Making Jam

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I wanted to make some sugar free jam last summer. The only sugar substitute my natural path doctor gives her seal of approval to is Truvia, so I looked online to find a recipe and found this one. I made raspberry and strawberry and it was SCRUMTRULESCENT!

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Both flavors were good but I decided to make primarily raspberry, because it has always been my favorite!

I waited until raspberries were a dollar a pkg, then I set up shop. Got the jars out of the box in our coat closet and washed them up. Honey had used some to make pickles last year so some pickley lids needed to be swapped out!

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The hardest thing this year was finding the pink box of  no sugar Sure Jell! Meijer did not have it every time I looked and I finally checked Kroger and  there it was! Bought several.

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The girls requested we try some blackberry jam. We squashed those puppies with the potato masher.

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Then the raspberries.

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Stirred the Sure Jell, Truvia and water until boiling.

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Added it to the fruit, poured it into the jars,

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and WA-LAH!!!

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Hopefully that lasts us until next summer when raspberries go back on sale 5 for $5!

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Wednesday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys! Special thanks to Joyce for hosting us all! If you would like to join us, click the button below to head on over to her place and link up,

From this Side of the Pond

1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.

There are a lot of worthy pictures, but a thousand words can give you a much clearer picture of all the circumstances! I have a lot of pictures that I adore, but have forgotten the occasion or situation. But I can read a blog post from 8 years ago and all the memories and feels come flooding back. OR, we could have both!!!
2. Have you ever driven any part of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so what was your favorite stop? If not, is this sort of trip on your bucket list?

Not that I am aware of. I lived in California with my parents for the first years of my life and it’s possible they did some traveling. I looked it up online to see the stops and it looks like a nice, long trip! Honey and I have talked about a trip out west, but I don’t know that this was on it. Never say never!

3. How do the changing seasons affect you? As the seasons change do you find yourself looking more forward or backward? Which season-season transition bothers you most? Why do you suppose that is?

I have lived in Michigan for the majority of my life, and most Michiganders embrace the change. I look forward to the next season mostly, because they all have their charm.

I think fall is my favorite, I love the cooler weather, beautiful trees, fall clothes, and soup! The worst thing about fall is when the temperatures dip and the snow begins to fly, and you know what you are in for the next few months! Winter is usually endured with the knowledge that it never lasts forever.

I know some people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), so winter is difficult for a lot. I just go about my business and stay in when its inhospitable. There is also the usual added bonus of a trip down south in February or March 🙂 to make it more bearable.  The other upsides to winter are cocooning at home, many cups of tea, snuggly blankets, a break from my walking season, and the holidays!!!!!
4. It’s your birthday and you get to pick the dinner menu. What are we having? Do you ever lie about your age?

It IS almost my birthday! I like a good medium steak and baked potato with a fresh salad and, of course, dessert! Our birthday club is going to Longhorn’s tomorrow night, sounds perfect!

I never lie about my age, what’s the point of that? I am nothing but thankful for each year, they are a gift not afforded to many!
5. What’s a life lesson you’ve learned recently?

How about RElearned? And it was twofold! I like conversation, all kinds. But I felt like the Lord reminded me earlier this week that there are some topics to be avoided. Over the years I have been convicted when conversation has crossed into unwise territory. Not everything I think or know needs to be said.

After I realized that I had done it again, I asked the Lord for forgiveness. Throughout the day I kept having a guilty, nagging feeling about it. I finally remembered something else I relearned this summer, if I have confessed my sin, the Lord has forgiven me. And that guilty, nagging feeling? It’s not from Him.

1 John 1:9   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Once I recognized that it was the enemy and mentioned to the Lord that I knew it was not Him, I never had the feelings again. A very good life lesson to relearn.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

I am thankful that all of our Florida family is unharmed and accounted for after Hurricane Irma!!!! From Cooper City to Port Charlotte, to Tampa to Spring Hill to Pensacola, all safe and sound! Thank you LORD!!!

First List of Fall

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It’s been a bit nippy walking in the mornings, 50 and up this week, and some 40s last week. It’s coming!

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Despite reading on Facebook yesterday that they a predicting a warmer than usual fall. It’s shaping up to be a purty one!

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Honey had the pool closed last week so that means I’m about done watering down there. This was my favorite this season.

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I was not as happy with my stuff this year as in years past. And I even had my plants in early this year because of hosting the end of year BSF luncheon the second week of May! They just hemmed and hawed and didn’t do much until almost July.

My zinnias were one of the biggest disappointments. I somehow got 3 different varieties, and one bunch was ALL yellow. I prefer a riot of color, not a riot of all yellow pom poms. I’m sorry to be a snob, but I think of this kind as a lesser zinnia, the short squatty one.

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I quite like these, and these are the usual kind I get. Even they were not riotously colorful this year

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I don’t think I have ever had these super tall, leggy babes before!

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Plenty colorful up next to the always reliable Black Eyed Susans.

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But unfortunately you cannot tell which kind you have when they are all a couple inches tall and my half circle of zinnias looked mighty stoopid sporting all of the different heights!!!!! Not to mention the tall ones completely obscured the half circle of day lilys and wasted them.

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Try as I might to separate the colors, I was not very successful, which also contributed to my dissatisfaction.

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This side was a little better, but they did not grow like they usually do.

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The front looked ok but I still have complaints. Not enough color in the side pots,

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and too many petunias!! There were so many other pretty things in that pot when purchased, but those petunias HOGGED the whole pot!!!

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Big sigh, oh well, there’s always next year.

I was happy with the things in this little bastion of visual interest! I copied the idea from my sweet friend Sarah, who had a similar one from the South Haven farmers market on her front porch. I plopped some of my heart shaped shells and rocks, collected on Florida trips, along with words that inspire. Heart it!

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Oklahoma Tammy asked about a product I had mentioned last week, this is what it looks like. I buy it at Gordon’s, but I saw this at the regular grocery. It is good for breading and batters, looks like flour. I dredge my sliced chicken breasts in it and fry in peanut oil, YUM!

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Was certainly praying this for all of our loved ones in the wake of Hurricane Irma. So far everyone is fine but haven’t heard about all the damage to the homes. It could have been SO.MUCH.WORSE! Thank you Lord!!!!!!!

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And finally a sweet picture of our little Moonpie! Who is getting chunky, smiley and chatty!! Hi Bay-Be!

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Have a pleasant Tuesday.

Labor Day at Gun Lake 2017

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Hi Y’All! We had a fun time up at Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis’ cottage over Labor Day weekend! Gun Lake is one of our favorite summer destinations and this year was full of all of the things we love best; laughing, visiting, eating, relaxing and cards!

Mousey had to work this year and we were all sad 😦 Aunt Phyllis even wrote her a note lamenting her absence.

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We arrived on Friday night and the visiting began.

A couple of weeks ago The Grandpa got himself a new FANCY phone!! He asked for a little help in setting up some things like texting, adding phone numbers, choosing notification sounds. Unfortunately he asked these yahoos! They had the best time “customizing” Grandpa’s phone!!!! Adding a photo so he could see who was calling, sparkling beauties I’m sure.

This actually is a video, but here it is just a picture, so you can get a small smackeral of the pretty faces they were saving.

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It kept them entertained for some time.

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They were laughing so hard there were wheezes and tears.

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These three are cut from the same cloth.

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Stacey thought Beeve might need a time out!

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They got into the cake the very first night. The evening up began in earnest. That baby was G.O.N.E. by Sunday morning.

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Goomba had the time of his life playing with the neighbor boys next door, but was around to play monkey in the middle with Honey and the monkey, Ummel Bob!

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He’s a good sport. And spry!

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There was GOOD eating ALL weekend!!! Marinated flank steal with yummy Pinterest potatoes (so you know they were cute!) and green and fruit salad, Beeve smoked a pork butt and there was pulled pork on a pretzel roll or on a loaded baked potato, Asian cabbage salad, corn on the cob. And the cake, coconut cookies and an entire pan of frosted brownies!

The guys had an adventure and went on a rescue mission!!! Goomba had been having a high time with the boys next door and Beeve and Stacey had been exchanging pictures with the other parents. They had invited Goomba to go with them to get ice cream across the lake on the boat. He was game for that!!! We were playing cards when Beeve got a call from an unknown number, but he recognized it from earlier in the day when exchanging the pictures. He answered and heard that the other family was having engine trouble and needed a tow home! So all the men folk loaded into Bob’s boat with rope, flashlights and blankets and headed out across the lake. Man, it was DARK! And COLD! They finally made it back just before it began to rain in earnest! A little adventure!

The card games of the weekend were Seven and 31. I had never played Seven before, it’s good to learn new things and keep the dendrites in the brain fluffed!!!!!

These two.

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They speak a similar language  ❤

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The gentleman’s club on the back porch.

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Tough hombres.

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Honey, Beeve and Goomba drowned some worms.

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A chilly boat ride.

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Goomba and his Mama.

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No one enjoys each others company more than these two.

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Stacey’s pretty sunset.

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I forgot the selfie stick so we had nothing to help take a picture until a neighbor gal happened to walk outside and we roped her into the job! She was very gracious!

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She quit just in time, it was getting dicey!

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The next day sent Goomba and The Ab-Cat back to school, and BSF workshops for Honey and I. And so it begins.

But it was a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys, Happy September! If you would like to join in, click on the button below to head over to Joyce’s.

From this Side of the Pond

1. When you think about your future what do you fear most? Hope for the most?

Well, since I don’t know what my future will be it’s hard to predict what I will fear the most! I would definitely fear calamity in my family, losing my mind or ability to communicate, constant pain. That’s a short list, but I try and not focus on that too much because the Lord tells us not to fear. Ultimately He has overcome this world and it is only our temporary home.

Hope is a much nicer thing to focus on! Of course I would hope for a healthy, productive life, loving relationships with family and friends, the privilege of serving the Lord for all of my days, and the assurance that all of our family and loved ones have a personal relationship with Jesus. It is my greatest hope that I would finish this life strong in my faith, no matter what my physical circumstances are.

2. September is National Chicken Month. How often is chicken on the menu at your house? What’s a favorite dish made with chicken? What’s something you’re a ‘chicken’ about doing or trying?

We have quite a bit of chicken over here, at least once a week or more. We make something the kids called “flat chicken”, its just chicken breasts sliced thin, dredged in Drake’s and fried in peanut oil. Pretty tasty! Honey can whip up all sorts of yummy things with a little bit of chicken, garlic and a few spices!

I am probably chicken about a lot of things that I have no intention of doing or trying!!! I’m never going to willingly touch any kind of reptile, swim in shark infested waters, jump out of any airplane or skateboard down a half pipe!
3. What are three things you don’t own but wish you did?

A vacation home, my old, reliable, THIN body, and 10 wishes more- LOL!!!! Honey had a lot of things on his wish list! A new truck, a boat, a house on the lake and that 600 million lottery ticket someone recently won!!!
4. Would you rather be a jack of all trades or a master of one? Elaborate.  If you answered one, which one?

I think jack of all trades is probably the best option for me. I used to want to be excellent in a skill/talent, but being adequate in many things has been very helpful practically.
5. Ketchup or mustard? On what?

Mustard. On a sandwich, in the honey form on a salad or dipping sauce.
6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Sorry, I have two thoughts this week.

Walking yesterday with my buddy Keelyody, we saw quite a few families in the front yard taking those sweet first day of school pictures! It reminded me that this is the first year that Honey and I do not have ANY students!!!! And we are OK with that!!!!!

In other news, our sweet little grandgirl was two months old last week!!! Her Mama says she is 11pounds 7 ounces of smiling deliciousness!

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Hi Moonpie!

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You grow Girl!!!

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Thanks for stopping by!

Around Bellevue

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With the exception of our day trip to Seattle, we did not do much sightseeing. We did however eat at several places in and around Bellevue, all were pretty good and I had an especially yummy pear and cheese salad at Gilbert’s that I would like to duplicate!

One of the nice things we experienced was meeting the young men who live in the home where The Boy and The Dane are house parents. There were three when we arrived, but one had graduated in June and he moved out the week we were there. Honey wanted to make them dinner one night and he and The Boy decided on Coney dogs, homemade french fries and a fattoosh salad with banana splits for dessert. We also taught the guys and a friend how to play Peanuts and Golf, because eating and cards are a family thing. It was really nice to put names with faces and glean a little of their personalities, it makes it easier to pray for them!

Another fun thing we did was go to one of The Boy’s favorite bookstores! They were having a super duper deal of whatever you could pack into a bag for $20!!! You know, the kind of bag you buy at a grocery store for .99, with handles??!! He was in his glory and I enjoyed it very much! We kept saying that The Ab-Cat would have LOVED it there! The Boy filled up his bag and I set my books on top of his and that puppy was full up to the handles!!!! All for $20 American bucks!!!!! I realize now that I should have taken pictures of this event. And also documented that this was in the steepest neighborhood that I have EVER seen/walked!!!!!

We went for ice cream. As we do.

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Honey found this place online, saw the sandwiches, and sent the link on to The Boy saying we HAD to try this place! They loved it and The Boy said they would definitely be going back there! It was Goldman’s, or Goldfine’s, or Gottleib’s or something. It was in the mall where they had a Nordstrom Rack and T.J. Maxx, where I found a cute pair of shoes for fall. Good find!

Look at those sandwiches and massive onion rings!!!

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Last year I reconnected with a friend from 10th grade on the Facebook!!!! She somehow saw that the kids lived in Washington and said if we were ever out to look her up. It turns out she is very close and she picked me up and took me to lunch!!! We sat there so long that the place closed after lunch and were preparing for their dinner crowd!! So nice to get caught up on families, lives and old friends that we used to know!

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The Boy and The Dane introduced us to a funny tv show that was on Netflix called Life In Pieces. It was pretty funny and we finished the season after we arrived home. Tom Hanks son Colin was in it and OH MY WORD does he remind us of his Pop!!!!!

The week passed quickly and soon it was time for The Boy to take us back to the airport. We loved visiting with them, meeting our sweet little Moonpie, and seeing them at work, building into the lives of young men

For some reason I can’t recall, we flew home on Alaska Airlines in first class, Honey was overjoyed!!! We arrived early, went to the lounge and had breakfast, boarded the plane and marveled how comfy the seats were!!! They served hot cloths to wash your hands, breakfast again, cookies, warm nuts, beverages, an ipad with games and movies and probably other things I have already forgotten! It was fun!. And best of all it only took under 4 hours to get home, instead of what seemed like a whole day! Sent this on Snapchat to The Girls.

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It was all a nice distraction since we were leaving a little muggins behind.

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They are coming home this fall for a visit. so we will just be here, waiting patiently for another chance to smooch her up!

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys! Thanks for stopping by on the last Hodgepodge of August. If you feel like joining in, click on the button below to head over to Joyce’s and follow the instructions. Here we go!

From this Side of the Pond

1. Can you believe we’re rolling in to the Labor Day weekend? What’s a project you’ll labor over this fall?

This is hard, I have no immediate answer. We have no BIG agenda, just the usual, winterizing the outside, doing some purging/reorganizing in the basement. Certainly nothing exciting.
2. Tell us about the best perks you ever had in a job?

This is an easy one! I am a hairdresser by trade and one of the greatest perks of working in a salon is having people available to give you haircuts, color, perms, at your fingertips! Of course there could be scheduling conflicts because you have to wait until both parties have free time, or come in early or stay after work.

A much easier thing to have done regularly was something we called “bouffing”. That was when an available stylist would fluff, tease, restyle, or just freshen your hairdo. As this was the 80s, it usually involved copious amounts of Paul Mitchell Sculpting Spray or Freeze and Shine. Ah, those were the days! Bouf me!!!

3. August 31st is National South Carolina Day. Have you ever been to SC? Any desire to go? According to Southern Living, these are the top ten things to do in South Carolina…
Explore Charleston, bike, golf or relax on Hilton Head Island, see the beach and the boardwalk at Myrtle Beach, visit the state museum in the capital city Columbia, observe the wildlife and natural beauty of the Ace Basin, take a walk or hop on a trolley and check out Greenville’s charming main street, visit Fort Sumter where the Civil War began, stroll through Pearl Fryar’s Topiary Garden in Bishopville leaving time to check out The Button Museum, also in Bishopville, see Morgan Island (also known as Monkey Island)-home to nearly 4000 Rhesus monkeys.

Which is most appealing to you today? If you’re a SC native, resident, or frequent visitor what would you add to the list?

Honey and I visited South Carolina last September to see if it could be somewhere we might like to retire to. I wrote about our trip here.  Honey has a great desire to live on a lake so he can fish all the live long day. We saw many beautiful homes, plus my most favorite house of all time. I wish I could plop that house down wherever we do land, it was perfect for us! ❤

I would be more than happy to return and do some sightseeing, which is something we did not do last year. One fun thing I did do there was meet our hostess with the mostest Joyce for lunch! I have never met a bloggy friend before and we had a lovely lunch and she even gave Honey and I a tour of her almost completed new home! IMG_3901 (1)

4. Beef, pork, country-style, barbecued, baby back, spare or short…your favorite kind of rib? What’s a dish you enjoy that really ‘sticks to your ribs‘?

I am not really a rib person,but I do love the ribs at Bricktops in Naples, Florida! Their fries and coleslaw are also YUMMY!

Chicken pot pie really sticks to my ribs. Comfort food plus all that crust=sticking to ribs!!!
5. What’s one important skill you think every person should have? Why?

I think everyone needs to know how to have a civil conversation. Conversing seems to be a lost or dying art. Texting and social media also seem to be contributing to this lack of social skills. We seem to have lost the ability to listen politely, ask intelligent questions, and be thoughtful in our answers, all part of good civil conversations.

So much interrupting, shouting down and mindless, repetitive, screaming hissy fits. My Grandma and Mom called it “spouting off”, and it seems that is all a great majority of people are capable of, and we see it at all levels of society. You convince NO ONE of your cause when you cannot have an honest, respectful conversation.   

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TRUTH.
6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Here is some Way Back When-sday!

It was Miss Mousey Ann’s 23rd birthday last weekend!!

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Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

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Thanks for stopping by!