Thursday, September 20, 2018

Hens and Chicks bloom

In July, I noticed my Hens and Chicks putting out an unusual growth. Since I have seen them blooming elsewhere, I figured that's what was happening with this one.


Over the summer it started looking more and more strange and eventually several smaller stems emerged from the main one.


As the smaller stems got longer - the main stem started dying back.


The blooms never became beautiful to behold.They were scaly and pinkish...rather homely.



Then the whole thing started looking poorly.


And drooping to the ground.




The Sasquatch suggested that I put a pot of dirt beneath the drooping stems...thinking that might be the way the plant gets a fresh start (other than producing the "Chicks")


That seemed like a good idea so I tried it.  So far I can't tell if the stems are going to send out roots or not.  I don't want to pull them out of the dirt to see, so I'll watch and see of they turn brown or stay green.


On the other hand, I've had good luck starting some cuttings from a rose bush that was growing in an area that became too shady (not in my yard).  I just dipped the cuttings in rooting hormone and stuck them in this pot of dirt.




I figured I would be lucky to get one stem started out of around a dozen cuttings, but it was the opposite...only one died out.

Now, what am I going to do with all these rose starts?  Roses aren't my favorites. I don't really like anything with thorns and roses are high maintenance.

But, I will probably start digging a spot for them. I'll have to look up some information online on how to care for them.


Saturday, September 8, 2018

deviled egg plates

Just three years ago, in 2015, I bought the first deviled egg plate that I'd ever owned.

I make deviled eggs pretty often and I had one of the special plastic-ware containers made for storing or transporting them, but I always just plunked the eggs down on a plain plate for serving at the table.

This was messy because the eggs all slid together and teamed up to try to glide right off the plate as it was passed around the table.

So, I did the easy thing and ordered a simple clear glass egg plate off Amazon.  Not too fancy for everyday use but still looked good when I got the holiday plates out.

A few months later, we found an egg plate half buried in mud and junk, outside of one of the abandoned houses I have mentioned here before.
It was too pretty to just leave there to eventually get broken or buried so I brought it home. ( I couldn't tell you how many times I washed it before I felt comfortable using it.)

This one was fancier...white with metallic gold trim...so I decided I would use it on Easter and at Thanksgiving.



Now, for my birthday this year, my parents gave the the ultimate egg plate...this lovely green glass one...


It was from my grandmother's china cabinet so it is a special one to me.

I was able to find info about it on line.  The pattern is American Concord by Brockway Glass Company.  The same pattern was made in clear and an amber color - in other pieces as well, but the green seems to be a bit more rare and made in the egg plate only.

It's a beauty, isn't it?  And it holds 15 eggs!
This will be my Christmas Egg Plate.   

Gosh, when I was looking for info online, I looked through hundreds of egg plate photos trying to track it down.   There sure are a lot of cute and neat looking egg plates...and it seems like I already have the start of a collection....

No Darla!   Back away from the computer...you do not need more egg plates. I repeat....







Tuesday, September 4, 2018

what a mess


I guess since I am always showing off my successful projects - it's only right for me to show the failures too.

We recently bought a new quartz top for our bathroom vanity.  It's nice.

I got the old one mostly disconnected and the Sasquatch lifted it and carried it out.  You can see the wall got torn up a bit from removing the tile backsplash.


The Sasquatch not only picked up the new top at the store...he got it inside and up the stairs and lifted it on to the vanity...and hooked up the water and drains (I did one faucet). 

Since the new backsplash was perfectly straight and our walls are wonky, there was a gap in between that needed to be filled before caulking.

So the next day I went down a bought some spray foam to fill the gap.

My gosh ...what a horrible mess!
this is after some clean up


I knew not to fill the crack completely because the foam expands, but good grief...it came erupting out of there like a volcano!  Going up the wall and spreading over the top of the back splash!

I started trying to pick up the excess with my trowel, making an even bigger mess. Then I got panicky, worrying that it would hurt the surface of the new quartz top. 

I grabbed the nail polish remover since it was handy and saturated some paper towels to clean up the sticky mess.

No harm was done to the counter top but I ended up with cotton ball fuzz and paper toweling glued to my fingers.


Of course I tried to wash it off with soap and water but I think the water just made the glue really set up and harden.


It took about 2 full days and a layer of skin for it to come off completely.

As for the counter top...I was able to scrape and cut away the extra foam that covered it.



I still need to work on the wall some more before painting but we are still trying to decide on a paint color anyway.


We like the new counter top and the larger sinks. I will show more photos when the project is complete.




Monday, August 27, 2018

started a little quilt


I know, I pledged to finish all the projects I have partly completed, before starting anything new.

But, I have started going back to my small evening quilt group and I needed to take along something to sew.

I didn't want to take along my main "secret project quilt", so I was digging around trying to locate something else I could just pick up and start sewing.

That's when I broke the rules.  I found this....


I bought it at the last quilt show I went to.  In the vendor area there was a booth selling fabric - a yard each of three different fabrics - rolled up and tied, and a variety of quilt patterns that could be made from just three yards of fabric.
It was a good deal...buy the fabric and choose any one quilt pattern for free.
(In fact, I might have bought a couple of them at the time!)

Anyway, I checked the pattern and quickly cut the shapes from the fabrics, except for the borders and I got quite a bit done at quilt group that evening.

Back at home, when I carried my stuff in, I just left it setting near the back door because I was planning to finish up the piecing, by sewing out on the screen porch a couple of days later. 


I was using my little Singer Featherweight machine.  I hadn't used it in two years and it's not good for them to sit without being used.

I got the center part of the quilt top all put together. Now it needs a good pressing and the borders added.
I like this little pattern.  It is simple and cute and goes together quickly.


Just a few minutes before I finished, my husband came over and started pacing around because he was getting hungry.
Surprise! You are doing the cooking!  Hee hee hee!

I had bought some Hatch Chili Peppers at the grocery and planned for him to grill them with onions and sausages.   It was the first time we have tried these peppers.  They are good but very mild.



 I packed away my sewing things and brought out some sliced tomatoes and a small green salad just as he was finishing with the grill.


Our summer daylight is getting noticeably shorter each day.  I am glad for the milder weather that comes with this time of year though.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

book review

I had a nice surprise when sorting out my kitchen junk drawer.

Well, it's not exactly a junk drawer but it does tend to accumulate stuff.

Anyway, I found a Books-a-Million gift card that had only partially been used.  I was going to be near the store the next day anyway so the timing was perfect.

I didn't know it, but they now sell used books too.  I was able to buy two books and still had 86 cents left on the card.

I picked this one partly because of the name "Bettyville" (like my blog "Darlaville"...which I copied from my favorite quilting blog..."Quiltville").

It also seemed appealing because it was a funny memoir.


The book is written by a man who took time off from his career to move back to his home state to live with his elderly mother "Betty", who was beginning to suffer with dementia.

He writes with kindness and love for his mother, but is able to relay what a strange experience it is to care for someone who is losing touch with reality, and he is able to see the humor in spite of the sadness.

The author also shares memories from his childhood of his mother and father. Some funny. some poignant...as it turns out he is gay, but was never able to discuss it with his parents, even though he was sure they knew.

I would say the book is just "okay".  The writing is good and it's quick and easy to read but I would have liked to read more about the real "Betty".
 I think her son didn't really know her that well...he filled more pages with details about himself and his own life.

I donated this one to the library when I finished it.

Now, I have to worry about that 86 cents left on the card.  Maybe if I'm near there again I will just hand it to someone who is going in the store.


PS - that weird stuff in the upper left of the photo is a bowl of rocks featuring a "horn coral" fossil.
I was just trying to make the picture more interesting.









Monday, August 6, 2018

a day trip

My husband and I decided that being stuck inside to escape the heat is nearly as bad as being stuck inside by snowy bad weather.  Either way, it can make us a little stir crazy and tired of looking at the same old walls.

So one morning we pulled out our Kentucky map and figured out a nice scenic drive for the day.
We headed east, taking the back roads, thinking we might end up in Lexington...but right outside of Versailles  (in Lawrenceburg) we encountered this...

The Wild Turkey distillery.


There was a sign for the visitors center so we pulled in and signed up for the next tour.  They charge for their tours... $11 for both of us.

Sorry about this weird picture...I didn't bother to edit. That is the is the wrinkly inside of my hand blocking half the camera lens when I took the photo.

 

While we waited for the tour to begin we looked at some exhibits and information with the history of the distillery and the brand.
Then, we got on a bus to tour the building where the "cooking"  goes on.  Unfortunately, because of the heat, they had shut down the process, because heat kills the yeast action that is needed.

The guide told us there is a shut down every summer and they usually start back up in September.

We also went in one of the rick-houses where the barrels of bourbon are stored.

Our tour guide was a retired military seargent so he had a big voice that was easy to hear.  He also had a good sense of humor and gave us a lot of good information. 
I think this is a tour anyone would enjoy.

At the end we had a tasting that included four different products made by Wild Turkey.

I bought Lonnie a little something at the gift shop. It's a bottle of their honey liquer with a hint of ghost pepper.  I'm saving it for his birthday.





The guide had also told us the history of these two bridges that we crossed after leaving the distillery.
Both are notable, the railroad bridge is used for bungee jumping, and the concrete automobile bridge
is unusual because it's an "S" shaped bridge...and a very high bridge.


Gosh I have to apologize for the bad photos today. I have gotten out of the habit of taking pics everywhere, but these are really sloppy.

Before heading home we drove on in to Lexington to eat at "Red State BBQ".

The place had good reviews online but we weren't impressed with it.  Service was good but food was nothing special.

I found a photo online ....


We enjoyed the trip and agreed we need to take a little day trip more often.



Monday, July 30, 2018

a crochet project for my "finish it up" list

Next, in my quest to get my half-done projects finished up, it this crochet afghan.
Several squares are completed, but it's been so many years ago that I started making it, I'm not sure what my plan was for the layout.
The squares measure about 10". I think I'll just keep making them until I run out of yarn and then figure out how to arrange them.


The pattern is called "Popcorn Hearts" and came from the book "Woman's Day Prize Winning Granny Squares".  Not a difficult pattern but you do have to count and pay attention to get the popcorn stitches in the right place.


I will give you an idea of how long it's been since I have worked on this.  The post card below was used as a bookmark for the page the pattern was on.

It's from my younger brother when he went to St Croix (Virgin Islands) on a work assignment.
Can you see the postmark?   

1999!


Okay, that's 19 years!  I have no idea even what baby I might have had in mind when I started it.
That kid is probably starting college now.

Surely I can finish before it hits the 20 year mark!