Monday, October 31, 2011

Sending WARM Thoughts…

Wish I could do more than send Warm Thoughts to my family and friends up in Massachusetts and Connecticut who are without power following this crazy October storm!

I cannot imagine how frustrated you must feel – especially since all you can do is wait until the various electrical and tree removal crews can get in to do their jobs.  I hope they will all be able to work quickly and SAFELY to get everyone back up and running.  I can’t imagine the headache this is for the emergency services folks… it’s tough work when the majority of people are effected through out the area.  You can’t get food or gas because they don’t have power either.

Both my kids are also without power since Saturday – however my daughter at least has a wood stove keeping them warm.  She’s working to keep the freezer cold by running a small generator every so often – but I think my son is going to loose everything again… he was out of power for several days following the tornado in his neighborhood this past June.

We got a fair amount of wet snow here in PA and those areas with lots of trees and power lines in the same place are suffering with the same lack of power.  We did OK right here at the Stone House – lights flickered but stayed on.  We have a conduit running from the garage to the house to ‘one day’ put in a generator… that ‘one day’ may need to come sooner than later.

Here are some pictures from Sunday after the sun had been working at melting the snow for a while.

Out my side porch to the driveway… right there at that first step is where I fell last February – needless to say I did NOT go out there.


This is looking off my side porch towards the front – the butterfly bushes are drooping over… usually taller than me which I know isn’t saying much – but they were easily 6 ft tall this year.


Again from the side porch looking into the back yard towards the garage.  We (meaning The Engineer) did go around and knock the snow off the bushes before they got messed up. 


I will be in Nashua NH later this week for A Quilters Gathering Quilt Show.  I had planned to drive up on Tuesday and stay with my daughter and go to Southampton Quilts on Wednesday before heading up to NH.  But now I’m not sure they will be open?  So I may just head up first thing on Wednesday and head right to Nashua… I don’t know just yet?

Some power crews must be working somewhere around here as my power keeps flickering on and off… so I better try and post this.

Stay as warm as you can…

Sunday, October 23, 2011

That Was Fun!

And hectic, and exhausting… but most of all FUN!

I returned home earlier this past week from Massachusetts where I had the opportunity to work the 10th Anniversary of the Massachusetts Quilt Shop Hop at Southampton Quilts!

I realized as I made my way north that this was my first road trip since I busted up my knee in February.  It was so good to be ‘on the road’ again – I love to travel and especially love to get in the car and drive.  (Yes I went to Hawaii this summer to hug on a new grandbaby… but I didn’t have to drive to get there so it doesn’t count as a ‘road trip’.)

I am quite happy to report that my knee handled the weekend very well!  Yes it was a little tired but overall I was very pleased that all my hard work to get my knee and legs stronger paid off… well that and those medical compression stockings I recently bought.  I never thought I’d say I loved anything that resembled panty hose on steroids – but I love these things!  I had practically no swelling in my knee after being at the shop for some really long days! 

I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed seeing so many quilty friends up there!  It did my heart and soul good to see each and everyone of them – I truly feel blessed to know them.

I so miss everyone from the shop – the owners Nancy and Maureen, and the other teachers Beth, Pam, and Dale.  Each of these ladies are so creative and bring their unique style to the quilting craft – but even more important is that they are all just wonderful folks!  And I don’t want to miss mentioning Gail (a long time shop customer, quilty friend and new shop hop recruit).  She survived working on Friday (always the busiest day) and showed up again on Saturday for more!  LOL

It was also great to spend some time with my kids… I haven’t seen them since they came down here in the Spring – so I was overdue for some hugs!

OK – so what else is going on…

I found a lovely large paisley to make another 4 Patch Stacked Posie…. mmmm pretty!

I’m going to be making (with my neighbor and sister) Sauerkraut on Monday.  I’ll see if I can remember to take some pictures of the process.  In 6 – 8 weeks it will be ready to can.

Oh – I don’t know about you but I have to work a bit to try new things.  In my mind pumpkin belongs in pie.  Coconut milk isn’t anything I would have considered as an ingredient.  But my daughter last spring made a delicious soup – with pumpkin, chicken, coconut milk and curry as the main ingredients.  I’ve had this soup on my mind recently – been craving it actually.  I’ve looked at several recipes and they all use a variety of things so I figured I could just wing it.  So I threw a couple chicken breasts, a quart of chicken broth, chopped onion, and some pumpkin puree in the crock pot yesterday morning.  When I got home later I added the coconut milk and went to add the spices.  I had NO curry powder… none, zip, nadda!  How can I have pumpkin curry soup without curry?  LOL  So I added a little of this, that, and the other in there and came out with an acceptable tasting concoction for dinner.  Curry is on my grocery list.

And because I’m all about sharing the things I learn along the way…

…the problem with using a low sodium chicken broth is that it does not have enough salt in it!! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

An Update in Pictures…

We  went to the farmers market a couple Saturdays ago… and I made cabbage & sausage (no pics), tomato pies and a couple zucchini casseroles (no pics).

farmers market

tomato pie 

Here is a family update… Miss K is playing volleyball, 


Kai is excited about Halloween (to infinity and beyond),


and Keanu has been sharing his smile more and more.  I sure miss that sweet face – actually I miss all those sweet faces!


My husband picked grapes off our vines… two 5 gallon buckets of grapes!  And there were many, many more left on the vines.  We have gotten no grapes the past 3 years - didn’t the vines know I wasn’t canning this year?  Good thing my husband helped pick through them… I washed and cooked them down and then strained the juice.  Two days later I canned 3 1/4 gallons of grape juice.  It’s concentrated so we add some water when we drink it and down the road if I feel like making jelly I can use some of the juice for that.

10 gallons grapes


3 gallons juice

I made some granola this past week… all natural, organic, gluten free, yadda, yadda, yadda, healthy for you and oh so yummy!  That filled a 2 quart jar and two pint jars.

granola 2

I made some churn dash blocks out of some fat quarters that were sent to me when I was in prison recovering from my busted knee – Thanks Nancy!


A long while back Lori from Dakota City Quilter showed some blocks from a pattern called Swoon Blocks that uses 2 fat quarters and some background fabric for each block – they finish at 24 inches!  I have cut out for 6 blocks (rather than the 9 from the pattern) and this one is ready for final assembly.

Swoon Block

And last but not least… My favorite oldest girl went to the Navy Ball with her favorite handsome Navy fella… ain’t she pretty! 

Navy Ball 2

Well that about brings me up to date… except to say… I’ll be on the road later this week for my Annual Fall Pilgrimage to MA.  I am headed up to work the Shop Hop at Southampton Quilts for the weekend and visit with my other two favorite kids…

Kayse-Kelly Big E

Oh and my knee… I’m very happy with my progress since I’ve been back – still working it daily at the gym and doing the extra ART therapy… but it’s all been worth the effort!  It isn’t perfect but it’s getting closer!