In my blog I plan to chat about nature, crafts, baking, gardening, beekeeping, family, and whatever else seems appropriate at the time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Family Today

   is one of those days....
       that you wonder how things are going...
            for some family members that you love.

One of my nieces is seeing a neurologist today, for double vision issues.

My nephew is having surgery on his hand.

My sister-in-law is interviewing for a job that she really wants. 

All happening today.

I've been in all of those situations, at one time or another in my life, except for the hand surgery, and my Shug has that one covered! 

It's all you think about.

It's all I've thought about today.  

Of course, there won't be any answers today.

But if you're praying peeps...then send a prayer or two up for them. 



Saturday, January 28, 2017

Five on Friday - Adding color to my life & a recipe!

I'm joining Amy at Love Made my Home for Five on Friday

 I thought I'd share some stuff I've been doing around the house, since I've been spending so much time in it lately!

I try to do what I can to bring color in my life during the winter months,  whenever possible.  One way to do this is have fresh flowers in the house.
I have this little table in the foyer, and I try to have fresh flowers on it when I can.
They are an easy way to add color to your home.
The table needs painted but I can't decide what color to paint.  Truth is I like the cream, and I like chippy, I just don't like the looks of this one.   
Bonus: I buy these flowers as a manager's special at our local Kroger grocery store. 
They were 1.99.  The tulips were 3.99. 
Another way to add color is to have blankets and afghans out, ready to snuggle up.  I have a basket with a couple of quilts in it, in the den.  But I saw on Helen Philips blog where she displayed her quilts on a chair.  I decided I could do that with my crocheted afghans!  I also have a couple on the back of the couch, chair, and on our bed.

  TWO - Hyacinth bulbs
Back in October, on this Five on Friday post, I recommended everyone buy Hyacinth bulbs, put them in a paper bag and in the drawer of your fridge (so they think they went through winter) then in six weeks, get them out.  So, if you did that then, now's the time to get them out!
I planted a few in soil, in this pot I made eons ago.
And I put one in a mug because it's just cute.
 and a few more in hyacinth vases.  Have you ever wondered why these vases were shaped so weirdly.  Well, now you know!  They are hyacinth bulb vases.

These hyacinths are going to smell heavenly when they bloom.

 THREE - Crochet
 We didn't have crochet group this week, and I missed it.
Debbie is sick, Kay is tired, Cheryl is busy and I've been all three, but feeling great today!
So, this is Debbie, and I've told you sometimes we call her "dammit Debbie."
(it's all in fun and she knows we mean it in an endearing way!)
This would be why we sometimes call her that.  Kay told her to stitch up the sides of her pillow.  Kay didn't say to make sure you finagle it so that those sides come out even. 
So Debbie handed her pillow off to Kay to fix.  I'm laughing right now.  You probably had to be there but this is why I love this group. 
Anyway, This pillow!  Isn't it gorgeous! And those colors! She made it out of leftover yarn from a blanket kit that she ordered from Attic 24 wool warehouse.
It's a gift for her friend, but I'm pretty sure her friend does not read my blog.
 More crochet fun... I got this blanket back out.  I put it away before Christmas because I had too much other stuff going on.  I'm pretty sure it's going to be a re-do.  I'm not feeling it.  I've been looking on Pinterest for ideas.
 The bag I started a couple of weeks ago is almost finished.  I need to add a couple more rows, line it, and put some handles on it. 

So how do you add color in your life?
Crazy weather...This is about as colorful as it gets outside this time of year.  Look closely and you will see several cardinals.  It doesn't look bad outside, but all of our schools were on a two hour delay because it was icy out and there was a lot of "black ice" on the roads.

 FIVE - Recipe
Patsy in Nixa, MO asked me for the recipe for the Zuppa Toscana soup I made for my Pa's birthday.  Here it is Patsy!
And let me start out by staying I got this recipe off of facebook, but I have made changes to it, and I'm posting my version of the recipe, not the FB version.

Zuppa Toscana
1 lb. Italian Sausage, spicy
(if you don't like spicy, use regular but it won't have that kick that you normally have in Zuppa)
4-6 Russet potatoes, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic OR 2 cloves (more or less to suit your taste)
32 oz. chicken broth
Bag of kale, chopped (you won't use the whole bag.  The original recipe calls for one cup, but I use three or four handfuls - it's good for you!)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbs flour or corn starch

1. Brown the sausage in a skillet.  If your are using links, I take the skin off and ground it while it's frying.  I also add the garlic into the sausage while it's frying.
2. Place sausage, chicken broth, potatoes in a slow cooker.  Add just enough water to cover the vegetables and meat. 
3.  Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 5-6 hours until potatoes are soft.

30 minutes before serving:
4.  In a small bowl, mix flour or corn starch into cream, removing lumps.
5. Add cream and kale to the crock pot, stir.
6.  Cook on high 30 minutes or until broth thickens slightly.
7.  Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.

And if I don't have time for the crock pot version, I cook it in a large stock pot on the stove top.
And there's my five!   Join others, or pay them a visit, at Amy's blog and see what other Five On Friday bloggers are doing!


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Rain Rain Go Away....

 We've had A LOT of rain lately.
It's ok...better than snow.
This WAS our creek last has flooded into the whole woods.

Here, you can see the damage the tornado did, back in August.
 The big clump in the center of the picture is a gigantic root ball from a tree that was uprooted.
This is normally dry land!

 We have had a lot of foggy mornings and evenings too.  You can see here, to the left, where the water came up out of the pond and went to the woods to the East.  See where those little trees are to the left of the picture.  Well, those are normally on land.
 Here's a  picture I took about a month ago.  If you look closely in front of that bunch of shrubbery, you can see a fox walking on our land, in front of the frozen pond.  The fox actually walked across the pond. 
 Here is that same shrubbery, in the middle of the flood. 
 I had mentioned in my last post that we did not get the predicted ice storm a week ago, but instead we got all of this rain.  And oh boy, was the wind ever blowing.  We were a bit nervous in this area of the country.  But all was ok the next day.

And this past weekend.....SUNSHINE!   First time we've seen sunshine in over a week!  And...
The temperature was in the 50's and 60's.  And guess what was buzzing around EVERY SINGLE HIVE!!!! 
I'm so hopeful!


Friday, January 20, 2017

Five on Friday - Happy Birthday Pa!


Tossed salad
Zuppa Toscano soup (I have a great recipe)
Texas garlic toast
Spaghetti with marinara sauce
Meatballs in sauce
Baked Ravioli
Pies (Dad's Birthday, Dad's choice!)
His birthday was last Sunday, but I'm just now getting around to posting pictures. 

We had Dad's birthday dinner at our house.
And it was just our immediate family.  17 people is enough to cook for, don't you think?
I don't know how Ma Walton did it!

We enjoyed some relaxing and catching up on each other's lives. 

Just to prove I was there!

This little guy was asking Mom what he should call them!  They are his Great Grandparents!

He looks all sweet here, and he is,
but he is also ALL BOY!

Happy Birthday Pa!
81 years young!


I gave my brother the hat I made him!  I think he liked it.

And I gave my sister the scarf I made her, and I think she liked it.
She had been asking for a scarf to wear to her daughters soccer games, in their school colors.


A lot of people ask how I have the energy or time for entertaining. 
So, here is how I personally do it. 
I plan and prepare ahead. 
I'm a list maker.  And I love pretty pens and papers and notebooks. 
And I like to plan.

I bought this little notebook holder last summer in Nashvville, IN at the Mulberry Cottage. 
It's a very artsy town and this is a hand-made fun little arts- craftsy notebook holder. 
 It holds those mead size notebooks.  I'm not advertising, I'm just showing you what I use for planning.  It keeps everything together and there are pockets for pens and papers on the inside.
 I don't know about you, but if I don't write it down, I tend to forget!
Look at this notebook.  Looks like an old McCalls pattern!  I use it for crafty ideas.

So, back to planning.....
*I clean house at the beginning of the week, and I touch up at the last minute.
*Mom and I went grocery shopping on Thursday evening.
On Friday, I dug out some of the pans, bowls, and glasses that I will need for Sunday
And on Saturday, I did any cooking that could be done ahead of time.  For example, I fried the sausage for the soup and ravioli sauce.  And I would have actually made the soup on Saturday, if we weren't waiting to see if we were going to get an ice storm. 
(We did not get it by the way - but I will show you what we did get in a later post)
So anyway, you get the idea....plan ahead, do what you can ahead, and enjoy the day!
I also set out what I will need ahead of time. 

afterwards.....relax!  You deserve it!

We've been fighting off colds/flus etc. and I just haven't felt like doing much this week, including getting on the computer.  So for those of you who have left comments, I really do appreciate it, and I am going to spend some time in the next few days visiting your blogs.  Thank you so much.

And after I visit your blogs I'm going to go visit blogs that have participated in Amy's FIVE ON FRIDAY!  You should too!   There are some very creative bloggers out there!


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Crochet and a book!

I got a text from someone I know that said she is going to have a market in May.  She asked me if I wanted to participate.  And I happen to have some yarn that I bought years ago to make a blanket.  It's cotton and it's ocean/nautical colors.  And since the purchase of that yarn years ago, I no longer make blankets out of cotton. 
 So the other day I got that yarn out, and started on a bag. 
I'm thinking beach bags, out of cotton, nautical colored yarn.  What do you think?
 I started it over a few times, trying to decide how to go with it.  I have plan A, B, and C on it in this picture below.
 B won
I'm sort of winging the color pattern.   And if I don't like it, hopefully someone will.  I plan on making each bag different, until I run out of this yarn.   And then I'll feel good for using up stash!  (hopefully I'll get it used up before the new yarn we all ordered comes in.   I saw this quote tonight somewhere and I like it.  " I have a yarn stash and I apologize to no one for having it! It brings me joy!)
 I'm using the pattern from Lucy at Attic 24's blog.  I've made a few of these bags so they are kind of easy for me, which is why I feel comfortable enough to change the pattern a little bit.  And I do enjoy making them.  It felt good playing with this yarn and this comfortable bag pattern.  It's summery and I AM A SUMMER GIRL! 

And I have LOVED this book.  Little Beach Street Bakery  by Jenny Colgan.  It's the first time in a long time that I have read a book and will be sad when it's over!  I love the characters in this book.  It's about a young lady who has a business with her boyfriend and it goes belly-up. Her boyfriend breaks up with her and she has to start her life over, from nothing.  She ends up moving to an island town, in a run down flat, above a decrepit bakery.  I love islands, harbors, baking, and there is even a beekeeper in this book! However, do not pay attention to the beekeeping terms the author uses....for example you do not "card the combs" to get the honey out of the hive.   And really, I can't imagine the main character in the book doing everything she does and still having time to sleep, let alone have a life.  HOWEVER!  Get past that's a's fiction...just get to know the characters and enjoy!  I am!

What could be better...
a new beachy color coffee cup
beach bags in ocean/nautical colors
an island, a harbor, baking, beekeeping = A Good Book
Oh, and bonus!  The book has recipes in it!
And it's hump day!
Joining Ginny at Small Things Blog for Yarn Along.

Now I think I'll go bake something!  (kidding - gonna get the pjs on and crochet!)