Sunday, January 27, 2019

A Clipper

I have been seeing the term Clipper tossed about in weather reports. It seems we are rather caught in the path of a Canadian Clipper, a frosty Northeaster.

So... it was time to refresh my kitchen hutch.

These are my sweet set of Strawberry Faire dishes by Johnson Brothers. My mom insisted I order the plates, salad plates and cups and saucers all for Christmas from EBay. She would not have it that I get just a little at a time. It was our last real Christmas together. I have always loved this pattern. Even more this set right here.

I will have you know I found my tote of Valentine decor, and you will see it super super soon.

Just cozy weather for planning and journaling. I hear how slick my ramp and porch remains although we did work on it... I am pampered and blessed to get to stay inside this month.

My Gramma (and I--watching--) created that old hen, and those doilies were always on the arms of her big chair. The sofa ones were pineapple, and I have been learning that motif. However, this scarf is still a comfy favorite V-stitch in Raspberry Swirl colorway. 

I am clipping along with the scarves. I keep telling myself it's just a hobby, and I only need to enjoy myself. I don't really have to have a purpose to my "madness." 

We can all pause and take a page from the kitty kat book of sleeping if we're tired and climbing wherever we are able, NO MATTER WHAT!

This is her face when I am ten inches away screaming, "Get down." Oh, I am so NOT alpha...

See you soon, Snowbunnies!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

My Funny Valentine Hit Parade

I decided to take a look at past decor... I am just not feeling the vibe to decorate for Valentine's Day. I live with the most verbal Valentine-Hater in the Universe... My son just despises the whole thing. I guess as a guy he is just disgusted... for several good reasons. I am pretty sure that has zero to do with my general disinterest. I don't hate the day...  I just can't find anything...  Nothing. 

So here are a few shots of Valentines through the years at this house. I have a couple recipes, a few tablescapes. I evidently didn't take pictures or can't find them of some years.Maybe these will provide the needed  kickinthepants inspiration for tomorrow to be a decorating frenzy.  Honestly I would settle for some cherry muffins and some cleaning...    

German Chocolate Bars (actually another variation of Ooey Gooey Cakes)

Mix together:
2 eggs
1 pkg. German Chocolate cake mix
1 stick butter

Pat into 9 x 13 pan.

Sprinkle over top of this:
1/2 c. toasted cocoanut
1/2 c. toasted pecans
1 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Top layer: Mix together

1 stick melted butter
1 pkg. 8 oz. cream cheese
1 egg
2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla

Spread over top and bake at 350 until lightly brown (about 50 minutes).

Let cool and YUM-O

Red Pepper Cheese Ball

2 softened 8 oz. pkg. Philly Cream Cheese
1/4 c. softened butter
2-3 c. grated Cheddar or American Cheese
1 bunch minced green scallions or green onions
1 tsp. minced garlic (I use the kind in the jar with olive oil)
1/2 + c. chopped roasted red bell pepper from jar or freshly roasted
1/2 jar Harry and David Pepper 'n Onion relish (I think there are substitutes out there, as well... Just a red pepper relish with a sweet hot flavor... Could add a little sugar or a little dash of cayenne if your relish isn't cooperating... Nothing beats Harry and David, though, in my opinion)
1/2+ c. chopped pecans
dash of green parsley flakes

Reserve about 3/4 c. cheese, the parsley, and the chopped pecans. Mix other ingredients well (I use my hands). Form a sloppy ball and roll first in cheese, then in nuts. Sprinkle with parsley... Chill at least two hours and enjoy... Keeps tightly covered for at least a week (so they say....)

Russian Tea Cakes 

I loved making these in the night to surprise my mom. They are her favorite cookie ever. 

Makes about 4 dozen

1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely ground

Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until well blended. Beat in flour, then nuts. Divide dough in half; form each half into ball. Wrap separately in plastic; chill until cold, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Set remaining 1 and 1/2 c. powdered sugar aside.
Working with half of chilled dough, roll dough by 2 teaspoonfuls between palms into balls. Arrange balls on heavy large baking sheet, spacing 1/2 inch apart. Bake cookies until golden brown on bottom and just pale golden on top, about 18 minutes. Cool cookies 5 minutes on baking sheet. Gently toss warm cookies in cinnamon sugar to coat completely. Transfer coated cookies to rack and cool completely. Repeat procedure with remaining half of dough. (Cookies can be prepared 2 days ahead. 
Sift remaining powdered sugar over cookies, if desired, just before serving.

3½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole-wheat flour (I didn't have this, so I used all-purpose)
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
2 cups reduced-fat buttermilk (I made mine with 1 tsp. vinegar per cup of milk.)
11/8 cups granulated sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 (14.5-ounce) can tart cherries, drained ( I used frozen sweet cherries. They were huge and awesome!)
1 tsp. vanilla extract (I added this.)

I made these for a party the day our sewer froze... What a fiasco...

I dunno, friends. This post really didn't do much for me. Lol... As I contemplate February 14th, I keep smiling. At least this is not an important problem!!!

Such big changes around here. Life is change. Create good changes because Baby, nothing stays the same. 

Home made cards and doll clothes.

I see a lot of regular decor that has long since met with my fickle passion for change.... 

And I see a few years back when Mom was merely 90... that she sure did dust and spiff up her home. 

Outside the highway trucks are scraping ice and braving another wintry night. Sleet has just started slamming our windows. Everyone hopes the electricity stays on. 

Enjoy the week... I have been puttering and crocheting, journaling, and napping...

If YOU were the tote with these cute heart plates, where would you be?

I am guessing they are right in with the pumpkins....  Was that your guess? Of course not. You don't live in wonky town with me...  

Saturday, January 19, 2019


Wind chill? -17. Eeeeeek!

I am happy our electricity is on and it is the weekend, so my son can stay cozy! My cat has developed a deeper love for me... Wait a minute. Can it be she just likes me because I am warm? Hah!

I have seen a few cardinals, although they stayed in and watched Turner Classic movies today, I think. This guy hopped right up to peer in at me Friday.

Good weather for crochet and soup, although today I decided to make canned chicken boats, which are kind of a Spring/Summer fare... Tomorrow is Sunday, so I plan to do something wintry and comforting.

I have Audible from Amazon, so I can cheerfully say it is really fun to sit with a mug of hot tea, crochet, and watch it snow.  In fact, if my son didn't sleep in the living room, I would crochet through the night. We don't have any beds (except mine) and he is rather partial to a sofa half the night and a recliner the other half. The rooms he occupies are cold as ice in the winter and super hot in the summer anyway.  

Lost a lamp last week. It was a beauty, an antique, and it just fell off the wall in the middle of the night. The blow also broke a plate glass table topper. I will give you a peek at the clean-up. The one above works only when someone slams the door just right. What do they say about old houses in winter? Aw.... we love this one, drafts and all.

I wish you cozy days and snuggly nights. The forecast is just a bit dreary for the next couple of weeks. People sure do talk a lot about the weather, don't they? Take care and be safe... 

My old friends, Tom and Viv.... I love them....
Whimsy and Hugs!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Snowy Days...

Heavy snow curls over the corners of the roof, and our house appears foreign to me with its shadows and surreal Alpine contours.

The big snow of 2019 started about noon on Friday and kept up the solid layering of heavy, wet drifts. We had about 16 inches here... a recent high level of accumulation. 

I had made these woolen felt coasters for Mom, so it was time to work in my new yearly planner and drink hot tea. I purchased this hot water brewer from Walmart (Pioneer Woman), and I really REALLY love using it. Dear friends in Ireland sent me the teapot... 

I feel such peace every morning as the blue hour brings the light of day to our home... The snow stuck and layered on each twig. This was the stuff of Christmas cards.

Not just a little miffed at the absence of HER birds and squirrels... She is NOT impressed with the big thumps of snow thudding off the roof. 

Poor, bedraggled faux silk flowers. Only the brownest of thumbs can grow geraniums and zinnias in January. I overheard some friends talking about me as they came up the walk. What can I say? I am not a botanist. They just grow for me year round.... like they do for Cassie Nightingale, The Good Witch on Hallmark. lol---  So much in common! ha ha! 

We put ourselves on three lists for driveway cleaning, and even so it was Monday at 1 before they got here with their Magic (and extremely costly) skid loader and blade. Our driveway is about a third of a mile, rocks a nasty curve, and lies a little low... Drifts as deep as three feet were here and there with a constant level of the 16 inches...  Even so, in typical workplace fashion, my son's boss thought he coulda-shoulda walked to the highway and hitchhiked a ride so he wasn't late. Seriously... It was just "unacceptable." lol...  Big sigh...

Weather forecasts here include another snow, some freezing rain, and a dip in temps to below freezing. (Another color opens up on my weather afghan! lol) Seriously, stay safe and warm.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Weatherghan/Temperathread Project.

I am embarking on a super little fun project for 2019... I want to join the crowd of crochet lovers who reflect the temperatures in a piece of work. I just don't want to do  it the usual way... (shocker!)

Normally a person does this huge blanket called  "temperature blanket or weatherghan" over the course of a year with a line of stitching representing the high, the average, or the predicted temperature mean for each of our 365 days. Now that's a blanket! I don't really want a king size blanket that weighs 30 pounds... (almost!) I also do not want to buy that much yarn, but I do just love weather....and my fidgety fabulous nature dictates a real dedication to the letter of the law in this project. That means if I am doing it, I want to reflect both the high and the low temperature each day.

So... I think I will commit to a series of weather projects. Or I might weave them all together in a blanket as monthly blocks with a black border of crocheted lace.  I bought some scrumptious Vanna's Choice acrylic yarn to start, and it arrived today... Looking back at the past 8 days I am past due on 16 rows of highs and lows! However, JoAnn's had some fabulous sales, and I scored 12 skeins for a bit over $26, so I just had to wait for Mr. Fed Ex to swoop in with my order.

I also chose some metal Tim Holtz charms to signify the months and the moods... I can stitch those in, along with with some of my and Mom's jewelry to add texture, bling, and melody. Of course, their main purpose is to identify the months.

I am off to choose my colors and set up my first project... Already in our little Missouri climate, we've used 7 of the 12 colorways. Our temperature fluctuation here is wild. We have had lows in the 20's and one day it was in the 60's! So I have a solitary stripe of burgundy for that!....

Now all this sounds really frivolous, as if I had nothing to do. Well, shoot! That is NOT the case. I just usually get some stitchy time during the day, and I have always loved chasing the weather (from here, not like the storm chasers in  that 1996 Adventure movie Twister.) Shut my eyes and I can see the stormy wind ruffling through my dad's hair and flapping his loose cotton shirt around him. He loved to go out and raise his face toward the skies during turbulent weather. Little Mrs. Careful Fussbudget, AKA my wonderful Mom, wouldn't join him (and wouldn't let me!) I always had that mingling of worry and pride in him.

So I am caught up for 8 days in January. I found a basket for the yarn, and a book for my notes.

Whimsy and Hugs!  P.S.  I just saw a different project, and I am doing it....  instead... Fickle My Heart.... lol  I will post an update when I do that....