Friday, September 28, 2007

Purple Toe, Two Water Woes and Dental Insurance Lows

I think we ought to have lights on the headboard of our beds that blink on and off bright red and say, "you might rethink getting up today because it is going to be one of THOSE days." We all have THOSE days and it would be nice to have the choice, do you really want to get up and face it? LOL

Mine really started yesterday when I dropped a carton of ice cream on my toe at the grocery store. I was comparing calorie and carb count between *no sugar added* and *fat free.* (I am diabetic, constantly trying to keep the pounds off and read labels on EVERYTHING!) The fat free slipped and came down hard on my little toe. I saw flashing lights and felt major pain. I did not swear but not sure how come, it was definitely one of those excusable moments when four letter words are the norm. I picked up the carton, put the sugar free in my cart and hobbled through the store finishing my shopping. By the time I got home, the pain was gone but the toe was twice its normal size. After a while I decided ice might be needed. It didn't bother me during the night but this morning is a nice fat purple toe.........looks like part of a Halloween prop. I don't think it is broken, just badly banged. I have broken this same toe twice before..........know the routine by now.

After deciding this morning that no, I was not headed to the dr for the toe, I opened the water bill that arrived yesterday. More swear words could have flown but actually I was speechless. Our water bill had more than doubled. (which when you live in the desert and have a pool, is high enough in Sept.) Talked to the water company lady and she said to check for a leak and check the reading on the meter. We did both and still have no idea why we supposedly used that much water. The water company was NO help either so I guess you pay was that cut and dried. (ha, ha, dried........for that much water, something was WET!)

Then went to do some kitchen clean up.............and we have no hot water. Which means a new water heater or a repair and soon please! (at this point I have been up about a hour).

Opened the letter from the dental insurance company about the crown replacement and filling that my dentist says I need. As best I can figure out, they only agree to pay for part of what the dentist said was covered. But then, the dentist called last week and said they wanted a xray so I went Tuesday for that. How they got the xray and mailed out a response so soon is beyond me so maybe this was something else??
Whatever, there is a big dental bill looming in my future.............

Mama said there would be days like this. Poor DH just braced himself every time I started to tell him something this morning. As for me, I am staying put today. Can't get a shoe on for starters and besides, I figure when things are going this good, its best not to press your luck too far! Makes you want to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies and sit down and eat more than a few, but that would send my blood sugar through the roof and I think I have enough problems right now. I'll just have some of that sugar free ice cream!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Out of the Closet

Not everything in that closet full of treasures is a unfinished quilt. For several years I started in August and made applique sweatshirts for Christmas. My daughter took them to work and they sold like hot cakes. It was a great way to make some extra Christmas money and it was a hoot to see people wear my shirts. I got really sick of them after a while though and it would take a lot to convince me to do another one. This one is a left over, there are two like this (x large) hanging in there just waiting for their day! I made Santa's, snowmen and a cute moose from a McCall's craft pattern.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's a Good Thing!

Not sure if you can tell by the picture but that is a OPEN window. Now for all of you who are feeling fall and unpacking the winter things, you might not relate but bear with me.

When you live in the desert and need AC from mid April to sometime in Oct. just to function, a open window is a grand and glorious thing. It is cool enough to have the doors and windows open today and it is wonderful...........the house airs out and you can hear the outside sounds without the hum of your electric meter going full speed. Pretty soon I can bake without feeling I am doing a bad thing turning on a oven when I am trying to keep the house cool. Life is good!!!


That when it is needed, the AC is there in good working order and we can pay the electric bill.

That our outside time of year is almost here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

It's MINE!

Paris just loves my grand kid's shoes, backpacks, toys or anything they bring in the house. She did a good chewing job on DD's flip flops this summer too. She ignores our shoes so we think it is because her mama lives at their house. So when our grandson took off his shoes, she claimed them as hers. She sat for quite a while with the shoe on HER paw!

We had a great weekend. It was so good to get away and relax. We did some shopping and lots of eating and of course, lost money in the slot machines. That's how it goes. Enjoyed the river but really didn't get to spend anytime just sitting by it. I worked on the quilting of the table topper in the car and that went really well. Hope to have it almost done by Oct. 1st, if life doesn't get in the way.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Nothing New Here

I am still reading Mr. King's wordy book and have moved on to hand quilting the fall table topper. No need to post pictures again of either one and there is nothing else new that I can think of.

Hubby and I are off to Laughlin Nev. tomorrow for a three day weekend. He had suggested we do one for my birthday but decided that we would wait until this month when things weren't so busy. We are going the long way by the Colorado River. Hope to spend some quiet time down by the river, saying good bye to summer and welcome to fall!

Wish me luck in Laughlin, I will need it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Real Reason

I confess, the real reason that not much is being accomplished around my corner of the world is thanks to the below pic. Sunday night my dd handed me a stack of books as we left her house, and she told me that she really enjoyed this one.

I like some of what Stephen King writes but haven't read anything of his in a long time. So I started to read a few pages just to see. (forgetting the book I was already reading, of course).

One thing I must say about Mr King's writing.........he uses more words to describe the smallest detail that anyone I have ever read. Granted, it is very well done and he paints a beautiful, clear picture for his reader with those words, but after a few pages you understand why his books are so stinking thick! It is good, I guess. I can bury my nose way down deep and not see the things I SHOULD be doing!

Monday, September 17, 2007

More Closet Treasures!

I am still working on the blanket stitch on the fall table I thought maybe we could visit the closet again and its stock of WIP. These blocks were the summer of 2006 vacation take alongs. There are five of each color, all complete. Some need to be sized but other than that, they are ready to put together. There is one problem though..........I have no idea what color to put them together with!! I have some left over of each one of the print but not of the solid colors as they were scraps. I had half an idea, acted on it and now have no plan for the big finish. So I am, again open to suggestions from blogland. I am thinking that a border for each block consisting of print/white/print with a nine patch of the same in each corner might solve the problem. What do you think fellow quilter's?

I would love to hand quilt this one...........someday...........LO

Friday, September 14, 2007

For Mom

My mother passed away three years ago today. It was somewhat unexpected in a way and then not really a surprise. Her death was surrounded by family and step family squabbles that in the end, completely split my remaining family apart. It was not a good time in more ways than one.

On a positive note, I quilt today because of Mom. She was always doing something of a handcraft nature. She did beautiful crochet work, she made some of our clothes when we were growing up. I volunteered her to make a banner for my Brownie troop when I was seven and she was not happy.......but she did it. We had a old Singer treadle sewing machine and I learned what little I know on it. I say that because I might piece quilts but that is where my sewing ability stops..........straight seams! She had four daughters and all of us do some type of handwork. It's who she was, it's who we are because of her.

I have a stack of quilt blocks that she made, the last time I saw her we talked about the quilt she wanted to make with them. Someday I hope to divide them and make several quilts for family members. Just have not been able to deal with it just yet.

I am a much different person that she was, I take after my paternal grandmother (who also did beautiful handwork). But the thing that has always made me happy and content in life was a gift from Mom and with this post I send my thanks upward her way.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Strings Here and There and EVERYWHERE

Don't you just love all the strings on my topper in the picture below? Those strings just follow me everywhere..........and drive DH crazy!

Blanket Stitch is Almost Done

I have just a few things to finish up and the blanket stitching on the table topper applique is finished. I am looking forward to sandwiching this and getting on to the quilting. My goal is the first of Oct. but a little past that would still be OK. I saw a bag of gourds at Walmart today that I am going to get to put in my copper bowl to use with the topper on my table. Now, have these great plans, hopefully I can finish it! If not guess the bowl and the gourds would still look nice! LOL

If you see mistakes, that is because I am human. I have sworn off trying to be perfect in my work. If it is close to what it should be, I am happy. I read blogs where the quilter is trying for perfection.....and I, unlike them, live happily in my imperfect world here, enjoying what I am doing along the way.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Guess This Means He is a Big Boy.

My four year old grandson lost his first tooth today. It's been very loose and I have tried to talk him into letting me pull it without much success. We would get all ready and the minute he felt me tug on it, he would change his mind. So he ate lunch with this tooth just hanging by a thread. Later this afternoon he was playing and all of a sudden started laughing..........and came and handed me the tooth. It just fell out on its own. We made a big fuss over him and then he told me, "Guess that means I am a big boy now." I had to agree although my heart was not in it. He will always be my baby along with his sister. (and his mother and her two brothers).

I was there when all five came into this birth to the first three and observing (and praying hard) with the grands. And come to think of it, I was with all five when that first tooth came out........pulled several of them. I am so blessed!

It's been a hard week, my mother's birthday was the 11th and the anniversay of her death three years ago is this week. Losing his tooth made me realize that we need to focus on what might lie in the future rather than what might have been in the past. Those five babies I mentioned are her legacy in this world, along with quite a few others.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Still Using Apples

Here's left over pie crust with cinnamon sugar, rolled and baked. This is a all time family favorite, my kids fight over them.

My "made entirely from scratch, picked the apples myself" apple pie with lots of cinnamon in and outside.

Still have a lot of apples left after making applesauce, giving them to the kids, giving some to a neighbor and DH took some to work. So, guess its apple cake or apple muffins next.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Rant and Rave....Wal-Mart

If you are not into listening to some one stand on a box of fabric scraps and venting, you might want to forget this one.

I was in WalMart today looking for DMC embroidery thread to blanket stitch around the applique on my fall table topper. (I caved in and put it in all four is a bit much but without it, the blank corners looked too bare and I am not artistic enough to come up with something smaller to put there.)

They had thread, just a few assorted lonely colors in the big plastic turn tables that hold the thread by color..............on CLEARANCE for $.10 a skein. Only one of the colors I was looking for but I did grab some black and some Christmas type green along with a few others. I asked the clerk in the dept. if they were no long going to be carrying DMC thread and she said YES!! Can you believe it? She said it made no sense as it was a big seller and with all the hand works like knit, crochet and hand embroidery coming back into fashion, it made even less sense but that is how it was.

First some Walmarts did away with fabric depts., now they aren't going to carry a simple thing like DMC embroidery thread. They have a huge craft dept. with all sorts of weird stuff and no DMC? I think that Walmart is no longer a store for the people like it was started to be. Its a store for as much profit as you can make and to heck with the little guy.

I understand why the thread is going. To carry the 100's of colors takes a lot of inventory time and space. I think each skein was $.28 and even if you bought ten or twelve skeins, they maybe lost money. So out it goes and they will put something more trendy in its place.

I have heard a lot of people say they won't shop Walmart because of its policies. I won't go that far but I will spend less time in the fabric/craft dept. from now on.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Fall Table Topper or a Rebirth of Sorts

A couple of years ago I found someone's UFO in a antique shop. It is in no way a antique but a lot of what you find in today's shops isn't. It was a large log cabin block about 20 inches across plus a lot of cut strips and more odds and ends of fabric in assorted sizes. The colors were browns and rusts, very fall. The thing talked to me and said "take me home and finish me." (I saw in my mind all my UFO's some day in Goodwill because my children didn't have a clue what to do with all my WIP and assorted quilting "things". LOL) So, for $7 or $8, I bought it, planning to, of course, finish it someday.

When I got it home, I tried to sort out the strips according to size and found out that there was no consistant size. Some were torn and some cut and nothing was straight. The widths were different too. So, it was easy to see why this one was a UFO although the one block was nicely done. (either the person had help or it was from a class.............something went wrong somewhere that is for sure). So, put the strips in my strip bin and the fabric in my stash and forgot about it.

Then last week someone posted this Fall tabletopper on my Yahoo group. I went looking to see what I had that was fall fabric, and there was the already matched fabric just waiting.

So, to whoever might have started the log cabin block, please know that it has a new life. (and I think there is enough for more of the same if I want).

Here is what I have done so far. It needs the applique ironed down and stitched after I do the other two corners. I am debating that as it seems busy enough with just two..............going to sleep on it. Needs pressed too, but I am excited about the way it already looks on my table.

Cinnamon Apple Sauce, anyone?

Beings I have a "few' apples, I am making applesauce for the freezer. Can you tell that I really, really like cinnamon?

Chunky Apple Sauce

3 lbs. baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced. (about four cups)

3/4 cup sugar to taste

1/2 cup water

1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon ( I just add cinnamon until I like the color.......did I say I like cinnamon?)

In a large glass bowl combine all ingredients. Heat on high for 7 to 9 minutes after covering bowl with waxed paper. Stir once, cook until apples are soft and translucent.

Mash apples with potato masher to make sauce..

The applesauce in the picture is a double batch.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Arizona Apples

Believe it or not, they do grow apples in Arizona. We picked these at a Date Creek Ranch outside of Wickenburg. After you turn off the main road, you drive on a bumpy dirt road in the middle of the desert for quite a while. Then, you drop down into a valley and there is a working ranch complete with a peach/apple/pear orchard. The fruit is pesticide free and wonderful! We go every year for apples,sometimes peaches if we don't get them locally. This year the grand kids were old enough to go with us and experience the joy of picking fresh fruit. Colin did want to know why we didn't just go to the store and buy some apples but I think he enjoyed it once he got there.

I will make applesauce and freeze it and maybe a pie or two. (some apple crisp, muffins or whatever, that's a lot of apples folks!)

The ranch has cattle (hormone free) that they sell and there is pork available too. They also have horses, which made our horse loving girl very happy. I took carrots so we could feed the horses and the folks at Date Creek were great about letting the kids do that.

Here's the kids feeding "Sophie"


Fresh, juicy, crisp APPLES

Great folks who share their outdoor space with us city folks

A great day with DH, DD and grand babies

The diversity of this great state............mountains, desert and fruit orchards!