It is How God Made Me

Wow if that’s not a title. …

(Pardon my Halloween makeup. This is my only picture before I quit dyeing it in January. )

Like the majority of women in America and probably the world, I worry about aging. I am now forty-one and yes I am gaining some wisdom lines. Now I will say first off, that dying your hair is wonderful. I love it. But if I choose to let it go. That too should be wonderful.

When I was in high school a friend’s mom plucked my first white hair. I was probably around sixteen. From there it multiplied. By the time I was 21 I was dying my hair every 6 weeks.

As a school teacher I was in the public eye and I felt the pressure to make sure I had my hair dyed. I went from dark brown, to blond, to black. Black is where I remained the last 8 years.

In the past five years I began to feel conflicted about my hair, and this is where my struggle begins. I retired from teaching and I am now a full time mom and ranch hand. Over the years my every six week hair appointment has changed to every four weeks. Once a month I had to go in to have my white, or silver, or maybe gray turned back. Why?

I tried to grow it out once and I was given so much grief. So much grief from even people I didn’t know. “You know your hair is really aging you.” “You look like my grandmother.” ” You have let your self go since you quit teaching.” The list goes on.

What makes it okay for us to put down or questions someone’s hair choice? Why do we feel that letting our hair be what God intended is not good enough? What gives us the right to put others down for being natural? The hair dye companies want us to feel ugly and unattractive without their products. But why?

We do this because someone tells us it is not the norm. We do this because society tells us that letting gray, silver, or white show is wrong!

Well this time I’m stronger. This time I am letting God’s choice for me shine bright! He chose me to have this color and I am letting it shine. Many of us have friends or family who never got the chance to go gray. They were taken early. I have the opportunity to see what God intended me to look like at my age. I’m going to take a look!

Here is to being proud of what God gave me! Let that light shine!!

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Knitting Hats

It seems I have been away from my blog. I wish to say I have been knitting like crazy but I have been a little lazy. I am just getting back into the groove.

I made two baable hats for people through my Etsy store and then knitted just for me. I have decided to load my project bag with a few patterns I have been wanting to try and made myself work them out.

Here are a few pictures of what I have finished. Have a great week!

Christmas Cookie Number Two!

I decided to try Eggnog Cookies tonight. Overall they are a very soft cookie and with the icing, they are just delectable!

Eggnog Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp rum or rum extract
1/2 cup eggnog
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Combine butter and sugars in a bowl. Mix until fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time. Then put in the vanilla, rum and eggnog.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add slowly mixing after each addition.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes of until lightly browned. Remove from pan and place on a cooling rack.

When cool spread frosting on the top and sprinkle with additional nutmeg. Enjoy!

Frosting

1/2 cup butter softened
1 tsp rum or rum extract
3 tbsp egg nog
2-3 cups powdered sugar

Mix together to desired consistency.

Lamb Gyros! My New go to Meal!

We have been buying a lamb at our local 4H sale for quite a few years. If you haven’t had lamb, you are missing out. If you had lamb and didn’t enjoy it, the chef or restaurant had no idea how to cook it properly.  Lamb is absolutely delicious.

The other day my cowboy cooked up a lamb roast on the traeger. It was delicious. The next day we were going to be heading to town and would be  in and out from the ranch. I knew we would not have a chance to eat up the leftovers. I remembered the Gyros I had eaten in New York at the Sheep and Wool festival. I sliced the meat very thinly and froze it in baggies. That way each biggie was enough for Gyros for our family of four.

Today I grabbed the rest of the ingredients from the store and made our meal. They were everything I remembered. The taztziki sauce was simply delicious.

Head out this week and buy yourself a lamb roast. Look for one that is grown in America.(It’s important to support our farmers and ranchers!)
Lamb Gyros

Start with a lamb roast. Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Nothing fancy. Place on a rack in a roasting pan. Cook on your traeger or in the oven until done to your liking. Serve with mashed potatoes, green beans, and mint jelly.

The next day slice the meat very thinly.

Gyros

Taztziki sauce

1/2 cup cucumber peeled, seeded, and shredded. Then squeezed through a towel to remove excess water

2 cups Greek yogurt

1 clove garlic minced

1/2 tsp salt

1tbsp olive oil

Mix all together and let sit in the fridge for several hours
In a pan or griddle sauté the sliced lamb with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. I also add a little garlic powder.  In another pan or at the end of the griddle heat up one piece of pita bread turn it occasionally to keep it from burning.


When all is cooked and warm build your pita. Add a good amount of the sauce to the pita, then pile with meat and your favorite fixings.

Sliced olives, lettuce, tomato, sliced red onion, oregano, mint, and the sauce all combine to make a great gyro.
Enjoy

Chicken Soup on a Cold Day!


If you have read many of my posts you know that I love soup. It is my go to meal when I’m unsure what to cook. It is my go to meal when it’s cold. Let’s face it, it is my go to meal anytime!!

It has been overly cold here in Wyoming, and finally I found chicken on sale. Chicken in Wyoming is outrageously overpriced. At home in Tennessee, it is so cheap!!

When I have chicken I usually make chicken noodle soup. However this time I mixed it up and made chicken and rice. 

All of my chicken soups start with a great broth or base. You can do this lots of ways. However I love Watkins Chicken Base.  It adds the perfect mixture of seasonings without salt.  

I mix several cups of water with the seasoning according to the directions. Bring this to a slow boil. Toss in chopped chicken or you can toss in cooked shredding chicken. Let this cook until the chicken is done or until warm. 

I then add my onions and carrots. These are freeze dried and will plump back up. I toss in whatever amount to my liking. Thrive is an awesome company! I use so many of their products. The veggies never go bad and I don’t have to worry I always have them on hand!

Let this cook until the veggies are plump and tender. At that point I add in the frozen noodles or in this case uncooked rice. If you use noodles it really tastes much better with homemade or frozen. Regular pasta just doesn’t do it. 

Let it cook until tender at a slow boil.  If you like throw in some frozen peas and 1 tsp or so of celery powder. 

If you would like your soup a little thicker, mix together water and cornstarch until blended. Pour a little at a time into the soup until it reaches your desired consistency. 

Check taste. You will need to add salt and pepper. Sometimes it needs more chicken flavoring and I will mix in a little water and more Watkins seasoning. 


Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts

Peas, carrots, onions

Frozen Noodles or rice

Watkins chicken soup base

 In an instant Everything Changes!

Life is so busy, is it not?  We run from one thing to the next. Jump from the car to our homes only to return again. We rotate friends often dependent upon new interests and drifting apart, or disagreements that cause the friendship to shatter. Activities come and go. Life just spins constantly. We seem to plow through the years so quickly that we don’t even realize how much we are missing or how fast things are happening. 
However sometimes, hopefully rarely we receive news that causes us to almost halt. We see everything different. We watch everything fly by and we seem to be in slow motion. We savor the looks on our children’s faces a little longer. The hugs from family seem to last a little longer and tighter. 

We reach for our phones a little slower. We read texts a little more intensely. Life has been altered, never to be the same. For a time we go back to enjoying time instead of bustling through it. 


My advice do it everyday. Slow down! Enjoy! It’s going fast and it can change in a moment. 

Quick, Easy, and Oh, So Yummy!

I recently returned from a visit to my family in Tennessee. I always enjoy my visit and come back with lots of great memories. I also usually have lots of stuff from taking advantage of stores we do not have here in Wyoming. This year I also came home with a great recipe. 

Now recipes are swapped back and forth between my mother and I all the time. The significance of this recipe is it came from my little sister. She is not a cook. By that I mean she doesn’t try new recipes very often. She keeps it simple. She does basics! She could cook very well if she wanted but as she says cooking is not her thing. 

Well she shared this recipe and at first I was reluctant. The ingredients, all three of them, just didn’t seem to be a good mix to me. Then she popped over to mom’s and proceeded to whip this up. 

I was wrong it’s wonderful. Not only does it only have three ingredients but it is done in about 10 minutes, Maybe less! It is also addicting. 

The other reason I love it, is that it makes just enough. You don’t end up with a huge pot of dip. It is a rather small amount compared to my regular sausage dip with velvetta. So if making for a crowd you will need to double or triple. 

Here it is. You must make this! Chances are you have everything you need in your fridge right now!

Easy Sausage Dip

1lb sausage- swaggerty

1 pkg of cream cheese

1 can of original rotel
Brown the sausage and drain the grease. 

Then add the cream cheese and rotel. Mix throughly. 
Serve warm with tortilla chips or crackers. 

You will thank me for this one. I couldn’t resist. Had a bite immediately!