A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


I've been around to other blogs and bloggers are asking what our "word" is for 2014? After giving it some thought...I decided that my "word" will be SIMPLIFY. I hope to simplify everything in my life to lessen stress and give me more time to do the things that I enjoy.
I'll be simplifying most everything...from food to household.  I started with my counter tops in the kitchen.....removing the appliances that I don't use everyday. I put them on an easily accessible shelf in the nearby mudroom. Now I can give that counter a clean sweep, without moving a bunch of stuff. My next goal in the kitchen are the drawers...removing things that I seldom use. The things I remove will go into a box in the mudroom closet. ....also easily accessible.
This morning I made food for a funeral luncheon at Church. I instead of searching for new recipes...I'll stick to 3 different recipes for this. They will be my "signature" dishes. Pasta salad, baked beans, and mashed potatoes. These are always in short supply...and this way it will alleviate me searching the internet and cookbooks for recipes.
Menus will be changed to fit in with this "simple" year. I spend too much time perusing cookbooks and magazines...doing that search again for the perfect dish. This often calls for a trip to the store to buy ingredients...or not having an ingredient on hand for a particular dish. I really think simple is best health wise. It's the extras....sour cream, cream, butter, different cheeses, toppings of onion crisps and croutons that put on weight and generally make us unhealthy. A nice steaming bowl of crisp green beans is perfect alone without the mushroom soup and onion toppers. A simple apple pie instead of apple torte, apple kuchen, apple dumplings suits our appetites. Plain yogurt instead of flavored. Why pay extra for the fruit, when we have a crisper full of fresh fruit?Family and friends always want the good old recipes that I have made for years and years. They seldom ask for something new. I like to create soups and stews as I go along...adding things and not using recipes. I often change recipes and try to suit them to our changing tastes.
Then we come to my closet. I am putting outfits together...so I don't have to stand there and wonder what I am going to wear. Church and dressy clothes together, everyday clothes. and then  my old favorite garden clothes..I spend time checking on which is black and which is navy.I will mark navy clothing with a tiny safety pin at the waist.
I've done many things to simplify my gardening and will find more this year, I'm sure. Feeding the birds just sunflower seeds is working out well. They all seem to love it.
My books are already organized into topics...gardening, spiritual, novels, etc.
Instead of being all over the house....my house plants are put together...to simplify watering and feeding.
I could go on with this, but you get the idea. This year...simple is better.

Today is really cold. I was up early to get the baked beans in the oven so they would be ready for my neighbor to pick up and take to Church I decided to make some corn muffins to send along. I'll put the recipe here. These beans are excellent to take to a picnic in the summer, or a potluck dinner. I keep the ingredients in the house, so I can always make them.

Texas Baked Beans

2 lg cans bush's beans
1 lb ground beef..browned
1 med chopped onion... browned with meat
Chopped green pepper...browned "       "
4 TBS brown sugar
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 can Rotel tomatoes with peppers
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 c catsup
2 TBS mustard
2 TBS worcestershire sauce
Mix with beans and put into a greased 9X13 pan.
Top with cooked and crumbled 8 slices bacon
Bake 350 deg. for 1 hour covered and 10 additional minutes uncovered.

Joe felt like he turned the corner yesterday. His pain is more manageable and he's doing so much better. His therapist is here right now...watching him walk and removing the bandage. It looked really clean and is healing nicely.
Guess I should go and get some things done. Gotta remember   simplify... as i do my work today.
Have a great start to 2014...


Melanie said...

Even though I don't pick a word for the year, I love yours! And I love your tips. It feels good at the start of a new year to clean things out and start fresh, doesn't it?

Barbara said...

Yes I agree, especially when one gets to a certain age. I began with simplifying the garden last year. Planning as I go through my annual clear out of cupboards to simplify more. I don't need all that china and glass and utensils. Charity shop here I come. I don't need 50 plus recipe books either nor the large file of recipes to add! Gadgets beware! I am on my way.

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Are you sure I did not write some of your sharing :)
that is me :)
Everytime I moved
and the last to this cottage
4 1/2 years ago - I simplified.
and it will continue
even though my son tells me that
I have gotten rid of much
and do not have that much.
I disagree with him...

Elenka said...

My dear Balisha,
I have not blogged one thing in so long, I am trying to start up a little this year. As I started, I was so dismayed to read about the loss of your son. I just don't even know what to say…with all you have gone through. This is very sad news indeed.
I can tell you are an amazing woman and Joe is so lucky to have you. Just know I'm thinking about you and wishing you nothing but the best.

Blondie's Journal said...

You have some really good ideas here for simplifying, Balisha. I worked on that a lot last year and that made it easier to tackle the bigger projects without things nagging at me like crowded drawers and counters.

I think it's great that you've also narrowed down the dishes that you will be making for your church. Is it possible to offer something that you can make earlier in your free time and freeze? I used to double recipes for casseroles, Italian dishes and stews.

I'm glad Joe is doing better. I have been saying a few prayers (someone is listening!).

Stay warm and dry. I hear we will be below zero next week. brrrrrr.


deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

I am exhausted just thinking about all of the work involved in simplifying, lol! : ) YOU have clearly put great thought into it. I think I'll put it off a day :)

You are so right about simple recipes. I posted one today that I make every year at holiday time and it is very good but I only do it on special occasions.

These holiday dinners and recipes ? My list had more sour cream, cream, butter, etc on it than anything else. It is fun to do every once in awhile but casseroles are too expensive to do often! :) I think that long ago they were much cheaper to make than now, but while I might like that classic grean bean casserole every once in awhile, you are right, plain beans are better, especially if you get them fresh, yum! :)