How to ‘Tie One On’ (or two or three)….fleece tie blankets, that is!

Silver White Winters….

and comforters (blankets) for comfort!

March 2015 050

Wow! One week ago we had over a foot of snow. Today, there is no snow and Spring-like weather!

Winter gave me some good hobbies. Making some cozy comforters to provide winter comfort for my loved ones!

First was the blanket for Dad. Something to give him comfort as he sits in his recliner each evening, missing Mom.

Hey...somebody put the afghan over Dd!

Hey…somebody put the afghan over Dad! It’s…on the chair!

I love making crochet afghans! I browse online and through pattern books for new patterns but I still love some of the old standards that are tried and true! The chevron pattern is a favorite. I like the ‘design as you go’ color combinations that you can create from leftover yarn. For this afghan that I made for Dad I came up with a simple crochet chain edging instead of the tassels that you would usually do for the edging. It makes a clean and simple…fuss free, no fuzzy tassels in your face finish!

And my daughter enjoyed the blanket too…

What.....??? Grandpa said I could sit here...and eat here...and use his blanket! :)

What…..??? Grandpa said I could sit here…and eat here…and use his blanket! 🙂

Chain Edge

Chain Edge

draped afghan detail

A nice simple finish.

Comfy and Cozy...for Dad!

Comfy and Cozy…for Dad (and Amanda)!

Okay…so you may be wondering…did somebody pull the fleece over my eyes…or wasn’t this post about fleece tie blankets?

Ah…yes…it is!

One Fleece Blanket

One Fleece Blanket

And another fleece blanket...

And another fleece blanket…

And…there were more. I think I made 6 fleece tie blankets. The blankets for the grandkids were the cutest…and no pictures of those!

One of the greatest little tools, ever, made cutting the fringe SO MUCH EASIER! I made a couple of blankets without this handy dandy little tool…and it was very time intensive and back breaking! If you ever make one of these blankets you’ll want to have this tool. I got mine at Hancock Fabrics.

Fringe Cut Express Tool

Fringe Cut Express Tool…life simplified!

Fall and winter 2014-2015 256

This tool + a rotary cutter will make this project quick, precise and easy!

Once you have all of the fringe cut you simply tie the front and the back layers together. Tied right you’ll have each side showing fringe from the opposite side…a nice look (see above).

So now that our Silver White Winter is melting to Spring…time to pack up the blankets and get on with Spring!

With Spring approaching I’ll get back to work on some of my art projects…like this pastel painting…my boys. I saw a picture, in a magazine, of three boys in a field of flowers. It warmed my heart and I loved it so much! It reminded me of Spring, my boys…and now my grandsons. So…Spring brings opportunity for me to finish this up. I will pass it along to my daughter one day.

Brothers 001

Brothers Three…by Victoria

I have been thinking of all that brings me comfort. For me…there is great comfort in creating something for my loved ones to enjoy…and loved ones…that is comfort all by itself. To be blessed with wonderful parents, family, children, grandchildren, spouse and extended family…I am truly blessed! What great comfort that brings!

Until we meet again…

Wishing you…

The promise of Spring,

The comfort of home and family…

All that warms your heart!

Vee

FUNERAL POTATOES (aka Nauvoo Potatoes)…and we call them ‘HAPPY POTATOES’!

Announcing the death of ‘funeral potatoes’….we now call them ‘happy tators’!

"Happy Tators"

“Happy Tators”

I have been absent for a while…at least not posting much here at Home and The Range. I was beginning to think my  job may be the death of me…I mean my blog! I truly miss this little blog when I’m away!  Home and The Range is my journal of the people, places and things that I love.

Speaking of people that I love…

I had opportunity, a couple of months ago, to spend time with some of my loved ones that live out West. It was a wonderful time! Three of my children (and my daughter’s fiance’) made the trip from Arizona to Utah to visit with me and all of our family there. There was much to celebrate! Dad just turned 83, Dustin (our hero…still battling through his Muscular Dystrophy) just turned 30, Waylon just turned 5, Darryl just turned 53 and one of my daughters is newly engaged.

A few highlights from Home…where family gathers!

And from the Range … some food that we love!

A grand meal shared with loved ones that included funeral potatoes!

"Happy Tators"

“Happy Tators”

This is a popular dish in Utah. I love these creamy, cheesy delicious potatoes! A few years ago my youngest daughter suggested we name this delicious dish ‘happy potatoes’ because funeral potatoes sounds a bit depressing. So we now call them ‘happy potatoes…or happy tators’!

They have been so named ‘funeral potatoes’ because they are often made for the dinner provided for a family following a funeral. The Relief Society in the LDS Church provides the comfort of a home cooked meal for family and close friends in attendance of a funeral. The name ‘Nauvoo Potatoes’ has to do with the history of the LDS Church and Nauvoo, Illinois.

My sister made the ‘happy potatoes’ for our get-together in Utah and I was reminded of how much I love them.  I made them when I got back home to Kentucky as part of our Easter meal. I’m bringing the West and Southwest…to The South!

The green onion adds to the unique flavor of this dish and the crunchy corn flake topping makes this recipe…tops!

There are a few versions of this dish on the internet but I LOVE this recipe that my sister and I use (she gave me the recipe several years ago).

If you would like to try the recipe that my sister and I use …select the following link:

https://sites.google.com/site/recipesfromhomeandtherange/-happy-tators

Until we meet again…

Wishing you the blessings of home, family…and maybe some ‘Happy Tators’.

Happy Trails!

Vee

Find joy in the journey

A Tailgating Tale, a Treasure Chest and Apricot Bars…my writing challenge entry!

WordPress has started a weekly writing challenge. Although I don’t consider myself to be a writer (although I do write), I was excited about the topic of this week’s challenge. The challege was to write about a favorite possession…

One of my favorite possessions is a little Cocoa Cola Cooler.  This little cooler warms my heart with some wonderful memories of my Grandparents, Grandpa LaNay and Grandma Alice, and our tailgate parties!

Always and Forever!

We took this little cooler, packed to the brim with a summer feast, and loaded it into Grandpa’s little white and blue Ford pickup. It was his fishin’, pic-nic’n truck! I don’t remember him using it for anything else!

Tailgating typically brings together sports and eating and fans of both! But Grandma and Grandpa had their own style of tailgating…no sports, just the sport of being in the beautiful outdoors and being together!

I am fortunate in having this memorabilia in my kitchen. Now holding a collection of collectible Cocoa Cola bottles, it once held some ‘made with love’ picnics to take along on our adventure paths of laughs, fun and love…our tailgate parties!

This little cooler was the champion of cool! It kept all of Grandma’s delicious goodies at the perfect temperature. I remember touching the cool metal sides of the cooler.  There is no cooler today that can come close to being as cool as my Grandma and Grandpa’s cooler, in more ways than one!

When we had our fishing hole mapped out we stopped for a bite to eat. Grandpa would say “let’s just have an appetizer and come back for more after we do some fishin”. I think he couldn’t wait to dig into the goodies!

Grandma always had some fresh fruit (it was always apricots if they were in season) in the top tray of the cooler.  I have had a fondness of apricots since then (resulting in the purchase of a baby doll named ‘Baby Apricot’ for my youngest daughter). There would also be an assortment of fresh veggies from Grandma’s garden…maybe some cucumbers or some of Grandma’s homemade pickles, or her fantastic spiced veggies that she canned.  I should learn to make those…they were excellent!

What a feast! Ah…now I know why we ate some before fishin’ and some…after fishin’!

Let’s go fishin’!

Grandma took such great care to pack a perfect lunch!

A perfect tailgate picnic!

There were always wrapped sandwiches (like egg salad and bologna) cut into finger sandwiches so that we could choose a couple of each.  And, of course, a homemade cookie (oatmeal or sugar ) or a piece of some homemade cake.

One of the most important things to bring along…some homemade tea, made from mint and canned raspberry juice from Grandma’s own garden! She brought that along in Mason jars. The tea stayed nice and cool in our little cooler and was so refreshing!

After we had a bite or two we headed on over to the lake or stream. Grandpa tried and tried to coax me into putting the worm on the hook. I couldn’t, no sirreeeeee, do it! He got a gigantic kick out of trying though!

After laughing it up a while he would put my mind at ease and hand me a pole, already baited…whew! Then I just had to worry about gutting the fish if I caught one! Yes…there were laughs about that as well!

After doing a little bit of fishin’ with Grandpa, Grandma and I would walk up and down the banks, skip a stone or two and admire the wildflowers. She loved Sunflowers and had her own garden of them. Mom has a picture of me standing in Grandma’s Sunflower garden.  See what this little cooler does? It tugs at my heart to know how Grandma loved me, her garden, and how I feel about my own Grandchildren! They are the flowers in my garden!

One of Grandma’s favorite flowers.

My Grandma Alice was a dedicated woman who valued her family more than anything on earth. She was not a woman of earthly possessions but felt herself to be a wealthy woman because of her family and her faith. She was a true example of commitment and dedication. She once told me that I should never serve myself before serving my husband. I later understood that she meant more than just serving supper and I understood just how much she treasured my Grandfather. I understand why they had such a wonderful friendship and marriage.  I cannot help but think of that…when I look at my little cooler.

My Grandpa LaNay was a gentle man and a true gentleman! He had a kind and generous heart. I never heard him raise his voice or say an unkind word. He had a good sense of humor and loved making all of the kids laugh (and he enjoyed making my Grandma laugh too)! He treasured my Grandmother and always told me what a good woman she was. He was a very talented artist who loved painting nature. I treasure the memory that he has painted on my heart.

What a collectible little cooler! It holds a collection of some of my most treasured childhood moments with Grandparents that I treasure! One little cooler…two wonderful Grandparents!

Bottle opener on the side of the cooler.

On my trip to Utah this summer I was lucky enough to get copies of my Grandmother’s hand written recipes that my Mother now has.  I have not had a chance to start sorting through them or trying each recipe yet but I am looking forward to coming across some memorable dishes that Grandma made…maybe even some recipes that she used for some of our picnics.

Meanwhile…I found a recipe, that I tweaked a bit, for some Apricot Bars that are quite delicious! Even an apprehensive husband, who doesn’t particularly like apricots, loves them. I have named them Picnic Apricot Bars in honor of my Grandma and Grandpa and our picnics that we brought along in our little cooler!

Picnic Apricot Bars…shown here on my other Grandmother’s plate.

Here is a link to the recipe …

https://sites.google.com/site/recipesfromhomeandtherange/picnic-apricot-bars

(You can print the recipe from the page that the link opens up. Just go to the bottom of the page for the print button).

I am thankful for having such wonderful Grandparents and thankful for this precious cooler that helps me remember such wonderful times together…pretty cool! This ice chest is a treasure chest!

Until we meet again…

Wishing you the blessing of treasured memories…

and Happy Trails along the way!

Vee

By the way…that little Baby Apricot smelled like apricots for seventeen years, maybe more. My daughter gave her away when she was seventeen. I…was not happy about that!