Friday, November 28, 2014

DIY Hand Sanitizer

Cool crisp day here.  We had blue skies but it was chilly outside so we stayed in.  Did make a run into town to get Jim's glasses adjusted and we picked up some milk.  But other than that we just watched movies.  Starz and Encore are free this weekend on Direct TV.  Saw the Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp...I found it amusing.  After that we watched Monuments Men with George Clooney also a good movie.  Have you seen either one?

Had leftovers for dinner...the stuffing is gone as well as the gravy and peas...Jim also polished off his cranberry sauce.

Now that Autumn is in the air and Winter being felt everywhere, cold and flu season is right around the corner!  Do you use hand sanitizers?   This product is easy to make.

Found this recipe in Mother Earth Living magazine:

Whip up this simple hand sanitizer from Betsy at DIY Natural with just a few ingredients.  Lavender and tea tree essential oil are natural antiseptics.  Astringent witch hazel contains alcohol, for an alcohol free version just use water.  You can squeeze aloe vera from the plant's leaves or buy 100% aloe vera gel.

Homemade sanitizer

10 drops lavender essential oil
30 drops tea tree essential oil
1/4 tsp vitamin E oil
1 Tbl witch hazel or water
8 oz aloe vera gel

Combine first three ingredients in a bowl; swirl to mix
Add witch hazel or water; swirl to mix
Add aloe vera a mix well

Store in a sanitized container with a pump and use on dirty hands when you can't wash them right away.

I keep a small container of this in my purse.  I use it when I've been pushing a grocery cart or pumping fuel or any time I feel I need to wash my hands.

Have a super weekend!

Thursday, November 27, 2014


No matter where you are I hope this day was all you wished for.  Happy Thanksgiving to all our family and friends.

After a leisurely morning dawdling over my coffee and breakfast (homemade pumpkin bread from Sonsearae and an apple) I finally got dressed and made the bed.  Then I started in the kitchen.  

First up was the pumpkin pie, had to get it in the oven.  Then I did dishes....yuck.  Now it was time to make the stuffing so I sauteed some onions, celery and mushrooms in a wee bit of butter, then added half a bag of stuffing mix and some broth along with some rubbed sage and poultry seasoning.  Loaded this into a loaf pan to cook after the pie came out of the oven.

Now for the potatoes, got them peeled and chopped along with some garlic and set them to boil.  Gravy!  Can't forget the gravy.  Using the same pan that I used for the sauteing I added a wee bit of butter, some flour then broth and added poultry seasoning and some salt and pepper.  Kept tweaking this until it tasted good...

Of course the dishes needed to be done again...sometimes I do miss a dishwasher.

A can of peas, a can of cranberry sauce and some homemade cranberry sauce (thanks Sonsearae) our dinner was complete...

Forgot!  Yesterday I picked up half a rotisserie turkey breast from Winn-Dixie.  All I had to do was slice it, wrap it in some foil and heat it along with the stuffing.

After dinner or should I say lunch, I had everything ready before football started, I finished my wine then I tackled the cleanup.  Within a couple hours we had some pie and yes, there was whipped cream for the pie!

For those of you who know we're next door to Sonsearae and Chris and wondering why we didn't dine with them...Well plans were made prior to our stop here and we were invited to give thanks with Sonsearae's  Papa and his wife Susan but we declined.  We shared this day with Chris and Sonsearae last year and we'll be with them at Christmas.

Jim offered to take me out for dinner so I wouldn't have to cook.  But I don't mind cooking and right now we have several days of food in the fridge!  All I have to do is heat it up!

We have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.  Jim is doing well following the 4 bypasses.  We are both thankful his heart wasn't damaged!  My health is still good.  For our age I think we're doing as well as can be. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Do you make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving?  I will this year because I've had a request.  I prefer Sweet Potato Pie and this spice mix can be used for that pie also

You'll need 
1/4 cup Cinnamon
2 T Ginger
2 t nutmeg
1 t cloves

Just mix all this and use the amount called for in your recipe

Monday, November 24, 2014

Eagle At CCI

As we pulled onto our road home this Eagle flew in and landed almost in front of us.  Jim slowed and as we drove by I captured these pictures


Sunday, November 23, 2014

this past week has been interesting

That mighty polar cold front came through and Tuesday and Wednesday nights we disconnected the water line because a hard freeze was predicted for both nights.  I don't think it Tuesday night but better safe than sorry!

I think it was Thursday when Chris and friends (along with some inmates) loaded up a truck for the move south.  It was driven down by the friends and Chris and his son drove down to unload and start setting up.  It's a long a drive for a day trip!

Friday Jim and I went to Big Shoals State Park to walk in the woods.  We stopped and saw Sonsearae at the White Springs Post Office, had some lunch at Fat Bellys (don't ask!) then headed to the park.  I think they need to spend some money on signage.  We drove and drove on a dirt road and began to wonder if it was the right road!

Eventually we found the entrance with just a drop box for payment.  Of course I have a Florida State Park Pass and we just drove in.

The park is just a day use park for hikers, bikers, equestrians and canoes and kayaks.  Rest room facility near the entrance and a nice spot for the camp host.  Bet it gets lonely out there!

After you enter the trail off to the left was a picnic area under oak and pine trees.  Very nice.

The trail is easy to moderate with some changes in elevation but it was easy to navigate and neither of us found it strenuous.  Just have to be careful placing your feet to avoid the roots of trees

The water was calm and placid at this stop

Found some Autumn color!

I love the different colors and textures you can find in the woodlands

As we got closer to the Shoals we could hear them

Obviously Jim is doing better!  It's been two months since his bypass surgery and each day has it's challenges but he is making progress.

Our cold temperatures were replaced with rain on Saturday.  We just stayed in and vegetated...I made some doughnuts and did laundry most of the day.  Sonsearae and Chris went to their southern home to get it livable for Chris.  He'll stay until Wednesday and she'll come back Monday after she makes a couple visits to the Post Offices in the area.  She's hoping to be transferred down there.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

do nothing day

Saturdays are turning into slow, lazy days.  As reported, our weather is cooler today with the sun peeking out of the clouds every now and then. 

When I got up this morning, shortly before 0700, the outside temperature was in the low 40's.  Time for the furnace!  I also made some scones to help warm the insides...ours and the house.  Always good to pull freshly baked goods out of the oven.

The high is supposed to be around 62 and as I type this at 1330 it's already 61.  We're watching a John Wayne movie with Katherine Hepburn...not sure what the title is.

Once Sonsearae got home from work she came over and before we knew it, we were on our way to Corky Bells in Palatka!  We had discussed it yesterday but we didn't know for sure if we'd go today or next weekend.

Jim drove and while it's a long drive it's worth it for the food.  When we in Welaka last year this was our favorite's always about the food!

There were five of us for dinner.  Chris' best friend Jeff joined us.  Good time and good eats!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Eucalyptus Dryer Sheets

We had a lazy morning and after lunch Sonsearae and I went to a farmers market in Live Oak.  Any time spent with my daughter is fun.  The farmers market wasn't all that big, but it is November!  I bought some radishes and green bell peppers.  We made a couple of stops, mostly to look and check out some stores.  

We finally got official word this afternoon of Chris' promotion to Warden at a facility south of here.  We've known about it for a few weeks  but now we can let others know about it.  We're very proud of him and know he will do a superb job!

Once home the three of us enjoyed coffee, then later we had a dinner of a big garden salad.

This DIY project may take a little of your time to make, but try it, you might like saving money!

Eucalyptus Dryer Sheets

Cotton cloths
1/2 cup white vinegar
5-10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
airtight container

Cut cotton cloths such as old dishtowels or t-shirts into small don't need many

Place in airtight container

Mix the vinegar and oil, then pour into container so the cloths are wet

To use, remove a cloth squeezing out the excess moisture.  Place in dryer

When dry,place cloth back in container for future use

If you do decide to try this, let me know how you like it.  I'm sure other oils could be used, it just depends on what your preference is

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cold Weather and medical stuff

Sometimes I forget it's November.  Then I see a weather report or see posts on Facebook showing snow and folks talking about cold temperatures.  We've been enjoying very mild weather, daytime temperatures in the 70's and overnight in the 50's.  Tomorrow that will change, about 5 degrees lower.   Nothing to complain about here!

I surprised Jim today and showed up at the hospital mid morning.  I brought him coffee from home and he enjoyed that!  Before lunch his doctor came in and said he could go home.  Of course getting released took a wee bit longer and he ended up eating another yummy hospital meal.  I went to the cafeteria and got some hummus and pita chips.  

He has to continue with an antibiotic for a couple weeks and see the doctor in about ten days.  Hopefully all this attention on his leg will have good results and he'll get back to normal.  We're both pleased that he doesn't need any surgery on the wound.  

This evening to celebrate his release we had dinner at Ruby Tuesday.  Sonsearae joined us and we had a decent meal.  Jim had steak and lobster along with zucchini and fries.....I think his hospital meals were lacking in flavor!  I had fish tacos and Sonsearae had popcorn shrimp.

It's good to have him home...things will get back to normal around here in no time at all...

What are you reading?  Any good books?  I'm still plowing through my magazines

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Where were you a year ago?

We were in Welaka Florida enjoying the mild temperatures.  I was also getting my eyes fixed!  I had some blurriness (clouds or big floaters) that was zapped and viola!  clear vision.  Anyway you can read about it here.  I can't be positive, but I think this was the last time we rode our trikes...

Jim is in hospital, been there about 24 hours and he won't get to come home until tomorrow.  The area where they harvested the veins for his bypass is still an open wound and the internist thought it should be seen by a surgeon.  Couldn't get into his office for 2-3 weeks so the internist admitted him so he could be seen by the surgeon on hospital rounds!

Anyhoo, there was an infection and he was given a broad spectrum antibiotic yesterday.  Found out this afternoon that the antibiotic will be given today and again tomorrow, at which time he'll be released.

Mostly Jim is just laying around wanting to come home.  Can't say I blame him.  He has his phone, iPad and a book.  But the inactivity is probably driving him crazy.

While some of the country is enduring snow and cold temperatures we've been having wonderful mid seventy days and at night somewhere in the 50's.  My kind of winter!  The forecast says we're getting a couple degrees cooler the next few days

With Jim not here I have control of the remote and what to watch on TV!  Tonight I'm watching PBS, Leave it to Beavers.  It's a rerun but it's fascinating!  Hunted to near extinction they're making a comeback and we're learning how necessary they are to the overall scheme of things.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day

Veterans Day originated on Nov. 11. 1919 and was known as Armistice Day.  
It became a national holiday in 1938.  
In 1954, President Eisenhower changed the name to Veterans Day, paying tribute to all veterans - living or dead, and giving thanks to those who so honorably served.

TODAY there are 23.2 million military veterans living in the US.
-9.2 million are over the age of 65.  -1.8 million are women.

The Veterans in our family enjoyed a free meal at Olive Garden today.  There were seven of us at the table.  Sonsearae, Chris, Jim, myself and Pam, her daughter (Heather I think) and a friend.  I'm awful with names!  

A lot of conversation, wine and good food were enjoyed by all.  We even brought some food home.

While there, Jim got the call we were waiting for.  Everything was all set for him to be admitted at the hospital.  The area in his calf where they removed veins for his bypass is not healing as it should.  Mostly he has a hole that seeps.  We think it wasn't closed properly and it needs help!  

Getting it repaired is an outpatient procedure but the doctor couldn't see him in office for a couple of they admitted him!  There is an infection so he's on antibiotics.  A couple more tests are needed but hopefully tomorrow they'll do whatever is needed to close this 'hole'.

So my Veteran is sleeping in a hospital tonight.  I miss him.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Our weekend

Weather wise the weekend was beautiful.  Mild temperature during the day and cool nights for sleeping.  Just the way I like it.

On Saturday Sonsearae had to work a couple hours and Chris drove Holly to the airport in Jacksonville.  We pretty much had the morning to ourselves.  When Sonsearae got home I didn't even go say hi, I figured she and Chris could use some alone time.

Not sure what Jim and I was just a lazy Saturday with just the normal chores.

Jim hasn't been sleeping well so I let him sleep in this morning.  I dressed and was out the door for a quick walk.  The purple finches were out in force and flitted from one side of the road to the other.

Of course Sunday's are for football and we spent part of the afternoon with Sonsearae and Chris.  Unfortunately the Saints lost.  But our tailgate party was good.  Jim grilled some burgers that we ate along with some waffle fries, bean dips and all the condiments you need for burgers.

Not sure what to call this photo...I just thought it was pretty.  Just some grasses in the ditch.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fun, Busy Day

Turned out to be an interesting  day!  I took a recipe (just ingredients) over to show Sonsearae and we determined we had the all ingredients to make it.  Next to print it!  Because it was a Kindle cookbook I couldn't copy and paste or right click and we did a screen shot from the phone and I sent it via text but that didn't work as we wanted.  For some reason it printed it weirdly.  So we sent it via email and that worked.  This took about an hour to figure out.  

She already had chili cooking for the cook off later and she needed to bake a cheesecake.  While she got that going Holly and I started prepping the food for Tortilla Azteca-Mexican Lasagna from Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook.  Delicious!  It sure makes a lot and Jim didn't care for it so I probably won't make it again.

I stripped the bed and did laundry.  After lunch I napped. Jim did the dreaded black tank.  

Jim will head to the hospital again Tuesday to have a procedure on his leg.  Apparently it's not healing as well as it should and they need to 'play' with it.  Not sure what all will be done, I just hope this helps with the healing and closing up of the hole in his leg.

Around 1700 we headed over to The Columbia Correctional Institution where Chris is the Assistant Warden.  Jim, myself and Holly are the judges for the chili cook-off!  We sampled our way through 9 pots of chili and the winner was a guy from Houston Texas! Then everyone joined us and chili along with cornbread was enjoyed by all.  Meanwhile outside the corn hole competition started and continued into the evening.

We left after Jim had eaten his fill.  Sonsearae and Holly returned home while we went to Verizon to get new phones.  Apparently you can upgrade to a Droid Turbo at no additional cost to your monthly plan.  Now we have the fun of upgrading and installing and playing!

A Fun, Busy Day!

Sugar scrubs are a great way to exfoliate and soften your skin and can easily be customized using different types of sugar, salt, oil, and essential oil. This  sugar scrub using Autumnal oils is gentle on your skin and has a delicious spicy fall aroma. This scrub is naturally white in color but can be glammed-up with some natural, skin-safe, food coloring. 

What You Need:

3/4 cup white sugar (you can also use brown sugar or sea salt)
1/2 cup  Coconut Oil (you could also use almond oil, grapeseed oil, or olive oil)
4 drops Cassia essential oil 
4 drops Clove essential oil 
4 drops Ginger essential oil

1. Combine sugar and  Coconut Oil into a bowl.

2. Add essential oils.

3.  Stir until the mixture is the consistency of a slushy. You may need to add more sugar or Coconut Oil for desired consistency. 
If you want to add color, now is the time. For separate colors, divide scrub into bowls depending on how many colors you want. If you want three colors, divide into three bowls. Color as desired and carefully pour on top of each layer. 

4.  Add to an air-tight container. You’re done! Use 1-2 times a week on hands, feet, legs, or arms.

Make this for yourself, you deserve it! This could also be given as gifts.  Pick up some jars at a craft store, add a label and some ribbon.  Viola!  No wrapping required.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What are you reading?

I have a confession to make.  Last week I lost my iPad and I haven't been reading much of anything.  I can access my books on the laptop or my phone and I've been looking at my cookbooks.  But I haven't been reading as much as I used to.

Except for magazines.  I have a stack of back issues.  Some I subscribe to and some that Sonsearae shares with me.

These are my current reads.  I love the magazines from Stampington and I spend hours pouring over each story and layout.  The magazines are very beautiful and printed on quality paper

So what are you reading?  Any good books?  

Sonsearae and Holly returned home tonight from their Disney excursion. It's wonderful to see how much they care for one another.  They've been friends for 30 years.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Where were you a year ago?

We were in Welaka.  Read what we were doing, it's all about the food!

Since then many miles have been traveled, all of them enjoyable. One thing is certain, no matter where we go we still want to travel!  So many places we haven't seen.

We didn't have a lot of sunshine this morning but the sky was pretty.  This is our view out our back window.

I went for a walk this morning and I actually remembered to take my camera.  I saw a shrike and a couple killdeer.  They weren't posing so no pictures.  But I did find what was probably breakfast for a hawk, not much left but the feathers

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

There's No Place Like Home

Beautiful day here.  Mid 70's and we both spent time outdoors.  Jim did more setting up chores and cleaned the inside of the truck.

I re-potted my lettuce and herbs so I have my garden and the mini mingos seem to like it

Sonsearae went to Disney World today.  Her best friend Holly flew in last night.  Today is Holly's birthday so the ladies are living it up!

Chris and Sonsearae have graciously opened their hearts and invited us to stay here.  Almost hourly I can feel my body relaxing.  Even Jim slept better last night

There's no place like home

Monday, November 3, 2014

Look what I found!

Last night it got really chilly!  There was frost on the truck when I could finally see it.   But the day warmed up and Jim worked outside most of the day...except when we were shopping.

Jim and I were both busy today getting all set up and making things neat and tidy.  We needed supplies from Home Depot, Walmart, Ace hardware store and Camping World.

I found these Mini Mingos at Camping World...They're munching on my lettuce.

What did you discover today?  Anything different in your world?

We Made It!

Our journey to Florida has ended.

We left Camp Lake Jasper around 0930 Sunday morning under a cold clear sky.  Beautiful day to travel and our destination made us want to drive faster, but we didn't.

Georgia Highway Patrol was visible almost the whole way on I-95 through that lovely state.  It may have had something to do with the Florida Georgia game in Jacksonville...which the Gators won!  Chomp Chomp

We made one stop for lunch and crossed into Florida around noon and arrived at Sonsearae and Chris' house at 1315.  They were outside to greet us!  No band, which was disappointing  :-(

They showed us where to park and all the necessary hookups.  We backed into the yard and determined that we were sinking to much to try and set up there.  So we commandeered a part of their driveway and set up on a cement pad!  They have a long driveway and the section we're on is the turnaround part.  I'll eventually get pictures posted.  We have some tweaking to do so we can make all neat and tidy but it can wait until the temperature rises a bit.

Once we got the rig set up enough we followed them into the house to watch football.  They have NFL Sunday ticket and that is something I'd like to have!  We enjoyed a cold beer and just relaxed.

Sonsearae fixed dinner for us, chili con carne for the guys and meatless chili for we ladies. Cornbread too!

After dinner we came home and just collapsed.  Showers were taken, a couple chores were done, some internet time and we went to bed around 2100.

It's good to be home for awhile!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Yucky Day

Wind and spitting rain with overcast skies....Yuck.  And we had to go out and brave the cold temperature to get fuel and a few groceries.  Once again we paid $3.39 for diesel!

When we got home I realized I didn't have my we drove back to the store and one turned it in.  I  left my information and so far no calls.  Yuck!

Then my sister Roxann called informing me that my brother's body had been found.  He's been missing and left a note.  Yuck!

The wind has abated a bit, the skies have cleared and we have a lovely sunset.  But it's still chilly out there

And on that note I'll remind you all to set your clocks back and check your smoke alarms

I Goofed!

Apparently I hit publish instead of save on that last blog.  Chock it up to being tired.

During this past week of being on the road and specifically I-95 we've seen a lot of RV'ers heading south!  Maine, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Vermont tags.  Quite a few from Quebec and Ontario too.  Even cars from these states and provinces all heading to the warmth of the south.  I'm sure Florida is the destination for most of them.

After we got south of Interstates 20 and 26 the traffic got heavier.  We had slow downs and a lot of lane changes.  Everyone leap frogging the rigs and semis.  We usually travel at 60 mph so everyone is passing us!  We just wave and read the license plates.  One rest stop had eleven rigs and only one 18 wheeler in the truck parking lot.  Usually it's the other way around.  We pull in amongst all the noisy, smelly 18 wheelers and try to walk Boo to the nearest spot of grass.  Our little dog doesn't like all that noise and I don't like the fumes.

Camp Lake Jasper is a fairly new campground and according to their website 'the Gateway to Hilton Head Island'.  The water pressure is divine!  The main roads are paved and it looks like they were going to build houses here.  The land is higher than the road and even though we have a pull through it's a bit wonky. You pull onto a dirt road and exit downhill over a curb to get out of the site.  I guess I should take a picture.  You can easily get to Savannah and Beaufort from here. We wanted to stay at Paris Island Marine Corps Base but they didn't have any available spots.  I guess there was a graduation on Friday.

I wanted to have a low country boil but all the good seafood restaurants were to far away so we'll save that for another visit.  We were both hungry and we picked a pizza place for dinner.  The Upper Crust has tasty pizza but the crust was a bit soggy for us.  We started with bruschetta that was excellent!  Of course we both had a draft beer and we brought pizza home.

No TV because we didn't set up the dish.  We sat and played games or read most of the evening and went to bed around 2130.

One more night here.  On Sunday we travel to Lake City Florida