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Sunday, January 17, 2021


It's getting to be that time of year again. The time that you need to warm up when it's dinner time. We have soup/chili a couple times a week in the winter. Soup and a nice piece (or many pieces) of chewy French bread with butter is a favorite. Tonight, we made Chicken Corn Chowder, It did not disappoint. The recipe is a tweaked recipe from a lady who used to attend our church. I hope you enjoy!

CHICKEN CORN CHOWDER - Feeds 4 but can be easily doubled

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons finely diced celery
2 tablespoons finely diced onion
1 package frozen whole kernel corn (10 oz.) or one can of whole corn (I also like to add a can or creamed corn) 

 1 cup peeled, diced, 1/2" raw potatoes

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons flour
cups milk
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced

1. Heat oil in medium saucepan.

2. Add celery and onion and sauté until celery and onion are tender.

3. Add corn, potatoes, water, and seasonings. 

4. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium; cook, covered, about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

5. Place 1/2 cup milk in a glass and the 2 tablespoons of flour. Stir until dissolved. 

6. Slowly add to cooked vegetables. Then stir in remaining milk.

7. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. 

It is a pretty quick and easy recipe. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, December 7, 2020

2nd Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookie Contest

Last year we started an 'Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookie Contest' at the house. Little did we know this year would have a pandemic! But we decided to do it anyway. I let the attendees know there wouldn't be any judgement if they wore a mask at the party. We had 14 attend. Young and old!

We finished the big part of the dining room renovation on Saturday. Cleaned up the dining room, cleaned up my horribly messy craft room and picked up the living room. I made 24 sweater sugar cookies for Sunday's contest. And - because I added a cookie exchange this year - made a batch of cherry icebox cookies and chocolate crinkle cookies. 

The party is only about 2 hours long, but it gives us a chance to get together with friends from church in a non-church setting. The people from church that come are choir (vocal and bell) members, worker bees who decorate, etc. There are some other friends there, but the main group is from church. This year, my son (Evan) brought his girlfriend and her brother and sister. Her brother who is 12 years old won the Ugliest Cookie! He was excited even though the prize was a candle and hand sanitizer. Aren't kids what Christmas is about anyway? The adults were thrilled for him!

Below are pictures of the ugly cookies and some friends who attended. The last pic is of me and my sister, Barbara Harmer. She lives with us and it's great having her here!

Just so you know - #2 was the WINNER! Or is it really the loser? 😆

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Christmas Time!

 I love Pinterest all the time. But before a holiday - especially Christmas - it gives me so many ideas! I have over 10,000 pins. Not like I will do all these in my lifetime. I have a private Bridal board in case my daughter, Audrey, ever meets Mr. Right. I have many recipes - which I separate out by Instant Pot, Cookies, Desserts, Meats, Vegetables, etc. Then there are the crafts. Oh so many crafts! Christmas, Easter, wood crafts.....

Wood crafts seems to be a new thing for me and my husband, Bob. He had forgotten how much he loves doing projects until he built a shed in the backyard with his own plans. I've had him make 6 plant holders (one for me and some for my friends).

I saw these wooden 'presents' on Pinterest last week. The link lead me to Etsy where I could buy them - for $57! YIKES! Let me tell you, I am close to retirement and getting cheaper by the day. No way would I spend $57 on these.

I asked Bob if we had any spare wood pieces for him to cut for me. Yes, we did! I gave him the measurements and in about 1/2 hour, the pieces were cut. Being a big crafter, I had the paint, ribbon and bells on hand. I had to go to Hobby Lobby to get 3 greenery picks. They were $1 each. I now have presents (I did mine in red with gold ribbon) for the total cost of $3! They're not perfect, but we love them on the mantel. 

Tis the season to get crafty! Remember, nothing in life if perfect! Be proud of what you make. Now I need to finish making my Christmas cards, make cookies for an exchange at my house Sunday and get ready for the '2nd Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookie Decorating Contest' also at my house on Sunday. 

Until next time, enjoy the holidays. Slow down and enjoy your family. Try to do something for a stranger!

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Making Something Old New Again

Is there anyone out there that is as obsessed with HGTV's Home Town series? It takes place in Laurel Mississippi; Ben and Erin Napier renovate old homes after someone buys them. Some are fairly cheap. They do an awesome job on the houses. 

Thirty-five years ago, my husband and I moved to South Carolina. We didn't have family here, but we did have another couple we were close to here. Neither of us have looked back at all. Even though we miss our family in Ohio and Pennsylvania, we do not miss the weather. And we would have never blossomed as we did here. 

Why am I telling this story? March 2019, my little sister, Barbara, moved to South Carolina! She has been living with us while working on a house she bought in the Hyatt Park area in Columbia. The house was empty for 18 years. She won a bid on the house. 

It has been a family affair working on the house. Bob helped her get the outside done He has helped with the inside, but not as much as he would like. She is getting down to the wire and should be moving into the house in 2-3 months. My son, Evan, poured a cement sidewalk. Every time any of us are there working on it, someone stops and asks us if she is going to rent it, or sell it. She's even gotten post cards and phone calls about it.

The outside is AMAZING! The first picture is what it looked like when she bought it, the 2nd picture (blue paint) is what is looks like now.

As soon as the interior is completed, I'll post pictures. This is what it looked like when she bought it. She has taken down walls, moved walls, taken down all the drywall. Yes - I said SHE! The only thing someone has done for her is the electrical. She is having a plumber redoing the plumbing and the roof is being redone. I know when I post the finished interior, you will be blown away! She is so good at renovating homes! 

Obviously this is the bathroom. YUCK!

This one we call (you'll be surprised) the green room! LOL! The wall is down and it now opens into the kitchen.


The kitchen. The old cabinets are going away, the wallpaper too.

This will be the master bedroom. The wall has been moved a few feet. I love all the windows. Which have all been replaced!

This is the guest room. 

Luckily, Barbara works for Lowes so the can find items (like tile) on sale before it's all picked over. I am so excited she is here and she's going to have such a cute little house for herself!

Stay tuned for the finished home!

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Trying a New Recipe

My husband and I try to make something new every week. Last week, it was rutabagas grilled, which were delish! I had never had a rutabaga before. Bob makes almost everything on his Traeger Grill. We swear he loves it more than he loves us. For Father's Day, he wanted a canopy for over the grill (which he got). AND he rubs it down with olive oil after it cools down. 

Tonight, we decided to try a Mexican Lasagna. We couldn't find the recipe we looked at on Pinterest, so we did our own thing. It was very good and not a drop was left!

Mexican Lasagna

1 pound of hamburger or ground turkey
1 can of El Paso Refried Beans
1 envelop of El Paso Taco Seasoning
4 large soft flour tortilla shells
8 oz. of Mexican shredded cheese
White queso dip
Black Olives
Pace Picante Sauce
Sour cream (individual adds)
Guacamole (individual adds)

Brown hamburger/turkey in skillet. Add the taco seasoning, then the refried beans. In a round dish (that can go in the oven) put a tortilla shell on the bottom. Layer the meat/bean mixture, then shredded cheese and picante sauce. Make 4 layers. On the top layer, we used some white queso dip and more shredded cheese. Oh! And black olives.

Bake at APT (all purpose temperature 😀) 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces. Top with sour cream and guacamole (if you would like). Enjoy!!!

We had tortilla chips to 'clean up' our plates. We had enough for 5 of us with this recipe. One was a 21 year old man, too! 

The recipe is not an expensive one to make. It was quick and easy to make and to clean up after!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Busy Week - Working Mom, At Home and At my other Job

Happy Wednesday night! I hope everyone is having a great week!

Tuesday I decided to go to the Social Security Office - - at lunch! WHAT WAS I THINKING? I couldn't find a close parking space. Then when I went through the metal detector, my artificial knee set it off. I had to go to the side and get 'wanded' - my body and my shoes. Get into the office and it was PACKED! I was surprised to get out in an hour. Now I'll get my South Carolina Real ID as soon as my card comes in.

The rest of the story - when i get back to work, my son, Evan, calls me. He wanted to know if I was still downtown. That's a big negative. He said his attorney called and his worker's comp check was ready. (Side note - he was hit by an old man who didn't stop. The old man didn't get a ticket or fined even though he left the scene. Crazy, but true!). So back downtown I go to the attorney's office. I get there and the office is right around the corner from the Social Security Office. Figures, right? And guess what - the check was not ready. But I did get to leave work early. Always a silver lining!

This week I've been quilting and embroidering like crazy! My daughter and her coworker wanted the logo for the company she works for (Northeast Trophy and Engraving) put on a jacket. I did 2 of them. Now the entire office wants a jacket. I'm continuing the work on the rag quilt. This is going so slow! I guess because I have so many other projects, too. And finally, a friend at church wanted me to put monograms on 10 jackets for her daughter's dance group.  Pictures of all are below:

 Hopefully I'll get the quilt done this weekend and can post it.

Have a great rest of your week! Be kind to others!

Friday, January 31, 2020

Scrapbook and Stamp Stores

I wish Columbia, SC could keep a descent scrapbook and/or rubber stamp store open. We've had several great ones but they have all closed. I recently stumbled upon Buffalo Stamps and Stuff - thanks to Pinterest. There have some beautiful work on their blog ( They have some great classes too. HOWEVER, they are in Buffalo New York. 

I'm willing to travel to the upstate for Scrapbook Creations ( or Myrtle Beach to Scrapbooks by the Sea ( Both are around 2 hours from me. I've heard the store in Florence, Crazy For Scrapbooks ( is pretty good. Has anyone been there? How about Magnolia's Scrapbook Shop in North Charleston ( 

I really want to take a Copic Markers class, but not sure I want to drive to the beach or upstate. I'm watching to see if Crazy For Scrapbooks offers one. 

If you know of a place or person in the Columbia area that offers a class, please let me know!