Friday, February 28, 2014

A New Restaurant

Hi Everyone!  I love trying new restaurants!  I have heard from several people about Blue Lemon Well, let me tell you, YES!  I love it.  My friend Linda and I went to lunch there.  Linda is my Canadian friend.  Such a lovely lady.  We only got together once this trip.  Due to our adventures earlier.... 

OK, first thing we had was the butternut squash soup.  the best way to describe this is.....  hmmmmm, hmmmmm, good!  Kinda of like pumpkin pie, but in no way a dessert.  it is sweet, but a deeper, richer taste.   I would go just for the butternut squash soup. 

I ordered the chicken oriental salad.   Very good.  the dressing wasn't overly sweet, like sometimes it can be.  the chicken isn't chunky, it's more like deli sliced, thin.  I like that.  very moist and tender.  

Linda had the Pear, gorgonzola, chicken salad.  we tried each others salads.  Hers was very good too.  Not sure what they did to the pears.  I think there were cooked.  Again the dressing was light, but very flavorful.  

I would so go back again and again.  Especially for that wonderful soup.  I think I might take my Mom there next week.  I know Toni, Cyndi and Mardi would love it.  When Vicki comes the next time, I will take her there.  Maybe Bruce might want to go. And then maybe I can take.......
You get the picture. 

Corn bread, my way.....

Hi everyone,  have you been waiting for my fabulous corn bread recipe?  Have you been checking, and rechecking if I have posted yet?  It's ok, if you haven't.  I just had to write that. 

OK, another super duper easy, great tasting recipe. 

Now, before I get started, I have to tell you, my Grandmother made the best cornbread.  LOVED it.  Yummo!  Once in a while she would use this recipe I am sharing.  Mostly hers was made from scratch.  I have tried, I it's just not the same.  Now, my Mother, is an excellent cook.  This where I got the recipe from.  I remember making it in a plastic bag and squeezing it till it was all mixed.  I was so fascinated by that. 

Drum roll..... here you go......

Yep, Jiffy corn muffin mix!  easy, huh? 

I follow the instructions on the package.  Sometimes I add a can of diced green chilies.  Sometimes I add a can of drained canned corn. sometimes I add grated cheese.   Sometimes I add all.  Sometimes nothing.  This time, just the diced green chilies.  Then the magic!  I bake it in an iron skillet!  Mom always baked it in a glass 8 x 8" pan.  That's what I have always done too.  In the last couple of years, I have come to love my iron skillet.  To bake the cornbread in an iron skillet is magical, yummy, everyone gets some crispy cornbread edges.  hmmmmm, hmmmmm, good. 

I use 2 packages of the Jiffy mix, because I have a large iron skillet.  Make sure you have oiled your skillet.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.  You can always put a knife in the center and pull it out to see if it's done.  Do not over bake it!  You will be sad. 

Serve with butter, some honey if you wish, but serve it hot out of the oven.  Hubby likes it cold too.  But I think hot is best. 


Thursday, February 27, 2014

the Charm Swap is coming!!!!!

Hi Everyone!  do you like scrappy quilts?  I sure do.  I am a sucker for scraps.  My friends give me scraps and I am thrilled.  I can hardly keep up with cutting up scraps.  In fact I am behind.  But I truly love them.  Well, The Curious Quilter has announced the new 1.5", 2", and 2.5" charm swap.  the limit is 8 sets of 100 in each group. 

I want to do 8 sets of each size.  Am I crazy?  YES!!!!  But reality has to set in.  If I do it al,l that's over $60 in postage. 

Ok, lets look at this way.  I would get the same back.  would it decrease my stash?  No, because everything that would be sent back would replace what I had sent.  Just different. 

So I need to decide what my budget is, and what sizes I have to have.  then get ready for it.  The sign up begins March 14, 2014.  So if you are interested, please go over to the The Cuirous Quilter to check it out.  She has tutorials and lots of pictures for doing a postage style quilt. 

So here are my 800 2.5" charms.  Not sure yet how many of these I will send.  Because I want the 2" more!  I have some time to decide.....  go check it out....


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Yum, Chili!

I love soups.  I love my crockpot.  I love cooking easy!  Especially on Sundays! We have church at 6PM, so we don't get home till about 6:15 or later.  Who wants to cook by then?  Not me. 

 I have made this chili since my kiddos were little.  The ingredients use to come in a little brown paper bag.  So cute.  Now it's the same front, but a box.  I miss the paper bag.  Do I follow the instructions, hmmmmm, no.  Not really.   Is it the same every time?  Pretty much.  Always good....

Here is my chili recipe based on Carroll Shelby's Original Texas Brand Chili Kit - Fix it hot or mild. 

Lorene's Chili

serves a lot, fills the crockpot, super easy to make......


a box of Carroll Shelby's Original Texas Brand Chili Kit or something similar
2 pounds ground beef - more or less
small can tomato sauce
large can diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
1 medium diced onion
1 green pepper or two (this time I added several of the little sweet mini peppers.  I forgot to buy the green pepper)
2 - 3 cans of pinto beans (those are my favorites.  My mother-in-law wanted me to fix the chili and provided all the ingredients this time.  So she gave me 2 can of pinto beans, 1 can of white beans, and 1 can of kidney beans.)  It doesn't matter, it all tastes good.  except she tried to give my black beans!  No way! No how! 
1 small can diced green chilies
1 - 2 cloves of garlic, diced  (I have used the diced garlic you get in a jar too.  I have been on a fresh garlic thing, now for a while) 

I cook the hamburger with the onions, diced green chilies, garlic, and green peppers. I use the salt packet from the packaged chili kit.  you don't have to use it all, just what you want.    While that is cooking, everything else goes into the crockpot.  Including the season packet, the thickener packet and some of the cayenne packet.  You can use or not use the cayenne packet.  just depends on how hot you want it.  I always add a little to half.  I don't want my nose and eyes to start running!  Stir well.

when the hamburger mixture is cooked.  drain and add to the chili.  cover and cook on low for 10 hours.  So yummy.  I have served it with crackers, hot flour tortillas, and cornbread.  This time, with cornbread.  I will share that another time.  I also serve grated cheese, and or sour cream with the chili.  You can add it if you want.  It is better the next day.

 I know makes a lot.  but I will take half and freeze it.  So I don't have to cook on another day.  Like a day that I have been quilting all day and forgot to start anything for dinner and hubby will be home soon, kind of day.  It works for me!

So I am sitting here, writing this up, with a quilt on my lap.  Socks on my feet.  And I am cold.  I know, cold in AZ?  Well, it is 75 degrees.  That cool for this desert rat.  Hope you enjoy the chili.  Let me know if you make it. 


Monday, February 24, 2014

Stash Report - 2

Hi everyone!  time for another report! 

Bobbins used this week: 1
Bobbins used year to date: 1
Thread spools emptied this week: 0
Thread spools emptied year to date:  1
Fabric used this week: 0  
Fabric used year to date: 2 1/8
Fabric added this week: 6 1/2 yards
Fabric added year to date: 13 yards
 Net fabric add for 2013:  + 6 1/2 yards

UFOs finished this week: 0
UFOs finished year to date: 2

Instead of listing all my projects every week, and having some of them just staring at me, sighing, that I haven't worked on them.  I thought I would list what I have worked on.  That way, I can see positive progress.  sounds good to me! 

I sent out this past week, 4 sets of 6 6" nine patches, 1 set of  6 9" nine patches and 1 12" birthday block from 30s fabrics.  All for swaps.  no pictures.  I wasn't thinking!!!  but I figured I used 1 3/4 yards of scraps and precut squares!  I won't count it yet because it will come back to me.  I will count it when I make the quilt. 

I worked on Home for the holidays - from primitive gatherings.  I have all the snowball blocks done!  now to get them ready for applique.  I have started on the pieced blocks.  I am setting up one block and sewing it together as I sew other things. 

I worked on the 2nd block from Quilt Doodle Doodles

And my Blessing of Spring top is finished.  Now to quilt it and embellish it! 

I cleaned off my HQ16 table.  why do I pile stuff there?  that prevents me from quilting!!!!  anyway, it's cleaned off and Blessings of Spring is loaded! 

So for not sewing for a little over a month, I think I had a darn good week!  I didn't get blessings quilted, but it is loaded. My goal this week is to do 1 pass at a time, advance it, then go do something else for a while.  come back and do it all again!  I can do that.  I am not in a race to get it done.  Also, I got out a red star quilt that just needs the binding.  Probably about  12 years old!  I am doing a scallop binding on it.  the binding is all cut, just have to finish marking and sewing it on.  I can do hard things!  wish me luck.....



Saturday, February 22, 2014

How I tackle projects......

I like to think I am organized.  sometimes, I am very organized.  Other times, my sewing room looks like a tornado hit it.  Well, most of the time.  I guess I am a messy person.  For the last few years, I have played at picking the word simplify to help me keep on track.  It hasn't worked yet!  LOL.... 

Anyway,  back to the subject.  I always have lots of UFOs.  So I always have choices.  I do not like to sew only on one project.  I get bored.  I love doing leaders and enders.  No stress, no deadlines, no worries.  Just piecing away in my happy spot. 

One thing I came up with are block boards.  I made these at least 10  years ago.  I went to Home Depot and had them cut up Masonite  for me, into 16 " squares.  sometimes you can find remnants of these boards.  Is that the correct word for wood?  Masonite wood is not expensive. 

Now all that leftover batting you have stuck in your closet or drawers?  get it out. cut 16" squares.  I used spray adhesive and sprayed the rough side of the boards.  place batting on the boards.  Done, finished, that's it!

Now, Like I said, these boards are about 10 years old.  so there are a lot of little strings and such on them.  From time to time, I will try and clean them up.  I don't need them to be pretty, just functional.  and that they are!  I will stack blocks on each board ready to sew.  I do this as leaders and enders.  so while I am sewing on a certain project, I sneak in pieces from the boards.  pretty soon a block is done! 
When I start a project, I like to break it down in small bites.  So I have this notebook, with 5 dividers
1.  BOM (block of the month).  here I write down the BOMs I am currently doing.  If a kit comes in the mail, I write it down.  when I finish the block I write it down.  any info I need is written down.  I am about to start the penguin BOM from fat cat patterns  Vicki and I are going to do it together.  I have written down yardage requirements like the background needed etc.  so as I find/buy the fabric I can mark it off the list. 
2.  Current Projects:  Here are all my leaders and ender projects.  the page showing is for Home for the Holidays by Primitive Gatherings. 

I listed all my requirements for cutting by color.  then the blocks.  then the applique that needs to be done.  as each thing is accomplished I can mark it off!  I store the pattern in a plastic sleeve behind the paper.  I am starting Trail Blaze.  that has a gazillion pieces and different blocks.  breaking it down helps me feel not so overwhelmed with a big project.  I can do small jobs and stay focused. 

3.  Do again Patterns.  here are things that I make repeatedly.  gifty things, stuff for the grands, anything that I want to make again, soon!  there are only a couple of things there.  If I haven't made it, it gets filed away. 

4.  Notes.  extra paper and notes!

5.  Swaps.  each swap is a separate paper.  I list the name of the swap, the group, when due.  All important info that I need.  behind each paper is a sleeve with the pattern. 

I use a cookbook stand to hold my book.  it's on my sewing table in the corner.  Now, do I have you believing I am organized?  Good!  but only for a moment.  I am sewing today, and the tornado will happen!  Again...... 


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Something Fun!

are you always looking at things to help you get organized?  Me too!  somethimes things work, and sometimes they don't! 

I love the dollar store.  it's always an adventure on what you will find.  many moons ago I found some long rectangle trays.  I thought they would be great to put my cut up scraps.  Well, the trays are not very sturdy.  I always seem to bump it and there would go all my squares.... 

so, I was at the dollar store the other day.  Needed a few Valentine things.  AND pink is my favorite color.  They were 2 for $1.  I bought all they had.  I now have 6 cute little containers.  I loved them so much I went to another dollar store and bought 6 more!

A while back I bought some chalkboard contact paper. HERE  I wanted to try some different things with it.  I also bought this punch HERE  Well, I completely forgot about them until yesterday.  With chalk I wrote on the labels - 1 1/2, 2, 2 1/2, 3 1/2, 4 1/2 and 5.  So now I can place those sizes of squares into each container.  then when full, I can put them in my cabinet where I keep all those sweet squares.  Life is good!  I love it when my light bulb turns on!! 

I also bought these!  come back next week to see what I do with these! 


Monday, February 17, 2014

1st Stash Report of the Year!

this is my first report of the year.  I need to close up 2013 first! 

Bobbins used year to date: 88
Thread spools emptied year to date:  11
Fabric used year to date: 116 1/4
Fabric added year to date: 178 1/8
 Net fabric add for 2013:  + 26 1/2 yards 

UFOs finished year to date: 58

Not too bad.   I am happy with this.  I really want to finish 50 UFOs for 2014.  That will get me almost caught up!  I want to stay focused.  I do not want to let it get out of hand  again.  SIMPLIFY!  Wish me luck.....

ok, so far this year....

Bobbins used this week: 0
Bobbins used year to date: 0
Thread spools emptied this week: 1
Thread spools emptied year to date:  1
Fabric used this week:  2 1/8 yard
Fabric used year to date: 2 1/8
Fabric added this week: 0
Fabric added year to date: 0
 Net fabric add for 2013:  0

UFOs finished this week: 2
UFOs finished year to date: 2

Barn Quilt: all fabric bought, starting to cut out the first block. will start working on this again! 
Mini Warm Winter Blessings BOW: finished block 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 are done.  putting it all together! 
Broomstick Hollow:  Cyndi, Toni, Mardi and I are working on this together.  All half sq triangles are sewn.  starting to sew the half sq triangles!
Blessings of Spring - rebloomed BOM:  blocks #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 done. this week I will put the top together.   
Wool tulip basket table mat:  all ready fused and ready to do the hand part
Scrappity do dah:  in Thornberries we have started a new swap.  you can find the pattern HERE.  there are 4 of us swapping.  all my blocks are done! 
Scrappy CheddarBut mine is PINK!!!  I follow Tattered Garden.  I fell in love with this quilt.  I look where I keep all my scrappy precut squares and mercy, the 2" drawer is over flowing.  So I am using this as a leader ender project!  I have lots of 2 patches, 6 patches and 14 patches done.  I have 13 blocks done.  I feel good how the project is going..... 

This is a small wall hanging.  12 x 14.  the top has been done for several years.  I think Vicki and I did this together.  Vicki is yours done?  LOL......  sorry, I have no idea where we got the pattern. 
Last year, I went to Scrapbook, ETC to sew and go.  Loved the project.  that original one was given to Vicki as a house warming present.  a few months later, I joined a summer table runner swap.  So I made one for the swap and one for me.  I didn't get my runner quilted.  Isn't that the way it usually works?  This is 15 x 18. 

So between the 2 of these UFOs, I used 2 1/8 yards from stash!  it's a start.....


Sunday, February 16, 2014

I'm back..............

Well, life has been an adventure, and then some!  The year didn't start out very well for us.  On the first day of the new year, we went to the movies.  I tripped and fell and jammed my thumb.  my right thumb.  I am right handed.  I ended up wearing a brace for over a month.  No sewing for me!

Next, our granddaughter Zoe was mauled by a dog!  there were some injuries.  on her face and on her back.  She is a very lucky girl.  it could have been so much worse.  She is fine.

Next, Hubby thought he was having a heart attack!  We rushed to the ER, all tests concerning his heart were negative.  thank goodness!  However, in running a gazillion tests, they found his gall bladder needed to come out.  That was a Sunday, and they didn't operate till Tuesday.  They were pumping full of antibiotics.  He came home on Wednesday.  On Friday we went back because he was is so much pain again.  somehow his liver was leaking bile into his abdomen.  They had to insert a drain to get rid of all the bad stuff.  More antibiotics, because of infection.  They wouldn't let him go home till the following Tuesday.  With prescriptions for more antibiotics and the drain still in place.

Next, while Hubby was in the hospital, our grandson Hudson, who is 1 1/2 yrs, was toddling, running and ran into the table where the TV is kept.  He had the biggest egg on his forehead!  He didn't have to stay in the hospital, but he was watched closely to make sure no concussion.  He is fine.

This is about an hour or so after he hit his head.  it is about half the size it was! 

Bruce had the drain in for 11 days.  He was on so many medications, which restrictions to eat with food, not eat with food, take by itself, can take it with others, etc.  He felt like he was taking medicines 24 hours a day! the longest he could go was 4 hours without taking anything.  we set the alarm on his phone, made a list, and he was in business!

Ok, we are done with the roller coaster ride.  we want peace, quiet and some normalcy!  Bruce is doing great!  He feels really, really good.  He has started going back to work, a little at a time.  he has to work up his strength again.  I know it is all very frustrating for him.  There have been lots of prayers coming our way.  and we have felt them.  I know our Heavenly Father has been watching over us.

This is Bruce 11 or 12 days after his adventure.  His beard is almost white!!  How did that happen?  it use to be red. Maybe next year he could be Santa! 

Well, there you are!  our crazy, messed up adventures.  In the last couple of days, I have started to sew again.  Oh my goodness, I have missed it.  more on that in the next post.  I plan on posting some things that happened in December too.  gotta get caught up here.  Thanks for being patient.  I'm back!