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Monday, November 30, 2009

Entertaining - Finger Sandwiches

If you are planning to do a bit of entertaining this Holiday Season these sandwich fillings are a welcome addition to any finger foods buffet....

Scott himself created this Ham Salad recipe and it is AWESOME!


Scott's Ham Salad

In a bowl mix together:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. Prepared horseradish (you can use less if you don't want it this hot)
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of black pepper

Then Add and mix well:

2 (5 oz) cans smoked ham – drained and finely diced
1/3 cup finely diced onion
2 stalks celery – finely chopped
3 Tbls. Sweet gherkin pickles finely chopped OR
Sweet Pickle Relish

Spread between two slices of your favorite bread and enjoy!



Chicken Salad Sandwich

2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
½ cup minced celery
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon vinegar
12 slices of buttered bread

Combine first 4 ingredients; mix well.
Spread onto buttered bread slices and serve.



These fillings make GREAT finger sandwiches for parties!
You can make up a double batch for a larger platter of sandwiches.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

CHICKENS!!!

I'm working on a couple specials gifts and I need chicken die-cuts, stickers or some other small chicken related embellishment. I never imagined how difficult it would be to find such but apparently chickens are not "in". Man I could buy dragons, monkeys, fairy's and butterfly's like crazy yesterday but they aren't want I need at the moment. So I came home and printed off some chicken clip-art that I found online.






I'm thinking I can make these little guys work for what I need them for. Tomorrow I will be back on my sewing machine as I have quite a bit of sewing to do for Christmas as well.

We are planning to go up to our land today and just walk around a bit. The more I think about it the more I like the idea of putting our cottage further back in the woods away from the road and behind a bunch of trees to have a buffer from the road noise. I'm looking forward to today. When we aren't up there I have housework and my many projects to work on here- if Scott drives I can knit as we go as well.

Yesterday we went shopping a bit for Scott's side of the family and they are nearly done; just need 4 more men's gifts. Not sure what to do for any of them but I'm sure something will come to mind before Christmas. I'm sticking to the handmade gifts for my family. Scott was worried that I was taking on too much trying to make something for everyone in both families.

It's a bit chilly this morning; according to my computer it is 39* outside right now - I'm glad I am sitting in a nice warm kitchen and feel so bad for those that are on the street cold this morning.

Scott has set up a de-rusting tub in the garage and he is like a kid - full of excitement over the foaming rust collecting on the top of the water. Perhaps he will write about it over on his blog this morning.

Friday, November 27, 2009

He couldn't stand it any longer....

Scott now has his very own blog - http://softlyscrambled.blogspot.com/

He will be posting his projects and versions of our adventures over there so you will get to hear from both of us. If you are into old machinery you should check it... I truly have days that I fear Craig's List and what he may find there.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas Cards

It's that time of year again when we are all dashing about and the Christmas cards are either ready to be mailed the day after Thanksgiving or you are starting to think about getting them done. I'm in the second half- the thinking about it group. I'm wondering if I should type up a letter to go along with the cards or just sign them and get them in the mail. This year really hasn't been that great for us and things aren't looking much better for the beginning of the new year - do I REALLY want to share all that; I am leaning heavily toward NOT writing the letter.

All our Christmas gifts will be handmade by me this year using from my stash; it needs to be used up anyway. The thought of moving all this stuff is almost overwhelming. Scott is thinking we should build our barn errr shop first and then worry about a house of some sort on our land. I'm tending to agree with him.

Yesterday I worked on 2 different knitting projects and I am planning on finishing them up today and then start on some sewing projects. LOTS to do before Christmas.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Unmerciful Stomach Bug

I don't know what gave me the wicked stomach bug last night but THANK GOD for Pepto Bismo! I was so glad when it finally let up so that I could sleep. I'm still up before the alarms this morning; we went to bed about 8 last night; we were both exhausted.

Scott's car is still in the shop - they still haven't fixed the alignment issue that THEY CAUSED! Took it in for one repair and now they can't get this right. UGH! I'm glad that we still have the old pick-up for him to drive while we are waiting.

Today will be all crafting!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Drizzle...

Today has started with a continuation of yesterdays weather... drizzling rain. I've been up since 4 as Scott had to be to work at 6 this morning; they are working a ten hour shift today and tomorrow and a half day Wednesday and he will be home Thursday and Friday.

I had thought about going back to bed and then the inner Cleaning Wench took over and I have cleaned both bathrooms, striped the bed, sorted the laundry and now have 5 loads to push through the washer and dryer then fold and put away. Next I will be dusting and vacuuming so that for the entire Holiday weekend I will be FREE from housework to play and enjoy Scott's family.

I have started some brandied fruit for fruit cakes. Should have started it on the 1rst of November as now I will be rushing it a bit adding fruit and sugar every 10 days instead of every 2 weeks like the recipe says. Oh well - I'm sure it will still be delicious.

Mom, Robin and I attended the Craftsmen Christmas Classic at the State Fair grounds on Saturday. I'm afraid we wore Mom slap out as she was exhausted that night. We ended up taking her home as we felt she was too exhausted to make it back on her own. She needs not drive long distances anymore so next time I WILL drive up and get her and bring her down to stay with us a few days. I want to spend time with her but not at the expense of her health. Back to the Crafts Show - IT WAS AWESOME! We all came away with a LOT of GREAT ideas! Robin said that she went home and threw pottery all afternoon and has quite a bit toward Christmas gifts now. She put me to shame as I am still mulling some of them over in my mind. Once I'm done with the housework today I will be knitting some items this afternoon. Well I better get back to the housework.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Abby's Doll Quilt



The last time I was up to Mom's I took my sewing machine and a couple bags of 1 1/2" strips and Abby helped me make this doll blanket. I tried to teach her "warm" and "cool" colors and she seemed to be catching on pretty good. I finished sewing the binding on this morning so that Mom can take it back to her this weekend. I only had red hand quilting thread with me so that is what I used. It's machine pieced but hand quilted and bound. I think she will enjoy it for many years.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Aunts' Pajamas!

Austin; my brother Charles' son.


Aunt Becky couldn't resist these PJ's especially after my big sister said I needed some winter clothes.

MUDDY ROADS! And a new road






We drove up to our property to survey the damage done to our land and to see if they had followed through on what we ask them to do to make up for the damage. They are now going out on the 50 foot easement on the neighbors property and have cut us a road through our woods so that we can get to all our land without going on either neighbors property.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Hump Day" - WEDNESDAY! - HALF WAY THERE!

We are nearly to another weekend and this one promises a bit of fun with the Carolina Christmas Classic at the State Fair grounds and the Cherokee/Congaree River Festival. I may go up and get Mom for the weekend so that she can go with me. Have to wait and see what the Dr says today and how her week finishes up.

Scott and I went out to eat at Murray's last night the marching band was in there so it was a full house and LOUD. LOL! We ordered a chef's salad and split it and we each got 10 wings. After that we drove down to the boat ramp to visit the cats/kittens and give them a bit to eat. We can't get near them as they are so wild but they will come eat as soon as we walk back to the car. Last night we also saw about 10 deer along the woods. They just stood there and watched us watching them. All does and this years fawns.

Our neighbor by our land called Scott yesterday to let us know that the logging company that was told NOT to go across our land was going across our land anyway. Scott drove up and talked to them and they said that someone else told him they could. They have all ready bulldozed the road wider on our property. Scott is hoping they will do something for us now like put a road through the woods to our back field. My concern is that they are going to tear up more of our property doing it. I just want them OFF our land NOW! But we aren't up there to watch every move they make. Ticks me off BIG TIME!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Out in the Garden

I weeded the beds that contain collards, onions and sweet potatoes vines (our experiment to see how late in the year we can squeeze in sweet potatoes). And then I weeded the bed that we had prepped last month and planted it FULL of garlic sets that Scott had saved from his garlic harvest earlier this year. If it all comes up we will have a TON of garlic to share in the Spring. I want to take up the spindly okra plants as they aren't doing anything more and prep that bed for the rest of the onion sets and some salad green mix. We have space in the garden for one more of the long beds that Scott has been building and then our plan is to replace the last two shorter beds with another long bed. It will completely change the way the garden looks but will be a lot more productive for us. Along the garage I will be prepping that bed for the rhubarb, horse radish and asparagus that I ordered from Gurney's; it will arrive the beginning of March. Right now there is garlic and walking onions planted along there. I'm really getting excited about the garden now.

My Mother-law's recipe for Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole




3 Tbls. butter
1/4 cup onion
1/4 cup green pepper
1/2 cup celery
1 Tbls flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cups peeled tomatoes (I use peeled and diced canned tomatoes)
dash of pepper
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cup cooked shrimp
cooked rice

Melt butter in saucepan. Add green pepper, onion and celery. Saute 5 minutes or until tender. Blend in flour. Gradually add tomatoes. Add salt, pepper, sugar and bay leaf. Simmer gently 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Add shrimp and Worcestershire sauce. Heat thoroughly but do not boil. Serve over rice.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Beating the Sun to Breakfast

We just finished breakfast - bacon, eggs and biscuits. Of course coffee was brewed as well. I'm not sure what it is about 3 AM but that seems to be my new wake-up time. Scott got up shortly after when I went in my sewing room to tidy a bit and made a HUGE amount of noise trying to be quiet. A cutting mat pushed over two boards I had behind the door when I went to close it. So much for being quiet.

SO... the day has started. Scott and I were talking over breakfast what we could plant now since we have a bed in the garden all prepped for planting and we are thinking the remaining onion sets, some more collard greens and a salad mix would be awesome. So once the sun makes an appearance I will go out and plant those and weed the current collard and onion bed as well as the bed that we planted shoots from the sweet potatoes last month. Not sure they will do much before they are frozen off but we thought we'd give it a try anyway. Speaking of sweet potatoes the ones that we dug are starting to sprout as it is too warm in the radio room so I may be baking them up and freezing them for later use.

I ordered some rhubarb, horse radish and asparagus from Gurneys and it will be shipped to me the beginning of March so I will need to get the bed along the side of the garage ready for them. I think I will move the Rosemary to another bed outside the garden boundaries as it gets so big. It also needs to be moved so that we can install two more long beds. As it is going next years spring/summer garden will be HUGE! Hopefully I will still be on this 3 AM wake up routine so that I can be up working in it before the sun comes out each day to burn me up.

The City of Columbia is thinking about allowing people to have chickens in their backyard but only 4 chickens and NO roosters (Roosters are EVIL - apparently). They are planning to charge people $100 a year for the privilege. We have GOT to get moved up to our 10 acres of in the boonies before Cayce thinks this is a plan as well. The whole idea of owning a few chickens is to SAVE a bit of money on eggs but people can buy a lot of eggs for $100.

Scott and I both have a cold that is making us feel a bit yucky this morning. Him more so than me so we may have to catch a nap after awhile.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Reclaiming the Dining Room for eating....



ALL sewing and crafting items have been removed from our dining room so that we can actually USE the table for it's made for purpose. And I can invite people over for dinner once more. \

AND GO NAVY!!!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Calm and quiet Friday the 13th

I went over to the store and picked up my last paycheck. It feels so good to be free from the stresses of management. I am enjoying rediscovering the homemaker within me and have spent today cooking and baking for tonights meal... ham, mac and cheese (from scratch) and pork and beans. And the meal will end with a delicious slice of banana coconut cream pie made completely from scratch - crust to meringue.

I picked up a beading board and some gift boxes while I was at the store and plan to make some jewelry to give as gifts at Christmas. So many projects in the works. One is a HUGE undertaking that I must get going on if I am to have it done in time.

Right now we have onions and collard greens growing in our little garden and we have one bed thats all prepped to plant something; just waiting for a bit of sun to work under. It's still kinda dreary here and I believe that it is affecting Greg most. He is fighting depression this week. I keep thinking he would benefit from a sun lamp of sorts.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Early to bed even EARLIER to rise!

I was so exhausted yesterday that I was in bed by 8 last night. And WIDE awake at 3 this morning so I've read email, checked Facebook and read over some of the blogs that I read daily and am now here posting to my own. Today I will finish the laundry and deep clean this front room and finish dusting our bedroom and vacuum both rooms thoroughly. I will need to pay bills and make a trip to the grocery store. I want to make mac and cheese today and need the cheese. I will also pick up a ham slice to go with it. I'm enjoying cooking again and I do believe that both my fellas are thrilled about it too. Lord knows it's much healthier than the garbage food we were buying out at places.

I've started working on several Christmas gifts and have several more in mind.... all handmade by me. It's the only way we will be able to do Christmas this year. I may post a collage picture of what I am making as I get items completed as a teaser - just bits and pieces of the items.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Quality Control Electronics Engineer - needs job


This hard working man needs a job in his field. He knows electronics down to component level has worked in the Quality Department for a well known company for years and was laid off due to jobs going to Mexico. He is willing to travel, relocate, and put his all into a Quality Engineering position with a company needing his time and talents. PLEASE! Let us know if you have an opening.

The rain just keeps pouring down...

It's absolutely pouring here this morning. I just went to check on the leak in the corner of my sewing room and there is water coming down the wall. I will have to check into what is going on up there when the rain lets up. I think it's where there are magnolia limbs sitting on the roof and I can trim them back myself. For now I put a towel down to catch the water since it's just a little stream but will go back in and check on it periodically.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

White Knuckle Drive Home

I am absolutely drained from my drive home from Spartanburg. I saw 3 spin outs on I-26 and at some points it was a white out because of truck spray. I drove 55 to 60mph as the car kept loosing it's grip on the road. It really amazes me that people will drive in that kind of weather and not turn on their head lights and go 70 mph or more - SCARY!

I stopped at AC Moore for a breather and bought some stickers for the albums that I have in the works for Christmas gifts. And I had hoped to buy a NAVY album but they didn't have them anymore. I guess I will have to look online for one. Such fun stickers!

I also stopped at Hobby Lobby but they didn't have the album either. I bought some glitter glue to jazz up some Christmas cards and picked up some free jewelry making pamphlets. LOTS of ideas to use items from my stash for Christmas gifts. I need to find out who all in the family has pierced ears.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

A fullfilling life

I have come to the conclusion that I should live a "full filling life"; A life full of memorable moments, glorious sunrises and sunsets and lots of love in between. It's really not going to matter what I "have" in the end if I haven't taken the time to show people I love them. I am thinking about mid-afternoon teas and perhaps some crafting sessions. Time spent in my garden growing food to nourish our bodies and the time spent there nourishing my soul. Long walks with Scott and Amelia at the River or around the neighborhood. Sitting and talking about important things and the not so important things of life.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Falling back stinks!

This whole business of Spring forward Fall back is for the birds. I am now rising at 3 stinking AM every morning. UGH! I would so like to be sleeping right now. I will be so tired midday it will be all I can do to drive home from work. But it's my last day so I will manage.

Greg has drill this weekend and has not been to sleep yet - ah being 23! All that wasted energy.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Trying to be quiet

Yes I am up this early - it is just now 3:42 AM. I slept all afternoon yesterday and then was in bed before 10 last night so I woke at about 2:30 this morning. I have to be to work at 6 so it will make for a long day. I'll probably get off, come home and crash this afternoon. Perhaps I will work at cleaning off our dining room table before I leave for work.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I wonder if Austin and Phoenix would like one of these....



Perhaps one in pine green and the other in Christmas red.

Will he ever forgive me?

Tesla was ate up with fleas so I gave him a bath. I don't believe he is too thrilled about it...



Perhaps some time alone with the space heater will help....

Canning Jar Expedition

I'm on a grand quest today to pick up some "FREE" canning jars. YEAH! It won't take me too far - less than a 30 minute drive over to Irmo. I'll have to think of a few errands that can be run at the same time. Perhaps a stop at Pet-smart for flea stuff and some perusing time at Barnes and Noble.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Backwoods Home Magazine

I've been catching up on my reading and have a stack of Backwoods Home and Countryside magazines. I'm currently reading through the Sept/Oct 2009 issue of Backwoods Home and in it they have a wonderful article by Jackie Clay that contains some awesome "mix" recipes - Baking Mix, Powdered "cream of"soup base and Hot Cocoa mix that you can make up yourself for pennies. Time to keep my eyes open for a good buy on powdered milk. I REALLY want Jackie Clay's book - Growing and Canning Your Own Food. Perhaps Santa will bring it this year.

Nickie's polydactyl arch nemesis was down from the corner so I brought Nick in - he wanted to be in the "warm" anyway. The two of them fighting - no wonder the injuries can be so bad.

Working on laundry this morning since Scott is working. I hope that something else comes along soon as he is not too thrilled with what he is doing now.

Scented Pine Cones

I absolutely HATE scented pine cones. They make me physically ill every time a fresh batch comes into the store. I'm so ready to be away from them and am glad that Saturday is my last day. Why anyone would purposefully put those in their homes is beyond me.

I'm looking forward to next week and am planning my days all ready. I'm making mental lists of all I want to do in the yard before it gets too cold. And I have Christmas presents to make and have a list of everyone and ideas listed after their names. I will use from my stash as much as possible so no additional money will go out of our budget for Christmas this year.

Tesla was sitting in the hall bathroom this morning waiting for someone to walk by and turn the water on a slow stream in the sink so he could have "running water". Scott said he doesn't know why people think that cat is spoiled. HA HA!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Removed the Playlist

I removed my playlist as it seemed to be hanging some people up and half the time I'm just turning it off when I'm on our blog. Hopefully this will help folks get on here again.

I'm returning home starting Sunday. I want to be where my heart resides. Scott has some work for now and will continue to apply for something with benefits. For now we will manage together. I want to be more available to my family if they need me instead of being tied to a demanding job that leaves me completely exhausted and stressed to the max.

I'm making a chicken pie for dinner tonight and will have a bit of chicken left over for either soup or another type of casserole for tomorrow. More home cooked meals are in our future - thank goodness.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Last Day

My last day of work will be next Saturday. My family needs me more right now.