Wednesday, December 28, 2011

And here we go again ............

A few weeks ago, I had my final inspection to become a official, okey-dokey partner site for Silos and Smokestacks.

The final inspection was done by a panel chosen from other partner sites.

One of the panel members came early and as I greeted her said ..... This house needs to be on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ahhhh............. be still my beating heart.

You know how I love old houses.  The sagging floors, the crumbling plaster, the charm of old hardware and layers of lead paint.  Yea ... I know it and I still love it.  (That is definitely why I have been certified crazy and have the papers to prove it!)

I do know quite a bit about the house.  I know when it was built, who built it and what style it is.  I know that is was built with a dynamo in the basement so it had electricity in 1892.  I know it has steel-cut nails and hand-hewed joists.

And I know that I love it.

But I am totally amazed that others see it in the same way.

And after this event, it feels pretty good to hear people praise the old girl.


So ... I have a new project.

Yea ..... it never ever ends.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Simplicity ....................

Yea .... it is more than just a pattern company.  (Uhhh.... if you didn't get that, then you must not be a sewing-geek.  Forgive my innuendo to domesticity.  Just a bunch of Becky-HomeEcky stuff.)

OK -- it is almost a new year.  So its the revelation time.  Time to look at your life and see what is working and what is not working.  And at this moment, there is a lot that is not working!

But most of it relates to the same thing .....

I've got too much stuff! 

Yea ... I am currently living in fear of a Peter Walsh intervention.  I swear I hear his Aussie accent where ever I go! 

(Oh wait.  I only hear it at the grocery store.  No ... it is an Australian chef, promoting an Iowa grocery store.  Iowa ... the state that has four James Beard finalist chefs.... and Iowa's largest grocery store chain hires an chef from down under!  Huh????? But that's another rant!)

I have 11 sets of dishes.  I have dressers full of yarn.  I have books, books and more books.  And let's not talk about darning eggs.

And I am becoming overwhelmed.

So I just finished Simplify by Joshua Becker.  It's a book about becoming a minimalist. 

You are laughing.  I know ... I can hear you.  And it is crazy. 

The chance of me become a minimalist ...........is zip!

In fact, when I told Eldest Daughter about reading the book, she said (best line ever!) "You do understand what the word minimalist means, don't you?"

Minimalist means reading the book on my e-reader instead of buying a hard copy.

Hey!  It's a start!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Now what do I say????

Yea.  I know.  It has been a while.

First ... I had massive writers' block.

Second.... I was too busy to talk.

Third .... Then I get blocked out of Blogger and had massive issues with password recovering.  I have one now and I am using it.  We will see how well and how long it works.

So, my friends, cancel the interview for the obit notice.  I am alive and kicking.

But in the meantime, I will update you on what is new in the land of Miss Eff.  Maybe.

First of all --- I have formed a very intimate relationship with my knitting needles.  I swear they are attached to me at the hip.  They stand at the stove as I stir jam.  They follow me to town, only to be picked up at the first red light.  There is a pair here.  And another pair there.  And I'm certain I could find a pair in the shower if exfoliating takes too long.

Yea.  I have been knitting.  A lot.  And a lot for me .... is pretty much 24/7.  Less a couple of quick naps.

My wrists are soooo svelte!!!

Now I would show you the fruit of my fibery labor.... but the camera is on the fritz and won't transfer pics to its friend, the computer.  A little un-friending going on.  I hate it when technology turns on each other!  The notes to each other on Facebook ..... well, need I say more????

But it has consisted of slouchy hats, fingerless mitts, pretty capelets, coffee cozies and dishcloths. 

And am I done???

Yea ... not so much! 

I've spent a lot of time in the kitchen ... from mixing up cocoa to baking granola.  I've made jam, jam and more jam to go.  I've made mint meltaways and fudge.  And to top it all off .... I taught an ice cream making class on Tuesday night for Scott Community College.

Yep --- it was awful!!  I was forced .... forced, I tell ya! ... to devour homemade vanilla ice cream. 

But not plain vanilla ice cream!  We dressed it .... in homemade chocolate sauce, black cow caramel sauce and orange caramel sauce.  Yea ... we did.  All of it ... all at the same time!  It was truly evil and delicious.

You knew you should have taken the class, right????

OK -- I will give you the recipe for the orange caramel cuz this is sooo good it is scary!!


Orange Caramel Ice Cream Sauce

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
½  cup sweetened condensed milk

½ teaspoon orange extract

In a large sauce pan, cook and stir brown sugar and cream over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.  Bring to a boil; cook for 5 minutes or until mixture is reduced by half.  Remove from heat and stir in the orange extract and condensed milk.  Cover and refrigerate.


Makes 1-1/3 cups.


And it makes a great Christmas gift....... pretty jar .... all wrapped  and tied up with some of the yarn that is following me around!!! 

Back to counting and those pointy stick things.