Instant Pot recipes

Hi.  Yes, I am still here, but have been spending more time living life and working on projects than updating the blog.  I catch myself thinking ‘I should make a blog post about this’ so one of these days I will write about some of my current projects.

Just wanted everyone (anyone?) to know that I just added the links to some of my family’s current favorite Instant Pot recipes to the ‘Links to Instant Pot Recipes’ page.  Tonight I cooked the Pork Chops and they were very good.

Do you have a favorite Instant Pot recipe?  If so, please share the link.

Later – Heather

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Why we should all consider taking a midlife gap year — ideas.ted.com

Quote

When Caroline Harper suddenly found herself jobless in her mid-40s, she decided to step off the corporate ladder and travel to all the places she’d always wanted to go, from Antarctica to Egypt. Here’s how it changed her life — and her career. Caroline Harper loved her work negotiating big contracts in the oil and…

via Why we should all consider taking a midlife gap year — ideas.ted.com

I read this article and definitely agree with it.  Maybe if you can’t take a gap year you could at least do something different on your next vacation which would allow you to think about what you would want to do in the future.  As I have been known to say, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up 😉

If money was no object, what job would you like to have in the future?

Later – Heather

Focus – Word for 2019

I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

After being busy with dealing with the fallout from the Paradise, CA area wildfire (see previous posts), I decided to take off a few weeks from blogging so I could enjoy the time with my family and work on other projects.

I have decided to make some changes to the blog, but I am still mentally working out the details so it will be spelled out in a future post.

Do you select a Word of the Year?  Last year I picked ‘Be’ as my word.   ‘Be’ fit what I needed, whether I knew it or not on January 1st, 2018.

This year I decided on Focus since I want to focus on:

  • my family
  • my health
  • on projects
    • Hopefully I will finish some projects so my active ‘partly done’ list is smaller at the end of 2019 than now.  This doesn’t mean I won’t add new ideas to the list, but I have to get some of the partly finished projects sitting around here done and provide some free space – physically and mentally.
  • etc – I know other things will come up that will need my Focus for at least a short period of time.

One thing I am trying this year is to fill out a planner again.  I have tried to use a bought planner in previous years and have failed.  Then I tried a Bullet Journal for a while, but gave up since I was constantly having to rewrite tasks from week to week since they were not getting done.

So, this year I created a three month planner (to start) of my own design.  It is a combination of a regular planner and a Bullet Journal.  I will let you know at the end of March what worked and what I will be changing for the next three months.

Until next time, Heather

 

Retweet #Retweet4Good

If you haven’t heard, State Farm Insurance will give up to $1 million dollars to help with the recovery of the people affected by the Paradise, CA area wildfire if #Retweet4Good is retweeted on Twitter through Sunday November 25, 2018.

So, if you are on Twitter please retreet this.

Here is the article and what should be tweeted….

https://www.wbay.com/content/news/How-you-can-help-Aaron-Rodgers-raise-an-additional-1-million-for-fire-victims-501013871.html

Thank you in advance and a special thank you to State Farm Insurance – Heather

Good Story #1 – Paradise, CA area

Here is the first good news story I saw about the Paradise, CA wildfire.  I think this story touches me so much since this could have been my mom.  My mom wasn’t driving the last few years she lived in the Paradise, CA area.

Expect to smile before you get to the end of the story.

https://www.actionnewsnow.com/content/news/93-year-old-Rescued-from-Camp-Fire-By-Garbageman-Then-He-Took-Her-Home-to-His-Family–500800521.html

Later – Heather

#ButteStrong

#ParadiseStrong

#prayforparadise

 

 

 

Thanksgiving gift to myself

So, with everything going on with Paradise, CA and my extended family (see the previous posts if you don’t know what I am talking about), I have decided to give myself a gift and not go on Facebook for this week.  I need a break from all the posts, etc.

So far I have pulled out some small painting projects and I at least remembered to take most of the before photos so I will make a future post about that.

Now, I am not giving up all of the social media since I do use Facebook Messenger and I am also on Instagram, but I hardly ever go on Instagram and when I do I usually see good, uplifting things like funny Golden Retriever videos, recipes and etc.

I do want to wish everyone an early Happy Thanksgiving too.

#ButteStrong

#ParadiseStrong

#prayforParadise

Later – Heather

Paradise, CA

There is too much I want to say, but I don’t have the right words yet.  Maybe I never will.

I can say that my mother-in-law’s house is destroyed with what appears to be a large portion of the area.  There are still areas of homes that haven’t been documented yet.  So far, out of all of the many people (and their extended families) we know who live there, there are only three houses that survived (one high school friend lost 10 family homes).

When my family lived in the Bay Area and my dad was ready to early retire there used to be ads on the television about ‘Paradise Pines’ and what a great retirement community it was.  I did a search and Paradise Pines, CA does come up, but it is listed as an unincorporated community above Magalia, CA, which is above Paradise, CA on the ridge.   Since dad had a friend that already lived in Paradise Pines we went to visit one weekend and my parents decided they wanted to move there.  Instead of living in the Pines, my parents decided to build a house in Paradise, I think mostly since I was still in school.

Paradise, CA has been a big part of my and my husband’s family for a long time.  We still take multiple trips over each year and we were actually there at the beginning of October.

As of last night over 600 people are listed as missing.  I am very thankful that I don’t recognize any of the names on the list.  My husband recognizes a few last names so they could be relatives of classmates,etc – we don’t know.

Before I start posting the ‘good’ stories that I have seen, here is a story that was listed on KLove’s website that hit home and I think explains how a lot of people feel about Paradise, CA.

http://www.klove.com/news/2018/11/16/Memories-Survive-The-Flames-As-Town-Of-Paradise-Reduced-To-Ash

#ButteStrong

#prayforparadise

Do you have an evacuation plan?  If not, please talk it over with your family members.

Later- Heather

Paradise, CA update

This is a totally written from my heart post.  Please bare with me.

I am assuming, by now, you have heard about the huge wildfire that started Thursday morning and has gone through Paradise, California and the surrounding areas.  #Campfire  (worst tag name ever)

My mother-in-law currently lives in that town, my husband and I grew up there and my parents used to live there.  We know MANY people who still live there – friends, acquaintances, family of friends, friends of my mother-in-law and my parents former neighbors and others.

My mother-in-law escaped from Paradise, CA.  She left within minutes of the emergency call with the minimum – medicine, some important papers, some food and two days of clothes.  It took her over 4 hours to get out of town due to the gridlock.

Paradise is on a ridge and there are only three main roads out, but two were blocked due to fire.  Over 27,000 people live in the town of Paradise and probably about 30,000 live in the area above Paradise with no direct roads out without going through Paradise.

The inside of her car still smells like smoke.  If you have seen a video of someone driving with flames, etc on the sides of the road that could have been my mother-in-law, but she was in solid traffic, which was mostly stopped.  She had to drive/ sit next to burning cars, burning trees, burning buildings, etc.

It will be a miracle if her house survives, but she is alive and currently at our house.  We are very thankful that my father-in-law died seven months ago or they probably would not have gotten out of the house in time.

We have heard that some other people we know are also safe, but we haven’t heard from everyone.  Per the news over 6,500 houses and 200 businesses have been destroyed already.

Some people, who don’t live there, think the fire probably spread so fast due to people not clearing their brush, etc.  That is NOT true.  My mother-in-law lives on an oversized city lot with no brush.  I will say that the ‘public’ forests in the outlying area have not been logged, etc in a long time.  Also, there were 50 mph gusts and 30-35 mph sustained winds.

What I am thankful:

  • That my mother-in-law and the others we have heard from are safe
  • For the fire fighters and emergency people who got so many people out safely
  • For the community – I am already seeing posts of former high school classmates that are offering help, when they are allowed in
  • I am thankful that my mother-in-law is still able to drive
  • I am thankful that we had discussed what my mother-in-law would do if she had to evacuate – where she would drive to so we could meet her (we live too far away for her to have driven to our house by herself)
  • I am thankful that my mother-in-law only had to worry about herself
  • I am also very thankful for her car and that she had plenty of gas in the car

What I am asking for:

  • please pray for Paradise, CA – the people who evacuated, the people who didn’t survive, the families / friends who are still wondering about their loved ones
  • please donate to the emergency funds
  • Please hug your family and call your extended family and tell them that you care for them.  This life is short and you never know when / where a disaster will occur.
  • Please forgive me if I don’t post much lately.  My heart is just not into it right now, but when I do it will hopefully be the good things in life.

#prayforparadise

 

Heather

Jordan Page YouTube Blogger

Do you watch or listen to YouTube.com?  Did you realize there are bloggers who post on YouTube?

I have found that I can listen to the YouTube bloggers through my smartphone and get things done around the house at the same time – hey, it at least makes the time go by faster when I am doing the dishes, etc.

So, here is the first (I think, since I have been planning on posting these for a long time, but don’t think I ever wrote one up) of the YouTube.com bloggers that I listen to weekly.

Oh, and no, these are not sponsored and if you say you found them through me they would have no idea who I was, but I would love it if you did tell them 🙂

If you see Jordan Page’s face you might recognize her from the Rachel Ray Show or other television shows.  I had never checked out her blog or YouTube channel until another YouTube blogger mentioned her earlier this year.

Jordan Page – https://www.youtube.com/user/funcheaporfree or search Jordan Page

or go to her blog:  http://funcheaporfree.com/

So, in September Jordan did a challenge called #Shelftember Challenge.  The premise was to eat the items you already have in the your refrigerator, freezer and pantry before going to the store and shopping for groceries.  You were give a small amount to buy fresh vegetables, milk, etc each week.

Since we were going on vacation in mid-September (yes, we had fun and I will post about it in the future) I thought this was a good idea for us to implement.

Well, other than a few shopping trips where we picked up bargains, something special,  something we needed to make a dish that went along with what we were eating from our refrigerator, freezer or pantry or to replace something we were running low on we have been eating mostly this way since September.

Oh, and I will say that we still go out to eat randomly, but I consider those ‘Dates’ and the cost falls into another bucket in our budget.  Hey, we need to have some fun in life and at least once a week I don’t want to cook 😉

I can’t tell you exact amounts, but our food bill was definitely lower in October versus August.  The other bonus is we are starting to see some blank space in our freezer, etc so I will be able to buy the turkey that is on sale this week and have room for it in the freezer until Thanksgiving.

I will always be happy to have a stockpile of food for in case of emergencies (earthquakes, snow, floods, power outages, etc can all happen here), but it was getting a little crazy that each week we saw multiple things for sale in the ads and had to go buy them instead of having multiple days a week that we ate the food that we already had.

So, after doing this for a couple of months the husband appears to be on board.  From now on I will plan my menu for the week and then look at the local sale ads.  If there is something we are craving, a super bargain (think baking supplies that go on sale before Christmas, etc) or something that we are running low on then I will buy those items, but I will always be looking to get the items on sale or with a coupon, if at all possible

.

How do you keep your food bill under control?

Later – Heather

 

 

 

Tip Tuesday

So, I made some gluten-free sourdough starter with sorghum flour that I had in the house from the following recipe and we thought it was too sour.

https://successfullyglutenfree.blogspot.com/2013/12/easy-gluten-free-sourdough-starter.html

And, then I realized I didn’t have any brown rice flour in the house, but I realized that I had brown rice in the pantry so I ground some of the brown rice with a older coffee grinder (which hadn’t been used for coffee) similar to this one and made my own brown rice flour!

https://www.target.com/p/mr-coffee-174-blade-grinder-black-ids57-np/-/A-16391441?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&fndsrc=tgtao&CPNG=PLA_Appliances%2BShopping&adgroup=SC_Appliances_Food+Dehydrators&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&location=9030852&gclsrc=aw.ds&ds_rl=1246978&ds_rl=1247068&ds_rl=1246978&ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&CPNG=PLA_Appliances+Shopping&adgroup=SC_Appliances_Food%20Dehydrators&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&location=9030852&gclid=CjwKCAjw6-_eBRBXEiwA-5zHadkXcFHD7V0BYp0KC6q7QsO17p_9CJ-gNlpOm-ZmRcdib-k4wi3E9xoCxD4QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

At the moment the brown rice flour and water are sitting on the counter.  Later this week / next week I will report back how the sourdough bread turned out.

What creative cooking tips have you done lately?

Later – Heather