Saturday, January 30, 2010

More snow! Our local weatherman said we'd get 6-9" but four hours ago we had 11"...and it snowed heavily for a few hours after that. We even got more snow than my friends in the Shenandoah Valley! That is a rarity!
There's something about snow that motivates me to clean and cook. Remember the recipe for Avocado Eggrolls I wanted to try? They are delicious!

I finally found the tamarind at the Asian Market over in Great Mills. What a store! This container is about the size of a can of soda and cost $2.35. Tonight I got lots of help with my resident foodchoppers (Mike and Ruthie) and we made a double batch. Yummy! Everyone but Ruthie loved the eggrolls and sauce. Definitely a keeper recipe!
Like I said, snow motivates me to clean, so after I vacuumed my room and the two ceiling fans (yuck!) I decided to attack my computer. Our laptop has been very slow lately...mostly because our memory is almost filled up. But I was also suspicious about dust being trapped under the keyboard. So I got out my handy vacuum accessories and went to work. I love this 8-piece kit of micro attachments for vacuum. I bought this kit 10 years ago, and have used it to clean my sewing machines, pianos, and computers. You can buy this kit on for $7.97 plus shipping.
I was disgusted at how much lint was under my keys! I had to run downstairs and grab my sewing tweezers to pull the long strands of lint out. Which key was the dirtiest? Definitely the "D" key. I guess because it is surrounded the S,E, and R keys. Anyhow, I feel like a princess with my new, clean laptop!

My friend, Lydia, always has nice quotes on her facebook page. This is her latest quote, "Don't tell God how big your mountain is. Tell your mountain how big your God is."

My parents' church has already canceled tomorrow's services because of the snow, but our church is holding out so far. There's no way we're going anywhere. Mike walked out to the highway and it was still covered in snow...but the mailman made it through!

Enjoy your weekend. Tomorrow I will post some snow pictures. The weatherman let us know that we will be getting some more snow on Tuesday...and another possible major storm next weekend. Bring it on!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Thursday, January 28, 2010

This is my daughter, Sarah, and her best friend, Rebekah. They call each other Aisha and Robin. They've been friends for many years, and I've enjoyed watching their friendship. Rebekah is getting ready to have a baby boy in a couple weeks, and we're all excited as can be!
Sarah wanted to sew a quilt for Rebekah, so she had fun choosing some flannels. She then had Anna cut the fabric into squares. I love the way all the colors coordinate.
Then she got to work sewing. Sarah prefers the Esante sewing machine...sounds like an 18 wheeler! But at least she never has to worry about anyone borrowing her machine.
Then she spent all day handstitching the binding on while watching Charles Dicken's Great Expectations. Her fingertips were sore by the time she was finished...but she says it was well worth it.
Then we had fun modeling the quilt with a baby doll.
One tired but happy Sarah...and one beautiful and warm quilt!
Last night we went over to my parents' home to watch cooking shows. On the way home we were unable to get to the highway because the road was blocked by many firetrucks. We had to turn around and take the long way home. Well, today I read on our local fire department's website that there had been a housefire. The house is completely destroyed. We are so thankful to learn that the house had been unoccupied. (You can see pics on the website.)
Everyday in the winter, or when it's cold weather, I wear black knee-hi socks. So every once in a while I get asked about where I buy my socks. It happened again today. I get my socks through this plain catalog (plain meaning amish and mennonite). If you'd like a copy, call the number on the front, or email them.What I love most about my socks is that they are 70% cotton. I also like that they are called "tall and all" so that they don't fall down my legs and have to be pulled up. I always buy black but my daughters prefer the white.
In this day and age, it seems rare to hear about a conservative newsman, so I was pleasantly surprised to read in my this week that Brit Hume took a stand for Christianity. (I got this photo from AP News file.) According to World magazine, Brit Hume offered this advice for Tiger Woods, "So my message to Tiger would be, 'Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.'" Mr. Hume also said about Tiger Woods' Buddhist faith, "I don't think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith."

As one would expect, the critics have been scornful of his remarks. But I for one am thrilled to hear of someone in Mr. Hume's position standing up for his faith. Mr. Hume came to know Jesus Christ after the suicide death of his son in 1998.

My parents arrived home this afternoon after a 29-hour trip from Texas. I am glad today was relatively warm for their homecoming...but unfortunately we are getting socked with bitterly cold weather tomorrow. Welcome home, Mom and Dad!

Enjoy your weekend. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ruthie had a wonderful 10th birthday yesterday. Her cake was made from a new recipe using sprite...and it was yummy! I kept thinking back to the day she was born in 2000. My Y2K baby...born in the midst of a storm that brought 16" of snow. My midwife delivered five babies in two days...thanks to the change in barometric pressure. Fortunately we were only at the hospital an hour when Ruthie was born...for which our weary midwife was thankful.
This is Anna's latest baby quilt she made for the Asst Pastor's daughter who should be born in a couple weeks. Lizzie is still working on the matching dress.
This week I went to the thrift shop and bought three quilted wallhangings for a dollar. I bought them so I could show my daughters.
The machine stitching on these first two quilts needs to be ripped out and sewn again. It looks like the quilter didn't have the proper foot for freestyle quilting. This quilt is made from many 1" squares.
And this is my favorite. This pattern is called Windows. Some of the leaves are appliqued on top. I especially like these fabrics. Somewhere I read a cute saying about quilting: "I cannot count my day complete, til needle, thread, and fabric meet." ~ anonymous.
Sarah, my eldest daughter, babysits my niece, so today they came over for a visit in front of the warm fireplace. Abigail didn't mind that we put her hair up in a ponytail. Our family loves this "palm tree" kind of ponytail, but Abigail's hair is so straight that we call it her "tall oak!"
Sarah was excited to show Abigail our cat. Anna wrapped Ranger in a towel in an effort to keep the dander controlled...thanks to our allergies. Abigail loved our cat and birds. It was too cold to take her out to the bunnies and goats.

Excitement is in the air: the weatherman says we may get snow on Saturday! So we are busy stockpiling the woodpile. The cold weather is already in place and is about to get colder thanks to an arctic blast.

My friend Diana wrote a hilarious comment on facebook today: "4 out of the 6 are coughing today. Here is my non-ending chant: I hate winter, I hate winter. Oh ye feckless global warming, I counted on you, I wanted to believe in you, but you have disappointed me." Mike and I got a good laugh out of that!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, January 25, 2010

Last week I bought this Line Winder from the thrift shop for $3. It sells for $9.99 new on Amazon.
I also bought a Stake Line Winder (50# at 500') for 25 cents. The clerk thought the line winder was overpriced, so she wanted to make up for it. Both items had never been opened. Since I knew Ruthie had a birthday this week, it only made sense to buy her a kite!
Maggie and I had fun choosing three kites from Walmart. It was hard to narrow it down to these three. This Macaw is 52" wide. This is Maggie and Ruthie's favorite.
This Biplane kite is 36".
And this Aerostar kite is also 36" wide (we haven't opened this kite yet so this is a store photo). This is my favorite. All three kites cost $10 each at Walmart. I found each of these kites on Amazon starting at $18 and going all the way up to $75!!

Tomorrow is Ruthie's birthday but since it was so windy today, we let her open these gifts. Unfortunately, it was too gusty and the kites wouldn't fly. Maybe tomorrow we will have a better try. But Ruthie sure likes her gifts.
Tonight I made a really fast dinner...leftovers! I had a bunch of veggies (broccoli, onions, red and green peppers, and half a cabbage) and a half pound of bacon, so I cooked them up in my wok, then added 6 cups of rice. We all loved it...and the best part is that there are no leftovers!

Today I took a computer monitor and a printer to the transfer station to see about recycling them. The worker there pointed to a huge truck container and said our county fills that container each week! Yikes. But my stuff was ancient, so I tried not to feel bad about it.

Today we had 60 degree temps and very gusty wind. Two of my bird feeders were on the ground, and the plastic covering on my little greenhouse got ripped off. Tomorrow the temps start to get cold with the possibility of snow on Friday. Yippee!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Friday, January 22, 2010

As usual, this has been a busy week. To make matters worse, our computer is acting weirdly thanks to the memory being almost topped out. So Mike is trying to strip all of Anna and Sarah's documents off and install them on their own computers. Slow and painful. Meanwhile, I want to show you my latest thrift shop cookbook. I found several recipes worth trying.

Naturally, the first recipe I want to try has an odd ingredient. Ever hear of tamarind pulp? The recipe is called Avocado Eggrolls from the Cheesecake Factory. I've never had it but I can tell it's a winner. The eggrolls are simple...avocados, sundried tomatoes, red onion and cilantro...yummy! It's the sauce that is complex: cashews, cilantro, garlic, green onions, honey, 2 vinegars, spices, and the tamarind. I've had tamarind once before...enough to tell that it would be worth finding.

I asked my Egyptian friend, Peter, where I could find the tamarind and he suggested this Mexican, market and video/bookstore. A little bit of everything...but no tamarind! Such a cute little place that was blasting Mexican music. I have a feeling this is a busy place on Friday nights. Our town has a growing group of Mexicans.

I think I need to go visit a place I've been once before...the Asian Market over in Great Mills. I'll go there Monday after I drop Maggie off at her appt.

This past week we went over to my parents' home to watch the exciting political race in Massachusetts. We muted the commercials.
We were surprised at how early the losing Senator gave her concession speech.
This was our week to help my brother cook dinner for Dad's church. All six children went, so I took a match to our large burnpile outside. The pile had gotten to be an eyesore and I wanted it gone. I felt strange being by myself! I would like to say that I enjoyed a peaceful time in front of the fire...but the dog kept barking, the goats kept baa-ing, the rooster crowed, and the cat wanted me to hold her (I'm allergic to her). What a racket!
Anna and Lizzie are busy sewing. Anna is sewing a baby quilt and Lizzie is sewing a cute baby dress. I am thinking about buying the above Stitch in the Ditch foot. According to several blogs I've read, this foot is excellent for separating the seams. I wish I could try it first.

Mom and Dad have one more week in Texas. Thankfully the weather has finally warmed up where they are. Maggie has finished 20 of her 40-60 treatments...and her numbers are improving! PTL

Hopefully we will get lots done this weekend. Today has been bitterly cold...we have the fireplace blazing and the pellet stove burning. If it's not going to snow...might as well be spring!

Enjoy your weekend. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, January 18, 2010

For years I have been wanting a bedside carafe and tumbler set to keep on my nightstand. I was given one as a wedding present...but it broke in half during my first earthquake in San Francisco. (It took one minute for me to learn about glass and earthquakes!) So this past December when I was Christmas shopping in Ross, I found a set that I absolutely love!

You can buy this set on Amazon for $21.84 + $6.08 shipping, or pay $5 at Ross!

This picture shows you how the tumbler fits into the pitcher. I hope you can see the beautiful etching, too. My children were surprised that I bought this...I tend to be a stoneware gal, but my bedroom is shabby chic...just perfect for this set.
Anyhow, I wish I had bought two sets now that we are suffering from headcolds. My family knows I fill the pitcher every night with ice water...and my bedroom is closer than the kitchen! But I am only willing to pay another $5 for the set.

While trying to find a picture of this set online, I googled many different phrases and came up with entirely different results each time:

Well, I don't want to do a whole post on my new pitcher, so let me tell you about some new tea I bought today and love! I always like Bigelow teas because they individually wrap each teabag. And every year they come out with new flavors. But this Chamomile Mango may win over Bigelow's Country Peach for being my favorite tea. Yummy!

Since Bigelow teas can be hard to find, I want to let you know that I bought this at the local Giant foodstore.

My family is almost over their headcolds but I continue to be congested. Nothing seems to work but I will continue drinking lots of fluids. I keep wondering if I accidently ate eggs or dairy...which would explain my congestion.

For those of you who go to my church, please take the time to write Mrs. Jane as she approaches the end of her second year without Mr. Joe (on the 30th). I know she would appreciate it.

Stay warm and healthy. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Deut 4:9 "Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons."
I finally found the pictures of Anna and the quilt she made for my Dad. She fussy-cut all the block centers. This is her own pattern. Just beautiful!

For the second time this winter, our family is suffering from headcolds. I was able to breeze through the first cold in a day...but this time around I am the one hurting the most! It will be nice to breathe freely again!

Mike is off tomorrow, so there will be lots of math work going on. Enjoy your week. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Look what came in my mailbox today! My friend, Deb, over at Mountain Musings, had a surprise giveaway to celebrate her 5 years of blogging. I was one of three winners. This mason jar has antique wood spools...just perfect for my sewing room! Deb bought this at Rockfish Gap Country Store in Afton, VA. The jar ensemble was crafted by Char Culbertson, one of the sellers at the store. Take a minute and browse through the store online. I enjoyed looking at the antiques and quilts sections. Thanks so much, Deb!
This week I went to a surprise birthday tea with three of my daughters. As soon as I get pictures from a friend, I will share a few with you. Meanwhile, two of my pics turned out. Was Jenna surprised? You betcha!

These roses are a gift to Jenna from her father. I like it that Jenna will always be able to say, "My father gave me my first dozen roses." Jenna's father bought another dozen roses for the Moms and daughters at the tea. How thoughtful was that?!

My camera didn't do well with the lighting, so I will wait for Sonya's pics. The tea party featured cucumber sandwiches, grapes, and scones with cream. Yummy! The tea was delicious too.
Thursday Maggie had 3 long appts. While I was waiting during one of the appts, I had fun watching these two crows...or are they blackbirds? All three of us were soaking up the 60 degree weather.
It's finally time to put away my Christmas tablecloth but first I want to show you the table runner Anna made. She used 7 natural on natural prints. She also topstitched each strip to give it sturdiness. Both ends are pointed. I sure enjoyed using it. I kept it underneath my clear, plastic tablecloth that I use everyday to protect my fabric tablecloths. Sure cuts down on laundry! (And my Christmas cactus bloomed for Christmas!)
Lizzie also made me a set of table runners. The long runner I keep on my coffee table (used as a sofa table during the winter to protect it from the fireplace).
Lizzie also made me this cute runner. I just love having homemade treasures throughout my home!
This winter I will be retiring two of my homemade quilts. Twenty-four years ago I made two quilt tops like this. One of them I quilted, and it has been a favorite of all my children. I have mended it so many times that I will probably give it to the dog soon. I guess it's time to quilt the second top.
This once-vibrant quilt is also showing its age. I spent many hours handstitching this quilt while my hubby was on a "Westpac" (Western Pacific) cruise as an active duty naval officer. This was my second quilting attempt. But the muslin keeps shredding and now I found a hole. At least I can enjoy knowing how much we use my quilts.
This quilt will hopefully get one more season after I mend it. The backing on this quilt is denim...and it is heavy! Everyone loves this quilt. I call it a memory quilt because all of the fabrics are from my sewing scraps. So far all of the mending has been at the seams but I see a few spots that are fading away.

My three brothers surprised my Dad this week by flying down to Texas! Mom and Dad went to their favorite restaurant, and when they got out of the car the boys were there. Wish I could've seen Dad's face! He was ecstatic when he called me to let me know. Two of my brothers had never been to our beloved North Padre Island Texas home, so I am happy for them.

Our two days of warm weather are over. I enjoyed pegging my laundry outside. Just a taste of spring, now back to reality. Hope you enjoyed your weekend.

Many blessings ~ Kathie