Saturday, July 21, 2012

Good time, good friends

Oh, which to choose?  
 Elizabeth wanted the prettiest one

Adelaide chose what reminded her of the "naughty" bear from the new movie Brave.

 How can anyone be anything but happy on a carousel?
The city we were in is called St. Joseph.  Every summer the businesses sponsor a curbside art exhibit centered around a theme.  One year it was cows and almost every corner had a sometimes tongue in cheek decorated cow on it. One summer it was carousel animals, one summer it was fish. Last year it was farm animals and this year it's pirates.  In front of stores and on street corners there are pirates, dolphins, sea turtles, sea horses and on one corner a pirate ship kids can pose in.  We stopped at the visitor's bureau for maps that showed the locations of the statues. 
We are a map family.  Every trip we've taken we have pictures of Patient Husband standing on a corner with a street map unfolded in front of his face to help us get our bearings.  My son is now a geographer.
 When I turned and saw  Adelaide and Grandpa, I couldn't resist the photo op.
 Elizabeth:  "Adelaide!! They have Crush here!!"
"Come on!"
 "We found him!"  this sea turtle was decorated like Crush from the movie Finding Nemo and has Dorrie and Nemo painted on his shell.   What do you know!
Keeping up when you're 2 1/2 can tire a little girl out.

Last night....
Last night we had friends over that we haven't seen in years.  Time, moves across country, all gets in the way.  But we did it last night. 
Friend Harry - far right in the hat - has a tradition going back 10 years with his sons of finding an obscure pre-prohibition long forgotten by the masses beer and having a tasting/judging on the 4th of July.  He brought with him last night this year's selection for the guys to try. 
 Each of them got their own can, a special glass to pour into and directions.  "On the count of three we all open, pour and taste together...."
 What is this stuff???

Patient Husband (in stripes) told me this morning that it was declared "old fashioned...passable" by the guys. 
 We made two paellas.  One with chicken and sausage...
 ...and one with shrimp. 
PH and I like having paellas when we have a crowd.  It's a crowd pleasing one dish meal that always gets it's picture taken!
My gosh we had a good time last night.

As you can see from this busy week, I haven't gotten much quilting done. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Busy summer days

 Summer days are busy days for grandmas and grandpas and the little ones who stay with them.

  We taught our stuffed buddies how to swim
We've been to the beach to play on the play equipment.
 We took our paints to the beach to paint pictures of boats and lighthouses
 We watched the sunset
 We met our cousins Ceci and Charlie at a family reunion.

And met cousins we didn't know we had because they weren't born yet at the last reunion and we played and played till our cheeks were so flushed from the heat.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lost child

   During summer I give one day a week to working in a toy store.  Last evening I heard the chirp of a sparrow from very nearby.  Sparrows will build nests and live in the large "big box" stores around.  It's good shelter, lots of room to fly in the cavernous rafters, food is around, people think they're cute. At least I do.
   Realizing this chirping was very loud for the birds outside I followed the sound to the front door of the store.  There, about five feet inside the door was a fledgling sparrow chirping for all he/she was worth.  I don't speak Sparrow so I wasn't sure if he/she was asking about a particular toy or calling for mommy.  I decided, considering the clientele of this shop, that it was better to find mommy before he/she got stepped on by some pre-teen boy. While I couldn't offer a lollipop and sit it on the counter while I called the police to pick up the lost child, and thinking quickly - very quickly - about my qualifications of becoming a sparrow's mommy, and whether I should pick it up and carry it to the large traffic island at the curb.  These islands are beautifully planted with trees, perennials, shrubs so it would be a good refuge to someone just learning to fly.
     I decided to "convince" junior to find his/her bird mommy.  I told baby to go find mommy.  I "shooed" it to the door.  On the sidewalk I played Officer Mike (Make Way for Ducklings) and stopped the people traffic on the sidewalk (no easy task in a resort town full of resorters) to steer him/her to the island.  Baby got the idea, I could hear mommy sparrow calling directions on how to get back onto the island.  Baby flumped (fly/jumped) onto the island, mommy came down to talk sternly to him/her and baby sheltered in the flowsy bush planted nearby. I kept checking on him/her throughout the evening.  All ended well.
     This may seem inconsequential to most people, something not worthy of posting on a blog that's supposed to be about quilting, but when I was in the middle of a 10 hour shift in a toy store that caters to 9 year old boys, this was the highlight of my day.

 Once again, this new blogger won't let me post a photo that I've turned.  It's saved on my computer turned right side up but reverts to sideways when I post it.  Any ideas on how to make this work right would be greatly appreciated.  ANYWAY,  here are pics of the finished Christmas quilt for Ceci's birthday.
 You can't see the green in the first border next to the pink, but it's a very sweet green.  A post or so ago I said if I ever found anymore of this green/black with little pink dot again I'd buy the bolt.  I found some and bought the bolt (thank goodness it was on a sale table and wasn't a full bolt!) 
Since I'm trying to use my stash, the sashing on this one is mixed.
Now I start quilting on Adelaide's.  It's almost the same but different.  Her sashing matches and her border is striped. I used her stripe on Ceci's binding.  I'll use Ceci's polka dots on Adelaide's binding.

Monday, July 9, 2012


 Last week we had PH's brother and sister-in-law here for a few days visiting.  We decided to do something very big lake, very ....HERE.  So we booked a ride on the Friends Goodwill, a merchant ship turned War of 1812 warship here on Lake Michigan.  Friends Goodwill is permanently moored here but travels Lake Michigan for events, like this week it is in Mackinac (tip of the state) for a re-enactment of the taking of the ship 200 years ago by the British. 

We had a picture perfect calm day for sailing...thank goodness!  But it was H O T
 There isn't much in the way of seating because the sailors were working, not lounging.  I asked Patient Husband if he was holding on or doing something to help.  He said he was told to hold this line so he thought he was helping.
We leave.

Friday, July 6, 2012

How hot is it??

Apparently not hot enough.
The heat wave is a record breaker and I thought 100 degrees was hot enough but as you can see...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hot time cool treat

 Remember Sarabeth and her Bakery and her cookbook that I'm cooking my way through?  Well, it's hot, hot, hot here so I turned to the ice cream section and bought myself an ice cream maker.  My friend Laurie and her husband bought a juicer.  What does that tell you???
 This is my second flavor.  Buttered Pecan.  One of my favorite flavors.  Lots of cream and milk and sugar.
                                                               Eight egg yolks.
 Buttered toasted pecans.
Becomes this. This creamy, rich, vanilla-ey, buttered pecan overloaded decadent ice cream.

I finally know, after all these years and countless gallons of ice cream that have been put into my mouth, what they meant when they called it Ice CREAM.  OMG.
      I actually split this small serving with Patient Husband and we critiqued it.  Creamy? "Very."  Can you taste the browned butter? " Not much."  Vanilla?  "Lots." Enough pecans?  "Yes." Wow, it's so rich, we really can't eat too much of it.  "Why?"
     I again improvised.  I'm not a very good recipe follower.  I do what they say but improvise if I have to.  For instance, Sarabeth calls for a real plumped vanilla bean scraped and seeds with pod put into the cream.  Well, I didn't have a vanilla bean and where I live no chance to find one.  But I DO have LOTS of vanilla bean infused sugar.  When I DID have a couple of vanilla beans and my daughter did, too, we/she infused sugar with the seeds and pod.  Well, the recipe calls for sugar and vanilla seeds and vanilla beans.  So, I substituted my vanilla sugar.
    The first batch I made was vanilla ice cream.  It's in the freezer.  I thought I should start with the basic.  Let me tell you folks, there is nothing basic about it!!
    It was so easy I immediately made the custard for the Buttered Pecan.
     My lavender is in full bloom right now so.......

 it was only a matter of time, wasn't it?   This delicious lavender custard is now cooling and will be made into lavender ice cream tomorrow.

I am just about finished quilting Ceci's Christmas quilt.  I have one border section left to quilt.  Then I'll start quilting on Adelaide's.