Thursday, August 27, 2009

Laundry, Trees, Yeast, and Conference...

I guess you could say this is one of those "a little bit of everything" posts. I'll try to make it short but sweet (did someone say chocolate?)... :)

1. I actually won a blog contest, can I tell you how excited I am? I don't win stuff, so this was especially made it all the better that it was from my sweet friend Lisa, who blogs about chocolate all the time (love that woman!).
Now, you're probably thinking I won chocolate,...I didn't. I won a cleaning product, yup, work, work and more work, LOL. Lisa held a drawing and the winner won a box of Purex 3 in 1 Laundry dealy boppers. You pop the sheet in the washer and then in the dryer; it contains detergent, softener and anti-static. I've been using them since I got the package and they smell great, clothes are soft, fluffy and static-free (oh yeah, and clean!) - very nice product! :)
But do you REALLY want to know why I was so excited that I won one of Lisa's contests? Well, I just KNEW she would send me some chocolate in my package,....and guess what? SHE DID - Woo Hoo!!! Did I already say I love her? :)

2. Hubby and I were lazing around in bed the other morning, chit-chatting and whispering sweet nuthin's to eachother, when we heard a series of clunking sounds on the roof. I made a joke about it being a bit too early for Santa's sleigh and we chocked it up to being a couple of REALLY big squabbling squirrells. Well, when we walked out of the room and looked out the back sliders, this is what we saw.......a huge branch had snapped off of our pecan tree...apparantly heavy with pecans (come on squirrells, get to work!)...we were lucky it didn't smash our roof, or rip down our power line which adds such a lovely aesthetic to our backyard (yuck!).

3. I spent a long time making bread the other day...I do it all the old fashioned way, by hand. For some UNKNOWN reason, I used a pan I never use (dark metal - HELLO, what was I thinking???) and baked my buns for 3 minutes too long...after 4 rises and several hours, I burnt the buns - I wanted to cry, didn't, but wanted to. HOWEVER, that didn't stop me from making up a batch of starter that evening and doing it all over again the next day. Look at the difference between using the correct pan (baking stone) and 12 minutes vs. 15 minutes!! Oh my! The taste and texture were out of tis world! :) It wasn't all a loss though, I was able to slice off the burnt bottoms, cube and freeze the "well-done" buns for recipes that call for crumbs.

4. Oh, looky there, isn't she just the cutest little dog in the entire world? Nothing much to say about her, just had to show off her little cute self today.

5. As most of you know, Kim's computer is down and out and she is driving all over town to write blog posts, lol. This was the day I burnt the buns, they came over to drop off one of their computers for my Hubby (AKA Dr. Mike) to fix. We all enjoyed a burnt bun with butter - they were actually quite tasty without their bottoms, lol. Here she is with her darling boys! :)

6. Last but most certainly not least...I will be outta here for a few days. Hubby and I are going to a Marriage Conference at the Coconut Point Hyatt Resort in Bonita Springs, FL. I'm looking forward to the conference itself, but also just being at the resort, there will be some free time to kayak, splash in the pool, dine out, so it'll be like a little "mini-getaway" for us. Kind of a pre-celebration of our 10th anniversary (which is coming up in just one week!)

Thanks for sticking with me to the end of this long post!
Have a wonderful Jesus filled weekend!

Monday, August 24, 2009

What is your name?

I'm going to join in with my friend Rocio today on talking about our names. My parents named me...Kathleen Estelle...
I really don't know if there was a reason that I was named Kathleen, other than it being a popular name at that time. Kathleen was at it's peak between 1950-60 when it was ranked the 15th most popular name.

Typically when I hear the name Kathleen, since it has links to being a Gaelic name, I think of Ireland. However, the name is actually originally Greek, and it means "Pure or Virginal" ~ how sweet is that? :)

Estelle is my Mom's middle name, so I feel special that we get to share that when she had 3 chances to give it away before she had me! :)
The name Estelle has origins in both the Greek and French language, even though it is a common name in England. In Latin, it comes from the word Celestelle (like celestial), and the meaning is "From the sky, Moon, Heavenly". In addition, Estelle is the French version for the Spanish name Estella, which comes from the Latin word Stella "Star"...whew! ~ that's a long way to travel for a name.

At any rate, here I am,...Kathleen Estelle..."Pure Star", that makes me laugh, but then I think of how God sees me ~ He pulled me up, out of the thick ugly mud, washed me clean, made me pure, dressed me in garments of sparkling white...when I think of it like that, I am amazed at the name He chose for me. Certainly in His eyes, through His love and by His salvation, I sparkle like a Pure Star ~ Chosen daughter of the King of Heaven, loved and cherished by the Most High God who knew my name long before I took my first breath! AMEN!

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.
The Lord looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men;
From His dwelling place He looks out
On all the inhabitants of the earth,
He who fashions the hearts of them all,
He who understands all their works"

Psalm 33:12-15
Visit Rocio to read about her name, and link up a story about your own!
Have a beautiful day!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Funnies ~Chicken Man

Ok, let's do a little comparison of "World Famous Entertainers" vs. "Chicken Factory Worker". When I first saw this guy's audition, I laughed so hard, I couldn't believe how silly he sounded, then after watching a Bee Gees concert, I was shocked to find out how much he actually SOUNDED like the original!!!! And I LIKE the Bee-Gees! LOLOL This kinda cracked me up...

For more Friday Funnies, visit Kim!

Have a beautiful day ~

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The first day of Autumn... a little over a month away, it'll be here before you know it though, September 22nd. Despite the thick humid air and unbearable heat that's pressing hard against my window, I sit here with the A/C blasting, dreaming of the change of seasons that's soon to come.

Ahhh Autumn: Crisp mornings
and breezy overcast days.
lined streets that blend into a bright
beautiful medley of oranges,
reds and yellows, children playing in huge
piles of fallen leaves. Fuzzy, soft knitted sweaters that feel so cozy under my chin. Cold nights sitting around a fire pit, sipping hot cider, bone-numbing days that are warmed with a bowl of Chicken Soup and oven fresh bread....Mmmmm, I can smell it baking already...

Screeeeeech, slam on the brakes! REALITY ALERT! That's NOT what fall means down here in East-Central Florida....but it sure sounded nice...

Our humidity will drop quite a bit though, making it possible, even bearable to go outside between the hours of 9am and 8pm. I'll be planting my fall garden - the best time to grow in our area, it's almost like a good warm spring from September through January. Christmas will most likely be warm enough for tank tops and shorts, though I try to run that A/C to the ground just so I can wear something with sleeves. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to have my Christmas dinner on the back patio, but we usually end up getting a super hot week and it just doesn't happen...oh Florida!

However, all this doesn't stop me from dreaming and planning. I must've felt something stirring in the air this morning, because I got busy and made Pumpkin Muffins. The smell of pumpkin and cloves baking together in the oven started me thinking about decorations and gifts, menu planning, etc... Oh it's so fun, and very easy to get all wrapped up in the excitement of Thanksgiving and Christmas...they invoke thoughts of family, laughter, warm kitchens, silly dances (oh, maybe that's just me and Kim!), Turkey, pie, elaborate Christmas dinners, smiles on childrens faces, cookies, pretty giftsunder the tree....
Amidst all the hub-bub and fun, though, I have to check myself to be sure that I don't get caught up...Thanksgiving isn't about Turkeys....and Christmas isn't about gifts. Oh, to be sure, we always enjoy those things and have so much fun doing it. However, I remind myself, even in the middle of August to be Thankful for a God who allowed me to live in the this country where I am free, and thankful for those that struggled and died to make it so - AMEN! And to be thankful for a God who chose to come down to this earth and live among the filth and ugliness just to save my lost soul - AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


"My beloved is dazzling and
Outstanding among ten

Song of Solomon 5:10

"His hands are rods of gold
set with beryl;
His abdomen is carved ivory
Inlaid with sapphires.
His legs are pillars of alabaster
Set on pedestals of pure gold;
His appearance is like Lebanon
Choice as the cedars.
His mouth is full of sweetness.
And he is wholly desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my
O daughters of Jerusalem."

Song of Solomon 5:14-16
I just love my husband...not much else to say today. :)
Have a beautiful day and go spread some love around!

Monday, August 17, 2009


For Today, August 17, 2009

Outside my window...Golden Cosmos dancing in the breeze, crickets chirping outside my window, a shockingly blue sky and palm fronds swaying...
I am thinking...I really need to get in my kitchen and start preparing dessert for tonights BBQ

I am thankful salvation, my husband, my home
From the kitchen...We are having a young couples Bible study group over tonight for an easy BBQ, burgers with fixins, Homemade Pasta Salad, Chipotle n Roasted Garlic Salsa with tortilla chips, cut veggies with ranch dip and of course dessert...4LayerPuddingDessert.

I am wearing...a white cotton sundress...
I am creating...cute denim "eco" shopping bags...

I am going...hopefully nowhere today, got enough to do at home. :)
I am reading...a wonderful book, God Grew Tired of Us by John Bul Dau. A true story of one of the Lost Boys of the Sudanese Civil War. His amazing faith and heartwrenching story will make you cringe at any hint of unthankfulness in your own life.

I am son comes home for Christmas! :)
I am hearing...Crickets outside my window...or maybe Ciccadas?

Around the house...Finally finished the dining room "facelift", need to get working on the guest room.
One of my favorite things...My sewing's so neat to be able to creat things.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Girl time with my best friend, Kim on Tuesday. Thrift store shopping on Thursday, again with Kim - woo-hoo! 2 girl days in one week!!! :)
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
To read more "Daybook" entries, visit The Simple Woman. Have a beautiful day!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Salmon Cakes...and I don't even like fish!

Ok, ya'll, it's confession time...I'm a Texan. Not one of those Corpus Christi, Port Aransas, grew up near the Gulf Coast, eating fresh caught fish at dinner kind of Texans. I'm an El Paso, Bordertown, Tex-Mex, Burger, and BBQ Beef eatin' kinda Texan. Let's just say, I did not grow up eating seafood,......well, come to think of it,...there was the popcorn shrimp at Long John Silvers..., and of course "fish sticks"...but what teenager doesn't eat fried stuff with ketchup???
Quite some time ago beef became a "sometimes" food in my house, we're mostly chicken eaters now. However, I married a man born and raised on the East Coast of Florida, a fish eating man... he loves the stuff! Much to his dismay, I have tried everything to avoid cooking fish for him. It's not that I don't want to please him, I just had my self convinced that "I don't like fish". I thought it smelled fishy (found out that if it does it's not fresh), thought it was slimy (don't have a clue why). Now as I've aged, I become quite a healthy, natural, whole grain, organic veggie, homemade pretty much everything kinda woman, I've also learned that eating fish, the right kinds, cooked the right way, is almost essential to good health, especially as we age.
Believe it or not, this fish "hating" gal has found a few recipes that she really is one I tried just last night.

I wanted to make Salmon Salad, but as this whole "fish" thing is relatively new to me, I had no clue what to put in it, so I turned to my dear friend Kim,...she had no idea either...BUT she did have a recipe for Salmon Cakes. Armed with her recipe, and another 2 I found online, I whipped up these Salmon Cakes with Creamy Dill Sauce - though I did have my share of difficulties during the process, they turned out really good!!! :)

Here's how it went down....

I grilled and shredded my Salmon, then chilled it. I then tossed a couple of slices of whole wheat bread in my food processor and mixed all the necessary goodies together...

Next I was supposed to form patties, but my mixture just didn't want to stick together, so I added a litte extra virgin olive oil...maybe it's because I used fresh grilled Salmon instead of the canned Salmon???
Anyhow, after adding the oil it was a LITTLE easier to make patties. I carefully put them on a pan covered in wax paper, which I had sprinkled well with flour. I then sprinkled more flour over them and gently patted it in, I prayed they would stay intact, and topped with another sheet of wax paper, popped it in the fridge for about an hour (only 20 minutes is needed, but I was in no hurry).

I heated the butter and olive oil over med-high heat, and began to fry the cakes. They still didn't want to hold together very well, so it was a little hard getting them into the pan. Turning them took 2 spatulas, and one of them lost it, and fell apart...after some counseling, he pulled it together. (See my sweet puppers down there, dreaming about Salmon Cakes).
I made this yummy Creamy Dill Sauce to top them with and they tasted fantastic!
Here's what you need to make the sauce.
Here's what I found out:
- You shouldn't cook them for the same amount of time on both sides, they cook faster after you turn them over, be careful not to burn the second side.
- If the mixture doesn't want to hold together, Ex. Virgin Olive Oil is a good helper.
Since it's just me and the Hubby, I had some cakes left over. I froze them on wax paper then transferred them to a freezer bag to use at another time.
Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The ABC's of Me!

Well, since my bestest friend, Kim, did this today, I decided that I would share some tid-bits about me as well... so here goes...

The ABC's about me...

A - Age: 41 - oh yikes! Did I say that outloud???

B- Bed size: King - yeah, and we're both under 5 foot 6, lol - we like to roll around...enough said...

C - Chore you hate: Cleaning the grout in my tile floor!!!!!

D - Dogs or cats: Dog (mine, not so much anyone elses)

E - Essential start your day item: Since you said item...Bean Juice, Java, Coffeeeeeeeeee!

F - Favorite color: Pink? Yellow? Maybe Brown? I'm undecided at this time, LOL

G - Gold or Silver: Silver

H - Height - 5' 5"

I - Instruments you've played: Voice

J- Job title: Home Enhancement Specialist (AKA-Homemaker, Wife, Momma)

K - Kid(s): 1 boy

L - Loud or quiet: Quiet mostly, but I like my music loud at times (curtains drawn, broom in hand, dancing around the living room, lol)

M - Married How Long? Just about to hit 10 years - God is so good!!!!
N - Nicknames: Mom, Momma, Lovey, Honey, Kath, Kathy, Uncle Mikey & Aunt Patty (yup), Bluebird!

O - Overnight hospital stay: Once when I gave birth, once when my son broke his leg and I stayed with him in that squeeky fold out chair.

P - Pet Peeve: Rudeness

Q - Quote from a movie: "Badly done. Very badly done indeed" - Mr. Knightly in Emma

R - Right or left handed: Right

S - Siblings: 2 brothers and 3 sisters

T - Time you wake up: About 8:30 or 9:00

U- Underwear: Um......yes?

V - Vegetable you dislike: Eggplant

W - Ways you run late: Life.

X - X-rays you've had: Knee, teeth, oh, yeah, and that horrifying, embarrassing, humiliating experience that they make you do when you turn 40!!!!!!!!!!!!! You ladies know what I'm talking about !!!!

Y - Yummy food you make: Meatballs, Tacos, Jalapeno Chicken, Soup, Cookis... visit my Cooking Blog for more goodies!

Z - Zoo favorite: The Monkeys - they are so cute!
Have a fun-filled, happy day!
Kathy C.

Monday, August 10, 2009



I was going to write a post about 7 things in my kitchen that I'm really happy to have, BUT when I went to take photos, I realized there is so much I just love about my kitchen, that I had to tell you all about it! So, I got kind of carried away, and if you actually read this to the very end, I will be quite surprised!

Almost 10 years ago we bought this home, it was built in 1973 and while it had good bones, it lacked severely in we quickly went to work.

The kitchen is one of my favorite places to be, come on in, and let me show you around a bit...

THEN: Dropped ceiling, funky blue flower wall paper, minimal counter space, 30 yr old linolium floor tiles, 30 year old electric stove with sparking wires, cabinet above fridge that I couldn't reach, ugly old laminate cabinets, and no pantry. This 2nd photo is from the Sale Ad for our you LOVE the Royal Blue carpet??!!??!!???

NOW: Raised ceiling, adding space above the cabinets, painted cabinets, hubby made new doors/drawer fronts, added wood flooring and 3 feet of counter/cabinet space, built in a pantry on rollers that hides the A/C-Heater Unit access, moved that unreachable cabinet above the fridge to new space and added glass doors, built arched entryway with shelving, and added much loved skylight that adds so much sunshine and joy to my Kitchen! :)

The old kitchen had no pantry, and I badly needed one. Hubby built this one...the shelf is on rollers, twice a year he rolls it out to fire up/down the Heater (hidden compartments are fun!). See my collection of aprons, I wear a different one depending on my mood and what I'm cooking, LOL - silly gal.

Here's a "collage" of Hubby doing some of the hard stuff, like holding up drywall with his head...standing on that "forbidden" top step of a ladder...learning to be a fantastic carpenter - I love that my man can do anything! :)

Now, with all the hard work behind us, I'll steal a line from Julia Andrews and show you "a few of my favorite things"...
I like to use REAL Butter, but I don't like the way it tears up your toast. This Butter Bell keeps butter at room temp, soft and spreadable ~ you fill the "bell" with butter, and the base with cold water, it seals out air and bacteria and keeps butter fresh and soft, change the water every day or two.

My 30 year old Roper stove did fine for a while until one day while baking pizza, I heard sparks and saw smoke coming from the back of the stove...apparantly the wires were shot and it was time to get a new stove - I was pretty happy about this because I love to cook with Gas and I REALLY like my GE Gas stove with electric start and a sealed top (no gunk can fall inside), electric start in the oven means no pilot light. The control of cooking with gas is one of my favorite things! :)

Another of my favorite things is my red ceramic Kitchen Compost bin with a charcoal filter in the lid for no smells! You toss kitchen scraps in there to put in your compost pile, or if you don't have a compost pile (I don't) - just bury them directly in the garden and plant on top for rich soil and healthy plants.
I'm also REALLY smiling about my cute measuring cups which are too pretty to put in a cupboard, so they are displayed and ready to use each day. I just want to measure stuff all the time because of these! :)

I also really like my Hamilton Beach quick mixer with a whisk attachment. It's perfect when I need to whip just a small amount of whipping cream and don't want to break out the big ole KitchenAid, also for immersing into soups or salsas.
And last (becuase I don't want to keep you here ALL day long talking about my Pampered Chef items that I just couldn't cook without!), but not least, I really like my pretty dish drainer....
"Hi, my name is Kathy and I handwash my dishes"
Yes, I have a dishwasher, but I prefer to wash dishes by hand ~ I'm not sure if I could explain why, there's just something about it that I like, kind of like hanging clothes on the line, it just feels right. I didn't want just any ole' dish drainer on my counter though, so I looked far and wide to find one that would compliment my kitchen, this is what I found.

Maybe this is the reason I like washing dishes by hand...the view from my sink...

If you are still awake after this extremely long post, I thank you for sticking it out!
For more DIY projects, visit Kimba at A Soft Place To Land
Would you share with me what your favorite room in the house is, what makes it so special?
Have a beautiful sunshiney, Jesus filled day!