Caring for Pets in the Summer

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Summer Pet Care 1

Summer Pet care

I’s all about our pets and we have some tips and advice for the dog and a bit about cats to keep them safe this summer.

My daughter-in-law Ashley, who has worked as a veterinarian tech, and LOVES animals, was so kind to prepare this article for us. Thanks Ash!

   Updated with even more very useful information.  Please check with your veterinarian about any questions concerning this post.




 Summer Pet Care

4th of July Pet Safety

More pets are lost on July 4th than on any other day. Here are some tips to help keep your pet safe:

  • Be sure your pet is wearing an up-to-date ID tag on its collar at all times.
  • Take a current photo of your pet, just in case you need to locate your animal.
  • Exercise your dog early in the day before the celebrations and parties begin. This will cause the dog to be tired, calm and easier to relax during the noise and commotion that comes with this holiday.
  • Keep fireworks and sparklers away from all pets!!!
  • During cookouts, ask guests to play with pets away from bbq flames.

If your pet is afraid of loud noises:

  • Play a cd or the radio with soft music to drown out the sounds of the fireworks
  • If possible, keep the pet in the basement where the noises cannot penetrate the area as well.
  • Ask your veterinarian for a tranquilizer to help calm your pet if it is severely anxious.
  • Give your pet distractions, such as a frozen treat or chew bone.

 

Tips and Suggestions

Pets can easily get over heated, some breeds more susceptible to heat related problems such as very thick coated cats and dogs (ex: Akitas & Malamutes – long haired cats & dogs) and those with flat faces (boxers, pugs, Persian cats).

  • Leaving a pet in a car during the heat, even with the windows cracked can be dangerous. Even when it is 70-80 degrees outside, it can quickly rise to 100 degrees in the vehicle. Leaving a pet in a car, even for a few minutes can be dangerous for the animal.
  • Use caution when taking your dog while exercising because it is closer to the ground and will get heated much more quickly then you will.
  • To help with the heat, if you have a thick coated pet, trimming its coat will help. However, avoid going to short as the layers in their coat protect them from heat and sunburn.
  • When using bug spray for pets, do not use anything with DEET in it. There are all natural ones, like Burt’s Bee’s (which is what I use for my pups) and some made specially for pets, found at most pet store.
  • For sun screen, find one that does NOT contain Zinc Oxide, it is toxic to animals. Baby Sun screens, and animal specific usually do not have Zinc Oxide.
  • It’s not a good idea to shave your pets hair very short. The hair acts like a barrier to protect again the Sun’s rays. Try thinning your pets hair, by brushing with a hair thinning brush like the Furminato
  • Heart Worms have been an increasing issue passed along to dogs by mosquitoes. Ask your vet for more information and preventative measures
  • When using insecticides and pesticides make sure these are safe for use around pets; otherwise they can be lethal to animals.
  • Check often to make sure your pet has plenty of clean water. When traveling with your pet there are many options for water such as special water bottles to spill-proof water bowls.
  • To cool down your pup of any age, put cool water in a small wading pool and be sure to keep enough water for the dog.
  • When is hot too hot?

IMG_66196259441554_resized (3)


How to tell if your pet is suffering from heat stroke:

Early stages:

  • Heavy panting
  • Rapid breathing
  • Excessive breathing
  • Bright red gums & tongue
  • Hard time keeping balance
  • If your pet has these symptoms and you cannot cool down your pet and advanced signs of heat stroke begin to become apparent, immediately go to the veterinarian.

Advanced stages:

  • White or blue gums
  • Lethargic and unwilling to move
  • Uncontrollable urination or defecation
  • Labored, noisy breathing
  • Shock

If your dog or cat shows any of the signs above, immediately try to cool them down by:

  • Apply rubbing alcohol to paws
  • Apply ice packs to groin area
  • Pour cool water on them
  • Give it ice chips and small amounts of water
  • Offer Pedialyte to restore electrolytes

***One way to tell if an animal is dehydrating is to pinch the skin on the back of its neck and pull up and let go. If it snaps back into place your pet is fine. If it is slow to go back in place, your pet is dehydrating. If the skin does not go back down, or takes a long time, your pet is severely dehydrated and should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.



If you happen to see a pet left in a car when it is hot outside options are:

  • Take note of the vehicle’s make, model and license plate. Ask the store manager or security
  • Help you locate the owner of the car.
  • In many states it is against the law to leave an animal in a hot car. If you live in an area with this law, call animal control or law enforcement.
  • Keep an eye on the pet in the vehicle until help or the owner arrives.

Traveling with pets:

  • Take plenty of water while traveling or hiking.
  • Pack ‘poop’ bags and use them. Be a responsible pet owner.
  • Do your homework and make sure that the location you want to take your pet is a pet-friendly place. Most hiking trails require that your dog is on a leash.
  • A retractable leash allows your dog plenty of room to play, while allowing a tight rein when needed.
  • Take along a dog toy, that way if you wear out before the dog does, you can sit, throw the toy for them to fetch.
  • If hiking or going to a lake, your dog will most likely be very dirty or wet; pack towels to cover your seats for the ride home.
  • If you take your dog on a hike or in the open, there is the potential for an encounter with a rodent or wild animal which could pose potential threat of disease such as rabies. Make sure your pet is up to date on its vaccines.
  • There is a vaccine to help protect against rattle snake venom. It does not stop the venom, but slows it down enough that you have more time to get your pet into the vet.




Taking your dog to the park:

  • Treat this activity with your dog, just as you would a child and do not take eyes off them. Though you may know the temperament of your own pet, you do not know that of other dogs.
  • Make sure your dog is healthy and up to date on vaccines. It only takes one sick puppy for others to catch it. For instance Parvo is a highly contagious and deadly disease that can easily be spread throughout the dog community. It mostly affects young puppies and unvaccinated dogs. It is wise to avoid places like dog parks and pet shops until your dog has been vaccinated at least twice for the Parvo disease. Parvo can live in the soil for many years, making it an easy disease to spread from dog to dog.
  • Please clean up after your dog!!! Keep ‘poop’ bags in your car or with you if walking.
  • Many weeds can also harm your dog, such as fox tails which imbed themselves in a dogs ears, eyes, armpits and toes. Ask your veterinarian which plants and weeds to be cautious of in your area and what to look for if your pet is exposed.

 The Yellow Dog Project

If you own a dog that ‘needs their own space’ while out with other dogs, The Yellow Dog Project is the solution! The concept is this: if you see a dog with a yellow ribbon tied to its leash or collar this signals to give the dog space and not to approach the animal.

Possible reasons a dog needs space:

  • Health issues
  • Elderly
  • Dog in training
  • Animal in rehabilitation from surgery
  • Dog is frightened/aggressive toward other dogs or certain types of people (example: children)

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




FREE Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags

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8 Free download Gifts Tags to choose from

8 Free Tags to help you meet new neighbors in an easy and comfortable way!Use these FREE Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags to meet your new neighbors!

Most of us find it a bit uncomfortable to introduce our self to someone we haven’t met before, or hardly know.  It’s….odd, right?

Have you moved and had someone stop by and make you glad you bought in the area?  It makes a huge difference in your attitude!

After 25 years in our home, handsome hubby Stan and I moved to a new-to-us home.

It’s an interesting experience at our age, without young kids to naturally help us meet people, reach out and find new friends.

Those who have invited us into their home, been friendly, dropped by with a treat and a welcome smile, have done more than they probably can imagine.

We feel it’s important to build a new reservoir of friends, as well as keeping a pool of friends that we already know.  

As I’ve thought about WHY helping new move-in’s in our neighborhood feel welcome would be important, here are a few reasons:

  • unity
  • safety
  • harmony
  • people can help each other in countless ways if they know each other

One of the best ways to accomplish this is to take a small gift or treat and say ‘HELLO’. 

After my experience of moving, a little ‘HI’, or a small treat, is truly one of the kindest things we can do.

To help make it easier, less expensive and more creative, I’ve created for you EIGHT FREE WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD TAGS  that are editable/fill-in so you can personalize them!  Download them HERE or free 

I’ve put together some ideas of how to use these tags, along with a few links of where to find a few of the items to check out if you’d like. 

But, most importantly, get out and meet those new neighbors by just saying WELCOME so they can enjoy your friendship! 

It’s important to learn who lives near you, practice meeting new people and you’ll be amazed at what you will become as a result!  A great blessing to many!!!

8 different Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags to put on various items as described in the post to make it really easy and comfortable to meet new neighbors

8 Free Editable/Fill-in Welcome Neighborhood Tags

Here I used dish cloths and dish soap.  Keeping some good quality dish cloths on hand like THESE to give a couple with the tag and soap would be a great welcome gift.

 

8 different Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags to put on various items as described in the post to make it really easy and comfortable to meet new neighbors

8 Free Editable/Fill-in Welcome Neighborhood Tags

Making quick bread in disposable pans and attaching with a bright ribbon would make anyone feel welcome.  I made my BEST Poppy Seed Bread for this and it’s always a favorite.

 

 

8 different Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags to put on various items as described in the post to make it really easy and comfortable to meet new neighbors

8 Free Editable/Fill-in Welcome Neighborhood Tags

This little package is not only fancy, but it’s very useful.  Wrapped individually are: 3 pack of toilet paper on the bottom, and on the top are paper towels and a box of tissue.  Not expensive, yet the new-move-in would feel very special as they ‘nest’ with this tag and it’s supplies. 

 

 

8 different Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags to put on various items as described in the post to make it really easy and comfortable to meet new neighbors

8 Free Editable/Fill-in Welcome Neighborhood Tags

Who doesn’t like chocolate right!  A brownie mix, hot pad, oven mitt and spatula round out this welcome gift and tag. The possibilities are endless with a kitchen tag: a whisk, any quick mix, measuring cups, kitchen scissors—the skies the limit with this tag. 

 

 

 

8 different Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags to put on various items as described in the post to make it really easy and comfortable to meet new neighbors

8 Free Editable/Fill-in Welcome Neighborhood Tags

A cleaner and a really good microfiber towel like THIS or kitchen towels with this tag.   Give a one or two of the towels with some cleaner and it would definitely be welcomed by anyone when moving in, since there is always cleaning to be done. 

 

 

 

8 different Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags to put on various items as described in the post to make it really easy and comfortable to meet new neighbors

8 Free Editable/Fill-in Welcome Neighborhood Tags

Any sweet will compliment this tag.  Simply attach a bag of candy, or a jar, or wrap with a ribbon if you’d like and head out to meet the new neighbors. 

 

 

 

8 different Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags to put on various items as described in the post to make it really easy and comfortable to meet new neighbors

8 Free Editable/Fill-in Welcome Neighborhood Tags

This tag is EASY to use with a bag of pre-popped popcorn of any kind, or a box of ready-to-pop.  It doesn’t matter, because you are making the newbies know you are so glad they moved it.

 

8 different Welcome To The Neighborhood Tags to put on various items as described in the post to make it really easy and comfortable to meet new neighbors

8 Free Editable/Fill-in Welcome Neighborhood Tags

Pick up a house plant, vegetable or herb plant and this tag is ready to go.  If the container isn’t quite what you want to show off, trim a craft sack of any color to use as a cover.  HERE is a twine collection that should cover about any need. 

Make sure to download your  FREE Welcome To the Neighborhood Tags that are editable/fill-in to make it quick and relaxed so you get out to welcome your new friends.  

In this post are eight tags to attach to small gifts or homemade goodies

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2019

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Kids making posters

Posters For Local Assisted Living Or Care Center

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Kids making posters

Kids of all ages can easily make general or themed posters or decorations for your local Assisted Living or Care Center

Posters For Local Assisted Living Or Care Center

If we teach our family to be kind and to serve, it is one of the most important attributes we can give to them. 

It’s an investment of time and energy that’s never a waste, or unappreciated, even if things do not always go perfectly during the process. 

However, if we are persistent, we will see amazing results in how our family reaches out to each other with kindness.

 So how can we help them learn to  serve with all the demands on our busy schedules?

This project is super easy, quick to prepare and inexpensive.

And the best part is besides our family doing a worthwhile activity, those who benefit from our kind service with will appreciate our time and effort.

Another huge plus, this can be done by ALL AGES!!! 

 

PURPOSE: Did you know that many Care Centers and Assisted Living facilities do not have the funds for every day and holiday decorations? 

In fact, some who live there may not even have loved ones near by to visit, or bring them a little something to spruce up their room, or the central area where they gather to eat and visit.

By a simple act of making a general or themed decoration, it shows a huge amount of kindness, as well as teaching our family to look beyond them self and to others.

And don’t worry about how crafty you are, or aren’t, the residents will be thrilled with any type of decoration that you come up with.  

I have younger grand-kids right now; up to eight years old,  and this is how they can be creative, and it’s perfect!

It’s so simple!

Supplies-

poster board, markers, crayons and foam shapes.  You can certainly do anything your heart desires from painting simple foam table decorations to crafting extravagantly; all depending on your ability and the ages of course.  Everything will be appreciated!

Be sure to explain who the posters are for and why they were making them, then let the fun begin!!!

Working on general themed posters to take to the local Assisted Living/Care Center

Kids making posters

Kids of all ages can easily make general or themed posters or decorations for your local Assisted Living or Care Center

Kids making posters

Kids of all ages can easily make general or themed posters or decorations for your local Assisted Living or Care Center

 

Here are the themed posters we did for Halloween – 

Doing service as a family is easy and quick as I bring you ideas for quick, inexpensive, free and fast ideas for all ages. Children, teens, young adults, the entire family. Do you wonder where to find joy? How to be truly happy? Where to turn, what to fill your 'bucket' with that is lasting? How you can bring joy to your family and loved ones? I have ideas and resources for you!

Doing Service is easy as a family!

For this project, we had five posters to deliver when the kiddos were finished. 

Doing service as a family is easy and quick as I bring you ideas for quick, inexpensive, free and fast ideas for all ages. Children, teens, young adults, the entire family. Do you wonder where to find joy? How to be truly happy? Where to turn, what to fill your 'bucket' with that is lasting? How you can bring joy to your family and loved ones? I have ideas and resources for you!

Doing Service is easy as a family!

Due to schedules and school, only one of the grand kids could help deliver the posters on behalf of our family.

Doing service as a family is easy and quick as I bring you ideas for quick, inexpensive, free and fast ideas for all ages. Children, teens, young adults, the entire family. Do you wonder where to find joy? How to be truly happy? Where to turn, what to fill your 'bucket' with that is lasting? How you can bring joy to your family and loved ones? I have ideas and resources for you!

Doing Service is easy as a family!

Meeting many of the residents was the highlight!  They were finishing a program when we arrived, so this little cutie had the opportunity to meet some who lived at this particular care center.

After the shyness wore off, she visited and had a good time.

Those there, expressed their gratitude and happiness at having others care enough to take the time to make decorations for them and bring some ‘holiday fun’ to their doors.  They hoped for ‘every-day’ decorations too:) (Note: There was only one little decorated bowl in the entire place that my daughter and I could see, so this is a need everywhere, if you  are interested in this type of service, for any month of the year!)

Doing service as a family is easy and quick as I bring you ideas for quick, inexpensive, free and fast ideas for all ages. Children, teens, young adults, the entire family. Do you wonder where to find joy? How to be truly happy? Where to turn, what to fill your 'bucket' with that is lasting? How you can bring joy to your family and loved ones? I have ideas and resources for you!

Doing Service is easy as a family!

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2017, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

Hot Cocoa and Apple Cider Bar

EASY Neighborhood Hot Cocoa Bar

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Hot Cocoa and Apple Cider BarEASY Neighborhood Hot Cocoa Bar

You too can set up an easy Hot Cocoa bar — really you can! I will show you how.  In fact, you can simply have hot water and the dry mixes and that would be really fun too. 

Wondering when to have it?  It’s always a good time!  

Stan and I have done 30 Open House style Dinners I believe, but we decided to do a Hot Cocoa Bar this time, and it turned out fabulous, or I should say scrumptious.

So who do you invite?  

Well, you could invite your family, or your friends, or what about your neighbors?

We decided to put the word out there, but to make sure that every single house in our neighborhood – all 171 was invited.

Did people come?  YEP!

How did we do it?  We asked for help of course and you should too!  I’ll tell you more about that.

I’ve also included tips and recipes, just in case you might want them:) Click on any blue for easy linking

Let’s get this delicious party started:

To begin: we got hold of some really inexpensive Chinese take-out containers like these HERE

Neighborhood Hot Cocoa bar

Neighborhood Hot Cocoa bar

Then we filled them with my yummy White Chocolate Covered Corn Pops.  You can find the recipe HERE

Neighborhood Hot Cocoa Bar

Neighborhood Hot Cocoa Bar

We had some help as I mentioned, because angels always come to our rescue.  Natalie, who has a FB page HERE  made the adorable tags.  She  makes all sorts of cards and tags that are handcrafted, unique, each one extraordinary and always special gifts.  Make sure to check out her page!

 

 

Our neighbors, more angels; Bret & Teresa Cutler and their sons, helped us deliver almost all of them after Stan and I put them together.

Neighborhood Hot Cocoa Bar

Neighborhood Hot Cocoa Bar

For the BIG event I made my Crock Pot Creamy Hot Chocolate.  It’s so easy and you can find it HERE  I did make a change of part semi-sweet chocolate chips and part milk chocolate chips so it was not too sweet or too dark of a flavor for the add-ins/mix-in’s.  (See the notes at the bottom.)

This thermos kept the drinks perfectly warm and it didn’t pick up the taste of either the hot chocolate OR the cider either – at least not in my situation. 

Neighborhood Hot Cocoa Bar

eighborhood Hot Cocoa Bar

And I also made my Caramel Apple Cider, the recipe is HERE

Neighborhood Hot Cocoa Bar

Neighborhood Hot Cocoa Bar

I didn’t want to exclude anyone, so I had hot water in the 2 thermos’s and Steven’s Milk Hot Chocolate which is gluten-free.

Neighborhood Hot Cocoa Bar

Neighborhood Hot Cocoa Bar

Now for the FUN part!  I had add-in’s or mix-in’s you may call them.   (You can click on the links for easy ordering) 

You simply can’t have a Hot Cocoa Bar without marshmallows!

Neighborhood Hot Cocoa Bar

Neighborhood Hot Cocoa Bar

For the paper products we found these awesome cups.  You can get some like it, WITH the little stirrers HERE

Don’t forget the Napkins!

 

Neighborhood Hot Cocoa Bar

Neighborhood Hot Cocoa Bar

And of course you MUST have Spray Whipped Cream in the can for the Caramel Apple Cider AND the Hot Cocoa!

Neighborhood Hot Cocoa Bar

Neighborhood Hot Cocoa Bar

The drinks kept extremely well in the Igloo Jugs, which you can find HERE

Oh, and I mentioned, I use my fabulous thermos all the time to keep water and drinks hot, like I did for the party, or when we go out to events and activities – you will find one HERE

Now, to save you frustration and calculations, for a party of 75-85 people, and some people had both kinds of drinks; while others had many ‘tries’ of hot cocoa flavors too:)

  • I used only one bottle of all the syrups, the larger one of the chocolate
  • 3 bags of miniature marshmallows
  • 4 cans of spray whipped cream
  • 1/4 can of Stevens hot chocolate mix
  • 1 – 1/4 can bag of heath toffee bits
  • about 1 1/2 cups total of crushed candy canes
  • 1/4 cup approximately of Mexican vanilla
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of orange and almond extract

 

TIPS:

  • Put towels on the floor to absorb any drips from the Igloo jug
  • Garbage cans around to collect the empty cups, spoons and napkins.  We line 5 gallon buckets and have around the rooms.
  • Have a bowl of ice for parents to put in their kids cups if the drink liquid is too hot.

 

I will give you the formula that I used for making large batches of the Creamy Crock Pot Hot Chocolate and the Caramel Apple Cider.  I made it the day before, kept it cold and then warmed it slowly over the stove and poured it into the Igloo jugs.  The jugs kept the drinks much hotter than I expected, so warm it just a little hotter than you would drink it if it will be used within 4-5 hours.

This is what I needed with a little left over for 75-85 people, kids and adults included:

 

CREAMY CROCK POT HOT COCOA  

4 quarts or 2 half gallons half and half

8 cans sweetened condensed milk

3 gallons of whole milk

1/4 cup vanilla (I like the Mexican vanilla)

3 packages  semisweet chocolate chips

5 packages of milk chocolate chips

Full recipe instructions are HERE

 

CARAMEL APPLE CIDER 

3 recipes of cinnamon syrup*

9 quarts apple juice ( not apple cider)

6 envelopes dry spiced cider drink mix

1  1/2 cups caramel sundae topping (use one 14 oz. bottle and that’s perfect)

Follow recipe instructions HERE

 

I hope you get a chance to have family, friends and even YOUR neighbors over for a hot cocoa bar and maybe you’ll want the caramel cider too. 

Here are all my hot drinks so far that I have created that are family friendly and delicious. Simply click on the picture and it will take you there!

9 Fabulous Family Friendly Hot Drinks

 9 Fabulous Family Friendly Hot Drinks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Groneman’s recipes

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2017

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Affiliate links as described.

2nd Sunday Dinner

2nd Sunday – Oct 2016

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2nd Sunday Dinner

I had my left knee replaced, making both with total knee replacements within a three week period and this Second Sunday was even more difficult than the last one….but our awesome neighbors came to our rescue!  I feel terrible that I didn’t even take ONE picture of the set up, or dinner – that’s how weak I was feeling, sorry folks. 

So, before the first surgery I had made Au Jus and purchased the deli style cooked roast beef to serve as French Dip Sandwiches.  Both were in the freezer along with a few batches of brownies and Circus Sugar Cookie bars.

However, the problem was sides/salads and more desserts.  I was not feeling well and Stan had his hands full of taking care of me AND getting the house ready.  Our son Derek came over Saturday night to help set up the tables, chairs and some other things (thank you a billion times over Derek!).  But, during the week, I was worried about it and just knew I couldn’t make anything….I wasn’t even making food for us, unless making a glass of chocolate milk counts.

So I put out a call for help on the neighborhood facebook page, and boy, everyone was so willing to help! In no time at all people volunteered to bring the food we needed and it was all set.  Stan and I are incredibly grateful to our friends-neighbors (same thing) who came to our dinner and help to strengthen our community in such positive ways. 

ANNOUNCEMENT:  We have a new grand baby coming in November and we are SO THRILLED! However, because this little one is not geographically close to us, we are on stand by and will be traveling as soon as we get ‘the word’ the baby is on it’s way:) This means that we will be taking a hiatus to our 2nd Sunday dinners for November and also through the holidays.  When we start up again, we will post and let y’all know!!!

Now for the dinner:

I served the BEST EVER FRENCH DIP SANDWICHES and you can get the recipe HERE

Au Jus and Beef Sandwich for French Dip

The BEST Ever French Dip Sandwich with Homemade Au Jus

Also CIRCUS ANIMAL COOKIE BARS and you can get that recipe by clicking HERE

Circus Animal Cookie Bars

Circus Animal Cookie Bars

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2016

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

2nd Sunday Dinner Sept 2016

2nd Sunday Dinner, Sept 2016

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2nd Sunday Dinner Sept 2016
2nd Sunday Dinner Sept 2016
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about preparing ahead for this particular 2nd Sunday dinner.  You can read about it HERE
My right knee replacement went well and everyone did a FABULOUS job pulling off 2nd Sunday….as I sat 🙂
My handsome hubby Stan was the hero, as usual to pull it all off!!!  He, our son Derek and daughter Delsi put out all the tables and chairs (as well as any cleaning that still needed to be done) the night before. THANK YOU so much!!!!

 

For the menu:

I made the Raspberry Cheesecake Salad, but that was about it – other then what I made ahead, of course.

We had Coleslaw with my really easy homemade dressing.  

You can get the recipe HERE

Perfectly seasoned Homemade Coleslaw

Stop HERE Best Colesaw

And this Raspberry Cheesecake Salad that went super fast – wow! The recipe is HERE

Cheeesecake Salad with raspberries

Raspberry Cheesecake Salad

Baked beans simmered in the crock pot.

2nd Sunday Dinner Sept 2016

2nd Sunday Dinner Sept 2016

Rolls to go with the Slow Cooked Pulled Pork to have with or without BBQ Sauce.  

2nd Sunday Dinner Sept 2016

2nd Sunday Dinner Sept 2016

See the recipe for the Pulled Pork Sandwiches HERE

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Tawni (my daughter-in-law) brought over the Peach Pound Cake and Zucchini Cakes I had made ahead and stored in her freezer.  ***BIG TIP:  Give your cakes enough time to thaw, I miscalculated, and people were so kind, they still ate them – they really did like them a little chilled:)

2nd Sunday Dinner Sept 2016

2nd Sunday Dinner Sept 2016

Here’s the recipe for one of the most popular recipes on my site: Peach Pound Cake HERE  Thank you Virginia and Bryce for the scrumptious peaches for the cakes!
Fresh Peach Pound Cake

I LOVE this dessert and it was pretty much gone.  Recipe for the Zucchini Cake HERE

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Easy and Moist Zucchini Cake

Stan and I can’t tell everyone how much we appreciate your help with this dinner particularly.  And especially the for chance to meet people in the neighborhood, some who just moved in and some who have lived here awhile, but now they are new friends!!!
Carrie Groneman’s recipe. Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2016

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

2nd Sunday - 9/16

Getting ready for 2nd Sunday Dinner, Sept 2016

2nd Sunday - 9/16

2nd Sunday – 9/16

Well, I thought last month was a challenge….this one proved to be one also.  You can see my list and the yellow pad had THREE pages!!!  I don’t usually do a post on getting ready for the 2nd Sunday dinner, but this one is special. 

This month has been interesting because of my knees.  YUP, my knees.  

See, they’ve pretty much always been a problem with dislocating and all sorts of issues most of my life.  About eight years ago I had to have total knee replacements.  The doctor put in ceramic replacements since I was in my early 40’s and they worked great, until the last couple of years, when they started giving me trouble.  Arthritis, which is the reason I had to have replacements the first time, has eaten under the replacements from behind causing them to shift and move, so now I have to have replacements again, but this time I am having titanium replacements. I will be superwoman!
I had about a week to get ready, including my site and business, things around the house (thank heavens for my handsome hubby Stan and ALL he does!), arranging insurance, other things I needed to take care of, AND cooking ahead for 2nd Sunday for September and October! WHEW!!!
I’ll show you what I did, and a huge shout out to my son Derek and lovely daughter-in-law Tawni for their freezer space to store desserts in.

The Menu for September:
PULLED PORK on rolls –  it’s seasoned and served with BBQ sauce on the side for those who want it
COLESLAW with my homemade sauce
BAKED BEANS – went with canned, but I linked my delish recipe for you!
RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE FLUFF SALAD
PEACH POUND CAKE
ZUCCHINI CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

To start, I seasoned the pork and slow cooked it in the crock pot.  When it was perfectly done and cooled (enough to handle and not melt the bag), I shredded it and put it gallon freezer bags.  

Then I strained the COOLED (otherwise if it’s too warm it will melt the bag) juices from the crock pot the meat was cooking in and poured it over the meat.

I cooked the pork, shredded it, strained the juiced from the meat it was cooking in, then poured it into the bag with the meat.  It keeps the meat from drying out and staying super scrumptious moist. Now it was ready to freeze for 2nd Sunday Dinner.  

2nd Sunday - 9/16

2nd Sunday – 9/16

I made up my coleslaw sauce, chopped the green onions and kept them separate. They are in the fridge, just chillin. This is just two days ahead folks, so no worries.

2nd Sunday - 9/16

2nd Sunday – 9/16

Raspberry Cheesecake Fluff Salad – I have all the ingredients ready to go, but will have others help me put it together on that Sunday, as well as these other items also.

Now THIS cake is one of my most popular posts EVER!  My amazing neighbors Bryce and Virginia Ragland gave me peaches off of their tree a couple of years back so I made a
Peach Pound Cake and it’s gone CRAZY I tell you!  

Well Bryce and Virginia generously gave me peaches again, so I decided to make up Peach Pound Cakes for this 2nd Sunday Dinner. I wrapped them up and they are in the freezer till the the dinner.

2nd Sunday - 9/16

2nd Sunday – 9/16

For another option for the dinner, I decided to add in one of my favorite recipes.  It’s this tender and really moist Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Make sure to serve it cold.  I placed parchment over the top, then saran wrap (by the way, get the large industrial box of plastic wrap at Sam’s or Costco/big box stores I believe they call them – MUCH cheaper that way and goes a long way).

The cakes are in the freezer.

2nd Sunday Dinner - 9/16

2nd Sunday Dinner – 9/16

Wish me luck.  I’m off for surgery today on the right knee and the left in three weeks.  But, I will keep in touch on FB, THAT I can do from my phone:)

Fast forward….you can see the dinner and how it turned out HERE

2nd Sunday Dinner

COLD PASTA SALAD BAR for 2nd Sunday Dinner, Aug 2016

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2nd Sunday Dinner

Getting Ready for 2nd Sunday Dinner – Aug ’16

This month I was was wondering WHAT in the world I was going to make for our 2nd Sunday Open House dinner for the neighborhood.

My son Dallin and new daughter-in-law Brooke were going to be married just THREE days before, and I was over that reception since Brookes family is from out of state.  

THANK YOU my amazing daughters – which includes my daughters and daughters-in-law = Tawni, Danitra, Ashley and Delsi, as well as my sons Derek and Devin and of course my handsome hubby Stan who is AMAZING to pull all of it together.  And to the many other angels who contributed and stepped up in countless ways this month!

Anyway, back to my dinner.

I was talking to my mom on the phone and telling her I was perplexed about what to make that I could prepare ahead that was simple, inexpensive and yet would be very tasty so my guests would feel wanted in my home and, as always my big concern, would want to come back again the next month.

She told me about going to lunch and having a prepared a cold pasta bar.  

BRILLIANT!!!! 

It all turned out really easy to put together for a crowd, and most could be done ahead of time.  The next time you need to feed a crowd, this might be a go-to for you.




 

COLD PASTA SALAD BAR

The day before the dinner I cooked up tri-colored pasta till al dente; rinsed it, then added in a splash of vegetable oil so it wouldn’t stick together and stored it in gallon freezer bags in the fridge.

I also cooked up one bag of gluten free pasta (I found an off-brand that was less than $2 and tasted pretty dang good to a gluten lover like myself, lol) for those who need to eat gluten free.  I try to have that option each month when possible, and stored as the pasta above, but without the oil since I wasn’t sure if it was ok or not.

Then I prepared these options and stored in bags or containers also the day before:

  • Grated cheese
  • Boiled eggs and chopped them
  • Grated carrots
  • Zucchini from the garden, diced
  • Cucumbers from the garden, diced
  • Ham, diced (mentioned above)
  • Pepperoni, quarted (mentioned above)
  • Bell Pepper, diced (but our garden hadn’t produced any yet)
  • Frozen corn, thawed (I forgot to put this out :/)
  • Frozen peas, thawed (I also forgot to put this out… a tired brain after the week ok…)
  • Add anything else your heart and budget desires!

 




After my guest made up a plate of the pasta and all the toppings they chose to up on; I had several salad dressings that they could choose from.  (I think I’m missing 1 or 2 in the picture.  Just look for sales, ads and coupons and it’s not expensive.  The EVOO’s where a HUGE hit and I found them at Walmart for under $2 each.)  It was fun for my guests to mix and match.  Some even put a bit on each portion of their plate – or came back for more, so they could try a bit of all of them!

2nd SundayI served rolls and butter too.  That always makes everything right in the world, doesn’t it?2nd Sunday DinnerNow for dessert.  I wanted to wait until after the wedding reception to see what refreshments were left over, if any, before I decided on what to make.  

For the reception we served Cold Stone Ice Cream in Waffle Bowls.  

We had ALOT of waffle bowls left over, so we grabbed some buckets of ice cream and that’s what we had for dessert!  

VERY happy smiles all around, and it couldn’t have been easier.2nd SundayAnd just in case you are wondering, we usually serve water with dinner.2nd Sunday


Just before our 2nd Sunday Dinner, Delsi surprised me by purchasing my ticket to attend BYU Education Week, which began the day after our dinner, and consists of five days of classes – thank you again Delsi!  

During the conference I was able to go to one of Chef Brad’s classes.  

It was while attending his class a few years ago where Stan and I were inspired to begin having these 2nd Sunday dinners. You can find Chef Brad at: chefbrad.com 

2nd Sunday Dinners & Chef Brad

Chef Brad & 2nd Sunday Dinners

Stan and I held regular dinners for 25 months, then stopped as we felt we ‘were done’.  That lasted for 20 months.  Then the Spirit promoted us to begin again.  It was more of a challenge this time around because we fully knew of the commitment, time, and resources these dinners demanded of us, and how they affected our entire family and schedules.  

We took it to the Lord, fasted and prayed about it.  The answer was undeniable and clear that we needed to begin these again, for our own benefit, as well as for our neighbors.  

We sincerely pray every month that our neighbors who are looking for friends, and to meet others will come. That someone who is lonely, has a grudge, feels offended or prejudice towards/from another in our area, will be brought to the dinner, or even will come alone and feel the Spirit of peace and friendship; recognizing that we are all in this big ‘ol world together; and that most really are trying to do their best, and a healing begun- softening hearts all around.

With so many terrible things going on in society, it is natural to draw apart, however, we are doing our best to provide, in our own small way, a vehicle for community, unity and understanding. 

Possibly you might be able to do something also? 

*Such as take some cookies to your neighbors this week that you haven’t met.  

*Some flowers from your yard to a shut-in.  

*A loaf of bread from the local bakery to someone that you haven’t talked to in years – possibly due to a misunderstanding.                

I hope you will do the ‘hard thing’ as we are trying to do, by doing HIS WILL and giving your best to create a little space of peace and happiness in your little part of the world.  

I can promise that it truly goes a long way to bring a greater abundance of joy and blessings in your own life, as well as those you love, and any who pass your way.

It was after my 2nd round of total knee replacement on both knees and having done 27 dinners we did stop not long after this.  We did other types of gatherings as we could in our home there of 25 years.  We moved and you can see the new gatherings there. 

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2016

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today