Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Idaho's Fossil Beds

We thought this was going to be a terrific side trip. After you get there though you get to read the sign, and look off into the distance to see the ridge, where all the fossils were found.

Yep that's it, so much for Idaho's fossil beds.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Colorado Hotels Pet Rabbits

We awoke at our motel just outside of Denver Colorado to the cutest batch of rabbits. They certainly weren't shy of strangers.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wyoming Desolate But Great Bufflo Burgers

Wyoming started out green and lovely, though the farther west it also became that dreaded brown, dried up landscape.
I love rocks, especially out of place rocks, like this one tottering in a field.

A short trip off the main road on a disty hill sits The Ames Monument. Its rough to get up close and to get back down. There is a plaque with the full story, if you don't know who the 2 brothers Oliver and Oakes from Massachusetts were.

A quick stop at Turtle Rock to watch some mountain climbers work their way to the top. Great picnic areas if you take your lunch.

This is the famous Terry Bison Ranch. When they tell you their Buffalo burgers have won tons of awards, believe them. Hubby and I like ours rare, the best way to eat Buffalo.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Market Bags for the Garden

These are a couple of Market Bags I did for my little brother and my nephew. They have a very sucessful garden on the top of a Mountain in Tennessee. He constantly sends me pictures of piles of vegetable goodies. I wish we had had time to put in some vegetables this year.
I used simple Red Heart Saver, figuring that these will probably only last a couple of seasons, but can also be washed in the washing machine. These should hold more produce then you would want to carry.
the pattern is here:

and the water bottle case is from The Elusive Loos blog. I made different handles and really lengthened them, since my little brother tops out at 6'5".
this favorite pattern is found here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Visiting Antelope Island in Utah

We wouldn't have known about this hidden treasure, except for a local waitress that said, Don't miss it. You travel by a thin, narrow road that is filled with birds, feasting on the brine shrimp. They are the only thing that survives in the high salt content.

Even though we didn't hike far, the Antelope willing posed for the camera near the road toward the ranch. You have several beaches, where you can swim, or should I say float, since with the 5 times the salt as in the ocean, even I can float.

Every where you look the still water reflects the surrounding mountains. I am surprised I didn't see local artists lined up along the roadside.

Closer view if the birds along the roadside.

Finally came the buffalo. Some traveled alone, and other herds of them stood on the beaches, by the water and looked like they were standing on snow. They came within 10 feet of the truck, more curious then anything.
This side-trip is definitely worth the half day if you drive, or full day if you plan to hike, where I am told there are Mountain Goats, we have this park marked to go back to when we have more time. Oh and did I mention there is now a restaraunt that serves some pretty good buffalo burgers too.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

It's So Hard Reading Posts, Let Alone Writing

Work has taken off, even with the economy supposedly still falling. Traveling takes up a big portion of our time. This last store was in the state of Washington, which was 2,225 miles from our house. We of course stop and see things on our way there and back.

The trip there was pretty bland, seeing mostly browns. From Oklahoma we went through, Kansas, Colorado, ate Buffalo Burgers in Wyoming, visited Antelope Island in Utah, the wonderful Shoshone Falls in Idaho, shot through eastern Oregon and went forever through the Eastern part of Washington. ( Totally boring trip through that part of Washington.)

We had a 45 minute drive to the construction site from Everett, this was a shot I took on our way to work one morning. Luckily we finally moved to another motel closer to the job site, a very nice Best Western, with those thick comforters. That also increased our work days to 14 hours.

I took tons of yarn, but didn't start or finish a single project. Guess it was the stress of the job. Western Washington is filled with some of the rudest people I have have ever met in my life. Though I must admit all but 2 of the people were men. So it could just be possibly the men up there don't like women telling them what to do. Geesh, I need a vacation.

This was Shoshone Falls. Lovely isn't it?

and We were blessed with a rainbow.....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Try Comfort Crochet Make a Flowers Shawl

Try Comfort Crochet Make a Flowers Shawl

A dear blogger friend has gotten me hooked on crocheted shawls. I never thought I was a shawl person, but I find myself reaching for one quite often. Just a little something to throw around my shoulders, when I want to retire to my bed and sit back cushioned with tons of pillows, to quietly watch a Jane Austen movie. I love them all, all British Dramas. Perhaps I lived in another time, because I am always drawn back to the same movies over and over again.

This Flower Shawl from the Caron Website http://www.caron.com/projects/ss/ss17_flowers_shawl.html
has already left my possession. My daughter-in-law saw it and immediately fell in love with it. Off to Arkansas it went, perhaps to throw around her shoulders as she watches her favorite movies.

I made this from 5 skeins of #2715 Seashell Simply Soft. It was extremely easy and the fringe was fun to do.

If you love shawls or have never tried one, you must visit Pammy's Blog, Scotty's Place. Or if you just want a shawl and don't crochet, then visit her at her Etsy shop, where she may have a few of her gorgeous shawls for sale.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Playing Catch-Up Keeping with July??

Sorry I haven't been keeping up with my blog recently. I had a really bad case of Strep throat, and not being able to take any anti-biotics it just seemed to hang on forever.What little crocheting and knitting I did do was centered around the 4th of July. Below are some of the things I made.
The first afghan is Beth's Star Afghan, I added small star motifs to the points. You can find her pattern here.
Next was tons of gift bags for the 8th Annual Blow My Fort Up Contest. Some of these are just for the little neighborhood kids that don't actually participate with destroying each others Fort. The pattern takes less than a skein of Worsted Weight 4 ply. The water bottle are from a terrific pattern here at The Elusive Loos. I made long handles and short ones both, making the handle separetely and ones where I just kept going.
The Gift Bags are actually market bags from Krystal at Crochetville. The pattern is here.

The final afghan was trying to deal with Red Hearts stars and Stripes variegated. Everything I made looked terrible, so I kept starting projects then spending the rest of the evening tearing them out. I finally settled on an afghan pattern called Gentle Waves. Mixed with just the Hot Red and Blue it looked okay. You can't add white, because the variegated has more of a cream in it.
This afghan is found here:

or in pdf file here

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Banana Bread My Favorite Recipe

Banana Bread My Favorite Recipe

This is the recipe I always go back to, time and again. It is written on one of my recipe cards, so I am assuming that it is my recipe, pre-stroke. Double the recipe, because this loaf freezes well. I also use this recipe to make minature loafs to tuck into my Christmas cookie baskets.

1 Stick Margarine, melted
1 c. Sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
4 Large mashed bananas
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
Nuts are optional. 1/2 cup pecans

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Melt your margarine in a large bowl. Mix sugar into your melted margarine. Add eggs, one at a time and whisk until blended.
Add mashed bananas, beating well. If you are going to add pecans, dredge them in a cup of your flour and add. Add salt, cinnamon, and soda along with flour. Blend until just mixed.

Pour into your loaf pan, that has been sprayed with Pam.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes. Use a toothpick or a metal cake tester. Make sure they come out clean in the dead center.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Spicy Ground Turkey Chili

Spicy Ground Turkey Chili

When beef prices got so high, we started switching our ground beef recipes to ground turkey. When my
doctor became amazed at my good cholesterol levels, we continued to use the ground turkey. This is a
simple one-pan chili that can be served alone, or over Frito's with cheese or my new favorite is over
ramen noodle soup noodles, drained, omitting the little spice package that comes with it. Again you can
add cheese on top or not.
If you ever accidental get your chili too hot for your taste, just add unsweetened chocolate and it will take
some of the heat away.

2 Large Onions, chopped
Olive Oil for seasoning your pan for the onions
2 1-pound packages of frozen ground turkey
8 tsp Chili powder
2 tsp beef bouillon
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Tony Chachere's More Spice Seasoning ( Optional)
3 Cans Chili Beans ( you can use vegetarian beans if you would prefer, no flavor change)
1 Can Tomato Sauce

Coarsely chop your onions, pour olive oil in the bottom of your pot and start heating it. When its nice and
hot, add your chopped onions and let them cook until they are translucent, but not brown.
In a bowl, open your ground turkey, and add your spices to the center of the meat. Using the back of a
spoon work the spices into the meat. Add the meat to pot, at med-high when your onions are done. Brown
your meat. The browner the meat gets the more flavor, without going to the extent of burning.
Add your tomato sauce, and allow it to heat. Add your canned beans, one can at a time, again allowing
each one to heat, stirring occasionally.
Taste test to check your spices. My hubby would probably add 4 more Tbs. of Chili powder at this time if I
would let him. He adds it at the table to his own taste.
Adjust your spices, just don't add salt until serving. ( Salt is so very bad for you and I swear it's addictive.)
Let simmer for at least 1/2 hour - 1 hour.
This only gets better the next day, and freezes beautifully. I use the plastic freezer tubs, which is just right
for 2. They even travel with us in the cooler (frozen) so we can enjoy a home cooked meal while on the

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pumpkin Bars

I know these remind everyone of autumn get together but I tend to use pumpkin all year-long. This is an old recipe off the raisin boxes. I remember when raisins were rock solid coming out of the box.
I have added my changes to the recipe on the side. I like more raisins, and like a thicker, cream cheesier frosting.

2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon ( I always add 2 tsp, because its so good for you.)
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1 cup vegetable oil
1 16oz can (2 cups pumpkin) ( the last pumpkin I bought was only 15 oz. )
4 eggs
1/3 cup chopped nuts ( I omit these)
1/2 cups raisins ( I add 1 to 2 cups softened raisins)
2 cups powdered sugar ( I add 4 cups)
1/3 cups margarine or butter ( I add 1/2 cup)
1 (3 oz) pkg cream cheese softened ( I add an 8 oz pkg, so I can taste the cream cheese)
1 Tbs. Milk ( I add a little at a time until spreading consistency)
1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 1 15x10x1 inch baking pan.

Put your raisins in a microwave safe bowl and cover with water. Heat for 3 minutes and let set in water until you are ready to add.

Combine all your ingredients in your mixing bowl, except for nuts and raisins., beat at low speed until your ingredients are moistened. Increase your speed to medium for 2 minutes.

Drain you raisins, well. On low speed add your nuts and raisins until just blended.

Pour into your greased & floured pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.

Frosting: Combine your butter, cheese, milk and vanilla and beat until light. Add your powdered sugar, ( again I double mine). Beat on high until smooth and creamy.

Frost when cooled. Cut into bars. Store into refrigerator.
Yield is 48 bars.

If you are using a 9x13x2 inch pan, bake for 45 - 50 minutes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pink Worsted Seraphina Shawl

I needed something for the new grand baby's mother to curl up in when she breastfeeds during the night. She is always cold, so when we took up the rocking chair that everyone of our grandchildren has been rocked in, I realized she needed something for over her shoulders. I still need to block it before it gets sent off in the mail. I think I might try a pair of Luna's lovely slippers in pink to match.

3 Skeins of Hobby Lobby 4 Ply Worsted in #100 Pink
Size K Crochet Hook

Monday, June 1, 2009

Trying New Flavors of Cake Balls

I am addicted to making cake balls. I had graduations, birthdays and thought I will just make everyone different flavors. Then I got nervous, What if one turned out better than the others, so I made mixed pans. I took those throw away 9x13 inch aluminum cake pans with the lids, and filled one for each kid.
The flavors I mixed were:

Vanilla Cake Mix,( with 1/2 cup peanut butter added while mixing), Milk Chocolate Frosting and Chocolate Almond Bark

Party Rainbow Chip Cake Mix, Cream Cheese Rich & Creamy Frosting, and Vanilla Almond Bark

Lemon Cake Mix, Lemon Supreme Creamy Frosting, and Wiltons Yellow Candy Wafers

Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix, Milk Chocolate Frosting, and Chocolate Almond Bark
The Party Rainbow Cake Balls went first at the graduation.
You can find the recipe here

Blossom-Beaded Scrunchie

I am getting ready to make up some little girls purses for charity, and wanted a few things to tuck into them, so I thought I would design up a few scrunchies. This is the first.

Blossom-Beaded Scrunchie

Size G Hook
4 ply Worsted Weight Acrylic ( Use Your Scraps with this one)
Goody Elastic Ouchless Band
String 12 Pony beads onto your yarn.

Attach your yarn to a Goody Elastic Ouchless Band.

Rnd 1: ch1, 24 sc in your elastic ring. join.

Rnd 2: ch 5, slide a bead up again your last ch, ch 5 more Skip sc, sl st into next sc. * (ch 5, slide a bead up again your last ch, ch 5 more Skip sc, sl st into next sc) rep from *.

Rnd 3: Sl st into the first skipped sc on Rnd 2. ( stay to the front of your bead petals). 1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 hdc, 1 sc in same stitch. You are making a shell in the one sc. * (Sl st into the next skipped sc, make a shell ( 1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 hdc, 1 sc in this sc.) Rep from * until you have 12 petals. Join to first sc.

Weave in ends. Now make another for your favorite charity.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Crochet Superstar Baby Blanket Tutorial - Part 1


Crochet Superstar Baby Blanket Tutorial

So many of you have been writing me needing a bit of help with this pattern. It is poorly written and gave me some trouble too. The first afghan was made using Bernat Softee Baby ( which I Love for baby, but in this tutorial, I wanted you to see the stitches clearly so In This example I used:
Less than ½ skein of Lion Brand Pound of Love in # 157 Pastel Yellow and 2 Strands of Hobby Lobby's Baby Bee, Sweet Delight Pomp in #2106 Sweetpea Held Together.
You use 2 Colors: MC = your main color
A = your contrasting color

Step 1: Chain 5 and join into a ring.
Rnd 1: Ch3 ( Will count as one of your dc here and from now on), 19dc in ring. Join to the top of beginning ch3. (20dc)

Rnd 2: Ch1, 1 sc in same space as last sl st. *Skip next sc (3dc, Ch3, 3dc) in next sc – shell made. Skip next sc, 1 sc in next sc. Repeat from * around omitting sc at end of last rep. Join to first sc.

You should have 5 points. Count them now, and adjust this round.

Rnd 3: Sl st in the next 2 dc. Ch3 (counts as a dc) , 1 dcin next dc. *Shell in next ch-3 sp. 1 dc in next 2 dc. Skip next dc, sc and dc. ** 1 dc in next 2 dc. Repeat from * around ending at the **. Join Color A to the top of ch 3.

Rnd 4: With Color A, sl st in next dc. Ch3, 1 dc in next 3 dc. *Ch1, 5 dc in next ch-3 sp. Drop the loop from hook. Insert hook into first of 5 dc and pull dropped loop through – Bobble made. Ch3. Bobble in same ch-3 sp. Ch1, 1 dc in next 4 dc ** Skip next 2 dc, 1 dc in next 4 dc. Rep from * around ending at **. Join MC to top of ch3.

Note: After your second bobble, one of your dc will try and hide itself under the bobble. Make sure you have 4.

Rnd 5: With MC, sl st in next dc. Ch 3, 1 dc in next 2 dc *1 dc in next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in next bobble. Shell in next ch-3 sp. 1 dc in next bobble. 1 dc in next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in next 3 dc. ** Skip next 2 dc. 1 dc in next 3 dc. Rep from * around ending at **. Join to top of ch 3.

Note: Make sure you have 8 dc on each side of your point. (8 dc, ch 3, 8 dc, skip 2)
Go On to Page 2

Crochet Superstar Baby Blanket Tutorial - Part 2


Rnd 6: Sl st in next dc. Ch 3, 1 dc in next 6 dc. * Shell in next ch-3 sp. 1 dc in next 7 dc. ** Skip next 2 dc, 1dc in nect 7 dc. Rep from ** around ending at **. Join to top of ch 3.

Note: Make sure you have 10 dc on each side of your point. (10 dc, ch 3, 10 dc, skip 2)

Rnd 7: Sl st in next dc. Ch3, 1 dc in next 8 dc. *Shell in next ch-3 sp, 1 dc in next 9 dc. **Skip next 2 dc. 1 dc in next 9 dc. Rep from * around ending at **. Join color A to top of ch 3.

Note: Make sure you have 12 dc on each side of your point. (12 dc, ch 3, 12 dc, skip 2)

Rnd 8: With color A, sl st in next dc. Ch3, 1 dc in next 10 dc. *Ch 1. (Bobble, ch 3, Bobble) in next ch-3 sp. Ch 1, 1 dc in next 11 dc. **Skip next 2 dc, 1 dc in next 11 dc. Rep from * around, ending at **. Join MC to top of ch 3.

Note: Make sure you have 11 dc on each side of your point. (11 dc, ch 1, Bobble, ch 3, Bobble, 11 dc, skip 2)

Rnd 9: With MC, sl st in next dc. Ch 3, 1 dc in next 9 dc. 1 dc in next ch-1 sp, 2 dc in top of next bubble. Shell in next ch-3 sp, 2 dc on top of next bubble. 1 dc in next ch-1 sp, 1 dc in next 10 dc.**. Skip next 2 dc. 1 dc in next 11 dc. Rep from *around ending at **. Join to top of ch 3.

Note: Make sure you have 16 dc on each side of your point. (16 dc, ch 3, 16 dc, skip 2)

Rnd 10: Sl st in next dc. Ch 3, 1 dc in next 14 dc. *Shell in next ch-3 sp, 1 dc in next 15 dc. ** Skip next 2 dc. 1 dc in next 15 dc. Rep from * around, ending at **. Join to top of ch 3.

Note: Make sure you have 18 dc on each side of your point. (18 dc, ch 3, 18 dc, skip 2)

Go Back to Part 1

Go To Part 3