Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Tired Of It All

First our President was accused of being an agent for Russia.  Nearly three years and many millions of tax dollars later, the special council in charge of the investigation and his band of attorneys could find no basis for the accusation.

Now our President is undergoing an impeachment investigation over a phone call to the President of Ukraine.  A phone call that was made public and contains nothing even close to 'crimes or misdemeanors.'

And yet the dog and pony show in the House committee continues.  They call it an 'Impeachment Inquiry.'  That is not what it is.  It is just the latest effort by those left leaning politicians to oust our duly elected president.  To tell those whose votes elected him that their votes really do not matter.  And if this effort fails, you can bet your bottom dollar they will try something else.

I am tired of it.  I am tired of it all.  President Trump is the only thing standing in the way of those who would shred our Constitution and initiate their socialist ideals.  Those same socialist ideals that brought us those freedom loving leaders in China, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela.
Seems to me those House of Representative Democrats have forgotten just who they work for.  They are the People's House, but they have done very little to benefit 'We the People.'  Instead they waste time and our money feeding their hatred.
If they can do this to a duly elected President, imagine what they can do to you.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

It snowed.

 Again.  So I made a big bowl of potato salad and a ham sandwich and went on a picnic by the lake in my mind.  Sometimes when the world around me has gone completely bat guano crazy, a little voyage through fantasy land is all that keeps me sane.

Work on the quilts is coming along slowly but surely.  Today I should be able to get most of the quilt tops finished and with any kind of luck at all, I hope to hang them in the windows by the first part of next week.

I bought a bag of oranges that turned out to be too sour for my taste, so I sliced them thin and they are now in the dehydrator.  I have no idea what I will use dried orange slices for, but it seemed a shame to waste them.

Baked another loaf of bread.  Using the bread machine, it takes very little time or effort and I am liking the homemade bread so much better than store bought.  I really don't know why I haven't been doing this all along.  I suppose it is like Dad used to say, "Too soon old, too late smart."  :)

There is a sewing machine and a stack of fabric pieces calling my name.  Best get back at it.  Pictures to follow when they are done.

Monday, November 11, 2019

How Did They Cope

While on R & R, I watched two British TV series found on YouTube - 'Wartime Farm' and 'Wartime Kitchen and Garden.'  Both series dealt with the way the people of England coped with the trials and tribulations of WWII, focusing on how farmers had to increase food production and how the average family dealt with restrictions and rationing.

A couple of things caught my attention.  One was how the people were able to find ways of doing things when the normal solutions to problems were unavailable to them.  They went to the farm scrap heap for materials to make the tools they needed.  The gardeners found ways to use every available square inch of space to grow the much needed food.  Homemakers came up with ways to stretch the meager rations to feed their families and other ways to do what needed to be done in the home under difficult circumstances.

Another thing that caught my attention was that one and all were not only willing but happy to "do their bit" in the war effort.  They dealt with most circumstances, many of them difficult even in the best of times, without complaint.  They were more concerned about their 'boys on the front line' than they were for their own comforts.  They were patriotic.

I'm not sure we here in the States, at this time in history, could manage so well.  We did cope similarly during that wartime, but we have become spoiled and way too dependent on gadgets for every purpose.  We have mostly lost the knowledge our ancestors had that enabled them to make do in dire situations.  And I don't think we have come together as  nation, leaving our political viewpoints and prejudices behind, since 9/11.  We can do better.

So I am off to run bits of fabric through my sewing machine.  We had an inch or two of snow last week and a dusting of the white stuff yesterday.  Today is clear and cold with temps close to single digits.  Quilts need to be finished.  And I think a pot of soup is in my future.

Stay warm and keep on prepping.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Those of us who have physical limitations...

have learned over time to pay attention to what our bodies tell us.  We know when we can forge ahead and we know when we need to back off and rest.  The next day or two I believe I will be in 'rest mode.'

I mention this not because I am in a 'poor, pitiful me' place, but as an encouragement to others who may be facing similar circumstances.  You see, there are those who tell us it is all just in our heads.  Or we want sympathy.  Or it is just an excuse to avoid something we do not want to do.  It is none of these things.

The people who say these things to us are, for the most part, still able to hike up a mountain or go for a run or do the weekly housework in just a couple of hours.  Because they don't have to deal with shortness of breath or pain in joints or any number of symptoms that plague the elderly,  they don't understand what it is like for those who deal with these things on a daily basis.  And I hope they never have to deal with limitations.

All things considered, I have accomplished quite a bit this week.  I have drawn around a plastic template 810 times and cut out that many fabric rectangles.  The 2-inch x 4-inch rectangles have been pinned and mostly sewn together giving me 4-inch x 4-inch squares.  I have maybe 50 left to sew.  When that is done, the squares will be sewn into rows of nine squares each.  15 rows will make one window quilt top.

In keeping with the theme of using what is on hand, I found I may have enough flannel left on the bolt I used for bandages and family cloths to use instead of regular quilt batting.  I think that will be enough to make the window quilts thick enough to keep out the drafts.  By using old sheets for the backs of the quilts, the only things I need to buy are curtain rods to hang them.  I love it when a plan comes together.

Today was grocery delivery day.  As I am not going to be doing any canning until after the holidays, the order was mostly canned goods like fruit and corned beef hash.  The rest was staples like flour, sugar, cornmeal.  We won't mention the package of Oreos - Double Stuff.  :)

It was after I put everything away that my body said, 'OK.  That's enough.  Rest time coming up.'

I will be back at it in a day or two.  Those of us who have limitations don't like it much.  We wish those around us understood this is not by choice.  My kids and grands get it.  They see me often enough to understand.  Others - not so much.  But we learn to cope as best we can.  And we find that even with limitations, life can be really grand! 

Monday, November 4, 2019

Back to Basics

This morning I had a bit of a wake up call.  Nearly two weeks ago I had put a loaf of bread in my refrigerator and then promptly forgot about it.  I found it this morning.  When I took it out and looked at it, I was amazed to see there wasn't even one spot of mold on it and the slices were still soft.  That scared me just a little bit.  When I looked at the ingredients on the bag, most of them had names I can't pronounce.

The list of ingredients was lengthy.  The bread recipe I use contains seven.  And I can pronounce all of them.  Granted, at my age I probably could use all the preservatives I can get, but this list on the bag was a bit much.

Thing is...I had become lazy and had stopped making my own bread.  I don't even have the excuse of physical limitations because it takes very little effort to dump ingredients into a bread machine.  And even without the machine I believe I could still turn out a respectable loaf of bread.

So it is back to the basics for me.  Jennifer over at 'Prep School Daily' - listed in my side bar - has a recipe for a Soup and Sauce Mix that I am planning to try in order to use in place of condensed cream soups and basic sauces and she has several recipes for it's use.  Considering the price of a can of 'cream of' soups now, it makes sense to find cheaper and more healthy alternatives.

Grandma managed to feed a family of nine children without the use of convenience foods.  I expect I can manage a meal for one without them.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Drowning in Fabric...

It is amazing to me just how many yards of fabric scraps one person can accumulate.  I discovered I not only had plenty of scrap fabric for the window quilts, there is more than enough for at least one full sized quilt.  As long as I was making a mess with little snippets of cloth, I decided to cut out enough pieces for the quilt along with the window quilt pieces.

Years past it would have been a quick and easy job of cutting quilt pieces for patchwork, using a heavy plastic ruler and a rotary cutter.  However, as with many of my vintage, arthritis in the hands is causing problems.  I have tried every trick in the book, but I am unable to keep the cutter straight and the ruler as firmly in place to be able to cut precise pieces.  So I have reverted to the method I used many years ago before the newer cutting methods were available.  I made a template of plastic and draw around it for each patchwork piece, cutting them out with a scissors, giving each piece about a quarter inch seam allowance, using the pencil line as my sewing guide.  Time consuming - yes.  But I was wasting too much fabric when the ruler would slip or when my fingers couldn't control the direction of the rotary cutter.  Using a template is an old time method, but it works.

I am spending today cutting fabric.  A friend mentioned the British TV series, 'Wartime Kitchen and Garden.  I found it on YouTube and am watching that today as I work.  It is about how cooks and gardeners coped with the food rationing in England during WWII.  So far I am finding lots of useful information that may be needed right here at home, if things continue to slide downhill.

I hope to start sewing by the weekend.  Until then, back at it.  Only about 500 more pieces to go.  Sigh.

Monday, October 28, 2019

A New Project

My son walked in the other day with news that the construction that has begun across the street will be a seven story apartment building.  I have three windows in my living room that face the street and the construction.  Granted, I doubt there will be much construction before spring, but like my son said, when the building is occupied, unless I get some curtains on the windows in my second floor apartment, I will be living in a goldfish bowl.

Minnesota gets a bit nippy in the winter.  Blizzards are not uncommon.  Below zero temps for days on end are the norm.  I have found that even though my windows are new, they still can be a little bit drafty when the wind is strong.  Many people use plastic to keep out the winter cold, but I don't much care for that solution. I decided to make three window quilts to fit the windows.

I am making scrap quilts, using the fabric scraps I have leftover from other projects.  I also have a number of cream colored sheets that can be used for the backs of the quilts.  I can use tie backs to let in light during the day.  There are enough sheets to also make curtain panels to use in the warmer months.

I suppose I could have just purchased thermal drapes, but I really like the idea of using what I have on hand.  My bank account likes it, too.  The only thing I need buy is the batting for the window quilts.  This is good practice for a time when we may have to learn to make do with what we have.

I will post pictures when the quilts are finished, but don't hold your breath.  Making quilts take time.  I do hope to finish them by the time the temperatures head downward. It is not unusual to have snow by Thanksgiving, so I had better get busy.  :)