Tuesday 31 March 2020

My Light in the Darkness..

Its going to be a beautiful day.. I have just been standing in the morning sunshine..listening to the birds and enjoying the spring flowers already in bloom.

But.. even as I enjoyed the peace and quiet... and feeling the presence of the Lord...the reality of our lives has taken on a whole new meaning. For the last few weeks.. new words have entered our vocabulary.... pandemic... coronavirus...social distanceing. On a daily basis we are seeing anxiety and fear on peoples faces.  Our world has come to a standstill. Mass unemployment...shortages..schools and churches closing and national lockdowns have brought craziness and madness. Sometimes it feels more like a sci fi movie than part of our lives. Life has turned upside down and we are living in a new normal.. with no idea what life will be like when the covid 19 virus is over... and even when this will happen. There is just fear and uncertainty for most of us.. 

And today... our President revealed that in the next two weeks thousands and thousands are expected to die.. a terrifying thought. I am afraid for my hubby... who goes to work every day. I am afraid for my children and my grandbabies.. who are so far away. I am afraid for my elderly inlaws... and our older friends.. some of whom are alone and isolated...with only a phone for company.

We get our information from  newspapers and television and get caught up with all that it tells us... But we have to remember that most of it is just their opinion...and some of it not even fact.. and it makes your head spin. 

So for me... the only truth...the only facts.. come from the Lord. He is my Light in the Darkness. I will turn to Him. I will allow Him to establish His Peace in my heart. I will let Him wrap His loving arms around me and remember when ever I am afraid I only have to trust in His protection.. His care and let my uncertainty and doubt fall at the wayside

And when this is over I will walk in the sunshine.. give thanks to my Heavenly Father... and praise His name for the rest of my days

Stay safe...Stay well.. Stay strong

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Monday 30 March 2020

Whats For Dinner ~ Meal Plan Monday

And so begins another week of our new normality. 

Every day starts with what I call my "corona clean" where I disinfect all surfaces, door handles, keypads, phones, remote controls.. andd of course I have to do my floors...but that was my obsession before the virus. Funny I dont hear hubby complaining about that these days.... 

Then its a brisk walk out to the dumpster taking the long route back... trying to snap a few pics on the way. I rarely see anyone..but if I do they keep the distance. I sometimes think we should all be wearing long hooded robes and be ringing a bell chanting "unclean!" 

Today is another new normality for me and MrD. Remember a while ago I hinted that we were having a couple of major changes coming up. Part one we did a few weeks ago when we moved house. Well now I can tell you part two. Today MrD starts a new job that has been hush hush for a couple of months. He was head hunted to help set up a new manufacturing plant  which is just 8 minutes from our new home. It means better hours... more pay.. less stress.. and more time at home. He officially finished at his old job on Friday.. so no more getting up at 1.30 in the morning to work 16 hour days. 5am is such a better time...for both of us. It should be up and running by Friday and already the orders are coming in. Even in this time of crisis... the countries infratucture has to stay strong. Im very proud of him and he deserves this job

So Im just going to keep myself busy... I think today I'm going to start a new apron... The biggest decision I have...which fabric to use

Stay safe..stay well..stay strong..

and here's this weeks dinner menu

Weekly Plan - 30th March 2020
Chicken, Roasted Potatoes. Brocolli, Carrots (Leftover from yesterday)

Tuesday               Fiesta Lime Chicken and Rice

Wednesday         Shepherds Pie, Cabbage

Thursday            Sausage and Spinach Pasta Bake,  Garlic Bread
Friday                 Hawaiian Turkey Burgers

Saturday             Ham, Cheese, Spinach and Salsa Quesadillas

Sunday                Italian Chicken..Leftover Pasta Bake..Salad

Saturday 28 March 2020

Free At Last!!..Well For an Hour Or So....

Hope everone is doing well. The Covid-19 isolation is starting to get to some people...including me. Today is day 17 of my personal stay at home order. I miss my walks...I miss shopping..I miss physical contact with other people. Thank goodness for Facetime and the phone...and being able to step outside my door for a few minutes to literally "smell the roses". I feel very tired and sluggish.. but both MrD and I are well.. have no symptoms and know that as every day passes.. normality is just that bit closer
Yesterday was a beautiful day...and MrD decided we would take a drive out. MrD needed a new pair of boots for work. Right now.. to buy a pair of boots from Red Wing... we had to order and pay over the phone... then drive to a designated store (for us an hour away in Oxnard) When we arrived.. MrD called the store to tell them we had arrived and a lady wearing a mask and gloves placed the boot box outside the door... When she went back in .. hubby got out of the truck and get them... with an exhange of a thumbs with the woman throught the glass door. For good measure..MrD wiped the the box with a sanitizer wipe. All very surreal...and as MrD said...it was like a sneaky drug deal!
For a Saturday afternoon..it was so strange seeing how light the traffic was..especially around Los Angeles..which is usually bumper to bumper cars and traffic jams. But it was a beautiful area around Oxnard..with grove after grove of oranges, lemons and avacados.. and mile after mile of farm land..with the occasional tractor ploughing the fields. It was so liberating getting out and about... like being let out of prison.
But.. this isolation does mean I have weekends with MrD. He is still working as his job is classed as essential.. but no more Saturdays. which means we can have lovely leisurely breakfasts together...

Its the little things that will get us through this crisis

Stay well..Stay safe.. Stay strong..

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Tuesday 24 March 2020

♫ You Dont Bring Me Flowers..Anymore.....♫

There was a time....

in the not so distant past...

That my hubby bought me roses...

Things have changed!

Love and Hugs 
Phoebe x

Monday 23 March 2020

Whats For Dinner ~ Meal Plan Monday

So... today the Uk went on Lock Down.. and the enormity of the situation has finally hit my children... especially my daughter. She realized today that there is a possibility that her July wedding may not happen... and shes devestated. She is of course putting a brave face on it and saying as long as everyone is well.. thats all that matters.. but today the flood gates opened and the tears came. MrD and I had already accepted that we may not be able to fly to the UK .. and its upsetting that we will not see everyone and finally meet our grandson who would have been having his second birthday when we were there..

Luckily..my eldest son and daughter in law can both work from home.. as can my daughter. but other son is a manager in a supermarket... and has recently been diognosed with diabetis and a few other problems... so he has been sent home as he is high risk.

It is a dreadful time for everyone. But.. this pandamic WILL end eventually and the most important thing is that everyone comes through it safe and well. We have a long way to go.. with a lot of scary moments ahead... but we will get through it.. and have the the biggest celebration ever..

Im still on "house arrest" and trying not to go stir crazy. Now we are totally unpacked (at last) I have made a new...long overdue inventory of all our food supplies, rotated our stock and made new menus using as much of our fresh stuff as possible. My aim is to stretch meals out and have no waste. I am so grateful that I followed my grandmothers advice and took the time last year to can..dehydrate.. freeze and preserve... and build up my pantry. And Ive found an old cookbook so Im going to look up some frugal recipes. It will be an ongoing process...but I will so miss having fruit and vegetables from my neighbours gardens

Thank you for the advice Nana... Grandmothers really did know best......

Weekly Plan - 23rd March 2020
Griddle Pork Chops, Mash Potatoes, Corn and Gravy

Tuesday              Chicken Taco Salad and Spanish Rice

Wednesday         G
rilled Ham, Tater Tots, Egg, Peas

Thursday            Cajun Sausage Pasta
Friday                 Vegetable Pizza

Saturday             Chili Hot Dogs

Sunday                Chicken, Roasted Potatoes. Brocolli, Carrots

Saturday 21 March 2020


Just when I had accepted that we wouldnt be having eggs for a while... I have been blessed with finding two dozen. We were told about a little deli /grocery store, hidden away.. just across from where we live.. 
Although the lovely Armenian couple who run it dont carry a large variety of stock.. they have lots of fruit and veg...and basics like bread.. milk..butter... and eggs!

The lady owner apologised for the prices being higher than supermarkets.. but as MrD said... it was understandable because of their overheads.  And honestly... when I went over the receipt the prices compared very well... especially when you consider.. no petrol was used to get the shopping. Plus her hubby goes out every morning... seven days a week.. to buy the freshest foods and keep shelves well stocked for their customers

I would encourage you to shop at little family stores... not just during this corona crisis.. but afterwards. As the grand daughter of  shopkeeper, these little stores need us so they can survive.  I cant wait to get over there and have a wander round.
In the mean time.. as I promised MrD.. now I have eggs.. time for some Chewy Fudge Brownie Cookies...his favourite
Also... its been a week of birthdays..with another week to come...
Today I want to wish a very Happy Birthday to my wonderful daughter in law. 
Thank you for being so fabulous.. and for giving me such a gorgeous grandson

Stay safe... stay well

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Friday 20 March 2020

Better Than Expected...

So our first day of California Stay Home Order is over ...and it hasnt been too bad. As more details come out.. it dosnt seem as restrictive or scary as first thought.

Gas stations, Pharmacies, Grocery stores, Farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants, Banks and Laundromats are still open.

People who are in essential jobs are still going to work..that includes MrD.

You can go out to buy food.. care for a sick relative or friend.. and to seek medical attention.. as long as you stay six feet away from other people

I have also been told that you can go out for walks and hikes.. but gyms ..malls.. movie theatres, playgrounds and bars are closed. And gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.. so no church.

I'm still under house arrest.. but Im taking my meds and taking my temperature every hour...and now and again I go and stand in the fresh air. We have plenty of food so we wont go hungry.. tho I used my last egg for MrD's breakfast this morning ... We have so many other things for breakfasts. There is plenty to watch on the television... I have my stitching.. loads of books to read... and Facetime is a brilliant thing.

Stop watching scare-mongering main stream media.. and put on a damn good black and white movie

And as every day goes by.. we are one step closer to beating this terrible pandemic. We will get through this..

As my amazing grandson says... Stay Positive! 

Well done Little H

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Thursday 19 March 2020

Stay Home....

The Governor of California has just issued a state wide mandatory stay at home order... If we thought things were bad before.. from midnight tonight its going to get a lot worse.

Pray for those in essential jobs who still have to get out there... and for
those families who will be struggling even more

MrD and I will be just fine.. and will get through this

Stay safe.. stay well.. stay calm 

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Navajo No Fry Flatbread.. and a Little Rant!

How is everyone coping out there? Its a very worrying time..especially for me when I think of my children so far away. As a mum you never stop worrying about your babies.. no matter how old they are..

So I have to get something off my chest. This panic buying is causing me great concern and annoyance... especially because I have young grandchildren. Not because there is a food shortage.. the supply is still there.. but because of people being totally inconsiderate and selfish.. They are taking more than they need and leaving empty shelves. This gives a knock on effect of more people panic buying.. because they are scared of being without.

For Goodness sake people... calm down.. take what you need for now... and only your share... and give supermarkets time to get their deliveries and restock!! Its not rocket science.

I had a sleepless night..and when I did doze off... I had  nightmares.. because my daughter was driving round late last night looking for bread..paracetamol and nappies (diapers) with no luck. Come on people..!!

Ok ...Rant over!

Any way.. back to this weeks recipe

In this time of bread shortage.. I had it on my heart to share this alternative recipe for the Famous Navajo Frybread..Created over a centuary ago it has recently become the official state bread of South Dakota.

Its very quick and easy to make and can be made ahead and kept under a flour towel or frozen for later use.You can use herbs in the mixture. Or even brush with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar before serving.

Remember ..These are NOT fried like the traditional Navajo bread.. but a bit healthier

Navajo No Fry Flatbread
adapted in 2010 by Navajo chef Walter Whitewater,

2 cups flour
1 - 1 1/4 cups of lukewarm water
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tablespoon oil/butter/or shortening

  • Mix dry ingredients together and add most water and oil of your choice,
  • Mix and add water until it has the consistency of tacky pizza dough.
  • Knead for a few minutes.
  • Let rest in greased bowl for 30- 60 minutes.
  • Divide into 6 pieces and roll out on floured surface thin. (Tortilla thickness)
  • Heat griddle to 350F.
  • Cook until golden brown spots and flip, cooking until done.

I hope this helps....

Stay well..stay safe... stay calm....

and I still cant get eggs!!

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Tuesday 17 March 2020

Birthday Boy!

Happy Birthday to my Best Friend... My Soulmate... the absolute Love of My Life. 
Thank you for your unending faith, support, wisdom, gentleness and positivity. 
There are not enough words to say how grateful I am for the happy life we have together. 
Love you very much MrD

Phoebe xxx

Sunday 15 March 2020

Two Already!!...

Happy 2nd Birthday to this Gorgeous Girl. The time has gone so fast... (and yes I still wear the same dressing gown but it was only 6am when they called!)

God blessed my daughter during my cancer treatments... and knowing that I was to have a grand daughter made me fight just that little bit harder.

It was such an honour to be there when she entered the world..(only cos Miss C wouldnt let go of my hand).. The time spent with her was so short before I had to return to the States but thanks to Facetime I get to share in the joy of watching her grow into an intelligent, kind and loving little girl

.I cant wait til July to cuddle her...and my two grandsons..again..

Little Miss... Nana Loves You xxx

Saturday 14 March 2020

Stop It! Just Stop It!!

Well.. I can say that Coronavirus is here...and one of the apparent side effects is it makes people crazy!!

To me the scariest part of this ordeal is not the virus.. its not the spread..and its not even the death rates (one is one too many) But it seems the word pandemic turns ordinary people into animals!

So from tomorrow .. after suggestions from my oncologist... hubbyis putting me on home lock down  My immune system is rubbish right now.. and although I feel fine... and am taking steps to improve it.. we dont want to take any chances. So no walking...and even the Fitness Room is closed.

So today we decided to take one last shopping trip before I isolate. Hubby needed work shirts.. we needed a couple of house goods.. and we were going to do our weekly shop. Plus we needed to check the mail at our old place and hubby needed some papers from work. As is our norm... we left home early to get to the supermarket for when it opens at 6am.. planning as usual to get in and out fast and home before the day is totally wasted

We passed a few supermarkets on the way to our nearest Walmart.. and I noticed even at 5.45am.. carparks were full... but didnt really think about it. As we approached Walmart.. we could see a line of people..on the sidewalk ahead... three people wide with trollys. Getting closer I was gobsmacked. The line stretched all the way from the main entrance in two directions..across the car park and around the block. There were at least a couple of hundred people waiting in the rain. As he turned the truck around.. hubby said "Well Dear... I guess we will find out how well your prepping plans pan out!"

We found a Stater Bros near where we used to live..and the car park seemed reasonable and there were no queues. So we gave it a shot. The lines... as we found out were inside the store.. at the checkout.. with every register open.. with staff trying to cope with the overflowing shopping carts and irritable customers. As my son... who works in a British Supermarket says.. he feels like hes part of the band on the Titanic.. continueing to fiddle while everyone else panics!

"I'll get the deli meat says hubby.. you get your veggies.. and dont forget bananas and eggs (he loves his eggs for brekkie).. then we get out of here!" Well I manage to get carrots.. onions and radish...but no bananas. And no eggs!!! Just aisle after aisle of empty shelves

As you know.. I dont have a problem with prepping.. I think its smart. As my son said.."mum you have been preparing for this day since we were kids...even when people thought you were mad!" But can someone tell me why..right now.. people need to stock up on 5 years of toilet paper... baby wipes... bananas... AND EGGS?? (poor Hubby) Fighting over a pack of kitchen paper.. and in some cases pulling a knife... is just insane! Its the panic thats creating the shortages. People were just filling their carts with anything. Im guessing the guy in front of us at the checkout really loves canned tongue. Maybe thats why he bought all the Siracha. The shelves will be refilled. But I do worry

I worry about the people who live pay check to pay check who just want to stock up for the week and cant even get the basics. I worry about the elderly.. the most vulnerable.. Will they go hungry?

Be cautious.. be prepared.. but be compassionate. Check on your elderly neighbours that they have enough supplies... and try leaving something on the shelf for other people.

Stay safe.. stay well... and most of all... Stop Panicing!!!

Oh.. how I wish I had a couple of chickens

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Friday 13 March 2020

Doctors Orders...

I hope everyone is doing good in these concerning times..

There is a lot of misinformation and media hype out there about what we should and should not be doing during this Coronavirus Pandemic.

As you know I had a meeting with my oncologist this week and he gave me a few pointers on how to cope with the fear of getting sick. I was talking to some friends on Facebook.. and commenting on a few posts and was asked to share what I was told.

Remember this is not my opinion... not what the media is telling me but came from a cancer doctor and before a lot of information came out

The first thing he did was refuse to shake hands.. he gave a jokey elbow bump and even an awkward foot tap..which he failed at miserably..lol. So I said... " So Coronavirus Dr Phan... should we really be concerned." His simple answer.. "Yes"

He said... wash your hands often.. keep away from crowded places, no air travel and eat to improve your immune system. The problem is... you cant tell who has the virus...as people have it before they start coughing and spluttering. Children dont seem to be ill with it but they are carriers. They contract it..take it home and pass it onto the most vulnerable.. ie the elderly and those with low immune systems. This is why schools are talking about closing..as they are breeding grounds. It seems that most of us have already been in contact with someone who has the virus

Washing hands and good hygeine should be a no brainer...especially after coughing and sneezing and get rid of used kleenex into a lined bin. Dont stress about hand sanitizer..soap and hot water for long enough and often enough should do the trick.. although taking some with you when you are out..plus some anti bac wipes for shopping carts etc is a good idea. Also wearing disposable gloves is a good idea

At home, clean work surfaces and door handles often.. and dont forget your computor keyboard, tablet and phone. And keep anti bac by your front door for when you enter.

Shop for enough food to last one maybe two weeks To me that could be expensive.. but stop taking little trips to buy a loaf of bread... or a bag of chips. Buy foods that will help your immune system.(see pic) I myself would suggest you buy powdered milk.. bread mixes.. canned soups etc

And if you do get sick.. stay home!! Isolate yourself from other family members.. wear a mask.. and phone your doctor...dont just turn up to a crowded waiting room.

So this is what I was told. Im sure as days go by we will learn more. The main thing is dont panic!

For me right now... no gym.. no church.. no walking (its raining anyway).. and still hoping we can fly in July. But I really hope this resolved soon and Im praying for those affected..

Stay well.. stay safe... and stay calm

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x