Monday, April 24, 2017

T Stands for Tuesday

   Good morning friends,

       Please drop by our hostess Elizabeth for T Stands for Tuesday where we share a beverage and our week.

   We have had allot of rain and cooler weather here this past week. My husband's follow up doctors appointment was again cancelled (not happy about that) and rescheduled for Tuesday this week so hoping the third will be "the charm"

   Since Thursday evening we have enjoyed our Wisconsin friends. Sorry I totally forgot to take photos-too busy having fun I think.  Plus I don't use smart phones and my old camera doesn't hold a charge well so I don't think about photos like I used to.

     One evening I made sushi rolls for the first time and will definately do that again. for the sushi rice I used Pioneer Women's recipe and loved it. The comment in the recipe that said one could only make sushi rice in an actual rice cooker was wrong and had me puzzled. They have been making sushi rice for years and years and way back I really don't think they had rice cookers available lol   
    When I make most any kind of rice I always wash it-add the cold water-bring to a boil and then turn the heat off with lid on-I use an enamaled cast iron pot which helps to hold in the heat. My sushi rice was perfect.
    We also made egg rolls which did not turn out so well but we improvised in the end with corn-flour-gluten free tortilla shells instead. My friend brought gluten free wrappers cause of me-and they were just horrible-so now we know not to use those again. 
     My husband lived in Japan when he was very young and came home with a homemade spring roll wrapper recipe that is excellent-but it is an all day project so that is why we decided to go with store bought this time.
    My friend discovered that there was a local winery near us-that I never knew about. She had researched some things we could do since we had rain everyday except Sunday while they were here.
   Seven Springs Winery in Linn Creek Missouri is on a gorgeous piece of property. The land here in the ozarks is very rocky, wooded, and very very up and down in many areas-with my allergies now settling in my lower ears-wow did I ever get vertigo-bad as we drove on winding and up and down narrow roads to the winery.   We enjoyed the wine tasting (me just a little bit) and we each bought bottles of wine to take home. This would make a lovely setting for a wedding or any event. Here is a list of their wines and I see they ship as well. We bought their Blushing Springs and one other red that I don't see there on the list. 

    Sunday finally sunshine so our friends who love to golf went up towards Lake in the Ozarks and went golfing. We had some personal things we needed to do so we were both busy during the day. In the evening my friend and I prepared a fabulous grilled meal for us four and another couple-super good eats-and a total splurge for hubs and I. We don't eat out anymore so this was like going to an expensive restaurant. We grilled wild caught Argentina red shrimp, and steaks. In another grill I baked potatoes and sweet potatoes, also made a large tossed salad, more sushi, and other sides. Marie always brings down her handmade cheesecakes which are always excellent.
      I am still full from all the food lol

  For Earth Day I did my third virtual 5k walk. The actual race was on Saturday but since I knew it would be raining most of the day I did my race on Wednesday instead. I have really enjoyed these three virtual races I have done and the proceeds go to the National Parks. I get a pretty finish medal too-I also bought a couple tshirts; one for the Yellowstone race and one for the National Parks race-a nice motivater to keep walking. A friend on facebook had shared the Virtual Running Club which has been well organized. This link will take you to the list of upcoming virtual races.
   I also love that they work with charities for each race event-copied from their site: 
Each of our races has a designated charity partner. A portion of your registration fees (usually about 50% of proceeds) will be donated directly to the charity. We will cover all the processing fees. These are considered pass-through donations so they are not tax deductible. We will have a direct link to each charity if you wish to donate more.

    In today's mail I got in the two new books I ordered for gluten free bread baking and the revised edition of Ed Wood's book on sourdough Classic Sourdoughs. So I think I will read this afternoon.

   For my beverage I brewed up some ginger lemon tea hoping it will help some with my allergies.

    I picked up this lovely teapot with 4 cups at the resale shop many years ago-I really love it, and it was made in Japan.

Oh and I do have a question for all of you that are no reply bloggers-and most in the T party are-which means I can not answer your comment with an email direct to you--what I usually do is come back here and comment under yours--so my question is do you come back and read my comments to you here on my blog post-or do you just read my comment that I leave on your blog post-thanks  It just dawned on me that perhaps no one returns to read my reply--this is something mostly new to me here on blogger as most of my friends are set up so I can reply back to you with an email which makes communicating back and forth a little easier and more personal as well.

Happy T Day everyone

Monday, April 17, 2017

T Stands For Tuesday & Sourdough Bread

  Good morning everyone,
    I am posting a wee bit earlier today, as I realized I am soooo behind on everything I want to get done before our friends from Wisconsin come down for their yearly spring get away to visit with us. They will be here early Thursday afternoon. We always cook up lots of good eats too, so a fun time. 
   I am trying to finish up the painting, need to go shopping, clean house, hubs doctors appt got moved to early thursday morning too so this week will fly by for sure.

   Please visit our hostess Elizabeth for our weekly T for Tuesday event where we share our week along with a beverage.

  I have been wanting to get back into sourdough baking again. Before retirement and before I knew I had celiac (no gluten) disease I baked all of our breads and loved the whole process. At the time I had several different soudoughs going on too for different things.
  I decided I wanted to do this again and I thought perhaps I would have better luck with gluten free breads as well-wrong on that so far-sigh.
   Friday evening I decided to get both starters out the wheat and the gluten free and bake us up some breads the next day. I recently purchased a starter from King Arthur Flour along with this very cool crock I have had my eye on for sometime now. This starter was a live culture and is a descendent sourdough from the 1700s-loving that!!  
   I have been experimenting with flours for the gluten free starter and I finally got one that is very active--but bummer the bread still not working out-I know there is no gluten to form the structure but my bread is just not getting baked through--so I am still experimenting- it looked really nice before I baked it too-sigh  I wanted to try this one more time with no added yeast and eggs to see if it would work with a more active starter.
    After this failure I searched online for recipes and looking at the photos of most of them the bread looked awful to me-not really baked or light.
    I did find a book online that I bought that has a totally different approach to gluten free bread baking that I am going to try and I have not totally given up on my sourdough yet either. I really don't eat that much bread but the price of a mini loaf of gf bread is totally crazy so I would like to master this-a challenge for me I guess lol

   However the wheat sourdough bread and biscuits turned out perfect. I originally had planned to set up the cast iron dutch ovens for outdoor baking but it got too windy by the time I was ready to bake--I need to work on some better fire breaks to put around my ovens-living in the woods there is always dried leaves everywhere, definately don't want to start a forest fire.

Here are some photos (click to enlarge)

                          King Arthur wheat sourdough

                             Gluten Free sourdough-you can see very active

     Next two photos my gluten free flour blends for breads

           I used this flour and also King Arthur Bread Flour

       Next two photos the sourdoughs being activated

                                       Wheat biscuits

                 The two breads rising in the dutch ovens

          These are the baked up wheat biscuits and bread-perfection lol

This bread was good timing as hubs went fishing on the lake friday morning with friends and they came back with lots of fish (two full buckets full)-so one of our friends made up fried catfish dinner for all of us again-so brought along the fresh baked bread.  I need to remember to grab my camera next time.

I don't drink any soda pop at all, and I am always looking for something a bit healthier that tastes good. I love these coconut water based drinks-they do have a bit of green tea caffeine in them but this brand does not seem to bother me with the caffeine. To limit myself to one of these a day-they say this bottle is two servings-I pour half of it my water bottle and then fill up with ice and water. Nice afternoon and evening beverage. I grabbed my spinning last night while watching tv   Iron Chef is back on Food Network always liked that show-the first new one was on the same time as a Hallmark show I love so will catch a rerun during the week.

Happy T Stands for Tuesday everyone!!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter

Image result for photos happy easter

Good morning and Happy Easter to all of you that celebrate.

We have a nice "gardener's" rain with a little bit of thunder here today-actually very nice as I am feeling tired this morning already, so I think I am going to cozy up with a book and/or lounge around today and probably fall asleep lol

From Jacquie Lawson click here for card    If you are not familiar with her cards she designs the most beautiful animated cards.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

T stands for Tuesday & My Week

Good morning friends,
   and Welcome to T for Tuesday where we share a post and a drink with friends. Thanks to Elizabeth for hosting-please stop by to join in or to just meet and visit everyone.

    This past week has seemed like a long one. I almost didn't post this week as I feel like I am so behind getting some things accomplished that I need to, but I have missed you all too-one is a soap order that just must get out today, and to apologize-explain why I wasn't able to visit with all of you last week.

   Very soon late Monday afternoon just after I had posted my T for Tuesday my husband had a major medical emergency. I don't want to go into all the details but he was in the hospital for a week, and came home very very depressed as there was nothing the doctors could do-"to fix" the medical problem. We see our family doctor this Thursday morning so I will have a list of questions. He is an excellent doctor and will be able to explain everything.  
   We have lived here now since the fall of 2003 (after retirement) and it has been very difficult to find good friends-those we can really love and do for each other like a family does.  Over the past couple years especially we have found two families that are indeed like family to us now-such a blessing and they helped me so much this past week.  I am not a strong driver, get lost easy even with a gps sometimes lol so they got me to the hospital that was over an hour away. 
   Hubs was doing better last night as they got him laughing and feeling better about things.  So I am thanking the Lord for bringing us such good people in our lives.

 No more sad talk this is Spring after all.  We have gotten some much needed rain, my clematis both put on a gorgeous display of huge pink blooms, the mints are popping through the dried oak leaves, the red buds and dogwoods are in bloom, and the birds are everywhere singing like a choir, along with all the pond peepers. Loving it!

     I have been reading a different genre this past week-time travel with Scottish Highlanders lol  
    Last week I had figured out how to organize my voyage kindle by putting them in categories-it took me awhile to get it all to work but this now is so much easier to find things
   While doing that I had run into an author Amy Jarecki that had written a time travel romance novel series with William Wallace when I first got my kindle a couple years ago. So I re read the first two books and discovered she had a third book-loved it better this time around. Sooo checking on amazon she has written several other Highlander series so am starting a new one this week-I am really enjoying this author she does allot of research and sticks to the facts as well as she can while turning the story into fiction. She has Scottish ancestry and in my opinion a very excellent story teller.
     I am so glad I got back into reading novels again.

I did buy two more books on Shibori and just got them in the mail yesterday-I have had the one (on the left in photo) on my favorites list for a long time hoping I could find a copy for less that $50.00  and I happened on two by the same author that were used copies for around $40.00 for the both of them shipped so am happy dancing over the two finds. I have always wanted to play around with shibori dye techniques and to read more about it's history and technique.

   I still have my Etsy shop that I started around 2008 I think it was. However I actually buy more items on Etsy than I sell but I have sold several hand dyed pieces, one art piece, vintage quilts that I would run into at the resale shops and a few supplies but nothing steady. 
     I tried a soap business using high quality melt and pour glycerin natural soap basis and have had allot of fun with it but there are sooo many others selling soap and by the time I added in the sellers fees and shipping my soap is expensive. I also really do not get paid for my time-it is pretty  much an all day project and then the wrapping and getting it in the mail.
     I do still have two customers that order from me once or twice a year but I no longer make new soaps and try to sell them.  
     Of course I went over board buying supplies at the time but I have to say I have enjoyed the process, got into learning about making my own herbal salves and balms too.        I used to "paint" with soap to bring out the design of the bars but I discovered I was not getting repeat business cause no one wanted to actually use the soap-lol They used it in their clothes drawers for the fragrance or would set the soap out to look at in guest bathrooms-geesh I told them to please use it's soap after all  oh well.
    So anyways I make the soap simpler now and when I have an order I make soap for me and gift my friends. I love the soap bases too, very creamy and nice for my skin. So I will continue to make soap for me as my skin does not like regular soaps from the store.
   Here is some of what I made yesterday. the fairies get shipped out today.

For my drink to share, I have been enjoying this red wine based beverage in the evenings which is totally delicious-I found it at the Aldi store and buy a couple bottles whenever they have it available.

Happy T Stands for Tuesday!

Monday, April 3, 2017

T Stands For Tuesday & Still painting

  Good morning everyone,
      Another Tuesday is upon us and for me the week flew by really fast.
      On my side bar and also this link will take you to our hostess Elizabeth for T for Tuesday. You are most welcome to visit all the artists and participants and join in with your post as well.

   I worked on painting the bathroom walls a little bit every day since last Tuesday and I put in lots of time Friday afternoon til about 10 pm and most of the day on Saturday as well. Hubs went out of town for his business for a couple days so it was my perfect opportunity to take down the temporary shower set up around the tub so I could get all that painted while he was gone.  I also needed to add the tissue paper up close to the ceiling as well in that area. and it takes me awhile to paint a room as I use a brush instead of a roller-hubs thinks I am crazy lol but I can handle that better than a roller-always have painted walls with my brush.
   I got it mostly finished except for one storage area, above the rock shower for that strip up by the ceiling, and to go over another area to touch up.
   I decided we both needed to take Sunday off which we rarely do so that was really nice-ended up visiting friends to have them invite us to stay for bbq ribs for dinner-what a nice surprise and fun afternoon-evening with friends.
          We were not expecting at all to have dinner with our friends Sunday evening other wise I would have grabbed my camera and taken a picture of my ribs and big glass of pink lemonade.

   Today the plan was to finish up all the painting-Wrong lol it all caught up with me when I got out of bed this morning. Neck, knees and painting arm are all screaming at me. I would have jumped in Monday afternoon anyways to get it finished if it were not for my neck--that is always wierd to me-the delayed pain effect lol   oh well part of getting older I am realizing.

This first photo shows the rocks: to the left by the tub and the shower-my vision was that this color on the walls would make the rocks "pop" and it does we will be sealing the rocks too when I am finished so they will look gorgeous.

(photos will enlarge even more just click on them)

This photo is of the shower

and this photo is looking through the other area of the bathroom into the tub and shower room
   You can see from the photos how the light changes the color of the paint-I also have two stains to rub into the textures as well  I am really pleased with the paint results so far.

      Soooo, it's raining again today; I decided a good day to bake up a big batch of gluten free chocolate chip cookies to keep my body moving.  
    Oh Yummy these turned out sooo good. I follow my childhood days recipe for tollhouse cookies but change the flour to Bob's Red Mill 1 for 1 gluten free flour which is my go to all purpose gf flour now, for the sugars in this one I used mostly all coconut sugar with a little bit of splenda, instead of butter I only bake with coconut oil now. I also added a couple heaping tablespoons of Hershey's dark cocoa, added cinnamon and a little bit of cake spice and for the chips I used Ghiradeli dark chocolate and white chocolate chips, and a handful of Nestle's butterscotch chips.
      I mostly use Ghiradeli chips now as they are always gluten free and I have switched to their dark chocolate chips-better quality too. Nestle's chips I have to always check for wheat added to their chips which is very annoying for me. While writing this I thought I would mention in case you do not want gmo's in your foods-the last time I bought Nestle chips I checked really well for the wheat didn't see anything but when I got home-big bummer in small print not near the ingredient list it said they had included gmo's I was not happy at all so through them out.

     I packed up a container of cookies for our Yellowstone trip and stuck them in the freezer so they are ready to grab for the trip. This batch turned out sooo good that I am going to freeze most of the rest so I don't eat too many lol

      A note about my Canon Powershot camera I was having trouble with.  
    In the end Canon was no help at all, in fact after writing to them about it within 5 minutes I got a form letter addressing the issue of the battery not holding a charge. They instructed what I could do and if that did not work I could send it in for repair but for a charge--thought that was horrible service when they know there is an issue with this model. 
     However, the Ebay seller worked with me even though it was after 3 months and allowed me to send the camera back for a full refund. Sje had sent me a replacement battery but I had the same issue-would not hold a charge.
     I was soooo thankful for her excellent customer service. She said she did have one other camera that had done the same thing. (her store is proshippers)  I promised her I would spread the good word on my social media.

      For my beverage to share for my T group I decided tonight to get out one of my teapots and enjoy some nice hot tea while watching The Voice. 
     I have collected several small tea pots that I really enjoy the beauty of and using too. I love handmade pottery dishware. The lemon balm is my own that I dried: it makes a lighter looking tea-but looks are deceiving as it brews in to a strong flavored mint with lemon-love it

and Surprise, I went out to sit with Miss Calico earlier this afternoon and look what I saw: clematis starting to bloom today and lemon balm sprouting too with all the rains and a bit of sunshine today.

  This last photo I thought got froze out but looking so much better now after all the rain.

Happy T Day everyone, I really enjoy and appreciate your visits.

Late Monday afternoon actually just a bit after I posted this my husband was helicoperted to the hospital over an hour from us so depending what happens this morning I won't get back to all of you right away

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Second on the 2nd-Laundry Making Supplies

   I am joining Elizabeth for Second on the 2nd  where we  share a past post on the 2nd of each Month.

      This post goes way back to 2008. Back then the economy had crashed and we were pretty poor from it, so I was looking at ways to save us money. 
    I had discovered some recipes for making my own laundry making supplies. 
    I was buying at the time the more expensive liquid detergents that were allergy free-from those strong fragrances.  I have loved the process of making the soaps, the large savings, and mostly Not the recycling and expense of all those plastic bottles from store bought-- that I have continued to make my own soap still today. 
    I make a double batch and it fits into a 5 gallon bucket up to the top. I like the dry detergent recipe for tough laundry jobs and for soaking first.
   I do buy the bleach now as it just works better if not drying the laundry out on the line, and although the fabric softener recipe worked I now use vinegar in the rinse cycle.

Updates on My Laundry Making Supplies Jul 11, '08 10:40 AM
for everyone    copied from my older blog  here

I wanted to share with you which recipes I have made so far-and how I like them.

For the liquid detergent I chose this one, as it looked more concentrated and I also added in glycerin

1 quart boiling water

2 cups bar soap-finely grated-this is important (this time I used Kirks pure castile soap)

2 cups Borax

2 cups Washing soda

2 tablespoons glycerin


add finely grated bar soap to the boiling water and stir until soap is melted. You can keep on low heat until soap is melted-this is very important at this step to make sure All the soap is totally melted-as it won't melt later-ask me why I know-lol
     Note: do not use fels napha bar soap for this recipe-if you go on their site this soap was never intended for this purpose-but rather to use as spot remover on clothes-this soap is really harsh if you have sensitive skin.

pour the soap water into a large clean pail-I chose a 5 gallon bucket-perfect- and then add in the borax, washing soda and stir well until all is dissolved.

add 2 gallons of water -use very hot tap water-and stir until well mixed, at this point I also added in the glycerin.

cover the pail and use 1/4 cup for each load of laundry. stir the soap each time you use it as it will gel.

(I thought I would like this recipe better to add to saved laundry soap bottles and use that way, but after seeing what it does, I am going to keep it in the bucket so I can stir well before using, I will decide after this batch if this is the way to go and the soap stays clean)

I used this for the first time on a load of towels, and I also used my fabric softener that had lavender essential oil added. They just came out of the dryer-and very nice-just a hint of lavender, soft, and so clean.


For the dry detergent I used this recipe.

1 cup grated bar soap I used kirks pure castile soap, this would be a good recipe for using the fels napha soap for very very soild clothes-like a mechanics clothes, or for dirty throw rugs-it is too hars a soap for general laundry use.

1/2 cup washing soda

1/2 cup borax

Stir all together and put in air tight container. use 1 tablespoon for light soiled load and 1 tablespoons for heavy soiled loads.

and for tips they suggested:

liquid detergent can be used to pretreat stains-(soak in a bucket of your homemade liquid detergent)

ivory soap, or any bar soap of your choosing can be used-finely grate all soap

essential oils can be added to soap for a bit of fragrance if you choose.

I really like this soap for heavily soiled clothes along with my fabric softener. I have done a couple loads now and really really like this one.


Bleach substitute

1 cup hydrogen peroxide

1/4 cup lemon juice

12 cups water

store in a labeled plastic jug. add 2 cups per load

they suggest to hang your clothes to a dry on a clothesline. first of all saves energy, prolongs the life of your clothes and will keep whites brighter. line drying in the sun also kills bacteria.

This one worked so so on a load of whites. I may experiment with this as a soak first on dirty white socks, and I think the line drying makes the lemon juice work better afterwards


Fabric Softener

You need a very large pot as the mixture will foam up at first

add 1 cup of baking soad to the pot

add 1 cup of water-don't need to mix yet

slowly add 6 cups of distilled white vinegar. this will cause the chemical reaction with the baking soda and the mixture will fiz up. Let fiz and do its thing for a few minutes.

now add 6 more cups of water to the mixture. this will stop the fizzing process. stir to properly mix all the ingredients.

store in saved fabric softener bottles-may add some essential oils of your choice. 10 to 15 drops at first and see if you like the results first.

Add 1 cup to the final rinse

I really really like this alot and know I will continue to make this one for sure. I split this in half with 2 bottles and left one with no essential oils, and put 12 drops of lavender essential oil in the second-I love it

I also wanted to mention again, in case you did not catch my updated updated blog from a couple days ago-that the best thing I really like about all this is the huge reduction in lint. Our Nikita causes soooo much lint in the wash-and the vinegar I think took care of this-really amazing to me.

You can also just use straight vinegar for the rinse water-which I now do.