Monday, December 19, 2011

I Am UnBlogged Down At The Moment

I am finally caught up with past blog entries. I tried to post them in order of "happnins". I don't know why it didn't turn out that way.

We'll see how long I can stay caught up.

Next post?

Don't hold your breath too long.

I Am Blogged Down

NOTE: This post was originally written 12/17/11.

It seems that I haven't posted an entry since November 6. Well you should know I really haven't NOT posted, just haven't finished one TO post. I have 5 in the works, but attaching pictures and having to think (this time of year) is rawthaw a chore.

As usual, work is BUSY and with Christmas in one week and with a new grandson coming the first of February, I am feeling bogged down (mentally). Therefore with all those blog posts in the waiting, I am blogged down.


Patent Pending: I am officially patenting that phrase, unless it already has been. Let me check Google.



There are already plenty of people using Blogged Down. I did find a definition: Spending too much time blogging to keep a person from interacting with the real world. This is not what I'm experiencing. Au contraire! My reality (or my reality as I see it - who knows how real it is?) is keeping me from blogging.

I thought I found a site with fun definitions and wanted to tell you to check it out. Well, after looking it over I guess I won't. A lot of it seems to be a bit earthy for my taste. And most of you know my taste, but, EEEKKK!!!! I wanted to post the Word of the Day. However, HAHAHAHAHA, it was NOT appropriate. Only funny because it was so awful. Oh My!!! Nevermind!

This is another reason why I can't finish posting a blog. I get myself in messes.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Puppies - Good Thing They Are Cute!

NOTE: This post originally was dated 11/17/11.

These two puppies!!!

We have put up with their shenanigans for more than 9 months. The yard is littered with trash pulled from the burn barrel. Bones are brought up from the woods. We can't have nice flowerbeds.  It's a good thing they're cute. The latest?

Margaret Thatcher (top) and Winston Churchill (bottom)

We got to noticing foamy chunks all over the yard. What is that?

Winston? Buddy, who's a good boy?
What are you up to? What is that?

Winston! You are not a good boy!    Margaret! What is your part in this?

What the heck? The 4-Wheeler has been sitting in the yard forever.
What would obsess them to do that now?


The Bubble Quilt Is Finished

NOTE: This post originally dated 11/13/11.

     I finished the last of the binding the night of 11/6. It immediately went to the washing machine and dryer to start the fuzzing of the patchwork circles. The fabrics were preshrunk, but I did not preshrink the batting. The batting will shrink slightly in the dryer, causing the quilt to krinkle, giving it a vintage look. I can't wait for Emily to see it.

The binding turned out nice.

     The block design is called Bulls Eye. See my blog post from 7/10 showing the finished top. The process of quilting this quilt didn't happen like I envisioned, but still it's FAB. I hoped the colored bubble circles would be the quilting, but I couldn't free-motion stitch perfect circles. I decided to hand embroider the bubble circles, but didn't go through all layers. So for the quilting I made a spiral on the pachwork circles and machine stitched around them for additional quilting. I used white thread, not wanting them to be visible.

 A few of the many colored bubbles.


  These two pictures show the blocks after the quilt was washed. I used a 1/4" seam but maybe it was still too close for raw edge applique. Some of the fabric was thin-ish. A lesson learned: Be sure to use quality fabric. I think the fabric I used was fine, but all the fabrics were not of the same quality. I shortened the stitch length, but maybe it should have been even shorter. While taking these pictures, I noticed there are several places where the fabric "fuzzed away" when it was washed. I will plan on patching this a lot as it is "loved."

NOTE: I wanted to use clear monofiliment thread, but my sister, Kathi, instructed me that it's not advisable to use on anything for babies. If the thread should break or loosen, little fingers could become entangled and damaged; the unspeakable could happen. Thank you, Kathi. That's why I come to you.

These two pictures show the front and back of the same block, showing the spiral quilting.

This shows the quilting better, the white circle around each Bull's Eye block
and the multi color thread spiral in each block.

     I can't wait to see my new grandson wrapped up in it, or later dragging it behind him, dirty and well loved. Or better yet, dragging it off to college.

     Well, it's on to finishing another...

Thanksgiving Dinner - My Favorite Day To Cook

NOTE: Originally written 11/23/11. I've had a terrible time getting pictures put on.

Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year, but Thanksgiving is my favorite day to cook. I don't know if it's the foods or the table decorations or just the feel of the season.

I haven't made a Thanksgiving dinner in probably 5 years, so when my daughter asked if I was going to cook a Thanksgiving dinner I thought, "Well, I guess so", and I felt kind of excited. I ran out and found the biggest turkey I could find, 20 pounds. 20 pounds is quite a big turkey for just 5 people, but I thought a week's worth of sandwiches that could be made. And the soup stock that could be made from the carcass. Smells so so so good. If you think about it, it's actually bone soup. Thinking about that could turn one into a vegetarian.

I made out the menu: turkey, yukon gold mashed potatoes and gravy, Aunt Dorothy's sweet potatoes, green bean casserole (ick), corn dookey, homemade rolls, cinnamon apple rings, fresh cranberry relish, roasted root vegetables, green salad, stuffing, spinach balls, pumpkin AND pecan pies.

Oh, the pies! I planned on making 2 pies. I had invited our friends to come over Friday for leftovers, so I decided I would need to make 2 pumpkin and 1 pecan pies altogether. I knew the pie dish I used for the pecan was deep so I 1 1/2 the recipe. I got confused and doubled the sugar so I had to add make another 1/2 recipe of the other ingredients. Okay, so now I'm making 2 pecan pies. I made another pie crust. When I poured in the pecan filling I didn't have enough to fill 2 pies. Turns out BOTH dishes were deep. So I had to make ANOTHER 1/2 filling recipe to fill the remainder of the the 2 pies. HUH? When they baked they both puffed way above the top of the pie dish. Never had that happen before.

My friend said it was normal for a pecan pie to raise like
this. Never had that happen before.

This is the first time I got to use my pie holder.   

 This must be true love. I HATE that "famous" green bean casserole.
(Don't look too close at my messy oven. Baking soda is a
great thing to  reduce the smoke from  something boiling over.)
Corn Dookey, formerly known as Shahoskahavi. Corn, bell pepper, whole canned tomatoes
onions, chili powder. Pretty darn good.

Aunt Dorothy's sweet potatoes: To die for!
Emily is making the stuffing. Mmmm! I am a messy cook. Just look at that stove!

Mashed potato rolls. These are SOOO good. You really must try them.

Yukon gold potatoes. I did add a lot of butter, but not enough to change the color.
These potatoes really are yellow.
We served buffet style so we could enjoy some elbow room at the diningroom
 table. Emily also brought spinach balls and Maggie made the most wonderful
fresh garden salad.
I really enjoy setting a table for Thanksgiving. This isn't too elaborate as some I've
done, but I love finding leaves, sticks, acorns and flowers outside to decorate with
the pumpkins, gourds and candles.

How could this have gotten so out of hand?

Herb Infused Oils - Oh Man!

NOTE: This was originally written 12/10/11  Ignore the posting date.

I was shopping yesterday in a kitchen gadget store for Christmas gifts. I like to check out the fancy food items in stores like that, things like jams, vineagers, mustards and oils. I saw Blood Orange Olive Oil. What could be bad about that? I bought all they had - 2. I really needed one more. So I got to thinking about making my own for that "one last person who reallly needed one." I grow many kinds of herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Wow, that would make great lyrics for a song! Anyway, my most favorite herb to grow is BASIL. I usually grow sweet, lemon and purple ruffles, but have been known to grow more. One summer I grew six different kinds, but there are approximately 100+ types.

Okay, back to flavored oils - when I got home from shopping, I was on the hunt for instructions for making my own herb infused oil. I went to Google and found many websites with instructions, recipes and warnings. WARNINGS? Yes, warnings. Who would have thought you would need a warning when it came to cooking with olive oil? Isn't olive oil the food of the gods? Yes, but it's man who can mess it up, especiallsy when it comes to botulism. The moisture content of the herbs or other things added to flavor the oil can be BAD. I've been reading about the dangers of garlic infused oil. "They" all recommend keeping the oil refrigerated and using within a few days. if the oil is made with fresh garlic and fresh herbs. I don't do much daily cooking anymore so that wouldn't work too well for me. I would have to make it 2 or 3 tablespoons at a time. I want to be able to store it unrefrigerated in the cabinet or on the countertop.

I got to wondering about using minced dehydrated garlic. Hmm? I'm still waiting for an answer from  Also on this website, in the comment section, someone named Cheri (post dated 11/20/09) took a course at Williams-Sonoma and gives directions how to cook the oil to give it a 2 month shelf life. I'm going to try that. I want to give these oils for Christmas gifts along with some homemade bread.

Who knows? This might be so fun, so good that it will be an annual food gift item, like my beef jerky and Conway corn.