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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Joys of Pinterest

Pumpkin in a Pine Tree
Find Mother on Pinterest!

Okay, I admit it, I am hooked on Pinterest!  I know it is a silly little new social networking site to a lot of people but it is exactly what I needed at a time when I needed it very much!.  It has finally given me a way to organize my thoughts and inspirations that I can work with.  The whole visual concept works well, and I promise I will be working pictures into my Blog posts and the Recipes as often as possible to make them "pinnable" for all of you.

This couldn't have come at a more perfect time either.  As I start concentrating my energies on the art I want to create going forward I have been wanting a way to collect photographs and images from the internet in one place to use as inspiration for my work.   Bookmarking them works, but its not user friendly to my brain like Pinterest is with the big bright photos right there all the time.  I can see this consuming more and more of my time if I am not careful though, I know I lost the better part of today playing there and on Google+ trying to get all of Mother's Silly Pictures uploaded to one site where everyone can find them as they please and not as Facebook chooses to let them.  That is finally done now so I will be putting the links up here soon, as well as on Facebook.  I already linked them to Pinterest.  I was trying to find a way to connect all of these things to one place but sometimes the internet just doesn't want to cooperate the way I think it should, so I am taking the long way around, as usual.

I am still working on arranging the boards on Pinterest, I guarantee there will be dozens upon dozens of them by the time I am done.  And I know I have mis-pinned a few pictures into the wrong categories, but I have decided NOT to be anal about it and just freakin leave them where they are.  I will find them when I need them again.  And I am slowly discovering some pretty interesting boards from other people that I am starting to follow.  The whole visual display and layout really just appeals to me I just wish it was easier to bulk upload your own images as I could so see it being useful in so many ways for my personal image collections.  But now that I have found a work around for that I have started getting even more ideas on ways to use the site.

I plan on giving the Blog here some new features in the next few days and although they are really for my own convenience,  some of you may find them useful, but I am not going to tell you about them until I get them going.  So I will leave you wondering on that one.  I am sure some of you will find use for some of it, or perhaps you will know someone else who you think might find it useful.  I will share it on Facebook when I get something started so stay tuned!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Never Fail Pie Crust

Never Fail Pie Crust

5 Tbsp. Cold Water
1 Tbsp. Vinegar
1 egg
3 c. flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 c. shortening

Slightly beat water, vinegar and egg in a small bowl. In a separate bowl mix flour and salt, cut in shortening until mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Mix in liquid ingredients and blend well. Refrigerate for 1 hour if the house is really warm. Roll out half of dough to desired thickness - about 1/8” thick. Line bottom of pie pan. Fill pie with desired fruit filling. Roll out remaining dough for top crust. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes then reduce heat and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes more.

The scrap pieces of dough can be sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and baked on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes as an extra bonus treat.

Berry Pie Filling

1 – 1 ½ c. sugar
1/3 c. flour
½ tsp. Cinnamon
4 c. fresh berries
1 ½ Tbsp. Butter

Mix sugar, flour and cinnamon until well blended. Add berries and mix well. Pour berries into bottom pie crust and top with pieces of butter. Place top crust over filling and seal edges. Poke holes in the top crust with a fork before baking.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Finding a Friend

When I was younger I thought friends were about the most important thing you could have, and since I never really had very many of them I tended to value the ones I did have all the more. Usually too much. Far more than they valued me anyway. I guess I was always so desperate for friendship and acceptance that I would take whatever I could get from whoever I could find. It took me a long time to understand that the reason they didn't value me as much as I valued them wasn't because I wasn't valuable to them, other people just don't always feel things as deeply as I do. When I say that I Love everyone unconditionally, its not just a catch phrase for Mother's character, it really is who I am. I feel a connection to other people that it seems is much stronger than what other people feel.

I have mentioned before that I am extremely emotionally high-strung. That goes along with the feeling things too strongly I guess, but it sure does make life challenging sometimes. I have a tendency to either come on too strong to people or they think I am standoffish. I can't seem to find a happy medium. I do miss having a girlfriend to talk to sometimes, its been years since I have had another female to talk to besides my mother, and now I can't even talk to her. My husband and my oldest son are wonderful guys and I enjoy talking with them immensely, and I have a couple of guy friends that I talk to once in a while on Facebook who are great and I love them dearly, but I don't really have a female friend to talk to anymore. I have a hard time making female friends, and it seems an even harder time keeping them. The hardest part is I usually have no clue why the people I think are my friends end up not wanting to have anything to do with me. I mean sometimes it is pretty obvious, I know I am a screw up and I have destroyed one or two friendships through my own stupidity, but there have been so many of my friends that just seem to drift away for no apparent reason and no matter how hard I try to reach out to them they just don't seem to care anymore.

I have no idea how to approach people in real life any more, and trusting people on the internet is just asking for trouble. I suppose that sounds kinda funny coming from me, that meeting people online is asking for trouble, since I met my husband online, but I really got lucky on that one.

There really are no activities of interest to me around here where I could meet other women. I go to the quilt show every spring, but 90% of the women there are over 60 and overtly religious, I sure as hell do not fit in with any of them! I can't afford to go back to school, I am maxed out on my student loans, so I can't take classes to meet people. And the few local community based classes that have been offered since we moved here were of absolutely no interest to me, which is really sad when you consider that I am interested in almost everything.

So I have learned to be my own best friend. It freaks people out that I want to take vacations alone. My husbands hates the idea but he begrudging agreed I can have a few days, once every five years, to go off where ever I want (as long as it is safe) by myself. I LOVE my time alone. I LOVE my family, and it is wonderful that our life allows us to be together 24 hours a day pretty much 365 days a year, but I need a little time once in a while to just be inside my head. To just be my own friend. My husband does not get this. I have a room of my own behind the garage that I can retreat to anytime I want to be alone, they let me take naps when I need to without bothering me too much, I hide in our bedroom on the lap top, he thinks that should be plenty of time alone. But its not. Wherever I am on this property I am always “on call”. No one has the slightest hesitation before interrupting whatever I am doing simply because they can. And I really don't mind. I love my family and I love doing things for them. But there is a big difference between having “time alone” at home, and having time alone anywhere else. He finally relented when he had to admit that if I was wanting to “go away” with a girl friend he wouldn't have so much of a problem with it. And that is really what I am doing after all. I just happen to be the only girl friend I have.

I didn't get to take me “vacation” last year, even though it was supposed to be my year, I have no one to blame but myself though. I just couldn't bring myself to spend the money. I am still debating whether or not I will try for this year since I still don't want to spend any money. I would really like to have a few days to really be able to concentrate on my writing and myself, but even the cheapest hotels cost money, and my husband won't let me stay in a cheap hotel anyway.

But Spring is on its way and warmer weather will get me outside doing all the other things I enjoy so I won't have time to sit here thinking about having someone to talk to or somewhere to go. Now I really need to get my life organized if I am going to have time for everything that I want to do! Damn, now that I think about it, how would I find time for a friend again anyway?

Refrigerator Sugar Cookies

Refrigerator Sugar Cookies

¾ c. shortening
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp. Vanilla
2 ½ c. flour
1 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Salt

Cream shortening with sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt and mix well. Chill for 1 hour. Roll out dough 1/8” thick and cut out cookies in desired shapes. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake on well greased cookie sheets at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes until just lightly golden brown.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Mother Has Been Dyeing!

Mother has been busy obsessing over her art and has been neglecting this blog lately.  I will try to do better to balance the two going forward, but if you have learned anything about me by now you know that I won't.  I will continue on this hit or miss journey because that is how my mind operates.  u have actually sat down half a dozen times and started to write out a blog post, but I haven't gotten very far with any of them.  Hopefully this one will get to the point of being post worthy, but I will probably post it even if it isn't just cause i need to post something!

I have been busy dyeing and creating and planning and thinking and shopping.  I found a new vein of inspiration to tap and I am doing my best to suck it all in while I can.  For some weird reason I was also hit with a tsunami of depression last week that almost took me out, but I managed to find a tree to cling to and I am happy to say I think the worst of the surge has passed for this month.  I am pretty sure it was mostly hormonal, with a little bit of melancholy thrown in, so it should fade away until next month when we will see what the attitude fairy has in store.

I have been a little overwhelmed with all of the new ideas for my art that keep bombarding me.  I am trying to find ways to explore all of them at the same time and I really should know better by now.  I have about 15 different projects now in various stages of development, some of which will never get any further than they are at this moment, but they provided a record of the idea that may be more fully explored at some later time.  I am finding ways to pull together all of my previous "art" experiences and use them in new ways that I had never thought of before.  Even as I sit here typing this post I just remembered another weapon in my arsenal that I hadn't really thought to explore before. 

I promise I will try to start posting some pictures for you all of what I am working on here in the next few days.  There will be nothing completed, but there may be some things I could use some feedback on, or maybe not, I'll let you know if I am up for that.   I made a little cabin the other day that I am especially proud of, I think it is adorable, and it was so much fun to build, but you will have to wait till I get ambitious enough to take the damn pictures.  And I will try to get back to writing more regularly and posting more recipes soon.  I am trying to make some changes in my own life right now that I hope will get my priorities back into better perspective.  I have really lost touch with some things that are very important to me and I am working to find ways to refocus my time and my energies on those things too.  I'll let you know how that works out for me.