The Stock Pile Begins

Well, apparently I am at the age when going to Costco to get a membership to start a stockpile is an excellent “date night.”

Cue the giant “L” on our foreheads. It stands for “LOL AREN’T WE COOL?”

Regardless of our standing in the cool kids club, we had been discussing starting a stock pile since, like forever. Like, since we started dating. We weren’t really sure where to start. I am a terrible stockpile kind of person, I am very strict about what I buy and I will not purchase food stuff that I don’t have a plan for using, in it’s entirety, within the week. I know, I know. This is coming from the person who hoards used water jugs, a cat food bag and rocks.

This took a bit of thinking. Obviously, we would need to keep the pile rotating, use old stuff, replace. It would need to be stuff we actually use. I didn’t want to end up with a bunch expired food I didn’t want to eat.

The ball really started rolling right before the wedding when I went with one of my buddies to Costco. I knew about wholesale stores but I thought they were very unpractical for me because (a.) remember, I lived completely by myself for years (b.) I didn’t realize the prices could be a lot better than what I was used to (c.) see above about the whole “use within the week” and lastly (d.) you have to pay to join. Since we were feeding 100 guests, I sent a shout out on my Facebook to see if anyone has a wholesale club card. The first person to reply was an old buddy of mine and he had Costco. This was right around when everyone (at least in America) was shouting about raising the minimum wage (no comment from me, sorry, no politics) and Costco was like, um, did that, k thanks. If you recall, I am trying to put my money where my mouth is and support places that aren’t jerks. Waaaaaaaaaaaallllllllfart. Ahem. Sorry about that. Don’t know where that came from.

So we went into Costco. We fiddled around, mostly I was price checking, taking notes and then I saw…50# of bread flour. My God. For under $15. And then I saw basmati rice. A huge bag. I think it was 15# for $13. I took both home immediately.

Flash forward. We started discussing actual, real things we could use in a stock pile. Stuff for making soap, flour, rice, beans, peanuts, olive oil all of that. I bought those particular items for the wedding food, and we still have leftovers, but are cranking through them at a decent pace. Suddenly, it seemed feasible. I can’t even begin to tell you how much we saved on wedding food, much less the leftovers. We have a deep freezer and we have a basement to store stuff. I bought some containers to long term store the flour and rice, et cetera. We started bouncing items back and forth that we would definitely want in bulk.

Cue our cute little date night, first we walked the entirety of the store, checked prices, and picked out things we would need. Some prices were not so great and some were awesome, so we took our time. We ended up buying birdseed (gotta feed my birdies!), frozen fruit, Jack Daniels (God help me), more peanuts, lots of beans, lady mattresses (think about it), tooth brushes, hand soap, Mexican Coke (as a treat, it has real sugar, not like American), dish soap, cinnamon, peppercorns, quinoa and a few other things. We spent quite a bit, but it is an investment, not a shopping spree. We will use all of these items in due time and they were considerably cheaper. It was really a lot of fun.

Our next step will be getting it organized. Right now, half is in the basement, half is in the garage and some is in the pantry. We’re going to tackle that either on a rainy day or in the winter, whichever comes first and we have time for. So, sorry there are no pictures! Like I said, it’s kind of all over! But, if the zombies come, we’re ready!

How to Blog Like BMary

In the grand tradition of my family, if you can’t make fun of yourself, you’re probably rather dull..

HOW TO BLOG LIKE BMARY:

  1. Put on Ancient Aliens shirt
  2. Pick a moderately interesting topic
  3. Ramble incoherently
  4. Post a ridiculous amount of pictures
  5. Take some weird selfies
  6. Get weird
  7. Post completely useless links everywhere
  8. Add really nonsensical tags
  9. Hit publish button
  10. Cry hysterically and regret all life decisions until someone likes post
  11. Cheer wildly if someone likes post
  12. Tell everyone how cool you are if someone comments on post
  13. Put on sunglasses
  14. Repeat

Should I Rescue That Wild Baby and First Aid For an Injured Bird

bmary:

Please read! Very important! :-)

Originally posted on ~RAMBLING WOODS~:

It is that time of year again.. Baby birds… Lots of them. Most baby birds fledge before they can fly well and sometimes they really can’t fly at all. The parents feed them as they gain their flying ability. This is a time of great peril as many are taken by predators especially cats. Millions of birds are killed by cats every year. Millions die of window strikes and now by wind turbines.

if you find an injured bird.

Wildlife Rehabilitator Mary Anna Cook-Babcock

First Aid for an Injured Bird, Especially a Window Strike

(1)Have a small container ready. A pet carrier, paper bag or a box that is upside down. Make sure that the bird has sufficient air by putting holes in the bag or box

(2)Place a piece of cloth in the bottom. It should be cloth with no loops that the bird can get caught on or…

View original 1,665 more words

Another Jeep Load

I went again to help unload some things from my grandmother’s former house. She has passed and for a while my brother was living there. But now, the house must be sold and we are all flailing to get it sorted. I’ve mentioned it briefly a few times, I am saving the majority of pictures for the winter, when I will have ample time to sit inside and examine them thoroughly. But I thought I would share, what I hope is, my last Jeep load of things.

wpid-20140724_122817.jpgmy mother’s (she has passed) paintings of birds on ceramic. she did a ton of these, hoping to sell them for $5 back in the 70’s. the detail is insane. one day, i’ll show you paintings she did on eggshells.

wpid-20140724_125928.jpga drawing my mother did of my father. if you look close, you can tell his eyes are blue.

wpid-20140724_125439.jpgplates and mugs, engraved with my name, my brother and my sister’s (my sister has passed) I try not to forget my sister, even though I never knew her.

wpid-20140724_125642.jpga very dusty picture of my brother and I. my brother often has that far away “wish I was doing anything else” look. he still has it.

wpid-20140724_130155.jpgwords of wisdom…from the beatles and grandma. she used to write little notes and thoughts and tape them in her cupboards.

wpid-20140724_130130.jpgwho are these people? i’m not sure.

wpid-20140724_130258.jpgsome of my grandmother’s notes on our relations

wpid-20140724_130205.jpgabout her pets, I never knew Barney, but I remember Spoons and Stein. She neglected to mention that Spoons was often referred to as “Poodie” and was the laziest creature to walk the earth. And Stein was the master of drool and could drag a human child via leash. Stein was a fun dog. Cabana (aka Rama-Lama-Ding-Dong) was her last dog, inherited from a friend. Cabana was put down last year, but that dog had a great life. Fat as a house. I think she got a waffle with peanut butter every morning. You know what she would do? My grandma would make TWO bags of popcorn, per day, for the birds outside. TWO.

wpid-20140724_130742.jpgthis has a story. my great grandfather had a friend who was dying and trying to finish his coffin on time. His friend offered this violin if he should pass before the coffin was finished and my great grandfather could finish it. the coffin was finished and we have the violin.

wpid-20140724_130357.jpgmy grandmother wrote out her life story. on whole two pages. she forgot to mention the time she got mad at a crossword puzzle, quietly turned it over and wrote “CRAP.” on the back of it. or that when she would laugh really hard she would snort.

And for now, it all sits in the basement. Eventually I’ll get it all organized. I’m sure you all know, you’ve been there. But, for example, a picture of my grandma’s dog, Spoons. Do I need to save that? Should I save it? There’s 100 of them. What to do? What to do? Saving it for a snowy day, then I’ll make some decisions.

The Stash Busting Blanket That Would Not End…

At some point last year I started a stash busting blanket. Out of all the things I hoard, Lord knows, I hate hoarding yarn. Rocks are apparently fine. When I am done with a project, I wish it would magically disappear and I would never have to look at it again. I don’t get it. But, whatever. So, big surprise, I have a LOAD of yarn. Ok, it’s organized and in a bin, but IT’S STILL THERE. I attempted to rid myself of it, inspired by a blanket one of my friends had. It was rows of single crochet with a spike stitch here or there and all different colors.

Seems easy right? Well…it’s not square. Nope, not even close. I thought, because I am CLEARLY so CLEVER I would never mess this up…

wpid-20140724_110608.jpgnope.

I did the adult thing and pretended it didn’t exist for a while until it was brought to my attention that WIPs should be finished, by the lovely blog, Mollie & Claire in this post. Now I have the WIP of guilt. The WIP of SHAME.

I’ve tried to correct it’s lack of squareness, but i just keep pulling out rows and rows and rows and it’s still not square. Ugh. I decided to start over.

wpid-20140724_110720.jpgthis must be what insanity is like.

I’m going to pull each row out, one at a time (dear God in Heaven I cannot fathom pulling the whole thing out at once) and hooking it into the new one. So that’s where I am right now, and I am using the magic of STITCH MARKERS which for some reason I keep deeming unnecessary. Probably because I prefer to make…not squares? I have no idea. But anyway, it’s back on track!

We had some produce from the garden finally! Now that Illinois has stopped puking rain all day, the tomatoes and zucchini and peppers are finally getting into shape!

wpid-20140721_181402.jpgFINALLY, GUYS!

Now, of course, I have a pile of zucchini, so I am making what I call “zucchini hummus,” which is fried zucchini, garlic and seasoning thrown into a blender. It’s pretty darn good and it freezes pretty good. Put it on home made pitas or noodles. I love it. Our tomatoes are getting there, so far just little cherry tomatoes which is better than none. We’ve got a few big ones working on turning red. I might sacrifice a few to become fried green tomatoes. Which are insanely addictive. I can eat quite a few of them!

I also finished something for a friend, just because I had yarn laying around and I had to go into the circle of hell known as the DMV. Let’s just sum up that day with “I spent 4 hours at the DMV and it was terrible. But I made something for a friend, so that part was ok.”

 wpid-20140724_113625.jpgturn to page 216 in thine Crochet Stitch Bible. Thou shalt ‘Begin with 4 CH, 1 SS into first ch made.’ So spake thine Crochet Stitch Bible.

I’ve made this pattern before, it’s cute and easy. It looks a bit fancier than it is. So, thumbs up!

I also went for a very short run today. I’ve mentioned before, I hurt my knee and I went from 6 miles every few days to couch potato. And…got fat. Ah well. Life’s too short to diet. I’m trying it again! My knee doesn’t hurt too much right now, but I’ll keep my eye on it. (P.S. yes, I’ve tried going to the doctor, no Obamacare has not helped in the least bit. In fact, it’s made it sickeningly more frustrating and expensive but I don’t want to talk about it.)

Well, I am going to catch up with you guys a bit and then pop off to get some more rows done today! Have a good day!

Phase Two: Bridal Gifts Sweatshop

I worked my butt off today! Ok, well I mostly worked, sitting on my butt, making gifts for my friend’s Bridal Shower. I did a post earlier today, when I finished the doily and now here is the conclusion!

I wanted to make vintage looking cloth napkins for her, so I used an embroidery stitch on my machine. First I hemmed the whole thing up and went back to add the details. I made three different colors.

Also, I made her placemats.

wpid-20140715_172038.jpgi am freaking tired.

wpid-20140715_171547.jpgcome closer…

I decided to give her gifts a test run to see what they would look  like all together. I added some accessories because it looked kind of sad and silly just sitting on the table all not set and what not. So the dishes and plant are obviously mine, but here you are:

wpid-20140715_171827.jpgI have too much time on my hands…or not enough!

I think it looks great! I’m debating making her a tea towel because frankly, I am pooped. But I made 8 placemats and 9 napkins. So, dinner party at her house? Maybe after a nap.

African Flowers for A Bridal Shower

Today I got working on gifts for a dear friend of mine who is getting married. I am working on placemats, tea towels, napkins and a centerpiece doily thing. I had her send me pictures of her kitchen for inspiration and I think I am in a pretty good place.

Originally I was thinking of doing a something fairly straight forward. But then I remembered, AFRICAN FLOWERS! Who the heck doesn’t love African Flowers?!? I have the world’s worst written pattern for them, hands down. I don’t remember where I got it from (the paper it’s printed on is dated 12/22/2011) but I copied and pasted it from somewhere. It might have been a few different sources, I was pretty new to crochet patterns at the time. I also am an idiot. I might have just hen picked instructions and pasted them into a document. However, despite being the worst written pattern, it is the EASIEST to mindlessly count. Trust me, I’ve tried a few. Even pictures. No help. I like this pattern because the flowers lay flat and as I said, it is easy to drift away and crochet happily without having to resort to counting every row over and over and frog out your miss counts. So I am going to attempt to rewrite it for you, if you would like to give it a chance.

African Flowers Motif

  • Notes: Unless mentioned, finish each round off individually with a sl st, colors can be changed every round.
  • On Round 3, if you’re not changing colors, you can slip stitch over to the correct space
  • Round 4 uses a dc spike stitch into Round 3, here are some pictures to help. Trust me, very easy and adds a lot of interest to any project.

Ch 5

Sl st into the first ch to make a ring

Round 1: Ch 3, dc into ring, *ch 1, 2 dc into ring* repeat 4 times (12 stitches total) Sl st into 3rd ch of initial 3 ch to close.

Round 2: Ch 3 into the space just to the right of the ch 3 in the previous round. Dc into same space and ch 1. *2 dc, ch 1 in each ch 1 space from previous round* (24 stitches)

 Round 3: Ch 3 in 1 ch sp from previous round, 6 dc, ch 3. *7 dc into next ch space, ch 3* (six petals)

Round 4: Insert hook into the first dc of the petal, ch 1, sc into same stitch (counts as first sc), sc 6 (7 sc total). Dc spike stitch into Round 3, *7 sc, dc spike stitch into Round 3* to beginning.

Round 5: Ch 3, 2 dc *[dc, ch 1, dc into same st] 7 dc*

Finish off and weave in ends!

I hope this helps, let me know if I missed anything, I am going off of a terrible template. I think I corrected most of it/made it easier to read.

I added a round of sc, increasing in the corners.

I made seven total and used a mattress stitch to sew them together.

To finish off my project, I did a final sc border, increasing stitches at the corners:

wpid-20140715_094433.jpgwheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Part One of her gifts is finished! The placemats are done, it’s off to the napkins. When I am all done, I will post pictures.

Things To Do:

Things I have not enjoyed:

  • Going to the Social Security office to change my name. Ugh.
  • Writing 100 Thank You notes. Normally, I have no problem writing a note, but I’m a lefty, so Hello, Giant Black Smears.
  • Fighting with my computer to upload wedding pictures, I won!
  • Getting my haircut, ugh. Just a trim, but ugh.

Things I have enjoyed:

  • Making a pound cake from scratch. A pound of sugar, a pound of butter, a pound of flour. Yum.
  • Practicing embroidery, still a noobie, but I made this for a friend
  • wpid-20140710_173617.jpgdon’t ask what it says under the ruler.
  • Hanging out with my brother
  • Getting fitted for a man’s suit for a friend’s wedding. How fun! I dare say I look dashing.

All right, enough chat! Back to writing notes!

*leaves big black smears across paper*

*curses wildly*