Sunday, January 27, 2013

Daybook 1/27/13


Outside my window... The temps have warmed up.  We are under yet another winter weather advisory.  More snow on the way and icy conditions for the road.

I am thinking... About spring time. I was out at the happy place and saw the garden.  It's so easy to picture that area all green and growing.

I am thankful... the cabinet handles the DH installed a couple weeks ago.  It's amazing how something so simple can make me so happy.

In the kitchen... Not too much going on in the kitchen today. I made some bread and that's about it.

I am wearing... Warm clothes.

I am creating... A feeling of serenity.  It's working.

I am going... Today we went out to the happy place and took a look around.  I think there is a bit more snow out there than at the homestead.  Lots of critter tracks.

I am wondering... What kind of cupcakes to make so my son can bring something special to school for his birthday this week. Chocolate or Yellow cake?

I am reading... I finished reading Crops and Robbers. I kind of figured out the "whodonit" right away.  Today I started reading "The Lightkeeper's Legacy." This is a third book in a mystery series.  I really enjoyed the first two books.  The fact that it's based in Wisconsin is kind of icing on the cake. 

I am hoping... That my hubby gets well soon. 

I am looking forward to... warmer temps

I am learning ... how to make homemade root beer.

Around the house... MASH is on tv, my son is entertaining himself and hubby is doing research on his laptop.

I am pondering... Not much pondering today.

A favorite quote for today...

 I first learned of this poem while reading the Matched series.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

 Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 

Courtesy of

One of my favorite things...  Having frozen zucchini in the freezer.  I love having a taste of summer in the middle of winter.

On and off the needles …Still working on those squares.  I'm now up to 9, I think.  I'm daydreaming about making a sweater though.

Things that bring me joy this week ... Hearing my son say the word, "Scrumptous" in reference to my carrot cake; snuggling up to my hubby; a very beautiful sunset on Wednesday.  The sun was setting and it made it look as if the sky was on fire where the sun was.

A few plans for the rest of the week: The usual.  Early in the week I will be picking up an order of ground beef from the local grocery store. We learned that it doesn't hurt to ask if they will give a discount if you buy in bulk.

A peek into my day...

Here is the sunset from Wednesday.  It's an iPod photo. 

Thanks for stopping by! Come back again.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch #77

Everyday Ruralty

1. Do you eat eggs? What is your favorite way to serve them?
 I do eat eggs.  My favorite is fried.  Either in butter or bacon grease.

2. Do you have a favorite item that you really like having around? (a pillow, a chair, a sweater, a teddy bear, etc.)
 This time of year it is definitely blankets.  All year around I like to have zip up hoodies. 

3. Is most of the furniture in your home dark wood, light wood, painted, lacquered, or distressed?
Most of my furniture is dark wood.   I prefer mission style.

4. Please fill in the rest of this sentence. "I could write a book about ____________."
 I could write a book about ... I don't know. I'm a jack of all trades, master of none kind of gal. Maybe I could do a pretty coffee table book full of pictures from around me area.  That sounds more my speed.
5. If money and calendar/family obligations weren't an issue, would you prefer to spend next weekend at a Bed and Breakfast, a posh hotel, a cabin in the woods, or on a sailboat on a calm body of water? I guess the last thing, the sailboat, would have to be someplace warm. :) (It's 30+ degrees here.)

A cabin in the woods. ... though I do like the idea of being pampered at a posh hotel.  But most certainly a cabin in the woods -- with a fireplace that has a stone chimney.  I would be curled up on a big comfy couch next to my hubby or curled up in a chair either reading or knitting. 

Thanks for stopping by! Many thanks to Patrice for hosting the chat. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cold day

The temps in my area reached down low to the negatives the last few days.  As a result, schools were closed and when the schools are closed my work building shuts down. 

Here's the temps as of 5:50 a.m. today. It was warmer today than it was yesterday. 

I took advantage of the last few days and acted like a housewife from the 50s. Cleaning, cooking, clearing out some stuff.  My son spent yesterday drawing and watching PBS. 

My son drew a map from Paper Mario sticker something.   He asked me to put it up on his wall.

There was a moment yesterday when the local cooking show host was on the screen and asked "Are you having chicken for dinner again?" and my son replied "I think so." I was in the kitchen when I heard this and I burst out laughing.  That was a moment I want to remember.

Sunday I made carrot cake for the first time.  I used a recipe that I got from a friend.

I love this little chopper.  I got it at a Black Friday Walmart sale at least three years ago for $2.  I used it to shred the carrots for the cake. Carrot cake is so easy to make if you have a chopper!

The recipe called for a tube pan but I don't have one of those.  I do, however, have a HUGE cake pan.  The carrot cake came out more like bars.

I made cream cheese frosting.  I have a recipe that doesn't use as much powdered sugar and it's not too sweet.

The result?

DEEEEE-licious! I am so making carrot cake again.

Monday after I woke up and discovered that school was cancelled I decided I needed to putter in the kitchen and take advantage of the "free" time. 

I baked 6 dozen cookies.  Though I didn't take pictures of those. 

I also made some bread, with the help of my bread machine.

I am falling in love with my bread machine again. I'm not using it to bake the bread, just mixing the dough and letting it rise.

At least 6 years ago I got my machine and my MIL gave me a bread machine cookbook for Christmas that year. The Betty Crocker one.

Isn't it a beautiful loaf of bread?

This is the plain ol' White Bread recipe that is in the book.

It had a lovely texture when it was cut open.  There is nothing like fresh bread and butter. Yum!

I've been thinking about going through the whole cookbook this year and making each recipe at least once.  Only a handful of the recipes have been tried and I would love to branch out my baking skills.

The bright spot, that's the sun coming up.  This is the view from the window over the kitchen sink this morning.  Lovely, isn't it?

Today, my son stayed pretty chill and mostly kept quiet.  I'm a bit worried that he might be getting sick.  My poor husband is getting sick again.  Unlike me, he still had work. Thankfully work was indoors so he didn't have to work in the cold.

My son did got creative with the crayons today.  He made this and then elaborated on it ...

To make this:

Me, I spent part of the day going through papers and doing some filing that I've been avoiding for a while.  *sigh* I need a new system.  It is amazing how much paper buying a house generates. But at least I feel somewhat prepared for the upcoming tax season. I think I'm going to get as much as I can scanned to electronic files so there isn't so much paper for me to maintain.

Then I decided to make *one last thing* while I had the time.  A few years ago I worked with a gal who was English.  She brought scones into to work a few times.  I enjoyed them and wanted to try my hand at making them at some point. 

I think my mom's group is living vicariously through all the baking I've been doing. When I mentioned I was going to make scones there was a discussion about what to put in them and for me to let them know how mine turn out.  I used the recipe from Sun-Ma*d.

Making the scones was interesting. I wasn't sure what to make of the big sticky ball of dough that I was supposed to shape by hand and then cut into wedges.  I have a feeling that I should have spread the dough out more before putting it in the oven.   I baked it longer than what the recipe called for and I still think I flopped it.  It never baked all the way through.

What do you think?

The outer parts did bake through and had a nice texture and wasn't dry.  I finally shut the oven off and just let them sit.  I'm surprised they didn't burn.

Well, that's my life for the last two days.  Thank you for stopping by and letting me share with you!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Daybook 1/20/13

Outside my window... It's COLD!! Don't let the sun fool you.  As of the time I pulled this photo off my camera it was 4 degrees and a -13 windchill out.

I am thinking... how wonderful it is to have heat.  We will be really lucky to get temps in the teens this week.  Next week the temps are predicted to be in the 20s for highs. Woo hoo! A heat wave.
I am thankful... For my husband.  He completes me.
In the kitchen... My husband is making chili for supper today.  He makes a fabulous pot of chili so I was pretty excited when he told me he was making it.
I am wearing... Warm clothes which include hand knit socks. 
I am creating... A different attitude.  Ever since the holidays, when I had a chance to slow down, I feel different and renewed.
I am going... Today we braved the cold temps and went to Ashland to check it out. But because it was so cold it wasn't as good as it could have been.  Our son was impressed to see all the automobiles and ice fishing huts out on the bay.
I am wondering... what it was that came and eat off the suet feeder I have in the backyard.  I can tell something has nibbled on it.  Probably a squirrel.
I am reading... "Crops and Robbers" by Paige Skelton.  I haven't gotten very far into it.  I'm reading snippets here and there so it's taking me a while to get into. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series.
I am hoping... That the snow blanket stays on my house.  It does so much to keep the house cozy, inside and out.  I love how the new homestead looks with a blanket of snow on the roof. 
I am looking forward to... the chili for supper. :-D.
I am learning ... how it is to live in the country.
Around the house... We are watching a SpongeBob movie we got from the movie store.  "Truth or Square"
I am pondering... The beatitudes.  Last week I learned about what they mean and it was an "aha" moment.  I've been thinking about them ever since.
A favorite quote for today...  “If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
―   Mark Twain. Would you believe I haven't read much of his works? I should add some of his books to my GoodReads list.
One of my favorite things... Warm cozy blankets.  I've been sleeping with one of my handknit blankets.  So warm.
On and off the needles … I ended up having to rip the 7 or so knit squares for my swap.  Realizing that my squares weren't going to work was really hard to accept.  But the fabric was too thin and I would have been embarrassed to send them off.  I charted out a new square and went down a needle size or 2.  The new pattern and needle size is going to work just fine. Last night I frogged the squares and rolled them up into balls. 

Things that bring me joy this week ... Sitting in the living room next to the window and being in the sun.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Same old, same old.  It's a publishing week so I'm going to be gearing up for that.
A peek into my day... Today when we went to Ashland hubby took a few photos of this road we sometimes go onto.  It's windy, rolling hills and really pretty.  It's going to be gorgeous spring and summer when everything is green.

One of our first times going on the road we had to stop because a flock of wild turkeys crossing the road. 

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my day!

Join the fun at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Saving a memory

Today when the family was out shopping I was sitting in the Rav with my son.  A song came on the radio and I turned it up. Not too loud though.  Just loud enough. 

This is the part I find amusing and wanted to write this down to save the memory. I think it will be funny to see this a few years or when my son is a teen.  Then I can go "See, I told you so."

My son isn't into music as much as some of his classmates so he doesn't like most music.

When I turned up the song he goes "Turn it down please. It's too loud." I told him that when he was a teenager he was going to be listening to music very close to what was playing and that I would be the one going "Turn down that noise!"  My son goes "Nu uh."

I'm still amused when I think about it.

The song?  It was Volbeat - "A Warriors Call"

Cause I'm nice, here's the music video.  Not something that I usually listen to. But it's got a good beat.  When I was looking for a music video I found the lyrics and read them.  Interesting, but I don't understand half of them when the song is going.

Friday, January 18, 2013


Snow snuck up on us last night. We were told we would get some but not much. Well ... we got some and it came down thick. My husband leaves for work earlier than me. He gave me a call to let me know that it was blizzard-like and the main highway was slippery.  Joy!

I drive a cute little Rav4 so I popped it into 4 x 4 before dropping my son off at latchkey and then heading to work.

Sure enough, two cars had gone off the road and went into the ditch.  Some people think they are 10 feet tall and bulletproof no matter the weather and road conditions.

I read news headlines stating that there were quite a few "incidents" today. 

Just two more months of hard winter.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch #76

I came across "Chats on the Farmhouse Porch" on one of the blogs I recently started following.  This looks like fun and I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon.

Everyday Ruralty


1. What was your favorite game as a child?

When I was a child I played a lot of board games and card games.  I think my favorite board game was one that my mom had picked up at the local Goodwill.  I don't remember for sure what it was named. "Bankroll" comes to mind ... It was a cross between life and monopoly.  There there three "levels" and once you saved up enough money in your savings account you could advance to the next level on the board.  Things got more expensive the higher the level.  You could "retire" and win the game once you had X amount of money in the bank and a certain amount of real estate.

edit 1/23/13 I found the game.  It was called Bankroll

2. Have you ever had your own business? (home business, a shop, Etsy, lemon-aid stand, etc)

I have never owned a business.

3. How's your spelling?

Considering where I work, it should be better, but I'm a bit stubborn.  I call it "good enough." Though if I see bad style and formatting and errors in other people's work, it sometimes makes my eye twitch. 

4. How are you about going to the dentist?

I'm not a fan of the dentist.  But I did sit through a quad cleaning after not going to the Dentist for 10+ years.  Thank goodness for novacaine. I have remarkable healthy teeth. 

5. Do you enjoy board games?

I enjoy board games but I don't always have someone to play them with.  For a while my son was pretty hardcore on "Sorry".  The first time he played "Monopoly" against his dad and I he won.  Not too bed for a 6 year old (or was he 5?)


Monday, January 14, 2013

Making cookies

I'll be the first to admit that I don't have a lot of patience for having "help" in the kitchen.  I have to be in a patient mood and willing to let things go, so to speak.  Tonite I was in a patient mood.

Yesterday my son asked me to make him some chocolate chip cookies.  I decided to make them tonite. 

I gathered the supplies to make sure I had everything and then called DS into the kitchen and asked if he wanted to help.

Oh yeah!!!

I let him scoop and measure everything and pour it into the bowl and mix the ingredients. 

Things worked out fine until I said that we need the chocolate chips and could DS please open them for me. 

That was my mistake. Well, according to DS anyways.

DS got the scissors and held the chocolate chip bag up by one end and cut the bag open. I don't think it had occurred to him that he should have left the bag on the counter or hold the bag in a different spot.

I heard the sound of something falling and spilling onto the floor.  I looked over in his direction and there he was, picking up chocolate chips off the floor.  I told him to pick them up and I got another bag of chips from the cupboard and finished the cookie dough.

Chunk chocolate chips.  Yum!

While the chocolate chips were getting picked up DS realized that they spilled under the rolling cart and he pulled that out to clean up the chips.  Half the stuff on the cart fell over and landed on the floor.  "You got to be kidding me!" he exclaimed.  I told him he had to pick those up too.

He picked up the bag of tortilla chips and the bag ripped open.  "OH come ON!" he said. 

By that time I had a really hard time not laughing.  The poor kid was getting SO frustrated. 

The whole time he was saying things like "Why did you have me open that bag?"  The bag of chocolate chips was the beginning of the end for him, I think.

When it all got cleaned up I think he had enough of "helping"  DS went back into the living room and finished reading his space book "13 Planets"

Me?  I baked the cookies.  I used a different recipe this time out of the Betty Crocker cookbook. 

Fresh out of the oven. 

They turned out pretty good.  I'm not sure if I like this new recipe better or the one that I've used in the past. For the record I've used the recipe off the back of the Nestle Tollhouse chips package.

I have a feeling that my son will probably not want to help cook anything anytime soon.  But he's always ready to help me eat the end product.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Daybook 1/13/13

Outside my window...  The sun is shining and disguises the fact that it's less than 10 degrees F outside.
I am thinking... about what project I should tackle today.  I really need to get into my son's room and get that taking care of.  It really hasn't been touched since we moved in.  Or do I wrap up the craft room?
I am thankful... For my family and friends. It's a nice feeling to know that I have so many people that care about me.
In the kitchen... I'm going to be making a ham for dinner.  Third time is a charm, right?  My first ham in the new house didn't turn out well.  Which was mildly embarrassing because I had company and I *still* hadn't figured out the new stove.  The second one I "cooked' in the crockpot. Yeah, we won't talk about that one. **shudder**. 
I am wearing...  Pajama bottoms and a nice warm purple sweater.  I'm feeling lazy this a.m.
I am creating... This month I'm working on knit squares for a swap that I'm doing with my online knitting group.  In March our mainsite will be closing down since we have so many other ways to stay in contact. We also have a new virtual home on Nimblestix. This is our last hurrah before we move.
I am going... Nowhere today.  Well, at least that is the plan. While the roads aren't slippery I don't think any of us wants to go out into the cold weather.
I am wondering... If the propane man will come tomorrow. When our tank reached 20 percent I put the order in, then called the company office and the gal said that someone would be here by Friday.  We had some weather issues on Friday that resulted in school closings and my working from home. I will be giving the office a call on Monday -- again.
I am reading... I just wrapped up "Reach." Not really sure how I feel about it.  Haven't decided on the next book yet.  I have a small pile of books from the library that came in all at once.  I may hit the kindle book next.  I don't remember what it is though.
I am hoping... The birds discover the bird feeder that I put up last weekend.  I put up only one tube feeder instead of going nuts and buying a bunch of feeders and having a big critter taking them down.
I am looking forward to... Seeing the new homestead in spring. It is going to be beautiful.
I am learning ... How to cook in a slow cooker.  Who knew it wouldn't be so simple.  Perhaps I'm trying to cook the wrong things in it.
Around the house... My son is making "stickers".  He's got the new Mario stickers game and he's been making all the stickers that go with the game.  So far he has 72 -- 73 stickers.
I am pondering... Not much right now.  I'm feeling pretty good about things.
A favorite quote for today... "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. " Winston Churchill.  I came across this one again on FB recently.  It's one of my favorite quotes. 
One of my favorite things... Seeing my son doing something other than playing games and watching tv.
On and off the needles … There is currently nothing on the needles since I haven't started a new square yet.
I’m currently spinning … I haven't touched my spinning wheel for at least three months.  Need to remedy that soon.
Things that bring me joy this week ... Hearing praise from my publisher, watching the beautiful sun rise earlier this week and picking my son up on Wednesday and the sun was still out.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Right now there is nothing planned.  Though in the midst of writing this entry my DH asked if I wanted to check out a store that is in a town about 40 minutes away.  Maybe :-).
A peek into my day... This is a photo of a picture my son made at school for me.  He said I could bring it to my office.  How sweet is this?

Join the fun at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

 I've known about The Simple Woman's Daybook for quite sometime.  This year I decided to take advantage and join in the fun and use it to help me keep track of what happens during the year 2013 (and maybe beyond).  I've added a few prompts of my own. When you join in the fun, please get the prompts from the website. Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Today when I went to pick my son up from latchkey the sun was starting to set.  I had my ipod with me this time and I was able to stop the vehicle and take a couple images.  I really need to start carrying my camera with me. 

The sky was beautiful. I was just talking to someone today about how hard it is to head home and it be dark by the time I get home.  I can't think of the last time I picked my son up at latchkey and it was still sort of light out at 5 p.m.

Tonight was religious education night so I didn't get home until almost 8 p.m. There was no clouds. My son got out of the truck, looked up and went "Wow, I can see the Milky Way" The night sky is very clear at the new house. We are far enough from any big cities that there is very little light pollution. I have yet to be able to take a decent shot of a night sky. So no images of the night sky yet.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sunrise this morning

This morning on the way to work I got to "watch" the sun rise in my rearview mirror.

It was a pretty incredible thing.  My rearview mirror got more and more orange and the sun came up and I was able to see the road and trees all around me suddenly get brighter as the sun went up in the sky.

Unfortunately I didn't have a camera with me.  Highly doubtful that I would have been able to pull over and capture the moment if I had brought the camera along.

I'd like to say that it looked something like this:

Photo credit:

Only there is a TON of pine and birch trees along side of the highway.  The color of the sun FILLED my rearview mirror.

I wish I could say that there was something appropriate playing on the radio.  Alas, it was Five Finger Death Punch's "Bad Company"

The moment brought me joy so I wanted to write it down before I forgot about it.  The music added a bit of irony to the whole bit.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A purposeful year

Happy New Year! 2012 was quite a year.  I expanded my skill set and did an epic amount of canning, learned how to wax cheese, taught myself crochet and successfully started seeds indoors for the garden. Life also took me on quite the ride when work was once again in flux and then when DH found our new home back in July/August and started renovating it before we bought it.  I didn't do nearly as much knitting, spinning, dyeing or crocheting that I thought I would be doing.

But you know what, I wouldn't chang a thing about 2012 because it taught me a lot about myself.  This was also a year there was a lot of changes -- for the better -- that was done for the family.  When I see hear my son talk about his new school, friends and see how they all interact with each other at latchkey, I know in my heart that all the stress, self-doubt and wondering, it was the right thing to do. The whole family has benefited from our move out to the country.

Here is a shot for my friends that don't get a lot of snow in their area.   This is the view from my front window.   Not much snow, but it's pretty cold out there this a.m. In the negatives.  What a way to start the year, huh? This time last year it was pretty mild for winter and hardly any snow on the ground.  It looks like it's going to be a normal winter up here now.

I'm feeling a lot of optimism for 2013.  It's going to be a year of a lot of firsts, I think.  I also want to take this year to start carving time out for myself each day, again.  Somewhere in the last few years I stopped doing that.  This resulted in major burnout this year.   I don't want that to happen again.

Someone I know has told me more than once that a person needs to have purpose in their life.  If they don't have purpose, their life is not lived to the fullest.  That is what I want for 2013.  To be purposeful.  I will do that, I'm not exactly sure. I don't contemplate my navel but I do ponder a lot.

We are still doing some odds and ends stuff around the house.  I no longer feel overwhelmed when I think of the stuff that needs to be done inside the house.  I'm also starting to look outside more and think of all the things I could be doing outside to make it more "homey." I can't do much since it's cold out but my DH indulges me and listens to my rambles. Cause he knows I talk a lot :-)

It's going to be an interesting year.  To quote someone else: "Stay tuned."