Don’t you just hate it when –


you wake up in the middle of the night and then your brain proceeds to list all the ‘little things’ you should/could be doing? Like (1) Remember to get the hamburger out of the freezer or (2) Remember to empty the vacuum cleaner container – etc. That was me around 5:30 a.m. – woke up just as middle son went out the door to work and then my brain began to do the ‘reminders’ – sigh. Managed to get a little more sleep until around 7:10 when youngest was going out the door. Slept a little more until we got a stupid phone call – that was it, I was UP for the day (YAWN!). When I’m going through a night like that I keep a small pile of notepaper & pen next to where I sleep – if it gets ‘bad enough’ (ie: I REALLY can’t get back to sleep) I then proceed to make a list of those things the BRAIN is reminding me to do the next day. I can happily say I’ve done all on my ‘last night/early morning’ list – all but one (shred more old bill receipts) and that can be done ANY day.

Managed to locate middle son’s Insurance card (when we went to the clinic yesterday they told him he’s supposed to have 2 cards -he only had one). I dug through a very large pile of his papers and (luckily) found THE paper – the one with the cut-out ‘card sized’ hole in it – yep, that’s the one. Not sure if he lost that card or we’ll just have to ask for another, but at least we have the contact information we need, either way. Baked a loaf of banana bread using the really black bananas; emptied the vacuum cleaner (youngest son is supposed to vacuum the house when he gets home from work); ran all the dirty dishes through the dishwasher & washed all the pots & pans. Did 2 loads of laundry, managed to dig out an electric keyboard from a closet (was pretty sure it was in there – explanation later as to why I needed it); dug through my 3 really large plastic tubs of yarn to locate enough various green yarns to make another baby blanket and (finally) found a small amount of very bright variegated yarn – enough to knit the brim on a baby hat which will go with the blanket I bought yesterday at the rummage sale – perfect match! SCORE!

Electric keyboard: my special needs group will be singing a song they did last year – but THIS year, our leader wants me to play the piano with them instead of them following a CD/video – she thinks it’s more ‘personal’. I have never played this song before (“It’s About the Cross” by the GO Fish Guys) – great song, GREAT lyrics:

Since I mostly play piano ‘by ear’ that request would not be too difficult for me EXCEPT . . . my piano is so badly out of tune I don’t even want to play it anymore. (Why don’t we fix it? Simply because it would cost a great deal of money at this  time.) Since I really NEED to practice playing this song that got me to thinking about just HOW that could be accomplished – AH! An electric keyboard! We’ll see how this project goes, but if it works we’re GOOD TO GO!


Crockpot Spinach/Artichoke Dip

2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen spinach,
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts,
1 1/4 (8 oz) pkgs. cream cheese,
2 C. cottage cheese
2-3 T. water, if needed
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

cut fresh vegetables or crusty bread
cut into hunks

Place spinach, artichoke hearts, cottage
cheese & cream cheese in crockpot –
stir together. Season with salt & garlic
powder; stir again. Cover & cook on
Low 5-6 hours or High 2 hours. If dip
isn’t creamy enough, mix in  2 T. water
& cook until dip is creamier & water has
evaporated. Transfer dip to serving bowl
& serve with cut vegetables or crusty
bread. Serves 6


Zucchini/Cinnamon/Banana Cake

3 eggs
1/2 C. oil
1/2 C. mashed bananas
3/4 C. sugar
3/4 C. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 C. shredded zucchini,
1 medium or large

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. butter, softened
3 C. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
dash salt

1/4 C. granulated sugar
2 T. cinnamon

Mix 1/4 C. granulated
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl put eggs, oil, bananas,
brown & white sugars & vanilla; beat
until frothy. In separate bowl combine
flour, baking powder, baking soda,
cinnamon, salt & nutmeg; Add dry
ingredients to wet & stir until almost
all of streaks of flour are incorporated.
Add shredded zucchini to batter & stir
just until incorporated; do not over mix.
Spray 9 X 13 baking pan with nonstick
spray & pour batter into pan. Bake
30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Cool cake
completely in pan.
In medium bowl mix cream cheese, butter,
powdered sugar, vanilla & salt; beat until
smooth & glossy. Carefully scoop spoonfuls
of frosting onto cooled cake & spread out
evenly with a knife. Mix cinnamon & sugar
& sprinkle on top of cake. Serves 12-16


Pork Chop Tomato Rice

4 pork chops
1 T. oil
salt/pepper, to taste
1 (10.75 oz) can tomato soup
3/4 C. long cooking rice, uncooked
1 C. boiling water
1/3 C. finely chopped onion
1/3 C. chopped green pepper
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt

Heat oil in skillet; brown pork chops
on both sides. Salt & pepper chops &
place in crockpot. Mix rest of ingredients
in a bowl & spoon over chops. Cover &
cook on Low 6-8 hours (if it starts to get
dry add more water; do not overcook
chops. Serves 4


Cheesy Beef & Black Bean
Enchilada Boats

1 pkg. Old El Paso Mini Soft
Tortilla Taco Boats
1 lb. ground beef
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed/
1/2 red onion, diced
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
8 oz. shredded Mexican blend cheese

chopped tomatoes
sour cream
sliced avocado
sliced black olives
finely chopped lettuce

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Line up taco boats on sheet; spray
tops & outsides of boats with spray.
Brown ground beef in large skillet;
drain all but 1 T. of fat. Stir in onions &
cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add
black beans & enchilada sauce; bring to
a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently,
3 minutes. Spoon mixture into boats &
top with shredded cheese. Bake 10
minutes until cheese is melted &
bubbly. Serve with chopped tomatoes,
sour cream, sliced avocado, sliced black
olives, finely chopped lettuce – your
choice of toppings.
Serves 6


Crockpot Minestrone Soup

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 C. chopped carrots
2 C. chopped potatoes
1 1/2 C. chopped celery
1 onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 bay leaves
4 C. vegetable stock
2 C. water
3 C. V-8 vegetable juice
1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans,
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans,
1 1/2 C. zucchini, diced
1 C. tubular pasta (ditalini)
1 (15 oz) can green beans, drained

Place tomatoes, carrots, potatoes,
celery, onion, garlic, Ital. seasoning,
salt/pepper, bay leaves into crockpot.
Add Vegetable stock, water & V8- cover
& cook on Low 6-8 hours (or 3-4 on High).
After cooking time is up, add kidney
beans, cannellini beans, zucchini, green
beans & pasta – cook on High 10-15
minutes until pasta is tender.


Banana Bread

3/4 C. sugar
3 large bananas, mashed
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 C. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2 C. flour
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking powder
at least 1/2 C. chopped nuts

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Grease a loaf pan with shortening
or nonstick spray. Mix sugar, bananas,
oil & eggs in large bowl using a wooden
spoon. Stir in remaining ingredients &
pour into prepared pan. Bake 60-70
minutes until a toothpick inserted into
center of loaf comes out clean. Let cool
10 minutes in pan. Loosen sides of loaf
from pan with a thin knife. Remove from
pan & cool on wire rack. Cool completely
before slicing. Makes 1 loaf

(recipe: Pat J.)


Today is a gloomy day –
56 degrees, grey & ‘scattered
sprinkles; perfect day to stay
in, finish up some housework
and knit! (also read: I LOVE
reading on a gloomy day –
don’t you?)

Hope, even though it’s gloomy
here, YOU are having a GREAT




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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The sun finally peeked through up here just now but it had been raining lightly most of the day. I got my grocery shopping out of the way, figured my check book, and am returning to my sequins .

  2. You are one busy woman. I can relate to the BRAIN keeping one awake. Have a glorious day!

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