Wednesday, February 28, 2007


It's a bamboo slotted sword that they use for practice in Tae Kwon Do and the Man-Cub got to use the swords for the first time at Tae Kwon Do last night.

Another North Country Hat

I finished the 4th camouflaged North Country Hat - we'll see how long this one lasts...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

1 - 3 inches - Yeah Right...

This picture was taken yesterday morning on our deck - the snow looks so perfect to me that it's almost fake - we were only supposed to get 1-3 inches from this storm and so far we've gotten about 8. I borrowed the church's snow blower and pushed some snow around - a first for me - I usually use a shovel...
This morning...

Monday, February 26, 2007

Blue and Gold

Last night was the annual Blue and Gold Banquet for the Cub Scouts - and as I'm the CubMaster, it was a busy night. The theme was ALOHA - so we went early and decorated the Banquet Hall with everything Hawaiian we could find. I wrote my little speech for the CubMaster's Minute and we organized all of the awards.

My Den did the ALOHA opening:

and a skit that went like this:

The only prop was a "campfire" made from paint stirrers and a plastic bag with flames drawn on it.
From offstage - if you've ever wondered how scouts tell time when they are camping in the wilderness miles from civilization...
Action: the scouts are sitting around the campfire and then they all get up and start running around the campfire making a lot of noise - then they stop and listen - they don't hear anything - so they start running around making a lot of noise again - then they stop and listen - this time they hear from offstage

BE QUIET - it's 2:30 in the morning...haha - so funny...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Mom's No Bake Cookies

One of my favorite snacks when I was little was "No-Bake Cookies". I veganized Mom's recipe from a 1977 cookbook - it was easy - I just used Earth Balance instead of butter and soy milk instead of milk. This is a picture of the actual recipe and one of my favorite cookbooks - I remember helping Mom type the recipes onto index cards - as required by the publisher.

When the old plastic binding wore out I bought a blank journal and pried the binding off of it and put it on the cookbook - and I laminated the cover with packing tape - contact paper would have been better, but I didn't have any - ever resourceful and frugal me...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

More Housework

This time I am doing it - with a lot of help from the Man...

We removed the carpet in the hallway to the kitchen and found - not hardwood but this...YIKES! - (Hey K. Doesn't that look familiar?)

Well - that won't do at all. Apparently this is what is under the nice Pergo that was installed before we moved in. And the kitchen floor extended into this short hallway - So we had to rethink our plans a little bit. We thought the Pergo would look funny right up against the "real" hardwood. So we built a little wall to separate the kitchen from the living room. I hated to do that because I like it all open - but one must compromise...

Then we took one of the Pergo flooring boards to the local hardware store and they were able to match it up exactly - there was some printing on the back of the board we took - so that made it easier.

We took the doors off the hall closet - they'll go back up - and some baseboard molding as well...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Another North Country Hat

This one is for a friend of the Man-Cub who is battling cancer. We visited him in the hospital and as he has lost almost all of his hair to chemo - the Man-Cub asked if I would make him a hat to keep his head warm - isn't that sweet - so how could I say no - the Man-Cub picked the yarn - a navy and a dark green Caron Soft - so it will be nice and soft on his head...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Garden Room

As I said before - I love Retreats...

The view from my window...

I took our Church's 4th, 5th and 6th graders on a retreat over the long weekend. I knew it would be nice and fun for them and a good rest and break for me - as once they got there and in their groups I didn't have to do anything. I just read and knitted to my little heart's content. And I got the best room of all - the Garden Room...

A lady from our church and her 3 sisters have redecorated several rooms at the Bible Camp - each with a different theme. There's a Lighthouse Room - a Santa Fe Foom - a Memory Lane Room - and the Garden Room.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mardi Gras

The Mardi Gras Party/Talent Show/Fish Fry at church went really well last night. We all had a lot of fun - the skits and readings were hilarious.

Me with my mask - cape - and beads. I ate a bun with mustard and pickles on it - I'll plan better for the Lenten meals - tonight is sloppy joes - so I'll make a vegan one before we go.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Finished Toque

I was at a retreat over the weekend - I love retreats - more about that later...

I finished the Man-Cub's toque - a bit longer than I expected - but I only had a tiny bit of yarn left - it will go to the stashghan - and I did switch to 20 rows between decreases - so the rows between decreases went like this:

5 rows - dec every 12
5 rows - dec every 11
5 rows - dec every 10
5 rows - dec every 9
10 rows - dec every 8
10 rows - dec every 7
15 rows - dec every 6
15 rows - dec every 5
20 rows - dec every 4
20 rows - dec every 3
20 rows - dec every 2

Then you should have 12 stitches left - knit every 2 stitches together and pull the yarn through the remaining stitches. I made the tassel by wrapping the yarn around my hand several times - then slipping it off and onto a knitting needle and tying it tight as close to the needle as I could. I braided 6 lengths of yarn and tied that to the tassel. This was a fun and easy project - I liked the way the self patterning yarn turned out. And the Man-Cub loves it - I'm sure it will get tugged off his head on the playground many times...

The temperature actually got above zero on President's Day and there was no school so we bundled up and went sledding - great fun - and watching the toque flying in the wind as the Man-Cub went zooming down the hill - very satisfying...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Look what we found

They cut some of the carpet to install the vents for the new heating system - and they found perfect (never been finished) oak flooring. We are in the process of stripping all the old carpet just to see what is under it. It appears that the bedrooms and the hallway all have nice wood floors - I really prefer them to carpet - we'll probably take it slow - one room at a time...


or Work on the House - Not that I'm doing any - but it's being done - the parsonage is getting new central heat and air - and apparently the time to do that is when it's 20 below outside...

Although it will be really nice to enter the 21st century for our heating and cooling again - I'll be really happy when all the mess is gone...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Stocking Cap Update

I'm about 1/2 way on the Stocking Cap - I don't really have a pattern - here's what I did :

I cast on 78 stitches with blue on #9 dpns and knit 2 purl 2 for about 5 inches - we like a pretty good cuff. Then I changed to Cascade and knit in Stockinette Stitch for 15 rows, then decreased one every 12 stitches. Then knit SS another 5 rows and decreased one every 11 stitches. Then knit another 5 rows and decreased one every 10 stitches. Then knit another 5 rows and decreased one every 9 stitches - you see where this is going don't you. Then knit another 5 rows and decrease every 8 stitches. Then I thought it was getting pretty narrow and I knit 10 rows and decreased one every 7 stitches. That's where I am now - I'm sure you can figure out the rest. I think I'll go on 15 rows and then decrease and maybe 20 rows at the end - we'll see how things shape up...

I like the pattern pretty well so far - more importantly - the Man-Cub likes it - I can't say the Red Heart is easy to work with though - it's sort of stiff and doesn't slide well on the needles...

Friday, February 16, 2007

2nd Place Speller

The Man-Cub won Second Place at the County Spelling Bee yesterday - here he is getting his certificate

and he got a big ole red ribbon - which he proudly wore the rest of the day at school.

I am one proud Mama...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Stocking Cap

I must say that I don't really get the point - haha - of the long pointy stocking cap - what's all that extra material for. Maybe you can drape it across your face and tuck it in behind your ear and make a sort of mask - or wrap the extra around your neck for a scarf...I dunno....

Progress so far - just the ribbing is complete - I used some old recycled denim from my stash - as it almost matches the blue in the "cascade" colorway the Man-Cub chose for his new hat. I had bought this for a crocheted border on a stockinette stitch baby blanket and I had almost a half of a skein leftover - it's very soft and will work nicely here around the man-cub's face. The Red Heart Strata patterned yarn is not very soft...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day

The Man Cub likes making the cards - but never wants anything "mushy". You have to admit that Valentines Day is a pretty "girly" holiday. The idea for this year's card comes from Family Fun magazine. We tried to find a muffin tin with little hearts - but those aren't available in the middle of nowhere... So we just used our little muffin tin and they turned out just as cute - and a little less "girly"...

First he designed his card on the computer and we printed it on card stock.

... and cut those out...

then - we took his tin of old/broken crayons - tin was a gift from his Uncle E. - sorted and removed the papers.

Probably the most fun was breaking up the crayons -

Then we put them in the tin and melted them...

The end result - stuck to the card with double backed foam tape.

Teacher's card is a box of candy (Sweet Tarts) with a pink heart card that he cut out and decorated with scrapbook stencils...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sweet Potato Biscuits

I was intrigued - I had never heard of them - even though I lived in the "South" for years - even in the "Deep South" - very close to the fictional town of Tiburon. I finished reading "The Secret Life of Bees" over the weekend - at one point May asks Lily if she likes sweet potato biscuits - so there you go...

I had to make some - I just took my regular biscuit recipe and added a half of a baked peeled sweet potato:

Sweet Potato Biscuits
2/3 cup self rising flour - the MIL ships me "Southern Biscuit Flour" which we can't get up here...
2 T Earth Balance - I blend that together with a pastry blender
1/2 of a baked sweet potato
Enough Soy Milk to make a soft dough

It's a very soft dough so be careful...

Here they are in the square "cornbread" cast iron pan Mom gave me when I got married.

They were soooo good hot and fresh from the oven - and not quite as good left over for breakfast this morning...

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Garden Asleep

This is how my garden looks as I sit here on the sofa looking at seed catalogs...

...and wishing for spring...

Sunday, February 11, 2007


When the Man-Cub was a toddler, he used to double words - he loved to "make" things and he would bring his play dough to the table and say "make-make" - or we would go up for Communion at Church and he would say "bite-bite" - or he would break a toy and bring it to me and say "fix-fix" - I know - sooo sweet - to remember - ah!

So I fixed my Sacha Slippers - it only took about 20 minutes to "fix-fix" them both -so I'm not too unhappy about it - I'll probably fix them again in a few more months - Frugal Me - I'm thinking maybe I should have doubled the yarn.

You can see the patch - but it's on the bottom and I can't feel it - which is more important.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Nothing Lasts forever...

Or even for very long. The Sacha slippers are already wearing out - they were finished 11/12/06 - ( Tonight I'll try and duplicate stitch over the worn spots. I wish I had inspected them earlier as they ar very threadbare now.

I'll post an "after" picture too.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Family Reading Hour and the Tae Kwon Do Socks

I did finish the Tae Kwon Do socks - now I'm ready to swatch that self patterning yarn for the toque. The Man-Cub put them on as soon as they came off the needles - he's sitting on our bed reading "Hank the Cow Dog" and laughing every few minutes. I'm reading "The Secret Life of Bees" and Papa is working on a sermon - we're very cozy - he said "These feel nice" when he put them on - so it's all worth it - and it's all good...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

TKD Sock Update

I have been knitting - but with all the video taping I've had to do over the last couple of weeks at TKD I've not gotten a lot done. The socks are down to the toes now - so I should finish them at tonight's class - YAY! Then I got some self patterning yarn (I've never tried any before) - the Man-Cub wants a long stocking cap - it should make an interesting pattern as it decreases down to a point - we'll see - it may be ugly too.

The book in the background is "The Secret Life of Bees" - just started it - but it's good so far...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Man-Cub ties one on... A Blue Belt that is...

The Man-Cub now has his Blue Belt. His Papa was out of town and missed the big event - but his Mama video-taped it of course. This was the second week of testing and included the "One-Steps" and the "Face Contacts" and the "21 Movement" - which, you guessed it, is a series of 21 movements that have to be performed in a certain order - next time - purple belt - the 21 movement has to be performed in under 21 seconds - then for purple trim - 15 seconds - then they move on to the 22 movement - which doesn't just add one - it's a whole different set of movements...

The WELCA meeting went well and everyone loved the Stack Cake and many asked for the recipe - it's already on the blog - so that was easy. I told them that the cake was vegan and they liked it anyway. (A lot of times when I bake something for potlucks, etc. I don't mention that it's vegan.)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Stack Cake

We have WELCA tonight and I'm the hostess - so I made a southern specialty - "Stack Cake". I've read that this was often used as a wedding cake in the southern Appalachians. It's thin layers of gingerbread with a thick icing of Applesauce (made from dried apples - in between each layer. I made this yesterday so it would have time to "soak" - it's better that way.

The "Icing"

I just filled my 6 qt. stockpot almost to the top with dried apples and filled about 1/2 full with water - they soak up a lot of water so you'll have to add some more later. Bring to a boil and simmer about 1 hour - until all the liquid is absorbed and you have a thick applesauce. I added a dash of sea salt and 1 1/2 cups of turbinado sugar - the apples were already a pretty brown color. That's it.

The Gingerbread

My dear Mother-in-law has sent several Gingerbread recipes that she used when the Man was little - because he wanted a Gingerbread just like Mom used to make - I think we've tried 6 different recipes - and none of them were "spot on". But anyway this one is my favorite and easily veganized:

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter - I used Earth Balance
2 eggs - I used 2 T Red Mill with 6 T water

Stir In
3/4 cup molasses - I used sorghum syrup because that's what I had.

Combine all dry ingredients and add alternately with 1 cup Buttermilk - I used 1 cup whole fat soymilk with 1 T vinegar

Dry Ingredients:
2 3/4 cup flour
2 t. soda
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
1 T. Ginger - the MIL made a note on the recipe that the original recipe called for 2 t. ginger - but she always used 1 T. - so I used 1 T.

I greased my 9 inch pans with Earth Balance and lightly floured them - then scooped about 5 spoonfuls of mix into each pan - Bake at 350 for about 8 to 10 minutes - it doesn't take long - I made 5 full size stack cakes and one little one which I already ate - I had to test it before I serve it to the ladies. To serve just cut into wedges like any regular layer cake...

~Have a lovely day!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Black Bean Soup and Cornbread

Y'all know it was about 35 degrees below zero here this morning. So we need lots of soup. Today I'm making black bean soup. The Man is at a retreat (at a convent- hehe) and the Man-Cub is back at school - and we have Cub Scouts tonight so we need a quick and ready dinner.

This is what I did for the soup:
Served here with Bryanna's Tofu Sour Creme -

1 cup Dried Black Beans - Rinsed and soaked overnight
4 cups Water - bring to a boil and add

1 Bay Leaf
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 cup chopped Onion
1/2 cup chopped Bell Pepper
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 tspoon Salt

1 cup medium grain White Rice - cooked for 20 minutes in 2 cups water

Combine the rice and beans and then splash on top:

1 T Balsamic Vinegar
1 T Lime Juice

I serve this with my Soymilk Cornbread - to this batch I added a Tablespoon of ground Flax Seed. I don't think anyone can taste it at all and it's pretty and good for you. I made 5 of these small muffins with:

2/3 cup Self Rising Cornmeal
1/2 cup light soy milk
1 T canola oil
1 T ground flaxseed meal
1/2 T apple cider vinegar - to make "Buttermilk" out of the soymilk

Served hot with a splat of Earth Balance.