Saturday, November 14, 2015


Hi there,
About ten years ago, I had a couple of things I wanted to learn, practice, and perfect. Nothing life-changing or anything, just two things that had been nagging at me that I wanted to check off as accomplishments. One was to know that I could make the Perfect Pie Crust (and you realize how many different methods/ingredients there are out there--believe me, I've tried all of them), and the other was to learn how to knit.

Sometimes I still feel like a beginner knitter, definitely a student not a master! But I'm not intimidated to learn new things. It's really hard to work outside the home full-time and to have the energy to concentrate on new projects. I leave the house by 7:30 a.m. and do not return until 5:00 p.m. or later, M-F. That doesn't leave many active brain cells to use after taking care of the mundane household chores necessary to keep the wheels going.

I've come up with some new goals of the long-range type! Not all will be placed on hold until retirement, but to be realistic that may be what it takes. These are not listed in any order of importance.

Finish my WIPs!
There are some beautiful projects around my home still on the needles with the most beautiful yarn. I love all of them, there is just not enough time in the day. I'm seriously thinking I need to return to the one-project-at-a-time philosophy. Does anyone have ideas to share on the most efficient way to finish off existing projects? A knitter friend at work told me she had just finished a baby blanket and was looking for a new project. She has nothing lined up, no stash, and will only shop at our LYS once her latest project is wrapped and gifted.

Knit something for myself with Cashmere!
Seriously, I have never purchased or worn anything for myself that is cashmere. I do not own any cashmere yarn. One of my favorite projects that I have admired is @kaygardiner's handpainted scarf. And I cannot forget about her Volt. Maybe that could be my reward to myself if I accomplish the goal above?!

I want to make a Wedding Shawl
Not for myself. I've been married for 34 years, and I am not a fan of the vow renewal ceremonies. I paid attention the first time I took those vows, no need to renew them! lol

It's the idea of a wedding shawl that I love. Even if the recipient bride doesn't wear it, it would be a beautiful thing to cherish and have in her home as a keepsake. I think they look cool and so difficult to make, but I hear they can be made fairly easily. This is one item that I would definitely need big blocks of time to concentrate on. Here are some I admire:

Learn to crochet
My mother and sister were both crocheters, not knitters. I can make a chain and do a simple single crochet, but I know nothing about reading a pattern. Down the road, I'd love to take a beginner class and start off properly. Again, it just boils down to that time thing.

Beads! Color! 
Some of you have made the most beautiful shawls with beading.
Intarsia, fair isle, I have not attempted any color work.

Meet some of my blogger friends in person!
Sharon in Nebraska
Nancy in Wyoming
Tracey in South Carolina
Karen in Pennsylvania
Ann in Nashville
Alissa on Lake Michigan 

Other . . . 
I am not interested in making garments. I have never made a sweater, but would maybe consider a poncho. 

Baby stuff? Not really interested. I love to knit for appreciative loved ones, things like cowls, dishcloths, etc., but most baby gifts are purchased at Target! I've made a couple of baby blankets that were received with pretty lackadaisical responses.

Charity knitting? Very nice gesture, but I am just too slow at finishing projects.

Please share some of your project goals in the comments.

xoxo Tammy

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Hi there,
Carolina Panthers! 7 wins, ZERO losses. First time in franchise history for a season to start off with that success! I hope they can keep it going! I admit to being a pretty lame fan. I could not stay up late enough to watch the Monday night win on a weeknight.

Back in April, I shared a recipe for lemon gooey butter cookies. The chocolate version is one of my family's most requested. My daughter had the brilliant idea of making them with a pumpkin cake mix! I added a couple of teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice to the powdered sugar when I rolled the dough. Delicious!  

I also made my homemade lasagna Sunday evening, a recipe I don't make too often because it makes such a large quantity. I was given this recipe from a colleague when I worked at The University of Tennessee. Some of my best-ever recipes come from those acquired during the ten years we lived in East Tennessee. Those folks can cook! 

Tam's Lasagna

#1 Mixture
1.25 lb lean hamburger
1 lb sausage
chopped onion
2 cloves garlic or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 C tomatoes
1 12-oz tomato paste
2 Tbls parsley flakes
2 Tbls basil
2 tsp oregano
salt, pepper

Brown hamburger and sausage with onion and garlic, drain if needed. Add other ingredients and simmer.

#2 Mixture

32 oz ricotta cheese
1/2 C Parmesan cheese
2 beaten eggs
2 Tbls parsley flakes

Mix well.

#3 Mixture

16 oz lasagna noodles, cooked
16 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded

Spray a deep-dish 9 x 13 lasagna foil pan with Pam. Layer in this order:

1/2 of the cooked noodles
1/2 of #2 mixture
1/2 of the mozzarella cheese
1/2 of the #1 mixture
Repeat, ending with #1 mixture on top

Bake at 350 degrees covered with foil for one hour.

World's Cutest Granddog!

xoxo Tammy