Friday, March 29, 2013

Absence Explanation

Sorry I haven't blogged for a couple of days.  Our office moved locations and it was pretty hectic at work, packing and unpacking.  All that fun stuff.  Yeah, right.

By the time I got home, I was pretty wore out and mostly just crashed out on the couch.

So, Dear Readers, please forgive me for not being around the last few days, but I'm back now!  Aren't you glad?  hahaha.

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday for us.  Easter is this Sunday.  I'm going to have our Easter dinner Saturday evening.  Today I went to the grocery store and bought a real nice ham.  Our dinner menu looks something like this:

Cheese, Summer Sausage, and Crackers
Deviled Eggs

Baked Ham
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Pea Casserole
Spinach Casserole

Angel Food Cake with Strawberries


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Stained glass

This "pattern" or "method" is not my original idea, however I do think I have seen it in more than one place.  Can't say exactly where, though, so I appologize for not being able to give credit.

Here's what I'm calling 'stained glass':

I'm going to alternate the strips to create an interesting pattern.  The top will be 72"x72" on the inner motif, and I don't know what I will do about borders, but probably at least one border of the black material.  The squares are all pressed, so now it's just a matter of sewing them into strips of three then sewing the strips together to create the top.  Pretty fast work, really.  Last night I got quite a bit done in a short amount of time.  Don't know if I will get much done tonight or not, because I've got a couple errands to run after work, then have to make dinner.

Last night's dinner was really really good.  I'm going to have to make those spare ribs again sometime soon, and make more of them!  lol

Monday, March 25, 2013


we got snow.  Over 16".  Wow.

I spent the day making a yummy dinner.  BBQ ribs, baked potatoes, green bean casserole, and cheesy garlic breadsticks.  The house smells pretty good.

I also finished sewing the strip sets for the next quilt and cut the blocks out.  I need to press them, then sew them into rows.  Not sure what I'm going to do for borders, if anything. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March Snow

Love it!  This pic was taken early in the afternoon today.  We have had over ten inches of snow and it's still snowing!  It is slowing down a little bit and supposed to taper off.

Orange Blossom was delivered and it's owner loves it!  That makes me happy.  Now I'm working on getting two quilts done for birthdays at the end of April.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Orange Blossom is done!

Last night I finished up the quilting on Orange Blossom and today I put the binding and label on it.  It's all done!  Here's a close up of the quilting on the back:
 Here's the label:
 Front view - good thing hubby is tall:
 Quilting on the front:
I'm pleased with it.  Still need to get better on attaching the binding.  These batiks were really nice to work with.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Bad weather is predicted

You know, I say "Bad" weather, but if you really must know, I LIKE SNOW!  Mostly, I like having to stay home and not drive in it.  As long as the power stays on, I'm good.  At any rate, the weather service is predicting we may get a significant amount of snow, or we may not get any.  Only time will tell.

I need to get back to the gym tonight.  I did not go last night and feel like a slacker!  haha.  Tonight I just need to go straight from work, although I do have some groceries that need to go in the freezer, so if it's not too cold out, I might have to run home first.  That's dangerous, because once I'm home, I really don't like to go back out!  excuses, excuses...

Going to make sure I get some stitching done on Orange Blossom.  I also have to whip up one of the Easter Bags in case Johanna's boyfriend's little boy comes over.  Need to have that bag ready because I'm not sure we will see him next weekend.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dinner plans

Last night we had a good, but simple dinner.  I breaded and fried some thin pork chops.  We had shells and cheese and brussel sprouts with them.  Was pretty good eats!

Tonight I'm stopping at the grocery store.  The deli has a hot case that carries boneless chicken strips.  I'm going to buy some of them and make chicken bacon ranch sub sandwiches.  We can have chips or fries with them, either one will be good.

Was going to go to the gym after work, but now I think I'll just go home and make a nice hot meal.  Ev will be home to eat it, and I know he will appreciate it a lot.

And since he has been home a couple of days in the evenings, I have gotten ZERO sewing done.  sigh.  The good thing is, Orange Blossom is on the frame and won't take very long at all to finish.  He will be back at work tomorrow, so tomorrow night I may be able to get some more of it quilted.  Then I have all day Saturday and until 3pm on Sunday to finish it up!  That's when I will see the birthday girl.  But no pressure, right?  haha

I just am so glad that the tee shirt quilt is done!  That was a load off my mind.  After Orange Blossom, I have two quilts to make for the end of April, when my twin brothers have birthdays.  Going to have to get them done before I go to Paducah.

I am ready for Friday

This has not been a very good week for us.  Ev has had some trouble at work.  We are dealing with it, but it's been quite stressful.  I am trying very hard not to 'over talk' the situation, because that makes Ev think about it too much and then he gets even more stressed.  But it's hard for me to keep my mouth shut...  sigh.  It will all work out, one way or another.  Just have to have faith in God's plan.

Yesterday I took a half day off of work and Ev and I fixed the ceiling fan and light in the dining room.  We had put it up several weeks ago, but then it wouldn't work properly and we didn't have time to look at it again.  So yesterday it got fixed and is working like a charm!  We also went to the lumber yard and picked up some trim to finish the bathroom.  That project has been aging for quite a while and it's time to get it done.  Today Ev is cleaning and sealing the bathroom tile, then Sunday we will put up the new trim.

The area in front of our house really took a beating over the winter.  We have been parking in mud puddles the size of duck ponds.  Today the city is bringing rock and spreading it so that we will have a nice area in front again.  I'm looking forward to that!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sometimes I should not try new recipes

Last night was one of those times.  I grilled some chicken pieces in a skillet then threw them in a rice mixture with riccota cheese and covered it with mozzerella cheese.  It was not the best creation I have ever made.  But, it was edible.  That's all that counts I guess. 

Tonight it's just leftovers for dinner.  We have a fridge full of them and it needs to get cleaned out.  I'm going to the gym right after work, so when I get home I fully intend to do a bit of quilting on Orange Blossom.  Key word is "intend" in that last sentence....  Seems like when I get home I just want to plop on the couch and vegetate.  Which I am real good at.  Sigh.

Our office is moving again.  That is all going to be happening next week and the following week.  Not looking forward to the actual moving part, but it will be good when we are in the new space.  And, it's just up the road a bit, so not much farther from home.  I'll still be able to go home for lunch if I want to.

Monday, March 18, 2013

And then what happened?

That's what I think Shadow is saying!  This cat is so funny.  She has the oddest expressions.  Her thing now is to spend the evening sleeping and snoring in the chair, or if my lap becomes available she immediately runs over and plops down as if staking claim!  Then, when I go to bed she will come running into the bedroom, jump on the bed and trot right up to the top of the covers and demand I lift them up, so she can get under them, turn around, and have her head poking out right next to me!  Totally cracks me up!  She will stay that way all night, too.

Last Night's Dinner

Since I had some time yesterday to spend in the kitchen, I made up a nice meal.  Our local grocery store has a very very good meat department, so if I can I will get a 'chuck arm pot roast' and make that for Sunday Dinner sometimes.  I season it with a steak rub, then seer it in a bit of oil on top of the stove.  I will put it in a dutch oven and either bake on low or leave it cook on top of the stove or put in a cast iron skillet and bake on low.  I add some beef broth to it after seering it.  Then I make a simple gravy from the broth, usually adding minced onion, bouillion cubes, parsley, worchestershire sauce, and kitchen bouquet.  Pardon the spellings.  Oh, and thicken with corn starch and water slurry.

Mashed potatoes accompany this as well as a vegetable.  Last night's veggie was fried cabbage and noodles.  I know that's two starches in the meal, but we really like cabbage and noodles and I felt like we had to have some kind of cabbage dish, being that it was St. Patrick's Day!

Tonight I'm going to make some kind of creamy chicken dish.  I have leftover riccota cheese mixture from when I made the lasagna Saturday.  Going to cook some chicken breasts then make a sauce and serve over noodles.

Another finish!

I finished the tee shirt quilt for the customer - finally!  Yes, I know I have had it for a long time, however when I agreed to construct, quilt, and bind this quilt I told the customer it would have to be to me well before the November and December holidays or it would take quite a while.  It did not get to me early enough and got pushed back, which was okay with the customer.  So, now it's done and will be going out the door tomorrow.  I actually finished binding it last night, but the customer cannot pick it up from my work until tomorrow.  No biggie.  I'm just very glad it's finished!

That makes three finished quilts for the year so far.  Not bad....

I have Orange Blossom on the frame and ready for more quilting.  Ev was getting a little nervous yesterday that I was working on the tee shirt quilt and not quilting Orange Blossom as the person Orange Blossom is for is having their birthday party this Sunday.  I'm pretty confident it will be finished in time.

And for your viewing pleasure, here is a sure sign that Spring will be here eventually:

This little crocus bravely stuck it's head up out of the ground, only to get snowed on yesterday!  I planted crocus bulbs a long long time ago by this tree and every year one or two will pop up as a nice surprise.  I really should plant a few more, because I really like seeing them.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Happy International Quilting Day

Hope everyone had a chance to do some quilting today. I loaded up Orange Blossom on Gemma and did one pass of quilting. I have to say I was a bit apprehensive about the batik maaterial but so far it is quilting up nicely. Made a lasagna for Nick and one with meat for the rest of us. Also got lots of laundry done today. Was a busy day!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Easy meals

Last night, because I wanted to get some sewing done, I made a quick batch of chili using the leftover taco seasoned ground beef from the night before.  I just added chili beans, onion, green pepper, and tomato sauce to make some easy chili.  Then I cooked some spaghetti noodles and we had chili spaghetti with cheese on top.  Yum!

This morning I put together a batch of clam chowder.  I'm pretty sure I have given the recipe here before, but all it is is 2 cans of cream of potato soup, 3 cans New England clam chowder, quart of half and half, two cans minced clams, drained and one onion diced sauteed in one stick of butter.  Add sauteed clams and onion to the rest of the ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for a few hours.  Makes a great semi-homemade soup.  Just add a loaf of fresh bread and you are good to go!

So dinner is all ready when I get home and I'm pretty happy about that!

More sewing last night

I put the borders on the orange top and it's all ready to load on the frame.  I was going to scrounge around in the fabric drawers for something to piece together for the back, however while at Wal Mart on my lunch hour I found a reasonably priced 108" backing of bleached muslin.  It came home with me.  So all I need to do tonight is load that puppy on Gemma.  Then tomorrow I can quilt away! hopefully...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lookee what I did...

Yesterday after work I put together 8 rows of 7 ten inch squares of the Tonga Treats that I purchased from Hancock's of Paducah.  I just randomly grabbed squares.  There were some very neutral squares in the package, and I kept them aside.  Now I'm going to make a border of half squares with those neutrals.  Then the top will be ready to quilt. 

Johanna's boyfriend got conned into holding the top up for me.  His comment was that the colors were very warm.  I'm impressed...  lol

I did enjoy working with these fabric squares.  They are batiks and they just have such a nice feel to them.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

We have a Pope!

Our new Pope is Cardinal Bergoglio from Argentina and he has taken the name of Pope Francis. 

I like his smile. 

He has a lot of work ahead of him. 


Aren't these fabrics just gorgeous?  I could hardly wait to open them up when I got home and start playing with them!  I sorted them out and have put the very light ones aside to use for the border.  The rest will just be randomly sewn for the center of the quilt.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hancock's order and Bisquick Chicken Recipe

Well, I'm not home yet, but the FedEx tracking says the Hancock's of Paducah order has been delivered.  I'm excited and anxious to get home and tear into it!  The order was for precut 10" squares of Tonga Treats.  I remember these from when I was there and scrounging around in their back room.  I liked them a lot and even bought some to use on the nursing home quilts last year.  Well, I bought them and that's what they ended up being used for at least!

Last night's dinner was a hit.  I made 'Bisquick Chicken'.  My dad used to make this all the time, without quite as much spice as I used, but it was good.  Here's the recipe as it appears on Bisquick's website:

Bisquick Chicken

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

2/3 cup Original Bisquick® mix

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cut-up whole chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds)  

Heat oven to 425°F. Melt butter in rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches, in oven.

Stir together Bisquick, paprika, salt and pepper; coat chicken. Place skin sides down in dish (dish and butter should be hot).   Bake 35 minutes; turn chicken. Bake about 15 minutes longer or until juice is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.

Now, here's how I changed it up.  I used Jiffy Baking Mix (just what I had in the cabinet and I think it's cheaper).  I used a combination of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, salt and pepper.  Can't really give exact amounts, but I know I used a good amount of paprika!  It gives the chicken a bite, so cut back on it if you don't want spicy.  I used three medium sized skinless chicken breasts, cut into about 3" pieces.   This was a good dinner with some oven baked fries, green beans and fruit. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Pea Casserole Recipe

This is the recipe that our family really likes.  It sounds weird, but give it a try and you will be pleasantly surprised.  I originally got it out of a magazine back in the 80's.  It might have been Woman's World, but I can't say for sure.

Pea Casserole

2 cans of peas, drained
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
2 cups (or less) shredded cheese (cheddar or colby jack are good)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Optional topping of bread crumbs toasted in a little bit of butter to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 350.  Layer in the order given, spreading the mushroom soup across the top of the casserole all the way to the edges.  You can make the optional topping of breadcrumbs or use a bit of the shredded cheese as a topping or none at all.  Bake for 30 minutes or until nice and bubbly at 350 degrees.

I know the hard boiled egg seems like an odd ingredient, but it really does pair well with the peas.  This used to be the "other" casserole that the family requested in place of or in addition to the old stand by of green bean casserole.  Now they are happy with either one.

A bit miffed

Last week I placed an order for two packages of precut 10" squares from Hancock's of Paducah.  They are listed as in stock, in the warehouse.  Now, precuts do not have to be sent to the cutting table or anything, so I would have thought that they would be shipped out right away.  Nope.  Order is still listed as in warehouse.  I have sent an email to customer service, but have not received any response.  Sure hope they get sent out soon.

Made a big dinner last night.  We had meat loaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, spinach and cheese casserole, and the pea casserole everyone at my house likes.  It was a big meal and everyone stuffed themselves until they couldn't move! 

Ev was so funny.  I hardly ever "make his plate".  It's a standing joke - I'm not his mother, I'm his wife, blah, blah, blah.  Well, last night he was watching a show on t.v. and dinner was done, so I made this huge plate of food for him and took it in for him to eat in front of the t.v.  He was surprised and then just ate up the pampering.  After he ate all the food on the plate, he got up and brought in some pieces of cracker bark for himself and me (dessert!).  Then he laid down on the couch and fell asleep for a couple hours!

When he woke up, Johanna and her boyfriend were in the kitchen getting food, AGAIN, and asked Ev if he wanted a plate.  He surprised me because he says, sure, why not?  And then ate another big plate of food!

I just moved out of the way in case he exploded...  haha

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Where's kitty?

Can you find the cat in this picture?  lol

Shadow's the best cat.  She loves to get under the covers at night and cuddle with me!  Sometimes she even likes to get under the covers when I'm not in bed.  We were making the bed and she jumped up and refused to move, so we just made the bed around her.  I don't think she minded one bit!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Kind of chicken stroganoff recipe

Okay, so here's what I made for dinner last night.  I think it's a real keeper.  I'm calling it Kind of Chicken Stroganoff!

The yummy stuff:

3 large chicken breasts, cut into big chunks
seasonings, such as season salt, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, etc. - whatever you like!
1 onion, sliced
1 green or colored pepper, sliced
1 container fresh mushrooms, sliced
oil for sauteeing
1 stick of butter
2 T flour
4-6 T cream cheese
fettuccini noodles or egg noodles or whatever you want to serve it on!

How to make it:

Season chicken liberally with spices.  Brown pieces in enough oil to cover the bottom of a large, heavy skillet.  Remove chicken from pan.  Drain oil from pan. 

Melt butter in same pan, scraping bottom to get the crunchies.  Put onion, green pepper and mushrooms in melted butter and cook until beginning to soften.  Return chicken to pan and cover, cooking on medium until chicken is completely cooked through.

Uncover and sprinkle the flour into the pan to thicken into a light roux.  Add enough milk to make a sauce that is just slightly thickened.  Add the cream cheese to thicken to desired consistency.

Boil noodles and drain.  Toss with additional butter if desired.  Serve chicken and sauce over enjoy!

Garlic cheese breadsticks and a salad would be great with this, too.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Made a real good chicken dish for dinner. Too tired to put recipe up tonight. Will do that tommorrow.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Summer plans in Winter weather

I did something today that I haven't done for 20 years.  I bought an airline ticket!  In fact, I bought a couple of them.  Ev and I are going to go to California for a few days this year and I'm really excited about it.

And I think it might be just what I needed on this wintry day to warm me up!  haha.

An early day yesterday

Yesterday Ev and I were up and out the door early.  He had to go for some medical tests and had to be there at 6:30 a.m.!  It all went well and the results were good, so it was worth it.  We were home before noon.

Ended up going out to lunch with our daughter, which was very nice.  Then for dinner we had one of those take and bake pizza's from Aldi.  It was very good!  And cheap!  We will be having more of those in the future.  I liked it better than some of the pizza place's pizza.

It had been a long day and night before so we were both pretty tired last night.  We watched a movie then hit the hay. 

I didn't get any sewing done yesterday but that's okay.  I did get to the gym for an hour.  Still not seeing any weight loss, but feeling better, that's for sure.  Except when I'm sore, then I'm not feeling so hot!  It's torture...haha.  Plan to go again tonight.

It's snowing here like crazy.  Don't think we are supposed to get any accumulation and later in the week it's supposed to warm up into the 50's, so it won't stick around very long if we do get any amount.  Mom said they are getting hit up in Chicago with a lot.  Here's what my parking lot at work looks like:

It's hard to see the snow, but it really is coming down.  Blowing sideways, too. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A couple hours can accomplish a lot

I spent a couple hours quilting the tee shirt quilt for a customer.  It's off the frame and ready to be trimmed and bound.  Then it will be done!  woohoo!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

at the movies

There is not much playing that I want to see but just to get out my friend and I went to see Identity Thief. It was passable.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Goofy hairstyles and empty coffee cups

So today at work a woman was standing at my desk asking me questions and it was all I could do to not stare at her hair.  She had it pulled up in a ponytail right smack dab on the very top of her head then fanned out so her hair created what I can only describe as a fountain.  Now, this hairstyle is cute on a little bitty girl, but on a grown woman, it just looked ridiculous.  At least to me, it did.

I'm done griping.

Well, maybe not quite...  Hubby and I went to lunch today to the local dive cafe by my work.  It's a place we used to go to a lot, but quit going and each time we decide to go again we are reminded of WHY we quit going.  Today was no exception.  After watching the waitress walk past our table several times with the coffee pot and effectively avoiding eye contact, Hubby, who is tall and has very long arms, leans over and swings his bone dry empty coffee cup out to stop the forward progress of the waitress and says very sweetly "May I have more coffee please?".  I bust out laughing when she was gone and all I could think of was that he was going to resort to throwing the cup at her if his acrobat maneuver didn't work!