Saturday, January 31, 2009

Throw Out 50 Things

I know, I know... I was supposed to have this done by the end of 2008! Anyhoo, I'm trudging along & still getting rid of stuff. I'm sure I've already tossed or given away/donated 50 things but I'm kind of lumping some of it together. We'll just keep going until I have 50 grouped or single items. The last time I posted I left off at #7.

8. Gifted a few balls of cotton yarn
9. Threw out old socks
10. Threw out old Pampered Chef Chopper (Chan sent me a new one for Christmas)
11. Donated a Soup Tureen
12. Donated 4 pairs of jeans
13. Donated a couple of shirts
14. Donated a set of bowls
15. Donated set of old dishes
16. Donated another set of bowls
17. Donated a set of coffee mugs
18. Donated various coffee mugs
19. Donated sugar & creamer set
20. Donated a bunch of T-shirts
21. Donated another set of old plates
22. Donated a bag of sweaters
23. Tossed 1 pair of jeans
24. Donated a set of salt & pepper shakers

I received an award...

I got a blog award the other day from (not so) Cynical Knitting Gal. The Kreativ Blogger Award. Awww, that was sweet!

Here are the official rules:
1. Copy the award to your site
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers
4. Link to those on your blog
5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominated.

And speaking of creative... she has recently posted her first design on her blog! The Go Steelers! Lace Scarf Pattern. Whether you like the Steelers or not, it's a beautiful scarf pattern that you could do in any color that you choose.

Now to nominate 7 blogs, that's a hard one, there are so many creative people out there in blog land that I know....

Kathy over at Gypsy Knits.... super creative knitter & yarn dyer & bag maker. Go check out her etsy shop, she has some great stuff over there!

Grace at Lovin Comfort Knits.... she has some of the most beautiful shawl designs I've seen! Here is a Ravelry link to her patterns.

Monica at Monniblog...She has some great patterns over at Ravelry too, one of which is a great Snake Kitty Toy that has been kitty approved!

Then we have Jessi over at Alabama Fiber Dreams. Jessi is a very talented knitter, yarn dyer, stitch marker maker, spinner, weaver, and a great mom. Heck is there anything that she doesn't do?

And Chan at Chanknits.... A talented knitter, spinner, & blogger. If you don't read Chan's blog you should go check it out, she's very entertaining. She is also Sissy & Gretchie's mom!

Robin at The Knittin Coop... Another talented knitter & spinner. Robin also runs, gardens, and many other things. And she's Rudy & Ace's mom, you've got to head over & see these cuties!

Last but not least we have Mary over at Mary's Little Craft Corner... Mary is an awesome crocheter & sewer! And a super sweet woman, who is always ready to help out when you have crochet questions.

Speaking of creative..... I now have Chocolate Kiss Stitch Markers. The hubby told me not to leave these laying around, they might accidentally get eaten! LOL
They are actually more the size of chocolate chips.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

For those of you who don't know this about me yet.... I hate to cook! I'm a pretty good cook, I just don't like the time it takes to do it. And I really don't like cleaning up the mess in the kitchen. And I seem to have a knack for baking & desserts. But only do that on special occasions, cause we just don't need all those sweets in the house. However, I have to cook. We just can't afford to go out to eat every night. And even if we could I'm sure that I'd get tired of all the restaurants in our area.

Soooo, I'm on a quest for new, super quick, super easy recipes. As I find some I'll post them here for those of you who like quick, easy meals. Those that don't like to cook but have to like me, and for those of you who do like to cook but just need some quick meals on nights you run short on time. Now, keep in mind that these are "quick" meals, not gourmet. I'm not going to be using fancy ingredients, just stuff you can find at your local supermarket.

And please don't tell me how un-nutritious, or bad for us these recipes are. I'm only trying to share some quick to make meals for those of you who want them. If they aren't your cup of tea, then just ignore it please. :)

I'll start with the Chicken Enchiladas (photo courtesy of Kraft Foods website). These are super easy. However they are VERY cheesy, so you gotta like cheese for this one.

You need:
2 cups (or 1lb) of chopped chicken
1 cup (or 1 medium) chopped bell pepper
1 pkg 8oz Cream Cheese
1 jar of medium salsa
8 or so flour tortillas (6 inch or 8 inch)
12 oz pkg of Velveeta cubed
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter/margarine

Put chicken, bell pepper & margarine in large non-stick pan, cook on med. high until chicken is done. Add 1/2 cup salsa & pkg of cream cheese, stir until cheese is melted.

In a small pot, add milk & Velveeta. Cook on medium heat, stir so it doesn't burn, until melted.

Spoon about 1/3 cup (or large serving spoon full) of chicken mixture onto tortilla, roll up & put in a Pam sprayed glass baking dish. Continue until you have used all the chicken mix or run out of tortillas.

Pour the melted Velveeta over the tortillas, add a little salsa on top. Cover with tinfoil & bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

I usually make some rice to go with this. I use minute rice, just take 1 cup rice, 1 cup water & 1/2 cup salsa & microwave it for 6 minutes. I usually put the timer on for 15 min on the enchiladas, when that beeps I put the rice on. When that is done, you're ready to eat.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Interview with Chan

I saw this interview on Chan's blog & thought I'd play along. She sent me 5 personalized questions that I had to answer. Okay, so I got a little long winded here.... if you have time & are interested, read on.

1. You're very modest by nature. What was your proudest moment in the Coast Guard?

The first thing that comes to mind is my graduation from boot camp. However I’d probably have to say that THE proudest moment was when I got promoted to Boatswains Mate 3rd Class. Typically, the Boatswains Mate job is (or was when I was in) a male dominated job.

The ship that I was stationed on when I got promoted was in the Navy Yard in VA for maintenance. This older man that worked at the Navy Yard came up to me & said that he had heard that I had been promoted to Boatswains Mate 3rd Class. I said “Yes sir”. He told me that he had been in the CG 20 years before, long retired. And when he was in, women just didn't do those things. He shook my hand & told me what a privilege it was to meet me. He told me that he was so impressed that would I please accept his gift of his old (sterling silver) Boatswain’s pipe that he had used years ago. I tried to tell him that his family should have this, but he wouldn't have it. That he couldn't imagine anyone more deserving than me. I was just so floored by the whole thing, to imagine, someone that impressed with me…. I was the one impressed. I’ll never forget that man’s face. I wish I could remember his name. I’d love for him or his family to know what an impact, memory, sense of pride that he left for me. I still have the pipe & will always cherish it.

Here is a little tidbit from the USCG website, I’m really proud to have served in the Coast Guard & would love for others to know more about it.
The U.S. Coast Guard is one of five branches of the US Armed Forces, and falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Coast Guard is the nation's oldest continuous seagoing service with responsibilities including Search and Rescue (SAR), Maritime Law Enforcement (MLE), Aids to Navigation (ATON), Ice Breaking, Environmental Protection, Port Security and Military Readiness.
Here is a link if you are interested in more:

2. HGTV just called and wants you to guest host for one of their shows. Which one, and why? (Or any of the home improvement/craft shows on any network...)

On HGTV I’d say Save My Bath, cause we could REALLY use a bath remodel!! SNOL

But for real I’d love to be on Real Simple, Real Life on TLC. I've only seen it a couple of times but it seems to be a good show. They do home organizing, decorating & makeovers all in one. And it’s not so drastic like that Clean Sweep show where they make you get rid of everything in your house! LOL Although I could probably use that one too!

3. Does everyone else know you've designed all kinds of patterns? (Don't do the modest thing - each of your different tape measures is a design.) Which one makes you smile every time you see it?

I have designed many things, and have had quite a few of them published which tickles me to no end. But the one that is my favorite, keeps me warm & makes me smile on a daily basis is my snowflake afghan. I've won bigger awards for other afghans but this one is just my favorite. I think it is pretty, looks delicate but it’s not, it is super soft, and is quite warm to snuggle with on the sofa.

4. You and your hubby are going on a vacation, anywhere, all expenses paid. The only catch is, it has to be somewhere neither of you has been before. Where?

You knew that I'd say Costa Rica if you didn't put that in there about somewhere you haven't been before!

Maybe Scotland. The hubby & I both have ancestors that come from Scotland. I've always wanted to visit there & tour the castles & have a pint in some local pub. And the hubby could play golf there, they have some beautiful courses from what I've seen in photos & on TV. But then that would mean we’d have to take another couple along cause I don’t play golf… and surely they have yarn & fiber shops over there!!

5. You've won a contest and get to help your favorite author develop her next book. It will be a continuation of any of her existing series. Which one series? Why?

That would be Nora Roberts of course. Which series? Now that’s a tough question!! There are so many to choose from & they are all great. Ok, I’ll go with the easiest answer here…. The In Death series, Nora writing as J. D. Robb. Why? Because it is such a long running series that I feel as if I know the main characters much more than you could characters in a single book, or even a trilogy. And who wouldn’t want to meet Ruark in person?! LOL I love the series & the characters, and there is always a bonus of having a different murder mystery in every book. They are easy reads & I really like the futuristic twist to it. Not so it's unbelievable, just enough to make you wish you had some of those gadgets in your own home! ha ha

But then if I chose the THE GALLAGHERS OF ARDMORE series I could travel to Ireland with Nora for some research....
Of course THE CIRCLE TRILOGY would be another trip to Ireland.....
Oh! And what about the THREE SISTERS TRILOGY....
See it's a vicious circle here that never ends.

Thanks for the interview Chan! I enjoyed it!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

We FINALLY got some SNOW!

As most of you farther north than me know... I've been wanting to see some snow here. At least some flurries! Well yesterday I got my wish. While I saw plenty of flurries at work, the real action was at home. Luckily the hubby was home to take a few photos for me while it was still fresh.

This is all we had for accumulation where I work at the beach....If you really look at this photo you can see the snowflakes falling. Wish it turned out better cause it was snowing like crazy!When I got home, only 15 minutes from where I work, this is what I saw! This is my yard... and our roof is brown shingles, it's covered! Isn't it pretty?

Quite a bit of it had melted before I got home but the hubby drove through town (about a 1/2 mile from my house) & took a few photos for me while it was still fresh & falling. We got a whole inch of the white stuff!And Chan, if you ever get down this way, this is one place we are eating. That's Nesbit's down there on the far end. Still no T's..... but gotta love the Philly Cheesesteaks!! :)It was really weird, quite a few places within 20 miles of my house got several inches of snow. But the immediate areas got no more than a dusting, like where I work & several other places within 10 miles only got a dusting. But right there in the downtown area, about a 5 mile radius got a whole inch. My hubby said that it snowed so much right there at our house just for me. Cause I had been wanting some so bad. :)

There was still a little bit of snow left in my yard today when I got home. It will all be gone tomorrow though, the temps are supposed to warm up into the 60's tomorrow. At least I got to see some snow this year. There have been several years that we haven't even seen a flurry....

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Loving Memories

We got some sad news today..... my friend Beth & her family had to say goodbye to their older boy today. Lennon crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Their sweet boy lived a long & wonderful life with my friends, he will be greatly missed. Please keep them in your prayers for me....


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Super Starr Whiskers on Wednesday

For this week's WoW I'd like to feature the star of my upcoming Super Starr yarn....

This is Beth's (my childhood BFF) baby kitty, Starr.Is this not one of the cutest kittys on the face of the earth??!! And tell me, when you see all that soft fur don't think about spinning it into yarn, how could you not? And it feels like angora bunny fur, really! And I feel like a proud Mama myself with this little one, I helped Beth find the link on the Internet that led to this precious baby going to live with my friend....

I'm taking lots of photos of the whole Super Starr yarn spinning process, I'll save that for later once I get some finished yarn to show you... Okay, just one photo....

This is 2.5 ounces of Starr fur getting ready to be dunked into a bath.

I'll leave you with that. I hope the rest of your week is a good one!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fiber Goodness

My FIL gave me some cash for Christmas & this is what I got! Lots & lots of wool fiber! 5 pounds of it!!!!! I had a box waiting on me when I got home from work on Friday, the thing was just about busting at the seams. The Hubby bet me that I'd never get it all back in the box, I won the bet! Don't know how but I did, LOL. All of this great fiber came from The Sheep Shed Studio, it was an awesome deal!

Here is what 5 pounds of fiber looks like.... I got 1 pound of each color. Here is the brown wool fiber, I think it's much richer than the photo shows...I believe this black & white fiber is my favorite of all of them. It's sooooo soft, I bet this is gonna be gorgeous spun up!Here is the cream wool fiber. This is what I'm mixing with Starr's fur to make my Super Starr kitty yarn. :)This is called a "Grab Bag" of wool fiber. Hard to see in the photo but there is some white, some light grey & some black. This is more like batts, but it's really soft & fluffy. This is a beautiful green superwash wool. The photo is much too yellow, it's more green than that.And Carol even included this little 2oz bag of aqua colored superwash wool. It's just lovely! If I had known she had that gorgeous color, I probably would have ordered a whole pound of that too!Whew! Now which one to spin first?

Actually I've already started on my Super Starr kitty yarn. I think it's coming out really nice. However, the blending by hand takes some time (that new drum carder that Jessi got is looking so good right now!), so I took a break from that & I'm spinning up some of that wonderful wool fiber that I got from Chan at Christmas. Got to get some photos of that.... now back to spinning!

Oh! I'm also currently knitting Miss Jasmine a kitty bed with the super-bright handspun yarn that I did.... photos to follow on that too!

Hope everyone is having a good week!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

How fast they grow up!

We are now the proud parents of a U.S. Marine! (Levi, photo taken this past Christmas)

To make a long story short, I started dating my hubby when Levi was only 5. We were married when he was 6. He came to live with us permanently when he was 12..... he is now somewhere around 6'3" & 20 years old! And yesterday he enlisted in the U.S. Marines. He won't leave until March for boot camp but he is enlisted now & can call himself a Marine..... He is excited & a bit nervous.
We are SO PROUD of him! He is a good kid, very polite, good manners, but he does need some direction, and college isn't for him right now. He has always been fascinated with the military ever since he was a little tyke, this is what he's always wanted to do. And being a veteran myself (U.S. Coast Guard), I couldn't be more proud of him than I am right now!!
I'd like to go ahead & thank him myself (ahead of time) for volunteering to defend our way of life, our safety here in this wonderful country that I call home.... you are a brave man son & I love you!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

What have I been doing you ask?

Sorry it's been so long since I posted.... first the holidays, then I got sick (my dang nose is still stopped up & running, I don't think I'm ever gonna be able to breathe through it again.), then.......

Here's what I've been doing..... painting the kitchen walls!

I came home from work Tuesday evening to find the hubby putting up the beadboard on the kitchen walls. His job description in this house is "construction", my job description is "painter". Sooooo, I've been painting. I've got the whole wall by the sink painted now, and I have to say that it's looking really good. And let me just say that while beadboard is really pretty, it's a pain in the butt to paint! All those little grooves, got to get paint in them, very time consuming! And now that I've got fresh white paint on the walls it makes my cabinets look dingy. I'll have to put a new coat of paint on those too. I'm pretty sure it's a never ending job!

I've also had some fiber goodies come in the mail this week.... and I've started on my Super Starr yarn. (Starr is my childhood BFF's baby kitty.) Stay tuned for more posts on all that!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!