off the needles

Just off the needles.  This is a Mary Gavin yarn.  Took me about 8 months cause there were MONTHS when I didn’t pick up the needles at all.  But finally finished it last night.  Keep failing to take into account the weight of the yarn when I do the sleeves.  The body of this sweater alone didn’t look anything like this – the neckhole was so small, my head barely fit through and the edges were much closer to my shoulders.  and it was from that point that I measured to make the sleeves.  Fortunately, was running out of yarn and made the sleeves short!  The color is called Sapphire and is really much brighter than it appears in the picture!

new sweater

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like to get seeds planted during the waning / dark of moon.  For me, its the underground in the dark thing happening during the dark.  I’m not into planting by zodiac signs, but do pay attention to the moon phases somewhat.  So today was a hustle day to get some seeds in soil as dark of moon is tomorrow and its do it now or 4 weeks from now which will be later than I want to plant.  This is early, but can adjust for that.

So have planted seeds of Spinach, Lettuce, Escarole, Rapini and chard  (and peas along the back) and put them in the new planter along the side of the house.  Covered with the plastic cover (except for the peas) and put in a heating mat.  Will have to take a picture as soon as I can find my phone . . .

Posted in chard, container gardening, gardening, greenhouse, homesteading, legumes, organic, prepping, self-reliance, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

work begins

So far its been a mild winter.  Last year let the garden go and tended to little.  This year, hope to keep it up much better.  Started yesterday with cleaning the greenhouse and repotting turmeric and ginger.  Had started two rhizomes each in a pot and they had ultimately all taken off.  The Turmeric is the green leafed plant, the ginger died back (but hopefully didn’t totally die!)

Adding bagged steer manure everywhere this year.  When I finished this, mixed some soil with the manure and planted a couple of potatoes that had started to sprout. 


Today want get some of the manure added to the asparagus.  and want to get some seeds started.  Usually I wait until after the second of February for that but the summers have been so hot that I need to get things out and going much earlier using season extenders for earlier harvests.  Otherwise, I get nothing – like last year!!

Posted in asparagus, container gardening, gardening, greenhouse, homesteading, organic, potatoes, prepping, self-reliance, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

great row counter – knitters

Stumbled on a great item from Wychwood Dreams on Etsy. She has done a row counter that is a little abacus.  Look at it and you’ll figure out how to make it.  Its just 10 rings attached together, then attached to an 11th ring that’s set up with beads and after each 10 rows, you move a bead.  The needle goes through the first ring and then moves to the next ring when you’ve finished that row.  Finish 10 rows and move the bead on the abacus.  You can probably use it count 20 rows at a time, depending on how you set up your pattern and your brain.  Forget the Abacus and just attach 10 beads together and tick off on your pattern after 10 rows.  What a brilliant idea!!

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gf non fried chicken

I LOVE fried chicken.  Nice, hot fried, just a little greasy, with the skin left on so each bite is just dripping, moist tender chicken.  But like most of us grownups, don’t eat fried chicken anymore.  Being gluten free is one of the things that stops me, along with the knowledge (chemistry major here) of what happens to oil when heated to such high temps.

Now, lets add to the mix that I’m not a very good cook, nor do I really much care of cooking.  It has become drudgery since I’ve had to cook 3 meals a day for the past 30 years!  And that’s probably why I’m usually looking at tools and gadgets to make it easier.

So back to fried chicken. 

Years ago learned that gluten free pretzels (glutino) make a really good breadcrumbs substitute. But nothing I tried with oven fried chicken was satisfactory.

and then I bought an “air-fryer”.  Stupid name for what is really a small convection oven.  Have wanted one for a long time and had come to the point that it would not happen until my existing oven died – and that might not be for 20 more years as it is only 14 years old.

Since I’ve had this “air-fryer” have made delicious carrot fries – nothing more than roasted carrots in stick form.  done some sweet potato fries which were good, but the Hubs doesn’t like sweet potatoes; am damn glad he likes the carrots.  have done a couple of rounds of burgers, the last ones being pizza burgers.  and have, of course, fried me some potatoes – non fried french fries.  and they were good. 

Have also done non-fried chicken.  First time was with mayonnaise (actually vegennaise, and if you don’t know the product, check it out!!) and my pretzels.  This time it was the old fashioned way with egg, crushed pretzels, some parmesan cheese and pepper.  And it was as tasty as it looks!!!.  My biggest complaint was as it sat on the plate, the underside got soggy.  As it cooled, moisture condensed within and the crust got yuchy!!

fried chicken Looks good, huh?

For those of you who have families of 4 or more, these “air-fryer” gadgets are somewhat limited.  As you can see from the grill pan in the above picture, there is really only room on there for maybe one more piece of chicken.  And this is a single breast cut in half.  Great for the single person or couple, or if you are just interested in doing things like oil less veggie or potato roasting.  

Had never heard of these things before a month or so ago.  Someone on Facebook had mentioned buying one and once the research began, it was like that cartoon lightbulb went on over my head!  Spent more than I really wanted to, and they come without accessories, so the grill pan, a rack, all extra.  As I read reviews my purchase price also went higher and higher.

But if it last the 5 years that many seem to have had them for, it will be okay.

Posted in air fryer, baking, carrots, gluten free, homesteading, potatoes, recipes, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

beware !!

Beware crappy USB cords!!  Almost threw out two charging devices because I thought they had quit working and it turns out it was just bad USB cords.  They were shorter ones that came with the devices; one about 7″ long and the other about 12″.  Put on a regular long USB charging cord and they both work just fine!!

So check your charging cords before tossing your device!!

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merry and happy, y’all

Feels like its been forever since I’ve written here, where its only been about 6 weeks!!

Cannot get myself organized to water the gardens – the perennials plants like the figs, the comfrey, asparagus, rhubarb, all need it!  Haven’t even gotten around to pulling the dead tomato plants.  We are down to freezing temps at night and I’ve not even wrapped the figs.

meanwhile, as the days got shorter and colder my biking excursions have about ground to a halt, also.

DH’s cataract surgery went well.  My neighbor’s, not so much. She’s developed a bubble and retina tear.

Arthritis has been bothering me in my feet this year and have tried to make the move to get back to yoga for keeping joints fluid and looser.

Did finally find a good rain jacket at the thrift.  We need them rarely, but you want to stay dry when you need to, hence the desire to not spend big $$$’s for something that might get worn just a few times a year.  The jacket I found is an Eddie Bauer Gortex and was $25.  Unfortunately missing the hood, but has other nice features and is grey and black. Today found another Gortex jacket, also for $25, with hood.  Not as good quality as the other, nor as nice a color scheme.  So all in all, am glad I went with the one I did.

Am looking for winter boots.  Same kind of deal, although they get worn a bit more than the jacket, as muddy ground exists on sunny days.  Can no longer get into the pair that have seen me through the last couple of winters as my ankles don’t bend enough for me to slide into them.  So back to the thrift they go and need to find something else to wear.

The Sous Vide machine has been making funny noises, but still works.  The DH doesn’t really like the texture of food cooked in it though.  Still great for certain things, especially reheating left over meat and poultry without drying it out.

Am now experimenting with an “air fryer”; stupid name for a machine that has nothing to do with frying!! Its really a small convection oven and this is turning into a very positive experience.  Immediately made burgers and roasted carrots (carrot fries !!).  Yesterday baked two potatoes and made two tenderloin steaks (Omaha steaks for Christmas). Today made the DH a beef pot pie, but using a smooshed potato for the top.  They never brown in the regular oven unless I put the broiler on, but got good and hot with nicely browned potato in the “fryer”.

So while the turkey is cooking on Christmas, will make roasted carrots and potatoes in the other.  Desert will be baked apples and hopefully pumpkin custard.

Our business almost ground to a halt through November and we decided to run a sale through December which has jumped up the orders.  now to see if it lasts or if we will have to cut expenses some other way.  One of the things that’s effecting us, a guy in Europe is having parts made somewhere cheaper than we can have them made here and he’s selling them on Ebay.  It allows any shop to do what we do for a lot less money.  They don’t really do ALL that we do, but when the price is right, people tend to go for cheap.

Did dip my fingers into a Facebook prepper group, but found the same old BS holds true. The guys are into real serious SHTF stuff with bug out bags, get home bags, INCH (I’m not coming home) bags, full trama medical bags.  And to them a hurricane that wipes out an entire island is not a real SHTF situation.  Huh!?!?!  and when the women start talking about the things that concern women (birth control, children, etc), they get rude and crude, so we all subside. or leave.

So the year grinds to a close.  Paperwork needs to be done.  and the wheel continues to turn with the same old same old mundane things going on.  While the world dances close to the edge of madness, then dances back again.

So wishing you a happy holiday season, regardless of whether you celebrate or not.  The lights are pretty, some extra days off work, and hopefully those that work will find some extra $$ coming your way .

Posted in air fryer, carrots, fruits, gardening, homesteading, prepping, self-reliance, sous vide, Uncategorized | Leave a comment