What Warms You? Soup & Chili Recipe Exchange

Imagine a fast and deep manly voice saying, "Every effort was made to ensure accuracy. Please excuse errors in the list. If somebody is listed and they don't have a recipe..just say hi!
If I left you off then e-mail me right quick and I'll get you on!"

Hi girls! Thanks so much for participating in this recipe exchange. I can't wait to try all of these. I truly think that Paul and I would be happy with soup every day in the winter. I'm pretty sure he would do just about anything for soup with cornbread and butter.

Click on over to these blogs to find all the yummy recipes:

Amy at Winterberry Creek

Carol at Carol's Heirloom Collection

BJ at Sweet Nothing's

Fran at Frannycake's

Carrie at Buzzings of a Queen Bee

Bo at Blinks n Winks from Brown Eyes

Daphine at Just Stuff

Ms. Tee at Delightful Home

Debra at Bunnies' Bungalow

Jackie at Empty Nest Full Life

Twyla and Lindsey at Two Cozy Crafters

An Accomplished Woman

Nancy at Southern Lady

Bobbie at 40 Shades of Pink

Jennifer at Smelling Coffee

My friend and faithful walking buddy, Carolyn, shared this recipe:

Laura Marie's Chicken Soup

Four boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
5 cups of water
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 med. onion, chopped
2 cups chopped celery

Cook for one hour in large soup pot.

2 cups diced potatoes
2 cups dices carrots
2 cups cooked rice
4 chicken bouillion cubes

Cook another 1 1/2 hours.

Add 1 pound Velveeta cheese and melt.

Here's my contribution. Chunky Potato Soup from the Southern Living Cookbook. It is from a book but for us it's definitely tried and true.

Chunky Potato Soup (page 455 The Southern Living Cookbook)
3 T butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
4 cups milk
2 cups diced potatoes (I put 4 cups)
1/2 cup minced onions
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt (Probably more)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper (To taste)

Melt butter over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk; stir in potatoes, onion, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened and potatoes are done.

My mother in law, Linda sent this yummy recipe:
Santa Fe Stew

1 1/2 pounds ground meat (cooked and drained)

1 pkg. Taco seasoning (cook with meat)

2 cans whole kernel corn (drained)

2 cans pinto or kidney beans (drained)

2 lg. cans of tomato sauce

1 can of Rotel tomatoes (chopped with juice)

1 small pkg. lg. elbow maccaroni cooked

1 pkg. dry Ranch dressing (original)

Mix and simmer.

Feeds 10 to 12 people.

A Very Sweet Award

BJ has given me the kindest award! I really consider this an honor coming from her because she is so doggone nice!! Over and over I keep saying that blogging is a strange phenomenon...it is! I have met the sweetest ladies though and I'm so glad you are part of my day now.

A few questions are supposed to be answered along with this award so here goes:

Do you have the same friends since childhood? Since 5th grade my bestest friend has been Rochelle. She's like my sister. We don't live close to each other but each time we talk or visit it's like we were never apart. We are alike in many ways and different in many ways. We are a great pair!

What do I value in friends? Honesty, sense of humor, loyalty, love. Knowing that I can always count on a person.

Are my friends sounding boards? Well sure!!

What is my favorite thing to do with friends? Eat, talk, decorate, and shop :) Rochelle and I go back to the days of bike riding, talking about boys, fixing each other's hair, wanting to be like Brooke Shields, laughing all hours of the night, discovering about the facts of life - which we thought sounded awful!!

I love her.

Now I can't walk away from friendships without talking about some others. I've heard people say that you never make friends the same way in adulthood. I'm a lucky girl because I have several friends who mean the world to me. These friends go back to when we had babies, kindergarteners, and t-ballers. I also have some girlfriends that I've made in the last few years that I'd never want to give up!

We live far from our family so I would have to say that these friends fill an important part of our lives.

Now to pass this award to some others: Carol, Twyla and Lindsey, Nancy, Cheryl... I can not pick three. Have you seen that blog list I have!! Seriously I love them all-I need an intervention people!

What Warms You? Share Your Recipes

The weather is definitely chilly here. We've been running the heater for a few days now. We've made vegetable beef soup and chili to warm us up. I've been thinking that it would be so yummy to have some new recipes.

How about sharing your favorite soup or chili recipes with others? I always love recipes that are tried and true rather than blindly picked from a book.

If you would like to participate, let me know by Thursday and we can post them on Friday. I will list everybody's link. Please participate! It doesn't have to be complicated just hot and yummy.

Let your friends know too. The more the better...If you do not have a blog and would like to share your recipe (MOM!) just e-mail me and I will post it. Oh, if you have a required side dish that goes with your food let us know that too.

Breaking Bulletin

Rhoda at Southern Hospitality is having a give away. She is sharing a gorgeous Better Homes and Gardens decorating book. I'll arm wrestle you for it!! Go visit her and enter.

Product Reviews and Rooster Love

Debra at the Bunnies' Bungalow is hosting a product review gathering. I love this idea. I know that I have my favorite products - some of which I will share here. It's so much fun though to try something new every now and then. Seems like just smelling a new scent can suddenly make dusting more fun!! Don't you agree? OK, here's a few that I am stuck on.

Must have my Dove soap products!! I promise they leave your skin really soft and smelling sweet! No itchy skin.

Excuse the picture here. I love my Dyson vacuum cleaner. You know, two boys, one husband, two dogs & a cat...you understand! No bags to replace when they are full. Just dump the dirt out after each use. I've had mine about 3 years and would definitely say it was worth the money.

Just remembered our beloved Ranch Style Beans! I can remember eating these from the time I was really little at my grandmother's house. It's embarassing to admit how many meals at our house are finished off with the addition of Ranch Styles. One of my favorite meals (does not happen often) would be a pan fried hamburger with ranch styles on the side. Mmmmm! Sometimes we add cheese to them. If you haven't tried them you're missing out!

Now moving on to roosters...Mishebe at The Crowned Casa has decided that Monday's are for sharing Rooster Madness. Look closely at this picture of my living room. Can you see the rooster lamp? I love him!

This picture is a little peek at the progress in my living room. This weekend I moved furniture from room to room and I'm loving the results. Show you more later. Have a wonderful week!

Happy Saturday!!

These pics came through in one of those e-mails full of cute animals. I'd love to give credit to the photographer but I don't have a clue!! I just love how sweet they are. :)

Decorating Opinions Wanted

First can I just say that the couch is really not the red color that it always appears to be in the pictures. It's a deep beautiful red. The walls are ecru or a creamy pale golden color.

Progress on my living room is happening slowly but surely. I finally sold my coffee tables to the cutest young couple. Bought a print and had it framed. Also hung my two wall shelf/sconces..not sure what to call them. Now, I need your help.

I want to surround the print with plates and I would like your input. You have choices so let me know if you like one better than another...or hate them all. :)

I originally thought I would move these leaf plates and add several to them. I love the colors and variations. They are kind of on the small side - the ceiling is 10'- so it would take several.

We have a set of these Limoges dishes that were Paul's grandmother's. They are absolutely beautiful. Much lighter than anything else in the room. The outer ring is robin's egg blue and there are flowers in the middle.

I also have a set of these cabbage plates from my mom and Aunt Jean.

Last but not least, I have considered collecting brown transferware.

I have ordered an ottoman for the center of the room that is out of leopard! We're wild people here- can't ya tell?!

These two sage green chairs are on the other side of the room. I need more pillows and a throw. I want a huge mirror on the wall behind the chairs. Maybe even a leaning mirror. Going to change the lamp shade and cover the cord...

I'm open to suggestions. Tomorrow my friends and I are going to:

Anything that you tell me this room needs - they will have!! Thanks for your ideas.

Lookin' Good

Some days you're just a candidate for What Not To Wear!!

What can I say except it's busy around here.

Good Morning Blogging Friends

Finished that flower bed project yesterday afternoon. It took me two trips for flowers and mulch and one more trip to get rocks or boulders. I think it looks much better than the over grown situation that was there before.

Pansies are so much fun in an Oklahoma winter. It can snow or be very cold for a long time and they will still poke up their bright little faces.

Thought about putting mums in also. However, it could freeze here very shortly and I don't think they would be able to establish before that. Still might stick in some bulbs for next spring.

You can see that I put a few of the day lilies back in here. They completely die back here in the winter. Next spring it's a glorious day when you see those green leaves beginning to poke out of the ground. I still have lots of day lilies that need a sunny spot.

Have you ever tried to divide day lilies? It cracks me up because in Southern Living they talk about gently breaking them apart...Let me tell you. It takes a sharp shovel and it doesn't hurt them!! We love this Stella d'Oro variety. They don't smell but they do bloom profusely all summer.

Oh, I just realized I need a few pumpkins in there!!

Have a great Autumn day!

Thank you Erin from Old Grain Sacks and Lavender for this fun award!!

Your blog is so neat that I really consider this a compliment. Along with this award I am supposed to list things that I value and things that I don't.

Here goes. I value my family, so many friends who are like family, health,our church, and stability in a crazy world.

I do not value meaness, laziness, Cancer and other illnesses.

**This is actually a good exercise for all of us to think about. It's too easy to slip into likes and dislikes vs. values. Thanks for making me think about that.

Instead of passing this on, I challenge anyone who reads this to really think about it and let me know what you come up with.

Fall Gardening

Here's a peek at some of the work that went on here this weekend. Paul is styling in his waders. He's not going hunting or pearl gathering or anything like that. He's cleaning moss and leaves out of our pond. Does anybody know how to master the moss? We have not figured it out yet!

We also worked in the front yard on that project I wanted to start earlier last week. We lifted out all of the perennials and left the bushes in place.

So far I have put in two flats of pansies..replanted all the sedum that was lifted out..and I'm still trying to figure out what to do with all the Stella d'Oro day lillies. I will spend this afternoon dividing them but we are pretty much out of sunny spots to put them. We are also going to the rock store to find a big mossy rock to go in there. Stay tuned..my wimpy arms are sore!

Here's something else that happened this weekend. Pray for us please.

Teenage boy got a car. He still has just a learner's permit, thank goodness. He can't take off yet.

Sweet Marriage & Scary Movies & the Geek Squad

WARNING: Serious rambling ahead.

So this is how the conversation just went.

Paul said, "I'm gonna start talking bad about you Stacey. You spend too much time blogging."

I said, "OK. It's better than watching Halloween movies on TV."

He said, "I'm not watching Halloween movies, Pighead."

NOTE to Reader: Do Not be alarmed, we have these terms of endearment in our marriage. LOL!

Now I ask, do you like scary Halloweeny movies? That's probably the one thing I do not like about October. No scary movies for me, please. Never liked them..never will!


Our good computer tried to die on us Thursday but the Geek Squad resurrected it finally. Of course, teen-age son won't let me on there. I'm just pecking away on my husband's lap top.

Speaking of the Geek Squad...we purchased one of those spiffy repair plans when we got the favorite computer. So they were supposed to fix it for free - which they did. They called us 3 times and tried to sell us an external hard drive while they had it. My son spoke with them last time and said, "Dude, we aren't going to buy anything else. Could you just fix our computer?" I hope he wasn't too rude. I'm so glad he knew we didn't need it.

Our friend said it's like when you are at the drive in at Sonic. You order your hot fudge sundae and they say, "That's one hot fudge sundae. Would you like Cheddar Peppers with that?"

I Know You Are Out There

Dear Lurking Reader,

I know you come to visit because you tell me in person that you do. (Plus there's a counter that tells me how many hits there have been). For a year before I started this blog I was a lurker too. I creeped around silently on blogs that you see listed over on that side bar. Over time these bloggers, whom I have not been lucky enough to meet in person, started to seem like friends. Even though they didn't know I was there. I do realize that sounds bizarre.

Here's the thing ...I've discovered that it's so much more fun when this is interactive. My blog has no purpose except that it's talking, cooking, decorating, family life, etc. I just really enjoy it.

Do me a favor and leave comments! My ever supportive husband says that comments are just an ego boost. Pooey on him. I like to talk to people!! If you have good ideas that we should blog about let me know.

Signed a Reformed Lurker

The Aliens Have Landed

Did you know that aliens are supposed to land today? That's right October 14, 2008!! I heard it on the radio. Then I googled it so I could provide you with accurate sources to read. Let me tell you there are plenty. You google it - you'll see!

I think they have already landed in our yard. Can you see them?

Hope you are having a sense of humor along with me. I had plans to start revamping this flower bed today. However, it's dark and rainy - not my kind of day.

Truly dark and rainy days are not for me. The lack of sunshine just makes me want to sleep and be sad. I think I will turn all of the lights on, turn on some good music, get a Diet Dr. Pepper, and clean something!

Have a good day friends! :)

Time in the Yard

Katie and I have just been taking a little time to enjoy the yard.

This is a dried Oak Leaf Hydrangea still on the bush. It's just so pretty. Love these bushes.

It's so pretty this time of year when the last of summer mixes with fall. Pumpkins and impatiens...beautiful!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Poofing the Guest Room

Dusting, washing sheets and blankets, mopping...I love getting ready for company. This is our guest room. It's also my husband's office. Everything for work is hidden behind the doors of a huge armoire. He's out of town right now so the room is clean!

I hope our guests will be happy in here.

Can you see the little picture on the black stand? (double click on the pic to enlarge) That's my in-laws and they are coming tomorrow. My mother-in-law has been going through chemo treatments. This is a wonderful example of unwaivering faith in God and a sense of humor!

My faux ceiling tins that I got a Kirkland's. Love them. :)

Still need to cook some good food to enjoy this weekend.

Picking Our Pumpkins

This past weekend we went to pick out a few pumpkins.

For years I took my kids to the Punkin' Patch. We would ride the hayrides, go through mazes, etc. Now we go to the sweet man who has always sold them on the corner in town. I miss those Punkin' Patch days but I'm thrilled that they will still go with me!

Speaking of pumpkins, last weekend my friend Cindy brought over a Pumpkin Dump Cake. Have you ever had it? It's amazing!! There are lots of recipes out there. I will see if I can get hers.

The Little Things

Spending some time this week cleaning and getting ready for a little company. It's been a while since we've had visitors so we are excited!

When I'm at home taking care of life I often realize that little things can really make me happy. Here are a few...

It's true! The smell of Downy makes me happy. Maybe that's pitiful but oh well. My mom uses it and it smells homey to me. I've tried others and Downy is the ticket for us. The Purex laundry detergent is a recent find for me. It's not expensive, it works, and it smells good.

Having the lamps on warms things up. Just makes it a little cozier.

Last but definitely not least - Must have coffee!
What little things are out there that help make your day complete?

He Can Read Again!

Some personal stories are meant to be shared in a blog because other people need the information. I think this is one of them.

My husband has a vision condition similar to macular degeneration. He has been affected by this for 10 years now. With this condition, as with macular degeneration, he has lost the central portion of his vision. He has been unable to read from printed material for about 5 years. It is difficult for him to see faces or specific details. He is still able to see the "big picture" because his peripheral vision is fine.

There have been wonderful advantages to computer technology that he has been utilizing. Microsoft Word and most other computer programs have low vision adjustments that can be made to accommodate people's needs. Words can be magnified, contrast can be changed, and some programs will read out loud. He has discovered books on CD which are abundant through our library system.

However, picking up a book or magazine and reading it has been almost impossible.

He has been under the care of a retina specialist who has our full respect. Recently though, another opthamologist mentioned to us that we should not see the same specialist for 10 years without input from another doctor. Well, believe it or not that is exactly what we had done.

So we were off to a new specialist at Dean McGee in Oklahoma City. This doctor confirmed everything we have been told in the past. The difference is that he referred us to a LOW VISION REHABILITATION SPECIALIST. Ever heard of that? She assessed his vision in more practical ways than just reading eye charts. This was the first time that we felt someone was actually measuring his difficulty level and understanding the struggle.

We were then referred on to an Occupational Therapist who specializes in low vision rehabilitation. She fitted Paul with Prismatic Reading Glasses and a prescription strength magnifier. After all this time, he can again read books and magazines. It's not easy and all vanity has to be put aside - BUT HE CAN READ!!

We still have great respect for the doctor that he had been seeing for years. The difference is that the new doctor cares about how this condition has changed things for Paul. He sent us in a direction that has made a huge impact on quality of life.

I share this with you because we learned so much from this experience and because macular degeneration is prevalent. It will affect many people in their lifetime. Paul's problem is really a little different but the results are the same.

Here is a link for information http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts.asp

Friday Favorites & A Mess

I am so impressed by many bloggers who decorate. Some of you girls move your pretties around all the time. I've seen you completely redo vignettes on a regular basis. Me, not so much. I'm trying though. These are a couple of my favorite little shots from around the house. Now truthfully..they may have been this way for a year..or more.

I can see dust up there. Don't laugh. This is the top of Mama Rose's china cabinet that we were lucky to receive. It is the top for heaven's sake!

Do you see a common theme? Yes I love my transferware. It's all over the house in various colors.

Now for the mess and my request for your advice.

I have a constant struggle with papers. We are actually good about filing, tossing, etc. But there are always papers that we might need in the next week or two that are laying around. You know, pizza coupons, Macy's ads, various announcements. What is your method for dealing with them? I want the pile gone!! Ideally hidden from sight. Help me.

Girls, I am so excited!! Heidi at Foxgloves, Fabric, and Folly is hosting a Christmas vintage swap. I've been reading about these swaps for awhile now and always think it sounds like fun. Well, I decided to jump in and join the festivities.

Here's how it works. Go to Heidi's blog. She has a little questionnaire you can fill out and send back to her. She will match us up with a swap partner. Kind of like Secret Santa with a blog buddy. Hope you will join in. :)