Thursday, November 11, 2010


I live in a relatively new city.  (I think Officially we're somewhere in the teens--we've lived here 11 years.)  There aren't a lot of trees.

So, every fall, my kids LOVE the leaves.  They become a novelty.

We spent a little over an hour at the park last weekend and my kids rolled and rolled in the leaves.

I was rewarded at the end with some great shots:

My three monkeys. They make everything great.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


We cooked up 500 doughnuts last night on our front porch. At times the line went to the sidewalk (we have a pretty long front yard).  Great friends came and helped throughout the night.

It rained at the beginning of the night and that was miserable.  My hands were frozen to the bone. However, the weather improved and we had tons of fun seeing our neighbors.

Many people asked, so I will let you in on my doughnut secrets.

First the dough:  simple old buttermilk biscuits that come in a can.  The cheaper the better.

Next the fat: I think Crisco does a lot better.  I love the butter flavor.  Make sure it is at 375.  I use an electric skillet--it keeps it at the perfect temp. and I can cook outside and not stink up my house.

Now, the part you've all been asking about: The Glaze!  I use the glaze recipe from here.

Doughnut Glaze

• 1/3 cup butter
• 2 cups confectioners' sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
• 4 tablespoons hot water or as needed

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery.
The struggle is to keep it warm (on a cold Halloween night it just didn't work).  We are going to try something new next year to keep it warm.
Make sure you take your hot doughnut straight from the oil to the glaze or cinnamon sugar mixture.  You need that heat so your topping will adhere.
Have fun and Happy Halloween.

***I just realized I left out some important information!!  The hole!  When I was a kid, my ma used a small medication bottle to make the hole.  Our first year making these, I ran around the house trying to find one.  No luck.  Then I dug through my utensil drawers.  I found my apple corer. It is PERFECT!!  I can pop the middle out and then make doughnut holes.  It is the best! Happy frying.***

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Memories

For the past month, my husband has been working on this:
Every time he gets a chance he adds something more to it. 

Over the course of the month I've been wondering why. 

Is it pride?--the best looking house in the neighborhood? (We've seen strangers taking pictures of our house) 

 Did he do it to relive some childhood fantasy? (That's him there tweaking it after a costume party)

 Yesterday, after we had traveled to the different schools to parties and performances I figured it out.

He did it for these pirates:

And all the other kids in the neighborhood.  He wanted to create memories.

This will be the third year we've cooked doughnuts on our porch.  Last year we added homemade root beer.  We do this for our son.  He is allergic to most candy (Smarties is about the only candy he can have).  So we have a party on our porch while the other kids are Trick or Treating.  We bring out a chimnea, light the tiki torches and have a blast.  If you are in the area, stop by.

I love listening to the kids as they walk to school--that's the pirate house, ooh, can we drive by the pirate house, etc.

So, my husband, built this (it is really something that should be seen live--pictures don't do it justice) for the community.  To show them that his favorite holiday can be magical (without blood).

He is my hot pirate.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Yellow Day

What is a mother to do on "Yellow Day"?  Especially when it is the kindergartner's birthday?

Make a dress of course!

I used a man's shirt (Dana has a great tutorial here) and elastic thread shirring and whipped it up the night before.

For the ties I used the sleeve seams for a deconstructed look.

It was so fun to do, and I was surprised at how quickly it came together.

Plus, it goes great with Made's Celebrate Yellow.

(After "color week" I was grounded from my sewing room--I went a little crazy with whipping up new outfits for each color--oops!)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

One of Those Days

Today was quite a day.  I went into town three times (poor planning on my part).

My day started groggy.  We went to a ball game last night and stayed for all 9 innings.  So this fine morning I kissed my hubby goodbye, and crawled to the computer.

While there my dear friend Robyn asked when I was going to visit her.  So we made plans for the morning.  After dropping off my baby to kindergarten I headed over to Robyn's with a sewing project in hand.  I showed her some stuff on Blogger (the blind leading the blind) and then she had to run.

Just as I was leaving her house, a fellow Inker called and needed company to visit a local yogurt shop.  Trip #1 into town.

I still needed Robyn's help with the sewing project, so after I went to pick up baby from Kinde. and send her off with a friend, I headed over to Robyn's house.  I am sadly short my rotary cutter, and Robyn has THE best mat and cutter.

I was making a dress for my baby for Yellow Day at kindergarten.  I used this tutorial but sleeveless with elastic thread smocking. (One of my favorite tricks.)

After cutting the shirt I headed to the local big box for some supplies (trip #2).  I only got one bag worth of things and headed back home.  On my way home I realized that as soon as the kids got home from school we needed to head out for allergy shots. Duh!  I could have saved this trip and combined it with the other.  Oh well.

Pick up the kids, drive 35 minutes to the Doc, get the shots with much screaming and crying, wait 30 minutes with much whining and complaining, and drive home.

Make a pit stop at the firehouse.
See hubby, he fills the kids up with sugar and we head home.

Then I spent the next three hours getting Lucy's dress done and a birthday gift done. 

Phew I am tired.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

BBQ Pork

I thought I would record some recipes here.  Well, not real recipes.  There are no measurements, just splashes, squirts, and spoonfuls.

Tonight I am trying a new version of pulled pork.

I took boneless country style ribs (at least I hope they were boneless--they were still frozen when I threw them in the crockpot).*

In a small bowl I mixed about a cup of BBQ sauce, 2 squirts of brown mustard, two drops of smoke flavor, 2 splashes of apple cider vinegar, and some mesquite seasoning.

Today I put about 3/4 cup of water in the bottom of the crock pot. I don't think I will do that next time.  Then I added my frozen ribs and poured the sauce over top.  Its in the slow cooker .  .  . I'll tell you tonight how it turns out.

*So funny story about boneless vs. bone-in ribs.  My parents loved to smoke ribs and it was always a treat when we got them.  My older sister invited a boy over for Sunday dinner and she insisted we have BONELESS ribs.  She also made a pecan pie.

When dinner started everything looked amazing.  Then we dug into the ribs and they had bones.  My younger sister and I didn't see what the big deal was--but we never minded being covered in BBQ sauce.  As my sister, who loves being proper (how did we grow up in the same house and turn out so different?) watched her date dig into bone-in rib she got a little on edge.  The pile of napkins seemed offensive to her, but we managed to get through the main course.

Then we cut into that pie--it hadn't set.  It was the type that you eat with a spoon cause its so watery.  At that point she ran away from the dinner table crying.

So, if you are trying to impress your daughter's date, make sure you have boneless. If you are trying to create memories that will last much longer than the guy, buy BONE-IN.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

School and Libraries and Creating

Check out my writing post over at Inkingcap.

Go find a great picture book and read it to someone. (Try not to grab strange children off the street--society tends to frown upon that.)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Back to School Resolutions

I see the start of the school year as my resolution time.  I always try to get it right with the new school year.  I think that is part of the reason why I love Fall--its all about New Beginings.

This year I am hoping to create wonderful habits in my children.
  • Going to bed at a decent hour.
  • Laying out their clothes the night before (that way I'll know if they need socks or underwear with enough time to run a load of laundry).
  • Reading more
  • Chores, daily
  • Keeping their rooms clean
  • Wearing flowers in their hair (girls ONLY--my son is forbidden).
  • Showering daily.
  • Practicing piano daily.
  • Being organized.
  • Brushing their teeth in the morning (they are mostly good at night).
  • Praying together.
Its quite a list.  We've started on the chores.  They are going great.  They each have 3 daily chores.  I remind them to do them, but I never judge the work.  I may teach how to do it better, but I don't ask them to go back and try again.  It is amazing.  They are doing them.  One morning my son woke up before the girls and he did everyone's chores.  It is great.  So let's hope that I can get the other habits running as well . . .

I've got a great idea to help with the hair goal.  Hopefully I will be able to share soon.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Let me introduce myself.  My name is DJ Conger.  My sign-in "DJ Rose" is from my writing blog, Inking Cap, because I am the one with the sunny outlook--I see most things through Rose Colored Glasses. (You can find my weekly post there on Wednesdays.)

This blog is to show the different things I've done.  Different ideas on different things.  Right now I'm working writing a few picture books and a middle-grade novel about Racing.  I'm also sewing up a storm.  On top of all that I'm prepping for next year's A Christmas Carol, a musical production I help direct at the local school.

So, in truth, I am a Jill of all trades.  Hoping like mad to become a master of some.  (By the way, now you know what that elusive J stands for!!)