Before and Afters , Sitting Pretty Pets, and New Recipes

 Yep.  It was a mess.  That old quilt ended up in the trash though it broke my heart.  It photographed BETTER than it was in person.  In person, it had holes the size of my fist in it and smelled to high heaven.  I remember when Granny used it as her bedspread in her room and how nice it was.  I think my great grandmother hand pieced and quilted that one.  The stitches were beautiful.  Fortunately I have another quilt top she made and it is in really good shape.  I just need to finish it off.
The sunbonnet on the chair was one of Big Mama's.  Granny used it when she was working in the yard too.  As much as she enjoyed being outdoors working, Granny insisted she had to be covered up, wearing a sun bonnet or straw hat, long sleeves and long pants, too.  She wore gloves on her hands to keep them from getting tanned.  Her care paid off in very nice skin that didn't wrinkle until she was in her late 80's.

 My other very messy corner.  Ugh.  I have this thing about clutter and yet I seem to generate these sorts of spots all the time. There's a good reason why they are referred to as 'hot spots'.


That was my craft/guest room on Sunday....and I didn't even bother with before photos of the closet in that room.  Horrible mess!  I didn't get to clean it up before Katie came home for her visit, but she didn't care.  However, I didn't get it cleaned up AFTER her visit either.  This past weekend it really was bugging me that the room and closet looked so bad.  It was quickly turning into a junk room, which was never my intent, especially since I have a little shed all my own to store my excess pretties.

I tackled the room in stages Sunday and Monday and this is how it all looks now:

That pale peach stuff on the bed?  Two pillow covers my friend Susan D. crocheted for me last week.  One is an openwork pattern and we agreed that perhaps a yellow pillow cover underneath it would be quite pretty.  I love handmade items and since this little room is MINE, I can decorate it just about anyway I please.  So it's heading in a modern cottage direction with vintage touches here and there...which means handwork just fits in fine.
 No more junk in the way...All put away nice and neat in the armoire.
Hmmmm...Two pictures with that mysterious object peeking out from behind the door...What could it be?  I'm not telling.  It's a SECRET Make Do or Mend Project that I plan to work on this month.

Net result of the cleaning?  Five boxes of stuff left the room, three will be donated. 2 big trash bags went to the dumpster.  I have two empty drawers and room to hang clothes for guests who might come to stay.  Of course, now the breakfast area is all stacked up but that is because I work in stages.  Tomorrow's stage is to take all that stuff out to the shed!

We were up very early this morning.  My habit is to rise, make coffee, open the curtains and then feed the pets when the coffee is brewed.  This morning my first site out the living room window was Trudy sitting in my chair...I had the camera aimed and ready but she stood up before I got my shot:


Sorry the photos are a little blurry.  Tails were in action this morning and the cat was trying to reach out and touch me when I took her photo.  Everyone settled down nicely and ate while John and I sipped coffee and I read out loud interesting bits from my morning Bible study.


This week I've tried two new recipes in the past three days.  Monday I made tacos and used corn tortillas to make my own taco shells.  I have to tell you that I see NO reason to ever buy boxed taco shells again.  Gracious they were good and took next to no time to make!  To go with the tacos, I made a watermelon salad with a yogurt dressing.  Ya'll...lol..I've always been a purist where watermelon is concerned.  Just give me a cold slice and we'll call it good.  But this salad was AWESOME.  I'll post it here and at my recipe blog, too.  I've looked online for it with no result.  It was one of those minor recipes, tucked on the corner of a page of other items.  It's called Watermelon for Grown Ups.   Sorry to say I didn't take a photo of it but it was a pretty salad and the freshness was perfect with the spiciness of the tacos.

Watermelon for Grown Ups

4 cups melon cubes
1 6 ounce container plain Greek style yogurt (I used my homemade)
1/4 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsps honey
juice of 1 lime
chopped pistachios for garnish

Mix yogurt, honey, ginger, lime.  Pour over watermelon just before serving, sprinkle with nuts..

The other recipe was from a Country Living feature on Trisha Yearwood's cookbook, Mama's Sweet and Saltines.  I substituted the last sheets of matzah from a package we opened during Feast of Unleavened Bread and didn't finish.  These are so good.  They taste like a Skor candy bar.
Ahhhh, no, the pan is NOT full, we'd attacked it pretty shortly after the chocolate chips were melted, lol.

Mama's Sweet and Saltines

40 saltine crackers
1 cup (2 sticks) butter*
1 cup light brown sugar
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 1/3 cups)

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a large jellyroll pan with aluminum foil and the saltine crackers.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the eat and pour over the crackers, covering them evenly.** Put the jellyroll pan into the oven and watch closely.  Bake for 4 to 5 minutes, or until just bubbly. Remove from oven and pour the chocolate chips over the crackers. When the chips melt a bit, spread them over the crackers with a knife.  Transfer the pan to the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until completely cold. They will form one big sheet. Break up into pieces. Store into an airtight container.

*note: recipe noted that you can use 1 stick of butter instead of two if you prefer a harder praline. 
**I opted to use 1 stick of butter.  I couldn't spread the mixture evenly, but I drizzled it as evenly as I could.  It did spread out to cover the cookies while it was in the oven.  I didn't put my cookies in the freezer.  I put them in the refrigerator.  I had no problems with the mixture sticking to the foil at all.  I found it easy to lift the foil and pull the corner back.

These are GOOD!

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