This blog was formerly titled "Sentiments and Scrapbooks."

Sunday, October 15, 2017

MO Road Trip/Camping {RV’ing)

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Headed out for a 2-night road trip through the southern part of our state, hoping to see some fall foliage. First stop, a little break an hour or so from home. Already can tell that if we wanted to see fall color, we should’ve stayed home. We have lots of maple trees on Peaceful Acres, and we have more color there than we saw on the road trip! Still, road trips are fun!

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Spent the first night at Big Spring RV Park (Private—the state park was closed due to flooding).

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We were right on the Current River (lots of memories from camping trips and float trips through the years as our children were growing up).

After we broke camp, we drove the short distance to Big Spring (Van Buren).

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Big Spring is amazing. Beautiful. More than 288 million gallons of water flows from this spring daily.

After visiting the spring, we hiked briefly and then parked at the entrance to the closed state park for an incredible “indoor” lunch of Vermont Sharp Cheddar and Honey Crisp Apple Slices on Oatnut Bread with Whole Grain Mustard (accompanied by Sea Salt and Vinegar Chips). This was our first time to try out the generator (used it to run the a/c—it was still pretty hot out, even though October!). Worked like a charm.

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Driving through the backroads of MO, we “landed” for our second night at a private campground near Maramec Springs (close to St James).

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Still a little warm for cooking outdoors, so we had delicious Italian Sausage Soup that we had brought already prepared, along with corn muffins baked in that combination microwave/convection oven visible in the above picture, under the countertop. Worked great!

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#RVing #ThorCompass #RoadTrip #MOTravel #BigSpring

Monday, October 9, 2017

Peach “Hand Pies” {In My Kitchen}

This is a fun and delicious recipe that I made as a part of my “Heartwarming” online “art” class (Junelle Jacobsen). We LOVED this!!

PEACH HAND PIES

· 1 box refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts)
· 3 fresh peaches or comparable amount of frozen peaches, thawed
· ½ tsp cinnamon
· ½ tsp cardamom
· 1 tsp lemon juice
· 1 tsp vanilla
· 2 T flour
· 3 T sugar
· ¼ tsp salt

· 1 egg, beaten

GLAZE

· 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
· 3 T milk and ¾ tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove pie crusts from package and allow to come to room temperature while you prepare filling.

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Dice peaches (with or without skin) and combine with remaining ingredients EXCEPT beaten egg and glaze topping. Set aside.

Unroll pie crusts and cut circles from each crust using cutter of size you choose, rolling scraps to make remaining circles.

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Drop peach pie filling into center of each pie crust circle. Fold in half and pinch edges completely. Fold pinched edges over and press with the tines of a fork to seal. Poke hand pie with fork or knife, to prevent bursting.

Beat egg in a small bowl until frothy. Brush over the tops of each hand pie.

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Bake on a parchment paper lined baking sheet (1 inch apart) for about 15-30 minutes depending on size of hand pie, until browned (18 minutes for mine).

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While pies are baking, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk and vanilla until smooth. Remove cooked pies from baking sheet and allow to cool a bit before spooning the glaze on top.

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Enjoy! (Great with coffee!!)

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#InMyKitchen #HandPies #AutumnKitchen #FallisMyFavoriteSeason

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Finally Fall {Around Peaceful Acres} {In My Kitchen} {Out & About}

We have had such an extended summer. It has been dry, and at one point I predicted almost no fall color in the trees, as I observed some of them transitioning directly from green to brown. However, today, our first truly fall-feeling day, I am glad to say that I was not entirely correct.

Here are some pictures from here around Peaceful Acres during the last week or so.

10-05-17 trees

Fall Color

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Oct 5 trees have some color

(Always bugs me how much less vibrant the colors look in photos than in real life…)

Then today we drove to Indian Camp Creek Park to walk for awhile. We saw several beautiful trees on the drive.

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So, now that it is finally fall, I can more enjoy making soup. This evening we had one of our favorites: Easy and Delish Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Tortilla Soup

Recipe follows:

"This tortilla soup tastes better than anything you can get at a restaurant. And it's healthy too! Don't let the long list of ingredients fool you. All you do is dump everything into the slow cooker and walk away. Garnish with grated Cheddar, avocadoes, fresh cilantro and a splash of fresh lime juice."

Ingredients

1 pound shredded, cooked chicken
1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (I used more)
7 corn tortillas
olive oil or vegetable oil

Directions
Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro.

Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 minutes. To serve, add garnishes (grated Cheddar, avocadoes, fresh cilantro and a splash of fresh lime juice) and sprinkle tortilla strips over soup.

#InMyKitchen #BarbsRecipes #AutumnKitchen #fallismyfavoriteseason

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Multi-Berry Crisp {In My Kitchen}

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Start with 6 cups berries (fresh and/or frozen—I used fresh strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries).

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Mix 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1T lemon juice with the berries. Pour in 9” pie plate.

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Make topping: 3/4 cup flour, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 3/4 cup oats, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp salt. Cut in 1 cup unsalted butter. Mix with hands until there are moist clumps in the topping.

Mound topping on top of berries.

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Bake at 375 (preheated oven) for an hour. Allow to cool somewhat.

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Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

#InMyKitchen #BerryCrisp #AutumnKitchen

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Bless the Lord {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Ps 103 Bless the Lord

Using watercolor paint on Psalm 103 in my Single-Column ESV Journaling Bible. I have three Bibles that I use for art, and the other two already have art on this passage. With watercolor, I can still read all the words through the paint, so I’m okay with the paint extending across the entire page.

When I think about this passage, I am reminded that when I “forget not all His benefits,” then what’s left to do but to bless the Lord!

Psalm 103:1-5 English Standard Version (ESV)

Bless the Lord, O My Soul
103 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

#BibleArtJournalingChallenge #BibleArt #Psalm103 #BlessTheLord #watercolor #IllustratedFaith #ScriptureArt #FaithArt

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Pumpkin Pound Cake {In My Kitchen}

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Really, really difficult to watch the caloric intake in the autumn. I am so drawn to the kitchen to bake yummy foods, especially breads and cakes and muffins, and especially anything with my favorite fall spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves). Well, and I also love soups in the fall. With bread. Homemade bread.

I’m always willing to try new recipes, even though I have so many “old favorites.” Anything new must be incredible, if it’s going to make my top-picks list. So, this Pumpkin Pound Cake, although quite good, especially second day, and especially with coffee, doesn’t quite measure up to my standard, which is “Barb’s Pumpkin Bars.” So, I won’t share this recipe, simply because it’s not one I would “recommend.” Later this fall, when I make my Pumpkin Bars, I’ll share that recipe!

So, as an illustration of “not everything I make is to die for,” I share this pretty picture!

#autumnbaking #inmykitchen #pumpkinpoundcake #autumnspices #pumpkinspice #fallismyfavoriteseason #octoberismyfavoritemonth

Friday, September 29, 2017

Camping at Cuivre River State Park {RV’ing}

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Even though this state park is only 40 minutes from our home, we knew the site we wanted, and it allowed us to spend all our time Monday through Wednesday with camping (instead of driving) and trying out all the new stuff on the RV. AND, we went at a time when it would be isolated and serene. That’s us, way down at the end site!

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First evening, we fired up the new hibachi grill, perfect for just the two of us. Fried potatoes/onion, a camping necessity, worked great in the electric skillet.

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It was actually unseasonably hot, so we appreciated the air conditioner.

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Cooled off enough to enjoy the evening fire! Toasted marshmallows, late evening, while listening to the Cardinals game.

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Even though the temperatures did not feel like autumn, the sound of the acorns hitting the RV reminded us that it is fall!

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We walked a lot, making several trips around the [empty] campground. Not a lot of color in the leaves yet, but the persimmons and the leaves on the sassafras tree provided a welcome touch of autumn color.

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The most necessary of all necessities—good coffee. To ensure that, we travel with our single-serve Keurig.

September 2017 Thor Compas 23TB

By the time we broke camp, we had pretty much figured out all the systems and feel reasonably confident that we know what we’re doing with our new unit.

Easy-peasy to drive home, unload and be back to “normal” in an hour and fifteen minutes! Ready for the next trip—next up, a road trip through part of our state to see the fall foliage (what little there may be this year!).

#RVing #camping #CuivreRiver #ThorCompass #blessed

Thursday, September 28, 2017

SBU Homecoming - Hubby’s 50-Year Reunion {Sentimental Journey}

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Russell’s Southwest Baptist College (now Southwest Baptist University) graduating class (1967). On September 23rd, we joined several of his classmates (and their spouses, several of whom were in my graduating class of 1969) on campus, for the 50-Year Club Luncheon, where the class of ‘67 was inducted, followed by the 1967 Class Reunion.

Nametag

What a great idea to put the yearbook photo on the nametag, so that everyone could recognize their classmates—50 years brings a lot of change!

Table placards 57 on one side 67 on the other

The luncheon tables featured a centerpiece with information about 1967 on one side and 1957 on the opposite side.

Sandy McDonald Jones a friend in my class of 1969

I always enjoy re-connecting with one of my classmates, as her husband was in Russell’s class. Sandy McDonald Jones and I suffered through Chemistry during our last summer at Southwest. She always says that I got her through the class, but I just remember that we both hated it and that we studied together.

Class of 67 at 50 year reunion

This is the group that was present at the reunion, and Russell remembered, and visited with, most of them. I was proud of Russell, youngest-looking one there (I’m not biased). When the university president was handing out the 50-year-club pins, he said to Russell, “Your hair’s too dark [for this pin].” He is blessed to be naturally (genetic) late to gray!

Sadly, we learned that one of Russell’s best friends had passed away in 2009.

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It’s always a Sentimental Journey to travel down memory lane at reunions. We feel very blessed to have been a part of the rich history of this university, and it was an honor to be a part of a group that included so many successful contributors to society (and, as a side note, amazing to know how many of the couples have also been married around 50 years!).

#SentimentalJourney #SBUniv #SBUHomecoming2017 #Classof1967 #blessed

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Leisure Time: Life Assessment {HeartStrings~RV’ing}

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September 8, 2017 - Out to celebrate our 52nd anniversary. Time to assess and review, again. We often, of late, have discussions about how we want to spend our days. Notice I didn’t say, “how to live out our days,” or “how to spend the days we have left,” or any other morbid way of stating what may be the unavoidable truth and yet can be controlled by us, in terms of how we actually view it, and how we “speak it.”

And, in reality, anyone who is retired should be having these evaluative discussions. Time moves quickly. Days fly by. A year passes before you know it. Our time is limited. So, once the requirements of jobs and work are no longer, it really is wise to think about it. How do we want to spend our days?

We stay busy. In addition to keeping up communication with our children and grandchildren and activities with our siblings/spouses (our best friends), hubby works outside on our place, clearing brush, cutting wood, and checking over the property on his Side by Side.

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I keep very occupied with my hobbies of scrapbooking and art. I also enjoy playing my baby grand piano and working on music for the praise band at our church (keyboard).

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new keyboard

But we are realizing that what we don’t want to do is to spend every day the same way, even if the things we are doing are fun and far from boring. We like to add a little more excitement into the mix, a little more of the unexpected, a little more serendipity.

So one of the results of our recent “review” was that we fondly recalled how much we always loved camping and cross-country travel (just for the heck of it). Russell has wanted a motorhome for a long time (although we had tabled active discussions on the subject for the last few years), and he deserves to have it. Besides, I happen to share his feelings about it. My requirement: must “reside” at our place—no storing it off-site.

We decided to look for something very small that would be easy to drive, easy to get down our driveway lane, and could be parked on the driveway next to the house.

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Found it! A Thor Compass, she is 23.5’ long and has everything we need, including a slide that allows for a queen-sized bed. And love that automatic awning!!

We have taken her out for a one-night camping trip so far. We will certainly use it for camping but also plan to totally enjoy it for cross-country travel (pretty much sick of hotels, frankly).

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So, one of my blog categories is now “RV’ing.”

Oh, and another result of the review and assessment: I’m pretty sick of Facebook (especially with the recent change that means if I follow someone I see everything they like, who they have become friends with, and whatever else Facebook deems I would want to see). I am considering blogging more, using Instagram more and Facebook less (or maybe not at all). I’m in charge of me. Remember, I get to decide how I spend my days, and in the end, in the end, I don’t want to spend so many hours of those precious days allowing someone else to set my mood and tell me how to think and feel. So, that’s what I have to say about that!

#HeartStrings #RVing #Thor #Compass #Motorhome