House Hunting and Teddy Bear Pattern

I’ve been terribly lax about posting anything these days and I apologize.  I’ve been in the middle of house hunting and knitting teddies.

The housing market these days – shees!  It’s definitely more of a seller’s market vs. a buyers market, and that’s been stressing me out.  I can’t speak for anyone else’s home buying experience, but living in California, you have a window of time to buy for the best value, but not especially the largest selection, and that’s in winter to very early spring.  We are on the cusp right now, and I have found a home I want to buy…after pulling out of escrow on another home I wanted to buy but thought better of only one week into the process.  Now that I’ve read that, I guess the market isn’t that skimpy on selection if I’ve been able to find two houses I like well enough to put in escrow!  Anyway, tortuous.

In the meantime, I’ve tried some new knitting techniques for myself and in the process have created  a cute little teddy!  Just click on the link for the pattern.  arrow

In the designer’s defense, I did make some modifications to her pattern and ended up arms a bit longer than I would have preferred, however, I am overall impressed and pleased with the toy.  Thinking of sending little Teddy off to my niece!

So wish me luck on my house hunt.  Hopefully, we’ll find out soon enough if our bid is accepted.

Thanksgiving rant and a DIY all-purpose cleaner – a twofer!

Even in the midst of our anticipation, I am seeing all this funk that must be cleaned!
Slumbering peacefully.

I hope everyone had a great turkey/tofurkey day!  I need to make it plain that I am not ungrateful for all that I have.  I feel blessed that I live indoors and have food in the pantry and am able to make a feast of such epic proportions every year.  I haven’t always been so blessed.  But that’s another entry.

Having said that, I must now bash these beautiful sentiments with ingratitude and share a wonderfully inexpensive DIY all-purpose cleaner that helps with all the nasty clean-up!

Thanksgiving is not so much about the wonderful meal, in my opinion, and I believe I’m not alone, but about the clean up.  It is the North American tradition that the men, children and elderly sit in the living room, sitting room, parlor, or what have you, and watch football and eat snacks while the capable women work in the kitchen and prepare what could be the most time and labor intensive meal of the year.  And as the men, children and elderly are sleeping off the somnolent effects of overeating, the equally tired capable women are cleaning up in the same kitchen what could be the most time and labor intensive mess of the year!  I know, I know, one would say clean as you go.  And believe me, I do.  Really.  When the turkey is on the table, all the cooking dishes are already cleaned.  Yet here I am, another year, looking at another gigantic mess.

First load down...
First load down…

A new tradition I have seen crop in the last 20 or so years is just to chuck out all the work and let somebody else slave in the kitchen – right on!  We have tried that on several occasions.  The results – we generally all sit for an hour or so in an overcrowded restaurant waiting area, are seated and served by the overworked, resentful staff and receive food that isn’t so special.  Yikes.  At first, we thought this was an anomaly.  We tried it again another year, and have discovered similar results.  One year we actually ended at the fair dining establishment of Carl’s Jr. because every other place was packed to the gills.  It wasn’t so bad, except they didn’t include my order.  *sigh*

So, in the spirit of “God helps those who help themselves” (who coined that anyway?), I decided to add an easy, cheap inexpensive, and effective all-purpose cleaner.  I nabbed it from Megan Card but wanted it to smell citrusy.  I just happened to have some essential oil on hand, but I believe this addition can make it a little less economical; however, I also use it for making laundry detergent, so it works out for me.  For the original instructions, follow the link.

Here is all you need:
1 spray bottle

Being good and cheerful!
Being grateful and cheerful!
1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap 
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
2 tablespoons of vinegar
2 cups of water
8 – 10 drops of essential oil (I used doTerra Wild Orange)
Mix the dish soap, baking soda, and water in your spray bottle. Let the baking soda dissolve fully before adding in the vinegar (You want to avoid a reaction with the baking soda and vinegar. Otherwise you will have a nice science project for your kids to observe on your hands!) Then add 8 – 10 drops of the essential oil scent of your choice.  Once you have added all the ingredients, screw on the lid to the spray bottle (be sure the nozzle is in the OFF position) and shake lightly. 
*Tip- If you notice that your spray bottle has pressure building inside it, unscrew the nozzle slightly to allow some of the pressure to release and then screw it back on.
So I’ve kind of redeemed my rant by helping out with instructions for a good cleaning product; however, I imagine my Thanksgivings will be spent working in the kitchen until I reach the “elderly” age, when I will then bitch about how old I am!  Enjoy!

Buttermilk and coffee…MMmm…hm? yuck!

Now, imagine being in a hurry; these cartons are tough to differentiate!
Now, imagine being in a hurry; these cartons are tough to differentiate!

I can’t remember if I was in a hurry, thinking of something else, or just not awake.  It was around 10:00 am, so I can’t use the pitch black cover of night as an excuse, I just know that I couldn’t wait to get a nice refreshing gulp of my home made iced caramel coffee.  With lots of cream.  I really poured a lot in, as I wanted this particular drink to be extra smooth.

Flash backward to three days ago

Scene:  kitchen

Scenario:  ants everywhere

Action:  RAID everything down

Now move forward to this disaster in the making.

I carefully opened the sugar container, which is in an airtight container because of the continual ant problem, and scoop in two spoonfuls for just the perfect amount of sweetness, toss in a handful of ice and pour the already cooled coffee in my cup.  I stir it up real good, my mouth salivating at the anticipation.  We raise it to our lips, and drink.

Now, have you ever noticed that when you’re anticipating a certain flavor of your food or drink, and the taste isn’t quite right, it takes a moment for your brain to process this; and when it does – YUCK!  My first reaction was to investigate the drink itself, like that’s gonna help, and no, it didn’t.  Then I thought – oh, crap.  The RAID must have somehow got into the sugar – ack!  Yes, that’s how bad it was.

After convincing myself that if, in fact, I had consumed some RAID, it couldn’t hurt me, the amount was so negligible.  So I poured out the drink and left the house to run some errands, leaving everything on the counter.  When I returned, I noticed that someone had left the buttermilk on the counter.  The only person who drinks buttermilk is my husband, who is out of town and couldn’t possibly have brought it out.

And that’s when it hit me.  And I laughed so hard.  Hope you do too!