Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sunflowers, Soap Demo and Canning Demo

Out and about....

The Texas Workforce Commission offers free workshops
on all matter pertaining to getting you back to work ASAP.
I've attended several of these classes, resume writing, susccessful work searches,
getting to yes in an interview, marketing yourself........
Helpful? Yes,  but still no job!
 I've been working on creating income in a different way.

Sewing, Etsy, soap company, soap classes, up-cycling vintage furniture
and my newest....  canning classes.

I thought everyone knew how to can!
I was wrong!!!!

Roland's Nursery is having a grand opening at their new
location and I get to be one of the attractions.
I've been asked to give a canning demo and a
soap-making demo in the same day.
One in the morning, the other in the afternoon.
Pretty cool, yes?

I spent the better part of today writing out my
presentation on the canning demo, compiling the "to take" list and choosing a recipe.

The soap I know pretty well.

My daughter Ginger is going to help me facilitate all of this,
but I have to tell you, the   "to take"   list for both projects
is pretty extensive.

I have faith though, we can make this happen!


On my way to and from the workforce office
I noticed these sunflowers in  the fields
where the cotton had been  last year!
There's about four large fields.

Bio fuel perhaps?
I don't know, but what I do know is,
when I first started making soap I had sunflower oil in the recipe.
Then it disappeared from the market shelves, never to be heard from again.
I just assumed they were using it in the manufacturing of bio fuel.

If anyone can enlighten me on this I would greatly appreciate it.

Till next time,
Happy canning!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Canning Plum Jam and Making Plum Liquor from "FREE" Plums

I never turn down free food!

The outlaws gave me three sacks, full of red plums Friday,
today I made plum jam, plum liquor and plum cordial.
My plum trees are producing but ther're still young,
the outlaws have a gigantor tree!!!

I did a traditional plum jam recipe "twice" and still had plums
left over. Nineteen jars of jam later I had to get creative.
There's only so much jam a person needs so...
I was "forced" to make other stuff.
Who doesn't enjoy a cordial every once in awhile?
This isn't the first time I've made spirits and I'm sure it wont be the last!

I have a vintage cookbook that covers cordials, brandy, wines, weird pickles,
and all kinds of old school recipes, it's pretty cool!

The old school cookbook had me layering 
sugar and plums (stones too) starting and ending with the sugar. (first jar)
I cut the plums in half just to get more surface area exposed to the sugar.
Six months from now I shall have plum cordial.
Second and third jars are the rum plum.
Second jar is a half gallon, second hand store score!

Plum brandy in my sun tea jar

Googled plum liquor and got this recipe.

Plum Liquor

16 cups plums
4 cups sugar
3 cups dark rum

Wash and quarter plums and place in a mason jar.
Add the rum and sugar, turn once a day to dissolve the sugar.
Filter out the fruit after 15 days and enjoy.

I halved the recipe, had a bit of dark and light rum so I mixed them.

Did a quarter batch with brandy.
The rums and brandy have been sitting around for awhile so what better way to move them out?
I did save the bottles to decant into though.

Old school cookbook!
I love this cookbook, there's even a recipe for watermelon rind, sweet pickles.
Pretty tasty!
Are you getting creative with your canning?
If so please share:-)

Till next time,

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Texas Solar Eclipse, Sewing, & General Entrepreneurial Stuff

Oh yeah, I'm all about entrepreneurial,
even though I can't spell it!

So, I was at Roland's Nursery last week
spray painting/embellishing flower pots for Mother's day.
Employee takes note of my apron and
wants one or two for general wear at the nursery.
We discuss design options, price, fabric and I go home and create patterns.
This is what I came up with per her needs/fabric choices.

Six pocket

Four pocket

Four pocket close up
I am really trying to make this unemployment
situation work out!
What do you think?

This is the view I saw to the west this evening...

It's dark outside and I really need to bring in the clothes on the line,
hopefully I won't meet any snakes!

Outlaws gave me SEVERAL pounds of red plums,
I guess tomorrow is canning/brandy making day!

Till next time,

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Million $ check?

Not Really!
It was only for $3,950.25
This is a weird but true story.

I was on snag-a-job and saw a job listing
for a mystery shopper/office help for Costa Coffee.$450.00 a week!

Sounded good, so I applied.

The name of the employer and a physical address were listed.
Dallas, I’m not too familiar with Dallas.
But I do know that the traffic is always jacked up.
If I got the job I wanted to know just how far into Dallas I’d have to go.

Being the inquisitive type I googled the address.
Hum, no such address.
The best google could do is get me in the general area.
Not good.
Desolate looking, industrial, southeast Dallas location.
Hubby is from Dallas so I ask him about the area.
Not good.
Googled Costa Coffee… Based in the UK.
Googled the employer’s name… Lots of Dr. James Mccallum‘s.
Something in the back of my mind was telling me, this job is hokey.

Fast forward a week.
I get an email from the "employer" asking me to
verify my address, asking for an alternate email etc.
I emailed back saying, not sure what you want.
Thinking to self, no way you’re getting any info!
(I even contacted snag -a-job with the job link to verify, they were no help).
Several emails later from "Dr. James", (at this point I’m jacking with him)
I was told to watch my mail for the job assignment.

Got this check.
I took the check to my bank manager just for grins.
He told me it was a fake/forgery and to expect an email
with instructions something like this….
(This is the actual email).

Thanks for the update, I will like to inform you of your first assignment which involves an evaluation service of Western Union Money Transfer Service based in your area.
Western Union offers one of the easiest ways for families and friends to send money and stay connected almost anywhere in the world.

Please I’ll advise you deposit the check for ($3,950.25) upon receipt into your account, deduct $450 pay for this assignment and have the remaining funds wired via western union money transfer service to our overseas mystery shopper in Philippine to complete his assignment:
1st Assignment

Wire $3,500 Minus Transfer Charges TO

Name: Alex Martin Philips
Address: 843 EDSA AVENUE MAKATI 252,Philippines


During this assignment which requires you to have the check cashed at your bank before proceeding to wire the remaining funds at any local western union money transfer office in your area. You are expected to secretly perform the following shopping operation:

1. How fast and Efficient is the Western Union Money Transfer Service?
2. How long did it take you to have the funds wired?
3. How close is the Western Union Money Transfer Location to your area?
4. Is the Senders Request Form too short or Long? Kindly Advise
5. Is the neighboring environment safe for handling Western Union Money Transfer Service where you have the funds wired?
6. General Comments.

I will be expecting your e-mail with the details of money transfer as soon as possible ,remember to forward to me the following money transfer details below after you have made the transfer .

1 ) MTCN---Money Transfer Control Numbers
2 ) Senders Name & Address
3 ) Exact Amount Sent After Transfer Charges.

Thanks once again for the opportunity to trust and continue doing business with you.

James Mccallum.MD
Today I received another email from "Dr. James"
asking for the particulars.
I emailed back.
"As soon as you send me a real check I’ll think about the job".

(I tried two more times to alert snag-a-job with no luck).

There were a lot of clues in this little journey,
English was not his first language, bogus address,
typos, probe for personal info, why would a Dr. be involved in mystery shopping,
why was the check mailed from VA. drawn on a bank in CA.……

This is a first for me.
As a rule I’m pretty suspicious, things are rarely as they seem.
If it seems too good, well you know….

I wonder how many people fall for this?
Has anyone ever tried to scam you?

And thanks to "Dr. James" for the grins!!

I'm off to etsy...

Till next time,

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sketchy Internet and Making Bags


Being unemployed has it's plus side, you get to stay home and create!

I've been working on handmade bags,
 listing my vintage items for my Etsy shop,
giving soap classes, putting together Mother's Day gift pots,
 and generally doing things to generate income.
Oh yeah, looking for a job too!

Here are a few things I've recently completed.

So I'm getting my sewing fix, that's always a good thing.

I spray painted these clay pots, then embellished them with
ribbon, buttons, flowers etc. for Roland's Nursery that carries my soap.
They wanted something different for Mother's Day, so this is what I came up with.
Each pot has a soap, bath tea and a small bath oil.

What do you think?

The internet has been down for weeks, lousy dial up!
I've been forced to go to town for a hot spot just to do basic stuff.
My daughter's told me to get out of the stone age, mom they said,
"there are devices called hot spots, go buy one".

Lets just run through the math, keep in mind I'm unemployed.

$50.00 for the device
$50.00 a month for the service with a 2 year contract,
$10.00 extra per month for data overages.

As not to alter my monthly bills too much
I cancelled my home phone and internet provider.
Almost an even match.
We shall see.
I will say I am enjoying the faster speed.

I miss all you guys and your posts, can't wait to catch up on everyone.

Till next time,