Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Good and Bad of Organizing your Kitchen

You would think that there would be no bad in getting your Kitchen organized.  HA HA  not when I am doing the organizing.  My idea of organizing is to throw everything out and buy new.  Now in these economic times  my hubby says BAD idea.  So with that in mind I am going to try to actually learn how to do it. 
I have been roaming the internet for ideas.

#1 THE SPICE CABINET.  YES  I have a whole cabinet , 3 shelves, all full of bottles and tins of spices.  Guess what?  I have only used most them once.  You know you are all guilty of finding this totally awesome recipe and you can not wait to try it out on your unsuspecting friends or family.  Go ahead admit it, don't be ashamed.  We have at one time or another gone all Martha or Emeril on our family.  We print out the recipe and off to the store we merrily go and buy ALL those spices to make this gastronomic offering and then spend hours preparing it.  You get out the good dishes, maybe even light candles, the table is GORGIOUS.  Now it is time to serve.  Looks and smells delightful.  Ok, dig in....  gag,  WHERE can I spit this out?  All in the course of 1 minute your meal turns aweful.  Your hubby is trying to get you to stop crying while he is dialing the number for Pizza delivery which makes you cry all the harder.  You swear you will never do this again UNTIL the next time.  Now be honest  there is ALWAYS a next time.

Out of the whole mess I use Salt, Pepper, Oregano, Garlic Powder, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Vanilla Bean, Seasoned Salt, Chili Powder, Paparika, Lemon Pepper, Everglades Seasoning. Occasionally I use parsley and chives.  I think that covers it.  So what I was thinking   is clean it all out,  and my idea (LIGHTBULB MOMENT) is magnetic tins with clear tops, screw the metal plate to the back wall of the cabinet, right under the first shelf (WooHoo  I will be freeing up 2 shelves) stick the tins on it so I can actually see what is in them.  Now if you have a spice that might be light sensitive they do make these tins with a solid top.  I do like the idea of having a metal strip near the stove so I will buy a 2nd metal plate and I could put all the spices I am going to be using on it and off the counter.  Easy Peasy.

#2 THE PANTRY ok  I have a pantry (like a small walk in closet) but it seems to be the walk in catch all.  Why in the heck is my hubbys tool box in the pantry?  I don't know, but it annoys me but he was good enough to let me put the pantry in so should I make a stink about the toolbox?  Me thinks NOT  at least not right now.  The stink will come when we build the garage with awesome storage just for his toolbox.  Now when they put the pantry in all I got was 3 or 4 white wire shelves YUCK.  Hate it  HATE IT  but I was happy to get the pantry.  NOW it is time for me to figure out what I want to do with it.  Wood Shelving units, wicker baskets, racks for those large platters you only use on holidays, Can Caddys.  You name it I want .  I am a soooooo Martha WANNABEE. 

That unit is 3 seperate units and I only have room for 2, the corner and 1 straight but I am ok with that.  You can leave the shelves like they are or you can stain or paint them.  I am thinking of using a red or green furniture wax on them.

They have shelves that hold Wine bottles and a shelf that holds stemmed glasses under which is totally awesome.  Add a divided Platter rack and decorated boxes for my Linens and I am good to go.  Be honest you are sooo hating my inner Martha right now.

WAIT.... I forgot about FOOD STORAGE.  You can not have this totally awesome Pantry and not have something in mind for Food Storage.  More internet searching and  WA LAAAAAA

These are OXO Food Storage Containers.  the lid has a button on the top and when you push it down the containers are air tight.  You can then stack them.  The large containers will hold 5 lbs of flour or sugar.
When you press the button again it pops up and you can pull the lid off.
I like the clear containers so I can see what is in there without having to open them to find what you are looking for.  If you need cooking directions for something inside then cut it off the package and slip it inside. 

Here is another item I found that looks pretty interesting.Indispensable SmartSpace Triple Canister Dispenser by Zevro.

Well there you have  the Spice Cabinet and the Pantry.  Next up will be the tops cabinets and then the bottom.  The bottom will be a bear because we actually did not pick out the cabinet and none  (you hear me NONE) of them have a shelf.  Just a big open space so everything just gets stacked with no rhyme or reason.  Not very organized.

Stay tuned for Part 2  CABINETS.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm Gonna Get you Sucker!

Weeds, Bugs and Moles are the bane of my existence. 

WEEDS and I do not get along.  I yank, whack and pull and as soon as my back is turned, they just laugh their butts off, pop right back up and I swear I hear them giggling during the night.  I am one of THOSE people who will not use chemicals to kill anything.  Although my hubby used TOTAL VEGETATION KILLER to try to kill the grass in our driveway .  Hubby fought the grass and the grass won.  Even with the Killer chemicals so now we mow the driveway.  Eventually I want to have a stamped concrete driveway installed, THAT is not even on the most current list of stuff I want to have done.

BUGS, I think I got a handle on right now.  I use a vinegar and borax combo killer mix for overall bug killer and I also use a Sugar and Borax ant killer.  Both work pretty well.

MOLES will be the death of me, I am sure.  They tunnel from the woods then all over my yard and exit out the other side of my yard.  I have tried just about everything.  Boiling water... I think they thought it was a hot shower just for them, like this is NOT a Holiday Inn Express.  Castor Oil..... here again I think it was a total system cleanse for them and I do not even want to think about where they cleansed themselves at.  Firecrackers....  YooooHoooooo  Fourth of July didn't work either.  Bubblegum..... Just what I need bubble blowing Moles.  I even bought those sonic sound thingys that the fruit cake Jerry Baker said would work.  Well I installed them and then when I went to mow, the grass covered them and I ran over one and it chewed up my mower blade and made my hubby mad because we had to take it to the shop to be repaired.  Any way  what does Jerry Baker know.... He is the one who said put stale beer out for the slugs and snails.  I did that too and all I got was a bunch of drunk slimy slugs and snails.  Now they show up expecting a all you can drink party.  I think a trip to the Gun Range so I can practice and then I can sit on porch with a shotgun and blow those sadistic evil things out of my yard.  Do they have a Mole shooting season?  If so, what is the penalty for shooting those suckers out of season?   I don't care...  you see those piles in the picture?  That is only 3 out of about 100 +.  Everything I have read says moles are NOT harmful......  BULL HOCKEY   they totally tear up your yard.  Why can't they eat the drunk slugs and snails and die?

If anyone can throw natural tips they can throw my way for controling Weeds, Bugs and Moles and what the hell tips on Slugs and Snails would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, October 8, 2010

What the #$%!?

What the ever loving #$%!  is wrong with the local big box stores, like L...s  or W.....t.  You know those stores you just love to hate, you love to cuss them out though not to their face.  The big thing that is wrong with them is their plants. 

Hey you heard me.  They not only sell crappy plants but they sell plants they KNOW will not survive in your local zone.  Sure  they give you a warranty.  BIG DEAL.  First off who is gonna dig up their dead plants and haul them all the way back to the store?  I was one of those idiots that bought the cutest plants.  Bought a bunch of stuff to help those babies grow in my garden.  Took it all home and set to work planting them. 

I worked like a deranged gardener, digging, planting, watering and not 2 months later they were all DEAD.   What the #$%!?  My neighbor owns a landscaping company so I bang on his door, grab him by the arm and drag him to my yard and point at my now dead plants.  WHAT happened?  He looks at me like I lost my ever loving mind.  For one thing the man had been sleeping and was in his boxer shorts....  well too bad.  What happened to my plants?  He then tell me that those will not survive our heat.  I try to tell him that I bought them at L...s  and he is shaking his head and is looking for a way to escape.  He then tells me that most of the big stores sell plants that will not survive in our South Florida Zone 10 which we call Zone HOTTER THAN HELL.  My mind is screaming  WHAT?????  He then tells me they sell those plants knowing that they will not survive because of people like ME.  They know that we will buy what is cute and pretty, then he says that sure they have that warranty, you can haul those dead bug infested plants back to the store and as my neighbor is trying to head back to his house, he turns and says"Don't forget to take your receipt".  I have to take the receipt?  Who keeps the receipt?  NOT me that is for sure.

So I learned something new.  Never ever buy plants at your local big box store BUT if you do make sure you put the receipt somewhere safe like the bank safety deposit box because sure as I am sitting typing this, those plants are gonna kick the bucket. 

Though my story did not have a good outcome for those plants, the story has a totally awesome ending.  My neighbor (Mr. sleepy boxer shorts guy)   delivered a big box of plants to my house and helped me plant them.  What a nice guy.  He also wanted to know when I was gonna break down and plant the vegetable garden in the back.  Who knows I might give in on that one of these days.  Mr. boxer shorts turns his whole entire back yard into a veggie garden every year and he is always delivering the fruits of his labor.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

UPDATE Quilt Project

The Quilt Project is progressing but slowly.  This week was really busy but I am
working a bit on it.

This is the layout I think I will be using

So far I have 2 of the blocks hand pieced and will be
starting another one this week.  In case you missed it 
this is the block I have designed. 
As per the layout I will be using the Blue fabric
where you see the dark brown and the gold where
the medium brown is with the Cream color where the
light tan is.  I have not decided how wide I will do the
sashing (the strips of fabric between the blocks)  I may
do them narrow so the gold fabric does not overpower
the blue.  The Cornerstones (the little square boxes) will
match the sashing size. 

I will keep you updated!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Proof is in the Pudding....

Ok, so the Healthy eating is paying off. 

Hubby had his 3 month follow up and the doctor is like WOW!   I mean a BIG WOW!  She (Yes, my hubbys doctor is a woman) is like not very many of my other veterans listen to what I tell them.  Bells and Whistles and SIRINs are going off in my head because we personally know people just like that  They are sick, they go to the doctor, the doctor tells them THIS is what you need to do, and do they listen?  Hell NO.  they just keep doing what ever they feel like and continue to be sick.  Then they want to know WHY?  I can tell them  BECAUSE you are totally stupid.

When hubby went to the doctor 3 short months ago and the doctor called him when we were driving back home and the doctor says....  You have High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol and High blood Sugar (border line diabetes).  I say either you had it or you don't.  I said you have it, deal with it or not.  Choice is yours.  I am not going to brow beat my hubby to do what he knows he has to do.  A little history here... 1st his dad died at the age of 69  from complications of diabetes, 2nd his sister had a mini stroke as a result of diabetes, did she heed the warnings?   BINGO  you guessed it, NOPE, she is now on a transplant list because both kidneys are failing.  WAIT  not done yet... 3rd  his youngest brother has also has SEVERAL mini strokes from diabetes and has he done what the doctor has told him.... again a BIG NO.  What is wrong with this picture?  Reminds me of that joke about the drowning man, who dies and gets to heaven and asks God why he didn't save him and God tells him he sent a raft, a boat and a helicopter but he didn't listen?

Well here is the doctors BIG WOW moment.....  Hubby has lost 22 lbs.  He went from a size 3X shirt to a X-LG.  He went from a size 44 waist to a 38 and we have to shop again because he can fit into a 36.  WOOHOOO  he is looking all slim.  His blood sugar is down to normal range and the blood pressure went from 180/90 to 130/62.  I need to call and get his cholesterol level but doctor said she is more than sure it is also in the normal range.  She wants to keep him on the medications for the next 4 months and then see where he is at.  He only has 18 more lbs to lose. Then we will be in maintaining mode.

So you can see  if you just listen to the doctors advice, like start eating healthier and stay away from Cokes, Candy and Desserts, less fried foods  you would and could improve your health right away.

PS.....  I ate the same things I was preparing for my hubby and I lost 25 lbs.  TIP:  Guess what I found that is soooo DELISH.........  Skinny Cow ice cream cones and Jello Sugar free pudding.  Neither taste like sugar free and are sooooooooo YUMMY

Tricia's Delicious Black Beans
                 Serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ cups onion, chopped fine
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1 can (15 oz) BUSH'S BEST Black Beans, drain and reserve juices
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups cooked rice
Lime wedge (optional)

In large skillet heat olive oil; cook onion until crisp tender add minced garlic and cook till tender; stir in tomatoes, and beans, cook 3 minutes; add reserved juices continue to cook 5 minutes. Serve over rice. Squeeze lime wedge over is optional.  TIP   if you want the beans without the rice... omit adding the juices from the beans.  If you want more spicy  add a few drops of hot sauce.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Killer lives here! PLANTS need to beware!

I am a Killer and a FAKE.  Yes I know  hard to believe, right?  Who in their right mind, blogs about gardening that does not really garden?  the answer is ME.  Now don't get me all wrong, I have a few things planted in my yard, like Plumbago and Butterfly Bush, Fire Bush, Ruella, Porter Weed (this one I thought I killed a long time ago BUT I found some being sneeky and coming  back to life after I totally neglected it, so I have another wack at killing it.)  I try to explain this to any unsuspecting plants that I buy or I am given "Hey.....  I will plant you in the ground.......  water you at the time you are planted BUT after that YOU are soooooo on your own.  Do they try to escape.... NO, they just look all happy to go home with someone not knowing what awaits them. 

The plants I have planted have survived droughts, massive rains, hurricanes and ME, I guess I would recommend them for other people like me that want flowers but just have NO time or no steminia to be out in 100 + degrees to work in the flower beds.

PLANTS in my yard

FIREBUSH:    Firebush is native to central and southern Florida.  It does best in full sun but it also does well in partial shade, but it becomes leggy in shade.   Firebush does not have a dormant period; it grows continuously, and also flowers almost continuously.  In South Florida it is often planted in wildlife gardens with other native shrubs such as American beautyberry, coral bean and wild coffee. Firebush is salt tolerant and will grow in any kind of soil as long as it is well drained.

PLUMBADO:  Plumbago is an evergreen shrub with whip-like semiwoody stems that form a loose, rounded mound 3-10 ft  high with a similar spread. Plumbago can be pruned to grow like a vine and scramble over supports, or pruned into a more compact mounded shrub, or left to sprawl with its long, gracefully arching branches.  The sky blue flowers are 1 in long tubes expanding into 5 petals spreading about 1 in across. The flowers are borne in rounded terminal clusters 6 in across and look quite a bit like phlox flowers. Plumbago blooms all year long except for the coldest winter months. A white flowered variety (P. auriculata var. alba) is available. The cultivar, 'Royal Cape' has intense cobalt blue flowers.   Plumbago does best in light, sandy soils with good drainage.

BUDDLEIA:  With a name like butterfly bush, you might expect a plant to be attractive to butterflies. In fact, it's more than attractive; it's a magnet for all the butterflies who pass through your garden seeking nectar. Many butterfly gardeners plan their garden around Buddleia (pronounced BUD-lee-ah), a genus that includes over 100 species and cultivars. Also called summer lilac, the medium- to large-sized shrubs can anchor a perennial bed or form a hedge.

You'll be happier with Buddleia if you accept its growth habit, which is not neat and tidy. Its narrow branches support lilac-like clusters of blossoms a foot or two in length, with side branches and blossoms. After a rainfall, the flower-laden branches of some species can droop all over your flower bed. You'll want to allow at least six feet between bushes to keep some semblance of neatness.

But wait till you see the bush covered with fritillaries and tortoiseshells! Even a large swallowtail can land on the cluster, to sip from the many individual blooms.   Butterflies and bees will flock to the honey-scented blossoms, whose dilute nectar is sweetest in midday sun. Near a path or patio, the shrub provides delightful fragrance for you, too.

My all time favorite is Black Knight which is a dark purple and the lilac color one called Twilight.  the White Profusion did very well but the blooms were not as big BUT the Yellow Sungold one just up and died before I could even get my neglect going.  What is up with THAT.  I should at least have time to try and kill it, don't ya think?

RUELLA:  These are fast growing plants that bloom in a profusion of purple flowers when the weather starts to warm. Very attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds! Plants reach 3’ high and 2’ wide.  These are easily rooted from brown (woody) stem cuttings.  Sun to part shade. The quantity of blossoms is related to the amount of light the plant receives. The more direct sunlight the more flowers with fewer flowers appearing
in overcast conditions or when grown in shadier conditions. Each flower only lasts one day, but there are always more waiting to open each morning. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Quilt Project

Ok Ok  sooooooo disown me for being a really bad Aunt.  I started a quilt for my niece oh I don't know 3 1/2 YEARS ago.  Did I see you rolling your eyes?  Don't make me get up to smack you.  Things like life and accidents get in the way, OK?  Well anyway.  I started this really cute quilt and I got all the blocks hand pieced, got the top all put together, layered it  then started the hand quilting.  I am quilting like crazy when my HUBBY says, hey I think your aunt would really love that lap quilt, don't you?  I am like,   noooooo this is for Carol.  He then told me he really really REALLY thought I should give it to my aunt and proceeded to tell me WHY.  Let me stop right here and first tell you that I seldom actually listen to my hubby about my quilting or crafts and any wife out there knows why but I will tell you.  Hubbys know NOTHING about quilting or crafts.  HECK  they totally refuse to read directions for anything.  But I have to tell you, his reasoning was sound.  You see my Aunt is 80 and she has cancer so  I decided to finish the quilt for her.  What happened next is totally bad for me.  I slipped and fell at the grocery store.  As a result of the fall I now have permanent nerve damage in my hand so hand quilting is soooo hard to do and crafts and my sculpting of miniature babies out of polymer clay is all but impossible.  On top of that the lap quilt has to sit unfinished (only the binding and 5 rows of top quilting left) because... well just because.  That is a story for another day.

WELL  I have decided to make another quilt for my niece, who I love with my whole heart.  I took samples and let her choose which she wants.  Now I have started the blocks.  Below is the first block.

So dear niece you can see I have started.  I will keep you all posted as to my progress.