Did you know today is National Popcorn Day?   I learned that and thought it gave me a great reason to hole up with Netflix and my favorite snack.  Then I thought maybe like popcorn, I should share with you too.  So here you go!  Thanks to Colman's Mustard for sharing this recipe.

Colman's Mustard Spicy Chocolate Popcorn

1 bag buttered popcorn
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup milk
2 tsp. Colman's Mustard
1 tbsp. light Karo Syrup
Pop the popcorn according to package directions. In a small saucepan add the chocolate chips and heat on low. Add the milk and stir constantly until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Add the mustard and the Karo syrup. Mix well. Dump the popcorn into a bowl and pour chocolate mixture over popcorn. Mix well and let it sit till it cools. 
I am adding this information to help me remember that can food is not bad food.  Yes, I am a fresh food snob too often.  Forgetting that I have a wealth of healthy options at my fingertips for a quick to the table meal. This post is not paid for nor did I get any "freebies" for it.  It is just information that I thought just might get us to remembering all the goodness we have at our fingertips.

Question:  Do Americans families who eat canned veggies get more nutrients than those who don't?
Answer:  According to the 2016 "Canned Vegetable Nutrients Study" -- a dietary analysis of 24,000 Americans conducted by Dr. Marjorie Freedman (of San Jose State University) in association with the CFA -- the answer is a resounding "yes."
Consider this:
94% of American adults are not eating enough fruits and vegetables
*  Adults who eat canned produce eat 17% more vegetables and 19% more fruit than those who don't
*  Adults who eat canned produce consume 7% more dietary fiber and 5% more potassium than those who don't
*  Canned produce includes low-sodium options and non-GMO veggies like Del Monte Blue Lake Cut Green Beans
These nutritional benefits affect our kids, too:
9 in 10 kids don't eat enough vegetables and 6 in 10 kids don't eat enough fruit
*  Kids who eat canned produce eat 22% more vegetables and 14% more fruit than those who don't
*  Kids who eat canned produce consumed more protein, fiber, vitamin A, calcium, and potassium (but less fat)
Experts believe that canned food has this surprising effect not only because canned produce carries nearly identical nutrients to its fresh-cooked counterparts, but they are also a cheaper and easier way to get recommended daily servings of fruits and veggies -- which can lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers.
To make healthy eating goals more attainable than ever before, Del Monte has released a new series of "2016 Healthy Eating Hacks":
It's always healthy to eat fresh fruits and veggies, but because Del Monte canned produce provides very similar nutrient benefits to fresh-cooked produce, canned fruits and veggies are a much healthier option than, say, take-out pizza when fresh options aren't available in your fridge.
Pair less healthy foods with a side of vegetables and shift ratios on your plate so that the vegetables take up more room than the more indulgent food.
To infuse your favorite comfort foods with more vegetables, find hidden ways to make them higher in nutrients and lower in calories -- such as this Del Monte recipe for Sneaky Mac and Cheese (http://bit.ly/Sneaky-Mac-and-Cheese). 
Because Del Monte's fruits and vegetables often go from farm to can in 8 hours or less, they can lock in key nutrients and allow Americans to enjoy the benefits of their favorite produce, even when not in season. 
My toes are all wiggly today.  Just fresh out of a bath and it is 75 degrees outside.  Makes me want to twirl around and dance.

from http://thisvintagemoon.tumblr.com/

Do you get that way?  Where you want to forget your age and act the way you feel inside instead?  Of course we can get away with it when we are home all alone but it is not something we often do out in public.  It is in this time that I turn up the music and dance away.  Yes, I am glad no one can see me but the dogs.  But they like to dance too.  

from instagram.com/the.official.happiness.is

Contemporary rendering of a poster from the Un...

Contemporary rendering of a poster from the United Kingdom reading "Keep Calm and Carry On", created during World War II.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have been pretty quiet here for some time.  Life gets busy and we divert our attention to other things.  Lately I have been focusing on keeping our home going financially and figuratively.  But Dear Hubby is back at work now and maybe I can slow down some.  Taking more care of our home and more care of me too.

I have been missing out on some parts of my life that are important to me.  Mostly daily scripture reading, daily exercise and time to focus on my home.  Hopefully this will all fall back into place for me.  We are trying to do what we can to keep life calm and peaceful for the most part.  That means mostly knowing just how much we can take on at any given time.  Making adjustments as new things are added and old things are removed.  But also knowing not to get stuck in the ruts either.

So here I am once again looking at another year beginning.  What do I want out of this one?  I think I want a lil more organization.  A lot more downsizing.  And to focus on my spirituality.  Let's see how it goes?

Monday Blessings

I can not begin to believe how blessed I am.  Today is one of those perfect days.  Sun shining, birds singing and joy in my heart.

It has started out with my husband on the upside of being ill.  He is not well yet but he is headed that direction and for that I am grateful.  Next my darling daughter and Other Mom arrived to share "coffee" time and breakfast with us.  After a fun round of cards and a lil visit from the young women from the Jehovah Witness church, we dashed to the store for some medication.

Tons of bargains there where we saved as much as we spent and restocked some of our pantry.  Popped out to deliver a hug and purchase to my father-in-law and returned home to a sweet friend delivering goodies to us from her home.  It included some beautiful rugs for my floors, a carousal horse for the front yard and new bedding for our sleeping quarters.  There was also a sweet bottle of lotion in my mail box from our darling mail lady as well as a note of thanks from a women in our church.  Can you count all the blessings?

Now I am sitting on the front porch, soaking up sunshine and having a bite of lunch with my Dear Hubby.  We are having the poor man's equivalent of pate', cheese and crackers.  I know that tonight we are to have dinner with our missionaries and that is always heart lifting.  Add in loving pets to share our day with and it could not be a better blessing.

You know what?  Life is grand!

Lost A Part of My Heart

Well I can now sit quietly and think without tears streaming down my face.  It has been quite hard to keep myself from showing grief and staying strong this last week.  You see Dear Hubby has lost his mother to deaths door.  Yes, we knew it was coming as she has been very ill for some time.  But that does not soften the blow only prepares you to know the blow is coming.

Mostly I have tried ever so hard to stay calm, not show emotion and to keep strong so that my sweetheart and children could let go as needed.  It was a fitting tribute to my mother in law to see the long line of teens and young adults that shook our hands after the burial.  You see she was the teacher for the youth at the local catholic church for over 20 years.  She has made a major impact on the lives of the teens in this community.

I could tell you all her good and bad qualities as anyone else could too, but instead I wish to share what she shared with me.  She gave me the most loving husband ever.  He tells me he tries ever so hard to pattern his attention to me like his father has always done to his mother.  That is a blessing alone.  His mother teased me that I married her son and now had to keep him, he was not allowed to come back home.  And after a rocky start in our relationship as in-laws to each other, we grew to a fast bond of love for the men in our lives.  She also gave me unconditional love.  Always letting me know that she thought I was a very efficient wife.  It has been hard letting her go.  I know she is no longer hurting and that alone is a blessing.

Hug your moms, dads, in-laws and loved ones today.  Know they are your blessings.    

Solemn Sunday

English: The perform in the during General Con...
General Conference with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It has been a very trying and tiring week.  From extended hospital stays and short quick hospital surgeries for our parents, to schedules turned upside down and work being put on hold.  It is also General Conference for us in the LDS church.  A time that we are renewed with talks from the leaders in our church.  I was looking so forward to the renewal of spirit from this.  Sadly with the state of my mom-in-law's impending demise, my focus is not able to stay with the spirit well.

My Dear Hubby has been at her bedside for two weeks now and is utterly exhausted.  He returned home this morning for a bath and a nap.  My idea of a nap for him will be let his sleep til his body returns on its own.  He is not in agreement with me but also understands that I will turn off any alarms so no use in even trying.  It is for the best for him to rest no matter of the situation.  He is at his ropes end as well as myself.

So now to help me refocus on positive thoughts?  I am getting my home back into an order I can function with.  It amazes me that one person staying here this summer put me in such a horrid funk that I was doing all I could to stay away from my home.  This was one of the times that helping someone else so backfired.  But I have managed to rearrange the house once again and claim the space anew.  Once again I am making this into a one bedroom house with personal space at the focus for us.  Honestly for a supposed three bedroom, two bath home, it truly feels like a very small house to me.

Here is the current layout.  With the furniture layout.  And also a copy of just the rooms listed.  See what I mean as it just seems to be a one bedroom house.  Yeah, I know that the kitchen is the whole focus of the house with the dining room in front.  But that is where I seem to find my most enjoyment so I just stole half the house for that.  We watch very little of movies and removed any conventional TV so the den became the smallest area.  And it seems that I need a place for nothing but dressing area and office.  Yes, for those who are observant there are two beds in the bedroom.  I have a twin size low bed for just my dogs to sleep on.  When you have big dogs they also need their space.

Well as I have sat here typing, Dear Hubby has drifted off.  It seems he if finally getting some much needed rest.  Sweet dreams my dear man.  May your Mother also be lifted up now to our Heavenly Father as she too rest.

Is It Tuesday Yet?

Good morning all.  I would say a bright and beautiful morning but it is still dark out.  So instead I will be looking forward to the dawn.

This is how most of the house looked like.
How can it only be Tuesday and I be so exhausted?  Well yes, ten hours of non stop cleaning yesterday could be part of it.  Seriously!  I cleaned a 3 story Victoria home yesterday and never took a single break.  It was a beauty to be in though.  5 bedroom, 3 bath, 7 fireplaces, 3 living rooms, an office, dining room, kitchen and two pantries (yes one was a butler's pantry!)  

This is sorta what the staircase looked like.
There is even an attic playroom set up that made me want to hid in so I could sit and write stories.  What took so long was that I made sure to clean all the walls with murphy's oil soap.  They were beautiful detailed wood work up to the ceiling.  As well as the grand staircase with it's deep curve and beautiful railing.  Of course a home like this is solid wood floors throughout so it also was cleaned the same way.  It did help that I purchased a sponge mop so I could get all the way up the walls without having to go up and down ladders all day long.

Now today will be a half day of house cleaning then off to the mini big city (Abilene) this afternoon.  My mother in law has been in the hospital with heart problems for over a week now.  And my own mom, Granny M, is going in for heart surgery on Wednesday.  We are joking on how they need to put them in a double room so it can be easier on us to care for them.   I pray they both are home soon and able to make a full recovery.

Y'all have a great Tuesday.  Oh and remember today is  National Coffee Day!  Enjoy!! 

Nobody Here But Us Chickens

Well it has been a while since I have been able to sit down here and write.  Part of me wants to go on and on about how busy I have been.  The other part of me wants to just sit here and bask in the glow of the computer, knowing I am finally able to be back on my blog.

How about I just throw up some random photos from this summer and give you a lil catch up?

We were so thrilled to be able to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir live in Salt Lake City.  What amazing music they produce.  There is a show broadcast live every Sunday morning called Music and The Word.  You can see it as they tape it, free.  Just show up and enjoy.

Here we are, my Dear Hubby by my side.  I love he deeply and am so thankful to have him.  This summer has been a new learning lesson for him.  He was released from work at the beginning of summer.  Now he is learning just how busy it is to be 'retired'.  I laughed when he said he never knew he was going to be this busy.

When we were in Salt Lake City we also was able to see the Temple there.  I love how beautiful it is with the reflecting pool in front.  I could sit here for hours and just gaze upon the sights.

It was also amazing sitting on the edge of the Grand Canyon.  The splendor of watching the sun rise and the colors wake up was to die for.

And I was feeling sassy when we was able to see one of the Bridges of Madison County.  A beautiful reflection of history as well as a tearing at the heart of a woman's love story.  Yes, inside, we all have our secrets.