ic Kathe With an E: October 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

We Have a Winner!

I Am Very Pleased to Announce the Winner of My Very First Giveaway

Chosen by Random.Org

Drum Roll Please
Congratulations to AubreyLaine who said: 
"Congratulations! How exciting :) Thanks for the giveaway!"
Aubrey check your email!
Thank you all for taking the time to enter.  You all are winners to me!
Don't worry, I am already working with a sponsor for another giveaway in November!  
Be sure to check back for another chance to win!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Easy Pork Chili

Well you if look back a couple of posts to here you will see we experienced a normal fall day here in Denver.  Yep, more than a few inches of snow fell on Wednesday.  The trees were still full of leaves so plenty of branches were broken.  Many people are still without power.  Along with the snow came the cold.  Although today is filled with abundant sunshine, it is only 45 degrees outside.  With the cold weather comes Mr. B's request for me to make his favorite pork chili.  It is easy enough to make for a weekday meal but I had today off so, chili I made.

I start with a few simple ingredients.  2 cans of chili hot beans in chili gravy, 2 cans of diced tomatoes with green chiles (do not drain!), about a pound of boneless pork chops, cut into cubes (when it's on sale, I will get a boneless pork roast and cut it up into cubes and freeze in one pound portions to have on hand for this chili), and some flour.
You will want to place the flour into a plastic bag and add the pork cubes.  Shake it really good to make sure the cubes are all covered with the flour.  If I know I am making this a day ahead I will place the bag of floured pork in the fridge over night.  This gets it to stick really good to the pork.  Today, I just set it aside for about a half hour, shaking it again every now and then.  

Next you want to shake off the excess flour.  I place it into a wire strainer and shake the loose flour off into a bowl.

Heat up a skillet on medium high and add about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.  Add the floured pork and cook until it is browned.  Sometimes it takes doing this in batches as you don't want to crowd the skillet and wind up just steaming the pork and not browning it.
Once you have all of the pork nicely browned, place it along with the chili beans and tomatoes in your slow cooker/ crockpot.  Stir it up so that everything is mixed up.
Put the lid on it and let it cook on low all day.
By the time Mr. B gets home from work the house will smell amazing.  He will hurry to put his things away so that he can sit down to this
Cornbread, hot from the oven, would have been nice too but I didn't have the mixin's on hand for that.  Mr B doesn't mind.  Cornbread or crackers are just extras.  All he wants is a bowl, or two, of his favorite chili!

If you make this for your family I'd love to hear how you liked it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Giveaway! Achieving Goals!


As you read in this post
 I announced that once I hit 15,000 page views
and 100 followers 
I would thank you all with a giveaway.
Well, I have achieved both of those goals and then some!!
I don't want to encumber my dear viewers and friends with 
with all kinds of wacky/ wonky rules in order to win.
To be entered all you have to do is simply leave me a comment 
(one comment per person please)
on this post between now 
and 8:00pm (Mountain time zone)
Monday, October 31, 2011.
(be sure to include your email address) 

 I apologize to my international visitors and friends but this Giveaweay is for 
U.S.A. mailing addresses only.

If you want to follow me that would be great but it is not necessary to do so in order to win.

The winner will be picked using the Random.Org  generator.

I will announce the winner on Tuesday, November 1, 2011!
Easy peasy right?  
That's the way I like it!

Oh wait...I seem to be forgetting something important...

Oh Yeah!!

The prize!!
 The winner will receive a $25.00 Visa Gift Card! 
Perfect for the upcoming holidays to purchase something nice just for you!!

So, leave me a sweet comment today (because I do truly love to read them all!) 
and be entered to win!

Again, I thank you all for taking the time to stop by for a visit 
at this lil ole blog of mine.  
It does mean so much to me!

Linked up here:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

From my office windows.  Denver, CO October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We Did It!

To be honest, it wasn't really we, it was all you! 

If you remember this post, you know I had a personal goal of 15,000 page views (blew that one out of the water) and 100 followers. 

Natascha  started following just last night and got me to the goal of 100 followers.  

As I write this, I have 102 new friends and could not be more excited! 


Annnnnd you know what that means!  

A giveaway was promised when I reached both of those goals.  


I am not quite ready to put the giveaway page up but I promise it will be in the next day or so.

Thank you all again soooo much! 

You all are my bestie besties!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thrifty Finds

So, last weekend I told you I met up with Ms K for our annual run for poo. If you missed it, you can read about it here.

What I didn't tell you is that Goodwill had another of their 50% Saturday sale days. Well, I can't let a sale day go by without visiting just one, okay two, stores.  I left home about an hour and a half before I was to meet Ms K and managed to stop at two stores that are on the way to her place.

The first store I stopped at is closest to home and my least favorite.  I truthfully rarely go to this one. The pickin's are usually slim and the aisles are always in disarray. But, it was close and on the way so I soldiered in. 

I was able to find a couple of items.  I had read a blog post a few weeks ago, and I am so sorry I can't remember which one it was, but she talked of revamping her bathroom and using liquor decanters for bubble bath and mouthwash.  I thought this to be such a cute idea and made a mental note to keep an eye out for decanters.

I was lucky enough to find one that had the stopper too.  It was marked $3.99 but, at 50% off, $2.00 was a great price to me! I can also see using it as a bud vase.
Right behind it you can see my other find.  A Candlewick snack dish.  I already have one that I purchased last year at Savers.  Buuut....my all time bestie, Cindy, that lives in Kansas, had texted me a few weeks ago with a picture she took at an estate sale she had stopped at.  It was a snack plate just like the one I found. She wanted to know if it was Candlewick.  I told her yes and she asked if I wanted her to get it.  As I was texting in my usual speedy way, NOT, she added, "there are 4 of them and they are $2.00 for all four!"  Shut the front door Martha!  Heck yeah I want them!  We will be working on the logistics of getting them to me here in CO. So really I had 5 of them and this one now makes six.  I paid more than she did.  Mine cost me 99 cents. I needed six because I had thrifted, over time, 6 of the matching cups to complete the set. 
These are truly a fun find.  They take you back to the days of moms that didn't work outside the home and gathered at each others houses for card games and gossip.  These sweet little snack plates have a spot for a small sandwhich (crusts cut off of course) a punch cup and includes a spot for an ashtray and a place to hold a cigarette while you eat. Ah, simpler times :)

The next Goodwill usually does pretty well for me but, once again, I was crunched for time and couldn't really take my time digging through all of the good stuff. 

I did find these adorable salad plates.  Normally 49 cents each but only 25 cents each to me :)  
I can envision a back to school or a country themed tablescape with these plates as the stars.

My final purchase was this fall/ Halloween themed candle screen.  I loved the look of it.  I may have paid too much at $2.00 but sometimes if you see something you love you have to bring it home...am I right?  

I was pretty happy with only spending a little over $6.00 with tax for the day.

I am going to have to make sure that the next 50% off Saturday I have no plans and can shop at a leisurely pace instead of having to hurry through the stores! I can't even make myself think about what I might have missed!

** Be sure to check out this post  to read about the giveaway I am planning!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What a Week!

Man it has been a week!  A good week for a change! 

First off, I got a call from my oldest son last week.  He lives in Michigan where he attends Michigan State (Go Green!) and is >< this close to getting his Doctorate in Plant Molecular Biology.  Now I knew my younger son was driving with his lovely girlfriend from where they live in Connecticut to Michigan to visit said oldest son for the weekend.  Younger son also had an interview scheduled at MSU to see if he wants to attend school there next fall.  Younger son is seeking a degree in broadcasting.  He has a weekly radio show that you can listen to on the web here every Monday from 3:00pm-6:00pm Eastern. He usually gives a shout out to his Mile High Mom sometime during the show :) Anywho, older son calls and I immediately get the momma spidey senses going thinking younger son had car trouble or something.  I could not have been more wrong!  Oldest son was calling to tell me that he finally proposed to his most beautifully sweet girlfriend!  And!  She said YES!! I am finally going to be a Mother-in-Law!!  I am finally getting the daughter I have always wanted! I could not be happier!  I just love her to pieces and had been waiting for this call forever! I hereby promise to be the bestest MIL EVER!  She will make it very easy for me to do! How cute are they?? This is just after she said yes!

And a "mock" engagement photo taken by my younger son. 
And here is a picture of my two sons from 2010.  I am so blessed that they are one an others best friend. And both so handsome to boot!
My younger son and his beautiful girlfriend

Yes, that's me on the left and Max at the lower right.  This was taken when they were out for a visit last summer.  Dear son's t-shirt will be burned in a purging ceremony in the near future ;)

Secondly, remember this post?  It's the one where I talk about achieving goals and, oh yeah, I mentioned a giveaway I am planning when I reach a couple of new goals.  Weeeelllll....if you look down to the bottom left of this page (go on, I'll wait) you will see I, thanks to all of you, have surpassed one of the goals.  I am also >< this close to hitting the second goal.  As soon as I hit 100 followers (no pressure) I will announce the giveaway!  Are you as excited as I am??  Yeah, probably not. I do tend to over dramatize the little things ;) I still don't know what the giveaway will be yet.  I'm thinking since the holiday's will be here in a blink of an eye, a gift card could be a good giveaway? I better get to deciding because I may need to make announcement as soon as next week! 

And then!  Thirdly, I received my very first blog award! Kari at The House of Bledsoe bestowed the award  of The Versatile Blogger upon me saying I am an inspiration to her.  Seriously? Lil ole me? <blush> Kari is the mother of 2 of the cutest little boys in all of blogland! She also comes up with some fun stuff like Halloween bowling!

Now here are the rules of the Versatile Blogger Award:
1. Thank & link back to the person who gave the award to you. (thank you Kari<smooches>)
2. Share 7 things about yourself.

1.     I was born in Spokane, WA
2.    I moved, with my family,  to Colorado when I was about 13 years old
3.    I have an older brother and a younger brother.  Yes, I am the only girl and a middle child.  Explains so much now doesn’t it
4.   I have 2 adult sons that live too far away (mentioned briefly (LOL) above)
5.      Mr. B & I have known each other almost 20 years
6.      Mr. B & I have been married a little over 6 years
7.      Mr. B is 12 years younger than me.  I was a cougar before it was fashionable!  Ha! He is an old soul and I refuse to get old so we are a perfect team :)

The 15 blogs I am passing this award along to are, in no particular order:

Blue Mountain Rise
Creating Wonderful Spaces
Detroit Mom and Her Views
Flea Market Lady
Cotton Addiction
Happily Home After
It's All Connected
Mandi Being Crafty
My 1929 Charmer
Out Junking
Ozarks Livin
Shabby Loco

The Other Me Is Sane

Vintage Umbrella
White Whimsy

Please, go visit them and you will get what I mean when I say they each inspire me!

So, now tell me, how has your week been?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Oh Poo

We are expecting cooler temps this week so it was time for me to get a start on next years garden.  Many of the flowers are still blooming such as the zinnias and Jacob's Beard but once we get the hard freeze that are predicted mid-week my gardening, for this year, will be done.

First I emptied my compost tumbler and sifted it.

I use the wheel barrow and an old door screen.  It provides the perfect size to spread over the gardens.
With the tumbler now empty I took what I had going in the compost bin and put it into the tumbler along with leaves and shredded paper.  The best combination for heating up compost is 3 parts dry (the leaves and paper) to 1 part wet (coffee grounds, kitchen scraps (no meat products), lawn clippings).  You want compost to heat up to kill off pathogens (bad stuff) and to break it down into good loamy soil. Home composters like myself love a hot bin.
My bestest gal pal, Ms. K, is a recent convert to the benefits of composted poo.  She lives in a condo and doesn't have her own plot of land to garden in.  Ms. K wasn't going to let that stop her from having pretty flowers to greet her as she returns home from either of her two jobs.  She claimed the rock bed at the bottom of her stairs and made herself her own little garden. She even made this adorable birdbath herself! 
Each fall Ms. K and I load up Mr. B's truck with shovels, pitchforks and bins and head to a nearby horse rescue farm.  We go in the pursuit of hot steamy semi composted manure, good old fashioned poo! 
The poo is free for the taking but we always leave a donation so that they may continue to care for abandoned and/ or abused horses. 
And poo they have!  Mountains of it in fact!
Ms. K and I dug in.  The warm temperatures had heated the pile up pretty good.  If you look closely you can see it was steamin'!
We loaded up our bins as full as we could.  I am thinking I need to get some more bins for next year.  I'd do a truck bed full if I could!
We took one of the bins and spread it over Ms. K's garden.  The other bins came home with me for my compost bin.

I started first with a layer of shredded. paper.  I am able to get the paper from work, friends like Ms. K, and Mr. B. He shreds up, each week, all of the junk mail and any other documents no longer needed.  
Next comes a bin of poo.

I continue layering in this way until all of the poo has been emptied.  I am left with a full compost bin.  

I will continue to add materials until early spring.  Then I will empty and sift what is the tumbler to add to my gardens and refill it with some of the material from the compost bin.  Now, some will say my way isn't the most efficient but it works for me.  I don't get weeds and my gardens seem to love it!  I am a strong believer in composting.  Done right there is no smell and it keeps tons of waste out of the landfills.  

Here are my tools:
And an example of the results:

(Don't miss this post where I announce that I am planning a giveaway soon)

Ghastly Gathering

Mr. B and I invited a couple of our dear old ghoulish friends over for dinner last night.  
As I have mentioned before, Mr. B is a home brewer so we started with some libations he made especially for this dinner party.

 I wanted our guests to feel at home so I decorated with their taste in mind. 

Unfortunately, a few uninvited guests showed up but, after trapping some of them, our guests didn't seem to mind.  In fact, they mentioned how kind I was to offer them their favorite appetizers. 

I think I made some points by cooking up a recipe I had received many years ago from a deceased family member.  Nothing warms your bones quite like a Ghoulish Gumbo.  Our guests gobbled it right up and asked for more!

They were such a gracious couple.  They made quite a big deal of me having scarecrow teeth and bats eyes on the buffet for dessert. I made sure to give them the remainder to take home for a late night snack.

We had so much fun reminiscing about old times and even dusted off a couple of our old books to look through and laugh at past adventures. 

Sadly, the evening came to an end to soon.  Our guests had another engagement they had to attend to before dawn.  Something about visiting an old haunt.  They offered to host the next get together. They promised a frightening good time!