Monday, July 30, 2012

Battle of the Beetles

Well, that title should really read “battling the beetles”.  I have a live-and-let-live policy with bugs … I live in my house and they live outside.  End of story (for the bugs, that is).

That policy was violated yesterday when my DH discovered that his box of dried mashed potato flakes in the pantry had beetles.  Because he has been on a diet restricting potassium for awhile, that box hadn’t been touched in close to 4 months.  I guess that was plenty long enough for the critters to come out from somewhere and multiply.
Cleaning/emptying Pantry in Process

What IS all of this stuff?!  It expired WHEN?!!
Needless to say, we scoured the pantry, threw away lots of old stuff and examined and/or repackaged anything not in a can or tin.  I must admit, the pantry hasn’t looked this good since we moved in 10 years ago, but what a job!

Fortunately, the discovery was made after I had finished off a few things in the sewing room:

I called it Purple Posies
This top was made from some Ohio Star blocks I had made up a few months ago.  I had meant to put them on point, but I didn’t have enough fabric and I wanted this to come totally from my stash, so hence, another rectangle quilt from me.

And this is the border finished on the little cars quilt from my previous post:
The binding will be the dark blue
And this is the start of my swap project with The Scratching Post:
This swap is called “Collections” and the jars can hold anything that can be collected (e.g., bugs, fish, fruit, vegetables, school supplies, nuts and bolts, sewing supplies, … you name it).  Mine are butterflies, fish, turtles, etc. – the novelties were all from my stash again.  Each set has three different size/shapes of jars and three different fabrics.  They need their jar tops yet, but that was when I got interrupted for the Great Beetle Chase.

I knew I was behind on quilting tops, but I found out I now have 8 tops stacked up (I thought I had 3 or 4), so this is the week to get those done and in a box and out of here!
Little Basket 'O Tops is full
Sounds like one of those Best Laid Plans again ….

Friday, July 27, 2012

Beating the Heat

While I have been avoiding exercising outside in our horrific heat and humidity, I have been sewing.  Here is a little top that I have been working up with the world’s easiest quilt block, called the Snowball (ok – it also just sounded refreshing!):

It is sewn together now and I should be done adding the blue borders on it later today.

And I should warn you NOT, I repeat, NOT to browse food blogs while avoiding the heat.  One of my charity group’s members had this very excellent Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake featured:
And since she credited The Noble Pig blog for the recipe, I had to take a look over there and found this also very excellent Panzella (Bread Salad) recipe for fresh vegetables: 
Thank You! to The Noble Pig in Oregon
Do you get the idea that I’m either very hungry or easily suggestable?
Maybe both?
We’re actually having homemade pizza tonight, but I’m marking these two recipes, for sure!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mystery Solved

Before I show the Quilts of Valor Mystery Quilt all laid out, I want to remind everyone that there’s still time to celebrate National Hot Dog Month.  The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has estimated that over seven billion hot dogs and sausages will be eaten this summer alone.  This poor misunderstood food remains a great favorite and one of the best comfort and picnic foods around!  Its name is thought to have come from a sports cartoonist, Tad Dorgan, at the Polo Grounds in NY.  The vendors there had begun selling hot dachshund sausage rolls in buns and he didn’t know how to spell it so he simply called them “hot dogs”!
Be sure to dress your dog and not
the bun – mustard is the all around favorite,
but children go for ketchup the most.

As for me, I’ll be hitting the lettuce heavily this month instead.  Apparently, I have been over-indulging and I missed National lettuce month last May, so now I must repent of my wicked ways.  If you’d like to check out some of the Food Channel's salad offerings, see this link:
We've had several days of respite from the rains, so I was able to walk up to the drugstore and the library and get some much needed exercise.

And now to finally get to my main subject:
I was able to finish the last few blocks of my Persimmon Quilt's QOV mystery quilt and this thing is HUGE!  I didn’t have room to lay it all out with the borders.  I’ll be sewing rows together this weekend and have a finished top soon.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

That grand harbinger of wisdom, the Farmer’s Almanac, talks about the Dog Days of summer – that is the period between July 3rd and Aug 11th.  In olden times, it was thought that the position of Sirius (the Dog Star) conspired with the Sun (in the same part of the sky) to make the days hotter and those hot days caused dogs to go mad, hence the Dog Days of Summer!
Some people (uh, ... dogs) know how to keep cool
Well, must of the USA is sweltering under unusually hot and dry conditions and many are driven to the brink about now.  We in Florida have had only our usual summer heat (in the 90s), but in my area we’re not in a drought.  In fact, one of my neighbors is planning to build another Ark - LOL.  We’ve had some especially wet weather for the last week.  And if you want to bring up old sayings again, it’s been anything from a “gully washer” to a “frog strangler” during some of these storms.  Today, the rain started at 5 am and has continued most of the day (pretty much the same as yesterday).  We’re soggy.

So in between thunderstorms (when I unplug the sewing machine to protect it from lightning), I have been working on my QOV Mystery Quilt.  The last clue came out last Sat and I’m working up the last of the stars:

Sure surprised me to see this develop!
And I polished off my fall colored swap blocks and got them in the mail for their Aug 1 due date:
each set has one 12 inch block, two 6's
and four 3 inchers - there are 7 sets in the mail now
And I’ve started a pinwheel and rail fence child-size quilt (I just have to flit from project to project!).  No photo yet – maybe this weekend.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Happy Friday the 13th!

No, I don’t think that Friday the 13th is particularly unlucky – but just in case, I picked up a half-pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream at the grocery this morning to ward off evil – the French Vanilla ought to do it!

We did our best to work off the ice cream in advance yesterday when we played golf at a little executive course nearby.
I had received some new woods for my birthday and wanted to make sure my 5-wood was working properly (the 3 and 7 were doing fine).  And it was - except maybe for this shot:
Thank you, Caddy!
There were lots of little beggars on the golf course:
By the side of the cart!

Muscovy ducks everywhere
And since it’s been raining every afternoon (our usual late afternoon pattern), I helped them with a handout now and then from my granola bar (I’ll bet the golf course hates that!).

I’ve been trying to finish up some swap blocks and making pretty good progress:
Block called "Fair and Square"

Block called "Cathy's Campfire"
Tomorrow, we’ll be getting the last clue for the Quilts of Valor Mystery Quilt (#24), so that’s the plan for this weekend.  I found out that another member of my QOV group is doing this same mystery, so it’ll be fun to compare our results and fabric choices next month.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Gators on the Move

Here in central coastal Florida, it is that time of year when the local alligators warm up and begin moving between ponds, rivers and lakes looking for the best food and maybe the best mate.  They have been so visible this year that it even made the local newspaper (must have been a really slow news day!).
Tampa Tribune
Here are two pics of my close neighbors.  The one up on the bank of the pond in front of our house is between 4-5 feet long and fortunately is still skittish about people.  Our pond has lots of fish, including tasty Bass, but if no one feeds him and he doesn’t find a mate, he will go away (no – I don’t know if it’s really a “he”…).
The other pic is actually of a really little guy – he’s only about 18 inches long and pretty skinny.  This pond is outside of our development, but connects via a concrete culvert and he travels.  Sometimes you see him and sometimes you don’t.
Really just a little guy
Personally, I have a live-and-let-live policy.  I don’t go near them (my photos were taken with a zoom lens) and they don’t come near me.  Works out well for everybody.

I have been working on two Quilts of Valor, but I wanted to take a break today to make up a child’s quilt for the Sunshine Quilt Guild to be donated to Wrap-a-Smile.  I had a small piece of this cute froggie fabric left:
So I made up this simple top with 4-patches.  I really like the result and it was quick and easy.  Made me smile!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day

As we celebrate, let us remember the men and women
who serve in our Armed Forces and give thanks
that we still live in the Land of the Free …