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Sunday, January 8, 2012


Actually, I haven't been really working all that hard, but it was a good excuse to post a picture of Georgie, our little dog.  He feels left out because I never show him off like other Corgi moms.  He's practicing his survival skills by scavenging in the garbage can for butter wrappers.  Where did that saying "working like a dog" come from anyhow?  Most dogs I know sleep and eat.  Don't see much hard labor coming from their camp.

While Georgie has been sleeping and eating, I've been busy organizing.  After offering Matty (hello Matty!) some yarn, I had to locate it, which led me to the realization that I have skeins of yarn hidden all over the house.  There was a bin in the attic, some in a basket on the landing, more in my yarn bowl, some tucked away in a knitting bag and I even found a bunch that I had shoved into a blanket chest when  I was trying to clean up a mess quickly before some unexpected visitors arrived. Speaking of unexpected guest, my grandmother's one piece of domestic advice was to always make your bed first before doing the breakfast dishes.  That way if an early visitor should stop by you can always be filling the sink and look like you were about to do the dishes, therefore avoiding looking like you spent the morning lollygagging  about which is what you truly had been doing. Now back to the yarn and organizing, after all was gathered I was horrified to see that it filled an entire trunk!  You know how it goes, better buy an extra skein just in case.  My stash was no longer a stash, it was a hoard!  I slightly assuaged my guilt by giving a huge boxful to charity.  There's plenty of charities that do knitting for the homeless and chemo and premies that are happy to take your extras, so if you find yourself in the same predicament you might consider it.  You can find them on the internet easily enough. Now that I have it all in one place, I'm excited about knitting again.  Seeing it all together, I see possibilities.

As I mentioned earlier, I also organized my clothes and put them all in one wardrobe.  Having everything in one place, helped me see why I can never seem to put an outfit together.  Problem was, that while I have lots of nice cardigans and skirts, I have nothing to wear under those cardigans.  And there lies the problem; it's hard to find a decent t-shirt as they are either all cotton and lose their shape after a few hours or they have so much Lycra in them, they feel like your wearing a girdle all day long.  Blouses have always been a problem, to get them big enough so the buttons don't pop, they are too broad in the shoulders and the waist area.  Have taken a few in at the shoulders and added darts to make the waist more fitted, but boy that's a lot of work! Does anyone else have such problems getting dressed? Nothing like seeing all your possessions in one spot to make you realize that enough is enough. Like the little kid that gets too many things at Christmas, after a while the excess becomes overbearing.  Organizing is a helpful tool for being thrifty.

Well, I'll come down from my soapbox now, to bring you a recipe that I made today.  The new year means back to eating vegan again and I would like to post at least one vegan recipe a month.  Here's what we made today:

Picadillo with rice and beans
Used to make Picadillo as a young bride, but had forgotten all about it.  It's a great recipe to use with those meatless crumbles because they are a bit bland on their own.  You can also make this with ground beef for those that are inclined.   The reason I made it today, was to use up the last of the olives in the jar, left over from Christmas.  Use it up!  One of the thrifter's mottoes to live by.

Picadillo with rice and beans

1 pkg. meatless crumbles (or 1 lb. ground beef)
1 med. onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp.  cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2  sweet pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes with jalapenos, drained  (or the ones with chilis if you don't like it too hot)
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 C. raisins (golden or regular)
about a dozen olives chopped (green or black)
2 tbsp. tomato paste (didn't have any, used ketchup, worked fine)
salt and pepper to taste
rice and beans (recipe follows)

Brown the crumbles, peppers, and onions  in a stockpot with  a small amount of oil.  Add the cinnamon and cloves. Add the remaining ingredients.  Simmer while you make the rice and beans:

Rice and beans

Saute  the other half of the sweet pepper and 1 clove of minced garlic in a med. sized saucepan.  Add a pinch of turmeric and 2 C. water.  Bring to boil and stir in 1 C. rice. and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook until all the water is absorbed  and rice is soft.  Stir in 1 can of drained and rinsed pinto beans.  (I skipped the rice step and just made some packaged saffron rice and stirred the beans in.)

So that's about it for today.  Later Tater!


  1. Love your Dog!! What a great expression, one I have seen many times from my labs (both of my labs would be very happy with a butter wrapper).

    I know exactly what you mean about the shirts for under your cardigans, I have the same dilemma, I am always on the lookout for nice fitting shirts.

    Your recipe sounds so yummy! I love saffron rice and beans, and the Picadillo sounds so good, I love olives, and raisins, and the spice addition sounds so interesting, I have never made anything like this, definitely going to print this one out and work it into my January menu!

  2. Georgie looks so sweet...hard to believe he is looking for butter wrappers :)
    (silly dog!)
    Your recipe looks good...I love vinegar, cinnamon, and cloves! (I have a jane brody chili recipe with is meatless...and my family never noticed there wasn't meat in it when I first made it many years ago!) I ruin meat anyway, so it is not tempting here. (my oldest daughter is a vegetarian...probably learned to hate meat from my bad cooking).
    I just bought some yarn! Must be a seasonal yearning. I can only single it will most likely be a scarf....poor me. But I admire all you can do! I did teach myself to knit too...but need to look for my book. (children's book!)As far as making the husband likes to joke that I get dressed out of p.j.'s right before he comes home from work. love,andrea

  3. Well if you find some shirts let me know where April! Once found the nicest t-shirts at the Tractor Supply Co. of all places, but they don't sell them anymore. Picadillo smells so good when cooking too.

    Oh Andrea, you crack me up! (Does that saying age me?) Georgie was disappointed, it was only half a wrapper and since the Christmas baking is over it was only one of those olive oil based butters! I think all these blogs about the joys of handcrafting makes everyone want to make something. I learned to knit from one of those little books too!

  4. Yes! I have the same problem. Lycra should only be used for athletes! Anyway, like you, I am finding it hard to truly find tops that fit me well and do not play 'peekaboo' with me.

    That is why I tend to wear more dresses. It just solves that problem so rapidly for me :)

    Your Corgi is just the cutest! :)


  5. Hi Jane! First of all, Georgie is adorable! My goodness, he is so cute. I hope he never tells Barkley about the joys of discarded butter wrappers! :) Your Grandmother's advice is priceless. My mother used to think very much like that too. Your grandma was a woman of great common sense. I'm so proud of you for getting rid of all that yarn! That is hard to do. I went through a similar "purge" myself about a year ago. It felt so good to know the yarn was going to someone who would use and enjoy it. I know what you mean I have a tendency to tuck yarn here and there as well. I filled up all the drawers in the guest room bureau! If we have company, I hope I remember to think fast. :)

    You mentioned having problems with your blouses fitting, my trouble is with pants. Whether I am chubby or thin my waist is always 2 inches larger than the "normal" proportion. So to get my pants to fit right, the legs are always too big. Now since having the osteoporosis, I am developing a bit of a curvature in the spine and that is making everything fit a little differently too. My waist has become even less defined. When I find a nice, cute pair of jeans with an elastic waist, I buy up three or four pairs and put them away. I used to rebel against the thought of elastic but we have made peace and it my new best friend! :) Congratulations on your all your organizing efforts, you are doing a great job! Have a nice evening and rest well. Delisa :)

  6. I could relate to your whole post. Firstly, I don't have many clothes because of all the problems you describe! Secondly, we are getting back on a vegan streak, after months of milk & cheese, so I'll really be trying out your monthly recipes. Thanks!

  7. I think I'll have to follow your lead, Maria, and redraft some patterns to fit me. I hardly ever wear dresses for some reason. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Delisa, Barkley is too much of a gentleman to do such things! Georgie likes to revisit his wolf ancestry from time to time. I found the most unusual tweed yarn that I had forgotten all about and am enjoying knitting up a pair of socks from it. A lot of my friends say they have trouble with pants fitting correctly. It seems that the manufacturers make the clothes to fit an average of all woman and in doing so they fit no one!

    Hello Seriously! I'm really going to try to post at least one vegan recipe. After several weeks of eating butter, cheese, and even meat on Christmas Eve, I'm more certain than ever that being vegan, for me, is the way to go.

  8. That sounds yummy!

    My goal is to try to knit up some of my stash (hoard if you prefer) for charity this year. I thought I might as well make one resolution I could

  9. I have plenty to give away and to knit for charity, Shara! Ha! Really, truly had crossed the line from a stash to a hoard. Did you learn any good recipes while in Denmark? My son had a girlfriend from there but she said she liked herring and beets like the old people!

  10. Dear Jane,

    Ah, your posts are such a delight! Little Georgie sure looks like he's searching for butter wrappers to me (or an empty peanut butter jar). :)

    My mom has been sending us some of HER stash of yarn that she's had forever, and some that a lady she was taking care of had, and we still haven't gotten the hang of knitting yet! We're going to have to get on it, aren't we (or use it in the garden)?

    Beans and rice are a favorite here; we've been during different beans du jour for the past week, seeing which kind we like best (hummus and Puerto Rican black beans and rice were a tie).



  11. Marqueta, do you know you are the answer to my prayer this evening? I've been having one of those days and opening my e-mail with its kind words was just what I needed at the moment. Yarn in the garden? I just read that if you string twine (or yarn) around your garden at 4 foot and 2 foot heights that it will keep the deer out. They can't see it but they feel it when the bump into it and it spooks them. We eat a lot of hummus here too. Been experimenting with a white bean /rosemary one. When I get the recipe figured out, I'll post it. Oh! BTW, I'm reading a diary of a man that was captured by Native Americans and have a very interesting folk cure for difficult labors for you! The chief's daughter was having difficulty in her labor and they cut off the head of a garter snake and bled it into a cup, mixed it with water. After drinking it, she delivered the baby safely. I'm thinking must be purely psychological,don't you think?

    1. White bean/rosemary hummus sounds droolworthy, Jane! I do believe that the Indians' labor "elixir" must have been psychological, too (and eeew!).



      p.s. Thank YOU for the kind words, too!

  12. Oh I can so relate to your yarn stash, Jane. For me it's fabric. I can't believe all the little places I find stashes of fabric - usually gathered for some wonderful but yet unmade project. I think it just shows our uncontainable creativity, don't you? (-:

  13. I'll go with that explanation Sandy!

  14. Jane, thats a lovely comment on my blog today. Thank you. I love you, I think your a very special woman!


  15. Coming to you from our mutual Netherlands blogging friend! And speaking of getting organized as you were addressing in your blog, I've got company coming later this week and better get things ready for them!

  16. Hi Jane! Just thought I would pop over and say hello. I hope you are having a good morning. I feel better today. My mother-in-law helped me a lot yesterday with the laundry and together we managed to get things back in order for the week. I really needed that extra helping hand. I hope to spend a little time outside today, it a beautiful day in the 70's. (Although I am really missing our normal January winter weather). I was sitting in my chair this morning looking out my sewing room window and saw a brilliant red cardinal bird sitting on a bare tree branch. The sun was hitting his feathers just right and he practically glowed. It was so beautiful. I hope you have a nice day ahead! Delisa :)

  17. How very dear you are Jedidja! You will never how much what you have written means to me. It is especially something I so needed at this very moment!

    Hello Esther Joy! So nice to hear from your lovely part of the world. Hope you enjoy your company!

    Nothing like looking at nature to lift your spirits, Delisa! Your mother-in-law sounds like a wonderful woman. I'm so glad you are feeling better today! (It's spring like here too, I miss the snow)

  18. Yum! The picadillo looks amazing. I'm trying to be encouraged (not intimidated) by your organizational burst.

    And I LOVE the owl mittens... :)

    Blessings, Debbie

  19. When you live in a tiny house, you have no other options than to organize, Debbie! No place to stick things! Plus it helps with the winter doldrums to keep busy.

  20. Georgie the Corgi, so cute! Looks like he's putting on his very innocent face for you in that pic :) I, too, have such a hard time with clothes these days. Have you ever heard this saying, "A man gets his clothes made to fit him. A woman makes herself fit into her clothes." It goes something like that, and I think it's pretty true for most women. Ah well, at least our knitted mittens and scarves and cowls fit us, right? ;)

    Hope you have a wonderful week, Jane,