Sunday, November 15, 2009


Hello everyone! I haven't posted in a very long time, and this will just be a very brief post, but I wanted to share a little something that I do when I wash my dishes, or - more specifically - my silverware. This works for those of you with a dishwasher, too - because your silverware goes in it's silverware bin. I know, because I have a dishwasher - it just doesn't work! LOL

On to the whole point of this post: When I wash my silverware and get it all rinsed off, I put it in the drainer handle-up. There are two reasons for this - first, we have the occasional fly in our house, sometimes a few flies. I can't stand flies - to me, they are just disgusting! So, I would prefer their nasty feet were not walking all over the part of the silverware I'm going to be sticking on my food or in my mouth. (Yuck) Second, and probably more important, when I'm either grabbing the whole bunch of silverware to put it away, or if I'm just grabbing a spoon to stir my coffee or whatever, having the handles sticking up instead of the sharp-pointy side means I won't jab myself inadvertently. I've done that a time or two in the past - reached in to grab a fork or something and didn't notice that steak knife sticking up and OUCH! So, my solution is to put my silverware into the drainer handle-side-up. (Upside-down, if you will) I did the same thing when my dishwasher was working, makes putting the silverware away a lot easier if you can just grab the whole kit & kaboodle without worrying about what you might be getting stabbed with.

Hope somebody out there finds this little hint at least amusing, if not helpful!!

I wish for all of you to have a wonderful day, week, month, year and life!!

Thanks for stopping by...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I just looked at the date of my previous post, and I must admit I am ashamed at myself for letting it go so long between posts! So, just a quick post today so you know I didn't fall off the planet or anything...

I recently completed a comfortghan for the daughter of one of the members of a Yahoo group I'm in - Crochet Swaps Galore! It's a great group of ladies, and we do have the occasion to put together squares for those that need some comfort. I was able to be involved in the assembly process recently. I don't know how soon I'll be doing that again, though - it took me forever to get the afghan put together... I do think it turned out well, and the recipient loved it, but it should have been done a good month, month and a half before I finally finished it. :( For those interested, here is a picture of it:

This was another project where lots of people sent me squares... but this time, I bordered each one and then assembled them. I also added a pocket on the back for her feet to stay nice and toasty - and when the 'ghan is not in use, it can be folded up and tucked into the pocket, thus making it into a pillow, and here is a picture of it folded up like a pillow:

One other small project I did up recently is a hat that looks like a soccer ball. There is a young lady by the name of Jordyn who has been diagnosed with a rare type of cancer. (That is all I know about her diagnosis.) Due to the chemotherapy she has to undergo, she either will lose or already has lost her hair. She has a love of soccer, and her favorite colors are red, orange, blue and green. Since she loves soccer, I wanted to make a hat that looked like a soccer ball but I couldn't find a pattern I liked anywhere. So I looked up how a soccer ball is made! There are 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons in a soccer ball. I made half that many, hooked them all together, added enough of a border to pull the 'gons into a sphere shape, and viola! - A soccer ball hat!

I hope she likes it, when I get it sent... I'm thinking Monday or Tuesday I should be able to mail it off... I wanted to include a couple of bandannas, too, and I just need to stitch those up.

So - that is what I have been up to lately. If you leave me a comment and I don't comment back, that's because I don't know how... I've tried more than once to comment back to people and just can't get it to work. I do email privately, but if anyone can tell me what I'm doing wrong, that would be very helpful!

Until next time, I hope you have a wonderful day, week, month, year and life!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Chicken pot pie

Hello Everyone!!

I'm finally posting again! I probably should get better at this... anyhoo - today I decided to post a recipe that I make quite frequently - it's my daughter's favorite, so EVERY time I ask her what she'd like for dinner, her answer is almost ALWAYS "Chicken Pot Pie"...

I make it myself, with a little help from things like canned gravy and cream of mushroom soup (I do watch the nutritional values of the ingredients, for instance, I will pay a little more if the sodium is lower); I made it last night, and decided to take pictures and everything, so this is an all-encompassing post! LOL I usually make a double-batch (since my daughter loves it so much) - but if this is too much for your household, it's super-easy to cut it in half!

Okay, first, the ingredients I use:
  • Most of a 3-pound bag of frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts (or all of it, depends on how much chicken I want that day)
  • 2 regular or 1 large bag of frozen vegetables (we like California blend, but regular mixed veggies are great too - and I've used canned veggies with great success as well, I just prefer frozen due to the sodium content of the canned - can you tell I watch my sodium intake? LOL)
  • 2 cans of Chicken Gravy
  • 2 cans of Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Chicken soup (or any creamy soup you like; I've also used cheesy soups, that adds a different flavor yet!)
  • 2 packages of ready-to-unroll pie crust
  • a small handful of pasta (any kind you like) to soak up extra moisture
  • sometimes, a little bit of pepper
Now, the first thing I do is put the frozen chicken in my deep skillet with a bit (maybe 1/2 an inch to an inch) of water. I don't season the meat - I just get it cooked through and to at least 170°F internal temp. Here's a picture of that:
My skillet has a nice fitting glass lid, so I don't have to worry about the water evaporating and the chicken sticking to the pan. While that's cooking, I mix up the veggies and the canned stuff... this is what that looks like:

Then I toss in my few pasta noodles - and you don't need many, believe me - but just a few will help absorb all the extra fluid from when your frozen veggies are thawing.
After that's all mixed up, I put the pie crusts in my pie plates.Now, I cut up the chicken. I use kitchen shears and tongs - just hold the chicken with the tongs and trim it with the scissors. Of course, you always have the option of cooking thawed chicken that's already chopped up, or chopping up the cooked chicken with a knife; whatever works for you! I don't like to touch raw chicken, and once it's cooked it's usually "too hot to handle" which is why I do it the way I do.

This is what the mess looks like now:
Now I divide the glop between the two pie plates -

there is usually enough to overfill the pie plate! See?

At this point, sometimes I grind a little pepper on the tops... and then...

Put the top crust on, squish the sides of the crust,

Trim the edges and cut a few slits in the top for steam release,

put them in the oven (I usually go with 350° for about an hour, and I also put them on cookie sheets to avoid spills in the bottom of my oven),

wait, and then - viola!!

CHICKEN POT PIE!! I hope you enjoy this recipe - and feel free to customize it to your individual taste!!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you have a wonderful day, week, month, year, and life!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Carol's Comfort shawl

Well, Carol received her shawl on Saturday, May 30th 2009. She really liked it - so thanks again to everyone that was a part of that effort! The following members of the crochet group Crochet Swaps Galore! are the people who sent squares to me: Sissie, Janet, Jenny, April, Cyndi, Melissa, Karen, Tammy, Teresa, Debbie, Sabrina, Jessica and Jo. I also received squares from a friend of Sissie's named Sandy. I received squares from all over, and when they were all put together, it looked awesome! One of the ladies suggested a darker brown border to finish it off, so I did that, and she was absolutely correct! Thanks, Jo - that advice was perfect! Here is a photo of the finished product:So, what does everyone think? Your comments are most welcome!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day, week, month, year and life!! - Mel

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hello out there! I have been assembling a shawl for a member of one of the yahoo groups I'm on; several of the members crocheted squares, and sent them to me, so I put them all together... this is the first time I've ever done anything like this, and boy was it ever fun!! I can't wait until she gets it... I think it turned out beautifully! I learned many things by doing this little project. I learned what "tagging" your squares meant; I had no idea what that was until I received squares that were tagged. I asked my daughter (who is almost 6 years old) to help me put the squares into a nice looking pattern, and I think we did a pretty nice job, if I do say so myself! There were enough plain and variegated squares to alternate them, sort of a pseudo-checkerboard. She had fun helping me get them situated, and I enjoy including my kids whenever I can. Another thing I learned while assembling this shawl is what something crocheted by a left-handed person looks like when compared to right-handed work (if that makes any sense). I had the entire shawl assembled, and was putting the outside round on it to finish it up... I got to a square where the stitches were facing the "wrong" way! So I'm looking at the square, then looking at the back of the square, then looking at the front of the square, and I'm absolutely SURE that I have the square facing the right way. But the stitches are facing the opposite direction from the ones I'm stitching. I was stumped for - oh, I don't know - 30 seconds or so! Then it dawned on me that I must be looking at the work of a "south paw"! I found myself chuckling at myself for not having noticed until then - and VERY happy that I really did have the square facing the right way! Now, if I can figure out how to put a picture of it here, that's what I'll do. Keep in mind, I'm very new to this whole "blog" thing... so I'm still learning!
Okay, it seems as though I have managed to get a photo of the completed project on here. I would appreciate any feedback any of you may have. I added some buttons so that when the recipient wears this shawl, she has the option of (hopefully) fastening it so it doesn't fall off! I would like to thank everyone that sent squares - didn't it turn out GREAT?? I really think she's gonna like it!!!

Okay - this has been fun, and I return you now to your regularly scheduled life. I hope you have a wonderful day, week, month, year and life!!! - Mel

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Well, I suppose I should do something with this Blog thingy... yesterday I noticed that some of the Butternut squash seeds the kids and I planted are beginning to sprout, so I will be getting some recycled containers ready for plants within the next week or so. Also, some of the sunflower seeds we put in the front of the house where William (my eldest) removed the decorative bushes/trees are coming up. I'm getting excited, I was expecting my daughter to be more excited about new things growing, especially since she helped plant the seeds... perhaps once the plants get a bit bigger... or when the tomato plants begin yielding some of her favorite fruit! We'll just have to wait and see, I suppose. A friend of mine from Idaho sent a link on how to build a spiral herb garden - I plan to put one in my front yard. I imagine it will be best to begin the preparation on it this summer and fall, so in the spring I can get the plants put in and we shall see how that goes. The link, for any of you who may be interested, can be found here
Thanks for reading my first post! I hope you have a wonderful day/week/month and year!

- Melani