Fall Kitchen Stuff

So since we are all pulling extra hours around here we have been super drained on energy.  So dh and I were talking it over last week, and what’s the best way to feel better?  Well, to start eating better of course!!! So when we went to the store, more than half of our cart was loaded with fresh vegi’s and fruits, and a lot less of the processed crap foods!!! I got four stacks of bananas, and what we don’t eat up in the next two or three days is going into the freezer for smoothies in the morning, and maybe a loaf or two of banana bread!  We also got three bunches of kale, and yesterday I dug the dehydrator out of the bottom shelf, and as bonkers as my stripped down kitchen is, I stacked it on top of the microwave (yes, dh had to have a microwave. I still refuse to use it, but he heats things up in it, and the kiddo’s make those awful bags of popcorn in it. Yuck) Today we had a wonderful bucket of crunchy kale chips for, oooh an hour or three. They got munched up pretty quick! Looks like I’m going to have to get two or three batches of kale every time we shop now for the next few months.

I also spiralized a couple of potatoes and added them to the dehydrator to fill up that one last tray.  They turned out pretty good too. More potato-y than  a potato chip and no grease but I seasoned them so everyone is loving munching on a handful of them at a time. Austin told me it was kind of like a crunchy potato pretzel!

And I am chopping up loads of carrots, celery, onions, and potatoes for popping in the pressure cooker! Sometimes I’ll make it with chicken flavor, other times with beef flavor. Something nice and tasty and easy to digest with loads of vitamins! Good to keep everyone fueled up and going! And lately with six mostly full grown people a gallon and a half of soup in the pressure cooker leaves hardly any leftovers! Maybe one or two bowls of the soup and if I add more water more seasonings and some noodles to it and serve with a side of bread or biscuits I can get a second quick meal out of it! It’s going to be weird when the kiddo’s all grow up and leave home and dh and me are going to have to learn to scale back our cooking. LOL

Also, now that we have the new oven, I am going to attempt to start making fresh loaves of bread again! It’ll be nice to have warm bread on a cold day! And yeah, I’m just happier overall, because I haven’t really been cooking like this for over a year now, because, well, my kitchen sucks! But it’s slowly getting better. If I had my way I’d rip it all out and start fresh with some used counter tops or whatever I could scavenge off Craigslist. But dh has this thing about getting things used and me using power tools. Pssshhh! I wish we could just make a deal of, don’t ask, don’t tell, where I could just go get things, and do it my way. 😛 But that’s not gonna happen. So I’m just shifting things around, and that’s as good as it gets.

Oooh, and on a crafty front… Lookit what I found yesterday while surfing the Facebook fiber groups! Pendleton Woolen Mill.  They sell their scraps, and just look at all the cool things people make with them!!!!  I’m thinking of getting ten pounds of the Wooly Worms and two or three pounds of the Blanket Headers!  Imagine all of that warm woolen goodness to make into useful items!!!!  Makes my crafty heart soar!!!!

Now I am off of here to go do mundane ol housework! I printed the kiddo’s up some wonderful chore charts and it’s been helping out a whole lot around here but there is still so much picking up and around the edges stuff to get done! Never ending story! 😛



A little bragging

So for the past two months dh has been working basically two jobs!  He works his regular tech support job from 8 in the morning til 5-6 at night, then he is off of work for dinner time, and then goes back to work for other tech support jobs from around 9 at night til around midnight-2 am depending upon the case he’s working on.   It all started a few months ago, and it’s just weird to me that this other company came up out of no where, and the first support job he was given from them, the guys were like, “here’s the deal. We have a company to run, and we don’t feel like learning this computer programming stuff with ~our~ brains, so we want you to do all the reading, learn it, load in on to our computers, and then write us up a short summery how it works, so we can deal with it later.” And get this, they’re willing to pay $60 an hour!!!! Yeah, you have to have basic programming knowledge jBase and Python and other techie stuff. But to have someone paying him basically $300 a night, four or five nights a week, just to use his brain… that floors me!!!!

So!  Thank goodness for extra income for a few months, because man oh man, this move to CO cost us a pretty penny, and we have BILLS! Yes, all capital letters BILLS!!!!  And the fact that the house isn’t perfect… the gas doesn’t work, so the furnace and hot water doesn’t work. So we work around it with a camping hot water heater, that we’ve safely plumbed up through the pipes in the house, and we have to run for propane every week and a half or so. We’ve had to buy four electric heaters, and fans, for around the house to get the hot air down from the ceiling, and keep everything warm. We did the math, and we’re paying about twice the amount for electric heat than we would be paying for gas heat. But that $5000 to get the gas hooked up proper, and then not even know if the furnace will work at all, is a whole nother monkey to deal with. We’re looking into getting a wood stove, but then that takes a whole nother chimney being put in, because the furnace chimney is different code, and you can’t just stick a chimney on the side of your house any more. So we’re looking at around $3500 for a non electric heat source, and another $1500 or so to get an electric water heater wired into our electrical box. But we’re making it, and not freezing to death, or living uncomfortably. Well, besides the house being twice as big as the FL house, and it takes soooo freakin much time and energy to keep it clean, and maintained.  Seriously, I never thought we’d ever own a house this big.

So anyway, a little extra money came in handy, because our toaster oven that we’ve had for three years crapped out on us. (yeah, this house had it’s kitchen stripped of appliances before we moved in too. Another challenge) This was just a little toaster oven though, and dh missed having things like pizza, and chicken.  And I missed being able to make cakes all in one shot, instead of making one small round pan, and then half the batter sits out for 30 minutes, and then you make the second round cake.  After five weeks of having no oven at all though, I was getting a little upset, and started pricing a new toaster oven, and then dh took over and found Super Oven!!!! It’s a convection chefs toaster oven, and it has all fancy settings, and dh wanted digital display (I ~hate~ digital display. Just so you know :-P)  BUT this oven is big enough to fit a 13×9 pan again. Of course it is *juuust* big enough to fit a 13×9, not so much the handles of a 13×9… soooooo we had to order a special baking dish that is exactly 13×9 with squared off edges, no handles sticking out! When I first got it, I thought I would hate it, but it is absolutely ~~~amazing~~~!!! I want more of these pans! But that’s going to have to wait for a while. But I am sooo happy to be able to cook a whole cake mix in one shot. I can make chicken in the oven again. And roasted vegetables! Yaayy!

And then dh surprised me with a gift!!! When we came out of the store the other day he came out with something he ~knows~ I’m going to need shortly. A Happy Light! Yes, towards the end of winter last year I got very very depressed, with the snow, and the cold, and everything was either white or brown for months on end. Ugghh, just thinking of the brown, brown, brown, makes me sad. 😛  So now we know that no sunshine, and cold, and snow, and endless weeks of brown dirt brings me to tears. I now have an hour and a half long beaches DVD (he got me that for Valentines Day. lol), and my Happy Light. We’ll see how I do this winter. LOL

So yep, we’re paying down bills, and affording a little bit of extras, and it feel so good!!!  Only thing is dh is extremely tired! If he doesn’t have work lined up for Saturdays and Sundays, he basically sleeps the days away. But I reckon in a way that’s kind of good too, because then we just do our really big shopping trips for food twice a month, and don’t go out too much extra besides that! I think staying home saves money more than anything. LOL  If he can keep this up through November, we might all end up with bikes for Christmas!!! Another of the big things we had to leave behind in FL. Slowly, slowly, everything is getting back to “normal”. Whatever that means. But I love my ❤ dh ❤ to pieces for searching out the extra work, and then sticking with it, and learning the new programming, even though it just sucks when he sees the flaws in the code, and all that little stuff that drives him nuts. ❤ ❤ ❤ Life is good.


Voting and A Day of Packing Up

So I have all my mail ready for the post office! So far three packages, and then our two voting ballots! Oh my goodness, was I dreading doing all the voting research this year! But it turned out to be quite an interesting, and an informative thing! I had some real /face palm /head desk moments on some of them! Hard to believe most of these people made it through so called higher learning, and have Masters and Bachelors degrees. Granted, quite a few of them have been out of school for a good many years. But the total ignorance to some matters of which they speak of… just freaking do some research before you open your mouth like you know something about a subject!!! Freakin say you don’t know, but you’ll look into it, and then make a freakin note to self: to look into it!!!!  Arggh!

My only other beef is, if you are going to run for public office, at the very very very least put up a website! With a picture of yourself, and why you’re running, and what issues you stand on! Just the freakin basics! One of the candidates I had to dig, and dig, and dig, before I could find anything at all on her, and then it was just a link to her facebook page, and then you get there, and the Whole thing is private!!!! Just a flower for her little icon, and then a big family picture for her top of the screen, and there was like thirty people in the picture, so…. which one is she??? What do you stand for? Why are you running???? Where can I read up about you, and know more than you work as a correction facility guard? Literally, that is all I know now, your name, and your current occupation, and what your family looks like sitting under a tree. How am I supposed to vote you into a pubic office with ~just~ that!??? Grrrrr!

On the packing up side of things… I did pretty good. Divided up around 40 hats between three hospitals, and I still have a few more preemie ones to weave in the ends on for yet another hospital. Didn’t do any preemie Halloween hats though, so those don’t need to go out really quick, so I’ll put off getting together that box til next week.  While we were out last time I ended up hitting JoAnn’s. And yaaayy for me, I did NOT break my October yarn diet!!! But I did end up splurging a bit on some beads. I got some pretty pearl like glass beads for one hat I’m working on, and then the turquoise stones caught my eye, so I got a string of those, and then some dark blue glass beads the same size as the pearls. And then some interesting kinda flat glass beads in three different tones of blue. I almost didn’t get that one, because it was a very long strand, and cost about $7, but then I spotted the sign that said everything in the bead section was half off! Woot! And then I went to get a set of the smaller Boye crochet hooks, from like 3MM to 5.5MM, instead of all the bigger ones I have, and I had a 50% off coupon for those, but then the cashier gave me a 65% off coupon instead of using mine, AND I added my 15% off teachers discount on top of that. So, it was a wonderful wonderful trip! 😀 And yes, adding beads to knitting and crocheted items is way too much fun!!!

And now it is the weeeeeeeeekend! I think we are just going to have a nice relaxing time at home for the next few days. Next weekend is going to be packed with Halloween stuff, and it’s going to be the first of November after that, and there is a Table Rock Llama Anniversary sale I want to get to. They’re going to be doing prizes in the shop every hour, and then one big daily door prize!!!  Should be fun!


Knitting Fun

So the past week or so I’ve been working on some hats. Fancy crocheted hats, with big bloomin flowers on them. Y’all know my crochet skills are so much worse than my knitting skills. I did however figure out one of the hat patterns, and I am so very happy that I have yet another kind of stitch added to what I can do. Makes a hat that looks good and uniform, and pretty much just uses double crochet, but as you go down the sides of the hat you do two double crochets into one stitch, and skip the next stitch, and that makes this cool upside down V pattern all the way down the hat.  That’s the best I can describe it.  The next pattern for the same type of hat was a little more frustrating. I understand the way it’s ~supposed~ to work, with making the stitches and then skipping a stitch and it’s supposed to create a swirl down the sides of the hat. I see it happening in the youtube, I understand ~how~ it’s supposed to work…. I just can’t for the life of me make it work!!!

The good news is, for some reason, I understand how it works in knitting. 😛 And I found a like minded person who describes it a whooooole lot better than me, in this way simple pattern (Top Down No Math Hat).  So I am doing a wee little modification on this first hat I am making, to make it more like this Blue Cloche Hat.  See, it needs a brim, and I can add the flowers no problem. Sooo, I guess you could say I’m fiddling around with stuff again.  Hopefully I’ll have a package together and mailed off in the next day or two, and I made enough money on this project to not only feed and take care of the kitty cats for this month, but also to mail off three packages to hospitals too! Lots of baby hats, and a couple of group blankets being mailed out.  I love it when my Etsy covers all the things I need it to cover in a month!

And here’s a picture of the little goomba’s that my Etsy sales help keep in food and litter! (Yes, it is still a thing, but so long as I take care of the food and litter, it is a LOT less of a thing :-P)

Trout the runt. Yeah, he still has a weird curve in his back, and he still barfs his food if he doesn’t get his milk after he eats, but he is a lovely little bugger! This is what we call his bread box. It’s the melon box we got from the farm last year to haul our vegies home in. We took our own bags in a crocheted market bag I made.  Now it is Trouts bed, and we don’t use it as a market bag anymore. 😛 So when the little bugger gets tired, he goes to this melon box, and he uses his front paws to knead the market bag full of store bags, til his bed is nice and squishy (that’s why we call it his bread box because it looks like he’s kneading bread :-D), and then he naps the afternoon away. 😀


Mama!!!!! She doesn’t really have a place. Sometimes shes in front of the dryer sleeping. Most the time she’s back in the cat crate, but I tell her shes gotta come out and be social, and I close the cat crate tight until she spends some time out and about. That’s when I find her either under my desk… or under Cassies desk, crashed out on a bin! Hee hee!


Then there’s the Salmon. He is now officially as big, or bigger, than the Mama!!! He’s also the biggest Baby!!! This is what most interests him. Ice cuuuuubes in my Water!!!! Gaaaahhhhhhh!


I will FIX it!!!! And then, most the time, they just lay around and watch the ice cubes melt.  It’s the cat version of humans watching paint dry. 😛 Oh, and we had to get this super big water dish mostly because Salmons other favorite pasttime is dumping liquids. Glass, cup, or small bowl, it doesn’t matter.  He will get it tipped. So far he hasn’t felt the urge to tip this huge boat of water over. But the iccccceee cubes!!! Arrrghh!!! LOL


And the Wicket. She loves my wheel. She loves my yarn. And she steals my desk chair whenever I get up.  She is the most playful of all the cats, and she is also the friendliest!!!! When people come over, she is always the first one that will come and inspect, while all the others hide.


“Here, I’ll treadle for you, hooman!”


“Must guard the stairs.”


And that is all for today because the kiddo’s have gotten out the pony beads again and are making candy corn and pumpkin heads and I am looking up boodles of other pony bead patterns for them.  They want to make sets for the holidays and give them as gifts and such. Everyone needs a pony bead something for their key chains, right?


Spinzilla the Yarn!

Here we gooooo! The pictures of Spinzilla!

Monday the 6th begins with a message to the family, and I must say, they did much better than average making sure the kitchen table was cleared after meals, and getting their own laundry washed when needed, and just the overall neatness of the house was impressive!


We start with Three Feet of Sheep Tropical. I was nervous because I wanted to keep all the colors in line, and sometimes when I’ve spun other colors before they all go into this crazy blending melding togetherness, and sometimes it just looks muddy. So I carefully made sure it wasn’t gonna happen here!!! It’s called Three Feet of Sheep, because they package it into a three foot long baggie. Here’s the first half…


and down to the second half…


There on the floor is the ever present bag of white Coopsworth fiber that I spun and plied all of the Tropical with. I still have over three pounds of this stuff.  I had grand thoughts of being able to spin a whooooole lot more than I did. LOL


And here we go with the first bobbin full of yellows, and oranges, and reds…



Then on to the second bobbin full with reds, and blacks! Can’t find my pictures of that bobbin, but it reminded me of Alice in Wonderland, and the Queen of Hearts and all of her cards when I was working with it.  Then on to the third bobbin full where oldest dd swooned. Bluuuuuuues.


which turned to lighter blues….


to greens…


to really greens and then yellows again…


and for every two bobbins of colorful, I had to spin up two bobbins of the white Coopsworth, and then ply them off. Thank goodness a couple of months ago I remembered to get a few more bobbins, so I had a total of eight to work with, but most of the time I only needed six while doing this.

Now the trick is when you ply it, and then skein it off onto the niddy noddy, is remembering which end of the yarn is the beginning, and which end connects to which end.  So as they’re coming off the wheel I’m labeling them with how many yards, and what order to knit them in, to stay consistent with the colors from the 3ft bag up there.


Isn’t it pretty??? Like that Fruit Stripes gum almost. LOL


And here’s the whole shebang that was spun! What’s on the niddy noddy could only be counted for what I plied off of bobbins, but had spun over the summer. Next year I will remember to clear my bobbins first thing!!! Then there was the grey brown looking mystery fiber from stash, that spun up so soft and lovely. I worked on that to break up the monotony of spinning soooo much white that I plied the 3 Ft of Sheep with.


And I am now knitting with that yellow orange yarn skein, and this will probably make thee biggest shawl ever! There’s a total of 952.5 yards of the colorful yarn! I’m using it to make this Boneyard Shawl (that calls for around 600 yards of yarn). Cassie saw me knitting on the beginnings of the shawl last night, and instantly wanted one! I showed her the Ravelry page where you can look at pictures of all the shawls everyone has made from this pattern (5000+ of just this pattern). She looooves this one… http://www.ravelry.com/projects/HayleyWarren/boneyard-shawl  So guess what we are working on next? Yep, I get to start it, and then I leave it laying around, and she’ll pick it up and work on it here and there herself.  I love that I can do that! 😀

Next up… crazy cat pictures, or raaaaaainbows, and chili peppers bein fired up????


Spinning and Crazytown!

I am happy to say, I’ve finished up the Three Feet of Sheep fiber yesterday, and got it all plyed off, I just need to skein up five bobbins worth of yarn today, and get my yardage counted!!! Woohoo! I’m fairly certain I’m going to have around 2200 yards of yarn from all of this Spinzilla spinning! I want to keep going though, because I only have one official skein of all white yarn, and I wanted to do at least four to have for the dying pots. Another two days of spinning ahead of me if I keep at it!

I roughly kept track of my hours spinning during Spinzilla also. Altogether I put in around 30-33 hours! Whew!!! A few more hours, and that would be a full work week. And yeah, a whoooooole lot of that time I would call third shift, because I did it between 8 pm and midnight. So, there shall be pictures soon, and I have very very very little knitting to report of all week. I had gotten one Halloween baby hat done on Friday. My last of the year, because I’m sending out to the hospitals next week, so they get the hats in time.

In other news… last night we made the really, really, bad decision of stopping at the Crazytown Walmart. Now I remember why we dubbed it Crazytown in the first place. So, as we pulled in, the van parked next to us was parked crooked outside the white lines. But it was ok, because dh could park further over in our space, and there would be enough room for me to get out for the quick run into the store. I was Veeeery careful getting in and out of our van not to bump theirs. They looked like homeless people living in it, because their whole dashboard was loaded halfway up the window with food, and gallons of water, and soda, and looked like everything they owned in the back. The lady in the passenger seat was on a lap top, so I figured maybe they were parked closer to the front of the parking lot for free wifi. This is the fourth spot from the front doors of the store, and yeah, there are enough homeless people camping out in this parking lot in cars, and vans, that WalMart had to crack down and push them all waaaay to the back of the lot. So I carefully get out and go in the store. Getting a basket, a homeless man begs for money. Keep walking, sorry no, because I don’t even have change on me. So, running in for Trout milk (one of our cats needs it, or he barfs his food if he eats it plain) and bread, apples, and a few other items. You see those “people of WalMart” pictures? All of them could have come from Crazytown. So we make it through the store of Crazy, and the self check out lickity split, pick up our bags, and make it back to our van. Immediately someone else is in our face asking if we could give him and his wife a ride 8 miles in the other direction, but we are full with four kiddo’s, and our big Sam’s Club run for water, and toilet paper, and Cassie’s sodas, and cat litter. Then he starts saying, “well, could you spare a couple of bucks then?” I say no, sorry, can’t help, and then he turns to my 15 year old and starts asking ~her~ for money! Ummm, NO! Leave! So I squeeeeeze back in to my side of the van, because crooked parked people are still there.  There’s a guy in the passenger side on an iPad now, and the lady is in the drivers seat with her laptop, and we start backing up, and the lady pops her door open and tries to get out, banging our door HARD!!! WTF! Did you NOT see how freakin careful I had to be to ~not~ touch your van???? You couldn’t wait the extra three seconds it would have took us to finish backing out? Just full on smash your door into mine though, and then she like tried to spit shine my van! Hell-freakin-OOooooo lady! E-freakin-bola???? Don’t lick your hand and touch my van!!!!!! Holy crap!!!! So no, no, no, never again! Non-Crazytown is just ten miles in the other direction, but we didn’t want to take the 20 minutes round trip from the middle of Pueblo to the west side, on top of the 20 minute trip home.

I am still a little upset from it all wondering if the people in the van and the people that cornered us were working together and she saw we didn’t give him any money and that’s why she decided to slam our van. AND the fact that I had to watch my daughters back and my back while loading groceries because the homeless just keep coming!!!! Hate that parking lot!!! Just getting groceries shouldn’t be like that! 😦 Anyway… /endrant

Now I’ve gotta get going, because I have yarn to measure off, and a hat to make for a customer, and I want to get some of my own Christmas knitting done. Work, work, work. 😀


Spinzilla 2014… So Far

Ok, today is officially day four!!! Monday I had only gotten one bobbin spun up. Officially not much, because Monday I also got PaintShop Pro reinstalled, so I had to do a lot of photo editing for my Etsy shop, and get items listed. Work before play, and all that jazz! 😛 So then Tuesday I ended up with two and a half more bobbins full spun up. And then yesterday morning I finished that fourth bobbin full! Yaaaayyy! And yesterday afternoon I spent the day plying away! And grand total of yardage as of last night… 952.5 yards!!!  Wooooohoooo! Yeah, not the mile I wanted to have done in the first three days, but at least I now know if I can crank out 2 bobbins full a day I can easily make that by the end of the week!

In other news… I’ve gotten some more Savings Catcher money and popped it on my Bluebird card for double the money back! $14.45 saved next time I hit the Mart of Wal!!!! I was getting worried about this last receipt, because it says it takes 2-3 days to process, and this one took all the way from Saturday night til Wednesday for them to get it posted!!! But once again, most saved on items bread, and pasta, cheaper at Albertson’s, and King Supers, and Cassie is snacking on Pringles all through the day for weight gain, and those are always cheaper at Dollar Tree, and then produce is the other biggie!!! Some store is always having bananas, or apples, or potatoes, or something cheaper than WalMart! So $7.22 in savings doubled by the Bluebird! Dh is impressed!  😛

So, not much else going on around here. Cooler weather is coming, so we’ve pretty much shut off the AC for the year. Great big wonderful savings on the electric bill for the next couple of months. Yaayy! I was looking at some pictures from last year this time, and we had our first snow last year on the 10th of October! Hope it holds off for several more weeks than that this year! Though I do have new fingerless mitts for myself and Cassie, and we’ll have business cards to hand out if people ask where’d we find them! Nothin like using the children as walking billboards for selling my knitting. 😛 And now I am off of here to spin the rest of the afternoon away! Pictures coming in a day or two!!!


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