Merry Monday: December Bucket List

Have you heard of something called a “bucket list”? Man, I have and I have tons of things on it.
Travel the world
Swim with the dolphins
Travel first class
See the northern lights
But what if… you take your bucket list and tweak it to each month?
How fun would that be?
I came up with a December Bucket list, hope you enjoy!
decemberGingerbread Houses for Kids
Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store.
Dr. Seuss

Me Monday: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.
I love food. That’s all there is to it. I love the turkey, the stuffing, the green bean casserole, the corn, the mashed potatoes and gravy; maybe not so much the cranberry sauce. The rolls, the pecan pie (NOT the pumpkin pie), the appetizers and yes, I truly pay for it afterwards, just like most people. Oh yeah, can’t forget the sweet potatoes and rolls!
What about family and friends? A day to come together, eat, drink and watch football: or if you are like me, peruse the Black Friday Ads; making a strategic plan of if I have to get out of bed and actually go someplace at 5 am or can I just purchase it online: that’s the way I usually go, online!
So, in order to help you decide your Thanksgiving meal, I have scouted, collected, pinned (click here for my Pinterest Board)  and here I will post; What is on my table every year!
You can never have too many appetizers. Can you? How do you control your hunger?
Deviled eggs (one of my all time favorites)
eggs, mayo, mustard, salt/pepper, paprika and white vinegar.
Cheese ball with crackers
My favorite is a simple Bacon Cheddar Cheese Ball
cream cheese (I would even substitute a block of cream cheese for a block of cream cheese mixed with chives), cheddar cheese, bacon, green onion, Worcestershire sauce. Not a fan of the pecans on the outside, I would cook more bacon and use instead of the pecans.
Veggie Tray
You can include: grape tomatoes, carrots, celery, green, red or/and yellow peppers, olives (both green and black), radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, midget pickles (both dill and sweet), mushrooms, cucumbers and whatever else you want to add to it. Add some home made Ranch Dip and you are good to go!
When I do mine, I use 2 lemons, 2 oranges & 1 white or yellow onion. I stuff the cavity with these after I have cut them into 1/4’s. I baste my bird with butter, onion & garlic powder, poultry seasoning, salt & pepper and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Love how juicy it is and the hints of the citrus in the meat is YUMMO!
I am no pro at gravy, unless it’s cream gravy. So, I use the jarred gravy (see, I HAVE to make real potatoes as everything else is pretty much canned, frozen, or jarred)
Mashed Potatoes
In my Thanksgiving (rule) book, one should never use instant potatoes for Turkey dinner. I know, I know, they are more convenient and easier, but I saw, if I have to make instant potatoes, I won’t make them at all. Just a personal preference.
salt & pepper, butter and cream, simple and easy. You could add cream cheese, cheddar cheese or even garlic.
While I frown upon instant potatoes, I find I can’t compete with instant stuffing mix. I eat this as dinner on some nights, I love it that much!
**Ever tried Stuffin Muffins? Click here for the recipe
I use frozen corn. I find it has a better flavor than canned and it holds more of the “nutrients” (not sure how much nutrients corn has, but…) All I add is some butter, salt & pepper. I love to mix it up too, some yellow and some white corn!
Note: If I don’t have potatoes and corn, my boys aren’t happy. They will mix them together and they make a HUGE pile of it.
Sweet Potatoes
Here, I use the can version; I know… Sweet potatoes (in sauce from the can), some butter pats on top and then brown sugar and of course Marshmallows. Be careful here…marshmallows are highly flammable and I’m not saying there has ever been a dish of sweet potatoes that have ever caught fire on one or more occasions, I’m just sayin, be careful.
**Note, no firemen were involved in any of the alleged fires
Fried onions, green beans, cream of mushroom soup, (soy sauce ?) milk and pepper
Your preference here. I would rather make them, but who has time anymore? I love the frozen ones more than I like the brown and serve ones. Don’t forget to get extras for the left over turkey sandwiches.
Pecans, eggs, corn syrup, cinnamon, butter and vanilla. Heaven on a plate!
Don’t forget the freshly made whipped cream or maybe even vanilla ice cream!
Pumpkin Pie….from a store (remember, I don’t like it so, I won’t make it… OK, that’s not really true. I will make one, IF I have time)
Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.
William Arthur Ward
***This blog contains links to other’s Pinterest recipes, no infringement meant. If you would not like your link shared here, please message me and I will remove***

Me Monday: Crafts & Hobbies

Happy Monday!
Happy Fall!
Happy October!
Today is about me and crafting or rather me and crafting addictions.
I am kind of picky about the crafts I do. But then, you just never know.
I’ve always loved to decorate cakes. I started decorating when my youngest sister graduated high school and I got to make her cake. I had never had any instructions, just picked up the Wilton Yearbook and found what I wanted to do. Back then YouTube wasn’t around and quite frankly, I don’t have patience for YouTube. I would rather do a one on one with someone or a class to learn something new. I can’t ask YouTube questions and they can’t see what I am doing; right or wrong. Cakes were baked, frosting was made and I was going to have to do 50 Royal Icing roses. I had never done roses OR messed with RI. My grandma and I rolled up our sleeves (well, she got up on her stool to watch) and dug in. RI is tricky and if you don’t start out with it correctly made, it won’t work. Except, if you’re me and you just keep trying to fix it. 3/4 can of Royal Icing mix and 250 roses later, my wrist was swollen and in great pain (who knew RI got firmer and firmer with more mix AND more air?). But, I got it done. It wasn’t my best work, but it was my first cake.
One of my last cakes I made after “quitting”
I continued with cake decorating; taking & teaching classes, making them for friends and family and finally running a cakery out of my house. I haven’t done many cakes since I had to quit in 2013 due to my health problems and I had a wedding cake that completely me shook me to my core. I was happy with it, but it wasn’t exactly like the bride wanted so I freaked out. I miss it, but then I look at all the new techniques and get a bit overwhelmed.
Next was ceramics. My mom did that when I was little and also thought it looked fun. I started out with the pieces you paint and not fire and moved onto the unfinished pieces. I really had a great time with those, but after a while, I decided it just wasn’t for me. I have one piece I love and still have.
At 42, I learned to knit (and crochet). It was something I had wanted to learn for some time, so I treated myself to knitting lessons. I now hold the world’s title for most “yarn explosions” and I can complete one kind of blanket and some scarves by knitting and washcloths and towels, with crocheting, that was nice years ago.
I’ve also tried (very unsuccessfully) scrap-booking; I bought lots of fun stuff…with very little results.
Bottle cap jewelry/hair bows/key chains etc. I had a lot of fun with those. They got me through my surgeries. Gave me something to do. I now have about $500 in supplies and $1500 in finished caps!
Coloring; I love to color. It helps reduce my stress and let’s me think without having to pay attention to what I am doing.
Photography; I took this one slower, mainly because I didn’t have the money to purchase the camera I wanted. I received several gift cards for Christmas one year: The camera was on sale, with the GC’s I paid $90 for the camera, case and memory card. This your for my birthday, my son gave me an upgrade on my camera. My dream camera would be one I can take pictures of the moon, the stars and the skies! Mostly, the moon and stars!
And now, painting rocks. I have really kept myself in check cost wise and found, I still have a good time!
The moral of the story, if you don’t find your niche with one craft project or hobby, don’t be afraid to try again. Just don’t go out and blow your whole paycheck each week for supplies!
Go forth and CRAFT!
A young actor once asked me, What do you do between jobs? I said, Hobbies, hobbies, and more hobbies.
Robert Duvall

Me Monday: Childhood Memories

A day late, but not a dollar short!
The other day someone had posted on their Facebook page
I got to thinking about that. I know as time progresses so does everything else. This is what today’s Me Monday is about; three things from my childhood kids today wouldn’t understand.
Number three: 
The telephone.
In my time I have seen:
The Party Line
  Only for a little while when I was very young.
The Pay Phone
  It’s where Clark Kent changed into Superman, right?
The rotary phone
  Nothing like getting that 9 and having to wait for the dial to go back to it’s place.
The wall phone
  with the 25 ft cord where you could stretch it to the next room for privacy
The answering phone
  Never liked that. I don’t like the way I sound on recordings. If there was a power surge or the power went out, you lost everything
The cell phone
  Oh those first cell phones, big, awkward and so exciting, yet it was nothing but the phone and the voice mail
The Pager
  How many did you drop in the toilet?
Each evolution of the cell phone from the basic flip phone to the latest technology
Number two: 
Tidily Winks (Never very good at these)
Jacks (they had to be the metal ones, not the plastic)
Red Rover
Kick the Can
Kick Ball
  Funny story here. My very first time to play (I had no idea how to) I was playing with a   group of older kids, I was running the bases and they kept yelling GO HOME! GO HOME! So, I started to cry and head home, to my house. They stopped me before I got far and explained it. It’s funny now, but man I felt bad!
Cats in the Cradle
Double Dutch (I am not coordinated to jump so many ropes at one time)
Dodge Ball
Tether Ball
Bike riding (without helmets) (Dang, I was good! I could and would jump my bike like the  boys. Many many scraps, road rashes and bumps)
Go Fish
Old Maid
Using your imagination (I still do)
and finally three:
a particular, detail, or point (usually preceded by in):
to differ in some respect.
relation or reference:
inquiries with respect to a route.
esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability:
I have great respect for her judgment.
deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment:
respect for a suspect’s right to counsel; to show respect for the flag; respect for the elderly.
the condition of being esteemed or honored:
to be held in respect.
respects, a formal expression or gesture of greeting, esteem, or friendship:
Give my respects to your parents.
favor or partiality.
As Tina Turner Stated…R-E-S-P-ECT!
  We were taught not to back talk our elders
  we had rules to follow and if you didn’t, you had consequences
The word NO
  If it was said, you didn’t fight it
  No meant NO
Work for what you wanted
  If you wanted a game or a pair of shoes, you worked for it.
  Whether chores or a job, it’s how you paid for things
  Oh I can’t even tell you how many times I was grounded
  privileges were revoked
When our kids get into there older years, what will they remember? What will they tell their kids? Will they still have something to tell them?
Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.
Benjamin Franklin

Me Monday: Confusing Things

Have you ever had one of those days, you just didn’t know why, but everything was a mystery? Why you felt one way when the rest of the world (or so it seems) thinks the total opposite?
Here are my top questions of the day

1. Why do Brussels Sprouts get such a bad rap? 



Usually, Brussels sproutsa plant, Brassica oleracea gemmifera,having small, cabbagelike heads or buds along the stalk, eaten as avegetable.


Brussels sprouts, any of the heads or buds, eaten as a vegetable.
These cute little balls of green leafy goodness are typically 0.98–1.6 in in diameter and resemble baby cabbages. Brussels Sprouts are native to the Mediterranean and were possibly grown in Belgium (hence the name Brussels) in the 13th century. So, they are an old old veggie. They are part of the cabbage family (which is why I don’t understand why people you like cabbage, don’t like Brussels Sprouts.)

Raw Brussels Sprouts have great levels of vitamins c & k along with some moderate amounts of vitamin b, including folic acid and vitamin b16. They also contain an anticancer property of sulforaphane. You can hurt the levels of the vitamins and sulforphane by boiling the little guys, but, choosing to steam them will keep the levels intact. Which makes me think, steaming, then sautéing in butter or bacon grease MAY take away all the goodness of the sprouts, but it surely enhances the flavor.  

My Favorite Recipe:
Steam your sprouts for about 3-4 minutes (I always add a bit of salt)
drain and cut them in half
add to frying pan with butter (better yet, bacon grease with bacon pieces in it), salt, and some fresh lemon juice
and fry until golden brown.
I told you it wasn’t the healthiest way to eat them
Another great recipe and a bit more healthy
Cut your sprouts in half
lay on cookie sheet and sprinkle with garlic
drizzle with:
  balsamic vinegar
  extra virgin olive oil
  sea salt
 roast until golden brown
Find more Brussels Sprouts recipes at
Next up, I went on a search for things that will make you go hmmm…
1. You have never seen your face, only pictures or reflections
   think about it…
2. Your age is the number of times you have orbited around the sun.
3. A duck’s quack doesn’t echo
and lastly today
When you make a doctors appointment, they ask what’s going on
You check in at the office and they ask you, how are you doing today?
the nurse takes your vitals and then asks what’s going on
the doctor comes in and asks what’s going on
You check in at the ER and they ask what’s going on
the triage nurse asks, what’s going on?
The nurse who takes you back, you know what they ask
the doctor comes in and asks yet again.
Why are we NOT paying attention to the notes the 12 other people have already asked
Swimming is a confusing sport, because sometimes you do it for fun, and other times you do it to not die. And when I’m swimming, sometimes I’m not sure which one it is. Demetri Martin

Me Monday: My Dream Job

When you were a little kid what was your dream job?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Did you want to be an Astronaut? A doctor? Lawyer?
Did you want to be a mommy or daddy? A teacher?
Did you make that dream come true or did you find yourself on a different plan?
I was in jr. high school when I realized I loved baking and my great plan was to go to Paris to learn the art of baking. However, I found myself on a totally different path when I hit high school. The wonderful thing about my new path; it would bring me the joy of my life, my son! I have never looked back on what I may have I missed, but each day, I know I am blessed with what he has given me.
I’ve had several jobs in my 33 years since the day of high school graduation and I admit, they haven’t all been easy. However, we were never really told this was going to be an easy life. We were promised, though, it would be worth it. So, I still tend to dream about my dream job and how wonderful I will be at it.
So what is my now, new dream job?
If money, education and language barriers were no object: I would love to be a blogger traveling the world, taking photos of churches, cathedrals, skies, water…just about everything! I love seeing new places where I love to take pictures. Heck, I love to take pictures at home. Not so much of me, but of everything else around. Except bugs, don’t like bugs. When I look through the lens of a camera and look beyond the initial scene and really see into what is there, I have the best feeling in the world. Whether it be a rainbow, a man catching a fish or a baby being born, there is always more than one side to look at things.
Just what is a photograph?
 the Free Dictionary defines it as:




An image, especially a positive print, recorded by exposing a photosensitive surface to light, especially in a camera.
v. pho·to·graphed, pho·to·graph·ing, pho·to·graphs”

“Definition of photograph

  1. :  a picture or likeness obtained by photography
  • A picture made using a camera, in which an image is focused on to light-sensitive material and then made visible and permanent by chemical treatment, or stored digitally.”
Many definitions for a simple word. Except the simple word becomes complex when you add; light, human, animal, event, history, celebrations, emotions or challenges. What I might see and feel can be totally different from what you see and feel and yet, we are looking at the same thing. When I look at a photo of an ancient ruin it brings questions to my mind; How was that made, destroyed, used? Who lived or worked there? Are the halls full of hate or happiness? Present day cathedrals bring to me a feeling of awe, so much so, I remain quiet. Can you hear the choir or the sermon? How did the architecture come about? What do these walls want you to know?
When I was in Alaska, I took pictures of the sky, the ocean and the glaciers. I tried to take the photos I wanted to remember, but not just to look at, but to hear the sound, feel the mist or the sun rays, feel the rain or hear the quietness.  My photo of the glaciers remind me of how powerless and small I am. How nature rules and how history can come to life. The photo silences me every time I look at it and remember the peace of the ocean, the sound of the waves, the crash of the glacier calving and the stillness of the air. Can I convey to you, how I felt and bring you into the picture with me, I hope so. I know, in my dream job, I can.
Margerie Glacier
When I look at this, I can still feel the motion. The sound of the waves. The beauty of nature.
Traveling also brings food and drink. I love to take food porn, nothing x rated, just beautiful (and sometimes, not so beautiful) photos of what you ordered hoping to have the best experience of your life or just to eat your most favorite food ever or even, discover what a certain food may look like.
Have you ever eaten a dessert and you know you may never find or replicate it again? Do you remember which emotion it brought to you when you tasted the first bite? I have photos from a vacation I took, where I was able to taste foods I will probably never see again. I remember the taste of the chocolate cake and remember how incredibly chocolate it was without being too sweet or bitter and happy it made me. The photos may never do the original product justice, but the words attached can truly illicit thoughts, tastes, smells, memories you may have had some place some time you didn’t remember and now it’s right in front of you.
So, where would I go on my adventures. I would totally go back to Alaska and see more of the land, not just the sea. I would love to cross off every state in the US off my bucket list and I would love to photograph my husband experiencing every baseball park in America and Canada. The look of a kid, the joy of the game and his happy place showing in his eyes. It’s nothing I would want to forget.
The top world trips on my list are:
Paris – The Eiffel Tower – Arc de Triumph – The Louvre – The Catacombs
Italy – St. Peters Bassilica – Valley of the Temples – Rome – Lake Como – Pompeii – Colosseum
Germany – Heidelberg Castle – Mannheim Residential Palace – The Berlin Wall – The Rhine – The Holocaust Memorial – The Black Forest
Each country must also include any castles, cathedrals, palaces or churches.
So when you remember what you wanted to do when you grew up doesn’t go quite the way you planned, remember, just yell PLOT TWIST and hang on. Never stop dreaming, even if it’s just for one day you get to experience your dream job, one day may be more than you ever expected.
“God’s plan for your life is happening right now. It doesn’t begin when you get married or when you get your dream job or when everything feels perfect. You are IN the plan. –
Tara Leigh Cobble

Me Monday: Pet Peeves

We all have them. Pet Peeves. 
Do the things that peeve us most, make us feel more superior than the other person? Does it make us look at people differently by the peeve that peeves us the most? Do you say anything? Do you grin and bear it? What do you do?
Here is my list of five of my pet peeves. Just for the record, I usually don’t say anything about them to anyone. Why? I am sure I peeve people off too!
Chewing with your mouth open/talking with your mouth full.  
I must admit, since starting this blog, I have learned so much and this is just an example of that.
There is a condition called Misophonia: A condition when a person reacts extremely negative to certain sounds most people take little or no notice of.
The chewing, smacking, popping, crunching, slurping can make one extremely agitated; I am not quite to that point. I know when I was younger my mom and dad taught me it was impolite to chew with your mouth open, talk with your mouth full and yet, it seems like many young people today did not get that same memo. Or, if they did… They may possibly believe this can make them seem more powerful and powerful people do not need to follow rules or the rules don’t pertain to them.
I seen…
What in the world is I seen?
There is “I saw” or “I have seen”.
Let’s take a look at this:
SAW is the PAST TENSE of the verb SEE
Seen is the PAST PARTICIPLE of the VERB see. What the heck is a past participle?
Since I have no idea what a past participle is, I headed over to
and this is what I found.
Definition of past participle:
  a participle which typically expresses a completed action, that is traditionally one of the principal parts of the verb, and that is traditionally used in English in the formation of perfect tenses in the active voice and of all tenses in the passive voice.
So, in other words, SEEN needs a partner to complete the past action.
 For example “raised” in lots of hands were raised or I have seen.
Generally, seen is partnered with have, has, had, was or were in a sentence and then, they make COMPOUND VERBS.
Now we are just getting carried away with fancy grammar words.
But seriously, when someone uses I seen, it just grates on my nerves like fingernails on the chalk board
Misspelled words 
When my kids were in high school, I would look over their reports and attempt to correct the spelling. The response I received every single time was, “the teachers don’t care about spelling.”
There goes the sound of fingernails on the chalk board again.
I had spelling tests almost all of my school years. If the words were misspelled on a report, it was marked incorrect. So, why does the younger generations get by with not learning to spell properly? Have the schools become that complacent with just letting people get by? Heck, they don’t even teach cursive anymore. This is part of the old time system called reading, writing and arithmetic, which has evidently gone away and no one cares about it any more.
Customer Service
This can go so many ways. My biggest peeve is the drive through employee.
Place your order, total given, drive to first window. The blank stare at you, the popping of the gum and no Hello! Your total is…and let’s not forget the ability to count change back. I know most of us use credit/debit cards now a days, however, when I give the cashier $10.01 for a $6.51 bill, I usually get the penny back with a strange look of confusion.
Drive to the next window, your bag is hanging outside the window, no acknowledgment of any kind and please don’t ever expect a thank you!
I have worked in retail/customer service for 95% of my life. There is no harm in saying Hi! two hamburgers, medium fry and large Coke comes to $6.51. Thank you! Have a nice day.
Nope, just a have a good one, IF you get anything. I do have to exclude Chick Fil-A from this however, they rock at customer service. Why? They are TAUGHT and EXPECTED to adhere to the policies and guidelines.
People who can’t pronounce my name correctly.
I know I have a strange name. I’ve had it for 50+ years. I’ve heard it all.
Deni (DeeKnee) that’s it. Nothing more. NO, it’s not Demi, Denny or Deny. I am used to correcting people on my name, I get that. However, I am talking about people I introduce myself to: Doctors, nurses, teachers, etc. HI! My name is DeeKnee…. Nice to meet you Denny… Did you NOT just hear me tell you how to pronounce my name. Going back to customer service. You are on the phone with someone, they ask for Denny, this is DEEKNEE. Denny, my name is so and so. It’s me. It’s who I am. If you can’t take the time to respect my name, then why should I take the time to hang with you?
The chalk board again!
All that said, I am not perfect, I am one of those who will have their cell phone out most of the time. I don’t talk on the phone when I am ordering food, picking up a package, checking in someplace and I am really trying to break the cell phone habit altogether. So, if you are reading this and you are one of these people, I will maintain my silence while I am quietly correcting your manners, grammar and spelling. I will say THANK YOU, even when you won’t. I hope you will at least try on your end.
 My pet peeve is hearing a knock on the bathroom door followed by the familiar words, ‘What are you doing in there?
Karen Scalf Linamen