Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tonight I was desperate to use up my pattypan squash. I had 8 of 6 more out in the garden! So I experimented with my sourdough and came up with a winner recipe. Yummy! You can read the recipe for my new Sourdough Pattypan Squash Casserole here.
Maggie made some homemade Miso soup that was absolutely delicious! She followed the above recipe from my new Sushi cookbook. She had to use a converter for the amounts.
Today I made two loaves of whole grain wheat bread so we could eat up some of the tomatoes that are abundantly growing in my garden. I did some googling and found out this sandwich costs between 13 and 15 cents each. That even includes the electricity to bake the bread...but not the salt and pepper.
Allen has finally found his niche in music. He is getting really good at the banjo. I am trying to find a local banjo teacher but so far have been unsuccessful. Mr. Chris, a friend from church, lent Allen some banjo books, so he's been practicing as much as he can...but he has a lot of questions. But I'm praying for a good teacher, so hold on!
We set up our sewing machines in the kitchen this week, so we're getting lots of sewing done. I made Ruthie a new dress, so as a reward, I got to make another flower "block" for my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt. This is the 4th flower I've finished.
Lizzie sewed this patriotic quilt block together which will end up as part of another tote bag. I had to laugh at Anna when she saw this block. She repeated my #1 quilting have to iron every seam! Lizzie hates to iron...just as Anna hated to iron!
Anna had me order this cd from Vision Forum called Making Wise Decisions About College and Life After Homeschool. Anna is seeking the Lord's leading in this area. Vision Forum has several good books and cds on this subject.
This past week when Mike took Maggie to Walter Reed for her accupuncture treatment, they stopped at my favorite thrift shop on the way home. Mike bought me this cactus appetizer dish from Boston Warehouse (love it!!)...
...and this Romertopf Clay Baker!!! It is unglazed, which is hard to find. He also bought 3 more glass jars for my collection. What a honeybun! Thanks so much, Mike. My other clay baker is a Schlemmertopf and is glazed. Now I can make my Indonesian Beggar's Chicken in the Romertopf, and my apple dumplings in the Schlemmertopf. What a blessing!

Today the thermometer hit 100 degrees outside with dewpoints in the 70s. I had to change my dress whenever I went out on the porch to peg clothes. We set the upstairs air conditioner at 80 degrees and shut all the blinds and doors, then spent the day downstairs. We knew the air conditioner would have to work too hard to keep it cool. But the downstairs is a very cool 75 degrees...thanks to my wraparound porch that shades the windows.

We will miss our church friends tomorrow. Since we suspect we have a virus, we will show our love for them by staying home and worshiping here.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Friday, July 23, 2010

I finally found Anna's camera so I could show you these two quilts she made for her friends, Laura and Natalie. This pattern is called Yellow Brick Road and was very popular a few years ago...and lots of fun to make!
Anna pieced the quilt top with her regular sewing machine but used her longarm machine to quilt the entire quilt.
Here's a closeup of the quilting in the pattern called Meandering. I love both quilts! Good job, Anna.
This past Tuesday, 6 of us girls were able to meet at Tearrific, a local Thai restaurant, for dim sum. I'm not sure which was better...the food or the fellowship. Perfect!
Our Dollar Store had a bunch of these unique measuring glasses. I always enjoy trying out new kitchen gadgets...especially for a $ I bought one. I've already used it and like it.
I had fun going through Anna's pictures on her camera. It's almost like reading someone's diary:-) I found these two pictures of Ranger the cat. Maggie said the second picture was taken during a yawn. He sure looks mean!
Our family has another copperhead under our belt. Anna had driven my children to my parents' home for a late night swim, and on the way home, Maggie spotted the snake. Lizzie ran home for a shovel...but Maggie did the actual killing. The snake was so well camouflaged that both Mike and I had no idea what she was pointing to! Our neighbor Chip walked over to see why our car was stopped. Lizzie wrapped the snake and put it in the refrigerator until she can tan the hide this weekend.

Our family was going to go camping this weekend in Bedford County, PA. It's our family's 75th reunion. But the temps are supposed to be between 95-97 degrees, with high humidity. Too hot for our family.

Ruthie is suffering again. My children helped their Grandaddy cook dinner for his church two days ago. Folks there were talking about a virus that was going around. Well, I think we may have it now. Several of my children are hurting. Ruthie is back on nebulizer treatments and mullein. Poor baby.

Keep cool. Most of Maryland is under extreme heat advisory. Our local weatherman says we've had 40 days of 90+ degree weather this summer!

Enjoy your weekend. We are enjoying watching our Roy Rogers films. It's so good to see Roy and the Sons Of The Pioneers again!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Thursday, July 22, 2010

This past week Food Lion had avocados for $1 each, so we had tacos. Delicious!
Last week, Ruthie and I were standing in the side yard when we heard a terrifying crash! I actually felt the ground shake! It was a large tree that fell in the woods close to us. The whole event was weird for me. The evening before, our family watched a NOVA dvd called Tsunami, so when I heard the crash, I turned around to yell "Tsunami!"...but Ruthie looked at me and yelled "Tree!" I thought she was crazy...until I realized we aren't close to any water source:-) But it sure sounded like a huge wave breaking. Middle age sure affects the brain!
Lizzie took this picture of her boot so you could get an idea how big this tree was.
This is the stump. I wonder if this tree got hit by lightening at some time. It looks like charring on the outside.
This week at the thrift shop I bought a dvd/cookbook combo called Sushi. Can't wait to watch the dvd. The cookbook has lots of good pictures. Our family enjoys sushi a lot.
For those of you with young scholars, our Dollar Tree store has these six sets of sight words for PreK through 4th grade. Each year has 40 words. I bought them because each set has some of Ruthie's problem words. Ruthie has a tendacy towards dyslexia (reading backwards) but this summer she is finally making great strides. It's been a month or so since she has sounded out a word backwards. PTL!
For the past two years, I've been anxious about this tree that is close to my kitchen window. I could see that the inside was rotten but there always seemed to be some other more important priority. My hubby was dreading taking the tree down because of its close proximity to the house.
So today, our good neighbor, Chip, came over to help. Chip has all the ropes and equipment to do the job. You can barely see him in this picture. He's leaning against the center and getting ready to trim all the branches so they won't catch on the other trees.
I took this pic to show you how close the tree is to the house.
When the tree finally toppled, the house shook.The tree landed right on target. Thank you, Lord! And thank you, Chip!
Then we noticed another tree that was rotten, so that came down too. Lots of firewood for this winter! Right now it is too hot and humid to cut the tree into firewood but at least we are prepared for any hurricanes or wind gusts. What an answer to prayer!

So hopefully that is the end of our tree-lopping. I enjoy our trees.

Our friend, Samantha, came through surgery with flying colors, PTL. Her grandparents are thankful for everyone's prayers, and they're enjoying spoiling her with gifts to craft and eat (Rita's!). Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us that there is a time to every purpose under heaven. Verse 3 says there is a time to heal. So take your time healing, Samantha, and enjoy the blessings of friends and family. As we say here in southern Maryland, "Let us lay some love on you!"

My mom sent me this link to a month of popsicle recipes. I'd like to make the pina colada recipe. Take a look!

Ruthie came in this morning rubbing her eyes and asked, "Is it time to wake up the cowhands?" I love life on this ranch!

Saturday we are expecting the high temp to be 100 degrees. Keep cool wherever you are.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, July 19, 2010

So busy! I posted these pictures yesterday but didn't get a chance to write. In many ways I am like Johnboy Walton...writing keeps me centered. It also clears my head. Tonight I am determined to write...but I have to tell you, there is a big storm brewing just to our I'll write quickly!

Abigail keeps trying to figure out why Maggie can't pick her up and hold her. She doesn't understand that Maggie's hands are she is always asking Maggie to pick her up. Poor baby. Fortunately Maggie can hold Abigail if we place her on Maggie's lap.

This past weekend, Allen went on a chartered fishing trip. He won the trip at the Youth Sportsmen's Day this past spring. Mike wasn't able to take him, so Allen tagged along with our friend Tom, and his daughter Sarah. The fish (rockfish and perch) was tasty!
I fried up some pomme frites (french potatoes) and tossed a salad to complete the meal. Thanks, Allen! This has been quite a week for Allen. His 22 chickens went to the butcher, so now our freezer is full for the winter! Allen worked hard for his chickens...built two portable henhouses, fed and watered several times a day thanks to record-breaking heat, then moved them around to keep them in the shade. I really appreciate that I never once had to remind him about the chickens. Thanks again, Allen!I forgot to take a picture of the chicken houses. These are the chickens a month ago. Beautiful ladies! And so sweet. I really enjoy them.Since I'm bragging on Allen, let me finish the story. Allen has been doing lots of inspections on our honeybee hives. He got stung but was too busy to put the ice on for a long time. We've learned our lesson now. This picture was taken before his hand got bad. His reaction included a terrible fever and headache that lasted 4 days...and still he tended the chickens and went to Tang Soo Do. He was determined! Next year Allen plans to raise pigs, and help me with raising fish.
As usual, Anna is busy sewing/quilting. She had fun piecing this quilt top along with several others. I'll be sure to get pics.
Anna is also busy helping at VBS this summer. (Vacation Bible School) Our church goes all out for decorations. This was the stage scene this past Sunday. The program is called The Egypt File produced by Answers in Genesis. Sarah takes Abigail, so everyday we enjoy hearing funny stories about the 2-5 year olds.
This past Sunday evening, our family got to enjoy another Snowball fellowship. Since we were given the snowball machine, all we have to do is provide the ice and syrups. It is so much fun...and the church children are very appreciative. I wasn't sure how the sugar and food dye was going to go over, but so far no one has mentioned it.
My job is to stand behind my children with a wet washcloth to mop up any drips. I love it! We left the machine at church so it can be used for VBS. Thank you again for that machine, Lord!
Maggie and Lizzie have been busy making homemade ice cream. Delicious!
They do a great job making nondairy ice cream taste creamy!
The local peaches are in season. I bought a half-peck for $7 from the amish today. Delicious!
And my tomatoes are finally ready to eat.
I found these chili-lime tortilla strips at the bent n dent store this week. They taste wonderful on salads.
This is what the package looks like.
My pattypan squash is very prolific, as usual. I sliced it, spread sourdough starter all over, then sprinkled panko crumbs on top. Then I panfried it in a tiny bit of oil. Now I want to experiment with making it into a casserole, so stand by for that one!
Grandad brought us a big leftover baked ham, and some potatoes with green beans. It is wonderful to have a break from dinner. Thanks, Dad!

This summer is just going by too quickly. I keep looking for signs of a slowdown, but so far there's none in sight. Do I sound like an economist?!

I will be getting up early to pray for a church friend, Samantha. She has surgery tomorrow morning. I know how comforted I am when folks are praying for my Ruthie, so I am glad to be able to pray for dear Samantha.

Hope you are enjoying your summer. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, July 12, 2010

Last night was Lizzie's turn to shoot a fox on her first try! Was she ever happy! We thought all our fox troubles were over...but when Maggie went outside to see what the dog was barking at...there was yet another fox!! So tonight Anna will take her turn with that. That had better be the end! I decided to visit our Mennonite friend, Ronald, to see if anyone in his community did taxidermy. No one does, but he gave me directions to a possible taxidermist. We drove back into another world. The road seemed endless. Such beautiful land. I didn't want to take any pictures that would identify their farm, so I just took two on the way. This huge cactus plant is in a cast iron tub that has a pitcher pump attached to it. What a picture!
Maggie and Lizzie made some blueberry scones that were delicious. Didn't take long for them to disappear! She took one to her therapist.
Last week I bought this antique quilt at the thrift shop for $1. You can see why it was so cheap...the stain on the lower left. There was another customer at the thrift shop who told me how to remove the stain. She was older than me and seemed to know what she was talking I tried it.
The stain did come out a lot...but the fabric gave way. I like this quilt for two is handstitched, and it is hand embroidered. Here are the flower blocks of which there are at least 3 of each pattern: two more that I accidently deleted, but you get the idea. So now I am trying to find some worthwhile project for preserving the flower blocks. Pillows? Another quilt? Aprons? Totes? Tablerunners? Have any ideas to add? I have thought about cutting out one block of each flower and framing them in yellow frames to go over my headboard. Let me know what you think.
Allen was excited to find this cocoon outside on the porch. He brought it in and placed in on the windowsill, and the next morning we had a beautiful moth! God's creation is just so beautiful and amazing. Sarah is busy directing the church youth in our annual Patch the Pirate play. This year the play is called I-Land...a play that is no longer produced by Majesty Music. Our family joke is that everything is right on one knows their lines!
Lizzie and Ruthie came with me to take Maggie to her Occupational Therapy appt today. Lizzie loves the therapist's dog, Zeenah. What a sweet dog!
My parents have rented out their Texas house, so Mom's home is full of a bunch of stuff from that home. Mom gave us back our Longhorn plaque...which we love! Thanks, Mom.
I made a batch of Sourdough Peanutbutter Cookies so I could add that to my sourdough blog. So yummy!

Last Friday, my family met some friends in Washington D.C., to visit the Smithsonian museums. My children had a blast! (Ruthie and I stayed home since the warm air triggers Ruthie's respiratory problems ~ the temps were in the 90s.) Ellen treated my family to a 3-D movie about Dinosaurs (at the museum)...and that was the most talked about part of the trip! I had fun listening to everyone's account of the day. I can't believe none of my children took cameras! Thanks, Ellen and Chris for inviting us along.

Mike was sharing with me about how Ellen and Chris saw a movie where the guy had a bucket list of everything he wanted to accomplish before the end of his E&C came up with their own bucket list. Visiting the Smithsonian was on Ellen's list. Now we're all putting together our own bucket lists!

Our family has just learned of the death of Simba and Natalie's niece who was their flower girl. Shelby was 16 years old and all we know is that she was killed in a car accident an hour or so ago. We saw Shelby recently at Abigail's birthday party, and enjoyed watching her taking care of her younger siblings. We're praying for you, Simba and Natalie.

Many blessings ~ Kathie