Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter

Thank you all for the thoughts for my mom.  Things went well and I spent a few weeks with her only to come home and pick up the flu.  I'm chalking it up to a stress weakened immune system.  Either way I'm slowly feeling more human.

I am sending prayers and thoughts for a wonderfully Happy Easter for each of you and your families.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Pulling Out and Prayers

We're pulling out tomorrow for the trip to town.  Mama's brain surgery will be on Wednesday, so please say a prayer for her, the doctor and our family.  Everyone is optimistic that things will go quite well.

Today's a kind of crazy day.  I'll be taking off up to two weeks from our small business at the worst time of year.  We've been scrambling to get everything done and we're still not quite there, but I think we've got it to where hubby can manage on his own....more difficult with him working a job now.

I'm also trying to get meals ready for him for the next few days with hopes that I'll be home at least one day this weekend. So far I have the following in serving sizes in  the refrigerator:

  1. breakfasts
    1. yogurt and granola
    2. sausage links, homemade applesauce, and hardboiled egg
    3. hash brown casserole (using my home dried potatoes, sausage, eggs, etc) and fruit salad
  2. lunches/suppers
    1. two meals of spaghetti squash with a homemade sauce chocked full of veggies and ground turkey
    2. 2 large garden salads
    3. a large quiche with mushrooms, bacon, bell pepper,cheese, etc.
    4. kale for side dishes with the quiche
  3. desserts
    1. a chocolate cake baking now

I'll miss the knitting check in this week, but the Hetty is coming along nicely.  I had two days this week where I couldn't work on it at all, but I'm down to finishing the button bands and neckband.
Then I have to find buttons that suit me.  I've also cast on a slightly more mindless project called Miette so I'll have something for my hands to do while we are at the hospital.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Easy Frozen Treat

We're continuing to look for ways to refine our diet and replace our old favorites with healthier items to become new favorites.  I'm dreaming of spring and summer and of fresh fruit and ice cream.  Last night we tried a new to us version of the latter.

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
1 lb of frozen strawberries (I used sliced and could only find 14 oz bags.)
1 1/2 cups of fat free, low calorie vanilla Greek yogurt
a squirt of agave nectar
I pulsed the strawberries a few times in the food processor.
Added the yogurt (I used coconut vanilla)
and continued to process until smooth.
I did stop and scrape it down several times.
On the final whirl I added a squirt of agave nectar.
The results were a smooth, slightly tart, and
surprisingly fresh tasting dessert.
It went fast enough I didn't get photos of it in the dessert
We ate three decent sized servings and I still had some left to go in the freezer.
Next time we'll try it with frozen peaches
and maybe toss in a banana for sweetener instead of the agave nectar.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday's Yarn Along

With my mama being sick and not really needing to be alone and in prep for her upcoming surgery, I've had a lot of time on my hands to knit.  Sitting and keeping my hands busy while we talk has given me lots of time for knitting, but no time for reading.

Since last Wednesday I've finished the 1940's Sweater I posted about.  I had it in my head I would post a photo of me wearing it, but with our drop in temp for the last few days I've not been keen on wearing a short sleeved sweater.  I'll share one in the future though.

I honestly love this pattern.  The twisted ribbing is fun to knit
and I like the style of the sweater.
I had hoped my daughter would like it, but she doesn't.
However, I do think my daughter in law would love one.
On a sad note, I'm not pleased with the circular vest I was working on and
I've decided to frog it.
After I finished those two, I cast on for a top down raglan.
This was an experiment to see if I could create my own pattern
custom designed to fit me.
By yesterday I had a finished model.
I admit to some frogging on this and reworking until I found exactly
what seemed to work best for my shape.
I'm quite pleased with the final results though.
3/4 sleeves
sized medium (36")
acrylics (just because hubby and daughter can't touch wool)
Even though I started out with good intentions of using only
the yarns I had on hand, I have to admit I caved.
I knew I'd have to make one.
I love the vintage feel of it.
I was honestly going to wait and make it later;
really I was!
Then hubby told me to buy me the pattern and buy
daughter a dragon pattern she wanted...and if I was going to buy the pattern
I should buy the yarn I really wanted to use.
Now, let me ask you something...
if your husband sends you yarn shopping do you say no?
Well, I sure don'
So I've cast on the Hetty for this week's project.
While daughter hasn't started her dragon yet,
she has finished up another Pokémon -- Squirtle.
So all in all, we've had a busy knitting and crocheting week here.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Frugal Accomplishments for the Week

While frugal is indeed a mindset, like so many facets of life it is only as good as the actions that back it up.  My list of frugal accomplishments for this week included:

  • I had four no spend days.  One day I bought the groceries to top off the month (budgeted), one day we bought water for the water cooler (budgeted), and one day I bought prepackaged snacks for the homeschooling group.  I know the prepackaged snacks sound odd, but because everyone is crawling in their vehicle to head home when snacks are passed out I find this the easiest way and they are budgeted, too.
  • I did all our baking from on hand supplies and used the oven heat to supplement the heat.  On our pretty days I took advantage of the good weather to air out the house.
  • We used our long term and short term food storage all week to prepare healthy meal.
  • I did buy myself a set of knitting needles.  The up front cost was high, but less than each individual needle if I had purchased them separately. This was a planned purchase that was given the three day test.  Hubby bought both daughter and I a pattern each from Etsy as a gift. I'll be making another sweater and she'll be making a dragon.
  • We continued to use up our on hand crafting supplies and I finished a sweater. I had hoped my daughter would like it, but she doesn't like the vintage style.  Fortunately I love it and I have the perfect skirt to go with it.   I'll share photos of it this week for yarn along.
  • There were other things we did that seems to mundane to mention -- like self servicing the vacuum and all those little things that keep a household running.
  • By sticking to the menu we had zero fresh veggie waste, which was kind of nice.  I now have one package of mushrooms left, parsnips, carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash and a tiny bit of lettuce.  My goal for today is to work those in this week's menu.

Friday, March 14, 2014


Yesterday we found ourselves in a cold snap with an over 30 degree drop in temps from the day before and back down to freezing last night.  As the evening progressed I knew I was going to have to turn up the heat, but then I thought why not do something productive to produce heat. 
The results:

By bedtime we had this beauty sitting on the counter.
A spice cake with homemade caramel frosting
I know it isn't the prettiest "icing" job I've ever done,
but it was hit! 
Both here and at hubby's work it got rave reviews.
In fact, he came home with an empty cake carrier....
the last slice was taken home by a coworker to her husband.
I was good and only had two bites -- just enough to know
it was extremely rich!
For the past two days we've had art classes.
Yesterday was a long one from 12:45 until 5:00
and today was from 12:45 until 3:00.
Yesterday's supper was compliments of the slow cooker.
The bowl of fresh veggies from earlier in the week
went into a jar of home preserved tomatoes
and 8 ounces of bulk sausage
along with a few tablespoons of Italian seasonings.
This simmered all day and then we served it over spaghetti squash.
Since tonight is Friday we had fish.
I opened a jar of home preserved potatoes,
pulled a container of leftover savoy cabbage from the fridge,
and fried some fish.
An easy, peasy meal...and it was quite good.
While I was at it I cooked enough fish for fish cakes.
I simply cooked the fillets in milk, used that milk to make mashed potatoes
from instant (mixing in the leftover potatoes from supper -- just a few left),
added seasonings and homemade bread crumbs.
I now have 9 large fish cakes "flash" freezing.
The plan is to have some next Friday night
and then still have enough left for a meal on a night when I need a quick fix meal.
When they freeze, I'll transfer them to a freezer bag
for easier storage.
When I get ready to cook them I'll actually cook them from
a frozen state. 
I will dip them in egg and bread them with seasoned cornmeal
and fry or bake them.
Since they have a generous amount of both fish and potatoes
I won't feel bad if I only worry about making a green veggie to go with them.
And on that note --
I've done something this week I haven't done in a long time.
We stuck to the menu.
Beef roast is the plan for tomorrow and I'll probably use the slow cooker for ease.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wednesday's Yarn Along 3/12/2014

It's been a while since I've managed to time a post where I shared what we were working on for our "handwork" on the designated day of the week.

This week I have three projects in various stages of finished.
A market bag -- complete other than working in the ends.
sorry for the blurry photo
A circular vest of my own design.  Needs ends worked in
and I'm trying to decide if I want to do any extra stitches around the armholes.
This is my current project and I love how the pattern
is working up.  I'm using RH yarn because I am making
it for my of the two in the house allergic to wool.
I also added a few inches to the overall length since she has a long torso
and for modesty's sake.
I've finished one side and one sleeve.
My goal is to finish the second half by this weekend.
If we like the finished product I'd like to make two more of these --
One for me and one for my daughter in law.
Ironically both of us are short enough we won't need the extra
Daughter has been crocheting, too.
Charmander (Pokémon)
birthday present for her nephew
On the reading front
I just finished this book:
It was actually an interesting read
and I'm looking forward to doing a little more research on the topic.
Oh and you're all invited to our house for tea and chocolate chip muffins.
Come sit and knit or crochet a while.