Monday, September 28, 2009

Gratuitous Living Room Pictures (because I want to)

I worked on our living room a little more this weekend, moving a couple of bookshelves in there. It's not a large room and there is very little blank wall space, so we are pretty limited on arrangements. We traded a couple of rocking chairs for a second Kroehler Ko-Dav loveseat from the 19-teens or early 1920s and now I'm happy with the way it looks. It's a cozy, comfortable room. No television. When we moved to this house I said NO TELEVISION IN THE LIVING ROOM. If I hadn't decided this right from the first I could never have made it stick. Now it's the place for reading, sewing, and talking, and sometimes for lying on your tummy and putting together a jigsaw puzzle in the middle of the floor. I love this room.

We don't have all the original window and door trim, and replacing it has been an expensive experience, so we're doing it a little at a time, hence the trimless windows. That maple floor is original and had never been stripped until we did it. Shawn Leppert was extremely happy about that beautiful, untouched floor!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Trading Dress Form for Lamb

I sold this on eBay

so I could buy this.

Seriously. I sold my My Double to earn money to buy a whole lamb, raised by our friends the Scholtes, to be delivered in late October to somewhere around Thanksgiving time. I have never bought a whole lamb before, just beef, and I'm really going out on a limb and I'm going to buy the whole dressed carcass and do the cutting myself.

Monday, September 21, 2009

What's for Supper: Chicken Fried Rice (comfort food)

Cheap and cozy, that's chicken fried rice for ya.

  1. Either steam 1 cup of long-grain rice in 2 cups of lightly salted water, or, better yet, use leftover rice.
  2. Heat some oil in a wok. Chop up 3-4 green onions including the tops and stir-fry them slightly. Add the cooked rice and stir-fry it with the onions. Stir the rice around so the grains separate as much as possible.
  3. Push the rice up the sides of the wok, leaving an empty space in the bottom. Add another tablespoon or so of oil to the empty space. While it heats, beat 4 eggs together in a separate bowl. Add them to the hot bowl and swirl the wok over the heat so that the eggs cook to the bottom in an even layer.
  4. When all the egg is solid but still moist, take a sharp knife and cut it (still in the wok) quickly into narrow strips, as narrow as you can reasonably manage, like 1/4 to 1/2 inches. Then cut those strips crosswise to make small chunks of cooked egg. Mix the chunks in with the rice.
  5. Once again, push the rice mixture up the sides of the wok and heat a little more oil. Meanwhile, chop some leftover cooked chicken meat, 1 to 2 cups worth. Add the pieces to the hot oil and stir-fry them to heat, then mix them with the rice.
  6. You can stop and serve at this point, or you can also add some fresh ginger peeled and cut into matchstick-sized pieces, fresh chopped garlic, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, or even a little bit of horseradish, any or all to taste.
Serve immediately. Feeds 4-6.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Five under my roof last night.

Britta surprised us by asking her dad if she could come home last night, just for the night. He was heading back in to LaCrosse for the laser regatta anyway this morning, so it was a perfect time for this. We were all surprised as we had all agreed she shouldn't come home for at least 6 weeks, but it wasn't a homesick type visit, or a hanging-tightly-to-high-school visit; it was an exhausted, my-knee-hurts-and-I-can't-sleep-in-that-dorm visit. She tore her knees up in PT one morning, doing a "low crawl" while holding her M16 (!!) and the wounds hadn't closed because she wears jeans all day and they kept rubbing. Owwww!

Anyway, she was with us last night for supper (and to do some laundry) and we had such a great time. She actually SAT AND TALKED TO US like a real grown-up. She was helpful, she was polite, she was patient with her siblings and not whiny at all. Kind of amazing for 3 weeks!

She looks incredibly great. She has muscles all over the place. She told us she ran 3 miles while holding a 5-gallon jug of water the other day. I couldn't walk even one mile carrying a 5-gallon jug of water! That's about 40 pounds, plus the jug! Wow.

It's so good to have here and so good to know she is happy about going back to school. So much less stress. Praise the Lord.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Strange Case of the Disappearing Blogger

I have not been loving my blog as I should. But I have posted over at The Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf blog and invite you to go have a look over there. The Sisterhood was started by a friend and former Palmdale neighbor of mine, Mrs. Mac. Their first project was to pass a scarf around amongst their members. Everybody was asked to take the scarf on an outing to show what life is like in their part of the world. (I think. I didn't join that project and wasn't paying very close attention.) This year's project is the Traveling Apron. Each of us gets the Apron for a week. During that time, we are to share how we cook in our home and in our part of the planet, along with a few recipes. Nothing fancy, just what we do all the time.

It's been a fun challenge because while I started the week thinking of myself as a pretty boring cook, as I paid closer attention to what we do around here, I realized we are interesting in our own way. We love cheap, that's for sure, and so during the summer we are eating out of our garden as much as we can. And I rely upon tried and true recipes without a lot of brave innovation. Most of what I cook is the same stuff I cooked last year, or 5 years ago, with adjustments made for finances and having moved 45 minutes away from the nearest grocery store.

My week with the Apron is nearly concluded, and I'm waiting to hear to which Sister I am to send it next. We're allowed to include a little note or card with the Apron package and I am hoping to stretch that to include a little bit of real saffron for the next Sister in line.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lovely, lovely old linens!

I got a present in the mail this week from my sister-in-law Roseann: Some wonderful vintage linens. Look at this table set! I'm guessing it's a bridge set, though I will still use it on our dining table. It is linen with insets of crochet work. And look at those S's! Roseann wrote, "When we got married, an old woman gave them to us and said they had belonged to her parents. I kept them for sentimental reasons all these years but they never saw the light of day and I think you would appreciate them more." And I love them! Now if we can just keep from slopping catsup or raspberry jelly on them. I know they're meant to be used, but I don't want to wreck them, either.

Not in the pictures are a set of cross-stitched pillowcases and matching dresser scarf which are also pretty, quite a bit more recent in vintage, and currently airing on the clothesline.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Great news. Britta had two main obstacles to getting an Army ROTC nursing scholarship. The first was the fitness test, which she passed Monday morning. And the second, much larger, was to obtain a medical waiver. She had been formally denied the scholarship based on very minor health stuff that she had had in her early teens but not recently and certainly nothing out of the ordinary for every other human being on the planet. We had hoped to have the medical waiver taken care of in the spring but it had dragged on and on.

Today she got a letter stating that the waiver has been granted! Now, as far as we know, nothing more stands in the way of her accepting her nursing scholarship and becoming an Army nurse. :o)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Fly the Flag on 9-11

I don't do e-mail forwards, but I would like to pass on the information from one I just received that is a good reminder to fly the flag on September 11, if not every day, in solidarity and remembrance of those who lost their lives 8 years ago, and those who have lived with that loss every day since, and those who put their own lives on the line to protect us from having to endure it again.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I want a Mini!

Want to have fun visiting a website? Check out, the website for the Mini Cooper. It zooms just like the car does. There's even a way to throw the whole website into reverse. (Hold the shift key while clicking the little gearshift at the bottom left corner.)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Doll quilt for niece

Remember I made that yellow gingham apron for one of our nieces? The other one didn't want an apron, she wanted a quilt for her doll, which is a little one, around 12 inches tall. And she wanted it to be purple and orange, her favorite colors. So here is a purple and orange doll quilt. It's pretty small, made just to be the size for wrapping up a 12-inch baby doll.

I'm posting these once I know they have arrived. Roseann called me a split second after her table runner arrived. I know this doll quilt arrived because of the delivery confirmation number.