Friday, September 30, 2011

Preparing For Some Deep Stuff

The city workers are making their rounds.
Testing hydrants.
And flagging them.
And do you know why they flag them for the winter?
So they can find them when the snow gets deep!
This one is across from our house.
Last year the tip of the flag was all you could see.
Oh winter....
please don't come quite yet!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dragon Sightings

I haven't seen this little Dragon since Sunday...
we have lots of playing to do today!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yarn Along

I am attempting to make time for some knitting and reading each day.
Life just seems to get in the way most days.
Today for example...
an unplanned trip to the dentist...
I hate going to the dentist. 
Today I decided I need to change my attitude.
My dentist really is a nice guy.
He does his very best to make the experience positive.
So today I say to him...
"I heard the suicide rate is high among dentists."
to which he replied...
"Yes, it is."
Of course I had to ask him,
"Do you feel disliked?"
His reply,
"Numerous times a day I hear how much people hate coming to the yes, I do feel that way."
I asked him if he had 'thick skin'.
After a pause, he said he didn't think so.

Then he told me to open my mouth and he would keep the drilling to a minimum.
it didn't turn out that way.
Was it pleasant?
Did I survive?
(Mr. Dentist did apologize for the extended drilling and length of my appointment...he didn't know until he got started the extent of the work involved.)

I sure didn't feel like talking when I got up to leave.
But I wasn't about to let my last words be condemning. 
So I told him, "Enjoy the rest of your day...
and don't let the meanies get you down.

Wow....after that huge sidetrack...
I joining up with Ginny and friends this week.
I am reading a historical novel, which opens on the eve of the Civil War.
Mary Sutter is a brilliant, headstrong midwife from Albany, New York, who dreams of becoming a surgeon.  Determined to overcome the prejudices against women in medicine - and eager to run away from recent heartbreak - Mary travels to Washington, D.C., to help tend the legions of Civil War wounded.

I have just started the book....but so far it is a very good read.

I am also knitting a simple basket weave scarf.
Knit 2, Purl 2 for two rows,
Purl 2, Knit 2 for two rows.

Winter in Minnesota is just around the corner!
Now if I could just learn to knit socks like the pair Christine gifted to me in my previous post....

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Perfect Fit

All gifts deserve a proper "thank you".
But some gifts deserve a "blog post"!

I couldn't believe these socks Christine knit for me...
they are so beautiful!

and they are a perfect fit!!!

Thank you so very much!!!

(Will I ever conquer knitting a pair myself???)
Updated ~
I just found out Christine's mom passed prayers and deepest sympathies are for her and her family.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Somethings Gotta Give - Quilt Pattern Give-a-way

Today I am working in my sewing room.
Can I say I am a little overwhelmed?
I have a lot of projects.
I should work on the almost finished projects first...
but I ended up starting something new...

I found this pattern in my "holiday" pile.
I think there may be someone out there who would enjoy making this before the holidays roll around....
so I am giving it away...
just leave a comment...
I will draw a random name on Thursday.
I will post that name right here.

Yorkie Mom's name was drawn.
Thank you all for taking time for comments.
There will be another give next week. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pumpkin Pie

When I got married 
- 28 years ago -
 my mother-in-law gave me some family recipes.

One of my favorite recipes is
 Great Grandma B's Pumpkin Pie.

It is simple...
my family loves it...
and it has NEVER failed me.

Pumpkin Pie
1 1/2 cups pumpkin
2 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar
pinch salt
3/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups milk

Pour into pie shell.
Bake at 425 for 15 min...
reduce to 350 for nearly an hour
(test center with butter knife)

I always make 2 pies at a time....
we appreciate generous slices at our house!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Never mind that it was a school night.

There was a gathering of friends.
Some old...
some new.

We gathered for a reason.
Some country fun!

Then we topped off the evening with some goodies around the fire.

And we still made it home by 9:00.
Not bad....for a school night!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Harvest's End

The weather turned cold earlier than expected.
I harvested what was left in my garden.
It wasn't much,
but I didn't want anything to go to waste.

I had some really little carrots.
I decided to try pickling them.

I like them a lot.

I had bought a box of pears to snack on.
The only problem with that, is they all get ripe at the same time.

So I found a Spiced Pear Preserves recipe online...
hoping my family likes it.

I was hoping for a longer growing season and some more cucumbers.
I have a feeling we will be running low on pickles before next years' harvest.

I would have made more of these simple garlic dill slices had I known my supply would be cut short.

I cut the seeds out of the cucumbers that got a little too big and made up this dill relish....I really can't eat a hot dog without I hope it turned out nice and tasty....
because after all that work...
I will eat it even if it isn't.

I did also squeak out 4 pints of salsa.....
which was way too much work for the meager end result.

And I guess I would prefer to not remember the two quarts of tomato juice that exploded in my canner....
but since my family was all congregated in the kitchen when that happened....
I am pretty sure it will not be forgotten any time soon.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sweet Apple Day

When a sweet 6 year old invites you to an afternoon at an apple orchard....
it is hard to resist.

It ended up being a very warm day...
it was HOT.

Two 16 year olds enjoyed their time picking apples, wandering the corn maze and visiting the critters.

It wasn't until I got home that I noticed the other side of the Sweet 16 sign....
how fitting that our 6 year old got her photo taken under it.

It was just a sweet apple day all around!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Auction Remorse

Many years ago we went to a Lutheran boarding school.
We had a pastor who taught our Senior Bible class.
We thought he was old then.
Last month my sister and I went to his auction.
He was he is old.

It was hard to observe him watching his furniture and belongings being auctioned off....
many at prices lower than they were worth.

This is one of my purchases.

I am sure he was thinking of his wife throughout the auction process.
They shared many years together.
I hope his memories stay strong even though the physical reminders are gone.

I purchased some linens.
They were all hand stitched.
(the corner of one is my new photo header)
I wanted to ask Pastor Gjerness who did the lovely stitching.
I didn't get the opportunity...
as he watched his musical instruments being auctioned off...
he raised his bidding card and bought back his own auto harp...
I heard him say something about 'seller's remorse'....
then he paid for his purchase and went home.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Little Jewel

M.A. Olson, Prop.

My sister gave me this sweet vintage needle threader.
It appears to have been either sold or gifted by M.A. Olson from Deer River, MN.
It was made by 
New York, N.Y.
2,490,882  2,490,883


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Somethings Gotta Give (Give-a-way)

I have been cleaning out my closets.
Twice a year or so I try to "weed" out things that I just haven't made good use of....
or haven't used at all.

We drop our clothes and shoes off at a collection box.
I would rather they go to someone who doesn't have to pay for them.

Everything else gets boxed up and hauled to the Goodwill.
Or if I know someone is having a garage sale, I will donate it to them.

But when the closets, cupboards and shelves are full...
somethings gotta give!

So I am going to start a weekly (hopefully) Give-a-way.
I have lots of random things, but I will pull out things that won't cost me an arm and a leg to ship.  :)

One thing I have a lot of are recipe books.
I buy recipe books like some people buy magazines...
I consider them entertainment...
and sometimes I pass them on.

This yummy book will go to a randomly drawn name. 
I will leave the winning name at the bottom of this post on Monday.
If this book interests you, just leave a comment.

Comments Are Closed....
Lois please email me your mailing address.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Aloe Vera Galore

I bid on some Aloe Vera plants at a recent auction.
No one bid against me.
So I came home with 3 full pots for just $3.

The pots were ugly.
So I dug out some of my own and transplanted them.

The plants were all very healthy when I brought them home.
I shouldn't have left them on the front porch.
Our dog nibbled on some of them.

The dog seemed to like them.
Now I am a little worried she will try to snack on them when I am not looking.
She is an odd dog.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

She Didn't Have To....But She Did

This is my link to my boys.
Neither of them are living in the state.
Neither of them answer their phone calls.
Both of them are prompt to return a text.
I need this link.

My link failed me last week.
The same time one son was traveling for 14 hours.
It was very unsettling.

I have had the phone for a long time.
I know I could "upgrade" my phone.
But I DID NOT want to upgrade.
If I wasn't feeling so unsettled, I would have just ordered a phone off eBay to replace it....we have done that for the kids in the past.

So I drove over to our AT&T store.
Bemoaning the expense of a phone when you do not chose to "upgrade".

When I got there, two employees were going on break.
That left me alone with a very young sales girl.

I confess...I started to wonder if I should come back later.

I told her my phone would no longer text....
she told me I am eligible for an upgrade....
I told her I really didn't want to have to do that right now.

Maybe it was my forlorn look...
or maybe it was my shabby appearance (I had been pulling weeds)....
or maybe I reminded her of her mother (hopefully not her grandmother)....
but she told me something.

She told me if I went over to Walmart or Target they carry GO PHONES.
They are a prepaid phone...BUT....
you can take your SIM card from your AT&T phone and insert it in the GO PHONE and it will work off of the plan you already have.
She could have sold me a $250 phone...
but she sent me to Walmart...
and I paid $64.

Not only does the GO PHONE do what I need it to do...
the font is much bigger and I can actually see it without wearing my glasses!

That young sales girl didn't make any money off my visit....
but she earned my gratitude and admiration!

She didn't have to....but she did...
and we will be back to see her when we do decide to upgrade!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Loving Dorothy's Pastry!

As promised, here is the AMAZING pastry recipe I used this past weekend for pies.

I was a little hesitant because the recipe calls for lard.

I don't have anything against lard, but it does have its own flavor.

We grew up with lard, so I decided to pick some up at the store and give it an adult try.

I used my KitchenAid mixer to mix the dough.
It makes enough dough for 5 crusts.

After chilling the dough for an hour I rolled out 2 crusts....
and I could not believe how great they were to roll....
they almost rolled themselves!! (ok...that might be an exaggeration)

The crust turned out so flaky and tender....
and tasted great!

The recipe said you could freeze the dough in disks and then thaw for later use.
So I decided to test that out.
The next day I made a custard pie.
The dough took about an hour to thaw and it rolled out just as wonderfully as the day before.
Because the custard pie crust gets baked for 10 minutes on a high heat before you add the filling I was able to observe and learn for future pre-baked does shrink a I will need to be more generous on the crust length...or use my bigger pie pan.
I found this recipe (along with many more) at the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog.  If you have never stopped over, you really should!

I already know the next batch I mix up of this great pastry dough will be DOUBLED!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Laboring Weekend

We spent our Labor Day weekend working.
Well, we worked Saturday and Monday....
Sunday is the 'day of rest' in our home.

Saturday was cool and breezy.
Not really an ice cream treat sort of day,
but we wanted to support the seasonal ice cream cones that a nearby family owned convenience store offers.

Our friends have an apple tree.
They told me I could pick their apples.

So I did....with some help.

The tree wasn't big, so our job was done rather quickly.

But a laborer is still worthy of his reward....

And I was looking for a reason to try out a new pie crust recipe.
It is an AMAZING crust!!
(I will find the link and share that in my next post)

Now to decide what to do with my basket of apples....
my family suggests more pie!