Saturday, October 31, 2009

Good News, Bad News and an Ode to my little store

Hi all.

I have good news and bad news.

Good News!!: I have sold my store. Hallelujah! I am now free to further pursue my dreams. Like, going back to school. I want to go back for Graphic Design. I have discovered that is something I really like and wouldn't mind having a degree in. Took me till I was almost 38 to find out what I wanted to do when I grew up...but, I suppose, better late than never.

Bad News: I will not have internet access for a while. So I will not be able to be on here for a little while. I am actively looking for an alternative to our local phone company. We have several internet needs between school for my kids and just keeping up with life in general. So, I WILL find a way.

I was so excited, relieved and at peace with the store selling. I am finding now that I am mourning it a little. I have spent time crying. Somebody put it into a neat perspective for me. She said "You birthed this." And I did. In lots of prayer and hard work. I knew I would never keep it forever. I knew that I opened it to sell it. And the fact that it has is an absolute testament to the power of the Word of God. I just feel so stupid for crying over something I've been aching to get rid of. Almost like never being happy even when you get what you want. Except I am happy. I am most moved and touched by how much God loves me and takes care of me. He has totally held me in the palm of His hand and has rescued me right at the point where I thought I would come apart at the seams. But, I'm going to miss my store. At least for a little while. And then life will get busy and I will be so glad for the freedom that the pain will go away.

So, goodbye little store. You have been good to me. I have learned many things and gained much experience. You are in a cherished little corner of my heart.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Crock Pot Pulled Pork Loin

Another "came up with it one-day" recipe for you to try.

Crock Pot Pulled Pork Loin
by Elizabeth Mareno

3-4 Lb Pork Loin or Roast - Lean
Minced Garlic
Dried Basil/Oregano
Salt and Pepper

Place roast in crock pot. Cover entire top of roast with minced garlic. (no kidding, the whole top)
Sprinkle Basil/Oregano over the top till its dark and everything looks covered in dried herbs. ( i know this is vague) Even if it looks like too much, trust me, it's not. I use a salt grinder. I made a few passes over the top with the salt and the pepper....and cook for 8 hours.

Simply shred the pork roast into the juices it created and serve on buns. It's incredible.

Crafting and Life Update

I don't have much to say, really.

I have still been working so much that I have not done any designing. I didn't even get my submission in to the magazine in time. Trying to decide, now, whether or not to just put it on here as another free pattern. I want very much to share the pattern. But, I want very much to see if I am good enough to have a pattern submission accepted as well. It's a conundrum.

Have great ideas in my head about things. Have a Vulpix (pokemon toy) about 1/4 done. Actually more, I just have to do his head and tail. But, I have had no desire to work on that. To be honest the carpal tunnel in my arm is getting ridiculous. I HAVE to go see a doctor. I lose sleep at night from the pain in my arm. I can't knit or crochet very long and I have to set things down cuz I can't do it anymore. That is seriously cramping my style. Seriously.

As far as what I have on the hooks and needles. I am currently working on a ripple afghan in crochet being done in scraps only. And this one really is scraps. I will not buy any yarn for this one. I know you've heard that a hundred times from me if you've heard it once. But, I mean it this time! On the needles, I just finished up 3 pairs of wool mittens **for the family. I just have one more pair to go. And I have a 'mind of its own' log cabin-ish afghan on the needles. This one, too, is scraps only. This one is the almost full skeins of yarn that get left over in the pile. They are too little to do a big project and too big to just use for potholders, etc. So...I'm making it work. :) But, these, too are moving very slow. The whole arm thing.

We've made some decisions about the store. We currently have a buyer in the works. I'm believing that God is going to move things and we will be able to sell. Just be in agreement with us. And if you can't be in agreement...then just don't say anything at all.

I'm tired. I'm worn out. I work way too much. I'm ready to go back to being a part-time employee and being home with my kids. They are at an age where they need me even more than when they were babies. Then, it was the physical need. Now, is the time of life where the big questions and big decisions come up. I don't want to be absent when they happen. Or be too tired to care. They are arrows and I have every intention of pointing them with a destination and a future.

**Leave the fun fur out of this pattern and use Wool-Ease chunky for a GREAT mitten! Size 9 needles for women's hands. Size 10 needle and a few extra rows before the finger decrease for men.

Crock Pot Southwestern-ish Chuck Roast

No pictures for this. Just don't have a working camera at my disposal. After thinking about this, somebody, somewhere probably came up with this idea before me. However, I didn't get this recipe from anyone but my own brain, so I'm posting it as an original recipe. I hope you enjoy this as much as my family did. :)

Crock Pot Southwestern-ish Chuck Roast
by Elizabeth Mareno

Serves about 5-6 people generously

3-4lb chuck roast- frozen
1- can tomatoes and green chilies- do not drain.
1- can Bush's Texas Chili Starter (we use medium heat)
Ground Cumin
Instant Rice (we made a 4 serving size and had tons left over)
Shredded Cheese (optional)
Large crock pot (ours is an oval 6 Qt)

Put the frozen chuck roast into crock pot. Pour can of tomatoes/chilies over the top of the roast, juice and all (don't add extra liquid). Sprinkle generously with cumin. Cook 8 hours.

About 15-ish minutes before serving, remove all fat and bones from roast (i just leave it in the crock pot and do this), then shred meat. Add the can of chili starter. Let cook in crock pot about 15 minutes while you get the instant rice ready.

Serve over rice with shredded cheese. Last minute serving add-in's could be jalapeno's for some heat, extra green chilies, sour cream, crushed tortilla chips....use your imagination.

This makes AWESOME leftovers!!