Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just Busy!

I'm sorry for not posting in a week!  And I have no excuse other than I've been busy, and it's nothing really worth talking about, but I will try to catch you up. 

To catch you up on the last post, the exercise plan is going.   How well I cannot say, but it's going!

Let's see, I told you about my trip to BJ's to stock up on household things.  And I am loving the new toy - the Cuisinart grill!  I've done boneless pork loin chops, sandwiches and grilled veggies on it.  My favorite so far is grilled asparagus!  I toss the spears in olive oil, then sprinkle them with fresh ground pepper and kosher salt - just a bit of that - and then I grill them until they are just looking a bit tender.  Then I put them in a warm oven just a couple of minutes, and they are tender but still have a bite to them, and they taste wonderful.  And let me say that I haven't always liked asparagus - it is definitely an acquired taste, but now it is one of my favorite veggies, and can be found on sale frequently. (and it's really, really good for you - shhhhhh!)

Hmmm, then on Friday of last week I worked in my studio/office getting things picked up and put away.  I now have a small table for etsy and ebay things which helps a lot.  They are no longer stacked on the floor under my work table.  I have been buying organizational stuff, like the cart above for my cardstock, and a bunch of these . . .

 . . . in 4 different sizes, and now have things in pretty good shape - except for my ribbon.  I still cannot get a handle on how to efficiently and effectively store the multitudinous ribbons I own!  Remember THIS post from early January?  Well, it's not working for me!  At All!  So I am now trying to come up with a better system, and it's making me crazy!  The problem is two-fold.  One, I just have so much of the stuff, and Two, is that there is no rhyme or reason as to how they came to me.  I have some that are on rolls, but they are in the minority.  Most of the satin ribbons that I have came from a vendor at a local antique market and they came in bundles.  Others came from craft stores where I bought just a couple of yards.  Still others came from Etsy sellers who neatly wound the ribbon around sweet tags.

I have tried the plastic with holes in it to hang the ribbon on - not working.  Also tried winding the ribbon on old fashioned wooden clothes pins - really not working.  And I tried winding the ribbon onto cardboard rectangles.  They worked best, I think, but I never cut the rectangles exactly the same size, so getting them organized was a problem.  I now have two of the bins like the ones above that are 7.5 quart size.  They are approximately 7" high X 7" wide X 10" long, and they are what I want to use for my ribbon.  No lace, no trims, just ribbon.

Last night I sat with a pile of ribbon on my work table and just racked my brain (or what is left of it) and came up with what I hope is a solution.  I found a tag on one of my Cricut cartridges (tagleft @ 2.5" on Plantin SchoolBook) that fits very well in this bin.  I can put dividers in the bins, one right down the middle of each, and stand the tags up in two rows.  The tags will be cut from chipoard.  There are two cool things about this solution.  One is that I can wind the ribbon around and tuck the top end into the hole in the tag to hold it secure.  The other is that I can write on the chipboard the size, color and type of ribbon so that when I run out, I can take it to the store (or the computer if I'm buying online) and have it right there in my hand.  For ribbons that I have larger quantities of, I will cut off 3 yards or so and put it on the tag, and the rest will go into a large plastic drawer to store.  I will write that on the tag, too!  "More of this ribbon in drawer".

Overall I think this should work well, although it will be a lot of work.  But I can take a bag of tags, ribbon and a pen and work on them at night when watching TV, when we are out riding, or at nighttime when we are camping.  It will take a while, but if this storage system works, it will be worth while.  As info, I am now bidding on some chipboard on ebay that will be used to make the tags.

Boy, that was longer than I had intended, but somehow getting it written down helps the thinking process!

Saturday I stayed home all day and played most of the day, then made us a great dinner!  Hubby went to our local meat market (more about that below) and got two black angus ribeye steaks.  I marinated them briefly in olive oil, balsamic vinegar (just a touch), salt and pepper, then put them on a very hot grill.  I also baked potatoes and grilled zucchini and asparagus on the Cuisinart grill.while the steaks were cooking outside on the big grill.  We had a glass of wine and a great baguette with Danish butter, too.  Those were the best steaks I have ever cooked, and they were just perfect! 

I have learned a couple of things about cooking steaks on the grill, and they involve the use of two tools.   A good timer, and a good digital instant read thermometer.  I put them on and set the timer for 4 minutes.  When the 4 minutes are up I turn them, and change their position on the grill.  The one on back comes to front and vice versa.  Then I check the temperature.  We like our steaks about half way between medium and medium well, which is @ 165 degrees, but when the steaks get to 155 degrees or just above, take them off the grill - they will finish cooking on their own just fine.

Sunday we went riding again.  It was a lovely day, so we headed up to Franklin, NC and the road over Wayah Bald.  This is one of our favorite routes, and this trip was special, because the higher we got, the more snow there was still on the ground.  Now we had @ 2.5 - 3" of snow last Tuesday, but it is long gone, so we weren't really expecting this!  But the roads were clear and the scenery just beautiful!  HERE are a few pics (courtesy of Webshots) that you can see for yourself.  On the way home we stopped in Gainesville for dinner.  Remember I said that a little bit later!

Monday was Mama day.  Her sister who usually takes her on errands is visiting her son in Florida for a few weeks, and my worthless brother hadn't called her or answered her call in over a week, and she needed some things.  We went to 5 stores and it took 7 hours.  I was exhausted!  Enough said.

Yesterday (Tuesday)  I had to drive back to Gainesville (30 - 35 min each way) to the restaurant to pick up hubby's debit card, which he left in the little folder after he paid for our dinner.  So, while in Gainesville I stopped at Office Pros and looked for ribbon solutions, and didn't find any there.  Then I went to the feed store and bought 50 pounds of safflower seed (the birds are getting expensive!) and then went to Fergusons to order the meats for our freezer.  (see THIS post from last year)  I got the # 2 with a couple of changes, and bought a whole ribeye.  The steaks that hubby bought on Saturday were $11.99/lb, and it was almost $25 for two steaks (and they were way too thick!).  If you buy a whole ribeye they cut it to order and wrap it for the freezer for free, and they are just $7.99/lb.  I got 17 steaks for just under $100, and they will last us for more than a year, most likely.  It just makes sense!

While there, I bought something I haven't gotten in several years.  They sell the BEST cheesecakes, in their freezer section.  They are honestly just like the ones you get at the better restaurants.  Anyway, they now have the smaller sized cakes @ 6-7 inches aross for $2.99 or 2/$5!!!  I bought two and put them in the freezer.  They are great to pull out when you have company for dinner!

Please note:  I have learned a few things since our stocking up experiment from last year.  One, 50# of ground chuck was too much.  We are still eating on that, and so this year I an only getting 20#.  Two, the chicken breasts (80#) was too much!  The chicken doesn't keep that well, and we are still eating on it, too.  From now on I will go from time to time and buy 20# when we need it.  That one just didn't work for us.  And third, for the meats from Fergusons, there is no need to unwrap their hard work and re-pack the meats in food saver bags.  They do a great job, and I haven't had a single thing with freezer burn. 

And today it is raining.  And it's going to be raining tomorrow and Friday, too.   I will go pick up my freezer meat on Friday, and our 'meat' freezer will be stocked for another year plus.  On Saturday I go to my first meeting of the local "Mary Jane's Farmgirl" group called the Georgia Farmgirls!  They have a cute little house (the henhouse)  just 5 miles from here where they hold their meetings monthly.  I am very excited about this meeting and the opportunity to make new friends, and will let you know how it turns out!

So that is what is going on in my world.  Nothing truly exciting (except the upcoming meeting) but just taking day by day!    But sometimes day by day is a good thing!   Take care, friends!  Becky


Linda said...

Isn't it great to get things in place. The storage boxes are great. Out Home depot has shoe boxes at .99$ great price. Great for crafts.
I'm having a giveaway. Check it out

English Cottage in Georgia said...

I am so impressed with all that you are able to cook with your cusinart definitely going to check them out. Cheers to you for your Spring activities and projects.

marie said...

The grill sounds great!
Grilled asparagus - yum.
Thanks for visiting my blog and good luck in the glitter giveaway.

Sandy said...

Where did you get those neat liitle boxes? I am still working out the problems with storasge in my new room, and these would work! Thanks! Sandy

I Love Pretty Little Things said...

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I Love Pretty Little Things said...

Hello, it's me again-
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Thanks again. Bloggers are so nice...