A little of This & a little of That... From Products to Ponders. You never know what you will see at "Just a Spaz". Be sure to tell all your friends!


Canning & Preserving with a Pressure Cooker

Don’t be intimidated by the word pressure cooker, the new electric pressure cookers are super safe and easy to use.

I started pressure cooking and canning about 25 years ago.  I learned from my mother and my grandma.  

As we "put up" (a term for preserving your food by canning) vegetables from the garden, picked
berries, fruit from trees or meat from something my grandpa brought home from a hunt or fishing - it was always a family affair.  The women would spend the day together - laughing, telling stories and canning that day's bounty.

Moving to the city - my mom, sister & I began to purchase in season produce from farmer's markets and meat on sale (Turkey at Thanksgiving time, Corned Beef in March) & continuing the tradition of canning. 

pressure cooking

We only used Stovetop Pressure Canners & there was never anything I was afraid of.  Just paying attention & we never worried about "explosions" or any problems.

There are many sites to learn the art of preserving and canning...


canning - 101

beginner's Guide

mother earth news


Warm & Comfy Soups

Follow Krazy's board Soups on Pinterest.

Love the convenience of a one-pot meal simmering on the stovetop or Slow cooking all day on a chilly winter snow day!
Prepare one of these great soup recipes for some no-fuss No-muss hearty comfort food.
Feed your family or an entire crew!

When I worked in the Mines, there were no microwaves or fridges to keep your lunch warm or cold.
So a thermos was the main "cookware" in your lunch box ...  a thermos full of hot & hearty soup was the best way to keep you going during day, afternoon or midnight shifts!


Camping & Fishing

Fishing & camping is a great recreational activity and families have enjoyed the outdoors for centuries.  Take the kids "out of the city" for a weekend & create memories other than that new video game you just bought them.

Whether you hike in the mountains and sleep in a tent or take a 5th wheel RV to a lake ...  the kids will always remember those times.

I grew up camping in Minnesota.  We had a small camper and my brother & I stayed in a tent.  Many of our family friends would go as well.
Every weekend during the summer as well as when my Dad would have a few weeks vacation, we would spend the summers at HooDoo Point in Tower on Lake Vermilion.  Fishing, swimming, building wood rafts from trees (they always fell apart) ... camp fires with roasting wieners or marshmallows.  Catching fire Flies or crawdads at night.  

Now as a parent - I have taken my daughters camping in Colorado. Every summer we spent weekends and vacations camping by the lake.  My daughters are both grown now but I see they are taking their "city friends" out camping & showing them how to pitch tents - start a camp fire & enjoy the stars at night. 

So get the kids out & let them play with their imagination- collect rocks - catch some frogs - poke dead fish with a stick & just be KIDS!

Colorado Tent Camping in Colorado

Fishing for the Summer


Casino Night Party or Fundraiser!

Make a Casino night a blast with these cutout stand ups.  Unique party Decorations!  Birthdays, Fundraising, retirement party ...  how cool are these!

Vegas Party Theme Set Lifesize Standups

 Unique Casino night invitations!


Make Eco bags out of T-shirts

Eco Grocery bags time your clerk at your grocery store asks if you prefer "paper or plastic" ,give an eco-friendly answer by saying, "neither."
Plastic bags end up as garbage that messes up the landscape, and kill thousands of marine mammals every year because they mistake the floating bags for food. Plastic bags that get buried in landfills may take up to 1,000 years to break down, and in the process they separate into smaller and smaller toxic particles that contaminate soil and water. Also, the production of plastic bags uses millions of gallons of oil that could be used for fuel and heating.

Eco Green bags are made from many different materials. Canvas, cotton, any material. You can also use ond Tshirts or make "Plether" out of old plastic grocery bags. Crochet with it & make durable - washable grocery bags. You can also buy eco bags with your company name on them to give to customers!

Make your own Green bags from....

Old T-Shirts!

 You can make great Green Bags from old T-shirts or T-shirts you buy from a thrift store. You will need a t-shirt, scissors and a sewing maching. HOWEVER sewing is just 1 straight stitch across the bottom
Turn any T-shirt inside out and sew the bottom of T-shirt closed. turn the shirt right side and lay flat, making sure all seams are lined up together..

Next Place a paper plate size circle (bowl or cut cardboard) about half-way over the neck hole and use a marker to trace along the edge. Cut along the outline, Make sure to cut both layers because you want a bigger hole that the original neck hole.

Now line up the sleeves and cut on the seam.Cut off both sleeves. Sleeveless t’s work great since you don’t have to cut them off & they are nice & hemmed.

Ta-Da- you now can save a favorite T-shirt… just re-purposed as a green bag.


Fun Postcards are a great way to stay in touch

Stay in touch the "old fashioned" way

Fun post cards are a great way to stay in touch with friends & family. Everyone still likes to get a special card in the mail. My daughter LOVES getting a postcard from me when I am out of town. They make her feel special.

So take a look at some of these adorable cards for any occasion & they are sure to make your friend or family smile & remember your thoughtfulness.

Postcards ...

Not just to send but they depict history as well.

Postcards are cheap to send & don’t take long to write. A quick “Thank you” – “I Love You” or “Thinking of you” is always appreciated. Cheaper stamps & no envelope required.
The United States introduced postcards in 1873… 3 years after European countries. 2 years later in 1875, delegates of 22 different countries met in Switzerland & agreed to adopt a universal postage rate so that everyone could send a postcard to other countries & all postage was at the same rate.

Postcards became a way to send friends and family a small picture of their trip to lands abroad.
They also became a way for researchers to discover events that happened in history. Photos of the aftermath of great floods & other natural disasters were common on postcards in early 1900′s.

To see the real history of postcards, you can visit the Smithsonian Library or Cooper-Hewitt National Design Library. There you can find over 10,000 postcards in their collections. Dating from the turn of the century to present, you can find a lot of history from small little cards.



While Traveling...

pick up unique cards to send out.

Going to a unique place? Landmarks, restaurant, museum, zoo…. be sure to pick up postcards to remember your trip. Always keep a book of stamps in your purse or wallet. When you get back to your hotel – write a quick note to family & pop it in the hotel mail. Let them know you are thinking about them.

Great for scrapbooking as well. Your memories can be saved forever & enjoy the trip all over again as you look through your scrapbook. I still look at the postcards I have in my scrapbook from a trip I took with my grandparents coast to coast. That was over 40 years ago & I still remember that summer trip as I look at those old postcards I collected.

Send Postcards for Special Occasions

Valentines Day or "I Love you" Postcards for the ones you love!

Lady bug Valentine Post Card
Monkey love post card
Ladybug love post card


Green Chili... the best around!

The flavor of green chili really depends on the kind of green chilies you use. There are about 200 varieties of chilies, only three or four of which are commonly used in green chili.

I have tasted many green chili recipes but this one is, by far, the best. Add more or less heat depending on your taste.
Serve as a soup with a tortilla or slice of french bread dipped in. You can also simply pour it over your burrito.

My Favorite Green Chili Recipe

Bowl of Green Chili Things you’ll need:

1-3 lb pork loin or tenderloin roast
Olive oil
minced fresh garlic
salt & pepper
2 cans whole tomatoes
fresh roasted chilies
Large fry pan
2 larger Dutch ovens or roasting pots.

1: Prepare a Slow roasted Pork roast first. Allow 3 or 4 hrs for this part. Preheat Oven to 325 degrees
Rub pork roast with olive oil. Rub about 1 Tbsp of cumin and 3 or 4 cloves of minced garlic all over the roast. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

2: SEARING… will keep juices inside & keep the roast tender.
Heat a few Tbsp of olive oil in a Fry pan & let it get hot (sprinkle a bit of water to see if it sizzles).
With tongs, put in your roast on 1 side for about 3 min. Turn for another 3 min, then hold with tongs & sear each end for 3 min each end. Put in Dutch oven or roaster, cover with water. Put lid on pot & slow cook for 3 or more hrs. To test if it’s done… it will pull apart with 2 forks. DO NOT DRAIN YET.

Use a new pot on the stove… Add 2/3 c. olive oil & heat, add more minced or crushed garlic (to your taste or a couple cloves)Stir for about a minute. Add 1/3 c. flour, whisk & heat till light brown. Add 4 c OF THE WATER FROM THE ROAST. Whisk as you pour. Open the 2 cans of whole tomatoes & squeeze through your hands into chili pot. This way they are not too chopped up. They are the perfect texture.

4: THE PORK… using about half the roast… shred apart with 2 forks.
Add to pot. Keep the rest for burritos or pulled pork sandwiches.
Chop about 4 or 5 fresh roasted chilies… clean out veins & seeds. (or 1 can diced) add to pot. Add more salt to taste… Stir & simmer for a while. Make sure you stir so the bottom does not burn. Enjoy

If too thick, just add a small amount of the “roast water” or plain water until the desired consistency.
If too thin, in a small bowl or cup… add 2 Tbsp of softened butter & mix in 2 Tbsp flour. Make a paste & as your chili is simmering, add 1 Tbsp of flour mixture to chili & whisk. If you need more, add the rest.
I like mine about the thickness of a cream soup. Some like it really thin, closer to a broth.

Tips & Warnings

Add more chilies or a bit of canned diced jalapenos for more heat.

Pour over Burritos to make smothered burritos.

We like eating as soup with tortillas or french bread dunked in it.

Next day if it’s too hot & spicy… you can add water to cool it down.

Hotter & Spicier the next day.

How Hot is Your Chili Pepper?

scoville heat scale 
The Scoville scale is a measure of the ‘hotness’ of a chili pepper or anything derived from chili peppers, i.e. hot sauce. The scale is named after Wilbur Scoville who developed the test in 1912, for more information see Measuring Chili Heat.
Hot Chilies Salt and Pepper Shakers 3 Piece Set