Friday, March 29, 2013

13:52 things that grow

Project 52
I have about 52 ideas of things that grow.
My mind is nearly careening out of control on this one!
School files growing in my computer at an alarming rate.
Magazines piles growing because I don't have time to read them.
Tonight, the dirty dishes have grown and the dishwashers have run off.
Crafting project piles are growing and growing and growing.

Last weekend Jari & I went to Safford to spend some time with friends.
I had never been there and they were great tour guides.
One of the places we explored was the Gila Box.
The land is so dry on the way to one of Arizona's best kept secrets
that I started feeling the need to soak in water or lotion to moisten my skin!
In the middle of this arid land is an unbelievable treasure, 
an oasis in the desert.
A place lush with growing ribbons of green.

The 23,000-acre Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area was designated by Congress in 1990 to protect its valuable riparian habitats and related values for present and future generations. More than 20 miles of the Gila River and 15 miles of Bonita Creek form the lifeblood of the NCA's riparian system. The Gila Box is one of only two Riparian National Conservation Areas in the nation and consists of patchy mesquite woodlands, mature cottonwood trees, sandy beaches, and grand buff-colored cliffs. Inflatable kayak, canoe, and rafting enthusiasts enjoy easy-to-moderate floating and camping adventures in the canyon.

Before you start googling "riparian"...
head on over to see what's growing in Kendra's corner of the world!

Now I have a growing desire to try a little rafting or kayaking!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

horseshoes anyone?

This is what happens when someone asks for something on Facebook.
We have a friend who was looking for some horse shoes for a country style craft idea ....
and Jari has been spending time working around a horse community lately.
The other day he came home with enough uncleaned horse shoes to 
almost make me want to run out and buy one of those sticky fly traps!
He dug through them to find matching sets .....

we wrapped them up (still uncleaned because I think that's part of the horse shoe experience), filled a flat rate box and dropped it into the mail.

And now I need some serious time on Pinterest or something like that
because I have a bucket load of horseshoes waiting to be made into something!

If you have any cool ideas for me ... send me a link!
I'll need a few!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monkey Bread Yumminess

This is how simple it is to have Monkey Bread ready to roll out of the door at 5:15 a.m. to spoil the folks at work.
One serious ingredient missing in this recipe would be the alarm clock with the snooze button removed. That snooze button can cause some serious problems.

The best thing about this (in my current code of couponing gone mad) is that you can find the Pillsbury Grand biscuits on sale and combined with a coupon .... make for an inexpensive sweet treat.

You need 2 of the Pillsbury Grand Biscuit rolls.
Open one pack and cut each individual biscuit into 6 pieces.

Make a mixture of cinnamon sugar and toss the pieces until nicely coated in sugar.

While you're doing the slicing and sugaring ... put 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup light karo syrup and 1 cup brown sugar to cook on the stove. Bring to boiling.

Spray a bundt pan very generously with non stick cooking spray. Place the one roll of sliced and sugared biscuit pieces around the bottom of the pan. Pour 1/2 of the boiled sugary concoction from above over the pieces.

Repeat with cutting and sugar coating the second tube of biscuits, layering them on top of the first layer and covering with the rest of the boiled mixture.

At this point, place the bundt pan into a preheated 350F oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.
Run out of the kitchen and into the shower. If you hustle, you can be showered, dressed and ready for the day before the timer rings.
I have probably let this sit in the oven for another 5 or 10 minutes which is completely oven dependent.
When done, take it out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes. Too long and the gooey goodness sticks to the side of the pan. Too short of a sitting time and you get a bed of caramel on the plate like I did. (I still managed to lose 2 little pieces to the pan.)

At this point ... you just dig in!
If you're at home and nobody is worried about sharing germs, have at it with your fingers.
If you're elsewhere, take a fork and pry off the pieces or cut into it with a knife.

Best ever eaten while still warm.
No calories included in this little tutorial for a very good reason!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

picnic season

Last Sunday we spent the afternoon out of town having a picnic!
The trees nearest the creek are starting to bud and I can't wait to see
this place when the trees are in full green.
We will be back.

We will be back to ride the rope swing.

Maybe we will find a hammock to swing between the trees for an afternoon nap.

We will be back to roast our lunch over a fire
and enjoy the company of others.

We will be back just to delight in the day!

Friday, March 22, 2013

12:52 smile

Somehow this telephone became the topic of conversation one evening.
I removed the jewelry that I had hanging off of it, took it off my dresser,
dusted it off, brought it out and plugged in the phone line.
This telephone happens to be one of many "prizes" I've received in the mail
from my dear mother-in-law who knows me well.
The smile on Natasha's face when she actually heard a voice on the
other end of the line, and was assured the phone really worked,
was quite priceless.

Sometimes it makes me sad to think that there will be entire generations of
people who won't know what this object is or how it works.
They won't know what that dial thing does.
They won't even know what a phone cord is or how it plugs in.

I've decided to leave it out in the living room.
I've decided to use it, knowing that each use will bring another lighted smile into the room.

Project 52 brings you to Kendra this Friday. Her world is filled with precious littles who have those melt your heart in a second smiles. Let's see if she is sharing one of those today.
Thanks for swinging by!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

it might be considered worthy

of therapy by some.
I buy starch.
I use starch.
I love the feel of my crisp clothes.

The part of this that might be worthy of therapy isn't the fact that
I starch my linen clothing and table cloths.
It is the fact that I also starch
my scrubs.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Crab Salad

What is it that makes me want to feed people?
I love housefuls of people happily eating.
It's probably from my mother who has so lovingly fed so many over the years.
If someone isn't eating at my house I almost don't know what to do.
Maybe it's a Minnesota thing.
Maybe it's a Northern Minnesota thing.
Maybe it's a Finn thing.
Whatever it is, I enjoy it.
I do have a problem with little luncheon things.
I don't do those because I don't know how.
Guys filling plates with food. I got that down.
Thursday I was preparing to have a houseful over in the evening and chatting on the phone 
while I was preparing to cook my pasta for salad.
Renae (who I hadn't talked to in absolutely ages!) said Kevin had asked for my salad recently.
Occasionally I try brew up something else, but I really do love this one ...
enough that I'm sharing it.

Crab Salad

1/2 bag coleslaw mix
1 sm box spiral macaroni, cooked
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, diced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
Bacon bits or imitation crab (I've never used bacon bits because I'm a big fan of crab.)
  (Louis Kemp is best, with pcs of crab already cut up)
Parmesan cheese

Dressing (make ahead of time and refrigerate):
1 c mayonnaise
1/4 c sugar
1 T vinegar

Mix all ingredients except dressing. Toss with dressing right before serving.

Friday, March 15, 2013

11:52 morning light

This particular morning our world was wet and windy.
As she took a gander out the window and I watched 
the morning light play on her face, I heard her say
"I don't think I should go out today".
A feeble attempt, but still an attempt,
to stay home as the inflammatory
disease of senioiritis is running rampant.
Her feet made it closer to the front door and she wished Duke a good day with
"Don't worry Duke. School is boring and Mom doesn't let you out early anyway".

Morning light is mom's favorite time of day.

My link this week in our Project 52 circle takes to you Marcy.

Monday, March 11, 2013

chalkboard art

Blogging about crafting takes a minute or two.
Especially when I forget to take photos of all the steps the first time around
and end up redoing something similar to share with you.
It is so worth it, tho'.
I hope you'll agree when you finally hit the end of this post.
About a year ago I picked up an old frame from a yard sale with the intention of doing something fun with it. A year later it was still sitting in the garage. It didn't have glass, just a heavy cardboard picture of something I didn't want hanging anywhere in my house. It got moved around the garage anytime I felt the urge to clean. It got nearly tossed out many times.
Nearly two weeks ago we had a special wedding celebration and wanted a sign for behind the bridal table at the reception. Alyx came up with this idea and I hopped to work.
First I took the "picture" out of the frame and using chalkboard paint I painted several coats on both sides. I wasn't sure which side I wanted to use and thought it could at some point be reversible.
The frame was old looking and needed to turn silver. I'm still working on using up that hammered silver spray paint can, so outside it went on a sunny day. I know. Nearly every day is sunny around here!  Hung to spray and flipped when dry to spray the other side.

This is where we move on to the extra project to show you what I did. Using Microsoft Word and a free fun font downloaded from dafont[dot]com, get your writing into a document, print it and cut it to size. My first project was rather large and involved actually taping together about 4 8.5x11 pieces of paper to get the entire message printed.

Once your message is printed, turn it upside down. Using chalk, chalk over the reverse side of the paper on the writing until everything you want on your chalkboard is covered with chalk.

After blowing off the excess chalk lay the paper onto your chalkboard surface and, using some kind of pointed instrument, trace over the writing so that the chalk is transferred to the chalked surface. I outlined the words, not filling in everything at this point.

This project is a dollar store little silver tray that I painted with chalkboard paint.
Unfortunately, I didn't prep this surface the right way because the chalk comes off if you hit it the right way with a piece of chalk. Anyway, fill in the chalk outline with even more chalk. Add some doodles if you want or just leave it plain.

Back to the original project here! Before I talked to the talented and knowledgable Kim, I started spraying my chalk project with polyurethane to preserve the chalk. It started disappearing and I sort of freaked out. Then I talked to Kim who gave me great tips. I didn't have time to make my project permanent as it was heading out of town the next day, but I brought it home afterward and have finished it. In order to preserve the printing on the chalkboard, I sprayed with poly and then rechalked over it all. I sprayed again ... and rechalked again. Sprayed again .....
I think I did it three for four times.

I thought that we could hang it so added a ribbon in the wedding color. The hanging didn't work out, but the sign did. The wedding was beautiful and the project was a lot of fun!

Love the chalkboard look ... and the loving message from the groom to his bride.

Friday, March 8, 2013

10:52 shadow

Nearly 1/5 of the way done with our Project Fifty Two!
This year is just a flyin' by.

As always, I'm curious to see what the rest of our circle came up with this week.
I lean more toward the black and white side of life, not one filled with colors.
However, I do pass this gem every day and admire the brave folks who fill their worlds with vibrant colors. (The rest of the building is rather bright.)
This afternoon the sun was bright in the nearly always blue sky casting shadows on a space that I envision filled with ancient wooden rockers.

Head on over to Kendra to see what kind of shadows she is sneaking up on!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

oooh la la

If you're doing any kind of research at an institute of higher learning,
you're probably aware of Ebsco Host.
It is an online library for journal articles and books.
Lately, it is consuming hours of my life as I pursue another degree.
Recently, I was hopping through articles and lit upon one that had an option of listening
instead of the normal ol' fashioned reading.
Not only could you listen, but you could listen in different accents.
I never made it to reading the article, I was so impressed with the accent thing.
Who would have ever thought?!

I have always been a fan of the British accent.
At least I thought I was.
I used to say that if my dear hubby hadn't come along I'd have probably swooned over anyone with that accent.
I only made it through the first sentence of this article.
First in the American Accent.
Then I let myself listen to the British accent.
What a treat!
Until I made it to the Australian accent.
Then back to the British again.
Back to the Australian yet again.
And I decided that I'd rather hear quacks are not invited in an Australian accent
than in a British one!
The things you learn when you're researching!!

Maybe I could write a paper on the benefits of learning when it involves an Australian accent.
Then again, maybe I should just read the paper and I might learn something worthwhile
about The Root of Disease.
I'd rather just listen to quacks are not invited over and over and over again.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

We are patient

at least in some things!

Tia started working a month ago and we finally made it to the bank today. She has been patiently waiting (and I have been patiently shoveling over money) to be able to use her own money. Today .... we did it!

Friday, March 1, 2013

9:52 in your closet

I could seriously go hide in my closet.
I'd probably need to take along an extension cord to plug the laptop in,
but I could really use half a day hidden away somewhere.
At least long enough to finish some ridiculous discussion posts for school and write another dreaded paper that I haven't even looked at yet.
The past several weeks have been kind of crazy. Fun, but crazy.
Enough that I'm going crazy at this point.
Crazy enough to hide in that closet.

I'm not crazy enough to take you into that closet with me.
Thank goodness I have another one!
In the shuffle of kids moving out of the house and others moving back in, I somehow ended up with an empty bedroom. It quickly filled to become my "sewing room". It packs up quickly and becomes a guest room much faster than I can get a paper written.

It also has a closet.

This particular closet stores things like Bumbo chairs, blankets and air beds.
It is also home to my sense of peace.
The dotted Jo-Ann bag holds the makings for a sweatshirt blanket.
The blue bag holds makings for a denim blanket.
The green bag holds quilt tops waiting for batting, backing and binding.
The drawers are filled with even more projects.
Now this is the space I consider MY closet!

Our Project Fifty Two circle is a bit smaller this week. Life has sort of intruded into a few folks' lives .. kind of like mine but in different ways. This week's link takes you over to Leann. Hoping you find something a wee bit more interesting in the rest of the closets around the circle and thanks for stopping!