Saturday, April 30, 2016

Arbor Day or arbor day

You're supposed to do what on Arbor Day ?


But I thought.......

Then why do they call it Arbor Day if it's not for putting up a new arbor?

Just kidding of course! It was just a coincidence that I was putting my arbor together on Arbor day.

Actually, it was delivered last week, and I started putting it together.
It's plastic and it came in a long box...lots of pieces, nicely packed.

That first day I got this much together before it started getting dark. Lonnie had to help hold some parts for me while other parts were attached.

Then, because of rain and other stuff, I didn't get to finish it until yesterday. 

The instructions were pretty good, the screw holes were pre-drilled, it was fairly easy to assemble.

yep, nine inches

They included some end caps for the open ends and even a tube of glue to hold them on.

Nice finishing touches.

This isn't where it will go. It will be back along that fence you see in the back ground.

But it was getting late again and there are some anchors that have to be banged into the ground to hold the arbor in place.   But first I'll need to clear some grass from the area and also remove some fence boards.

I'll show it again when I have it in place.

It was a happy Arbor Day for me...and arbor day.
 I will still be planting some trees.  I have some on order, they should be here any day.

Friday, April 29, 2016

pool days are here

When I see this van pull up in the drive way, my heart gives a happy little leap!

They are here to open our pool!

It's a good pool company. Family owned - fast and reliable. 

After 20 minutes the cover is off, the water is circulating and they are vacuuming the bottom.

In less than an hour, they are pulling out of the driveway...

And the pool is ready for anyone who is ready to go swimming! 

It looks tempting but we don't get in there this early in the season (usually). 
We do like to have it opened up early just because it looks pretty. It brightens up the whole back yard with the sun reflecting off the water.

Brummett Pools is the same company that filled in our older huge, but troublesome, pool...

And installed our new smaller, easy-care fiberglass pool. That was spring 2013, I believe.

It was a nerve wracking experience to see the old pool destroyed and to have all that heavy equipment in the yard...but once it was over it was totally worth it.
With the old pool it seemed like every year it would develop a leak somewhere or need some type of repair or liner replacement.
This one has been trouble free. Hope it stays that way!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

tap tap, tappity tap

There is a male Cardinal that's been trying to fight his reflection in our front window.

It makes me think of that Edgar Allen Poe poem where the raven comes tapping.

 But this Cardinal starts as soon as it gets light outside. He does take snack breaks...or maybe there are certain times during the day when his reflection isn't visible.

It doesn't really bother me too much - except for the slobbering on the glass and somehow he fired a couple of poop shots about midway up the window and of course that left a poop trail running down the glass.

When my sons were here last Sunday, the tapping was annoying and distracting for them.
Chopper snuck up to the window and gave Mr. Cardinal the scare of his life!  But he was back the next day...a fearless defender of his territory.

Speaking of Chopper, he dug this Nandina out of his foundation plantings and brought it over for me.

It had been freshly planted by the previous owners when he bought his house, and in the 8 or 9 years since then, it has been trying to crowd out his other shrubs and just generally looked too big for the area.

I had always admired it though. The leaves change color in the fall and it gets pretty red berries on it.
So, when he said he was getting rid of it, I told him I'd take it.

It was more overgrown than I thought. The roots were like a scary octopus!

I separated some of the roots and stems out. I think I could put them in the ground and get about 8 separate plants from them.

I had just finished getting the main clump planted when the rain started falling Tuesday...and it's barely stopped since.
 Not sure when I'll get back to the other stems...or even really where to put them!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

no sewing lately

I've slowed down on this quilt. I know I can't finish it by the time I was hoping I'm just going to slow down and enjoy the process.

This is one of the finished blocks...laying on the brown fabric that I was going to use for sashing.

I kept thinking that the brown wasn't exactly what I wanted, so I rummaged around and pulled out some fabric that I was saving for another quilt to see how that would look. It's the one on the left...a darker brown. Then on the right is a black and brown check.

I thought the darker sashing looked the best...until I took away the others...then I thought it looked dull.

So I tried it with a medium dark blue. I like that, but what I first liked about the quilt that I am basing this one on, was the rich warm browns.

I'll keep thinking it over while I finish sewing blocks.

If anyone has an or brown...just chime in!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Texas Two-Step coleslaw

This recipe is sort of new to me. This is the second time I've made it, and we like it, but next time I will make some changes.

Texas Two-Step Coleslaw
1 bag coleslaw mix - 16 oz.
1 cup shredded purple cabbage (will leave this out next time)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 or 2 jalapenos, chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
2  11 oz. cans Mexicorn, drained (next time will only use one can)
1 cup shredded cheddar

12 oz. ranch dressing
4 Tbsp. lime juice (cut this back next time- maybe 3 Tbsp.)
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

In a large bowl, combine slaw mix, purple cabbage, chopped onions, chopped jalapenos and Mexicorn.  Toss to mix.

In a separate bowl, stir together ranch dressing, lime juice, cumin and cayenne.
You can add the chopped cilantro (I use this cilantro paste in a tube) or, if you don't like the taste- just leave it out.

Pour the dressing over the slaw mix and toss to coat.

Finally, add the shredded cheddar and gently stir to distribute it throughout.

Refrigerate several hours before serving.

see...that's a lot of corn!
 We had this for Sunday dinner along with burgers swimming in mushroom gravy, mashed red skin potatoes, cornbread and mixed buttered vegetables.

Later for dessert we had Mandarin Orange cake, which is also a new recipe for me.

It was good too...mandarin oranges in the cake part and crushed pineapple in the topping - served cold.

Later, Chopper emailed and said he liked this cake so well that he would like to have it for his birthday...which is in the summertime.  Its cool and will be a good summer birthday cake!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

trip to Paducah Quilt Show

Every year the American Quilters Society puts on a really big quilt show in Paducah.  It lasts several days and is known as "Quilt Week".

I've never been to this event until this year.
A quilt group that meets in Shelbyville had chartered a bus for a day trip to the show. They were looking for paying guests to fill up the bus, so I signed up to go.

It was an early start...7:00 am.  I got to the meeting spot at 6:45 and  nearly everyone was already on the bus.

The hosting group handed out goodie bags, with a bottle of water, granola bars, and candy.
They had us playing bingo to pass the time on the long drive.

I won this little foldable needle case!

We had a rest stop, then it seemed like we were at the event center in no time!

It was crowded...and spread out over 4 buildings.  You really would need a couple of days to see it all.

Of course there were lots of quilts. These are a few of my favorites.

The show booklet had a short write up about each quilt, but it would have taken forever to try to read them.

I'd like to try to make a quilt like this one...

Barn quilts are always the cutest...

There was also row after row of vendor booths... selling quilting related merchandise - fabric, thread, scissors, patterns, books, gadgets, kits...on and on.

There were demonstrations of special rulers, sewing machines, quilting machines, and sergers.
There were classes being held as well, but you had to sign up way ahead for those.

I nearly walked my legs off.

Here is a different building full or more  stuff. It was about a block away.   It was such a strange an enormous plastic quonset hut.

They had food booths set up outside.  So many tasty looking items, barbecue, sausages, fried corn, baked potatoes, sweet treats... but I didn't want to spend money on food. I wanted to use it for buying stuff!

By the time the bus came back to pick us up (6:00 pm) everyone was glad to head for home.

A very enjoyable day. though. I'd like to do this again next year. 

Here is my loot....

It's a cute little wool pincushion kit ( a bunny) and 2 huge spools of thread.  

It doesn't look like much, but I was hesitant to buy anything...thinking I might come across something later that I liked better.

Friday, April 22, 2016

tried a new recipe

It was a while back when I saw a recipe in Kroger's "My Magazine" for an Israeli dish called "Shakshuka".  It looked so unusual...and pretty good, so I tore out the page and saved it.

Weeks later, Lonnie noticed the recipe picture when I was sorting through a stack of coupons and recipes.
He was interested in too, and I had all the ingredients on hand, so we had it that evening.

We like it!

First dice an onion and a green pepper and saute them in olive oil for about 5 minutes.

Next, mince one clove of garlic, and add that, along with two cans of diced tomatoes.
The original recipe said to add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, but I didn't have that, so squirted in some ketchup instead.

Spice it up with 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, and 1 teaspoon of paprika, (these are important to get the true flavor).
Add cayenne if you like it, and salt and pepper to taste.

Stir and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Here is the part that you didn't anticipate!

Crack 5 eggs directly into your simmering mixture.  I actually cracked mine into a little bowl, one at a time. and poured them in. I thought it might help them to keep their shape. 

Cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve over rice or noodles, or just have a side of toast with it.

Mine doesn't look as nice as the recipe photo because I didn't want to stir it and disturb the most of the liquid is on top. It was chunky like the recipe photo though.

Healthy and low calorie, this dish would be fine for lunch, dinner, or even breakfast.
The eggs do not reheat well, so only cook what you will eat...then cook more if you have leftover sauce.

I'll be making this again!