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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Was I supposed to be Cleaning up?


not much is getting done in the studio/workroom cleanup wise but, I’m having fun sewing!


I had a bunch of strips and scraps left over from the doll skirts. I couldn’t throw them out…

They were to bright and cheerful!

I didn’t have enough to make it very big 17 X 20 but it will make a nice doll quilt.


With the strip sizes I was using it ended up a little wonky so I‘m not sure I’ll list it in the Etsy shop but Evie may like it.

Maybe, What do you think?

Finishing the quilting portion now

What did you work on today?


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Some Mornings

Don’t Go As Planed!

We had a beautiful white world to wake up to


Everything looks so clean and fresh

IMG_1728 - Copy

covering all the winter greys

I’d had a very productive morning around the house.  Decided to run some errands but, first I decided to make a latte for the road and left it brewing while I put my boots on.  This is what I came back to…

Notice something missing?

The mug!


I was off by 4 inches LOL!

Have a great day!

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What a wonderful week

And random thoughts…

We had a great time with family this past week.  We had a house full and I loved every minute of it.  Midnight mass together, up early with the little's for gifts and family breakfast.  Christmas afternoon with Mr.Fix-Its family, supper and a dirty Santa gift exchange.  When the immediate family grows to over 30 it’s the safest way to exchange a gift and have fun without breaking the bank!

The family room is still full of toys, little cars, Legos & baby dolls…The quilt was a hit.  IMG_1706

Isaiah sharing with his mama

and I need to make Evelyn & Hayden each one now or, something similar.


A few weeks ago I started de-crap-afying cleaning out the basement more & was focusing in the old sewing room area.  I found 4 quilts in various stages & it’s given me the sewing itch again.   Baking through Christmas I realized I’m out of hot pads.  Mine had worn out & I’ve just been using hand towels.  I found a tub full of drapery fabric samples that will be perfect for hot pads.  Yes, the basement is that full I’d lost & forgotten about that big tub.  Shameful I know.  Knitters talk about reaching SABLE “Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy”  It’s time to admit I’ve reached that point in fabric and wool…. I’ve decided to dive back in to sewing and use it up…or attempt to at least.

  I started looking and mentally listing out projects..

Aprons, Mine are rags and Erika has asked for a few which means Evie will want one like her mama.

Hot pads and pot holders

quilts….we need 3-4 bed spread size to replace those wearing out

Curtains….for the guest room

Crib sheets for little Alix

Table runners and napkins for the dining room

Summer dresses for Evelyn and Alix

I have a list of Mama’s asking for little girls skirts in the Etsy Shop

a few baby and doll quilts

Plenty down there to keep me busy for a long while!

What do you have lined up for winter projects?


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Last Minute Sewing


The photo is a bit off in the colors, those are bright red bandana’s not pink!  Isaiah needed a quilt for his bed but he’s 9 & at that awkward in between age…not the “little boy” anymore but not a teen.  He loves cowboys and trucks so I thought this was a good middle of the road. Especially when you hear….Grandma, will you make me a quilt?


The plan is to add a few bandana throw pillows and a valance also of bandana’s.

I can’t wait to see his face Christmas morning.  I love giving and receiving homemade gifts & this one was so quick and easy.  I picked up the bandana’s at Hobby Lobby when I went to town and used the 40% coupon so the .99 bandana’s were .60 cents each.  I picked up a few blankets at Wally world on sale for about $5.00 and used one of those. It makes a nice mid-weight batting only super tight.  The backing is a nice heavy, red and blue plaid sheet.  With thread I have less than $13.00 invested.


With recent changes in the DOT towing laws, Larry had to get a CDL to tow larger trailers from the manufacturer to the dealership. My understanding is its needed anytime he’s in a tow rig with a customer now. Anyway, He took classes part time (he’s towed for years) and tested just fine. But, in order to be sure he was understanding the logs he needs to keep…..(sure I believe that) he’s been offered to tandem drive with the trucking company anytime he wants…..in all his spare time LOL! Well, for us this is the quietest time of the year.   SO,  Tuesday afternoon he was off on a road trip in a semi and back Thursday night. Over 4500 miles and he was grinning from ear to ear like a little kid.   They left KC. right ahead of the snow storm and stayed ahead of it all the way to Louisville. As happy as he still was when he got home…..I think I see many more trips in the near future!


Most of the gifts are wrapped, the house is half clean..need to get cracking on that.  Rachel, Adam and Hayden will be driving in tomorrow night from South Carolina.  They seem to have settled in well & Hayden is excelling in school.  I think he has 10 children in his class so it’s a 5-1 teaching ratio!  One thing l really like about South Carolina is they do not have “special needs” children.  They have EXCEPTIONAL children!!!! From what Rachel has said that it the total attitude they have encountered.  He was slotted to be in one class but after meeting and talking with him they moved him to a different school & the perfect class.  He’s happier now than I’ve seen him in a long time.  God Bless who ever invented SKYPE.


We hated to see them move from 2 hours away to 8-9 but, it was the right decision


Evie just LOVES her cousin Hayden and was thrilled with the surprise chat. I don’t think her Mama has told her they will be here so it will be fun to hear her yell MY HAYDEN when she sees him tomorrow night!!!


We’re still in process of trying to buy the house next door.  The owner wants about 30K more than the property appraises.  Once we come to an agreement it will close quick.  We have the funding in place and she wants out by the 9th of …..JANUARY!  Nothing like pushing it to the last  minute.  We have the RV show the last week of January and would love to have Erika moved by mid month.  Tonight, we gave her our final price so, we will see what happens.  Please keep your fingers & toes crossed for us….a prayer or two sure would be appreciated.

Wishing you all a blessed and wonderful Christmas!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Still Kickin!

Just moving slower

There seems to be a theme across most of my bloggy friends of bloggers block or apathy..  Not sure what it is.  Could it possibly be we go 150 miles an hour in the spring through summer with the gardens & into fall with canning and food preservation?  Then like balloons we seem to deflate physically and emotionally come winter.  I know with the election and state of the economy we all have higher emotional stress levels we try to bury and it’s seemed to catch up.  I keep thinking I need to post or, that would be a good post…but it seems to take to much energy right now.

So, let me recap the past month or so…

A few highs,

My sun oven came in! I was so excited about it and then rained for a week after arrival, Thanksgiving, family events…it seemed like one thing after another kept me from using it.  This week we should have a few clear-ish days to break it in.

Fall finishing 012

We also picked up a smaller solar panel & inverter.  We have a hand crank emergency radio and a few other things that can be hooked up to it our next power outage.  IMG_1339

We’ve been looking at solar power for the house but again other things have taken priority for a while. When we lived in VA we had solar hot water & I loved it. We had 8-12 children living with us at any given time & NEVER ran out of hot water with laundry, showers and dishes. Right now it’s time and $ to do it


My Father in law is recover well.  Early September he started really slowing down, just not feeling well in general & had trouble swallowing.  After a month of Dr’s appointments to find out what was going on, his knee just swelled up…. ballooning, red & painful.The knee he’d had replaced 3-4 years ago.   My brother in law took him to the  VA E.R. out of frustration/worry…  Turns out he had some type of bacterial infection that nearly killed him. They said he would not have made it a week longer.  They immediately admitted him and started a full workup in CCU.  Thankfully/weirdly the infection settled into the pin that connected the knee together.   Surgery to replace the pin and clean the knee out kept him in the hospital for a 10 day period over Thanksgiving.  4 weeks into a 6 week course of IV antibiotics has him feeling nearly himself again. We’ve still no idea how the infection was started.

The odd thing was his knee itself had been fine.  The infection just happened to settle there…what a blessing a replacement knee turned out to be in more ways than one!  He was feeling well enough he attended our company Christmas party Friday night and stayed the entire time.   First outing since September!

The hunters have been hunting with some success.  There are 3 deer in the freezer and we are hoping for 3 more (we supply family meat also) to have a cushion.

We got hit with that flu bug that ran through ours and Erika’s & the kids, then back to us, then back to a few of the kids a second time.  I think that has been the majority of our problem as it leaves you tired and sluggish for weeks….like your get up and go is on vacation LOL!


For not having much to say I’ve gotten pretty windy here!  I’ll catch up more next post

Have a wonderful weekend


Friday, December 7, 2012

Are You Ready For A Quick Waldorf Doll Skirt Give Away?

Reposting from Katidids Knits Blog as there may be some followers with little ones or grand-munchkins that would like to enter

And I mean quick!

The drawing will be held Monday evening December 10th

I said quick right?

This still allows me a few days to make & ship to you in time for a extra gift under the Christmas Tree! (Canadian entries are welcome but mail time may be delivered beyond Christmas)

This is my first give away so shout out if I’ve forgotten anything

The give away is for 2 cotton print Waldorf Skirts of your choice from the fabrics shown.


The fabric is shown in 5.5 inch strips to show print size

Choice 1


Choice 2


Choice 3


Choice 4


Choice 5


your entry(s) need to include the 2 fabrics you choose, waist & length measurement you need

How to enter:

Follow the Katidids Knits Blog and let me know

Follow me on Facebook. @KatididsKnits

If you are a prior customer of either on Etsy, Hyena Cart or Facebook, leave me a message in your entry it will count as 2 entries

Share on Facebook…Extra Entry!

Blog about it and send me a link,  Extra Entry!

Tweet about it and send me a link Extra Entry!

Remember, each entry needs to have your fabric choices & the skirt waist and length you need

The drawing will be held Monday evening between 8-9 pm.  The winner will be announced on Facebook and the blog.  The winner will have 24hrs to respond with a mailing address.  If there is no response, I’ll draw again.

Good luck!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hey! I feel human today!

Can I tell you my husband rocks?

Our house kinda became the sicky house these past few weeks.  When the little’s would get this fever & vomiting virus they would for the most part stay here, away from the other family members who worked in the public.  Fortunately it seem to happened on Fridays when Mr. Fix-it was leaving for hunting…in the end there was not a unwashed sheet, blanket, bedspread or towel in the house.  My poor laundry room reeked of “o”de puke for a few days.  Other than he and I fighting bad colds & living on emergent “c”and thera flu we were fine….and then last week it hit  Mr. Fix It.  He came home not feeling good (which I can count on one hand in 25 yrs. of marriage) ate a tiny bit and passed out in his chair.  Took 3 days for him to feel “right”. 

  I was sliding right along counting my blessings.  Sunday I had a lead ball in my stomach that would not go away and couldn’t eat.  Monday I don’t remember much past noon, just being so tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open.  I’d started supper & had it in the oven, canning turkey stock with a load in the canner. Next I clearly remember is yesterday morning.  He’d finished the stock, and took care of me.

A few things I do remember…running a fever & being cold, bone chilling 5 blankets not enough cold, solving all kinds of world problems, from the economy to pollution, checking on the baby in the middle of the night and kinda freaked out when it was empty till I remembered that was ok…(as our baby is 26 and has babies of her own which is why the playpen was empty).  I woke up yesterday sideways in the bed with half the covers on the floor and the rest in a pile in the middle. 

Yesterday I felt human & puttered around the house but didn’t push it and ate a very light supper eventually.  

Today, I feel wonderful!! I’m hungry… Now I realize how bad I was gradually feeling all last week.  We’re still not sure if this was a virus or the “flu” but, I’ve not been that sick in a long time.

Off to strip my bed again, and clean out all these sickie germs!

Stay healthy out there!


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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bye Bye November!

What a crazy month it’s been! I’ve quite a bit to catch up on..

The hunters have been hunting

Isaiah had his first hunting trip this year!

He’s been begging to go for the past 2 years and always has a left behind puppy dog look when the guys leave for the weekend.  He’s helped with butchering since he could walk, helped load and unload gear, helped walk and scout the hunting areas…every step but actually hunting.

Think he looks a tad excited to go? 

Mr. Fix-It was preparing to go after Thanksgiving supper…tossed Isaiah a bag and said here, “you might need this”…(the bag contained thermal coveralls) & you could see those mental wheels were turning by the look on his face. He looked at me and asked what are these for? (hoping… hoping).  I had to tease him more and said well, “you know you needed good snow gear, you’ve outgrown everything”.  Then Mr. Fix-It asked him “where’s your boots?”  He was tossed extra hats, given long johns, gloves, etc…All extra “stuff” he/Mr. Fix-It found in his gear bag.

Poor Isaiah, you could tell he didn’t want to ask to go again.  About the time he was ready to pop grandpa had mercy & said since he seemed to have enough gear of his own he should come with them.  We heard…” really?  Really? REALLY?!?!?!  I get to go? 


Of course he had to try everything on.

  I’ve been watching thrift stores for kid gear and have yet to find anything!  I think boys are much harder on winter gear than girls


Evie was so excited for him but had no idea why LOL!


  Uncle Mury played along when he got there, made him go through the list of gear to make sure he was ready.  It was to funny and his reaction was priceless!

The return smile was just as big.


He stayed by grandpa’s side harnessed in to a tree stand acting as spotter (when he didn’t fall asleep LOL!)  He said it was cold out but he was plenty warm & wants to go again….so although there was no deer…

we count the trip as a success.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving Eve

Stupidity reined!

For the past month I’d desperately needed to clean out the pantry and kept putting it off.  It got really messy with summer and canning then I bought a bunch of items in bulk…..It was a messy job I just kept putting off.  The night before Thanksgiving I couldn’t find anything in there…so I had enough, got real stupid and started emptying shelves……deep shelves.

Mr.Fix-It thought I’d lost my mind and bravely stayed to help & watch the comedy show.


My entire kitchen quickly became trashed. 


Hour and a half later, it was all cleaned up with neat, reorganized and clean shelves. 

Was I ever surprised and upset with myself over some of my finds of expired food.  I thought I had a decent rotation system in place but evidence of full trash bags proved me very wrong.   Such a waste & I and now have a better rotation system in place.


Just in case you ever run into a syrup bottle stuck to a shelf & hot water won’t loosen it (Not that it has ever happened to me *Snort*) ..a blow dryer on high will loosen that sucker right up.   


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Cranberry Debate

Is a biggie in our house.

Growing up, Mom cooked the most wonderful cranberry sauce. Real cranberry sauce…boiled till the berries popped, sugar added and cooled in the fridge.   Thanksgiving and Christmas would not be the same with out it. For me it was a memory scent of Christmas. We gobbled it up with our meal and later slathered on leftover turkey sandwiches.  A turkey sandwich just is not the same without cranberry sauce.   Then there was the year cranberry jelly appeared on the table..along with cranberry sauce.  Not just cranberry jelly, but cranberry jelly from a can.( <---insert ominous voice)  My Dad loved it…& had to pretend he didn’t.  I don’t think I’d ever seen my Momma so insulted……

The first Thanksgiving after Mr. Fix-It & I were married, I made cranberry sauce.  And he asked what is that…where was the cranberry jelly and……the…cranberry relish he grew up eating!  What?!?!?!


What the heck is cranberry relish?????

Well……(insert a *fluffy huff*)

It’s on the cranberry package ……and oh so good! 

Sweet and sour at the same time….similar to the candy sweet tarts. As the years went by cranberry jelly and cranberry relish were what has graced our table. 

Today for the first time in YEARS I made cranberry sauce. Because, I miss my Mama & I wanted her cranberry sauce.

Actually, I ended up making a double batch and canned it all.  .


It’s excellent with pork chops. Preserved, I now have small jars to use year round

So this year we will have cranberry sauce, cranberry jelly and cranberry relish. 

Yes, we will have very clean kidneys by weeks end.

Cranberry sauce

It’s super simple to make…

1 bag of cranberries rinsed (I like half the bag chopped so I put some in the blender)

place berries in a pan with 1-1.5 cup water (just enough to see a few floating about)

Bring to a boil and listen for the cranberries to pop (yes really they pop) and soften.


(Keep stirring so they don’t scorch)

Once they are soft add 3/4 to 1 cup of sugar (hey, Its Thanksgiving!)

Bring to a full boil for 1-2 minutes and turn it off. 

Chill in a pretty bowl for the table… and slather on your turkey slices!


It’s pan lickin good!

What’s on your table?

Jelly From Juice

Life has been getting in the way of blogging lately.  It happens to all of us but I seem to be less organized than most. 

MIA but not Slackin off! HONEST! 

Since this summers fruit harvest was pretty small I’d purchased some 100% pure juice to try alternative jelly making.  It sat in the back of my pantry for a few months waiting for the heavy canning to be done.  A few weeks ago I saw the post from MM @ Self Sustained LIving  and it reminded me to pull my juice out.

Jelly & Locks 001

The first batch was grape, the second a mixed berry.

The berry set up nice, the grape I had to reprocess and add more pectin for some reason.  I did add sugar as both juices were pretty tart.

I ended up with 6 pints of each that will be nice with toast in the morning & the necessary PBJ’s

. IMG_1346

I  had to set them in the window sill for a bit to see the beautiful jewel colors for a few minutes.  I would love to have a shelf in the middle of the kitchen window to place 1 jar from each item canned.  It would not be safe I know but, I think it would look like a sustainable stained glass window.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Knitters Give Away!!

One of my favorite knitting blogs is having a give away.  If you’re a knitter be sure and pop into Two Sides of the Same Stitch and enter.  It ends today so you’d better hurry.

I love this blog for all the knitting tips you can learn & they are fun ladies to follow


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Decanted Shortening

Well it worked!  Debbie sent me a U-tube link (I always forget about U-tube) and I decanted the shortening to jars. Why did I do this???  I don’t use a lot of shortening as a general rule and it sits in the pantry forever. The last can I had turned a brownish yellow if that gives you an idea how old it was & the expiration date was 2009.  I wanted to preserve it in smaller usable sizes.  Yes, I could have purchased a smaller can but, for less than a dollar more I got 3 times that amount.

I wanted to make some biscuits a while back and bought can…for what ever reason the biscuits didn’t get made.  Last week, I bought more shortening obviously forgetting I’d already purchased a can.  GAH!!  So now I have 6 lbs. of shortening …But that’s ok, I’m sure I’ll find more uses with winter baking.

Back to the video…the only issue I see is it looks like she has the can directly on the burner  Epic accident waiting to happen!

I put my can in a large pot of hot water (2-3inches) and slowly let it melt that way on the lowest flame setting.

If you do this, be sure and stir and loosen the bottom to let it “vent” constantly.  I was 2 ft. away washing jars and it vented on its own….as in a spout of melted shortening shooting up on my stove and cabinets.   That happened less than 2 minutes after the last stir.


I did not hot water bath these.  I will however store them in the fridge till I have the tube for my jar sealer. How long will they last?  NOOOOO Idea.  There was no expiration date on either of my new cans. I checked the paper wrap, the inside foil seal, the lid and bottom.  NADA!  Kinda scary huh?  So, I have 7 full pints and a partial ready to use.

And Drum roll please…………


I finally made perfect bread!!!!!

Thank you (Insert curtsey here) you’re to kind


No mush or dough when slicing & it’s weight does not resemble a doorstop!


Feelin pretty sassy and proud of myself after that one! 

I decided on some comfort food that night and we were having sausage gravy and biscuits for supper..because you know I have 6 lbs. of shortening I need to start using.

Now, I’ve made drop biscuits before….many many times and they turn out pretty darn good. Usually I toss the batch in the pan & you’ll have light and fluffy pan biscuits ready for butter and honey…..

Well, I waited for them to rise, and waited, and waitedIMG_1205

Well, did you know baking powder has an expiration date? 

I didn’t. 

Checking the can it expired in 2004. 

Time for a spice cabinet purge!

Mr. Fix-It (bless his heart) ate them anyway.

Think I owe that man a pie.

Have a great weekend


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Friday, November 9, 2012

Plans Change

We decided to hold off moving forward with anymore of the remodel here for a while. 

We are looking in to purchasing the property next to us to move family closer.

We’ve spoken to the property owner (the lady with the bushes which I offered to trim)  and she is more than willing to sell. She actually was the one who brought it up this summer…now its up to the financial end & what the property will appraise out to.  Maybe more than we are willing to go but, she jumped at the idea so I feel pretty confident we can work some arrangement out. The house is just a 2 bedroom but sits on a full unfinished basement the length of the house.  With both properties it would give us just about 5 acres & combined as it was originally.  Since we are now unfortunately in the city limits we couldn’t have anything more than chickens but, we could have one heck of a garden and orchard.

The plans and plotting is rolling full force but, I don’t want to get my hopes up to much (yeah right) till it’s a done deal.  I just know we will feel a lot better having them closer.

Hunting season is on!  He’s been twice now without any luck.  Both times they saw huge deer coming out of the woods at dusk.  It was as if they were saying naner naner naner!  Just as well, the weather had warmed up & we would’ve need to pay for processing rather than do it here.

And, look what I found local!  I read about these from ……Sue? Sandy? Debbie?(I’ll credit who when I remember) These jar sealers will be wonderful to use with the items I’ve dehydrated.


I have the adapter hose on order….I thought it odd they sold the sealer and not the hose too but I’m part way there! 

So, with plans changing that means my learning curve had been altered dramatically.Our “steps” to sustainability have become leaps & I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to have all kinds of questions & some may seem silly like…

Shortening…it always seems to sour before I use a whole lb.…and its only $1.00 more for the full lb. apposed the the 8 oz. size.  Is it possible to melt it into wide mouth canning jars and water bath seal it in usable/manageable sizes? I don’t want the big honkin can in my fridge.

I bet you just knew that was the first question I’d throw out there right?

Have a great weekend



Thursday, November 8, 2012

It’s Been A Long Week

We’ve had a lot on our plate and I’m just now taking a breather or a sob…

I feel like we’ve been on an emotional roller coaster. 

I’ve really tried not to get political here but I’m just sick.

This election is over and so is our status as a nation..the land of the free and home of the brave where our Constitution has become simply a piece of historical paper in a pretty frame.

A friend of mine put to words perfectly how I feel.

**“ I actually felt as if I was grieving! Like someone had died’. **

I feel like every thing we’ve worked for as a nation & and worked to build as a family has been for nothing.

I felt as if the 19 members of our family…. from our sons generation to our parents including my husband and myself who served Active Duty and swore to “ support and defend the Constitution of the United States “ was for naught.

I know it’s not true because we have to continue to live our lives as an example for the next generation. 

Teach them right from wrong. 

To work for what you want, strive to be a better person, learn all you can and apply that knowledge to the betterment of yourself and others….to be responsible for your words and actions, to be a responsible, productive & contributing member of society

But, it’s hard to do when the destruction of all we as a country stand for comes from inside the gate.

Tomorrow will be a better day

Thanks for letting me vent


Monday, October 29, 2012

All Secure…but cold

Mr.Fix-It came home and changed the lock on the side door (new addition) with in 10 minutes of getting home.

Hadn’t even taken his boots off.

Jelly & Locks 002

Last night I slept like a log, didn’t get up till just after 7 am.  Serious bead head and a numb right arm and hip.  I don’t think I moved at all during the night.   Safety & security is wonderful thing!

I don’t know about your neck of the woods but around here Fall is over. It was here for about 2 weeks, I blinked and it was g.o.n.e.

  I left the house about 10am. with a scarf and a mid weight fleece jacket …BIG mistake.  By the time I got 20 ft. to the car I was ready for the heater.

Here in So Indiana/Louisville area we are caught between the overflow winds from the east and the blustery cold front approaching from the west. We had 45 mph winds that cleared the patio area of all the leaves (thankyouverymuch) better than the leaf blower and in less time.

It also brought the cold. 

I have to say I’ll take our wind and the cold weather it brings over the storms on the east coast.  It will take at least a month to get everyone powered up again

Earth quakes on the west coast, tsunami’s, east coast storm…makes me wonder if God’s not leaning over and shouting


Can you hear me now?


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Saturday, October 27, 2012


We live out a ways and until the past few years never locked our doors.

  Even at night, there were to many kids coming and going.  Some ours and some that needed a safe place to go.  Since the new subdivisions have gone in down the road the doors are locked at night.  We’ve not had a problem but, were not naive either. 

This past summer there have been numerous break-ins in the new neighborhoods about a mile away.  We even started locking the vehicles rather than leaving the keys in the car and, locking the house when we leave in the day. 

Well, recently I’ve come home after running my twice weekly errands and found the door open about 6 inches.  I kinda froze for a moment but though maybe I hadn’t closed the door all the way. Everything in the house was fine so I gave myself a good talking to about safety.   

A few mornings later something woke me. Still not sure what but,  it brought me wide awake & fully alert. I’d been up pretty late the night before so it was about 8 am.  I came down the hall and saw the side door open, thinking Mr. Fix-It was outside & maybe the screen had slammed……then realized it was Monday…he was long gone.  Again everything in the house was fine but it creeped me out.

Later that afternoon as I went out to the garden I noticed my Santa Fe had been keyed down the drivers side & the mail box (way down the drive way) was smashed. 

It has happened 3-4 times in the past month…coming home and the door is open.  Nothing is out of place that I notice or missing… but it just doesn’t “feel” right.

I really thought I was loosing it, not locking up when I KNEW I had. I’ve not been sleeping well at all, hearing every little creak and moan a house makes at night.  Jumping at normal noises in the day…and then

Last night, Larry checked the windows, lights and doors, made sure everything was locked up tight and we went to bed………

He got up this morning at the usual 5 am &…the side door was o.p.e.n. and the porch light was on. 

I KNOW that door was locked.

HE knows the door was locked.

I’m not going crazy!

O happy day!

(Well, let’s not define crazy ok?)

We have 3 keys out, all to family….they work during the day and after talking to them none have been in the house. (Not that we would care other than to lock the door when you go)   

Some how, someone is able to get in here….nothing is ever bothered or missing which is even weirder…..creepier

Tomorrow, new locks are going on the house!

Better yet it’s nice to know I’m not loosing my mind.


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Dehydrating Potato’s

I’ve been wanting to try dehydrating potato’s for a while.  Although we have a basement but not really a “cold room” so dehydrating I felt was the best long term storage for us.  Now that the garden is pretty much done, now is the time to tackle those potato’s time and price wise.  I’d looked up directions on line and U tube & then remembered my blogging buddy over at “Bacon & Eggs” had recently dehydrated some.

So following her directions I pealed my taters. Yes, I know I could leave the skins on but the MR. can’t stand the skins in dishes…baked is ok but not in fried tater’s…(.he asks for so little I pealed them)

Sliced them up to an eyeballed 1/8th of an inch

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In a pot of lightly salted boiling water and using a strainer I boiled my slices.  The suggested time was 5-8 minutes (till opaque) I found 5 was right for me, more and they got to soft.

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I put them in a bowl of ice water for 5-10 minutes (till cool)

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Lay them out on a tea towel or paper towel (if you use them) & blot dry

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Layer them on the dehydrator trays mindful that they do not touch

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3-4 hours check if they are crispy…(at this point I switched the 2 top & bottom trays as the top was more dry than the bottom) about 2 hours later they were done.  I let them cool for a few hours and then sealed them in a container. 

This evening I plan to break out the food saver, I’ve yet to use it & this is the perfect time to break it in. 

A few things I found worked best for me…

I had my water start boiling while I peeled the first dozen potato’s.  I sliced and boiled 3 potato’s at a time.  While those were boiling I sliced 3 more & set up my trays. 

Right before I figured those boiling were done, I drained those in the Ice water & layered them out to drain…..so I was able to have them boiling, cooling, drying on the towel and load the screens ….then peal more potato’s within that 5-8 minute boil time. 

If I pealed to many at one time they started to discolor & I found 3 potato’s fit perfect on a tray. I tried just dropping them in the pan to boil without the strainer but had a mess trying to fish the slices out.

Less than an hour I had 10 lbs. of potato’s dehydrating….very easy and quick which is good as I have 3 more bags to do!

And then I had a cup of coffee OK, 2 cups before I cleaned up…

note to self clean up right away cause dried potato starch on the counters & pans is just gross to clean up

Thank you again to my bloggy friend  “Bacon & Eggs”



Friday, October 26, 2012

A Day Of Busy-ness

It’s been a busy week. Not a whole lot of one thing but bits of this and that. 
Beans for seed left to dry on the vine were all harvested yesterday or,  nearly all harvested.  I was pulling plants as I went & won the prize….Fall finishing 001
Which had me yelling EEEEWWWWW and running walking away.  I know it’s just a snake skin but it leads to the question, where’s the snake! These I’m setting aside for a few days till it’s to chilly for outdoor work
The chives got a final (I think) hair cut.
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Chopped up & in the freezer with the other bags waiting for soups and stews this winter
From the main garden the last of the squash/pumpkin harvest is in
Looks pretty good right?

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How about adding a sharpie marker to the photo for a a bit of size perception
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They are all so tiny, combined maybe enough for a meal
Tomato’s are all that’s left and they need to come in this evening as the weather man is calling for low 50’s for the high tomorrow and a cold snap over the weekend.  If that weather change wasn’t enough to curl my toes he said the 4 letter word.  That’s right S>N>O>W> next week.  I’m so not ready!
I popped in the local hardware store the other day and caught a good clearance of plants.  I scored 3 more blueberry bushes for about $2.50 each.  I planted them today and think there will be enough decent weather for them to “set” and make it through the winter.  For $2.50 it’s a chance I’m willing to take.
I’ve a bag of potato’s with my name on it waiting to be dehydrated..
Have a great day
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Sometimes the beauty

Is in the simplicity. 

Such is the design of this kerchief

 Age of Steam & Brass

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combined with a color way from Lunabud Knits

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Designed to be worn as a kerchief or a backwards shawl with the length draped in the front.  The ends are long enough to wrap around the neck comfortably. 

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A kerchief to wear in the *v* of your jacket to keep your chest warm & leave on as an fun accessory…..

I think I need to make one for me!


Midnight Knitting

So many projects I start for gifts family knits and they end up set aside for customs. Don’t get me wrong…. I’m not complaining about the custom work,it pays my bills. 

But, this time I’m bound and determined to finish this The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief  in the next few days.

I cast on late last night and got this far about  inches in.

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I’m thrilled with the color flow, no heavy stacking or pooling at all…AWESOME dye work!

Today we needed to travel to Indy (2 hours each way) and I was able to compete all but the last section.  So tonight, my rear is plopped in a kitchen chair knitting away with a fresh cup of coffee at my elbow. 

We’ll see how far I get!

Have a great evening


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Jerky Time!

With hunting season upon us, I‘v been attempting to empty out the downstairs large chest freezer.  It’s my “bits of everything” freezer containing soups, broths,fruit for pies,  frozen veggies & also all the extra fruit and vegies I intend to can this winter.   It’s also the over flow for venison when the meat freezer is full. My plan is any meat left in there will be canned in the next 2 weeks to make room for more.  Mix 004

We also realized we’d yet to make any jerky!   We always save the tenderloin for jerky, and there were 2 plus, a few other packages he’d marked for jerky.  It’s not a quick process yet not a long labored one either, once the meat is sliced.

The seasoning we currently use is High Mountain Jerky Cure.

We love the flavor & variety of seasonings but, I want to make our own mix as I know it would be cheaper…so, share your recipe’s with me with jerky cures if you have them please.  There are quite a few on line but, I’d rather use one from one of my trusted bloggy friends

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Loading trays for the dehydrator

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So much easier than using the oven. 

The Excalibur takes at least triple the amount of meat compared to trays in the oven & is much more economical to use saving time and expensive propane.

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The smells from the dehydrator are heavenly..The first batch disappears pretty fast.

Do you  make jerky?  What are your favorite cures or rubs? 

Willing to share?

Stay warm out there!