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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sweet Baby Holden


What a little pumpkin, dressed in orange.
 Normally I don't post twice in one day,
but today is an exception cause I gotta 
share this sweet face. How happy he is!
It must be pure joy to not have a care 
in the world other than the basic needs.
  ~♥~

Nurturing My Sanity


I have a new project started.
Another stash buster.
The Log Cabin Granny did not use up 
all of my yarn, so that calls for another 
scrappy project to solve that issue.




Over a month ago I saw a blanket 
made of small granny scraps. 
I am forever writing notes to myself of 
where I saw something of interest. 
I did download a pic, but folks, don't ask me 
where I copied it from. I just wanted a reminder 
and a photo to give me the idea for using up 
future yarn stash.
Then I saw that Lucy at Attic24 was making 
something similar only she is doing 5 round 
grannies instead of the 3 round ones. I suppose 
the bigger grannies would make a faster blanket, 
and another plus, the bigger the motifs, the less 
ends to weave in because you don't need as many 
squares to get the blanket finished. I had 
thought of making bigger squares, but some 
of my balls of yarn are not that big and I figured 
smaller squares was the thriftier way to go. 
My goal....to use up that yarn, so I can move 
on to the better yarn I have stored away.
Other than that, I do have another baby granny 
that needs to be sewn together. That sewing 
business is right up there with weaving in the ends, 
another job I am not crazy about.
Well lovelies, I am about boring today with very 
little to show you and to share.
Hopefully I will be able to WOW you with 
something spectacular next time.
Hope all is well with you.
We are still hanging in there and taking one 
day at a time.
~♥~

Monday, September 24, 2012

PSSSST....Log Cabin Granny Is Done!



The Log Cabin Granny is finished.
I was not so sure I liked the border I added to it. 
I have posted some random views to give you 
an idea how it turned out. I love how the late 
afternoon sun captures the colors.
 






 
Hope you enjoyed the view.
~♥~

Cabbage Rolls & Updates


A few weeks ago I went in search of cabbage.
Not just any cabbage, but those big flat headed ones 
suitable for making cabbage rolls.
It was a dry run, all they had was these small, puny, 
down right pitiful little heads.
I came home empty handed and decided to wait.


Waiting paid off.
I stopped 2 days ago and look what I found, 
these huge heads, just perfect for my recipe.


I was really excited when I saw them. 
The girl who sold them asked what I was 
gonna do with them. When I said cabbage rolls she 
said I was making her hungry, lol.
Just to give you an idea of their size I put a 
soup can beside them.

 

I had to discard several of the outer leaves.



I made a crock pot full and divided them up 
for freezing. This recipe, found here
is one of the best cabbage roll recipes I have 
found. I normally double the filling and triple or 
quadruple the sauce mix that is pour
over the rolls. I bought 3 heads of cabbage to 
make sure I would get plenty of large outer 
leaves. What was left of the heads I chopped, 
blanched, then froze for soups this winter. 
On the web site they have the nutritional 
values at the end of the recipe. You can 
always substitute ground turkey, cut back on the 
salt or do what you must to modify to your 
dietary restrictions. I personally don't change a 
thing. I often make bigger batches and cook 
the meat mixture in a skillet then freeze that 
as well. It can be used later for more rolls and 
you save a lot of fuss having it made ahead 
of time. This is a 4 and a 1/2 star recipe.



I made 21, put 4 to a freezer container, 
label and freeze. I had 5 containers of 4 rolls.



Gee, I wonder what happened to the extra 
one...........
(someone had to taste test them, yummy!) 

*****
Now if you don't want to read my depressing 
news then hop, skip or jump outta here.
It has been a very busy 2 weeks.
My husband was admitted to the hospital and 
stayed 6 days. They had to put an emergency 
port in his neck for dialysis. Since then he has 
been to surgery 2 times, to remove the first port, 
insert another in his chest and again another 
port in his abdomen. The last one will be for 
home dialysis. There was a trip to the
ER one evening for excessive bleeding, 3 hours 
spent waiting and an ER doc that was nice, 
but did virtually nothing. At 11pm we came home,
dragging butt only to get up at 4:30am with more 
blood and having to be at his dialysis by 6:30am.
 Right now we travel 3 days a week, 
over an hour away for him to have dialysis. 
The abdominal port can not be used for 2-3 weeks.
He has yet to see his oncologist and then there will 
be more traveling for chemo. 
Right now life as we once knew it is no more.
Our time is consumed with travel to doctor and 
hospital. I have had to put babysitting for 
my sweet grandson on hold. 
We waited a long time for that child. 
I have to guilt myself into not feeling sorry for our 
situation. I tell myself that there are others who are 
going through this very same thing. 
Others who are worse off. I tell myself that I am 
not the one with cancer and I should not be angry.
Some people do not realize that when cancer 
moves in it effects the entire family. I am right there 
too, going to every appointment, 
and have been since day 1. 
It has been hard to not be angry with the 
professionals whose mercy you find yourself at.
They don't get in any hurry, and you spend too much 
time with thoughts running through your head. 
And then you look back and wonder if you had 
made different choices would things have been better. 

I just wanted to let all my faithful 
followers know that I have not forgotten you, 
nor have I forgotten all your kind thoughts 
and words that are left in the comments. 
I have buzzed in and 
out of here during the past 2 weeks.
It is a pleasant break from my worries and 
concerns. I can not tell you how good it feels to 
be able to escape to this place, 
if even for just a few minutes. 
I keep telling myself God is in control.
 In my mind's eye I keep seeing that tiny mustard seed.
~♥~

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Terrible Monday

I'm probably going to be absent for awhile
depending on how things are going with 
my husband. He did lab work this 
morning for his nephrologist and it 
was not good. He has been feeling sick 
on and off these past 3 weeks 
and depending more on his 
nausea medication. He was admitted to 
the hospital this afternoon 
for an IV and some testing. 
So bear with me, 
I tend to be where I am needed 
most and right now that is with family.
I know you all understand.
I will be back ASAP and hopefully 
I can report good news next time. 
Please keep us in your prayers.
~♥~

For the Doily Lovers I Follow


Anne Peach photo from Ketutar blog.

Above is a lovely photo of Anne Peach and 
her amazing doily canopy. 
I ran across this photo a couple 
of years ago on the Ketutar blog 
"The One and Only Me,
 The Universe and Everything"
that you can find here
 Ketutar has listed over 700 doily pattern links 
on this page. Many are still accessible, 
unfortunately some links are broken 
and those patterns no longer available. You can 
click on the Patty's Patterns spot that will take 
you to the place where patterns are as well. I am 
thinking the list is a duplicate of the list on the 
blog, but don't take my word for it cause I 
haven't had time to investigate that yet.
I just thought this may be helpful for some of 
my friends who love doilies and are looking 
for that special pattern to make. 
Thank you Ketutar for all your hard work 
and research. Thank you also for sharing the 
doily links so others can enjoy them. 


 I spent my Saturday canning 7 quarts of 
spaghetti sauce. I had enough for 3 more quarts
but since it takes 7 to fill the canner I went ahead 
and froze 2 and saved the last one for 
the meatballs I had whipped up. 
Our oldest brought the baby over and she 
stayed for supper. I should have taken a picture  
of the yummy spaghetti and meatballs sitting on
the plates, but we were so enthralled with the baby, 
that by the time I even thought of my camera 
most of supper was eaten.
On Sunday I ripped the beds apart, washed up the 
bed linens, hung them outside and kept my 
fingers crossed that it wouldn't rain.
The weatherman said possible scattered 
showers by afternoon.
 I went to visit my mom for a couple of hours. 
I stopped and got us both a hamburger, 
then after that I came home and finished my laundry 
(see, I told you my life is boring, lol).
I did crochet some on my granny log cabin and 
coming very close to completion, YIPEE!!
~♥~





Friday, September 7, 2012

Recap of the Week



On Monday (Labor Day) my best friend Debbie came to 
play cards. We have this little thing where we say we are 
gonna beat each others a$$. We never play for money, 
we just play for fun. It's a good thing......

 
 I won't say who lost, but OUCH!
We play a game called Nurtz (or is it Nertz?).
Any number of people can play. It is more fun 
when 4 people play. The game can get kinda wild.


A couple of years ago I gifted Debbie with a 
wine cork bulletin board (no, I did not drink that many 
bottles of wine). My youngest daughter worked at a 
couple of restaurants, one was the Angry Trout in 
Bay View, on Lake Erie and the other at 
the CIC (the Catawba Island Club also on the lake). 
She was a bartender. 
She could get an endless supply of corks 
and so we put them to use. Debbie brought me a 
bag of corks from one of her other friends. 
The gal saw Debbie's board and wanted one too. 
So my hubby made a board for her.
Here is a photo of it. Personally I think I 
would have laid the corks out a bit different, anyways,
she should have plenty of room to tack up notes, 
coupons and whatever she wants.


 Roger's new hat came today. I didn't complain 
that he already has too many hats to count, 
this one makes a statement, and I think anyone 
who can wear this hat should have it given to 
them for free.


And here I am on a Friday with another batch 
of spaghetti sauce simmering away in the roaster.
On Thursday I made my bi-weekly trip down 
to the tomato patch and came back with another 
large bucket full of tomatoes. This batch will go 
into canning jars tomorrow. In the morning I will 
also be baking a couple of beef roasts to make 
pulled hot beef for sandwiches. I want to fill my 
crock pot for the family reunion that is on Sunday.

Not much else going on in my boring world other 
than I went today to my quarterly check-up with 
my doctor and am doing well. 
I lost 13 pounds since March.
 He was pleased, I was pleased. 
Now forgive me but I am gonna have my rant now
so if you don't want to read it I won't mind at all 
if you want to move on to another blog. I got 
my feathers ruffled a bit just after signing in. 
Now after going there for the past 2+ 
years I just found out today the 2 gals who work 
in his office, the receptionist and the nurse, that 
neither are what I thought they were. 
I just assumed the nurse was a nurse because after 
the gal in the office takes my insurance cards 
and tells me to take a seat, she also tells me that 
"the nurse will be right with you."
Today I sign in and the receptionist has a 
stethoscope around her neck, and she tells me she 
will be the nurse today. I say, "I didn't know you 
were a nurse," and she says, I'm not I'm a RPA."
I guess I wasn't quick on the draw cause I asked her 
what RPA was and she said, "Registered Physician's 
Assistant" and then she says, "same as P, she is also 
a RPA, we just call her the nurse."
Okay folks, I'm an LPN for over 27 years, and I 
went to school for 1 year, the year from HELL 
I might add, and I sat all day long taking my 
State Boards in Columbus and I don't go around 
calling myself an RN or a doctor. 
Do you see where I am coming from here? 
Just don't pass yourself off as something you are not!
Needless to say I left there somewhat 
disappointed in the gals.
I guess I will live, there are worse things in life.
Tomorrow is a new day and I have sauce to can.
That's all folks, have a good weekend.
~♥~
 
 




Thursday, September 6, 2012

Log Cabin Granny Blanket


Thursday morning finds me without much to share 
with you except to show the progress I am making 
with my log cabin granny. 
This is one of the most relaxing projects with 
the only real decision 
to make being what color to pick next.


I walked into the living room this morning and 
couldn't resist snapping a pic of how the sun light 
captured all the bright colors. Believe me, 
the photo really doesn't do it justice.


My goal was to bust the stash, and it is happening.
I have been tempted to drape it on the couch and 
stand back to check color placement, but I told 
myself no, I will just deal with the out come the 
way it ends up regardless of any odd color 
placement. I have tried to eye-ball it while in the 
chair, trying to balance mainly the dark colors 
and the bright red. What you are not seeing 
is all the ends on the back. Yeah, yeah, I know, 
I said I was going to try and weave in the ends 
as I go, but I lied. I absolutely hate that job! 
And I know from reading other blogs it is 
not a high point for anyone who works with 
yarn or thread. In fact I have thought that maybe 
a gal could open a business where she does the tucking 
of threads for people, like maybe 5 cents a tail, lol. 
I also see where some folks collect the snipped tails.
Heavens, I would have a zillion by now had I done that!
How about you? Are ya tucking your tails?
~♥~

Monday, September 3, 2012

Making Spaghetti Sauce



We have always put out a big garden.
To give you an idea of just how big, 
 a few years ago there was 80+ tomato plants.
Don't ask me why, it was a year that I completely 
lost track of what I had bought and before 
I knew it snow-balled into this 
humungous amount.


Two years ago our garden looked like this.
The massive amount of tomato plants is on 
the far left, 2 and a half rows of them.
This was what it looked like before my husband
became sick. Last year he tried to plant his garden.
It was not a good year for him.
I had to try and take care of it all by myself.
I told him no more big gardens. 
So this year we put out 18 tomato plants.
I know that still sounds like a lot, but he wanted 
a couple varieties and they come in a six-pack.
I wanted Roma plants and that is what
I use to make my spaghetti sauce, so 
another 6 plants were added.


I didn't take a pic of this year's garden, 
mainly because the 18 tomato plants are not 
much to look at in a huge weed patch.
My hubby went out on Wednesday and brought 
in about 6 tomatoes and said that was all he could find.
I knew better, the man is color blind and always 
misses some. On Thursday while taking a break from
mowing grass I walked out there and yep, he had 
missed some alright. I just about filled the bucket.


I swore this spring I was not going to can or freeze 
one single tomato or anything else. I have 
spent every summer for 41 years doing this in 
practically all my spare time. 
But I am a person who does not believe in waste.
So out comes the Spaghetti Sauce recipe and 
yesterday I started in,
Now I will get to the point and share my recipe.
Make sure you read the entire recipe before 
attempting to make.

SPAGHETTI SAUCE

1/2 bushel of Roma tomatoes, or other varieties
8 small cans of tomato paste
3 pounds of cooking onions
6 hot banana peppers
3 garlic bulbs
1/2 pint (1 cup) olive oil (can use any cooking oil, 
this ingredient is an optional, I use it)
1/2 cup salt
1 to 3 teaspoons oregano (I use 3)
1 to 3 teaspoons basil (I use 3)
1 cup sugar (optional)

USE A HEAVY POT TO PREVENT SCORCHING.
(STAINLESS STEEL OR I USE A ROASTER).
The gist of it is you wash, core, remove blemishes 
and quarter all tomatoes.
 Peel, wash onions, chop into bite-sized pieces, add to pot.
Wash, stem and remove seeds on peppers (be sure to 
wear gloves to prevent burning yourself with 
the seeds). Chop into bite-sized pieces and add to pot.
Peel garlic, add to pot.
Add salt, oregano, and basil 
Add oil if you plan to include it (I do).
DO NOT ADD SUGAR AT THIS TIME,
IT IS ADDED LAST 20 MINUTES OF 

COOKING IF YOU
PLAN TO INCLUDE IT IN YOUR RECIPE. 

I omit the sugar in my batches.

Cook sauce until it is thick. I cook mine on 
low heat, about 200 degrees for about 6 hours, 
stirring every 1-2 hours with wooden spoon,
and then reduce heat 
to 175 degrees to simmer over night. 
As long as you have your heat lowered at night 
there is no need to stir. It will simmer. When you 
lift the lid to stir there will be condensation on the 
lid, let that drip off of the lid into the sink. As the 
water evaporates the sauce will thicken. 
In the morning this would be the time to 
add the sugar if you want.
Continue cooking on low heat for 20 minutes 
and stir to prevent scorching.
 Ladle the sauce into blender 
and pulse it about 5-10 times 
to chop up the chunks.
Once that is done put the sauce through 
the food mill. 
 At this point it is ready for canning.

To can :: ladle hot sauce into clean hot jars, 
wipe rim, apply clean hot lids and rings.
Adjust rings.
Process in pressure canner for the 20 minutes.

 To freeze :: allow sauce to cool, ladle into freezer 

containers, cover with lid and label. Freeze.

Below I have added photos of the process.
If you have any questions just ask and I will 
be more than happy to answer them.

I use a roaster because you can control the temp and it doesn't scorch sauce.

All the ingredients, you can substitute dried garlic if you need to.

Washed, cored and chopped tomatoes.

Peeled, washed and chopped onions.

Washed and seeded banana peppers using gloves.

Adding the tomato paste.

Adding salt, oregano, basil, garlic and oil. Do NOT add sugar at this time.

Start out at 200 degrees for about 6 hrs., remember to stir. Lower to 175 to simmer overnight.

Keep covered, remove condensation each time you stir the pot.

After 6 hours it will cook down and look like this.

It should look like this after simmering all night. Stir in sugar if you plan to add it. Cook an additional 20 minutes.

Ladle sauce into blender and pulse about 5-10 times. Hold lid down, contents will be hot.

Transfer pulsed sauce to food mill.

End product.

I use a towel to cover the open side of the pot to prevent splashing of sauce.

Waste, after turning food mill may have 1-2 cups to pitch out.

Be sure to scrape the bottom of the mill with spatula. Sauce is thickened.

Finished sauce, ready to be canned or frozen.

Nice and thick and oh, so good!

I froze this batch. After it cooled I ladled it into containers, lids on and labeled.

I got 9 quart freezer containers full and 1
one and a half pint container. Yield may vary slightly 
depending on having number of tomatoes and 
how much time you cook the sauce to thicken it.
This recipe freezes well. I have done it both ways 
and no one can tell the difference. The freezing 
method is less fuss and faster. 
Years ago I added the sugar and scorched 
the entire pot. I felt like sitting and crying.
All that work went in the compost.
Then years later I was diagnosed with diabetes 
and so I omitted the sugar, and frankly in my 
opinion, it is healthier and just as tasty. 
My family has eaten this for years and they are 
so spoiled they will no longer eat the Ragu, Prego 
or any other brand. It is great alone with 
pasta or with a meat sauce
with mushrooms added, or of course with meat 
balls. It can be used for lasagna, stuffed shells, or 
depending on how thick you have cooked it, 
it can be used as a pizza sauce. 
When it is cooking your house will smell 
wonderful, like an Italian Restaurant.
I might add that if you like your sauce a bit chunky 
then you can omit the food mill step. I do it 
because it helps remove the seeds, and pieces of 
tomato peel, also bits of peppers and onions. 
Usually I get anywhere from 1-2 cups of waste 
when I do the food mill method, but the sauce 
will also be a bit thicker too because the bulk is 
broken down when pushed through the mill.
Enjoy!
~♥~
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