I Put Out All My Fall Decorations – So, the Weather Should Feel Free to Cooperate!

According to the calendar, Saturday is the first day of Autumn.  According to my car’s thermostat today, it is the 1,000th day of Summer.  It was 98 degrees yesterday.  Today it is likely to be 93.  This is not OK.  This is the exact opposite of OK.  It is awful.  My brain is melting!

Monday evening, I was getting things shut down around the house after tucking Arden into the bed, and I noticed a sound that seemed to be coming from the air conditioner.  I would best describe it as a forceful moving air sound – a whooshing, maybe.  I was tired and ready for bed and I wasn’t sure if the sound was really louder than normal, or if the house hadn’t been quiet enough while the a/c was running for me to actually pay attention to the sound of the a/c.  So I went to bed.

Tuesday I woke up and the sound was still occurring, so I got things going with the Princess (breakfast, lunch packed, clothes picked, etc.) and then woke up Terry and said “I think the a/c is dying,” and with the saying – my heart sank.  I typically work on Tuesdays, but I had a bunch of things that I needed to get done around the house so had taken the day off.  At that moment, saying that the a/c was dying, I felt like all my best laid plans were about to dissolve into a pool of sweat.

Terry went to investigate, and sure enough – the unit was frozen over.  So we turned it off and called for a repair man.  I started every fan we own blowing on high – the thermostat read 71 at the time, but I was absolutely sure I would be a/c-less for several days, so I was trying to keep the temp as low as I could so I would not have to move into a hotel!! This mama does NOT do heat.

As I often do, I over reacted.  Shocking.  The repairman came at noon, had it fixed by 1 (filter and low coolant levels deemed to be the problem) and my house was a cool 68 degrees in no time.  Crisis averted and I was able to get all my many chores accomplished – which included putting all my fall decor out….so that means it should be 65 today, right?  RIGHT!  It is not – BUT, as promised – here a few recommendations that might get you in the “mood” for cooler weather…


Jones’ Kinda Famous Chili


The starting point for this recipe comes from a church cookbook – Not By Bread Alone.  It is the pastor wife’s recipe and great by itself – but I have made some tweaks over the years and I’ve enjoyed the results.  I made it for a party a couple weeks ago and was asked several times for the recipe.  And 2 years ago, I won a chili cook off with it – so I’m going to say it is probably one of the best things I make.  So, time to share the love…


1 1/2 pounds of 75/25 ground beef – I have used less fatty levels of ground beef – but with chili I think you just need to embrace the grease and this is the best for this recipe.

1 medium onion diced

2 tablespoons Chili Powder

1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste – I just guess at this – there is so much going on here, it would be hard to over salt and pepper – maybe a teaspoon each?  You do you

1 packet of dry chili mix – depending on your heat preference you can choose original or hot.  I prefer the generic Aldi packet (Friendly Farms, I think) for this – I don’t know why, but it always makes the best pot ‘o chili.

1 can of diced tomatoes

2 cans (15 oz) tomato sauce

1 can chili beans in sauce


How to:

Brown ground beef with onions and Chili Powder/Cayenne/salt and pepper.  I use a dutch oven or large soup pan from start to finish – you want all the brown bits in the finished product! DO NOT DRAIN.  To cooked beef mix, add can of tomatoes and 1/4 of the chili mix pkt.  Let simmer together for a couple minutes.  Add tomato sauce and 1/4 of the chili mix pkt. Bring to boil.  Once boil has been achieved, lower the temp to medium low (you don’t want it to boil for very long, just enough to bring up the temp and then simmer it on medium low). Let cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. About 30 minutes through cooking, add 1/4 pkt of chili mix.

Add can of chili beans and remainder of chili pkt and continue cooking for 15 minutes.


Serve with shredded cheese, crackers or Fritos and sour cream if you like it – really whatever fixin’s you want. Chili is really good over mashed potatoes – did you know that?!?!  It is – try it and tell me I’m wrong!

Nothing says fall like a big pot of chili bubbling on the stove, football on the TV and cozy socks.  It is too hot of the socks right now – but crank down the a/c and give it a whirl!


I’ve read a lot of duds lately, but I think that is the way it goes when you are trying to read more books than you have in the past – you gotta kiss a lotta frogs.  However, I just read the most delightfully light, heart warming, feel good, romantic comedy type book that I think is worth the read.  Plus it is set in Oxford – and what makes you feel more like wearing tweed and sipping hot tea on a dreary fall day more than Oxford?  Not much I say! 35068830.jpg

This was simply delightful (and sad).  I hope she writes more.


Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People


1 phone call. 1 hour. No names. No holds barred. That’s the premise behind Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People, hosted by comedian Chris Gethard (the Chris Gethard Show, Broad City, This American Life, and one of Time Out’s “10 best comedians of 2015”). Every week, Chris opens the phone line to one anonymous caller, and he can’t hang up first, no matter what. From shocking confessions and family secrets to philosophical discussions and shameless self-promotion, anything can and will happen!

Episode 121 is amazing – “Prison Bound” – In a few days, this caller will turn herself over to federal authorities and begin a multi-year prison sentence. She tells Geth about how she ended up with a federal indictment, getting sober and all the fast food she’ll be eating before turning herself in.

Not all episodes are so sad or stark – some are funny, some are odd, some are just “hmmm” inducing.  There is some language in some of the episodes, so I wouldn’t listen with small children around.

I’ve enjoyed picking and choosing through 130 episodes when something looks interesting.

Well, alrighty then – that’s about it for today.  See, I can do light and cheerful as well as dark and needy!  Let me know if you try out any of the suggestions above.

See ya soon!

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Mommy, Historian, Wannabe Writer.

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