Ode to the Spruce & an Easy Shrimp Dip Recipe

Our lovely huge Blue Spruce Pine Tree (well once it was lovely) has been slowly dying for the last year and a half.  In it’s days of greatness it was thick and beautiful and was home to many birds. But it’s life came to an end this past week. We hired a tree company to take it down and what a great job they did! A few photos of the demise of our tree. The tree company also pulverized the stump and it’s many large roots, which gave us about 15 loads of mulch that we added to all our landscaping in the backyard. We will be replacing that area of our yard with one or two trees. Looking at the varieties of trees that have blossoms in the spring!

 

 

Need an easy recipe to take to a get-together this summer? This is a yummy “quick-to-put-together” dip.

Shrimp Dip

(8 oz) block cream cheese, softened to room temp.

3 tablespoons mayonnaise (Miracle Whip)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons celery, chopped fine

1 tablespoon onion, chopped fine

sliced green onions, for topping (optional)
2 (4 oz) can tiny shrimp (it calls for 1 can, I used two…. more shrimp=yummier!)

  (the tiny shrimp come in a can the size of a tuna can)

**some variations of this dip call for 1/4 tsp. of Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

  • With hand mixer, mix the wet ingredients
  • Then fold in the veggies and shrimp
  • Serve with crackers, potato chips, or sliced fresh veggies
  • Refrigerate leftovers (or chill before serving)
  • Enjoy!!

The Flowers and Greens of Spring

Though we have had the drippy days of rain, and some of the flowers have been beaten down from the rain, the burst of color and brightness of the green plants bring such color to the yard. Even the rain drops on the leaves and blossoms bring a renewal to the day!

 

The dictionary meaning of  Renewal

  • re·new·al
  • rəˈn(y)o͞oəl/
    noun
    an instance of resuming an activity or state after an interruption.
    Boy is THAT true! Our interruption in the mid-west states is winter, snow, cold, snow, blowing. When it warms up and the sun is bright,  we all burst out and enjoy the outdoors, biking, walking, boating, the beach etc. The trees, shrubs, flowers, birds and bees also burst out and begin a new season. A season of new beginnings!!

The Coming of Spring

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After a long hiatus I’m back to my blog. With spring here, the trees awakening, blossoms opening, it’s a time of renewal.

The last I posted was at Christmas time. I had no idea that life would take such a turn. My mom was diagnosed the end of November with cancer. (though she hadn’t been well for a while) Yes it was fast growing, but I thought she had at least through the summer. That was not to be. She quickly grew weaker and she passed away in February. A very difficult and sad time. Between then and now have been so busy and consumed with getting her condo ready for sale, all her paperwork, accounts, everything taken care of has been numbing. To wrap up someone’s life is a sad and an every day consuming task. We are coming to the end of most of it. In the mean time over the past year that has been some other heartbreaks outside of us, in which all we could do is pray deeply and continually for the people involved.  An exhausting time. But we are seeing better times ahead…seeing the clouds opening up.  I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and He who is the Light is faithful, comforting and loving.  So I say all of that to say…I’m back to blogging.

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http://quotescloud.com/theres-light-end-every-tunnel-keep-moving-need-little-faith/

One of my birthday gifts from my sweet hubby was a cookbook I have been wanting. It’s Patricia Heaton’s new cookbook “Patricia Heaton’s food for family and friends”! It is AWESOME. Not only are the recipes fantastic, but the cookbook is beautifully put together and photos lovely! Highly recommend this cookbook! Here is the link to Amazon. I highly suggest the hardcover version!!  Patricia Heaton’s Cookbook

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Some of the recipes I going to try and review are:

  • Skillet Steak with Red Wine Sauce and Mushrooms
  • Apple Pie Muffins
  • Stuffed Shells
  • Blackberry Creme Scones
  • Apricot-Glazed Pork Cutlets
  • There are SO MANY MORE!!

I end this post with the first verse of an old hymn

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.

 

 

Best Recipes for Christmas or anytime!

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Christmas Cookie Making!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First I’ll start with a “so sorry”. So sorry that there has been such a long break from posting. Much going on, and I will explain more on that in a later post.

But for now posting a few recipes and some great links to check out, that you might enjoy over the holidays!

First one, I had at a Christmas party, dear friend Terri D. brought them. They were SO good…actually could be addicting. Making this for Christmas for sure!  Brown Sugar Bacon Smokies

Luscious Lemon Bars

Cheese/Grape Christmas Tree Appetizer

Sheet Pan Hash Browns I have not tried this yet, but will be Christmas morning!

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The next link is NOT food LOL!

I found these free printable Christmas Bingo cards at the blog Crazy Little Projects The cards are adorable and they print off beautifully (I even printed them in draft color). Great for the kids or the whole family. I love that she uses M&M’s as markers

Christmas Bingo Cards

Do you did a laugh (I love she describers herself as “Dictator, Procrastinator, and Hoarder.. HA!)…like an out load laugh??  I sure did, if you need one about right now read this Do you need a laugh?

May your countdown to Christmas go smoothly! Many Blessings to you and your family. May Christ be in your Christmas!

Eat, Sleep and Paint

We have been remodeling…again. Well not “again”, just continuing from weeks ago, okay months ago..oh seriously years ago!! I have just came to the conclusion it will never stop. It’s a hobby that keeps on giving or taking! It’s also a “hobby” I love. AND I love our new 4 inch wide white baseboard trim and our”Craftsman Trim”. Our old trim was all thin, oak trim. The new wide white trim and white Craftsman over the doors, just makes things “pop”! It gives such clean lines through out the rooms and hallways. Sharing photos of two of our projects.

Black Contemporary Home Interior Design Photo Collage

Below is photos showing what I shared in a previous of an unexpected update to the outside of our home. We had burgundy shutters with a burgundy front door and side door to the garage. Those colors had been there over 15 years, almost 20. NO more. So after a few samples of paint to get the paint color just right for the shutters, I found the perfect color, Behr Fauna brown (actually more of a taupe/clay color. And to make the doors POP I used Glidden Whale Gray (I had Home Depot color match to Behr paint).As you can see the Whale Gray had blue undertones (sea colors) that go wonderfully with the siding and new shutter color. And yes, painting shutters (8 of them) with louvers, is a bit time consuming, but exterior Behr paint is such wonderful paint, it is so smooth going on, levels wonderfully and dries quickly. It made painting the shutters with louvers absolutely doable.

collage 2

Coming in November…

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This was on a t-shirt,loving it

Okay some people, in October, may cringe at the word Christmas. But here it is.

Our family loves celebrating Christmas and the whole holiday season. The most important reason is the birth of the Christ child. He is the Reason for the Season.

I say all of that to say…coming next month will be a post of our list of Christmas movies..yes we own them all! Every year we add to our collection. We LOVE Christmas movies. Ones with a message, funny ones, ones that touch your heart, and ones that revolve around family.

I’m posting the list next month…since the list is long we have to start watching them in November to get them all in before Christmas.

p.s. Can you believe it? Hallmark has announced they are releasing 33, count them, 33 new Christmas movies for this 2017 Christmas season. Be still my heart

Change Change Change

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One of the things that is certain is change! It comes whether you want it, or if you are expecting it or not, and it comes even if it’s not marked in red on the calendar!

The change of seasons have arrived here in the Midwest! Fall is lovely. The trees, the leaves bring a riot of color to the eyes. But it also signals that cooler weather coming and winter is in site. THAT part I do not like! I have lived my whole life in winter states that bring snow and cold. I like it less and less each winter. But,  for now, I will enjoy the fall colors. In fact, today bringing out my bins of harvest/fall decorations to begin decorating with my fall colors and items.

Another change. One day Wayne’s health seemed great. Next day after meeting with ENT on hearing loss, then a MRI/brain scan is scheduled, scans came back and showed a large Erachnoid cyst in his brain. We then met with a neurosurgeon, now Wayne has been referred to an Epilepsy Team of neurologists and an Otologist (neurologist with specialty of the ear and brain). We wait for the next steps, diagnosis.

Third in our changes…this also was not on the calendar. A few weeks ago, while I’m in the process of painting our interior trim (another story) I came up with the idea to update the front of the house and front door. As I perused blogs, I found colors I wanted. We have a beige sided house with burgundy shutters…for 20 years. So yesterday! HA! After getting a couple of sample colors, trying to find the right color for the shutters. I found Glidden “Fauna Brown”  which I had Home Depot color match to Behr paint. Then I chose for the front door, also our front wooden number address sign and side garage entry door, a wonderful color called ” Whale Gray” which actually has a blue in it that just makes the doors pop! All blends beautifully. The doors and the sign are painted and done. The shutters are also finished and were put up today. We LOVE it! As a side note. Behr exterior paint is the best. I love using it. Goes on smooth, levels wonderfully, covers great!

Now onto a new subject….Recipes! Have you seen the new Paula Deen Holiday Cooking Magazine for this year? Looks awesome and most definitely on my “to buy” list! Here is the link Paul Deens 2017 Holiday Cooking Magazine

Sharing a recipe that is great for Fall!  I will be trying next week and on a blog post will give my review of it after I sample it. This is from the Pioneer Woman, just can’t go wrong with her 🙂  Pioneer Woman Pumpkin Banana Bread

If you live in a state with autumn leaves and colors…enjoy!

 

 

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