Sunday, November 29, 2020

WEEK 22 OF YOP 10

 


Hello again.  I hope your week was a good one.  For those of you in the US, I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving day.  Ours was very nice.  We spent it with our son and his family.  There were only 5 of us for dinner.  Kind of felt strange not having upwards of 12 people there this year.

There has not been much progress made on my projects.  Out of 7 days I only picked up my knitting/crocheting 3 times.  I will show you what I mean.


Our temps finally got chilly enough for me to pick up the Havana again.  As you can see from the green arrow, I only managed to get 3 rows completed on it.


Reyna only received 4 rows of love this week also.  I feel bad for not being able to do more on either of these.  

So what did I do all week? 

There was laundry to do, bread to bake, sweet treats to make, a Christmas Tree to put up, some visiting to be done, Thanksgiving to be enjoyed and 2 days of not feeling well.  

I did do something this week that made me very happy.




I made a loaf of sourdough bread.  This is the first time I had tried it in a loaf pan.  It took 16 hours from start to finish.  I now know why sourdough is a more expensive bread at the stores.  It is labor intensive..............but oh so worth it.

And this is what it looked like when hubby and I had it for lunch.


It was very tasty with the right amount of sourdough flavor in it.  Now, I am collecting recipes to use the discarded starter so as not to keep throwing that away everyday.

Do any of you like eggnog?  For most, it is either love it or hate it.  Hubby and I love it as does our son who hosted Thanksgiving.


This is our absolute favorite eggnog.  Trust me, we have tried many eggnogs over the years and this wins hands down.  It already has the alcohol in it too, which makes it so convenient. I have made eggnog from scratch and this is the closest I can find that tastes like it.  It is our tradition to drink a glass of this while decorating the Christmas tree.  We also enjoy this in the quiet of the evening when watching a Christmas movie.  It may seem funny, but once Christmas and New Years are over, I no longer care about having a glass of this.

That is all for today.  This coming week is kind of up in the air.  Josie is back to virtual school until after Christmas.  Her dad is on a business trip this next week and I am not sure what my schedule will be with her.  Normally I head over there around lunch time and eat with her and then hang around until her mom comes home from work.  That way, if she needs help with any homework, I am available for her.................unless it is math.  Then we call my hubby for his expertise.  I will know my schedule later today after they work it all out.  Other than that, I still have the inside of the house to decorate for Christmas, one load of laundry to do and menus to make for the next week to 10 days.

Until Next Time................................Happy Crafting & Stay Well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Not Happening

 


I had really hoped I would find a few extra minutes this week to get to declutter a bit of the house.  That is not going to happen.  Instead, life is going to happen and I am going to let it.

Sunday, I received a rolling cart to hold my stand mixer, Ninja Foodi and bread machine.  I had all three of those 'small' appliances sitting on my kitchen counters.  That left me a very small amount of space for food prep.  It was making me crazy!  When I am working in the kitchen, I want to be able to move from space to space without restrictions.  This cart has made my kitchen so much easier to work in.


Here is a photo of the cart.  I did not put a handle on the left side of it as that butts up to my countertop.  My stand mixer and Foodi sit on top and the bread machine is behind the doors.  The bread machine is super light and easy to move.  The mixer and foodi, not so much.  In fact, I moved the mixer about 5 days ago and totally messed up my shoulder doing it.  Those big Kitchen Aid mixers are HEAVY.  

Now that my counter tops are open again, I am having a blast in the kitchen.  Yesterday I made apple peanut butter snack bars.  My sour dough is out of the fridge and on the counter getting regular feedings so I can make a lovely loaf on Friday.  There will be 2 loaves of my favorite bread made tomorrow for Thanksgiving dinner.  There is also a good possibility I will be making an apple pie tomorrow for Thanksgiving dinner too.  (Waiting to see if the Pie Guy, my cousin, is going to make it to our dinner or not)

That is part of the reason there will be no decluttering this week.  The other reason is, Friday, hubby and I will be decorating the inside and outside of our home for Christmas.  This normally takes us 2-3 days to complete. This will be the first year ever, we will not have any visitors in our home during the holidays.  That seems so surreal to me.  Yet, I refuse to cut down on the amount of decorating we normally due. That is ok, cause the hubs and I will enjoy our decor.  

Next week, I have dog and teen duty so decluttering will not be part of my life then either.  Actually, looking at my calendar, I do not see a lot of decluttering time before the first of the year.  Hmmmmm, for being on restrictions, we seem to be awfully busy over the next 6 weeks.  Lots of baking and candy making are on the to do list.  That does not involve being around people.....well other than to deliver said baked goods and candy.

So, if I am absent from blogging other than on Sundays, you will be able to find me in my kitchen having so much fun and making lots of yummy goodies for others.

Until next time.................................................. 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

YOP 10 WEEK 21

 


Welcome!  Nice to have you stop by to read about my week.  It was a very satisfying week to be sure.  There is a finished object that I am quite proud of.


Percussion is completed and given to her owner.  This is made with the 100% alpaca yarn Josie picked out after our alpaca farm visit.  It was marked as sport weight but once I started working with it realized it was actually sock weight.  This required me finding a pattern to match the yarn.  This pattern was fun to do since it used knits and purls to make the textures in the different sections.  It also introduced me into the world of jogless stripes.  Did you know there are multiple ways to do jogless stripes?  Thanks to google I found a method that worked quite well for me that did not make me move my stitch marker or mess with my stitch count.  The other great thing about this pattern is, it did not have you cut your yarn at the end of each section.  It was just carried up like you would in colorwork.  That meant there were only 4 ends to weave in at the end of the pattern.  Would I make this pattern again?  You betcha!

With Percussion completed, I turned my attention to Reyna.


The green progress keeper is where I was last time I worked on this.  The silver cat stitch marker is where I am now.  It is a very nice pattern to knit and actually is easy to do while enjoying some TV time.  The pattern recommends using variegated yarn.  I can understand why too.  I think the texture and the lace sections would show up better with a variegated yarn.  However, I am going to do something at the end of this pattern that should make it a bit more interesting to look at.  The yarn I am using it Cascade Sorata.  It is a blend of 70% llama and 30% silk.  I find it quite splitty but soooo soft.  

That is all I have done with fiber this week.  I have been in the kitchen a bit more this week though. Wednesday, I cleaned out our pantry and found lots of items to donate to our church's food bank.  But sadly, I found even more items to donate to our trash bin.  Friday, I made banana bread for hubby and I.  I do not have a photo of it as y'all know what banana bread looks like LOL.  I do have a photo of the hamburger buns I made on Thursday.


These were made with some of the discard of my sour dough.  I have never tried my hand at rolls or buns before so this was a bit of a learning experience for me.  They were quite yummy.  We had them for sloppy joes on Thursday night and then on Friday, made sandwiches with them.  We discovered they were a bit dry on Friday, so I am glad I only made 4 of them.  I am not quite sure why they dried out so much overnight.  I had them in my normal plastic bread bag and closed up tight.  My loaves of bread stay very fresh in these bags and will last up to a week in them.  Something to ponder.

I also made a loaf of bread yesterday (Saturday).  I am loving my pullman pan bread.  I make the dough in the bread machine.  Once the dough is made, I take it and do one more knead and rise and then bake it in the oven.  I am using the same recipe I did when I made it 100% in the bread machine.  The pullman loaf is the perfect sandwich bread.

I have discovered a new to me, tea.  It is by Good Earth and is called, Sweet and Spicy.





Oh my goodness!  It is so good.  I saw it at Costco and decided to give it a try,  It is actually an Herbal tea so it is caffeine free!  You can also get it where there is black tea in it which means that one has caffeine.  I am allergic to caffeine so guess which one I drink LOL.  It has so much flavor in it and the name of it speaks volumes.  Me thinks I will send hubby back to Costco this week to pick up another pack of it.  I am thinking this would even make a grand ice tea.

That pretty much covers my week.  This coming week is Thanksgiving in the US.  We are having our dinner at our Son's house.  There will be a total of 6 of us for dinner. (3 of them, 2 of us and a cousin)  Normally, we have up to 12 people but because of the virus, we are just doing it with the family we have been with through this whole pandemic. No visitors this year. Better safe than sorry, right? 

What are your plans for the coming week?

Until Next Time.......................................Happy Crafting & Stay Well!!!! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Making Space for Real

 


Okay, today I have a real making space post.  Not that the other post on Monday did not make space.  It did and it made me very happy as well as the recipients of the Chex Mix I made.  

So here is the back story.  Every year, about this time, I find myself in my kitchen more and more.  This year, I seem to be in there even more because of the pandemic.  I have a very hard time working in a space that is not organized.  It makes me just a little crazy.  OK, it makes me a lot crazy!  During the 31 day declutter I went through all my kitchen drawers and cupboards and did a good clean out.  So, my cooking utensils are all where they should be and easy for me to find and use.  What got ignored was my food storage space.

We do not have a pantry like many people do.  We bought a Rubbermaid pantry and have it hidden neatly away in a nook that had no use what so ever.  That is where all our food stock and baking supplies are stored.  Today was the day I decided to totally empty that pantry and reorganize it.  This was prompted by the fact I bought some canned goods last week because I did not have what I needed for a meal.  Upon putting them away, I discovered I had PLENTY of the canned goods I bought.  They were hiding behind another item.

Have any of you seen the commercial where the Aunts all descend upon a young couple that had just purchased a house?  As one Aunt is going through the refrigerator she keeps announcing, "expired, expired, expired".  That was me today too.  It was shameful the amount of food that was past the expiration date by almost a year!  I know some people do not worry about expiration dates on items but, having had cans blow up on me before, as well as seeing cans bulging, I no longer ignore that.  Especially if they are tomato based.

Items that were not going to be used or we had multiples of and were still not expired were gathered and will be heading to our church's food bank.


All of this will be leaving my house this Saturday.  (That is when we deliver to the food bank)  There are 15 items there.  As for what got thrown away...............I stopped counting after 30.  My pantry is now very organized, I know exactly what I have in there.  It feels so good to have that cleaned out and ready for me to commence with my kitchen baking.

Case in point...............................In my freezer,I have multiple bags of vaccumed sealed, frozen cranberries I purchased about 3 years ago.  Today, I made cranberry sauce with one of the bags.  Next up on my list is to make sour dough hamburger buns.  (Arthur is doing great!)  There is also going to be pumpkin doughnuts, cranberry orange bread, cherry pie, banana bread and possibly a cheesecake.  No, this is not all for hubby and I to consume.  We share these goodies with people we know who do not bake or have time to bake.  During this strange time, homemade goodies are being welcomed with huge smiles.  It does my heart good to bring a little sunshine to others.

It is time for me to kick back and do a little knitting.\

Until next time............................................................................

Monday, November 16, 2020

Making Space?

 



You may not consider this a making space post, but believe me, I have gotten rid of so much today and I now can see the top of my washing machine and also my dining room table.   It is all due to holiday cooking.  I bought the ingredients for lots of chex mix (nuts and bolts) and finally took the time today to completely make all of it.  This means I got rid of 6 boxes of Chex cereal, 1 large box of cheerios, 2 bags of pretzel sticks, 3 canisters with 2 pounds of nuts in them, and 3 pounds of butter.  I have another box of Cheerios that will be going to our church's food bank.  

So, what about all the Chex mix I made?  It is all going out to friends and family over the next week.  This means it will not be taking up any space in my house either.

I will still be working on more areas to declutter.  In fact, the first place I am going to hit is my pantry.  I know there is quite a bit in there we will not be using in the near future and our food bank is begging for donations of anything.  Rather than letting canned goods expire, I will be happy to donate.

Remember I was looking for some place to sell my porcelain dolls?  Well, that is not going to happen.  No matter on the doll, the best I can do is $10/doll and most will only go for $5.  I might as well donate them to a thrift shop and let someone buy them for a gift for their child.  I will take them off of my taxes at the end of the year.  

It has been so long since I have had an entire day at home.  It has been so nice and I did manage to get more done than just the Chex Mix.  Hubby and I both got our hair cut today.  It had been 7 weeks since I had done that.  Afterwards, I went to Staples to just look around a bit.  I LOVE office supply stores.  It was great.  There was only 2 other people in the entire store.  I even bought myself a gift.


A fountain pen.  I have wanted a fountain pen for sometime.  My husband thinks I am crazy LOL.  This set was on sell for well over half off.  I have already used it and let me just say...I have never written with anything as smooth as this.  I am in love with it.  

I got a treasure in the mail today too.


These little mini loaf pans.  Yes, I am trying to declutter but......gosh, these are perfect for me to make my 'specialty' breads in and then gift the breads to friends and family.  They also make great little items to put snacks in when company comes over.  (OK, so there is no company coming to my house in the near future, but it might happen sometime)  I like that they have lids on them too.  Actually, I got two sets of them and one set is going to be used for our white elephant gift at Christmas with the family.

Hey, remember when I gave away all my gift wrap?  Yup, now I need a roll to wrap my white elephant gifts.  Hubby told me to go to the dollar store and buy ONE roll of wrap.  LOL  That is exactly what I am going to do.  Just 1 roll, just 1.

Anything going on where you are?  Anything other than the Virus?

Until next time..........................................................................

Sunday, November 15, 2020

WEEK 20


 It is a happy day!  I have a lot to cover today, so let's get started.

I have a finish for this week.


Hubby's socks are completed and have been worn already.  I finished the second sock on Friday morning.  For the moment, I do not have any socks on the needles.  How long will that last?  I have no clue.  There are so many WIP's in my basket.  My goal is to get a few of those completed before the end of the calendar year.  

Here is one WIP that should be finished either today or tomorrow.



Do you now how hard it is to take a photo of a partially finished hat without a head to put it on?  This is Josie's slouch hat, made from the alpaca yarn we got on our alpaca farm tour.  The pattern is Percussion and is free on Ravelry.  I am learning how to do jogless stripes as well as how to carry yarn for color changes.  With carrying the yarn up the back of the hat, that means there will only be 3 ends to weave in when this is completed.  It is almost at the halfway point.

Those are the only 2 items I worked on this week because I had dog/teen duty.




These were my main focus this past week.  Josie has quite a busy schedule with school and her acting and voice.  Thor has a busy schedule holding the couch down.  My duty was only 4 days this time.  Josie's photo was taken this past week as she was getting ready to attend the red carpet event for the viewing of their production of "The Addams Family".  Since play houses are not opened yet, the kids are doing plays but have been filming them.  I think this is a great thing as it keeps them active in theater and also gives them a taste of what it is like to be in films too.

It will be another busy Sunday for me.  I already have 1 load of laundry going with 2 more to do.  The bread machine is busy making my dough for my pullman loaf bread.  There are menus to make for the next 10 days as well as a grocery list to do.  If there is time, I will be heading to the grocery store to pick up needed items for the menu.  After all of that is done, I need to water my indoor plants and wind my antique clock.  If I get all this done, I will then settle down and work on Josie's hat.  With completing all these items today, it gives me the next week to work on decluttering and crafty projects.

Today I am going to leave you with something I got from my Portuguese knitting group on Facebook.  It made me smile and even chuckle a little.

I had an epiphany this morning.  Remarkable, because I hadn't any coffee yet.  Therefore; I am blaming it on the mittens I am knitting for my son in law (whom I adore, by the way!),  Anyway, I have decided that we are not Yarnaholics.  We are Yarn Scouts!  We search out yarn the way snipers search out the enemy.  No yarn store on line or off goes neglected and/or unscathed.  And there are levels of achievement that must be merited.  Needles.  Skills with needles.  Techniques with needles!  The various kinds and materials knitting needles are made of!  Ladies, do you know that as an instructor, each of my clients gets a booklet on everything acrylic to wood in needles as well as fibers.  And what the benefits are. Therefore; when we ply our skills to yarn we become: Fiberologists!  This was inspired by a member of another Company Group! Anyway, My epiphany brought me to the most important merit badge of all:  Yarn Stashing.  I have called this badge, the Squirrel Hut.  Why?  I'm so happy you asked!  Because we squirrel yarn for contingency plans.  When we need it, it'll be there.  Rainy day inspirations!  That special someone yarn, etc.  Therefore; if anyone says you're a Yarnaholic, you may correct them and say:  Nope.  I am a professional Scout Master of Fiber Ops!  Have a wonderful day and knit away!  I do hope this made you all smile.


Until Next Time....................................Happy Crafting & Stay Well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Making Space


 Well hello there.  This is my weekly update on my making space.  Here is a quick look at what I have pulled to be removed from my home this week.







Did you see it all?  What?  You can not see anything?  Really?  Look closely.

Maybe it is because I am not home much this week.  When I am home, it is to make dinner and do some minor household chores.  I am on Dog/Teen duty this week.  This means I am out of the house by 10 and not home until 5:30-6.  This does not leave me much time to declutter.  

Next week, I will back to a more normal schedule.  That means I will have quite a bit of time to go back into declutter mode.  Fingers crossed, I will just double my efforts then.

Until next time......................................................................