Category: instructions

I found this pattern in a magazine called Country Afghans back in 2000. Yes, I keep things I might need again, and turns out I do sometimes. I do not know it the copyright is still in effect so I am giving them credit. It is called ‘Blue Skies’ in the magazine and should, if done in the colors the instructions call for look like the first picture below.
granny square 101 part 2 006
You will need: 4 ply worsted weight yarn
30 oz. white
10 oz. light blue
11 oz. Med blue
12 oz bright blue
Size H hook
tapestry needle gauge : Large square should be 13″ at end of border
First large square: starting in center with light blue, ch4, join with slip stitch to form ring.
Rnd 1 Ch 3 for first dc, work 2 dc in ring, (ch2, 3 dc in ring)3 times ch 2, join with sl st in top of ch 3.
Rnd 2 With med. blue join with sl st in any ch 2 space, ch 3, work 2 dc in ch 2 sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same space, (ch1, 3 dc, ch 2, 3dc) 3 times and join to first chain with sl st. Break off yarn.
Rnd 3 Using bright blue, join yarn in any ch 2 corner. Ch 3 2 dc, ch2, 3 dc in ch 2 sp. (ch1, 3dc, ch1, 3 dc, ch1) in ch 1 space. (3dc, ch2, 3dc,) in ch 2 corner and continue in this pattern to end of round. Join to first ch with slip st and break off yarn.
Rnd 4 With white, repeat rnd 3 including an extra 3 dc cluster in the extra ch 1 space on each side. join at end of round but do not break off yarn.
Rnd 5 Sl st over and into first corner ch 2 spthen ch 1, sc in same sp. * Hdc in each of next 2 st, dc (in next st, in nextch1 space work 2 tr, ch2, 2tr)dc in next dc, hdc in next 2st, sc in ch1 space, repeat from * once but end repeqat in corner ch2 sp. repeat from * aonce moer and join with sl st.
Rnd 6 Ch 3 for first Dc, dc in nest 5 st to first ch 2 sp. (2dc, ch2, 2dc)in ch 2 sp, *dc in next 4 st, sk next 3 st, dc in next 4 st(2 dc,ch 2, 2dc) in next ch 2 sp. Dc in next 11 st to ch 2 sp, (2dc, ch 2, 2dc) in 2 ch sp. Repeat from * ending row with only 5 dc, join at top of ch3 at beginning. ZBreak off.
Rnd 7 join light blue to top of 3 ch3,. Ch 3 for first dc. Dc in each dc to next ch 2 sp (2 dc, ch2, 2dc) in 2ch sp, dc in next 5 dc, dk next 2 st,dc in next 5 st. Rwepeat from * around, join and break off yarn
Rnd8 Join med. blue to top of ch 3, ch 3 and repeat Rnd 7 from * except sk4 st, instead of 2. Join as brefore and break off.
Rnd 9 Join bright blue and work as round 8, break off and set aside.
Small corner blocks Make 4 to complete large block. With white yarn, use pattern instructions for Rounds 1 and 2 fasten off.
Sew one small block to each corner of large square.
Border Dc in each stitch around, work (2dc,ch2,2dc) in each of the corner spaces. Join and break off.
You will need to make 20 squares.
Arrange squares in a 4 X5 rectangle and sew together on wrong side through back loops only. Finish with a row of hdc in each stitch around edge and weave in all yarn ends.

I made this for Hubby so I chose more masculine colors, as shown here.
granny square 101 part 2 005
Closer look at the block.
granny square 101 part 2 005A

Yesterday, I mentioned that I was making chili because I was expecting a house full of company. There were some requests for the recipe, so here it is.
I cook up 4 cups of pinto beans, with no seasonings.
When the beans are tender and the broth still pretty thin, turn them off.
Fry 1 lb. hamburger meat and 1 cup chopped onion until meat is done and onions translucent.
Add to the beans along with a 28 oz. can of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilis for mild chili or Rotel tomatoes with jalapenos for more kick, salt and chili powder to taste.
Add a cup of chunky salsa (optional).
Let that simmer slow until it is as thick as you like your chili.

If chili is too spicy for your taste topping with cheese helps to tone down the ‘bite’.
This made about a gallon of chili. Everyone except Hubby thought it was great, he thought it needed more chili powder. What does he know?

One of the hens has been trying to fool us! Recently we have been ‘missing’ eggs and thought one was going broody.
Some careful watching led Hubby, the detective, to the general area where she had ‘hidden out’ her nest. A bit of further searching led us to her hiding spot in a short while. Nicely done, Ms. Hen! Your spot did not look big enought for you to sneak in, let alone hide a bunch of eggs.
I gathered up the eggs, and using Granny Shipman’s old method determined that most of the eggs were ‘good’.
Now, just in case you should ever need to know, I will share Granny’s little egg test with you.

Place the suspect egg in a bowl of water…

good eggs 003
if the egg is ‘good’ it will sink to the bottom of the bowl.

good eggs 002
an egg of dubious quality will ‘stand on the point’.

good eggs 001
an egg that should not be in your kitchen will float in the bowl.

I did some further research to verify the ‘old wives tale’ and sure enough, here it is, right on the good old internet. Of course, that makes me wonder about how ‘fresh’ store bought eggs are?
Anyone want to test their own dozen and let me know the results?

This morning one of the daughters sent me this great link:
While I was reading, my mind jumped back over 50 years. Back when my great-grandmother was a frequent visitor to our kitchen.
She often made a similar treat, she called them ‘tarts’.
Her method of course, required making pie crust and rolling out on the kitchen table, then cut out with a biscuit cutter or a round tumbler…. her fillihng often a jar of thick home made preserves or apple butter.
The top’crust’ was merely another round of dough, with a hole cut by a thimble…
Honestly, I remember helping her make them and I had to shed a tear or two.
Now, I need to go look in the pantry, decide if I need to make peach or blueberry pie filling and treat myself and Hubby to some of ‘Gram’s tarts’.
In case you need to make your crust, I am sharing a ‘treasure’

‘Gram’ Cora Bell Williams’s Pie crust

Gram was a great cook, not only for her family but also as a cook for some of the University of Nebraska Fraternity houses.

I remember her pies, cut with a wheat design in the top crust.

This is an approximation, Gram used a big spoon to dip up the lard and a green tea cup to measure her flour. I used to get to ‘help’ her.

This is a really good crust recipe

1 cup lard

3 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup water

mix in order given, cut flour and salt into lard (yes, vegetable shortening WILL work), until it is like corn meal, add water slowly until the mixture clings together in a ball. Roll out thin and make pies, according to filling instructions. This recipe makes 2 double crusts or 4 single ones.

Or so my Irish ancestors would have described it.
Fog, so thick it can be sliced, slipped in early on a warm current of southern air, showers have dusted the bare trees with jewel drops of fresh moisture. Yes, it softened the edges of the buildings and the stark roughness of the tree branches outside the window. A lovely and apt descrioption of this sort of day.
I can’t say it has bothered the chickens as you may note from the prescence of the rooster in this picture.
soft day 002a

Soft, in more ways than one. Yesterday I had some dental surgery, and part of allowing things to heal means ‘soft’ food, at least for today. I did the hot cereal, yougurt and soup routine… somehow far from satisfying or filling.
Finally, I decided to make some macaroni and cheese, well laced with chunky hot salsa and ham salad.
Both were awarded Hubby’s ‘2 platefull seal of approval’, and I feel much better for consuming it.
While I did not use the traditional passed down family recipe for homemade macaroni and cheese like I might have on another day, it turned out well.
The mac and cheese was a ‘cheater’ mode, made from a box out of the pantry, ( I do try to keep things like that on hand) just adding a third cup of salsa and mixing it well.
Ham salad was from the last of the Christmas ham, thawed, chopped in the blender with some onion, pickles and salad dressing.
Nothing fancy, but a lot more filling than another cup of soup.

This really cute little Christmas stocking pattern for crochet can be found here:

It makes up in a hurry, even my Arthritic fingers got it done in a couple of hours. I have a basket of ‘scrap’ yarn from various projects and it doesn’t take a lot to make these.

I am working on the fourth one now.

Now I am off to make a couple more. There are some grand and great-grands who might just ‘need’ them!

No, I’m not planning on heading back to school! I finished up 5 books since September 1 and thought I might let you all know what I thought about them.

First one up is a cookbook. Yes I ‘read’ cookbooks, almost like I would read a novel.

The Cozy Chicks Kitchen is a book compiling recipes from several authors of ‘cozy’ books.  Featured are favorite recipes of authors Ellery Adams, Deb Baker, Lorraine Bartlett., Kate Collins, Maggie Sefton, Leann Sweeney and Heather Webber as well as recipes from some of their books.

I enjoy reading their books and was awarded the book recently. It’s available as an ebook and in hardcopy.

Personaly I have tried some of the recipes and recommend Kate Collins’ Baked Crispy Potatoes, and her Meatloaf,  where cinnamon takes a spot as a surprise ingredient in a very tasty take on a standard comfort food. Lorraine Bartlett provides a great recipe for Apple fritters in a 2-3 serving size, just right for those who have become ’empty nesters’ with the arrival of school this year. And GOOD! They are sure to cheer you up if you have the blues!

Several I have not yet tried but will soon are going on the menu list for testing.

I think the recipes are every bit as good as the books the Cozy Chicks have published!

Let’s give this cookbook a 5 fork rating!

If you enjoy reading and sharing about books, I think you will find this article posted on Linda Joyce Contemplates interesting and useful. How To: Book Review.

Many of us read and rcommend to family or friends, even post a review on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble or other sites.

Why not learn to do it better? I printed the article, hoping to improve my skills at review writing

Yes, it’s coming! Here is an easy project that you can use for yourself a gift or a sewing lesson for a beginner. It’s a simple quilted potholder. And who can’t use one of those? You will need:

2 – 9 /2 inch squares of fabric

1 – 9 1/2 inch square of Insulbright heat resistant material. It is available at Hobby Lobby, JoAnn’s and Wal-Mart. ( three layers of cotton batting can be used. That is how Granny made them back in the day.)

A small piece or ribbon or bias tape (approximately 4 inches)

Scissors or rotary cutter and mat


Sewing machine

Knitting needle or wooden spoon

Step 1.  Two pieces of fabric and one of Insulbright Step 2. Place fabric pieces right sides together on top of Insulbright.

Step 3. Mark a 3 inch gap along one side, stitch around the piece using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Trim the corners diagonally to cut down bulk on the finished potholder.

Step 4.  Gently  push  and turn the piece, until the batting is in the center and both fabric pieces are turned right side out on the top and bottom. Step 5. Using knitting needle or wooden spoon handle, push out the corners of your potholder.

Step 6.  Center the ribbon or bias tape hanger in the gap, fold in seam allowance and top stitch with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Step 7. Quilt your potholder. You can use straight lines or any design you can think up.  I stitched along the seams of the pieces in the top block.Step 8. Trim threads.

You now have a potholder to use or give as a gift.

Yes, it’s another givewawy, for an Oldentimes coffee mug!

Here are the rules: You must comment on the thread of this blog post. Simple enough? That’s as easy as I can make it.

It opens TODAY as soon as the post goes up and will end on Thursday  May 31,  at 4 PM CDT.

Hubby will pick a winner and as soon as I get verification and mailing info, the mug will be headed off to the winner.

If there are more than 50 entries there will be another prize drawn.