Friday, January 2, 2015

I may have told you that my quilting bee is meeting at the home of one of the other members.  While we were packing up and moving, and unpacking, hosting the bee was more than I could handle.  Our new home is half the size of our old house, but we have room for the bee and two husbands to sit at our dining room table.  If more husbands decide to attend, I have two more tables where I can place them.  Seating is more difficult, but we can still  accomplish it.

This is our Souper Supper, which is very fitting, given the cold temperatures we’ve had recently.  It should be around freezing (which may feel warm!), and we should be precipitation-free.

So this is what I think the menu will be:

A Cheese Plate with Crackers

Golden Cheddar Chowder, Stuffed Green Pepper Soup, and Lasagna Soup

Croutons, French Bread and Butter

Caesar Salad

Mixed Fresh Fruit

Chocolate Cake with Raspberry filling, and/or Carrot Cake.

I’ll have to ask DH what he wants to serve for beverages.  We always offer tea (hot and iced), soda and water.  He may wish to add wine to the menu.

This will be the first time that many of my friends will get to see our new home, so we want to make them as comfortable as possible.

2015

Well, I managed to stay awake until midnight to usher in the New Year.  Dear Husband crashed around 10:15.  I was astonished that I was able to keep going, and was just thinking about going to bed, when the neighbors set off fireworks at midnight!   I thought DH might bound out of bed at the noise, but he was sleeping so soundly that it barely disturbed him.

I had planned to make a nice dinner, but DH wanted to finish off leftovers.  He did the same thing to me Christmas Eve.  I had a lovely dinner for two planned, with a beautiful setting, and we ended up eating in our bedroom, watching a PBS show of Gershwin music.  I guess I’m lucky to have a husband who is so easy to please.

I didn’t go out to bang a pan to drive away the bad spirits for the year.  I think the last time I did that, we received a call telling us that DH’s oldest son had died from a massive heart attack.  I’m not generally superstitious, but I don’t care to risk any of the other kids.

I hope that we will all be blessed with good health this year, and a Congress that is willing to work to pass bills to help the majority of the population.  Stay safe, and have a great 2015!

Merry Christmas

For the few of you who read my blog, I want  to wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best in this coming year.  I hope you are able to spend time with family and friends, and have a little time off to be able to enjoy the season

As usual, I’ve been experiencing my anti-materialism gloom.  Dear Husband has done the “hit the pavement” shopping, while I’ve handled what needed to be ordered via the Internet. It helped to be able to spend a day baking with two of my nieces, and celebrating with our exercise class.

Our exercise guru opens her house to a pot-luck brunch immediately following class on the final session in December.  I subbed for her so that she could be ready for her guests, and class was very pleasant.  The day before, DH made his famous latkes, and I baked “egg muffins.”  The muffins are basically scrambled eggs poured over chopped veggies and cooked chopped meat and/or cheese.  I cooked them for 24 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  They puffed up, and then sank as they cooled.  They make a very convenient breakfast, and can be refrigerated for several days and reheated.

I have lots of wrapping left to do for our kids and granddaughters. We’ll see them several times this holiday season.  In addition to Christmas, we’ll take them all out to a marvelous seafood brunch.

I’m looking forward to hanging the bird feeder that my sister gave to us as a housewarming present.  It’s a platform that holds a suet/seed ball that has fruit added to make it look like a little owl.  I plan to put it out Christmas Eve so that we can watch the birds.

My family has already met for the year.  It’s so large that it has become difficult for them to clear the decks to gather, and….a number of them are spread out over the U.S.  This year we were instructed to choose a DVD to give, and a “snack” to go with it.  It’s tough to buy a DVD for a drawing, so there were some hits and misses.  We ended up with two Mark Wahlberg action movies, and a Nicholas Sparks chick flick. lol

January 2nd, my quilting bee will come for a Soup Supper night.  I’ll make several soups and provide bread, salad and dessert.  This will be the first time most of them have seen our new home.

I’ve enjoyed this Christmas more than several in the past, but the materialism really bothers me.  The push to get the best price and the perfect piece of technology misses the point of the season.  I’d rather spend time with friends and family and not worry about gifts.  So, I’m the Grinch.  I hope you all will carry on the Season for me.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Weather

We have a bright sunny day today.  I doubt we have more than two inches of snow.  It’s just enough to cover the grass, but our street is clean, and most of the driveways are, too.  Dear Husband was “reading” the paw prints in the snow.  I think a dog may have meandered through, and we can see bunny and squirrel tracks.

We put up a bird feeder last week,  a gift from my sister, Frankie.  It’s the tube style which slides to cover the seed portals when a bird (or squirrel) that is too heavy tries to suck the tube dry.  So far the squirrels haven’t tried to bring it down, but we may have to deal with that as the weather closes in.  The little birds, juncos and finches and such, sit under the patio furniture waiting their turn at the feeder.

We’re supposed to get some more bad weather starting later in the afternoon on Wednesday.  Those who will be on the road to family will have tough going from what they are predicting.  Snow and sleet, perhaps some black ice.  If you’re out and about, please drive carefully, and watch out for those who don’t!

What’s new?

Well, we asked our favorite appliance repair company to come to check out our broiler and give us lessons on how to run our oven/broiler.  It turns out the broiler is fine.  It’s the users who need a little work.  While he was here, I asked him if he could order a replacement for the flange in the disposal that was missing.  If I ran the disposal, I had to place something above it, or wear what it threw back at me.  He couldn’t  help us with that, but offered to install a new disposal for us.  Normally I would have said “No” to an offer like that, but I went for it.  The inside of the disposal was rusted, and it sounded as though it was going to shake apart the counter when it ran.  It turns out it was a good choice.  There were signs of leaking at the bottom.  So, we are now the proud owners of a much quieter, cleaner, neater garbage disposal!

We’re going to resume Cookie Day!  I have probably less than half the space that I once had, and only one oven, but with careful organization, we should be able to do this.  I plan to bake the day before, and leave one refrigerated cookie ready to bake first thing that morning  We’ll use the eating area off the kitchen for some prep, as well as the dining room table.  I can clear the trestle table in the living room to store baked goods.  I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.  So far, there will be four of us, plus a five year old.

I finished two blocks for my great-nephew’s Minecraft quilt, and just kept on working on other projects.  I have a 25 block whirligig lap quilt in blues and yellow ready to be sewn together.  I want to add white, yellow and blue borders to bring it up to about  44 inches square.  It will be the first quilt finished for the 2015 season of Scraps on a Mission.

While I was at it, I pieced two blocks for a “Missing U” quilt, the large blocks that are crazy pieced from a single color per block.  The first is from strips of medium to dark blue.  When I began the second block, I had a handful of fuchsia triangles, so I sewed them to a variety of fuchia/pink fabrics to make squares, and then pieced them into two strips.  I was total happy just playing with fabric!  :-)

Let’s see if this works…

I’m working with one of my nieces to make  Minecraft quilt for her son.  There are twelve blocks, and nine of them are based on an 8 by 8 grid.  The most difficult thing about those blocks is having enough solid colors to accomplish the design, and then having to cut them into 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ squares.

This is the quilt we are creating:  Minecraft

I’ve made the sword and the diamond pick axe blocks which are the same size block but on a 16 x 16 grid.  Each square finishes out at one inch.

If you can see the quilt, then the link worked! lol

COLD!!!

It’s not supposed to be this cold in the middle of November!

Yesterday they said it would be 22 degrees in our area at the peak heat for the day, but with wind gusts up to 30 mph, it was going to feel more like 1 degree.  Just 1 degree due to windchill.

We’re bundled up, but I need to search for gloves and scarves.  I don’t usually wear a hat, but if it’s really bad, I’ll loop my scarf up over my head, and pull up the hood on my coat.

I know that there is more reasonable weather coming, but we’ve already had measurable snow (on Sunday), so I think we need to begin hunkering in.  I think I may add some things to our pantry, so that we can make meals without having to brave the icy fang to shop.

85% Unpacked

It takes time when you try to squeeze belongings meant for one house, into a house half the size.  I thought I was doing a good job last spring and summer, sorting and giving away books.  Of course, I knew, even though I didn’t want to admit it, that the fifty boxes of books in the basement were going to be a problem, especially as there were another thirty or so boxes left to pack.  We begged ale boxes from Binney’s, to be sure we would be able to lift those boxes, and still some of them were almost too heavy for me to lift.  What has really surprised me is the number of boxes of yarn I have.  Where did all THOSE come from???

We can finally see the floor in the living room, and can seat visitors.  The new blinds have been installed in the kitchen and dining room.  The sitting room off our bedroom has been set up, with bookcases, a flat screen TV and a love seat.  The shelving for toys and DVDs has been installed in the basement, and TOMORROW…..they will begin putting up the acoustic ceiling in the basement!

It will take us a while to learn about our house, a full year, I’d guess.  I’m sure it will have personality changes as we change seasons.  I just realized that we have a problem at the window in the dining room.  I think we have to do something about a seal, because there was water (condensation) on one side that will damage the blinds and sill if we ignore it.  And, our favorite appliance repairman is coming on Thursday to check out the broiler and teach us how to use this strange equipment.

I find it easier to decide what to do next now that we  are so far into our unpacking.  When we first moved in, it was difficult to decide just where to begin, and it seemed like an impossible task.  Buying shelving was a huge help, allowing us to unpack the kitchen boxes.  Books came next, and everything that says “Personal Papers,” or “LLC” has now been moved to the office.  I have a quilt to finish for Scraps on a Mission, and then the office will claim my attention for a week or so.

We’re almost there!

Where did Fall go?

We had an amazingly beautiful fall!  This is the beginning of the first year in our new home, and we were very happy to discover that we have a LOT of color around our house and through-out the neighborhood.

There are a variety of maples along our street.  We have one right next to the driveway.  The city has had plenty of forethought in mixing up the specific species of trees along the street, so we had quite the display.  Our neighbor’s beautiful gold leafed maple just lost it’s leaves this past weekend, the last to go.

A tree was removed from the parkway before we bought the house.  We hope to negotiate with the city on the choice of plants to be replanted.  We’d be happy to go halves with them on the cost, if we get some say as to what is planted.  Will they work with us?  Who knows, but it’s worth a try.  Meanwhile…winter, here we come!

Masquerade

Dear Husband has been invited to attend the Girl Scout Dad and Grand Dad Masquerade Dance.  Two of our three granddaughters are in scouting, so both Dad and DH are going.

Dear Husband went out yesterday to Party CIty.  All on his own he decided that he is going as Gumby, the tall green character in a children’s stop-action Claymation series.  He tried the  costume on and immediately discovered that it’s made for someone seven feet tall!  I need to do a little hemming.

P.S.      The link doesn’t work, but if you go to Google and type in   ” Gumby ”  it will lead you to several You Tube entries.  Click on the one from 1967 called “Gumby and Pokey Intro.”

P.P.S.  Pictures to follow!