Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I have no clue how to photograph scrapbook pages. I can take a pretty decent picture. I can put together a pretty decent lay out. I cannot take a picture of it all coming together! I did my best. These are a few of my favorite lay outs from last weekend.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Meatless Monday! Cranberry Chutney

I think we're set up for at least 5 weeks worth of Meatless Mondays now! Last week I felt depleted and recipe-less, now I've got 3 recipes on deck and two to try and post about. Yes!

For Thanksgiving I tried this Cranberry Chutney recipe from Make It Give It. It was a bit of a circus trying to gather the ingredients. I had the cranberries in the freezer, I bought the herbs, and then I went on the hunt for vanilla beans. I saw them at Costco last year, so I headed there first. No dice. On to the first grocery store. Nope. On to the second grocery store, which had them but WOWZERS they're expensive! $16.99 for two beans! A lady standing next to me was shaking her head and wishing me luck and a yummy recipe!

So, it seems I was the only one who did not like this. Perhaps it was a bit too complex for me, so much savory going on with the crystallized ginger and herbs and onions. You got the bitter/tangy with the cranberries, and sweet with the oranges. Wow! A LOT going on.

I served it over cream cheese with crackers. People gobbled it up! People asked to take some home, and I gladly obliged! I saved some for my husband because he liked it, too.

So, there you have it. I thought it was a flop, but I was happily mistaken. I say give it a try for yourselves for a nice Christmas spread!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fibers on Friday: Afghans for Afghans Sweater

It might not be the best week for a linky party, but I'm gonna post anyway. I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones. I hope you were able to take a breather amongst the chaos and give thanks for the messy kitchen, the loud kids, the not-so easy-to handle family member, and the gravy that just wouldn't thicken.

I have been busy all week with cooking and working on a special furniture refinishing project! No pics yet, but come next week, you'll be inundated with pictures of what I've been up to! I've got a couple Meatless Monday posts lined up to get us ready for Christmas! Oh yes, Cranberry Chutney and Sweet Potato Casserole.

Last weekend a few girlfriends and I rented a beach house to get away and scrapbook and craft all weekend. It was so wonderful! It was full of creativity, wine, great food, laughter, music, and a couple of great one-liners!

I found myself sighing....out loud.... a lot! It came to the attention of my friends, who laughed at me every time I did it. I concluded that I have "Craft Apnea" a condition whereby I stop breathing while engaged in heavy crafting. One witty friend diagnosed it as "Crapnea". We got a kick outta that one all weekend. Despite lack of oxygen, I managed to pound out at least 12 layouts....maybe I'll post them next week, too.

In knitting news, I frogged the hat I showed you last week. Thanks for your support and insight as to what may have occurred with the bulky parts of the yarn. As I was reading through ravelry yesterday I saw someone mention using a variegated yarn and using two skeins and alternating rows to avoid "pooling". Ahhhhh! What a good idea! Another learning moment and another one-liner from the weekend:

If I'm not learning', I'm burnin'

Oh yes, clever.

The sweater I'm knitting for Afghans for Afghans is called The Steppe Ahead sweater. I'm using yarn from my stash that was given to me by my aunt who currently lives in Hawaii and finds no need to knit sweaters in her climate. Bonus for me! It's Ram's Wool Superwash in a teal color. I'm really loving it so far. I'm linking this up to a new party called Work in Progress Wednesday. Come check it out!

To read more about the cause and the current campaign please visit their site:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks. Acrostic Style

To say I'm thankful is just not enough.
Heart full of gratitude is what I carry, bursting!
Another year spent near family.
Not lost on me, the bounty we have.
Kinship! Cousins! The most precious of relationships.
Surrounded by family-today I revel.

*From wiki: An acrostic (Greek: ákros "top"; stíchos "verse") is a poem or other form of writing in which the first letter, syllable or word of each line, paragraph or other recurring feature in the text spells out a word or a message

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: 5 Years Ago

** I have to say, isn't it adorable how our dog is looking at me like, "Are you sure it's ok they're going into the kitchen?" And I remember how much I LOVED these little turtlenecks and jeans:-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fibers on Friday: A Flop For Me

This week was a flop for me. I started the little hat for one of my girls and there are several things wrong with it:

  • The yarn is cool. It's the type that goes back and forth from thin to thick. It lends itself to cool visual interest. That, coupled with the cool colors, should make for an awesome hat. But, the chunky parts of the yarn came around at the SAME point in the rounds every.single.time! So, you can see in the ribbing, it's chunky every 2 inches! Am I missing something obvious here, friends? Is there some algebraic equation that makes perfect sense as to why this happened? Or is it purely coincidence? Either way, I don't like how it looks. It's very uneven and not in a nice random kind of way.
  • It's too big! The little one says she likes it just fine, "It's perfect!" But it seriously fits me.
  • I ran out of yarn! I can't finish it until I get back to the yarn store.
So, that's all I have for you this week.

On a positive and more exciting note, I've decided my next project will be another sweater for Afghans for Afghans! Last year I made my very first sweater for the cause and I figure it's about time to do another. The campaign right now is asking for sweaters, vests, hats, socks, and mittens for youth. I have fours skeins of superwash wool. I will try to make a sweater, but if I look low on yarn, it will be a vest. Visit their site to read all about it.

I'm going away this weekend! It's a girl's scrapbooking weekend at a beach house! It's fall and it's chilly, but I'm looking forward to being "down the shore" for a nice productive weekend! I know it will be a busy week with Thanksgiving festivities. I'm thankful for you all who take the time to look at my projects and comment and even join in on the fun!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Haiku and Knots

She learned to tie knots

to adorn her tiny wrists

with friendship bracelets

Monday, November 15, 2010

Meatless Monday and Other Stuff

I have 36 recipes tagged as Meatless Monday on this blog. I'm fresh out of new recipes right now! I have to admit I'm not all that inspired in the kitchen lately, what with all the knitting going on! But, I'm going to post a recipe from a while back. I have several new followers, so it will be new to someone and perhaps a reminder of a good recipe for someone else who's been following for a while.

Cheesy Lentils and Rice

While I'm at it, let this post be a refresher on a couple of things I believe in. Do you save plastic bottle caps for recycling? I know there are charities out there for which you can save. But, if you'd like to recycle them and just don't know where to send them, you can send them to Aveda. Here's my bottle cap post:

Collecting Bottle Caps

Are you curious about my continued use of my homemade natural deodorant? Well, I'm here to say I'm still exclusively using it and will never stop! Here's my deodorant post:

Homemade Natural Deodorant

I'm trying to think of any other random thing I'd like to talk about.....

Nope, I think I'm good. Have a great week, everyone!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Beyond the Cornucopia

I volunteer at a Thrift Store every Friday. It is such a cool thing to do! First of all, 100% of the proceeds go towards the running of a bereavement center for kids. Kids who have lost a loved one have a safe place to come and talk, get help, and honor and remember the one they've lost. That's huge.

But, on a personal....FUN!....level, it's such a cool thing to do because I get to lay my hands on everything that comes through the donation door that day! And I get to browse the goodies that have come in all week out in the store. I've scored a couple great pairs of jeans and nice clothes for my kids. I look forward to my 4 hours on Friday sifting through bags and bags of goodies!

Here's what I found last week. I keep drooling over everyone's festive fall mantels. As I may have mentioned here, my decor hasn't gone much beyond a cornucopia stuffed with fake gourdes. So, I was on the look out for thrifty additions to my holiday flare.

Here is the nice brown vase I found already adorned with a lovely orange ribbon for a buck! Nice. Autumnal. But, I thought I could jazz it up a bit. So jazz I did....

I simply removed the ribbon and wrapped some raffia around the vase (adhering with a little hot glue every here and there as I wrapped it around) and tied on some decorative berries and a leaf. Much better! I love it!

Can't wait to see what I find next time!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fibers on Friday: How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?

Hopefully while wearing an adorable little bib like this! (Pattern by Elaine Fitzpatrick)

I made this bib for a friend who is expecting a little one in December. She lives far away from me, but she holds a special place in my heart because she threw me an amazing baby shower when I was expecting my twins. I have not knit a baby gift for 3 years, but she deserves a special handmade gift, so I took the plunge.

I used Cotton Ease for this. I hope it is the right choice! It feels great. It looks great. I just hope it holds up to washing and being spit up on! I also hope it doesn't take too much effort on the part of the mom to keep it looking nice....like laying flat to dry, etc. These are things I didn't really consider until I was knee deep in knitting it....oooops.

And next up on my needles is a little hat for one of my kids. I'm just going to do another simple ribbed brim hat for her. This yarn is called Wrapunzel by Knit One Crochet Too. I visited my favorite yarn store yesterday and came home with this and some Cascade Eco Wool for my next sweater....the Shalom!

These Boots

By Beth December 2002

These boots marched me through the paths of Ft. Leonard Wood as my voice grew hoarse bellowing cadence for the very first time.

These boots supported my stance in the foxhole as I shot my first target and was deemed "bunny hunter" by the Drill Sergeants.

The creases in the toes of these boots came from the training I received at Ft. Sam Houston. Only the boots of a medic know how it feels to crack under the pressure of helping a fellow soldier in need. "Conserve the fighting strength".

These boots waited patiently to be unpacked from my duffle at our very first assignment-Ft. Irwin, California. They left their print in the desert sands of the Mojave as the Mojave left a print on my heart.

I left rubber from the soles of these boots in Texas. That's the only part of my soul Ft. Hood can have!

These boots were on my feet as I stood before the TV in disbelief the morning of September 11th. They were willing to carry me wherever needed in support of my country.

I'm thankful these boots have never trudged through the horror of war and have never felt the heat of hostile desert sands.

These boots have supported the "kimchi squat" in the rice fields and training areas of South Korea.

These boots have traveled with me across America and across the globe. The layers of polish attest to my five years of experience. Just as my service has come to end, so has theirs. They will forever remain in my closet. A tribute to my service-


Some of the most important people in my life are soldiers or veterans. I have the pleasure of having lunch with two of them today; my husband and my Dad. As the years go by since the time I served, I find myself becoming more and more emotional on Veteran's Day. My head just shakes when I think of the sacrifices my friends (and their families) have made, and continue to make, for their country. So, on this Veteran's Day, my emotions run deep, my gratitude runs deep, and my pride runs deep. Thank you to soldiers, then and now, for all that you've done.

My Dad in Vietnam

My husband (right) in flight school 2001

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Run, Turkey, Run!

I'm desperate for Thanksgiving decorations. Up until this year I've maxed out at a cornucopia stuffed with fake gourdes. Not that I want my whole house decorated with kids crafts, but this turned out really cute and fun for us to do together. I based it off of what I saw on this blog.

I took paper towel rolls and cut them into 3 inch pieces and we painted them red, orange or brown. Then, we took fall-themed scrapbooking paper and folded them accordian style and stuffed them in for tail feathers.

While the girls were in school, I cut circles for faces, gobblet jiggly turkey neck thingies, feet, beaks, and wings.

(I cut out all those parts free-hand. My artistic ability astounds me sometimes...haha)

And then we glued all the pieces on together! Super cute and festive.....Run, Turkey, Run!!!

After we were finished and I had them lined up on the ledge, I realized I had 8 turkeys; just enough to spell t-h-a-n-k-f-u-l. I feel like cutting out some circles and putting those letters on the tail feathers, but I don't want to take away from the look. Maybe I'll just make a banner.....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fibers on Friday: A Hat For Me

I've had this yarn for about a year now. It's Plymouth Earth Ranch. I bought it specifically for a hat for myself because my winter jacket is white with a black collar. So, I set out to knit this a couple days ago. I wanted to use this pattern, The Amanda Hat. I held two strands together and started knitting, but it just wasn't what I was aiming for, so I frogged. I decided to just do this simple ribbed brim hat using one strand of the yarn. It's very light, very stretchy, but very warm. Every hat I've knitted for myself turns out too shallow, so I thought making such a wide brim that can be rolled up would help out with that. I plan on finishing it up tonight and my next project is a baby bib.

I cast on 83 stitches (about 5 stitches to the inch is my gauge). I did a 2 x 2 rib for a few inches and then just knitted around and around until I was happy and ready to decrease.

Decrease rounds:
Rd 1: knit 5, knit 2 tog....repeat all the way around
Rd2 and all even rounds: knit
Rd 3: knit 4, knit 2 tog
Rd 5: knit 3, knit 2 tog
Rd 7: knit 2, knit 2 tog
Rd 9: knit 1, knit 2 tog
rd 11: knit 2 tog
close it up and weave in ends

It was another great week of linking! Thanks guys!! You make me happy!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Meatless Monday! Barley Soup

This is the recipe off the Quaker pearl Barley box....sans meat.


  • 1/2 cup(s) chopped onion

  • 2 garlic cloves; minced
  • 7 cup(s) water
  • 16 ounce(s) no-salt-added tomatoes - undrained, chopped
  • 1/2 cup(s) quaker pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup(s) sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup(s) sliced carrots
  • 2 veggie bouillon cubes
  • 1 teaspoon(s) basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) black pepper
  • 9 ounce(s) frozen mixed vegetables


  • In 4-quart saucepan saute onion and garlic until tender
  • Add remaining ingredients except frozen vegetables.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low; cover.
  • Simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add frozen vegetables; cook 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables and barley are tender.

The leftovers are thawing for our Halloween night dinner....nice and warm for a cool fall night!