Saturday, December 31, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

Fina-Lee Friday

Not Again! Really? Already Friday? Not only that, there's ONLY today and tomorrow left of 2011! What happened to this year? It's GONE! In a flash!! And knowing how fast it went, I can only imagine how fast 2012 will fly by. Lord, please help me to be ready and to appreciate every moment!
  • So when will I "un-decorate"? Some of my friends on that social network have all their Christmas stuff down, packed away already...the day after Christmas!! That's a little too soon for me, I mean, I JUST got the tree up and decorated, didn't I?
  • I just realized I'll be spending New Year's Eve alone. Hmmm, totally a-l-o-n-e, well, except for Fanner and Raven. Marty and Nick went with Marty's photog buddy to Phoenix where they'll be able to visit Marty's dad. That's a good thing. Dad is 85 I think. It's been 3.5 years since they've seen each other, and Nick has changed a bit during that time. It's good he'll get to visit with his Grandpa.
  • Fanner needs to be put to rest. I keep telling myself this has to happen. But I don't want it to happen. She still has 'good' days, days when she seems well. But I think she's really not that well. She can't tell me how much pain she's in. I don't like that the decision falls on MY shoulders. I don't like it at all. I don't want this kitty to be gone :( Lord, won't You just take her without me having to do what I don't want to do?
  • Nick's been on holiday all week. That means, little to no outings in the car so... no traffic rants :) though I could probably think of some past ones, hehe.
  • Why do people who know I would like (and need) to lose weight buy me wonderful tasty treats for Christmas? Blush, why do I keep buying them as well?
  • I don't make New Year's resolutions. Waste of time. I never keep them (when I did make said resolutions). I don't have a good accountability system...not sure I'd listen to said accountability system either. I'm a rebel.
  • My last PT appointment this morning. Doctor visit on 1/4/12. Sometimes I think PT is just another one of those medical rackets. I feel that way toward the drug companies :P . Tired of medical stuff!!
  • Anxious to learn which number Judy will pick on Sunday(?) for the first 2012 UFO Challenge project to be worked on. So far she has 94 participants signed up!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Quilt #028, #029, #030 Mililtary quilts

#028: Some of us ladies in my church fellowship group decided to make some lap quilts for the military members who were either in our group or the family member of someone in our group. This is one I did the piecing on and others helped with the other elements of the project. The pattern for this project came from American Patchwork & Quilting, August 2005. I really liked the adaptation of the skinny 'rail' used in this rail fence pattern. I could make this one again. These military quilts were also tied rather than quilted otherwise. We needed/wanted to finish the project quickly and give them all out at the same time. Some were mailed and a number of them were displayed and handed out during our group's Sunday morning meeting.

#029: This little number, is high on my I will do it again list. I love Log Cabin patterns and this one in patriotic colors is very striking. And did you notice that cute little star that looks like an X at the four corners of the center block? I found this pattern in American Patchwork & Quilting, June 2003 . Very scrappy of reds, whites and blues from my stash. This photo is only of the top as the other 'many hands' finished it while I was away on vacation and I didn't get to photograph the finished quilt.
#030: This one went to my own nephew who is in the Air Force. He's been deployed to the Middle East, I believe until Spring. He and his wife are expecting their second child in mid-April.

I designed it myself with some simple blocks and using some old fabrics from my stash that I picked up from somewhere or was given. Of the three, it's not my favorite; maybe it's the fabric selections...they don't scream patriotic red, white and blue even though they are shades of red, white and blue. The photo makes the red look, well, more red than it truly was. As to who got which quilt, I had no part in that selection, and again, this was worked on by many others as well.

Painting the Barn

Whew, that took some time! First, I couldn't get my photo software to work last night to edit a photo to add as my profile image so gave up and went to bed. I shut my computer down at night so it has to reboot, which seems to have fixed that happens frequently even after uninstalling and reinstalling the software (I'll request new electronics for NEXT year's Christmas present, lol.).

Even harder than that was to re-locate how in the world to ADD my profile photo to Blogger. I once considered myself pretty smart. In fact, office co-workers back in the mid-70s use to refer to me as a "walking-talking-computer-almost". Well, those days are long gone, and I have trouble even remembering what I had for breakfast half the time (it's almost always buttered toast, hehe) so trying to remember how to find the way to add the photo was both perplexing and time-consuming. And I'm sure I'll go through this ordeal again when I change out the current photo (which is pre-chopping off the long braided pony tail) for one hopefully a little more attractive. A friend's dad use to say "If the barn needs painting, by all means paint it." and that's exactly how I feel about photos I see of myself, blech, plain, dull...and please, I am NOT fishing for compliments...I'm well aware how plain...and old... I've begun to look. I may or may not summon the energy to 'paint' the barn very often!

Note to self: to edit the profile file, click on 'my account'...that'll get you started, lol.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blogger and my Ineptedness

Well, it looks like I inadvertently removed my personal photo (the one that shows when I post a comment to others' posts), so I will have to remedy that soon. It's interesting, because it's the same one that's ON my blog and I can see it, but it doesn't show when I comment to others. Now, to remember how, hehe. I kinda wish Blogger didn't save pictures to whatever that photo site is (can't remember the name at the moment). That was how I deleted the photo...there were about 5 copies of it and I deleted all but 1, guess that didn't work. I learn this stuff yet, lol!

Monday, December 26, 2011

I'm So Light-Headed Today...

Have you ever had one of those times where you just needed to change something? I'd been struggling with this for awhile. Some days yes, some days no. I was a teenager of the '60s, you know, back when long straight hair was the fashion. No matter how I tried my hair never got very long, but it was never trimmed and I didn't know about split ends and all that, and it was never straight, not when you live in a wet land with a fair amount of humidity and rain. I tried everything from ironing, to soup cans to even wrapping it around my head and securing it with huge long bobby pins and taping my bangs down. Hair dryers, vent and round brushes were unheard of items back then, and even if they did exist there certainly wasn't money for them. All that to say, I have a love-affair with long hair. Long hair on MY head. But, and especially at my age, and with the color it is, it isn't the most flattering look for me. At my daughter's wedding it was shoulder length. That was three years ago. I'd see that picture and think "Man, you looked good then!" So why was I sporting this long, silver/brown blend of fluffy hair that was usually twisted up and clipped to the back of my head anyway making me look much older than I'm willing to admit I really am. Oh, and I was really getting tired of all the really long hair everywhere that was shedding from my head, especially in the bathtub drain which always left me soaking my feet in the water that would back up in the tub, so...Christmas Eve I grabbed my scissors and after showering and washing my hair pulled it back in a tight pony tail at the base of my scalp, added an extra band, braided it tightly and cut between the bands leaving an intact braid of old-woman hair.....I pinned it to my design wall to dry and it will be sent to Locks of Love (they'll sell it since it's mostly silver-grey). That length of braid is nearly 16" long!! It was down to my waist. My head immediately felt lighter even though it doesn't weigh that much. Part of me misses it, and I still need to shape what's left on my head a little more, especially on the sides which are slightly longer than the back, but with the wave/curl in my hair it doesn't matter much. And if I want it long again, I'll just let it grow! So, here's what I chopped off......

Design Wall Monday

I have been continuing to work on the project in this post, off and on: Magi Christmas Classic. It may become a center medallion in a quilt/wall hanging at some future date.

Aside from that, there's nothing 'new' on the design wall, well, not of a quilting nature anyway, lol (I'll place that as a separate post). I need to practice committing to this weekly post, which means I also need to commit to getting some quilting and piecing done each week. Especially since I committed to the 2012 UFO challenge. Between these two objectives, I hope to get a lot done in 2012 and have some real quilty images to show.'s a BIG word!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wk 52 Stash Report

Used this Week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 0 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 119.25 *yards
Net Used for 2011: -119.25 *yards

OK, this is the final tally for this year, not so impressive, but I have to clarify the fabric added (and net used) for the year. Only 16.41 yards were actually purchased, the remaining 102.84 yards were given to me and are more-or-less set aside for missionary quilt projects. It's my option to use as I choose. I also have some other m.q. fabric that hasn't yet been tallied, but it was acquired years ago so 'doesn't count' lol. I'm also not counting as used, the fabric in the Storm At Sea project I worked on as it wasn't counted as fabric 'in' either.

I hope 2012 is more productive, especially since I've joined the UFO Challenge too.

Thank you to Judy for hosting these activities, she's been a blessing in so many ways as I've mostly read along at her blog (Patchwork Times),

May 2012 be a joyous, prosperous, and productive year for us all!

Merry Christmas

Praying everyone has a Merry Christmas.
Praying everyone remains safe.
Praying everyone has love and someone to love and be loved by...even if it's only a furry four-footed creature :)
Praying you know, or will know the Saviour's love for you.
Praying His joy will fill your life.
Blessings to all...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yummy Bean Recipe

I discovered the Duggar family's website a couple days ago. You may know the name because they're the Christian family with 19 kids, and Michelle was expecting again but miscarried recently, and they have a tv show. She has some of their favorite recipes on their site and the one called Old Settlers' Baked Beans jumped out at me, so I tried this recipe yesterday. It was so good, I ate too much. And then I had the last small bowl of leftovers for lunch today. And I want to make some more...soon!

I didn't have all the specific ingredients, but I don't think my substitutions changed the flavor that much. In lieu of the Pork 'n Beans and the kidney beans, I used two cans of navy beans. And, because I know the P'nBs are already seasoned in a sauce, I didn't measure the other ingredients precisely and instead added a little extra of everything. Oh, and I remembered my mom would add molasses when she made baked beans when I was growing up so I checked my cupboard, and had just a little molasses left, maybe 1/3 cup, so added it. When I was making it, I cooked my bacon first, as I just don't like the texture of the fat on bacon so wanted to make sure it was more better done! and added the onions for a bit even before I added the ground beef.

This is definitely a keeper recipe. And so EASY. I remember having homemade baked beans quite often as a child, and always loved them but could never get them quite right even following my mom's directions. I think adding some finely diced red bell peppers, maybe a dash of vinegar or some smoke flavor could be some nice variables.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I Had a Visit From Family !

Family doesn't visit me very often. I live a long way away. Like 900+ miles from my closest family. Well, actually there are some 2nd cousins an hour away but we've never been in the habit of getting together except at our reunions which are held every three years. This past week though, my middle brother (#4 child of my mother) stopped in for an overnight visit. His original plan was not to come this far south but mountainous weather issues forced him to take the 'safe', albeit longer, route so I got to visit with him briefly for the first time since early summer '10.

Then I got a message, lol, through one of the game chats (which I hadn't looked at in 3 days) at the social network saying my cousin, his wife, m-i-l & son were at the happiest place on earth, and would we like to have dinner with them on Friday. It took them about 2.5 hrs to get here once they left there, so it was truly brief. They spent maybe only 20 minutes at the house and then maybe an hour and a half out at dinner. We have a favorite Mexican food restaurant that's close so that's where we went. What a treat. MY home. And two family visits in one week! So awesome.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh, it's Wednesday

So Marty left for work this morning as usual around 5:30. I get up about an hour later, take my shower and as I get dressed I hear doors closing downstairs; nope, it wasn't Nick up yet, so I hesitantly go down the stairs and all kinds of weird things are flying through my head, such as someone has broken in and needed the bathroom or was looking for drugs or something, or Marty lost his job, you know how it goes. He comes out, thankfully it was him, and he'd had to drive all the way home (about a 45 mile round trip) because he forgot his work laptop this morning. Then he had to drive all the way back to work in the height of rush hour traffic. Did I tell you that on Friday it took him three hours to get home? Two hours of that was on a single half-mile stretch between the office and the freeway...for no obvious reason...but there was no way to escape once you got stuck.

So I really will not complain about my morning and Nick's one, and only one, class for the day because of finals, and that I tried really, really hard not to lose my sanctification with traffic, stopping at the bank, the post office (remember the phrase about going postal?), nor the grocery store, nor that Nick decided he wanted to spend the afternoon with a friend that lives about 10 miles away. Instead, I'll just sigh really loudly and enjoy this:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Where have I been since Friday?

Here. Just puttering. Without much to say. It's like that sometimes. Saturday was busy with making a dessert for our annual church fellowship group's Christmas dinner. The meal is 'catered' by one of the classes members and volunteers and served buffet style. We had ham, roast beef, mac & cheese, mixed veg and salad. Desserts were 'pot luck' or 'divine providence'. Regardless of your preferred definition, they were sinfully delicious, and abundant, and hugely varied. The dessert I made was an Arabic cake, taught to me by a former co-worker back around 1980. Her husband was Arabic. The cake is called Harisi, and is made from butter, sugar, yogurt, and farina predominately. Before it's baked, it's cut into diamond shapes and a blanched almond half is pressed into each diamond. After it's baked, it's cut again along the same lines and a sugar, honey, water syrup is poured over it to soak in over an hour or so. It presented nicely, but for whatever reason, it seems only a few pieces were eaten and I have two foil pans remaining in my frig. Oh well.

Sunday was of course church, and I don't know that anything else was done. I worked some on the embroidery project I wrote about here. Monday was my PT appointment early afternoon, which cut into my day more than if it were earlier. In the evening I again worked on the embroidery project while I was waiting the arrival of my brother Eugene. He's been working at a huge oil refinery (he was a welder until he had an industrial accident, was retrained, and is now a QC inspector of welds) in Texas and was just laid off (but has no doubts he'll find work when he goes back) and was on his way to his son and dau-in-laws about 6 hours from here before heading on to the Pacific NW. It was a good time for him to take a couple weeks to travel. His girlfriend is there as her father just passed away. He got in around 8:30 last night and left shortly after noon today. Just a quick howdy ... that's kinda how my family is, lol, even after not seeing him in a year and a half! Originally he wasn't going to come this direction (this far south) but due to a winter storm putting snow in the mountains, he opted for the longer route. He didn't want to put money into snow tires or chains if he didn't need to, but I wonder what the extra cost in gas, and time, was. Regardless, I was glad to have a short time visit. We never know when those next times will be.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fina-Lee Friday

  • I've heard, but haven't yet researched, that our president(?) is trying to put in a bill (or has?) to add a 15 cent tax on Christmas trees to "improve the image of Christmas trees". Does the Christmas tree have a bad image? I wasn't aware.
  • A couple weeks ago I saw a car carrier with nice new police cars on it. They were "Lexington Police" cars. Hmmm, were they headed to Kentucky but took a detour to the southwest? Maybe they were painted here? There is a Lexington in California, so maybe they were headed there. Or maybe they were taking a tour like the DC Christmas tree that took a month to get to DC.
  • I wonder if some of the driver's I see have ever read the driver's handbook. Have I wondered that out loud before? Specifically wondering about the guy that stopped in the middle of the three lanes of traffic because of the emergency vehicle that was going the opposite direction on the other side of a curbed and tree-filled median.
  • And the other driver that couldn't decide if he wanted to turn into a driveway or not and held up traffic while he contemplated the notion.
  • Or the dudette walking in the parking lot that didn't have the sense to move aside to let the cars drive where cars drive, I wondered about her. Of course, she's a pedestrian, and I'm not aware of a walker's manual, but think there should be one...also one for bike riders - they should be licensed!!
  • Why did the city put in a fully functioning traffic light on a street at an intersection where the cross street hasn't been constructed? Is that an example of the cart before the horse? Or an attempt to slow traffic in a posted 55 mph zone?
  • Marty let me know last night because of some areas he needs to learn at with his job that he'll no longer be telecommuting on Friday. Bad for him, good for me. He has to endure Friday traffic, I have a 5th day to do what I do with my days in 'my' domain without interference-even if it's only in my mind. What will we do when he retires? I suppose I'm a bit 'selfish' in my territory.
  • My sweet baby girl called yesterday inquiring as to our Christmas list. The whole gift area of Christmas is a struggle for me. It used to be because of lack of funds. But now it's more that there's nothing I really need and my big want is the kitchen remodel and a couple quilting-related very pricey items (like cabinet/table for my machine); same with Marty-doesn't need anything but maybe would like a 4WD vehicle for his photog outings (his car has >150K miles on it); Nick has a list...mostly things with a high price tag, too! The grandbaby's easy - toys, outfit at this age, but my daughter and son-in-law...that's the hard part. And I'm running out of time!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Turkish Delight

I've never had Turkish Delight before but in a store I was in today, they have some great ethnic foods, I thought I'd try. After all, wasn't it Edmond's favorite in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe? There were so many different brands, with different flavors, and some with pistachios, and some with walnuts. Too many choices tax my brain, give me only a few and I can choose easily, give dozens and I'll stand there for 15 minutes trying to decide. Finally opted for "traditional Turkish Delight" and gladly hastened to open it when I got home. Oh my, yes it is delish. But I think I would buy a different flavor next time. The 'traditional' is flavored as, and strongly tastes of, roses! What you taste, is how roses smell, which can be almost overpoweringly perfumy. And they're coated with powdered sugar, or maybe it's cornstarch. The rose taste lasts a long time afterward too. It won't stop me from finishing the box, as I said, it IS delicious. I'm not sure Marty or Nick will like it though, in fact, I'm pretty sure they won't because it does seem perfumy on the taste buds. Have you ever tried this ... candy?

#027 Jack-In-The-Pulpit

In October of 2008, a quilting friend and I were approached by another lady, a non-quilter, in our church fellowship group with the idea of making a quilt for our pastor's wife. The quilt would reflect upon our pastor in that it was in honor of his 40th(?) anniversary at the church, and that his name is John, which is in some circles (as with his father) nicknamed Jack. The block the lady had learned about and wanted, was the Jack-In-The-Pulpit block. The celebration she wanted it ready for was in February of 2009.

So the three of us headed out to a quilt store to choose the fabrics. All we knew, was that their house had some dark woods and blue (vaguely stated as being somewhat teal) walls & carpet and was not at all 'girly' in decor. Other than the block sample, we had no specific pattern so we brainstormed and came up with a rough idea of what might look good and the approximate size and truly guesstimated on how much fabric was needed. In addition, we were going to make a table runner - without knowing the size of their table. The lady fronted all the materials cost, but the labor would be strictly volunteer.

I felt very confident in doing the machine piecing but have never hand-quilted and am not proficient in my machine quilting. No problem. My other friend preferred hand-quilting to piecing and also was not proficient in machine quilting. So we had the perfect team of three, and all three of easily reached an agreement on the fabric choices. We knew the Holy Spirit was with us in that endeavor. When can three women really agree whole-heartedly on anything in a short amount of time, except maybe with chocolate.

I cut out some pieces for the size of blocks we wanted in the various fabrics and met with my friend to come to an agreement on which looked best. These are some layouts of the pieces and the placements we tried. We knew we wanted the multi-color fern in the center, and the blue fabric as the sides, and the tan as the background.

The up-in-the-air choices were the reds and the greens. We liked the red as the triangle. We didn't like the green anywhere and opted not to use it at all, not even as a border.

And we went simply with a straight line set of rows set off with the dark brown sashing, a skinny blue border and repeated the center block fabric in the outer border. We bound it using the dark brown fabric, except with the table runner.

For the table runner, we set the blocks on point and used large setting triangles in lieu of borders and then bound with the center square fabric. And I believe we used the same fern fabric as the backing on both pieces. We had another lady that I knew from the missionary quilts activities do a special label on one of her embroidery machines. It was an honor for us to do this for our pastor and they thanked by having Mrs. (Pastor) invite us to their home for lunch one day where we "re"presented the quilts to her. She was thrilled with them, and the colors were nearly perfect. Her table is bigger than mine which is in the image below, so it doesn't go over the edges, but makes a nice center type table runner on which to have a centerpiece and/or candles.

Well, it's Wednesday

The wrist update: 4 more weeks of PT and then a cortisone shot if it's still not pain-free...and still the possibility of 'surgery' in the future. (Arthroscopic)

I've been to four stores and cannot find whole (or halved) blanched almonds, may have to blanch them myself.

I enjoy country music - I was raised on it...but somehow White Christmas just isn't right sung with a country twang.

Marty has a 'mini-conference' at work that doesn't start until around 7:00 p.m. so he won't be home until late. The good news, I don't have to fix dinner ;)

Monday, December 5, 2011

In The Garden

And around here 'garden' is said very loosely. We don't 'garden' other than a pot of volunteer tomatoes and Marty's all-but-two-years fruitless grape vines (and it's over 15 yrs old), and some bulbs that have never been dug up since being planting over 10 yrs ago...they haven't multiplied much. Here's a sampling from those bulbs, a pretty white, and oh-so-fragrant, narcissus paper white. It's the first to bloom for this season. It always surprises me that these bloom in December. I guess I just expect them to be a spring flower. I picked the first one and placed it in a small bud vase on the sill above my sink. All the little buds have opened now, there's about seven of them. And don't tell my mom that I haven't planted the bag of mixed bulbs she sent home with me that she dug up from hers that DO multiply. I think they're supposed to be in the ground by the end of October. Two years ago she sent some home with me after my summer trip to the north land and they didn't get potted up until January...and they still produced some pretty flowers: some light yellow slightly ruffly tulips, some miniature daffodils, and yellow hyacinths. Most didn't come back the second year...the squirrels seemed to like the young bulbs!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Refreshment

Pastor John was back today. We have such great teachers at our church and Pastor John was gone a lot during the summer with commitments to other churches and conferences, was then back but intermittently gone including last Sunday. He's pastored our church for 45 years. He's exposited the entire New Testament verse by verse during that time. He's presently teaching on the Holy Spirit with a series entitled "The Modern Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit". He gave part 6 today! Our fellowship group's pastor has been teaching on the atonement, it was part 4. Can I say our pastors dig deep? And for that, our congregation and others are truly blessed.

On the first Sunday in December we always have The Master's College Chorale and Orchestra present the music worship. It's always superb. Some of their music can be heard here (hehe, I first typed: hear!)

And on the way to and from church we listened to a Casting Crowns Christmas CD which has I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day , a remake of the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and it's traditionally rendered tune. Here's the story behind the original poem. I totally love this new version and it brings tears to my eyes when I listen to it, and forget about trying to recite the poem. I'm not sure what generates my tears, but they just come; perhaps from the despair of wars, perhaps the despair of knowing the real war is a Spiritual one for the very hearts of man; perhaps knowing that the road to Heaven is narrow yet wide is the gate that leads to eternal damnation and separation from our loving Father.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Quilt #015 Paper Pieced Feathered Star

Having grown up on a ranch in the Northwest, I'm still drawn to things that bring to mind ranch life and earth-tone colors. This is a bit along those lines though probably more Indian in nature. (Native American if you prefer to be politically correct.)

Here is a close-up of the border geese. On the ranch flocks of geese were often seen, and heard, on their migratory trips both in the fall and again in the spring.

This close up is of the center medallion of the Feathered Star. Paper piecing makes things look nice, especially when they're small as this is (quilt measures approximately 34" square non-bound and non-quilted) .

I found that I'm not a huge fan of paper-piecing although I'm not opposed to doing more of it. It just isn't high on the list of future projects. For me it was tedious.

This is how the entire pieced top looks. I really like the feathers in the fabrics, but am not ecstatic about the solid rust color I found for the setting triangles. I felt the color was just a tad off and isn't bad but I couldn't find exactly what I had in my mind's eye; maybe once it's quilted I'll be more in love with it.

It does bounce nicely off some of the geese though. Still haven't decided how I want to quilt it and would need to practice whatever quilting design that might be. I've thought of feathers in the setting triangles. I love the center, especially the dark brown print (it's not solid but reads as though it were) which sets it off nicely, and the scrappy geese, I like the colors I found for them and think they all worked well.

The pattern on the light background fabric almost gives the impression that that area is already quilted. It isn't. This will most likely be one of the 12 to finish in 2012.

The pattern was a tiny little packet of paper and directions folded and stuffed in a little plastic bag, called Little Bits - Feathered Star by Cindi Edgerton.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fina-Lee Friday

Really? It's Friday again? Well, I'm just not ready for that! I really think God has sped up the passage of time because it seems everyday gets less and less accomplished...and don't think He couldn't make it appear that time was passing the same on all those scientific measuring devices...after all, He created the universe and all that is in it and beyond!

  • New kitty this week. See post of a couple days ago. She had her first vet visit yesterday. She's such a good little kitty. She sure has funny little eyes, slightly I hope no other Siamese traits appear. She's settling in nicely. Her favorite sleeping place: the half full paper grocery bag with fabric/thread trimmings - cozy and warm.
  • Nick discovered he can make a 'pie crust tongue'. Yeah, that's what I said, "Huh?" No need to Google, you won't find it. But he can roll his tongue, and at the same time make the tongue's side muscles pull in to where it looks like a 'pie crust' of sorts. It looks kinda weird, like really weird, so I won't post of photo of it. Nor will I say what an unregenerate relative inferred it looked like. He certainly was created remarkably unique.
  • I'm still inclined to post my traffic rants, but after 3 days of very dry, and very strong winds in our community and the surrounding areas, I can add a whole lot more to the list. Dry winds rank right up there with full moons when it comes to seemingly senseless things that drivers do...or don't do.
  • I was watching an episode of Family Feud the other day. One of the questions was "Which of the 10 commandments have you broken this month?" The top answer was ... ready?... ONE! Really? only one, in an entire month? I really suspect the the 100 people polled likely couldn't name the 10 commandments and maybe they only know one or two. I think more folks need to be opening their Bibles a little more often!
  • Hmmm, I think there are far too many projects on my desk: embroidery, quilting fabric-books-magazines, genealogy folders, recipe/menu folders...yep, need to do some de-cluttering.
  • Wrist physical therapy has done about as much good as it's going to do. One more appointment and then the appointment with the doctor for assessment. I could 'live' with the way it is now, but sure I hope this isn't as good as it's going to get. Certain movement will still warrant a small yelp.
  • Having golfed in my younger, healthier years, I think I can say I know how Tiger feels when that putt goes right to the edge of the cup....and stops...right - on - the - edge. You want a strong breeze or ground tremor to knock it over the lip. That one point in scoring can win or lose a game. Of course, his feelings take into account the fame and fortune of the game, or the loss thereof, where mine was just for self-satisfaction...I wasn't that great by any means but did enjoy it and the competition with my other lady friends.

Quilt #010 UFO Dragonfly

Started 8 April 2003. I just love this dragonfly yellow, green and lavender fabric. Our guest room is yellow. This quilt is for our guest room. The theme in the room grew to become dragonflies (or is it damsel flies?) with green and lavender accents. It started with a mosaic plant stand that had a dragonfly on it. Other items were added over time.

The top is finished. I had trouble finding just the right lavender shades and wasn't overjoyed with the lightest one I used once it was altogether. I had begun with a different one and it was definitely NOT right, but I just couldn't find what I wanted at the time. I think it's too pale a lavender and because of the placement in the blocks, looks too wide overall. I think it might have been better in the place of the medium lavender.

The butterfly fabric is for the backing, and the binding is a dark yellow that I placed under the border to preview. It will be quilted with the variegated thread shown...hmmm, I wonder if there's enough on one spool that size? I may need to locate more. Does my inexperience show? I purchased a dragonfly plastic template that fits perfectly in the blocks for the quilting motif and beyond that...I haven't given it thought yet.

The pattern for this was found in The Quilter Magazine, Sept. 2002 under the design name of Country Charms. I altered the pattern by adding the narrow (1" finished) yellow inner border.

I will be including this quilt in the 2012 UFO WILL get finished; I am determined.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Banana Bread

Everyone loves banana bread, don't they? I adapted this recipe from one published by Gourmet magazine back in the late '70s. I like my banana bread to taste like it has bananas in it. Thus my sequential photos of when the bananas are just right: the first - not even close.

nope, still not ready.

OK, this is close enough. (Any further and I'll probably lose my readers, lol. )
The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups banana puree and I'm sure I'm a little short, but it'll be as it will be this time.

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Then measure out 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar.

Grab two eggs.

Measure out 1/2 cup water to which you've added 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Next, into a sieve (or flour sifter) measure 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 Tablespoons buttermilk powder. (I think the original recipe called for 1/2 cup buttermilk, so if you prefer that, then omit the 1/2 c. water and the 2 T. buttermilk powder.) Sift and then stir this all together and set aside.

OK, now we're ready to roll. Grab a stick of butter (should be softened, or at least at room temp) and a stick is 1/4 pound, or 4 ounces, or 1/2 cup - whichever you're accustomed to calling it. Cream the butter with the sugar.

I'm impatient, and I'm glad I don't have to use a wooden spoon like in 'them thar olden days' so I use my electric mixer. And I probably don't cream it sufficiently to please a master baker. I still have a somewhat grainy texture, not a smooth and cream-y texture...doesn't bother me.
Once you've creamed the butter and sugar, take those bananas out of their peels and mash them in a bowl, they don't have to be pretty, they'll get mixed in with that electric mixer.

Don't those super-ripe bananas look great...they have so much flavor, and sugar content at this point...and almost an alcohol fragrance.

Mix them up real good... er...'well' Nick would correct my grammar ;)

Then, add your eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Once the eggs have been incorporated, start adding your flour alternately with your liquid (either the water & vanilla, or the buttermilk)...

beginning with the flour and ending with the flour. I usually add about 1/3 of the flour, then 1/2 the liquid, the next 1/3 of the flour, the last of the liquid, then the last of the flour.

Mix until the flour is incorporated - no dry clumps.
At this point, if you like nuts in your banana bread, they can be added. 1/2 c. chopped walnuts. Nick is allergic to peanuts so avoids all nuts and I don't really like nuts in my banana bread so I leave them out, most of the time. If I'm making two, I'll add them to one because Marty likes it with nuts.

ummmm, it already smells like banana bread...

Pour the batter into a buttered and floured 12" x 4 1/2" x 3" loaf pan. If you don't have one like this, I'm sure a regular bread pan will work just fine.

Spread the batter so that it's fairly even across the length of the pan.

Place in preheated oven for 1 hour, yes, that long, that's a full 60 minutes ... test with a cake tester to assure doneness, sometimes it takes a little longer.

When tester comes out clean, turn oven off, open door and leave the bread in the oven for 10 minutes. Please ignore that dirty oven.

Remove from oven, place on cooling rack leaving bread in the pan for another 10 minutes.

Turn out onto rack to cool completely....

or, if you're as impatient as I am after an hour and a half of smelling this yummy deliciousness, then slice off a piece or two and smear my other favorite food onto it...yes, butter is food.

Side note: I had so much trouble with getting this to structure right. I sure wish that the way I'm typing and adding photos looked the same after I post as it does when I'm doing it, which is complicated enough!...and that while I'm trying to compose that the photos wouldn't disappear (or were easily recovered if they do) when I backspace one too many times or in the wrong spot. I think I need a Blogger For Dummies book :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Childhood Barn

The stories this barn could tell. I don't know when it was built, and it is now completely gone. This is probably the last picture ever taken of it, and taken from the road with a zoom lens. My childhood was spent knowing this barn very well. Hay was stored in it. The cow was milked in it. The barn cats were attempted to be tamed in it. The horses and cattle found shelter and were fed under it's wings. Hay was carried and dropped from an upper gangway into the feeding racks. The dirt and manure under the wings was hard and dry in the summer and soaked and sloppy in the boots were well-acquainted! Forts were built amongst the hay bales. It was an escape place when there was anger or frustration. It was down the hill from the house (house was to the left). There was a pole light between the house and the barn. How many times, in the mud and slop, did I slip down that hill and land on my behind in the wet goo? How many times did I struggle to get my boot out of the sucking mud and manure. How pretty was it when the snow fell on it and the surrounding hillsides and trees. Wonderful memories, now only just that...memories. Michelle posted about a barn, that's what prompted this memory. (She referenced this site.) Her post also shows mossy oaks, which we had in as well. We had a huge one on the house side of the pasture fence. It's now gone too, a casualty of snow and ice in recent years. And the house, it's also gone, casualty of a fire on Valentine's day back in the '80s making it all the more, just a memory.

New Addition

We have a new addition to our family. She looks to be between 6 - 8 weeks old. A neighbor brought her over last night and said he'd found her about a week ago when she ran across a road in front of him. She's very sweet. I, personally, don't think she has the prettiest eyes - to me they look crossed (Lord, may she NOT be part Siamese!), but she has the cutest little muzzle and facial markings. Nick wants to name her Raven. I called her Pipsqueak. She may learn to be just "Kitty". Whether she remains or not still isn't definite...she needs a healthcheck at the vets. I noticed she has a lump (maybe swollen glands?) under her left ear/chin area. Fanner is not happy, she hisses - even at us now. And that's where it's a hard thing...I wasn't ready to adopt a new kitty yet, not with knowing we'll likely be putting her down soon. She (Fanner) was in and out of the litter box today and seeming to strain with no result. And the poor thing can't tell us that she's in pain or not. I did give her one of the six pain doses we have, but I couldn't tell any difference even hours later other than she did finally go to sleep. But then she had a seizure so she's pacing all over the house and hissing even more, and she ate over half a can of food - that's normal post-seizure and she'll stay hissy and agitated for at least 8 hours. Sometimes I think we should have taken care of this nasty decision months ago ... before Nick's birthday, before the holidays. It'll be very hard to not have this cat with us anymore. We have loved her probably more than any other cat we, or I, have ever had. And one, Aja, I had for 16 yrs before she was attacked by a pack of rogue dogs and had to be euthanized. Aja was special to me too, she was probably only 4 - 5 wks old when I got her...on the way to the pound...and could barely drink milk from a bowl on her own.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Magazine, Needlepoint , and the Magi

This magazine was in my mailbox today :)

It has some lovely stuff in it: a 3-part mystery quilt (my subscription expires with the next issue so if I were to do it, I'd have to remember to go buy the last issue), a lesson on tying a machine!, a pretty batiks pattern (not my thing, but it is pretty and could be done in other colors/fabrics), a very nice log cabin, an article on color balancing, a valentine's wall art quilt, a blue and cream 'leaf' tessellation quilt (oooh, aaahhh I want to do it), and a whole bunch of other projects :) This magazine is probably in my top three, maybe top two. My favorite-est quilting magazine is The Quilter Magazine.

Many, many years ago, when Victoria was just a little girl in the early 1980s, I thought I'd try working part time as an in-home craft demonstrator/salesperson for Artcraft Concepts. I think I lasted about a year. I found, as maybe others did, that as a 'consultant' I turned most of my profits back to the company by purchasing more and more kits. And it didn't help, that about the time you'd finish making a kit up for demo purposes, the company would discontinue that kit and come out with a new one. Sure, I got them at a deeply-discounted rate from retail, but I still had to make the kit before I could display the product! As far as the kits themselves, I loved them. They were great quality and the company was great at sending out additional yarn or thread or whatever if you didn't have sufficient for whatever reason. I made one of their latch-hook rug kits - a snowy scene that I still use as a cover on an ottoman...even when it isn't winter or Christmas. I was in the midst of a divorce toward the end, and gave up on trying to do this as a business and went to work for a big aerospace firm with a steady income.

This project (below) is called "Magi Christmas Classic". It was first published as a kit in 1978. I bought mine (as a special discontinued offering) in 1983. I didn't begin working on it until Jan. 2006. Until recently I'd been keeping it in the door pocket of my car to work on while I waited for Nick to get out of school and while sitting in the car pick-up line. I don't have to wait in that line anymore, and I get to the school only a few minutes before he's out so thus have no time to work on this there. I decided I'd take it out and work on it while I watch television.

This is the floss that came with the project. I cut slits in a piece of cardboard and numbered them accordingly.

Obviously, this is the color key for the floss, and the color placement chart for the printed fabric. I highlight as I go, it makes it easier.

The project measures 14"x14" finished. What you see in the hoop (an 8" hoop) is all that was done at the time of this photo. Since then, I have done the upper portion of the robe on the one to the left of this one. It's done in the purple, and is a stem stitch, which is the main stitch used on the characters. I don't think it'll be finished for this Christmas, and then what I'll do with it when it's done has yet to be decided. It was intended to be a framed wall art, but as with a couple other Artcraft projects I did, I may intend to put it as a medallion in a wall quilt and/or table topper.

Did you know that "three" wise men (Magi) is not in Scripture? It's true. There is only the mention of "wise men from the east bringing gold, frankincense and myrrh", and from those three gifts came the errant notion of 3 wise men. There may have only been two, but then again, there may have been six or eight and yes, the possibility of only 3 is still there too. Truth is, we aren't told. And Scripture certainly didn't tell us their names. I'm not sure where the names came from. Regardless of how many or few, it's most likely also that they traveled in a large caravan and maybe not even on camels but swift horses. The route they likely would have taken would have been dangerous with robbers, and carrying an amount of gold - tempting to say the least. Unless one has read and studied Scripture and really paid attention to it, one would blindly go on believing many of the songs composed (with a LOT of error) right along with greeting card depictions of those same errors. Another error is the nativity where we often see the wise men on bended knee with their gifts at the manger. Nope. They weren't there. They likely hadn't even embarked on their journey until after He was born and the saw the star to guide them. Herod met with the magi to determine when Christ would have been born...the magi went to "a house" (not a stable) so the family was already 'home' ...Herod wanted to destroy the Child and thus his order to kill all the male children in and around Bethlehem from two years and younger (Jesus may have been as old as 2 by the time this all happened - remember, Herod inquired of the Magi as to when the Christ was born - Herod issued this order after discovering the wise men learned from God Herod's scheme to kill the Child, which had been removed to Egypt with Mary and Joseph for protection. In Scripture at this point He is referred to as "Child" not "Infant" thus also attributing that He was older than a newborn baby. Isn't Scripture interesting if you dig deep into it? It's fascinating how God's plan unfolds from the first verse in Genesis to the last verse in Revelation.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...