Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Best EVER Blackeye Peas Casserole for New Years Day

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My daughter-in-law was talking about Black Eye Peas for New Years, and I told her about this recipe.  It’s from my almost 96 year old next door neighbor, the gourmet cook. Oh, this is such a great dish, if you’re thinking of eating Blackeye Peas tomorrow, you might want to check this out.  ~ Jan

Here’s the link

Friday, December 20, 2013

Upworthy, stuff that matters...

 

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An interesting site for you on this Friday morning.  My friend, Ang, told me about Upworthy, it’s about things that matter.  Their mission is to distribute Internet content that is visual, meaningful and sharable.

If you’re not familiar with it, bookmark it, like it on Facebook - it will make you think...

Here’s the quick click...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

It's just wrong that Merry Christmas isn't politically corect

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I’m 64 years old now, and I’ve wished people a Merry Christmas my entire life.  Now the store clerks say  “Happy Holidays” after they ring you up and this year, especially, it’s just rubbing me the wrong way.  This political correctness is a bunch of hooey, in my opinion.  One of these days, I’m just going to say MERRY CHRISTMAS EMPHATICALLY when they say Happy Holidays.  Maybe as soon as tomorrow!

Yes, I know you didn’t ask me, but I’m telling you anyway.  Just on my soapbox this afternoon, ya think?

That is all...

Red and Jan, not a good combination...

 

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Everybody wears red for Christmas, it’s just what you do.  Right?  Wrong!  I used to wear red and I loved it.   I bought a new red sweater earlier this month, put it on last week, and wasn’t a fan, I thought maybe it was me having a bad hair day, so I tried it on again today - Wrong!

What happened?  Is it old age kicking me in the butt?  Should I just be wearing purple?  Red + Jan = Yuck  

It’s going back to the store…  And I liked it, I really liked it!   Grrrrrrrr

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Stumped...

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Drats, shopping is 99% complete, okay, so it’s 95% complete, and I’m hung up on a couple of gifts.  I would like nothing better than to get opinions from you, but can’t do that.

I thought that if I just put this into words it would help me decide.  Of course it doesn’t.   Hope all of you are finishing up, as well.  We have wrapped nothing yet, tomorrow is the day.  Oh joy...

 

 

Friday, December 13, 2013

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You were a beauty my old friend, oxblood leather, nailhead trim, we were best buddies for years and years.  We were growing older together, you and I.  Cracks started showing in your leather, your arms wore through to the underlayment, but that was okay, I could live with the aging, I’m aging, too, I understood. And then your padding started to go and for awhile that was okay as well.  But this past month you just gave up completely, resulting in excruciating pain to my nether regions, and it was time to say goodbye.  It was a sad morning, watching you being rolled away, bidding farewell to the best chair I ever had. 

 

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Hello, you ugly ergonomic chair.  You sure don’t have any wow factor, except for your price! You’ve got big shoes to fill, you new kid on the block, will we ever be friends?  Only time will tell, but I’m not one for change, I like things to stay the same.  But you adjust up, down, front, back and sideways.  You have lumbar support, you have a mesh seat that will be cool in the summer, and you better be kind to my nether regions or you will be going right back to the store, and maybe purchased by some big guy who will just hammer you every time he sits on you!  So you better treat me right, got it?

Today is your maiden voyage, I hope we have a smooth sail...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pioneer Woman's Favorite Kitchen Tools

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Ree just posted her favorite kitchen utensils and links to them, but thanks to dear hubby, I already have a couple of her favorites. I mentioned often that I loved her flat whisk and her slotted (fish) turner and last December he actually called Ree’s assistant to find out what they were, and he ordered them both for me, the Stainless Steel Flat Wisk and also the LamsonSharp Pro Slotter Turner and gave them to me for Christmas.   I meant to blog about it, totally forgot, but you can imagine how thrilled I was to think that he took the time, actually made several phone calls, eventually getting to the right person to find out what they were.

So now I’m looking at the rest of the things she loves, and I’m thinking that I really need her offset spatula.  *grin*  And the knife, heart be still, but dang, it’s pricey!

I continue to be such a fan of Pioneer Woman.  She’s just the best!

Here’s the link to the tools, and you can also enter here win them, along with the other 1,478,972 people who are trying to get them.

Oh, I do love what he got me and use them all the time, always with a smile because it was so thoughtful.  They’re just awesome!  ~ Jan

Monday, December 9, 2013

11 THINGS TO WRITE DOWN BEFORE THE YEAR ENDS

 

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Apparently I’m still on Oprah’s email list, and I got an email this morning that intrigued me.  I’m not a fan, not for years now, but some of the things she writes about really does make you think.  So here are the 11 things, and my answers.  It may bore you, but I will enjoy looking back at it in a few years.  And this picture I posted doesn’t exactly look like a journal, but you have to admit, it’s gawjus.   And if I actually wrote in a journal, I would want this!

1.  WHAT YOUNGER YOU WOULD LIKE ABOUT PRESENT YOU

I think that the younger me would admire the older me, seriously.  Why?  Because I’m more sure of myself, I’ve learned to trust my gut, I’m not a pushover like I was when I was younger.  But I’m a broad, not a lady, unfortunately, because I really wish I was (were?) a lady.  But I’m not, and if I tried, I would be phony, and that’s one thing I’m not, I’m the real meal deal.  What you see is what you get.

2.  THE WATCHED/READ LIST

It’s no surprise to all of you that I’m a shallow reader.  I devour trashy romance novels.  Well, not so trashy anymore, I’ve honed my reading skills, the trash is boring, I want a good storyline, and always a happy ending.  The best reads of 2013 - has to be my ongoing serial reading of Robin Carr’s Virgin River Series.  She’s up to book 15 now, and still going strong.  Such good books, set in a small mountain town with colorful characters, what’s not to love.  Anything Mary Kay Andrews writes is always on my to read list as well.  She has the best sense of humor, she’s always a fun escape.

And my watch list, Downton Abbey.  Hands down the best ever series that I’ve watched, possibly forever.  Wasn’t crazy about the direction the story went last year, but those Brits, they sure do know how to produce fascinating television.

3.  THE MISTAKE YOU’LL NEVER WANT TO MAKE

To intentionally or unintentionally hurt someone’s feelings and not to take anyone for granted.  Live in the moment, it’s all we have.  Good friends and a wonderful family are truly a gift, keep those you love close to your heart.

4.  YOUR IDEAL OUTFIT

Oh, this is an easy one.  I’m a jeans girl, always have been, always will be.  Of course I would need to be thin to pull this off, but it’s the ideal outfit, right?  Okay, skinny jeans with a great fade, awesome boots, vintage look, distressed soft, supple brown butter leather, high boots that come to my knees.   Tuck those jeans into the boots and top it with a long loose tunic sweater, preferably asymmetric, cream or oatmeal, fuzzy angora or soft cashmere.  Lots of bangles on both arms, some kind of long, statement earrings, hair a shoulder length bob, slightly shorter in the back, shiny and sleek, with fresh streaky color, super smoky eyes in shades of brown and gold.  Purse?  Oversized brown hobo bag, very distressed, leather soft as butter.  And what do I need to make this happen?  Well, first I need to lose lots more weight and have a boob job.  Can’t forget making the girls smaller, and a weave in my hair.  Cough up the big bucks for the clothes, hair and jewelry and that should do it.  Yeah, sure Jan, when pigs fly this will happen...

5.  A DEEP DARK-SHHH-SECRET

Oh boy, like I would give it away on here.  Ya, I probably would since I have no filter.  Ummmmmm, oh, I’ve got it!  I would really like a great picture of me and the grandkids, a natural pose with all of us laughing.  Sounds like a simple thing doesn’t it, but it never seems to happen. And to accomplish that we would probably need to take 100-150 pictures minimum to get a good one.  So I would also ask for patience from the photographer that took the pictures.  Family are you listening?

6.  THE MOST UNEXPECTED COMPLIMENT THAT YOU EVER GOT

Well, it happened a few years ago at Canton Inn, our families (not the girls, just LC and the boys) favorite restaurant.  And for the most part, compliments make me uncomfortable, I’m not one to seek attention.  But I was at the buffet and this nice older gentleman (75ish) came up to me and said I was absolutely beautiful and wanted to know if he could hug me.  He didn’t look like a pervert, I was stunned, but I laughed,  opened my arms and gave him a big hug.  I was always glad I did that, such a simple thing and it was obviously important to him.  Maybe I reminded him of someone he once loved, or maybe he was a pervert, but I prefer not to think about that.

7.  THAT ONE QUOTE

I have two, “When we know better, we do better” ~ Maya Angelou - and my favorite, the one Ryan told me “You can do just about anything if you just take your time."

8.  THE BEST SURPRISE YOU’VE EVER HAD

Has to be when the kids told me they were pregnant with my grandchildren.  And now grandbaby No. 3 is coming in the spring.  I’m so blessed with these precious little souls.

9. YOUR TRUE HAPPINESS

We’ll, it’s obviously family and friends and my adored fur child, Maggie Moo.  But if I had to pick one perfect happy peaceful moment it would be about 15 years ago when hubby and I were landscaping The Gingerbread House.  We had gone to pick up a load of top soil in LC’s company pickup one pretty summer day, and it was down by the river.  The guys that loaded the dirt had just begun their lunch break, LC went off to talk to them, and he was parked right next to the river in a grove of trees.  Both doors were open, dappled sunlight twinkled through the trees and this warm, gentle, breeze was blowing over me.  I lay down and slept and it was the most perfect, blissful sleep I’ve ever had.  Then the workers finished lunch, fired up the backhoe, hubby came back, slammed the door, started the truck motor, and poof, it was over...

10.  YOUR FAVORITE FAILURE

Would have to be blogging.  I began blogging years ago when Ryan was just out of college and living in Washington State.  I wrote a few entries just to keep in touch with him and he told me I would never do it.  Boy, was he wrong!  I’ve blogged forever now, and maybe it was a failure initially, because it took me a couple of attempts before it took hold, but wow, I have sure blabbed a lot of  nonsense over the years, with no intention of stopping now.

11.  AN AMENDMENT TO THE BUCKET LIST

Well, that’s easy enough, I just blogged about this last week.  I want to fly fish, I really want to do this.  And when I think of more things to add to that list, I’ll be sure and give you an update.

So what are your 11 things?  Think about it...

Here’s a link to the original article

 

 

 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Dick and Jane Flannel Sheets from the Vermont Country Store

Dick and Jane Sheets available at The Vermont Country Store

 

Are you struggling with someone on your Christmas list, somebody that you are clueless what to buy for a gift.  Well, you have to be of a certain age, but if you happen to be old(er), who wouldn’t love a set of these flannel sheets from the Vermont Country Store.  

Sadly, Dick and Jane are not around for kids these days, but people our age have such fond memories of them, and what a whimsical idea for a gift.   Well, not for me because I’m way too hot for flannel, and I somehow don’t think hubby would be a fan, but there just might be someone out there that would love these.  Wouldn’t these be perfect for a schoolteacher?  And if you know somebody, here’s the link...

And if Dick and Jane aren’t your thing, they also have Sock Monkey and Peanuts Flannel sheets.

I’m such a fan of this website, everything is so nostalgic, just takes me back to a gentler time...

Vermont Country Store - bookmark it, they’re just the BEST!

The Grandkids saw Santa today...

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Ben wasn’t a fan of the old guy, but he’s oh so cute snuggling with Abby.  They’re  growing up so fast!

Abby's Christmas List 2013

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Dictated and signed by Abby.  Someday she will look back at this post and smile.  Grammie loves you, sweet Abby...

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Brach Candy of my childhood...

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When I was a little girl we would go to Tresslar’s Five and Dime on Saturday morning, and I would look into the Brach Bins, trying to decided what I wanted.  I was a big fan of Brach Bridge Mix, I loved the chocolate covered brazil nuts best and would always eat them first.

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Chocolate covered caramels were a close second, I still love them, never eat them, but they are just so good.

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And chocolate covered raisins, can’t forget those.  They’re fruit, they’re healthy, right?NewImage

And chocolate covered peanuts!

 

 

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And chocolate stars, can’t forget those!

Brachs chocolate covered caramel peanut clusters candy 129757 wAnd a great big picture for you of peanut clusters, can’t forget those!  I think my love of chocolate turtles originated with peanut clusters.

I could go on and on, but I won’t.  I’m getting a sugar rush just thinking about all of this!  You’re probably thinking I ate a lot of candy when I was a kid, and you’re right.  I had a mother with a sweet tooth, it was her one indulgence, and of course I just followed her lead.  That’s what kids do, right, they just do what mom does?  

When a beauty treatment goes bad!

 

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It’s now day two of being snowed in and your truly isn’t handling it well.  I can stay home for days and days, be perfectly content, but just the fact that they haven’t plowed us out yet and I can’t get out and about drives me absolutely crazy.

So I’m schlepping around in my ratty bathrobe, and it ain’t pretty folks.  I look in the mirror, shudder and decide that I need a beauty treatment.  Enter the humongous jar of coconut oil, the very jar that I purchased to cook with for my low-carb lifestyle.  The coconut oil that smells intensely of coconut and ruins everything that I cook in it, because I wasn’t smart enough to buy the refined coconut oil with no flavor.

Well, I replaced that jar with the good non-smelling stuff, and relegated the smelly stuff to my bathroom because it works well for a hair conditioner, and it’s great for your skin. I looked so bad that I immediately grabbed that coconut oil and start smearing it all over my hair and face, hoping for some kind of late(r) life miracle.

Then I walk into the den, hubby didn’t say a word, but his pupils dilated, and not in a good way.  I looked like a badly dressed, coconut smelling, ragamuffin in that gawdawful bathrobe with greasy hair plastered to my head and a shiny face.

I leave it on until I’m about to gag from the smell, coconut is just not my favorite odor of choice, go to the shower, knowing that it’s extremely difficult to rinse it out.  I grab a huge glob of shampoo, put it through my hair and it’s just not lathering.  Oh great, I’m thinking that I really overdid it with that non-beauty treatment, so I grab yet another glob, put it on my hair, and still no lather!

Then I look down, and good grief, I had now put a half a bottle of conditioner on my hair on top of all that greasy coconut oil.   Jeezy pete, what a disaster, I thought  I was using shampoo.  So then I open the shampoo, lather once, then again, and  rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse.  And how does this all play out?

Well, my hair is definitely soft and sleek.  Oh get real, Jan.  My hair is as limp as a old dishrag.   There is no such thing as a beauty treatment at my age anyway.   Oh, if I only had a brain...

Vintage Budweiser Christmas Commercial

 

This commercial is circa 1987, and one of my favorites.  This is what Heavensville looks like this morning , we had a big snow yesterday.  Unfortunately no live tree or Clydesdale drawn wagon.   I’ll just have to enjoy the magic of the season via YouTube...

Friday, December 6, 2013

What a great Christmas idea...

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I’ve been telling people about this today, and even put it in my Twitter stream, but I need to elaborate.   The huge silver ornaments are actually either bouncy balls or beach balls that have been sprayed with metallic silver paint.

What a unique cheap Christmas idea.  Love this!

World's Biggest Gingerbread House

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It’s still snowing, we’ve got 6”+ and radar shows it still coming for hours.  Not feeling the love, though.  I have a tri-state boom that won’t go away and I’ve ingested so much caffeine that I‘ve got the jitters!   Baa Humbug!!!!

But enough of that, I did find this article, it’s just fascinating. Look at all the candy they used making it.

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Want to read about it?  Sure you do, he’s the click.  Have at it!

Well, we're having weather!

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First we had freezing rain, then sleet, now we’re having snow.  It’s intermittent, coming in waves, and not supposed to stop until tonight.  They aren’t sure about accumulation, we’ll be lucky if we get no less than six inches.

So hubby decides to open the front door, which is frozen solid, so then of course he has to go out and bang on it with a shovel to unfreeze it.  He’s out there in his Santa Claus PJ’s, I’m in the house, worried about him falling, but he makes it back alive!  This isn’t a great picture, the door was steamed, but some things are best seen not so clear, if you get my “drift.”  hehehe

If I were younger I would be enjoying this, but I’m old(er) now, my head hurts, my legs hurt, this front is intense, and I’m not a particularly happy camper.  Maybe tomorrow I will be, or maybe not.  Stay tuned...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmasing with Cristina Ferrare

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I just adore this woman, I’ve always followed her and think that she is just amazing.  She’s the real deal, a caring wife and mother, just a genuinely nice person.  I took a bit of time this busy morning to read this article about her when interviewed by Life After 50.

Just thought some of you might like to read it as well.

Here’s the link...

Monday, December 2, 2013

What's making me smile this morning....

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Memories of a great Thanksgiving in the Smoky Mountains.  We were snowed in from Tuesday until Friday, then literally had to drive on ice covered, steep, steep mountain roads down the mountain to shop.  But we persevered, seriously scary, though, seriously scary.  Ryan and his family were in Washington State visiting Lindsay’s family, so we gathered up the fur kids, John, Deanna, LC and I and trekked to the snow covered mountains for our turkey day, ummm, make that chicken and dumpling day, so much better than turkey.    And yes, it was idyllic until we had to go down that mountain.  But the shopping was great, so it was worth it.

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And a picture of hubby and I that I actually like.  We seldom take pictures together with LC smiling, so this is a keeper, and that snowy mountain is such a good backdrop.  Even little Maggie is festive, all decked out in her Christmas coat.

 

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So now I’m looking at pictures of sweet little Abby visiting her Great Grandma Baron.


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And Ben, sitting on his Daddy’s lap, playing on the cell phone like a pro.  No photos of Lindsay, though, she’s a mom, and moms are always behind the camera. :(
 

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Deanna gave me this cute little snowman mug last weekend to sit on my coffee maker.  I always keep my Splenda nearby in a vintage cottage cheese jar, and now I have hot chocolate in this great little sour cream jar that hubby picked up at a flea market last weekend.  I put it all together this morning, and have a huge smile on my face just looking at it.

I’m thinking of making a sugar-free version of mother’s Russian Tea for the holiday season, but I’m having trouble finding Sugar Free Tang.  Tang makes it, but people don’t drink Tang like they once did, stores don’t stock it and so far I haven’t had any luck finding it.

I posted a really awesome 2 carb, 25 calorie hot chocolate mix this morning on Jan CAN Cook Lowcarb - link to the recipe here - I stirred it up a bit ago, and it  literally took under a minute to make it.  You’re looking at it in my little jar, and it has hubby’s seal of approval.  He loves it, and adding just a splash of half and half really gives it a great flavor.

And I’m happy to say, not that it’s interesting to all of you, but I feel the need to document this, after I gave myself permission to eat Thanksgiving Day and the eve before, I went right back to low carb and made it through the entire trip without gaining any weight.  I didn’t lose, but the fact that I stayed the same was pretty awesome.

So I have a lot to smile about this morning.  Christmas decorating is almost finished, shopping is 75% complete, the family is all safely back home, and I’m listening to Christmas music and looking forward to the holidays.

Hope you’re all enjoying Cyber Monday!!!!  ~ jan

 



Saturday, November 30, 2013

More about that bucket list..

Maggie and I were scouting out mountain streams today for that fly fishing. You all know how I am when I get an idea, I'm Iike a dog with a bone. I even emailed a fly fishing company for information.

Gonna do it, just wait and see...

 

Friday, November 29, 2013

I'm adding to my bucket list...

 

 

I just had a birthday, and I'm thinking about what I want to do before my demise, after all, the years are passing, I really need to get on this. For quite some time now, ever since reading Mary Alice Monroe's great novel, Time is a River, a wonderful story about a woman flyer fisher, I've dreamed about fly fishing. She planted a seed, and being in the mountains this week, seeing the shallow mountain streams, the thought of doing this has surfaced again.

Of course my family thinks I've finally lost it, but I'm adventurous, I can totally see them helping me out in a stream, with my waders on, patiently standing by me while I fulfill one of my last requests. They should do this for me, right? Ya, they should...

 

 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gobble, Gobble,Gobble

My name is Jan and I'm a breadaholic.
 
 
One taste and it leads to shockingly uninhibitated behavior in the form of devouring evil things like dumplings, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, coconut and pecan pie.
 

 

Currently stranded in a cabin somewhere in the snowy higher elevations of The Great Smoky Mountains.

 


Desperately in need of a BA (Breadaholics Anonymous) meeting ASAP! I'm just not strong enough to go cold turkey hehehehe...

 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thoughts on turning 64...

 

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Today is my sixty-fourth birthday.  It’s a raw, blistery day in Heavensville, we’re busy getting ready for Thanksgiving, but I’m going to be serious for a change and talk about things I’ve learned, some are repeated, because I’m old now, it’s what I do, I repeat ;-)  But I am smarter, the older I  get, I’ve  lived life, and learned a lot.  I think as I’ve aged I see things as they are, not the way I wish they were, but warts and all, the good and the bad, I accept life for what it is.  I don’t ever look at life thru rose colored glasses at this age, that ship sailed long ago.

So here goes, a little insight on this my birthday afternoon.

Listen to your gut, it will never steer you wrong.

It’s okay if you go to bed a little hungry, it makes you appreciate what you have in your life and how lucky you are.

Everything in moderation, truer words were never spoken, hard to adhere to, especially for me who goes overboard, but it’s sage advice.

Surround yourself with positive people, friends who love life and laugh and have the same values as yourself.

Don’t expect anything from people and you won’t be disappointed.  

Don’t try to do it all and don’t beat yourself up if you choose to do nothing.  Do what you want, not what someone else wants you to do.

Grandchildren are truly a gift from God, they change every single day. Write down what they say, take pictures of them, love them dearly, tell them they are the most special little people in your life, and be in touch as often as you can.

Realize that you only have the power to change yourself, you can’t change anyone else, you just learn to accept.

The grass isn’t greener on the other side.  Take what you have in life and work with it, today’s society is too disposable.

You can’t bullshit an old bullshitter.  You may think you can or you are, but you can’t and you’re not.  Old women are pretty smart cookies, sometimes we’re just silent.  

Go outside and be in tune with nature every single day.  Regardless of the weather, nature is a powerful, wonderful thing.  Embrace it and you will be rewarded with peace.

For the most part, people often don’t really want your opinion, they just want you to agree with what they are telling you.

Embrace your wrinkles, scars and age spots.  Your battle scars are part of the aging process, be proud that you’ve lived long enough to have them.

Accept what you can’t change in life and try to do it with grace.

Don’t complain, people don’t want to hear it.

If you love someone tell them, you may never get another chance.

Treat yourself to some new jammes and yummy smelling lotion, then take a hot bath put on those jammies, slather on that lotion and curl up with a good book and a cup of hot tea.  It’s the little things in life that give us such pleasure.

Take time for yourself, learn to say no.  It may inconvenience others, but you are the gatekeeper to your soul, nourish it.

Oh my, I could go on and on, after all I am sixty-four years old now.  But I won’t, I’ll just sign off with one of my favorite sayings from one funny, feisty lady, Cousin Minnie Pearl.

Instead of complaining about getting old, just say what Minnie always said - I’m just so PROUD to be here!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

I LOVE The Vermont Country Store

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If you’re not familiar with this site, you’re missing out.  It’s just chocked full of memories, the nostalgia is good for the soul.  We’re all busy, but take a few minutes and just enjoy…  ~ Jan

Here’s the click...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Never lose another receipt...

 
It's that time of year, you're out buying gifts and accumulating a mountain of receipts, they're in your purse, in your bags, in your coat pocket, and next month when you're trying to return all of this stuff, you're in a panic, trying to figure out where they are.
 
Welcome to my world, and finally, on the eve if my sixty-fourth year I had a moment of clarity and actually did something about it.
 
I went to Staples, spend $6.99 on an accordion check organizer, which I am keeping in my glove compartment and immediately upon leaving the store I will alphabetically put the receipt in the proper compartment, Last year, after being totally frustrated trying to find receipts, I put an envelope in the glove box and put my receipts in it, and it worked, I actually did it, but then I had to dig through the whole pile to find what I was looking for. Now they're organized and alphabetized and it's going to make life so much simpler, not only at Christmas, but all year long.
 
Great idea, huh. Applause, for the old girl, please.
 
I am always so grateful when my brain engages, and this is a great idea sez moi, happily patting herself on the back...
 

 

 

 

 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Jan's Soul Satisfying Comfort Food

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Drats, I should have taken a picture of my dinner, but I was so busy scarfing it down that I didn’t think about it until my plate was clean.  You all know how I go to the extremes with the things I do, but the more I get into low carb cooking, the more enthusiastic I get.  And now that hubby is doing it alongside me, it gives me additional motives to try different things to keep him satisfied.  And the results are paying off, he’s down 27 pounds, I’m down 20, it’s working, not fast, well for me anyway, but slowly and steadily.  And we’re not alone, my friend Nisha and her husband, Charlie are eating low carb, too.  Charlie has lost 30 lbs., Nisha 17 and they haven’t  been low carbing as long as we have. 

Coconut Oil is one of those things that the low carb community just raves about.  Over and over I hear about the heart health benefits, there are so many recipes using coconut oil and I absolutely detest it,  I can’t stand all of my food tasting like coconut, so it has been sitting in my pantry, I’ve been using it on my skin and that’s about all because every recipe I tried with it, I ended up throwing out.  Well last week I was in the local Vitamin Shoppe and there was a 30 something woman checking out, and she had the loveliest blonde hair, shiny, shiny soft and she was buying a jar of, you guessed it, coconut oil!

I commented on how I can’t stand the taste of it and she told me that she was buying the virgin coconut oil, the same nasty oil that I had in my pantry that I paid $17 for at Whole Foods, and she said she used it to condition her hair.  She puts it on dry hair, oils it down, leaves it for awhile and then shampoos it out.  Then she proceeded to tell me that I need to be buying refined coconut oil, that it has no taste.  The clerk brought me a jar, it was cheap, $7, I brought it home and oh my, it’s a life changing experience.

First I tried frying eggs in it, and they were silky smooth and delicious.  The other night I breaded chicken tenders with almond flour, and fried them in the coconut oil, it was amazing.  So tonight, badly in need of comfort food, I had cubed steaks in the fridge, I put about a half a cup of almond meal in a bag, along with a liberal amount of salt and pepper, wet my cubed steak so the almond flour would adhere, shook it in the bag while getting my skillet hot with the coconut oil, added the beef, along with thinly sliced onions and cooked it until one side was brown, turned it, covered it and cooked it totally about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile I nuked a bag of frozen cauliflower, drained it, then put it in my  trusty food processor with 2-3 tablespoons of butter, some shredded cheese, salt, pepper and a splash of half and half.  Processed it to make faux mashed potatoes, but this is what took the meal over the top.  Gravy, wonderful, rich, sinful gravy.  

I took out the meat, and here’s the unusual part, guar gum, you buy it in the grocery store or the health food store, and it thickens food.  But you can’t just dump it in, and it doesn’t take much, you just take a bit of olive oil and a teaspoon of guar gum and blend it together, then I added half and half to the pan drippings, not a lot just about half a cup or so, blended in the guar gum and it made decadent, mouth watering gravy.  I put it over the faux potatoes and it was absolutely sublime.  Really good, hubby loved it.  And yes, we had this cranberry relish, the recipe for it is posted on Jan CAN Cook Lowcarb.

See what I mean, I just get all caught up with the things I do and have to tell you all about it.  But this is soul satisfying southern, homey, cold weather, stick to your ribs food.  And you can eat!  No more going hungry, no endless days of chicken and fish, it’s real food!  It’s a beautiful thing, low carb cooking, just had to share this...

You can find the recipe for the cranberry relish, which, is an adaption of a recipe my friend V gave me, here.   So good!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

President Bush on The Tonight Show

 

 

He was so funny, this is a must see...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Theo (The Dog) And Beau (The Toddler) Star In A Naptime Love Story

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This is a must read.  Little children and dogs are good for the soul.  You need a smile today, this is it.  XXo ~ Jan

Grab the story here...

Thanksgiving Recipes

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Okay peeps, it’s that time of year again, and have I posted a link to my annual Thanksgiving recipes.  Nope, but I’ll get it in the sidebar soon.  I’ve been as busy as a one armed paper hanger lately.  I love that saying, it was one of mother’s favorite, but anyhow, I’m going to post the link so you can access.  This recipe collection dates back to 2008, it’s my friends and family favorites.  One of these years, I need to update it, but not this year, just too much going on...

Just click on the picture to access the page, click on the recipe you want and you’re off to the races.  Happy Browsing!!  ~ jan

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I have a new low carb blog!

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I’ve been eating low carb since last May, trying really hard to make this a lifestyle instead of just a diet, and finding a whole new way of cooking along the way.  I had recipes on my computer, in a kitchen desk drawer, tons of them on Pinterest and my system wasn’t working.  I needed everything in one place, easily accessible by labeling the different categories of food.  

So I decided a new blog was in order.  Just what I need, yet another blog, but I’m always up for a challenge, and I do enjoy designing them, so after a little bit of labor, Jan CAN Cook Low Carb was born.

Even if you don’t eat low carb, you might enjoy my site, some of these recipes are so good, you will be pleasantly surprised.  The pizza above is wonderful, it’s made with no crust, the crust is browned cheese.  Hey, don’t knock it ’til you try it.  I really like low carb because it’s so versatile these days thanks to great cooks who have learned to substitute carb laden ingredients for low carb ones.  It’s not like the old days when you could just eat bacon, meat and eggs - YUCK!  And the best part, I’m not hungry!  Hubby is doing it as well and of course he’s dropped 25 lbs. in just a couple of months.  He had an appointment with his cardiologist this week who told him to keep doing low carb, he’s doing great!  Amazing turnaround from a few years ago when they thought this way of eating was unhealthy.  But I’m not here to preach this lifestyle, I just wanted you all to take a peek at my new blog.

Here’s the link - jancancooklowcarb.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Grands have been to visit...

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Grandchildren, what a gift!  Ben is a busy, busy little boy these days.  He’s up, he’s down, he’s on the move and never stops, ever!  He chases Abby, she screams, he screams louder, they’re so cute together.

When they got here last Friday, Abby got out of the car and told me, “It was an extremely long journey, Grammie.”  She’s so funny, she just cracks me up with the things she says.

I thought you all would like a peek at my sweet little grandkids, I enjoyed them visiting so much!

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