Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cooking tips from Martha and Maxine

Sometimes Martha is a little too intense for me while Maxine is just a tad too relaxed. Sometimes. th_winking0071
To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
Buy Hungry Jack mashed potato mix. Keeps in the pantry for up to a year.
When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won't be any white mess on the outside of the cake.
Go to the bakery! Hell, they'll even decorate it for you!
Cure for headaches: take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.
Take a lime, mix it with tequila, chill and drink! All your pains go away!
Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.
Celery? Never heard of it!
Don't throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

Leftover wine???????HELLO!!!!!!
Now for a serious cooking tip.... If you ever had the Chicken Tortilla Soup at Max and Erma's restaurant and enjoyed it, here is a great knock off recipe from Robbie's Recipes. I had tried two versions from other sources before this, both relying on canned soup combinations as the basis for their recipes. We did not enjoy them at all. Not even a little bit. Don't let the Velveeta in this throw you if you aren't a processed cheese type of cook. There are only three things I can think of that I make with Velveeta, and two of them are soups.

We like this as a main dish with a salad or half of a simple sandwich if we're really hungry. We don't get 8 servings out of it this way.

Chicken Tortilla Soup like Max and Erma’s®

Recipe Created By: Robbie
Serves: 8
Prep. Time: 0:20 or more

1/4 cup butter OR margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
8 oz. Velveeta process cheese food - cubed
10 oz. can Ro*Tel® tomatoes and chilies
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
salt and pepper – to taste
flour tortillas – as needed, about 4 - 6
shredded Colby Jack cheese OR Mexican blend cheese – as needed

-In a pot, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes.
-Slowly whisk in small amounts of chicken broth at a time, then whisk in milk.
-Reduce heat to low and stir in Velveeta cubes; stir until melted.
-Stir in Ro*Tel, chicken, and spices.
-Once soup is heated through, it is ready to serve at this point. However, if you wish to make tortilla strips, it can sit over low heat while they are made. Stir the soup occasionally.
-For tortilla strips, cut tortillas into strips and deep-fry in 350 degree vegetable or peanut oil until golden, then drain on cooling racks.
-Spoon a ladleful of soup into a bowl, add a handful of shredded cheese, then spoon another ladleful of soup over cheese. Sprinkle tortilla strips over top. Repeat for remaining servings.

Notes: If you want to save a lot of time, use crumbled tortilla chips instead of tortilla strips. As a substitute for Ro*Tel, you can use 1 1/2 cups of salsa. Spiciness can be easily adjusted by using spicy Ro*Tel or salsa and/or adding cayenne pepper to the soup.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer, captured, and a knitting boo boo

I saw a cute idea on Pinterest that combined a lidded jar of sand, some collected seashells and a cutout of a child at the beach. I adapted that idea and used an untrimmed photo of Colton with seashells left over from a craft project.
A few large shells help hold the photo upright and while not actually from our trip to Traverse City, they remind us of the feel of that trip...especially being barefoot...ouch, ouch, ouch! A bit of raffia tied to the dome's knob seemed appropriate to me.

In other crafting news, the second fingerless glove was theoretically done Saturday morning. I say theoretically because it doesn't exist now.

* Sigh  *

I had measured the mitt and compared it to the first one before binding off. In the late hours of Friday night, I *thought* the lengths were the same. On Saturday morning I finished the thumb and began to have doubts. I used a different bind off than I normally use, one that was recommended in the pattern. When I compared the two mitts side by side, or specifically palm to palm, I was not happy.

I have taken out a bound off edge before and returned live stitches to a needle to add more length. I tried to do this Saturday afternoon. The sewn bind off didn't want to be undone. If anyone were to ask me for advice when a sticky problem like this arises, I would tell them not to tackle this when you are upset. Upset could be in reference to the knitting project, or to something else in your life. Calmness and patience are required to undo something that doesn't want to be undone.

I didn't take my own advice.

I was mad at myself for missing the discrepancy before binding off the second mitt. I was upset over news concerning the health of two friends. Two huge reasons I should have set the project aside for awhile, but I plowed ahead, neither calmly or patiently. In frustration, I decided to cut what I thought was the tail of yarn used in binding off. I went too far. Ok.....I figured I would go a row deeper and unknit (also known as tinking {knit spelled backwards is tink} or frogging because you are ripping out rows...rip it, rip it, rip it...frog speak, right?) and eventually fix my mistake.

Holding the knitting in my left hand and attempting to cut carefully with Ginger Pocket Scissors (named for their rounded blades, safe to carry in your pocket) I cut a good sized wedge out of my left middle finger. I'd show you, but I'd be flipping you the proverbial bird, and I'm not mad at any of you, just at myself.
Now I had a snarled project with blood on it and a sore finger that was still dripping. I cut the offending knitting to bits in pique of anger that served no good other than allowing me to vent over much more than the knitting problem. I had pretty much decided to reknit the entire glove before this, and have plenty untouched yarn so it wasn't a completely uncalculated move even though it was out of character for me.

The second (third, actually) mitt is on my needles and progressing nicely. I am praying for good results for my friends who are battling cancer. The sun is shining and I am seeing the glass more than half full again. The glass isn't a drinking glass though, it is a pedestal with a dome, and has shells and the photo of my youngest love and the legs of my oldest love.

I am still getting many anonymous comments that aren't threatening or stalking, but are still annoying. I have changed my settings from anyone being able to post a comment to Registered Users, which includes those using OpenID. If this creates a problem for anyone, please let me know. If you have had a similar experience, I'd like to know what you do to fix the situation. I don't want to use verification because it is often difficult to read and annoys the heck out of me, and I assume it probably bugs many others too.

Is there a way to block all "anonymous" commenters? I hadn't wanted to go that route but that would solve 95% of my problems.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Anonymous comments and a car seat update

When I first began blogging, I didn't use word verification at all. After a few weird comments, I set up word verification for comments to posts that were older than 14 days.  The autobots or whatever they're called that phish used to appear only on older posts. I still have my setting at 14 days for word verification to kick in, but lately more anonymous comments are showing up in my spam file. I see them in preview mode in my email and periodically delete them in Blogger. Once in a very great while, an anonymous post is from someone who doesn't have a blog but is writing a sincere comment. I think I've had two of those in four years. I don't have a complaint about those other than it is frustrating when you can't contact the person to thank them or answer a question they may have posed.

Sometimes an anonymous comment is in a foreign language, sometimes it is unrelated sentence fragments, sometimes it is in computer language and sometimes it is nothing more than a series of hyperlinks that I am not about to open, especially when they don't seem to have anything to do with the subject of that day's post!

Here is an interesting one from a few days ago, on the post about the graduation card:
long time no see tom if your still knoking around here is there web address and details, they have a wealth of knowledge , mention martin put you on
Okey dokey Martin!

How about this comment on an old post about cupcakes:
 For a lot of women, it's a very major burden to get a promenade dress for a dress can cost a lot. Should you go to the traditional stores, you will find yourself surprised by the high price tag. Perfectly, if you want to buy an affordable and good promenade dress, you can have two means, one is to invest in from the reduction dress retailers and the several other is to buy from online shops. , Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates. I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.
If I find a widget that will explain what a promenade dress might be and how it relates to cupcakes, I'll be in touch.

And the car seat posts garnered quite a few anonymous posts. Here are two with links purposely deleted:

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And then there is this one, also on the car seat post, perhaps by a real person. Should I feel bad about this?
The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.
Gasp! I wasn't interesting enough for Anonymous! I disappointed them and I whined! I'm just an attention seeker!

Get over it Toots. A blog is a journal that someone chooses to put online. You are welcome to your opinion but if you were Googling for something that accidentally led you here, learn how to scroll by search results that don't apply to your needs. You wasted more of your precious time writing your comment even though you didn't take the time to use three apostrophes in your contractions. If you want to be critical and snarky, I'm ready. Just sign your comment and leave an email or a blog address for all of us to enjoy.

As for the car shopping experience, hubby and I headed out to Toys R Us which I hadn't thought to look at online. Go figure, they're closer than Babies R Us or Target. I thought all baby furniture, strollers and car seats had been moved to Babies R Us. Hubby examined all that fit my basic criteria and we selected the Graco Nautilus model. We'll probably visit the Prince this afternoon and see if meets his approval. 
It cost less than my wedding dress and just slightly more than my last grocery shopping tab. You'd think being Grandmum to the Prince would get me free groceries, wouldn't you? Heck, I shouldn't have to shop or cook at all! Monarchies in this country just aren't working correctly.

I hope that opinion doesn't disappoint anyone!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Car Seat Shopping

It is time to get a new car seat for our grandson. I am doing the happy dance and hoping I am not premature in my joy. We were given a perfectly good seat that went from rear facing to forward facing that still meets safety regulations but it is a pain to adjust. Worse, the Prince of Sweetness doesn't like it. He seems to fear getting into it and we don't know the reason. Once in it, he is fine. He is fearless climbing onto and into just about anything else I can think of, but that car seat is the source of anxiety for him, and therefore for me as well.

He is a very big boy for his age, both in height and weight. If he would climb into the seat in the middle of my small car on his own, I could easily manage buckling and unbuckling the harness. Going shopping, to the library, visiting, you name it, would be much easier if he didn't dread getting into the seat. He sometimes goes rigid with fear and trembles which just about breaks this grandma's heart. He wants to go with me, just not in that dang seat!
Hubby took the seat out of my car last week to make room for adult passengers on a girls night out dinner date. I checked the data on the backside of the seat and see that Colton has reached maximum height and weight. Yay!!!

Did you ever see someone so happy to spend over a hundred, possibly over two, on something that won't be used every day?

I checked to see what brand Mommy and Daddy have in their cars. I can't find that exact model online but did find a similar one by the same manufacturer. I am looking for a harnessed seat that later becomes a booster seat so that hopefully I won't be shopping for another model in two years. I have spent all morning looking at combination car seats/booster seats online. Shopping for my wedding gown wasn't this difficult!

Assuming Colton might remain in the 90+ percentile for his age throughout the next two years, I don't want a seat whose maximum limits for 'forward facing with harness' is not that many pounds and inches greater than his current size. Adapting to a booster seat when he is a bit older and bigger seems like a good option.
While I am not hesitant to order many things online, a car seat isn't one of them. I want to see it, feel it, examine how it is going to buckle around him and into my car. Many of seats at Babies R Us and Target are only available online. I will check out both stores anyway as they are near to me, but I was trying to be efficient and comparison shop before dragging hubby around. In reality, since the seat is for his little buddy, I probably won't have to drag him at all. If I was the jealous type, I could be annoyed with those two!

By the time I weeded out seats that don't meet my requirements but were available somewhere to see in person, my choices were few and of course, none were available at both Target and Babies R Us. So much for comparison shopping of prices.

Then I remembered Buy Buy Baby. Oh boy, another can of worms, expensive ones, or the answer to my quest? They had brand names I've never heard of, but seem to have more variety available at the store if their website is correct.  One that caught my eye is made by Recaro. If I hadn't worked in the automotive world, I may not have recognized that name, but Recaro has made seats for race cars for over 100 years. The reviews were good. The forward facing seat is good up to 90 pounds, far exceeding the other models I looked at, and when converted to the booster seat, it is good up to 120 pounds. He might be ready for driver's training by the time he outgrows that feature!

Wish me luck finding something that seems safe, is fairly easy to adjust and doesn't scare the Prince of Sweetness. If it turns out to be the Recaro, it will cost more than my wedding dress but what the heck....it will get more a lot more use than the dress did.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A bit of everything in a long weekend

On Thursday I left home to join hubby at the cottage. It was raining, sprinkling actually, when I left here. The minute I merged onto the freeway, the rain increased. Drats! The freeway portion of my hour ride isn't long and soon I was on the highway again. There is a Kroger on the right side of the highway on the way to our cottage, not far from the freeway. My intentions were to stop there for vittles as Grandma Clampett used to say. It was pouring so hard at that point, my wipers on high were barely keeping up.

I went on to the next Kroger which is actually farther than my turnoff for the cottage, but I had hopes that the rain would subside by then. It did, but not by much. I used an umbrella to get from car to store, something that I very rarely do. By the time I left the store, the rain was back to full force and I'd been tempted to whack a few people inside the store with my wet bumbershoot, but alas, it was a small one and I would have been within reach of the whack-ees who might have grabbed me in retaliation so I remained polite and peaceful. Next time I am taking the golf umbrella!

That Kroger isn't very old but for whatever reason, they've decided to move everything around inside. Since all of the Krogers seem to be doing this, I can't help but wonder if it isn't a marketing ploy to get people to walk up and down every aisle. Why else would eggs and cheese be together in a short dairy case (half the length of one aisle, one side only) across from household cleaning products? There were only a dozen or so cartons of eggs, most of which were so badly broken that the cartons were drippy messes. There wasn't a head of lettuce, a bag of lettuce, or package of leaves anywhere in the store either. Unless there was a Caesar salad festival going on that I wasn't aware of, I can't explain the lettuce and egg absence.

By the time groceries were thrown into the car, I was wet despite the umbrella. The inside windshield had fogged up (was I huffing and puffing that badly?) so I had to run the defroster. Now I was cold and wet. Uh oh...now I had to...you know...eliminate some fluid  so off I went to McDonald's. The bathroom was clean and I left my umbrella on the counter, but where to put my purse with no hook in the stall? I managed not to choke myself with my purse around my neck, got business done and hands washed.

I can't go into the golden arches to use their facilities without buying something. It doesn't feel right. Besides, I was hungry. It was almost 2:00 and breakfast had been at 8:15. How was I going to carry my meal, two drinks (one for hubby whom I had called to warn him a wet hen would be arriving shortly) and my umbrella to the car? I left the restaurant and ordered from the drive-thru. Once at the cottage, I put my robe on while my clothes dried but the rain lasted most of the day, and not wanting to take a chance on re-wetting them, I stayed in my robe until bedtime.
Fashionable and exciting, eh?

Friday was near perfection. We got a little work done, sat on the deck in beautiful weather, had a great dinner (without salad), watched corny TV before bedtime and slept soundly.

Saturday was warmer but still a pretty day. Colton and his parents came for an overnight visit. The cottage makes adults mellow, sleepy even, but seems to have the opposite effect on two year olds. He didn't want to nap and he didn't despite the efforts of 4 adults.

Instead he went with us to a neighbor's graduation party where he wanted to try the rock climbing wall.
No, he isn't in the harness there, that is his life jacket. Our cottage rules have always been that little ones wear a life jacket any time they are outside as the water is too close and in Colton's case, very tempting. He thinks he is part fish.

After a great meal, the graduate's mom manned the cotton candy machine. We got a small cone for Colton, mostly because I wanted to see his reaction to it.
This stuff is sticky!

It tastes kinda funny...
But hey, it isn't so bad after all!
Back on our deck, we entertained him, or more truthfully, he entertained us with his bubble gun.
Here come more bubbles!

I'll get them!
Oh! They got me instead!
The humidity rose as night fell. Colton was overly tired and had a hard time winding down for the night. The bedrooms were warm and stuffy with only fans to provide relief. Do you think we're all spoiled by air conditioning? I do, but I'm first in line to want it when I am trying to sleep in this weather. Have I mentioned that I don't like the sound of a window or oscillating fan? I hate them.

Yesterday morning Colton was refreshed and ready to tackle a new day. His parents and grandparents however...

We are all home again, in air conditioning because Mother Nature seems to like the upper 90s this month. I am headed out to the dentist soon, to have my teeth cleaned. I hope I don't fall asleep in the chair and drool. At least I don't have to worry about lettuce being stuck between my teeth!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Graduation card, made, not found

I still haven't found the graduation cards that I moaned about in my last post. I fully expect they'll show up the day after the party.

I think I wasn't supposed to find the cards so that I would use my new Sizzix die. For those of you who do paper crafts, do you use a die cutting machine, and do you love it/them? I have a Sizzix Big Kick that I use 98% of the time and an original model Cricut.

I recently bought a Mover & Shapers Die, #657586 labeled Card, Circle Flip-Its.
The card I made is for a teenage boy that I don't know all that well as far as his tastes, sense of humor, etc. When it doubt, KISS (Keep It Simple Silly {nicer than stupid}) always works.
Here is the card I create, first flat, than standing:

I added a piece of cardstock to the back to create a pocket to hold the check we're giving him as a gift.

I think I found a spare envelope that will fit this card while I was looking for the missing purchased cards. Now if I can just find it again.....

If not, I will make one from the paper that has the graduation caps printed randomly on it. That might not happen until just before we leave for the party if procrastination sets in.

Why don't I make cards in advance and have them ready when the occasion arises? Probably because I'm busy ready blogs and Pinterest! It's all your fault...yours, and yours and yours too!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Did you take my graduation cards?

We have graduation parties to attend this weekend. I know there are at least two graduation cards in the house. Cards are stored in one of two boxes specifically designed to hold cards, arranged by category. I am highly organized. Stop snickering. I can hear you.

The cards aren't under "Congratulations" in the main box. The second box holds cards that are over-sized or have so many gee-gaws on them, extra postage and hand canceling is necessary. I never buy or make that kind anymore. Regular postage is bad enough. This card won't be mailed though, it will be hand delivered. It isn't in the odd box.
The cards also aren't in the stack of photos that I need to either file, frame or otherwise decide what to do with. I'm not supposed to end a sentence with "with", am I? Tough. I said I was organized, not grammatically correct.
The cards aren't among the recipes that I've printed and have yet to file in the binders that I have for main dishes; sides, salads and soups; and desserts. Why is the dessert binder the largest one? I said I was organized, not thin. I had decided I was printing too many recipes so I stopped printing most with the intention of actually making the recipes (test driving them) before filing them. Excuse me a minute..."Bill, stop laughing right this minute! You're going to hurt yourself if you laugh your butt right off that chair!"    Dang, how can that man hear what I am typing?
In case you are wondering, they aren't in the stack of Michaels, Joann's or Archiver's coupons either. Not only am I organized, I am thrifty.   Ok, that does it! Bill, go play in the garage until I am done composing this!
They aren't under the directions for a new shawlette that I downloaded yesterday called Cameo. This is Rudee's fault. If it looks this good on her Stoney, I should be able to wear it with panache. Or while wearing pancakes. I said I was organized, not that I always use the right word.
While I search for the elusive cards, should I put the recipes in the binders without trying them? Sort the coupons and throw out the 98% that I know I won't use (or are past their expiration dates)? Or should I straighten up the stack of the photos? Notice I said straighten them, not file or frame them? Above and beyond organized, I am honest.
I think I will go buy two new graduation cards. And maybe stop at Joann's since it close to the card shop. And after that go out for pancakes for lunch. Look for me in the black t-shirt. I am organized  thrifty thin determined to have a good day.  I hope you have a good one too!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wingspan, a shawl? a scarf?

If you knit and are a member of the Ravelry community (a free site with lots of help, lots of ideas, lots of patterns for knitters and crocheters) you probably have seen or heard of the Wingspan shawl or scarf. I'd post a link, but non-members wouldn't be able to see the pattern there. You could Google "wingspan scarf" or "wingspan shawl" and choose images to see lots of examples.

Hopefully I won't bore the non-knitters as I say that this is an easy pattern featuring garter stitch and short rows. It can be done in any weight yarn and the pattern suggests adjustments for a few weights.

I have been trying NOT to amass hordes of yarn. I do have yarn from various shops that has yet to be worked into anything more than a ball, but when I go to the knitting group, sometimes twice a week, I need to work on yarn purchased at the store that hosts the group. That is only fair, and not a complaint on my part, but it means that the untouched yarn at home remains untouched while working on a shop project.

A while ago I needed a new project to work on in group and didn't want to purchase new yarn. I had sock yarn from the store but wasn't in a sock knitting mood. There were projects that might have interested me but required more yarn than I had available. What to do, what to do.....

Aha! Time to knit the Wingspan pattern!

I used  this Ty-Dy yarn from Knit One, Crochet Too
Color: Cherry Cola #1233
According to yardage, I should have been able to get 8 full repeats before ending with four rows of garter stitch the width of the shawl and binding off. I tried weighing the yarn after part way through the project on a digital postal scale but either that was off or my calculations were. Wait...I didn't just say that....it must have been the scale! Just like that darn scale in the bathroom!

* Ahem *

Anyway, I will be wearing this as a scarf so the size doesn't matter. Here is my finished project. I guessed correctly when I stopped short in knitting the last section and finished off with two rows of garter stitch before binding off (the inner curve in this layout). I had 8" of yarn left. Gulp! That was close!
I will make this again because it was such a relaxing project while watching TV or carrying on conversation. This particular self striping yarn isn't my favorite color wave but I will wear it with beiges and browns this winter. They aren't the best colors near my face and the reds and pinks should brighten the look.

Here is an example of Wingspan using a yarn that stripes, but is more subtle.
And lastly, here is a lace variation that I want to try soon.

Photobucket See ewe by the pool with a cold drink and a cool project!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A short but real vacation

Our married son, daughter-in-law and Colton invited us to join them in Traverse City for the National Cherry Festival. The festival runs for a week but we were only able to go for two days, staying there Wednesday and Thursday night. The hotels were booked Friday and Saturday.

Hubby and I had a great time, but it had more to do with the antics of a two year old than the festival. Sorry festival organizers, but nothing can beat a grandchild for entertainment, at least not to first time grandparents.

Grandma, are you going to photograph me for 48 solid hours?
Silly boy....I have to sleep sometime!
The joys of modern family vehicles over what transportation 30 years ago...DVD entertainment! Our destination was roughly 4 hours from home. We watched The Goofy Movie (seen in this photo),
Cars, Toy Story, (all animated movies) as well as Looney Tunes and Kipper videos. Multiple times. Often while hearing other videos playing on Mommy or Daddy's cell phone held in his 2 year old hands with a death grip. You might notice that my son is wearing ear buds while driving. He is listening to sports while all this other stuff is going on.

The view from our room. Not bad, eh?

Parasailing, anyone? Not this chicken. Not only am I not a spring chicken, I was a yellow bellied, scaredy-cat chicken when I was a young chick.

It certainly was pretty weather for it though.

On the way to the festival, we visited Lego Land. There were 5 or 6 Lego sculptures that were amazing to me. I wish they had placards stating how many pieces were used and how long it took to create the various designs.

All fairs look alike, don't they?
Playing the duck game, about the only game slanted in favor of the participants.

The following day we visited the The Village at the Grand Traverse Commons, a collections of shops and eateries housed in what was once Traverse City State Hospital, also known as Northern Michigan Asylum. What a nice way to preserve interesting architecture and make a happy place out of one that for a century had to be a very dark place. I am not inferring poor treatment, just unhappiness that anyone should suffer from mental illnesses that required hospitalization.

I didn't ask busy shopkeepers if I could photograph their stores so this is the only photo I took in one of the halls. Those aren't stained glass windows for sale, they are glass mosaics. I don't know what holds them together, but they were beautiful.

Colton is such a little fish! He is drawn to water anywhere and everywhere, be it a pool, a lake, a sprinkler or a puddle. 

We only bought a few items on this trip. A jar of cherry-almond butter that I will savor on toast and pretend it is calorie free and easy to purchase without ordering it online for $17 with shipping and tax; a pound of chocolate covered dried cherries (I think it is crack in disguise) that would cost about $27 to replace by mail; this rubber cord necklace and silver slide that holds any of the four "lucky stones" that I bought
and this cobalt vase. Because I needed it. Really, I did.
The vase is 4.5 inches tall. The lucky stones are Black Labradorite, Purple Crazy Lace, Howlite (the white stone) and  Rose Jasper.

According to legend, stones with holes in them are lucky and have been collected as talismans since the Neolithic age. Some believed they could cure illnesses or ward off misfortune and nightmares. Fisherman kept them to increase their catch and farmers nailed them to their barns to protect their livestock. In Victorian days, it was considered especially lucky to spit on the stone and toss it over your left shoulder while chanting "Lucky stone, Lucky stone, bring me some luck, today or tomorrow at twelve o'clock."

I didn't have any of these stones with me when I played penny slots at Turtle Creek casino, but I did win $364.10