About Me

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IN, United States
I love the Lord and my big crazy family. My husband and I have been together for 43 years. I am a mother of two grown children and a grandmother to four biological grandchildren and six others. I own and operate my own home care business primarily for the elderly. Many sites have been sold or did upgrades which messed up back links, if you find a broken link let me know and I will fix it.I have written online articles for Bubblews, Seekyt, TopicSpotter and Triond. You may still find some of my articles on Ehow/Demand Studio.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread

Oh my, I thought I had written about making Zucchini Bread just to realize I had not. Well this is an even extra special Zucchini Bread as it is taking the old Teegarden Church ladies recipe and adapting it gluten-free for my sisters in which I love with all my heart.

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread:

  • 2-cups fresh tender zucchini; shredded
  • 2-cups sugar
  • 1-cup olive or coconut oil
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon, ginger and cloves
  • ½ tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½  tsp xanthium gum
  • 3-cup of all-purpose Gluten-Free flour; use your favorite blend
  • 1-1 ½-cups nuts; chopped and optional
  • Lemon-sugar glaze optional

Instructions to make Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread:

1.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees if you do not have a timer 10-15 minutes will suffice.

2.     Using a big mixing bowl add the ingredients in the way they are listed making sure to add the flour last. A one-bowl method saving clean up time is always the best.

3.     Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 60 minutes.

Since my sisters and I love quick bread such as banana and zucchini, I have adapted this gluten-free recipe to have strawberries in one, lemon and sugar glaze for another and plain zucchini bread.

Homemade Popeye Noodles and Chicken

Being an old country girl, homemade Popeye noodles with chicken over mashed potatoes was a very common meal. Popeye are a bit thicker than store purchased noodles and extremely delicious. Why are they called Popeye noodles? It was never questioned in my family as they were homemade noodles, good and no one cared. If you’ve never made popeye noodles this recipe is definitely a must try.

Instructions for making Homemade Popeye Noodles and Chicken:

  1. Put flour, egg and maybe a splash of water and mix. Add Salt, pepper, garlic & onion powder. Like Rachael Ray just measure the seasonings with a pinch of this and that, and using the palm of your hand.  Learn to go by how it looks and tastes.
  2. Blend vigorously to make stiff dough.
  3. Place dough on your well-floured surface, you might have to work in more flour before spreading out your dough.
  4. Pat, or roll out, your dough until you get the desired thickness you prefer, approx ¼ inch thick.
  5. Cut into strips length wise, approx 1 inch wide.
  6. Cut into squares by cutting the other way.
  7. As you're cutting the Popeye dough, separate the squares and move them out of the way so you can get to the rest of the dough. As you are doing this, make sure you have plenty of flour at all time to keep from sticking.
  8. Let your Popeye noodles lay out to dry a bit while you go to the next step.
  9. Cook a chicken or use leftover you might have in the refrigerator. Cool and scrape off the extra fat.
  10. Pick your cooked chicken off the bone. Put your chicken in stockpot with approx 4 qt of water and bring to a boil.
  11. Drop your Popeye noodles in the stockpot a few at a time and stir. Do this until all your Popeye are in the pan.
  12. After all are in the pot reducing to a medium heat, stir frequently to avoid sticking and clumping together.
  13. Test your noodles by tasting a small piece every so often. When they are done serve them with mashed potatoes, a veggie of choice and big glass of filtered ice water.

  • If you made an angel food cake to go with your fresh strawberries, is a great time to make homemade noodles.
  • Basil, Thyme and oregano cooked in your chicken makes a great base for the Homemade Popeye noodles.

Potassium:Are You Getting Too Much

We all need potassium for our bodies to function properly, however, getting too much can do harm especially with the elderly. Do you know what your levels are and how much potassium you need?
Bananas are high in Potassium

If you have high blood pressure, reducing your sodium intake is fantastic but according to Colorado State University, “Newer evidence suggests that dietary potassium may play a role in decreasing blood pressure. Potassium is involved in nerve function, muscle control and blood pressure. A diet low in potassium and high in sodium may be a factor in high blood pressure. Increasing potassium in the diet may protect against hypertension in people who are sensitive to high levels of sodium.”

American Heart Association gives us the following list of Potassium rich foods for those who need it:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Greens
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Lima beans
  • Peas
  • Bananas
  • Tomatoes, tomato juice and tomato sauce (look for low-sodium versions)
  • Oranges and orange juice
  • Cantaloupe and honeydew melon
  • Grapefruit and grapefruit juice (talk to your healthcare provider if you're taking a cholesterol-lowering drug) 
  •  Prunes and prune juice
  • Apricots and apricot juice
  • Raisins and dates
  • Fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk
  • Fat-free yogurt
  • Halibut
  • Tuna
  • Molasses 

The recommended dose of potassium for adults is 4.7 grams or 4700 mg. and getting the potassium in our diets for most people is easy, however for some, especially the elderly too much potassium is harmful.
According to one of my clients, which asked to remain anonymous, here is what they face on a daily basis. “We have battled electrolyte imbalance in my mother for the past two years as her kidney and heart function decline, resulting in hospitalizations and rehab in nursing homes. That care always restores her mental clarity and strength because there she must adhere to the proper diet and hydration. The solution for her is a very well monitored low-sodium, low-potassium, high protein diet with six cups of liquid daily, but it is extremely difficult for my mother and stepfather to comprehend the critical importance of this or accept the dietary restrictions. It means changing a very established lifestyle. The most troubling result of not following the diet and staying hydrated has been the impact on her mind. She becomes confused and at worst, combative with dementia-like symptoms, which sometimes has been followed by a TIA or stroke, or more damage to her heart. When she eats and drinks correctly, her physical strength, mental sharpness and disposition improve."


  • Raisins
  • Any kind of potato
  • Lima beans and pinto beans
  • Tomatoes or tomato sauce or ketchup
  • Squash
  • Spinach
  • Prunes
  • Bananas
  • Red beets
  • Cantaloupe or muskmelon
  • Oranges and orange juice


  • Apples, apple juice, applesauce
  • Apricots
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries, cranberry juice cocktails
  • Fruit cocktail
  • Grapes, grape juice
  • Canned Peaches (not fresh)
  • Canned Pears
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Watermelon
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce, all types
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Radishes

It is important to pay attention to our bodies. If things are not right, see a doctor and follow the instructions they give you. The restrictions are not to punish you, instead to make you healthier. Potassium: Are you getting too much?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Freezing Pumpkin after Making Homemade Pumpkin Pies

Now that you have cut your pumpkin to make your homemade pumpkin pies, you need to either can or freeze the remaining pumpkin to use in other recipes or for holiday pumpkin pies.
Fresh organic pumpkins will only store without freezing for so long. However, if you cut your pumpkin to make a pie, you have to do something immediately to preserve it.
Freezing your freshly cooked pumpkin is easy and makes it handy for baking your next pumpkin pie, bread or doughnut recipes.

“This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.” According to nutritiondata.self.com

Pumpkin is low in calories and fat but high in vitamin A. Pumpkin also has traces of many vitamins and minerals.

 Ingredients to Freeze Pumpkin:

  • Freshly cooked pumpkin
  • Large stockpot/pressure cooker
  • Freezer containers or bags
  • Measuring cup
  • Marker pen

Instructions to Freeze Pumpkin:

1.     Using a large stockpot or pressure cooker, cook down the pumpkin. Scrape the meat into a large bowl. Use a mixer or blender to smooth out all the lumps.

2.     With a measuring cup, scoop the pumpkin into either your freezer containers or freezer bags.

  1.  Mark your freezer container or bag with a marking pen so you know what and how much is in it. After it is in the freezer for a few months, you might actually forget, so marking the containers is essential.

4.     Place the containers in your freezer for the next holiday or occasion to use pumpkin in a recipe. There is nothing like fresh organic pumpkin in your bread or pie recipes, therefore, freezing the pumpkin that you've grown only makes perfect sense to me.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread
When it comes to making pumpkin bread, Bob Evans Restaurant ranks right up at the top. However, it is not Gluten-Free and people with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance cannot indulge.

Taking regular recipes and revamping them can be a challenge and a bit more expensive but worth it, especially if you do not want to be restricted from eating sweet breads.

Personally, I feel that Bob Red Mills all-purpose flour taste great, as well as eliminating the guesswork out of what gluten-free flours to use. Everyone has their own favorite gluten-free blend, in fact the original recipe simply used white rice flour, therefore don’t hesitate in using the trial and fail method until you get your recipes the way you like them.

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread:

  • 2 ½ cups Bob Red Mills all-purpose
  • ½-cup tapioca flour
  • 5 tsp gluten-free pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-cup olive oil
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • Electric mixer
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1-15 ounce can pumpkin puree`
  • Gluten-free cooking spray
  • 2 (9-inch by 5-inch) loaf pans

Instructions for Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread


  1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do not have a timer on your oven, 20-30 minutes will suffice.

  1. Using non-stick spray, lightly coat the loaf pans.

  1. Using a large mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients. Using a whisk or a spoon, mix the dry ingredients until well blended.

  1. Taking the other mixing bowl beat the eggs, olive oil and orange juice. Add the sugar and pumpkin puree` and mix until blended.

  1. Add the pumpkin mix into the flour mix, and with electric mixer on the medium setting, beat until smooth.

  1. Pour the batter into 2 loaf pans and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  1. Allow the bread to cool for a couple of minutes, slice and enjoy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Basil: Grow and Dehydrate

Growing basil in the garden to use fresh and then dehydrating to preserve it quite simple to do. Basil growing next to your tomatoes is said to make them sweeter in taste and repel evil bugs. I am not sure if that is an old wives tale or if it is true, however, my husband enjoys doing this and I enjoy using it.
Using basil and tomatoes together is even better when you create Tomato Basil Soup using fresh garden vegetables.

Varieties of Basil:

It is important to know there are several varieties of basil with different tastes and flavors. Different varieties and types of basil also have different growing times; ranging from 50-80 days. Before deciding what basil to grow, do your homework; do you want it for teas, garnish, Thai/Asian recipes, pesto, salads or tomato sauce or soup?
Although basil is aromatic or fragrant, not all basil taste or look the same. There are green and crimson/purple and then there is green. Some have long pointed leaves, others rounded leaves in varying lengths.

Tomato Basil Soup Recipe

Nutrients in basil:

·       Vitamin K
·       Iron
·       Calcium
·       Vitamin A
·       Fiber
·       Manganese
·       Tryptophan
·       Vitamin
·       Magnesium
·       Vitamin C
·       Potassium
·       Calories-0

Web MD cautions people taking a blood thinner; such as Warfarin, to consult your doctor as you can get too much or too little of vitamin K. Vitamin K is not only high in basil but also in green leafy vegetables and spinach.

Dehydrating Basil Using the Oven Method:

1.     Since different of varieties of basil bolt or flower at different times; harvesting the basil before the flowering is suggested, however, not set in stone. If yours has flowered, that is quite all right. In the mid morning or before the heat of the day, harvest the basil.
2.     Shake the basil plants after cutting to shake loose any bad leaves, the dirt and any bugs.
3.     Turn on the oven, heating no higher than 200 degrees Fahrenheit while thoroughly washing the basil and sorting out any bad leaves.
4.     Using a cookie sheet lined with paper towel, place washed basil leaves on the first layer of paper towel. Place more paper towel over the basil and press down to remove any excess moisture. You can go as many as five layers deep.

Place the basil in the preheated oven and then turn the oven off. A couple of times during the day, to keep the basil drying, turn the oven back on to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Let set in the oven with the door closed over night, check to make sure the basil is drying and not molding. In a day or two, you will have dehydrated basil.

Line Dry Method:

If you do not want to use the oven method, after the first year, I discovered I prefer to simply cut, shake, rinse and hang the bundles upside down to dry naturally. I cut it a little at a time, make small bundles and hang in my kitchen, over  my sink and in front of the window.

With all those vitamins and zero calories, why would you choose not to grow, dehydrate and use the herb like Basil?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sister Fun

Re-enactment of younger days

I am late in getting this posted, life gets somewhat busy at times and real busy this time of year with working for others as well as tending the garden and mowing the yard. I am sure your life is the same way.

On the Sister Six annual campout this year, we headed back to the KOA in Middlebury, Indiana so we could take in the sites of Shipshewana. Of course this meant seeing the little shops and going in the Amish stores. For many, the Amish stores would have been an extraordinary thing, however, I live in the heart of Amish territory, therefore, it was all common place to me.

Visited our old Christian Campground
Now for the Sisters, they all live close so seeing Amish people and stores is not an everyday occasion; however, it is far from out of the norm. Nonetheless, we loved seeing the process of cheese being made and of course, the chocolates and the oven roasted veggies.

Like an large group of girls we have our serious side, stay out of my space side and of course the silly sides. There is a 20-year age difference from eldest to youngest. Youngest, the babies of the family just turned the big 5 0. Oh my, that means since I am the middle child I will be 60-years old mid November and the eldest Sis will turn 70-years old on December 1st.

We have been camping since 1981 and finally upgraded to renting a fully loaded cabin. 

 Do you have sisters? Sisters in Christ? Try putting together an annual vacation for this many years without a hitch. At times, the dates and places can create issues with work schedules but all in all, we love each other and long for the next year, I hope you enjoy our serious side as we did a shout out to our aunts with Amazing Grace.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tomato Basil Soup from Garden Fresh Vegetables

Tomatoes and Basil are both high in vitamin K however, for me that isn’t the best part of eating the two. When you combine garden fresh tomatoes and basil, they make a fantastic soup that you will enjoy in the summer months as well as in the winter. Plan on making a large batch of soup and either freezing or canning it.

According to Dr Andrew Weil, “Vitamin K is an essential nutrient necessary for blood clotting - it regulates normal blood clotting by helping the body transport calcium. Vitamin K may also be helpful for bone health: it may reduce bone loss, and decrease risk of bone fractures. It also may prevent calcification of arteries and other soft tissue.”

And The World’s Healthiest Foods add, “The eugenol component of basil's volatile oils has been the subject of extensive study, since this substance can block the activity of an enzyme in the body called cyclooxygenase (COX). Many non-steriodal over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS), including aspirin and ibuprofen, as well as the commonly used medicine acetaminophen, work by inhibiting this same enzyme. (In the case of acetaminophen, this effect is somewhat controversial, and probably occurs to a much lesser degree than is the case with aspirin and ibuprofen). This enzyme-inhibiting effect of the eugenol in basil qualifies basil as an "anti-inflammatory" food that can provide important healing benefits along with symptomatic relief for individuals with inflammatory health problems like rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions.”

Do not reach for the aspirin or ibuprofen bottle simply eat more tomatoes and basil.

Ingredients needed for Tomato Basil Soup:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Cups diced onions
  • 6 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
  • 6 Cups red or yellow tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 4-14 ounce cans vegetable broth
  • 1- 8 oz can tomato paste
  • 6 Tbsp chopped basil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Juice of half a lemon, approx ¼ cup
  • Saucepan
  • Blender

Instructions to make Tomato Basil Soup:

  1. Head out to the garden and gather the tomatoes, onions, garlic and basil. The fresher the vegetables the better the soup will taste. Wash and dry the vegetables. Chop the onions and garlic.
  2. Take a saucepan, heat the oil for a minute or two.  Sauté the onions and garlic until soft, but not brown. While the onions are sautéing, chop the tomatoes and basil.
  3. Add to the onions, the tomatoes, vegetable broth and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for at least 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the saucepan from the heat; add the basil and lemon juice. Put it all in a blender; a little at time, mix until smooth.
  5. Add salt and pepper, serve up and enjoy.

If you don’t have a blender or like a chunkier tomato basil soup, skip the last step.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Mechanically Challenged: Changing a 1998 S10 Thermostat

Engine of my 1998 S10
 OK, are you like the hubby and I? Mechanically challenged, however, willing to try; as repair bills on the old trucks have become ridiculous.
Getting help from friends and family we started tracking down why the S10 we purchased in late May, has no heat or defrost. We were advised to see if the coolant was filled and it was. Then we were told and then Googled, that doing a coolant flush could clear out any built up junk and start the heat flowing. We got estimates and then decided to take it to John's Auto Spa, Nappanee, Indiana. The flush went OK, however, did not fix the problem. I thought the young mechanics sounded knowledgeable as they showed me where the inexpensive thermostat was located and how to change it. The problem was, they showed me the wrong part so we had panic set it when we took it off and hoped we had not screwed anything up. We do not need any more problems. The part you see here IS NOT the thermostat!
I was told the wrong part

Reading online how to locate the thermostat was helpful. Locate the radiator hose and follow it right to the part. On the 1998 S10 engine that seems jammed packed; it looked as if that could be trouble, however, between the two of us we managed. After we located the correct part, the darker part in the center is the thermostat, the next challenge was to find the correct tools and the proper size. Of course trying to get the tools in the tiny area allowed was not easy.

Thermostat is the darker part in pic
Again, between the two of us we managed to remove and replace everything needed to get to the thermostat. I am not saying this was easy, however the part itself was under $7.00 and we eliminated the diagnostic fee and the $90.00 an hour to replace it. After we removed the cover, I took the picture of the inside so we knew how to install the new one correctly. Sadly enough changing the thermostat on my 1998 S10 did not get me any heat or defrost, therefore, the quest to find the answer still remains. If you have any inexpensive and helpful tips, please share your idea.
The inside look of the S10 Thermostat