Thursday, June 30, 2011

Second Wonky Log Cabin Quilt Finished!

I'm finally getting around to posting this. (Actually, I'd posted a twitpic the night I finished but forgot to make an actual blog post!)


Mine, the darker one. I like the grey border. a lot.

a favorite square. The more wonky, the more I like them!

and FINALLY a corner to be proud of!
(all 4 of them are, but I'm not going to bore you)
I really liked the freedom in creating this kind of quilt. I cut my strips all sorts of sizes and then after they were added to the block, I'd cut on an angle for an even wonkier look.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: let's go to the quarry and take some pictures







Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The 5k That Wasn't

Saturday was supposed to be my June 5k. I was going to race to the courthouse. Instead, I raced home and got in bed.

Starting Wednesday, the whole family took turns being a little sickly. Son, then Daughter, then me and lastly Husband (his always seems to last the longest). But I was sick Thursday night and spent most of the day Friday trying to feel better. I stayed hydrated and really felt like I could still run on Saturday.

I woke up Saturday morning and got dressed and ready to go. I was a little bummed that I was going by myself, but Husband was still sick and definitely in no condition to watch the kids while I ran. On the way, I actually had to stop because I got sick. boo.

But I kept driving. Went to pick up my (very) cool race shirt and goody bag and went home. And got in bed. And felt horrible. I really wanted to run.

The only consolation was that I ran a practice 5k on Wednesday and felt really good about it and had a good time (all while pushing the double stroller) So, I felt like Saturday would have been even better. oh, well.

On to preparing for July's 5k.

Monday, June 27, 2011

What's so Great About Divorce?

For June, my Reading is Cheaper than Therapy Friends and I have been reading The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis.

First of all, I need to say, I love C.S. Lewis. Actually have a literary crush on him. And aside from his science fiction stuff, I've read most every word he's had published, including Letters to Malcolm, which I recommend. I also have two collection of his letters. ok, ok, how much more proof do you need that I didn't have to go out and buy this book or check it out from the library to read? ;-)

I pulled out the copy I've had since college. highlighted in different colors, notes scribbled in different pen inks. There's something so familiar and comforting about revisiting an old favorite. Rediscovering parts you've forgotten or never noticed in the first place.

I'm not going to talk specifically and give away anything you won't read in the Preface.

In the first sentence Lewis mentions William Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell (which I feel like I need to read since Lewis mentioned it) and says he's not trying to antagonize Blake or even pretend to understand what Blake wrote about. This is simply his idea.

I think one sentence in the Preface sums up the entire book. "If we insist on keeping Hell (or even Earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest the most intimate souvenirs of Hell." He writes like Hell, Purgatory and Heaven are all our own choices. And I believe they are, but he goes beyond my agreement to say that we can move freely from one to another as we wish.

He writes about the things that keep us out of Heaven: greed, lust, violence, arrogance, selfishness, materialism, pride. Just to name the most obvious ones. He tells stories of people's encounters in Heaven and how they are unwilling to give up these things so they can stay in there. Most believe it's easier to stay the same and live in Hell.

It's such an interesting read. And it always pushing the boundaries of my own theology. I'm excited to start discussing it tomorrow!

My first C.S. Lewis book was The Screwtape Letters and my favorite may be A Grief Observed (my favorite changes a lot).

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Treat from the garden, kind of

Daughter's Husky Cherry Red is the early super producer in the garden. I picked these on Tuesday. Everyday she has at least two ready to be picked.

The bad news? Daughter doesn't really like tomatoes. She loves watering and checking on her plant and she gets REALLY excited when we spot new fruit. But she doesn't like to pick them OR eat them!

Son and I have been enjoying a couple of tomatoes a day!

ALSO, we've had our first red Juliet!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Food Day Friday: Chile Verde

We have a lot of cook books. But they all sit on the top shelf of my bookcase in the office and with how available things are on the internet, I forget about them. Need a recipe? google it.

But Husband pulled this one down and started looking at it. We both like to improvise and "improve" recipes to our taste and agreed this book would be a good jumping off point.
The Best American Recipes, 2004-2005. (TBAR 2004-2005 in the tags)


For Father's Day he tried the chile verde.
The original recipe is by Bob Lopez a San Francisco firefighter
(I'm pretty sure if you click on the picture, you can see the original recipe well enough to read it)

Here's what he needed/did

1 pound fresh tomatillos (papery husks removed and rinsed)
3 tbs vegetable oil
3 jalapenos, stemmed and seeded (even with 3, it wasn't very hot)
5 garlic cloves
juice of 1 lime
4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded(you can use less, we just used a whole pack of frozen)
1 small onion, sliced or diced
2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
salsa verde (just to help balance if you think it's too hot or too beany or too chickeny)
shredded cheese
cilantro
(serve with tortillas or corn chips)

In a large skillet, with vegetable oil roast the tomatillos until slightly brown (about 5 minutes)

add tomatillos, peppers, garlic and lime juice to a blender and blend until smooth

in the skillet you roasted the tomatillos, brown the onions

add shredded chicken, beans, tomatillo puree and salsa verde (if you think it needs it)

heat until bubbly and well mixed.

Husband had his with cheese on a tortilla like a burrito.
I added cheese to mine and ate it like a dip with Fritos Scoops.

We both agreed it'd been better with a little bit of cilantro and sour cream (well, sour cream for me not Husband) Both items were listed in the original recipe.

It was really good and we've decided to add it to our rotation. After we ate there was enough for Husband to take a generous helping to work for lunch on Monday.

You could easily skip all the hubba-baloo with roasting and blending and just add a jar of salsa verde to shredded chicken for a super easy and quick meal option.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

We Can Do It!

JSS asked me to join her in the We Can Do It! Skill Builder Sampler Leila is hosting at Sewn (henceforth known as SBS in my tags). ok, fun. Plus, I can learn new things.

Deciding on fabric is such a hard decision for me. Seriously, there is so much amazing fabric out there. I ended up settling on the Bed & Breakfast Collection at Connecting Threads. I bought the fabric for the kids' quilts there and I really like them. The main reason I chose it over another collection I really liked was because it was on clearance. Husband reasoned that down the line, the other collection I liked slightly better will be on clearance so it'll even out. I needed 9 yards, so the sale definitely helped!

Here's what I got. Husband picked out a few fabrics and I picked out a few (I didn't get everything in the line)

I got 3 yards of this as my "main fabric" so it'll be the main fabric in all the squares
It was my favorite fabric of the whole line

a closer up of everything else. I got half yards of the others.
I was proud that I only picked two solids. but I was a little disappointed that the solid green wasn't exactly as closely matched as it looked online. But over all, I'm happy with the look and I'm excited to start working.

With the SBS, I'll be doing 3 squares a month using a different technique each month (most of them I have no clue how to do - thus the name SKILL BUILDER!) and by the end, I'll have enough squares to make a queen sized quilt. I already went ahead and bought solid cream for the sashing because it was on sale!

The first blog (a log cabin) was revealed Friday and after much thought and lots of second guessing on my fabric and design choices, I finished it Tuesday night. It turned out well. I just have to make up my mind to decide and let that be it. no more, "well, what about this?" or "do you think this would look better?"

I'll try not to bore you with weekly updates and only post when I have an entire month's worth of blocks finished.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

a Father's Day Swim

After the busiest Saturday we could remember, we took it slow and easy on Sunday morning and afternoon. But we still wanted to get out and have a fun Father's Day activity. Because the kids had such a fantastic time at Oak Mountain during Husband's 5k, we decided we head back with our swimsuits, puddle jumpers and sunscreen!

It would have been perfect if I hadn't have gotten into a verbal altercation with a man who's kid hit me with a sand ball! klassy, I know. Here's my unsolicited advice to this "super dad": When your kid throws sand and hits me with it and you're watching us and you don't say anything, I WILL. I will say, "Dude, you hit me with sand. Stop it." With an appropriate mean tone. And 10 minutes later when you, Super Dad, finally muster the gumption to walk up to the water's edge to tell me not to parent your child, I will tell you, "Your kid is a brat for throwing sand at a woman" and "you're a bad dad for not correcting him when you saw it happen." and now I just rehashed the entire thing. double klassy. And I'm not deleting it. triple klassy.

Anyway, we all four had a fun time. Son floated on his back and stomach and kicked a lot when were were out in "the deep." I was proud of him for not being scared of the water. Daughter was a little less adventurous but I was able to get her to at least tread water with her legs. It definitely surprised me that she was the more timid of the two.

Then we headed closer to shore and I remembered to take a few pictures with the camera!

walking in
notice how much more crowded it was compared to 8am on Saturday morning!

this was about as close as I could get them for a picture

lounging (Husband and Daughter are both sitting) Daughter was a lot more comfortable in water that was less than waist deep. So we let her do her thing. She'd sit on the bottom and sift through the sand for rocks.

cheese.
After about an hour and a half in the water the kids both mentioned they were ready to get towels and change clothes. It's so nice when you're not having to drag two toddlers out of the water kicking and screaming when it's time to go.

I used to visit Oak Mountain a lot before I met Husband and hadn't been since then, so it was nice to get back (except to drop off the baby birds). The water was actually a lot cleaner than I remember it. So that was nice. We drove around a little before exiting the park and both kids said they wanted to come back and hike soon. That'll be fun.

Monday, June 20, 2011

a Father's Day 5k

Husband ran his first 5k of the season on Saturday. And he did well. Not as great as he wanted to do, but still respectable (under 31 minutes). His playlist wasn't in order, there was NO WATER on the course and it was pretty hilly. But he did great. I'm always so proud to see him come into view at the finish line. I cheer and cheer and can usually get the kids to at least clap and shout out one "GO DADDY" This time I got so excited cheering that I didn't even take a picture at the finish line. eh. oh well.

The race was at Oak Mountain State Park and started and ended at the beach. I was glad about that because it gave the kids and I something to do while we waiting the 25-ish minutes for him to show up again!

Before the race.

family photo before the race.

the kids running to the beach

their first steps

respecting the boundary I put in place: DO NOT GET YOUR CLOTHES WET

Also respecting the boundary

still respecting the boundary with rolled up shorts

completely disregarding the boundary.
I'm not even going to tell you how much sand were in the pockets of those shorts!

Husband talking to his running buddy after the race.
We went back down to the beach again for about 30 more minutes before the kids changed clothes and we were off to our next destination.

P.S. My favorite part of Saturday was when Husband and I went to V.Richards for lunch and Frank Sinatra singing Nice and Easy started playing and he asked me to dance. It was nice, esp dressed in funeral clothes.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Husband ...

... is a fantastic dad.

and he loves it when people he loves wears his clothes.

Son in Husband's old vest

Daughter in Husband's old Jet's jacket

Friday, June 17, 2011

FABRIC BY THE POUND

I heard about this website that sells fabric by the pound and seriously, it was like I was a sniper locking in on my target. I wanted it and oh how I needed it. seriously. ridiculous.

Anyway, Warehouse Fabrics Inc. sells a lot of fabrics, but so far the only I've been beyond tempted to buy is their decorator fabric BY THE POUND. (oh, how I wish they sold assorted quilting cotton this way. What a great stash builder that would be!) And they promise that one piece will be smaller than a half a yard but no bigger than 2 yards. Anyway, they have two options, Black and White OR Assorted Color.

I got two pounds of black and white

and

three pounds of assorted color
Plus, they are based out of Winfield, AL - which can be considered "supporting local business" for me.

Everything is larger than a yard but smaller than two. And while most of it is not something I would pick up in a store and just HAVE TO HAVE, I really like it all and think I can use it for one thing or another.

I'm making three bags like our May Second Saturday Sewing Project out of the fabric (BBWP has already claimed my favorite fabric and it just goes to show we're really not that different) and the rest I'd like to use to make reusable grocery bags. We've got a couple of the BIG Aldi bags and 3 World Market bags and a couple Publix bags, but beyond that we still use paper or plastic. (well, we usually ONLY use paper or plastic because I can't even remember to keep the bags in the car!)

I'd like to add to our reusables. I've found a couple of tutorials I like but until I measure the material I don't know which one(s) I'll use. more as it's happening.

The only other fabric by the pound website I've seen is eQuilter, but they promise that all pieces will be less than 1/2 yard ... plus I don't like the sample picture they use. That leads me to believe I won't like the fabric.

Do you know of anywhere else that sells scraps by the pound?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The birdseed pine cone feeders

Remember when we went to Turkey Creek and Daughter told me all about how to make bird feeders out of pine cones, peanut butter and birdseed? yea, well, Daughter didn't forget.

I FINALLY remembered to pick up some birdseed.

tasting and carrying

spreading

more spreading

tasting again.
I predicted to BBWP that when we did this project one of the kids would try to eat the birdseed WHILE tweeting like a bird. Luckily, they stuck to the peanut butter.

ready for birdseed

yes.

heavily coated.
I'm glad I put the pine cones in this container to cover them with birdseed. It means that I was able to collect a lot of it for recoating next time.

Daughter showing off Husband's pine cone we made for him.

I'm double glad I scooped the peanut butter out of the jar and into a bowl for this project.

hanging in one of the dogwood trees.
When Son spotted a bird eating from it he screamed, "BIRD HAPPY! BIRD HAPPY!" That was cute.

EDIT: We did this about three weeks ago and I'm starting to wonder when I'm going to have to climb back up on that ladder and recoat the pine cones!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Another McWane Visit (with Friends)

Friday we enjoyed a trip to McWane with friends. It's fun to watch 3 toddlers play (mostly) together and discover and investigate.

I can't remember where I put our 3 orange tickets. Maybe I'll edit later if I find them. (Added bonus of our membership that I didn't know about -- my guests get free parking in the deck too. That's a $5 savings)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Top Three in the Garden

Instead of boring you with a picture of EVERY plant in my garden, here are my top three favorites for the day.

4 of the Rutgers tomatoes. All these plants are doing well and I'm waiting for some ripening.

My first cucumber of the season. There are about 4 more smaller ones too. I'm waiting for it to fill out and "green up." It won't be long until we can have garden grown tzitziki.

The store bought Juliets exploded this week. I counted 40 green tomatoes on the 4 plants this morning. (In the picture there's a bunch at the top and at the bottom) The ones I started from seeds are all blooms with a couple of little tomatoes forming.
My main gardening issue lately is the lack of rain. We haven't had any rain at our house in about 3.5 weeks. And I've got about 2 days of stored water left before I have to decide if I'm going to turn on the hose pipe for water or wait for rain. (sigh) But otherwise it's all looking super and in a week or so I'll share another Top Three.