Thursday, August 21, 2014

Nearly Time for School!

And it's definitely time for another BBArtisans challenge!! This month's challenge is all about getting ready for school, whether it's a teacher gift, a memory of your first day of school or what you're gonna do now that the kids are out of the house! This challenge was dreamed up by yours truly!

It's funny, I can remember all of my elementary school teachers, but only a few of my Junior High and High School teachers. Maybe that's typical since the teachers in the younger grades usually make a greater impression on you since it's such a new experience for a little kid.

So, here we are at Walnut Hills Elementary and it's the first day of school and I'm in the 6th grade. A list of the kids in each class was posted on the classroom doors. There were two teachers for each of the grades and I was hoping, praying, crossing my fingers for Mrs. Holly. NOT Coach Sauls. (Yup, we had a football team -- I don't remember the name of the team but our colors were green and white.)

Anyway, Coach Sauls had quite the reputation. He was said to be quick with a paddle and that the paddle was ELECTRIC and it had holes in it, the better to pop your bottom with. I looked at Mrs. Holly's door.... all my best buds were in there.... but not me! I cried that I was in Coach Sauls' class with not one good friend to protect me. I would only see them at recess.... unless I was getting licks from Coach.



Maybe I should bring him an apple to get in his good graces....

Well, you know what? Coach Sauls turned out to be a big teddy bear, and that electric paddle.... well it wasn't electric, had no holes and stayed in Coach's desk drawer. He showed it to us and it was some little old silly thing -- just one of the many pranks played on the younger kids by the sixth graders -- and I was one of them that year!!



I ran across this idea on Little Birdie Secrets blog -- the apple slice is from Lion Brand and I paired it up with my own wash/dish cloth pattern that I use when I crochet them for my Etsy shop.  I thought it would be a cute teacher gift, whether for Christmas or the end of school.... 

or to bribe them on the first day of school!!
We wouldn't want that electric paddle to pop out of its drawer, now would we... Ha!



I  had this cute fabric on  hand and made up a little gift bag. 
Don't you love the fun fruit design?!!!



and this is something I dreamed up for the preschooler left at home! 
Fun colored pencils to play with...
no writing on the walls -- mom will love these!!

This was a free pattern from Crochet N Play Designs -- I've bought several of her patterns for my shop and for Noli gifts, and I just love them!



I'm going to offer them in my Etsy shop as pick-your-colors in a set of three. They are chubby little pencils, almost 5 inches long. 

I'm debating about doing a pen and pencil set -- a black pen and the typical yellow no. 2's we all know and love -- I've got the perfect golden orange color yarn. What do you think?


PS... The scrubbie set and the colored pencils will be in my Etsy shop sometime today and the apple is already there : )


~ sharing on AlphabeThursday where we are studying the letter N
~ if you have an Etsy shop and a blog, check out the Blogging Business Artisans team!

♥♥

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Chicken Marengo aka I Actually Cooked!

It's been so long since I made Chicken Marengo, I'd almost forgotten about it! It used to be a staple meal when the kids were young (they loved it!) but since they've grown up and away, and I have turned in my apron (leaving most food preparation to the hubby), I rarely fix those long ago favorite dishes. But, I'm thinking I'll have to go through my favorite cookbooks and resurrect some of those meals!

Anyway, as hubby had gone grocery shopping (yep, he does that too!) and brought back a package of bone-in chicken thighs -- which I think he was planning to barbeque -- I thought about Chicken Marengo. I looked in the pantry for the all important ingredient.... Golden Mushroom soup.... and lo and behold, it was there!!


Along with tomato soup, garlic and onions -- easy ingredients! Mushrooms are good to put in too, but unfortunately I was out of those. The mushroom soup would have to suffice.



First things first -- brown that chicken!



Sizzle sizzle



Chop up the onions and garlic
Mushrooms would be here if I'd had them



Mix the soups together and pour over the chicken



Add the onions, etc.



Enjoy! Yum yum!


This is really good with brown rice, but I was out so we used a packaged cheesy broccoli rice mix that was good too! Served it with green beans, but any veggie would be good. I was going to saute zucchini but ran out of the desire to cook, so green beans was it! A salad and a nice wine would be good go-withs too!

Next time I'll have to plan better (read 'actually plan' there) but this was just off the cuff because of that package of chick thighs!!


Here's the recipe. I know there are other, more complicated recipes, but the simplicity of this one is what I like! I think the original had crawfish and fried eggs served on top and had something to do with Napoleon, but I'll just keep this one simple! I imagine I copied it from some magazine.


Chicken Marengo

3 lbs cut up chicken
olive or salad oil to brown
1 can Golden Mushroom soup
1 can Tomato soup
1 medium clove garlic or to taste, minced (I use 3 or 4 cloves)
1 lb small whole white onions (about 16) or 2-3 medium onions, quartered

In large skillet, brown chicken in oil; pour off fat
Stir soups together and add to chicken
Stir in garlic and onions; stir in mushrooms if using

Cover, simmer 45 minutes or until tender
Stir occasionally
Uncover, cook until desired consistency

Serve with rice and a green vegetable (It's really good with brown rice)
Of course, the onion, garlic and mushrooms are to taste; even the amount of chicken doesn't really matter!

If you decide to make this, enjoy! It's super easy!!
Make that souper easy, heh heh!


~sharing on AlphabeThursday where we are studying the letter M


♥♥

Friday, August 1, 2014

Getting Ready for Christmas

It's still July isn't it?? Oh well, let's just pretend it's still July so I will be posting a JULY team challenge at least in the right month. I won't tell if you won't....heh heh heh!

This challenge for the BBA Team was suggested by LeAnn of Pasque Flower Creations who challenged us to start preparing earlier for Christmas so as not to get caught off guard when December craziness is upon us.

Back at the beginning of the year I told myself..... "Self" I said, "get some Christmas done early this year" but did I? Noooo. Self wasn't listening so well, it seems  :p

So, with this challenge looking me in the face I finally got off my duff and made something for Christmas!!



It's a Milk and Cookies for Santa play set with a glass of milk, three cookies with sprinkles, and a bag to store it all in. I've made and sold several of them but never seem to get more than one ready at a time, and there's usually some time in between a sale and getting another made. So this year I'll at least have one ready to go!! Woot! Woot!



I have also made sets of just the three cookies so I will get that done pretty soon. Then I'd like to do some other Christmas somethings that I haven't made before.... I'm thinking Christmas tree coasters, ornaments for the tree, maybe snowflakes.



I've made some star ornaments but never really did anything with them. I think I'll pull them out of my yarn closet, make some more, and get them listed. They don't take very long so I should be able to get some sets together pretty easily! There is some wait time 'cause they look nicer if they are blocked and lightly starched!

I think that's just a plain white one, but I have sparkley cotton yarn that would make a very pretty star! The red and white one is actually one strand of white cotton yarn and one strand of red crochet thread held together.

Now, if I can just find those poinsettias to rest the stars on, I'll be in business!!



♥♥

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kookie Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb

Do you remember that song?

Do you remember Kookie on 77 Sunset Strip?

77 Sunset Strip ran from 1958 to 1964 -- I was old enough to have a crush on a movie star, but too young to do anything about it! I was absolutely crazy in love with Kookie -- played by Edd Byrnes. He was just too cute! Of course, I based my love interests on looks, I'm sure like every other young girl who ever sat in front of a TV or went to a movie! Actually, all the guys on 77 Sunset Strip were pretty good looking, if I do say so myself....  But Kookie.... (I think he might have been the model for the Fonz with the hair thing... LOL)


I don't remember this song, but ya gotta love the lyrics (and that awful dress). I don't remember talking like that either -- of course I was in the last of elementary school and the very beginning of junior high and probably only the high schoolers said stuff like "I'd be a straight cat" or "I'm beamed in on dreamsville" -- how silly that sounds now!

I, however, trained myself to say "hey" instead of "hi" since hey was cooler. (Was "cool" even used back then, except for weather reports?) And besides, I grew up in properly southern Louisiana, not in California with the wild surfers and the movie stars and the cool cats!

Anyway, here are the lyrics so you can sing along with the video -- grab your comb!


Lyrics by Irving Taylor; Male voice, Edd "Kookie" Byrnes; Female voice, Connie Stevens


F: Kookie, Kookie, lend me your comb
Kookie, Kookie?
(snap, snap)

M: Well now, let's take it from the top
And grab some wheels
We'll wheel along and talk about some
Kookoo deals

F: But Kookie, Kookie, lend me your comb
Kookie, Kookie?
(snap, snap)

M: Now you're on my wavelength
And I'm reading you just fine
Don't cut out of here til
We get on cloud nine

F: But Kookie, Kookie
(snap, snap)

M: I've got smog in my noggin
Ever since you made the scene


F: You're the utmost

M: If you ever tune me out
Dad, I'm the saddest, like I'm green


F: The very utmost
Kookie, lend me your comb
Kookie, Kookie?
(snap, snap)

M: Man I've got my burners lighted
And my flaps are gonna bend
You're gonna send me to that planet called
You know it baby
The end

(short saxophone interlude)

F: Kookie, Kookie, lend me your comb
Kookie, Kookie?
(snap, snap)

M: If you ever cut out
Then I'd be a straight cat
Cause when I'm flying solo
Nowhere's where I'm at

F: Kookie, Kookie, lend me your comb
Kookie, Kookie?
(snap, snap)

M: What's with this comb caper, baby?

Why do you want to latch onto my comb?

F: I just want you to stop combing your hair
And kiss me
You're the maximum utmost

M: Well, I'm beamed in on dreamsville
And I'm moving right now
Cause that's the kind of scene that I dig

Baby, you're the ginchiest


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


If you'd like to see the other handsome guys on the TV show, check this out! It shows the show's intros through the years, from the time Kookie was the car valet till he was a full-fledged Private Eye! And the full theme song is at the end.



Stick with it, it's fun to watch! Check out the car!


~ sharing Kookie over at AlphabeThursday where we are studying the letter K


Baby, you're the ginchiest!
♥♥  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Heck of a Ride....

No, I didn't go on this ride.... I can barely stand to watch the video!

But the question is, would YOU go on it? Would you like to hang upside down and be twirled around and around....

Not me.

Be sure to go full screen.... 
or is that full scream.... heh heh


Talocan at Phantasialand Themepark Germany


But it's a heck of a ride!


~ sharing on AlphabeThursday where we are studying the letter H


♥♥

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Five Year Birthday ~ Remember When


I must confess, except for one, I simply don't remember my birthday parties from when I was a kid. Oh, I'm sure I had them, especially while in elementary school, but nope, don't remember them! Not too sure about Jr. High and High School either -- perhaps nobody really had birthday parties, just hung out and went somewhere. Who knows!

Anyway, the June challenge for the Blogging Business Artisans team on Etsy is about birthdays and is being brought to us by Ayla of Eyelah. Since my fifth birthday party is the only one I remember, that's the one I'm writing about!

And, since "Fifth" just happens to start with the letter F, I am handily linking to AlphabeThursday where we are studying the letter..... you got it!..... F!!!!

In my mind's eye, I can clearly see several pictures from that fifth birthday celebration -- unfortunately, I don't have the actual photos so I can't show you.... boo  :-(

Here's what I looked like at age five....


I look like I have a little round hat on my head, but that's really the severe part -- maybe there's a little ponytail hanging down! and check out the bangs.... what were they thinking?!!

Anyway, now think of that little girl with her cheeks all puffed out and one eyebrow raised. (My "I am so mad" look) 

And why am I so mad at my birthday party, you ask....

Because Johnny (who was supposed to be my boyfriend) BLEW OUT THE CANDLES ON MY CAKE! 
Unbelievable.

I can also clearly see the picture of Elaine -- my older next-door neighbor and paper doll nemesis (she insisted on cutting them out because she said I was too little and wouldn't do a good job... HA to her!). Elaine was leaning against my swing set, wearing a dress with lots of petticoats, and looking very bored. She was, after all, much older.... by a couple of years LOL!... and certainly couldn't be seen playing little kid games.

But I bet she ate the cake with the blown-out-not-by-me candles. Harrumph.

And then there was the picture of all the prettily wrapped birthday presents and one of me with a blindfold around my head playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Bet Elaine wished she had played that rousing game!! I wonder if I might have *accidentally* pinned the tail on Johnny. Heh heh.


~ linking my fifth birthday memories on AlphabeThursday where we are studying the letter F


♥♥

Thursday, June 19, 2014

You Cannot Escape, Oh Evil Vine


Oh, evil poison ivy vine, you cannot defeat me, nor can you escape MY noxious poison. Muahahaha!

Last week I wrote about the Dreadful, Despicable and Downright Disagreeable poison ivy vine that liked me so much that it left an itchy gift behind. So this week there is an update...

I gave in and got a prescription from the doctor to relieve the itching -- and I can see a definite improvement! When it wears off though, I'm scratching worse than a dog with fleas. (I would said "cat with fleas" but Oliver might take offense at that -- even though we are careful that he doesn't have the dreaded fleas) Anyway, I'm getting off track here (easily accomplished if you are me).

So, I went online for instruction on how to get rid of it in a safe manner... not wanting to use a commercial product that would harm the outside kitties or the ground cover for that matter. I found this recipe and IT'S WORKING!!




3 cups vinegar (regular white vinegar)
1/2 cup table salt
1 Tbsp Dawn dishwashing detergent (the use of Dawn and not another brand is recommended -- Dawn has special stick-to-it-ness powers -- and use regular blue Dawn)

Pour the vinegar into a spray bottle, add the salt, and mix until dissolved.
Then add the Dawn

"Stream" spray on the leaves and straight onto the stem at ground level. Be careful and don't spray anything you want to keep -- this stuff works!

Proof:


Before at the fence



After at the fence



Before at the shed



After at the shed

 The "after" shots were taken after two treatments. Pretty good, huh? We tried it on a couple of weeds and the sticker vine that is creeping onto our back fence -- works there too!

Maybe I should spray it on my itchies..... hmmmm, maybe not!!  No, definitely not!!



But, Mr. Evil Vine....
I WIN!
heh heh heh


~ sharing the soon to be extinct poison ivy on Alphabe-Thursday where we are studying the letter E


♥♥

Monday, June 16, 2014

Oliver Speaks

Hewwo, Oliver here.

I read (yes, I can read.... don't tell!) with kitty amusement, the post that my hooman mommy wrote about the TUNA... nom nom nom. She just doesn't get it.... I can hear that can opener from a mile away and if I even think it might be the fabulous tuna, I go running.

But every morning I get the same thing, even though I run to my bowl, hoping hoping hoping that it's TUNA. But no, it's kitty foods. And she wonders why I just sit there, staring at my bowl.

Part of the time I'm sitting there staring because I don't like hoomans to watch me eat. I'm funny that way. But the other part of the time I'm waiting to see if I get any TUNA.



Another thing I do that she thinks is funny 
is eat from the far away side of my bowl. 



Somekitties step in their bowl to get to the other side, but I have 
very good kitty manners and just stretch my neck out.



What I'd really like to know is why I have blue chickens on my water bowl. And why it says Chicken Soup. I'm not drinking chicken soup, I'm drinking water. Kitties only like water, not chicken soup. So I don't need a bowl that says Chicken Soup when I'm drinking water. Duh.

Get it together, Mommy.


~ sharing my soupy water bowl over at Blue Monday


>^.^<

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dreadful, Despicable and Downright Disagreeable

Sometime in the first few days of June, I took it upon myself to clear out some vines that were taking over a portion of our backyard fence. I had just bought a pair of garden loppers and was anxious to try them out on the various vines and limbs that were beginning to irritate me.

So, whack whack whack, off with the vine on the fence! Snip snip snip on some small tree limbs hanging where they shouldn't be. Stuff it all into a trash can to be hauled away by the garbage guys.

I didn't work long, probably about 15 minutes -- I am not a gardener and don't enjoy that sort of thing (although, I secretly wish I did... 'cause looking at the gorgeous flowers grown by fellow bloggers make me want to see if my black thumb would turn green...) Anyway, I went inside and considered that enough yard work for the day.

Fast forward a few days -- I wake up with a couple of raised red bumps that I thought were bug bites of some kind.... then the next morning there were more and I was getting creeped out. Off go the sheets! No bugs in sight. I vacuum around the baseboards and tell hubby I want him to spray.



Next day, more bumps. And the next. They're getting bigger. I'm freaking out! I had been using Cortizone 10 that I had on hand but needed more so when we went to Target for a few things, I showed the pharmacist the bumps and asked about something to use on them for itching. She asked if I had been working in the yard recently, because it looked like poison ivy!

Smack me upside the head! I hadn't thought of poison ivy -- only being bombarded by some creepy crawly! I was actually relieved that it was only poison ivy....



"Leaves of three, let them be"
Poison ivy even has its own special poetry

Only poison ivy....  HA!!  I'm about a week and a half into this now, and believe me, you don't want this horrible stuff. The cortizone keeps the itchiness down but there are a few places that seem to itch all the time and when the stuff wears off.... OMG!!!  Sometimes I phantom scratch.... hubby calls it "air scratching" LOL!



It's growing up the tree

I turned to my pal Mr. Google and found out all manner of things I didn't want to know... I confirmed that the vine was, in fact, poison ivy. I won't show you pics of my arms and legs lest you run away screaming in fear and disgust but suffice it to say that I did see photos of other arms and legs that looked just like mine -- and lots than were worse -- I'm the one running away in fear and disgust now!!



Way up the tree



all the way up that tree...
I swear I have never seen this stuff on the fence before now 
so apparently it's pretty fast growing.


I also learned that the urushiol oil from poison ivy (the stuff that causes the breakout) stays potent, essentially FOREVER unless deactivated!! You not only have to wash it off your body, you have to wash your clothes and garden tools too. An allergic reaction is possible for a year or more if the clothes were never washed. Can you imagine?!



"Side leaflets like mittens will itch like the dickens"
(Another little poison ivy rhyme)
Do you see the mittens?

I started thinking back and knew which shorts I had on (yeah, I know -- shorts and gardening don't mix, but it was on an impulse) and I hadn't washed them but had worn them again. Hubby calls them my "uniform" since I typically wear them a few times before washing. (Oh, quit it, you know you do the same thing...) I'm thinking, well the rash on one of my legs right at shorts level was spreading -- could this possibly be because of the shorts??

So I started washing -- hot water, hot dryer. I've washed those shorts and my gardening gloves four times now. I've also washed the sheets, just in case, although it can't be spread by anything except direct contact with the vine. So my shorts can be a carrier of the oil, but not my sheets. But I still feel better washing them. I even washed every t-shirt I own as an added precaution!
Hot hot water.



Yikes! I found some by the shed....
But I also found a homemade concoction made of Dawn dish washing liquid, vinegar and Epson salts that's supposed to get rid of it without the harsh chemicals of the store-bought stuff.
We'll see what happens, if it ever stops raining...


And we won't even speak about how much I'm itching.... and itching.... and still itching....

And so I will leave you with something much less itchy and awful...
.


Do you remember this little ditty? From The Coasters, recorded in 1959.

Measles make you bumpy
And mumps'll make you lumpy
And chicken pox'll make you jump and twitch

A common cold'll fool ya
And whooping cough can cool ya
But poison ivy, Lord'll make you itch


~ sharing this despicable plant over at AlphabeThursday where we are studying the letter D
Don't get too close to your monitor, or you may be next!!


♥♥

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Saga of Can Openers and Cats

A couple of nights ago hubby fixed chicken and wanted oven fried potato chunks with it. And broccoli. Now, mind you, we have a pretty good system -- he cooks and I chop and clean up. Well, I just wasn't in the mood to chop much and if we had both oven fries and broccoli, I would be chopping more than I cared to chop. Besides I have a love / hate relationship with broccoli -- it's one of my favorite veggies but I get tired of it quickly (very quickly...).



So out with the broccoli and in with a can of baked beans!! Now I only had to chop one thing and open the other (which is my other kitchen job -- hubby hates to use the can opener which is a hand-held one).



Wait! I think I have too many kitchen jobs!!

But I digress... the real subject of this post would be the bestest cat boy ever.... Oliver!

As I am chopping and can opening, in runs Oliver at a gallop...



He starts that winding around your legs thing that cats do. Around and around, in and out, tail hooking around my legs, light brushes with the fur. I'm thinking What on earth does this silly cat want? I check and there's plenty of food in his bowl... plenty of water. He only gets treats when I say "Treat!" and has never asked for them. Hmmm... what on earth?




And then it hits me. It's the can opener! Which is weird since it's a hand-held one and doesn't make noise. But noise enough for a cat apparently, because I see no reason why he would want beans! And hubby hadn't started the chicken....

So, back up a few weeks.... the only time I give Oliver any people food is when we have tuna.



I give him a little of the tuna water to lap up straight from the can (my can opener leaves the edges so they could only cut softened butter) and maybe a teeny tiny bit of tuna. Oliver always runs in when I open a tuna can so that's understandable. He doesn't run in when I open a can of green beans or black eyed peas or something. But baked beans?? Apparently so!



So all that winding around my legs stuff? My guess is that he remembered the can opener and was hoping for a tidbit of tuna!

Smart kitty.



Oliver says, Is that all there is???
and what happened to my ears??
Oh the indignity of it all...
Meowzer    >^.^<


~ sharing Oliver's can opener and the promise of canned tuna over at AlphabeThursday where we are studying the letter C

~ also sharing Oliver's blue bowl, his beloved blue can of tuna (because we only get the packed in water kind), and blue Bush's Beans.... oh, and the blue chickens on his water bowl.... over on Blue Monday!


♥♥

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