Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Shabby Rabbit

They first visited my neighbor up the street, I could see them from my front window. Beautiful and white, they didn't look like the others. Of course we hadn't seen the others until the cats began disappearing one by one.

So this morning, my hubby calls me to the back yard. And there was one of the Sweet Shabby Rabbits. He was sniffing my Rosemary politely not eating it in front of me.

We talked to him and he nodded in complete understanding. He then hopped a little further along to feast on some grass.

After making omelettes, I peeked out the kitchen window and The Shabby Rabbit was relaxing in the shade of the Photenias.

Isn't he pretty? And so Shabby Chic with that snow white coat and pink eyes!

Have a Hopping Hump Day!

UPDATE: ****************

Apparently the rabbit is domesticated. Here is a photo of my son offering him a carrot. Silly rabbit, wouldn't eat the one gently tossed to him so as not to scare him away from good food. But, he did allow my son to get closer and immediately began chipping away at the carrots offered by hand.

Of course my son is worried about the little thing, understandably. So, I'll buy rabbit feed at Petco for him and make him a shaved pine bed under the shrubs to stay warm in the winter. I know they, no sign of his partner, were out on Aug. 11th. They have weathered some intense heat if they were kept inside. I think perhaps they were outdoor bunnies that were let out of the backyard. Seeing the cats have all been poisoned (our was) or disappeared...and I mean ALL of them, the rabbit should be safe.

Nope, we won't bring him in. I'm done with inside animals...the males are lucky they still live!


Monday, August 27, 2007

A Fun Fall Swap

My son handed me an envelope from the mail. It was THE envelope...the Embellishments Swap for use in Crazy Quilting projects. And I must admit, I felt like a kid at Christmas!

It all started when I saw this adorable Cell Phone carrier Kay made...check it out here

Isn't it pretty? I really liked the fibers she used as well as the beads and trims and traditional embroidery. Kay wanted to try some ribbon embroidery and I wanted to play with some of the fibers, so we arranged a swap.

She put each of her fibers and embellishments in little plastic bags...I on the other hand, put it all in one!

It totally was more than I imagined!

She sent White, Pink and a lovely Yellow Green fiber. Two white Lacey trims, Buttons that are shimmering white and has the holes at the top rather than the center.

There is a Coffee/Toffee/Cream fiber that will become a spider, I think...because every crazy quilt has to have a spider and a web.

There is a Purple and a Gold Tab of some kind, I will have to make a visit to my quilt shop for ideas on using will be fun.

Then there is an amazing Aqua fiber that is so gorgeous, a Royal Blue and a Lavender fiber and three or four pretty Flower Power flowers in the perfect Pink shade! I can't wait to play with all these Goodies!

Kay, thank you! You really rounded out my Stash for Crazy Quilting with Beautiful Embellishments and I appreciate it so much. Melissa

Monday, August 20, 2007

Last week before school starts...

And I knew my guys would want to call for delivery if I didn't head 'em off at the pass. You may remember I nabbed a pizza pan at the Thrift store last week. So today, I wanted to use it. You probably have a fabulous recipe for dough and sauce that you love. Pizza is a personal expression and an art, once you find what works for you, it's wonderful!

But today, I took the easy way out. I had pizza dough in a can from using coupons last week, love that! So that is what I used rather than slinging dough and dragging out the Mixer.

Well, it can be an ordeal but so worth it!

First I drag everything out on the counter. Rub Olive Oil on the pan real good. Then coax that square strange dough into a circle or put it on a cookie sheet.

Then open a small can of tomato paste and add: onion powder to taste, 1 T brown sugar, 1 teaspoon white sugar...mix with about 3T water and stir until blended. Then put about half of the tomato paste mixture in the center of the pizza dough and whirl it around with the back of a spoon till it looks well coated. You can add more or less to your family's taste for sauce.

Preheat oven to 400*

This is when I throw on the ingredients. Today, it was just pepperoni.

Now take mozzarella cheese sticks and slice them in half long ways and lay them end to end about 1/2 from the edge of the pizza. Then fold over the outside edge of the dough and ingredients over top of the cheese sticks. Press down just a little to make sure the dough covers the cheese sticks.

Sprinkle the top with a couple handsful of mozzarella shredded cheese. On top of that, sprinkle the shredded cheese blend for Mexican foods. Those cheeses melt so nicely and add a bit of color to the pizza.

Then sprinkle Olive Oil lightly over the whole Pizza, dust with onion powder and garlic granules (or powder). Then with you fingers, rub the top of the crust with a little sauce and pour olive oil into your hands and rub over the edges until you have a light coat of Olive Oil on the crust.

Pop it into your oven for 17 minutes at 400* can adjust the time as needed to produce a brown crust and simmering cheese. While the first one is cooking I usually make the next one and occasionally I'll make a 3rd for the freezer or for late night snacks during the week. I pile on the ingredients because I want 2 pizzas to fill up these males I live with. And I pocket the $$ difference between ordering out and cooking these at home.

Slice and enjoy with a salad and iced tea.

Have a great week Y'all!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday Night dinner, faster than Delivered Pizza!

Ok, let me preface this post by saying I am a reformed Spendaholic. For a Spendaholic Friday night means Pizza or dining out...and it continues through the weekend, right?

Well, several years ago I opted out of the Spendy Club and acquired Frugal habits. For one full year I bought Nothing for myself or my house. That meant no more mindless shopping on Sunday afternoons or Saturday mornings at Starbucks. Can you imagine? LOL! Friends thought I'd lost my mind. Maybe I did. *shrug* But I found a simple path and easy living followed thereafter.

One of the many things I had to do was cook. Yep, actually use that tiny kitchen that came with the house. It was scary because I knew only 3 meals I could cook for my family and one of those meals was Stew and Cornbread.

Lots changed during that Frugal year. I learned so much! Saved so much! And now I have 26 meals my family will eat without whining. That says a lot for kids raised on Delivery, Carry Out or Dine In foods. I know, it wasn't healthy, it wasn't so many things, but it WAS convenient! :) These days I can usually have dinner ready in less than 15-20 minutes. I am almost smug about it because I am ready to make what ever the guys want for dinner and I don't dread that question 'what's for dinner?'.

Of the many Frugal things I learned was to cook most of my meats in advance. Much like Once A Month cooking but only the meats. So I typically cook ahead ground beef and bone in chicken breasts. I let em cool and place meal size portions in freezer bags, then lay them flat and stack them in my side by side.

Today, I cleaned and did some wash, mostly I chatted with friends and read blogs. Then tonight, in about 20 minutes I made that stew and cornbread. I just threw in the meat I cooked earlier, chopped some potatoes, added veggies, seasonings and let it cook while I cleaned the kitchen and made corn bread. And I thought back over those times when I was tired of being frugal and tired of cleaning my own house and remembered a lovely little statement by a very wise 80+ something woman.

Her comment to us girls whining about and struggling with cooking from scratch on a daily basis was: "Girls, in my day when we cooked from scratch we had to kill the chicken first." That pretty well put it all in perspective...LOL!

I think about that wise woman when a couple times a month I cook up my meats while I do laundry or when I make my own pizza dough and I think how very blessed I am to have a nice cook top to cook on and don't have to round up the wood to start it. I don't have to do much more than open cans, boil rice or pastas, tear lettuce a couple times a week and throw my dishes in the pretty white box to be cleaned.

As it turned out, I didn't buy a thing for myself, except underwear and VERY few clothes for 3 years. I didn't go to Hobby Lobby except to buy paints to sell my painted goods on ebay. And I didn't go Thrifting again till three weeks ago.

I am proud to have taken that Frugal challenge WAY back then. Proud I hung in there and made it work for my family. Tonight my hubby will enjoy coming home to a nice Jethro bowl of homemade stew and cornbread and I can take that $35 I would have spent on pizza and throw it into my Christmas fund. Or sneak some of it into my purse for next week when I hit the Thrift Stores again.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Lovely Wednesday Morning

Hubby and I met my parents for breakfast this morning. It was such a great way to start the day! Hubby headed off to work and my parents and I took off for the Thrift stores. The first one didn't have anything new but I nabbed a restaurant style pizza pan.

At the second store, mom handled me a Tall Vintage White Enamel Pitcher. It was beautifully chipped and had just been put on the $1.97 became mine!
Soon as we got home I went out back to clip a few stalks off the Red Tip Photenias. Then I remembered a big tray from the flea market a couple years ago, so it was turned upside down and the pitcher looks crisp and uncluttered on the table alone. I love that sparser look, it balances the clutter on the piano (see last entry).

On that same aisle there was a large old plater with scalloped edges. The transfer wear was missing in a few places but it was just what I was looking for to use over the Holidays when I need that extra platter for serving.