Saturday, July 30, 2016

time to dig some holes

Why was everyone staring as I was driving home from Lowes?

Oh, these?    Well...there was a sale!

There were no signs up but an employee told me that everything on the clearance racks was half off the clearance price.   

A couple of other ladies and myself, all went into a frenzy...reading labels and hoisting perennials and shrubs onto our flatbed carts!  It was all very civil - no shoving or hair pulling.

I came away with that large Viburnum and 4 smaller Viburnums of a different kind. On the left is a couple of a Astilbes, then in front is a Liatris (I've never had one) and 2 different kinds of Sedum.

There was a lot of stuff I didn't buy. I was tempted by the Knockout Roses...but then remembered that I don't like anything with thorns.  Some of the plants were ones I have tried and didn't have good luck with...or ones that I already have.

I was really glad to get those Viburnums at a good price.   I've been wanting to add more shrubs here and there.  They are good for breaking up a big expanse of grass without the commitment of a tree, although the tags on these said they could get up to 10 feet tall.

Unrelated, but I saw a Black Vulture at the birdbath again this year.
Last year it was a mother and (big) baby that came to drink there several times.  Surely this bird must be one from that seemed very confident approaching the birdbath and hopping up there.

Well, I'm off to see if the ground is soft enough to dig some holes for planting shrubs!

Friday, July 29, 2016

quilt group night

It was Crazy Quilters group night at the extension office. The way the calendar days fell, it had been five weeks since our last meeting so everyone had a lot to talk about as we worked on our projects.

Marcella was working on a landscape picture block for a contest at an upcoming quilt show. This is an upside down view...the blue is the sky and the green is rolling hills. She is appliqueing houses and trees on it too.

Lee was sewing up some more colorful log cabin blocks.

She has this neat system of organization...layering her block sections in stacked paper plates, then working on them assembly line style.

Jan is adding the final strip to her black,white, and red quilt.  It's really cute with all those polka dot fabrics... 

Isolde was sewing these flower blocks that will be used with other type blocks, together in a quilt.

An unusual pattern and just adorable!  She has finished 17 of them but she needs 22 total.

I was sewing the binding on that big quilt I've been working on.  

Barbara was adding to her stack of blocks sewn up in pretty fall colors.

Stephanie and Dee were cutting fabrics for the next "block of the month" block.

Dee also brought in 2 loaves of homemade zucchini bread to share! Yum!

And here are the June "block of the month" blocks made by those of us who are keeping up.

We are halfway through...with six blocks made and six blocks to go.

Here are all of mine, so far...

As I'm looking at that photo, now I see how bright that blue is in the latest block, and the yellow too.
Well, when it's all finished I will look at the whole thing together and re-make a block or two if necessary....or maybe not!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

food hoarding

Kroger had a good deal on these frozen turkey breasts.  They were $1.29 per pound (regular price was $2.99).  These are quick and easy to cook in the pressure cooker - so I bought three of them.

I probably would have bought more if I'd had room for them... 

Bear in mind that photo was taken right after I got home from the grocery and hurriedly stuffed things in the fridge, since I brought the groceries home in my un-air conditioned Jeep. It looked better later after I did some organizing.

But, I do buy too much food!  Especially this time of year when the fruits and veggies are at their best. 
I am pretty good at rotating and managing it though, so we very seldom throw food away.
At least I know better than to buy a deep freeze. I'd fill it up. That would be too much!

My canned and dry goods cabinets are about that full too.  I like to have things on hand so I can easily put together a meal or make a soup.

  Here is something different I noticed at the store...Truffle Dust.  I had just been reading another blogger who was saying how good truffle salt is.  I thought this might be similar so I bought a jar.  
I tasted a sprinkle of it and I think it would add a nice rich taste to foods that "need something".
It's probably good on popcorn too!

Now, I wish I could see a snapshot of the inside of your fridge!  Do you keep a lot of food on hand or just go to the store more often? 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

careful with your wire grill brush

I have heard stories of people accidentally swallowing a wire from one of the wire bristle grill cleaning brushes.
The wires can break off as you are scrubbing the grill grates, stick to the grate, then later, stick to the food.
This report I read, said about 130 people per year end up in the emergency room with one of these wires stuck in their throat, stomach or intestinal tract.

Seems like you would feel something like that in your mouth as you were chewing but strange things happen.

This photo isn't my husband's grill brush.  He threw his away.

Not because of swallowing a bristle, but because of getting one stuck in his thumb when he was cleaning the grill.

It was nearly all the way in, but not straight in, more like under his skin.
All that was sticking out was the bent end on the right!
I was able to pull it out...some blood but not a lot.

Imagine having that stuck in your throat!

We'll have to shop around for a different type of brush or scrubber for the grill.

Monday, July 25, 2016

a "stay inside" Sunday

We barely opened the door on Sunday! Just long enough to let Chopper and the Sasquatch inside for dinner.  It was another miserably hot and humid day.

Nice and cool inside though, and I had filled the bird feeders and watered the plants the day before so no reason to go outside anyway...certainly not to get in the pool - it's as warm as bathwater!

For dinner, I made this Swedish Meatballs  recipe for the second time.  I won't be making it again. We sort of liked it the first time, but this time there were some likes and some dislikes.
It has a strange-to-us combination of spices (allspice, nutmeg, and ginger) that doesn't seem to grow on us.  I followed the recipe exactly, except I baked the meatballs rather than frying them.

But anyway, that's what we had for Sunday dinner, along with mashed potatoes, extra sour cream gravy (the gravy that's on the meatballs), roasted cabbage, creamed corn, cucumber slices and cantaloupe.

For dessert, I tried something different.  Mangoes had been on sale at the grocery, so I bought three of them and substituted them for some of the peaches in a Fresh Peach Cobbler.

Mangoes are not easy to work with! 
I never know if I should peel the skin off the mango or peel the mango off the skin!

The mangoes made the cobbler more tart and citrus-y.  It was okay for a change but I don't think I would make it like this again.

A dollop of vanilla ice cream helped to balance out the tartness.

Later on we opened the door just wide enough to let our sons out with some leftover meatballs and cobbler.  

Hopefully this is our worst weather this summer and the temperatures will go a bit lower!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

eating for entertainment

It's been such a humid, hot and muggy week...not the kind of days that you can enjoy being outside at all.    I guess we were getting a bit of cabin fever by the end of the week because we were both trying to think of somewhere to go.

There was a fair in a nearby county, but it didn't get started until evening, so no to that.
We looked up info on "My Old Kentucky Dinner Train".....whew!! Pricey!!
We considered taking a scenic drive to a burger place in Indianapolis, but got discouraged about that when we realized we would be heading home in Friday afternoon rush hour traffic.
We checked the shows at the movie theater  - nothing playing that we were interested in seeing.

Finally we settled for going to get a fish sandwich at Mike Linnigs.

They keep improving their outdoor seating area but, as you can see, no one wanted to sit out there.

We sat inside by the window - nice and bright.

This is the look on your face when you see the fish sandwich!  And that tower of onion rings! 

It's too much food really. We could have easily split one sandwich and onion rings and had plenty of food, but I was ordering the broiled fish this time.

Of course they'll give you a "to go" box for your leftovers...but reheated fish is not the greatest.

Wish they would give you a manageable amount of food for a decent price instead of serving an expensive overloaded dinner.

Everything was good, though.  

Friday, July 22, 2016

eggplant rotel

Eggplants have been priced at 99 cents each at the grocery for the past several weeks.  I've been picking one up each week when I shop...intending to try out some different recipes with them.

The problem is that this first recipe that I tried is so good, I keep making it again and again.

Eggplant Rotel
1 medium eggplant
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 can Rotel tomatoes
parmesan cheese

Wash eggplant - no need to peel. Slice in roughly half inch slices.
Drizzle a little olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish, place largest slices of eggplant in the bottom.
Drizzle with olive oil, spoon over 1/3 of the Rotel tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, basil and oregano. Shake parmesan over all.   (easy on salt since tomatoes have salt added)

Then repeat layers two more times...using the next largest eggplant slices, oil, tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and parmesan.
I used fresh basil but dried basil is fine.

Preheat the oven to 350. 

Bake 35 to 45 minutes until eggplant is tender. (It's much prettier before it's cooked.)

I like more parmesan over the top... 

This dish is much better than it looks.  My husband likes it too, after getting over his initial fear when he saw this on the table for the first time.

The Rotel tomatoes have a little heat to them. If you don't like a spicy taste it's probably good with regular canned tomatoes too.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

group sewing day

It was a "play day" for members of my quilting group, Mt Washington Quilting Bees.  No business meeting - just sewing and talking in the big room at the senior center.

A couple of the ladies had brought in some fabrics and scraps to give away.  Sandy had a few bags of scraps someone had given her...and Jackie had been sorting through her fabric and giving away things she figured she'd never use.

So we all rummaged around and picked out some pieces that caught our eye.

Shirley has been working on this strip quilt. She made it from leftovers of another quilt that is even prettier than this one.  She added a red border on it after I took the photo - it will be a striking quilt!

Joyce brought a quilt made with strips too...

...and she also brought some tee shirt quilts to show to our new member, Sandy C.

Here is another of Joyce's tee shirt quilts - this one with a Marine theme.

Phyllis was helping Charlotte with a pattern layout.  

I think there was a problem with some missing pieces. I hope Charlotte finds them so she can finish up this cute little quilt.

Sandy was cutting some fabric squares that will end up in charity boxes that her church is assembling.   

I think they will be added with needles and thread (also toiletries,snacks, etc) for  teenage girls (in Africa maybe?) to encourage them to learn to sew.

An extra photo of Sandy since she looked so pretty!

I can't say that I got much accomplished while I was there.  By the time I dug around in the freebie fabric and discussed all the possibilities of what each piece could be used for, an hour had passed.
Then of course I had to go around and see what others were working on.

I did get one block cut and sewn together. I will show that project once I finished up my big quilt.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

hummingbird swing

Late in the summer last year the Sasquatch gave me a hummingbird swing made from copper wire and a small dowel.
He had seen some for sale on Amazon (pricey!) and thought it might be fun to make one and see if a hummingbird really would sit on it.

I hung it up on the crook that holds the feeder and the hummers totally ignored it for the rest of the summer.

This year, I hung it out when I first put up the feeder, and sure enough they began sitting there occasionally.  Usually by the time I get my camera ready to take a photo they fly off, but this time I got a couple of pictures.

I had to take it through the window so no close ups.

Also got a photo of a Hummingbird Moth...on the Butterfly Bush.

Milkweed is blooming in the same bed. I had planted this pink one and also a white one last year. The white one didn't come back up.

That's about all that's blooming right now, but there are some pretty red berries on my viburnum.

Sunday dinner was Anniversary Chicken, jasmine rice, yeast rolls, caesar salad and a mix of buttered  vegetables.  No new recipes this week.

Dessert was cheesecake from a Jello mix . They are always good and they're quick to make.
Didn't take a picture.   I did actually follow the advice on the box and set the pie plate in warm water for about a minute before serving.  The graham cracker crust lifted out nicely with each slice rather than the mangled crumbly way I've been doing it.   I'll remember that.