Friday, February 27, 2009

Settling In...

Thursday was a beautiful warm day here and as much as I enjoyed it I'm not sure our dogs enjoyed the near 90 temps.  There is a nice path through the complex here and it's long enough without being too long for them with a scattering of grassy areas and even a nice area about midway through with some stone benches.  I hope to utilize that for some outdoor time with them each day when housekeeping comes through the room.  I figure I need to spend a couple days here at the hotel with them to get settled in before I make plans to leave them for part of the day to go visit my family. 

I hauled some laundry up to the second floor 'guest laundry room' yesterday.  Split things into lights and darks to wash but threw them all in the dryer to finish up - did a quick fold and left The Engineers stuff on the bed to put away.  So last night he holds up the stack of boxers and says... who's is this? 

boxers 003 I thought he was fooling around... "well I wouldn't bring my boyfriends boxers with me" I say... and he picks up the questionable pair and says... "these aren't mine... they aren't even the right size".  LOL  Oh... well... they must have been left in the washer or dryer... LOL  They are now on the folding table up there... but I'm figuring some guy went home 1 pair short... LOL  I'll look in the machines before I use them from now on.

I looked in the phone book... the huge Dallas Area phone book... and there are 2 knitting shops listed - 2... just 2.  How's that possible?  LOL  Maybe I'll run out and check out one of them later this afternoon.  Or I could take another nap... hhhmmm? what to do?  LOL

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Travel Journal Day 3...

We arrived Wednesday afternoon none the worse for wear... except for being a bit hot... yep it was in the 70's yesterday when we got to Dallas and today's suppose to be up closer to 90.  As we drove through the day I kept turning the heat to a little cooler temp and finally had to switch it to AC.  Everyone keeps telling me it's going to get cold again over the weekend... down to 50... LOL - like 50's gonna feel cold! 

We left TN about 7:00 am and arrived here at the hotel at 5:00 pm.  It's fun to drive south and watch the change from late winter to early spring.  I'm going to enjoy being here over the next several weeks... watching spring emerge.  The hotel has pansies planted around... I love pansies!

And a funny from yesterdays trip...

On the radio - a buy one get one free Ad!  Now when you think BOGO you usually think shoes, or meals, or sweaters... but did you ever think body parts?  Yep - if you buy a 'laser treatment' you get a free laser treatment for another body part?!  Really... underarms, bikini, etc.  - and they have all sorts of 'package deals'.  Buy one, Get one free... LOL  Who knew!?

Oh and I feel a little like a dork... Seems 70 MPH is fairly standard as it was not only posted in TN, but in Arkansas and Texas!  I haven't done a road trip out here since the early 90's.  Who knew?

And the sky... yep it's here just like I remember it.  As the land flattened and the sky filled in the gaps left by the mountains and rolling hills - I wondered how glorious it must be in Montana where they boast about it being 'Big Sky Country'.  Some day I'll have to head out there and take a peek.  In the mean time I'm enjoying the flat land and open sky...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Travel Journal Day 2...

I am happy to report that it's pretty easy to travel with older dogs who don't mind napping all day!  LOL  I made sure that they had plenty of room in the car and they seem to be happy campers.

My only problem is getting the older one in and out of the car.  She has problems with her shoulders and hips and can't jump up or down... think crash landing!  Poor girl - and she hates it when I pick her up to move her up or down.  When I get to TX I'm going to have to shop for a ramp... another thing that didn't get done because I left early.

I had a nice travel day today and boy do I love driving in Tennessee!  Gotta love their 70 miles per hour speed limit!

I laughed all day thinking about the sign for  "Frozen Head State Park".  Such a silly name!

Well I've got to go take the girls out one last time... then I'm climbing in my jammies and will probably knit for awhile to numb my brain up a bit.

Tomorrow... Texas here we come!

Travel Journal... Day 1

Well Day 1 was fast and furious and in the end I had no Internet access that night...

I got the dogs groomed early Monday morning, had the oil changed in my car and had the state inspection done - it would be due in March... and I won't be there... so I'm early this time.  (Truth be told I've never been early - I've always been a month late - shhh don't tell - cuz it adds up over time!  I lived in MA 26 years... I figure I got 2 free years.)

Anyhoo... after packing up I finally left home at 3:30... about 2 hours after I had wanted but that's just how it worked out.  My house is a wreck... you see in deciding last minute to leave early in the week - I shortchanged my 'clean my house' time.  But you know... I'm in no danger of any of that dust or clutter going anywhere... and those clean sheets I didn't fold aren't libel to jump into the linen closet nor will that basket of folded towels or clothes put them selves away.  I take comfort in knowing they will be there waiting for me.  I have a very patient house.  At least I got everything washed.  But boy did I make clutter as I packed and then when I figured out that there wasn't enough room to take my sewing machine and sewing stuff with me... I just took it all back into the house and left it in the dining room.  No way was I hauling that crap my stuff my treasured belongings back to the third floor - it was bad enough I hauled it all out to the car and tried to make it fit.  Mercy me it was some kind of cold - the wind was howling on Monday - 13 degrees with the wind chill..... Bbbbrrrrrr!  Not a good day to be packing a car.

Day one ended late but the dogs had traveled well, the weather was good and the traffic for the most part was light.

Oh and just a note to that little silver car that cut in front of me right at the ramp getting on the turnpike... did you tell that State Police officer you were just in a hurry??  I saw you talking to him down the road... I waved - but I don't think you saw me... LOL

And to that VA State Police officer sitting just shy of my final exit last night... I'm glad you weren't looking for folks going 6 miles over the limit right then.  I was just passing that stupid little car that was holding me and a ton of trucks behind me hostage in the fast lane at 59 miles an hour up hill and down hill and.... well you probably couldn't have pulled out anyway with the conga line of trucks I was leading past that little pokie car!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Stashbusting #8 - A Confession...

It is a good thing Judy L doesn't give out demerits for failures in Stashbusting...  I seem to be more about the stash and less about the busting these days.week8

I took my sister Darlin' shopping down on Rt. 340 earlier this week... and here is what came home with me.  5.25 yards of...

Florals 002


One shop I went in had 5 FQ's for $5.00 - so I picked out 5 of those.  Then the 1/2 yard cuts were 10% off of the $2.59 they were marked... so 4 yards worth of those came home with me.  I've got plans... really I do!  But I still called these "Bad Girl Florals" in my spreadsheet.  I'm working on a couple things... you can almost smell the smoke I've been thinking so hard. LOL

I was good after that - I only picked up a nickel pack of hill country springModa's 'Hill Country Spring.... ooo ooo pretty stuff.  I just love floral's - especially if they have bluebonnets.

I'm on my way to Texas next week... and since I usually pick up some western prints or bluebonnet / wildflower prints when I go home.... I'll just have to keep my eyes open for these lovely fabrics.

One of the things I hope to get accomplished while I'm visiting in Texas is to get a "Challenge" idea worked out... it's been awhile and I think I'm about ready for one!  I've got it named "Take a Number Please" and it will be geared towards using what you have so I should begin making some progress on this Stashbusting Thing!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Quiltathon.... the Packing Edition!

Judy over at Patchwork Times is hosting a Quiltathon this weekend... and I'm participating... sort of...

Can you say Road Trip?

That is what I'm preparing for - instead of sewing this weekend.

I'm going to be leaving this week and heading off to Texas.  The Engineer is going to be working there for a bit and since he's about 1 hour away from my folks - I'm gonna throw the dogs in the car and head out there and join him for a while.

Well I won't actually throw the dogs in the car... they like the car!  Although I've never tried to drive 2 or 3 days with them... we shall see.  My GPS says 24 hours - which I could easily do in 2 days if it was just me... not sure how it will go with the dogs.

Anyway - so instead of sewing this weekend I'm preparing all my stuff to take along with me.  I have 2 projects to take:  one is a long overdue one that requires a lot of hand piecing (exactly why it's long overdue) so it's all ready to go.  Another is the one I've been cutting up floral's for... can't show you yet.... it's a secret!  It occurred to  me that I should just go ahead and cross cut the strips down to the sizes I need then I won't have to drag my big shape cut ruler with me.

So I'm gathering necessary things... my quilting stuff will most likely take longer to pack and occupy more space in the car than my clothes... but I suppose I could mail the clothes...

Souper Saturday... Lobster Anyone?

Cathy over at The Noble Pig posted a Lobster Bisque recipe New Years Eve that you could almost smell it looked so good!  If you haven't check out her blog... you should go.  There is a variety of things going on... she's following her dream to start a vineyard - a process she's sharing on her blog... she shares wine information and doesn't make you feel foolish for not knowing already... she posts wonderful recipes... and is just fun to follow.

I plan to make the Lobster Bisque when my daughter comes to visit.  My plan is that she'll love it and will want to stay for months and months so I can enjoy my grand kids.  I especially want hold and cuddle my new Little Turkey who is actually being Christened this weekend in Hawaii.

And speaking of grand kids... little Miss K called me this week.

Her:  Hi Granny, do you want to hear a knock knock joke?

Me: Sure

Her: Knock, Knock

Me: Who's there

Her: Granny

Me: Granny Who

Her: Granny You Who! HA, Ha, ha, ha, ha....

Gotta love Knock Knock jokes from a 4 year old!  LOL

I later learned from her Mom that they were on a walk and Miss K was driving her nuts just yaking and yaking away and going on and on with silly nonsense jokes... having listened to all she could she suggested that Miss K call Granny!  LOL

Review of Nutrisystem meals:

Zesty Cajun Style Chicken and Sausage with Brown Rice:  This was tasty and I enjoyed it.

Hearty Beef Stew:  Also good enough to satisfy with a bit of my red/black pepper blend & garlic power.  I did also add in some extra beef as I haven't felt like I'm getting enough protein.  I cooked up a lean steak earlier in the week and have been adding in an ounce or two to meals through the week. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mmmm What to Say?

I dunno... I'm having one of those mornings.

One of those mornings where you have tons of things to do that it just seems overwhelming... wait just a sec I gotta get my second cup of coffee....

OK... now I'm good... but I have no idea where the gnat came from that was doing a back stroke in my coffee???  He's now enjoying the lazy river "drain"...

So my sister came out late the other night and we made the mistake had some fun doing a bit of Shop Hopping down to some quilt shops she hadn't visited yet here in Lancaster County.

First on the list was Piece by Piece Quilt Shop in Ephrata... this is the local quilt shop I'll be teaching at.  My sister found some bargains, drooled over the classroom space available and we chatted with Nancy the owner before heading out.

We traveled south to connect with the Old Philadelphia Pike (Rt 340) - starting with Sylvia Petersheim's and ending at Zook's.  I'll make my confession tell you about my purchases on Sunday when I post my Stash Busting report... let's just say... it ain't pretty - well the fabric is... and they were all bargains... and well nevermind... you know!

We also had lunch at a new place that's opened on Rt 340 - DJ's Taste of the 50's.  I told the waitress after we'd finished that lunch was a 'good news - bad news' thing.  The good news was the Doo Wop Burger was the best burger I've had in a very long time... juicy meat, tasty bun.  The Bad News... the homemade chips were served warm, crispy, tasty, yummy in my tummy, I had to eat the whole serving of them good!  And honestly that was bad news... I ate them all... even the little tiny pieces!  I guess in 'Hindsight' that wasn't a good thing... LOL

Today I've got to clean... The Engineer has been traveling and will be back tonight - so all the things I've 'set aside for later'... well - Later has arrived!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hindsight... part 2

In my first Hindsight post a friend asked where the picture was?

After some consideration I decided to post one of the pictures I took that day....

Here Ya Go!

Look down...













hindsight 003

One of the pictures I took that day... I had forgotten to set the timer so it took the picture right away.


Wait just a minute - I never said I'd post a picture of me... I said I'd post a picture I took that day... LOL

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This is probably the reason...

I'm pretty sure this is the reason I don't go poking around on YouTube... I would never get anything done.

I found this at The Daily Knitter while looking for knitting videos.

Who knew this would be an important skill?  LOL

Sit, Heel...

That's what I want to do... sit and finish the heels...

socks 011

I started the heel on the blue sock last night at class.

I have to say... if you know and understand the lingo it makes things so much easier. 

Slip 1, k22, ssk, k1, turn...

...meant nothing to me until I watched another knitter do it.  I had read over it and I was thinking 'turn? turn?? turn what? How? WHERE?'  LOL  The teacher last night said she had someone who was questioning what that meant actually stand and turn around in jest as it meant nothing to her otherwise.  Now I know it means to turn to the back side of what you are working on and knit from that side... yep - I need more lessons!  LOL

socks 013Here is another picture of that other sock & yarn...  pretty colors - I think the other two ladies in the class last night bought some of the yarn too once they saw how it knitted up.  Hmmm - could be knitters are as bad as quilters?

In other news... I started to rearrange and unpack some other boxes that I'd just shoved aside in my studio... Aaauuuugh!

unpacking 002Did you know that the stuff you take out of boxes magically expands to fill all available space...  on all surfaces...  and it starts as soon as you slit the tape. 

Taking this stuff out of the boxes was like watching a clown car empty out... it was never ending! 

unpacking 001 I also moved my fabric bins back up under my big ironing surface as a base.  I tried to collect and consolidated fabric that had been hiding in various drawers.  This is all the stuff that doesn't have a plan.

Ya know what... I have too much... I need to use it.  Those 4 really big bins on the bottom have a variety of things in them - one is flannels (not full but it didn't fit in smaller containers), one is old/odd fabrics, one has misc. quilting supplies and patterns (way too many patterns I've never used), the last has a couple old quilts in it.  All the others are full, FULL of fabric...

Although I did set aside some fabric to get rid of... 3 FQ's.  Yes, that was all I could find that I didn't like... I got them in a swap - what can I say I only buy stuff I really like.  LOL

OK that's my plan today - well in addition to cleaning my house because my sister is coming over later to stay the night.  I have found that now that I live closer to family I have to keep my house cleaner... LOL!  Sad but true!  Although I know she doesn't care...

Oh and remember the Hindsight post a couple days ago... a friend (?friend?) asked where the pictures were?  LOL!  Well I've thought about it and ya know what?  I am going to post one of the pictures I took that day.... so check back tomorrow!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Week 7 Stash Busting

I did add a bit to the stash this week but it is for the border of the Log Cabin 4PSP quilt I finished assembling this week - I do have a couple yards but I was afraid that it wouldn't be enough to make this into a king size quilt.  I'll minus it out later in the year when I actually put the border on.

I'm a bit jazzed about a project I pulled some stuff for last night and cut.  I'll be taking it along on a road trip I'll be making in a couple weeks ( ... more on that another day).  It's a quilt that I made up the pattern for but never actually made myself... but I love it and think it will be a good travel project... but right now it's a secret - so I can't show you!


I posted a progress report yesterday so I won't rehash that here... I'm off to clean up the kitchen, straighten up the house a bit and get everything in order so that I can watch...

The Daytona 500 this afternoon!  Zoom, ZOOM!

YaaaHoooo!  NASCAR is back!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

How about a Hawaiian Vacation?

You know you'd like to go!  Come along with me and it won't cost you a penny... Really!  And there's a Give Away Too!!

My friend Lisa Boyer is giving a tour of her island of Kauai.  (Yes - it really is that Lisa Boyer who wrote "That Dorky Homemade Look" and "Stash Envy".)  She started her tour about a week or so ago but it's easy to catch up  (psssts - you can even go in your jammies... she won't mind).

Make sure you check out her new Hawaiian Post Card quilt... it is stunning!  She's having a little give away on that post that ends in the middle of the week... you don't want to miss it.

Well - I say Lisa's my friend because she really does make you feel like she's your friend when she talks to you on her blog.  I had the pleasure of meeting her in swimmies class2004 when I went to  Honolulu to see my newborn Granddaughter Miss K.  I had signed up for Lisa's 'Swimmies' Class at a Quilt Shop on Oahu where she was a guest instructor.   I was happy to be able to show her the Baby Honu Quilt (adapted from her pattern) that I had just finished for Miss K.   She is a truly delightful person and if you don't already know her... go on over and introduce yourself. 

Baby Honu Turtles


Here is the Baby Honu quilt I made.  Miss K recently showed this  quilt to someone and told them "my granny is a quilter - she made this quilt for me... she's a very good quilter!"   LOL - she could be my agent!



Swimmies collage

Here is the Swimmies Quilt - I'll be finishing this up to give to my New Grandson The Little Turkey...

So go take a little mini-vacation with Lisa... it will be fun!

Progress this week...

It's always nice to be able to draw a line through some items on your UFO list.  This is a quilt I started fairly recently - Oct 08 -  A 4 Patch Stacked Posie with 4 sizes of squares set on point using one of the Posh fabrics and a yellow fusions as background.  As it is it measures 78 x 94.  I still need to add a 3 or 4 inch border of the background fabric - but it's fine for now for display at the shop.

Posh 4PSP 014

I also finished this one that has been around for awhile - another 4 Patch Stacked Posie I started in Jan 07 but only completed 9 of the blocks - enough to use as a sample for classes.

I actually found another 1.5 yards of the Hoffman Vintage Garden floral online and have ordered it...  I'd like to use this on my king size bed - so I'll put on a black border to frame this and then add the floral to make the whole thing big enough.

4PSP Log Cabin 008

4PSP Log Cabin 014 

A fruitful week - considering I'm still tired - but I'm getting better each day.

I also ran into the knitting shop - she had stuff on sale and figured it was a good time to pick something else up.  I bought 2 of the sock weight yarns and smaller double pointed needles to use with the toe up pattern I'm taking a class on.  I started this last night and hope to get this sock knitted up to the heal part over the weekend.

socks 002

On Monday our class continues and we will turn the heal - this denim looking blue DK weight sock is all ready to go back to class.

socks 001

I won't be buying any more sock yarn until I get these done... I figure once I know what I'm doing it will probably go along pretty quickly.  Probably should have taken a beginners class... I laughed inside my head when the shop owner said something about gauge... and I just stood there and smiled because I haven't got a clue... not even a hint. 

I see a beginners class in my future...

Souper Saturday... a review and referral

This week I started 5 weeks of the NutriSystem meals... so I won't be making my own soups for a little while.

But rather than leave you hanging... I thought I'd do two things with my Souper Saturday posts: 

  1. review the soups in the NutriSystem program
  2. send you to some blogs where I've seen some delicious soups... soups that I had been planning to make.

So here's my review of soup items these first 2 days:

Black Bean Tortilla Soup... a lunch item.  Reminded me of my Red Beans and Rice that I made last week - well... without the ham hock, and without the rice.  I would have liked to put a little salt in it... I'll make sure I pick up some onion power as that might have added a little zip.  But it was good with a bit of pepper - so I'll eat it again.

Chili with Beans... a dinner item.  Reminded me of a mild version of a canned chili - again I would have liked to add a bit of salt but it was OK.  I used this to make a Taco Salad with my vegetable items, shredded cheese, and black olives and I enjoyed it all together.

A couple weeks ago Ree over at The Pioneer Woman Cooks posted about her Moms Cauliflower Soup that sounds just yummy.  I have made a lot of broccoli soup over the years but hadn't used cauliflower... and since I have lots of wonderful cauliflower in my freezer from the farmers market this summer... this soup is on my list to make - a little later down the road... but go ahead and make it this weekend and let me know what you think.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Looking back always give us perspective...

Looking AT your back can give you incentive... loose weight.

I decided to take some pics just as a means of documenting my efforts and hopefully any results!  So I put on a pair of stretch pants one of my daughters handed down and a tank top.  First let me clarify something - I DO NOT wear stretch pants outside of the house... I wear them to lay around in when I'm sick or to clean the house in... but never would I go outside in them - Yikes No!  And remember my daughter handed them down to me... not sure why because she weighs less than I do but hey they are stretch pants and so they fit... just like stretch pants fit... ugly.

So I set the timer on the camera - set it on the dresser and did the side facing picture and the front facing picture - nothing new there... I can see those disappointing views daily.  What I hadn't seen before was my 'hindsight'... Good Lord!  That wasn't a pretty sight!

I've got all the motivation I now need to drop some weight...  all because of 'hindsight'.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Considered It...

As I lay there in the early dark of the morning... listening to the wind howl past our stone house... listening  to hear if the recycle bin was spewing it's contents across the backyard...  listening for the sound of the porch chairs... listening as the wind continues on it's way across the country...

I wondered... "If I throw open all the windows and doors would the wind blow all the dust right out of the house?"

And then I giggled - and went back to sleep...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Got that over with...

Since our move here in June of last year I had yet to find a Family Doctor to tend our miscellaneous aging medical issues.  Well I finally stopped putting it off and made an appointment.

Tuesday was my day and it was actually kinda funny.  Since I needed a complete physical and Pap I scheduled to have them both done at the same time - I mean why make two trips. 

The Doc came in apologizing for having to 'meet' under these circumstances -- you know the Pap exam.  I had to laugh because if you remember back in the summer I had a hard time finding a dentist and commented then that a GYN Doc would be easier for me to locate.  I told this guy that and he laughed and agreed that as a new resident himself it was hard to find a dentist.

Do you want to know what was the worst part of the whole visit... stepping up on that scale!  Uuuugh... no that was me not the scale... I didn't like what it said - expected it - but didn't like it one little bit!

Anyway... I've got a fist full of tests to schedule to figure out just where I am in this falling apart aging process.  Blood work, Mammo, bone density and finally a stress test so that I can get off my hiney and focus on some serious exercise to take some of this weight off.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Coffee, Sunshine, Mud and Pepper...

Coffee:  Just thought I'd let ya know that coffee is again tasting good... it's nice to enjoy my mug of coffee in the morning.  This cold is just about completely gone... just a little congestion left - otherwise I'm pretty good.

Sunshine:  Little secret I'll share with you... if I adjust my mini-blind just so in the shower window... and I get up there before it's too late in the morning  - I can take a shower in the sunshine!  How cool is that!  No I'm not exposing my self to outside - unless you are up there where the sun is you can't see me... but it is nice to get a little bit of sunshine (and Vit. D) without getting cold.  Unfortunately it's cloudy today... but I have been enjoying my little 'sun showers' in the mornings.  LOL

Mud and Pepper:  These go hand in hand around here - unfortunately.  I do not understand why - but my 2 dogs eat dirt - especially now that things are thawing a bit with the warmer weather.  (There are times when they eat 'other things' but I'm just talking about dirt today)  They dig in the dirt and then gobble it up... it's not like I don't feed them.  Usually they eat their meal (they get fed twice a day) and they go right outside and eat dirt... right out and eat dirt!  Auuugh!  I'm tired of them digging - so I figured I'd sprinkle pepper around in the areas they visit to deter them... well that does work... but I didn't sprinkle pepper behind the  bush so one of them this morning headed right out behind there for their 'dirt chaser'.  I'm tired of the mud they are tracking in the house... I'm tired of the mud in the bottom of their water bowl... I'm tired of sweeping dirt back into the holes... I'm tired of washing their bedding because of the mud.  I do not know what is in the mud that attracts them... worms/bugs... ???  Are they missing something in their diets they are trying to supplement??  The vet just kinda shrugged his shoulders... suggested having their stool tested periodically to rule out their picking up problems - but otherwise he wasn't much help.

So anyone else got dogs enjoying 'dirt chasers'?  I'm ready to pave my back yard...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Week 6 - Stash Busting revisited...

I don't know what I was thinking last week when I published my post... I forgot all about the 6 floral fat quarters I purchased at the Pre-Game Extravaganza at the Piece by Piece Quilt Shop last Sunday.  I only remembered them this morning when I wandered up to my studio and saw them on the cutting table.  My Bad!


Now that I've gotten that confession off my chest I feel better.  And I am physically feeling better too.  I think I've managed to not allow this cold to progress to a sinus infection... at the cost of dozens and dozens and dozens of tissues.  I don't think I've ever blown my nose so much in all my life.  Between the Chicken & Dumplings, humidifier, breath right strips and saline nose spray I've managed to only have to use that 'sniffling sneezing aching yada yada yada stuff' for the 2 worst days.  I'm still tired... but this too shall pass.

I have done no sewing... haven't even gone up to the studio all week.  Worse yet... I haven't worked on the handouts for my classes... and since the class list is going to be published - I'm guessing I need to get those done.  That will be my excuse to sit on the couch today.  Next week I will get back up to the studio and finish up the 4 Patch Stacked Posie samples.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Souper Saturday... Red Beans & Rice...

This week I go back to something I grew up eating... something my husband and son both love but neither of my girls would eat - oh well - just meant there was always more for us!

I used one package of Red Beans - sorted, rinsed, and soaked for a couple hours.

I picked up a couple ham hocks earlier in the fall - I used one at that time and froze the other... can you believe the size of this one?  I was very please with the other one I cooked - it was very meaty.

Red Beans

Throw everything in a pot with water, salt & pepper (I used a black and red pepper mix), onion and garlic.... and let it cook through the afternoon until the beans are soft.  I usually mash some beans against the side of the pot to help thicken the broth... and serve it over rice.

red beans 009

If you want top it off with some fresh chopped onion, or to spice it up a bit... add some chopped jalapeno peppers or some hot sauce.  As good as it will be tonight for dinner... it's going to taste even better tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

This Will Warm Your Heart...

I saw this over on Giz's blog and thought it should be spread as much as possible.

Just go and read... it really is the feel good story of the week!

Relief... and Appreciation!

I had glanced outside this morning as I went about the business of letting the dogs out and getting their food ready.

The TV was on in the kitchen and the local weather came on... what caught my ear was the snow totals report... Lititz - a community I can drive to in about 15 minutes - had 12 inches of snow overnight.  "What?!"   And then there was a live report from a reporter knocking 12 inches of snow off a bush and showing the slushy roadways...  "Huh?!"


I went back to the door because if they got 12 inches surely I hadn't taken a good look when I let the dogs out...

dusting 002


What a relief... there really was just a dusting here.  I hadn't fully appreciated it when I first saw it this morning - but isn't it glorious!  I won't have to haul out the snowblower or shovel.  I'm just going to let the sunshine take care of it today.


I guess I'll know my cold is getting better when my coffee tastes good again.  I spent the day yesterday sitting on my couch - even took a nap between knitting and un-knitting this sock. 

knitting 006Some how I picked it up and started knitting in the other direction - I knew something was wrong but I don't have enough KKH (knitting know how) to know what.  Several rows later it was apparent I was doing something wrong. 

So I gently pulled it out and picked up the stitches and kept going.  I've got about 5 good inches now... But since I am nothing if not consistent - I did it again... aaauuughh!

It was too late last night to bother with it - so this morning I'll have to pull out a couple rows and try and pick it all up again.  Despite the little problems - I am enjoying it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Aaaa CHOooo!

I thought this cold was on it's way out... but no... it's gone from a thingy in my chest to something in my head... I have officially sneezed more in the last 24 hours than I have in the past year - or more.

Oh and last night at my toe up sock knitting class... do you know how hard it is to sneeze and not impale yourself  with 5 double pointed knitting needles?

knitting 004

knitting 005 I think I can get at least one toe in here...

Under the category of 'Strange but True' this is kinda fun... and it isn't as complicated as it looks.  And I can't believe I just said that...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday's progress - 4 Patch Stacked Posies

Today I headed out to Piece by Piece Quilt Shop in Ephrata, PA for their Pre-Game Extravaganza.  Open sew time, great snacks and a healthy discount off all notions! Just look at all this classroom space!  What you can't see is the 3 other sewing tables on the other side of those cutting tables in the middle - there were 9 sewing tables set up.  We certainly could have shared but didn't need to... nice space!

PBP Classroom area

On the left side of the doorway that I was taking the pictures from is the design wall.

I started this 4 Patch Stacked Posie (4PSP) project last October during a trip up to Maine.  I've made several Posie quilts and used different settings so I wanted to try something different.  (The slide show over in my side bar has pictures of other posie blocks/quilts made by me, my friends, family and students.)  At first I was going to just make big blocks... but decided to play around with EQ6 for awhile and came up with this design layout using 4 different size 4PSP blocks.  I cut and pieced Posh 4PSP 001all the 4PSP's and was able to add the yellow sashing to about 3/4's of them before running out of that fabric.  As a part of that October trip I was in MA to work at my old shop in MA - Southampton Quilts during their Annual Shop Hop weekend... so I was able to get more of the yellow fusion fabric to finish the project.  And that is where this project ended - until this week.

Posh 4PSP 004  After figuring out just what I had been thinking back in Oct. (not an easy task to be sure) I was able to finish the sashing on the remaining blocks earlier this week.  My small design wall just wasn't up to the job - I only laid out the center and stitched those blocks into diagonal rows.  I pulled out my block tags and took them with me to the shop today.


Posh 4PSP 008

Yes - now we're talking!  That's a design wall - I was only using half of it too.  Although I did suggest to the shop owner Nancy that she could raise the roof because I could use another foot here.  Her husbands suggestion later when he came by... "make smaller quilts!"  LOL  No sympathy there... LOL

It was very nice to have the space to lay the blocks out and then to step back to see if everything stayed balanced.  Some blocks are heavy and others are light... and I'm just silly enough to need to try and keep them balanced.

The blocks are now connected into rows - I need to figure out my setting triangles and get them cut tomorrow so I can finish the rows and sew them together.  I see lots of pinning in my future. 

And then I'll finish the log cabin posies I started a long time ago.  Here's an EQ version of the block with the fabrics I scanned...4psp logcabin block this will be finished this week too.  I've got 9 blocks finished and 27 to go.  I'm going to make sure this will fit on my King Size Bed... it's going to be pretty!

Week 5 Stash Report...


Just a half yard in/out for binding to report this week.

I'm headed off to the quilt shop today for their Pre-Game Extravaganza!  Should be a nice opportunity to meet some quilters in this area... I really do need to start meeting folks as I've lived here since the end of June!  LOL

I'll post later about what I've gotten done this week - I'm using the large design wall to lay out a 4 Patch Stacked Posie top... a little more involved than what I've done in the past and I want to get the layout right.