Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thimble gathering

So yesterday we had to make a run to Evansville, IN. They have a Michael's, Hobby Lobby and a JoAnn's fabric there. Here we have Notions and Whims (AWESOME little shop!) and Wal-Mart (they're closing their fabric department, I'll have to check out some of their sales...). However, there was some things I needed to get that I couldn't get in either place, and I went ahead and got some things there since I was there. We went to JoAnn's since I hadn't been there yet. I needed to get a set of pinking shears and a rotary cutter. (This I CAN get locally, but figured while I was there, go on and get them there.) I found a kit there that had the cutting board, rotary cutter and clear grid ruler. I also, got some more bobbins and thread. I found an awesome set of thread knife scissors for my Mom, but that would be a birthday present. They were a wee bit pricey. Mr. V found a nice artist tablet for his friend who loves to draw, and Mr. Mike found some nice pencils for that same friend. I do think that they'll make him happy. The thing I was looking for that couldn't be found in town, I found for Ms. Lisa. :) She'll be happy to know I found her #3 round icing tip. And it was a steal at $.99. I hope she doesn't get upset at how much I spent on it. So for Goob's corner bookmarks, I need to find some adhesive backed magnetic strips. That was the ONE thing that I forgot. OH well. Her birthday isn't until September. And Mom and I are going fabric shopping for some fabric for some skirts for me for school when she comes back from Florida. Which will be at the end of the month. Woot. I'm getting pretty excited. :) This is finally starting to come together. YEEHAW!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday's Hearth...feels like summer is comin!

You can always tell summer time is coming around here because you can smell the outdoor grills in the late afternoon on the weekends. And it's no exception at our house. Only our weekends are on Tuesday and Wednesday. Generally, on Tuesday Mr. V grills burgers and brats and whatnot on the grill and I'm making baked fries and baked beans. One day soon we're going to have bbq chicken on the grill. There is something about outdoor grilling you cannot recreate on an inside grill. Those flame charred marks that you get on the outsides of your meat. Sometimes, those are the best parts. This is also the time of year that I crave bbq pulled pork. This is just something easy that I make at home. It's not fancy, or full of my own secret ingredients. I'll be honest, other than the seasoning that I do before hand, it's from a bottle. I know I should be shamed. I'm working on a bbq recipe. And when I get it JUST right, I'll start using it, but right now, it's just not RIGHT. So until then, I'll survive on the bottle types. So this past week I found a rather large boston butt on sale for for less than $1.50/lb. I thawed it out, rubbed it down with some crushed red peppers, salt, garlic powder, chili powder and pepper. Let it rest for about 20 minutes, then I put it in my crockpot. Left it there on high for about 7 hours. When I got back to it, it was falling off the bone. I used my huge grilling spatula and a fork to get it out and put it on this huge platter. Then after de-fatting it, I used two forks to shred the meat up. After shredding it, I added a little more chili powder and a touch of brown sugar, then I added the bottled bbq sauce. I let it set a little longer, then we made sandwiches and ate it. I have some in the fridge for leftovers at lunchtime, and I have a large bowl in the freezer for another day. Yay, for huge meat sales!

I do love summer time. I like how alive everything feels in the evening. Now if this summer stays calm and doesn't rain us out or get so blisteringly hot that you can't breathe.

What's your favourite thing about summer?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Food Waste Friday

We had some old ravioli and some angel hair with garlic butter sauce that needed to be thrown out. The angel hair was something found in the BACK of the fridge. I really should clean that out every week. This will probably be a much bigger blog entry.

I'm sorry that this entry is late today. I had to take my son to the doctor early this morning for a follow-up from the ER/Hospital stay.  He's still on his breathing treatments every 6 hours and he's now on an antibiotic because she wasn't happy with how his ear was looking. She is also looking for a pediatric allergist to start running tests on him for allergies. She said that since he's been to the doctor/ER 3 times since Christmas for such severe asthma attacks, she wants to find the underlying causes. And that it's protocol to see if there is a pattern, rather than just a single random occurrence.  So with that, it's been a rather busy day. And with him being only 16 months old, on a stronger than usual dose of albuterol, he's quite hyper the rest of the day. So I'm constantly keeping him from killing something because he has more energy than even HE can expend.

I found out yesterday morning that my uncle passed away. My Mom has now lost 2 of her 4 brothers. She's handling it better than I thought, but I'm afraid that will all fall down like a house of cards in a hurricane tomorrow at his wake. I also have a baby shower to attend this weekend. And at any other time, it wouldn't be such a big deal, and I could go to both the shower and the wake. They are actually back to back and in the same small town. However, I refuse to take my son to a funeral just yet, and I can't very well take him to a baby shower while he's this sick. So, I am going to have to beg out of both tomorrow. His father is going to come home as early as possible on Sunday, catch a nap, and get up early enough so I can go to my uncle's funeral. Then when I'm home, go back to sleep. Which I know I'm laying out my plans to everyone. It's just really been heavy on my mind. My uncle was a very sick man. He had had his first heart attack at age 30. He is 54. He would have been 55 come July. His kidneys have been failing him because his heart is so weak, it cannot push the blood through his glomerulus in order to form urine. So output must equal input. If it doesn't, it means that all those toxins are still in the blood. So, needless to say, he was very sick. So this wasn't a surprise. But it still has me thinking about our genetics and our choices in life and how that can affect our outcomes. And this is scary. My uncle wasn't a big man. He ate relatively healthy, he was always active until he had such a hard time breathing (again, weak heart beat means not as much oxygen getting to the cells, causes issues with respiration). And since I have an endocrine issue I get my sugar, thyroid and lipid profiles done every year. I have a poor diet, I don't exercise like I should, and my levels are still perfect. Doesn't mean that I CAN'T have a heart attack tomorrow, however overall, I'm a relatively healthy person. And his dying and his struggles in the last 25 years of his life are making me take issue with my own choices and my own lifestyle. Look for some changes coming soon. Because that very well could be me in 20 years. And honestly, my little boy needs his Mommy a little longer than that.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thimble Thursdays...Several things going on.

Sorry for the absence this week. On Monday I had to leave too early and had some errands to run so I wasn't able to post on here. Plus I was still unwinding from graduation and finals. YAY! I'm all graduated. Now on to getting my Bachelors degree, but first, summer break. I haven't had one of these since I was in high school. And trust me, THAT was a VERY long time ago. 1AM Tuesday morning, my son wakes me up having a severe asthma attack. Since his dad works thirds and had the car, and we were out of his albuterol (only used when he was sick, which he wasn't), I had to call an ambulance to come and take us to the ER. The doctor there didn't like how he sounded even after 2 breathing treatments and a dose of steroids. He admitted him overnight. So we head up to the pediatric floor where they put him in a croup (spelling?) tent. He has never slept anywhere overnight other than home in his bed or mine, so needless to say, he didn't sleep and when baby doesn't sleep, Mommy doesn't sleep. His Daddy came as soon as he could from work and spent the night/day with us. It was pretty scary. And I'm so grateful that I have someone to stand with me during such times. BUT, Lil Mr. V is home and he's doing better. He's definitely sleeping better because his neb treatments make him so hyper, then he crashes and sleeps pretty hard.

Now on to the crafty goodness.

So I found some tomatillo plants that Cassie had been wanting to find. And since knowing such a hard time she had been having with it, I bought them for her. The store didn't have many and I was afraid that they would be out. It feels good to do something nice and unexpected for someone. And it really makes the feeling better when they are genuine in their appreciation. And she's such a nice person, giving and giving to so many people, that it's nice to give to someone else for a change. :) Well, she got her plants today. She already had a little bloom already! I hope she has LOTS of fruit so she can make her salsa verde. She said she would let me have a little once she got it made. That's awesome too, because I like salsa verde.

I stopped by our lone fabric store today. I got some remnants and pieces to make my niece some of these for her birthday. I also want to make her one of these but I'm stumped by the book board. I'll find it, it will just take me a little while I think.

I got a camera finally! Yay! So I'll be able to take some pictures. Even BIGGER YAY! I'll have to take some pics of the fabric I got from our little local fabric shop for my niece's birthday present. I might take some tomorrow when I have better light and add it to the post, or even make a separate post later on in the day for it. We'll see.

So what new crafty things are going on your way?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sorry for the lack of updates!

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I was going through finals. Well, last night was graduation ceremonies. So I got to turn my tassel from right to left. :) I am not officially a bachelor's student. Yay! 3 more semesters until I graduate with my bachelors degree. Anyways, again I apologize for not having something to post up on Thimble Thursday and Food Waste Friday. So I'll give you the run down here.

On Tuesday we had our sewing circle meeting, and we had a local news guy come and interview us. Can view the Seams to Me website here and the actual article here. So it was neat to have us out there in an article.

 As far as food waste goes, I had to chuck a hand of bananas that started to mold (irksome because I had just bought them) and some leftover spaghetti that was old. Otherwise, not too bad. This week I haven't been cooking as much because of finals and graduation, so there hasn't been much to throwaway.

Anyways, sorry for the short update, I've got to get to the hardware store to battle the ants that set up a nest in my interior wall because of this flooding we've had. And I have to head to our local produce market. I want to get a few plants and some fresh stuffs.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday's Hearth...the gardening edition

So, I've been wanting to plant a few things for us to eat. I wanted to get as local as possible with my food, which is growing it myself. And I wanted to start my garden from seed. Which is a pretty lofty thing for me, because my thumb isn't exactly's not black or dark brown, but kind of muddy coloured. But oh well! I tried. My cucumbers are BURSTING, these babies are doing awesome! My pumpkins, despite the flood waters, seem to be doing awesome. Everything else... the rosemary, the tomatoes, the onions, the parsley and lavender are doing HORRIBLE. They got to the first 2 leaf stage....and that's it. They remained spindly and never got their true leaves. I'm not sure what I did wrong. I'll have to continue trying to figure it out, I know, practice makes perfect. But because of how good my cucumber plants are doing, I HAVE to get other plants now in order to keep them from dying as well. So I'll be heading to the local farmers market soon to pick up some already started veggies and herbs. I will probably pick up some flowers while I'm at it and work on the front yard some. Especially now that I have a whole summer to play in it. :) Yay! I have some weeding and some mulching and stuff to do this next week after finals. I have two more finals remaining and then I have my graduation on Friday. Which is why this blog has been kind of random when it posts. I'm sorry about that. I've been studying like crazy. Two down and two to go. And I think I've done well on both so far. So, no new recipe this week. Maybe next week, I'll post a couple.

Until tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Triple "R" Tuesday...Random rrrrs

I was talking to my friend Ms. Em the other day and it all started with me asking her if she was still having issues with gluten, as I had just gotten a recipe book for gluten free cookies and I was going to pass it on to her. She was telling me of some plans she's made for her life and many of them include learning to sew and living more sustainably on the land. She's actually had a change towards being environmentally friendly around the same time I had. We have both laughed over this coincidence several times over the past week. And really, when you think on it, it is pretty interesting. We are friends, though we live a couple of hours from one another now. We keep in touch via this world wide web. She's "buying the farm" pretty much. Which is awesome. She's moving closer to work, though out of town. She's setting up garden and she's teaching her child(ren) how to live a more sustainable and respectful lifestyle. And I definitely understand and reflect her sentiments. I'm not buying the farm. This isn't in my financial future at the moment. However, one day, I'd like to be able to live outside the city limits with a few acres and have my own garden and such. That's a one day idea.

Today is can crushing day. We've gotten quite the torrential downpour the last few days so our can stash has accumulated to fill one shopping bag. This most definitely cannot do. Which it will only take less than 5 minutes to accomplish. But it's all the closer for getting it to the recycling center.

I found a nice inexpensive, folding clothes drying rack Kmart no less. Whoohoo! Things like t-shirts and light towels, wash rags can all go on this to dry. While I know it won't completely kill my need to dry my clothes in the dryer, it DOES help a little, and a little is better than not at all. I really do want a clothes line. Another reason to move to the country! So I can hang my sheets on the line. I can remember as kids we used to hang clothes on a line to dry. I also remember when my cousin hung a frog up there to see if it would dry too, but we'll not go into that!

So what small ways do you try to help your energy usage? Do you have everything hooked up to a surge protector and have it turned off at the surge when you're not using the stuff? Do you wash with cold water? Line dry? Hand wash? Turn out the lights when you're not using them? Does every light fixture have CFLs in them? Do you have ceiling fans? So what do you do...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Motherhood to me...

On a fellow blog that I follow, the writer asked us to find a picture of our children or our mothers or all of us together that really represents motherhood to us. So I started digging around in my photos. Granted, I don't have many photos. Not having a camera does that. However, on this day, Lil Mr. V and I were running around the house. He with his "cape" that we fashioned out of a little blanket, and me chasing after him. We were having such a good time, we came to the desk and shot a quick webcam photo. For me, THIS is motherhood. He's grinning and having fun. I'm laughing along with him. And though it's FAR from perfect, it is a precious picture because of the memory of him being the "Caped Crusader" before he really even knows what superheros are. Mother's Day is this coming weekend. Just sit back and think of how great it is to be a Mom. Or just how lucky you are to have/had one. I know I'm blessed by having the Mom that I do and by having the son that I have. :)

Money Monday...Goal Setting.

Sorry in advance if my blog entries this week seem a little short or are late in coming or if they seem a little bit scattered. This is finals week, and so my brain is stuck on Spanish, Hitler, Astronomy and dark germination.

Last week I mentioned figuring out where you spend your money. Once you have that figured out, you should have also figured out how to cut out some of that extra spending. Now you need to set yourself some goals. These need to be realistic goals. Like with losing weight, if you set your goals too high too soon, you are more likely to fail because it's too much. So set minor goals. I know you want to save for retirement and for your children's college and you want to save for that brand new car, etc. But start with an emergency fund. Save enough for you to survive on for 6 months. So if you could survive on $3000 in 6 months, then save that amount of money first. That's a finite amount. Much easier to save when you have a finite amount. OR maybe you want to pay off your car. So figure if you could afford a double monthly payment, and have the extra money go towards principle so you can pay less interest in the end. That will free up more money per month that you can save towards your emergency fund, or towards your retirement, etc. Can you afford to add an additional $50 per month toward your car and save $100 per month toward your emergency fund? Once you have a goal in mind, figure out how long it is going to be before you can achieve it. Once that one goal is met, work towards another one. One thing I will say is, try to minimize your credit card debt as soon as possible. If you can consolidate it onto one card, do so. Put it on the card with the least amount of interest and pay it off as quickly as possible. Never pay credit cards with the minimum payment, as this takes a VERY long time. Pay them off monthly if possible. And if not, look at paying them off before any other debt. Unless you have very little in another bill. For instance, your CC debt is $10,000 and your car note is only $2000, pay off the car, and use the car payment toward your CC debt. So that you can pay it off faster. The less debt you have, the more you can save in the end and the less that actually comes out of your pocket when it is all said and done. So first you figure out how you are spending money, then you figure out where you can cut money. Then you pay down your existing debt as quickly as you can comfortably manage and start saving with the finite accounts first. Eventually you'll be able to open an IRA for your retirement and open savings accounts for your children's education. Next week I'll talk more about living beneath your means and making sensible purchases.