Monday, January 31, 2011

It's One World~One Heart time...

Giveaway is now closed.
**********************

Edit to announce winners:
I used the help of www.random.org to choose the two winners of the giveaway. And the winners are...

#1 - Lynne from Islandgirl's Insights, and

#89 - Sherri from Creative Skyy Photography & Design

Thanks everyone for stopping by and for the friendly comments left with your entries. I barely got a chance to visit other blogs this year :( but I can't wait to drop in and visit all of your blogs in the near future.
***************************************************

Photobucket

Hi Everybody! If you are a new visitor, let me just say welcome. My name is Kathleen, and I live in central Texas, USA. I've been blogging for several years, and this is the third year I've participated in the One World~One Heart event. We've moved recently, and still have lots of settling in to do, so I considered not participating this year, until I came to understand that this is the FINAL year for the event! So there's NO way I can sit this one out.

This HUGE event is the brainchild of Lisa Swifka of A Whimsical Bohemian. It helps bloggers all over the world find and visit other creative bloggers AND win prizes...can't forget the prizes!

My blog giveaway is open to ALL bloggers worldwide. If you are a regular visitor here or brand new, please leave a comment at the end of this post to enter my giveaway!

This year I'll be giving away another set of three 100% cotton hand-knit dishcloths...natural and red in color.





And if the number of entries go over one hundred, I'll be adding an additional set of three dishcloths for each hundred entries. The colors and patterns may vary on additional sets.

To enter, please leave a comment at the end of this post. Make sure you include some kind of contact info, be it e-mail address or a way for me to link back to your blog. Comments will close at noon (USA Central Standard Time) on February 17, 2011. Later that afternoon, I will draw a winner using a random number generator, and I will contact the winner that same day as well as announce the winner here on my blog. The winner will have seven days to contact me with a mailing address. If I do not receive a response within seven days, I will regretfully have to draw an alternate winner.

To read more about One World~One Heart, and to see a list of links to all participating bloggers so you can begin visiting blogs and entering the drawings, just click here.

Ready. Set. GO!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Alphabet Meme...



Found this meme over at Caroline's this morning, and I couldn't resist. I did alter a few of the questions a little.

A is for Age: 53

B is for Beer of choice: Guinness

C is for Career: Financial Administration

D is for favorite Drink: Coke from Sonic

E is for Essential item you use every day: Refrigerator

F is for Favorite song at the moment: I wouldn't say it's my favorite, but Chumbawamba's Tubthumping is stuck in my head

G is for favorite Game: Yahtzee!

H is for Hobby: Blogging, Knitting, Creating

I is for Instruments you play: I do not play them currently, but I took years of piano lessons and played the flute in school band.

J is for favorite Juice: Cranberry

K is for Kids: Two by birth, one in law, five grand

L is for Languages: English, Spanish (muy poco), and Pig Latin!

M is for Marriage: 34 years!

N is for Never have, and Never will: skydive

O is for Overnight hospital stays: TOO MANY!!!

P is for Phobias: Phlebotomists!

Q is for Quote: That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change; but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent. Chinese Proverb

R is for current Radio setting: NPR

S is for Siblings: 3 sisters

T is for biggest Time waster: Web surfing

U is for Ultimate self-indulgence: staying in bed all day with a good book

V is for Vegetable you love: Brussel sprouts

W is for Worst habit: Procrastination

X is for X-rays you've had: Back, foot, chest, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand...

Y is for Yummy food you make: Buttermilk pie

Z is for Zodiac sign: Scorpio

Monday, January 24, 2011

...the works that my hands had wrought...



My mother-in-law moved recently which required massive downsizing. Carey has always wanted one of her cedar chests, so she sent it home with him. Inside she had tucked several things that I had made for her through the years.

I was so happy to see this little piece of crewel work found its way back to me. I made it decades ago; back when I didn't waste all my time on the computer and my eyesight was still sharp and clear. And this piece required good eyes. It's small...about the size of a postcard. I once made a large cross-stitch piece for my father that depicted two pheasants in flight. That large piece and this little one both kicked my booty! The shading in the feathers. Oy vey! I decided never to undertake another bird in any piece of handwork. And I never have.



Here's a closer look at some of that detail. I appreciate the finished product with the satisfaction that successfully accomplishing a challenging task brings. Even after all this time.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Today's creative effort...

About a year and a half ago, I saw a photo of a white tree painted on a blue wall. I believe I saw it on Apartment Therapy, but I didn't save the link. I planned on creating my adaptation of it at the other house. I bought the blue paint for the walls and everything. Procrastination worked out for me this time. When we bought this house, that paint was the first up on the walls.

Here's the guest room/play room with the blue walls plain.



Okay, I'm going to confess here. I forgot to take a before picture...yet again...until after I had painted a couple of branches and leaves. So I Photoshopped them out, so you could see the walls bare.



I sketched part of it in pencil, and some I just painted in as I went. And an incredibly short time later, I was done. I could pick it apart, and point out the flaws, but I'm not going to. I like it.



I have one more paint project in there for another wall. I hope you will see it soon.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Meet my new...



...Crock Pot. Isn't she pretty?

My last honest-to-goodness Crock Pot was a wedding gift. One of the real dinosaurs where the crock didn't even come out of the pot. I hardly ever used it, because washing it was such a pain. This one separates...so much easier to wash! And I love that after the set cooking time is over, it automatically switches to a keep-warm setting.

My late slow cooker--which I've used a LOT over the past fifteen years or so--was not a Crock Pot, but was actually a metal non-stick cook pot which sat atop an electric griddle sort of arrangement. It served me very well. Its downside was that certain dishes got overdone on the bottom (because that's where the heat source was instead of surrounding the sides as well). The upside was that the pot being metal meant that I could brown the meat on the stove top right in it before just moving it from the stove top to the griddle for the slow-cook part of the process. It works still. It is just missing in action. I'm embarrassed to say that it (like a lot of things) is still packed in a box somewhere in the garage.

I decided that I could have a new one, and donate the old one.

When I find it, that is.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A matter of taste...



A couple of weeks ago I wrote a really whiny post initiated by the fact that I had made chili that didn't turn out like my regular (delicious) chili. Tonight I made spaghetti sauce, and from the moment I started browning the ground beef, I recognized what was weird about that chili. The beef had a kind of funky smell. NOT spoiled, mind you. But not delicious, by far.

This is fresh ground beef, used promptly, bought two or so weeks apart, and from the same grocery chain that I have shopped at forever. Only difference is the actual store location...the one in our new town. I am really bummed that I am finally near a grocery, and now not wanting to shop its meat section. Granted it's only the ground beef that I have a problem with, so I could just chuck out all my ground meat recipes, or maybe I'll just shop at another store location or a specialized meat market (none of which are located in our one-market town). But darn! I wanted to retire my insulated keeps-the-cold-items-cold bag that I've had to use for the last twelve years.

I have a bit of hope, as they are in the process of building a new (larger) store here, and I think it's going to be one of their 'deluxe' versions. It's due to open next month. So I won't discard the recipes yet...but I won't be making any of them too soon.



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Experiments in housekeeping...


before

after


Several years ago we had linen cupboards full of faded, threadbare, and mismatched towels and washcloths. When I went shopping for more, I decided to buy all white, so that they could be used in either bathroom and so that I could bleach them and keep them white. That plan has not worked out so well. They got really dingy and gray, and bleaching did not remedy that.

Last week I went online to find tips to whiten whites. One that I found gave this formula:

add 1 cup powdered Cascade automatic dishwasher detergent
and 1 cup Clorox 2 powder
to 5 gallons of the hottest tap water possible

Add whites to the liquid, and soak overnight. (This is for WHITE articles ONLY! And be careful not to let the liquid splash on your colored clothing.)

The next morning, I ran them through a wash and rinse cycle of the washer without any detergent to thoroughly rinse them . Then I ran them through another wash cycle with detergent and a cup of bleach. As you can see in the photos above, they are a little better, but they are not as white as the new unused cloth I placed on the top of the before and the after stacks for comparison.

I was telling a friend about the procedure, and she scolded me for breaking down the fabric and shortening the life of the towels. Sheesh, I have dingy gray towels, I kinda wish the soak had filled them with holes so I could go buy all new ones with a clear conscience.

During my internet search, I did learn that one cause of the graying is hard water, which we have definitely had. We recently installed a water softener, so maybe they won't get as gray again.

Anybody know of anything else I can try to get the gray out?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Home cooking...



There's nothing like cooking in cast iron...unless it's cooking in your mother's cast iron and the way she taught you to cook.

This was Sunday's dinner and happens to be Carey's favorite: roast beef, potatoes, and carrots--roasted in the oven, then finished up with gravy made on the stove top--all done in the cast iron skillet that's so old I don't know who the original owner was. My favorite? Swiss steak. Mmmmmm.

I'm so thankful to have had a mother who was a good cook and who passed down her skill, recipes, and cookware.

What's one of the favorite meals you remember your family sharing?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hot off the needles...



Remember that little knitting project I started the other day? I finished it!

Excuse my rough first attempt at knitting a cap and the truly awful photo (for which I couldn't find an appropriate sized form to model it on and very quickly faked a pastel background)...but I'm very happy with the effort. Knits up quickly, and is donate-able. Won't this look cute on a precious little baby?

I foresee a lot of these in my future.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Home and hearth...


the living room side

In all our years as homeowners, we have never had a fireplace. Living in such a warm climate, it isn't a necessity. It is, however, very cozy to sit beside on a winter's evening.

This house has a see-through fireplace. We get to enjoy it from the living room and the kitchen/dining room. So I had to take some photos of our very first fire...ever!

The warmth feels wonderul. Visually, I am entranced. It smells and sounds lovely.

Now if I just had some marshmallows to roast, all my senses would be sated.


the kitchen side

Straggler...



I always overlook this little fellow when I'm packing away the Christmas decorations. Oh well. He warms my kitchen and my heart.

I have come across so many people who do not know what these are. When I was little there were strings of these bubble-light bulbs to put on your Christmas tree. They were my favorites.

Please tell me that someone else besides me remembers them!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Packed away...



Took the tree down...finally. Everything is safely stored away till next November/December in one side of the guest room closet (photo above).

The tree itself, I dropped off at a charity shop rather than packing it away. It has served us well through the years...about twenty I think. It still looks good, but I think next season we'll purchase one of the pre-lit ones that are easier to set up.

Happy to have that job done, and I celebrated by rearranging the living room. Not sure I'm happy with the layout this way either, but we'll live with it for awhile.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Seven random thoughts on the 7th...



1. Yea! I'm back on track enough to know what day of the month it is. I've missed the last couple of months of '7 on the 7th.'

2. I've been needing to knit. Still have unpacked boxes. Still have the Christmas tree up actually. But I started a new little knitting project today. (The tree WILL come down tomorrow!)

3. I have a long list of other projects that need to be done...
curtains...
cushions...
eBay...
towel whitening...
car washing...
hang pictures...
rearrange the living room...
...to name a few...and the everyday stuff like laundry, vacuuming, and grocery shopping too.

4. I need a new phone. I hate trying to decide which one. Too many complicated choices.

5. We were over at Kasey's last night around the girls' bedtime

Kasey..."Oh, Chloe, we need to pick something that starts with a 'W' for you to take for show and tell tomorrow."
Chloe..."I'm taking my watch."
Kasey..."Well go look for it, so we can put it with your school stuff."
Chloe..."It's already in my backpack."

Kasey went and looked in the backpack (by the front door, no less), just to make sure, and there indeed was the watch.

I really try not to underestimate this one. But honestly, it's a little unnerving when you feel less organized and less self-motivated than a four year old.

6. I don't think I'm drinking enough water. That's really unusual for me. I am a water drinker.

7. Carey and Jared are about ready to start on the garage apartment. That should make for some interesting before, during, and after photos in the future. Wish us luck.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hurumphhhh...



No, this is not just a blurry photo. It's just 'artistically' Photoshopped. Uh, yeah.

This is a photo of our new house. It's time I stop calling it our new house, isn't it? Okay, from now on.

Anyway, I'm in one of those moods where I just don't want to go to bed. So I've been wasting time on the computer. Looking on Craigslist at round dining tables. Playing with Photoshop. Looking at craft and decorator blogs.

Are these good choices? No. I have to work tomorrow. I need sleep.

But instead I come here and confess that tonight I made the most awful meal I've made in a LONG time. I've burnt some things that actually turned out better than tonight's dinner. It wasn't revolting or anything. I mean we didn't have to throw it away. It was just... Weird. It was supposed to be chili. I swear I made it like I've always made chili. But it did not turn out like any chili I've ever made before. Anyway, it's kind of sitting like a rock in my tummy, and I don't want to go lie down in the dark and have nothing else to focus on.

So I sit here and distract myself. Watching a late-night Extra...Meg Ryan and John Mellancamp? Really? Hmmm.

I wonder if I have any Advil PM.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Would you rather...

Snagged this from Caroline and couldn't resist. You'll see that it's very difficult for me to choose either/or...which kind of goes along with my annual theme...hmmm.


Would you rather...

...be extremely beautiful or extremely intelligent? A little of column 'A,' and a little of column 'B.'

...go without brushing your teeth for a year, or go without washing your hair for a year? Hair, definitely.

...be rich or famous? Rich. Fame holds no attraction for me at all.

...have an amazing shoe collection, or an amazing make-up collection? Hmmm...books, please.

...be able to sing, or be able to dance? Most days I would probably say sing, but today I feel like saying dance.

...be stranded on a desert island, or in the desert? Island.

...have a computer or a TV? Computer.

...wear spots or stripes for the rest of your life? Stripes...vertical, please.

...drink out of a teacup or mug? Tall glass please, with lots of ice, and a straw.

...receive a bunch of flowers or a box of chocolates? I love flowers, but since I once won a European vacation in a box of chocolates, receiving a box always gives me a nostalgic thrill.

...have a hug or a kiss from someone you love? Hug.

...wear Converse or stilettos? Birkenstocks!

...meet Johnny Depp or Robert Pattinson? I couldn't really care less, but my friend Debbie loves Johnny, so it would be fun to send her an autograph and/or photo of him.

...be a fairy or a mermaid? Fairy.

...a coffee or a cup of tea? Both, but only poured into a tall glass filled with ice!

...pink nails or blue nails? Pink, with white tips, please.

...live somewhere sunny or somewhere cold? I live somewhere sunny...and I don't want to move; but I would like a cool place to retreat to in the long hot summers!

...have an amazing house or an amazing car? In houses and cars, comfortable and in good repair trump amazing for me. So again, I'd like to opt for a nice balance.

...be kind or funny? I would like to say kind, but again, I need both.

...hold a tarantula or a snake? No, thank you.

...laugh or smile? LAUGH!!!

...have lots of money or lots of friends? Can't I just opt for a nice balance?

...love or be loved? Or? No. And, and, and!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011...

Last year I chose a word to focus on instead of a resolution. It was an interesting experiment, and it did seem to stay in my mind more than actual resolutions of the past, with some interesting results. So I decided to follow up this year with a new word.



This year I want to recognize the innumerable opportunities we have each day to exercise our free will. And I want to react with more conscious thought when I am making choices whether large or small...to act with intent instead of routine...to choose wisely.

And I wish each of you a very happy 2011.
Related Posts with Thumbnails