Saturday, December 17, 2016

Summer came back for a visit today!

It was 73 degrees F here today so I took advantage of it!  I washed the windows in my bedroom and then put clean curtains up..........I can wash the inside and outside of the windows from the inside which is nice.........I used these linen white on white dinner napkins that belonged to my Mother.  She entertained very fancy back in the day....me, not so much...........
 but they make great curtains............

 My walls look gold here even though they are a "dirty pale green" color.  I like the gold....hmmmm....future color?
I also cleaned out my dresser so that I could put my knitting and crochet in it and that way clear off the top of my other dresser where it all resided to keep Miss Peeps out of it............
I think I'll use one drawer for knitting WIP's and one for crochet WIPs and the others for yarn stash.
Here's my clean and cleared off dresser!  Yay!  While working in my bedroom I watched Homespun House Vlogmas video podcasts.  She has a Vlog and an Etsy shop and dyes her own yarn.  She's an American living in Berlin, Germany with her husband and 2 darling girls.  It is so fun to see the little ones getting ready for Christmas.  I wanted to get the kitchen windows done too but I had several phone calls and the Terminex guy was here so I didn't get them done.  Tonight we have wind chill warnings of -5......yes, 73 today and -5 tonight!  Crazy!  But I'm glad I got a few windows washed.
Happy Trails!  

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Well.....the presents are in the mail! Whew!!!

I didn't get any baked goods or 2016 ornaments made but maybe I can send them later this week.  At least the presents for the grands should be there on time.
Presents arrived for ME from my daughter and her family! Wow!  Look at all of them!  There were also 2 bags of the Cracker Jack Sugar Cookie Popcorn but I have no idea where that went.....lol!
I finally got my tree up in the front window.....it always brings fond memories of my Aunt Alice who made it.  She actually made it for my Mother, her sister, but I inherited it when my Mom passed away.  There's so many people I miss at Christmas time but I do have the memories.
I worked on the Peace cowl a bit.  About 1 round a day is all I can manage but so far so good.  I'm on round #6 now.  Most people started on December 1st and if you do that and 4 rounds a day you will finish by the 21st......I'm pretty sure I won't make it but I do think peaceful thoughts for our world when I work on it.
This week my bread turned out REALLY rustic but it's tasty!  I was using hot water which I think was a little too hot for the yeast and then also I would leave the light on in the oven when I put it in there to rise for the 18-24 hours and I think it's bit much so next time....luke warm water and no oven light.   Bread making is like a science experiment every time but a tasty one!
I have the last of my tomatoes ripening in a box....they were all green when I picked them.......
Now that the presents are in the mail and winding their way up to Iowa, I can get back to the presents I WAS going to give them which I still will but not right now......I'm working on giraffe legs, Bob Ross still and so much more!  I'm wanting some finishes in my future!
Well, tonight is old-fashioned meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans.  The potatoes are done and the green beans but the meatloaf is still in the oven.  Nancy Jo mentioned she made a meatloaf the other day and it has been a long time since I've had one.   My Aunt Bernice made the best meatloaf and I wish I could get the recipe that my Aunt Edna used to make for Swiss Steak.....it was so good and that was back when I was child.  If I can remember certain dishes that long ago they must have been really delicious!
I hope all your Christmas wishes are coming to fruition. 
Happy Trails!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Busy day on the homestead!

I'm sure everyone is busy at this time of year.  I did get a lot done today but I stayed off of the pc too....hmmm....I wonder if there's a connection?  Anyway, I'm still cleaning and it feels so good it makes me wonder why I don't do it more often? LOL!  Last night I read Grayson's book that I got for him.  It was wonderful!  This book is for everyone and there are photos in the back.  It is the true story of Winnie the Pooh who was a real bear and the veterinarian who saved her.  What I did not realize is that the book is written by his great-granddaughter.  I wish I could be there to read it to Grayson but I know the whole family will enjoy that book!
I also read half of Uriah's Goosebumps book......the 12 Screams of Christmas...it is very good and I had a hard time putting it down! LOL! 
I said I would share some of my Christmas books with you.  I know I have more around here somewhere but I'll try not to overload you all at once.
 I love this book and I will read it again this year.....it brings tears to my eyes and really fills me with the Christmas spirit.  I would recommend it as a gift to anyone.
 I bought this book when I first moved to Arkansas and thought I would use it to make a real Southern Christmas dinner and I did but whoa Nellie was it rich!  One dish of Paula's would have been enough but I made the whole dinner using her recipes and it was just a bit much for someone who tries to eat fairly healthy most of the time.  So, baker beware....take it slow if you're not used to rich Southern cooking! LOL!  One Southern dish at a a time!
Remember these books that came out every year for Christmas?  I think I might have one more but really....how many of these do you need?  I've got a couple of their cookbooks too.  But they are so fun to look through at this time of year and maybe try a new Christmas cookie recipe or a breakfast casserole or side dish for Christmas day.  They also have so many tips and crafts and gifts to make.  It  reminds me of when my children were all at home and I'd plan a big Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and all the grandparents and Aunts and Uncles would come.  It was a lot of work but it made for some great memories.
I think this is book #9 of the Maggie Sefton Knitting mystery books. I read all the previous 8 and I was waiting until Christmas to read this one.
And my most favorite Christmas book is a true story of 4 sisters who grew up in Ames, Iowa and after they had their own careers and families they wrote about their childhood Christmas's and how they celebrated then and now.  There are recipes of their Mother's and theirs and it is just a heart warming book that always makes me feel warm and cozy at Christmas time.....a real "feel good" book.
Well, my bread is just about to come out of the oven so I had better wrap this up.  I hope you are warm and cozy where ever you are.....another "arctic blast" is coming!  The propane people came and filled me up today and the mailman was wearing shorts but he said by this weekend he'll probably be wearing a parka and gloves! LOL!  Crazy weather!
Happy Trails! 












Monday, December 12, 2016

The last of the presents arrived....finally!

The slowest by at least a week was Amazon!  I don't have Prime so I guess that means you're "chopped liver" when it comes to customer service.  I'll be shopping elsewhere!  Greed...it's everywhere...it's everywhere!
Here are the ones that arrived today........this is for Uriah...he's also getting a real watch but it's a Spy watch with many features.....I got to wrapping and forgot to take pictures............he wanted a watch for Christmas and I know he likes Goose Bumps.  I want to read it but not sure I have time! LOL!
 This one is for Grayson who loves bears along with Grandma Sam........this one I have to read before I send......the real story of Winnie the Pooh.............Grayson is also getting his first science kit as he loves to do "experiments"........
I  did read Diary of a Wimpy Kid (for Sam as he requested) but I was not impressed at all.....the kid was a manipulator and was mean to his brothers and his best friend!  This is a best seller and I told my daughter what I thought and she said she knew about it but he's read them before and wanted his own to keep and re-read.  It's alright but I hope he doesn't pattern himself after that kid!  Sam is also getting a "stompin' rocket" like Uriah got for his birthday.  He really liked Uriah's this summer and asked for one.  They are a big hit with the kids and no parent involvement required and it's reasonably priced, I thought.  Fat Brain toys came through once again and their customer service and fast shipping at no extra cost put Amazon to shame! I can't recommend them highly enough!
I did laundry today, some ironing and I have bread dough rising in the oven with just the oven light on...........I make the artisan bread in my cast iron dutch oven pot and it can rise for 18-24 hours before you have to do anything which is nice.....make the dough one day and bake it off the next.
 Last night I finally got the 318 stitches cast on for the peace cowl and today I did the first round....the new cord is curling quite a bit......I hope it relaxes.  I have no business knitting when I have a present to finish for my son but it seems especially at this busy time of year that I need to sit and do some handwork of mine to keep things in perspective and what better way than a Peace cowl?
I hope you had a great Monday! 
Happy Trails!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

YOP Week #24




Well, moving right along here at the Farmgirl Homestead.....I hope you are getting all your Christmas and holiday chores and shopping done and making some time for yourself.  I don't know about you but it seems when I have the most to do is when I go about casting on more projects! LOL!  I know I have things to finish but I don't have the time for that but I can spend a few minutes getting a new one started.....logical?   Probably not but it is soothing to me.  Such as this Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball in the Feng Shui color that MrsMcD918 posted about a few weeks ago.  When I saw her finished scarf I knew it was perfect for my daughter.....for NEXT Christmas!  Unfortunately, my tension is usually on the tight side and I am having a time getting the hook into the stitches.  I can get them in the spaces no problem but the stitches take a little doing so it is not that relaxing but if it turns out as pretty as MrsMcD918's scarf I will be a happy camper! Right now it's on the dark side but it goes through a light shade of gray also.
This is as far as I got with 1 skein of Lion Brand Landscapes.  I have several more but none are the same color so do I just use them anyway or go back to the store and get more of the same colorway?  Not sure...........this is definitely a fun project though!
Here are the other colors I have in the same yarn..........
I also got one skein of what Becki used in hers but the other skein hasn't arrived in the other colorway yet.
Mr. Bob Ross is coming along but things always take me way longer than I think they will.....
I finally got all my supplies for the Peace Cowl, a free pattern and KAL by The Healthy Knitter
I actually started casting on after I took this picture.  It calls for a long tail cast on of 318 stitches but in listening to The Knitting Pipeline podcast last night she mentioned she is also partaking and she opted for a knitted cast on.  I got on You Tube and learned it as I had no idea how long to leave my tail for 318 stitches!  I have about 200 cast on so far and she said to put a stitch marker every 50 stitches.....Brilliant!  I hope I don't mess up and have to redo those 318 stitches! It's an easy pattern though from what I saw on the discussion group but then "easy" is a very relative term! LOL!
I'm knitting this cowl in Knit Pick's Stroll Tweed in the North Pole Heather colorway.  I love the color and so appropriate for this time of year but the yarn seems to unwind as I'm using it which I don't care for.
I don't know if any of you follow Katie's video podcast of Inside Number 23, but if you do, you will have seen the awesome Yarn Journal she started which I went nuts over!  I want to be just like her when I grow up!  She is so creative and her journal looks beautiful and so fun to work on.  I've had this journal for several years and never used it as I thought it was too pretty to just do my daily journaling in but a Yarn Journal?  It's perfect for that!  In all honesty, I am gathering my supplies and prepping for not only my holiday food but also my activities for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Starting this Yarn Journal is on that list!  She showed it in Episode 42 and then showed even more in one of her Vlogmas podcasts...Day 9 or 10?  She is also very artistic!
Speaking of journaling, I need to update my Ravelry project pages too!  Woe is me!
LOL!
How are your projects, plans and holiday activities going?  I started watching Christmas movies last night and I watched a funny one called Up In The Clouds about a Ski Resort run by a Native American tribe.  It wasn't an award winner but I've seen worse and parts of it were really funny....I like funny!  Any Christmas movies you can recommend?  I also listened to free Christmas music play lists on You Tube last night while I wrapped presents.   They have some great ones. I especially like the old tunes from Bing and the gang.
Happy Trails!
P.S.  My son Ben and grandson Uriah were on the local news in Iowa!

video