About marymargaretripley

I am a professional Bakery Manager at a privately owned grocery store. I also owned my own bakery for over four years. I have been baking for 15+ years professionally. I also teach canning and preserving classes and have been gardening since I was 5 years old. I live in Western, NY with my husband, teenage son, Bernie the Cat and Muffins the Hamster.

20 for ’20 Challenge – October Update

October has been a busy month and with a wedding, three funerals, a sinus infection and 2 colds, Scott, Doug and I are glad October is over.

Despite all of that I did get a ton accomplished. Here is an update on my goals.

1. Build a new garage – Nothing going at the moment

2 – Major cross-stitch projects completed.

I started the HUGE Modern Folkart, Fraktur Hex project and just the one single outside border I stitched was 1073 stitches. yikes!

3 – Projects completed in our house (not to include windows).

Did not have any time this month to work on these.

4 – Books read a month.

I only got two books read, the fourth installment of Factory Girl, by Stephanie Bond and Virgins, by Diana Gabaldon.

Virgins is an Outlander Novella which was kind of fun to read. If you are an Outlander fan it tells the story between the time Jamie was so severely flogged and when he met Claire gor the first time. It was pretty good. Nice short read!

5 – Windows replaced in our house.

Waiting until Spring on this one.

6 – Blog posts a month.

I got 7 blog posts done yippee!

7 – Movies at the theater with my family.

Nothing new on this one.

8 – Hours a month studying herbal medicine and/or herbology a month.

It’s been an interesting month for number 8. I only got about 4 hours in but what I have learned so far has been amazing.

I signed up for a free course with Herb Mentor and then I liked it so much that I decided to subscribe to the whole shebang.

It’s a monthly fee for 12 months but I will always have access to it and the information they provide is well,…overwhelming at first but as I start to implement what I have learned I think it will be less overwhelming.

Rosalee Delforte is the herbal teacher and I am really enjoying her style. One thing I am concerned about though is that there are multiple mini classes you can take which are not included in the subscription price and they tend to push that a bit.

I want to see first if that information is already in what I am currently subscribed to or if that information is in addition.

The cold and flu section is of course something we should all be interested in learning about right now.

I’ll keep you updated on my experience and progress.

9 – Birthday cards sent out to 9 friends. Nada so far.

I really have to do better on this.

10 – Small cross-stitch projects done for the year.

Nothing new

11 – New herb varieties planted for the year.

This again is for a Spring project but I have been doing some research on what I want to plant and how I will use the herbs. The above course I am taking will help determine the varieties I choose.

12 – Recipes I teach to my son.

I have been spending more time engaging my son in at least helping me cook but I did teach him how to make homemade teriyaki sauce. He seemed to enjoy doing that so I will keep at it with him.

13 – Minutes of exercise a day.

I know in my heart I am just not going to do anything with this goal. I am not a traditional exercise kind of gal so I am going to think on a different goal to do for #13. I’ll update you next time.

14 – Walks a month.

I got 10 wonderful walks in! What a lovely time of year for walking.

15 – $15,000 in debt paid off.

I got $1000 paid down on our debt this month. Check out my update tomorrow.

16 – Proper dates with my husband (planned).

My hubby loved the musical we went to last month so much that he wanted to see another this month. We saw The Book of Mormon at our local Broadway Theater. We had a good time. The music and costumes and dancing were wonderful but I thought at times the story was a bit disrespectful but what else can you expect from the writers of South Park. Lol

17 – Etsy Listings posted a month.

I got 29 listings done! On one of my sick days home I laid in bed and got 25 listings up and I already sold one of them 🙂

18 – Books of the Bible read.

Still working on this.

19 – New Recipes tried.

I posted about the recipe I tried in this previous post Butternut Squash Green Curry rice noodle bowl

20 – Visits with people.

See my post – 20 for ’20 Visits Update

Well that’s it for now. As always I will keep you updated! -MM

SAL – Project Fraktur Hex #1

This is my first post on my newest project, Modern Folk Embroidery’s Fraktur Hex.

The original design photo showed the entire project stitched in blue.

I knew I would get bored only stitching the same color so I have switched up the color scheme.

Just the single outside border was 1072 stitches! It’s a very big project.

I have gotten a lot done in 3 weeks. Here is where I ended last night.

I can’t wait to watch this project develop and so far I am really liking the colors. Though I am still not sure of the pink.

Please visit the other members’ blogs to see what they are working on. I am going to check them out now!

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie

We welcome back Connie to the group but hope that Helen will be back soon. We will miss you Clare it was fun seeing your projects!

See you in three weeks! -MM

Decorated Halloween Layer Cake

My sister and her husband had their annual, epic, Halloween party this past weekend and for the dessert contest I brought a Halloween themed cake.

I used a 10″ double layer chocolate cake and split each layer which gave me room for 3 layers of different colored filling.

The first layer I split with a knife and filled with a green buttercream layer of frosting.

Then I did an orange layer of buttercream which I forgot to take a picture of but you’ll see that later.

Then I split the second layer of cake and filled it with purple buttercream frosting.

Then I decided to frosted the whole thing with a rich layer of chocolate ganache frosting.

Chocolate ganache frosting is just cooled and whipped ganache. I doubled the recipe to fully frost this cake.

Then I made another batch of ganache to drizzle down the sides.

Next I piped a spider web and cute purple spiders out of buttercream.

Lastly I used the leftover whipped ganache and piped a ring of chocolate swirls on top.

How fun is this cake?! Plus here is a look at the inside colors including the orange layer

It was delicious!

It didn’t win the best dessert…that was reserved for my friend Lonnie’s very realistic litter box cake complete with pooper scooper lol!

Hope you have a fun, safe Halloween! -MM

19 for ’20 Recipes Challenge – Butternut Squash Green Curry Rice Noodle Bowls Recipe

Part of my 20 for ’20 Challenge is to try 19 new recipes in 2019-2020.

They say you eat with your eyes right?

In the case of the recipe I tried for “Butternut Squash Green Curry Rice Noodle Bowls” I definitely wanted to try the recipe because the photo of it on Instagram was amazing. I even texted a screen shot of it to my son and asked if he would want me to make it for dinner and he said “heck yeah”.

I am not saying it was an epic fail but…

I guess we are just not fans of green curry and that much coconut milk made me a bit ill. At first it was pretty tasty but as I ate more and more it ended up being too rich for me. I also didn’t really know how to eat it. A fork? A spoon? Chop stick probably.

I have always understood noodle bowls to be more of a broth based dish. There was only a cup of broth in this recipe and TWO 15 oz. cans of coconut milk. My mom said that sounded like way too much coconut milk.

Maybe I read the recipe wrong.

Plus it was an expensive meal for us with ingredients I don’t keep on hand because again I guess we are not fans of green curry. I did use our own garden grown onions, green onions, and butternut squash which helped keep the cost down.

What did my son think of it? Coming from the 17 year old his exact words were “it tasted goofy.”

Haha! Well there you have it!

Please feel free to check out spicesinmydna.com for the recipe and let me know if you make it and what you think about it.

Until the next recipe! – MM

20 for ’20 – Visits Update

shallow focus photography of a man in white collared dress shirt talking to the phone using black android smartphone

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.com

When I originally set “Visits” as a goal for my 20 for ’20 Challenge, face to face visits were what I had in mind.

I have changed my perspective on this a bit because if I want to visit with someone, such as a busy mom with four children for example, a face to face visit is nearly impossible. Add in the people that are thousands of miles away and that truly is impossible to visit face to face.

I also have thought more about the quality versus the quantity of the visit. A visit doesn’t have to be hours long. Even 15-20 minutes can mean a lot to a person.

It’s been a hard month for us. On October 5th my mother’s brother, my uncle, was killed in a car accident. It was unexpected and very tragic. He was very, very full of life.

From this tragedy, did come many small visits with family members and with people we had not seen in a long while. Some of these visits were face to face and some were via Facebook.

I hope from these small visits with people and from this tragic event that as a family we can spend more time talking with each other instead of always being too busy to connect.

Another visit not involving my Uncle’s death stood out to me this month. I have a friend that had a bad situation with her son over the summer and I reached out to her to see how she was doing and lend some support. She said just reaching out to her really meant a lot. We chatted via text and in the end I said we should get together sometime to chat further. This would be where the busy mom thing comes into play because it would be next to impossible to get together for coffee. Then I thought later why wouldn’t I just call her?

Why don’t we talk to each other on the phone any more? It’s weird isn’t it? We always used to talk on the phone. Even at the law office where I work it’s kind of foreign to talk on the phone. Most correspondence is through email and not human phone calls.

Is that why we all have anxiety issues and feel disconnected? Do we worry we are going to get caught on the phone with someone and not be able to get away from them? Are we too absorbed in our lives to even make a simple phone call to someone?

Don’t get me wrong texting and emailing and messaging someone is good too but I do miss hearing someone’s voice.

I knew when I chose 20 visits as a goal, it was something I needed and missed in my life but it has turned out there is a lot more to this visiting thing than I realized. This is all good stuff! Something we can all learn and be aware of.

It means a lot to get a phone call from someone or to reach out via text, email or messaging. Even a card mailed to someone with an ” am Thinking of You” is a tremendous boost to people that need a lift in their spirit.

Keep visiting with people! I plan on doing it any way I can.  – MM

 

 

 

Not Impressed With Our Debt – Week 64 of 80 – Hospital Bill

I finally had to call the grant department about my emergency room bill to find out the status of my application. Like I thought, we earn too much and we were rejected.

I spoke in depth with the woman and she suggested going on the payment plan. I told her what had happened the last time I went on a payment plan and even she agreed they were ridiculous. Her advice to me was to keep paying as much as I could monthly and if someone from the collection department called to ignore the call and block the number. I kind of chuckled at that. But honestly that’s what I have done before.

This week I will call and set up a payment plan for as low as I can get away with every month to satisfy the hospital goons. My plan is to pay as much as I can each week and hopefully in a few months that bill will be paid.

One good thing on the debt paying front is that I got $500 paid off on the Bank of America card this week and I had my husband add $20 more a week to his 401k because we got 2 more major bills paid off.

I am disappointed in not getting even a little help with the ER bill but now that I know I can concentrate on getting that bill paid off quickly.

We are back in the right direction of paying down our debt folks and it feels good! I’ll be back with an update on the 30th. -MM

 

SAL – Autumn House #3 – Finish!

Autumn House is finished! Happy Dance!

It’s been a really bad week with sickness and personal loss but I am back on the mend and will get into my newest large project Fraktur Hex asap.

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Hope you are all doing well! Please do some blog hopping and visit the other fine stitchers in our group. The links to their blogs are below.
Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Clare, Renee, Jenny, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne