Posted by: Kelly | November 30, 2015

I’m really not cold-hearted – or clueless

There’s a lot going on in the world right now.  To be honest, there’s always been a lot going on – but thanks to the miracle of 24/7 media coverage, it’s everywhere we turn.  You’d have to be a hermit to miss out on the major headlines.  Then, depending on which TV/radio networks, internet sites, or printed news sources you watch/listen to/read, you’re inundated with more than you could possibly want or need to know about everything else – especially given a great deal of it is speculation or “time-filler” and not always fact-checked before release.

So… even though I do know what’s going on in the world and sometimes have strong personal opinions about it, chances are I won’t mention it here.  For me, blogging is a form of escapism – much like reading, watching movies, or working jigsaw puzzles.  It’s something I can do and not have to think about the problems of the world, including my own personal world.   “What? Your life isn’t perfect?”, you say.  No, it’s not.  Even though I am extremely blessed in more ways than I can count (and try to thank God for that daily), I still have my struggles and worries in life just like everyone else.  When it comes to my blog, though, I prefer to focus on lighter things.



The “food experts” say you should never try out new recipes on special occasions like Thanksgiving.  That doesn’t stop me and since I’m usually cooking for family, it doesn’t matter.   This year I made something I found in the companion cookbook to this book.  It’s called “Cranberry Down Under Salsa” and can be more of a relish if you process it a little more like I did.  I thought it was great and, surprisingly, it was a seven-year-old who seemed to like it the most!  Next time I’ll cut back a little on the maple syrup.  I went with the higher range worrying the heat from the pepper and the tartness from the berries and lime might be a bit much.  It’s a pretty dish, isn’t it?!


Cranberry Salsa-relish

Posted by: Kelly | November 27, 2015


Have you had your fill of pumpkin yet?

I don’t know how it is in other parts of the world, but this time of year means “pumpkin spice” around here.  It’s everywhere you look!  I guess Starbucks began the craze with their Pumpkin Spice Latte (better known as the PSL), but some might say it’s gotten out of hand.

While I don’t like pumpkin in everything, there are times I think it works quite well.  (anyone remember this chili?)   I saw a recipe for pumpkin hummus months ago and wasn’t  sure if I thought it was a good idea or not.  Curiosity (and a passion for hummus) got the best of me and I decided to try it out on a good friend who was visiting a couple of weeks ago.  Success!  So much so, we dug in and did real damage to the “presentation” before I remembered to get a photo of it.

pumpkin hummus

Needless to say, it’s a keeper.  I made it again for Thanksgiving (this time I remembered to photograph it “before”) and plan to take it to a function next month where I signed up to bring hummus.  Click the link at the bottom of the post if you’d like to see the recipe.

Pumpkin hummus #2


Pumpkincredible Hummus


late update – sorry the comments were turned off on this post.  I have no idea how that happened!

Posted by: Kelly | November 25, 2015

What’s in a Name 2016

What's in a Name 2016

I’m excited that it’s time to sign up for the annual “What’s in a Name” reading challenge over at The Worm Hole!  It’s always great fun to see what the categories are for the year and to see what I have that matches them.  I prefer to use books I already have sitting in my TBR pile, but don’t mind purchasing things from my wish list if necessary.  I see it as a “sign” that I need to treat myself to books I’ve been thinking of getting.  Enough about that – let’s get to the categories for 2016.

  1.  A book with a country in its title
  2.  A book with an item of clothing in its title
  3.  A book with an item of furniture in its title
  4.  A book with a profession in its title
  5.  A book with a month of the year in its title
  6.  A book with “tree” in its title

After time spent checking the titles in my Kindle and examining my bookshelves and my wish list at Amazon, I’ve come up with the following possibilities.  By sharing these, I’m not committing myself to any of them since I might find something better to use later in the year (such as a book club choice).  Here goes…

  1. I actually have several options for this one, three of which contain the country Ireland.  Brigid of Ireland by Cindy Thomson, The Rebels of Ireland and The Princes of Ireland both by Edward Rutherford.  I’m also looking at Passing by Samaria by Sharon Ewell Foster.  Perhaps Samaria is technically more of a region than a country (and also it’s a city), but I think it could count.
  2. The Devil’s Ribbon by D.E. Meredith (folks wear ribbons, so that should count), Veil and Cowl edited by James B. Simpson, and The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas (an ancient copy I forgot we had until Tracy mentioned it in her post).
  3. From the Cradle by Louise Voss & Mark Edwards and The Loom by Sheila Gillus.
  4. The Maestro, The Magistrate and the Mathmetician by Tendai Huchu
  5. Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson
  6. The Lion Trees by Owen Thomas

The rules don’t prohibit overlapping books with other challenges, but it’s not encouraged.  That’s really not a problem for me since the only other challenge I plan to do is the R.I.P. Challenge in the fall and I’m sure I can find plenty of other books to meet its requirements.  Where I might overlap some is in a personal challenge I want to take on.  There are several very lengthy books sitting on my shelf (and in my Kindle) that I really want to read this year including both volumes of The Lion Trees (#6) and the Rutherford books (#1).  I hope to get through a minimum of six books with at least 600 pages (several I have picked out are 750+) and I’ll do my best to use titles I’ve not included in this challenge.  I’ve invited Tracy to join me in this “tome challenge” and welcome any of you other readers to join in, as well.   Nothing official … just for fun.

Back to “What’s in a Name” – if you want to sign up or just find out more about it, click on the link below.  I still have over a month of reading left for this year, but now I’m excited with my plotting and planning for 2016!

What’s in a Name 2016

Posted by: Kelly | November 23, 2015

Dog puzzles

I worked a couple of dog related puzzles this fall that were both great fun! I wish so badly that I had a better way to photograph them for you since I’m sure you can’t fully appreciate either of them from my efforts here.  You can click on both photos to enlarge them.  Perhaps that way you can read all the clever captions on the lower puzzle. (if not, I can let you know what they say)  And it’s not just my photography skills… even in real life I had trouble making out what the black puppy in the top puzzle is looking at swimming towards him.  (maybe a muskrat or something?)



The Duck Hunters

the duck hunters #2
artwork by Leo Stans
500 pieces
16″ x 20″ (41cm x 51cm)


Dog Seeds

Dog Seeds

artwork by Laurie Cook
1000 pieces
20″ x 27″ (51cm x 69)

Posted by: Kelly | November 20, 2015

Filling the feeders

I normally keep my bird feeders “active” all year.  While I love my year-round birds (like Cardinals), I enjoy watching for the seasonal visitors as well.  But, several months ago I quit filling my feeders and here’s why:

I buy black-oil sunflower seeds in huge sacks, putting some in a big tub with a lid in order to cart it around to my various feeders.  The rest stays in the sack until I need it and all of this is stored inside my house.  That is, until I discovered bugs in my seed!  At that point, everything got moved to our well-house… and forgotten.

It wasn’t really forgotten because I constantly saw my empty feeders out the windows and missed seeing the birds.  Last weekend I decided it was time to fill them again and trudged down to the well-house to get the bucket.  I noticed the partly filled sack on top had a hole in it and that didn’t bode well.

Bird feeding #1


I was almost afraid to look inside for fear a rat might jump out at me!  Imagine my surprise to (carefully) look inside and see this.

bird feeding #2


I like to believe some squirrel is going to come back and be disappointed that I’ve invaded its stash.  My husband said it’s more likely a mouse or rat put those little acorns in the bag.  Either way, I sifted them all out and tossed them into the yard with the million or so other acorns.

I had one more surprise in store for me before I finished my task.  When I lifted off the lid of the last feeder, these sprouts literally sprung (sprang?) up at me!!  (I might have vocalized my fright at that moment)  I’m still amazed they were able to grow that much in the tiny space they had available (and obviously without any light).

bird feeding #3


I’m pleased that the birds have already come back to my feeders.  I’ve missed them.

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