Friday, January 3, 2014


Tonight we have a cozy fire burning.  The temps are going below zero within the next few days and tonight we are expected to have wind gusts of 40 miles an hour which is big time even for the Windy City.  Lets all hang on, especially you East Coast people.  I feel like we spread the 'germ' and now we have even more snow coming tomorrow.  Ugh.  Be safe.

Annnnnyway...this is a snap of my street that night,  a winter wonderland.  The Husband and I stayed in, made a fire, and I made a few appetizers as I always do and then we ate in front of the TV and watch the festivities.  

This year I planned to make a Meatball and Dill Dip posted by none other than Lynn of Happier Than A Pig In Mud.  Alas, the shopping list I gave The Husband didn't include the sour cream (major ingredient, so I totally substituted it with a  small bowl of BBQ sauce for him to dip).  In the mean time, I have bought the sour cream as Lynn suggested, for making the dill sauce and using it over meatballs and egg noodles as an entree and that's exactly what I'm going to try. Thanks my friend!

Now, this is an onion tart that I made that I found on Pinterest and you can find it here.  I would totally recommend making it with these exceptions...reduce the number of onions by just don't need as many as the recipe calls for.  When dealing with puff pastry...let it thaw for 40 minutes as instructed, and no more, it's best worked with when cold.  And personally, I think she ran it under the broiler for a minute or two.  Anyway, if you love caramelized onions, this is out of sight.  Double the recipe for 8 or more  servings.  We loved it.

In Blondie's abbreviated instructions:

Brown 1 pound of ground beef in dutch oven pot.  Drain and set aside.  In same pot add 1 T. of vegetable oil and saute 1 medium onion and 3 cloves of garlic until soft and tender.  Add beef back to pot.  Add 1 large can of crushed tomatoes and one 15 oz. can of tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil and add 1 medium head of cabbage, chopped loosely.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer on low 45 minutes.  Serve over cooked rice.  Very, very good!!

Now you know I spent a lot of time in bed this past week.  Magazines, books and my Nook were my saving grace.  Somehow we screwed up the closed caption on the TV and even if I had it, I broke my glasses a few weeks ago and am wearing a pair I saved (I save everything) from at least ten years ago.  Every time I move my head from side to side or look down, they fall off.  And since the prescription is old, I can't see a darn thing anyway.  So I read and read and read and I started the above book which I told you I had been gifted with at Christmas.  I was already in the middle of a mystery by another favorite author but this book kept beckoning to me.  So Tuesday I gave into my hard and fast rule to never have two books going at once, and dived into this compilation of the works of Nora Ephron.  It's not my intention to try to get you to read this book, I just want to show you what a crazed woman I become when I get involved with a book that resonates with me.  I started it on Tuesday and last night, Thursday, I finished all 577 pages.  This is not to brag, I was confined to bed and I read non~stop.  Emily called me during the last chapter and I said, "I can't talk, I'm preparing for a big crying jag."  Instead of crying, I spent two hours looking up every crucial and close person in her life on Wikepedia.  I am clearly clearly mad.  Somewhere along the way, whether it be in this book or in something I read on the web, it was mentioned that she tried to inject humor into every aspect of her life.  Hello, Nora.  I'm not as gifted as you were, but this is how I have also tried to deal with life.  Maybe the crying jag will come later. 

I tried to write a Year End Post and for the first time in all of the years I've been blogging, I deleted a big portion of writing.  I worked up to the first 6 months of 2013 and it was consumed with Emily's wedding and then those incidentals of life that I enjoy sharing but certainly aren't "highlight" material.  I never got past May,  It just wasn't interesting enough to repeat, writing or picture~wise.  So you are spared!!

Now, the wind is gusting (a little scarily) and I am so grateful our trees were trimmed last summer (in spite of the fuss I made).  I plan to post and visit more often as I think getting up and around is good for me.  It may just be cabbage stew and crying jags over authors who meant a lot to me and left way before their time, but I'll be here, either making you laugh and smile or boring you to tears.



Sarah said...

Jane, glad you are feeling like getting out and about, though with your winter weather I'd be staying at home by the fire. ;-)
Take care and continue to get better. Warm winter wishes to you!

Leslie said...

Can I tell you.. Stuffed Cabbage is my favorite food ever!!! I haven't had it in so long, I have to try this recipe!!!
Sorry that your back is still hurting ~ glad to hear that you are getting out and about. You found some great deals!
Take it easy and have a great weekend.

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

While not 100% it sounds like you're feeling a little better Jane, glad to hear it! Great buy on the wreaths! I agree with Leslie, love the cabbage dish and I think you'll like the meatballs with noodles! Stay warm and take care:@)

Primitive Stars said...

Hi Jane, happy to hear you want to get out, hope the back feels better, not much snow and cold here, makes me want to snuggle in and stay warm and cozy......really great deals out there now, Winter Blessings Francine.

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

A quick note.
Thank you for reading my journal and commenting that we are similar.
What a compliment :) My past much like yours but now with grown children and grandchildren of all ages - my time now is a simple cottage, gardening, writing, camera and many memories of a lot of lifestyles - but I do believe
I like this one the best.
I did not realize you had hurt your back :( heal quick wishes
and you have a new one
that will be reading about your life...I love cabbage rolls and you gave me an idea for the frigid days in store for me by the woods. Also may make some chicken soup..

podso said...

I'm sorry you are still having pain -- but it sounds like some progress if you are up and at HD! (with assistance.) You are really doing the reading! That should encourage some rest. Your snow scene is beautiful but I know you have more than you want. It's cold here too but no snow … I hope you see improvement in your back each day. Take it easy though!

Anonymous said...

I hope you continue to heal, I would love to find a prelit wreath!I just tried that cabbage dish the other day, it turned out good but Garry like the rolls better, lol , more work!!

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family said...

Jane, this post is the very definition of Pot Luck! Good food, good deals, and great reads!

So sorry to hear that you have received a double whammy with your back and a cold. Quite often, the holiday season takes it's toll on one's health.

I too, loved the works of Nora Ephron. I couldn't imagine the 90's without her, ( although, I think "When Harry Met Sally" was '89). Every movie was a gift! I wouldn't be here today to know you if there wasn't a "Julie & Julia"!
My favorite reads are biographies. I will take you up on your recommendation.

I hope and pray that your back gives you some relief soon!

Happy New Year to the beautiful "B's"!

Theresa said...

Oh girl, take care of yourself... the back and the cold! I am happy to hear that you are being well taken care of! SWEET flower to get you in the SPRING feel:) Hugs and prayers coming your way dear friend!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Glad you are feeling better and got to get out of the house for a bit, Jane. Sometimes when you are confined to the house for a period of time, just getting out is a great spirit lifter. We have more snow headed our way tomorrow, so today is run around like a chicken with it's head cut off day. Lots of errands to run while I can be out and about.

Beth said...

I am so glad that you are feeling better Jane. I have a bad back so I know what you are going through. Take care!

Stacey said...

You need to get better friend. Having a hurt back isn't fun.

I'm so glad I don't live where it's that cold. Sounds terrible. Dog days indeed!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I am so sorry you are still confined and this time by freezing temps. Hope your back gets better and betterer.

Glad you at least got the wreaths and the bins. I know about being confined after this fall and two summers back. Stay well and dream of warmer climes. We are in for some chilly weather, too, but not as bad as you described. It has been raining here off and on, and right now it is just blustery. I have on my cotton sweaters. You know, we get cold at 60 degrees and haul out the furs. ;-)

Happy New Year, Janie, and all the best for 2014!



Julie Marie said...

So glad you are able to get up and around some now Jane... a nice quiet New Years Eve at home in front of the fire is just perfect!... I need to get some of those bins at Home Depot... I love getting my home all in order this time of year, and organize everything in bins... how nice of Emily to run you around and then fix you dinner besides!... stay warm in that weather!... 40 mph winds here are called "a breeze"... our east canyon winds top 100 mph!... and we are due for one... (I should not have said that, now we'll get one!)... rest up and get that back better!... xoxo Julie Marie

Penny @ The Comforts of Home said...

A pain in the back is really a pain in the back! I hope you heal quickly. Stay warm!

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

I would have grabbed the wreaths also. I finally have all my decor in tubs....yeahhh!!!

Barbara F. said...

Happy New Year, Jane, to you and your family. Hope your back is feeling much better. Love reading your posts, I feel like I am sitting down at your kitchen table. Stay warm. xo

Karen said...

Happy New Year, Jane... and I sure hope you're feeling better daily. Having shoveled Sh*t for 30 years or so, my back and neck frequently complain. What I have learned is that when you really wrench it, as you did... you just have to give it a good rest or it won't come back to you, no joke intended there.

I love that onion tart recipe, thanks for sharing!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Love anything to do with cabbage and you are such a hoot / love your posts.

I am going to have to try that onion tart one of these days as I do love caramelized onions!

It sounds as if you are slowly getting better but not up to wishes for ocntinual improvement.

we have the cold now but I just read that on Monday or Tuesday or both we'll have wind chills of below thirty degrees. Fun stuff! :)

Low Tide High Style said...

So sorry to hear about your back Jane! I've been out of the loop since before Christmas it seems so I'm just getting caught up...kind of! I hope you heal quickly and stay warm!

xo Kat

Kit said...

Never ever boring. :) I love reading what you are up to. Glad you are mending. I am feeling better and find moving around helps but be careful lifting items. Kit

NanaDiana said...

Jane- I missed your previous posts because I took a family break at Christmas time. I am glad your back is healing-hope that it continues to improve.

It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas and New Years in spite of the back problem...AND you got some reading done!

That carmelized onion tart sounds wonderful. I think I need to try that...once my ovens are working again.

Blessings to you and your family in the New Year- xo Diana

Kathy Moreland said...

Glad you are feeling better. Your bargains sound great.

Guess what, we are having your kind of weather in the South. It's expected to be three degrees on Monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not supposed to happen here! We've gone to the lake house. It's about 20 degrees warmer here right now than at home in the mountains!

I want some of that cabbage. I'll have to give this recipe a try.

Take care and keep improving!
Your friend, Kathy

Rita C. said...

Sounds like you're on the mend, Jane, and that's great!

Your recipes look great, especially that stuffed cabbage. And have you seen the little cubes of various fresh spices you can now buy in the freezer section of Wal Mart? Garlic is one of them - 1 cube = 1 clove. I bought some over the holidays - great stuff!

And I love me some Rubbermaid! Lord, I think I have about 3 doz of the 31 gal tubs in my basement: 12 store Christmas, and the rest store stuff to sell at the antique mall! I have a great system for organizing with them.

Stay warm with all that crazy snow & ice - and please keep it!
Rita C. at Panoply

Wanda said...

Hi Jane ~ Glad the back is better and you were able to get out and about. Your Home Depot trip was surely profitable. Great bins.

We stayed in New Years Eve, but had a wonderful New Years Day with our daughter Julie and her to love on 4 of our teenage grandchildren. I'm so glad they still let me hug them.

Beth said...

Glad you are feeling some better and able to be up and around. Sounds like you had a very fruitful trip to HD. We also bought some bins (Wally World) and the husband started clearing out the basement storage area. Oh my, what a project! It looks a lot better and we were able to throw away plus donate a number of items. More work yet to do. Your New Year's eve sounds perfect to me! So glad I found your blog and am enjoying you so much. Happy 2014!

Lori said...

I love cabbage roll casserole and would make it all the time if hubs ate it too! Glad to hear you got out even if it was just the grocery store. Bonus score at Home Depot though ~ I never think of going there for the after Christmas sales. I think I will get that book ~ adore anything Nora. Happy New Year! xo

susan@avintagefarmwife said...

Those darn backs-they can be such trouble makers. Glad you are feeling a little better. Take care of up there in the northern part of the state. We are preparing for 8-12 inches down our way. Brad is out making sure the tractors will start and our generator will run. Praying it isn't nearly as bad as predicted.Take care, Jane!

Linda said...

I love visiting with you!!!
Adding a prayer that you feel better soon! What a good time I had reading and catching up! Guess what?? I got a prelit Martha Stewart wreath at Home Depot TOO!!!Next Christmas we'll have to see if we 'match!'


Sounds like things are a little wonky at your house right now. I have finally recovered from a bad cold over Christmas. But your back stuff if just hard. Praying you mend well, dear Jane.

Stay safe in this crazy weather.


Melanie said...

Glad to hear your back is a little better and that you finally got out and about. I would've gone bonkers if I hadn't have been out of the house since Christmas! I wonder if you caught a cold when you finally went out in public? I have been so paranoid about catching a cold or especially the flu from any of the public places I go to...I've been washing my hands as soon as I get home. So far, so good. We'll see if it lasts all winter. I have a ton of those Rubbermaid storage bins. Everything in my basement is stored in them. After two basement floods, nothing is in cardboard anymore. Well, guess we'll all be staying in for awhile starting tomorrow. Don't think we'll want to venture out in the -15F temps!

Heaven's Walk said...

Oh I am so glad that you're feeling better, Jane. I hope that you continue to heal and are back to normal soon. Sounds like you had a nice quiet NYE like we did. Stayed put and celebrated all snuggled in our warm house. :)

We made a HD trip this past week too. Completed a couple of projects I've wanted to get done. :)

Stay warm inside and keep counting the days til spring. I am soooo over this winter and am ready for some sunshine and green grass. :)

xoxo laurie

Betsy Brock said...

Happy New Year, Jane! Hope your back continues to get better. In the mean time, just relax and putter around only as you feel like it! Stay warm! We're in for more snow and extremely cold temps the next couple of days, too! As long as we have power, we're good to go. I kind of like that snowed in feeling. Sometimes I can be very productive or enjoy the forced down time. ha.

Traci said...

Hope your back is ok soon! I got LED lights for outside yesterday on clearance!

Maria Elena said...

Happy New Year, Jane! I hope your back is feeling better. Around here, we are fighting the flu. Lord help me! For a while there I didn't think I was going to make it. :) Have a good Sunday!

bj said...

Just don't overdo before your back whatever it takes to get good health back.
Bless your heart...a hurting back is THE WORST.
Glad you are feeling some better.
I LOVE stuffed cabbage...:)

Mary said...

You provided my morning giggles again Jane dear.....just by going to Home Depot!!!!
Hope so much you'll soon be better - back and cold. Thankfully you do have lovely gals who help out so much (thanks super daughters - your mom deserves good care!) you lucky duck! Of course A is great too - sounds just like Bob with regard to reading sale flyers! Must be a man thing - like stained woodwork!!!!

Wish you well, stay warm, watch those winds, pack those pretty bins after the back heals - see you may be heading south later than planned so you have more time to recuperate which is good?

Hugs for January - here it's due to get VERY cold this week so I'm looking forward to staying home - snuggling by the hearth time.
Love ya - Mary

Olive said...

Hi Jane, I am glad you are feeling better. I know you have awfully cold weather. It is even cold for us in the south. Take it easy and do not do too much too quick. best, olive

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

I'm glad to hear your back is a little bit better. Hopefully you'll be back to yourself soon. You got a wonderful deal on those wreaths! Wow! I have the same rule about not having two books going at the same time. I've only broken it a couple of times. :) It's nice when you find a book you really look forward to reading. When I discovered the "Twilight" books, I read the whole series within a 2 week span. My family pretty much survived on sandwiches and cereal that whole time. :)

Gina said...

Happy New Year, Jane! I hope your back is feeling better soon. Stay warm!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Hey... I am back to say, join the club! LOL My things are everywhere. So don't feel bad, my friend. It's a mess. Though I did take some things down at the other place. I was going to have Charles take the Christmas socks off the porches, but people were out there photographing them yesterday so I hated to spoil their fun. I have to go to funerals this week, a board meeting out of town, and a wedding. So I don't know when they are coming down. I have to supervise or it's not done properly. You know the drill! ;-)

Love ya,


Susannah said...

Happy New Years to you! I hope 2014 is your best year yet!!! :-)

Penny said...

Happy New year Jane. I enjoyed reading this post and hope that your back is better soon. Will have to check out the Nora book. My best. Penny

It's me said...

Happy new week from me...x !!

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

We hit Target after Christmas for storage bins. This year will be one of decluttering. Hope you feel better sweetie, stay warm!

Nancy's Notes said...

Jane, so sorry you have been in such pain. Back pain is the worst! Healing will happen and happy you are read Nora's book. I just started reading it and it's really interesting!
Take care and stay warm~

ps, I'm so happy to be back to reading your great blog~ being away from blogland- I missed so much!

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Dear Jane, so sorry to hear about your back. I put mine out months ago and boy oh boy it was the worst pain I had ever felt. Well, that and child birth and when my knees have popped out of place. All painful. :) Took a week for my back to heal. I find it interesting about the ice as I've always heard of ice for swelling and heat for pain. I put a heating pad on my back and that felt so nice. Don't think I would want ice on it. As for the medication, our bodies aren't really supposed to have all those chemicals, so having a headache could be a side effect. It sounds like you had a good Christmas despite the back problems. I use hope the weather clears. We've had rain the past two days which is not really good in this country where drainage is a huge issue. And when things are made of concrete that cracks, leaks are bound to happen. My son is to head back to Colorado on Friday. I do hope the snow storms will have settled by then so that he doesn't have any problems. Wishing you all the best for the new year. Tammy

Vel Criste said...

I feel for you Jane, I really hope your back gets better soon. My husband deals with back pain day in and day out, but even when he gets them, he goes on his zero-gravity apparatus and does a lot of stretching, he says it really helps just a bit of work for some.

It's very cold out here in the south too and we're trying to keep things warm at home. Love that onion thing you showed, might have to try it soon, although would you believe I never worked with pastry puff before?!

take care dear, I love HD too, last year bought a pair of Christmas trees for my planters for $3 each and all my lighted garland for $1.79! HD rocks!

SmilingSally said...

Hi Jane,

I'm so sorry to learn of your bad back. I had/have one too. In 2006, I had spinal surgery (and was bedridden for six months afterwards!) I still cannot fully function. So, my advice is: do NOT give in to surgery. Just continue doing what you are doing and muddle through.

Sorry to be so glum.


Donna said...

Hope you are staying warm and snug, Jane! I see in the news that Chicago is even colder than here in Michigan! And we are well below zero! Hope your back feels better! Such a cute picture of your pup!!

must love junk said...

Jane, I love this post! I can relate-I've been down the last 2 weeks with a bug, and have cabin fever big time! I've been reading nonstop, too, and as I'm typing this the wind is gusting so hard the windows are rattling-yikes!
Hope you're feeling much better, soon! :)

Pondside said...

I love your 'free form' posts, Jane! Happy New Year to you and yours. I hope your back continues to recover - take good care and don't let that cold take hold because it is NOT FUN to have a cough when your back is acting up!

Lynn @The Vintage Nest said...

Kinda of missing in action around here too Jane. Have enjoyed reading your Christmas and New Year's chats. Except for the back (so sorry) looks like it was a wonderful time for you and yours. Stay warm up there. We have frigid temps too but nothing like you all. My goodness. xo

ImSoVintage Laura Walker said...

So sorry that you are still suffering with your back. Slow healing with lots of rest sounds like a good plan. Keep warm, my friend. This is the perfect weather for staynig inside. Thank you for your sweet message on my blog today. xo Laura

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

You never, ever bore Jane!
I always love your posts and knowing you in real life makes them even better.
So sorry it's taking so long for your back to heal.
Backs sure are touchy.
Trying to stay warm again today. Schools cancelled. Dan has had a very long Christmas vacation
We pretty much sat by the fire all day yesterday other than making supper and showering.
Hugs friend,
p.s. I have a new post up, come by and say hi when you can.

Leslie said...

Hi Jane, Sorry to hear you've had back issues.. I've had some too recently and it's no fun. I agree, it's nice to clean things up when the holidays are over BUT I'm not looking forward to the dark grey days of winter.

My Mom used to make stuffed cabbage .. the perfect comfort food! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Debbiedoos said...

Happy New Year Jane! Looks like you been busy as always. I wrote and end of the year post, but wound up leaving a lot out myself. I think yours would have been interesting to recap none-the-less, people forget or missed things too:) You asked me about the silver platter, yes,that was from dollar tree too! XO

LLH Designs said...

Thanks for your puppy tips on my blog...and for your invitation to come say hi here. Thankful to have a minute to venture out! ;) I have to laugh because I would LOVE on sale storage bins. Need some. But missed the sales. Was too busy with sickness and puppy! Oh, well! Blessings and Happy 2014!

Kori said...

Hope your back is feeling better!!!! Happy New year darling! Kori xoxo

Gypsy Heart said...

I've missed you! Finally got a new computer so now I can get back into blogland. I'm sorry to hear about your back. Not sure what the deal is but I do sympathize! My lower back has many problems and so much pain. I had injections 3 weeks ago. It has helped but the pain is not gone for good.

Glad you had a great holiday! The holidays were very difficult for us but we made it through. I think changing traditions helped a lot! I'm hoping this year is much better and brings peace.

Take good care of yourself! I've been thinking of all the bloggers that live in the NE, Midwest, etc. It's been bitterly cold here but not what you have. I do know that I couldn't live in all that snow and cold. :) Our summers are brutal but at least one can get out.


Donna said...

I, too, hope your back gets better. There is nothing as miserable.
The onion tart looks delish....thanks for the recipe. Yum.

chateau chic said...

Hi Jane,
I do hope you're finding relief for your back! It's terrible when the woman of the house feels so helpless. But your home looks so warm and cozy during this deep freeze with the fire and all the wonderful comfort food!
Mary Alice

Anonymous said...

I didn't plant an amaryllis this year, but I generally get three blossoms per amaryllis before they just fall over and go bleh. LOL

I hurt my back YEARS ago, but sometimes still do the stretches and exercises I was given to do... THey work!

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

There is so much of your post I can relate to, Jane. I've been resorting to reading too. If I hadn't already read Nora's book this past year, I'd be buying the e-book right now and digging in. Hope you're feeling we'll soon!