Stash: Busted?

As long ago promised, I finished the stash busting blanket of shame! I worked an extra day this week so it was a little crazier around here than usual. Because, ya know, my life is so dull. Anyway, here we are:

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IT’S SQUARE THIS TIME!

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quite wild.

I’m so very glad that it’s done! It was fun, I’m not going to lie, but man, it’s over! However:

The Stash Continues…

I cannot believe how much yarn I have left. Two baskets and about a half dozen mostly full skeins left over. Ridiculous how much yarn I have! So, phase two.

I, BMary, shall not buy new yarn* until I have completely gotten rid of my stash.

*excepting (1) baby blanket and anyone who offers me money to make something

God help me, I’m going to get rid of this mountain! Next on my hooks are potholders. Lots and lots of potholders. I am going to make them until it is all gone! ALL! And give them ALL away. I’ll be busy…

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the beginning of the end…

Wish me luck! And if you have any stash busting suggestions, let me know! 😀

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Regrow Scallions (Take One)

get in the groove and let the good times roll, we’re gonna stay here til we soothe our soul

Way back in the day, you can ask brittlynnstalker, she knows, I was poor as dirt. Like, no sheets on the mattress on the floor, no dresser, no TV, not even a garbage can poor. We’re talking broke. Although I only overdrafted my account twice. Whew, trust me, it wasn’t easy. I have enough credit (not enough funds obviously or you’d see my jeep with WAY bigger tires) to probably buy the entire town I live in. It’s not if you can afford it, it’s if you can afford to keep it. Anyway, I was poor, but not in debt, dammit. Never been in debt. Paid for my jeep with cash.

Around this time an old friend of mined move in with me to help with rent. Real stand up guy. Crazy as the day is long, but completely a true friend. Saved my life once, no joke. Well we didn’t have heat and we didn’t have AC and we didn’t have food so it was a little weird. One day I came home from work and opened the door to him, shirtless (as was his custom, remember, no AC) brandishing a half of an onion at my face while inquiring, “Onion?”

No hello, just “Onion?”

A delightful snack.

I don’t know how I remained relatively sane. The other day, when I bought some scallions, I remembered that, being that broke and hungry and ridiculous and stupid and young. A lot of drunk as well. Don’t judge me, if you’ve ever pinched pennies that hard, sometimes you need a break. It was worth it. I’ll retire on a million if I never add to it again, and that’s not a lie either. I started a retirement fund when I was 17. My future children’s college is paid for. I’ve got stuff squirreled away, it’s just not “mine” anymore.

Anyway, right now I am in not the best economic situation, not NEARLY as bad, but I am prepared. I can’t save, but I’m not eating into my savings. And in that spirit, I looked at my bunch of scallion bulbs and thought, hey, why not see if we can get these to grow? Hopefully it will turn out better than the romaine and celery attempts. If you’re too lazy to read (I understand, I ramble a lot), they bolted and it was a dramatic failure. So here we go:

ReGrow Scallions:

I put them into a small mason jar and dumped them on the window sill. Within a day, I had quite a bit of growth. Within a week, as it is now, I have roots growing. I’m debating sticking them in dirt to see if they take off.

wpid-20141201_115859.jpgdoing…stuff…

If they bolt on me, I will be quite annoyed. If this is a success, my next attempt will be regrowing ginger.

Save your tea bags, times are hard. 😀

 

Grandma’s Potholders

My grandmother, June Glaser, kind of was a big deal. She crochet and sewed like a madwoman. I however, was more interested in worms, bugs and playing outside. Oh sure, Grandma made cool stuff, curly cues and little dresses for me, but I was a tomboy. My favorite was when she fixed the hell* out of my jeans. Then I could go ride bikes and look for frogs and get dirty. She had all boys, all sons and my uncles and my dad taught me that life was fun getting dirty.

*literally fixed the hell out of my jeans. like, satan himself would have had trouble getting through her patchwork.

When I got older, I started to appreciate her craft more. My brain suddenly realized that she had made things, by her own hand. That was important. She made herself skirts mostly and a bit of crochet here and there. She taught me how to chain stitch in crochet, but I think I was like 6 and again, more interested in climbing trees. But there was one thing, one mountain of thing that she made that every single family member had to the point that I was shocked when I realized not every household in the world had them…

Crochet potholders.

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a meager few of my collection…

She had a ball of yarn and a potholder going wherever she went. She had a literal stack of them, taller than me that she would give away to everyone. When I moved out, question 1 was “What color potholders do you want?”

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the answer was red and black. my kitchen was adorable. 

Not only are they the most beautiful potholders ever, they are functional. I’ve seen people use inferior potholders and burn themselves. Not so with Grandma’s!

I never really thought about replicating them until I was at a bridal shower for a friend and she got a cast iron skillet and…ready? A granny square. It was the “potholder”. Like, the gift giver said it was the potholder. For the skillet. Raise your hand if you know how amazingly hot a cast iron skillet gets? Now raise your hand if you would use a single layer granny square (with the holes and double crochets, mind you) to pick up said skillet. Jokes on you, if you did that, you wouldn’t have a hand to raise because it would be BURNED THE HELL OFF.

One of my pet peeves with crafting is function and form. Yes, I want something pretty, but it has to function as intended. I’m not making an apron with holes in it, I want a sturdy apron. I’m not making a blanket that is super short, I need a big enough blanket. I’m not putting glitter and stuff in my soap, I want it to just be soap. It has to have a purpose. I tell everyone that I will repair any gifts I give them because I want them to be used. Beat them up. Get em dirty.

So I took a good hard look at the potholders.

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starting chain?

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sewn together?

wpid-20140716_112527.jpgsee how it folds?

I noodled around with it for a while, racking my brain. These are some well loved potholders. It looked like they were worked in a round. And then I remembered:

THE INTERNET.

You know? The amazing interwebs that have more than just pictures of cats? I went over to the crochet group I follow on Facebook and armed with pictures and whatever information I had and in, I kid you not, 40 seconds I had like 8 replies. Three videos and several links. I’m okay with patterns, so I went with the written link. Oh man, it’s easy as pie.

CROCHET FOLDED POTHOLDER. Now, I prefer Grandma’s Magic Awesome Potholders That Are Better Than Yours, so that’s what I’m calling them. Judging that the pattern is pretty much everywhere (unbeknownst to me) I feel okay with that. I’ve already made 3 and I am working on a fourth.

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angie helped. as usual.

*Aside, ever since Angie got her bad teeth pulled, this happens:

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LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m yarn bombing. With potholders. I’ve already attacked two of my friends. Third one is getting bombed tonight.

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stitch faster!!!!!

The pattern is an excellent yarn eater, it takes about a 1oo yards? I’m guessing. I timed how long they take to make and it is about an hour and 40 minutes. So goodbye, yarn hoard! Hello potholder bombs! I hope you take a chance and make at least one of these, they are amazingly useful and hold up well to abuse and washing!

Shenanigan Sunday

Sunday was ridiculous, as usual. We went to breakfast with my dirty hippie NSA watchlist buddy and discusses our usual: reuse, reduce, recycle, make things and get weird. He makes candles and is doing a bang up job selling them. We stopped by at his house after breakfast, to continue complaining about the government (NSA: WHY DON’T YOU EVER CLICK “LIKE” ON MY BLOG? OR MY FACEBOOK STATUS? OR MY TWEETS? DON’T YOU THINK I’M PRETTY? CALL ME!) and I noticed he had some particularly interesting crates laying around. He offered me one, it’s a corn crate, we are in the middle of corn country. I like it, right now it’s outside, hanging with the outside things.

wpid-20140803_104051.jpgthe greyhound approves.

After that, I went to the local farm stand and bought everything:

wpid-20140803_103939.jpgnot pictured, 10# of sweet corn.

I got some local honey as well. I am dying to try the sauerkraut. Dying. Like, I might just get a spoon.

I also made another batch of cinnamon rolls for the people at the factory I work at. I like them a lot. They’re great people.

wpid-20140803_114241.jpgahoy! a fair sea of frosting!

Then we went off to the in laws and had lunch and then off to a barbeque! I had a busy Sunday! But it was a lot of fun!

I got my Java Moss today and I will be posting about it tomorrow, so stay tuned! 😀

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!

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!

Flower Hoarding

Jumping in, after cleaning the basement, guestroom and planting some flowers! I need a break! I smell terrible. The basement cleaning was like the Running of the Spiders.

I went to the gardening store to grab some “wedding flowers” aka “excuse for buying too many flowers that will come back next year so whateva.” Flower hoarding, you betcha.

wpid-20140620_120119.jpgjust to let you know, i fixed this. all by myself. no more dowel rod/flag thing for me!

I spent entirely way too much money, but hey, they should all come back next year, so let’s check out that haul!

wpid-20140621_110800.jpgcalla lilies, hydrangea, and clematis!

My plan, and I use that term ridiculously loosely, is to use these as decoration, plus my houseplant hoard in the tent and outside. So everybody has to be in a pot, so I can move them around. After the wedding, I plan to plant the hydrangeas in dirt. Like a real plant. Special plans for the clematis too!

After chasing Mr. Humphrey, the chipmunk, out of the garage (REALLY? IS THIS THE WILD KINGDOM HERE?) I got to work.

wpid-20140621_131825.jpgeverybody in a pot!

I’m going to keep them in the shade today, and tomorrow sneak in some full sun. In my opinion, it is generally a good practice after stressing everyone out with replanting to give them a break in the shade. Hopefully, they’ll grow tremendously in seven days, 2 hours and 21 or so odd minutes. Now, about the clematis…

When I was a little girl, my grandmother had a HUGE clematis. Somewhere in the recently acquired pile of pictures in the basement, I have a photo of both my grandparents, Virgil Herbert and June Dorothy standing under a trellis, with the clematis blooming. It’s one of the good pictures, before their health started to decline. I did make a feeble attempt to find it, but alas, it’s still somewhere in that monster pile. Saving that for a winter job.

As I mentioned my fellow plant hoarderess, in this post, I neglected to mention that she had a clematis. Only because I couldn’t freaking remember the name of the plant. So that’s what spurred me. I saw it, beautiful and just like my grandmother’s only much smaller, on her deck. It rang a bunch of nostalgia bells in my head and I knew I had to find one. Her mother bought it for her and the tag was off, so no help there, unfortunately. Google wasn’t much better. I knew they weren’t rare or anything, so I made sure to keep my eyes open today. As you can see, success! Found one! Not the same gorgeous purple as my grandmother’s, but perfectly beautiful and a lovely reminder of her.

Also, there is another reason for such sneakiness. I am stupid independent. My dear wonderful dude I plan to marry in a short period of time is away for the weekend. Now, I had mentioned the clematis, briefly, and was kicking ideas around of where to put it with him. Alas, we have no trellis. So I knew I was going to have to redneck rig something up. Hell, naw, I ain’t paying for a damn trellis to grow weeds on! So, uh, now that it’s planted, he’ll be thrilled with my ambitious red neck rig job. Right?

Redneck Process:

  • Wander yard/house/basement for free stuff.
  • Do not care what it looks like, only if it works.
  • Be prepared to fail, maybe, or succeed ridiculously.
  • Cost, zero dollars.
  • WARNING: Others, who are not rednecks, often do not understand. Only work by yourself or other rednecks.
  • WARNING: Have beer in hand. Important to the thought process.

Firstly, I attempted to line up some tree branches we had cut down. Nope. Then I attempted to use yarn along the fence. Nope. Then I remembered the garden gate, which we had abandoned in favor of putting chicken wire around the whole thing. Ha! That’ll work! Ain’t the prettiest girl at the party, but she’ll work!

wpid-20140621_125405.jpggettin’ all fancy up in here!

I can see it from our living room window and I am very, very happy about it. If it’s deemed too close to the fence or what not, I can take the “trellis” and the plant and move it fairly easily. I’ll probably come up with something better in the future, but this works. Now I have to hose it down, super water it. A must whenever planting.

So I hop over to the hose and suddenly I realize I am being watched. By this abominable creature:

wpid-20140621_123713.jpgu totes can notz c meh.

Ugh. Baby bunnies. Good Lord, they are trouble. Nature mercifully made bunnies so that fear kills them before pain. Which means NO TOUCHING. Guys? NO TOUCHING.

Unfortunately he was directly where I intended to stand and water, the plant is over on the other side of the fence and the hose reached from this vantage. Oh, baby bunnies.

My greyhound found a whole fleet of them in a window well once. After sticking her in the house, I put on some kitchen gloves and very, very gently but quickly, chucked them out. Then the proceeded to hop directly back in. UGHHHHHHHHHHH. So then I got wise, chucked them a wee bit farther and waved my arms about my head like a whacky waving inflatable tube man…

this

…and they all scattered into the bushes. Phew.

And this little guy, wasn’t budging. I assumed if I got close enough, he’d hop off. Nope. Ugh. I poked him with a stick. I didn’t want to be there standing with a hose, freaking him out for like 10 minutes. Nope. No dice. He wasn’t having it. I poked him a bit harder and looked at his eyes to make sure he wasn’t sick. Not sick, just a turd. Eyes clear, butt fat. Okay, then little dude. Don’t freak out. Carefully I threw the hose over the fence, went around the entire house, and watered the clematis. Ugh. I’m sure his momma and his nest are close by, so no worries, guys. He was pretty fat and bright looking.

So, we’ll see how the flowers do! Hopefully they’ll be huge for the wedding! I think I’ve been on break long enough! Back to work with me!

So, What to Do With the Worms?

Whelp, I’m in a pickle. Not just because I meant to post this yesterday. The siren song of “sit down and drink a hard cider after work” over came the desire to post about my worms. I’m in a pickle because I’m not sure how I am going to harvest this beast of a worm bin without leaving my dear wormies behind.

wpid-20140606_090443.jpgyou could put a body in there!

wpid-20140606_090518.jpgfinally they started eating those pants.

Last year, I dug all the compost out, did the pyramid thing, which, um, sounds fun until you realize you have like, three more hours to go. Basically, you dump your bin onto a tarp on a sunny day. Shape the compost into a pyramid, the worms dive to the middle, scrape off the sides for worm free compost, repeat until sunburn. It’s fun for like the first hour.

Sooooo, my next plan of attack was to collect the compost that seeps out of the bottom of the bin, like it did last year. Which for whatever reason is not happening this year. Damn.

Ok, now what? We used last year’s compost on the garden and this will be for the fall/houseplants/next year. So I’ve got some time to noodle something out. Thankfully, Red Worm Composting exists and it might be the most amazing worm site ever. The guy who does it is funny, interesting and very nice. Also, I think he knows everything.

For the moment, I decided to split my worm bin. One half would be completed compost, the other, fresh bedding and food. Delicious food scraps stolen from the mouth of the garbage. I freeze my scraps so they break down faster.

wpid-20140606_091007.jpgyummo!

As you can see, the compost section is pretty much ready to go, if I can just get the worms out of there.

wpid-20140606_091309.jpgputting the worms to bed

I just really don’t want to do the pyramid thing again. I burned my butt last time. No joke. I was wearing a hoodie and pants and apparently the pants did not meet up with the hoodie and unbeknownst to me, my butt got sunburned and the aloe vera spared me a leaf. Just an FYI, aloe vera does work on sunburns. You take the fattest leaf on the bottom, split it open down the middle and scoop the goop (completely unrelated but funny link). You can save either a portion of the leaf or the goop in the fridge. So what to do this time? I might eventually give in and get a real worm house, put that on the wedding registry! But until then, I’m going to do some heavy duty reading at Red Worm Composting. There’s probably 10000000000000000000000000000000000000 better ideas there than I would ever have on my own!

That all might have to wait for another day, today we’re going out to lunch with the future Grandma In Law, which should be pretty fun. I personally love talking to older people. They are funnier than you are, dirtier than you are, they’ve done it all before and they know a whole hell of a lot more than you. Plus, sometimes you get really good cookies out of the deal. Win-win!

Have a great weekend, everyone! 😀

Thoughts about Clutter, Playing With Succulents and Stuff

This week has been crazy busy! Vacation, then work, work, work, then helping my friend move and then work and now, finally, I can get something that interests me done.

One of my friends’ moved to a smaller town about 10 miles away. It stinks because we were basically neighbors and could shout fart jokes and NSA watch list keywords to each other. Like any good American. But, alas, he moved to a new place and we helped him get packed and what not. While admiring his pile of worldly processions strewn on the ground, I came to the conclusion that I seriously need to declutter my space. When I moved in with that dude I’ll be married to in 27 days and 5 hours plus or minus a few minutes we basically were two households combining. I had a full apartment of kitchen, bath, bed and living room gear as well as his. I have always thought of myself as “move ready” such as most of my clutter (pictures, memorabilia, stuff like that) is stored in boxes and labeled. I just keep dragging them around with me. I am pretty good about keeping my things organized and away, but despite not buying anything since I moved in (except a small table at a thrift store and a few odds and ends from the same store) I still feel like I have too much stuff. I need to either display my pictures or par them down. Just this year, my grandmother’s house sold and I grabbed a bunch of odds and ends from there. It was packed to the gills, let me tell you. Just stuffed. She’d been living there for decades and was a bit of a pack rat. Organized, but man, mountains of stuff. I got some great bowls, plates, odds and ends and, my God, a full jeep hatch worth of photos. No lie. Seats down and everything. Full. Those have to be dealt with.

Since I moved in, I’ve tried to work some things around, but my decorating skills include: do nothing, suddeninspirationgetitdonenow. It’s been almost 2 years now, I really need to get on it. I’m thinking this winter, when it gets cold (who wants to play inside in the summer?) I am going to go through every inch of the house and par things down. From the bedrooms, to my closet, to the basement. Sell it, thrift it, give it away. We want to start storing food in case of emergency, or ay least have a system down. We’ll have more room for beer brewing, soap making (SOON WE ARE MAKING WEDDING SOAP, I PROMISE I WILL DO A BIG POST, REALLY, I’VE MEANT TO DO THAT FOR A WHILE WE JUST ARE TWO PEOPLE WE DON’T MAKE THAT MUCH SOAP) and really get our house organized. I am a wizard at organizing, or at least I was when I was by myself. My cupboards and under my cabinets were “faced” and I had “kits” that I set up for specific tasks, like a dog/cat grooming supplies, laundry supplies, cleaning supplies all organized in bins, labeled and put away. I could tell you verbally without looking where any single item was. Now that our households have combined, it’s been daunting to try and get two houses’ worth of stuff into one organized system. So, pray for me! 😉 Coming this winter! Hopefully I will have some tips for you guys as well, my first tip is: save your shoeboxes and other decent sized boxes. They’re essentially free and work just as well as plastic bins. Plus you can knock them down flat and store them easily.

My friend who moved lived with a roommate, who is a very nice girl and just getting into the dreaded plant hoarding. She’s get herself a decent garden and even a few plants I am jealous of. I gave her one of my baby spider plants and now it’s like 17 spider plants and might have eaten the couch. I talked to her a bit today regarding aloe vera plant issues she was having and hopefully she’ll be all sorted in no time. This inspired me to clean up my plant hoard a bit! Many of my succulents have a few years on their pots and have started to get quite impressive. Some have been turds. Looking at you, sedeveria fanfare. Ya jerk. I took the turd ones and clipped them down until they are just babies again and took a few clippings from my more successful succulents and combined them into one pot. What ever decides to live, wins.

wpid-20140601_104947.jpgclockwise, the turd fanfare, mystery weird plant that used to look like a flower, senecio radican, rhipsalis cassutha, the vaguely labeled “crassula species” and sedum “coral reef”

It’d be great if they’d all grow together to be a glorious display of succulents, but this is seriously the last chance for the turd succulents. I’m not asking them to look perfect, but looking for less Pink Flamingos and more To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything. Ya know, crazy is okay, but not crazzzzzzzzzzzzzzy.

My Formerly Unlucky Now Lucky Bamboo is doing splendid!

wpid-20140601_105623.jpgwe’re like, uh, Wesley Snipes in a dress? Sure…Whatever, lady.

There is still the little rogue in there, I am confident that it is a baby bamboo, very exciting! And my herb bed is finally growing things. There’s some rogue flowers in there, which I am going to leave. I guess I can pick herbs around a few flowers.

wpid-20140601_105022.jpgthe big white spot in the middle is a flower, I didn’t get a close up

wpid-20140601_105030.jpgdill and LOTS OF WEEDS

wpid-20140601_105039.jpgcilantro and LOTS OF WEEDS

I need to weed, badly, but until I know what is what, I am afraid to do it. I guess it will have to wait. Hopefully not too long, I’ve gotta have this place beautiful (or at least tolerable) in 27 days, 4 hours and plus or minus a few minutes.

On that note, I better finish making my wedding dress

Vienna Bread, Pitas, Trouble Makin’

well done, sir!

Just want to get this out of the way:

My goal from last Monday to this Monday was to not drive my Jeep. SUCCESS! It took a little maneuvering and extra trips, but I only used my bicycle! And I worked a full gazillion hours! Granted, I did carpool for a few trips, but I feel that it’s still a success! I was hoping to use this:

wpid-20140512_091538.jpgwscottling mentioned one of these in her blog…seriously, read that post, it was pretty interesting!!

but I managed okay with a backpack. I just have to make multiple trips. When I have to get dog food or something, I plan to make use of my granny cart! I got it from my uncle, who doesn’t remember where he got it and it’s just awesome. I intended to put streamers and a little horn on it because I have no shame, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet.

wpid-2014-05-12-16.14.03.png.pngthis is proof that i have no shame. my uncle made me do it! yes I had a few adult beverages and it was a ridiculous amount of fun and like years ago.

Today was my day off and I decided to make pitas and Vienna bread. Pitas, as I have noted before, are good any time and Vienna bread makes great sandwich bread. It’s an enriched loaf, which means it has more than just flour, yeast, water and salt. To start, I need a pate fermentee, which is really just a fancy way of saying pre-ferment.  Which is kind of like a flavor boost for bread. Since pitas do not require such fancy fixin’s I started them at the same time. Instead of making whole wheat, like I normally do, I made white pitas. Kind of lame, but not everyone loves whole wheat. And besides, I can make more whole wheat ones for me!

wpid-20140512_082220.jpgIT’S ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!

wpid-20140512_083345.jpgpitas, at rest

wpid-20140512_084339.jpgpate fermentee, at rest

wpid-20140222_135645.jpggreyhound and cat, at rest

I am trying to speed up the process. TECHNICALLY, I should have put the pre-ferment in the fridge over night, but I didn’t have that kind of time. So my reasoning was to finish the pitas and then move on to the Vienna bread, giving it time to work it’s yeast magic…stuff…

wpid-20140512_102919.jpgshaped into balls, roll ’em out, stick ’em in the oven.

wpid-20140512_112448.jpgdelicious!!

So waiting on the Vienna bread, I made a grocery list:

wpid-20140512_091432.jpgi am a lefty. watch me use a can opener and weep.

Then I hopped on the bike to the store. I managed to get most of what I needed at the local place and was starting to ride back when I saw another place I hadn’t been to before. I was under the impression that they only sold grains and like real specific things, so I dropped in for a visit. I did need lentils and they’re sort of a grain, right? Well, it was early in the morning and whomever was working there did not seem to be thrilled to see a smelly, sweaty chick raging in on a bicycle screaming about lentils. But she did point me to the lentils and I would have stayed longer to check it out, but, um, she didn’t seem in the mood. Oh well, I’ll try again. I wouldn’t want to deal with me first thing in the morning either. It’s nothing but off color jokes.

NSFW

I got home and put my stuff away and then went out to buy a lining for the wedding dress! I went to a big box store (booooo!) but there isn’t any locally owned place. Too bad I guess, I brought the top part of the dress in a tote bag and off I went. I looked at about every single purple in the store and went with…

drumroll…

drumroll…

wpid-20140512_123213.jpgwell, it’s certainly purple. i got that right.

wpid-20140512_123231.jpgi like it!

There was a darker purple that I liked better, but it was too dark under the crochet. It looked navy. Oh well, I am please! Now I just have to figure out how to do it! Cost of the wedding dress so far is $72. Suck it, David’s Bridal! That might be a joke only weirdos in the Midwest get. I dunno, any of ya’ll got a ridiculously expensive chain outlet that sells over priced wedding dresses and bridesmaids dresses and are fairly useless? One of my friends is getting married in August and I am a bridesmaid and I DON’T EVEN WANT to tell you how much fun (none) going to David’s Bridal was. Anyway!

I got a ton of fabric so hopefully I am free to make mistakes, but I have a pretty concrete plan of “laying the crochet over the fabric and cutting or something like that.”

That’s my story. Sticking to it. On to Vienna bread!

wpid-20140512_153742.jpgGETTING BUSY UP IN HERRE!

As I mentioned, I prefer this in a bread pan to be used as sandwich bread, which means we have to shape it. Here’s how!

wpid-20140512_153933.jpglay the whole thing out and stretch it into a rectangle, sort of.

wpid-20140512_154030.jpgcut it in half and stretch it to be as long as the pan

wpid-20140512_154055.jpgroll it up, pinching it as you roll

wpid-20140512_154203.jpgstretch out the last bit and pinch the seam as well as you can.

wpid-20140512_154322.jpgturn it seam side down and roll it back and forth a bit so the seam calms down. It doesn’t have to be perfect, unless you’re serving the pope or something. that’s your business.

Set it in the pan and wait for it to rise!

Baked up and ready to eat:

wpid-20140512_172745.jpgwe almost ate the pan