Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Curled up and asleep

This morning I went in the boys' room to wake them up for school.  Here's how I found my ten year old Martin.  He's sleeping on the top covers of his bed and he's wrapped in the throw from the living room couch.  The second picture is of Martin's feet.  I thought it was a cute picture.  I tried taking pictures of Hammie but when I snapped the first photo he woke up and turned over and the photo was all blurry.  Then he wouldn't let me take any more of him.  I'll have to try another day and make sure he's in a deep sleep!

Sleepy boy.

This is how I found Martin's feet when I first walked in their room -
sticking out of his covers.  One of the cats was by his feet on the
left and another cat was on his right.   

Cordova, Alaska winter 2011-2012

Here are two photos of the Cordova school playground.
They've shoveled a clearing around the swings.

Where there's a will; there's a way.  I hope they don't bonk their heads while swinging!

It is still snowing!

We are now over 34 inches of new fresh snow since Saturday night.  I am very tired of shoveling snow and I'm also very worried about another power outage because of the heavy snow.

Here are a couple of photos of our snow fall.  I've got more but I'm having trouble loading photos and getting them to stay put where I want them.    Guess I need a blogging for dummies book!  

 View outside one of my bedroom windows.
Notice the icicle hanging off the roof.

This photo is from the door in my bedroom that leads to
the back deck and the kids' play yard.  To the left of
the tree is the top of their swing set.

This is a view outside the other bedroom window.
I usually have a lovely view of the lake.
Not now.  The gray color is from the snowstorm
going on as I took the picture.  This is the
window that a moose leaned up against and broke
the inner window pane. 

This view of our house is from in front of the


My Sewing table is clean!

This is a before photo of my sewing table.  I'm embarrassed to show it but by doing so it also held me accountable to get it clean.  I obviously can't even sew anything with it being such a mess.  My first line of business was digging under the table to trace the path of the cord to unplug the sewing machine.  After that I pushed back the tubs; that have fabric and supplies stored in them back under the table and discovered that I needed to wipe down my machine and the foot pedal.  I had not realized until I took a closer look how dirty my sewing machine was.  Not just dust but dirt marks and some kind of grime.  I got it all cleaned off and then scrubbed the foot pedal.  My goodness the soles of my shoes are obviously dirty from the looks of the foot pedal.  Now the pedal is clean and the machine is ready to take to the sewing shop for repair.  The tension is way off and I'm having no success in getting it straightened out. 

Now get ready... here comes the  "After" photo..................
Ta Da !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Besides just cleaning the table I actually put every single item that did not belong on the table away where each item belonged.  That includes the trash.  I will admit that I didn't straighten the things hanging on the wall but my goal was to get my sewing table back in order.  My sewing machine, my Viking Rose, is in the shop but my daughter, Evie, let me borrow hers.  It's not in the photo but Evie's sewing machine is now on the table and I was able to get it up and running.
It was brand new in its box so I set it up, got out the manual and figured it out. 
I'm amazed how settled I am in the way my "Rose" operates.  I followed the steps to load the bobbin, thread the machine and get it to sew a straight stitch.  Ridiculously the most trouble I'm having is to remember where the release lever is to raise the needle.  On my Rose the lever is directly behind the arm.  Evie's Brother sewing machine places the release lever on the right side of the arm.  I finish sewing and instinctively take my left hand and reach for the lever.  I sigh and take my right hand and grope for the lever on the right side.

This is definitely a right-handed machine.  Being left-handed is throwing me for a bit of a loop.  I am obviously a creature of habit.

Oh yes, I must not forget to thank Flylady for helping me get my life decluttered.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Part of my mother's memory

While cleaning my sewing table off, AGAIN, I found this dart marker roller.  I don't know the official name of it but this one belonged to my mom.  I never knew her to use anything else but this to mark her darts on her patterns when she made clothes for us.  It's old black handle is scratched and worn from much use.  It's got some rust but the "blade" still turns and is quite usable.

I was so surprised to find it because I thought the few things that I have of my mom's in the storage shed.  When I found it I had to sit down and just hold it.  It made me smile but also made me sad.  Mom's been in heaven for somewhere near thirty years but just seeing and holding this roller bought back such wonderful memories. 

I would like to display it in my sewing area but I'm not sure how to do that.  Or maybe a better tribute would be to continue to use it.  What do you think?  Use it or display it?  If I display it does anyone have any idea on making a nice display?

Moose vs. Hospital

No the moose isn't sick.  I think he was just being a moose wandering around the city.  This moose happened to wander into the parking garage at Providence Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska.  Watch out for those automatic doors; they let anyone or anything in!  According to the hospital this fella made it up to the third floor.  To keep him and people safe, hospital security took eight hours to quietly and carefully block entire areas to get the moose to turn around on his own accord and decide that he and mother nature were a better fit.  By the way, this photo was taken by nurse Leslie Bagley.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Unstuffed Peppers

Out of the six of us in our family; four of us really like to eat stuffed peppers.  In these hard economic times green peppers are very expensive for our budget.  To continue to enjoy stuffed peppers I developed my “Unstuffed Peppers” recipe.  I’m sure this meal has been created before but I use my mother’s tried and true stuff pepper recipe as the base.  My recipe is below.


Unstuffed Peppers

2 lbs. ground beef, ground turkey or Veggie soy crumbles

1 cup cooked rice (white or brown)

1/2 – 1 onion, depending on size, chopped

1-2 green peppers, depending on size – chopped

1 large can of tomato soup (I do prefer Campbell’s…tastes better)

Salt and Pepper to taste


*  Add ground beef or ground turkey to large skillet along with the chopped onions and green peppers. 

*  Saute until meat is cooked through.  If necessary drain off fat and rinse with hot water.  This will get rid of as much unwanted fat as possible. 

*  Add the cooked rice to the meat mixture and mix together.

*  Add the can of tomato soup and mix together.

Salt and pepper to taste.  I honestly don’t add any additional salt.  For my family there’s enough sodium in the canned soup to provide the needed flavor.  However, I understand that my family enjoys their food with little to no salt at all so those of you that enjoy salt will find it too bland and will need to add extra.

I try to be frugal so I usually add some water to the empty can of tomato soup and swish it around to get as much of the condensed soup out of the can and into the pot. 

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Vegetarian Substitution:

If you are vegetarian you can use soy crumbles instead of any meat.  *  Do not add the crumbles and fry with the onions and green peppers. 

*  Insteaad of oil you can add some water to the vegetables and steam them making sure to cover with a lid.  Make sure to drain any remaining water after the veggies are done. 

*  Continue with the recipe adding the rice and soup. 

*  After everything else has been added; bring the vegetarian crumbles into the dish.  All you have to do is to make sure the crumbles are mixed in and heated thoroughly.  If you add the crumbles during the cooking process with the veggies they will tend to disintegrate.  At least for me they did!


Tomato Soup Substitution:

If you don’t have tomato soup or not enough tomato soup you can substitute tomato sauce.  You will definitely need to salt the dish if using only tomato sauce.  Using tomato sauce instead of condensed tomato soup will change the flavor of the casserole but will do in a pinch. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Newfound Mastiff puppies GROWING!

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Here’s more about those puppies that were born to our family about seven months ago.  They are growing up really fast.  Out of the 15 pups born to our AKC Newfoundland, Annie, we were able to find wonderful forever homes for all of them and then some.  However, we kept three of the pups and now we have the Three Musketeers.  We, of course, still have Annie, their mom, and together they are a handful.  I won’t mention the other pets we have but I will say that our entire family is very busy with our four legged and feathered family members.  These photos were taken while Evie and Hammie were getting supper ready for the critters.  Margy and Martin are entertaining the pups as they waited.  Martin finally came up with a plan to prevent his face from being “slimed”.  He put on his helmet that he found at the local Salvation Army thrift store for $2.00.  It worked!

Below are photos of Annie with one of her pups.  Annie is the bigger one but not by much!  The photos are a bit dark but it was snowing and at around 9:30 a.m. the sun is just beginning to peek through the heavens.  By the way, these babies just love the snow! 

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