Saturday, December 21, 2013

Holiday shopping? Hah! Nope!

Braving oodles of traffic, weaving around lines of cars waiting to turn into the nearest shopping mall?  Nope.  Driving around a huge concrete jungle looking for a parking space, for hours?  Nope.  Shouldering through large crowds to move through the mall to the next store?  Nope.  Waiting in long lines to purchase a few pairs of boxer shorts?  Nope.  Passing by the mall Santa and hearing children having melt downs?  Nope.  Getting bumped, seeing people grab, witnessing arguments over material possessions, feeling sorry for the cashier getting an ear full from an angry customer?  Nope.  Nope. Nope and nope.  Watching people drive badly, cut each other off, curse and shake fists?  Nope.  This year I took the road less traveled.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pennsylvania Dutch Sand Tart cookie recipe

Thin, crispy, buttery, sugar covered cookies....I fondly remember my Grandma making these treats every Christmas!  I don't have her old recipe, but I do have a recipe from a family friend.  Let me tell you, I made this recipe and they look and taste like I remember - SCORE!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Best baked bone-in chicken EVERRR !

Note the perfect match up - wheat beer!

I received some chicken thighs with the skin on and bone-in, truthfully, I had no idea what to do with them.  I feel so stupid, all those years cooking bone-less skin-less chicken for $3.99 lb or more (unless on sale, then I am grabbing them up like chocolate on sale, which never is by the way) and not realizing there is a cheaper, juicy and delicious cut of chicken out there....(shakes my head)  Really though, its not MY fault!  I had no one to teach me to cook, I learned some things in Home Economics class, from friends and even my husband taught me a lot of stuff.  So here we are, I think I found the mother of all recipes for skin-on, bone-in chicken - breasts, thighs, whatever - been using this recipe faithfully.  In fact, as I write this, I have this recipe baking away in my oven.....YUM.  (oh and I am a skin eater, in which case this recipe is PERFECT for skin eaters)

Saturday, November 16, 2013


I have been part of this exciting thing lately.  I say exciting because any amount of outside the home activities are considered excitement for me.  A family member mentioned this group called MOPS once, I was like mops?  What is that?  Mothers of Preschoolers she says.  I shrug it off and forget about it.  Then I start seeing a friend post on Facebook all this fun stuff she is doing with her MOPS friends.  Play dates, outings, picnics, meetings, fundraisers, so I start snooping around.  I first googled it and found their website here -  Then I watched this video:

Friday, November 15, 2013

House faery thefts

Since my husband and I were married, we have been plagued by a mischievous house faery.  Missing rings, lost pendants, money gone astray, disappearing paperwork.....of course WE would never misplace anything.  Nobody else to blame but the house faery!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Homemade powdered laundry detergent

Fresh smelling, clean, more money in your pocket and safe for cloth diapers!!!  Low sudsing recipe that works for high efficiency machines too!  This recipe is over two decades old and still going strong.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Carnival Series ~ Chapter IV: Carnival rides, games, other unique attractions and Mark, who is Mark???

Trashcan covers! Creepy....

This is the part where I wish that I had taken photos.  Back then you could not take photos with your cell phone.  Lots of people didn't even own a cell phone!  I would have loved to show you photos of our games, but my colorful descriptions will have to do.  JB had been doing Wax Hands for quite sometime before I came along and he felt it was time to take his business on the road.  After September, Ocean City Maryland slows down, waaaaaaay down.  Living there year round is hard, not many jobs, not many tourists.  Many residents or summer inhabitants flee, until the next season starts again.  JB would take on house painting jobs to hold his family over the winter season, until he met us. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Carnival Series ~ Chapter III: The layout

The layout is carny lingo for the time-tested pattern of a typical full-featured carnival designed to draw crowds all the way through the entire carnival and maximize their spending. The carnival was always laid out in the shape of a horseshoe. The crowd would enter the gate, and by natural instinct would proceed up the right leg. Games were the first joints they would encounter along the outside of the right leg of the horseshoe. Rides would be located down the center column, with the carousel always being the first ride beyond the front gate. After the games the crowd would find the shows and the the penny arcade. Across the back of the horseshoe would be the major rides, including one or more Ferris wheels. Then along the left leg of the horseshoe-shaped map, other shows and then more sales joints and games all the way to the front gate.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Carnival Series ~ Chapter II: On the road

Imagine.........Driving all night starting around midnight and finally reaching your destination three to five hours later (depending on pit stops, traffic and construction).  Pulling your trailer in and looking for a hotel room to crash.  Waking up before noon and setting up the rest of the day.  When I say setting up, I am referring to giant metal poles, heavy plastic awnings and then the game itself!  First you have to get the super, mega, heavy metal frame together, then attach all the large, cumbersome, tent awnings, next you can start setting up your actual attraction.  Only then, after everything is setup, do you get to rest (sometimes it takes until nightfall - more on this later).  The next six days you work from 3PM to midnight or later.  Then its time to tear everything down, pack it up and get back on the road.  It's extremely exhausting work......

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Carnival Series ~ Chapter I: How it all started.....

Blinking lights, roaring coasters, men calling out - Guess your weight! Guess your age! and the smells.......ohhhhh the smells!  Buttery, caramel popcorn.....sweet, freshly spun cotton french fries.........funnel cakes........oh my!  Sounds of laughter, mixed in with happy shrieks, all a part of the carnival experience.  In this series I will write about my travels with the carnival, the good, the bad - both fall seasons I spent with this huge family of sorts.  But we must start at the very beginning.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Feeding your family on a tight budget

Times are tough everywhere.  I don't believe for a second that the economy is getting better.  Until my husband gets a raise and more jobs become available in our area, I will remain in doubt.  Having a family of four and feeding them nutritious and budget friendly foods can be stressful at times.  I have a few shopping tips and meal recipes that will help stretch your pennies.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Harper's Ferry West Virginia

U.S. Marines under the command of Col. Robert E. Lee smashing the armoury door at Harpers Ferry, Va., behind which John Brown and his men were trapped on Oct. 18, 1859; hand-coloured engraving. 
 (Photo: The Granger Collection, New York)
For a time I lived minutes away from lower town Harper's Ferry.  There were all kinds of little shops, places to eat and even a wax museum.  I love wax museums and couldn't resist, John Brown wax museum.  Nice little museum.  I also hiked a bit on the Appalacian Trail and actually the house I lived in was sitting next to part of the trail.  I visited Jefferson Rock and John Browns Fort, all worthwhile historic locations to check out.  I didn't get to see any enactments or tours that they do from time to time.  I also missed the ghost tours, but I heard they are pretty cool. Whitewater rafting tours are available, but alas, I never made the time for them.  I pretty much checked out the entire town, I wish I had taken photos then, it's hard to remember too much since I lived there over twelve years ago.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Epicurean Delight

Recently I attended a friends wedding and it was catered by Epicurean Delight.  It was the most fantastic food EVER and the staff was so friendly.  When I saw the menu, I almost fell over.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Everything I learned about packing up a house before a move

As a child, my family moved from place to place to place.  My parents tell me we moved about ten times since I was born.  Following jobs and chasing the dream home until my parents landed for ten years, then I moved out when I turned eighteen.  My parents then divorced and moved a few more times.  I ended up moving thirteen times after I moved out of my parents house.  From the beach in Maryland to West Virginia, back to the beach, traveling down the east coast with the carnival (that's a story for another day), back to the beach, back home, out to the city with a roommate, back home again, out again, and again and again and again.  So I am becoming quite efficient with the whole process.  My in-laws are moving and asking me for tips, they suggested I share my wealth of information.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Dustin (Houdini) Middaugh's send off May 4, 2013

Houds ashes were sent up in this fireworks display and something else was also caught on video!!! After the fireworks start keep an eye on the lower right hand corner for a smoke ring, as the smoke ring floats upwards, a heart shaped puff of smoke appears above the ring and seems to "beat" as the ring floats through the heart!! Wow!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Planting/Hardiness zones map

Planting/Hardiness zones map.......because I can never ever remember what zone I am in and have to search the internet for the map.  So there.  Now I forever know where to find it.  And now so do you.

Click the map for a larger image

Monday, April 1, 2013

Start of my dreadlocks journey - week 3

It's been a long time coming.....dreadlocks. I always wanted them for as long as I can remember. Like wanted them when I was 12 years old. People say you need a reason to want them, well that's partially true. I say that you need to want them for a long time, think about it often and don't make a snap decision. Almost like a tattoo, it's permanent; a commitment; you can cut them out of course, but who wants a buzz cut?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Homemade All Purpose Spray and Floor Cleaner that even your cats will love

All purpose cleaner and floor cleaner that smells better than bleach but disinfects all the same!  Less expensive, more natural, less toxic, better smelling and eco-friendly!!!  Score!  Time and time again, these cleaners have proven their worth and I won't ever go back to buying main stream, name brand cleaners.  Seriously, they have replaced virtually all other cleaners in my house.  And my cats dig the smell!

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