Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bird Watching

I put bird seed out this week, since we are down in the 20s now at night. I have moved alot of the feeders over in front of the bay window in our bedroom. My quilt frame is there and when we only want to feed one woodstove I work in that room, and enjoy watching all the bird visitors.

We have all of our lovely normal visitors but we have been pleasantly surprised by a visit twice this week so far, from my favorite Missouri bird the pileated woodpecker. We have many of the woodpeckers here in our woods-little ones up to this larger one of the species.

These guys are very large and just so cool to watch, they hear the bugs in the trees and so peck away to find them.

My camera was out of battery this morning so this is not my photo.

and here ia map where they reside.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

a Chocolate BlogThing

You Are Spontaneous and Easygoing

You know that life doesn't always go the way you plan, and to be honest, you think that's a beautiful thing.
You are good at letting go of control and seeing what just happens. You don't even try to change the future.

You stress less than most people and really cherish your imperfect life. You may have problems, but you don't let them weigh you down.
You find happiness wherever you can, and because of your attitude, you're able to find happiness in many places.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Art Sunday Snowflakes

With winter just around the corner, some of us will soon be seeing the beautiful snowflake
I found a link here how to draw a snowflake
25 amazing photographs of snowflakes here
Amazing Snowflake Photography
How to create snowflakes in watercolor here
How to make paper snowflakes here
I couldn't find any paintings with snowflakes but I found this neat link-all about snowflakes and snow here



Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Cakes and Puddings-Gluten Free

I am making up Larry's dark fruit cake, an english version tomorrow morning. I have the fruits soaking in rum overnight. I have made this every year since we have been married, and almost every year before that-it has become a tradition.
I usually make up a gluten free version for me, but this year I may still do that, but I really want to make a gluten free plum pudding. I have vintage and new steamers for this too. Looking online, I actually found serveral recipes for this. here's one
I like the looks of this recipe
This one looks really good too, it is made with almond flour and has a maple rhubarb sauce recipe to serve with it here
almondpudding2
Here is a recipe more involved, also with almond flour here one of the ingredients is black treacle what is this??? does anyone know?

Here is a gluten free fruitcake recipe from Whole Foods Market, I like this one cause it uses dried fruits instead of sugary ones
This recipe is a little different, has crushed pineapple included to keep it moist here another recipe here that looks yummy.

I think I will also be making some other breads this year instead of cookies-date bread, and banana, or pumpkin breads too

If you need to bake gluten free for the holidays-not to fret-there are so many recipes available now online-just do a google search for what you need-you will be pleasantly surprised--enjoy baking this season!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Pecan Pie--in the oven

I found the recipe I am using from their catalog-also on line. I love the way the crust was made, I use oil most of the time now-so perfect, and I tried out my just made gluten free baking flour mix that I put together.
Be sure to read the directions all the way thru though, and do what I just did-lol-the streusel topping goes on after the pie has been in the oven for 40 minutes. for some reason I didn't read the recipe thru, just the different steps til after it was in the oven-this is not my week I guess. funny actually-lol so I took off as much of the topping as I could, the rest I stirred into the filling-and is now baking til time for the topping. oh well, I love everything about this recipe-simple, don't have to buy special canned milk either and I used the soy milk I had on hand-love the flavor.

recipe here

"Doings"

We will be having a warm up with sunshine for the next few days, before it goes back to "normal" weather-cold and dreary. I feel for all of you that are getting a pounding with rains and wind-stay safe and warm.

Yesterday my friend and I had a resale shop browsing day. We both had a box to drop off-I had a few christmas items that I really wanted to get dropped off, so was a nice day. I wasn't looking to purchase anything but I did come away with a couple small items. I was aggravated at myself though.

I needed a couple holiday trays to pass out my homemade goodies in-so I found a glass christmas plate for a dollar, and then I picked up a plastic snowman dish too. When I went to wash them, the plastic one had a really long sticky spot that just would not come off. I think was there before the resale shop sticker went on-cause theirs comes off real easy.

Soo, I used some of that stuff to get sticky stuff like this off, thinking first maybe I should not use cause this was plastic-but went ahead and did it. wow what a mess-it destroyed the plate-so had to throw it away.

Then, I had purchased two little coffee mugs for .50 each, that were made in Japan and they were just the right size when I want a small cup of coffee or tea. I wasn't going to buy them, cause I don't have room for them, but then I knew I would regret not buying them so I bought them. lol Well I warmed up some water in one of them in the microwave for tea-and wow the whole inside of the cup has all those crack lines now under the glaze-I always wondered how cups got so bad like this when I saw them at garage sales-so lesson learned--don't put vintage cups in the microwave. I didn't think these were older than the 60s but they must have been-sigh-I was really upset with myself with these two happenings.

gotta do some stuff this morning, then I think I will make up a couple pies today-haven't had pie here in some time now. I found a recipe from Penzeys for pumpkin pie that looked really good-has a crumble topping of pecans on top, and a very different pie crust too-one that you mix up-don't roll out, but pour in pie pan and then form in the pan-so thought I would try that out too with my gluten flours.

I caught a movie on hallmark channel this morning-so off to finish watching that. catch ya all in a bit

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Smoked Turkey

Larry indicated he would love to smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving this year. So, when I defrosted the freezers yesterday, I had one at the bottom that I pulled out. This one I bought last year and the price tag was .88 a pound on sale, this year I still have not seen one below 1.98 a pound-so not replacing it yet.
Larry has a brine recipe that he always used on his pheasants before smoking, so we are using that. When I watched Thanksgiving Live on Food Network last sunday, one of the chefs says she puts her frozen turkey in her brine to defrost-so its multi tasking-getting brined and defrosted at the same time.
Recipe from Larry is per two gallons of cold water add 2 cups canning salt, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup pickling spice. So I got that going yesterday morning.
We have the hickory cut up in chunks already that we gathered from the woods-so thats ready to go as well.
I found on line this good step by step tutorial here for smoking a turkey.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chex Mix-from the Beginning

Chex mix KPMX .
One of the great American food company traditions is promoting one's products through recipes. Period cookbooks and women's magazine ads from the 1950s and 1960s confirm the idea of combining manufactured cereal with other products and toasting them with butter was popular. According to one source, Chex Mix (aka TV Mix, Chex Party Mix. Mix Trix) was introduced in 1955 If so? The Ralston Purina company was not the first to market the idea. The 1950 edition of Betty Crocker's Cook Book [General Mills] has a recipe for "Buttered or Cheese Kix," Kix being a General Mills brand cereal.
"Traditional Chex Brand Party Mix. This crunchy nibble hit the party circuit in 1955. In St. Louis. There's a good reason for this. The recipe was dreamed up by the savvy folks at Ralston Purina--a St. Louis company--as a way to push its Chex Brand cereals (wheat, corn, and rice). Today, it's a staple in millions of homes from Maine to Monterey. Some cooks fiddle with the classic recipe, loading it with a favorite nut, perhaps..."
---The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 36-7)


[1954]
"Mix Trix

1/2 cup Kix
1 cup Cheerios
1 cup Wheat Chex
1 cup Rice Chex
2 cups thin short pretzel sticks
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Mix the packaged cereals and pretzel sticks together. Combine the melted butter and seasoning. Pour over the cereal mix. Stir well together. Spread in a layer on a baking sheet, and bake at 250 degrees F. For an hour, stirring every 15 minutes."
---Martha Deane's Cooking for Compliments, Marian Young Taylor [M. Barrows:New York] 1954 (p. 17)
[NOTE: Martha Deane was a popular radio personality on WOR New York]

[1962]TV Mix
"TV Mix...1955...Now, television antennas topped nearly every house, and entertainment meant westerns in the living room. Davy Crockett put a coonskin cap on every kid. And the perfect snack was TV mix, a combo of crisp-srisp toasted cereals and salted nuts." (p. 90)

"TV Mix.
4 cups crisp doughnut-shaped oat cereal
6 cups crisp cereal corn puffs
3 cups bite-sized shredded -wheat squares
3 cups slim pretzel sticks
1 pound mixed salted nuts
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup bacon drippings
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teasoon Tabasco sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspooon savory
Combine cereals, pretzels, and nuts in roaster pan. Melt butter and bacon drippings; add Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco; mix well, and pour over cereal mixture. Thoroughly combine seasonings; sprinkle over mixture, mixing well. Toast in very slow oven (250 degrees F.) 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Makes 4 quarts." (p. 94)
---Better Homes & Gardens, May 1963

[1963]
"Party Mix: Easy to Fix Party

6 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon seasoned salt or 3/8 teaspoon salt
6 cups Chex (mix Wheat, Corn and Rice Chex equally or in any way you like!)
3/4 cup salted nuts.
1. Heat oven to 250 degrees F. 2. Slowly melt butter in shallow pan. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and salt. 3. Add Chex and nuts. Mix until all pieces are coated. 4. Heat in oven 45 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes. Spread on absorbent paper to cool. Yield: 6 3/4 cups."
---Display ad, Ralston Purina Company, Better Homes & Gardens, December 1963 (p. 76)
According to the records of the

"The town of Sterling, Colorado celebrated its favorite snack food today with a Main Street Parade, the naming of a "Mr. and Ms. Chex Mix" and even the presentation of a college scholarship. Saying they had to see it to believe it, several General Mills representatives flew in from Minneapolis to attend the festivities and hear the mayor proclaim Chex Mix as the city's official snack. The day's events developed after local radio DJ Jason Murphy asked listeners of his KPMX morning show to name their favorite snack food. The resounding answer was Chex Mix. "I was shocked by how many people called in to say Chex Mix ruled," says Murphy...Amused and flattered by the town's efforts, General Mills sent more than 700 bags of Chex Mix to Sterling, most of which will be donated to the local food shelf."
---"City of Sterling, Colorado Names Chex Mix Its Official Snack Food," Business Wire, February 23, 2001
If you want more details on this event, contact

ABOUT CHEX BRAND CEREAL
"In his book Great American Brands, historian David Powers Cleary recorded the origins of Chex cereal. In 1898 William Danforth, an owner of an animal feed business, saw something in wheat germ that cereal manufacturers of the period had overlooked. Cereal makers of the day removed wheat germ from whole wheat cereals because of perennial problems with the wheat germ quickly growing rancid. A miller from Kansas...discovered a way to keep the wheat germ from going bad. Meanwhile, Danforth believed wheat germ to be a form of nature's own purity and therefore importanat to sound health. Danforth soon began a collaboration with the Kansas miller to sell a ready-to-eat cereal for people: that collaboration marked the very beginning of what would become Chex cereal...by 1902, the company name had changed to Ralston Purina Company. To accompany the new name, Danforth wished to develop a logo that people would remember. He decided on a smart red and white checkerboard...[which] symbolized, to him, his philosophy of healthy living...By the time of the Great Depression, Ralston Wheat Cereal was losing money for the company, despite the growth of overall comapny sales to $60 million. The company remedied this lapse in sales by bringing in a famous cowboy, Tom Mix, to lend his name to the cereal. Eventually changing the cereal name to Chex..."
---"Chex," Encyclopedia of Consumer Brands, Volume 1: Consumable Products, Janice Jorgenson, editor [St. James:Detroit] 1994 (p. 114-116)
[NOTES: USPTO records indicate "Chex" was introduced in 1950; this book has much more information than can be paraphrased here. If you need more details ask your libarian to help you find a copy].

from here


U.S. Patent and Trademark Office "Chex Mix" was not registered until 1990: Registration #1663021

More Recipes of a Civil War Thanksgiving


Turkey, stuffing, and Cranberry Sauce here
"Note that bread stuffing, sausage, and oysters were popular kinds of stuffing for turkey. Turkeys were typically boiled, roasted, or baked almost exactly like we do today. Turkeys were typically a lot smaller back then, a 10 pound turkey was typical. 20 pound turkeys were reserved for large parties."

In 1864 special meals were provided for the Union soldiers. A picture of Thanksgiving among the Troops appeared in Harper's Weekly magazine.

Thanksgiving was decreed by every president after Lincoln. The date was changed several times, until 1941, when Thanksgiving was finally approved by Congress as a legal holiday on the fourth Thursday in November. President LIncoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation here

And I found this site that I really like-Thanksgiving Civil War Style-since Thanksgiving was not yet an official holiday the foods prepared were not treated as a holiday, this site shows foods common for this time period with recipes here

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sausage Making


Photos of grinding up the sausage, and the summer sausage all mixed up.
I ended up with 5 pints of canned venison backstrap-sliced. I just now turned off the pressure canner. I ended up using the directions for canning meats in the newest Ball canning book. There was so many variations online that I decided to go with Ball for my first attempt and then decide if I liked the results.
I followed the sliced tenderloin recipe, this was perfect for the backstrap cause there was no fat or grissel to cut out. Anxious to open the canner and see what it looks like.
Larry ground up all the venison from the second deer, I mixed in pork or chicken-and I made three kinds-ended up with 9 Pounds each. Bratwurst, venison seasoning sausage, and breakfast sausage. I bagged it all up seperately and put in the frig for a bit-to take a break.
I think I will freeze most of it, and can about half of the breakfast sausage. Will give half of everything to our friend Mr. L

Making up Sausage This Afternoon

I had in the freezer, three sausage spice blends I had purchased from Penzeys- venison sausage, summer sausage, and brat sausage.
This afternoon after Mr. L goes hunting, we will grind up the deer he got yesterday. He's really fast at butchering, and he has an outdoor frig, where he can put in a 5 gallon bucket of the butchered meat in cold water-to get all the blood out of the meat.
I went to town early this morning to buy ground pork and chicken. I haven't made sausage in a very long time, we are not set up for curing at this time, so I will be freezing and canning.
I am off to hunt down my canning recipes and search for a recipe for italian sausage spices. I use italian sausage for my handmade pizzas and other things so that would be nice to make.
We woke up this morning to 70 degrees and still these very high winds-but the temps will be dropping all day today as a big storm is moving in tonight-just hoping the t storms hold off to after monday football tonight-the Packers are playing, and our two friends here now are from Wisconsin---sooooo a Packer party tonight-lol
Our feast yesterday was excellent-of course too much food-so I sent alot of it home, we will have the fish for lunch, and the smoked venison I put in the freezer and will bring out next weekend for the next hunting camp.
catch all later on-Happy Monday

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Our Feast is About Ready

The smoker has been going since around 7:30 am, the venison roast looks and taste fabulous. I just put on about 12 trout that Larry had caught this summer-I am making some garlic-parmesean bread, and I just started a pot of wild rice on the stove, and will do a pot of green beans too.

I didn't want anything real heavy but I wanted something else besides the meat, fish, green beans, and bread, and I got to talking about foods with one of our friends, and he says you know I just love wild rice and he can't get his new wife to make it for him. so as I was going thru the freezer to find my sausage spices for tomorrow I found my last bag of native american wild rice from Wisconsin-I had brought down several bags of it with me when I retired. I thought perfect-will surprise my friend and it will go well this meal.

We have the rest of the first deer ground up and in the freezer, we ended up with 18 full quarts-split it with Mr. L. He got his deer this morning-so tomorrow I need to run to town and buy some fresh pork so we can add it to the ground venison and make sausage.

I need to find my recipes that my Mom gave me years ago of meat canning recipes from her amish neighbor. I remember one of them was for canned sausage patties.

So we got alot done today, and I am tired, especially since Nikita woke me up around 1 am and I couldn't get back to sleep.

Not going to get this quilt finished before they go back home tuesday morning, so will need to mail it off in a couple weeks instead. Since I am tying the knots closer together, is taking alot longer to do, and my right shoulder can't handle much more of 6-8 hours or tying-sooo will be a surprise in the mail for them.

Next weekend, we have the second group of friends coming in for more hunting-so that's kinda nice too.

Off to finish up supper

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Couple Photos-Art Swap and Around the Homestead Here

The first and last photos are of my art swap from my blog friend here in Missouri; Carol. She painted the two miniatures for me, made me a card, and preserved these leaves with something so they are no longer brittle-love it all so much-and blends in with my handmade pottery here too.

Next photo is of this neat building that Larry built for me one of the first years we moved down. It was suppose to be my garden shed, and upstairs a little apartment for visitors. Right now is curing all the wood for house-for my cabinets, and black walnut flooring for the living room, along with my garden tools. so far the gardening is not happening too well here for me. Mr. L is thinking it would be great converted to our "clubhouse" great place to hold cook outs and such. The just finished building the outside stairs and the deck to get to the second floor.

Next photo is Larrys new live bait pond-it is starting to fill up nicely now with all the rain we have gotton this week. He will raising minnows for live bait when they go fishing on the lake. he was tired of spending too much money for poor quality bait. so he the baby john deer build this pond-the wildlife loves it !!

Well off to get the last load of laundry on the line. figured I would do it this afternoon to save time tomorrow-will just leave it out on the line tonight, I don't think the wildlife will bother it lol

A Couple Tea Memes for Cold Morning

You Appreciate All of Life's Moments
You are a great compromiser. You can deal with personalities of every flavor, and you're good at making sure each person has a say.

You have an ever chanting personality. You are big on self-improvement and growth. You're always getting better.

You love everything about life, including the sadder and darker parts. You appreciate every emotion.

You are energetic and downright hyper. All sorts of ideas and opportunities excite you.
You Are Chai Tea
You're quite the charmer. You know how to get what you want from almost anyone.
You are high-powered and spunky. You bring a lot to the table... sometimes too much!

You are brilliant and pioneering. You never do things the normal way... you do them your way.
Friends describe you as sensitive, spirited, and compulsive. Bright and blazing with intensity, you seem mysterious and moody to many.

Hump Day Handmade Tin Punching

Several years ago I bought the tools to do this-the right little hammer, and a couple of tools that you hammer on to make the designs. We planned on using my handmade tin punched pieces for panels in some of my kitchen cupboards. Haven't tried this yet though-lol
I have just recently been informed that Mr. L wants to helps Larry make my kitchen cabints-he's a craftsman too and has made alot of furniture, spinning wheels, etc in the past. How exciting for me!! I have made do here with no cabinets for 7 years now-hopefully the weather will hold out for a bit so they can start on this after the deer hunt.
example of punched tin used to liven up old furniture
this photo came from this very informative article I just found here and at the end of the article it tells yo how to do it "cheaper" without buying all the special tools
I found this series of tutorials on tin punching in the simpliest form-for making a christmas ornament here
Here is tin punching a tin can into a light or luminaries
another how to here
so next year, I may be making up some tin panels




I may be doing some pineapples, fruit, or wheat since we have alot of 1800s in our home.
What is your experience of doing some tin punching??

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chicken Soup for a Rainy Tuesday

Since I have been doing all this heavy cleaning and painting the last two weeks, I have been cooking just simple quick meals.
Sunday I got out my clay roaster and roasted one of the chickens Mr. L prepared for us along with lots of turnips, potatoes and a sprinkling of limes and herbs.
This roaster makes such excellent broth too, so yesterday I finished cooking down for soup. The soup was sooo delicious thought I would share my recipe.
Kathy's Roasted Chicken Soup
Roast a whole chicken the method you prefer you prefer-I used my clay baker roaster
Enjoy a meal when it comes out of the oven, then next day cook everything down for a couple hours into stock. Strain, cool, and skim the fat.
Bring the stock up to a simmer, add in the chicken meat.
Next I added a package of my own turnip greens, and a package of chantrelle mushrooms that I had sauted in butter-cooled and froze. This addition really stepped up the flavor of the soup. Add your favorite fresh mushroom that has been sliced and sauted in butter.
I then added in my favorite rice pasta, so here it's your pasta choice.
When the pasta is cooked tender, serve in soup mugs or something fun.
Enjoy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Art Sunday Monet

Woodgatherers at the Edge of the Forest
Woodgatherers at the edge of the forest
The Plain of Colombes, White Frost
The Plain of Colombes
The Garden
The Garden
The Valle of Sasso, Bordighera
The Valley of Sasso
Two Grain Stacks, Close of Day, Autumn
Two Grain Stacks Close of Day, Autumn
Three Trees in Autumn
Three Trees in Autumn
From here

Healthy Mondays Venison

The first thing I ate when I stopped be a vegan was venison, and for several years I only ate wild game and fish. I have always felt since then, that if I was going to eat meat I would prefer to eat wild, or what we raised ourselves. It is not always the easiest to stick to this, but we are gradually getting back to it again.
I wanted to share a little venison, cause it is a healthy meat protein: "According to the USDA website on nutrition, venison is among the most nutritious meats around. It has fewer calories per serving than either beef, pork, or chicken in an equivalent serving". more here

I thought I would share a few salads I found on the net:

Recipe: Southwest Venison Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 4 medium garlic cloves
  • 8 tbs chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder
  • 1-2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 3oz venison steaks
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 4 medium-large roma tomatoes diced
  • 8 tbs chopped scallions
  • 4 cups organic romaine lettuce

Instructions

  1. Place the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and salt in a closed jar. Shake until well mixed.
  2. Lightly coat a grill with nonstick cooking spray, heat, and grill the venison until done. Slice into 1 inch strips.
  3. Mix together the venison, beans, tomatoes, scallions, lettuce, and dressing, and serve. from here

This dish is found on restaurant menus throughout Mexico, but particularly in the western part of the country and in the Yucatan, where it is called zic de venado. This recipe is a good buffet dish, to be piled on tostadas or served with warm tortillas and habanero salsa. It makes an attractive presentation served on a bed of mesclun greens. Following are two variations on the traditional recipe, one savory and one sweet-and-hot.
Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds venison, cooked and shredded (venison is lean and shreds nicely, like flank or skirt steak)
  • juice of 4 bitter (Seville) oranges or use half sweet oranges and half limes
  • � cup finely chopped cilantro
  • � red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • � cup finely chopped radishes
  • salt to taste
Preparation:
Place the venison in a non-reactive bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients and let them rest for 15 minutes to combine the flavors. Add the mixture to the venison and serve immediately or refrigerate and bring to room temperature at serving time.
Serves 8-10 as part of a multicourse buffet or as an appetizer.
Variation I:
Omit the radishes and add � cup chopped green olives and 1 firm-ripe avocado, diced.
Variation II:
Omit the radishes and add 1 green mango, diced, 1 diced plantain and 2 (or more, to taste) serrano chiles, seeded and diced. from here

and this recipe looked delicious too Venison Salad with Beatroot,Apple, & Hazlenuts from here


Shredded Venison Salad: Salpicon De Venado by Karen Hursh Graber � 2005

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Art Sunday Fiber Arts-Macrame

Years ago back in the early 70's macarme was quite popular-mostly as plant hangers, belts, hanging lamps, jewelry-but I also knew of artists that took the form beyond that.
For some reason this popped in my mind tonight for art sunday.

from here

from here

from here

from here
A little history of macarme here and article on what cords, yarns are used here

Song Saturday


Friday, November 4, 2011

A Couple Autumn Memes

A couple memes before I get started with my day

You Are Ginger
You are soothing and calming. You provide a lot of comfort to those around you.
You are nurturing, but you also have a little bit of spice to you. You are a little wild!

You appreciate nature, and some of your best times are spent outdoors. You don't like being cooped up in an office for too long.
You are optimistic and cheerful. You show kindness to people, animals, and the earth. You believe in treading lightly.
You Are Wise
You are a prudent and rational person. You try not to do anything you regret, and if you do, you learn form your mistake.
You are educated or at the very least knowledgable. You have a perception that most people lack.

You've learned to be vigilant in your life. You are pretty much always on guard.
No matter how old you actually are, you are quite seasoned. You are experienced and worldly.
You Are Chai Tea
You are a world traveler and adventurer. It's likely that you've seen many different autumns in many different places.
Your favorite fall things are a little exotic and adventurous. Leaves changing in Asia. The taste of a new pumpkin dish.

You're not a traditionalist when it comes to fall. You're eager to embrace any new fall thing that comes your way.
And you're willing to celebrate autumn anytime of the year. The leaves don't have to be falling for you to enjoy a warm beverage.
(I am not a world traveler-lol)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

photos of curtains


Christmas without Made in China

I just got this in an email and I love it enough to share. I try so hard to Not buy China, and really this message is what Christmas is all about anyways, I remember when Christmas was never about tons of presents under the tree


As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high
gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods --
Merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This
year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine
concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift
giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes
there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in
a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates
from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some
health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned
detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a
book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down
the Benjamines on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift
receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or
driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift
certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about
a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this
isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town
Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or
motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a
local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is
struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin
their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery
and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave
your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at
your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese
lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about
fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to
burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that
China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about
US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow
their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our
communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.

THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

Forward this to everyone on your mailing list -- post it to discussion
groups -- throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in
your city -- send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations,
and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other,
and isn't that what Christmas is about?

My Morning

It's one of those days today, that would be comfy to work on the quilt that needs finishing up, or do a little reading-but I have some things that I just have to get done-more cleaning and making curtains.
I spent an hour or more thinking of ideas for easier tabs to make. I came up with one I really like, but don't have everything I need so I think I will do later, probably when I need to take the curtains down and wash them.
I have a huge trunk full of leather-all colors too, mostly small to large scraps. I found a beautiful off white that would look nice with my dyed fabric. I thought of cutting tabs-no need for seams on leather-sew buttons on front and back of curtains, so the tabs could come off before washing.
I went thru my antique buttons-most of them sorted by colors already-but I need about 30 for the fronts and just don't have enough the same size and close colors. I also need buttons for the backs too that won't show. I think I will search on etsy for some handmade wooden buttons-that way they will all be the same size too.
I wouldn't need to make buttonholes either, in the leather just make a slit-I love it!! This will have to wait cause the guys are coming next weekend, and Larry's room has the computer desk and his workbench that need to be put back in place-once that's done-can't get to the curtain rods easily. Sooooo, I finally got the panels all steam pressed, I am just going to sew a heading on top so the rod can slip thru, and hem them. The sides are all selvages and since their hand dyed-I am not going to mess with another hem on all those sides. Will still probably hand sew the hems though.
Yesterday he made rods out of copper pipe and these really cool decorator ends that we picked up at a garage sale for this room.
So that's next up. I am a slow sewer, especially handsewing, so this will take me all day. We got a rod up in the bathroom so I have thermal curtains up there-these were hand stenciled, left overs from our Illinois house-I always loved these.
I got Larry making the chili-lol to free up my time. He is a very good cook, he just won't cook any more. However he makes up a mean pot of chili-when I was gone to Indiana, when I got home everyone was raving about his delicious chili-so I asked him if he would make it up today-
still raining a little bit out there, and alot of leaves are finally falling now too. catch ya all a bit later-during my next break-lol

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hump Day Handmade Handmade Curtains

Thru the years I have made almost all of my own curtains-they are fun to do, and you can save alot of money. My Mom has always made all of her own drapes-I haven't gotton into that too much, cause I don't have a formal house-never have. I am just a simple country girl and am not comfortable with "suburbia" lol
Since retirement I have really enjoyed dyeing fabrics so now I have been dyeing yards of kona cotton for curtains. When I made my kitchen curtains I put large grommets in and used leather suede for ties. Fun! So only your creativity and imagination are your limits.
Here are a few ideas and how to links:
here do it yourself how to
here how to measure your windows for curtains
here Tipnut-lots of tutorials and how tos
here bed linens into curtains I remember growing up-alot of people made curtains from sheets.
here can't sew you say-this is a neat site with tips and also no sew ideas for curtains

Curtain Rods-most seem to be made from China now-sigh-but if you choose to-find something to recycle into cool rods


curtain rod
Use copper pipe, tree branches, broom handles-painted,pvc pipe painted; look around and be creative here are more recyling tips for curtains and rods.
There are also alot of companies online that are making rods from recycled materials-I love that too.
So be creative, and have fun with it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vegan Chicken on a Tuesday

What?? you may be saying to yourself now-lol-when I was a vegetarian I tried several dishes that used vegan products to taste like the different meats-I decided I really didn't care for that at the time-but I have known vegans that do.
These also make good health choices-as long as you check for added sodium content-and they stretch your food dollar too-especially if mixed with a meat (if you choose to). I used alot of tofu products when I was a vegetarian-I even made my own from scratch-was amazing how many food products you would get with the process of making the tofu.
This post topic popped in my mind last night-lol-this is for my new "Sis" here on Multiply-Mel
Recipes: Vegan Fried Chicken here
Rosemary Chicken here (seitan is wheat guten)
Here is an article on seitan here (not for us with celiac)
Chinese Vegetarian Chicken here I would like this one, made with dried tofu sheets which I am not familiar with. this has lots of photos too.
Vegan Chicken Salad here
I found several photos using vegan chicken


more photos here


Vegan Chicken on a Tuesday

What?? you may be saying to yourself now-lol-when I was a vegetarian I tried several dishes that used vegan products to taste like the different meats-I decided I really didn't care for that at the time-but I have known vegans that do.

These also make good health choices-as long as you check for added sodium content-and they stretch your food dollar too-especially if mixed with a meat (if you choose to). I used alot of tofu products when I was a vegetarian-I even made my own from scratch-was amazing how many food products you would get with the process of making the tofu.

This post topic popped in my mind last night-lol-this is for my new "Sis" here on Multiply-Mel

Recipes: Vegan Fried Chicken here

Rosemary Chicken here (seitan is wheat guten)

Here is an article on seitan here (not for us with celiac)

Chinese Vegetarian Chicken here I would like this one, made with dried tofu sheets which I am not familiar with. this has lots of photos too.

Vegan Chicken Salad here

I found several photos using vegan chicken

more photos here

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