Thursday, August 31, 2017

Housekeeping 1

It started with the book Almost Amish (Nancy Sleeth).  I remember specifically the author discussing junk mail.  I don’t get a lot of junk mail, actually most days I don’t get mail of any kind.  While I don’t get actual junk mail via the mailbox, there are other things that apply.


I unliked the majority of pages and groups I belonged to or followed.  Taste of Home, 12 Tomatoes were my food page hold outs, but I eventually I unliked them.  I have a ton of great cookbooks, plus more available to me for free at the library or from my mother (who owns every Gooseberry Patch cookbook ever made, plus several other cookbooks) and a ton of pinned recipes on Pinterest.  I do not need to be tempted with ooey, gooey recipes and I think I'll live without tips like these;


Antique pages, unliked.  Tourist pages, unliked.  I like Manhattan KS, but I hadn’t really needed to follow Aggieville’s page.  I’ve kept Southern Plate, which is a recipe blog/page, but is much more than that too.   I’ve kept certain Christian pages; Allister Begg, Ligonier, the page for the church I’m sort of attending…  The farming pages; all unliked.  

I’m hoping more of the content I really care to see will now appear and I won’t have to scroll through so much that I hadn’t really needed, wanted to see and that took up so much of my time.  Maybe I’ll even get to the point where I’m not checking FB but once or twice a week and not several times a day!  I know for some FB is a stress reliever, but I’d much rather cross stitch, watch a movie, read a good book or go for a walk than to wonder what I’m missing on FB. 

Email.  Some time ago a friend posted a screen shot of his emails not read number.  It was over 2000. It drove his wife nuts.  She had fewer than 30.  Whats your number?  Mine is;


I’m working to lower that.  When I find myself with a few minutes, I work to delete or move to a folder those unread emails.  This also applies to the hundreds, if not thousands of emails I’ve read or glanced at, but never deleted.  I know there are emails that go back to 2014 that I’ve read, but never deleted.

Email subscriptions.  Betty Crocker, The Attic (a cross stitch store), newsletters, store promotions.  I’m unsubscribing to them as they appear in my email box.  This one appeared in my inbox lately and I unsubscribed.


Cross stitch newsletter. I have so many great patterns in my stash that I do not need to be tempted to purchase more.  I won’t die if I don’t get that one pattern that everyone else loves.  All I have to do is go upstairs, open my file cabinet and see all the great patterns I have, most for many years, that I’ve never gotten around to stitching.  I do no need more stuff! 

Books.  This one is harder.  Guilt.  I bought these books.  Some at Goodwill, others at garage sales, estate sales, the libraries book sale.  Others were given to me.  Most I’ve not read and while I thought I might, I know I won’t.  So, I’m going through them and most will be donated to the library for their big annual book sale in September and others will be given away to someone who will read them.  

Eventually I hope to carry this “housekeeping” over to my cookbooks and cross stitch stash, but I haven’t had time to yet.  I’m open to other suggestions on decluttering.  Have you taken similar steps to declutter? 


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Black beans, rice, corn and chicken

My big upright freezer in the basement is FULL and I need to use stuff out of it. I got out a bag of frozen shredded rotisserie chicken thinking I'd make cranberry chicken salad, but kept thinking a chicken + black bean + corn dish sounded good. I didn't find what I wanted on Pinterest and decided to just throw things in a skillet and give it a try.

The dish began with a box of Zatarain's Black Beans and Rice.  I followed the directions given o the box. 

After cooking for 20 minutes, per box instructions, I added a can of drained (but not rinsed) black beans and 1 cup of frozen corn.  I kept the heat on low, covered and cooked for a few minutes until the corn had cooked. 

I debated leaving it alone at this point, but thought it was still lacking something.  I decided to throw in a can of drained rotel (it hadn't needed more liquid) and heated till cooked through. 

Its good, but I think if I were to make it again, I'd follow the same steps, but not add chicken. I think it would make a great meatless meal. 

Serve in tortillas or over a bed of lettuce. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The not so great eclipse!

We went, it thundered, it rained, it got dark, but we missed seeing the sun during totality.

My father and I left early, too early, but with all the warnings about traffic delays we felt it best to beat them crowds. We headed north and east to Muscotah Kansas, birth place of baseball legend Joe Tinker and possibly the worlds largest baseball! We met up with approximately 80 other members of the Kansas Explorers Club. Some brought their dogs, some played cards at the parks picnic tables, one young family ran behind their toddler son with a potty seat. My father read and I cross stitched, when I wasn't running back to the car as rain started. 


While we missed seeing the sun hidden behind the moon, it did get dark for a little over a minute and a half. 

The Muscotah Mercantile as darkness set in. They sold out of their sloppy joe special and made chicken salad, which I think they might have sold out of too. 


Looking west. 


Looking southwest. 


We broke through the clouds half way home, pulled over and used our eclipse glasses to view the eclipsed sun. It was pretty cool and worthy of all the excitement.

I'm bummed that I forgot to try my 3d eclipse viewers purchased through my local library. 


Luna moth at the park. 


Cicada killer with cicada. 


Pie slices available at the Mercantile. 


Might not have turned out as we and so many others had hoped, but it was great nonetheless. Only 7 more years till I can try again! 


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Refrigerator Pickles

These make me think of my grandma Noland. She passed in 1994, but if she were around now, I think she'd have enjoyed these.

These being refrigerator pickles. 

I made them several weeks ago and forgot to share that I had.  I've misplaced the recipe, but I believe this is the one I used.

Cucumber Salad

5 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 large bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp red pepper flakes

In a medium bowl or a half gallon mason jar, toss together cucumbers, onions, peppers and salt. Set aside.

Combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery seed and pepper flakes in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Once at a bowl, remove from heat and add 2 handfuls of ice (about 1 cup).

Once ice has melted pour vinegar mixture over cucumbers.  Cover and store in refrigerator.  Will keep up to 2 months.

I made a double batch.  The mixture has gotten darker since sitting in the refrigerator.  I wouldn't know whether they're good as I don't care for these and made them for my father.  He says they're good, but he pretty much eats anything except for dill pickles, coconut and peanut butter cups (though he likes no bakes)!


Monday, August 21, 2017

Moms Salsa Recipe

This is the best salsa.  So fresh, light and easy to throw together.  I remember my mother making it years ago and she believes she got the recipe from someone that she worked with.  Measurements are to taste and you can adjust to your liking.


Chopped fresh tomatoes, the number depends on how much salsa you're wanting, you may substitute diced canned tomatoes

Chopped scallions, I used 2 bunches

One small can minced black olives

Jared Picante Sauce

That's it.  Mix the first three ingredients and add picante sauce to make it a little juicy.  I had maybe 3/4 cup left in a jar in my fridge and used that.  Its a great way to use up an abundance of tomatoes from the garden!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

2017 Atchison County Fair, part 2

A few pictures of the open class entries. 


The flowers, only half shown here, are so pretty. 


Some of the cross stitch.



My friend Dede's beautiful hardanger piece.


Dede win Reserve Champion!


And Grand Champion!!! 

The flag is full of specialty stitches and beads! Its beautiful!  Congratulations Dede! 

There were a lot more pieces entered than shown, but I would have had to white out a lot of addresses, so this is all that I'm sharing.  The decorated cakes/cupcake open class category was rather lacking this year.  I'd love to try decorating a cake for the fair and have saved several ideas in Pinterest.  Maybe next year, but don't hold your breath!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

2017 Atchison County Kansas Fair, part 1

I love the fair!  I already can't wait until the 2018 Atchison County Fair!  If you've never been, please consider visiting an area fair next year.  There are a lot of fun things to see and eat!  Such as rabbits and chickens! 




Cows!   It was nap time in the barn!  I love that you can get close to the animals at the Atchison County Fair.  At my counties fair, the animals, with the exception of the ducks, chickens and rabbits, the animals aren't close and public isn't allowed back to where they're at. 


If you know someone or you kindly ask someone in the barn, they'll even let you pet one!  The first year I saw the cows at the fair I was shocked, still am, at their size!  They're HUGE!  So much bigger than cows appear when you're passing them at 65 MPH on the highway! 


There are pigs!  I can't stand how the pig on the lefts leg is stuck out straight.  I stared for a long time to see that he was alive. That doesn't look comfortable.


While at the fair, please consider visiting one of the animal shows.  I've attended part of the pig show the last several years and its always interesting to learn what the judge is looking for and watch the kids ribbon. 

Sheep, they're so pretty!


And goats!


This goat's name is Anna.  The sweetest little girl told me all about her.  She was dressed in bright shorts, tank top, flip flops and a big fake pearl necklace!  She was styling at the fair!  Elsa is their other goat, but she's never been to the fair.  Anna likes to eat shirts, she shared while looking down at my chest.  I glanced that way and saw that Anna had a hold of my shirt!  The little girl shared that Anna also likes to eat hair and I jumped back in fake surprise and alarm and said Oh No, my hair is short enough.  She giggled. 

Not shown are pictures from the horse show, though I did catch some of it. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fair Should-of-Beens

Last week was the Atchison County Kansas Fair! I'll share pictures soon, but am first showing what I had stitch and intended to enter into the fair, but didn't as they're not fully finished. 

There were 3 framed categories for cross stitch and I was hoping 1 or 3 of these pieces would have fit the required size;





For Christmas decoration I had hoped to finish this piece into a flat fold. 


For pillow it was going to be one of the following. The rabbit was going to be a large sofa pillow. The second piece will have stitching on the front and back and was is in memory of my friend Sharon who lost her battle with cancer earlier this year. 




For non-Christmas decoration I had hoped to finish this into a flat fold. 


Last but not least, this piece was going to be entered into the mini cross stitch category. 


All open class entries have to be made (stitched) between the last day of this years fair and entry date of next years fair. Basically anything I stitch between Aug 2017 - Aug 2018 can be entered into next years fair. I have to start anew. I love the Atchison County Fair and I always have plans to enter a dozen different categories, not just cross stitching, but my plans always fall short. Even so, I've printed out the open class list from this years fair and can't help but make notes, consider patterns and think about the 2018 fair.  

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Two finishes and a start!

I recently finished two WIPs (Works in Progress) from my stash. The first was No Bees No Honey designed by Birds of a Feather.  I've had this pattern for 10+ years and have always enjoyed it.  I'm glad to have finally finished it.


I'm thinking I'll remove JLA and either stitch in a lighter color or replace my intials with another bee. Thoughts? 

The second piece is Everyday Sampler by Hands on Designs.  I started this earlier this year, January I think and completed the middle section.  I made a mistake starting the border, couldn't identify where the error was and put it aside.  I am determined to stitch from stash and finish some of my WIPS, so pulled it out, struggled with it until I found the error, frogged it and got it stitched correctly.  Ta Da!  I love it!


My current project is part two of a series of patterns released by Lizzie Kate. Part one 6 Fat Snowmen was released in 2011 and the next year Lizzie Kate released another series called 6 Snow Belles.  I finished part back in 2012, but hadn't ever gotten around to stitching the second series.  Both series are for my mother and she wants matching frames, so time to get the second set stitched and both framed.  Here's a picture of the first set of snowman and I hope to be back soon with a picture of the second set.