Sunday, February 23, 2014

Patience is a virtue.  My parents would say that to me when I was a kid.  Still true today.  I am yearning for nicer weather and last week we were lucky enough to have a couple days to melt the snow and now we are on the way back into the deep freeze not able to get above freezing for the balance of this coming week.  
I started a new sweater knitting project.  I actually can read and usually fairly well but after four restarts on this sweater I was beginning to doubt it.  Just this afternoon I realize I made yet another mistake( that I am deeming a design element).  I have decided this one is workable and I can continue past it.  This sweater is the first one to have sleeves-at first I thought I must secretly be afraid of them (and hence the mistakes). YIKES!!
After all that frustration I decided to try my hand at a little cooking.  I decided a few weeks ago to cook meals ahead on the weekend to make weeknight meals easier.  It really does work.  Today I baked a turkey, made side dishes, coffeecake and made a quick snack.  For those of you who enjoy the sweet and salty combo here is a fast recipe for you:  Fast almond bark pretzels.
Almond bark
parchment paper and quart size zip top freezer bag
Take 1/2 a standard size bag of pretzels any shape will do and lay out on 2 pieces of parchment paper one layer thick.
Open plastic bag.
Take 1/2 package of almond bark and place in microwave bowl  microwave 60 seconds stir and another 20-30 to completely melt.
Pour melted bark into plastic bag, cut off a small bottom corner and quickly drizzle bark over pretzels.  Let cool, break up and enjoy.  We store ours in another zip topped storage bag gallon sized.  Recipe can be doubled.
Have you had any opportunities to cultivate any patience this week?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Today finds us digging out from the snow that fell over the last two days and preparing for the icy mix that is predicted for overnight.  The last of the livestock barn has been scooped and all the animals have been fed and all have access to plenty of water.  Our second batch of chicks (from are scheduled to arrive sometime this week.  The good news is that temperatures are on the rise to above freezing for the week.  The first batch of chicks are a couple weeks old now and are staring to grow their first real feathers.  This second batch will also be 4-H projects and of the egg-laying variety. 
A couple weeks ago I needed a boost and went back to the fabric store and found some half yards of beautiful fabric and today decided to start a new sewing project.  It is the Japanese Knot Bag that I found located here
Now to search for the right yarn for the project bag.  I think given my recent purchases I will be setting at the sewing machine often in the next several weeks.
.This weekend has also found me checking into the webpages of a few more colleges that have majors that may interest my oldest teen.  He in his mind has picked the ideal one already and feels that the search is over.  Chances are in a year or so he and I will both know the answer... to be continued.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

This week has been busy.  My teenagers both belong to a local 4-H club and they show (among other things) poultry.  The first batch of baby chicks arrived in the mail.  Since it has been so cold this winter we needed a warm place with a heat lamp and the chicks began their life of luxury in out basement.  The good news is that the weather is to moderate and the chicks will be moved midweek to the next location outside with a heat lamp in predator proof quarters.

My oldest signed up for his first try at the college ACT test.  It was an eye-opener for me as the required paperwork is quite lengthy. The college planning process is new to this household and I hope we are not missing any big things.  We will be finding out at the end of the month if he will be inducted into the Torch Club as well as his senior year class schedule.

I am fed up with the snow and cold.  I went back to the fabric store and went a little crazy buying more material for knitting project bags all in Spring colors/themes.  Today I packed up all my store bought sweaters(except one for Valentine's Day).  This week I plan to change out my snowflake dishes for spring flower themed ones and take the snowflake sheets off the bed.  I am quite ready for the season to change and for warmer weather to arrive.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Today we find ourselves digging out from the most recent snow, filling feeders, checking automatic waterers and giving vaccinations. Six weeks before the doe goats have babies we give booster shots and supplements to protect them for another year and give their babies the boost they will need after birth.  We have fewer goat numbers than we have had for many years primarily because my 4-Hers (aka teenage children) are becoming so involved in other things that  I have less help getting the work done.   The funny thing about this time of year my mind goes into overdrive about what to add to this years routine.  I get seed catalogs and have grandiose ideas of what to plant and harvest.  I am usually looking to the farm advertisements for chick days to purchase more chicks.  As well as I look at breeds of livestock and dream about the time when I can start a spinners flock of sheep.  My husband is less enthused on all fronts but I continue to check websites for breeders for just the right breed of sheep.  What will most likely happen is that I will instead shop for a fleece or two this year to get my fleecy fix.
Today football reigns as it is the day of the Superbowl.  My favorites are the television commercials and the food.  This recipe is from my mother in law and the recipe card looks well worn and much loved and it will be served during the game.

Hot Dog Appetizers
Take 1 pound package of hotdogs and cut into 1 inch pieces
Mix in a pan 1/2 cup catsup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 pkg (approx.1ounce) brown gravy mix
1/4 tsp. tabasco sauce
Bring ingredients in pan to a simmer to dissolve sugar then add hotdogs.  Heat through and serve with toothpicks.

May your plans for 2014 take shape.  Let me hear some of your ideas.