Friday, October 20, 2017

Ready to Go...

So all the forms are ready to send to renew my Green Card. Included is evidence of our bank account, tax returns, medical bills, utility bills, insurance policies, etc, plus three written affidavits from people who know us. There are photos of MrD and I during our life together ... and some taken with family. Anything to prove I didn't enter the US  and try to take advantage of it. Also enclosed is a cheque for almost $700.

Who said coming to America was easy? Maybe not easy... but definitely worth it

I hope they let me stay

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Autumn Walk

So today I made up my mind to start walking further and I decided to head for the park to see if I could see Sammy. I havent been that far since before I started feeling poorly last year.
I headed out early as it was forecast to get to 96 (tho it peaked at 98). You wouldnt think it was Autumn/Fall as it was already warm.. with blue skies and sunshine. And I'm still seeing so many colourful flowers. 
I made it to the park quite easily and sat for a few minutes enjoying the quiet and fresh air. Then I headed home.
I didnt see Sammy.. but I did walk 10,178 steps...and I felt great. Its so good to be getting my strength back. Im going to head out again tomorrow. Its going to be a bit cooler ...but this time I need to wear a hat. The sun was so hot on my baldy head.
Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Monday, October 16, 2017

Meal Plan Monday

Its my last week as a 54 year old.. Its been a shock to realize that on Saturday I will be a senior citizen! Seriously... I feel like im still in my 30s. Plus... if I was still in the UK...I would have another few years til I was officially a senior. But.. after the year I have had..I'm not complaining. I have a good life, with a wonderful husband and hopefully now the "silliness" is over... have quite  a few years ahead of me

Anyway... back to this weeks menu. I had a great deal on chicken this weekend.. 99 cents a pound and reduced to half price. I stocked the freezer so we will be having it a couple of times this week. Also this week I only have 5 dinners to organize as the weekend is covered. 

So an easy week really. What have you got planned?

Weekly Plan - 16th October 2017
Monday             Smokey Ranchero Chicken, Jacket Potato, Salad

Tuesday             Tacos

Wednesday        Pork Chops, Potato Au Gratin, Broccoli

Korean Chicken Kebabs, Vegetable Rice

Spinach and Mushroom Pizza

Birthday Dinner out

Sunday               Church Fellowship

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Salted Caramel Cookies...

My Hubby loves Chocolate Chip Cookies. When I bake I usually make enough for home and for him to take to work. On Tuesday he said.. "the guys at work are wondering where their cookies are" Yes...right.. the guys at work. So yesterday I  had to stay in and wait for the man to come fix our it was no hardship to whip up a batch or two. 
The problem was... I had no chocolate chips. I was sure I had some. I think the dreaded chocolate chip monster must have stolen them! But.. I did find some caramel chips that I bought before I became ill. The chocolate chip monster obviously didnt like them... or he didnt know they were there.
 So I had to switch to plan B and find a recipe. I tried this one for Salted Caramel Cookies. They turned out pretty good... and the chocolate chip monster liked them so much he took some for "the guys in work"

Salted Caramel Cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups caramel chips

  • Preheat oven 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.
  • Set aside
  • Beat brown sugar, white sugar and butter together in a bowl using an electric mixer until creamy. 
  • Beat eggs, one at a time, into butter mixture until blended 
  • Beat in vanilla extract. 
  • Stir flour mixture into butter mixture until dough is just combined
  • Fold in caramel chips.
  • Using a small ice cream scoop... arrange dough on a baking sheet. 
  • Bake in the preheated oven until edges are golden brown, 13 to 15 minutes. 
  • Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
And just to prove not everything goes smoothly in my kitchen.... I burnt the first batch. You could have built a wall with them they were so hard... 

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Yesterday MrD and I had to go to the dentist over in Fullerton about 12 miles away. It was an unusually windy day. As we left home I could see big brown clouds in the distance.
As we were driving the sky was very strange...and the sun was bright red. It seemed quite dark even tho it was only three in the afternoon. It was like a scene from a halloween movie.. but it was more scary than that. 

The Anaheim hills which are about 20 miles away (and about 10 miles from our dentist) are burning. Thousands of people have been evacuated. The Santa Ana winds are spreading the fires over thousands of acres. As we got closer to Fullerton we even got ash on the car.
Its not as bad as in Northern California. We, ourselves, are not in any danger.. thankfully. But we are getting evacuation alerts on our phones for areas closer to the fires. I am so sorry for those who have had to leave their homes and dont know if they will have a house to go back to
Even coming home the sky was still very eerie. My thoughts and prayers are with those caught up in this. Stay safe!

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Monday, October 9, 2017

Meal Plan Monday

Here we go...the start of a new week. A bit of prodding for me this week... today at the dentist..and later in the week a follow up visit with my surgeon. But no worries... everything will be fine

My menu this week is getting a bit Fall like... even though its been 90 degrees here the last few days. Comfort food.. apples... corn.. and of course.. Hubby requests. MrD's omelette is made just how he likes it... 2 eggs, ham, cheese, onions, jalapenos and black an extra sprinkle of cheese on top. He says its better than Dennys... not sure if thats a compliment or

Have a great week everyone

Weekly Plan - 9th October 2017
Monday             Chicken Pot Pie, Cabbage

Tuesday             Mexican Stuffed Green Peppers, Salad

Wednesday        Apple Cider Pork Chops, Mashed potatoes, Corn

Thursday           MrD's Omelette, Hash Browns, Brown Gravy, English Muffin

Friday                Crispy Tilapia Fingers, Lemon-Garlic Mayonnaise Dip, Potato Wedges

Stuffed Hamburgers

Sunday               Church Fellowship

Friday, October 6, 2017


When I finished my chemo...I thought that it would be the end of doctor visits and no more needles. I was mistaken. My oncologist dosnt want to to take the porto cath out of my chest... so every six weeks I have to have it flushed
I have had a few problems since I had it put in... it keeps flipping over so on one occasion we couldnt use it for the chemo. Yesterday...when I went to have my first flush we had problems again. Every time Nurse Sue tried to put the needle in the port moved. Eventually after three attempts she got the needle in. 

The flush itself wasnt too bad and it was over and done with in less than 10 minutes. But seeing as the port has to stay in for about a year... I hope the flushes get easier. And I wont be so sore
At least I got a lovely iced coffee on the way home for being a "brave girl" Mine is the small one.... honest! Thank you MrD

Love and Hugs 
Phoebe x

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thrift Shop Find... and Butternut Squash Soup

As you may or may not know.. I dont drive over here in the US. I'm used to chugging around little towns and villages and pretty country lanes. I'm not comfortable driving on the 'wrong' side of the Los Angeles drivers are crazy!! I get nervous crossing the street cos I STILL look the wrong way. So.. I walk everywhere...unless hubby takes me. I dont mind as I always find things to photograph.. but that means I only have access to one Thrift store.. Goodwill..although I do find it over priced and apart from clothes..there is not much there. Imagine my surprise when I popped in earlier this week and found this pretty dish. Ok ...I know its the wrong time of year..but its perfect for Easter. I just love pastel colours and just look at the bunnies cute face. Not bad for $2
But...Spring is a way off and the weather here in California has been a little cooler... but I know it probably wont last. For a couple of days I've been fancying some homemade soup.. so Im making my favourite Butternut Squash. Its the recipe my mum used and I've made it lots of times over the years. Its quick.. easy.. freezes well.... and delicious. Perfect for my lunch today.

Butternut Squash Soup

1 large butternut squash
1 medium onion
1 lb potatoes
1 3/4 pints vegetable stock
Knob of butter
Olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish (optional)

  • Chop the stalk and flower off the squash and peel. Cut in half, scoop out the seeds and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Peel and chop the onion and potatoes
  • Place the butter and a little oil in a saucepan and melt on a low heat
  • Add the onion and stir until softened, but not brown
  • Add potatoes and stir well
  • Add squash, stir well and then cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • When potatoes have softened, add stock and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft
  • Blend to a puree and serve
Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October Goals

October already... and what a year it has been so far. I am feeling so much like my old self its quite incredible. I procrastinated so much during my cancer journey and I let so much go. But now my home is back to its organized state.. Im cooking homemade meals again... and even doing a bit of baking.
During my illness I only had one goal.. To kick cancers butt. Well I did that alright. So now its time to make a few new ones. Not too many.. as I really want to achieve all of them.. so I think we will start slow. I think it will help to get my life back on track. Here goes....

  • Take a brisk walk outside for at least one hour... 4 days a week ~ stopping to take photos is allowed. God's World is beautiful
  • Drink eight 8oz glasses of water a day ~ you may hear me sloshing as I walk...but I need the hydration
  • Eat more raw veg .. in salads or snacks ~ I do like them but prefer cooked. But I do love Souplantation
  • Put down my reading book and pick up my bible more often ~ an extra 10 minutes a day is no hardship
  • Learn  4 new bible verses or review old ones ~ one a week should be easy

  • Continue with meal planning and look for healthier alternative recipes
  • Stick to the Housekeeping/food budget ~ recently this has been difficult because we ate out  or had takeaways because I stopped cooking...not good
  • Build my food storage ~ it pays to be prepared 
  • Research how to can and preserve food ~ I would love to start canning etc.. but not sure where to start and I haven't a jar or any other equipment to my name. But..Christmas is coming.. hint hint Santa :)
  • Remember my old motto.. A place for everything and everything in its place

  • To write blog posts at least 6 days a week
  • Go back and check my old posts as sometimes they disappear.. lose their photos or revert to draft...Not quite sure why..and these are memories I would like to keep
  • Visit my Fabulous Friends regularly and read their posts... and find some wonderful new blogs too

So thats enough for now....dont you think? I will go over it in a month and see how I've done. It should be an interesting me anyway!!

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Monday, October 2, 2017

Meal Plan Monday

Happy Monday! Can you believe its October already? Where has this year gone? Its so good to be cooking again after so many convenience foods over the last few months. Making these meal plans is really helping my organizing... and my shopping budget. 
I'm looking for healthier options for the recipes Im making.. cutting down on the fat and calorie content. e.g the shepherds pie is actually made with ground turkey! Once the stock and seasonings are added you really cant tell the difference.
The beauty of a Menu Plan is that its not set in stone. As long as you bought all the ingredients on your last shopping trip or have them in your freezer or can interchange the meals. I may have to shuffle a couple of days as I have to go and have my porto cath flushed this week and until I call the doctors later today Im not sure on which day.
Also this week I have to make sure to finish  collecting all the info for my Green Card renewal. All Im waiting for is a couple of affidavits from friends stating that MrD and I have a 'real' marriage.... as if there was any doubt!
Have a great week everyone!

Weekly Plan - 2nd October 2017
Monday             Shepherds Pie, Cabbage

Tuesday             Chicken Enchiladas

Wednesday        Honey Barbecue Chicken, Baked potatoes, Caesar Salad

Thursday           Spaghetti Bolognese

Friday                Salmon Fish Cakes, Potato Wedges, Salad

Spinach and Mushroom Pizza

Sunday               Church Fellowship