27 July 2011

WIP Wednesday--Or What's Going on in Sharon's World

My crochet ADD has kicked in this past week and I'm working on 3 crochet projects. My polka dot 'ghan is being sewn together, very sloooowly but no pictures of it until it's done. I'm also working on a scrappy wave afghan:

I got a bit carried away with the width:

That's okay because it will be extra snuggable (is that a word????).

I had some granny squares in my stash that were included in a bag of yarn I got at either a thrift store or yard sale so I used them as the beginning of a lapghan. I think I'll just keep on going with this one until it's an afghan. The pastels are so pretty.

I'm also making some tomato sauce out of tomatoes from my garden. It smells so good! No pictures because I've already posted some pictures on my blog of tomato sauce and you may be getting tired of it.

To see what other crafty people in blogland are doing, click on the button at the bottom of this post.

Hope everyone is having a productive and enjoyable week.

Stay cool!

26 July 2011

Free Books for Kindle

I've found a couple spots that list free books available for Kindles. I thought I'd share the sites with you because most of us are feeling the pinch of high costs now a days and look for good deals on everything. Here they are:

Of course, none of the best sellers are there but most of the available books have reviews available that you can read to see if the freebies are your cup o' tea.

Happy reading!

25 July 2011

Today I Froze Cowpeas

For some reason, I keep wanting to call these peas "cowslip" when they are actually "cowpeas," Some folks call them "purple peas" and that's what I first learned to call them.

Cowslip? I bet you're thinking I'm going weird and freezing bovine lingerie! Nope. these peas are in the black eye pea family. Looks almost the same but the coloring is more pastel with a hint of purple. I haven't eaten any of these in 33 years so growing and preserving has been a trip down memory lane for me. The 1st time I saw these was when I was pregnant with my #1 son back in 1978. I was staying with my former in-laws and my father-in-law restricted my activities because I was in the "family way." However, I was allowed to shell these and shell them I did, bushel after bushel! Anyway, here's a look at how they grow:

The finished product (picture looks kind of green but they're more cream color):

Hope everyone is staying cool. It's time for me to get started on tomato sauce again. I hope to squeeze in some crochet time as the sauce cooks down.  Hugs...

Monday's Link to Crochet Pattern (25 July 2011)

Here's a cute pattern for a ruffled dishcloth. Enjoy!

24 July 2011

Today's Canning Adventure--Pickle Relish!

Well, I must say, that when I made my pickle relish today, I was kind of surprised to see the pale color of it. I took a gander at the store-bought stuff in my fridge and noticed that it has food coloring in it. I was wondering about it because pickle relish is largely cucumbers and unless you use mostly the peelings, it is going to be white. I ended up with 4 half-pints and 1 pint. Anyway, here's a picture of my homemade stuff.

Here's the link to the recipe I used: http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,1936,151168-244193,00.html

The smell is wonderful; hope the taste matches it!

Have a great week. Hugs...

Just a Suggestion...

I just want to make a suggestion. Many of the blogs I read have music or sound effects on them. I like most of them. Sometimes, I'm listening to audio books (multi-tasking) when I'm on my computer--multitasking you know. So, I just want to suggest that you can turn off the music and let your readers manually start it. I ended up doing that with mine after a friend suggested it to me. If you were a teen in the 70s, you might like to play my music player. Thanks...

23 July 2011

Polka Dot Afghan Status Update

I've been playing around making these "polka dot" afghan squares for a month and today, I finished the last one. Now it's time to put 'em together and make a wide border. I'm not going to speculate when it will be finished because I tend to lose interest in one project and work on another for a while; plus the garden and canning have to be top priority right now.

 Edited to add: You can find the pattern at http://signedwithanowl.blogspot.com/2011/06/squaring-big-circle-tutorial.html

 Here's the squares:

One thing about having my little cuddle-bug chihuahuas and crocheting with so much black is that there is a lot of their fur that I will have to wash off before this 'ghan goes to it's new home.

Take care everyone and if you're in the heat wave be cool!


22 July 2011

Productive Friday...

Today has been a productive day. I am in the middle of processing pickles--5 quarts and 2 pints. I also made some homemade laundry soap. The best thing that I did today is related to a slightly embarrassing story. Some of you may remember that I was delighted last Christmas when I received a Kindle from dh. Well, I misplaced it in February! I knew it was in the house because I hadn't taken it out and the people who had visited were all extremely trustworthy. I had crawled under my bed, moved furniture and even looked in the bathroom for it without success. DH looked for it too. He would tease me about it every time he heard the word "Kindle." Today the word came up again and I went on a hunt that lasted only a minute or 2. There, between 2 other books was my Kindle! What a shocker--oh what a wonderful thing! So, there's my confession for the day.

I hope y'all are having a great weekend.

Edited to add:
p.s. I originally had this post titled "Productive Saturday..." and then I realized it was written about Friday! lol!

Yesterday's Canning--1st Batch of Tomato Sauce This Year

Didn't have many tomatoes on hand but I decided to make a small batch of tomato sauce. By the time I cooked down the sauce I ended up with only 2 small (half-pint) jars. That's okay, homemade tomato sauce is so much more tasty than store bought but it is extremely time consuming cooking it down(I cook it down about 1/2 way). Next year, I'm going to try a different variety of tomatoes. Ray heard that Rutgers is about the best tomato to make sauce out of but I've been searching the web and I've seen a lot of good things about Roma. Might try a little of each and see how it goes.  This year, I didn't pay attention to what type of tomatoes I bought, only the price. One thing I don't do is peel my tomatoes. I swish them around the food processor and then strain out the seeds and that saves time and maintains more of the nutritional value. Anyway, here's a look at yesterday's product:

20 July 2011

Link to Free Crochet Pattern--I Forgot to Post on Monday 18 July 2011

Quick post because I just realized that I didn't post a link for a free pattern on Monday. Here's a cute scarf with pockets. There is a knit version and a crochet version. I hope you enjoy and I'm sorry I forgot to post on Monday. I'm getting ready to schedule a month's worth so I won't be forgetting for a while. Hugs...

New (to Me) Way to Join Granny Squares...

I've been in a phase of making afghans out of granny squares. When it comes to joining them, I like to crochet them together on the right side so that I have an interesting 3D effect. If by chance, I sew them together, I make sure that I have the final round of each square the same color as the yarn I'm sewing them with so that the seam isn't visible. Here is a great idea to sew with an "invisible" seam. Look at her example--a scarf made out of a gazillion tiny squares!

Another blog I read linked to the tutorial.

Hope your week is going well. Take care..

19 July 2011

#1 Son's Visiting and More...

Matthew is visiting today. He comes over to use my washing machine once a week and we get a chance to visit too; I miss having my "kids" around. Anyway, I decided to take some of my green beans from the garden and freeze individual packs for him. I don't think he eats many vegetables and I thought I'd hook him up do the "mommy thing" and send him home with some green beans.

Matt and Nellie Belle goofing off

Here's the product:

I made 7 of these packs with sandwich bags--about 1 cup each bag

Then I put them all in a larger, freezer bag

Hope y'all are having a great week.

Latest Canning Adventure...

I was surfing and searching the Web from one end to another looking for recipes to can dill pickles. My goodness there are an encyclopedia set full of them! I combined a little of this and that from various recipes and came up with my own recipe. I did 4 quarts. I wanted to do more but dh said we were throwing away older pickles I had canned a couple years ago. Anyway, here's the pickles:

16 July 2011

This and That...

I got some more green beans canned the other day--5 pints and 1 quart.

I normally don't buy the fancy seals but the store was out of the "regular" ones. These are a little bit more expensive but I had to have some seals so I bought them.

I got a couple good samples in the mail. I had to "compete" with others on Facebook for the Downy sample.

Toothpaste always comes in handy too.

I love free samples; it's like getting presents in the mail.

Hope y'all are having a nice weekend. Take care...

14 July 2011

Babies Went to the Vet

The kids went to the vet today. They had to have a checkup and get some of their shots. It is amazing to see our diva--Nellie Belle--become a timid and scared little girl when she is usually a rambunctious alpha dog. Opi was his usual calm self. Here's my kids:

Opi with his dad

Opi's shirt had "attitude"

Nellie Belle

My husband gets a kick out of me dressing the "kids" up to see the vet. I told him that it was like when I was a kid and my mom would make sure we were all cleaned up to see the doctor and that our underwear didn't have holes in them lol!

Hope y'all are having a great week...

13 July 2011

WIP Wednesday (13 July 2011)

Didn't get a chance to take pictures but I wanted to get this posted before Wednesday was over. Today's WIP is a bit different. I'm canning green beans today. My garden is doing very well this year. We have a small garden but it is going to keep us in green beans for the next year. Of course, there are only 2 of us in the house so it's not too difficult canning enough to last the year. I'll be making pickles and tomato sauce a little later this summer. I need to figure out how to preserve my potatoes. I've heard that it is possible to keep them in a cool, dry place so maybe if that's the case I'll put them in the crawl space.

Still crocheting 2 afghans--one out of squares and one out of scraps. The scrap ghan (done in a ripple-e pattern) gives me a nice break from my "regular" project. I'll just be working on it when I get bored with the squares and that's a frequent occurrence lately. Oh, and the scrap 'ghan I ended up frogging and starting over again. I have learned that I shouldn't always try "winging" a pattern without looking at it. The ends of my rows were kinda squirrely-looking and that's why I frogged it.

Y'all have a great and productive week.  Hugs...

11 July 2011

Monday's Link to Free Crochet Pattern (11 July 2011)

Here is a small project to work on in this hot weather that many of us have been experiencing. Happy hooking...!

09 July 2011

And This Flower Is--

The other day I posted the following picture of a flower and asked if anyone knew what it is. No one guessed so I'm going to let you in on the answer. :)

The flowers are potato plants.

Potatoes were first known to be grown in South America. In one of my college history classes, I learned that when Europeans first introduced potatoes to Europe, they were grown as ornamental plants and it is easy to understand why after seeing the pretty flowers. Go to this page and you can learn some potato trivia.

Hope y'all are having a great weekend!

08 July 2011

Still Receiving Calls from "Card Services"

If you google "card services" you will see that they are scammers and steal identities. I've been battling with them for way over a year to stop calling me. I file complaints with the "Do Not Call Registry" and still get phone calls. Most times I wait out the recorded portion of the message and tell them to cease and desist with the phone calls and take my name off their list. No luck so far. They change their telephone numbers like some folks change their underwear. Yesterday afternoon about 4:12, dh answered and hung up on one of their calls and this time it was from a cell number. Because I didn't get the number, I didn't make a complaint this time but it doesn't matter because they keep calling anyway. I think the "Do Not Call Registry" isn't what it is cracked up to be. A local travel agency has started making phone calls too even though we are on the "Do Not Call Registry." So we pay people with tax dollars to run that agency and I can't help but wonder what they're doing to earn their paychecks. So, I'm finished with my rant for the day. Take care everyone....

07 July 2011

A Productive Suzie-Homemaker Day

Today I processed and froze 10 packages of corn. I took it off the cob because I'm not too fond of frozen corn on the cob. To can the beans I used the instructions on this page. My pressure canner isn't big enough to do all the jars at once--I can fit 6 jars in at a time. The green beans were all from the first picking out of our garden. I could hardly believe that last weekend I found a few wannabe green beans and yesterday, I found a bunch of 'em ready to pick! We had some with our supper last night and they were delicious with a bit of butter melted on top of them. I did give some to my mil and still had a bunch left for canning. Here's a few pictures:

This is about 2/3 of what I got.

Ended up with 11 pints after giving some to MIL and having for supper last night

I started out with 20 ears

Ended up with 10 bags

I got the 1st cucumber yesterday too. Seeing it makes me realize that I forgot to cut it up and put it on our chef salads tonight. Drat!!! I planted a smaller size one because it looks like it might make better pickles.

This is some salad greens I'm growing in a pot. Mine doesn't look pretty like some I've seen pictures of.

The lilies in our pond. Several years ago we had purchased a different lily for the pond. It disappeared! We have no idea what happened to it. Our son Justin tore a chunk off his and gave it to us and it is taking over the pond and has gorgeous flowers. It's been probably 6 years or so that we put fish in here. We just got the "feeder fish" that were 8 for a dollar. They are HUGE now and often we are asked "when's the fish fry?" This year we've noticed babies for the first time.

Now, here's a picture and I'd like to see how many of you can guess what type of flower is in it:

On Saturday I'll let you know what it is.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you're having a great week.  Hugs...

06 July 2011

A Few Good Samples

Today when dh brought the mail in, he said it was Christmas for me. I had free samples in the mail. Today's included a sample of coffee big enough to make a full pot of coffee, a can of dog food that's a good size for the furbabies to split on Sunday's when they get their "num-num" meal of the week, and a Shout color-catcher. I love my free samples  :-) !

This is one site I get free samples from: http://www.freeflys.com/home .

Y'all have a great week!

05 July 2011

WIP Wednesday for 06 Jul 2011 (a day early lol!)

I've been getting bored with the squares I've been working on. Can't seem to get motivated with them. I have 12 of 30 done. Remember them...?

I've started a project to work on when my main project starts to bore me. It's a ripple made out of magic ball yarn. I'm going to give it to dh for his man cave. I just started it today and used one magic ball. It's tucked away now until my crochet ADD kicks in again.

To see what other folks have been up to lately, click on the WIP button below.

 Hope everyone is having a great week. Hugs...

04 July 2011

Monday's Link to Free Crochet Pattern

In keeping with the holiday, today's free pattern is for a patriotic looking afghan. It's a graphed pattern and that is something I've wanted to tackle for a long time. One of these days....

03 July 2011

Happy Independence Day 2011


Garden Update--

This coming week we should be eating green beans from our garden. Harvesting produce from my garden and putting it on the table to eat is great. So is canning or freezing fruits and veggies to eat over the winter. The following sites are the references I use for preserving my foods.

http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/canning-tomato-juice-and-tomato-sauce I like this sauce recipe because you blend the skins in. I do strain the seeds out though. I pressure can mine according to instructions that came with my pressure canner.

http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/publications_usda.html This is the USDA's website and they give very accurate and informative how-to information.

Here's a couple looks at my little garden:

The tomatoes--dh made the cages out of a roll of fencing material.

My potatoes growing in tires. We need to add more dirt and another tire soon. The potatoes will fill the levels of tires so you get more potatoes; easier to harvest than digging too. You can stack up to 4 high. We got some old tires from a tire shop. They have to pay to dispose of them so they were happy to give some to us.

ps--dh is embarrassed because the grass is so tall. Normally he cuts it twice a week but last week he only did it once. Have a great weekend and 4th of July!

02 July 2011

DH and His Man Cave--2 WIPs

DH is going through some changes. He's decided to "retire" at the age of 49--I hope it's a temporary thing. Anyway, he, a few buddies and one of our sons have been puttering around in the garage for probably a couple months now making it into a man cave. Here's a few pictures of the status of one of these projects as of today:

Mixing Paint

New Walls

Ooops! Painters Tape Falling Down!

1 of 2 New Ceiling Fans

Son Hard at Work Painting above Garage Door

Son Painting. Really Need to Do Something Where the Opener Connects to Wall.

DH Taking His Turn Painting

The Garage Door Spring Was Painted Too.

Some Trim to Go Somewhere

Our house is an older one--built ca 1959. The attached garage was built in 1969. Up until 2 years ago, there was no way to go from the house to the garage. We got rid of a few closets and built a hallway that led to a new door into the garage.  There was no drywall, nor was there a ceiling in the garage previous to dh's middle-age crisis. With a house this old, there is always something to do but it has good solid "bones" to work with. 

Have a great weekend and enjoy the holiday....

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