WEEEEEEEEEE! There be SNOW in the Mountains!

Ahhhhh….FINALLY! Relief from the 90F+ days ~ 59F today with SNOW on the Sierra!

From the web cam up at the Mt. Rose Lodge ~

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Jo Anna Richer ~ Art Tile Artist

While at Genoa’s Candy Dance Craft Faire over the weekend I really fell in love with one artist’s tile work…her name is Jo Anna Richer of Durham, CA (near Chico). Unfortuntely, I didn’t have a lot of money in me pockets…otherwise I would have bought one of her wall hangings. I did buy a little round pin for $8 that was stamped with a bee and believe. (I have a picture in my camera…but forgot the cable to download it! 😦 )

I found some of her work online at the Chico Paper Company's website. The pictures below are from that site.

Jo Anna works with clay to create more permanent pieces that will withstand the test of time. Her love of architechtural design and horticulture are reflected in each unique tile.

Jo Anna Richer - Tile with Windows

Jo Anna Richer - Tile with Windows

Jo Anna Richer - Untitled

Jo Anna Richer - Untitled

Jo Anna Richer - Time Watchers

Jo Anna Richer - Time Watchers

Jo Anna Richer - Tile with Clock

Jo Anna Richer - Tile with Clock

For Today ~ 28 September 2009 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 28 September 2009

Outside My Window… Cloudy and blue sky…partly cloudy! 😉 Peeking out window…busy bees working on the new building. Pouring concrete.

I am thinking… After a weekend of 93F it’s a changing! Going to be 62F on Wednesday and then 70’s the rest of the week! HAPPY DANCING! Shuffle Shuffle pirouette Shuffle Toe Tap Jig Slideeeee.

I am thankful for… my job…a roof over my head…my family.

From the kitchen… Chicken, homemade tomato sauce, noodles, garlic bread, salad.

I am wearing… Berks, brown shirt, shorts…hair down.

I am creating… Nothing at the moment…I have sewing machines in transit. Although my mom let me borrow one of her machines, will have to figure out how to thread it. Never used a Dressmaker before.

I am going… keep cleaning out the house and back shed…will be having a yard sale soon.

I am reading… two books. Mom brought back some Irish Ghost Stories by Padraic O’Farrell and one that I picked up at Goodwill, The Wedding Dress by Carrie Young (A collection of seven short stories that are set in the Dakota Plains of the 1930s with the Norwegian Americans that settled the land.)

I am hoping… My constant wish ~ That everyone that is looking for a job, finds one.

I am hearing… The chillers up on top start up…none too soon, once again…they were working on the generators so our power was off and on.

Around the house… Boxes of stuff…getting ready for the yard sale.

One of my favorite things… Sleep with no dreams.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… Clean out the garden…get it ready for winter. Keep going through my stuff and box it for yard sale, donate, trash.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you… My soon to be new sewing machine ~

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The Simple Woman is the original home of The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Goodies from Ireland & Scotland

Mom is back from her trip to Ireland and Scotland…left the 1st and back 24th September.

Stopped by yesterday and plugged in her camera to the tv to watch a slide show…big sigh. I want to go.

Am sharing a few of my gifts she brought back (Belleek is still in transit).

A BEAUTIFUL hand knitted sweater by Jean Cooke Designs in wool…thistle/heather color. It’s a wrap like with a snap on one side and a cool button on the other.

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A pair of Donegal socks ~ 100% wool.

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A silver necklace from the Wicklow Mountains ~

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A pair of Thistle china cups by Luckenbooth of Scotland ~ which sort of looks like the same design of Duchess of England’s Thistle.

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And an Irish Shamrock seed packet ~ I’ll have to find a pretty pot and try to grow them indoors.

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And a wee bottle of Bushmill’s Black…me favorite whiskey. She and her friend broke into the other two bottles at the US Embassy in London while spending four hours taking care of Lynn’s lost passport.

Lucy ~ Watching Bird Shadows

We’ve had Lucy for four months now (Nevada Humane Society kitty)…she is a very silly kitty. Very fun to be around.

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Over the weekend she spent about 20 minutes enthralled with the bird shadows on the door between the entry way and the front sun room…with the shadows coming in from the sun room window (cedar tree out front). Usually she just chatters at the birds through the window…but for some reason the shadows behind her caught her attention…and kept it for a very long time. 🙂

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After that exhausting bout of shadow bird watching ~ she sacked out with big brother, Leo.

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Pressure Canner ~ It Works! :) Vegetable Beef Soup Stew Recipe

Well…I tried my pressure cooker canner for the first time over the weekend! And it worked! It worked! It WORKED! I just love hearing that pinging-popping noise of the lids when they seal!

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It says it holds 7 quarts…but I could only fit 6 in there. So instead of fitting 5 quarts of Vegetable Beef soup/stew and 2 quarts of beef stock/broth ~ I got 5 qts soup and 1 qt broth…with 1 qt broth in the frig.

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Hmmm…looks like I have some fat to skim off when I open them up.

VEGETABLE BEEF STEW

Raleys had a big chuck roast on sale so I bought a $7 roast…cut it in half, salt and peppered it on both sides then seared it.

In a large stainless steel stock pot I put in the following (before adding the beef):

Both ends of a bunch of celery (the good looking middle parts are for later)
ziploc baggie of carrots (about 2 cups from last year’s garden that was in the freezer)
A big sprig of fresh rosemary from the garden
A big sprig of fresh oregano from the garden
couple of bay leaves
about 8 onions halved (I had bunch of onions that were only 1-1/2″ round from the garden)
6 cloves of garlic
handful of fresh parsley from the garden
and for good measure I threw in 3 Hungarian peppers only because they were there for the picking

Put the meat on top of all of that and then filled up the pot with water. Brought it to a boil and then turned set it to simmer for about 3 hours. I poked the meat and when it started to shred on me…I scooped it out and put it aside while I strained the veggies and herbs from the broth.

Put the strained broth back into the pot with about 7 medium sized red potatoes (skin on) chopped in large chunks…I let the potatoes cook a bit before I added the following into the pot: another baggie of frozen carrots from the garden (about 2 cups or more) ~ the rest of the celery ~ one large yellow onion ~ the shredded beef.

That’s when I took out enough for the two of us to have for dinner that night (in the yellow cast iron pot up there) and then put the rest into clean, hot quart jars.

Fill up your jars and leave 1″ head space. Wipe the rims clean and put on the lids.

In my canner I put in 3 quarts of boiling water, two spla-jugs (TBSPish) of white vinegar, and the jars. Tighten the canner lid, turn up the heat to high and wait for the steam to come out the top for about 10 minutes before putting on the 10 pound weight…then waited for the weight to start rocking gently. Once it started rocking I turned down the heat enough to keep the weight rocking gently and started the timer. It stated 30 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure for sea level…with an extra 20 minutes for my altitude….but not too sure, as some recipes state it takes 90 minutes. May have to eat these sooner than later to be on the safe side.

Once the timer goes off…take the canner off of the heat and let it do its thing until the steam valve drops back into the lid. Once that drops, then you can open your canner…make sure you open the lid away from you (ie: the top of the lid should be towards you and the underneath facing away from you).

Patience, grasshopper! Yeah right…that was very, very, very hard for me! I’m used to my water bath canner…where you can take a peek-see. 🙂

Can’t wait to try it out again! I feel some chicken soup in the near future…

Thursday’s Ramblings

I’ve been out of sorts this past week…I’ll just be rambling around today, if you don’t mind.

It’s hot…it’s mid-September…and it’s still in the 90’s! Stupid weather. WHERE IS MY 70’S???!!! Fall is around the corner and it’ll be in the 90’s!

My garden is winding down…peppers and cucumbers are all that is left. And I’m giving them away every other day.

Last night I used up the last 6 pounds of tomatillos and made 4 quarts and 3 pints of salsa…with some leftover for my husband to eat with tortillas. This time I roasted everything (tomatillos, onions, garlic, Hatch green chiles) and then added some cilantro. If you read this Greg…you’ll be getting some soon.

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This morning I went to the eye doctors for the first time in 12 years…was already to pick out cool glass frames and was told all I needed was +0.75 reading glasses! DAMN! But my sister found a great funky pair of purple Foster Grants for me at Walgreens during lunch. 🙂 Now I need to go to the Dollar Store to pick-up a few cheapos to have in different spots…bedside, sewing machine, beading table, living room.

The Reno Air Races are going on this week, am hoping to see the Blue Angels fly by…but nothing yet. Guess they are staying north. 😦 I LOVE those guys.

At the Wilbur D. May museum at Rancho San Rafael park there is an exhibit that ends this Sunday, 20 Sept 09 that I need to get to! Sherlock Holmes and the Clock Tower Mystery: You are invited to solve the Mystery of the Clock Tower yourself!

October 28th, 1888 – “A man was murdered late last night in Croydon Clocktower. PC Benjamin was called to the scene by Mr. Robert Wilson, the caretaker. Mr. Wilson, had gone up to the Clock Room at the top of the tower just after eleven, because the clock had not struck the hour properly. He was shocked to discover the body of a man lying face-down with his head in the mechanism, having been cold-bloodedly shot in the back of the head. The police have not disclosed the name of the victim, except to say that he was not a local man. Scotland Yard have been called in to investigate, and would welcome any person with information leading to the solution of the crime to come forward to Sherlock Holmes and the Clock Tower Mystery.”

I need to pick-up some winter fertilizer from Lowes for the lawn. It’s time to get it fed and ready for sleepy-time. I’m also thinking I’ve cut back the watering time too soon, as it seems the 90’s are staying with us for longer than usual. Grrrr.

I put up those Halloween Trick-O-Treat candy bags up on Etsy…the first I’ve added to my store since this time last year! I didn’t realize it was that long. I still had a sign up that I was taking time off for Christmas! Sheesh.

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Speaking of Etsy…isn’t Amos the cutest?! I think he’s just adorable. He’s from Junker Jane ART AND CRAFT from RECYCLED GOODS.

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I need to look into a new sewing machine. The reason I’m “sorta outa sorts” is partly because of that. My beautiful Janome 6500P was destroyed…and I don’t quite have a grasp on the old Singer yet. (Wiping tears away…I still cry about my Janome)

Need to stop off and get some bacon and cheddar so I can make Pioneer Woman’s Delicious Hominy Casserole tonight for dinner…me thinks I’ll do a half and half casserole (add potatoes and eggs to one side for breakfast).

Thought I’d share a picture of the guy out back with the pink hard hat… 🙂 He’s not hard to find, and I bet no one steals his hat!

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Ok…gotta get back to work now. 😦

For Today ~ 10 September 2009 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 10 September 2009

Outside My Window… Overcast sky, welders working on the top floor of the new building, workers doing duct work on the other floors, a guy in a Barbie Hot Pink hard hat…am very impressed with that one! 🙂

I am thinking… FOOTIEBALL STARTS TONIGHT! YEAH!

I am thankful for… my job…a roof over my head…my family.

From the kitchen… Papa Murphy’s Take-N-Bake Pizza. I’ll make a salad to go with it.

I am wearing… Jeans, pumpkin orange knit top, tennies.

I am creating… Halloween Trick-O-Treat bags.

I am going… to go look to see if there are any Balloons up in the air. The start of the Great Reno Balloon Race is today!

I am reading… The Donner Party Chronicles that I picked up at a yard sale for 50 cents.

I am hoping… My constant wish ~ That everyone that is looking for a job, finds one.

I am hearing… The chillers up on top start up…none too soon, either. We had a power outage (imagine that…the power going out!) last night here at work.

Around the house… Laundry piling up on the floor…I’ve been putting it off.

One of my favorite things… Clean sheets and snuggling underneath a quilt with cool night air. FALL IS COMING! It’s finally gotten back down into the 50’s at night…can’t wait for the 40’s.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… Will be making more pickles soon. And making sauces with all of the peppers that my plants are producing.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you… Balloons are up in the air this morning…told you it was overcast ~

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The Simple Woman is the original home of The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Halloween Trick-O-Treat Bags

Was going through my fabric and noticed I had a lot of Halloween fabric scraps in one tub…so I pulled them out and started making Halloween Trick-o-Treat bags.

The first two I tried different sizes ~ but had settled on the smaller of the two. They are fully lined and have sturdy handles.

I’m making them with either a solid fabric or two fabrics ~ if using one fabric I just cut out 2 14×15 pieces and if using two fabrics I cut a 4 5×15 in one fabric and 2 5×15 in another.

Pretty soon I’ll have all of my scraps of fabric used up and lots of great Halloween bags made!

And with these cute bags ~ your little one will never have to say:


I GOT A ROCK!

City of Sparks and Major Events Parking

I live in an old part of Sparks, Nevada and when the City holds major events like Fourth of July, Hot August Nights, Best of the West Rib Cook-Off, Christmas Parade, to name a few, my neighborhood is flooded with people wanting to park on our streets.

This is the sign in front of my house…

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I think there are only 2 houses on my street that actually have off-street parking, the rest of us park in the street. When we bought our house, the previous owners left four parking cones for our use during the big events. And up until this last weekend, all was fine.

When I came home on Friday I found all of the cones on our street gone ~ I was told by my next door neighbor that they were taken by the Sparks PD. I had groceries to unload and no where to park near my home. The Rib Cook-Off visitors had taken all of the street parking and parked in the alley too.

Sparks P.D. stated the cones are illegal and they picked all of them up in our neighborhood. A Sparks P.D. Sergeant also told me that “if indeed there is a sign in front of your house, it was probably put up illegally too. You can park in front of your house if you get there before anyone else.” Ohh…Really? Someone needs to tell the City of Sparks that they illegally put up some street signs then.

Here’s another “illegal” sign right down the street from me ~

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After getting nowhere with the PD, I called the Public Works Department. Left a message and one of the City Engineers called back. He was very nice and helpful ~ said the signs were put up when they designed Victorian Square. When they dead-ended our streets they put the Residential Parking Only signs up for us. But the City did not issue any means of permitting for the residents. He said we had two options ~ 1) we could call the police and have them tow the cars away, or 2) call our Councilwoman and ask for help.

I shot my email off to my councilwoman and will give her email out to my neighbors. Hopefully our neighborhood will be set up with Residential Zone Permits ~ otherwise be fore-warned…if you park in front of my house during special events, don’t be surprised if your car is gone when you wander back from Victorian Square.