Saturday, October 30, 2010

It Warms My Soul

I grew up listening to record albums.  I didn't own many, but I could sing along with The Carpenters, Helen Ready, Simon and Garfunkel....and later Sheena Easton and Journey.
I bought a record player about a year ago.
I no longer have my old albums, but I have picked up some great records second hand.  I no longer look for albums that I can sing along with, instead I look for classics....with some fun holiday albums thrown in.
There is just something about placing the needle carefully onto the record...and listening to the slight static as sounds from days gone by fill the room.  It takes me back to a slower time.....something from my past....and it warms my soul.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Apple Wishes

This is the time of year when apples are economical.  If you do not have a tree (like me), you may have a friend who does!  If not...bags of apples are quite inexpensive in the grocery store during apple harvest in MN.
I was given apples.  We had apple crisp and apple pie.  I dried apples and made apple chips (twice)...they are devoured much too quickly. 
I decided to make something new....something I really like, but have never made....
and although the recipe I found said to bake the apples whole, I wanted to make sure there were no worms living inside my apples....and I cut off any blemishes....
then I baked the pot of apples for about an hour and a half....I didn't really pay attention to the time....

then I pressed the apples and added  brown sugar and made plenty of that on its own...

then back into the oven.....for pretty much my whole day...
and the Apple Butter turned out great!
Next time I will know to make at least twice as much at a time.
Sure wish I had a few apple trees of my own....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

If You Could Smell What I Smell.....

I just got my second order from Apple Valley Natural Soap....and it is better than ever!!!
It came yesterday during our crummy cold and wet about the perfect evening for a warm bath to try out one of these yummy bars! 
Actually, I ended up trying one of the two samples Natalie sent along with my order.  I am already planning my next order.....with some Christmas gifts in mind!  I don't want to tell you how amazing the Lemon Verbena smells....or you will all beat me to their new batch!  (ok...I guess I better hop over to Natalie's web site and get my next order placed right now!)  They make more than just soap....I hope you take time to check it out!
Natalie also has a blog.
I also have to tell you....the prices are very reasonable....and so is their shipping.
I believe I will try out another bar tonight....
I already have the candle burning...
Goodnight friends!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Couple Of Beauties!

 This summer I gave away my cast iron was a moment of weakness...which I have regretted.  I decided that I would check the Goodwill for one month and if I was unsuccessful, I would just go buy a new pan.  Now...those of you who use cast iron know how much better they are after lots of I wasn't looking forward to buying a new one.
Now there may be those of you reading this who think I am being extreme when I say this, but I KNOW that God gives me little blessings OFTEN....He cares about the little things right along with the big things in life.  So that being said...he doubled the blessing last week when I walked into the Goodwill at just the right time to find both of these skillets being put on the shelf!!!!

I cleaned them up and "seasoned" them twice in the oven.  These photos were taken after the second seasoning.  They are both 10 1/2 inches and although both have had lots of use, one appears to have been used a little more.  That is the one I have been using this week (pretty much every day).
I was really fortunate to find them without any rust, although that doesn't need to stop you from cleaning them with steel wool and then seasoning them really good....they will last a lifetime... if you don't crack them by putting cold water in a hot pan.  :)
And just in case you are wondering...
I paid $4.99 a piece for them.
God in the little things....I love it!!!!

Although I think my new skillets are lovely, they don't compare to one of my BIG BLESSINGS....
these are my two youngest....
aren't they beauties!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Many Thanks.....and a Great Muffin Recipe!

 I am not one to decorate much for Halloween, but I do have this old paper lantern...with a happy face on one side and a frown on the other...I am sharing the happy side because that is how I am feeling!
I am not really sure which day my fun package from Colleen came (I am rather embarassed to have found it when I cleaned off the "junk counter") is not suppose to be a "junk counter"....but it happens. (insert the sad face pumpkin here).
Colleen sent a sweet pattern (which I don't want to share quite know the holidays are coming) and this great wool assortment to use with the pattern.  I am eager to get going on the ornaments.....oops....I meant the "project".  :)
Thank you so much Colleen!!!!

Some of you joined in on the fun with the Fall Into Fall give-a-way at the beginning of the month.  I had such a good time checking out the blogs of all the friends out there who left a comment.  I even entered my name in a few of the give-a-ways that caught my eye.
Well.....Sandy contacted me and said she had decided to draw a few more winners and I was one of them!  I had no idea what she was planning...until today...when this fun package arrived!
She sent me a kit with these lovely fabrics!
To make this "Friendship Wreath" wall quilt!
And she sent me a book full of patterns to make the projects in this Japanese Folded Patchwork book!
Thank you so much Sandy!!!!
I already have it packed in my basket to take to my upcoming retreat!

I also got a very "sweet" treat today from my brother-in-law!
We call him "Uncle Chuck" (but his name is Paul).
Uncle Chuck is a grain farmer in North Dakota.  Some years he gives permission for bee keepers to set up their boxes on his land.  In return, they give him honey.  I have been using a lot of honey lately, so I sent Uncle Chuck a text (while he was out combining) and asked him if he had bee boxes again this year....sadly....he replied "no".
BUT....because he is such a thoughful brother-in-law.....he asked one of his neighbors (who allowed the bees this year) if they had any extra honey they wanted to give away.....and he came to my door this morning with this "sweet" gift!  He has some pretty "sweet" neighbors!
I will be baking up some Heavenly Honey Oatmeal Bread in the morning!

I have had a couple requests for my PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFIN here it is....
1/2 cup almonds, sliced, unbleached
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup plain pumpkin
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup chocolate chips

Put almonds on baking sheet, bake 5 minutes, until lightly browned and cool.  Grease muffin cups or use baking cups.  Thoroughly mix flour, sugar, pie spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Mix eggs, pumpkin and butter until blended.  Stir in chocolate chips and almonds.  Pour over dry ingredients; mix until just moistened.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Thanks

Thank you Gretchen for sharing your harvest with Dr. B and his nurse!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Don't Laugh...It Is GREAT!!!

What is it????
A dog toy???
A frisbee???


Sit comforably for hours while quilting, sewing, reading, driving, and more.
Softly inflated flexible disc prevents fatigue and reduces pressure on the tailbone.
Helps relieve lower back pain, strengthens core muscles, and improves posture.
Nubby texture allows cooling air flow, and promotes improved blood circulation.
Durable purple rubberized material remains soft and pliable.
One size fits all!

I used it for hours this afternoon....I think it is wonderful....and I will definetly be packing it in my basket to take along to my quilt retreat!
I am trying to get some sewing done so I can have some take along hand work for my upcoming week....things I can do while hanging out with Friendie.

I spent hours on this hard old chair....because I wanted to really put my
 Gypsy Sit Upon to the ultimate test. might want to check it out for yourself!!!


Friendie says "Gratualtions" (congratulations) to Teresa who will be
sporting a cheery new yellow apron by the end of the week!
Thank you to those who stopped by and left a comment.
I am planning a bunch of give-a-ways coming up at random times....
Friendie hopes to send you a "gratualtions" too!
This was taken a few weeks ago at our son's football game....Friendie was sporting his #8 hat and shouting "Go Blue!"

Saturday, October 23, 2010

For The Love Of BASKETS!!!

I love baskets...especially practical baskets...but then...I can justify any basket as "practical"!!!
I attended a pie social fundraiser for a friend and classmate who has had a rough time with her MS.  She is doing well right now...but not that long ago things were really bad...and thankfully after her shock therapy, she doesn't remember that dark time.
One of her friends sells these baskets.  They are handmade in Africa.  She brought these to help raise some support. 
I was thrilled to come home with the huge Market Basket, the small Egg Gathering  Basket and the Fan (which isn't practical this time of year, but summer will come again). 
I will be filling them up and taking them along to Quilt Retreat....I can hardly wait!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Goodwill Give-A-Way

By now you all know that I frequent our local Goodwill store.
You also know that I frequently post about my good finds.
Now I am going to offer one of my Goodwill "goodies" as a Give-a-way!
I came across the sweetest apron that someone made....and never used.
It is a bright yellow (much nicer than my photo) with one pocket.

The pocket has bright red cherries.

If you are an apron sort of person...or you know someone who is...just leave a comment and I will randomly pick a winner on Sunday afternoon.....after I take off my apron from our Sunday dinner.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall Into Fall Winner

Friendie and I are overwhelmed with all the blogettes (female bloggers) that stopped by our blog these past two weeks.  Thank you for your sweet comments and for those of you who have decided to stick around and became followers.
We are embracing Fall here in Minnesota....and have been blessed with amazingly warm temperatures and gorgeous colors around us.  Friendie is embracing his "pumpkies" and will probably cry when his 5 pumpkins are no longer living on our front porch.....maybe by then we can make him 5 snowmen in the back yard.  :)
The randomly chosen name drawn from the 222 comments is Deserae!
Enjoy your day.....Friendie and I plan on jumping in some leaves! 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

LOUET Spinning Wheel

I found this spinning wheel at a local auction a few years ago.  I tucked it away in a closet, but it is coming out now!  I have the wool ready and I am making my "plans"......but I really want to study up more first.
I would appreciate any spinners out there who may have some words of wisdom for me.  I am also looking for book recommendations.  When I got the spinning wheel, I ordered a couple books off eBay....which have not done much to help inspire me.
I paid $35 for my seems to be in excellent working condition....I guess I will know more once I start using it!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fattening Them Up

I have been baking.  I made this "healthy" wheat crust....fresh apples....never mind the whole stick of man needs fattening up!

This is my latest favorite Honey Oatmeal bread recipe.  It mixes up so great in my Kitchenaid mixer.  I make two loaves at a to eat fresh out of the oven....
and the other for making the best Bread Pudding....."healthy bread"....never mind that I make a warm butter sauce to drizzle over man needs fattening up!

My man just ran his 8th marathon...
and he finished it in 3 hours and 37 minutes....
and he needs fattening up!

I couldn't resist this photo.  This is not our cat.  Gonzo just comes occasionally for a visit.  He makes himself right at home.  Our dog enjoys playing with Gonzo and even shares her food with him.
Last night as I settled into my bed, I realized I was not alone.....yep...Gonzo was making himself at didn't last long.  :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Amazing .... Clearly Perfect Angles

Kari is a local quilter.  She is a recycled Home-Ec teacher.  She has put out many patterns and has a book coming out soon.  I pick up her patterns here and there.  Well....on Sunday I really scored!  She and her husband donated a bunch of patterns and her Clearly Perfect Angles templates to the Mexico trip silent auction at our church.  Because I went on the Mexico trip last year, and wanted to show my support...I went to help out at the silent auction.  I was sooo thrilled to find Kari's donation....and even more excited when I had the highest bid on two of the groupings!!!
Now my real reason for this post.
I had no idea how great her Clearly Perfect Angles are!!!!

I went to Kari's New Leaf Stitches website to watch an instructional video....I immediately rushed to my sewing machine and in just a few minutes I was sewing the quickest triangle squares!
Template easily "clings" to acrylic sewing tables. 
Always in position and ready to sew accurate 45 degree angles.
All without paper, pencils or pins.

Use to make Triangle Squares, Flying Geese, Snow Balls, miters and binding.
No-waste fabric calculation included.

I got this huge time saver just in time...I am working on a project that involves sewing together a couple hundred 2 1/2 inch strips....and now I don't have to mark each one before sewing!
Kari's blog is full of good stuff....I hope you make time to drop in check it out.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall Into Fall Give-A-Way Fun Begins

I live on a lake.  We have trees.  This paper pieced pattern by M H Designs "spoke to me".......but I guess it didn't "speak loud enough".....I never did make the project.  So I am offering up for my give-a-way both the pattern and the fabrics I purchased and never got around to using.  The pattern got a little rumpled because I have had the fabric stuffed in the pattern envelope for a few years now.  I have quite a few projects that are not getting done and it is time to either work on them, or pass them along!  Thank you for visiting my blog during Debi's Fall Into Fall give-a-way promotion.  I want to make it easy to enter my give-a-way, so all you need to do is to leave a comment on this posting and tell me what the outdoor temperature is at your home right now.  I was just trying to think of something "original".  :)  This is open to international blog readers also.  Remember to make sure I have a way to contact you on October 15 if you are the name randomly drawn for this gift.  I hope you will consider stopping by again to see what I have been up to.....and leave a comment.....I enjoy meeting new bloggy friends!  Oh....and be watching for another give-a-way soon!