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  1. #421
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    The herbalism class was fun, as I expected. The teacher tries to make sure the students are involved and not just lectured at. I remembered to bring the wool afgans I made for her and her husband this time. I'm sure the afgans will be much appreciated with the cold weather.

    Tomorrow I have to take the afternoon off to get my landline fixed. Apparently copper wires are out and fiber wires are in. The phone company said they sent notices to that effect but I don't remember seeing that notice. That and I'm pretty sure they didn't bother to tell the leasing office who would've made sure we got the message. Then again, I'm wondering how many people still have landlines these days anyway, given the abundance of cell phones.

  2. #422
    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    I didn’t get the table cleared or the sewing machine set up yesterday but made other progress. I had moved craft books out of the cubbies to the top of the unit because they are so tall they barely fit and are hard to get in and out. Unfortunately as you probably all know they are mostly paperbacks and skinny and don’t stand upright happily. I bought some large, really heavy duty bookends that I tried last night and even that wasn’t really enough. So last night I moved them to a longer shelf and propped them up with the small drawer units holding my metal charms and some rocks. That was finally enough weight against them to make them behave. I love my books but hate having to move the floppy things. I’m also moving the cookbooks to a more accessible spot so maybe I will use them more. Long story about a really boring and insignificant task. Sorry.

    First crazy quilt glitch, sort of. I cut the yellow fabric for the pattern used in the first sample I’m following as a tutorial. When I looked at the sample, the central block has a fine thread spider web and uses a spider charm - I like spiders and have spider charms on hand (helping to hold up my books - lol). But on yellow? Nah. I had pulled but not cut the black group so I’m switching to that. She doesn’t reuse that pattern - there are nine different hexagons - until well down in her sample lineup, so yelllw is on hold for now. Its day will come.

    Yesterday I started the next basket but was undecided about the color. So I did a few rows starting another with different yarn but decided the first was better and went back to that. I’m about half finished with it.

    Today, no plans. I’ll just see how the day flows. I would like to finish setting up the sewing machine but that’s going to be more time on my feet and I’m trying to still take it easy as my knee slowly improves.

  3. #423
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    I'm still working on travel food. I'm starting to think we should carry the little gas grill instead of the little electric oven. I'll be buying a shiny new America the Beautiful pass soon that will allow us to camp for half price and get free admission to federal parks and sites across the country and we plan to take full advantage. But a lot of federal campgrounds don't offer power. I can bake stuff in a gas grill without power, but I can't use the electric oven. We also need to go back to using our Cobb grill. We used to use it on every trip, but then we started doing so many one night stays after long driving days, so it didn't seem worth dragging out the grill and then having to clean it up.

    I'm looking now for recipes that will keep for several days in a cooler, so we can eat the same thing a few days and not have to do food prep very often. Lots of possibilities. The hard part is making them fit our food guidelines. It's a challenge to find quick, easy recipes that aren't loaded with sodium.

    I slogged down to the camper through thigh-high snow to see if the little T-ware spice shakers I want to use would work where I want to use them. The answer is maybe, but I don't want to go to the work to make the little rack they'd need to go there in case they wouldn't fit. So I figured out something else that won't require any work at all. I just need to find one more of the little bags I used to have spices in. I know I didn't get rid of it and I'm sure it's around somewhere. It'll turn up. Here's what I have so far. I have four more T-ware containers for the second bag. I think that, along with the glass jars in the larger bag, should be enough spice space.


    Husby is down to single digits of workdays left. His second to last day is less than two weeks, then he just has the one day left in May. Can't believe we're this dang old!

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  5. #424
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    I found a couple more little dollar store baskets so now I have enough organized storage for the new embroidery thread. So happy I was able to get the new desk a year and a half ago. Sometimes an item comes along in my life that surpasses expectations and becomes a gift that keeps giving. That desk has been one. I didn't realize till I got it how much storage space I really needed to make my embroidery machine function well. It goes back to my theory that things that are inconvenient to use don't get used. It's fun to use that machine now since everything is well organized and right there at my fingertips. The weird part is I didn't even realize I needed it till after the first time I saw it. Luckily I got a second chance to buy it.

    Today is going to be about camp food again, but I hope to get some sewing done. I want to try at least one new camping recipe. I'm still organizing recipes and appropriated a couple more skinny photo albums to put recipe cards in.

    I also want to get more work done on angel pockets. I'm not very interested in working on them, but need to get them done before Husby leaves work. When he's done, we plan to shift into home improvement mode. We're about to set a record here for consecutive days below freezing, but spring is almost here. Once we start the outside work, not much sewing will get done.

    Husby was home 2 days this week, while the big muckety mucks were up from St. Paul. They brought the nicest coffee mugs for everyone, and he brought his home yesterday. It's very appropiate for our future travel plans, because it says "Oh, the places we will go" on it. I'm taking it as a good omen. 😉 I'm hoping it will fit in the camper drawer.

  6. #425
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    SD, good luck to you and your Husby on the retirement. I'm sure it will be an adjustment.

    Finished skein #11 and started on skein #12 on the p/g afgan. I think I just need this skein and two others more to finish this afgan. I'll send it out to my Dad to give to the aide/nurse at his facility whom I made it for. After that, I will probably just work on the plain blue WIP since that one's longer than the wool-blend one I'm making for myself. Next week is supposed to drop back down into the colder temps so I'm glad I still have this one to work on since it covers my legs.

  7. #426
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    I’m almost finished with the basket I’ve been crocheting. I could have finished it last night but I got distracted doing other things.

    The sewing machine still isn’t on the table, but I spent some time pulling fabrics for the hexagons from several other color groups. All I have left is turquoise/aqua/blue-green and I need to pull one more piece of darker green to replace I had in that group that was too different. Also the white group I cut isn’t really white. It offwhite to the gray and taupe. I may go back and see if I would be able to find enough that are more just white. I have very little to choose from there. I thought I had more than I do.

    Today may be really low key. My gradually improving knee has been slammed by another weather change whammy. Anything I have to do sitting upright or moving around will have to be done in small increments. At least I’ll get more crocheting done.

  8. #427
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    Thanks, Ren. I'm sure we will be okay. In many ways I'm looking forward to him being home full time. He's useful in many ways. 😁

    D, I got distracted myself. When I got up this morning, I made the mistake of looking in a tote I hadn't looked at for quite a while. It was full of AG stuff, and so was the freezer basket on top of it. Now I know why I couldn't find my stuff last week or whenever, when I wanted to start up some gardens. I cleared out a big rolling, stacking tool box we bought years ago and never found a good use for, finding some tools I've been looking for in the process. I moved all the AG stuff into that. I'm still missing some things, but at least now when they turn up I will have a place to put them. Not sure I like this new arrangement but it's tons better than the way it was.

    Still have to find a recipe for supper. I want to try something else that has travel potential. I have those recipes organized to the point it won't be hard to find something. This is going to be a long process, getting the recipes all together. In fact, it will no doubt be ongoing as we discover new recipes over the years. I have the first week's food pretty well figured out because we've done it so many times, but now have to figure out second and third week menus, and remember to plan for prep time during those weeks too. Good thing I like making detailed menus and grocery lists before leaving home as part of trip planning.

  9. #428
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    I finished the third basket and have a small start on the fourth one, not really enough to tell yet if I am going to like the color mix. I think it will be ok

    I chose fabrics for the rest of the single color hexagons, but did no more on that project.

    I did laundry this evening and then got involved in stuff and forgot about it. I’ve just put it in the dryer. It’s a good thing I’m a night owl.

  10. #429
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    haven't done much crafting wise except starting a cowl on the plane. but picked up some more yarn in the states mostly lion brand wool ease. and then the kitten decided to help too. 2019 Stash Management-52893081_10157517516467971_8981922989951942656_n.jpg 2019 Stash Management-52868293_10157517516352971_9161391003028946944_n.jpg

  11. #430
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    Ha, kitten's expression says "what trouble can I get into next?"
    I was reminded on sew4home.com that March is National Craft Month. They have a give-away contest for anyone so inclined. I wish I had time.
    I sent sis the picture of the yellow flower quilt top. She said dad's mother made it based on a picture he drew as a child. Don't know if that's true or not but a cute story.

  12. #431
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    Cute kitty. They do get into trouble.

    I have suddenly developed a list of things I can't find. It's frustrating because since purging and organizing so much stuff, we haven't had this problem very much. Suddenly I'm back to the bad old days when I spent most of my time searching for stuff and being constantly frustrated. I don't know why we can't find this stuff. I suspect most of it is in the black hole guest bedroom. I went through some crap back there this AM and did manage to turn up four T-ware cruets (I was hoping I still had two), another little mason jar-shaped shaker, and a bag of craft stuff I bought two and a half years ago at a thrift in Belle Fourche, SD. I was wondering where the bone hairpipe was that I bought there, but I wondered that so long ago I forgot I had even bought them. I also located a T-ware container I had been looking for for a week, in the kitchen cabinet where it belonged. I didn't dig deep enough. Glad I located that and the shaker, because they were on my list to look for at thrifts. The less stuff I need to buy, the less clutter.

    I recently found out the flip top shaker lids from some plastic spice bottles I bought will fit on the little mason jar shakers. I have four lids, and now four glass shakers. Score! I will be putting at least two in the camper. It's good to have spares.

    I purged some more boxes, purged some more items to donate, and consolidated some totes of stuff in the back room. Not much, but it all helps.

    I still haven't found my old packing lists for food and menus from past trips, or my itineraries for past and future trips. I found the binder they're supposed to be in, but they're not there. No idea why or where else to look. Ugh. And I just went through all my flash drives and couldn't find digital copies either. Part of that info probably died with my old computer. But the handwritten hard copies should have been easy to find. That's extremely frustrating.

    Can't find my little zipper pouch I always have on trips, either. Husby claims it's in the door pocket in the truck. Sure hope so.

    I did figure out how to create a workable Word template for my food packing list though, and got a start on that. Husby tried to do what I needed on Excel and it was hopeless. And here all these years I thought it was just me. But he's worked with Excel every day for at least 20 years and couldn't get it to work like I wanted either.

    I've been experimenting with food but decided yesterday I'm doing that wrong, too. I was looking for new recipes I could convert to microwave cooking, but I need to focus on the recipes we use at home and convert some of those instead. I learned that lesson twenty years ago about sticking with the foods we normally eat, but I guess I forgot. Things should start to come together more easily now. I will be adding some new recipes and new staple foods, but mostly I'll do what I've done since we started camping again in 2002, and just add a new recipe now and then. The main goal is to come up with a few more one pot meals that will cook in the microwave. And sandwiches not involving overly salty ingredients. We mostly live on salads and sandwiches in one form or other when we travel, so that's my current focus.

    Still haven't found the little zipper bag I need for the T-ware shakers I plan to start using. Weird. I found the one and they should have been together.

    Talked to Mom on Friday and she brought up Shipwreck hotdish. We haven't had that in years, but it sounded good. It also sounded like something that would cook up in the micro, so I tried it. It worked, even though it needs a little tweaking, namely some tomato sauce poured on top before cooking. I used tomatoes. The recipe calls for tomato soup but we don't eat that anymore. I wanted to add tomato sauce but we don't seem to have any. I'd have sworn we had two unopened cases of it, but nnnnnoooooo. Ugh. I hate running out of stuff. Anyway, it needs that and a little more spice of some kind, since the tomato soup we used to use had both salt and sugar in it. It'll be easy to figure that one out. It will work well for camping because the only item it calls for that needs refrigeration is browned, frozen hamburger. The rest is all shelf stable and stuff that can be found in any grocery store or WM, so will be a good addition for second and third week menus.

    I found two T-ware containers that should work to transfer a big tub of yogurt to. I think plain yogurt will be a staple food for us because it's used for so many things like dips and salad dressings. It will help to have the yogurt in smaller containers that can be put in smaller spaces, and having it in two containers will prevent having one big container half full or less, sucking up space in our tiny fridge.

    I guess you can see what I'm obsessed with lately. I'm so ready for a trip!

    Husby is 10 days from his second to last day. Tomorrow will be single digits, with only 7 full work days plus 3 hours left. It's coming so fast now. Nothing will change, income wise, till May 1 because he will technically be on vacation till he goes back for that one day. It's still so weird to think about all the upcoming changes, but mostly I'm feeling okay about it all. We've been through worse!

  13. #432
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    It finally occurred to me I could make jahb chae in camp without too much trouble, if I cooked it outside. We always have the seasonings along except for 3 Tbsp ground sesame seeds, which I could do ahead and freeze. We usually carry most everything else, except a can of bean sprouts. Or we can pick up everything most anywhere. We LOVE jahb chae, which is a Korean dish with eggs, bean thread noodles, stir fried veggies, and pork plus seasonings. I don't see any reason I can't sub chicken for the pork, to make it more WW friendly. The only bad part is the soy sauce. This keeps well and we never get tired of it. The bean threads don't need to be cooked, just soaked in water which doesn't even have to be hot, so no dealing with hot pots and boiling water like with pasta, and we wouldn't waste our water having to rinse and cool it like pasta. I wonder what other Asian dishes I could find to avoid having to cook pasta when we're gone.

  14. #433
    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    Yesterday was productive for a change. I only did a few rows on the basket but made big progress with the blocks. The book I’m using has 25 sample hexagons with lots of embellishment directions. I have 17 transferred to the foundation fabric and blocks cut for them, so they are ready to sew. Now I can put all the cotton fabric away. I’m going to do the last eight with the fancy fabrics. I had thought I would sew them a few at a time and just leave the sewing machine set up, but I think I would just like to push forward and get all the sewing done at once. I might also make some scrappy quilt strips. I need to make a couple of pillowcases too.

    While I’m doing all that I can keep working on some baskets and scarves. Once I finally get around to the embroidery and embellishments I’m not going to want to be sewing and crocheting.

    It’s colder here, like everywhere, so I’ve been putting out more birdseed. This house has become ground zero for an enormous flock of sparrows. I think they must have spattered “Sucker Lives Here” in bird droppings on my roof. I was watching the flock behavior this morning, a pattern I hadn’t really picked up on before. When they come they settle in a couple of bare trees, and after a few minutes, all but five or six fly down to feed. With walking so painful this week, I’ve just been tossing it out on the porch outside the door. In a few minutes, five or six return to one of the trees and those still there come down. Lookouts? The changing of the guard continues a few at a time. When new birds get the text message that the buffet is open and flock in they stop in the trees before they move down and the guard changing starts again. As they finish they leave either in medium size flock groups, or may all leave together. I assume the sidewalk is picked clean that that point. I usually have lots of cardinals but have only seen a few today. They must either have found a Lady Bountiful somewhere else are they are intimidated by the size of the sparrow flock. They usually just push in and feed among them, but also I usually don’t have the whole sparrow army mustered here at once.

  15. #434
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    I think they are lookouts because here with the cats though I put seed and suet in the lilac bush where no one can get them they still look out. always a couple that don't and end up on my doorstop.

    spirit deer talking about finding things..slowly going though basement stuff. usually organized but guess we all the drama w mil over the last few years nope. went though 3 bins ..one that I thought was fabric actually was fabric thrown on the winter stuff I normally keep for the growing kids. so decluttered to thrift store box..a few hats, mittens and scarves..one I made but don't like. mates to handmade mittens from years ago. and my winter boots for really cold weather..to the shoe area. we don't get really cold weather here much so that is why we had a storage bin. rainpants can go in each kids closet. fabric almost fit in the bench. mils stamps on a shelf now beside extra food.

    the weird things I found together but at least moved to reg places to go though again.

  16. #435
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    I've noticed birds hanging out in the trees, D, but never picked up on the pattern. It makes sense, though.

    It always feels good to get stuff sorted and dealt with, Martha. And find things again.

    I finally remembered I have a Food Saver. That will be a game changer for camping. I can prep stuff, freeze it, nuke it in the bag at camp if we have power, and toss the bag, no cleanup. That's going to help so much.

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