Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Read My Farmer's Almanac

Hi! Nice of you to stop by again~ friends are always welcome! Let me pour you a cup of coffee so we can chat.
Have you looked at the forecast for this growing season in the farmer's Almanac? Brr... It's going to be so rainy and chilly here until May, I may need to chop more firewood! And we'll have to be cautious not to plant too soon~ it's so easy to get carried away and lose it all to frost.
With all the rain we have coming, I went to town and revamped the drainage ditch. As soon as we get a good heavy rain, we can see how well I did.
Let's wander out side with a fresh cup of coffee and I'll show you what plants are finally coming up...
Watch out for the mud!

Candi's Turn to Bar-B-Que

Sunday was Candace's turn to cook dinner. Although she's not practiced at prepping the b-b-que, she did an efficient job of getting it going.
She cooked chicken thigh quarters and wings as well as bacon, hot dogs, baked potatoes and halved fresh tomatoes.
What a feast we had with enough left over to get us through the week!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

What if We All Cared Enough to Give Great Service?

Once again we have received great service (no, this is not always the case, but I refuse to dwell on those individuals).

On Sunday, 3.29.09, we went to the Golden Coral on Jefferson St in Joliet. The food is always well prepared with lots of choices.

On this visit, our server was Patti. She was perfect in her service. My coffee cup was kept full, dishes were cleared promptly and Candace's Raspberry Tea refilled twice.

Yet Patti managed to check on us and serve us beautifully without interrupting our conversation or even being noticeable.

Kudos Patti, you are a gem!

What if We All Cared Enough to Give Great Service?

Susan at Derald's Flea Market in Joliet gave my son a haircut on Sunday and did a beautiful job!
She listened patiently to which cut he wanted, then she actually gave him the cut he asked for!
As a parent, I truly appreciate a stylist who gives such respect and attention to my child and his opinion.
For a great child's cut (at only $10), see Susan!

Preparing for the Rain

This is a picture of the property that floods mine. All the run-off from the street comes in at their drive and runs down the sidewalk onto my property. This is a huge toxic mess of Antifreeze and motor oil!
The new tenants for the house up the hill have arranged their downspouts to drain onto my property, also, causing my family room to flood. And, because their roof is asphalt shingles, all the rain water collected from it is cancer causing!
Today I re dug the drainage ditch I dug last year and dug an extension to handle the water from the downspouts.
Tomorrow it will rain again.
We'll see what happens then!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dr. Gay M Brunson

Dr. Gay M. Brunson is buried in Oakwood Cemetery w/ his parents Cyrus M. And Plethynia L. Brunson.
Dr. Gay M. Brunson was a native of Lockport, IL, born September 11, 1851 and a dentist inJoliet who lived with his family on Western Ave. in the Cathedral Area.
To learn a bit more about Dr. Gay M. Brunson, check out this site:
www.books.google.com and search for Cyrus Brunson!

What if We Cared Enough to Raise Money?

Please, come to the pancake breakfast at Applebees to help raise money for the mentally ill.
This is a group which is forgotten by so many, yet is so deeply in need of understanding and funding.
Come out to join the pancake breakfast and show your support!
Help change someone's life!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

What if We All Cared Enough to Give Great Service?

Many thanks to Lone at the Walgreens Pharmacy on the North-West corner of Reed St & Jefferson St in Joliet, IL!
As usual we received above standard service at the pharmacy, but Lone went above this stores already high standards and our expectations, and checked us out happily with our 33 items we purchased!
He was also very happy to oblige my 'special needs' eight-year-old and let him check out and pay for his own toys.
I, honestly, have never received such a high level of service anywhere else.
Thank you so very much, Lone, for the way you care for your customers!

Are You Stocked Up On Seeds?

With the economy flipping like it did, it is critical that we are all stocked up on seeds.
These are not necessarily Monsanto-free seeds by any means, but will get our garden in on time this year. We won't have any viable seeds to harvest for next year, but will have a full pantry!
Monsanto seeds are engineered to not produce viable seeds forcing consumers to purchase seeds every year. This also gives Monsanto control over the world's food supply!
As soon as I have some down time, I will go online to the Monsanto-free companies and order sufficient seed to get us through 2+ years. Then we will be able to harvest our own seeds to use year to year.
That's sustainable living and independence!

Pasta Salad w/ Variety

For a quick, yummy change of pace, I popped open a box of Suddenly Salad (Italian style). I'm trying to keep the meals varied so we have a balanced diet, but also need to be able to prepare most meals in a toaster oven or microwave (cooking at work).
To start this meal I browned about 1/4 lb ground beef ( seasoned with garlic & pepper and Greek seasonings) in the toaster oven at 450 degrees.
When it was almost finished, I cooked the noodles in the microwave, drained, rinsed in cool water and drained again.
Then I stirred in the seasoning packets, ground beef and a drained can of green beans.
Topped with a dusting of parmessian cheese, the kids gobbled it up.
Try it yourself and let me know what you think!

What if We Cooked for a Neighbor?

Today Willie Mae cooked breakfast for us 'just because'. We ate Mississippi Sausage, scrambled eggs, salmon patties, rice and garlic toast. She is an amazing cook, so we were stuffed!
Have you ever thought about cooking a meal for a neighbor?
How about inviting someone less fortunate for Easter supper?
What if we all cared enough to bless someone less fortunate over for Easter supper?

Think of the impact!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

"What if We All Cared Revolution"

Thank you so much to Sunny from "Sunny's Place" for the thought about starting a "What if We All Cared Revolution"!!!
So, let's do this...
We can each 'pay it forward' to everyone we see!
I'll admit that there are people who will be a challenge...
These are the ones we'll have to sneak up on...
Open a door unexpectedly..
A simple 'good morning' in the middle of the afternoon...
Sharing a box of chocolates.
Leave me a note about what you are doing and if you can get others to join the "Revolution"!!!

What We're Up To

Well, hello there!
So nice of you to stop by.
Hang your coat on the hook, place your shoes to warm at the fire and visit a while.
We are in our first home almost sixteen months now. It's been a long journey to get into the house... filled with trials and tribulations, but I wouldn't change a thing!
I want to start with a few photos of what our house was like when we bought it and our sometimes slow, but very meaningful process to make it our dream home.
Come back often to visit, chat and follow our progess.
We'll be looking for you!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What Did Your Family Read?

As you wander the cemetery, do you ever wonder who your relatives really were?Quite a lot can be learned from what they liked to read. What books were on their shelves? Who was their favrite author?
Here are a few of the books from Elmer & Ruth Rowley's (my grandparents) book shelves.
~ Gregg Shorthand Dictionary Anniversary Edition by John Robert Gregg, copyright 1930~ owned by Ruth Rowley
~ The Prospector by Ralph Connor, copyright 1904~ owned by Edna W. Rowley
~ The Ideal by Henry Drummond, copyright 1897~ owned by Dr. & Mrs. P. Burke (received as a Christmas present 1898), borowed by Mrs. J. Dale and returned for Mrs. Charles Lyon
~ Penrod by Booth Tarkington, copyright 1914, owned by Elmer Rowley (received December 23, 1923 from Aunt Belle & Family)
~ Opal by Opal Whiteley adapted by Jane Boulton, copyright 1984~ owned by Elmer & Ruth Rowley ( received as a gift from Mira Clapp)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Love Everyone

In a world where everyone seems to just be concerned for their own wellbeing, wouldn't it be nice to see people try to look out for eachother?
What if we all did one nice thing for each person we saw? We could smile as we pass people, say 'hi' or shake a hand.
Imagine if your neighbor raked your leaves to be nice! Or shoveled your snow?
What would happen if you baked a neighbor a cake or pie just because?
If we all change our demeanor just a little, the world will improve a lot!
What will you do?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fresh Guacamole

Wow! This was so delicious! And it was super-fresh.
First I scooped the avacodo out of the peel and into the bowl.
Then I stirred in a forkful of our homemade sofrito and a spoonful of sour cream.
Fresh, yummy and healthy!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Home Canned Sofrito

There is something special about home canned foods.
This is our sofrito. We only have 2 jars left, which brings us to a time to plant to can.
This spring we'll have to plant tomatoes, culantro, cilantro, tomatillos, etc.
Soon we can make more sofrito and be seasoning delicious meals!

Breakfast Bar

I went a little crazy and decided to deep clean the breakfast bar and restock it again.
No, the wine is not for breakfast! Just a place to store it while we redo the house.
It is so nice to have everything conveniently located together~ breakfast runs smoother when you can find things!

Cemetery Under Water Again!

St. Peters Lutheran Cemetery, next to Oakwood Cemetery, in Joliet, was under water for about two weeks now.
Well, it rained hard about two weeks ago and, of course St. Peters flooded as usual. All those graves just sit under water. And the City of Joliet doesn't seem to care. How pathetic!
Stop by this little cemetery on Rt 30 in Joliet, then call City Hall with your opinion. Let's all make a difference together!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Oakwood Cemetery Entrance

This is an historic cemetery on Cass St on the East Side of Joliet. Although this cemetery was started as a final resting place for our founding fathers, it was badly neglected for many years and fell into a state of disrepair.
Recently Chris McCullum took over care of the grounds and has worked wonders with an overall rehab.
Stop by, pay your respects and lend a helping hand!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spaghetti is Ready!

The spaghetti turned out wonderful. Our tummies are so full we can barely walk!

Homemade Spaghetti

Tonight's dinner is a simple meal. While scrounging, I found some grilled garlic and raw onions that seemed to be calling my name. I cut those up in a fry pan in a scoop of lard. Let the sizzling begin!
Then I added enough ground beef for three and set it to simmer slowly. Now I'll add seasonings~ Sazon Goya (cilantro & tomato) and Goya Adobo (without pepper).
Once the beef is fully cooked, I'll add a 15 oz can of tomato sauce and start the noodles.
Homemade spaghetti in no time flat!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A New Warm Shawl

I am thinking ahead to next winter, even as the weather warms. I've wanted a nice shawl for years now and decided to go for it.
This one is almost finished. After I took the picture, I completed most of the edging and will finish it tonight! Meanwhile, I will start another one today.
Think Ahead and Stay Warm!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

No matter what shade of green you are, I'm wishing you all the luck o' the Irish!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cemetery Under Water Again!

St. peters Lutherin Cemetery, next to Oakwood Cemetery, in Joliet, is under water and has been for about two weeks now.
Well, it rained hard about two weeks ago and, of course St. Peters flooded as usual. All those graves just sit under water. And the City of Joliet doesn't seem to care. How pathetic!
Stop by this little cemetery on Rt 30 in Joliet, then call City Hall with your opinion. Let's all make a difference together!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Earning Money at 8 Years Old!

Yes, Matthew is at it again!
But, this time, due to the economy, he made much less money.
Last summer, before everything fell apart, he was earning $.40/lb for all the aluminum scrap he took in.
This time he only earned $.21/lb. And he only received that much because he had 40 lbs!
Had he taken in less than that, he would have only earned $.20/ lb!
Regardless of the economy, though, there is still money to be made for an industrious, hardworking 8 year old guy!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Job-Hunting Protocol (Why Do I Bother ?)

As I was sitting at work contemplating my answering machine and returning phone calls of potential job applicants, I just wanted to pull my hair out!

1. When calling about a job, follow the directions on the answering machine carefully.
2. Do not have inappropriate music for your callers to listen to~ you won't get hired.
3. Make sure your message on your voice mail includes your name, so prospective employers know they've reached you.
4. Don't argue about the job requirements. It really isn't our fault that you are unable to get/ renew a drivers license or maintain a running vehicle.

Why would we hire anyone who doesn't know proper etiquette?

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