Monday, November 22, 2010

Balancing Golf Balls

OK, so we had a Sunday School fellowship and some of our friends wanted to play minute to win it.  ( I can honestly say I have no idea what this is).  Anyway, they were playing on a folding table and couldn't get the golf balls to stack.  So, my husband came home, rummaged thru the garage and found himself three golf balls.  No, they are not glued together.  He just sat at the counter and 30 seconds later.............

Oh gosh!  Has it been 2 months since I last posted???  Hard to believe.  Time flies.  I've been busy Christmas shopping the past few weeks and I think I can honestly say that I am pretty much done.  I have my husband left.  My niece and nephew on my side of the family has chosen to get either gift cards or money.  What's the fun in that?  I remember the "good old days" when we could hardly wait to open up packages to see what we were getting.  It may not have always been to our liking, but it was fun ripping open the packages.  What's the fun in opening up an envelope?  Where's the joy for the giver?  I love to take the time and pick out what I think is the "perfect gift" for someone.  Oh well, what do I know????  So, they'll get money or gift cards.  Personally, I think they would have gotten more bang for the buck if they had chosen to receive gifts.  Just sayin.....

So, other than voicing  opposition to how I give gifts for a special season, what else can I write about???  How about a few recipes??  Sounds good.  So let's begin:

Grandma's Casserole

I grew up with my grandmother making this.  I don't know how old it is, but I do like it.  One of those "comfort foods"

Mix well:  2 pkgs. frozen, cooked broccoli
                  1 pkg. frozen, cooked cauliflower
                  1 can Cream of mushroom soup
                  1 can chopped green chile
                  2 c. grated cheddar
                  1 c. sour cream

Bake in 13x9x2 pan (greased) at 350 deg. for 25 minutes

Horehound Candy

I got this recipe from a lady when I was about 12 years old.  Her name was Mrs. Howard.  You can probably find the horehound at natural food markets.  This was my grandpa's favorite candy and I hate to admit it, but I like it too!

Make a strong tea of 1/2 c. dried horehound steeped in 2 cups boiling water in a covered pan.   After 10 minutes strain into a 6 qt.  saucepan.  Add 3 cups sugar and 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter.  Boil to hard crack stage or 300 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Pour quickly into a buttered rectangular pan.  Mark off in squares before the candy is entirely hard.  Break into pieces as soon as it can be handled.  Put about 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar in a paperbag and shake candy gently to coat.  This helps prevent the pieces of candy from sticking together when stored. 

Pesto Sauce

I've tried several different recipes and I like this one.  I don't remember if I altered it or not, but I do like it.

1/4 c. pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 c. basil
1/2 c. olive oil (3/4 c. if recipe is doubled)
pinch of nutmeg
sald and pepper to taste

Mix and puree.  IF, IF, you are planning on freezing this here's a trick.  Leave out just a couple of tablespoons of the oil from the recipe.  Pour the pesto into your container and then pour the oil on top.  It will seal the top and prevent freezer burn.  If you didn't save enough oil aside, go ahead and add a little bit more to cover the top.  It won't hurt it.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Lesson I Learned From My Daughter

This past week has been such an eye opener for me. Not only a a mom, but as a Christian.

Conner and Tyler have been dating since May and sometime in late June, early July he and his band decided to move. Conner wasn't happy, but she kept on trucking along. Spending as much time with him as she could. Throughout their relationship they faced many obstacles, the least of which was people upset because they were dating (too old, too young, nothing in common, etc.). They fought for the chance to find out more about each other. What impressed me most was Tyler writing me asking to date my daughter. By agreeing, I lost a friend, but then again, maybe she wasn't a friend. She never took the time to find out what my rules were for dating. But that's ok, I survived.

This past weekend Conner and Tyler saw each other for the last time. I got a call late Sunday night to come pick up my very distraught daughter. I cried on the way. As a mom we never want to see our children hurt. But, as a mom we also know it's coming. How to prepare ourselves, how to find the right words, how to get them to see that their world and life is not over. It's sad and hard.

I asked for prayer for Conner. It's not easy being a teenager today and being a Christian one is even harder. So, I thought prayer was definitely in order.

Upon talking to Conner she told me that she has always encouraged Tyler to follow his dreams, even if it meant giving up her dreams.

Monday I went to knitting and was telling one of the ladies about what happened and how Tyler was leaving to start a new life, but that Conner was left behind.

Upon listening to me talk about Conner, Sharon (my knitting buddy), turned to me and said "She's the perfect example of Christian love"! I had to stop and think about that.

Upon reflection, I have to agree. It's amazing that my 16 year old can teach me such an important lesson and I can't recognize it for what it is. We have tried to instill strong Christian values in Conner, but as a parent, you never know if what you are trying to teach your kids will stick. Well, it does.

Conner has taught me that 1 Corinthians 13 is alive and well.

13:4 - 8a Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

How many of us can readily put someone else before ourselves? Encouranging them to follow their dream, even tho it is killing us inside. Honestly, how many of us?

How many of us would recognize such an unselfish act if we saw it or were recepient of it?

How many of us would praise the unselfish act for what it is? Putting into practice what Jesus taught us.

It doesn't mean that life doesn't hurt and that our hearts don't break, but it does show God and Jesus work thru us without us even knowing it.

So, thank you Conner. I know your hurting and your heart is broken, but I want to thank you for teaching your mom and for being the perfect example of Christian love.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sausage Muffins - Mini or Regular

I got this recipe, which is awesome, by the way, from my friend Cheri. 

They are very addictive, so make enough :)

The picture to the left is of the miniature muffins.  I prefer them because they are just a bite or two and they are easier to handle at potlucks or for Sunday School snacks, plus, just a few are really filling.


3 C Pioneer Biscuit Mix (Cheri recommended this brand over any of the others because she says it bakes up lighter and fluffier - I'll taker her word for it - she loves to cook as much as I do)

3/4 c. milk
1 can Cheddar Soup
1 pound bulk sausage (I prefer hot), cooked up and crumbled
12 oz. cheese (either cheddar, co-jack or pepper jack work really well)

Mix all together and spoon into a GREASED muffin tin.  Bake 25-40 minutes (depending on size of muffins) till done.  Watch for the tops to turn slightly brown.  Remove from oven, cool and remove from tin.  Regrease before using for the 2nd batch.

A single recipe will make about 50 mini muffins and they freeze really well.  To reheat them, grab a few, put them on plate and "nuke 'em" for about 35-40 seconds.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Star or Openweave DishCloth Pattern

Love this pattern - fast, easy for an advanced beginner and neat design! 

Some people call this a star pattern and others call it an open weave pattern.  Whichever it is, it's neat!


Size 8 needles
Cotton Yarn (1 ball)
Tapestry needle

Pattern is a three stitch repeat

CO 36 stitches

For the border:  knit 4 rows

For the body:

Row 1:  K3, K2, *yo, K3, bring first of the three stitches over the other two.  Repeat from * to last 4 stitches, K4
Row 2 and Row 4:  K3, P30, K3
Row 3:  K3, K1, *K3,  bring first of the three stitches over the other two, yo, repeat from * to last 5 stitches, K5

If you don't want to add the border, then remove 3 stitches from each side and CO only 30 stitches. 
Then your rows would read as follows: 

Row 1:  K2, *yo, K3, bring first of the three stitches over the other two.  Repeat from * to the last stitch, K1
Row 2 and Row 4:  P30
Row 3:  K1, *K3, bring first of the three stitches over the other two, yo, repeat from * to the last 2 stitches, K2

Monday, June 28, 2010

Shut-In Project at my church - mission project

Three years ago (almost 4) my mom died of multiple myeloma.  It absolutely devastated me.  I was very lost and looking for some way to help people.  Well, I figured out what I could do, and then I went to my Pastor and told him my idea.  He liked it and gave me the go ahead.  So, after two years, I am hoping I have a better idea of what I'm doing.  All I know is that the shut-ins love it and I feel like God is filling a big hole in my heart.  So, without further ado....

One of the most forgotten group of people in the church are the home bound, or shut-ins.  They dedicated their lives to their church.  They used to attend regularly, be involved in everything and gave freely and lovingly.  Now that they are not able to attend or be involved, people forget that they are still here, just not filling up pew space.  Many of these people are either in a care facility or living alone with minimal contact with people.  They struggle from day to day to make ends meet or just to do something that used to come easily.   The biggest thing to remember in all of this is ---- one day it will be you!

My favorite time of year is Christmas, so what better way and time to remember our shut-ins than at Christmas??!!

This is not a quick project, but rather a long drawn out one.  It takes almost a year to make items and to collect items or purchase them.

Step 1:  Gather names - lots of names.  Your church secretary will probably have a good starting list, but go even further.  Talk to your senior pastor (not your head pastor, but the one who oversee the senior adults in your church).  Ask him for the names of people who no longer are able to attend for whatever reasons: age, physicial disabilities, illness, etc.  Then after you talk to him, talk to the seniors in the church.  They have been there for a long time and they know who is no longer around.  After you have gathered up all the names (and yes, you will miss a few), hit the newspapers and look up the obituaries.  Some of those people on your list will have passed on.  The church will not always be aware of this.  OR, they have moved to another city.  Many times, the church will not be aware of that either. 

Step 2:  Check and verify.  Call the assisted living centers and the care units.  Verify the person you are looking for is at that location, definitely.  Get room numbers, mailing addresses and phone numbers.  Verify, verify, verify.

Step 3:  Make a list.  (Actually, more than one).  First list:  Physical limitations, requirements.  This may not seem important, but if you are collecting items or making items for someone, you need to know if they are wheelchair bound, or diabetic, or have some other physical disability. 

Your first list should include:  Name, address, phone number, b-day (this can be used for birthday cards later in the year), male or female, where they reside (home, assisted living) and any special needs. On our list we also have "bib".  This is so that we know this person needs a special bib to eat.  They have a physical disability that makes it difficult to eat and they spill food a lot while eating.  These bibs are nothing special, other than they are adult size and long.  But, they are only for certain individuals, so we added it to our list.  Also on your list make a note if this is an individual or a couple.  Many times both individuals are homebound for any number of reasons.  Don't overlook the spouse or caregiver!

Step 4:  Make your 2nd list:  Your wish list. 

The past 2 years I made a list up and gave it to my church.  They then printed it up in their weekly and monthly bulletin.  It tells people about our project and what we are aiming to provide.  It also tells people how they can help in this mission project.  We usually put a number needed (ie - 60 people, so we need 60 blankets), along with a contact number and where the items can be dropped off at.

Items:  Small bottles of lotion (try and get unscented, if possible); non-skid slipper socks (make sure they have a lot of stretch in them to prevent swelling of their ankles); weekly pill organizers, wide tooth combs/brushes, work search books, sudoku books, crossword puzzles, 5x7 notepads with pens, decks of cards (new and unopened), chapstick (unflavored), coffee mugs, individual packts of cocoa or tea, blankets, bibs (these you either have to order or make on your own), nail files, fresh fruit, candy (make sure you get some sugar free for the diabetics in the group), knitted shawls for the women (I made a pattern we use that is quick and easy and only takes one skein - it's on this blog under "The Rainy Day Scarf".  Perfect for the ladies and quick for you), packaged crackers, soap on a rope, washcloth to go with the soap, candy tins, homemade cookies, laundry baskets, jar lid grippers (perfect for them trying to open up difficult jars), stationary, stuffed animals (everyone loves these), Christmas cards, and money.

Step 5:  The money does several things.  It helps buy what was not fully donated by the church members and it purchases extras like ribbon (we weave it thru the baskets to make them cheery).  The other thing we do is buy the shut-ins a gift card to Luby's or Furr's.  Many of them cannot afford to go out and eat without relying on someone to take them.  By providing them a gift card, they can buy a senior meal and buy a meal for the person who is taking them.  This has been one of the most loved items.    We also pick up anything else we might have missed that would go well in the baskets. 

Step 6:  Advertise in the church bulletins when you will be filling the baskets - get the youth involved!  Get couples involved. Get everyone involved.  Make sure you include a Christmas card (with the enclosed gift card) with an address on it.  This helps your deliverer know where they are going and it is another bit of cheer for the shut-in.

Step 7:  Set up the deliveries.  Have one person contact everyone on your list that you will be delivering a basket to.  Some shut-ins won't open their doors to just anyone.  So, let them know who you are and that you are with your church and that "so and so" will be delivering a basket to them on "this date".  Make sure someone will be there for delivery.  This is a good project for the youth dept.  I firmly believe our youth should be in contact and get invovled with our shut-ins.  It's a win-win for both of them.

Step 8:  Delivery.  Make sure you have everyone lined up and place the baskets in your fellowship hall or somewhere that is easily accessible. 

Step 9:  Feedback.  You'll get thank you cards, you'll get suggestions on how to improve it, you'll get lots of feedback.  That's a good thing.  You can always improve.

I hope this gives you a few ideas on how to help your church shut-ins.  I really love this mission project.  I hope you do as well.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Refrigerator Lemon Pie

I grew up with my mom making the pie all the time.  As I grew up, it became my absolute favorite dessert.  Mom got in the habit of making this pie for me for my birthday and so it was.  Today, I am making this pie for my daughter, who like me looks forward to it every time.  It's a quick recipe, no baking, and ready by evening if you get it in the refrigerator in the morning.  It doesn't have a strong lemon taste, but it's light and airy - very addicting.  I don't know where the recipe came from, otherwise, I would give credit where credit is due.  So, without further ado.....


1 c. sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 - 3 oz. pkg lemon jello
1 c. hot water
2 pkgs. Dream Whip (makes 4 cups)
1 c. ice cold milk - 2%
1 tsp. vanilla
2 graham cracker pie crusts

Beat together the sugar and cream cheese.  Dissolve the jello in the hot water; add to the cheese mixture.  Prepare the two packages of dream whip with the milk and vanilla.  Add to the cheese mixture.  Pour into graham cracker crust or layer in parfait glasses alternating with crumbs.  Makes 2 yummy pies!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Madly Knitting

I can't seem to stop - am I addicted?????  Probably - here are a few things I'm working on.  The bag has yet to be felted, so it looks pretty blah.  I'm working on the strap right now - I have to knit it to 60" and then I'll felt them both and post the final pic when it is finished.

Next up is a bookmark I made for an internet buddy.  I hope she likes it.  I've never knitted something that small (well, do socks count???).  It was fun and it blocked beautifully.  I think I may make a few more.

Next up is a scarf I am working on.  I absolutely love this pattern and have bought a lot more yarn to use just on this patttern.  I think I am hooked on it.  In case you want the name, it's called "Saroyan".  I'm using Cascade 220 superwash and the yarn is a blue/green mix.  I've gotten 2/3 of the scarf done.

So, that's what I've been up to.  How about you??

Friday, March 19, 2010

Rantings from a stressed mom

I'm sitting here watching the news and realizing that my country is about to change, and not for the better.  I wonder what our founding fathers would think right now.  I wonder what all those veterans that are still alive are thinking right now - what did they fight for?  I thought they had fought for our freedom, not for us to be enslaved by our own government!  I'm wondering how I'll explain to my daughter that she already owes thousands of dollars to the govt. to help lower the debt that this President and his co-horts have borrowed to put us in chains.  I'm wondering if we will wake up on Sunday and see that we are no longer the United States of America, but the united states of illusions.  I don't care what you think the Constitution says - the govt. was not made to provide and rule over our lives.  It was created to allow us to live in freedom.  Now some people have very negative attitudes about the Constitution - they look at it as a living document.  I think they are wrong.  This country has stood and run well for the past 200 plus years and all of a sudden the document isn't worth the paper it's written on and that our founding fathers didn't know what they were talking about?????  Freedom of speech, right to bear arms, freedom of religion (not from religion), and on and on and on.  How did they get it wrong?  They came from an overbearing government andf we are now going to be back in the same position they were.  The only problem is - we don't have anywhere to go to build a new country!  Congress won't listen to us - they think they know what is good for us.  Obviously we don't know how to eat the right foods, we have to be instructed.  We don't know how to take care of the poor and needy - we have to be told to do it.  We don't know how to give money to charities - the government is going to do that for us because obviously we are as dumb as rocks.   We don't know the best type of lightbulbs to use and if we use the wrong ones, we will be penalized.  Women in their 40's are told not to get mammograms - they're not necessary.  Really?  Really??  Why don't you tell that to my 4 friends who are in their 40's or less, two of which died!  I think we know our bodies better than you.  Are you god?  We soon won't be able to go fishing if the current president has his way - what is wrong with this picture?   Can't drill for oil on our own coasts and land.  Can't drill for natural gas - leases are being cancelled.  So, we are beholden to govts. that don't like us.  What is wrong with this picture.  Thru the years the government has gotten bigger and bigger and dumber and dumber.  We are tired people.  We are tired of being told that we are not an exceptional country and that we are just like everyone else.  Wrong.  We are an exceptional country and we used to have be at the top for helping others and supporting our allies.  Now we are a joke.  Yes, our former president over spent.  I freely acknowledge that.  BUT, I also know that Congress was held by the democrats.  They decided what was going to be spent and how.  I don't think anyone had their hands tied behind their backs when voting on financing the wars in Iraq and Afghanastan.  But tit-for-tat is pathetic.  Rather than trying to cut our debt, we're increasing it because "Bush did it".  Well, fine and dandy - what makes you think you're any better?  In fact, you're thousands time worse.  I would much rather send our troops, who VOLUNTEERED by the way, to fight a war on foreign soil, then fight a war over here.  A few quotes come to mind and I'm sorry if I don't remember who wrote them, but:  "Freedom isn't free" and "You can't borrow yourself rich".  Duuuhhhh!

On that note, I think I'm going to go and call my representatives and congressmen, again.  Not that it will help, they don't care about us - just themselves and the future of this presidency.  God help us all.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Creamy Potato Soup

I love, love, love potato soup.  I used for a couple of years a recipe I had gotten from a cookbook, but felt that it was missing something.  So, I have adapted the recipe to my liking.  I'm sure that there is room for improvement - no one's perfect..... well, one man was.  Anyway, I hope you like it and if you can think of something I can do to improve it, let me know.

Creamy Potato Soup ala LaDonna

1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. flour
30 oz. chicken broth
1 qt. cream
6-8 c. whole milk
8-10 medium/large potatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste

Melt the butter, add the onions and saute until clear. Add the flour and make a roux.  Cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add chicken broth, cream and milk.  Let it cook for a while.  While this is happening, microwave your potatoes untill cooked.  Take two or three of the potatoes and cut them in half.  (Here's a really neat technique I just figured out, so if you already know it, don't laugh that I'm a little late to the game.)  Take the potato halves and lay them cut side up.   Take your potato masher and mash the potatoes.  Remove the skins and save for later.  Dump the mashed potatoes into the soup mix.  Now take the rest of the potatoes and cut them up to put in the soup.  Cut up the left over skins as well.  Simmer for an hour or 4 or 5 hours - being sure to keep it on low heat and stir, otherwise you will scorch the bottom of your pan. 

You can add more potatoes if you want, I think it is a personal preference
That's it.  This soup is better the next day. 

Serve the soup with grated cheese on top.  What a great meal to have on a cold and blustery day.  Mangia!  Mangia!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Same Blog, just a new name - wanted something more original than my name!

Earwarmer Pattern

OK, so I have been itching to try and come up with an easy and quick pattern for an ear warmer. I also wanted a little bit of a challenge, but not so much that a beginning knitter would be turned off. I think finally made up a pattern that covers all my requests. So, here it goes:


16" - Size 10 circular needles or straight needles, your choice
1 large button
1 skein Jiffy Yarn - chunky
I didn't worry about gauge so much because it's not a full hat and it's a pretty forgiving item to wear.


k1fb - knit one in front and back of stitch
ssk - slip, slip, knit
CO - cast on


CO 6

Row 1: Knit
Row 2 and ALL even rows - purl ** Except for Row 6
Row 3: k1fb, k4, k1fb (8 stitches total)
Row 5: k1fb, P2, bind off 2, P2, k1fb (8 stitches) - this is the buttonhole

Row 6: Purl 4, cast on 2, purl 4 (10 stitches)
Row 7: k1fb, P2, K4, P2 k1fb (12 stitches)
Row 9: k1fb, P2, K2, P2, K2, P2, l1fb (14 stitches)
Row 11: k1fb, P2, K3, P2, K3, P2, k1fb (16 stitches)
Row 13: k1fb, P2, K4, P2, K4, P2, k1fb (18 stitches)

Repeat Rows 15 - 20 (12 times), ending on the cabling row

Row 15: k2, p2, c4, p2, k2 (18 stitches)
Row 17: k2, p2, k4, p2, k4, p2, k2
Row 19: k2, p2, k4, p2, k4, p2, k2
Row 21: k2tog, p2, k4, p2, k4, p2, ssk
Row 23: k2tog, p2, k3, p2, k3, p2, ssk
Row 25: k2tog, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, ssk
Row 27: k2tog, p2, k4, p2, ssk
Row 29: k2tog, p2, k2, p2, ssk
Row 31: k2 tog, k4, ssk
Row 32: Purl 6
Bind off

If you want to make this narrower, decrease your purls by one on each side and in the middle, so you'll have 15 stitches instead of 18.

If I made any mistakes, please let me know.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

If you have tried any of my recipes or my patterns, please leave me feedback. That helps me to improve an item and also gives me new ideas on things to cook or make. Thanks and God Bless!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

It's been 2 1/2 years since you went to Heaven and I miss you and think about you every day. You'd be so proud of your granddaughter. She is growing up to be a beautiful young lady. I love you Mom.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Big Comfy Hat

I love to make hats, but the biggest problem I have had with each pattern I've tried is how short the hats are. I want a hat that will cover my ears. A hat that will stay over my ears and a hat that will cover the back of my head. I bought patterns after patterns after patterns and tried each of them - same problem. I finally decided to make up my own pattern. I hope you enjoy it. It's pretty basic, and pretty traditional, but it's pretty and warm!
This hat is an adult size hat. It's loose enough for a man to wear, but tight enough for a woman. Make sense?

Materials needed:
Size 10 circular needles (16 inch) and
Size 10 double pointed needles
1 stitch marker
Tapestry needle
2 skeins or 120 yds. Bulky (or #5) yarn - I made this hat with Deborah Norville Serentiy

Gauge: 4 stitches per inch

To begin:

CO 68 stitches onto your circ. needles
For the next 3 inches, K2 P2 for the ribbing.

After you have knit 3 inches, you are ready to begin the body of the hat. From this point on it will be all knit stitches, no purl stitches.

Cast on 4 additional stitches. I usually place my stitches at 3, 6, 9, and 12 (face of a clock). I do m1fb. The stitches blend better into the pattern. You should have 72 stitches on your needles.

From this point on, you will continue knitting until you have 5 inches from where you started knit only. So, you will have a total of 8 inches from the edge of the hat. Next, you will start your reduction in stitches.

When it gets too tight to use your circular needles, switch to your dpn's.
Decrease as follows:

Decr round 1: *k6, k2tog* for 8 times. You will end up with 56 stitches.
Knit the next two rounds.
Decr round 2: *k5, k2tog* for 8 times. You will end up with 48 stitches.
Knit the next two rounds
Decr round 3: *k4, k2tog* for 8 times. You will end up with 40 stitches
Knit the next two rounds
Decr round 4: *k3, k2tog* for 8 times. You will end up with 32 stitches
Decr round 5: *k2, k2tog* for 8 times. You will end up with 24 stitches
Decr round 6: *k2, k2tog* for 8 times. You will end up with 16 stitches
Decr round 7: *k1, k2tog* for 8 times. You will end up with 16 stitches
Decr round 8: k2tog for 8 times. You will have 8 stitches
Cut your yarn end and with your tapestry needle run the end thru the last 8 stitches, one at a time. When you have gone thru all the stitches, pull your yarn snuggly, thread the yarn thru the top of your hat to bring it to the inside. Weave in your ends and if possible tie off and hide your ends. Snip ends, weave in all other ends. and you're finished!
There was an error in this gadget