Saturday, February 4, 2012

Things I Prefer Not to Live Without

 Susan, at Between Naps on the Porch is hosting an impromptu party on  your list of can't live withouts! My list is short, but useful.

Mane N Tail Hoofmaker : A hand cream that strengthens your (unpolished) nails. Origionally used to keep horse hooves from cracking, the people applying it to horse hooves noticed their own fingernails became stronger. Now packaged for people.  Helps cracked fingers and heels too. I use it all winter, as that's when my nails tend to flake and split. 

My Walgreens used to carry it, but not now. I get it at the feed store, and is available at some hardware stores. I bet "feed store" sounds funny to some really urban areas! (off topic) Some of my best childhood memories were going to the feed store. All that grain smells so sweet when you walk in, and in the spring, there were always lots of baby chicks in the feed store. There were usually several cats to pet,  lounging around on the grain sacks, supposedly watching for mice.

Pizza wheel cutter:

I use it especially in cutting bar cookies, brownies, and  sheet cake. No lumpy crumbs coming to the top to make the frosting look ucky,  nice clean lines.

Key Clip:

I hate digging in my purse for keys, and so I use a key clip, like on a dog leash. I use plastic, because metal just adds to the weight.


I use all Bare Minerals products, but even if I didn't I would use Prime Time. Applied before your makeup, it keeps your skin from getting oily and your makeup from running during the day. In humid Kansas in the summer, I need it. I still have oily skin, and it really works. 

Things on my refrigerator:

My dogs are all mircrochipped, and I recommend it! This is the magnetic tag I keep on the refrigerator, just in case. 

A magnetic map of my state. When the TV starts saying what counties a tornado has been spotted in, I want to know quickly how close it is.  I got this at the hardware store. I am sure it would be useful for all kinds of weather alerts. 

Cold Prevention:
I keep these lozenges at school with me for when I feel a cold coming on. I do believe it shortens and calms a cold. I start sucking on these ( about 4 per day) at the first signs of a cold. I think they work as well or better than Airborne, and much less money. 

Coffee Filters:
I am a dish a holic, and I use coffee filters to keep each plate from scratching the other in a big stack. Cheap and easy. 

And lastly, my little luxury. I don't drink but 2 cups of coffee per day, but I only want this. I am not a Starbuck's person, and am content with this vanilla caramel flavored creamer. My family teases me that I have a little coffee with my creamer. Your point?

Check out everybody's list at 

Monday, January 23, 2012

National Pie Day!

This is a redo of a post from a couple of years ago. I brought it back for National Pie Day!

The best, best Christmas thing Mama made was real mincemeat pie. She and Grandma would get together and make the pies before Christmas. I loved those times.  In later years, I watched and wrote down the recipe, because mincemeat pies were one of those things that they had no recipe for, they just made them. When they were all still on the farm, Grandma made up  metal dishpans full of mincemeat. They canned whatever they did not use at the time. The only thing they needed to buy was flour, sugar, and oranges. Everything else they grew on the farm. Plenty of beef, an orchard of apples, and a vineyard. Grandpa made homemade wine, a sweet concord wine. Grandpa was first generation English, and Grandma first generation German. I don't know whose family had the tradition of mincemeat pies, probably the English side.

This year Mama and I made mincemeat pies again. We have customized the origional recipe over the last 20 years, because we don't make the mincemeat from scratch anymore.  Here are a few pictures and the recipe.

Mincemeat Pie
Makes 1 deep dish pie and 1 regular pie

3 cups of beef roast, cooked and chopped finely ( I do a chuck roast in the crockpot)
Peel from  1 and 1/2 oranges
1/2 orange, diced
2 cups raisins
1 apple, diced finely
2 cups of Mogan David concord wine ( no fancy wine, you need Mad Dog, the sweet, cheap stuff)
1 jar (1 lb) of mincemeat
crusts for 2 pies
Add all ingredients together in a large bowl, and combine. Fill pie crusts with this mixture. Make sure you have steam holes in the top crust. Bake at 375 degrees for  45 minutes, or until crust is nicely browned.                 

Cozy Winter Supper

Thick, nourishing soup and warm crusty bread with butter makes a cozy winter supper. 

The little hen is a butter dish, and the bread and butter plates are Coaching Scenes by Johnson Brothers. 

I love these huge Mason's Vista pattern soup bowls. 

Oh! There I am upside down in the spoon!

These blue glasses are Fostoria, that I have had for over 20 years. 

I am joining Tablescape Thursday at




Thursday, January 19, 2012

Easy on the Eyes

January is such a hard month, no matter where you live. Winter has arrived everywhere, in some form.

My hutch sat empty since Christmas, due to one thing or another, family sicknesses, lack of inspiration, boredom, etc. So I kinda eased into it with white. Just subtle, easy white. (And I can add reds easy enough for Valentine's soon)

I tucked in a little green here and there, just for hope! 

I am joining Susan at 

for Tablescape Thursday 

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Study in Blue and Cream

Here's a little vignette on top of my chest of drawers. I like to keep surfaces pretty sparse in the bedroom, but this grouping just grew.

Miniature dress maker forms holding pearls....

an urn looking candle holder...

and some caged china orbs.

The prints were found years ago  rolled up in the corner of a dirty antique store. One for behind the chest, and one over the bed. 

The matching print hangs above the bed.

I am joining Marty at