Sunday, December 30, 2012

Product Reviews R Back!


Batiste Dry Shampoo

This stuff is wonderful! My hair, which is baby-fine and straight as a board, will do anything with a good spraying of this stuff first. I love the way my hair behaves when I use this stuff before styling it. I can also go 2-3 days without washing which is impossible normally. As you can see, it comes in a brown color so that your hair won't look like it has powder in it if you have darker hair. It smells great too. Spray it all over your head, lifting your hair to get to the oilier parts close to your scalp. Fluff it up with your hands and let it dry. (It will be slightly damp after you spray this on.) The only place I have found this is at Ulta. You can also order it online at www.ulta.com. They always have a coupon on their main page, so be sure and check there for a coupon code before ordering. $7.99 to $8.99 USD per can.


Plackers Dental Floss Thingies

I love these things too! Convenient and you can carry a few in your purse for those times when you get a hunk of vegetation stuck in your teeth. Disposable, fresh, and minty! I paid $3.27 for this pack at Wal-Mart.

I should write commercials.


I found this painting at my local antique mall (junk shop really) about three weeks ago. Ain't it purdy?

$12.50 - 20%
Cha-ching!

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Watching the Cowboys & Redskins play tonight. Cowboys MUST win or their season is over. Oh, the pressure!

Thank you to my sweet friend, Janis, for reminding me about the Product Reviews!

The Blog

I think some of you may have misunderstood what I meant in my last entry when I said, "I just need to stop." I didn't mean stop blogging. I meant stop worrying and thinking about the direction of the blog. There is no direction. It's just about my life. Just because I'm not crocheting anymore or participating in all the crochet forums and sites, doesn't mean I can't still contribute something (even if only to myself) here. That's all I meant.

Just wanted to clear that up!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Whining But Other Stuff Too

For awhile now, I've been contemplating the direction of this blog. Today I decided I just need to stop it, because although this became mostly about crochet for several years, it's really just about my life -- at least the parts I feel like sharing. If that doesn't include crochet right now, that's okay. It's amazing how big my world probably seems to you, when really, it's mostly lived right here inside my home. How many pictures can you take of the inside of a house and yard? Apparently quite a few!

The crochet fever that has consumed me for the past few years has left me. All the joy I got from it has been sucked out. Crochet is a very solitary craft. My mind wanders and works things out and imagines and solves problems while I crochet. I'm alone with my mind. I cannot be alone with my mind right now, or I don't want to be. I don't want to think about the things in the direction it automatically goes. They're sad and distracting and can incite anger or tears with no warning at all.

So yet one more thing has been taken from me that I loved. Boo-hoo, drama queen.


I cleaned out all my crochet stuff the other night. I threw away a giant lawn bag full of yarn, put another full one aside for donating, and what you see above is what is left. There are three more boxes off to the side in this room that are not pictured, but you can see that it's still A LOT. It's all going up in the attic. Maybe someday I'll get the bug again and get it all down, and maybe not, but it needs to stop taking up our space in the house if I'm not using it. Off it goes!

I really wanted to give it all away, but it would cost me a fortune in postage so I quickly put that idea out of my mind. I'm keeping all the books and patterns in the house -- and there are a ton of them. I still enjoy looking through them every now and then. I bet I've looked through my crochet books and pamphlets 100 times at least. Yes, I still love the crochet patterns.

Our bedroom feels so big now! Who knew we had all that space in there? I bought a new bed for the master bedroom right before Christmas. I'll show you and tell you about it in another post soon.

Now I have to figure out what I'm going to do with all my time. Nothing has come to mind other than maybe a little exercise? Go ahead and laugh. I did! But you never know. Look what happened to Kate!

One thing I'll still be doing is eating. Everybody has to eat, right?


Texas Caviar

1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can black-eyed peas, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
6 green onions, chopped

Dressing:
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (or regular)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp black pepper

Drain and rinse first five ingredients listed above and place into a large bowl. Mix dressing ingredients in a small saucepan and heat to the boiling point, stirring to dissolve sugar. Pour dressing ingredients over the first ingredients and combine well. Cover and refrigerate, stirring every few hours throughout the day. Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips as a dip, inside burritos, or serve over fish or chicken. 


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Now excuse me while I go play with the Kindle Fire that I got for Christmas. Maybe I can find a good book to live in for a few days. Suggestions happily accepted!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Kris' Mac & Cheese




I made Kris' Mac & Cheese this evening. We are about to dig in. Can't wait. Thank you, Kris, for taking the time to make that post for me!




A few shots of Miss Sammi. She's very hard to photograph. For one, she's so black she just soaks up all the light and you usually end up with a picture of a black blob. I had to set up a bright light just to get these. Secondly, she just doesn't like it when you hold a camera up in her grill.


Our melting, yellow, snowman.
LOL

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ramen Broccoli Slaw

Who else feels yucky from eating too much Christmas crap?? I decided I need to balance it out by eating some healthy stuff today. I found this recipe the other day and have been anxious to try it. It's SO GOOD! The Captain is eating a big 'ol bowl of it right this minute.





Ramen Broccoli Slaw

1 pkg broccoli slaw
5 green onions, chopped
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds (salted or unsalted)
Raw noodles from 2 Beef Ramen Noodle pkgs

Dressing

1/3 cup sugar (Splenda works too, but use less)
1/3 cup canola or veg oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (or regular white)
Seasoning packet from Ramen Noodle pkgs

Add all the salad ingredients to a large bowl and mix.  (Crunch up the noodles before adding so all you have are small pieces.) Mix dressing ingredients in a jar. Shake it up well. Taste test it and adjust it to your liking. I added a little garlic powder and salt to mine. Shake it up again and pour it over the salad. Mix well.  (At this point I transferred it to a plastic container with a tight lid so I could easily shake it up every hour or so.) Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving, or eat it now and save some for later. The sooner you eat it, the crunchier it will be. 

Yum-Yum
Healthy and full of fiber!

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Did I mention that it SNOWED on Christmas Day?
I'm still tickled over it.
A gift from the heavens.

Oh, I'm back in blogland, baby!
And it feels good!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It's a White Christmas In Texas

I took these pics and video about an hour after it started snowing.  It's much deeper now and still coming down.  YAY!  I love snow!




These pics of my nieces and nephew were taken yesterday at Christmas brunch at my sister's house.







This is a short video of Fletch & Eli playing in the snow.
They love it.
So much like children!


We are waiting for the Captain to get home from work to have our Christmas. The dogs all have a package under there, and we decided to buy gifts for each other this year. I'm making sausage and bean soup for dinner. He should be home by 5:00. I'm sure the snow will slow him down.

I hope you all had a nice Christmas Day and it continues into the evening.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Simon

I could watch these Simon cartoons all day. They make me laugh. Enjoy.






Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Candy & Cookie Recipes

Get out your Crayolas and write down these recipes!  Or you could be all high-tech and copy, paste, and print if you're the fancy type.


Puppy Chow Candy


Someone was sneaking bites.
The dogs each got two of these.  ;)
Not too many or you'll make them sick!
Super-Easy and makes a great gift.

Puppy Chow Recipe

1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter

Put in a LARGE bowl & microwave until melted...
Stir...
Add 9 cups of Rice Chex cereal...
Stir until coated...
Put 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar in a gallon-size plastic bag...
Dump cereal in...
It WILL fit!
Shake, shake, shake your bootie.
Pour out onto waxed paper to dry.
Ta-Dah...
Puppy Chow!


Andes Chocolate Mint Cookies

(Mary's White Cookies with Andes Mints added; see below)


Plain Mary's White Cookies

I love these...they're so crumbly and grainy...not soft or doughy the way a lot of people like to make their cookies. There's nothing like them! I've gotta make them once a year.

Mary's White Cookies

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
4 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix first 5 ingredients with a mixer until well-combined.  In a separate bowl, mix the rest of ingredients and stir together. Add to first mixture and mix by hand until you have a nice dough. Refrigerate dough overnight.  (I have made these right away without refrigerating and it works, but it's easier if you let the dough chill overnight.) Roll into balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Press down with a glass that has been dipped in sugar. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Make these plain or add chocolate chips or mint chocolate chips. I used Andes Chocolate Mint pieces this time.

Thank you to my MIL, Bonnie, for the recipe. And of course, Mary, her long-time neighbor that passed away a few years ago. Bonnie used to send these to us every year for Christmas in a big coffee can. My favorite part was when they were all gone and there would be a bunch of crumbles in the bottom of the can. I'd eat them with a spoon. Oink-oink, little piggy!


Pink Peanut Patties

These I just spooned onto waxed paper to cool and solidify.


These I spooned into a muffin tin to get that perfect shape.

Pink Peanut Patties

1 1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cups white corn syrup (Karo)
1 cup evaporated milk (not sweetened)
2 1/2 cups raw peanuts, not salted
4 tsp butter
1 cup powdered sugar
Red food coloring, as desired

Place sugar, syrup, milk, and peanuts in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil. Boil to softball stage (240 degrees F). If you don't have a candy thermometer, bring mixture to a FULL boil and continuing boiling for exactly 7 minutes. Take off the heat. Add butter and a few drops of food coloring; mix well.  (I also added 1 tsp vanilla to mine.) Continuing beating until mixture starts to get thick. Quickly drop by big spoonfuls onto waxed paper or into muffin tins. Work quickly or they will set-up too much and won't spread appropriately. Two people working together works best. The Captain was a good little helper!


Penuche or Brown Sugar Fudge

JUST YUM! This recipe turned out perfect. This is my sister's favorite home-made candy. We've had a hard time finding a good recipe, but not anymore, Brenda! You'll see Monday morning...

Penuche

3/4 cups butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2 cups packed brown sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk (not sweetened)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1-2 cups pecans or walnuts, optional

Line an 8" x 8" pan with foil leaving plenty of overlap for "handles."  Spray foil with cooking spray.  Set aside.  Get your electric mixer ready to go.

Combine butter, brown sugar, milk, and salt in a 2-quart saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring until mixture comes to a boil.  Insert candy thermometer and continue to stir occasionally until mixture comes to softball stage (240 degrees F).  If you don't have a thermometer, bring mixture to a FULL boil, and then let it boil while stirring for exactly 7 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time mixing well with an electric mixer.  Quickly pour into your prepared pan.  Allow to cool completely.  Lift from the pan using the foil overhang and cut into pieces.  Store in an airtight container.

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Thank you all for sticking with me while I took a break.
I love you all!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Crochet reindeer & photo credit HERE.

P.S. Why are some words in my posts getting linked without me doing it? How annoying! There used to be a way to stop that from happening in Settings, but I don't see it. Anybody?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dogs & Cookies


Happy Eli at the park.
He's 4 today.  Happy B-day, Eli!


Little Ollie Wally
He got neutered a week ago. Poor baby.
It barely fazed him.
No more humping for you Mister!


Fletch & Janie
There's Fletch with his silly teeth showing again.
Don't they look good together.
They're very affectionate with one another.


Sweet Miss Sammi
She turned 6 recently.


Janie looks thrilled.
She needs to relax.  LOL.


Janie being clingy.  She loves me.
The feeling is mutual, Janie.
We call her Judy or Julie or Nadine most the time.
We can't ever remember her name.


Old World Butterhorns

Pain in the ass, but OH SO GOOD and totally worth it once a year. Mine turned out kinda ugly, but who cares? Lots more cookies and candy to make this weekend!

See ya!

Saturday, December 08, 2012

I'm Making that Final Turn

If you can't or don't want to hear "bad" language, don't read this entry. I'm speaking from the heart here, and apparently my heart is full of "bad" words. Hehehe. But seriously, it is. The last thing I need is some sanctimonious asshole ripping on me for my choice of language. There. That sets the tone nicely, don't you think?

I just can't come back to blogging yet. Can't do it. I so wish I could spill my guts with the details out on this page so y'all would know what's happening, but that's just not me. It's also a very loooooong story that involves one of my sons, and I'm not into airing anybody's dirty laundry in public, including my own. I'm not even sure I could sort it all out for you if I wanted to. I'm really a very private person, although I know you can't tell that by just reading here. A lot of things have happened over the years that haven't made it to these pages. The really deep-down shit that hurts like a mother fucker never gets talked about here. (I also try to never say mother fucker, but I just did.  Oh well.) I try to keep it real, but I don't get too personal. You might read hints of a sordid history here and there, but that's it.

And this time of year doesn't help a thing. God, I hate the holidays! Always have, but this year is even a huger pain in the ass under the circumstances. Can't I just go to bed and get up in January?

I've been stripped bare-naked, skinned raw, and ripped to my core by my own flesh and blood. Sounds so fucking dramatic and over the top, no? But that's exactly how it feels, metaphorically speaking. I just wish I could die a lot of the time, but I'm just stubborn enough to not give anybody the satisfaction. Mean people live a long time. Oh and I'm very angry too. Let's not forget angry. I bounce between extreme hostility and anger (Fuck him! How dare he! Go straight to hell! Who do you think you are?!), and weepy, pitiful, uncontrollable sobbing (Wah! Poor me! How could he? God, why? It hurts so bad! Boo-hoo!).

I just have to get over it. It really is that simple. Nothing is going to change. The damage is done. Even if everything that's taken place over this past year was taken back and regret and apologies abounded, it wouldn't matter. I'm just at that point where I need to move on and forget that part of my life. Unfortunately, that part of my life includes my only granddaughter. That's what has made this even more painful. I never had a fair chance at getting to know her anyway. My access to her was very restricted, although no one had the decency to explain to me why for several months. (And the "why" is completely unfounded and just unfathomable to me, another thing that has made this whole thing so damn painful that I just want to curl up and die.)

But I really am very good at that -- just suddenly dropping certain compartments and people in my life and moving on without a glance back, and that's exactly what people need to do sometimes in life. I've done it before, more than once. This time it's taking a little longer to reconcile everything in my mind and heart and make that final turn away, but turn away I shall. Physically it's done. I'm just waiting for my heart to catch up.

Moving on, one foot in front of the other and all that other shit, until you wake up one day and you realize it doesn't hurt as bad as it once did. You've done what you thought you couldn't do. You've made it.

COMMENTS CLOSED
I'll be back when I'm damn good and ready!

P.S.  I hate Facebook, but that's another hate story for another hateful time. 

Friday, December 07, 2012

Fletch Swinging


At the park today...
He LOVED it!