Pirate Mum Adventures

{January 12, 2016}   Adventures in Fruit Bars

Adventures in fruit bars… here’s what I did, verdict later once they’re frozen!
I took
-1 cup chopped strawberries, divided in half (used my mini chopper on whole frozen strawberries, filled up the mini chopper bowl so I didn’t really measure the whole strawberry amount)
-6 cavity ice pop mold
-1 1/8 approx cup of juice (I had Welch’s Refreshingly Simple Peach Mango), same approx amount of Greek vanilla yoghurt. (Your amount may vary due to the size of your pop molds)
-Mixed 1/2 strawberries with juice and poured in 3 cavities, mixed remaining strawberries with the Greek yoghurt and placed in the other 3 cavities. Can’t wait for them to freeze!

Approx estimated fruit bar cost for 6:
1/2 bag (approx) strawberries @ $3.00 bag (Private Selection, on sale at Kroger) = $1.50
1 cup (approx) RS Peach Mango Juice @ $2.99/64 oz = $0.40
1 cup (appox) Greek Vanilla Yoghurt @ $3.50/32 oz = $0.90
Total= about $2.80 vs. fruit bars at our local stores running around $3.50-$4.00. Hoping these are good, I can save my fruit bar craving self some cash!

I’ll let you know how they turn out!


Pirate Mum


I’m actually not going to get all vociferous on this right now. Mostly because I know and love people on all sides of the fence and frankly, people’s opinions are just that. Opinions. What people fail to realise sometimes, is that, at least here in the United States, Federal law states that a woman can feed her baby in public with or without a cover, anywhere that the woman herself is allowed to be.

My opinion? If you don’t want to see it, don’t look. Babies need fed. Period.

This article was brought to my attention this morning and while the editor in me could have done some finessing on it, it was a good article overall (I’m finding good articles anymore to be like unicorns- rare and hard to find!)

The Article!

The comments, which I have been reading for the last hour or so while folding clothes, prompted me to search this out. Warning: If you don’t want to see breastfeeding, don’t open THIS LINK!

So anyway, yes, I plan to breastfeed my little gold doubloon when he or she arrives, and that’s okay. I was adopted and bottle fed, and that’s okay too.


Pirate Mum

{September 15, 2015}   New Ship!

It’s been too long! I am sorry I haven’t written for a while, things have been happening fast and well, sometimes life gets in the way. I’m sure you know what I mean!

So, since the last entry we’ve had these things occur:

  • Our old ship sank
  • We were temporarily run aground in port while searching for another ship
  • Hobbes, the Captain, temporarily took a job on a merchant ship, delivering goods to many different ports of call.
  • My mum joined my dad in Davy Jone’s Locker 😦
  • We found a new ship
  • Hobbes, Fidget and I went on an exploration expedition
  • Found out I’ve got a Gold Doubloon in the treasure chest, and we’ll be adding to our crew! (Good thing I saved those cloth diapers!)

So, as you can see, it’s been a busy couple of spins around that Wheel of the Year. I’m hoping to keep this up a little better once I start pre-school with Fidget here in the next few weeks.

Random: here’s a pic of some of us at Pirates Pack the Park.


From left: Hobbes (the Pirate Captain), P.I.T., Pirate Yashimaru, Victoria Rose, Shelly (back), Moira and MawMaw, Pirate Mum


Pirate Mum

My father grew up in a place where pepperoni was a popular meat, that being said, he loved his pepperoni. Every time we went back to his hometown we’d come back with several big sticks of it, straight from the butcher. We never bothered making homemade pizza (though I do now), but those little coins of meat were great on bread. They may not necessarily be all that good for you, but they sure are tasty!

You will need:


pepperoni slices


butter (optional)


What you do:

Place pepperoni in skillet (I use about 6 slices per piece of bread) and cook just enough, don’t let them get too crispy!

While you cook, you can spread butter on the bread. I never do but my dad and sis always do.

Drain pepperoni, if you want…I usually just take pieces out with a fork and leave what’s left of the greasy goodness on the slice as I put it on my bread. Six slices (or so) per piece of bread (place on half of bread), fold bread to make a makeshift pepperoni roll, eat and enjoy! I’m finishing my third “roll” now! YUM


AKA: baby gate.

Our ship has a set of stairs leading from the main deck to the crews quarters that isn’t exactly easy to fit a conventional baby gate to. At the end of the poopdeck (hallway) is the back door, which leads to the back deck (yard), standing at the door, to your immediate right is a triangular step, then another triangular step, which works as a way to turn you parallel to the poopdeck in order to ascend up to the crew quarters. The wall along the hall (and to the right as you go up) starts about 5 steps up, so there was NOWHERE to attach a baby gate to. The only non-conventional baby gate I found that would work for these stairs cost $120, plus tax, plus gas to drive to Babies R Us, 25 km away and back. I figure upwards of $150 if you figure in wanting to stop for a drink or snack along the way. For the longest time, we had a pack-n-play in front of the steps, weighted down of course, because Fidget knew he could just move it and climb the stairs…but the pack-n-play blocked the back door. I was tired of it. So, I enlisted the assistance of my Captain and our friend Aley of The Crazy Duck and we made our own! Here is our journey…

Aley suggests buying sanded plywood and hinges to make our own gate. We measure the area needing blocked. My Captain suggested making the gate a chalkboard for Fidget to write on. Excellent idea! I came up with making a border around the chalkboard and painting letters, numbers and shapes to be used for homeschooling. Another great idea! So the baby gate has turned into a BABY GATE LEARNING CENTER!

We had our ideas…now we needed the parts: sanded plywood cut to size, two hinges, hook and eye closure, chalkboard paint, stencils. We had border paint, paintbrushes and acrylic paints for the letters/numbers/shapes. We initially spent $61 and change for the cut plywood, hinges, closure, un-sanded grout and red red wine Behr paint (sample size). I ended up buying a quart of the Behr paint later for $11 an change. Then the fun began!

Image We put up the gate with the hinges. ImageWe ran into a snag and had to move the gate a bit in order to get the hinges in the wall. Image We attached the hook and eye closure and this is what it looked like pre-painted. Image (Yes, that’s the Captain being funny.

The hinge screws were a little long so the Captain had to cut them off. He had fun and the sparks were flying! Image Then came the base paint in what would be the border colour. Image We mixed the Behr paint and the unsanded grout (1 cup paint per 2 TBS grout-make sure it is UN-SANDED) to make our own custom colour chalkboard paint.Image After the first coat, the Captain decided to spackle it to make the surface smoother. Image We sanded and painted several more coats over that. When the chalkboard was all done, I got out the stencils that I made (printed letters on parchment…if you are going to make your own stencils, I suggest thick card stock, I didn’t have any so I made due with the parchment which is a bit thicker than regular printer paper). I used a scrapbooking knife and self-healing mat to cut the stencils, taped them onto the border and painted them with acrylics. Here’s the finished baby gate learning center! Image (That’s the Captain, writing all of our names in Korean.)

The pic is a little small, A-M are up top with “daytime” (a sun done in yellow, orange and red) in the top left corner. Down the left border is a circle (red), square (orange), triangle (yellow), oval (green), rectangle (blue) and star (purple). Along the bottom is N-Z with “nightime” (blue moon with 2 purple stars and 1 green star) in the bottom right corner. Numbers 0-9 run down the right side border. All in rainbow colours.

For a little less than $72 we now have a custom baby gate learning center…when Fidget gets big enough to safely traverse the stairs, we will remove the gate from the steps, remove the hinges and hook and eye, mount the learning center on the wall and voila! YEARS of use!

Arr! Pirate Mum

The Captain of The Allinders’ Revenge is hard to clothe. He is over 6.5 feet tall and is fairly slender. Pants that fit his waist are too short (or damn near impossible to find on a rack), pants that are long enough fall off of him (Pants on the ground, pants on the ground). He has exactly 2 pair of pants that fit properly and he must wear these both here on the ship and to work. Well, he came home last night with roofing tar on his pants. He was upset, thinking that he was going to be down to one pair of work pants. That is until his First Mate (me!) fixed them! If you find you have roofing tar on your pants, go grab your container of bacon grease (why people wouldn’t have bacon grease saved back is beyond me, so you may not need to read the other way to do it)…I had unfortunately just used the last of ours a few days before. What does one do when they are out of bacon grease? Grab the WD-40.

For bacon grease: pour on pants, let soak some, rub, let sit some, rub gently with a delicate dish scrubber under warm water. Repeat until tar is gone. Wash with laundry soap. I have heard shortening (like Crisco) also will work.

For WD-40: make sure you are in a ventilated area, this stuff stinks! Spray spots of tar. Let sit. Rub gently with delicate scrubber under warm water. Repeat until tar is gone, wash with laundry soap!

It might take some elbow grease, but the WD-40 or bacon grease will help break up the tar so it is more easily removed. Please do this at first sign of tar! You don’t want that gunk drying up on your pants!


While my esteemed Captain was out today, gathering treasure (working), my wee Pirate Fidget and I sailed to the grocery store to buy 2 weeks worth of food for our Pirate family of 4. Prior to our trip, I looked at the Kroger circular and digital coupons, looked at Coupon.com and made a meal plan based on some of the sales (this all took me less than 30 minutes!). Check out our meal plan for this payday (starting with today and ending with Tuesday April 30th):

  • 16th: Salad with chicken, eggs, tomato, crouton, imitation bacon bits, dressing
  • 17th: Tacos (ground beef, lettuce, shredded cheese, tomato, sour cream, crunchy shells)
  • 18th: Chicken Katsu and rice (this is our First Mate P.I.T.’s favourite dish EVER!)
  • 19th: Cheese ravioli for me/other pasta for rest of crew, sauce and salad
  • 20th and 21st: HUGE pot of Southwestern Chicken soup to last both days, tortilla strips
  • 22nd: Sausage potato skillet, corn
  • 23rd: Chicken quesadillas, pico de gallo, sour cream
  • 24th: Beef stew in crock pot (beef, potato, green beans-we don’t like carrots really)
  • 25th: Chicken Korma, rice, vegetable pakora
  • 26th: Homemade potato soup with green onions
  • 27th and 28th: another HUGE pot of the Southwestern Chicken soup and tortilla strips
  • 29th: Chicken Jambalaya
  • 30th: Pork Chops, twice baked potatoes, corn or green beans

As you can see, we’re eating pretty well here! While I had some items still (such as rice, korma seasoning, corn/green beans), I purchased most everything needed for these two weeks today. My final bill was $82.15, which also included staples of milk, wee Pirate juice, diapers, wipes, toilet paper and paper towels. I saved 24.33 total between paper and digital coupons, watching sales and grabbing the Kroger brand of some items. I am not an extreme couponer, and I probably never will be, but feeding and cleaning a family of 4 for less than $85 for two weeks sounds pretty darn good to me!

On another note, I just received a gift book from my Pirate sis-in-law, How to Shop for Free. Can’t wait to read it, I just may review it here as part of my Frugal Pirate section!


I don’t know how many of you know about the Sci-Fi Western show that came out back in 2002 called Firefly, but my family and I are Browncoats to the core. This show aired on Fox, if you could call it “aired”. Fox seemed to have it out for Joss Whedon’s Firefly from the get-go, they aired episodes out of order, kept changing the air dates and some episodes never even made it to TV. The show was cancelled before the first season ended. One might think it must have been a horrible show, but it wasn’t! Eleven years later, there is still a HUGE following for this show and the movie sparked by the show, Serenity (which came out in 2005). In one episode, Jayne Cobb, a tough as nails, gun-toting mercenary receives a hat from his mother. He loves this hat, because his mama made it, and wears it through the entire episode (one of the ones never aired). This then sparked fans desire for a “cunning hat” (Jayne says “Cunning, don’t ya think?”) and home-knitters began making them. All of a sudden, eleven years after the fact, FOX is going after these handcrafters. This has caused a bit of an uprising. Read the original buzzfeed article here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ellievhall/firefly-hat-triggers-corporate-crackdown

There is now a website called http://www.YouCantTakeTheYarnFrom.me (a play on part of the Ballad of Serenity from the show which says “you can’t take the sky from me” ( listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TB3aJoZugg8 ).

Well, yours truly is featured on You Can’t Take the Yarn from Me’s opening page. Even Nathan Fillion (who played the main character Captain Mal Reynolds and now stars in Castle as Rick Castle) got in on it, helping a knitter sell hats!

There’s a big to-do and I wanted to write about it. Now I have and there’s nothing in the ‘verse can stop me!

Shiny! Image

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Happy Pirate! I finally broke out the Jiffy mini-greenhouse set that mum-in-law got us and the peat-and-pots that Aley Cat got us and planted some seeds! I happened to have 1 more seed packet than I had room in the kits but luckily I had some extra peat pellets in the garage.

In the Jiffy greenhouse I planted veggies! Pole beans, cucumber, lettuce, peas (the stir-fry kind), squash and carrots.

Image I then grabbed an extra terra cotta pot and peat pellet, as well as my peat-and-pots from Aley cat and planted herbs. Cinnamon basil went into the terra cotta pot, Image and in the green pots went spearmint and lemon balm!

I also picked up some potting soil and a packet of hummingbird wildflowers. Both the Captain and I have lost our fathers and the Captain had an old packet of wildflowers from his father’s funeral. I figured the seeds wouldn’t germinate, so instead of trying and maybe getting no wildflowers (and thus taking away the Captain’s dad’s wildflower packet), I got a new pack to put into our rectangular planter that came with the ship. Since the wildflowers will be in memory of both of our fathers, I got little paintable wood shapes and will glue sticks onto the back for decorative plant stakes. Image Image

Finally, this past week while out in the backyard, Aley Cat and I discovered cilantro (some of which I used to make Lime-Cilantro chicken last night), parsley and strawberries, along with noting that the mint from last year is spreading. I am good with this and would prefer a mint yard to a weed yard which is what we normally have. Can’t wait to get the garden area set up (that’s on the agenda over the next 2 wks) and I will keep you updated on my little seeds!


et cetera