Monday, January 31, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I just had a very nice, comforting bowl of my Aunt Jean's Broccoli Cheese Soup.

I had made a big batch of this soup last week and put lots of pint containers in the freezer.  Tonight I took advantage of that earlier industry.

Here is the recipe: 


1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
7 chicken bouillon cubes
7 cups water
1 -10 ounce package fine egg noodles
1 bundle broccoli, chopped
7 cups milk
1 pound Velveeta, cut into 1 inch squares

Saute onion in butter in large stock pot.
Add 7 chicken bouillon cubes and 7 cups water.
Add noodles and broccoli. Cook over medium heat
until vegetables are tender.
Reduce heat to low. Add 7 cups milk and Velveeta.
Cook just until cheese is melted.
Do not allow to boil after adding milk and Velveeta.
I'm not sure exactly how much this makes, but a lot.  As I said, it freezes really well and is a blessing when you don't want to have to cook.
Mr. Muddling has a morbid dislike for broccoli, but will eat it in this soup IF I put the broccoli through the food processor until there is no part of it recognizable as broccoli.  I know.  We do what we must to get along.
My reason for needing a little comfort?  I decided to empty rain water that had collected in the sink we replaced in the kitchen.  I have it outside on the side of the house, sort of leaning.  I have plans for it.  But since mosquitoes are a problem here, it's a real good idea not to have standing water.  So I emptied it.  It slipped out of my hand and hit my foot.  I'm sure it's not broken, but it sure is swollen and turning a lovely shade of purple.  Not one of my finer moments.
Going now to elevate and ice again.
Hope your day is going much, much better!
Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, January 27, 2011

No, It's Not Summer Here Either

As trying as the heat can be here in the summertime, I miss the early part of summer right about now.  So I went into my pictures and solaced myself with some early summer photos.

Ah, I feel much better now!

On my design wall is Margaret's pretty chicken stitchery.  Still not sure what it will grow into, but grow it will!

I finished the quilt for our daughter's boyfriend.  He got a brand new bed and mattress set for his apartment and now his quilt is right there on top.  I didn't get a picture of it before it left here, but Ru took a couple of pics for me with her phone.   I'm just glad to be finished with it.  It's a queen size and the first one I put on the new quilt frame.  I am not altogether happy with my quilting.  Obviously I should have started with a smaller quilt to get used to the new (to me) way of quilting.  But it's done, and he loves it, so all is well!

I'm still working on this queen sized quilt for our bed that I started well over a year ago.  I took the sewing machine off the frame to work on this one.  I was having "issues" with the top thread breaking.  I followed the instructions, double-checked and rethreaded and did everything I could think of or imagine and it still happened.  Grrrr......  I figured it might be easier to figure out if I had the machine on the table instead of the frame.  It did a wonderful job of straight stitching, but whenever I started the free motion stitching - trouble.

I did a google search and found the nicest blogger who had had some of the same issues with her set up.  I emailed her and she quickly answered and gave me some suggestions.  Thank you so much, Regina!!!  And then I mentioned my difficulties to Wanda, who I think must know everything about quilting and she also gave me some helpful suggestions.  Anyway, last night - after following their instructions - I sewed and sewed and sewed and no more broken threads.  Hallelujah!  and a big Thank God, and thank you, kind ladies!  Blogging friends are just the best source of so much good information.

A very good friend here locally gave me this sweet little purse.  It's a woven grass and will be mighty nice this summer.  Thanks, Brenda!!!  (And no, sorry, Chloe is not impressed, but then I did wake her from her nap.)

Hope you're having a wonderful time and no troubles at all!

Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Farm Scenes

 I got my label made and sewn into the little quilt for my friend.  It always feels good to completely get one finished, doesn't it?
And of course, I have another one in the works.  This one is for my neighbor across the street.  She wants to give it to her sister who has some sort of senior memory loss. 

 The sisters (and a couple more and some brothers, too) grew up in the country on a farm, so I thought this backing would be perfect.
I like the bright colorful panels with such sweet home depictions on them.

And I am using those thirties reproduction fabrics I like so much.  I hope they spark some memories for her.  It must be so frightening to lose who you are and those you love in the recesses of your mind.  I pray this little quilt, when I finish it, will bring a little comfort to her.

I hope the rest of your weekend is just perfect!

Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy Where I Am With What I Have

After I posted the photos of Margaret's wonderful gift I went out in the front to see Mr. Muddling off to work.  When I came back inside, this is the sight that greeted me.  Chloe cannot stand not to be in the middle of whatever is going on around here.  Oh, brother!

I finished this little quilt.  I really like how it turned out.  It's pretty small, but the friend I made it for is a little bit small, too.  I sure hope she likes it.

I backed it with this Laura Ashley fabric I like so much.  Matter of fact, I like all the fabrics in this one.  It just seems like a happy quilt to me, and on a gray yucky day like we have here today - that's a good thing!  It was pretty earlier, and I'm sorry I did not get outside and get better pictures while it was bright and sunny.  These don't do the fabrics justice.

This amorphous mass is a bunch of sheets covering my lemon tree.  I'm trying to keep it from freezing again this year.  I want fruit!

All of these (and so many more) have to come in again.  I don't want to go back outside, but it has to be done.

However, I've decided to let the chickens have what little is growing in the garden.  They are welcome to it.  I've covered and protected it (or at least tried) several times already this winter, and I'm through with that!

Some things are surviving pretty well without my help and I'll just have to be content with them.
And I'm playing around with these nine-patch pieces.  We'll see.  I think I have a plan.  Maybe.

I hope you're finding plenty to make you happy where you are and plenty to do to keep you busy!

Hugs and kisses,

Friday, January 14, 2011


After Bruno and I worked so hard to get my quilt loaded on the new quilt frame........

Something went terribly wrong.  I have to be really honest and tell you that it was operator error.  In my vast concern to be sure everything was just right on the frame..... I forgot to put the presser foot down.  Yipes.

I did eventually get into a sort of rhythm with it though and I think I'm getting the hang of it.

My stitching is not perfectly uniform and I'm still nowhere near where I'd like to be on proficiency.

And mind you, this is with the machine set at turtle speed.  LOL  Oh well, I've been having a lot of fun figuring it out.  (Yes, muddling again!)  It's fun to learn something new and to have a new toy to play with.  I so appreciate my beautiful daughter and her roommate for buying me the frame and Mr. Muddling for buying me this super-fast new machine.  I'm a blessed woman.

And speaking of blessed, would you take a look at what came in the mail this afternoon from my friend Margaret in Australia!

She said she had gotten this little guy for a present for me for next Christmas and then decided not to wait.  I am so glad!  Isn't he the cutest?  He will have to get acquainted with Gina and Homer.

And look at this chicken and rooster stitchery she made!  Does this lady know me or what!  I love it. 

I have some beautiful fabric that Karen sent me in October that would look super good with this couple.  Hmmmm......ideas swirling. 

So, some new things learned, some (lots of) goodies in the mail, some new toys and ideas for more play.   THAT's a good day!

Hope you're having one, too.

Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Inside and Outside

Inside, it is nicely warm and comfy.  I am trying to rev myself up to be doing something.

 Outside, the chickens have no such problem.  They are always busy.
They have somehow knocked down the little fence I have protecting this side of the back yard from their marauding and are having a wonderful time eating the fresh shoots of grass that survived last night's freeze.

 Bruno has made himself a cozy nest of blankets on the sewing room bed.

Jack is on the couch in the den, snuggled in.

And Chloe has settled herself in the dining room.

Also in the dining room, the quilting machine on its nice new frame is slowly (very slowly) coming together.  I think it is intimidating me and I've got to get over that!  I have one more leader cloth to get sewn and then I can load a quilt and get going.  Dragging my feet here.

 Chickens, on the other hand are full of life and energy,
boldly going even where they have no business going.  LOL  I guess that's why I like them so much.  Plus the fact that they are endlessly entertaining - so much better than television.

I have been praying for the people in Australia.  They have really had more than their fair share of disasters lately.  Sometimes it feels like the world has just turned upside down.  Everything seems to be a little off kilter to me.  Does it to you, too?  I'm just glad I know the One who holds the whole world in His hands!  Glory to God!

Hope you are having a wonderful day.  You know I love you!

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, January 3, 2011

Today's the Day

First of all, a look at what I actually finished in 2010.  Sometimes I surprise myself.  I am not altogether content with anything I made.  I think, from reading what you all write, that is pretty normal.  I can see every little error I made. (And every big one, too!)

Oh, well, on to the next.  I am NOT a perfectionist.  I honestly try to do the best I can with each thing I make and do.  I do not always succeed, but then - if I did I would be perfect, and we all know I'm not that!

I've got a few more of the snowballs made and up on the design wall.  I'm really liking these fabrics playing together so nicely.

And as to today - - - - Mr. Muddling has given me a really nice gift.  Today I have a new sewing machine scheduled for delivery!!!  As my younger daughter would say, "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"  It's a Janome 1600P-DB for the qulting frame, and it goes really fast!  I will really have to be careful.  I want to keep ALL my fingers. 

I am so thankful for so many things.  Most of all, I'm thankful that my name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life.  I'm thankful for my wonderful family and friends, for the opportunity to fulfill my creative urges, and for those creations to actually be a blessing to someone else just fills me with joy!

I hope there are lots of things today that are giving you joy, too!

Hugs and kisses,