Welcome 2017!

So I hope you had a wonderful Yule, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or what ever it is that you celebrate this time of year. My holidays were very quiet and reflective.  I enjoyed sitting with my Yule tree lit listening to some holiday jazz and having a glass of wine.

Now New Years Eve has come and gone and I am sitting with the Yule tree lit, binge watching Supernatural and listening to our jackass neighbors shoot fireworks (which is illegal in the city limits) and my poor dogs are freaking out and scared. Welcome 2017!

Anyway, today I made a big pot of beef stew and some yeast rolls for dinner.  Stephen is not feeling well and I wanted to have something hot and filing for him when he woke up from resting.  I don’t have a recipe for it but I make it pretty much the same every time.  Stew meat, red potatoes, carrots, onion,green beans, garlic, salt pepper, bay leaf, celery  seed and what ever other spices I have in my pantry that day.  add everything to a big pot, add water until it covers everything, cook on low flame until nice and tender.  I take a few cups of the broth out and add flour to it until it makes a thick sludge, add it back to the pot and stir. This will thicken the stew. Make sure to taste occasionally and add spices when necessary.  There will be plenty of this left for us to have for lunch tomorrow!  It is chilly and raining her so it is the perfect dish to warm up.  The yeast rolls I make are frozen.  You just let them rise for a few hours them pop them in the oven for 15 minutes then eat them up yum!

Now that 2016 has come to a close, I have to say  that I am glad to see it go!  So much crap happen this year.  We lost so many talented people from the entertainment field.  To many Police officers were killed unnecessarily and all of the senseless murders and attacks on helpless innocent people.  People of the world need a Little “ACT RIGHT” in their lives.  That being said, I myself am going to make it a daily goal to be kinder, more understanding, more active, and overall Happier.

I hope each and every one of you have some goodness to look forward to in this new year!  I wish you all Love, Light and Blessings!

Until Then,

Wende

A Little Time Off

Thanks Giving greetings,

Sorry that I have been MIA this month but things have been Not so Good around my house.  My eldest (14 year old) Fur Baby “Ennis” took a turn for the worse, health wise.   He had a stroke about a 8 months ago and we found out that he has Cushing’s disease. These things have pretty much made him very weak and his muscles are just deteriorating.  We have to carry him in and out of the house and also to eat or drink water.  He did not even have the strength to shift positions when he was lying in his bed.  His eye sight was quickly failing, his hearing the same.   Just this past Sunday he began to not eat and his water intake was very minimal.  We knew that his time with us was limited. We had a decision to make no matter how hard it would be.

On Wednesday November 23, 2016 I said good bye to my best friend, soul mate, kindred spirit, Familiar.  My heart is shattered and my spirit burns less bright with him gone.

14 years ago this handsome boy chose me to be his human and my life has been better because of it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The day he found me

Each day is hard. I miss him so much but I know that he is happy and free running the fields with his 2 sisters.  No pain, no worries just happy and free.

Until we meet again,

_mg_0005

The day I let him go.

Wende

Samhain Finale!

So my Halloween fun came to an end October 31.  I am finished up with a small group ritual on this wonderful Samhain evening.  Mrs. Paula was kind enough to ask me to attend.  She has a lovely little garden out back of her home that is so pretty in the candle light.

_mg_0006

She always has candles lit in every corner.

_mg_0007

Before we enter circle we are anointed and smudged to protect and cleanse.

_mg_0023

The alter is lit with our candles honoring those who have left this world and now roam the spirit world. I lit my candle for my Grand Daddy      (Red Sims).  He was my best friend back when I was a child. I don’t think he knew it but he taught me that being different / the black sheep of a family was not a bad thing. He was so loving and his smile warmed my soul.  Funny how I can still remember that smile even though I was quite young when he passed.

_mg_0030-2

Another photo of the alter.

_mg_0040

And one more…

_mg_0043

Samhain night is when the veil is thinnest between the realms.  Spirits find it easy to cross over and communicate with the living.

_mg_0011

 I bet if you close your eyes and listen, you will hear a familiar voice of loved one wishing you well.

Happy Halloween!

And

Blessed Be.

Until Then,

Wende

Halloween Fun Part 2

Halloween at work was fun this year!  Our theme was Under the sea.  We did arts and crafts for 3 weeks preparing for the competition and our hard work paid off.  We won most original!

img_20161028_141422031

img_20161028_141536540

This is the treasure chest I made from a foam cooler.

img_20161030_154705811

We had Fish.

img_0006-6

A Scuba Diver.

img_0002-4

A Sting Rat (Me)

img_0005-7 img_0004-7

A Oyster with pearl.

img_0003-4

A shark attack victim.

img_0001-5

You can see a Crab and Mermaid in our group picture also.

unnamed

It was a ton of work setting up but it only took minutes to take it all down! Crazy how that works out! The work was worth it.  Our prize was a $75.00 gift card for Lunch!

Until Then,

Wende

Halloween Fun Part 1

The start of my Halloween weekend was The 4th Annual Witch’s Ball!  Hosted by the Wonderful Mrs. Paula.  This year it was held at the Blind Mule which is located in the LoDa (Lower Dauphin Street) area located in  Mobile, AL.  There were lovley table settings, floating witches hats and lost of drinks around every corner.  The company was wonderful and festive

img_0002-2-2

Meeting upi with friends that I have not seen in almost a year!

Gypsie Queen and Oh why not, (me) a Witch!

img_0007-5

Mrs. Paula and Barbara.

img_0006-2-2

The next part of my festivities was a Halloween block party in my neighborhood.  The entire street closed off for the evening.  Everyone had tons of food, decorations, great music and fun for people of all ages.

_mg_0054-2

This wonderful man was 86 and all decked out in his cape and mask.

_mg_0022-2

I kept an eye out on him because I found out that he had a slight case of dementia and got a little confused sometimes.  I never would have guessed it.  This gentleman was amazing.  I gave him my chair so he could rest and enjoy some food and he told me stories all evening.

_mg_0037-2

This is his walking cane that a dear friend of his gave him.  It is a hand carved dragon. It was really neat. I have to say that I reallly enjoyed his company.

_mg_0028-2

There were lots of kids there.  All though I am not really a Kid person, these next few photos are my Best Friends nieces. She and her Mom are raising them.

Pink cowgirl Riley

_mg_0033-2

Vampire Haley

_mg_0016

Scary Doll Zoe

_mg_0018

Then you have me! Columbia from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

screenshot_2016-10-29-16-24-45-1

The decorations wee so cute and the evening cooled off just enough.

_mg_0051-2

It was a lovely start to my Halloween weekend.

Until Then,

Wende

Chicken Burritos!

Hi,

I have had a weekend of Halloween fun!  I know it isn’t over until tomorrow but still I have been running crazy.  We decorated at work all day Friday for our work contest.  Our theme is Under the Sea.  I am going to be a Stingray.  I will post photos of that later this week. Saturday evening I went to a   For now I will leave you with this delicious easy recipe for chicken burritos .  I kinda made this up so it is not as formal as some of my other recipes.

img_0024-5

2-3 chicken breast                                                                                              1 bag yellow rice                                                                                                 1 can cream of chicken                                                                                        1 small sour creme                                                                                             1 can black beans                                                                                                cheddar cheese                                                                                                   Flour Tortillias

img_0026-2

I boil my chicken in some really seasoned water. That way I can use the broth for soup!

img_0030

Once the chicken is cooled, I shred it by hand and sit to the side.

img_0027

Put the black beans in a small processor and chop them up good.

img_0028

Yum! While this is going on I cook the rice by the directions on the bag.  And heat your oven to 350.

img_0032

mix the creme of Chicken and sour creme in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Put thin layer in the baking dish to keep the tortillas from getting to hard.

img_0035

On a tortilla, layer black beans, chicken, rice, and a bit of the soup mixture and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Roll them up and place it in the baking dish

img_0036

My dish held 8 tortillas. Now pour the soup mixture over the top of the tortillas and top that with cheddar cheese. Place in oven and bake until the dish is bubbling and the cheese is melted.  I think it was about 25 – 30 minutes.

img_0039

Eat them while they are nice and hot.

Until Then,

Wende

Potato Soup!

I can not believe that October will be over tomorrow.

 It seem like yesterday that I pulled out the fall decorations.  At least I get to keep them up another month until Thanks Giving rolls around.  I have tons of things to do tomorrow.  Our work halloween contest is tomorrow and also Samhain Ritual at a wonderful frind of mine’s home.  I love when she hosts small get togethers. They are so magical and full of energy. That being said, I have to go and get some food prepared for tomorrow so I will leave you with this little favorite of mine.

This potato soup recipe is so easy. I use both hash brown potatoes and I also cut some of my own because I like the big chunks.

_mg_0093

1 bag hashbrowns

¼ cup chopped onion

Salt and pepper to taste

1 box chicken broth

Bacon bits to taste

About 6 red or golden potoatoes

1 tablespoon of minced garlic

1-2 tablespoons of flour

½ block cream cheese

Splash of heavy whipping cream OPTIONAL

 

lcs_100816_0001

Cut your potatoes into small cubes

_mg_0099

With a little bit of butter brown you garlic and onions.

Once brown add your chicken broth and diced potatoes.  Add about a cup or 2 of water and bring to a nice boil.

 This add salt and pepper to taste.  when the potatoes are a little soft, add the flour and stir until dissolved.

Now add the hash browns and cream cheese. When the cream cheese is melted add the bacon and stir often.  Let it cook on med low until the potatoes are completely soft.  It should be thickening pretty good.

 At the last few minutes before you serve add a splash of heavy whipping cream, top with bacon and cheddar cheese and serve it up!

_mg_0106

Until Then,

Wende

Homemade Chili Seasoning!

Home Made Chili Seasoning

_mg_0069

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons chili powder

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon dried minced onion

1 tablespoon dried, minced garlic

 2 teaspoons white sugar

 2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried parsley

2 teaspoons salt

 1 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a bowl, stir together all ingredients

Store in an airtight container

Use it in your normal chili recipe!

My recipe is easy and usually on the fly.  I use a few cans of beans 3

_mg_0063

        1 lb ground turkey,

_mg_0061

1 can of rotel tomatoes, water

_mg_0064

a little salt and pepper to taste

_mg_0065

_mg_0067

and about 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp of the chili season.  It depends on how spicy you like it.

 unnamed

Start small then add as it simmers.

Add some corn chips, cheese and dig in!

Until Then,

Wende

Fall Decorating!

I love decorating for Fall!

I mean you get started in September and it stays up all the way through the end of November.  It is the most magical time of the year.                       I really like to paint as one of my many hobbies so I try to add at least one painting to my collection each season.  I like to display them all around the house to make it hauntingly homey.  _mg_0039

I finally got the front porch in order.  You can see we are a Jeep Family!

_mg_0037

It is so hot down here in the South that Pumpkins do not last long at all. I always wait until later in the month to grab up a couple.  Then I can gut them, cut them and roast the seeds for a healthy treat.

_mg_0049

I should have washed the porch off before this photo. It is so dusty. We haven’t had rain for about a month.

_mg_0055

Peek-a-Boo!

_mg_0056

This is a piece that I bought in Salem, Mass in 2007.  My wonderful Husband took me for Halloween week.  It was the most fantastical trip ever. We went on ghost tours, took in the Parade, went to Boston for a day. . .

_mg_0058

My Witch’s hat.

_mg_0059

I love my Sugar skull. He makes me smile every time I look at it.

_mg_0060

This is the first painting I ever attempted.  Fun little pumpkins.

_mg_0050

And this My Dear Friends is my most Favorite thing!  This is one of the only toys from my childhood that I cared anything about keeping.  My parents did me proud by saving it.

_mg_0052

Weeble Wobble Haunted House, How I LOVE THEE!

Until Then,

Wende

Warm Bread

Rustic Bread

_mg_0071

24 fluid ounces warm water

1 1/2 teaspoons dried fast rising yeast

2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

6 1/2 cups unbleached white bread flour

Pour tepid water into a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast to the water and then the salt, mix well.

_mg_0073

Add all the flour and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon until ingredients are mixed.

_mg_0075

Don’t over knead.

_mg_0076

Leave the bread dough in the mixing bowl and cover loosely.

Allow to rise for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

_mg_0077

Pre-heat the oven and place a baking sheet in there.

Tear off a large ball, about the size of a small melon.

_mg_0078

 knead it for about 1 minute with floured hands and on a floured board or place it in a greased and floured loaf tin.

Allow to rise for another 20 to 30 minutes.

_mg_0088

Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until well-risen, brown and the loaf sounds hollow when it is tapped on the underside.

_mg_0097

Remove the bread and cool on a cooling rack.

_mg_0104

Slice and enjoy!

You don’t even need butter!

It is that good.

Until Then,

Wende