Thursday, May 9, 2019

Some crochet time in the mornings.

After my son leaves for work every morning, I have about an hour to 90 minutes before the mail comes, so I try to be ready to do something on crochet or stitching for at least that long. Sometimes I also pick it up while we watch TV.  One series we have been watching is Everybody Loves Raymond. I had never seen it until I moved here with Mama, and she and Daddy had loved it, so she and I watched reruns on some channel on DirecTV.  Then after she fell and didn't really enjoy much TV, she still loved Raymond, but it wasn't on any more. I purchased the seasons one by one from Amazon, and we watched them one more time in order. It has been so much fun (since I own them) to watch each episode once again with my son, who really identifies with Robert! We laugh so much and sometimes get really quiet because we see ourselves and our dear family in these wonderful actors.  I think it is one of my all-time favorites.

For the past few years I haven't watched anything regularly on weekly TV.  I do look forward to The Good Witch, and I was disappointed Hallmark moved it to June due to the When Calls the Heart Mess-up. I know WCTH is a great show, but I was always suspicious.  I just don't watch things that I think are designed to make people cry. Bad enough, I cry on Raymond!

When I started to crochet again a few years ago for a hobby, I told myself I would just do Granny stitched afghans or scarves until I was good and tired of that.  Last year I decided to branch out and try new ideas. This one is called the Fern Stitch done in Tea Cakes yarn, which I really enjoy. The colorway is Red Velvet Cake.  I also did a little lap granny in the same colors, but the photo I took this dark, rainy morning has the green showing up as grey.  It's a fun green color...  I finished the afghan today and am almost done with the scarf. I have a shawl nearly done in spring multicolors and another in shades of purples and lavendars. I couldn't do any of the unusual stitches if I had not used YouTube.  If anyone thinks they might like to pick up the crochet hook and begin or start over, I highly recommend their tutorials. I enjoy several full time. My favorites are Jayda InStitches, Bag-o-day Crochet, Fiber Spider, Marly Bird, and Fiber Flux.  

I love to read recipe books... almost as if I were reading a novel or something. I recently came across this oldie but goodie...  But imagine how sweet to find inside the research of my mother, complete with page numbers. They all sound good to me!

I have gradually been working in a little American color in preparation for Memorial Day. Mother's Day weekend is right upon us, and I think we have some fun ideas to keep the weekend happy and full of good memories and nice present moments, as well. If I'm asked, I will be happy to make some fruit and waffles for a little brunch for my son and me. Or...  I could be persuaded to order out Chinese or something else...  We shall see. Kiss your mamas... in person if you can or in your heart of hearts if that's no longer possible. Mothers will know..  They usually know all, see all, forgive all, and love without ceasing... And we usually do the same right back.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Darling Buds of May

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

It's almost 6 a.m. and getting to be time to start the Chicken Enchiladas for lunch.

I didn't post much in April because I actually did not accomplish anything much. Have you ever been soul tired? I guess that is where I find myself ... just doing a heavy amount of sighing and rewashing that last load from the washer that didn't get transferred. I can't put any blame on anything or anyone.

I have several fun projects to show you, so stay tuned for those as I finish them up and snap some pictures. I spent a few days making a few photo books for friends and family. With both paper crafts and crochet I really love to find a YouTube video and then copy their ideas, putting mt own spin on them.

We had a little birthday party for a friend. For several years now we three have tried to get together here weekly, taking turns either cooking or buying the evening meal. This  delicious meal and homemade bread was courtesy of the non-birthday girl. So actually all I had to do was set the table and spiff up the house.

So... May is here, and the showers and rains continue to brighten our land. Have a great week. I will return soon with some news of accomplishments (fingers crossed for luck, not fibbing).

Whimsy and Hugs!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Images of the Season

Whimsy and Hugs!

I am thinking beyond the season and looking forward to a change around here in decor! Thought I would share some images from Pinterest... How are you planning for Easter? I am not sure if we'll have guests... or not.

I usually send  greeting cards for the holidays, but just couldn't find the right ones this year. I can't say I am actually all that prepared for the bunny trail. My son had /has that virus that invades the whole spirit. He has missed work and soldiered on when he just felt rotten. And I? Well, been doing some fun projects, crocheting, watching YouTube, and... just generally hanging out...

Happy memoriers of Easters past and even this year be yours!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Easter peeps!

Whimsy and Hugs!

I have possibly done all the Easter I will for this year. A few bunnies and those killer bunny plates are missing, but... it isn't really about the bunnies, is it?

I will try to get some photos without my li'l Easter ham in there.... lol

I must admit the Chinese restaurant does General Zso and fried rice better than I do.

All set for a little friends' party last Saturday night. I love it when friends just pick up where we left off. 

If your family likes a little zing, I really recommend this Mississippi Pot Roast. I have seen recipes for crock pot and oven, but I made it in the Instant Pot. My crew gave it 5 stars! I didn't add any butter.

Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast with butter, ranch, au jus, pepperoncinis, and a nice chuck roast, this is an absolute classic pot roast. You can make it so much faster in your pressure cooker!
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pressure cooker pot roast
Servings4 - 6 servings
Calories442 kcal
AuthorSandy Clifton
  • 3-6 lbs Chuck Roast, cut into 1 lb chunks of even thickness
  • 3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 small Onion, chopped (optional, if you don't use the onion, omit the veg oil, too)
  • 9 Pepperoncinis, whole or chopped
  • 1/2 cup Pepperoncini Juice from the jar
  • 3/4 cup Low Sodium Beef Broth, (or water)
  • 1 (1 oz) Packet of dry Ranch Dressing
  • 1 (1 oz) Packet of Au Jus (or packet of brown gravy mix)
  • 1/2 - 1 Stick of Butter, unsalted
For Gravy
  • 3 Tbsp Flour
  • 3 Tbsp Softened Butter, unsalted
  1. Turn pot on Sauté mode (normal). When the display reads "Hot" add the oil.
  2. When oil heats up, place meat in one layer into the pot and don't move it for 5 full minutes (Don't brown for less than that).
  3. Turn meat over and cook for another 5 full minutes.
  4. Remove the meat to foil or a dish you can cover. Wrap it to keep it warm.
  5. Deglaze the pot: Add onion to pot and stir, add a bit of the beef broth or a small amount of water if there is not enough moisture to loosen the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pot until the bottom is free of the stuck on brown bits.
  6. Add the pepperoncinis and their juice, beef broth, au jus and ranch packets, and butter. Stir to combine.
  7. Turn off the sauté mode.
  8. Add the meat back into the pot.
The above step is optional. You can just add everything to the pot (except oil), and start pressure cooking it. Browning the meat first gives an added depth of flavor.
  1. Close lid and set knob to Sealing position.
  2. Set to Pressure Cook/Manual for 60 minutes. High Pressure.
  3. When cooking cycle ends, let it sit undisturbed and count up to 15 min (15 minute natural pressure release, or NPR).
  4. After the 15 minute NPR, turn off IP, and manually release the remaining pressure until the pin drops, and open the lid to a delicious pot roast!
  1. Remove the pot roast to a plate and cover.
  2. Turn the Sauté function back on.
  3. Mix the flour and butter together until well combined.
  4. When the liquid is starting to simmer, add the mixture to the pot, stirring well until thickened. Then turn off the pot and add the roast back in. 
  5. Enjoy with mashed or baked potatoes, or over rice.
Recipe Notes
Alternate "Dump and Go" Method:
Add the roast to the pot (still cut it), then the rest of the ingredients in order (minus the flour and softened butter for gravy), and cook on High Pressure for 80 minutes. 15 minute natural release (If you have a roast that is over 4 lbs, and can't cut it, then increase the cook time to 90 minutes).
Adapted from original recipe by Robin Chapman.

Happy April Fool's Day! I was not pranked this year. My son stayed home from work with a nasty bronchitis. He told me this morning he didn't feel like fooling me. I then knew how punk he felt. 

Loved this towel.... It snowed really close to here yesterday, and it's pretty cold tonight. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

A Peek at my Hobby

Whimsy and Hugs!

I really love papercrafts! I made this cute photo album for my "niece" last week as she celebrated a milestone birthday. I bought this gorgeous two-sided paper (12 x 12) and the matching ephemera from Amazon, and I created a basic album from old greeting cards. 

I have a new system of rolling carts that moves wherever I feel like creating. It is usually the kitchen table. 

I had a lot of family photos that I was able to find on Facebook and also took pictures of recipes in the handwriting of most of her family. This one is my Gramma's quick cake... in her sweet pointy handwriting. 

This was the cover... She loves to fish, a passion inherited from her great-grandmother, a beautiful woman we called Ma. 

My talent and skill  still definitely lie in the "needs improvement" stage. However, I am going to improve if practice makes perfect. 

Happy birthday!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

March Madness!

This month has wings! I've been amazed at how fast the weeks are going. All my friends are "high fiving" and "doing the BUMP" because it is Spring.  They keep shouting, "Finally!" as if this year had more than the usual number of Winter days. I would secretly like to post a big pumpkin with the words.... "Only 186 days until Autumn!!! ---- now, see how silly you sounded?"  But I can't do that. My gramma adored Spring, and so do I.... in its season. 

Since we moved the TV above the fireplace, we enjoy it more, but decorating prime real estate was sacrificed. Nothing looks too pretty up there, partly due to the cords, partly maybe the stark black and red... but mainly everything has to be low. Oh, well... as with other holidays, I haven't found the Easter box of decorations yet.

Callie waits for my son every day. Daylight Savings Time only confused her one day... (She's got me beat.)

Made Asian food for St.Patrick's Day-- General Zso oven chicken, vegetable fried rice, and sauteed green beans. I cook a lot of Irish food all the time, so it sounded fun..

Today I pushed the season myself and did Cheater BLT's without the L... or actually the B.... and with grocery store T's.... But Duke Mayo.... da bomb!

I did some of this napping this week, too.... but she is way, way cuter.

Have fun...

Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Spring Back! Kwitcherbellyaching!

See how silly that adage is? We could very easily fall on our faces and spring back.... It is the same as finding definitions from context on a Missouri standardized test. (and likely any state)  It helps a ton to already know the definition....  My favorite example from a MO Language Arts Test.

Father XXXXXXed wildly in the street when his lawn mower caught fire.
             A.  screamed   
             B. waved his arms
             C. ran
             D. called for help

Yeah... Now the x's stand in for the word, which was "gesticulated" and since we know the word or at least gestures, we can mark B. But.... the skill tested there isn't definition by root or knowledge. It was context... Oh, well... Let it go!

The past few years I have complained about Daylight Savings Time, so I won't do that this year. I am honestly sick of hearing so many complaints about winter. But then isn't it complaining to say that? I would estimate I am kinda cranky today.

Today was pretty, with its wind and mud and lady bugs! I need some kind of motivation toward positive motion... I have become either a recluse or a homebody. Sigh... So shoot me.  I enjoy hanging out here, and I adore company... Not a fan of going out.

I have my XXXXXs.
          A. excuses
          B.  faults
          C. reasons
          D. All of the above

Yep. You guessed it.

I'm sprinkling a few photos of Easters gone by, and they have motivated me to drag out the totes and throw up some rabbits.  bring forth the Spring treasures and create a light-hearted ambiance... I've decorated already for St. Patrick's day, and I will show ya my Irish charm in a future post.    .... can Spring be far behind?

Happy March. 10th! Wow!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019


What waits for us in windows marked with dawn?
First slant of light invites us with its show.
Today there's snow that layers safe our lawn.
But next we'll see new grass begin to grow.

And some with blankets warm cling to the cold,
While friends reach forth strong arms to beg for sun.
Are we content too long and then grow old?
Or will tomorrow tease us as we run?

So snagged in memory, shrug away the gifts.
Too chilled by loss to laugh and hug the day.
Or ever marching, working future shifts,
We miss the prize and lose our chance to play.

And so with questions sunlight touches field...
Shall Spring rush in if Winter does not yield?

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Spring Cleaning...

While I am not one to push any season....[except Autumn], I am going with the traditional Spring Cleaning, at least in the six rooms we "live in" of this 9 room house.

Oh, I remember with devotion the Spring and Fall cleaning sessions. I now know why Mom and Gramma were so insistent. Spring is for eliminating the dust and soot from Gramma's coal furnace and Mom's fireplace. We used to make this lovely ritual a two-household affair. All 3 of us tackled it with the proper tools, and we could knock both places out in a week or 10 days.

I looked forward to the food [shocker]. Gramma always had a pot of her vegetable soup and some light rolls. Mom's go-to for Spring cleaning was always potato soup and brownies. The brownies were for my dad who would come home from work and... go to work on the heavy chores here.

Fall cleaning got rid of the dust fogged in through opened windows and breezy hot weather.

While current furnaces and air conditioners help this some, I see such a difference in a room after a few hours of "tlc." I have a few goals for this year that have not happened in a while:

Wash the chandelier/prisms
Have all windows washed inside and out. I can do the inside, but that outside is getting pretty "loud."
and Decorations for holidays

It feels funny to say Spring Cleaning when it isn't Spring and, in fact, it's 2 degrees! So tomorrow if it's cold, I think I'm going to crochet, cross-stitch, bake lemon bars, have some more chili, and start watching the series Victoria. 

Okay....  So I lied in my title. However, I can check off this week's list I did muster... living room, floor to ceiling----- minus lighting and windows----, the kitchen cabinets and hutches... never-ending laundry .....and my specialty, uh... Chili taster... lol

Have a good week.