Tuesday, March 22, 2011


After adding an additional medication for my depression, which had been acting up off and on since last fall, I've been feeling some renewed life in my mind and body for a few weeks now. As one who prefers not to take any medicine, I wasn't thrilled at first that I needed to add another one. But if the new combination improves the quality of my daily life, and therefore my family's, then gladly take it I will!

Signs of spring, highly anticipated, are slowly arriving! We saw our first robins a couple weeks ago and even more birds are showing up every day. Snow piles are finally gone. Longer hours of daylight. The trampoline is up and running. And the dog is tracking mud into the house if we don't catch him in time - not my favorite sign of spring!

We enjoyed a visit from Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) this past weekend. My mom and I sorted through and organized several boxes of their photos that they brought up. Especially fun was seeing some oldies but goodies from the 70's and 80's!  Always brings back memories and lots of "Oh, I remember that!". My muscles are still thanking me for a game of bowling on Saturday. Grandpa is a great bowler; the kids love to bowl with him. Isaac even beat Grandpa by one point on the first game with a score of 170! How's that for a 12 year old against a 40-year bowling veteran?

I've gotten into a much-needed whirl of scrapbooking since a cropping weekend away with three friends in February. I'm quite behind - I'm still working on 2006, but I'm making progress and am hoping to keep up my momentum on into 2007 and 2008. It feels good to be accomplishing something creative and productive!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chicken Corn Chowder

This is adapted slightly from a recipe my mom made often when I was growing up.  Then, it was just Corn Chowder, and we often ate it with grilled cheese sandwiches. It's a quick and easy recipe.

My sister first made it with chicken and that's how we prefer it now.  My kids love this; they wouldn't care if I made it once a week, any time of the year!

Chicken Corn Chowder

4 slices bacon, diced (optional)
1 med. onion, diced
2 – 3 med. or 4 small red potatoes, ½” cubed
¾ - 1 c. chicken broth/stock
1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
1 (15 oz) can cream-style corn
¾ c. frozen corn
1 – 1 ½ c. cooked chicken, cubed
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

In large pot, cook bacon until crisp. Take out and set aside.

Saute diced onion in bacon grease until tender. (If omitting bacon, just use a couple tablespoons of your favorite oil. But be warned that you’ll miss some good flavor and, of course, the marvelous smell of bacon cooking!)

Add cubed potatoes and enough broth so the potatoes are just covered. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 12 – 15 minutes.

Add milk, corn, chicken, and spices. Simmer on low until heated through, about 10 minutes.  Stir bacon pieces in just before serving or sprinkle on top of each bowl.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It IS coming, It IS coming ...

SPRING that is!

I do love winter, for a couple months anyway ...the quiet beauty of softly falling snow, a fresh white blanket of snow covering that makes everything look clean and calm, the beauty of bare trees branches reaching up into a clear blue winter sky ... But I'm officially over it now!

So yesterday I changed our computer background photo from a snowy picture to this, as a reminder that winter really will end.

(this photo was taken in Holland, MI at the end of April last year)

Come soon Spring!