Wednesday’s Words: sexist games

Old add

When I was growing up my mother hated getting “tools” as gifts.  No matter how badly she needed it she could go on for decades about getting a mixer or a vacuum cleaner for a birthday or Christmas present, and thereby make my dad miserable for having thought of it.

So it is strange to me that the ads of the day made out like it was everything your little heart could desire, and worthy of begging and a little pouting to get the proffered appliances, such as in the above ad.  Later these sort of ads would be considered sexist and disappear altogether.

Which is why it is ironic that I should grow up to want these items for gifts…

As I have gotten older I have come to appreciate my ability to fix what breaks around the house.  I also appreciate a well made appliance that lasts, like my Oster Kitchen Center we purchased almost 30 years ago.  It came with everything:  A counter top base, blender, food processor, meat grinding attachment and of course, a mixing head.

Somewhere around the 10th year the little *rheostat went out, and Oster had quit making the appliance in favor of a different machine to accomplish each of those jobs.  (Like I wanted to fill my cupboards with six separate appliances or horrors, leave them out on my counter!)   So I bravely opened the base and pulled out the part to replace it with a new one.  Later it would be a gear inside the mixing head, which apparently was its weakest link, and which of course they no longer made!  I went to Ebay to find what I wanted and lo and behold…

They had a complete kitchen center up for auction still in the box and unused.  That was two years ago and I won it!  “Great, now I will have spare parts!” I thought.

Unfortunately, even though the item was unused in the box, there was one part that time and the elements would eventually get to.  It is (essentially) a red rubber band with gear notches in it that turns to indicate your settings.  These are also not made anymore, and because they were all produced so long ago none of them will be usable.  They get sticky with age and won’t allow the knob to turn.

Recently, I went searching for a replacement and haven’t found anything that compares in function or durability.  Apparently, even the much esteemed Kitchenaid is  no longer the wonder machine it was in the past,  or so say the complaint makers on Amazon.

Complaints about the machine are:

  1. “It leaks oil from inside down into the contents of what you are mixing in the bowl.” and…
  2. “Kitchenaid is now made by Sears and no longer offers a 10 year warranty.”   (please see the special comments at the end)

I have gone out and tried to find one with the 10 year warranty and couldn’t.  Strangely, I could find machines costing $199.99 with a one year warranty,  and much pricier machines for $350.00 to $450.00 and still only carrying the one year warranty.

Who wants to spend $ 300.00 – 450.00 for a machine that only carries a one year warranty?

A kitchen ICON has died.

Today I am going to take the scissors and cut the little red band off.  I will no longer be able to see the speed at which I am running my kitchen center, but at least it will run and will not leak oil into my food!

Oh, and by the way, if there were a quality appliance that was made here in the US, and worth the money the manufacturer asked for…

You can be assured that I would be “crying a little” and pouting if necessary, to get it.


This just in:

OK,  I did my homework and the new KitchenadeArtisan KSM150PS is an all metal construction, and has metal gears!  It still only carries a one year warranty, but I just found eReplacement Parts that sells Kitchenaide parts, and shows videos on HOW to replace those parts including the fix for the oil leak.  Interestingly, the oil leak happens because the food-grade, gear grease separates, and the gear grease separates when you don’t use your machine enough to keep it well mixed.  And I wonder, why would you spend this much money on a mixer if you don’t use it very often?

So, if cutting the little red band off my Oster Kitchen Center doesn’t work, then I think I will go for it and get the above mentioned Kitchenade.    🙂


PS:  The operation didn’t work, but this does!


And I didn’t even have to whine.  😉


*rheostat: a resistor for regulating a current by means of variable resistances.  In other words it controls the speed. 

~*~*~*~  A special “Thank you” to Julia, of Julia’s Place,  for the vintage ad which inspired today’s post. ~*~*~*~

Keepin’ busy. How about you?

I have been working feverishly on regaining my sewing skills and over the course of an entire year I have, I think, regained much of what I need to get my Etsy store going.  I have made simple  curtains, a dust ruffle, and a hand tied quilt for the guest room… to which I just put the binding on this past week.

This is the first full-sized quilt I have ever made.  I totally cheated and hand tied it to a wonderfully warm and fuzzy blanket.  I made the binding from leftover blocks I sewed together and stripped.  I owe deepest apologies to my friends Tim and Pam for not having the binding on by the time they arrived… I could hardly stand the fuzz as I worked, I simply can’t imagine sleeping with it.  Sorry!

I made my first apron,  using my own pattern.  It is machine sewn with a hand quilted pocket and embroidery to dress it up.  It is very fifties in style, but the embroidery is a thirties effect.

No, it is not uneven, I hung it crooked!  I will have to be more careful when I’m photographing my items for sale…

For Bob I made two pairs of pajama bottoms from flannel I found at Sir’s in Fayetteville, TN.   The deal with Sir’s is this… if you find it and you like it grab what you need, plus a little extra for later, or it will simply have vanished the next time you go back.

Such was the case here.  Not wanting to wear Hello Kitty, or anything juvenile or pink,   we bought what was left of the blue plaid and I had to get creative with the length.  Using the selvages I cut a cuff, and applied it with a bit of black piping I made.  If there had been enough material I would have been able to match the plaids and put the cuff on the bias.  But then if that were the case I wouldn’t have had to add the cuffs now would I?  😉  He is comfortable and warm so that’s what counts, yes?

And now we come to the portion of today’s post that I am totally in love with… these newly quilted half-square triangles that I made last week.  I am using scrappy looking finds from, you guessed it, Sir’s.

Balkan Puzzle

Chunky Chevron

I was so exited to get these completed, and I really think my work was good, so imagine how disappointed I was when I put the 12 and 1/2 square rule down on top only to find that they were a bit smallish.  My only explanation for it is that my 1/4 inch quilting foot is off.   So, I will forge ahead and remember to not work so tightly along the foot’s edge.

In the meantime, I am debating whether or not to make pillows or incorporate these into an apron.  What do you think?  Other ideas?

I almost forgot!  I made myself a clock too!  Many years ago my friend Andrea was hosting some exchange students from Japan.  I guess in Japan it is simply unacceptable to go visiting with empty hands.  Hence I was the recipient of a lovely silk kerchief.  I am allergic to silk… so the kerchief sat in a my drawer for almost 20 years.  A travesty I say!  So,  I carefully quilted it on the machine with lovely metallic gold thread, and set it into an embroidery hoop.  I then backed the piece with heavy cardboard and inserted clock works into its face.  I have seen many of these on the different quilting sites, but none done in lovely whole cloth silk!

Now I can enjoy my lovely gift and know what time it is as well.



Like Children at the Mall

Interior of a typical department store. This i...

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I imagine that most of us have stories of getting lost in the mall or department store when we were young.  As children we were easily distracted from our parents warnings about getting lost, and could be stopped in an instant to look at the latest bright and shiny new toy.  Then looking up we suddenly felt fear, followed by tears, and finally the joy of being reunited with our parents…

Early this morning I went out to let the geese out of the barn and being in a hurry I did not want to make a return trip to freshen up their bed.   So instead I took the time to do it right then.  Grabbing  a flake of straw I quickly shook it out onto the remains of last nights damage.    It took all of about three minutes.  Then, walking out of the roll up door I see…


Now the gate to the back yard and the path we take to the goose side of the world is about 20 paces.  Each and every day I have to convince Polly and company to actually pass through instead of stopping to eat the goosegrass that happens to be growing nowhere else on the Farmlet but there.

(Picture compliments of Aggie Horticluture, click the photo to be taken to the site and learn more than you ever wanted to know about this species)


And so it was, that I mistakenly counted on them running to the goosegrass to keep them preoccupied while I put the fresh straw into their bed.

Silly me.

Listening I hear them out front on the lawn.  They are busily grunting at each other and nibbling at some fresh new delight they have found.   I walk towards them, they move further away.  When advancing three more times produces the same results, I decide that divide and conquer is the best method.  Circling a wide berth around them I single out Polly.  Polly is so much more submissive and obedient than the Hueys.

Arms outstretched I heard her back around  to the gate and watch as she casts nervous glances over her wing at the disobedient Hueys.  She keeps waddling however and for her obedience I give her breakfast right away.  As I turn to leave I hear some terrified squeals from the front yard.  Seems that the Hueys have discovered they are lost!

I call to them, “Pip-PIP!

Their reply in triplicate, “Honk-Honk-Honk –  HEEEAH!”  And although I can’t see them, I envision them running back round, wings outstretched, to find Polly and me.

Polly, on hearing the ruckus, has forgone eating for the moment and comes from behind the well house to find out what’s going on.  Seeing them from across the yard she runs to them, with neck outstretched, giving a scolding and sounding eerily and every bit like your mother when you were young!  The scolding elicits the same cries of relief and remorse from the Hueys, as similarly you’d have done on seeing and hearing the scolding mother gave.

When finally the scolding and remorse have subsided, the four of them turn to waddle into the goose yard and to their breakfast which is waiting.

That’s better!


Translation“HEEEAH” is the goose equivalent of a scream.  I think it is a sound that you would have to actually hear to appreciate.

Kitchen *Kitbash: Betty Crocker GF Brownie Mix

There are many things that come in packages and are Gluten Free (GF) these days, but not all are necessarily delicious right out of the box.  Such is the case with Betty Crocker‘s GF Brownie Mix.  Overly sweet, and very gooey they are simply not the best brownies out there.

Now I won’t buy these for myself, but I have twice been gifted these same brownies and honestly appreciate the kindness of both friends to go out of their way and do this for me!  That said, I desired to see if I could make them a bit more palatable by doctoring them up.

Here’s what I did…


1 box Betty Crocker GF Brownie Mix

1 extra egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped *almonds (mine happened to be smoke house style)

I added the above to the mix in addition to the called for ingredients.  Mixed and baked per the instructions on the box, and I believe they came out to be superior to the just as directed version.

They were not gooey and a bit lighter in crumb.  I asked Bob what he thought of the changes and he said:  “Oh, I don’t know.  I think I will have to eat another one to be sure.”

That is a very good sign!

Should you try this at home I would be interested in knowing what you think of the changes I made.

*kitbash:  “The practice of modifying a model…  [no longer limited to model railroad or] toy action figures, to achieve [a] result other than that intended by the manufacturer.”  Paraphrased from the Urban Dictionary and term applied loosely to the process of modifying a box baking mix.   🙂

**I used almonds because that is what was on hand, but I am sure that walnuts or pecans would be equally good!