Thursday, December 31, 2009


I'm busy making "Vegetarian Black-Eyed Peas," while hubby is making his batch with the leftover ham bone from Christmas Dinner. It is too hot in the kitchen/craft area to work, so I headed to my p/c.

My current Craft Project is a heart to be painted/decorated for the Michael Rutledge “Ofrendas del Corazón” auction scheduled in February. K and I were selected to paint a heart for this event. The Silent Auction raises money for Scholarships for the PSJA Dual Language students.
Michael was a Dual Language Student. His death gave life to 4 others through organ donation.
For more information, you can click on this link.Her art is awsome and she has information on this event from the past two years.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Geneology. (Yes cousin, you did spell it correctly.)
This is an interest that I've had for years. I've been called the "Family Historian" and have been known to corner relatives at family gatherings to quiz their knowledge of our ancestors. When they see me coming with a binder and pen in hand, they run!!!

This blog shares all my interests!!!


This is a cookbook I've had for years. I need to hide it from "K" as she uses it when she "Stress bakes."
She not only wrote these excellent cookbooks (vegetarian), but she is famous for writing films/movies including my favorite "My Family/Mi Familia."


The Confessions of Amans. 1973. Co-writer.
The Haunting of M. 1980. Writer. Producer. Director. Editor.
The End of August. 1982. Writer.
El Norte. 1983. Writer. Producer.
A Time of Destiny. 1988. Writer. Producer.
My Family, Mi Familia. 1995. Writer. Producer.
Frida. 2002. Writer.
American Family for PBS television one-hour drama series. Writer, 2 episodes. 2002.
Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner. 2008. Producer.

Christmas is Over!!

And I just now found my Christmas Music by Los Lonely Boys. It's been missing (the CD) and I finally went through all my Cases and found it. Whew!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Chirstmas Miracle

In Aug of 2008, my son married his college sweetheart. This past weekend I got to see them both as I was in my hometown visiting. I was excited about it being close to Christmastime, as it had been years since I was able to decorate my father's grave. For most of the past 21 years I have mailed decorations to the cemetery office, and the personnel there have done the honors. This year would be different.

My son and daughter-in-law drove me to the cemetery, along with one my granddaughters. We decorated, took photos, and reminised about my father. Once done we started towards the car when I felt a heavy pressure stopping me in my tracks. I heard myself say outloud, "Oh, this is Susan." (alias) Then I broke out in sobs. I scared myself and probably the others. I tried to tell my daughter-in-law, "I had to introduce you", but I was crying too hard to say anything. So I just hugged her and patted her back.
Later, once composed, I began to describe my feelings with my family. My son told me he saw me walking back to the car when all of a sudden I whipped around towards my father's grave and said "Oh, this is Susan."
I don't remember turning around, but I do remember facing the other direction and talking to my father. It was surreal. I also don't remember getting in the car, just being in the car, crying, and covering up with my coat because I was very cold.
When I asked my granddaughter (age:11) if I had scared her she just said, "Paranormal Activity."

Daddy.....1918 to 1988
Merry Christmas
You did your best, that is all I could ask
I love you still
Goodnight sweet angel

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fleece Pillowcases were a hit

These fleece pillowcases were a hit. The granddaughters all loved them. They were already washed, so they all grabbed their bed pillows and put them on. Glad I can show them, now that the gifts have been opened. I had an early Christmas with my granddaughters while I was in town visiting.
Each pattern matches the kids personality. The babies got a small pillow with a pillowcase.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sock Monkey for my Monkey Boy is completed!!


Before                                 After
What a difference a day makes. This Monkey is starting to take shape. I adjusted the pattern to make a longer torso, and longer, thinner tail. I'm adding a hat too. The eyes are just straight pins stabbed in his face, but I'll get to those today.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Worked on a Sock Monkey for my grandson "SRD" and shopped for some gifts. It was unbelievably crowded at the store.
Spent 35 minutes smelling the wonderful fragrance of bread baking, thanks to "K". Today she made "Pepper-Cheese Bread" out of the "The Vegetarian Epicure" by Anna Thomas. 262 recipes that bring vegetarian cooking to new gastronomic heights with talk about good food, the art of making fine breads, and menus designed to make every meal a delight and a celebration of life.....
In the past couple of days K has been in a baking frenzy.
Out of the same book she also made:
(1) "tarte aux poires"-a Anjou pear custard pie. It was beautifully made and was delicious.
(2) "raspberry fool"- a cream custard with a raspberry cream topping

 **Remember how Izzie (Gray's Anatomy-ABC) would go into a muffin baking frenzy when she was upset.
Well there is actually a term called "Stress Baking".
(I googled Izzie baking frenzy)
I finally figured out why she has been baking. K's finals are this week.
So, the house has been filled with the wonderful scents of baking; while we have been filled with bread and desserts.

All is well.....

Monday, December 14, 2009

Snickerdoodle recipe circa 1945


Recipe of Lucy Mae Pedigo
A favorite of the Frye/Pedigo Family

2 cups shortening
3 cups sugar
4 eggs
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons cream of tartar (do not substitute)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Cream the shortening, sugar, and eggs.
Stir the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt together.
Combine all both mixtures.
Roll into balls, then roll around in a cinnamon/sugar mix.
If using a small cookie dough scoop, half that ball and roll in sugar.

Bake on ungreased sheets at 375° 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.
They will flatten a bit when cool. If you accidently burn any, yum. Those taste good too!!!
Make your cinnamon/sugar mix according to your taste. I put plenty.

This is my nephew in CA. He called for my recipe, so my price is the use of this photo. I needed a photo of the cookies, plus I wanted to show off the beautiful Texas apron I gave him.
Hey, isn't there a cookie missing off the sheet??

Making Myself Crazy with Crafts

Multi-tasking to finish Christmas presents, while setting up appointments for specialist for B, and making preparations for a visit home to attend a wedding. Whew!

In my spare time, ha ha I made a joke there, I made this really neat pillow. First time I made anything like this, and I thunk it all up myself. No pattern. Actually it's just a simple pillow. It measures 18X18.

Okay, I stand corrected. This is the second time I ever made this pillow pattern. According to "K2" I made her some black/white ones 19 years ago.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pillow Project is complete

The final two pillow are done. I am very pleased with the outcome. Had trouble with my sewing machine. Bobbin kept getting in a tangle.
Can't find info on correct bobbin to use on my antique Baby Lock Companion 2400. Grrrr!!

Alice's Kitchen Cookbook (Lebanese Food)

Linda Dalal Sawaya's Lebanese Cookbook is wonderful. A Lebanese friend of mine gifted me the book in 1998. I love making food from this book. This friend (my husband's friend for many years) had a Lebanese restaurant for many years and my children grew up very fond of Lebanese/Middle Eastern foods.

Two Inventions

Instead of buying ergonomic crochet hooks, I make my own. I wrap the middle with double-sided tape (for cushion) and then wrap it up tight with white florist tape. Voilà

I invented a needle threader today. I kept breaking standard needle threaders trying to thread yarn onto a darning needle. After a trip to Michaels, where I didn’t find anything stronger, I came home invented. I took a plastic lid out of our recycling bag and cut it into a narrow strip and used my hole puncher to make a hole on one end. Works perfectly!!
LION BRAND YARN was so impressed with response of my invention, that they put it on their website.
Just experiment with different lids to find one thin enough to pass thru the eye-of-the-needle.

Vegetarian Gravy from NPR "Vegetarian Thanksgiving"

Vegetarian Gravy
 This gravy thickens up quite a bit, so keep some warm water or vegetable broth on hand to thin it our before serving, and for leftovers.

 Makes 2 cups

 1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion or shallots
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons light soy sauce (I used 1 tablespoon)
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

 Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sauté  onion and garlic until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and soy sauce to form a smooth paste. Gradually whisk in the broth.
Season with sage, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.

Little Sister "B" at her Christmas Party

Took a break from sewing and baking for a Christmas Party. B's school has one every year. This is the first B attended. In the past, she been sick or hospitalized.
Although 2009 is going down in some people's history as being their worst year ever, it is a great one for B. She danced and sang all night. She started with Michael Jackson's "THRILLER" and ended with "THE CUPID SHUFFLE". In between she sang Christmas Carols with her friends.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Pillows are done

Finally finished the pillows. Well, at least the red & white ones. Still have the yellow & white ones to go. This IKEA fabric is beautiful.

Winner of the ornaments!

Winner of the ornaments!

I Won some ornaments on Crafty Chica!!!!!

Winner of the ornaments!

Thank you for all of your replies to my questions from the other day! Wow, I did not expect so many responses and I printed out every letter. Thank you so much for all the kind words of encouragement, I'm going to make the most of your feedback!!
The winner of the blind drawing is...drum roll...
Kathi Kaftyzales
Please email me your address so I can send your ornaments out!!
Peace, love, and glitter!
Kathy :-)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sock Monkey for Monkey Boy

While waiting for my 10th grandchild to be born I started to make him a Crocheted Sock Monkey. I really thought it would be smaller, but it was over 12 inches tall. The photo shows a green 12-inch ruler to the left of the monkey. "BLF" will love this when he grows up.

Decorated Pumpkins Win First Place

This is the 2008 "Decorate a Pumpkin" contest entry of my H.O.S.T.S. student. She was in 6th grade when she made this with my help.
"Horton Hears a Who" won First Place!!
Ears are two colors of felt glued together and then glued onto sides of pumpkin.
Trunk is felt sewn into a long cone-shape, stuffed with fiberfill, and a wire running down the middle so it will bend into shape. Then with needle and gray thread, large long stitches across the top of trunk-evenly spaced and pulled taunt. Voila'.

This is the 2009 Contest Entry.
Same student, now in 7th grade.
"Where the Wild Things Are" won First Place!!

My H.O.S.T.S. (Help One Student To Succeed) student "A", only has one more year in Middle School. I can hardly wait to help with next year's entry. My granddaughter, "K", came up with both year's ideas.
Thank you K.

Pear Oven Pancake (and a Giveaway!)

Pear Oven Pancake (and a Giveaway!)

Socks!! What I have so far.

Here is how far I have gotten in the two years I've attemped to make socks. They are tube socks.

I want to knit some socks

This desire has been going on for years. Bought yarn. Found out I needed 2 balls. Only had one. Couldn't find more. Went to the only stores that sell yarn down here. NONE.
Went to Houston. Found yarn. Came home. Cast on, frogged (undid) cast on again. Googled how to cast on to dp's. (double pointed needles) Tried again. Went on Youtube. Searched for casting on dp's for socks. Watched several times. Sucessfully cast on and started pattern. OMG. This is too time consuming.ZZZZZZZ
Put that to sleep.
Went to Vintage clothing shop. Bought a beautiful wool cable knit sweater that had a hole in the front.
Took home and made tube socks. They are beautiful. The sleeves made one sock each. The cuffs look great.
Then the front of the sweater made a pair and the back of the sweater made another.
So, three pair of beautiful cable knit socks for $1.00
This morning was cold enough to wear my socks for the first time this year.
Well actually it was cold last week, but I forgot about my favorite socks. Found them this morning in my sock drawer while churning them around looking for warm socks.
All is well..........

Day three of the Pillow Covers

Okay, so I have put this project to sleep. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Other stuff came up and I was unable to sew at my craft table.
First, my husband cooked himself breakfast. One item was MEAT. Once I got the stench out of the kitchen, I had started on other projects.(stuff I can do out of the room)
Last night I was unable to sew, as I had to cook and I had a library board meeting to attend.
Now, today, I had a County Library Meeting in a nearby town.
Got home to "Jeremiah Johnson" grinding deer meat with a pork roast. Smell was unbelievable. Animal blood everywhere. It will take me a gallon of LYSOL to clean my kitchen.
Now he is frying up some dead animal, and grinding, grinding, grinding.
So I lit a candle, put on my jacket, turned on the fan, and came to play on my p/c.
All is well.
Before the meat cooking started, I was able to sew up more Christmas presents and make a new fleece jacket for K's dog, Princessa.

I used leftover fleece from other projects. Too cute for words. She pranced around wanting everyone's attention.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 "Chicken" Pot Pie with Rosemary, Cheddar Biscuit Crust "Chicken" Pot Pie with Rosemary, Cheddar Biscuit Crust

Day two of pillow covers

I had to work out the pattern on the red & white fabric. Yes, it matters. I have to know where to put the zipper. Ideally, it should go on the bottom of the pillow. And, the design on the fabric should be centered. I know my son said, "Use your own judgement", but sometimes my judgement takes a long time of pondering.

Here is my reward for completing these pillow today. A "Pickadilly". That is a snowcone topped with chopped dill pickles and sprinkles with unsweetened KOOLAID. Yum. Don't knock it until you try it. I don't know if our local snowcone stand has closed down for the winter or not. It was 83 degrees here yesterday. It was freezing last Friday.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Destroyed Mandala

Photo of my destroyed Mandala, sent to me by the Lion Brand Yarn Rep in New Jersey. I was reluctant to send, but was honored to be one of the 100 finalist nationwide.  I cried when I left it at the shipping office. I knew I would never see it again. Well, I was right.

Pillow covers with zippers on one side.

Today sewing project is "Making Pillow Covers" for my son and daughter-in-law. As you can see, the fabric is from IKEA. I didn't know IKEA sold fabric, and at a reasonable price too. Wow! This fabric will certainly give a punch to any room's decor.

On Sunday I made some really nice Christmas presents for all my grandchildren. Wish I could show them off, but the kids might see them.

Orphan kittens born April 09

So, back in April I was foolish enough to adopt two newborn abandoned kittens. I heard them crying outside and figured their mama would come for them soon. Not! They cried from 6:30am to 12:30pm. So, I called a cat expert ("R", K's friend since 2nd grade) and went to buy kitty milk and bottles, as per his instructions. One of the kittens passed at two weeks, but this kitty is still hanging around. I raised her in a crate in my laundry room, where she still resides. I named her "FIGGY" and she is a crazy cat. Her brother "Conan the Barbarian" is buried in K's pet cemetery outside my front door, under the lemon tree. I gave him that name because he needed a strong name, as he was the runt. I always fed and bathed him first, while Figgy cried in the crate. Every night before I went to sleep I read the "Raising Cats" book. During the day I read online instructions for raising orphan kittens. All very helpful. One lady wrote that sometimes, no matter what you do, they don't survive and it's not your fault. That helped me get through the death of "Conan the Barbarian." Round-the-clock feeding and potty training a kitten just to lose him is very hard. I AM NOT A CAT PERSON!!! But don't you dare mess with my Figgy. Well, except for K who was nuts enough to bathe Figgy and her cat Figaro. (both female cats) Yeah, Figaro sounds like a male cat, but that's what K named her black and white cat. So, when I took in the abandoned kittens, one was black and white and looked more like a Figaro than K's cat, hence the name Figgy. So she is, wet and trying to tongue dry.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thanksgiving Cookbook from 2005

This is a collection of our favorite Thanksgiving menu, the recipes, grocery list, grace written by my mother in 1978, kid songs, trivia, and jokes. Lots more being added, like vegetarianized dished to go with my Tofurkey.

After Thanksgiving Blues

It's Monday morning and I am finally taking down my Thanksgiving decorations. Sure, I know some folks put up Christmas trees and lights on Black Friday. I can't imagine decorating for Christmas until after Dec 1st. And, while on the subject, I don't take my tree down until the "Feast of the Three Kings", the day I give small gifts to whatever kids are in my home. That would be Jan 6th. (More on this subject later)
So sad to say goodbye to my turkey collection. I only get to see them for a week before and a week afer Thanksgiving. The little turkey salt-and-pepper shakers, the pumpkin covered with autumn leaves, and the ceramic turkeys.
As I packed them away and put them into storage, I thought about having to downsize my belongings for future prospects of selling and moving back to the Houston area.
Well, I am not downsizing this collection. I'll downsize Easter baskets, or all the Christmas decorations my kids made while in school and now don't want in their home. I can't hang on to them forever. I think this year I will photograph them all and then trash them. I'll make a book of photos to hand down to the grandkids. Look at the junk your parents made...........heehee

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kuwait Clock

I am keeping track of the time in Kuwait while our friend has been stationed there before going on to Iraq.
He had a few days leave for Thanksgiving, but then left back to base and then on to Kuwait.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ojo de Dios/Eye of God/Mandala 2009

This is the Mandala "Follow the Light" that I made for the Vanna White/Lion Brand Yarn Contest. It is 36 inches, please note the ruler beside the hanging, and is made with 6-36" wooden dowels and Vanna White Yarn. (contest rules dictate her yarn only)
 It was a runner up in the nationwide contest and had to be shipped to New Jersey. It was destroyed by Fed-Ex and didn't place in the contest.
It was sent back to me (broken) by UPS and the carton smashed by them. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!
I carefully removed the yarn from the wood and am currently remaking the Mandala.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Opening blog to rant and rave about krafting and eating. (drinking is optional)
Since this is Thanksgiving weekend, I thought I would start out with our events, or unevents.
(Whenever my granddaughter K asks how my day went I usually reply, "Uneventful." Drives her nuts.)

Family came from Houston to eat, drink, and be merry. Six left, two stayed another day. Lots of food, Thanksgivning songs by the little ones, drinks poured, movies watched, and insults traded. Our family is not like the families on "Home for the Holidays", "Nothing like the Holidays" and "The Family Stone" movies. We don't put each other on the "List" and we are all speaking to each other.

This year's excitement was my photo on the front page of our local paper's "Valley Life" section announcing the article coming in the next day's issue. "Local woman self-publishes her own collection of Thanksgiving traditions". The second day my photo was on the front page, below the headline, with the section and page given for the article. "Home Cooking. A beloved Thanksgiving chef offers her recipes to the world."
Actually, as stated in the article, I put the book together for my children and grandchildren. Some local residents looked my up in the phone directory and called to purchase copies and to sell them in their florist shop. WRONG!! That was never my intention. I was asked to submit family tradtions to the paper for an article on Thanksgiving traditons. It turned out to be an article on me and my book. Surprising.

Thanksgiving meal:
Most recipes for side-dishes were vegetarian-ized and additional recipes have been added. The recipe for vegetarian gravy was a hit, even among non-vegetarians.
I'll upload some photos, once I learn how......

Favorite stupid saying this year: WTF="Why The Face" per episode of The Modern Family TV show.
Son-in-law M overused the was hilarious.

Made our traditional trip to Mexico on Black Friday. Bought Mexican Cokes (the real Real Thing) bottles, beer, candy, avacadoes, tortillas, DVD's, etc.....

Exchanged names for Christmas.