Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Warm but Rainy Here

  We are back in the 60s with allot of rain off an on. The colors of the leaves are gorgeous now and when the wind blows we get raining leaves-I love that scene.

  I am having one of those blah days-not allot of energy to get things done. So I have been laying around reading magazines most of the day, sitting outside a bit with our kitty calico, and also working on catching up on my blog reading. I had gotton quite a bit behind so I did read allot of you from my bloglovin list-and then just finally hit the button that I had read everyone-so can start fresh tomorrow. So many interesting things to read about-everything you are all doing and creating. I enjoy it allot especially on days like this. I get allot of inspiration reading what others are making or doing.

  The guys went out to fish for a bit this morning for trout. Larry needed a break from working so much, and he needs to take advantage of our warm weather right now too. So we'll be having trout for supper along with a big fresh salad.

  This Saturday we change our clocks back. I really wish though that the guys that do this would choose one time and leave it at that. and on another political note-I have always been against obamacare-the take over of our health freedoms. The lies he promoted are now real. He continually "preached" that those who had insurance already would not be effected-everything the same. He was sooooo wrong about this. I just checked the premiums for my health insurance (which I worked for all those years so I would have them upon retirement) are now triple the price from last year-I am so unhappy. How is one on retirement suppose to afford this?? Only plus to this; at least I did not get cancelled as millions of others who already had insurance as well did. What a mess this administration has gotton us into here. Sorry about the politics which I try to avoid here-but there it is.

   I am off to make supper-enjoy your week all


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Good Morning Sunday & Can You Identify this Caterpillar?

Gorgeous autumn weather here, we are really enjoying getting outdoors in the afternoons again the last couple of days.

I got another flatbed truck filled with firewood and unloaded and stacked yesterday, I only needed a sweatshirt and a headband to cover my ears-wonderful!

I got the fruitcakes all made and now just letting them sit covered with a light cotton towel to firm up before wrapping them in cheesecloth soaked in brandy. Mine smelled so good yesterday while in the oven. I needed to change up the spices a bit on mine as I didn't realize I was about out of mace and almond extract. So in my cake I used vanilla extra and I used apple pie spice which was a blend of spices including mace. I also decided to use spelt flour in mine which is very very low in gluten but bakes up like a wheat pastry flour. I use this for my pizza crust too as I have not yet found a gluten free flour that makes an edible pizza crust. Spelt is a grain that many can digest with wheat sensitivities but do not have the celiac disease.  I can tolerate the spelt flour if I just use it once in awhile. Changing this recipe of the fruitcake over to gluten free flours works sometimes-and sometimes not-so I decided to use the spelt flour this year-as I don't eat more than one piece-and just on occasion. I also made my fruitcake with mostly dried fruits-my own pear, apples, peaches, and dates, apricots, dried plums, and dried pineapple. I did add in a little of the sugar glazed fruits for color too.

Thank you all for all the birthday wishes, I really loved that. 

Hubby and I spent a nice day visiting the resale shops and also the Habitat for Humanity store. Larry found a couple items-one he can use in his woodworking shop and another piece he can sell. I found a gorgeous purple wool jacket that was just the right weight for appliques or rug hooking, an xl large all cotton men's long sleeved shirt that I will wear for awhile before cutting up for quilting, and I found some wonderful silk ties. 
      These ties were mostly Italian silks and expensive ties when new. I paid a quarter for one, a dollar for most, and $2.00 for another one-I picked up 5 ties total. I still have not run across another silk tie with those pretty flowers but this time I did find some very pretty colors that I think will transfer nice.
     At the Habitat for Humanity store I found a very large suet feeder for the birds, and this one had a perch on both sides of the feeder-this was 55 cents. I also could not pass up an igloo cooler on wheels that looked like brand new for under $7.00 I am down to one cooler now and can't believe how very expensive these have gotton in the stores now-and on wheels I think that will be nice too.

Hubby didn't want to go out for lunch, so I made us a nice lunch when we got home-we haven't done this in some time now-so thankful to have been able to buy this car-transportation has given us back some freedom, as there are no taxis to call here in the woods-lol





That afternoon I went out to pick a few wild grapes, I have been eyeing them as they are just off our long driveway. With the drought the past two years, this is the first in awhile we have had grapes. I picked just enough to make up one of my brandys-or fruit flavored vodka. Since I made this on my birthday, once bottled I will put away and save to drink on my next year's birthday-God willing.



Yesterday Larry came and got me and told me to grab my camera, as he found this very cool caterpillar just walking on the ground-kinda near our pond by the house and our picnic table. He was thinking perhaps it was for the luna moth which is also a pretty green. At first I thought perhaps it was one of those bad ones that eat tomatoes but this one has no horns and this one also survived our couple nights of lows in the 20s.





This afternoon I did check online for the luna moth and this caterpillar will be a luna moth next spring. The video I found that I liked will not let me embed here so here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atOSro3_W7c  We have all the trees mentioned close to the house.



On another note, the sports teams here in Missouri are winning lots of games. The pro football team the KC Chiefs are undefeated, the colleges are doing well, and the pro baseball team the Cardinals are in the world series. I don't watch baseball, never have as it is mostly too boring for me. A couple years ago they were in the playoffs and won, and most said it was so exciting. I am thinking baseball exciting?? lol  So I decided if they made it to the finals again I would watch the world series. 
    Let me tell you-it is exciting-that is when something is actually happening-as it all happens sooo fast. Last night's game was very fun and exciting-although I fell asleep in the middle of it, woke up with the same score, took a shower to get ready for bed, and then decided to go back and watch the rest of the game. I don't know much about baseball as to some of the particulars but it went 9 innings and the Cardinals won. So is 7 innings a regular game? or is 9 innings a regular game?  
   We have lived here for 10 years now and my football teams have always been the Green Bay Packers (since 1967-when I was in college) and for college football I grew up with Notre Dame football. I figured it is about time I guess to look in on the local teams here, as the Green Bay Packers are rarely on tv here-unless they are playing a Missouri team, or are on Monday or Sunday night football. So last week I watched the chiefs, almost felt guilty cheering for them though-lol-but that was a very good game too.

Looks like I have written a book again-I need to finish doing book work this morning, and make up a list for Sam's club and the Health food store shopping as tomorrow I am going along with neighbor friend to Springfield, Mo-our big city here-lol

Have an awesome new week!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Rug Hooking & a Crazy Quilt Purse as a New Project

Good morning, 
    My friend Jim here a few months back when I had posted about rug hooking, sent me a link to a site that was in Nova Scotia. Last night I finally really browsed the site and joined their newsletter.
    This is a gorgeous site, and she offers allot of free information on her site for beginners. She also offers a downloadable pdf  Rug Hooking Guide when you sign up. This looks like an amazing place for wool lovers-I would for sure drop in if I was to ever be in the area. I love her pattern designs too.
   If you type in rug hooking in the search my blog tool here you will see my stars piece I have been working on. This winter I plan to get this piece finished up-I am working on the border now. This is my first rug hooking piece-my only hope is that after I steam press it will lie flat-lol  In the beginning I got my stitches packed in too tight so we will see. 
   Those of you that have followed me for a bit know I like to repurpose and reuse so my stars rug is made from wool clothing I picked up at the resale shops and took apart, felted, and hand cut. In this piece I didn't over dye any of the wool. I am also anxious to get this piece completed so I can begin on my next one. I have wanted to make a hearth rug for in front of the wood stove in the living room so that will be my next rug hooking project, along with some smaller pieces for little quickies. Is there ever anything quick that I do-lol I doubt it-
   
   In the Summer 2013 issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine that I just got in this week as a back order issue-there is a pattern for making a crazy purse-I love this! I was searching for a photo of it online and didn't find one.
    That one crazy quilt block I had made into a pillow, I made with wool and velvet-and this pattern for the purse is made with wool-I Love it! I really enjoyed the piece I had made and have been wanting to get back into this but on a small scale-I think this purse will be perfect. I have been wanting to do an under the sea piece so may decide to do this on the purse. I may also make my purse with my ozarks woods motifs instead-with oak, hickory & or sassafras leaves, wildflowers, perhaps a wild critter or two-need to decide which one now lol. If this goes well, may just make two-we can always use extra purses right?

   The house has been so cold this week with the dropping temps from cloudy skies and brisk winds-it is autumn after all but we have been mostly spoiled this year with wonderful weather so I need to get used to it again. I did get the area finished that had been prepped for the tissue paper but I did not get it painted with the kilnz yesterday-hope to do that today. We needed to go in to town yesterday so I picked up more tissue paper. I will be just short a few pieces to finish the walls around the tub so I needed at least one more package. I have decided to use this technique on the ceiling. In the end I think it will be easier for me to do this then playing with that white stuff in a box and figuring out a texture with that, so I picked up 3 packages total which should be just enough. 

  By the weekend I must get serious about cleaning the house and getting it ready for our hunters mid November. The kitchen especially needs a good scrub. I think I will be making fruitcakes tomorrow morning so will be prepping the fruits and nuts later this afternoon. It is to be in the 20s tomorrow morning so perfect time to have the oven on.

I am off to make me a cup of tea-and Happy Birthday to me -Happy Birthday to me-has another year really gone away? The time really does fly by much faster as we get older-it has for me since being over 60 now.

Have a good day all
   

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Last Post for Tonight-I Promise LOL-Homemade Mushroom Soup


I wanted to share this recipe cause it tastes so delicious. I had some mushrooms in the frig that needed to be used up and I thought of mushroom soup.  I hadn't made this in such a long time I needed a refresher by looking up recipes online. I pretty much followed this one 

I had seen a gluten free version but I didn't feel like digging though the deep freezer to find the sweet rice flour to use as the thickener, so instead I used two heaping tablespoons of cornstarch and mixed it in with the chicken broth that I had put an ice cube in. It tasted like the soup needed a little something so I went back to look at the spices and the recipe said nutmeg. Nutmeg? that seemed odd to me-but in it went-and that's is exactly what brought all the flavors together-I never would have known lol

Last night another big buck came to visit-this one stayed in the back and marked his territory over the other bucks. I would say this one looked like an 8 pointer but not as handsome as the other visitor. This buck stayed back by the woods line. We are getting does and their fawns every night, and we are getting gobblers and jakes a few times a week. They stay back by the woods line too so hard to get a close up.


Miss Calico Snoozing with the Pumpkins





I was out feeding corn to the wild critters, and Miss Calico was snoozing away here. LOL This is right at the front gate to our house, so I kept walking past her to get the corn and the wildbird seed. This cried out photo time-lol

I snapped the first one with her snoozing-and then after that she posed for the camera for me-she is such a character. We really enjoy her-she is an outside kitty but we now feed her up by the house-and she loves to sit out with us outdoors in the evening-although it is starting to get too chilly for that today.

The winds have picked up here this afternoon up to 35 miles an hour they said we would have. It has quite a "bite" to it too. Definately feels like autumn here today.  We did get the one wood stove ready to use. The one in the bedroom Larry set up so we can clean it from the inside and don't have to go on the roof-so that's the one we will have going tonight-yeah-heat in the morning when we wake up. 

A Few Photos of Bathroom Project

Those of you that first met me over on Yahoo 360-well you know then how long this project has been going on. I took this on as a labor of love, gathering rocks here on our property-which was quite the hike in many cases, and took this on with the mindset that it would be a learning and creative and fun project. (hubby had taught me how to use mortar and set rocks)

I was retired for a few years when I began and so I just didn't care or worry about the time it would take. I was careful with my rock selection for my shower and bath surround walls, and was choosy and took my time setting them. I also had many blog friends send me rocks to put in my shower-I love all of those and know who gave me which ones.

I have really enjoyed this project allot. Didn't push myself, and allot of things have gotten in the way too over the years. We also don't run the propane wall heater in this room-cause it just eats too much gas-so in the winter months it is pretty cold to work in there. This winter will be different though-as I am going to clean up this heater and use it while I am working. It probably hasn't been turned on for at least 5 years now so it needs a good cleaning first.

I finished my rock shower project three years ago, and since then I have not been able to get hubby focused again on completing this room. So I made the mistake of waiting on him. He has things to do in the shower so we can use it. He has an exhaust fan to install, and later tile the floor, and put together a very cool sink-which I really want to use. So this summer enough waiting on hubby-I thought he was going to help me with the ceiling so I was mostly waiting on that. I just decided to dive in-and get the walls primed, textured, and primed again with a coat of kilnz. This year I realized that hubby is just getting "old" on me-and he also works full time now in his scope repair business, so I just haven't been "bugging him"

I have more rock work to do-around the tub area-problem is we only have the one bathroom. My plan is to keep working away at what I can do-and hopefully by spring hubby will help me get this finished. No fun getting older-that's for sure as projects like ceilings and tiling floors are harder to do now.  Since retirement I have looked at our home as an adventure to "fix up" and to enjoy our surroundings here and just live and enjoy-so no regrets here on pushing to get things completed. However, I am on a mission now for this room's completion lol

I took a few photos of the area I am working in, and the wall with the heater that I just completed-in the corner of that photo you can see the shower. If you would like to view lots of photos of this project; type in rock shower in the search my blog tool here on the right hand column.



claw foot tub to the left


Large rock was a very cool find, has a deep cavity that I will put incense in-cool! Oh wow the nice thing about photos one can see
the mistakes-the lighting is really bad in this area-so hard to see white on white. Off to fix those spots I missed with the paper.


I love these rock finds-will use them for towel hooks


                        This one sits by the claw foot tub-another great towel hook. The top right came from a cave that Mr L gave me



I found allot of heart shape rocks, here where I live, the rocks are just all different and very neat. I love that one that looks like a kitty cat.


This photo captured my textured wall I finished yesterday. Also the rocks in this area have not been sealed yet like the rock shower has been.


This is the last large wall I completed, my shower to the left-can't wait to use this shower.

as always just click the photos to enlarge. Well I needed another warm up-this time a cup of warmed up apple cider-back to my project.

Brrrrrrr Very Chilly in the House This Morning & Recipe for Pumpkin Sweet Rolls by the Pioneer Woman

We were in the low 30's this morning and not much sunshine yesterday-so yep this morning the house is cold Brrrr I am still cold after making me a hot breakfast and drinking down some hot decaf coffees.

Suggested to hubby we got to at least get the chimney cleaned for the bedroom wood stove as we will be in the 20's tonight. However by the weekend back up near 70 again, so the weather is up and down here.

I can't get into a project when I am chilled so I am working on catching up with blog reading. I just had to share a link back to the Pioneer Woman-her photography is always gorgeous so this is a long post of her variations of sweet rolls-sticky buns. She made up pumpkin sweet rolls-they look so yummy recipe here  I need to convert this to gluten free and less sugar and butter for the both of us-they look really delicious.

Yesterday I decided to work in the bathroom again. I wasn't going to work on the walls in the tub area but I decided I wanted to do that before tackling the ceiling. There is no heat in our bathroom, so before long I won't be able to paint etc in there. It went pretty well-as I am painting and tissue papering above a rocked wall. I did an online search for the Symphony brand wall tissue paper and discovered that Sherwin Williams carries it so I can get some more locally. Our Lowes store is no longer carrying it-so am happy I can still get some in our nearby city. I am seriously thinking now of doing this technique on the ceiling as well-just not adding in as much texture as I did to the walls. The ceiling has to be textured so I think I will try this first.

I a m off for some more hot beverage-

Monday, October 21, 2013

My Fruitcake Recipe

Here is a link to my fruitcake recipe  A couple of you mentioned it, so wanted to let you know I have the recipe in my posts here.

I have baked up this recipe forever-at least 40 plus years now, all my men folk Love this recipe. It's all fruit and nuts with just enough cake to hold it all together. I make it every year for hubby and to mail off to his father who just loves this cake-he is in his 90's now.

This is an old English recipe, a dark fruitcake. Some years for the spirits for the fruits and then soaking of the cheesecloth I switch off from cream sherry, dark rum, or brandy-they are all good. 

Also I wanted to mention that way back when I first started making this cake the grocery stores all sold the candied citron, orange, lemon etc seperately in little containers. Now a days hard to find it that way-so I usually buy a container of the mixed candied fruits for the citron, lemon, and the orange, and for part of the weight of the cherries. Then I do add in green and red cherries seperately and then cut those in halves, and the pineapple makes the cake too-I slice each piece thinly.

Would love to know if any of you make this and let me know how you like it.


Since I have to be gluten free, I have followed this recipe for me using gluten free flour baking mix. For me I use the candied pineapple but for the rest of the fruits I use a mix of all kinds of dried fruits. It turns out pretty good-mine though I wrap and freeze




Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Little Catch Up, My Giveaway Winnings, & Book and Magazine Reviews (Long)

Good morning, I decided to post two blogs this morning, my previous one has autumn photos, and this one is my catch up with reviews and thank yous.

During the last month or so, I signed up for a couple giveaways here on blogger and won twice-isn't that fun to win something?? I am like a little kid again when I win. I really don't win that often, but this year I also won a very pretty Vera Bradley bag from Vicki at 2 Bags Full-I still get compliments for this bag when ever I am in town.

I read allot of blogs that are written by creative-artists, fiber artists, hand dyers, knitters, crocheters, jewelers and more for learning and for inspiration. From Terri Stegmiller Art Quilts blog I won one of her own stencils-the one on top of the photo. I have not had a chance to use this yet. This will be fun to use with sun printing, or with oils or paints for fabrics. Terri has a beautiful blog where she shares her newest art quilts and designs. She also sells on etsy.

Then while reading one day I ran into a wool blog hop for wool applique, rug hooking, quilting that looked like a fun hop to explore for new blogs. I ran out of time though and only had time to read just a couple and sign up for one giveaway-and wow I won that one. My gift was hand dyed wools from The Wooly Red Rug I received one large bundle of reds and greens which I am adding to my collection of wools that I have been gathering for an 1800's folk art quilt I really want to make. She has a beautiful blog and I believe teaches and has a store as well.

So big thanks again for my awesome winnings.

I wanted to share with you a magazine and a new dye book I have just picked up. 

The magazine is Primitive Quilts and Projects. This is a gorgeous magazine with patterns for the primitive quilter, hug hooker and stitcher. It includes patterns using wool as well which I love. I believe this magazine has been out now for about 3 years. I had run across it at a quilt vendors show I go to in the spring and loved it then. It is pricey though-runs $10.00 a copy and comes out seasonal-4 times a year. The almost $40.00 price tag scared me away. They do run specials from time to time though for $27.99 which is still pricey for me these days. However, I am realizing this magazine is well worth the price.
   Last month though I re subscribed to Mary Jane Farm Magazine which I read cover to cover and love. I had cancelled it a couple years ago and have been really missing it again so I started it back up-anyways in the last issue she did an article about this magazine and for Mary Jane subscribers the magazine was giving us the opportunity to subscribe for half off. So I jumped on it.
    This magazine does not disappoint. Patterns are very expensive these days too, so if you were to make a couple things from each magazine you would be saving money that way. The photography is always stunning. I would recommend to subscribe at the beginning of the year though, cause I learned that the magazine runs a couple patterns in 4 issues. I looked for the back issues for this year Spring and Summer to get these patterns-and wow they really hold their price and then some and are very difficult to find back issues. The magazine site still had the summer issue so I ordered from them They do also sell digital copies-which I am not into at all.
   This brings me to my next thank you. I was searching the web for an affordable copy of the spring 2013 issue when I ran into a shop that was selling one. I was so excited as those on ebay were asking $19.95 plus shipping for one magazine, and with shipping she was selling for the same price as the Primitive Quilts and Projects site (spring sold out)  Laura at Laura's Home was so helpful. She had written me that the spring copy was sold out, but she still had the summer and fall issues. I wrote back thanking her but was so sad cause the spring issue was pretty much sold out everywhere already and I needed it for 2 patterns. She wrote me back offering to sell me her personal copy. So thank you thank you Laura. Do check out her site, they are in the process of totally re doing their site so the shopping may not be set up yet.

  Yesterday I got in the mail my new dye book-I know you say another dye book for Kathy lol  This book does not disappoint either, gorgeous photography and simple dye recipes of the period. The book is titled Organic Fiber Dyeing The Colonial Williamsburg Method by Max Hamrick. The author has been a weaver for 50 years and a dyer for over 30 years. This book was published by the American Quilter's Society. If you search ebay and amazon or online in general, you will find a better price.
 This is must book for your library if you enjoy natural dyeing.

  Organic Fiber Dyeing: The Colonial Williamsburg Method



   Not much other news here, Larry has been outdoors splitting wood when he can, I have been trying to re organize things in the house to make more room for our housefull of guests in mid November.  The allergy season has really gotton me bad this year-still having allot of problems with that. 
     I have everything I need now to make fruitcakes-homemade are the best, and I use a very old recipe of English origin. I will probably bake those up mid week when it turns colder again.
   We may get our first freeze wednesday morning here. Today is back to warm but windy, but the rest of the week will quite chilly. We have not yet started a fire in the woodstoves yet-so the house is definately chilly in the mornings.

Have an awesome new week everyone!

Happy October Sunday-Spider Webs & Autumn

I haven't been out with the camera for fall photos this month as the colors are slow in coming so far. I decided to check out my photobucket account where I have photos kept since we first moved down here to Missouri.

One year I took these very very cool spider webs-everything was just right to see them and photograph them. Here was one of my favorites from 2009, that day was very very misty and foggy and all these too cool very large spider webs were in full view. The firewood photo was also taken in 2009, the others in 2006.



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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wow Look Who Visited Us During The Supper Hour









Excuse the quality of the photos-they were taken just as it was getting dark and through the windows This was amazing to see this handsome 9 point buck just a few feet from our bay window. Very very cool! He was marking his territory in the back tree line and then came up close to the house. There were about 6 does and fawns scattered in the back yard as well.

You should be able to click to enlarge the photos.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Rainy Autumn Tuesday & Quilt Book Review & Catch Up

  Today finally feels a little more like fall-raining and cooler temps-we have definately been spoiled here.

  I did get the old flatbed truck filled with the cut and split firewood Larry had done, and unloaded it and stacked it yesterday morning. We are really behind on getting our wood in this year. Larry hasn't been feeling the best and it has actually been too warm to be out in the woods getting the wood. After the rains end this week we gotta get more serious and get that task done. As wow it's mid October already.

We are finally getting more colors in the woods too-reds and yellows, and the male turkeys have been outside our viewing window eating the corn I put out-they are always so cool to watch. We have deer regulars too coming up most every night now-especially a doe and her fawn which is about half grown now. I will feeding them end of October and then start up again after deer hunting season.

I have been looking forward to receiving a couple new books I ordered, and was originally disappointed when I remembered that Monday was a postal holiday. I was working in the garden-spreading some marigold seeds around the outside of the fence when UPS drove in. I am thinking must be for Larry's business as I don't remember ordering anything that would come in by them-but surprise it was one of my books.

I have to tell you if you like gorgeous quilt books for inspiration Kaffe Fassett never disappoints me. I order my books sight unseen too as living rural I don't have any store close to me to view books first. His latest book Quilt Grandeur is just so beautiful-and there are several quilts in this book that I would make. 



He always chooses fabulous places to photograph his quilts, this book's photos were taken at Port Eliot the stately Cornish home owned by Lord and Lady St German

I found a few photos of the quilts in the book:


I really love this polka dot one


There are 20 quilts with the patterns in this book, a couple for children too, I loved most of the quilts in this book.

I am making progress on my hand quilting-my goal is to quilt at least one block per day-if I can stick with that most days should be able to finish in a month or two. I am also working on the bathroom project and finished up the tissue paper that I wanted to do right now yesterday. Just need to go over with kilnz paint today. The tub area walls I will wait a bit til we can use the shower. I may see if I can tackle the ceiling today. I wish we would have worked on that first as now I will have to tape things off to not get paint on my rock work, and cover things up too.

I also have lots of cleaning ahead of me. November 16th weekend is opening deer season and we always have a full house during this time. I use a couple weeks just before for my "spring" cleaning. Will start on that next week.

I am going into town with my neighbor friend tomorrow, and tomorrow is also hubby's birthday. I think I will make up a cake or cupcakes today, and figure on what I can put in the crock pot tomorrow morning, so supper will be ready when I get back.

My Etsy shops have been neglected all summer mostly til now-with no sales at all in my soap shop. I am thinking of making up some bar soap for autumn with pumpkin fragrance-I am probably a bit late on this but this soap will be nice through November too. They keep upgrading the site on Etsy so is really hard for me now to do anything with this old computer-so that is frustrating for me. I am hoping to get my two silk on silk dyed blouses listed in my Etsy fiber shop soon. They are ready to be steamed pressed, rinsed in vinegar water, and washed and dried-then steamed pressed again.

Oh and in the last month or so I have been lucky enough to win two giveaways here on blogger. One was for a handmade stencil made by a fiber artist, and one was for a bundle of hand dyed wools in reds-that is always so much fun to win once in awhile. I will post photos and links soon.

The other day I did make up one of my homemade pizzas. I have been making these on my stone tiles but decided to grab our big cast iron pan this time-always good eats!



Well, that's my catch up-what have you all been doing??

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sweet Potatoes Dug & Vines Pulled

My sweet potato vines had really taken over my little garden this summer. That month when we ended up with 10 days of rain really got them growing. So it was such a mess I just let them do their thing.

I had hilled up about 12 areas before hand, and since we have no top soil here to speak of, I didn't have anymore soil that I could use to hill up more areas-that's the only way one gets sweet potatoes. So going into this I didn't know what to expect. Was hoping to get enough to eat for a bit, and I was pleasantly surprised. The hills that did good-did really really good-producing 3 to 4 large sweet potatoes, I had one hill that produced that super big one-wow was that fun to pull out of the soil. So I was quite pleased, especially considering this is new ground for a veggie garden, and I would say at least a third of it is still very very hard clay.




I went ahead and kept those little ones as I think they will be good too-hubby suggested deep frying those, or I may roast them in the oven.

The biggest job was pulling all of those vines out of the garden and loading them up in my wheel barrel to take to the compost pile. I ended up with 4 very large trips. I worked most of yesterday morning and finished up today in the morning. I am thinking of looking into what would grow as a good cover crop over winter to help break up this clay soil some more. I may be a bit late on this but I am going to check it out next week with our mfa farm store. If I am too late than I am going to get a couple more bales of straw to cover the garden with and perhaps add more buckets of cow manure if I can get that again-let it soak in over winter, and till. In the spring I should have some more compost I can bring over too.

Nothing left in my garden now except for a few flowers, one purple cabbage, a few herbs that should winter over, and I left the green beans as they looked like they were still growing, and with more rain I could get another picking for supper. I was hoping to plant seeds for fall garden-salad veggies, kale, and swiss chard but we just have not gotton any rain so didn't do that.

I am definately looking forward to next years veggie garden


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cold Morning on the River






Yesterday I decided to tag along with the guys over to Bennett Springs State Park, not to fish too but to watch for eagles.

We left in the dark of the morning and got there just at light-and could not believe how many other people had the same idea-our favorite spot was already taken so we walked on down a little further. Brrrr I wore two sweatshirts and the guys didn't think to bring along their bibs or jacket-we all froze and the fish were not biting. Just as we were getting ready to leave Larry caught a nice trout but since the fish wasn't big enough for the two of us for supper he threw him back. 

I did see eagles-two youngsters and one adult. It was pretty dark and couldn't bring in the photo any closer but in the third photo if you click to enlarge it-you will see one juvenile sitting on a limb. We also saw a flock of geese fly by, and a couple cranes. We only stayed about an hour because we were all just shivering too much, my feet were even getting cold in my boots. The temp was in the low 40s.

Once home I couldn't get warmed up, even after a hot cup of tea so since the sun was finally up I decided to work in my garden. Needed to start pulling out allot of stuff that is not producing any more. Yep I finally got warmed up by noon LOL

Always worth the trip for me when I see eagles.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Fun Friday and Baking Weekend

    About an hour or so drive from us is a huge swap event that is held several times through the summer and this one in October. To walk through everything takes about 5 hours I would say. The booths are filled with flea market type items, vintage, farm items, and lots of small animals along with turkeys, geese etc. 
   Several food booths too but those are always so expensively priced. Being in Missouri there is also lots of rifles, shotguns, etc too-mostly for hunting. Our friend Mr L was going to go with us, but he called and said he wasn't feeling well so Larry and I decided to go. Wow-one really appreciates the freedom of a vehicle that will get us further than a couple miles to our local post office and back-lol   We had a good time, hadn't done something like this together for several years now. 
   This ended up being mostly a "guy" event as I didn't see any vintage linens, or yarns, etc that would have interested me. In the past when I went to this with my neighbor friend I would come away with some cool finds.
    I did finally find the cast iron steak pan (has ridges on the bottom) that I have been searching for, but $45.00 was way out of my price limit. As much as I really wanted this, I just couldn't bring myself to pay that much for it-I tried to rationalize that since most of our pieces from our cast iron collection we had acquired over the last 30 plus years at much much lower prices-I still couldn't do it. These steak cast iron pans are really hard to find too, so I will just continue to search at garage sales etc.
    Also most of the vendors were not willing to mark down their prices. A couple times Larry found a few items and offered a couple dollars off and they wouldn't budge. At this type of event this is what one does too is barter a bit-also Friday was the nicest day, as Saturday was to rain and get cold-which it did, and Sunday was cold-in the 50's with high winds, so I bet most of the vendors left Friday  night. At this event many of the vendors also camp out behind their booths for the entire weekend.
     Being retired, we are no longer big cell phone users. All the advanced technology occurred just after we retired 10 years ago-so we never got into texting and all those other features. I am mentioning this as I decided I wanted to get a root beer float instead of something else to eat, so I go to this vendor-who was sitting right there in the window but was glued to his phone texting. So I decided to count out 25 seconds and if he didn't look up I would walk away-yep I walked away. lol  Figured he did not care all that much about selling if he was glued to his phone. I found this to be the case at several booths. The person selling was sitting way in the back of their booths, not engaging at all-I guess they were out for a fun weekend and didn't care if they sold or not.
   Larry did come away with a few good finds, and we enjoyed the day. We got there when they opened at 8 am and left around noon-just when it started to get really hot-mid 80s.






So, with the cold and rainy weekend I decided to do some baking.
      I used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and changed it to gluten free and used coconut oil instead of butter, splenda and honey instead of sugar, added a tablespoon of dark cocoa to the batter, and used a halloween choc. chip mix. These turned out excellent with a nice little crunch to them too. I put half of them in the freezer to keep me from eating them all-lol

Sunday was apple pie making day. 
    I made a pie for Mr. L, a deep dish pie for Larry, and I made a gluten free pie for me. I had enough apples to swap that small deep dish pan to a large glass pie plate for me. I froze half of my pie this morning in single servings for later. The gluten free pie crusts are always a "pain" to make. This time I used coconut butter which worked up pretty well with my gluten free flours.

I also brought out this lap quilt to finish hand quilting. 
     Before my Mom got worse with her dimentia last year; she gave me several small quilt tops that she had made from scraps and was planning to donate to a charity. I thought these would be a good way for me to get back into my hand quilting. 
    The most difficult part for me with the hand quilting is getting the pattern marked. I have tried everything-expensive chalk pens from Bohn, pencil pens, nothing seems to really work for me-and allot of these fabrics in this quilt are dark-so I dug out a package of old school chalk and will try that next. 
    I found an old quilt motif called sassafras that fills each log cabin block-which I think goes perfect with these colors-and is a little different too. This stitches up pretty fast too-once I get the pattern marked onto the quilt that is.

I have decided I really must finish up some projects I have in the works before starting in on a couple large quilts I really want to make-that's the plan any ways and I am trying to stick to it LOL

A cold day today with sunshine with the rest of the week being beautiful and perfect for working on firewood-hopefully we can get to that this week.

Looks like I wrote a book again-LOL Enjoy your new week!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Good Morning & "Doings"

  Another summer like day today; mid 80s and sunshine. We got a little bit of rain yesterday afternoon but not enough. The fall colors are just beginning to appear here; but for the most part we are still green with splashes of fall wildflowers for colors.

   Yesterday was my first "drive alone" for major food shopping. I know this sounds totally strange but with nothing to drive for the past 2  1/2 years I have tagged along with my neighbor friend. Since getting the car this was my first time getting out and doing shopping and errands in town when I needed to go and at my own pace.  I must say I enjoyed it, not that my friend ever rushed me before, but it was just me so I took all the time I needed to find items and read labels. I also took lots and lots of bags of recycles in too.

   When ever I went into town with my friend we always had to go out to eat. Going out to eat has never been on my agenda. It takes extra time, cost money I don't want to spend, and having celiac (no gluten) I always need to be careful. I also do not like going out to eat cause the quality of food nutrition is not there-especially the limited choices of restaurants we have here. The restaurants for the most part;  use bad fats, lots of salt, and all processed-so I liked that yesterday-no going out to eat. I do like going out once in awhile with friends as a treat-but not on a regular basis just cause we are in town. I know I am different. LOL

  It did end up being a long day as I left around 7:30 am and didn't get back til about 12:30 pm. I had to kill allot of time at Walgreens cause I wanted to get my flu shot while I was in town so the wait time there was long. For every flu shot they give out, Walgreens is matching a shot to those children abroad in need.

  On Tuesday I was working on a project outdoors and got stung or actually bitten by I think a big red wasp of some sort. I did have long sleeves on too. It really hurt bad, came in and looked up wasp bite sting on webmd where they said to make sure the stinger was out-didn't see one, and then ice it down. So I did put a little ice on it. Yesterday I wore long sleeves too cause it was coolish when I left and I wanted to keep my left shoulder area covered-where the bite was. By yesterday afternoon late my whole arm above my elbow is red-looks like a huge burn, and where the bite was is now a little rash filled with liquid. So I started on benedryl last night as this looks like an allergic reaction now. It still burns, hurts, and itches too-so I guess this is the year for me to get bitten by insects 
 (photo found online)


   I love caramel apples so I decided to buy a bag of caramels and make my own this year. I used slivered almonds instead of peanuts-I forgot how fun and messy these are to make. LOL  The last few years now I have been buying them already made in the store, but the apples are always really small and this year the price was quite high compared to last year. So making my own, I got bigger apples covered with caramel and sprinkled with almonds-cost me a little under a dollar for each one.

  When I was shopping they had the fruitcake ingredients out so I grabbed what I needed, only thing I could not find any cheesecloth-I know allot gets sold in October for Halloween. So I need to wait on that before making it. I also found a package of chocolate chips that were the chocolate ones and orange chips for baking-so I bought a bag to make some cookies with. When it comes to some of the holidays-I am still a kid at heart-just don't know any kids--so I make a few things for the two of us.

  What is your favorite fall food or treat? 


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