~Slow Cooker Barbecued Beef~

A beef roast cooked all day Sunday & filled the house with the most delicious aroma. We chowed down on it at supper time. It was ummmmm..ummmm good! Here’s the recipe…. 4 lb chuck roast, I used bottom round, it’s less fatty
1 c ketchup
1 c barbecue sauce, I used KC Masterpiece
2 c chopped celery
1 c chopped onion
2 c water
4 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, salt. Combine all & pour over meat in slow cooker. Cook till done.

My H really enjoyed this meal & was thrilled to have a meat & potatoes home cooked supper. Hot biscuits, beef, corn, (his request) & mashed potatoes were piled on his plate. The beef had a sweet tangy flavor and I’m sure the taste would vary depending on what barbecue sauce is used. We even put just a touch of sauce on our mashed potatoes.

There’s plenty left over for a meal today. That’s what I like, cook once & eat two or three times!

Now does anyone have a favorite way to make flounder fillets? I always seem to overcook it. We need to eat more fish but I don’t have any good recipes. Any ideas?

~My first day of Retirement~MOM

I spent about 4 hrs with Mom today at her cottage. I arrived around 12:30 after lunch & left around 4:30. She took a little nap while I was there…. I know she sleeps a big part of the day & I was cutting into her sleep time. I just rocked away in her rocker/recliner watching TV as she snoozed. Later we went to the activity for the day, ‘Reminisce.’ It was amazing to watch the residents seem to come alive as they talked about the old days & the old songs.

Dinah Shore, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, Patti Page…. they remembered their favorite songs & their faces lit up with broad smiles. African Queen with Humphrey Bogart & Katherine Hepburn was a movie that they all seemed to recall fondly. Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Jane Wyman, Marlena Dietrick……..just talking about those times in their lives seem to energize their tiring minds! It was amazing! Honestly the transformation seemed magical!

They also recalled their spouses, how they met & what attracted them to each other. Mom said, “He always made me laugh.” I’m so happy she has those fond memories of her life with my step father. He was quite a character & loved laughter all the time. They had a fun relationship for many, many years. Here they are on their wedding day, laughing!


Just look at them, having so much fun. He could always manage to make her laugh.
During the reminisce session Mom asked me about 3 times if I was ready to go. “Not yet,” I told her. Later, wheeling her back to her room she said, “I really enjoyed that but I thought it was a little too long.” But at least she was smiling! I Love you Mom.

~I am now a Retiree!~

Today at 10:30 it was official! I’m retired!!!!

It was hard saying good bye to everyone but I got through it with only a few tears. My boss gave me a retirement letter & I was afraid to read it while there in case it really got to me so I read it in the car on the way home. What a mistake that was! I cried all the way home. He & I had a bit of a conflict a while back. He always has some sarcastic remark & I didn’t appreciate his views…..and he certainly didn’t understand where I was coming from, so I had to explain it to him…… I marched right into his office & corrected him…..in the letter he said,



You know how men can be, especially a younger one. We had respect for each other & got along fine except for that one time so I really appreciated what he said in the letter.

I‘ve received cards & gifts all week. It was so nice of my co workers! A co worker who has scleroderma gave me this vase of beautiful flowers. She wasn’t there today because she goes to Johns Hopkins for treatments, so I didn’t get to wish her well but I’ll go back in a few weeks for a visit.





Aren’t they pretty?

And now on with the show! Hmmmmm…..tomorrow is Saturday, I wonder if there are any yardsales nearby?

~Little Retirement Party~

I was treated to a small party at work. I knew they would do it even though I asked them not to. The company supplied this delicious cake from Chocolate world. It was so moist and light, I could have eaten the whole thing! They had so much food! A salad bar & home made soups, tacos, desserts, wow…it was a fun day!
I got gifts too! A foldaway cart to help me with gardening, gardening gloves & hat, lots of cards, a rose bush…..
Manicure set, polishes, lotions, and other things not pictured here…too many things, I was overwhelmed, plus a very generous gift card! Aren’t we a sight in our blue hairnets, uniforms & earplugs?
I‘ve worked with these crazy people for so long that they’re like family. We know all about each others lives and there’s always someone to share a laugh or hold you up in hard times. The guy I’m holding onto, Millsy, is the craziest person you will ever meet. He will have you laughing within a minute of meeting him. Guaranteed! Next to him is Roxanne one of my very best friends, hiding behind her is LaDawn, she was the first person to retire after we were offered a package deal and she came back to surprise me today. Then there’s Brenda, another of my dearest friends.
Even my H showed up today! There was so much laughter going on, it’s no wonder we have our eyes closed in some of these pix!
Here’s crazy Millsy again giving me a wonderful framed print of our plant….haha…no kidding, that’s what they give you when you retire!!!…. he was standing in for the plant manager because she & all the other managers were at corporate headquarters for a big meeting today. CHOCOLATE

A glimpse of me working …like my red sweatshirt?
I‘ll miss the miles & miles & miles of chocolate……But mostly I’ll miss my crazy friends. Just 2 1/2 days to go!

~Hershey Chocolate~

The cocoa bean baby logo & how it’s changed over the years.

For the past 29 1/2 years I have worked for the Hershey Company. This is the beginning of the very last week I will work there. I am thrilled & a bit melancholy too, after all it was my life for all those years!
It will be hard saying good bye to all my friends there. I’m sure leaving for the last time will be emotional….but on with the rest of my life! I’ve got lots to do.
My Mom & Dad need me so much now, my daughter is about to give birth to a sweet baby girl, my grandson who is soon 17, is a applying to several colleges with his mind set on being a doctor! I’m so proud of him! My other daughter & family in TN…my granddaughter Taylor & grandson Jake. I am so excited to be spending more time with them! Since I am accepting an early retirement package I feel truly Blessed. What a gift!
I’ll be posting pix of my last days of work….stay tuned!

~Have a Blessed Easter~

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” Matthew:28, 5-6

glitter-graphics.com

These are two of my favorite Easter hymns that I love singing.

Christ the Lord Is Risen Today

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! ( I especially like singing the Alleluia part!)
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

Words: Charles Wesley, 1739
Music:Lyra Davidica, 1708
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior,
Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus my Savior;
Vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!

Death cannot keep its Prey, Jesus my Savior;
He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!
Words & Music: Ro­bert Low­ry
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Try not to overeat….ham & chocolate bunnies, peanut butter eggs, fresh asparagus, hot rolls, yummy carrot cake with cream cheese icing……..Oh My!

Easter Blessings to you & your loved ones!

~Pansies~

I chose these pretty pansies for their colors of red & gold. They’re quite different from the usual purple & yellow. Who can resist the first flowers of spring? I know I can’t, whatever their color. I’ve always loved pansies. Even as a child I would beg my Dad to buy me some. Nested in the tureen they are the perfect centerpiece for the kitchen table. Whenever I see them I know warmer Spring weather is just around the corner.

~Salmon Croquettes~

Salmon is healthy…oh SO healthy, with all that omega 3 fish oil. Now I know not everyone likes the taste of salmon, but I do. Having cholesterol slightly on the high side, I try to eat it often. Canned salmon is wild salmon & that’s supposed to be better than farm raised.

Here’s my simple recipe for croquettes.
Empty the can of salmon into a strainer to drain the juices & then pick out the bones. You’ll have to get your hands in there & smush it to find the bones, or they might come out in one piece like in the picture above. The vertebrae are what you need to pick out, the skinny pieces you can leave in, you won’t notice them at all.
Into a bowl I add 2 eggs, an onion, diced and a giant dollop of mayonnaise and a little bit of Old Bay seasoning. Just a little because Old Bay can be overpowering.
Next I add bread crumbs, seasoned bread crumbs if you like, parsley & a tiny bit of dill. If you’ve added too much mayo you just add more breadcrumbs to get to a good consistency to form your croquettes. I add only about 1/4 c. of breadcrumbs. Now you shape the croquettes with your hands.
Then I put some breadcrumbs on a plate with more parsley & some pepper & pat the croquettes lightly with the coating. Into a hot skillet they go. There’s just a little olive oil in the pan.
They look delicious…just slightly browned. Next I make a tartar sauce with mayo & sweet relish and a squeeze of lemon, that’s it! I don’t measure, just add some in & mix. You may prefer just a drizzling of lemon juice instead of tartar sauce.
Here’s supper tonight, a very healthy supper! Fresh steamed broccoli, baked potatoes and salmon croquettes. It was really good.

Don’t shy away from salmon if you’ve never tried it before or if you have but didn’t like it. Try canned salmon instead. You might be surprised by the taste and be able to add it to your list of super foods that you enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I’ve been a very bad blogger….yes I have! I received these beautiful note cards from Jen At Sanctuary Arts at Home & I have never thanked her! See I told you I was bad.

Jen, please accept my apology for being so late to thank you. I adore the beautiful note cards! Thank You for hosting such a nice giveaway on your blog & THANK YOU for the fabulous cards

~ Feels like Spring~

The weather has been wonderful the past 2 days. The birds are singing, the sky is bright blue & it feels warm….around 60 degrees. That’s warm for us in PA at this time of year. You can’t help but feel happy when it’s so warm & sunny!

Ive been cleaning and decluttering, a sort of freshening up for spring. The front door got a newly redone arrangement. I just added the pink tulips to liven it up. Already the birds have started building a nest in it.
This NEST sign I found at a thrift shop for a buck & I’ve added it to the dining room table.
The white tureens were removed from the sideboard & replaced with the cloche, little bunnies and dk green feather wreath. Some faux eggs are nestled in onion skins.
Since it was such a gorgeous day I took a stroll around our yard & look what I found! My dh has been at it again! Feeding those pesky flower devouring rabbits! I have begged, pleaded, ranted & raved at him to STOP FEEDING THOSE RABBITS! But NO, I found 2 apple cores that he put out. I then spotted big bad rabbit & tried to get a pic but it ran off. Good, I hope it stays away.
Speaking of pests…these are vole tunnels. They can really wreck havoc on your lawn & eat plant roots. We might have to get an exterminator if they get real bad. After the snow melts you can see the damage they’ve done.


You can see the promise of warmer weather in the newly budded trees & the first shoots of daffodils bravely sticking their heads out of the ground.

I spotted this lonely little pansy by our shed…..it brought a smile to my lips……how could this delicate thing survive the harsh snow & ice of our winter. Don’t you feel close to our Lord when you see a sight like this….I know I do!
***************************************************
Visits with MOM. My last visits with Mom have been much better. I can see her medication has taken hold. She isn’t agitated, instead seems to have lost her energy. I suppose that’s the trade off between being overly or under medicated. Today I brought her a shamrock shake from McD’s which she loved. We went outside to watch the kids hunting for Easter eggs. They were all between 3 & 5 yrs old. She smiled lots, especially at the pretty little girls. The eggs weren’t hidden well, most of them were just lying in the grass where they could be easily spotted. Mom said, “Why do they call this an egg hunt? They’re right there!” I just laughed, she was right!
I forgot to take my camera.

Hope you’re having a lovely day!

~Movie Time~


The Other Boleyn Girl, I loved this movie. I know the reviews weren’t so great but still, I really enjoyed it all….the costumes, the scenery, the handsome king and of course one of my favorite actresses, Scarlett Johansson. Natalie Portman was wonderful but I didn’t like her character….she was so conniving!

We saw the matinee at the Allen theater in Annville. It’s just down the road from our house. Annville is a great college town with good restaurants & fun shops. One of the biggest attractions to downtown Annville, aside from Lebanon Valley College, is the Allen Theater. The Allen Theatre recalls single screen theatres of the past, with a traditional neon marquee, a small concession area offering soda, popcorn (great popcorn!) and candy, and newsreels or cartoons shown before the film. There are even greeters at the door and a one-person ticket booth. Yet, the Allen Theatre also seems to be the theatre of the future, featuring its own coffeehouse, occasional live musicians playing in the lobby and a wide array of delicious desserts. This theatre truly has it all including an enormous screen and a superb sound system. From Mode weekly.

Adjacent to the theater is MJ’s coffee house. Sandwiches & coffees of all flavors are served & you can just relax, read or play a game of Scrabble or cards. Look at that great big, tall, yummy milkshake that hubby is enjoying! He never watches what he eats, unlike me…..I’d better be aware of every bite!

This sugar free, fat free cappuccino is what I had, along with a few sips of hubby’s shake that I just couldn’t resist. That large ironstone mug made sipping my cappucino even more enjoyable.

Just across the street is an herb shop. This sign in the window caught my eye.
__________________________________________

More Movies

Michael Clayton is a movie we rented. Who can resist that dreamy George Clooney!! My heart goes pitter patter whenever I see him…..that silvering hair, those piercing brown eyes…..his wish is my command…..I love a guy in a dark suit.
Can you remember when he was in Facts of Life? I loved him as Dr. Doug Ross in E.R. _________________________________________
We also saw Ben Stiller in A Night at The Museum. Lots of stars in this one, Owen Wilson, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Robin Williams & more…..a movie for everyone, rated PG_______________________________________
Into the Wild, directed by Sean Penn. I recommend this one so I won’t say more.

___________________________________________

No Country for Old Men, a very bloody movie with an unsatisfying ending, at least I thought so. Lots of shoot em up scenes……a guys movie.Tommy Lee Jones gave a great performance. Have you seen a good movie lately? Anything that you can recommend?

Blogger has been a bear lately, I’ve been having so much trouble uploading photos! I like photos in posts…….has anyone else been having problems?

Have a Great day &

~Party~

Ultimate Blog Party 2008 The party is in progress. Click on the button to get there.

Get on over there & check out all the blogs & prizes too! If you are new to my blog, A BIG WELCOME! For the occasion I’ve made a cake… thought you might like a piece & a cuppa your favorite brew.

I’m 50ish, an empty nester, married, a grandmom, almost retired & living an ordinary life. You’ll find some recipes here, lots of yardsaling, a bit of decorating, some crocheting and gardening and whatever strikes my fancy. Please read about my dear MOM & our journey with Alzheimer’s. Now on to the party!

There are SO many prizes, but my top pics would be,

#17, Baby Signing Times DVD from My Baby Can Talk. ( I’m expecting my new granddaughter, Mia, in May.)
#103, 7 Pink Brick Box Play Set

#59, $25 Cash From Lori, A Cowboy’s Wife.

My other choices would be, 22, 26, 39, 88, 92. Hope you enjoy the party & meet lots of new blogging friends.
__________________________________________

Well, the bathroom project is about done….I say about because I still have some things to hang, but the worst is over. Such a small project that gave me such a big headache…. from having to paint the ceiling because I messed up to redoing the shower curtain 3 times! Yes 3 times! I sewed it together wrong, then didn’t like that so I ripped it apart again! Then I couldn’t decide how I wanted to make the valance…..but here it is…..
The shower curtain is from Kohl’s and I added a piece to the bottom. Originally I added the smaller checks to the top……. I can’t believe I fussed so much over this curtain! The fringe was one of the all time greatest yardsale finds ever! I got 36yds of bouillon fringe for $4.00! I just glued it on. You can always find decanters like this at yardsales. This holds mouthwash, not a good idea if you have little ones……..the color even coordinates with the bath.That’s it for the bath. It started out as a little paint & fabric redo & turned into frustration! Glad that’s done, now on to the next project, the guest room redo!
__________________________________________

The Cake
It’s green because it’s minty. The chocolate fudge makes it so good! Click on the recipe to enlarge it. Do you think my cake looks as good at the recipe illustration? I even added chopped Andie’s Candies to the top.

I’m still doing OK on Weight Watchers so I only had a tiny piece of cake. I’ve only about 8 more lbs to go.
Tomorrow is a big day for us! We are going to the capital to see Hillary Clinton! It’s history in the making……I’m excited! I hope you are all enjoying your day, Toodles my friends!


~Decorative Details~Spring

When pulling a room together it’s all about the details. Attention to detail & accessories are the fun part & really help to pull a space together. I received some questions about painting knobs and framing out the mirrors, so here goes………

Here’s the shower rod in the process of being painted with Sophisticated Finishes in Blackened Bronze. You should be able to find these finishes at craft stores. I like the end result….a shiny black/bronze. I painted the towel rack & the tp holder too. Since I was painting over a shiny surface I used primer.

It was easier to paint this way . It’s a tension rod & that’s a plastic bag to keep paint off the wall.

Picture is clickable for a better view.

This is a kit from Sophisticated Finishes. I used only the blackened bronze paint so I didn’t need to use the other paints in the kit for antiquing. ( I didn’t realize that when I bought the kit or I would have bought only the blackened bronze paint.) These cheap foam brushes always come in handy for projects like this. Sometimes they’re on sale for 20 for $1.00. That’s when I stock up.

Here are the kitchen cabinets, the knobs & pulls were bright brass. I sprayed them with a good primer, then sprayed them with black satin. So far they’ve held up very well.

Framing the bathroom mirrors……

Flat trim works well & it’s glued on with a glue like Liquid Nails. I think there is a Liquid Nails for glass. I’ve used these squares in the corners but they could be mitered , whichever you prefer. We placed the corners & then worked around, making sure it’s level. In the blue picture, above you can see an added rope trim. That’s because the glue was placed too close to the inside edge of the trim & could be seen reflected in the mirror. So place the glue nearer the outside edge.The rope trim does add a nice touch & hides the glue. This is an easy project that makes a big impact & really dresses up the bath.

The black is in the harlequin powder room.

Yearning for Spring like me? Several years ago I had an MSN site Decorative Details .

I’m going to delete it soon but before I do I thought I’d share the pictures of the garden from previous years. Click on the link if you’d like to view the pix.

Here at the Bunnies Bungalow one thing is certain…we have plenty of bunnies, both inside & out!

A bunny urn with more bunnies standing by on the spring dining room table. The bird’s nest is nestled in the urn & surrounded by twigs, paper & feathers. The purple is an Easter reminder & the nest symbolic of the rebirth that happens each spring.





I hope that was helpful to those that asked. Even though Spring is just around the corner it seems so far away. We are getting snow showers again this weekend, so I’ll just keep warm inside & dream about warm weather & gardening while I add more springlike Decorative Details to our home.


~My Day with Mom~

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day with no winds. It was a perfect day to take Mom out for a milkshake and a drive. I had a diet soda. We were enjoying ourselves and chatting, occasionally spotting a field of geese or a flock of seagulls. The sky was clear & sunny and she enjoys looking at it. I could tell she was tiring so we headed back to her cottage at assisted living. The fun ended.

“Who lives here?” she said.
“You do.” I said.
“Are you sure?” she said.
“When we get inside you’ll recognize it.” I said.
“Hmmmfp! If you say so.” She said.

In her room she recognized her pillows, but where were her clothes, she asked. In the closet. I showed her.
She was so totally gone….when did I put her clothes in that closet, where were her washer & dryer? Could she go upstairs? Why wasn’t she in her apartment? She never had an apartment. How would she get to work? Where is her car? Does the TV work? Where is Pete?
“Mama, Pete has passed away.”
“Pete passed away????? When?” She barely whispered.

Fear crept into her face. Her bluest eyes were piercing my heart. I wanted to run. Help me Lord.

We repeated that conversation several times before she was calm enough for me to leave. When I left she was still upset that she had to sleep there…but I HAD to go or cry in front of her. I felt like I was leaving my baby at it’s first day of day care.
Where was that nurse? I had to find her & when I did, I lost it. Sobbing like a baby as I tried to explain, “Put her back on the higher dose of risperdal, Now!” The nurse managed to get me calm and assured me that she would be put back on the higher dose. The people who work with dementia patients have seen it all I guess, even a sobbing daughter.

Her dosage of risperdal was recently lowered because they felt she was over medicated. I don’t want my Mom to sit around like an over medicated zombie but I don’t want her upset, fearful or stressed either. That’s not necessary, it can be controlled.
This morning I called & they had just faxed in the new prescription.

My H & I had an appointment today very near Mom’s cottage. My original thought was to stop in & check on her…..I couldn’t do it! How would I handle it if a similar situation occurred? In a few days the meds will take hold, then I’ll go back.

One of my very favorite pictures of Mom & Pete, taken at their vacation trailer in Rehobeth Delaware. They had a boat & loved to fish for flounder in the Chesapeake Bay. Those were wonderful years for Mom. Don’t they look so happy & loving?

Risperdal is an anti psychotic drug sometimes used in Alzheimer’s patients to control anxiety, delusions & hallucinations. It is a black listed drug.

I really don’t mean these posts to be so sad. I believe posting about this journey with Alzheimer’s is therapeutic. So many others have traveled and are traveling this way along with me. I’ve received comments from many who are experiencing these same things right now. I appreciate your comments and your prayers. Please keep me posted about your situations and I will keep you in my prayers. I know the Lord is guiding me, pushing me & sometimes carrying me through this forest of the unknown. I have become closer & more loving toward my Mom. I am surviving. I don’t know why Mom was stricken with this horrible disease, but I’ve come to accept it. Hopefully I’ll be able to use this experience to help others. Pray for a cure.

~Shrimp Linguini~

Were you ever hungry for something but knew that it would be hard finding a simple low fat recipe for that particular dish? Well, I was craving shrimp & pasta in a creamy sauce and decided to make up the recipe as I went along. I knew I would use whole wheat pasta & fat free creamy soup. I use generic products if they are available, Im kinda cheap….er…. frugal that way. Into the saute pan went garlic cloves, onions, mushrooms and some red bell pepper. Next I added about a pound of shrimp, a tsp of Old Bay seasoning, a bit of white pepper & Kosher salt. I picked up the habit of using Kosher salt from my days of being a Martha devotee. I think it adds depth to the flavor & it’s not as salty tasting as regular salt. It’s looking pretty good!

The soup was added next & stirred to a creamy consistency with about 1/2 can of water. I threw in a handful of frozen broccoli florets & 2 cubes of my frozen basil and let it simmer on low heat while the pasta cooked. Just before serving I added 1/2 cup of fat free half & half…..which I always have on hand for coffee.

Some Parmesan cheese on top …..it was so good! Fresh shaved parm would have been better. I’ll definitely make this again.
It’s fun to make up your own recipes! Thankfully my husband will eat anything I put in front of him. Got any of your own “made up” recipes?