Monday, December 20, 2010

just 1 of 250 or so.

I used to live in a largish city. While I was there, I was anomally, something out of the ordinary and kind of strange. Why?, you ask.... Because I do handcrafts. Not the trendy, kind of "cool to see at Saturday market handcrafts, but the "my grandma used to do that" handcrafts. I sew, crochet, embroider, paint glass, and bead. I sew clothing, quilts, and gifts.

Then we moved. We didn't move to another large city where everyone is more concerned with the morning commute than they are with latest quilt trend. We moved to a small rural town where it snows from September through May.

I went from being 1 in a million to 1 in 250 or so. Every woman in the town I now live in does one of these wonderful ancient handcrafts. Some sew, some crochet, some knit, some cross-stitch... However every one of them does at least ONE of these crafts.

and it's NOT just the women! Then men usually do some craft as well. One of the men in town makes the nicest woodturned stuff you have ever seen.

What's worse I guess is that, after 17 years of marriage, my husband kind of is unimpressed by what I make. lol. I suppose "unimpressed" is the wrong word, however, I am unsure of what to call it. When I would crank out something before it was "WOW! That is so awesome" and he would practically dance in excitement. Now it's a "nice!".

I have ceased to be unimpressive. I'm one of the herd, just another in a large group of multi-talented and awe-inspiring people when it comes to handcrafts.

The projects I do, I enjoy 100%. For instance, I made this just yesterday. took about 5 hours from start to finish. I made the pattern, cut the fabric, created the transfer pattern (including drawing the cow) , embroidered the cow and sewed the item. Thank goodness for Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers movie. I popped it in while I did my embroidery, and just had to finish the three flowers on the shoulder during the credits of the movie.

Maybe it's time for me to pick up a new hobby? Something REALLY impressive... Ice sculpture? Maybe cutting those bears out of logs with a chainsaw? Juggling ducklings?

Any suggestions?

Thursday, December 2, 2010


There are a few memories from before I moved away from home that fill me with great warmth and a surprising amount of emotion. A few. One of the great ones is my first use of a serger ever. My beloved Grandmother had a friend by the name of Libby, a nice, self-assured, and self-possessed woman that told it like it should be, and yet was someone that you really wanted to just spend a lot of time with. I remember I must have been around 13 or 14 and Libby had taken me to her house for the day to watch her two children while she was away. We played, and napped, and in general just kind of flunked around. It may have been the whole day, or it may have been just a few hours, the time slipped by and time makes it all fuzzy.

Libby had this basement that had a sewing room off of it. I liked to sew, I had sewn on a regular machine a few times so this room intrigued me. She had a "thing" in there. lol. I thought I knew what it was, however I had never used one or even seen one in real life before. So when she got back I asked her about it. She had to take the kids somewhere that night so she was rushed. However, Libby, being Libby, she took the time to tell me about it... Then... Wonder of wonders.. She pulled some fabric out of a cubby and we went to work. I remember THAT like it was yesterday. I don't even remember what we used as a pattern. The two pieces of fabric were crazy! One was white with lime green pictographic people all over it, the other was a solid lime green. It seemed like in 3 minutes flat we had a sweatshirt all for me! We made the body in the pictographic people, and the trim as all in the lime green. It was simple, like a t-tunic pattern or a scrubs pattern. But I'll tell ya.... I had that shirt until after I moved away from home! I may not have fit anymore, but it represented a memory I loved and will cherish for the rest of my life.

This very busy and self-possessed woman had taken time from her life to show a wayward girl a very simple thing that to me... Was magic. For this, I will never forget Libby, Even when time and distance seperate us, I can still think back on that day and remember it as a bright spot in my long list of memories.

Today I sit in front of my own serger, and contemplate what I am going to make on it for my first project. Is there any question? While the fabric will be olive green solid and striped fleece, it'll still be a sweatshirt for my first project on MY new serger.

And as I sit here and ponder that memory, is it any wonder that I named the serger Libby?

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


lol. It was COLD last night. No new snow, however the snow that is already down is nice and crusty. For the most part this doesn't hinder the animals in the neighborhood. I looked outback this morning and saw where a rabbit had come through last night and broken through the crust as he hopped along.

We also have a resident covey of quail that seem to have made a little path along the edge of the house in the back yard. They were out in the front yard yesterday. I keep telling myself that I'm going to get pictures of them someday, I guess their tracks will have to do!

I wasn't sure these would turn quite as well as they did. The first picture was taken through a window and a screen! It's bunny tracks around an evergreen in the back yard. The second picture is more bunny tracks all over around the back yard and around the aspen tree. This third one is of the quail tracks taken right outside the sliding glass door out of our garage. Both of the last two pics were taken through the closed sliding door as a matter of fact.

It did get cold last night, I told the husband that if this keeps up we'll have to throw another dog on the bed!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!!

It's snowing... and COLD! Tonight, it's supposed to get down to "really cold", and tomorrow night it's supposed to get down to "unbeleivably cold", and Wednesday night it'll be "you've gotta be kidding me cold". In the mean time it's been snowing, and then snowing, and then... well... Snowing! I keep hearing reports of the Interstate both North and South of us being shut down. I know the pass to the North of us on the highway has been closed. I know that both passes to the East and West have been hazardous to drive, and I see the snow plows going buy both morning and night. This could end up being a very interesting Winter.

We shut off all the outside water and wrapped the faucets a few weeks ago. In the window where the swamp cooler is, a huge monster of a machine that can't be dismounted to close the window, we weather proofed it. First we wrapped the front in plastic (good ol' cheap shower curtain!) then I made an insulated cover out of some batted material and velcro. that's over the swamp cooler itself. The one thing we still have to do is I have another chunk of plastic that is going to go over the entire window as a further barrier to air. I've just been busy doing other things and haven't gotten around to getting it finished. Before the cold air hits tomorrow That last layer of plastic will be up.

Last year we didn't put a layer of plastic between the cover and the cooler and it still leaked a lot of air. Even with the batted cover and the plastic over the whole window. Already you can feel a difference just in putting the plastic between the cooler and the cover. I didn't think it would make that much of a difference but it sure has.

This beautiful tree is in our front yard. I took this picture yesterday, when we had about 4 inches of snow on the ground, we are around 6 inches on the ground now. (hubby says 5 inches tonight and 3 inches yesterday, however, he always estimates conservatively. lol.) Pretty huh?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Apple yummy!

Time for another recipe. :D It's REALLY good hubby ate a whole panful (well, minus the scoop I had)!!!

2 large apples, cored and cut. I used my wedge thingy.. I don't know what it's called, but you push it through the apple and it cores and cuts it into wedges at the same time. Peel the wedges, and toss the core. slice these wedges so you end up with little chunks about 1 inch square and 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
1 cube of butter (1/2 cup) room temp
2/3 cup brown sugar, brown sugar subsitute would work also however you may want to cut the amount down since the fake stuff is sweeter.
2/3 cup oatmeal
1 tsp apple pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon, what can I say? I like cinnamon!

Put the apple pieces in a pie plate. In a seperate bowl mix together all the remaining ingredients either using your hand or an electric beater until everything is well mixed and all the chunks are the about the size of peas. Pour this over your apples, being sure all the apple pieces are covered and the topping is spread evenly to the sides of the pan. Cook in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the butter is melted.

Mmmmmmmmmm. Super simple and it was pretty good. What wasn't eaten that night was put into the fridge and then nuked the next morning for breakfast. It tasted kind of like apple-y oatmeal stuff. lol. It was pretty good and this recipe is for sure going to be a late addition to the cook book!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rice Price

Ack. Rice is getting expensive. Still relative cheap as far as food goes, but expensive as far as rice goes. I bought 50 lbs at Cash & Carry for $19.96. While that doesn't seem like much for 50 lbs of food, 50 lbs of rice USED to be less than $10.00. Is this a reflection on prices overall with the bad economy, or is it a reflection of the demand of rice as more people get an eye for prepareness/survivalism (or whatever they decide to call it that day)?

Either way, no matter what the answer, I now have another 8 mylar bags of rice happily portioned out and in my pantry. This will last me about 4 to 6 months with our regular food rotation.

If you use mylar bags for your food storage, be sure to seal as close to the edge as you can so you can reuse them. They are durable, and a bit on the expensive, however worth it, side of food preservation. Even more expensive than say... rice.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trick or Treats

Well, another halloween has come and gone.. and I'm bummed! In the entire night I got only 2 trick & treaters. Granted I live on the very edge of town... However, some of the people just a little away from me got more than 40! I didn't even get one picture because hubby forgot to grab the camera in the mad rush for the door. lol. Maybe next year.

I had a thought... How many modern children know that "trick or treat" is really a question they are posing to the person they just rang the bell for? As in, "will you give me a treat, or do I have to pull a trick?". Hmmmm.. may have to ask a few of them.... If I ever SEE a trick or treater again!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Car's all fixed!

Well, the ignition is anyway. :D It now starts with no hesitation, and the key no longer spins freely. Of course, it took me a few tries to figure out how to get the key out as the ignition now has a key lock on it. You must spin the key to off, then hold down the button, finish turning the key off while pushing in and then you can take the key out. Whew. Who said anything about child proof? Adult proof even! I was even able to get a new battery in at the same time. Next adventure? Driving it the 65 miles to town so I can get an alignment done and get new tires... Did I mention the snow?

Friday, October 8, 2010

New Backwoods Home magazine Came today

and this was in their irreverent joke page: (if you don't subscribe, I suggest you do!)

The Los Angeles Police Depeartment (LAPD), the FBI, and the CIA want to see who is best at catching perps. So a rabbit is released into the forest, and each of them has to catch it.

The CIA goes in. They place animal informants through the forest. They question all plant and mineral witnessess. After months of extensive investigation,t hey conclude that rabbits do not exist.

The FBI goes in. After two weeks with no leads, they burn the forest, killing everything in it, including the rabbit.

The LAPD goes in. They come out two hours later, dragging a bruised mountain lion behind them. The mountain lion's yelling "Okay! Okay! I'm a rabbit! I'm a rabbit!"

(admit it... you just spit your drink on the monitor didn't you?)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Broken Car and Menfolk

Ok, so my car is broken. the ignition rack is completely fried. At least it's a cheap part. :) (about $25.00) The expensive part is that the entire steering wheel and such has to be removed to fix it. The part I think is comical is the menfolk in my life. Everyone of them I know loves me, and wouldn't want me to be harmed in anyway.... perhaps this scenario can be related to by practically every woman on the planet though.

Me: "the key thing is broken. I put the key in and instead of trying to start the car, it just spins freely and won't kick in the starter. I need to get a new one and until I do I can't start the car"

Them: first they get in the car and try to start it "Your ignition rack/switch is broken and you need to get a new one." Then they look at me to be sure I agree with their excellent assessment of the situation.

EVERY one of the men in my life has done this. ROFL. like they don't trust me that it's broken and spins freely. Hello... I think I can tell that it's not acting like it should and therefore needs replaced or fixed. lol. I'm pretty sure that they have the hope that one of them will touch the key and the car will magically shake itself and say "Sorry, was just foolin'!!" However, I'm also pretty sure that it it's not going to happen like that.

Needless to say, the car is home now (I was out and about when it happened!) and so I can now concentrate on getting the parts, and then see if I can wheedle someone to come and pull the steering wheel and putting them in for me. hehehe... Cookies maybe?

My knights in shining armor. I love every one of them.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Eeep. First Video!!

Save me! I'm a video freak! lol. Here it is! #1 in what I hope to be more videos. While the picture quality is good, and the sound is decent, it seems a little out of synch to me. I may have to try a seperate mic or something. Any input?

Be gentle with me! lol.

HELP! I'm being invaded....

I am so tired of having 5 bottles of this and 4 bottles of that when it comes to spices in my kitchen/dining room/bedroom/linen closet and where ever else I can find to tuck them! There just comes a time when you need to refill the garlic shaker and you are digging through the 14 or 15 places you have spices tucked into that you say "ENOUGH!". lol.

So, I decided to do this I bought some 6x6 mylar bags, and a I have some jelly jars. What I am doing is (using a jelly jar as a measuring devise) is that I put one jelly jar full of the spice in the mylar bag, seal it up, and do this until I don't have a jelly jar full. I leave that partial amount in the jelly jar, label it and THAT goes on my shelf. The mylar bags will go in a tote in a closet. Each mylar bag is labeled on both sides as to what spice is in it. Before I put the tote away I will make a list of what is in the tote, and a copy will go in the tote and in my kitchen cabinet. That way, I'll know what I have in backstock and what I need to get more of. TADA! ORGANIZED!

Since I cook so much and have so many spices, I'll be needing to buy more jelly jars, other than that it seems to be working very well.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Patriot

In the beginning of change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave,and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for it then costs nothing to be a patriot. -- Mark Twain

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pasta Salad

This was very simple to make, and was very good!

8 handfuls elbow macaroni. Cook per directions and drain
3/4 lb american cheese, cubed into 1/2" cubes
1 drained can mixed veggies
1 small drained can mushrooms
about 4 squirts creamy balsalmic dressing

mix all together and serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. I had some drained, canned chicken on mine, hubby had his without.

quick, simple and yummy. It made a lot, we both ate huge bowls, and I just had some for breakfast, and there is still about 2 servings left in the fridge.

If I had some sliced black olives I would have added those too, but I don't keep those in the pantry on a regular basis... I suppose I could have used the chopped black olives but it just didn't sound right. (I keep those on hand for pizza. lol.)


One more year has passed... one more year of ups and downs in the stock market, more questions about our government than you can shake a stick at... one more year of disasters.... births, deaths...

It's disheartening to see that a lot of Americans don't even know what we celebrate July4th for anymore. It's all about BBQ'ing, family, and booze.

How many paused for those that died for our country? How many took the time to re-read the Constitution of the United States?

Who thanked a soldier, sailor, paramedic or pilot?

Did you take the time to teach your kids that the 4th of July isn't just about food and fireworks?

How many 9 and 10 year olds know the preamble to the Consitution of the United States? Bill of Rights? or can list any of the Amendments?

This is important stuff. Most kids can list what you do in the first 10 levels of Grand Theft Auto, but can't name even 5 of the Amendments to the Consitution...

Maybe I'm just being morose... but I see this as an indicator to the downfall of the US. {sigh} Back to the kitchen for me. lol. I'll post the salad I made last night and maybe that will improve my mood. lol.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Weekend 2010

It is the VETERAN,
not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN,
not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN,
not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN,
not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN,
not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN,
not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.

It is the VETERAN
salutes the Flag,

It is the VETERAN
who serves under the Flag,