Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Before The Wrapping

Usually, most of us wrap and slap on a tag of some sort to make sure we know who's box is who's.
Right??
Well, this year I saw a post somewhere on a blog...and got an idea. Yeah, I know, it's a thing....
Well, I printed up some tags this bloggers made with the idea to copy her idea...but one thing lead to another...and well...I started creating my own...and using my scraps and those buttons and trinkets that I had. And...I got to play with the different stitches one never uses on the sewing machine!


Yes, overlook the chaos...and there is fun in the mix...one needs to just push things aside every once in a while and just play!



These are mostly plastic buttons that I got from when a friend passed away...she told her Hubby to give them to me!...I am so glad...what a treasure trove! And with plastic buttons, one can easily clip off the shank so they lay flat....
These are the tags I have made so far....the sewing machine even has a setting to "write" so I have used that.....
I used scraps (what quilter doesn't have scraps??) and scraps of embroidery stabilizer...put the three layers together and stitch the words on first...then stitch fun stitches around the edge...and trim...
Note, I make mine up to 1" bigger than I want it to be and then trim with pinking shears.
Then, I play with buttons or paper flowers or.....
It is interesting because I haven't even wrapped yet!
My Grandson's presents are in boxes now and I created tags from the scraps of his PJs that I made...that way I know what is in the box!
What is fun is the tag is as much a gift as the present!
They can be reused too....if the recipient will give it back for next year!
Oh and I found red ribbon, which I probably will change out the string...I used an eyelet setting on the sewing machine which is in the buttonhole section....
I am having such fun with these!!
Nancy

Friday, December 8, 2017

2 weeks before Christmas...and all through the house...

Life has been hectic for us as of late and to top it off...well we got the bug that's going around. It's a nasty cold, but it put me off my game. I am still "off"....
I am far from being ready....but I have some gifts...not wrapped.
Our Christmas cards went out a week later than usual.
Our outdoor lights are going up this weekend as Hubby can't do them by himself anymore. (he says he can but due to his cancer isn't supposed to lift, push or pull much.)So our daughter and her boyfriend are coming to help.
I have been taking Miss Molly to training and she passed her AKC STAR puppy exam! Now, she moves into intermediate training so she can do the CGC test (Canine Good Citizen) .
She has been growing like a weed and is about half the size she will be when grown...
Tucker is much more amenable to having her around and actually goes out with her and they get along much better...such a big relief!
With Hubby's trips to surgery and a crazy puppy it has been challenging to say the least...add in a newborn Grandson and three year old grandson who come to visit...whew!
But, I am slowly getting better....

This is Ryan. He is two weeks old in this picture...Sweet! Life will never be dull with two grand boys.
 This is Miss Molly....I had grand plans not to let her up on the couch...but honestly, letting go of that actually allowed the dogs to get along....strange I know, but what is a little more dog hair anyhow?? She looks the picture of innocence here...but trust me, she has a streak....but most of the time she is pretty darn good. Awfully hard to be a puppy in the home of seniors....LOL.

Here are our fur babies...coexisting on the couch...
So, look this up you guys. This is my newest find. A cleaner that actually works and is safe! It uses a salt/vinegar mix that with electrolysis becomes quite the force. I was not sure...so I tested it out. I tried on the toughest thing I could...the oven. There was some burned on stuff in there...and as Hubby watched it removed the and cleaned the oven lickety-split! I am not kidding!
If you are like me and are trying hard to get rid of unnecessary chemicals...(what the Dr said probably caused Hubby's cancer) then this is it....besides it works!! Really!
It has the faintest smell of bleach...but not strong and it can be used for so many things I was so excited I bought kits for my girls homes too....
Right now they are having a special...so go to their website....
(I am not paid by them...just sharing what I have found )
I made pjs for my 3 year old grandson for Christmas...I had so much fun...haven't used a pattern in years.....
Well, got to lie down....
Nancy

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Post Thanksgiving

Well, it has been awhile.
When you have someone who is going through cancer issues....blogging isn't so important.
I am happy to report that Thanksgiving was full for us...full of blessings.
Hubby is on the mend and we meet with the oncologist about treatment plans...
Thanksgiving was at our house and we were happy to have the new mom and baby join us.
Royce and his Dad went to the other grandparents house for a bit then here...so we had 9 at the table as we had invited our dear friends to join us.
This year I went simple.
With the last few months that we had, we just felt that was best.
Hubby wasn't up to smoking the turkey so we ordered one....it was really good but not his....
We also roasted one in the roaster and everyone brought a dish or two...so we were full of food and thanks.
Months ago I had purchased these tall wooden candlesticks...planning to paint them, but just hadn't gotten to it.
So, I grabbed them and painted them black.....
 So, in my "craft room", I set up to paint (don't look at the mess!)...
 I used Amy Howard paint...her black is black....I like that.....

 I decided that I liked the matte non shiny look...so I didn't use wax...how simple can I get??
And here is our table setting....
I used a taupe tablecloth with a toile remnant folded as a runner....the white plates are nice and calm...showing quite nicely with the decor...
We had leaves printed with names from two years ago...we just keep using them. I thought I was going to use napkin rings...but opted just to fold them and put them on the plates....
See the little chair?? It is a child's chair that has a generous seat that is the same height as the other chairs...our grandson sat there. I called it a "magic chair"...he thought it was cool....
For three years old he actually sat in his chair most of the time...which is good....
because someone else needed Mom or Dad's lap...
This is Ryan...at two weeks old...he slept a lot and cried a lot...which is what newborns do...he sat at the table in Dad's lap...when he woke up...
Pretty thankful for family, friends and health....
Now...on to Christmas!
Nancy

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Sourdough Deep Dish Pizza

I love a good deep dish pizza...the kind you have to eat with a fork and knife....
This last weekend I made a loaf of sourdough bread....and I reserved a portion just for pizza.
Since I wasn't going to make it right away...I sprayed the inside of the ziplock with coconut oil spray and dropped it in there. Raw dough is good for about 4 days or so...I wouldn't push it beyond that really.
Yesterday, I was ready...so I pulled out my round deep cast iron pan from Hubby's BBQ and oiled it really well. Then plopped the dough out from the fridge and gently pushed it into place and then let it rest for about 10 mins.
In the meantime I turned on the oven to 425 and I poked a few holes with a fork to keep it from expanding too much....
Then I popped it into the oven for about 8 mins. (your oven may vary)
This cooks the dough a bit...which you need to do as this is thick crust and would be hot dough with toppings if you put it all on now....
After it comes from the oven, let it cool a bit so it isn't too hot....
then put on all the toppings you desire!
In this case, I put on some turkey lunch meat, sauce, mushrooms, mozzarella, parmesan and some Italian seasoning.....
I put it on for about 15 minutes....and waited until the mozzerella was bubbling and starting to turn brown....
And....voila!

Definitely fork and knife fare....and oh so good!
We ate half of it for lunch and the other half I cut in half and placed it on parchment and put in a bag and put it in the freezer....another meal for a another day!
It was rich and gooey and the bottom was beautifully crispy.
Just the right amount of chew and goo!!
Have a great day.
Nancy

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Making of Coconut Yogurt...the Mesophilic Way

I took a class on making zingy coconut yogurt at the Fermentation Farm here in Costa Mesa.
This yogurt is unlike any, and I mean any, yogurt you get from a grocery store. Supposedly, it has more healthy probiotics than "thermophilic" yogurts in the store...simply because there is no heat involved at all.
It is much like making kombucha...using kefir grains to develop the yogurt.
It is simply amazing.
When you buy it at the store it costs $6. That includes a real glass canning jar...so I get it.
But, one small half pint gives two maybe three servings of yogurt..so it would be cheaper in the end to make a large batch yourself.
So, I took the class.
You use milk kefir grains that are fed on milk...but are rinsed....since they are rinsed there is no dairy in them.
Mesophilic yogurt is a counter-top yogurt...it ferments covered on your counter. It takes about 9 hours for the first fermenting and then another 15 for the second if you want to flavor it. Trust me, it is so delicious with the vanilla honey it is worth the extra time.
 This is the first thing you will need....real milk kefir grains. The milk that feeds it gets rinsed out so it is not dairy...
 It will take about a week of feeding the grains...longer if it is cool...and you change the milk daily....
After that it is just a matter of a good size glass bowl, 1 can organic coconut milk(with only water and coconut), and 6 cans of coconut cream(again organic and only coconut and water). You whisk together the milks and cream drop in the kefir grains that you have rinsed and put in a reusable muslin tea bag (this is so you can retrieve it and wash it and put it back into some milk for later).
It takes 9 hours for the yogurt to happen.
Now, it will finish thickening in the fridge it you don't want any flavor...you can taste it and see...does it need more time to thicken or get the flavor you want?? That's fine....
If it is "done" and you want to flavor it ...use 6TBSP of vanilla bean paste and 6TBSP of raw honey...and let it sit covered for 15-18 hours....
and voila! You have yogurt!
This recipe makes 14 half pints of coconut yogurt! Thats like 28 servings!
Awesome!
Tricks are in using pure organic coconut milk and cream and vanilla bean paste and raw honey.
If you use other it may not work...as it isn't properly feeding the culture that is making the yogurt.
Why is this yogurt so good for you??
Coconut itself is a healthy nutritional powerhouse.
It supports the immune system...it is anti-viral and anti-bacterial, anti-fugal, and anti-parasitic...
It provides natural energy...
It improves digestion...
improves insulin....
It helps the body fight cancer...
It improves HDL (good cholesterol)...
It supports thyroid...
It helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infection...
It can promote weight loss..
and it helps skin and hair...
And that is just raw coconut!
Add to coconut the power of fermenting and the sky is the limit!
Okay, I will get off my soap box...
I am getting us into fermenting more and this is such a delightful way to get it into you!!

Today, I am making more homemade sourdough bread from my sourdough starter. That is another yummy way to eat fermented food! True sourdough doesn't need extra yeast or sugar! So I make a batch once a week....even I can eat it though I don't tolerate wheat...I've read its because the fermenting breaks down the wheat so it doesn't affect intolerant people. Of course each person needs to decide for themselves. It still makes me fat......but I don't get the reaction I do with other wheat....
So....I hope you have a great day!!
Nancy

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

"It's the Light!"

It happens roughly two times a year, sometimes less....but it has hit again....
My Hubby claims...."It's the Light!"
It may well be...there is a certain light that comes in the windows in the spring and then in the fall....It seems according to Hubby that Fall is the time I clean and organize the most....
I guess, it is like getting ready for winter...check stock and laying in supplies...or maybe it is just the light.....
It started last week...I did my closet! Yes, yes I did.
My daughter had her walk in closet done and the designer told her about using these thinner velvet covered hangers...if you use all the same thin hangers, you get about 1 foot or more of space.
Well, helping her with her closet I was hooked.
Now, my closet is not a walk in so it should make more of a difference.....
While I was at it, I got ride of clothes I knew I wasn't going to use....That helped also....
I did the main closet and even the undies drawer and sock drawer!
I gave away to Savers about 100 hangers!
 I know, it still isn't much to look at, but, I can find things now!
Here is only some of the hangers I got rid of! It is totally true! See how much space these hangers  take just sitting here??
I bought my hangers on Amazon....you can get a better deal possibly from Ebay like my daughter did. As she is a clothes horse...she needed more than 400 hangers!
So on to what I did yesterday....
I had purchased one of those cupboard organizers that looks like a staircase...for cans and whatnot.....It was $3.99 at Savers...so I tried it out a couple of days ago, and was intrigued...now I could see the back! (by the way I am a shrinking shrimp at what used to be 5'4")....so all the shelves, though they pull out ...its hard to see what is in the back.
So, yesterday, I went to Container Store to look at what else I could find.
I found a bigger variety of organizer ....
And I brought it home to organize another shelf....
This is the top shelf...and I can see almost everything in here. It is all oils, vinegars, rubs and spices in larger jars....
Sorry I didn't show the before...because you would see what a difference it mad. It is still crowded...but more is visible!
I then worked on another shelf....
I also bought this basket, which can stack if you wanted...but I liked is slimmer profile than some of the other baskets out there. I needed to contain the small bags we have that get lost in the cupboard....

This is that shelf now....the basket holds all the little bags that were lost in the cupboard...
It works nicely....and now I know what is there....
I have another shelf that needs a bit of tidying...but it isn't too bad....
That is what happens when that certain light hits the window at our house....
You will never know what gets done....
Have a great and productive day!
Nancy

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The New Baby's Room

I've told you all that we are being blessed with another grand baby soon....
The original due date was something like November 14th, but honestly...I don't think this little boy will wait much longer....maybe a week or two...
So yesterday, I went over and helped my daughter with the Baby's room....
I wanted to share because she is gifted with a design gene...
We had the painter paint the room months ago to her design....and yesterday we put up decals, prints and such...

 This is the main wall as you come into Ryan's room....
Now you see why we paid a painter! Getting the stripe to be straight....was hard...even he had trouble with getting the tape to stick and he's a professional! Then the white paint wouldn't cover...he had to do 4 coats of white and yes, he used primer first....
 This is the quilt I made which we decided needed to be hung....it is on the short wall next to the window.....
 This is the wall where the changing table is...it is the biggest wall. The framed prints were things she printed and got frames from the Dollar store...the decals were from her registry on Amazon...
And here is my daughter, trying to decide whether this balloon or another. Since they are decals they can be moved...she changed the balloon here with a different color so it would pop more....and there will be shelves on this wall that will hold a few books...
The closet will be under construction today...they are taking out the shelf and rod and putting in shelves and a short rod...so we emptied it all out so her hubby could work on it this AM...
See how the stripe from the biggest wall continued onto the other walls?? Such a sweet painter! and then he painted the inside of the closet just to make it fresh.
Can't believe our 3 yr old grandson is going to be a big brother! And soon!!
Have a great day!
Nancy

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Turning Three

I don't know how it happened...it went by so fast!
First you were so little, and now you are three! Mistaken by many to be four because you are so tall and such a chatterbox...Royce my little man....you turned three!!
We went on a duffy boat for your birthday, just for about 90 mins (which is all a three year old can do)....and your Mom and Dad later took you to Beni Hana's for dinner (they had coupons from their birthdays)....
What a lucky boy to have such outgoing and fun parents! It's probably why you talk and are starting to read and know all your numbers....

You with your Mom under one of my quilts.....
 And your wonderful Dad....who keeps going even when he'd rather sleep....

And our captain, my Hubby, your wonderful Grampy!!
You had a great day....Love you!!!
Grammy

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

This Week

This week seems like it was two weeks....
It started off last Monday....our daughter's boyfriend wasn't called to work by the union, so he helped us solve a problem.
We have an outdoor fan, rated for wet, but not waterproof...and last year with all the rain, it got water in it and almost killed it. Our contractor friend, who put it up, came over and fixed it...but couldn't think of a way to solve the issue of water getting in....
So, the boyfriend thought of a "purple martin birdhouse"....like the one out front that he put together for us...
He came up with a plan to make it fit over the 6x6 post and since it was wide enough, the water will just shed away from the fan housing...
Then, before a storm...we will wrap plastic around the fan itself.....
He sealed every hole and seam and it is lots cuter than what I was coming up with....
Cute right??
But then.....
I had gotten my Hubby a gift for his birthday, which he wasn't totally thrilled with....It is from Redline Steel....I love it....but men don't see things the way women do, when it comes to decor....
And I had a different vision of where it should go....but he didn't like that idea, and to be honest, I may have been right as where I wanted to put it, it would have been too small....
Cute huh?? It does fit nicely in this little spot....
It is called the Tree of Life...which given our circumstances made sense.....
And then....
life with Molly....
Well, it's difficult having a puppy...any puppy...and Molly is really a good girl. She is pretty much housebroken....though she has that issue of excitement to see someone....and tinkles....
And she walk very nicely on the leash...hardly ever pulls....
She loves to get in your lap (which I don't encourage on chairs or couches) so I sit on the stoop outside and she cuddles....
She is not my old Belle...but she is pretty special....
The problem has been how rough she is with old Tucker....he hates her biting...which she still does with everyone....
It has been like two separate households...and she is on a leash inside a great deal so we can control her with him around....
What to do?
Well, I found "Bitter Yuck"...it is a spray designed to put on the dog for wounds etc...or furniture or whatever you don't want the dog to chew....
So, I got some and sprayed it all over Tucker, especially on the areas that she goes for....
Now, can we hear angels sing??? Yup, it worked!
Bliss! Tucker was actually smiling!!
Yes, yes, she is going to be big. She is only 4 months old...and she is half his size...yikes....
And in case you wondered, yes I have oodles of toys...all of which she thinks are hers....
She has three right there!
But all in all, she is just a baby....and loves a belly rub....
Yes, you are right, she has black belly and lots of black on her skin elsewhere...a clear marker that somewhere in her genes she has a strong black lab....we think its cute and know that is where the little "streak" comes from. It also we hope makes for a strong healthy lab....
This weekend Molly got to play with another dog...a  Strononi (sp??) named Audrey...at first she was terrified...then got into it ...Audrey is a good first playmate.....
But the funniest part of the week...well it was yesterday.
Molly couldn't annoy Tucker...and the toys were ...well...boring.....
I was taking decorative can off a miniature rose my daughter gave me and she had a new toy! She played with it ...for an hour straight! What fun she had!!
So, life is busy, even for us retired folk...
I am slowed down on quilting because of the puppy and a few other things, but do manage to get them done, though slowly....
So...I hope you have a great great week!!
Nancy

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Goodbye September

Goodbye September, Hello October!
Yesterday was for the most part a lovely day. The sky was foggy in the morning and the clouds cleared beautifully by 12.
Miss Molly got her 4 month check up and final shots, so now she can soon join a class, go to the beach or other fun activities....
I babysat Royce while his Mom went to another baby shower...and yes on of my quilts went with her....
My other daughter and her boyfriend took Hubby to the HB pier where there was an airshow....
While they were getting their hearing destroyed and getting burned to a crisp, I took Royce to a park...I pushed his old stroller the whole way (now that he is 46 lbs)....


We had a good time....he played and played and then I pushed the stroller home. I took the long way in hopes that he would take a nap, but alas, he did not...His mother wasn't pleased with me at all....Though he is almost 3, he still needs a nap...and he has always been difficult to get down for one. Let's hope that baby #2 will not fight sleep....
Today, is again overcast and chilly so far....Fall has settled in
There were geese that flew over day before yesterday and I've noticed some birds that definitely were traveling through.
Hubby has finally started feeling better....after a horrific UTI that gave him a huge fever and headache. Antibiotics are something we take for granted, but save lives....I am glad to have him around.
Well, time to walk Miss Molly
Nancy

Monday, September 25, 2017

A Sprinkle

Well, yesterday we had a "sprinkle" for my daughter who is having baby #2.
They call it a sprinkle when its for another baby and when it is "toned" down. Well, I don't do things toned down too well....I was so exhausted that I forgot to take pictures outside where the fun was.....
But, I did remember to take a few pictures inside....silly me...


The light inside was a bit bright for you to see....
I got the idea for hot air balloons from Pinterest...
We did the simplest we could do...used the paper lanterns...(Party City had a pack of three for like $5)
Then we used the hook that was on the lantern to hang with and tied ribbon to the buckets we bought (also from Party City) and I found the cute little animals at Vons of all places!
I also used plastic tablecloths (can you believe it?) and paper plates and cups! Plastic forks for the salads we had ...and voila! A Party!
We had a champagne bar for those who wished something extra to drink....we had champagne and cut up peaches and raspberries to add as well as orange juice....
That was all next to the dessert bar filled with cookies and brownies....
We had a final count of 16 which actually was delightful!
And the Mom to be...well she got "loot"....
We did a diaper raffle with two drawings...and gave "movie night" baskets filled with wine, candy and a DVD....
We also did a 1st ABC book...a page for every letter...everyone got to be an artist and draw something to go with the letter...then we gave a prize for the picture that everyone thought the best...another basket!
It was fun...but I am still so tired.
Nancy

Thursday, September 21, 2017

We All Fall Down

So, those you are praying for my Hubby...
Please keep the prayers going...
The cancer they removed was the aggressive variety...which starts a whole new "gig"....
It requires him to have another surgery in the hospital, hopefully simpler...it means they go back in and remove any small tumors that may occur in the next month..and take biopsies....
Then after he has recovered from that...which we pray it is not like this last time....then they will begin immunotherapy.
6 weeks of immunotherapy...
Then years of quarterly checks. Yup the Dr said years!
So please pray for my dear Hubby....
The good news is we did get it early!
So, they have rated it at stage 1....that's good.
And the type of cancer is a concern because it can go outside the bladder....so they will be checking him all the time...poor guy...not a pleasant check....
So, prayers that November 2nd surgery is "simple" and without incident....last time's was more than we could bear....
Prayers that nothing new grows in the next month....
Prayers for continued strength....
Thanks
Nancy

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Fall Has Fallen

I don't know about you, but I wasn't quite ready...
It is amazing. We went from summer to Fall in the blink of an eye. We are expecting some light rain for the next three days!
Meanwhile, we are in health care mode.
Hubby had surgery day before yesterday and came home that night.
Remember when they used to keep you overnight?? Yeah, it would have been helpful.
Remember when nurses were sent to check on you and make sure everything was good?? yeah...those days are gone.
I am not trained to be a nurse!
I was great yesterday...patient and good.
Today, I am tired, though I slept a solid 7 hours straight through, I am just bone tired.
I know. I know....he's the one with the catheter...and the bag...but I am the one he depends on.
But I am managing puppy...and elderly dog...running the errands to the pharmacy...doing twice the laundry and normal and making meals to nourish a recuperating patient....

At least, it isn't HOT and Humid...its just humid and overcast.

I hope and pray everyone is well...and safe...
Nancy

Thursday, September 7, 2017

All Is Just a Little Too Quiet

You know when you have children that when it's too quiet, there is something going on...
It's true also with puppies....
Our morning routine, rather my morning routine, is to get up with Molly (our almost 12 week old Labrador pup)at 6 am....she is the alarm clock to a fault.
First Tucker is let out of his house then Molly and the day has begun.
Breakfast then potty and then the play....
Tucker takes off after breakfast to snooze with Dad for a bit....(yes up on the bed)....
Play and play and play with such gusto one gets quite exhausted!
Tucker and Dad join us after most of the growls and yips have stopped only to reignite them....
Poor Tucker.
He has learned though to set boundaries for her and interacts and when he has had enough he gets up on the couch....that will be a safe zone for only a short time more.
After about two hours, it's time for her nap and that is when we get things done.
Slowly, a routine is developing. Molly has learned lots of things, most notably "NO!"
I try not to say it too much, but she is a puppy and they find things you don't even realize
is there.
Just this morning, I let her out to go potty and then she went and lay down. I thought, ok, cool I'll get my cup of coffee. But, like I said, it was too quiet...and I found her up on the shelf under the BBQ, trying to get the grease tray that goes under the BBQ. No other pup in our history has done that!
She is unique and wonderful and exasperating....
Potty training continues and just when you think all is well, she blows it with "mount Molly" or "Molly Lake"....
We've gone through two rugs....one really large rubberized one in the laundry room and another smaller throw by the slider....both died by multiple accidents...and though I tried to clean them it was a no go....so....I bought two small latex backed rugs that go through the wash. I'm sure they won't last forever....but we needed rugs by doors...
As for September, it is our birthday month.
We celebrated my Hubby's birthday with everyone last night at the Winery restaurant in Tustin at the District. Very yummy food and great service.







In addition to birthdays...our Grandson Royce started preschool this week on Tuesday! Where did the time go??
Time flies....
And when it's too quiet....just add a puppy.....
I hope you have a great weekend....
Nancy