Friday, April 30, 2010

I have a confession....I haven't been crafting ....the weather has been so lovely...sunny and perfect..too perfect to stay inside....been gardening most answering the phone for our business, sometimes traveling with the man, baking for the  men, taking care of the critters (4 cats, a dog and a duck), working on my book, normal housework, and having a little time for myself.....God  has filled my plate completely....

This summer when the weather gets too warm to be outside as much, I plan on embroidering alot and I mean, alot of redwork....I've ordered some very wonderful soft flour sack dish towels, bought yards of soft flannel and have a high quality white sheet (found abandoned in a foreclosed house) have my fabrics + a new Michaels  opened up here and I invested in many skeins of red floss....and new needles! Planning on making the following...fabric tags, embroidered dishtowels, ornaments, table mats, candle mats, plus perhaps a few redwork Christmas stockings....that's the plan anyway....

Meanwhile, the garden is flourishing..we did lose our Romaine lettuce to a hungry slug....its amazing how one slug can do so much damage..somehow he escaped all the snail bait and went right for the good stuff...every morning, Alan and I, taking our coffee and hot chocolate with us..go through the garden seeing what has come up, what has grown, and any problems....its nice in the very early morning..its quiet, with the birds and duck to keep us company...the garden and yard  have a glow from the rising sun.

Alan put up the clothes line and I put the first load out yesterday....I found I really enjoyed hanging out clothes! Who'd a thought that? and they sure smelled great taking them also felt good  to be using less energy..when did we get to where we always use the dryer? I remember my mother using a ringer washer and hanging up laundry when I was a little girl.....I think its time for many of us to go back to the old ways that our parents and grandparents did. Sometimes the old ways are the best...time tested.....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mom's Recipe Box..Beef and Noodle Medley

I found this clipping that sounded good..I know my  boys will like this ,like most men, they love meaty meals, with either potatoes or noodles....this one was published Feb. 11, 1976...

Beef and Noodle Medley

2 T. oil
1 lb. ground lean beef
1 1/2 c. diced celery
1/2 c. diced onion
1/2 c. diced green pepper
2 c. uncooked medium width noodles
2 cans (1 lb. each) tomatoes, broken up
1 can (15 1/4 oz. to 1 lb, 4 oz.) red kidney beans
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. salt

In a large skillet heat oil. Add meat; saute for 5 minutes..add celery, onion and green pepper. saute 5 more minutes...Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered until noodles are tender, about 20 minutes..
I am going to make this tonight..and use black beans instead of kidney..and not so much celery..(that seems like a lot of me)...will let you know how it is.....I like recipes like this, easy and cheap.....filling can be adapted to your family's likes...could add corn or canned mushrooms...could sprinkle some grated cheese on the last few minutes of cooking....that is always a hit around here!

Thanks for the supportive comments about my post yesterday....I am a California native and have seen firsthand the damage our state as suffered as a result of illegal immigration and I know from the comments, many of you have seen the same result.
Just remember..the states formed the federal government, not the federal government forming the states....we need to get back to the Constitution and States rights.
When I was a senior in high school, all seniors were required to pass a Constitution test to graduate..we had to study the Constitution in Civics class.
Sadly, those classes are no longer could be why many in the Tea Party are older people..did you know that the Tea Party often times gives out copies of the Constitution at the rallies? and in the 9/12 Project, of which I am a member...there are recommended reading lists?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Illegal immigration

I deliberately try not to get too political on this blog..but as Arizona is so close to us..and we have many of the same problems that they do...have to post a brief comment........the border states have been gravely hurt by illegal immigration and the federal government has done little or nothing to the states have to protect their people.....the law passed in Arizona is nothing more than confirming the federal law...all the hype is nonsense...
The states have to protect their citizens...

Crime..Did you know that Phoenix Arizona is the second as far as kidnapping in the World? does it really matter that those kidnapped are usually illegal also? .They are human too....We had an illegal here in Menifee, murder a father and son (age 8) and flee to Mexico......our boys knew them..a tragedy...
Secondly,  illegals are treated badly.....
There are those that say that illegals do the work that citizens won't do...actually what they are supporting is modern day slavery.....people who hire them, often treat them badly...for low wages and poor living Vista, where  we used to live...we would often see a group of Hispanic men, crawl out from a group of trees, and we knew they had a camp there and worked in the fields......often, some of our worst fires were started by their camp fires.....the sheriff had also broken up a huge prostitution ring down by the San Luis Rey river....women from Mexico,  were being brought up to service the workers....against their will....I would rather pay a little more at the grocery store, knowing that the workers were here legally and were treated like human beings with a living wage and decent housing...don't these protesters realize this law protects their people from subhuman living conditions?

I won't even get into the state of our hospital emergency rooms....many here have closed down as they can't afford to stay open..

I heard someone say that the law is racist..nonsense...illegals come in all colors..and from all nations....but 57% are from Mexico..

Lastly....why hasn't the media reported on how MEXICO treats its illegal immigrants? its a real eye the story for yourself..just click on Mexico

I know things are bad in Mexico....and I don't blame people for looking for work, and wanting to support their families..just come here legally..we will welcome you! America loves emigrants! My family has come from many lands...German, Ireland, Scotland, England, Denmark, Japan and Korea..legally all...

well..have had my say.....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Tale of Frenzy and Fleas

We had a interesting drive yesterday into downtown Los Angeles..and I took tons of photos but can't find the cord to  put them onto my computer that will have to wait...meanwhile, I wanted to tell you a funny true story about one of Alan's "adventures" locksmithing......

He went  to re key a foreclosed house...he had a jacket on but since it was getting warmer took it off....while working on the front door, he suddenly noticed millions, (literally) millions of fleas....he quickly put his jacket back on..pulling down the sleeves...and made sure (he thought) his pant legs were down around his ankles and socks were pulled up to protect his legs..

...the realtor came...and as walked toward the front door, Alan warned him about the critters...the realtor jumped back, and started brushing his face, arms and legs furiously...yelling, "Get them off, get them off!" and then "What are they, what do they do?" Alan told him they suck your blood...that did it....the man ran out into the middle of the street, yelling  "I don't want them to suck my, no!"     "No blood sucking, no blood sucking!" He then ripped off his shirt, wildly dancing around in the middle of the street, running up and down..beating himself with his shirt...Alan had to laugh, it was so funny..........
It wasn't quite as funny when Alan got home and found his ankles looking like the above photo..evidently some of the fleas had gotten caught inside his socks, and had quite a feast.........!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Just a quick quick note...we are going on a road trip today to Los Angeles...not my favorite place but you never know......the client is a very good one so we can't really turn it down..hopefully, the house will be interesting....I'll take the camera.....
I also have a rough draft of the first chapter of my book.....not quite happy with it yet but at least there is something on paper....writing is hard work!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


I have found a few old macrame plant hanger patterns and have them in my Bonanzle shop.....I've always loved the look of macrame..back in the 70s it was all the rage...there were even entire board and stick shops dedicated to macrame...and classes. Sadly, they are all gone now.....and these patterns are getting rare.....I do hope this craft comes back..its so useful...and
dramatic for plant hangers....easy to do too!

We were given a pretty macrame hanger for a shower gift some 36 years ago that is still used today...I've put poinsettias in it at Christmas time..sunflowers in the summer, daisies in the spring.....fall leaves..well, you get the idea......right now, yellow fabric roses.....

we've enjoyed this hanger for a long time and probably will for many more years..what a great gift, huh?

There is a complete how to book also.......with techniques, etc. plus many patterns for all types of macrame..wall hangings, plant hangers, jewelry, totes, plus more....

I have sold several of these type pattern books and just have a few left..when they are gone, they're gone.....I have one I am giving away with a macrame book purchase...the binding is loose but the pages are quite usable.....

Amazing, what great things that can be made with string and rope!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mom's Recipe Box.....California Lemon Pie

Another lemon pie recipe..this one uses meringue...Josh, our boarder brought home a large box of lemons for I've been searching for lemon recipes, this older recipe sounded so good, had to try it...

California Lemon Pie

1 9" unbaked pie crust
3 eggs, separated
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. softened margarine or butter
1 c. milk
1/4 c. lemon juice
1T. flour
1 T. grated lemon peel

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prick crust all over and bake 8 minutes, set aside. Turn oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl, at mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form, beat high speed gradually adding 1/2 c. sugar and beat until sugar is completely dissolved. set aside..In a large bowl, with the same beater at medium speed, bet 1/2 c. sugar with butter and egg yolks, when well mixed beat in milk, lemon juice, flour and lemon peel. Gently fold in egg whites, until all is together...pour into cooked crust...Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes....

I've also been making lemonade and taught the boys had to make it for themselves...these guys can sure drink it up...much better than soda for them too....we are all trying to eat more healthy meals...lots more vegetables, and fruits....its great to see them snacking on apples and oranges, not junk food....the duck loves oranges...Alan peels off the skin, and throws sections to should her excitement, as she gulps them down, spraying juice all over her white feathers...funny!
I was asked about figs..yes, we have a very prolific fig tree..some figs are forming now....I don't have alot of recipes for figs...but do love just to eat them right off the tree.......I have sliced them and put cream cheese inside which is absolutely wonderful....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Garden Report...and an accident

The Don Juan rose arbor is blooming like crazy...hundreds of blooms...the wind has blown some of the plant off the arbor but I don't want to contend with all the thorns right now, have to get some better gloves.....

The upside down planters are great! The tomatoes are way ahead of the ones in the ground...and blooming...

both of us worked for the last two days weeding the garden area and we planted most of it....still want to put in more tomato plants...we have about 35...I want enough to can in the late summer....

we also planted about 30 corn, both white and bi-color, yellow crookneck squash, black beans, and yellow wax beans.....potatoes too......we are talking about more corn as it takes quite a few to do anything with...preserving that is....

we also have peaches, nectarines and boysenberries on the way...

The weather here has been fair...yesterday we had clouds and some sprinkles..nothing much in the way of much of the the low 70s....some wind at times...our winds can be very gusty.
I am without a car right now..our oldest son borrowed it while doing a job in a neighboring town...he got cut off by another car, and to avoid hitting the car, went over the curb, hitting the back end of our car with a concrete planter that was on the center parkway broke the axle..we had to have the car towed home...fortunately, we have good insurance...I am hoping the collision didn't bend the frame...he feels so bad and is going to pay the deductible... did the other driver stop? of course not.....I am sure glad we have good insurance..we've been with the same agent our entire married life of 36 years......I will be sad when he retires.....he feels like a family friend......

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Favorite Places

Thought I'd share a couple of favorite places....we re keyed a property in Oceanside yesterday and went to lunch at IN and OUT....this is a Californian franchise and they have the best least we think so......

They have a short menu...Double and single burgers, either cheese or not, fries, sodas and shakes..that's it......but oh, what burgers!

Typically, they are always very busy, especially at lunch and dinner time.....we ate outside and watched the drive through never went down much...the employees come out and walk through the line, taking orders so you never have to wait....

Alan enjoyed some old fashioned lemonade, a double cheeseburger and fries...he says to say that the fries should be eaten first, they are better hot from the fryer......they are handcut and cooked as you order them....from fresh potatoes....I had a great strawberry shake.....

On our drive home, we stopped at the fruit stand that I've mentioned before.......I just snapped photos as we went through the stand....its on the side of the freeway, up on a little hill...behind it is avocado and citrus trees......we bought a large bag of navel oranges and a bag of avocados..they have the best we've found....from Fallbrook....its a very clean and organized stand...

The last time we were here, I bought honey....its all local...I like orange blossom but they are all good..
I hope you enjoyed the visit to some of our favorites..if you ever get to Southern California..please go to a In and Out...and our local fruit stands.....

Saturday, April 17, 2010

No, I didn't embroider this one....this is taken from the Olde-Time Stitchin site..she is having a sale and all her candle mat patterns are only..50 cents plus she sends you a free set of tag patterns to boot.......I ordered several........they are sent email so you get them right away too....
on a more serious note, Yesu Garden, our dear Amrita had a scare...there was a fire on the property....natural or man made, no one their electricity keeps going out and its very hot there now as they are in their summer (India)...its over 110 most days (I can relate) and with no power, no fans or AC....sounds like they need to get their own generator......please pray for her and the work they are doing in a dark world.......if you want to read more..just click
HERE...from what I can see, we can donate to their ministry through Western Union.....wish I was in a better financial state or I would definitely get them a generator.....for those times when the power goes out....

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Sharing

I was forwarded this message..guess its been going around for awhile but still wonderful

A 92 Year Old Pastor

While watching a little TV on Sunday instead of going to church, I watched a church in Atlanta honoring one of its senior pastors who had been retired many years. He was 92 at that time and I wondered why the church even bothered to ask the old gentleman to preach at that age.

After a warm welcome, introduction of this speaker, and as the applause quieted down, he rose from his high back chair and walked slowly, with great effort and a sliding gait to the podium. Without a note or written paper of any kind he placed both hands on the pulpit to steady himself and then quietly and slowly he began to speak......

"When I was asked to come here today and talk to you, your pastor asked me to tell you what was the greatest lesson ever learned in my 50-odd years of preaching. I thought about it for a few days and boiled it down to just one thing that made the most difference in my life and sustained me through all my trials. The one thing that I could always rely on when tears and heartbreak and pain and fear and sorrow paralyzed me... the only thing that would comfort was this verse........ ....

"Jesus loves me this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
we are weak but He is strong.....
Yes, Jesus loves me.....
The Bible tells me so."

When he finished, the church was quiet.. You actually could hear his foot steps as he shuffled back to his chair. I don't believe I will ever forget it.

A pastor once stated, "I always noticed that it was the adults who chose the children's hymn 'Jesus Loves Me' (for the children of course) during a hymn sing, and it was the adults who sang the loudest because I could see they knew it the best."

Here is a new version just for us who have white hair or no hair at all. For us over middle age (or even those almost there) and all you others, check out this newest version of Jesus Loves Me.

"Senior version of Jesus Loves Me"

Jesus loves me, this I know,
Though my hair is white as snow
Though my sight is growing dim,
Still He bids me trust in Him.

Though my steps are oh, so slow,
With my hand in His I'll go
On through life, let come what may,
He'll be there to lead the way.

When the nights are dark and long,
In my heart He puts a song..
Telling me in words so clear,
"Have no fear, for I am near."

When my work on earth is done,
And life's victories have been won.
He will take me home above,
Then I'll understand His love.

I love Jesus, does He know?
Have I ever told Him so?
Jesus loves to hear me say,
That I love Him every day.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mom's Recipe Box.....Baked Rice Custard

Until I was a teen, we never had pudding of any kind.....when I discovered it....Mom simply said she never liked it as she had so so much of "that kind of thing" growing up through the Great Depression as a child, Grandma made alot of puddings, and custards as a way to stretch their food budget....evidently, milk and eggs were plentiful.....Mom said Grandma made something called a "float" or "island" which was a type of pudding with a meringue topping...the topping floated on the top of the pudding like little islands......anyone heard of that?
Grandma brought it to the table, in a crystal bowl with some fan fare....Mom got her fill of puddings, I guess....

I was going through the box and found this old recipe for a rice pudding....with all the duck eggs we have now...thought it would be a good way to use some.....

This turned out really well...its delicious......rather easy to could use some leftover rice..its very creamy, fragrant with vanilla and nutmeg....topped it with some whipped topping

Baked Rice Custard

3 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 c. cooked rice
2 cups milk, scalded
1/2 c. raisins
2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. nutmeg
1 T. butter

Combine eggs, sugar and salt..gradually add scaled milk, stirring to mix slowly....Add rice, raisins and vanilla. Pour into greased 1 1/2 qt. casserole, set in pan of hot water. Bake 350 for 30-40 minutes. Sprinkle with nutmeg, dot with butter. Bake 30 - 40 minutes more, until set. Serve either warm or cold.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We woke up to alot of noise...they are working on the road behind our house...started before 7 this morning....we've been taking photos (after the last experience with the blasting) and watching them as they are getting very close to our back wall....its already cracked in about 3 or 4 places from the blasts....always something, huh? I guess this means the road will be widened and closer to us...we are all having dreams that a car or truck loses control and crashes through the wall...
Alan found the video he shot of the blasting as the company is claiming they only used dynamite...the video shows mounts of black powder on the back of a truck + alot more....they claim they were not negligent and the video clearly shows otherwise...the lawyer says the blasting company knows they are liable.....we have meetings later in the month..should be interesting! I hope the company that is doing this grading does a better job..we sure don't need any more damage....
I know this will all work out for good in the long run...
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

The French iris, that Nancy sent me are blooming! They are very delicate and pretty...

soft violet colors...
We were wondering what color they would be...this is just one on plant, the other two haven't bloomed yet....Thanks, Nancy!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday Duck Tales

After all the rain we've had..the lawn looks wonderful....Alan fertilized it about two weeks ago....and then he mowed it about two days ago..we took scissors and trimmed can see Mrs. Quack..she likes to go through the grass looking for worms and bugs..she was a little irked when Alan mowed..she likes the longer grass.....we need to restain the fencing...its getting sunbleached....but its alot of fencing...over 100 ft on each side of the property so its alot of work alot of gallons of stain....the wood really soaks it up....big job...
we are still having rain rained again yesterday and they say another storm next week perhaps..great for us! Alan wishes it would rain like it does back in Iowa so he wouldn't have to use the sprinklers and save us alot in water....but with the rain, comes humidity so its a mixed bag.....
the little fencing down in the left corner is what we used to fence off the garden...Mrs. would make short work of our seedlings if we didn't......she wrecked havoc with my hollyhocks until Alan put up some green compensation, he's been buying her bags of spinach and occasional goldfish..we put them in her large water container...she jumps in and has a dozen or so feeder fish gone in 20 seconds....all the while, cackling to herself....her eggs are rather tasty...people have told us, duck eggs were tough, but not hers..probably because of all the "good stuff" she's been range...she also gets cracked corn and duck feed..which all the neighbor sparrows and finches munch on also....its cute to see them pick up her shedded feathers and down for their nests....lucky finch babies with down lined nests, huh?

I saw yesterday, she's eating rose leaves too but I think she's getting she eats a couple and then walks away shaking her head...but goes right back...short term memory?

I have a cute Aunt Martha embroidery transfer in my Bonanzle shop..called Duck Tales...these would make the cutest tea towels...I like Aunt Martha's as they are so easy to use....Mrs. Quack approves...

Sunday, April 11, 2010


We had a nice ride yesterday down to Encinitas but no sorry but the weather was really deary and cloudy..not a good day for snapshots.....a storm is coming in or so they say...cooler weather and dark clouds...I found this photo online..its a pretty little beach town..the house we re keyed was a duplex..really nice, two thing I really really liked was the private front was large, tiled with Mexican tile and very pretty with palm trees and tropical plants....very quiet neighborhood also and only a few blocks from the beach.......
The area has really grown up since the time I'd seen it last.....but it still kept its small town feel which is good.....

We planted most of our seedlings today and hopefully they will continue to do well...peas and tomatoes mainly....I hope we don't have but a gentle rain when it comes..if it comes....we are also going to be putting up a clothesline so when the weather is good, I'll be hanging out our clothes instead of using the will save us alot of energy, I think...we looked at the umbrella type at Lowes but decided against it as our winds are fierce at time (not good for umbrellas)....the backyard is rather private so no one will see it...

If you haven't subscribed to the Hard Times Newsletter, here is the link the way the world is going, I think we need to be prepared. You may not agree with all their political views but the information is invaluable in an emergency....with what happened in Haiti and Mexico..we all need to be prepared...I am not saying we personally are there yet....not by a long shot..

I've also been working working working on my Bonanzle listing is free, I am listing all and I mean all, my patterns, transfers, and craft books...there are low rock bottom prices...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

We Have a Winner!

Early this morning, I used the random number generator here
for the Spring Betty Crocker giveaway and drew Pixie13..I will be contacting her today to send her the cooking items and gift card...congratulations! I know you will enjoy getting these.....I will be having more giveaways soon so please check back..........

Can't post much this morning as we are going on a short road trip to Encinitas, Ca to rekey a house....this is a happy one as the house is in escrow and will soon have a new family....Encinitas is a lovely town on the ocean so maybe I can snap a few good photos later......!

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Hot Air Balloon Incident....

Yesterday morning, I looked out the front window and saw one of our neighbors looking up at the sky, and on the I went out the back and this is what I saw....evidently a hot air balloon enthusiast was having trouble and set down just one house over from are a few photos I snapped...

As it came down, lines were thrown over and a fellow in a van pulled up...he got out and pulled on the lines, bringing the balloon cage to earth....

This was taken out our side living room can see how large the balloon is.....they were deflating it to load it into the one was hurt and as you can see the cats were oblivious....I could hear the little girl ( 3 years old ) who lives next door, chattering happily outside...a unique experience for all of us!

Later I heard some lovely chirping and noticed this pretty yellow bird in a neighboring tree..does anyone know what this bird is? we are thinking a gold finch...