Why not start a Blog?

hi       Today I just wanted to post about how my journey of doing this blog is going, but also how you cant start a blog yourself.  I was encouraged by my daughter to start a blog, I think because my family, especially my older grandkids thought I wrote too much personal stuff on my Facebook page, they actually said, “Grandma, everyone doesn’t want to know what you do everyday.”  I am hopeful that my blog does give some useful information to those that read it.

One of the things about doing a blog that I have enjoyed is sharing what I have sowed and reaped from my garden, at first this year I didn’t think my garden was going to give me much, it was looking a little sad!  It had rained and it had poured, I thought my poor garden was going to drown!  As you can see in the photo I do have some seedlings and thanks to God my garden actually did really make it and of course in the last couple of months I have been super busy canning, freezing, drying and of course eating the harvest!!After a lot of rain early JuneGarden 2016

And so my garden did grow, by the end of June it was started to look pretty healthy, I had my hopes that I was again this year going  to receive some bounty from all my hard work!!  And I sure have, in fact today I picked popcorn, I planted it mainly for the grandkids to share with them at Christmas, so now I am going to start that process, which I will do a blog about, because maybe someone else up here in the Northland would like to try growing their own popcorn.  By the end of the growing season I had a very luscious garden and all my hard work really paid off!!   Psalms 107:37 And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase.


So all this said to just say if I can start a blog and do all I have done so far, oh but don’t get me wrong I surely haven’t arrived at this blog thing, but I could get you started.  It has been a fun journey for me so far and I am really hoping that my blog brings enjoyment and knowledge to many!!   This is where I got started with my blog, at Bluehose.com one bit of advice is read as many other blogs as you can, just to give you insight into how a blog looks and how you may want to do things.

After some research I found that Bluehost was a good place to start, you ask what is bluehost?  Bluehost is a web hosting company owned by Endurance International Group, a web hosting service is a type of company that allows individuals to develop websites access to the World Wide Web. Bluehost will guide you through the steps of setting up your blog.


Earn Cash Secret Shopping


Earn Cash Secret Shopping

Secret Shopping does really exist!!  Want to earn cash? Keep reading and you may find yourself in a new opportunity, a new way to earn cash!  My daughter got me into the secret shopping back in 2002 and I have done countless stores, restaurants and even telephone businesses.  There are so many different companies that use secret shoppers.  What other way to earn cash do you know of that you can eat free and get paid to do it, or to shop at your favorite brand store and get paid to browse.   moneylady

One of the main reasons companies use secret shoppers is to make sure their customers are being treated the way that will bring them back to their business and also to help companies enhance customers experience.  Companies need customers, I don’t know about you but customer service is a big deal to me and if I feel a store isn’t meeting my standards I won’t go back there.

Personal Story:  A number of years ago I had seen a very good sale on sheets in a store sale ad, so as I went to purchase this product there wasn’t any on the shelf so I found a store employee and inquired about the sheets, she found more for me and then when I shared the price that was advertised in the ad she stated, “oh you are reading that wrong, but I will give you that price.”  She was really rather rude, but it didn’t stop there, because she felt I was reading the ad wrong she decided she needed to go with me to the check out and tell the cashier what price I should be getting the bed sheets for.  This store employee went on to say to the cashier, “give this lady the price of $$, she seems to have a problem reading the ad correctly,”  I was so insulted.  I say all this to show you the importance of treating a customer properly, I really should have talked to a manager but I let it slide, makes for a good experience story.

I am going to list 2 of my favorite secret shop companies, they each have their own process of becoming one of their secret shoppers, but I am sure there is a number of them out there that fit the bill for you to earn cash.  Secret shop companies offer secret shopping jobs that include restaurants, retail stores, casinos, automotive dealerships, financial institutions, hotels and resorts and more.

Why not start today signing up to be a “Secret Shopper?”

Bestmark:  http://www.bestmark.com/

Market Force:  http://www.marketforce.com/become-a-mystery-shopper

Here are 2 companies I have used in he past, make sure you read through all their information and know their policies and precdedures.  They each have their own requirements and you need to do need to follow them or you won’t get paid!  Many secret shop assignments require you do the shop alone, make note of any specific requirements.

You are off to Earn Cash Secret Shopping!!


shopping I just want to make it clear that these secret shop companies do not have jobs in every town, it all depends on what stores hire out for secret shoppers.

Go ahead start shopping and earn cash and/or gift cards.

Pumpkins Patch, Apples, Corn Maze, Fall Fun


Pumpkin Patch & Apple Orchard

Fall is definitely in the air, the days are getting shorter, the air is crisper and the leaves are starting to change color

here in Northern Wisconsin, Mommsen’s Havest Hill Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard has the pumpkin patch fun you are looking for.

 I do love fall, I love watching all the trees change colors, a good time to take

a fall drive and check out all the beautiful scenery.  One of my passions is taking pictures of all the wonderful

colors, but then after I take the pictures I wonder what am I going to do with them, grab your camera,

your kids and go out to the pumpkin patch and capture some everlasting memories!


I discovered another fun fall pumpkin patch this one has it all, pumpkins of every shape and size and even color!!

Not only do they have pumpkins, they have apples, 5 different kinds and it’s pick-your-own or grab a bag of apples

from the store!  Don’t stop with the apples, pick up some squash too, they have different varieties.

Don’t miss out on the maze and yes!!!  The Mega Maze!

The kids will love the petting zoo, but don’t forget to pick up your Carmel Apple on your way

to taking that great Hayride!

dscn7388The fun is endless and you can take this all in just by stopping at;


Harvest Hills

Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard

in Rice Lake, WI


Go have some fun, I diddscn7390

I don’t remember if we carved pumpkins as kids or not, but I know that some of my kids hadn’t ever carved one, so I thought that I would share a couple of links for your pumpkin carving experience;  http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/holiday—celebration-recipes/halloween-recipes/how-to-carve-a-pumpkin.  and then here are some patterns;http://www.pumpkinlady.com/ Last year I carved one that had a sunflower pattern on it.



First time freezing Fresh Picked Cauliflower

First Time Freezing Fresh Picked Cauliflower

First Time Freezing Fresh Picked Cauliflower

Fresh Cauliflower


It may seem a little daunting to attempt your first time freezing any vegetable but believe me it really is very easy, takes a little time but once you have completed this task you will be so satisfied upon completion.  The other aspect I enjoy about having the frozen cauliflower is the convenience of going to the freezer, grabbing out a bag of that frozen fresh picked cauliflower all ready to enjoy as part of a meal.  So let’s get started on the steps to your first time freezing fresh picked cauliflower!


1.When picking your cauliflower be sure to choose heads that are tight, white and no brown spots, you don’t want limp heads of cauiflower.  And we are on our way to First Time Freezing Fresh Picked Cauliflower.


First Time Freezing Fresh Picked Cauliflower

Picking Cauliflower Heads that are nice and white and no brown spots


 2. Now it is time to prep the head by washing it and cutting off the leaves.


First Time Freezing Fresh Cauliflower

Removing the leaves.

First Time Freezing Fresh Cauliflower

Cauliflower divided up into pieces






3. Cutting the florets. Cut the head of cauliflower up into florets, you want them around 1 1/2 inches in size.

First Time Freezing Fresh Cauliflower

Soaking in brine.






4. Soak the florets in brine, fill a large bowl or the sink with cold water, 4 teaspoons of salt, soak for 30 minutes.  This will rid your cauliflower of any insects. Rinse with fresh water and now it is time to start the blanching process.

5. Blanching the cauliflower, bring a large pot of water to a boil, place your florets in the water, enough water to cover them, blanch for 3 minutes, starting when you first place them in the boiling water.

 6. Ice Bath, place the florets in a sink or bowl with water and ice for 3 minutes.


Ice Bath



7. Freezing the cauliflower.  I personally like to place my florets on a cookie sheet with a layer of wax paper and put them in the freezer for a couple of hours or until they are slightly froze, I do this because then when I bag them up they won’t stick together and I can just use as many as I want at a time.  Then I will bag them up, either with zip lock freezer bags, that I squeeze as much air out as I can, or with a foodsaver machine.  Make sure to mark your bags and date them.  



Freezing                                                   Freezer bags

I hope you enjoyed your First Time Freezing Fresh Picked Cauliflower!


Eat a rainbow of fresh produce everyday for good health


Get 12 Tips For Healthy, Affordable Eating


Easy Cheeseburger Casserole


Easy Cheeseburger Casserole



Easy Cheeseburger Casserole

Easy Cheeseburger Casserole



This is one of the easiest and tastiest hamburger casseroles recipes I have made!

I always figure if my husband doesn’t mind having it quite often then it must

be good!!  I think I am the “hamburger queen,” I would make just about every

meal using hamburger, but my husband does need a little variety.

So follow along and I hope you find making this easy Cheeseburger Casserole as tasty as I do.


When we were first married, early 70s, Ray had just been discharged from the Army

and we and our 9 month old daughter Jennie were living on $63. a week, renting an

apartment for $75. a month plus other expenses. Needless to say we didn’t have much

money for groceries so we lived mostly on hamburger and potatoes.

How many ways can you cook hamburger and potatoes?  Actually there are quite a few

but one of our favorites was Hamburger Gravy and Mashed potatoes.


The ingredients


Easy Cheeseburger Casserole

Ingredients for Cheeseburger Casserole



Add the olive oil to the cooking container, then add the hamburger and diced onions,

cook until brown, make sure the beef is crumbly.


Easy Cheeseburger Casserole

Browning Hamburger



Once the ground beef is done add the remainder of ingredients except for the cheese.

When I add the chicken broth I mix up my own with water and chicken base,

2 Tblsps. to 2 Cups Water.  I also am happy to say the canned tomatoes, onions and

garlic I added to my casserole where from my garden.


Easy Cheeseburger Casserole

Cooking the mixture




Bring to a boil, turn heat down and let it simmer until the pasta is cooked through.

Remove from the heat, top with the cheese, cover until the cheese is melted and then you have

yourself a delicious meal.


Enjoy the Easy Cheeseburger Casserole

Easy Cheeseburger Casserole
Serves 8
Easy Cheeseburger Casserole is just as it says, an easy meal for a delicious meal. Mix it together simmer and enjoy.
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
  1. 1 Tablespoon. Olive Oil
  2. 1 1/2 pound of Ground Beef
  3. 1 Small Onion
  4. 1 28 oz. Diced Tomatoes (undrained)
  5. 1 8 oz. Tomato Sauce
  6. 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  7. 2 Cups Water
  8. 1/4 Cup Ketchup
  9. 2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  10. 1 Pound of Rotini Pasta
  11. 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  12. Salt and Pepper to taste.
  13. I add minced garlic and green peppers, optional.
  1. Heat the olive oil in large skillet or dutch oven on medium high heat, add ground beef and onion. Fry until the ground beef is brown, about 5 minutes. Drain excess fat.
  2. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, ketchup, mustard, rotini noodles, salt & pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through
  4. Remove from heat, top with cheese, cover to allow cheese to melt.
Grammes Country Splendor http://grammescountrysplendor.com/


Earn Cash/Gift Cards

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Check out this survey reward site, just by completing surveys that are 5 to 30 minutes in length.  Use the earned points toward the purchase of gift cards, e-gift cards for multiple stores, restaurants & etc.  You can even redeem reward points for cash or paypal codes.

Go ahead, Sign Up today and start earning those rewards.

I have been using this program since 2010 and have been very satisfied using it.

I am sure you are like me can always use that extra cash!

Mysurvey at https://www.mysurvey.com


Do you want to earn even more rewards?

Zoom into rewards by joining up with Zoompanel at https://www.zoompanel.com

Join Free, Take Surveys & Earn points for incredible rewards.

You can use these points on gift cards for Amazon, Itunes, Subway, just for a few.

So don’t miss out on some great gift card earnings.


I will be sharing more opportunities soon!!


I have found these survey sites very useful for birthdays, Christmas or just when you want to

send some one a special gift.  I can earn cash from the points that I build up from taking

surveys and put it towards gifts for my grandchildren.

At Christmas our family would play a game called the It Game and there would

always be one big gift at the end of the game, for a couple of years whoever won that gift was

able to take points from one of my earn cash survey groups and buy themselves a gift card as their reward.

So many great ways to use the reward points you earn and there are so many different gift cards,

what a great way to bring a smile to someone’s face when you hand them a gift card

to their favorite store!

White Christmas Cookies

White Christmas Cookies


Christmas Baking Goodies/ White Christmas Cookies

Christmas Baking Goodies



I’m back!!!  I haven’t posted anything in the last few days, I have been busy finishing up my canning and fall decorating, which I will post pictures of as soon as it stops raining, doesn’t look like it will be too soon.  Today I am going to share a few recipes from an old cookbook of my Mom’s, her recipes are very dear to me as she passed away on September 10, 2011, she battled that horrible disease of Stage II Diabetes for a number of years, ended up being on dialysis for 7 years, not a fun time at all.  I hope you find this White Christmas Cookie recipe as delicious as I always have.


White Christmas Cookies

My Mom with her brother




My Mom and her only brother.   My Mom made so many delicious meals and desserts for our family I want to share some of those recipes.  This recipe is one of the cookies she made at Christmas, but for any of you that read my Tribute To My Country Boy, I made these cookies for him for Christmas and I know that he shared them with the other guys in his squad.  This recipe is quite old, my Mom had this recipe book for all the time I can remember & I am now in my mid-60s.



White Christmas Cookies
Yields 4
Most delicious sugar cookie, I have made these for years and they are my favorite, makes a good amount.
Write a review
Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
  1. 1 Cup Shortening
  2. 5 Cups Flour
  3. 1 tsp. Soda
  4. 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  5. 1/4 tsp. Salt
  6. 2 Cups Sugar
  7. 1/2 Cup Sweet Milk (is is actually whole milk)
  8. 2 Eggs
  9. 2 tsp Vanilla
  1. Mix together as pie crust the flour, salt, soda, baking powder and shortening (with pastry cutter).
  2. Add sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla.
  3. Mix well with flour mixture.
  4. Roll out 1/3 batch at one time.
  5. Use fancy cookie cutters and sprinkle with colored sugar. Place on cookie sheets and bake.
  6. The recipe doesn't include an oven temperature but I always set it at 350 degrees and watch them carefully, you want them just light brown on the bottom, this is so you have a nice soft cookie, of course if you want them crunchy bake longer.
  7. I actually half this recipe because it make so many, 4 dozen is an approximate amount.
  8. I also frost my cookies with different colored frosting & then decorate as your prefer.
  9. Make sure to flour the area where you are rolling out your dough or it will stick to your work area.
Grammes Country Splendor http://grammescountrysplendor.com/



Gramme’s Snaptoit Salsa Recipe

Gramme’s Snaptoit Salsa Recipe

 Gramme’s Snaptoit Salsa Recipe is my own concoction with a little punch to it. Today I made my 4th batch of salsa and I  have combined a couple of salsa recipes plus used “Mrs. Wages Create Salsa packet”  https://www.mrswages.com/recipe/salsa-mix/  I didn’t follow the recipe on the packet I will include the recipe I used.  I have been experimenting with the different salsa recipes I have, trying to find the one that has the consistency and flavor I want.  You know how you buy certain kinds of salsa in a jar or have one at a restaurant that is just so good, well, that is what I want of my own, so today after tasting the finished product this one receives my approval!  images-2   Let’s beginning the journey of Salsa making!!

The tomatoes I am using today are a Amish Roma tomato, I like this tomato because it is a very meaty and has lots of flavor.  I want you to know the vegetables I am using all came fresh from my garden, that is the best part about this salsa!! The next step is to wash them, whether you grew them yourself or bought them from some where else you need to wash them.  Now you are ready for the next step of this great adventure of salsa making!  Here are the ingredients I used in this salsa recipe!
dscn1880                                   dscn1970

 Fill a stainless steel larger pot with water a little over half way and put it on the stove to boil.  Once it has come to a boil you can place a dozen or so tomatoes in the water (if you aren’t using roma tomatoes and are using bigger tomatoes probably put only 8 in the pot, all depending on the size).  Leave them in the boiling water for 45 to 60 seconds, you will see the skins start to wrinkle or even split, remove them quickly and place them in the sink filled with cold water, I always add ice cubes to get it nice and icy cold so it cools off the tomatoes quickly, you don’t want them to keep cooking.  You can take time while waiting for them to cool to chop up your onions, green peppers, garlic and jalapeno peppers, or whatever kind you are using for hot peppers, remember the more hot pepper seeds you include the hotter the salsa will be and always remember to wear gloves with handling hot peppers!!  

dscn1969   dscn1973      dscn1974       dscn1975

Once you are done with cooling the tomatoes it is time to start to chop them up, some like them diced or just cut to a rough chop, however you would like them will work.  Add all the ingredients together in your stainless steel pot except for tomato paste and start them to simmer and let them simmer until your desired thickness.

                                                    Wholah finished product!!!

Gramme's Sanaptoit Salsa Recipe

Gramme’s Sanaptoit Salsa Recipe

Gramme's Snaptoit Salsa
Yields 5
A hint of heat in Gramme's Snaptoit Salsa, enjoy it with chips of all kinds. A good party dip, family gathering or serve with over you tacos, nachos or burritos.
Write a review
Cook Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
  1. 10 Cups roughly chopped tomatoes
  2. 3 Cups chopped and seeded bell peppers
  3. 3 Cups chopped onions
  4. 1 Large chopped jalapeno pepper or hot pepper of choice, you can use more if you desire more heat, the seeds are what adds heat also.
  5. 1 1/4 Cups of white sugar
  6. 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
  7. 2 Tbsp. cilantro, minced
  8. 3 tsp. salt
  9. 1 16 oz Can tomato paste
  10. 1 package of Mrs. Wages Salsa Mix
Peeling Tomatoes
  1. Wash tomatoes, bring a large pot of water to a boil, then place tomatoes in water (maybe 8 tomatoes at a time, depends on size), blanching them for 30 to 60 seconds, until the skin on tomato splits. Remove from water and place in sink or container filled with ice water, let cool in there, remove the skins, core and rough cut.
  1. Combine all ingredients except tomato paste in large pot.
  2. Simmer until desired thickness.
  3. Stir in tomato paste.
  4. Place lids in water and bring to boiling.
  5. Ladle hot salsa into jars washed in hot soapy water, leaving 1/4" head-space.
  6. Process 15 minutes in hot water bath.
  7. Remove from water and place on cloth and wait for lids to snap and jars are cooled.
Grammes Country Splendor http://grammescountrysplendor.com/



I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to comment or email me at gayle7rogers@gmail.com

Who Can Resist a Good Pizza?

Who Can Resist a Good Pizza?

When we lived in Spooner, WI., this was my favorite place to go have a good pizza, they have so many different flavors of pizza and they offer a great Lunch Pizza Buffet Tuesday-Friday, for a great price.  Believe me you will not be unhappy with this dining choice when you are up in the area!!  Who can resist a good pizza, not me how about you?

Please check out their website:  http://www.deneliespizza.com/


If you would rather have pizza on the go well keep reading because I have just the place for you!

Do you like trains?  And Who Can Resist a Good Pizza?

While you are eating that pizza enjoy the scenery on “The Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad.”

Take 1.5 hr ride aboard a historic train, eat some pizza on the way, 1/2 pizza per person along with a

complementary beverage of choice.

$23 Adult     $17 Child (age 3-12)     $80  Family (2 A & up to 5 C) 

Tony’s Riverside Family Pizza Train:  http://www.spoonertrainride.com/Dinner_Trains.htm


I haven’t taken this trip yet, but I know a few of my friends have and enjoyed it very much, plus it is kid friendly and what little kid doesn’t like to have a train ride?  I am planning a ride on this train ride this coming summer with a few of my grandkids!

So hop on and toot your whistle on the Great Northern Railroad!!

Tribute to My Country Boy Soldier

As I search my heart for what to post I just keep thinking of the country life and because of my interest in reading and the the types of books I have been reading I thought I would enlighten my readers about my husband the country boy.  My Tribute to My Country Boy Soldier my husband Ray grew up in Cable, WI., the 5th of 11 children.  We met the summer of 1970 just before he left for Viet Nam, where he spent 11 months serving on the DMZ:  Demilitarized zone – Neutral area separating North Vietnam from South Vietnam. We were both just kids 18 years old and so in love that the thought of Ray going off to fight in a war was just baffling.  1929368_1117082121462_5863687_n

It is very hard to understand what one goes through while fighting in a war and in a war that didn’t welcome our young men back home.   So many times we hear about how these guys would come home and as they departed the plane would get down and kiss the United States ground.  I can’t imagine what it is like for any soldier who has fought in a war, to come home and just live a normal life, much less come home from one where people called them horrible names, “Baby Killer,” “War monger.” And because he didn’t really write home to me about what he was doing over there or day to day battles, I was really unaware or I should say naive about it all, I guess I didn’t even watch the news, I had/have a desire to learn more about the time he spent in Viet Nam.  So this year I have been reading a number of biographies of Viet Nam experiences, I have gained a great amount of knowledge of what took place for different battles at different areas of South Viet Nam.  I want to warn anyone that would read any of the books that I will list under Reading Apps., that there will be offensive language, not that it is right but it is the way of a large percentage of the soldiers.

I hope I haven’t bored you and that if you know anyone that has served over in Viet Nam you can do them a great justice just by telling them “Thank You.”  One of the greatest vacations we took as a family was to Washington D.C., it has been many years ago now, but is an everlasting memory.  The most moving part about the whole vacation was the Viet Nam Memorial Wall, it was a very difficult time for my husband as I am sure for all Viet Nam Vets.  The photos are of my husband Ray while in Viet Nam and then of course the next photos is of the Viet Nam Memorial Wall.  I would encourage you to go to my book list in a few days and take a look at the biographies I have read, maybe read one yourself or share one with someone who had a soldier that served in Viet Nam.

Ray in Viet Nam scan0006

The Virtual Wall: http://www.virtualwall.org

Visiting the Vietnam Veteran Memorial: https://washington.org/DC-guide-to/vietnam-veterans-memorial

DC National Park Service: https://www.nps.gov/vive/index.htm