Sunday, November 11, 2018

Good Stuff!

Yes, I put the Willow Tree Sampler away for now. I will finish it up next Spring. It just did not feel like a chilly weather stitch. I have been wanting to stitch an alphabet sampler but I did not want to start anything too big so I found an alphabet I like, pulled some fabric and threads. I am ready to start and it should be a quick stitch!



I have another round of infusions coming up again in January. I always work on an infusion project during this time so I want to get everything together and I usually start on them several weeks before the infusions start. As I have said before, my infusion projects are usually prayers or proverbs. This time my infusion project will be the Praise Sampler by Plumstreet Samplers.

What did I cook for dinner this week that I want to share? Chicken and Dumplings! One of my favorites but also one of the dishes I am very picky about. I set my standards compared to my Grandma's recipe. No one made chicken and dumplings like Grandma!  I have tried several recipes only to be disappointed. I was about ready to give up and just get my chicken and dumplings when we go to Cracker Barrel (who, BTW, makes wonderful chicken and dumplings. As close to my Grandma's as any I had found) but I found a new recipe I thought I would try and it was GOOD! It was easy too which was an added bonus! Now I can have my chicken and dumplings any time I want them! Excuse the picture. NOT ME got a bowl full before I could take the picture!



6 canned biscuits
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 T olive oil
5 cups shredded chicken
1 T parssley
1/4 t dried Rosemary
1/4 t pepper
3 cans (14.5 oz. each) chicken broth
1 (4 oz) can mushrooms, drained
1 chicken bouillon cube

Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces and set aside. In a large pot, saute onion and green pepper until tender. Stir in all the spices, bouillon cube, mushrooms and chicken. Mix well. Stir in broth.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add biscuits, one at a time. Cover and simmer for 11 minutes or until dumplings are done. (Do not lift cover while simmering). Enjoy!

I ordered a few clothes that arrived. One of my very favorite sweaters is the Thermal Hoodie from Roamans. Once again I borrowed a picture from Pinterest.  I have 5 of them now! They are so comfortable and extremely warm on a cold day! They are a little pricey but I watch for those sales!



Until next time may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Chilly Mornings

I took a needed break from stitching for several days so I am not as far along as I hoped to be by now. A few new birds have found the tree.  I am getting really anxious to start on my next stitch so I better get a move on and finish this one up!  Maybe it is the cooler days but I am just not feeling this piece as strongly as I did when I first started. It just feels like more of a spring/summer stitch.



Speaking of cooler days, it is time to start putting out some food for the birds again. I have noticed a lot of cardinals hanging around outside my window in the mornings. It almost looks as though they are trying to get my attention!  I only feed them November thru the end of May. That covers the cold weather and nesting season. The rest of year they have plenty of insects and berries to keep them full.



I made an oldie but goodie for dinner the other night. I used to make this a lot when the boys were little and for some reason I just haven't made it in a long time. It was good and very filling! Even the Grumpy Ol Gazer was pleasantly surprised when he got home from work and saw this sitting on the stove top. It is really hard for me to get good pictures of food. By the time I go get my camera, NOT ME has usually cut into it!



Impossible Cheeseburger Pie
1 lb. lean ground meat
1 large onion
pinch of salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c Original Bisquick mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs

Heat oven to 400. Spray 9" pie plate with cooking spray.
Cook beef and onion in skillet till done. Remove, drain and put in pie plate.
Sprinkle cheese over hamburger.
Mix the rest and pour over mixture. Bake 25-30 minutes.

For those of you who have not heard the news, I have a third and invisible child. His name is NOT ME. He has obviously been around for years. Every time I ask "who did this" the culprit is always the same -- NOT ME.

Until next time may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Christmas is a Comin'

The holidays are sneaking up on us a little faster each year! I remember how I used to cook all kinds of delicious goodies during the festive season! I don't cook the big dinners anymore. We either go out or order a ready made meal to bring in. The first year we went out for Thanksgiving I was floored at how many other people had the same idea to let someone else do the cooking!

I have never really cooked on Christmas. We used to go down to my in-laws so the boys could show them what Santa brought. I have always cooked the week before Christmas making all kinds of appetizer, snacky foods to set out and we would munch on those all day with plenty left over for a few more days! Biscuits with ham or sausage, chex mix, cheese balls and crackers, cream cheese bread and so much more! A big pan of BBQ from our favorite BBQ restaurant is always a must!

Even though I don't cook the family sit down holiday meals anymore, I still like to bake the extra goodies. I thought it would be fun to share some of our favorites with you this season.

The first one I will share is a recipe that I have had in my file box since we were first married. I have never taken a picture of it in all the years I have made it so I borrowed a picture from Pinterest. It is really pretty if you use pink champagne and something fun to pass out to family and friends. 



For those of you (like me) who don't drink, the alcohol continent will cook off and just leave the flavor. I don't recommend putting it on plain toast. UGH. But it goes nicely with a slice of pound cake or another sweet bread or cake.

CHAMPAGNE JELLY
1 1/3 c. champagne or wine
3 cups sugar
1/2 bottle of Certo liquid pectin

In a 3 quart pot stir champagne and sugar (stirring constantly). Boil for 1 minute. Stir in pectin and take off heat. Pour into small decorative jars and seal with a thin layer of Gulf sealing wax.


I took a break from my stitching for a while while the Grumpy Ol Gazer and I worked on getting painting done outside before cold weather takes over. Just to make it clear, the Grumpy Ol Gazer aka my husband is so named because he is an amateur astronomer. I wanted to make that clear! LOL.

Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

One Day At A Time

Life is starting to settle down a bit and getting back to normal. A few minor things are still keeping us jumping otherwise all is as it was before. As I like to say, Dull is good.

The grass is coming up nicely around the Willow Tree and some birds are beginning to find their way to the branches. Several birds bumped their heads on the branch above them but they look fine to me.  I am not going to put Hannah's name at the bottom like is in the design. I decided I wanted to make it mine. I am very happy with it so far and look forward to getting it finished.



I prefer to only do one piece at a time. My poor old mind gets befuddled if I have too much going on at once but I just couldn't help myself. I started on the Stacey Nash design, Buttermilk and Blue but since I HAVE to have some red in just about  every piece I stitch, I am calling it Buttermilk and Blue with a splash of Red! I have not really started. I am still in the setting up stages of picking out the fabric, getting my threads together...... A picture will come once I actually start.

One of my favorite Fall meals is Chili Beans and Cornbread! Really warms you up on a cool day!  I fix my chili several different ways. Sometimes I want a meaty chili and other times I feel like a vegan version. Both are delicious and very filling.  I made some Chili last night and had every intention of taking a picture but by time I got my camera out, it was GONE! LOL.

What is your very favorite Halloween candy? I have loved candy corn since I was a little girl. I still buy a big bag at Halloween time but I don't eat as much of it as I used to. 



I picked up a few houseplants while we were out last weekend. I always enjoy a nice houseplant. They just make everything look fresh and welcoming.



I spent the last several days getting my kitchen back to how I like it! Someone by the name of NOT ME is always moving things around! It really gets on my nerves when NOT ME turns my kitchen upside down. I still have a good bit more to do but I have the counter tops set up to my liking again! But now that I see my pretty organized counters, I realize my kitchen walls need to be painted BAD!

As I sit here I am listening to our resident woodpecker pecking on the house! He used to peck, peck, peck on the gutters. I guess he got tired of that and now he pecks on the house! We even have a hole on the outside that we need to repair or we will have woodpecker babies hanging around within the walls of our house! I bought a woodpecker house just for them to use but he still prefers OUR house! LOL.



Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Life Happens!

This will be a short post as (like the title says) Life Happens when you least expect it! Unexpected things have been happening all week but that doesn't mean they aren't good.
 
I am still working on the Willow Tree Sampler. It is coming along nicely and I will have a new picture to share with you soon.


 
I hope to start sharing pictures of my stash with you within the next month after every thing begins to get back to normal. Every time I promise myself to only stitch from stash I find another design I just have to have! Now I say that I will stitch mainly from stash!
 
Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Good Morning One and All

First things first. I have an update on Willow Tree Sampler to share. Have I mentioned how much I love this piece? The tree has been planted and grass is starting to grow around it now.



I am already going through my stash to choose my next new start!  I have pulled a few to make my pick from. I wish I could blink my eyes and they would be complete and framed!! LOL. The designs that are in the running are Sally Spencer by Birds of a Feather (I have special plans for this one) and Buttermilk and Blue by Stacey Nash. Oh me, oh my, oh you. Whatever shall I do??? LOL. I am leaning towards Buttermilk and Blue. I always enjoy a good alphabet sampler but I could change my mind at the last minute!




I just love a good mail day! Yesterday several orders arrived. A new pair of cozy pajamas and from a stitching store lots and lots of yummy threads!  The wooden hoop I like was out of stock but will be arriving again soon. I can't have too many of these! See the hoop on my Willow Tree Sampler above?

My wild rose is on it's last legs of the season. See you next summer, sweet rose!



We have been working on downsizing or just decluttering the house! We have so much that we just use anymore. My husband is worse than a woman wanting to hold on to things saying "I might be able to use/wear that someday"! LOL. I hate to have yard sales so I usually just bag up the decent stuff and donate it.

We are getting ready to paint the outside of the house this Fall. The main color of the house will be Marshmallow. The doors and shutters will be Hot Chocolate. Doesn't that sound yummy but that's not why I picked those colors. It just worked out that way! LOL



Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart!

Sunday, October 07, 2018

A Sunday Hello

Before I start on anything else, I have an update on my Willow Tree Sampler by Carriage House Samplings. The more I stitch on it, the more I love it!



Where are all the bloggers?  Since coming back to my blog, I have noticed that so many of the regulars are no longer regulars. A lot of them have just given up on their blogs or their posts are few and far between! I guess I'm not one to talk though since I took a 2 year break from my blog! LOL.

I have been working on A Mother's Tree by Lavender and Lace a little bit each month. This and And A Forest Grew by Rosewood Manor are my only two WIPs left in my basket. Once I get this huge tree finished I think it will go much quicker. Also I have been digging into my family history in hopes of finding one more name to add to this tree!



With Summer and Fall, come gnats! We live in an area that is has alot and every time a door is opened, gnats fly in the house!  I hate those little things. I don't like to spray pesticides in the house or in the yard for health reasons so one year when I was looking for something to control these little varmits from taking over indoors, I found these traps. Cute, 2 to a pack, they last a month and best of all, THEY WORK! They are labeled as Fruit Fly traps but they work just as well on ordinary backyard gnats!



Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart!

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

October Days

October has rolled around again! I always enjoy the cooler weather that October brings. Cool enough for a sweater but warm enough to still get out and enjoy the day!  I am hoping to go to a local Apple Festival later this month. I will be looking for some Winesap Apples.



I have a few more finishes to share with you. I started and finished Because Nice Matters by La D Da. I have had this pattern since 2003 and kept pulling it only to put it back in place of something else. Now it is done and I love it!



I also stitched on a freebie by Lori Brechlin over at Notforgotten Farm (link in my sidebar) called Samplermaker.



Right now now I am working on Willow Tree Sampler by Carriage House Samplings. Another pattern I have had for a long time. When we were first married, we each made a list of 5 items we wanted to get over the years. His list was compiled of things like a pick up truck. nice tools, a building out back, ect. While my list was a roll top desk, a bentwood rocking chair, walls full of cross stitch, stacks of quilts in every room and a weeping willow tree.  When we moved into our first house, our new neighbor found out that I wanted to plant a Weeping Willow and promptly let me know that he was allergic to them so to be a good neighbor, I did not get one but I still dreamed of having one. Now I will have my Weeping Willow tree complete with birds!

Monday, October 01, 2018

Hello Again!

OMG!! Don't fall over in shock! Yes, I am actually posting an update to my blog! Time seems to go by so much faster these days.  I have been enjoying Pinterest and Flosstube in between stitching. I have had to put a limit on the Floss Tube videos I watch each day! I have missed my blog so much and still visit everyone else.

A lot has happened since my last post. My laptop died. The awesome zoom lense on my camera also died. I am still looking around for a replacement for both of those. I have had 8 rounds of infusions with more each year.

First of all, let me update you on some of the cross stitch I have either finished or have been working on recently. I have good news and bad news. I had an out patient surgery on my arm and I was not sure how much I would be able to use this arm or if I would even be able to stitch and for how long so I decided to pull out a few WIPs and work on them instead of any new starts until I know my limitations.

Good News. I started Feliz Navidad by BBD right before last Christmas. I would work on it and set it down for several weeks, work on it some more and set it down again. You get the picture. I picked it up to work on again and noticed I was very close to a finish so I did just that!



Good News. I picked up on Sarah Steele again. I had set her aside for a while and when I wanted to start again, she was GONE! I tore my house apart looking for her but she finally came out of her hiding place! Another WIP finish. Unfortunately, my fabric ran short and I was not able to stitch the entire design but I still love it!



Good News.I was able to finish up Backyard Birds by La D Da around the first of the year which had been in my WIP basket.



Good News. And The Prayer of St. Francis by Lizzie Kate was an infusion project.



Good News. My first start of the year was Remember Me by Sheepish Designs. I love the simplicity of it. I started working on it with the colors listed. The more I worked on it, the less I liked it. Pastels are just not my favorites. I pulled some new fabric and threads in colors I liked and started over. 



My infusion project for my last round of infusions was The Lord is my Shepard by New York Dreamer.



I have ordered a few items for my stash. Mainly fabrics and threads. I have plenty of designs in my stash but I have picked up several older and OOP patterns that I just "had to have"!  I missed out on Stitch May-nia. By the time I had made my decisions, May was over! LOL. Instead I will concentrate on my Stitching Bucket List. Who knows, after all that has been happening lately I may reward myself for surviving it all with more than one new start!

Thank you for stopping by! Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart!

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Stitching and Cooking

I have not gotten a lot of stitching done since my last post. We had a spurt of warm weather which sent many of the trees around here into thinking it was Spring and they began to bud! That's all it took for my allergies to kick up - BAD! Spring is my worst allergy season anyway.
 
I have decided on my next infusion project. It will be Sarah Steel 1772 by Tree of Life Samplings! I am really excited about this piece and it will be a wonderful project to take along with me to my infusions. The ladies that work there always like to look at what I am working on and I just love all the compliments my stitching gets.  (picture by Tree of Life Sampling)


I had planned to control myself with the Nashville Market goodies coming out. I couldn't resist a peek at the wonderful designs that were being offered. So far, so good. Or so I thought! I know of a handful that I will be ordering! Oh well. Why fight it? Right? LOL.
 
BIG NEWS! Section 7 of AAFG is FINISHED! That means that the top of this BAP is completed and it only took me way too many years to get it done! I just have to focus and make sure the bottom half doesn't take that long! (sorry the picture came out sideways)


One night last week, I decided to make some sweet potato wedges as a dinner side for my husband since he LOVES those sweet potatoes! It was a new recipe and since I don't eat sweet potatoes, I only had my family's reaction to go on. They were a HIT. The boys loved them and my husband asked me to fix them more often and to fix more when I did have them. I got the recipe over at bakerbynature.com and  I thought I would share the recipe with you.
Ingredients
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled (or unpeeled, if you like skin) and cut into wedges
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees (F). Line a large baking sheet with tinfoil (shiny side up); place baking rack onto prepared baking sheet; set aside.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes (if preferred) and cut off the pointy ends. Slice the sweet potatoes in half (lengthwise), then cut each piece into wedges.
  3. Place the sweet potato wedges in a large bowl, then add in the olive oil, salt, sugar, seasoning, and black pepper. Mix well, making sure each wedge is coated with oil and spices.
  4. Arrange the sweet potato wedges in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn on the broiler and bake for another 3-5 minutes, or until they're well browned and crispy. Keep an eye here - it's easy to burn when the broiler is on!
  5. Cool wedges on pan for 5 minutes, then serve at once! (I put some parsley flakes and grated parmesan on them for extra flavor). Picture by Baker by Nature.com


Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart!

Monday, February 15, 2016

HIDDEN TREASURES

Look what I found while rummaging through my closet! A whole stack of newly framed, still in the brown wrapper cross stitch pieces! Obviously these were framed in the Spring of 2013. Right before I went into the hospital, had my nightmare diagnosis and it seemed like my whole life went into a tail spin. I must have set them in the closet to come back to them and then I forgot!! I would think about them once in a while and wonder where they were or even worse, I would wonder if I had dreamed stitching them at all!!!
 
Sarah Schall by Heartstring Samplery. Look at the detail on that frame!!



Needleworker by Little House Needleworks. I love how the white thread in the bird's mouth trails through the piece!


 Primitive Adam and Eve by Country Rustic Primitives. Love this piece!


And last but not least, The Stars were Brightly Shining by Heartstring Samplery. This is my second piece with a verse from my very favorite Christmas carol, O Holy Night. I love the frame on this piece also!



Thanks for stopping by to see me! Until next time, may you have simple days and uncluttered heart!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Beef A Roni Recipe - DELICIOUS!

It's that time of year again! Time to update my recipes and look for some new ones to take the boredom out of dinner time. I had some luck over at Pinterest and found a good many that I would like to try. Sometimes my eyes are bigger than my grocery budget! Now to make my next menu and slip several of these new meals in there!
 
I have a confession to make. I LOVE FOOD. I don't mean that I sit down and just stuff my face though. I really enjoy food. The taste. The aroma. The entire process. Whether it is made at home, take out or going to a restaurant for a meal. I love to try new foods, savor the classics and melt away with the comfort foods. And the less fuss, the better. By fuss, I mean an over abundance of bells and whistles. It can be simple (few ingredients), easy to make and still taste wonderful! To coin an old phrase, sometimes less is more!


Several of the BIG food topics floating around now are eating healthy (or eating clean), budget recipes and gluten free. Because of my health issues I have to follow certain guidelines with the foods I cook and eat but I will admit that sometimes I cheat because I just HAVE to eat some cheesecake or get a take out burger!
 
I would like to share some of these recipes here so that you can enjoy them too! One of the first recipes I want to share is something I found on Gal on a Mission. I have always loved Beef a Roni but as long as I can remember, we always bought it in the can. Easy, yes but I wanted to fix it and know exactly what was going into it! 
 

I was very pleased how easy it was and delicious it turned out to be. I served it with roasted potatoes (recipe later) and a tossed salad. Plus there was enough left over for a week's worth of lunches and/or snacks. So if you like left overs, this is your dish!  

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • ½ tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 14 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 pound of macaroni noodles
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Cook the macaroni noodles according to the instructions on the package.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and add in the all of the spices. Make sure the ground beef is fully cooked.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and tomato sauce. Simmer on low for about 10-12 minutes or until the noodles have finished cooking.
  4. Stir in the noodles.
  5. Serve with Parmesan cheese (optional)

The recipe calls for tomato sauce which is another sore spot in my cooking lately. I wanted a tomato sauce without all the extras. Something simple and once again, something that I know exactly what is in it! We will discuss homemade tomato sauce later in another post.