Well, Halloween is over and suddenly, Christmas is in all the stores. Christmas commercials have been seen on the television and people are beginning to think about the upcoming holiday and a few are starting to decorate.

With today’s weather here in Indiana, it seems like summer is still here. I will definitely enjoy these next few days of warm temperatures, but, no matter what the weather, the calendar says we are heading into winter.

What happened to Thanksgiving? Here in Indiana, there is talk on the media that we should do virtual Thanksgiving. My son says we are doing real Thanksgiving, just like other years and I agree, unless someone becomes ill.

What about you? Are you concerned about the upcoming holidays, along with travel and being in one house with many people? Let me know.

Photo taken by me.




A day of thanks

A day of food

A day to rest

A day of good


A day to listen

A day to share

A day for all

A day to care


A day to give

A day to pray

A day to think

A day given us today.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd


Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day. I hope all of you enjoyed the day. I pray we all remembered those without. I had a very nice time last weekend with my boys and their families. I had an enjoyable evening with my daughter and her family. It was so nice, I  spent the night and returned home this morning.

You can tell I was quite relaxed by the photo taken of me Thanksgiving evening.

me and dog 1



Happy Thanksgiving dear friends

I   don’t  know  where  the  time  went  today .  I   planned  on  writing  to  you  earlier. Now it’s  evening  and thoughts  are turning  to  preparations  of tomorrow’s  big turkey  day.

Tomorrow  I  will  be  spending  the  day  with  my  daughter  and my thoughts  will  be  also  with  my family  and  friends  back  in  Indiana. So many  things  change  in our lives as we get older. I say  a silent  prayer and thank  God  for  allowing  me  to  have spent  many  years  with  my parents  and  my brother.

Maybe I   will   take a quick  ride to heaven and sit with my family  at the  big  table. I   will  tell  them  how  much  I  love  them  and  miss  them, then  hurry  back to the  people  who  love  me here  on  earth.

So to each  of  you  no matter  where  you  are  I  wish  you  a  happy  Thanksgiving  Day. God bless you  and  your  family  and  enjoy  what  ever  you  are  doing  tomorrow.

As the Song goes, The Show Must Go On!

It is a pretty common fact that when you get good news, you went through bad news prior. Well, in some ways this is the way it happened for me too. I just wanted to drop a little line and ask for prayers for calmness and bravery.

For the next few days I will go through something hard, and then enjoy the rewards of being a big girl. LOL Tomorrow is where the prayers come in. I am driving to the dentist with my big girl panties on; but as I walk through the cold, heavy metal doors, my stomach will knot up, my legs and teeth will chatter and I will feel faint as I get a tooth pulled.

I am not getting all of them pulled. I have delayed that part. I didn’t want to go home with a mouth full of pain and I would be no joy to be around. I can always be that way after the holidays.  I went to the dentist in the beginning because a large filling cracked and I am going to have that particular tooth pulled in the morning. So pray that I remain strong and that big girl I described above.

My reward will be; the next day I get to leave with my daughter and family to head back to Indiana to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. Yes, I am overly excited I guess, but why not? I haven’t seen my two sons and their families since Sept. 29th. Have I been in Russellville, Ky that long? Yup, I guess so.

So as the song goes, on with the show!!!!

Different Ways to Cook a Turkey, Along With Recipes

Each year, people across the country sit down around the table on Thanksgiving to eat turkey, one of America’s favorite festive birds. Although most of us are used to eating turkey that has been roasted in an oven, there are many different ways to cook a turkey that you might not know about. If you would like to test out a new way to prepare turkey this holiday season, try one of these 5 turkey cooking techniques.

1. Brining

Regardless of how you decide to prepare your turkey, one of the best ways to get a flavorful bird is to brine the turkey first. Brining adds moisture and flavor to the meat, preventing it from drying out. It takes anywhere from 10 to 24 hours to brine a turkey.

You’ll need a container large enough to hold your turkey and fully submerge it in brine, as well enough room to refrigerate the container. Brine is made with table salt dissolved in water and seasonings, such as herbs, garlic, honey, brown sugar, chili peppers, and molasses.

2. Oven Roasting

Oven roasting is by far the most popular way to cook turkey, but everyone has a different opinion about the best way to oven roast a turkey. The typical process of roasting a turkey consists of thawing the turkey, stuffing it, and sticking it into an oven for a few hours. Many people also elect to cook the stuffing separately rather than in the cavity so that the meat roasts more evenly and potential sanitary concerns are avoided.

Since the outcome of oven roasting can result in dry, stringy, and tasteless meat for the unpracticed cook, there are a number of methods to help ensure the turkey remains moist. Some people recommend deconstructing the turkey and roasting the parts separately to ensure that the white meat is as tender as the dark meat. Another option is to place the whole turkey into the oven when it is completely frozen and solid for a perfectly browned, tender, and moist bird.

Yet another alternative is to roast the turkey upside down, or in other words, breast-side down. When you cook a turkey breast-side down, the skin on the breast does not get too brown and the juices from the turkey moisten the breast while the turkey cooks.

Oven temperatures will vary, but should be set at no lower than 325° F. Cook times will also vary by size of bird, as well as whether or not the bird is stuffed. An unstuffed 16 to 20 pound turkey will take 5 to 5-1/2 hours to cook. The meat can be brined, seasoned or injected with marinades and can also be basted throughout the cooking process, in order to help to keep the bird moist.

3. Deep-frying

Deep-fried turkey has become popular in recent years because of its crispy texture and tender, delicious interior. However, stories abound of people who have started house fires or injured themselves by deep-frying turkeys at home.

Deep-frying a turkey over the stove can be dangerous, but you can use an electric fryer to minimize risks. When deep-frying a turkey, either use a fresh turkey or make sure that the turkey is completely thawed. Add peanut oil to a fryer, but do not exceed the maximum fill line. Preheat the oil in the fryer to 350° F. You should not stuff a turkey when deep-frying. Cook the stuffing separately.

Pat the turkey dry with paper towels and flavor it with seasonings, injections or marinades while the oil is heating. When the oil is heated, lower the turkey into the fryer and make sure that it is fully submerged. Cook it for 3.5 minutes per pound. When the turkey is done, slowly lift it from the pot and let it drain on paper towels.

4. Grilling

Grilling is not a traditional way to cook a turkey, but it creates a tender, juicy bird with a crisp exterior. Remove giblets from the turkey and stuff the cavity with onions, herbs, spices, lemon wedges, and vegetables. Tie the legs together with a kitchen string. Spread softened butter and salt and pepper on the turkey skin and place the turkey breast-side up on the grill in a rectangular metal or foil drip pan. Cover the grill and cook the turkey for 11 to 14 minutes per pound. Make sure you have plenty of additional charcoal and somewhere to light the coals off the grill. Continue brushing the turkey with melted butter or basting sauces to keep it moist while it cooks.

5. Smoking

Smoked turkey is tender and flavorful. It takes 30 to 40 minutes per pound to smoke a turkey. Avoid smoking too large of a turkey because it can increase the risk of food contamination. To smoke a turkey, you need a meat thermometer, smoker, and good hardwood. Hardwoods that add a nice flavor to smoked turkey include hickory, oak, cherry, and apple. Use a kettle grill as a smoker, and build a fire that holds a steady temperature of around 235° F. Plan on smoking the turkey for about 30 minutes per pound. Brine the turkey before smoking, and use dry rub or brush olive oil on the skin to give the meat more moisture and flavor.

While all of these Thanksgiving turkey tips can result in juicy, tender meat, no matter how you decide to cook your turkey, you will need to make sure the bird reaches an internal temperature of at least 165° F in order to be safe to eat (United States Department of Agriculture). Test the temperature of the turkey in two different places, but not too close to the bone, and let it rest for at least 15 minutes after it is done so that the juices can settle. Try one of these five different ways to cook a turkey today, and change up the taste of your turkey this Thanksgiving.


















Al, I Miss You and Love You; Happy Thanksgiving

You have told me so many times that it is hard to overcome the loss of a loved one. As Thanksgiving nears and The Christmas season draws closer, my heart aches more than yesterday.

Oh how I miss Al. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. This time of year last year was becoming quite difficult. Al was pretty much bed bound. I never thought MSA would get as bad as it did.

No matter how big of blessing it was for him to be relieved of his pain and torture my heart is very selfish. Just one more time, I think so often, if I could see him and rub his arm just one more time.

When I was thinking about moving here to Kentucky, I used to have big tugs pulling at my heart. I would think, do I leave Al and all these memories of him and his belongings behind or do I stay and eventually I will heal.

It was one night when I was sleeping. I awoke to see Al standing at the foot of my bed. He was standing. He was the picture of health as if the clock has been turned back twenty years earlier. He was smiling right at me. He was helping me place items in empty boxes.

I knew in that moment that Al was telling me that it was alright to move. To be able to put the sadness a way and the horrid memories of watching him leave me, he knew I needed to get out of that house.

My heart gets the biggest ache  when ever I see The Lone Ranger on TV. Al loved that and Pawn Stars and the good old stand by, Gunsmoke. Today, I can still not watch these shows. When I get close to these channels when I am TV surfing, I scurry past them as quick as possible.

Christmas and Thanksgiving are going to be very difficult to me. It will be not be mentioned by me in order not to bring sadness around my family, but the unspoken words in my heart will cry out to the heavens as my memories come flooding back to the past seven years.

I went to U-tube and found the video I made of Al right after he passed. I watched it a couple of times and yes, I cried. Crying actually helps me. It releases the pain I feel. My life will always carry this large void, but I am managing the pain. I think this is what we do. We never get past our loss; we just learn how to handle the pain each day.


Thanksgiving is More than Just Food

It is almost upon us. The day we look forward to all year-long. A day spent with family and friends. Eating those specially prepared foods our mouths haven’t lingered on for 365 days.

Not everyone will be able to take part of this feast, and for this, it is very sad. I want you to do two things for me  since you are taking the time to read this. One, I want you to tell me how you spend your Thanksgiving Day and what you like most and what you don’t like most about it.

Two, please pray for the people less fortunate. They are everywhere. Your neighbors, friends, the lonely, the ones who have lost family and friends. Pray that we each get through this holiday. Pray that no one is forgotten. Pray for comfort and health, just pray.





My Kids and Grandchildren

I had been having a very rough week, so when my daughter and her family invited me over, I jumped on it. It was fantastic. A real dose of medication for my soul. My daughter and her husband are very good cooks.

My daughter made all soft foods which I very much appreciated since I have that bad tooth. She made  home-made chicken pot pie. Along with that she also made home-made dinner rolls and cupcakes with blue frosting.

I was in heaven. I don’t eat very well and I realize it. I think it is hard to find fun and interesting food ideas when dining for one. It is much easier to grab a sandwich, or fry up a couple of eggs. One day this week I had grilled cheese for breakfast.

Eating at their house along with the good company really hit right where I needed it. After supper was over we watched some Christmas movies and then they put up their Christmas tree. I helped decorate by hanging some ornaments until I dropped one. Luckily my daughter knew to give me only ones that wouldn’t break, so no damage done, but I didn’t want to risk breakage, so I sat and watched the rest being completed.

It was pure joy to spend time with family that I love so much. It sort of made me wish I had a tree to put up here at home, but they are pretty expensive, so I will pass up this year, maybe next year.

After the decorating was done, and my belly was on over-load, my son-in-law made his famous Olive bread. I am so in love with it. Crunchy on the crust, warm and melting cheese. I swear if I wasn’t a diabetic I could have definitely eaten more than one piece, even with a full gut.

Looking around their home just plain old warms the soul up. It is comfy and inviting. Makes you never want to leave and of course a big part of me didn’t want to come home to an empty and quiet house.

I spent the night and woke up to a hot, steaming cup of coffee. What a way to start the day, coffee with a good daughter. I am home now and I am keeping in my front of my mind that she gave me good news. I get to go home for Thanksgiving. I will be spending my Thanksgiving with my two sons and their families this coming Saturday and Sunday. I can’t wait. There is nothing better in my life, than my kids and grandchildren. Life suddenly is looking up. For today, Sunday, I am putting my Parkinson’s disease on hold and the fact I need a job. There is always tomorrow to think about that. I am just going to treasure the memories I just made.me, nov 14

The Store and the Employees

From a store’s point:

“Hey Bill, you know sales have been dropping off. This thing they call hardship people are going through is just a bunch of crap. We all know everyone needs clothes, groceries, gas and all the other things in between. Isn’t anything that is ever going to stop that. What do you suggest we do?”

” Well Ted, you know I have a heart at Christmas just like everyone else; but the facts are stamped  black and white. Do you want to be able to fly you and your family to the Islands next summer like we talked about? I’m sure your wife doesn’t want to give up the Nanny and the Housekeeper she has had for a few years now. We have to protect everyone up here on this floor. We have an obligation don’t we?”

Bill nods his head in agreement. A slight silence falls around them before Bill speaks once again. ” We don’t have much of a choice when you really think about it. We will have to keep our stores open on Thanksgiving and Christmas; but we will give something back to the employees. We will keep our regular hours 7a-9p on Thanksgiving, and we won’t reopen on Christmas day until one. I guess if the employees want to bitch, they can always leave. After all, we know employees are a dime a dozen.”

With that the two shake hands and walk out the office to let the others know of their decision.

From an employee’s point:

“Jeez Sue, I am really tired. We have all been working for days with only one day off a week for the last few weeks. This holiday shopping season sure puts a damper on my sore feet and back. What about you Mary, are you feeling it too?”

” I sure am feeling it Sue, in more ways than one. My grandson was over last evening. I really wanted to visit with him; but all I could think of was my aching feet and how I wanted to soak them. I have blisters on my feet. If only I could afford to buy an extra pair of shoes to trade-off and on while we work these long days. Well, Timmy asked me why we didn’t have our Christmas tree up like down at the job. I smiled and told him Grandma  has been so busy, but I gave him a hug and promised him I would get it up soon and he could help.”

Both ladies smiled as they stood in silence understanding the unspoken words.

” Yes, I understand where you are coming from. Holiday decorations go up so early, kids just don’t understand all the work that goes into getting the stores ready; but you know we have to listen to our boss. Without them we wouldn’t have a job and jobs are hard to find.”

Sue continued, ” Of course there is more than the work at the store. There is a big dinner to plan, groceries to buy, then it seems I make the biggest portion of the meal. Then there is the Christmas shopping and gift wrapping. Wow, just thinking about it makes me worn out.”

Mary states,” Well the one good thing that keeps me going is that we at least get part of Thanksgiving Day off and all of Christmas. Even though we have to do a lot to get to it, just seeing the smiles on the grandkids faces and everyone talking and enjoying the meal is worth it all. This is what keeps me pushing forward.”

Sue replies, ” Oh Mary, haven’t you seen the paper posted on the employee board in the break room?” Mary shakes her head no and places her hands on her hips. ” The  notice says we are all working the entire day on Thanksgiving. They let us off Christmas morning, but we have to be back at one to reopen.”

Mary puts her hands over her eyes and weeps. Sue places her arms around Mary and gives her a hug. ” It’s going to be alright. Our families will understand. We will get through this.”

” That isn’t the point Sue. They will understand but it isn’t fair. The store just doesn’t care about us. They only want to make sure they get every penny.”


Thanksgiving Meal Recipes

Need ideas for your Thanksgiving meal? I found some that looked mouth-watering. Here they are for you. Maybe you can grab one and use. If you do, you have to let me know what you thought.

Classic Pumpkin Pie

Classic Pumpkin Pie

This homemade pumpkin pie recipe uses homemade ginger-spiced whipped cream as an extra surprise. Thanksgiving dessert never tasted so good!

20 min.prep time 1:40total time
8 servings
13 Ratings





1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water


1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin*
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice**
1/2 teaspoon salt

Ginger Whipped Cream

1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


Heat oven to 425°F.Combine flour and salt in bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in enough water with fork just until flour is moistened. Shape dough into ball; flatten slightly.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface into 12-inch circle. Fold into quarters. Place dough into ungreased 9-inch pie pan; unfold, pressing firmly against bottom and sides. Trim crust to 1/2 inch from edge of pan. Crimp or flute edge. Set aside.

Beat eggs at medium speed in bowl until thick and lemon-colored. Add all remaining filling ingredients; beat until well mixed. Pour filling ingredients into prepared crust. Bake 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Bake 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.

Beat 1/2 cup whipping cream at high speed in bowl, scraping bowl often, until soft peaks form. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and ginger. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Top each serving with dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle with additional ground ginger, if desired.

Store pie and whipped cream in refrigerator.


*Substitute 2 cups mashed cooked fresh pumpkin.

**Substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/8 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and cloves.


Sweet Potatoes


6 medium (about 3 1/2 pounds) orange sweet potatoes or yams, cut into 2-inch chunks
3 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Butter
1 1/2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


1/3 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup sliced green onions


Combine sweet potatoes and enough water to cover in 4-quart saucepan. Cook over high heat 5-6 minutes or until water comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high. Cook 30-35 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain. Cool slightly. Peel potatoes.Heat oven to 375°F.

Place sweet potatoes and all remaining potato ingredients into bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until smooth.

Spoon potato mixture into lightly greased 2-quart casserole. Cover; bake 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in small nonstick skillet until sizzling; add pecans and sugar. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, 2-3 minutes or until pecans are golden. Remove from heat.

Sprinkle potatoes with pecans and green onion, just before serving.

Recipe Tip

– To make ahead, prepare sweet potato mixture and pecans as directed. Do not bake sweet potato mixture; cover and refrigerate. Before meal time, heat oven to 375°F.; bake as directed. Just before serving, sprinkle with pecans and onions.
Cheesy Carrot and Bacon Bake


6 to 8 medium (4 cups) carrots, sliced 1/4-inch
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup milk
6 (3/4-ounce) slices Land O Lakes® Deli American, quartered


1 cup seasoned croutons, crushed


Heat oven to 350°F.Place carrots into 2-quart saucepan; add enough water to cover. Cook over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until just tender. Drain. Place cooked carrots into ungreased 8-inch square baking dish.

Cook bacon in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until cooked but not crisp; add celery and onion. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes or until celery is crisply tender.

Stir in flour, salt and dry mustard. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, 1 minute or until bubbly. Stir in milk with whisk. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, 4-5 minutes or until mixture thickens and comes to a full boil. Continue boiling 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted.

Pour sauce over carrots. Sprinkle crushed croutons over carrots. Bake 35-40 minutes or until bubbly in center and bread cubes are lightly browned.

Recipe Tip

To make ahead, prepare as directed except do not top with croutons or bake. Pour sauce over carrots; refrigerate overnight. Crush croutons; place into resealable plastic food bag. To bake, remove carrots from refrigerate; let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Heat oven to 350°F. Sprinkle carrots with crushed croutons; bake 35-40 minutes or until bubbly in center and croutons are lightly browned.
Grandma’s Dinner Rolls
3 tablespoons warm water (105°F. to 115°F.)
1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Land O Lakes® Butter, melted, if desired


Place warm water in bowl; stir in yeast and 1/4 teaspoon sugar until dissolved. Let stand 5-10 minutes or until mixture starts to foam around edges.Place milk and butter in 1-quart saucepan; cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is almost melted.

Combine 1/4 cup sugar and salt in bowl. Add warm milk mixture; mix well. Add egg; beat at medium speed until well mixed. Check the temperature in the bowl. It should be less then 115°F. If it is warmer, let mixture cool slightly. Add yeast mixture; continue beating until well mixed. Add 2 cups flour; beat until mixture is smooth.

Stir in enough remaining flour with wooden spoon, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough is easy to handle. Let dough rest 5 minutes.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if dough is sticky. Place into greased bowl; turn greased side up.

Cover; let rise in warm place 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.

Punch down dough. Divide dough in half. Cut each half into 9 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Place balls onto large greased baking sheets. Cover with plastic food wrap; let rise 30-45 minutes or until almost doubled in size

Heat oven to 350ºF.

Bake 12-14 minutes or until light golden brown. Brush warm rolls with melted butter, if desired.


Southern Pecan Pie


Southern Pecan Pie

Southern Pecan Pie

Pecan pie that is sure to become a tradition on your dessert table.

20 min.prep time 1:40total time
8 servings
7 Ratings





1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 tablespoons cold water


1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (4-ounce) package (1 cup) pecan halves


Land O Lakes® Heavy Whipping Cream, sweetened, whipped, if desired


Heat oven to 375°F.Combine flour and salt in bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in enough water just until flour is moistened. Shape into ball; flatten slightly.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface into 12-inch circle. Fold into quarters. Place dough into 9-inch pie pan; unfold, pressing firmly against bottom and sides. Trim crust to 1/2 inch from edge of pan. Crimp or flute edge. Set aside.

Combine corn syrup, brown sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla and salt in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Stir in pecans.

Pour into crust. Bake 50-55 minutes until center is set. Cool completely.

Top each serving with whipped cream, if desired.