Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Randomosity

Because why not be random...

Sitting on the windowsill above my dressing table are visual reminders of past and future fun times with my sons.  (the cat was a novelty that Chris got me while I was visiting him in Okinawa)  For several years, we have had the tradition of a small toy that gets hidden in the house and whoever finds it, hides it again.  These two are awaiting visits from my boys so that they may be put into action. 

                      

Forget the Love Shack...it's Sugar Shack Season!

                                   

Everything is better with fresh baked bread.

                     

Annisette is the self-appointed guardian of the barn pen and pasture gates.
  
                                  

The other night when I was bringing in the sheep, it was cold and snowy.  So, I snapped a selfie.

                     

The girls are keeping us well fed at breakfast.

                     

My Okinawa trip knitting project is complete.  Vanilla Latte socks using Zauberball Crazy yarn.  No matchy matchy on purpose.

                                 

Sometimes I think the girls are just as surprised by what happens in the nesting boxes as we are.

                                 

The "clean out the fiber stash to make room for the homegrown fiber" continues...

                     

Happy Valentine's Day weekend!








Friday, February 5, 2016

Jumbotron

Late last night my feet were treadling away trying to finish the third night of navajo plying a couple of bobbins onto my jumbo bobbin.  You see, I am on a mission.  A jumbo mission.  To spin up the jumbo stash of fiber BEFORE shearing starts in April.

I'm a little scared.  Maybe even jumbo scared.  Not of the shearing process, but of the sheer magnitude (haha see what I did there?) of the number of fleeces that will have to be processed.

                 Tri-color Blue Faced Leicester in Stained Glass colorway by Frabjous Fibers                

Initially the plan was to shear, keep a few fleeces and send the rest off to be processed.  But, true to form, and to quote the 3 or 4 year old me, "I can do it meself!"  

So, I will.  One way or another.  The rest of my fiber stash will get spun.  The storage system for the hand spun yarn is going to have to change, since the current system is overflowing.  Guess I should probably start knitting with more of it in my spare time.  That was funny.  

In the meantime, potential jumbo surrounds me.  Jumbo yarn stash, jumbo fiber stash, jumbo fleeces waiting to be shorn, jumbo price tags for some pretty vitally important processing equipment to assure that this time next year I'm not still working on this year's fleeces and staring at the prospect of a fiber animal Groundhog Day.  And, if my plan works out in real life the way it has in my head, there will be a jumbo amount of lanolin saved from the fleece processing to use in homemade skin care products.  

Never fear, I CAN do it meself!!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

It's 8th grade all over again...

I'm pretty sure I have shared both this story and this recipe before, but I am too lazy to check, so here we go again.  

Back in the dark ages, when I was in junior high, I took Home Ec class.   Frankly, this class should still be part of the curriculum for all students but it is not...a sad state of affairs for mankind, if you ask me.  

Better yet, I was an active member, all the way through high school, of FHA:  Future Homemakers of America.  Do they even still have that organization???  Yes, I could look it up.  No, I'm not going to. This group had more far reaching goals and endeavors than the stereotypical name implies.  So, way back when, in my fun Home Ec class, we had the task as FHA'ers to host a fund raiser for the group. A chili supper was planned.  Mrs. Graham was the teacher and mentor for the group and shared her favorite recipe for us to use.  It has been my go to chili recipe ever since. 

Cooking was not a new proposition for me.  Fortunately for me, my Granny had been teaching me for several years and I did the evening meal preparation at home for my family.  That chore was not given to me, it sort of became "my thing."  I was in my element.  

Tonight, the weather is showing its late winter/early early spring bipolar nature and has turned super cold again, so belly warming, drippy nose inducing, spicy chili it is.  And, because my husband, being the weird Hoosier that he is, will get macaroni for the bottom of the bowl since he is of the incorrect notion that chili is not chili without macaroni in the bowl.  No matter how many times I try to explain that the addition makes it chili mac and NOT plain chili, I wind up boiling some noodles.  So, macaroni he shall have, along with some sweet cornbread, sliced cheddar and dollops of sour cream.

Here it is at the beginning of the hour long simmer (my tummy is already growling):

                                

And the recipe:

1 can pinto beans (I use a pint jar of home canned pintos)
1- 14oz can whole tomatoes (I use a pint jar of home canned diced tomatoes)
1 medium onion, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup parsley
1# round steak, cut into cubes (anymore I use grass fed ground beef)
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper

In dutch oven, drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil and cook the tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, and seasonings.  In a skillet, cook the beef, drain and then add to the mixture in the dutch oven.  Stir in the beans (I usually add a jar of water to both rinse the jar and to add a little more liquid).  Simmer for 1 hour.  

Serve in a plain, deep bowl, or over noodles of your choice if you are inclined in that manner.  It's not good chili if your nose doesn't start running while you are eating it, and this one does the trick!

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