I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming that comes when you finish the life of the emotions and of personal relations; and suddenly find - at the age of fifty, say - that a whole new life has opened before you, filled with things you can think about, study, or read about...It is as if a fresh sap of ideas and thoughts was rising in you. ~ Agatha Christie

Thursday, October 23, 2014


I am always looking for easy, inexpensive recipes to cook for the Grandson who never gets filled.  Living on reduced income has made me more aware of the cost of foods in a recipe.  While nothing is affordable anymore, I thought this would go a long way to fill my bottomless pit Grandson.  

Biscuit Topped Italian Casserole

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup tomato paste
16 oz pkg frozen Sicilian blend vegetables, thawed
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 tube refrigerated Grands biscuits
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Brown ground beef in pan, drain, and set aside. Saute onion in pan over medium heat until tender and transluscent. Add garlic and saute until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce, water, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in thawed vegetables and 1 cup cheese and pour mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese. Remove biscuits from tube and separate each horizontally so that you have 16 thinner biscuits. Arrange biscuits around the edge of the dish overlapping as necessary to fit them all. In a small bowl, combine butter, oregano, and garlic powder. Brush over tops of biscuits. Bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes or until biscuits are browned on top and cooked through (gently lift one of the biscuits off of the top of the casserole to be sure it has cooked on the bottom). Allow dish to rest 5 minutes before serving.

Halloween Joke to Share with the Grandkids

Skeleton Joke

Q: Why didn't the skeleton go to the dance?

A: He had no body to go with. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Important to Remember in our Retirement

Passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind body and soul into something as is possible.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hungry Girl: 5 Food Fakers You Need to Know About

via (Hungry Girl)

Food fakers are items that sound like they’d be diet-friendly choices… but they actually contain a lot more calories or fat than you’d expect. Here are some of the top culprits…

It looks so virtuous  — the oats, the nuts, the dried fruit — but this stuff is often cooked up with a lot more sugar and oil than you might suspect. (Just think about how it all sticks together in those crunchy clusters.) Plus, the given “serving size” is likely smaller than you realize. Many people eat it by the bowlful, like cereal, but the nutritional info given on the panel is often for just ¼ cup. A cup of granola (before milk) typically has more than 400 calories! If you LOVE granola, choose low-fat varieties, and use a single serving wisely — layer it with fruit and yogurt to make a filling parfait.

Like granola, smoothies have a “health halo.” They seem like they’d be so good for you, but a lot of smoothie shops use syrups, fruit with added sugar, heavy dairy add-ins, etc. An average smoothie can easily have 400 – 500 calories, or a lot more if you go for the mega-size cups! Plus, smoothies are often tossed back like refreshing beverages when they’re more like meal replacements. What’s a smoothie lover to do? Make your own at home. Use unsweetened frozen fruit, light yogurt, low-fat milks (like soy and almond), no-calorie sweeteners and even some veggies, if you’re feeling adventurous! Apparently Amanda Seyfried and Justin Long are way into green smoothies — give one of these recipes a try.

Kale Chips
“But, it’s KALE! Full of fiber, calcium, loads of vitamins.” Yes, but they’re also CHIPS. And conventional kale chips are made like any other chips — they’re fried in oil. The result is a single serving with roughly 150 calories and 9g fat, very similar to regular ol’ potato chips! Plus, most bags that look like individual portions actually contain two to three servings. You’re gonna want to make these at home. Don’t worry, it’s easy — just follow my simple directions. You get the crunch and the nutrition without the excess oil.

Restaurant Salads
If you haven’t heard by now, it’s time you did — salads are not always your best bet when navigating a restaurant menu! Not only are they ordinarily HUGE, but they’re also typically topped with heavy ingredients: cheese, bacon, fried chicken, crunchy noodles, tortilla strips, croutons, candied nuts. Factor in the salad dressing, and you might as well have gotten that cheeseburger. Wanna do it right? Special order: Just politely ask for some of the heavier toppings to be left off, and order the lightest dressing they have on the side. My top tip: Dip, don’t pour. As in dip your fork into the dressing, don’t pour the whole container over your greens!

Dried Fruits
If most of us sat down with a bowl or package of dried fruit, chances are, we’d just eat ’til it was all gone. After all, it’s only fruit…right? Actually, NO, not always. Dried cranberries are loaded with added sugar — have you ever tasted a fresh cranberry? Those suckers are tart! And banana chips get so crispy by being fried in oil! Ugh. Even if there are no extra ingredients, since it’s all shriveled, you’ll eat way more of it than you would of the fresh version. So just eat a piece of whole fruit, or if you want something a little snackier, try freeze-dried fruit. (You can often find it in the cereal, snack, produce, or even baby food sections of the grocery store.)

‘Til next time… Chew the right thing!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Color Me Beautiful

Do you remember way back when... The stylish thing to do was get your "colors" or "seasons" done.  The Color Me Beautiful program identified the colors that you looked best in by using your hair, skin and eye colors.  Most programs used Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter as categories.  Some programs used a generalized system where you would buy a packet of colors for all persons of a certain seasons, others had color specialist who picked a season but tried a gazillion shades on you and came up with your specifics.  

I had my colors done, thanks to the insistence of my mother.  I was a bit of an anomaly with Fall skin and Winter hair.  What this meant was that certain shades made my face sparkle and others made my hair shine.  For many years I shopped with my color pallet in hand.  I never really loved shopping for shopping's sake. If I needed new shoes, a purse or a shirt, I shopped for that item.  I never trolled the malls like many teenage girls did.

I have a habit of taking the long road to tell a short story.  The point I wanted to make was that I love fall colors.  Always have but I never realized they were fall colors until having your colors done were the thing.  So, to celebrate my love of fall colors, here are a few fall pictures.  

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fall Is In the Air

Buddy and I have been hibernating for some time now.  Between the heat in July and August and then add to that all the rain we've had in September, I feel like we've barely left the house.  This week all that changed.  The cooler temperatures blew in with the first day of fall, and Buddy and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting out the last two days and waving at neighbors and seeing what was new in the neighborhood.  I even felt so energized I took the dishes off the shelves and cleaned and reorganized the kitchen cabinets.  Yep, change is in the air.

My sentiment exactly.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Granddaughter #1 brings home first joke

I knew it wouldn't be long before I started hearing jokes from Granddaughter #1 who started Pre-K this year.

Her mom sent me a text with the Story:

Elayna:  Mom.  I know how to spell Indian.

Mom:  You do?  Ok.  Tell me.

Elayna:  N-D-N,  Get it?

Mom:  Burst out in laughter and big hugs and then grabs cell to text Nana!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Coffee Love

Monday, September 15, 2014

Life is Art