Monday, April 28, 2008

Home Again

Whenever I spend a large block of time away from home, I want to dig back in when I do get home and do lots of homey things. A couple of weeks ago, my son mentioned rhubarb pie.
This homecoming, my activity of choice was making rhubarb pie. I love rhubarb. It's one of my spring rituals. Rhubarb pie and crisp.
Finally, this year, the rhubarb growing in the backyard produced enough do make something.
I love to make pies. I made two. One with a regular crust and one with a meringue top. The contrast between the tanginess of the rhubarb and the silkiness of the meringue is lovely.
Yum! Come over and well have pie and tea together.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for my husband, Gerry. He is home and recovery is fantastic. We will have to wait awhile to know how well the nerve graft grows. God knows, and he is the great healer. His way is perfect. Gerry is loving being back home and enjoying pie.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Snow, Track, and the Hospital

Snow! Snow??? I know in lots of the country snow is common mid April. But.... this is Western Oregon. Usually we are having a few cold days, but the weather would be warming. Coats would be in the closet until November. Shorts and lighter weight clothing would be the norm. Crazy! Not much snow, but anything over three flakes is news here. Anyway.........In the snow and cold rain I sent my last two kids off to a track meet.
Gerry and I were at this meet two days ago. There is something intimidating about 60+ kids doing their warm up run together. I'm so proud of my kids. They both run distance. In the fall they run cross country. It's a lot of time and commitment to train.

As Gery and I watch, we know it will be the last meet we see for a while. Tues., April 22, Gerry will go into the hospital for a nerve graft, and extensive facial lifting. Last year we discovered that Gerry had a brain tumor. Thankfully, non cancerous. It had been growing slowly for many years. Many symptoms he experienced were attributed to other things. As a result of the 9 hour surgery, the facial nerve on his right side was lost. He has not had the use of the right side of his face for a year. Doctors were hoping that the nerve would grow back. It hasn't. Tuesday, doctors will graft his facial nerve. Hopefully that will give him usage of his right side again. We won't know right away if this is successful. It will take time. Doctors will also lift that side of his face.
So..........I won't be blogging as often or visiting as much for a while. Sadly, I don't have a laptop. It would be lovely to occupy my time , visiting, as I wait and spend my days at the hospital.
I'm stocking up with embroidery and quilting items to take and do.

Thank you for your prayers. Each day this year is a walk with God, learning new things, growing in that deep personal space. He has been so faithful in our lives, not only this year, but for many years. So many blessing have come out of this situation. I don't know what is around this next cornnor of our lives, but I know God is there with us. I can rest in that.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Busy Week!

Lots has happened this week! I'll tell you about a few. First, We had a few beautiful days.I've been waiting for some nice days to go get compost and make the new flower beds in the front. Finally, a nice day and the time to work on the project. I went and got two pick up loads ( 4 yards) of compost, and hauled it by wheel barrow around the yard. The compost is from a place in town where everyone takes yard waste, and they turn it into beautiful compost.
I already had a few plants to put in. Here are three rose bushes. It won't be long before they grow and bloom. Can't wait! On the last load of dirt, my garden clog didn't want to follow my foot off the tail gate of the truck. The clog also wanted to stay on my foot. The rest of my body was on the way down. In that nano moment, I realized I was going to land head first in a pile of bricks. To avoid that, I turned and rolled. Unfortunately, I sprained my knee. So I've spent some time lazing around with my leg up. It is recovering nicely. I'm sure I'll be running around next week.
We had friends over for dinner one night. I still use a cookbook that was given me back in the 70's. It's very well used. My children have learned to cook using this book. Gerry was grilling steak, which is always fantastic. I made two of the most asked for items whenever we have someone over for dinner, and a few other yummy things. Lemon Meringue pie is always asked for and devoured. I use the recipe from this book.

It really doesn't take much time to make a pie. After I made the crust, it took about 15 minutes to make the filling and meringue.

My taste buds are watering again. The pie didn't last the night.

The next equally asked for item is
crescent rolls. I love making breads. These are fun. The dough is very tender. I make it with sour milk. I roll the dough out into about a 16" circle. Then spread with melted butter, and grate nutmeg on the top.
I know, I need to get a better grater. I just forget about that item when I'm making my shopping list. Fresh grated nutmeg is so good. Just a little added to the rolls, gives it a unique flavor, but not overpowering.
Then I cut the round into 12 pie shaped pieces, and roll each piece up, starting at the larger end. I put them on a baking sheet, and curve them a little to make the crescent, and brush on a little melted butter, then let them rise.
Tip: If you are making bread and are short on time, add a teaspoon of baking powder. It speeds up the rise time. With the crescent rolls, I can mix them up, roll them out and let them rise just once, when I use the baking powder.
After rising, and baking:
Fresh baked rolls.
We had a lovely evening with friends and good food.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Package Arrived

I've been waiting for this package. A few days ago I was visiting all of you and meeting a few new people. I found Mrs. Kwitty's Cottage. Great place. She is busy remodeling and she still has time to blog! Wow. And....she also sells on etsy, (fantastic stuff made by her and some vintage treasures) ....and has a etsy mini. In the mini, Mrs. Kwitty featured and item from 300nmulberry. It was this:A collection of great little treasures. A piece of old tablecloth, three old embroidered doilies in perfect condition, several hexagon quilt blocks, pink vintage fabric, vintage buttons, pink rick rack, pink grosgrain ribbon, and a little sachet.
And This:

An old vintage quilt top. It is all pieced, but never put together with batting and back and quilted.
Today they came in the mail.
I'll quilt the top. The rest has my creative imagination flowing, so I'm sure I'll do something wonderful with it soon.
And what was that on the table ? This is my work table / desk. I had a table base and added the top. Then I stained it and stenciled it. Just some fun stuff on the edges and a checker board in the center.
I've gathered boxes and trays to hold all that a work space needs. I'll show you more pictures of my workroom, (or is it a studio) another day.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Gardening in the Studio

A little garden romper for a sweet girl, with embroidered forget-me-knots on a appliqued patch.

A Three tiered bum ruffle.

I doubled the ruffles , so no hemmed edges. Then embroidered with a stem stitch and French knots.
I found the vintage buttons painted with flowers.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Dandelion Time

Bright faces of sunshine, growing in our yards, or anyplace a plant can grow. I think to the North American, dandelion is the # 1 plant enemy. The last few years, this sunny herb has been getting better press. In going back to more organic methods of gardening, people are reading the old gardening and farming books. We are finding out the dandelions were a desired crop, and before WWII, this plant was a friend. Yes, a plant that needed to be controlled, but not exterminated. Dandelion is not a native to North America. The earliest settlers brought the seeds with them from the old world. Dandelion was one plant they did not want to live without. Why? In the modern world we have had no use for this plant. Dandelion is so good for us! Just to name a few things it does for us. It stimulates our liver. After the long winter months of eating heaver food, our bodies need to be stimulated. It stimulates our digestive system. It helps regulate our blood sugar levels, and is a diuretic. It is full of vitamins and trace minerals. Are you wondering how to use this wonderful plant? I'm sure you have read about gathering young dandelion leaves to add to you salad. Or maybe you have made or sampled dandelion wine. I add the young, small leaves to salads. The large leaves are bitter. I also make dandelion vinegar. Using dandelion vinegar lets me have to goodness of dandelion all year long. It's easy to make. This took about 15 minutes to make, including pictures.
I gathered 5 dandelion plants from the yard. Flowers, leaves, and roots. They were in a area where people and animals don't walk. I washed them and scrubbed their root.

Then I chopped them and put them into a quart jar.

Then I poured Balsamic vinegar over them to cover.

I put plastic over the top to prevent leakage and to protect the lid. Then labeled with contents and the date. I'll shake the jar everyday for two weeks and keep it in a dark cool place. If the vinegar level goes down under the top of the dandelion, I'll add a little more vinegar. After two weeks, I'll strain it and pour it into a decorative bottle. I'll use it as I would plain balsamic vinegar.
So go out and rescue a few dandelion.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Welcome April

Today I turned to a new calender page. This is one of my favorites. These are calender pages that I created for my family. Each person received a calender with an original cover. They have every ones birthday, and anniversaries. I showed you January, February, oops, I never showed you February.... .... I know why, it's my least favorite, it is.

and March. Now April. I'm looking forward to showing you another one next month. Has anyone had some good April fools jokes today?