Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tick, Tick, Tick . . .

My lovely 3 day weekend is just about 2/3 over and I just haven't been able to sit and get much knitting done.  Lots of chores have been accomplished, but where is my ME time going??

Yesterday we had a bunch of errands to run, three loads of laundry, and a bunch of phone calls to make.  Today was supposed to be sleep late, go to church, and spend the day relaxing.   Instead I'm awake at 6 am, up at 6:30 am, finishing the grocery list so DH can go to the store, and taking over an hour to book a rental car for our trip to Florida.  It takes so long to compare rates and coupons and rental agencies --- AAA, NEA, AARP, and then all the hotel membership/partner cards.  And then throw in  Needless to say, AAA has the best rates, at least for this trip.

Speaking of good deals, if you haven't joined, you are missing out on a chance to get real cash back from purchases you're planning to make anyway.  It's NOT a scam.  I've been a member now for almost two years, and have gotten rebate checks totaling just under $200.  All you do is go to, search for the store you're planning to shop on line at,  and click on the cash back coupon.  Ebates creates a ticket and sends you to the store's website.  You shop as usual, and once your order is placed, your ebates account is credited.  The site has a multitude of retailers:  LL Bean, Lands End, Sears, JC Penny, Nordstroms, QVC, Amazon (but not the books division), Williams-Sonoma, Stonewall Kitchen, Catherines/Lane Bryant, just about any place I like to shop.  Even car rental agencies!  If you're interested, click here.  In the interest of full disclosure, if anyone joins by using this link, I get $5 added to my check, and maybe more if that person spends a lot of money.  But I'm mostly posting this because it IS a good way to get a little something.

So, by the time I got the car booked, and dealt with 2 unexpected phone calls, and the snow, I didn't get to church.  Instead, I spent a couple hours on the business bookkeeping.  I always think it will only take me about 1/2 hour but it always takes longer.  Mostly because a certain somebody doesn't cross his T's or dot his I's and I have to piece things together that shouldn't have to be pieced together.   Like if you make a deposit, staple the deposit receipt to the customer's check stub so that I can easily identify which customer to credit when I enter the check.  And maybe if you'd put the credit card receipts in the credit card receipt file and the cash receipts in the petty cash box, I could match statements more quickly?   Just a few little things like that.

My husband did the grocery shopping while I was busy doing this, and just as he arrived home, I got a phone call from an association member with a problem.  (I'm the grievance chair of our local teacher's association.)  I had to spend about 1/2 hour helping her figure out what she needs to do, to get a potential issue solved.  So at least I didn't have to put the groceries away.

I did get about 40 minutes of "knitting" accomplished.  I put that in quotations, because I was actually stringing  260 beads on my yarn.  I'm participating in a mystery knitalong - Laura Nelkins Magpie.  I'm just starting Clue #2.  Eventually I'll get a picture or 2 posted.   It's fascinating --- I joined the M Club which means I will get a total of 4 kits for 4 mystery KALs.  Not a cheap thing, but it was my gift to myself this past fall.  This is the first of the projects.  It's a fun knit -- not too hard, and I'm also learning a few new skills -like using a provisional cast on. 

Added a pic of clue one at the halfway point.

Today we are eating meatloaf.  I don't really follow a recipe, but here's what I did.

1 lb ground beef
3/4 cup regular oats
1 medium-large diced onion
2 celery stalks diced
2 cloves garlic sliced
2 eggs
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp Tsardust (spice blend from
1/2 tsp salt

Put all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix lightly with your hands.  Put into a baking dish that's been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Bake at 350° F for about 1 1/4 hr or until the interior temp of the meat is 165°F.  I sometimes add some tomato paste to the meat mix but I didn't have any today--- a couple of tablespoons.

I served this with mashed potatoes and green beans.

I also made rice pudding - again, a no recipe followed - just what my mom taught me.  I made it today because we had  rice,a lot of milk and eggs that needed using up!

Mom's Rice Pudding

2 cups cooked rice (or less, or more!)

4 eggs
3 1/2 to 4 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar, depending on milk and your sweet preference
1/2 cup raisins (or more - or none!)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional!)
1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon
nutmeg (optional)

Beat the eggs, and then add the milk.  Add the sugar and vanilla. Mix well.  Sprinkle the rice with the cinnamon.  Mix with the milk and eggs.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Bake at 350° F for about 1 1/2 hrs stirring a couple of times to keep the rice from settling.  (I usually stir it about 25 minutes into cooking time, and then again about 40 min into process.)
Serve warm or cold.

You can be very flexible with the ingredients.   Don't want it too sweet? Add less sugar.  Raisins aren't necessary, and the cranberries are a "modern" addition.  Mom taught me to use 1:1 ratio of eggs to milk, though you can adjust a bit.  If you want a more custardy use one more egg than cup of milk.  Also if you use less rice, you'll have more custard.

So now, my kitchen needs some major attention, but there's always tomorrow.  I am going to spend the rest of the evening knitting!

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