October 27, 2011

November Is Just Around The Corner

What with November just around the corner...... that means someone's birthday is too!  Yes siree.... so, my mom and I were talking the other day..... I need to check in and make sure that they are behaving themselves and that I'm not missing anything... (sound like someone you know mom and dad?).  Mom mentioned that she mailed my birthday present! Quick story.... when our oldest DD was a little girl.... she hated not knowing what a gift was.... whether or not it was for her... she could hardly stand it if she had to wait to see what it was! And she was more than ready to volunteer to help her siblings open any presents that they might have! Some things never change! So as she started having children I was interested to see how she would deal with this situation (mind you she is now 30 something). So last week was our DGS's birthday! I must admit she did really well; even when he was having a hard time opening one or two presents at his birthday party... (you know the ones that have that curly ribbon on them!) she held back and didn't volunteer her services.... until he asked! And then either she or DSIL helped out and the gift was given right back! LoL.... yeahhhhh Missy! Anyway, so a day or 2 ago I received the gift from my folks and when I was speaking to DD#1... I told her about it.  And that I now was going to have to "wait" until my birthday to open it! She said, You haven't opened it yet?" Too funny.... I could just see her eyes getting all excited! Patience is a virtue you know... guess I had better keep waiting... I need all the Heavenly help I can get! LoL...
I've been working on some Christmas presents and a few gifts for a couple of my friends from the Primary Presidency I was just released from. I may show those later.

O.K. it's getting colder outside and I thought that I would share a family favorite that maybe I've shared before... (it just makes me think of Fall/Winter)

Leek and Sausage Soup

carrot's sliced (however many you like... we like lots of veg's in our soups)
celery sliced about 1/4 cup
1 1/2 cup of washed and sliced leeks either in strips or rounds
peeled and diced potato's (see carrot's)
Kielbasa sausage  is good.... depends on how much you want but the recipe calls for 1/4 pound... (but we use more cause we didn't want to hear about how much someone else got of the sausage from the kids... lol)
1/2 tsp. Marjoram
1 tsp. salt (optional... I figure the sausage has salt in it... so it's up to people to salt to taste in their own bowl)
pepper 1/2 tsp.
3 cups chicken broth (give or take.... you need enough to cover veg's... or you can add a little water)

2 Tbs. flour
2 Tbs. butter or margarine

1. Combine all ingred's except flour/butter into cooker.
2. Cook on low 5 hours, or on high 3 hours.
3. To thicken soup, remove 1/3 c. liquid and combine with flour and butter. Return to soup and stir.
Yields 5-6 servings.... depending on how many more veggie's you have added.
It tastes even better the next day!
Enjoy..... And oh.... remember to clean out your machine once in a while to get out all the dusty bugs... your machine will thank you!

October 7, 2011

You Know It's Fall When....

O.K. so now that I've gotten that last post outta my head and the tears taken care of; it's Fall People!!!!
There are soo many beautiful things about Fall.... so I thought that maybe I would write down a few!
You know that it's Fall When;
The Geese start flying around getting their wings ready for the flight South.
When there starts to be a bit of chill in the air.
You get to feeling like you need to make some sort of Soup!
The tomato's pile up and out as they are getting canned into spaghetti sauce and salsa and well just canned tomato's!
When the apples are getting crisp and crunchy.... aughhhhh the smell of apples is just wonderful isn't it?
Canning apples is Fall to me too.... Chunky Applesauce.... wonderful!!!
Layering clothes because you know that one minute it's cool and the next it's too warm for just a warm sweatshirt.
Leaves starting to turn beautiful colors up in the canyons and mountains. Our's aren't turning here in the valleys yet... but we went for a drive last week and they were soo pretty.... oranges, yellows and greens, oh and some beautiful reds too!
Rain.... that is Fall too.... although, I must admit that so far this year I'm feeling like we have had wayyy to much of it already!  I mean as much as I love Oregon, Washington.... this is not either of those places! This is Utah... our Falls are generally dryer!
Soups.... I know that I mentioned this b/4 but you know.... there is nothing like a good Taco Soup to make you feel all warm inside.... so here is the receipe

Taco Soup

1 # of ground beef (if your not into beef try ground turkey... I'll bet it works just fine)
1 medium onion diced

2 cans each of the following; (making these the smaller cans, say 15 oz. or so) DO NOT DRAIN
 kidney beans
red/or/black beans (or combo there of, but 2 cans)
pork & beans
creamed corn
1 envelope of taco seasonings  (I have a huge container of this and so use around 2 tablespoons)

1 large can of tomato's  (I use my own canned tomato's... 1 quart jar) you can use diced, sliced, whole, whichever way you like them.

Brown the meat, add onions, and all of the canned ingredients.....  juice and all.... now add seasonings, heat through..... serve over either Tortilla chips or Frito's corn chips.... (we like the corn chips) add a little sour cream and or grated cheese (your choice, I use cheddar) and yummm. Believe me when I say, your tummy will thank you! Enjoy the Fall Show! Oh.... guess I had better quit procrastinating.... I should be making spaghetti sauce and salsa.... I picked 5  5 gallon buckets of tomato's last night.... ahem, in the rain... I just couldn't see them go to waste... if we get a freeze! Back to work!

Missing My Little 4-Legged Friend

Just sending this into blog land; I miss my little Jamie... she was such a sweetie, always hanging around to keep me company and thumping her tail when I walked into a room. I miss her happy barks and her ever listening ear when the geese would fly over head heading to the lake or going South... I found myself telling Jamie today that the geese are flying over and asking  if she heard them! Guess I had better go get some tissue...
You are indeed missed.... my little friend! Hope that your having fun running around without fences or leashes,  chasing and barking and wagging that friendly tail of yours!

October 6, 2011

What To Do When A Fabric Store Does You Wrong!

I know, I know.... it's been a while... I do have lots of excuses... but then again... this is my blog and I guess I get to it when I get to it!  LoL

I was reading a new to me blog today and the writer mentioned that she had bought a cute cut of material that was a knit. This piece was cut really badly. So much so,  that she couldn't get the short sleeves out of it to make the  shirt she had planned on making! She ended up making a sleeveless top which is fine.... she made "lemonade"! Good for her!  But, there are a few things that we can do to prevent this from happening. I have worked for one of the big chain fabric stores and believe me when I say..... They Want Your Business! So let's see what we can do!
#1 When you are buying fabric in store; (no matter what kind) watch how they cut the fabric! If you are a quilter some stores will tear the cottons for you to guarantee that your cut will be straight! Some stores won't do this at all. But, if you are buying a quilt backing that is one of the 72" or larger size....(especially a cotton)  ask them to tear it for sure... otherwise ask them (b/4 they cut) if they will take it back if you find when you get home that it is not even! This way you have what you want, not some material that they are just trying to get rid of! And believe me when I tell you that I worked with some people that didn't care how they cut fabric and we got back stuff that just could not be used for the purpose they bought it due to this lack of care!
#2  If the fabric you are buying is a stretch/knit/lycra etc.... ask the cutter to show you how it lines up.... if they aren't willing to show you that is a problem..... bring it to the attention of the manager! You are the one that has to take it home to use it and if it's lined up wrong..... it's a waist of your money and time if you can't even it up enough to be able to get your pieces out. Pattern companies usually account for extra material so their should be more than enough if your following the patterns guidelines....
#3 The fabric company's want your business.... and believe me when I say that if they are reputable, they will make things right! Cause they know that if they don't..... they will loose you as a customer and possibly any body else you decide to tell about the problem you had. So... this being said, talk to the manager or supervisor if you have a problem with a how a fabric you bought was cut. Remember though... if your loosing your temper that isn't going to win a whole lot of points... as they say "You get more flies with honey than vinegar".  Most companies will try hard to fix the problem.
#4 Try to be flexible!  For example; when one of my daughters was planning her wedding, she wanted white tulle draped high on wires with white lights etc.... and we estimated we needed around 250 yards of the tulle!
O.K. I went to one of the local chain stores..... asking if I could use my 50% off coupon and after they told me yes, they proceeded to call several other stores and got me the amount I needed. Now, of course I wasn't going to be able to get it all in one piece.... but I did have options; I asked that a) could I please not have a bunch of bolts with lots of leftover pieces on them..... b) and then I asked them to not give me anything less than a ten yard piece. c) also since they didn't have what I needed in stock, and I wasn't really special ordering.... that I not have to pay any shipping!  They worked with me and I got what I wanted and what I needed and only ended up paying 50 cents a yard. I can't tell you how beautiful it turned out...
#5 If you are doing a large order for something like say a wedding dress, brides maid dresses, etc.... and you need lots of the same  material... check on the bolts to see if the dye lot numbers are the same... checking again, b/4 you leave the store is going to end with a lot less headache! I've made a lot of wedding dresses and if the bride/brides mom  have me go with them it's a lot less hassle to handle it b/4 rather than finding a problem after they have bought everything and it's not what they thought!  This goes for decorator fabric's too
if you need lots and a store needs to find it at another store match up all of the fabric's b/4 you pay... you don't want to end up with something that doesn't match! Ask the person your ordering with if you have to pay b/4 you receive it. Most places may need you to pay first, but then if it doesn't match.... they will refund your money....
#6 As I mentioned I've made a good deal of wedding dresses... and in the process I've come across material that the brides (1 or 2 of my 3 daughters being a couple of them) liked soooo much they had to have and they weren't really the width that was called for on the pattern back!  So; what to do? Do you piece? Or what would you do? Well, mostly it depends on how much of a difference there is in the material and pattern. If I have to piece a large train most times it's smart to take your main/or middle of the back area cut it out and then add to the sides of this piece.... matching any where it may need to match up. There are times that I have pieced the trains of wedding dresses....  not even the bride noticed!  I will tell the brides mom before I cut it out to show her what it will look like if I have to piece.... and I can't think of one case where it was at all noticeable that I was told not to make it that way! But you need to take those types of things into consideration before you cut out a dress that has such a wide train. Lots of other times, if the pattern calls for maybe 60" wide fabric and you have maybe 58", it's just not that big of deal to put a bit of a fold into your pattern piece (in the area lower than the hip line... you don't want to mess with sizing)  to make the dress back/front/train to allow that bit of a saving. Honestly no one ever missed it! And depending on the fabric, like for example a Dull Satin.... sometimes you can cut your pieces out running 1 piece up and the other down! On a good quality Dull Satin, there isn't a difference in the sheen and so it can save a lot of money by cutting that way!
#7 If your buying on line.... b/4 you make a purchase from an on-line store, check to see what kind of return policy they have! Nothing like getting a great deal on something that just isn't all that great!

Alright..... go.... hunt for fabric....... may your search be fruitful! And remember any purchases you make will be helping out the economy! LoL...... enjoy!