! I can't forget to get some Pretzel Rods too. Those are real easy to dip in melted chocolate and then roll in whatever you happen to think sounds good. I do have the mini Ritz with peanut butter on hand. Maybe I'll melt some chocolate today and dip them.

There was some talk of everyone coming over to our house for either a Thanksgiving Eve or Thanksgiving Night karaoke party. I was thinking about doing the chocolate fountain for that but buying all the fruit and everything is so expensive. I don't know. I'll have to see where we are at that point. It's just a lot of money for food and soda and stuff when Christmas is right around the corner. I can get soda on sale, but it is still a lot when your buying enough for anywhere from 20-30 people. Then it is so annoying when you walk around after everyone has left and you find soda cans half full or nearly full that kids left lying around. That's like throwing money away.

If we do it Thanksgiving Eve then I have a mess to clean up before everyone gets here for Thanksgiving dinner, on top of all the cooking I have to do. If we do it Thanksgiving Night then I have to clean up after Thanksgiving dinner before everyone gets here. Either way, I'm going to be very busy and frantic on Thanksgiving Day. LOL As if that's anything new.

I don't know why I'm such a freak about trying to make everything perfect. It never goes perfectly smooth and it just leaves me stressing about everything. Either the rolls burn, or I forget to put them in the oven. Or I add too much milk to the mashed potatoes, or I forget to take something out of the fridge for the meal. Or I tell everyone a certain time and their either late or the turkey isn't ready yet. LOL

I can't even begin to imagine what the day is like for the kids. Ray's girls are rushing back and forth between here and their mom's or grandma's. My 3 older kids are going back and forth between here and Bowling Green, where their Dad is. And it's like that for those kids every holiday. I just hope the weather is good this year so they don't have to worry about the roads and all that mess. Little Miss Rylie just sits here and waits for her siblings and nieces and nephews to show up. I don't think the poor thing really understands yet about her sibs other mommy or daddy yet. How do you explain divorce or previous marriages to a 4 year old without confusing or scaring her?

Well, that's just the way things are around here. The kids scurry here and there...I get frantic over the food and it if all be good enough...Rylie sneaks cookies and doesn't eat dinner...and he sits and listens to Christmas tunes and just relaxes and enjoys the day and the food. Oh yeah...remember those days, back when we were kids and didn't have a care in the world? We just played with the other kids and sat down to this meal that we waited forever to get cooked and served. I never did realize all the work that went into that meal.

Thanks Mom! I don't know if anyone ever said Thank You to Mom or really appreciated everything that she did. Which reminds me...I need to call Mom.

Okay, enough rambling for one day. Have a good one!
Jill Marie

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An award? For me? Oh, Thank You Sugar!

I received a message from Sugar yesterday to stop by her blog and pick up my award. Unfortunately this award does not come with a cash prize. No, it's even better than that. It's simply recognition from a fellow blogger which sometimes is just the nicest thing to hear.

It's nice to know that there is someone out there who reads whatever little ramblings I have going on over here and maybe even finds it interesting. So to Sugar, "Thank you ever so much hun. I really appreciate it."

*About the Marie Antoinette award - Real Blogs - Real People, that's going around. This is an award for those that write about real things, not necessarily on every entry, but those who share information about themselves or where they live, what is happening in their area or in the world. What a wonderful way to give some recognition and appreciation to those who write and share a bit of their lives with us.

This award is for sharing so be sure to pass it on to other people. Here are the rules, (as I received them):

1. Please put the logo on your journal - Real Blogs/Real People.
2. Place a link from the person, from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate as many as you want (2-10, with 7 being ideal).
4. Put the links of those on your journal.
5. Leave a comment on their journal to let them know.
6. Put the award on your sidebar, if you want.

The following are my choices for the Marie Antoinette Award, in no paticular order:

Coastal Comfort - Linda is a fun loving wife, mom and totally awesome photographer. She has a very talented daughter who dances and Linda is very proud of her. She's just one of those people who seems to have it all together. Sometimes she writes and I just want to reach out and hug her and other times she has me rolling on the floor laughing.

Problem Solvin' Mom - Wow...I thought I had it pretty well together until I stumbled across Steph's blog. I sometimes wonder where she even finds the time to blog at all, but she does and welcomes you to join her as she writes about "family, hobbies, health & fitness, and balancing work & home life." It is definately worth the time to stop by and see what is keeping her busy this week, or check out what latest tips or advice she has to offer.

Carpe Diem - Dawn's title, personal phrase and what she strives for each day is the latin motto which means "seize the day". She does this while dealing with 3 kids, a husband (which most of us know is like having another child who happens to be the most stubbon one, lol), 2 parents, 2 chronic diseases and a brain tumor. Dawn does it all and makes me feel like..."what the hay maker is my problem?" And makes me think that perhaps I should try drinking coffee if it really gives her all the energy to get through her day.

Life in Caneyhead - Barb is wonderful. When I go to her blog it is really like visiting one of my neighbors and makes me feel calm. I love the stories she tells. She is telling us of her "walk with Jesus", but it is so unlike listening to some people talk about the Lord. I never feel as if Barb is preaching to me or looking down on anyone who may believe differently that herself. She is sharing her story and her faith in God. After all, isn't that what one is suppose to do? I continue to read and hope that one day my faith will be as strong as Barbs is.

(*Don't misunderstand, I do believe. I just think that believing may not be enough and I have to find something MORE.)

Bears Den - This is Bill's blog, he is from Las Vegas and I just began reading here recently. If your looking for a blog from a REAL person about everyday REAL life...this is definately that. When I first heard the title "Bears Den"...I automatically pictured a scene from Saturday Night Live with the Bears fans sitting around a table smoking cigars, talking about the Chicago Bears. LOL But Bill writes about his days with his wife living an ordinary life. It's a great place to visit and I hope you check it out.

...and finally, I wanted to include a blog from around here (Toledo), so I went on a search and came across this one from Rose.

Rose's Reasonings - She is a mother to 4 and writes about her belief in Christ and how she came to the point she is at in her faith today. I especially like the entries about how she came to church. We are kind of different in a lot of ways, especially (from what I read) on political views, although I have nothing (much) against Republicans. Heck, I was married to one once. LOL However, I like the way she writes about her faith and is so open to sharing it with her readers. It does occassionally come across a bit preachy, but that may be my own thing because of the political views that were discussed that were so different than mine. I am not a big fan of Joe Wurzelbacher, where as she is. However, if your reading to learn more and want to learn about another view, it's a good place to visit. I hope I haven't offended Rose, that certainly is not my intention.

Yeah, you're probably seeing a trend here. Alot of the same blogs that I've mentioned before in one of the meme's. By the way...what does meme mean? Remember, I'm just a simple blonde housewife from Ohio...sometimes I can be a wee bit ditzy. I've seen the word before, but I'm just wondering where it came from and what it mean exactly.

Anyway! There I went rambling AGAIN. There all good reads and if you want to just check them out. I hope everyone will continue on with the award and share your choice of Real life blogs with us.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!
Jill Marie

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cleaning tip--household odors and my lil' blue aura

Good Tuesday morning! The holidays are quickly approaching and a lot of us will be having people in our houses. The last thing you want is to have a great looking house with an underlying nasty odor, so here are a few tips to help with some common household odors.

Fish or Other Spoiled Food Odor-
Place a bowl of white vinegar on the counter for a few hours. The odor will disappear for good.

Freshen a Garbage Disposal-
Sprinkle baking soda in it along with a few drops dish-washing liquid. Scrub with a brush (a new toilet brush works great), getting under the rubber gasket and all around the inside. Then, turn on water and let the disposal run to flush thoroughly. For a fresh citrus scent, throw in a few cut up lemons or limes and run them through, too, using lots of water.

Put an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator. The baking soda will absorb the odors. You can also pour baking soda down the drain, into diaper pails, cat litter and on the kitchen sponge to eliminate odors.

Try the power of activated carbon in a product like activated carbon odor absorbers. The natural, fragrance free activated carbon filter literally soaks up odors better than baking soda, coffee, and vinegar combined. All you have to do is hang or place one on each shelf for incredible effectiveness. They can also used in your freezer too if your ice is tasting or smelling bad.

Use a mixture of baking soda and water to clean the fridge. Use an old toothbrush to clean those hard to reach areas.

Garbage/Trash area -
The smell of garbage can quickly permeate the entire house. To eliminate this problem, again use the power of activated carbon. Activated charcoal odor absorbers easily clip on to, or hang from trash cans. Just keep a couple near by your trash can and odors get stopped in their tracks.

Of course, the trash can does get nasty it's a good idea to take it into the shower area or outside (weather permitting) and give it a good cleaning occasionally. First, spray it down to remove any loose bits. Then add 1/2 to 1 cup bleach and several drops of dishwashing liquid to 1 gallon warm water. Use a long-handled scrub brush to splash and scour the solution on the bottom and sides of the container. Empty, then rinse empty it again, and let air-dry.

You could also try sprinkling some cat litter into the bottom of garbage cans to keep them smelling fresh. Change the litter after a week or so or when it becomes damp. If you have a baby in the house, use cat litter the same way to freshen the diaper pails.

For small trash pails in other rooms, try tossing used fabric softener sheets into the bottom of a laundry hamper or wastebasket to counteract odors. What a great way to re-use something that still has a little life left in it. Keep a small zipper bag in the laundry area to save the dryer sheets as you remove them. You can also put them in the bottom of the laundry hamper to cut down on smells from there. Or put a few in your closet.

Stove Top Vent -
As grease and oils build up, so will odors. Use a natural lemon or orange based degreaser to wipe away build ups. These products effectively cut through grease so you can easily wipe it away and leaves no residue. There are several effective and natural cleaners available for this.

Microwave odors-
Try using coffee as it is known to absorb odors. Fill the coffee mug or small bowl with about 2 tablespoons of ground coffee and ½ cup of water. Set the cup in a small bowl (to catch any overflow as it boils) and place it in the microwave. Microwave the coffee on high for about 2 minutes. Be careful when you go to remove it as it will be HOT. Repeat as necessary.

Of course, we already know that vinegar is great at removing odors, so you could also try that method in the microwave too. Fill a small bowl about half full of vinegar and place it in the microwave. Turn the microwave on and let it heat until it steams. Once it has developed a good amount of steam, turn off the microwave and let it set for about 5-10 minutes. There may be a vinegar smell in the microwave, but this will dissipate within a day or two.
If your going to use this method...this is a great time to clean your microwave of any food bits stuck to the inside. The vinegar steam will help to loosen those bits and make it easier to wipe clean. NOT just pour the heated vinegar down the drain. Hot vinegar is good for cleaning soap scrum from shower doors.

To keep your kitchen smelling fresh you can try boiling lemon or orange skins and then simmer for about an hour. I like to simmer cinnamon sticks in a small pan of water on the stove.

Well, after doing my blog entry yesterday I decided to do some "blog link hopping" (remember bar hopping? lol), I'd go to one blog I know and click on a random link there and see where it took me, then I'd click on another link from there. I ended up at a blog called 1 Door Away From Heaven-part II. I was reading a few of the entries there which lead me to check out a few things about Aura's. It's pretty interesting and I thought I'd like to try to find out what color my aura might be. I went and did about 5 or 6 tests/quizes to see what the different one's said. One said my aura was magenta, one said it was red, but at least 3 of them said it was blue. So I guess I must be blue, maybe with a wee bit of red and/or magenta.

Here are 2 of the quizes that I took.


gURL.comI took the "The Aura Color Personality" quiz on
My aura is...

Are you blue? No worries--having a blue aura does not condemn one to a life of sorrow. But those with blue auras are some of the most emotional people on the planet. Blues are quite sensitive to other people's feelings... Read more...

What color is your aura?

This is what Pamela Oslie say's on her site,, about Aura's.

Blues are some of the most loving, nurturing and supportive personalities of the Life Colors. They live from their heart and emotions. Their purpose for being on the planet is to give love, to teach love and to learn that they are loved. Their priorities are love, relationships, and spirituality.

Blues are traditionally teachers, counselors, and nurses---basically the loving, nurturers and caretakers on the planet. Blues are constantly helping others. They want to make sure that everyone feels loved and accepted. People are always turning to Blues for comfort and counsel because Blues will always be there for them. They consistently provide a shoulder for others to cry on.

Blues are the most emotional personalities in the aura spectrum. They can cry at the drop of a hat. Blues cry when they are happy, hurt, angry, sad, or for no apparent reason at all. Even watching a sentimental commercial on television can bring on tears.

Okay, I'll take that. And yes...I do cry watching sentimental commercials. It's a rare occassion if I can watch a re-run of Little House on the Prarie without crying. I've just always been that way. Yes, I know it's just a tv show, but it's like I actually feel whatever it is I'm watching. Although, I do believe there is a red overlay to my blue...

People are not born with a Red Overlay. A Red Overlay is usually added to the outer bands of the aura early on in life because the person felt a need for protection. While a Red Overlay can offer protection, it also can become a terrible burden to bear.
The two most common indications that a person is carrying a Red Overlay are either feelings of intense anger and rage, or continuous struggle and self-sabotage. If these people don't eventually remove the Red Overlay from their aura, their protective shield will eventually become their prison.
People usually add a Red Overlay to their aura for one or more of the following reasons:
They have had a life-threatening situation at birth or at a young age, which caused them to perceive that they may die, or that the world was not a safe place. Examples of life-threatening situations can include birth complications, severe illness, choking, drowning or suffocating. Many people do not remember these incidents, and so the source of their anger or struggle remains a mystery to them. They frequently have feelings of dread or of impending disaster for reasons unknown to them.
People may also add a Red Overlay if they have been physically, emotionally or mentally abandoned or rejected. Red Overlays frequently appear in people who were unwanted children, adopted or separated from a parent at a young age. This can also apply to children who felt emotionally abandoned by a parent, even when the parent appeared to be physically present in the home.
The most obvious and traceable causes for Red in the aura are those cases in which people have been physically, emotionally or mentally abused. Children who have been sexually abused, physically beaten, or raised by alcoholic or verbally abusive parents usually feel that the world is an unsafe and undependable place and that protection is necessary for survival.

Oh and I believe I may be living with an Abstract Tan...

The bright and curious Abstract Tans are unique characters in the mental family. They are the most childlike of all the Tans. Abstract Tans are open, friendly and outgoing. They have incredibly optimistic personalities. Though they frequently have high energy, it is also usually scattered. They tend to go in many directions at once.

All the other Tan personalities process information in a very logical and sequential manner. They process every step in a linear fashion, from one to ten. While Abstract Tans see all the details and steps which need to be handled, they do not proceed in an orderly fashion.

Abstract Tans have random thought processes. Rather than proceeding step by step, they attempt to work on all of the steps simultaneously. They do not sense that any one step is a priority — the first step is just another piece in the project, as is the last one. These sensitive individuals often appear to be scatterbrained to others.

Abstract Tans are consistently misplacing or losing their possessions and they usually can't remember where they put things last. Their lives seem to be in a constant state of confusion and disorder. Abstract Tans energy is so unfocused that people around them can become agitated trying to pin them down.

Abstract Tans have energy similar to that of fireflies or hummingbirds. Their rapidly vibrating wings move a hundred times a second as they constantly change course in mid-air.

Hm, I wonder if Blue and Tan is a good combination of aura's? I should probably make him go take one of those little tests to find out for sure what he is. Rylie? Oh goodness...I think she may be a yellow right now...

Yellows are the most fun-loving, free-spirited, energetic, and childlike personalities in the aura spectrum. Yellows are wonderful, sensitive, optimistic beings, whose life purpose is to bring joy to people, to have fun, and to help heal the planet.
Yellows can either be very shy and sensitive, or they can be the life of the party. These playful characters have a great sense of humor. They love to laugh and to make others laugh. Yellows believe life is to be enjoyed. They like to live life freely and spontaneously. With a perpetual smile on their face, they remind people to not take themselves or their problems too seriously.
Yellows would prefer not to work at all, unless their work was fun, playful, or creative. They love nature, and often have concerns for the survival of wildlife and the environment. Dogs are very drawn to Yellows and often become their best friends.

I did get my macaroons made and one successful batch of fudge. One batch was an experiment in flavors and did not turn out well at all. It was a stupid mistake and I really should have known better. I was trying to add maraschino cherries to a vanilla walnut fudge. However, I forgot to get the excess liquid out of the cherries first which, of course, turned the batch of fudge into a kind of sugary goo. Oh well, live and learn.

Have a really terrific day!
Jill Marie

Monday, November 17, 2008

Holiday Treats

It's holiday baking time for me. I usually get started earlier than this but I just haven't been in the mood much this year. On Saturday the baking bug hit me though and I got started with the following 3 recipes.

1/4 cup coarsely chopped maraschino cherries
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted*
Powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Drain maraschino cherries on paper towels; pat dry to remove any excess liquid. Set cherries aside.
2. Beat butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in the 1/2 cup powdered sugar, almond extract, and vanilla until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour, nuts, and cherries with a wooden spoon.
3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until bottoms are lightly brown. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheets on wire racks. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar to coat. Transfer cookies to wire racks and cool completely.
4. If desired, roll cooled cookies in additional powdered sugar before serving. Makes about 48 balls.
5. *Note: To toast nuts, spread them in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a preheated 325F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until nuts are slightly golden brown, stirring once or twice. Cool completely. Chop nuts and set aside.
6. To store: Place cookies in layers separated by pieces of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw cookies, if frozen, before serving.

2 dozen tassies (serving size: 1 tassie)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Dash of salt
1/4 cup (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, softened
2 tablespoons fat-free milk
Cooking spray

1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup light-colored corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg white

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare pastry, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and dash of salt in a small bowl. Combine cream cheese, butter, and milk in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well-blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until blended (mixture will be crumbly). Press flour mixture into a ball.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly 3 to 4 times. Divide dough into 24 portions. Place 1 dough portion into each of 24 miniature muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Press dough into bottom and up sides of cups, using lightly floured fingers.

To prepare filling, divide pecans evenly among muffin cups. Combine brown sugar and remaining ingredients; spoon about 2 teaspoons filling over pecans in each muffin cup.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned and filling is puffy. Cool in cups for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Run a knife around outside edge of each tassie; remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

*Easy Method--Use ready to bake pie crusts and cut out 3" circles using biscuit cutter or metal lid. Lightly place circle of pie crust into the mini muffin cups and continue with the recipe as above.

1(8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 cups confectioners'sugar, sifted
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1 1/2teaspoons vanilla

Ina large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat inconfectioners' sugar until well blended. Stir in melted chocolate andvanilla until no streaks remain. Refrigerate for about 1 hour. Shapeinto 1 inch balls.

Notes - Roll truffles in groundwalnuts (or any ground nuts), cocoa, coconut, confectioners' sugar,candy sprinkles, etc.

I make the Pecan Tassies and Truffles every year. The Cherry Walnut Balls are a new recipe for me. They are a lot like a little cookie that I remember my mom making every Christmas when we were kids. Almost every thing that I make (in the way of baked goods) in freeze-able for up to 3 months. I make a LOT of things. I put 1/3 to half of everything out for Thanksgiving, some of it out for our Christmas party and the rest on Christmas day. It works out good because I make so many different things and there is a little bit of everything there.

Today I think I'm going to make my Macaroons and maybe try a new recipe or two. I may even do a little experimenting with the truffle and buckeye recipes. I have an Good thing that we have the deep freeze and the refrigerator freezer. Right now my freezers are stocked with all kinds of chocolate chips, coconut, nuts and extra flour.

Oh, I almost forgot. I have this recipe for making aromatic ornaments that would be a lot of fun to make with the kids. I made these a few years ago and it is probably time to make some more. These would be great if you want a project for the kids to do so they can give them as gifts to Aunts & Uncles or their grandparents. It calls for a LOT of cinnamon so you may want to buy that at a dollar store.

1 Cup ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground allspice
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
Fine decorativeglitter (optional)
Unsweetened applesauce
White craft glue
Drinking straw
Butchers string, jute twine or ribbon
Glue gun (optional)
Magnetic strips (optional)

Combine spices and glitter in medium bowl. Stir, adding applesauce 1 tbsp at a time, as needed to make soft dough. Makes about 1 2/3 cups dough. Divide dough into smaller portions. roll out each portion between sheets of waxed paper to 1/4 inch thickness.

Cut with cookie cutters into desired shapes. Use a drinking straw to puch a hole, or holes, to thread string for hanging. Place on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake in 200 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes until dry. (There is no need to turn at half-time) Thread with string or glue magnets onto back.

~Also thread on a long string with dried apple and orange slices to make a wonderfully scented garland.

Which reminds me...we are out of glitter. That is one of the things Rylie Jo found in my desk and for some unknown reason decided to eat. All I can say is that my child had some of the prettiest poo I've ever seen. So, if you're going to use the glitter and you've got a wee child in the house...make sure you store it somewhere up high where they will never find it. All I can figure out is that she found it in my desk and thought I was hiding a "goodie" from her. "Lord, grant me patience and a HUGE sense of humor as I raise this child." Cuz' you and I know I'm gonna need it.

I've got some more recipes for homemade gifts and I'll post some of them on Wednesday. That will give anyone who wants to try them enough time to copy the recipe, get the stuff needed and make them before Christmas rolls around. Of course, I always come across more things as the season continues, so I'm sure I'll be posting more homemade gift ideas.

Have a blessed week!
Jill Marie

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Home Remedies for bruises

Well, we've all done it from time to time...walked full force right into that table corner that has been in the same place forever. Or tripped over your very own feet. If you're like me, sometimes these simple accidents can leave a bruise that just seems to linger on and on. Here are a few tips I've come across that may help.


Slice a raw onion and place over the bruise. Do not apply this to broken skin.

Soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and apply it to the bruise for 1 hour. The vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds up the healing process.

vitamin C. Bruises occur more frequently in people who don't get enough vitamin C. So if you notice that you bruise regularly, up your vitamin C intake. High doses of vitamin C could increase your risk for kidney stones. To prevent this, make sure that you drink plenty of water if you take extra vitamin C.
Build collagen with vitamin C cream. As a long-term bruise preventative, try daily applications of vitamin C creams and lotions (available at drugstores or through your dermatologist). "The vitamin C is absorbed into the skin and, over time, helps rebuild collagen, which cushions and supports blood vessels, making bruising less likely.

Ice on, ice off. If you apply ice right after you bump your skin, you can limit the size and severity of a bruise and relieve pain. Using ice wrapped in cloth, or a cold pack, ice the bruise for 10 to 20 minutes, then take a break. Repeat every two hours.
After 24 hours, when the bruise has fully developed, it's safe to apply heat. Soak in a hot bath or apply a heating pad or a washcloth soaked in hot water, for 20 minutes, three times a day, until the bruise reabsorbs. But don't apply heat immediately. Heat causes tissues to swell, and at that early stage it can actually cause more bleeding and make the bruise worse.

Arnica--Experts say that this popular muscle soreness remedy is also excellent for minimizing bruises and healing them fast. As soon as you bump your knee or other body part or notice a swelling or discoloration, gently rub some of this homeopathic cream on it. Arnica shrinks inflammation and increases circulation to flush away the stagnant blood that turns your skin black and blue.

Well, David left yesterday. He will leave from Cleveland to go to Fort Benning on the 15th. My car is currently on strike so I rode to the Walbridge Armory Post with David and his girlfriend. We got there and took a few pictures, said good-bye and then he went inside. It seems so strange to me the cute little boy I remember has decided to trade in wearing my and his daddy's shoes around the house for Army boots and his lil' pumpkin bucket in for infantry gear.

Rylie was amazingly quiet most of the time. I don't think she quite realizes yet that David is going to be gone for a while. I was going to post some of the pictures we took, but it appears that when I opened the card (from Jill's camera, his g/f) I apparently just copied the shortcut, or something. I thought I could just copy and paste the picture into my files, but now that the card is not hooked up to my computer, I can't find the pictures.

So it only seemed appropriate to put some of my favorite pictures of David up today. Actually I have a lot more favorites than these few, but I didn't want to over load my wee little blog here. LOL I once had a woman tell me that David had the All American "look" that modeling agencies and some advertisers looked for. He certainly was a little cutie pie.

He could be difficult though...when he wanted to be, lol. He was my other child, before Rylie, that was so difficult to potty train. That was when I first used the kitchen timer trick. I'd set it to go off every 15 minutes, and we'd go into the bathroom and he'd try. He'd get a few m&m's just for trying, and a lot more if he actually went tinkle. He was potty trained within a week. Of course, he was 3...oh, that toddler was a stubborn one. I'm a bit surprised I had more children after him.

I had a hard time getting him to give up his binky (pacifier) too. I started slowly throwing them away when I would find them around the house. We got down to one. He would walk around with that ol' thing in his mouth all the time. He'd do this funny thing and tuck the handle of it up under his nose. Then as he sucked it (lol, omgosh, I can see it in my head) his nose would bop up and down as the handle pushed it. Anyway, we got down to that last binky and I found it one day and took my scissors and nipped a bit off the end of it.

He brought it to me and wanted to know what had happened. I told him that he was using it too much and it was starting to melt away. Oh the look on his face. A day later I nipped a wee bit more off, and this continued for a few days until there was just this little nub left. He tried to put it in his mouth a few times and then finally gave up. He walked over to the trash can and threw it away.
He was the child who would turn around and smile at me when I said "NO". Then he'd walk over and do it anyway. I'd walk over to him and slap his hand or paddle his bottom. He had to know who was in control right? Yeah...he'd just start laughing, like it was some game or something.

I still remember the day we were at my mom's when he was about 12 or 13. He was pushing the limits to see how far he could get away with things with me. He called me the "B" word and I told him to "come here"...he said "no". So I went to go towards him and he took off running. Well, uh, yeah...what do you think I did? I ran after him. I finally caught up with him, grab his arm and brought it up behind his back. I said, "Don't you ever talk to me like that again. It doesn't matter how big you get. I am your mother, I brought you into this world and I will always be able to bring you down, no matter what." Yeah...well, it all sounded good at the time and I think I scared the smart mouthed lil punk in him a bit.

However, there is NO WAY I could handle that boy today if he mouthed off to me. LOL Luckily for me, he doesn't behave that way anymore. And even if there was any of that attitude left...I think the basic training would get rid of it.

Okay...I'm off to browse through photo albums and do some reminiscing. Have a great day.

Jill Marie

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Homemade soaps for the dishwasher and washing machine

Well, I was going to put some tips on here about keeping your fireplace clean, but then I found some interesting stuff about making your own dishwasher and laundry detergent. Well, me being that is...I decided to share the homemade stuff. In this economy we all need to save as much money as we can.

Okay, okay...for those of you with fireplaces...white vinegar to clean the glass inserts, if you have them, and scrubbing bubbles, or some similar bath cleaner, to clean the bricks. Be careful not to get it on the floor. Blah, blah, blah...LOL

Can ya tell I'm a wee bit excited about these homemade detergents? Okay, here we go.

Mix equal parts Borax and Washing Soda (this is different than baking soda), and add 2 Tablespoons per load. Increase proportion of soda for hard water.
Also, instead of using expensive spot cleaners, like Jet Dry, try putting some white vinegar in the dispenser instead.

*Some people found that they sometimes their dishes didn't get as clean, perhaps they don't rinse off the dishes first. However, you can buy a box of less expensive dishwasher detergent and add a small amount to the homemade detergent to give it a boost if you need to. You may need to try a few loads until you find the mixture that works just right for you.

I found a variety of recipes for homemade laundry detergent. Look them over and try one. The liquid soaps do get a bit gelled and lumpy looking. I would think it best to store them in old laundry detergent bottles, that way you could give it a good shake before using.

For the bar soaps required in the recipes, you could try Fels-Naptha, Ivory soap, Sunlight bar soap, Kirk’s Hardwater Castile, and Zote. Don’t use heavily perfumed soaps. Washing Soda and Borax can normally be found in the laundry and cleaning aisles. I would also be a bit concerned with "colored" soaps, so I'll be using something that is white, like Ivory soap.

Some people with really hard water or well water may have to adjust the recipes if the clothes look dingy.

Although several of the recipes have the same ingredients, the measurements are different–some contain a higher soap to water ratio. Test and see which works best for your laundry needs.

You can add between 10 to 15 drops of essential oil (per 2 gallons) to your homemade laundry detergent. Add once the soap has cooled to room temperature. Stir well and cover.

After mixing the liquid laundry detergent recipes, cover and let sit for 24 hours before using.

These soaps are low sudsing soap. So if you don’t see suds, that is ok. Suds are not what does the cleaning, it is the ingredients in the soap.

Hot water
1 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
1 Soap bar

Grate the bar soap and add to a large saucepan with hot water. Stir over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
Fill a 10 gallon pail half full of hot water. Add the melted soap, Borax and Washing soda, stir well until all powder is dissolved. Top the pail up with more hot water.
Use 1 cup per load, stirring soap before each use (will gel).

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).

Hot water
1 bar (4.5 oz) Ivory Soap - grated
1 cup Washing Soda

In a large saucepan add grated soap and enough hot water to cover. Heat over medium-low heat and stir until soap is melted.
Fill a large pail with 2.5 gallons of hot water, add hot soap mixture. Stir until well mixed.
Then add the washing soda, again stirring until well mixed.
Set aside to cool.
Use 1/2 cup per full load, stirring well before each use (will gel)

12 cups Borax
8 cups Baking Soda
8 cups Washing Soda
8 cups Bar soap (grated)

Mix all ingredients well and store in a sealed tub.
Use 1/8 cup of powder per full load.

2 cups Fels Naptha Soap (finely grated - you could also try the other bar soaps listed at the top)
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax

Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container.
Use 2 tablespoons per full load.

How easy does that look? Can you imagine how much money you can possibly save? From some of the things I've been reading you could save up to 50-60 dollars a year, just on laundry detergent. That alone, may not sound like a lot but add it up with savings on dishwashing soap, using the new 13 watt light bulbs via the round 60 watt bulbs and what ever other ways you can come up with to save and you may be saving hundreds of dollars per year. Yes, it takes a bit of time, but it is time I'm willing to use to save our family some much needed dollars.

Not only will you be saving green, as in money, but you will be green, as in saving our planet. Think of all the plastic bottles that you throw away every year from using bottled laundry detergent. This sounds like an all around good idea to me.

My next trip to the store will include a few new items. One box of borax, one box of washing soda and some bars of Ivory soap. I'm so excited. LOL Ohmahgosh...I'm such a sad little creature...getting all excited about making SOAP.

Have a great day,
Jill Marie

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dessert Recipes

Good Morning! I was browsing through the Better Homes and Gardens websites desserts yesterday and found some dessert recipes that I wanted to share.

1/3 cup butter, cut up
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
6 very small red cooking apples (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lb.), halved, stems removed, cored
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
Vanilla ice cream (optional)
Directions1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place 1/3 cup butter in a 9x9x2-inch baking pan. Place in oven 5 minutes or until butter melts. Sprinkle brown sugar over butter; stir. Arrange 9 apple halves in mixture, cut sides down. Bake in oven 10 to 15 minutes or until bubbly.

2. Meanwhile, peel remaining apples. Coarsely shred; set aside. In bowl combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, ginger, and cinnamon. Add shredded apple, milk, 1/4 cup butter, egg, and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer on low until combined; beat on medium 1 minute. Spoon over apples, spread evenly (apple may be exposed; some butter may come to surface).

3. Bake 35 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. Loosen edges; invert onto platter. Spoon any topping in pan over top. Cool 20 minutes; serve with ice cream. Makes 9 servings.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 17.2-oz. can vacuum-packed sweet potatoes (unsweetened), mashed
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Recipe Cream Cheese Frosting, below
Finely shredded orange peel
Directions1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line twenty four 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set cups aside.

2. In medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

3. In large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Add sweet potatoes and vanilla, beating until combined. Add flour mixture; beat until combined (batter will be thick).

4. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake about 20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on wire rack for 1 minute. Remove from pan and cool completely.

5. Place Cream Cheese Frosting in large resealable plastic bag. Cut a 1/4-inch opening in one corner of bag. Pipe frosting on top of cupcakes. Sprinkle with orange peel. Makes 24 cupcakes.

Mini Fluted Tube Variation:Coat 8 fluted individual tube pans with nonstick baking spray. Spoon batter into pans. Bake 30 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on wire rack 1 minute. Remove from pan and cool completely. Omit Cream Cheese Frosting and finely shredded orange peel. Dust cooled cakes with powdered sugar.

Cream Cheese Frosting: In large mixing bowl beat one 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened, and 2/3 cup butter, softened, with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons bourbon or milk and beat until combined. Beat in 8 cups powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, until smooth and of a good piping consistency. Makes 4-1/3 cups.

Make Ahead:Freeze unfrosted cupcakes in airtight containers up to 1 month. Store frosting in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 3 days.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 of an 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Recipe Chocolate Cream Icing, below
Pumpkin pie spice
Directions1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease bottoms and sides of two 8x1-1/2-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with waxed paper; lightly flour pans. In bowl combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

2. In a second bowl beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in pumpkin. Add flour mixture; beat just until combined. Spread cake batter in prepared pans. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near centers come out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes; remove and cool thoroughly.

3. For filling, in a chilled mixing bowl beat whipping cream to soft peaks; set aside. In a second mixing bowl beat cream cheese until smooth; beat in powdered sugar. Fold in whipped cream. To assemble, place one cake layer on serving platter. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over bottom cake layer. Top with second cake layer. Refrigerate while preparing Chocolate Cream Icing.

4. If Chocolate Cream icing is too thin, cover and chill 30 minutes until of spreading consistency. Too thick, add a teaspoon of milk or cream. Spread over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle lightly with pumpkin pie spice. Chill cake at least 1 hour before serving.

5. Store cake, loosely covered, in refrigerator. Makes 8 servings.

6. Chocolate Cream Icing: In small saucepan bring 1/2 cup whipping cream just to boiling over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Pour over 1 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate pieces in medium bowl (do not stir). Let stand 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Cool 15 minutes. Makes 1-1/4 cups.

10 pecan shortbread cookies, crushed (1-1/3 cups)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
2 medium firm ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut in 12 wedges each
2 medium apples, cored and cut in 12 wedges each (do not peel)
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. caramel ice cream topping
Directions1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In bowl combine crushed shortbread cookies, flour, and 1/4 cup melted butter. Pat mixture into bottom and up sides of 14x5x1-inch rectangular or 10-inch round tart pan with removable bottom. Bake crust 10 minutes. Set aside.

2. In medium bowl beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium high speed for 30 seconds. Add egg and 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping; beat until smooth. Spread mixture in bottom of baked crust. Bake 10 minutes more or until center appears set when pan is shaken. Cool on wire reck. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

3. In 12-inch skillet cook pears and apples in 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat 10 minutes or until tender but still holding their shape, stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice and heat through. Spoon fruit mixture atop tart. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons caramel topping. Pass any fruit that doesn't fit on top of tart. Makes 8 servings.

1 Recipe Single-Crust Pie Pastry, see recipe or 1 rolled refrigerated unbaked piecrust (1/2 of a 15-oz. pkg.)
1-1/2 cups pure maple syrup
3 eggs
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. light rum (optional)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
Rum raisin or vanilla ice cream
Directions1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare pastry and line 9-inch pie plate. Prick bottom and sides of pastry with fork. Line pastry with double thickness of foil. Bake 8 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 5 minutes more or until crust is lightly browned cool. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In saucepan bring maple syrup to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup.

3. In medium bowl beat eggs with electric mixer on medium to high speed until thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes.

4. In large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated and brown sugar; beat to combine. Beat in reduced syrup and eggs. Fold in walnuts, vanilla, rum, and nutmeg. Pour into prebaked crust.

5. Bake pie on baking sheet in lower third of oven 35 minutes or until set around edges; cool. Serve with ice cream. Makes 10 servings.

1 Recipe Single-Crust Pie Pastry, see recipe, or 1 rolled refrigerated unbaked piecrust (1/2 of a 15-oz. pkg.)
1 Tbsp. raw sugar or coarse sugar
1/2 plus 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
2 tsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. light-colored corn syrup
1/2 plus 1 tsp. vanilla, divided
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Directions1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare pastry and line 9-inch pie plate. In bowl combine raw sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Brush melted butter over crust. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. of cinnamon-sugar mixture. Set aside.

2. For syrup, in saucepan combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, the water, corn syrup, and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil gently for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Set aside.

Nonstick spray for baking
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup honey
1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup cooking oil
1 8-ounce carton dairy sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
Orange peel curls (optional)
Directions1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat twelve 3-1/2-inch (jumbo) muffin cups with nonstick spray for baking; set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, and honey. Cook and stir over medium heat about 2 minutes or until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in pecans and the finely shredded orange peel; set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

4. In a large bowl, combine eggs and granulated sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed about 3 minutes or until mixture is thick and lemon-colored. Add oil, sour cream, and vanilla; beat until combined. Gradually add flour mixture, beating on low speed until smooth.

5. Place 2 tablespoons of the pecan mixture in the bottom of each muffin cup. Spoon a heaping 1/3 cup of the batter into each cup. Place muffin pans on a foil-lined large baking sheet.

6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Using a sharp knife or narrow metal spatula, loosen edges of cakes from sides of muffin cups. Invert cakes onto wire racks. Spoon any pecan mixture remaining in the muffin cups onto cakes. Serve warm or cool. If desired, garnish with orange peel curls. Makes 12 cakes.

3. In mixing bowl beat 1/4 cup softened butter with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Beat in granulated sugar, powdered sugar, baking powder, salt, and cream of tartar until well combined. Beat in egg and 1 tsp. vanilla. Gradually beat in milk until combined. Beat in flour. Spread evenly in crust-lined pie plate.

4. Slow pour syrup over the filling in pie plate. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture. Cover edges of pie with foil.

5. Bake pie 25 minutes; carefully remove foil. Bake about 20 minutes more or until top is puffed and golden brown, and a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes on wire rack. Serve warm. Makes 10 servings.

So then I got to thinking about how these all sound pretty tasty, but they look a bit involved. I know we like yummy but we also like quick and easy. So I decided to add a few easy dessert ideas too.

1 pkg. (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup water
1 large egg
3 cups fruit-flavored or cocoa sweetened rice cereal

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Beat cake mix, oil, water and egg in large bowl with wooden spoon until well blended. Add cereal; mix well.

DROP tablespoonfuls of dough, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE 11 min. or just until cookies begin to brown. Cool on wire racks.

2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 can (14 oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
LINE 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with foil.

COMBINE morsels and sweetened condensed milk in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Warm over lowest possible heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in nuts and vanilla extract.

SPREAD evenly into prepared baking pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into 48 pieces.

1 Roll of peanut butter cookie dough
Chocolate Kisses

Bake 1 inch balls of the dough at the recommended temperature. As soon as you remove the cookies from the oven place a chocolate kiss in the center of each cookie.

Well, I drive David to Walbridge on Wednesday. That is when he will be leaving us to go to basic training in Fort Bragg. Since the time change Rylie has been sleeping in until 10 or 11 in the morning. We will have to be in Walbridge by 10 AM, so she will have to get up early that morning.

You know what they say about waking a sleeping bear... Yeah, well that is what it is like to wake her up, lol. I'm glad we get to take him though. Hopefully, she will wake up in a good mood. I'll have to see if I can borrow someone's camera because I would like to get a few pictures before David leaves that morning.

We had an early turkey dinner here yesterday since David won't be with us on Thanksgiving day. Almost all the fixings. I usually make way too much anyway, so by not making all the stuff I usually do made it so we didn't have so many leftovers. I only made 3 kinds of cookies, 1 pumpkin pie and a cheesecake. A small turkey and a small ham, salad (mom brought that), green bean casserole, mashed taters, and rolls.

The molasses cookies went over well. I'll make more of those next time. Yes, we will be doing this again in 2 weeks, lol. The sugar cookies (pre-made roll), dipped in sugar and frosted on the back, went over well too. I also made some Andes mint cookies. I used half the roll of sugar cookie mix and just worked the mint chips into that, rolled into small balls and baked as usual.

I had a few appetizers made too. A tray with pickles, olives, small peppers and celery with cream cheese. A cracker tray with crab dip. Also, a spinach dip and chunks of pumpernickle bread to dip in it.

Ahhhh...well, had to save the draft and go get myself and Rylie ready. We're meeting daddy at the doctors office at 10:15. Which means I've got to post this, check to see if lil' Miss is done with breakfast, then bundle us up..."baby, it's cold outside"...and get going.

Have a beautiful day,
Jill Marie

Friday, November 7, 2008

Baby Mia needs a heart

I just wanted to share this link, A Mama Drama. I came across this at Problem Solvin' Mom's blog. This is a very touching story about a wee baby named Mia who needs a heart transplant. If you put the following link on your sidebar you have a chance to win a quilt that this woman made to help get donations for Mia's health care bills. Please stop by the blog and read Mia's story. Me? I'm about to post the link on my sidebar, get my entry and then leave a comment to give the quilt to Mia on the off chance I should win.

Have a beautiful Friday.
Jill Marie

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Home remedy for burns and teaching a 4 year old

Good Morning! It looks like it is going to be another beautiful day in Ohio. I hope ya'll have some great weather where ever you're at too. Here are a few helpful tips if you get a mild burn.


Colgate® Toothpaste makes an excellent salve for burns

Lavendar Essential Oil relieves the pain and prevents scarring.

Milk is an excellent compress for minor burns. Simply soak the burned area in milk for 15 minutes or so, or apply a milk-soaked washcloth to the area. Whole milk is effective: Its fat content soothes burns and promotes healing. But make sure to rinse your skin and the washcloth in cool water afterward, because the milk will smell.

A clean burn is a faster-healing burn. After 24 hours, wash the area gently with soap and water or a mild Betadine solution daily. Keep the burn dry and clean and covered with a bandage such as a thick gauze pad between washings.

No ifs, ands or buts, Prepartion H can slice up to 3 days off the usual 7 to 15 days it takes for most burns to heal, says Jerold Z. Kaplan, M.D., medical director of Alta Bates Burn Center in Berkeley, California. Preparation H works because it contains a yeast derivative that helps speed healing. Simply dab a little on the burn and cover with a fresh sterile bandage every day.

You probably will instinctively reach for cold water to soothe a new burn. But don't make it too cold. Using ice water can risk making the burn even worse, because extreme cold can kill just as many skin cells as extreme heat. (That's why frostbite damage is very similar to the skin damage caused by a bad burn.) Cool, not cold, water will stop the burning from spreading through your tissues and will act as a temporary painkiller. So instead of running to the freezer, head to the kitchen faucet.

Vitamins A and E, which are antioxidants, can also speed healing, according to Dr. Rask. Good sources of vitamin A include green fruits and vegetables. Cereals and nuts are high in vitamin E-and you can also apply vitamin E directly to the bum. In fact, many people experience faster healing by rubbing the liquid from a vitamin E capsule on the bum once it begins to heal. It will feel good and may prevent scarring.

When to See the Doctor
How bad is your burn? Do you need medical assistance? To avoid getting burned because of a lack of knowledge about burns, here's how you can gauge.

First-degree burns are painful and red. They occur from sunburn, scalding and other minor accidents. You can usually treat them at home.

Second-degree burns ooze, blister and are painful. They result from severe sunburn or from brief contact with hot oven coils or other household accidents. These may be treated at home if the bum is confined to a small area of surface skin.

Third-degree bums are extremely dangerous--even if they don't hurt (the result of destroyed nerve endings). They leave skin charred and turn it white or cream-colored. Third-degree burns can be caused by fire, chemicals, electricity or any prolonged contact with hot surfaces. For these, you'll need immediate medical help.

Forget the old spouses' tale of putting butter on burns. Although milk is soothing, butter and margarine retain heat in tissues and can make the burn worse; plus, that greasy stuff is perfect for breeding infectious bacteria.

Burned your tongue? Try putting sugar on it!

Well, we've been working a little bit on Rylie learning how to write the alphabet. Last night I decided I should do some looking around on the internet to find some suggestions on how to go about this. I'm just a mom after all, I don't know anything about education. The other 3 kids went to daycare and learned a lot there.

So I found this place called Starfall that has some good things to print out on the computer. If you click the ABC's link it will take you to another page where you can get their free ABC's print out. It is 64 pages of work you can do with your child. Each page has the printed work for your child to do and some suggestions in small print at the bottom of a game to play that relates to the work you're doing.

I also made my own big ABC's to print out. I typed Aa and Bb on the center of a page, made them really big and then cut the page in half so I had one page for the A's and one for the B's. I have it set so I just get the outline of the letters and then Rylie can color them in. We're going to start with this, something a little more fun and then put it up on the wall in "our" office. Maybe I'll even have her color a picture of something that begins with that letter on the page.

I also found a page called Alphabet Games by Jean Warren that has a lot of helpful ideas to help reinforce what you're teaching. I got several suggestions from there that we are going to try.

I haven't gone through a lot at Kaboose yet, but it looks like they have some things we may be able to use there for some activities. It looks like they have both print outs and some online interactive activities. Which may be good because Rylie is showing a lot of interest in the computer and wanting to learn how to use it. (I'm already trying to get her to identify the letters on the keyboard.)

Another site that I found is something called ABC Education Resources. I haven't had a lot of time to investigate this one, but they seem to have a link for help teaching numbers and some other things that I want to look into.

So I'm trying to do this with as much fun and yet limit the distractions at the same time. So I moved another desk into my office, from the living room, and that is where Rylie will "come to school". She was actually real excited about this last night and wanted to get started then, but I was still looking for information and printing stuff out on the computer.

I hope I don't confuse her or mess this kid up. Some places that I read like Zoo Phonics, (which looks great by the way, cept I don't have $150 for a kit.) suggests just teaching the lower case alphabet at first since that is what they will use 95% of the time. Well, too late...I already started teaching her the upper case alphabet. I'd like to be able to find at least the Zoo Phonics flash cards, they look like they would be really good to use to teach the alphabet.

I found a link to where a woman had uploaded pictures of the cards online and Rylie was really interested in them. The cards are HERE if you want to get a look see, there are 2 sets. One set is just the animal shapes and the other is the letter along with the animal shape. I've been reading a lot of responses from parents and teachers who really like this form of learning.

Well, if you have any idea's or suggestions I'd be really grateful to hear them. Oh and just so no one gets the wrong, I am not planning on home schooling Rylie. She is definately one child that need to be in a surrounding with other children. I just want her to learn as much as possible before she starts school next year. We are looking into some charter schools that are near us.

Happy Thursday!
Jill Marie