Saturday, August 30, 2014

out for a pizza dinner

Our cable, internet, and phone were out for about a day and a half  after a big storm. Even though we had electricity the whole time, it sort of seemed like we we're "roughing it".

We went over to Hometown Pizza to have something to do...and because their pizza are good!

An icy cold beer too! Refreshing on a hot day. Lonnie looks like he is pretending this beer doesn't belong to him.

Not mine!
And here comes the pizza. It wasn't really this big. It's up on one of those pedestal things and very close to the camera.

We like a thin crust pizza to taste more of the toppings  and not so much dough.

Afterwards a McDonalds cone hits the spot.

Then back home to our bleak existence with no electronics.  The repair guy was out the next morning though.  Lightening had damaged our "splitter". 
We are pretty lucky that was all the damage there was was.  Years ago, when the boys were still at home, we had a lightening storm that fried our TVs, steros, VCRs...several things.  I guess this was before we even had a computer because I know we didn't replace one.

Friday, August 29, 2014

flowers in bloom

A lot of flowers and plants around the yard have finished their blooming but there are others that are just reaching their peak.

Rudbeckia or Black Eyed Susans.  These are so dependable. They show up every year and bloom for weeks.

White and Purple Garden Phlox. These would have been blooming earlier but the deer kept pruning them back. The white ones are well behaved but those purple ones are really aggressive seeding and by forming huge nutrient hogging clumps. I have to pull a lot of them up or they will choke out other stuff. 

Buddleia or Butterfly Bush. Slow to get started in the spring but then they bloom late into the fall. I have tried and tried to get some nice butterfly pictures but they either fly away or they just won't pose for the camera.

Naked Lillies or Naked Ladies or sometimes called Resurrection Lillies.  The foliage comes up in spring, then disappears...months later these blooms appear on fast growing stalks.

This is a weed I guess. It came up in the bare spot where the horse barn was torn down.

I pried open the flower to have a look. Does anyone know what this is called? Pretty leaves and pretty flowers.  I think a long row of them would look be an attractive planting. Why not work with the stuff that's easy to grow instead of plants we have to baby along?.

There are a couple of puckered little apricots on the apricot tree. It really doesn't get enough sun. It was here when we moved here...planted near a sycamore tree. It's been a survivor.. Either the squirrels are picking the apricots or they just fall off without ripening.

This is most definitely a weed - Pokeweed.   Poisonous to humans and farm animals, but look at those beautiful colors! Birds eat the berries...and spread the seeds in their droppings.

Gosh, I have lots of other weeds that aren't so pretty! With the rain we've had they are thriving!  I like pulling them, though. It's a job where you can see that you're making progress.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

taking it easy on my birthday

Yes, I am another year older.

 Earlier this week,on my birthday, my husband was planning to take me out for dinner. I told him I would really just enjoy having a simple dinner at home and just spend a long afternoon by the pool.

So that's what we did. Getting some sun, reading, dozing off occasionally, and jumping in the pool when we got too hot. Just relaxing and appreciating the day and our home.

A perfect birthday. Well - not as perfect as if I had just turned 34 maybe.

I'll have my birthday cake and ice cream this Sunday when the boys are over.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

homemakers luncheon

The Bullitt County Homemakers had their annual "kick-off" luncheon at the extension office.

The kick-off part is about kicking off a new year, new officers assuming their roles and so forth. It was also a meeting for inviting others who might be interested in joining one of the sewing, quilting, cooking  and crafting groups that make up the Homemakers.

We all got a handbook/calender listing programs and activities for the next year - lots going on! And the good news is there is plenty of money in the treasury so we don't have to pay dues this year.

There was a silent auction that we could donate items for others to bid on.This was to raise funds for Ovarian Cancer Research.  There were candles, baskets, wreaths, photo albums and more to bid on.

I managed to get rid of   donate a vase I had in the basement without bringing home anything to replace it (only because I was outbid on a nice handmade basket!).

After the business part of the meeting was over with we had lunch. Sandwiches, macaroni and potato salad, strawberry fluff, marinated cauliflower and then chocolate cake for dessert.

It was mentioned that a couple of men had joined  the homemakers cooking group! Things change all the time, but it's nothing new that some men like to cook...and they all like to eat!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

a different kind of recycling

Here is another thing that I can't bring myself to throw away...little bits and pieces of fabric that are left from cutting shapes for quilt blocks.
Also the selvege edge of fabric and trimmings from any shirts that I cut up to use in quilts.

 I even have a hard time throwing away torn and stained tee shirts, thinking I may find a use for them. I have tried using some of this stuff to fill throw pillows but it is too lumpy and heavy.

Recently I learned some information about these white bins labeled "Special Olympics", that I have noticed in some parking lots around town.

As you can see they are collecting clothes, books, and shoes.  I looked up the  website  printed on the bin, and found that the Special Olympics organization sells these donated things to Ohio Mills.
Ohio Mills then sells any good and usable things in thrift stores...then the lower quality clothing is sold in bulk to developing countries. The remaining stuff is recycled into rags, carpet padding and so forth.

Maybe they can use these scraps in the recycling process.
Isn't that a lot better than putting it in a landfill?

Oh, it's still sort of hard to throw it in there! Just take a deep breath and let it go!

I had no problem throwing Lonnie's old tennis shoes in there. And I was sort of relieved to throw a whole set of Funk and Wagnalls 1976 encyclopedias in there too...I haven't regretted it once!

Monday, August 25, 2014

annual fish fry

About 16 or more years ago my parents had the whole family over for a fish fry. It was a fun get-together and somehow it turned into an annual event...each year in August.

We don't have a huge family and no one lives out of town, but we all visit at different times so it's nice to see everyone together at one time.

Here is my sister breading the fish. She did this while I was waiting for the oven timer to beep on the baked beans...then later she washed dishes while I looked at one brother's vacation photos.  I will have to make it up to her next year.

My dad frying fish. Nice big pieces of cod! Really good and there was lots of it!

In the past we would eat outside under a shade tree, now the shade tree is gone, so for the last few years, everything is set up in the garage(doors open for light and air). We are out of the sun and the food is laid out on this interesting old workbench which had a past life as someone's cabinets somewhere else.

Fish, hushpuppies, baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad,  corn on the cob, deviled eggs...and more. we barely put a dent in it!  Except for my dad's special recipe baked beans with sausage, down on the far end...that was disappearing quick!

Tables and chairs set up and fans blowing. We all went back for second helpings.

Then there were desserts but I didn't get pictures because I could only think of getting a piece of blueberry cheesecake.  We also had banana pudding and oreo truffles.   

Good food and a nice visit with family members!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

fresh tomato soup

With all the tomatoes ripening in the last few days, I thought it would be a good time to make tomato soup.

Most of the recipes have you peeling and seeding the tomatoes before making soup with them but I found one with directions to use a blender to pulverize the skin and seeds after cooking. It sounded worth a try. That way I could use cherry tomatoes too.

I didn't follow the recipe exactly. I chopped an onion and browned it in my soup pot and added 2 cloves of garlic,diced. I poured in chicken broth and about 8 cups of chopped tomatoes and a few whole cloves.

After it simmered about 25-30 minutes, I removed the cloves and used my immersion blender to see if it really would chop those skins and seeds. It worked pretty well...but maybe I should have blended a little longer. I could still see some skins in there. I put it through a colander and that got the rest out.

I added basil, salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne, sugar, balsamic vinegar and half &half. Then I thickened it with a flour and milk paste...and simmered a few more minutes.  

It came out pretty good. I would leave the cloves out next time and maybe the garlic too. It seemed like I had to add a good bit of sugar to balance out those strong tastes.

I think now we will try out Lonnie's dehydrator on the next wave of ripe tomatoes. He has been having to pick them before they really turn red or birds will peck holes in them (probably crows).

He picked his first green peppers too !

Friday, August 22, 2014

rainy day crocheting

A rainy summer afternoon...nice to be inside looking out!

I pulled out this crocheted scarf to finish up while waiting for Lonnie to get home for a taco supper.

These scarves have been a popular item for knitters and crocheters to make recently.
It looks like a complicated project but It really isn't.
The skein of yarn is already woven in a fancy pattern. The flat part you see here Is how it looks right off the skein!
You just knit or crochet the top loops and it curls and twists into an attractive scarf.

It does need to be stretched and fluffed a little as you go.

It came out longer than I expected...I have it doubled up in this photo.

It dresses up a dark winter jacket or maybe even worn indoors to brighten up a sweater.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Quilting Bees at the state fair

Every year at State Fair time the Mt Washington Quilting Bees take a turn demonstrating needlework in the textiles area. It's just for one day..usually about 4 or 5 hours.

We get free parking and admission to the fair for the day.

When you go to the Kentucky State Fair, the first thing to do is have your photo taken with "Freddy Farm Bureau"  he is an 18 ft tall talking greeter for fair goers.

I had to share my photo session with a little dog in a stroller. I didn't mind and I don't think he did either.

In the East Wing, the Bees were gathering at the demonstration tables and unpacking their projects to work on.

We just sat and sewed and talked to anyone who approached our tables and seemed interested. It was fun talking to people. Even those who don't do needlework would have a story of a quilter in their family or a treasured quilt that was made for them when they were baby.

At times there would be a pretty good crowd around our area...mostly the ladies of course.

After our demonstration I took time to walk through the rows of quilts that were entered for judging. So much talent and creativity! It would be hard to pick a favorite.

Then I spent a little time looking around the other areas..such a wide variety!

There were baby animals...piglets with their mama....doesn't this look like such an easy way to feed the kids their lunch ?   She had either 9 or 10 babies - she deserves to rest!

These little ducklings were so funny.  Their tub was set up so that they would climb a ramp to get to their food dish, which was just high enough that they had to jump up to get a bite of food. As they came back down they would land on a slide and down they went.. right back in the water.

 Then they swam around and started all over again.

Next, on to the cakes, pies and candy entries.  My gosh! Don't these all look so good!
 I think I was gaining weight just being in the room with them!


Enough of that!

The state police had a big display area. How long has it been since you've had one of these behind you?

There was a lot more I didn't see but my feet were saying "let's go!" so I headed out through the goat showing area. This one was getting a trim and a vacuum before his moment in the spotlight.

My mouth wanted to stop and get a $4 corndog but my feet just kept traveling toward the parking lot...past the midway, which wasn't busy at all at the time.

It was an enjoyable way to spend the day. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

baby turkeys have grown

Those wild turkey babies have grown pretty fast!

The mothers are a little more relaxed now that their chicks are bigger...they brought them right up under the bird feeder.

See that rabbit on the right side of this picture?  The young turkeys turned into little bullies and kept crowding in on him until he hopped away.   Meanies!

This photo is from a different day, but if you biggie size it, you can see a hawk sitting on top of the umbrella pole.   I have noticed the crows sparring around with a hawk recently.  I assume the crows are trying to chase the hawk's a predator to them too.

Two little creatures that I see all the time but are too fast for me to ever get a photo of are chipmunks and hummingbirds.  I keep trying but all I can get is a blur!