Thursday, February 2, 2012

Yarn Stash

Well, here's my true confessions moment.  This is Yarnageddon.  The Stash.  The Wooly Mammoth.  The reason I am no longer buying yarn.  (Until the pile is gone....)

In my defense, I work with senior's and a lot of this yarn has been given to me by dear little ladies who can no longer wield the hook or needles.  Who can turn down good yarn?  Not me, obviously.

I finished the wool-eater afghan last night, (six skeins gone!)  and am considering my options at the moment.  I found some beautiful black mohair in the pile, and think my next project will be a scarf for Jackie, Stacey's mum, who is visiting from Moncton right now.

Happy Hooking!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Recipe - Egg in a Hat

This recipe is as humble as it gets.  My youngest loves this dish beyond reason, and used to sneak down to Grandma's house and ask her to make him one.  Also known as 'Toad in a Hole' by some, but as one wise 12 year old said last night, who wants to eat a toad?

All you need is eggs, bread and butter.  Along with a frying pan of course, and a small round cookie cutter or very small glass.

Butter the bread generously on both sides.  Cut out a circle from the middle of the bread.  Place on a hot frying pan, and crack an egg into the middle of the bread.  Don't forget to nestle in the little rounds of buttered bread in your pan as well.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Fry for a while on one side, then flip to the other side and let it cook a little longer.  When both sides are golden brown, slide it on to your plate, and top the egg with the bread round (or hat).  I usually cook eight at a time on my big griddle, which is non stick, so the butter on the bread is enough to fry the egg.  If you're using a frying pan or cast iron pan, it probably wouldn't hurt to throw a little butter in the pan before you add the bread and eggs.   

If you are very health conscious, you can fry the egg in a ring of sliced green or red pepper.  Very pretty.  I'll stick with the original, though!

**Disclaimer - The eight servings on the griddle are not just for me! 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tip Tuesday - S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g your Fabric Softener

My brother always used to say 'hard times in the Maritimes' whenever he'd catch me complaining about something.  Well, it's hard times all over right now, and any way I can make things stretch and last a little longer is a good thing! 

Here's a tip for making liquid fabric softener last a loooong time.  Instead of pouring in a capful during the rinse cycle, grab an old cloth or mismatched sock, and dab a splash of fabric softener on it.  Then throw it in the dryer - voila!  Instant dryer sheet!  I can make a bottle of fabric softener last for a really, really long time doing this.  Another tip for fabric softener is to cut your dryer sheets in half, to make a box last twice as long. 

If you're one of those super organized types, write the date you open a bottle or box of detergent, dryer sheets or fabric softener.  Then you can figure out roughly how much you consume, and use that for long term storage calculations. 

Laundry is boring, but important.  I have a sign in my laundry room that says:

"Laundry Today or Naked Tomorrow"

Truer words were never spoken.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Family Activity - Reminiscing

It's important for kids to have a sense of belonging, and one way to instill that in them is by sharing family stories.  A connection with their parents, aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents can be made by sharing family stories.  If you're lucky, you'll have old photos to go through with them, which trigger lots of memories.  Another good way to reminisce is by topic, such as:  games we played at recess, how we got to school, what we ate for lunch, who our best friend was, what our nickname was, what was our favorite book as a child, etcetera.  I've taken groups of seniors (80+) to meet with grade 1 classes, and it's amazing how the children are interested in finding out what was different about their childhoods, and what was the same (apparently ring and run/ding dong ditch spans the generations!)  Making links between the generations is very important.  It helps children to have deep roots.  Have fun, and reminisce with your children!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Review-Granny Square Love by Sarah London

My dear mother sent me a Chapters gift card for Christmas, so I got to browse through the book store, which is always fun.  I decided on this book, Granny Square Love, by Sarah London.  So far I have made her pattern for a hot water bottle cover, and I love it! It's a very bright colored book, she is not afraid of color, which has been giving me courage to try bolder color combinations.  There are patterns for seat covers, pillow cushions, a tea cozy, afghans, and many many more.  If you are hunkered down for the winter and have odds and ends of yarn in your stash, this is the project book for you! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Catching Up At Home

During Christmas (and for a short while afterwards) I took a break from the blogosphere to focus on family and home.  This is a little catch up post to let you all know what's been going on.  Above is a picture I took of our two apple trees in the back yard, and it turned out all silvery, thanks to one of those handy phone apps!  This is where the bird feeders are stationed, and I get a lot of pleasure from feeding and watching the winter birds in our yard.  They like our yard because we have allergies, which means no cats and dogs.

While we were decorating our Christmas tree, one of the kids snapped this picture.  I only discovered it later, but I really liked it!  We had a great Christmas, lots of good food and family fun.

During a trip to Calgary in mid December, we drove by the unfinished Calgary Temple, and Scott snapped this photo.  I can't wait until it's finished!  This Temple has the most amazing view of the foothills and Rocky Mountains.  Breathtaking, actually.

Also in December, Scott and I went to see the Messiah at the Winspear!  Amazing concert, and the conductor, Bill Eddings (I think) was highly entertaining.  They played the complete Messiah, which they don't usually do (in previous years it's been selections from...), which made for a long concert, but following along with the scriptural references they handed out was a very moving experience.

It's January now, so I'm cleaning out closets, making resolutions (I love the word resolve), and (hope springs eternal) have bought my first packet of garden seeds. 

I am also working my way through my yarn stash.  I am currently making this aptly named wool-eater afghan.  You can find the pattern at  The color choice is rather unimaginative, but as mentioned previously, I have taken a solemn vow to buy no new yarn until I have worked through my existing collection.  So, pink and cream yarn I have lots of, therefore I am making a pink and cream afghan.  I have also made a hot water bottle cover, three scarves, one dishcloth, a net shopping bag, and a book mark.  And barely a dent has been made in the pile.  I think I need a name for my stash.  Something that big is worthy of a name.  Yarnageddon?  The Wooly Mammoth?  George?  Hmmm, I guess I'll have to think about it.  Happy blogging, everyone!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday Tip Day - Ironing

Here's a great tip for ironing from one of my friends.  When your ironing board cover starts to look worse for wear (scorch marks) and you're thinking of replacing it, keep the old ironing board cover on and just pop the new one on top of it.  It adds extra cushion for the board.  If you keep doing this over the years, you'll end up with a pretty nice pad for your ironing board.  (I have three covers on my board now.)  Waste not,want not, people.