Friday, August 27, 2010

This week our family watched this movie that has some of our favorite western stars, Maureen O'Hara, Ward Bond, Harry Carey Jr., etc. It is directed by the infamous John Ford. I love John Ford's films. Along with wonderful visual elements, there is always good music and emotion. If you enjoy Irish films, you will enjoy this movie.

This movie is based on a true story (my favorite kind!). My favorite part of the film is when the West Point cadets have just learned that Pearl Harbor has been attacked by Japanese aircraft. They immediately stand and belt out the third verse to My Country Tis of Thee:

Our Father's God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light
Protect us by Thy might
Great God our King!

I got chills down my spine! This film is very family friendly. I could not find one bad word. So get a pot of hot tea and enjoy this 2 hour film. Look what my hubby brought home...6 little pots of mums! Walmart has them for $1 each. They are nice and healthy.

I put them in my victorian-reproduction greenhouse. I love it! Thanks, Mike.

Here's the greenhouse open. I had a hard time getting a picture because of the glare.

I made lots of sourdough muffins for my family. Tomorrow morning they will be up and out very early for the last day of play practice.
Maggie had fun putting these folliage pictures together. She got the folliage on our property and the frames at the Dollar Store. Very nice!
I know I said no more sourdough cakes...but I went into my cellar to get some wheat...and saw the can of root beer...and just had to create one more cake. So this is my Sourdough Root Beer Cake with Root Beer Glaze. To make it a Sourdough Root Beer Float Cake, just serve with a dollop of cool whip.
Abigail came over this week. I love the way she enjoys climbing into bins and baskets. Here she is in the better blocks (a type of lego). did she get such dirty feet?! Well, Auntie Kathie took her outside to check out the pool, butterflies, flowers, kitty cat...and the trampoline. Abigail did not want to come off the trampoline! I gave her 15 minutes, then I was worn out! (I hold onto her hands while she bounces. It takes some strength to keep her from jumping off the edge.) So much fun. All my children got a good laugh when I came in sweaty and exhausted.

This weekend promises lower humidity before the temps soar back up to the mid-90s next week. When will this heat end?! Meanwhile, I want to take advantage of the beautiful weather. Enjoy your weekend.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Thursday, August 26, 2010

This upcoming Sunday is the date for our Patch the Pirate play at church. All of my family has been involved at some point. We've had some very long Sundays with practice all afternoon. I'm looking forward to the end of that! Now that we have the set onstage, everything is getting exciting! Thanks, Mr. Owen, who did a fantastic job painting the usual!
Sarah is directing, Lizzie is playing the piano (for all but one piece which she'll be singing), Maggie and Ruthie will be acting, and Mike is in charge of the music. You see Anna here reading in for someone who is absent. Anna will also be singing.

This past week, our church celebrated my Pastor's 60th birthday. It was so much fun!

The cake was beautiful and looked delicious. Thanks, Christy! I noticed the chocolate side went much faster than the vanilla!
The surprise party took place in the gym after evening church service. We couldn't get Pastor to come down to the gym. So finally his wife, Deb, went up and told Pastor there were some folks in the gym who were upset. It worked!
Surprise! Yes, he was truly surprised.
Along with cake, there was a feast! Sandwiches, chips and dips, etc. One of our families brought in two huge watermelons from their garden. Bonnie had a hard time cutting the melons. We were surprised to find yellow on the inside!
I got to bring home half of a leftover melon. Bonnie, I had no trouble at all cutting the melon with my good Henckel's knife. I think the lightweight knife at church was the problem. Actually, I cut one slice and Ruthie cut up the rest.
I liked the watermelon so much...I saved all the seeds! I hope this is an heirloom variety so I can have a gardenful next summer!

Hubby got home from work at midnight last night. The good thing is that he will be off tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to that. The pool water is now staying at 82 degrees. Wonderfully refreshing!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Oh it is wonderful to be a Christian!
Oh it is wonderful to be God's child!
Oh it is wonderful to have my sins forgiven,
Oh it is wonderful to be redeemed, justified, forever reconciled!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This is my latest recipe for my sourdough blog...Sourdough White Cake / Sourdough Vanilla Cake. It is so moist and delicious! That's it for the cakes. I can't think of one more flavor cake to make with my formula.

Sorry I am still not posting regularly...I found out that I used an enormous amount of bandwidth when I didn't resize my pics the other day. So hubby has saved the day and installed a new resizer. Mike has been working long days lately, so I am extra thankful to be up and running on my new laptop. The only two things left to figure laptop refuses to recognize my scanner/copier, and I can't move pics around when writing my posts.

The good thing is...I found lots of pics that were stored in a miscellaneous folder, so hopefully now I can post everyday. This past week, a friend of ours brought over his honey extractor and extracted the honey from Maggie and Allen's beehives. It was wonderful!
If you ever wonder why honey is so's all the long hours! Allen, Maggie and Mike spent 2 hours every week in the scorching sun, doing beehive inspections and remedying all kinds of threats.
Everyone was impressed with the extractor that works by centrifugal force...which doesn't destroy the honeycomb like the old fashion method of compression. Even this took a lot of time...5 hours to do 2 hives...and that didn't include cleanup!
Then comes the fun part...taste testing! Chris said our honey was the most pure grade there is...water white honey. It is delicious! I don't like honey, but I loved this honey! Mike is in his flightsuit because he had spent the day flying at work and didn't have time to change. Most people don't know that the old green flightsuits are now sand colored thanks to the war in Iraq.
Into the strainer. We had hoped to get 2.5 gallons but instead ended up with almost 5 gallons!

The only sad part is that Allen seems to be allergic to his own honey! He noticed immediately that his throat turned sore with the first taste...and got worse with each additional taste. Wow! Most people take honey as a medication to combat pollen. Anna had the same reaction. Both are now pretty congested.

Five years ago, I bought two oak quilt hangers and had hubby hang them above my sofas in the living room. That was right about when my life got really busy with Maggie's dr. appts, so I never got around to making the quilts to hang. So this week, I asked Anna if she could possibly piece together two 48" square quilts to hang. She immediately got to work!
I decided on a log cabin pattern for one quilt, and a rail fence for the other. Anna cut out a bunch of strips and hung them on a drying rack so she could see all the prints at a glance.
I chose the Barn Raising version of the Log Cabin. Anna already has 5 blocks completed. It's so exciting! Thanks so much, Anna.

I started collecting brown fabrics as a new bride 27 years ago. Browns were very hard to find. I needed 20 prints to make a dresden quilt. Most of my browns are from the 80s and 90s. Nowadays there are many browns in the fabric stores. (To my friend Susan in SC ~ remember those two 1/4 yard pieces you sent me years ago?! They are in these blocks! Thanks!)

Anna is also working on a project for my Dad. Here she is on the cold basement floor painting a sign.

It says "Barn + Pasture For Rent" and phone number. She's turning it into a work of art! Anna used to spend a lot of time painting and crafting. Nowadays she mostly quilts.

Vision Forum is having a special that ends Friday Night at midnight. They are selling 15 best selling dvds for $95. We already have many of these dvds, so we won't be buying the bundle. If any of you locals would like to borrow any, just let me know. (On the other hand, if any one has a copy of The Mysterious Islands, we'd like to borrow that.) Go here for a list of the dvds.

The public schools are back in business, the stores are lined with Halloween and Thanksgiving merchandise, and I am trying not to mourn the loss of summer. Be thankful in all things. Yes, I am thankful.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Anna got this book from the library this week and loves it! She said she'd like to make most of the projects. This is her first project:
She's finished one round of outline quilting. Now she has to finish quilting the rest of the quilt. I'll be sure to show you when she's finished the whole quilt. Anna has another quilt around here somewhere that I saw her finish up this morning...but I can't find it!

My new computer is's just hard getting all the programs from my old laptop onto my new image resizing. Finally I took a chance and uploaded my pictures without resizing...and it worked!

Today I created a Sourdough Orange Cake as an experiment...and we love it! Definitely a keeper recipe. I dedicate this recipe to my brother, Floyd, who made many orange cakes when he was a child.

This is a short post since I spent a lot of time trying to figure out a few quirks on my new computer. But I knew I couldn't go to church and face Bonnie D without posting something!

Anna and Maggie are visiting my Dad at the hospital tonight. Dad has a 2-day stay every time the Doctor puts him on a certain medication since Dad likes to break out in hives. So far everything is good. Poor dear nurses. At least Dad has gotten a few issues of Reader's Digest since his last hopefully the nurses will hear new jokes.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Last week Sarah was on her way to my parents' home (a mile away) when she called me from her cellphone. An ultralight plane had landed on the highway...right in front of her! She had to pull over quickly. I realize this is a terrible picture but it was hard to get up close because of the state police cars. Fortunately the pilot walked away with only a small cut on his head. That made for an exciting morning!
Last week we were invited to my Uncle Norm's 75th birthday party. What a wonderful time we had! Uncle Norm doesn't like being the center of attention, but he was a good sport about it.
I had a very hard time taking pictures. The room had the wrong kind of lighting for my camera. I counted about 100 folks. Since many of us didn't go to our annual family reunion because of the 98 degree heat, it was fun seeing many of our family at the party.
The party was held at the Elk's Lodge in Calvert County, hence the big elk on the wall. The food was delicious. I was so proud of my cousins! Everything was homemade except for the Golden Fried chicken...Uncle Norm's favorite. We had Paula Dean's broccoli slaw, steamed shrimp (there was lots of that!), baked beans, fruit salad...
...caesar salad, potato salad, brisket sandwiches, and cupcakes that my mom loved. What a feast! The only sad part of the evening was knowing that my cousin's hubby was in the hospital fighting a staph infection. He's home now but will be on an antibiotics pump for a month. That will be one vacation he never forgets!
Our second birthday for the month is my nephew, Dustin, who turns 21 this week. We had a fun time celebrating with another feast of brats and chicken. My brother, Mike, can sure grill a delicious BBQ feast!
I have some oddball pictures that are as scrambled as my life has been these past two weeks:-) This is my tea cart with petunias, impatience and mint. The hummingbirds keep pulling off the leaves now, but as soon as they fly south, these flowers will look beautiful.
Maggie and Allen did their weekly beehive check...and they are concerned that both hives are missing a lot of bees. They aren't sure if the bees swarmed or what. Disappointing! Meanwhile, the filled honeycombs are sitting in my music room waiting to be scraped out. (We're waiting for the equipment to come.)
I took this picture today because it reminds me of our cat. The poster was located on the towel dispenser in the restroom at the doctor's office. It says, "I saw that! Now go back and wash your paws."

Today we took Ruthie to Annapolis to the Pediatric Pulmonologist. After a few tests, the dr. determined that Ruthie has a small bit of asthma which she thinks is caused by a little bit of acid reflux. So we came home with meds for both. In 6 months we return for another test to see if she's any better. Ruthie is miserable right now since the test was no fun and made her chest hurt.

I found this funny comic recently. How funny!
My Mom took this picture last week. She is so proud of it! Evidently the deer waited by the pool while Mom went into the house and got the camera...and then waited more while she changed batteries! He has 8 points. Great pic, Mom!My last pic is this salad that Sarah made for us. She first ate this salad at a restaurant in Alabama called Cheddars. I was hesitant to eat it but ended up enjoying it a lot. There are roasted pear slices, candied pecans, rotisserie chicken, spring mix lettuce, and a delicious maple-cider vinaigrette. Wow!

Our toaster died today. The off button stopped the toaster almost burned down the pantry. That sure was a short lifespan for a toaster!

Last week when it was 100 degrees, I got a flat tire. But I was one thankful Momma because I was still in my driveway when I discovered it!! PTL That would've been miserable to be out on the highway.

Hubby is home from CA now. So nice to feel complete again. We missed you!

My computer is dying...but Mike bought me a new one! So as soon as I sign off this post, he's gonna set up my new laptop. I can hardly wait! So with a new camera and a new computer, I guess I have no excuses for no posting.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Every evening Mike calls from CA to keep in touch. Last night he was all excited to tell us about his landsailing fun. He tried explaining to us what a landsail looks like...but I reminded him that we saw a landsailor on the beach of North Padre Island when we were in Texas two years ago. Today Mike will be visiting a ghost town! I asked him to go buy a disposable camera for the trip. Can't wait to see!
Back here in Maryland, we did a very difficult thing this week. We gave our beloved Little Black Guy bunny away. Since we learned that most of us rate 4+ out of 4 for rabbit allergy, we haven't been able to cuddle and play with LBG...and he was hurting from that. So we gave him one last snuggle and sent him off to live with a family that is perfect for him. We sure loved you LBG! Out of the original 12 rabbits, we are down to 3 old rabbits whom we will keep until death do us part.
Maggie and Lizzie made this delicious cheesecake. Our raspberries had stopped producing in this summer heat, but now are back to full production! Yummy!
I bought this cast iron casserole pan at the thrift shop this week. I love it! And it's a Lodge pan! I put the bowl in the pan so you could see how large it is. Yes...those grape tomatoes are from my garden!
Lizzie has been busy quilting, piecing, and hand sewing. I love seeing my daughters sitting around sewing! She is using the same 3 fabrics but different patterns.
It will be fun to see these squares joined to become a quilt.
I bought this handpieced quilt for $1 at the thrift shop this week. The fabrics are little boy prints, and there is handstitching on all the squares. I bought the quilt to use as a pattern.
Maggie made a delicious avocado dressing to go with our grilled chicken salad. It was so delicious. I had a leftover baguette, so I made the croutons. We added romaine lettuce with cilantro, grape tomatoes, and vidalia onion. Everything was so yummy!
Our orchard is starting to show the effects of a record heatwave this summer.
My growpots have been wonderful but now the strawberries have stopped producing. I haven't been faithful at watering the past two weeks. I decided to make my hummingbirds and porch garden my priority.
Oops, I should've taken this picture after my hubby weedwacked! Several folks have asked if I'm pleased with my growpots. Yes!! Next year I hope to buy 12 more. It was wonderful picking strawberries everyday without all the weeding!
I will be losing one of my 6 pear trees to a disease called fire blight. I noticed earlier in the summer that my best tree looked like someone had charred the main supporting branch. This tree is too far gone to be saved but hopefully the contagious disease won't affect the rest of the orchard.

This weekend we will still have high temps but will have lower humidity before the temps soar again next week. Our local weatherman reminded us today that we are losing 1-2 minutes a day of sunlight...and everywhere I look there are back to school reminders. Too soon! We haven't even had a good hurricane scare!

Enjoy your weekend. Many blessings ~ Kathie