Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
The pie, cake and rolls are baked, the salads are chilling in the fridge, the potatoes are baking in a crockpot and the prime rib is smoking outside.
Jeff is reading his Kindle,
Jimmy is texting
Bobby, Bridgette, John, Nina and Elizabeth will here for celebrating.
Merry Christmas to you all!
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." (KJV)
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Do you do much baking and have your priced vanilla lately? Then you know how expensive it is.
I knew Nina had made some vanilla a while back and wondered if she had any to spare. She did not have a whole lot of vanilla made up, but she did have 1/4 pound of whole vanilla beans.
And she gave them to me! of course she knows there will plenty of vanilla that I will share when I get this batch made.
So, Jeff helped me pick out some vodka and rum at the liquor store. He even split all the vanilla beans and bottled them all up.
In 6 months, we will have lots of vanilla!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
|Fresh green wreath made by my brother, I think this is the 4th year he has made a Christmas one for me. He has also made Thanksgiving and Easter wreaths.|
|close up of a little bird on the wreath|
|green tree with lots of birds and mostly red ornaments|
|and a white tree - it looks better in person|
|the butler gets a Santa hat this time of year.|
Theo is usually a good sport but he draws the line at wearing hats or sweaters for that matter
|the cutest Christmas decoration at our house is Gavin, he is holding a Santa doll my mom made about 50 years ago.|
Monday, December 13, 2010
To make a cherry pie in the fall in Oklahoma, you need a frozen bag of tart cherries. They sell sweet cherries too but they won't give your pie that tangy sweet and sour taste. I found mine at IGA for $3.65 for a 20 ounce bag.
In a saucepan, combine a bag of cherries, 1 cup sugar and 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring almost constantly.
Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the juices thicken and become translucent.
Remove from heat and stir in the 1 tablespoon butter and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.
Bake in the preheated 375 oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. It will bubble alot so you might want to put something under the pie to catch any drips.
|This is Pilgrim Pie. I first made this easy and low-cost pie when we had 4 hungry children to feed. It is kind of like pecan pie but with coconut and oatmeal instead of the nuts.|
Monday, November 29, 2010
|Nina did this shirt. She used brown Rit dye to change the white onesie. She made the slice of pie from my scraps. The "cutie pie" embroidery was done by some home-ec students practicing with a sewing machine that does monograming.|
|a sleeve - he made the sleeve more fitted by taking in the inside seam, cutting off the knit cuff. The design is made using a star stencil and spray bleach.|
|back of hoodie|
he sewed stars and strips fabric inside the hood
|front side - he added some brocade fabric and pockets from old jeans. |
very simple sewing - see the frayed edges? that is how the expensive items at Road Bone are done too.
|this is the bottom front. Bobby sewed on a jeans pocket but he left the top part unsewn so it still works like a pocket.|
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Friday evening, move all the furniture out of living room. Then rip up the "white" carpet, tack strip and pads.
|Buy a big pile of supplies - many boxes of tiles, a saw. things to measure with, buckets, rags. sponges. grout, mortar, spacers, gloves, knee pads -|
|take all your furniture and smush it into other rooms -|
|more displaced furniture...|
|Be very happy and thankful that your hardworking son comes to help -I think "help" does not even describe how much work he did, he was so willing and did everything he could|
|We started just before 8 a.m. Saturday morning, this end of the room has straight sides and it went pretty fast.|
Sunday, October 31, 2010
October is just about over and it was mostly painless - here is how I did on what I planned at the first of the month.
•The windows are open and letting in fresh cool air - I can still hear my neighbors A/Cs cycling on and off when I am out walking
October was mostly mild as far as Oklahoma weather goes. We did run the A/C a few days for very short periods. The heater never had to be fired up. I should get a utility bill in about a week and think it will be very small.
•our dishwasher is not getting the dishes clean so I will be hand washing as I don't want to buy a new DW right now. I know some studies say that dishwashers cost less and use less water than hand washing but I disagree. I even did it and watched my bill for a month and it went down about $11 that month.
I like the idea of washing by hand but most days I was just so busy with grandbabies or other house things that I did not do much handwashing. I bought a different brand of dw det and it seems to do a better job of cleaning too - Cascade with bleach, it is a powder in a big green box
•cooking and eating all meals at home unless there is a really good reason to eat out
we ate "out" a total of 5 times, we had takeout doughnuts for breakfast twice, ate at Chipotle twice and had delivery pizza from Hideaway once. All other meals were cooked and eaten at home.
•continue to shop sales and use coupons wisely Yes!
•get started on Christmas gifts. well, sort of but just barely! I do have some ideas in the planning stage
•Stay home! this is no sacrifice at all for me. I like to stay home. Hubby likes to do errands on weekends anyway so I will try to do my shopping and errands with him. That will save gas and wear and tear on my vehicle. I did this one. I bought a tank of gas at the very first of October and did not buy anymore gas until Oct. 27th. My vehicle was not really empty, just starting to get low and I don't like it to be too low.
•re-read my TightWad Gazette Complete - I've got it out and leafed through a few pages last night - No, I still have this book out but have not re-read it all the way, maybe 75 pages or so. It has lots of good ideas but many of them just don't seem to apply to me right now.
•my kitchen and household supplies are pretty well stocked. I don't want to totally deplete them because I think it is good idea if possible to keep a reasonable stockpile. But I will I use things on hand for meals and hopefully still continue to keep things bought on sale. I did use a lot of on hand ingredients and the pantry is a little more empty but still pretty full. My goal was to spend $100 or less per week, I did go over that a little but I did some stocking up that I did not have to do.
•baking bread at home Yep, baked all our bread except for a few loaves I bought this week at Dollar Tree for $1 a loaf, 3 of them went in the freezer.
•my stepson and his wife got 2 milk cows last week. They brought us a gallon of their fresh milk on Tuesday, fresh farm milk with a thick layer of cream on top. Very good stuff! - we've had 5 gallons of this "real" milk and I've used it for chocolate pudding, coconut pudding, cream gravy, pancakes, home made ice cream. It is really nice. I have not yet been successful making butter from the cream even though I have tried 5 times.
•and the big "sacrifice" for me will be no or very little soda. I do love diet soda but I am only drinking one a day now and don't plan on increasing that and may even give them up all together. Iced Tea will just have to satisfy. Really big FAIL on this one, diet dr. pepper has been my almost constant companion. Maybe I will do better next month.
We've been talking about re-doing our floors for quite some time and we're undecided about buying new carpet and trying to get hardwood or a Pergo type floor. All those options would of been at least $2500, probably quite a bit more.
Well, if you have been reading my other posts, you know we are laying ceramic tile all by ourselves! It has been some trial and error, there is still the (big) living room and the a hall way to do. But we finished the dining room and other hall way today.
I think laying tile could be done by most anyone but it is messy, takes lots of figuring and some patience.
Our DIY option of laying the tile should cost less than $1000. We are having to work for it but the significant savings is worth it.
November is a new month but I expect to continue on and hopefully complete some of the undone tasks from October. How about you?
Monday, October 25, 2010
Remember just a couple of weeks ago that I posted this dining room's makeover was done?
well, not quite! Our house has white carpet in most all the rooms and after 8 years of hard living on it with messy adults, dogs and now grandbabies, it was not as fresh as I would prefer.
I've never much liked carpet anyway because of how hard it is to clean and to know if it is clean.
So - after 3 trips to Lowes this weekend, one trip was just to look, second trip was to buy one box of the tiles we thought we liked to see if they would coordinate with our current tile and the 3rd trip was to buy 32 boxes of tiles, borders, etc.
We plan on replacing the carpet in our dining room, living room and one hall.
Jeff ripped up the carpet in the dining room and it came up easy with no glue holding it down.
So, if all goes well, I guess we will start tiling soon. Nope, we have never done it before except for some peel and stick tiles we put in our old house.
And if it goes badly when we try to do it, I guess we will do all the prep work and then hire someone to do the tiling.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
For about a week now, I've been working over our "office" that is mostly my craft room. I did not take any before pictures, it was just starting to look like a junk room with nothing hanging on the walls. This room was Nina's bedroom and I don't think it ever got decorated after she moved out almost 5 years ago.
All the furniture pieces I had to work with were good. The room just needed some cleaning and organizing, as well as some color coordination and things to put on the walls.
I looked through what I had and ended up reusing some window treatments, thrift store fabric, and a bunch of frames from my craft closet. Apparently I never get rid of frames and I have a lot that came from yard sales for 25 cents or so.
The only new expense for this room was 2 cans of black spray paint. It was used on a wood chair, piano stool, several frames and a bulletin board.
|Before - just an average office-type chair|
|I did a search for tutorials to recover office chairs and make slipcovers|
|the pieces pinned on and the sewing line marked with a pen with disappearing ink.|
|I guess I could stay busy with this fabric stash and all these magazines and books for a long time!|
|this toile valance used to be in the dining room.|
I like this new room very much and I think I will do lots of crafting and sewing in here.
|My chair has arms - so to cover them, I cut out an oval shape, sewed bias tape around the edge and used that as a casing for elastic. I just pulled up the elastic to get a snug fit, then tied it in a knot and hid the ends under the cover.|
Monday, October 11, 2010
Way back in August, I started a re-do of this dining room. Then in September, I sewed up the new curtains and swapped around some furniture. This weekend, Jeff did this woodworking project of building a pair of shelves to hold his plate collection.
He stained the shelves to match the buffet table and the dining room chairs. He worked hard and measured and measured again. He was worried they would be crooked or off-center but I think all his efforts paid off, and he got them straight and even.
Jeff's grandmother had a huge plate collection. A big wall in her farm house was covered with plates, many were gifts from friends and relatives. She had a lot of souvenier plates and state plates and holiday plates. She let all the relatives pick out the ones they wanted and she wrote their names on the back with permanent marker.I think Jeff picked out the classiest and most valuable of all the ones she had, at the time, he was just a kid and had no idea what they were, he just liked them.
After he got them, they pretty much went into a cabinet. Years later, we saw one of the plates on a British tv show called Bargain Hunt and Jeff started doing some online research on them. He bought a few on Ebay and then we found 2 more at the Antique Mall in our town.
This summer, he got the oldest and hardest to find one, The Bookworm, on Ebay and it completes the set.
I really like the plates on the shelves, and how nice that they are mostly green and red and match my green yard sale table cloth and the vintage rose fabric I used on the curtains and stool!
|the 93 was Grandmother Pearl's numbering system. She had over 200 plates and Jeff's were 93 and 96.|
So making this room pretty again has taken awhile but I am really happy with it. There is still one huge blank wall but I can live with it.
This project really went with my Tightwad October theme too. We did spend money on the wood, stain and hangers to make the shelves. But everything else was just re-used and things that we already had.
I am linking this to Cottage Instincts Make it 4 Monday. This is a wonderful blog with lots of links to other decorating projects.