Thursday, July 19, 2007

Gotcha! Again!!

My hooded oriole visited this morning and this time, I had my camera set up and waiting, peeking around a curtain, and all I had to do was slowly squeeze the button! (well, that and crop out the vast wasteland that is my unfinished backyard, and this particular section is the dump for everything waiting for the next special garbage pick up.....)

He is so brilliantly colored in the morning sun! (even through the screen!)

And, a little more backyard beauty....

Not that we have a clue what we are doing with our roses. But I do love me some yellow roses.....(pink is pretty too!)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I have a "thing" for peacocks (and frogs, birds, butterflies, cats and name a few).

I found a peacock feather years ago and I was just astounded at the shimmering depth of the colors.

Take a look at this one! These pictures have apparently been all over the "internets", but they just made it to my corner of the web....

The person I received the picture from, forwarded it to me as "albino peacock." I wondered if it was even real, or if it was computer colored? Later I read on a peacock site that these are indeed real, and its not really an albino peacock so much as a mutant of sorts. Click on the pix to enlarge.

How absolutely beautiful.....

I'll blog about the Quilters' Run if I ever get caught up on my work.....but if I don't get caught up, I can't go on Part 2 of our "run".....

Monday, July 16, 2007

Its off the frame

We interrupt our regularly scheduled broadcast to bring you this message:

Its off the frame.....the center is machine quilted.....

Now, on to quilt the borders for which I wanted to do something a little different - not sure what, just yet!! Ideas?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Quilters' Run 2007 (Our First Day!)

Quilter's Run was so much fun. Here are some of the "pictures worth a thousand words!"

More details later - right now - I am way too tired to remember everything I wanted to blog about this day. Except this: It was a perfect day, with two perfectly lovely ladies and I really REALLY enjoyed it!

Friday, July 13, 2007

The second Second Friday

It was a great success! All three kids were able to come and even brought friends. We eventually cooked out in the back yard.

But first Ti Jae and Karen made their traditional dip. It is a layered bean/guacamole/ sour cream/olives/jalapenos concoction they have fine-tuned. They met over this dip many years ago, making it for Ti Jae's brother's birthday party and discovered they "shared a brain". They've been best friends ever since.

Mr. Patrick brought along his lovely friend Tawny. She is so sweet and has a delightful sense of humor. You will note, however, that she is just a bit camera-shy.

We could see she keeps him on his toes.......(literally, when she playfully tried to trip him at one point!)

Patrick did the honors on the grill for us.

He and Mr. B commiserated over the challenges of trying to stay gainfully employed.

The girls talked at the table while waiting for the food to be ready.

And Sadi joined us for the evening, and even struck a pose with us.

One of the dishes we had was a favorite summer salad of mine.

The recipe is oh-so-easy:

Confetti Summer Salad
1 cup corn
1 cup petite frozen peas, thawed
1 cucumber cubed (tiny cubes - pea sized!)
1/2 cup each chopped red pepper, green pepper, orange pepper, yellow pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped purple onion
1 seeded tomato, chopped (pea sized)
1/2 cup sharp cheddar or Monterey cheese, cubed (pea sized)
Mix with 1/4 to 1/2 cup mayo, and salt/pepper to taste. Chill.

We had the favorite Grilled Mustard Chicken. We had the usual hamburgers/hot dogs and accompaniments. And for dessert, I made Texas Chocolate Sheet cake, which I had completely forgotten about until I saw it on the The Pioneer Woman Cooks cooking blog. She has a really great blog where she shares her life on their ranch, with some absolutely awesome pictures (thanks to her I'm starting to want a new digital camera....she is SO gifted - her pictures are stunning!). But one part of her blog contains a link to her cooking blog, with her favorite recipes, and this cake is featured with instructions and pix. It is known on her blog as "Sinful Cake", or "The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever." And its true.

The part where she describes people moaning when they eat this cake? Totally true. Seriously.

I sent a significant portion of it home with Mr. Patrick for he and his roommates to share, and with Ti Jae for her family. Its dangerous for me and Mr. B to have around!

We truly enjoyed the time with the kids, and we're already planning the August Second Friday! Seems there's a new pizza place in town! Stay tuned for a review next month!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Twice as healthy

I have recently been gauging just how challenging a day I'm having, by just how early I dig into the icecream! (there's not much in life that a bowl of ice cream can't make better!!!)

Michael just left for a nice brisk one mile walk - one of four or five he will take today. I decided to get in on the act by having some low carb ice cream. At 11 o'clock a.m.

I made it a double....1 whole cup's worth, instead of a half cup. Twice as healthy, right?

In other good news....QUILTERS' RUN HAS BEGUN!!!!! Karene has mapped out a time-efficient and SEVEN SHOP route for us for this Saturday, and a SIX SHOP route for next Saturday! Plus we visit our own shop for class Sunday. Yvette is meeting us at 9 a.m. sharp and our "run" will begin!! Our families have been notified that they are on their own for meal preparation, refereeing of squabbles, wake up assistance, kitchen duty, phone messages, and dog care (in my case!).

These are our Oh Sew Holy Days, people! We can't be bothered with normal responsibilities!

Details Saturday night or Sunday morning, with pix!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sausage Cheese Balls

Second Friday is almost here! It will be Friday the 13th this month! (cue the Twilight Zone musical score!) I went to the store to get some supplies to make some old favorites for our cookout. I will post pix of what we make and our assembled group this weekend, but for now, here's a family favorite recipe that Karen made for a pot luck at her work. (Her place of employment is a fantastic place to work......they have potlucks for any and all reasons.....Yum!)

This recipe for Sausage Cheese balls is not a family secret. I got it decades ago in South Carolina while I was young and single and have used it frequently. I do not remember where this originated, so my apologies for not giving credit where credit is due!

My mother-in-law Maxine loved this recipe and used to make them when no one was home, so that she could freeze at least half before anyone knew they were there, and have them on hand to pull them out when company dropped by. The half she didn't freeze always disappeared extremely quickly. I never managed to get any of them frozen at my house....

They are fine at room temperature but really at their best when served warm.

The proverbial cast of characters:

Could this get any simpler? You need 3 cups of Bisquick, 1 pound of sausage (mild or hot and uncooked), and 10 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, grated. That's all.

Well, that and a pair of plastic food service gloves, a favorite chair, and 20+ minutes of your favorite TV show. Because you are going to settle into the chair, don the gloves, and hand mix, squeeze, mix, squeeze, mix, etc......until the mixture finally resembles dough. Or until your hands cramp too badly and you pass the job to someone else!

Pinch of pieces and roll the dough into one inch balls. Place one inch apart on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. (Until when you turn them with a spatula, you have a toasty looking bottom on them. It's pork, folks, and being a transcriptionist has made me painfully aware of what can happen if its not well cooked. I usually turn 'em and then bake 'em a few more minutes, just for giggles.)


We did manage to get all but about five of them packaged for Karen's potluck at work!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Random things.

Random thing #1. Its been a while. I am not entirely my normal positive self right now, but I'm working on it. Life throws you curves sometimes. I haven't felt like doing as much recently, but tonight I escaped to my sewing studio and spent a little time bonding with the Handi-Quilter frame and Janome 1600PBX.

I am getting a little better at meandering, and I am encouraged with how well it works. Especially when you remember to do important things, like putting the presser foot down!

Hey, stop laughing! There's a lot to remember! I got a large number of other things in place, set up, ready, adjusted, turned on, clamped down, pinned, and forgot to put the presser foot down. So, yes, I spent the first half hour painstakingly pulling out some birds' nests on the backside of the quilt. And then I tried again.... (double click to enlarge pix)

With any luck I may have that quilt off the frame tomorrow or the next day. I would like to try a kitty footprint pattern around the borders.....but that will depend on my intestinal fortitude when the time comes. Plain straight stitching might be a more prudent choice that would leave more of my hair (what little there is left!) intact on my head!!

But as soon as I get this one off the machine, Laurie's butterfly quilt goes on - Yay! I will likely meander it also - I'm a long ways from being able to do actual designs with a lot of accuracy. And yes, its the same butterfly quilt I worked on in Wyoming almost a year ago. I'm slow. Moving on!

Random thing #2. I read a comment on another blog today, talking about the four seasons in Southern California....and while I realize these disasters occur in lots of other places (so please don't be picking on my SoCal, which I happen to love a lot).......I did think this was cute: The four seasons here are Earthquake, Flood, Mudslide and Fire. (grin)

Random thing #3. A message one daughter left on her dad's car one morning last week. I don't have a picture of his response, but it was similar.....

Random Thing #4. A few serious thoughts, because as much as I like my blog to be lighthearted and upbeat, sometimes my life isn't. I commented to someone the other day, that the Beatles had it all wrong. Love is not all you need. If love was all you needed, a mother's love, one of the most powerful forces on earth, would be enough. And its not.

I would die for either of my children. And if I thought that it would free one of them from the monkey on her back and heal her mind, I would hug her one last time, and stand up and say, "fire when ready."

Life isn't always fun, and it sometimes Just. Really. Sucks. But those times are offset by such totally worthwhile moments, and I want them both to live, long and free, to experience those moments. I want them to know how absolutely indescribably precious and beautiful they are, and how much I treasure them and what joy they bring to my life. I want one in particular to believe it and to believe in herself. I want her to find peace and healing.

It is all I want. Nothing else matters. Nothing.

Random Thing #5: Why we should close the shower door when Le Tigre is on the prowl.

Random Thing #6: Max the Wonder Dog, catching up on current events with Michael.