Monday, November 9, 2009

Knitting! I think I can, I think I can.

Fun! Fun! Fun!
I came across this pattern on Martha Stewart's site. I loved it instantly and wanted to try it for myself. So I dug right in and with help from a knitting book and many questions typed into Google (ex: How do I cast on? How do I knit? How do I Pearl or Purl ?(I've seen it spelled both ways? How do I increase???... and on and on ) I was on my way. About 15 or 16 hours later (I saw one site where a woman had made it in 3 hours) I am the proud owner of a neck scarf. I'm sure, now that I know how to knit a little I will be able to make the next one much faster?
Happy Knitting:0)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Wow!!! I was on "blog-rest" for a long time~
I really did have all kinds of fun things to share, but excuse #1 my son Morgyman borrowed my camera for a ten day trip back east in June and somehow I just didn't pick it up again until now.
Partly because the SD card was completely filled and we never got around to transferring the pictures. So now I have a new SD card all to myself.

Sooooo, I thought I would share a little craft I did last night for scrapbooking. It has many, many flaws. With practice I will get better~and with the right tools. I got this idea off of Martha Stewart. I love it, the picture is clip art that my sister Angela had sent to me years ago. I just slipped it in for now. When I make my next one I will of course have a family members picture in the frame and then it will go into one of my scrapbooks.

P.S. Don't you love the dragonfly brads? I sure do:)

~A thing of beauty is a Joy Forever~

I find that the happiest days are creative days:~)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Faux Milk "Naturally" Delicious

Almond "Milk" Mmmmm, Mmmmm, good :)

Actually the label on this antique milk bottle is a little deceptive when it comes to people who are milk intolerant like me. It really should say "Be Wise, DO NOT drink cows milk." I use to drink lots of milk in my teenage years and into my early twenties. I was having a lot of pain in my stomach and intestines, but did not associate it with drinking milk. After all, milk is a bodies best friend, right???

Finally I went to see a specialist who quickly determined that I was highly allergic to milk and milk products. Sigh !!! I was also an ice cream fanatic what was I to do now? Well, I promptly quit drinking milk, I was amazed that all the pain I had had for years disappeared in about a weeks time.

During that time Tony came across a book called Fit for Life (recipe is also in The American Vegetarian Cookbook--See side bar). In it I found a recipe for something called Almond Milk, it seemed completely foreign to me at the time. I decided to try it. Well needless to say I am still making it twenty-three years later. I love it. And the picture below shows everything you need to make it.

  • 1 cup of raw almonds
  • 4 cups of water (I use RO water or alkaline water)
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup (optional)(I never add the maple syrup)
  • a simple blender or Vita-Mix
  • one medium-size fine strainer
  • cheesecloth to line the strainer (optional)
  • a large bowl
  • a container with lid, for storage
Blanch 1 cup of raw almonds by placing them in 1 cup boiling water. Allow them to stand until the water has cooled slightly, and then peel off skins, or prepare milk with unblanched almonds. (Milk from blanched almonds will be slightly whiter in color and smoother in consistency with no difference in flavor.)

Dry almonds well.

Place almonds in blender and grind to a fine powder. Add sweetener (if using) and 3 cups of water. Blend again for 1 to 2 minutes to form a smooth cream.

With blender running on high, add remaining cup of water slowly through opening of blender lid. Blend 2 minutes. (I'm showing off here by taking the lid off to take the picture).

Place the strainer over a large bowl; to ensure a smooth milk, line the strainer with cheesecloth. (If you do not have cheesecloth, you can simply strain your milk twice, using an even finer strainer the second time.) Pour almond milk slowly into strainer and allow to filter through. Add liquid to strainer in increments and just let it drain naturally, or stir the milk in the strainer with a spoon to encourage it to pass through more rapidly.
When all the milk has passed through the strainer, there will be approximately 1/2 cup of almond fiber accumulated. If you have used a cheesecloth liner, you can pull the edges together and gently squeeze the remaining milk out of the fiber, or use a spoon to gently press the remaining milk through the strainer.

The fiber can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days and used as a moisturizing body scrub when you shower.

And there you have it, a "naturally good for you milk" :0)

And one last note.

All I do is periodically purchase (when the price is good) a bunch of almonds from the health food store, (last time 50 lbs.) I put them in gallon size freezer bags and pop them in the freezer. They keep that way for a long time. I put a small amount in an old glass milk bottle in my refrigerator and as I use them I just re-fill the bottle from the bags in the freezer.

Almonds are such a versatile nut they can be used for many purposes.
1. Just snack on them plain
2. Put them in a trail mix
3. Make candy with them
4. Make Almond milk, which then can be used to pour over cereals, and to make almond "shakes" in many flavors, or almond flavored "milks".
4. Sprinkle them over green beans, or use in chinese meals etc.
5. I make soups with it.
6. Smoothies
7. Use it in baking.

It is so easy to make and soooo, good for you too!

I'll be back soon {:~)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shakespeare, To Ruff Or Not To Ruff---That Is The Question...

Here is our loyal family dog Indy, modeling a Shakespearean Ruff collar that I made.
Do you really think he was sitting there so nicely for the picture--no way!

What you don't see is that I am holding up a piece of chicken lunch meat above the camera to help encourage him to let me take the picture. He was so excited to get the meat that he kept doing flips and rollovers constantly, it really took some effort to calm him down and have him sit still.

It was really fun to make these, and here is a quick description of how it was accomplished.

1. I first measured Tony's and then Morgy Man's and then Penny's, necks, and added about 1 inch to that measurement or less.
2. I then used 4 inch wired ribbon (from my craft storage for Tony and Morgy). Penny bought the ribbon you see on Indy, from Michaels.
3. It took approximately 4 to 6 yards of ribbon per Ruff Collar.
4. I used a ruler to measure how wide I wanted each pleat (between 1 inch and 1 1/2 inches ).
5. I than pleated the whole length of ribbon .
6. I then took needle and thread and "sewed" through each pleat at the side that would be around the neck, to draw the ribbon tight to form a circle.
7. I then attached ribbon at each end opening, so it can be tied around the neck.
8. Voila!!! All done, what fun!!!

I have now made two of these in different ribbons. When I have made enough of them I will have a Shakespeare party and everyone attending will be encouraged to wear one.
I can't wait!!!

Bye for now`:~)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Artful Homekeeping

I have had these jars for about ten years. As you can see I use them in my laundry/bathroom area to store supplies. I decided I wanted to put tags on them. I happened to be at a craft outlet store and came across these metal painted tags. They were marked down to .25 cents each. I thought the price was right, so I purchased eight of them and tied them on with hemp string that I had in my craft storage (more on this later).

And if anyone is curious about the tennis balls?...
I use them when I dry our down pillows and comforters after washing them. I just toss them into the dryer and they bounce around nicely and help "fluff" up the feathers as they are being dried.

These smaller baskets I use to keep different items in. For example, socks that are waiting to find their match, spray and wash, shoe cleaner and other sprays, a dusting brush, do it yourself dry cleaning supplies, etc.

From right to left (I'm going backwards) Round crystal deodorant balls from Good Earth Health Store, Dove soap bars, Laundry detergent (I use many different varieties), Q-Tips, Bounce dryer sheets, Tennis Balls, Magnetic Dusting Cloths, and on the far left of the picture above, I have one empty glass jar.
Any suggestions on what to store in it?

And finally the larger baskets I use for clean folded laundry, waiting to be put away. The wooden tags on these are quite old and falling apart, Morgy Mans isn't even there anymore its a mystery where it disappeared to. I'm thinking of changing these out for larger metal tags. Hmmm. Tony wants me to fix up the old ones (I'll have to see):)

Have a happy homekeeping day:)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Oh! What A Beautiful Morning!!!

I stepped out my front door the other evening about 11:30 and a wonderful fragrance floated by. The scent of our lilac bushes. I stood still for a moment, breathed deep and took it all in.

I have a notebook I keep on questions for my Heavenly Father. One of these questions has been.
Q: Couldn't you have made the lilacs bloom for more than a few weeks?

Answer ??? I haven't received one.
But on pondering my question, I see it as one more lesson God teaches us. " Stop and smell the roses or lilacs" and to appreciate and show gratitude for what's right before our eyes--for soon it will be gone.

These pictures are not very clear, but it looks as if they have their lunch in their beaks. Compliments of our backyard:-)

Our pretty Iris bulbs we received from my sister Penny she planted them for us a few years ago. I love the color! Don't you?
Our new update to our yard. A kind neighbor who works in concrete is going to pour us and him a concrete driving area, here...,(see picture below) which connects our property lines. Now it will be a much nicer surface to get to the backyard through the gate with equipment and garden soil etc.
And now to close with this gentle song and evening picture taken from my bathroom window.
(Excuse the screen)

Now the Day is Over
Now the day is over; Night is drawing nigh;
Shadows of the evening Steal across the sky.

Jesus, give the weary Calm and sweet repose;
With thy tend'rest blessing May our eyelids close.

Text: Sabine Baring-Gould, 1834-1924
Music: Joseph Barnby, 1838-1896


Sunday, April 19, 2009


I am happy to introduce you to my first ever quilt "Traveling Bunnies."
Aren't they adorable?
(These pictures do not do it justice.)

I can take very little credit for the finished product. And all the OOZZEE and AAWWH"S go to my sister Angela.

Angela sent me the fabric with this handy dandy chart that she put together to make it as easy as possible for me.

Even then, there were phone calls to her with questions like:
Q: Me,
How do I use the wonder Under?

A: Angela,
-Rough side of Wonder Under to wrong side of fabric.
-Iron on "Cotton setting" 5 to 6 seconds per area.
-"Warning"! Do not drag the iron across the fabric, pick it up and set it down on the fabric.
Etc. Etc. Etc.

After a few phone calls, (some loooong phone calls) and working on them for about a month I had my bunnies put together on their background fabric awaiting the journey to my sister's home. The day finally arrived and the Bunnies and I boarded the plane. When we got to her home my sister went to work--it was wonderful watching her weave her magic freehand style with her long arm quilting machine as I sat surrounded by colorful fabrics and beautiful quilts that she had created and displayed on the walls all around the room---soooo cozy!
I flew home a week later with my first quilt, ready to enjoy. It was my birthday present from her. Great present huh?

Here is a few close-ups of a couple of the bunnies.

The book we got the bunny template from is "Another nice mix" by Gerry Kimmel.
Its actually called "Walking Rabbit"

Until next time:-)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


People could add joy and meaning to their lives if they took time to observe their surroundings.
Helen Keller

I have had this precious Gardener's Journal by Mary Engelbreit for about twelve years (It is now sadly out of print) and I have never used it. I decided that this would be the year. It has a place to draw in your property boundaries and then grids for drawing to scale, porches, sheds, walkways, garden areas, trees, etc.. It also has a month to month summary area to write in what you have done each month in your yard. It has a place to write about your future plans and also an area to put before and after photos.

And now, (drum roll please), a preview of the beginnings of our garden.

A tender Lettuce plant

A brave Radish plant has pushed itself through the soil.

Helen Keller said:

...Use your eyes as if tomorrow you would be stricken blind.
Here the music of voices, the song of a bird, the mighty strains
of an orchestra as if you would be stricken deaf tomorrow.
Touch each object you want to touch as if tomorrow your
tactile sense would fail.

And now, last but defiantly not least, an update on our egg number 3.
1)Clean back porch.
2) Plant flowers in containers on front porch.

A friend and I went to pick my Mother up to spend Easter week with us, while I was gone Morgyman cleaned the back porch:). And for the containers on the porch? I'm going to go with my Mom this week to the nursery to pick out flowers to plant in them. With the Holiday we are one week behind on our eggs, sooo egg number 4 will be opened this Sunday.

UPDATE: While I was writing this post I let the dog outside and surprise.!!! is snowing, the ground is covered in beautiful white, along with my peas, lettuce's, beets, and radishes. Sigh...

as Tasha Tudor quotes "Take Joy"
Bye for now:-)

Monday, April 13, 2009

There Is Beauty All Around

A lovely tree in bloom in my front yard.

Mt. Timpanogos
The Legend of The Sleeping Princess Silver Moon
(Sorry! I could not make it a direct link-it would not work, so it will be "cut and paste")

I Love this majestic and inspiring mountain that I look at everyday right outside my window. I love it most with blue sky and snow still atop its peaks.

Here is a picture of the first full moon on April 9th (after the Vernal Equinox), which then determines that Easter will be the first Sunday after this moon. I love its misty appearance.
While I was taking the picture the song "I Only Have Eyes For You" came into my mind.

My love must be a kind of blind love
I can't see anyone but you

Are the stars out tonight?
I don't know if it's cloudy or bright
I only have eyes for you, dear

The moon may be high
But I can't see a thing in the sky
Cause I only have eyes for you

I don't know if we're in a garden
Or on a crowded avenue
You are here, so am I

Maybe millions of people go by
But they all disappear from view
And I only have eyes for you

Until next post:-)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Welcoming Spring

In the snowing and the blowing,
In the cruel sleet,
Little flowers begin their growing
Far beneath our feet.

Softly taps the Spring, and cheerly,~
"Darlings, are you here?"
Till they answer, "We are nearly,
Nearly ready, dear."

"Where is Winter, with his snowing?
Tell us, Spring," they say.
Then she answers, "He is going,
Going on his way.

"Poor old Winter does not love you;
But his time is past
Soon my birds shall sing above you;~
Set you free at last."

Mary Mapes Dodge

Hello, I am brand new to blogging and feel as if I am brand new to computers. What a challenge it has been for me to begin learning how this works. I am starting out slow and hopefully over time I will know how to put it all together.

To begin my blog I will share our celebration of the first day of spring:

We had a wonderful "herbal tea party/dinner" where we discussed what happens on the day of the Vernal Equinox (Spring/Equal Night). The Vernal Equinox is the point at which the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator from south to north marking the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. The Sun is above the equator and night and day are of approximately equal length.

For our activity I explained how we would use our "spring basket." As you can see in the picture above, our basket has twelve plastic eggs nesting on wheat grass. Within each of these eggs is a list of family work to be done (written on card stock and cut out in the shape of eggs and held together with a brad to keep them from becoming lost) each week in the garden, the yard, and the garage. The work can seem burdensome, so I divided it into twelve weeks which makes the work seem more doable, and helps us keep on track for proper planting times, pruning and so on.

We opened egg number one and it told us to...
1) Clean and organize the tool shed.
2) Prepare 3-4'x4' garden boxes by adding compost and vermiculite to the soil from last year and then planting lettuce, peas, beets and radishes.
3) Radically prune the rose bush in the front yard as the snow bent it over and broke the trellis which had been holding it upright.
4) Clean out mailbox as we have bugs setting up house in the back of it.

This work was done on Saturday and was a great success! Not only did we accomplish the list (thanks to Tony and son, Morgyman and their strong muscles and stick-to-it-ivness) but Tony also pruned the fruit trees, berry bushes and our tree in the front yard. Tony and Morgyman even had time to go golfing afterward.

The best thing was that the first day of Spring was actually spring like, it was beautiful and so was the day following. As the afternoon wore on I could feel a storm brewing, I knew it was coming. I had previously looked at the weather report online, so no surprises there. It is amazing to know that we have the tiniest little seeds nestled under a thin layer of soil, now with snow lying atop of them, and yet I know they will grow. It is like the poem says,

"In the snowing and the blowing,
In the cruel sleet,
Little flowers begin their growing
(in this case vegetables)
Far beneath our feet".

Egg number two was opened on Sunday, March 22nd and read:
1) Clean and organize the garage, and did it need it! (Once again I can take no credit-I was doing housekeeping duties indoors-while Tony and Morgyman were working hard in the cooold garage).
Yeah! Egg number two accomplished.

I will let you know what egg number three reveals. We will be opening it up Sunday evening at our Family Council Meeting (planning for the upcoming week).

Until then have a great week:-)