Friday, December 9, 2011

Cleaning the Other Side...

This is the next to get tackled with the cleaning bug...

My table and freezer. So I am told.

 This is right across from the table and behind the couch for the living room.

 This is the wall directly opposite from the sink wall.

 This is the wall with the stove and sink, it is the other side of the bar and it is where my chair is.
 See that bit of beige? That is my chair.

This is the window beside my chair. Hubby had made a shelf for me. I already started with my collection of sand and water from different locations (I ask for that instead of souvenirs) But it was in all kinds of different plastic bottles - this looks soo much better.... except for the mess above it. Yes - that is bits of Christmas decorations I forgot to put up... 2 years ago.

I've got my work cut out for me, but I am only doing a little at a time, basically what you see in the picture is what I tackle at a time. If I tried more than that, well, it wouldn't get done!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I have never made candles from scratch, though would very much like to learn! I DO however know how to stretch what I have to the limit! Haha :) So when I get candles, especially those jar candles my sister gets me for birthdays or Christmas there is always "leftovers". It drives me NUTS to have so much wax left over so I learned to make my own wicks (see also my "vegetable oil lamps" in my "No Electricity Adventure" here) I also have those little "tea light" and I save the little metal tubs and the metal wick holders that are left once they burn down.

So what I do is whatever leftover wax I have I save in a can, I save the little "tea light" metal bits and the wicks are made from the thread for crocheting, that small skinny thread that you think is impossible to hold on to :) I cut off a bit and soak the thread in a cup of water and a TBLSP of salt and about 2 TBLSP of Borax. I let that soak for a bit and the hang to dry. When I am ready:

I put some left over wax bits into small metal tea light can and put over another candle. I have a few metal trivets that I use. (I love this scent my sister got me!) 
 Here is the metal wick holder that is always left after burning the tea lights. I use a small crochet hook to push this thread through the hole in the center and cut off the bottom thread to leave about a centimeter. I make sure to have enough thread for the wick to have plenty for lighting/
 Using the crochet hook I push the metal wick holder that is now threaded with the wick into the hot wax and make sure the string gets wax on it also.
 Trim any excess wick and allow to dry and light it up!
See it works :)!!!!

If you need a thicker wick, do the same (soaking in the borax and salt) using all cotton material or braid/weave the all cotton crochet thread to the thickness you need. It works great!

By the way, the salt and Borax dictates the color of the flame - yellow / white. Soaking in different chemicals will change the color from white to yellow to violet to orange. Try it sometime.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Clean Kitchen

Cleaning the kitchen has been a chore and a blessing at the same time. If I had to move it at all - it got cleaned! I thought I would post these now even though am still working on the lower cabinets, everything I am doing now is "behind the scenes" so to speak, so figured I would go ahead with them :)

I know it may seem just a matter of DO THE DISHES!!! But oddly, that is just 2 days of dishes - seriously! Which is why I cried when my dishwasher broke... now it is a glorified dish strainer. Anyway, EVERYTHING got cleaned: Stove hood; filter, spice jars, spice rack, utensils, utensil drawers and holders, etc.

For some reason I cannot get the pics to go side by side - But I think you can pretty much tell the "befores and afters"

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cleaning And Biscuits

Hello Blogland,

I have been incredibly busy with cleaning. I hope to have before and after pics when i am done. It has been extremely slow as I cannot get into some spots and get up again easily! I have almost finished with the kitchen's upper cabinets and will start on the lower one soon - thankfully there are not that many! Although I am dreading cleaning the oven... Oh well - a little at a time.

On to biscuits!

Because I have been working so much, I have been getting hungrier faster (gee go figure) Biscuits and gravy have always been my favorite meal - anytime. Well I think I have a new favorite, biscuits and grits :) except adding fig preserves and milk to the grits. It is delicious! Anyway, I was trying to figure out how to make some biscuits without going through too much and it being a big production when I remembered MistyMountain's Skillet biscuits. Well I had no idea what her recipe was and wasn't about to mess up my cleaning rhythm by getting on the net (all is lost then!) But I make a flat bread in the skillet all the time and know the recipe by heart, so I tweaked mine a bit to be more appropriate for biscuits and using MistyMountain's technique, I was enjoying homemade biscuits within 15 minutes, from start to finish. And SOOOO much better than any store-bought!

The following recipe I can make in 2 minutes flat, from getting the ingredients together, measured out and in the bowl, mixed and put into the pan:

Makes about 6 biscuits

Start heating cast iron skillet (or heavy) with lid on Medium heat.

1 cup flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 to 1 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil
just under 1/2 cup water

Mix dry ingredients, then add wet. mix well with a spoon, just till all is combined. Drop by spoonfuls into skillet. Keep covered for about 8-10 minutes depending on the size of the biscuits. turn over and brown other side - putting the lid back on. Once browned, your done! enjoy!

Here it is in pictures:
 Mix the ingredients
Drop by spoonfuls into pan
I LOVE my pans, is you look closely there is a hook at the side to attach the pans together, so when I have to flip the biscuits, I can just flip the pans!
 I opened it up so you can see the biscuits rising
 and flipped... Do you see the red pot in the back? That is my grits cooking :)
MMMmmm mmm GOODNESS!!!