Sunday, February 26, 2012

 This past Friday evening, Adina (violin teacher and close friend) brought us a meal to enjoy.  She knew Ruthie and I had bought a copy of the above cookbook, so she made two of the recipes.  Adina and Bernard make a lot of their own indian they are experts in my book!
 This was my favorite, Frozen Spinach With Potatoes (p.116 Saag aloo). Allen and I could've eaten the whole dish ourselves.
 The second dish is called Chicken with Cream (p. 74 Malai wali murghi) is served with rice.  The rice Adina made had super long grains...almost like riced potatoes.  We enjoyed every bite.  Adina substituted coconut milk for the cream...which makes this a dairyfree dish.
 And her apple pie was so good!  It was still warm when she delivered it, so we couldn't help but add vanilla ice cream.  Since little Clara is also allergic to dairy products, I didn't have to be worried about Adina's cooking.  What a treat.  Thanks, Adina! 

We took a meal to our assistant Pastor on Monday.  I sent it in my crockpot...and boy did I miss slow cooker all week!  I'm going to look for another slow cooker on so I don't have to go through that again.
 Last Saturday Mike and I drove to Elkridge Maryland to buy a Total Gym XLS for $295.  I have been wanting to try this gym for years...but not willing to pay the new price of $2000...nor the usual used price of $600.  The gym came with 2 videos that make it easy for me to follow.  I have never seen a gym that is this easy to change parts and operate.  The best part is that I didn't wake up in pain the next day!
 Mike is coming along fine after his surgery last Monday.  We weren't warned about the huge dressings...and his pants didn't fit.  The hospital gave him these blue paper pants to wear until he got home.  I like his crutches...I can always hear the kuh-thump of him coming. 
 Lizzie has gotten really good at french braiding. She likes all the shades of grey in my braid:-) 
 I made some sourdough rolls this week...first time in a long time.  I got a kick out of my children...they put butter and brown sugar in the middle, then cooked them again.  Sort of like pancakes with imitation syrup. 
 We got quite a thunderstorm last Friday.  We had puddles all over our yard.
 Then came the blackbirds.  It was something!
 Allen finally got his tilapia farm all set up and ready to go.  All we have to do now is order the fingerlings.
This shows the 55 gallon drum with a heat lamp hanging down.  We will keep the fish indoors until the weather warms up outside.

Part of the farm is this filtering system that will allow us to grow lettuce thru hydroponics. 
The whole setup is located in our basement, a few feet from our woodstove.  Nice and toasty!

A few weeks ago, I bought this concertina from the thrift shop for Maggie.  She has always wanted one...but they are expensive.  I paid $20 for this one with the hopes that I would be able to replace the buttons that are missing.  Sure cost me $3.50 for the two buttons (including shipping!) from  I even replaced them myself!  Now it sounds wonderful! 

It's been a busy week.  The painting upstairs is going painfully slow.  By the time I finish keeping the fireplace roaring, the dishwashers filled and emptied, the laundry in check, taking Maggie to her appts, and Ruthie's schooling, I have nothing left to give to the paintbrush! 

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Saturday, February 18, 2012

We enjoyed a wonderful Valentine's Day dinner.  It was hard waiting for Allen's banjo lesson to be over so we could eat...everything smelled delicious!
Each of my children drew names for their special valentine.  Lizzie made eggfree eggrolls for Allen. He loves eggrolls and has sorely missed being able to eat these (egg whites in the wrappers). 
Hive-free eggrolls!
Sarah was in charge of the meal/day.  We started off with salad in bacon cups, then heart-shaped meatloaf, almondine green beans, and mashed potatoes and gravy. Yummy!  Sarah made the cake the night before...and it collapsed:-)  It still tasted good!
I am still learning how to take candlelight pictures (and even in regular light!)with my new camera.  Not being very successful.  
For my local friends, the Apple Basket has a new line of totes, bags, cosmetic cases, etc.  I think the line is by Donna Sharp of Oklahoma.  (Not sure of the last name.)  If you like the Vera Wang bags at the Loveville Traditions store...then you will like this line...but without the expensive price!
Ruthie enjoyed browsing through the extensive collections of jewelry.  (This was a Momma and Ruthie outing...and she chose Apple Basket!)  The spring inventory is on display, so be sure to stop on in soon!
Valentine's Day is also the birthday of one of Maggie's therapists, so Maggie made a bunch of cupcakes to take to the office.
Lizzie makes these chocolate toppings.
Fortunately Maggie made some for us, too!
Maggie and Lizzie are in search of the perfect gluten-free bread.  This looks like it!
Somebody looks content!
When Lizzie and Anna go to Uncle Mike's to babysit, I always tell them to take their cameras.  This is Kathryn Rose.  So adorable!  They say she likes to peek around the corner and smile.
Ruthie, Lizzie and Anna were invited to a beading party at Jenna's home last Friday.  They had a lot of fun...especially Ruthie, who has talked of beads ever since. 
This is a fun bunch of ladies whom we know from are annual tea parties at the W--- family home.
I was amazed at the beautiful necklaces and bracelets they made.  I'll have to get a picture of Ruthie's and share that later. 
My daughters said Jenna had trays and boxes of beads and charms!
I should've gotten a closeup of Lizzie's necklace.  Yesterday Ruthie used some of her Christmas money to buy beads at Joann's Fabrics.  One more person in line to use the coupons!
Finally got a picture of Mike!  Yes, those are crutches.  Last Sunday evening he was playing soccer with the youth at church...and tore his achilles tendon.  Fortunately he hasn't felt any pain...except at first when he thought someone had kicked him.  After a week of an xray, mri, drs and surgeon's appts, he gets to have surgery on Monday afternoon...if he survives the crutches:-)  He's already in search of a knee walker. The prognosis is 3 months in a cast and on crutches, then 2 months of therapy.  This has been hard for a man who is having his first physical ailment at age 59!

The weatherman is teasing us with forecasts of "maybe snow."  The pictures show the snow down south in southern VA...but the weatherman says dusting to 1".  My daffodils are looking I'm not sure I want snow or not.  The gnats are already annoying so maybe a good freeze would solve that problem.

Enjoy your weekend.  Many blessings ~ Kathie

Thursday, February 9, 2012

 Our family is busy preparing our upstairs for wood flooring.  Hooray! 
 First we have a lot of work to do.  We decided to move most of the bedrooms downstairs.  Sounds easier than it is!  Last night we filled all the nail holes with putty.  Made a shopping list for Lowes.  Made another list of everything that has to be done.  Gave up.  No...just kidding.  But I do feel overwhelmed.
 She doesn't know I'm taking her picture, hee hee.
Oops, Momma has the camera...better smile!
 This is what we call our "Clara look."  Only Maggie can do it.  (She is having fun. Now that I'm proofreading this page, she almost looks angry!)
 It's hard to have everything out of place.  So far no one has been brave enough to carry my heavy cactus downstairs.  I'm not sure it's possible to do without getting pricked.
 Mike attacked all the picture hanging nail holes with joint compound.
 We now regret giving Lizzie and Ruthie the "temporary" western art decorations.  We had already removed most of them (along with the attached sheetrock!) before Maggie reminded us that they are easily removed with a hairdryer.  Oh well.
 Remember all the water stains on the ceiling thanks to Hurricane Irene?  Mike painted over the stains with Kilz so that the stains won't show through the paint.  Hope it works...those stains are ugly!
 I finally came up with a new system for our kitchen.  Usually everyone tries to find a weirdo glass or hides their glass in a weird place in an effort to remember which glass is his/hers.  Then when it's time to fill the dishwasher, there are glasses all over the kitchen.  Now I know exactly where to find all the dirty glasses.  I was originally going to put the coasters in a nice piece of oak...but I finally realized that was never gonna happen.  I bought these coasters at the thrift shop.
 Guess who was the first person trained to use the coasters?!
 Try to guess what we had for lunch today!  We had leftover mashed potatoes that were chunky, so I heated them up with chorizo and onions.  Our local Giant store has the best chorizo around.  Delicious!
 Yesterday I showed you Ruthie's new Waring Professional Deep Fryer.  Today I want to show you how easily this comes apart for cleaning. I love it! Just lift everything screws or buttons. 
 I also like the three baskets that come with it...
...and the way all the baskets and plug get stored inside the fitted lid.  There's a reason why this got many 5 star customer reviews!
Today Ruthie is cleaning out her room and she made the tough decision to give this plaque to the thrift shop.  Breaks my heart.  We love anything to do with Texas...but there's nothing like a move to make you prioritize your junk...even if you're just moving downstairs!

Well, it's time for me to get back to cleaning out my closet.  My neighbor has been driving his dump truck back and forth today, so I've got to go find out what he's doing. 

Many blessings ~ Kathie

"I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth." ~ Psalm 34:1