Thursday, August 8, 2013

Homemade Ant Killer

I'm a push over, and I let my dad eat at a TV table.  He either eats out on the screen porch or in the dining room but from his recliner.  He has vision problems, so sometimes seeing what he is eating is a challenge.  More often than not, he gets crumbs on the floor.  That's ok, I can vacuum them up.  Lately however, he has been eating a lot of fruit.  What ever he eats usually has sugar on it.  He likes everything sweet.  Even cantaloupe has a couple spoons of sugar on it,  as well as his morning oatmeal.  When he is finished, he sets the bowl aside until I come to get it or he brings it to the sink.  The last week or so, his empty bowl has little ants in it.  I sprayed the outside of the porch with Home Defense, but the ants continued to feast on the left over sweetness.  Then I remembered printing out a homemade natural ant killer recipe.  Amazingly enough, I was able to locate it without a problem.  I mixed some up and set it out in little jar lids on the porch.  The ants found it right away and by the next morning they were gone.  It was amazing and I haven't seen any in his empty dishes for several days.  Then last night I saw some crawling around in the dining room.  They discovered the cookie crumbs on the floor.  I put another little jar cover down with the ant killer in it.  I couldn't sleep last night so I got up.  I noticed the cover was full of ants.  They were eating like crazy.  Then this morning, they were all gone except for the ones who became stuck permanently. 

Homemade Natural Ant Killer

Combine 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon of Borax.  Bring it to a boil and boil for about three minutes.  I then poured it into 6 lids from small jars.  I set them around in the spots I saw the ants.  It really works.  It probably isn't great for pets or kids, but it isn't enough to really hurt like poison is.

Jar lid with the homemade ant killer on our porch.

I don't know where this recipe originated from.  I first saw it in April of 2012 at and then again a year later on a blog I follow called  I figure if they both posted it, it must work and it does.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Knitting for Victory

Today a friend of mine asked me for a crochet pattern from many years ago.  Apparently I had made her son a baby bunting when he was born.  I don't remember the pattern or what it looked like, but I thought I would look through my patterns to see if one of them sparked my memory.  It was fun looking through them.  I saw patterns for things I had made.  I saw patterns for things I wanted to make and a ton of patterns that I have no idea why I kept.

Rosie the Knitter

In the stack of books, I came across something that I had forgotten about.  A lot of the stuff I have came from my mother in law who would have been 100 years old yesterday, August 6.   The book I found was called Knitting for Victory.  Apparently during World War I and World War II, people on the home front helped in any way they could.  Many people knit for the troops.  Even Eleanor Roosevelt knit for the war effort when she was the first lady.  She was called the first knitter.  Even children and young adults would knit.  On November 24, 1941 Life magazine ran a cover story about it.  It is amazing to me that the country was so cohesive that everyone backed the troops, and that millions of items were hand knit for the cause.  It would be nice to have some of that patriotism and cooperation in this day and age.

This is a good article discussing in detail how people Knit for Victory.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Lemon Loaf

My Tuesday recipe is going to be another Facebook recipe that is making the rounds.   It is Lemon Loaf...supposedly the secret recipe from the lemon loaf they serve at Starbucks.  This one is very good.  I haven't had the best of luck with some of the recipes that have been posted on Facebook.  I made this last weekend for a picnic.  I have to apologize to those who were at the picnic because it had an off taste.  It wasn't the fault of the recipe.  It was my fault (sorry Beth).  I used lemon extract that was pretty old.  I googled it to see how long lemon extract would last.  It said that it doesn't expire, so I used it.  I hadn't tasted the final product before I cut it up and took it.  This week  I did buy new lemon extract and threw the old away.  The second attempt was delicious.  It is moist and lemony.

Top Secret recipe version of Starbucks Lemon loaf.

1 1/2 cup(s) FLOUR
1/2 teaspoon(s) BAKING SODA
1/2 teaspoon(s) BAKING POWDER
1/2 teaspoon(s) SALT
1 cup(s) SUGAR
2 tablespoon(s) BUTTER; Softened.
1 teaspoon(s) VANILLA
1 teaspoon(s) LEMON EXTRACT
1/3 cup(s) LEMON JUICE
1/2 cup(s) OIL

1 cup(s) POWDERED SUGAR; Plus 1 Tablespoon.
2 tablespoon(s) WHOLE MILK; I Used 2%.
1/2 teaspoon(s) LEMON EXTRACT

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Use a mixer to blend together the eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon extract and lemon juice in a medium bowl.
Pour wet ingredient into the dry ingredients and blend until smooth.
Add oil and mix well.
Pour batter into a well greased 9x5-inch loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into center of the cake comes out clean.
Make the lemon icing by combining all the icing ingredients in a small bowl with an electric mixer on low speed.
When the loaf is cool, remove it from pan and frost the top with the icing.
Let the icing set up before slicing.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Coaster Doily made from Plarn

Here I go with the old sayings again, but "Necessity is the Mother of Invention".  Although I didn't invent this process, I had a necessity.  I wanted a large coaster to put on a table outside.  It couldn't be made of fabric because it would get damp and moldy.  It had to breath and dry quickly.  I had seen rugs and tote bags made out of plastic grocery bags.  I know we are all supposed to bring our own bags into stores to "Be Green",  but all of us have run into the store without our bags.  We did have some plastic bags on hand, so I googled it and found an easy technique for making Plarn (plastic yarn).

The first thing I did was to choose complimentary colors from the bags I had on hand.  I had a Dollar General light yellow, Gray from WalMart and a darker yellow from Festival Foods.

Lay a plastic bag flat.
Fold it in half.
Fold in half again.
Cut off the handles and the bottom.
Then cut across every inch or so.
Unfold to expose circular strips. 

I didn't know how to describe connecting the strips so this drawing shows the whole process.

Finally I rolled them into balls resembling yarn.
Start to crochet in a circle just like with yarn or thread.

Any pattern that works with yarn or thread will work with the plastic.  I used a "J" hook but a "K" or "L" will work fine.

The coaster is worked in a spiral; do not join at the end of rounds. It is helpful to use a stitch marker to keep rack of rounds. With B, ch 4, join to form a ring.
Round 1 (B): Ch 1, work 6 sc in ring — 6 sts.
Round 2 (R): 2 sc in each st around — 12 sts.
Round 3 (R): *2 sc in 1st st, 1 sc in next, rep from * around — 18 sts.
Round 4 (W): *2 sc in 1st st, 1 sc in each of the next 2 sts, rep from * around — 24 sts.
Round 5 (R): *2 sc in 1st st, 1 sc in each of the next 3 sts, rep from * around — 30 sts.
Round 6 (B): *2 sc in 1st st, 1 sc in each of the next 4 sts, rep from * around — 36 sts.

Work around increasing as necessary to keep the work flat.  Then just make it as big as you want.  The last row I put an edge on.  I used a single crochet, *skip next stitch, 5 single crochet in next stitch, skip next stitch, single crochet in next stitch* and repeat around.

The final plastic coaster doily made from plastic shoppiing bags.   

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Final Day For Seeing AirVenture

Today is the final day for Oshkosh Wisconsin EAA AirVenture.  The last day is family day with special prices for families and anyone under 18 can get in free.  It is was an exciting week for those interested in aircraft of all kinds, but it will be nice to be able to go to Oshkosh and get around without the crowds.  Last night we attended a picnic our daughter and husband hosted at the airplane hangar they have.  We had a lot of good food, and then we were able to see some of the night airshow.  Although we didn't stay for the whole thing, it was amazing to see the planes fly in formations and do rolls and twists. We took my dad along thinking he may be able to see the show.  He has macular degeneration, and he has vision problems.  We thought the contrast of the night sky and the lighted airplanes would be easier for him to see.  He couldn't see them.  We felt bad for him and left early.  It is hard for me to photograph the planes with my equipment but here are a few highlights I was able to capture.

This was my favorite, the best little airplane and pilot of all.  My grandson Ewan.