Thursday, January 30, 2014

Valentine Day Shirts

 Here is another Valentines Day tee shirt idea. Lets pretend that the red heart is fabric, pink would be cute as well. Now pretend that you sew white Ric Rack evenly spaced on the heart. Add some wonder under to the back, iron on to your shirt, finish with a blanket or satin stitch. How easy is that?
 I had this idea of conversation candy hearts in my head for our little girls Valentine shirts. I need to use my embroidery machine more often! Finding the time to take the class on the software would have made the shirts sew much faster but...They only run the classes the first Monday evening each month. I just HATE to be out and about at night :( It's close to an hour to the shop, a three hour class then another hour home beginning at 7:00 PM is just too much for me. I think I am going to see what they would charge for a one on one class. During the day I could absorb a whole heck of a lot more in the three hours
Nothing to this shirt.

 Cut three hearts using scraps.
I added Hugs, Kiss Me, and Be Mine to the hearts with the embroidery machine, you could do the lettering with a needle and thread as well.
 I satin stitched  the edge of each heart
Then sewed the three hearts together
Add Wonder Under to the back then iron on to the shirt
Finished up with a long basting stitch to attach.
A baby hair bow pinned to the neck finished it off.

I picked these shirt up at Target, can't remember the price but I do know I didn't pay much for them. If all goes well (nobody washes the shirt with a red table cloth!) I will take the applique off and store them in my holiday fabric tub for next year. The shirt will then be used for St Patricks Day shirts.

I think I am done with Valentines Day projects other than putting together gift bags for our big girls.We are going with a family themed gift this year. They will each get a cute bag with a family friendly DVD, microwave popcorn, cute box of homemade cookies, and a bag of Valentine M&M candy. Buying something for each of the Grands and big kiddo's is just too costly. We need to start doing more family gifts as our gang seems to grow each year. Hubby will be getting the same thing in the mail. Me..I hope to have my wedding band resized so I can get it back on my finger where it belongs!!

I have one more day this month to work on another sewing project of some sort. It will have to be fast and easy as I will get Miss Kara back tomorrow. I think the Rainy Day Jar for the family member will win out as I want to get everything in the mail first thing next week.

Next post will be a wrap up of January goals, the good, bad, and ugly. More good than ugly, thankfully!! Did anyone else set goals for January? How did you do?

Shaggy Heart Part 2

 Blogger has been giving me fits lately when I try to download photo's, not sure what that's all about!

 Go back to the previous Shaggy Heart 1 post to get started.

Here is what the heart will look like with the channels cut. Again don't use white thread! Ha
 I attached a binding to mine but it should work if you do a straight stitch around the heart followed by a zig zag stitch. BTW I haven't tried it that way!! Now here comes the magic. Throw it in the wash. Make sure and use a color catcher if you are washing other things with it as the red might bleed. Follow up with the dryer.
 Your heart should turn out looking something like this, again red thread would have looked better and a pink base, but I wanted you to see the process and stitching! You may have to comb the red fabric a bit (I used a finger nail brush) and trim off any long threads from the red to get the chenille shaggy look.
I was too lazy to walk upstairs to get one of my shirts so I just used one of the grands shirts I was getting ready to work on. You want your heart to be in proportion to the shirt you will sew it on. I like to use light weight Wonder Under too iron appliques in place before I sew them down, seems to work better for me than pins.

You don't need anything other than a regular sewing machine and basic presser foot to make this applique!! Just straight stitching, cutting, a washer and dryer.

Rather than let the sample go to waste I might use some of the leftover dye I have from Karsyn's shirt too dye the white background and thread a nice pink then tack it down on a shirt of mine for Valentines day. I am doing more and more of the tacking down method when I put holiday things on the grands shirts. They grow so darn fast!  I can use a white shirt over and over again by changing out the holiday applique. I hope to finish the little girls shirts today as I won't be getting Kara. Our roads are still just to bad to travel on. The back roads are a solid sheet of ice.

We were much luckier than Alabama and Georgia with the recent snow storm in that our schools closed early before the snow started to fall. I would be frantic having our kiddo's stuck on a bus in sub zero temperatures sitting on a freeway. What the h.. were the school systems thinking!!!! God bless the Teachers who stayed behind with students who couldn't get home. Our temperatures should be back in the 60's this weekend!! Just in time for the kiddo's to have make up Saturday school for the next two weeks.

It's time for the morning coffee and a bite to eat before the day begins. Gotta use this free day wisely

Shaggy Heart Part 1

 I have a friend who ask for a simple pattern/instructions for a homemade Valentines shirt. I hope this will do the trick. We will make a shaggy heart applique.

Start with a heart pattern the size you want. I used my Circut for the pattern. Now pick out a base color. I went with white so you might understand/see the process better.
Cut a square of your base fabric a bit large than the heart. I would use pink as my base next time :)
 Now cut 4 or five pieces of red fabric the same size as your base fabric
Stack all of the fabric together with the base fabric on the bottom

 Sew the fabric stack together with a straight stitch spaced every 1/2 to 1 inch. Next is the be VERY  hard part! Use your scissors to cut down each channel cutting ONLY the red fabric. This takes time, go slow so you don't cut into your base fabric!!
 Once you cut all of the channels it should look like this. BTW I used white thread to make my channels, red would be much better!
Once the channels are cut flip the fabric over then trace and cut out your heart.

GRRRR, blogger won't upload the rest of the photo's!!! Next post I will finish showing you how :(

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Envelope Budget Gone Cute!!

One of my favorite budget fellas is Dave Ramsey. Way back when, I used his advise on setting a budget using the envelope system budget, check it out here.  I upgraded from standard envelopes to one of his envelope wallets after a few years. I worked great but... One of the things I didn't like was to carry all that cash around everywhere I went. I was always afraid I would lose the wallet leaving us flat broke for 2 weeks until the next payday. Another problem for me was I had to pull out the wallet then flip around until I found the envelope I need to pull from. That being said the envelope system got us on track with our spending and savings once and for all!!
With that system in mind I came up with a zippy wallet budget set for our out of control family member. She has NO wiggle room in her budget now that she is on permanent disability. She was deemed unable to take care of her own finances during the disability process, unfortunately the person in charge has no more discipline than she does. Nobody seems to know where the money is going, grrr To change her financial appointee can be done but her checks would be stopped until the paperwork was completed and approved. Once we get her finances under control we will make the change, until then her bank has agreed to help her once a week to track her checking account.
After working the numbers a million times we have what I hope is a workable budget. On Monday's one of the tellers at the bank will help her load her zippy wallets. To help "T" remember which wallet is for what they are fabric coded. This one using mixing bowl fabric is for the grocery store. $50.00 @ week for now. She has yet to be approved for the SNAP program, when/if that happens this cash amount will go down. Whatever is leftover at the end of the week gets dumped in the rainy day jar.
Cars.. you guessed it, gas money -$30.00 @ week, leftovers go in the rainy day jar
Cute cupcake fabric is her gift wallet - $5.00 @ week, by adding $5.00 each week she will have a bit of money put back for BD cards and small gifts during the year.
Christmas fabric for Christmas savings - $5.00 @ week, by Christmas time she should have close to $250.00
Entertainment $10.00 @ week. For now she will continue to add to this wallet every week. What she doesn't spend should hopefully add up to cover the cost of hair cuts, make up, and extras we ladies need. For now there is NO money for clothing :(
I used a jump ring to attach all of the wallets together for her Monday morning banking. Also attached is a clear office ID with her list of what amount goes in which wallet. Instead of having to run around town with the whole she-bang she can just grab the zippy that she needs, the others will be safe at home. I think this system meets the keep it simple stupid test! I also believe cute matters, even if your flat A.. broke.

Sew what do you think? I am excited to finish the final item in her budget kit!! It might not make a hill of beans difference but all I can do is try.

 I was sharing this system/idea over with some friends last weekend, one of the GF's was so excited, she needs a set for her Sister. Her Sister lost her hubby this past summer, my GF is trying everything she can do to get her Sister on a budget without ringing her neck, this cute ring of zippys might keep my GF out of the county jail! Ha

 I had the zippy ring with me yesterday looking for the right color of orange for the gas wallet when a lady approached me asking what I was working on. After explaining to her my delima (not in great detail) she ask if she could order two.....She is trying to help her Mother and Aunt with their spend money now that they are both having some trouble with dementia. She keeps running up against them thinking she is just being bossy. Well...I had not thought about selling them. I gave her my phone number letting her know I would have to figure out a fair price for us both. She wanted to add a couple of more wallets once she thought it out. One for tithing's at church, hair appointments, and bingo money.

I didn't think about using the zippy wallet ring for elderly folks trying to hang on to their independence but these really would work great.

Years before being turned on to Dave Ramsey, I LOVED Larry Burkett's radio show and books. He was affiliated with Crown Ministries before he passed away. Check out their site, they have a TON of information under the Find Help drop down box. Lots of wonderful calculators.

Last but not least we are getting SNOW!! It might not be much when all is said and done but at least the grands got to play in the snow this afternoon. We will be getting more arctic cold overnight, whatever snow we do get will be around for at least one more day, yepee!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Shopping Just in Case we Get S

 My plan for the day was to get the little girls Valentines shirt done. I had the local news on in the background while I worked away. What? What did he just say? I thought it was the S word, surely not! Last I had heard was we were going to get another Artic blast for a few days but not the S word.
Wanta take a guess what this pile of stash fabric is going to be? Here is a clue, it has to do with budgeting. Maybe I will get around to working on it if we are S in.

I was working away this morning at a nice clip when I overheard the weather man using the S word. As the morning progressed the S word was being used more often. We are all set on the milk, bread, and food supply side of things but one thing I have been putting off was to buy the grands S suits.

I found S suits on line at a big box store for a pretty good price of $18.00 but have been waiting until after the January Low/No spend challenge was over to hit the purchase button. The chance of finding S suits at a reasonable price around town was slim to none. We do have specialty ski shops that carry S suites but at a hefty price. What the heck, it's 60 degrees and sunny, might as well put the sewing aside and enjoy a day on the town.

After 4 different stores none of which were conveniently located in the same area I score 4 S suits for the grands!! Drum roll....all were 75% off!!! If the S should arrive tomorrow our grands will be decked out in warm S suits. They will have to Make Do with their cute rain boots. I couldn't find any S "gubs" (gloves) so the cheap $1.00 a pair from target it is but I am sure the DD's won't let them play outside for long.

Here is the thing about getting S in the south.

We don't ever, ever, use the four letter word for S. If you do its the kiss of death. The S is sure to not show up!

Most of the time we don't get S, Ice is more likely.

If we get anything fun falling from the sky it is normally in March just as the daffodils are showing their pretty little heads. January? Not very often, could be a long winter

The grocery stores are WIPED OUT of milk, bread, and cereal with mention of the S word, beer is sure to run low if it's a weekend.

You can bet 8 out of 10 homes will have a pot of chili on the stove. Some use Pinto beans others use Kidney beans in their chili. We are a kidney bean kinda family. However... in addition I have a pot of Pintos soaking in the fridge, corn bread will be in the iron skillet for sure. AJ the beagle and I like beans, we are expecting no company so it should work out for us.

We can't drive in S, that's because we have very few road crews to deal with the mess. The folks that have relocated from up North think we are nuts huddled in our homes around a pot of chili with beans and a skillet of corn bread. Laugh away suckers, lets see how you hold up in August when it's 105 with humidity at 70%.

Children do NOT SLEEP overnight when they hear the S word. This works out nicely for Mommy's as the kiddo's don't put up a fight the next day when Mom tells them to take a nap no matter what age they are.

Sometimes Nanny's don't sleep well with S on the brain. Each trip to the potty will find us peaking out the windows. I'm just sayin!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Slow Sunday

 Stash BE GONE!! Can't wait to try these new 1930 retro aprons on the little girls.
 I bought this pattern some time ago but it seems like sew many other things to be set aside to some day. In keeping with the No/Low spend challenge this month I am working hard to USE UP what I have on hand.  The pattern book has sizes 4-12 along with a doll pattern, so worth the price knowing I can make lots more as the little girls continue to grow
There was spending today. I have been trying very hard to dive by Barnes and Noble, not looking back but today I gave in. I bought these two books to send on to "T" our irresponsible family member. I have some other items I still need to whipped up to put in the box that I can only hope might inspire her to get it together.

Here is my Mini review of the 1,000.00 Challenge. Not paid BTW!!

It's a fun book. He is right on with his tips using humor to keep your attention. Did I learn anything new? Na, his tools and advice are in step with what we already do but it was a great read following along on the journey he and his family were on. If you are new to getting your financial house in order but think it's just to hard and boring I would recommend this book.

After getting done what had to be done today AJ the beagle and I hit the sofa with the $1,000.00 book only moving when nature called. I don't do stress well, for a few days I can get by but after a few weeks I crash and burn. Today was the crash day, I don't want to burn!! We have had our dinner, kitchen is back in order, trash to the curb. A cup of tea the second book and I are headed to the bed.

Nothing better than a day off to recharge the batteries, get your head and heart back where they belong to start a new week of yet more COLD weather.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Dehydrating with my Side Kick

 Table topper is complete, love it!
 One of the many small task Kara and I worked on yesterday was to save this shirt of Karsyn's.The shirt was Karsyn's Thanksgiving shirt, DD#1 made and error in the laundry room by putting the shirt in with a red table cloth, it is now a nasty color of pink!! I took the turkey applique off the shirt then did a hot water bath with the bright pink dye. On to picking out a new applique to put on the recycled shirt. To be continued.
 Another To Do was get this celery cleaned, chopped, and dehydrated
 Kara's job was to keep me company and be the taste tester. The grands will eat just about any raw veggie as long as they have some dip, in this case it was ranch dip.
 Celery ready to shrivel up and dry.
 After maybe 12 hours in the dehydrator it was ready to be put away
Four bunches of celery equals 1 pint of dehydrated celery. I LOVE our dehydrated foods!! Putting together a soup, casserole, or whatever other veggie that needs to be chopped can be throw together with no effort.

Holy Hannah is it ever cold here again!! The wind is just brutal. I am spending the day in the warm house working with some of my fabric stash along with a pattern I have had a hankering to work with. Yesterday Kara and I also began working on a design for Valentines shirts for she and Karsyn. Sew hope it works out on the shirts with what is in my head.

After breakfast with some GF this morning I meet DD#1 to spend our $200.00 worth of Gymboree bucks. Oh what fun we had getting bags full of 50% off deals for all of the grands. I picked 2 new shirts at $5.99 each to work with. Kara has picked out cute appliques she wants on the new shirts.

With everything 50% our total was $398.14. We used our $200.00 worth of bucks to score $800.00 dollars worth of clothes for $214.00!!

Tea time while I catch up with my favorite blogs. Hope everyone is staying warm!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Part Two of Unprepared People and some creating

 Kara agreed to try on the rain poncho that Karsyn would have nothing to do with because "It got's no arms" Kara loved it, problem is, it needs to be longer :( back to the drawing board. All is not lost as I know the perfect place to send this too short poncho
 Yep, gonna have to make one that fits, she "willy, willy, rikes it"
 I stepped out of my comfort zone on this table topper. Lots of different quilting one each part of the mixer and extras
 Not sure but I think the quilting in this photo is called shadow quilting.
 Ditto on the mixing bowl
 Loop de loops on the sashing and border
Tonight I am working on hand binding, perfect To Do on this COLD winter night!!
What a great day Kara and I had today. Nothing better than hanging out with a toddler to put the world back in order. She was intrigued with the table topper I have been working on. "Nanny where de cookies go in dat machine?" When she was leaving this afternoon she wanted to take the little blanket (table topper) with her. No honey this one has too stay with Nanny.
We need to do a small grocery run tomorrow for milk, eggs, and fruit of course the free cookie from the bakery is the highlight of the trip. It was just too darn cold today to venture out. It's rare for me to get cold but when I am overtired and stressed I feel the cold weather down to my bones. BURRRR
On to the unprepared family member saga
 "T" bought a home that was way overpriced 5 years ago with no down payment. She didn't have the house inspected, and depended on her newest hubby (BTW hubby #7, I kid you not) to pay half of the mortgage. DON"T DO THIS fell on deaf ears as usual. The marriage lasted close to two years, "T" was left holding the bag. She thought she was the winner, DUHHHH. Of course she couldn't make the payments on her income. She worked a deal (with the devil I think) so she was only paying 1/2 of the mortgage. Every December she was unable to pay the taxes of course. SELL THE way. Last year was the end of it all for me, as far as the house goes. She let us know 3 days before the house was to be auctioned for back taxes that she had not made the payment. She needed us to pay it ASAP.
After checking around on the value of the house and the arrangement she had made with the lender hubby and I said NO. We say no reason to throw $800.00 into a black hole. We were very unpopular with many, how could you turn your back? Do the math folks it's a sinking ship.
She finally gave the house back for $1.00. They are allowing her to continue to live in the house until it sells for $400.00 rent which is VERY generous on their part.
Time to find someplace to live and FAST.
The area she lives in is a top University town, the cost of housing is over the top!! Gotta look into section 8 housing. She has been qualified and is now on the THREE year waiting list. That of course will not work for her. The rent would be 30% of her income which to me seems very high but that's the rule.
Knowing we are working with $360.00 for an apartment I search the Internet each day and give her a list of two possibilities to look at. Lots of "I can't live there the closets are not big enough, the piano won't fit, the kitchen is outdated". HEY hot shot it's all you can afford, we need to find a safe, affordable, one level place to lay your head each night, you don't have three years to wait. sigh
The other problem we are running into is her income. Because she is receiving such a small check each month they want a huge deposit $3,000.00-$4,000.00. Hubby and I have agreed to take care of that but who knows if she will pass the credit check :(, we are NOT going to co-sign on anything.
Yesterday when I checked in to see how the search went she had not gone looking. What the h... It is just too cold to be out running around looking at apartments. She has now decided she will start looking again in the spring when the weather is nicer (BTW she lives in the south).
Sound like fun to you?
OK, the reason I am sharing this not at all fun adventure is it just might be a wake up call to someone why planning for the future needs to begin TODAY. Our family member is as nutty as a fruitcake..... but...Any of us could find ourselves in her situation. Lose a job, become disabled, lose your home. We have all heard it on the nightly news, maybe some of you personally know someone who has faced a housing crises.
Folks you gotta save. No matter how small the amount might be we all need something put back. Wonder what your income from SS would be if you or a loved should become disabled? It is listed on your SS benefits statement or you can head over to the social security site to find out. You might very well be shocked! Could you live on that amount? Would you be able to stay in your home or apartment. Would you have a place to live for the years it might take to receive section 8 housing? 
Just writing this post gets me all wound up, need to go de- stress before bed as my sunshine will be here again tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hump Day and a not so fun adventure

The kitchen table topper is coming along
Today I might just do nothing, or maybe I should do a whole lots of somethings to keep my mind busy. I have had so much stress over the past two weeks trying to help a family member who has made so may big mistakes in life that it is beyond my understanding. I just want to go to bed and put the covers over my head. I don't know how this will all end, but I am thinking it won't be good :(
I'll share what I can along the way, it might just motivate others that poor planing will catch up too you, la tea da attitudes about the future can be costly, poor spending habits can equal a life that will be unpleasant.
After years of ridiculous decisions that for the life of me I just don't get the rubber has meet the road. I have a family member that has been deemed disabled, she will be unable to ever work again due to previous brain injury and strokes. Sad I know but not unexpected. Her strokes have not been major ones but still...with rehab her situation could be totally different today. If she had followed Dr's orders and suggestions her health would be much improved. Rehab is hard work!! Been there done that, all the counseling, encouraging words, get off your rump lectures fell on deaf ears. It was easier to just milk her condition, exaggerate her limitations and go on with a FUN time.
Here is the not so FUN place she has landed.
 She will now be living on $1214.00 a month from SS disability
As soon as her home she turned back in to the lender sells she will be homeless
She has no health insurance
She has debt
She lives alone
She has no savings
She has no retirement
For two weeks I have been trying to help her figure out how she will survive.....
Here on my blog, and so many others I love to follow, we participate in challenges. They can be fun and helpful in many ways, saving a little money, decluttering the home, reading books, trying new recipes, spending less on groceries just to name a few. Personally I learn a lot about myself during these challenges. They can show weakness or strenghts you have, they motivate me to do better.
I will be sharing the frustrating journey (Challenge) I am on with her in this blog. It might just motivate some to save more for the future, take better care of our bodies, donate to the poor in some fashion. I really don't know. What I can tell you is being left holding the bag of one of these "I will never grow up" people is more than I can take some days. Today is one of those days.
We will start with health insurance:
She is signed up for Medicare however there is a two year waiting period for that to kick in. I was in tea total shock over that information!! This by the way took days to get worked out.
OK, next step the dreaded Affordable Health care Act.
 She does not have a computer nor can she go to the library to use one as she has ZERO computer skills. She can text the heck out of that expensive phone that she can't afford but I digress.
OK...You can call over the phone to sign up. No can do, as her speech is so bad no one would ever be able to understand her.
Those aviators that are advertised on TV that are costing the tax payers a pretty penny can't be found, grrrr
This should not be that hard !!!!
We agreed I would call at 3:00 on Sunday, using my computer and e-mail with the information she provides and hope the website works.
 Hells bells we didn't get far on this one as she has no records of what her income was this past year. The one piece of information she did have was from SS showing she had received $6,800.00 WHAT!!!!????
We didn't even get a step forward before we took MANY steps back. Where did that $6,800.00 go?
To be continued.....Thanks I feel better already just getting this off my chest.
I might need a bigger bra soon,  there is a whole lot still on my chest.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Day 4 of Sewing Room Clean up

  I keep my minky fabric and thread in the sewing room closet. It's all back where it belongs, that is until I pull something else out.
 Might as well take a peak in the quilt/quilt bock containers while I was working on the closet.
 By combining leftover baby quilt blocks I was able to free up 3 containers, go me!!
 I need to have a day of cutting 2 1/2 inch squares. The container on the right is where I store the 2 1/2 inch squares once they are ready to work into a granny square quilt or any other scrappy project. The container on the right is where I store scraps that need to be cut into the squares, it is overflowing!  I used "Blue Elephant Stitches" tutorial to learn the block. It's a great way to use up cute scraps
The containers are stacked back the closet in the order I am thinking I will work on. No promises on that as I seem to jump around all over the place but at least I made an attempt of having a plan.

Not a whole heck of a lot of work done in the sewing room today as DD and her babies came over for a visit this morning. The afternoon....yuck, yearly physical. My blood work was all messed up (I hope) but other than that the body seems to be holding steady. They ran more blood work today as my Dr too felt something just seemed off with the results. Time will tell.

After a dinner of leftover soup I started working on a new kitchen table topper. Sew far sew good. It will be great for anyone who likes to play around in the kitchen as much as I do. I am headed over too DD#1's home tomorrow to watch the grands but I do believe I can get close to finishing the table topper tomorrow afternoon/evening.

 I might not get all of those WIP,UFO's, To Do's, and Sure Would Like To Do's completed this winter but I am not gonna let up!! Staying busy with what I have on hand keeps me out of the stores (most of the time) and will eventually be the key to decluttering the sewing room. I really don't have much clutter in there it just too darn much lovely stuff waiting for a turn at the sewing machine!!

What are your solutions to getting your sewing, craft room, or area under control? OK, I know the biggest obstacle is stop buying but other than that how do you keep on top of the stuff?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Slow Sunday

 I have had a hankering to make these mini design boards for a long time. I get hot, I get hot often. When I am working on a quilt block with the ceiling fan going on high those little quilt pieces go flying everywhere. It's easy for me to forget which pieces goes where and what way. Keeping everything on one of these design boards should solve both problems and they are pretty darn cute. Check out Lori's tutorial here to make a few for yourself. I only made one change with mine. I hate the feel of batting, gives me creeps. Instead I used white flannel on my boards, so soft and cozy. Now I am wanting to work on new quilt blocks so I can try these out!
 Requested rice bags, complete. I got smart this time and made and additional 6 bags without covers. Next time someone wants one in a special color it will be easy to make the slip cover and move on.
Tomorrow morning fun will be to build a block from the "Mix it Up" quilt pattern.

Am I the only person on the face of the earth that has to vacuum every single day? Grrr Minky fabric, AJ the beagle running in and out on what felt like a spring day left the floors a mess once again. No more minky for me for awhile!!

I had Karsyn try on the rain poncho tonight when I delivered DD#1 a batch of soup from a new recipe I will share at the end of this post. Karsyn was not impressed with my sewing endeavors. She was VERY put out that the rain coat didn't have sleeves, sigh... Back to the drawing board. I will see how Kara feels about the poncho before I make any changes. Maybe adding slits on the sides for Karsyn's arms will work. Dog gone it I have a TON of this fabric along with a second one in yellow and black that I need to figure out something to do with. Any idea's?

On to the recipe. Friday night I went to dinner with my sister, BIL, and cousins from out of town to Carrabba's. As much as I love a salad to start a meal I can't eat them in a restaurant due to the preservatives. I decided to try a soup I had never had before "Carrabba's Spicy Sicilian Chicken Soup". YUM!!

WARNING if you want to try out the recipe DO NOT add 2 tablespoons of white pepper as the recipe suggests, one tablespoon might even be too much!! Holy crap batman talk about hot, almost too hot to eat. Also 2 pounds of pasta was way too much as I was using what I had on hand "Bow Tie pasta" Other than those changes that need to be made this is a really good soup. I love finding new yummy recipes that I can use our dehydrated foods with. Interesting that the recipe says the prep time is 45 minutes cook time 2-3 hours. Using dehydrated veggies I had the pot going in maybe 15 minutes. Gotta love that.

The one thing I did purchase was celery. I was down to a small jar of dehydrated celery left in the pantry, used it up on the soup. After checking the on line sale flyer seeing that celery was on sale for $.89 cents, that's 1/2 off I had to run to the grocery!! Wohoo I will be chopping and dehydrating celery tomorrow, I bought 8 bunches. I will share the magic our dehydrator does with celery this week.

It's a book and bed for AJ the beagle and I. The sun will be back up in no time.