Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Completed Project!

Well I finally completed a household project! I was on the mend the past few weeks after a serious appendicitis attack/surgery and so I had some recovery time at home and I needed to do something creative! This photo is of the window in my "pink room" - I have my clothes and dresser in here as well as my sewing table (made out of an old door!) and various craft projects. I've had several ideas for window was a vintage floral tablecloth and I still might do that one day! But for now I did this:

It's a sheer (but somewhat stiff) pink piece of fabric that my aunt put in our combined garage sale this past summer. She actually gave it to me so.... FREE! Yay! I've had a collection of vintage hankies and recently went to the Goodwill and found a bag of hankies and such for 1.99 but I had a gift card so....FREE! Yay again! The pink cafe clips I found at my favorite yard sale for a couple dollars I think. The silver rod was a garage sale find for under $1. There was no sewing involved! The pink sheer fabric was stiff enough that I just had to iron it and it stayed that way! I folded the hankies in half and clipped them to the cafe rings. So my total project price was $3!
I love that the sheers let the light in and I can also still see the view. It's an upstairs room and there are no homes in view so I don't need privacy in here. I love it and it makes me happy that I accomplished something!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

To Brine or Not To Brine

Turkey Dinner came early this year...
This isn't such an appetizing picture, but trust me it was yummy! And the gravy? Oh my word! If you have not attempted brining your Thanksgiving Bird you must try it this year! It's so easy! It makes such a difference in the turkey and the flavor of your gravy! So here's what I do:

Turkey Brining Instructions:
Find a big enough container to fit your bird. I borrow my mom's rubbermaid container. But you could use a 5 gal bucket as well.
Fill the bottom with a few inches of warm water. To this add:

1 cup salt
1 cup Brown Sugar
Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Then add:

3 long sprigs of fresh rosemary (Cut from your mom's garden!)
1/2 pkg fresh thyme (My package was .75oz found in the produce section)
2 oranges, quartered
2 lemons, quartered

Then place your thawed, rinsed bird in the container(hahaha don't forget to take out the gizzard package and neck! Come on! You know you've left it in before!) and fill the rest of the way with water. It's okay if the top is not totally submerged. Place in the refrigerator. After 6-12 hours, turn over bird. (Not really necessary if you are using a 5 gal bucket) and brine for another 6-12 hours.

NOW: I learned some things this time around...I'm not sure why I don't remember this problem last time I brined but maybe I didn't make gravy that time - who knows. SO at this point what you need to do is take the bird out of the brine and rinse thoroughly. Let the water fill up the cavity and pour out. Dump your brine water out - save all the good stuff, herbs and fruit. Fill your container with fresh water and soak your bird for 15 min or so. Now you are ready to get out your roasting pan/rack and place your turkey on the rack in your pan. (I line the bottom with foil) Stuff all that fruit, rosemary and thyme into the cavity of your bird. This makes for yummy gravy!
Bake for the recommended time.
Now for the gravy! This is kinda off the cuff so I hope you get the point!
Skim some of the fat off the top of your pan of drippings. Place equal amounts of fat and flour in a medium size frying pan on med heat. I'm guessing 2T of each to start out with. Whisk until you have a thick mixture.
I transferred the rest of the drippings into a gravy separator I wouldn't have so much grease. Pour your yummy grease free drippings into your fry pan. The aroma is amazing! Bring to a slow boil, do a taste test....(this is where I messed up - mine was uber salty because I didn't rinse and soak my bird in the fresh water so I kept adding plain water to cut the saltiness) If your flavor is wonderful and the right saltiness you can add low sodium chicken broth to it to create more gravy. If it's too salty like mine was then add water. If you think it's getting too thin then make a flour paste with flour and water and strain it into your pan through a strainer to avoid lumps. This was so yummy that I didn't have to add anything to it. The flavor was amazing. The turkey was moist and wonderful. Looking forward to leftovers!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Well it's only been 6 months or so since I posted....I have alot of excuses really...#1 being I can't figure out how to get my pictures where I want them to be...and I haven't made the time to figure it out. Why I chose tonight to do this is beyond me. I stink, I've been in the basement with my dear hubby trying to unclog the drain....wishing I had the money to call Roto Rooter! No, instead I've been vacuuming up what looks like...well for lack of a nicer word...vomit. My kitchen is totaled...I haven't been able to run the dishwasher or wash any amount of dishes because the drain has been backing up. It's 11pm and I just want a shower, my jammies and something to help me forget the moment's reality. Ugh. As I was vacuuming up drain droppings I was thinking to myself..."How do I find Jesus in this moment?" I was thinking back to quite a few years ago when my friends and I had just come home from an awesome evening at church where God showed up and it was amazing...we were still basking in it when we arrived at my friends house only to discover that the sewer was backing up into the bathtub and the kids were about to take a bath....How do you make that transition? From delighting in His Presence to sewer in your bathtub? I'm still pondering it, and I have no answers at the moment except "Give Thanks in Everything!".

And now, it's my turn for a shower...

I leave you with this funny story of something that happened here this summer...I laughed so hard I cried...maybe I'll read it again, I could use a laugh right about now!

(The above picture is my 4yr old at the Peter Iredale "Pirate Ship" as he calls it.)

So let me preface this story with a few facts...

For starters, my husband has been known to bring home "treasures" from time to time....some valuable (a fiberglass ladder he found on the freeway shoulder) and some not so valuable (dirty sweatshirts found in the woods). So I'm always a little leery when he comes home from work and says "You'll never believe what I found!"

Secondly - I'm sure you will agree with me that 90% of men cannot stand the smell of or the cleaning up of poopy pants. My husband is one of those men.

Now for the funny part.

We went camping over Labor Day and a few days ago my husband was cleaning out the back of the pickup...and I heard him mumble something about Taylor's swim shorts being back there. I dismissed it because I couldn't figure out why his shorts would be back there - after all the weather was not shorts weather. So I thought to myself "Oh it's just something Chip found on the beach and threw in the back of the truck."

The shorts made their way into the laundry room, depositing sand all over the bathroom floor. I still wasn't sure that they were Taylor's - sometimes with little boys you never know why things end up where they do. Right? I decided I would wash them with Chip's work pants which are usually filthy with rocks, asphalt, oil or dirt. So I wash the load - and last night transferred the wet clothes to the dryer. There were a couple pieces of something in the bottom of the washer - I picked them out - examined it and decided it resembled barkdust maybe, only with flecks in it. Odd, I thought.

This morning Chip pulled one of the "clean" pair of pants out of the dryer and wore them today at work. Tonight I finally got around to folding the rest of the work clothes and the swim shorts. I came out to the living room and told Chip "I don't know where you picked these up at but they are not Taylor's shorts." He replied that he didn't know where they came from, that he found them in the back of the pickup when he was unloading the wood. So I return to the laundry room and I'm just going to throw the shorts away. As I'm wadding them up I feel something hard that I thought must be in that inside pocket of swim shorts and I peer inside to find the pocket....Lo and behold I find not a rock or a toy or a superball but a DRIED UP PETRIFIED TURD that somehow made it through the washer and dryer and into my hands. I just smile. Right now I'm wondering, Do I tell him that I just washed his clothes with a turd? And dried them too? I decided that this could be fun. I return to the living room holding the shorts..."Honey, you know those shorts? Well there is a petrified turd inside!" The wheels begin to turn in his head and I cannot contain myself. I am laughing so hard that I'm crying. Then I realize that he took pants out of that load in the dryer to wear today....and I laugh even harder. Tears are streaming down my face. Then he tells me that he pulled something out of his pocket today and couldn't figure out what it was.....and I laugh even harder and I can't stop! If laughter does good like medicine then I am the healthiest woman around.

I may be healthy but my husband wants to burn his clothes and I still can't stop laughing!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My New Favorite Scent!

I just had to share my new favorite thing....It's made by GreenLeaf. They have the coolest looking Diffuser Oil Containers, I had a hard time trying to decide which one to get. But the smell, it's heavenly. I chose Orange and Honey. Even hubby likes it! You can go to their website and find a retailer near you.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

To Coupon or Not To Coupon?

I recently found a really awesome coupon site - Coupon Savvy in Cowlitz County , she does all the work for you. Finds the deals, matches them with coupons...she's hardcore! So I decided I would start clipping again a little more seriously. I used coupons before - but it seemed like the things that I buy are not on coupon very often. Alot of coupons are for pre-packaged foods, something I don't buy alot of. But I was so jealous of all these free items she was getting! Or paying next to nothing. But I felt like I was spending more than my usual budget just because I had to take advantage of these good deals - thus my post title. To coupon or not? I don't normally shop at my local grocer - if I get everything on my list there, it's double the price I would pay at WinCo which is about 15 miles away...but I recently shopped there and saved 70% on my receipt using coupons, doubles and ecoupons. So I find myself buying extra stuff that I don't really need....and it eats into my budget. So-I will continue to read her blog because who doesn't love to share in a great bargain? And if it's easy and it's free then I might take advantage of it. Unless of course it's Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream...2 for $7 at Safeway and then I got $5 off of 3! So that made for a nice little weekend treat. :) So - happy couponing...or not!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

"My Nearly Free Headboard"

Hey! I actually finished a project! I think it only took me about 7 months *lol* Can anyone relate to that? This is my headboard made out of an old door. I love it! Growing up I had nasty mismatched furniture...when I got married I thought it would be so awesome to have a matching set of bedroom we took our wedding money and spent $2200 on 2 dressers and a bed. This was before I knew about craigslist! Well, every place we've lived has not been big enough to hold the we sold it for $800. Aaack! And now I'm back to mismatch and I LOVE IT! :) It's sometimes hard for me to have things incomplete for so long will it take for my "vision" to be fulfilled? This whole house is a work in progress so I guess it's just a process and I want it to be a reflection of me. Who cares what my hubby thinks...hahahaha. No, really he's coming around and he likes old stuff that's creative. I just don't say the word "shabby chic" because he'll think it's foofoo girly stuff. :) I'm going to post step by step pics at a later date. Hopefully sooner than 3 months....that's how long it's been since my last post. I'm terrible! Now it's time to make meatloaf...something I don't relish....but maybe this new recipe will turn out. If not, then I will be eating mashed cauliflower for dinner. By the way if you haven't tried mashed caulifower yet, YOU MUST! It's way better than potatoes!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tis the Season To Be....Trusting....God!

This is my little Christmas corner that makes me smile....I've been very frustrated with my walls lately - they need a "treatment" and we haven't had the money to do it. This pic doesn't show how bad they are. Most of the walls have white sheetrock mud all over them, trying to fill in and mask what the previous owners were trying to do. The "sewing table" was $5 at a yard sale. I have plans for it - later. The old door was $5 at a yard sale. I took all the paint off with lye. That will be explained later. I had 2 doors and turned the other into a headboard. The window was $1 at a yard sale. It too will have another home when I get it figured out....So I just took some of my shabby stuff and put it all together and I like it! :)
On another note....trusting God....We are at a place where God has to do a miracle in our finances. Hubby was off work for one week, with more to come. No paycheck for that week because you have to claim your "waiting week" with the unemployment dept and they don't pay for the waiting week. I remember a couple weeks ago I figured out how much the next cycle of bills was going to be and even with a regular paycheck we couldn't cover them. NOW, we have less than that because of not working! All these questions go through my mind....Will God provide? Will I be able to cover the utility bills? Does He care? Will he provide like I think? Will I be able to pay the whole electric bill or just enough to get by? Because when I think about how BIG my God is, I think that the money should be there to pay all the bills ON TIME. That is my version of "provision". Just being real here guys. My faith is little. But I want to report back next week and be able to say "My God is Big - He gave us over and above what we asked/needed." As Jesse Duplantis says "My God is Not Enough, He's Too Much!" I'll keep you posted on my faith journey. And I'm gonna be honest!