Friday, January 18, 2019

Heading into the Weekend

We're under a Winter Weather Advisory with some snow forecast and really cold temperatures. Our low on Sunday night is supposed to be down to -22C (-7f) with highs only -9C (16F). If it's that cold out I'm not sure we'll go far although there might actually be some nice ice to be seen! It depends more on the roads I think. I will be breaking out my hand and toe warmers if we should venture out.

On the home front I'm still trying to search out new recipes. I picked up one of The Pioneer Woman's cookbooks just before Christmas when they were only $10. I really like her books and the recipes. They are quite down-to-earth. The books are fabulous, very colourful and detailed.

In this kind of weather you need something nice and warm and hearty - especially if son is working outside. He usually comes right home and has a bath - just to warm up I think! He's more of a shower guy but in the winter a bath can warm your insides right up too. I imagine some days he has to be cold to the bone.

Husband went over to MIL's yesterday to visit and came back with my lovely slippers that she'd made me. She made us all a pair last year for Christmas and I loved them! They are nice and warm and they stay on your feet! I've almost worn the old ones out so I asked if she could make me another pair.

I've been battling a headache all day. It sounds strange but I think it might be the weather front coming through. I haven't been able to shake it. It's one of those that make me sick to my stomach and probably won't go away until I sleep. Sigh.

I think the birds know something about the weather. They have been eating like crazy today! I've had to go out and put food on the table four or five times. Usually I only do it once in the daytime (hubby puts some out first thing).

I hope everyone had a good week and will have an enjoyable weekend.

Thanks to the people following me! I do appreciate you reading my ramblings.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Another Day...

Yesterday it was pretty icy and I didn't go far. Today the roads were better so I got out for a walk and to the shops. On Wednesday's I ring Mum too so we chatted for a while. I didn't get as much done as I wanted. I didn't get out until later for a walk and by the time I'd done that, gone to the shops and rang Mum time was marching on. I did do a little cross stitch and knit a few rows.

It's going to be a squirrel! I got the kit on sale one year while I was visiting Mum. I'm pleased to get a start on it and it seems quite fitting as I've been taking a lot of squirrel photos lately.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday Ramblings and Darning

It was really cold when I woke up this morning. It was -12C (10F) and when I did go out for my walk it was -7c (19F). I bundled up really warmly with long undies, hat, scarf and handwarmers tucked in my gloves. There weren't many people about - what a surprise!! I was quite disappointed in my walk. I saw lots of deer and got some photos for my black and white project but I couldn't walk all the way I wanted to as they were doing work on the trail. I think they are planning on expanding or something but there were so many industrial machines and they were pulling up places where the animals roam. I found it sad really. There was someone out (in a snow removal vehicle) clearing the path but it was making things worse, scraping of the layer of snow to reveal a sheet of ice below. At least with the snow on the path my boots had something to cling on to! I ended up walking alongside the cleared off path.

When I got home I was disappointed to see that my lovely thick socks had holes developing in the heels. I was thinking of darning (I'm not quite sure if that word is used in the states or what the equivalent is) them. I remember Mum would always be darning our socks. Nowadays it seems that we just go out and buy new ones. Does anyone do darning anymore? I love these socks and they were (although a present) quite expensive. It seems a shame not to darn them and continue to use. The same for one of the knit pairs of gloves I wear. This sounds strange, but I bit a hole in the top of one of the fingertips (it's a nervous habit to sort of chew on it).

As it's so cold today I put some chilli in the slow cooker. Son and husband will probably be quite cold when they get home from work. Son sometimes has to work outside. Middle son is coming up to visit too so there will be plenty for him to eat too. I'm working on my stitching while waiting for people to come home. The jobs I wanted done today are done. I'm starting on a list for tomorrow. There is ice/snow in the forecast and if the roads are slippery I shall be staying in tomorrow.

Photo from our cold but sunny walk yesterday!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Saturday and an Icy Walk

Of course Saturday rolls around and it's gloomy, though that is pretty much standard most days in winter in Michigan. We usually do a small morning walk or trip as I get home by 12.30 my time (5.30pm Mum's) to Skype my Mum. We usually chat for an hour and a half and the time just flies by! It seems that no sooner do we start to chat before it's time to our weekly hug and say goodbye again. I ring her on Wednesdays too so we have a good old chat then too.

Our drive/walk this morning was over to the lakeshore. I'm attempting to do a black & white photography series of photos for my EDPS Camera Club (online) as my Big Project for the year. As the day was gloomy I thought that I could take photos of the rails leading up to the lighthouse. I love the lines. They are just fabulous and make lovely black and white photos. Anyway, we got to the lighthouse and there was fabulous ice beginning to form. It was so beautiful (if ice can be considered beautiful). The way the wind had blown and frozen the water was truly amazing.

I'm glad we didn't decide to just stay home!

Friday, January 11, 2019


I've been doing a bit of sorting. There wasn't a lot of rubbish to throw out, but lots of books around. Yikes. I've made a small pile of 'to-be-read-next'. I must have been in a romance reading mood when I picked them up at the library book shop as they all seem to be little romance books. They won't take long to read and if I start them and don't fancy reading them, I won't. I'll put them in the donate box. There are a few I do want to put up on so I can get some credits for books on my wish list. I usually only list those that people are already wishing for as that way the books don't sit in my house very long. The rest will go to the library bookshop.

I did get out for a walk today. It was quite cold and there is some snow on the ground, but the roads are clear. I took a walk in the woods. There wasn't too much to see. I did see a lovely pileated woodpecker (think the cartoon Woody Woodpecker). They are quite big. This one was quite noisy but flew around a lot and I couldn't get a good photo. I did take some photos of footprints. I think my son has an animal tracks book so I might see if I can figure out what they are. Suggestions would be appreciated!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019


Thanks for all the supportive comments yesterday. I didn't buy anything. Today was a new day. It was snowing and cold so I stayed inside. I've been out walking several days in a row so today I decided not to even bother going out. I did go up to my craft room for a little while and made a couple of cards - one with the topper I had put together the other day and another that I put together today.

This was the free set that came with a magazine (not sure which papercraft magazine!) but the papers are by Hunky Dory. They are of a really good quality. I'm not usually a flowery sort of person so that's probably why it's sat in my craft room for a while, but I really like the butterfly one. The papers are really pretty. I shall be using up the whole kit so there will be more cards to come!

And the two cards

I also tried out a new recipe today. I wasn't planning on a new recipe. I had purchased chicken thighs with a different recipe in mind but the one I had planned on using them for called for boneless skinless chicken thighs and I bought the ones with bones and skin. I know I could have fussed with them, but I don't eat meat so I really don't like messing with it too much. Instead I looked for something different to do with them. This got really good reviews and is really simple (not even sure I can call it a recipe!), but the guys really liked it! I served it with a jacket (baked) potato w/cheese. It was the perfect day to have the oven on for the potatoes. The guys said the skin was crispy, but the inside was nice and tender.

I found it on The oven temps are for American ovens

6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
salt and ground pepper to taste
garlic powder

Preheat oven to 475F (245c). Set a wire rack inside a baking pan. Pat Chicken dry. Lift up skin, salt, pepper and sprinkle garlic powder. Season skin and underside of chicken thighs. Arrange on the rack. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 mins until golden brown. Reduce oven temp to 400f (200c). Continue roasting until juices run clear, about 30 minutes (mine took a little longer). Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

I Really, Really....

...want to buy something! Aarrggghh! It sounds stupid but I'm really struggling not to buy anything today. There are a couple of quite cheap books I'd like and some crafty stuff (that I don't really need) but it's just proving to be a tough day. I really just need to take a deep breath and not press that buy button!

I think, after hubby goes to bed, I might just pull out a tub and sort through it. I'm sure to discover some goodies I'd forgotten I had. I ordered something right before New Year that I'd forgotten I ordered! I got an email today telling me my order had shipped. I know I thought about ordering things from the British Shop but I didn't realise I'd actually pressed the button! In my defence it was New Year's Eve, I'd just gotten off the phone with Mum and I was homesick.

Today was a pretty blah day. I didn't get as much done as I wanted to. It was a bad back day. Sigh.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Monday Again

After a lovely sunny day yesterday we're back to clouds and rain today. I did manage a walk before it started to rain. I'm starting the week off with a new set of lists and things I want to get done. I have meals planned for the week and picked up most of what we needed today. There were a few things the shop was out of so I will head to another later in the week - list in hand so I don't get distracted!

I've done a little on my cross stitch - still not enough for anyone to see what it is. I was going to work on it today but the light isn't good. I started a new knit using up the horrible grey ball (that was supposed to be different shades of grey). It's not a challenging knit but it's something I can easily work on in the evening. I will pick out something more colourful to work on. I also have a couple of photography things I need to work on - one for my online camera club and another for the Mindful Photography course I'm taking online.

This morning when I checked my Instagram I was really pleased to see that Amy from Love Made my Home had decided to start blogging again! I loved reading her blog. She makes such gorgeous things. I have to admit when I first started blogging she was one of the people who inspired me (and inspired me to use up those little kits on the front of magazines!).

Today the photo I'm going to share is of my grumpy old cat, Shadow. He's getting on a bit now (aren't we all?). We got him when my son was about seven/eight. He is now twenty-seven. He was not pleased at all when I started taking photos of him. He finally got downright disgusted, stood up from his comfy spot, looked right at me, gave a large meow and wandered off to the kitchen. He's got a lot more vocal the older he's gotten.

What's everyone up to this week?

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Crafty Makes (cards)

I remembered to take a few phone photos of the cards I made with some of the decoupage toppers and a couple more decoupage toppers that I've put together. I am really enjoying these and they are good to have on hand! I will certainly look for more when I'm in England this summer.

And the toppers.

These are ready to be put on occasion cards  - birthdays, maybe a hello or a thank you card. I probably won't get up in my craft room again until Monday but will be doing some cross stitch this afternoon while there is good light.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Week in Review

I was quite pleased with what I got done this week.  I was careful about what I spent and really thought about what I was buying. I also made lists and pretty much stuck to them. It was nice seeing things written down and crossing them off when they got done. There wasn't always a really long list, but I'm mainly just trying to get used to writing things down. I did well with food lists too so I didn't end up buying lots while I was at the shops.

I did start a cross stitch project. I haven't done a lot on it, but it is all ready to go and a few stitches have been done. I'll share a photo when there's some progress. I am planning on picking out a knitting pattern this weekend.

I did get up into my craft room a little this week and got a few Christmas cards put together. I have really been enjoying doing the little 3d decoupage cards. I thought I'd taken photos, but apparently I haven't! I did take photos of the toppers, but not when they have been added to card bases.

They make lovely little cards! I really like the Belle and Boo. I have cross stitched a couple of the pictures for Mum so being able to make the cards was fun.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!