Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Quilting Weekend

Rh and I will leave on Friday morning for her cabin up north.  We will take the long route, through the fall color  (hopefully) and local quilt shops.  In the afternoon, we will meet P and the 3 of us, along with the artichoke dip and chocolate that H bought tonight and the weekend supply of chili, will sew all weekend long.  I am taking the CWBQ applique, the dresden plate appliqued border, the crazy quilt and the wedding quilt to work on.  Any of these projects would keep me busy for the next 2 months so I shouldn't have any problem filling up 2 days.  H has plans too, he and the dogs are watching football and eating pizza all weekend.  I actually think he may be as excited about the weekend as I am.  I won't be here reminding him that the grass really needs mowing... hopefully I will have photos early next week.     

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Knitting is HARD

Ok, I'll save you the photos.  I spent 4 hours yesterday learning how to knit, well not really, but I did spend 4 hours putting yarn on a knitting needle.  Nita, if you are reading this, stop laughing.  Nita gave me a lesson on Thursday night and sent me a youtube video.  She said "make a dishcloth"...and made it look absolutely idiot-proof...  I spent most of the time stopping and re-starting the video.  They should make a slow-motion button for youtube.  Why hasn't anyone invented that yet?  Do they really think that you can get your hands in the right position and wrap the yarn around your thumb that fast?  And don't even talk about making the stitches.  First off, the video had several lines of knitting already done.  How does the first row get on the needle?  That's a different was amazing how many videos there were on youtube showing one how to knit.  However, if you didn't already know how to knit, most of them are useless.  Actually the truth is, I can now caste on and knit (hopefully after 4 hours).  But have to be kidding, my thumb doesn't seem to want to go there.  I need another lesson before I start the socks.     

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Perfect Day

Yesterday, hub called from his work at 7am and asked if I wanted to go fishing with him.  Of course I wanted to go fishing.  It was a beautiful, cool, sunny September day.  Who knows how many more of these we are going to get...  I called into work and after having breakfast at a local diner, we were off to the lake with the dogs in tow.  Most of the day, the dogs laid in the sun in the bottom of the boat.   Any time we were near the dock, Maggie, of course, thought she needed a drink and consequently spent most of the day pretty wet.  Einie was wet too, but just because he was following Maggie around in the water.  The fish were sparse.  I caught (and threw back) one middle sized catfish about 1:30 in the afternoon, but it was a lovely day to be on the water.  The wind was pretty stiff so we were glad that we had long sleeved shirts and jackets, but the sun was glorious.   We left the dock and stopped at the quilting shop on the way home to get a piece of fabric that I thought was calling my name (I can't say with a straight face that I need fabric), got a little ice cream for the road and the dogs of course...  and brought the boat home.  We then went out and had a salad and pizza.  On the way home we stopped and I picked a bunch of bittersweet.  There's nothing that says it is autumn more to me than bittersweet.  I couldn't find any last year and felt out of sorts until Christmas.  I guess hub has never been with me before when I picked bittersweet.  First he stopped along the road and said, "I can't park here, there isn't any room", well, you can, because I do every year.  But I got out and he went a little further down the road and sat there for a while.  Pretty soon he wants to know how long I will be.  A while...  He yells out that he'll be back.  So he went for his lottery ticket and left me there.  When he got back, I had a pile 5' high along the road, and was stilll dragging it out of the underbrush.  He was a bit incredulous that I was filling his truck up, but we got home with it...and I have bittersweet.  I picked off leaves until 8:30 last night and when I was done, stood there in the dark, smelling the cool September air and watching the moon and thinking that it was the perfect day.    

Monday, September 13, 2010

Victory Garden

My friends that own the land where I garden told me tonight that I had a beautiful Victory Garden and invited me back next year.  Grandpa would have been pleased.  I finished the harvest tonight, dug the carrots, potatoes, and onions and picked the rest of the tomatoes, peppers, and zinnias.  Harold will take the Garden Salsa peppers to work tomorrow to try and give them away.  They are so hot that I can't get anyone at my work to take them.  One of my friends used one in salsa and then had to use 3 times as many tomatoes to dilute it so she could eat it.  I'm going to mix the onions and the bell peppers in with the tomatoes and can the whole mess together tomorrow night.  I don't think that I will bother with potatoes again, the seed potatoes probably cost $3 or $4 and I ended up with a little less than a bushel.  I can buy potatoes here for about $3 a 20 lb bag so I don't think it really paid off to grow them, and they taste the same....  I have at least a bushel of beautiful carrots tonight and have been eating them all summer.  It turns out that two 20' rows of carrots is a lot.   And tomatoes!  I have another 2 bushel tonight, that makes about 5 bushel from my 34 plants of big tomatoes (I inadvertantly planted 5 cherry tomatoes too and could have fed a small army off those 5 plants).  I learned my lesson about heirlooms though, next year, back to the hybrids.  I can't taste any difference, any of my tomatoes from the garden tasted much, much better than from any store (and I know that I have eaten more tomatoes this summer than maybe in my whole life) but the heirlooms rotted like crazy and they are pink (not a good thing according to H).  I didn't mind that most of the varieties ripened over a long time period, and a lot of them are still green on the vines, but based on the rot, I'm going to Big Boy and Early Girl next year.  We'll see if it makes a difference.  I also picked the rest of the zinnias tonight.  I will miss them, they are the best variety and the one that I started from seed, so we will definitely have those next year.  I stopped and told him tonight that I was done, so I expect my garden will be plowed over by the weekend.  Though the garden has been a really good time, I bought Michigan apples today (Galas-wonderful) so it is officially fall now.  I'm going bittersweet hunting tomorrow.        

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Crazy Quilting Again

I started a crazy quilting class this afternoon at my local quilt shop.  Diane is an excellent instructor, full of ideas and knowledge.  Interestingly enough, she also lives across the street from where I grew up in Swartz Creek and her kids went to school with me.  Funny how small the world is...  I spent this afternoon auditioning fabrics for the 16" square, and then basting them in place.  I spent this evening practicing my embroidery stitches, most people learn this as a kid, I am a late starter to say the least, and am nowhere near as good as I would like to be.  I was in a hurry when I left this afternoon for class, I had just finished freezing the bushel of peaches, so I didn't take as many fabrics as I wanted.  I anticipate that I am going to do much more auditioning and basting before I start the embroidery.  The process of crazy quilting is to baste fabrics in a somewhat pleasing pattern on a base, we are using pellon fleece, and then use fancy embroidery stitches to actually hold the fabrics in place.  No machine involved... Then you get to use ribbons, beads, lace, and pretty much anything else to embellish the square.  My class is a sunday afternoon once a month for 4 months.  We'll see how much I get done.  As Harold says, there are lots of irons in the fire right now. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Boxes and buckets of tomatoes are here!  And after yesterday and today, 27 quarts of canned tomato sauce and 8 bags of frozen tomato sauce.  I oven roasted every one of them, skin and all, pureed them in the blender, and dumped them in the bag or jar.  It took awhile because I could only roast 3 pans at a time, they took 45 minutes to roast, and then, they had to boil in the canner for another 45 minutes.  It seemed like it was going to take forever and that is after I bought jars and went to 3 stores yesterday before I found a canner.  I'm pretty sure I could have purchased a lot of tomatoes for the time and money, (and H is positive of it), but I have them now and they are beautiful.  I'm done, at least until next week when I go back to pick the rest.