News from the Nest, January 9
I hope your morning, day, week, and year are off to a great start!
Before I say anything else, I need to say thanks to Mother Nature for making camellias! When the world is January dreary lovely camellias really do brighten the day! All the Christmas decorations are down, the grass is brown, and …bam…fluorescent pink camellias are here to save the day!
We had a lovely, very relaxed weekend soaking up our youngest before he heads back to California today. While my momma’s heart is sad to see him go, it is also very proud of the young man he has become and how he is forging his way in the world.
I’m not typically one for foreign language films because the need to read the subtitles interferes with knitting or other projects I may be working on. In other words, I am forced to stop multi-tasking and ‘be present,’ something that does not come easily to me but is one of my goals this year.
All that said, when we chose to watch the movie The 12th Man this weekend, I didn’t realize it was in Norwegian and German. But, it was well worth me putting aside my busy work for two hours. It is the true story of one man’s attempts to stay one step ahead of the Nazis and escape their pursuit of him. If you liked Unbroken, you’d like this very well-done movie.
new on the blog
I guess it isn’t surprising that January is National Slow Cooker Month. I mean, after all the hubbub of December, meals that almost cook themselves are just what we are craving. And the cool weather of January pleads for warm soups, stews, and the like.
This recipe for Crock Pot Pinto Beans is the first of three posts to be published this week to celebrate National Slow Cooker Month. These beans are a staple in our home year-round. I make a pot and freeze them in individual portions. They top bowls of rice and baked sweet potatoes, are delicious on their own, and make a great filling for quesadillas and burritos when mashed.
I teamed up with two other friends who are also sharing some of their crock pot recipes. Make sure to pop over and see theirs as well.
more slow cooker recipes
Keep your crock pot humming for the winter months with these warming soups and chili.
My crock pots were also busy slowly cooking both Chicken Stock and Bone Broth this past week while I cooked Vegetable Broth on the stovetop. When I was done cooking and canning, I put 15 quarts and 14 pints of broth and stock into our pantry! I already had Beef and Ham Stock in the pantry, so I think I’m good for the better part of the year!
And Flora is happy because I pull the meat from the bones and make little meat muffins by stuffing it into muffin tins and freezing it. Waste nothing!
If you are interested in canning your own stocks and broths, I encourage you to read the Chicken Stock post. I walk you step by step through the process. I find it enjoyable and rewarding, and I take comfort in knowing EXACTLY what is in our food. If you want to go down that road, definitely nab the Ball Book of Home Preserving. It is the Bible on canning. Even though I’ve been canning for nearly twenty years, I still refer to it. I am 100% self-taught, so I don’t have a home ec degree. But I am glad to answer any of your questions that I am comfortable answering.
a few Valentine’s day ideas
I know; no sooner do we tuck Christmas away than Valentine’s Day raises its hand! Here are some suggestions if you are looking for a few Valentine’s Day projects for your honey, your children, or your Gal Pals (for Galentine’s Day!).
- Lavender Sachets
- Chocolate Truffles
- Conversation Heart Pillows
- Hand Balm
- Heel Balm
- Herbal Bath Salts Recipe
This was my first try of making this hand balm and it is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing it, Lynn.Charlotte
- Are interested in learning to knit or honing your skill? Check out our HOW TO KNIT posts.
- Stymied with what to do with those yarn tails from joining balls of yarn? This is my favorite method!
- Knit up a quick hat!
2023 declutter challenge
Are you participating in the 2023 Declutter Challenge? How are you doing thus far?
Even though we gave our closets a thorough declutter in October, I still pulled out a sweater that I purchased two years ago that I have NEVER worn and know in my heart that I will NEVER wear! Argh! I am slowly figuring out ‘my style’ and really trying only to purchase those things that are really me. It is hard, though. I am taking that sweater and some pairs of brand-new shoes to our local consignment shop this week.
I like starting Week One in the bedroom and bathrooms as it gives us a bit of retreat from the chaos that inevitably results from the process of decluttering. Today starts Week Two, where we focus on the kitchen and laundry room.
I’d love to hear about your success! And your challenges! Any suggestions for the challenge or the checklists?
You can read more about and join the 2023 Declutter Challenge anytime here.
Tove’s double-pointed needle holders update
Well, my friends, I wasn’t surprised to hear from Tove that your overwhelming response to her free DPN holder completely cleaned out her inventory! As I mentioned, it was first come, first serve. But she has been kind enough to share how to make your own, which I will share.
But first, if you did nab a DPN holder, please be aware that they will be shipped sometime after January 22, when it is expected that the USPS will be lowering some of their shipping rates! (When was the last time that happened?)
how to make your own DPN holder
- 2 large plastic thimbles (or protective caps from spray bottles)
- 2 beads (optional)
- 7″ Beading cord elastic (or elastic from facemask)
- Drill or awl
- Drill or melt a hole in each thimble or cap the thickness of the elastic.
- Tie a good size knot with or without a bead at the end of the elastic and push the other end through the hole in the cap.
- From the inside of the other cap, place the elastic through the hole and tie a knot with or without a bead on the outside of the cap.
That’s all there’s to it. Please enjoy your Holder and make them for friends but DO NOT SELL them. Knitters help each other.
P.S. Beading cord is easier, but a needle & thread help get the mask elastic through the hole.
Well, friends. I am off to work on more slow cooker recipes to share with you this week and to do a little more kitchen decluttering.
Here’s a little quote to remember as you go through your week.
Be happy with what you have and you will have plenty to be happy about.Unknown – Project Happiness