Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sweety's Home Day

Thursday was Sweety's 15 year Home Day. We don't know exactly when his birthday is, so celebrate when he came to our home. We figure he is about 22 years old though.

We played some. He really likes to play fetch. As in throw things on the floor and watch the human fetch.
He really likes the homemade Chinese Jacks I made (I will tell you about those in another post).

I made him a new home too. He likes to tear them up and to buy them costs $25! This is how bad he tears them up:
His new home

And checking it out. (Really just seeing how to tear it apart). Yes he does fit in it, he likes his tail to stick out anyway.
It was easy to make, definitely didn't cost $25, and I give him two weeks before he has got at least one hole in it!

Happy Home Day Sweety! We love you.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Rolls, Biscuits, and Bread...Yum

One of my favorites sections of a cookbook is Breads. Bread was one of the first things I ever made. I was 7 years old and learning to make Potato Bread in school. I loved it. It was delicious and fun and I still have the recipe. So I was excited to get to this section of Amanda's recipe book.

I started her off with a bang on the first page. Rolls, biscuits, and yeast bread. All recipes from grandma. The biscuits were a big, feel good, happy memory for me. Every Sunday morning grandma would make biscuits and gravy, eggs, hash browns, sausage, applesauce, and fried green tomatoes if they were in season. Everyone would show up for her breakfasts. It was wonderful and I miss her.

As you can see they are getting quite faded.

And here it is transcribed into Amanda's cookbook. You can see to the right the sections I made using manila folders to partition off the different categories. The left you can just see the back side. I will go through everything I did once the book is finished. I am concentrating on getting the recipes in!

Do you have family favorite recipes? How do you save them?

My only intent is to show who used these recipes, not ownership.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I Want... Collection

Are you asked what do you want for your birthday? Or Christmas, or for whatever; and go totally brain dead? I do. I swear I have a gazillion things I want but as soon as I am asked, poof, you can hear crickets chirping. So I started writing things down as they occurred to me.

This is my "Movies I Want" page (but really its any DVD).
I think I have an 80's thing going on here
I have quite a lot of DVD's and if I can't remember half of what I've got, or how many season's I have of what, I certainly don't expect others to remember. Hence my "Movies I Want" list.

How do you store your DVD's? Do you keep them in their original case or do you use one of those DVD binders? If you use a binder how do you keep the description? Is there another way that saves space? Mine are in two four foot DVD bookcases and am running out of room! I can't afford another bookcase nor do I have the space, so any tips would be great!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Recipe Book - Heavenly Hash

I have been working on making a recipe book for my oldest daughter. It's simply made from a composition book that I am writing family recipes in that I know she likes or might be interested in.

When I was first got married I was desperate to learn to cook more than macaroni and cheese, so I called all my parents, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbor, I did not care. I am grateful to say, they sent me a lot of recipes. It was great.

Over the probably 30 years I have lost quite a few of those recipes and thought I should share them before these get lost too. Plus I don't want to forget who gave me what recipe! So while I add recipes to my daughter's book I will share them here also.

The first recipe is Heavenly Hash. This is how it was written for me by my grandmother.

This is what I wrote is the recipe book.
I am not implying that grandma was the originator of the recipe. I wanted to indicate WHO the recipe came from, especially as it relates to my daughter. In the back of the book I will have a listing of "Contributors", who they are and how they are related to her.

I did something similar many years ago with all my kids. Once they hit about 15 I started things like the Family Recipe Book and getting things for them for when they were on their own. This one is a bit more neater and more family information.

Mom found out what I was doing (I had to consult her a few times to figure out who's handwriting was whose.) She wants one now too! I can't make one for everyone but I can document them here for everyone to have access to them though.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Scary Movie Day

This is a day I look forward to each month. In January when I saw the 13th fell on Friday it was like having an extra Halloween. My favorite holiday. I decided I was gonna have a scary movie marathon and I enjoyed it so much I chose to have a Scary Movie Day on the 13th of every month. So tonight it's Shaun of the Dead, pizza, popcorn, lights off, battery operated candles lit (I have cats), and a blanket. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Starting Another Journal

We had some good storms come through yesterday. Poor Jager stayed hidden in the corner all day. She does not like storms.

Been fairly busy the last few days. The highlights have been finishing up Easter gifts, having to start a new journal, and going through my closet and clearing things out a bit. All exciting stuff right?

I can't show the Easter gifts yet because of course that would be when my family decides to look at my blog, so that will have to wait till after Easter!

Like I mentioned I am having to set up a new journal. And while setting it up I realized I am getting about 4-6 months in each composition book, and redoing all my "collections" each time. So I thought what if I put all my collections in a separate journal? If I don't like it, it's not like I can't do it over again. So I thought I would try it out.

Here is the start of the new journal, all I've gotten so far is the yearly calendar in - and not finished with that either!

This is one of my collections. I am musically challenged, as in I can't remember the names of songs or bands. It is some kind of mental block or something because I just can not remember them. So I write down the songs that I really like while listening to Pandora. This would be one (of many) of the pages I transfer to the new separate Collections Journal for 2017.

I also mentioned going through my closet. First I blame Instagram (I'm on Instagram now! Here is my account) All those gorgeous organized closets. Sigh. Serious case of closet envy. I could care less about the clothes, it's those nice simple arrangements that have me drooling. No using full body weight to squish clothes aside so you can see what your trying to pick out. Or reaching in and grabbing one hanger that somehow hooks five others on the way off the rack/ Drives me nuts.

This is what I am getting rid of, so far. This was just the first pass and grabbing those items I knew for a fact wasn't gonna get worn. I mean seriously, I refuse to wear white. White anything NEVER stays white for long, and yet I had so many white shirts and pants! That was easy, then it was those items that were too small or didn't fit right but kept anyway in case of an emergency. This coming from a woman who happily wears pj's all day? Gone.
43 articles of clothing! Not bad for a first pass. I am not done by any stretch of the imagination. I have a large closet and I guess I felt I needed to have it full. Even with getting rid of all this I still can't slide things aside to see what I am grabbing, but the hangers are almost lined up instead of all tangled and on top of each other. I should have gotten a before pic, but to be honest at the time it was "do this NOW, or you wont do this at all."

Now to figure out what to keep from the things I know I like and wear. I don't go anywhere that often but I don't have too many opportunities to just run to town to get what I need should something pop up. (95% of my clothes came from the thrift store.)

How do you balance the "I like this and it looks good on me, but I don't wear it that often?" situation?

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Reusable Coffee Filters

About two months ago I was having my morning coffee and for the umpteenth time, had coffee grounds in my cup. When I am camping I will take coffee any way I can get it; but I am at home. The stupid paper filter fell over. Again.

Fine. I can beat this and make my morning coffee the tranquil event it is supposed to be. I sat down with my chewy coffee and thought about when I worked in a restaurant how the coffee was all premeasured, sandwiched between two filters. No grounds in the cups there! But I can't afford to purchase coffee like that, also I rarely make a full pot of coffee anymore (I had to cut back). So I needed something like the restaurant had but versatile and reusable, and most important, make crunch free coffee.

After several attempts I ended up with this and made 14 of them:

Here are my notes on how I did it:

This is the filters in action. I realize my coffee pot is not the cleanest and I almost stopped to clean everything, but figured "keep it real". So this is as real as it gets.

It works beautifully. Glorious tranquil, commercial worthy mornings. Especially when I remember to get the coffee pot ready the night before and set the timer.

Now I set up a weeks worth of morning goodness and coffee is a breeze now. I can even make it in the mornings! Mornings are and issue, believe me.

Do you see what the coffeemaker is sitting on? There is a method to the madness. Remember I said mornings are an issue? First it's sitting on an old rack from a long ago broken toaster oven, but was the right size to lift the coffee maker up. The baking sheet was a smaller one that came with a set, that was entirely too small for any thing I would do with it (if I'm gonna make cookies, then by golly I make a LOT). Then all that is sitting on an old towel.

This is because I can not see. When I pour water into the back reservoir I have been known to just about miss it entirely and short out my coffee maker. And that definitely ruins a morning. The whole contraption is now where if I miss, the water is caught in the tray and the coffee maker is not sitting in water. The other benefit is when I am in my wheelchair I can pull the whole thing closer to me to be able to reach to make more or get a refill. My coffee maker has lasted my attentions for about three years now, and that's a record.

Back to the filters. Once the coffee is made the used grounds get dumped into an old coffee can for composting, the filter gets a rinse in the sink with the dishes and then thrown in the laundry to be washed. I don't want to wash clothes in coffee.

So what do you think? Is this something you would try?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

In The Craft Room

I am in the craft room today sewing up some gifts for Easter.

Makes things so much easier now that I have "filed" all (most) of my fabric. I just used either foam board or boxes to wrap the fabric around. The different sizes lets me know about how much I have. It keeps it nice and fairly neat. I can also put notes on the board to let me know what kind of fabric it is. 

I have to admit, sometimes I will just sit and stare at the fabric hoping for inspiration of what to do with some of it! About 90% was given to me, and I can't stand to have an idea of something I want to do and then have to wait because I don't have the supplies. Or money. So I treasure my fabric stash, and use it the best I can.

What are you doing this weekend?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Meal Planning

I am trying out this layout for my meal planning.

I did an inventory of my freezer (a good thing too - found some scary stuff! I have cooked for 6 to 8 people for so many years that I have a hard time cooking for just one. So I cook maybe 2x a week and put several meals into the freezer. Homemade TV dinners. It works very well for me, the freezing meals part; the planning, not so much. 

So the system I'm trying out: 
  1. inventory freezer so I don't plan something I don't have. 
  2. Figure out 6-8 meals to cook for the month. 
  3. I wanted the plan to be flexible without a lot of scribbles and cross offs, which using post it notes is a beautiful idea (probably got it from Pinterest). I wrote the meal down on the post it notes and placed them into the corresponding week I thought would feel like cooking it. 
  4. When I do my weekly layout I pull those appropriate post it's and place them in  the box "In The Kitchen" part of my weekly. I have changed my mind on what to cook 3x!

  5. Once I have cooked the meal I place the post it note back in the meal plan spread in the box marked "Cooked"
  6. Add the meals to the freezer inventory and how many is available. 
So far it's working.  As I have changed my mind so many times on weeklies on whether I felt like cooking and what I felt like eating, the use of the post it notes have really helped. No more scratching off, migrating, or ignoring it. 

What do you do for meal planning? How do you keep track? Please let me know! Any ideas or tips would be GREAT!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Keeping Up With My Critters

My memory is awful. Seriously. I will try to remember that I have done something and think I have not realizing that what I remember was DAYS ago. Now for some things that can fly under the radar, not so much with taking care of my animals. Sure, they let me know if the food bowl is empty, some fairly vocal about it! But they need consistency, reliability, and deliberate care.

So I keep track. Of everything. If they have been fed, when I cleaned their bedding or cage, disinfecting their bowls, flea meds, allergy meds, when we have gone for a walk and how far (Jager has a weight problem, plus she loves it).

Here is how I keep track in my Bullet Journal:

I also keep track of Birthdays or Home Days. All of my critters were from a shelter, except Sweety, my bird. Actual birthdays are not known but their ages are estimated and I KNOW when they came to live with me. So we celebrate Home Day. This month Sweety has been with me for 15 years! Mr. Chubbs, cat, for 5. My other cats, Boo and Maui have their own days too, and last month my dog Jager and I celebrated our first year together, she is now 9 years old.

So fun.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Yep, I'm Back

I'm back. I am not going to promise anything, but my goal is to be more consistent with my blog. Thinking on it, I just lost interest. But it was, and still is, my only link to the outside world. So to keep posting I need to make it interesting for ME. If it's interesting for YOU too, FANTASTIC!

To catch up on what has been happening for the last year(?) would be way too long. And boring. But the upshot is I moved. Again. I am back in the original house I had moved to when I first came here to mom's property. Thankfully, everyone has agreed they are now in the home they wish to stay in, so no more moving! Maybe.

Now on to content. I have been journaling for years. Mostly boring, all written, nothing to grab your interest (or mine). Then I came across "Bullet Journaling". Wow. You can make it fun, who'd a' thought that? What caught my interest were:
  • The INDEX! OMG such a simple thing but so needed for me! What an amazing concept.
  • Can make it however you want, "minimalistic" or scream in your face rainbow.
  • Collections. I would write lists upon lists and inventories and ideas all the time. Then I would lose them. Sigh.
The "Bullet Journal" concept incorporates all this and it was things I did already, just in a more organized way.

I am not going to go into how to start a Bullet Journal or any of that. What I am going to show you today is one of my "Collections".

 I was having to go through multiple storage containers to find what I wanted... which always seemed to be on the bottom. So I labeled the containers "A, B, C..." etc. and wrote down what is in them. I labeled them ABC so when I have multiple containers emptied (Christmas) when I put things back up or get rid of stuff, I don't have to relabel, just update the inventory.  Now I can just look in my journal when I need to find something and know exactly which container I need to get to, and my containers don't look so messy with different labels, which may or may not apply!

The numbered boxes is from when I moved and just haven't found a home for it yet or it's my daughter's. Yes, when I moved every single box was numbered and a short inventory listed as to what was in it. THAT was a huge help! I could then unpack what I needed (or asked my daughter to find box #? to finish up what we were doing)

It's all in my journal. I am so happy with it. Now I know which container I need.

As you can see, my journal is a simple $0.50 composition book. You can go all out and spend $10 -$50 on a journal, I don't have the money for that. Same for special pens and so on, I use pens from the Family Dollar and regular Crayola markers and colored pencils.