Thursday, June 28, 2012


Well, you know what they say...a picture's worth a thousand words.

I don't know about y'all, but I think my fiance (!!!!!!!!!!) has really good taste in jewelry. Especially diamond engagement rings.

As of about 9:30 Wednesday night, June 27th, Jacob and I are engaged.

Pork Enchiladas

By special request, I pulled up this recipe from my archives. I can't comment on it much right now, except to say that I sorta like packaged tortilla shells now. Things change. :) This was originally posted September 2010

A couple days ago, I was dying to make something different for supper. It seems like we get stuck in a rut sometimes, and everything we make tastes the same. I guess maybe it wouldn’t seem that was to someone from the “outside” but it does seem that way to us. I had a pork roast layed out to thaw, but had no plan for it yet, so I looked around online for a bit (yes, we have internet again now) for new ideas. And here’s what I came up with!
Pork Enchiladas are yummy (Dad’s still talking about them…) and these took only minutes to make. Yep…just minutes. 210 minutes, to be exact. So if you want to make these, I suggest starting in plenty of time! But then again, I guess there are different ideas of “homemade” food. I believe most people would consider cooking the meat and veggies, wrapping them in packaged tortilla shells, and covering them in canned enchilada sauce to be cooking homemade food. That’s not me, though, or my idea of homemade, so here’s what I did!
To start out, I felt like I needed another recipe for corn tortillas. I used to make a different recipe that the one I’ve posted before, and it had cornmeal in it, but it was really a pain to make. The dough wasn’t dough at all, but rather more like batter. You would pour it into a hot skillet, but then the first batter to hit the skillet would be too done before the edges were done, and more painful side effects that made the process very unpleasant and aggravating. I haven’t made them ever since I started making this great recipe. (Sorry...broken link for an old recipe...will work on it!) However, my standard recipe has no cornmeal or corn flour in it, and I really felt like I needed a corn tortilla for enchiladas, After researching a bit, I found a recipe, and I made it, taking pictures along the way for all of my fine blog readers. You readers of my fine blog. You fine readers of my blog. Fine, you readers of my blog. Ok, moving on…
It was a complete and total flop. I made the corn tortilla recipe, and they were impossible to roll out. You think I’m kidding?
I’m glad I started in plenty of time, because I had to abandon all hope of rescuing this mess…
And I “whipped up” a batch of my normal recipe, only I used half flour and half corn flour. All I had was cornmeal, and from what I read online, I was worried it wouldn’t taste right, so I ran a couple cups of cornmeal through the grain meal so I would have corn flour.
Ok…onto Pork Enchiladas! I used a pork roast, and cut it into thin strips. Due to our labeling system and knowledge of butchering (or the lack thereof) I don’t know what cut of meat I used…just a hunk of “Boneless Pork!”
A couple of handy kitchen tips:
It’s easier to cut the meat if it is still a little frozen…
ALWAYS use a VERY sharp knife. The sharpness of said utensil is essential to the happiness and wellbeing of the chef.
Now see…you should always read all of my blog, because you never know when a few tips such as the ones I’ve just given will be hidden in the depths of a post. And I know you certainly don’t want to miss them!
I browned the pork quickly, in my cast iron skillet. I seasoned it a little with Tony Chachere’s, then added a little water and covered it. I wanted it to simmer for a long time so it wouldn’t be tough. If it were tough, my mama might kill me. 
Now I assembled my spices for the enchilada sauce. The recipe I was loosely following called for chicken broth, for the sauce base, but I haven’t had a chicken in a few months, so there was no chicken broth to be found. I based my sauce in water, and it was still good…
I measured all the different spices into this bowl, so it would be easier to add them to my water. The spices are as follows:
1/2 cup chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
4 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
I have no doubt the quality of spices has a direct effect on the taste of your sauce. Most of the spices I used came from Mountain Rose Herbs.
You need 4 cups of boiling water. Your goal is to keep the water boiling while adding the spices, and to add them slowly, to prevent clumping.
Whisk vigorously the whole time you’re adding the spices, and continue to whisk to dissolve the spices. Continue to whisk and boil for 3 minutes.
Mix 10 TBS water and 10 TBS flour together. adding the flour slowly and whisking to keep it smoooth. Ideally, this would be done while you were waiting for your water to boil.
Add this water and flour mix to the boiling water and spices mix, slowly while whisking like crazy!
Continue to whisk, and keep it boiling for 1 more minute…
Now you can set this aside and finish prepping the meat.
I stir-fried onion, bell pepper, tomatoes (skins removed and sliced,) and crushed garlic, and then added the pork…
And then added a swig or 2 of Worcestershire sauce, just because I thought it needed it!
Now that’s ready, so I turned my attention to the tortilla shells. I read that you had to fry them in oil for a split second to make great enchiladas, so that’s what I did. I heated enough lard to dip them in…
And when I said “split second” I really meant it. Don’t leave them in long at all! And this is the point where I smoked the house up very nicely. We ran around opening windows and getting the fans going. If I could’ve cooked crawling on the floor I probably would have. I guess it’s the flour from my shells that burns and smokes in the oil. Maybe store-bought shells wouldn’t be so ornery.
Let it drip a bit…
And I drained them a little on a paper towel…
Place the shell in a casserole dish…
Fill with meat and veggie mix…
Roll up (burning your fingers in the process)…
Repeat ’til your dish is full, or until you’ve made as many as you need…
Spoon plenty of your enchilada sauce over them…
Enchilada sauce is the same color as the “pecan” stain that we stained our counter with. That’s interesting.
Top with a generous sprinkling of cheddar cheese…
Pop in the oven (at 375* or so) until the cheese melts…
These were pretty good, if I do say so myself! If I had planned a little better, I would’ve had plenty of sour cream, salsa, and cilantro to serve with these enchiladas. That’s what I get for deciding meals on a whim!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ketchup, Anyone?

Last Thursday morning, Mom and I were out running errands around town. I don't remember what all we had to office, bank, Walmart, etc. We were in Walmart and Dave called me and said they needed us to pick up some concrete. It was already past lunch time by then, and I was in danger of perishing from hunger, so I did the unthinkable and went through the Burger King Drive thru. I don't "do" fast food drive-thru.

But I did. so I guess I do.

Anyway, I got the burger, and then drove to the building supply place. There's no big store here in our's just a small local building supply place. I sat in the car with my hamburger and Mom went in to ask the guys about getting some concrete. She took her phone with her, in case she needed to ask the guys anything.

As I sat there eating my hamburger, I desperately needed some ketchup. Burger King hadn't put any in my bag, and I just have to have ketchup on a hamburger. Especially a fast food one. So, I did the logical thing. I text Mama and told her to see if they had any ketchup at the building supply place. 
Well, little did I know (I wasn't paying attention and looking) Mom and the guy that works there were both standing outside of the building, in full view of me eating my burger, and when Mom's phone went off, she told the guy that it would be her son, telling her what kind of concrete to get. So, she opened up the text and saw my message instead...and the guy was just standing there waiting to hear what the guys said about the concrete. So, instead, Mom said "'s actually my daughter who just got a hamburger at Burger King and she wants to know if y'all have any ketchup." At which point they both bust out laughing and look over at me, sitting in the car eating my ketchup-less burger. And that's about when I realized they were looking at me...and me...because of my text.

One day I might just have to grow up and act normal, don't you think?

The guy actually said he thought they had some inside, but when he looked, they were out. He said they'd buy some more, just in case this ever happened again.

I mean, you never know when someone will need ketchup at the building supply place. If you're in the area and need some, I'd suggest asking at Coomer's. ;)

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Maybe this makes me strange (quit laughing) but I love lard. Yes, like pig fat. That lard.

A while back I bought 60 pounds of pig fat from a local butcher and rendered it, but I ran out of that lard a long time ago. I don't even remember how much I made or long it lasted, but I do remember that I thought it was sufficiently preserved...and it wasn't. So over half of it went bad on me. I won't be making that mistake again!

Thursday we went to the butcher again. I bought 22 pounds of fat for $20. I brought it home, cut it up...

 Ground it up and put it in the roaster...

And there it is! $20 for 2.5 gallons of rendered lard. I don't know what it costs in the store, but that stuff is hydrogenated, which means it'll stick to your arteries like a ti...oh, nevermind. It'll just hang out there for a while. Hydrogenated fat isn't good.

So now I have 2.5 gallons of good lard and I'm very happy. :) Oh, the jar in front is only half full because I already used that much. :)

In other much else exciting has happened. I got to stop and see the progress on the house Thursday and it's looking great! My guy is working so hard! Nearly all the drywall is completed now, and next will be kitchen cabinets and then painting, I think. The top cabinets are fine, so we're just going to sand them down a bit and restain them when we get new cabinets for the bottom. :) It's exciting! Jacob's really doing a great job and is working himself into the ground getting this house fixed up for us. :) That makes a girl smile, seeing her man doing that for her. It's much more satisfying knowing that you're being taken care of, than trying to take care of everything yourself! Guys need that's ingrained, for guys to take care of their girls and for girls to like being taken care of! No amount of feminizing going on in this world can change that extremely natural fact!!! It's amazing and wonderful!

Today we were at the Goodwill store (I think I have a clothing problem...) and Jacob's mom and sisters came in. We got to the skirts before they did though. Mwahahaha. Actually, it worked out very well because before they came in, I had just seen a skirt and I told Mama "that looks like Moriah!" (sister) So, in they walk, and they tried the skirt on and liked it...I think they bought it. It's funny...I've never had sisters...and I kinda do now! It's awfully awesome. So, we spent a little while critiquing choices in the dressing rooms and having tons of fun. :D 

Jacob also fixed the air in my car for me Thursday. It's been alternating between blowing out the vents, the floorboard, and the defrost. Weird. So, there was this hose that was supposed to be plugged in somewhere and it was just laying there, so he fixed it up for me. :) And he washed my car off for me too. And we went on a bike ride while the sun set. :) Life is totally wonderful!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cleaning House

Well, not really cleaning house in the normal sense of the phrase, but who am I to say something normal, anyway?

Food for thought.

I've had grand ideas over the past few days. See, that's a problem I have. I have tons of grand ideas, just not enough time and/or money to execute said ideas. However, the grand ideas I've been coming up with lately have had to do with making money. As in, taking stuff I no longer need, want, or have a place for, and turning them into cash.

Viola. You didn't know I was a magician on the side, did you? I sure wish it was that easy.

So, today I went through my closet. Yuck. There are a lot of clothes in there. See, I have regular clothes in the rotation hanging up. Stuff I wear all the time, or at least, fairly regularly. There's still too much hanging up, but I'm working on it. Today I cleaned out what was in the bottom of my closet. There's a bag of out-of-season stuff, and that pretty much gets left alone. I'll never know what I want to wear next January now, will I? That's just wrong. So, that bag gets left alone. However, there's the ever discouraging bag of "I'll fit into those someday"s and the bag of "I don't like those so I'm gonna sew them into something else." I took the bag of can't currently wears and went through that. It's bad, because there are a lot of cute things in there....that would fit someone else. Darn it. I finally managed to happily (I guess) let them go. I now have a stack of 14...yes, yes....FOURTEEN skirts to get rid of. Mind you, I've never worn at least half of those. There are also a couple shirts, a few blazers, and a couple vests that I don't wear anymore and I set those out as well. I do, however, have a fundamental problem taking all this stuff to the thrift store. See, I do that a LOT. I buy a skirt at the thrift store, and then come home and get one I don't wear much or don't like, and take it to the thrift store. Or, at least, that's how it's supposed to work. Don't ask how my closet got to be so full...

But see, that situation leaves me $3 in the hole every time. Sure, $3 isn't much for a skirt (if you weren't used to the $0.25 a skirt thrift store, anyway) but it adds up. And then you have to have a $3 shirt to go with that skirt you just bought as well. So, here's my grand idea in that department. I'm going to try desperately to sell skirts and other articles of cast-off clothing on Ebay or something like that. Couldn't hurt, and I might at least get my money back.

Besides, I'd like to make a little extra money these days to add to my piggy bank. You never know when you might need, say, a fancy dress or something. Just a thought.

So today I started by putting up my one remaining Civil War day dress on Ebay. I put it pretty cheap, because it's a few years old and it wasn't that expensive (as far as those dresses go) to begin with.

It sold. Like, just now. ChaChing.

I also listed my mandolin on a couple websites. It would be nice to sell would result in a much larger ChaChing, and I'd like to be rid of it. I never learned how to play it much, and I don't care about playing it enough to learn. I'm taking a serious loss on it, but the tuning guts will have to be replaced, so it's all good. I'd love to sell it.

Let's see....over the years, I've been the lucky recipient of lots of yarn. Someone's grandma dies and guess who gets her yarn? I'm not complaining, but I have more cheap yarn than I'll ever want (can someone tell me why grandmas who die never knit with alpaca? I'd love to know...) so I'm going to tackle dividing that up and getting rid of it soon. If I can get past the wasp's nests in the barn, where it's currently stored. Y'all can't have my nice yarn, though, so don't even think about that. :) Not until I get a lot more desperate, anyway...haha!

So, that's how I'm cleaning house. Basically just taking stuff I don't need and coercing other poor souls into being burdened by the stuff. I mean, blessing other, less fortunate souls with my overabundance. That's better.

In other news, I bought a dress at the thrift store Saturday. I spent $5 on one thing...a first, I think. I NEVER find full dresses that I like, but I LOVE this one. It's denim, and I would get a picture of it, but it's dirty. Someone (no names, but her initials are Kayla, as Jacob says) was so excited about her new dress, that she wore it to her DBF's house that night to play volleyball. And her DBF's dear brother (bless his heart, he was so embarrassed) sorta tackled her. The ball was on my side, E. ;) And she ended up on her backside in the dust and dirt. :) It was a really fun night, and I played volleyball for about 4 hours straight. I'm sore. But I'm getting better! I've come a long way since this: (gotta love the uncomfortable "I have to tug at my shirt because I think everyone's looking at me and I'm really uncomfortable being here right now and I can't just stand here still. How the heck do you play volleyball again? Oh my gosh..there's a BALL...what do I DO???? I don't play sports! HELP! WHY was a nice to this guy?") Just kidding about the last part...I'm very glad I was nice to this amazing guy. He pushes me to do things I'm uncomfortable with sometimes and I'm better for it. He's the greatest thing, EVER.
 This picture was taken the very first time we went to Jacob's family's for a get-together. He'd invited me, and everyone made fun of him for it, because he invited this girl. That was exactly 8 months ago from Saturday when I was over there playing volleyball. Not only was the volleyball a lot better (I did actually hit the ball a few times, successfully, sometimes,) but everyone treats me like I'm one of the family now, I'm comfortable there, and it's great. I love every minute of it!

I reckon that'll be it for now. I'm not sure anything I just wrote had a point, but, oh, well.

Monday, June 11, 2012

WIP and More

So, I decided to go through some of my stuff, clean up, and organize this morning. For those of you who haven't been to our house, I don't really have a room. I have a section of a huge room, and it's sectioned off with sheets hung on wire storage racks and on the backs of bookshelves. Not the greatest arrangement, but it's what we have and it works. See, our house is really only two bedrooms. The original master bedroom was the entire width of our double-wide, and had double doors. We took down the double doors and I have a little less than half the room, and the boys share the other side, with one twin bed for Dave and a bunk bed for Titus and Philip. So I have two regular walls, and then one wire-storage-rack-covered-with-sheets wall and one back-of-the-bookshelves wall. It's hard to explain! Anyway, my whole area is pretty small, and I have a full bed, a dresser, a chest of drawers, the old china cabinet I refinished, and my sewing cabinet with a chair. Needless to say, it gets a little cramped in here. My dresser is full of clothes...actually, it was overflowing, but I'll get to that in a minute. My chest of drawers is one of two I used to have before I bought the dresser. I needed the storage, so I kept it...the top drawer is just miscellaneous stuff...nail polish, some hair stuff, that kind of thing. The rest of it still needs going through....there are old workout clothes, swimming clothes, sweatshirts, hate...basically, stuff I don't need very often. The china cabinet I refinished...well, the top has three shelves and has a glass front. The bottom is a cabinet with doors. In the bottom, I have a bunch of bags, ones I've made, and ones I bought (tote bags.) That's also where my laptop case is, and it's where my purse goes if I'm good enough to actually put it up instead of leaving it at the end of my bed. :) The shelves of the china cabinet are FULL of fabric, folded and stacked rather neatly. Well, mostly rather neatly. My bottle of Modge Podge is packed in there as well, because I couldn't find any other place to put it. My fiddle hangs on my wall, my guitar leans on the wall under it, beside the dulcimer I'm still trying to sell because I never play it. The classical guitar my grandpa gave me (his first guitar) sits on top of the china cabinet, along with a couple other miscellaneous things. My sewing cabinet...well, it's always open...the door swings open and a table-top rests on it. The door is full of storage, and it's full of sewing stuff. My sewing machine always sits on the table-top, as well as my computer, at this present moment. My sewing tote also sits to the side, and my colored pencils (for sketching designs) are here as well. The tiny cabinet on the other side of the sewing cabinet (under where the sewing machine sits) is full of fabric too. The chest-of-drawers is to my right and my notepads (sketching and otherwise) are on top of it (it's just about 3 feet tall) as well as 3 handmade baskets. There are two more baskets in the floor behind me (between me and the bed behind me) and one of them is sitting on the two rubbermaid containers full of stuff I didn't sell at the craft fair. (I have so many baskets because I keep making them...I go to basket classes once a month with Jacob's mom and I haven't gotten rid of any yet. This could be bad.)

By the way, I sold $140 worth of stuff at that two day craft fair. Booth space was $175.

Ok, back to my room...I have a ton of stuff (before we moved I had my own room and closet...I share a closet with Dave now too.) And, it's really a bedroom and craft room all combined, in this tiny space. I have yarn everywhere, fabric everywhere, with a bed and a few instruments thrown in for good measure! Oh, and my mandolin is even on the boys' side of the room! I forgot about that!

So, this morning, the cry of my unorganized space was driving me crazy and I had nothing more pressing to do, so I tackled it. But see, it's so much more than just cleaning up! A couple weeks ago, I went shopping at the thrift store for shirts. I buy nice T-shirts, but then I cook in them, without my apron on (big dummy) and get grease splatters and the like on them. So, nearly all of my t-shirts had splotches on the front. I bought several new (new to me) shirts a couple weeks ago, but still hadn't gone through my old shirts yet, so I had a stack of shirts that didn't have a home. So first thing, I emptied out my shirt drawer, went through everything in it, got rid of a bunch of stuff, threw some stuff away, folded everything nice and neat, and returned the shirts that were staying back to the dresser. But then it would be silly for my shirt drawer to be nice and organized with only things I wear in it, and my other drawers still be messy and cluttered with things I no longer wear, wouldn't it? So, I did my other drawers as well.

Then I noticed all the yarn spilling over and out of everything it was "contained" in. So I got to work on that next. I really think I could start a yarn shop and not have to buy any inventory. That actually might be wise. Anyway, guess what I found?

Five different WIP! (Works in progress) FIVE! See?

The blue variegated on the left is a baby blanket, The green in the bottom middle, a scarf. The turquoise is a sweater I've been "working on" for a couple years now. Above that, the peach variegated is a baby sweater. The top left is a purse. I think I have a disorder. Maybe a side effect of said disorder is naming things in counter-clockwise order?

So, I have determined to tackle getting these things completed. The turquoise is soooo very close to being done...all I have left is the button and buttonhole bands on the front, and seaming it all together. That's just pitiful! I didn't even think about all this stuff a couple weeks ago, when I whipped out this new shrug/bolero in less than a week. (Sitting at the craft fair not selling anything made for good knitting time)
I haven't had a chance to wear it yet, but I'm loving shrugs right now. I wear the one I crocheted all the time, and I bought enough thread to make two pink and one black, just like the cream one. After I finished my other WIP I mean... ;) This knit one here is slightly can't really tell in the picture. I'll have to get a picture when I wear it.

So, I organized all of my yarn, placed all my things to work on in a basket together, and then tackled a basket full of fabric. I was able to reorganize my fabric in the china cabinet so that all that fabric would fit in there as well.

I still have way too much stuff (hope Jacob doesn't see this...;) ) for my little space, but at least now it all has a place. Sorta.

Now I need to go through my closet and weed out some stuff in there. Yay.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Dahlonega, GA, April 2012

Some of you may remember that my family took a trip to Dahlonega, GA a couple months ago. I promised pictures, remember? Oops...

Anyway, my family has gone to Dahlonega for the annual Bear on the Square music and craft festival for the past four years. Mom and Dave set up their crafts (soap and blacksmithing) and I walk around and listen to the music. Yeah...I'm a real help. This year, I didn't get any pictures of the event at all, but I did get ones on the way home. Again, lots of help. We stopped at Amicalola Falls on the way home and that's where I got all the pictures. So, without further ado, prepare to spend the next 37 minutes of your life scrolling through pictures of a waterfall, and those viewing the waterfall. Oh, and the stairs. There are lots of stairs.

Oops...getting ahead of myself. Here's one Dave took (self-timer on the tailgate of the truck, actually) before we left the cabin. Left to right, Dad, Mom, Philip (10) Titus (13) me (23) and Dave (19) No, Titus isn't standing on anything...he just is that tall, somehow. Crazy.
 Now, we drove to Amicalola Falls. We took the truck and trailer up an INSANE incline and we kinda worried about it. When we got out, we could smell something that didn't smell right...and it was coming from the truck.

We got out and walked around a bit at the base of the falls. Me and Mom...being us...
This is the pond at the base...can you see the waterfall?'s in the dead center of the picture...try again
Ok, I'll zoom in for you. Actually, I zoomed in for me, but y'all can enjoy the benefit of zooming as well. I'm nice like that.

And here's where it comes into the pond...just a little right of the center...
 We got a kick out of the side-by-side signs posted on the walls of the pond.


I think I have my order of events wrong. We stopped at the base of the falls, as pictured above, and THEN drove to the top. That's actually how it went.

So, here's the view from the top!
 See the teeny tiny white dot just slightly above the center of this picture? Well, that's a car.
A car we were parked beside just five minutes prior. Remember that steep incline I was talking about?

And here's the view looking straight out...
 Now, we had to walk down beside the falls. It couldn't be that hard. We're funny.

So, we walked.

And we walked.
Stopping along the way for the view, to get pictures, and the ever-important breath we had to catch.

The view...

Annnnd then we walked.

And walked.
And then we finally got the overlook...

And we looked over.

 The view looking up...

Texting a picture to someone...I forget who... ;)


Looking up at the over-look from under it... :)
But really, why stop there?

We went on down and got some more pictures. I was playing with the shutter speed a lot and therefore took approx. 769 pictures, but you only get one here. It's about the only one worth keeping!

And then we walked back. Go ahead, laugh. Wow. It was rough. Titus was exhausted by the time we got to the top of the 175 step section! And we only had 425 left to go!

There was apparently something very fascinating on the side of this hill...
 The boys.

My toes, above raging waterfall.
I got a kick out of the various inscriptions on the way up. I guess they were there on the way down as well, but I was going a little faster and didn't take the time to gasp the oxygen smell the roses on the way down. This one was sweet...
And I like this guy's sense of humor...(the writing on the left!)
 And I could feel this guy's pain...
Alas, I had neither pen nor knife and therefore left without leaving my mark behind. You know, I've never done that...maybe I should put that on that bucket list everyone has...

And finally, just before leaving, we got to see some good ol' red GA clay. None of that here in KY!That and fire ants! I'm still getting over the fact that you don't have to be scared of ants here! The dirt doesn't stain and the ants don't bite. Almost sounds like a song!
That'll wrap this post up. I also have a bunch of pictures from our trip to Louisville a few weeks ago, where we met my grandparents and did some sight-seeing stuff for a few days. I'm trying to catch up here!

Thanks for hanging around!