Saturday, February 4, 2012

Helped out at the consignment shop today..........

I help out at the consignment store here in town on Saturdays and I just love it!  It gets me out of the house and socializing with people which my therapist says is good for me..just kidding.  I don't have a therapist...yet! LOL!  I'm sure I could use one just like I could use a nice massage, a manicure and a trip to see our National Parks but it's not in the cards this year.  I put my money on "Edna"! Ha! Ha! (See past posts about "Edna").

You're probably wondering why I'm posting pictures of's like this, I was going to post about my egg salad but realized I've actually done that post before plus these are the only pictures I have right now and I'm tired from the consignment store so I figured I'll give you the pictures of the egg salad but tell you about my day at the store which is far more interesting.  Best of both worlds, right?

Oh!  Look!  The eggs have to cook for 15 minutes so we have time to chat before I make the egg salad anyway!  So, like I was saying, I LOVE my Saturdays at the consignment store (I really should take pictures of that!  I will next week...promise).  Today was quite interesting as there were lots of customers since she is having a going out of business sale.  (I know....I'm so sad about it..oh well).  Karen came in and bought some things but had to get to Salem before her meeting so I told her to go ahead and I would wrap up her stuff and she could pick it up on the way back.  Well, she did and brought me a fresh, homemade doughnut from the bakery there!  I didn't even know they had a bakery in Salem....but I do now!!!  Then my friend, Maura stopped by because I had called her because I had made Whoopie Pies last night and wanted to give her some. (I know, you're wondering why I'm not posting about Whoopie Pies....good question since I spent HOURS making them!) This gal has brought me 2, not 1, but 2, containers of homemade chocolate eclaires in the past month.  Now, is that a friend or what?  So, since I never got my Christmas cookies made (whoops)I figured she deserved some Whoopie Pies!  I should really call them "whoopsie" pies.  Oh, just a sec,I've got to chop up some stuff for the egg salad....

So, like I was saying..Maura tried one of the pies and gave one to Karen who was still there and they loved them!  I feel redeemed thank goodness.  
A couple from Missouri came in and shopped and then couldn't get their truck started.  It was now afternoon and the local mechanic closes at noon.  The man asked if I had some pliers or a wrench but I didn't when low and behold another couple walk in and overhear us and he says he has one in his truck.  PTL!!!  They got his truck started and he said he wasn't turning it off until they got home!  They were 100 miles from home in a new vehicle in a town that is barely open during the week much less weekends.  That could be why the shop is closing too.  
Oh, I peeled the eggs while we were chatting and that pile of stuff I chopped...that was just some onion and celery I had laying around (in my frig). 
After we got the couple on their way back home to Missouri and I was getting ready to close up shop, another man came in and asked if we had a fax machine as he had an important paper to send and his wasn't working.  Maura thought there was one in the back where the animal rescue part is so she took him back but they couldn't get it to work.  Well, (I happen to have a technical background so) I told him I would give it a try and I got it faxed for him.  I felt like Wonder Woman and my reward was a fresh warm donnut from the bakery!!!  It was a great day!  

Oh!  I almost forgot about the egg salad.  This is my egg slicer, an invaluable tool in the art of slicing and dicing.  You put the egg in one way and slice it and then pick it up and place it the other way and you have diced egg pieces!  Perfect for egg salad.  I've had this particular model for enough years to make it an antique...what does that make me then?  I had already been around for 20 some years when I got it!  But see how they made things to last "back in the day"...I'm talking about the egg slicer/dicer.
I throw the chopped onion and celery in a bowl with the sliced and diced egg pieces and add some REAL mayonnaise and salt and this time I  added some curry powder.  Not too much as curry can be overpowering.  Sometimes I add horseradish and today someone mentioned they chop up green olives and/or black.   Yum!  I mixed it all up and put it on my homemade bread (another previous knead recipe) and ate it.  It was so good and afterwards I remembered I hadn't taken a picture of it...oh, well.  I wish you could have seen it but more than that I wish you could have tasted it!
Sorry I'm so wordy tonight....this happens when I get tired.  I'm going to go sit in front of the fireplace (yes, there's a fire going) and do some knitting and pray that the knitting angels are watching over me because, like I said...I'm tired.  Goodnight all!

Friday, February 3, 2012

I think I'm in L O V E......................

With my new Neato robotic named "Edna" after my dear departed Aunt who was the best "home keeper" I've ever known.
Anyway, I told you I would get back to you and give you an update on this FABULOUS product!  First, you have to ensure there are no wires laying on the floor or things that might clog up any vacuum cleaner.  This in itself will keep me clutter free and from placing things on the floor which I do a lot.  I cleaned up my kitchen and laundry room which basically is the same thing you would do if you were going to wash your floors (which I was going to do right after Edna was done).
You can schedule her to clean automatically but my house is not ready for that yet!  There are magnetic-type strips that come on a roll and you cut them the length you need them to block her from going somewhere.  I cut 2 to keep her in the kitchen but they are the same width as most of my doorways so they can be utilized in other rooms.  Next, I picked her up from the charger and set her in the laundry room doorway and hit the start button.  Whoa Nellie!  She ratcheted up like a Ferari engine and still wasn't as loud as my other vacuums and then she was off to the races! 

I was going to time her to see how long it took for the laundry room and kitchen but she beeped after awhile and stopped and the screen said..get this..."Please empty my dust bin".  Okay, this product is made in England and aren't they just the most polite people?  So, I emptied the dust bin which was all DOG HAIR don't you know, and placed it back in and then she said "Thank you for emptying my dust bin" you believe it!  I love this gal!!!!
Off she went and then in awhile she beeped again as she had gotten stuck under my laundry room sink so I blocked it off with a stepstool I keep in there folded up.  It's a learning experience for the both of us.  I thought she was almost done but then she ran out of energy (you can't blame happens to me all the time in this house!) so I had to put her on the charger for awhile, but not too long, maybe an hour?  The first time I charged her it took 2-3 hours.
I was sort of in a hurry because I wanted to wash the floors in there but just when I was thinking of finishing up by hand, I heard her powering up and raring to go again.  When she hasn't finished a job she will try to go back and finish when she's recharged and if I had her scheduled for automatic cleaning she would have gone back to the base station herself, charged and then gone back and finished the job.  Amazing, huh????  But since my house is being worked on a room at a time I am not ready to schedule her yet but hopefully that day will come! She finished in just a bit more time and beeped to let me know she was done and I took her back to the charger.  
Now, I have 2 very good vacuums; one is a cannister that I love for regular floors and the other is an Oreck upright that I use for carpeting.  Usually when I wash my floors, even after vacuuming, I still get "stuff" on my microfiber pad mop,mostly dog hair.  When I mopped after Edna was done I think I could have counted all the hairs that I picked up on one hand.  She did a FABULOUS job!  One of the reasons I went with her was because one of the reviewers said she liked Neato because it did a better job than her Dyson!  I believe it now!  I have not done carpeting yet so when Edna does her first carpet job I will post again.  Meanwhile, I am one happy camper!!!!

P.S.  I get nothing for saying all this.  The company doesn't even know I exist.  I got mine at Target online and it is the Neato 12.  Stores are still selling the Neato 11 for the same price as the new version so if you get one make sure it is the latest and greatest which is 12 right now.  They fine tuned some things from the 11 to the 12.  I found this out reading reviews.  Also, a tip when using/reading reviews...always read from several stores and not the company store.  The best reviews come from stores that carry lots of different products like Target, Lowes, Amazon etc.  Just an F.Y.I.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Balance...I keep trying and I'm getting better..I think


   I have always been a pretty hardworking, nose-to-the-grindstone type person and drove myself ill trying to "do all and be all" to all.
But now I'm all about balance and moderation...a few wake-up calls (in the name of illnesses)are all it takes!
For instance, I love to help the environment and recycle but I also need help with things to make my life easier and I'm not going to apologize for it.  I do what I can, when I can and I wished I would have been that kind to myself all my life but "when you know better you do better" (Maya Angelou).

So, yes, I make my own bread and detergent, hang my clothes out on the line weather permitting and spend extra to try and only buy products that are humane and fair and healthy ie; purchase with my money in one hand and my values in the other. 
But then I had to admit to myself that there were things that would really make my life easier and add joy.  So, this year I took the plunge and bought myself 2 things that I had been looking at and researching and thought would do those very things.  I saved up my money, as they were larger than ordinary purchases, and bought them.  The first one is my Keurig coffeemaker.

How do I love thee...let me count the ways!
And even though I live alone I bought the big model so I don't have to put water in every time I want a cup of something.  This appliance has given me so much enjoyment!  I have cider and all types of coffees and teas and hot cocoa.  I also don't have to wash the coffeepot and accessories every day.  It's always there for me ready to offer me a nice hot cup of whatever I want!  And come the warmer weather there are ice drinks too, in a minute!  They say variety is the spice of life and I've got that and more in my Keurig!  

The second item I purchased was a Neato robotic vacuum!  I haven't even used it yet as it came yesterday and I charged it last night.  To say I'm chomping at the bit to finish this post and go "let that pony run" is an understatement!  I can't keep up with the vacuuming and dog hair around here and I have tried and tried but it's a losing battle and one I no longer want to fight! LOL!  I was going to buy a Roomba as a friend of mine liked hers but she lives alone and has no pets.  I wanted reviews from people who had large, shedding machines like mine and although the Roomba had good reviews the Neato's were even better especially on their model 12 version...5 stars from everyone!

I know lots of women who pride themselves on "doing it all" and I used to be that way myself but not any more.  I'll take the help where and when I can get it and I surely do love to hear my machinery doing my work for me!  So....gotta run! I (Neato) have some vacuuming to do! LOL!
P.S.  I'll keep you updated on my review of the Neato and also she needs a name...put your thinking caps on.  I was thinking of Edna, after one of my Aunts who kept an immaculate house and did everything from scratch long before there were many "modern conveniences" but once again..she had no pets....hmmm....coincidence?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I spent hours doing the banner....too tired to post! LOL!

     What else can I say other than it took hours to get my banner done and I still can't seem to get that "Farmgirl Sam" out of the right hand lower corner.  If anyone knows how please let me know!  I did "seasonal" banners...what was I thinking?  Now, I 'll have to start working on one for Spring! 
Also, I started "following" quite a few blogs because I didn't want to lose them and now I get an email every time someone makes a comment on one of them.  That's a LOT of emails.  Does anyone know how to avoid the emails?  Any critiques or suggestions are welcome and tips too! 
I did find a very helpful blog about blogging's called Blog Guidebook and I will give you a link on my blog...tomorrow but for now just Google her if you want...I'm "hittin' the hay".  Blogging can be very tiring!  Goodnight all...sweet dreams!  
P.S.  Does anyone know how I can get the same font and size in my text here as I have in my post title?  I'd like it to be permanent and not have to constantly change it every time I post.  I used Advanced settings in template designer for the other fonts but couldn't find the one for the actual post text.  HELP!!!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Here's the German Meatball and Spaetzle recipe with pics!

Unfortunately, I messed it up thinking I knew what I was doing without paying too much attention to the recipe...WRONG!!!!  But I will give you the recipe and you can follow it which you will soon see...did not!  This recipe is delicious IMHO and why I haven't made it in awhile is beyond me.  It could be that it is a little time consuming and dirties a lot of dishes...hmmm.  I think that's  why but just save it for when you have the time to spend.  A big plus is it is extremely inexpensive to make and you get a lot for your  money in this dish.  So, here goes...I'll show you the pictures with some comments and then I'll give you the recipe at the end.

Here's the meatballs:

After the meatballs are cooked you add beef broth, mushrooms and some onion:

This is the sour cream, flour and caraway seed that you mix together to make the yummy sauce:

This is what it looks like after you add the yummy sauce to the pan of meatballs, broth, mushrooms and onions that have cooked:

This is what happens when you don't pay attention to your recipe and think you "know it all" and add 2 cups of milk to the spaetzle recipe instead of just 1 like it calls for...DUH!!!!  Yours..if you follow the recipe which you probably will, will not look like the following:

The above does not even look anything like spaetzle and I couldn't take a picture of the process because it takes 2 hands and I couldn't get "the girls" to help me....per usual!  Spaeztle is like a dumpling/noodle and I set a colander over a pot of boiling water and pour the batter in and then stir with a wooden spoon to get the "noodles/dumplings" to drop into the boiling water and cook and then you drain the water off like you would for ordinary noodles. Unfortunately, since I added twice the amount of milk to the batter as was called for, my "noodles" turned out more like lumpy grits!  So, I did not drain them as it would have all drained out so I decided to eat "as was" and actually with some butter and salt and the yummy sauce it STILL tasted great!

I think next time I will make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze that way it won't be an all evening cooking extravaganza.  I usually serve a green vegetable on the side such as green beans.  
Here's the recipe...and do as I say not like I did! LOL!

German Meatballs and Spaetzle            4-6 servings

Meatball Recipe:
1 slightly beaten egg
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup fine, dry bread crumbs
1 T parsley (fresh if you have it but I had to use dry last night)
1/2 t salt
1/4 t poultry seasoning
dash of pepper
1 lb ground beef ( I used lean ground chuck and there wasn't even any fat to drain off)

Combine the 1 egg, 1/4 cup milk, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, poultry seasoning and pepper.  Add the ground beef and mix well.  Shape into 1 1/2 " meatballs.  In skillet, brown meatballs, drain fat.  Add the following:
1 can condensed beef broth
1 3-4 oz can chopped mushrooms, drained
1/2 C chopped onion
Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile mix together in a bowl:
1 C sour cream
1 T flour
1 t caraway seed ( you can adjust this to suit your taste)
After the meatballs have cooked their 30 minutes add the sour cream mixture.  Cook and stir until thick and bubbly.  Serve with spaetzle.

Spaetzle recipe:
2 C flour
2 slightly beaten eggs
1 C milk
1 t salt
Mix together the flour and salt.  Add the eggs and milk and beat well.  Let the batter rest for 5-10 minutes.  Run the batter through a colander with a wooden spoon over a pot of boiling, salted water.  Cook and stir for 5 minutes, drain and sprinkle with parsley.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Slow as a slug!

I am feeling overwhelmed again and not much is going the way I want it to....that's life I guess.  Just one of those days when you feel like your taking 10 steps forward and 15 backward. I am so blessed though...I have the legs to take those steps.  
I've been spending so much time trying to get a banner made on Picasa and I have it but when I upload it's too big!  I did notice that there is a feature in Picasa where you can edit in Picnik for all you Picnik'ers. LOL!  
Anyway, I have much to do today so I had to "let it go" and just get to posting.  Still working on the kitchen among other things and that's my major project but today was also laundry and change sheets and a bunch of other "piddly" stuff that needed to be done.  I was going to post my German meatballs and spaetzle today that I was making for dinner yesterday but that never happened.  Hopefully, tomorrow or I'll be going hungry tonight! 

I finally got everything down from above the cupboards and finished washing it all.  It was mostly old tins and pots.  
Here's the pile of them......

I have some neat old cannisters that I had forgotten about...the lid for this one is still drying

The table is finally cleared of all it's clutter as a result of my "cleaning".  So, I guess there's some progress but boy, it's like a slow boat to China!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy Sunday to everyone!

I'm late posting today because last night I went to bed REALLY early!  Like 6:00 p.m....I could not keep my eyes open!  It was busy at the consignment store yesterday but I don't work THAT hard!  I got back up at 9:00 p.m. and felt totally refreshed but now it was night, I read and then watched the news and got back to sleep about 11:00 p.m. and slept until 7:30 this morning!  I swear, ever since they messed with my thyroid I am like a slug!  I have a brief window of energy but it seems to be getting smaller and smaller! 
Anyway....look what my friend, Maura,  brought to me while I was at the shop!

Yes, you guessed it....cream filled chocolate eclairs!!!!!  Okay, I am not a candy or sweet person, well except for cookies, and ice cream and pies and some cakes but give me a plate of eclairs and I'm yours!
All my Christmas weight were because of the eclairs she brought me for Christmas.  Now what am I going to blame these pounds on?  I swear, you gain a pound per eclair and yet, they in themselves are very light!
I used to make these years ago when my kids were little and I stopped, thank God because  we'd all be on Biggest Losers if I hadn't but if Maura keeps this up there might have to be an intervention!  Thay are so good that I can't eat just one....I devour them until they are gone.  That's why I had to take the picture and blog because I ate half of them last night and as I sit here writing to you...there is only one left on the plate!  Oh..I am SO BAD!!!!  But only with eclairs, I promise!!!!
On a lighter's what came in the mail for me yesterday while I was gone.

It's my new Mary Engelbreit mouse pad!!!!  But wait...that's not all....

This is a storage/photo box with dividers inside for organizing your photos...but wait.....that's not all!

I saved the best for last didn't I?  I'd show you what was inside but it would blow you away.  Plus, I want to surprise you later when I make projects with all the delightful little pretties inside that box.  But you could probably get your own if you wanted as Current was having a big sale!  In fact, I almost wish I'd ordered 2 of these.  When do you ever have enough Mary Engelbreit anything?????  Not's never enough when it comes to ME or eclairs.  And yes, if you're wondering....they are all gone now.  YUM!