Sunday, March 28, 2010

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie

When we were at Dot's, we made a peach pie.......
we ate it for breakfast.....
it was sooooooo good.......
i haven't been able to get it out of my brain.......

Do you believe in subliminal messages?

I went to the library:

Did you happen to pick up on a bit of a theme there?
I do make a fairly decent pie, and was seriously contemplating making one.

Enter: my pastry recipe

Dandelion Pie Crust
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. unsalted butter
3 Tbs. margarine ( i often use more butter)
1/4 c. ice water
Mix flour and salt together. Work in butter.
Add just enough of the water to draw into a dough.
Don't over work.
Makes 1 double crust pie
brush with milk, and sprinkle with sugar
Bake at 350F for 45 minutes or til browned and bubbly.
For a pre-baked shell, bake at 375F for 15 minutes. cool completely.
Is your mouth watering?
Mine was......
And then I read this.....

I had second thoughts.
I don't wish to become a balloon in the Thanksgiving Parade!


a little berries....
a little bananas....
a little yogurt....

A yummy smoothie.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Laundry Room

Yesterday, I showed you the laundry room when it was in the process of a reno. This photo shows the ceiling...plywood, after it had been stripped of it's many unmatching, stained, broken acoustical tiles. The walls were a dark walnut cheapy cheapy paneling, cut out around the framing out with trim, no baseboards.. The floor was dark walnut parquet print, ripped, linoleum. The square recessed lights were missing covers, and all rusty. Imagine dark, spooky, cave...... There was NO storage. I built the tall unit you see peeking out from behind the door. (We removed that door and have it all open with the mud room)
All of the reno was done on a bare bones budget, and there's nothing fancy about it, but I love it.
We installed beadboard paneling on the ceiling, and re-did the attic opening, which had just been plywood, nailed up.

See why I love it now?! Sunlight just streams in there now! ( Even though all 45 panes presently need washed on the outside) I painted the mullions on the outside white, but just sealed them natural on the inside, and they meld into the view outside better. I can watch the hummers and other birds to my heart's content.
The paneling came off, walls came down, and the old snake skins and old insulation came out. In their place, new studs, insulation, drywall, baseboards, and paint.
This is that storage closet I mentioned:

I trimmed down an old screen door from the chicken house, backed it with shirred muslin, and new chicken wire.
We were fortunate enough to find two baskets for up on top, that fit perfectly.
Over the washer and dryer, there had been a small window. With the windows moved, I was able to build a shelf unit for storage.

We just put up low cost light fixtures, and have been very happy with them.
I hung a wooden curtain rod and Target tab tops to hide the water heater area.

This is my little jewelry prize:

I got it at a yard sale for $15. Unfortunately it cost us an arm, and a leg to have installed. (That whole experience made me even more determined for us to do things ourselves)

I use the screen door for momentos:

Across from the washer and dryer, We put in a little window to allow some of the new lovely natural light into the kitchen. (It's above the fridge on the kitchen side)

Hope you enjoyed the tour.....I need to quit basking in happiness over how much I love this room and go put another load of wash in! ;)

check the other projects out!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Room with a View

When I was working on the washer in the laundry room last week, I was reminded of how much things have changed in there since we bought the house. It's light and airy like a sun room now.

When we bought the house, the laundry room was really cute ......on the outside.
But the 2 windows were pretty small, so inside, it was a dark cave.
One day while weeding the flower bed outside of it, and tearing out tons of ivy, we knew we had a problem when the siding started coming off with it. It had a major case of dry rot and we ended up replacing the two window walls. It "opened" the opportunity to add more windows and light to the space. I've always loved old houses with corner windows.

I prayed....(we had just married off a daughter and the funds were low), went to a salvage yard and found 5 matching old windows, the basic size I needed, (That was a miracle!) and trimmed them down to fit. It was a PAIN but each and every one of the 45 panes had to be cleaned and re-glazed.

It was sooooo worth it.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Thank God it's SUNNY Friday!

The Early Snowdrops are dancing in their polka dot skirts

three little maids, all in a row

crocus turning it's face to soak in the sunshine

Heart's Ease, among the artillary weed

What a gorgeous day.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Challenge

What ya doin' Nanni?

Cryin', sweetie, cryin'.......

What have I done?

Believe it or not this is our washer.
Look past the grungy grime that was hidden under the console.....oh, how gross...yuck,
and see a water pump that needs to be taken off and replaced.
It had been leaking a long time, and was frozen on.
OK, pump.....we can do this the easy way....
or the hard way.......

No cooperation to be had.....
time to bring in the big guns....

an angle grinder.

Yay! it's off!

This rusty motor shaft has to be cleaned completely up, using a file and sandpaper.

The new pump has to be able to slide easily on and off.....can't believe the old one EVER slid anywhere!

Got the new pump on and everything back in place!

Did a trial run, only to have to take it all apart again.... more leaks, but the spin cycle had brake lock-up.

After lubricating the brake,


putting it all back together....


It's good as new!

Jim and I started to do some repairs and changes in the laundry room on Monday, but before we could even get the dryer moved out of the way, he got very sick. I was really concerned about him, and monitored him all day, not sure if we were going to be heading to the Dr. or E.R. or not. **Update: (He's better now)***
In the meantime; I started trying to problem solve the leaky clothes washer. It's been leaking for a long time and I've just kept a towel down. The Internet is such a great resource! I used several different sites to assist me in this little adventure, but the main one was Dave's. He advised about the brake lube, before putting it back together, but I didn't have the stuff, so risked it. I was a wee sad lassie. The luck of the Irish wasn't with me yesterday, I guess. This morning I picked up a little tiny packet of the sil-glide and it did the trick nicely.

I'm not going to kid ya, this could've been much easier, had it not been leaking so long and rusted til it froze on. It took about 2 hours of hard work, just to get the old pump off. If I had to do one again, it wouldn't take as long, because I would know more how it was supposed to look, and what was safe to do, and not be afraid of breaking something I shouldn't.

Having been a military wife, and then after we moved here, the wife of a commuter (dark when he left in the morning and dark when he got home, + he worked Saturdays), I've learned to take on some "UN-girlie" tasks. We live in a house that is more than a century old, and things need done/repaired... often. I believe strongly in men being men, and ladies being ladies, but I don't adhere to the belief that a man is incapapable of loading a dishwasher, and that a woman needs to wait 'til hubby gets home to hang a picture. God gave us all brains, and abilities, and the ability to continually learn new things, right? I will say, I have been blessed beyond measure with a husband who has given me a wonderful gift.....the freedom to fail. I know that not everyone has a spouse who will do that.

We used to pay dearly for maintainance agreements and repairmen, but through the years, we have been in the process of learning how to do things for ourselves. I would like to encourage you to be safe for safety's sake; but don't give in to "gender" helplessness, and do try to venture into new areas of expertise...

ha ha..listen to me... Jill of all trades...MASTER of none.

I'm wanting some comments here.....

What is something at your house that needs done, that you are intimidated by? Are you willing to "go for it"?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Whole Enchilada

When I saw Anna pulling her leftover enchiladas out of the fridge and putting them in her lunch bag.....I got the craving. She is known at work for these, and when girls are leaving or having a birthday lunch, they request them. The recipe is on the can, but I'll put it here too.

Creamy Chicken and Chile Enchiladas

1 lb. uncooked chicken breast strips

1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, cut into cubes (I only had about 5-6 oz...was fine)

1 can (4.5 oz) Old El Paso chopped green chiles

12 Old El Paso flour tortillas for soft tacos (I used Archer Farms multigrain)

2 cans (10 oz) Old El Paso green chile enchilada sauce

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used does Anna, I think)

1. Heat oven to 400F. Spray a glass 13x9-inch with cooking spray.
2. In 10" nonstick skillet, cook chicken over med-high heat, stirring occasionally, til no longer pink in center. Stir in cream cheese and chiles; reduce to medium heat. Cook and stir until
blended and cream cheese is melted.
3. Spoon chicken filling onto tortillas; roll up and place seam sides down in pan. Pour enchilada sauce over top; sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or til hot and cheese is melted. Makes 12 enchiladas

oh my.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Praise the Lord!

This morning there was a guest speaker at church. He talked about prayer, and it was so heart felt and Spirit led. One of the analogies he used was :
Imagine driving on Hwy 84. You see lots of cars at the side of the road. You pull off of the road and see people flocked around a snack bar. You park and get lunch at the snack bar, happily satisfied with food and drink, get back in the car, and leave..... Completely unaware of the amazing beauty that is up the hill behind the snack bar.

He likened that to praying for needs to be met, and prayers of thanksgiving for what God has done FOR us, but missing out on the beauty of spending time in prayer, praising God for WHO He is. (He did a much better job of conveying the message.....sorry, but I just needed to share)
It wasn't that I hadn't heard the difference between the two before, but having been to Multnomah Falls , and experiencing it's beauty....I couldn't even fathom going there and only partaking of it's snack bar! And even soooo much more is the awesome beauty of the Lord! Praise, praise, praise, the Lord!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March Wind.....chimes

At a craft fair in recent months, my friend Bonny saw some teapot wind chimes, she really liked. She loves tea and gardening, and has a cute little garden shed with an adjoining herb tea garden, complete with a charming little picket fence. It's a lovely little spot for tea parties.

For her birthday, I decided to make her a teapot wind chimes to put out there.

I had an extra teapot, a drill, wire, beads........ (ooooo, this reflection makes me look skinny...yay!)
finer wire, more beads, and thrifted silver spoons that just needed polished.....

I'm not an artiste'

but it was fun!

linked to Twice Remembered Make Your Monday

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sedum Joy

In these times of economic woes......

I feel so blessed to have plants that produce diamonds!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Let them eat cake...or not...

The big burly airport TSA official and Jen and I shared the glowing attributes of baking with mayo as he scanned our allowed ziploc baggies of liquids, gels and pastes.
We were on a secret mission.....
final destination: Kansas
mission objective: bake a mayo birthday cake for Dot

(It was HER birthday, but look at these fabulous napkins Dot gave to "M" of the Dandelion!)
This mayonnaise Cake recipe is from our Nana, and is our Mom's favorite birthday cake too.

Mayonnaise Cake

2 cups flour
1 cup mayo
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. vanilla
4 Tbs. cocoa

Dissolve soda in 1 cup boiling water, pour over nuts and dates, in a small bowl. Let cool.

Mix mayo and sugar together. Add all ingredients together, stir til well mixed.

Spread batter in a greased and floured 9x13 pan.

Bake at 350F til set...Don't overbake.

It's good with a 7 minute icing, or a cooked one we like, which Alicia calls "Cloudburst", which is much more colorful a name than "the cooked flour/milk one". It's a lovely light airy frosting.

Cloudburst Frosting
4Tbs. flour
1 cup milk
1 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
In a small pan, whisk together flour and milk. Simmer til thick over med-low. Stir constantly.
Remove from heat and let cool completely. Cream together butter and vanilla; add powdered sugar and beat until fluffy. Add flour mixture and beat until fluffy. The frosting may appear to separate, but continue beating on high until it's light and fluffy.
This mayo cake with it's dates and nuts, may be just about as close as Dot will get to eating fruit cake. Remember her comment back in December about fruit cake only being good for a kitchy doorstop? Look what she received in the mail! I decided to make one for her for her birthday. (Sorry the picture is so blurry...bad lighting)
Door stop fruit cake recipe
1 brick
Premixed concrete patch
pea gravel
gem stone marbles
polyshades stain/polyurethane in 1
Butter the brick sides and top with concrete patch.
Add pea gravel, press in, to resemble nuts.
Press gemstones in to mimic candied cherries
Let dry thoroughly.
Paint with polyshades (the one I had on hand... American Chestnut, was too dark, and turned out too chocolate looking to suit me. Mahogany would've been better, I think.)
Rub off of the stones immediately.
Goofy, I know; but it was fun.


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