Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday Antics

Game of the day.....

Tug Of War - poor Mr. Frog!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

In The Garden

I haven't been able to garden much since moving to Colorado.  One reason being is we have a 1/3 acre lot and the soil is terrible. It's more like ground rock with no organic matter.  I do have a nice planter area on one side that gets a lot of shade which I would like to use for shade loving plants.  I friend of mine gave me some divisions of some of her perennials but they lasted one night.  Dug up by either the local rabbits that are everywhere or by our dogs.  I want to put in raised beds around the back patio which should solve that problem.  Until then I am content with a few pots on the porch.  Like California, we have water restrictions which makes it almost impossible to have the lush gardens like we used to anyway.

Even though it hasn't been much, my hanging pots of petunias has been a real treat.  You see, this is the first time I've been able to grow them.  The area I lived at in California was largely agricultural.  Our small tract was surrounded by fields of almonds, hay, and peaches which means you have a lot of insects.  It was a constant battle to keep the worms and spider mites off the petunias,  marigolds and geraniums.  I finally just gave up and stopped planting them.

Well here in Colorado we don't have the agriculture in this particular area.  With our high altitude we don't have as many insects and because of the snow and cold temperatures we don't have snails.  We don't even have to treat our dogs and cats for fleas!!!

So even though it's not much right now, I'm content with my two hanging baskets of petunias.  Getting back to basics and being grateful for the little things.

Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Wise Encyclopedia of Cooking Peanut Butter Cookies

I don't know what brings back sweet childhood memories more than a plate of warm peanut butter cookies and a glass of milk.  I have had this particular cookbook forever!  I don't even remember where I got it.  I've only made one thing from it - Peanut Butter Cookies.  Let me tell you, that is enough!

This particular book was published in 1948 by Wm. H. Wise  & Co., Inc..  I don't know if they are still in business, but they published a line of "encyclopedia" books such as cooking, gardening, sewing, fishing, shooting and even a medical reference book.  I have the gardening book and I want to order the sewing book.

Back to the cookies.  These are the cookies my children remember.  When they were little I made them often.  When my son was in the Navy, these are the cookies I sent to him when he lived back east and the cookies I made for him to take back when he was home on leave.  I recently made a batch for him to take to work.  "You're mom should make these and sell them!"

I can't take any credit.  It's a great recipe.

This is not the best fancy staged picture.  But oh, are they good!!!

Here's the recipe for you all!!! One thing to note.  Since the published date is 1948 you have to remember one thing.  Back then portions were small.  No super sizing like we have today.  So the least I do is double the recipe and most times I quadruple it.  I also make them bigger than they suggest.  I have found at our altitude (5,280 feet) 13 minutes is perfect.  I also add a tablespoon more flour for each batch and smidge less baking powder.  It's an altitude thing! " If you are anywhere near being a flatlander, you should do fine following the recipe just like it is.  Oh, I also add more peanut butter than it calls for.  To quote one of my favorite chefs, "how bad could that be?

Make them and please let me know how they turn out!!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Sewing on the Fourth Day

I've been attempting to more sewing done and also use up some of the many precuts I have stashed away.  This is a Disappearing Nine Patch, a pattern I've made many of.  Easy peasy.  The fabric is Paris Flea Market, soft and romantic.  I just have to add borders and quilt it up and it's done.

I laid it out on the couch to take a picture to send to a friend and like magic - dogs appear.  This is Bonnie on the left and Allie on the right.  We still have the Scotties, Maggie and Mollie but they are by no means as social as the pugs so it's more difficult to get their pictures.

Gotta go look for a lint (dog hair) brush!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

I Cooked!!!

  Those close to me know that I don't love to cook.  Eat, yes.  Cook, no.  I don't mind baking, although I'm having to work on my skills since moving to a high altitude location. I have quite an extensive collection of cookbooks and I tell people they are for staging so people won't think to badly of me. Actually, my cookbooks are more like fictional novels to me.   I think if I was living alone I'd subsist on egg sandwiches, peanut butter and granola bars.

I get too busy doing other things like cleaning and quilting and playing with the dogs.  All of a sudden the family wonders where dinner is.  What's up with that?  Our son (and his two pugs) is staying with us while his house is being built so I have to please two men and actually.......cook!  Oh, the horrors!!!

One of my favorite fictional reality shows is The Pioneer Woman on Food Network.  Who doesn't love Ree Drummond?  One of the things on my bucket list is to either meet her or win something from her.  She makes everything seem so effortless and fun!  Yesterday I watched her show and decided I had most everything to make this fabulous casserole.  I quickly ran down to the store and got the other things I needed and - voila - dinner!  Easy peasy!!!  She advised that you can make this and serve it right away, put it in the fridge and bake for the next day or freeze it for later.

Cheesy Sausage Rigatone
by The Pioneer Woman

Our son really loved it and I got a hug and a "well done, Mom!"  He even took some to work for his lunch.  I hope he doesn't think I'm going to start doing this "cooking thing" everyday!  Seriously, it would be a good idea to at least try one new recipe a week.  The recipe was easy and delicious.  It would be great for a pot luck or after church Sunday supper.  Here's the recipe.  If you don't care for Italian Sausage (I used the mild) you could use ground beef.  If you are a vegetarian, you could skip the meat all together.  Serve it with garlic bread and a salad and call it a day!

In a few days I'll share my famous peanut butter cookie recipe.  Easy peasy and addictive!

Have a fabulous week ahead!!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Flag Day

People across the United States celebrate Flag Day on June 14 each year to honor the United States flag and to commemorate the flag’s adoption. On the same day, the United States Army celebrates its birthday.

To learn more about Flag Day in the United States visit this web site for the National Flag Day Foundation here.

Friday, May 29, 2015

A New Technique in the Quilt World

I spent part of the afternoon yesterday spray starching fabric for a couple projects I'm working on.   I don't know about other quilters, but I like to try new techniques that will make my cutting and sewing more accurate.  I first read about this here on Nicole's blog of Sister's Choice fame.  She's an awesome quilter and I always learn so much from her.  Go on over and read about it.  She heard about it from everyones favorite Moda quilter, Carrie Nelson on her post here. Go ahead on over and read what she has to say as well.  There's not much more for me to add to what they wrote except to say it really works.  I had tried it on one fat quarter the day before.  After the fabric dried and was ironed I cut it out.  Wow!  The pieces were nice and crisp and cut like a dream.

I laid the fat quarters across our patio chairs and clipped them together with those awesome little wonder clips so they wouldn't fly away in the wind.

Then I sprayed the berjabbers out of them.  Yes, that's a word!

I'm trying to use up some of my pre-cuts and I'm working on a jelly roll race quilt.  I had purchased this drying rack at a garage sale ($2 - score!) so I draped and clipped the strip sets I had on it and sprayed away.

Nice and neat and organized.  It was sunny and breezy and took no time for them to dry.

Notice the long grass in the background?  We have a 1/3 acre lot and most of the back is lawn.  We have had a tremendous amount of rain this year and has rained most every day in May.  I fertilized the lawn which made it grow and grow but it rains so you can't mow.  We're just about caught up cutting it though and, hopefully, with a few dry days we can get it all mowed and looking nice again.  I did threaten to borrow my friend's llamas so they could graze it down for me but I don't think our HOA would appreciate it.....

I have two pieces of advise.  First, buy cheap inexpensive spray starch at the dollar store.  You're going to use a lot!  I know, we all love Best Press and it's my go to spray sizing.  However, this is not the time to use it.  Secondly, purchase one of these gizmos that fit on the top of spray paint cans.  They really help your hand and fingers from getting so fatigued.

Some gals at one of my quilting groups were talking about this technique the other day and, on the most part, they thought it was a waste of time.  Of course, they hadn't tried it!  To me, quilting is a growth process.  You need to challenge yourself to try new things.  Anything that makes us a better quilter can't be all bad.  Right?

Let me know how you do.  What have you learned lately that has knocked your socks off?

Friday, May 8, 2015


No, I didn't grow these flowers.  I bought them yesterday at Trader Joe's.  $10 for a vase full of beauty. They make me happy just looking at them.

I am so glad Trader Joe's came to our little corner of the world!!!