Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sunday, End of the year thoughts....

    I cannot believe it is the end of the year already.  It went so fast at times.  It went so slow at times. Hub's and I are both home from church with the crud.  He was diagnosed strep I was just diagnosed ME! The doctor would not let me come in as too many sick here.  The antibiotic I was put on was out at all pharmacies here.  We managed to scramble 5 pills with three trips to different pharmacies.  More will be delivered on Tuesday. So back on the antibiotics yesterday and we cancelled our New Years plans. We will reschedule and keep our goodies in the freezer until we are better. Blah!

    Happy things in 2017
  • Made many new blogging friends
  • had wonderful times with family and grandsons
  • Met up with Sluggy for a vacation so fun
  • Toured Vicksburg and parts of the South
  • watched a solar eclipse a life time event
  • Finally organized the pantry so it is more user friendly (only took 5 years)
  • Took off the 10 lbs I gained with steroids 4 years ago.
  • Made significant progress on our debt
  • learned more ways to spend less

     Sad things in 2017
  • Lost a beloved Uncle
  • put our sweet dog to sleep
  • Mom's mind slowly going and her temperament is almost always bad 
  • gained back the 10lbs I lost :)  can anyone say bakery treat?
  • Did not get to spend any significant time with my twin sister.
  • Spent more money than I should have many, many times....
  • my health continues to haunt me.   

     I am looking forward to the New Year and I have great plans (in my head) for goals I want to accomplish.  I have financial goals, health goals, spiritual goals,  and happiness goals.

     I have learned so much this year.  I am so grateful for that.  I have gotten great advice from my dear twin.  I hate it that she is mostly always right.  She told me to get $3000.00 in a savings account before Christmas.  I thought she was nuts as I wanted to pay off debt.  But she was right if I would not have tried to do this, I would be deeper in debt right now.  I sailed through Christmas, and I still have about $2000.00 in this account.

     I replaced my sewing machine, $507.00, fixed the garage door opener,finally $113.00, Hub's and I finally updated our cell phones, which were not keeping a charge and had several boo boos.  We went up 3 generations, that is how long it has been since we upgraded.  (I don't believe in upgrading a phone that works).  Now these things would have been done but not with cash.  So nice.

Paid off $34,372.10 in debt $12,000.00 coming from sale of studio
Paid cash for $3716.00 worth of Murphy expenses or break downs and maintenance that would have been put on a charge card.

2018 bring it on baby.

Now I call that progress!

Have a great New Years Day!


Friday, December 29, 2017

Friday, a run down....

If this were truly me it would have a diet coke and a pastry.  But the likeness is a good one.

We had a wonderful quiet Christmas with my eldest daughters family.  Both of our grandsons had strep throat when we got there, so neither one was feeling the greatest.  But by the end of our stay they were both doing well.  I was able to showered both the boys with attention.  I loved rocking my cranky 20 month old grandson to sleep, after his mommy was at her wits end.  I had sock fights with the older one and he laid across my lap while I scratched his back several times.  He developed a bad rash all over from the strep ( scary) and he would have me scratch forever as we watched Christmas shows.  It was just so nice.  I was able to sleep in and take several naps.  I made my traditional orange rolls for Christmas breakfast. We all ate way too many cookies and sweets.  I altered a suit for daughter, and a skirt for her mother in law.  I also enlarged a baby sleep sack pattern and made two sleep sacks for the baby, who is huge.  I put large snaps on them so he could unsnap bottom and crawl out and walk around, in his crib.  He kept waking up cold as he kicked off the covers.  This way he is covered by an extra layer of blanket.  He slept through the night the last two nights. Well worth the effort trust me.

      We stopped at Hub's folks on the way down and filled their stockings with little gifts I had purchased through out the year.  They love this and I managed to find inexpensive items that they could use and wrapped each one so they could open.  On the way back we filled a basket that we use every year for them.  We put sparkling cider, fruits, nuts, meat, cheese, crackers, olives, and candy in it and they always have a little treat with another couple on New Years Eve. It is so cute they had their stockings (I purchased at good will brand new) out on the sofa waiting for us.  I also picked up the basket that was waiting in the garage.  They know the drill by now.  When we don't go down for Christmas I mail the stocking things and have daughter or a cousin fill the basket for us.  It works and they so appreciate it. It is hard to shop for people who have everything and no one needs another sweater, so this works well for them.

     I just opened mom's bedroom door and yelled "get up and get a job." I think I am starting to hear signs of life in there.  Mom was up to her old shenanigans with my poor sister.  I felt bad for Lil sis, I desperately needed a break, but mom does not do well when either of us is out of town.  If Lil sis leaves she acts up.  If I leave she acts up.  It is a double act here my friends.

   Hub's  is down sick with a cold and strep, and I spent yesterday getting mom to different doctor appointments.  I also unpacked and tried to put things away.  I miss my dog and think of her so often.  Even though Hub's tried to eliminate all signs of her, I still think to call out for her when I am cooking and I have a tidbit.  Or mom drops a treat on the floor.  It is just hard, harder that I thought it would be I guess.

     On a more positive note, I had several things I made for different people for Christmas and I will be posting about these tomorrow, I hope. If all goes, if mom behaves, if, if, if....

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.



Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thursday evening, getting ready to go!

Good memories
     Here is wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas, as we will be leaving tomorrow for our eldest daughters.  We will stop at Hub's folks for an hour or two and then on in to Twin Falls.

The last couple of days have been spent catching up in the shop, making sure all the bills are paid, making rosettes for a theater fund raiser and also two more batches of caramels.

    I was really able to clean the kitchen well and the upstairs on Tuesday late afternoon making the clean up of the kitchen yesterday after the rosettes and caramels much easier as the lower level of grime was gone.  I also insisted on getting all my sewing done yesterday so today I could just get ready to leave.

     Been running all day, cleaning the shop, getting laundry caught up changing out the litter box and cleaning the laundry room.  mom and I just finished wrapping the last of the caramels.  Hub's and I went out and did the last of the bills and bank deposits.  I will be taking mom to Lil sis's in a few minutes and then stopping at the bank one more time.

     I still have to run across the street and talk to the neighbor girl about the cats and also wrap a bunch a presents.  I need to pack myself and load the car, also get Hub's to gas it up tonight. So there is still so much left to do to get out of dodge.

     On a sad note we put our beloved dog Sandy down this afternoon due to old age.  She was very arthritic, was losing weight and her hair was falling out in hand fulls.  She also fell down the stairs this week as her back was too stiff to bend enough about 1/2 way down the stairs.  She was dragging a leg some mornings due to stiffness.  But she was happy and still greeting customers with her dog toy.  She used to walk miles with Hub's and I but was no longer willing to go on walks.  We could not even say walk around her for years.  We had to spell it or she would go nuts.  About 6 months ago she quit wanting to go, just too hard on the old joints.  She loved cat food and I didn't even scold her this morning when she was sneaking in to eat with the cats. She was having accidents in the house this last few weeks and it was so humiliating for her.  It was time but boy was it hard. She will be missed.

So signing off I want to wish all of you a great weekend.  May it be filled with the love and peace that only the Savior can bring.  I celebrate his birth and am eternally grateful for his sacrifice.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tuesday, Monday saving madness, LATE!

    Hub's and I made a quick last minute trip to Spokane Sunday after church.  Daughter # 2 was supposed to be down with the elf on Saturday but they got a good snow storm and we even received 4 inches of snow.  So that trip was cancelled.  We had all of the gifts for their family and Daughter #3 that she was supposed to pick up.  So we decided we would run up and deliver and come home, but ended up staying as daughter had to be to work at 8, Monday morning and son-in-law had to be on the road at 7.  Their care giver and live in sitter had to have out patient surgery at 6 and her ride did not have 4 wheel drive into the city.  So we stayed to watch the elf, and Hub's took sitter into the surgery clinic, they were home by 10 a.m. just as daughter #2's mother in law arrived to save the day. Surgery went well and we traveled back down to D#3's to drop off gifts for her significant other and then home for me run like a mad woman to try and get a few more things done around here.

   We also came home with a car full of presents for our son-in-laws brother and their family.  So we have to deliver those today.  We are like Santa Claus.  We will take all of daughter #1 and the in laws gifts down on Friday,we have no decorations up around here except a wreath on the front door, but we will have delivered gifts all over the state by the time Christmas gets here.

     Today is Hub's birthday so I will be whipping up a German Chocolate cake and cleaning a little house in my mad time.  I usually make a big fried chicken dinner but I told Hub's I was cutting back so I am ordering pizza and his cousins and their 4 boys will come over as usual for an early Christmas with Uncle.  I hate to cut back at his expense and mine (cost of pizza)but I still have sewing that needs to be done today and mom and I have packages to send, the house needs love for company and I am still making some gifties.

So here is Monday's money saving madness a day late!

1. Did all my usual money saving strategies. Cooked all meals at home, reused plastic containers,fed food scraps to chickens, etc.
2.  Made three beautiful pillows for D#3 from left overs in shop.  Even the zippers were given to me and the pillow forms were picked up at goodwill (brand new) for .99  a piece making this gift a whopping $3.00  (picture later)
3. Picked up a beautiful hand made 100% wool sweater from goodwill it had never been worn and was made in Iceland.  $6.00  (now everyone wants it)
4. Added to my embroider stash from good will.
5. Used coupons at Joanns, good dish towel to embroider 70% off.
6. Picked up remnants to finish projects for pennies at Wal-mart
7. wrapped all presents so far in paper purchased at 90% off last year.
8. asked for extra boxes at stores to wrap gifts so I didn't have to buy any.
9. ordered gift making supplies off amazon rather than ordering gift already made allowing me to make many for the price of one (picture later)
10. waited for a particular gift to go to 50% off and then added a 20.00 and two 25.00 coupons to take total down 75.00 dollars more.  It pays to wait.Although this close to Christmas it was nerve racking.
11.  Watched bi-rite's small sewing department for sales and picked up already stamped pillow cases for 1/2 price.  I will add my own lace from my stash.  (picture later)
12.  Helped mom make pillow cases for gifts from flannel purchased for 2.50 yard.

     So what have you done this week to save money on the Holidays or other wise?

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday, see what I can do when left alone?

     I feel like I have tried really hard to get things done all week and I have been thwarted at every turn.  Between the studio ( I know this was an emergency) and mom's appointments and Hub's needs (wants) and my lingering cold/crap I have had a hard time getting to the projects I need to finish and the sewing I need to do.

      I did manage to get dinner made and not burned (that was Hub's fault on Wednesday).  I was able to get our nephews gifts purchased last night.  So now it is just the two son in laws.  Blah they are so hard to by for.

     Yesterday, I was able to get 11 pairs of pants hemmed and some mending, a bridesmaid dress hemmed, a zipper replaced, elastic replaced in two sets of sleeves.  I also hauled mom's butt through 3 stores, no easy task.  I picked up her meds did a little shopping, went to Joanns to fix a mom problem.  So I feel like I actually accomplished something.

     We have a holiday party at Hub's old office tonight.  I have to finish a unusually hard alteration on a white dress and also mend a quilt.  Mom and I are wrapping and mailing gifts today, which means I am wrapping and mailing gifts today.  I still have some things to make to add to a gift box I will mail on Monday.

     We have to leave here early as it is a 1 hour drive to Hub's old office and I am not sure about the roads.  Other than narrow goat trails.  Ask sluggy about our super highways out here.

     I have to get to work, this dress has to go out today!  Ugh and double ugh.....

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thursday, Look at them numbers!

Wish I could sit on money like this.

  Well I am so happy as I am below the $8000.00 mark on the house loan. (okay by .98 but below)  The studio bill is down another $500.00 dollars,and the house is down another $1,100.00.  I am making progress!

     Yesterday was a bust and I have to really sew today.  So frustrating when mom takes up my whole day.  Ugh! I also have to go out and pay the rest of the monthly bills I have all the checks written out.

Now I need to get to my sewing machine.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wednesday, Doctor day!

Image result for doctor imagesMom has two doctor appointments today. I also got a call from the new owner of the dance studio.  Her mom has had a stroke so I will be going down to the studio for a couple of hours.  I will try to sew between appointments.  I really dislike having my day broken up but what can you do?  This too shall pass.

     Some good news.  The kids that have been driving my poor sister crazy that live in her basement are moving out!  This will make my sister's life so much easier.  It is hard to see her under so much stress with this situation.  Mom is bad enough and with the two of us trying to care for her outside stress is just not needed.  I am so grateful for this blessing, she has needed this for a while.

     I finally got the Thanksgiving decorations down.  Yeah it is the first day of Christmas.  In Sweden it is Santa Lucia Day. Good day to take them down right?  I also was able to get all of hub's cookie trays done and the cookies that are left down sized into smaller boxes.

     I finished a big project in the shop that was stressing me.  I still have so much to do in there but I am getting it done.

     I was also able to get another Christmas gift that was stressing me off the list.  Now it is just one son -in- law and my three nephews and I am done.

     Just thankful for the small blessings in my life.  Feeling better, getting things done, earning money, talking to my twin sister, projects that bring me joy, the Christmas season,good medical care, peace in my life, down time, sleep.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you're in the negative.



Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday, Cinderella is coming!

     My eldest daughter hired a cleaning company for me.  Can you believe it? I get a housekeeping service, at least for a while.  I think once I can get things to status quote I will be all right.  Actually I will be alright without the service but it sure is a nice gift.

     I was able to catch up on the laundry yesterday but low and behold there is more today.  How does that work?  Can we just stop wearing clothes?

     I was also able to finally sew yesterday, hooray!  It has been a while.  The shop was busy also and it will be today again.  Which is all right as I have earned very little money in the last 6 weeks.  This is not good.

     It was just so nice to have the pressure off.  I could putz from room to room and do what I wanted.  Loved it. Hubs tries to help but his help is hit and miss.  Like he can do the dishes but cannot put anything away so the cupboards are covered with crap.  I just tell myself to be grateful for what he does do.

     Yesterday I concentrated on the shop (cleaning) and laundry.  Today it will be the shop and putting things away upstairs in the kitchen and dining room.

     Mom is still at Lil sis's and I don't know when she will return but she has two doctor appointments tomorrow so I will be taking her to those.  Which reminds me, I really need to clean out my car.  It is full of show crap and misc, stuff thrown there and not cleaned out over the last month.

     I want to get several things done today, but it will depend on how I feel and my mood.  How is that for an excuse to lay around?

Well I am off to set the world on fire...... but I can't find my matches.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday, Money Saving Madness

Swedish treats
    I think I will survive this last batch of crud.  It was a virus then a bacterial infection and then another virus and who knows what is next?  The last several days have been rough and I only did what I had to do.  The problem is I had too much I had to do, but I did not stay and clean up after the show.  I did not put the flats away.  I left mom's open house at 4:30 and came home and slept until 10:30 last night.  I was up for a while and then back in bed.  I also slept for 2 hours between shows.  Like I said the minimum.

     I actually did cut back as I did not make Kringla or any rolls, but everything went well.  The show was well attended and I think the new owner is well on her way to being able to do this by herself.  I have one more show with her in the spring but I will be very much in the background.  She has fledged. I am so proud of her.

     Now I have to attack my dirty house, even Hub's is complaining and he rarely notices anything.  But I told him I was taking it slow.  My first priority is the shop.  I really have so much to do in there after about a two week lull. Plus I have many Christmas projects I need to get done.  I am not even dressed yet and I don't care.  I have had two customers here already, but my jammies are nice.

     I am so looking forward to going to my daughters for Christmas.  I think Hub's and I will take a quick trip up to Spokane this weekend to see other daughter and deliver Christmas to her.

Last Thursday I took mom in to get her hair permed and cut and on the way home we cashed in our Christmas bank.  It had $322.17 in it.  We just saved our change all year, which is a fun and easy way for extra Christmas cash.

 More on the treat table, I love to dip apricots and pretzels, they add a nice touch to the table.  You can buy a big bag of pretzels for about $3.00.  I purchased my melts when they were on a close out for .50 a bag and I bought candy canes at the dollar store.  So for under $6.00 you can make a huge batch of dipped pretzels with crushed candy cane.  A small bag will cost you more than 6.00 at Costco.  I made 5 times that much, and it is a great gift for friends and teachers.  But these are addicting so hide them from yourself.

Money saving madness:

1.  All Joanns things with really good coupons
2.  No grocery shopping at all this week
3.  No meals out even fought with hubs on this
4. Wal marts fabric debt can beat Joanns with out coupons they just have less, but always check there first.
5  Went to a thrift store and picked up many embroidery supplies for pennies on the dollar.
6. Used my indoor clothes line and it worked really well!
7.  Had a wonderful open house with almost all treats from scratch.
8.  Made mom pay for her share of the festivities (This is and will be a toughy)
9. I will have to do only a little more baking to complete Christmas trays as enough left over from mom's shin dig to do everything else.  Hooray!  That is a load off.

     I plan to spend the next five days, cleaning, sleeping, sewing, sleeping, working on projects, sleeping, laundry, sleeping, gift wrapping, sleeping, enjoying my self, sleeping How about you?

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wednesday, trying to Maintain....

Well I was right I have a sinus infection.  I am on a really high dose of some drug it is a 20 day supply with a refill. I think it is working as I am not coughing as much but I still have a really, really bad headache and when I do cough I think my brain will explode.
You Have to love Calvin and Hobbs.

Monday mom came home from Lil sis's and she asked for the the krumkakke iron.  I said no and she had a fit.  I had neither the time nor the energy to deal with this.  I did help her make up the batter.  She could not find her recipe as she has strewn her recipe box all over the house.  So she used one that she nor I had made before. I left her alone and went downstairs to get done what I needed to get done.  Needless to say her work was less than stellar.  She tried to frost cookies at Lil sis's and they were a mess. I feel bad but I am also at my wits end.

     Last night I was trying to get some dinner ready before hubs left for the high school and she is up mess around in her dried up mess from the night before.  I found my recipe after I dug through the cook books.  Then I left her to her nonsense.  She could only finish 1/3 of the batter and then I had to go finish and clean up.  Gee thanks.

A box of Krumkakke these can be eaten alone or with whip cream and berries.

 See how I have not taken down any Thanksgiving decorations? I was so fed up with mom's mess and attitude that Lil sis came last night and got her.  Great I was able to clean the kitchen and make a double batch of caramels, and two batches of almond toffee.
Now all we have left to do is the kranz kakke and the rosettes.  Rosettes are a pain.  We are also going to dip pretzels and apricots not very Swedish but it will give mom something to do.  She can also wrap the caramels.  Oh I forgot we have Kringla to make, crap it never ends.
Old fashioned Almond Roca

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter put in sauce pan and bring to boil stirring constantly.  Once boiling lower to a low bowl and stir for 6-7 minutes.  This is tedious but put on some Christmas music.  Now pour over slivered almonds on a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle choc chips over hot candy and cover with another cookie sheet to keep heat in.  Spread chocolate once chips are soft and sprinkle with almonds.  You can also substitute pecans or walnuts.  Let harden over night and break into pieces.  Store in an airtight container.

My favorite caramel recipe.

2 cups sugar,
1/2 cup butter,
1 cup half and half   (Another cup ready for later)
3/4 cup karo syrup (white)

bring this to a full boil stirring constantly now add another cup of half and half so you will need a total of 2 cups.
Now let mixture boil stirring frequently until caramel "goes to Moses."  It will darken and thicken and will split like the red sea when you run a wooden spoon through candy as it is boiling.  So when you can split caramel and it refills itself as the Red sea covered Pharaohs men your caramel is done.  Pour into a greased 8/8 pan.  I love to use my tart pan.  Cool over night and then cut and wrap in squares of wax paper.  This is a great gift by the way.

     Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Monday, December 4, 2017

Monday, Money saving madness

     Sorry about the late post but I have developed a secondary infection and I am some what down.  Yesterday was not fun to say the least.  I was cranky, and miserable, didn't want to be around myself.  Called eldest daughter and cried for and hour.  I am better today, but as the day drags on I am feeling more and more crummy.  I see the doctor tomorrow morning.  In the mean time it is lots of meds.

     I have really had this crummy cold now since the Monday before Thanksgiving and I am really sick of feeling punk.  I was getting better and then boom I took a nose dive.  Mom is at Lil sis's I think she is afraid of me.

     My house is so shameful and I am trying to get to the piles as I can.  There is still so much to do around here.  My goal for the day was to get a doctor's appointment made for a soon as possible.  I did that first thing this morning.

     I have all the laundry downstairs and I am working on it as I do other things.  I have to get into my shop today.I also want to get caramels and almond roca made.  I will try to do that later this evening if my strength allows.

  I have pulled up all the area rugs upstairs either to wash or to sweep and vacuum.  The kitchen is sticky as in every surface has been touched by mom's fingers and it is just gross.  I am trying to ignore and just clean as usual and wait to do a deep clean after all the baking is done.  As she will just trash everything again. I did manage to get a roast chicken in the oven for dinner.  Yeah!

     I started to pay the bills for the month and will get all of them out that I can later tonight.

Money saving Madness.

1. Cooked all meals at home but one.  We ordered a Pizza on special with a coupon Friday night as I was done in and starting to get sick.
2. used coupons at Joanns to purchase supplies for Christmas gifts I am making.
3.  Found a really nice remnant  for the back of some pillows I have finished.
4. found a remnant of heavy plastic for $1.27 to make a project.
5. Bought only loss leaders last week at grocer.  Two large packages of thick cut bacon and eggs, milk, also found a Prime Rib roast marked 1/2 off so splurged on that for the new year.
6. Pulled several pieces of fabric scraps from my stash to make more gifts without spending any money.
7. Baked all week long and did not purchase a thing as everything had been bought on super good loss leader sales.
8.  Made a delicious burrito recipe that can feed and army and froze most of it for later recipe as follows. Even mom liked this and ate it 4 times!

Cook 1 1/2 cups of rice, I used my rice cooker .10

1 lb. burger  .99
1 small onion chopped  free
1 large pepper chopped (free grew in garden and froze)

brown onion and pepper in a little oil add beef and cook through.

Now add
1 can corn  drained  .50
1 can  black beans do not drain .50
1 package taco seasoning ( I make my own) .3
Add cooked rice and stir.  This will make a HUGE skillet full

flour tortilla's 12 for $2.49  Or you can make your own

shredded cheese  4.99 for 2 lbs

Take a flour tortillas and spoon rice/meat mixture in and top with shredded cheese.  Roll up and add more cheese on top microwave for 1 minute.  You can now add sour cream, salsa or lettuce and tomato if you wish..  These burritos were large and one was a meal.  But I think we could have made 20 burritos with this recipe.

I estimate this meal cost us less than $2  Since it would feed a crowd it is a great money stretcher.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Friday, December 1, 2017

Friday, Swedish Sour cream Cookies!

    Well as I run through my week not much sewing is getting done.  In fact none at all.  It is very slow with little coming in but I still need to make a living.  I will have to put my nose to the grind stone next week.  Of course mom does not care and does not have a clue as she only thinks about what she wants.  This is just a little bit stressful.

     I have been at the studio every night this past week and I am looking forward to that being over.  We pulled all the costumes yesterday for the show.  We also did a green room tour for props and furniture.  We have everything but tomb stones which will be easy to knock together.

     As I have been sitting on my butt doing nothing all week, there is no laundry done, the ironing basket is reaching the ceiling and my house is approaching the filthy stage.  I have not taken down any Thanksgiving things.  There is just so much to do and so little time to do it in. 

     I have been trying to keep mom on a schedule with this baking as she tries to do too much at once and then just makes a big mess.  She cannot do anything any more with out strict supervision and even then her work is questionable.  She asked me to get down her Krumkakke iron this morning and I told her NO!  We are doing that next week.  Well did you get the cod?  No, I am picking that up next Friday.  Remember mom fish has a three day window?  She is just so sure I will not get things done.  I keep  reminding her.  I had a good teacher.

So yesterday was Sour cream cookies.  This is also a really old recipe.  It can be made many ways but at Christmas we roll and frost this cookie.
I cannot say enough about parchment paper SO important for getting cookies on and off the sheets

8 cups of flour
2 tsp of baking soda
2 tsp of baking powder

Whisk all of the above together and set aside

2 cups of real margarine NOT BUTTER.  Make sure it is NUCO or a good brand for baking if you use a cheap vegetable margarine the cookies will fail.
3.5 cups sugar
tsp salt ( remember that salt kills leavening so do not add to dry mixture )
2 cups sour cream 4 eggs tsp vanilla
Golden brown, parchment paper also helps to prevent burning

Cream margarine, sugar, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and salt,

Add creamed mixture to flour mixture and make a soft dough.

These can be dropped on a cookie sheet and frosted with a lemon icing So good,
Or I love them sprinkled with nutmeg and cinnamon and sugar.

If you are rolling them put in fridge over night.
You can pick up a corner of the paper and slide the entire sheet off the tray.  You do not need to use a spatula which will wreck the cookies.  Once parchment is off slide cookies to counter or racks.  Much faster and easier.  Then return parchment to baking sheet.

This dough is very sticky and you will need to add more flour to roll them out.  Experiment until you get the right rolling consistency. ROLL OUT ON A WELL FLOURED SURFACE.

Bake at 350 for 12 -15 minutes this dough will puff up and make a soft cake like cookie that is easy to frost.  ( you may also 1/2 this recipe) . 

You need to invest in a couple of dough scrapers so much better than a pancake turner.  They are thinner and make transferring cookies and working dough easier.  Sorry for picture quality.

Dough scraper, buy one now, you will never make cookies again with out one! Now get in the car and go, go, quit telling me you can't make rolled cookies.:)

So  today I will make Swedish wedding cakes, and 4 almond cakes.  I hope to clean the house a little and get plenty of laundry done. My house needs love.  We will also be frosting the sour cream cookies.  I can't believe it is the 1st of December.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thursday, Peppekakor is done!

I think Peppakakor is one of the favorite cookies we make during the holidays.
This recipe is very old.  It is also a favorite of Sluggies so it must be good!  These do not have to be frosted.  But I do it at Christmas.

Bake at 350

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
Cream together and Add:
1 egg  and cream with sugar and butter.

In a separate small bowl  dissolve 1 tsp soda in 1tbls of hot water.
take above mixture and add to 1/4 cup molasses

Add the above mixture to creamed mixture set aside.

In another large bowl
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbls cinnimon
1 tbls cloves
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp pepper
whisk all these together
mix the dry into the wet and then knead into a ball.  Mixture will be sticky add a little more flour as needed.

I use a scraper to work dough.  Refrigerate until firm.  Roll dough out in small batches .  Roll very thin and bake on parchment paper.

This recipe will make 7-10 dozen cookies depending on the size of the cutters.

Bake 8-10 minutes

Frosting:Melt 4 tbls butter, 1/4 cup milk, 1 tsp vanilla,  one tsp meringue powder, mix, now sift in powder sugar to make a thin frosting.

I use dollar store squeeze bottles to pipe frosting.  Meringue powder will harden your frosting for cookies.  Buy it at Jo anns,(use 50% off coupon, it will last forever)

Using parchment paper under this thin cookie will make it easy to remove from pan once cooked.  Just pull edge of paper and slide entire sheet onto cooling rack rather than using a spatula to remove individual cookies.  It is faster and you will have less breaking and bending. Then slide cookies off parchment and return it to pan. Parchment can be used over and over.

    Any questions?

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wednesday,Staying positive

I just run and run and I don't seem to accomplish anything.  Yesterday,went as follows Mom fed, made myself presentable, did a tiny bit of sewing with mom yaking at me and interrupting, finally gave up and took her to get her things, and then took her to the bank.  Good now I can go home and..., but no got a phone call from one of my former students, I am scheduled to get to studio at 4:00 but now they need me at 3:00 .  Great there went my hour to achieve something. I had just enough time to run get copies made for the open house and drop mom off.  But mom wanted to  go with and watch.  So I get to studio to choreograph a number for this overwhelmed teacher. We are there until 6:30 and I take mom home, make dinner, feed her, eat something, now I have to sew things that are due out today.  Did I get any house work done?  NO  Did I get any cookies made? NO
Did I get any projects worked on? NO.

     That is okay as today I can try again.  Right?  I have not fed mom, I have not fixed my hair or put an any makeup,  I have not started any laundry, or cleaned anything up.  The dog has gotten sick in the middle of the family room.

     I did have 6 phone calls to answer this morning which I got done.  I have had 4 customers drop off and one pick up so it was a busy morning, but, but, but I have not gotten done what I need or want.  Mom is waiting in her room with baited breath for me to make cookies.  So what am I going to do?

     I have another 3 hour rehearsal tonight.  The house is getting more and more ragged.  The laundry is becoming Mount Washmore.  The dog sick is waiting for me.  I am so excited!
     I am going to make cookies. 

If you want a little more humor in your life read the comment from my daughter in yesterday's post.  Please comment on how disrespectful she is.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tuesday,Made it through Monday;)

      I loved this as Swedish cooking almost always has cinnamon involved.  My youngest daughter turned 25 today and I called her to wish her Happy Birthday.  She commented that my cold seemed to be hanging on much worse than hers.  Gee I wonder why?  Not due to a compromised immune system, or mom or stress, do you think? No it must be the cinnamon.

     I just tried to get through yesterday the best I could. Mom's memory is so bad and her new thing is to cling to me and ask questions, none of which go together or make sense.  I am really trying hard to be patient. But the constant interruptions to my train of thought are hard.  

     I made a large stew in the crock pot and did some sewing yesterday before I went to the studio.  But I did not get done what I wanted.  I tried to get some things done last night late after I got mom to bed.  I will try and finish those things this morning.  I am due at the studio at 4 p.m. for a couple of hours.

     I shattered the cookie paddle attachment to my Bosch mixer and I have been waiting for the part to come in, and it had arrived last night.  So about 11:00 ( mom was in bed)  I whipped up 2 batches of cookie dough that are in the fridge.  Mom does not know so she cannot nag me about them.  I am getting sneaky.  

     I have fed mom and I am going to get into the shop and get things done and then I have to take her to the store for eye drops and personal things.  Several things came in from Amazon yesterday to help me complete Christmas projects.  Just wish I had more time to work on things.

      I actually de-stress when I work on sewing and projects.  Really any kind of work will calm me down as long as I don't feel pressured to hurry.

     I need to get to work!
Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday, Life goes on in spite.... Money saving madness

     Cold or no cold, life goes on in spite of my need to stay in bed.  In two weeks we have the Ballet Scrooge and mom's open house the same weekend.  I have so much to do and I really don't want to do any of it.  I am going to have to be stern with myself to get things accomplished.

  Yesterday afternoon mom and I knocked out a couple of cookies for her open house.

If you like spritz cookies, I have an old recipe that makes a very light cookie.  I find spritz are usually dense and no flavor.
Oven 350

Whisk together 3-1/2 cups flour and 1 tsp baking powder set aside

In a large bowl beat:
1-1/2  cups butter softened
1 cup sugar   beat these two together until light and fluffy  (Important)
add 1 egg   beat  together
add next three ingredients and beat
2 tbls milk

1 tsp pure vanilla
1 tsp almond extract

Now combine flour mixture and wet mixture to make a soft dough.  Divide into three batches and color as desired .  Bake about 10-12 minutes

These are very light and delicious.

 These really spread so make small balls
Citron Sockakakors.  Lemon sugar cookies  An all time favorite
 bake 350
cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup veg. oil                                                                                

1 cup powder sugar
 Beat above with electric mixer until fluffy

Add 2 eggs
add 1 tsp vanilla
1tsp lemon extract
1 pkg instant lemon pudding
beat all together

in a separate bowl whisk together
4 cups flour
1tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

 Now mix dry and wet together into soft dough roll small balls into colored sugar and flatten with a press or a fork.
cookie stamps

Bake 12-15 minutes   
drop food color into sugar and mix with finger tips
                         colored sugar
So we have the fudge and the lefsa, the meat balls, and two kinds of cookies done.  We have a ton  of other items left and I plan on doing at least one a day.  In addition to the shop work, I also have a large rehearsal every night for the next three nights. I just tell myself to breath and this will soon be over.

Money saving Madness:

1. flipped the collar on one of hub's expensive outdoor shirts that was worn. looks brand new
2. Stayed out of the stores as much as possible over the crazy weekend.
3. made all pies and Thanksgiving goodies from scratch with pantry items bought on sale.
4.  Ate left overs for three days.
5. froze 3 bags of pumpkin I had cooked and pureed for pies later.
6. made a large batch of pie crusts and froze 4 for later. Used crisco sticks I bought last year and froze
7. saved dripping off of Swedish meatballs and froze for good gravy.
8.Purchased three table runners for $2.00 a piece that can be made into 12 really nice dish towels. I will embroider over the ugly.  That means I will have 12 embroiders towels for gifts that cost .50 a piece.
9. Used Joanns coupons to get 1/2 off a sets of flour sack towels to make a set of 7 days of the week embroidered towels for niece.  This is what I did to keep busy when I was down sick.
10.  Bought 4 pillow slips for under 10.00 I will embroider. Christmas gifts.
11. Still working on Art pillows for Christmas gifts.  All made from scraps
12. hemmed a pair of pants for myself I bought for 4.00 at a close out sale.
13.  pulled out all my Swedish sweaters for the cold season.  Some of these are 40 years old.  I will mend where needed.

What have you done to save money and get ready for Christmas?

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sunday, Home to heal...

Note: glassy eyed stare, red nose, thick Swedish sweater and a scarf.  This could be me if I was beautiful when I am sick.  Which I am not so you cannot have a picture of me.

     The virus has run rampant over the Holiday with Thanksgiving being the worst day.  So I have really stuck close to home and just sat around.  I have kept busy doing embroider on some gifts I am making.  I brought mom home last night and I took her to church this morning.  I am awol from church as I don't want to spread my lovely germs to any more people than I have to.  The cold was a really bad cough, but that has subsided some and now it is all nose and nose, and nose.  With a little wheezing cough mixed in for good affect.

     I will pick mom up at about 12:15.  In the meantime I will take a bath and try to remove as many germs as possible.  I need to clean up my kitchen and take something out to cook besides Turkey.  Mom wants to make cookies for her open house this afternoon.  So I might scare up a batch of dough ready to surprise her.  But then again the bed is calling me.  Decisions........  I have laid around now for 2 days might I take a 3rd?

     Not if mom has anything to do with it.

     Have a restful and Peaceful Sabbath.


Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday, Black Friday!!!

Are you a Black Friday Shopper?  I am all about saving money, and I live in a smaller town so fighting the crowds at Christmas here is not like fighting crowds in a larger city.  I went Black Friday shopping with my sister-in-law once in Boise.   We got up at 4 in the morning and stood in line in the freezing cold.  I was excited, it was a frenzy.  We were done shopping and home by 11:00 that morning.
    I remember purchasing many large ticket items at great prices.  Almost every thing was electronic or appliances.  Yes they were nice and all of them were for my kids.  I mean I just could not pass up that kind of sale.  I know D#1 was in Law school because she needed a new vacuum cleaner.  It was a need gift and the only one I needed to buy.  Everything else was just"But it's such a good deal."  I never did this again.  The kids didn't really seem to care.  I was deeply in debt.  Now I was more in debt.  I just cannot do that to myself any more. 

     One thing that makes Christmas much easier for me is shopping throughout the year and finding really good gifts at bargain basement prices.  My girls don't care that is was bought on sale.  They do like quality so I really try and find nice things that they will use and need.  A few years ago I found this slogan and it is something I usually go by.

Something to wear
Something to read
Something you want
Something you need

     This makes it very easy.  I always ask them what they want, and what they need, I can surprise them with the other things.  When we travel I look for books. I pick them up with vacation money. Now that the older two have had babies, they really understand that Christmas is about family, the spirit, the children.  Many useless gifts are not what makes a happy Christmas.

     I must truly say that other than son-in-laws and Hubs I am done with shopping.  I know what the son-in-laws want so it is a matter of getting those things.  I will get Hub's to order on line for them.

     We are really into stockings at our house.  This started out in my family as mom had many children and we needed things so Christmas was the one toy we really wanted from Santa.  We all received a new set of Pjs. We opened the pajamas Christmas eve.  In our stockings, we always had a hair brush.  We had a tooth brush, we had new socks, we had hair ties and bands, some small candy.  We always received new mittens, hat and scarf.   Christmas was really things that we used through out the year.

    In our house, we have tried to make stockings important.  Again the girls receive a nice gift and then stocking stuffers.  These are mostly silly things I have picked up for peanuts through out the year.  You would be surprised what you can accumulate when you pick up a few trinkets here and there.

     For Hub's folks who will be 90 this year, we just do stockings and a basket of snacky foods which they open on News years eve.  I wrap every thing in their stockings.  So they can open things.  They love it.  I purchased two very nice large stockings for them last year at Good Will. I will restuff these when we drive through.  Usually I just put a small pile of wrapped stocking gifts in a container, but when I saw those socks they said Mom and Dad and were a dollar a piece.  What a bargain and this will continue for as long as they live.  Last year they went to my sister -in laws and they took their filled stockings.  Every one was amazed at what was put in them and how much mom and dad enjoyed this.  Again all things were purchased here and there through out the year and all items were on sale at close out prices.  The books in their stockings were the only thing not on sale.  Now I just hope no one steals my idea.

     I am going to start trying to do a more homemade Christmas.  I can make many beautiful things.  Things my girls will appreciate and need.
What do you plan to do for Christmas?  Do you make any gifts?

By the way I am in my Christmas jammies from about 4 years ago.  They are faded and old, but I am so sick with this cold that I am staying in bed mode most of the day.  Bed-mode means I get up periodically to mess around in various rooms.  Put away a little laundry, or start a load.  Make a bed. rest.  Fold some socks,rest.  Put a few things away in the kitchen, rest. I will putz all day, and rest.

Have a great and productive say staying positive while you are in the negative.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

     Well I got my list done yesterday and mom and I cooked from noon until about 5:00 I could not believe she held up that long.  She was not very nice during the process, but I was proud of her stamina.  Lil sis came and got her about 7:00, she was downstairs napping.  Now she is at Lil sis's house and she was sick this morning and she is lying in bed up stairs waiting to hold court.

     Mom and I made 4 pies yesterday, 2 pumpkin( hubs and I had cleaned a large pumpkin the day before and I cooked it up, then we sieved it), one apple, one banana cream. We also peeled sweet potatoes and cooked them and got those ready. I got the stuffed squash ready.  Then we made two batches of Swedish meatballs. (24 doz).  Mom also helped me make her cranberry salad. So good. Then I sent her to bed.

     My shop was so busy yesterday with people picking up and dropping off. I did no sewing just cleaned up the shop.  We have a big gala here this weekend so many formal dresses and suit pants.  It was crazy running up and down the stairs all day.  Then you have the out of town people who are coming in to shop and they drop off.  I always ask when they will be in town next and try to have their things done.

     After Lil sis picked mom up Hub's and I had an early piece of pie and leftovers. I embroidered two dish towels. It was a peaceful relaxing evening.  Well if you consider coughing your brains out peaceful.

     I slept late today and Lil sis called to have me bring a few things over.  I went in my pj's.  My niece was there as Lil sis had just picked her up from a nearby airport.  She is a cutie. I went upstairs and talked to mom for a few minutes, I also brought her up an icy cold soda hoping it would pep her up.

     Today I have to cook the squash, reheat the sweet potatoes, make a relish tray and make all the rolls.  I wil1 probably do a triple batch so we have plenty of leftovers.

Here is Mom's cranberry jello salad recipe.  I remember my grandmother making this:

2 cans of whole berry cranberry sauce.
2  small or 1 lg pkg raspberry or red jello  (I use sugar free as this is very calorie heavy)
2 cups celery chopped fine
1 cup of walnuts chopped

Mix jello with 2 cups of boiling water and mix until it dissolves  DO NOT ADD COLD WATER
Puree cranberries in a blender or food processor
add chopped celery
add chopped nuts
Now add jello and mix together
pour into mold. Chill several hours or over night.

This is very yummy

I have also added chopped apples to this and it is good.

     Well I am going to take some more cough suppressant because I really need to be in bed.

Have a Wonderful Turkey Day with your friends, and family.  May God bless all of us with to much food and too many friends.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wednesday, Happy? Holidays?

     By reading some posts I think there are a few of us that are approaching this .....  I actually laughed when I saw this.  I needed to laugh.                                                                       I think I am allowing myself to be taken down by my mother's cheerfulness.  

     So what am I going to do about this?  Well I am going to concentrate on gratitude.  Please help me with this.  Please.  I need help, a lot of help.  Help me to be grateful and not dwell on lasts years Holiday fiascos.  Help me to be patient with my mother.  Do not allow me to get pulled down by her mean and snarky comments.  Help me to have patience and understand her and pity her.  Just because she is unhappy does not mean I have to be unhappy Right?

     In order to fight these holiday blues, I am going to get to work, as work is a great panacea for depression.  I can't really say I am depressed, but mom is and she could take a league of Angels down with her.

1. Call all people in the shop 
2. Finish one dress
3. laundry turn over
4. help mom make meat balls for open house( like this needs to be done today)
5. make 4 pies
6. peel and boil sweet potatoes for tomorrow.
7. get squash prepped for tomorrow.

      Mom is upset by my bad cough and cold.  First my poor Lil sis was so sick with a cold and now I am down/up/ down with a bad cough.  But remember we are not allowed to be sick.  She keeps making comments about how tired she is of people coughing all the time.  She had to put up with Lil sis and now me.  Her life is so hard.  My little inner voice is saying, "Come here and let me make your life hard."  Okay that is not the point of this post. This post is to help me be up, up, up!

     I am blessed with work, I am blessed with wonderful sisters.  I am blessed with great kids and grandsons,I am blessed with skills to help me when ever I need them.

     Well I had better get to work as no one else is going to do it!

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tuesday, I was very, very cranky....

Image result for witch wife

     Yesterday was not good for me or anyone within a few yards of me.  Besides having a terrible chest cold and coughing non stop, I felt like my head was going to explode.  I was angry and frustrated with my Husband (for good reason) and I was short with my mother.

     Hub's actually tried to hide from me but with my witch skills I found him.  I had plenty of sewing that needed to be done and it was raining cats and dogs.  So Hub's props himself on his butt with a book and mom starts making demands to start baking for HER open house. I was more than a little irritated.  I stomped up to hub's and demanded that he do a few things I had been after him for.  He of course did them half/a$$ed and I exploded and made him redo them  three times.  I mean really?

     Then I was punished for losing my temper by my sewing machine dying.  I am very good at fixing sewing machines.  This is a throw away job.  SO I broke down into hysterics.  Hub's went and hid again.  Mom hovered, which irritated me.  Hubs left at about 5 when I was going to start dinner.  HE had to go set up for a jazz band recital.  When we realized he was leaving, mom offered to take me out for a taco and even paid for it!  I took her up on this.  So tonight we will have what we were going to have last night.

     Hub's just went to pick up youngest D#3at the airport.  We just heard that D#2 arrived at D#1's,keeping track of these kids is harder now than when they were babies.  Well they were never babies at the same time.  They all act like babies at the same time now....  Okay they are great kids.

     Mom wants to make fudge today and I agreed.  We all have dental appointments at 2:00 and Hub's no longer has dental insurance so I hope he can get buy with a cleaning.

Here is our families fudge recipe that we have used for over 40 years.  So easy and never fails.

1-8 oz package of cream cheese (use philly only) .88
1 cube butter or margarine .50
dash of salt
2 tsp vanilla .5
2 squares of baking chocolate or 1/2 cup coco .20
1- 2lb bag of powder sugar .99

Soften cheese and butter and mix thoroughly
add salt and vanilla
add chocolate or coco
add powder sugar  mix until well blended and shiny.  You may add nuts of your choice.

press into a pan and put in fridge.  This makes 3lb.s of fudge for under $3.00 and it is delicious.  You can add nuts but it will up the cost by a dollar or so.  This also makes a great gift.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.