Monday, July 23, 2012

Need To Know ...Is It Safe To Feed Expired Pudding Powder To Wild Animals???

You know how when you open up the lid of your washer after you've washed a load of jeans and tshirts that you always find 10 & 20 dollar bills that have magically appeared?  Wait ... your washer doesn't give you money?  hmm... well, my washing machine has always a good source for providing me with some extra spending money.  I've had this washer for almost as long as we've been married which will soon be 38 years, and needless to say, I'm not getting rid of it anytime soon.  I expect, with inflation, the new washers only give a buck or two with a load of jeans.
Anyway....  my kitchen cupboard, unfortunately does something just the opposite.  And I do blame my cupboard for this and not the fact that I might be OLD and forgetfull. 
My cupboard seems to magically expire my food products.  I've found bottles of salad dressings dating back to 2006.  Now, I find it hard to believe that I haven't cleaned out my cupboard since then so naturally, I have to be suspicious that there might be some foul play going on here.  The latest problem happened just this morning.
I've been wanting to make a peanut butter, chocolate chip pie ... There's this restaurant, Harold's Inn, in Hopewell twp, that has the BEST peanut butter chocolate chip pie.  The bad thing about it is that first of all, Harolds is a good 30 min drive for us so we don't go there often. Second of all, when we do go there to eat, the last few times, that pie was not available.  Third of all, I can never fully enjoy the pie because I'm always too full after eating their famous chicken & taters and Fourth, the pie is expensive.  I don't remember for sure but it's something over $4.00 a slice and to buy the entire pie is somewhere between $25-$30.  Spending THAT much on a pie is absolutely insane to me so I try to make it here at home, as best I can.  It never tastes quite as good, but really, how bad can choc chips, peanut butter chips and vanilla pudding taste it's not the same, but it's pretty darn good anyway.

So, this morning, I made the pastry shell, baked it and while it was cooling, I reached in the cupboad to get out the box of vanilla pudding and guess what?  Yes, indeed, the cupboard had given that darn box of pudding an April 2009 expiration date.  Now, I do admit that I considered using it anyway.  My family would never know and chances are we'd not get sick from eating expired pudding mix .. but then I realized that I wouldn't really appreciate how good this pie is while eating it  because the entire time I'd be worried that it was going to give me some awful gastric poisoning.
So I rooted around the cupboard looking for another box and to my absolute horror, I discovered that my cupboard had given all of my boxes of pudding expired dates.  Every stinking one of those boxes were older than the dirt in my vegetable garden. Nine boxes of old pudding mix. NINE.  Gosh.  See that one box of "Pumpkin Spice" in the picture above?  That's marked as a "limited edition" .  It's 3 years old now which might possibly make it a pudding box collectors hard-to-find dream collectors item.  If anyone knows of anyone that collects pudding boxes, let me know.  I'll let this one go for cheap to the right person.

So, now that I'm puddingless, I've created another dilemma for myself because I can't just throw the boxes in the garbage.  That's a lot of boxes full of old pudding powder, which takes up a lot of space in my garbage can under the sink.  So, I thought the best thing to do would be to dump out all the contents and throw the powder in my compost pile outside.   Good idea!  I'll just have to crush the boxes and recycle them to save space in my garbage can and be all green and stuff.
The compost pile will get extra nutrients of .... hmmm... and the earthworms will feast on the powder and .... hmmmm...
ok, now here's my concern.  Will I injure the earthworms with the expired pudding powder?  What if a groundhog or chipmunk  or a raccoon decides to graze in my compost pile with the expired pudding powder?  Will I kill God's creatures with gastric poisoning from old pudding powder? 

This is what is rolling around in my head as I'm dumping the powder out of their boxes.

I decided to ask my husband.  He's a really smart guy and knows a lot about some things.  "I don't think animals would like pudding powder" he said in his deep, knowing manly voice. 
I didn't argue with him, but thinking more about this, how would he know the dietary consumptions of groundhogs and raccoons?  That expired pudding powder might just be a smorgasboard of flavor to the wildlife .. one taste and the groundhog would send out the word to all of his groundhog friends to come get this flavorfull goodness that is flowing through the soil.  They'd all feast during the night and the next morning, we'd see a dozen groundhog corpses laying deep in gastric excrements that smelled of expired pudding powder.  The neighbors would laugh at us for sure.

So, the expired pudding powder is still sitting in a container on the kitchen counter.  I'm thinking that maybe I could flush it down the toilet.  We have a septic tank though and I'm not sure if it would clog up the pipes and I did consider asking my husband that question but I know that he would give me that look that he gives me when I ask questions like this.  It's that look of "I really feel sorry for her for being so dumb so I'll try to answer verrrrrry slowly and with simple sentence stuctures so that she can understand without knowing that I think she's stupid for asking".
So, I think that I will ponder on this a bit more before dumping it out on the compost pile.  While I ponder, I might just start cleaning and organizing my food cupboard so that perhaps, it, like my washing machine, will leave me 20 dollar bills instead of expiring my food.

Happy Day everyone!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wool Stashes

             What a lovely morning I woke up to!  Finally the temps have dropped to a liveable high 80s' and the humidity is down somewhat too.  Still no rain or any signs of rain anytime soon, but at least with the lower temperature, watering the veggies & flowers is less time consuming.

I sent out a newsletter the other day and the response for the blueberry wool kits and the wool stashes that I'm offering has been overwhelming.  For those of you who didn't receive the newsletter the other day and wish to, it's easy to subscribe. Just type your email address over there on the upper left column and click the subcribe button.  Double check to make sure that you type your email address correctly.... I get a number of bounced newletters undelivered because of wrong addresses.
My website now has groupings of assorted sized wool pieces that I'm calling a"wool stash".
They're selling extremely well and my supply is running low.  If you're interested in either starting a wool stash or increasing the size of your own wool stash, you can find my offerings on my website HERE
Act quick because it's going fast.

It's a super good price ... the shipping cost is included in the price too. 
This all comes from my own wool stash.  I'm downsizing and my family will be oh so happy to not find wool in every room of the house!
I have collected a huge amount of wool over the past 12+ years and I realize now that I will never ever use most of it.
Since most of the wool that I use now is new, off the bolt wool, my wool stash has become unneeded.  As much as it hurts to sell it, I must! 
Also, within the next few days, I'll offer up more baggies full of wool squares....
These are small 3" x 3" (approx) squares of assorted colors and textures.  This is super nice to have around for those times when you just need a small bit of color for some leaves, a snowman nose, a flower, etc.
The two bags that I had sold almost immediately so I hope to work on getting more together tonight and tomorrow.
When they're back in stock, you can find them on my website HERE

And ... also available is a bag or box of wool scraps. ...
These are all different sizes and shapes and colors. Most of the scraps are too small to use for stitching but you would definitely find some pieces to be of use.  I use these scraps for filing small pillows and pinkeeps.
I don't know about you, but I don't like using poly fiberfill for little shelf pillows or pinkeeps.  They're too lightweight.
Snip these wool scraps into tiny pieces and stuff your pillows tight with it.  It give it weight.  Try it one time and I guarantee you won't go back to poly fiberfill again!  I'm selling the scraps for just the cost of shipping plus a little more than a buck to cover gas to get it to the post office for you.  You can find these scraps on my website HERE

Thank you ladies!

Happy Day!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I Didn't Pray For Rain... Honest!

This is our driveway after last nigh't hail storm.  It's a pretty, thick, carpet of leaves. Because of the golf ball size hail that bombed us for at least 15 minutes, we had a lot of property and vehicle damage ... and a pretty carpet of leaves, EVERYWHERE.
I need to say this right now ... I DID NOT PRAY FOR RAIN!

I feel the need to emphasize this because the last time I prayed for rain, God listened too well.
When I was just little, our family along with a couple other families took a vacation camping trip.  We had a little pop-up trailer and the family friends both had tents.
I remember that my parent's friend, Betty, kept remarking about how dry it was and that the area was desparate for rain.
Not even thinking that rain might possibly spoil our camping vacation .. that evening, for my bedtime prayers, yes, I prayed for rain.  

The next day, we got rain. 

We got so much rain that it nearly flooded the tents. The  rain continued for the next few days, which pretty much ruined our vacation.  Now remember, I was just little then ... maybe 8 or 9 but after a few days of the miserable rain, and feeling so guilty that it was because of ME that the rain was flooding the area, I confessed to my family and family friends that because I prayed for the rain, I was responsible for this mess.

They all laughed at me.  They all teased me mercilessly ... Their teasing only made it worse.  No one really understood that I REALLY believed that I was responsible.

That vacation week memory has always stayed with me and since then, no mattern how dry the weather, how badly we've needed rain ....I've never, EVER prayed for rain.  I just don't want to take that chance that I'll create flooding devastation.   I know it's ridiculous, but it's just one of my few character flaws that keep me from being a perfect individual.  :)

Soooo... just two days ago, with the weather being so dry, we are becoming a little concerned about our well water.  The grass is brown and dry and my veggie garden is suffering because of the heat and lack of rain.
Two days ago, I considered praying for rain but I stopped myself because  my childhood vacation memory flooded my brain.  I reminded myself of how silly I was for being scared to pray for rain.  But now I'm thinking that perhaps just THINKING about praying for the rain .... NO, God would not do that! Haha ...

Anyway,  the storm damage is done.  Almost the whole back of our house will have to have the siding replaced ....

Hail holes are marked with the arrows.

My car and Rachel's car were both parked in the garage, so they were saved, but my husband's truck, the truck that he treats like a precious baby, has divots all over the hood and side. His taillight is broken and so is his side mirror.

Our 1998 Mustang, which normally is kept in the garage, was sitting outside. My husband pulled it out of the garage for the first time in months so that he could clean out the garage. It's ALWAYS in the garage, except yesterday, it wasn't.

It has a cracked windshield and golfball size divots everwhere.  At least the convertible top wasn't damaged.
The good thing out of all of this is that we received plenty of rain so my veggies and flowers are happy. 
It's clean up time now.  Raking leaves in July is odd.
The weather forecasts are calling for more rain today too, which is a good thing.
I think and hope ... but won't pray,  that this horrible dry spell is now over!

Happy Day!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blueberry Baskets <<------New Pattern!

It's the season for Blueberries! 

This new candle mat pattern called "Blueberry Baskets" measures 13" square.
While making the blueberries for this, I had them gathered in a little glass custard cup.
They looked so real in that little glass bowl, it made me crave blueberry pie!

The little round blueberries are stuffed with fiberfill and then stitched on. You can tell by the bowl of real blueberries in the picture just how real the blueberries on the candle mat look!
Basic stitches are used to make this: Blanket stitch, stem stitch for the baskets, running stitch for the blueberries and whip stitches to attach the blueberries and leaves.

The special price that is just for my blog readers is $8.50.  That price is good until Friday (7/6/12)
at which time the price will go to the regular price of 9.50.
That price includes shipping for US & Canadian customers.
Those who wish to pay by check instead of credit card, simply email me and I'll send you my mailing address.

I also have the mottled blue hand-dyed wool for the blueberries.  The wool is available for purchase on my website.
The price for a 12" square is $6.50 which includes the shipping.  This is enough wool to make one candle mat plus a little extra to make for bowl fillers, if you wish.
I will soon have wool kits available for this also.  Email me if interested ...

Thank you all... stay cool and have a Happy Day! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Is It July Already!?!?

Wow, the summer is going by so fast and I haven't blog posted for a loooong time!
I've even been nagged by my daughter to post so that's what pushes me to post today.

So, I've been busy and I'm here to show you what's been keeping me busy.
But first, I'm getting another newsletter ready to send so those of you who are not signed up for the newletter subscription, click on the button up there on the left to sign up for it. If you have already signed up for it but didn't receive the last newsletter with the free pattern giveaways, sign up again. I noticed that a few email addresses bounced back to me ...probably with the wrong address...
I have a new pattern almost ready to go so come back tomorrow to see!

Well, my summer has been spent playing catch up from last summer.  The picture above shows our new sidewalk that was put in last summer.  My hubby injured his ankle right affer the sidewalk was put in and then had serious complications from that so he was off his feet and not working until last December. 
Things went undone last summer because of it.  I tried my best to finish the area around the new sidewalks, but my hubby does everything better when it comes to hard physical labor.

When hubby was finally able to go back to work, he realized that after getting a taste of the good life without the drudgery of going to work everyday, he needed to retire.
During the time that he was off, we didn't kill each other so last February, he left Nova Chemical and he became retired and HAPPY!
So now he's home and we're both working outside to spruce the place up a bit and catch up from the lack of maintenance from last year.
Along with flower planting in the front of the house my new raised vegetable garden with squash, pumpkin and zucchini is starting to grow well.

Our tomato plants are full and green but not too many tomatoes are growing, which is a bit of concern.
We have a severe lack of rain in the Beaver County/Western Pa area so all the grass is now brown and dry and I'm doing my best to keep the veggies watered.  The sun is so hot, it's a losing battle to keep the soil moist. Since we have well water, it's really a concern because with no significant rain for well over a month and 90-100 degree temps, we might have a dry well soon. 

My other projects were painting the back door a lovely bright red....

Painting up an old chest of drawers to use on our side porch for storing my gardening tools and swimming pool toys.

I've spent quite a bit of time over two months, fighting these ants in our kitchen, by the sink. These lttle tiny devils caused me a lot of grief and frustration because I'd treat the area with bait, they'd feast and dissappear just long enough to make me believe that they were finally gone and then they'd reappear to battle me again.  This happened a so many times, I can't even count.  Finally, after getting the recipe from Pinterest, I mixed together some Boric Acid and sugar.  They feasted again and disappeared within a few hours, which was unusual.  They haven't been back since! 
The only positive thing to come out of my ant battle was that we ate out at restaurants quite a bit during that time since I refuse to cook with ants watching me!

My daughter and her hubby sold their home in Monaca and bought a home in Beaver so we've spent quite a bit of time helping them with the move and all that's involved with that, including getting to watch our grandson.  He'd much rather spend the day at our house, swimming and playing with the kitties than staying at home working with his parents on the house.
I must add that the new kitties are growing like weeds and causing much mischief in the house.  Two kitties are better than one in many ways, but two kitties chasing each other at full speed around the house, can cause quite a ruckus.
It sure is cute to watch but once they're a little older, I'm going to have to buy new sheer curtains for the living room.
The kitties love to hang, spiderman-like off the curtains.  They needed replaced anyway but it still makes me cringe when I seen them take running jumps for the curtains.
They've given us so much entertainment and laughs from their antics.

That's all for now.  I will be back to show the new pattern ... and to write more, hopefully!

Happy Day everyone!