Sunday, January 21, 2018

Buying a New Bed - Confusing?

Hi everyone.  I'm back again this week with a new post but I'm confused.  I'll explain in a bit. . .

My son surprised me with a new phone and it's been fun exploring the different aspects of the camera (it automatically made the photo above from the photo shown at the bottom of this post).  Earlier in the week, we had perfect weather for sitting outside.  Today, the sun is out but it was a bit nippy early this morning, although I see it's warmed up to 68 degrees.

Here's what I'm confused about.  I'm getting a new bed and mattress for the master bedroom.  It's become a rather detailed job.  I bought a new King headboard/baseboard online and it won't be delivered until sometime next week (hopefully).  The bed shown above will be dismantled and put in one of the guest rooms.

Here's the newly painted wall in the guest room.  Originally, I had made a artsy type headboard from two pieces of carved wood that had attached to the wall.  Of course, we had to take them down and the wall needed to be patched and painted (by me, of course :)  It's now ready to have the bed/mattress from the master bedroom moved in and set up.

But there's more. . . the queen mattress set that was in this guest room is now going to be sold.  However, the box springs to this set belongs to the mattress in the downstairs guest room.  So, another switch needs to be done.

It's become one job after another.  Hopefully, the bed will arrive in perfect shape and we can put it together.  I've already bought a set of new sheets (which I loved shopping for), along with a new blanket.  But, I'm totally out of the loop when it comes to proper bedding.  There are no "bedspreads" now days.  All duvet sets.  I'm going to enlist the help of my daughter, who is an expert on these things.

Here's the bed I ordered (photo courtesy of Wayfair).  My daughter told me it looks like what old people like!  That's OK as I'm happy to be old.   Last but not least, we have to buy a new mattress!  Luckily, I live in an area where there's lot of choices.  Too many choices, maybe.  I think I'll go with Costco as they have an excellent price on a brand I want and a no hassle return policy.  And, best of all, they deliver and place it on your bed for free!

Oh, there's a little more to this story.  My dear husband helped my son take the mattress from the guest room out to the garage.  I didn't think much of it.  But, yesterday, he had terrific chest pain and couldn't breath.  We went to the ER last night and thankfully, he checks out OK.  We're thinking it's because he lifted and used some muscles he hadn't used in a long time.

I'm hoping this saga of the new bed will soon be over.  

Sending everyone my best wishes,


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Homemade Bread, Etsy Purchases and Grandchildren

Hello my friends.  I'm sitting here on a bright, sunny afternoon, enjoying the freshness after our rainstorm on Tuesday.  When it rains, it can pour down here in southern California.  Our pool is filled to the top but luckily it didn't overflow.  I feel so sad for all those people who have lost life or home from the ravages of the floods due to the Thomas Fire (which is about 100 miles north of where I live).  Sometimes, we can take things for granted.  I'm so thankful every day.

Being thankful, I'm so thankful for the many blog friends I have met.  I get so many great ideas from all of you.  It can be books, fiber arts, recipes, gardening or just some great advice now and then.  The other day I was reading Morning's Minion's blog and she had shared her recipe for some wonderful homemade bread.  She's an expert bread baker! I used to bake bread regularly but for the past few years, my yeast baking has consisted of rolls.  Today, I made the bread pictured above.  You can find my recipe at the bottom of this post if you wish to try it.  (I think it didn't proof enough hence the crack in the loaf).

The title of this post today mentions Etsy purchases.  I've finished my latest  needlepoint and I found this much needed little thread catcher on Etsy.  Isn't this just an adorable little fabric bag?  And, it was like $5.00!

I think I shared with you that I joined The Handmade Sock Society and I'm anxiously awaiting for the first pattern release.  I wanted (but didn't need :)) a new sock project bag.  I found this adorable little project bag from this seller on Etsy.  It was a great buy, too!  I used to sew back in the old days.  But, my sewing skills are circa 1970's and it makes me nervous with clipping all those threads, etc.  Hence, my love of knitting/crochet/needlepoint.

For the past few months, my dear husband has been having some medical tests are still inconclusive.  On our way home from the doctor on Tuesday, during a torrential downpour, we stopped at Trader Joe's and I just had to buy this colorful cyclamen complete with the flower pot.  I'm wondering if this is a plant and I can keep and have it bloom again?

My little granddaughter is here for a couple of nights.  Here she is at her home helping her Mom set the table.  Her older brother (my first grandchild), will join her tomorrow for a fun time with Grandma and Grandpa.  The joys of being a grandparent!

I hope that the New Year is being good to you.  Lilly is doing well and wanted me to send her "meows" to everyone, too!  Until next time . . .

My best wishes,

Pat's Whole Wheat Bread
2 cups lukewarm water
1 package dry yeast
scant 1/3 cup honey/molasses mixture (you can use all honey if you wish or brown sugar)
2 Tablespoons oil
1/2 Tablespoon salt
3 cups Trader Joe's pastry whole wheat flour*
2 cups all purpose flour*

I used my Kitchenaid mixture to make/knead this dough.  I placed the water in the warmed bowl and added the yeast.  Let it sit about 5 minutes.  Add in honey/molasses mixture, oil, salt and 3 cups of the whole wheat flour.  Start mixer to begin combining the ingredients.  You can give it a good stir with a large wooden spoon.  Add in all purpose flour, gradually, until mixture becomes a ball.  Don't add too much as you want a soft dough.  Knead a few minutes in the machine and then remove beater and cover dough and let it rise for at least one hour.

Punch down dough and divide into four balls of equal size.  Let the balls rest for about 10 minutes.  Grease well two 9 x 5 bread pans.  Shape each ball into a nice ball and place two balls in each pan.  Let rise for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place bread pans in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until they sound "hollow".  Place a clean tea towel on the counter and put a cooling rack on top.  Remove bread from pans onto cooling rack.  Brush tops with butter.  Let cool and then slice or freeze them as you wish.

* I keep my whole wheat flour in the frig to prolong it's life.  But, when I looked at it today, it wasn't fresh so I used instead this Trader Joe's pastry flour.  It worked great as it's just a finer ground whole wheat flour.  In you use regular whole wheat flour, I would use two cups whole wheat to 3 cups of all purpose flour.  It's up to you whether you enjoy a fine textured bread versus a coarse textured bread.



Monday, January 1, 2018

A Great Start to the New Year

 Happy New Year dear friends.  I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas holiday and a great start to the New Year.  I've had a wonderful holiday season with my family.
 Yesterday afternoon all the family ventured to the Montage Resort where we sat outside on the veranda and enjoyed coffee.  It was a perfect afternoon to watch the ocean and do a little people watching, too!  It was my daughter's idea (photo above) and we all agreed that this was a great way to start the New Year's Eve celebrations.

 Christmas at my home has been all boxed up until next year (although I hope the true meaning of Christmas is in my heart throughout the coming year).  My home is slowly coming back to it's normal, eclectic decor.  My dear son bought me these lovely pink carnations.  They brighten up the family room.

My beloved knitting needles have made a reappearance, too this season.  I'm knitting a pair of socks from the very talented Helen Stewart.  They're called Vintage Fairy Lights socks and you can find the info here on my Ravelry page. (Lilly insists on sitting my my lap when I'm knitting!)

I love to knit socks.  I taught myself how to knit them; unbeknownst to me that they can be a bit of a challenge. Luckily, I and my four DPN's get along very well.  I love the yarn I found on Etsy.  It's from Southern Skeins; she is an indie dyer from Florida.  Her yarn creations are so lovely and best of all, her prices are very reasonable!  My yarn is called "frosted berries"  which I thought was so appropriate for this project.

Speaking of the very talented Helen, she will be hosting The Handmade Sock Society.  There will be six sock patterns included in this KAL.  I can hardly wait until it begins in February.  Fun times ahead!

I received some beautiful and useful things for Christmas.  I love the perfume tray that my dear daughter and her family gave to me.  It sits on top of my Grandma's antique bird's eye maple chest which is in my closet.  It was fun to clean and rearrange the top of this much loved chest.

Lilly wanted to say "hello" to everyone.  She had a great holiday and is enjoying her catnip toys.  I hope everyone out there who has furry family loved ones, to wish them all the best for the New Year, too.

Thank you dear friends for being my friend and visiting my blog.  I wish everyone a very Happy New Year.

With my best wishes,