Purchased an Echo Show for my husband for Christmas. He loves it! It is quite nifty. So then we had (well ok wanted to) to get some other devices for the house so that the Echo could control them via the Alexa app on our phones or directly thru the Echo Show.
Whew…confused already? I was. We got a wifi outlet(2 power plugs, 2 usb ports), hubby got it installed and then I finally got it to hook up to its app (another app on the phones..LOL ) and then linked with Alexa on the Echo Show. So far so good and we can ask Alexa to turn on the living room lamp and she does. There is independent control of each outlet and the outlet as a whole.
So then, we ordered 6 little wifi plugs which you plug into an existing outlet. So far have only done 1 of them. Plugged the little bugger into the outlet on the front porch where we have some rope lights installed under the eaves. Finally got the wifi hook up done, so Alexa could turn it off or on. Then started the daunting task of setting it up to come on at sunset and off at sunrise……. I said some not nice things a long the way as it was very frustrating for the better part of a week but today, today I finally figured it out and it works!!! Yeah. So I learned i just have to be patient and keep trying and I’ll get it.
I do love the technology but there are days when a kerosene lantern or a candle sound good!! Ha ha ha
Have a great day.
A few things that I made for Christmas and then some Valentine ideas in the works and more to come.
Also a couple of tricks/tips—–
- Use baby oil to clean your stainless steel appliances. Put a few drops on a dry cloth and rub the surface, follow with a clean dry cloth to polish. Repeat if needed. I tried this and it worked, made short work of fingerprints from our little grand daughters who love to play with magnets on the frig.
- This tip came from my husband. When needing icing instead of frosting, Open a can of pre made frosting, scoop some of it into a microwave safe bowl and heat briefly. Stir and then pour on your cake or cookies, works really well and makes icing a cake truly simple. Thanks Lynn.
That is it for now been meaning to post for ages but the Holidays kind of got in the way as I am sure you all have had happen. I am so ready for spring and the seed catalogs keep showing up which makes me want spring even more. However, winter needs to finish up first.
Hope you all have a great rest of winter and we’ll talk again later.
I am so enjoying my flowers this spring/summer. Here are several of my gladiolus, it is fun to see what color will pop up next. These are in some pots just outside our front porch. I have a large bed of them in the back yard that are just starting to bud, can’t wait to see them burst into bloom. Then there are the hollyhocks I planted with them which should be a riot of color a bit later. All of the flowers, veggies, trees, bushes, and grasses in our yard and garden make me happy. I think it’s the watching them grow, bloom and in some cases bear fruit and/or veggies that is so fun and amazing to see that attracts me to them. The different colors of even the leaves is compelling and interesting to me. Our little grand daughter, Ellie, whom we are raising loves to go into the garden with me to see whats happening. She loves the strawberries and raspberries and is quite fascinated by the growing tomatoes, peppers, squash and other items. All of this activity is good for my soul, body and mind!! Keep calm and garden on works for me.
Our youngest son who works for Les Schwab Tires (he has worked for them nearly since high school graduation and he is nearly 28 now) has moved to Hailey, Idaho. This is an advancement for him and we are proud of his progress with the company. He is very good at what he does and this has earned him respect of his bosses and co-workers. His new place of employment is about 100 miles from us, so no not far away but still seems odd not to have him close by. I guess this is the Mom in me kicking in and feeling a little sad but at the same time so happy for our son, his wife and family. Yes it also means not seeing the grand daughters as much either but we can make trips up to see them when the weather gets nicer!
Gotta let our kids grow up and spread their wings to fly on their chosen path! I will always worry about him, maybe more because he is my baby, even though in my heart I know he will be just fine.
Ok enough being sad…. LOL . Besides I have this adorable nearly 3 year old whom my husband and I are raising (she’s another granddaughter) and she keeps me very very busy.
Onward and upwards! I am ready for spring, gardening, walks again and already making stacks for the upcoming ‘sisters trip’ in June!!! Life is good and God has blessed us all.
Of course it is entirely possible that other folks have thought of this as well, however, I will tell my story anyway.
Have you ever needed to put a bouquet garni (ok a bunch of spices) in something but don’t want them to remain in the dish. Yes you can fiddle with a piece of cheese cloth or muslin and make a little package. Wait for it………I found a much better and easier way to do this. I have a little tea infuser on a chain with a hook on the end so I just fill it up with the spices, clamp it shut and hang it on the inside of the pot I am cooking in. the chain is long enough to use in a fairly large pot and I could attach more if need be. When its all done releasing its wonderful flavors and aromas I simply lift it out and discard the used up spices! Viola! as they say. Works very well. Try it you might like it. (I was going to add another picture that shows this little gem open but for whatever reason it did not want to upload.)
Today, among other things, I baked and then froze squash from our garden. Spaghetti squash and Butternut squash. After cutting the squash in half and removing the seeds I then baked the squash for what seemed a long time at 350 degrees untill they were good and soft, I let them cool just enough to handle and then in an epiphany got out an ice cream scoop and used that to scoop out the meat of the squash from the shells. Wow should have thought of that a long time ago because it worked like a charm.
I then put the squash into bags and sealed them with our vacumn sealer, this squash will taste so very good this winter.
I then made a batch of peanut butter cookies, oh yeah, Suzie Homemaker here for sure today. Since I retired from my day job just over a year ago I have had much more time for these things that I so enjoy and feel compelled to do!
Over the past few days I have processed 4 different types of peppers as well. Anaheims, Poblanos, Pimentos, and Cubanellas. The Anaheims and Poblanos I roasted under the boiler so as to be able to skin them before freezing. the Pimentos I canned in small jars and the Cubanellas I just seeded and cut into slices and froze them.
Enjoy the fruits of the season and of your labors, now and later on as well! It is therapy for me and could be for you too! If you don’t know how or don’t have any books about canning/freezing you can find it all online! Just use google and off you go.
I have been wanting to put up some backsplash in our kitchen (behind the stove of course) for some time now. Finally got some cute little 6″ square tin tiles and began the process. Of course they come with double stick tape stuff to put them up. Well they don’t stick so well so I got a tube of liquid nails and used both, awesome it works. Got it done yesterday and it looks great. Now I will admit this does not look at all professional but my husband likes it so its all good. Discovered during this process that apparently the piece of granite that goes up the wall a short way is not totally level, however, as I told my husband with enough stuff on the counter no one will see anyhow!
Next thing I tried was making my own mayonaise! Had thought about for years and just never done. Oh my goodness it was easy and turned out so yummy, don’t know why I have not done this before, may just quit buying store bought. It is thick and creamy and I am already thinking about ways to spice it up if we want it for specific recipes or dips/sauces. I boiled up a bunch of eggs and made a lovely egg salad using my mayo!
After all these projects were done I went out to the garden and found , to my delight, that we had some lovely potatoes ready to dig. We only had a couple plants as I just plopped in a couple spuds that were growing in my pantry – LOL. Will do more next year as I truly love new potatoes. Also picked some peppers and a few tomatoes and a couple of tiny little eggplants.
Ok thats it for now! Enjoy the last parts of nice weather as I hear we are to get another cold, snowy winter here in Idaho!
Today’s project was to make and preserve a big batch of pear mincemeat. Mom used to make this and it was so yummy that i had to try it myself. Credit for the recipe actually goes to the Farm Journal Canning & Freezing cookbook (not sure of the date but its been out for years). So 15 pounds of pears, 4 pounds of raisens, 13+ cups of sugar, a bunch of oh-they-smell-so-good spices and lots of chopping and cooking later here is the result. 5 quarts , 9 pints, and one pickle jar all done, sealed and labeled.
Yes it is a lot of work and required lots of standing whilst cutting, chopping, etc. I did use the meat grinder on my kitchen-aid mixer to do the fine chopping but the rough chopping was all done by my hand. The house still smells like the spices even hours after I was done with the batch. All of these things, not to mention just seeing the jars all sealed and in rows makes me happy. It is such a feeling of accomplishment to preserve foods which I know my family will enjoy later.
I print my own labels using Avery’s online template and print feature. One can save the labels but as I don’t make the same thing again on the same day/same year often I don’t bother to save and heck it takes no time at all to make up new labels anyhow. Thanks Avery for this great service!