Sunday, November 15, 2015

Reading in the Country

Dear Country Peeps:

Nearly a year ago, I "met" another "favorite" author - Cathy Bryant. She's written the Miller's Creek Novels - run on over and meet Cathy at her website and see who she is; be sure to check out her books. 

She's got a tour coming up - information to follow soon - and she has a new Christmas Book that will be released on November 17th on your Kindle™ or hard copy.. It's called Pieces on Earth. That made me buy my Kindle™ Copy immediately, and it will automatically download to my Kindle™ on Tuesday.

I know I don't usually "do" book reviews and such on the front blog page, but I wanted to share Cathy with you, in case you haven't yet had the pleasure of reading her books. I'm hooked on the Miller's Creek stories and I think you will be too.

Have a great week, whether you live in the country, or only wish you did.

© 2015 Cat Brennan

Friday, October 9, 2015

Repurpose in the Country

     Old toothbrushes . . what to do with them? These little marvels make super-duper cleaning tools. 

     Toothbrushes as teeth-cleaning tools should be replaced regularly; at least every six months: ask your dentist about this.
     However, don't throw the old one away.
     First: "sterilize" the old brush. Let it sit overnight in a 1:1 ratio solution of bleach and water. Then, just for good measure, run it through a full cycle in your dishwasher.
     Now this little guy is ready for a plethora of jobs, so save 'em all.

  • Keep one at the front door or in the mud room to get the grit off shoes before entering your home.
  • Keep one near every sink, tub and shower to scrub around faucets and other hardware.
  • Use one with tiny amount of furniture polish to get into tiny and tight spaces that your dust cloth can't reach.
  • Keep one in the kitchen to scrub down the counters around the kitchen sink.
  • Another in the car for detailing.
  • How about a toothbrush for the kids' bicycles?
  • An old toothbrush WITH a bit of toothpaste makes dull jewelry sparkle*.
  • Your only limit is your imagination.
Do YOU have any good uses for old tooth brushes?

Before ending this save-the-toothbrush-campaign, a note of caution. MARK your "old toothbrushes so it isn't picked up and used by its former owner for its original purpose.

  • To mark the cleaning toothbrush, generously squiggle on it with a permanent Sharpie-type marker. OR -
  • Slather the tooth brush with some loud and gaudy nail varnish. OR -
  • Get into your craft box and "paint" the old fang cleaner with craft paint or paint markers. OR -
  • Wrap the toothbrush with duck-tape - ANY color.
Voila! Instant cleaning tool and one less piece of plastic in the land fill.

* (do NOT use this method with pearls or opals or costume jewelry that is glued in or on)!

© 2015 Cat Brennan

Friday, September 11, 2015

Country Birthdays

Birthdays in the country are the best!  Recently, a dear friend reached a milestone celebration, so our mutual friends in our bible study gathered fabric for me to put together a table runner for her. The 2 butterfly squares are paper-pieced. Each of the 2 squares has 70 pieces in it. 

I am seriously considering teaching a class on paper piecing. Don't be overwhelmed. The first thing I made had  only 8 pieces in it - a Christmas Tree Mug Rug. Then, I graduated to a 14 piece "Hot Coffee" Mug - Mug Rug.  Then, a very large "Star in the East" followed by smaller sized pieces.

Paper piecing is an easy method for making a simple mug rug, detailed wall hangings and quilts. Basically, you need to be able to sew with a sewing machine on printed, straight lines. Little to no ironing is required.

Classes for 4 people so that everyone can have special attention. What do you think? Would YOU like to take this class? If you are interested, send me a private message.

I did not design this particular butterfly and unfortunately, I cannot remember where I got it.

Remember, Handmade is Heaven-made.

© 2105 Cat Brennan

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Reduce Reuse Recycle by Arvin61r58     For Cardboard and Paper recycling: first of all, do read your local recycling rules and regulations.  

     When recycling boxes, open them up so they're flat. Here's a tip from a friend who has 2 young kitties and a litter box that is scooped a few times a day: instead of wasting 'new' plastic bags or using those huge plastic grocery bags to collect the droppings, save and reuse the waxed liners from cereal boxes, cake mixes and cookie sleeves. Save the bags in which chips and crackers are sold and reuse these; even the smaller vegetable and fruit bags that you've brought home with your fresh produce are better than their big sisters or new bags. This idea also works for doggy potty break pickup outdoors.
     If for some reason you can't open out the boxes to "flat", then step on them to squish as flat as possible.
     Recycling cans: rinse! rinse! rinse! then, open BOTH ends,  (don't open all the way so that you can 'fold' the lids back into the can; place on the floor and flatten with your feet - a real space saver.
     The only advice I have for those dang plastic multiplying water bottles is don't buy them!!! Purchase sturdy, reusable water bottles; keep several on hand for each member of your family.
    Finally, PLEASE click to "JOIN THIS SITE". I and going to publish a "home spun" devotional which will incorporate this blog and my other one which is: Publishers want to know their writers have a following. I promise that I WILL NOT sell your email or start sending you a bunch of junk or spam. I do appreciate your support.

©2015 Cat Brennan

Monday, June 29, 2015

One and a Half PineappleTropical Fruit Ice Freezey©

1 - 16 oz can Crushed Pineapple in heavy syrup
1 Tbsp Lime Juice  2 Tbsp Honey
Blend well the above ingredients.

Peel and remove necessary pits/seeds and finely dice/chop the following:
2 Peaches   2 Nectarines   2 Mangoes

Fold the Pineapple mixture into the fresh fruit blend.  
Pour into a shallow container and freeze several hours or overnight.
© 2012 Cat Brennan
Sparkly Peach* Cooler (non alcoholic)
1 - 2 liter Bottle Lemon Lime Soda
3 - Bigelow® Perfect Peach or 3 - Celestial Seasoning's Country Peach Passion® Tea Bags.
Open the bottle of soda and pour off about 4 ounces.  Set the bottle of soda in the sink.  Stuff the Peach Tea Bags down into the soda bottle, one at a time - slowly here, because it may fizz.  Once you have placed all 3 tea bags into the bottle (tab/string and all), screw the lid back on tightly. Lay the bottle on its side and gently roll to mix.  Leave the soda sitting on the counter for 3 days - rolling a time or two each day.  When you're ready to open, place it in the sink, and very slowly begin twisting off the top; again, it may get fizzy, so go slowly.  Serve over ice.  Delicious and refreshing!

Sparkly Peach Cooler (alcoholic)
After making the above recipe, just before serving, add four to six ounces peach schnapps and one - two ounces rum.
* For Sparkly Raspberry/Peach Cooler (non alcoholic), REPLACE the 3 Peach Tea Bags with 2 Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Zinger® and 2 Peach (your brand choice) Tea Bags. Proceed with the rest of the directions. Yummy! !

© 2012 Cat Brennan

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Chocolate in the Country

Save the earth! It's the only planet with Chocolate!!! 
That quote makes me smile.
Chocolate clipart and illustrationsI have to tell you, chocolate is not my go-to for a sugar/carb fix, but there are some chocolates that I do enjoy. Hershey© Kisses top the list, followed by several different chocolate ''things'' that I make.
Just a word of warning: if you make chocolate delicacies that require melting chocolate, don't use super high heat; further, a double boiler is superior to a microwave for melting. 
One other BIG WARNING: When melting chocolate ANYWHERE and ANYTIME, do NOT get ANY liquid of ANY kind (including, water, milk, cream, flavorings) in the chocolate. IT WILL SEIZE and you WILL have a mess.  
If you would like to share your chocolate recipes with all, please send them to me and I will share.  You may send them to: .. Write the word CHOCOLATE in the subject so that it doesn't get deleted. If you know mw personally, you may send your recipes to my regular email address, again, with CHOCOLATE in the subject line.
Enjoy your chocolate-ing, whether you live iin the country, or just wish you did.

© 2015 Cat Brennan

Monday, May 25, 2015

Coconut in the Country

Most of us like coconut in just about any shape and form. Toasted, shredded coconut is divine! 
There's no need to heat up the oven and the entire house to toast coconut. Here's how:
Grab you favorite non-stick skillet. In this instance, I recommend AGAINST using your favorite cast iron pan.  My favorite non-stick for toasting coconut is my green, ceramic-coated skillet

1 cup coconut
1. Turn your stove burner on to HIGH
2. When hot, put shredded coconut into non-stick skillet, spread around and place on hot burner.
3. Lower heat to a medium. high.
4. Sir and turn constantly so as not to burn...I used a silicon spatula for this process.
5. When toasted to suit you, remove from heat and poor into a dish to cool.

Sweetened coconut will toast more quickly.

Now, use your imagination in using this delicious treat.

See "CAT FOOD" above, scroll down for 'Aunt Cat's Tumbleweeds' ... replace regular coconut with toasted coconut. Yummy.

© 2015 Cat Brennan

Monday, May 11, 2015

Country Kitty-Litter

If you're a true fabric-holic, you hesitate to throw out even the tiniest piece of fabric; I'm talkin' less than a two-inch scrap. There's a solution for us!

set of tools for sewing, the silhouette Stock Vector - 18732886Keep a small box or a (true) thread catcher at your sewing machine to collect all of your snippings and clippings; even those short threads cut off at the beginning and end of a seam. These "valuable" bits are called "kitty litter". As your small catcher fills, transfer these bits into a larger vessel to save for later.

There are many, many uses for this soft kitty litter such as, tightly stitched pet chew toys, soft and small "bean" bags for the little people to toss around, and my favorite, pet beds.  

I don't have any house pets, but there are any number of shelters for pets that can ALWAYS use more bedding. Make the bed ''cases'' out of old curtains, jeans, upholstery fabric or blankets. Don't worry if you don't have large pieces to make the cases - sew some together like a crazy quilt, then stuff and sew shut. Be use to use thread appropriate to your bedding case, use small stitches and even double stitch.

These beds are washable and once they are worn out, can be thrown away with a clear conscience.

Remember to re-purpose, reuse and recycle. 

© 2015 Cat Brennan 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Stains in the Country

The following questions and clipart are being used for educational ...

Blood stains can ruin clothing (and linens). Here's a list of 5 DOs and DON'Ts regarding blood stains:

1. DO NOT wash in HOT water; hot water will SET the stain.
2. DO NOT use chlorine bleach; this chemical will only turn the blood stain brown.
3. DO rinse as soon as possible in COLD water; even if you rinse only the stained area.
4. DO pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain; you don't even have to dig out your oxy based laundry product.
Wicker Laundry Basket Full of Dirty Clothes5. DO let the stain+water+hydrogen peroxide set for a few minutes then rinse and hang to dry.
Now you can launder as usual.
This process works on all types of fabrics that are washable.
Let the professionals handle blood stains on Dry-Clean-Only products.

© 2015 Cat Brennan

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Cakes in the Country

Making a good cake GREAT can be simple.  
For a chocolate cake, add a couple of handfuls of chocolate chips. Substitute part (or all) of the liquid with a favorite liqueur such as Creme de Cacao or Creme de Menthe ..

Just the other day, I made a Rum Cake from my niece's recipe. The original recipe calls for making it in a bundt pan.  In talking with my niece, Maria, we agreed that this makes a deep cake, resulting in huge slices, so she sometimes makes it in two, single layer cake pans, then finishes with the rum syrup dipping.  I like the look of a bundt pan - it's just pretty. So, I made the best of two worlds. I baked and thoroughly cooled the cake. THEN, I sliced it in half, and continued with the rum-syrup dipping.
You can use this method with any bundt or angel food pan. Using an electric knife, you could slice an angel food cake into three layers and fill with raspberry jam, topping it off with raspberry icing; maybe jazz it up a bit with a shot of Chambord (Raspberry liqueur) in your icing. Yummy.

all rights reserved © 2015 Cat Brennan 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Snow Shovels

Good time to remind you that WD-40 works miracles on your snow shovel .. protects it and make snow removal so much easier.

Friday, January 9, 2015

STORAGE for Fresh Produce

Vegetables clip art
Where is the best place to store avocados?  Bananas? How about apples or cauliflower? Below is an excellent link for this information .. no need for me to reinvent the wheel .. I enjoy many things on BuzzFeed and see no reason not to share that wisdom with you.

A gentle reminder - store apples SEPARATE from other fruits and vegetable as they give of a gas that ripens them - that is unless you need something to ripen more quickly.

Just copy and paste this link to get all the 411 on fruit and veggy storage:

All rights reserved.   © 2015 Cat Brennan