Wednesday, May 17, 2023

My Porch Post

Well... at last I'm ready to post these pictures of the front porch.  Nope... I haven't completely decorated and fixed it up but... it's time to see something.
I had a really great workman for this job. He washed the siding, painted the trim and eaves, gave my ceiling a new look and purpose, painted my ramp at the door...and built the porch rails for the steps.  
Yes, that's my dear little"haint blue" ceiling I've always wanted.  Mom and I used to wish for it when we'd sit outside, but we both thought the ceiling was vinyl... I asked him if he could paint vinyl, and he reached up to be sure... now maybe he could have, but my ceiling wasn't vinyl after all.  This is the superstitious color of choice from the Olde South to keep the spirits away... They are purported to be skittish of the blue, thinking it to be water... plus I just like blue! 
That's my dear friend sitting with me on the porch!  
And my other friend visiting that evening took these pictures! 
And here I am... dreaming away... (in my dreams...)
My current project between just nit- picky little crochety bouts with this 'n that... my craft room/ Studio... I mean... I sit out here or lie in bed and make up my mind to pare down, eliminate, get real about what I want to work with... but then when I'm in there, everything looks like a possibility! I dunno..  it's just not a huge important concern in the great scheme of life, huh? 
This was a tornado not to far from here... and the hail in our nearest town. 
And a shot of my porch in progress.
Have a great May! 
A cluttered little corner in my living room!  

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Leveling Up

It seems like a long time since my last post, and... it has been! I really thought I wtote a blog in April, but I guess not.  I hope Spring has been good to everyone.  The little tendrils of fresh life curl around each corner, and once again dear Winter is leaving us.   Here in Missouri the Olde Woman Winter is leaving just a few jabs of vindictive, frosty spite as she pokes her chilled fingers and 29 degree nights into our blossoming Magnolia trees and fresh buds... "Take that!" She hisses as the days loop into Summerlike splendor.  
I've been busy with my latest projects. I created six journals for a friend to give aa gifts... I honestly had to stop working on my craft studio because of the lady bugs in there!  I think they're called beetles, and they are absolutely horrible until warm enough weather to move out to the fields.  I called my exterminator, but he said I needed to have sprayed in August! So everyone is on notice to remind me to do that in 2023.   They are just mocking, little pests that remind me of cute Mary Englebreit designs I once loved... but they bite! And they stink when smooshed, crawl into every cup of tea and can of pop.   Ah, well. They're leaving at last! 
I've been fighting with a truly irritating health issue.   I'm not sure if it is a case of Shingles or an allergic reaction, but I have had just  miserable skin this Spring.  A doctor did see it and said it wasn't Shingles, but another doctor was just as sure today that it is.   Another suspect is a different Pharmaceutical company for my Rx. . They've had several recalls for my particular drug due to allergens and toxins in the filler.  Since my plan isn't accepted in the other pharmacy, I'm paying out of pocket for a different manufacturer until open enrollment... No wonder they have peeps  retire at 65... there wouldn't be any time for work with all this nonsense to deal with! 
Today was Phase One Redux and then negative Phase Two of my big Level Up plan.  I wrote down a list of little, bothersome areas of life and the house, and I created a plan of attack to fix every one... So far,  as you can see by the numbering system, I'm two steps back and I think one step forward.  
SETBACK 1: I had the brain child to contact a cleaner service to deep clean my house. It has slipped into really bad shape through some episode of purple funk my mind has been in.    Lol. I was even okay with the$25/ hour times two cleaners to deep clean.  I thought I'd get it up to snuff and keep it that way.  They had to cancel, (thankfully)  and I woke up.    I've been deep cleaning slowly... and feeling so domestic and smug and rich! But boy, howdy I am s.l.o.w! I wouldn't pay me $25/hour.
Today SETBACK #2: I bought three chairs and a coffee table from a furniture store in my nearby town.  I just had a friend go look and sit in them because I honestly cannot maneuver any more,  and neither can my dear son.  The store owner really didn't want to sell sight unseen,  and repeatedly told me they had a no-return policy... [Yes,  that's foreshadowing!) Chairs delivered today. Nope. NEITHER ONE OF US COULD DEAL WITH ANY OF THE THREE.  I did like the coffee table!  And I really got the living room cleaned up... and that owner was kind enough to accept a return with a pretty good-sized re-stocking fee...  
So... I've updated long enough!  I do have a great project that is almost done.  I'll get you updates and photos and try to post before another month slips away.  

Happy April, dear ones! 


Monday, March 20, 2023

Anyway the Wind Blows

Hello, March Winds!

Just a little bit of fun for Spring's debut into our lives this year. I had hoped to capture a huge flock of birds that met me at my front door, but by the time I got my camera, they had moved twice and were just exiting the neighbor's huge field. What a symphony of Spring, though. I really loved that.

I had decided to roll the dice and buy an order called "Lot: Quilts" from a seller on Etsy who is located in India. These are simply two layers of fabric with no filler that are hand stitched...  I had to wait quite a while longer than they had said, but today was the day they came.  I liked them okay for what I had hoped...  just something cheerful and lightweight to throw outside when people visit, or to drape over a table. I had no choice on the colors, but these are fine...  I used two on my bed, and they immediately got the Callie stamp of approval. Oh, that girl loves something new... She couldn't wait until I tucked in the corners!

I have a huge slowcooker of Primavera Vegetables ready for supper. They smell so good. I think I am going to serve them over a nice baked potato.  My son may call me out on no meat, but I just don't have any ready and I'm pretty much sure we won't miss it this night. I used all the vegetables in my crisper except the lettuce! Bell peppers, cabbage slaw mix, carrots, onions, green onions, black olives, tomatoes...  and then organic chicken broth, that new seasoning called Farm Dust, and a ton of Italian Herbs.  It better be good because it made a whole potful.

I've been working on books and journals. I have an order of six to finish up this week. I posted a few on Etsy, and I even sold and mailed one. I will say the Ladybugs or beetles have been slightly deterrent for my joy to just bubble forth. Since the craft room or Studio I inhabit is on the Southern exposure.... yuck..  If I complained before, just know I don't mind complaining every single day about them...  lol... You are welcome. Everyone please remind me to spray in August for next year's crop.

Have a lovely Spring

Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, March 2, 2023

March Madness

Welcome to early signs of Spring as we face winds and storms almost every day.  My goodness! It's so muddy. The young man who hauls things finally extracted his trailer from my side yard... after a series of lemony snicket unfortunate attempts that caused him to need backup! He FINALLY brought a few friends... and two trucks ... and a swath of tow straps... Now that part of the yard has the appearance of a wild caribou's stomping ground.   

despite all that, I'd say March "came in" like a lamb.  I've always loved this month of the year.  I'm actually leaving the house tomorrow, even though I think we're getting nasty weather. I have a date with an Echo gram... wish me luck. 
We've been treated to a night view of Jupiter and Venus... Wow!
Just Wow!
I know... I'll stop. Don't let me say that I'm not posting a picture of Ur----.. lol I taught middle school for far too many years to pass that up! So sorry.
Tonight I'm making buffalo chicken gluten free macaroni and cheese and fresh broccoli. I'm not a complete fan of gluten free products; I just buy them sometimes to try to help my son.  I personally think the gluten-free prices are the newest extortion! And sometimes they hurt my tummy!
I'm on a quest for a better system of cat litter. So any of you have a good plan?  We've tried Martha Stewart"s Pretty Litter, but I didn't care for that odd odor... 😕 I currently just scoop daily but it's just so tiresome and messy... Callie loves to scatter so I have to sweep every day... Lucky she's worth it... lol
Have a great weekend! 

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Italian Cabbage Soup... and Sunday

Hello, dear ones...
Today is warm and March-like, even though the calendar still tells me it's not quite Spring. Several hopefuls in my neighboring town have announced they've seen robins strutting around their yards. I always cringe at news like that because, after all,  it is Missouri, and we have pretty big snows even into April!  I think of that song, "Poor Little Robin...  walkin' walkin' walkin' to Missouri. He can't afford to fly." In 1952 the Sammy Kaye orchestra recorded that song, written by Bob Merrill....  Finally... something a little bit before my time! But I do recall a slogan,  "Swing and sway with Sammy Kaye." That dates me,  I'm sure. 
My cat is sleeping on the end of my bed. She has to get her zzzz's in so she can keep patrol duties high during the night. She and I, both, it seems. I seem to have night time, on duty behavior...
This was taken a few years in the past. 
I have been watching all the seasons of FBI. I love watching movies and TV about high tech crime, and this fits the bill....  It is not very conducive to resting and calm, anxiety free life. However, once a person makes it through all thirteen seasons of Criminal Minds, they can pretty much stand up to anything...  but they may not be the same. We are watching The Mentalist for the fourth time (for me, 3 for my son)...  I think we will get the finale in tonight. Ah...  Lisbon and Jane...  very satisfying finale. One of the few in my opinion...

My supper awaits, and I can't really say enough about how yummy the house smells. I decided to create a huge Dutch oven of Italian Cabbage Soup.  It is soooo good! and totally healthy, I think. If a person is doing Paleo or Keto, the carrots might be pushing it, but for what we're doing, it's perfect.
Here is my recipe. I just made it up today, based on every cabbage soup anywhere.
Italian Cabbage Soup

Brown and drain if needed:

    1# Italian Mild Sausage
    1# ground chicken
In a large Dutch oven, 

Add the following to the meat
( didn't steam the vegetables in olive oil like I usually do because I had the pot all full of my meat already...)
2/3 large head chopped cabbage
1 chopped onion
1 chopped red pepper
1 c. chopped celery
4 sliced carrots
32 oz. chicken stock
2 cans or boxes (Colvita or your choice) crushed tomatoes
1 T. garlic paste
1 T. tomato paste
large pinch red pepper flakes (optional if you like heat)
1 t. salt (to your taste)
large handful Italian seasoning
1 T. Thyme)
1 T. Parsley flakes
1 t, onion powder
1-2 c. water (depending on how thin you like your soup)

I cooked it for a long time until the vegetables were soft enough for this girl to partake! I used to be an al dente afficionada.. when I had dentes...  At the end, I turned off the stove and added in a half of a large bag of fresh spinach leaves. I don't really taste it, but I've read it's really good for people...  lol...  I squeezed in two small, not very juicy lemons...  I'm not strong enough to really get much juice, but it made be feel very fresh and gourmet...  That's half the battle. I grated some fresh Parmesan Cheese on top....  Oh, I dare say I felt just like Giada... (but one glance in the mirror? Nah...  not Giada. My top isn't low-cut enough! lol..  Boy, howdy, did my mother used to fuss about that girl's low-cut sweaters. It was too funny!)
I think this soup will keep a while, and it would even freeze, but we probably won't be doing that. I thought about adding black beans or cannelloni, but my stew pot runneth over as it is! When there is cabbage in the soup, I never re-heat the whole pot because it starts to be a little too cabbagey for me. I just heat the bowls or a small batch (if I heat it. My son and I are those kind of people who really love a lot of foods cold.  This soup will be delicious chilled, I know. Like a big salad almost...  It would have been delicious with home made bread or bread sticks, but...  I am after all, trying for the health aspect. I thought the chicken might balance out the sausage, although lean ground beef  would be spectacular! Or leave that all out and add some more kind of salty flavoring for a Vegetarian Soup... 

Well, time to throw a load of Our Lady of Perpetual Care Laundry in the machine. I am pretty sure I could never keep up with a large family's laundry. Two of us really keeps me spinning...  (yep. I did that.)
Today is my cousin's birthday. I sent a bag with a few gifts with her daughter. It must be fun to have a Winter birthday. I was born on the 29th Day of June, and it is always hot, hot, hot...  We've had some doozy storms on  that day, too. But it feels like a good month to be born. As are all of them! Take good care of yourselves. Thanks for stopping by.
Whimsy and Hugs!