My Everyday Life

Photos of a Cool August Morning

I’m at a loss for words this morning so enjoy a few photos from last week!

Early morning sky

Lone Sunflower…How did it get here?

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it
Psalm
24:1

Have a great day!

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Cooking, Favorite Recipes!

Crock Pot Recipe: Creamy Chicken in the Crock Pot

I found a recipe in a back issue of Taste of Home magazine (the original is called Creamy Tarragon Chicken) that looked great and decided to try it.  I tweaked the recipe a bit though.  Here it is:

Creamy Chicken for the Crock Pot

Ingredients:

  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (One per person)
  • 1/2 cup onion (or to taste)
  • 2 ounces of diced ham
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons Quick-Cooking Tapioca
  • 1 bullion cube or two teaspoons chicken bullion granules
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 3-4 Carrots, washed and sliced (The original recipe calls for frozen Broccoli and Cauliflower, thawed.  My family prefers carrots)
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
  • 8 ounces of Pasta-I used small shells because I had those on hand

In a crock-pot, combine the first ten ingredients and the carrots (if using-otherwise wait to add the frozen veggies until the end).

Cook on low for 6-7 hours until chicken juices run through.

Next, add the frozen veggies (if using) and the half-and-half cream to the crock pot and cook for an additional 15 minutes.   Meanwhile cook  your pasta (note:  the original recipe calls for orzo pasta).  Serve pasta with chicken and vegetables.  Enjoy!

Craft/Needlework, Crochet and Knit

My First Knit Samples

 

My very first knitting swatch. Learning to knit and purl!
This is the second swatch using knit and purl.
My first knitting project-Basket Weave Purse

I’m going to continue working on this basket weave purse while attempting to crochet a cardigan.  I’ll keep you updated on my progress of both projects.  What projects are you working on right now?

 

 

My Everyday Life, Uncategorized

Bittersweet

While pregnant with my daughter, a friend of mine arranged for two of her friends to give me baby clothes.  I went to visit with one of her friends while she sorted baby clothes.  I asked her if it was nice to give all these clothes away and free up much-needed closet space.  Her response:  It was bittersweet.  I didn’t really understand what she meant until recently.

We have a son and a daughter and decided that our family is complete.  So I began the task of sorting baby clothes.  And with sorting came giving away and selling baby clothes and baby equipment that we no longer have a need for.  So slowly, over the past couple of weeks, baby items moved from our hometo many other homes.

Last week I sold my son’s crib bedding and 0-3 month clothes.  I almost cried handing these things over.  And now I understand that this experience really is bittersweet.

It’s bitter because my kids will never be a baby again.  They’re growing up (they seem to do this quickly).    We’re closing the door on one phase of our life but looking forward to many new adventures.   So it’s time to look ahead and make memories that will last a lifetime.

I think I’ll take some time to just enjoy my children the way they are.  And look forward to the sweet things ahead for Punkin and Baby Girl.

(Next week, I’ll be posting my knitting swatches and a couple of more recipes.  So keep reading)!

My Everyday Life

Crab Apples for the Squirrels?

Runaway squirrel that ate the crab apple.

Two crab apple trees live in our backyard.  Pretty pink flowers adorn the trees for a couple of weeks in spring and fade as the blossoms give way to the fruit.  After that, they revert to an ordinary tree with small fruit on them.

A couple of years ago I made crab apple jelly.  Although the process isn’t difficult, it wasn’t really worth the effort (in my opinion) because I simply didn’t like the taste of it.  As I recall, it was way too sweet.

And if you’ve read any previous posts, you also know that I’m a gardener.  This year, my garden has failed to be productive.  (I only have one tiny green tomato on one plant-and I have five plants).  But my crab apple trees have, once again, supplied a surplus of useless apples.

Before I continue, allow me to explain this to you:  I’ve recently discovered the school of thought that believes we should grow veggies in our front yards.  And that watering a lawn is much wasted water.  (I’ve come to agree with this statement although that isn’t possible here because of a homeowner’s association.)  So back to my original thought.

The crab apple trees, in my mind, are useless (other than the bit of shade they provide in our west-facing backyard.)  I have no use for the fruit and they are aesthetically pleasing  for just  a couple of weeks in spring.  One tree has so many suckers coming out of the ground that I’ve been thinking it’s time for that tree to meet a final resting place.   In short, if the trees aren’t producing an edible fruit, I feel they should be replaced with trees that can perform that duty.

Branch that Little Squirrel sat on consuming delicious crab apple.

It wasn’t until a couple of mornings ago when a rustle of the tree branches caught my attention.  I thought a bird was hidden behind the leaves but after a minute, I realized a squirrel jumped on that branch.  Wondering if could get a picture of him in the tree, I  got my camera and approached the tree slowly.  When I finally got close enough to snap that picture, I found him partaking of the fruit of the tree.  Yes, he was eating a crab apple!  I snapped the picture (but my camera has this annoying delay before taking the picture) and failed to get the awesome picture of this squirrel in the tree eating a crab apple.

I was able to catch the squirrel in motion in a neighbor’s tree so I would always remember the squirrel that ate the crab apple tree and taught me something about nature. I find the tree to be useless.  But God created this tree to bear fruit.  And although the fruit is virtually useless to me, it does serve a purpose and helps feed the little critters lingering around my backyard.

What critters do you find in your backyard?   I’d love to know!!

Homemade Items

Homemade Diaper Wipes

Making homemade diaper wipes is so easy (and much less expensive).   I began making these about six months ago and it works so well for me, that I won’t buy already made diaper wipes.  You only need a few supplies:

  • Paper Towels (Viva works well, but I’ve found that almost any brand will work.  I’ve been using Scott Naturals)
  • Knife and Knife Sharpener
  • 1 Tablespoon of your favorite baby wash or shampoo
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon baby oil
  • 1  cup of water
  • Container to store the wipes (an old diaper wipes box works well

First, sharpen a knife.  Then begin cutting a roll of paper towels in half.  Halfway through cutting (or as necessary) re-sharpen the knife and finish cutting the paper towel roll.  Then, remove the cardboard tube from the center.  You can use a pair of pliers and yank it out.  If you find another way to remove the tube, try it.  It doesn’t matter how it’s removed as long as it gets out of there and the paper towels aren’t wasted.  (I just my hands and kind of fold the tube in half and pull it out that way).

Then, mix the soap and oil into the water (because my kid’s have sensitive skin, I use plain water on my wipes.  For some reason, they were getting diaper rashes from the soap and the oil).  Pour the water over the wipes.  Add a little more water if necessary to thoroughly wet the paper towels.

Put them in your chosen container and there you have it!   Use your homemade wipes for anything you would use a store-bought wipe.  Now, it’s your turn!  Tell me how you like using homemade diaper wipes!

Craft/Needlework, Crochet and Knit

My Recent Crochet Projects

I love to crochet!  It’s something I’ve done since I was 11 years old.  I always crocheted using a double crochet stitch to make blankets.   But recently I discovered the joy of using a pattern.  It’s amazing what can be created using a pattern.  So far, I’ve made winter hats, a small purse, and a wide-brimmed summer hat.

I love to crochet but one of my goals for this year is to learn to knit.  So stay tuned as I learn to knit.  Next time, I hope to show you my very first knitting sample.  I’d also love to know what you’re knitting or crocheting right now!