Yarn Along

 It is Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along.  I finally have some progress to report!  I finished my Citron!  I blocked it and then completely forgot to take pictures of it during the daylight.  I had two rows to go before binding off when I was seriously contemplating adding another section to it.  I had the yarn, but not the patience.  I had to be done with it.  The yarn is Madelinetosh Lace in Tomato!  Scrumptious!  It will go fabulously with my vintage orange wool coat this winter.

This is one of the library books we check out this week!  Too cute.  Sadly I am still reading the same two library books that I've been reading for ages.  I must finish them or I will reach my renewal limit!  

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

A Rainy Day Project

One of my chores growing up was to make cookies for lunches for the week.  Just about every weekend I made cookies.  This was one of the go-to cookbooks in our family.  I'm not even sure of the copyright date since I can't find that page.   I inherited it when my mom found one just like it but in much better condition at an antique thrift store.  

 It has been dropped hundreds of time so the pages were not in any order.  The rings don't match their mate and the pages are dog eared, ripped and the holes torn.
Yesterday was rainy and in the 60's (I know, in July even!), so I got out the cookbook, scotch tape and the hole reinforcing stickers and set to work.  The rings still don't match, but they are better.  I've taped the pages and reinforced the holes and put pages in their proper order.  It should be good to go until I drop it again.  But after perusing recipes while putting it in order, there are several recipes I'd like to try.    There is a while section on eggs and cheese.  Pretty soon, I'm hoping for an abundance of eggs, so I know where to turn!

Random Thoughts on Thursday

This is what has been swirling in my head so far today...
*  My sweet little Buffett blew out his ACL (really the doggy version, but similar to the human ACL).  He had surgery yesterday and his initial activity level is to be nothing.   We have to keep him confined to one area, which will be really hard to do unless we get his kennel out of the garage.  Basically he can go outside on a leash to pee.  After two weeks he can walk up to 400 yards four times a day.  Every two weeks after than he can go a little bit farther.  But no running, jumping, playing, or hiking for THREE MONTHS!   Pretty much everything this Newfoundland/Border Collie mix likes to do.  He's only been gone from home for a day, but we all miss him.
*  I have come to the conclusion that my sewing ability and what I think I can do are vastly different.  I've already scrapped one project to make a shirt and I'm struggling with another one.  My neighbor threw out a glider rocker and ottoman last fall.  It was in perfect condition, just dirty.  I rescued it.  OK, hubby rescued it for me.  I bought upholstery fabric from the remnant bin.  Lluckily it was more than I needed.  The ottoman was the easy part.  The rest of it?  Not so much.  After this, I'll stick with knitting.

*  Potty training.  We are taking a break.  I am super frustrated with this process.  I guess I thought it would be easier.

*  The front range of Colorado is back in the monsoon flow today.  That means temperatures are much cooler.  Like 20+ degrees cooler.  I think I'll make bread today.

Happy Thursday everyone.

Sweet Ricotta with Strawberries

Several weeks ago I found a recipe for sweet ricotta cheese with strawberries.  The recipe that I had seen had citric acid in it and I have not been able to find any.  So I did what I always do, I combined recipes and made my own.  

Who knew it was so ridiculously easy to make ricotta cheese?  Not me that is for sure.  I've never had the need or the want to make it.  And the only thing I knew that you could use ricotta for was lasagna and quite frankly we buy frozen lasagna because of the convenience.  
milk and cream heating
whey and ricotta 
The ricotta recipe and the way I made it:
8 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
pinch of salt
1/4 cup lemon juice

Mix milk, cream and salt in saucepan.  Heat over medium heat to 195 degree, stirring frequently to prevent burning/scorching.  When the mixture has reached 195 degrees add lemon juice and stir until just combined.  Remove from heat and let set for 5 minutes.  In the meantime line a fine mesh strainer with a triple layer of cheese cloth and place over a large bowl.  Pour the mixture from the saucepan into the cheese cloth lined strainer (careful not to splash on yourself!).  Let set for 20 minutes or so to completely drain the whey from the curds.  If you want a drier ricotta, tie the ends of the cheese cloth together and hang over the bowl (like from a cabinet knob).  You can save the whey or discard it.  I saved some of it.  That's it!  Easy Peasy.  
sweet ricotta with strawberries
OK, now for this deliciousness!  I used most of the ricotta I made for this recipe, I wanted to have some unsweetened ricotta for another to be determined use.  Put the ricotta cheese into a food processor and blend until creamy.  I had to add some whey because I let the ricotta drain too much and I thought it would mix better with some moisture.  Add in powdered sugar.   I started out with two tablespoons and blended until creamy.  After a taste, I decided to add one more tablespoon of powdered sugar.  Perfect. I wanted to lick the spoon and everything the cheese was on.

The strawberry part and my measurements (which you can change to your taste)
hull and quarter strawberries about 2 cups
sprinkle with sugar (approx) 4 T
top with balsamic vinegar (approx) 2 T
sprinkle with salt and pepper
Mix and let set for 15 minutes.  Spoon strawberries and some syrup into a bowl.  Top with sweet ricotta.  Enjoy.

Shared: Independence Days Challenge

Our First Eggs!!!!!!

Two nights ago I went out to make sure the chickies were in for the night (and that Gracie was not on top of the fence).  I had to walk to the back side of the bush in the dog run to move them out from under the bush.  Lo and behold, there was a tiny little egg.  I'm fairly certain that it was Carly who laid the eggs.  She had the funny little squat going on.  Then I remembered seeing her on the the side of our little garden shed (which is about 6 inches from the fence).  Sure enough there was another egg.  It was a tight squeeze to gather that one!  

I knew they were small eggs, but when I compared it to the store bought egg, it was amazing to see how small they really are.

I have since put more pine shavings in their nesting boxes and made a little "nest" with little Easter egg decorations (that's all I had) in the hopes they will start laying in the box like good little chickies!

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along.  I'm joining with Ginny and all the yarn fanatics to update what books have been read and what yarn projects have been worked on for the past week.  This is my July 12x12 square for my swap group.  It is coming along nicely and I have about five more inches to go.  I got a lot of car knitting done this past weekend.  I worked on my citron and I've decided (for the most part) this is the last section I'm going to work until the ruffled edge.  I'll have some yarn left over and I have a this simple infinity scarf project in mind.  The pattern calls for lace weight mohair, but I'll have this lace weight so I'm using it instead.  I also worked on hubby's sock (which will be a whole other post eventually).  
I'm still working my way through Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah.  It's a good book, I just am not having much time to read right now.  I did download a library book, Angel's Flight by Michael Connelly, on to the Kindle app on my iPad so I can read at night after hubby has gone to bed.  Right now that is the only thing I'm liking about reading on my iPad.  

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday! 

The Weekend

This weekend was all about my crazy hubby!  He turned 50 in February and decided to ride in the Leadville Silver Rush 50.  50 miles on a mountain bike!  And that 50  miles is at an altitude of between 10,000 - 12,000 feet!  He finished in 8 hours and 10 minutes!  He also rode in the pouring rain for the last 10 miles or so.  But he finished and I'm so proud of him. 
At mile 25!
On Sunday we decided to have a nice, leisurely day around Leadville.  We drove to Turquoise Lake (which I have pictures of but can't download yet, long story) and up to Hagerman Pass.  On the way we drove through this snow field.  Corrine was so very excited to see snow.  

At 11,925 feet
We stayed at a friends cabin outside of Leadville.  As soon as we arrived I filled the hummingbird feeders.  At times there was a feeding frenzy with as many as 8 or 9 birds at this feeder.  I filled the feeders twice in the mornings and twice in the evenings.  We were all fascinated by the birds and spent time on the deck watching them zip around.  

I would say it was nice to be away from the heat in Denver.  And it was, the temps were in the 60's & 70's where we were.  But Saturday night there was a major thunderstorm in Denver and the temperatures dropped into the 60's!  My mom (who lives really close to us) said we got three inches of rain!!  But it was nice to have a weekend away.  

Have a great week! 


A portrait a week for a year.
This week: Wearing my old Scooby Doo slippers.  I knew she had one of them, but that night she snuck out of bed and was wearing both of them.  I couldn't get mad at her she was so funny walking in them.

This Week in the Garden {July 12}

So many things are coming up now, things that I planted weeks (even months) ago.  I have replanted my carrots three times and they are finally starting to sprout.  And the funny thing is, while we eat carrots, we buy them.  These planted carrots are for the dogs.  

I planted giant Jack O Lantern pumpkins, New England pumpkin pie pumpkins and a butternut squash.  They are planted in various spots around the back yard so they can spread and grow.  The problem, at least right now, is that I'm not sure what is what.  I didn't label the plants.  

This little plant was planted TWO MONTHS AGO!  And it just sprouted!  I think it is the butternut squash because it is planted in the smallest of the three places.  

I think this one is the Jack O Lantern pumpkin.  And I think that because it is in a larger out of the way space.  It was also planted two months ago, but it sprouted about three weeks ago.  
So by default this one would be the New England pumpkin pie pumpkin.  And look at how much bigger this one is.  
It will be interesting to see what each of these plants really is.  And I hope that given their very late start  they have time to actually grow.

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday again.  My favorite day of the week!  I'm joining with Ginny and everyone for the weekly yarn along.  It's all about the books and knitting.  This week I started a new 12x12 square for my square swap group on ravelry.  I had checked out a ton of knitting books and a couple of them were stitch guides.  The pattern for this square is called slip stitch waffle.  It will look pretty cool once the pattern is established.  I'm kind of regretting signing up for this group.  I feel like it is taking time away from my own personal knitting.  It is selfish and if I were to chose easier patterns for my squares it wouldn't take me as long to finish them.  
On the book front I finished The Memory Thief and returned it to the library.  My friend PC gave me Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah.  I just started it so am not very far into the book  It is pretty good so far though.  The premise of this book is two sisters who are basically estranged from their mother although one daughter lives right down the road from her parents.  Mom has some secrets from her Russian past that the daughters are soon to find out (and me too).

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

My First Guest Post!

This week I wrote my first guest post!  Kind of exciting for me.  I stumbled upon Colleen's blog Five Little Homesteaders while I was perusing the posts from The 52 Project.  She is an urban homesteader in Phoenix.   She asked me write a post on our pre-fab chicken coop.  I call it Ikea for the chicken set because it reminds me of furniture from Ikea that is not pre-assembled.  It's a good thing she didn't give me a deadline, I certainly would have not met it!  Here is the link to my guest post. 

Have a great Tuesday!

Helping Papa on The Weekend

For days now Corrine has been asking "Where Papa?"  Well.  Papa has been on the mountain cutting trees.  There are a lot of pine beetle killed trees in Colorado and my dad has been thinning the forest on the mountain property where the cabin is.  He has a forest plan with the forest service and every summer he cuts trees.  We have a never ending supply of firewood.  Part of the work is hauling the limbs into slash piles...that would normally be my job.  Corrine has been saying "Help papa cut tree on mountain."  Today we went to help.  She did a great job "helping" pick up twigs.  She put them in the bucket and we dumped the bucket on the pile.  
 The nice thing about thinning the trees is the abundance of wildflowers that have been popping up.
 After a "hard day on the mountain" we are relaxing by dipping our feet in the cold creek water.  My brother and I used to play in this creek just about daily every summer until it would dry up.  Good times!
 Some beautiful flowers and grasses along the creek.
 After a hard day of work and play we went to Nederland for lunch.  On the way we stopped at the Carousel of Happiness for a ride.  Or five.  The carousel is a restored 1910 carousel with all hand carved animals.   The carousel is the result of a vision one man and he is the one who carved the animals, it is staffed by volunteers and the proceeds are donated to charity.
 She rode a donkey (twice), a St. Bernard, a camel, and a dolphin!  There are 56 hand carved animals.  Don't they look amazing?!
 I just had to tuck this one along.  Doesn't every town have a town cat?  Fred the Cat or Freddy the Freeloader was a big orange tom cat that lived on First Street.  He would sit on the newspaper box that sat right next to the door of the small grocery store and everyone would pet him as they walked in or out of the store.  The store employees fed him on top of his newspaper box.  The town vet gave him his shots and took care of him.  One day Fred didn't show up for his breakfast.  He was found in a garage on First Street.  If I remember correctly he had a front page obit in the town paper.  And this gravestone is in the lawn of town hall.   Fred was just one of the characters in the wonderful little hippie town where I grew up!
Wow.  We had a very busy day.  And I hope you enjoyed this short little tour of my hometown.


A portrait a week for a year.
This week:  her first day at Lakeside Amusement Park, a 100 year old North West Denver landmark.  It's hard to believe that I am halfway through my year long photo project.  I have enjoyed watching my sweet baby girl grow from week to week.

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday again, and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along.  While I have nothing new to share in the knitting department, I have a whole stack o'books.  Sunday I had some extra time at the computer and was able to put a large list of knitting books in my hold queue at the library.  These are just the ones I decided to keep and look at.  The other half of the stack is in the library pile.   And before you ask, no I'm not expecting.  But a very good friend of mine is and she is not having a good go of it.  
I really thought I would have finished The Memory Thief by now.  I am so close.  I really like it.  It's kind of quirky but with the premise of the book it really makes sense.  Aidan is a mountain climber who dies in an avalanche at the beginning of the book.  His wife Maddie has asked him not to go on this expedition but he goes anyway promising he'll be back.  The day he dies, Nicolas is in a motorcycle accident and wakes up with amnesia...but he "dreams" of Maddie and Aidan.  I've got to know how it ends.

I might have more to update on the knitting front next week, but for know what is everyone knitting and reading?

Happy 4th of July!  Be safe.


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