Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!


We are all hunkered down and trying to stay warm just like the rest of the good old USA! We do not have snow but dampness, 43 degrees and a 20 mph north wind make it quite unpleasant. That is the bad news. The good news is , it will certainly be much warmer here long before it will be warmer north of Dallas.

Monday, December 29, 2014


Leslie and Dorothy who looks like she is wondering what I am up to.

This is someone's project who will not be named. She pronounced it a failure.

Chris is instructing Dorothy while Elaine is busy working her project.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

 Someone in the park surprised and pleased me by telling me she enjoyed the recipes I add now and then so when I saw this one I thought of her...and the weather...and our southern location deciding it would be a perfect time to share it. It is fast, easy and oh so good.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

recipe image

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 8 Hours
Ready In: 8 Hours 30 Minutes
Servings: 8
"A quick, no-fuss version of chicken tortilla soup! All you do is put everything into the slow cooker, and turn it on. Then garnish with baked corn tortilla strips!"
1 pound shredded, cooked chicken
1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes,
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
7 corn tortillas
vegetable oil
Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle tortilla strips over soup.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Recipe adjusted

Below you will find the basic recipe I fell in love with last summer using strawberries. And sometimes strawberries can be a bit hard to come by so I have used other fruits- the latest being papaya. And for my Christmas dinner contribution, I used papaya and bananas sprinkled with lime juice and then added the Romanoff sauce I used in the strawberry recipe below.
The only adjustment I made to the sauce was I used 1 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tbsp agave syrup to the 1/2 cup sour cream. Honey could also be used instead of the agave. I love it! Surprise yourself and you may like it too.
Just before posting this I enjoyed a bowl of papaya with the Romanoff sauce and yes indeedy, I still love it!
Strawberries Romanoff
(Makes 4 small servings, recipe inspired by Strawberries Romanoff at Le Parisien Restaurant.)

1 pound fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sour cream (I use light sour cream, but never fat free)
1 T brown sugar
(You can use all Stevia or all brown sugar, or any combination of sugar/ sweetener that you prefer.)

Be sure to buy the reddest and ripest strawberries you can find for best flavor. Rinse strawberries, then cut big ones into fourths and smaller ones into halves. Put cut strawberries into a medium-sized bowl

In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and sweetener, brown sugar, or a combination of the two. Taste for sweetness to see if you want to add more sweetener. Gently combine sour cream mixture with cut strawberries, divide into four small dishes, and serve.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Day 2014

The dessert table is a popular place.

Butch spots a pecan pie.

Jan and her granddaughters

The visiting youngsters say grace before our meal.

New residents Joe and Linda Bleess

Jan and Joe are hosting a family gathering this year. Jan tells me it is the first time they have all been together for Christmas.

Raul is in the hot tub on Christmas Day

Loni Barton is probably the most senior of all of us seniors.

And Chris Sjoblom could be the youngest of all of us seniors.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas from Magnolia Park

Christmas Eve we had finger food and entertainment. 

Geneva,Marty, Sue and Phyllis sang while Deon accompanied them.

And then Dave and Don joined in.

Deral, Linda and Larry performed a skit about sugar cookies.

Deon played Christmas carols

Chuck and Sandy Jordan are new to Magnolia and Sandy said she had not participated in such a  program since childhood and enjoyed it very much.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Free book for Kindles and other devices.

Posted: 23 Dec 2014 12:33 PM PST
One of the best things about owning a Kindle ( e-reader are the free books. From today until December 27, you can get Midlife Cabernet: Life, Love & Laughter after Fifty ( for free.

From Barb: And really, you do not have to buy a Kindle. Kindle for PC is available to anyone with a computer and Internet access. If this peaks your interest ask me about it. Loads of free books are available.

Another option is (  and then you can get books on your Smartphone, Kindle, Tablet or Computer. And with that one all you need is a library card...from anywhere.  The same rules apply as  when you walk into your local library.

Merry Christmas!!  Time to curl up with a good book on these cooler days we get now and then..

Last Monday at Crafts

The Christmas spirit was very apparent last Monday when Janet Rader, Mary Bruun and Dorothy Wendt provided the treats for the crafters. They spent more than a few minutes putting these together.


 Chris Sjoblom is currently a resident of our park as he was last year as well. He is a youngster compared to most of us but he has a Magnolia connection. His mother who many of us old timers remember, was Phyllis Neudorf. Phyllis was very active in the park when she was with us, conducting bible study, writing poetry and hosting the annual memorial service. Most of the newer people did not know Phyllis and some of the old timers have a hard time putting a face to the name. So when I came across this photo I decided to share.
Arleen Beach is in the background while Marj Soole is presenting a prize to Phyllis.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Aloe Vera Gone Wild...and other stuff

This is what Aloe Vera will do on its own.

And this is what Jim Voss will do with encouragement. Love the new color!

Today the Stilson's, Gordon's and Brooker's went to Riverside in Mission TX for lunch and so did the Texas State Patrol. They were gathering up to leave as we came down to take a look at the Rio Grande. They make a pretty impressive sight up close.

 Lots of horsepower behind those boats.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Worth Pondering

"People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy." —Anton Chekhov

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuesday is Jam Day

Larry Ergen was working so hard in the kitchen he was merely a blur.

A group of Jam fans sang Happy Birthday to Char.

Geneveve and Kay greet the people who arrive at the Jam, and that alone can be entertaining!

Memory Monday

As near as I can figure this was taken in 2007 at crafts. 
Monday afternoons are craft time.

Char celebrates her birthday

 Butch lines up on his shot.
 Jim, Deon and Dorral waiting their turn.
                                                    Chet takes aim.            

Sunday, December 14, 2014

H.E.B. Feast of Sharing

Each holiday season H.E.B. puts on a feed for everyone in appreciation of our business. So Saturday we went for our feast. I snapped this shot of kitties across the street as we were standing in line.
This is the line and at this point we were going to where the line turns and then on into the building where we enjoyed ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, a roll, apple pie and a drink of our choice. I learned how and why this is all done so efficiently. H.E.B. uses their disaster semis for the preparation. These semi trucks are equipped with kitchens that can put out large numbers of hot meals in a very short time.
 How many meals you ask?
It seems the answer is 12,000!!

 Erv Hagen ran into Neil and Julia in the parking lot.

Leaders of the parade

Friday, December 12, 2014

Odds and Ends

Don Louks did a fine paint job rejuvenating the sign on the blue hall.

A kiskadee at the pool

For those lonesome for a cornfield

Closeup of sign on the blue hall.

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