Monday, August 31, 2009

Pinwheel Quilt

I picked up a quilt pattern a while back that I finally got around to doing. I was looking to make a new quilt for our bed and wanted a bright and cheerful quilt that was also restful to the eyes. And, of course, I wanted it to fit the extra long bed with some drape.

I went through my stash of fabrics and came up with the color theme of yellow and green for it. When I was completed, I had to say I was surprised at how pale the quilt ended up being. It isn't quite what I expected, and not really my typical quilting style. James likes it and says it reminds him of sunshine. Me, I'm not so sure how I feel about it yet.

Here are some pics of the finished top. Still needs quilting and binding, but I'd thought I'd share it with you now.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ponderings over blueberries

Sometimes I wonder about my personality and what makes it only feel satisfied doing things to the extreme. Want some chickens for a few eggs and to work garden space? How about 16 and then throw in some quail. Want to make some jam to last for the year? 86 jars so far - not counting give aways.

These are sadly just a small slice of my forays into the land of excess. Knowing this fundamental truth about myself and continually conversing with my inner id with questions such as "Do you really need that many/much" or "Think this through for once!" sometimes gives me pause and changes my course. Unfortunately, my id can argue eloquently back - "They could be used as gifts, given to the food bank, donated to Share House, sold at the local fall sales", and so on.

Which brings me to the blueberries. Now my Aunt Connie called one evening to tell me about a local blueberry grower who was selling picked blueberries at a great price - 25 cents more per pound than the very cheapest U pick place I could find - and my Aunt would personally deliver them to me at my house that very night. Just tell her quickly how much I wanted.

I have another very strong personality trait that reared its head at this very moment. I love a good deal. The kinda love where I will spend months researching and waiting to get the lowest price I can. The love which has me writing on my calendar all the major stores clearance dates. I'm not saying I'm cheap, but, well yeah, I guess I am.

Back to my story - Aunt Connie is waiting on the phone wanting to know right away if I wanted these and how much. By combining my strong "it's a good deal" delight with my id's excessive ways, reason was overcome in the breath that I took to answer her and out came "30 pounds! I want 30 pounds!".

Only after hanging up did I start questioning whether this might be a bit too much. It is only a good deal if you actually need the item. And 30 pounds? How much in blueberry land is that anyway? I began to reassure myself that it couldn't possibly be that much. I was wrong. This is what 30 pounds of blueberries looks like:
I began canning, and canning, and canning. I made it all. Now the ironic thing was when I got these berries, it ended up being the hottest day of the week, and I'm canning. After a while, with sweat streaming, I came up with the brilliant idea of freezing the rest. I open my freezer to find it stuffed with strawberries and cherries from using this great idea earlier this summer, and not an ounce of room to spare.

What to do? I'm hot, already canned over a year's supply of blueberry products, and still have the biggest bowl left even with the kids and I eating berries until we were all vying for the toilet. The solution came in the form of my mom, as it usually does. She took the extra 10 pounds of berries that I simply did not want to contend with and would have spoiled in another day if not dealt with.

Keeping the blueberry episode in mind, I feel that I can face canning/preserving the rest of the season's harvest with a more moderate approach (and yes, I can hear my id laughing at me).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lazy mornings are the best

Yesterday morning I was joined in bed by two little cubs. Assembling pillows, blankets and some good books together led to a morning snuggled in bed lazying about. I love days like this.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Garden Gifts

On Sunday my Mom, who is an avid gardener and passed that gift on to me, gave us all kinds of goodies from her garden. There were zucchini, beans, tomatillos, tomatoes, and beets. I am so excited and have already started in on the goodies. Yesterday we had fresh beans to munch. Today, I am in the process of making salsa and tonight we will have Harvard beets with dinner. With the zucchini we will have zucchini boats and zucchini bread (I don't care what people say about this squash - I can never have enough of it!).

But that isn't all. Mom also gave us an amazing blackberry peach jam that came from her blackberries and peaches! We have had it the last few days on our morning toast and it is simply delicious. I will have to get the recipe and make more of this!

Thanks Mom!

Monday, August 17, 2009

11 years and counting

On Saturday, 11 years of marriage was celebrated by James and I.

Mom took the kids for the entire weekend which in itself was great. We spent Saturday morning getting chicken fencing up so the chickens now have a yard -and I have my first step in my crop rotation plan completed. Following this we went out to Leonardo's for dinner and saw Julie and Julia which was such a wonderful film and excited me into buying Julia Child's cookbook. This has already turned out to be a sound investment with James making me breakfast from it Sunday morning. Yummmmmm!

We had a lot of fun being together, and upon reflecting over the years of our marriage, it becomes apparent that most of our days are spent like this - relaxing in the enjoyment of each other's company. For me, it can't get any better than this. Happy Anniversary honey!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Arthur turns Seven

Yesterday was Arthur's 7th birthday. We celebrated in the evening at the park with some of his friends.

Arthur picked out everything about this cake, and was pleased especially with the sprinkles.

Opening a gift from his friend Logan.

Games of Frisbee and playing on the playground equipment rounded out the event.

This party was quite the success. James outdid himself with the Hawaiian theme by getting leis, paper lanterns, and helium balloons. I'm glad the party went so well, especially as we decided not to hold one due to being out of town for his birthday weekend. But, with an expectant birthday boy asking for a party and some (very) last minute calls, it all came together and Arthur couldn't have been more excited.

To honor the occasion, Arthur agreed to be interviewed. Here are his answers to some questions:

How does it feel to be seven?
Well, basically the same as 6. I just feel like it is another holiday where I just got the presents for nothing.

What did you like getting?
I liked getting the birthday card that plays the song "Who let the dogs out".

What was most exciting about your birthday?
Bakugan table

What didn't you like about your birthday?
I was so exhausted like coming home from work.

What did you learn in the last year?
I can stand up for myself much better.

Any words of wisdom?
Make it feel like a regular birthday so you can wait for it to come. Just like any old birthday.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Long Beach

After one vacation destination, we hit another - just in time to miss the 100+ degree heat in our area. We spent the week at Long Beach, WA with James' parents. Again, we had a great time exploring the beach, the town, and loafing at the house. Two vacations in a row? It definitely agreed with us.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Las Vegas

The kids and I spent a week in Vegas with my parents and brothers and had a thoroughly wonderful time. Swimming, shows, sightseeing, shopping, eating, visiting - ahhhhh, what a life! Imagine, going to Vegas to see sharks and being able to pet a ray fish. Or visiting the Eiffel tower and 15 minutes later be looking at the Venetian Canals. Vegas is truly mind boggling and we loved every minute of the boggle.