Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sunny Saturday here........

Busy day here as I'm sure you all are too! I have cookies to bake....

and eggs to color..........
and when I need to sit down and rest I have ANOTHER crochet project I started! LOL!  A Granny Stripe using those new yarns I got from England and are they ever luscious!  They're soft and vibrant in color....I love them!

In addition there's bread to bake, clothes to hang and dinner to prep for tomorrow and at 4:00 I'm "skyping" with my son and grandson to color Easter eggs!  Happy Easter Eve everyone!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Morning on Good Friday...............

It is a beautiful morning here in the Ozarks and it's cooled off a bit which is fine with me.  I need to mow today and the weather is perfect for working outside.  Yesterday was nice also but there were clouds and a few raindrops in the morning.  I still managed to get some laundry hung out and dried though.  I went and got gas for my mower and mailed some Easter cards.  I also made some sugar cookie dough to make Easter cutout cookies.  The dough needs to chill in the frig so they're ready whenever I am.
 Many of my  blogging friends create "vignettes" on their tables and mantels and I've been wanting to try that.  A vignette, from what I understand, is  like a little "scene" and unlike the old days when we would plop one centerpiece in the middle of the table, this is a multitude of items usually with a particular theme.'s my first attempt at an Easter/Spring themed "vignette"....what's up with all the French stuff anyway?
I notice when other bloggers feature a "vignette" they also explain each item so here goes.   The red tray is plastic that I got at Wal-Mart last week for $2.00, I think.  I've been picking up trays when I see ones I like as I've noticed they really come in handy for "coraling" things like magazines, plants, etc.   The plant in the pot is a hyacinth that is no longer blooming and the pot I've had for a long time.  The basket is ceramic and I got it at the Thrift Store a while ago and it was $1.50  (I know because the price tag was still on it! LOL!) The straw in the basket was some kind of filler I got in a package and the eggs are porcelain and a gift from my daughter (long story for another day).  The "faith" pillow I think my daughter gave to me also, the candle has been around awhile and the turquoise dish is part of my Fiesta Ware collection (old) that my children brought to me from the attic of an old summer cabin on my Aunt's farm when we were visiting.  She told them they could have anything they found and what a find it was!  That's The Velveteen Rabbit leftover from the storybook adventure and the little birdhouse is from the Thrift store for no more than a quarter, I'm sure.  I pick up little items like that and stick them in among my plants sometimes.  I got that idea from Nancy Jo .  I usually use ceramic ones though so they don't rot.  This one happens to be wood.  So, there's my first "vignette".  It was fun gathering stuff and putting it together.  Hopefully, I'll get better at it as time goes on.  I still don't understand all these French themed items out there, French words, pillows, decorating....did something happen that I missed?  

Finally got back on the "crochet bandwagon" after untangling that mess of yarn and I finished the pink row and did quite a bit of yellow last night.  This pattern is so fun to do....I'm loving every minute of it!

Well, I'm off to get the yard mowed as soon as it dries up a bit.  Have a good Great, I mean have a great Good Friday!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Update on Edna and Miss Elaneous................

I wanted to update you on Edna, my robotic vacuum, so I decided to take a movie so you could see her in action but wouldn't upload. 
So, I guess you'll have to settle for still pictures and here I thought I might be the next You Tube sensation....oh well.
 Excuse the greenish brown spots on the rug...those are shadows not stains, not sure why they showed up like that they did.  In case you missed my posting when I first got she is in all her glory! 
Above, she is linked up with her base station which is always plugged in.  She will always return to where ever you started her up and you can program her to vacuum certain rooms certain days but I'm always here so I haven't done that yet.

Those strings that you see are where my "girls" have snagged the carpet with their nails.  This carpet is a sculpted carpet.

Below is a very short nap rug so you can see even on that Edna leaves a nice "trail".

I really love my Edna and she has helped me tremendously around here and frees me up to do other things instead of spending hours and hours vacuuming this place and I know I vacuum more often now too. The next place I go will NOT have carpeting!  The other thing I love about Edna is she is so short, about 3 inches tall, that she is able to get under the whole bed under dressers etc.  The only place she can't get is behind the toilet but then again who wants to go there anyway.  I love her dearly and it was one of the best investments I ever made.  But not every robotic vacuum is the same so I can only recommend Neato as that's the only one I've ever had.
The Miss Elaneous news is that company isn't coming.....disappointing, yes, but on the other hand I was able to sit down yesterday and get all that yarn untangled.  I think it took about 4 hours total to untangle that whole mess....whew!!!  I'm back to crocheting and there's another color going on today!  Plus, even though my company isn't coming......just the threat of it got me to get some things done! LOL!  God works in VERY mysterious ways! LOL!  Wishing you a day filled with joy and contentment!  Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What a tangled web I weave............

Yep, got myself into a little mess with my yarn yesterday.  I was crocheting away and pulling it from the middle of the skein and all of a sudden it stuck and I pulled and pulled and out came this mess of tangled and knotted up yarn! Oh my!

So, I spent 2 hours trying to wind it into a ball and straighten out the tangles.  I did this at the end of the day after I was too tired to do anything else lest you think I was playing instead of getting ready for my company! LOL!  In fact, I did it during Dancing With The Stars and what is up with me and England lately?  I'm loving the gal from England on the show, I'm into several English blogs, I love their Prime Minister and I'm making English desserts and ordering English yarn!  Maybe it's because I have English lineage somewhere or because of the Queen's celebration this year or the Olympics being held in London?  There is definitely something going on with England and me this year!  BTW.... the tangled yarn is not English...just an F.Y.I.
I have a question for all you yarn people out there.  Am I supposed to be wrapping all yarn I get into balls?  I prefer it that way because it looks prettier without the labels when I put it my baskets but I thought the skeins of yarn that weren't twisted could be used by drawing the yarn from the end.  Am I mistaken?  Unfortunately the one that is tangled is one of those huge "super saver" skeins....just my luck!  I know my skeins that I get that are twisted I untwist and ball up or the yarn store does it on their little gizmo...I forget the name of it now.  If anyone knows the answer to this please let me know.  Also, once you remove the labels is there a way to tell what kind of yarn it is?  I've kept them separate but I might have gotten  my washable wool mixed up with my regular wool for felting....ummmm.....NOT GOOD!
Anyway, I did get out my baskets that I got a few months back knowing they would be used for my yarns.  Below are the acrylics from England to be used for the Granny Stripe throw.
These are the acrylics I bought at Wally World for the ripply throw.
Below are my wool yarns that I keep in an old picnic basket
And these are the acrylics that I have rolled into balls so far.......that sits on top of the picnic basket.

I like to see them sitting around and their bright keeps me inspired but...I  may have to search for more decorative containers to keep them in or crochet faster! LOL!
Oh, I forgot to show you the pecan chicken yesterday so here it's a "keeper" for sure!
Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Still hoppin' and getting things done....

I got LOTS done yesterday although it seems I am usually productive "every other" day.  I hope today will be productive too.  It's good to have company once in awhile....keeps you "honest" in the housekeeping arena.
I hung out laundry yesterday and made Aunt Nubby's  pecan encrusted chicken...another "winner" and easy.  I had broccoli and oven bake/fried potatoes with it.   I like to "prep" for everything in the morning and then go about my day and when I'm tired at the end of the day all I have to do is throw everything together!
Including these potatoes!  I use what ever potatoes I have on hand.  I always wash all my vegetables when I get home from shopping so that is one less thing I have to do when preparing a meal.  I just grab the potatoes out of the veggy bin in the frig and I know they've already been scrubbed especially since I leave the skins on most of the time.....even in my mashed potatoes!  I'm a "corner cutter"; if there's a faster, easier method which gets me the same results I am all over it!  Plus, skins are where the vitamins are in potatoes.  I chop them into chunks, throw them in a pan, throw some olive oil  (maybe a tablespoon) over them and sprinkle on some salt and pepper and whatever other seasoning you want.  Sometimes I use Italian or Greek and last night I used Herbes de' Provence or you could just use plain old salt and pepper by itself.  I think I saw this on Rachel Ray years back and it has been a real time saver of a side dish.  I threw it in to cook with the chicken which was at 350 for 50 minutes.  They were done just fine.  Also, I prepped these ahead of time too since they have olive oil slathered on them they don't turn brown.
I also did my ironing, and got quite a bit of cleaning and clearing done in the family room.  And then I got this in the mail yesterday!  Halleluyah!  All the way from England and look at the stamp in the upper right hand corner!

If you can't read says "Royal Mail".....that's right!  I had no idea I was royalty although I did have my suspicions and I have been known to wear a lot of "crowns".  Look what was inside.......(OH!  I get so excited just talking about it!)...drumroll, please...........
Aren't they BEAUTIFUL?????  They are my Stylecraft acrylic yarns from England in the exact same colors and brand that Lucy, from Attic24 used in her Granny Stripe throw.  I am all over this yarn.  It is soft and the colors are vibrant as opposed to some that I find at the local Wal-Mart.  And all toll it was only $ shipping and it really didn't take any longer than if they were located in the U.S.  I love buying American but I wanted the same yarn and colors that she used and these are a very nice quality acrylic yarn so I am thrilled with these!  My other ripple blanket is all Wal-Mart yarn and each are destined for the back of my 2 chairs in the family room.  When they're all done we'll see which one I like better.  There are still 2 colors I couldn't get but I can substitute 2 for similar colors I think I already have.  I'm so excited!     
I better "hit the trail" and get some more cleaning and clearing done...the clock is ticking!  Have a wonderful and exciting Tuesday!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Manic Monday! Just found out I'm having company! Uh oh!

    It's a "love/hate" relationship between me and entertaining.  I love people and I love entertaining with great homemade goodies for them and want a cozy welcoming feel to my home BUT I'm also clearing and cleaning not realizing I was going to have company and I've made a mess of things!  I know...what else is new? LOL!
But, my friend Lucy had company for her daughter's birthday party and she just went around and boxed up everything that didn't belong and sent it to another part of the house! Brilliant I tell you!  Brilliant!
So, I will still be busy this week but I feel like I can do this!  Please tell me I can?!?!  I've gotten so used to going at my own pace (which is similar to a snail) and I've been happy and healthy that way now for quite awhile so we'll see if I can speed up at least a little so that I can welcome my guests and make them feel "at home".
BTW, I never really get to the stage where I invite people I just always say they're welcome here and sometimes they take me up on it!  I'm excited...nervous, but excited. 
I did manage to do some laundry yesterday and changed the sheets and today I'm making pecan encrusted chicken, a recipe from Aunt Nubby's Kitchen or I could make her chicken  enchiladas she featured yesterday?  She has such great, simple and delicious that gal!  I have more laundry to do and hangout, ironing and of course packing up "stuff" and readying the guest room.  I tend to use that room as a catchall. 
I did get some crocheting done over the weekend though and yesterday when my legs were too tired to keep going I sat down and watched a movie that was on t.v. with Robert Redford and Jennifer Lopez called An Unfinished Life.  It was very good.  Above is the bottom of the basket I am making to hold all my yarn.  I only have 3 rows left to go before I start going up the sides.  I had to deviate from the pattern that I was using.  I think if it turns out I may write my first tutorial!  I am so excited because it is actually turning out better than I expected and my way is easier, I think.  But, we'll see when it's all done how it turns out.  The basket bottom I can't watch t.v. when I'm doing because you have to count and I lose track really easy but the ripple throw that I started is "t.v. friendly and addictive!  Once I pick it up I have a hard time stopping! LOL!  I have yarn coming for the Granny Stripe too and it is just as addictive.  Once I make this throw size if I like it I will make a blanket for my bed out of Merino washable wool which is very soft.  I was going to make a cotton one but Lucy from Attic24 said they are too heavy.  Who knew?  Thanks for that tip Lucy as it would have been an expensive mistake!
So, I'm off to prepare for an Easter with my son and grandson that I haven't seen in 2 years!  Pretty exciting!  Oh, and my little, almost 4 year old, grandson loves snakes so I think I will try to make a plastic egg snake that Anita had instructions for over on her site....Aunt Nubby's Kitchen.   Yes, she has other great ideas in addition to her great recipes! 
If anyone has any tips for prepping for company with only 4 days to do it please let me know!  I am very open to suggestions.  Anita, do you have any recipes for a SUPER energy drink? LOL!  Have a great Monday everyone! 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Going for a "spin"............

     When I was little I lived with my Aunt and Uncle who were actually like Grandparents to me.  My Mother was divorced when I was 18 months old and she was a nurse in Chicago.  There was no "daycare" in those days so she paid my Aunt and Uncle to take care of me in the  little farm town where she grew up.  She would come home on weekends.  Anyway, Sunday afternoons my Aunt and Uncle would always "go for a spin" after Sunday dinner.  It was always in the country and it was really for my Uncle to check the cattle up in the hill pastures but all I knew was that I loved the countryside and the drive and sometimes we would stop and visit with people.  I looked forward to it every Sunday afternoon!  So, I've decided to recreate that little bit of old fashioned visiting and every Sunday on my blog we will "go for a spin" and visit other blogs that I have come to know and love!  Here goes!  This week is all across the pond blogs.   The first one I've already been talking about quite a bit and that is Lucy at  Attic24 .  She lives in a little town in England about 3 hours from London.  She's happily married with 3 "little people" and they live in a 3 or 4 story 100 year old Victorian house that they are renovating.  She is a creative, vibrant and happy blogger and crocheter.  She makes me smile whenever I visit her and she's always doing some new interesting and colorful project! 
Our next stop is the Netherlands where Esther lives with her husband and crochets and sews too.  Like Lucy, she is has many tutorials of her projects and she's also very colorful.  Both these women have beautiful photos of their surrounding countryside too.  Esther took these pictures on a recent shopping trip to a nearby village.  Oh, would I love to shop there!   Her blog is Happy in Red and she is!
This next gal is living a dream (mine) on a farm in the English countryside and her name is Bertie Meadows.  She is a young Mom that has creativity just oozing from her fingertips!  She has so many original ideas and actually follows through on them!  Imagine that!  If I ever need inspiration or a lift, I go visit Bertie!  You will love her!  She's at Bertie Meadow's  I have even gone through all her archives I was so enthralled with her! 
"Take a spin" across the pond and visit with these creative gals and maybe Lucy will have some of that English Lemon cake I talked about yesterday!  Yum!  Tell them I said "hello" and have a great Sunday!