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Home > Archive: March, 2018

Archive for March, 2018

My love affair with my mixer

March 19th, 2018 at 12:10 pm

A few years ago DH and I bought a Hoosier cabinet. Besides really liking it, we wanted the extra storage in the kitchen. I certainly keep that puppy stocked with stuff and am happy to have it. But like many vintage pieces, things start to show wear.

A year or so ago, one of the doors was showing some problems with keeping the glass in. I took the door off and reglued it. It was an easy fix. But the other door, this was way beyond my capabilities. And I've been wondering how I could get it fixed. I knew it would need someone who could not only glue, but clamp it. I didn't have the clamps.

Anyway, I was thinking and we have a friend who is very handy. Anything he decides to do, he always makes sure it is done perfectly. So, I thought I could ask and if he can't or won't tackle the job, that's fine, but if so, then maybe I'm that much ahead. I asked him nicely and offered to pay him. He came over, looked at the door, told me exactly how he would fix it because he had both the wood glue and the clamps. I asked him what I could pay him. We finally agreed on some home made bread. He loves home made bread. So, it is rising as I type.

As I was putting together the dough I was thinking of when I bought my stand mixer. It has been awhile. The pleasure I have received from it has more than made up for the cost.

My mom has been gone for over 11 years. A couple of years before she died, she bought me a bread machine. They had just first come out and weren't the highest quality. But, what a fun machine that was. I used it and used it. In fact, I wore it out. And two others besides. When the last one went to bread machine heaven, I decided not to replace it. I had bought a really expensive one for the last one and it didn't last any longer than the cheapie one to be honest. I don't think they make them to last if you really, really use them. Anyway, it dawned on me I could do the hard work with the bread hook on the stand mixer. I've never looked back and I think it has worked better and clean up is a lot easier.

I've watched Ina Garten as the Barefoot Contessa for years. She always says don't buy something like an appliance that only has one purpose for your kitchen. And I have to agree anymore. I don't want more stuff cluttering my small storage area. Plus it makes more economical sense to buy something you can use for a variety of purposes.

My mixer has certainly been helpful. When I baked all those cookies last year for our Christmas bazaar, it sure made it easier to put together the cookie dough.

Last Christmas I made ice cream with the ice cream freezer attachment. DH loves Egg Nog Ice Cream and so I made it for him and he was delighted.

Anyway, I am glad I had the mixer to do my bread for my bartering deal.

Busy, busy

March 18th, 2018 at 02:00 pm

It's been a busy week.

It's also been a tough week. My asthma has really kicked up and I'm having issues breathing so I'm having to do breathing treatments. It makes me tired having to struggle and coughing so much. But I know it will eventually get better.

I did an art project with the fifth graders I volunteer with this week. We used some fancy yarn that was leftovers from donation yarn that no one could use at church. We made baskets by weaving it in and out of plastic drinking cups I had cut for that purpose. Some of the kids really did a fabulous job. Some decided it was too much work and quit. I had taken in a Gullah basket to show them before I did the project. I spent quite a bit of time getting the cups ready as well as making sure I had enough materials. I hate to sound negative, but I wasn't too shocked that so many kids decided it was too much work to try and do this project. I think it took most of them that finished it about 15 minutes to complete it.

We did get our names put on the list for a new driveway. We have to wait a bit since there are five people ahead of us. I dread the construction and parking in the street, but will be glad to have a smooth, new driveway. We saved almost $8K for it just in case, but the bid came in at $5500. So, we will have money left over to put on the next project we will be saving for. As nice as it is to own our home, there's always something to fix or replace isn't there? Our driveway is original with the house which was built in 1979 so I guess the fact it has lasted this long isn't something to sneeze at. We have a hill so I guess it is a tricky pour.

We finally got our last group of tax papers so our taxes are done! Amen!

I finished the book "Confessions of a Shopaholic" by Sophie Kinsella. I know it is fiction, but I think the author probably nailed the rationalization of why people spend foolishly.

Last night we went to a nearby small town and had dinner at an Amish home. Our friends are friends with this couple and the Amish couple do this every so often to make money. She served it buffet style. And it was amazing. Not good if you are watching calories, but yowza! Fried chicken, meatloaf, pulled pork, lasagna, dressing, chicken and noodles, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, green salad, pickled beets, two types of pickles, cottage cheese, homemade rolls with butter and/or homemade apple butter. And pie. Four different kinds of freshly baked pie. Oh, my! There was a large group besides us and after they all left, she handed my friends and us a container and said take some home! So we brought a few things home for another meal. I'll have to supplement a little bit, but still, that was a great deal. Everything was homemade. What a treat! Not something I'd want to do often though.

I still have some ironing I want to do today after my breathing treatment and before supper. I haven't felt like doing a whole lot, but have been pushing myself to try and get some things accomplished or otherwise when I do get over this, I will be so overwhelmed.

Hope everyone has a good week.

Wednesday Catch Up

March 14th, 2018 at 08:57 am

Today is Wednesday and it is the day I normally volunteer in a fifth grade classroom. They have been doing state testing so last week and this week I'm doing art projects to give them a break. Today's art project is taking plastic drinking cups and cutting down the sides so they can weave yarn and make a basket. I spent quite a bit of time trimming the cups and cutting them as well as hole punching them. I'm going to take a Gullah basket in and show them a basket made. I think any experience I can provide will help them. So many of our students have so few life experiences. Our church has had a lot of bits and pieces of yarn donated which isn't enough to make hats, so I went through them and took these to use for the weaving. I purchased 2 packages of cups and 2 packages of pipe cleaners. So, monetary wise I'm out a little over $4.

I thought I was really doing well yesterday. I used furniture polish to dust. I don't normally use very much of it and do dry dusting frequently. Well, I'm paying the piper so to speak. My asthma has really kicked up. It never was bothered by the polish before so i wonder if it is the aerosol or the scent. I may have to find a homemade polish to try and use. Any suggestions?

For the past couple of years we have been saving for a new driveway. We bought the house almost 20 years ago and the driveway wasn't in the best shape. But, it seems to have more troubles now. We got an estimate and hired someone who is well thought of around here. There are 5 driveways ahead of us and I'm already dreading leaving our vehicles out and being without a driveway, but I'm sure in the end it will be worth it. We actually saved more than we needed so that was good.

I was going to say we had a no spend day, then remembered DH picked up some prescriptions yesterday. It was a no spend day for me anyway, I guess.

I found a recipe for a crab meat casserole I would like to try. So, I guess I'll be putting crab on my grocery list. I make the grocery lists tonight and then finalize them tomorrow when the ad comes out for Kroger. We do the bulk of our shopping at Aldi, and then pick up certain things at Kroger. I started using Ibotta, and although I'm getting a little here and there, since I rarely buy ready made things and do most of our shopping at Aldi, I'm not making a whole lot. I found another app called Saving Star that is like Ibotta and they offer money on a few different things. Maybe between the two I will get a little money back.

This and that

March 11th, 2018 at 12:52 pm

Yesterday it sort of felt like spring. One thing I really like to do when it is decent is take the vehicle and wash it. There's a coin operated car wash not too far from our house and I like to wash my vehicle and get all the salt off of it from the winter. We splurged the $1 for the vacuum as well to get all the rocks and dirt off the floorboards as well and when we got home, I wiped the outside down and then took some of the Armour All and went over the tires and the plastic on the outside and then wiped down the console and the doors on the inside. It sure made it look nice and made me appreciate what I have. DH was pretty impressed.

After that I worked in the garage and swept it out. That seems to be an ongoing battle because leaves and dirt seem to blow in every time we open the garage door. I also cleaned out one corner where we have a standing rack to hold rakes, shovels, brooms, and my mop. I took everything out of the rack, cleaned it, cleaned the corner and then tried to put everything back in a way that looked a lot tidier. I threw away quite a few things that DH put there. I don't know why he didn't throw them away to begin with. Maybe there is something about taking something a few extra steps to the garbage can. Smile

We went to that home show I wrote about earlier and admired the Amish made cabinets and furniture as well as looked at the booths of doors, windows, lawn stuff. I even won a door prize -- a small bag of cashew chew which is like peanut brittle, but made with cashews.

Before we left, I had put a pork loin roast in the Crockpot with carrots, onion, herbs, and small potatoes so I didn't have to worry about cooking supper in case we got home late. A little planning guaranteed we weren't tempted to eat out. Plus, we will realize another meal from the pork and carrots. Can't beat that!

I asked a friend if he would be willing to fix a door on our Hoosier cabinet. It has become unglued and I'm afraid it is going to fall apart and the glass pane will shatter. I will not be able to replace it if it does since there are two doors with the matching panes and are original with the piece. We worked out a deal -- he will glue and clamp it. I gave him some sugar free candy we had bought for him and I will bake him some homemade bread for his trouble. I'm excited about getting it fixed.

After supper we relaxed by watching Hinterland on Netflix. Intense would be the word to describe this series. I worked on using up some yarn and making dish cloths. I had some purple that there wasn't enough to make a hat so I used it up and then had some blue from a project I had crocheted for myself awhile back. I had crocheted a cover for a pillow and had the yarn left over. So, I used some of it to trim around a dish cloth and then used some other yarn up as well. I finished 4 dish cloths last night and used up some yarn that wouldn't have been enough for anything else.

It was a fine day.

Today has been great too, so far. We went to church and then went to Walgreens to pick up a prescription for DH. He also had them print his 2017 prescriptions. We have a home health care policy for him that if you don't use it in the calendar year, they will give you a refund of what you paid on prescriptions. It won't be a huge amount since his prescription plan covered the lion's share as well as all of them being generics, but it is nice to get a rebate of sorts. I have to get that ready to mail in.

We came home and I fixed brunch and had the opportunity to watch new episodes of Barefoot Contessa. I like her calm manner and I seem to learn stuff from her episodes. I've missed seeing her so I was glad we could catch these. I still do covet her walk in pantry. A girl can dream, I guess!

Tonight we are supposed to go and have dinner with some friends at their home. We take turns hosting each other. It is a casual evening and plenty of fun and other than the food, pretty reasonable.

Not a whole lot of spending going on, but some fine times!

Where has the week gone?

March 9th, 2018 at 07:35 am

I'm not real sure where this week has gone. I know I've kept busy, but wow, here it is Friday.

This part of the year is always expensive. I know it is coming. We have homeowner's insurance, both car insurance 6 month premiums, contract for pest control, and then my husband's home health care policy. We have extra money in an account and I can move it if we need it, but I just hate to move it because then I feel pressured to make it up.

For the past couple of years we've been saving up for a new driveway. One guy was supposed to come and give us an estimate, but he called a bit ago and rescheduled. I'd like to get these estimates over with (and probably the smelling salts to go with them put away). DH has procrastinated for the past 6 months about calling. I know that most of the folks who do this work usually have quite a list and I wanted to get on that list earlier. Oh, well. I guess part of it is I want to know exactly what it is going to cost because there are some other projects I'd like to tackle as well and would like to know if we have money left over in savings to do them. These are projects that have to be done in spring and summer. I am not a procrastinator so it drives me crazy when people are.

Speaking of procrastinators, a friend of mine just recently retired. He's one of these folks who is very money motivated, but he hasn't applied for his pension or his Social Security yet. He thinks that as soon as he applies, he will get both within a week or so. He is going to be sadly disappointed I'm afraid. He doesn't understand that they don't do retroactive pay either. His loss.

We are going to a free home and garden show tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it. Our city has one, but there is the price of admission. We go to one in a small town that has different folks set up and one year we found a great guy who trims trees who was far more reasonable than any of the folks who are around here. That year my husband also won a free door prize so that was a delight.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Watch out HGTV!

March 5th, 2018 at 11:54 am

I know I've commented on this before, but we watch HGTV and it seems every person looking for a house always has to have entertaining space.

We bought this home almost 20 years ago and I don't really think we said we needed entertaining space. Maybe we are weird. We wanted a ranch, a bigger kitchen (the other house's kitchen was tiny and had no storage), 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a bigger bedroom than we had. DH wanted a decent yard, but not huge. Because of allergies we hoped to get away form having a basement. Entertaining really wasn't a contender in our choice. We actually bought a bit smaller house than we had before. That one was 1600 square feet and this one is around 1500 square feet.

Well, DH pointed out we are entertaining tonight. My friend's birthday is today and I invited her and her husband over for dinner. Dinner will be lasagna, salad, Focaccia bread, and chocolate cake and ice cream for dessert. They were delighted to be invited and DH is delighted that there is cake and ice cream to look forward to.

Anyway, I guess it is time for HGTV to watch out -- we are entertaining!

Awash in papers

March 4th, 2018 at 12:11 pm

My desk looks like it is awash in papers. Egad, I'm getting overwhelmed!

Sunday afternoons are usually bill paying time for the week. So, I have a few things made out and ready to mail. Some other things I paid online.

I have been working on publicity for my church for Holy Week and Easter as well as a rummage sale coming up in June. I am not a procrastinator so I feel better when I have stuff lined up, even if it isn't submitted yet.

Pretty soon I'm taking out the accordion file so I can start organizing tax papers. We don't receive some of our documents until the middle of March. I like to have things organized so when we do get them, we can take them to our tax preparer and get them done quickly. I'm curious how our taxes will look this year since this is the first full year I've been retired. We talked to our tax guy last year and he made some suggestions on what we could do, so hopefully we did what we needed to do so we don't owe a lot.

I have been decluttering a little at a time. We took in a box of really good stuff to church for the rummage sale. Our ladies aren't procrastinators either and have been asking for stuff already so they can get it marked ahead of time. This was the first year they had a "do not donate" list. Unfortunately there are always some people who want to "donate" things that really aren't good stuff, but just a way for them to get rid of junk and not have to deal with it. I checked, none of my donated stuff is on the do not donate list. I crocheted 3 towels for the rummage sale and I pinned the washing instructions from the yarn covers on them so the new owners will know how to take care of them.

Well, back to the papers. Hopefully I will get things straighten up so it doesn't look like a file cabinet exploded.

Good intentions

March 1st, 2018 at 01:26 pm

I really have the best intentions to declutter. Really, I do.

I start and then something else comes up. Darn it!

A week ago I started on the linen closet. I boxed up two boxes of things to donate to the local thrift store. I put some things in the laundry to see if they would come out OK. I need to iron them except for the two pieces I threw away. They were not salvageable. I could not get the stains out. I don't like to donate stuff that other people wouldn't want.

I also have good intentions of getting some projects done. I finally finished crocheting a dish towel last night, I'm making some things for the church rummage sale.

My intention is to use up the craft stuff before I allow myself to buy any more. So far, I've behaved. I don't want to wind up being one of those ladies who has a ton of yarn, material, craft stuff and when I die, none of it was completed. I did have to buy some embroidery floss the other day since I needed a color I didn't have, but I figure it was an end to a means. I found it at a thrift store so I didn't pay much. But that was a few weeks ago. It is for Christmas so I have a little time before i have to start on it since I'm doing stuff for the church rummage sale.

So, guess I should take my good intentions and get off the computer and get busy.