Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Another year of trick or treating has come and gone.  We had about 20 ghosts and goblins tonight.  Less than yesterday.  I have a few leftover caramel apples and some other goodies, but that's not a problem...  lol

Went upstairs and worked on hiding some of the thread tails on that baby blanket.  I haven't even started in earnest to machine quilt it, this was just from the foundation quilting.  ugh.

So many times I have started to complain on this blog about my job.  And an equal number of times I have stopped myself.  I'm going to stop myself again, and I AM extremely thankful that I have a job in today's economy.  My hours were restored, so I'm back to getting a full paycheck starting next month.  It's just a dead end street, where I'm at, and since I have twenty more years to work in my life, I don't want to stay somewhere where I'm stagnant.  So that's about all I'm going to say, even though it is a drop in the bucket compared to what I'm feeling now and have been feeling for a long time.

What I really want is to be able to do something quilty as my paying job.  And someday I may be able to make that dream come true.  In the meantime, I'll continue to smile and go to work every day and thank God for my job.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Eve

We had some trick or treater's tonight.  I had gotten some caramel apples to hand out.  We had about 35 kids come by.  Maybe tomorrow we will have more.  Last year we hardly had any kids at all.

Ivy was pretty good about the whole thing.  Here's what she did most of the day:

I sewed a little on the baby quilt, but not as much as I would have liked to.

Made a good dinner tonight.  Fried pork chops, mashed potatoes, and a veggie casserole. yum.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Started on the baby quilt

I started on the quilting for the baby quilt for my nephew.  The way this top is constructed I'm going to have a lot of starts and stops, with lots of thread tails to be buried.  That is not one of my favorite things to do, but it will get done.

Made a good dinner tonight.  It was a recipe from the internet that I found.  It was a package of tortellini cooked in chicken broth and water, then add some cream cheese and frozen peas to make a pretty good meal.  Cooked some sausage links, garlic bread, and salad to go with it.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ah Choo!

My latest little venture was to make these cute little pocket tissue holders.  They were really quick and easy, so I made up a bunch of them with scraps.
I just kind of winged it on the pattern.  I used three pieces of scraps, each 4"x6".  I put two of them right sides together and folded them longways, to crease, then opened them up again.  I sewed an inch and a half in from the edge on each side, then folded each piece back so they were wrong sides together.  This formed the top of the tissue holder with a three inch opening.  Place this on top of the third rectangle, with the right side of the material facing the just formed top piece.  Sew around the edges, with a quarter inch seam.  Trim the corners and turn right side out.  Put a pocket pack of tissues in the holder and you are good to go!

Went to see Puss in Boots tonight with my friend Barb.  It was a cute cartoon and I really enjoyed it.  It was my first movie in 3D, which was really cool.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Morning frenzy

So this morning I get up at my usual time and let the dog out.  Since I'm halfway to the basement when I let her out the back door, I go ahead downstairs and pull the clothes out of the dryer and take another load out of the washer to be dried.  I'm taking my time, throwing a new load in the washer, folding what I just took out, plus some towels that needed to be folded, just kind of doing my thing like I don't have a care in the world.  I take linens upstairs and stop at the sewing machine to shorten three king size pillow cases to standard size.  Now, by this time I have not gotten dressed, combed my hair, or even brushed my teeth and it's 15 minutes before I have to leave for work!  Good thing I take my shower in the evenings, or I would have been stinky all day!  haha.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Basted another quilt

I pin basted the quilt my step mother made for my nephew tonight.  Had to piece the back, just one seam, so not too much work.  Going to machine quilt it on the old Kenmore.

Made a quick little tissue holder for my purse.  It was really easy.  I'll take a pic and put it up soon.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Quiet Tuesday

Haven't done any sewing the past couple of days.  I've been trying to get my Nook set up to get ebooks from the library website.  It's kind of been a bit of an obsession but tonight I finally got it to work.  I want to have a lot of reading material at the ready because Thursday I'm taking Uncle Ray to have carpal tunnel surgery.  It's outpatient, but I still expect to be waiting for a long time.  And that's okay.  Maybe I'll take some yo yo's to work on, too.  Haven't played with them for a while.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


 This is the 36 patch quilt, finished, and on my bed!  Love it, love it, love it!
 Not the best label in the world, but not the worse.  It is supposed to say 10 2011, one forty four, and TK.  I named the quilt one forty four because that is how many different fabrics were used in it!
I love the way it hangs down over the sides of the bed.  Gives it a little extra for when Ev rolls over and tries to pull the covers off of me!  lol

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bound and labeled

The 36 patch quilt is bound and labeled and on my bed!  Haven't gotten a good pic of it, but will in the next day or two.  I like it!

Made Indian Fry Bread for supper tonight.  I haven't made it for years, probably 10.  It was as good as I remembered it.  We have it with taco meat as a meal, then with butter and honey as dessert.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ta Da!

Here's my homemade Nook cover.  This is just the very first one I've made and there are a LOT of improvements to come.  But I do like it, flaws and all.

And here are 7 of the 8 mini loaves of pumpkin apple raisin bread that I made in pint mason jars this afternoon.  This is really yummy!  I had a little over a cup of pumpkin left over from the batch of pumpkin nut bread I made a few days ago.  I added enough homemade applesauce to make the two cups of required yumminess the recipe calls for, and I decreased the sugar by half a cup because the applesauce was very sweet.  I added raisins instead of nuts.  It is pretty good eats!

I also baked 6 mini loaves of chocolate cake in jars.  It was just a box cake mix, but I did try to jazz it up a bit by dropping a large marshmallow in the middle of a few of the jars to see if it would make a cool gooey center.  FYI, that was a flop...  The marshmallow went to the top and oozed over the rims of the jars.  Oh well, I'm sure the taste won't be adversely affected.  I froze those already, to no pic right now.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nook cover and couch cushion

Last night I spent some time upstairs in the sewing room.  Ivy had a go at one of the couch cusions and chewed a corner of it.  Upon closer inspection of the damaged cushion, there was a funky smell in the area that she had chewed.  I removed the cover then threw it in the washer and dryer.  In the meantime, I made a slipcover out of satin scraps for the cushion.  I thought that the satin would be good because it was a tight fit in the cover.  I didn't get the actual cover repaired because the damaged area is on the bottom and I got tired and just put it back on after washing it.  That's a project for another day.

Also made a cover for my Nook.  I'll post a picture of it soon.  This was just my very first attempt at making a cover and I wanted to get something made quick, just to protect the device.  I have a lot of ideas on how to make a better cover and intend to tweak the pattern a bit.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cooler days

Weather is turning cooler.  Rained last night and most of the day today.  We need the rain, that's for sure.

Went to one of those jewelry parties tonight with a coworker.  I usually do not attend those things because I don't buy that stuff, but all this gal wanted was for people to come so she had enough people for the party to get some discounts.  I didn't buy anything but did have a nice time visiting with friends.

Monday, October 17, 2011

To hand bind or not to hand bind

That is the question I ask...  Oh, forget it, I was never into poetry.  Tonight I pressed the material for the binding on the 36 patch, cut it into strips, and sewed the strips together.  Now I have to make up my mind whether I want to hand bind or machine bind it.  If I hand bind it, I need to machine sew it to the top of the quilt.  If I machine bind it, I need to sew it to the bottom of the quilt first.  I will probably machine bind it, because it's so much quicker.  It's just so much neater looking when it's done by hand, though.  sigh.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Yesterday I made some applesauce in the crock pot.  If you have apples and don't know what to do with them, this is the absolute easiest thing in the world to do!  Peal and core the apples.  I just peeled then cut in half to take out the cores.  Threw them in the crock pot without slicing or anything.  I didn't measure anything.  Just started out with a full crock pot of apples and added about a cup of sugar and maybe a tablespoon of cinnamon.  After a couple hours the apples started to get soft.  I took a potato masher and mushed them down, then let them cook for a while longer.  A few hours later, I added another half cup of sugar and maybe a teaspoon more of cinnamon.  Just do it to taste.  Let it cook down, mashing it down with the potato masher a few times whenever you think about it.  I like my applesauce a little chunky, so after about 6 hours it was ready to be shut off.  I let it cool overnight then the put in containers and put them in the freezer.  My crock pot full made about 7 cups.  The apples reduce to about half their original volume.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bonfire and bread

 Went to a bonfire tonight.  The local car dealer was throwing it's annual party and they have a bonfire, good food, and a band.  It was a real nice night for it and we had a good time.  Just stayed about an hour.  Nick went too.  I thought I was going to have to miss it, because Ev was supposed to work, but they called him off.
I made more bread in a jar!  This is my banana nut bread.  I'm loving this!  I think my next venture may be to make cake in the jars.  Will have to give it a try.


I have so much laundry piled up to do, I think I may have that washer running all day and night!  Just put the first load in and I am waiting to get in the shower.  Going to make some progress on SOMETHING today... 

I had baked that bread in a jar a few days ago and it was a real big hit.  When I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday Johanna went with me.  I took her and Ben each a small loaf of the pumpkin bread.  She texted me later that they really liked it.  Think I'll give that banana nut bread recipe a try today.

Everett has to work this afternoon.  I was hoping he wouldn't because there is a party at the Ford dealership we were invited to and I wanted to go.  It's their annual appreciation party and they have food and a bonfire.  I may go by myself, or ask Nick to go with me for a short time.

Really like that Nook!  Still figuring out how to use it, but loved reading on it and also loved playing Angry Birds....  hee hee hee.  When we were first married, Ev and I played a lot of Nintendo.  My favorite game was always Dr. Mario.  Ev liked the original Mario game.  Haven't played many video games since that time (unless you count gin rummy on my cell phone :) hee hee).

The Nook Color, which is what I have now, is able to get on the internet wherever there is wifi.  I can post on the blog from my Nook!

Friday, October 14, 2011

I got a Nook!

Not going to be on here long.  Got my Nook!  New toy to play with!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Almost made more bread

I actually stopped at the store and bought bananas and walnuts today.  I was seriously thinking about making some banana nut bread in the jars.  I didn't do it, but will probably do it before the weekend is over.  When I got home tonight I made dinner for Ev, rode the exercise bike, walked the dog, took my shower, and that was about it!  Still haven't put that binding on the big quilt.  Hope to do that before the weekend is over, too!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Late Night Baking

I have some pumpkin bread in the oven and it's almost 10 p.m.!  I found a recipe for baking bread in a jar (The link was from Jo's Country Junction blog - she actually linked to someone elses blog for it).  It looks like a real versatile recipe so I scrounged up enough jars and am giving it a try!  I hope it turns out because my baking powder was way out of date.

Uncle Ray wanted to go out to eat tonight so we went to a local diner and had the special.  Was pretty good.  He donated most of the jars for the bread, with the promise that he would be getting a sample of the goodies!  :)  No problem there!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ride, walk, walk, ride

That's what I did today.  2 miles on the bike, 1 mile walk, 2 mile walk, and 2 mile ride.  Not bad for a short fat gal!  hee hee.

Okay, I changed my mind, again, about the binding.  I've got a few different neutral fat quarters that I'm going to use for the binding on the 36 patch.  I haven't worked on it today, but I did pull the fabrics.

I've got a funny story to tell about our vacation and hiking.  I love to take nature pics.  I was showing my friend at work my pictures of our vacation and when we got to this picture I told her I took it because I thought the leaves looked really pretty with the sunlight and shadows.  She started laughing and then told me I had taken a picture of poison ivy!  Figures.  sigh.  Well, in my defense, it was pretty....  And my dog's name is Ivy.  so there.  nah nah.  :)  I guess it's a good thing we didn't touch any of it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

3.5 and 2.0

Today we bought a recumbent exercise bike from Wal Mart.  It was clearance priced at $125 and there were only a couple of them left, so since this is something I have been wanting for a long time.  It took Nick and I almost three hours to put it together, but it's done and I used it already.  I rode 3.5 miles on it before dinner.  Then I walked Ivy for our usual two mile walk in the evening.  Made a good salad for my lunch tomorrow and have my oatmeal ready for the next three mornings, also.  I've got to get back on track.

Didn't do any sewing tonight.  I did get upstairs to try and find a good fabric for the binding on the 36 patch.  After throwing around about a dozen ideas, I think I have come up with a good fabric:  muslin!  Haven't started cutting it yet, but think this is going to be it.

Get moving

That's what I'm telling myself as I lay in bed with the covers on and the dog snuggled up next to me!  Sigh.  It's my last day of vacation.  Sure has been a good vacation, I have to say.  Ev and I did a lot of things together, we went new places, enjoyed new restaurants, and basically just relaxed a lot.

This pic is of Ivy on one of the trails.  I think she was saying "Did you see that squirrel?".  At one point, when we had her out hiking, Ev was holding the leash and Ivy decided to bolt after a squirrel.  It was funny and not funny at the same time to see Ev grab the leash with both hands and be pulled forward by the dog until he hit  a tree!  Ev scraped the back of his hand a little bit and was he ever mad at Ivy!  I walked her the rest of the way on that hike...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Nearing the finish line

I am so close to having the 36 patch quilt done it's making me crazy!  I completed the quilting on it tonight.  Since Ev was home, I called him upstairs and he guided the last 2" of quilting through the machine, just so we could say he helped on it.  hee hee.  After getting the quilting completed, and taking a deep breath, I trimmed the extra batting and backing material from the sides.  Then I started auditioning fabric for the binding.  I have three possibilities laid out, but haven't cut anything yet.  I'm considering using a neutral, even though the fabrics I have laid out are all greens.  It's too late in the day to make a decision on that.  Tomorrow is another day.

While I was quilting, Ivy decided to claim some unused space as her den.  The way my sewing room is laid out, I have two six foot tables forming a right angle in a corner and my machine set into a cabinet butted into the corner that the tables form.  I can access the space to one side of me, but the rest of the space is inconvenient to get to.  Ivy decided to get under there and lay with her paws touching my foot while I was quilting!  It was really cute and I would have taken a picture, but the carpeting is dark in that room and the space was dark, so I really doubt you could have seen the black dog under the tables!

Nosy me

Now just what did I think I was going to find in there?  I would have been shocked if something had flown out at me or yelled 'boo'!  haha.  This was one of the sights at Giant City State Park.  Absolutely gorgeous place.

Ev and I just took a motorcycle ride over to my dad's to let his dogs out.  They are all gone for the weekend, fishing.  It's a beautiful day to be out on the bike.  Ev and I are going to take a walk later on.  I'm looking forward to that.

I got a package of pork chops out of the freezer.  I was really disappointed with that order of pork we purchased.  The only good thing was the bacon.  I sent the other ham with Johanna and Ben last night and they didn't care for it either.  Live and learn.

Morning time

Getting ready for church.  Going to try and do some sewing today, but every time I say that, I get absolutely nothing done!  We went out to eat last night at the restaurant in the state park nearby.  This was to kind of give a close to our vacation, even though I'm off until Tuesday.  Ev has to go back to work tomorrow.  Today we will just laze around home.

Here's another picture from our vacation.  This was at the Little Grand Canyon.  I laughed when I was looking at these small pools of water and saw a big ol' frog jumping around.

Friday, October 7, 2011


I know it doesn't look like much, but this is a small sampling of the quilting I have been doing on my 36 patch quilt.  I have been doing straight lines diagonally through the light colored squares in the blocks.  For most of the blocks, it's in the light colored squares, but in a couple it was a pretty close race as to which were light or not.  The lines of stitching alternate rows.  I'm doing the quilting on the older Kenmore and using a walking foot.  I loaded up a dozen bobbins before beginning the quilting and have gone through 5 already.  I'm almost 3/4ths of the way done with the quilting.  All that will be left to do will be the binding and the label.  The label may just have the name of the quilt and my name and date on it.  Not sure yet.  I think the name may end up something like 144.  Just a simple number that will make people have to think.  It won't take an astro physicist to figure it out, and I'm sure all my quilty friends will figure it out pretty quick.  72 blocks with two colors in each of them....

So my darling son tonight is up in the sewing room trying to explain Netflix to me.  Before you think I must live under a rock, I know what it is, but there are features of it that he was trying to tell me about, in the hopes that I would pay a monthly fee to subscribe to it.  Apparently, if you subscribe, you can 'stream' videos to your computer or television instantly.  I asked him to look up what kinds of shows they had that had that ability, rather than the mail out the dvd and wait feature.  One I asked about was 'Simply Quilts', since so many other television shows were listed.  It was funny to see the results, especially when a horror flick with quilt in the name of it came up.  I had to stop sewing (which is what I was doing while he was looking things up) and actually turn around to see the computer screen because I thought he was making the title up!  It was a good laugh.  At any rate, we aren't going to get it yet because we are the only household in America (at least according to my son) that doesn't have a flat screen t.v., therefor requiring special equipment to stream the videos to the television.  Life will go on.

After I finish this quilt, I need to quilt a child's quilt for my nephew.  My stepmother made the top and she asked me to quilt it.  I don't usually do this, but since it is for family, I don't really mind.

Little Grand Canyon

Here's me on our hike in the Little Grand Canyon earlier this week.  I have to say, that was quite a hike!  The trail was narrow and steep.  Going down to the canyon was even a challenge because the grade was fairly steep.  It was do-able, but for someone not in tip top shape (ahh me...) it was rough.  Coming back up, I was glad we had the dog because she kind of helped me keep my balance.  Not that we turned her into Balto and had her pull me up the trail, but her tugging on the leash helped some!  hee hee hee.  When we were going downhill, Ev had to hold her leash because she would pull and then you risked being dragged downhill... When she decides to pull, she has quite a bit of strength!  I have a funny story about that later.

I've been quilting this afternoon on the 36 patch.  I'm almost half way done with the quilting.  I'm just doing diagonal lines a couple inches apart.  I've got one direction almost done and will be turning to do the cross hatching before the evening is over.  Looking good!

Cookies, yum!

This is what I have been doing this afternoon.  Baking cookies!  I just baked a simple batch of chocolate chip cookies with walnuts in them.  Oh, the house smells so good!  I put a bag of them in the freezer already, and I sent a dozen with Nick to give to the mechanics when he gets his oil changed this afternoon.  I like to spoil those guys, because they really do take care of me and my family.  I have a couple more batches waiting to cool enough to freeze then they are going into the freezer too.  If I don't put them in the freezer I will eat every last one of them.  No will power.  sigh. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Beautiful view

Ev and I took a couple days off to recharge.  This pic is just one of the places we went.  It's the beginning of a trail in Giant City State Park.  This particular trail was not one that we hiked, but it was very pretty.  The rock formations were something else.  Just out of this world.

We stayed at a cabin that was very nice.  The cabin had everything you could want.  Even a hot tub.  Nice.  It also had a grill and provided charcoal, so we had steaks on the grill to eat one night.  We went out for pizza the other night, which was nice also.

I haven't done much in the way of quilting the last few days, but would like to get up and sew tomorrow.  Still working on quilting the 36 patch.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The life of Ivy

I don't think any words are needed here.

Five, Six, Pick up Sticks...

Did a little yard work with the hubby this afternoon.  Picked up about half a pick up load of sticks and took them out to the compost pile.  Ev is cutting the grass, hopefully for the last time this year.  Our trees are all going to start to turn soon here.  Some are already turning.  They are so pretty.  I think this year is going to be a short year for the pretty colors, since we had such a hot and dry summer.  Our one Maple tree dropped a ton of what we call 'helicopters'.  They were all really really dry and very small.  I would say they were about a third of the size that they usually are.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sewing Sunday

Spend some time upstairs quilting the 36 patch.  It's at the fullest point, where I need to push the most material
through the machine throat.  I will say it's a struggle, but it's do-able.  Can't move too quickly on it because I have to reposition it very frequently but so far so good.

Brought my cactus plant inside today.  I think there may be a few walnuts planted in it from the neighborhood squirrels.  I hope the squirrel doesn't come knocking at the door wanting his winter stash!  haha.

Had lunch with my dad and his wife today.  Ev came with.  We went to a restaurant a couple towns over to celebrate my birthday tomorrow.  It was a good lunch.  I had fried chicken.  yummy!

Took Ivy for a two mile walk today.  She sure loves to walk.  I think she will have a great time when we take her to the state parks and hike this week.  We have never had such a spoiled dog as this.  I think we are becoming old folks who dote on their dog because their children are grown...  Oh well! hahaha

When Johanna and Ben get Johnathon again I think we may take him to see the Lion King.  I remember when it came out the first time, taking the kids to see it when they were really little. 

Put together a quickie vegetarian lasagna for Nick and broiled a couple steaks for Ev and I for dinner tonight.  Also made garlic bread, brussel sprouts, and potatoes.  Was a pretty good dinner!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Movie time

Went to see 'Moneyball' tonight with my friend Donna.  She was bored, but I enjoyed it.  I think it was because it was all about baseball and not all about Brad Pitt (the reason Donna went).  Gotta love baseball if you're going to enjoy that movie.

Went to Johanna's today to visit.  Made cookies with Johnathon again.  That was a lot of fun.  They needed to go pick up Ben's truck at his Mom's so I drove them there.  His folks have a farm and I got out for a minute to pet the horses and donkey.  Got to feed the horses a little bit which was pretty neat.  I hadn't done that for many years.