This Is Life

Romaine lettuce and Chinese cabbage sproutng

Romaine lettuce and Chinese cabbage sproutng

Sorry about the crappy lighting.  :)

Sorry about the crappy lighting. 🙂

My little seeds are sprouting faster than I expected.  I’ll have to rig up some kind of decent lighting for them tomorrow.

I got the first chemo hat finished tonight.  I’m happy with how it turned out, so will work at getting a dozen done before I take them down to donate them.  My goal is that each hat be pretty enough that the recipient will feel cherished.

My Casita parts arrived late this afternoon.  So tomorrow I plan to start trying to get the little trailer ready for its first trip this spring.

Still got the blahs, but maybe working on the Casita tomorrow will cure them.  🙂

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Surviving Another Nasty Day & My Mandoline

More chemo caps on the way.

More chemo caps on the way.

Today rated up there around 10 on the nasty day scale.  Grey, rainy, windy and cold.

So we went to Hobby Lobby.  Ron indulged me as I meandered around in there for a really long time.

I got some more of my favorite yarn — Hobby Lobby’s own *I Love This Yarn* brand.  Soft, silky and feels so good against my skin.  So now I can make some pretty caps.  I also got a chemo hat pattern book for ideas to keep me from getting bored.

My basic, efficient julienne mandoline.

My basic, efficient julienne mandoline.

I’ve had a couple of people ask me what type of mandoline I used to make my zucchini pasta in the previous post.  I’ve tried several ways. The most unsatisfactory was the hand held peeler style julienne strip maker.

The very best is one that is simple, non-adjustable and sturdy.  It works quickly and cleanly.  I think Amazon calls them Japanese vegetable mandolines.

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Still Playing with the Hat Pattern, Come on Spring & Zucchini Noodles

This hat pattern is pretty versatile

This hat pattern is pretty versatile

I tweaked the chemo head warmer hat pattern to accommodate my wonky working gauge.  Now it fits a lot better than my first version.  The brim can be worn down, which is my favorite look.  It can also be worn out, creating a wide brim hat.  Either way, it holds its shape.

It is an extremely versatile pattern because it can be worked with the little brim or with a smooth band to hug the head.

I’m still using green yarn because that’s what I worked my afghan in.  But I am very anxious to try the pattern in pretty colors.

The pattern is here if you are interested.

I realized today that I am getting seriously depressed by not being able to get out camping.  So after I get the parts in from Casita and get the essential fixes done, I think we will head out somewhere even if it’s cooler than we prefer for camping.  With the crazy weather, I’ll pack shorts and long johns and rain jackets and hope we have our bases covered.

Shredded zucchini to be used as low carb noodles.

Shredded zucchini to be used as low carb noodles.

I haven’t done a low-carb cooking post in a while.  Tonight I did shrimp and broccoli alfredo served over zucchini noodles.  I very lightly cooked the zucchini just enough to get rid of the raw taste.  Linguini would have been nice — but my noodles didn’t mess up my blood sugar.  🙂

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Running Water, a Big Rock, Chili Cheese Chicken, Rose Crochet Pattern & a Casita Project

Chili cheese chicken.  A 5 star recipe whether you are low carbing or not!

Chili cheese chicken. A 5 star recipe whether you are low carbing or not!

We have running water.  Showers work!  Toilets flush!  I am in heaven!

The well guys were supposed to be here 1st thing in the morning, but they were late.  As it inched toward noon, I decided I would wait until after lunch and call them.  Just then Ron announced, “They’re here!”

One of the guys unexpectedly had to go to the doctor first thing this morning.

They replaced the tank, and all above ground plumbing and wiring.  The pump itself is a submersible pump, so it wasn’t damaged.  I asked the guys how long I could expect the pump to last.  They said generally 10-12 years.  I did NOT want to hear that, since we had the well drilled 15 years ago!  But he said it depended on a lot of things, and some of them go 30 years.

Since our water is not hard and doesn’t leave mineral deposits, I am hoping we can go the full 30!

The new pump house!

The new pump house!

When they were doing the estimate yesterday, I had asked them about a replacement pump house.  They said they had a couple of models –one fiberglass and one polyresin.  I think we ended up with the polyresin one.   I was picturing a little white wood pump house with a shingled roof.  I was shocked when a big rock turned out to be the new one!

It’s kind of cool.  It will just visually disappear into the woods.  They also ran an electrical outlet so I can plug in a light to keep everything from freezing when it gets below 20 again.

The pump tank, wiring and plumbing were burned, but it doesn't look nearly as scary as I expected.  Only the pump house was totally destroyed.

The pump tank, wiring and plumbing were burned, but it doesn’t look nearly as scary as I expected. Only the pump house was totally destroyed.

Insurance is covering everything except our $250 deductible, so that’s a huge relief!

The recipe for my chili cheese chicken in the header photo is from Linda’s Low Carb Recipes, and it is superb whether you are low carbing or not — if you like spicy Mexican style food.  Here’s the recipe.  Do add the extra cheese she suggests.  I added 2 ounces of cheddar.

I had lost the pattern for my raised rose afghan, so went looking to see if I could possibly still find a vintage crochet pattern from the ’70’s.  I’m not sure this is exactly the same granny square motif, but it’s close.  Here’s the pattern if you’d like to do it.  Since the photo in the pattern is not good, I am inserting a better photo that I found online.  Like I said, maybe not exact, but close.

I am definitely going to do this one again someday!

My next Casita project will be replacing cabinet latches.  Some of the push buttons are becoming uncooperative and are hard to open without hitting them several times.  Ron could not get his sock cupboard open our last trip so kept banging on it trying to get it to cooperate.

It broke instead.

So instead of just replacing that one, I think I’ll go ahead and redo all of them.  I’ve read that they are using better fitting bezels now.  If that’s so, the problem shouldn’t recur.

Ron's afghan.  I am slowly making myself one to match.

Ron’s afghan. I am slowly making myself one to match.

Also, the hinges on the large cupboard over the refrigerator are rusting so badly that they leave a little pile of rust on top of the refrigerator when I open the cupboard door.  Some of the lower cupboard hinges are getting rusty, too.  So, if I can remember to call Casita tomorrow, I’ll go ahead and order them.

I posted a photo of Ron’s afghan the other day.  But I found a better picture, so I replaced it in the original post.  I’ll add it here just cause I want everyone to see how truly gorgeous it is!  That’s the nice thing about a blog.  You can show off to your heart’s content!  😀

After all the stress and excitement of the past couple of days, I think I’m coming down with a cold again.  So now I have an excuse to have homemade chicken soup and spoil myself.  And go to bed early tonight!

Not too bad!

Welcome, Newborn 2014!

There’s something different about this New Year. In spite of all the things that are so very wrong in our country and in our world, I feel optimism and great anticipation as I look forward to 2014.

Although we had to cancel our travel plans for this winter, we’re making new ones for spring. Maybe having to postpone our plans makes the thought of future travel even sweeter!

Ron is onboard with the low carbing now, and we both are feeling so good! I can’t remember when I’ve had so much energy and wanted to do so many things! I can’t SEE much weight loss yet, but I can feel it. So I’m content to work with my body and let the inches come off whenever they are ready. I just have to remember to leave the low carb fudge I made for him alone!

Ron's afghan

Ron’s afghan

One of my friends has been busy knitting caps for cancer patients and has inspired me to get back into needlework. I made Ron a variegated ripple afghan 3 or 4 years ago. I was going to make myself one to match. But I got about 18″ of it done and burned out on the project.

Today I dug it out of my bottom craft shelf and started on it. When I get it done, we’ll have matching afghans for the Casita. I do wish the beauty would come through in a photo, but there is something about the greens that the camera will not pick up. It also doesn’t pick up the rich, ridged texture like it should.

Raised rose patterned afghan

Raised rose patterned afghan

I’ve posted photos of both of these afghans before, but I just wanted to post them again because I really love them.  I made the raised rose afghan about 15 years ago.  I sized it to be a coverlet for a twin bed.

There’s not a lot to post about right now.  We’re in for a very cold snap, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get any winter woods walks in for a while.  I’d love to see what winter mushrooms might be peeking out in the forest.

Maybe I can do that tomorrow before the real cold hits tomorrow night!

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