Sunday, July 14, 2019

trees - always trees

This time it's not falling trees...well it is...but it's because the Sasquatch cut one down.  It was an old diseased Sassafras.

What ever type of disease or fungus it was suffering with, caused some weird but interesting cankers in the bark.

It crossed my mind to have him cut these sections out and I would use them to plant someting in...hens & chicks, sedum, moss roses.

But, if they're full of dirt and flowers one couldn't see the formations.

But what about this hollow section? What a perfect planter!

Or this long piece below ? A good place to transplant some of my Hens & Chicks sprouts.
But it's pretty big...where could I put it?  I'll show photos if I figure out what I want to do.

Meanwhile, I bought these 6 new trees.  They are Green Giant Thujas.  
I'm glad I got them when I did because they were sold out (Lowes) when I went back to get a few more.  

I'd like to get them planted so that I don't risk letting them get dried out, but I doubt that I could even penetrate the dry, hard clay dirt with a shovel to dig holes for them.
And, once they are planted I'll have to carry water to them for a while...they will be far from the hose!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Mexican street vendor corn

This is definitely not a low carb recipe...not when it's corn!

I think the authentic street vendor corn is whole ears of corn on a stick, grilled and coated with ingredients like these.

But, there are lots of recipes online for short cut ways to get a similar finished product.  I compared several of them and morphed them in to this version...

Mexican Street Corn

12 - 16 oz. frozen corn
1 T butter
2 T mayonnaise
2 T lime juice
dash cayenne pepper
1/3 cup  shredded cotija cheese (found in the grocery near refrigerated salsa and tortillas)

Melt butter in a skillet, add frozen corn and saute until corn gets slightly browned.

Turn off the burner, add everything else and stir.

That's it. You're done!   Serve warm or room temperature.

It's a good side dish for Mexican food...but it would probably go well with steaks or burgers too (maybe even barbecue?).
At supper, the Sasquatch added some inside his taco and said it's good like that too.

Many of the recipes include a sprinkle of cilantro but I have a family member who does not like cilantro and it's perfectly fine without it.

Friday, July 5, 2019

summer sewing

My new routine of early yard work gives me time in the hot afternoons to stay inside and do some housework   sewing.

I am making good progress on the 3D quilt.  I have several triangles made and I couldn't resist laying a few out together to see how things are looking.

 This is how the triangles will be sewn together in columns. 

So then I just had to lay a few more loose strips around to check the color contrast.

I am happy enough with how it's looking.   

Speaking of is a cross stitch piece that the Sasquatch finished up one recent afternoon when his electric went out after a storm.  No TV, no internet, no A/C...and too hot to do much of anything else.

Awww, cute!
He said this was a quick and easy kit to do since the design was printed on the counting stitches.  He bought it,and some others, on a website called " aliexpress ". Their items ship straight from China.

His stitching puts mine to shame.  The back of his work looks as neat as the big raveling knots like mine - all the ends are woven in.  Just take a look....

So tidy and precise!  It would be a shame to cover it up with a frame.

Well, it's sewing time for me. I'll have to wake up Puss. She is sleeping in this window next to my desk and I need to close it now.

Wakey, wakey...

Monday, July 1, 2019

trying to get ahead of the weeds

With all the rain we had last month my flower beds are choked with weeds.
Usually, I pull weeds a while every evening but there were just too I gathered up all my self discipline and I've been making myself go out for a couple of hours early every morning to work in the yard.

I am usually very lazy feeling in the morning and like to spend a while reading and internet-ing while I have some coffee.  But, getting out there early is really paying off.

New mulch makes everything look bright and fresh.  I've switched back to using only cypress mulch. It's more expensive but lasts much longer than the hardwood bark mulch.

I always have trouble getting anything to grow in this area. Even those agressive Rudbeckia seem to just creep around the edges of this spot leaving the center open.  I think it might be due to moles tunneling underneath...leaving roots dangling.

I bought a clearance Hydrangea and planted it towards the rear.  I thought it was a real bargain but it didn't have a label and now I think it is one of those fancy ones that won't last through our winters here.

I'd like to do some rearranging of plants but it's not a good time of year for that.

It crossed my mind to just buy a concrete bench to put in the area above and forget planting anything there, but I thought it might look too cluttery since it already had the birdbath and arch.

We wouldn't want to sit there anyway. You can see how close it is to the overgrown field next's teeming with chiggers!

Every day before I go outside to weed, I slather myself with this product, Avon "Skin So Soft".  it's actually a bath oil but it works well to protect from chigger bites.

Here are some photos of the flowerbed by the driveway.  It is full with blooming flowers right now so I can't get in there to weed without breaking the stalks. Zinnias, Gladiolas, Crocosmia

Lots of gaudy color - just what I like!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

easy cheesy snackers

Crunchy snacks that are low carb are pretty much non-existent.

Sure, veggies are crunchy but they just aren't satisfying if one is craving chips.  Pork rinds are usually zero carbs but's the fat off a hog!

I saw this idea on Pinterest.  You can use a hard cheese, like Parmesan, Asiago, or Romano, to make a crunchy, crackery type snack.

All you have to do is thinly slice the cheese into cracker sized pieces...

Arrange them on a silicone mat...

And microwave them 45 - 60 seconds, depending on your microwave and how thin you've sliced the cheese. Cool on the mat and you are done!

The original instructions said to shred the cheese and arrange by spoonfuls.   
I found that this results in spreading and very thin fragile snacks.

 Using slices keeps them slightly chewy. Good for topping a salad,eating alone or with a dip or this Philadelphia Smoked Salmon spread.

They are very rich so just a few can curb a craving.  I have stored the extras in the fridge but they tend to get softer and chewier.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

starting another quilt

Someone said the hardest part of any project is getting started.  That certainly has been the case for me with this quilt I am making from a book I bought at the quilt show a few weeks ago.

I was disappointed when I looked at the pattern directions a few days after I got home.

The whole quilt was to be made using small triangles... arranged in vertical rows and sewn together as you see in the picture below.
That made no sense to me. It seemed like larger sections of each color could be used, but I couldn't figure out how to sew them together since they are all interlocking and crossing.

I searched the internet for different methods and finally I found the blog of a lady making a quilt with a pattern very much like this one.  In her photos of working on the blocks, I saw that she was building triangles - not squares or strips!

With this bit of insight I thought I could try drawing my own pattern for the quilt in the book.

I had to order a 60 degree triangle ruler (equilateral?) and when that arrived I began working with cardboard to figure out what sizes I needed to use before cutting fabric.

I started with the size of triangles used in the book pattern, that was my center triangle. Then I worked out how big to make the three strips surrounding it.

I made a practice block with some old cheapy fabric. It came out with ripples so I could see that I needed to trim up my angle after adding each strip.

I was ready to cut fabric and start making blocks.  Here is the first one. 
In this photo, I drew around this particular triangle in the book so you can see how it fits in the quilt.

There are 8 different triangles in the quilt. All with different color arrangements. Some face left and some face right.

At first I will make 12 of each color and assemble them together in columns. Then I will have to put my thinking cap back on and work out how those edges and top and bottom are done.

This will be a fun and different type of quilt.  I hope the fabrics I've picked out look as cute as the example in the book!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Project Appleseed

Months ago, when we were sitting around after a family dinner, the Sasquatch mentioned a target shooting event he was thinking of participating in, called Project Appleseed.

They were having a half price special on tickets for the two day event and there was a time limit on getting the deal.  The Sasquatch said to me..."You ought to try it".

Well, I have done okay when we target shoot in the back yard, and it sounded like it might be something fun and different to do, and I had to decide before the half price special ended, so I said "Okay".

We signed up for the June session, at Knob Creek Gun Range. In the weeks leading up to the event, the Sasquatch started telling me more about it.
Well, you shoot from 3 different positions...standing, sitting on the ground and laying down on your stomach!  Oh, lordy mercy!

About a week before the event the Sasquatch got permission to use the lower range where it is held, so we could practice there.

He had bought some special shooting mats for us to use when sitting or laying down (prone position) to shoot, and he'd printed off some targets like the ones they use at the event.
We tried shooting in all the positions and practiced for the parts that would be timed.
It was fun.

Then the date arrived for Day One.  It poured down raining so fortunately we were under a roof.
After everyone was registered it was time for a history lesson.  All about Paul Revere and the battles of Lexington and Concord.  There were more history lessons and stories during lunch and breaks both days.

Afterwards we hung our targets and did some warm up practice shooting.
Next, we were instructed to disconnect our slings from the back of our rifle and form the loose end into a loop. This loop had to be worn above our left bicep when shooting.

Next, one of the instructors demonstrated proper form for each shooting position in turn, and we would try shooting in each position afterwards. Then we worked on "natural point of aim" which involved focusing on your target, then closing your eyes for a few seconds then opening them to see if you were still focused at the same spot.  

It was a lot of getting up and down because we had to get in our position on the ground, focus on the target, then stand back up and wait for the order to get back down in position to "Fire".
All this with the rifle staying looped on your arm and making sure to always keep it pointed down range.
I kept forgetting putting on my ear protection or pulling back the slide after loading a new magazine.  I lost all concentration and I will even admit that during the day, I accidentally focused and shot at the targets belonging to people both to the left and to the right of me.

Toward the end of the first day, we put up the actual targets that would be scored for the "Appleseed Qualification Test".  During that test there are lots of instructions about how many rounds to load, which area of the target to shoot and in what order, when to change magazines, and how much time would be allowed for each phase. We shot standing, sitting and prone.

I was exhausted by that time and did horribly, but I didn't care. I just wanted it  to be over!

On the other hand, the Sasquatch did really good and scored enough to get his "Expert Rifleman" qualification.

That gets you bragging rights, admiration from the other shooters, and a nice patch.

At home that night, I made the decision not to shoot the next day.  But I did want to go and watch.  The instructors were ready with some ideas about letting me use a sandbag support for my rifle barrel or letting me avoid some of the getting up and down.  But I didn't want any special treatment.  I just wanted to sit there and sip my McDonalds coffee and watch the shooting.

The Sasquatch scored well enough on another test to again qualify for the Expert Rifleman status...but you only get one patch per event.

We both got a tee shirt - included in the fee.

The Sasquatch really enjoyed the event and plans to do it again.

I am glad for the experience...glad I tried.

I can say "Been There, Done That (poorly), and Got The Tee Shirt".