Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Things I like Thursday Apr 19


Once again, the week flew by. This time due to medical issues-- again.  I swear this has been a long year of issues and it's only April. Running back and forth to doctor, blood tests, etc.etc. Oh and new drugs-that's my favorite   -NOT.   Of course, I'm even missing my Wednesday sewing  meeting I just joined!
Oh well, hope things calm down soon.

In the meantime, I do have a list of likes that have been making me happy:

1. "Cuban" pork ribs.
I used pork shoulder ribs (a cheaper cut of meat) and cut small slits in the meat. I combined  2T olive oil, juice of 1 orange, lots of salt and pepper, 1tsp lemon juice, 1tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp cumin, dash of cayenne and dash of Italian seasoning in a small bowl . I put the ribs in the crock and brushed them with the seasoning mixture. Then I added a bay leaf to the top of each piece. Cover the whole thing with parchment paper and then the lid. Cook on low 6 hours. =DEVINE.

By the way, I have used this seasoning mixture on chicken thighs in the crock pot without the orange and it's very good.

2.My 30 day old tomato plant update
I'm pleased to say I have a few buds!

3. My 30 day snow peas update:
From seed!!  yay!! Since this photo was taken, I 've added strings for them to climb on.

4. Roasted Red Pepper Pasta courtesy of The Pioneer Woman.
This entire sauce is made from a jar of roasted red peppers- no tomatoes.  Here is the recipe: 

This was relatively easy and SOOOOO good.  A welcome change from tomato sauce. 

So, as you can see - I'm cooking and eating well.  I just need to find more time to sew! 
Hope everyone is finally warming up in the northern states!  Enjoy your day and thanks for dropping by!
mary   💮

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Things I like Thursday Apr 12


Just in case you are wondering-we will probably hit 100 degrees today! Yeah, our So- Called- Spring was about 3 weeks. Ugh.   It's been a pretty busy week- new brakes on the truck, new fan installed in the living room and new blinds installed in the living room and dining room. This is an old home(1973) so some things were not made to last forever. However, see my number one "like" and others below:

1. Renting my home not owning. My last home was a money pit and as I've gotten older I can't repair or install stuff myself.  So then I had to pay for those repairs/installs or ask the kids for help. In the words of the "church lady"- "Not gonna happen".
The drapery rods fell out of the wall at the living room window when I went to close the drapes last Friday! Scared the daylights out of me! I lifted one rod hanging to the floor  and stuck it back up against the brace (the other is left on the floor with the ugly old drapes ).  Called the landlord, threw up a sheet and left for the quilt shop.
The repair guy came yesterday and installed custom blinds!  Love them- so much prettier and easier to clean. I don't know why he put  the rods back up on the wall. weird.

2.  The movie, The Martian. 

Sorry, this is the only photo I could find.   Matt Damon was cast perfectly for this role. The story kept me totally engrossed!  I love getting lost inside a movie.

3. Omiyage for Safelight. This is from the website,From My Carolina Home. Carole provides a project each year for shelters that provide services for domestic violence.  This year, the project is to make a very quick, easy, set of sunglasses case and cosmetic case:
I stopped all sewing and made a set in order to meet the deadline.  I used 2 fat quarters alternating the outer vs inner fabric. So cute.  Stuck them in the mail today.  Otherwise, they would never have been done in time. I provided the link to her website above and hope you will check it out.

4. The HST Cheat Sheet provided by Jacquelynne Steves at : jacquelynne

I couldn't duplicate this correctly for you, but have provided the link above in case you want to get it. I'm going to start a new project soon that requires HST's made with triangles and I  need to change the instructions so I can make HST's this way ( I don't sew triangles together to make a square -well at all).
This way, you determine the finished square needed, cut 2 squares, sew the 2 together down both sides of the diagonal, cut down the center and you have 2 HST squares.  So much easier and more accurate.

5. My new Rolling Shopper Tote from Amazon.

Officially, it is Olympia USA Cosmopolitan Rolling Shopper Tote.  It's for traveling with quilting supplies to class or a sewing day. It arrived yesterday and is big. Vinyl on the outside for easy cleaning and durability.  I needed something on wheels, but not my sewing machine case. I attend my sewing meetings on Wednesday but don't need to take my sewing  machine.  I was carrying a tote with supplies and projects but it was too heavy to carry from the parking lot, so I spent hours online searching for something lightweight on rollers. I think this will work.  It cost $31 plus tax and shipping. It stores nicely in the back seat of my SUV or here in my bedroom.

I thank you for stopping by and hope you will leave some comments.  I love reading your thoughts.   Please join us at Lee Anna's blog for more "likes" at Not Afraid of Color
Have a great day! ☺

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Thursday Things I like Apr 5


Hope everyone is having a wonderful week of Spring. We are in the 90's now (already). Ugh.
The allergies are all haywire for most people as everything is in bloom here in the desert. I am no exception. I'm taking Benadryl every night and trying to stay indoors.

Here are my "likes" for this week.

1.  A reputable auto service center.  I can handle most stress and interruptions in our daily life but car trouble is not one of them.  Last year, I lost my brakes without warning and coasted into a neighborhood national- chain auto service center.  The manager was very nice but the repair work wasn't.  A year later and the brake pedal just wasn't right so I went to the Ford dealership where I worked for 20 years and was treated well and correctly.  My vehicle should be ready today and I can rest easy it's done right.

2. My RSC March blocks. I forgot to post these so thought I'd better do that before I start the April ones. Lime/yellow green are the colors for March:

I'm using scraps for most of the blocks but was just a few short so cut on some fat quarters. Guess I don't use green much. Then, I'm using a charm pack of solids which were cut into mini's for the center HST's.   The colors for April are yellow/gold so I have them cut and ready to start.

3.  My New Cookbook.  I don't cook as much as I did years ago, but for the last 2 years (almost 3) , I have been trying to use the Crock Pot instead of the oven.  That's because the oven is old, not sealed shut very well and heats up the whole house which is not good here in the hot desert.  I also love watching cooking shows: The Kitchen, Cook's Country, Pioneer Woman, Trisha Yearwood, Jacques Pepon, etc.
America's Test Kitchen is one of my favorites which I also record.  So, when I saw their Slow Cooker cookbook at the book store, I was thrilled. I usually don't purchase cookbooks (or any real books for myself) but this was an exception.
ATK not only tries many new ways of cooking as well as recipes , they also test products used in the kitchen.  Sometimes, that is tools, appliances, spices (from various countries), storing containers, and condiments. It feels like a scientific or analytical approach to cooking.  But, I have found their recipes to be easy and inspiring.

One of my goals was to make a GOOD pot roast in the crock pot. Mine had not been tender or juicy.  The few I've made turned out gray, dry and tough.
 This is a photo from the book and I swear to you mine came out as delicious, moist and tender as this photo.  I forgot to take a photo of mine!  We were busy eating.  It cooked for 9 hours on low and we had to smell it in the house ALL DAY LONG! That may seem like a long time (and it is) but, for those of you working out of the home during the day or cooking overnight, that might be a good idea. My crock pot keeps food warm for 2 hours after the scheduled timer.

With this cookbook, I've learned to prepare stuff for the crock pot instead of just throwing ingredients in there and hoping for the best.  For instance, combining the  spices with a little oil and cooking a few minutes in the microwave before adding to the crock pot enhances the aroma and taste of  the spices.  Browning the roast is a must.
As you can see, I am a convert to this way of cooking thanks to ATK!

It's been a good week and I look forward to the week end. Hope ya'll are enjoying spring!
Thanks for stopping by and please join us at:Not Afraid of Color for more "likes". !

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter

                                                    HAPPY    EASTER

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Things I like Thursday Mar 29


It's been a crazy week. I don't know where the week went.  I spent the weekend catching up on house chores after being gone all week to grandson's house. Then Monday I tried to finish some blocks for my newest donation quilt made from 30's prints.  Tuesday was the doctor visit of results of my brother's prostate biopsy (ok for now) which took 3 hours counting travel time when it's only 8 miles from our home and Wednesday to my new sewing group. Whew. I need a nap.

But, I do have some "likes" for this week:

1. My new sewing group which meets on Wednesdays. As mentioned above, I found a sewing group at the local library on Wednesdays.  It is only 1 mile from my home, the ladies meet from approximately 9:30 A.M. -1 PM. I can work on anything I desire-sewing, knitting, embroidery, etc.
There are sewing machines, notions, fabric scraps, tools, cutting boards, iron, all for anyone's use. Except for using their sewing machine and iron, I'll bring my own "stuff".  It will be wonderful to not lift my machine several times in one day while my back has been acting up and a pulled muscle in my forearm. It's  a pretty and big room-all in the library. No classes, expectations- just a social time. And, free. And, the librarians are also crafters.
I've met some nice ladies and hope this is just what I've been needing, but not aware of until I found it by accident. Life is crazy.

2. Thirty's Print blocks. 
I had some very light 30's prints and made some 16 square blocks, 4 squares with background squares and put them on the design wall . It was so boring.  So then I added some other pinks, blues, purples and now it's better. I wanted something quiet, not loud so I hope this is a good compromise.

3. My new pants project. I wanted to see if I could make 100% cotton pants for the summer.  Many (40) years ago I made my own clothes but I now don't enjoy it as much as quilting. But, I've shopped in the stores for pants and can't find what I need:

Yes, hot wheel cars AND fidget spinners  make great paper weights. This pattern makes elastic waste with pockets, loose pants.  I chose a gray/white striped cotton fabric, so we'll see.  It took me an hour just to cut out the pattern pieces! I can hardly use a pair of scissors in this manner after using a rotary cutter for 5 years. And, the tissue paper is so thin. But, I figure if they don't look super cool when I'm done, they'll be good for p.j.'s.

4. The Blue Angels. There is an air force base about 5-10 miles from my home. It had an air show, but unfortunately, I couldn't attend.  Love those shows.
So, I was sewing in my bedroom and the engines were getting louder so I looked out my patio and this is what I saw and was able to get on my iphone VERY quickly:

I was like a little kid running back and forth from the front yard to the back for half an hour.  Those pilots are just so talented. I hope you can see just how close that one group of jets are to each other.

5. Cleaning out my clothes closet.  I know, pitiful. But, for me being organized rests my soul.  For many years I've changed out my clothes twice a year-spring vs fall.
Last year,  I decided to just leave everything hanging up in the closet because I just didn't want to pack away the winter clothes.
It's not like I have hundreds of clothes, but I have not liked  having to move things around that I won't wear for at least 6 months so I can get to what I need. So, this week I packed away the winter clothes and I'm so glad I did.  It's also a good time to pack up items I no longer wear to take out for donation. I'm much happier now when I open the closet. It's the little things.

6. PBS' "Call the Midwife". I know, I'm late to the party on this one.  There was literally nothing on tv the other night so I  decided to try watching this show because PBS has such great shows.  I loved it ! I didn't know it took place in the 60's which I can identify with. I was a teenager then. Now, I have to catch up on previous seasons.

Well, time to start getting chores done for the day  but hope everyone has a blessed holiday week.  Please join us at Lee Anna's post:Not Afraid of Color for other "likes".

Thanks for dropping by.  I love seeing your comments!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

An historic day, March 24, 2018


I try to keep this post's writings  about my varied interests-quilting, sewing, cooking or gardening among life's other pleasures.  But, I cannot ignore the historic day yesterday thanks to the March of Our Lives.
100's of thousands marched in DC alone to support the teenagers who survived the MSD shooting on Valentine's Day.

Millions marched all over  the world unified in their message to bring about change due to gun violence. There were 800 marches! (Even in the Antarctica).  Approximately 15,000 marched here in Phoenix which is the capitol of a gun toting population.  I am not proud of Arizona's wild west attitude to guns but was pleased some people marched in support of change.

(Before my family member was murdered from gun violence in the 90's, I never gave a thought to guns.  Needless to say, I was affected by gun violence).

There was an amazing turn out and there were many young speakers  at  the D.C. march,  but I was totally blown away by an 11 year old named Naomi Wadler from Alexandria, VA. She is 11 years old but spoke more eloquently than most adults I've heard speak.:

"My friends and I might still be 11, we might still be in elementary school, but we know," she added. "We know life isn't equal for everyone and we know what is right and wrong. We also know that we stand in the shadow of the Capitol and we know that we have seven short years until we, too, have the right to vote."

There were millions of signs, of course, but one really struck me: "Eighteenth century law can't regulate 21st century weapons".

I know some of you may not agree with the idea of stronger gun control but many of us feel our society is really in trouble and going in the wrong direction of violence.

I hope these young people feel we have listened to them and the lawmakers pay attention.

I'm off my soapbox now.

Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Things I like Thursday 3-22


I'm posting this ahead of Thursday, so bear with me. This is Spring break for Thomas,  so I won't be home all week but will be playing with him at his house. Yay!

Here are my likes for this week:

1. Family time with my kids. Here are my daughter (on left) and daughter in law making pizza. They are 2 days apart in age! They even went to the same high school but didn't know each other! Don't they look like sisters? So  funny. love them both:
They are just too cute.

Here I am with my son :
He is such a tall dude-takes after my brothers. And, he is such a compassionate nice person.

As you can see, I'm very proud of my kids and love spending time with them.

2. Decorating with vignettes around the house for Easter. Here's "Peter Rabbit":

And, "Kisses":

My favorite-"mama and babies":

I've had these for years and think they were all purchased at Tuesday Morning.
They all say HAPPY SPRING!

3. Kohl's Cash. Just sayin. I needed to buy my brother shoes for spring/summer and got some Kohl's cash.  Now I "have" to go back and buy stuff. I don't "shop" nearly as much since I retired so this is a treat.

4. Another new blog I captured:  I identified with her comments on shopping through messy sales racks-especially "clearance'.  I just avoid those because it actually hurts my hands and arms to fight with those hangers. I like organized, roomy clothes racks and aisles.

5. This laser- cut applique kit from Connecting Threads:

This was designed by Holi Ganesha and is just stunning. I believe the pieces are all cut and backed with adhesive interfacing which are applied to a background per instructions and a template. . Genius.
 Maybe someday I'll splurge on that kit. This would be a timeless addition to a quilt collection.

Hope everyone has a great week and thanks for stopping by! Please join us at Lee Anna's blog for more "likes":Not Afraid of Color