Monday, April 30, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
We hoped to take my son and his girlfriend out for garlic steak sandwiches and fries after the game--there's an excellent grill down the street from the park, but we found it was closed on Sunday, so we left my son and his girlfriend to celebrate with the team and headed home. On the way, we decided to stop at Mimi's for a light dinner. What a nice way to end the weekend!
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
I've sent my husband over to his sister's house this evening for dinner and to visit with some friends, but I needed some time to "decompress" on my own. It seems like the last month has been a busy time following my parents' accident and all that's come out of it, together with work and the rest of life's little aggravations and worries. So this weekend is for me--no pressure, no stress, my own mini-quilting retreat--at least that's how I'm looking at it. I think I'll go find myself some bon bons or something and kick back and relax. Or quilt. Or read a book. Or whatever else I want to do on this rainy day. Peace.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Have you seen the commercials for California cheese? I love those cows! "Happy cows come from California!" Yep, it's true. The other day I was kinda sorta lost on the outskirts of town and saw bunches of them. Of course, they all pretended they couldn't talk. When I asked them for directions, they just stared. I'm sure that once I drove off, they all got a good laugh too. It's not like I live in an unpopulated area, so I really couldn't go too far without finding civilization again--if you can call an automobile wrecking yard "civilization"! But the cows looked happy enough. After all, they don't call Sacramento "cow town" for nothin'!
So what's with the cows and the cheese? I was sitting at my desk today, catching up on all the news thats fit to print by my blogland friends and eating the last of the mac and cheese I baked the other day and I realized I was in a state of near bliss. Or as close to bliss as one CAN be, sitting at one's desk at WORK, instead of sitting in front of a sewing machine, quilting. And you know what? You too can experience near bliss if you follow a few simple steps.
Several people expressed an interest in my mac and cheese recipe, so I thought I'd share. Yes, I won't keep this recipe to myself any longer. Well, actually it never was JUST mine. You know those community cookbook fundraiser things? Some years back, I was involved in the PTA at my kids' school and had the brilliant idea that we should solicit recipes from the parents, publish them into a cookbook, and then make the parents buy them back. It worked out fairly well, and I ended up with a cookbook full of good, simple recipes. This was one of them, and believe me, the recipe is so simple that most of the time, my husband does the cooking. Bonus! So here it is, your chance to experience near bliss:
CALIFORNIA HAPPY COW MAC & CHEESE
2 cups of macaroni
2 tablespoons of butter (or margarine)
2 tablespoons of flour
1 cup of milk
1/4 teaspoon of salt
A dash or two of pepper
3/4 pound shredded cheese*
Cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Drain and rinse; set aside.
In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and then add flour. Heat until bubbly. Slowly add milk, whisking as you go to keep the sauce smooth. Add salt and pepper and continue heating until the sauce is thickened.
Add sauce to cooked macaroni.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter a 9" x 13" pan. Layer half the macaroni mixture, then half the cheese. Repeat. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until mac and cheese is bubbly and top is somewhat crispy and brown.
*About the cheese: Well, of course happy California cheese is best, but if you happen to be in Wisconsin or one of the other cheese capitals of the universe, sacrificing the flavor of California cheese may be necessary. The original recipe calls for sharp white cheddar cheese but just about anything you like works. The last time I made this, I had some leftover fresh mozarella and a couple varieties of Velveeta. Because they were soft cheeses, I added them to the sauce and continued to heat until melted. I then skipped the layering part and just sprinkled a shredded Mexican cheese blend over the top. Yum!
A word of caution though. If you eat too much of this stuff--which is easy to do, believe me!--well, let's just say you may be mistaken for a California cow!
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I've spent most of the evening trying to catch up on blog reading--my list has grown long lately! It seems like no one posts for DAAAAAAYZ and then all of a sudden, everyone has a new post for me to read! LOL! I didn't have enough time to leave comments, but I hope to get back to visit again soon! Happy quilting!
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Finally--and I didn't get a good photo of it because it's still in it's original plastic bag and just reflected the flash--I found in the box a orthodontic tool for removal of bands circa maybe around the 50s or 60s. Weird, huh? I'm not sure how it got in there. My mom used to work as a dental assistant/front office gal but not for an orthodontist. One of my best friends is a dental hygienist--I'll have to see if she collects "vintage" instruments or knows anyone who does.
Could it be treasure? It is, it is!
Sunday, April 15, 2007
My mom has had some boxes of "stuff" set aside for me for awhile now, and I finally brought those things home with me this weekend. In the next few days, I'll try to get some photos so I can share my "treasures" with you. In the meantime, happy quilting!
Saturday, April 14, 2007
I've had some sad news today that may take me away from blogland for a bit; or maybe it won't take me away long enough for anyone to notice. I debated with myself about whether I should post something just in case you came looking for me and I wasn't here, and I finally decided I would.
You may have followed my posts about my parents' car accident and know that they were in a nursing home for awhile. I'm pretty sure I mentioned sometime this week that my mom was discharged home. Well she called today to tell us my dad has a bleed in his brain and has been moved back to the hospital. At his age and in his physical condition, there's really no way to treat it, so it's just a matter of time before he passes away. It may happen this weekend, or he might linger for a week or two.
While I am very sad to see my dad's life coming to a close, I've seen his health deteriorate over the last several years. He has constant back pain and cannot stand up straight. He's had quadruple bypass surgery, and he's had surgery for prostate cancer. He's so hard of hearing, he barely knows what's being said around him. In the last year or so, I've seen his mind start to deteriorate as well. He's 81 years old and has lived a good life. I think it's time. Or at least my brain is resigned; my heart is another matter. But I'll be alright. I know it's really a blessing, because I don't think he would have ever gone home again, and I know he would not have been happy living in a nursing home without my mom.
My husband, daughter, and I will be going up to visit him and spend some time with my mom tomorrow (Saturday); my brother and his wife will join us, and they'll stay there for at least a few days. We should be back home tomorrow evening, but after that, I don't know how frequently I'll be traveling back and forth or what will happen. I'll post when I can, and I'm sure I'll be checking in on everyone's blogs to see what you all are doing. I suspect I'll quilt when I'm home and have time, because it's about the best therapy I can think of! If I find any time for quilting, I'll share with you whatever I'm up to. Meanwhile, if you notice I'm gone, at least you know why.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Anyway, peanut butter cookies. I remembered my mom likes peanut butter cookies too, so I decided to bake a batch and take some with me for her. There's something wonderfully delicious about this simple cookie! I also worked on finishing up an appliqued center square for a Jo Morton pattern--one of the classes I took from her. The photo of the center is posted below next to the pattern photo--which you probably can't see very well, but next I'll need to do a couple pieced borders. The pink fabric really isn't that bright--funny what photos do! I really wanted to start the block for Patty's and my applique project but I thought I should finish this one first. Now I have a clear conscience, so I'm ready for some applique fun this weekend!
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Yesterday, Paula tagged me for the Thinking Blogger Award. I'm sure most of you have seen it going around. Each person who is nominated then tags five other bloggers whose blogs make them think. I am greatly honored by Paula's nomination for a number of reasons, but one of the reasons that stands out in my mind is the fact that I'm a new blogger, having resided here in blogland for only a little over a month, and I didn't think there were many people reading my blog, particularly since I don't belong to a webring. So, I'm just tickled as can be! Thank you, Paula!
Watching this Thinking Blogger Award go around, I've found many more blogs to add to my list of sites to read--what I guess you could call recommended reading. I hope in the coming days to become more familiar with the ones I didn't know about before. (Note to self: Do something about planning better lunches.)
Because so many of the blogs I read have already been nominated--some several times--for the Thinking Blogger Award, I think I won't "formally" nominate anyone, but I would like to share with you a few blogs that are among my favorites and the reasons why, just in case you don't already know about them.
On my sidebar you'll see my two friends, Kairle and Patty. Kairle was the first of the three of us to begin a blog some time ago, but for a number of reasons, she quit blogging about a year ago and has only just started again. Patty, although she didn't have a blog of her own, kept up with the lives of many bloggers and told us about some of the "must read" blogs. I love reading both of their blogs. Check them out if you get a chance.
Since many bloggers only post once or twice a week and I've only been seriously reading blogs since I started my own, I'm not very familiar with many of them yet. But I can tell you about three blogs I've been reading off and on for the last year or so.
First is Thee Handworks. Many of her posts are deep and touching and when she's funny, she's very, very funny. The first blog entry I read was about a stuffed armadillo her husband's client gave him and what she thought she might do with it. The photos were hilarious! If I remember correctly, there was even one of the little critter laying on its back, holding a beer bottle! LOL! I wish I could link you back to that entry, but she changed from Blogger to Typepad and I'm not sure if or where they might be archived. This was what got me started reading blogs--and my friend Patty was the one who told me about the stuffed armadillo.
Two other "old friends" are Vicky at LA Quilter and Melanie at Covered Porches and Screen Doors. Of course, they don't know me, but I feel like I've known them for a long time. Both of them write sincerely from the heart. On occasion, Vicky has me rolling on the floor laughing--her post about her ordeal at McDonalds is just a riot! I hope you'll visit these blogs if you haven't already and enjoy them as much as I do.
On the quilting front, I attended my monthly Thimbleberries Club meeting last night and had a wonderful time visiting with that group of ladies and seeing what everyone has been up to. I think I may expand on my cherry tea towel project and make some matching placemats and maybe a potholder or two.
I did notice my scrap drawer was getting to the point where it could hardly be closed, so I think some serious stripping may be in my future.
Thanks again, Paula, for nominating me and everyone else who stops by to see what I’m up to!
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
At this stage, it's just the outline, but I'm envisioning that the pansies in my block will be done in blues, ranging from light blue to a deeper purple blue. The flags will be--what else?--flag colors. I think the flower pot will want to be a golden brown. And the ribbon will be red. I haven't put any leaves into my design because I wanted mostly pansies, but I might tuck a couple in so that they're peeking out just a bit if I need some separation and definition between the flowers. And I think I'm going to move the whole thing down just a tad so it's better centered on the block, but we'll see--I'll cut my background larger and center it that way.
Tomorrow night I have a Thimbleberries Club meeting, but I think I might spend the rest of the week working on this block. I should be able to finish it by the end of the weekend, but I need to make the drive up to see my mom on Saturday and run her around town--she's being discharged from the nursing home tomorrow and will need to take care of a number of things. My dad's another story altogether and we're starting to think he may not come home at all, but that remains to be seen.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
"The drop in blood pressure among participants who consumed cocoa products for at least two weeks was in the same range as achieved by someone taking drugs commonly prescribed to control high blood pressure. The fall in blood pressure credited to cocoa could be expected to reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks by 10-20 percent." Wow!
There was also news yesterday of a study that linked high blood pressure to hot flashes. Ah ha! Finally! Justification for that box of See's candies I have hidden in the drawer by my bed! And the dark chocolate M&Ms hidden in my desk drawer at work! It's MEDICINAL!
And just for a little eye candy, as opposed to the kind you can EAT (after all, this is supposed to be a QUILTING blog!), here's a little decorated dish towel I made last night. I still feel a yearning for all things spring, but I know summer will be here soon, so I compromised with cherries. Which reminds me, I think maybe I need to put some chocolate covered cherries on my grocery list! Have a wonderful chocolate-filled quilty day!
Monday, April 9, 2007
I was chatting a bit with the Mare's Nest gal about Martha Stewart--who seems to be on my mind lately--and mentioned that I think she has some neat ideas but some of what she does drives me nuts--like ironing sheets. Who in their right mind irons sheets? But, not being one to see everything simply in black and white, I started thinking about the gray areas. Was there some instance when I might be inclined to iron my sheets? This is the subject that occupied me on my drive to work.
Brad Pitt. Now maybe if Brad Pitt was expected to see my sheets, I might iron them. Do you think Angelina cares about ironed sheets? But then I don't look like Angelina either. Maybe if I had really nice sheets, he wouldn't notice I don't look like Angelina? Doubtful.
Who else? I'm not sure. Sadly enough, my fantasy life is kind of boring--or at least I'm sure it would be to most people. Mostly I fantasize about fabric. Quilt fabric, not ironed sheets. And I don't care much for ironing either. In fact, I fully embraced that look for men in casual attire--that rumpled, wrinkly look. Of course, my husband's a little rumpled and wrinkly too, so it's a natural.
And I have to wonder: If I ironed my sheets, would I be comfortable sleeping on them? Or would I lay very, very still all night, not wanting to get them wrinkled? And I think I would certainly HAVE to make the bed every morning, which I only do about 75 percent of the time now.
No, ironed sheets aren't for me, and neither is Brad Pitt, sad to say. Frankly, at this point, I'll be happy to go home tonight and find that Rocky, my daughter's boxer, hasn't slobbered on them in passing. Clean sheets--it's a GOOD thing!
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Does she look bored, or what? The consumate feline actress! Thank goodness the Easter bunny hasn't shown up--I can't imagine what would happen if we added one more animal to this menagerie! Have a wonderful Easter day!
Saturday, April 7, 2007
Friday, April 6, 2007
My online group was talking a little today about Easter traditions, and that got me thinking of a couple other things I didn't do this year. When the kids were living at home--even when they were teenagers--every year I'd boil between two and three dozen eggs and we'd spend the Friday before Easter decorating them. (My husband didn't really do any of the decorating. His main task was to eat them afterward.) The three of us are all somewhat creative, so we'd generally have a fun time trying to out do each other and arguing about whose egg was the best. Some of those eggs were pretty crazy--very few simply dyed eggs in this house.
And because I don't have a gazillion hard boiled eggs this year, I also won't be making the traditional but fairly gross post Easter meal my mom used to make. Tuna and chopped up hard boiled eggs in a white sauce served on toast. No, I won't inflict the recipe on you. It surprises me sometimes that I've actually made it a couple times myself since becoming an adult, but perhaps I was suffering from some passive-aggressive psychosis and wanted to punish my family. In any event, one of my friends said her family made the same thing but without the tuna, and her grown kids still call her every year to get the recipe. They had a little twist to their tradition though. Before fixing this meal (which was served as Easter breakfast), they would roll the eggs at one another in the driveway, smashing the shells. The winner was the egg that didn't break. How are these traditions borne, I wonder? It boggles the mind!
Well, I have one more day before Easter to see if I can get a few more things done. I still need to go to the grocery store and get whatever I need to make whatever kind of salad I decide I want to bring to Easter dinner. I obviously don't have this quite planned out yet, but I'm leaning toward a pasta salad. That's really the only "must do" on my list, because you know the world just MIGHT end if I don't show up at my mother-in-law's with a salad.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Monday, April 2, 2007
Last week, my buddy Kairle sent me a link to a blog called Cream Puffs in Venice. Great looking food, and I had to try out the pizza recipe she posted on March 18th. I added sliced Roma tomatoes to mine, but it was otherwise the same. Definitely one I'll have to make again!
Tonight, I think, might be a chicken Caesar salad night. (And I just may be moving into that period of not wanting to cook much, but that remains to be seen.) My chicken Caesar salads are wonderful--and very quick and simple. I'll have to tell you more about it next time. Until then, happy quilting!