January 18, 2019

I’m Tired of Wasting Food…

Posted on January 10, 2019 by in The Good Life

131 ODC = Slice F

Photo Provided by Kay Stenzel

We waste so much food it’s too embarrassing to be honest about it here, but I’m going to SHARE what we are doing to try to cut down on all that we waste.

Our Answer?

Menus. Yes, I know how simple that sounds, but so far it’s working for us because we are making them out of the ingredients we have “that are going bad”. I’ve just started taking an inventory of what we have and rather than playing “Chopped” an hour before dinner which I find stressful for some reason – we look at the list and create a few menus at a time.

It’s Working For Us.

It’s working because it’s very flexible and we need that. Our appetites vary and we always have leftovers. So if we make a few days worth of menus, it actually lasts and makes about a week’s worth of cooked meals for us. It’s also working because it eliminates all the guesswork. I’ve been cooking so long now that I just need a meal plan. I can cook anything, but I can’t cook off the top of my head anymore. I guess that stage is over for me, but this is working so we are gonna run with it.

How We Did It…

We listed everything in the refrigerator and pantry that wasn’t a staple.

Blueberries Fish Acorn Squash Butternut Squash Green Onions Cauliflower Bacon Radishes Carrots Tomatoes Yogurt Cottage Cheese & Jalapeno Deer Sausage.

Then we added our staples.

Eggs Rice Bread Jello Pinto Beans Cornmeal & Cheese.

These are our MENUS for this week.

Pinto Beans, Sausage & Rice

Cheesy Cauliflower, Bacon & Rice soup with green onions

Roasted Radishes, Carrots & Green Onions with Sausage

Baked Fish, Acorn Squash and Pinto Beans

*Egg Dishes are a staple for us… Deviled, omelets, sandwiches, fried rice or on a stack of pancakes or pretty much anything.

And for snacks we have:

Cottage Cheese and sliced Tomatoes OR Cottage Cheese & Blueberries OR Cottage Cheese & Jello.

We haven’t thrown away anything this week so far and I’m not stressed about what to cook, so I think it’s working!

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It’s Not ALL Rose Petals and Sunshine on the Road

Posted on November 5, 2018 by in The View From Here

We just thought we would like to take this opportunity to clarify what life on the road is really like.

Hello from Gloucester Virginia!

We arrived at a beautiful campground not far from Chesapeake Bay on a Thursday and found us a spot right by the pond. It was glorious for one day… then the neighbors moved in. We had a front row seat in a huge site, (huge because there was no one parked in the one in front of us) overlooking not only the pond, but also the road circling around it so we could see everything going on around us too. We knew we were taking a chance that when the weekend people came someone could park in the site next door, but we would still have a pretty good view because they would be perpendicular to us.

Not these folks…

They move in on Friday and don’t park the way the site is set up for them to park. They move the picnic table and fire ring and park parallel to us because they are too big to fit in the site perpendicular. They literally set up 10 feet away from our large living room window and blocked the entire view of the pond, except what you see in the tiny side window photo. And usually the weekenders leave on Sunday, but not them – they will be here all week with us. The only consolation we have is that if they choose to eat outside, they have to do so over their sewer line which they had to run under their RV into their front yard.

It is literally right under their feet if they choose to use their outdoor kitchen, however given all this rain it’s doubtful they will use it very much. We just wanted to share with you that life on the road has just as many ups and downs as life at home did.

The Professional Tourists

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Some days are harder than others…

Posted on October 29, 2018 by in Letters to My Children

It’s true, I have witnessed it many times.

Yesterday was fine and now today is all of the sudden more than you can bear. I can’t explain why, but I do know that it’s true, it happens and you need to be kind to yourself when it happens to you. That’s the best way to cope with those days and if you aren’t kind to yourself you may (have or cause yourself to have) two of them back to back, and that really sucks!

I’ve often wondered if we stay in messes longer than necessary just because we are such stubborn people. It seems like surrender always makes things so much easier in life, but back to the point…

The good book says we are never given more than we can handle, but hard days – times do seem to call for greater kindness I think. The harder the day, the kinder we need to be to ourselves. I’m not promoting drinking to my children, but I am saying that we should do whatever we can to be as nice to ourselves as we would be to others. It’s the Golden Rule used backwards and it works wonders!

Kindness is something that we intentionally do for other people, why shouldn’t we do it for ourselves too? Isn’t that what wine is promoted for these days? Our society pretty much claims wine is a cure for hard days. Is that anything more than being kind to yourself at the end of a hard day?

Lynn Dale

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Jack Ryan

Posted on October 22, 2018 by in Movie Reviews

When was the last time you waited in line to see a blockbuster movie? With each tick of the clock, the tension rises and your apprehension increases exponentially. When it finally comes out you are riveted to your seat, iPhone in hand, waiting for the action to start. That was my feeling for Tom Clancy’s NEW Jack Ryan.

Rating A+

Audience: 13+

Genre: Action 

The lead is played by hunky actor John Krasinski (Jack Ryan) and he gets into all kinds of international mischief. Jack is a marine veteran with a storied past who is currently working as a financial analysis for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Evil exists in the world and Jack spends his time looking at computer screens determining how these terrorists move dirty money around through shell companies to clean it. Jack located a 9.3 million dollar money transfer money with unknown origins and a nefarious destination (suspected terrorists) in the Middle East. This sets off a chain of horrific terrorist events that brings Jack face to face with a vile terrorist that has thus far escaped the intense scrutiny of the CIA intelligence community.

Various seemingly unrelated events occur that lead Jack and his team around the world looking for clues as to the purpose for the money and the intent of the terrorists. In the midst of terrorist hunting Jack finds a love interest and has to deal with her curiosity about what he actually does for a living. The attraction is strong between these two and it’s a quandary whether or not they can work it out. If I told you any more than this there would be no reason to watch the mini-series, so I’ll stop here.

This movie is now showing on Amazon Prime.

Watch the trailer HERE…

I’m a Tom Clancy fan, so I really liked this mini-series and watched all ten episodes back to back. The twists and turns made it interesting and there was just enough sex, explosions, violence, intrigue, and downright good acting to make it interesting. It never lags and I feel like my readers will enjoy it as much as I did. Till next time remember I’ll be out here watching shows for you and the reviews of only the good ones will continue.

Junior’s Boy


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Justice For All

Posted on May 31, 2018 by in Sittin' At The Gun Shop

In lieu of reviewing another great gun this month, which we thought would be in bad taste given the current climate… we decided to talk about JUSTICE here instead. The opinions below are our own and they are not meant to offend anyone, but as long as we still have the right to voice our opinions publicly – we will.

We have created a culture that allows “any type of behavior”. We no longer have standards for common decency in our country because no one wants to offend anyone for fear they will be bullied for their opinion.

Common decency is behavior that conforms to accepted standards of morality or respectability.

People don’t talk about hell much anymore, but it exists and perhaps that is part of the problem. We don’t talk about the consequences of our choices and actions. We all make choices and all choices have consequences. If you’re going to demand that something be done to protect our children – demand harsher legislation for the people and children who choose to harm our children.

Insane or not, bullied or not, mistreated as a child or not – if you cause harm to yourself or others – you need to be removed from the general population. Everyone matters, everyone has rights and everyone makes choices that affect the lives of other people. Harming innocent people is wrong and should have consequences sufficient enough to deter others from wanting to suffer the same fate. Crime will not stop until the punishment is sufficient enough to deter the copycats, the people too lazy to do honest work for a living and all of the other people who choose not to live by society’s rules.

I’m not saying we should bring back the chain gangs or treat anyone cruelly, but our prison system is NOT working when people are willing to return there 3 or 4 times for the same crimes. We have given more rights and benefits to the convicted criminal than we have to their victims. The laws protect them more so than the innocent people they harm. Everyone matters and everyone deserves to be treated decently, however we cannot fail to punish by means of separation and removal of certain rights from those who commit crimes.

Law means nothing if it is not supported by punishment sufficient to discourage the crime.

This man/child who chose to harm all of the people in Santa Fe Texas deserves to suffer the consequences of his actions. Right now those consequences are not near severe enough to suit the severity of the crime. This is the change that is needed to lessen the frequency of school shootings and all crimes.

Right is right and wrong is still wrong.

When you harm someone there need not be any gray area. It’s wrong. It doesn’t matter whether it’s done by men, women or children by means of guns, DWI or abortion – you have harmed someone and it’s wrong. It doesn’t matter why you did what you did – you can’t justify why your crime is ok. It doesn’t matter if the victim is 30 weeks old, 6 years old, or 41 – you harmed them and it’s wrong. There needs to be consequences. When there are not sufficient consequences – everyone just does whatever they please.

We should be calling for changes in our prison system.

  • Life should mean life without parole.

  • We need to do away with “good time”.

  • Habitual criminals should not be released.

We pay for televisions, wages (if they work at all) and conjugal visits for people who harm innocent people, really? How dumb is that? Our prison system is a multi-million dollar business. Whose dollars do you think they are? We need to stand up for the innocent people who are no longer here to stand up for themselves. And we need to advertise the heck out of it! Harm anyone and you will receive the harshest sentence allowed by law. In the words of Merle Haggard “the joint used to be a bad place to be” and we need to bring that back.

NATIONWIDE prison reform, prayer and people raising decent children are GOOD places to start.

If you would like to do something TODAY – write or call the Governor of your state and ask for stiffer penalties. We have included a SAMPLE letter below that you can use as is, add to or create your own from and you can go to sleep tonight knowing that YOU at least tried to do something to change our society.


Dear Governor,

In light of the latest school shooting, I would like you to consider using your power and connections to encourage the following:

Prison reform.

(Stiffer sentences, eliminating “good time” and parole of habitual offenders.)

And advertisement of the stricter CONSEQUENCES for those who cause harm to others for any reason.


If you’re going to stand up for something – stand up for consequences.


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This Much I Know… LOVE is Everything

Posted on May 11, 2018 by in Letters to My Children

Love is the right answer to everything, every problem and every question.

We are all looking for love, but it’s not what we think it is. It’s not sex or even attraction – it’s perfection. It’s God in our world. It’s everywhere we look, but it seems ephemeral. It seems like we are constantly reaching for it, trying to hold on to it and it keeps slipping away. We are all grasping after it and yet in reality it never leaves us – we are the ones that move on.

When my eyes are focused on love – all is right in my world.

It doesn’t matter if it’s God, a child, my spouse, some awesome food or just beautiful music… love is amazing! Love is more important than even wisdom. When I lose sight of love I automatically start focusing on fear, my problems, or how I feel, or what I’m going to do, where I’m going to go, all of my plans, etc. and I have lost sight of the most important thing – love. All the knowledge/wisdom in the world (1Corinthians 13:2) makes me nothing without love. And it makes us miserable.

Life will go on just as it always has regardless of what we focus on.

We are not in charge, He is. He said to love. He said it was the most important thing.

He knows what is best for the children He created. You would never leave your child

to fend for themselves. You would tell them what they need to do. He’s no different.

He has told us what to do, we just need to listen.

Lynn Dale



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Excellent Product!

Posted on April 17, 2018 by in Good Stuff

Have you tried brand after brand of CHORIZO sausage only to be disappointed? Well we’ve found a NEW one that is an excellent product!

Johnsonville makes brats, but now they have branched out and we think they have done so successfully. We’ve found this both in link form and ground form and both are good. We prefer the ground because although the product is excellent, it’s too strongly flavored to be eaten in sausage form for us. However, this is the BEST “Taco Soup” ingredient ever made in our opinion.

They have done all the hard work of getting the seasoning “just right” for us and all we do is add the rest of the ingredients. Kroger is the only place we have found it so far and it’s been in both the breakfast sausage/bacon location and in the link sausage case with the brats.  If you are tired of trying to find a good brand of chorizo, this stuff makes the best bowl of taco soup we’ve ever made.

Try it as soon as you can because I’m sure they are marketing it to see how well it sells and we want them to keep it on the shelves. It’s some really GOOD STUFF!


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I Can Only Imagine

Posted on April 4, 2018 by in Movie Reviews

Rating: A

*Our NEW Rating System: A is excellent, B is good and anything less than that doesn’t get talked about here, because there’s nothing good to say.

Audience: It says PG, but due to the violence involved, parents need to determine the age they want their children to be before they see what happens in the real world.

The Boss and I went to a movie that I didn’t have high hopes for. I thought it was a “chick flick” with a wonky name. I didn’t know anything about the movie like she did, so I was watching it slightly under duress and pleasantly surprised.

Now Showing: At your local cinemas.


The movie opens with a boy about age ten listening intently to his headphones in bed as the sounds of a domestic disturbance filter through the walls and fill his young mind with terror. The rock music playing on his cassette player date this event to be about 1985. His bedroom door is snatched open violently and there stands his unshaven drunken father filled with an alcohol induced rage and a broad belt looking for someone to quench his anger on by beating them into submission. The mother having had enough pain and suffering from this drunken abuser plans her escape. She takes the young boy to his first summer church youth camp and then abandons him there without his knowledge. He returned home a week later on a church bus and sees a U-Haul man loading up all his mother’s stuff and driving away. There is the cliché scene where the little boy chases the moving van down the dusty street and cries his eyes out for his mother.

As children of abusers often do – he learns to cope. You keep your mouth shut, do your chores and try not to do anything to anger the monster in the house. He also tries to do the one thing the monster cared about, FOOTBALL. Despite having some success on the gridiron, the monster (a past football legend in his own mind) is never satisfied with his effort. The teenager doubles his effort to satisfy the monster and is critically injured in practice and unable to continue in high school sports. Lacking sufficient credits to graduate high school because he was forced out of football, and possessing no other known gifts and talents, he tries out for the only open elective – the glee club. Being a macho jock (just like the monster) he tells the teacher he cannot sing, but he can run the audio equipment. She puts him to work as a stage hand. Lo and behold one day the boy is listening to his cassette player and singing along to a tune, and he has accidently left the public address system on. The teacher hears him sing. The die is cast. The movie shows his triumphs, his failures, and the mentors that help guide him along the way.

The young man keeps his faith in God throughout this arduous time.

This is all I’m going to say about this movie, except bring your tissues. If you are a survivor like I am, just rejoice in the ending and keep your faith in the forefront where it belongs, because God is good all the time.

Junior’s Boy

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This Much I Know… God is in Charge of the Seasons of our Lives

Posted on March 20, 2018 by in Letters to My Children

“Love never fails — never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end.” 1Cor 13:8 AMP

Be careful how you begin. With every new stage in your life – be sure you set it up like you want it. We are all creatures of habit. Whatever NEW patterns we establish, chances are they will become our NEW normal and we probably won’t change them again until another NEW season comes along.

Some seasons involve moving to a new town. Sometimes we are changing jobs, careers or retiring from them. We have seasons when we are in school or having babies and sometimes we’re doing both. Our nests empty, we go to war or sickness sometimes lingers and we go through seasons of grief, mourning and loss. All the big life changes require NEW set ups, NEW routines and sometimes they even come with NEW scenery! The only way to live your best life is to set it up with God’s wisdom.

Ask for help. He’s the only one who knows what your next BEST step needs to be and the only way you are going to find out is to ask Him. You can just wing it on your own, but you’ll just be wasting your time. Eventually you will get so lost you’ll wind up giving up and asking Him for help anyway. Don’t wait until after you’ve created some big mess in your life to ask for direction. He created the season you are in for a reason. Lay down your ego at the beginning of each NEW season and you’ll save yourself a whole lot of trouble.

The object is to get the most out of each season and to bloom. Find out what you are there for and go after it! Blooming requires many, many seasons for us to become fully developed. And that’s what He’s after.

Lynn Dale

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The Next Big GOOD Thing!

Posted on February 20, 2018 by in Good Stuff

We have found a great NEW magazine…

Yes, we are a digital magazine promoting another digital magazine – because it’s that good!

It’s called Simplify Magazine and it’s a GOOD READ in our opinion.

Their 1st issue covered Happiness.

The 2nd covered Health and Wellness.

And the 3rd is titled Stress and Overwhelm.

All 3 issues are Good Reads for anyone, not just parents of young families. And the best part is – it’s really affordable!

Here’s an excerpt from their 1st issue that we enjoyed called “What Living Danishly Taught Me About Happiness” by Helen Russell.

Families Living Danishly

At the start of 2014, I gave birth to a baby boy, and it was this experience that really won me around to the advantages of “living Danishly.” Our neighbors left a wooden stork outside our house, as is the custom in Denmark, to warn the mail delivery person to tread lightly for a while—and I came to learn that Denmark is a great place to have kids.

Parents get 52 weeks of leave to share between them so men don’t miss out on spending time with their kids and the business of childrearing is shared more equally. So after two weeks of paternity leave post birth, my husband went back to work before tying up loose ends to take 10 weeks off to care for our mini Viking. Because a dad taking time out, fully paid, to look after his child is recognized as something that’s important and so is encouraged. As a result, fathers bond with their babies far sooner than those cramming in quality time at weekends.

Lego Man (that’s where he works) learned how to change nappies, how to do bath time and bedtime, and how you can feel like you’re going insane by 2 p.m. on a Tuesday when all you want is an hour’s uninterrupted sleep. And maybe a shower. He came to understand how looking after an infant 24 hours a day can be hugely rewarding but that it’s also relentlessly tough. He knows that, some days, all you need is for someone to come home and say: “You’re doing a great job—have some ice cream!”

And then we both went back to work, since kids are guaranteed a place in high-quality state-run day care from six months of age in Denmark, the cost 75 percent subsidized via taxes. All this at a time when friends back home have had to give up their jobs as they can’t afford child care. Because it’s totally doable to have a family and a career, 85 percent of Danish mothers return to work, and domestic chores are shared more equally between the sexes. It’s as if Danes recognize that caregiving is just as important as breadwinning—and it doesn’t matter who’s doing what.

Children also get to grow up free in Denmark. Preschoolers play outside, come sleet or snow, and are encouraged to run, jump, fight, and fall (often, if my own is anything to go by) without anyone rushing in to arbitrate. The idea of the “terrible twos” and “threenagers” are alien to Danes, who class toddlerdom as trodsalder, or “the boundary age,” when it’s accepted that pushing the limits is normal rather than naughty. This makes meltdowns in the mall or that awkward moment when your three year old defecates in a friend’s playhouse (just for example…) far more bearable—and no one gets judged.

Living Danishly…Anywhere

Of course, living in the land of Nord isn’t all a hippy-haven cakewalk. The weather’s terrible, the 50 percent tax rate takes some getting used to, and Denmark faces many of the same problems as the rest of the world—but these are countries with none of Denmark’s advantages.

From my research and experiences, I’ve come to the conclusion that the pollsters were right: living Danishly can make you happier.

So, at the end of our first year, we decided to stay—and now we’re in our fifth year. We’re happier. We’re more relaxed; we have our priorities straight; and we trust more. Oh, and I’m expecting twins next week.

But you don’t need to emigrate to get a slice of the happy Dane action.

Everyone can live a little more Danishly by prioritizing leisure, pleasure, and family. So leave work on time. Eat that pastry. Block out time for a hobby. Play with your kids, letting them get muddy and even fall down occasionally.

Remember the simple things that make you happy—seeing friends or family, lighting a candle, brewing a fresh cup of coffee, or just having a bacon sandwich. See? You’re feeling better already.

Editor’s Note:

If you’re not completely sold on this magazine yet, CLICK HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page to have a look at the entire first issue for FREE. You can also read the whole article you just finished above from the beginning.

Right now they are running a BUY ONE, GIFT ONE special which is lifetime access to all issues for yourself and a friend for just $20.00! You just can’t beat that.

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