Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Peeling Eggs

How many times have you struggled to peel your hard-boiled eggs?
I think I have tried every tip or trick ever suggested.
I seldom eat them, but Mr. LB loves them-
especially pickled.
I finally got so frustrated that I just thought,
"Forget it.  I'm cooking them like rice."
And guess what?
It worked!
So what I do is:
Place the eggs in the pot single layer.
Cover with water.
Put a lid on the pot. 
(I think this is important and never read or heard before.)
Place on burner, on high for about 7 min.
This is about how long it takes to come to a boil.
Make sure the water has come to a boil.
Then turn down to low for 13 min.
Remove from heat and place in sink
with cold water trickling over the eggs
until eggs are cool-ish (roughly room temp.)
Then peel.
I hope it works as well for you as it has for me.
This has been my process for about the last year.
I wanted to make sure it wasn't just a fluke.

Also, how I make rice~
Rinse rice, then one part rice to two parts water.
Cover and cook on high for 7 min.
then turn down to low for 13 min.
Rice is done and ready to eat.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Update - Poor, Poor Gracie

Of course, as is usually the case,
almost immediately after posting the last post,
Gracie started acting up with me.
She usually has a jubilant enthusiasm for the project
and pep in her needle.
Several of you commented on her,
so am sharing.
(Poor, poor Gracie)
She had been feeling a little punky for a while.
I did try to nurse her, but I'm not a real nurse.
You see at 102 years old, 
one is apt to feel the years at times.
She will be going to the doctor soon.
There is only one doctor in the area
that is qualified to treat geriatric machines like her.
I expect she will be healed completely 
and ready to stitch for another 102 years
by the time she returns home.
*I'll say this quietly as I wouldn't want to upset her.*
She has all her original wiring!
It's a connection issue she's having.
She won't go then rev and stitch 100 mph!
Makes it difficult to stitch an accurate seam.
(Mrs. Kirksey)
But never fear. . . 
those other machines I mentioned in the last post~
Well, Mrs. Kirksey volunteered to help out while Gracie is unwell.
(Yep, all my machines have names.)

Mrs. Kirksey is a 1922 portable Singer.
She is a smaller model and runs like a dream.
She's 4 years younger than Gracie,
but has more miles.
I purchased her from the "real" Mrs. Kirksey's daughter
when she was cleaning out her mom's things.
I thought it only suiting that she be named after
the woman who put so many miles on her
and spent so much time in her company.
(Bad pix, bit I've left the price sticker on her.)
Her decals are well worn,
but she still has such a beautiful face.
I have every faith in her ability to do the job,
and I will enjoy our time together.
She's a tough ol' gal with a certain charm about her.
She's like the great-aunt you can talk to, because
she's always at ease.
She can listen and still continue working
never missing a stitch.
(Love the scrolled face-plate)
I thought you might be interested
in the sewing room happenings :-)

Editing post to add~
If you have an old Singer sewing machine and would like
to know what year it was made,
here is a link where you can look it up by serial number.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Off & Running

In my last post,
I mentioned that one of my goals is to use my fabric stash.

Now, what I'm about to show you 
might not be for the weak of heart.
I'm actually showing you 
my stash.

Gasp! Cough! Choke!
Yes, I know.
And this is after 3 full car-loads of donations.
You see,
using the vast majority of my stash is only a "small" part of the "big" goal.
It's okay, I'll wait here and give you time
to pick yourself up off the floor after falling over with laughter.
They say laughter is good for the soul.
 I'm just helpin' ya out. :-)
(Flannel backed cozy throw.)
The real goal is to down-size even more.
I mentioned when we moved here that we down-sized by almost 40%.
I had lived up the mountain for 18 years.
My kids were 3 and 1 when we moved there.
There was a lot of "stuff" that's been sorted and relocated.
And as I mentioned in the last post,
that transition, though difficult at times, has been a very good one.
We have absolutely no desire to become minimalist~
just to make that clear.
I see extreme minimalism as reliant and unprepared
which is not something I aim to be.

Backed with
chamois flannel
for extra

But. . . 
Enoughism, I do aim for.
The computer is telling me that's not a word.
Well, it's a word in my book.
We want to keep a good supply of useful items
and things that would be useful in an emergency situation,
but the fabric stash is more than enough.
I don't want to have none,
but I have a small book shelf that 
I'm hoping will eventually house all my fabric.
That's a pretty lofty goal, 
especially considering I don't care for "quick and easy."
I like items that are made well
which often means the old fashioned way - the slower way.
There were actually a couple more totes,
but I've made a little progress already.
I started with some of the simpler and bulkier projects.
That helped to get me started.
Now I'm trying to use up fabrics that 
I don't have an emotional attachment to.
If you need to roll around on the floor in laughter again
after that statement, 
I get it. :-)

(Cowboy quilt, original design, hand quilted, pieced back.)
There are fabrics that are so beautiful in my eyes
that I want the perfect project for them and don't want to just chop 
them up for any ol' quilt pattern.
So, I'm starting with the fabrics that are easier to part with.
I have a feeling it will be a bit like decluttering.
At first just part with the stuff that doesn't matter,
then it's okay to part with the things that we don't use,
then choose favorites among the duplicates, and so on.

A little about how I typically roll with my quilting.
Though I occasionally hand piece,
I usually machine piece the quilts on my 
1918 Singer I call Gracie.
I had over a dozen sewing machines at one time.
I've decluttered and down-sized that collection as well.
I'm down to half-dozen.
That might still sound like overkill to some folks,
but they are each different and they each get used.
Once the top is pieced, I layer it and put it in the hoop
or on the frame depending upon the size.
I prefer hand-quilted quilts to machine quilted.
Machines essentially knot each stitch, and
hand-quilting is a running stitch that from the side
would look like a wave going up and down through the layers.
This allows the materials some "slack."
It's why machine quilted quilts are stiffer and
hand-quilted quilts drape around you - give you a hug.
So, I try to hand-quilt my quilts.
I'm not a professional hand-quilter,
but each one I do gets a smidgeon better.
(Note - there is some beautiful machine-quilting out there.)
 (In real life, the greens really do match.)
 (Current project being pieced: Rob Peter to Pay Paul.  An old pattern that requires scissors to cut out as opposed to a rotary cutter - slower.)
I will need to keep at it and get a lot done 
if I am to attend a bazaar or two next fall.
I also hope to get some smaller quilted items done
so that there will be a variety.
The perk of all this will be as these totes empty,
I won't be refilling them.
They will leave and we will have that much more room.
It sure won't happen over night, but
I'm looking forward to that.
(Next on the frame.)
For now, I'll just keep stitching ~
Weeeell, we'll see what happens come canning season.
Hopefully, I can at least make a good dent in it.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Blazin' Trails - Watch Out 2020!

After 2019, I might need a nap!
It was a year of many changes for us.
The biggest change was moving from my home of 18yrs.
Then a few months later changing my job of 6 1/2 yrs.
Then all those adjustments that go with those two moves:
where the vinegar is in this grocery store,
what cupboard the tablecloths are in,
how do I do X at work?
There are so many things in a routine that we take advantage of.
Change is difficult, Good, but difficult.

So a few things looking back before we plow forward.
There have been some challenges, to be sure.

Taking care of two homes that are an hour apart took its toll on me.
Becoming my own employer is/was a particularly difficult transition.
I wasn't sure what I was "supposed" to do as there is no job description.
It's been a good transition but difficult to wrap my brain around.
I tend to put myself in the helper role rather than the leader role.
(That's so backwards from my younger years.)

My word of the year for 2019 was Prosper.
It wasn't really for financial purposes though that was included.
For me it was about the changes we made and wanting them to be good ones.
I wanted the year to be prosperous with friends, 
 family, home, work, and goodness.
Of all of that, I would say I was better at keeping in contact with friends.
I'm generally horrible at that since I'm not on social media.
So Prosper served me well for the year but I'm ready to move on.

In addition to learning, I've had to relearn.
An example was our tomatoes.
I planted 1/2-2/3 as many plants as I usually did up the mountain
and my oh my.
We had a tomato jungle!
By season's end, I was tired of seeing them
even though my inner being loved them for the winter sustenance.

What's ahead?
This is always more fun, isn't it?
My word of the year this year is Grace.
It has multiple meanings and all in all is what I'm after.
If you do a word of the year, I'd love to hear it.

I will be taking a CAD class beginning next week. Yikes!
It was kinda funny when applying.
There were questions like:
Can your parents claim you on your insurance - haha.
How 'bout it Medicare? 
Will I have graduated high school by the beginning of the term?
I sorta remember high school-heehee
Anyways, that was a hoot!
We are designing our own home and whenever the time comes
will general it ourselves.
We have some time ;-)
It will also be a huge perk with work.
I will be able to do the detail drawings required for many jobs.

I'm very much hoping to sell the mountain house this year.
We'll work on that more towards spring,
but I'm hoping not to have to keep up with 2 yards this year.
(Prayers on that one greatly, hugely, enormously appreciated!)

Along that note, I'm looking forward to the garden this year.
Now that I have a glimmer of what gardening here is like,
maybe I can plan a little more appropriately.

Beginning January 1, I am challenging myself 
to see how long I can go with no spending.
I did this a few years back and made it to April.
I will do the envelope system for groceries
and pay our regular monthly expenses but nothing more.
I don't beat myself up if something arises that I spend.
I just start again at the beginning of the following month.
The trickiest part is being mindful of what day it is so I remember to do it.
I do keep a list of things we need or could use.
They are usually in the form of an antique so are things
that take time (sometimes years) to find.
I know if a cider press came along for the right price
sometime in February, I wouldn't think twice about breaking my challenge.
It would cost me more in the long run to wait and pay a higher price.
Bottom line is, I do what I can but don't take it to unreasonable extremes.

The other thing I'm hoping is to decrease my fabric stash.
Rather embarrassing, but I donated 3 carloads full of fabric.
Much of it had been given to me, but more and more I tell myself
"I'm not a storage unit."
At one time I made most of my clothes so had quite a bit of apparel fabric.
I enjoy quilting so primarily kept quilting fabrics - totes and totes of it!
I'm hoping to do a show or two next holiday season
which if anything sells would also generate some green stuff.

There are one or two other things I am hoping to make happen,
but I'll keep those a secret so you can be surprised.
Ain't that just like me - save the juicy stuff - heehee.

I'm looking forward to 2020 and to settling in to life here and now.
I don't anticipate any major life changes this year which is a relief.
 I have found the vinegar and tablecloths and
 am figuring out what needs to be done at work and when.
Are any of you routine people?
It sure throws me for a loop when my routine is upset for any length of time.
I do pretty good with short divergencies.
I think it's because I have that base routine to get back to.
Anyways, 2020 holds many promises for each of us.
Each day is getting just a little longer and each day brings us closer to our tomorrow so we might as well enjoy it, because
tomorrow it will be a memory.

Wishing you all much Grace
and many Blessings~