Sunday, July 26, 2015

My 1st Blue Apron Meal

Hi there everyone. Sorry I have been a little "missing in action" lately. Last Sunday I came down with some stomach virus again. Guess the ulcer was bothering me again. 

Then Monday JP had his 4 teeth removed and was layed up for 2 days convalescing and taking care of his jaw. Which has been black and blue for a couple of days. He is finally eating today, solid foods and yes, he did eat today's meal I made from Blue Apron.

By Wednesday, he was able to take me to the clinic to get my first eye surgery. I was a little nervous to say the least and almost did not follow through with it as I was still dealing with stomach cramps. I finally decided to go through with it and now I am glad I did. I can see out of one eye clearly, the other is blurry. So typing this post is quite the challenge for me, cause I have to lean in to see the screen every now and far so good. Will be doing eye drops 4 x a day for the next several weeks....I can handle that if it means seeing better.

Thursday was my 1st Blue Apron delivery, which did not show up at my door step till almost 7:00 pm. It was delivered by a neighbor on the next block. The box sat on her porch for an hour.....(she said.) Gosh, I hope that does not happen again. The right address was on the box....but the delivery guy missed delivering it by one block. I shall have to let Blue Apron know.

By the time the box came, I opened it....was not supposed to lift anything, or bend down past the heart.....geez!!! Took everything out of the box and put what needed to go in the refrigerator and what could sit on the counter....that's where it sat.

So this is the first meal I made today. It was actually a lot of fun. I did add another pepper to the recipe. This recipe made quite a bit of rice and beef stuffing. Gosh, it was so very good. The recipe card comes with step by step directions....and I actually did follow the recipe pretty much to the Tee. The only thing that was spoiled was the tomato paste they put in a container. I will tell them about that also. I did have a tube of tomato paste in the fridge.

I learned an interesting thing, when sauteing the onions and garlic to the right consistency and browning the meat....the tomato paste and cumin is added to the onions....I never though to do that before....a must try again. Then mix the meat, rice, currents and pumpkin seeds together. Yes, this is a "must do again" meal.
So then in this picture is what it is supposed to look like.
In these two pictures is what my stuffed Poblano pepper looks like. I should have added a few cilantro leaves to it....but I mixed it all in the lime-crema sauce which really added something special to these peppers. And the peppers....were not as spicy as I thought....maybe I might buy them and make this dish again. JP really liked it and actually had a second helping....guess he is ready to eat solid foods now.

My next meal will be "Summer Soba Salad with Corn and Soy-Mirin Dressing" and the 3rd meal is "Vietnamese Chicken wings with Lemongrass Brown Rice" that should be fun, I will learn how to use a lemongrass for cooking, which I have always wondered about. I am not sure if I mentioned, all the food you need to make these delicious meals comes all packed in a box and it stays cool most of the day if you have a late delivery, like I did.

I have been wanting to go to the next level in cooking and making different things....this just might help me get there. Here is the Blue Apron Website if you would like to find out more. I may do this just for the summer....just to get some new ideas. There are a few other companies out there. If you are on Facebook and "like" Blue Apron....suddenly you have other companies that do the same. Some charge more though, so you have to be careful.
Thought I would add a picture of my newest hibiscus plant I just bought at Shopko. Hopefully I can nurse this one through the winter also. Need to transplant her before the first frost. (oh uge...did I just say that???)
Well hope you have a nice rest of the Sunday. Once it gets a little bit darker, I shall walk Kylie....too bright for my eye right now. Take care and keep looking up. Cheers ~ Louise

Friday, July 17, 2015

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Hi there everyone....hope you are having a super day. Well, I guess the weather is going to be hot and steamy over the weekend. 90 degrees....uge, I shall either stay in the kitchen where the air conditioner is or go down stairs where the temp is cooler.....yeah, we still have a few places to run to, to keep cool. The back yard is pretty shady too, not going to exert myself too much this weekend, that is for sure.

I have been putting my pressure canner to use quite a bit I am going to make the corned beef that has been marinating in the frig for 7 days. I bought a small cabbage and some potatoes I am ready to make this dish. Oh and I got the rye bread ready for some sandwiches. Easy, peasy cooking weekend.
I am really loving this appliance and would recommend it to you or anyone else. I say, where have you been all my life????? I called the company yesterday, as there is a rack for canning that I did not get with the canner....geez, you would think that would be something that would be included with the canner, wouldn't you? So now I am looking forward to doing some canning, maybe tomatoes and pickles to start.....we shall see.
So in the top and bottom pictures are the piece of brisket, I have's looking pretty good here. Will take a picture of this lovely piece of meat after it is cooked. I did buy a manager's special spoon roast for a meal next week....hopefully it will get tender enough for JP to chew on one side.
Here is the finished product....all cooked up. I put his plate of food on the table...and by the time I got his fruit on the table his plate  was almost gone except for some potatoes. "Was it good JP?" "It's almost gone!" he said.
I shall do this again, as I have another hunk of brisket in the freezer. My next experiment will be roast beef sandwiches with onions and peppers and Italian seasonings. I am having fun with this canner, that is for sure.
JP has his appointment on Monday to have 4 teeth pulled....please keep him in your prayers. He will have Monday and Tuesday off from work, so hopefully he will be a fast healer.

I have my first eye surgery on Wednesday, pray for me also. A nurse called today to ask some medical and medicine questions. Would you believe she was actually singing to me on the phone. I said I was a little nervous about the procedure and she said, Oh no need to worry, it's quick and fast and she went through the whole thing, explaining step by step what will happen. Why, she even sang to me about the "Black Bird" "pack up all your cares and woes, here I go singing black bird" Not to worry, maybe I could get something from my Doctor to kind of calm me down. Guess that is why I need some prayer....I was nervous about the deep cleaning at the Dentist and that went this, hope it goes as fast as the teeth cleaning went.

Well, time to close, need to take a little nap before the Schwan's man comes. Ribs, fries and guacamole sauce....yummie!! Then next Thursday comes my first box from "Blue Apron." Will be fun to see what they send. Since I signed up with Blue Apron, I have seen other Companies that do this same thing....some do not tell how much it costs....or it's hard to find. Then another company is $10 we shall see....I may do this just for the summer, I need to see if this is cost effective for us. The thought of having your meals come to the house is intriguing....a savings on gas and time shopping.

Well, I was going to close here...guess I will do just that. Have a great day and keep looking up. Cheers ~ Louise

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Some Signs Along The Way......

Hi there is your day going? The weather has been stormy with high winds and lots of rain. Our power went out the other night, along with 13,500 other homes, but came back on 4-5 hours later. Guess there were still people without, longer then that. One sure can be lost without the "POWER"!!!

We headed downstairs with a candle, a little flashlight, and a transistor radio ((yep, I still have one of those....why, I am STILL from the OLD SCHOOL)) We stayed down there till the warnings of tornadoes passed. The sirens were blowing too. I said, "Oh oh....tornado's!" JP says, "How do you know?" I said, "the sirens are sounding....that's how I know"..........geez Jay, do you think I am stupid or something?! We have to go downstairs....boy I tell you, he sure did not move very fast!!! Like everything....I have to drag him or push him to move or go to the Doctor....tired!!!

Some people like, I don't. I feel like I am in spiritual storms constantly....I would like a little calm and quiet now and then. Don't you?? My mom used to always say, "Everything is/was calm and quiet." Geez....what planet was she on??? I have yet to sense that "calm and quiet" in my life!!!!

Did I tell you....probably not, I mentioned this on Facebook. We got home from church on Sunday and there was a message on our answering machine. It was one of those computerized voices saying someone had sent us a text to our landline. We would not be charged for it (GOOD THING) and this was the phone number, but no name. (coward) and the message was...."I HATE YOU!!"

Oh my gosh....what on earth is this world coming to???? I ask you???  So my mind dwelled on that most of the day, wondering who in their right mind would do something like that??? I know there are some people that don't like us, but they usually stay away, but to come right out and leave a message???? Honestly, get a life and grow up!!!! I have been praying for them, whoever they are that God would convict them of their cowardly deeds. I just have to remember, "Vengeance is the Lord's" and what goes around, comes around. I am not one to do the same thing back, but I know "Pay day is coming, someday, to everyone.
I saw this sign somewhere on the Internet and had to save it.......It says it all, doesn't it???

Another sign that I must I am very hard on myself at times. Not only do people criticize, but I do a pretty good job at criticizing and cutting myself down. Why, I probably have even told myself......I HATE YOU!!! So, I don't really need someone else telling me "I HATE YOU" also!!! Look who signed the sign.....another "Louise".

Yes, Blue Apron.....have you heard of this company? I saw it on Pinterest and checked it out Here is the site. What they do is send you three meals, with recipe, meat, vegies and spices. You do the cooking. Sounds like fun, plus you are trying things that may be completely new to you. The box comes all refrigerated and cold. You choose what you want to make that night or the next. I am going to try it a while see how price effective it is....I like to cook, so maybe this just might be a fun project for the summer.
Last night I made a scrumptious meal in the pressure cooker of pork, potatoes, carrots, onion and corn on the cob with Turkish seasonings and onion soup mix. OMG was that delicious. So between my pressure cooker, the Blue Apron and Schwans......we shall eat well!!!
Well time to close here for awhile....I am probably boring you by now and you have not read my whole post.....that's okay. You have a good day and keep looking up!!! Cheers ~ Louise

Friday, July 10, 2015

Flowers 2 X 2 and Brined Corned Beef

Hi there everyone. Hope you had a good day. My days are getting better, been sick lately with another round with the ulcer.  I guess JP's problem with his teeth got to me. He went to the Dentist on Monday and it has been decided that he has 4 teeth that need to be pulled. I had my second deep cleaning on the other half of my mouth Tuesday. Then got sick Wednesday and Thursday, finally throwing up with diarrhea Thursday. TODAY praise God I am feeling so much better and eating a bit more. Lost a few that I will take.

Another thing I am dealing with is the cataract eye surgery on July 22nd and August 5th. All the pre-ops and post-ops that come with it. I suppose there will be the eye drops that have to be applied. Oh I don't know, this sure has been a tough year for JP and's hoping things calm down for us in the next few months.

So below are my two lovely Brown Eyed Susan's that come back every these flowers. This year I got lots of seedlings to start....So I shall be planting them all over my yard....yayyyyyy!

                              Two lovely orange-red Lilly's
                         Two lovely red Bee Balm blossoms.
Two lovely yellow trumpet Lilly's. Not sure that is what they are called, but I do, cause they look like little trumpets to me.
                         Two lovely yellow Begonia flowers.
This is not a picture of my corned beef in the brine, but from the site I got the recipe from. I made the brine and heated it up, it is now sitting on the stove cooling down. As the recipe said, can't add the hot brine to the cold meat....both must be cold then let it sit in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. I made this years ago when we lived on our 20 acres and raised our own beef....yep, those were the golden days for us....lots of work but we ate really good.
I will let you know how this turns out, as I probably will cook it in my pressure cooker along with some cabbage and potatoes. (golly it is not even St. Patrick's Day!!) I cooked up some steamed broccoli in the pressure cooker tonight....delicious, that will go with the chicken and potatoes (that was cooked in the oven). JP's dinner is all cooked, now I just have to do the dishes.

Well you all have a good evening and a great Saturday.....oh how we love Saturday's!!!!! Keep looking up!!! Cheers ~ Louise

Monday, July 6, 2015

My New Cooking Toy

Hi there everyone, how are you doing this fine night??? Hope you all escaped the bad weather they were talking about tonight. The people north of us had wind damage and a few tornado's were sighted and touched down. I guess tonight the temperature will get down in the 40's and in the 60's tomorrow. Pretty cool...huh!!
Well, last week I bought this new appliance at Shopko. It's the Power Pressure Canner XL. Here is the sight. I am really liking it a lot. Tonight I did a roast with onions, garlic, cabbage, potatoes and carrots with onion soup. I picked up a pressure canner cookbook at the library today. Saw so many recipes I would like to try. 

You can saute your vegies and meat in oil in the pot...then add extra water for the pressure cooking. After the meal I made tonight went through the pressure cooker.....I turned it down to do slow cooking till JP gets home from work. Looking forward to tasting the end product. It's nice to know....dinner is all cooked for JP, just have to dish up the meat and vegies and his fruit and dinner is served!!!

Friday night we took JP to the ER. His right cheek was all swelled up and he looked like a chipmunk. He has a couple of bad teeth....the swelling was not going down. Turns out he has an abscess. They gave him penicillin and Tylenol with codeine. By Sunday night the swelling was gone. I called the dentist this morning and we got him in.

So tomorrow, JP has an appointment at 11am and they will do x-rays and probe around and see what else needs to be done. My appointment is at 12pm and I will be getting the 2nd deep cleaning on the left side of my mouth....yeah, "Happy Gas" here we come!!! So, we will be busy for a few hours tomorrow.

Also on the agenda for me this month is cataract surgery on my right eye with 1 pre-op and 2 post-op visits. Then August 5th the right eye will be done with the pre-op and post-op visits. For on my teeth will have to be put on the back burner for a few months till JP's teeth get taken care of.

Well time to close here for awhile, keep looking up!!
Cheers ~ Louise

Friday, July 3, 2015

Have a Happy 4th of July

Hi there everyone. Hope you have a wonderful day full of fun, food and fireworks with family and friends.  
Remember why we celebrate this day....
Happy Birthday America!
Land of the Free!
Let NO MAN take that away from us!!!!
Let us remember all those that have gone before us, who died to KEEP this Country Free!!!!
May God Bless this Country and keep us strong against the evil one and all his tactics to bring this great country down the road to hell.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

What I See ~ Looking Out My Kitchen Window

Hi there everyone, how is your day going??? I was reading Diana's blog this morning. She mentioned what she sees looking out her kitchen door. Here's her blog. I commented on her blog that this is what I see out my kitchen window......lovely isn't it??? I wish I saw what she did. 

I try to keep my back yard nice, but when you have neighbors that don't seem to care what their yard looks sure does make for bad feelings. They have condensed and reorganized a few things.....BUT it still is a mess.
They did put up this new fence a couple of weeks ago, but have not finished the process as yet. The flowers hanging from the shepherds hook is on our side of the fence. I have had a few comments from people visiting me in my backyard...."Can't you call the city to complain?" I guess I could, but I don't want to start problems....I just live with it. Guess that is why I suffer from an ulcer.
In this picture, you can see part of my back yard from the kitchen window. This is what I look at when doing dishes..........I dream daily of a 10 foot fence that hides all their stuff!!!!
Another few from inside.......would you like to do dishes here? It used to be nice scenery when the other people lived there....least they kept things looking nice with flowers and mowed grass.
This is a view of my backyard from the other kitchen window. If there was a way of moving the kitchen sink to this window......I would do it. BUT that probably would cost 5k if not more, who has that kind of, not me. See the fan blades and post sitting on the table.....that is the start of my dragon fly that I want to make.
Here is a closer view of my back yard......yeah, daily I look out the window, just brings peace and quiet to my busy and noisy life. Can you see the 3 tires back in the far right??? That is where "Frieda the Frog" will sit and the Bird Feeders have a tire around them....I want to spray paint that too. Just a few projects going on here.

I have not been feeling all that well the last couple of days....but today, I finally am...guess getting older you have your good days and not so good days. I have another appointment on the 7th with the Dentist for a 2nd Deep Cleaning on the left side of my mouth. Hopefully this one will go smoothly as did the first deep cleaning the end of May. Then they will start on my 6 cavities. I am thinking I will wait till September for that...too much going on these next few months.

Also going on this month....I will be having cataract eye surgery on the 22nd on the right eye, then on August 5th, the left eye. Then there is the Pre-op appointments and Post-op appointments...yes I will be busy this month with all that. Not to mention, JP will be needing to go to the Dentist also....he has a bad tooth and the left side of his face is swelled up. I said, "you need to go to the Dentist." Do you think he will go???? Nope, he says the swelling is going down. Okay....have it your way.

Well....I guess that is enough of my complaints for one day. You all have a wonderful rest of the day and have fun on the 4th of July!!!!
Keep looking up!!! Cheers ~ Louise

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Few Flowers & Some Projects on the "To Do" List

Hi there everyone....hope you had a nice weekend. I am not sure I accomplished a whole lot, but I did enjoy the weekend, watering flowers and vegies, taking pictures, resting and reading my book that Diana wrote. "Lucy and the Mystery of the Dark Woods" During the week, after JP leaves for work, 4:00 pm is my reading time, just taking that little bit of time is so relaxing.....even though Lucy is struggling with  her life situations.
So in the above picture is a new peonie bush I got from the neighbors......I rescued it, they were going to throw it out.....NOOOOOOOO.....I will take it, they did not like the ants.....well that is fine with me, I just shake the flowers so the ants fall off (sometimes). So here is the first bloom from the little bush.
My purple climbing Clementius. She is in 3 different places, climbing up the side of the porch, climbing up a fence in the back yard and side of yard, climbing up the trellis.

I mentioned in my previous post that I had some projects on my "to do" list. Can you believe.....16 projects, that will keep me busy all summer and fall. Some of these projects may continue on into next summer too!!!

Project 1 - Freida the Frog.....I have the tires, just have to get the rest of the stuff together.
Project 2 - I want to make a Dragon Fly, made out of old fan blades and fancy railing post....spray painted and jewels and wire. Should be a fun project.
Project 3 - Paint the front door with the paint rebuilding together left behind. The door never got painted by them.
Here is a single rose.....this plant is really doing good this year.....I fed it lots of old coffee grounds in the fall. So it is pretty perky this summer. The plant is about 22 years old.

Project 4 - Paint daisies on my old shed.
Project 5 - Screw some old shutters on the old shed. I finally bought a new this can be accomplished.
Project 6 - Paint the old wicker chair white.
This is my lily bush.....each year it gets bigger and bigger.

Project 7 - Hang rods on the new basement windows and hang curtains.
Project 8 - Spray paint the bird feeder tire green.
Project 9 - Spray paint JP's old bike for a yard decoration with flowers.
This is a new addition to my garden. Cosmos along side the house......I am planning to get some transplanted to the front yard too.....will have lots of seeds for next year.

Project 10 - Paint and make a pallet planter for herbs.
Project 11 - Clean and straighten the is still disorganized from getting the new basement windows replaced.
Project 12 - Paint the same daisies that were painted on the shed, on the basement wall going down the stairs.
This is the same rose bush (two pictures previous) taken in the late afternoon and close up, it almost looks like a water color rose.

Project 13 - Hang boarder on walls in kitchen ceiling.
Project 14 - Back splash tiles applied behind the stove. (almost done with this project)
Project 15 - Paint two walls in the Dinning room an off white.
Project 16 - Have a garage sale!!!

So there you have it....I am not sure how much I will accomplish this summer, as I have 2 appointments with the eye doctor for cataract surgery (I am a little scared) on July 22nd and August 5th.
The Doctor said I am a good candidate for the surgery and there is a chance I may not have to wear glasses, maybe just those bifocals from the dollar store. Plus I am still dealing with the Dentist and a deep cleaning on July 7th...then 6 cavities need to be filled. I think the cavities will have to wait till September or even October. My head can take just so know???

Well you all have a great evening.....see you in July. Keep looking up.....Cheers ~ Louise

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Garden Walk on Saturday - Part 2

Hi there everyone. Lovely day today.....I need to get some things done....have a long list of project to do.....but sometimes have a hard time starting them. In my next post I will list everything I want to do...."my summer to-do list."

Well today is the last of the pictures from the garden walk on this picture is the lady's Hostas and Gnome garden.....gnomes, gnomes everywhere!!!!
This was a cute sort of covered up her junk area and made it pleasing to the eyes. It says, "Meet me at the garden gate."
In this picture is the entrance to her lovely garden and another place to sit and rest and drink some iced tea.
Her Begonia garden....I love the red begonia plants, so healthy they look too!! Can you see her red garden furniture? I got to sit at her table and just kind of survey the whole back yard. She said they moved in this house in 1979 and she started with one rock garden near the drive way.....and just sort of spread out over the years......yeah, she had room to roam. I didn't even get pictures of all her gardens. She invited us back in August to see her garden.....will have to do that.
Here is her lovely pool......she has 5 daughters and 10 grand babies....all boys, can you see the tractors on the walk-way????
Here is a picture of her lovely patio furniture......yep, and a nice place to sit and enjoy the summer drink iced tea and reading a good book....don't you think???
This was another garden in front of the house to the side of the garage.....she sure had LOTS of statues and signs to catch the eyes.
Here is her burning sort of died out except for a little branch that started to bloom. I liked the effect of this sawed off can hold all the objects in her garden that need a place to hang out.
Well, I think I will close here....I need to go work out in my garden.....someday, I will have a pretty garden like this, dream on....but right now, I shall just enjoy what I have. You all have a good day and keep looking up. Cheers ~ Louise

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Garden Walk On Saturday

Hi there everyone. Hope you had a wonderful weekend. I did....yes I did. Except for the mosquitoes, the days were perfect, as I sit here typing and scratching those little bites. Was just sitting on the front porch for 10 minutes and they found me!!!!! UGE!!!! I found that spraying some "Salonpas" which relieves pain also works to relieve the itch of the skeeter bites, I will try anything at least once if it helps a bit.

Well, yesterday we went on a "garden walk" of 5 gardens sponsored by the Master Gardeners of Appleton. We went to 3 of the gardens. One garden I did not take pictures. But the last two gardens were absolutely beautiful as you will many great ideas.
In this  picture, I liked the way the plants were planted in old crocks and the cute little water fountain in the front is always such an eye catcher to me. Love the sound of water running.
This is the back of the house and another water fountain....I like that door as a decoration and the ladder to the left has a climbing Clementius....good idea.
Here is another crock with some Hydrangeas growing in it......very pretty. I do have a large crock....but I am not sure I want to use it as a planter as yet.
A garden is not complete without a few homemade signs. "When Heaven falls to Earth - It becomes' a garden" (Not exactly sure what that word is after the saying)
In this picture, is the second garden walk. Look at that beautiful garden, lots of vegies and flowers mixed together. I love all the little walk ways, stones, boards and what all this gardener found to make her garden attractive.
This picture shows her creativeness in using different things to catch the eye, plus the usefulness...this old pot belly stove became a hoe, rake and shovel holder in the middle of her garden.....good idea.
Now this was the center of attraction for me.....her workshop, with all her garden utensils.....gosh, I sure would love a little shop like this for all my stamping stuff. And look at all that work space. There was an upstairs looked like her "get away place to hide."
This is the sign hanging in her shop. "I live in the garden I just sleep in the house"
This sweet little girl's sign says, "God laughs in the Flowers"
And the last sign says,"May all  your weeds be wildflowers"

After going on this I have lots of projects I would like to do, to add a little sparkle to my garden. I still have my "Freida the Frog" made out of tires to make, a dragon fly, made out of fan blades. I want to paint the old bike downstairs pink or white, paint my daisies on the garden shed and put shutters up.....yeah, so much to do yet. By the time I get everything done....Fall might be here. Well, I hope you liked this little tour of 2 gardens....I still have a few more pictures, so I shall show you them in Part 2 coming in a few days.

Tomorrow I have and eye appointment at 11am. The Doctor is going to talk to me about my options with cataract surgery and probably check my eyes again....I need to ask him just exactly what am I seeing when I have cataracts, I know I am seeing lots of floaters which really irritates me. Sometimes I feel like a bug is flying by and I want to swat it.

Well, you have a great day and keep looking up. Cheers ~ Louise


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