Friday, July 31, 2015

give me a "brake"

Good news about my Jeep! The part they were waiting on came in sooner than expected and the brake line was replaced and I picked up my Jeep.

But, the brakes didn't feel like they did before the problem occured. The brake pedal was pushing in much further than it should.

I mentioned it to the Sasquatch and he suspected that the repairman didn't fully "bleed" the brake lines (which means they get all the air out of the line so it is completely full of brake fluid).

When the Sasquatch took a look at it, he found out why they didn't do this easy, but important part of the job.
The "bleeder valve" on the caliper was corroded and couldn't be opened to do the bleeding.

Fortunately a new caliper wasn't very expensive and not difficult to put on. The Sasquatch had it done before I even knew he was back with the new part!

I wonder why Ken Towerys repair man didn't think about doing this.  What's the use of paying a lot for brake repairs and coming away without fully functioning brakes? 
Very disappointing.

I am glad my sons are good at fixing things!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

banana sour cream bread

In the summer time it seems like bananas turn soft and mushy no sooner than you get them home from the grocery store.

When I see we aren't going to beat the banana clock, and eat them before they go bad, I peel them and put them in containers in the freezer. 

There they stay, until I decide to use them in some fattening recipe.
Like this....

Banana Sour Cream Bread 
3/4 cups butter, softened
3 cups sugar
3 eggs
6 very ripe bananas, mashed
16 oz. container sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. (yes, only 300 degrees...this keeps the outside edges from getting too brown before  the center is done).
Grease four  7"x 3" loaf pans.  

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs. Mix in mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla.

Measure flour into a separate bowl, then add baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir to mix well, then blend into banana mixture. 

Add walnuts and mix until blended, but don't over do it.  Pour into prepared pans and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check for doneness around the 45 minute mark and watch closely so you don't get burned edges.

Cool in pan about 5 minutes, loosen with a knife around edges and remove from pan to cool.

I made a pan of 8 mini-loaves.

And 2 larger loaves.

Might as well go ahead and add another slice to that plate!

I thought I was making a little room in the freezer by using those frozen bananas... but now I am going to have to squeeze some of this banana bread in there somewhere!

It does freeze well, by the way.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

one more Ikea thing

So this is the item I really wanted at Ikea.
I came close to buying one the last time I was there, and I have been wishing I had bought it ever since.

It's a "Raskog"...a small wheeled storage cart.

Nearly everything you buy at Ikea has to be assembled when you get it home.

This went together pretty quick and easy.  Isn't this the cutest thing you've ever seen?

They come in beige and brown, too...but I liked the turquoise.

Here is where I will use it. In my sewing room, to keep my current projects organized and ready to work on. Now, when I have a few minutes to sew, I won't waste time gathering my materials. Everything will be ready to go.

The turquoise color almost perfectly matches this little step stool that I use to set my radio on in the sewing room.

The stool has quite a history. My great grandfather made it as a step for my great grandmother to use to step up into their car!  It's been around a lot of years and has been painted and repainted so many times that the edges are rounded.
It was turquoise when I got it. Maybe that's what influenced me to but the turquoise cart!

Monday, July 27, 2015

day trip to Ikea

This was the second long distance shopping trip for me this week!  That's definitely out of the ordinary.

Mostly, I shop online...but I was feeling an urge to go up to Ikea - just outside of Cincinnati - and I convinced my older son, Chopper, to drive up there with me.

He wanted to get some legs for an Ikea storage shelf that he has, anyway.

I always like this view of Cincinnati as you approach from Kentucky...but I am afraid I didn't get a very good photo.

And here we are.  The parking lot was pretty full but the store is so enormous it wasn't crowded...until later in the day.

You start out on  the upper level. Sort of following a path, looking at showrooms, sitting on couches, opening cabinets and refrigerators, squeezing pillows. 
If there is a furniture item that you like, you write down the item number and also which isle and bin that you will find it in, downstairs in the warehouse area.

If it's a small item, you can pick it up along the way or in the "market place", also downstairs.

This is just an example of all the choices they have in chairs.   

I really wanted to take more photos to show here, but there is so much to look at ...I forgot all about taking pictures.  
They have a restaurant, and they are known for their meatballs, but neither of us were hungry yet when we got to it. We did rest our feet and have a cold soft drink.

By the time we looked at everything, loaded our purchases, grabbed a few things from the grocery section, and checked out...4 hours had passed!  Whew! 

We ate at Buffalo Wild Wings, then got on the road for home.   While we were driving, Chopper played some music from his iPod....a band named Deer Tick.  I liked them - they had an unusual style.

I bought a few housewares items.  Can you see the Swedish names on the packages? Some of them seem unpronounceable!  Anyway,  There are some throw pillow "inners" and also the covers...on  the right are dish towels, and that "jansjo" in the front is a small desk lamp. 

Whoa! Had to pick up a tray of cinnamon rolls which Ikea is also known for. Also cookies and a candy bar...but, on the right you see I bought a bag of healthy muesli cereal!

It was a fun day, but neither Chopper nor I, will be wanting to go back for a long time!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

quilt blocks, new and old

 My Homemakers quilt group, Crazy Quilters, met earlier this week at the extension office.
Everyone seemed to have an interesting project they were working on.  That's one thing I like about being in a quilting group...lots of inspiration in seeing the work of other quilters.

Marcella was working on these modern looking mitered stripe blocks.

At the opposite end of the quilting spectrum, Barbara was sewing these Dresden Plate blocks...hoping to finish them in time for an upcoming wedding.

We all had fun rummaging around in this pile of stuff that someone dropped off at the extension office for us. Unfortunately much of the fabric was not quilting fabric. Lot's of upholstery fabric, knits, and polyesters.
There were also boxes of older craft books.

Although I could see potential in all of it, I knew I didn't need to be dragging home more stuff (patting self on back and feeling righteous).

However, I did rescue these hand pieced blocks and partial blocks.  

I'm not sure what I will do with them. Some aren't very well constructed, some have stains or mildew, they all have sort of a weird smell.
I'll see what they look like after a good soak in sudsy water.  

Friday, July 24, 2015

brakes are broke

My poor Jeep!

I had been noticing the brakes feeling different recently.  Then, on the way to the dentist yesterday, I was sitting at a stoplight and my brake pedal went nearly to the floor and my warning light came on!

Lonnie had noticed some fluid dripping from underneath the Jeep the day before....hmmm...must have been brake fluid.

Whooo! Was I nervous!   I could have called AAA for a tow to a repair shop, but I'd probably still be sitting there waiting on them.
I did still have braking ability, and Ken Towery's was only a few miles away,  so after my dentist visit I slowly and cautiously made it over there.

It didn't take long for them to check for the problem.

A leaking brake line.  It needed replaced and wouldn't have been a huge deal...except for one part...hard to locate because of the age of the Jeep (20 years old!).

This little dealie won't be in for 6 to 8 days!
It's a part that connects the brake line to the caliper.  The old one was too rusted to be reused.

I asked they could "overnight" the part...I would be willing to pay the cost - but somehow that is not possible.
I asked if I could call around myself (to special Jeep parts companies) and try to get the part overnighted. They were very agreeable to that.   But, three places I called didn't have it in stock.

So now I just wait.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

quilt group day trip

Seventeen members of my quilt group (including me) got together to carpool to Whittles, a discount fabric store in Smiths Grove KY.  It's about a ninety mile trip each way, so it makes a good day trip.

The store is sort of tricky to find. It's back a country road and it's just this ordinary gray building...with only that one plain looking sign.

we're here!

But when you get inside it is jam packed with bolts and bolts of cheap prices.


There is so much that it's hard to make a selection. Some of the ladies came prepared with a list or with clippings of fabrics to look for coordinating fabrics.

After leaving Whittles with our loot, we made a short stop at another small quilt shop in town, then on to our next destination.....

The Whistle Stop Restaurant in Glendale KY.

I had eaten here before with Lonnie. It's big country cooking meals! 

They have fried green tomatoes that were crunchy and good!

I ordered a Hot Brown....

Then it was back home again.  We all had a fun time and dutifully helped to stimulate the economy!

Here is the fabric I bought...not to match, or with anything particular in mind. Just to have some choices and inspiration for future quilts I'll make. 

A couple of them will be good for baby quilts. I can guarantee there will be more of those to be made. (babies and quilts!) The rest are just fabrics that I liked.

Now, I need to get sewing!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


My butterfly bush (Buddleia) is finally recovering after last winter's cold temperatures and is getting some nice  blooms on it. Butterflies love it!

This one is a black swallowtail, I think.

Usually it's hard to get a good photo of them, but I have been working in this flower bed a lot recently so they are used to me being there.  This yellow one is a tiger swallowtail.

I don't know  the name of this butterfly....I need to do some research.  There are so many butterflies that look a lot alike, with only some small difference in their spots and so forth.

I am glad I had my camera near by when I got in  the pool.. I was just sort of hanging on the edge of the pool and looking around when I noticed something moving in the sedum.

Can you see any thing in this photo?

How about now?

Now you can see him!  

He was small but long.  Here he was getting nervous and desperately wishing he could disappear down a hole!

He elected to just hide out under the greenery...doesn't know his tail isn't all the way in!

Later that same night my husband saw this enormous spider in the screen porch.

Lucky for spidey...he hopped on a broom and Lonnie took him out of the porch and released him. If he shows back up he probably won't be so lucky again!

Other than that, not much going on around here...just long, hot, lazy summer days.  I did do some sewing...finally hemmed up that pair of pants for my husband...with cuffs!  I sure hope the length is right. I don't want to go through that again!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Italian bean dip/hummus

On Sunday, I usually always have an appetizer for Chopper and the Sasquatch to eat while I am getting dinner ready.

I attempt to make something that is nutritious...and not just junk food.
This time I tried out a recipe for "Italian Hummus", which came from a healthy eating type website...but I am afraid I had to add more fat and calories to it for it to taste good...and salt.

Italian Hummus 
1 can cannellini beans, including liquid
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 heaping Tbsp. tahini          >
tony chachare seasoning      >   >    additions to original recipe
salt, if needed                      >

The items pictured above are what the original recipe calls for. 
I have basil growing in the garden this year, and Lonnie's youngest son brought us an oregano plant, so I had fresh herbs (or are these spices?) but the recipe actually listed dried .

(Those oregano leaves start turning brown really fast - I had picked these not 10 minutes before the photo was taken.)

Anyhoo, just add these ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

I thought the dip needed something extra at this point, so I added...

Much better!  But when I make this again, I will add more "heat" to it. Maybe cayenne or jalapeno pepper.

Serve with toasted flour tortilla triangles.

It was a good appetizer for Sunday dinner, which was lasagna, garlic bread, creamed corn, and buttered fresh broccoli.
We have one family member who doesn't like lasagna (doesn't like lasagna??!!) so he had chicken tenders with honey mustard. (It's the noodles that he doesn't like.)

Then it was Banana Pudding for dessert.

I wanted to make a fresh peach cobbler this week but the peaches at the grocery were all very small and very hard. Shouldn't this still be peak season for peaches?
There must have been poor weather conditions for them this year.  I might try frozen peach slices for a cobbler and see what kind of results I get with  those.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

two weird things

An unexplained mystery here in darlaville.  A crop circle in the yard. Cue the Twilight Zone music!

I noticed it while I was mowing.  It was so weird that I turned off the mower and went to get my camera.
The grass is denser and darker in the outline of the circle. I should have taken a close up.

Not as distinct from this angle. You can see the size of it compared to the mower. Nothing has been planted here since we've lived here (since 1986).

It's a puzzle. I went ahead and mowed over it. I will take a look after while and see if it's still visible.

****EDITED:  My friend, Shirley, emailed to tell me that this is a "fairy ring", and it's cased by a type of fungus that is growing in the dirt underneath. 
You can click HERE to read more about it.  Lots of superstitions about them back in the old days. 

No photos of weird thing number two.  I was finishing up weeding a flower bed a couple of evenings ago. It was getting close to dark...harder to see the weeds.
I heard a siren start up in the distance - a fire truck, I think.  
Then I heard what sounded like a siren start up very at the edge of our woods!  
I was thinking "whaaaat?"   Then the sound tapered off and I realized it was a coyote!

That was the most eerie and lonesome sounding noise I have ever heard. It made my hair stand on end!
He called out about 4 times with a single gruff barking sound in between. 

I wasn't scared but I did go up on the porch...don't want us to meet up by accident!