Wednesday, March 30, 2011

When the Moon is in the second house, and Jupiter realigns with Mars

We just got a box filled with a major connection to our younger healthier selves. I'm going to start sprouting again. More than 25 years ago, my dh and I, were on a camping trip in Leadville, CO with friends. We ate our first deliberately veggie sandwich. I'm sure both of us had eaten tomato sandwiches as kids, but didn't really store those memories for easy retrieval. *Just remembered PB&J are also veggie sandwiches. Both of us ate tons of them growing up.

On that trip, we literally sat around the campfire, singing "Rocky Mountain High", caught and cooked lots of trout, and I learned about sprouts. For years afterward, I faithfully sprouted mostly alfalfa sprouts to add to salads and sandwiches. During that time, I was also making homemade whole wheat or rye bread and we had a Salton Yogurt Maker. We weren't hippies or vegans (although we did go to Colorado in a van ☺), but the times were encouraging to eat healthy foods, and we didn't have a child yet. Although one of her earliest favorites to eat was alfalfa sprouts...  When we moved to TX, she was still a preschooler, and still eating those sprouts, but then the differences in climate did in my sprouting green thumb. High humidity and air conditioning for a much longer portion of the year didn't bring much success. Luckily, at about that time, sprouts began appearing at the grocery store.

We got our sprouting supplies from Sprout People so if you've sprouted earlier in your life, or miss being able to buy sprouts at the grocery store, check 'em out. We decided to add sprouting to Greek yogurt and quinoa in our attempt to  get back to healthier eating. But I don't intend to give up marshmallow creme, which for me is a quality of life decision. Back in the good old days, I used a Mayo jar and a set of plastic screen lids with increasingly larger openings. The new and improved EasySprout has 6 parts and came with a set of directions, which to be honest I had to read through several times. Back then, there were health food stores that sold bulk alfalfa seeds. Good luck finding those in your home town now!

I'll let you see some pictures in a day or two, and give you our favorite variation of ingredients for veggie sandwiches. But for now I'm off to scrub the sprouters before using them. We'll be doing alfalfa and a seed mixture called LongLife for our sprouts.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Paper pattern for Sharing My Wool now available in my Etsy Shop

This rug was finished finally just this year(binding and whipping are just not fun~) but I have taken it around, showed it online to help people who might want a pattern on see how it might turn out, and probably on here as well. The rug has been chosen for several treasuries, and always comments about it tend to include words like cozy or homey.

You might paint, needlepunch, rug hook or do applique, and like the rug, but don't really want it traced on linen. I'm now offering a paper copy of the basic pattern in my etsy shop Cotton Eyed Jo. If you'd like to make it larger or smaller that will be permitted in the paperwork of the pattern.  This pattern is approx 11 inches by 15 inches.

I fiddled around getting the paper pattern done, because I thought if another rug (completely different) say more primitive style, with a Siamese  cat with much simpler markings it might seem more achievable. I worked from photos of our Kirby Kat, and captured his likeness well enough to make it a keepsake. He won't be with us forever, but the rug will last longer than we do.

Don't forget to turn out the lights for Earth Hour tonight!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Earth Hour 2011

For the third year in a row, my dh and I will be turning out our lights for an hour (or longer) to join with millions of other citizens of the earth. Sustainability is an important issue, which will probably not impact our life too much. However, we are grandparents, and this has changed our perspective on so many issues.

8:30 PM, Saturday, March  26 , 2011    Whether you want to save a bit on your electric bill or save the world for our descendants, join in.... and switch off your lights, computer, tv, whatever!

I created this lantern at the site. 

Here is a list of suggestions from Miranda Kerr, I found on the news release at

  • Buy local produce from markets thereby reducing food miles
  • Walking or riding the bike wherever possible as opposed to driving
  • Ensure the car tyres are always inflated to the correct level as they use less fuel
  • Use fuel with Ethanol
  • Turn off the lights and use organic or beeswax candles a lot of the time
  • Unplug appliances when they are not in use
  • Use heating and cooling when absolutely necessary
  • Wash in mostly cold water
  • Use chemical-free dish washing, washing powder and cleaning products
  • Recycle, recycle, recycle
  • Buy products with the highest recyclability
  • Purchase clothes that are ethically made, not mass produced
  • Dress in Organic clothing
  • Install water-saving nozzles on all taps including showers
  • Compost scraps whenever possible
  • Prepare food plans so as to avoid food wastage
  • Grow herbs and spices
  • Have timed showers to use less water
  • Water the plants of an evening
  • Bury food scraps in the garden bed to feed the earth worms or compost
  • Collecting grey water from bath and use it to water plants
  • Using Certified Organic personal care products (avoid using chemicals)
  • Wash the car on the grass with environmentally friendly car wash
  • Buy Certified Organic or Farmers markets produce. I understand that certified organics can be expensive, but local farmers markets for the most part are usually reasonable. On my blog ( I include a list of Farmers Markets from around the world so that people will have ready access to the same.

See many of these suggestions are not that difficult. Maybe, you can actually do your own garden, nothing tastes better than veggies you've grown yourself.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

How cookies can stay with you forever...

I'm pretty sure you know the story on cookies that you eat at the holidays, so this is about those other cookies. You know, the ones your computer gobbles up when you are not looking. What? My computer does cookies too? But here is something I observed just a night or two ago while entering one of my two favorite games over at Facebook. If you know me, you probably know that a lot of my discretionary time is wasted that way now.

A while back we were having trouble while in our Yahoo mail accounts, with a warning message that came up from our internet provider about a dangerous site. The interesting thing was that there is a little check by safe site inside Yahoo, so clearly something else was triggering the alert. My dh and I used to be fairly nimble and quick at computers, although I could tell a few stories about our early days that might make you giggle. Just one and then on to the point. When we got our first PC set up, I was 100% a MAC/Apple user and lover! Did Appleworks spreadsheet on one of the early 2Cs!(just bragging and none too good at it, but hey, was a mindblowing program for me at that point. Manual was written for geeks -definitely not for grade school teachers)  So anyway, one of us, won't tell who, switched off the toolbars inside Word, just clicking around... and requested the other of us to restore them. Well... how the heck do you do that? Might as well have been a CRAY running linneux.... and I don't even know if that is a possibility. Think I got that fragment of might be knowledge from watching Golden Eye(Bond, James Bond ♥) That exploration cost $30. for the book at BookStop, plus whatever else I picked up making the trip....

ANYWAY, hope you skipped ahead if you found the story lame. We reconfigured our Firefox Browser, so that every new cookie has to be approved by the user as presented. NOW here was something that AMAZED me. As soon as I accepted a cookie for one of the game pages set to expire at the end of the session, a veritable blizzard of other cookies from the same site were INCOMING!!!!!!!  Most of those cookies expired in anywhere from 1 year to 9 years.  So if your computer is slowing down, it might be bloated with cookies. On Firefox you go to Tools/options/privacy. If you can't read a pathname, don't just click around or you may have to go buy a $30 or more book. Just saying....

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Do You Remember the Alamo?

Even as a child growing up in Nebraska, the phrase "Remember the Alamo" was a thrilling call for brave behavior. Like jumping off a tree branch a little or lot higher than was comfortable. But I didn't really know what it meant or about the courage and sacrifice that it honored.

" Let your tongue speak what your heart thinks."
Davy Crockett Read more:

With fewer than 200 known defenders of the Alamo, these men held off thousands of Mexican soldiers under the leadership of General Santa Anna, for 13 days. The first time we visited the Alamo after moving to Texas I viewed a diorama, that put this into real perspective for me. You can feel the sacredness of this place.

Growing up in the 1950s the names of Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie were both familiar to me, from tv shows I loved to watch. I even knew from that show, that Davy's rifle was called Old Betsy. I nearly passed out, standing there on a hot summer day looking down into the display case on this actual artifact. (Our daughter teases me about it to this day).

He had been a Congressman, who views on taxation were undoubtedly different from mine. If I continue to reflect on that, it might make it possible for me to vote again for our current representative, Ted Poe, although I doubt it ~ and digress. I read that the Mexican Army flew a red flag during the battle, which meant that no quarter would be given to the defenders. (An earlier version of the saying, "We take no prisoners")

Texas, Our Texas
Texas, Our Texas! all hail the mighty State!
Texas, Our Texas! so wonderful so great!
Boldest and grandest, withstanding ev'ry test
O Empire wide and glorious, you stand supremely blest.

God bless you Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
That you may grow in power and worth, throughout the ages long.
God bless you Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
That you may grow in power and worth, throughout the ages long.

Texas, O Texas! your freeborn single star,
Sends out its radiance to nations near and far,
Emblem of Freedom! it set our hearts aglow,
With thoughts of San Jacinto and glorious Alamo. [to chorus]

Texas, dear Texas! from tyrant grip now free,
Shines forth in splendor, your star of destiny!
Mother of heroes, we come your children true,
Proclaiming our allegiance, our faith, our love for you. [to chorus]

I hope our Livvie, never lives through times like those, but if she does, that she will stand Texas true for her beliefs. Although through no accomplishment of my own, other than giving birth to her mother, I'm so proud to have a native Texan in our family.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Back home safely, despite the weather!

Awful storms and flooding between home and the hook in this morning! Well, since I woke up sore from head to toe, and it was pouring, this was a great excuse to roll over and catch a few extra winks. ;) I did get up, and after a hot shower finally start moving easier...The restorative power of hot water is nearly miraculous.

I headed out, and despite obvious signs of heavy rains earlier, the trip passed without any difficulty. I'll post a couple of pictures tomorrow, but the best one will be the water just in front of the sidewalk leading to the door. That was literally, the only deep water (only 2 - 3 inches worth at that) that I had to deal with...  Came on in settled in and hooked, or looked at the rug show, other people's work, a couple of sketch books, etc....

More tomorrow, or maybe Monday... but didn't want anyone worrying while I was just playing my froggie game on facebook!

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Recipe to Share...

First off, one of the best things about Rug Hooking events is getting to see people you've met at other ones. I was disappointed not to get a visit with Nancy, Katie Hartner's mom, who is recouperating after surgery. But delighted to bump into Cora and Marsh, who were both in Maria Barton's Star of Texas Camp class with me in the spring last year. :)

Last week, my good friend :) shared a muffin recipe called glazed pear muffins with me. It was delicious, but a since I'm a lazy cook a bit labor intensive for my tastes.... even though they tasted wonderful to my tongue. I'd omitted the glaze to save on carbs. Anything that starts out with 3 bowls, doesn't usually get a return visit to the kitchen.

Here is my lazy cooks version of  "Spiced Pear Bread" It went out on the serving table at the Hook In this morning, and so I got to actually try it.(yes, sadly it is true, offered it without ever having tried it).

Store brand of "Cinnamon Swirl bread" It came with premade Cinnamon Struesal (my kind of mix!) To that I added 2 eggs(glues the bread together) and a can of pear halves I'd drained and rinsed to get rid of the nasty high fructose corn syrup. Oops, almost forgot the spices, which were 1/4 tsp of ginger and 1/4 tsp cardamom. Next time (yes there definitely will be a next time) I may add a bit of nutmeg as well.

Put everything but the Struesal mix in one bowl and fired up the portable mixer.  :) The pears blended in completely, and since I've replace oil the box calls for with applesauce before, I crossed my fingers and finished construction on the loaf. Half the batter in the pan, and a layer of strusal then the other half of the batter and topped it with streusal again. Followed the directions for baking on the box, and it came out nice and finished(clean toothpick test).

I snagged a piece from the serving tray, and was delighted to bite into a moist slightly pear flavored bread. A nice dense well crumbed bread at that! Hope you'll give it a try, it was tasty, and it certainly was easy to make.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hankamer Hook In next two days!

We set up tables, brought breads, wiped off tables, helped vendors bring in some luscious wools, Katie has one I'm planning to buy a piece of for sure! I wasn't much help with a cane in one hand and another appointment next week to see my orthopedic surgeon. But it was great to get together with the Stash Sisters today to make things ready for the next two days!

Lots of fun ahead, I'll take some pics if I remember, but will be in hooker heaven for the next two days. Surrounded by friends, wool, meals taken care of, and still sleeping at home. It just seldom gets better than that. :) Have a great weekend, I know we will!