Saturday, November 30, 2013

What We've Been doing and an Apology

Hope everyone had a nice and thankful holiday. I didn't know if we'd be able to have a big Thanksgiving dinner and the Lord supplied our needs overflowing with good things! Friends dropped by unexpectedly with a turkey, and trimmings and we got checks on Thanksgiving eve. It was a wonderful experience and for which we are so thankful.
Now it will be the Christmas season, some of you are decorating this weekend, others are thinking about it. I will have changed my blog template for a holiday theme by the time you read this. Its hard to decide which one to use but hopefully I made the right choice. I already decorated my
Sweet Home Stitchery blog with a Christmas background... I also shared on there with photos of the stitched cards I've been making.

We usually wait until the second week of December or so to do the house and then keep everything up until New Years. If you'd like a good site for recipes, ideas for inexpensive food gifts, etc. I recommend Razzle Dazzle Recipes

I want to apologize if you came to my blog in the last day and seen ads..some of which were not appropriate. Evidently, I downloaded something in the last day and with that app, comes tons of garbage programs in which I have no interest. Beware,, especially if you click express downloading, there are pages of hidden apps on it. Be careful what you download. It took my husband who knows computers several hours to figure out what had happened. I was going to name the download site but don't want to get into trouble!But it had to do with music and tunes.

Our weather has been very nice and why so many come during the winter months. Days are in the high 60s, low 70s with cool nights in the 40s. We've had some rain which I personally hope continues through the winter. The onions and squash I planted are all doing good and with the rain we've had, I've now got 90 onions coming up!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Getting ready for Thanksgiving, Blessings and Funnies

Thanksgiving will be here before we know it..only a week away. I plan on going through my cupboards to see what I already have before going to the store. Everyone here likes the traditional turkey dinner so I'm hoping we get some needed checks (payments) so that will happen.

We always wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate for Christmas. Being thankful is important. I read on Facebook some comments saying they wouldn't celebrate because of the oppression of the native peoples. But that is short sighted. In our house, we celebrate the day by considering the past years blessings.
I'm thankful for two beautiful healthy grandchildren. Our little Emma was born this year!

Emma Grace will be walking any day now! She's  9 months old. 

And our Jayden has grown so much and is talking up a storm. He tries so hard to be helpful.
 Only 2 1/2 too! 

I'm thankful for my wonderful husband of 40 years (Dec. 1st) and what a good grandpa he is.

He looks alot like Santa, doesn't he? Many other things to be thankful for, health, a warm and safe home, food, and a loving family. We are truly blest. God has been very good to us.

My other blog, Sweet Home Stitchery is up and running again. Last night I found out how to find my passwords on this new computer and was able to do a post. After the first of the year, if things go right, I will start doing monthly giveaways on that blog, Etsy shop of the week plus more and also be opening my second Etsy shop by the same name. I have it on vacation right now.  Its taken some time to recover my moxie having a little one in the house!

 and finally, I thought I'd post a few more cute animal photos!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Road Trip and an Etsy Shop

Yesterday we had a lock out job in Lakeside, California. We both like Lakeside, its a rural town southeast of San Diego. A horse and rodeo town. I snapped this marker as we stopped for a break before going on to the property.
Of course, Lakeside has a lake and its a very nice one. We had to wait for the sheriff and other people to arrive (we always seem to get to places early) so walked around the lake and I took a few photos.

There were many people walking around the trails and fishing. There were quite a few birds around including these pelicans!

Lots of ducks too...some of them were Pekin ducks like our Mrs. Quack whom we lost several years ago. They were all sleeping together as a flock.

There was incredible traffic driving down to the town and coming back but the town itself was very nice indeed. 

I always wanted to share an Etsy shop that I think is the

If  this ornament isn't the cutest!
The shop is called RockPaperScissors


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Waffles and Random Thoughts

I decided the other day to make some waffles. I usually use the old standby, Bisquick and it does make a good waffle but decided this time to make them from scratch..I will say I think they're a tad better. Lighter and fluffy inside. Here's the recipe in case you want to try them...

 Waffles (The Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook, 1970)
 1 3/4 cup flour
 1 T. baking powder
 2 egg yolks
1 3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. cooking oil or melted shortening, cooled.
2 egg whites
 In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and 1/2 t. salt. In a small mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with a fork.
 Beat in milk and oil or melted shortening. Add to flour mixture all at once. Stir mixture til blended but still slightly lumpy. In a small mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold beaten egg whites into flour mixture, leaving a few fluffs of egg whites. Do not over mix! over mixing will make them tough.
 Pour batter onto grids of a preheated waffle iron. And bake as directed. Makes 3 9 inch waffles.
 We love waffles and sometimes have them for dinner. Just have to balance the carbs for the day.

 Thanks for the kind comments on my last post. Like many, we fell on hard times about 8 years ago now, my husband lost his job of 25+ years and with it, his health insurance. We both tried for a year to find work to no avail. Evidently no one wants to hire older workers, even with much experience. So we started our own locksmith company which was very successful for over 5 years, but has since been going down hill. Thankfully, it lasted until we were old enough for SSI. We're still in business and it does  help supplement our income. We figure we make about what we did when we first got married 40 years ago. Sigh. It was fine then as prices were alot less than they are now. Our first little place was a guest house and we paid a whopping $110 a month. Later, we rented a beach cabin and paid  $200 a month. Groceries for the week were about $25. Gas was .39 cents a gal. A first class stamp was 8 cents! Those were the days! In many ways, it was a better time. No internet, no cell phones, no digital anything. People actually talked to each other. Wow, imagine that!

I'm very thankful I learned how to live frugally as I was born into a military family. My parents and grandparents lived during the Depression. I learned how to make do, do without, and live happily. I had to save for anything I wanted. No charge cards, ever. I did eventually get a charge card and learned how to use it wisely. But that was later, when I had a part time job. I set my own personal limit and paid it off monthly. Hence, I've always appreciated everything I bought and took care of it.

We tried to raise our children like that also.  When the other kids were getting fabulous expensive gifts and the latest electronic gadget. We gave our kids our time.  They went on train trips with us and played Little League with Dad being the coach and Mom working in the snack bar. They only got presents on their birthday and Christmas. If they wanted something, they had to save for it, both the boys started working early. From coaching soccer to mowing lawns, they found things to do to earn $. They're both in their 20s now and are excellent employees. They've always been able to find work.

So I guess God was preparing me for this time in our lives, less is more!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cold days, the Hospital and Insurance.

Its been getting rather chilly here in the mornings. We haven't turned our furnace on yet for the year but usually we don't need to until after the holidays. January and February are our coldest (and wettest) months. Brrrr! I'm wondering how the winter garden will do as we have two squash plants and about 20 onions growing. I put 60 onions in the ground so more should be coming up too. Of course, us Southern Californians have thin blood and 60 degrees feels really cold to me. We're used to 90 degree temps most days!

 Some of the mountains have some snow on them, not quite as snowy as this photo which was taken this last January but close.
We spent the last two days up at the hospital getting Alan's needed diabetic meds and supplies. We figured it would take about two hours but ended up taking 8. Four hours on Monday and four yesterday. Two of his prescriptions were expired so we had to go to our doctors office and request refills which took time. Then had to go back and get in line (for the second time) to turn the prescriptions in. They use a number system but people kept going up to the front ahead of us out of turn and it took twice as long. While we were waiting at the doctors office, her nurse came out and asked Alan when was the last time he'd had a blood test and as it had been last Feb. the doctor required another one with a 14 hr. fast. That was the first day. So yesterday we went up for the blood test and to pick up the prescriptions. In order to get the lab work done, he had to wait in another line and get out a patient registration blue plastic card. Then go to the lab with all the paperwork and wait again.

Afterwords we went to the hospital cafeteria for lunch. The food there is a mixed bag, sometimes its really good, other times not so much. Yesterday was one of the good days, I got chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy. It was very yummy. He got vegetarian lasagna and stir-fried vegetables. He eats fairly well on the diabetic diet and watches his carbs. I usually do too but splurged yesterday. Hadn't had any breakfast and just had salad for dinner.

We're always thankful though to have this insurance as before we spent several scary nights in the emergency room with his blood sugar sky rocketing.
 My insurance is changing as I got a letter saying they're putting me into Medicaid this next year. I believe I can still go to the same doctor, hope so. I like having a woman doctor! I feel comfortable with her and safe. I haven't felt the same since our old doctor we had for years and years retired. She is a godsend for sure!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pie Crusts

As someone mentioned, making pie crust is for most people difficult. I know, as I struggled for years, looking for a good pie crust recipe. My mom made the most wonderful tasty crusts and I watched her for years but never could get the knack. She never used a recipe, just threw things together. I resorted to cracker crusts and bought ones as mine always were tough, broke into pieces, and were terrible.
Then I found several great recipes, and shared them on my blog recipe page but will share it again.

Fool Proof Pie Crust ala Alan Carter

 In a very large bowl, combine 3 3/4 c. flour, 1 T. sugar, 1/2 to 1 T. salt (I didn't use that much, he likes a salty crust), 1/2 t. baking powder. Mix well. With a pastry blender, cut in 1 1/4 c. unsalted butter leaving chunks the size of peas. Combine 2/3 c. very cold water, 2 T.  sour cream, and 1 t. vinegar. Add liquid all at once to the flour mixture. Quickly stir to distribute, do not over mix. The dough should be slightly crumbly. let rest on the refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight. Divide into 3 portions, shape into disks and use right away or can be frozen for up to a month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator to use.

The above one is very good, if you remember to make the crust dough early. Like for Thanksgiving which is rushing up before we know it.

The second pie crust recipe, which is the one I used for the pie I posted about yesterday is from Pioneer Woman...

Perfect Pie Crust... 

          1-1/2 cup Crisco (vegetable Shortening) 

          3 cups All-purpose Flour 

          1 whole Egg 

          5 Tablespoons Cold Water 

          1 Tablespoon White Vinegar 

          1 teaspoon Salt

Preparation Instructions

In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Separate the dough into thirds. Form 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)

With both of these recipes, you should be successful in making crusts and its also wonderful to have a few of these in the freezer whenever the pie making urge comes along!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Apple Pie and Etsy Offerings

I made a apple pie the other day, so much better than anything you can buy. Sugar free, of course. Its just the normal pie recipe, nothing special really but I added Splenda to it. We haven't been able to go to our favorite apple country place as we just haven't been busy enough with work but the grocery store had apples on sale so that's what I used. I used Jona Gold apples which  turned out well. The crust turned out ok, I think I'll add less Crisco next time though as it was a little short and broke when I put on the top crust. Still tasted yummy though!

I also added a few things to my Etsy shop, these nice carved votive candle holders

These two handmade wooden kitties made in Thailand,

and lastly, this darling woolen Welsh sheep I bought when we visited Wales back in the 1980s. SOLD!
The name of my shop is Inspiration Memories  

Hope everyone gets adjusted to the time change!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Day Light Savings

Remember to set your clocks back tonight!