Saturday, February 22, 2014

Friday & Saturday Musings...

It's a funny thing about sleep, you never know the last good night of sleep you will get before it all hits the skids. And then because you didn't know it was the last one, you can't remember it. As I've mentioned before I'm not sleeping well.

We are having a very blustery day. I've felt like Piglet and Pooh all day. The winds are so strong they were buffeting my car as I was driving. One lady I met today, a very petite lady, was describing the wind pinning her behind the car door as she was trying to get out. Now that's windy.

I'm working on a new project for my Etsy shop. It has the wheels turning and I'm excited to show you. Like Forrest, that's all I have to say about that.

I watched a short tutorial on lighting things for photography and man was it helpful. I believe I'm on the way to figuring out why the scarves don't photograph as well as I would like.

I was in a store today and noticed a young woman (college age) wearing cream colored sweater tights with a orange sherbet colored summer weight fabric  dress and cream colored jacket. I think the fabric was gauze or lawn, but I didn't touch it so I'm not sure, but it was definitely gauze-y, summery. Here's my question... Is it in style to wear a summer dress with sweater tights or is it her style? She looked nice, really cute actually but that's not the point. I'm curious about the sweater tights with such a light and airy dress. Since I know very little about what is trendy, I'm just putting it out there in the universe hoping for an answer.

Well, turns out I forgot to publish this blog yesterday. A few months ago we started cooking a pork loin once or twice a month, which we keep in the fridge and slice for sandwiches or salads or whatever and I left to put that in the oven and then never returned...  Hmmmm...  The pork loin turned out delicious. I coated it very well in a spicy steak seasoning mix on all sides, then roasted it in the oven until it was crispy on the outside. Mmmm Mmmmm!  I've tried a lot of different seasoning on the outside and I really don't think you can go wrong. Here are a couple of my favorites:  Whiskey & Peppery Brown Sugar. Zesty Lemon and Spicy Steak.

By the way, if you don't already, try making your own seasoning mixes. I started by making a taco seasoning and have added others now. The reason I make my own taco seasoning is that commercial mixes come in those packets, which I think are too much for one pound of meat and there are many times when I use less than a pound. Plus, I was forever adding cumin to whatever I was making because the ratio in the commercial mix didn't have enough. In the end it does become way cheaper to make and use your own versus the packets. Yes, you will need to buy the spices, and if you think you'll never use everything you buy, then go in with friends and family members. You split the costs and end up with a good mix that is tailored to your tastes. What I also learned as I was researching is that those little packets contain additives. Making your own means your food only contains things you want it to contain. I started growing my own spices, which I dry and put into canning jars. I also put my seasoning mixes into canning jars, too.

I think I posted about the taco seasoning before, but I can't for the life of me find it, so I'm going to share it, possibly again:
My own mix :)

1 T. Chili Powder
1 T. Cumin
1 t. Onion Powder
1 t. Garlic Powder
1 t. Paprika
1 t. Black Pepper
1 t. Sea Salt
1 t. Oregano
1 t. Cayenne

Measure it directly in the jar, put the lid on and shake! You can also add one teaspoon of corn starch if you want your mix to thicken as well as season. I don't, but if you are used to using packets, they contain corn starch, so you may miss the thickening without knowing why.

When I'm cooking, I start with a tablespoon, taste and add more as needed. You can also put this on chicken or steak you are going to grill. It's delicious to dice or slice for fajitas or taco salad or nachos. 

I'll publish some of my other mixes soon! 

Happy Saturday folks!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


A while ago, I took on additional responsibilities at work. Part of the new "job" are tasks that are completed once a year @ fiscal year end. That time is upon me again. It's stressful. I've only done it once before and that was 12 months ago. It's stressful! Did I say that already? I don't really know what I'm doing and I feel adrift. I thought today was going to be the end, but not.  Not even close. Everything took extra time today and I discovered that a thing I do once a quarter, I did wrong last quarter. So then extra time was spent trying to figure out how to correct the mistake. ARGH.

Once upon a time I thought doing this would be fun and interesting and challenging. Ha Ha Ha. Insert some hysterical laughing here. Of course it has been fun and interesting and challenging, but just right now there isn't anything fun or interesting. It's all challenging to a level that is very stressful.

At any rate, this too shall pass. And it will. It will pass and then once I'm on the other side of this little nightmare I hope I can laugh in a real way (not hysterical).

Mostly I'm writing this blog entry therapuetically. As often happens, I find that spending a few minutes letting it all out helps me going forward. Also, I'm hoping to get a good night's sleep tonight. I've been so tired the last three days and I'm... do you know what's coming?... TIRED of it! LOL. ROFLOL! Whew, I crack myself up.

We had another lovely day today. Warm, almost balmy. I did drive with the window cracked and it was glorious.

On a sad note, I finished the book on tape I was listening to for the past week and I'm bumming a little. It was a great book and the 'reader' (what is the correct term?) was a really good one. She wasn't too dramatic or monotone, which if you ever listen to books on tape you know that the reader is a critical component to the success of the book. Well, the point is this... I've been listening to the book on tape every time I've been in the car for the last week. I laughed, I cried, I was on the edge of my seat to know what was coming next. That's a good, good book. And now I've finished and I'm bumming.

Also, the chair I sit in at work is slightly too short for my desk, which gives me shoulder fatigue. Whoa, I'm going to stop right there because this could turn into a gripe fest and who needs that? Not me! I am going to resolve that chair thing, though. PDQ.

Well, that's about it from Galena on this night. I'm going to head to my room to chill until I fall asleep. When I wake in the morning I'm going to feel refreshed and joyful and fully rested.

Best kid's joke ever:  Why did the cookie go to the doctor?  Because he felt crumby!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Warm, warm, warm...


Imagine me saying that like the soccer announcer yelling GOAL... WAAAAAAARRRRRRRMMMMMM

I actually drove home today with the window down! No it really wasn't warm enough for that, but how could I resist. We've been in a deep freeze for months. Much longer than is typical for this area and I was celebrating the 46 degree weather. It was wonderful and I am grateful!

My SIL is opening a store soon. She's going to sell art, handmade crafts and antiques. It's a fun and exciting time for her. She's asked me to make some things for the shop and today I celebrated the amazing weather by making some things that remind me of summer and warm weather and shorts! Oh my goodness. I guess I didn't realize how much the weather was affecting me.

Anyway, it's been a good and productive day and I'm happy.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tomato Soup

Remember the Harvest Soup I made a while back. Well last weekend I wanted some tomato soup to go with grilled cheese. Yes, I'm using food to combat the cold, blustery winter we are experiencing!

Well, my freezer was fresh out of the harvest base I'd packaged from summer, so I made it with canned tomato products. Of course I started out with all the extra veggies from my fridge and the standard, onion, celery, carrot and garlic, which I let saute until soft in a small amount of butter. Once soft, I added a large can of crushed tomatoes, a large can of whole tomatoes and 4 cups of chicken stock. I added two tablespoons of tomato paste and some dried oregano and basil. Once this was warmed through, I whirred it with the stick blender until smooth. I left this to simmer for 15 minutes and tasted. It needed pepper, but I think everything needs pepper, so you decide. I also added heavy cream. I did not measure, but if I were guessing I'd say about 1/2 cup. I added enough to get the classic orange-y red color, but what cream also does is add a level of silkiness to the soup I haven't been able to achieve any other way. (ooo, it sounds like i'm justifying the use of heavy cream... well, i suppose that's because people are so judge-y about food. please feel free to leave out the cream if it offends your eating habits.)

The point of this post is to tell you that even with canned products, the tomato soup turned so great. Much better than canned foot. For very little money, I ended up with enough soup for dinner and two workday lunches. I love a bargain, but it's got to be good or it's not really a bargain in my book. This soup is good.

Try topping with homemade croutons! We had grilled cheese, so no need this time, but every single time I've made homemade croutons, the crowd's gone wild!

Happy Sunday people!

“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.”―Robert Fulghum

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. It was a magical day that started the night before when my husband told me that I would be treated to dinner prepared by my husband and oldest son. They planned the menu, shopped and would do all the cooking, AND all the cleaning up.

Usually I lead the charge on Valentine's day. So, this year has been a fun and unexpected surprise. It's proof positive that you always get the thing you need when you need it most. With a busy week at work and trying to finish some orders for my new venture, I was behind on the Valentine's Day preparations. But, with their announcement, suddenly my day opened up and a weight was lifted!

So, I went to work for a couple of hours, then went on an adventure with my son that began with a delicious lunch including guacamole (have I mentioned my obsession?) We wandered around some local antique stores in the afternoon. It was fun and interesting and I found some great pieces. (I'm going to feature a post on a couple of items I purchased later, so you'll just have to wait for that bit of goodness.)

We did a little decorating and then I just lounged (and knitted) while preparations got underway. The snow started again, so there was grilling in a snow shakeup. The food was delicious. The whole day was sweet and wonderful and delicious! And red, red tulips.

Hope your day was filled with what you most needed. (If not, make a list, will ya? [see this post]

Friday, February 14, 2014

The King on Valentine's

Any day that seeks to celebrate love is a winner in my books. I know not everyone feels the same way I do. It's what makes the world an interesting place. How dreadfully boring if we all felt exactly the same about things. 

During our wedding, my sweet husband sang Love Me Tender to me. A big surprise! So I have a soft spot for this song. And it's perfect for Valentine's Day. 

No matter how you feel about "Greeting Card" holidays, hopefully there is some room for the King on any given day!

Love me tender,
Love me sweet,
Never let me go.
You have made my life complete,
And I love you so.

Love me tender,
Love me true,
All my dreams fulfilled.
For my darlin I love you,
And I always will.

Love me tender,
Love me long,
Take me to your heart.
For it's there that I belong,
And well never part.

Love me tender,
Love me dear,
Tell me you are mine.
Ill be yours through all the years,
Till the end of time.

(when at last my dreams come true
Darling this I know
Happiness will follow you
Everywhere you go).

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Where does the time go?

Yesterday I was working on items for my business. I had a list of things to accomplish. Not a crazy long list. Just a list. I only accomplished two things. Argh.

Anyway, I think I could work for a week and then I might be ahead. I hope this doesn't sound like complaining, because I am not! I'm thrilled to be busy. I'm thrilled to have a list of things to accomplish.

Once you start being creative, more and more creative ideas flow to you. It's fun and exciting and I'm really, really enjoying it. Hmm...  I suppose I've just answered my own question, haven't I?

Well anyway, today I'm off to work to accomplish more than two things on my list.

“Hide not your talents, they for use were made,
What's a sundial in the shade?” 
― Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, February 8, 2014


It's Saturday! It's Saturday! It's Saturday!

I'm so glad for this day off. It's been a busy time and I need a little down time. Though, I'm going to get my hair cut and visit my favorite JoAnn's for some supplies, followed up with a fun date night, there won't be much down time. But, you know what I mean.

Here are a
few things that happened this week that just make you go Hmmm...

So I opened a new bottle of contact lens solution this week and was happy to see a coupon enclosed... until I looked at the expiration date of 12.31.13. So I immediately looked at the expiration date for the solution: 08.2015. Hmmm...

At work, we had Chipotle one day and I did not eat all the chips and salsa, so I stuck the bag in the fridge for the next day. As I'm walking into the lunch room the next day, I overhear one of co-workers say "Hey Susie, there are still chips in the fridge." To which I responded "Yes they're mine. I saved them for today." Co-worker 1 continues talking to Susie "You should eat them."  hmmm...

I added this scarf to Etsy. It's a flirty feminine scarf in shades of gray and black. Did you know that Charcoal is apparently the color for late winter and early spring. As in Charcoal is the new black. Well if that's the case, this scarf will serve you well.

It's another cold wintry day around here. Dare I say it, I'm kind of getting used to all the white. It's relentless, though.

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Rugby Stripe Scarf

Added this beauty to the shop! It's made from bamboo yarn, which can I just say feels amazing?!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Love is the answer

Well, isn't that the truth! I love Valentine's Day. I've probably mentioned that before. I like to make a fuss for my family. It kind of makes me sad when people say it's a greeting card holiday because they are missing the point. Every holiday and event has a commercial side to it... Think about it. When was the last time a baby was born that didn't involve a baby shower? Birthdays - cake, balloons, presents. The Olympics, the Super Bowl.  Christmas, Halloween.  Everything has a commercial side. The point of Valentine's Day and every event is not what can be purchased. The point is the other people in your life.

For me, Valentine's is just one more way I can show the people I love that they are special. We never go out for Valentine's. I always make dinner - I made heart shaped mini-meatloaf once. I also decorate the kitchen somehow. Hearts dangling from the ceiling is my favorite.

Anyway, love is the answer. It always is. It doesn't require money or fancy gifts, it just requires attention. Some of my very favorite, most treasured things my boys made with their hands and found objects. They are sweet and real and heartfelt.

February always gets me to thinking about how to make Valentine's fun and this morning I woke up thinking about it. I love waking up thinking about love! (hee hee - too many loves? No, can't be that!)

I'm ready to head out into the world today. We've been housebound with another winter blast :-/, but today I'm going out into the world and looking forward to it!

Hope your day is terrific!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

First Sale!

Woo! I have a business! My first sale. I'm so excited! I also have an order for three more scarves! I'm totally grateful and super excited. Oh wait, I've said that twice. Well, it must be true then... :)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Birthday Wishes

Two days ago was my husband's birthday. It's been a busy week and I just didn't manage to get the post on time. He's a winner, is my husband. He works hard, is warm hearted, genuinely kind, willing to help anyone and loving! We made a big fuss, had dinner and I stopped by the wonderful place called Just Pies.  If you live in or around Columbus Ohio you may already know. For those who don't, they make the most delicious pies - - okay, truth is I don't really like pie. The only pie I kind of like is Fresh Strawberry, but then I don't eat the crust...  But my husband, he loves the pie! Virtually all pies, any time, all day long. So for his birthday I picked up 5 different little 6" pies and he was and still is, in heaven.

No, I'm not a paid endorser, just a happy customer (which is really the best sort of endorsement, don't cha think!).

Happy Birthday sweet husband of mine. ♥

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Puffy Heart Pin

I added this little beauty to the shop this morning. Made to order in a variety of colors. It's a wee little pin 1.5" by 1.25". Great for Valentine's or anytime cause when is a heart not in style!

Comes with a standard pin back with swivel catch. It will securely attach to your coat, hat, scarf, purse... Bookbag... lunch bag... suitcase... Well you get the idea!

Get yours today!  Puffy Heart Pin Link

Couldn't resist including this pic cause my 25 anniversary ring just made it in the corner. The ring says love as much as the hearts do!