Thursday, December 29, 2011

Let swap my friends

So I have been trying to enter a swap and it is a lot more difficult than one would imagine! LOL SO! I have decided to be a bee keeper! Thanks to the urging of my friend Mrs. Pickles! (She is also jumping into this boat so hop on over and see her, too!)
I have not decided all of the rules because I would love for the swappers to have a say in it! I know I have said I would rather use our own stash, that way you get some of the other person in there, and it is one less package you have to mail out! But I am more than ready to play!! Let me know!! Jan is almost here and we HAVE to get this big ball rolling!! before the big ball drops!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Not sure if I have ever mentioned, but I do not buy store bought bread at my house (unless I get CRAZY lazy and am having an off week! LOL My kids love my bread and I really don't mind making it! And I have to say that when friends are having an event they often ask me to bring my bread! I think there is nothing fancy about it, but I guess there is something about homemade bread that people can't resist! LOL


 Here is my recipe and a few pics to go with!! hehe I grab out all my stuff! I have ZERO counter space, and when I say that, the only counter in my kitchen is a small area beside my sink that is only big enough to put a strainer, so all of my work in my kitchen is done at my kitchen table!
foamy yeast

I use 1 1/2 C. warm water, it should feel warm but not hot on your wrist. to hot and it will kill yeast not hot enough and the little buggers will not wake up. I use 2T. sugar and 2T. honey (however  only guestimate my honey because it us such a pain to measure in a spoon.) and 2 1/4 tsp yeast (or 1 package but because it is cheaper to buy in a big bag I never buy the pre measured packages). Stir till honey and yeast are disolved and let proof for @ 10 min. It should look like the pic on the side after it has sat.
Add dry ingredience 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 C. oil, 1/3 C. dry milk solids, 4 1/2 C. Flour. Now, I know there are people who tell you to only use bread flour, but I have used both bread flour and regular (unbleached) flour and I have not found a difference besides price!! So I use regular old nothing fancy flour!! I do normally use EVOO but occasionally if I am out I do use veg oil or whatever I have on hand!
Mix first!!
The twins...kind of!
 My hands are very week so I cheat and do not kneed by hand! I bought two bread machines at the Salvation Army (for less than $5 each) and I mix them in there! I do find that if I stir the mixture first I get a better texture to my bread! So I mix only till the flour is slightly moistened!!
Most bread machines have a dough setting and that is what I use! Part of the reason I use this is also because my house is cold and drafty and I get a better first rise out of the dough!!

After the machine(s) have done their part it is all up to me! I punch it out on a floured surface and form each one into two loaves. Spray the pans with non stick spray and cover to let rise. I have old radiator heat in my house and have to say the only thing I love it for is rising bread in the winter!! I do
After they rise.
 also put a pan of water under my pans and think it helps to keep them moist! Let rise for 40 min and when my timer goes of I turn on the oven to 350 and let preheat. When the oven beeps that it is ready I bake the bread for 28 min. Now I know that a lot of recips tell you to give them a little egg wash to make them shiny and pretty, but I have to admit that unless I am making them to take them somewhere I do not do this! My kids don't care what it looks like and well we already go through eggs like they are going out of style! LOL so often I have no eggs! But since this batch was to take to houses for Christmas Eve I did do an egg wash! Just one egg white and a Tablespoon or so of water and brush on right before you are ready to bake!!
MMM bread!

Take them out of their pans to cool as they will continue to bake if left in pans! I put mine back on my cooling rack and it is all I can do to keep the kids from cutting into them! LOL The warm heels are the most coveted part of the bread in my house!! I do let them stand for at least 15 min before I cut into them just to let them finish cooling and baking! mmmmm fresh baked bread!!!

Have a great day and try to make some bread!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to all and to all a not-as-busy-as-mine night

Happy Christmas all! Many plans today!! Oh, it is going to be a busy one!! So here's how my day is going to go... I currently have bread rising and plan to take some to both of our Chirstmas plans! I have yet to go buy cheese and crackers for the plate that is ALWAYS my responsibility to take to Aunt Rita's house, better get on that! I have to somehow make it to my MIL's Mom's house and then make it back here where somehow MAGICALLY Santa will have visited while we were gone... OK does this all make sence! Not to me either! Background... Honeyman is working today from 7 this morning till 7:30 tonight. He has to work at the station on Christmas day (that is a 24 hr shift starting at 7 am) so if he is to open gifts with us it has to be at about 8 tonight!! This will be a smash of get there, eat, open, leave! do it all over again!! whoosh!! LOL This also gets a little tricky because my Lillian is not a late night owl and is normally in bed at 8! She tires very easily and begins to drift off. So I think this is going to be the schedule for the day. Bread should be ready by noon, I will go grab teh cheese and get it cut while it is in the oven (the Brat can take it out) Grandma Shirley's 2-4, Aunt Rita's 5-7:43 , she talks a lot so I have to allown myself a little extra time to get out of her house LOL. Honeyman will play Santa at the house and we will arrive here, I only live five minutes from Rita, and open very fast and off to bed kids! WOW! Then Christmas Morning... nothing! I get to sleep in, not that I know how to do that, but I like the idea of saying it! LOL
Was that one great big run on sentence or what! hehe I am not a great writer and have a tenancy of going on and on and that is how I talk, too! So
OK to sign off! A Very Merry Christmas and safe travels if you have to! Bless your family and friends in this wonderful season!

2008 my little Santa boy

Christmas at Rita's 2008
I couldn't leave without a pic of Christmas's past! My Lillian and Darien Christmas 2008 (Uncle Bob in the background)  These two make me smile!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

mild decorations!

OK so we did get a tree up, but tht is as far as the decorations went at my house! I love my Boy! He is the one who said Mom I really want a tree up! Well, I cannot say no to that kind hearted soul! So up went the tree! Darien kept getting distracted by It's a Wonderful life on the TV! I don't think I have ever made him sit down and watch the move! I love that guy, but WOW the questions about a movie he will come up with!! He is an over thinker for sure! And he doesn't wait til lthe end of a movie to talk about it he just kind of blurts it out when it comes to mind! I love that sweet kid!! Lillian on the other hand is a tasker! Granted all of her ornaments end up on the same branch and the boy moves them... she has a one track mind!! LOL They are oh, so different and yet two peas in a pod!!

Here is their masterpiece! I let them to the whole thing (save for the lights and star!)

When we first moved into our house (Dec 23, 2004) Mom found out we did not have a fireplace, so at the local Christmas fair she picked us up this stocking hanger! However I realized this year when i pulled it out that one of the pegs is missing so I will have to go on the hunt for a new peg! And the flicker flame bulb is out so that will have to be replaced as well! I also thought it needed more so I put a short string of lights down the garland that is on the pole! It just seems to add something to it!

Stockings... this is mine! My Grandmother made socks of all 30 of her grandchildren! (yes, my name is Joelle , sounds like Noel, but Josie is a nickname my aunt Judy gave me YEARS ago) My youngest cousin (Judy's son) has the same one as me! But my Brother and Sister have different ones! Mom decided that my kids needed Socks that were made by her, so her second to last Christmas she let the kids pick out the background material and used Santas that came from my Grandmothers stash! (my Grandmother has been gone since 82)

They are just way to cute! And Mom put a little goody bag at the bottom of each one! I love that they are the same and yet different!
Hope everyone is ready for the big day!! I am not yet done! That is not where I normally am this time of year, but I will pull it out yet!! I always do!!
If I don't see you before then, a Very Merry Christmas from our house to yours! May all your Christmas wishes come true!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mrs. Pickles is getting me in beeeeeeeeg trouble!!

LOL So I went from thinking about joining a bee to beeing a bee keeper! (I told honeyman that this morning and he said the dog would eat the bee's hehe! he didn't get it...) Any way! So one of the bee's that she and I tried to join was not only full, it was  VERY OVER FULL!! Melissa has two full swaps and another 18 names! This has gotten me thinking and Mrs. Pickles is eggin me on! hehe!
Well, I am going to sit on it for  a few days and decide, but I tell you I am so leaning to a yes! Wouldn't that be a great way to dive in head first!! I have just always been that type of gal!! The only part I don't know if I like, most of them that I have looked at they send their own fabric and I think I like the idea of more scrappy and personalized to the people making them not the people getting them?? What do you think? I think if the person on the recieveing end lays out colours they like shouldn't that be good?? I think it puts a little more ecxitement in the swap! Please share with me if you all have done bee's and what has worked and what you did or did not like!!
My computer is on the fritz again so I have no photo's to share till it gets cleaned up! We got our tree up this past weekend and I know it is not much, but I guess it is better than no decorations at all!!
Happy and Merry to everyone out there in blogland!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

This is why I call it my insanity defense...

So someone please tell me why I am doing this! I am NUTZ! It is like a first year musician attempting to play Karl King's Barnum and Bailey's favorite in double time! (trust me I have done that and although it is a blast to is a killer and a half to accomplish!!!!) I digress...Well I had a picture in mind to use in Honeyman's quilt and well... here you go! LOL And let the insanity begin!! I could not leave well enough alone and just use the 10 minute pieces, oh, don't get me wrong, I am going to use those as well! Honeyman and Kaelynn-e-brat are at a concert (some heavy something-or-another that I do not listen to) so tonight I will be at the sewing machine!! And after I plan on a botttle of wine and a movie just for me!! (oh, forgot to tell you about the wonderful applejack and garlic Wisconsin cheese we bought the other day! and it is calling out to me) so! I hope all of you have a great Friday night sew in and I just might have a few more gems to show you in the morning!! (end of run on sentence LOL)
Happy Friday!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I found it, I found it!!!

OK so remember the material I bougth to make my Honeyman a quilt...

Well I was going to do the Studly & the Mrs.  quilt along. I went out and bought all of this fabric, which I know can end up going mor little boy and not scream Man... but aren't our men just our little boys anyway! hehe  Well the more I looked at the material and the pattern the more I didn't like the two of them together! There ws just no showcasing the material in the scrappy quilt! (plus if we are being honest I dont' know if I would ever be able to geth through those 7 bajillion flying geese!! However maybe I might have mastered them if I had attempted...)
Well yesterday I was surfing around on youtube and
 looking at instructional stuff and I found it I found the perfect pattern to show off materials... and to make it even better, it is an uber simple and way for a beginner quilt! They are 10 minute blocks! OK to everyone else this may not be a new thing and I am sure this is kind of cheating, but remember I am still very new! I did think that this very big and simple block would be a great way to try out some quilting patterns! I am waffeling with the idea of going and getting the other print material that the store had (it had blues in it as well) and then grabbing some blue to go with all of this red, orange, and yellow!! What do you think?? I cannot wait to cut into this wonderful
Robert Kaufman material and I do think that this pattern will showcase it beautifully!!
I think it will be my Monday morning task! But my Honeyman is off this off this week, so I might just spend a little time with him!! hehe
Hope the days till Christmas go by a little slower so I can get a few things done!!
Have a great Sunday everyone!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I got into a PIF!!

 I just LOVE the Pay It Forward concept!!  
I have just typed in to do a PIF and CAN NOT WAIT!! And the best part will be paying it forward! So here goes my part! Pay attention ladies! And you know on my blog your odds are VERY good because I only have 12 followers! So here goes!!

Rules:1. I will make a little something for the first 3 people that comment on this post. It will be a surprise and may arrive at any time in the next 365 days (yes, a year).

2. To sign up to receive a gift from me you must play along too. Share the giving love on your blog by promising to send a handmade goodie to the first three people that comment on your blog post.

3. You must have a blog.

4. After commenting on my post, you have to post this (or similar) on your blog to spread the love.  If you haven't posted in 48 hours then the next commentor will be chosen.

I don't know if three people will even get around to commenting on this, but I will say that if you find this post 6 months from now and only 2 people have left a comment, you can still be commenter #3 and get a random goodie from me! When you comment, I'll email you and get your address and then you will get something from me sometime before next December.
Thanks for playing ladies! It is better to give than to recieve, but hey if you can do both...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas tree Horror flashback!

Can we say Cheesy!!
This morning as I was driving Kaelynn to school I was listening to our local Dj's talk about Christmas tree horror stories! (I love these guys! Dwyer and Michaels aka two dorks) Anyhow I was reminded of our Christmas tree horror story and just wanted to share! First let me say for some reason this year the Christmas spirit is just not with me. I have not yet put up any decorations, nor have I yet to buy ANY gifts! I love my Honeyman, but he is a Scrooge and does NOT like Christmas adn this year he is at the station on Christmas and works his part time job on Christmas Eve from 7AM till 7:30PM, so no help to that front. To top it off Kaelynn (16) is not really into it either! So it is just My Lillian, Darien and myself.
Cookie time w/Granny Kim
My Kids and Nieces 2007 Festival of Lights
OK So I will stop with the poor poor pitiful me stuff and regail you... So my Father was being Mr. Scrooge one year and did not want to go get a tree! My Mother LOVED Christmas and said fine we will go without you! So My Mother, sister, brother, a family friend (who was all of 5 ft tall and maybe 100lbs), her daughter and myself set off to choose a tree! Our house was old and had 12 ft tall ceilings and there was a beautiful 12 ft bay window are that we always put the tree into! When we would go tree shopping my Mother (who was 6 ft tall) would reach to the top of the tree and if she could reach the top that was the right sized tree! We got our hot chocolate from the little store there, looked at pretties, and set off into the field to find our tree! Mom, as she usally did, marked a few with pink tissues, not like we ever really went back for those LOL but...It did not take long and we all agreed on a beauty!! My Mother got down on the ground (this was normally Dad's job) and began to hack away with the little saw they give you! It took a great amount of time to finally ground this beast of a tree! We flagged down the guy on the cart to take our tree back to the store and settle up! Well this is when we should have known we were going to have a problem! You know those bailers they put the tree through...well try as they might they could not get this tree through the bailer!! So up onto the top of the old Diplomat the tree went! It took four guys to help Mom and Sandy to get the big guy up there! (now I'm sure it went through my Mother's head that SOMEHOW we were going to have to get this tree into the house without the help of these guys! but we children were blissfully unaware)
Darien loves his Santa hat!
We got home and somehow and between all of us got the tree into the house without breaking anything or anyone! Now to the tree stand... you know they come in small and large, well we had a large and the trunk was still to big!!! So first things first we had to shave down the tree trunk to make it fit!! Problem solved, right?? Nope,  standing the tree up became another problem! Remember Mom was there with four kids (I think I was in second grade) so we would have been about 6, two 7yr olds, and a 12 yr old and this tiny Sandy!! Well Sandy got in the corner to pull while Mom pushed and Mom pushed Sandy's bottom right out one of the window!!! oops! They finally wrastled that tree up and it touched the ceiling!! Not just touched but the top bent! Mom decided that since they had taken so much time to get the darn thing into the stand that it was just best to cut off the top six inches or so! No topper that year! So base trimmed and in the stand, and the top taken off, but the tree was up, till they let go! LOL the tree stand would not support the weight of this GIANT BEAST that had taken over our house!! Well when you have gone this far to get a tree up and in there is no stopping now! Mom tried to put weights on the stand, but it still would not hold! So what is the next logical step... NAILS!! Yup! My Mother nailed that tree stand right down into the hard wood floor!! She was not going to be defeated by this tree!!
Our pitiful fake tree Chirstmas morning 2010
Christmas morning!
We decorated and cleaned up all before Dad got home! It was the most spectacular tree ever! (I only wish I had the pics here maybe some other day I will make it past the troll again and get some of those) Dad was none to happy about the window or the floor, but can I just say...he never let us go get a tree without him again!!

If you made if this far! Thank you! I know I ramble! But I come from a long line of story tellers and sometimes I just have to add in my two cents!!
I hope the holiday spirit has found you all and that you can spare some for me! Josie