January 29, 2014

How to clean blood from your carpet....

...after you've gotten mad and rampaged...Just kidding - about the rampage part anyways.

 After letting our sweet doggie out to do his business last night, my hubby let him back in and sat down on the couch.  It was late.  I was already asleep. Nothing unusual going on....until 11:00 when I hear the carpet cleaner going.  Now I have had some issues with our carpet cleaner in the last month and I had sat it on the back porch because it was leaking when I used it....and I THOUGHT that the hubs had decided to try to fix it at 11:00 last night.  I rolled out of bed and walked down the hallway all groggy eyed to see him scrubbing the carpet.  My next thought is that Hunter(sweet doggie of ours) has gotten sick and hubs is trying to clean it up.  Then I look down and realize that there is blood...trails of blood...puddles of blood...smears of blood all over the couch, the linoleum in the kitchen and down the whole length of our house in the carpet...WHAT HAS HAPPENED!??!?!

Well what has happened is that the ground is frozen solid at home and while our dog is out running hot laps around the yard he broke one of his toe nails plum off.  The lights were off in the living room so hubs didn't notice it until he got up to come to bed.  There was literally blood all over.  

For accidents on the carpet I normally use this stuff that we get at Ace Hardware called Carpet Butler Enzymatic treatment.  It's a little spray bottle and I use it for stains on the couch and misc carpet issues.  We only had half a little bottle left so at a little after 11 I traveled to the local WalMart to find more carpet cleaner.  I picked up Oxiclean(which we didn't open), two bottle if 409 carpet cleaner, & Bissell carpet cleaner foam (with its own little scrub brush attached).     
Just in case you're ever in a similar situation here's what we found out:

Don't even buy the 409.  It worked but only with REALLY vigorous scrubbing that is likely to damage your carpet. 

The Bissell Spot and Stain foam worked well and the attached brush is very convenient & not too stiff to damage your carpet.  There is still a good bit of scrubbing involved but all the spots came up using this.  It even worked on the upholstery on our couch.  

The Enzymatic by Carpet Butler from Ace did the best job - especially on the pools of blood.  
You could spray (or pour - some spots were really bad) this on the stain and it would start dissolving really quickly.

My only request of the hubs today was to go and get several more bottles of the Enzymatic from Ace so we have it on hand for future spills, spots, or blood stains.   

Hunter is fine.  He has a sore toe.  
We put some baking soda on it last night to clot any remaining blood.  It looked a little tender this morning but nothing he won't get over.  

Oh what a fun night of carpet scrubbing.  



January 13, 2014

Mississippi Chicken

We've been making Mississippi Roasts at our house in the crockpot.  They are super tasty and I found the recipe through pinterest here.  We've used both beef and pork.  What we've liked best thus far is getting pork picnic.  Admittedly I don't love having to cut the skin off because I am slow at doing so but it really has been the best tasting meat we've done.  I normally get bone in and when it is done cooking I can grab the bone and it pulls straight out - no cutting involved.  

After making a roast with the pork picnic last week the hubs asked me if I thought it would work with chicken...well - there's only one way to find out.  
And the answer is YES!  It makes quite a tasty chicken.  
1 five to six pound chicken - skin removed
Sit it right down in your crockpot.  DO NOT ADD ANY WATER
Lay 1 stick of butter on top.
Sprinkle 1 package dry Au Jus seasoning and 1 package dry ranch seasoning over the top.
Add 7 - 10 pepperocini peppers (I only had 4 or 5 left in my jar).
Cook on low 8 - 10 hours.  

When I got home from work my plan was to pull the legs and wings off and then strip & shred the rest of the meat.  I grabbed a hold of the leg bone and it came out clean.  This chicken was super tender and plenty moist.  You can see in the picture on the right how much juice it made.  
The only change I would make is that instead of using the seasoning packets I would probably just season with salt and pepper.  The chicken didn't absorb the seasoning well like the roasts do so next time I may just make my own seasoning recipe to see how it turns out.  There was not an ounce of waste with this chicken.  All the bones fell out and the meat shredded super easy.  
Yummy chicken night at our house! 

January 10, 2014

A Christmas Decoration Story

Background Story  
Several years ago when I first bought my sewing machine (and I had never sewn anything in my life) I decided to make Christmas stockings.  (see original stockings here)
They were super cute stockings but not very functional due to the fact that I was VERY inexperienced sewing.  Although the pattern was probably plenty big the stockings kept "shrinking" because I wasn't getting all the layers in my seams and kept having to re sew and re sew seams.  Please keep in mind that I was self / blog / online tutorial taught to sew.  I had a little instruction at the store where I bought my machine but it was more of a "how to turn your machine on and make it go" than a class of how to make items.  I have a great friend Kathy that I email with questions and send pictures of all my sewing projects because she KNOWS how far I have really come in my sewing skills.      
The Christmas Tree Skirt and Stocking Story
Once upon a time on a day very close to Christmas 2013, the hubby and I visited the local craft / fabric store to look for fabric for stockings and a tree skirt because it was on sale (one of my favorite words).  Our fake tree had bit the dust this year and I wasn't motivated to start or finish this project because the tree that we had up was about a foot and a half tall and had a total of 10 ornaments on it. I was waiting for the after Christmas sale (there's that word again - I got my $359.00 tree for $97.00!) to get the tree that I really wanted.  So making a tree skirt for a tiny tree was NOT high on my priority list.  We got the fabric that we liked(on sale!!!) and when I got home it was just laid to the side.  
Too many other fun Christmas things to be doing...like opening gifts with these three cutie pies.
The story continues on cold night in Tennessee weeks later.  I was putting away stuff (you know - the stuff that you just lay down when you come in a room) and picked up my Christmas fabric to take it to my sewing area.  I picked up the retiring tree skirt because for some reason it didn't make it into the Christmas boxes that had been put away.  I knew that I was eventually going to make the tree skirt and I wanted to get the diameter from my old tree skirt before putting it away.  I went ahead and started measuring then just decided to make a tree skirt. 
I've never made a tree skirt. I don't have a pattern for a tree skirt.  I did know what I wanted so I jumped in feet first.   
     Things I wanted in a tree skirt:  double sided, a ruffle, & ribbon closures.
I used my old tree skirt for the size estimates.  Cut my circles. Made my ruffle. Made my quilt sandwich with a layer batting, ruffle, and ties included.  Then I started sewing.  I think the end product turned out quite nicely.     

The next day it was time for new stockings because if I don't finish them now they may never get done. 
I went back and used the same tutorial that I had on my original stockings.  I only made two changes.  1. I put the stocking pattern onto a piece of card board and made my pattern an inch wider ALL the way around.  This allowed for bigger stockings which we find more user friendly. 
2. Then I matched a cute little green ruffle from my tree skirt onto my stocking.
Here's the result. 

    And they all loved happily ever after.
The End

Cold Saturday

Well - It's been a while.  The last couple months of the year are always a busy time for us and more so this last year than ever before.  I go back in my head to my New Year's resolution to do one tutorial blog every month in 2013.  That SO did NOT happen.  It was a great goal just not one that I was able to make happen.  Too many other things were more important and hey - we all have to prioritize.  

One of the things that I also let fall behind this year was my scrapbooking.  I love to have a full 12 * 12 album with pictures of events and special occasions that have occurred through the year.  I old fashion scrapbook with paper and adhesive and actual printed off pictures.  Don't get me wrong.  I have some digital albums and I think that they are wonderful but I like taking the time to embellish pages and tell stories from my pictures.  I love sitting down with family and friends to look them over and see the laughs and smiles that they bring.  But it too was something that I let fall to the side.  

A couple of Saturdays ago I was unexpectedly NOT BUSY!  Alone in the house, crappy weather outside, no where I had to be, nothing I had to get done so I glided down to the craft room for a little bit of scrapbooking.  It was wonderful!  I had to put away the sewing and fabric paint supplies to make room.  I flipped on the TV, made a cup of hot cocoa and got started.  
First I sorted....
       Not only do I print pictures but I keep mementos from our trips.  Ten years can pass and I will look back in a scrapbook and say oh remember that - but I might not necessarily have a picture of something but a memento that reminds us of a good time.  I sorted all my pictures and mementos.  
Then I prepped my work area...
I had to clear a space off my tables.  My scrapbooks - top right- stay near my work area.  I ran out of bookshelves for them in our living room plus they are great inspiration when I get stuck.  If I don't clear everything out and have a good clean space to start in I get way off track. I hot cup of coca was also a yummy way to start off the morning. Got me energized and ready to go. 

Then I worked.  I stopped and changed out a few loads of laundry.  Stood up for some stretches.  Worked a bit longer.  Ate some lunch.  Came back and worked some more.  
And the end result was - 25 pages done and a feeling of accomplishment. 
I was able to get all my events done that I had the pictures printed for except our vacation to Las Vegas.  That will be another cold wet Saturdays work.  

Things really haven't slowed down but  I also know that some days I need to take a little time for myself.  This particular Saturday was one of those days.  I ended the day with supper with the hubby and a chance to show off what work I had done.  It was a day for Stacey...that I really needed.  
Cheers to the new year friends!