Blessed to Be a Blessing

God Blessed me Super-Abundantly yesterday – and I just HAD to share the story with you!

 

In short, a sweet older lady who lived in the area moved to Heaven a little over a month ago. Her 5 adult children came down (from 5 other states) to clean up and list her house for sale. They were dumbfounded by the quantity and variety of things she had amassed over her lifetime. They had only 4 days to do everything that needed to be done before they returned to their Job’s and families.

Her posessions were divided amongst them, and what no one wanted was to be listed for sale – all except for 1 rooms contents. They didn’t have any use for it, and didn’t have ant idea what to do with it all. So, they boxed it all up – and asked me if I wanted it.

My reply – “Praise God – YES!!”.

They’d found out I used such things to make donations to our local Senior Centers at Christmas time, and thought maybe I could put the items to good use for our charity – which would have pleased their mother greatly!

I still have to go thru most of it – but here’s a peek at some of what they sent home with me:

 These boxes actually measure about 25 inches tall, 20 inches wide and 4 foot long!!!!

 

 Yes – that is a LARGE spool of YARN you see!!

                                                                                             

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Side Note:  None of the many bags/boxes of Embroidery projects, Cross-Stitch projects, Ceramics, Painting projects, Wood Crafts or Canvas projects/supplies are pictures here because I have already delivered them to their “Crafty Recipients”.    😉    It made their day!!!!)

 

Praise God!!!

That’s all I can say is Praise God!!!!

 

Some of the items (Tatted Crochet, Candlewicking, Double Hook Crochet) I’ve never attempted before, but am looking forward to learning in order to compleat the many, many projects she had started over the years! At least there are enough works-in-progress to show me the way (and many out of print instruction books too)!

Most of all – Praise God they didn’t just toss it all into the trash to be lost forever!! Thank God they asked me to put it to use instead. And so I shall – and some Seniors at our local centers will be very Blessed this Christmas because of their generosity!!

Mrs. S’s handiwork (with a few finishing touches from me) will not be wasted, lost or forgotten – but will instead be loved/used as it was intended!

And THAT makes me smile!    🙂    

Have a great day!

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Birthday to me :)

It’s been rather busy around here lately – so I haven’t had time to drop in and say “Hello”……

However, we will “resume our regularly scheduled programing” shortly!

In the mean time – I’m taking the day off!!

Why?

Because I can…… AND

It’s my Birthday.    😉

Can’t turn down the opportunity to be Queen….. for a day.    😉

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Finding Hope pt. 2

 

Okay, now that you’ve got your list made from part 1 (previous post), we’re going to start working on the next step. It’s easy – but it requires another list.   😉  

How many of you saw the movie “America’s Sweethearts”? Do you remember John Cusacks’ character siting in the backseat of the limo, stressed out, and chanting “I’m grateful for the cool, cool breeze….” to calm himself down?

If so, that gives you an idea of what we are about to do next.   🙂  

And by the way – if you haven’t yet seen the movie, I highly recommend it!!! It deals with someone (Cusack) whose life/heart had been destroyed by someone else (Catherine Zeta-Jones), causing him to have a nervous breakdown, and he has to learn how to think clearly/live again while “working” with that person (and with Billy Crystal and Julia Roberts too – FUNNY stuff!!).

But, I digress….. back to the subject at hand.   🙂   

 

I want you to once again grab a sheet of paper, and find a quiet place to focus. Now, title this list: “Things I Am gratefully For”. 

Next, I want you to list as many things as you can think of that you are the most grateful for. I’ll give you a short example list:

1) I’m grateful for my home, and a roof over my head.

2) I’m grateful for the fact I have a  job – and for the income from it.

3)  I’m grateful for the food I have to eat.

4) I’m grateful for the clothes I have to wear today…..etc., etc…

 

I want you to list as many things as you can think of right now – it can be 5 things, 10 things, 20 things or more. If you are GRATEFUL it is a part of your life right now – list it!!

Now, tape that list up on your bathroom mirror where you will have to look at it first thing every morning! Read it out loud BEFORE  you start your day – EVERYDAY.  Sure, you can read it throughout the day too, but starting out everyday by reading this list out loud is the MOST important thing!

It sets your mindset for the day, and it sets the tone for the start of your day. When you start out by looking at something GOOD, it’s then easier to deal with the rest of your day because you are focusing your mind on the things you appreciate – NOT on all of the junky bad things that are trying to get your minds attention the second that you open your eyes! It puts your mood, and focus, in a different place.

If your list is small today – don’t worry about it, use it! You can add things to the list as you think of them. The only “Rule” for the list is that you don’t turn it into a prideful “Brag” list.  It’s not a “Look what I did” list – it’s a list of things you are grateful for that are in your life. It must be worded so that everything on the list was a GIFT. No “I’m grateful I did/accomplished/made someone …” lists, ONLY an  “I’m grateful for (this opportunity, blessing, gift)…” list. This IS important!!

Now, go make your lists.    😉  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Life Summed Up.

I recently stumbled across a couple of quotes that caused an immediate “Oh my gosh!” moment.

The reason being, that they applied more to my life over the last few years than I would care to admit. I won’t elaborate on that, but I will share them with you. May they inspire you……. to carry on.   😉    

 

 

 

“Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s TRUE strength.”
– Star Hall

 

 

 

 And last but not least – this one is literally framed and now sits on my desk:

 

“It’s not the Critic who counts….It’s not the man who points out how the Strong Man stumbled…. Credit belongs to the man who REALLY WAS in the arena, his face marred by dust, sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs to come up short again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming.

It is the man who actually strives to do the deeds, who knows the great enthusiasm and great devotion, who spends himself on a worthy cause. Who, at best, knows in the end the triumph of great achievement. And who, at worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and cruel souls who know NEITHER victory nor defeat.” ………  THEODORE ROOSEVELT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Strawberry Bread Ever!

 

 

Warm strawberry goodness sounds pretty good right about now! A friend suggested I share this recipe with y’all again – just in case you’d missed it the first time (2 years ago)! I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on this one, it makes Winter a little more “bearable” by giving you a taste of Spring – something we could all use right about now!    😉  

This is some of the moistest, most amazing Strawberry Bread you will ever eat. Smothered with a Cream Cheese spread, it is a little slice of Heaven – and you don’t even have to use fresh strawberries to make it! Good eats at any time of day – breakfast, snack, dessert – doesn’t matter! Just be sure to stash it where it’s not in open view when you are not around – otherwise it will be all gone when you come back for seconds!!  😉 

Very easy to make with only a few ingredients required, and about an hour of your time, makes this a quick and scrumptous treat!

Shady’s Southern Strawberry Bread

*Makes 2 Loaves

Preheat oven to 325 Degrees

2 sticks butter

1  1/2 cups sugar

4 eggs – lightly beaten

1 cup strawberry jam or preserves

1 cup sour cream

3 cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. lemon extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

Line 2 loaf pans with wax paper and set aside. You can trim the paper down to fit the pans better – just make sure that you leave enough “overhang” to be able to grasp and  lift the loafs out of the pans when they are done!

In a large mixing bowl, cream your butter, sugar and eggs together.

In second mixing bowl, fold sour cream into jam.

In third mixing bowl sift flour, baking soda and cream of tartar together.

Now, add the flour mixture  ( 1/3rd at a time)  to the butter mixture while alternating with the jam mixture while mixing on LOW speed.

Now fold in the lemon extract and the vanilla with a spoon.

Pour into wax paper lined loaf pans – dividing batter evenly between pans, and place in preheated oven at 325 degrees on middle rack of oven. Bake for 1 hour. (Don’t worry – the wax paper WON”T burn, and it IS necessary for the success of this bread)  

While bread is baking make Cream Cheese Spread – if desired:

Cream Cheese Spread

1 pkg (8 oz.) softened cream cheese

1/2 cup milk

 1/2 cup powdered sugar (can up this to 3/4 cup if sweeter, thicker spread desired)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all together on Med-High speed until well blended. Place in fridge until ready to use. (Please forgive my stained bowl – it’s around 17 years old and has been well-used)  🙂 

Now – when baking time is done, insert a toothpick into the centers of the loaves and check for doneness – it will come out clean when they are done. Remove loaves from oven, set pans on trivets or wire racks to cool for 5 minutes, then lift loaves out of pan by wax paper.

Peel off wax paper, slice loaves into hunks about 1/2 to 1 inch thick, spread with Cream Cheese spread (if desired – if not butter or plain is yummy too)!!

However – BEWARE – a hand will “magically” appear and snatch the first plate of strawberry goodness away before you even get done plating it all up!!

Guard the rest of the loaf wisely young grasshopper, guard it wisely!!!!

Enjoy!!  🙂 

Shady

 

 

 

Cure-All Hamburger Soup

It seems that there are some nasty “Bugs” going around right now, and I’ve had several requests for the recipe for my Cure-All Soup (because it WORKS!!).  So, I’m reposting the recipe here for you so you don’t have to search for it – and for those of you who’ve never seen it before.   🙂   

Make yourself (or a sick friend) up a quick batch of this and you WILL be 100% better in 24 hours! Miracle stuff!!

Enjoy!!   🙂    

 

Shady’s Cure-All Hamburger Soup

 

 

The main benefit to this soup is that No matter what cold/flu/sickness you are afflicted with, eat 2 – 3 bowls of this soup and it cures whatever ails you within 24 HOURS!!! Everytime!!! I’m not sure how – and I don’t care, I just know by personal experience – IT WORKS!!

*NOTE: Recipe can easily be doubled (this is how I normally make it now, I also will use bags of mixed frozen veggies when I can) or you can even triple the recipe for freezing leftovers. Recipe freezes wonderfully, and will keep up to 6 months this way – just thaw and reheat*

1 1/2 to 2 lbs ground beef , browned and drained

2 cans corn (drained)

2 cans green beans (drained)

1 can carrots or mixed veggies (drained)

1 can peas (drained)

2 cans stewed tomatoes (do not drain) (optional)

1 large can tomato juice (or 2 cans plain tomato sauce mixed with 1 can water if you are out of juice)

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp (or more to taste) ground black pepper (this soup LIKES pepper)

2 tsp Italian seasonings (or 1 tsp each Oregano and Basil)

1/2 tsp. onion powder (optional)

*if more soup broth is desired, you can add 1 can plain tomato sauce to above ingredients*

Dump all into large pot and simmer on med-low heat until heated thru, stirring occasionally.

Serve and enjoy! I occasionally top with shredded cheddar cheese if I have some on hand, and a dollop of sour cream tastes great too!  :)

 This soup warms your insides, makes a nice change from chili on really cold days, and I haven’t met a kid yet who doesn’t like this one!     :)

Hope y’all enjoy!

Shady

 

 

 

BBQ Pulled Pork or Beef

Okay, I know this is not a traditional Pulled Pork recipe. However, sometimes you need to “fudge” on long-cooked items for today’s crazy lifestyles. This is my “I-Don’t-Have-Time-To-Do-It-The-Way-They-Say-To” Pulled Pork recipe so that you can throw it on before you leave for work, and have dinner ready when you get home. Shhhh – just don’t tell them you cooked it this way and “they” will never know!!  ;)   

Here’s what you need to do:

Grab your Crock-pot, plug it in, set it on LOW.

Grab a 4 – 6 LB FROZEN  Pork Roast out of your freezer, unwrap it, throw it in Crock-pot. Sprinkle on some Garlic Powder and lots of Black Pepper.

Grab a bottle of BBQ Sauce outta the cupboard and dump it over Roast, Refill bottle 1/4 full of WARM or Hot water, swish around to clear bottle, and dump it over Roast.

Now cover crock-pot and walk away. In 8 hours you will have a Falling-Apart, Melt-In-Your-Mouth BBQ’d Pork Roast! 

Now take Roast out of crock-pot and place into a large mixing bowl. Take 2 large forks and pull roast apart – at this point it will fall almost completely apart on its own!!!

Now, you have 2 options – you can either dump the BBQ sauce cooking mixture back over roast and stir to serve – OR – take a new bottle/batch of BBQ sauce and pour it over the shredded meat, mixing in well (I prefer the later method since the sauce the meat cooked in is a bit “watery” at this point, but either method works well! I then use the sauce that is remaining in the crock-pot as gravy for smashed potatoes that I serve on the side of this dish – sounds weird, but tastes GREAT!!). 

Now, scoop meat out of the bowl onto buns for Pulled Pork Sandwiches!

Enjoy! 

Shady

P.S. This also works for BBQ Beef  for sandwiches as well – same instructions, just a different meat.  ;)

P.P.S.  This is an awesome recipe for the “Game Day” buffet. Just return the shredded meat/bbq sauce mixture to an empty (no cooking liquid remaining) crock-pot,  and set crock-pot to “WARM” or “LOW” once you reach your destination to watch the game.  Just be sure to stir the meat every so often while watching game so the sauce doesn’t burn to the sides of the crockpot.    🙂