Friday, August 31, 2012

I know what you did last summer #2

When I visited my mom in Oklahoma in July we went to a tiny little shop in Moore that had some really beautiful fabrics. There I found the two pieces for the front and back of this practice quilt, my thinking being that if I'm going to quilt something it might as well be adorable when I'm done.

Last year my mom got herself a fancy-dancy, awesome, new toy that I'm coveting and wishing for and dreaming about. It's a Handi-Quilter mid-arm quilting machine. She let me use it this summer, and I have already decided I will have to drive up to visit it fairly regularly.

I practiced  free-motion quilting in a rather small meander pattern to create this little baby quilt. When I got home I found some dark brown fabric in my stash to use for the binding.

Ta Da! A baby quilt for a little baby Lucas that is soon to be born.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I know what you did last summer...

Have you seen that movie from the late '90's?

IMDB summarizes it this way: "Four teens are in great danger one year after their car hits a stranger whose body they dump in the sea" and classifies it as "horror, mystery, thriller".

I didn't see it. I'll never watch it. No. Freaking. Way. I'm perfectly capable of paralyzing myself with fear all on the strength of my own imagination, thank you very much.

But here's a peek at one thing I did this summer. A Christmas-y lap quilt, perfect for snuggling under on the couch during the week or two of cold weather we might get in the winter.

Vital Statistics:
  1. 44" X 59"
  2. Rail Fence pattern
  3. Two jelly rolls that I'm pretty sure I bought at Walmart. (Did you know that some Walmarts are selling fabric again? It's true!)
  4. Border, backing and binding in a pretty mistletoe print that I bought in Oklahoma.
  5. Pieced entirely by me on my Singer sewing machine.
  6. Quilted (stitch in the ditch) entirely by me on my Brother sewing machine.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Today I shall


Sort of. I am cooking, but mostly I'm getting organized. I've got lots of ingredients in my freezer and food storage, but that doesn't mean that I have actual meals that we can eat. So today I'm cooking those ingredients and tomorrow I will assemble them all into recipes.
  1. I've got a whole chicken in the crock-pot. I'm starting it frozen and seeing how it does. This chicken is destined to become part of a few different dishes so how it looks (the skin might not be golden-brown and delicious-looking) isn't all that important to me.
  2. After I've got all the meat off the bones I will throw the chicken carcass, more celery, onion, and carrots, a bay leaf and a few peppercorns along with additional water back into the crock-pot for several hours to make chicken stock for the freezer. Later this fall I will use the stock to make different kinds of soup.
  3. I also have a couple of boxes of long grain and wild rice mixes,
  4. a giant pot of plain white rice,
  5. and some spaghetti noodles, all cooking away on the stove top.
  6. Today I will also chop lots of vegetables,
  7. and sort some truly giant bags of shredded cheese into smaller, more manageable quart-sized ziploc bags and these will also go into the freezer.
Tonight we will have chicken fried rice for dinner. I will fry some cooked white rice in a big, shallow frying pan, add a couple of chopped up scrambled eggs, some diced, cooked chicken, a cup or so of frozen peas and carrots, and some soy sauce and cook until the vegetables are cooked through.

I don't have a wok.  I also don't have anywhere in the kitchen to keep a wok. So it's just as well.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Oh look!

It's me, crawling in after months, (months!) of not so much as darkening Blogger's doorstep. It's not that I didn't want to blog, it's more like...well...what it's like is I didn't want to blog. I didn't have anything to say about anything I'm even remotely interested in, and so I didn't say anything at all. I couldn't think or feel or try on anything more than I was already thinking or feeling or trying about.

A big load that has been part of my life for the the last couple of years has been removed from my shoulders and I'm breathing a sigh of relief. Get it? Relief? I got released from my Relief Society president job at Church a couple of days ago, and although the responsibilities are no longer mine I still feel some of the weightiness of it. My friends who have been in my shoes promise that that is normal and that within a couple of weeks those feelings will begin to fade.

Blogger has changed, and I will have to learn all over again how to make my blog look like I want it to. That is a task I'm looking forward to, but I'm not going to wait until I know how to do it exactly right before I start clicking on "Publish". I'll just let it all out there as it happens until I figure it out, so things may look a little strange for a while.

So that this is not a typical "I haven't blogged in forever but I promise to do better" post I will now review a book I've been reading. I checked out of the library a couple weeks ago a book that has three books in one, all by Rosamund Pilcher. The reason this three-books-in-one caught my eye is that she wrote another book that I enjoy and re-read once in a while called The Shell Seekers. It's the sort of book that tells a story about normal people living their normal lives, and it shines a light on the beauty, love, and magic of a regular person's life. You don't have to invest a lot of thought or time into her books, and you aren't left feeling emotionally wrung out or sad or intellectually challenged in any way after you're done. It's just a nice, generally peaceful story with events that might happen to anybody. People do die, or get hurt, or betrayed, but it isn't heavy-handed or graphic. It's the kind of book you might read while you're eating your Cheerios in the morning. I finished the last of the three books earlier today, and here is what I think:
  • She must have written these books earlier in her career. The writing isn't as smooth as it is in The Shell Seekers. There are also quite a few typos; I don't know if it's her fault or the publisher's but there is a big difference in the meanings of "about" and "bout".
  • All of her books are the same. They are all the same kind of story where everyone is at peace with things at the end of the book, and the right people turn out to be in love with each other. There is always forgiveness for wrongdoing which was done under the best intentions. All of which might make for boring stories, but it's just the sort of boring I've been looking for.
  • I can trust Rosamund to not make everybody unhappy at the end. Only the shallow, greedy, deceitful people are unhappy at the end, and they aren't any more unhappy than they were in the beginning, and any real trouble is always of their own making so it seems just.
  • She uses the same locales (Cornwall, Porthkerris, London, and Scotland) and many of the same surnames for the minor roles of various townspeople in many of her stories, so it feels like her different books are part of the same story but from another person's perspective.  I don't know if she just wasn't all that imaginative or if it is part of her writing strategy, but it works for me.
Until tomorrow, it's me, AmyDubDub, signing out.