Wednesday, September 26, 2018

For Goodness' Taste ~

Where oh where has September gone?
 We have had a great September, warm sunny days
with a mixture of rain, some good rains at the beginning of the month.
I have enjoyed sitting on the deck surrounded by such beauty.
The squirrels have entertained me while they have
gathered their pine cones then frantically running to their homes
stashing them away for what I hear is going to be a hard winter.
These squirrels are amazing ~ they go to the very top of the pine trees, 
which by the way are 60 feet and above in height ~ knock the pine cones to the ground 
and carry them off to their underground homes.
It took me a few years before I realized that all the pine cones on the ground 
were the work of the squirrels for their food.
I can remember years back hearing the squirrels squawking 
when I was out raking them all up
not realizing they were telling me OFF for tossing out their food supply.
I have since learned NOT to touch those pine cones too soon.
I stand amazed at the busyness of these cute little critters,
it's non stop with them and the work load that they have for survival seems unending.
While they do not take all of the pine cones they knock down,
they do take most of them.
They will take the ones that are coated with sap
leaving the rest for me to clean up when the snow arrives, or leave them until Spring.
I have learned to give them plenty of time for gathering.
God's Word speaks of being slothful and watching these
little guys causes me to ponder on those verses.   
I try and teach my grandsons concerning being slothful
using God's creation as their example.
Anyways... those days of lounging around on warm sunny days
will soon be coming to an end.
October for the most part here in the mountains is not the prettiest,
in fact, it's rather drab. 
The leaves have mostly changed, fallen to the ground and been raked up,
with the exception of those pine cones of course.
We are in between the nice weather and the beautiful snow.
So, I will be taking some time during the ugly season 
and fly out for a visit with my mother.
As of this week I have completed my 20 visits of therapy.
A few weeks ago it looked as if I would need extra visits, 
but my therapist is quite pleased with my progress; therefore,
 I have graduated and will be doing all my exercises without assistance.
Knowing I have something foreign in my body
 that must be exercised, stretched and well taken care of 
motivates me to be faithful. Actually, my knee lets me know when it needs looked after.
So I believe this is a great time to enjoy a little Arizona sun 
and precious time with my dear mother.
"Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind"
~ Seneca ~

~ ~ ☆ ♡ ☆ ♡ ☆ ~ ~

While I am away I thought I would leave my dear husband with a stash of his own,
chocolate chip cookies, his favorite!
Over the 39 years that we have been married I have tried many a chocolate chip cookie recipe
and have found this one to be my favorite.
I'd like to share it with you.

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

1 Cup (2 sticks Butter softened)
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup White Sugar
1 small package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 Cups all Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Package (12 oz) chocolate chips
Any flavored chips are great ~ I added some white chocolate chips to this batch

Preheat oven to 375° 
Beat the butter, both sugars, pudding mix, eggs & vanilla in a large bowl.
Beat until creamy and fluffy.
Slowly mix the flour & baking soda.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop by Tablespoon onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
Bake for ONLY 9-10 minutes, remove from the oven, let cool and enjoy. 
I believe it is the pudding mix that makes these cookies so delicious,
though they are not necessarily a soft cookie, they do stay moist longer.

~ ~ ☆ ♡ ☆ ♡ ☆ ~ ~

"Make it a rule to yourself to thank and praise
God for everything that happens to you"
~ Merlin Carothers ~

~ Debbie ~ 


Sandi said...

I didn't know that about pine cones and squirrels!

Kerin said...

Good job on finishing the therapy! You are wise to take care of your knee and help it last many more years :)

Thanks for sharing the chocolate chip cookie recipe. I should imagine that the pudding mix makes it not only tasty but soft as well... YUM!

Enjoy your trip and time with your mom.
Safe travel wishes for you.

Smiles :)


Net - "It's a Wonderful Movie" said...

What a lovely post! While I try to enjoy every season, it's always hard to let go... especially to Summer!

I am so thankful for all the wonderful blessings I have each day!!! Thank you for these words of inspiration and encouragement!!!

And by the way, those cookies look so yummy! :)

Blessings to you, Net

Stephanie said...

Hmmmm...Little one and I might have to "sneak" over while you're away and "steal" a couple of cookies from dad - HA! I can see why this recipe is a favorite of yours...I always add a pudding mix to my cookies and they are perfectly soft and chewy :)

A lovely post...I know you will have a wonderful time away and I'm sure it will be oh-so-nice to enjoy the Arizona sunshine. Have a beautiful day! Love you!

Debby Ray said...

I know what you mean about those squirrels...we have just tons of them but not so many pine cones since most of our trees are huge oaks. They are after the acorns and they are already starting to drop out of the trees. In a month or so, it will be like walking in a yard full of marbles! Our squirrels eat up most of the bird seed too so between them and the birds, our feeders don't stay filled long! How wonderful that you will go to visit your mom...I know she must be looking forward your time together. The cookies look wonderful and I'm sure the pudding surely must add to their richness...what a good wife you are to make sure your hubby keeps his sweet tooth satisfied while you are gone! Enjoy the precious time spent with Mom and safe travels! HUGS!

Roosterhead Designs said...

Hello dear Debbie~
These cookies sound like a must try for me! I've been making Ch Chip for as long as I can remember, (they were Alan's fav too) but have not heard the addition of pudding mix; Yummm : )
Have a blessed trip~~ And Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for your gift of friendship Debbie. Love & Hugs, karen o

Creations By Cindy said...

Yum on those cookies! Oh the squirrels! Girl, we have the largest, smartest squirrels ever! I have always enjoyed watching them until....until...until....THEY Mastered MY SQUIRREL PROOF BIRDSEED FEEDER! LOL! Have a great day sweet friend. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Cheryl said...

I loved reading about your squirrels and how diligent they are to gather and prepare for the hard winter ahead. This was such a heartwarming post ~ some of your best writing ever, sweet friend. CONGRATULATIONS on finishing your therapy! How I praise God that He has seen you through this trial and brought you safely to the other side. And, to think you are even able to travel to see your dear mother! What a dear blessing! I hope you enjoy every second and make many wonderful memories together. Those cookies look amazing. I have a hard time finding a recipe that is not cake-like. My husband likes the crispy cookies that are flat and not like a cake ~ these sound like they may be some he would really like. I will have to try them! It was so sweet to visit with you today. May God bless and protect you on your travels. Praying for you!

Ruth Hiebert said...

I hope you have a lovely visit with your Mom. I enjoy all seasons,but I must admit that the time between the leaves having dropped and the snow,is my least favorite time. Those cookies look very good.

Regine Karpel said...


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

How interesting about the squirrels!

Glad you have done so well after knee surgery. May you continue to grow stronger with each new day.

Those cookies look and sound delicious. I've saved the recipe.

Have a great time in the sun with your Mom.

Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

Elizabethd said...

Well done on getting to the end of your therapy. I guess it has sometimes been painful and not always easy. Onward now!
Here it is the season of hazel nuts and chestnuts. Very Autumnal.
Prayers for your safe travels.

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I can just picture the squirrels scurrying about and gathering pine cones, Debbie. I see enough squirrels around here, but they like to eat my plants!!
How nice to enjoy some Arizona sunshine with your mom. I'm so glad that you're doing so well, and I continue to pray for you.
I will need to try your cookie recipe, perhaps with my darling baking partner. Thank you for sharing! Happy travels to you, dear Debbie.

Teri said...

How nice that you will be spending time with your mom. It is so good to hear that you are mending so well. So much to be thankful for. Also, those cookies look absolutely delicious. We are enjoying such a pretty fall. Our days are in the 70's and we are going into the 40's during the night. I love having our windows open during the daytime. There is a gentle breeze coming in. The air is so clean and fresh. We have been enjoying a bit of front porch sitting time. We have little squirrels scurrying around our yard as well. We have a few leaves fluttering down. So many sweet and simple pleasures. Homespun Hugs ♥ Teri

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

Those squirrels are funny to watch this time of year . . . even though I don't like them because they try to shred my gazebo screens all summer! Enjoy your visit with you mom . . . I'm so glad she's still doing so well! Amazing after all she's been through! I have never found what I would call my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. In fact, it's one of the great annoyances of my life haha! I can NOT make good chocolate chip cookies! SO, that said, I will try your recipe. I've never seen them with the pudding mix in them. If they come out awful, then that's it. It's confirmed I am a terrible chocolate chip cookie baker!

Jean | said...

Debbie, your cookies look great--nice and chewy. How sweet of you to set your husband up with cookies before you go! Happy autumn travels.

~ maria ~ said...

Enjoy your time visiting your mom Debbie ... here in the mountains, autumn is just showing it’s splendo ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿงก have a safe trip and enjoy ๐Ÿ˜Š

~ maria ~ said...

I meant splendor ๐Ÿ˜€....

NanaNor's said...

Sweet friend, so glad to hear of your healing-continue on with the good work. Enjoy Az and the war, weather. Looks like a yummy recipe!
Blessings and love,

Lea said...

So happy you and your knee are doing well, yea! And, hoping you find your Momma doing well and that you will enjoy your visit. We'll look forward to your posting when you return. Hugs!

Alessandra said...

I loved reading about the squirrels. Enjoy with Your mother. Your cookies sound delicious

Regina said...

Oh my cookie jar is lonely and will definitely be filled with these cookies! Thank you for sharing this sweet recipe.

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Love those cookies...they look mouth-watering delicious! Making me want to go bake some cookies, even though it is still too hot here to do much baking. I am looking forward to some cooler weather before I start doing much baking. So happy that you are recuperating so well, and that you will be able to go spend some time with your mother in AZ. What a blessing that will be for both of you. Thank you for your kind comments on my post earlier today. That really touched me. Thank you.

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

Dear sweet Debbie! I've missed getting by to visit with you! So thankful to hear that you have come through the knee surgery and physical therapy with flying colors! October is a beautiful month here still, but November is the month where it is nice to get away, lol! I hope you have a blessed and very special visit with your mother in Arizona! What an amazing thing that the Lord has done for her, so thankful she is able to be on her own again, and that you are able to walk again, thanking the Lord for all these blessings! Those chocolate chip cookies look SOO good! We are trying to cut out sugar in our house now, but I would be tempted to eat one of those, love the idea of using a pkg of pudding in them! Yum! Blessings and hugs to you sweet friend!

Regine Karpel said...


Anne Payne said...

I know you will have a great time with your Momma! So glad your healing has gone well. Love you!!!

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