Mom to six great kids, Boo is 5, Robby 8 years, Ace is 9, Miss Busy is 12, Chels is 13 and Gadget-Boy,(who recently moved back home,) is 23.
Married to my best friend, Bear for nearly 25 years.
(I don't use real names for OpSec reasons.) So if you know my family personally, please refrain from using their real names in any comments you may post.
I'm into quilting, scrapbooking, preserving history, writing in my journal, cross stitch, sewing for my kids when I have the time, cooking, canning, freezing and otherwise "putting up" everything I can get my hands on in the summer so we can eat good in the winter.
I'm participating in Yard Sale Saturday sponsered by Colorado Lady. I have listed my items in my Etsy store so you have easy access to payment information and shipping. I am happy to combine shipping items if you want a whole bunch of stuff!
I have lots of books, and some quilting supplies. Click on the Title of each photo to access the listing at my etsy store.
This recipe has been a favorite in our home for years. Mom always made them every Christmas. Mom and Dad also had them made by the hundreds for their 40th wedding anniversary in 1988.
They are printed in The Durrant Family Cookbook "A Home-Cooked Heritage" page VIII-1 (cookie section) Book published in 1991, reprinted December 2010.
I don't know when they became a holiday staple in our house, but I have to make them every year too. These cookies just seem to say Merry Christmas to me.
This is a three-step cookie, but it really couldn't be easier. It has a brownie base, a creamy frosting filling and a bitter-sweet dark chocolate topping. Yum! I double this recipe to fit in a large, 12x14 sheet pan.
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp peppermint extract or 5-6 drops of peppermint oil
1/2 c. margarine melted (I use butter)
2 squares melted unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 c. sifted flour
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped small
Beat eggs, (but not like I did,) margarine and sugar together well. Add chocolate and flavoring. Then add flour and nuts. Pour into a 9" square pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Cool and ice with:
1 c. Powdered sugar
1 T. cream
2 T. soft margarine (again, I used butter)
3-4 drops of peppermint oil
Put in the fridge for about 10 minutes until the icing is set, then cover with:
1 square of bitter/sweet chocolate melted together with 1 T. melted butter.
When set, cut into small squares.
Maybe one of my relatives can remind me who Aunt Emma is and why we love her cookie so much.
My cousin asked me today if people still really do this, well, yes, I still do.
My hubby regularly rips holes in knees and so do my four boys. Buying new jeans is just not an option for us. I have even been known to pick some up at the thrift store and repair them as well. Boys size 10-12 jeans are hard to come by so I'll take what I can get.
Here's a little tutorial on how I accomplish this task without the use of those yucky iron-on patches.
First of all, I keep any lower pant legs that I cut off from making denim shorts out of the "too-bad-to-mend" pairs.
This is my "patch" material.
Step one: Open up the leg seam about 8 inches past the seam on both sides. Give yourself plenty of room to get into the leg area.
Step two: Cut your patch about 1-2 inches bigger than the size of the hole. Make it a nice square or rectangle in proportion with the hole.
Step three: Turn your pant leg inside out and stick a large ruler inside or a piece of heavy cardboard so you have a surface to pin against. Placing the right side of the patch to the wrong side of the pant leg, pin the patch in place. Be careful, don't prick yourself, and now turn the pant leg right side out.
Step four: Using a wide zig-zag, stitch the patch down reaching underneath and removing pins as you come to them. Stay about 1 inch away from the hole and feeling with your fingers to be sure you are still on the patch as you sew. You should have plenty of room with that leg seam opened.
Step five: Now, clip diagonally into the corners of the pant leg and carefully trim away just the frayed edges. Turn this flap under and top stitch zig-zag over this edge holding it into place.
This shows me rounding the fourth edge and stitching all those edges down.
Step six: turn the pant leg wrong side out and carefully trim away the edges of the patch, being careful to only trim the patch and not the pant leg.
Finally, step seven: close the pant leg seam. I zig-zag the edge mimicking the serged factory edge and then I use a straight stitch on top of the former stitching line.
The finished patch!
These jeans have a lot of life in them still and I may be able to pass them on to the next two kids too!
Yesterday was my first beginning Canning class. I had three lovely ladies attend. We had such a good time learning and working together.
I heard this quote this morning and I think it really applies, "Give a woman a jar of food and you feed her for a day, but teach her how to can an you feed her and her family for a lifetime!"
What an amazing legacy. I'm honored to have the opportunity to impart some knowledge of the craft to these ladies.
Here's another quick review from the Durrant Family Cookbook, A Home-Cooked Heritage.
I believe this recipe originally came from the back of the Cream of Wheat container, but I have done research on the web and I can't seem to find any evidence of that. Maybe it's just lost to everyone but we Durrants who have the cookbook.
So, here is our family-favorite breakfast.
It was originally published in the dessert section of the Durrant Cookbook because of the name pudding, but it's really hot cereal.
8 c. milk (I use 8 c. water and 2-3 c. powdered milk)
1 tsp salt.
1 c. Instant Cream of Wheat
4 eggs, beaten
Bring milk and salt to a boil. Slowly sprinkle in Cream of Wheat, stirring constantly. Keep stirring over medium heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Beat a little of the hot cream of wheat into the beaten eggs. Return egg mixture to pan, stir and cook 1 minute more.
Add your choice of flavoring and serve hot or chilled.
Stir in 1/3 c sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla, 1 tsp almond flavoring. Top with frozen strawberry jam.
Stir in 1/2 c. sugar, 3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate bits as Cream of Wheat cooks. Top with milk or cream.
When I make this, I beat the eggs into the sugar and the vanilla and almond extracts and then continue as directed.
Some may call me down right cheap.
That's ok. When you have a family as big as ours you have to find ways to be creative. When Bear bought me a new washer and dryer set, we stocked up on Arm and Hammer liquid laundry detergent. I like it, it works and it's pretty cheap too.
But this month, our budget took a major hit. Big Blue, my '98 Suburban blew the engine. She was very sick. So, her new heart is costing us this month's grocery budget and then some. I had to find ways of cutting corners.
We have been living off our food storage this month and doing without the "fun stuff" in order to pay for the "heart" transplant.
I thought that since my laundry detergent supply was getting low I would save my pennies and buy the ingredients to make my own.
I've done this before, and made the liquid kind but I really didn't care for the gloppy goop that I came up with.
I have no place in my laundry room for a large 5 gallon bucket to sit, and I didn't like having to shake and shake the smaller jugs in order to get it to congeal. When I would melt the soap on the stove, it would bubble up and once it boiled over and created a gross, soapy Mt. Vesuvius, not unlike this mishap.
After a recent discussion on one of my quilt groups I decided to give the dry version of laundry soap a try.
It couldn't be any easier!! Finding the ingredients was the difficult part. I couldn't find washing soda at Walmart, though other bloggers say it is there--neither is the fels naptha bars. I found them today at the Ace Hardware store, all three simple ingredients, right there on the same ailse.
I had quite an interesting convo with the lady at the checkout. The guy behind me called me Betty Crocker, though I prefer Holly Homemaker, or Becky Home Ecky, I'll take what I can get.
One bar Fels Naptha soap
2 c. Borax
2 c. Washing soda
1/4 Purex Color Safe Bleach (totally optional!)
I came home and grabbed my empty ice cream bucket and lid. Inside I found the trimmings from our home schooler's Ivory carvings from our "trip to India" last fall.
I threw them in the food processor and the new bar of Fels Naptha and set it to pulse, and pulse, and pulse--then I just turned it on and let it process for about a minute.
Next time I'll grate the Fels Naptha soap first and then pulverize it with the cutting blade.
I dumped the washing soda in and then the borax. I also added a couple of scoops of Purex Color safe bleach powder because I have boys. You mothers with boys will appreciate that.
This is what my mixture looks like. You can see some little chunks of the fels naptha bar, but it is mostly a fine powder--sort of like cornmeal.
I use an old medicine cup to measure, it's about 1 1/2 tablespoons of soap. I have a top loading Whirlpool HE machine, and I poured it into the soap dispenser on the top of the machine. It runs water through it as the machine fills. I did notice the bigger chunks of the fels naptha bar stayed on top of the grate/screen portion of my washer. That might be a problem later.
I did read on a blog that if you leave your soap unwrapped in a warm dry place, (top of the water heater, on a sunny windowsill) it will help it to dry out and the soap will be more crumbly and less moist.
I'll update soon with a cost analysis. That is the point here isn't it?
The quilt was made by my sister Sylvia and me in memory of my brother Gordon who recently died of Leukemia.
The money goes to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. My neice Kristy and my brother Brian are training to run in the City of Trees Marathon on October 14th. The goal is $4500 for our team ($1500 X 3)
and they are at almost $1500 right now.
The quilt my sister Sylvia and I created is now being auctioned. Contact my neice Kristy at the above link, if you are interested. Tickets are $1. You don't need to be present to win, nor do you need to attend to purchase tickets.
Wishing I were thinner, wishing my foot didn't hurt, wishing it wouldn't rain so much, wishing the laundry was finished--and would stay that way. I wish that summer was here already, wishing the kids were better at doing their schoolwork.
The thing I most wish is that were moving. Not necessarily packing and driving to a new place, but that we knew the direction God has planned for us--that we were actually going places, heading in a new direction.
God isn't finished with us here yet and I think that is what irritates me. I think in my own feeble mind that I have learned all I can here and it's time to move on. I long to be settled. I long to be able to plant an apple tree and see it grow from a young sapling to a productive tree. I long to plan and design a home that will be comfortable with my things in their places.
I'm ready, but God says wait. God has said that for a while now and I get so impatient just waiting.
In the movie "Fireproof" there is a John Waller song called "While I'm waiting" that really has made an impression on me. I think about it when I get impatient. I think to myself, am I still worshipping the God who is in control? Am I serving those around me? Am I supporting my Chaplain/husband? Am I teaching and instructing those children/gifts that God has given me? Am I preparing them for what God has in store for us next?
So, while I am impatient to go, while I want to move on and I'm feeling so dissatisfied with where we are, I will wait. I will serve and I will worship and I will learn to be prepared for the next step. Whenever it may come and wherever it may lead.
Years ago, when I started this blog I made up this persona, Skinny Girl. She lives inside of me and has even made herself public for a while after the birth of Robbie. I've managed to subdue her and keep her quiet with copious amounts of chocolate cake, pies and very little activity.
I'm surprised at how easy it was to shut her up.
She's been screaming for a few months and I can't ignore her any longer. She occasionally rears her skinny little head and crabs at me to take a hike--or a walk--whatever; the message is the same to me.
I don't like Fat Girl either. She's annoying. She whines about aches and pains and bi-focals and tendonitis. I'm tired of hearing how her clothes don't fit right, how the bathroom scales show larger numbers during "that time of the month."
So, in order to shut them both up, and thereby create a bit more sanity inside my head, I have tried to take long walks along our bike path, but I've developed foot pain. I'm heading out to the Doc today to see what it is. It's annoying, that's for sure.
So because walking hurts, I bought a bike--nothing fancy or speedy. A pretty little plum colored Shwinn. She has a wide seat, just like mine, goofy broad touristy handles and a basket.
I imagine myself looking like this,
But I'm sure I really look like Margaret Hamilton.
Now that Margaret's "theme music" is stuck in your head, I'm pulling out Penelope Shwinn and going to take a spin.
This is my list of Un-Finished Objects to complete this year. I won't say that I'm not starting anything else until this is done, because I'm just not that kind of girl. I need someting new to keep me interested. I work on lots of things at a time, sometimes I'm appliqueing, hand quilting, piecing, machine quilting, sewing non-quilt projects. So this will (hopefully) keep me on track.
Zeller Pinwheel Quilt
Thanksgiving Turkey wall-hanging
Christmas Cookie Nativity Calendar
Red, green, crazy "Quilt as you go" throw
Beary Wonky Cabins for Robby
Jewels of Kansas Signature quilt
Christmas Quilt BOM
2009 Thimbleberries BOM
Army "Thimbleberries" BOM for Bear
Marine "Thimbleberries" BOM
Double Knit Poly "snuggle" quilt for Ace
Double Knit Poly "snuggle" quilt for Chels
Brother Memorial Quilt
I'll check them off as I complete them. This will help keep me accountable.