Friday, November 30, 2018

what I'm working on

Well, sorry, I really can't show you.  I have been working on a quilt for someone and I want it to be a surprise.

The quilt pattern was designed to have no borders, but I wanted it to be a bit larger and also thought it could use an extra bit of color.

I will show you one corner of the border I worked out for it.

I saw this type of corner on a different quilt in a magazine and had torn it out and put it in a stack of other scraps of paper with quilt ideas on them.
I like it because it's not so busy that it takes attention away from the center of the quilt...but it does add some interest.

Of course I procrastined on it since I had to do some measuring and figuring and swearing under my breath to make it come out the right size.

Now to get it layered and quilted...and labeled....and put the binding on.
Gosh, I'd better get busy!

And here is a project that I won't be working on.
This is one of my unfinished projects. (you know how I made a vow to finish them all up).

 A couple of years ago, a lot of ladies in the Quilting Bees group were making this bee themed quilt in different sizes.  I started on this small one but never finished.

It probably would have been cute but I'd rather be working on something else and I wasn't that far along with it anyway.

So, I put the cut pieces in the scrap bin, tossed the pattern and turned around and dusted off my hands.  That's one thing off my list!

Monday, November 26, 2018

what's in a name

If someone has been President of the United States, there will often be cities, bridges, buildings and sections of expressways named after them.

Or if one has been a popular local government official, perhaps a highway might be named after them. Same with a local sports hero who becomes famous.

We sometimes see a library, school, or hospital named for an activist or social reformer...but more often, those might be named for their most generous benefactor.

I am feeling fairly insignificant, though.  It looks like I'm sharing a name with these furniture slipcovers...

Sheesh!  I never really noticed slipcovers having a name.  Why do suppose they would need one?  No one will be talking to them.  They won't be answering roll call anywhere or applying for a driver's license or credit card.

I remember back in the 70' the ads for wigs in the ladies magazines - the wigs all had "Connie" or "Blair" or "Lola".
That makes more sense. They were trying to associate a personality type with the style of the wigs.

But slipcovers?  Do they need a personality?
Does this mean I have the personality of a slipcover?

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

ice coated morning

The overnight forecast one day last week was for a "wintery mix".

The next morning all the trees and shrubs were coated with a thick layer of ice.
Pretty to look at but too heavy for the poor plants.

That's the lilac bush at the bottom left in the photo below...the branch tips are touching the ground.

Our big Oak tree (below) was still hanging on to most of it's leaves...all coated with ice making the branches bow over with the weight.

The same thing with our Japanese Red Maple out front. It was all sprawled out.

Not quite as much of a problem for the trees with bare branches, like this Dogwood.

Fortunately, we didn't have many broken branches. Just a few small ones in the Magnolia tree.

Lonnie had to go out of town early that morning but he said the roads were fine - not slick, but he did see limbs down and branches split in the trees along the road.

The ice caused an electric outage in the area where the Sasquatch lives...for about 36 hours!  He said he didn't mind being without the heat so much as he missed having internet.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

aerial photos

 I came across this website called Vintage Aerial.

They have a collection of old aerial photos you can browse through.  You can search by address to see if they have any old photos of your home, or a place you used to live...or maybe your old family homestead.

The site claims to have photos from 5 decades.  Even if you can't find the property you were searching for, it's fun to see how your town or community looked back then.
If you can identify any buildings, there is a section to write comments, maybe to tell who lived there or the history of the building or if the place is still standing.

Their goal is to sell you a photo but looking is free.

In my area the oldest photos they had were from 1982. Only about 4 years before we moved here.
I found our house!

I see in the back yard they had not yet built the outbuilding we call "the pool house".

I would like to go back in time and tell them "No!  Don't put the building there and block off that lovely shady area under the trees."

I am glad to have the building, it has the pool filter and pump stuff in there, but it does block off the view of our back fields.

I guess we have plenty of shade anyway.  Here is an aerial photo from around 2002-2004?...about 20 years later.   It's amazing how the trees have grown!  There are a few I wish we would have moved or removed while they were still small.

That photo above was taken by a company that would come around door-to-door selling photos they had taken from a small plane or helicopter.   
I have two of them from seperate years but can only find this one right now. I think the other one is centered better.

That company hasn't been around in awhile. I guess people can get their own photos with drones or by just looking them up on Google Earth and so forth.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

horseradish sauce

For years I have been buying bottled Woeber's Horseradish Sauce.  It was a favorite of my sons'  to have with Honey Baked Ham at Easter...that sweet/hot combination is addicting.

I would generally buy just one bottle per year, though. Their label lists mostly unhealthy ingredients, like soybean oil, corn syrup, chemicals and preservatives.

It never occurred to me to try to make horseradish sauce from scratch...until I came across a recipe on another blog.

Horseradish Sauce
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 T yellow mustard
1 heaping T horseradish
1/2 t lemon juice
1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t seasoned salt
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper

oops...forgot to show lemon juice too

I wasn't sure if the recipe needed  fresh horseradish or if I could use the kind in a small jar in the refrigerated section at the grocery.
But, since I have never used fresh horseradish, it seemed like a good time to give it a try...especially since I didn't need that much.

First you wash and peel the horseradish root...

Then finely grate it...

If you really, really like horseradish you can use more, of course.

I read online, after peeling, let the grated horseradish rest for about 15 minutes before mixing any other ingredients in with it.  That lets it develop flavor and heat.

Meanwhile, whip the whipping cream until stiff, then fold in the remaining ingredients.
Add the grated horseradish and refrigerate.

This recipe makes about 1 cup.    I make a double batch.

On this day we had it with Parmesan Pork Chops...accompanied by cheesy cauliflower, broccoli nut slaw and deviled eggs.

My family really likes it and found it's good on ham and roast beef and can also be used as a sandwich spread.  My husband even finished up one batch by using it as a dip for Ritz crackers.
It holds up well for at least 2 weeks in the fridge.

The first time I made this sauce - this strange looking piece of horseradish root was all they had at the grocery.   I didn't know any better, but these pieces are the top of the root, the part that the leaves sprout out of.

That darn thing was so woody and tough, I could hardly peel it!   Instead, look for the slim tapered sections of the root...the part that grows deep in the ground.

I think I will try potting this up in some dirt to see if it will grow into a plant.  If it does, I will have my own horseradish patch.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

we have been adopted

This little black kitty turned up at our house.  I suppose someone dropped her off nearby and left her to fend for herself.

We weren't exactly wanting a cat but I couldn't just let her I began setting food out for her.
At first she was shy and skittish but within a couple of weeks we could pet her and in a short time she began to trust us.

We have mostly been a family without pets...well...just horses and parakeets. Then, we had an outdoor cat a few years ago that the Sasquatch had to give up when he lived in an apartment.

I still had this house that I built for the previous cat.  For him, I had kept it by the back door and had a heating pad inside on "warm" for the coldest part of winter.  He loved it and used it every night.

I set it up the same way for this new cat since we planned for her to be an outdoor cat too, but she wouldn't use it.  One day I was trying to get her in there and was reaching in to fluff up the pillow.
I stuck my hand right in cat poo!
Some cat had used it as a litter box.  Maybe a big yellow male cat that has been hanging around the edges of the yard trying to get friendly with our little cat.
But after that, I knew she would never sleep in there.

Meanwhile we started having some colder nights and rainy nights. I wasn't sure where she was sleeping, so I decided to try a different shelter idea for her.

I looked on Amazon for cat houses...sheesh!... anywhere from $58 to $149.  Hmmm...nope.

Instead I found this idea online to make a cat house from a cheap plastic cooler... and we had 3 of them in the basement.  

I drew a door shape on the side, then drilled some holes close together so I could slip in the blade of my reciprocating saw.

Not perfect but easy enough.

I covered the raw edges with duct tape.

Fortunately, I had not yet placed the old heating pad in the house that got pooped in.  It fit perfectly in this new one.

I had an old feather pillow to cut in half...first sewing two rows of stitching down the center to hold all the fluff inside.

All set up and she is curious!

I placed it underneath the table on our screen porch...where I keep her food and water bowls.  
I added a couple of cat treats inside to tempt her in there. 

Unfortunately she was... Not Impressed.

Image result for not impressed face

No...she won't sleep here either.  We'll give it some time to see if she changes her mind.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

an artist destined for greatness

While we were on vacation the Sasquatch did some house sitting for us, as usual.

I always buy some extra food and snacks for him in appreciation of his keeping an eye on everything while we are away.

When we came home and looked to see what was left in the fridge - Lonnie opened the door to find this...

It's figures of a man and a pig that the Sasquatch sculpted out of the wax coating on those little BabyBel cheeses!  So unexpected it was hilarious to me!  

I asked him if that was supposed to be me and Lonnie, ha ha!

Well, he also did a number of helpful things around the place...including reattaching a few sections of my kitchen backsplash that had pulled loose from the wall, fixing the TV remote, and sawing up a good amount of the limbs on that big pine tree that fell over in the field last winter, and more.

I'd say he more than earned the extra chow!