Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pulling Out The Big Cup

Today I need my big cup.
It has been filled twice.
The second time with cream...
and sugar.

Next time I am asked how many beans I want....
someone please remind me NOT to say 20 pounds!!!!

And if for some reason I do have 20 pounds...
someone please remind me NOT to wait until 5pm to start cleaning them!!!

But this morning it sure is nice having canned beans on my counter and more in my freezer.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Wheat Free Angry Birds

My daughter is ready to get on board with removing Wheat from Friendie's diet.
It will be a lot of work at first, but I am hoping to find some good recipes and freeze some baked goodies to have on hand.

Recipes are appreciated.
The only thing I want 'angry' here are the birds!

The little stinker would not even let me have a turn!
Not that I would know how to play it anyway.  :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Easy Inspiration

Today I have the whole afternoon to myself.
Today I have a mess in almost every room of my house.
Today I am suppose to be cleaning up.
Today I am distracted.
Today I am glad I still have about 9 more hours in my day.

I found these curtains many months ago at Goodwill.
I love the pattern.
I am the only one in my house who does.
I knew I needed to use them in my sewing room.
But I didn't want to cover the windows in that space.

This antique vanity was out in my garage.
(I couldn't part with it when we moved here)
Today I decided it needed to be useful....or it needed to go.

I had an inspiration.
It was such an easy one.
All I needed was some elastic and upholstery tacks.
(of course I had them in my junk drawer)
Within a matter of minutes my project was complete.

Little Ruthie really needed a space of her own.
Now I REALLY want to sit and sew!!!

But my house is a mess.
And my coffee break is over.

Sure glad I still have 8 1/2 hours left in my day!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sweet Violin Sounds

Some of you may remember the beginning of violin lessons.
I looked back here and found out that was the beginning of December.

After 5 months of lessons, her teacher declared she is ready for the high school orchestra!

The violin I ordered for her was just a beginner instrument.
She is no longer a beginner.

My neighbor gave me a violin for her to use, but I knew it needed some adjustments because it hadn't been used for quite a while.
I also had another violin....it is old....really old.
 It was purchased by my mother at an auction for $65 -- to use as a decoration in her music room. 
 It had been abused used by many grandchildren over the years.
I decided to take it along to the violin store.

The violin techs thought the old violin was awesome.
 They also said it needed a LOT of work.
They gave us a quote.
They couldn't guarantee the sound quality.
We took a risk.

Because the marking said "Germany" instead of West Germany, they believe it to be a pre-war instrument.

They worked their magic.

Emily picked out a wooden German bow to go with it.

It sounds wonderful!

It was so worth the risk.

But she is pretty nervous about orchestra starting in 2 weeks.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Just Peachy

I bought a box of peaches on Thursday.
They are ripe.
I am home alone for 3 days.
So much for thinking we would just eat them all.

I decided to 'try' a batch of preserves.
I cut up 15 peaches.

I cooked them on medium heat until most of the chunks cooked down.
Then I added 4 cups of sugar.
And stirred until it came to a boil.
Then I did add 2 ounces of pectin and boiled it for one more minute, but the peaches and sugar had already thickened nicely....so maybe I wouldn't have needed it.

I filled 7 jelly jars.

Gave them a 10 minute hot water bath.

And then I put my feet up and enjoyed the fruits of my labor.
It turned out so yummy I am planning on using the rest of the box to make more.

Well....unless I am tempted to dry more of these...

or maybe I will just stick to these for now.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Our beans are finally coming.
I planted two different varieties this year to determine which we prefer...so I know what to plant again next year.  Next year they will be planted earlier in the season though.  We put up some raised bed boxes this year and hauled in some really good soil....but it took a lot more dirt than I anticipated....and since that was my husband's contribution to our 'garden'....and since he keeps a rather busy schedule...you get the picture.  :)

I was given some green beans.  I wasn't really sure when they were picked, (you really want to process your garden produce right after harvesting for the most nutritional value) so I decided to turn them into pickled beans.
My family really enjoys Dilly Beans.
Me....not so much.

I saw this recipe over on Tonya's blog.
I decided to give it a try.
We will sample them next week.
If we like them I will make more.

I am still 'obligated' to make Dilly Beans.

Today I am trying out a new pickle recipe.....
because the cucumbers are abundant right now.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Friendie is doing well.
His skin is much better, but he still has some days of serious rash and itching....the worst is behind his knees.
We are trying to limit his wheat intake, but haven't totally removed it from his diet yet.

He has been a much happier boy.
He isn't as easily frustrated.
He is developing excellent communication skills....
and pretty much talks non-stop right now.

He is very observant to what is going on around him.  
(Previously he would focus in on one thing and it was hard to get his attention)

Here he is coloring for the first time....
last week.

I remember his mommy learning to color in the lines....

I feel very blessed to be witnessing his development.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Craig's List Newbie

I had never bought or sold anything on Craig's List.
Honestly, I was a little worried about even trying it because of some of the really bad publicity that went along with some serious crimes.
Sometimes I would just look and see what interesting things people were selling in my area.  There was no harm in looking.  
Well....there is something I have been looking for....and wouldn't you know...I found it on Craig's List....only 55 miles from my home.
I have been hoping to find a used Lafuma chair for my father-in-law for a while.
It had to be an original Lafuma chair.....call me a snob, but after sitting in one, there is no substitution.

They are made in France.
They are amazing.
They are expensive.

I know it doesn't look like anything special, but trust me on this one.
I was first introduced to a Lafuma chair at one of my very first quilting retreats.  One of the older quilters would bring her Lafuma every year and set it up right next to her work station.  When she felt like her back needed a break, she would recline in her chair for 20 minutes.  When she wasn't in the chair, it was free game.....and we all made good use of it.  Since then I have been watching and waiting for a second hand Lafuma.  I was not going to pay hundreds of dollars though.
My father in law will be 75 this November.  He is still farming with his neighbor and is getting rather stiff and arthritic.  Not to mention his need of another hip replacement and both shoulders replaced.  I have thought a Lafuma chair would be perfect for him to relax in.  They are so portable and easy to use.  No bending required.  Just sit down and use your heels to gently lift the leg rest and then lay back.  You can use them inside or outside.  
SO....when I saw Lafuma Chair $50 for sale on Craig's List I couldn't believe it.....then I call...and find out the chair is only a couple years old and hadn't gotten much use.
I told him I would take it!
Then he asked me if I would like another one just like it...
 I could have that one for $25....


One for my father-in-law....
and one for ME!!!!

These chairs were listed for a week or more before I called about them.
God totally was holding them for this Craig's List Newbie!

Great Aunt

I am a great-aunt.
That sounds so old.

My third great-niece is overdue.
Her little quilt is waiting.
We are eager to have a baby to snuggle again.

My first great-niece is turning 6!
She was in town this weekend.
Her gift wasn't blog worthy.
I got her what her parents wouldn't 'waste' their money on.
(Justin Bieber requests were granted)
You do those kind of things when you want to be a "Great Aunt".

We used the remaining chocolate wedding cupcakes from the freezer for her celebration.
I wasn't sure if they would still be moist so I made a coconut almond frosting for them (that way the frosting would make up for the cake).
I was pleasantly surprised to find the cupcakes were still as yummy as they were 3 weeks ago considering they were re-frozen.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Spare Moments

Guard well your spare moments.  They are like uncut
diamonds.  Discard them and their value will never be
known.  Improve them and they will become the
brightest gems in a useful life.
----Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Does This Make ME Vintage?

These remind me of my youth...
and my 'youth' was good.

Some day it may remind Emily of her youth.....
or at least her school lunches.
This vintage Thermos is going to feed her well this school year.
She thinks it is 'sweet'....
I told her the correct term would be 'groovy'.
I sure love my vintage loving girl!!!

The gold Thermos will be her Cross Country companion.
(maroon and gold are their colors)
At the beginning of the season it will have something cool and refreshing....
and soon afterwards something warm and nourishing...
because that is how things work in Minnesota.

I am not sure these were ever even used.  I paid $2.98 for the pair at the Goodwill yesterday.  
I guess I am 'vintage'.

Yarn Along

 Yesterday I wore a sweater.  It was a light sweater, but a sign none the less that cooler days are coming.
This has been a full summer.  This has been a hot summer.
I have more time for leisurely reading during the indoor months.  I also tend to pick up my knitting more during the cooler months. (ok....I live in MN....lets just say the really COLD months).
And although I enjoy checking out Ginny's Yarn Along most Wednesdays, I have not participated for many, many months.
Well...as it happened....I went to our yarn store yesterday....
then went to the park with my family last night....
with my yarn and needles in my purse.
The perfect time to cast on some stitches for a sweet pair of leg warmers for a special little girl!  And what better way to be accountable to actually get both of those leg warmers finished in a timely manner than to post them on my blog!
And since Ginny's Yarn Along also requires a photo of a book you are reading.....
and since any books that I have read this summer have been passed along to someone else by now....
I will share this book that I have been reading everyday since the beginning of the year.
I found the book while at a thrift store.
It only cost one dollar.
It could very well be the most wealth found in a dollar ever.
There are different authors each day, so some days I really get a lot out of it, and other days...well....not so much.
Since it is my book....and since it was so cheap...I decided that I would write it in if I felt like it.
And I do....
most days.

Thanks for stopping by...
now back to my knitting!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Feeling Moody

Maybe it is the weather.
Maybe it is the mess in almost every room of my house.
Maybe it is crawling in bed and remembering I never filled out my son's FAFSA for the upcoming school year.
(thankfully it didn't take too long)

Most likely...
It is the dentist appointment I have this afternoon.
(I dislike going in for anything that inflicts pain)

Whatever the reason...
I am taking a few moments to drink a POT of coffee....
listen to a few records....
and relax.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I Couldn't Resist

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I have a weakness for Salt Water Taffy.
I don't purchase it often...
but when I do....
I go all out...
because you really need enough to fill the bowl.

It looks so cheerful in Gram's blue hobnail bowl.
Can I help it if the bowl holds 3 pounds?

I hope your day has been 'sweet'!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

When The Party Is Over

The wedding reception was lovely.
The cupcakes turned out great.

The bride purchased a large cupcake display.
It worked well for the hundreds of cupcakes.

We were eating cupcakes for many days.
But now the party is over.

And I wondered what I was going to do with the cupcake display....
silly me.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Owl For Cheap

I have a 19 month old great niece. 
 She is about to become a big sister.
(I am not sure she will be very excited about that initially)

Same little sweetie has been dragging around a large fleece blanket.
It is snowmen.
(It is grungy)

I am making her new baby a quilt.
(She may be jealous)
 I appliqued this owl on a fleece blanket for the big sister. 

If she doesn't like it.
I know a little boy who does.

I found the pattern in this Quilts and More magazine.
I bought the new fleece blanket half off at the Goodwill.
I used flannel and Minkee scraps for the owl and the moon.

(She doesn't need to know her new owl blanket only cost $1.50)