Saturday, January 31, 2015


I joined my first crochet a long in 7 years.  

Kerry is hosting a Granny Square A Day and I thought it might be fun.  

Unlike Kerry, I am not doing one thing project though.  I am going to use my squares on a variety of projects (blankets for nephews and such....)

My first month's work.....a coffee cozy, a whopping 4 squares:

hahaha....not really!    

I am actually on target with my squares and happily using up yarn in my stash.   Once I get done with that, I'll buy some more!  Yay yarn!!

 I've wanted to make my nephews some blankets for the last few years but never did it.  This will ensure two little boys a warm blanket of their own made by their FAVORITE AUNT!   

Friday, January 30, 2015


Hey 'dere!

someone loves belly rubs!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mamma Mia!

We have a name!  Our little fur ball has been named "Osito."  It means little bear in Spanish and fits her beautifully.  She is fearless, like all corgis and has the cutest little bear booty ever!
Her nick name is Osa (long o, double s sound) and she already answers to it.   Osa means "she- bear."   

In other family news, the weekend before picking up our furbaby, we went to see Mamma Mia at the Saenger.  I swear I'm not shrinking, Kaela has on major heels!

Oh.My.GOSH!  It was such fun!!!!!  Kaela and I wanted to join the cast on stage.  Seriously, it was infectious.  The singing, the dancing...the silliness.  It was wonderful!

Monday, January 26, 2015

OH! Happy Day!

Saturday, I popped up like a daisy and was out of bed at 3:57.  I woke the family and we were on the road at 4:30.  THIS is how we all felt:

So where were we off to?
What could pull us from our warm beds without an alarm?
What could possibly cause us to take a 1,050 round trip in one day for? 


Our newest fur baby!  She is precious and a welcome addition to our family.  With all the sadness of the last few years, we needed new life in our household.   We decided on another corgi (she is our third) due to several reasons.  If you know the breed, I have no need to explain.

She traveled like a champ.  Not a bit of motion sickness which is amazing since we had such a long drive.  

She likes this little "hut" my sister gave me for the cats (who snubbed their noses at it.)
Don't worry, that isn't a "worry" face, that is an "I'm exhausted " face.   7.5 hours in a car is tough for ANY baby.

Dean was exhausted, he did all the driving.  God bless this man.  


She likes the patio and begs to go out there over and over.

She got tuckered out and took a 3 minute snooze before setting off again!

We haven't named her yet but have several we are mulling over.  We are waiting to get to know her a little more first.  We want her name to "fit."

Stay tuned for LOTS of annoying puppy posts and videos!!!  Until then, I leave you with this....

Have a terrific week!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January's Craft a long

For this month's craft along, we were to make a lap sized blanket.  Rules were simple.  Keep it small enough to make in January and use this winter.

I got a charm pack and made this one....Matt insisted it have "fluff" inside...

It is very small as I used only the 42 squares that came in the pack.

I was happy.  I hate quilting.  And this wasn't even "real" quilting, just sewing squares into rows and sewing rows together....and tying some yarn to hold stuff in place.
Yuck.  Just not my thing.   Too precise.  Precision....ain't my bag baby.  Good thing I'm not a surgeon.

I swore off ever doing this again...UNTIL....

As I was searching for something in my stash the other day,I found another charm pack someone had sent me (thank you Jill!)

I still had all my sewing "mojo" so decided to seize the day and do another one.   I knew I would hate doing it but loved the colors in this pack and hated to not do SOMETHING with it.

This pack only had 20 squares so I cut some more of another fabric she sent me, along with some from other fabrics. Lucky for me, I had something to back it with.  But this time, NO fluffy stuff.

This one is ME sized...and I have to admit, I like it better without the fluffy stuff inside it.  

The first one will probably end up as a gift (make it monthly, yes?) but I haven't decided just yet...the second one is MINE.  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Recipe Box...Squash Casserole

Before I start with the recipe, let me just say that I HATE SQUASH.

Okay, now that I've made that clear, let me go one step further and say, if you hate squash, you will be pleasantly surprised at how good this is!   

But if you like squash, you will LOVE this dish.  

People requested this all. the. time.  So, mom made it for company, for parties and for pot lucks.  

My mom was a great "comfort food" cook and even better baker but she really didn't like anyone in the kitchen with her....well, maybe dad but not the kids.  At least not while we were young.  Mom was a fast mover and we just got in the way. Unless invited to help out or hang out, it was best just to get out of her way.  Daddy used to call her "Hurricane Linda!"

Mom tended to just jot down ingredients with no directions.  After all, it was her recipe.  She knew what she was doing.   The steps are written up by me.
This is what the casserole looks like.  Sorry but someone scooped out servings before I took a photo!!!

Okay, so on to the recipe!  This is super easy and comes together quickly but you will have about 10 minutes of cooling time during this process so plan for it.

Linda's Made Up Squash Casserole (how is that for a fancy name?)

2-3 quarts yellow squash, washed and chopped into chunks
1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped
2 fresh banana peppers, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped (any color but green)
1 bunch green onions chopped and reserved.

2 eggs, beaten with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups shredder cheddar cheese

16 saltine crackers, crushed FINE, tossed with 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 

To prepare.

Spray a medium sized casserole dish with PAM.  Note* a 9X13 is a little bit too big...
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Cover and cook the squash, onion, bell pepper and banana peppers over med heat until slightly soft.  Stir it every now and then.  This will take about 10 minutes.  You don't want the squash to get super soft.
Mix the green onions in and then remove from the heat and drain in a colander.  Squash has a lot of moisture and you don't want that in the casserole, mucking it up.

Set the colander aside to continue draining.  You will also need it to cool a bit too so the heat from the mixture doesn't "cook" the eggs.  This takes about 10 minutes.

While the squash cools, mix the seasoned eggs, 2 cups of cheese and soup together.

Once the squash has cooled, press it down one last time to get some moisture out.  Then mix the squash with the soup mixture.

Pour it all into the casserole dish.  Top with the cracker/cheese mixture.   

Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until the cheese is slightly browned and it is all bubbly.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

For the love of yarn...crocheted scarf

Awhile back, I started knitting a shawl with some fabulous yarn called Feza Alp Oriental.

It is a magic ball meaning it has different yarns knotted together.  It is supposed to give a bohemian look and I knew I would love it.  

The lady at my LYS store suggested a shawl so I got the pattern and started knitting it up and was very excited....

Until I got 2/3 of the way done and realized I had knit the first 3 rows instead of doing stockinette stitch.

Undaunted, I went ahead and almost finished it.   And it was beautiful.  But I hated it.    

I hated the way it draped....the different weights of the yarn made it drape differently in different places.  And it wasn't deep enough.  And the tapered edges were just "meh..."  

So, without giving it any thought, I ripped it out.

And I was so HAPPY!

I mean, seriously.  I had been secretly HATING the project the entire time.  The stitches weren't funky enough for me, were so orderly....all those teeny v's made me nuts.  

So, instead, I crocheted a scarf.  I used a "P" hook and a simple HDC stitch.  The scarf turned out scrumptious and crazy, and looks to me just like the yarn was intended to look.  A little unexpected and unruly.  

OH, and the feel is amazing!  Since the scarf is just a big rectangle, the yarn weights don't fight with one another.

And the best part?    It took me a mere 3 hours to make and that was because I pulled one integrated fuzzy strand of yarn out and replaced it with something else in my stash.  (Sorry, eye lash yarn need not apply....)

Beautiful Chaos....

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Hooting!

Yesterday I did my first hooting of the year.

I was driving through our neighborhood and saw some kids standing outside.  I flung this little guy in the yard and drove off. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cleaning leeks...

Okay, here is a tip for you.  If you use leeks, you know that before using them, you are supposed to soak them to get all the sand out of the stem ends,  Well, I never have the time for that so this is what I do....

Cut the ends and halve them, then put them in a jar with water.  

Put on the lid and SHAKE!

Shaking loosens them up and the sand gets washed away....

Pour through a colander and give a final rinse before using.  Works like a charm and takes just a few minutes to do.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Recipe Box: Hot Chocolate

This last week was a seriously COLD one here in Louisiana!   We were down in the teens one night....the rest of the time we were in the mid 20's.  That is unheard of "in these parts..."  Never thought I'd have to run the pipes during the day!!!!

That being said, we bundled up and I made some comfy, hot dinners.  Comfort food is something Southerns do quite well, thank you very much.

I made potato leek soup.
I made kicking chicken chili
I made crawfish ravioli
I made my family HAPPY....

"People" in the house hinted that I left out sugar cookies when baking for the holidays so I obliged on Saturday....better late than never, right?

One morning I made this quiche....super tasty.  

By Sunday I was all cooked out but was craving something chocolately...and warm.  No way was I going into the kitchen to bake...not with those good sugar cookies on the counter.  

Instead, I made some decadent hot chocolate.

Curlygirl's first grade teacher held an annual Christmas caroling event followed by homemade cookies and cocoa at her house.   She was the neatest lady.  Most kids were terrified of her, but not Kaela. She adored her!
Anyway, she had this cocoa in one of those old fashioned coffee percolators and it was so good that I asked her for the recipe.

Believe it or not, I'd never made it before, which is nuts considering I had asked her for the recipe.  So, I pulled it out, made it and felt the need to share it.  It is SO good and so simple to make.  Be warned though, this cocoa is RICH.  As my dad used to say "A little dab-ble do ya."

Fig's Hot Chocolate recipe:

For a small batch:

Heat 2 cups of milk.

In a glass measuring cup you will make a slurry:
Boil: 3 TBLS of water.
Add: 5 TBLS of sugar
         3 TBLS of good cocoa
         dash salt.
*optional, 1/4 tsp vanilla.  I didn't use it.

Mix well until the sugar and cocoa are dissolved and incorporated.  
Add the slurry to the milk and mix well.  I use a teeny electric whisk.

Once the milk and slurry are blended, bring up to the heat you want, whisk a couple times to froth it and then serve.  Top with whatever you like.  We use whipped cream in a can around here.

Thank you to Ms. Figueroa, where ever you are, I hope you are happy and healthy!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

crocheted infinity scarf

Matt's girlfriend requested a scarf for Christmas.  She goes to Old Miss so she wanted it to be warm and fluffy and super soft...and NAVY.  I knew just the yarn but knew it wouldn't show a stitch decided to use the easiest stitch I teach at school.  CHAIN STITCH.  Seriously, whodathunk you could make something so lovely out of a simple chain stitch and slip stitch.  Love it!

The result?  Perfect.  The open weave gives it dimension and makes it pretty, while the yarn is plush and warm.   Even the dark color turned out pretty.

Kaela and Dean's sister both chose a sapphire blue....

I decided I had to have one too....but of course, chose green!

A much smaller one for a wee somebody's birthday...I actually made TWO out of 1 skein of yarn.  Perfect for 7 year olds.  

Since the scarf works up so quickly and is so soft, I thought I'd share what I did.  It makes for an inexpensive, quick gift.  I don't know the name for the stitch but it is just a row of chain stitches held together with the occasional slip stitch.  I made a blanket out of this back in the 80's called "Irish Rose"  and have loved making things this way ever since.   I've always called it a lattice "pattern." When laid out, you can see a diamond shape.
The other thing I love about this pattern is that you don't see mistakes unless you go digging for them. If you slip stitch into the wrong hole, it won't matter.  Truth be told, when I use fuzzy yarn, I don't even count... the horrors!  I just estimate and move along.

Lattice Pattern scarf.  *Note This is for a wider scarf.  You can adjust the scarf by reducing or increasing the chains by 5 either way.   

2 skeins "Cameo Bulky" yarn by Yarn Bee. You won't use all of the second skein.  I typically have about 1/4 of a skein leftover.

"N" hook 
Blunt tapestry needle with large eye 

To work one that will wrap once:  

Begin:  LOOSELY Chain 30 using "N" hook

Base row:  Turn and slip stitch into the 5th chain from the hook.  *Chain 5 and slip stitch into the next 5th chain. *Repeat this process to the end of the row.  You should end with a slip stitch. 

Chain 5 and turn. 

This photo shows what it will look like...just some open loops.

Row 1:  Slip stitch into the center of the first opening. *Chain 5 and slip stitch into the center of the next opening.  *Repeat the process until the end of the scarf.  

This photo shows the beginning of the diamond shapes taking shape:

Row 2-End:  Repeat Row 1 until the scarf is the length you want it.   (I stood up every now and then and wrapped it around to see how long I wanted it to be.  Turns out mine was about 6 feet long.)  Then cut a long sewing length and tie off by pulling the end of the yarn through the last slip stitch to lock it down. 

This photo shows a partial swatch so you can see how it takes shape:

To finish:  Using a blunt needle and the length of yarn that was still attached to the scarf, sew a running stitch through the two ends and bury the end into the work.

This only takes a couple hours to work up and is PERFECT for someone brand new to crochet but itching to "make something!"

On another note....look at  what is on my needles!  My first "circular needle" knitting project:

 Circular needles are a bit cumbersome for me still. Yuck.

Have a great weekend y'all!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Guess who?

Is a licensed driver?  

next get a parking permit for school!

We are proud of you honey!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Winter gardening....

Without the dogs, we get critters in our garden....and one of them tore it up.  It was so sad.  Our beautiful lettuces were all uprooted and tossed aside.  Not eaten, just stomped and flung about.   I salvaged some of the lettuce...but ALL the seedlings were destroyed.  The herbs weren't happy there anyway so being stomped just sealed their fate to be moved! 

Dean and I cleaned everything up.  Then we replanted the salvaged lettuce in two boxes and resowed arugula, lettuce and broccoli in the last two boxes.   

Isn't that man of mine clever?  He made a little wire top to keep critters at bay while the seeds germinate and get some size to them.....

the best part is the lids lift so I can weed and harvest the goodies.   That oughta keep critters out!

Now we just the weather to cooperate!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Recipe Box.......Pecan Tassies

My parents were wonderful cooks.   They took classes and they taught classes.  They threw wonderful parties and hosted wonderful holiday meals.

My father wrote a family cookbook while my mom used recipe cards.  You knew something was good if mom copied someone else's recipe in her own handwriting!  Mom was a recipe snob.  She would never take the time to re write a recipe she didn't think "worthy!"    In fact, many of the recipes in the boxes had "YUCK!" written on the back, along with the date she tried it!  Yuck was one of her favorite words and meant more than just one thing.  She used it to describe food, clothing, people....whatever it was meant for had a slightly different inflection to it.

After they passed, we went through the house, and after selecting many for ourselves, donated hundreds of cookbooks.  Literally hundreds, probably close to a thousand...and that is no exaggeration.  It was a very difficult thing to do, giving their cookbooks away...

Before we started all that, my sisters got my mom's recipe file boxes for me.   I went through them right away, looking for some specific recipes.  Some I found, others are lost to us.  I don't know HOW....but they are gone.  I guess it is simply that many good recipes are never actually written down.  

Recipe cards are like a dying art form....with pinterest and computers, people don't seem to use anymore.  But these cards are so much more than the actual recipe.  They have stains on them and notes on them.  She wanted to be sure she knew who gave her the recipe so she would know what it was.  Some had titles like "Bette Nan's Whatchamacallit" (I'm not sure I'm gonna try that one!)
While looking through the boxes, at my mom's and my grandmother's and my aunt's handwriting, I had a huge flush of emotions. So with that in mind, I decided to do a regular recipe box post as a sort of homage to them.  I think it might be fun....and it will be a great way to share.
But sorry, some recipes will stay in the box.  Like the jello mold with salad floating in it.  

Today is the first installment and I made  "Pecan Tassies."  The recipe was from one of my mom's dearest friends...Bette Nan.  But I called her Aunt Nutsy and she was SO MUCH FUN!  I have so many memories of her. 

These are so good .They are the best part of a pecan pie...that sweet spot between the crust and top of the pie!

Pecan Tassies

For the crusts:
3 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 cup softened butter or margarine
1 cup sifted all purpose flour

For the filling:
1 egg
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 teaspoons softened butter or margarine
dash salt
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Starting with the crust, blend the first 2 ingredients together and stir in the flour.  Form into a ball and chill for about an hour.  Roll into 48 little 1 inch balls and press them into a PAM sprayed mini muffin tin, shaping the edge up to the rim but not over.  Set aside.

*For the filling, beat all ingredients EXCEPT pecans together.
*Put some pecans in each cup and fill with the sugar filling. 

*I am lazy and just put everything together and fill each cup.  Sometimes I have to add a few more pecans doing it this way.

bake at 325 for about 25 minutes or until browned.  Remove and let cool.  Use a little spatula to run around the edges and pop them out to serve.  These go SUPER fast so double the'll need to!

If you try these and enjoy these, remember where they came from and give thanks to Aunt Nutsy....

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Texas trip

After Christmas, we took a quick trip to see Dean's family.  He hadn't seen his folks in a couple years and wanted to go for a visit.  There is no way you are going to forget you are in Texas with these everywhere...

When we drove into their neighborhood, we saw all the deer that are so common there.  They walk the yards like dogs would.  Totally unafraid.  If they only knew what Dean was thinking (DINNER) they would have worried a little!

This one walked was curious and walked within 3 feet of the car.  Pretty.

There were lots of smiles...

While there, we took the boys to the playground.  They played tag.... so the biggest boy climbed a tree.  He was safely out of reach here.  NO FAIR!

during a tense movie, someone snuggled up with his niece!

we went to a trail of lights in Wimberly and it was awesome.  I loved this little teacup birdfeeder...

it was a long walk, with a lot to see.  This herb garden hedged in with stone made me want one...Dean?

 by the time we were done, it was dark and COLD!  We finished the walk at the Veteran's Memorial.  I couldn't help but think of daddy and get choked up.

When it got too cold, we enjoyed hot cocoa and then roasted marshmallows over a fire....a lot of fun, especially for the little ones.

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