Thursday, March 31, 2016

the lawn mowing begins

When I looked at the weather forecast for this week, Wednesday looked like a good day to do the first lawn mowing of the year. Warm, but cloudy.

Strange to be cutting grass when the when the Weather Channel said we had over 8" of snow on that same date in 1987! I will gladly take the warmer weather instead!

A lovely sunrise with just a few clouds...

The dew on the grass doesn't completely dry until nearly mid day, so in the meantime, I made a pot of Split Pea Soup, using some of my leftover Easter ham.  It was ready to reheat for dinner when the mowing was finished.

While my soup was simmering, I looked online for a recipe to make bread pudding from some blueberry bagels that have been hanging around in my fridge for too long.

Whatever you can imagine...someone has tried...sure enough, there was a recipe for that very thing.

You can see the recipe here 

The recipe called for additional fresh or frozen blueberries, too. But I didn't have any so I chopped up a rotten  an over ripe banana and added it.
I wasn't optimistic about it, but it actually tasted pretty good.  In fact, I scooped out this serving only to try to get a good photo - but then I took a bite and ended up eating the whole bowl.

tastes better than it looks

Finally, I did get outside to mow.  A nice warm afternoon but a little cloudy and windy.

 Later, I noticed two butterflies on the lilac bush, even though the flowers are not yet fully opened.
They had to hang on tight with the wind blowing!

Not a good pic...the butterfly is upside-down (looking like a pirate's hat).

Now rain for today...back to spring cleaning!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

starting on my next quilt

Here's the start of my next quilt.
I don't have a pattern for this one. I am basing it on a quilt that I've been seeing in a catalog.
The catalog quilt has a really pleasing combination of colors, so I've been searching through my fabric and trying to find similar shades.

I've got a few of the large triangles cut...

But I ordered this special ruler for these small triangle sections called "flying geese".
The ruler enables you to cut strips of fabric and then cut your triangles from that. No wasted fabric!
Turned one way for cutting the center triangle...

Then turned sideways for cutting the smaller side triangles...

It's a worthwhile purchase...I'll be needing lots of these units...14 in each block - times twelve blocks!
Hmmm....that will be 168!

I will just doing a little at a time on this quilt. There is nothing (so far) on my calendar this week so I plan on doing some spring cleaning, de-cluttering and hopefully some window washing.
We'll see how far I get!

Monday, March 28, 2016

sweet potato casserole

I make this sweet potato casserole twice a year...on Thanksgiving and on Easter. It's rich and sweet and probably could be used as a dessert.
I treat it as a vegetable dish though. At least we are getting some vitamins from the sweet potatoes along with the sugar and butter!

Sweet Potato Casserole
3 or 4 medium sized sweet potatoes
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter softened
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Peel and dice the sweet potatoes and cook until tender and mashable. You can used the canned yams if you'd like. Either way, you need between 3 and 4 cups mashed sweet potatoes.

I just put the drained, cooked sweet potatoes in my stand mixer to mash them.
Add melted butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and milk. Mix well

Pour this mixture in a greased casserole dish (about 8"x 11").

In a separate bowl combine Flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. Criss-crossing two knives, cut in the softened butter until mixture is crumbly.

Add the chopped pecans...

Spoon this evenly over the sweet potato layer

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.  (This photo is before baking.)

We had this for our Easter Sunday dinner, along with Honey Baked Ham and Turkey with Kings Hawaiian Rolls and swiss and smoked provolone cheeses, cole slaw, deviled eggs, and cheesy broccoli rice casserole.

Actually, I had made roasted asparagus too, but forgot to get it out of the microwave after I popped it in there to reheat it just before we sat down to eat.  Lonnie found it in there after dinner when he was reheating some coffee...sheesh! At least it wasn't left in there overnight!

After dinner, my family had to search the yard for their Easter baskets that I had hidden.
And they're off....!

impossible to photograph the elusive Sasquatch - but he was there too

Lemon Bars were for dessert - and Easter candy!

At least, forgetting the asparagus wasn't as bad as what happened last year on Easter Sunday...a whole frosted carrot cake slipped out of my hands as I was putting it in the fridge and landed upside down in the floor!   I didn't even try to salvage it.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

getting ready for Easter

The first sign that Easter is coming is a long line at the ham store.

They move everyone through pretty fast, though.
The thing I like best about Honey Baked Ham is that I can always package up a lot of the scraps and trimmings and put them in the freezer for soup....bean soup, cabbage soup, potato soup, split pea soup...and more!

I actually got out my Easter decorations this year!  This as about all I have. As you might guess - I'm not big on decorating!

I went ahead grabbed the Easter baskets while I was digging around for the other stuff.  I like to fix up a basket of candy for my husband and sons each year.

I was getting ready to tell you how these are the same Easter baskets that my sons have been getting on Easter for their entire lives...but I see from this picture taken in 1979, that the taller basket was different.

That one was Chopper's (on the right). The straw basket belongs to the baby Sasquatch (on the left).

So, today I'm  off to the store to buy some candy. I can't buy it too far ahead or I will be tempted to eat some of it.
Hope there are some of those malted eggs still available!

Friday, March 25, 2016

quilt group night

Lonnie and I had our "wisdom based retirement" class in the afternoon, then we stopped for a bite to eat, so I was a little late getting to Crazy Quilters at the extension office.

It was just a skeleton crew of us there...many of our members were out for various reasons... only about half the group showed up.

Three of us brought our completed February blocks...

 Someone in the community had brought boxes and bags of yarn (maybe from an estate?) into the extension office for anyone who wanted to take some.  This is only about half of it - it's what was left after other groups had taken what they wanted.  Some of it was whole skeins - some was scraps and partial bundles.

I tried to stop myself from bringing any of it home but seeing all that yarn made me want to crochet I did fill up a bag with some blues and grays and a dark pink.
The yarn didn't have any stains or odors but I'll probably wash it before I use it.

Let's see what everyone is working on.....
Joan is making pillowcases for a children's charity ( I can't remember which one).
Very cute with kid-friendly fabrics!  The one in her machine is rolled up as she sews a french seam. 

Lee was working on an embroidery project called "red work" because it's all done in red thread. She is restarting it after having a problem with a background fabric the first time around. 

Louise was organizing fabrics and charts for her "Dear Jane" quilt.  It's a quilt pattern based on an antique quilt. There are lots of small intricate blocks!

Louise is sewing them all by hand and she has a pretty big stack of them finished...but still lots more to go. 

She has developed a system of keeping up with fabrics used and blocks finished...all organized in a binder.

Isolde is getting ahead by bringing fabrics to get started sewing on her March block. 

I had just brought some hand sewing since I didn't have as much time as usual after getting there late.
We had some heavy rain and strong winds just as it was getting dark. A good evening to be inside sewing and chatting!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

more sewing

Actually, I have been doing some flower bed clean-up, but there is still time in the evening to do some sewing too.

I haven't shown this project very much. It's a block of the month, too, but with my other group.  It started in October so half the blocks are done!

I missed a meeting while we were on the cruise and I was a month behind, but all caught up now.

We all keep referring to these blocks as "barn quilt blocks" but they are really supposed to be houses - not that it makes a difference.

I like some of mine better than others and I keep being tempted to re-do a couple. I will wait until all the blocks are done and then see if I want to make any changes.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

out for a drive

Lonnie and I haven't been on a long drive since we took one on New Years Day.  So we decided to get out and look around a bit yesterday.
It was a perfect day for it...a sunny, blue skies type of day and trees were blooming white and pink everywhere.

I think these are Bradford Pear trees?  So pretty against the deep blue sky!

When I suggested a drive, I did have sort of an ulterior motive.  I asked it we could make the Whittles Fabric store our "turn around" I could just dash inside and see if they had a particular shade of brown fabric I needed for an upcoming quilt.

I had the store all to myself. I felt sort of bad for the two ladies working in the store with no customers to wait on.  
So I got a few more cuts of fabric to help them out!  (ha ha!) 

Really though, I will use those neutral prints in the quilt ,too.

On the way back we just stuck with Hwy 31W for the scenic tour...through Cave City...where we passed those famous teepee motel rooms, "Wigwam Village".

It's been there nearly 80 years!   
See that black car below? They had pulled off the road to take photos, too.

On we went, through Horse Cave and on to Munfordville, where my husband spotted this sign for a BBQ joint.

As I have mentioned here husband will skid sideways in the road to pull in somewhere for barbecue!  When he saw this smoker wagon outside he was optimistic about getting a good pulled pork sandwich. 

That is his happy face!  Pulled pork, pinto beans and turnip greens, served with a plate sized piece of fried cornbread.

I had pulled pork tacos. Unusual but tasty.

Friendly service and lots of food...but overall the pork didn't rate up there with the best. It was bland and not at all smokey tasting.  Nice and lean, though.

Back on the road Lonnie noticed my name in this store window.  Funny because I hardly ever come across any other Darlas.  The shop was closed on Monday or I would have went in to meet me her.

Plenty of daylight left so we continued on through Elizabethtown and Radcliff...then near Ft. Knox, where you can catch a glimpse of the US Bullion Depository.  That's it below...that's where all that gold is stored!

On through Muldraugh and West Point with an occasional view of the Ohio River before we cut over and headed on home.

We need to do this more often!  Even if we don't include a fabric buying stop!

Monday, March 21, 2016

vernal eqinox

That means it's officially spring!

The sun rises due east and sets due west exactly 12 hours later.

I came to a realization that I need to stop transplanting daffodils!

My dad's birthday comes the day after (today, the 21st).  Happy Birthday, Pa! 

Lovely skies!

We started spring off with bratwurst and sausages cooked outside on the grill for Sunday dinner.
We had sauteed onions and peppers to put on them, and side dishes of homemade macaroni salad, pinto beans with ham, cauliflower with cheese, and crash hot potatoes.

Later for dessert we had slices of my dad's homemade Christmas fruit cake and Salted Caramel cookies (from a mix).

Chilly and wet outside though!  We noticed the furnace kept kicking on all day.
Even though it's spring on the calendar, we still need to be ready for anything weather-wise!