Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Quilt along week 1

Week 1 is done.

I have to admit I'm not totally happy with it. I have the hardest time getting those little points to match up in the corners.

I finally started lining it up, pinning it down, and taking a couple of stitches to secure it. Then I'd take a look and if it wasn't right, I'd rip out the few stitches and try again.

I'll look at it again tomorrow and if I'm still unhappy with it I'll do it over.

Tuesday ramblings

Tuesday, already! If I'm not careful this week will slip away like the last one.

I think I'm going to do red and white for the Stars quilt-along. I haven't started yet because I haven't made it to the quilt shop for fabric. How dare she be closed on Monday! Just kidding. I don't blame her a bit. I'd be closed on Monday if I could.

I don't have a lot planned for this week. I have my first final on Friday and need to concentrate on that. Then it's going to be excavation time around here so I can get this pit cleaned for company. I wonder where I can rent a dumpster.

DH got started painting the patio furniture. It sure needed it. We inherited this from his folks. I have no idea how long they had it, but we've had it forever. Originally it was a buttery yellow color and I really liked how it looked against my white house with grey trim. Sadly we can't find buttery yellow paint and so we're going with almond.

He's got six pieces painted and three more to go. The cashiers are beginning to look at us funny with all of our paint purchases.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A quilt-along

I made this little 24 x 24 quilt so that I could try free-motion quilting following Crazy Mom Quilts instructions. Her instructions are great, but my machine isn't cooperating.

Today I noticed that she's having another quilt-along and I'm going to participate.

I love stars and certainly need the practice with points. Now I just need to decide what colors I want to use.

Is anyone else going to quilt-along?

Let's plan a party

We're having a backyard party on 5/10 to celebrate my graduating college. Hooray!

There are a few things we need to have a good time, food, fun, and for my in-laws not to come. Okay, that was tacky, but even DH admits it.

We're crossing our fingers that it doesn't rain and it's pretty enough to be outside the whole day. The thought of being trapped in my house with all of those people makes me break out in hives. I don't like crowds and I define crowds as more than six people at a time. We're expecting something like 20 people.

Mom and I sat down and figured out the menu and who's doing what. Right now the menu looks like this:
Brisket (Mom cooking)
German sausage
Green salad
Baked beans
Potato salad
Yeast rolls
Pickles, peppers, and onions
Chocolate cake (mom baking)
Dump cake (mom baking)
Fruit salad
Homemade ice cream (DH in charge)
Iced tea and lemonade

I think we've got the food covered unless somebody can see something we've forgotten.

So, now we're down to the fun. I don't want a bunch of whiney kids hollering they're bored. On the same hand, I don't want to sit around and listen to gossip from the in-laws about the rest of the family. We'll set up the croquet course and probably the badminton net. What else do we need?

Water balloons? Water guns? Relay races?

What would you do? Help me out here.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

This is for Schnauzermom

You've talked about being a shorty, a longy and now an inbetweenie.

Well honey, I'm right there with you.

Before the cut. 34 inches of hennaed and dyed hair. I loved my red hair for a while, but sadly our relationship didn't last. I got so tired of wearing it up every single day in the same old bun. Having part of it blonde and part of it red wasn't any fun either.

After the cut. Now I'm back to sporting a shorter do for a while. I'll grow it back out, but you can be sure I'll never be a red-head again. Poor hair is flipping up over being cut.

Divide and conquer

DH and I had my sister's kids on Saturday.

DH took the nephew fishing. He caught a 4 pound large-mouth bass and a few sand bass. They both had a good time and enjoyed each other's company.

We girls went downstairs and made a little quilt from fabric in the scrap basket. Notice the concentration. She has the attention span of a gnat and a heavy hand.

Here's her finished project. Yes, it's crooked, but it's her first and hopefully not her last.
Just the right size for a baby doll.

Contrary to popular belief...

I did not run away with Raul the cabana boy, get kidnapped by aliens, or crawl under a rock to hide until 2009 (although I wish I had).

No. Any one of the above would have been more pleasant than being totally and completely blind-sided by life this last week. Rather than bore you with the details, let's just say I didn't get anything fun done and only minimally got done what had to be done.

This week isn't looking any more promising.

Evidently our church has decided that traditional services are no more. Instead there will be two morning services, both contemporary. I have absolutely nothing against contemporary services for those who enjoy them. I choose not to attend them. They are foreign to me and make me uncomfortable. I like my religion straight up without the frills. It's how I was raised.

I realize that the sermon and the message it sends is the important thing and that how you get to the message is just a part of it.

But, when I can't concentrate on the sermon and understand the preacher because I've got steel guitars, saxophones, tambourines, and that last screeching Hallelujah! reverberating through my skull, it's a problem. It's been two hours and my ears are still ringing. I honestly couldn't tell you what the sermon was today and I feel like I was cheated.

DH was just as shocked. I suppose now we're on the hunt for a new church with traditional services. I wish we'd gotten the memo telling us of the changes so we could have started looking this morning.

Things we can look forward to this week:
Finishing the towels; only three left, planning a party, and a little girl's first doll quilt.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Slip sliding away

Sweet little ducky is doing her mending.

This week is going way too fast.

Today I came home from class to find my husband's boots upside-down on the front porch, his pants on the patio, underwear in the hallway, and watch in the sink. What in the world! I couldn't imagine what would cause him to do a striptease from the front yard to the backyard, and down the hallway.

When he came in for lunch he told me they had a water line explode and he was covered in mud and water and had to come home and change clothes. I asked him why his clothing was scattered all over and he responded, "I knew if I tracked that mud through your house you'd kill me!".

I chuckled to myself and told him to pick up his underwear.

Finally! I have him trained. Hallelujah!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

You make my day

Sweet Sue at Country Pleasures has honored me with an award.

I've visit so many inspirational places and have made amazing friends. I'd like to pass this on to these people who make my day.

Annie at Life Served Sweet with a Little Whine. You always make me smile.

Schnauzermom at The Shaggy Dog Journal. You've shown me what it means to be content.

Amy Ellen at Life in Kansas. I don't know you well, but you touch my heart in many ways.

Danetta at Oh No, It's the Fro. I have enjoyed my visits with you and maybe one day we can really meet.

Beemoosie at Quilted Together. I've enjoyed your posts and visits so much.

Each of these ladies has made my day and I hope that they will accept this award and pass it on.

Dishtowel for Tuesday

I wish I could remember what day of the week my granny did her chores. Like most women of her day, there were specific days for specific things. I can remember that Monday was ironing day, Friday was cleaning day, and Saturday was shopping day. Other than that, I just can't remember.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Amazing Monday

Monday's towel. I just love the little duck doing her thing, rain or shine.

I woke up this morning with an "Ick! Monday" attitude. Shame on me.
I ventured out to the laundry room to gather the last load and saw a flock of birds land in the tree. I grabbed the binoculars and was dumb-struck to see approximately 50 Cedar Waxwings. The light wasn't picture friendly so you'll have to take my word for it. I was nearly late to class because I couldn't tear myself away from the backyard.

Then, as I'm walking to the car I spy something that wasn't there yesterday.
I've bemoaned my poor irises and how they haven't bloomed since I transplanted them off the side of the road. This morning I have a pretty white iris which I would swear wasn't anywhere near ready to bloom yesterday. I've got either a purple or blue that's showing color and will bloom soon. Another, color not yet know, has also sprouted up seemingly overnight. Again, I'm amazed.
I snapped this little fellow on the way to school. I never see these in town. I imagine there are too many cats for them to hang around in town.

God gently showed me that this is not at all an icky Monday. Today is a blessing, just like every day. We only need to open our hearts and minds to see the amazing things and appreciate them.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hash brown potato casserole

I first had this casserole at a luncheon and begged for the recipe. I could almost eat my weight in this stuff.

2 pounds hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
1 stick butter or margarine
1 cup diced onion
1 cup crushed potato chips

The original instructions are to mix everything together and dump in a casserole, cover in crushed chips and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.

My changes:
Saute onions in butter and add to other ingredients (my digestive system is failing me and raw onions don't like me any more), leave out the potato chips, and sprinkle a little cheese on top. I also bake it at 350 degrees until it bubbles and the cheese browns.

There are so many things you could add to spice this up and make it uniquely your own. For a breakfast casserole, I like to add crumbled bacon or sausage. DH likes it with chopped green chilies. Last night I added sauteed mushrooms and it was really yummy.


A new week of tea towels

My mom gave me this set that she picked up at a sale somewhere. These depict daily life.

DH is working at his old job today helping out. He really notices how bad it was now that he's not working in it everyday. He still loves his new job and enjoys going to work every morning.

This coming week, for me, promises to be very busy with tests and such. We're on the downhill slide though and unless I completely crack, I'll get through it.

I hope that everyone has a blessed week.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Slow and easy Saturday

DH got up this morning and left at the crack-of-dawn to go fishing with a buddy. I woke up at crack-of-dawn thirty wondering where my husband was. I had forgotten and unfortunately by the time I remembered, I was wide awake.

I got up and putzed around for a bit and finally called my mom to see if she wanted to go to garage sales with me. She agreed and we got around and were out the door by 7 am.

After a leisurely breakfast, we hit the first garage sale and found nothing. Absolutely nothing. It wasn't until our fifth garage sale that either of us was tempted by a single thing.

I found this old bowl for 2 bucks. It's not particularly valuable or anything, but I like it and I'm the one that lives with it.

We tootled around and finished the garage sales by 9 AM, went to the greenhouse and decided to try Statuary World for bedding plants. Well, if we're going there we might as well go to Hancock Fabrics too. See how these things get out of hand.

I must be coming down with something. I just wasn't tempted by much today. LOL. I picked up a set of fat quarters, a triangle ruler, and this book.
Statuary World was a bust. They've been picked over pretty well. We came home and went back to the greenhouse and Mom got what she needed and bought me a couple of six-packs of Zinnias for the Mum bed.

Now I'm ready for a nap. My old eyelids sure are heavy. I hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday and enjoying the nice weather.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Jazzed-up Shower curtain

I vetoed DH decorating the bathroom in the basement. We've all seen the wonder that is the man-den. I'd have nightmares showering in the same room with an animal mount. Never mind being able to do anything else. The eyes are watching. Ewww!

On that note, redecorating can cost an arm and a leg if you aren't careful or cheap. Personally, I'm cheap and I freely admit it.

I normally love it when people give me stuff. I really do and I appreciate it as well. When my baby sister gave me a black bath set I wasn't sure what I'd ever do with it besides maybe put it in the dog house for Tucker. It's black for Pete's sake!

So, being cheap, I have a black bath-set, but now I need a shower curtain to go with it. The shower stall is already really close to feeling like a cave and so anything dark just won't do. We need white!

Here you have your run-of-the-mill white shower curtain from the local dollar store.

I dug around in the fabric bins and came up with this cute black and white polka dot print and decided to try my hand at prairie points which turned out really well I thought. Once I sewed them all together I used a bit of quilt binding and finished off the edge. I then took my strip of points and sewed it to the shower curtain, just along the factory seam.

While the prairie points are cute, it needed more so I pulled out the button jar and started searching. I found 8 white and 8 red buttons that 'fit' together nicely and sewed those onto each point.

This is how it turned out. Yes, I know it's wrinkled. What more could you ask of 100% polyester. I'll take care of that later.

Now my bathroom is coordinated in black and white with a spot of red.

Total cost:
Shower curtain - $3.00
Fabric - $0.75
Quilt binding - $2.00
Buttons - no charge.

$5.75. A designer shower curtain for cheap!

Thankful Thursday

It's time for Thankful Thursday. Julie has bowed out of hosting and directed us to Sting My Heart. I liked Julie's small group and so probably won't join a larger group.

This Thursday I'm grateful I'm not in politics and do not hold a public office.

I'm sure most everyone has heard about our Sheriff's scandal by now. My heart aches for his family and I've lost a little faith in those chosen to serve and protect.

Can you imagine being a politician? I can't. To have every word, action, and expression scrutinized would be horrible.

So on this Thursday, I'm thankful I'm a small-town-nobody-of-any-importance.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wind, wind, wind

It's blowing and I'm ever so tired of it. Please stop already. It's giving me a headache.

The dumpster lid has been banging most of the day and just a few minutes ago the neighbor across the street lost part of their fence. I thought I'd lost part of my house, the bang was so loud.

I'm almost done in the downstairs guest room. Just a little more to do and I'll share. Tonight I started working on the bathroom and have a cute project to show when I'm finished.

School is super busy and quickly coming to a close. My poster and final paper are due Monday. I think I'm in good shape and I'm not worried about it. It's hard to believe that in 2 weeks finals start and in 3 weeks I graduate.

Sometime I need to start planning the graduation shin-dig I kind of got stuck doing. I'll be sure and ask you kind folks for ideas.

Click on the picture and look in the grass.

I think I'll go put rocks in my pockets and try not to blow away.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

And the winner is...

I just want to thank everyone for entering the drawing and wish that I had an apron for each of you.

Here we go. All of the names piled in a bowl.

A grubby little boy hand reaching in the bowl.

A grubby little boy hand pulling out a name.

The grubby little boy picked this name.

Congratulations Schnauzermom! Send me your address and I'll get this in the mail.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Looking for a recipe

Help! My uncle use to make these great baked beans using pork-n-beans, mustard, onion, bacon, and possibly ketchup.

Does anyone have a similar recipe? I need one that can be adjusted up and down depending on how many I'm feeding.

***Update*** I scrounged around and found a very stained, torn, and dirty copy of the recipe. Whew!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tax relief give-away

Do you have your taxes done? I don't.

Tax season is stressful for the best of us, never mind those of us that leave it until the very last nanosecond.

I thought I might have a give-away so that we can have something to look forward to in the coming crunch days. A light at the end of the tax tunnel perhaps.

So run and leave a comment to have your name entered in the drawing. One entry per person please. The winner's name will be announced on April 15th.

Oh, you want to know what the something is? Well, okay.

How about an apron?

I had this up on Etsy and it didn't sell in 4 months so it's out of here. This is Cream of the Crop, a reversible apron with a brightly colored vegetable print on one side and a more subdued blue on blue floral print on the other. I love this apron almost as much as my apple apron, but it needs a new home.

Now, go sign up.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Let's rodeo!

DH surprised me this afternoon with a ticket to the local college rodeo.

Cowboys doing what cowboys do. Just standing around waiting for the action to start.

The guy in the blue jacket looks like he's seen something disgusting. The guy next to him is leaning in for a real good look. Could it be boogers? What would make him pull that kind of face? Maybe the guy on the horse isn't looking too swift. Riding with a handle and a prayer. No thanks.

This folks, is a wreak. During the bareback riding the horse went down, rolled over the cowboy, and finally just laid on top of the poor kid. I'm happy to report that both cowboy and horse were fine. The cowboy got a re-ride and blew off the next horse like he had dynamite in his britches.

Next up, calf roping. I just don't see the point in it at all. This was DH's chosen event so I have to be nice and take at least one picture.

Here we are saddle bronc riding. As far as I'm concerned this isn't much better than bareback riding. Yes, they give you a saddle and stirrups, but come on, a puny little rope to hang with. You must be kidding. This is where the handle would be handy.

My favorite event. I've actually done this and lived to have nightmares about it. Of course I was much younger and bounced better than I do now. Bull riding at it's best. You can get some of the most interesting shots with video. This guy bit the dust after throwing up not only his hands, but also his feet. Sorry cowboy, the other six seconds weren't nearly as entertaining.

I took absolutely zero pictures of the can chasing, team roping, or the goat rope. I might have slept through those three events. Or maybe I was comatose by that point. Dunno.

Why is it barrel racing? Those barrels aren't moving at all.

Those poor little goaties. What did they ever do to those mean old girls to deserve being thrown on the ground, knocking the wind out of them and having three legs tied together in 3 seconds or less. (Psst! Flip your goat over and he won't kick loose.)

I hope you enjoyed the rodeo.

Tomorrow I promise to get the give-away posted.

A Daffodil for Saturday

We're off to paint the rest of the basement. We've got a little hallway and the guest room to do and we'll be finished.

I've got some major scrubbing to do in the bathroom and then I can start decorating and getting ready for out-of-town guests in May.

**Come back later today and find out about the Tax Relief Give-Away.**

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Poppy for Friday

We're nearly to the end of this set of dishtowels. Looking at them, feeling them, and smelling them have all brought back fond memories of my granny. I miss her so much.

I got most of project #1 done yesterday and when I started making stupid mistakes moved on to little project #2. It shouldn't take but a couple of hours to finish up project #1 and I'm getting after it this afternoon. Project #2 doesn't have a timeline and so when I get to it, I get to it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Tulip for Thursday

I almost forgot!

Super easy dinner

I'm not sure what this is called and I can't even remember where I got the recipe. I do know we all like it and it's super easy to fix which is good because dinner time snuck up on me today.

2 ready-made pie crust or be brave and make your own (I used the rolled up kind)
about a pound of chicken tenders
a couple of packages of Spanish rice
grated cheese

Prepare the Spanish rice according to directions and set aside to cool.

I season my chicken with season salt and cook in a dry fry pan until done and slightly brown and set aside to cool. Once it's cool enough to handle I throw it in the food processor and chop the heck out of it.

Mix the chicken, rice, and cheese together. Take the pie shells and unroll them onto a cookie sheet. Put the chicken and rice mixture on half of the pie shell. Fold the pie shell over to cover and crimp the edges. Repeat with the other pie shell and filling.

Bake at 350 until the pie crust is brown. Cut into quarters and enjoy.

I always have filling left over and DH eats it for breakfast with toast. As with most things, this is even better the next day.

If you try it let me know how you liked it.

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for the three inches of rain we received yesterday. I'm doubly thankful the basement didn't flood.

I'm also thankful that I don't have class this afternoon. I plan on spending my day in the sewing room working on a project or two.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pansies for Sunday

Yes, I know it's not Sunday. I should have started this on Sunday and didn't. I found another set to share and want to get all of this one up. So, since I'm missing Wednesday, you get Sunday instead.

Well, that was fun. I spent an hour in chemistry this morning with no lights and Dr. T. never stuttered. He kept right on writing on the chalkboard, in the dark, like nothing happened. Holy Smokes! I wonder how much of it I got written down correctly? Just a wild guess, but I don't think they have the chemistry building on a generator.

In other news, it's raining and cold. Brrr! Mr. Fuzz went out this morning and just came in. He's one wet kitty.

I had intended to get my crepe myrtles and rose planted today, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen now. At least they're getting a nice drink. DH mowed the yard last night and it looks so pretty right now. Something about the light just makes it look nice.

I hope everyone is have a safe and happy day. Don't forget that tomorrow is Thankful Thursday.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Morning Glory for Tuesday

The Tuesday towel from Granny's set.

We got up early and went to the plant sale at the college. I bought a fern and another little hanging plant. Mom ended up with two ferns and two hanging plants.

We drove out to the fishing hole and then to the flooded field where I saw my first ever White-faced Ibis. I'm still excited.

We had a chance for severe weather last night and it was so nice to be able to pull my car into the garage and be able to get out of the car without mushing and crushing all of my female body parts.

Nothing terribly exciting is happening around here. DH locked one of the cats downstairs last night and I didn't realize it until this morning. There's no telling what I'll find when I go down. I'm sure there's a little present somewhere. I just have to find it.

Monday, April 7, 2008

A Rose for Monday

I ran across a set of dish towels my granny embroidered. Somehow I'm missing Wednesday.

It's cloudy and cool here today. The kind of weather that makes you want to curl up with a couple of cats, a blanket, and a good book. Unfortunately, I have class off and on all day and so snuggling with the cats will have to be postponed.

If you want to join Apronista, send me an email and I'll invite you or you can try here.

DH took my dressform and fixed her base. One day during the move from the guest room to the sewing room I shut the door a little too hard and she fell off her base. We knew it was only a matter of time before she'd have to be re-welded and I guess that was the day. It was quite comical to watch him trying to wrestle with her on the floor of the garage while trying to weld. He won the wrestling match and now she's back to being upright again.

Now that she's fixed, I dressed her in aprons and we had a photo shoot. She's a tempermental model though. I'd ask her to stand still and darned if she wouldn't turn just a little to the left or right.

Find more photos like this on The Apronista

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Muscles I never knew I had

Have DH home on weekends is turning into a double-edged sword situation. LOL.

Yesterday we cleaned out the garage. I don't mean just a little bit of junk either. I'm talking 3+ years of stuff. We moved here in December 2004, possibly one of the wetter winters I've seen. Everything that didn't have a known spot in the house ended up in the garage and it's been added to for the last three years. Ugh!

This is what we had to face and deal with on our first Saturday together. What a nightmare.

This is where we quit last night. It's not perfect by any means, but golly, you can see the floor. The life jacket gives you a bit of reference. See how much we did!

The local thrift shop received a big part of the stuff. Some went in the dumpster and some went downstairs into storage.

I have to admit that I'm glad it's done. I may, or may not, recover from the whole experience. I'm quite sore today and I don't think my foot appreciates me much.