Monday, June 26, 2017

donation quilt finished

I don't think I have shown this little quilt here yet. I put it together back in late winter and it's been folded up in the sewing room waiting for me to put a binding on it.

 I had to put the walking foot on my machine to bind the Sailboat quilt (and the Ninja quilt), so I took the opportunity to go ahead and finish this one first.

The pieced blocks were from an abandoned project I started working on several years ago. Set on the diagonal with the solid blocks, it makes a good size for a donation quilt. Organizations usually ask that the quilts be lap sized...not too big to handle and wash.

(In the foreground here you see my Purple Smoke Tree. It has recovered nicely after caterpillars stripped it bare last month)

When I originally made the blocks, I was using the book below. I was going to precisely follow the instructions for all 12 blocks in the book...hoping to correct any bad habits I had picked up from being a self-taught quilter.  
Instead I developed a new bad habit...not finishing what I started on!   But, someday I will make a sampler quilt like this...but with a different color scheme.

I did try a slightly different method for sewing on binding. This time I sewed it to the front, pinned it to the back, and did a "stitch in the ditch" on the front...catching the back edge in with the stitches.


Well, I mostly caught that edge...ran off the road in some areas and had to rip and re-do. Here's a good spot to show you.


For the quilt backing, I used more of the same fabrics.

Hey, perfect size for the swing!

It looks sort of ready for Independence Day...mostly red,white, and blue!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Lonnie and sons

Lonnie's son, Victor, invited him for a day trip on the day before Fathers Day.

Vic is a real history buff and also interested in his ancestry.   He has recently been digging around in county records around Bowling Green trying to find out more about Lonnie's family tree.

He found mention of a cemetery where Lonnie's great-great grandfather was buried, but no one seemed to know exactly where the small cemetery was.

Through a series of coincidences, talking to locals, driving around and slowing down to look at a hen turkey near the road, Vic noticed a farmer bush hogging a field but leaving an area untouched.
He got out of the truck and walked over to talk to the farmer, and sure enough, there was the cemetery, hidden in a patch of weeds!

Vic phoned Lonnie and arranged the trip to go back down there.  Lonnie's other son, Chris, and grandson, Dylan also went along.

Here it is...Hopewell Church Cemetery. Pretty neglected.

Vic took along his trimmer and some pruners to do some clearing. I'm not sure how he got inside the fence...look at all those spikes along the top!

The great-great grandfather was buried inside the iron fence along with a daughter who died in her teen years.  For some reason, his wife was buried outside the fence!

Lonnie at the grave site of his great-great grandparents William (1825-1878) and Elizabeth (1829-1910) Hunt.

After that the group made a stop at another cemetery.  This is Lonnie, Vic and Chris, at the grave site of his great grandparents... John and Gamaliel Hunt.
 His grandparents are buried in this cemetery too.

One more photo to include grandson, Dylan.

Vic had another surprise...he had gotten up early that morning and baked bread, and made sandwiches with it, that he brought in a cooler with a jar of pickles he had made as well.
A nice picnic lunch.

Lonnie couldn't have asked for a better day with his sons and grandson.

Monday, June 12, 2017

June 12

My sons were recently talking about a time they cooked steaks at Chopper's house a couple of years ago. They used Alton Brown's method, and said the rib eyes were some of the best they had ever eaten.

Chopper generously said he would pick up some big Rib Eye steaks at Kingsley Meats for Sunday dinner...whoa!...nearly one pound each!
The Sasquatch brought over a couple of his cast iron skillets to use since they are essential for this combination of pan searing and high temperature baking.

Below, you see the pan searing step. The method calls for heating the pan in a 500 degree oven, then placing it on a stove burner while each side is seared.
I was worried that the super hot pan would crack my glass stove top, so we used a hot plate burner instead...placed on the stove top so it would be under the exhaust fan.

Then the pans go back into the hot oven for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. The Sasquatch helped me with moving the pans in and out of the oven. I did the flipping of steaks and Chopper helped with the timing and took photos. Lonnie cheered us on!

They came out melt-in-your -mouth delicious!   

I think we could have got better outside browning during the searing step with a gas stove or regular electric burners, but overall, we were all happy with our big steaks!  
Thanks for the treat, Chopper!

Later that afternoon Lonnie walked out back and heard baby crows squawking for the parents to feed he gathered up all the fat scraps from the steaks and pitched them out in the yard for the parent crows to gather up.

The Black Vulture must have got a whiff of the delicious treat and soon he landed in the yard to see if anything was left. He was too late - the crows had cleaned up every bit,  
Then he walked over by the pool and kept spreading his wings.  I really think he wanted to take a bath but eventually gave up on that idea and flew away.

Other cooking...I made this casserole for a week night actual recipe....stewed chicken with broth, thawed frozen spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, whole milk, mozzarella cheese.salt, pepper, oregano...baked with shredded Asiago on top.  It was pretty good.  Rich and filling.

And one Sunday, when we had breakfast for dinner, I baked scones with a packaged mix that I bought at World Market.  The Sasquatch brought his cast iron scone pan for me to bake them in and we ate them with a thick spread of Double Devon Cream and Raspberry- Jalapeno Jam (also from World Market).
It was a perfect good!     

I also tried a recipe that Chopper found online and suggested as a dessert for a hot summer day...Strawberry Pretzel Pie.   A crust made from crushed pretzels, then a layer of sweetened cream cheese mixed with whipped cream, topped with a strawberries in Jello mixture.
A good dessert!  Lonnie said he likes it better than a regular strawberry pie. 

Gosh, it looks like all we do is eat!   But we do other stuff too....

I went to Guitar Emporium one day with Chopper.  He is a bass player and had seen a bass guitar on their website that he was interested in and wanted to take a closer look at it.

Wowzer...look at the variety of basses thay have to choose from!  Everything from beginner instruments to rare collector ones that cost thousands of dollars. The opposite wall was just as full with regular guitars.  A really nice store.

So Chopper tried out the bass and immediately liked everything about it.  He did some bargaining on it with a trade in, and took it home.

Also in the store - this old "Voice-O-Graph" recording booth.  About the size of a phone booth, one could step inside, insert some coins and make a short recording that would be dispensed on a 45 rpm record.   This one apparently still works...except now they charge $15 instead of the 35 cents that it cost back in the 1960's!.   
It was fun to look at though.

Still haven't had a lot of sewing is where I am at on the sailboat quilt...

Well...that's a sunbeam in the middle of the photo.  I'll be adding more dark blue blocks and a few red ones.

And I did order a quilt pattern  book...

I specifically wanted this pattern. I saw a quilt made like this on a blog I read. It just really appeals to me. A lot different than what I usually make.

After looking through the book, though, there is only one other quilt in there that I think I would ever make, so I might just make notes of the fabric cutting instructions and list this book right back on Amazon to re-sell while it's still popular.  That way I'll recoup some of the cost and not have the book stacked up in a pile gathering dust.

Well, we finally got brave and cancelled our cable TV.  We had to have it when we moved here in 1986, because the local channels had horrible reception...and we've had it ever since. But lately, nearly every time we turn on the TV we go directly to Netflix. We were hardly watching the cable channels at all.

It wasn't easy to get our cable TV shut off.  The first time I called, they offered me a better deal and I was weak and said okay to it.  Then after thinking about it for about an hour, I called back and told them I wanted to cancel after all.  
They asked a lot of questions about my reasons, then finally said they would cancel.

Well, the next day we still had cable I called for the third time, answered all the questions again but I was mean and nasty this time (apologized to the representative at the end of the call).
So then - it was turned off  right away.

So, I have been told that I could get local channels by hooking up an antenna so I shopped online for one.  First I tried out this indoor one. Chopper helped me hook it up but we could only get one channel...and that was with me standing in the front window and holding it up.

It sure looks different than those old set-top "rabbit ears"!

This one will be returned and we'll try an outdoor one. 
We could do without it but it would be nice to have some local news channels available.

It looks like some hot summer weather for this week.  Perfect for outside work in the mornings and evenings and maybe some sewing during the middle of the day.
Nothing wrong with that!