Saturday, February 28, 2009

Making Me Happy Right Now

This view when I walk out my front door.

Sewing on this little quilt.

Having a nice cup of tea.

This pretty little yellow teapot Mr. Sweetie Pie and I found while out wandering today.

Isn't it just the happiest!

It's cold here tonight. But here in our little house, we are snug and happy.

Hope you are safe, happy and comfortable, too - wherever you are.

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, February 23, 2009

How About a Nice Chowder?

This morning was really chilly here, and I decided it would be a perfect day to try a corn chowder for lunch. I was reading about corn chowder on some blog posts over the weekend and it just sounded so good I wanted to make some.

This is the recipe I used:

Corn Chowder
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup chopped celery, with tops
2 tablespoons flour
4 cups milk
8 oz. frozen whole kernel corn
1 large potato, peeled, chopped and boiled until almost tender
1/2 cup chopped leftover ham
salt and pepper to taste
snipped parsley

Melt butter in large heavy saucepan. Add onion and celery and cook until tender. Stir in flour. Cook over low heat, styirring until mixture is bubbly. Stir in milk Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir one minute. Stir in corn, potatoes, ham, salt and pepper. Heat through. Sprinkle each serving with parsley and paprika.

This recipe started out for me in my old tried and true Betty Crocker Cookbook. The original had bacon, but since I had ham leftover from yesterday's lunch I substituted that and used butter to cook the onion and celery instead of bacon drippings.

This was really delicious! By lunch time it was not nearly so cool here, but this chowder was still mighty good.

We had it with some corn sticks.

And some pound cake from my grandmother's recipe for dessert along with a scoop of ice cream and some canned peaches.

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
6 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond or lemon extract
Cream butter. Add sugar gradually. Cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add flavoring, and then the flour. Do not over-beat after adding flour, just until blended well.
Pour batter into a tube or bundt pan which has been coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325 degrees for about an hour, or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.

On Saturday morning early before the rain started, we got busy and put all the bricks back for our backyard patio.

Don't they sort of remind you of a quilt? Or is that just me?

Anyway, I came in and started sewing together some nine-patches from charm packs of American Primer. Don't you just love these bright primary colors!
I'm going to do a disappearing nine-patch with these.
I know. I know. I have several started projects that I really should finish first, but they've just been sitting there mocking me, so I thought I'd start another one. :)
Have a great day!
Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Growing Things in the Midst of a Mess

We're having rainy, gloomy weather here today and it is supposed to get cooler tonight. In a very practical sense that means that the muddy areas we have in our yard will stay muddy for a while yet. I have swept, mopped and cleaned over and over and the dirt just keeps on coming in. Not fun.
And we still have this much of a pile of sand that has to be spread over the places we've filled in already. And then grass must be planted to cover that.

But look what I found outside today!!
I'm not sure whether to call it the first tomato of the season or the last of last year's. :)This tomato plant just volunteered from a dropped seed after the mother plant had been pulled out. It managed to survive the winter with a little help from me. (I covered it in the worst of the weather.)It even has a few more little tomatoes ripening on it. I have to confess. (It's good for the soul.) I ate the one I picked this morning. All by myself. I didn't even offer to share. There is truly no comparison with those you buy at the grocery store! That's what makes it worthwhile to grow your own.

And then I went out and encouraged myself with some of the pretties in our yard. (Just ignore the weeds and enjoy the flowers.)

You know that flowers always make me happy. that's why I try to have some around all the time. :)
Even the little violets (growing in the middle of weeds that I have got to get out of there) make me smile.

And here are some more violets growing under a blueberry bush that has started budding.

I really feel for those of you still looking at a winter landscape that has not started to come back to life yet. Just enjoy mine for now and hold on! Yours will be back soon.
Have a great day!
Hugs and kisses,

Hotflash Fabric Squares

Okay. You've got to admit, that's a funny name! But the fabric is pretty, isn't it?

Have a great day!

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, February 16, 2009

Meet Mr. Jack

It occurred to me that I've never introduced you to our elder daughter's cat Jack.

That would never do! Jack is very sure of his place in our family and the world. And that place is right at the top. :) Just like every other cat in the world. I remember the first time I saw Jack. Our daughter had "rescued" him from a pet store. At least that's what she and Jack thought.

He IS a pretty boy, though, and she loves him.

In other news, I had to pick up a new blade today for my rotary cutter, and while I was there -these little fat quarters jumped into my basket. I'm sure they'll turn in something pretty.

I'm still cleaning up "mess" from our plumbing adventures, but I'm hoping to get back to some real sewing. And soon. I'm feeling the withdrawal pains!
Have a great evening.
Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Up and Running Again

I am VERY happy to report to you that after days of intense labor we once again have functioning plumbing in the laundry and kitchen! Glory to God!
Bruno has had a lot of hard work supervising everything that was done.

He and Mr. Sweetie Pie labored long and hard. We still have to fill in the "moat" we have around the side and back of our house, but at least everything works again. You really don't realize how
much you take these conveniences for granted until they're not there any more. I'm just thankful to be able to wash dishes and clothes again. (And I never thought I'd say that!) :)

I'm also very thankful that after over twenty-six years of marriage Mr. Sweetie Pie is still wild about me!
And he still brings me pretty little things like this.
Bruno seems to think that it's about time to get back to regular life - sewing and playing.
I agree!
Have a great evening.
Hugs and kisses,

Monday, February 9, 2009

Can I Just Say We Have a Mess Here!

What you don't want to find when you have slow plumbing is what we found over the weekend. Some of the pipes under our house were completely decayed on the bottom. :(

So, Mr. Sweetie Pie, our daughter's boyfriend, our really nice neighbor and I have been digging. Not nice. And not finished. We've had a little rain shower already this morning and more forecasted. So, back to work.
Hope your day is better than mine!
Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Here is what we've accomplished so far.

From looking at this shot of my back you might think that I'm surveying all my hard work. Only partly true. Fact is, I'm surveying Mr. Cutie Pie's hard work, because he's the one who's done most of it. :) We had to replace the wooden border we had around our little vegetable garden and decided to replace it with these thin concrete blocks. At least they won't rot!

Bruno is surveying this area to see if I can proceed with my plans.

I think I have his approval. I'm going to take out this section of jungle-type vegetation and put in some vegetables. Or at least that's my plan at the moment. I've dug up a couple of the split leaf philodendrons and passed them on to a neighbor who has a place for them in her yard. And I've dug up one of the big banana trees and cut it up for the chickens to eat. (Yes, they eat banana trees if you cut the stalks in half lengthwise. And most anything else you care to toss in there with them.) I plan to put some of the other banana trees in a corner of the back yard. We have some small fruit trees planted in that area.

I just went out in the back yard and took these somewhat blurry shots. I just like the way they look. :) This one is looking east.
And this one is looking west.
Have a good evening!
Hugs and kisses,