Thursday, April 30, 2020

A Sign of the Times

 We took our first tentative steps off of our property yesterday. I went prepared.

 It felt weird to put on my "in public" clothes. I always wear this old moth eaten sweater for walks on the boardwalk and it gave me all the feels to put it on again.

We weren't going anywhere. We just needed to get the car out for a bit. We've been having battery troubles from it sitting so long.

 I haven't been up that driveway and out into the world since late February. The last time The Mister was out was St Patrick's Day. It was scary. We didn't know what to expect.

 We took a drive through the deserted twin beach area and what we got were signs. Everywhere.

 Everything was closed and locked up. Some restaurants had signs promoting take out but the lots were empty. Most places just said they were closed for the duration.

 The koi pond park and all the kiddie parks were roped off too. The only kids we saw were in fast moving strollers in front of a jogging mom. No one was stopping for anything.

The parking lots of all the marinas were empty. I've never seen that before-even with a hurricane warning there is always some fool out there.

 Poor Pup. She thought she was going for a walk. We knew she wasn't but tried to convince her our yard was somewhere new.

We have plenty of places to walk right here at home but she wasn't fooled. The nose knows.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Waste Not, Want Not

A few years ago Middle Son gifted me this foodie book. The author was inspired by cookbooks from the Depression Era and made frugality her thing. It's a great read. I've had to get it out and re-read it because with iffy deliveries that's where we are now.

 Old bananas can't be tossed they must become banana bread.

I had to go digging through my kitchen boxes to find my favorite recipe. Look at that date. I think it was time I made a copy.

 Any leftover meat or bones become broth that I chill and skim. I'm using it for the critters to stretch their meals but The Mister's been making gravy with it too. I need to start doing this with the veggie scraps too.

 I did have a disaster. No matter what the internet tells you, pancake mix as a flour substitute does not make good biscuits. In spite of using up some precious butter they were dry and crumbly.

 Yesterday was delivery day. The Mister gets so excited. We got eggs. Pricey but we got'em.

 Finally I got some dry beans and lentils. I was running very low. I have a Rancho Gordo order in but it won't even be shipped until May 15th.

 Thankfully I got all the stuff I need to make good use of those beans. I got a lot of aromatics including onions and lots of garlic. I am in bean heaven.

Every single thing gets washed down including the eggs and the egg carton. We've now got 16 cases in our little town. We've had 139 cases and 7 deaths in the county. I'm not playing. I use my unscented plain ole goat soap on the produce since I know exactly what's in it and there's nothing in it to worry about.

It was a full afternoon of cleaning and re-packaging but we're good to go for another few weeks. I celebrated with a full pot of tea (I got more water!) and a crumbly pancake mix biscuit which made a much better scone after covering it with some strawberry jam. If I could have told 2019 me what 2020 me would be doing just to eat I'd have laughed. I hope 2021 me still thinks this is funny.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

TNT:High Drama

 There were some real issues with Needles and Pins over the past few days. A little voice kept telling me that there was something wrong but I kept stitching.

See that long vertical green line of stitches that frames the thing all the way to the top? It's not the same one that was there two days ago. I had to rip it out and move it over. By one stitch. I know I could have just ignored it and gone on but I couldn't and I didn't. The thought of it even woke me up out a sound sleep so I knew it had to be done. It still looks a bit lopsided but that's the pattern's fault not mine. It's not centered. I counted it out a million times and for some reason it's really not so I'll just have to deal with it.

Dear Jane has another row completed but I can already tell there is going to be more drama when I have to join those wonky rows. I'll worry about it another day. One issue at a time is all I can deal with at the moment.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Killing Time

 Yesterday was yet another rainy day. It's hard for me to ever get bored with all the stuff I have to do but yesterday I'll admit to being bored. I took some inspiration from Delighted Hands and went down to the craft room and threw some paint around. I don't have her talent for painting but I can sure make a mess with the best of them. First I started a new journal page. I used ink and stencils and will probably glue some fancy paper on it when it dries.

 I swatched my gouache. Again. I've been filling up a journal with gouache swatches. Try to say that three times fast.

 I'm still working on my watercolor dots. Little ones and big ones. Not for any reason. Just because.

I did a sloppy floral watercolor in my Joggles journal. Then I wrote what I think about this mess we are all in around the edges. It felt good to have my say. The Mister is tired of listening to me.

Finally, I did some stamping and embossing using a new to me technique that I saw on You Tube. First you stamp in regular ink, color it and then stamp over it again with embossing ink and powder so you can heat set it to get that shiny gold outline. It's very pretty. I might have to try my hand at making an actual card out of it if and when I can ever get to the post office again to mail anything. Sigh.

I am trying to think positive though. I just ordered more supplies to make soap. I gave up on trying to get olive oil from Amazon or the grocery store. I went to my soap supply vendor where they had it on sale. I bought a lot.  It's not food quality but it will work for soap and someday, somehow I just know my imaginary little soap shop will open up again. Right?

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Ahoy Mateys!

 It was wonderful to wake up yesterday without a headache. It was still pretty cold and dreary out so I spent the day in the downstairs craft room with Spiral Chicken with my little radiator going.

 The table I have my chicken friend set up on still had some room at the back end and I had this old project sitting in time out on a shelf.

It's the whale sampler I had started for my mom after she moved to the beach. She collected these cross stitch magazines and asked me if I would work on this one for her.

Look at that date. You could say I'm a little behind on getting it done.

In my defense at the same time she also asked me to stitch these lighthouses for her. She did the blue crab. Her new house was nautical themed as you can tell. She had a beautiful Bay view and a trailer right on the water. She loved her Chesapeake Bay.

 It took me a while to get reoriented to the pattern. The pattern in the book was yellow and crumbling. I copied it but there was a section missing. I figured I could work around those missing rows but then.....

...when I was checking in the magazine to see if this sampler had a name (it doesn't) I found the missing section still attached to the center of the magazine. I guess when I originally ripped it out I didn't do a very good job of it. I copied it and taped it all together. 1989. Wow. I didn't have a computer then nor a printer. I really wonder how I worked on anything like this back in the day. It must have been hard.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

The Down and Out Reviews

 I've had a two day headache so all I've been doing is sitting in a dark room and listening to audiobooks and napping. If you follow this blog on any kind of regular basis you know how I work. I do lots of stuff but rarely get anything done. Same with books. I'm always listening to something but rarely finishing.  I've been listening to this 36 hour monster for months. It fills the hole GOT left. It's got all the palace intrigue of the North and then some.

I've been listening to the autobiography of this dude every night for a few weeks. It's surprising. He's had quite an unexpected journey. A bonus-it's read by Johnny Depp.

I did finish this one. I loved it but it was too short. He stopped at the age of 21. I need more, James.

If you look on my side bar you can see that this is my "official" listen. The problem is the recipes that are included. Everything sounds so darn yummy and I can't get half of the ingredients in my hit or miss grocery order. This one may have to go on the back burner for the duration of the lockdown.

I just started this one. I'm not sure where it's going yet but I do know that as bad as we have it now living through WW2 France was worse. At least for these two ill fated sisters.

And the craziest thing that I have listened to lately is this. Audible came out with a series of free readings to help you calm down and get to sleep. I have to admit that this helped me take a good nap yesterday in spite of it making me imagine that someone who sounds a lot like Idris Elba was wrapping me in crinkly copy paper and popping bubble wrap over my head. I kid you not. It's that weird-but strangely soothing.

And speaking of about a big plate of Cronchy Potatoes? This potato recipe is a sensation over on Twitter thanks to a funny little character named Darth. I accidentally ordered two 5 lb bags of potatoes with the last delivery and this bag was looking a little iffy so I took the chance and "cronched" them. I had my doubts because it was a long involved process but they were soooooooo good.

Totally worth all the trouble. Darth knows potatoes.

Friday, April 24, 2020


Puzzle buyers beware! This is a Public Service Announcement alerting you to the fact that not all puzzles are created equal. I ordered these two supposedly new 500 piece puzzles on ebay and this is what I got. Two heat sealed plastic bags of itty bitty puzzle pieces and a postcard size photo of what the puzzle will look like. The postcards weren't even in the sealed bags, just stuck in the mailing box. Yuck. Not good and they weren't exactly cheap.

In case you are wondering how itty bitty those pieces are, here they are next to the normal sized puzzle pieces I am working on now. Oh, well. The Mister had a good laugh at my expense and maybe on a very bright, clear day they might be doable but I all looks like more trouble than its worth. Lesson learned.

In happier news, yesterday I discovered a recipe for the yummiest cake ever. It's Nigella's chocolate gingerbread cake and oh my, it's good. I can't eat icing made with shortening and this icing is just powdered sugar, cocoa powder and.....ginger ale. You pour it on while the cake is still hot and then as it cools it becomes all sticky and gooey. It was so good I ate this much of it before I even let The Mister know it was out of the oven.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Moving Along

I finished all the colorwork on the body of the Mosi sweater yesterday morning. Now it's on to the ribbing. It's been an epic effort but not an unpleasant one. 

 The Felici twins are heading to the toe.....

.....and the man socks are getting their heel flaps worked on. I keep telling myself it's time to add something new to the knit mix but I just can't seem to work up the energy or the interest.