Smokey Sausage, Kale & Sweet Potato Soup …


MAKE A 15 MINUTE SENSATION – [[MORE]] Smokey Sausage, Kale & Sweet Potato Soup ….

I first made this soup in November and have made it many many times since then. I start with the basic soup but almost always add something extra or different. Tonight I added a can of kidney beans and I chopped up a pound of asparagus and threw it in. It makes a really great, hearty soup. I have also made it with beef broth and strips of beef as the meat (I think I added a can of diced tomatoes to that too). It occurred to me as I was making it tonight that I should share this recipe with everyone.






Kevin’s New Truck


Wow, I have really been neglecting my blog lately. No excuses, just very busy. So, what has been going on in my life? Well…

The other day when I was making the payment on the truck it occurred to me that I have never blogged about it, especially when I blogged about Kevin’s old truck before.

We were going on a cruise in November (it was a splurge for our 40th anniversary) but because of an emergency in April, we had to cancel.  So, we thought that maybe we would run down to Disneyland and have our anniversary trip there (anything so long as it is Disney!!) Well, we were 2 weeks away from the trip when I get a call from Kevin saying he is broken down and has called for AAA. This is the same truck in this blog     so I always dread getting these calls. It took AAA 3 hours to come get him and we had it towed to Midas. The Midas here in town is the only place we have found that actually still knows how to work on old trucks (this is a 1977 chevy). The Next day we got the bad news, the engine was gone, things that should be moving in there just weren’t. This is the news we didn’t want to hear. There comes a time when you just can’t put any more money into an old truck, no matter how good a truck it has been.  My whole family has used this old truck for years and it had given very good service for many good years.

So…what to do. I have to point out here that the last car we had payments on was a brand new 1974 Datsun truck that we got about a year after we got married, mostly because Kevin was going into the Air Force and I wanted a car that was reliable. This was not the truck, it was NOT reliable at all and I had it in the shop a lot. But that was the last car we made payments on. Since then, we have paid cash and bought cars we could afford even thought they were not very new. We knew this time that maybe it would be good to buy a newer truck that might last into our retirement (10 years, so it might be pushing it a little…). I gave Kevin a budget to stay under and everyone started looking online for the perfect truck. I had a few things I wanted, the most important that it have less than 40,000 miles A few days later, Kevin called from work and said he had found the truck. I could tell from his voice that he was in love…

The ad he sent was a gorgeous truck, a blue crew cab with 4 wheel drive and ALL the bells and whistles. I called him right back and told him that it was certainly a beautiful truck but it was considerably above the budget I had given him and the payments would be too high. By this time he had already called and told them we would be there the next day, asked questions about it and was told that it would be no problem to keep the payment at what I wanted….I could see that this was a done deal before he even climbed in.

On Saturday we all climbed in Max’s truck and went over to see it. And it was beautiful and it was WAY more than any car we have ever had. It had bells and whistles that we didn’t know cars even had these days. And it was comfortable. And it drove beautifully (it is a 2010 and had been taken very good care of by the former owner) It had not been smoked in (cigarette smoke is one of the things that gets my asthma going). And did I mention the stereo? That’s what sold me. This thing has a stereo system that is just amazing. The sound wraps around you and seeps into your soul. And this was just with the radio playing (it is way better with the MP3 player plugged in). It also has a “sync system” that not only plays the radio and MP3 player by talking to the car, Kevin can sync his phone with it and so is completely hands free. We didn’t know cars did this but we drive old cars.

So, we have a new truck. The first thing we did after buying it (which was a whole new level of scary) we drove it up to my sister’s house so everybody could see it and we all went for a ride. My Mom loved it (she is 99 years old) and wanted to drive it herself!   And we made them close all the doors so we could play them the stereo. Not sure they were as impressed as we are with it but they were amazed that the car talked to Kevin. Once a week it (actually “she”, you can choose between a woman’s voice or a man’s) asks if he wants it to e-mail him a car report….

I don’t get to ride in it much and I have yet to drive it but Kevin is truly in love. Almost every time he gets out of it he says “isn’t it a beautiful truck? And that is worth the many many years of payments to come!It is a really big truck and I am use to driving my small flat 92 Camaro. I moved it across the drive way because Jen was coming over and I had to sit on the front edge of the seat so I could reach the pedals and I could barely see over the hood. It does have adjustments for the seat and the pedals move out towards you but I didn’t want to change Kevin’s setting for a 50 trip. I probably should drive it sometime.

So that’s it. Oh, the old truck? Kevin gave it to a guy at work and he is going to fix it so he has an old truck to haul things in. I was glad we didn’t have to just haul it to the car dump.

Here is a picture:

Isn't it beautiful?!

Isn’t it beautiful?!

DbM Interludes | Disney by Mark’s Video Interludes


DbM Interludes | Disney by Mark’s Video Interludes.

This is one of my favorite Disney websites, especially during work. You would need a second monitor of course but having these going takes a little of the stress of the day away. Almost like being there!



Epcot Flower and Garden Festival


The following is news of the Flower & Garden Festival being held at Walt Disney World being held March 5th to May 18, 2014. The full article link follow this excerpt. Someday we hope to go to this:


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Kermit the Frog will find it is easy being green when his artfully-crafted character topiary debuts during the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV March 5 to May 18, 2014 at Walt Disney World Resort.  With flamboyance to spare, a floral Miss Piggy will join Kermit and his blooming banjo in the World Showcase topiary display.

Urban Farm Eats will be the new Outdoor Kitchen on the promenade with a sustainable garden featuring tilapia, eggplant and other farm-raised treats. Guests can try new menu items including the Land-Grown Eggplant “Scallop” with Romesco Sauce, Ghost Pepper Dusted Tilapia with Winter Melon Salad and Mango Chutney, plus red and white vegan wines and gluten-free beer.

The festival’s nearly 100 whimsical topiaries and its 11 tantalizing Outdoor Kitchens with sweet and savory indulgent bites are reason enough to visit the 75-day flower and garden extravaganza. Yet the park will be packed with so much more as it transforms to a rainbow-hued wonderland of sweeping gardens and exhibits. Stars of HGTV, including Alison Victoria of “Kitchen Crashers” and Matt Blashaw of “Yard Crashers,” will appear each weekend at the Festival Center, Audubon will debut its new Hummingbird Garden and Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden opens as a fun-filled play land.

via Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.

The Great Penguin Sweater Fiasco | Giant Flightless Birds

The Great Penguin Sweater Fiasco | Giant Flightless Birds

A few days ago I post a story about penguin sweaters….below is an excerpt from a new article. There is a link below to the full article but this is it is a nutshell:

“Hundreds of sweaters started flooding in, far outnumbering the rescued penguins. Skeinz was contacted by local and international media wanting pictures of cute penguins in sweaters. The organizer’s holiday coincided with a long weekend, so there was another delay in shutting down the campaign. But by now the horse had bolted, as the online newsletter content remained unchanged and was easy enough to copy and paste into emails; the penguin sweaters had gone viral.

And by now it turned out that none—not one—of the sweaters was actually used. The rescued penguins were being kept in warm water and recovering under heat lamps, much less stressful for wild birds than dressing them in a cute knitted sweater. Nobody seems to have asked the vets and rescue workers if they in fact needed penguin sweaters, and those interviewed seemed a bit surprised by the international knitting effort.

The end result is that “hundreds, possibly thousands” of unneeded sweaters will continue arriving at Skeinz. The organizer claimed, “the sweaters were a way for people to help, even if they weren’t going to be used.” Apparently the sweaters will be sent to a conservation group in Australia, though with crates of penguin jumpers already in storage it’s hard to see when they’ll ever be needed; some might be sold for unspecified fund-raising purposes. It all seems like rather a poor use of thousands of hours of volunteer effort: the knitters would have made more of a difference supplying gloves and hats for the volunteer clean-up crew, or donating a few dollars to Greenpeace, or writing to their MP with their views on maritime safety or offshore oil drilling. Knitters didn’t sign up to make sweaters for sale; they made them for penguins.”

via The Great Penguin Sweater Fiasco | Giant Flightless Birds.

Knitters wanted for penguin pullovers – ABC Melbourne – Australian Broadcasting Corporation


Knitters wanted for penguin pullovers – ABC Melbourne – Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


My sister-in-law tagged me on Facebook with this and I think it will be a really fun project to do. I wanted to share in case someone else was interested!!




What Not to Do When Dyeing Roving


OK, wow. It has been a long time since my last post. I have been VERY busy but things are calming down since Christmas so I will be writing a lot more.

A week or so ago, my sister and I went a little crazy ordering roving during the sale at Paradise Fibers and a lot of what I got was white roving of different breeds so that I could learn to do hand painted roving. I have dyed a lot of yarn and loved the results so I thought this would be a fun way to add to my spinning.  I need to say before I start that patience is not one of my virtues….

Here is a tip: Do not be either impatient or quick when you dye roving. Also, rubber gloves are strongly suggested. I don’t think I totally ruined 5 ounces of the South African wool but it was touch and go for a while. Next time I will certainly read the directions and maybe watch a video or 5 before starting. I have done this before, many many times with much success but it was with yarn. Roving behaves differently  and when I thought there wasn’t enough dye on it, I made more and kept pouring it on in a VERY random manner (leaving white areas that I figured would take up it excess …it did) . When I went to roll it up in the saran, the dye POURED out both ends all over everything. I finally got it under control and put it in the steam pot. I might have sworn then but I figured I was home free. (you know, I have done this many times blah blah blah)  Did I mention I couldn’t find any rubber gloves? Yeah. After getting it out of the steam pot. I let it cool and then ran it back to the shower to hang it to dry. It was at this point that I found all the dye had not set and was running all over the shower. With nothing to lose, I took the handheld shower head and sprayed it with warm water until it ran clear. If I don’t wind up with 5 ounces of felt I will be surprised.  It is now draining in the shower, looped over a hanger.  After rinsing, I liked the color better so maybe all is not lost.


This is what happens when you want to “just do a quick dye job to see how it looks” at the same time as I was trying to get things on my list taken care of (our power was out most of yesterday because of a wind storm so I was behind).  Next time I will set aside a whole day and do  nothing else, which is what I do when dyeing yarn.

Another thing I bought during the sale was 2 Louet S10 bobbins. They fit my Bea Classic spinning wheel very well and also give me different speeds (my wheel is 5:1).  My sister has a Louet and her flyer also fits my wheel, in case something horrible happens to mine. It is almost impossible to find parts for an old wheel so I am glad to have an option.

I hope everyone had a nice Holiday Season!


Oopsie Bread Recipe –


Oopsie Bread Recipe – – 497736.

I made these tonight to go with a nice hot pot of soup.  Before you try them out, let me say that you should read the directions over before starting and make a note of the ACTUAL cooking temperature…if you are in the US,A, you should really use the SECOND temperature.  I think they would have been better if I had cooked them at 300 degrees instead of the 150 degrees that I read because I was trying to make them quickly.  The taste is very good but I think they would have puffed up more if I had cooked them at 300.

I am going to try it again this weekend and will take a photo then. We have been looking for both carb-free and/or gluten free bread recipes and I think this one will fit the bill. There are a lot of different ways to use this recipe (I googled “oopsie bread” )