Tuesday, November 30

Fire In The Hole - RE-burn!

This is re-post of last year... but REALLY!!! Fires happen... (sometimes a LOT at the single-wide...)

Fire Extinguisher dust resting on your nose (good freckle cover if I do say so myself...),
Siren bells ringin' from the big red truck,
And folks dressed up like yellow eskimos...with a smoke mask...and long water hoses...

I have pyromaniac tendencies.  It's not intentional... I don't intend to burn things.  But........ fire happens.   To me. Quiet often. Most often in the kitchen, but I don't limit myself to burning things down in one location.  I believe in spreading my glowing light.  Not intentionally - but it happens. Occasionally.

With all of that being said - have you done your fire safety check lately?  With the holidays upon us there's extra flamage on the stove - scented candles burning - toaster ovens to blow up - pretty sparkly twinkly lights on the trees - ovens to implode - propane heaters - space heaters and fireplaces (Stop, Drop and Roll Santy Claus!) - microwaves that spit sparks - crazy red.neck neighbors that like to build very large bonfires (smores anyone?) - circuits to short out - and so on...

What’s a traditional Christmas morning scene without a beautifully decorated tree? If your household includes a natural tree in its festivities, take to heart the sales person’s suggestion – “Keep the tree watered.”
Christmas trees account for hundreds of fires annually. Typically, shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires. Well-watered trees are not a problem. A dry and neglected tree can be. If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant. Tips from: (http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/focus/holiday.shtm)

The following safe cooking tips can help to make your holiday dinner safe and enjoyable:
  • Always use cooking equipment tested and approved by a recognized testing facility.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove. (i.e. don't go flyin' out to the labooooooratory 'cause the salad dressing made you think of a new purse...)
  • Keep anything that can catch fire - potholders, towels or curtains (cats) - away from your stove top.
  • Have a "kid-free zone" of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried. This only counts if your kid doesn't cook better than you...
  • Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire (so can purses...).
  • Never use a wet oven mitt, as it presents a scald danger if the moisture in the mitt is heated.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you're cooking (and a fire extinguisher). If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan (not a phone book mindy's sister). Turn off the burner. Don't remove the lid until it is completely cool.
  • If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again. Tips from: (http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/focus/holiday.shtm) and a couple from your fav.o.rite red.neck
  • Always remove the cardboard from the bottom of the frozen pizza and check all toaster ovens for potential fire hazards...fire happens...I'm just sayin'. Tips From: (http://www.redneckchic.com)

Maintain your Lighting...
Inspect each strand of lights each year for frayed wires (mouses like to eat at 'em here in my neck 'o the woods), bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up.  Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory. Try not to link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires - they should not be warm to the touch. And - really try not to leave those lights on unattended! Tips from: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/focus/holiday.shtm

(Flame-less Candles!  With a timer!  Great for the red.neck not allowed to burn candles!!!)
Avoid using lit candles.  If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked over (or things thrown on them...that happens.).  Never leave the house with candles burning...or, if you're me...don't leave the room. Never put lit candles on a tree.  Hey, in my defense, I have never done that!!!  Whoo Hoo!!!  But, it is all part of the whole pyro safety thing. Tips from: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/focus/holiday.shtm

And you know the drill...the fire drill that is, right?  Escape route and meeting place for your family, cats, dogs and various critters.  Be sure and check the batteries in your smoke alarms!!! I have some extra if you need some - but I'm not sharing my fire extinguisher(s) -  those things are SO handy to have layin' round!!! But, I betcha' Santa will bring you a few with very little cattle-proddin'!!! They are very shiny red and pretty!

Now that I have left you with this Public Service Announcement - I'm takin' a slight break!  No... not 'cause I burned the single-wide down (not yet anyway... but fire DOES happen alot sometimes) but 'cause DANG if life doesn't keep happenin'!  I've got Christmas decorations to sprinkle around, the resident teen to drive me around (good grief - I'm getting gray hairs...) and I have YOU to catch up with!  I feel like I haven't been to visit you in AGES!!! So. I know you'll miss me, but I'll be back!!!  In the meantime... don't burn anything.  I've got that covered. Or is it smothered? *shrug*

Comin' to you LIVE from a single-wide (where I have a fake tree - I wonder what happens if I water it?)...hee-hee

Sunday, November 28

do tell...

What was your favorite thing about your Thanksgiving week-end?

Any good stories you need to tell me? I'm sure I will have many... I'm dragging my week-end out as long as I can!

Comin' to you LIVE from a single-wide (I did gobble 'til I wobbled... still am. wobbling... and gobbling... hand over the leftovers and all will be well...) hee-hee

Wednesday, November 24

c'mon over!

I know that you were eager to accept my invitation to Thanksgiving dinner when you found out that the famous Martha Stewart would be joining me. However, due to scheduling conflicts beyond her control, Ms. Stewart finds that she is unable to grace my single-wide this year. With that in mind, there will be a few minor changes regarding the meal and decor, as outlined below:

The driveway will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries. After several trial runs and two visits from the fire department, it was decided that, no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect.

The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china, or crystal. If possible, we will use dishes that match and everyone will get a fork. Since this is Thanksgiving, we will refrain from using the paper SpongeBob dinner plates, the leftover Halloween napkins, and our plastic cup collection.

The centerpiece will not be a tower of fresh fruit and flowers. Instead I will be proudly displaying a hedgehog-like decoration hand-crafted from the finest construction paper and pine cones. The artist assures me it is a turkey, without wings, legs, or a beak.

My most favoritist pumpkin is from Theresa the creative genius over at 612 Riverside... isn't it GORGEOUS?!

We will be dining somewhat later than planned. I didn't know that when the Turkey package says, "pre-cooked" that does NOT mean the oven doesn't need to be turned on...  the thing is still hard enough to cut diamonds. As entertainment I will play a recording of Native American tribal drumming. Curiously, the tribal drumming sounds a great deal like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, but that only enhances the holiday appropriateness.

There will be no formal seating arrangement. When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you like. In the spirit of harmony, we will ask all the children to sit at a separate table. In a separate room. Next door.

The turkey will not be carved at the table. For safety reasons, the carving will be done in the kitchen at a private ceremony. I have a very large, very sharp knife. The turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will eventually win the battle. When I do, we will eat.

That concludes my list of alterations. Again, I apologize that Martha will not be joining us this year. Come to think of it, she probably won't come next year, either...

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! Enjoy your day with Family and Friends...

Comin' to you LIVE from a single-wide (where I'm wanderin' around gobbling... gobble-gobble-gobble) hee-hee

Tuesday, November 23

remove dish towel...

before you preheat the oven to 350... remove the dish towel that you dusted the oven out with.

read recipe directions.  a cup tooooooooo much water makes for a very moist cupcake.

ice - sprinkle with walnuts... and make 'em look pretty so that no one knows you almost burnt your house down and then tried to flood the oven.

Comin' to you LIVE from a single-wide (where I'm wondering if the bakery sells gift cards for the First Lady of the Neighborhood Association's birthday...) hee-hee

p.s. these are REALLY very good... a little on the moist side - but still tasty!

Monday, November 22

preheat oven to 350.

This week it's the First Lady of the Neighborhood Association's birthday!

In honor of her birthday I'm gonna bake.  Uh huh, I said bake. These:

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
1 package (18.25 oz.) spice cake mix
1 can (15 oz.) 100% Pure Pumpkin
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1 container (16 oz.) prepared cream cheese or vanilla frosting

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Paper-line or grease 24 muffin cups.

BLEND cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, oil and water in large mixer bowl until moistened. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full.

BAKE for 18 to 23 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Spread cupcakes with frosting. Decorate with assorted sprinkles, if desired.

We'll see if I get to surprise her with these for her birthday - or if I have to call for extra fire-putting-out-right-now help... that could potentially ruin the surprise for her. 'Specially if I accidentally burn her house down as well as mine....

Wouldn't these be fun as one of your Thanksgiving dinner desserts? What do you have planned  for Thanksgiving dinner dessert? What time should I be there?

Comin' to you LIVE from a single-wide (where I'm wonderin' if "the Mama" is gonna make me some green slime again this year...) hee-hee

Saturday, November 20

diamonds and pearls...

I know that diamonds are a girls best friend and all that...

But I have never been a diamond girl. (It's okay - I'll allow you a moment of stunned shock...) They just seem so cold - no story to tell!

Vintage rhinestones?  Oh - MOST DEFINITELY! The more the merrier!

Pearls and more pearls and more pearls - you betcha' - I wear 'em all the time!

Rings out of the bubble gum machine? They are the equivalent of duct tape in my opinion... bring 'em on!

But this ring makes me re-think my "I'm on diamond strike" thoughts. Heck - most of the rings over at  Specimental Design are just total drool worthy!

I found Specimental Design through Poppytalk... she's having a Holiday giveaway over there (I can't believe I'm sharing that info with you.... I WANT this turquoise ring!!!) - but, 'cause you are so special to me... you should go enterOr not... I WANT this turquoise ring!!! In the meantime (while I'm waiting to hear the grand news that I have won the turquoise ring) this diamond ring could be my new best friend...

Comin' to you LIVE from a single-wide (where I'm just awed by some of the sheer talent that can be found on Etsy... and I'm also wonderin' how to convince Santy Claws that this ring should really be the first thing on my list... and that I was good all year long (Yikes!)...) hee-hee

Friday, November 19

closet psychology

Have you ever thought about how hard life is? Have you ever thought about how hard a closet is to organize? I've been thinking that... so I've set about "simplifying"... everything... including my closet.

But, on my quest to "simplify" I seem to have over-analyzed, over-planned... over-THOUGHT the heck out of everything, repeatedly - so I've made my "simplifying" extremely difficult.

And I am now back to "life and closet organization is hard" but it's really quiet easy... I'm just making it more complicated than it needs to be.

I should really quit over-analyzing the heck out of my closet and just chunk everything back in in the random, messy, colorful, feels-like-Christmas-when-I-find-something-I-forgot-I-had - totally unorganized way it was originally - "red.neck simplifying"!

It was simple enough for this long (what's a lil' duck-and-cover while pulling together an outfit? Morning aerobics... yeah!)... so I shouldn't mess with what works, right? I'm going to quit trying to simplify the difficult and quit making the simple difficult. Dr. Phil would have a field day with this one, right? hee-hee

How's your closet lookin' these days?

Comin' to you LIVE from a single-wide (where I'm throwing all organizational bins in to the barn. Empty. Matching hangers? pffffft. Annnnnnd I'm just going to continue to duck when I pull a box of shoes out from the bottom of the stack... Messy is good... and it gives me something to think about... I'm stepping out of my closet now.) hee-hee

“I'm at my best in a messy, middle-of-the-road muddle.” ~ Harold Wilson

Thursday, November 18

growing happy daisies...

Sew - remember Tuesday's sweater?  Ah.... I've got one better!
(And! I'm a poet and didn't know it...)

Here's what you do, in short review,
sew that you can have your own sweater renewed!
Okay, seriously, I'm done being Dr. Seuss... I promise.

Find two sweaters that sorta match,
sew that you can crosspatch and attach.
(oh - oops - no, I wasn't done with the whole Seuss thing... my fingers musta been crossed...)

I did a happy daisy pattern, but you could go nuts with any design that pops out of your brain! Just cut it out of "heat-n-bond" - that stuff makes magic happen... I swear!

Iron it to your accent sweater and cut out your flowers!

Take all of your flowers and lay them where you want them on your "this is going to be my new favorite sweater"...

Then! After you iron your flowers on, meander over to your sewing machine... or - grab a needle and thread!

I stitched (and not very straight... because that's the way I roll...) about 1/4" in so that when I wash this baby the edges of the flowers will fray slightly - but I also thought it would be CRAZY cute with a whip-stitch all the way around!  'Cept I don't do that well... so a straight stitch it is.

Cut some more heat-n-bond in to circles - iron 'em to your accent sweater - cut and...

Easy, right?

I wore the latest and greatest all day yesterday... and while I was creating it in the la.bor.a.tor.y I couldn't seam to stop myself so I added just one. more. flower.

There you have it!
Happy Daisy Growin' 101... perfect for tomorrow's outfit!
Cuteness - you have to admit!
No... I'm not a nitwit! Okay, well... maybe... but you know that's what you love about me...

Comin' to you LIVE from a single-wide (where I'm hoping these directions made sense 'cause I know how I did it - I just don't know how to tell YOU how I did it... Mr. Flannery says it's 'cause I talk with my hands and you can't see that.... hmmm....) hee-hee
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