Saturday, November 8, 2014

Too nice to be inside...............

I do apologize for not being around much but this weather is so short-lived and I really have waited all summer for it.  The girls and I took a nice long hike yesterday afternoon.  I tried to blog last night but the pictures were taking so long I finally gave up and went to bed! LOL!

This is the color of the dirt/soil in this part of Arkansas..........rocky and red.........

it was a perfect day for a hike.  We've had several freezes and that morning it was 30 C when I got up but it was 57 when I took this walk.
these would be pretty for some Thanksgiving decor.........I'll have to come back with my pruning shears.........
"there's a fungus among us".................
I also found some wild plums (I think....Connie could you verify?).  Unfortunately, I found them AFTER the freeze but now I know where they are for next year if I'm still here.
Those are my "scouts" out ahead of me..............
Nice view from up here........
it was such a great day and the beauty was awe inspiring everywhere you turned..............
I know this picture is blurred but I was trying to capture a bird flying above and the sun caught it's wing and literally turned it gold............I had to share, blurred or not..........
they were flying high and so was I............
back to civilization.................

I'll be by today to catch up on your week!  See you later!
Happy Trails!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Don't forget to VOTE!

I voted early the other day and yesterday I went shopping for "supplies" for the homestead. They had predicted it was going to rain here and it started this morning and has continued all day.  A great day for baking, cleaning, laundry and some needlework.  I'm also (besides being a weather junkie) a political junkie so I plan on plopping down after supper and doing some handwork and watching the returns come in.
I made a Peach Kuchen...........

Does anyone remember back in the day when these were popular?  I made them when my children were little .  The recipe I have calls for a yellow cake mix but I don't buy "boxed" or "processed" so I found a recipe for making a yellow cake mix.
Here's a recipe for peach kuchen from Taste of Home   This recipe is 5 star and does not require a cake mix...duh!   I think I'll be trying this one next time as it looks like it has more filling which would not be a bad thing.  You can use different fruits as there is pear, plum and apple kuchens too.  I want to make another cake mix so I have it on hand just like a boxed mix.  I want to have a fully stocked pantry for this winter just in case I can't get out and my sweet tooth is aching!  I must be prepared!
 I also needed to make some bread but unfortunately I have an old bread maker that only makes a 1 pound loaf whereas most the of the bread makers today and the recipes are for 1 1/2 pound loaves.  I wanted to make all the bread machine recipes on the King Arthur website but once again I ran into the size issue and then there is the ingredients I don't have on hand.  But King Arthur has so much information on their website and they actually tell you how to change the recipe amounts from a 1 1/2 lb machine to a 1 lb machine.
  It's basically a ratio issue so I did the math and plunged ahead with their recipe for White Breakfast Bread.
 I crossed my fingers and said a little prayer as I love to experiment but I hate to waste anything.  The bread baking angels were with me today and VOILA!  I've actually sliced it and tasted it and and it is just fine!  Thank you bread baking angels!

Tomorrow is pizza dough!
Happy Trails!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

YOP Week #18

I'm usually not a negative person or "down in the mouth" very often but this week was just one big disappointment after another.  In handwork it was a soap opera.  I had one finish..........the hat for Sam (grandson Sam not me)'s a Christmas present too so that's 2 Christmas presents done. Big deal...not!
As for this piece of #@*&%........of which I got 6 or 8 rows done...several times! ( I think at last count it was frogged 5 times!)
It's just a hard can it be?  Is it the stripes?  Do you cut off the yarn when you change colors or just keep it attached as in a "stranded" piece?  I've never done stripes but I don't think they were the was me and all the interruptions.....I finally unplugged the phone as anyone living in a "close race" state must do to preserve their sanity.  Also, my new neighbor has dogs and so any time they make a move over there my girls think they have to bark and get out there and see what's going on.  This goes on until bedtime which is when I am usually doing my handwork.  So, I am back to living like when my children were little.  I will have to knit when they go for their naps in the afternoon! Geez Louise!   Any advice about "stripes" would help too as maybe there's more to it?
See my little barrette holding the excess yarn from my cast on?  It holds better than a rubber band  which is what I used to use.
I also placed an order for a filet crochet bookmark book and some little extras; steel hooks for the size needed for the bookmarks in the pattern book etc.  I ordered from Annie's who I have never ordered from before.....
The wheel thingy shows you knit gauge, needle size, yarn weight, hook size and crochet gauge.  It is pretty nice and was only a few bucks.  But most of this was ordered for the bookmarks and yet the pattern book didn't arrive!  They don't have it.  But as big a company as they are, they allowed me to order it instead of keeping track of their inventory like most companies.  When they sent me the above they said they would send me a refund.  Why wasn't the refund in the package?  When will the refund arrive?  There evidently is no "backorder"'s probably out of print so why are they selling this "non-existent" pattern book?  Plus, I was charged $7.00 for "shipping, processing and handling".....this package weighed nothing!  These companies are charging an arm and a leg for shipping ounces and that's where they're making their profit.....not on the products!  I will not be ordering from them again.  If they make a profit on all their shipping and "processing" and sell things that don't exist but hold on to the money for it from LOTS of customers.....they are making interest on that money the whole time.  Okay, I rest my case but I'm thinking of starting up a company and selling some non-existent products and charging people exorbitant shipping fees  and then holding on to their refunds for several weeks at least if not a month depending on the interest accrual schedule.  What a deal....for me that is!  FREE MONEY!
So, it was back to the drawing board...literally.  I did want to design this year...just not under pressure.
I had purchased some Christmas variegated thread a few weeks ago and thought this would make a nice bookmark......WRONG!
 First of all working with thread and a teeny tiny crochet hook is not easy or enjoyable at this stage........and "the pretty variegated thread" does no justice to the cross design showing up.  I really want the cross to be the main focal point and right now it looks more like a Christmas themed checkerboard.  I usually don't mind frogging and starting over but these are Christmas gifts and therein lies the rub!  There is a deadline here to be considered and a budget too.  So, I will order more supplies (not from Annies) and finish this bookmark just to see if there might be a "Christmas miracle" early.  If not I will go back to my original dishcloth cotton and call it a day.  I have learned some filet crochet and I have an entire set of steel crochet hooks now but other than that I am in a world of hurt when it comes to Christmas presents! 
 I did get a new background and header for my blog...finally and updated my project list...that didn't help me at all other than to make me realize I better start putting in some serious knitting and crocheting time!  I will tape blinders on my head so I can't see the housework that needs to be done, I will eat soup out of a can and not get dressed until Christmas Eve.....that should do it! LOL!
I hope your lists look better than mine.
I just had an evil thought...I could put out the word that I need "test knitters"......OMG, that's really evil....I should be very ashamed.....LOL!
Have a great week and Happy Trails (of perfect stitches)!