For the love of Green

Not only is green one of my most favorite colors, but this is St. Patrick’s month.  Oh and yes this is my still the Christmas tree up at the nursing home.  I  am decorating it for every holiday this year for something different.  I am a clearance shopper, I picked up green lights and the green burlap rolls after Christmas planning for March 17th.  Today I rounded up a couple residents at the nursing home to help me decorate the dining room, they really do get excited helping, I play music and we talk about what they did when they were younger for St Patrick’s Day.  I get all sorts of stories, from green beer to corn beef to pinching people.  We work together to make the whole room have some sort of Irish decorations.

I am going to do a wreath class with them later in the week that we will hang up on the door to greet everyone to the dining room.  I will post our progress on that later.   Our events for the week include crafts, lots of Irish traditional food, decorating and Irish music.  I am excited.  St Patricks Day means spring is just around the corner.

What makes me who I am!

I  was raised in the Midwest on a farm.  I have two brother and a sister and you can’t explain to the younger generation that hasn’t lived on  a farm how a bond is formed between kids raised on a farm that can’t be broken.    Building that bond we spent hours playing in mud wholes, hay mounds and build our own club house in the barn.
I married after college and moved to town and started a family.  We have two girls that have no idea what its like to entertain yourself on a farm, they small town girls.
I learned so much as I grew up, some from my parent and other things from grandparent and even learned to make homemade bread for a favorite neighbor lady.    I learned to cook, can and garden from all of them.
My sister and I have the best bond of all, we do most everything together.  We enjoy crafting, we do everything from cutting the wood to painting, sanding and assembling ourselves.    We get our kids involved it go to gather wood, grapevine and going to craft show.

Now another generation has come along.  GRANDKIDS!  They love being part of everything you are doing.  Great beater lickers, curious painters and most of all big mess makers.  I can’t imagine what my life would be without any part of my family, a family that cooks together stays together.
I worked in a car parts factory for 24 years, when the plant closed we all were offered college as part of our settlement package.  I thought well why not, I may be older but I can do it.  I signed up for something that interested me my whole life, culinary arts.  I can proudly say I was on the deans list the whole time.  Loved it!  I opened a small lunch diner, and did that for 7 years until my husband was seriously hurt at work and I decided to stay home with him for a few months.  After he was up and able to take care of himself I had someone contact me about being a certified dietary manager at a nursing home, not really being in my comfort zone I was wanting something to do, I said Yes.  I love it, there is such reward making the residents happy.  I go all out on holidays with food and decorating the dinning room, that’s not my job but I love crafting.   I do cooking classes and craft classes with them.  We even planted a garden in pots to use in the kitchen.  It is so rewarding it makes them happy as well as myself.

I am going to share my crafting and cooking experiences with everyone.

Lovins’ from my oven


Wine and Wreath Girls Day

Once  a month I plan a day where my mom, sister, niece and my girls get together and make a craft of some sort.  This month we decided to get together on super bowl Sunday and invite some friends so they didn’t have to sit at home with the men and watch the game.  We had nine ladies come and we had a ball, snacking, watching the commericals, chatting, sipping wine and of course make our huge wreaths.

Everyone brought a snack of some sort we had a great selection, I made honey BBQ wings, potato skins, and ribs, we had several dips, meatballs, beer bread, bacon wrapped smokies and an assortment of sweets.  Who could ask for more.  I mixed up a couple different wines coctails with fresh fruit and they could add a splash of white soda if they prefered.

We started with a wire wreath form, pipe cleaners, and the rolls of mesh that seem to come in every color now days.  I purchased red, white, pink, pink and white striped and red and white striped mesh.  Everyone got siccors and cut the mesh in 12 inch long sections till we had all the rolls cut, what a pile we had mesh everywhere.  I thought we would do this in steps so everyone got done at the same time.  Next everyone decided what color they would want their wreath to be and start bundling up four rollls of mesh to a bundle and wrap a pipe cleaner in the middle to attach it to the wreath.  It takes about 4 whole rolls of mesh to make a full wreath. 

We all had a blast and are planning our next craft Sunday.

Lovins’ from my oven


Super Bowl Week at the nursing home

Each week at the nursing home I plan food, deorations, and puzzles for the dining room around something going on.  Rather it be a holiday, an event,  or just something random that I plan.  This week was all around super bowl.  I decorated the dining room with all football cut outs


The kitchen staff helped prepare different super bowl meal thoughout the week, different things we made were chili dogs, loaded super bowl nachos, boneless wings, and chicken quesadillas with fresh pico de gallo, a gooey chocolate brownie, and chucky applesauce cream salad.  That was a touch down witht the residents.


Our football cupcakes were a big hit, who doesn’t like chocolate frosting loaded with cream cheese?  If you havn’t noticed I am a big pintrest fan.  I spend alot of time working on things to entertain the residents for the week, so while I’m planning I work on a week at a time.


I like the residents to feel like they are a part of a family and family events.  If I am going to be doing something with my family if I can plan events for the residents that are similar I do that.  Everyone should feel wanted and feel their life is normal no matter where they live.

Grandmas baby time

I have been so busy with my grandkids this last nine days I haven’t had time to post.  My daughter will be back on Thursday night late, so I will be back with it again.  I have some great recipes with pictures for the last week or so and will get them shared with everyone soon.

We are looking to get some ice and snow here in the Midwest this weekend so I will have plenty of time to share my last week with everyone.  I have loved every minute of the last nice days with my grandson.  He really is a good baby and hasn’t fused about missing his parents while they are on their honeymoon.

I have been working on a valentines wreath I am excited to share with you.  My sister and I also purchased a silhouette machine a several rolls of vinyl to make signs.  I have so many ideas.  Can’t wait to start.

I took a couple days off of work to stay home, but I had time to decorate the dining room for the residents for the super bowl this weekend.  I want them to experience everything we all do.  Rented a big screen TV for them to watch as long as they can stay wake.  Been putting a lot of super bowl food on the menu this week.  Will share later.

Lovins’ from my oven


The weddings over time for the honeymoon, grandma gets baby time

My oldest daughter got married back in September of 2014, but they wanted to wait to go on their honeymoon till it was cold her and they could soak up some sun in Punta Cana.  I was left in charge to guard their most precious property, “Weston” their one year old son.  He is a red headed little angel.

They was waiting for me to get home from work on Wednesday so they could head to St Louis to stay the night, their plane took off at 6:30 Thursday.  The little fella had no idea he was going to be away from mama for 9 whole days.  My daughter cried off and on all day they said, I had to make her leave she was so emotional she wanted to back out.  She has never been away from Weston, me, dad or her sister ever, she’s 27 its time, hit the road I said.  Lol.

He is a perfect child, he drank a cup of milk and a cup of apple juice and went to bed at 9:00, I on the other hand haven’t had babies around for a while, and I didn’t sleep so well.   The second night we face timed Sarah and Travis and Weston was so excited to see them even if it was just a small mommy and daddy, he was just babbling to them, it was so cute.  At bed time they sent a picture I held it up for him to see while we rocked, he would just rub the phone screen.  Babies are so precious.

We are going to have some good play time this weekend, I think all three grandkids are staying the night and we are going to build a tent and watch a Disney movie, Zayden wants to bake some cookies to decorate.  I am so looking forward to a long weekend.

Lovins’ from my oven


Sunday Supper! Lasnagna.

Been a long day, was short handed in the kitchen at the nursing home so I went in at 6:00 to help with breakfast and get lunch ready.  Left at 10 to go home to make breakfast for the family, that is something we do together, have a late breakfast.  Sometimes we eat out and others we all pitch in a cook.  My son in law likes to fry bacon, I do the eggs and hash browns, my husband does the toast and the girls do fruit and drinks.

Sometimes we all go do something or everyone goes their own way, its our day to just hang.  Later in the day I made supper and everyone comes to eat, the kids, my mom and my sister and her kids.  Its just something we have always done.

Today I made Lasagna with three kinds of meat, hamburger, italian sausage, and a link sausage with parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese in it.  Simmered the sauce for 5 hours with fresh herbs and garlic, made the house smell so good.   I mixed Romano, asiago and parmesan cheese with cottage cheese, parsley and eggs for white layer.  I layered the noodles, cheese mixture, sauce and mozzarella cheese to fill the pan, I use a disposable pan, hate to clean up the mess.  I tried something new I made a white sauce and put mozzarella cheese in it and poured over the top, foiled it and baked it for an hour and a half.  Can you say Yummo?

The girls put together a nice green salad and made garlic bread and we were ready to eat, now the guys can do the dishes and put things away and everyone can go home and relax and get ready for another work week.

I love having a tradition of doing something once a week as a family, but I am sure ready for them to go home and have a bit of rest time before bed and not to mention the peace and quite after the grandkids have left.

Lovins’ from my oven


The joys of being a grandma, spoil them and send them home.

I am a mother of two girls who are very spoiled.  I have there grandchildren that I thought could never be more dear to my heart than my girls but I am so blessed to have them be so close to us that we get to see them every day.  They may not be more dear to me but its a whole different love than your own children.  Spoil them and send them home.

My youngest daughter had a baby when she just turned 17.  Boy was that a shock, I was not ready for that, actually I cried for weeks.  But when he came a whole new feeling game over me.  My daughter went back to school a week after she gave birth, so to  help her out he had a bed upstairs with her and one in my room Sunday through Thursday nights he slept downstairs and on the weekends he slept up with her.  It was a family life changing event.  My older daughter would get up a hour early just to feed him and have her time rocking him where she didn’t have to share time with everyone else.   Needless to say he is very spoiled by all of us.  6 year with out another baby in our family gave it lots of time on his own.  Along came the other two babies 6 and 7 years later and we have just as much love for them as we did for Zayden.  Although he calls grandma his best friend.  We do a lot of outside time together.   They don’t live with me now but after reading this post below I am very guilty of each and everyone of them.

I have to share this I couldn’t help but laugh when I read it. 

Whether you prefer one over another because your offspring’s tiny mini-me’s have two (or more) grandmothers and you want to reduce the wee one’s confusion as to exactly which grandma is on the phone, or because the word “grandma” makes you feel like Aunt Bee of Mayberry (if you’re under 30, Google this one), in the end, they all mean the same thing: You are not the parent.  This is good, people. Parenting is hard. It’s basically 18 years of schooling an often-recalcitrant young human into how to be a socially acceptable, productive member of the community. Grandparenting, however, is less goal-oriented. We are not actually raising the future of our country. When little Johnny sets the neighbor’s doghouse on fire or young Sally rides home on the back of her new boyfriend’s Harley, proudly wearing his dirty leather jacket emblazoned with an oversize “Road Kill” back patch, nobody asks, “Where are the grandparents??” Continue Reading below Simply put, we are not responsible for the way they turn out. That’s the parents’ job, and we’ve already done it. Now it’s just fun. When I think about the life lessons we endeavor to teach our tiny progeny as he or she grows up, I can’t help but note the delightful contrast between parenting and grandparenting.

1.  Table manners.

Parents: “Eat at the table. Sit up straight. Use a napkin.”

Grandma: “Throw a towel on the kitchen floor, and let’s call it a picnic.”

2.  Nutrition.

Parents: “No, you can’t have dessert until you eat your broccoli.”

Grandma: “I agree, broccoli is nasty. Here, have a cookie.

3.  Dating.

Parents: “What kind of family does he come from?”

Grandma: “Every girl dates a bad boy just once. Ask Mommy about her boyfriend before Daddy.”

4.  Weekends.

Parents: “Clean your room. Then rake the leaves.”

Grandma: “It’s Saturday. Let’s stay in our jammies with a bowl of popcorn and watch Frozen. As many times as you want.

”5. Financial planning.

Parents: “If you want a $120 pair of neon sneakers, save half of your allowance for three months, and we’ll pay the difference.”

Grandma: “What size are you? Here you go.

”6. Honesty.

Parents: “It’s important that you always tell the truth, no matter what.”

Grandma: (After backing into the neighbor’s mailbox because she forgot her glasses.) “Here’s 5 bucks. If anybody asks, this never happened and you have no idea how this dent got here.

  1. Saving money.

Parents: “You need a haircut. Go get me the scissors and the red salad bowl.”

Grandma: “You need a haircut. Let me make you an appointment with my hairdresser. Then we’ll go to lunch.

”8. Clothes.

Parents: “I don’t care what all the other kids are wearing. That outfit looks ridiculous. Go change.”

Grandma: “As long as I can’t see your underwear, your butt crack, or your belly button ring, Grandma’s good. And ask your mom sometime about ‘short-alls.’ Denim overalls, cut off at the thigh. She wore them her entire senior year.

”9. When his team loses a game because the other team cheated.

Parents: “That happens. But it’s how you behave that matters.”

Grandma: “That sucks. Show me the cheater, and Grandma will go kick him in the shins with her stilettos.

”10. Perseverance.

Parents: “No, you can’t quit piano lessons. We’ve paid for the year, and you made a commitment.”

Grandma: “You tried, you didn’t like it. Meh. Let’s try something else.

”11. Housekeeping.

Parents: “Before you go anywhere, clean your room. And that means with a vacuum cleaner.”

Grandma: “Bring me any dishes you’ve got under your bed, then keep the door shut. The housekeeper doesn’t come until Tuesday.

  1. Homework.

Parents: “I can help, but you need to figure this out by yourself. Keep studying.”

Grandma: “Put a comma there and a period there. Now let’s order a pizza.

”13. DIY.

Parents: “If you want to be a fairy princess for Halloween, let’s see what we have around the house that will work for wings.”

Grandma: “There’s a fabulous costume shop downtown. If we get there early, we can nab the wildly overpriced, wear-it-one-time fairy princess outfit before that hussy princess wanna-be down the street gets up.

  1. Obedience.

Parents: “You disobeyed us. We’re upset and very disappointed in you.”

Grandma: “I don’t care what you did. Grandma thinks you’re perfect

.”And so we find that aging really does come with benefits. We get grandchildren to love the bejeezus out of, without the constant worry we had as parents that everything we say or do will somehow scar them for life. We’ve learned to relax, knowing that somehow, with or without our inept fumbling, they will turn out to be pretty terrific adults

.And I’m not a “Mimi” or a “Nana” or a “G-Ma.” Those are left to my grandchildren’s other grandmothers. I will always be, simply, Grandma.

Setting the Valentines mood

I love to decorate the dining room at the nursing home where I work.  I picked up some read Christmas lights the day after Christmas, some read ribbon with the thought of a valentines tree in mind.  After all the other Christmas decoration were taken down everyone was wondering why I had them leave the one in the dining room.  Early one morning before breakfast I went in and put the red lights on and the ribbon and I left the lights off as the residents came in.  The lights put off a nice glow in the room, I played some love song music and told them there was more to come before valentines day.  Later in the day I ran to the dollar store and bought paper dollies and heart sticks, made  a paper chain out of red and white paper that looked like little hearts and had them help me decorate the valentines tree.  My grandkids love to decorate the tall skinny tree I leave up all year long.  I like to make holiday cookies with them and we make simple decorations for the tree each holiday.  I thought if they like it the residents would love it as well.

We now need to work on the table decorations and wall decorations.  I also make heart shaped cookies and have them decorate them.  Its good therapy for all of us to sit at a table and frost cookies and talk about things they did when they were young.  They just love to get involved to cooking.  I love my job.

If you have any easy craft items for seniors to do tag me please.

Lovins’ from my oven