Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Curbing a cough (WFMW)

Lately, I’ve been battling a sore throat, a remnant of that lingering cold I’d been dealing with. I’m not much for taking meds, so I tend to lean towards more natural remedies, or something that is easily accessible.

With that in mind, I’ve found that taking a teaspoon of honey just before bed can help ease the discomfort of a sore throat, and suppress that urge to cough (and cough, and cough.). Dissolving 1 Tblsp. Honey and 1 Tblsp. Lemon juice in warm water and sipping that, can also help to suppress a cough from a cold. Plus, its good FOR you, as honey is composed primarily of carbohydrates and water, but it also contains a wide array of vitamins and minerals, including niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. (Just remember, honey should NOT be given to children under 2 years of age)

Hey – it works for me!

(What works for *you*??)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

piled high (Tackle-it Tuesday)

This week's Tackle-it Tuesday is an easy yet dreaded one for me: Laundry.
This is one of my least favorite chores around the house, and having been 'under the weather' for(ever) weeks, I had let it get a bit out of control. is the day for catching up with it, and since its a beautiful 78 degrees outside, the clothes are getting line dried in December!! (Gotta luv winter in Florida!) No photos this week because (1) I am *not* posting pics of my dirty laundry, and (2) even if I *would*, I can't, as I'm still having camera difficulties...maybe next time.

Thanks for droppin' in - now, go Tackle something!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

WFMW: "What do I fix?" edition

This week, Shannon over at Rocks In My Dryer has a themed edition for Works-for-me Wednesday, and has asked everyone to contribute their quick-and-easy, go-to meals that they keep on hand ...

Well, since that pretty much is the definition of my day-to-day cooking - quick, easy, tasty - I wanted to share a few of my favorites ;

Oven-baked pork chops

4 pork chops
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/3 c. bread crumbs
1 egg

Combine soup mix & bread crumbs in a shallow dish
Dip chops, first into the egg, then into crumb mixture
Place on cookie sheet; bake @ 400* for 20 minutes

Easy Enchiladas

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onions
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes & chilis
shredded cheddar cheese
tortillas (6)

Brown ground beef & onions; drain
Add soup and Ro-Tel; heat until hot (5 min??)
Spoon meat mixture into tortillas & roll; place in baking dish
Top with remaining meat mixture & cheese
Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes @ 350*

Swiss Chicken

3-4 pcs. boneless/skinless chicken
1 can of cream of mushroom soup (can use cream of chicken or cream of brocolli)
1/2 c. milk (I sometimes instead add a can of Ro-Tel, but omit the milk - this gives it more of a "kick")
3-4 slices of swiss cheese
1/2 c. bread crumbs

Place chicken pieces in baking dish
Mix milk & soup and pour over chicken
Place cheese slices over the top (be sure cheese covers entire dish); sprinkle with bread crumbs
Bake at 350* for 45-50 minutes.

Spicy Shrimp

1 tblsp. butter
1 lb. shrimp (peeled/deveined)
1/4 c. green peppers, chopped
1/4 c. green onions, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
cayenne pepper, to taste
paprika, to taste

(serve over rice)

Heat butter in skillet; add pepper & onion and cook until tender.
Add shrimp and cook 5 minutes more (until shrimp is pink/cooked)
Add soup, water (as soup dictates) and cayenne pepper & heat through.
Top with paprika.

mmmm....or, you could do what we will here in paradise tonite, and just throw a couple steaks, some zucchini and tomatoes on the grill, and call THAT dinner!!

So....what do *you* fix?? Hop on over to Rocks In My Dryer and share it there!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Easy Holiday Favorites (WFMW)

Okay, so tommorrow's the big feasting day (Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!) so for *my* works-for-me Wednesday post, I want to share an oh-so-easy recipe for cranberry sauce. Well...its not so much a *recipe* as it is *instructions* ...but, I promise, if you try this once, you will never want cranberries-in-a-can ever again!!

(Grandma's homemade cranberry sauce)
First, rinse your cranberries; remove any that are bruised or rotten.
Pour the cranberries in a pot, and add 1 cup of sugar for every bag of berries (I usually do 2 bags: 1 3/4 c. sugar, but I like mine a bit tart)
Add just enough water to cover the berries, then simmer on stovetop until berries "pop" (about 40 minutes??) *this is a good time to "taste", and add more sugar, if desired, just be sure it all disolves.; remove from heat and "mash" with a potato-masher (leave it 'chucky' tho; you don't want "jelly") and allow to cool; berries will thicken.
Add 1 cup chopped walnuts (or not!) and one can mandarin oranges, drained. (again, you can omit these as well, but I highly recommend them.). Transfer to bowl, Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Oh....and one more of my favorite quick-and-easy and oh! So good! holiday favorites:

(Grandma's Sunshine Salad)
Combine 1 med. size can of (drained) pineapple chunks, 2 small cans (drained) mandarin orange slices,1/2 jar (5oz.) maraschino cherries (drained & halved), 2 cups mini marshmellows, 1/2 cup crushed walnuts, 1/2 cup shredded coconut and 1 cup of sour cream. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate several hours before serving.

mmmm...these recipes "work for me"; go on over to Rocks in my Dryer for lots of other great ideas & tips...see what works for YOU!!

Have a great holiday weekend, everyone!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

...Or, not (Tackle-it Tuesday)

Man! I feel like such a slacker!! Here it is, only my second week of participation, and already I'm "behind" (ahh...such is my life) This week's "tackle" was supposed to be my kitchen pantry, but I've been feeling so crappy all week, I didn't feel up to taking that project on....

I'm lucky that my tackles included doing supper dishes, and making the bed. Until I shake this cold, I'm afraid that's all the effort I'm willing to expend.
Rest assured, tho, the pantry's day-of-reckoning is on the near horizon...maybe this week?

So...what are *you* tackling this week?

Be sure to stop by 5 minutes for mom, and see what all the other TTer's are tackling, too!!

May all your tackles be productive ones.....

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Still tackling...

Wanna see my new plasticware storage drawer? :

(cut me some slack on the pic; its from the phone, remember?!)

Stand-by; I believe next week's "Tackle-it Tuesday" will be all about the kitchen pantry...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Jumping in! (Tackle-It-Tuesday)

I've been reading 5 Minutes for Mom's "Tackle-it Tuesday" for quite some time, and with the new year upon us (Blessed Samhain to you all!), I thought this would be a good time to jump on in & participate my own self! I'm hoping that by posting 'regular' updates here I can generate the added motivation that I need to get'er done. So, without further adeiu;

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

My first tackle, while rather small, was my kitchen catch-all drawers - well, ALL (7) of my kitchen drawers, really, but that was the worst of them. I also removed all of our plasticware from the pantry shelf (I was tired of them all falling on my head when I went to retrieve one!)and put that all in the bottom drawer, which is *much* better!!



I DO have before/after pics, but unfortunately, I will have to add them here later today, as they are on my cell phone (remember, Murphy-mouth ate my camera? Well, we have replaced it, however the USB cord wasn't included, so I've had to order one from the manufacturer) and right now, I don't have the minutes to download them!...If it ain't one thing, its another, huh?! (pics added 11/07)

ANYWAY.....We also (finally!!) purchased new hardware for the kitchen cabinets as well - and the pantry door - which I plan to "tackle" today, and I will post those pics, too. (I DID, in fact, add the new pulls in the kitchen, but I can't get a pic to show them at all! Maybe another time)

...In the meantime, I hope all *YOUR* tackles are productive!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

An uncracked stovetop

We finally replaced our flattop range! We had been living with ours having a huge crack straight through one of the burners (how that crack GOT there is a story I'll forego here, as I try not to say mean & nasty things about the mister when he's not around for me to rage on in person!), because trying to replace just the glass top was almost just as expensive as relacing the whole, the cheap thrifty sort of folks that we are, we drug our feet procrastinated shopped around until we found a good deal...

Not only did we get a flattop range, but we also replaced our top-freezer fridge with a side-by-side. As you can see, (BTW, pls excuse the photo image, as Murphy jaws-of-steel ATE our digital, so the only 'camera' I have currently is my phone!)
The stove is black and the fridge is white, so they don't neccessarily "match", but that really doesn't bother me, so I'm okay with that.
Now, the thing is to get the fridge from the dining room into the kitchen, where it belongs!

Monday, October 15, 2007

A touch of color

The only thing currently 'blooming' in our yard

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

WFMW: Backwards Edition

This week, they're doin' things a little different at Rocks In My Dryer, and today's Works for Me Wednesday is giving the participants a chance to ask "what works for YOU?", in hopes that we can perhaps get some solutions for our own pesky little problems around the house. first question posed to all of you is: Where do you store your bread??

I have a rather small galley kitchen, which gives me very little cabinet and counterspace, so a breadbox takes up too much prime real estate, and I don't like to store my bread in the fridge, because...well, because I don't like cold, hard bread. Currently, the breadbox is stored in the pantry, but again, the space it takes could be better utilized for canned & dry goods. So, tell me; Where do you keep *your* bread??

Another conundrum here in paradise: Where do you keep the pet supplies, specifically, leads, toys and treats? The leads currently hang from a hook next to the kitchen door (where we take them outside), and that's acceptable for me, but what about the balls, and bones, and socks, and stuff?? What's the best way to keep them accessible to the hounds, but not strung all over every floor in the house? Is that even possible, or am I a dreamer?? What about treats?? How and where do you store them?

Please do leave me any comments, tips, or distractions that address these problems for you...and while you're at it, why not post a question of your own...who knows? You just might get a solution!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Weekend Plans

Well, we had some serious rain & wind at the beach for the past couple of days, and alas, it looks as tho all our yard work was for naught...

...It doesn't look like Schnookums minds a few twigs, tho!

Anyway...with all the heavy winds, alot of my potted tropicals were blown over, and as you can see, we have small branches, twigs and bundles of tree moss littering the entire yard. I've uprighted all the plants, but its still a mess out there - well, at least now I have *some* plans for the weekend!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Garden Flour (WFMW)

Like I said, this past weekend we trimmed all the oak trees on the property of their damaged and low hanging branches, and that gave us a huge pile of wood to dispose of.. what to do with allll that debris?!

Well, yesterday the mister brought home a little electric woodchipper that he has borrowed from a workmate, so that we might convert our big pile of branches and twigs into a more usable pile of wood mulch with which to create the two garden islands I envision in our backyard...

Now, *I* know where I want these islands, and *I* know what I want them to look like when they're finished...but how will *he* know where I want him to deposit the mulch he's created?? Well....I've decided to mark where I want the borders of the islands to be with a line of white flour that I can secure from the kitchen pantry. Non-toxic, environmentally friendly, the 'chalk-line' will be easily visible and easy to visually 'correct' the shape I want to achieve. Plus, its a thrifty fix, and readily available so I might actually get it done today!!

That Works For Me!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Weekend Gardening

The weather we had here at the beach over the last weekend was beautiful; perfect for dinners on the patio and reading on the porch. Not so condusive to completing indoor projects, but the slight respite from the 90-degree temps. was perfect for completing some long put-off yard chores that were overdue for tackling!

Sunday afternoon (after watching my team lose their opening game at home) the mister and I spent trimming, sawing, cutting and removing much of the overgrowth that was threatening to engulf us if we didn't soon take action:

I trimmed up all the errant tendrils on our jasmine trellis, and the mister trimmed back all the dead and hanging branches from large oak trees....

we trimmed up the banana trees, and the hybiscus bushes;
I had to tie up my tall blue flowers (anybody know what they are?)

We transplanted some century plant runners to a better spot, moved several potted palms to better, sunnnier locations, and we even cleaned off the driveway!!

All in all, I'd say that was a pretty productive afternoon! If the weather continues to cooperate, the plan is to finish the front area this week including; sweeping the front porch, pressure-washing the patio, re-place all the potted plants & furniture to the patio, rake out the walking path along the side of the house that leads to the bench (must replace wood slats; two have rotted thru), transplant overgrown ginger (??) and ferns (where?!)...

And....I think that's probably a lofty enough goal for one week!

Gardens are not made by sitting in the shade. ~Rudyard Kipling

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

WFMW : Brand-Loyalty edition (and, my 1st)

Okay….so, have you checked out Rocks in My Dryer? Every week Shannon hosts the “Works for Me Wednesday” blog carnival, where bloggers post helpful household tips that they find useful. I’ve been clicking around over there for weeks now, and have found all SORTS of good stuff – I’m talkin’ everything from recipes to how to store your paint rollers; cleaning tips, cooking secrets, arts & craft projects….I’ve picked out lots of useful info, but I’ve never played along. Until today.

See, today is the Brand-Loyalty Edition of WFMW. Today, the object is to post about the brands that have our loyalty, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to jump right in! And, after much thought and consideration, I realize I’m just not a very “loyal consumer”; I’m a cheap thrifty shopper, and I find that with most things I’m happy with a generic/store brand, or even a home-spun solution. But, there are a few brand-name products that I am loyal to:

~Dawn dishwashing foam; We do have a dishwasher, but I think in the 10 years we’ve lived here, I may have used it a half-dozen times. With just me and the mister, I’ve always done the dishes by hand, and have used Dawn liquid for as long as I can remember. The new dishwashing foam, tho, is absolutely wonderful!! Just one pump onto a damp sponge and you can wash an entire sinkful of dishes, so the bottle lasts forever!! Luv it! Luv it!!

And, speaking of wonderful …I love Clorox Oxi-Magic multi-purpose spray. I have a ceramic tile & grout kitchen countertop, and this is the best product I’ve found to remove the stains, rings, and smears without leaving a residue behind. Plus, it smells good!

I absolutely have to have Cottonelle TP; I like that its unscented, that its not too thin or tissue-paper-like, and I especially like that it doesn’t leave lint on my bum! (I hate that!!)

That’s really all I can think of, in terms of non-edible brands – food, now, is a whole different matter, altogether!
We’re die-hard Coca-cola fans in this house, no other cola will do! Then, there’s JIF peanut butter, Heinz ketsup, and Hellmann’s mayonnaise.

Do *you* have brands to which you're loyal? Certain instances where only *that* brand will do? Why not post here and tell me about 'em...heck, why not create a little WFMW post of your own, and head on over to Rocks in my Dryer to play along?!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What a difference a year makes

My fig tree is finally starting to look like a "tree" instead of a small bush. I can't find any pictures of it the first year it was planted, but even *last* year, it was much smaller:

I'm just so pleased!!

(And, Dolby's gotten much larger in the past year, as well...)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Tabletop Wall Clock

Oh...and just so you know, I *did* finally finish the wall clock I was making;

...Only, we've hung it in the living room instead - it's more convenient.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Living Room Walls

LoL...and, here we are literally YEARS later, and not so much more has been accomplished...I had some serious difficulties with this "new" blog set-up; for a while, I couldn't post pics or edit the layout or nuttin'!! (I'm *sure* it was ALLLL me!)

Anyway...I seem to be back in business here, so I thought I'd sorta keep faith with the "old theme" and post some pics of the living room re-do..which we're actually still in the process of...but, you get the idea!! And, without further adeiu:

I started the walls by texturing and painting the top 2/3 identically to the way I finished the dining room walls from floor to ceiling. This was a long, drawn-out, labor intensive endeavor, but the final results (in *my* estimation) is worth the effort!
Then, we purchased 4x8 sheets of finished 1/8" lawan (??), which we cut into 2x2 sections, to be used as diamond-shaped panels to span the lower 1/3 section of the walls (stained alternately in Golden Oak & Cherry), to ultimately create a sort of 'checkerboard' effect:

As you can see, we haven't finished securing all the pieces in place (which is simply liquid-nail and a few well-placed finishing nails), nor have we added the chair-rail. Truth be told, we haven't even finished cutting and staining all the panels, but its coming!! Slowly, but surely, progress is made...