Simply Balisha

Simply Balisha

Friday, February 28, 2014

Meat Prices, Apple Computer, and a Lenten Challenge

Realizing that meat prices will be going through the roof, we bought quite a lot of meat this week. Joe, having been a meat cutter years ago is able to cut our meat. He took this big piece of sirloin and made three sirloin tip roasts. I just showed this one cut of meat, but there were several other meats that he cut and packaged.

I'm also trying out my new picture program on this Apple computer. I managed to download these pictures...but not sure I could do it again without some trial and error. I haven't figured out how to send them to pic monkey, however. I got them kind of dark. You'll have to excuse these first pictures...I'm still learning. Apple is a whole "nuther" thing in computers. I'm so used to the windows based computer...this will take some learning......and you know what they say about "old dogs."

Lent is coming and I was reading something that Vicki wrote on her blog this morning...  about her Lenten Challenge. Last year she filled 40 bags in 40 days instead of giving up something for Lent. The bags contained things that her family no longer needed...things that someone else might need. She said it made her house and mind more orderly. I thought, at the time, it was a wonderful idea. We have an abundance of "things" here at our house. I don't know if I can fill 40 big bags, but I'm going to give it a try. Most years I give up some food item, but this year it will be  a challenge to fill the bags with items that we no longer use, sort of like spring housecleaning....and my mind will get a spring housecleaning too.
Remember my goal for this year was to simplify.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014


I thought that everyone could use some spring news. I forgot to mention that I heard a robin three days ago in our yard. Couldn't see where it was but heard it. Then yesterday, while out with the ladies, I saw....yes I saw two robins along the road home. What these poor things are eating...I don't have a clue. The snow is so packed and hard....they would need a power drill for a beak. I've heard that some robins stay in the area throughout the winter, but this winter....?Keep looking for them....and  share any signs of spring that you see.

News on Wednesday

Here I am using an entirely new computer. Joe gave me my birthday present a month early. It's an Apple brand. I'm doing OK with far. The mouse is the hardest thing for me to get used to. Our brains get in the habit of using something else...and it's hard to change habits. I have no pictures on this computer, so I will have to get that old camera going.

Yesterday, I went to lunch with three friends from Byron. We get together ever so often and really have a good time. We are all so different....maybe that's the reason we get on like we do. We decided to try a new place in Dixon. The Basil Tree  is the name and it is all Italian. We started with a lemon, rice, chicken soup. It was delicious...I'm going to try to replicate it here at home. Then all of us ordered the house salad. A bed of greens topped with chicken, shrimp, different kinds of mushrooms, red and green pepper strips, spinach, all warmed in seasoned olive oil....this was so yummy. It was a huge salad and you'd think that we had no room for dessert, but we did. The Tuxedo Chocolate Cake....layers of chocolate cake, white cake, chocolate mousse, French vanilla creme, and topped with chocolate frosting drizzled with white chocolate. I brought half home to Joe. We were there for a long time....the waitstaff didn't hurry us at all. When I got cheeks were sore from all the laughing.

This morning was our time to go to the pool. It was a little chilly today in the pool, but we warmed up fast. The usual crowd was there...just a few old timers like us.

Well, I'm getting the hang of this now. My keyboard is at a different level because the cord doesn't reach the way my other one was, so that's bothering me a bit. I keep reaching down to where it was before. Old habits are hard to break.
Back tomorrow with a more interesting post...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Felt Critters for My Woodland Tree

Here they are....the little lamb and the cardinal. It was so much fun to make these little creatures.
I made a few changes in the patterns. The little cardinal has a yellow beak and a green wing with red trim. He is Christmas you know!
The little lamb has a pink heart and different shaped ears. I love this one!
Here they all are on the shelf in the kitchen... for the picture. But what is that critter in the middle? When I posted the pictures on facebook last daughter said that her cat, Huntley, meowed, "Where is the cat?" So, I created a cat..using Huntley for a model. "Are you happy now, Hunt?" My daughter-in-law said, "Where is the penguin?" She collects Penguins.I suppose I'll have to make one of those this week. Have to please everyone you know. All kidding's really very easy to make these...there's time for everyone to start making some. They don't have to be stitched...they can be glued as well...that would be much easier.
So run on over to Mockingbird Cottage and Creative Cain Cabin to see all the different critters that bloggers have created. It's been a long winter...everyone has cabin fever....why not spend some time making these cute things?
Right now, they are having some link problems...check back later and see what's happening.


A Sunday Morning in Late February

Today would have been my Dad's 99th birthday. He's been gone just a few years, and I still miss him. I miss his thoughtful ways, his kindness, his non judgmental feelings, his ability to listen, his love.He was truly a person of faith. I remember him going to Church every Sunday...with or without my Mom. Always there to help out at Church.....always there to help his family. He walked miles to work... when he had no car, worked long hours...seldom took a vacation.At the end of Mom's life...Dad took care of her with Alzheimer's...for 10 yrs. My Dad was an everyday Saint.

Here's my daughter in Belize this morning. She and three friends are there on vacation. LuAnn is quite an adventurer...she loves to travel and has visited many countries on her own.I never had the courage to just up and take a trip by myself. If there have been any regrets in my life...this might be it. I married young and then the kids came and you know the rest of the story. I love it that she's independent and does such exciting things. Yesterday she went on a zip line...into the jungle and did some tubing into caves. She will be full of stories to share when she gets home.

We are expecting more cold. I was thinking last night, that this is the first year I haven't always had the bird feeders filled. It's just been too treacherous to try to fill them on occasion I've learned a keep a path cleared to the feeders. I have sprinkled birdseed on the ground and I've thrown out bread, pancakes, waffles, peanuts etc. They don't like to change their habits...They will come continually to the empty feeder. The little bird that was shivering in the corner of the feeder, was here for a couple of days. There was a suet block where he was sitting. When Joe went out to the mailbox the next day...he was on the ground, shivering... and all puffed up. Joe scooted him into the bushes for his protection. I wanted to bring him in, but I know better than that. I haven't seen I suppose he died. There's a squirrel on the feeder here by my window. He's eating the sunflower seeds...and swinging in the breeze.I've seen several squirrels I look now...there's a new one here. The first was a Fox squirrel...this one is gray.My goodness, I wish you were here...there is a squirrel party going on the feeder and three chasing around the yard. Maybe it's time for mating...

We are going out to a steak house today. Joe is hungry for steak and I won't say no to a meal out. I've cut down on my meat maybe I'll find something else or just a very small steak. I always like the sides more than the meat. I love vegetables and salads. My kids are vegetarians.

This blog is much easier for me to I guess I'll keep posting here. Hope you all spread the word.....and let bloggers know where I am. Today is the day that we post our pictures of the little felt animals that we are making for next I may be back later.
Have a nice day...Balisha

Saturday, February 22, 2014


More computer problems....I'm getting a new one next week. I'll probably be using this blog from now on. It seems that blogger only recognizes this name. I'm not savvy enough to know what to do and really don't want to fool with it much more. It's simply too much stress and I spend way to much time fussing with it. So, for now, anyway....please stay with me. My new computer is an Apple....I see in the future...more problems :(
I felt that I needed some food....a banana bran muffin to the rescue. Now, I'm leaving this room, where I have been for two hours, and on my way to find something less stressful to do...Hmmmm wonder what?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fresh Fruit Salad Recipe

I have a recipe that I'd like to share. Winter is such an ordeal...anything to make it brighter is worth it. I took a picture of some of my fresh fruit and thought of a recipe that I wanted to try. I think that you could add some fresh pineapple, kiwi, and anything else that you have on hand. I'm going to mix the fruit together and keep the yogurt mixture in a bowl to serve along side. I'm thinking maybe a TBS of brown sugar would be good mixed in too. Eating a salad like this, gives you what you need in fruits for the day. A woman of 50+ needs 1 1/2 cups of fruit a day and 2 cups of vegetables.

We've been eating different desserts...not so heavy.... like jello and pudding.  We like a little something sweet at night while we watch TV. This could be our snack for tonight.....while watching the Olympics. Did you watch the opening ceremonies? It seemed to me that it was all about power....I wished that kids had played a bigger part in the ceremony. Kids are the future....why not display their talents?

Gotta go and get started with the household tasks. Have a great day today...and keep it simple.

Fresh Fruit Ina
2 cups plain yogurt
2 tablespoons good honey
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean, optional
1/2 orange, juiced
1 banana, sliced
1/2 pint fresh blueberries
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1 bunch seedless green grapes, halved

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Dried Flower Project

A friend once gave me some little wooden nesting boxes that she found at Michael's... I wondered what I would do with them. I thought of painting scenes on each of them, but changed my mind after visiting a gift shop. There I saw a very pretty thing...The box wasn't the same as mine, but close.It was made out of balsa wood. I had to have it. Once in a while, as I was crafting...I would copy. I never copied a hand crafted thing, but something that was manufactured...I would buy it and then copy it...changing it a little to make it mine.I used to see crafters at a show... snapping pictures or writing on a tablet. I was a crafter and didn't appreciate this.  I could tell that this was said Made in China on the bottom. I set to work covering my little boxes with birch bark and some other natural barky kind of paper. I filled the box with dry floral foam and then set to work sorting my dried and silk flowers. I thought that this project would let me use up some flowers that had short stems. I sectioned off the squares and started filling one section at a time. I used the glue gun to hold them in place. After the flowers were all in sections...I set to work filling in the outer margin with dried greens. I can't tell you how many of these I made...everyone seemed to want them. My little graduated boxes were filled from the first large one down to the tiny last one. The last one was very could be tucked somewhere on a little shelf. I looked for other things to fill at garage sales. I was lucky to find little boxes of balsa wood, stiff cardboard etc. It didn't matter what the box looked like...I covered it completely. These went out just before Valentine's Day. It was a successful project.
Today is sunny and very cold. Joe is at therapy and I am supposed to be cleaning....I'm playing hooky today...don't tell.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thrifty Thursday and Thoughts About My Mom

I'm starting to post about thrifty things on Thursdays. Changes I see in prices and ways to save a little.
I was in for a rude awakening this morning... when pricing felt. I have this basket 1/2 full of felt and scraps from years ago. I thought that I would like to have a few more colors...went to Amazon, the Felt Store, Michael's, Hobby Lobby, and a couple of craft stores to look at bundles of different colored felt.It's much more expensive than it was years is everything else. I have always kept my scraps of felt, because of needing just a tiny piece for so many projects. I'll have to think this over...before I buy some.I guess it's the same with yarn and fabric prices. Used to be cheaper to make you own clothes...but not anymore.

My mother was a seamstress and made all of my clothes...including a couple of prom dresses. I didn't appreciate this, however. I always wanted to go to the dress shop and pick out a dress like the other girls. Instead, Mom and I would spend countless hours at stores having "yard goods" as she called it. The place where they had the pattern books was my hangout ,while she was looking at fabric. I can remember being just a little girl on those high stools with my feet dangling. Later in my life....she would come over to me and say, "I think this would make a nice blouse for you...what do you think." She probably got the rolled eyes that teenagers so often display....along with a sigh. When it came time for prom....she was so excited and kept bringing home little snippets of fabric. I told her that when I got a job...I was going to buy my own prom dress the next year. Little did I know then... that I was the lucky one. My clothes were one of a kind...and the prom dress was so different than anyone else's.It was made of polished cotton...a dress with a halter neck, waltz white with a tiny red flower here and there and small red buttons (covered by her) going down the back.. A crinoline slip (made by her) was under...just to give it some fullness. After seeing the finished dress....I took back my cruel words and thanked her for taking so much time making this creation. As my teen years ended and I was going to get married...she stopped making clothes for me, but instead made little things for my house. Pot holders, placemats, table cloths and runners, aprons, casserole totes, and she embroidered pillowcases for me. As I put these pillowcases on the bed last night...I thought of her. Some say to save things for the next generation...but I love to use the things that she made for me.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wednesday Chatter

 My backyard before the last snow....trails all over, but no human footprints. I wonder who's been walking in my backyard.
Bright afternoon. We had some snow last night...just enough to mess with the roads and cause school to be closed in some areas. I don't remember school ever being closed when I was a girl. I only remember being able to bring a sack lunch...if it was too cold to walk home... at lunch time. Later in high school years, I can remember waiting for the city bus early in the morning. It was so cold...boys used to stand with their arms out like penguins and bopping up and down with steam coming out of their mouths. No hats on their heads and no gloves. We girls were a little smarter...I remember having a storm coat. It had a fur collar and  my matching boots had fur around the top. I don't remember wearing a hat, but a scarf around my neck and mittens were usually worn. We didn't wear pants to school in those days...but our plaid skirts were very long.

Today has been busy...Joe had therapy this morning and I went over to the store and picked up some canned goods. There was a sale going I stocked up on some things. When we got home....I fixed dinner quick and before we were done...the Eucharistic Minister was here from Church with Communion. We always look forward to his visits...we learn about what is going on at Church and who is sick etc. Then when he left there were groceries to be put away. I cleaned up the kitchen and as soon as I was done....flopped on the chair and rested. It seems like I'm always in the kitchen..either messing it up or cleaning. The dishwasher runs everyday and it is full. Just the two of us make so many dishes. Many women's jobs are repetitive. We do the same things over and over until we could do them in our sleep. Sometime I'd like a Freaky Friday and switch places with Joe. That would be very eye opening...I think.

Now, I have a couple of hours to myself...what will I do? First, I'll make some tea and get a cookie then sit and read for a while. Just getting into my new book. I really don't like having to finish a book in two weeks at the library. Sometimes, it's hard for me to finish one that quick.I'm not a speed reader...I like to relax with a book and take my time...savoring the author's words. I read some new books and they can't be renewed if someone is on the waiting list.

My sewing basket is full of little projects. I love simple little projects that I can pick up and do a little then put them down for another time.

My plants are happy and several are blooming. I tend to give them more care during the winter. In the summer....I'm outside and I kind of ignore them. I repotted my Christmas cactus yesterday. I read on the internet that you should repot them after they bloom and then put them in a cooler place for a rest. So mine is downstairs, in the window waiting for the time that it will go outside.

When that will be is a mystery. After all this snow....things should be in good shape in the garden. Lots of moisture and snow cover. I wonder if my little wildflower seeds are cozy under that blanket of snow? Time will only tell.

Have a nice afternoon....Balisha

I had a comment from Deb on the last post telling me to go to a website to see a felt project. Deb...this was so cute. I remember making these years ago. Thanks.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pancakes for Breakfast.....

This wasn't taken this morning, but a few days ago. After a breakfast of yummy or two were left. I saw the confused birds just outside the doorway...looking at the empty bird feeder....and thought, "Why not give them to the birds? " I doctored them up a bit...adding some oatmeal, a few raisins, and extra fat. Then, I threw them out the door and they landed on the deck...just under the feeders.It took a long time before the birds were brave enough to try them out. Finally the bravest of brave...the tiny little Junco hopped on a pancake and munched very cautiously. As far as I other bird has come to try them. The Junco likes having the pancakes all to himself. A wonderful little treat for him everyday. He looks toward the window and gives me a birdy smile...

We are waiting....AGAIN...for snow. At first it was supposed to be a big one, but now it's going to be just 1-4 inches. So, we'll be in the house for today anyway. Joe went for a drive by himself yesterday...a first. He said it wasn't bad at all. I worried while he was gone, but I guess he's on the to speak.

I've been starting a project here....clearing out trouble spots in the  house. Magazines and paper clutter. When did they start sending so much paper in the mail? I get so many catalogs...from companies that I have never heard of. I used to look at them, but found that they are a magnet to attract you and tempt you into buying something. So, out they go, without even a glance.I've never been much of a window fact I really don't like to shop at online shopping has been so handy for me.

I made a big pot of bean soup yesterday. It smelled so good, cooking in the crock pot all day. We will probably have that today...with some cornbread maybe. I have plenty. so I can freeze some containers. Our desserts are all gone...not sure if I will make something else or depend on fruit which is healthier. I bought a variety of pears yesterday and also some crisp apples. We always keep oranges and Cuties in the house....maybe I'll make a fruit salad.

This new blog is working pretty good. .....although I don't find my dashboard. I used to open to the dashboard and see the comments that need the OK, but now the comments are just added to the blog and I get a copy in email. I'm sure not blog savvy....but I can continue like this if I have to.

Enough of my blog problems...on to a happy and productive day. I'm putting my book list on the side bar look there and you can see what I'm reading. Ernestine and I are reading the same strange...we do so many things alike.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday At Our House

 Valentine's Day isn't far off. I've had time to decorate a little more this year...since I have been cooped up during the weather and Joe's surgery. I didn't spend any money, however....just used the things that I had in the house. The mantle is crowded, but some things can't change I just add a few touches of red...candy boxes, red candles and a few paper doilies.
 My little woodland tree in the breakfast room is full of doily and paper ornaments that I made several years ago. I used to put them on some branches on the dining room table, but now that I have this little's just perfect for them. I left the little branches with red berries on the tree after Christmas.
 I showed my felt garland...that I just made, on the old blog. Here it is again I really like it hanging there. I might make a few garlands for other holidays and seasons.
A candle holder with red berry wreath on the coffee table.  I see that the picture isn't really clear....I picked the wrong one from the folder. There are many more touches of red in the house. Red is such a beautiful's my favorite for all year round.

The Super Bowl wasn't the best and the commercials weren't anything to write home about. All in all a bit disappointing. We watched most of the game and in the 4th quarter I turned to my programs on the DVR and watched Downton Abbey. That was not disappointing. A rather good episode. I love the clothes and the grand way of living. If you watched...don't you  love seeing the ladies with their maids attending them... lounging in bed with breakfast while the ladies maids gets their clothes ready for the day? What a life!

Today started with Joe going to therapy and my going to the grocery store. I have a crock pot of bean soup cooking.....we are playing it by ear as to when we eat. That's driving Joe nuts....he likes a schedule. Maybe some cheese and crackers for a snack?? I want to start my new little felt ornaments today. I'd better get cracking if I'm going to do all I plan.
Have a nice day and keep it simple,

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Blogger Who Has a Love Hate Relationship With Her Computer By Balisha

A Day in the Life of a Blogger Who Has a Love Hate Relationship With Her Computer

The other day I sat here and wrote a post or three...
My computer humming happily as I hit the shiny keys.
Bedtime came I turned in early ...with poems on my mind..
I slept the sleep of babies... my dreams were all so kind.
The morning came and I was here....trying hard to just get in..
The button stuck and wouldn't budge....Joe didn't have a grin.
The hours went by ... he hooked up an old one that he had..
My shiny little computer was making me so sad.
From that time on it's been a thorn... in Joe's side as I ask..
One more question that I have about each and every task.
Everything was new to me and I wanted just to  talk..
When he ignored my made me start to balk.
I called support to help me and .couldn't understand..
I'm not computer savvy...I thought I'd get a hand.
The talk went on and on you know...and nothing was resolved..
I wished that it was over and I was not involved.
Well, a day has passed and I can do a lot....I want to make this clear..
The only thing I lost.. my one that was so dear
My blog just isn't working and I decided to start anew...
My followers are gone right now...I only have a few.
But, I'll get over it in time and things will all look just fine..
This blog called Simply Balisha... will give me peace of mind.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hello From a New Blog

What a frustrating day. I am using another computer and have found that I can't get into my old blog. So, you'll have to bear with me for a I start this new one. I guess that 2014 will be the year of change. My title Simply Balisha includes my thought  for the year...simplify. This blog is very simple and may stay that way until I gather pictures and other things of interest to put here. I'm starting out fresh and pictures are in the old computer that is broken. We'll see if I can retrieve them. The good thing is that I have made books of all my years of blogging. I ordered my 7th book this morning of the past year.I have pictures and other memorabilia there that I don't want to lose. Especially since my son passed away in May and all of my thoughts about him are there...along with pictures of my family as we said good bye to him. Precious pages that I don't want to lose.
So, I will have to get around to all of you to give you my new name and how to find me. Thanks for the years of are a big part of my life. I was heartbroken, when I thought that I had lost the blog.