Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Fruits of Our Labors

Someone asked whether I was happy we had decided to stay home for vacation, and I really am! This is soooo much better than driving around from place to place and sleeping in strange places.

Today was our day to stay home and catch up on a few things--like chores. But at least I won't be coming home from vacation to a house that needs to be cleaned and laundry that needs to be done, and that's a good feeling!

The first "chore" I did today was to rummage around under the bathroom sink and pull out a hair highlight kit. Since I did that major shave and all yesterday, I figured I'd go all out and do some highlights in my hair. It turned out okay--not great because I'm not real patient with doing stuff like separating out eight strands of hair at a time, but I think it's okay. And if I decide after a few days that it's not, I'll go down to the store and get a box of all-over color.

While the highlight color was developing, I got busy cleaning house. Of course, that took longer than the hair, but I managed to jump into the bath and wash the color stuff off and then clean the bath too. It's all good.

In between chores, I worked a little on the witch applique, basting letters. Here's a photo of that center panel--the letters are just pinned on for now because I'm not certain what I'm going to do to the border blocks yet and I may have to trim down the center panel, so I thought I'd wait until I'm sure of the space available. The rest is done, though, other than various embellishments and embroidery I'll add later. (I'm kind of thinking about naming her Dottie. Any other name suggestions?)

Speaking of quilts, Shasta wrote me this morning to tell me she had finished her Happy Jacks quilt! I'm so pleased that someone used my directions and made a quilt--and hers turned out great! Click on over there and take a look.

Then tonight I heard from a no-blog friend, Synthia, who sent me a couple photos of the Happy Jacks quilt top she's been working on. Here's one of the photos:

Synthia's thinking about adding leaves and vines rather than Jack O'Lantern faces. I think it's terrific, and I'm looking forward to seeing it when she finishes!

I was supposed to go to Thimbleberries Club this evening, but as the time approached and I thought about driving across town in work-hour traffic, I decided to skip this meeting and stay home and play with peaches.

I ended up with six large jars of brandied peaches. I originally had seven, but the weirdest thing happened. When I had finished processing the jars and was lifting out the second batch of three jars, the bottom of one of the jars separated off, and all the peaches ended up in the water bath! I suppose the jar must have had a crack or flaw, but I would have expected it to crack when the jar was heated during sterilization. Oh, well, it's not like I don't have six more jars. And about a third of a box of peaches left! (Plenty left for a couple pies and/or cobblers!)

Hubby, by the way, wasn't a slacker in the kitchen today either. If you look at the photo of the canned peaches, to the right you'll notice a glass pumpkin filled with cookies. Yep, Hubby baked cookies this morning. Good man.

Tomorrow morning we get our flu shots, and then I think we'll head back up to the foothills (but not to Apple Hill this time) for lunch and to wander around. Thanks for taking the time to stop in and see what I'm up to!


Eileen said...

OH, those peaches look sooo good. To bad you lost one jar. Did you rescue the peaches?

How about a picture of those highlights?

ranette said...

My mouth was literally watering as I read your post about the peaches...yummy!

Louise SS said...

The peaches look great! Wish I had some. Here in Sweden we rarely get good peaches, at least not up north where I live. And since I lived many years in southern California I know the difference. Oh well, you can't have it all...
Enjoy your stay at home vacation! I love to travel but sometimes it is nice to just stay home and not have to go to work.

PunkiePie said...

I need a stay-cation! My chore list is really piling up. It wouldn't be much of a vacation but at least my "to do" list would be MUCH shorter.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Jen :)

MichelleB said...

That witch quilt is ADORABLE! And those peaches sure look good! I want some right now.

paula, the quilter said...

I have had the bottoms of jars fall off in the past. I hope you DIDN'T rescue the peaches. Glass fragments, you know. I thought I lost a jar of tomatoes last weekend when I canned them because I heard a "CRACK" during the processing time. Uh-oh. But nope, I got all 6 jars just fine. I think that is the most satisfying sound: the pop of a seal when the jar starts to cool.

Kim said...

I think Dottie is a GREAT name!!! Your peaches look wonderful. I usually do Jam, I never tried peaches.. Do you have an old tried and true recipe or did you find a new one in a recent cookbook find??? Your vacation is exactly how I would like to spend mine.. doing things we like around home and relaxing.

Chris in Sacramento said...

Missed you at Thimbleberries last night. Esmeralda showed the Happy Jacks quilt she made from your tutorial. So cute! Well Martha, I hope you and Mr Stewart, have a great rest of the vacation!
Chris in Sacramento

Patti said...

Years ago when I canned literally hundreds of jars of fruit and vegetables to feed us through the winter I had this happen a couple times. As far as I could tell the jars had no cracks - I always checked closely for that. Seems like they were also jars that I'd used before. Always thought it was very odd!

Nan said...

Yummy, brandied peaches! The cookies hubby baked look yummy, too! Don't think I'm hungry, do ya? LOL
Love your witchy-poo! I think Dotty is a good name for her! I'm too hungry to think of another name....sorry!
Shasta did a wonderful job on her happiness Jacks and Synthia has a great idea! Just think, you made all this creativity possible!! Makes a mother proud, doesn't it?