Wednesday, September 30, 2015

progress on Labyrinth Walk quilt

 This quilt is made up of two different blocks.  Block "A" went smoothly, but Block "B" has been a bit trickier.

I finally got one completely assembled...

One thing that makes it harder, is that it doesn't go together in any sort of logical or repeating pattern. You have to constantly check the directions to be sure you are sewing the right pieces to the correct side.

The second problem is that the directions give incorrect measurements in places, or instructions that don't agree with the diagrams shown.

But, it will probably be easier after this first one.

Here is the Block "B" sewn between two Block A"s....

Sew far, sew good !!

I surely will be able to make faster progress on this, now  that it's getting dark outside earlier. I look forward to getting in some sewing time in the evenings.

By the way, I just learned that this pattern is based on a section of marble flooring on display in "Capella Sanservo" in Naples Italy.

Here is a website with the story about here

The creator of this design could have never imagined it would be reproduced over 200 years later years later by women making quilts!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

around the yard

There are more interesting and colorful plants growing wild around the edges of the yard, than I have in the flower beds.

Poke berries in all stages.  I know I have talked about them before, but every time I see them I have to stop and admire their outrageous colors.

They start out with bright lime green berries on fuchsia stems...

Then as the berries ripen, they turn deep purple. 

Here are velvety sumac berries. Most are dried up now, with the seed clusters dry and darker.

Their leaves turn a beautiful bright red.   I would like to get a stand of these established back in the field.  Wonder if they grow easily by planting the berries? I need to look up some info.

These gorgeous red berries are on the dreaded invasive honeysuckles.  Birds eat them, and of course, spread seeds with their droppings.

These next two photos are seed pods on a low growing plant.  Does anyone know what these are? It's growing at the edge of the woods, but stretching out toward the light.
It's probably something else invasive - it seems like plants that put off that many seeds are usually the kind that cause a problem.

And while you are at it...can you identify this tree by these winged seed clusters?  Is it a type of Ash?

Same tree. I should have taken a better picture of the leaves.

There is still plenty of our state flowers blooming...Goldenrods.

And these are wild asters reaching out of the woods to try to catch some sun.

I'd like to have those in the flower bed but it would probably kill them to dig them up. I'll just admire them where they're growing.

Monday, September 28, 2015

class reunion

Saturday, we drove over to Evansville for Lonnie's class reunion. He has lots of happy memories of his high school days, so he really enjoys going to the reunions every five years.

It takes a couple of hours to get over there, so I took some needlework to do in the car.

They had arranged a lunchtime gathering at the "Kennel Club". That gave us plenty of time for traveling there and back on the same day.

See here?  I told you he enjoys the reunions!

He is quite popular with the ladies!    Look at these smiling can tell they are remembering happy times. (or maybe he is tickling them!)

Those other guys are just setting back there eating while Lonnie is hugging every one of the women!

Really, he did talk to the men as well. I'm just having some fun with it.

Back when they went to school, all the boys had classes on the ground floor of the school and the girls had class upstairs...but they socialized before and after school and and at ball games and so forth.

One of the ladies told me that six couples, all from that same graduating class, got married right out of high school, and are either still married, or parted by the death of one of the spouses.
Pretty remarkable!

The lunch was "blah"....and that's putting it nicely.

We just picked around at it, then afterwards, we went to Torino's for pizza.

Then, because Lonnie's sister, Betty, has always talked about how good these donuts are, we had to make a stop at Donut Bank! 

We made a "withdrawal" there!    Not to eat after that big pizza, but to bring home for dessert after Sunday dinner.

Well, maybe we did have to try one when we got home...just to make sure they were of good quality!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

summer is over

My husband had made arrangements with the pool company to come out and close up our pool one day next week...but they called and said they would be in the area yesterday...and wondered if they could go ahead and do the job.

So, boo hoo, summer is definitely over.

But getting it covered will be sort of a relief. The trees are already dropping some leaves, and a lot end up in the pool.

With the cooler nights we have had, the water had turned pretty cold...but it was okay if you could get out and warm up in the sun.

Goodbye pool...see you in  the spring!

Later in the day, the Black Vultures were back at the birdbath.  
I happened to see them landing on the ground ...and they ran full tilt to the birdbath. 
So funny looking when they run...kind of a stiff legged waddle...but fast!

It is a mother and baby for sure.  Again, the baby couldn't figure out how to hop up on the birdbath, so the mother would hop down and regurgitate some water into the baby's mouth. (take a minute to think about that!)

In other large bird news...the wild turkeys are taking advantage of the dry ground to scratch up some nice dust bath areas back in  the field.

They find a spot where moles have tunneled and loosened up the ground , then they scratch and pick at the dirt until it's just right.   They squat down in the dust bowl and use their wings to throw dirt on their back...shaking and sifting it down into their feathers.

When they are finished they stand up and shake...almost like a dog. That puts off a big dust cloud!

Friday, September 25, 2015

sprucing up things

Isn't this perfect weather for getting things done outside?  Warm, sunny, no humidity and no rain.

I will probably run out of good weather before I run out of chores to do...but I prefer it that way. I would get pretty nervous if I were caught up on I had reached "the end"!

Here's what has been bugging me. The pool house door. Some kind of mildew on the door and the trim paint is peeling.

Painted the trim and just washed off the door. A quick fix and a huge improvement!

One  thing leads to another , so I got a fresh bucket of sudsy water and washed the windows out there, too. There's  only two of them. 

Then I took a rest on the swing...hmmm, this thing could use some paint too.

Maybe tomorrow!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

slow down for the curves

 Earlier this week, after a visit with my parents, I decided to take the scenic route home.  I like to take the back roads on days when I don't have other stops to make.

I was enjoying the late summer scenery, when I rounded a curve to see this......

...a dump truck on it's side.  There were no police or EMS there yet,  but a pick up truck with ladders on top pulled up, and a man in a yellow safety vest took one of the ladders and leaned it up against the dump truck and climbed up. He had a hard time getting the door open,

Directly, out climbs the dump truck driver.

It looks like he is fine, he climbed down the ladder unassisted.

His truck didn't look so great.  It looks like he hit someone's driveway entrance... maybe a culvert.

Last spring I was right behind another accident on this same road. There had been a light rain, and a pick up truck slid out on a curve and crashed through someone's nice black board fence.

And, years ago, I was a passenger in a car that was involved in an accident on this road!

I think I will choose a different route to use hereafter.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

thumbs down recipe

I wanted some ideas for a cheesy cauliflower casserole, so I looked around online and came across this one...

Cauliflower Cheese from BBC's "good food"

The recipe amounts were listed in grams and mls. (it's English/British), but you could click to change it to American measurements.  It had good reviews so it seemed like something good to try out.

I disobeyed the recipe at the beginning. The directions said to boil your fresh cauliflower florets...but every time I have ever boiled cauliflower, it gets horribly waterlogged (and why boil the nutrients out of it?). So I baked the florets until they were tender crisp.

Next, they have you making a white sauce with butter, flour and milk. 

Then you add shredded cheddar and stir until cheese is melted.  The recipe never mentions salt and pepper...but I added some and also some paprika. 

Pour this over the cauliflower in a baking dish.

Top with bread crumbs (I used panko), and bake.   It looks good, doesn't it?

Nope, it wasn't!   It was bland and paste-y.  It was edible...but just not really good.
I have tried macaroni and cheese recipes that start with a white sauce like that, and I never care for those either. I just don't like that extra starchiness.  
So thumbs down on this one.

We tried to force a little of it down...along with our Sunday dinner of grilled bratwurst and polish sausage with sauteed onions and green peppers, homemade macaroni salad, skillet fried cabbage, and crash hot potatoes.

Dessert was Vanilla Pear Custard Kuchen with a side of vanilla ice cream. 

If anyone has a good method or recipe for a cheesy cauliflower dish, I would appreciate having it!

Monday, September 21, 2015

why everything takes so long

A couple of my Heuchera plants have been suffering in too sunny of a spot all summer.  I wanted to move them to a more shady spot, here by the pool house, so they will have a good start next spring.

But first, I had to clean up this flower bed a little. It was weedy and full of small branches and sticks that had fallen from the trees.

So,first I had to get the wheelbarrow to throw the sticks into.  But it had a flat first I had to air that up.

While I was in the pool house (really just a storage shed with the pool pump inside) to get the air machine, I got tired of walking around the hose we keep coiled up in there, so I decided that first, I would take a minute to hang up the hose holder that had been laying there since last year...but first, I had to go back inside and down to the basement to get a small section of plywood (which happened to be the exact size that I needed!) to fasten it to.  There, that's where was I ?

Oh yeah, the flower bed.   I got it cleaned up and my plants moved - and watered it all with my neatly hanging hose!

The next day I bought some fresh mulch...but then had to air up the wheelbarrow tire again to wheel it out to the flower bed.    Lonnie is going to take the tire down to the tire shop and have them fix it, though.

This area will should fill out nicely next spring. There is a Bleeding Heart that comes up in  the back right corner and I divided a Japanese Fern into three clumps and placed them around the bed.
So, I am ahead already for next spring.  ???

 Right ?