Sorry I haven't posted .... we are getting ready to see Baby Princess this weekend and there are a trillion things to do before we go. Wrap the gifts (yes ... we know the baby is only 3 1/2 weeks old), buy warmer clothes (baby is in Denver ... brrrrrr), new shoes (of course), bake goodies and pass them out to the neighbors, do little holiday things with the Prince and Princess (we will do our family Christmas on New Years day), stock the house with frozen dinners (boys and their tv dinners). I'm taking my camara ... so you know what that means *smiling*
It is gray and raining outside right now ... and I am in Heaven. The door is open filling my home with the beautiful sounds and smells that only a steady rain fall can bring. I Love, LoVe, LOVE the rain ... I come alive when I first get a sense that it is going to rain. My heart is light ... my spirit is filled ... my mind is quiet ~ as is my home. We are feeling a sense of calm that only winter weather can bring. I have a napper, a reader and me ... with my fingers working feverishly on some soft yarn. With plans to go out tonight with friends and a busy schedule tomorrow with family ... we are embrasing this peaceful moment for all that it offers. I hope everyone a safe and wonderful weekend.
I got done with Savannah's baby sweater. I made it in the same Caron Simply Soft as the last one but more in the heather green/gray color.
I was even bold enough to make a little matching hat ... though I do think that it might be too small ... I talked myself out of making it in a bigger size. O.o
The design is the same as the sweater ... 6 rows of seed stitch and the rest in stockinette and finishing with 6 more rows in seed stitch ... fold so that the seed stitches match and sew up the sides. Viola` ... a little hat.
Our eldest Princess crossed stitched the bib ... isn't it the sweetest thing!!! She is finishing up the another one so that we can send off Savannah's Christmas Box. I can not wait to see pictures of the baby in it =D
That doesn't seem right! But it is true!! I am done with Cross Fire in ... 5 maybe 6 weeks. I finished it the weekend before Thanksgiving. It is amazing what one can accomplish when not doing other things :D I really enjoyed reading this book. Wonderful Patterson writting ... not overly male aggressiveness but intelligent thoughts on paper. The story with Kyle Craig returning ... more like how he returned ... was very smart. I was thinking the whole time ... how long will it take before Alex Cross figures it out? Now? No! How about now? Nope! It was a very good book and one that I wouldn't mind re-reading. Now this is a book that should be turned into a movie ... from my blog to James Patterson's eyes (ears? eyes?). Hmmm ...
I got to pick up The Poet from the library about 2 weeks ago ... that was probably where the fire was for reading Patterson's so quickly. I am super excited to get to this book. I have been putting off reading it for a very, very, very loooooong time. I love the first few sentences in this book "Death is my beat. I make my living from it." Ohhh ... right! I know! I can't wait to start!
I hope that your Thanksgiving holiday ... no matter how brief ... was wonderful and recharging. This year we didn't get to go see our extended family *sadness* but we did get to spend a lovely day with the kids *smiles*. I love the excited chattering and laughing of people enjoying each others company but I what I enjoy more is the silence of loved ones around in complete contentment.
Enjoying our beautiful weather
Henry was super excited to have everybody together
Friday my wonderful Mr and I spent the ENTIRE day in bed
it was ... blissfully perfect
Bob was enjoying the warmth of the day
Nothing like a quiet day ... aaahhhhh
..... And then came Henry
On Saturday ... Mr and I went on a rare treat ... Chinese food and a movie.
It has been a while since I went to the theater that the screen seemed giagantic to me =D
Lincoln was a really good movie. Dare I say maybe even Oscar worthy.
The actors, costumes, scenery were all outstanding. I did get a little lost in the
old language and the strategies of war but thank goodness I sat next to a
cute guy who is into the History Channel to help me through it.
This past weekend was one of those weekends when I had to make window cleaner, laundry soap, 2 loaves of bread and since the bananas were really ... really ... really ripe 2 loaves of banana bread. So, since I am whipping up some fun ... I thought I will share some of my super easy and favorite recipes with you.
First is just a quick helpful hint about making the laundry soap. Someone mentioned to me that their soap came out a bit chunky, even after they shook the bottle. This usually happens when the soap doesn't have enough time to melt (turning it on high WON'T work it will bubble over and make a GIANORMOUS mess ... trust me ... this is also the one time when watching the pot is exactly what you need to do). The easiest way to fix it is in the soap grating stage ... instead of using the bigger holes (like for shredded Mozzerella) use the smallare holes (like for grating Parmesan). The longer soap strings clump together and it takes longer to melt. So remember ... the finer the soap is grated the easier it is to melt.
Second is the window cleaner .... ok so I got it out of some Amish recipe book I read 15 or so years ago ... WOW where does the time go?!? I make mine by the gallon (I use a milk jug) and it is works super well. Seriously ... I use it for everything ... glass, counters, toilets, sinks, heck if there is something sticky on the floor I give it a good spray and wipe ... there is no residue at all! I feel like the Dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding *giggles*.
1 pint of alcohol (for sanitizing purposes I use the 91% but rubbing is fine)
1 tsp of dishsoap (regular biodegradeable dishsoap is fine ... castile leaves a bit of a film)
2 tbsp of ammonia (scented is fine)
Fill your jug 3/4 full with regular tap water - add your ingredients - to minimize foaming sloooowly fill the rest of the container/jug with water. IF you want to make it look like real Windex then add 4 - 6 drops of blue food coloring in the jug. Viola` ... easy peasy. You can even add essential oils if you want to give your house a light clean scent ... Lemon, Grapefruit, Lime, and Lavender are all nice or go for Rosemary for the holidays. Make different scents for different rooms ... don't use too much essential oils - you don't want to leave an oily film.
Third is this yummy white bread recipe ... I have been using this recipe for 15 plus years. It is from a pamphlet called Yeast Baking and You written by Fleischmann's Yeast and Gold Medal Flour in 1963. My wonderful Mr. can't get enough of it ... lately we have been slicing it thick and eating it with soup. YUM!! To me nothing says Fall like Football on the TV (gooooo Broncos!!) and the smell of bread baking.
Last is this wonderful banana bread recipe from Homemade Bread which was written in 1969. It is a true classic. It is also sooo flexible ... add nuts ... don't add nuts ... add Nutmeg and Cinnamon or just keep it simple ... I use butter in substitute for the shortening and just add 1 cup of sugar ... I also add all my wet first then add the salt, baking soda, baking powder THEN add the flour at the end - this insures that there isn't a 'salty spot' in the bread ... also I like to top off mine with Flax Seed before baking - it just looks fancier and everyone can use extra Omega 3 and Fiber.
2 cups mashed, ripe bananas (4-6)
2 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 c milk
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts/pecans
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
From the book -- Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Mash bananas with rotary beater or fork. Add lemon juice and mix. Cream shortening and sugar with electric mixer at medium speed or with spoon. Add eggs and beat thoroughly until very light and fluffy (4 mins beating in all time). Add sifted dry ingredients alternating with milk; fold in bananas and nuts. Beat after each addition. Pour into 2 loaf pans. Bake at 350* oven for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into the middle of loaf comes out clean. Cool in pans for about 10 mins. Remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack before wrapping plastic or foil.
I did decide to go with The Poet by Michael Connelly but all the books at my library are checked out *tears* So what is a girl to do? I took it as a sign and started reading Cross Fire by James Patterson. As if that was some big surprise *wink* Someone at work lent it to me but since I was reading The Hunger Games it took me a bit to get to it. I am already 1/2 way through with it and it has been a few week ... which we all know that is lightening fast for me. I LOVE to read but I also love to watch movies, crochet, knit (I can call myself a knitter now ... it sounds so weird), bake, read other blogs ... that I don't get to the book like I want to. So far it is a very good book ... can't wait to find out what happens next .... bum bum bum *giggles*
For our 18th anniversary we decided to get a companion. We felt that we were ready. We knew we wanted a rescue dog. We knew we did NOT want: a puppy, small dogs (Chihuhuas are mean) or any large 'angry' breeds (NO Pit Bulls or Dobbermans for me), we don't mind a large dog (Labs or Shephards) but since we do live in Phoenix we don't want anything with too much fur (Huskies or Saint Bs). So I went onto the humane society's website and made our list. Getting a new pet is a VERY BIG DEAL!! The right breed, size, back story and if they were raised with a family or with other pets can make the difference between a good adjustment and one gone horribly wrong.
The next morning ... bright and early at 9 am we drove down to one of their two sites and they were closed and it wouldn't be opened for another 2 hours! I didn't ever think to look at the time ... sorry Honey, my bad. So we drove to the other site which was the farthest away (which happens to be a no-kill shelter) but had most of the dogs on our list. And we get there and they are also closed but atleast this time they will open in half an hour. So we drove around and got alittle bit of something to eat. With list in hand we walked-in and we were guided to the other buildings (3 in total) where the dogs were lodged. We looked at my list and read the back stories, we spoke and touched so many lovely pets-to-be. A few on my list were getting adopted already (yea!) And the others were either too shy toward guys or shouldn't really be around other pets (and we have the bird AND the cat to think about). After 3 hours ... it was down to two, one from my list (2 yrs old, good breed, super friendly) and one that wasn't (5mths old, pit/terrier/dachshund mix, quiet but friendly). We took the first out to walk and I expected tugging and being overly excited but she rushed the gates with the other animals in a les than pleasant manner (yikes ... not cool when we go camping). We took the other one out and he was super friendly as can be and our visit went really well and we knew .... we just knew ... we have found our next family member. *Sigh*
So, World meet Henry. Henry meet the World.
Henry ... pay attention buddy ...
Hennrryyy not my flower bed ...
Ohhhhh Henry ....
SNAP!!! Perfection =D
We have him about 99% potty trained, he is about 90% fetch the ball trained, 90% walking with a leash trained, and he has 100% melted our hearts. Even though is supposed to have Pit Bull in him ... it must be just a drop ... he looks and behaves just like a Parson Russell Terrier/Dachshund mix. He has these short little legs and he has developed behaviors and expressions that remind us of Rio and Arnold. He has such a wonderful personality and we can't wait to take him camping/hiking (which we can't until he get all of his puppy shots *tears*). Am I gushing ... I know I am ... I am sooooo sorry but I just can't help it =D
Sorry for my brief absence but I was trying to make some baby things so that when my husband went up to Denver to see family, he could take the gifts along with him.
First ... I made a super cute teddy bear but I guess I didn't take a picture. *tears* It is pattern number E2115 from Simplicity's It So Easy. It was ALOT easier to piece together when I was following the instructions *giggles* I didn't want to use any fuzzy material or use buttons since it will be with the baby during the teething stage. I was going to embroider the face but Mr. thought the bear looked fine without the features. I did put alittle bit of lavender buds in the belly with its stuffing which might not be the best idea being it might not be able to go into the wash but it can be spot cleaned. Overall it was an easy enough pattern that I am seriously thinking that the bear needs a sibling or two =D
Second ... I crocheted a super cute baby blanket, which I also didn't take a picture of. *o* It is similar to the one I made above. I love poly yarn just for the durability factor, it will be able to be washed, dragged, washed, drooled, washed ... well you get the point ... for a very long time. The brand I chose is Caron Simply Soft and the color is Bone. When I started the blanket we didn't know the gender of the baby and I didn't want to go blue, yellow or green and the next color that would be neutral is cream. So cream it was. It is a realatively easy small shell pattern.
Last but not at all least is this super cute knit sweater. When the kids were little ... I tried to knit. Read ... re-read ... re-re-read and got soooooo fusterated I put down the knitting needles (actually I gave them away) until I found this book Baby Knits For Beginners at the library and I thought I would give it another go. With book in tow and this new site called Youtube *wink* I sat down and knitted this pretty sweater. Yes ... it is pretty but it is far from perfect ... I never thought I would get done in time ... I think I did more undoing a row than knitting but at 1am the moring my sweet Mr was leaving (he was leaving at 5am) I got done piecing it together. I was a zombie at work (and a tad-bit moody too) but I got it done. It is also made with the Caron Simply Soft in Grey Heather. I really liked this book ... there are a few more patterns I want to do and I will keep you posted.
Not with blogging .... I'm done reading The Hunger Games. I stopped reading for a bit when I was making 'Lil Precious (I think that is what my nickname will be for the grandbaby) her items. But picked it up again and I couldn't put it back down. To remind you, I did see the movie before reading the book and I have to say, that for someone like me with no imagination for Sci-Fi, that is the only way to go. The movie gave me something to work with ... like a visual aid ... when it came to what the people at the Capitol looked like or how they lived in comparison to the outer Districts. The book does go into more detail about her intent as to why she did/didn't react a certain way. I don't want to go into too much about the book/movie so that I don't spoil anything but it is a very good read :-) I have the movie coming to us to watch again this weekend. I think it will be interesting to see how it fairs the second time around. I have been thinking about starting the second book, since I have the images of people in my head and I hate to lose it. But I am also dying to read an Alex Cross book. Decisions ... decisions =p