Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Recipe -- Popcorn Balls

This is one of my very most favorite recipes.  It makes absolutely delicious, chewy popcorn balls.  (Or pieces, if you don’t want to form them into balls.)  (I usually don’t.)

And it’s easy!  No candy thermometer needed.

I try to make them for Halloween every year, so it’s kind of goofy that I’m posting this in December.  But it’s delicious any time of the year to me!  (One year I made them for myself for my birthday instead of a cake!)

I found this recipe in a cookbook put out by a calligraphy guild, maybe in Utah.  I can’t remember.  I wish I knew who to credit better, because it really has become one of my favorites.

Here’s the recipe:


4 qt. popcorn, already popped

1 c. real butter (2 sticks)
1⅓  c. sugar
½ c. light corn syrup (Karo)

2 c. chopped pecans
1 t. vanilla

Put the popped popcorn in a giant mixing bowl. 
(I use the cover/lid to my Tupperware cake holder)

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. 
Add the sugar and corn syrup. 
(I use a long handled wooden spoon to stir with.)

Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes.

Take it off the heat.  Add the vanilla and blend well. 
(It  kinda erupts--don't freak out.  :)

Add the pecans and mix well.

Pour this over the popcorn and mix well.
(I use that long wooden spoon for extra leverage.)

Let stand 2 minutes to cool. 

Either pour out onto a Silpat-covered cookie sheet to be broken into pieces when cool, or with dampened hands, make into small balls. 

(If I make it into popcorn balls, I leave the water on just a trickle, and re-wet my hands a little before making each ball.) 

It's delicious, and SIMPLE.


Lucky Dog

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Turkey Day Fun!

Here's a link to a fun video
about turkey fryer safety:

Wm Shatner Turkey Video Link

(It's such a catchy tune!)

Lucky Dog

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

Static Dog

The Polar Vortex brought some snow
and apparently some very dry air...

I think I'd better get the vaporizer going!

Lucky Dog

Monday, November 3, 2014

Cozy Mysteries

I just love mysteries.  Always have.

Whether it’s a who-dun-it on TV or a cozy mystery book,
I'm a big fan.  

I love watching reruns of “Murder, She Wrote” or “Diagnosis: Murder” on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel. 

And I love reading mysteries, too.  When I started reading my first series, though, I didn’t realize that a “cozy mystery” was a specific genre.

To quote Victoria L. Webb:
To start with, I would describe a Cozy Mystery as "safe".

In a cozy mystery, the hero (heroine, mostly) of the story is an amateur sleuth.  And the story is usually set in a small town.  It’s much easier for everybody to know everybody that way and find clues.  The victim is generally peripheral, someone that no one in the town will miss very much.  And typically there’s no bad language or violence in a cozy mystery. 

These elements make my little mysteries wonderful bedtime reading.  (!)  It ends my day with a lovely, absorbing little escape that isn’t too stimulating for that hour.

And these days, there are so many themes to pick from, many of them hobby-related:  culinary, travel, needlework, knitting, cats, even cookies… (with recipes included)!  J

I am currently re-reading my needlework mystery series, written by Monica Ferris.  My first series was The Cat Who books by Lilian Jackson Braun, which features 2 Siamese cats.  (Koko and Yum Yum, for you Gilbert and Sullivan fans.)  ♥  And don’t forget the knitting series set in Colorado, written by Maggie Sefton.

I usually try out the first book of a series by checking it out of the library, and so could you.  Free is free.  I’ve always said that I could never afford to buy all the books that I want to read! 

Plus, the older I get, the choosier I am -- not only with what I spend money on, but also with what I want to store
It’s so easy to have too much stuff!

Besides, my closet has to hold both my books and my yarn, right??  J

Lucky Dog

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sweet Blessings

I found this on Pinterest today.

And check out the website in the corner:

She has a blog, an Etsy store,
and some great printables on her site.

Too much fun!

Lucky Dog

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Cure for Elbow Pain

Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about this yet! 

I finally stumbled upon The Cure for golfer’s or tennis elbow!!!

It’s the TheraBand FlexBar.  (the red one)

I had googled and searched Amazon for answers, but somehow had always missed this.  But once I found it on Amazon and read the reviews, well, let’s just say I couldn’t order it fast enough.

And the instructions say to do so many reps once a day…  I must confess, I didn’t.  I just did “some” and it still worked for me!!!

And I promise you, I could feel that it helped me the very first time I used it.  I don’t see how that is possible, but it’s true.  Who knows?  Maybe it “released” something.  All I know is, it’s the closest thing to a miracle, without being a real miracle.

And it was $15ish, less than one co-pay!  And with Amazon Prime, I had it within 2 days.  All of life’s problems should be solved this easily.

Do you want to calculate how much I spent at the physical therapy place 2 years ago for my then-golfer’s elbow?  16 visits, $20 a pop?  Yeah.  I coulda had an iPad.  

And they didn’t even fix me!  I still hurt after all those appointments, 3X a week, 2 hours each time.  (All that money and all that time!)

But this thing really works.  And I don’t know why we all don’t know about it.  Once I read the Amazon reviews about it being featured in a NY Times blog article back in 2009, it seems that word would get out.  (That blog article was written 2 years before all my PT appts!  <aarrgghh!!>)

Well, I’m doing my part -- trying to spread the word.  J !!

So!  If you know someone with tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, give them this link, and let them read about it for themselves.

(Or you could google “Tyler Twist” and “TheraBand Flex Bar”.)

It has 488 reviews, so there’s lots to check out.  But I’d bet that if your elbow’s hurting, you order it before you read too very far.

Mr. Man had a mild case of golfer’s elbow, and this cleared it right up for him, too.

And then if you knit too much, or work outside and overdo it and your elbow starts hurting again, just pull out your flexbar, do a few reps while you watch TV, and there ya go.  Problem and solution.

Too bad I didn’t know about this months and years and $$$ ago, but at least I finally found the answer.  And now I can lift that gallon of water with no pain.  Yay!!!

Lucky Dog

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2014 RV Show and Bargain Expo!

Mr. Man and I went to the big RV show
out at the State Fairgrounds this past weekend!!

Oh my goodness, some of them are so fancy and decked out!  And most of them are absolutely so huge, I can’t imagine how people drive them!

They had all kinds, of course.  We saw the very basic Sportsman Classic, that Uncle Si won on the donut eating contest episode of Duck Dynasty.  It wasn’t fancy, but for a weekend of stargazing in dark sky territory, it would work quite well for Mr. Man.

(That’s the dream, of course.)

And then we saw one that was a bit bigger and nicer than that, at twice the cost.  And it was really roomy feeling.

We never saw any cute pop-ups, but we sure saw some huge RV’s!  Oh my soul.  Slide-outs, and drop-down decks.  Outdoor grills with outdoor TVs and outdoor sinks right next to them!  And virtually all of them had built-in awnings, some with nice rope lights along the top.

Ironically, our favorite was not one that you drove, but one that you towed behind your big truck.  (We don’t have a truck.)

It was pricey, but not compared to a huge Winnebago, which is easily 6 figures plus.  But it was decked out like one of the new, fancy homes that we saw at the Parade of Homes this year!

Can you believe it??

Yeah, I told Mr. Man, that this would do quite nicely indeed.  I would be very happy, parked in the leather easy chair, sitting in front of the faux fireplace watching TV and knitting.

Come and get me when you’re finished.  The little dog and I will be right here.

(So much for being out in nature, or whatever people go RV’ing for!  LOL)

Oh, well.  A girl can dream, can’t she??

Lucky Dog

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Knitting Bumper Sticker

Oh, that's so true!!

Lucky Dog

Monday, October 6, 2014

Tub or Shower??

It had to be done.  It was time. 
The bathtub needed to be cleaned.  

Not that we use it.  

As in ever.   <aarrgghh!!>

And I don’t really mind cleaning it so much, it’s just that it’s so crummy to have to clean something that we don’t even use.  If I’m gonna get down on my hands and knees to clean the CrAzY thing, it should be something that we have at least enjoyed using. 

"That’s alls I’m saying is all."   J

And I’m afraid that back when we lived in San Antonio for so long, with its daily aquifer level reports, that I got positively nutty about wasting water while we lived there. 

So you can imagine how much it practically hurts me to fill that bathtub up twice, and run the whirlpool jets, just to clean out all the gunk.  Especially when we haven’t even used it!!

It’s those crazy jets, I tell you.  If I could, I would “blink” this into a regular soaking tub.  Those jets are trouble!

It’s almost enough to make me switch from showers to baths, just so I can get something out of the whole process. 

And they think I should do this twice a month!  
<aaarrrggghhh!!>   Such a waste.

But very nice results...!   J

Lucky Dog  ♥

Friday, September 26, 2014

Oil Rainbows

I saw this on the Internet,
and think it is just yummy!

(It's no wonder I love abstract art, is it?)

Oh well,

Lucky Dog

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It was just one of those days...

Well, it started out looking good...

I was organized.  I was ready.  I was getting it done.

In fact, I was making some bread with my new oven.  
That photo is a picture of the starter that I use for it. 

Look at all those happy bubbles!!

I haven’t made bread in awhile, and I was wondering if I could revive my starter.  <eeeeeeek!>  Thank heavens he finally woke up and started eating and bubbling.

Then, as it turns out, the new oven has a “bread proofing” mode!  Wow, I didn’t even know to want that!  How perfect, so I popped in my dough and was just letting it rise…

Meanwhile, I was making name tags for our small group class at church and I ran out of labels there at the end, so I just needed to run to Staples for another box of supplies before I could finish.

And then this little baby needed to go to the vet for shots, etc.


It all started out well enough,
but right when I thought I was home free….

First of all, the dog is fine.  J

The bread dough, however, didn’t make it.  L

When we came home, I checked the oven, and something about the new proofing mode didn’t make my dough happy, and it didn’t rise well at all.  

In fact, it’s kinda hard to tell what went wrong.
It “should’ve” worked beautifully.  100° and all. 

Good thing it was trash day.  *Poof*, out it went.  All that potential deliciousness, too…  28 soft-as-puffy-clouds, yeasty, heavenly rolls.  Dead.

And the first batch of name tags that I made?  
*Poof*!  They’re out with the trash, too. 

It seems that they no longer make the kind that I had, so I had to buy the latest version.  Which, of course, uses a different template and a different badge.  Naturally, that meant I had to re-type, re-print and re-stuff all those name tags that were almost finished!


What can I say??? 
At least I had easy traffic everywhere I drove.

And I did get everything finished and delivered, put the trash out, and sat down to watch “In the Kitchen with David” on QVC with a hot dinner that I didn’t even have to make.  Thank you, Stouffer’s!  Not bad for such a long, crazy day. 

(Ina Garten will be David’s guest on Sunday!)

I think I will chillax in a bit and read one of my little mystery paperbacks, and hope that “Tomorrow is another day”.


Lucky Dog

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Shall We Swatch?

I have fallen in love with knitting lace swatches.

And I am just beginning my collection. 
Here are two:

The photo above is a swatch knitted with
Rowan Kidsilk Haze yarn
(of course),
US 7 Chiaogoo needles
(of course),
using a purchased pattern named “Orchid”.

And this is the beginning of a traditional lace pattern 
called “Horseshoe”.  

And here it is finished:

Book author and writer of the online Knitter’s Review,
 Clara Parkes, says that she has been knitting swatches
daily for years. Just because.

You see, most knitters knit a swatch
 (a small sample of their pattern),
 as a test of how their yarn knits up with their chosen needles.

This is so they can measure its “gauge”,
how many stitches per inch they get,
to ensure the knitted item fits.

It is usually viewed as a necessary evil, a drag,
and is a very often skipped step.

But I don’t knit things that have to fit. 
(Isn’t that an unexpected blessing?)  J !! 

I knit lace scarves and shawls. 
And I love trying out new lace stitches. 

So I don’t knit swatches to get gauge. 
I like to knit up samples of different lace patterns
to see how they look before I commit to a whole scarf or shawl. 

I like to knit swatches when I just want to try out a pattern a little
and see if I like or enjoy knitting it.

...Take it out for a little test drive.  (!!)

It’s also just plain fun!!  J

And I have decided to knit them
using my beloved Rowan Kidsilk Haze yarn.

That way my knitted swatch will show me exactly
how a pattern will look when using this yarn and those needles.

Plus, there’s no long-term commitment or expense
 like you would have with a blanket, shawl, or even a scarf. 

To me, these little handkerchief-sized swatches are probably
the closest one can get to instant gratification
in the lace-knitting world.

I think I would love to knit several
in all sorts of different hues of pink and grey and violet.

To quote an artist friend of mine: 
“Never say purple to a color theorist.  It’s violet.” 

And there are so many gorgeous colors to choose from,
how could you go wrong??

Lucky Dog

Friday, September 5, 2014

Round 2.



The transformation is complete.

<insert happy sigh here>

Lucky Dog

Friday Funny


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Knitting Buddy

Knitting with my sweet little dog by my side...

This is truly one of life's best simple pleasures.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Beyond Blessed



We're in hog heaven
with our new stainless steel appliances!

I've been planning on getting them for 7 years now
and just waiting for one of our old appliances to die..

But this summer Mr. Man said,
let's just get them now
and enjoy them that much longer.

Isn't he the best?!

And so we are.

I thought I was just getting a color change,
but we got several new bells and whistles
which I didn't anticipate.

Like a dishwasher that is so quiet
that we don't even know it's on!

Beyond blessed, I tell you.

Lucky Dog

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Laceweight Circular Swatch

Well, I did it! 

I tried the Pi Shawl pattern
with laceweight yarn.

Isn’t it yummy?
It’s only about 6 inches across.

I must admit,
it was a bit fiddly on the DPNs,

but... look at the results.

Now I need a new laceweight project.

Lucky Dog