Friday, November 17, 2017

5 thing Friday - Fall colors, stew, goblets, front door, wreath

From one weekend to the next I noticed the changing colors up at Highlands.
It might not feel like cooler weather, but it sure looks it.  Central Texas can't decide between Summer and Fall, but the trees have made their vote!
We haven't been up there in two weeks, so I'm sure its even lovelier by now!
I didn't take a picture of my finished crock pot stew, but it was almost all gone by the time I got home from work.  Recycled dinner at its best - a tomato almost too ripe, a couple of carrots, some small potatoes about to sprout - all went into the crockpot with a seasoning packet, some extra chopped garlic, water, and some stew meat.  It was definitely a win.
On the advice of a sweet blogger I follow, I went back to Dollar Tree and nabbed another of those plates - the last one!  And while I was at it, I grabbed some of the wine goblets, too.  You cannot beat $1 apiece for wine goblets!  These are study and dishwasher safe.  And if one gets broken I will not care as much as if one of the crystal ones met a similar fate...I'm glad I didn't order some like I had originally planned.
Eventually the front door will get painted, but that doesn't seem like it will happen soon.  And anyway, its almost time to say goodbye to pumpkins and such.  And in anticipation I bought a few items at Dollar Tree to spruce up a wreath for the front door.  Can you believe that giant glittery reindeer was $1??
Next weekend the house will be Christmas-festive by Sunday.  For now, I am wondering how I can finish the Thanksgiving table.  Still thinking fresh flowers!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


I was on call this past weekend so I stayed close to home and got some things ready for the best holiday ever that is coming up next week:  THANKSGIVING!!  There will be seven of us this year and I work that evening, so I want the morning to go off without a hitch.  But I also want the house to be clean and organized and pretty!
I bought all of the dry goods for various recipes and stored them in the pantry {so I wouldn't forget and accidentally use something I needed later!}  Next week I will make the sides in advance on Wednesday and zap them into the fridge.  And Saturday I will set the bird in the fridge to thaw.
I pulled the glass off the china cabinet and gave it a microfiber and Windex cleaning. I'd been meaning to do this for so long.  The glass is so pretty and shiny now!
And that inspired me to get the rest of the dining room spiffed.  I replaced the felt pads under the table and all of the chairs.  They slide much more easily now and won't scrape the floor.  This table and chair set is super heavy!
Then I used a cleaning cloth and some hot soapy water to freshen up the chair pads -  moved all of the chairs and mopped, too. Now I just need to dress that table up!  I'm thinking some fresh flowers...
And since I know we don't have enough forks and knives for seven people, it seems as good a time as any to pull down the silver and use it.  I think we may have used it once in all of the years we have had it - the last few holidays its just been the six of us and I didn't even think about it.  Its a beautiful set and it seems pointless to store it away forever and never see it.  My MIL is smiling from heaven at this, too!
On a favorite blog I saw mention of these simple white plates from Dollar Tree so I ran over there and got 7 of them.  They will go well with the silver and a solid color tablecloth.  I didn't find the pretty napkins I was after, but I still have a few days, and these turkey ones  will go to the kitchen table.  They seem too quirky for the dinner table.  Now all I have to do is make sure I have enough clean casserole dishes, locate my turkey baster and gravy boat, and make out my meal prep plan!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Mealplan Monday #44

Monday - Dr. Martin's Mix, corn
Tuesday - Beef Stew Crockpot, garlic toast
Wednesday - Omellette, hash browns, fruit
Thursday - Pinto beans in crockpot, corn muffins
Friday - Garlic Roasted Chicken crockpot, mashed potatoes, veggie (we never had this a couple weeks ago)
Saturday we grill and and Sunday we'll press the Easy Button and do Chinese!

Friday, November 10, 2017

It's finally time for flannel!!

It feels like Fall here, and that makes me want to get things accomplished!  Today I will actually get Scout's old room cleared out and spruced up a bit.  He left a lot of stuff that needs to be weeded through - some to keep, some to toss, some to donate.  He and I work opposite schedules and I have waited two weeks to get this finally done, so TODAY IS THE DAY.
I want to get the room ready for guest use, so I hauled out the flannel sheets the boys have used for the last few years and ewww....they are fairly musty smelling.  I ordered two sets (on sale!) from Target and got free shipping, so next week Bubbie's room will get a deep clean, too.  And everyone will have cozy and clean sheets - so nice!  Getting to putsey around my house, cleaning and freshening things up is something I haven't gotten to do lately and I so miss it.  Bring on the flannel sheet weather! 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Guess what's in two weeks?!

The Girl visited us last weekend - she was on her way to Waco for a girl's weekend, so Teddy stayed overnight on Saturday.  Then she was back Sunday and it was nice to have her at our Sunday night dinner!  It felt like I got nothing at my house done all weekend (as per the usual lately) and by Sunday night I was dreading the week...then it hit me...
Thanksgiving is in two weeks!!
With my new work schedule I have gotten far less done in the mornings than I had hoped I would, including getting any plans made for the holidays!  So while The Girl and I chatted about Thanksgiving, I made a quick menu out, and a plan.  And not surprisingly, it's very simple, with all the "tried and trues" we've come to love about the meal.  Nothing Pinterest-inspired, nothing fussy.  But if we do a little advance prep, we can eat as a family around noon, and visit together all morning with a minimum amount of fuss.  Then I go into work at 2:30, which is kind of a bummer, but I will have the following FOUR days off to spend with my peeps!  And for all of that, I feel a little less stressed about it, a little more thankful!  So that's my Wednesday today - step one is getting to the grocery store before work so I can start my shopping and prepping!
How about you?  Do you have a plan to start the holidays off right?  Give me your tips!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Mealplan Monday #43

Monday - Shredded Pork for tacos
Tuesday - BBQ Meatballs, mashed potatoes, veggie
Wednesday - Buttermilk Fried Chicken Salads (last week for salad meal!)
Thursday - Leftover Chili, Fritos, grated cheddar
Friday - Pizza Night
Saturday is TBD
and Sunday is Chicken Enchiladas, salad

Friday, November 3, 2017

5 thing Friday - firepit, breakfast, doe, Halloween, cookie jar

Last weekend Hubby and I crossed another "to do" off our list for Highlands - ordering the sign.  We inherited a really beautiful cast iron sign from my mother.  All it needed was a new plate underneath that says "Highlands".  It will also feature a triquetra on either side of the name.  I will post a pic of it when we get it installed!  We will take the bit that says "Parry's Pond" back to my mother and maybe hang it on her garage - it has great sentimental value.
Meanwhile, we are eyeballing the giant firepit you see in the middle of the above photo at the same place we are getting the sign done.  Large enough for the whole Cannary clan to sit around - and then some.
 Weekend breakfasts don't have to be fancy - sometimes they are leftovers, topped with a fried egg, a fritter from a favorite donut place in Bertram, and eaten off a paper plate, in the barn...
 I spy with my little eye, a very inquisitive doe as I was finishing up my coffee outside...
Sunday dinners in the dining room are still a thing!  This last one was a celebration for Scout's birthday.  We had turkey chili, cornbread muffins, and an Oreo ice cream cake.  Its nice to get to see him, if only once a week.
His birthday is Halloween - it isn't the same at my house without four kids dressed up and pouring their candy in piles on the floor for trades.  These days it's usually just me and Hubby, sitting outside with his guitar entertaining the trick-or-treaters, having a glass of wine and eating pizza.  This year we skipped the wine as I am battling a wicked upper respiratory infection.  Fall is off to a poopy start.
This cookie jar has been in my possession since my MIL passed.  I accidentally broke the lid years ago and did a poor job re-gluing it.  Then two weeks ago, Hubby and I stopped at an antiques store in Llano and what did I find at theveryback of the store?  A LID THAT MATCHES PERFECTLY sitting by itself on a shelf with a $4 price tag, calling my name.  What are the odds?!  Marie is smiling from heaven.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

My "of-the-sea" birthday boy

Happy Birthday to my sweet Scout! 22 years young yesterday - will I sound like an old lady if I ask where did all of those years go?
Galveston, 1996
They went into this sweet baby who grew up to become a sweet man!  The name Dylan means "of the sea", though he wasn't born in Galveston, where this photo was taken.  But it also means tide or flow, and if you knew him,  you would say that it fits!  An easy-going kind of guy, kind and good humored, loving and sensitive, who goes with the flow.
Happy Birthday, Scout!  We wish all good things for you and love you so much!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Mealplan Monday #42

 Happy End of Crocktober!
Monday - Garlic Roasted Chicken (crock pot), mashed potatoes, green beans
Tuesday - Apricot Pork Chops (crock pot), rice with peas
Wednesday - Clean out the freezer!  Barbecoa Tacos
Thursday - Johnny Marzetti Casserole (freeze half), salad
Friday - Bacon and Cheese Chicken (crock pot), salad
Saturday and Sunday are TBD
Dessert this week is Chai Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Friday, October 27, 2017

Cleaning the white

We have a lot of white at our house - grout, laminate, I use bleach to freshen all that up and make them look good.  But I hate that the spray cleaner you buy at the store has other stuff in it I don't want - I only want basic bleach, scented..  And it's pricey to buy those spray cleaners.  So I resolved to mix up my own.
I went to Dollar Tree and bought some spray bottles, then mixed about a quarter of a cup bleach with the water and poured it into the bottle.  I think it's about a 20% solution, but math is not my strong point.  I put one in each bathroom and one under the kitchen sink.  I also bought an extra spray bottle for water to spray on items I iron, such as Hubby's shirts and the occasional scrub top.  To that I added a few drops of essential oil.
I saw one the bottle where they don't advise you use bleach in them, but I figure I diluted it enough and I used regular bleach, not the "ultra" kind.  Time will tell.  But for now, it's a quick grab to spritz on the counters, or in the shower, to keep stains and mold at bay.  Anything that saves me some heavy duty cleaning later on has to be  good thing.  Whatcha think?

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The dining room

Our dining room is the most under-utilized room in our house.  I don't have any plans to make it into anything else, though - we use it a lot for the holidays.  But I have decided that we will also start using it for Sunday family dinners.  Why not?  It has plenty of room for all of us and eating together has got to be one of the nicest ways to end a weekend!
But the table looked super plain.  I keep the placemats and napkins in the china cabinet, but I wanted a tray to put a seasonal set of salt and pepper.  I found a beautiful cream tray on the Kirkland's site that I wanted.  It was only $13 but I would have had to also pay shipping, and I'm trying to be frugal anyway, and not continue to add "stuff" to my home.  What to do, what to do...Then while I was rummaging around under the kitchen cabinets I found a Talavera-decorated tray I had almost gotten rid of:
I used it last when we had a party for a co-worker who was leaving.
After a couple of coats of spray paint it looked very similar to the one I had wanted from Kirkland's and cost me zero dollars since I already had the spray paint.
 The power of spray paint, right?
The candle holder is from Pier One, the salt and pepper shakers I can't remember where...but I love the glazed pottery look of the leaves and I only ever pull them out in the Fall.  It will be nice to change up this little tray for the seasons.
 Dinner with a touch of candleglow is pretty sweet.
And our little dining room will be a cozy place to get eat before the week ahead.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Mealplan Monday #41

Monday - Roast Beef and Swiss on potato bread, chips
Tuesday - Pot of beans and corn muffins
Wednesday - Fajita Pork Salads
Thursday - Chicken Burrito Bowls (heat and eat)
Friday - Pesto Chicken, veggie, mashed potatoes
Saturday and Sunday TBD, but prob Hubby and I will grill on Saturday at Highlands

Friday, October 20, 2017

5 thing Friday- winery fun, bugs, apple bread, microwave, prep hell

We had a good time with The Girl last weekend, picking up our wines at Perisso's Sip and Stroll, listening to live music.  Then we bopped over to TNL and lo and behold, there too was live music.  So of course we stayed for a tasting and a bottle.
Wineries are some of the nicest places to hang out.  Beautiful scenery, friendly people, and wonderful wine!
Yes, grasshoppers ARE bigger in Texas.  There are millions of them at Highlands!  Grasshoppers I can handle.  Wasps and scorpions...not so much.
 What you do with wrinkly apples no one will eat:  throw open the back door, turn on the oven, and make cinnamon apple bread.
Scout and his girlfriend moved into their own apartment.  {Lots of feelings.}  However, they did have this extra microwave they did not need.  So it's destined for the future Highlands guesthouse.  I generally have a stash of things sitting right here, waiting to be taken out there.
Fun times!  Two guesses as to what I get to do today!  By 3 p.m. I will be back in my own home with my feet up, planning what I want to eat for dinner, dreaming of being here on Saturday night:
Happy Weekend, everyone!


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