Thursday, August 9, 2012

Extended Vacation

Sorry for being away so long, but like most of us life has gotten in the way again. We are on an extended vacation and my crocheting has taken a back seat to watching fireflies, roasting marshmallows and watching the boys grow like weeds. Although we are still on vacation I am going to buckle down and get some crocheting done. Fall is almost here and school will be starting and that means Halloween is not far behind. I need to get some fun hats done to be ready. I have a couple shows that I do in the fall and then just HOOK away to get ready for Christmas. I do have a couple back to school specials going on right now. check out the  MP3 player hat, a great hat for guys or girls on the go.  The beard hat is also a special, it can be done in team or school colors with your choice of beard color , also a fun owl hat with matching fingerless mitts. Mat ch these to you school, favorite jacket or just about anything. I also have a couple new newborn hat sets coming along, a few final touches and I can get pictures up for everyone to see.

Well I am off to shake the sand off of everything and watch the rain , we really need it. Crochet hook in hand I WILL get something done today!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Eyes in the Back of my Head

I( don't understand why I am not getting as much done as usual. I make a list, I have a plan and then.......alot of nothing! Now, could it be that two little boys, three chicken , a duck, a mom cat and her three kittens, two puppies, a bichon and a border collie are all trying to make me nuts?  Possibly. I understand we are all excited about the chickens, great but must I stand guard all day? Have you ever told a guy just what you wanted , they nod in approval and then go off and do it their way? That is what happened here. I showed Joey a plan for a portable chicken coop, he said, " no problem" That should have been my first sign things were going to go badly. What I got instead was an open top chicken playpen! So, the boys climb in , the cats jump in and I spend my day chasing things around! Now, all of this would probably be much different if the chickens were bigger and could peck them once.
  But, today is going to be different! The boys spent the night away so I woke up this morning alone in my bed. Feeling a little more rested, I grabbed a cup of coffee and let the chicken out. ( they are kennel trained) Fed and watered them, fed the cats and the dogs are waiting patiently. It is a bit chilly this morning so hubby was nice enough to make cocoa wheats. I am not a breakfast person, but couldn't resist. Teenagers asleep, house quiet I will finish up posting and get some work done!
Yesterday I bought a pattern from Whimsical Warmth and did get that hat finished.
The weathr is supposed to get hot for the next few days so I think I will cook a few things today so we can reheat and eat, instead of me heating the house up more. I hate to turn the air conditioner on.
I had better run and get started before someone else comes home or another animal appears. Maybe instead of the barn we should build an ark!
I am finally going to make myself something using the African flower pattern, here is a great post to learn how to connect all of them
My go to place to look for patterns is Ravelry , give it a try . You will be amazed at the amount of free patterns as well as some of the newest for sale patterns available. 
Off to hook!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Making a Change

Last June we moved into the house and all the space was amazing......then winter arrived and we froze. The furnace does not heat the whole house and the propane bill was almost four times what we paid at the old house. With all that in mind hubby has decided he wants to move...where?  That is yet to be seen, since the place he wants needs some major rehab. He has purchased an old barn and about four acres of land. The barn is amazing, yet needs much work. I can close my eyes and see a big country kitchen and all the bedroom space, a loft for the grandkids to come stay and the thought of not a neighbor in sight. The question is, where to stay until the barn is livable. That to be would mean the roof fixed, wall closed and water and electric run with my number one must have ...a bathroom! Hubby claims to have a plan that he will hopefully share with me. If there werent so many of us I would say get a camper , park it and live there while you work. The rest of the family is not so keen on that idea. There is an artesian well and beautiful views from all four sides. I am ready for a change.....sounds of chicken and the morning rooster wake up call. A goat of two grazing in the pasture and maybe I can grow something!  That part is questionable LOL.

All this said I went outside yesterday to find the boys busy. making a chicken tractor.....WHY...because they bought three chicken and a duck! Jumped the gun, I think, but they are here. The dogs enjoy them , the cats were curious and oh how I hoped whatever got BINGO did not come down the hill for a late night snack.

I woke this morning to find them all fine, thank goodness. I did not want to explain to two little boys about missing chickens.

 JJ and his chicken Batman ( we don't know boy or girl chicken, but he names everything Batman )

Carsen being brave to let Batman sit on his shoulder
Carsen chicken "DORA"

Dad's girlfriend and Mandy checking out the chickens

The BOYS getting Daddy to hold DORA.

Now let me say when I dreamed of chicken I thought big fluffy hens who lay eggs each day....I will need to be patient I guess. They say be careful what you wish for....In this case I totally agree. All this could have been mush worse, where they bought the chicken there were horses for sale. They could have brought one of those home.
Now between packing to move, college courses,crocheting for the shop...I will be watching two boys, four dogs, cat and three kittens, three chicken and a duck! 
Before all this amazing fun arrived I had just finished this cute catepiller set, all it needs is antennaes and it is ready to go.
With chicken on our minds I went to an old favorite for dinner tonight.

 Chicken and Dumplings

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  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 whole Chicken, Cut Into Pieces (cut Up Fryer)
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Finely Diced Carrots
  • 1/2 cup Finely Diced Celery
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 6 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 cup Apple Cider
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • Dumplings:
  • 1-1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1-1/2 cup Half-and-half
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley (optional)
  • Salt As Needed

Preparation Instructions

Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then dredge both sides in flour.
Melt butter in a pot over medium-high heat. In two batches, brown chicken on both sides and remove to a clean plate.
In the same pot, add diced onion, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir in ground thyme and turmeric, then pour in chicken broth and apple cider. Stir to combine, then add browned chicken. Cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
While chicken is simmering, make the dough for the dumplings: sift together all dry ingredients, then add half-and-half, stirring gently to combine. Set aside.
Remove chicken from pot and set aside on a plate. Use two forks to remove chicken from the bone. Shred, then add chicken to the pot. Pour heavy cream into the pot and stir to combine.
Drop tablespoons of dumpling dough into the simmering pot. Add minced parsley if using. Cover pot halfway and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Check seasonings; add salt if needed. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
*Adapted from Gourmet Magazine
Try this and enjoy your day!

Monday, June 18, 2012

So Much Has Happened

So many things have happened since last I posted. Back in May we lost my Favorite Uncle unexpectedly. Now every family has a crier. You know the one who cries through Lassie movies or when Heidi is calling for Grandfather. That is me. So, for the past month or so, just the mention of him or how horrible the upcoming holidays will be without him brings me to tears. He had no kids and me and mine were his family for holidays. He had a special trick for doing his Christmas shopping. First for the past six years, he arrives for Thanksgiving with an orange piece of paper with all the kids names and sizes. He ushers my daughter Kathy into the room to correct sizes, move kids up to the "cash" list and add any new babies to the list. We have had an ongoing tradition that when you turn 18 you are off the list. Last year he made an executive decision to leave my Granddaughter Lizzie on because she had started college and turned 18 a month before Christmas. He could make those changes he was the UNCLE. We were raised that when Gram said Uncle is coming it was a treat. Lots of hugs and kisses and we were always on our best behavior. That is how it was when I was a kid, my kids were small and now my Grandkids. He only needed one name UNCLE.
This photo is from last Christmas and he is there enjoying Becky's new hat. 
Now I do not do well with change so on top of this terrible time, the house we are in was SOLD. Without warning and a" how fast can you move "  That means hubby and Me , Kathy and her son Mike, 2 teens, Grandson Joey and his 2 little guys ( we have them during the week) a border collie, bichon, 2 cockapoo puppies, a cat and 4 kittens. Should be a cinch on such short notice!
We have lived here since last July. Set back , lots of pines and last week something back in the pines attacked the puppy and left him for dead. We called and searched til dark and then in the morning the border collie ran out and found him back by a clearing. Chrissy my Grandaughter ran in thinking he was dead. We sent Joe out and he discovered he was still breathing. Off to the vet in Oxford, they drove. BINGO spent 3 days on IV and meds. He came home unable t walk or hold his head straight. BINGO is Carsens puppy and close companion. Of course I cried. I held hiom, talked massaged and prayed alot. Each morning he looked a little better. Day three he walked, wobbly but walked. Day five he ran down the driveway to see the kittens. He still has some issues with his eye but is on the mend. The vet said it looks like some large animal grabbed him by his head and shook him, dropped him and did it over and over. His injuring were almost all to his left side of his face and neck.

before and after. 
He lost alot of weight in those few days and sice this photo has had a severe clipping. Chrissy tried out her dog grooming talents and now he looks more like a poodle LOL....its only hair and it will grow back!

We were all so excited I went online and found a dog biscuit recipe for one of his favorite things to share with Carsen...peanut butter and jelly!

Peanut Butter Bones

  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose white flour


Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C).
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in water. In a large saucepan, mix together the potatoes, milk, molasses, stock, and peanut butter. Heat, stirring frequently until boiling. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Add yeast mixture. Gradually blend in the egg, wheat, rye, and rice flours. Add enough white flour to form a stiff dough.
Transfer to a floured surface and knead until smooth (about 3-5 minutes). Shape the dough into a ball and roll to 1/2-inch (12 mm) thick. Using cookie cutters, cut out biscuits. Place on ungreased baking sheets, spacing them about 1/4-inch (6 mm) apart. Gather up the scraps, roll out again, and cut additional biscuits.
Bake for 45 minutes. Let cool overnight. Makes several dozen bones that freeze well--and have the consistency of pizza crusts, a favorite snack for most spoiled dogs!
Newborn Turkey set
I have not got much new crochet done, with holding the dog, crying and oh yes looking for a place to move. There was one good thing, I did receive a copy of my Uncles will and that silly wonderful man left me his house , car and everything in them. Could I live there? I am not sure, would I cry endlessly? A decision that has to be made. It is also about 1 1/2 hours from where we are now. With 3 kids in school I really hate to move far but ...who knows. As my Aunt Charlotte would say give it to God and he will show you the right way. So I will pray on it!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I don't Do Well With Changes

For as long as I can remember I do not take change well. I realize that as life goes on things must change, but that doesn't make it any easier for me to adjust to. So much has happened since my last post I am at a loss as to where I should start.
    Probably the biggest change is last week we lost our favorite UNCLE. Uncle Eddie was , perfect. Kind, sweet and as good a guy as you will ever find. The perfect son, brother and uncle. In the past seven years since my Gram has passed away he has been with us for holidays to keep the family going. He is probably best remembered for the line of kids waiting to kiss him goodbye before he left. Some of us got in line more than once, he never minded that! I am handling this much better than I thought because he is with my Gram now and both can chat the days away. In heaven I bet he's bowling again. I will think of thunder in a whole new way from now on. The saddest part is the little ones in the family did not have nearly enough time to get to know him. He will be greatly missed at our house.
   Luckily for me I have a wonderful friend who is more like a sister, Jean for the Teapot Quilt Cottage and Garden Center in Montello. In good times and those awful times she is always there to lend a shoulder and help talk me through the tears.
    I started taking college courses online!  Will I run off and get a career? Maybe, if not I will still show the kids if Gramma can do it so can YOU.
   We are getting ready for a move.  That means packing and unpacking. I did mention I hate change and this will surely add to the stress in the house. On a good not the kids will be out of school and can help. Can help, should help!
  I have also added some new items to the shop and hopefully after catching up on orders can get a few more done.
A holiday weekend ahead with a birthday party and BBQ ( speaking of BBQ, here is a great take along salad recipe from Pioneer Woman ), two small boys 2 puppies, 3 kittens 2 dogs and a cat, it should be a piece of cake! Have a safe weekend!

Friday, May 11, 2012


Where have I been? What have I been up to ? Those are the questions I get from friends and family and the simple answer is I have been spending alot of time with mermaids! 


'Mermaids Everywhere!' by jebstreasures

This treasury list gives you a variety of mermaid items just in time for summer.

The Mermaid's Pearl art pendant, resin pendant mermaid necklace pendant mermaid jewelry - thependantemporium
The Mermaid's Pearl...
Vintage Mermaids Charm Bracelet Beaded Chunky Altered Art Picture Charms Beads Ocean Beach Sea - baublesbeadsncharms
Vintage Mermaids Charm ...
Medium Custom Handmade OOAK Lucky Mermaid Tail necklace - graciousandpure
Medium Custom Handmade ...
Mermaid Locket Necklace Silver Plated with Pearls and Turquoise - agothshop
Mermaid Locket Necklace...
Mermaid photo prop / newborn - 3 months - GrammasGifts
Mermaid photo prop / ne...
Custom Boutique Mermaid Bubble Dress - SPBClothing
Custom Boutique Mermaid...
Medium - Mer Bear - Mens crew neck - DowdyStudio
Medium - Mer Bear - Men...
BLUE MERMAIDS on Front of  Light Pink Tissue Tee - sarahndipityClothing
BLUE MERMAIDS on Front ...
vintage design MERMAID cotton navy handle and print tote bag - ToTheMoonAndBack
vintage design MERMAID ...
RW2 Leather MERMAID Clutch Wallet Purse Womens fantasy art Amber - RW2Gallery
RW2 Leather MERMAID Clu...
Beach Decor Mermaid Bottle Opener - Cast Iron - PICK YOUR COLOR - beautifuldetailswed
Beach Decor Mermaid Bot...
Goldfish Mermaid with Book Print - Seaweed Seashells and Starfish - Bedroom Wall Art - 8x10 inches - sarambutcher
Goldfish Mermaid with B...
MERMAID Ocean Nautical Marine Sea Life Beach House Home Metal Wall Art Decor m2 - metalshine
MERMAID Ocean Nautical ...
Mermaid, Oceanica, Sea Folk, Pillow - chimeracustomquilts
Mermaid, Oceanica, Sea ...
MERMAID BEACH SOAP - Round Cold Processed Soap - Boxed for Gift Giving - JOANSGARDENS
Mermaid's Key Creamy Coconut Soy Tea Lights and Hand Stamped Matches and Muslin Bag - CastawaysHall
Mermaid's Key Cream...
Treasury tool by StylishHome.
The mermaids have kept me very busy, I am happy to say. and with that seaside theme in mind I have added a crab and lobster to the shop as well. Alot of fun and very cute!

Monday, April 30, 2012


In a house where it seems no one sleeps some days and there is always something going on, finding time to be creative is not so easy.  But, after a much needed physical and some new meds I had two...TWO days with no little guys, the teens were all busy and it seemed I was alone. The others in my house were scarce in case I might find them something to do!  So I sat down and with some recent inquiries about new hats picked up my hook and yarn and just relaxed. Here are some of the items I finally gor around to or finished.
This little monster hat was photographed by HB Photograhy in Reno, Texas. Heather is just amazing.
This 3-6 month baby sweater and cap was my attempt to make my Gram's sweater set. The hat is different because she left no pattern for it. 
I have a couple other items in the works and am resting and feeling much better. Having Myastenia Gravis, is like being the energizer bunny and having your battery run down. Just breathing is tiring. 
Today will be the test, the boys are back.. I have two monster hat orders to finish and everyday life to take care of.  I will just take it as it comes,maybe we will have nap time today !
I am also starting a new money saving, much needed process. Coupon Clipping. I have been watching as others in the area have saved quite a bit on groceries and those daily needs , so I have even gone as far as to set up a time to have Dannelle Fraser Gay come to Montello and give her Coupon Clipping 101 Class. My goal is to save enough to get into the house that I want and NEVER have to move again! Never pack another box and stay put. I will let you know how we progress.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Very Busy

The past few weeks have been very busy here in our little neck of the woods. The recent addition of two cockapoo puppies, the two boys back almost full time and now last week right after visiting with the Easter Bunny the birth of five kittens. I see an ark in my future.
These are Bingo and Spot, 2 adorable puppies bought by the boys MOM, yet residing with us because, well she can't have them where she is now staying! Both kennel trained very easy and listen fairly well for being about two months old. The other dogs had a little getting used to but are fine with them now, in fact they keep the big dogs exercised.
then.... if that wasn't enough along came the kittens
There is of course a Dad cat also. 
Now to that mix add in two 17 year olds, a hubby, a 22 year old grandson and upstairs a daughter and her 13 year old son. Life is pretty full and busy.
So, with all this going on how do I keep my sanity ( hubby claims I don't ) and keep the stress levels down to keep my myastenia gravis in check.  
Yes, that is my therapy!  In fact over the past few weeks I have had some really cute brainstorms. On a wish from a customer  I made a mermaid outfit. It turned out very cute and after seeing some other fun seaside type hats I came up with this adorable crab set   Then I thought ....crabs, beach, sand pails and came up with this crab hat .  Last night instead of sleeping ( I have a sore throat and just could not get comfortable) I came up with yet another that I hope to get done today. If my Gram could see me now... we used to say she could look at an item and make her own without a pattern. Of course all these silly hats and such were not what she would do, she made beautiful christening outfits, doilies and pinafores. The pinafores I have mastered but the others for right now are beyond me.
My Etsy shop has been very good this year and I am hoping to keep coming up with fun items that people can use for gifts or photo props. That makes my items sellable ( if that is even a word ) year round instead of them being winter hats and cold weather items. I hope shoppers think baby showers , Mother Day and more! 
My friend Jean owner of Teapot Quilt Cottage and The Garden Center in Montello, and I are also hosting a Coupon Clipping 101 Class

    •                               Wednesday, May 9, 2012
    • 1:00pm
  • First National Bank Montello, Wi 408 Main Street

    This class is given by Dannelle Fraser Gay . She was able to save $40,000 in less than one year for a new house, and now teaches others how they too can save money with Coupon Clipping 101 and Meal Planning 101 Classes. Join us for what we hope is the first of many such classes. Seating is limited so please get your tickets in advance at The Garden Center 505 Main Street, Montello Tickets are $15.00 each and the proceeds will go to help stock the Marquette County Care and Share Food bank.

Well, I am off to put Curious George in the DVD player, do the morning dishes and then work on a hat. Have a great day!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Booming Busy Week

Busy here with orders coming in, the two boys enjoying the spring weather and Boom on Wednesday that has us all wondering "What is up?" The whole house shook so I went to NBC15 on Facebook and asked if they new anything about the BOOM we heard. Others posted that they also heard the noise but no one had an answer. The next day I received a message from Chris Woodard at Nbc15 that he was coming out to look into this strange noise in Montello. I met with him and Jean at the Garden Center and here is the video.

We still don't know what it was, and am just hoping it doesn't keep happening like Clintonville.
We finally got a good rain last night and it looks like we could get more today. We could sure use it. With the temperatures well above what they should be, everything is in bud and popping up.

The boys enjoyed some bubble blowing , and yard work. The yard work was of cousr done by the superheros not the little boys in the house!

Batman and his sidekick Robin were lending a hand. Robin works much harder than Batman. Batman left to rest part way through the job!

Bubbles, shorts and yard work, SPRING really is in Wisconsin about 2 months early but I for one am not complaining.
Hopefully I will get some crocheting done and items photos taken to share with you. I am working on  a few Easter gifts for the granddaughters and a new fireman newborn set so stay tuned!  Have a great weekend!

here is a fun cupcake idea for spring or Easter