Saturday, April 27, 2013

Winx, cooking, grommets, and some random other stuff

On a positive note, I weighed Winx about a week ago, and then weighed him again like a day or two ago... both times... he weighed 484!  I'm not jumping up and down over that weight, by itself, but by the fact that he MAINTAINED it!!!!!!!  Happy happy joy joy.

Moving onto today.  Slow start to the chin-part of the day.  First....

I'd said that I would help clean the garage.  Which seems simple enough, except that my dad brings home paper ream boxes in droves.  On top of that, we've gotten enough that we've started a little herd of boxes and I think.... they're breeding.  Our garage is a 3.5 car garage, and we do fit three cars in there... but every other inch is cluttered.  So, I spent the morning cleaning that, moving things around, stacking the boxes, and sweeping the garage.  Fun fun.  Ended up with four 7' tall stacks of boxes and two smaller stacks.  They're breeding, I swear! 

Moving on, I was on facebook checking for messages on the NWI page, and I ran across a recipe for funnel cakes.  Cooking, in our house, is very, ah, how should I put it -- don't-dirty-the-dishes/pots/pans,-buy-it-frozen-and-thaw-it-in-the-microwave.  Lol.  That puts a damper on my cooking desires at times.  Well, we'd already figured we were going to have mac & cheese for dinner, and that required milk.  Well, us not being a milk-loving family, we just about never have milk in the house.  I was willing to volunteer a can of goat's milk (which is on hand for the chins), but not for 1/4 cup (the can has to be mixed with another can of water, so I'd have at least 3-4 cups and need 1/4 cup? no).  So, we decided, we'd make four boxes of mac n cheese, as that'd use more of the milk.  Well, the funnel cake recipe also called for milk.  Which meant, dirty dishes or not, the day to make the funnel cakes was the same day we had milk for something else.

For anyone not aware, canned goat's milk has a shelf life of, oh... 2-3 years when it's canned (making it perfect to have on hand for the chins, since if you don't use it, no need to continually buy replacements).   Open it, and you have 2-3 days to use it.  

So, we pulled out all the stuff to make the funnel cakes, mixed me up a can of goat's milk, and had our fun.  My mom had the idea to try to make rosettes with the batter, as we were already going to have our hot oil, so we pulled out the rosette irons and gave it a shot.  That didn't work out so well.  Not having the right batter mix (likely, as I was going for funnel cakes), and having nothing other than a 40 year old memory (my mother's) of making rosettes, our effort was a horrible fail.  The fried dough would not come off of the rosette irons.  So, we went back to making our funnel cakes.... with a funnel with maybe a 1/4" opening.  Lol.  Hey, I never said we are ever prepared to cook, just that I try.  The funnel cakes actually turned out pretty good.  We started out using powdered sugar to sprinkle on top, but then decided, we preferred ours with cinnamon & sugar (like when we'd get elephant ears at carnivals).  So, I dug out my snickerdoodle recipe (which is one of the only things I ever make from scratch), found the mixture for cinnamon and sugar, and dusted the funnel cakes with them.  Few minutes prior to finishing frying up the last of the batter, my dad came home, and we went from two trays of funnel cakes to something like 3 left.  An hour later, we had one left.

Which led me to the time when I was able to do chin stuff.  I have an outstanding order for some chin items including two liners.  But I had hammocks upon hammocks that needed to have their open end sewn in front of the sewing machine.  So that was today -- sewing up hammocks.  I sewed up most of them, then had this nice huge pile-o-hammocks.  So I went and put the labels on my totes that the hammocks go in, and put grommets and hardware in most of them.  Still need to take the pictures and get them up on the website.

As I was getting ready to put the hammocks in the totes, it occurred to me that I had a whole huuuuuge tote downstairs of hammocks of my own.  Seems I'd gotten into the habit of keeping a hammock every time I would buy another fabric to make hammocks, so I had quite the pile of hammocks.  So, I went through all my hammock, picked out the ones I couldn't live without, and came out with another whole bag of hammocks to put on the website.  So, when I do get these up, you all may see patterns/designs you remember.  Anyone hoping to see that orange plaid from a few years back or the spiderweb skulls or the rainbow leopard -- sorry.  I still like those too much, even if they do sit here in a box.  But there are plenty of other patterns that haven't seen the light of day for a long time.  One of each, but still.  I will have a lot of hammocks to put up soon.

As I was putting the grommets on the hammocks, I was whining (I admit it) about the stupid company that makes the grommets.  There's supposed to be 15 pairs in the package, but in reality, it'll be like 13 pairs, and the last four pieces will all be bottoms.  And the extras are ALWAYS bottoms, so eventually I end up with a pile and a half of bottoms, with no tops to go on them.  And you need both.  Well, at one point, I actually contacted the company and told them about this problem.  They sent me a package of grommets -- 14 pairs... and 2 bottoms.  And I was like AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

So, I decided to look up the company that I had written down for grommets for sale, but it's one of those companies where you have to call in the order, and there's no prices on the website, so it's a guaranteed long phone call.  And as much as I like my friends, in ordering things... I am not a people person in any sense of the word, I like to be able to order things by clicking buttons, paying with paypal, and not having to deal with a live person on the other end.  Not to mention, when you don't know prices, I would need to sit down and decide if it was a good price or not, which would require hanging up, figuring it out, calling back....

Moving along, for my snap clips, I was talking to my parents how the company had charged $15 in shipping, and shipped the package of snap clips in a small priority male box... which cost $4.95 (at the time I bought the snap clips).  This was aggravating, as while the price for the snap clips was decent, the company making an additional $10 on shipping... not so much.  There is such a thing as handling -- I know the concept well, as I add it into shipping costs of my own when I'm mailing out packages for the rescue store.  However, when a company sticks a ziplog bag of snap clips into a self-sealing priority mail box and makes $10 extra for doing so.... it makes me not want to purchase from that company in the future.

I am not yet out of my 1000 snap clips, but I figured, I would get on that website and see if they had the split rings I use as well.  Normally, I would just get them at Joann's, but they only come 40-something to the package, so I'm constantly buying more and more and more.  Same with the grommets.  So, I went onto the site where I had gotten the snap clips.  They did have them, but to get as good a price as I normally get at Joann's.... I would have had to buy 50,000 of them.  Ah... that might last me several lifetimes.  Not to mention, if shipping 1,000 snap clips cost me $15 to ship, imagine what 50,000 split rings would cost to ship.

So, I was set on finding these items cheaper elsewhere.  And I did.  Very happy.  I found them the grommets first, and found a grommet setter with them, which should make my job easier.  Plus, free shipping.  So now I have 2000 sets of grommets coming in.  Found the split rings next.  Got them at a fraction of the price I was paying before, and free shipping.  Had a harder time finding the snap clips.  Turns out, I may be one of the few people who calls them snap clips.  Apparently snap clips are hair barrettes, not craft hardware.  I tried again, calling them spring clips.  Clearly not, next to no results.  I tried spring hooks next, as that's what they were called on the site where I originally ordered them.  Found a few, and finally ran across a place that listed them as snap hooks and as lanyard clips.  Bingo!!!  Lanyard clips it is.  Apparently that term is a blanket term for a variety of craft hardware, but it definitely found a lot more of the clips I was looking for.  That site only had them by like 10, 20, 30, versus me looking for like 2000.  But, searching for lanyard clips, and I found them.  On sale, for a few bucks cheaper than what I was paying before... but... FREE SHIPPING!!!  Heck, they could have even been a little more than the other place, if the shipping had been reasonable (and the total cost less than the other place).  When not on sale, they are right around the same price, but I'm ok with that.  So, those will be on their way as well.

So I think 2000 of each should last me awhile.  2000 grommets + 2000 split rings + 2000 snap clips (cause darn it, that's what they are to me) = 500 hammocks.  I will be set for awhile.  In case it's not obvious at this point, I like to buy something and be set for a looooong time before I have to buy again.  So once those arrive, I will be good.  Until then, I have a very small amount of everything except the snap clips left.

So, that all said and done, tomorrow is still going to be a busy day.  I made an entire list of things I plan on accomplishing.  The stuff not on the list isn't getting touched, as the stuff that IS on the list pertains to things going on Sunday.  All the other stuff can wait.  But tomorrow should be packed with fun fun loads of stuff.  

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