Monday, November 30, 2009

Raisin Pudding Cake Recipe

A few of you have asked for the recipe so here it is:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tarter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine and pour into a greased pan.

3/4 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
1 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup boiling water.
Pour over top of batter and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

A precautionary warning.........I recommend you let it set for awhile before serving as it takes awhile for the liquid to thicken. I was over anxious last night and scooped out a bowlful and it was too wet. Later that evening it had thickened up and was much better. In fact, it was best today - about 30 seconds in the microwave. Yumm

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A day of almosts

It was the type of day where I just seemed to fall a little bit short, no matter what I tried. One of my main goals of the day was to get my Angel rug all hooked and the cording basted in - with even a teeny bit of hope I could maybe start whipping tonight.

I finished all the hooking except for her hair. I had some wool in mind for this part. I bought some beautiful slub yarn from FishEye Rugs in October. One of the bundles was (a least this is what I remember) a warm golden hue. So I went looking for it. And I looked, and I looked, and I looked. There were 4 bundles and all are missing. I checked all my stash spots. Hmmmm, this may be a good indicator that I need to do some more housecleaning! LOL The trouble is that as I clean up one room, I tend to clutter up another. Ahhh the vicious circle.

With the holidays around the corner and all the extra junk that entails (plus I'm in the middle of painting and drop cloths, ladders etc) its easy to get behind - or at least thats what I'm telling myself. Another option is that Mom tends to pick things up lately and hide them in peculiar spots. Lord knows what I'm going find somedays!

So all the hunting and attempting to tidy up what I tore apart in my search put me behind in all the other typical weekend chores. The only good thing is there is another opportunity for a weekend in about 5 days!!

Days like this call for comfort food. I have just taken an old fashioned raisin pudding cake out of the oven and it smells sweet and wonderful. I think I will curl up and knit some dishcloths.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A little loopy from paint fumes or Handyman Saga Part 2

I have been after our handyman for months to paint the ceilings in the house. A few weeks ago I went a little banana's at him because I wanted them done before Christmas. So.....(here it comes....) he promised to do it and we agreed on that Thursday.
......I bet you see where this is going! Soooooo Thursday passes and so does the next one. BUT he did show up today at lunchtime. Woohoo Sound the Trumpets! He managed to finish all 4 rooms upstairs and the hallways up and down. And then he left. Promising to return tomorrow morning at 9am to finish downstairs. HAHAHAHAHA.
Luckily he has a good nature and sense of humor. As I was tormenting him about how I wasn't going to hold my breathe in the morning waiting, he quickly reminded me that it was him who moved my internet line a few months ago and he knew exactly where in the basement to pull the line! Hahaha OK one for Clayton that time!!
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Skunk Attack!!

Yes its true. I have suffered a skunk attack, and its not the first time. But this is not your typical garden skunk. It is odorless but equally as frightening as the regular kind. And I am guessing that alot of you have suffered a similar fate, but maybe have never discovered the actual cause of the resulting devastation.

For most of us, days go by and everything seems fine. And then it seems like you wake up one morning, look in the mirror and discover that - overnight- something terrible has happened. For it is at night, under the cover of darkness, while you are the most vulnerable - dreaming of flowers or sheep - THATS WHEN IT STRIKES!
The dreaded "Hairline Skunk" creeps into your room, on to your bed, climbs on the top of your head and swipes his white tail across the top of your head and you wake up like this..........

GREY ROOTS !!!! Arrrgh, that sneaky bugger. You panic and try speed dialing your hairdresser, hoping that the Hairline Skunk hasn't been on a spree so you can get a quick appointment!

And good friends come in handy. A few months ago, after a previous attack, I was sitting in Corinne's office at work when she quietly said " Ummm, I think its time for a color." LOL I love it. Everybody needs a trusted friend who can tell you the truth. Whether its - "You need a color" or "Your butt looks huge in those pants!"

So Corinne, if you are reading this I just got back from the hairdresser.....I saw you looking at the top of my head today! Hehehehe

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fa Lalala La La La

Its CHRISTMAS MUSIC time! I'm a sucker for all Christmas music. Today I finished fine-tuning and downloading more songs. My ipod is now set with a large collection of holiday songs (90+) on a playlist. It will be all I listen to from now until New Years Day.
If you see some strange chick driving around alone singing at the top of her lungs - its me! I have to do it alone because - quite frankly - I sing like a small animal caught in a trap. Hehehe its true. Both my parents were great singers, however it must skip a generation. As I have inherited my grandmothers singing ability. Her and her sister were the WORST singers. And naturally, they both loved to sing.
I remember when they got together, usually over a cocktail, they would start up. My grandfather would get a little grin on his face and run to the calendar, stating he was checking to see if it was a full moon! SEE - my twisted sense of humour goes waaay back!
Yesturday, during our little family drive, I put on the music in the car. Its wild, because my Mom can remember the words to songs. Once she hears the first line, she can sing along. Its funny how that connection is still there. So we sang along, happily, as it was nice to see her participate in something. This is a rarity these days.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another great day

After a night of coughing, I managed to wake up feeling pretty good. The weather was not too cold and we are still snow-free so I grabbed Mom and dear Auntie and told them to gear up for a road trip.
We headed to Moncton, a nice small city (AKA shopping mecca) about 35 minutes away. First stop - Swiss Chalet for lunch. Mom and Auntie are fairly fussy eaters but they love this place. Then off to 1 mall where my coffee stand is located. I love my Keurig machine but I waited too long to re-order coffee and I discovered this morning I only had 2 cups left and no delivery until next week. Poor planning on my part. So while they waited in the car I loaded up a bag for my caffeine fix. While the delivery option is convenient you have to purchase full boxes. When you are at the stand you can buy individual portions of tons of different varieties. A great way to taste before committing to a whole box. I have lots to try out this week - Cinnamon Danish flavor, Christmas blend, Winter Carnival and even Kahlua flavor. Heheh I'll be all hopped up on caffeine tomorrow!
Then to the other end of the city for some clothes shopping. Auntie and I take turns shopping and watching Mom. We managed to find some things for each other - so very productive. We have to do these short little trips now, as Mom tires easily.
Now its time to cozy up by the fireplace and watch a chick movie!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Angel Rug Border

I have made a start on the border. It looks kind of festive, don't you think?
Tonight was the first time I picked up a hook for a few days. Remember I mentioned Sunday night I thought I was getting a scratchy throat? Well guess what......I woke up Monday morning sick, sick, sick. I did manage to get back to work today. I probably could have stood another day of rest, but quite frankly I was going STIR CRAZY at home.
I am feeling much better but still am coughing alot. Actually I had an amazingly productive day at work. I think the trick was that everyone was afraid to get to close to me so they stayed faaaaar away. Its wild how much you can get done when nobody is bugging you every 15 minutes. Next time I am really busy I might remember this "coughing" trick. Worked like a charm today!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

With Wings, She Soars

My precious Angel has wings. Her name is Carrie and she represents a friend who passed away suddenly a few Christmas' ago. When completed, she will be a gift for Carrie's Mom. I can't wait to get her finished.

I stopped in to Corinne's office on Friday to let her know I would be needing some more of the background wool. I wish you could have seen the look of panic on her face. I could see her mind racing to remember of she still had the formula for that piece. Hehehehe I shouldn't laugh but it was pretty funny. I brought in a piece of the original that I hadn't cut up yet. As soon as she saw it I could see the relief wash over her!

So, like an angel herself, she hit the dye pots on Saturday and sent me a text after supper that she had it ready. I think I arrived at her door in less than 10 minutes! The wool wasn't even dry yet!! I took both pieces - you know - just in case. (any excuse) None of these pieces have stayed in the shop long enough for her Mother to even see them. So I posted the photo below so Nancy could see what it looks like. But - the photos don't really give an accurate image. The actual wool is much darker in tone. Lots of navy and deep burgundy with some dark greenish tones.
I hate to say this out loud, but I am starting to feel a bit of a scratchy throat and stuffy nose. Nooooooooo! I don't have time to get sick. After supper I'm heading to the pharmacy and getting a bag full of precautions.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Primitive Angel started

This Angel rug is cruising along. I love this pattern and when its finished it is going to a very special person as a gift. I think that may be why it seems to be hooking up so quickly. Here is the progress so far.The background wool is fun. Corinne (Momz Wool) dyed it for me. Its got some red/burgundy, navy, green, grey blotches all through it.

Hopefully I will get lots more done this weekend. I had a day off yesturday, but instead of hooking, I went Christmas shopping with Dear Auntie. Mom was at her day group so we had a bit of freedom. I'm amazed how much we accomplished in 5 hours. Lots of names crossed off our lists and we managed to find some things for each other too.
It was a good week!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

Purse Construction - Part 2

I mentioned the other day that my purse lining had gone AWOL. My neighbor's ears must have been burning because she arrived at lunch time with my lining all nicely sewn together. I really should have a sewing machine, but that would mean more unfinished projects - so nevermind.

Anyway back to the purse.

The lining is just a soft cotton flannel fabric. Nothing fancy here.

The next photo shows the whipped edge at the top. You can either whip with yarn or sew in a strip of wool. Even though I hate whipping, it seemed like the easier option. This was one of those learning moments. I should have left a little larger margin at the top between the hooking and the serged edge. It didn't really leave enough room for a clean fold. Next time I will know better. It made it difficult at the seam edges. I tried to mask my mistake with some extra vigorous whipping (and I didn't take a picture of that part, because I didn't want Jennifer at Fish Eye Rugs to see my boo boo!) But I think I hid it well. The lining is then just stitched in place at the top edge, below the whipping with a simple blanket stitch. (I think thats what its called - remember - I don't sew)And then magically.....TaaDaa.....its a purse! Like I said, I made a few little mistakes, but all in all I am pleased. I didn't think I could do it.

The only thing left to do is pick out a handle. I am now debating which of my brown purses to sacrifice. This weekend I will pick one and cut off its handles. Its OK - I have lots. I'm a purse-a-holic too!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Finally warm and toasty, but what's the deal with "Handyman Time"?

Ahhhh, warm and toasty at last. The family got an early Christmas present today as the new electric fireplace became a reality. Our big old drafty house was a monster on the oil bill. Poor Mom is always cold, but with the price of furnace oil these days it was getting to be a concern. The fireplace works like a charm. I've had the thermostat down all day and nobody is shivering or complaining. Usually to get the temp good for her, I end up too hot. Now I will have to go shopping to find some pretty stuff to decorate the top. I know - any excuse to go shopping!

However, back to the 2nd part of this posts title - WHAT THE HECK IS THE DEAL WITH HANDYMEN AND TIME?????

I'm sure you all must have noticed this. None of them seem to have any normal concept of time. They appear to have some kind of secret society time keeping system. Let me explain......when the average person says "I'll be there in an hour" that usually means 60 minutes - give or take a few. (Unless you are me, and I will be there 10 minutes early!) BUT if you have the title Handyman behind your name, this phrase can mean anything from several hours to several days!!!! Frustrating.

I guess its the downside of being a single girl - you need to depend on a handyman. My guy dropped off the giant fireplace box in the front hall on Saturday and looking me square-in-the-eye and said........"I'll be back first thing Sunday morning." YEAH, Right!!!

And me, the eternal optimist, got up early and waited. And waited. And waited. The morning came and went and then half the afternoon. He drove in the yard at 3:00pm. He walked in with a little grin and handed me a cappuchino. OK - that warmed me up a little.

It didn't take us long once I got him moving. As he was leaving he was humming "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire". I busted out laughing and told him if he hadn't shown up it would be HIS chestnuts roasting!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Three Cheers for the weekend!

Holy Cow......What a week. Am I ever glad to see the back-end of it! It wasn't bad enough that Mom had a 2nd fall in the span of a week - but it seemed like a large number of my co-workers went a little squirrelly too. It was one thing after the other.
Ahhhhhh, but now its the weekend. YIPPEE.....................

I do promise to get back to showing the final finishing of the purse before the weekend is over. I sent the lining to my neighbor to sew up by machine and she hasn't brought it back yet.

But I did start my Angel rug last night. Ooooooh, she is going to be so pretty. And I just came back from the store and I bought an electric fireplace for the living room. It might even get delivered this weekend. COZY!!!

I did happen to notice some "white crap" in the air while I was driving home. (Yes, I am referring to snowflakes - and obviously I am not a big fan!) I better not wake up to a white outdoor carpet tomorrow morning!!!!!!

Time to hook my beautiful Angel girl. I hope you all have a great, relaxing weekend too!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Purse construction - Part 1

Last night, after I got home and settled in I decided to get my butt moving on this purse. Some of you have asked for details on the construction process. I tried to take some photos as I worked last night but not all of them turned out.
But here is enough to give you the idea.
I tried to take really good close ups while I was sewing the darts, but naturally those were the ones that didn't take. The first step is to run a "stretch zigzag" stitch along the border so you don't fray and then cut out each piece.

Then sew each of the darts closed, pulling very tightly and then pin the two pieces together to ensure the patterns match on both sides.

I did intend to begin sewing the pieces together last night but Miss Millie had other plans. Since I was away over-night she was VERY demanding of my attention. The little paw kept creeping over and scratching at the purse. Then when that didn't work, she proceeded to try and push it out of my hands with her nose.

Awwww, how could I resist? So I put my work away and gave the princess the attention she was so needy for.

On my lunch hour today I bought the fabric for the lining and some wool yarn for the whipping at the top edge. Tonights plan is to finish sewing the sides and maybe whip the top.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

On the road again!

I feel a little like Willie Nelson.......On the Road Again! It seems like lately I have had quite a few little business trips that mean 1 or 2 nights out of town. Usually, if they are spread out - I look forward to the little break but they have been quite close together this fall. I think this is my last one for awhile. (fingers crossed)
I had hoped to get going earlier today and maybe get a little early Christmas shopping done in the city but by the time I got everyone at home organized it meant I arrived at the hotel at supper time. Oh well! I have LOTS of time for shopping! Yeah - I know - famous last words.
The down side of travelling is that is cuts into my hooking time. Friday night I managed to sew the darts in my purse and pin the 2 sides in place. And Corinne sent me a text message that she had some wool for me to look at. Naturally I dropped everything and ran over. I left her house happy, with another 1/4 yard in my hands and she had 1 more custom dye to do for me. According to my cell phone message today - she has it ready and waiting for my return. These are colors for my special Angel rug. I can't wait to get started on it Tuesday.
Now its time to look at the room service breakfast menu. There is nothing better than hotel room breakfast!! I'm too lazy to make breakfast at home. I'm usually running out the door to work with a travel mug of coffee and a handful of arrowroots!