Sunday, February 28, 2021

WEEK 35 WITH LOTS OF FOOD

 


Hey there.  Glad you came by today.  This past week was one of those whirlwind weeks.  I did manage to get a FO though.


Tarragon the Dragon got completed.  Sewing him together was the hardest part.  Making sure his limbs and wings were even was not easy for me.  He will be mailed to his new owner this week.  I still need to make a frog for her too but.....................I started on the frog this past week and do not like the way it looks.  So..................the frog got frogged.  I am looking for a knitted frog pattern instead of a crocheted one.  I did find one but now need to convince myself it is worth the price the designer is asking for it.  I know I will only make it once and it is almost the price of an entire book of patterns!  I don't mind paying for a pattern and have done so many times.  But the price of this one is almost 3 times what most patterns have cost me.  (sigh) 

As you know, hubby and I took a short (3 day) trip to Las Vegas to see his 93 year old mother.  I took some knitting with me to work on.  There is nothing to show for my trip as I only did one row on my knitting while gone.  

So, what did I do for three days?  Sunday, I drove the entire trip to Las Vegas which is 4.5 hours of drive time.  Not a really long drive, yet it still wears a person out.  Once we got there, we checked into our hotel and realized we had not eaten since early that morning.  We went in search of our favorite restaurant only to find out it was closed due to the seating restrictions.  It was a very small place to begin with and only being allowed 25% of seating made it almost impossible to have more than about 10 customers at a time in there.  We finally decided to go to the 24 hour cafĂ©.  After we ate, we wandered about the casino for a while, played a few games and then went to bed.

Monday, after a lazy morning, we went to visit my MIL.  It is so hard to visit.  She can not hear us and we can not hear her.  Thankfully, one of the assistants there stays with her and does all the 'translating' back and forth.  We are only allowed 15 minutes at a time to visit too.  After we left my MIL, we went to our dear friends home for an afternoon/evening of relaxation, conversation, fun and food.  It was so nice to see our friends again.  By the time we left there and got back to the hotel, it was time for bed.

Tuesday we got up early as we had an early appointment to visit my MIL.  Each time we go to visit her, we also go to the veteran's cemetery to visit hubby's father.  The two places are only about 1/2 mile apart, which makes it quite convenient.  After our visit, we filled the car with gas and headed back to the hotel for some lunch.  After lunch we went back to our room for a little nap.  Once that had been accomplished we decided it would be fun to play some 


We played 2 sessions of bingo and did not win.  That is ok though.  We had a lot of fun playing and it was nice not to hear the noise of the slot machines going all the time.

Wednesday morning we left for home.  Once again I drove the entire trip.  Don't get me wrong, I love to drive.  Driving the new hybrid car was a dream too.  We were able to make it all the way home without needing to stop for gas.  In fact, we still have not needed to fill the car.  Love the mileage we get from this car!  It also is a very comfortable ride.  Much more comfy than the Prius was.

Thursday I did 2 loads of laundry, made the menus and grocery list.  Why is it, when all the laundry is completed before a trip, it magically fills up as soon as you get home.  We only had 3 days of clothes but still!  Anyway.............I also made a new to me dessert.


This is made in my Pampered Chef brownie pan.  You take a can of cinnamon rolls.  Press them into the little squares, making sure some of the roll comes up on the side of the square.  Add apple pie filling on top of the roll.  (I am sure you could use other pie filling)  Bake at 400 Degrees for 15-20 minutes and you are done.


Mine bubbled over a bit.  Next time I will not add as much pie filling.  I also will not cook them longer than 15 minutes as the roll part got a little hard.


Once completed, I took the cinnamon roll frosting and poured it over them.  Notice the 'fine china' I put them on for their photo shoot LOL.  We add a scoop of ice cream with these and they are delicious.  Next time, I want to try cherry pie filling or blueberry pie filling.

Friday I ran to the grocery store to get our fruits and veggies for the week.  After lunch, I took my BFF to her physical therapy appointment.  She had shoulder surgery and will be in PT for another month.  Since I could not go into the building with her, I sat in my car, in the shade with the windows down enjoying the lovely breeze and fresh air.  I love this time of year in the Arizona Desert.

Saturday I did another load of laundry.  (It is never ending, right?)  Then the plants got watered, the clock got wound and dinner went into the crockpot.  There was Mass in the late afternoon and then we were home for the rest of the night.  I mixed up my sourdough so I could bake a loaf of bread today.  There was quite a bit of time spent on Pinterest finding sourdough recipes, other than bread.  Here are a couple I found,


These looked so good.  I know I have eaten blondies before but can not remember exactly what they tasted like.  That means I need to make some to bring back that memory, right?


These cookies are going to be made today.  Hubby has had a hankerin' for cookies since we returned from our trip.  My Grandma used to make molasses cookies as did my mom.  One of my fond memories is biting into one of these cookies warm from the oven.  YUM!

There were other recipes I found on Pinterest using sourdough.  I figured, if I am going to maintain a starter, I need to start using it more often, including the discard from it.

The bread is out of the oven now.


This is made in my pullman loaf pan.  It took me quite a while to find a recipe for sourdough made in that pan.  I had a horrible time getting this to rise this morning after the overnight rise.  After over an hour, I finally just stuck it in the oven and let it rise and bake at the same time.  It worked pretty well.  It is a little shorter than normal but will taste just fine.

Funny story!!!!!  After grocery shopping, Friday, hubby put the groceries away for me.  I heard him take a deep breath and kind of made a funny noise while exhaling.  I looked and he was holding a loaf of French bread I had bought.  He looked at me and said "What is this?".  I thought he must be loosing it to ask that question.  I said "It's a loaf of French bread."  He looked all around the kitchen and then said "Why did you buy this?".  Then it dawned on me.  I have not bought a loaf of bread for 18 months!  But, because of our trip, and other obligations, I had not had time to make a loaf since we had gotten home.  I started to laugh and told him I knew we would need bread to go with our shrimp dinner that evening so bought this.  We had the bread that evening and it was the most tasteless bread I had ever eaten. (And it was fresh from their bakery!) Cardboard would have had more flavor.  Yup, we are spoiled now.  Lessoned learned.  After vacation, plan on making bread immediately!

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

PS:  Hubby and I get Covid dose #2 on Tuesday night.  We are getting the Pfizer vaccine.  Will let you know how we do with it.


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

A QUICK NOTE

 


Hubby and I arrived in Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon.  We took that day and just relaxed and enjoyed the amenities of our hotel.  We were a little surprised to see the favorite restaurant at our hotel was closed due to Covid.  Hubby was so sad.  There were still plenty of other places to still find sustenance.  

Monday, we had the morning to just hang out and have a slow morning.  We ate a lovely brunch and then went to go visit my mother in law at her facility.  We only get to spend 15 minutes with her and we are separated from each other via plexiglass.  It is very hard for her to hear us and hard for us to hear her.  Luckily, there is a staff member that stays with my MIL and she does a lot of translating for us.

After our visit, we went to the veteran's cemetery to visit my father in law's grave.  While there we happened upon an interment in process, complete with a bagpiper.  It was so beautiful.  We stopped and rolled down our windows just so we could hear the bagpiper.

Once we left the cemetery, we headed to our friends home on the other side of the city.  We had such a lovely afternoon/evening with them.  It was very relaxing also.  I got to discuss knitting, sourdough baking as well as finding out how all of their family was doing.  When we got back to the hotel, we went straight to our room.  No need to do anything else as the day was perfect just the way it was.

Today, we had an early visit scheduled with my MIL.  There was no time to even eat breakfast before we left.  My MIL lives about 30 minutes from where we are staying.  Traffic in Las Vegas is 24/7 rush hour.  We stopped off at the cemetery, once again, before we went for our visit.  The cemetery is about 1/4 mile away from where my MIL is staying.  That makes it nice to be able to visit both parents that way.

After our MIL visit, we filled the car with gas and came back to the hotel.  Hubby and I checked out what time we wanted to go and play bingo and then went into the casino and played for a little bit until the place we wanted to have lunch at was open.



This is where we had lunch.  The food there is so yummy.  It is so retro too.  Social distancing is done well there too.  As of this week, public places such as restaurants are now allowed to open up to 35%.  When the first of March comes, things will be opened up to 50%.

Tonight, we will go and play bingo at 7 and 9.  That will be the big excitement for our day.  Then to bed and up early so we can drive back home on Wednesday.

My knitting has not been touched yet.  I might pick it up after publishing this post.  We decided to come to our room to rest up before dinner and bingo.  Afterall......we are old folk now. LOL

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

Sunday, February 21, 2021

WEEK 34 OF MY 10TH YOP

 


Today's post will be a bit longer than normal.  I am not going to apologize for that either.  There has been so much happening this past week, I need to get it posted here so I can make room in my brain for other things.

CRAFTING

I have a finish this week.


Daughter's socks are finished.  They are still waiting in my house for the new owner since we were in covid quarantine until Friday.  No one was allowed into our home.  She will receive them soon.  I will probably take them to her next week.  She is getting ready for some minor surgery and I think they would be so nice to have to wear while recovering.

Once the socks were done, I started on Tarragon the Dragon.  He is 90% completed.




All that is left is for me to knit are his front legs, sew them on and then sew on the wings.  The wings are pinned on right now as I did not want to sew them on until I had the placement of everything the way I want it.  I have enjoyed working on this item.  I will say, amigurumi is still not high on my list of things to make.  Once Tarragon is done, I will start on Fred the Frog.

I did pick up another item to craft once the weather gets too warm to work with yarn.


My intention is to make this and give it to my daughter for her to hang in her office.  This is one of her favorite sayings.  The people she works with will be able to relate too.  Shhhhh, it is a surprise for her.

BAKING

I actually got the opportunity to make some buns for us to have for breakfast over the next few days.


These are Sourdough Cranberry Pecan buns.  The recipe is from the Emilie Raffa  "Artisan Sourdough Made Simple" cookbook.  They are so yummy.  There is not a strong sourdough taste to them.  The best part is, there is no sugar in them.  The recipe calls for molasses as the sweetener.  Not to mention the cranberries help with that too.  Hubby agreed, I can make these again.

LOST AND FOUND

I lost my fountain pen over a week ago.  It was the first fountain pen I had ever owned.  I liked writing with it.  When using it I almost felt 'artistic'.  Hubby and I looked all over for the silly thing and finally realized the dogs probably took it somewhere and chewed it up.  (They love pens and pencils)  I went on Amazon and decided to find another fountain pen.  This time I wanted one I could either use cartridges or fill from an ink bottle.




I chose this Dryden pen.  It is a medium point as was my other one, but, this one actually writes between medium and fine point.  I really like it.  There has not been any leaking from it (which my other one was wont to do).  It came in a lovely cloth case that can hold the pen and 2 cartridges.

Thursday, hubby was cleaning the living room and moving furniture and found this:


My original fountain pen.  It is a Cross pen and normally, Cross is the only pen I use.  This was a very inexpensive pen to start with.  So, I was not surprised when it would leak on my hand.  I was also not surprised when it bled through paper and sometimes had a blob of ink when writing.  The one thing I love about it is..............it is super quite when writing with it.  No matter what grade of paper I use.  The Dryden pen has a bit of a scratching sound to it while writing.

A positive for fountain pens.....................you do not to add any pressure to write with them.  That is a huge plus for us RA sufferers.  I can write for much longer periods of time with a fountain pen.

PERSONAL LIFE

It has been a very stressful week.  Not only have I been concerned about my local son and his family dealing with covid, I have also been worried about my TX son dealing with covid too (the rest of his family tested negative)  Then the big winter storm hit TX and I get a text stating their electricity went out at 7AM on Monday.  Now I am a bit concerned since the temps where he lives were in the single digits.  They do not have any gas appliances in their home so there was no way for them to cook or even try and get some warmth in the house.  They did have one pipe freeze on them but they grabbed a terra cotta pot, bricks and candles and made a little heater to try and get it unfrozen..................it worked.


They finally got electricity back at midnight Thursday night/Friday morning.  They also were on a boil water order until Saturday.  What a mess that was.  I felt so bad for them.  Yet, here I am, almost 1000 miles away.  Nothing I could do to help them.  Now they are going through their fridge and freezer to find out how much food was lost during the outage.  At least their insurance will reimburse them for food loss.

Today, hubby and I are getting ready to leave and go visit hubby's mom.  She will be 94 in May!  We have not seen her since October.  My dogs know something is up.  The whole house is clean, we have a suitcase out, and they are getting special food.  Our dog sitter is so great.  She was all excited when I asked her if she would like to come and spend a little time with the 'kids'.  

OK, I think that is all for today.  I need to go and pack my suitcase and get out of here.  I grabbed one of my WIP's to take with me on the trip. (Not the dragon or frog)  Not sure how much knitting I will get done on it.  I will be spending one afternoon/evening with a knitting friend so I know there will be progress made that day.  If enough gets done on it I will post a photo of it next week.

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

 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Last Day

 



Oh my goodness!  I can hardly believe this is the last day of our quarantine.  It will be nice to be able to get out and about again tomorrow.  There are so many things hubby and I need to accomplish before we leave Sunday.

But, let's not get ahead of ourselves.  Let me tell you about the last few days since I was here last.

First off, our son and his family in Texas are still without electricity.  That has been going on since early Monday morning.  As of yesterday, they were informed they need to boil any water they get from their faucet until further notice.  How do you boil water if you only have an electric stove?  My son said he is going to try and boil it on his gas bbq.  Water pipes are busting all around him.  He is afraid to open his deep freeze to see how much of his food has spoiled.  He knows everything in his fridge is spoiled.  All this on top of the fact he has covid and his daughter has bronchitis.  Please say a prayer for all people being affected by this winter storm as well as the one that is coming through again this weekend.

As for me, I have been busy putting a puzzle together.  It finally got finished this morning.


I received this from a dear friend who has since passed away.  It was not an easy puzzle to complete.  Especially since there was one piece missing.  It is now back in the box and I will donate it with a note on it that there is 1 piece missing.

The only other item I have been working on is a dragon for my TX grand daughter.


Say hello to Taragon.  His body was fun to do as it is all done in one piece.  The tail was done separately and then attached.


The long piece is the spiked spine and the little piece is a wing.  I still need to make 3 more wings and sew them together.  Then the spine and wings will be sewn onto the body.  After that.......arms and legs will be done.  It has been an interesting knit.  I am not normally a toy maker so this is a challenge for me to do.

Today, I made some more focaccia bread.  This time I added garlic salt to the dough and sprinkled Italian seasoning on the top.  I just tried a piece and it is much tastier than the last one I made.

I hope all of you are staying warm and safe.

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


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Shrove Tuesday


I grew up in Wichita Kansas.  It was a good childhood and I loved the four seasons we had there.  Each year on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday we celebrated Shrove Tuesday.  (The expression "Shrove Tuesday" comes from the word shrive, meaning "absolve")  There is a little town in Kansas named Liberal.  Actually, 90% of the towns in Kansas are little.  Anyway, each year on Shrove Tuesday, the town of Liberal, Kansas and Olney, Buckinghamshire, England, would have a 415 yard race of women running and flipping pancakes the entire time.

The Olney tradition dates to around 1445. Legend holds that a woman in Olney was making pancakes when the church bells began ringing to announce the service. Carrying her frying pan and wearing an apron, she raced to arrive at church on time. In subsequent years, others in the community joined in the race. The prize was the "Kiss of Peace" from the verger, or bell ringer.  

The Liberal/Olney competition began when members of the Liberal Junior Chamber of Commerce learned about the Olney race and proposed a friendly competition with the English community. The contest, which continues today, requires that runners wear a traditional apron and scarf and carry a frying pan in which they toss a pancake at the beginning and ending of the race. The event concludes with presentation of awards and a church service.

In other parts of the US we celebrate Fat Tuesday, or in French "Mardi Gras".  It is the last big hurrah before the season of Lent begins.  There are parades, beads, king cakes and plenty of partying and often drunkeness during that day.

I was in New Orleans one year just before Mardi Gras.  These people take this celebration seriously.  There are king cakes in every store, beads hanging from balconies as well as lots of purple and gold decorations on every home.

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday.  It is the start of 40 days of Lent.  (Sundays do not count in the 40 days)  Because, hubby and I still have 3 days of quarantine, we will not be going to Mass this year.  We will watch it on YouTube.  Also this year, when distributing ashes, they will not be placed on the forehead but sprinkled on the top of your head.  (This is what our parish is doing)  

What are some of the traditions where you live?

Because it is shrove Tuesday, I made us sourdough pancakes for breakfast.



They were quite tasty and there is enough left for us to have them again for a few days.  YUM!  Before you ask..........I did not run 415 yards while flipping them.  I walked 3 feet from stove to counter placing them on a plate with a spatula.  

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

Sunday, February 14, 2021

WEEK 33 AND LIFE

 



Hey there!  Welcome.  Ready to read about my exciting week?  Let's go!

CRAFTING

Only one item got worked on this week:


Daughter's second sock.  I have about 59 more rows before the toe.  Most of this was done yesterday while on a 6 hour zoom call with our church.  I so love self striping yarn.  Makes knitting a lot of fun.

I got a text from one of my Texas Grand Kids asking if I could make her a dragon and a frog.  I was so excited to be asked to make something for someone.  I have the patterns picked out for both projects.


This is Fred the Frog and will be started as soon as the sock is completed.  Instead of a frown on his face, I am going to give him a smile.


Meet Tarragon the Gentle Dragon.  This will be the dragon I knit for her.  My fingers are crossed that neither of these patterns are too complicated.  Toy making is not something I have done too much of.  The thought of sewing all those little pieces together is a bit foreboding.  But, for a grandchild............anything.

BAKING


This week saw quite a bit of baking going on at my house.  I kind of go in spurts when I bake.  Other than making my usual loaf of sandwich bread I made these:



Mini Banana/Cranberry breads.  These mini loaf pans were a little treat I got for myself just before Christmas.  These 4 pans equal one regular sized loaf.  I liked doing them in these pans.  We kept one loaf out, one in the fridge and 2 in the freezer.  This way half of the big loaf does not get stale and yucky.

I have been in the mood to do something with Arthur the sourdough starter.  Arthur was removed from the fridge this week and started to get regular feedings again.  I have been perusing my sourdough cookbook for ideas.  This is what I decided to make.



Sourdough garlic/rosemary focaccia bread.  We had some of it last night for dinner with our spaghetti.  It was quite delicious.  Arthur is still being fed and will become something else yet this week.  Not sure what, but I am sure it will be yummy.

LIFE HAPPENS

Hubby and I got a call Monday from our son that lives here in town.  He and our grand daughter had both tested positive for Covid.  UGH!  Since we had been with them on Saturday evening, we knew we had to quarantine for 14 days as well as get tested.  Finding a place to give a rapid covid test is not an easy task.  I spent two days trying to get appointments for hubby and I to get this done.  Well................hubby decided to look into the saliva test that is done by our local university.  TA-DA!  He found out they were doing the test just a few miles from our house and had an opening that afternoon.  Since it was 5 days since our exposure, we knew it was the prime time to go and get tested.  Let me just say, this is not as easy a test as you think.  Thirty minutes before the test you can not put anything in your mouth including water!  Since you are already a bit nervous about the possibility of having covid, and now you need to produce enough saliva to fill a little bottle................it seems the salivary glands just clamped close.  Of course, my husband had no issue filling his bottle.  I took a bit longer and just barely got enough.

Here are the results:


We both are negative!  Unfortunately, our son's wife tested positive the next day.  The three of them have lost their sense of taste and smell.  They all started with a headache and body aches.  Then it went to nasal congestion with a cough.  They DO NOT have any problems breathing though. PTL!

Wednesday, our son in Texas let us know he tested positive for Covid!  Luckily, his wife tested negative and they are staying in separate areas of their home.  He has flu/cold like symptoms but no breathing issues.  He is just starting to loose his sense of taste and smell.

Out of our 4 kids, 3 of their homes have been infected.  We have one more in the Seattle, WA area and so far he is fine.  He works from home which probably has helped.

Hubby and I are still going to continue our 14 day quarantine.  We will be free this coming Friday.  That means we will be leaving next Sunday to go and visit his mother in Las Vegas.  The hotel we have reservations for was so nice. When we called to cancel our trip for today (the 14th).  They just put our reservation to next week and said it was no problem.  I am sure they were happy to know we were taking responsibility to not possibly pass on this virus.

Today is Valentine's day and since we are in quarantine, nothing much will be happening here.  I am doing laundry, there will be Mass on TV, then there is a golf tournament and the Daytona 500 to watch.  Our day is so exciting.  I don't know if I can handle all the excitement LOL.

Because of the threat of Covid, I did not do any decluttering this week.  We are still well ahead of the group's schedule though.  Maybe this week I will get to some more of it.  That way, I can take all the donations to Goodwill on Friday and they will be out of the house.

Anything fun happening in your home?  

Until next time.......................Happy Crafting and Stay Well!!!!!!!!!!!

This is part of the YOP ravelry group.  If you would like to join us, please do.  To see what others are doing in this group go to this LINK.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Glorious Day

 



It is a glorious day here in my town.  We are in the 70's with lots of sunshine and a light breeze.  I would love to be walking about the neighborhood, but will be satisfied with sitting in my backyard enjoying this weather.  It is going to get cold again (for us) on Sunday with rain chances in the forecast.  Then right back into the 70's next week.

Hubby and I are getting ready to head out and go get our Covid test.  We are getting the saliva test done.  It will take 2-3 days to get the results.  That is okay as we still have another week of quarantine to live through.  

Our local son and his daughter have both lost their sense of taste and smell.  They said, it is really hard to get excited about eating when you can not taste your food.  My poor Daughter in Law said it is kind of hard to make a great dinner and no one 'appreciates' it.  Since no one can taste anything, I decided not to make bread and brownies for them.  Once their taste buds come back I will treat them to some homemade goodies.

Speaking of sons..................the one that lives in Texas tested positive yesterday.  He has the headache, body ache, fatigue and a low grade fever.  No breathing issues...PTL.

Today, I did make a loaf of bread, took Arthur our of the fridge and started feeding him again, worked on the puzzle and checked up on all my sick kids.  No decluttering again today but that is ok.  We are quite a bit ahead of the posted schedule.  Not to mention, I don't want to end up with lots of boxes and bags sitting around for a week or two.  My OCD will not appreciate that scene.

I have pork chops laid out for dinner tonight.  We will have that, some fresh homemade bread and cooked veggies.  There is a Fireball Whiskey pumpkin pie for desert.  I made the pie a week ago and it is so yummy. I ordered groceries to be picked up tomorrow and made sure to order more pumpkin so I can make the pie again.

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