Thursday, May 29, 2008

Two Words

Fabric Sale



at joann.com. I did not resist.




New projects coming up!












On a totally unrelated note, here is my favorite
hot weather outfit. It is so comfortable that I've
been know to wait for it to come out of the dryer
to get dressed. And yes, I usually put on a shirt
over that tank top to go outside. Don't really want
everyone seeing those too flabby arms :(




We're having a light rain here today, which we really need. It's glorious!




Have a great day!




~Elaine~

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hot and Dry

Mr. Perfect and I spent our weekend installing gas and electric lines in the wall of our garage, a new water heater, and a new roof vent for it. I cannot tell you how thankful I am for a husband who knows how to do these things! It was unbearably hot, and it seemed a few times that we wouldn't be able to finish all that had to be done, but we did! Glory to God!

Yesterday was barbeque day. Our older daughter's boyfriend cooked! Good times.





Today I spent all morning out in the yard, playing in the dirt, tying up tomato vines, and watering my poor parched yard. There were actually cracks in the ground!



This is one of my favorite trees, a mimosa. A lot of people think of them as "trash trees" and they do drop a lot of junk during their season, but they are so pretty, the flowers are so delicate,


and the scent of the flowers is HEAVENLY! Well worth the trash to me.




This is a red hibiscus in the front yard. It's an old one. It's died back several times and come back "from the dead". The older limbs on the other side are twisted and deformed, but the flowers are still lovely.


I ordered this hydrangea several years ago, and it was the smallest thing when it got here. I didn't have very high hopes for it, but as you can see, it's really thrived, and the flowers are so pretty!



Here's another hydrangea in the back yard. A neighbor gave it to me years ago when she moved out of state. It's been a pretty baby ever since. I've rooted and given away lots of its babies.


This is another of my favorites, an old-fashioned one - balsam. The thing I like best about this is that it re-seeds abundantly. That's a plus for me, less seeds to buy.



And another favorite, coleus. I love that the leaves are so colorful you almost don't miss flowers. And they stand up well to Houston's heat. You can see some of the zinnias are starting to grow there, too, and lots more balsams as well.

I thought we would have some rain this evening, there were severe thunderstorm threats, but it all blew over with no rain. Boo! At least it has cooled down a little.
Enjoy what's left of the day!
~Elaine~

Thursday, May 22, 2008

New Quilt! Update on Mystery Bird

I have finished another quilt. I put the finishing touches on it very early this morning, and then I went to bed :) . This one is for my Honey. He loves cowboys, so this has horses, bandana fabric and western-themed squares. It's far from perfect, but it's made with a lot of love. Love you, Mr. Perfect!!




I just had to include this little video of the gardenias in our back yard. They are so beautiful and there was a little breeze to blow them around. You may even be able to hear a little bit of bird song. Too bad there's no "smell vision" on here, because the aroma is heavenly!

video

Update on mystery bird. I still don't know what it is. This is a picture I took last year of one of the grown-ups. There are several of them that have moved into our suburban neighborhood. They are BIG, about 2 to 3 feet tall! Our neighbors across the street have been keeping their eyes on a nest these birds built in a pine tree. Maybe our little guy came from there. He was still all right the day before yesterday. I saw him that next morning alive and well, and strolling around the back yard. I haven't seen him since then, but there are places he can hide, and I'm hoping he's in one of those. I have water out for him.

Have a great day!

~Elaine~

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

They Need to Know We Care

A friend sent me this video today. She said that it was put together by a 15-year-old girl. It is a masterful job - haunting song with pictures and a plea to remember (and honor) those serving in our military. I agree. It is such a sacrifice for each and every one of them, and whatever their reasons for enlisting - at the heart of it is a love of country.

I love my country, too. I'm proud of all the men and women who serve her so selflessly. I pray for them. I support them. God bless them each and every one.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I Love George (Foreman Grills, That Is); Mystery Bird




Well, I do. I don't really know if George Foreman is the one who came up with idea that now has his name on it, but whoever did - Thank You! It's a wonderfully quick way to cook foods in a healthy way.





As you can see by looking at my poor baby, it's seen some hard service!



But it still does a great job of cooking good things to eat!



We had some chicken, summer squash and onion grilled on the George today. It was great! The high today was supposed to be 92 degrees F, but right now at 4:45 p.m., it's sitting at 93 degrees. That's hot! And it really doesn't make you want to cook anything even slightly heavy. Light is definitely the way to go :).


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

There was a little visitor at our front door when I got back from the grocery store this morning.


He's in the back yard now. I turned the sprinkler on and he seemed to enjoy the shower. Can't blame him. I don't know what will become of him tonight though. Cats roam the neighborhood, and fences don't keep them out. I'm not at all sure what he eats either. He's drinking the water, but not interested in bird seed or pieces of bread.

I have no clue what kind of bird this is, though I have wasted a couple of hours trying to find out :(.

video

This little video shows him in the back yard enjoying a puddle. I went out and checked on him around seven, and he had gotten himself up in one of the lower branches of the fig tree, put his head under his wing and gone to sleep. I hope he'll be okay.

I'm going to try to work on my quilt tonight. Hope you have a good evening, too!

~Elaine~

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Thankful Heart

As I walk around our not-so-big yard, I am overcome with a spirit of thanksgiving. I am so thankful for all the blessing I see around me, and for those I don't see, as well.





I'm thankful for the beautiful flowers standing out boldly,














and for those tucked in unexpected places.







I'm thankful for the vegetables growing in our little garden.







I'm thankful for the berries ripening on the vines,




for the figs growing and filling out on both trees.




I'm thankful for the chickens that give us the best soil in the world and the most delicious eggs.




I'm thankful for our family. We've had ups and downs, but we all still love and respect each other.


I'm thankful for my dog Bruno, a faithful friend.







I'm especially thankful for my husband, who has always let me be me. He's never tried to change me or to fit me into someone else's mold. He's my one-and-only-TrueLove, even after twenty-seven years of marriage.



It's always good to take time to be thankful for our blessings, and to remember WHO gives them to us. Thank you, Lord!


~Elaine~

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sewing, No; Cooking, Yes




Okay, so I never did start sewing. It is still sitting there mocking me. But I DID do some cooking. I was inspired by those pretty green beans I brought in from the garden this morning.





I wanted something with olive oil. (The beans are Italian after all.) Anyway, I remembered a show I had seen on PBS a couple of years ago with Lidia Bastianich. I'm not sure if it was Lidia's Kitchen or Lidia's Italy, I was in the hospital at the time and she was cooking all sorts of good-looking things. One of the dishes she prepared was her mother's favorite Sunday dinner, a braised skillet of chicken, potatoes, onions, and green beans. It occurred to me that I could do something like that with those fresh green beans. So, I got started. First I washed the beans and cut them into about 2 inch lengths, then I peeled and quartered some medium sized potatoes, and peeled and chopped a large yellow onion. I heated my trusty iron skillet and when it was good and hot, poured in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and then dumped in the vegetables I had prepared.




I lightly browned them, then lowered the heat and covered the skillet and let it cook, turning the vegetables now and then.





Once they were nicely done, I added some sliced ham cut in strips about 1 inch by 2 inches, covered again and let that meld its flavors.








Then I added a small can of mushroom slices, drained, and let that heat through.





While all that had been minding its own business getting ready, I had prepared this pretty salad.







So, here we have it: my new dinner creation! I've recently discovered the joys of tarragon vinegar and olive oil for a salad dressing. I recommend it! And have you seen these sea salt and pepper grinder/shakers? They're the best.





After all that I decided to cook some dessert. I had some dried apple slices, and those I put in a skillet, covered them with water and simmered until they plumped. I then added about a quarter cup of sugar and a tablespoon of cinnamon and simmered some more.





While that was cooling, I made up some plain pie pastry, rolled it out and cut in 4 inch circles. I heated about a half inch of canola oil in a skillet. (Can you tell that I really love cast iron skillets?) On one pastry circle I put two of the cooked apple slices and then covered that with another pastry circle, crimped around the edges and cooked it in the canola oil, turning once.



I drained them on paper plates and sprinkled with sugar.





YUM!





It was really good. I had vanilla ice cream with mine.







My grandmother used to make these little fried pies for us when we were kids. We loved them. The dried apples give them a more authentic flavor for me, but you could just use canned pie filling if you didn't want to go to that extra bit of trouble.



Enjoy your evening, and I hope you've had something really good to eat, too!



~Elaine~