Monday, March 30, 2015

A Great Day

Yesterday marked two exceptional things I got to do. The first one was to finish the
current quilt top and get it ready for quilting. The next thing that I will not soon forget
is the hamburger (minus a bite) that we made for dinner last night. It was a thin patty, which is what I like, and is loaded with grilled mushrooms and onions and swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato and ketchup and mustard. Oh, and medium rare. Yum.  Yum.  Super yum.

Sunday, March 29, 2015


We (G, Nancy and Frank and I) went to a art fair last weekend.
Both Nancy and I fell in love with the gourds that were on display at one tent.  I ended up getting this one

and was so enamored with it that we found out where the gourd lady was displaying this weekend and went yesterday and I purchased yet another
decorative gourd.  I love each and every one she has.  Nancy bought one too and it is now safely back in California.

My new addition is on display on one of the two shelves on

my kitchen island.  I didn't realize how crooked they were until I looked at this picture.  It has since
been rectified.

I also have this gourd that I must have bought over ten years ago.  I turned it around and inspected the signature of the artist and sure enough, It was the same gal.  I guess we really like what we like.

Saturday, March 28, 2015


We have a block party tonight.  We will be able to meet our neighbors that we haven't met yet.  It's a bring a app or dessert and your own beverage.  I am bringing my crostini spread with pesto, with pork tenderloin on and then a dollop of creme frache.  Oh yeah, and wine.

 This is the pattern, hanging on the studio shower door and wall, for me to check out as to where the specific
colors and pattern pieces go

on the new quilt top I am working on.  I am  really liking the color choices and their placement.  I can't always say that. I hope to finish this up in the next few days.  I am on a self imposed deadline.

I had a 12" quilt on my bathroom wall that I made specifically to fit around a light switch there.  It was pretty useless now so I decided to cut it up and make 4 coasters out of it.  I like the re-purposing aspect of it.

Friday, March 27, 2015


If you are interested, I have added Walking Taco and Texas Cake to Tommy Cooks.

We went to a german restaurant last night with our Traveling Forks group and it was a fun experience and brought back lots of food memories for the two years that we lived in Germany.  I ordered Hunter Schnitzel which is veal schnitzel with spƤtzle and a creamy mushroom bell pepper cranberry sauce.  It was wonderful and I have enough left over for tonight too!  One thing though, our reservations were for six p.m. (I'm in Florida after all) and as we were ordering dessert the waiter said that we needed to leave the tables at 7:30 for the next reservation.  7:30 was in four minutes from when he told us.  That has never happened to us before.  We all decided that they should have told us when we made the reservation.

Speaking of leftovers (which I happen to love) I got this email picture from our newly departed guest, Frank, that his daughter sent to him because she opened the refrigerator and saw little Calvin's leftovers and
he wrote on the big one, his name, Cal Watson, and underneath it says Dad, do not touch.  The cup one says, Same with this one.  Priceless coming from a ten year old.

The golf course is full of mothers and fathers and new baby sand hill cranes.  It's so fun to watch.

We all went out in the yard to look at a pretty large turtle  (or tortoise) by the front door.  He was a good foot long.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

It's A Dog's Life

We took Frank and Nancy to the dog track in Sarasota.  It was as I expected, a little seedy.

The parking lot was quite full and we found out after perusing the place that the main draw was a massive poker area, almost full.

I think I may have gone to a dog race when I was first married, around
Bonita Springs, where my brother lived at the time but I may have dreamed that.

We got a program and started placing $2 bets on the dog of our choice.  There were fourteen races and the dogs only ran once.  I lost the first race and won the second ($5).  This photo is of the dogs being walked to the starting gate by their handlers.  There were 8 dogs in each race.
This is the ticked they give you when you place your bet.
This dog just did not want to walk to the starting gate.  He had to be gently tugged and we later realized that it was a game to him.  He raced just fine!

When the race was ready to start, the handlers left the dogs and ran back to where they started from.
Then the mechanical rabbit started and off to the races

the dogs went.  This was reenacted 14 times each matinee.

We stayed for ten and I was the only winner, winning a Quinella and pocketing 44 bucks.  I have the gift.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fly Away Little Birdie!

Short and sweet.  We went golfing with our guests, the Hugus's.  Everyone but me did eighteen holes.

I chose nine (or rather six, but no one but me knew).  All I can say is that my game stinks yet, wonder of wonders, I got a birdie on a hole.  My first one ever.  I got into the green golf ball hole in 2 strokes.  I am sure my verbiage is wrong but hopefully you get the idea.  I may have a new calling.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lunching With Bella

Here we have a lunch week in the life of Bella, the dog.  Oh, I take that back.  The first restaurant, MacAllisters,  a Scottish joint, had a bad photo.  Bella was not looking her best.  Actually, the picture just didn't turn out.  It was somehow corrupted.

Here she is at Casa Maya, enjoying food south of the border.

Yum, I am hungry, she is saying at a trattoria the next day at lunch.
A stop in at the Polo Grill lifted our girls spirit for the next days lunch.

Although B is not a big fan of seafood, she just grabbed some french fries at Pinchers Crab Shack for lunch that day.

Rounding out the week of noon feasts, she settled on a French Bistro.  I think she may need to take some time off and consider her figure.  Or, maybe not.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spike Is Filling In

SpikeMuffin here guest blogging for our Material Girl who deserves a rest from her company from the West.  We are enjoying our visit to Florida and are learning new things every day.  Tommy made us all go out and walk the first morning here and we came across this majestic Sand Hill Crane in full bloom.

They are really elegant birds and I was going to stop and come up with a name for her but I was told to keep moving by the drill instructor.


As you all know, "Tommy Cooks" and last night's dinner was a prime example of her creative versatility.  If you notice the fine table cloth don't fret, she has reams of this stuff in large rolls hanging in the garage.  The meal was "Grilled Poached Sausages with Roasted Peppers and Onions" which you can find on Tommy's website.  This is all served over a bed of Mascarpone-Parmesan Polenta which was new for me but I actually liked it as it was the perfect complement to the protein and vegetables. Best part?….when the meal is done you just wrap up the "tablecloth" and throw everything away!


For some reason when we're around Tommy finds any excuse to get out of here to run some errands.  While you can't see her hasty departure this is Bella watching her car as she speeds out of the driveway.  
She doesn't miss a trick around here.

She can be fickle however as we see here in a regal pose as she helps Nancy read her book.  Bella doesn't say much and she's a perfect companion!

The "G"-Man is going on a fishing trip next month and is shown here working on his game in the backyard.  I stayed behind the screen for this shot as I had visions of a gator thrusting out of the willows
for a snack of man legs.  He returned intact with no fish.


Here are the girls playing a little "Sequence".  Sometimes I forget but I think they've been playing this game for 30 years and never seem to get tired of it.  They won't let me play.

Well, they're stuck with us for a couple more days but she probably won't let me do this again, it's a control thing.  Once we get the cable guy out here to fix some gizmondo this morning we're going to the dog track.  No, Bella will be staying here.  We can't have her jumping the rail and chasing after the professionals.

SpikeMuffin signing out and Melody, if you're reading this, I want some socks!  Bright colors only.  Thanks!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Grand Ole Day

The Modern Quilt Guild had a very interesting day yesterday. We first set up our stations with whatever we wanted to work with and of course I forgot most of my stuff; rather, I had it all contained (seam ripper, scissors, pins, etc) but left it in the studio. Linda was kind enough to share with me.

Carol was on board to show some improv styles of blocks and showed what it looked like if you combine them.  We did some examples and had a lot of fun.  We saw all the winners of the Quilt Con show that was in Austin, Texas.

Before I forget I want to show you the bolt of beautiful Kaufman fabric I bought at the Sarasota show.  I have used another color way of it before.  What's not to like?

Saturday, March 21, 2015


I think I have said this before but I will chance to say it again. When I go to put something on my calendar, what hits it first is what I will commit to. Having said that, Nancy and Frank, who are visiting for a week from California, informed me of their visiting days after I had already committed to a stint with my new guild.

It is an all day get together, where I have just gathered all the necessary stuff


to work on, including sewing machine, fabric, rotary supplies and incidentals.  My friends have family to spend the day with anyway so it worked out perfectly.  I will take pictures of all of us at the library where the guilt meets and works.  It should be fun.  They are showing a technique of improv sewing.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

To The Table

My table runner (for home, up north)
is finished. I figured out how I wanted it quilted
and went to town.  It was fun and easy to quilt.  I especially had fun with the
back, using pieced, new fabric I bought on our last jaunt to a fabric store.  I think it is Michael Miller fabric.  It reminds me of staked books.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


We've been doing a bit of sewing each day but we need to wrap it up today. My sis has to go back home. In her wake will be the arrival of Nancy and Frank from California for a week. They don't know it yet but the corned beef and cabbage, along with crusty bread and carrots and potatoes will be their arrival meal that is left over from last night's feast. It's our secret!!
I finished up the quilting and binding of this large 2'' block quilt.

Mike finished this quilt top minus the border of dark green (which is back in Illinois).  She has worked on two other quilts in stages and I will probably see parts of them over the Memorial Weekend at the lake.

I finished piecing this quilt (33 x 26) and quilting it and facing it and hanging it.  It was made for the studio bath.  Rarely do I make a quilt just for a space but then there you have it.  That is exactly what I did.

Sayonara Sis.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Painting Day

I just glanced at a pile of notes I take for various reasons and saw that I have yet to post the Texas cake and the walking taco to Tommy Cooks. In another week I will be company free and I will clean up my pile of notes, promise. In the interim I will show you what we have been up to (along with a few other things).
These are some of the painted things we made.  This one is on silk and was a pain in the neck to do.

This turned out pretty spiffy if you ask me.
My first attempt looks like something I did in the past.


We enjoyed the painting and rigged up a dollar store drop cloth with various potted succulents to hold down the occasional wind gust

in order to dry our paintings in the sun.  Then it was off to lunch!  A girl has her priorities!