Sunday, December 30, 2012

Crochet Challenged!

I tried to learn to crochet on my own a couple years ago.
I sort of gave it up for awhile after that but I'm bound and determined to learn!
I think the winter and cold weather makes you want to make something "wool" and it feels so comfortable to think of sitting by the fireplace knitting or crocheting something you can actually use!
Well, I know how to knit.  I remember that from when I was a young teenager!  (A miracle in itself!)  I actually knit some baby sweaters and sweaters for me and my boyfriend at the time!!  But I think knitting takes forever and crocheting is supposed to be faster once you learn how.  It's that last part I'm a little concerned over.
I actually got this yarn and little pattern a couple years ago and never did anything with it.  So when I saw my basket of yarn that I had put away, I pulled it out and I'm going to try again.
It was bulky yarn with a "quick and easy pattern", so they say.
Things started out pretty good.  I have a couple books that demonstrate stitches that are super confusing, so I went to YouTube!  Much better.

Here's the picture of this warm winter cowl on the package that the yarn came in: 

I was using the wrong stitch to begin with but it started to look better when I changed.
See, it looks like it's coming along good, right!

Well, I should've stopped about 3 inches below that because it's only supposed to be 8 1/2 inches wide.
However, I had all this yarn left so I kept going.

One thing though . . . . I noticed it was getting narrower  so I decided to add stitches.  I really don't know for sure how to do that but I faked it and it certainly did!

 Now I had what looks like a little skirt!!!  Maybe for Rocky my dog!

I slipped it on and it goes down over my shoulders!
Well, I thought, this may be nice and warm in below zero temps!
You see, I have a real aversion to ripping things out  : ))

See, under my coat, you'd never know!!!!!!!!!!!

It's very warm!!!!!!!!


I need some advice from crocheters!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

On Christmas Day, We Ride!

For the past 8-9 years, Michele and I have spent Christmas Day at the barn with the horses and we ride together. 
This year we did the same.
Unfortunately both of us failed to take any pictures!!!
But I hope we can keep up the tradition for years to come.


Our Christmas Eve

We celebrate Christmas with the family on Christmas Eve.
I used to always have that party but since my grandkids have arrived it's just easier for them to have it at their house.
So we went to Carl and Linda's house for dinner and an evening of gift giving.
Most of the gifts are for the kids now.
Here's a couple photos during the evening.

 The new puppy is about 12 weeks old.
It's quite wild there with the kids and the puppy!!!!

Of course Michele took the better photos!
It was a great evening.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

From me and the Big Boys.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

My Boys

It's a cold winter and snowy day.  My dogs have had their breakfast and a little romp in the snow so now it's time for what they do best!!!

It amazes me that Rocky can get his whole body and long legs on that pillow but when he's in my bed he has to take up 3/4 of it!!!

Doesn't Monk look comfy?  (Thank goodness he can't get up on my bed!)
Hey, aren't St Bernard's supposed to be out laying in the snow!!!!!


A Little Kitchen Organization!

I didn't take before pictures but as all counters and islands do, they become cluttered with "stuff".  
You know, "any flat surface!"
It was becoming distracting and confusing to do any baking because that alone sort of makes a mess.  
At least when I do it!
So I cleared off my island and my window seat.

I took my daybook and calendars off the island and made this sit-down area here on my window seat.  It's working out really well.

I even got my crock pot off the island and put it up here in my cupboard.  It's still handy to get down to use it.

I cleared off my other counters too.

And put my blender away since I don't use it all that much.  I was making more smoothies in the summer.
I totally feel more organized now!


The Girl's First Winter

Today was the first day that the chickens came out into more than a dusting of snow.
Yesterday they chose to stay in their coop during the snowstorm.  

They were a little hesitant to come out at first.

I scattered some scratch around that encouraged them.
They'll get a bigger treat a little later.

Lily thinks it's a good idea to just stay up there and not get her feet wet!!
They have warm water and feed inside their coop.  Their water is kept unfrozen by way of a heated dog bowl and I change it everyday adding to it some electrolytes.
They are giving me beautiful eggs!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Placemat Pillow

I'm linking up with:

I saw this idea on line somewhere at least a couple years ago.  I found some placemats at that time and just now decided to try it.  Nothing like rushing right to it!!!

The placemats must have a sewn on back.

You have to take a small scissors or a seam ripper to open a part of one end to put the stuffing in.

I may open this one again and put some more stuffing in it.  It looks a little wimpy.
I've seen a lot of cute holiday placemats that would make super cute pillows.
It would make a nice gift too.
If only I had thought to do it a little sooner!
Maybe next year!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Enhanced Box Brownies (for the busy cook!)

OK, these are Betty Crocker brownies made as usual from the box.
But I broke up pieces of good dark chocolate and crushed up some peppermint sticks to go on top.
  (Put on before putting the brownies in the oven)

Let me tell you, these are extra, extra scrumptious!!!!
Linking this to: 


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Chickens and Evergreens

Yesterday was a beautiful day.  In the morning I fussed with my dogs and my chickens.
I have to say I enjoy just puttering around here with them!
I made the chickens something they could dust bathe in. 
I had a nice container and I filled it with new play sand, some fine dirt and some diatomaceous earth.
Right away they examined it and of course all wanted to go in it at once!.
"Take turn girls!!"

They thanked me by giving me 5 beautiful eggs this morning.

I'm just including this to show you that this is the huge arrangement of evergreens from outside that I was trying to fit on my dining room table!  A little big but it works here.
Hope you're having fun getting ready for Christmas.  I'm way behind as I am every year!


Friday, December 14, 2012

Toffee Bars for Christmas

This is a re-post of a couple years ago.  A lot of people requested this recipe so here it is.
One of my favorite cookies!

My mother always made these cookies at Christmas time and now my sister and I do too.
Here is the recipe. The candy bars that it talks about are regular Hershey chocolate bars that you lay on the hot cookies as soon as you remove them from the oven.

See all those missing ones? I ate them. You have to test!!!!

They are scrumptious!!

I think I'll go test another one.
If your chocolate is too soft you can set it by putting the pan in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

This is What I Need!

Some of you may have seen this on FB but I think they are soooo cute.
I think this is what my little square acre homestead is missing!!!!!!!!!!

Have a happy, happy Christmas season!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Red Plaid Christmas Tablescape

I brought some pine boughs in for around the house.  I was hoping they would smell like Christmas trees but they have absolutely so scent!  
I made a big arrangement for the dining room table which turned out to be too big so I'm using it in the family room.  I made a smaller one for my table.  There's quite a few photos, I hope you enjoy.

Merry Christmas!


Linking up with Tablescape Thursday:
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