Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Thursday, February 23, 2017

thursdsay's crafting ~ my dvd stand!

I have no TV but I do have a DVD player to watch movies and some TV series, shows that I love. Reign, Merlin, Legend of the Seeker, and of course the recent favorite, Once.  One episode a night is enough entertainment and then movies on the weekend.

After finding the best of portable DVD Players I needed somewhere to put it and something to put it on. I had been using my drafting stool. It worked but just wasn’t something I wanted long term. Syktk, the name of my player, didn’t belong with the stool, end of argument. The hard part was that I just could not find the “right one” it just wasn’t out there in my world.

Okay, got out the tools, the thinking cap, and supplies needed. That part took a while because of choosing what kind of wood. Then, I decided to make a prototype, working out the ideas and kinks with a cheaper not to perfect wood choice and then build another out of a nicer hardwood.

For my prototype, I chose to use "crafting" plywood- the two outside pieces are ready to paint, finish, leave natural; where as regular plywood is rough and needs a lot of finishing.
Had a tough time removing the labels. so stupid to put a hard to remove sticky labels on products!  took me as long to take off the labels as did make the blasted thing! it should be illegal!!!!

now for my DVD Cabinet:

Came up with an idea, measured it out, cut the wood & re-cut the wood, and kept fingers crossed.

three thing I wanted,
 * a sturdy stand that would hold the dvd player safely
 * a top that lifted off and would fit on a couch arm to rest player for viewing
 * and a foot rest for those times when the player is set before my chair or couch.

by a stroke of luck, help from my gremlin friends, and some skill :) I got it done finally and decided that it looked so OK that this was it, this was the finished stand. I sanded, put on handles, and covered the foam I bought for the foot rest, and wallah, the Project was done!

top lifts off to become a table that slips over the arm rest of my couch so I can stretch out and lay back to watch my shows, it works fantastic! sometimes you just have to take the time and make it yourself to get exactly what you want. 

~yea! that to-do is done~

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

meal ideas ~ a healthy sweet morning

Sometimes you crave a sweet breakfast muffin or biscuit, and that’s okay. But running down to Cinnabun and blitzing your sugar and carb intake is not so okay. Nevertheless, there is a healthy way to get that “something different for breakfast” taste. Try these two, I think you will be very pleased, and so will your diet and blood sugar.

Sugar and Spice Biscuits
When you want to impress your guests and stay on track with your diet, give these biscuits a try. There's enough cinnamon-sugar to satisfy any sweet tooth, yet each serving has just 18 grams of carb.

2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup fat-free milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 Grease twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups; set aside. In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center; add milk. Stir just until dough clings together.

 Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead by folding and gently pressing dough for 10 to 12 strokes or until dough is nearly smooth. Divide dough in half. Roll one portion into a 12x10-inch rectangle. In a small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle some of the sugar mixture over the rectangle.

 Cut rectangle into five 12x2-inch strips. Stack the strips on top of each other. Cut into six 2-inch-square stacks. Place each stack, cut side down, in a prepared muffin cup. Repeat with remaining dough and sugar mixture.

 Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Serve warm. Makes 12 biscuits.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 121 cal., 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 190 mg sodium, 18 g carb. (1 g fiber, 1 g sugars), 3 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges starch (d.e): 1; Fat (d.e): 1

Apple-Pumpkin Softies
On-the-go breakfasts can be delicious and nutritious when you have a stash of these treats in your freezer. A cross between a breakfast cookie and a muffin, each softie has just 13 grams of carb.

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup regular rolled oats
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup coarsely shredded apple
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup packed brown sugar or substitute**
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 cup dried cranberries

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

 In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. In a medium bowl, combine egg, shredded apple, pumpkin, brown sugar, and oil. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir just until combined. Fold in pecans.

 Drop batter by a measuring tablespoon onto the prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle tops with dried cranberries. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until firm to the touch and lightly browned on top. Transfer to a wire rack; cool.

 Prepare as directed. Store cookies in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 78 cal., 3 g total fat 9 mg chol., 65 mg sodium, 13 g carb. (1 g fiber, 6 g sugars), 2 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fat (d.e): 0.5; Other Carb (d.e): 1;

**Want to use a Sugar Substitute: Choose Splenda Brown Sugar Blend. Follow package directions to use product amount equivalent to 1/2 cup brown sugar. Reduce all-purpose flour to 1/2 cup when using the sugar substitute.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

healthy living ~ now for our hands

We have been looking at keeping our facial skin soft and moisturized, now let's move on to looking at care for our hands. This is one of my simplest recipes for hand care. 

Hand cream recipe - this comes from one of my all-time favorite books, Organic Body Care Recipes. It is easy to make and leaves your skin soft without feeling greasy.  Since finding this recipe, I don’t buy commercial lotions. It's simply that wonderful. 

This hand cream recipe also makes an excellent gift. You can order containers that are perfect for these lotions and give them as gifts. They are luxurious gifts that are easy on the budget.

I apply this hand cream on my hands after doing chores, especially after dishes, and it keeps them from cracking and getting those awful peelies. The combination of cocoa butter and essential oils give it a slight spicy scent.

1 tablespoon cocoa butter
2 tablespoons beeswax
1/4 cup organic coconut oil
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon almond or apricot kernel oil

I also add:
20 drops (any combination of) peppermint, geranium, lemon, or grapefruit essential oil
Using a double boiler, warm the cocoa butter, beeswax, coconut oil and almond or apricot kernel oil until melted. The beeswax will be the last to melt.

Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool for five minutes, and then add the essential oils. Continue stirring until the mixture becomes opaque but can still be poured. Pour it into a container and allow it to cool overnight, cocoa butter takes a while to set-up, at least 12 hours. This recipe makes about one cup of hand cream. No refrigeration required, for maximum freshness use within one year.

For those dry calloused hands… try combining

½ c. olive oil
1 c. kosher salt or sugar

Stir well and rub into hands and cuticles for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Rinse with warm water. The granules gently yet effectively slough away dull, flaky skin to reveal a fresh, hydrated layer of skin.  Smooth on your favorite lotion… like the one above. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Wintering in Aspen Willow ~ brain-stimuli nbs#218

I believe that Steve thinks I am bored, lonely, my brain needs stimulation; not sure exactly, but he keeps coming up with things for me to occupy my day. It’s okay, these are things we have discussed having or doing and now is a good time to get them started...I suppose. 

Well, got a new “brain” stimulator- aka: nbs#.  We talked about changing from the Windows Systems to a Mac. That day has come and it is I who will learn first, and then, if needed, help Steve with the transition. 

And since I am waiting for a replacement for the last project, nbs117, aka: “Oscar,” Steve, slipped in, NoNameYet, a new MacBook Pro 2015. No, it isn’t the best, biggest, brightest and all that other stuff; but, it has everything I need to do a test drive, "kick the tires" thoroughly. And was economically justifiable that if we decided Mac was not for what, not a high price to pay for learning that.

so, OK, let’s give it a try. I do have some other things, yes brain things, to finish and then, perhaps I will dig this new item out and begin.

When, you ask?

February23rd- new moon, best time for starting “new things” and this will be a “new thing.”

It will be some while, I am sure, before NNY, (NoNameYet) appears here in the world of my words.

I “popped” ” into the Springs to Best Buy’s sale and adopted NNY.  Just a note: going to Colorado Springs from the Ranch takes about an hour, one-way, which is why I question if you can actually jump into your vehicle and “pop” down to the Springs.  

 However, this trip worked out perfectly, there was a fabric store I wanted to check out but it was out of the way of my normal quarterly shopping trip. This trip, it was right on the way to Best Buy. Perfect! The other thing that I usually need when learning something new, is a book. Unbelievably, right next to Best Buy was a Barnes&Nobel bookstore and they had a MacBookPro book, only one mind you; I knew it was exactly what I wanted when I skimmed the pages. 

Yesterday I had a major deviation from my previous plans, but it worked out perfect!

*** I adopted NNY
**   found a great book resource
*     and got to go to the Mill Outlet Fabric Shop- awesome stock, beautiful fabrics, staff wonderful, kind of pricey

It’s the pricey that will most likely keep me from returning often. Did I get anything, yes, bought more than I should have, and do have fabric need plans...once I get done with all the nbs#'s. LOL

be sure to check this Thursday’s Crafting... 
    I made another wood project. :)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

thursday's crafting ~ food bowl stand

This may not be a ‘crafting’ project as we think of...crafts... but it is a project that that is handmade and involves a crafting skill. 

I feel that Gypsy’s dishes need to be a little higher than floor height. I tried to find one, but they were just not right, either too low or too high or the bowls were too small. And to be honest I really like the bowls that I have for her.  I saw several on the internet, homemade ones, that I could specify my dimensions; but, they were outrageously expensive.  OK, that means then we need to ‘make’ one of our own. 

First I used and old box, cut holes in it, then I tried to cut holes into some woods with a jigsaw... well, that didn’t turn out. Even sanding would not have fixed the mess. So, then, I ordered a special circular blade just the right size that I could put on my drill and cut. 

 It was expensive, but now I was determined to finish this. All I can say is that it was NOT as easy as you would think- twice while cutting, the drill, and blade, decided to shoot out of my hands and off in the yonder like a bat out of hell. There is a skill to this- (now I know why those others were so expensive) luckily, I came out of the experience unscathed and with beautifully neat holes in the wood. 

After the holes it was just a matter of cutting the other pieces, securing them together, sanding, and painting.

I used some plastic hose for around the inside of the holes to keep the bows steady and help with any moisture that may accumulate.  Little rubber feet to prevent slipping, and wallah.... Gypsy has her elevated bowl holder.

She loves it!   U..U

and yes, Samantha has an elevated dish too. ^..^

in case you were wondering where I purchased my saw. 6" is the largest you'll find t hardware stores; so, if you need something larger, this company was awesome; great customer service and sales. 
click to visit website