Saturday, December 31, 2011

Don't look if you're doing the New Year's Eve Mystery

Here's the block for the New Year's Eve Mystery quilt.  I got all 12 blocks finished today.  They just need to be sewn together to make the baby quilt.  You can't see it with just the one block pictured, but when the blocks are set together, a neat secondary pattern emerges, too.  I like the way the colors played well together, too.

Went to Lotawata Creek for lunch today.  Had to go to Barnes and Noble to get a few things taken care of on my Nook.  Both places were fun to go to.  Had a good time.

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve Day

Been up since 6 a.m. waiting for clues to the mystery quilt to be posted!  I'm such a nerd...  Started working on it and hoping to keep up, but may be leaving the house for a few hours soon.  Hubby and I might go out to eat and also stop at Barnes and Noble.  I have some questions on my Nook that I could not get satisfactory answers from their help line on.

So Happy New Year to everyone.  I hope and pray that this coming year will be a good one for you and your family.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Windy day

40+ mph winds today!  Wow!  At least the temp isn't too bad.  Hasn't been very cold but they are predicting that in a few days.

Not that anyone really wants to hear about my health, but I was having a real problem with nosebleeds a few months ago.  I decided to run my vaporizer every night, and it solved the problem.  Well, I think I finally killed the vaporizer, so today Ev and I went to Wal Mart and picked up a new one.  It's made by Vick's and it's billed as a warm mist humidifier.  This particular model is also labelled as one that is 90 some percent bacteria free, which was important to me.  It was almost twice the price of the vaporizer, but I think since it's a humidifier it will be made for continuous use.  I set it up right away and am hoping it works!

I did some sewing today.  I made a pair of slippers for Bethany from a felted wool sweater.  I found the pattern online a while ago, and it's about the easiest slipper pattern ever.  The slippers I made for her were from a green sweater and she is calling them her 'Zelda' slippers.  I'll take a pic of them soon.

Tonight I want to get the pieces cut for the New Year's Eve Mystery.  I ironed the material earlier today.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Here are pictures of the individual lap robes I made for the nursing homes.  The pics are a little after the fact here, but better late than never.

These two were made from Moda charm packs, plus a small amount of stash fabric:

 This was a panel I found in my stash:
 This was a double slice block pattern made in brown and greens for a man:

Purple blocks I won in a block lotto years ago that were aging nicely in my stash:
 Pink double slice blocks:
Three lap quilts made from 6" squares and neutral fabric from my stash:

Log cabin squares and miscellaneous pieces rescued from the thrift store:
 And two more of the same panel I found in my stash:

It sure was a lot of fun making these!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Feels like Monday

Pretty tired today.  Feels like a Monday since it was my first day back to work.  ugh.

Picked out some material to do the New Year's Eve mystery on one of my groups.  I'm going to do the baby size and make it in girl colors.  A friend of mine is going to have a new grandbaby and they know it's a girl.  She is due in March.  I also have a couple other friends who are expecting grandbabies soon, so I'll be making a couple more baby quilts soon.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Finished another quilt today

Can you believe that I finished Bethany's quilt before she got here?  haha.  Yup, I got 'er done.  Spent 5 hours in the sewing room, loved every minute of it, and machine quilted and bound her quilt.  She will be here tomorrow (Nick can't wait) and we will give it to her then.  Hope she likes it!

Raining here tonight.  Might turn to snow, but I doubt it.  Seems too warm.

Not sure what my next sewing project will be.  There's a New Year's Eve mystery on one of the groups that I'm thinking of participating in.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my friends around the world!  May you have a joyful and blessed day today.

I had both my kids home yesterday and over night.  We had a wonderful dinner of Cornish hens and all the trimmings.  Baked a lot of goodies, too.

This morning I baked a pan of cinnamon rolls.  Made the dough in the bread machine after dinner last night and rolled them up.  They rose in the fridge overnight and all I had to do was put them in the oven this morning.  Oh, the house smells so good!  Not going to put icing on them because half my crew doesn't like it and I don't need it!  :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Busy day of shopping, baking, and wrapping

My feet hurt.  I've been going nonstop since 7 a.m.  Hit Wal Mart, then the grocery store, with a few little stops in between.  Got home around noon and started cooking and baking.  Made a big plate of deviled eggs, two lemon meringue pies, and a cheesecake.  Yes, a cheesecake.  sigh.

Started wrapping presents.  Got about half of them wrapped.  Will take care of the rest in the morning.  Johanna is coming tomorrow around noon and is bringing her presents to wrap.  Plan to make a couple batches of easy cookies.  Also going to put together some cinnamon rolls for Sunday morning.  Want to go to Church Saturday night.  The choir usually sings a lot on Christmas Eve Mass.

But right now my feet hurt.  I'm going to bed.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ivy strikes again...

I forgot to mention in the last post that yesterday, when my darling husband came up to have lunch with me, he let our mouth with a dog attached stay inside.  Ev said it was drizzling and Nick was home (upstairs asleep) so he THOUGHT she would be okay.  right.  not.

Remember a few posts ago I mentioned I won something?  Well, what I won was a new television.  Our old console television threw in the towel about 9 months ago.  We then drug one of the kids' old 19" t.v.'s down to the front room and had been using it.  There was a contest where if you brought in a canned good, you got an entry into the drawing for a new t.v.  It was at our local Ford dealership, and I was very fortunate to win.  Of course, I think I brought enough canned goods in to feed a small army (they were donated to the local food shelter), but still came out ahead.

I digress.  Yesterday, while Darling Hubby and I were enjoying lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Ivy was dining on the remote control for the new television!   Oh, that dog!  She ate the remote for the satellite receiver not too long ago and we had to get a new one.  This brings her tally up to 2 remotes, 1 couch, 2 chairs, umpteen shoes, hats, and goodness knows what I've forgotten already.  It's a real good thing we love that dog....

Long story short, I called the manufacturer of the t.v. and it will be over $40 to replace the remote.  I called our satellite provider, DishNetwork, and they said our Dish remote should do everything the t.v. remote did.  After attempting to do some of the things it was supposed to do, Dish informed me that I need a new remote from them, which will be free, and they are sending one out.  Good ending to an aggravating start.

Oh, and I got a speeding ticket on the way home from work last night, but not telling my husband...  He will read about it in the local police report in the newspaper and then we can laugh about it...hopefully...  :)

Holiday is coming up fast

Christmas is almost here!  It's been stretched out before and after the holiday for us this year.  Last weekend we went up to Mom's, this weekend we will have Christmas at home, then next week Nick's girlfriend will be here and we will have a mini Christmas with her. 

I have my menu planned out for Christmas Eve, when everyone will be home.  Making Cornish Hens, pea casserole, green bean casserole, salad, stuffing, and whatever else we want to add to it between now and then!

Baked a lot of those jar breads and have them in the freezer, so won't be doing a lot of baking.  Maybe a batch of cookies or two.  Want to make some cinnamon rolls for Sunday morning breakfast.  yummmm.

Almost done with my shopping.  Tomorrow, after Ev gets paid, I'll go to Wal Mart and pick up a few things that I have to get yet.  Most of my grocery shopping is done.  Ev did bring home a coupon from work for a free ham or turkey, so I'll pick that up soon.

Haven't done any more sewing on Bethany's quilt, but not worrying about it.  As long as the machine cooperates, I shouldn't have any trouble getting it done.  I asked Santa for a new rolling chair to use when I'm machine quilting.  The chair I have at that machine is a reject from work I took home years ago.  It's an office chair on wheels with no arms.  It would be perfect except it's all broken.  The back keeps sliding down and the padding is all worn down so it's like sitting on a board.  And it doesn't roll well at all.  So hopefully Santa's UPS delivery will get here on time....

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Quilting started

I've had this top done for a long time and decided it needed to be quilted and find a home.  Nick's girlfriend will be here next week and I plan to give it to her.  I got about a third of it machine quilted tonight.  Still just comfortable doing loopy loops, but hey, I'm doing something at least!  The top was made during one of the online mysteries I participated in.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wiped out

Tired from all the traveling and having to work today.  Didn't do much of anything when I got home from work except cook dinner.

Measured a top I have to be quilted.  Going to get the batting for it this week so I can pin it and quilt it soon.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Back home again

We all went up north to visit my mom and family yesterday.  Came home today.  It was a good visit, but I'm wiped out now from the driving.  Took a hot bath and I'm relaxing.  This is a short week for me at work, with the holiday coming up.  Tomorrow I want to get a few more things taken care of on the present front.  Still have a few little things to get.  And I want to get some wrapping done.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Party day

Today was our Christmas party at work.  I brought sloppy joe.  We had so much food, I brought a lot of it home!  Everyone always goes a little overboard for this party.  A couple of people who used to work in this office came for the party.  It was nice to see old friends again and catch up.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's a wrap

Tonight I wrapped most of the presents that will be going to my mom's side of the family and Ev's side.  I'm just not that into wrapping anymore.

Today was a lucky day for me.  I won a prize!  It sure felt good to win something.  Our family is really blessed. 

Hoscah Recipe

Here is the recipe for hoscah, or hoska - however it is spelled.  When I was little my great grandmother would make it all the time.  We also called it sweet bread, but I came to find out later in life that term also refers to some disgusting part of an animal that people eat, so now pretty much just refer to it as hoscah.

Mammy did not really measure much when she made hoscah.  She had made it so many times, she probably could do it in her sleep.  Grandpa would say "Who needs cake when we have hoscah!".  Some times she would just put raisins in it and some times, especially during the holidays, she would put the candied cherries in it.  I do think I remember it having nuts in it once or twice.

I tried to write the recipe down many years ago by watching Mammy make it and take notes, but I really couldn't get it just right.  Later on, while surfing the internte, I came across a recipe for Czechoslovakian Egg Braid on recipezaar.  It fit the bill perfectly for hoscah.  All I had to do was add the raisins and candied cherries.

This recipe make two very large loaves.  It is best eaten immediately because it gets stale quickly since it has no preservatives in it.  I usually cut a loaf in half and freeze the rest.  It freezes very well.  It's good plain, with butter, or even toasted.

So without further babble from me, here is the recipe for Czechoslovakian Egg Braid by Charmie777 on Recipiezaar with my additions.  I'm calling it the hoscah recipe!

1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
7 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
3 eggs
1 cup raisins
1 cup candied fruit, chopped (red or green cherries)
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons water

In a medium saucepan, heat milk, 1/2 cup water, margarine, sugar and salt to 120 (or very warm) stirring frequently.  Allow to cool enough so that to barely warm so that it does not kill the yeast.  In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour and yeast.  Add milk mixture to flour mixture.  Beat for several minutes, then beat in the whole eggs.  Add enough flour to make a dough that cleans the sides of the bowl.  Add raisins and candied fruit.  Turn out onto lightly floured surface.  Knead until smooth, 5 to 10 minutes.

Grease a large bowl and place dough in it.  Turn to grease top, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until double, about 45 minutes.  Punch dough down.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide dough in half.  Divide 1 piece of dough into three equal parts and roll each into a rope about 12 inches long.  ON a greased 15x10 inch baking sheet, braid the three parts, loosely fastening the ends.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Cover and let rise until light (braids will not double).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Make and egg wash with the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water.  Brush braids with the egg wash just before putting in the oven.  Bake until bread is a deep golden brown and loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, 30 to 40 minutes. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tonight was another marathon cooking/baking session

Cooking and baking update - I'm pooped!  Got home from work and hit the ground running.  Browned four pounds of ground beef for sloppy joe.  That will be Ev's dinner for tonight and the rest is going to my Christmas party at work Friday.  I added celery, onion, and green pepper to it, and then the sauce.

Ev texted me and asked if I could bring him a couple grilled cheese sandwiches to work because he was hungry and had eaten his lunch early.  Did that.

Put together a new recipe for potato soup in the crock pot.  That has to cook for 8 hours, so going to have Ev turn it off when he comes to bed tonight.

And I finally got the hoscah put together.  It's on the second rise and will be going into the oven soon.  I will post that recipe before the week is over, promise!  It's really good stuff.

Now, I'm going to sit down and watch Criminal Minds.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

And tonight was a pumpkin apple bread kind of night

The last time I made pumpkin apple raisin bread I wasn't pleased with it.  I used storebought applesauce and it just didn't have the depth of flavor the batch did when I used the homemade applesauce.  Tonight I used chopped fresh apples instead of homemade applesauce and it was very good.  That bread in a jar recipe is so versatile.  I just love it!

Put up the rest of my village tonight.  I did not put all my houses and figures out this year.  I just didn't feel like it, so I didn't do it.  I picked my favorite ones and put them out.  I really hope Ivy leaves things alone.

No sewing tonight.  Don't know if I will get any done this week or not.  Tomorrow night I plan on wrapping some presents for family we are going to see this weekend.

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's a banana bread kind of night

Made some banana nut bread in jars tonight.  The house smells good! 

I had to stop at the store on my way home and get a couple things.  Nick used to work there and he drops in on the gals to chat now and then.  When I was in there one of the gals asked if I was baking any more breads.  I laughed and said yes I was baking tonight.  Then I asked how she knew about them.  Turns out Nick has been talking them up to people.  She told me his favorite was the apple pumpkin!  Cracked me up but really made me feel good.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's that time of year again!

It's time to make goodie bags for Christmas!  Just made two this year.  One for Johanna and one for Nicholas.  Johanna doesn't have a steady boyfriend right now and Nicholas' girlfriend lives states away.  I don't have as much Christmas fabric as I thought I did and I was having a hard time picking out fabric.  I brought down several pieces and let Nick pick the material for his and for his sister's bag.  Nick's is the red one.  I like both fabrics and made a nice drawstring top this time, rather than just attaching a tie on one side.  That part changes from year to year, depending on my mood....

I started to put up my village today.  Didn't get too far, but that's okay.  I'll put it up through the week.  We have the tree done.  Didn't put too many ornaments or stuff on it this year, but we all like it and think it looks nice.

I am considering making us all new stockings this year.  Haven't hung the old ones up yet, either.

The church potluck was nice.  I got a kick out of seeing all the wrapped quilts sitting on with all the packages for the nursing home folks.  That was my little secret today and when one of the people went to pick up the stuff for their family member, it made me feel good.  Yeah, going to have to remember to start earlier next year on those so I can make them a little more special.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Done, done, and done!

A stack of a dozen lap quilts!  All done!  I did it! 
And they are all under wraps, now.  Tomorrow is the pot luck dinner at church and after which they will be distributed to their intended recipients at different nursing homes in our area. 

I've got a batch of pumpkin apple raisin bread in the oven.  Taking some of it to the pot luck tomorrow. 

So, this morning, when I was putting the binding on the last lap quilt, I only had two sides to go and I would be all finished, the Bernina decided to act up.  It started when a needle broke.  It ended up with me taking the needle plate off, then taking apart the bobbin area and cleaning out all the fuzz and lint and thread and wow, how did this tempermental machine ever function with all that stuff in there?  That Bernina is not my favorite machine to use, mainly because of it's lack of being a workhorse, but after pulling all that stuff out of there, I have a newfound respect for the machine!  I am certainly not one to allow my machines to get in that condition, but the Bernina has a drop in bobbin, and all my other machines are not.  I wasn't cleaning it out properly because I didn't know I was supposed to clean some of the areas. 

Anyway, I had to take a 45 minute detour to do all that, then finish the binding on the last lap quilt. The machine is in tip top shape now.  I have another project I want to get on right away before Christmas gets here.  I want to finish up the pine trees wall hanging.

Ev put the lights on the Christmas tree tonight.  I'm going to put the ornaments on it tomorrow and try and get the village up.  Started clearing the junk off the piano so I can set up some of it there.  Why do I accumulate so much junk?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Three done tonight, three left

Went upstairs tonight and put the binding on three of the remaining six lap quilts.  I was determined to get at least two done tonight and pushed myself to do a third.  I'm glad I did, because now I know that tomorrow I will be able to finish, no problem.

I made a small pork roast for dinner with some fried cabbage and noodles.  Yummy!  I know it's just simple food, but we like it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Six done, six to go

Had a busy evening tonight.  Came home from work and just had time to check the mail and talk to Nick for a few minutes.  Then ran out to meet a friend for dinner then went to church.  Tomorrow is a Holy Day.  Our church didn't have a vigil Mass, but the church in the town over did.  I really like the church because it's very old fashioned.  Plus, my great grandfather on my dad's side helped to build it.

When I got home I had to fix Ev's supper, then throw clothes in the wash.  One of my shows is on from 8 til 9 so I watched it.  Then I went upstairs to sew.  I was able to bind two more lap quilts!  Six are done and six need to be bound still.  I would like to have had more done by now, but I think I can finish them up in the next day or two!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I almost forgot

Happy St. Nicholas' Day!

Three more done

I did not finish binding five lap quilts, but I did finish three.  When I was doing the last one I made a mistake and sewed the binding to the front side first, instead of the back.  I left it and machine sewed it as neatly as I could.  As much as I would have liked to have stayed up and sewed some more, I think sewing the binding incorrectly was my cue to stop at three!  Eight more to go!

Also tested out the pigma pens I have in a drawer.  Wanted to make sure they still work.  They do.  Just going to write their names on them.

I'd rather be quilting

When I am at work, all I can think about is getting home to do some quilting!  Tonight's dinner is going to be simple - just hamburger helper.  I'll get that going and then I will be free to quilt up a storm!  Going to cut the binding a little larger for the lap quilts than I did yesterday.  I cut it at 2" and that was just a little too narrow for my liking.  I have enough binding cut at the 2" for another lap quilt, but I think I'll just put it in the scrap bin and make 2.5" because it will work up faster.  I won't have to fight it so much.  Should I set the goal for myself to get 5 of them bound tonight?  Is that unrealistic?  Then I can shoot for 3 Wednesday and 3 Thursday?  We will see how ambitious I am when I get home!  haha.

Monday, December 5, 2011


 That poor dog.  Johanna insisted on picking her up for the picture!  This was Saturday when we went out to get our Christmas tree.  It was a beautiful day.  Today we had a bit of snow and sleet!  Guess Winter is trying to get here.
 Cranberry Nut Bread...yum!  I get conflicting opinions about the cranberries.  Some like them tart and some would like them to be sweeter.  Might make the next batch sweeter just to have a comparison.
Isn't this the cutest little ornament?  My friend, Mary, sent it to me.  Life really is good when I'm quilting!

And speaking of quilting I spent almost two hours upstairs tonight.  I cut binding and put it on one of the lap quilts.  I also trimmed up the remaining six that weren't trimmed.  Still not sure what, if any label is going to go on them.  And I promise to take a picture of the stack of them when they are all finished!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Almost there

I have quilted all twelve of the lap quilts for the nursing homes!  Trimmed six of them.  Hope to get started putting the binding on tomorrow after work.  I'm so excited!  There is such a sense of accomplishment, looking at them folded up on the table in a big stack, even if they aren't all the way done yet!  I am confident I can finish them this week.  They need to be done by next Sunday and I don't think that will be a problem at all.  I am so blessed to have this ability.  And very thankful for it!

Made pork chops, mashed potatoes and asparagus for dinner tonight.  My friend Lori gave me her seal a meal machine and I sealed up some leftover meatloaf and threw it in the freezer, along with some rice.  I need to get more bags for it, and also an attachment to seal mason jars.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pretend there are pictures

I have a bunch of photos I wanted to put on the blog post tonight, but they are in my camera in the kitchen and I'm in bed, so they are going to have to wait.  Just pretend you are seeing them...  I have pics of the family at the tree farm today getting our Christmas tree, pictures of cranberry nut bread I made, and a picture of a beautiful ornament that a friend sent me.

The cranberry nut bread was a new twist on the bread in a jar recipe.  The cranberries were too tart just out of the bag, so next time I think I will sweeten them up in a syrup before adding them to the bread.

Machine quilted another lap quilt today and got about a third of the way through another one.  There are three left to quilt now.  Then it's on to the binding

Ivy went with us to get our tree today.  She was a good pup and greeted everyone by politely licking any exposed body parts within her reach.

Johanna has a broken heart but is being a brave soldier and muddling through it.

Nick is a sick kid right now, but hopefully is on the tail end of it.

Nativity festival

Yesterday right after work I took my dad and step mother to a Nativity Festival in Springfield.  It was really nice.  The festival was held at a Franciscan retreat center. Part of the display was in a beautiful church.  The nativity scenes were from all over the world and very interesting.

Today I need to do a little housecleaning and get started putting up my village.  I also need to finish quilting those four lap quilts.  Shouldn't take long to get that done at least.

We are planning on getting our Christmas tree today.  I'm looking forward to that!  Both kids are going to be home and will go with.  I hope I can convince Ev to let us bring the dog, too!  There might not be room in the truck for her, though.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Same old same old

Not much going on today.  Same old same old.  Didn't do any sewing.  Still have those last four lap quilts to machine quilt.