Friday, December 15, 2017

Fireplace Log Holder Re-Make

As happens sometimes, I end up with more re-do projects than I have room for, so I have to make the decision to let some of them go.

This, I believe 70's? era, fireplace log holder wasn't something I could really use, mainly because neither of my fireplaces are wood burning, so I picked it up and started towards the yard sale corner with it - when inspiration struck suddenly. 

I didn't have my phone handy, so I didn't get a before picture. I think the original color was something like brass and rust. Brass doesn't rust, so I'm not sure about it exactly.

I took it out back and spray painted it black, which is the color I had intended on leaving it, but I guess I've been looking at a lot of Farmhouse Style lately, and had another idea.

I went back and spray painted it white.

Then I lightly sanded with a sanding block from Dollar Tree so the black showed through some areas.

Then I rolled some of my throw-blankets I keep in the living-room, usually folded and stacked on the couch, and put them in the holder.

Our old house is kindly drafty, and it doesn't help that I'm really cold-natured, too, so I love blankets. I really like this for keeping them organized when not in use.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Winter Storm 2017

I know I've said it before, but it bears saying again....The weather sure is interesting!

We've heard this one before..."We might see some snow later in the week!"
Hahahaaa, yeah right!
Mayyyybe in January, February... Early December? No.

I was about 99.9% positive it wouldn't snow, or at most, flurries for a minute.
I think pretty much everyone else thought the same thing, since a lot of the schools didn't close Friday.
Friday morning we got up to get Ryan off to work, and it was raining and I was like, see? Told ya.

Until I got on FB and saw everyone already posting it was snowing where they were. I said, Uh. Oh.
Ryan went out to crank up his car and came back in and said, It's snowing.

I could still hear it raining, not even sleeting, so how bad could the snow be?

This was about 7:30am. Not too bad.

This was about 9:15am. Can't tell it under my large Oak trees, but there's about 2 inches on the exposed ground by now. Still coming down heavily. But, the news casters says the pavement temps are still above freezing, so the roads should be okay.

 Dropping Kev off at PT at 10am. It's crazy out here, y'all.

Uh, dang. I hope we can make it home an hour from now.

Driving back to wait for Kev to finish at PT. I tried to go to Dollar Tree, but they had closed up.

Supposed to be a Walmart on that hill.

10:49 am, headed home. The roads are icing up. 

10:55am, my road.

Awesome Snow peeps!

We decided to drive on around the block, to see what we could see.
      Here's looking at our house from across the field. It's the one you can't really see under all the big trees.

The very old church is beautiful in the snow. I nearly got stuck in the driveway though. At least, I think I was in the driveway. Couldn't see it under the snow.

Kev got out to take some pictures of the church, and decided to throw snowballs at me in the truck.
     He says it wasn't cold out there. I'm pretty sure he's part dang ol' Yankee.
           I did have it about 150F° in the truck, though, lol.

All the big trees  were sooo pretty.
      You know, until they started breaking and snatching power lines down.

Luckily our power didn't go out. I do not know how it didn't - but am so glad it didn't!  I was positive it would. It blinked off and back on a couple of times. Exploding transformers was lighting up the sky like lightning.
I looked outside one time and the sky lit up, and then the neighbor's across the field Christmas lights and outside light were dark.
I could see both my next door neighbors had power, but couldn't tell if my across the street neighbor had power or oil lamp light. I called and she said they had power and were warm and fine (Thank Goodness. Bless her heart, but I'm not sure I could have put up with her all weekend.)

I was sitting in my recliner watching tv and heard SHCKCHCKCH...WHOMP! from outside. Got up and headed away from the windows.  I didn't know if it was a tree falling towards me or what. It happened a couple more times, my neighbor Miz Anita's Cedar tree was dropping some huge branches right in front of her porch.
Amazingly none hit the house, and only clipped her power line enough to make it swing a bit, but didn't pull it down.

We had several branches break, but none close to the house.
The Catalpa (Worm) tree broke a couple big branches, and a big one down on the fence line:



When it stopped snowing, which I think if I remember rightly was early Saturday morning, so less than 24 hours, we had about 9 inches of snow here.
Some other places south and east of us had a foot.

Haha, Surprise! says Mother Nature.
    It sure was.

{The rest of this is just ranting, you can skip it.}

As I said before, I didn't believe it would really snow.
Anyone with an ounce of brain knows Weather isn't an exact science. I would say it does what it wants to, but if you don't believe weather is some sort of a Magical Being, then simply, there are way too many variables that have to come together just right for this or that to happen.
Saying it will or won't snow is like saying it will or won't come a tornado. There's simply no way of knowing for certain until or unless it happens.

I just think it's pretty amazing the meteorologists can say, Get ready, because it looks like there's a good chance it could snow (or rain, or storm, or come a frost).
A hundred years ago, people had to figure out the weather happenings for themselves. I bet no Georgians would have seen this big, early December snow event coming.

But people on *socialist* media were so hateful and ugly to our local meteorologists that they were apologizing, and one said he was having to take a break from all social media, it was so awful.

People are horrible. And stupid. 

A news reporter was out at a school that...okay, they messed up, but they're human just like the rest of us....The reporters were interviewing *angry* and *upset* parents there having to pick their kids up. The parents were all, Blah Blah Blah! Blah Blah Blah!
All I heard was, "I'm a grown ass adult but too stupid to know my child's safety is first and foremost my responsibility. I see it snowing out there, but if the school says it's open, I'ma send my kid and let them worry about taking care of them."
"Oh, now they can't take care of them and I got to do it? Rant, rant, rant, blah blah blah!"

Then there were those whose power went out.
Hey, here's an idea - waste your cellphone battery time getting on FB whining and bitching instead of conserving it in case you have a real emergency. Derp.

I guess what pizzes me off the most is how none of them take a single bit of responsibility for taking care of their selves. All their troubles they were having, were someone else's fault.

They weren't told it was going to for certain snow 9 to 12 inches, so they made bad decisions, but that was the meteorologist's fault.
People ought not have to think for themselves, gahhhh!

Some of the school's admins didn't make good decisions regarding closing school - meteorologist's fault. Parents sent their little brats to school anyway - school's fault. 

Here in Georgia we have lots of trees, lots of big trees. We also have things like severe weather, tornadoes, hurricane/tropical storms, winds, droughts, and snow and/or ice. Any number of things that can cause trees/branches to come down and take out power lines.
This usually happens in a relatively small area, but you never know exactly where that area will be. It also, on occasion, happens in a larger area, in the case of this recent snow storm.

Given all that, if you are in such dire and desperate need of power, why in the name of Sam Hill do you not have a generator to hold you until the power company can get you back on line?
Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on the power company's part.

I don't have a generator, but, so far, I haven't found myself in dire or desperate need of electricity that I can't survive a few days with my oil lamps and gas fireplace and cook stove.
If I ever do find myself in that situation, you can bet I'll have a generator in my store room.

With the wide spread power outages, some of the water pumping stations were effected, and some people had a boil water advisory, some lost water altogether.

I don't even know how many times people have been told and told and told and told and told - keep emergency water on hand AT ALL TIMES.
Anything could happen, at any time, and cause water outages. Weather, terror attacks, malfunctioning equipment, main breaks, etc.

If you're caught by a surprise snow storm - or any other event - and you have no water, it's no one's fault but your own!

This snow storm wasn't even exactly a complete surprise. We were warned it could snow. We were warned it could snow several inches. Was it likely to? No. But guess what, it did.

I attended a commissioner's meeting on Tuesday - different issue - but a woman was sitting in front of us running her mouth at someone else, blah blah blah  "the inCOMPetence!" blah blah "inCOMPetence!" blah blah.
A little later during the 'Citizen's Signed Up To Speak' part of the meeting, she got up and ranted on about not having water and how VITal water was to LIVE and that they needed to hire some proFESSIONals to figure out whatever the PROBlems are, to make sure that CITizens of this COUNTY are able to have WATER...blah blah blah.

I tuned out her little tirade - it was annoying, as was her Yankee accent.

I hate to be racist - well, I care about as much as they hate being bigoted - but I blame all this snow on Yankees.
They move down here to the South, but then want to change everything to be like the Northern hellholes they moved away from.
They can't live without the Government telling them how. They want the Government around here to take care of them, when we're all used to being more self-sufficient.They want the Government to tell us all how to live too - by their Yankee ways, of course.

They're actually racist, but they project their prejudices on us Southerners. They act all Superior and Holier Than Thou, but I have never met people more hateful, rude, miserable, and bigoted than these damn ol' Yankees down here.
Or in Nebraska/Kansas. Good God, if I never step foot in either of those states again it'll still be too soon!

I'm pretty sure they somehow managed to bring their miserable cold, snowy weather down here, too, because all they do is whine and moan and complain about our hot/humid weather.
People! Feel free to go. the hell. away.

I attended a zoning board meeting a couple weeks ago, and low and behold, some old Yankee fart got up ranting on about the builder wanting to add more homes in the subdivision he was living in.
He rambled on, pretty much intelligibly - he pronounced the road names wrong, and he kept naming off the subdivision by the wrong name until his wife finally stood up and corrected him.

So then another lady got up to talk, also a Yankee, a lying, shifty, liar Yankee.
This (censored) was up there arguing about not allowing more houses to be built in her neighborhood, after she insulted us last year because (basically, we were halting Progress in the county by not giving her client part/easement of our property for his gas station).

Last year I wasn't as racist towards Yankees, so when she called up wanting to talk with us about our property, I had no problem meeting with her.
Until she lied. Blatantly. More than a couple of times.
Clearly she thinks we're just a bunch of dumb, backwoods hillbillies that don't know no better.

She back-handedly insulted us, thinking we'd be too stupid to know that was what she was doing.

I'm not one to cut off my nose to spite my face, (well, I try not to be. Sometimes I get mad) so I tried to deal with her all the way up to the point that she tried to bluff me by saying they no longer needed our property, but be sure and let her know if we changed our minds about selling and they might consider buying it anyway.
I told her we weren't interested in selling, thanks, buh-bye.

There's a lot more to that story, but that's another story for another day. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Recipe: Chicken & Gravy Toast

I learned this recipe from my Mom, one of my favorite childhood dishes.
   She generally made sides. I can't remember what. I don't really care for sides.

This is a meal in of its own, but might also be considered quick or knock-off chicken-n-dumplins.
Pretty much the same concept except using toast rather than dumplins.

I don't generally make chicken-n-dumplins unless the weather is chilly/cold outside, and even then it's probably somewhat a special occasion; company, or someone's birthday.

I buy boneless/skinless chicken breasts in the big packages at Sams Club. They usually come 6 or 7 breasts to a package, and they are really big. I divide them up, one or two breasts per freezer baggie.
Two breasts will make about three meals for us.

I start by boiling the frozen breasts in water (or broth if I have any or remember to use it) for a couple of hours. You can boil less time, but the longer they're boiled, the more tender they are.

If I have any broth left after boiling I let it cool and pour it into freezer baggies and freeze it. 

You can use broth or water for the gravy. Broth gives it a little more flavor, I think.
     I don't know the measurement for the amount of broth/water. My Mom measured in inches - "2&1/2 - 3 inches deep in a skillet" - I was using a sauce pan so mine was more like 3-4 inches deep, or just over a quart is the amount there was after thawing two baggies of frozen broth. 

My gravy pretty much doubled once it thickened, so I could have probably done as well with one baggie of broth.

In a bowl I whisked 1 cup of flour (self-rising, I haven't tried All-Purpose so I don't know if it would work) and 1 cup of milk.

Added it to the broth and stirred and stirred and stirred.
  Eventually, it thickens. When it starts to thicken, turn off the heat. It'll thicken more from the heat of the pan.

After boiling, I let the chicken cool so I can handle it, or if I'm in a hurry I use fork & knife, and I shred it up.

Add however much shredded chicken you want, or have, to the thickened broth/gravy. 
   Stirtup (translation: stir it up).

Salt & Pepper to taste.
   We're not big on spices, but we love a good deal of pepper in chicken gravy. (And milk gravy, too.)

Toast some loafa bread,

Top with chicken-gravy, and voila' (or as some people say, wa-la! lol). Yummy to yer tummy.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fall Mantel Decor

*First, a quick Hurricane Irma update: Here, it was just a perfectly beautiful rainy day.
Some slight wind gusts, but we had worse last week.
It was just dark and cool and rainy all day.

I love a good rainy day, every so often. I love lamplight on a rainy day. And turning the lamp off, pulling a blankey over me and napping the afternoon away in the recliner. Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for supper.

**My family in Florida is fine. I don't think the Hurricane was as "catastrophic" as they were thinking it would be. More like, just a regular bad hurricane.

September arrived, and I was able to do my Fall mantel decorating.

Being that it's technically still Summer until September 22nd, and end of Summer is historically considered Harvest Season, I wanted to go more for a Harvest theme, than Fall/Autumn.

Apples are a main part of my harvest decor, on account of my Dad has an apple orchard.

Well, a fruit orchard, also with some Peach, Plum, Pear, and Cherry trees, Blueberry bushes, and Grapes and Muscadine vines.

But except for the grapes and muscadines, the rest is more Spring & Summer harvest. End of Summer and Fall is apple season.

I didn't raise any corn myself this year, but my cousin did, and invited us to come pick some. We picked nearly 200 ears!

Most of it I blanched and put in the freezer...some I de-cobbed and dehydrated. I need to test re-hydrating and cooking and seeing how we like that. I'd like to get more into dehydrating than freezing, but I'm not sure if I can dehydrate and re-hydrate corn on the cob. The boys love corn on the cob.

I hung a few ears up on my clothesline to dry for decor, but I guess it's too humid here and the shucks got moldy. Next time I'll use my dehydrator or oven.

I had this little circle of Bittersweet I kept trying to use a wreath, or something, but it never looked right. Eventually it occurred to me that it might look good with a pillar candle in it.

I didn't have a pillar candle, and I'm trying not to buy anything, so I wanted to use what I had. What I had was a pint jar of apple butter. No one has noticed it's not actually a brown pillar candle.

I like to display my Pyrex mixing (serving) bowls as a nod to my Grandmother/s. Both farm girls, and these bowls were modern in their kitchens, where they would cook up big, delicious suppers including bowls of things like garden fresh green beans, creamed corn, fried okra, etc.

I also didn't (try to) grow any pumpkins this year. I have tried to grow pumpkins several years in the past, and something always went wrong and they never produced well, or at all.
I had planned to try again this year, but just never got around to it. I'm not giving up, though, I plan to try next year. Eventually I'll be able to grow pumpkins. Sometimes it just takes me a few tries.

The jars of dried apples are some I dehydrated. They keep a long time in a canning jar.
I just dressed up the tops of the jars with some red gingham material I already had and some green jute twine from the Dollar Tree.

The lamp in the basket was a brass and amber glass lamp I spray painted black.

In my mind, the black and amber glass looked a lot better together. I don't like how it turned out, but I'm not sure what color to re-paint it to make it look better. 

It's also cotton-picking time in Georgia.

Thanks to the internet, and a or some really creative-minded people, I was able to make my own cotton boles using sticks from the yard, cotton balls, and pine cones.

One of my little "helpers", lol. 

The rusty canning ring pumpkin I made last year (or maybe the year before). The 9 and 7 burlap-covered-wood numbers I found on clearance for 48¢ each at Micheal's, or maybe Hobby Lobby, can't remember.

The old window I had made as a key hanger. I sewed a little valance and hung it with twine, and covered the backside in lacey material. I had intended to cut a vinyl quote to put on it, but haven't gotten around to it. There are hooks across the bottom for hanging keys on.
It used to hang on the wall by the door, but was taken down to work on the faux planking, and hadn't gotten hung back up yet.

The little apples (package of 8 found at a thrift store for 50¢) is (on a saucer) in a vintage Jadeite Fire King measuring bowl.

Stacked jars of cinnamon-candy apple jelly, and a set of apple salt and pepper shakers.

I thought it needed a Scarecrow, which I thought I had, but couldn't seem to locate in my Holiday bins, so I picked these, and the Pumpkin/Harvest sign up at Dollar Tree. 

Friday, September 08, 2017

Hurricane Irma

So, we typically don't have to worry to much about hurricanes here in north west Georgia, but every so often we do.

Oh, we get remnants of them sometimes; rain, wind, and/or severe storms/tornadoes.
But since we often get that same weather without it being a hurricane remnant, we don't really think of it as hurricane weather.

Hurricane Irma, it appears, is going to be hurricane weather.

Yesterday I was offering a safe place for family & friends along the east coasts of Florida and Georgia to come stay....Today I woke up in the direct path of the hurricane.

I want to say, "Oh, it'll be fine. We went through Opal in '95. It was fine," - which is true, we had some minor damage, and the power was out for a week or so - but Irma isn't Opal, and we really have no idea what it's going to do, so I think it would be as dumb to say that as my sister, who lives in central Florida and is staying there during this storm, saying, "Oh, we've been through hurricanes before. It was fine."

They may have been through hurricanes before, but they haven't been through a hurricane like Irma before.
According to the chart, she'll be in the 100-120 mph winds area.

Kind of funny, in a way, since she still whines about how traumatized she was/still is when hurricane Andrew went through (near?) northeast Georgia in '92.  Which were probably 50mph at most. Pfft.

My Dad also is down there, but more north, in/near the Big Bend. He should be in the area of 60-80 to 80-100mph winds.  Not to mention, flooding and/or tornadoes.

Stubborn arses!
They're staying to "protect" the house and their stuff - what are they going to do, hold the hurricane off at gunpoint? Threaten it? What?
That's just crazy.

I like stuff, as evidenced by my hoarding, but no stuff is worth the fear and anxiety and awfulness of sitting through a raging hurricane.
It's going to be bad enough here as it is, if it was any worse, I'd be somewhere else, and the hurricane and/or looters could have the place.  Everything is replaceable, and that's why I have insurance.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Happy Independence Day

Here are a couple of old windows from our house we replaced with new ones, I painted up to celebrate my personal Revolution. My Rebellion, against the spreading filthy disease called Socialism.  My reminder that many of our Ancestors created America to be able to live Free. Not to live as Serfs, not subject to others' tyrannies, not to have the fruits of their labors stolen for someone else's gain, again.

Betsy Ross Flag

Gadsden Flag
(Made using Cricut vinyl cut out)

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Usually when I have a long break between posts, I generally just resume posting when I get back to it without making excuses or promises. 

But things haven't been going too great around here this year. I think I thought 2016 was a rough year. If it was, I can't even remember what was so bad about it. 

As for 2017, my life has basically turned into a horror story. 
Things will be going along well....and then BAM! Something bad happens. 

And just when I think things are about as bad as it can get, it gets worse. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Snow Day, Baby Chick

It's pretty hard to predict exactly what the weather is going to do, which is why I typically prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

We were supposed to get less snow than those to the East of us, but we ended up getting more. (Not that that's saying much.) What you can't see is the layer of ice under the snow. 

The sun came out and melted the snow, but the temps didn't get above freezing, so the melted snow re-froze into ice.
There were A LOT of wrecks, because people thought it was "just snow", I guess.

 The temps stayed below freezing for - if I remember rightly - about 2 more days, then Global Warming set in.

 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's temps all within just a few days. Winter to Spring, in like three days.

Which was amazingly conveniently just in time for our new baby chick to hatch into nice, mild temps.

I knew he (I just feel like it's a He, hopefully I'm wrong) was due to be born January 12th, which generally would be chilly if not downright cold weather.
I had been worrying over it - I'll spare you the details, I worry a lot - but Thankfully, it just worked out.

Haha, little troublemaker! I went to check on them this afternoon and heard him/her peeping excitedly, but I couldn't find him/her in the cage. Then I noticed it was inside the feeder jar! LOL!

This chick is a  - well, Bantam-Cochin-Frizzle/Sizzle-something or other. At any rate, it's super tiny, about the size of a golf ball.

Long story, but he/she was hatched and is being raised by a regular size, Easter Egger hen. 

We're looking at mild temps through the rest of the week - highs of from 65° to 71°, lows in the 50's. Looks like it'll be overcast and dreary, with chances of rain here and there.
Fine by me. I like it warm, and we can use the rain.