Sunday, January 29, 2017

Comments, replies, and dolls.

Thank you for your comments about the new chair. I replied to each comment. It took a while, you know how I go on and on about things, explaining, apologizing...and now I'm wondering, does anybody ever go back and check to see if there was a reply to their comment?  Do you?  Sometimes I just don't remember to go back.  

Remember the Kimberly doll? She was such a pretty doll...

These came from the thrift store a few years ago. I cleaned them up and made their outfits. The pink marker ink would not come off the one doll.

The pattern I used to make their clothes would also fit the American Girl doll. I like the country look and wanted to make something similar for the new doll. Here's the thing...I've misplaced the pattern pieces for view a. Imagine that!

This is an old pattern, 1990, and I've used it to make dozens of doll dresses.

Anyhow, I'm sure there are plenty of these patterns for sale on eBay, cheap.

Sometimes Dollar Tree sells the prettiest gift bags...for one dollar! This one hangs in the teeny tiny sewing room.

and look...I simply had to get this little Brambly Hedge book, Poppy's Babies. 

Okay, not much of a post here. Thank you for visiting. I plan to stand and stare at the new chair first thing tomorrow and figure out how to pretty things up around it. :)


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Step into my parlor...the new chair has arrived

Okay, the new chair is in the living's what we need next...

the carpet shampooed, a new rug, new lamp, new side table, and new bar stools. :(  I have no idea what that dirty looking spot is behind the chair. Looks like someone dropped a cup of coffee.

What we really really need is new carpeting. Wouldn't that be pretty! Want, want, want, says Poppy. If only I could win the lottery! :)

Clean the carpet is on my to do list for Monday!

Friends, wonder why I can't make biscuits. Seriously.

Mama used to make biscuits from scratch every day. She had one of those wooden dough bowls. 

She would sift a little pile of flour into the bowl and with her finger tips, dip out a measure of shortening and while working the shortening into the flour, still using her fingers, she added milk and worked the mixture into a soft dough.

Mama then pinched off a section at a time and gently rolled it between her hands to form a small biscuit. When all the biscuits were on her old black bread pan, she made a fist and with the backs of her fingers, pressed the biscuits down then baked them.

Mama, back in the 40's. Wonder if she had biscuits in the oven at the time.

Those very flat biscuits in the picture, I'm ashamed to admit, were made by me for supper last night. Oh the biscuits tasted good, Poppy even said so, but they were supposed to rise more. I've never been able to make good biscuits. 

"a pitiful looking selfie of me and a sweet little chick."  :) Three of the little chicks like to be held. Once we moved them to the big chicken lot, the mama hen said, "I'm done with you bitties"!  

It was cold out first thing this morning. My hands were as cold as they look too. I had taken off my gloves and dipped ice out of the goat's water. Actually, it was 29 degrees, which isn't bad, but after several mild days, 29 felt pretty cold.

Is the new chair too loud?

Talk to you soon!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thrift store finds and other stuff

Good grief, I just sat down to post something and now realize the clock says 9:18. Poppy will be coming through the bedroom door yawning and scratching his head any minute now...saying "I'm going to bed".

anyhow, let me show you the latest thrift store find. My very own little outhouse. Deb, at "Just Cats", I couldn't help but think of you. Deb has a real one of these on her property. 

This cute little outhouse is actually a music box and plays "Old MacDonald". It was $2.49 at Goodwill. It simply had to come home with me. Oh, and the white you can see just inside the door...
that's a tiny old Sears, Roebuck catalog. Have you ever!

Okay, it's now Thursday morning...

Shelby and I met in Wake Forest Tuesday. We both enjoy going in Goodwill stores, and then eating lunch together. We hardly ever have time to visit and talk. It's crazy how time flies.

here's one more thrift store find from last week when I stopped by our local Goodwill...

an American Girl doll. I've really wanted one of these dolls, but good gracious, the cost! This one was $4.99. Can't wait to make her an outfit. I don't know which American Girl doll this one is, but isn't she pretty!

and sewing, I've added a couple more aprons to the little shop and a bonnet too...

 been a while since I've made a bonnet with the long back section and could not remember exactly how I did it before. 

then there's this apron with the unusual fabric.

I'm not crazy about this apron...I betcha though that splattered grease wouldn't show up on it. That's a good thing. :)

and here's Penny...the bunny who digs holes and won't sit still for a picture. But, she is a sweetie pie!

I've been working on "Bunny Tower" again and will try to take some pictures to show you. Lowes Home Improvement Store has black painted steel fence panels, $24.95 for two connecting sections. These worked perfect for sectioning off individual condos. Poppy said, "Mel, some homeless person would love to live here". Anyhow, I'm about done fixing up. 

Thank you Kelly at Homespuns 'n Hayfields for following my blog.

also, Linda at Linda Letters, you asked if Eli sheds...well yes he does.  :) Keeps me busy vacuuming, in fact, Poppy just bought me a brand new vacuum cleaner. I am especially careful in the kitchen, and vacuum around the bottoms of the cabinets and under the stove, often! 

Better get busy. The upholsterer should finish with the chair today, and speaking of vacuuming, I want to get the living room dusted and cleaned before the newly covered chair arrives.  

Hope to return soon. :)


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Spreading pine straw again

Out feeding the animals this morning, still in my pajamas, I couldn't resist the urge to move a few wheelbarrow loads of pine straw. 

Good thing we live down a private dirt road with very little traffic...what with me wearing pajama bottoms tucked inside rubber boots and an old ragged army coat. But hey, I got four big wheelbarrow loads of straw moved and spread.

This is the second, or third, not sure which, big load of pine straw from our neighbors Fred and Ann. It's funny, Fred rakes and rakes and rakes all the pine straw from his yard, gives the straw to us which I then spread in our yard. I offered to give Fred all the leaves that I rake up, but he just laughed. :)

Looking too at the little peach tree, how much it has grown. It will need pruning in February and I'm hoping it will be covered in pretty pink blooms this spring.

and that little brick path leads to the bunny pen, homes of Bun Bun, Fiona, and Penny...
here's Bun Bun with a little piece of cabbage.

and shy Fiona with a piece of hay...

there you are! Penny's picture was a bit fuzzy. Maybe tomorrow I will get a better picture. 

This has been another dark cloudy dreary day. It was just beginning to rain at 5:30 when I went out to close the chicken house door. 

Sorry, this post was meant for yesterday. That's when I started it, but never finished it. So it was Saturday morning that I spread the pine straw.

Oh, talk about being excited! Poppy and I carried the big wing-back chair, the one Poppy sits in all the time...

the chair that I upholstered all by myself, what! you can't tell?  :) just look at that great pattern matching...

The upholsterer wanted the chair at his shop today. That way he can start on it first thing tomorrow. He says it will be finished by Wednesday or Thursday. That's  pretty darn quick, don't you think?

The fabric I picked out is a dark brick red with some touches of gold. You know how I love red and gold in the living room.  

Better get busy now. Hope to be back here soon and for sure with pictures of the new chair. Gosh, will I even know how to act? 


Thursday, January 19, 2017

A big thank you!

Thank you dear friends! Your  kind and funny and  sweet and understanding comments on my peanut brittle post, made my day. I appreciate you all so much. 

This note of appreciation was meant for yesterday, along with a little post, but there wasn't much else to talk about except maybe the weather.

These warm spring-like days suit me just fine...and each day brings us closer to spring.

The bright warm sunshine on the back porch was definitely enticing. Of course, all the animals felt the same way. Bickett was there first, then along came Eli, the big furry throw, who politely nudged Bickett off the bed.

Fine! said Bee. I'll just have another bite to eat.

me too, said Smokey.

Just set foot inside the laundry room and the cats come running...assuming I am there to pop the top on another can.

Poppy says I have them spoiled.

Have I told you before how much Bickett loves Poppy? Well, he does. Bickett doesn't like most folks and will bite, if you pet him and linger too long. Poppy says, Bickett, you want to play? Bickett runs under the stool and with his back feet, pushes himself out to hand fight with Poppy. 

I've simply got to get busy. Poppy just backed the truck in the driveway with two bales of hay to unload. I really need to be out there for things to run smooth. :) you know, kind of like Poppy helping me with the peanut brittle. 

Thank you.


Monday, January 16, 2017

A day in the kitchen

Have you ever made peanut brittle? Did it turn out right? 

We've had a large bag of raw peanuts sitting on the kitchen counter since Christmas...a gift to Poppy from the manager of the deer processing plant.

Poppy wanted peanut brittle. If you will shell the peanuts, I'll make the candy. Friends, this turned into an all day job.

Here's what went wrong...Didn't cook the stuff quite long enough to begin with. When the baking soda was added, the boiling candy doubled in size, almost boiling over and had to be quickly poured onto the large buttered pan. Of course it did not become brittle, it cooled down to the texture of sticky taffy.

Nothing to do but to boil it again. It took Poppy's arm muscles to pry the sticky stuff from the pan and wedge it into a bigger pot. Pulling out three more pots, I rigged up a makeshift double boiler. Darned if I wanted to stand for an hour stirring this mess until it became liquid again. 

Poppy was so sure that too many peanuts kept the candy from becoming brittle. Recipe called for two cups. I argued that the peanuts had nothing to do with cooking the sugar, Karo syrup, and water to the right temperature. Nope, he still argued that the candy had too many peanuts.

So, while the sticky mess slowly melted, I went on line and found a simple recipe for brittle using just sugar, water, and a little salt for the this point we were out of Karo syrup. (making another batch would spread the peanuts thinner) So, I measured and put the mixture on the stove to boil. When this had boiled for about three minutes, I added it to the almost melted candy...then stirred and cooked the whole shebang until it turned a rich golden caramel color...then pulled out a bigger bread pan, buttered it, and poured on the boiling candy.

Did it become brittle? Nope! But we have four bags of peanut brittle with the texture of pralines...very sugary, very sweet. I love it! Poppy doesn't like it. He says he can't understand why it didn't turn out right...IF I followed the recipe!  :[   Okay, I will shell the peanuts and YOU can make a GOOD batch of peanut brittle. How bout that?

Talk about a pile of sticky pots and pans, spoons and spatulas! Instead of using my little red dish pan, I filled the sink with hot soapy water and scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. ..Finished up and out the front door I went, into the fresh air...and got myself busy doing something fun, like cleaning out the goat barn!

A friend once said to me, "a man has no business being inside the house". 

While out and about yesterday, I bought this...for Poppy.

and this...

for me...a new kitchen rug to stand on, if I ever decide to cook again. :)

Thanks for listening. I needed this! 


Note to self: buy a candy thermometer

Friday, January 13, 2017

Busy cleaning and a birthday

For the last few nights, seriously, I have been trying to post something on my blog, but realize when I sit down at the computer, just how tired I am. I've been terribly busy since that snow and ice melted. Tell me, why is melting snow so much wetter and messier than rain? 

What a muddy sloppy mess we have here. Our country dirt road looks like a part of the Alabama Mud Fest. And the goat's lot, more like a pig pen. The last two days, I've pushed load after load of pine straw and spread it in the goat lot and in the chicken lot.

and speaking of the last two has been like springtime! 69 degrees and sunny! Why we jumped from record breaking cold, right into spring weather.

warm enough even for lunch on the back porch. Not a very pretty set table but it was fun. 

Guess who has a birthday today. Our sweet Eli. Three years old already.

Seems like it was just yesterday that Poppy and I drove to the little town of Micro to bring baby Eli home.

he was born in this big red barn.

what a sweetie pie he was, from the very beginning.

well, I did have to finally cut the fringe off this rug. His favorite place to sleep.

smelling the spring flowers in 2014.

Eli is our guard dog, even if does carry his teddy bear for company. What in the world did we do for entertainment before Eli came along?  

We bought Eli a birthday party hat, thinking we would get a cute picture, but absolutely not!  As long as that silly hat was in the house, he would stay on the porch!

Anyhow, guess that's about it. Appreciate your visit. Thank you!


Sunday, January 8, 2017

The sleet turned to snow!

We had more sleet than snow Friday night and into Saturday but then the sleet changed to snow and wow! Eli look!

Eli played and played and played!

last time we played here, Eli's red ball rolled into the pond and floated to the middle before I could grab it. Poppy had to get it out for us.

Weetie says be careful! When Eli comes running wide open like he does, why, there's no telling who might get knocked into the pond

know what's neat about this picture? The snow has covered all those leaves I haven't had time to rake.

I really really wanted to get a picture of all the Cardinals just outside the kitchen window. Why, there must have been a dozen of them. I would get the camera turned on and ready, then tip-toe to the window and slowly aim the camera and, the birds fly!  Managed to catch seven of them in this picture. 

These are not the greatest snow pictures. We don't get snow often here in NC, so it looks mighty pretty to us. :)

there's "wittle mokey" near the bridge. He comes out to play with Eli and Weetie in the back yard.

Actually Smokey is the only kitty cat we have that will follow us all the way around the pond. He runs and plays along the way.

Hey, would you like to see how our little log cabin in the woods looked in 1989, after our very first snowfall...

My goodness, how things have changed! We didn't have a covered front porch then, just a little deck...

and we finally got all those spindly little trees cut from the front yard too...I do miss that cedar color the cabin had back then.

Okay, I've gone on long enough. Surely don't want you to leave and never come back.  

We've had snow! Now I am ready for it to melt away and ready for the weather to warm up a little.


Poppy moved his truck and made a perfect feeding spot for the birds.