Monday, June 30, 2014

Tuna Pasta Salad - My Way!

Mr H loves for me to make him tuna pasta salad every summer. Every time I make it, I make it a little different. It just depends on my mood of the day and how much energy I put into it. I never measure anything!!
This I must say had to be, by far, my favorite and his, with this batch. 
The ingredients I always use are
Albacore tuna
1 box of pasta shells ( medium )
Hellman's Mayo
McCormick's Pasta Supreme
onion and celery chopped

This time I added a few more things. I actually made a sauce with the mayo.
Like I said, I don't measure so.... 
 I cook the pasta shells. I do what my mother taught me. I boil the water, pour in the pasta shells, turn off the heat, cover and set the timer for 20 minutes. Drain and run cold water over the shells to cool. Let drain in colander over cooking pot. While all of that is happening, I make the sauce part of the pasta salad. 
I scoop about 1 cup of mayo into the large mixing bowl. 

Add - apple cider vinegar - approx 1 T, 2T sugar, A huge squirt of dijon mustard, 2T Salad Supreme
Mix all together in bowl. 
I then take my chopped onions and celery and mix that in. I say that is a personal preference on how much you want in there. I buy mine already chopped and I am pretty sure it is only about a 1/2 C of each that I put in there. Mix some more..

I got to thinking.... I have this garden filled with herbs... add some of them! 
So I went out and clipped some sage, garlic chives and even a little bit of fennel. I also passed by my little tiny tim tomatoes where there were about 8 of them red, ripe and ready to be picked, so I picked them as well. 

I sliced the little tomatoes in quarters and threw them in the sauce mix. I then chopped up very finely the herbs that I gathered. Mix all of them in the sauce. 
Time to add the albacore tuna. 1 large can.
When that is all mixed, I dump the pasta shells in the mix and coat them well with my wooden spoon. 
Chill for about 2 hours and EAT! 

Now if you are an inexperienced cook, this recipe may confuse you. Or if you need to have exact measurements, this recipe may confuse you. This recipe is for those that like to experiment and just throw in what makes you happy at the time. That is how I cook. 
I know Martha Stewart would not approve of how I wrote this recipe, but she is organized in her cooking and has her people that help her to perfect her recipes. I do not. 

So I apologize if you cannot follow my recipe. My thoughts to you are, experiment! Make it your own. Add your own special herbs from your garden. Throw in some tomatoes or even some roasted peppers! You may even throw in some bacon! I will say that I hesitated adding the fennel. I am glad I did. It is just a hint, and I mean of hint of that taste that makes you think... what is that I taste? 

I have an extra can of albacore tuna as Mr H bought two cans - they were on sale. I am going to make tuna salad for sandwiches today and I am definitely going to go back out to the garden and clip some more herbs and add them to the tuna salad. 
Have a great day! 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

An Ice Cream Social

Anna Mae, from My Homespun Holiday, hosted an Ice Cream Social at her home last evening. 
As always, when going to Anna Mae's, it is always relaxing sitting by her lovely gardens. 

Surrounded by floral beauty, she set up lace covered tables along her cottage gardens, which in fact felt more like an old fashioned garden party, with ice cream as the main course. 

Loving the use of enamelware pans to hold the bananas. Lace lace and more lace everywhere. If you look closely at the top of the photo, you can see an old ice chest. Inside the ice chest was of course the obvious, ice... as well as sodas, teas and good old root beer! 

Baskets and vases filled with flowers from her gardens graced every table, every setting and no matter which way you turned your head, you saw beauty abound.

The best part, besides the food and flowers and the setting, was being among friends. For their privacy, I did not photograph them for the post. It was a very comfortable atmosphere and conversations flowed easy. It was just a peaceful, relaxing social occasion. 

Anna Mae didn't forget anything! Toppings galore to satisfy everyone. 

Yum, is that chocolate ice cream? My favorite. 

Hershey's Chocolate and hot fudge with strawberries and crushed nuts... all adorned my banana split! 

Also some cookies and of course cherries to top my banana split! 

A good time was had by all. 
Thank you Anna Mae for a lovely evening! 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Garden In Springtime

I love springtime. I love the colors of springtime. White tulips. They add a bit shabbiness to the sun room. 

Pink and black tulips. My garden has a variety of pinks, blacks and whites. They will soon be finished blooming, but that is okay as there are more flowers sprouting through. We are entering my most favorite time of year. 

I had the urge to start cleaning out the sun room. There is so much work to be done. This cabinet was the one Anna Mae gave to me. I still have to put my French ephemera on yet. I need to find some waterslides so I can complete the look I am going after. 

The herbs are planted, the coleus and of course I need to have some red geraniums. 

I moved my home made potting bench outdoors. It will get a lot of use. There is still more clean up to be done, but it is a start. 

For Christmas, Anna Mae gave me this beautiful lantern. I love how the flowers reflect off the mirrored glass., It looks so lovely hanging in the garden. 

My lupine is started to bud. I planted it in an old rocker without a seat. I want to see the lupine grow up through the chair. I can't wait to see the results.

I have no idea what these plants are growing in the garden, but I will let them grow to find out. The dirty little white birdhouse was a find Mr H found for me while out yard saling... is that even a word? 

A view of one part of the garden. The chair on the right has pink yarrow growing inside and the other, like I said has the lupine. There is a rose bush in the back that I need to feed! Anna Mae found some good stuff where we work, so I need to purchase some. 

There is a lot more growing in the garden and perhaps next week I will take you on another tour at one of the flower beds. Like I said, still a lot of work to be done, but lucky for me, it is work I enjoy. So I guess it is not really work. I want to get it finished before I mulch as mulching is the last thing I really do to set it up for summer. 

I hope you are enjoying your springtime. I know I am! 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Time Flies.....

It was brought to my attention that I have not written on this blog since March. I can't believe tomorrow is May 1st! May Day! Time does fly.
Life has been happening here at MHFTH. 
To be honest though, the weather has me a bit on the down side. It just can't seem to warm up around here. After this past winter, I have been waiting for flip flop weather. I will say though, I must count my blessings that I do not live where all the tornado devastation and destruction has passed through. My heart goes out to all those affected. 
Besides the weather fact, there has been a lot happening around here lately. My job has been busy keeping me on my toes, which is a good thing. Some days I come home from work and just don't have the frame of mind to blog. As I type this blog, I am thinking about work. I have so many ideas in my head that I must write down, draw up, research etc. I do love my job. 
Also keeping me busy was my son was deployed to an undisclosed location. For purposes of safety, I will not say where or when he left, but I will say that I did travel to see him off. That was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me. As a citizen of the USA, he makes me proud. As a mother, it worries me to tears. He has less than a year left to serve his country and when his time is through, he will return home to his fiance and get their wedding planned. That will also keep me busy as well. So, this mom does not sleep too well at nights, and tries to keep busy to keep her mind off of all of it. 
This past weekend was my granddaughters 3rd birthday party. She is growing so fast. Before I know it, she will be starting school! By that time, I suspect that my younger son will be becoming a parent as well. He does want a family and I think that will happen sooner than later. So, I have so much to look forward to. 

Melody and my sister. Melody has on her new bike helmet ( she is sitting on her new bike ) an of course she must wear her bead necklace and fairy wings. You know you have to accessorize while riding bicycle. Fashion first! 

Other reasons that have kept me away from my blog is my desire to focus on my fairy gardening as well. 
There is also the fact that AHL hockey was in season, but my team, the Hershey Bears, did not make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2005. That was sad. Their parent team, the Washington Capitals did not make it as well and there were shake ups in the GM and coaching positions. Thank the good Lord for that. 
So these are my excuses for not blogging regularly. 
As the weather does improve, the blog will start to bloom along with my garden and I can't wait to share some fun things that I will be doing. Oh, and Ladies Craft Night will soon be back in action ( We usually take a break over the winter season and since this winter was so nasty, it was a longer break ) 
It does feel good to be back on the blog though! 
Now I must get back to my research and notes for work. I have so many ideas running through my head, I need to write them all down. 
Hope you had a wonderful Easter!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Mudsale 2014

This year at the mudsale, it truly lived up to it's name. Anna Mae and I ventured up the hill to check out what possibilities there were today to bid on during the auctions. 
As much as we would have liked, these little piggies would have been fun to bid on, but we have no place for them. (smile)

Anna Mae quickly made friends with the little shetland pony being housed in one of the stalls. She looked to be expecting! (The pony, not Anna Mae... haha)

Me? I wanted to take this trio home, but Mr H probably would not have liked this very much. 

Over a sea of mud, the Amish men were gathered, at which I believe, to be to get their instructions for the various auctions that would be happening. 

Yes, Anna Mae and I trekked through the mud... what a mess! We were spoiled the past several years not having any mud. After this years heavy snow, it really made things quite messy. Well, that is why they are called mudsales.

It looks like they scooped up a pile of mud here. Thankfully they put down some wood chips on the worst parts. 

Pictured above is one of the many wagons loaded with box lots to go up for bid. This year, Anna Mae and i did not really see too much that we wanted on these wagons. It was not worth the wait for each one as we wanted to go sit in the antique tent. We found some things we wanted to bid on in there, so that is where we ended up. It is also where I stopped taking pictures. 
I did photograph what I purchased. 
An old and I mean OLD photo album. Some of the photos are dated on the back around 1875. 
Here are some of the photos

The album is leather bound. It is quite worn, but I love it nonetheless.

I love the clasp on the side. I did not photograph the other side, but it says ALBUM on it. ( On the binding ) 

Some of the photos....

There were also loose photos inside. 

I love that some of the photos have names on them. It gives me a notion to look up some of these names on someplace like Ancestry dot com. 

There were also a lot of photos on tin. As you can see some of the pages are a bit ripped, but it adds to it's charm. 

I can't wait to do research on this family. It would be fun to learn the history of the strangers in this album. I have been fascinated lately on the  mid 1800 to late 1800's history .. 

Well, now that this mudsale is history, that means spring is on the way..... woohoo! 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Time Flies!

It seems I have been missing from this blog for over a month! Funny thing is, Facebook has been making it easier to share my daily thoughts etc., and I have neglected this part of it. Wow. I just did not think so much time has passed since I was on this blog! 

February was such a cold, snowy and busy month. Between the snow blowing, keeping the wood stove burning, crazy busy days at work, I have found myself a bit on the lazy side at the end of the day and just posted on Facebook. 

I am not sure what is going on with the photos I posted on here today. They are a bit vibrant, not at all what they looked like in my editor. Oh well, I wanted to share the tulip bouquet I bought at work to bring home and give the dining room a springtime look. 

It's time to get back on track with the blog. So many great things are on the horizon. So many fun things happened this past month! So much to share with all of you. 

So to catch you all up on what has been happening here at My Home For the Holidays....
Here is a brief rundown...
I have been becoming quite skilled at making fairy gardens! I did two How To Talks at work ( I work at a garden center in the Home Accents department ). The how to talks were on making a fairy garden. These talks led me to be a presenter on the DIY stage at the PA Garden Expo at the Harrisburg Farm Show Complex a couple of weekends ago. That was so much fun. Also at work, we have been expanding my department which means we are in the process of moving a LOT of products to a different location and that involves moving large fixtures as well as lots of product. I have used muscles I didn't even know I had! I can't wait until it is finished. We should be complete in another week or two as we are waiting on some materials to arrive to complete the overall look. I am so excited. I can truly say I Love My Job! 
Also happening around here in Amish Country - SNOW! Oh and of course the bitterly cold weather. I am not a snow bunny and not fond of the extreme cold. Fortunately, the warmer weather is on it's way and that just gets me all giddy inside. 
This month, the Mud Sales start, spring will be here, seed starting will begin, yard sales will start to pop up and my creative juices will once again be flowing. This is the first year in the last several that I did not get laid off from work over the winter. I have a management position now, so being laid off is not an option, which left me not doing my crafts over that time. Trust me, I am not complaining as I am SO VERY LUCKY to have a job and one that I love. 
I will admit though, that I won't be doing as many crafts for craft shows like I have in the past. Most of my crafts and DIY's will be for the house or gifts. I will be purging a lot of my supplies and crafts and tone it down a bit. This does not mean I won't be sharing things on here as much as most of the future blogs on here will be about decorating my own space. I just don't have the time or energy to do those things anymore. Plus, I am running out of space and it has begun to get cluttered here and I don't function well on clutter. 
So when I say I am purging, if you live in the area of Lancaster County Pa, you may well benefit at my next yard sale. I will be selling crafts/supplies quite cheaply. I had mentioned at the beginning of the year that 2014 was all about organization and that I will be doing. I need to simplify and make life a bit easier and less cluttered. With that being said, I will still be excited to go to yard sales to find treasures for myself or my home. I will still collect my favorite things like blue Ball Jars, enamelware, clay pots, galvanized containers and the like. 
There are other things happening, that I am not ready to share just quite yet on here as I am waiting for some success with that before I go all crazy on it... so stay tuned for that! 
Well, I rambled on quite a bit here.... 
See ya soon! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Children's Chore List or Slave Labor

I am sharing this today because it struck a nerve with me. I found it on a facebook page and some of the comments were disturbing to me. I found the original owner of this list Flanders Family 
I say KUDDOS to them! This list is very appropriate for children. Of course each child is different and may not be ready for a particular skill/chore, but this list is very reasonable! 
What disturbed me on the facebook page I took this off of ( I honestly don't remember what page posted it) It was not their opinion of the list it was the opinions of some of the readers/the comments. Someone actually thought this was child labor and very terrible. REALLY? As I have aged in my life and have seen a lot of things change in this world of ours ( as many of you have done as well ) I am seeing that more and more children do not have the basic life skills that many of us baby boomers did. It saddens me. No, it sickens me. To the point that many young children/teens are more disrespectful and feel that the world owes them. Other comments were, I would not let my child change a light bulb. I ask why? It is simple - at the age of 8-9, a child should certainly be able to turn the bulb one way and screw in the bulb the other. I do say this in haste though as I understand there are some children that may not be physically able to do it. Then there was bringing in the firewood at 2-3. Haha. Really, do you think they mean to do it all by themselves? A two year old can certainly bring in a log or two or even the kindling. It is not being said to make them do it all by themselves... to assist in helping other family members. I really think my 2 year old granddaughter could hold a piece of our firewood and carry it in the house. I really do. It gives the child a sense of helping and pride. Just one piece at a time. Really - people take things too literally. Another comment was - my 8-9 year old said she couldn't peel potatoes. First I say teach her.. I did at 8 years old. I peeled many a potato before I was 10. My mom would set the potatoes, a colander, a bowl and the peeler in front of me and I would peel away while she prepared the rest of dinner ( before I started making the meals myself) 

Did you know..
When I was a young girl, after school, I would call my mother at work to let her know I was home and she gave me instructions on dinner or remind me to read the note on the counter. I would then do my homework, and begin supper. I would have supper on the table every weeknight ( except every other Thursday we would go out to dinner - it was pay day and grocery shopping night ) 
She would set out all the non perishables on the counter along with either a cookbook open to the page and circled or a recipe on the counter. I peeled potatoes ( no instant in our house ) , would make a roast beef, would make chicken in a cream sauce, even made chili, spaghetti... oh you name it, I probably made it. I even had to make liver on occasion YUCK! I did it, because it was what was expected. I did this through my middle school and high school years. 

On Friday nights, my father would go bowling, and my mother and I would do all the housecleaning. She would do the downstairs and I would do the upstairs. We would have the music playing ( 60's and 70's that were current at the time) and would get to work. Mostly dusting and vacuuming  and my room was picked up and everything put away. When I cleaned my parents room, all I had to do was dust and vacuum. I cleaned the bathroom thoroughly as my mother had taught me. Also, I would take her special mop and make sure all the ceilings and corners and baseboards were gone over. She did all of the downstairs. Living room , dining room and kitchen. Top to bottom. We always finished around 10pm and would sit down with ice cream and watch the tv show Dallas. These are actually fond memories I have with my mother. There would be times during the cleaning if a particular song would come on, she would come up and grab my hand and start to jitterbug with me. Then it was back to work.  I will note though, when I started dating at 16, my cleaning was rescheduled to Saturday mornings. 
Speaking of Saturday mornings, before I started dating, I still had a chore list. You would think, you just cleaned the night before... well, I had to collect the laundry, trim the edges of the yard, pull weeds ( spring/summer/fall), run any errands to downtown ( we lived close enough that I could ride my bike), breakfast dishes and anything else my mother needed me to do. She would do laundry and iron and anything else she needed to do, like mending ( although sometimes, simple mending was on my list ) She also sewed and made a lot of my clothes. I loved the peasant shirts she would make me. We would go to Kmart or to the sewing shop downtown and pick out patterns and fabric. She let me choose which was great. 

When all my work was done, my Saturdays were FREE! I earned it. I would hop on my bike and in the summer head to the pool, or just go down to the local park or hang with friends. 

Turn back the clock even farther, and I was expected to make my bed every morning for as long as I can remember. My room ALWAYS was picked up and put away and yes my mother did use the white glove test on my bedroom furniture. I was an only child until I was 17, so it was just me. My parents were good to me in return. I would get an allowance. When I was around 13, I saw a little black and white tv at a yard sale and bought it for $25 of my own money. That was a lot back in the early 70's. I was allowed to have it in my bedroom. I was so happy I could bring in local channels with it. I also had a stereo in my bedroom and pretty much everything a girl could need at the time. The only thing I didn't have was a telephone in my room. That was huge NO! 
I sound a bit spoiled...but I look at it this way. Both my parents worked and earned every $ they made. They worked a 9-5 job and my dad also went in on Saturday mornings to oversee some projects. I worked at home after school, doing my chores and earned money. I started babysitting when I was 12. 
By the time I was 13, I knew how to sew, crochet, make a complete 3 course dinner, do laundry, iron, clean and basically how to take care of a household. I learned the value of a dollar. When I bought my first car at 17, my dad taught me how to change the tire, check my oil and other simple maintenance on my car. 
I also played hockey in high school, was in the drama club in middle school, sang in the Glee Club and was a girl scout. I got to perform in an Opera at the Lancaster Opera House. 

Just to note, on Sundays was family visiting day. As a family, we would make the rounds of visiting grandparents and great grandparents. If we didn't stay for supper, we would stop somewhere to eat. I did not have to cook on Saturdays or Sundays. Every Sunday mid morning, my mother would make brunch - Eggs with either bacon or corned beef hash, toast and fried potatoes. (We were not a church going family while I was growing up. Although I went to Sunday School either with the neighbors, or my mom would drop my off/pick me up. ) Funny that my brother and my sister now work ministry in churches. I never saw that coming. ( I am not being sarcastic as I am VERY PROUD of my siblings ) 

So, children of today... what do their chores look like? 
I would have no problem giving my children any of the chores in the above list if they were younger. 
Child labor? I think NOT! I think if more children had these responsibilities today, things may be different in our society. My parents would NEVER have left any of us leave the house with our pants around our behinds, wearing skimpy clothes....
OH... that reminds me of another story real quick...
When I was about 15, it was a very hot humid day. We did not have air conditioning - EVER - while I was growing up. I came home from the pool one summers day, made dinner like I was supposed to and was still wearing a halter top from earlier in the day. (It was the mid 70's) The halter top covered everything and I did not have any real cleavage, but nonetheless, I had the nerve to wear it to the dinner table. When I sat down, my father looked at me and said " Young lady, go to your room and put on a suitable top for dinner." While marching up the stairs, I heard him say to my mother "Rose, why do you let her wear those things?". I never did hear my mother's answer. 
Imagine his issue when I bought my first bikini. 

Back to children of today - how many hours of video games vs how many hours of contributing to the family household. 

Ok I am off my soapbox. I just think... hey I did a lot of those chores listed above at either that age or younger.... I have no regrets of my parents making me do/learn those skills. I feel a better person inside. I feel that my parents took the time to teach me basic life skills to survive on my own. I became an independent person. 
I miss my mother deeply, but she left me a legacy of her teachings. I will always cherish being swept away in a dance while vacuuming my bedroom, I will always cherish the remembrance of the clothes she made me and the times we spent in the fabric shop, I will always cherish those Friday nights eating ice cream and watching Dallas with her after the whole house was cleaned, I will always cherish the nights when we would go to Stauffer's ( where I work now ) and buy a bargain bag of craft pieces, bring it home, spread it all on the dining room table and start making crafts, I will always cherish those family meals, every night, eating together and my parents telling me I was a good cook and we would talk about the days events, I will always cherish the memories of my childhood... the good and the bad.... 
Not everyday was sunshine and roses, but for the most part, I had it pretty good as a kid, even though I was subjected the "CHILD LABOR" someone commented about. It's not child labor - it is learning life skills. Learning to be a contributing member of not only the family unit but to society. When they learn at a young age, the rest will begin to come naturally. 
I say.... it is okay to give your young children responsibilities. Chores. Life skills. 
Ok I am off my soapbox ... for now... 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Snowy Day In PA.....

The snow is falling quite steadily here in Amish Country. We are expected to get about 8-10 inches of the white stuff. Mr H was even sent home from work early! That is not the norm. They usually work through all of this stuff, but I guess the forecast got them to close down the next 2 shifts even. 

While the snow is falling, and the Mr is taking a nap, I thought I would blog a bit. The fire is going in the wood stove, keeping the house at a toasty 73 degrees. Although, down where the wood stove is located it must be close to 90! So I am upstairs where the temps are more comfortable. 

I decided to do some baking and came up with these. I saw similar on Pinterest and concocted my own. I took a block of cream cheese, 4 tablespoons of 10x sugar and mixed together. I opened a can of crescent rolls and separated into the triangle shapes. I spread the cream cheese mixture on the dough, added some of the smaller hershey kisses that come in a bag in the baking section and rolled them up. I baked them at 375 for about 13 minutes. Sprinkled some 10x sugar on top after pulling them out of the oven. Tasty. I have some leftover cream cheese mix in the fridge. I probably could have done two cans of crescent rolls with this mix. I only had one. Oh well, I will find something to spread that cream cheese on I am sure. 

On days where I am home all day, I like to light some candles. It adds more warmth to the house. I think I have one of these Kringle Candles lit in every room. They smell so good! 

After Mr H wakes up from his little power nap, it will be time to get a jump start on clearing some of the snow. We both have to work in the morning and it will be better to start digging out now, so when morning comes, it won't be so bad. 

I have ham cubes in the crock pot warming and stuffing ready to heat up for dinner.  I also made yams earlier and will re heat them as well for supper tonight. Mr H gets a huge ham every year at Christmas from his place of employment, and today I cut it up. I made several ham steaks slices and put them in the freezer. I used the ends and one slice that I threw in the crock pot. 

Mr H brought me home some packing boxes to organize some of my crafts. My craft room is too out of control at the moment and those boxes will help me to purge. I will have save, toss, donate and sell piles to go in the boxes. I really want this year to be the year of organization. My crafting things have gotten out of control and it has begun to overtake more than the craft room. Time to ease up a bit and organize and decide what type of brand I want to be. I have too many different types of  items and to tell you the truth, shabby chic is just not popular here at this time and is very difficult to sell. My forever changing tastes have been gearing towards French Country and a lot of my shabby chic is just a bit too shabby for that style decor in my personal home anymore. 
I will never give up though, my taste for doilies, linen, galvanized, terra cotta, wrought iron, blue/clear Ball jars and enamelware. As well as lavender and sage for my choice of color. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

I Am Cuckoo Today!

I waited to post this gem of a clock I acquired because I wanted to wait until it was hung and ready to go. Along with the grandfather clock I received that belonged to my late grandfather, this clock was also in a box that came with the grandfather clock. I did not know I was getting this as well. This clock used to hang in my grandparents kitchen and I remember it fondly. 

It now hangs in my dining room/kitchen area. My father tells me that my grandfather brought this back from Germany, but I do not have an exact time. I am thinking early 1960's? The reason I say is because it has been in my grandparents house as long as I can remember, the same as the grandfather clock. 

I did a little research on how to care for this clock and it was quite simple. After I hung it on the wall, attached the pendulum and the weights, set the correct time... it began to tick tock after the first swing of the pendulum. 

In about 5 minutes, I will be running to the dining area to await the cuckoo of the clock. 

The little yellow bird inside is just waiting to come out! 

Well, between the chimes of the grandfather clock and the cuckoo of the cuckoo clock, I shall always know the time! 
Off to await the chimes and cuckoos....
I never thought I would turn into a clock aficionado!