Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Apple Tree and a Recipe

Hi everyone. Hope you are all doing well and staying cool in this very warm weather.
Today I am going to tell you about this wonderful apple tree. I am not really sure what the name of the apple tree is, the apples are green, they cook up really good and are not too sweet. I planted the tree probably about 15-20 years ago. It took a very long time to it is so tall, it is hard to reach the apples even with an extender basket. I need a TALL person!!!
In the above picture is a shot of our tree in the spring....oh my, it was just full of blossoms this year....I was so excited. During the winter, either the squirrel or rabbits got a hold of my two apple trees and ate the bark off the trees. My neighbor thought the trees were ruined. So did I for that matter.
Then, one spring morning I looked out the window and "oh my gosh" the tree was just loaded with flowers. We ended up not spraying the tree. Just letting it go natural. I mentioned I had two trees. The other tree is a red apple tree. As far as I can see, there are only 1 or 2 apples up there. Maybe next year will be its' year to show off!!!
Oh my....apples in the tree!!! There have been apples before, but NOT so big and NOT so abundant!!! My goodness every branch was just loaded with apples!!! I've made a few pickings since this picture was taken. Some of the apples are buggy inside. But then, some are just fine. The birds and squirrels get their share. So I think if I can get a good share of cooked apples in the freezer I will be happy.
In this picture are some apples I picked tonight with our new little $25 apple extender from Menards. I am hoping that the basket will pay for itself. Maybe it has and I have not realized it as yet.
In this picture is a shot of the apples still left in the tree that are too high for Louise to reach even with the basket extender.
So here we are, tonight with 20 apples waiting to be cut and sliced in the kitchen sink.
So here is a picture of the apples cooked up in it's sauce. All I do is add about a cup of water with the apples, cook them up a bit, add cinnamon, and maybe 4 packets of stevia. (if you use sugar, maybe about 1/4 cup of sugar, depends how sweet you want the apples), then I add some corn starch with a little bit of water and mix with the apples to thicken the juice. Taste test to see if they are cooked through and sweet enough for your taste. is the recipe. I found it on  Look for it under "Cherry Streusel Coffee Cake." I found with this recipe, you can use any fruit you desire...that is why I am using my apples. (I've used cherries also) Bake this coffee cake/pie at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Pie filling
Cream together the butter and sugar, add eggs. Add dry ingredients next and beat well. Batter will be heavy. Spread 3/4 of the batter in a 9x13 inch pan. Cover with the pie filling. Drop remaining batter by spoonfuls over filling.
 Sprinkle with the following mixture.
4 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
One last step....I sprinkle the top of the cake with some more cinnamon, of course this is with the apple pie. Using other fruit would be optional.

Another thing about this recipe...I cut all the ingredients in half, so instead of making a 9x13, I make a pie pan...which is enough for JP and I.
I have company coming next weekend, so I may make a 9x13 apple dessert then.
After baking, a slice of heaven. Adding some whip cream or ice cream to this dessert would really top it off.
Taste Testing....mmmmmm....good!!
Well there you have it, a wonderful dessert for any time, any place and any where. I really like making this, as it is really easy and goes fast. JP likes it a lot too, but then he is not a hard person to please when it comes to food, he eats most anything I concoct and always knows that if I follow a recipe, I never quite follow it to the "T"....always changing some ingredient.

Hope you enjoy this recipe...I sure do. Have a great day and keep looking up for your redemption draws nigh. Cheers ~ Louise

Monday, August 26, 2013

The ABC's of Friendship

Found this little gem on Facebook and thought it worthy of sharing. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
I've learned over the years, that some friends are not meant to be "forever friends". That some come into your life for a day or two and some for just a season. Some stay for half a life time and still some others are there your whole life, that pop in and out at different times....but you know they are still there. 

I think the best friend you could possibly have is Jesus, cause he sticks closer then a brother and it looks to me....he has all those qualities you see in the above chart. Next on the list is your spouse.......if you are so blessed to have one. After the first two, your kids and your there are any left. Then comes the friends.......for me those are my blog friends and stamping friends.......Hello friends!!!!

Keep your friends close by, you never know when you may need a friend. Don't toss them away as if they were a piece of trash and by all least give them a second, a third and a forth chance. Isn't that what Jesus would do?? I wonder what would happen if Jesus only gave us "ONE" chance, don't think there will be many in Heaven. My goodness, even in baseball a player is given "3 strikes ~ and you are out"!!! 

Well, you all have a great day......and if you are wondering who I am talking one in particular, just adding my 2 cents, for whatever it is worth. Keep looking up for your redemption draws nigh.
Cheers ~ Louise

Friday, August 23, 2013

What's Moo With Yoo?

Hi Everyone, hope your day went well. It's Friday, and Saturday and Sunday are coming. Funny how we all look forward to the weekend. It's goes so fast and then we are back to Monday in a blink of an eye!!! Highly over-rated, I think. Not sure what we will be doing. Thought we would take a day-road trip someplace, or maybe next Saturday.

JP and I celebrate our 40th wedding Anniversary on the plans for a big party, as we are not the "party kind of people." We didn't even plan a wedding, got married by a Judge at Chicago's City Hall at 11am on Friday, August 27, 1973 (JP was racing at the time and could not take time off to get married). Then at 3pm we were signing papers for the closing of our house at 2525 Greenwood Ct. in Arlington Heights, IL. We were there for 3 years then moved to Wisconsin. That little house is no longer there, as it got torn down, and someone else made alot of $$$ on that acre of land and it wasn't us. But, we have been happy in Wisconsin and probably will not go back to Illinois. We've been in our little house for 22 years.....roots are planted deep like some of the trees around us.
Well, here you see my "cow" card. Picked up this stamp at a thrift store for $1.49. I think I made a really good purchase here. Just listed this card in my Etsy store tonight. So far, at least 5 people have favored sales as yet. Made 8 cow cards. Already gave one as a thank you and another card will go for a thank you also. Listed this card on Etsy and another card will go to my Secret Stamper. Maybe one for Hospice and one for another friend....huh, think that leaves 2 cards left, my they go fast.
So the inside of the card says, "What's Moo with Yoo?" As I did not have a stamp, decided to just print it on the inside of the card....looks good to me....why do I always think I need a stamp, when I can print whatever I want. Years ago I took up calligraphy.....guess it helped in more ways then not.

Well, I think I will close for now.....I have a few things to do before JP gets home from work. He will have left over stew, salad and fruit salad. In my next blog, I am going to give you a really neat recipe. "Fruit Strussel Coffee Cake" Need to take a picture of the finished product. I am using my apples from my apple tree, of which I am so excited about. Will tell you more later. Stay tuned.

You all have a great weekend and keep looking up for your redemption draws nigh. Cheers ~ Louise

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Have a great day and keep looking up for your redemption draws nigh.
Cheers ~ Louise

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Refurbishing 40 Year Old Furniture

Hi Everyone....well, as usual I am having troubles with blogspot on IE. So off I went to Google Chrome. Honestly, why does there always have to be kinks in everything I try to work patience in my life??? Geez, enough already!!!!!!

I had a nice week end...finally decided to paint some old chairs I have had for over 40 years....was not thinking when I took them apart....should have taken a picture...before and after. Well, here is a partial before picture. Not sure when I reupholstered the chairs....maybe 30 years ago, I am thinking this is the original paint job. So I decided to spray paint them mat black. Spray painting the pink rose came after I had sprayed them both black. Sweet inspiration.
Here I have both seats taken off and in the midst of spray painting one chair and starting the next one.
Added the pink to the chair....I really like the classy....what do you think??? I ran out of paint. So we jumped in the car and took a ride to Walmart. Bought 3 more cans at 97 cents a can....Hey big spender!!!! But at least I had enough to finish the chairs and do touch up. AND maybe possibly another item if need be....whatever that may be.
Here are the two chairs.......finished. feels good to accomplish something. I have all these ideas swimming in the head that I want to do.......but sometimes money and time do not coordinate with each other.
Here are the chairs on the front porch....finished and ready to go. Thought today we would eat on the front porch.....hamburgers and french fries....but we did not make it. Well, there still is maybe another month or so of dinning on the front porch. I want to get a new table cloth....maybe just a plain pink one....this one looks a  little busy with the chairs and all. Time for a change.

One of my other projects was to stain the porch floor, but I did not get to that next year. That is what I have been saying for the last couple of years. 

Well, time to close for today. Nothing much going this week. JP and I are going to celebrate our 40th anniversary. We might take a week end trip to Algoma...we'll see.
Cheers to you all and keep looking up for your redemption draws nigh.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Made a Few Cards Yesterday

Hi Everyone....hope your day is going good. I am having one of those lazy, hazy days of Summer. Not doing much work around the house. But come September I will be busy cleaning, as JP's family from Chicago will be coming for a visit for one day. We'll be having a cook-out, weather permitting. Other than that, not sure what else is planned.

Last weekend, JP and I went Thrift shopping and antiquing, looking for clocks. JP wants a clock that chimes, so we are on the 
"hunt"......guess that is what is fun about looking. 
In the mean time, I find little gems like this cute stamp above of a "cow." Was going through some old cards and found a card with a cow and the saying "What's Moo" and thought it was cute. So when I found this stamp.....had to have it. Only paid $1.49 for the stamp and the "What's Moo" is my printing....guess I don't always need a stamp.

So I made this card for a lady where JP works. She has been giving us fresh vegies from her garden, string beans, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. So I am sending this card along with JP today, to give to Carol. The inside just says "Thanks for the vegies - they are much appreciated"
Went to a friends house yesterday to make some cards. I love this one, the stamp is so funny and so! "With my luck I'll be at the airport when my ship comes in." I am still waiting for my ship to come in.....guess I must have been at the airport all this time....hahahaha!!! The card was already stamped, we colored it in with alcohol ink pens. It is layered on blue print paper, the top part of the card was run through her sissix die cuter and gems placed at the top. The dove is from a die cut.
This is a cute card. I think will try making a few more of these cards, although I just have one Magnolia stamp, a little girl holding a balloon..........these stamps are so cute, but very expensive. They come out of the UK, so there is lots of shipping and handling expenses added. In this card, she was colored with copic pens and then cut out and placed on top of cardstock  that was run through the cuttlebug and cut and placed on an oval. and then layered on printed paper that was stamped with little flowered stamps. 
Sweet, sweet, sweet.
On this card, the oval with the lamp post was embossed in black and we colored in with ink pens. Then placed on the decorative border and layered on printed and punched paper. Need to look for this punch and the punch used above underneath the ribbon. Hard to see from this point, but it is a small scalloped punch. I will be on the "hunt" for this punch and the one used in the above card. (Hopefully my ship will have come in by that time...hahhahah). I had one more card, but for some reason it was posting sideways and I could not get it to go right side up.....soooo unless I can fix it, you may not be able to see it.

Well, time to close this blog, keep looking up for your redemption draws nigh.
Cheers ~ Louise

Monday, August 12, 2013

Relaxing with a Fire, a Water Fountain & Hot Dogs

Hi Everyone, hope your week is going great.
Last night we lite a fire in our pit. Yes, that is a "smoky joe" we are doing the fire in. One of these days we will get a real fire pit. The conditions were perfect for a fire, no breeze, ground was wet from a fresh rain. One mosquito found my ankle. Pulled out the "mosquito candles" and off they went.
Hot Dogs getting cooked up on the fire......mmmmmm.....did they smell good. Put them on a slice of pumpernickel bread, a dill pickle and "da works" dressing. Not a bad little sandwich.
I turned the fountain on for that added "relaxation sound"
So here is JP relaxing, enjoying his hot dog and watching the fire. It was a lovely night and we really must do this again. The last time was probably two years ago. 
Life is much too short to worry about the petty things of life that can drag us down. Best just to live in the moment, getting all the garbage out of our lives. Focusing on priorities, whatever that may be.

Well, so much for today's blog. Time to go walk Kylie around the block. You have a great evening and keep looking up for your redemption draws nigh.
Cheers ~ Louise

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Lavender.....or Russian Sage???

Hi everyone.......hope your day was good!!! Ours??? Was a little tuff. There was a bad storm last night, which caused a lot of damage. Knocked down trees, limbs and power was lost to 90% of the Fox Cities.
The electric went out about 12:50am. I was just about to heat up JP's late night dinner.
I had made Lasagna Soup (batch 6) earlier in the evening so I had that ready for him. Also on the menu was fish and string beans. I had to pull out my fondue pot and heat his soup up in it.....worked like a charm.

In the picture above is my Lavender. Planted when I first moved into this house 22 years ago....the plant has gotten really big and never fails to do it's thing year in and year out. I've transplanted this lavender in two other places. This blog is basically for Patty @ Attic Clutter as she likes lavender.
Here is another shot of the lavender. I picked quite a few branches and brought them in for the winter.
Here is a bunch of lavender in one of my older vases that will probably sit in there till next year, then it will be time to change the flowers for new ones.

So today was kind of a rest day, even though the electric was off. I took Kylie for two walks today. The first one was to see why there was so much traffic going down our would have thought we were on a main street or something. Well, it turned out there was a tree down on Drew St. So people had to detour down our street. A tree was down on the next block over and down 3 blocks on our street. So that is why there was so much traffic today.

I had to think about what I was going to make JP for his lunch. Egg I boiled 4 eggs in the Fondue pot....again it worked like a charm.
Heated up more soup and (already steamed) corn on the cob in the Fondue.
Oh did I forget to tell you.....heated hot water for coffee for Louise.

No electric for a day was okay.....but I might find it hard to do without electric for days and weeks on end. 17 hours was long enough. 
OH and then did I tell you, NO INTERNET for the day. I missed reading my email and blogs and catching up on everything that was going on in this world. Thank goodness I had my "transistor radio" and could listen to Rush, Sean and Mark on talk radio!!!

I did manage to watch "Life of Pi" on my DVD player till the battery went low. The movie was okay, still trying to figure out what it is about. Anyways, the DVD player stopped playing and then all of a sudden the electric went back on at 6pm.....YAY!!! So then Kylie and I went for another walk to see how things cleaned up, came back and did some work outside, picking up branches from the storm and such. No watering tonight....there was plenty of rain last night.

Well, time to close this blog. I still have to check out facebook and see whats happening there. So you all have a great evening and here's to a good day tomorrow. Keep looking up for your redemption draws nigh. Cheers ~ Louise

Monday, August 5, 2013

!!! SPIDERS !!!

Hi you all doing???
Over the week-end we had a bit of a scare. It seems the two neighbors to the left of us were infested with these "Wolf" spiders.
At first sighting, it was thought this spider was a "Recluse" and the neighbor killed at least 35 of these ugly spiders just outside her back door. Then she came over to our house to tell us about it and that she was having the exterminator coming on Monday. If we would like to have an exterminator come to our house.
The other neighbor to the left of them had the same spiders inside their house...........eeeekkkkkkk!!! The above spider is called a "Wolf" Spider. Which bites, his venom is not as dangerous as the "recluse" but bad enough. 
So today the exterminator treated our houses, outside and inside to the tune of $80.00 for our house. Not sure what the other paid as they had insecticide bombs released in their houses...we just had the spray. I can tell, there is a slight taste in my mouth....yuck!!! We had to be out of the house whilst they sprayed and then stay out for 1 hour. So I took Kylie for a walk and then we just sat outside for awhile and listened to the fountain. No pictures of him spraying the was inside. Maybe next spring when we have the house sprayed for "Box Elder Bugs" another plague to hit us.
Here is a picture of the "Recluse" spider which was first thought to be in and outside our houses. I sure am glad we did not have this one visiting us. It lives in the South and most certainly can stay there. When this spider bites so very careful because the bite is flesh eating. If you look up "Wolf" and "Recluse" spider they are similar but the "Recluse" is meaner.

I was trying to find some pictures of my thumb when I got bit by a spider from a couple of years ago. Back then even, the "Recluse" was being talked about. My thumb and arm almost looked like those pictures of people who had been bitten by that spider. If I find the picture, I will post it here. But I most definitely got bit by one of these two spiders. My thumb got all inflamed, and swelled up then a red line started following my veins. The venom from the spider went in my blood stream. I went to the "free clinic" but they would not help me. So went to my Doctor, I think he gave me some antibiotics and popped the blister that had grown on my thumb. For months later it would appear, like as if the stinger was still in the skin. Then one day....that blister came back, I started picking at it and "POP" out came that stinger or whatever it was that left it's mark. Today, you can hardly see the "war wounds" except for a dot and a cross where the Doctor lanced it.

Well, time to close, hope you all have a great day......I am trying to. Keep your chin up  for your redemption draws nigh.
Cheers ~ Louise

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Pelican Island and Boat Ride

Hi everyone, hope you are enjoying your summer. Here are a few pictures of some pelicans.
In this picture you see "Pelican Island" the actual name is "Black Bird Island" BUT it seems the pelicans live there mostly. One thing noticed right away was the awful smell of Birds. The island was just loaded with pelicans. When they saw us coming they scattered, all heading for the water. Only a few pelicans were brave enough to stay. Maybe they were the guards.....guarding a nest or two. (I am just guessing)
Here you see more pelicans flying off...maybe to distract us.

Getting a little bit closer here, via my zoom lens on my camera. Looks like there might be a few seagulls hanging around on the island. Well we left the birds to their island and headed back.

It was a day well spent and even though it was mostly cloudy, I did end up with a little sun burn on my forehead. Not much on my arms as it was a bit chilly and I had a jacket on.

Well, so much for my mini-vacation....they never last long, but it still was refreshing and a change of sorts. You all have a great day and keep looking up for your redemption draws nigh. Cheers ~ Louise

A NOTE: The previous part of this blog was deleted as per request. Sure hope the Pelicans don't mind their picture taken.


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