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We don’t approve of kids watching much television, we also don’t approve of kids being on-line.  Little kids need to run, play and use their imagination.

But there a couple of programs we do let grandson Connor watch, Back Yardigans and The Wonderpets. 

The animals in Back Yardigans go on imaginary adventures in their backyards.  Connor’s favorite is when they pretend to be pirates.  And he loves that they sing and dance throughout the story.. very cute and surely gets the imagination going.  

The wonderpets live in a classroom/daycare and after school is out they band together to save animals in trouble.   They talk a lot about each animal, where it lives, etc. but the point of the whole thing is that although the wonder pets aren’t too big, or too tough, when they work together, they’ve got just the right stuff. 

Lately Connor has been napping through the time when these two programs come on tv.  So, Grampa looked on-line and found that they show the segments online on Nogin.   It’s funny to see Connor sitting and giggling, singing or moving in rhythm to the video clips.  Here he is enjoying one of the programs. 

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Today’s supper…  soup.   We like having this type of thing on Saturdays, but since we are usually working on a projects or catching up on errands, we sometimes don’t think about supper until our stomachs start to rumble and then want something quick. This is my quick soup.  My family likes it very much and so do friends.  For all those that have asked me how to it’s made.. here goes.   Not a recipe really.. but more or less how I make it.

Anything Goes Supper Soup…  also refered to as Italian supper soup because of the spaghetti sauce used for the soup…   For quick soup, use store bought sauce and frozen vegetables.  If you are a gardener, use a variety of your fresh, frozen or preserved veggies, anything goes!

If you are gasping because the quick version doesn’t use fresh ingredients.  Read labels, there are some pretty good prepared sauces out there, you can also use your own frozen sauce from when you had too many tomatos all at once in the garden.  *G*  Been there.  I don’t can veggies, but I used to freeze a lot of sauce.  The advantage to using spaghetti sauce or something similar is that you don’t have to add any extra seasonings, chop onions, etc.   Remember, the goal is fast food that is filling and tasty.

Ingredients…

– 1 pound or so of sweet Italian Sausage (you can use turkey sausage, meatballs, or other types of meat)

– 1 jar of your favorite  spaghetti sauce,  the size that is less than a quart, whatever that is.

– 1 – 2 ( 16 ounce ) bags of your favorite frozen veggies. raw, cooked, leftover.. whatever. Canned is ok, but I’m not a fan of most store bought canned veggies.  I use fresh or frozen.

– 1 cup or more of Pasta ( something small enough that doesn’t take too long to cook ) I sometimes use rice and often throw in some quinoa.  

 Cut a pound of sweet Italian sausage into bite sized pieces.  Brown, drain off fat.   Add the jar of spaghetti sauce and a jar of water,  let simmer till about 1/2 hour before serving. Add vegetables and pasta and cook over medium heat till pasta is cooked.   

Today, TM (The Man) tossed in peas and carrots, I tossed in corn and beans.  Then in went the elbow macaroni.  TM kept throwing things in and so I added a little more liquid (vegetable stock) and then he decided there wasn’t enough pasta and since we were out of elbow macaroni… he broke up spaghetti and threw it in.  We ended up with a lot of soup!  It was terrific with garlic bread.  

For dinner today we are having shrimp scampi, which I like a lot.  But, I like it even more if roasted peppers are thrown in.  

I had more than I needed for dinner and usually I’ll slice extras into strips to toss on salads, use for stir fry or freeze for later use.  Today I roasted them all, very easy to do… normally. 

A tip …   don’t use tiny peppers.   Most of the peppers I had were little hot pepper shaped peppers.  And they were 3 times the work of large peppers.  I’ve done lots of large ones, never tiny ones and I doubt I’ll do them again.

 Another tip … after the skin on peppers are blistered on all sides, set them to cool covered with plastic wrap. They will sweat and the skin will slip off.  

As usual, I was doing 3 things at a time and simply pulled them out and set them to cool, uncovered… duh!  

Not only did I forget the wrap,  I let a couple of little peppers suffer a horrible death, burnt beyond saving. 

What survived is yummy, cut into strips and drizzled with a little olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt and fresh ground pepper.  I have enough to use for dinner and extra for the weekend!    If I remember to take a photo of the finished peppers, I’ll post it.

 

Adding to my post…  I’m forgetting everything today! 

The oregano I used for the peppers is from a friend… all the dried herbs in this basket are from her garden.  Vicki is a master gardener and so I’m thrilled to have met her and become friends.  I’m teaching Vicki how to spin for chiengora yarn and she’s been very generous with good advice and things from her garden..   There is  Thyme, Lemon Thyme,  Taragon, Parsley, Mint, Rosemary, Sage, Black Mint, Oregano, Hot Oregano, Bay Leaves, Chives, Mint,  Basil, Horseradish and even Stevia.  Some of these are old favorites, some I’ve never tried.  

I suspect we will be sitting and spinning in the garden this summer, while eating something wonderful.

Although…. I need to do less eating and more gardening… I’ve gain a bit of weight since last summer… things are getting a little tight around the waist!

    

The knitting group that was meeting at the coffee bar/bookstore moved to a library when the book store closed.  The music store next door expanded into that space but kept the coffee bar and added a permanent stage. 

We’ve started meeting there again.  Today anyone who arrived with the Monday blahs was soon tapping their toes and knitting needles to the sound of popular songs and oldies but goodies.   

I took a few photos with my camera phone.. they are a little bit blurry.. sorry! 

Here is a photo of  one of the walls around the area where we sit, there are also pianos, racks of sheet music, diner booths etc. 

 

The group jamming across the store … notice there is plenty of space for dancing or to pull up chairs. 

The coffee and snack bar with some of the knitters at the tables…

 

Knitting, spinning, chatting, toe tapping music, gourmet coffee and snacks… a sure cure for the Monday blahs.  

It has come to my attention that many who visit my blogs, have not noticed that there are pages to the blogs.  tsk tsk

On this blog the page links are at the very top and catagories are in the sidebar.  Only the front or home page scrolls with updates.  The other pages are fixed pages, filled with more permanent information, they change only when I add new info/and/or delete old info.  These pages will have content pertaining to a particular topic. For example, the Lhasa Apso page will have only Lhasa Apso Dogs related things.   All of the pages will always be a work in progress as I will add info and photos when time allows.

The catagories will give you a selection of posts that mention a particular subject.  For instance, if you click on the dogs catagory,  you will get posts from the home page, about dogs, but also with other content included because sometimes they are mixed posts.  Please note that the header has changed.  I’ll be changing the header frequently with photos of things in my garden or other interesting things.  While at the moment, everything is covered with last Friday’s snow, soon these yellow tulips will be coming up.   

Nothing is so cheery as the sight of those large yellow tulips blooming in the garden gate bed.  It won’t be too long now!   

  

I’ve had several phone calls and emails asking if I’m OK.   I’m busy but also trying not stress my shoulder too much and along with other things, I’m not spending as much time online or typing.  When I do log on, the first things I do is check to see if there is news about Dale, a friend in ICU  after a bone marrow transplant that she seemed to doing well with.  She’s been in my prayers constantly, along with others in need.   I know it is in God’s hands, but ‘m hoping Dale will recover and soon be sharing butterfly and flower updates with us.

What else.. well I was certainly looking forward to springing forward this year.  The dogs seem to be on the daylight savings schedule and had slowly worked themselves up to getting up an hour earlier.  So now they are back to getting up at 6am.  

Here is a recent photo taken recently.   I’d been missing the sunrises and caught this before the sun was up enough to brighten the day.    As I looked at the photo I wondered, where did those street lights come from? Have they been there all these years in the neighborhood behind us?  And on this day, the bright pinks and oranges seen best in winter were absent altogether.  Obviously I didn’t have my camera settings right cause the photo look a bit weird.

I finished a Simply Divine Shawl for a knitting class project.  Photo on my studio blog. 

I’ve made some progress on my KAL wrap.. photo on the KAL blog.

The shawl on the loom is about half way done.  I’m unable to do much work on it because of my shoulder, but I’m getting some help with it.  Mary N & Sue W. have been coming over to work on it.  Without plannning it, we have  pattern emerging.  I hope the recipient likes the shawl.   

Sue W.  brought this Irish Soda Bread when she came  over on Wednesday to work on the shawl.. As you can see by how much is missing, it is very good!   

And today… today was one of those days when you think you imagined the 60 degree weather of the past few days.  Yesterday I was pulling out, cleaning and putting up bird houses and today I was driving through sleet, rain, slow, slush… yuck.   I took grandson Connor to a Dr appointment and all along the highway I saw signs of roads closed due to flooding and rivers, creeks and streams above flood stage.   The rain and run off from the snow melting on the hills, along with ice jams in the river are making for lots of flooding in low lying areas..

Spring isn’t quite here yet, but it’s coming!   

   

Some photos from the Friday morning knitting group which has more going on than just knitting.

I took this wheel loaned to me by a sweet friend, Denise.  It is a Majacraft Gem and I am going to have to return it soon before I grow too attached to it.  I really, really like this wheel, how easy it is to transport, the little space it takes up in my car and how it spins. I’m spinning angora on it at the moment and will be spinning some thicker yarn before sending home.    This wheel has moved to the top of my wish list, gotta save my pennies.

 

Here is Mary, well actually Mary’s feet, as she uses a kick spindle. I’ve been teaching her about spinning and anything fiber related and she’s a quick learner.   I loaned her the kick spindle so she could try it and I’m impressed at how good she is with it after just a few days.  I have had this kick spindle for several years and have never been able to use it as a proper kick spindle, only as a supported table top spindle.  I am just amazed at how quickly and easily Mary is learning how to work with spindles and wheels … definitely a gift!  Check out how thin her yarn is!  

Kick Spindle  

And Vicki is learning how to blend dog hair with wool for a chiengora blend.  Here she is blending Bedlington Terrier hair with Shetland Wool. I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out. Bedlinton Terrier is one breed I’ve yet to try for chiengora yarn.

We actually do some knitting in this group…   Sandy has made progress on her scarf. I posted a photos of it one the Princess Wrap KAL blog. 

I made a pot of pretty good spinach soup for lunch.

I chopped the onions, cooked them in olive oil, than added my stock and some rice and quinoa (pronunced keen-wah),  I let the rice and grain cook for a bit and then added the spinach, seasoned the soup and let it cook a  little more before putting small batches in the blender. 

My mistake was putting just a little too much in the blender in the last batch.  Not a good thing with a hot mixture, it needs lots of room.  And even with the cover closed, a bit of hot soup shot out, over my hand (owie), counter, cabinet, wall, counter, etc.  

I spent more time cleaning up soup than I did making it or eating it.   

spinach soup

Yesterday the spinning group was scheduled to meet at my house, but my day started spinning long before that.  

Softball sign-up was at 10am and I’d promised to take granddaughter Jessica to sign up.  That meant running around and getting things done before leaving so that I would be ready for the spinners when they came.  It’s a good thing I didn’t leave things till the last minute since Jessica wasn’t ready when I went to pick her up and then we ended up having to wait a while, then fill out a bunch of forms before we could go back home. 

I get home in time to find that one of the dogs had been very sick while I was gone… ugh… nothing like having a bunch of people coming and a mini emergency at the last moment.

By the time my out-of-town guests arrived (Hi Lynn & Sally!) I hadn’t even started lunch. So, they got to help me make Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas.   Not a common combination of food, but it is absolutely delicious. 

Normally out of town visitors come a little early and so they sometimes end up having lunch with me.  This time I was running so late that the spinners who started arriving at 1pm, got to try some of the Enchiladas.  And since the spinners often with goodies, we had cookies, fruit & dip, chocolate cupcakes and coffee for dessert. 

Eventually we got around to fibery things.  An order for alpaca yarn came in (photo on my studio blog) and so Mary and Sue got to try their hand at using a swift and jumbo ball winder.   Vicki learned to use the hand cards for blending chiengora yarn.  And several got to try their hand at weaving a shawl on the triloom.   The photos show the loom upside as we got started cause I misplace the clamps that hold it upright.  And then later I was able to flip it back up so that the rest of the weaving can be done upright. 

These ladies are so much fun and make me laugh so much that by the time they left, my stressful morning was forgotten.   And as I said goodbye to Lynn and Sally, who stayed a bit later than everyone else, this is what I saw.

 

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday!

I’ve been getting quite a few emails and phone calls asking how Yogi is doing with the prolapsed gland in his eye, so here is an update.

The antibiotic treatment he was on didn’t have the desired effect of shrinking the gland so it would go back down on it’s own.   So, back to the clinic he went with Ruben, probably the first time ever that Ruben has taken a dog to an appointment without me.  I think I was more nervous than they were. 

At the clinic they checked again for damage to the cornea, numbed the eye area and then did an in-office procedure where they were somehow able to flip and tuck the gland down where it belongs behind the bottom lid.  Sorry if this is more info than you wanted to know.  *G* 

Amazingly, it worked!  Two days later,  it still looks great.  Here is a photo taken this morning. 

  I’m holding my breath and praying that this holds permanently.  If not, and it happens again, we will have to choose between leaving it alone and deal with dry eye or take a trip to Cornell U. and have the gland tacked down.   Surgery is the last thing anyone wants for Yogi.  He still bears emotional scars from all the surgeries as a puppy and doesn’t do well away from home or when other dogs are barking or distressed.

The real miracle in all of this is how good he has been, letting the Vet and others touch his eye without falling apart or growling.   For more than 10 years he’s been a one eyed dog and dealing with his fears has been a trial.  I’m thrilled that he is coping so well with this.  

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