Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkins and Other Orange Things

My neighbor was asking me today if I knew anything about roasting the seeds from pumpkins.  I remembered that I had this newspaper clipping hiding out in my recipe box for who knows how long.  I scanned it into the computer and enlarged and printed it for her.  I thought someone here might like to have this information as well.  I hope you can read it.  Those roasted seeds were one of our younger daughter's favorite snacks this time of year.

It is sort of an "orange" time of year, isn't it?  I bought a really big bag of oranges at the grocery store this week, and we've been enjoying that wonderful fresh taste.  There were even enough to share with friends and family.  Just makes them taste better when you can share, doesn't it?  I made (or at least put the ingredients in the bread machine) some carrot raisin bread tonight.  It turned out super good this time, maybe because I put more carrots in it than the recipe requires.  This time it was even better than usual, really moist and delicious.  Here's the recipe if you want to try it, with my changes in parenthesis.

Carrot Raisin Bread

Put in bread machine pan:

5 ounces water - room temperature
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 egg yolk (I used the whole egg)
1 cup grated carrot (I put about a cup and a half)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (I used 1 1/2 teaspoons)
3 cups bread flour (I used a little over 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast (I used two teaspoons)

When machine beeps, add:

1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
(Or you can do what I did and just dump it all in at the start.) 

Use SWEET BREAD setting.

Let me know if you try this, and how you like it.  It's one of my favorites.

Now, obviously, Bruno is NOT orange.  Thank God!  But tonight he did give me a little turn.  I took his face in my hands to tell him what a good boy he is, like I often do and he winced.  I took a look at him and one of his ears was pretty badly swollen with some dried blood.  I went and showed him to my Honey, and as I was showing him, some ucky stuff came out of the wound.  I cleaned it thoroughly and put some antibiotic cream on the wound, which is not big at all.  I have no idea what did it.  Could be a cat.  Could be one of the bushes Bruno is always pushing in to looking for varmints.  He's very conscientious about doing his duty.  I'll have to keep a closer eye on my little boy, I see!

Hope all your orange stuff is good stuff!

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, October 25, 2010

In the Great Outdoors

This evening when the sun was low in the sky, I took the little babies out, two by two, to frolic in the garden.  I took the precaution of clipping a wing on each of them so they couldn't fly out of the garden and into harm' s way.

Not that Ariel would harm a chicken, even a baby one.  Well, she might play with it just a little bit.....

And certainly not Bruno.  "Not me, Ma, honest, I wouldn't touch one!"

They really did have a good time, and now they're safely back in the garage in their little pen where they're safe and warm.  And I'm worn out!  Herding chickens is hard work!!  But aren't they pretty?  I am so amazed at the variety I got in this bunch.  I think they're beautiful.  Mr. Muddling thinks I'm a little on the nutty side about chickens.

And lest you think that all I do is play with chickens around here, I'll show you a little bit of a bag I'm making.  I had this beautiful piece of tapestry in my stash that seemed just the thing.  I've quilted a lining inside and added pockets sized for my cell phone and camera, and another one for odds and ends.  I put a layer of batting behind the tapestry and quilted that, then sewed inside and outside together.  I was doing fine until I tried to add the end pieces.  I don't think any machine wants to sew that many layers.  Still working on it.  I know.  It would have been a better idea to have an actual pattern and a real plan before I started.  But I didn't.  We'll see.  My idea is to have a cross-body bag for Quilt Festival.  It's almost here you know, and I've never been before.  I am really excited and I want to see EVERYTHING!!!

Hope things are working out well for you, whatever it is you're doing!

Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Really Like Chickens

I know that you know that already, I'm just saying.

So, imagine my delight when I got an email from a blogger friend asking me if I'd like some chicken fabric that she'd like to share with me.  Would I!!!

All right, now imagine opening a package yesterday afternoon and finding all this bountiful riches!

All I can say is - - - - thank you from the bottom of my heart!  Your sweet heart and kind generosity just make me happy! 

My friend doesn't want a lot of attention, so I won't tell you who, I'll just say, Thank you KD!  May God return blessings to you for your blessing of me.

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Mr. Muddling and I, along with our beautiful daughter went yesterday and voted early instead of waiting for election day next month.  We thought it would be a quick in and out as usual, but we were wrong.  There were LOTS of people voting.  Unfortunately that is rare.  It's sad that in this great land with a right to vote for our government leaders, so few actually participate.  We decided we would treat ourselves to a late lunch out after doing our patriotic duty, so we went to eat at Humble City Cafe which is just a few miles north of us.  Their food is always good and the service is good, too.  Since we went in the afternoon we had it pretty much to ourselves.  It was a nice change of pace.  Plus, no dishes to wash!!! 

I took my embroidery outside to sit in the swing in the back and work on it a little later in the afternoon. 

It was  nice to watch some of the girls doing their chicken thing out there, but .... it's still too hot, and there are still too many mosquitoes to stay outside for very long.  Still waiting for fall to fall around here!

I did finish one of the quilt tops I've been working on last night and finished up ironing and folding the last of the fabrics my sister in law gave me, so lots accomplished.

I'll leave you with a little video of the babies going to work on a banana leaf I put in their enclosure.

They pretty well finished it off in very little time.  As I've said many times, I'm just glad I'm a lot bigger than they are!  I cleaned their little home this afternoon, so they're all set for more fun and games.  I really wish you could all see them live and in person, but this is the best I can do.  At least you don't have to clean up the mess.  LOL

Have a great day!

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, October 18, 2010

They Crack Me Up

I know they're funny-looking, and to me that's part of their charm.  I just like chickens.  Can you tell?  I like them from day one.  Don't you love the boldness of the little black one?  I'm guessing she'll be a Dominique, sometimes known as Domineckers.  I have no guarantee what most of them will turn out to be and I like that.  I ordered an assortment, and it's the breeder's pick, so I get what I get.  I think it's interesting to see what they actually grow up to be.

I'm really impatient to see what this little girl is.  I've never seen one with quite her coloring.

I cleaned out the big chicken house this morning and gave them fresh hay in their nest boxes, so they are happy and busily scratching in their yard.

I'm working on a couple of projects.  You know how it is - have to have more than one going at a time.

This is the view out my sewing room window, and NO it is not rain, it is a sprinkler.  Had to be done.

Hope your day is going absolutely wonderfully!!!

Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Feeding Frenzy

The baby chicks are three weeks old today.  Can I just say - They've GROWN!

I put a little green salad in their pen today for a treat.  They reminded me of the films I've seen of piranhas!

They ARE cute though, aren't they?

And in sewing news, I've got a whole stack of these little blocks sewn together and cut.  Just a little stack left to trim.

We're having a little cooler day today, so windows open and breezes blowing!  Yippee!

Hope your day is going beautifully.

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, October 11, 2010

Don't You Just Love It When They Love It?

I did deliver my latest quilt to my beautiful friend yesterday morning, and then last night night I got the sweetest card, including a picture of her with the quilt.  Makes me happy, and it means so much to me that she took the time to write a real, honest-to-goodness thank you note.  Those are rare these days, and I have to admit - I'm lax in that department, too.

I really hate to show you a picture of my ratty notepad holder.  I made it for myself a couple of years ago.  I made a lot of these and gave them away to friends and family.  I even did a little tutorial showing how they were made. 

I have absolutely no excuse for not making another one for myself.  This one is truly pathetic.

Anyway, I got busy Saturday (in between finishing-the-groovy-quilt things) and made myself a new one.
I do so love these happy Mary Engelbreit fabrics. 

They just make me smile.

Yippee Yay!  I'm back in business.  I always carry one of these little notepads in my purse.  I keep a running grocery/whatever list of things I need to buy next time I hit the stores.  It's also always a good idea to have a way to take notes when you run across something you want to remember.

It's a beautiful, hot, sunny day here in Houston today.  Hope your day is perfectly wonderful!

Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Feelin' Groovy

The "Groovy" quilt is finished (except for sewing a label on, which I will do later today).

I like it.  It seems such a happy quilt to me -full of bright happy fabrics.

I hadn't noticed until now, but the way I've pieced the backing, it looks like a big happy H!  Groovy!

As I've mentioned before, the fabric line is Psychedelic by Sue Penn for Camelot Cottons. 

The striped binding, which I like a lot, is from the same line.  Tomorrow it will go to its new owner.  I hope she likes it!

I looked at the chicks in their little warm tent this morning and they looked like they were all having a bad hair day.

A few of them pointed out to me that my hair didn't look that great either.  Sheesh, I get no respect from chickens!

It's a beautiful day here.  Hope you're having a good one!

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Using What I Have

I've been working more on my groovy quilt and thought I'd show you some of my "make-do's".

As I take the basting pins out of my quilt-in-the-making, I put them into a little jar where pimientos used to live.  My trusty seam ripper rests on a little mat I made from the trimmings of a quilt I made earlier.

My sweet little scissors are there, close to hand, too.  I keep them on the little mat so they don't slide around all over the place or fall on the floor.

Tonight I took a little break from sewing.  You know how it is - your back and your neck just demand that you stop from time to time.  And I started thinking.  I was thinking about how cute the little scissor fobs are and that I wanted one.  And then I thought maybe I could make one.  So I looked around and thought some more, and this is what I came up with.

I like it.  A lot.  I especially like that I made it myself with things I had right here in my house already without going out and buying anything.

Now, don't my scissors look happier?  Sorry, seam ripper, I can't make one for you.

Oh, and the gloves I use while I'm quilting are these stretchy knit, latex-coated garden gloves I got from the hardware store.  I have the regular quilting gloves, but I like these better.  They're grippier.

It's fun to find new uses for things you already have, isn't it?  Or could it be that I'm just a cheapskate?  Oh well, I'm having fun anyway!

Hope you are, too.

Hugs and kisses,