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.

SAL-Fraktur Hex #8

So sorry for the late post. I worked this morning at the store in the bakery and I have still not mastered the skill of scheduling a post.

I have almost completed another corner of Fraktur Hex by Modern Folk Embroidery on a 32 ct linen. Here is where I ended three weeks ago:

20200329_0802147286249669704924495.jpg

And here is where I ended last night.

I have also been working on Modern Folk Embroidery’s year long SAL which I am doing on a charcoal 20 ct Aida. This one is killing me right now with the constant mis-stitching and frogging and the dark fabric is hard to see to stitch.

I would like to welcome Sherrie to the group. Can’t wait to see what you are working on Sherrie!

Please head on over to the other blogger’s blogs in our group. There are 30 of us now and we hail from all over the world.

See you in three weeks! – MM
Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Renee, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny, Laura, Cathie, Linda, Sherrie

How to Get Out of Your Creative Block or Any Mental Block at All

There is a lot to block us from feeling normal right now which the experts say is understandable.

But we can’t feel this way forever right? It damages our emotional state to constantly feel unmotivated and unproductive. It does me at least.

Even before this world Pandemic I practiced something that whenever I felt a creative block coming on or I felt unmotivated to get moving I would do this one simple thing.

I changed my clothes. Wait a minute…that’s it? Just change your clothes?

Yes, change what you are wearing. I always feel better and more motivated (and creative) when I change into something cool. I put on my coolest jeans, a ruffly, colorful top, a vintage necklace and even put on my best sneakers, and I swipe on some lipstick. I don’t care if the only person that sees me is me. If I look better, I feel better. Then I go take some photos of dishes and of course I look awesome doing it.

Changing into something that isn’t sweats or pajamas is what makes you feel better. It sets you up to succeed. You might feel comfy in your PJ’s but let me tell you in the long run it hurts you. It keeps you unmotivated, trust me.

I want to paint my bathroom and I have been putting it off all day. I am going to put on my cool ripped jeans, a cool graphic t-shirt, a pair of my awesome vintage earrings and put some Metallica on my ipod and started painting.

Try it. Change your clothes πŸ˜‰. – MM

Meal Prep Week 1 of 4

With the shut down of NY from COVID-19 I have been laid off from my job at the law office.

But if you know me at all a little thing like being laid off is not going to slow me down from earning the money we need to survive AND still getting our debt paid down.

Before this shutdown, on top of working two days at the law office, I had also started working the closing shift at the grocery store two nights a week and I had resurrected my bakery home delivery service again. And of course I was still rocking the Etsy sales selling my vintage dishware, dress patterns, linens, flatware and other odd trinkets like cat calendars from the 1970’s and 1980s.

When all of this hit I had to stop the two days at the office and now have shifted to working two nights and two days at the store plus home delivery and Etsy.

My 18 year old son also works at the store as a cashier and with his senior year of high school pretty much over with the pandemic he is working more hours than ever before.

My husband is also working his normal hours because his company sells medical oxygen and welding supplies and gases.

I know we are very fortunate to be working but it does put us in harms way. It’s a classic Catch-22 with no good answer.

Now that I have all of that background out of the way I have to admit I have been struggling with getting food ready for all of us. I am so tired after doing home deliveries on Wednesdays and working opposite shifts from my guys that I just don’t want to cook and I am REALLY tired of pizza.

I came up with an idea to have certain grab and go items ready for all of us without having to stand there and cook every night.

It’s not a new concept by any means but it made me feel better just thinking about it.

I made a list up of food ideas and here it is:

Homemade Salsa

Apples with carmel dip – Yum right!?

Homemade Mac and Cheese – Great for a leftover too

Pepperoni and moz cheese, sauce and bagels – Make mini pizzas when you don’t have time to cook a big meal

Cut up fruit – easy to snack on

Taco Meat for Nachos – I also keep a can of black beans on hand for the protein if I don’t have taco meat available.

Deviled and Boiled Eggs – The boiled eggs can go on salads!

Grilled Veggies – warm up with grilled chicken and add to a flour tortilla for a great quick dinner!

Salad Fixings – Always good to have on hand

Cabbage for slaw – making slaw is easy and can be used for over a week in the fridge

Grilled Chicken Breast – so many uses. Salads anyone?

Veggies and Dip – perfect snack! And if I don’t use them all by the end of a week I’ll toss them into a stir-fry or steam them for a side. It’s handy to have them washed, cut up and ready to go.

Pckles/Olives – We love munching on these

I spent about a day working with all of these ideas. Made my list and shopped, chopped, minced and prepared everything. I even cleaned out my fridge. I mean REALLY cleaned it. Took all the shelves out and everything!

Let me tell you…what a huge help this all was for me. The homemade salsa alone saved my butt more than once. You see the salsa has many of the starting ingredients that I would use in other dishes. The onions, peppers, tomatoes and garlic all ready to go meant I could just use it on the fly for pot roasts and even as a base for spaghetti sauce.

I also organized my spice and ingredient cabinet which was a big mess. It is much easier to find things now!

These are all suggestions and I hope it helps give you some inspiration. I’ll get some more ideas together and get back to you with more next week.

Stay safe everyone! – MM

SAL Update-Fraktur Hex #7

I am so sorry! I completely forgot to post 3 weeks ago. I do have a good report for this update though.

I have finished the border!

Here is where I was last time I updated:

And here is where I am now:

Glad that’s over lol! Now on to a different color.

Hope you are all doing well. Yes I live in New York but we are in Western NY near Lake Ontario and Erie thankfully no where near NY City. My heart breaks for our city but hopefully in the next few weeks the cases of COVID will decrease.

I can’t wait to see what everyone is up to with their projects. Please visit the other members of our Stitch-A-Long by clicking on the links below.

See you in three weeks! -MM

Hello Again!

I have been absent for a long time and for that I apologize.

I amΒ  fine and my family is well. I just haven’t felt like posting because frankly I felt that anything I had to say would be a bit frivolous considering the situation we are all in.

But after many weeks and months of not posting because of busyness and now this horrible virus shutting all of us in, I figured I better get my thoughts out somehow so I decided to get back at blogging and updating my website.

I feel a bit guilty because while many of my friends are having to shut their businesses’s doors or are losing their jobs my family is managing because we are all essential workers. It does make it scary for us though. Do we risk ourselves to work or risk not having a paycheck? I don’t really know what the answer is for that.

Meanwhile life is keeping on. Here is a small update:

Debt: before all of this happened I paid off the medical bills and our Town/County tax bill so yeehaw two less bills! Last update we were at $992 for the medical and I was able to pay it off a month early. The Town/County taxes were about $1200 and I paid them at the beginning of this month. So almost $2200 worth of debt gone. The next thing I am going to tackle is the Bank of America Credit Card which is $1300. But I do have some reservations about paying it off completely in one month. With the virus in full swing here in NYS do I just pay the minimum and save some money aside just in case or do I go for it? I am still thinking about that.

20 for 20 Update: I’ll do this in another post

Gardening/Food storage: We still have many items in our pantry from canning this last summer for which I am grateful for. I have planted radishes, lettuce and spring onions so far but the weather has not been very nice yet. Still too cold most days and very windy others. We will get there though.

There is so much I want to say but I think I will let certain things come out on here as time goes on. I have so many ideas, dreams, goals, sorrows, fears, thoughts and triumphant revelations but there is just too much to post about right now.

How are you all doing? I hope all are well. The world has a job to do and we will get it done. Until next time…

-MM

SAL-Fraktur Hex #6

It’s been a cold miserable week here but I have been getting a lot done inside!

The last three weeks have flown by and admittedly I haven’t worked much on Fraktur Hex. Here is where I left off last time:

And here is where I am now:

Just got around the corner on the border. That’s it. I’ll get more done next time.

I have also been working on Modern Folk Embroidery’s year long SAL which has been taking most of my time.

I have been stitching it upside down because it’s easier for me to hold lol.

That’s what I have been up to stitching wise. πŸ™‚

Please check out the other bloggers in our SAL by clicking on the links below. Can’t wait to see what they are up to πŸ˜‰ Welcome back Jenny!! -MM

Not Impressed with Our Debt January 2020 Update

Originally I had a good solid “plan” when I started this journey of paying off our debt. Unfortunately that plan is in need of a change.

The momentum that I started with has changed because I am not working 55+ hours a week anymore. I have decided to adjust and take a different approach to this whole debt thing, which is exactly what we should do if things are not working out, right?

From this point on I am just going to concentrate on one debt or “goal” at a time and do one monthly update at the end of the month. I might update you on things that strike me in between but other than that, it will be a monthly update.

Last update I was paying on that pesky medical bill which was at $2,500 and I am very happy to say that it is now at $992.00! I have paid off about $1500. Two more months and we will be done with it!

I do have some great news to share on the money front! I have been offered a job with the 2020 Census where I will be the Field Operation Supervisor for my county and will be able to do both my regular job and this position. It means back to 55+ hours a week but I hope to get at least 2 to 3 debts paid in full during this period. Very exciting! I start the Census job in a couple of weeks.

We will see where I am at the end of February which even with the extra day makes it a short month.

Until next update…. -MM

computer desk laptop stethoscope

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

 

SAL- Fraktur Hex #5

Good morning! It is a raining snowy mess here in Western NY but we are all warm inside dreaming of our Spring gardens.

I didn’t get a ton of work done on my Fraktur Hex. I have many large projects going including the SAL for Modern Folk Embroidery and one I created myself on my brand new computer program Winstitch.

Here is where I left off last update on Fraktur Hex:

And here is where I am now:

The border is going to be my nemesis.

Just for fun this is also what I am working on from Modern Folk Embroidery:

It’s going to be another huge project. The black 20ct aida is a killer though!

And here is the chart I have developed on my Winstitch program:

I know it’s ridiculously huge but this china pattern, Limoges Lyric was one of the first I ever sold in my Etsy Shop and can you imagine how gorgeous it will be when finished?

That’s it for me! Please visit the other stitchers in this group. Their links are at the bottom of this post. Can’t wait to see what everyone is up to! -MM

SAL – Fraktur Hex #4

Happy New Year! I am working on two large projects simultaneously which is good because I might go blind doing one of them because it’s on a dark charcoal 20 ct fabric. It’s really hard!

Fraktur Hex from Modern Folk Embroidery is the SAL project I am working on for this group.

Here is where I left off last time:

And here is where I am now:

One entire corner is complete. And no ripping out this time!

We have added a new member to the group! Welcome AJ! Can’t wait to see what you are up too. πŸ™‚

Please go check out the other bloggers to see what they are working on. Links are below.

Here’s to another great year!

MM

SAL – Fraktur Hex #3

Good Morning!

It’s been three weeks since our last update and 2 of those weeks were pretty miserable as I slowly ripped out all of the stitching that was off. But I did have some forward progress.

Here is where I ended yesterday.

No sense in showing the before!

I won’t even mention that I had to rip out another line in the border. Grrr…

I should be back on track (hopefully).

Please do some blog hopping and visit the other wonderful bloggers in this group.

Thank you Avis for your organization of this group. We appreciate you so much!

Hope you all have a Happy Christmas and a wonderful start to your new year.

See you in 3 weeks! -MM