Saturday, August 30, 2008

On The Cousin List

I just finished two easy panel with border quilts for the store's displays. The one on the top, "Come Sit In My Garden" is going on the list for one of the quilts the cousins can choose from. (you really need to click on it to see it up close to see the beautiful design of the fabric.... and yes, see Kim's fabulous quilting on it) Yesterday Erica and I picked out fabric for her first quilt. It was so much fun.... she's a natural picking out colors and adapting the quilt so she could make it bigger. She's going to take a beginning class from Melissa at Quik Quilts in Oct. It was just like taking one of your kids to the first day of school. Being an aunt is so much fun.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

On The Wish Train

I’ve been reflecting lately about all the time I have on my hands. It seems I’ve always been waiting for certain events to take place so life will be good. I couldn’t wait to get married and have kids…. be a mom and build a happy home. Then I lived for the day those kids would be out of diapers…. into preschool…. then eagerly anticipated all four of them in regular school. I was fortunate and was able to be home with them…. but it seems the whole time I lamented how life was passing me by and I would never mature into a successful career. When I did go to work, I found out I hadn’t missed a thing and could work circles around all the twenty somethings. By that time the kids were in their teens and I couldn’t imagine that would ever end. I was always waiting for them to outgrow some "stage" they were in. Oh, I enjoyed big chunks of that life, but not as fully as I could have looking back on it now…. waiting…. always waiting for all the responsibilities to lesson. And now, it seems in lightning speed the train pulled into the station and I’m living the life I wished for so longingly…. And I’ll be danged if I’m going to lament this time away. I’m a slow study, but life is pretty darn good now, especially with a long term illness in a state of remission. I have to run with the wind while the sun is shining. As I see it I’m on the caboose of the wish train…. what’s left to pine after… a knee or hip replacement, a dose of dementia? So I’ll continue to love every minute of the quilts I sew.

Along the way I must have lost my mind. Isn’t this the craziest hobby…. cutting up pieces of fabric that fit into a small size 11 ½ by 9 inch container and then sewing them back together again. It doesn’t look like that tiny amount of fabric will be big enough to wrap yourself up in…. but it is. This is the newest fabric that arrived at the store this week. I just love all the new bright prints they have for kids now…. I love how there is always a new technique to learn…. my association with other quilters…. new colors….. new ways of putting things together…. yes, life is good….

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rasberry Chicken Salad

This is a recipe I had at a luncheon at my cousin's baby shower. There's nothing like a good (& filling) fresh salad on a hot day.

1 bunch iceburg lettuce
1 bunch romaine lettuce
1 bunch spinach
1 sm. red onion, minced
1 cucumber sliced
Pkg. Quorn Chik n' tenders
2 c. fresh rasberries
2 c crushed peanut brittle (when I can't find this, I use honey roasted peanuts instead)

Dressing: Mix together
4 Tbsp. rasberry jam
4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2/3 C. oil
3 T. sugar

I have been busy this week trying to organize my quilt room.... get all my projects together and see what I need to get to complete them. (pictures forth coming) I'm going to carry on the Grandma Porter tradition and make a quilt for all of "the cousins" (my kids generation.... this includes you too, Dewey & Stacey) The only difference being that mine will be the lap size, snuggle up quilts. So if I post one that you like, send me a note and I'll put your name on it. This will be a project that will span a few years. I'm also trying to machine quilt one of my quilts for cancer. I'm starting with a meandering (stipple) stitch which is not as easy as it looks (pictures not forthcoming) I feel like a Kindergartner writing on my quilt. I have 2 more quilts to get done for the cancer project so it will be good practice. I hope everyone is having a good week.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

One quilt and a recipe coming up...

Here is another easy, easy recipe. In fact you will probably say.... "I haven't thought of making that for a long time... I'm so glad Denise posted this...."

Broccoli and Cheese Sauce over Potatoes
I like to clean and wrap potatoes in tin foil to cook them. I spray them with a little pam. Steam a bunch of broccoli. Thin some cream of celery soup with a little milk and add some grated cheese and heat, to pour over the top of the potato and broccoli.... you can top with some vege bacon (I'm the only one who likes it that way) This meal just tastes so wholesome and nourishing. Make enough for two nights while you're at it. Ken did rebel on the third night of black bean & zucchini burritos last week.... however, his only recourse was to make his own dinner.

So, I am now officially Grandma Porters cutter outer of her quilts. I love the cutting out part, it is soothing to me and I love to use up every bit of the fabric. I have several quilts going that use 1" strips. When it's done, there will be over 9,000 pieces in it. Some people might think I have too much time on my hands.... and I do. Anyway, mom is amazing how she keeps on sewing with limited eyesight and turning out majestic quilts. She loves to show them off so I thought I'd keep you all posted on what she's making as well. Kim Peterson is now the official machine quilter, as you will notice by the beautiful quilting on it. Uncle Evan has spoken for this one.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Bugs In A Jar

I have still been quilting up a storm. I have mostly done displays for the store from panels and then I put some kind of border around it. I used to dislike doing these, as it didn't seem like real quilting, but the fabric out now is so cute. I have been working on bug quilts for "the boys" for Christmas... and one for Aunt Kathy's new grandson (he is 7) and I'm giving the ladybug one to her new granddaughter (she is 1) Kim did the machine quilting on it.... she is just amazing and turns any quilt, no matter how poorly sewn, into a work of art. Click on the picture to see her echo quilting around the daisy's and ladybugs.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bonus Recipe

I made Val's recipe last night and it was so delicious.... I've added her link so you can view it. (you need to click on the picture to see the enlarged version... it looked like it was right out of Better Homes & Gardens) Very classy, Val. The things I did different....... I cut the corn off the cob first and simmered with onion, only adding a couple of Tablespoons of water to cook them. I added the other ingredients at the end and let them heat through for a few minutes. And instead of the salt, I added garlic salt and italian seasoning. (the two spices I think makes everything taste better) We had it over Quorn's Naked Cutlets and I steamed some cauliflower to go with it, as it is Ken's favorite.

Valpal & the Sea of Stories: Delicious Salmon Recipe

Monday, August 4, 2008

Recipe of the Week

Another easy does it recipe. Again I make double, and have enough for a few days & some for the freezer. I just can't seem to pare down my cooking to adjust from 6 to just the two of us. It seems like too much trouble if I only cook 2 portions.

Black Bean and Zucchini Burritos
Cut up one onion, cube a zucchini and yellow squash.
Season with garlic powder & italian seasonings (basil, oregano, parsley, if adding separately)
Cook until just getting tender. (you don't need to add any water... just spray with some pam)
Rinse a can of black beans and add to the mix. It is done when it's heated through.
Put on one of those big specialty burrito shells.... you know the ones with spinach or sun dried tomotoes in them, and the wheat ones are good too.
And there you have it. It is yummy with sour cream and salsa. Sometimes I add a tomato.

Make up a package of Spanish Rice as a side dish.

I owe a big thanks to my mom for instilling in me the importance of a nutritious dinner meal. Even if my day is a total bust, I still feel a sense of satisfaction if I have made us a healthy meal at the end of it.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Now Only Four Leaves A Great Gaping Hole

I posted this on my other blog.... but decided to post it here as well.... part of veering away from the notion that everything on this blog doesn't always have to be about the routine, free of any difficult emotions place.

It has been a month since David took his life. The word dead, seems to roll around in the back of my throat and swallowed before I can say it. I can barely type it. It is said the first stage of grief is denial. I used to always think, how can you be in denial when someone has died? Dead is dead. And there it is in a nutshell. I startled awake in the middle of the night this week, my heart lurching in my chest…. David is dead. It’s like I acknowledged for the first time what that really meant. All of our experiences with him will now only be memories. How we’ll miss him cooking up a feast on Christmas… teasing all the cousins… making silly jokes. We were just beginning to renew our friendship this year, after years of my living away. In the past we didn’t talk often or long, but that was beginning to change. I cherished the times we had conversations where he revealed what he was really thinking. He always had an interesting perspective on things. That will be no more. So much lost just as it was beginning to be refound.

Having tried twice myself to put an end to living, I can’t help but reflect on all the joy I would have missed out on had I been successful. Watching my kids grow up to be such awesome adults. Happy days with the grandkids…. listening to all the endearing things they have to say….. marveling at their little personalities taking shape and changing. I’m so sorry he will miss all that. His life free from the chains of alcohol had taken flight. Now a new love ended just as it was beginning to blossom. It’s like a second life starting again, once your kids are grown and on their own…. adult friendships grow in the place of parental strife. He had that. So many new firsts out there waiting for him to discover are forever out of his grasp. I am saddened more for his losses than the ones I am left with.

It seems I still think about him every hour of every day. Thinking of his precious kids, knowing how they hurt. Hearing the melody in my head, Blackbird Singing In The Dead of Night…. And I can only whisper again, Godspeed, David, Godspeed. I miss you and all that you were becoming.