Category: Musings

Heads Up!

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If you began our journey over at or, be advised that BOTH sites will be taken down soon.  Please update your Favorites to remove them and add

NOTE: The original Etsy shop:  is still active.

Thanks for keeping up with us – we appreciate you more than you know!  🙂

Categories: Musings


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There’s Treasure In That Box

As many of you know, I’ve been following Justin Scarred’s Randomland videos/vlogs on YouTube fore quite a while.  Justin has a passion for history and Disney (among a few other things).

A couple of months ago, Justin began working on a Disneyland Then and Now project.  The idea was to take old photographs taken in the park and compare them with the park as it is today.  Justin’s grandparents and his mom moved across the street from Disneyland back in the mid 1950’s.  They visited the park frequently and, as a matter of course, took quite a few photographs and slides.

To be fair, this topic was addressed last year, with a request to viewers to look for old photographs and, if they were inclined, share them with Justin who was planning on doing the comparison.

I can hear some folks shaking their heads and wondering what the deal might be, while others are digging through closets, under beds and out in the garage to see what they can find.

What they can find is pure treasure.

It’s Not Just About the Pictures

Photographs, old movies and slides are not just about the pictures, but about the time, place and people.  Family picnics.  Camping trips.  College graduations.  Birthdays.  Weddings.  Funerals.  Holiday gatherings.  Summer vacations.

As much as we seem to love our smart phones with the fancy cameras, we seem to be not saving as much as we used to.  Pictures are not always being moved to save and secure places or even printed out – even though that technology has vastly improved.

What is lost, among the detritus of images that were not really worth taking, are the memories.  First steps, first day of school, first day in a new home, and the like.

Justin’s project focuses on how Disneyland has evolved and changed over the years, an d he has done the research to back up what he shows the viewer.  But this type of project is not limited to one place; it can be done focusing on pretty much anything or anyone.  We might think about Junior’s yearly school pictures, but what about the family home and how it has evolved over the years?

The treasure in the closets, etc., is the memories of times past, people and places lost.  The reminders of the way the house smelled during the holidays or the way the decorations sparkled…or not.  🙂  In my stash, I have one of my family’s Christmas back in the early 1960’s.  It is a color shot, showcasing the decorations on the tree and the colors on the wrapping paper scattered around the room.  The image includes my father in those old part wire rimmed glasses that are so 1960 as to be painful.

I also have a copy of a photograph of my mother along with two of her sisters, standing side by side doing dishes in the kitchen.  Their backs are to the photographer and you can tell they are deep in conversation of what appears to be a silly nature.

All three are long gone now, but I remember the way they enjoyed being together, the fun they had.

As Captain Jack Sparrow said, “Treasure is not just silver or gold.”

Categories: Disney Musings

Pinterest Post Double Dog Dare

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We all do it.  We visit Pinterest and put pins on our boards and think “I want to make that!” and then…

We forget about it.

Doesn’t matter how amazing the recipe, how beautiful the photography, how excited we are to find it…it ends up being forgotten.

Thought you were the only one?  LOL – nope!

So, all that being said, and because I am just as guilty as the rest of us, I suggest that the next time we plan a menu or think about a project we head over to Pinterest and check the boards we have been building to find at least one recipe or project to make this month.

Yes, I said MONTH because we all know how frantic and stressed we get at the idea of doing a new recipe or project every week.

Are you game?

Leave a comment about what you tried.  Double Dog Dare you!

Categories: Double Dog Dare Musings

5 Easy Tips for Summer Meal Planning

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Summer meal planning doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.  It can be creative and fun.

Too hot to cook?  Running out of ideas for things to eat that don’t involve trips to the drive thru?  Check these out:

1. Visit the Deli

Pretty much every grocery store has some sort of deli counter.  If you haven’t checked it out, make some time in your next visit.  Why?  Better quality cheeses and lunch meats than you will find in the general grocery area – and a few you won’t find there at all.  The prices may seem a bit steep, but when you consider cost per ounce along with quality you’ll come out ahead.

Look for:  Fresh salads; potato and pasta, not to mention broccoli and fruit.  Check out the lunch meats and cheeses.  These make great sandwiches.  Did you consider getting some prosciutto to pair with fresh cantaloupe?  Yum!  Same prosciutto can be used with eggs for a quick breakfast.  It cooks faster than regular bacon, too.

Check the deli for fried chicken and other comfort foods.  Mine makes The Best fried chicken (even better than KFC!) at a competitive price.  You can buy a family sized meal, too.

2. Don’t Forget Produce

I don’t frequent the produce section for regular veggies, but I do go for salad items, potatoes and fruits.  Pre washed items might be an idea, but if you get whole items and prep them yourself you will save a lot of $$.  Great way to work on knife skills, too.  🙂

Hit the local Farmer’s Markets for the freshest local fruits and vegetables.  You’ll get ready to eat (aka: Ripe) in season foods at good prices.

Think fruits and berries prepped and in a bowl in the fridge.  Great to snack on or add to salads, top ice cream or breakfast cereal.

3. Cook Ahead

I know, hot.  But consider this, if you buy a large batch of chicken to go on the grill, you can have enough for several meals.  Most chicken is good cold, or you can chop it up and put together a quick and tasty chicken salad that can be eaten on its own or chicken can be added to a bowl of greens.

Cook extra burgers, sausages or pork ribs and have them throughout the week.  You can chop up the pork to make pulled pork sandwiches.  Burgers can be broken up and added to the fixings for taco salads.

Not into grilling?  Pull out the crock pot and set it to cook overnight.  I like to buy a flat of chicken, add it to the pot and let it go for 6 – 8 hours.  Don’t add anything – no water, no seasoning.  It will cook to perfect doneness, be juicy and flavorful and you have a batch of chicken you can add to other dishes.

Do the same with pot roast or a turkey breast and you will have the makings for several meals.

NOTE:  Seasoning can be added, but is not necessary.  If you are considering using the meats for several dishes you might want to season when you prep the meals.

4. Hit the Bakery

Think sandwich buns.  Fresh artisan breads and rolls.  They will have better flavor than the standard bakery aisle fare which will make your sandwiches taste even better.

Think about that fruit you picked up.  Why not get a pound cake or angel food cake to serve with the fruit?  Don’t forget the whipping cream…  🙂

Bagels and English muffins are great for quick cheese sandwiches, too.

5. Experiment A Bit

Summer heat is not the best time for large meals.  Not everyone will be interested in a huge offering.  Why not get some yogurt and make some toast?  Nosh on cherry tomatoes or any other vegetable you like.  And if you aren’t sure, why not try a few?  Raw cauliflower or turnip taste different than cooked – some of us prefer the raw to the cooked.

Don’t forget to make a batch of iced tea.  The Domestic Geek has some seriously easy and tasty ice cream recipes on her YouTube channel.  No need for a fancy ice cream machine, either.

Happy eating!

Categories: Musings

Fabulous Refreshing Iced Tea

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I was raised on Iced Tea in the summer.  Granted, it was a slightly different version than the one I make now, but the tradition was started and continues to this day.

As I’ve learned through the years, Iced Tea is not a staple in every household.  Some folks have no idea what Iced Tea is – they drink tea hot, something I’m not exactly a fan of.

To be clear, I’m a purist; give me a rich dark tea with sugar and lots of ice cubes and I’m a happy lady.  I don’t particularly care for the flavored types, but every once in a while I might give one a try.  Unsweetened?  Yeah, I can do that, but prefer the sugar.  Lemon is optional.

These days I make my iced tea with tea bags and boiling water.  I do have a Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker that does the job easier and with less mess than by using boiling water over tea bags.  Each works just fine.

Keep in mind you want to brew your tea stronger than you might want to drink as you will be diluting it with ice.  Unless, of course, you make your ice cubes with left over tea.

The Basic Recipe

Pour four cups of boiling water over two teabags into a heat-proof pitcher and leave for three to five minutes. Remove the teabags, and sweeten to taste by adding a little sugar. Stir in six cups of ice cubes until melted, or use four cups of cold water. Add in freshly cut lemon slices for some citrus zing, and keep refrigerated.

Sun Tea

If you are interested, this method is a strictly no electricity version.  Fill a gallon jug with cold water, put in 6 regular sized tea bags (be sure to clip the strings together so they don’t fall into the water) set the jug outside in the sun and leave it alone.  Keep an eye on it – once the color gets to where you like your tea, bring it inside.  Sweeten and cool as you like.

For the record, I have tried the k-cups to make iced tea.  I’m not a real fan.  I don’t care for the sweetener used in the cup.  When I make my tea, using the Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker, I use Family Size bags.  Less mess, better brew.

There is nothing like a cold glass of iced tea on a hot day.  Refreshing, relaxing, satisfying.

Why not make a batch and see for yourself. 🙂

Categories: Musings

Bringing You Up To Date

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Pardon our dust – we are getting more organized around here, but you do have to watch where you put your feet.  🙂

I thought I would take a minute to bring everyone up to date with what has been going on.  If you were used to visiting the or sites, this is our new home.  Please bookmark or add it to your favorites.  The old sites will probably head off to archive after a while.

HINT:  If you go to the bottom right side of the page, there is a link you can use to add it to your RSS feed.

Why the OrangePlaidCat?

Well, Annie-Cat isn’t plaid, but she is orange and she is the inspiration for the logo used on my sites and shops.  It just felt right to include her in this adventure.  And I’d never hear the end of it if I didn’t.  🙂

Why the Change?

To be honest, I felt the need to broaden what I wanted to talk about.  Don’t worry, there will be lots of food and crafting, but I felt the desire to add books, music, movies, TV to the mix as they are all parts of the whole.  I will still be discussing products and providing links you can use to access some great deals.  I will be sharing photographs of projects I’m working on and providing links where you can see (and purchase) the end result.

Behind the scenes, for a lot of reasons I have been contemplating making this move for a while.  Things came together recently and I began the work on the OrangePlaidCat.

What  Happened To?

You will note the Resources page is now the SHOP page.  A while back I went through my list of affiliates and trimmed down to those I really want to put focus on.  I won’t apply for affiliate status with just anyone, the products and companies I put on my site have to provide quality goods and services.  That being said, the ones that you will see on the Shop tab have quality offerings and reasonable prices that you can feel good about.  Check out the links and see what you think.

There is a separate tab for the CraftyBarnCat Etsy shop to provide a place to see items and get a link to visit the shop.  I provide information on how the cards are made and what to expect when you order.  The Gallery will update depending upon what is available or the latest projects.

What’s Still Here?

The Etsy shop (CraftyBarnCat) is still up and running.  The Facebook page is still there as is the Google+ page.  You can find links to those pages along with email access and more by clicking on the CONTACTS page.

What’s New?

Lots of stuff…and not so much.  Sorry, couldn’t resist.  🙂

Honestly, the basics are still here, they just might not be where they used to be.  I am working on getting some sharing buttons up and making the comments process better.  You will also note some new buttons, particularly one that might encourage you do support the site.  Every donation is appreciated.  The process runs thru PayPal, once you click on the button they will tell you what you need to do.  It is easy and pretty painless.

Speaking of buttons, if you read an article that you like, please let me know by clicking the “Like” button at the bottom of the article.  This helps me when I work on something new for your to read.

Comments are always appreciated.

A Word About Privacy

I will never sell your information.  Period.

When you place a comment on the site, there is information collected that will be used to verify that you are actually a live Human Being.

If you purchase thru my Etsy shop, I use your information to send your product to you.  Otherwise, I do not keep it.

I am currently developing a Privacy Policy that will be posted here, but truthfully, it is no different than the one that was on the site.  A few tweaks will be added for GDPR, but essentially, the same.

Speaking of Facebook

Why didn’t I change the name of the page?  Basically, two reasons, laziness; it ties back to the Etsy shop and I did not want to confuse the regular readers of that page.

Still With Me?

Great!  I hope this essay has helped explain what has been going on around here and what you can expect.  If you have questions or comments, please let me know.  The links for Email, Google+ and Facebook are at the bottom of all pages, in that purple strip beyond the end of any articles.

My goal is to post at least once a week.  I look for interesting things to talk about and share.  If you like what you see, please share our address with your friends.  Thanks to some new tools, every article I post here, will be on both my Facebook CraftyBarnCat page and the Google+ page.

See you soon!

Categories: Musings

Little By Little

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If this is your first visit, welcome!  And, please pardon our dust.  🙂

Annie (that’s her in the window) and I have been taking our time developing the Orange Plaid Cat.  Some folks would say that we’ve been taking too long.  Our goal is to create a place that is comfortable, interesting, and fun.  Not something that can be done with a click of a button or a drag and drop in a hurry.

I’ve added a page to our CraftyBarnCat Etsy shop along with a gallery of some of our current cards.  Please take a look, and don’t forget to visit the shop.  You’ll find a like to it on both the CraftyBarnCat and Contact pages.

As luck would have it, Etsy is also undergoing some updates.  I’d be interested in your thoughts on that as well.

Speaking of comments, you are welcome to comment on any of our posts, but at this point I believe you will need to register with WordPress to do so.  It is a simple, free process that will allow your feedback on various WordPress sites.  If you have already signed in, you should have no problem.  If for some reason you can’t log in, or have issues, you can email me at  (Also on our Contacts Page.)

Don’t forget to bookmark the site and make note to visit often.  🙂

Categories: Musings

Four Footed Furries

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As you might be able to tell, I love cats.  Actually, I love pretty much anything that barks, meows, moos and so on.  🙂

One thing I have discovered that gives me so much joy – and not a few chuckles – is Kitten Lady and her various kittens in residence.

Hannah Shaw (aka: Kitten Lady) started out rescuing neonatal kittens and has evolved to become an advocate, teacher, mentor, guide, pet parent, and a whole lot more.

I found Hannah on YouTube and since checked out her website and her Facebook page.

Check out her various platforms, watch the videos and enjoy the kittens.  Each one is unique.  Each one is precious.  And each one is pretty much guaranteed to make you smile.


Categories: Musings Pets

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