Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Magazines: Save the Best - Get Rid of the Rest

I was trying to straighten up some bookshelves a few days ago and realized I had been hoarding magazines. Now, I am not about to let myself get as bad as my maternal grandmother who had magazines (and she subscribed to many) piled up behind things, cascading across the floor, shoved in a basket. etc. We as children loved browsing through them (although I question the advisability of letting an 11 y/o read Redbook) but I don't have grandchildren yet so I have many years before I have to build a stash like that. In the meantime, they were taking up valuable room that could be used for books. Serious business in our house.

I know people tend to lovingly cut articles, snip photographs of room for inspiration, collect different photographs of chairs and fabrics, etc. I didn't do that. I took the entire stack of Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart Living (the ones that survived the last purge) and Southern Living. I flipped rapidly through each one looking for things I would miss if I chucked the magazine. I wound up pulling out a surprisingly small stack of pages. And no cutting - rip, rip, rip (I was careful on the recipe pages). I sorted them as I went: recipes, decorating, craft, gardening and organization.

Today I sorted through the things I had ripped out and threw several away. Then I started putting them in clear page protectors, using both sides, useful part facing out. Some articles that I decided to keep several pages of I put in one sheet protector. For the recipes, I used only two protectors. I slid a plain piece of paper in each one and labeled each side: Breads, Desserts, Sides, Main. Then I just sorted each page into the appropriate place. These are generally recipes I have not tried. If I try them and like them I'll transfer the recipe to a card and file it in my card index.

Which brings me to another part of today's project: cleaning out recipes. (Ugh.) I had two recipe boxes of different sizes. Not helpful. I took all the recipes I wanted to keep out of the small box and gave that one to the girls. Then I started working on the large box. I should note that I also have a 3-ring binder full of various hole-punched pages, cards, etc. with recipes. I stopped punching (poking) holes in index cards some time ago and started shoving them in the front pocket of the notebook. So much for organized, ha ha.

SO, I started going through the notebook. I sorted all the cards into the appropriate sections of the box and now I'm transcribing things off of ratty ends of paper onto cards. At some point (NOT today) I will actually go through every card in the box and ditch all the ones that failed, we didn't like, I'm not going to use, etc. Then I should have a truly useful box of recipes.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The answers to all of life's burning questions...

It's currently 98 degrees and sunny. Hanging one load on the line in the sun just about gave me heatstroke so I've retreated to the airconditioned indoors for a while. I've been going through old magazines, ripping out recipes, craft ideas, etc., and throwing the magazine out. I save way too much stuff. I'll sort everything into a notebook when I'm done.

For a break I'm playing a Google guessing game. Type (for those of you with autosuggest) something in your search box and see what is suggested. Scary and funny. I followed the "who - what - when - where - why" formula and added "how" and "if". Then Father and I just started asking the first parts of questions. It seems that there are many people who view Google as a Higher Power.

Is it possible... be pregnant and not know it? be allergic to water? (LOL) get rid of cellulite? (no) read minds?
(most of the rest had to do with pregnancy)

How to...
...tie a tie?
...jailbreak iphone 4?
...make hair bows?
...hard boil eggs? (I can't say anything here; I've had to look up how to bake a potato...)
...grow weed? (answer: very surreptitiously)

What if...
...I am a black woman? (What reason could someone possibly have to ask this?)
... God was one of us?
...there was no Google? (The sky is falling!)
...I'm right lyrics.

Who is...
...a in pretty little liars?
...amber cole? (no clue here...)
...lil wayne engaged to?
...left on American Idol?

Why... the sky blue? men cheat? (sounds like someone is bitter)
...are black people lazy? (Ouch!! Please remember that this does not represent the views of the blogger.)
...was the civil war fought?
...did I get married? (possibly asked by the same person as above)

Where are my...
...taxes? contacts?
...contacts in gmail?
...keys? (I wonder if they found them...)
...lymph nodes?
...glasses? (same as above)

What should I do if... dog eats chocolate? (oops...)
...I win the lottery? (daydreaming at work about telling off the boss) email is hacked?

...I have a concussion? iphone freezes? dog has diarrhea? (wonder if the chocolate had anything to do with it)
...I have food poisoning? (You and the dog are in competition now.)
...I lost my iphone? (It's ok, it was frozen anyway.)

When should...
...I take creatine?
...I feel baby move?
...a baby roll over?
...I take my synthroid?
...a baby sit up?
(The rest were all on the same lines. Someone needs a pharmacist and someone else needs a parenting book.)

Why did my...
...facebook change to timeline?
...toenail fall off?
...period come early?
...golfish die?
...cake sink in the middle?
...cheesecake crack?
(I like to picture someone ranking all of these equally.)

Can you smoke... [This was one of Father's suggestions, just fyi, and he's never smoked anything.]
...weed out of a hookah?
...catnip? (Whoa! Someone's desperate!)
...weed while pregnant? (Um, no.)

Is it...
...down? (huh?)
...a sin to get a tattoo? to travel to Mexico?
...bad to swallow gum?
...bad to crack your neck?
...going to rain today? (I can think of better ways to get your forecast than by googling that...)

Why can't I...
...get pregnant? (Questions about pregnancy rank very high in general.)
...lose weight?
...sleep? (Question asked at 3 AM...)
...stop eating?
...own a Canadian? (What on earth...?)
...look people in the eye?
...get a job? (Because you can't look people in the eye.)
...get a girlfriend? (Because you don't have a job.)

Your blog is... favorite. (smile)
...amazing. (blush)
...not indexed by Google. (hmmm...) (Nope.)

Well, maybe that last one describes it. (:

Other interesting questions: (Trust me...try them!)
How do I convince...
Is it legal to...
How should I...
How do I get...
Can you taste...
How to fix...
It's better to...


Monday, May 28, 2012

Memory Eternal!

(Photo taken by my father. His hat next to his friend's name.)

Cleaning Cloths and a "Found" Hanger

 I have seen several examples of people sewing pretty cleaning cloths from fabric scraps, even one example of someone making a reusable towel roll (looks just like a roll of paper towels but made of snap-together cloths). My rags look like rags. You know, the size 2T undershirts, the scraps of a towel that had eight holes in it before you gave up, dish cloths that had had it. After enough views I decided I had had enough. I had fabric (too much really, but does anyone really have too much?) and, at least for this purpose, a few t-shirts leftover from my hospital days. Let's face it; I don't wear big, boxy, t-shirts with logos for anything but washing the car. Knit that has been washed several times is almost lint-free and absorbent.

I rummaged through my fabric and grabbed some remnants. I cut out reasonable size squares/rectangles (The shape of the remnant dictated the size - who said they all have to be the same? Sometimes smaller is better.) and cut out matching squares/rectangles from the logo-free parts of the t-shirts. I stitched around the perimeter, right sides together, leaving a three to four inch gap. Then I trimmed the excess, turned it inside out, and zig-zagged around the perimeter, catching the gap as I went. Voila! Pretty cleaning cloths!

While I was outside doing the photo session Father was cutting the grass. Between the clothesline and the stick pile he came across this little item in the grass:

I had no idea what it was, but I knew exactly what I would use it for: 

That, of course, meant that I had to make some slight adjustments to my cloths:

I sewed bits of rickrack or seam binding (I'm not doing any more work than I have to) across one corner of each cloth, trying to make it sort-of match. I mostly succeeded.

Now, just to hang them up...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Grocery Store Soap Box

I have a few things I'd like to get off my chest. So, stepping up on the soap box:

 1. Hot dogs are not meat and American "cheese" is not cheese. Both are processed stuff that's leftover from making other stuff.

2. Curlers are not an acceptable accessory to any outfit except a robe and slippers. And none of the three should be worn at the grocery store.

3. Having been forced to view what other people consider church clothes, I can now see why they don't seem to sell slips any more. I've never seen slips short enough to avoid a "your slip is showing" with those clothes. Merciful heavens. The dresses and skirts in our house must pass the metanoia test. [And this is completely off topic, but does anyone know a good, inexpensive source for girls' slips? They don't sell them locally.]

4. Ok, this is a bit neurotic* (like you haven't already figured that out yet), but when I very carefully place the large, heavy items on the belt at the checkout first, then cans, then boxes, then other dense objects, then lighter objects, refrigerated things together, frozen things together, etc., why does the checker or bagger decide to just reach out and grab a random item and put it in a bag on top of another random item? I made it easy for them. Hello? Bread is not happy with bananas sitting on top of it. And those bags of heavy, indestructible cans go on the bottom of the cart and the lighter things go on top of those bags.

 (portion about proper bagging is 1:04 to 1:58)

5. When you sell some product in a dispenser-type container (even if it's a plastic box) and you also sell the same item in "refill" bags, you should not price them such that the refill bags cost more per ounce (or whatever the appropriate unit is) than the original container. I will continue to buy the original container and I will grind my teeth. [It's even more insulting when the price-per-unit is right on the price label so you don't even have to do the mental arithmetic.]

6. When you bought 10 of something, wouldn't you think the most efficient way to ring it up is to scan one, rapidly count the total number of items, then hit "x 10" on the register? Instead of ringing up every. Single. Item.

Sigh. I guess that's all for now. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Whew!

*Hey! I found someone as neurotic as I am!

Cream Cheese Danish

Mmmmm... I found this recipe while browsing around and it looked so good I had to try it.

Mine turned out fine, but a little underdone. I think the person writing the recipe has a hotter oven. I'm going to increase the cooking time to 35 minutes. The recipe called for 15 to 18 minutes and I wound up adding almost 10 extra minutes. It still wasn't quite done on the very inside.**

Drives. Me. Crazy.

On the other hand, I made it this morning and there's none left...

[Per Father's request made it again last night/this morning and baked it for 30 minutes. MUCH better.]

Friday, May 25, 2012

New-Martyr Aquilina

 I was told about St. Aquilina* while I was on my retreat including the news that her relics had been finally found. When only 18 she was tortured and beaten to death by the Muslims on September 27, 1764 after having steadfastly refused to renounce Christ. Her relics were hidden to avoid defilement by the Muslims and were only located very recently. According to my spiritual father, this past winter when the snow was falling and covering the ground a rectangular patch (unmarked) in a cemetery was left completely dry. Investigation revealed the relics. A church built in her honor is in her village of Zagliveri, Greece. For a full story of her life and martyrdom (very worth reading!) see an article on Full of Grace and Truth, and for a news article in Greek (with photos) of the celebration of her relics this past Tuesday see here.

 Holy New-Martyr Aquilina pray to God for us!

h/t Fr. Benedict

*also "Akylina" or "Angelina"

"I held him for the 45 minutes that it took him to die."

This video is from an interview that took place in 2000. Since then the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act was passed in 2002. However, in abortionaries around the country babies who are "mistakenly" born alive are still allowed to die after being thrown in a bucket or wrapped up in something and put to the side. A few have been saved by courageous workers who later ended their jobs for the abortion industry and started efforts to protect the smallest members of our society.

Did you know??

"...each year in the U.S., the abortion industry brings in approximately $831 million through their abortion services alone. If you add in the $337 million (or more) that Planned Parenthood (America's largest abortion provider) receives annually in government grants and contracts for, the annual dollar amount moves well past 1 billion." (source)

h/t Jill Stanek

Thursday, May 24, 2012


This is a test of the Emergency Comedy Broadcast System. The bloggers of your area in voluntary cooperation with federal, state and local authorities have developed this system to keep you informed in the event of a comedy emergency.

If this had been an actual emergency, the Attention Signal you just heard would have been followed by official information, news or instructions. Praying With My Feet serves the Orthodox Comedy Blogger Area. This concludes this test of the Emergency Broadcast System. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

Prayer Request

We have been asked to pray for a young Orthodox woman by the name of Dmetra. She has just had surgery and been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Other details are not yet known but this is a serious situation. She has two very small children. Please pray for healing for her and also for peace and fortitude to endure some very unpleasant treatment. I will update as I have any information.


 Joyous Feastday! 
Christ has Ascended!

(Holy Protection Monastery, PA

 Troparion for Ascension, tone 4
O Christ God, Thou hast ascended in Glory,
Granting joy to Thy disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit.
Through the blessing they were assured
That Thou art the Son of God,
The Redeemer of the world!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dealing with Troublesome People

(From Seeking the Kingdom:)

 To a person whom we find tiresome and troublesome, love needs to be offered in a subtle manner without the person being aware that we are striving to love him. It shouldn't be given much outward expression, because then the person will react. Silence saves us from all evils. Restraint of the tongue is a great thing. In a mystical way silence radiates out to our neighbor. Let me tell you a story...
Read the rest.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Vintage Children's Reference Books

I saw a post by Anna (St. Theophan Academy) the other day in which she displayed her find at a homeschool conference: a set of Childcraft books. They're full of crafts, poetry, explanations of how things are made, etc.

We have a set too, the 1975 edition (I know that sounds old but it's still younger than I am), and our children enjoy them as much as Anna enjoyed her set. I found our set of 16 books many years ago at a thrift store for $10. Can't beat that!

 Look how nicely every one is dressed. How times have changed...

My family tends to keep an eye out for books for me. My aunt, a wonderful librarian, volunteered to sort through books for discard in the little Apalachicola library. She uncovered a few books on meteorology that had belonged to my grandfather (the meteorologist) who had donated them a few decades ago. She also found a few other gems like this one:

copyright 1941 - features many photographs of Ann Rutherford, MGM star

There are directions for making anything from dressing table skirts to Christmas decorations to centerpieces for weddings.

Over the years the thrift store has yielded many, many treasures. While people were pawing through the designer jeans and looking over the televisions, I was hunkered down with the books.  All of the following books were found at this one particular thrift store near Birmingham. Oh, how I miss that store. The fact that these books are rather old only makes them that much more fun to me.

A set of five (missing #1, sadly) books on American History, copyright 1963. ($.59 each)

I love the maps and illustrations.

A set of 6 Golden Book Illustrated Dictionaries, copyright 1961. ($.79 each)

A set of 16 Golden Book Encyclopedias, copyright 1959. ($.59 each)

Do any of you have favorite children's reference books?

Slow Cooker "Baked" Potatoes

I saw this idea for crock pot baked potatoes on Pinterest (yes, yet another) and wondered if it would possibly work. The million comments on the original article seemed to suggest it would so I went out on a limb and gave it a shot.

It worked! Beautifully!

I will never bake potatoes in the oven again. And I certainly won't microwave them.

It's so simple: scrub potatoes and allow to dry - the drying seems to be important. Rub with oil (I used olive oil but I don't think it matters) and sprinkle with salt. Wrap tightly in foil and place in slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours (I did medium high for a little under 6...kind of forgot to do it early enough in the day). That's it! No pricking, etc. The consistency was absolutely perfect.

I forgot to take pictures and now even the leftovers are gone. (:  
[The original article has a few photos.]

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

I saw this on Pinterest some time ago and have been wanting to try it. Tonight seemed like a good time. (:

[Things I did differently from the linked recipe: I have a 12 inch skillet, not a 10 inch skillet. The cooking time was 30 minutes even. I also omitted the nuts (we have one who can't have them and two who prefer not to) but increased the chocolate chips from 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups.]