Friday, February 28, 2014

Chicken StirFry with Basil Pesto

Happy Friday to you! Goodbye February and Hello March. March holds three family birthdays, so it feels like we are always have family get togethers. In fact, today the family is heading up to the mountains; it is our Christmas present to our kids and grands.
 This week, one of my favorite bloggers Judy at Cranberry Morning posted this dish; I'm so glad she did because it is sure to become a favorite of ours. I will include the link at the end. The only thing that I was missing was a McCormick Perfect Pinch "Mediterranean" herb seasoning. I went to three stores looking for it and then googled it online. Apparently, McCormick no longer makes this seasoning; I'm sure one of their others would work just as well. I just added some spices I had on hand; it wasn't as savory as I expect it is if you have the right ingredients. This is a dish that could be changed up easily too-maybe adding shrimp or even beef. It is gluten free; in fact, most of Judy's recipes are gluten free.

The recipe is enough for two good servings or three small ones.

The pesto really gives this dish a rich flavor! I am going to experiment with this dish and the spices in the future, but it is definitely a repeat. If you don't know Judy, go by and say hello; she is such a sweetie!

I know most of California is getting hammered with rain; we've got snow in the forecast here for the weekend.  I just hope there aren't any issues in the mountains; plus a friend will be here dogsitting and I'm telling all the pups to behave.
Until we meet again,
Noreen & Hunter

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Happy Thursday to you!  It's a brand new day filled with oodles of possibilities; Hunter has a new cut and is so sparkling clean. Not sure how long he will stay white-he has a tendency to get right out in the yard and try to get rid of the clean smell.  Silly dog-his mama loves the lavender scent of the groomer's shampoo. 
I am happy to say my knees are not as bad as last week-so thank you all for your encouragement.  I haven't had to pamper myself like I did yesterday, for quite some time.  I just don't like feeling like I can't do something.  I am so very thankful for the ability to even try a new sport, for life and for the blessings my life holds! 
It is supposed to get into the 50's here today; it is already 30 degrees-yippee.  However, our family in Ca. are sending lots of rain, which will probably turn to snow.  Many friends are already seeing flowers pop up and trees bloom-you lucky ducks you!  We won't even think spring until mid-May and then it is still iffy.
May you find joy in the little things of life.
Joy to you~

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

One Tired Senior

It is already the afternoon and all I can think of doing is relaxing! This morning hubby and I went over to Pickleball and unfortunately for me no other beginners were there, so I played with the regular teams. Needless to say, they kicked my butt! Seriously, last week my knees hurt for days-which is unusual for me and finally I started to feel back to normal.  I came home feeling stiff already; so I applied to topical lotion, for muscles, on my knee and I sitting with it elevated.  Hunter won't come near me due to the smell of the lotion, he has a very sensitive nose.  Now I am wondering how long it will take me to get into shape or if my knees will begin to give me problems.  I'm surprised with all the biking I've done, that I've never had issues until now; maybe that is what happens when the number 62 draws near.  I hope not, because I really enjoy the game.
Hubby has gone off to badminton; he is in amazing shape and has such high energy. I plan to just sit and catch up with all of you.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Happy Tuesday to you!  I hope your Monday started out well; getting a crown is not my idea of fun, but we have to do what we have to do and it's better than a root canal.  The afternoon was pretty relaxed and last night, hubby and I were happy to have all of our shows back on t.v.  The Voice started a new season and we loved it. We so enjoy Shakira and Usher; the interaction between the judges is so fun!  You know you are empty nesters when t.v. shows are important. 
Our weather here is cold and cloudy-snow coming tonight.  I'm off to walk in a few and tomorrow plan on playing Pickleball.  I'm hoping that my knees and legs get into shape quickly; they were sore last week. 
I hope you have a fantastic day, filled with joy and smiles. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Playtime With Pups

Hunter had his best buds over on Friday; we are actually having a friend's daughter dogsit in a few weeks and wanted her to meet them. It is funny that although there were three dogs, only two played together at a time.

This was the only photo that I nearly got with all three dogs together.  As soon as I pointed the camera, Lily and Hunter moved.
Hunter actually looks like his is smiling here; I think he is happy to have his buddies to play with. What is even more interesting to me is that when there are other dogs here, Hunter eats his kibble. Someone once said he must be a social eater; it's that or when he is home alone, he thinks he is a person and wants our food. Yes, he is spoiled!
Most of the photos show Petrol and Hunter together or Lily and Petrol, but Hunter was almost always with Lily.  Poor Petrol would stand, watching them play and bark as if to say-come on, let me in.

They all settled down after about three hours and from there it was smooth sailing.  Even bedtime was easy-Petrol is so obedient and well behaved that she slept at the bottom of the bed, while Hunter and Lily rotated spots between hubby and I. I'm so thankful that the pups all get along well!  I'm also thankful for our daughter's having small dogs, because otherwise we would definitely have another Bichon or maybe even a Miniature Schnauzer. 
I hope you had a good weekend; I'm off to the dentist to get a crown this morning-such fun!!!
Noreen & Hunter

Friday, February 21, 2014

Hills Ideal Balance Dog Treats

Happy Friday Friends~The other day we got a box in the mail from Hills Dog Food; to be honest, receiving this was a surprise. It wasn't from Mr. Chewy and I couldn't remember whom posted on these treats. I was even more surprised that there were three bags of soft chewy treats-Hunter definitely scored. I've shared how spoiled Hunter is and how picky he is about food, but give him a treat and he is a happy boy! In fact, I've decided to stop wasting money on canned food and just cook chicken for him. He still has his kibble, which he'll eat this weekend, because Lily and Petrol will be here.
These are the three bags that came: Ideal Balance soft-baked naturals with Chicken & Carrots, with Duck & Pumpkin, with Beef & Sweet Potatoes. We have only opened the Duck & Pumpkin, though he would love it if I opened them all.

He was trying to get one of the bags opened.

Can you tell he is so happy at the prospect of more treats. I tell you if we had it to do over again, I wouldn't give him any food but kibble plus one treat a day. He will sit at the treat cabinet and sneeze at me until I give him one. I've actually gotten a squirt bottle out and let him see it so he stopped whining and left the area. I don't mind his sneezing but the whining gets old very quickly. Hunter loves the Duck & Sweet Potatoe treats. He seems to do better with softer treats and these are perfect and the perfect size for a small dog. I will definitely purchase these in the future. So if you have a pup, try these out; they are grain free and made in the U.S.
Hunter gives them
Thank you to Hill's for sending these treats for Hunter. 
I hope you have a fantastic day and wonderful weekend!  Hunter will be so excited that he will have two girls over, I know there will be lots of playtime.
Noreen & Hunter

Thursday, February 20, 2014

It's Thursday and I'm so thankful that we didn't get any snow last night.  It was quite dreary in the afternoon and the wind picked up too.  I thought sure the ground would be white this morning; the wind is still howling and the temps cold, but I can handle that.  I am also thankful that we rejoined Costco; they are building a new store that will be about 10 minutes away, instead of 45 minutes.
We also have a Trader Joes that will be about 30 minutes away, instead of located in Ca. or New Mexico; this store will open next fall as well.  I don't buy mixes in bulk, due to the probability of bugs, but love all the other products-such as meats and fish.  Hubby and I don't have much on the schedule today, so we are heading down to Costco to look for some misc. items for our new home-tables, blender, etc etc.  I may even have him stop on the way home to look at the two recliners I found online-just to see if they are as nice up close as they look online.  I doubt we will get them yet, but I do want to check them out in advance. 
Several of you have mentioned you aren't familiar with Pickleball and since I share photos the other day of the paddle and ball, thought I'd show you the net.   It is played with four people, like doubles in tennis; it is considered a combination of tennis, ping pong and some other sports.  Generally, at least here, the game is played to 11 points or a specific number of minutes-like eleven.  It can be as fast paced or slow as the players want.  Yesterday, we only had 16 players but on Monday there were 30.
We have heard that Arizona has one of the biggest communities of Pickleball players.  We play inside but it is played outside too.  I hope this helps understand the game.  I will say that last night my knees were really tight and hopefully as I play more I'll get into better shape. 
I hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Outdoor Wednesday

Hi friends~This morning I went back to the rec center for pickleball and it was fun! I will say that hubby made me play one game with him and two others, that was really fast paced.  I quickly decided that for now, I prefer the beginners game.  I will say that it is quite a workout and I enjoy it.  When I arrived at the rec center, walking inside in shorts, I was surprised it wasn't really cold.  It looks and feels like spring; however I do know that we are supposed to get more snow this week.  A friend also reminded me that we have two more months of winter and they are our heaviest snow months-yuck!
I do enjoy winters but I think with our move this spring, I'm wishing we were already in our new home.
That's about all that is going on here; I hope your days are filled with contentment.
Hugs, Noreen

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Happy Tuesday

Good morning to you! It is a warm 50 degrees outside and it truly looks like spring. Our snow is almost gone, thanks to the wind; the gusts are really blowing. Yesterday, hubby called from our Rec Center and said there was a new gal who showed up for Pickleball and I should come down. I ended up going and had a great time. For those that aren't familiar with the fastest growing sport in the U.S., especially among seniors, it is a cross between tennis and ping pong.
The paddle is light and similar to a racquetball paddle; there are as many different types as with any racquet.

The ball is a wiffle ball. I had tried Pickleball once, several years ago, but found the group to be too competitive for me, as a beginner. The group here in town is made up of players from all levels and I was able to join the beginner group that was not competitive. I can say, that while I was confused about some of the aspects of the game, it was such fun. I have needed some added exercise and I think this will help. The weather during the winter often keeps us inside; we don't have exercise machines and this will be a good alternative. They play three days a week and for three hours.
 As I sit here, I can hear the wind gusting-which probably means I won't be taking Hunter out this morning. I am hoping to walk with a friend this afternoon and catch up on what's been happening in her life. I hope you have a warm and hope filled day!
 Joy to you~
Noreen & Hunter

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Monday Friends~I hope you had a very special Valentine's Day and a great weekend.  Hubby and I didn't do anything special for V-Day, but on Saturday evening we attended a Valentine's Day Progressive Dinner hosted by the Women's Ministry at my church.  I helped set up at the first house-the Salad Home.  In all, 20 couples attended and it was such fun; the food was incredible and fellowship the best.  The set up was done in about one half hour.  The second home had the main entree; several brought chicken, there was ham, beans, carrots, pulled beef and of course water and punch. Due to the high number of couples attending,the dessert part was held at church-which is right around the corner.  We also divided into teams and played Battle of the Sexes; our game person, my bff Kam, did a fantastic job coming up with all the questions.  I truly think everyone had a wonderful evening; new friendships were forged and the laughter encouraged everyone. 
Yesterday, hubby and I ran to our girls homes to say hi, then I took him out to lunch.  Hubby spent the afternoon getting ready to refinish the antique mirror that goes with a chest we redid several years ago.  These will go in the new guest room to hold extras for our visitors. 
It was a beautiful weekend; the sun was warm and the wind picked up yesterday-which will help melt the snow.  I can't begin to express my anxiousness for spring to arrive; of course, much of that is tied up with our move at the beginning of summer. 
I hope you have a fantastic President's Day!!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

From My Heart To Yours!  May your day be filled with love of family, friends, pets and life.
Noreen & Hunter

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Another Great Product

Good Morning Friends! As you know, we are now participating in dog treat program; this program allows you to pick out a treat each month and have it shipped to your home. It is a way to have your pups(cats too)try a treat and give an honest review. I am so thankful we read about this program; Hunter is one picky eater and it saves me going and purchasing a product only to have to return it because he doesn't like it. Here you can see Hunter investigating the box.

He has an excellent nose and is very sensitive to smells-in fact he hates lemons or anything citrus. He already knows that there are treats here. Here are some details about what is in every tasty morsel.

Hunter did try to dance for his treat, but I wasn't able to get a good photo of him.
This was such a funny expression that I had to share it. Doesn't he look like he just swallowed a cat.
He rated it a

We are both thankful for Chewy's blogger program. I love the fact that this company sells wholesome and healthy pet treats.
Chewy has many other products for dogs and cats, the company carries a wide variety of things; go check them out.
Noreen & Hunter

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Pleasure Of His Company book review

Dutch Sheets has been a favorite author of mine since we lived in northern California. I have read many of his books on prayer and over the years found him to be authentic and accurate in his perspective. I have kept several of his books in my library, even as I weeded books out to give away. The subtitle of this book is A Journey To Intimate Friendship With God. This book is excellent; can be read as a devotional or just a reference. No matter where you are in your spiritual walk, this book would be an excellent read.  Dutch Sheets has a wonderful ability to weave scripture and everyday experiences from his life into practical applications. The chapters cover The Person, The Seeker, Discovery, Dance, Search, Priority, Decision, Distractions, Choice, Union, Spoiler,Place, Walk, Offering, Friendship, Stretch, Un-distracted, Courtship, Listener, Lingerers, Visit, Prodigal, Return, Return, Revelation, Look, Altar, Advantage, Face, Connection, Price. Although there are 30 chapters, there are only 265 pages.  Dutch shares how much the Father loves to spend time with us and wants us to come to Him. This is a wonderful book and I would give it 5 stars. I was provided this book free by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing, for my honest review; I was not compensated in any way.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Beautiful Performance

Happy Tuesday to you!  I know you are all thinking this is about an Olympic exhibition,but it isn't.
I happened to see the link on Facebook of two incredible singers and after watching their performance, I knew I had to share it here. I'm sure most of you have seen it, but if not it will bless your heart.
Here is the link:
Bocelli and McVee are an incredible duo and I could watch this again and again. I hope you find it the same!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sochi 2014

 Good Morning Friends, I hope you had a wonderful, warm weekend!  For the most part, we stayed inside much of the time; it was too cold to be outside.  Well, did you watch the opening ceremonies on Friday night?  We did and were so impressed with the costumes, music, parade of Nations and of course the history of Russia.  I was so proud of our athletes; I can tell you that having gone to the Olympics as a spectator, there is nothing like it.  We are taping most of the events and yesterday watched ice-skating, snowboarding and have ice-dancing recorded. 
We also watched the video Last Vegas; the stars did such a good job.  While the content wasn't something I would typically watch, the cast made it hysterical.  I wonder if Deniro or Douglas will be up for an academy award. 
Not sure what is happening today; the sewing room is packed and half of the basement has been stacked, vacuumed and organized.  Hunter seems to be handling all the boxes well; our last two dogs would have been so stressed. 
Hope you have a wonderful day!  Stay warm and enjoy the day.
Noreen & Hunter

Friday, February 7, 2014

All Things Hidden By Tracie Peterson & Kimberly Woodhouse Review

I was so glad I was asked to review this book, due to the fact that I was in Alaska and this particular area last summer.  The story is a historical fiction, with some suspense, set in Matanuska Valley in 1935 during President Roosevelt's Alaska Rural Rehabilitation, when 200 families are given land to settle this rural area. Dr. Hillerman and his daughter Gwyn are the areas only medical personal and Gwyn loves the quiet and simplicity of their lives.  Big changes are coming with the influx of people, including a young doctor from Chicago who knows Dr. Hillerman.  Dr. Jeremiah Vaughan has lost all that he built his life around, including his medical license.   Gwyn is anxious and worried about the changes ahead.  A new hospital and more medical staff, will it be a good thing for their area?
I loved that this story showed the difficulties of homesteading and the prejudice against the native Alaskans.  There are twists and turns in the plot, including murder.  It was a quick read and held my attention.
I would rate this book 5 Stars. 
I would like to thank Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing, for their book review program. I received this book for my honest review and did not receive compensation. 
This would be a great book for your homeschool library as well.

Have a great day and weekend!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dreaming of Spring

Many of you are in the throws of a deep freeze and your weather makes our -7 degrees this morning seem quite warm. I had hoped that we would be getting up to the mountains to snowshoe, but truth be told, it is just too cold. We will be going up for a weekend this month, but for now staying inside is my choice. Even Hunter is not wanting to spend a lot of time outside. So, although I do love the beauty of the snow, right now my mind is dreaming of a warmer place. In fact, hubby isn't the only one who is counting down the days til we head back to Kauai. Whatever weather you are experiencing, I hope you can daydream of a climate that makes you smile and yet be thankful for the blessings in your life. I am so thankful that we have a furnace and don't need to trug out to the woodpile, amidst the frigid temps.
Joy to you~

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Say What?

I hope you have a cup of hot coffee, tea or cocoa in your hand this morning; here in northern Colorado the temps, plus wind chill, are between -10 and -20.  Brrr is all I can say!  Last night, during the night, Hunter decided he wanted to go outsid,e but I knew how frigid the air would be and worried about his paws getting stuck to the ice-so he didn't go out.  I put him right back on the bed and he curled up and went back to sleep.  At least it is blue skies this morning, but the weatherman said that without the cloud cover the temps would remain where they are.  Hubby is off at Pickleball and so my morning will be filled with whatever I need to get done in regards to chores. 
I'd love to just sit and read today as I've got two books I need to post about, but I think the vacuum is
calling my name. 
I think the entire country, other than the desert, is suffering extreme winter weather.  May your days be warm and filled with joy!
Noreen & Hunter

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Two Best Buds

It's outdoor Tuesday and these photos were from yesterday. On Sunday, we picked up Lily to have her spend Superbowl with us, as our daughter was having a huge Superbowl party. There is nothing Hunter likes more than to have Lily or Petrol over for playtime. The pups always spend the first three or four hours playing non-stop, but then settle down. Yesterday morning was cold but clear and they spent a lot of time outside.

You can tell, from the tracks, that they've been blitzing. Hunter doesn't always play fair-he will often grab hold of Lily's tail and pull. They are such a good match with their personalities and all three get along fabulously; in fact at the end of the month we are going to the snow for a weekend and a friend will be dog sitting all three here. It is fun to watch dogs that get along and play well-being equal in their games and not just one sided.  It will be a "three tail circus"-get it.

The rest of the week is supposed to be snowy-so figure we will be inside much of the time. Hope you have a fun day!
Noreen & Hunter

Monday, February 3, 2014

Blue Monday

For all of you that aren't football fans, today will just be a normal day.  For those of us Bronco fans, today is a sad day.  The Broncos did make it to superbowl but sent the wrong team in.  We hoped that the game would turn around in the second half, but by the fourth quarter we turned it off.  I will say that I was disappointed in the ads this year; we did miss the Budweiser commercial with the puppy but all in all, we felt that they were not as good as previous years. The half time performance of Bruno Mars was good, but Red Hot Chili Peppers should have been left out.  Glad our grands hadn't arrived yet.  It was such a disappointing game to say the least; however they are still the 2nd best team in the NFL.
I will say the only other game this season that was as bad was when we played the Chargers in Dec.  That evening will go down, in my book and perspective, as one of the worst I've had in a long time. 

O.k. so on to a good note.....the sun is shining and although we have snow on the ground, it is so pretty out.  We are supposed to have snow most of the week and so that means there will be more packing and purging.  Most of the packing is done, but my sewing room still needs some work and I should go through some of my clothes and get rid of them.
I hope you had a great weekend and now we can all focus on the Olympics!
Hugs, Noreen