Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ruthie is anxious to get her garden tilled, so she braved the cold temps and wind. I guess she knows pollen season is just around the corner. I think we all have cabin fever!
It's done! I pieced this quilt top together about fifteen years ago using 3 inch squares. This past month, Anna added the batting and backing, machine quilted it together, then attached the binding. I handsewed the binding on this past weekend. Thanks so much, Anna!

Every square is from clothes worn in the past...making this a real memory quilt. I see lots of scraps from my maternity fabrics. I asked Anna if she was ready to start using her longarm machine to earn money...and she said she'll be ready after twenty more quilts. Oh my! Anna is still working on her quilt for a wedding gift. She has one more row to go...and but ran out of thread. Tomorrow I will get that for her. She has probably spent a hundred hours on this quilt with the cutting, ironing, piecing, and now quilting...then binding. But it's always worth it!
This past Saturday, the youth group from church had a race that took them all over two counties. Part of the race involved coming here to our neck of the woods. First they had to eat an apple without using their hands, then they had to get a picture taken with one of our goats. It was a lot of fun...but it was all over very quickly since the race was on!
This past December, my hubby told a friend that he was looking for a heavy-duty tripod for me for a Christmas gift. I always enjoy open fire cooking, so hubby wanted something I could hang my cast iron dutch oven on. So imagine my surprise when hubby brought this home for me!! A friend of ours from church, Roy P., made this!! I love it! I wanted to build a fire and try it out, but our county is in a drought. But I'll show you as soon as I can! Thanks so much, Roy.
We used up the last of my homemade chicken broth this week, so I baked a 21 lb turkey and invited my parents over for dinner. Yes, those are baskets of laundry in the background. We seem to get behind so quickly these days.
For dessert we had Girl Scout cookies! Well, not quite. My children had seen Granddaddy's G.S. cookies earlier in the day, so Maggie decided to make a dairyfree and eggfree copycat version. They were soooo delicious! I am glad they were only enough for everyone to have two!
Tuesday morning, Sarah and Abigail came over bright and early. I asked Abigail if she wanted to jump on my trampoline. Then I showed her the trampoline...covered with snow. So I let her bounce on my exercise mat.

Abigail jumped for 15 minutes before getting tired. Oh to have that energy!

Today I've been praying for my friend, Lyn, whose mother crossed over to Gloryland this week. We're thinking of you, Lyn. One of my prayers is for Lyn to let her sisters in the Lord bless her this week. (Usually Lyn is doing the blessing!) We love you, Lyn.

This morning we ate Corned Beef and Cabbage for breakfast...a treat from Granddad. Thanks, Dad!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

"We are confident, I say, and willing, rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord." ~ II Cor 5:8

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What a long day! Mike and I took Ruthie to Annapolis (1-1/2+ hours north) for her 6-month checkup with the pulmonary dr. Ruthie did really well, especially considering she is recovering from a headcold.
As soon as I walked into the purple examination room, I knew I had to get a picture for my purple-loving friend, Deb. My camera is making everything look blue-ish, but even the rolling chair was purple.
And the sanitizer wipes had a purple lid! I left the doctor's office feeling like a queen...with four refill prescriptions in my hand. I know that I can keep Ruthie out of the hospital as long as I have access to the right meds. I was getting nervous that her meds were getting low. No longer!
After the doctor's appt, we went to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market. Then we decided on the mall for lunch. I haven't been in a mall in a long while...and it was hard to see all the indecent images on all the signs. I really never want to go back. We stopped in the Williams-Sonoma store and saw this egg-waffle pan. The clerk said the little pancakes are doughy in the middle...and delicious. I'd love to try this...but not at $50 a pan.
These little pancakes originated in Hong you can read on the sign. So lets see how long it takes for me to find one of these pans in the thrift shop!
Ruthie was fascinated by the train in the mall.
Sorry for the blur...the train was moving at a good speed.

I bought two flats of strawberries at the farmer's market on Wednesday for $15 a flat. They are sweet and delicious!
Lizzie and Anna had an orthodontist appt in Prince Frederick last night, so of course we stopped in the thrift shop. I bought this silver 6-piece tea set for $20. (The sugar lid is the 6th piece.) This is an Oneida silverplate set. I bought it to sell on eBay...but my family is falling in love with it. One of the teapots needs to have a little piece soldered on which I'm hoping can be done by a silversmith for cheap. Then I will enjoy washing all the tarnish off and polishing it to a shine. I love watching tarnished silver get restored to shine!
I will have to show you some of the stuff we bought at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. Here's one for tonight...Myzithra cheese!! I haven't been able to find this cheese in years. When we lived in San Diego, Mike and I enjoyed going to The Spaghetti Factory. One of our favorite dishes was Myzithra spaghetti...just spaghetti noodles, olive oil, and shredded mysithra. This Greek cheese has a salty taste like parmesiana and is made from sheep's milk. Delicious!
Recently I received this note from my friend Lyn.
And then this week I received this long, newsy letter from my friend Deb (whose blog I read called Mountain Musings). I was so encouraged by these friends that it got me thinking about the many elderly and shut-ins that I know who would love to get a letter or even a note. I'm going to try to pass the blessings along and encourage others. Thank you, Deb and Lyn for the inspiration.

Tomorrow I have no appointments! I can actually stay home and enjoy the 70+ degree weather we are expected to have! Maybe I'll even get to plant peas. And wash windows. And sew. And go to the park. Who knows?!

Enjoy the weather. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope everyone was able to spend a nice dinner and evening with their loved ones. I found some pictures on Anna's camera. This is a quilt that Lizzie made in almost a day. She made it for a friend who is a taxidermist. Mr. Jamie tanned the fox hides that Maggie and Lizzie shot...but he didn't charge them because he wasn't pleased with the outcome. It wasn't his fault...they were summer hides...not the nice winter hides.
Anyhow, Lizzie wanted to thank him with a quilt. The fish is from a panel I bought at the thrift shop. It has lots of different size fish. Lizzie cut out the largest one and appliqued it as the centerpiece. What a clever idea!
See the hides on Maggie and Lizzie's skirts? This picture was taken outside our church, right before they were to serve at the popular Sportsmen's Banquet. Mike brought Jamie as his guest, and afterward Lizzie gave him the quilt.
Here's Anna's new window on her treehouse. The window was a Christmas gift that I bought at the local Re-Store...where all the money goes to Habitat for Humanity.

Here's a closeup. Anna is so pleased. Now Lizzie wants a window for her treehouse.
I'll give you the grand tour of the inside.
Anna loves having a firepit inside so you can cook dinner over a campfire.
Grilling some mushrooms.
Rice and mushrooms. So if you ever have a hankering for rice and mushrooms, just drop in at Anna's. It's better than the grits she used to serve!
Here's the proud home owner. It's almost time for spring cleanup. Once the snakes come out, I get fanatical about wood lying around.
Anna hung a tarp over the top until she can make a permanent roof. But the tarp roof is allows the smoke from the firepit to escape.
Anna sewed up some sandbags to keep the tarp anchored...a good thing on days like today when the wind is just whipping everything around. Our county is under two alerts...wind gusts up to 50 mph and fire alert. I guess the ground is dry enough and the wind is strong enough that a flame could really wipe us off the map!
Here we are back to Valentine's Day. (Even though Mike installed Foxfire, I still can't click and drag my pictures.) Ruthie did a great job setting the dinner table for Valentine's Day. I enjoy using my fine china. My pattern is Noritake's Carolyn. The center of each dish has pastel flowers. My crystal is not expensive...I wanted my children to be able to use it.
This morning when we came downstairs, Mike had written love notes to each person in the family. He wrote down all the ways he appreciates us individually. What a great guy! Mike has always been good about the important flowers, birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations, etc. His momma trained him well!
Maggie made a delicious soup with onions, garlic and croutons. I wish there were leftovers.
For the main meal we had grilled salmon, mixed veggies, and rice pilaf. We haven't had salmon in a long time (it's expensive!) and it was as good as I remember. Mike sprinkles it with lemon pepper and old bay. Perfect.
Silly family. When they saw me with the camera, they all decided to pose.
Anna and Maggie made dessert. I call them canoli. Whatever they are, they are rich and yummy. In fact, I ate two only because everyone was taking two...but I should've only eaten one. My tummy hurt from the second one. Thank you family for everything. It was a lot of fun.
I have been watching an auction this past week for a wash board on eBay. Can you guess the price of this yellow ware wash board? With an hour to go before the end of auction, the price is at $380. Wow! And the reserve price has not been met yet!

Our family is going through round two with sickness. First we had headcolds, now we have a virus that includes a terrible headache. It must be what a migraine feels like. Four of us had it so far. I had it all day today but now it is subsiding. No fun!

I was hoping to get a lot of spray painting projects done today but the wind was so strong and my headache so bad that all I did was some hand sewing. No piano, violin, or voice one felt well enough and we didn't want to spread anything. Actually, Anna is doing well...she is just congested enough that she can't sing.

Anna and I follow a lot of missionaries through blogs and prayer letters. It really makes you mindful of what a lost world we live in. Some of our missionaries live on the frontlines dealing with demon possessions and the worst of the worst. I find myself whispering prayers for them all day long. Praise God...He's listening every time I have a free moment.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. ~ Zephaniah 3:17

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Well, this is my first post for February...shameful! But we've been sick with worse-than-usual headcolds. The only child who is fully recovered is Anna...and she's the one I was worried about because of all her immunizations! Here she is working on something in the garage. Yesterday she installed the window in her treehouse, so tomorrow I will be sure to post a picture of that.
We were outside on the porch pegging clothes and Ranger had a blast playing with some boots. I'm glad his teeth didn't puncture the rubber.
Even though I was basically good for nothing these past two weeks, I still managed to have an online "garage sale" thanks to eBay. I haven't sold anything on eBay for years, but when they had free listings...I decided to take a chance. I bought this stoneware set at the thrift shop for $5 and sold it for $20.
I bought these cast iron candleholders for $2 at the thrift shop and sold them for $5.
I bought this Posture Pump for Maggie's therapy for $99 and sold it for $80.
It was hard to part with my fireking dishes that I've collected over the years from various thrift shops, usually for $1 each, but I sold all 12 for $50. I hope I don't regret it. It seemed as if 12 plates were never enough for any of my parties. Anyhow, I like the space in my pantry.
I bought this set of pyrex mixing bowls years ago at the thrift shop on Route 231 for $4 and sold them for $25. I bought them because I liked the colors...but I never used them.

Lastly, I sold these 5 Blue Willow bowls for $10. They were an odd size and didn't stack with my other bowls. So I made a total of $188...which I thought was worth my time. I'm hoping to list some more items this week. Can you tell I have spring cleaning fever...even if I still can't breathe well?!
On Friday, my youngest four daughters and I drove to Calvert County for our annual tea party at the W---- home. According to my blog, this is the fifth year we've done this! And it gets better each year. So about the sign...

It takes one hour (almost exactly) to get to the tea party. However, there is a road that is 5-6 miles (?) that is one lane...and if you get behind an old timer, it could really add time to your trip. So we left plenty early...and arrived plenty early. As usual, I missed the W's driveway and had to turn around to go back. On the way back, my daughters saw this sign...and begged me to turn around again and go back for a picture. I certainly hope no one was watching! Our family likes funny signs and we think this one is funny.
Here are the little girls...
...and here are the big girls. We were missing one family with 3 daughters, and another family moved away, so the older girls became one long table. Thank you Sonya, Rachel, Rebekah, and Hannah. For the sake of my diary, I want to mention that the weather was sunny but the 40s. We never know what to expect for this tea...we've had almost 80 degrees down to being canceled for snow.
On Saturday, Sarah and Maggie went to a bridal shower for Jess, who is about to marry our friend Matthew. Sarah crafted a beautiful picture, and Maggie grew some chocolate mint and put it in a 4-cup glass measuring cup. She knows both Jess and Matthew like chocolate. I think it is a nice idea. I know it is hard for daughters who have no income to give gifts...but I like the creativity it inspires!
Here's a closeup so you can see it better. The girls had a good time...but were so sleepy since none of us has been sleeping well thanks to our stuffy heads.

Ruthie was doing well, so I took her to the tea. But I realize now she should never have gone. By the time we got home her oxidation was 91% and she was lethargic. The good thing is that her checkup is on Thursday.

For some reason, this headcold is hard to be rid of. I am still congested and have lots of fluid in my ears. Many people that I talk to have the same problem. I'm just glad we didn't get the prolonged fever that I keep hearing about.

Our weather is supposed to warm up this week...something I am looking forward to. I need to wash windows badly!

Thank you for the notes of encouragement. It's nice to know we are missed at church. I doubt we are contagious...I just hate sitting there coughing and blowing my nose. I guess I'm not alone like that...hubby said church had many empty seats this morning.

Hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy. Spring is right around the corner, so hang in there!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

All of my need He freely supplieth,
Wisdom and guidance, strength as my day.
Grace for each trial, comfort in sorrow,
Blessed communion all of the way.