Saturday, January 31, 2015

Quiltingly

I got up yesterday and started the prep for a weeks worth of meals. The first complete meal to serve the girls was Fish Chowder.
  It was my mothers recipe and a fan favorite.  It is so simple, just water, fish, onions, potatoes, tomatoes  and at the finish, some butter and cream.
 
The broth is just fabulous.

Here is the dinners for the week.  The girls
 
get to pick what they want each night except for last night, then the meal gets crossed off the list.  The choice for tonight is pulled pork with coleslaw.

The girls are up and running in the studio they just met for the first time.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

It Just Goes To Show You





A newly-opened White Castle restaurant on the Las Vegas strip was forced to close for more than two hours after its grand opening to restock.
White Castle opened at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Casino Royale in between The Venetian and Harrah's Casino on the strip. Hungry customers crowded the line waiting up to two hours to get a taste
However, the 24-hour restaurant was slammed with customers upon opening and tweeted at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday afternoon that it was closing for maintenance and restock. It re-opened at 3:15 p.m., the Las Vegas Sun reported.

So, that is why In and Out Burgers have such a fan worship here and in the midwest, because there aren't any around except the west coast.  The closest White Castle to Vegas is in southern Missouri, some 1665 miles away.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My Little Girl

This is what happens when you leave the closet door open that houses your batting. Of course, warm and natural and quilters dream hold no interest but the high loft of this mega roll of poly, I use for charity quilts, is right up Bella's alley.

 
Since she was a baby I couldn't leave it out because she loved to tear it apart.  Nothing has changed and she is 8 years old already.

My goal is to finish this mega quilt I am working on before my quilter friends arrive on Friday.  I'd better get at it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Way To Go Tommy!

Shock of shocks! I got to say 'Mahjong' yesterday in my second learning game. It was pretty exciting. Don't get me wrong, I had plenty of help. I have a mental issue with the card that holds the various combinations of tiles but it's still way faster than I thought my simpleton brain could muster.



I walked by the lanai porch off the studio and who was getting some sun and fresh air but
my little Bella.  I think she was checking out the new complimentary toss pillows I got at
Joann's for a song.  They were on sale big time and they matched perfectly!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mahjong Numero 2

I opened up my blog this morning and realized that I am pretty boring and really have nothing to share. I spent the day yesterday doing much needed hand sewing on the second of my secret projects besides a little exercise and some golfing.  I have my second mahjong lesson here at the house this afternoon.

Oh, I did learn something new.  In Italy they no longer use pigs to find truffles.  They use dogs because pigs eat them!!!!  Hence the name, PIG.  That came from a Diners, Drive Ins and Dives that Guy Fieri had in Italy.  That's all I got.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Artsy Fartsy

We went to an art fair yesterday in St. Armand's Key and after the first hour, I decided that I just may frequent art fairs too much. I couldn't find anything that I hadn't already seen for the most part. After a while the stuff looks gimmicky. That is until I wondered into this booth.

 
I think it was the unique design element that got my attention.  These wooden fish are hooked on plywood with just enough elevation to make it stand out.

Each one is a completely different from one another.


The fish are all painted using an air brush.


I'm not crazy about the silver 'bottom' finish these trout are
swimming in but it definitely makes a statement.

The artist is John Gibson out of Minnesota and he's a nice guy too.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Great Outdoors

I finally took my camera on one of our walks to get better pictures of wildlife around our house. I have gotten into a terrible habit of leaving it behind. I thought the new iPhone would take up some of the photo duty but they just don't seem to turn out as well. We had an alligator about 8 feet from our sidewalk that the phone at almost dusk just did not capture.

These birds are true beauties.  They are sandhill cranes and they literally have the run of the place.
They have darling red heads.  They travel in groups of two or more and sometimes as many as six or eight.  They are tall, 3 to 4 feet and although they fly, I have never seen them do that.  They just gracefully walk around and pluck something out of the ground.  You have to watch the roads for them
because they do not follow directions well.

I found this fantastic outdoor terra-cotta pot concoction for my herbs.  It's a perfect size, maybe 3 1/2 feet tall and has seven pots.  I have basil, rosemary, sage, parsley, chives, thyme and oregano in it.  Yesterday was the perfect time to plant because it rained quietly for part of the night.  I would love to have this set up up north as well but my house is contemporary and I just don't know if this would look right in the front garden.  I will have to think about it.  Actually, it would be cool if I could find one that was not terra cotta and maybe glazed and squared off more.  I'll check it out.  Who knows?

Friday, January 23, 2015

All Done

The appliance debacle is resolved. G had a light bulb moment and thought to call ABT who always does our tv stuff but they do all things appliances. They said no, we don't need to measure the opening if we know the size. They actually laughed at that. I can wield a tape measure as well as the next guy and our's was a professional carpenter who just happened to be doing work for us that measured ours.

(Side bar) My keyboard is so sticky I can barely type. I think I had dinner served on it last night!

Back to the topic at hand. ABT just wanted the particulars and then sent the cut sheets of those side by side and double ovens that fit our size limitations.


 
I chose this whirlpool because of the large inside capacity and the steam self cleaning.
 
This is the refrigerator I chose.  I don't make a horrible big deal about the purchases.  All my kitchen appliances were new just a few years ago when I redid the kitchen.  They don't make appliances to last anymore.  There was a time that you could easily have them for twenty years.  That is definitely a thing of the past.

The best part?  I don't have to be groomed and home for the installation.  G will be doing that.  Hey, how said procrastinating doesn't have it's bennies!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Appliance-less

We left for the south in December without replacing our kaput double oven.  Now, we get a call that our refrigerator up north has shut down and all the stuff in it has gone bad, both refrigerator side and freezer.  That is upsetting considering that I had lots of food in the freezer.  Okay, we thought that because G is going back next week when the quilters come, we could order them from a big box store and have them installed when G is there so we can make sure all is well and so we did that, or at least we thought we did that.  When it was time to call the installer, we found out that they insisted on coming to the house to measure the oven opening.  We had already had a carpenter measure the opening but no, that wasn't good enough.  I have a house watcher but we got mad because we knew our measurement was correct, so we cancelled the order.

The mom and pop place we usually get our appliances doesn't have a website so I don't know how to order from them via phone.  Quandary.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Get To Work!

I have got to buckle down and get the quilt I am working on to a point where I can photograph it and send in in to a specific juried show. That needs to be completed this week. I have my quilter friends coming the end of next week and I don't want this insane project looming over me.  G is in Tampa golfing so it is time for me to get down to business.


I went to my second guild meeting in a week. This one was the Friendship Knot Quilters Guild in Sarasota. I'm not crazy about the name of the group but then they didn't ask me. The speaker was good but I will have to give it a little more time before I commit. I may have moved too far to the left of traditional to fit in.  They do have nice charitable things that I could be involved it so that is something.

We are in love, G and I. With this outside water feature we saw this weekend.


The water comes from the top of the ball and balls into the pool where it is recycled and completes the task over and over.  We have already found it on line but where to put it?  We are giving it some thought.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Change Will Do You Good!

We took a drive to the house we moved out of almost a year ago to see what was going on. When the new owners came to the house prior to the closing, they had a three ring notebook full of stuff about and for the house. We got the feeling that it was gonna be a major gut job.
So this is the house last year when we sold it.  The new owners were gonna
start rehabbing it immediately after closing.  That would have been a year ago on
St. Patty's Day.



From what we saw, it looks like it's a crack house, with the windows boarded up.  The thing that has changed to me is the two half circles on each side in the entry dormer and the lights leading up to the front door.  Oh, and the grass is dead.  Hummm.  Have at it!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Amaryllis and Quilts



Thank you azcupcake for the name of the flower I have.  I still don't know how to pronounce it tho'.  I can't recall ever having anything that blooms and is healthy for this short of time. Dori gave me this a week and two days ago
 
and it is now a beautiful flowering bulb.  I did nothing but give it a drop or two of water.  Is my gardening prowess gathering momentum?  I'm thinking yeah, it is!

I went to my second Modern Quilt Guild yesterday and am still really liking the spontaneous, relaxed manner in which they conduct their meetings and get togethers.  We have a show in Venice, right next to Sharky's (a restaurant on the beach) in an open air pavilion on February 7th with food trucks to boot. The quilts will be held up with clothes pins.  What a hoot.  Oh, and you can hang anything you want.  I don't have much here but what I do have, will go to the beach that day!  Yeah!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Windy City

We got up and dressed and ready to hit the road (walking) and realized it was barely over freezing. Martin, the kid who moved us (with help) and has been doing our handyman stuff is coming at ten and we wanted to be home for him but that looks like it was a good plan but not very well thought out. Martin is moving to Houston to teach at the university in two months. I can't believe he is leaving us. Oh well.

Frank, my California connection, sent me this absolutely gorgeous picture of the great city of Chicago.
It took me a good half hour this morning to get it from the email to the blog. Double click on the picture to see the lake in the background.  I am pathetic.  But then, you know that.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Armed

My biggest gripe of all times:  Where did sleeves go?

 
Finally someone  (Wall Street Journal) addressed the age old problem of covering up the arms, be it old or young, the problem still exists.  Little toddlers have to wear sweaters on Christmas?  What's with that?  A couple years ago I looked and looked for winter dresses for my nieces and they were all sleeveless.  And older wrinkly, flabby under arms do not need to be prancing around, flapping in the wind!  And yes, I was looking in the mirror when I typed that last sentence.

Unfortunately the article  did nothing to change the problem; it just addressed it and discussed the myriad reasons why designers have pretty much nixed sleeves.  Reasons are pretty selfish if you ask me.  They don't fit right, they restrict movement, bla bla bla.

The quick fix?  I could say a shawl but that still leaves the occasional flab movement in adjusting the fallen shawl.  The better fix is


Sleevey Wonders.  If Stevie Wonder could see, would he be offended?  Don't know.  Anyway, these are great.  Since I bought a white one (pictured and not used yet) and a black one (worn several times) I checked the website and they now have many more choices from elbow length and 3/4 length and long sleeves.  The initial choices were sheer but now they have solid fabrics too.  They are reversible so if you need a V neck you wear it one way and if you want a scoop you wear it another way.  Check it out.  I wish I thought of this!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Flora

It's another grey day. Not that I would want to be up north, but it's just not the norm down here to have several grey days. In my opinion, it's the perfect weather for driving because the sun isn't beating in on you and it's not cold or hot. You can get a lot more done in a car if it's cloudy or grey.


I have my third monthly meeting of the Welcome Club I joined in October. I get picked up by a neighbor to drive the ten miles to the meeting but she is one of the early people; the meet and greet is at 11, lunch at 12 and speaker following. I get picked up at 10:30. I am gonna have to start driving myself. That's a lot of talking. Don't worry tho', I will have my trusty knitting!

 

My sister in law, Dori, works close to my house and only lives an hour away so she stopped by for some chat and brought me this bulb. I already forgot what it is but it wasn't open when she gifted it to me. I am sure you all know what flower it is but if it doesn't look like a daisy, I pretty flummoxed. I sure like it though.

 
I went to take the picture and looked at my wine barrel basket and thought it looked like it was staged; maybe for a photo shoot but no, it just happened to look like that.


On the way to the mystery bulb I took a picture of two of my succulents that are growing babies.  These babies are little nubs on the top of the cacti (?).

 
This one has a new shoot coming off it.  What a gardner I have become!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Setup

I still do not have the studio setup the way I want. I am still getting used to going up and down steps all day. I needed to get back to the project that is due at a certain stage in March so I just decided to use my desk in an adjoining room as my supplemental sewing machine table.
It is where my portable design walls happen to be too.  The studio itself is loaded with doors and windows and at least for now, I am not blocking off the outside to keep the design wall in the studio.  I need to take pictures of the whole studio to show you what I mean.  Maybe I will do that today.

Not to harp on this, but it is yet another grey day in Florida.  Did I bring Chicago weather with me, minus the bone chilling cold?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tina and Amy

I spent a good part of yesterday trying to catch up on Golden Globes.  I thought you could find it on OnDemand or on the computer but except for the winners and some dresses, I couldn't find anything.  I missed tons of Tina and Amy stuff and wanted to see if they really did something over the top due to the fact that it was their third and last time they were hosting so they were gonna be very up front and dirty.  What I saw was very very funny but nothing remotely like anything that comes out of Ricky Gervais' mouth.  I wanted to see if they said anything that would live up to the 'what are they gonna do to us, fire us?  Ha ha.  It is live after all.  Frankly, if it was gonna be over the top I probably would have found something online to point that out.  I didn't look horribly long for anything but saw nothing to prove that they said something over the top.

We had another grey day with rain yesterday but today it's a beauty.

Monday, January 12, 2015

And The Winner Is!

We had company for the Golden Globes last night.

 

When I started setting up the food, I took this picture. It was the only one I managed to take.
Yeah, there was wine involved.

I had lunch with two new friends that are quilters too and don't live that far away.  The four of us crammed in a tiny little booth at a pizza joint.  Not exactly a ladies lunch kinda place, but lunch was less than six bucks.  I'm a sucker for a bargain.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Here's What's Happening!

Well, I had my first mahjong lesson yesterday. I was thinking of taking it up but I didn't want to go to the mahjong club clueless so a new friend volunteered to have a neighbor come over and give me my first lesson. It was tons of fun and after three hours I thought that a half hour passed. I goes fast, that's for sure. It'll take me some time to know the ends and outs of it but I got all the time in the world.


Last night we joined up with G's college roommate Sil, and his wife Renee for dinner and some giggles. We even did a selfie. Now, is it a selfie if more than one person is in it? I am not sure about the parameters of selfless.

Anyway, they are gonna be around for another week so we will be seeing them again.

This morning we have a champagne brunch with a bunch of day drinkers.  I made banana bread to take.  Just another day in paradise!!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Stuff I Have And You Don't

This is the most perfect platter there ever was.
It is very important, most of the time to not have any kind of dip or rim on a plate that you are serving

on.  For example, any size of cake can go on this platter I was given from my sis Claud and my brother Bill.  Look at how thin it is.  It is from Crate and Barrel and I want to order one for Florida too because I have failed to find the right serving plate twice since I have been back south.
I just checked and it is no longer available on line but I am gonna check the closest Crate and Barrel when they open in a couple minutes.  It is called a Stecco Platter and is on clearance.

If you think you are too old for a zippy cup, think again.  I was given some of them from my daughter Maggie and her hubby Evan.  It is quite adorable.  I found that having four of them was overkill so I gifted three of them to my wine comrades.  Now I wish I had one here to carry along in case I get parched.  Oh well, that probably isn't the brightest idea I have ever had.



They also gave me a pig puzzle to assemble that shows the innards of my favorite porker.  Evan and I had a good time putting it together.  It definitely has a place in my kitchen, especially when I am making pulled pork!!!t

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Fabric Mania (You Know What I Am Talking About!)

I think I forgot to mention that yesterdays little 'quiltlet' is called 'Find The Fabric'. The other three, which I put the basics together yesterday, are the following, but not in order as they should be displayed.

It should be
Find The Fabric
Hug The Fabric
Buy The Fabric
Stash The Fabric



This is stash the fabric, where the quilting babe was quickly sticking the purchases in a drawer when her hubby catches her and was pretty much aghast.  Even without the details, you can see intent.

This one is 'Buy The Fabric'.  It too has lots of unfinished detail.

We are all familiar with this one, 'Hug The Fabric'.  It is sometimes embarrassing but you know the feeling!!!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

I Need Guidance

Not that I haven't made bigger blunders in the recent past but I was blown away at the stupidity that I subjected myself to.

 

I bought this five part Amy Bradley pattern a few months ago and thought it was darling but I have a drawer full of darling and so I was that much more surprised that I started compiling the parts.  The decision was made when I decided to use my new learned skill (OnDemand) to catch up on some shows and I needed a project that was mindless and could be done from a couch.

I spent the bulk of two days and a little of another to choose fabric and cut out

 
all the pattern pieces to the first four 'quiltlets', (the fifth is the tote which I don't know if that will ever happen.

All the pattern pieces had to be cut out and the back of the fabric had to have the glue stuff (wonder under) ironed down.  When that was all done, each quilt top got a cafeteria tray for all it's parts and one at a time I was gonna tackle the placement and ironing down.  The first one was claimed to start and immediately I figured out the folly of my ways.  I don't read directions, especially when they are five pages long.  I guess I neglected to keep all the pattern pieces in the right position and so at least half of the parts to all four trays were mirror images and therefore un- useable.

I took a step back, took a very large swig of wine (okay, Crystal Light) and no longer sitting on my couch, I was back in  the studio and one by one, I redid all the backwards fabrics.



This is the first one that is done; well done is not correct.  There is lots of hand stitching to be done but you get the idea.  I may just leave this project after I assemble the other three parts correctly because at that point it can be picked up and done at my leisure, say, when I am heavily engrossed in OnDemand?  That's what got me in trouble the first time!!!!!

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Phony

I finally got around to getting towels to hang in the upstairs studio bath. It was way too much for the rod tho'. 

Within minutes it was hanging off the wall and when I took the towels off and gave a little yank the rod was off and in it's wake was two large holes.  It probably doesn't look like much in this photo so I will take my old iPhone (4) and hold it up to one of the two holes


 
so you can get a better idea as to how big the holes are.  Yikes!  Now, what to do with two big holes.  A painting may be called for; I just don't know.

I did get a new phone right before Christmas that has not worked up to my high standards.  Let me rephrase that; it has been a lemon since day one.  It makes noise, changes colors, stops working to name a few of it attributes.  So after not having service for a couple days we made an appointment at the Apple store for six days later, their schedule not mine, and the appointment was for 8:10 p.m. which happened to be last night.
 
This is what I came home with.  A new phone. Time will tell.  It's a very good thing that I am a patient person, isn't it?  I still have a little hair left on my head, but not a lot.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Golfing Perk

For some reason there were three armadillos in the middle of the street surrounded by turkey buzzards. They were dead, of course; most likely hit by cars and they weren't together, but on different streets. It was pretty creepy. You just got to see this new feature we have on our golf cart when we traded it in for a new one. It is really something, this screen. It comes on automatically and shows where on the golf course your cart is, what hole it's on and all the gps stuff to tell you how far you are to the green, the water,the hazards and traps. The only thing it doesn't show you is where your ball is. I lost two yesterday and they were breast cancer ones so I wasn't happy about that.  It's a great tool for a more efficient golfer than myself, but I liked to look at the topography!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Sunday In The Sun

I finally learned how to use On Demand with this new Bright House. G gave me a tutorial yesterday and Shameless was my go to show. I got up this morning and watched another. I am sorely behind my shows. I am trying to figure out how to work on my newest project in front of the tv. Unfortunately the cable tv isn't where my studio stuff is. I will have to rethink this.

  I made myself another of the clocks that I have gifted in the past.  I am still deciding where I want to put it.  That, and laundry, is my days work, right after the power walk the family is yelling for me to join.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Out With The Old

This is not the first time I have been asked for clarification of a recipe I have put on Tommy Cooks and
I apologize for that.  I sometimes take steps in a recipe for granted.  I have made the directions for Corn Casserole (which everyone loves, no matter how they make it!) more user friendly.  I have been told it is a great side dish when you need to bring food to pass.  Thanks!

Here is the shitty refrigerator.  Oh yeah, it looks like a movie star and costs a grand more than most models.  My guess is that whoever bought this for this kitchen didn't use the appliances except to store caviar and use the ice machine.  Every time you open a door, you get another.  It was a week before I realized that the bottom compartment had two drawers and the bottom one was so deep that you have no idea what is on the bottom.

    
This refrigerator is now in the garage, with all the many casseroles we brought from home stacked in the bottom freezer with all those bags of stuff that freeze and come with my refrigerated meds that come overnight,  You know the stuff I am talking about?  It is various sizes of white plastic and blue lettering and it freezes into a brick?  For some reason we can't seem to part with one of them.  It's like me and bubble wrap.  I save every scrap of it.  It isn't humanly possible to use it all if I lived to be a hundred, because it still keeps a coming.  But I digress.

Here is the new baby.  Very user friendly and not a hidden charm in the whole box.  What you see is right in front of your eyes.  I saved about $500 too, even though I would have gladly paid $500 more to rid myself of the tricked up model.  It serves us well to house the bottles of water, pop, wine, and frozen confections.  It was a joy to stock the new refrig, which Bella named Clem.  Isn't she clever?

Friday, January 02, 2015

New Years Day Fun

It was so much fun to go to a quilt shop on New Years Day because it is rare when just about anything is closed on that day. It's supposed to be the day that you stay home and don't get dressed and watch games all day. Not at my house!


 
My closest quilt shop is Cotton Patch and they were open from 12 to 4 with some great buys.  These rolled fat quarters were a buck a piece!  I don't know why rolled would be cheaper than folded so I guess it to differentiate between the ones that cost more.



The sale was 10 fat quarters for 25 bucks; so 2.50 each if you bought bundles of ten.

If you bought singles (not in increments of 10) they cost $2.75.  I have to be honest and say that I don't know what a fat quarter normally costs as I tend to buy in bulk.  I think the marketing strategy of buying 10 is brilliant.  Everyone wants to think they are getting a bargain right?  I sure do.


I thought that getting smaller pieces would eliminate my cutting into a two yard piece for such a small amount for my paper pieced dogs I am making for the humane society raffle.  I went to the store with I Spy in mind but they had very little that would fit into my size print I need.  That's okay; I am ahead of the game in I Spy fabric.  Does that surprise you just a bit?