Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mulching My Gardens and the Last Day of April

Hi there everyone.  Well it's the end of the weekend, and another Saturday and Sunday has bite the dust. It's the last day of April and on to the 1st Day of MAY!!! I guess that is a good sign, we are among the living still. Well, as you can see I have been busy spreading mulch. This is just the beginning. I have gotten quite a bit done and our 2 yards of mulch is getting smaller. We have not even started the front yard as yet. We may have to buy some more mulch......the yard sure looks nice though. I like looking out my windows and seeing how much we have accomplished.
I added a few extra things to this garden. A shepherds hook with a red planter and pansies growing in it. Another little cow was added....we inherited a large manger scene, so I thought I would use the animals as decorations. I was going to use the bricks above as a border.....but have since moved them to another spot. The mulch was spread over the large bricks to the right.
Here is "Kylie the Supervisor" watching everything we do....she's a good friend, but she is getting old and losing her sight and hearing. She has an appointment with the Vet on Monday. I am a little afraid of what the Vet might tell me....hopefully it's not all bad news.
So here is that pile of mulch....getting smaller and smaller. I think the squirrel is having fun digging in it too.
And the pile is getting smaller and smaller. I think we will get another 2 yards of mulch....the front yard is in need of some mulch yet. We added just a few places with mulch....and even that looks better then it did. I have to chop some snow on the mountain down and some purple bells down. They look like weeds right now, but when they start growing they look pretty. No pictures yet.
Here is another view of my patio garden and my little walk-way to my other garden, which will be my little sanctuary, I have some 6 foot fencing that I can put up that will shield me from the next store neighbors junk in their back yard....I am soooo sick of looking at their stuff. I think they are hoarders.
Maybe if I make my backyard pretty, they might get the hint and do something with their backyard. Do you think???? So anyways I made this mulched walk way and added the bricks this year....I wanted to do this last year, but never got around to it, course we did not get mulch last year.......this year all my thinking will become reality....I hope. The blue drawer is sitting on an old wheel barrel. I usually plant cucumbers in the wheel barrel, the blue drawer will have flowers or herbs.
Can you see where I am going with this garden....I think it will be a nice place to hide from the world. I picked up some Scotts grass seed that grows in hard places. There is a lot of shade under this tree, so hopefully the seed will grow nicely.
 Last year we had the "Weedman" come and take care of the creeping jennie.....he also killed our grass, now we have green moss growing where the grass was.  I want to add more mulch around the base of the tree and put rock around it so the mulch does not wash away if we have a lot of rain.
Last picture, "Kylie the Supervisor" watching every move I make, making sure I don't take off on her. See my red pot with the pansies growing? I still have to sweep the mulch off the bricks yet.

Oh there is lots of work to be done and if I just do an hours worth of work a day, maybe I won't be so sore and wiped out the next day. I am going to count this as exercise and see if this helps me....I am sure it will. Hopefully I can find a balance somehow.

Well, time to close here for today. Kylie has her Doctor's appointment tomorrow, so I have to get a stool specimen before we leave. So I think that means another walk before we leave...she won't mind. It's when we get to the office that she starts to get nervous. (me too)

You all have a great day and keep looking up ~ better days are coming. Cheers ~ Louise

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Cosco Purchase ~ Saffron

Hi there everyone....hope you are having a great day. This is actually an old post that I am finally putting up. I went to Cosco with Betty three weeks ago. She has a Cosco membership. I have never been to Cosco.....Sam's is my place of preference. So she said if I see anything I want, she will buy it and I can pay her back. I saw two things. This Saffron and Coconut chips.....I love coconut anything!!!! The Chips are delicious!!
Anyways, I have been looking for Saffron for a long time, but at a reasonable price....which I guess is not too easy to find. But I think I found it here at Cosco's.  I have never cooked with Saffron, but have heard of lot's of Chef's that have....all you need is a few threads to make the taste come alive with a unique flavor and color. I want to make some saffron rice....that will be first on my menu.
So I got this cute little bottle of Saffron =1 gram for $10.50. I love this little bottle...that's what caught my eye and when I realized it was Saffron, it was a must to add to the spice cabinet.

I happened to walk through know, where things are CHEAPER!!! I found Saffron there too! You ready for this??????Their Saffron was $16.98 (retail) for 0.06 oz. IF YOU BOUGHT 1 OZ OF SAFFRON YOU WILL BE SPENDING $283.00 PER OZ.!!!!! Hard to believe, huh????
The Saffron comes from a flower, looks like there are only a few strains per flower....I shall have to type in Saffron to see what the flower is. Well, surprise it is a crocus....maybe I should try and grow my own????

"Saffron, botanical name crocus sativus, is the most expensive spice in the world. Derived from the dried stigmas of the purple saffron crocus, it takes anything from 70,000 to 250,000 flowers to make one pound of saffron. Moreover, the flowers have to be individually hand-picked in the autumn when fully open. Fortunately, only a little needs to be added to a dish to lend it color and aroma; too much makes the food bitter and as the quotation from Culpeper (below) suggests, large quantities of it can be toxic.
Iranian Saffron from Khorasan Province in Eastern Iran Records detailing the use of saffron go back to ancient Egypt and Rome where it was used as a dye, in perfumes, and as a drug, as well as for culinary purposes. It reached China in the 7th century and spread through Europe in the Middle Ages. The town of Saffron Walden, where it was once grown commercially, takes its name from the plant. Now, however, most saffron is imported from Iran (southern Khorason) and Spain which are recognised as producing the best quality, but it can also be found in Egypt, Kashmir, Morocco and Turkey."

So I made some rice and put a few sprigs in it....did not notice a difference in taste...although the rice did turn that was fun.

Been working on my gardens, spreading red mulch. A little bit each day. But I have a feeling the weeds are winning the game. Our pile of mulch is getting smaller and we have not even started the front yard yet....oh my, I guess we will have to get some more.

Well, I think I will close this post for tonight before it gets any older. I do have 2 other posts in draft that I need to get going on...sorry you are getting old news.

Have a great evening and keep looking up, better days are coming.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Secret Stamper Image Revealing Party

Hi there everyone. Hope you are having a good Monday. My how the weekends fly by so fast. We look forward and in the twinkling of an eye...the weekend is gone......POOH...gone!!!!

So Saturday we were busy spreading red mulch in my little gardens. JP filled the wheel barrel with at least 16 loads in different places. I will take my time in spreading the mulch.....that would be the easy part, unless I get some new ideas for mulch in different places. Yeah, I do that sometimes.

Sunday I woke up pretty exhausted....from all my work on Saturday. But I did get rolling for church. I had dinner already cooked, so all I had to do was heat it up for JP before I left for the revealing party.

About 3:00 I got ready to leave and meet Betty for the ride into Neenah for the Secret Stamper Image Revealing Party. Lots of women were there....maybe about 15 or so. There is one man involved in this group, but he did not come. He lives too far.

So in the top picture, you can see the cards I made with the image sent to me and the cards I made with the image I sent. The lady that sent images to me is the first row of cards on the left and the lady I sent images to is the row on the right (you can not see a few of the cards because I cut them off in the picture.)
This was another batch of cards sitting on another table. As you can see, the images sent and received are so much creativity overload!!!!
These cards were on the same table that the cards I made were on. I totally missed the table with extra images that people brought that they did not want. I took some of my images back, I can use them for Hospice cards. There was also a bulletin board full of cards too.....goodness it was amazing, all the cards.

Well, I signed up for another 6 months...May through October, maybe I will have a better 6 months, with no hitches. I did meet the lady that was sending me images. She was surprised that I did not receive April's images.....the images came today, a bit too late to make cards with. For some reason she thought the revealing party was in May.....duh! Nope, Renea emailed everyone a couple of times to remind them that the party was going to be April 23rd. I guess not everyone reads the MEMO.....oh well!

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you....on our way home from the revealing party we stopped at Dairy Queen. We had a treat, a $1.00 root beer ice cream cone. Oh my gosh was that delicious....I must take JP there for an ice cream for sure!!! On my way home from Betty's I stopped at Pic n Save and bought a pizza and got one free and hamburger and buns and seltzer water.....oh and a loaf of bread for 29 cents and a free jar of peanut that's good!

I am going to cut this post short...have to go walk Kylie, she missed her walk yesterday, I was sooooo tired!!! I will feed her and then maybe go spread a couple of piles of mulch before "Dancing with the Stars" starts. No hockey tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks are out of the running for the Stanley Cup. But it will be fun to see who wins the Cup. I will let you know.

Have a great evening and keep looking up, better days are coming.
Cheers ~ Louise

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Secret Stamper Images

Hi there everyone. Well....I should be outside in this beautiful weather spreading mulch in my gardens. But chose to do a quick post while watching the Chicago's only the 5th inning and the cubs are winning 7-5. Hopefully the Cubs will do better then the Chicago Blackhawks. Sorry the season is over for my Step-father always said, "maybe next year."

So tomorrow, I will be going to the "Image Stamper Revealing Party." I will find out who had my name and sent 12 images a month (she missed April altogether). And who I was sending 12 images to for the last 6 months. In the pictures below, are the images I sent and how I turned them into cards and the images my secret stamper sent and how I turned her images into cards. I will let you know which is what and who as we go.

NOTE: If you go to April 5th post you will see the other cards I made, turning my images and secret stampers images into cards.
In these two pictures are the 12 images I sent to my secret stamper. I kept two images and turned them into cards as you can see below. So the images (above) were in black and white. With the two I kept, I distressed inked the House Mouse image then used pearl-ex to make them shine.
Here is the finished product. One card for the secret stamper and one for me to keep or send. I just layered the House Mouse mice on black card stock then the orange back ground is crinkled up tissue paper and layered on glued up card stock. The scalloped edges were run through the cuttlebug with a boarder die cut. A gold heart embellishes the corner.
In these two pictures are the images I sent to my secret stamper.....I love this cute. In the picture below is what I did with the snowman. I have a die cut that cuts him out. I used speckles for his nose and buttons.
Sorry about the lighting, I was using a lamp, I thought it gave a fare amount of light but didn't. I should have taken these picture  downstairs where the lighting is better. Anyways, I turned the snowmen into jugglers of snowballs....I think he turned out cute. The snowballs are just punched out circles and then I outlined the circle, they are on pop-ups. Embellishments are a die-cut Hi, gems and string. The snow is a Stampin'up embossing folder. The white layers are just ripped up card stock to look like layers of snow.

Now whoever has my name.....sent me these Bunny heads. All I did was color in the background, his ears and nose and tie. I was at a loss for what to do with them till one day I just decided to put a picture frame around them and layer them on crinkled up tissue paper that was glued on card stock. Turned them into Thinking of you cards. So I will keep one and give the other to the secret stamper.
In this card.....for the life of me....could not think of what to do with this image. My secret stamper sent me 12 images of the "golf ball on a tee with a bird and the word "Birdie." Finally I remembered I had a vintage golfer and just turned the cards into this. I will give my secret stamper the card on the right. I did end up making 5 more cards like this and will probably send my BIL a card for his birthday. He's a golfer.
Now in this card, I sent my secret stamper 12 pink Flamingo's....I saw a sample of a Flamingo card and liked here it is, cased and turned into a card with my Flamingo. Cute card, it can be most any kind of card I want and simple to make too.
Now, I was completely at a loss with this image and almost did not want to make a card with these 12 images of a dress. Finally I just colored the dress in with red, making a red polka dot dress, adding red feathers, gems and a "Happy Mother's Day" greeting. I actually made a few more cards using this image. For Mother's Day of coarse.
Well, as I said before, the secret stamper lady who had my name, did not send me April's images, so she will only be getting 5 cards from me. That's the breaks I guess. I hope my next secret stamper holds up her end of the game and follows through. Why ruin it for someone else. It does take the fun out for others.

It was a fun game and a challenge to turn these cards into something, I never would have thought to do. I do hope the next session of 6 months is more fun.

You all have a great weekend and enjoy the weather. I shall go work outside and spread some mulch in about 30 minutes or when this Cub game is over.

Keep looking up, better days are coming. Cheers ~ Louise

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter Dinner - Cowboy Ribeye

Hi there everyone. I hope you had a wonderful Easter with family and friends and lots of good eats. We don't have family in Appleton, a few friends though that's about it. We did enjoy a good meal though. I bought this "Cowboy Ribeye Steak" from Festival Food in the manager's special bin." It was originally $24 and I got it for $15. I know that was expensive, but hey, it's Easter, guess I could have gotten a ham or a turkey, but sometimes it's just nice to have a change. Well, this was our change, and I do think I just might do this again.
First of all, I let the steak get room temperature. Seasoning the steak on both sides with the Black Hardcore. The Red is for Pork, I have used it for Chicken also. Here is their site.
I seared the steak on both sides for about 5 minutes each, using my new Copper Chef pan. This is the neatest pan, it really gets the food hot and that pan is easy to clean too. Here is their site. I got my pan from Shopko and actually got it with a gift card...sooooo...FREE BABY!!! I am thinking of getting the larger pan though, as I am REALLY liking cooking with this pan.
I made oven-roasted potatoes, mushrooms and onions. Then added asparigus half way through. I then put the vegetables in a black fry pan to keep warm on the stove. I made a side salad, along with chives and sour cream for the potatoes.
I placed the seared steak into a hot 500 degree oven for 10 minutes or until the temperature read 145 degrees. Then let that steak rest for about 5 minutes.
AND....this is what it looked like.....oh my, oh my was this delicious and that BONE was out of this world, I haven't chewed on a bone for years. Then I let Kylie have a chew also.....she loved it!!!!
I hear there is another way to cook a steak like this and it is called "reverse searing." Where I seared first then baked the steak. The reverse is "Bake first, then sear." Biz will be showing how to do a reverse sear on her blog this week.....check it out. I shall try her way of doing a steak's always fun to try different ways of cooking.

Have a great evening and keep looking up better days are coming.
Cheers ~ Louise

PS the Chicago Blackhawks are down 3 games now, they will HAVE to win the next 4 games to stay in the playoffs. Time will tell.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Look What I Found.....and a Blue Apron Pizza

Hi there everyone. Well, well, well, look what I found. The Original Green River!!!! Do you remember drinking Green River back in the old days? I may be dating myself, but I remember drinking this stuff with French fries at the local Walgreens. They still had the soda fountains and booths where you could sit and play the juke box via the wall selection at your booth. Yep and a big glass of Green River....those were the days.
Here's what the label reads: Green River soda was introduced to Midwestern drinkers in 1919, just as Congress was passing the 18th Amendment establishing Prohibition. When Prohibition officially went into effect on January 16, 1920, some breweries turned to making nonalcoholic drink called Near Beer, while others were churning out ice cream. The Schoenhofen Edelweiss Brewing Company of Chicago turned to Green River. The soda was poured into old beer bottles and sold in the market. It was an immediate hit. The soft drink was so popular that Al Jolson recorded a song written about Green River.

Today, we celebrate Green River's history! With an amazing visual appeal including its bright green color, the brand takes people back to a pleasant time in their life, in the 1950's and 1960's at a time of corner soda fountains and drive-in movies.
Yep....had a little glass tonight with a couple of frozen strawberries in it. Oh yummmmm.....a taste of the "good ole' days"!!!!
AND then, another glass of "Green River" with this delicious Blue Apron pizza...oh yum.
I have not talked about Blue Apron for quite awhile, that is because I have not gotten a Blue Apron box since the last week of December.....saving money and just waiting to see a few dishes that are completely different then what we have received and wanting a box that both JP AND I would enjoy together. He is getting very picky in his old age. I have to be careful that there is not too much spice.
So this pizza was very delicious, I gave it 5 stars!!! "Spinach & Fresh Mozzarella Pizza" As you can see, the sauce was on the side. The pizza is covered with cooked spinach, (I added red pepper)green pepper, olives and shallots. Topped with mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan cheese. I have found that all Blue Apron pizzas are really good.

Well, I think I shall close this post....have been working on this particular post for a couple weeks and just saving it as a draft. So actually this is OLD news from two weeks. I do have a few post ideas up my sleeves....that's better then no posts....right???

The Blackhawks are playing I sure do hope they win this game, they are down 2 games and if they want to stay in the playoffs, they need to win the next 4 games!!! Not sure I would make a very good coach...."you win or else....hit the road Jack and don't cha' come back no moe")

You all have a great night and keep looking up...better days are coming. Cheers ~ Louise

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Happy Easter......

Hi there everyone. I want to wish you a Happy Easter. I give you just a few pictures in my collection, pretty pictures reminding you of Easter.
Here is a beautiful bouquet of first thought when looking at them was that they looked like the colors of Easter.
I made this card last year...definitely an Easter card. I do have this stamp, but did not make anymore cards like this.....maybe next year.
Ah yes......Angel Eggs, that's what I call them....for Easter of course. Maybe I should make a few hard boiled eggs tonight for some Angel eggs for tomorrows Easter dinner.
I love these bunnies. They were sent to me by a lady who has my name in a secret stamper group. I had to find a way to turn them into cards. In my next post or so, I will show you how they ended up, along with a few other images this same lady sent me.

I love Easter, I love the newness of the season and all the flowers coming up after a long winter's sleep. Everything is new....the Easter story never gets old. The week that changed the World....Jesus's triumphant ride through the town and a week later, dying on the cross for our sins, then rising again on the third day that we might have life forever more. No where in the Bible are bunnies, eggs and chick's mentioned....all those characters are pagan beliefs.....I know, I know...takes all the fun out of Easter. But we all know the real reason behind what Easter is all about. Our hope is based on the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.

For tomorrow's Easter dinner, I will be making a very thick "cowboy steak" salad, oven potatoes and asparagus. JP will probably have some fruit for his dessert.

Well, I think I will close this post for tonight...You all have a wonderful Easter and keep looking up....better days are coming.
Cheers ~ Louise

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Spring has Sprung....Look At My Pretty Crocuses

Hi there everyone. Hope you are enjoying these beautiful days.....I have been enjoying the little flowers that pop up, it's always good to see them. God's creations are always a joy to the soul and spirit.
Saturday, I went out to straighten the garage and brought out some of the lawn furniture and grill and move the pots out for planting. I started about 5pm and did not stop till was such a nice time....but I am paying for it now. Aches and back started hurting last night....I should have known better then to over-work this 70 year old body!!! I think from now on I will do just one hours worth of work rather then 3 hours. Why the rush???
We got our refund from the Government and State.....soooooo, I think this year we shall order some red mulch. My little gardens look so pretty when the mulch is spread.  I shall have to pace myself and not over-do. First I have to rake the old leaves and spread them under the maple tree....hopefully in the fall we can get that tree trimmed by Habitat for Humanity. That is another post though, within the next month, I have to see if we will qualify.
These little flowers are spreading themselves....maybe in a couple of years this section  of my garden will be all crocuses....I really should look for some white crocuses.
I think I might have a garage sale sometime this summer....just as soon as I gather all the things that need to be sold. We were given a large manger set....I am not sure I want it....but we'll see. Last summer my motivation ebbed very low. I had lots of energy in my head with lots of things I wanted to do, but my body did not want to cooperate with my head. A battle raged within me.....neither one won the battle and not a whole lot was accomplished last summer. Hope the story is different this summer.

Well, I think I shall close this post for now, need to go take a shower, maybe I will feel better. We have to take 276 aluminum cans to the "golden goat" for recycling. The price was 42 cents per pound....but better then having the cans sit around. After recycling we got $3.65. Not bad.....We calculated that it was about $125.00 worth of sparkling water that JP drinks. Me, I might have a can here or there....I drink mostly coffee, tea and water and a pop every now and then.

So have a great day and keep looking up.....better days are coming.
Cheers ~ Louise

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

French Toast and Image Card Exchanges

Hi there everyone. Well.......I am still in a French Toast mode....sorry I have not changed my previous post.....but it still looks so good to me. Today I made French Toast with French bread, slivers of strawberries, and some Philadelphia "ready to eat" Cheesecake filling and syrup. pictures. All I can say is, it sure was delicious and it was very hard to share with JP, but I did.

Have you ever tried Philadelphia "ready to eat" Cheesecake Filling? All you have to do is pour it into a graham cracker crust and chill. So far, the cheesecake filling has not made it into a pie crust and is just making it into my mouth via strawberries and French toast and such. SShhhhhhhh......I've not shared this with JP as yet, he would eat it all in one sitting....yes he would!!!!

Last November I joined a Stamping Group. We send 12 stamped images or die cuts to the person whose name we have and someone sends us 12 stamped images or die cuts. We then make a card for our selves and one for the person whose name we have. So altogether we have stamped 14 images or die cuts. Then, at the revealing party, we find out who had our name and visa versa. We bring the cards we made for the person who had our name.  Following are the cards I made, using the images I sent to my secret stamper and the images she sent to me.

In the picture above, I sent my secret stamper the gold snowflake on black card stock....this is what I came up with.
My secret stamper sent me the Santa tag, I colored it in and let the tags sit for awhile, because I could not think of how to incorporate the tag into a card. Suddenly one day I got this idea to just make a present, add the ribbon and stick the tag on it...oh and I learned how to make a double bow with my two fingers. WALA...a present!
I sent my secret stamper 12 images of this vintage Santa Claus....This is what I came up with. This would not be a card that could be sent through the mail too easily.
My secret stamper lady sent me these silver hearts. The only thing I could think of is to add them to a vintage valentine.....good enough.
I sent my secret stamper lady 12 of these die cut trees....this was an easy peasy card.
I sent my secret stamper 12 of these love mice....I distressed these  two mice then brushed them with pearlex. I sent her 12 love mice stamped in black and white. I finally made these love mice into cards last a later post I will show you how they ended up.
I sent my secret stamper these snow men....I still have to make a card out of them yet. I still have two weeks to think about and finish this card.
My secret stamper sent me these bunnies. All I did was color in the back ground, they have hung around for a couple of months..finally turned them into cards last night....they turned out cute. I probably will make a couple of these cards for Hospice too. She also sent me 12 images of a golf ball on a Tee. I surely did not know what to do with the golf ball, till I remembered I have a vintage golfer taking a swing. I am working on that card tonight and when finished will show it in the next post.

My secret stamper is behind in her sending, she did not send March's image and April is yet to come. I contacted the lady that runs this group to let her know the lady that has my name is late in sending images. This isn't the first time this has happened, November and December did not come till January. Sure is frustrating..why join a group if you cannot follow through...makes no sense to me and takes the fun out of even doing this.

The reveling party is on the 23rd of this I shall meet whoever had my name....if she even shows up. I may or may not sign up for a second time. It's fun doing this IF the other person holds up their end. Oh well, enough of my complaining.

I will take pictures of the images sent my secret stamper lady and what they looked like after I turned them into cards. Oh and pictures of the cards of the Easter Bunny, Snow Man and love mice.

I need to close this post now and go have a piece of coconut cream pie. That was my project for tonight. Also made dinner for JP. When he comes home at 1:30am he will have chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy and vegies and some pie and fruit. Good enough. Now I shall go downstairs and ride my bike for 2 miles and finish up my Hospice cards for Friday.

Have a great night and keep looking up~~better days are coming!!
Cheers ~ Louise


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