Monday, July 28, 2014

Sorry I've Been Neglecting You. . .

But I've been really busy.  Daughter Mary talked me into opening a new Etsy shop (She beat me and pulled my hair -NOT).  It's called The Frozen Mouse and specializes in handmade items with a Disney theme.  We decided on the name because when it's cold and snowy in Pennsylvania, I dream about being in Walt Disney World.  I should note here that I am in no way affiliated with Disney, but rather hand make my items using licensed fabrics.  If you are a Disney fan or have one in the family, stop by and check out the shop.  I've had such a good time making new wristlets and water bottle carriers with Disney fabrics.  Currently I am awaiting some fabrics from Japan and Thailand.  They are beautiful fabrics that aren't available here in the states.  I have become an international shopper and have ordered zipper pulls from China and Lithuania.  I'm surprised at how quickly they have arrived.

Today I am working on some drawstring backpacks with Disney fabrics.  I started these as birthday gifts for my grandkids, and am planning on including a pin lanyard and a gift card for them for our upcoming Disney trip.  I ordered fabric without knowing how much fabric the bag took, and was pleasantly surprised to discover than I could get three drawstring backpacks from one yard to fabric.  So, I have will have two of each to list on Etsy.  Bubby picked out this Mickey Mouse fabric, and I think it will make a really cute wristlet, too.

Jake loves Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and chose this fabric for his bag.  I love that it has Captain Hook on it, as I've always been a fan of Peter Pan.

And Izzy chose Doc McStuffins for her bag.  I just hope she doesn't decide to be a vet like her Mom.  I wouldn't want her to go away like Kristin did.

And I decided to use some fabric from my stash to make a few Buzz Lightyear bags.

I can't wait to see them finished.  So here I go to sew!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Luncheon is Served

I have the greatest job in the world - being a stay at home grammy.  Every day at my job someone tells me that they love me.  We do some pretty great things while the 4 grandkids are here.  We watch movies, they put on plays for me, they have dance parties, and sometimes they fight.  But I wouldn't trade this life for anything.

Once each week, I like to make them special lunches.  Most days we have lunchmeat or peanut butter sandwiches, but once a week or so, Krissy and I make something special.

The first week, we made "undersea hot dogs with seaweed noodles", and watched Finding Nemo.  We dyed Oodles of Noodles green with food coloring, added a hot dog in which we cut legs, and then added goldfish crackers and Swedish fish.  I thought it was a really cool idea, but I have to tell you that the kids were a little freaked out by the green noodles.

The next special meal was heart shaped pancakes with sausage inside.  I have a little cooker that makes heart shaped cakes, so we put the pancake batter inside and added three sausage slices to it and then baked them.  In the smallest section of their lunch containers, they each got syrup for dipping.  They were a big hit, and are on the list of things to make again.

Today's lunch was corn dog muffins.  We made up two boxes of Jiffy corn bread muffin mix and put it into regular sized muffin tins that had been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  After filling the cups 1/2 full, we pressed 1/3 of a hot dog into each muffin, and them baked them at 400 degrees for 18 minutes  When they were done, we left them sit a few minutes before removing them.  We served them with two cookies and some fruit salad.  Everyone seemed to enjoy them.

I have a few blocks of cream cheese that should be used soon that are in the refrigerator.  Since they all like ranch dressing, I think I'll add a ranch dip packet to the cream cheese and make roll ups with sliced ham, maybe a pickle, and a few soft tortilla shells.  The next day for lunch, we can slice them and voila - our own take on "sushi".  I pinned an idea for "fortune cookies" made with fruit roll ups, and think it would be a great lunch to serve while we watch Mulan.

We'll blink twice and they'll be ready to go back to school, Krissy in 8th grade, Bubba in 5th grade, Izzy in 1st grade, and Jake will be going to preschool three days a week.  I'll miss them terribly, but Izzy and Jake will stay come after school.  And as we all know, time marches on.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Old People's Garden

In years past, we had a huge garden.  But as we got older and life got busier, it became almost impossible to keep up with the weeding.  And once sewage came through, we could no longer afford to water the garden so our produce yield wasn't worth the effort.  After we put the roof over the deck, we wanted some way to keep "critters" out from under the deck.  We decided to build beds with landscape timbers.  It works out pretty well, it's a small area to weed, and we don't have to bend over as far to pick the veggies.  Here's a look at this year's garden.  Click the pictures for a better look.

This is the bed of peas, with an errant canteloupe plant that just moved in.  We have already had one meal of the peas, and there's another waiting in the refrigerator.  There are still more pea pods on the vines, and the grandkids and I love eating them raw, fresh from the pods.

This bed is home to our green and wax bean plants.  They're really crammed in there, but it doesn't leave much room for weeds.  My mouth is anxiously awaiting the first pot of ham and beans.

This bed was Izzy and Jake's make-believe garden.  They had a great time digging in there before Pappy planted the kohrabi and lemon cucumbers in there.  The lemon cucumbers are new for us this year.  They are shaped like a lemon, and are supposed to have a milder flavor. There are some sweet pepper plants in there as well. What we didn't realize was that Jake and Izzy had planted seeds from a rotten pumpkin that they had found.  We haven't thinned anything out, because we frankly don't know what are pumpkin vines and what are the cucumbers. Time will tell.

This bed is the one where we planted two types of summer squash, and it appears that the kids planted some pumpkin seeds here also.  We usually plant golden zucchini, which have a milder taste and thinner skin than the green.  This year I bought seeds for a zucchini that is light green with a yellow tip.  It looked interesting, and I like to try something new each year.

This is our tomato bed.  It looks like kind of a shamble right now.  We have planted lemon pear tomatoes (which are the size of a grape tomato), we planted Lemon Girl and Big Boy tomatoes, and we also planted some Roma tomatoes.  They have blossoms, but no fruit yet.

And last but not least, a new addition this year.  This bed is sandwiched between two lilac bushes and lemon lilies, and is home to some bush baby lima  beans.  In the past, we've not had good luck with lima beans because they have a longer growing season.  But this variety is bred with a shorter growing season, so we're giving them a try.

So there's our Old People's Garden.  As we grow older, we plant to add another row of landscape timbers.  That way as we age, we don't have to bend over as far!