Monday, March 30, 2020

No Excuses

With all the time in the world to do things one has put off.. things are getting done.  For example.  I had 2 containers on the counter for kitchen utensils.  SO.. I took them both and dumped them on the kitchen table and went through them.. now we only have one bucket of them!  The bucket and counter were scrubbed and it all looks so nice now!  The water spigot in our fridge froze up months ago, so we got a water filter unit and it is working well for us.  We had an appliance repairman come out to fix it and he said our fridge was so old we should get a new one!  HA!  Kristi got the spice rack and all the spice jars as a gift for me a few years ago, isn't it nice?


Mocha using me for a pillow.


We belong to a Facebook group called "Corbett Area" and one of the women posted about how she'd used the grocery delivery option for Fred Meyer, a local grocery store.  So, I thought we'd try it out.  I went to their website, did all my product selection, paid online and the delivery was set for the next evening.  The InstaCart guy did the shopping and delivered our groceries on the deck for a fee of $9.95 - plus we gave him a 10% tip.  So worth not exposing ourselves at the store!  Fun fact, I posted this photo on the group page and so far 141 people have hit "like".  :-)


They have to give you a similar brand if the brand you chose is out of stock and also have to refund you for items that are not available.  But still I was very pleased to have the things we did get.



I looked online for a "breakfast cookie" recipe and tried this one, Oatmeal Pecan Coconut Chocolate Chip.  I'm happy to say they turned out excellent.  


Travis and Kristi came by last evening to pick up their rototiller to put in a garden and I remained 12 feet away from them but tossed Travis a bag of cookies for them to have.  He liked them!  I also froze a bag of them and kept out a few to have with my morning coffee.



Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Pecan Chewy Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 ¼ cups packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar  
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups rolled oats
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (my favorite) or walnuts (optional)
1 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture until well blended. Stir in the oats, chocolate chips. walnuts and coconut until evenly distributed. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Store in tightly sealed container.
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One of the utensils I found in my bucket was this copper ladle that I made!  It needed scrubbing and shined up.  

In 1977 I was taking a jewelry class and our assignment was to make something using copper.  I decided to make a useful item, a large serving ladle.  I cut out the handle, 2 of them, then the round bowl of the spoon.  I then soldered the two handles onto the bowl, the copper is soft so I needed to firm up the handle and soldering them together did the trick.  Then I set about using a ball peen hammer head to hammer the handle and form the bowl.  Tadah!


After it was completed I used a dentists drill to etch in my name and the year.  I sure do hope one of my children will cherish this and not toss it in the dumpster after my passing.  Hint, hint.  Dayle took care of the kids while I took summer art classes when I made this.  



We did not have any authentic copper cleaner so I used this old fashioned method, you put some salt in a little pile on your copper, pour a bit of vinegar on it and *poof* the tarnish is gone.  Note my new vinegar which came in a frosted bottle and a wooden topped cork!



I have a thing for hammered metal.



This is an odd shape for a spoon/ladle but what the hey, it was easier to make than the normal spoon shape.  I couldn't get off some of the blemishes, but have ordered some real copper polish which will be here on Wednesday so I'll give it a second go then.



Much cleaner and easier to read!



Imagine my delight when the April issue of the British Country Living arrived a few days ago.  I'm slowly reading each article and savoring it.  When I'm done with it I share it with Kristi, my friend Bev and her husband Gary, then on my blog friend Gracie and she will pass it on.  I'm fascinated with caravans and this is a fun one on the cover is made of galvanized corrugated roofing.


This silly movie came on the channel I was on yesterday and I actually got into it and realized what a boon it was to watch something fun and frivolous instead of the news which is soul-crushing right now.  It's called "Trolls".  


Another one pot meal Dayle made.  Kielbasa sausage, rice, carrots and sweet potatoes with a bit of BBQ sauce over the top.  45 minutes in a 450 deg. oven in a cast iron French oven.


That's it for me.  We're hanging in there and staying home.  Cooking from scratch and tidying house.  I've started a new book I'm enjoying - "The Seven Sisters" by Lucinda Riley.  How are you passing your confinement?  Do share.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-)  

Friday, March 27, 2020

Bunnies, Flowers and Home Cooking

Rabbits multiply :-)  I made the big bunny years ago, it's an Alicia Paulson kit that she made.  I cut the felt and hand-stitched the bunny parts then stuffed and sewed them together.  I even bought a vintage Featherweight Singer sewing machine to sew the dress together.  Then knitted the little overdress and made the boots.  What a labor of love!  If you'd like to see my blog post of my step by step Maggie Maria bunny making, click HERE.


I made two new crocheted bunny Peeps yesterday, so now there are triplets.  LOL!


Here is my last one in my hand to show you the scale of them.  


Now, how would you like to go on a walk around the farm yard?  First I'll show you the newest unusual daffodil to bloom.  A light yellow frilly one.


Our Mahonia aka Oregon Grape is in bloom.  



When we got our new metal roofed gazebo on our deck, Dayle put the old one on his tractor front end loader and moved it out to the grassy area in the middle of our circular driveway.  I kind of like it there!  You can see our neighbor's lavender farm across the road.  His job has been lost due to the virus shutdowns.  I'd love to encourage you to consider buying some of their lavender soap - click Bates Lavender to visit their website and click on "Shop" at the top.  Thank you!!  Tell them I sent you.


Do you know what this bush is?  I can never remember what it is even after much googling.  

ETA:  This is a male Skimmia Japonica - thanks to reader Val E. from Wales!!  :-)



Our red Azalea is beginning to bloom!



I just love how dependable this big bush is.



Our Star Magnolia is looking lovely, it's right to the left of the red Azalea and right on the road.  I sure do love this, we planted this here on the farm.


Aren't the blooms wonderful?  And the center is this cute little striped orb.  :-)



Here it is on the side of our driveway with the garage back there.



There was a Quince bush outside our bedroom window when we moved in here.  It always has a few blooms, but not many as it doesn't get enough light there.  But it's fun to see them, never-the-less.


We're continuing to cook homemade meals.  This is a big pot of ham hock and beans.  My mom made this a LOT when I was growing up.  That right there says "mother" to me.  You use dried pinto beans, boil them with a ham hock, we added big chunks of extra ham, a diced carrot, a chopped onion, a clove of garlic, 2 bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste before serving.  Do you make this at your house?



We had ours with a buttered home made roll.  YUM!



I had to show you how beautiful Dayle's homemade honey wheat sourdough bread is when we had tuna sandwiches using it.  I must say it's nice to know we don't have to go to the store to buy bread.



So, how are you holding up?  I have to be honest and tell you my mental state is stressed.  I can't stop from worrying about our world, seeing hospitals using refrigerated semi trucks used to pile up the dead bodies is downright frightening.  They found the virus still alive in one of those cruise ships after the rooms have been evacuated for 14 days!  I was told that workers at the Portland Post Office were diagnosed with Covid-19.  So even our mail could be covered with it.  Anything coming into your safe home could be tainted.  I'm not trying to scare you,  but please stay home and try not to go out even to get supplies.  And if you do buy things, sterilize them when you get them home.  OK?  Stay safe and keep busy.  ((hugs)), Teresa

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

🥚 Keeping Ourselves Occupied 🐇

What does one do while under confinement?  Lots of things, it appears!  I ran across the pattern for crocheting Peep Bunnies - so this was the result yesterday.  I've got half a yellow one done also and will finish it today and start an aqua one, then lavender.  Click HERE for the free pattern.


Aren't they cute?



Hopefully you have some little black seed beads on hand for the eyes and nose, if not you could embroider some on using the French Knot stitch.


I could see a lot of these hopping around the house.



I brought out my collection of little rabbit figurines out of my china cabinet.  This one I adore as she's knitting with a basket of yarn by her side and her little baby bunny at her feet.



These are my Beatrix Potter rabbits.  Please ignore the paper bags on the table I forgot to remove.  :-)



Another knitting bunny, one sweeping and one off to shop.



Peter Rabbit himself, a momma with two babies and a young girl rabbit weaving a flower bunting.



Now to the realities of staying out of the public - Dayle decided to make some bread so we don't have to go to the store.  First up I got the sourdough starter out of the fridge and fed it and got it foamy and active.  Then he looked for his favorite bread pans, glass ones.. we had a cobalt one and two clear glass ones.  Do you think he could find them?  NO.  He could not.  But in the looking he took everything out of our pantry cabinet in the kitchen and while not finding what he was looking for, now it's all organized.  He said.. "Why do we have 4 rolling pins?"  Me:  Umm.. errr.. don't throw any away!  :-)


Dayle got the bread going and then made dinner for us.  Broiled filet mignon, baked potatoes and perfectly cooked asparagus.  After dinner the bread and rolls went into the oven.  And yes, I do appreciate him very much.  And no, you cannot have him.  :-)


DAYLE'S HONEY WHEAT BREAD

1 pkg yeast
1 tsp sugar
½ cup warm water
1 can evaporated milk
¼ cup warm water
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup honey
2 tsp. salt
1 ½ cup wheat flour
3 ½ cup bread flour (approx.)
1 egg, separated
1/2 cup sourdough starter (optional)


1.  In small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in ½ cup warm water.
2.  In mixer, combine milk, ¼ cup water, butter, honey, salt and wheat flour.  Add yeast mixture, egg yolk & 1/2 cup sourdough starter (optional).  
3.  Add bread flour until mixer can't mix it anymore then knead using more flour for 6-10 minutes to achieve satiny texture.
4.  Place dough in oiled bowl and let rise until doubled.

5.  Punch down and divide in two.  Roll into loaf shape, put in 2 bread pans, then brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Let rise until above pan about 1 1/2 inch.    Bake 23 minutes at 375 degrees. 
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My Daily Daffodil.  I adore this one!  We had snow last night, it's all gone now.. but all my daffodils are bent over.. so sad!


I've been tidying up, clearing the decks.  Today I'm going to go through my 2 buckets of kitchen utensils and pare them down and give away things we don't use.  We're also going to work on the kitchen today. 

I am also playing Words With Friends (want to start a game with me?), crocheting and reading. 

So, what are YOU doing to pass the time?  Let's share and help each other through this, shall we?

((hugs)), Teresa :-)   

Monday, March 23, 2020

Trilliums and Easter Decorations

Spring is truly here when the Trilliums bloom!  They are just now opening so they are tender and fresh.  I adore them.  They bloom in our shady forest.


The Creeping Myrtle has spread all over the forest floor and look pretty surrounding the Trilliums.


Do you have Trilliums where you live?


This is my current Daffodil in my brass bulb vase.


Do you see the photo-bomber?  :-)


When we were looking in the Hoosier cabinet for my Easter tablecloth we found this doily that I actually crocheted many years ago.. I'd been looking for this!


I like how the center looks like feathers.  I am now thinking I need to make another doily.


Our son picked up a ton of pellets for us on Saturday and Kristi and the boys helped unload them into our garage.  Then they took the boys home for the remainder of "shelter in place" situation.


It was a lovely afternoon and I enjoyed watching the birds at the feeder and the sound of the waterfall into the pond.


I got this neat sheep planter last year, inspired by one that my blog friend Meredith was given as a gift.  I've decided that when we can finally get out in public again that I will buy some succulents to plant in it.


I asked our little family to pose for a photo in case we don't see them for a long time.  :-(


Our grandson Michael was out in the area so stopped to visit with his friend.  They stayed 12 feet away from us while we chatted to comply with social distancing and only stayed for less than a half hour.


I thought I'd take photos as the white Lilac buds out to show you how it's progressing.  :-)


I have put out my Easter decorations, but I forgot to put out my Beatrix Potter bunnies.. I'll add those later today.  :-)  Or maybe I'll put them on our TV cabinet.  Hmm.


I oiled and cleaned up the wooden egg holder and put my crocheted eggs on there for fun.  I have my two antique glass bunny candy holders there.  One with jelly beans and the other came with it's original candy and paper stopper on the bottom!


These were made by J.H Millstein in Jeannette PA in the 1940s and sold filled with candy at Easter.


This little figurine joined the family last year I think.


This is my Bethany Lowe set of "Easter Parade" figurines.  I think they are adorable!


This is my newest Easter decoration, Dayle got it for me at an antique store for my Christmas present!


Our calm Saturday evening was shattered by a rollover car accident right onto our property!  The police were there, also the fire truck and ambulance.  Dayle went out to take these photos and found that the driver had fled the scene before the emergency responders arrived.  


Several years ago a small truck wrecked and rolled over directly across from our driveway and the driver had also fled the scene.  When I went out to see what was going on a police officer said he'd stolen the truck, and ran from the scene.  I freaked out as I was home alone and the door was unlocked.  He could have been in my house for all I knew.  I went right back in and checked and locked myself inside.  I found out later he ran right across our pasture, over the hill and stole another car!  


I posted on Corbett Area on Facebook that the driver had fled and to lock your doors.  I found out later it was a woman and she left the scene as she was scared.  Oh my.  Life is never boring, is it?


We're making do and carrying on.. Dayle made Spam fried rice for us the other night.  Just cook your rice, stir fry ham or even some bacon chopped up, add veggies and soy sauce and Voila! Dinner!  How about we all share the homemade meals we're cooking while "sheltering in place"?


Tonight we're grilling steak and making baked potatoes and asparagus.  I'm going to make some chore lists of things I'd like us to get done around here while we're housebound.  And crochet.  And read.  I'm reading "The Lavender Garden" by Lucinda Riley.  It's rather good but the stupidity of the heroine is making me rather cross.  Have you read it?  Stay safe and stay home!!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-)