Sunday, June 30, 2019

Sunday Supper - Summer Salsa

Nothing like a little unplanned alliteration!

So what do you eat when it's been in the upper 90's all week and it's just too damned hot to cook?

Summer Salsa!  And hopefully you can talk your spouse into cooking some chicken on the outdoor grill to go with it.  It's great on it's own but it's fantastic on grilled chicken.

cooking from scratch with watermelon
photo courtesy of

Summer Salsa

Mix diced watermelon, chopped red onion, chopped fresh cilantro and diced jalapeno pepper with a splash of lime juice and a spoon full of brown sugar.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes or so and enjoy!

There's nothing simpler.  Specially if you can talk your spouse into cooking the chicken.... and maybe even into doing the chopping.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Broken promises

I broke a promise I'd made to myself long ago. I officially titled myself a yarn snob and swore to never knit with unpleasant yarn ever again.

And nothing looks more unpleasant to knit with than Red Heart's Scrubby yarn....

But it comes in such pretty colors...

And I had a Michael's coupon....

dish scrubber knit with Red Heart Scrubby yarn

Knowing there was a 99.99999999999% chance I'd never knit with it and it was simply going to get tossed into the stash pile and forgotten, I bought THE most boring color, Marble, a mixture of black, gray and white.  It was the unpopular color and I felt sorry for it.

Little did I know that days later my husband would decide to tear apart our kitchen and install black marble counter tops.  Black marble counter tops that perfectly matched the Scrubby yarn....

And so I did the unthinkable. 

dish scrubber knit with Red Heart Scrubby yarn in Marble

And I knit with the nasty yarn.  And it wasn't That nasty.  I wouldn't want to knit with it often, but it was no where near as bad as I expected.  

I might even go buy a fun color and knit another.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Three on Thursday - Gardening

I think my previous posts have proved I'm not a gardener.  However, there are a few plants I haven't killed yet.

My mom always called these "out house lilies" because they'll grow anywhere, under any condition.  They'll even grow in my yard!

I think that's viburnum, but I'm really not sure.  What ever it is, it doesn't mind driveway gravel and occasionally being backed into or hit with a car door.

And of course, the wild strawberries.  They are everywhere this year!

Joining Carole and friends for Three on Thursday.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Red, White and Blue

This post contains affiliate links.

I'm gearing up for the fourth of July.

While watching Outlander reruns on Netflix I started knitting a red, white and blue can cozy.

Coffee sleeve knit with Knit Picks Palette

Except I drink coffee, not cans.  

The coffee sleeve is knit from scraps of Knit Pick's Palette on US2 dpns.

Monday, June 24, 2019

52 Weeks

Today's 52 Weeks Blog Challenge topic is favorite snacks.  This could be a long list.

First, I should probably say that I consider a snack to be junk food.  A healthy snack is simply a meal.  A snack should also be something you can quickly grab and go.  There should be no 'fixing' involved.

So, here goes and in no particular order...

Peppermint Patties,

Lightly salted peanuts,

photo courtesy of


Store brand potato chips (they tend to be saltier) with store brand Ranch dip (except, I can't eat potatoes anymore.  I still look longingly at them in the grocery store though.)

Ritz crackers with peanut butter,

Ice cream - just about any flavor except vanilla or orange and it must not have nuts in it, except for that chocolate one from Food Lion that has chocolate covered peanuts and chunks of brownie in it,

photo courtesy of

Peanut M&M's,

And last and probably most weird, American cheese with peanut butter smeared on it.

I'm sure there are other snack foods that I love, but those are what come immediately to mind.  Is there any wonder I have a weight problem??

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sunday Supper - Coleslaw

Simple recipe for coleslaw made from scratch.  So good with any kind of grilled meat or barbeque.

Today's Sunday Supper recipe is coleslaw.  So simple, yet so good with any kind of grilled meat.  


3 cups (1 head) shredded cabbage
1 grated carrot
1 cup mayonnaise
1 TBS ketchup
2 - 5 tsp apple cider vinegar (depending on taste)
1/4 tsp Worcestershire
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp - 1 TBS sugar (depending on taste)

Mix the cabbage & carrots together in a large bowl.  Blend all the other ingredients together in a separate bowl (or food processor)  and stir into the cabbage mixture.  Serve!

To simplify the process and make clean up easier, I usually shred the cabbage & grate the carrot in the food processor, then use the same food processor bowl to mix the dressing.

Friday, June 21, 2019

On the needles

Or more like, still on the needles...

Knitting a Hitchhiker shawl scarf with gradient yarn.
Hitchhiker, Sublime Yarns Eden
My goal for the month of June was to complete 21 pattern repeats on my Madli's shawl but...  This past week's hours were long and arduous and I haven't had the mental capacity to knit beaded lace.  I've been focusing on the Hitchhiker instead.  I'm on the fourth color (out of five) and have knit 34 teeth.  Progress!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Three on Thursday

Three very random things for today's Three on Thursday list.

We painted our kitchen cabinets and replaced the counter tops, sink and faucet
kitchen remodel phase 1

1.  We are remodeling our kitchen.  We had forest green cabinets and  brownish-gold marble counter tops.  Sounds hideous but I really liked it when it was new.  But, we've been in the house for 14 years and it was time for a change.  Eventually the wall between the upper and lower cabinets will be tiled.  I love the vibe of the new colors and most of all, I love our new sink.  The old one had a little lip all the way around it that collected gunk like I collect yarn and it was impossible to clean.  The new sink doesn't have any gunk collectors on it.  And even better, the new faucet isn't stuck on spray mode.  Yay!

The Wrist Ruler from Center of the Yarniverse is the perfect jewelry for knitters.

2.  I got a new toy.  It's a bracelet.  It's a measuring tape.  No more searching for the missing measuring tape!  Well, no more searching as long as I only knit things 17 inches or shorter.  My Wrist Ruler came from Center of the Yarniverse, my LYS.  That place is so damned dangerous!  I went in to buy a bag I'd seen on Instagram.  The bag had already sold out so I walked out with the Wrist Ruler and more yarn.  Yikes.

Novocaine smile.

3.  In case you needed a laugh....  I had a fun trip to the dentist the other day and that is me trying to smile widely afterwards.

I can't believe I'm saying this because I'm TERRIFIED of the dentist.  I haven't had the best luck with them.  One even went to jail for raping & torturing toddlers.  But my new dentist... I like him!  He's aware that I'm neurotically terrified and he and his entire staff do everything they possibly can to make me comfortable. 

And because of my terror, I'd put off visiting (finding a dentist, in all honesty) and so now I'm having the fun of multiple visits.  So yesterday I went in expecting to have one tooth fixed but Dr. Campbell was all, "Oh, let's do this other one."  And he was all smiley about it so okay, fine.  After it was all over and I was trying to rinse and spit while not being able to feel my face, Dr. Campbell started talking about how much fun fixing my tooth had been.  (Actually, he rebuilt a tooth, which is Much cheaper than getting a crown.)  He was so excited he got out his cell phone and showed me pictures of another one he'd done recently.  He was just gushing about how much fun it was to build a new tooth out of nothing...  And I realized we are kindred spirits.  He just uses enamel and a high speed drill while I use 2 sticks and some yarn.  I think I might love my new dentist.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

On the Needles

Is there a contest for worlds most boring post?

Hitchhiker knit with Sublime Eden yarn
Showing off  the gradient's color change in bad lighting.

My newest Hitchhiker is progressing at a snail's pace.  I have managed to reach the second color in the gradient.  Remember how I was excited to find out how the colors would change?  Whether they'd fade or be speckled or.....  The change turned out to be quite sudden.  It was made by splicing two different yarns together.  You could see the splice because a bit of the new yarn hadn't been caught well.  The splice seemed strong enough so I'm not overly worried they will come apart during wear or washing, but I do hope future color changes will be handled a little better.  We will see.

Monday, June 17, 2019

52 Weeks - Hobbies

Well, today's 52 Weeks Blog Challenge is easy.  What are my hobbies?

Knitting!  Duh!

photo courtesy of

I also enjoy reading.  Reading trash mostly.  While I occasionally read a classic or something by a well known, revered author, mostly I enjoy reading "trash" books where I'll be easily entertained without having to think too much.  I'm much more interested in a good story than flowery words.

Windsurfing, Key West, 1984

And I enjoy pretty much anything to do with the water.  Except surfing.  I never learned to surf.  And after my teenaged windsurfing accident, I will most likely never give that sport another try.  But anything else water related.  Swimming, skiing, sailing, floating, paddling or simply laying on the beach listening to the waves.
A Knitters Sampler from October House

I haven't cross stitched in years but I used to love it and have recently added a few new patterns to my To-Do list.

courtesy of

Okay, this one is weird but...  I LOVE to office supply shop.  I spend time in the office supply stores like I spend time in the yarn shops.  There's just something so exciting about the possibilities of a new pen, a new notebook or even a new stack of Post-Its.  

Wow.  That is not very many hobbies.  I really do have a one track mind and should probably try to do something about that.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Sunday Supper - Tuscan Soup

It may be only June 16th, Father's Day, (Happy Dad's day to all the dad's out there!) but I suddenly have a Bad case of fall fever.  We had a week of insanely high temperatures, even higher humidity and crazy, crazy amounts of rain... And then the weather changed overnight.  I woke up one morning (afternoon in reality) and it was in the low 70's, low humidity and not a cloud in the bright blue sky.  It felt like fall.  And driving to work, a couple of leaves fell from a tree... and it looked like fall.  And now...  I have fall fever.  It's going to be a long, long summer.
Toscana Soup from

In an attempt to appease my fall cravings, the fact that it's the Only way to eat kale despite my southern upbringing, and finally, the fact that everyone in the family likes it, today's Sunday Supper recipe is Toscana Soup.  The recipe we use comes from and can be found here.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Friday Makers? It's just not the same

I'm bringing back Makers' Monday for just one day and on a Friday.  Friday Makers' doesn't exactly have the same ring to it but oh well.  I had intended to write this post way back when I was routinely having Makers' Mondays but for reasons I don't remember, I never got around to it.  


recently posted a photo where you can sort of see my purse hiding in the upper corner. I absolutely LOVE that purse and have always meant to share it's origin with you.

White Oak Pastures is a multigenerational family owned, zero waste farm in Georgia.
grassfed leather clutches from White Oak Pastures

I bought the clutch from White Oak Pastures on Etsy.  I'm not linking to the Etsy shop because it looks like it's closed and they are now directing everyone to their own website.  I hope you will go check them out but be forewarned.  They are a zero-waste farm and as you would expect from a zero-waste farm selling leather goods, there's a lot of meat for sale too.  Even as a rare steak lover, their site can be a little hard to look at.  Their photos are good, and large, and the meats are just a little too 'in your face' until you click on the menu button and find the leather goods section.  But having said that, I hope you'll go check them out.

Leather clutch from White Oak Pastures
White Oak Pastures

The farm is located in Georgia and they sell much more than just leather goods and meat.  I appreciate their farming practices, their love of the land, their handcraft skills and their customer service is excellent.  They even provided me with photos when I mentioned to them that I wanted to brag about my new purse.  If I'd only held up my end of the bargain and bragged about it back then....  But really, I think it says a lot about the product that I'm still loving it a year later.


white oak pastures, a zero waste family owned farm
Leather goods from White Oak Pastures

I Love my clutch!  When I first got it, I was a little worried that the leather would stretch and the closure wouldn't keep it closed.  Happily, I had nothing to worry about.  According to my Etsy purchases list, I've been using my bag daily for almost a year.  It still looks like it did on the day I received it.  It honestly shows zero wear and tear.  And, it has an outside pocket that I hadn't even noticed when I purchased it.  The pocket is a perfect fit for my phone.

So, I hope you'll go check out their website.  They have much more for sale than leather clutches.  They offer a variety of food items in addition to the meats, a large supply of leather goods, some of which are quite unique and pet items.  And no, I'm not being paid for this post although I wish I was.  I need to earn an extra bit of money so I can buy myself this bag.  I really, really want that bag.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Three on Thursday - A garden update

The weeds are growing.

Will these weeds grow pretty blooms?

The lavender, not so much.

My lavender plant refuses to grow.

The garden shop guy said I should plant lavender to deter the mosquitoes.  Apparently planting it isn't enough.  Apparently, it needs to grow and thrive in order to deter the mosquitoes.

Apparently half dead, not thriving at all lavender will attract carpenter bees.  Or perhaps it's our wooden porch posts they like.

Joinging Carole and friends for Three on Thursday.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

On The Needles

This post contains affiliate links.

I'd planned to have the prayer shawl blocked and ready to show you today but life got in the way.  I use my dining room table for blocking and it's currently unavailable.  We're remodeling our kitchen, (repainting the cabinets and replacing the counter tops and sink) and every single thing that used to live in our kitchen is now spread out all over the dining room.

3 colored cowl knit with tweed wool.  Stripes, stockinette and cables
Stroll Cowl knit with Stroll Tweed from Knit Picks

So, instead of a blocked and finished shawl, I have my Stroll cowl to show.  And I'm not even doing a good job of showing it.  It's dark and stormy - again - and the light in our house is awful.  And yes, that is my mitered square blanket over my legs.  It may be 90 degrees and 4,000% humidity outside but it is Freezing inside our house.  And looking out the window at the storm clouds and wind-blown trees just makes me feel that much colder.

But it's okay to be cold.  I have yarn.

Monday, June 10, 2019

52 Weeks - How I recharge

Today's 52 Weeks Blog Challenge question is, "What do I do to recharge?"  And it's funny because my immediate answer to how to recharge something is to plug it in.  Except to recharge my own batteries, I unplug.

And what do I do when I unplug?

I go outside and enjoy nature.  The lazy way.  

photo courtesy of

I sit on the deck with my feet up on the railing and a tall wine glass in my hand.

Or better yet, I go to the water.

I nap on the beach.

Or perhaps I sit on a dock and watch the water flow past.

photo courtesy of

Or I anchor offshore and enjoy the sound and feel of the waves gently rocking the boat.

And no matter where or what type of nature I'm enjoying, there's almost always a book and some knitting involved.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Sunday Supper - Black Bean & Corn Salad

Today's Sunday Supper recipe is for Black Bean and Corn Salad.  Or salsa.  Most people probably eat it like salsa but I like to plop a big, giant spoonful onto my plate and eat it plain.  Eaten plain, without those salty, flour-filled chips, it's a pretty healthy side dish.  And cheap and easy to make!

Easy recipe for black bean and corn salsa or quesadilla filling
Black Bean and Corn Salad, photo courtesy of

Black Bean and Corn Salad

1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can whole kernel corn, drained 
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (I never have fresh so I just crush up a little bit of dried and toss it in)
1/4 cup of your favorite salsa (generic store-brand works fine)
2 TBS lime juice
1/4 tsp. salt

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and serve.

How easy is that??

Besides eating this recipe as a side dish or salsa, it also works great in quesadillas - just use a slotted spoon so it's not too liquidy.

Friday, June 7, 2019

On the needles

Eden from Sublime Yarns in the Esme colorway.

My newest Hitchhiker, knit with Eden from Sublime Yarns, is coming along.  Slowly.  But that's okay.  It's my 'knit while I read my email' project and since Outlander is now on Netflix, I'm ignoring my email.  

So, if you are waiting for an email response from me, well....  It's Jamie's fault you haven't received it yet.

So far, the Hitchhiker has fourteen teeth.  Not terrible for an 'only knit when I'm reading my email' project.  I am really excited to see how the colors change.  Will it be sudden?  Will it be a gradual change?  Will it be splotchy?  Who knows?!  I can't wait to find out.  But honestly, I'm more concerned about Jamie's welfare.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Three on Thursday - D-Day

I've mentioned before that D-Day has always been a solemn day of remembrance for our family.  My dad landed on Normandy's Omaha Beach on June 7, 1944.  While he was a day late for making history, he still saw his share of action and carried a bit of German shrapnel in his leg to prove it.  So, for today's Three on Thursday, I thought I'd share a few links that you might find interesting.

Somewhere in Europe, WWII
SecB 1012th Sig Co WWII  (Dad is top row, left)

1.  Ten things you might not know about the Normandy invasion

Omaha Beach, Normandy, June 6, 1944

2.  D-Day in numbers, the remarkable statistics

Randolph Maynard Owen Jr. WWII uniform
R. M. Owen, Jr.

3.  What does the D stand for in D-Day

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Yarn Crawl Part 4 - Center of the Yarniverse

Our final stop on the James River Yarn Crawl was at 'my' yarn shop.  My LYS. The Center of the Yarniverse

 I felt bad because I'd intended to spend the bulk of my crawl budget there but....  Well, we all know how much will power I don't have when it involves yarn shopping.

But even though my wallet was empty and my poor little card was practically a melted puddle of plastic, I was still able to grab a few awesome yarns.

Stop #3 on the James River Yarn Crawl was to Center of the Yarniverse.

First and most boring, I grabbed a skein of Cascade in Sunflower.  This one was actually on my shopping list.  I have some other Cascade yarns and I wanted a golden colored one to use as an accent.

Pictured at the bottom, Poly from Urban Girl Yarns.  Poly is 480 yards of superwashed merino in beautiful beachy colors.  I'm not 100% sure, but I imagine Poly will become a shawl one of these days.

Next, at 9:00 in the photo, is a mini-skein set from Unplanned Peacock Studio.  I'm quite excited about this one.  I've knit with Unplanned Peacock's yarn before and have always loved it.  And while this set's colors are not my normal (although you'd never know it from looking at that photo!) I'm super excited to knit with them.  The yarns and accompanying shawl pattern (found here) were specially made for the yarn crawl.  The yarn's colors are Center of the Yarniverse's brand colors and the shawl was designed by a friend specially for the mini-skein set.  Andrea, the designer, creates wonderful, well written and thoroughly tested patterns so definitely check them out.

And finally, the skein of Eden from Sublime yarns that I've already begun knitting with.


And I made sure to get my photo taken with Purl before leaving the shop.  Purl is the store's mascot.  She's a sheep made out of a pompoms. 

Now, I just need to knit!

Monday, June 3, 2019

52 Weeks - My scariest experience

Today's 52 Weeks Blog Challenge post is all about my scariest experience.

I've been through some stuff.  The 7-11 robbery where the cashier was shot.  The bank robbery where the robber started firing his pistol into the air.  The windsurfing accident... And I could go on.  

But the 7-11 robbery, while it traumatized me to the point I can't walk into a 7-11 and I hyperventilate a little bit just pulling into their parking lot... Wasn't That scary.  It was over too quick to be scary.  It was more gross than scary.  I was at the back of the store by the beer cooler, (where else would I have been??) there was some shouting at the front of the store, a big BIG boom (a shotgun is unbelievably loud in a small, enclosed space) and I hit the floor and stayed there until the nice police man came, picked me up and took me outside where I promptly vomited on his shoes. 

The bank robbery was... well, I hate to say it, but it was funny.  We were all crouched under our desks as the robber fired his gun into the air... and all I could see was the past-retirement-aged receptionist's arm reaching up over her desk to dial 911.  And I got the giggles.  I'm sure it was nervous, 'I'm scared to death' giggles, but still... the experience just didn't seem That scary.

The windsurfing accident was a little scary.  I remember being confused about why I was unable to move my legs and wondering where the big, giant fish that had been swimming near me was.  But I was probably a little bit shockey, and truth be told, slightly drunk, and some fishermen rescued me fairly quickly... and it just wasn't That scary.

But the bus wreck.  The bus wreck was scary.

School buses have very large grills.

I was sixteen and had only been driving for about six months.  It was a cold, rainy November afternoon.  We were leaving school and I had a male friend and my best friend's boyfriend in the car with me.  Our school was out in the country and we had to take a twisty, narrow country road with a 55 mph speed limit.

I was doing the speed limit (I was new enough at driving that I still obeyed the speed limit signs, specially on cold, rainy days,) I came around a curve and started down the hill and could see the bus sitting at the stop sign at the t-intersection.  We were close enough that I could see the bus driver turning her head and looking in both directions.... And then she pulled out.  And being a big school bus making a right turn onto a narrow country road, she turned into my lane...  And I was already right there... And CRASH! 

I had just enough time to register bus grill coming at my face and to put both feet on the brake pedal and stand on it.  I remember my butt actually lifting up off the seat just a tiny bit because I was literally standing on the break pedal.  

Standing on the break didn't do much though.  We were so close when the bus pulled out that I didn't even leave skid marks.  We hit nose to nose.  And a school bus has a really big nose!  A really big nose with a really, really big grill.

Dean and Sam have nothing on me.  My '69 Impala saved my life.
'69 Impala photo courtesy of

Luckily I was driving a tank (a '69 Impala) and we were the ones going 55 down hill vs. just taking off from a stop.  The bus absorbed the impact.  It pushed the nose of the bus into the driver's area while tenting the top of the bus and all that happened to my car was a broken headlight and the metal strip that ran along the side of the car popped off.  I have never loved a giant, gas guzzling, army green tank of a car so much before!

Thankfully, and amazingly, no one was injured.  Shaken. Shaken badly, but not injured.  To this day, I don't know how we all survived.  How the bus ended up so mangled, my car so un-mangled, and not a single one of the kids on board the bus even got a scrape.  And I'm sure none of us were even wearing a seat belt. (It was long before seat belt laws.)  There was definitely a higher power looking out for us that day.  

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Sunday Supper - Peach Cobbler

I think I've mentioned before, I'm not much of a cook.  I may have this Sunday Supper feature here on the blog but if I'm honest, most of the time I talk my daughter into making the recipes.  Months go by without me ever turning the oven on.  I'd almost rather scrub the toilet than cook a meal.  Cooking just isn't my thing.  Too bad eating is.

It's peach season!

This time of year, all I want is fresh vegetables and fruity cakes.  Peachy cakes at the moment.

Luckily, I have THE easiest recipe for peach cobbler.  And because I'm so nice (despite what my husband says,) I'm going to share it with you.  

Baking with peaches. Cooking with canned peaches.
peach cobbler photo courtesy of

Easy Peach Cobbler

2 cans (or 1 large can) of sliced peaches in syrup
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick of butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.  (You could butter the dish if you are against the sprays but who's got time for that?)  Dump the peaches (with the syrup) into the baking dish and spread evenly.  Dump the dry cake mix over top and spread it around evenly-ish.  Do not stir!  Next, you want to evenly-ish distribute thin slices of butter all over the top.  I use a vegetable peeler to "peel" the butter over the top.  Again, do not stir!  Just pop it into the oven for 25 - 45 minutes depending on the size of your baking dish and how evenly you spread the cake mix.  You'll know it's ready when it's mostly golden brown and the family is all standing in the kitchen staring at the oven, mouths watering.

It's best served with vanilla ice cream.  Good vanilla ice cream.  Thankfully, the peaches and the cake mix can be cheap, store brand brands.  We make this frequently and I've never met a cake mix that wouldn't work.  And, if you aren't a fan of peaches, try replacing the peaches with a can of cherry, blueberry or apple pie filling.  Yum!