Sunday, June 19, 2016

Week 26, June 19, 2016

Thoughts and Quotes: A father is someone who keeps photos where his money used to be.


Tips:  Friend Joey's cousin Billie and her husband Richard make all kinds of wonderful jams, jellies, and butters.  Each jar top has a label identifying the contents, followed by a really fun quote.  They buy Avery labels which are round, and as I understand it, they come with instructions on how to print on them.  Look how cute.

Tidbit:  A Techie Tidbit.  Nephew Ron bought a 3-D printer.  He needed a container for holding the fuses he uses at work so that they didn't get all mixed together.  This is what he "printed" to hold them.  Remember - it's 3-D.  He said that it took 32 hours.

I asked him what they're made of, and being the true techie in every sense, he didn't say that it's sort of like cardboard.  He told me that they're made of polylactic acid and it comes in different colors and sent me this from Wikipedia: "Polylactic acid is derived from renewable resources, such as corn starch, tapioca roots, chips or starch, or sugarcane".  So my guess is that it's sort of like cardboard.  But how exciting.  Wouldn't you love to be able to make a custom holder for your makeup, or your desktop items, or your scrapbooking goodies? 

Tidbit:  A Tea Tidbit.  Angela, of the Tea With Friends Blog, had a post this week showing the cutest teabag in the entire world.  Take a look.

Teaching and Learning:  This time it was learning.  Friend Joey and I went to the library for a class on apps.  She already has a smart phone, but I'm still at Consumer Cellular for $17.66 per month.  She wanted to learn new apps and I wanted to see if I could justify a reason to get a smart phone.  I took my Kindle Fire, hoping I could find some useful apps for it.   Well, it turns out that we only learned about library apps.  But - did you know that you can check out music?  and read magazines?  and take classes on a multitude of subjects, in addition to learning 72 languages?  watch TV shows or movies? all on your phone.  You can, of course, check out e-books as well.  Check with your local library.  You might be missing out on all sorts of fun things.

Tidying:  My kitchen and breakfast area ceilings have a new coat of paint.  No, I didn't do it, but I went after the paint and supplies and a nice young man (Jase) did the work.

Tidying Again:  I took all the dishes down from the tops of the cabinets and bookshelves for the painting of the ceiling, and the next day I washed every single one of them.  Applause, please.

Things That Grow:  Again, no, I didn't do it.  This is from Friend Joey's bush.  Isn't it lovely? Now I want one, but don't know where I'd put it.  I read in Southern Living Magazine that your blue hydrangea can turn pink.  If you want it pink, dissolve one tablespoon of hydrated lime in a gallon of water and drench the root zone in April or May.  If you want it blue, dissolve one tablespoon of aluminum sulfate in a gallon of water and drench the root zone in April or May.  They didn't say where to buy the chemicals, but I'm assuming wherever they sell plants.  If you want white, you have to buy a variety which won't turn regardless of what you do to it.

Tidbit:  Thank you to the makers of mixes.  How did my grandmother accomplish so much? How she would have loved being able to open a box of brownie mix and a can of frosting and have dessert in no time.  And then I can put everything in the dishwasher.

Tasting:  We didn't get around to making the Swiss steak my son wanted while he was here. I had the meat in the freezer and everything else I needed, so I decided to go ahead and make it.  I don't have a recipe.  I simply put some oil in the skillet, cook some chopped onion at a low heat until translucent.  Pound some sirloin or round steak pieces with my metal meat tenderizing hammer (on my bread board shaped like a pig that he made in high school).  Then I dredge the pieces in flour, salt and pepper and remove the onions to a bowl, and brown the meat in the oil.  Next I return the onions, put in petite diced or crushed canned tomatoes, a brown gravy mix dissolved in one cup of water, and a bit of sugar to counteract the acid in the tomatoes.  Cover and simmer until tender.

I also made mashed potatoes, buttered carrots, and a vegetable salad.  I took dinner (and the brownies) to a recuperating friend (and husband) and they're always so generous with their gratitude, you'd think I took a gourmet meal.  They won't know the brownies came from a box until they read this.  They'll taste better that way.

And this meager offering from my weed patch.

Things That Grow:  I have to be the world's worst gardener.  Every year it's new mistakes.  I never have any luck with carrots, but thought I'd plant a few "test" carrots this year.  Just look.

What causes this?  I think they're so embarrassed by my garden that they try to sprout another leg so they can run away.

Tidying:  I had a box of bits and pieces of silver in the garage, badly in need of polishing.  I picked these things up at thrift stores, so nothing cost very much.  No big loss (money-wise) if I messed something up, so I decided to experiment with some methods I'd saved in my "Home" notebook.  I started with this creamer and sugar bowl (actually, I did pay $10 on eBay for these) and this flatware.

The method was to mix 1 quart of hot water, 1 Tbs water softener, 1 Tbs salt in a pan with a a sheet of aluminum foil in the bottom of the pan.  No good.  To be honest, my water softener had a moisturizer added, so maybe that messed it up.

Then I tried this: Line a pan with aluminum foil, fill with water and bring to a boil.  Then add baking soda and stir.  When it returns to a boil, put in the silverware and turn off the heat.  In a few minutes, you should have clean silverware.  That didn't work either, but it did loosen the glue which held the shell spoon together.  I didn't even know it had been broken.

Then I resorted to my labor-intensive method.

The results were satisfactory, and yes, the spoon in the middle is Mr. Peanut.

Alas, the creamer and sugar bowl are too far gone to use for food, so I intend to use them to hold flowers on a tea table. The creamer has a spot on the handle where the silverplate is missing, so I bought some metallic silver paint, and we'll see how that works.  I didn't know such paint existed.

If it works, I'll try it on these:

Then when I was talking with Friend Joey, she told me about this, which I found at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

There's a basket inside.  You drop in the flatware, wait ten seconds, pull it out and rinse. It made short work of all this:

I have no idea what this is.  I must ask Chosen Brother Peter.  He probably knows.

And I found that Weiman now comes in a liquid form, which should be easier to use, and will be better for larger items.  It smells just like the Hagerty brand.  Also from Bed, Bath and Beyond.

And LInda at, if you're reading this, these are the forks I told you about which say "Sheffield, England". They also say "stainless", so I'm assuming that they're not very old.

These forks are a mystery.  Why are the handles as long as iced tea spoon handles? Peter? Anyone?

Tasting:  Finally, I used my larger-size muffin tins from Friend Joey.  I made muffins from Joann Fluke's recipe in her book Blueberry Muffin Murder, and they're called Blue Blueberry Muffins, because you mix blueberry pie filling into the batter.  You can get the recipe here. I didn't put the crumb topping on.  

Before baking, the batter was the color of the gray modeling clay I used in grade school.

After baking, they looked fairly normal.

But cut open, they rather remind me of dingy laundry.

They're very good.  I believe the pie filling does add to the blueberry taste.  I followed her directions and divided the remaining pie filling into 1/2 cup portions and froze it for the next three batches.

Tidbit:  A new customer dropped by my Kitty-Cat Cafe on Monday.  She must have liked my menu, because she's been back every evening for dinner since then. Glad to see her back, because she looks really skinny.  I believe that my regular customer, Pepper, proposed to her.  I certainly hope that she turned him down.  I don't need any mini-customers running around.

Day 22, June 13, 2016

Day 23, June 14, 2016

Day 24, June 15, 2016, Different pants, remove tee

Day 25, June 16, 2016

Day 26, June 17, 2016

Day 27, June 18, 2016

Day 28, June 19, 2016

Gee, do you think I might be yearning for a trip to Hawaii?


(Maybe a little tidying, but I won't talk about it)

Thank you for sharing my life


  1. I loved the Avery labels such fun. The misshapen veg always makes me smile. You certainly have an extensive wardrobe. Have a great week.

    1. Way too many clothes. That's why I'm organizing my clothes a little at a time. I'd be overwhelmed, if I tried to do it all at once. Trying to see how many weeks I can go without the same outfit. Need to get busy on losing weight, so I can keep going with my things which are too small right now.

      Good week to you, too.

  2. A lot of good things in this post. I like the idea of printing a quote on the labels. I'm not sure how that 3D printing works. I have my limits at working out techy stuff including smartphones. Library groups are a good place to learn new skills these days. You've been busy with your cleaning after the decorating. You have an interesting collection of silverware and some of the pieces look very old. The design of those forks is, I believe, Plain Old English and they're probably early 20th century. The Sheffield firms that made such items (as on your forks) were mainly small ones and no longer exist, but nevertheless the flatware sets they produced are now vintage. I have odd items as well as a set in a wooden presentation box that was a gift to my parents. You're doing well with your carrots as we haven't been able to grow a single good one! They need light, sandy soil to grow well. The forking is often due to them hitting a stone in the soil as the roots grow down. Your kitty visitor and friend know where to come for their evening meal! Enjoy the rest of your week. I shall look out for that strawberry moon tonight although it might be cloudy. I'm taking a break from blogging as I'm going in early for my operation. I might post something before Friday if I can. I'll catch up with your news soon.

    1. My prayers are with you this week, as you progress through your surgery and recovery.

      Thanks for the info on the silverware. These are bits and pieces I've picked up at the thrift stores. I've bought several sets of silverplate at very low prices, as no one wants the bother any longer. I can also buy beautiful sets of china really cheap, if they have a silver or gold ring (can't go in the microwave or dishwasher). Everyone is so busy now, working and kids, etc. They don't have time for the fussy things for entertaining. My good fortune!

      Get well, my friend. It will soon be over.

    2. Thank you Patsy for your prayers for this week and for the weeks of recovery. I'll be glad when there's better news of my health and the medical team are happy with me in a few months time after radiotherapy. I'll be reading your news although probably won't be able to type a comment for a while. Hope the 'fun' week you planned is going well.

    3. The "fun" week isn't as much fun as I'd have liked. On Monday I went to get my teeth cleaned - a costly bit of "no fun". And it seems the "Tidying" bug hasn't released me yet. Lunch tomorrow with friends, however, so looking forward to seeing them. Also, my St. Louis Cardinals baseball team wasn't doing so well. They were 12-1/2 games behind the leader. I told myself I wouldn't waste time watching baseball this year, but I just had to see what happened to my World Champions. Well, as you guessed, I got hooked and watched three games. And they won all three games! And against the league leader! They need me.

      Growing up, one of my best friends was Linda (now departed), so I have a fondness for the name. Her middle name was Kay and my middle name is Kaye (the e is my father's doing). She lived around the corner and her mother was our Campfire Girl Leader.

      Still praying.

  3. Could the forks have been for retrieving pickles from a jar or something similar I wonder? It is very intriguing isn't it. They used to make cutlery for all kinds of things that we don't have uses for now. Much easier with just plain old knives, forks and spoons! xx

    1. Sorry, Miss Amy, but I depend on our cousins - the Brits - to put a little culture in my life. I drooled over Downton Abbey. I still think of everyone across the pond as always having afternoon tea out of china cups and saucers with a freshly baked scone, clotted cream, homemade strawberry jam, and/or lemon curd, Maids of Honour and seed cake. I can't say Spotted Dick, because I get a fit of giggles. Like Lionel in As Time Goes By, I love lemon tarts. I know they were lower class, but I'm made about pasties. The best one I ever tasted was in Fishguard, Wales, and made from chicken. And no one can make fish and chips, prime rib and Yorkshire pudding like your countrymen, and up to Scotland for haggis. Yummy!

      I want lots of flatware and cloth napkins and tablecloths and fresh flowers from the garden. These are my images of your country, so please tell me it's okay to have lots of silverware. Please don't pull me into the 21st Century. By the way, I have wooden chests of silverplate sets. I can buy them on Craigslist really cheap over here because no one want to polish silver anymore. Also china with gold or silver rings because it can't go in the dishwasher and microwave.

      Chosen Brother Peter is from England and managed a big castle estate in Ireland for many years. He also was with Cunard and other lines from ship's artist up to cruise director. Surely he can let us know about those forks. He's the horticulture interpreter at our botanical center now and very busy, but I'll find out before next Sunday. Promise.

  4. Lots of interesting things to read here. Thanks for sharing it all. I was wondering what the clothes photos were about, now you have me interested and intrigued to see how long before you double up :)


    1. The many, many clothes. This is my way of organizing my closets a little at a time. The thought of tackling it all at once overwhelms me.

      I don't wear each outfit on the day I show it. I just put it in an assigned spot in the closet (tops to go with white slacks), (tops to go with black slacks) (tops which go with matching slacks) etc. When I've run out of matches, the odd pieces can go to the thrift store or into my "overstock". I got carried away when I lived in California and discovered the Graff outlet stores, I bought things which were on sale at rock bottom prices. Then when I moved back to Missouri, my friend taught me the joys of shopping at thrift stores. Guess I went a little beyond my needs. I just love buying clothes and matching them together. I'm numbering them, because my friend and I were discussing how our closets were overflowing, and I decided to see just how many days I could go without wearing the same outfit.

      And that's the story of the clothes.

  5. "they remind me of dingy laundry" made me laugh out loud! So funny. Love the way you set out your weekly wardrobe this way, very stylish. I'm much too disorganised to be able to achieve that look!.
    bon weekend

    1. Oh, Maggie - it's the disorganization that started me on my project. This way I'm organizing a little at a time. See my comment above for the entire story. Must admit, I'm enjoying the journey. Wait until you see the costume jewelry I bought yesterday. I get carried away at sales.

  6. Funny carrots (I think, it's not a misstake, in private gardens they often grow so funny) and beautiful silver things!
    It's always a joy to look at bookshelfes from other people... your outfits are lovely - I have a joy to find matching pieces and most of my clothing is from a Charity depot - maybe, I should show my outfits again (a few years earlier I've that done)?
    Have a nice sunday

  7. Oh, Mascha, you don't know the half of it. The bookshelves in my kitchen are only my cookbooks PLUS six more boxes full in the garage, PLUS a four-drawer file cabinet of loose recipes cut out and put in folders such as "Pies - apple"; "Pies - berry"; "Pies - Coconut"; or "Chicken - whole"; "Chicken - breasts"; "Chicken - Cooked"; and it goes on and on, PLUS I have notebooks of recipes, PLUS I've saved hundreds of pins on Pinterest. Overkill? Yeah!

    My other books for reading total over 3,000 and I have over 1,000 on my Kindle. You see, I'm planning to live to be 378, so I have 300 more years to accomplish all this.

    Some of my clothes come from charity depots as well - we call them Thrift Stores. Please post some of your outfits. I'd love to see your taste in fashion. You could use it for Five on Friday. I tend to choose simple things or loud prints with simple lines, but nothing faddish. Some of my clothes are years old, but I don't feel out of fashion wearing them. Besides, seems everyone is setting their own fashions these days anyway unless they have lots of money.

    Now the silver - what I've shown are bits and pieces I've collected which needed to be cleaned. I have several chests of silverplate I've purchased at very reasonable prices, because no one wants to clean it anymore. Easy to find bargains in china also if it has a silver or gold ring because it can't go in the microwave or dishwasher. Soon I'm going to get back to my Tablescapes, Teas, and Theme Dining. You'll find it much more fun reading my posts then.

    Thanks for visiting - and go match up those outfits for next week. I'm so busy, I usually just read the Five on Friday posts, so I'll be looking for you.

  8. Oh, it is sad to see that your snapped spoon! Silver tools need frequent cares but I really love silvers. I have a tea pot that is very similar looking to yours. Have a good day.

    1. No problem with the spoon. I'm not even sure how it's used. It was a part of a set, so no big loss. And I bought it at a thrift store and paid very little.

      My prior comment tells the story of the silver. I hope to get back to using my silver and china the week after next. Next week is work-work-work.

  9. A while back I posted about using plain old baking soda to shine your silver. It really works. Try it some time. Just make a paste with water and use a rag to rub it on and the tarnish will rub right off.

    1. Well, that certainly sounds a lot easier, less expensive, and more eco-friendly than the prepared concoctions. Thanks for the tip.

    2. patsy, wondering if you ever tried this? I have a picture of the silver from the post about using baking soda to remove tarnish on my pinterest board with my blog name on it. r/sharon

    3. I'll try to find it. Always looking for eco-friendly ways to clean. Haven't polished any silver since this post, so haven't tried your method yet, but I will.

      And I'd love to see your board. Don't you just love Pinterest? Oh, just found it. My, but you have a lot of followers. Will explore this evening.