Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Thank you to everyone for all the well wishes while I was ill. We're having an outbreak of a respiratory virus that quickly turns into a sinus infection affecting the equilibrium.

In my case it started with a scratchy throat on Tuesday, full blown cold symptoms on Wednesday and then a fever of 102 on Thursday- and I'm normally around 97.5 or so. By Friday I couldn't move without getting sick, even just moving my head while semi reclining. This led to our trip to urgent care on Saturday since the regular office was closed. Now my temperature had turned. I couldn't get it above 96.3 at the office.

By this time I am completely dehydrated but can't hold anything down, including medication. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic and decongestant along with the most amazing medicine for the nausea. It is called Ondansetrol ODT, which means it dissolves under your tongue, so even if you get sick the medicine is already absorbed. Within 10 minutes there was no nausea at all, none. In addition, it helped with the dizziness, not curing it by any means but the two symptoms must have been playing off each other. I had to take these continually, every 8 hours. It tastes like grape, at first, but the after taste leaves something to be desired. I grabbed Taylor's pixie sticks and sprinkled it on my tongue--quickly. The medication sure can get confusing! Decongestant every 12 hours, nausea medicine every 8 and then antibiotics every 6.

The hubby took care of the animals, house and my basic needs, making sure I had eggs and dry toast- plus updated my blog. I hadn't been on the computer at all and he had full control. I was sure wondering what he might be posting while I wasn't looking! My brother-n-law mentioned how political I had gotten lately!! Uh, oh . . . Whew, he was just kidding.

After 5 days of doing absolutely nothing besides cough and sneeze I was quite ready to get back among the living, particularly since daytime tv is terrible! You'd think something interesting would be on with over 100 channels. Well, I suppose there is if you want to create abs of steel by zumba dancing in your new amazing bra. Me, I stuck to HGTV, Food Network and the History Channel.

I'll have to get my act in gear and start into that garden now that I'm feeling better. Thanks again, everyone!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Kathy's Sick

Howdy everybody, my name's Tom and I'm Kathy's husband. She asked me to let y'all know that she's been sick this week and that's why she hasn't posted anything. In fact, she hasn't done much of anything else, either. This flu/cold thing really got to her this time 'round.

She should be back in a few days, I would imagine anyway. She got some medicine from the doc today and she's already looking a little more like her normal, cheerful self. Which means I better get crackin' and get the house straightened up because pretty soon she'll be well enough to notice I've been slackin' again. And I don't want to get her mad.

She scares me.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bones in the Garden- Murder or Natural Causes?

Was it murder?  Or death by natural causes?  We many never know.

There's one thing for sure, this one won't be talking.  

He's not play'n possum anymore.

No opossum was hurt in the making of this blog post- he was already dead.  My assumption is by natural causes since his bones have not been disturbed since summer.  I came across them while checking out the garden today.  As strange as it may sound to some of you, the kids enjoy looking at our found bones, learning how the skeletons are put together and which bones make up what part.  

Today in the Garden, Spring Prep

We have a couple of different garden areas, one larger shared garden on the side lot.  My husband cleaned up most of the old tomato plants and vines while he was off but left the pie tins we use to scare off the beasts.  This is where we plant the majority of our tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkins, cukes, beans and whatever else we sprinkle about.

Then there is the side garden, just a couple of boxes but they sure can produce.  I had some peppers, a couple of special zucchini plants, a few cherry tomatoes and marigolds to help with bugs and pretty things up a bit.

Up across from the porch is our retaining wall that I have covered in perennials and a few annuals for good measure.  I particularly like zinnias for fall color.

The straw from the chicken coop will serve as mulch. We'll be thinking about getting new chicks this year as ours are getting very old.   

He trimmed the grape plants and will need to spray them for black rot later on, a common Missouri problem.

The onions were popping up, not very well developed though.

Then this is growing- does anyone know what it is?

How about this?  This grows like crazy on the sunny side of the house next to the foundation.  Is it edible?

Watch for more . . . The Bones in the Garden . . . .. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Word Verification Issue

UPDATE:  It appears Blogger is responsible for this and, according to the internet comments I have read, no one is pleased.   I have removed the word verification because I just cannot have this on my blog.  Moderation is still on so I should be able to catch any "bad" stuff that tries to come across.

I have a confession to make. I cannot read these authentication images. It often takes me ten times or better to find something I can read and the audio is even worse. I don't have any problems with the normal letters, it's the ones that are on a slant and combine black & white in a fuzzy pattern. Sometimes I have to submit this several times so I'm thinking of just giving up commenting when these are involved.

Is it just me? Perhaps I have a vision problem other than being near sighted with a slight astigmatism? I just can't do these. If I stop commenting please know that I have not stopped reading. If you ever see this on my blog, let me know because I should have it set for regular lettering.

321 Cake - An Instant Treat

If you have ever needed a sweet treat but didn't want to make an entire scratch cake, try this simple 321 recipe that has been floating around my office e-mail. Now this does not stand up to my homemade carrot cake recipe (which makes a spicy, chunky platter of goodness that must weigh 23 lbs); however, if you happen to have an irresistible need for immediate sweetness, it's a pretty good substitute. The best part--it only takes 60 seconds.

Begin with two boxed cake mixes. One MUST be angel food because it contains powdered egg whites (so don't serve this to anyone allergic to eggs). The other flavor can be anything but if it has raisins or anything dried, you better let it soak a minute or two after you add the water.

You place it in a large zip lock bag or in my case, a sealed container larger than the mix volume.

Shake it up so it is completely mixed. This is the container mine will stay in. If you choose one too you might want to slip a recipe card in a sealed bag inside or attach it to the side. It's easy to remember; however, will you remember what is in the container?

Add 3 Tablespoons of mix into a microwaveable bowl.
Add 2 Tablespoons of water.

Stir it up very well.
Place it in the microwave for 1 minute.

Look what happens! You can eat it now or drizzle some frosting over it.

See how easy, 3 T mix, 2 T water 1 Minute microwaved or 321 Recipe.

Friday, February 17, 2012

My Fat Quarter Prize - and a few other items

I won this pretty fat quarter from Fun Fact Friday Freebie. You all need to check out Barbara's blog, Cat Patches. She is one of my favorites and to top it off, she loves cats! Anyone who loves cats must be great.

My husband called me at work when the envelope arrived so I made him open and describe it to me. I was so excited! I finally made it home and got to see it for myself.

I immediately ran upstairs to the stash to see what combinations I could match up with it. I have some things on the shelves of my grandmother's old cabinet, some in the drawers and some in rolly bins tucked into the closet.

I love the little shelf, so handy to set my glasses on, decorate with some pictures and what about that Easter card from my cousin-in-law who is very creative. You'll notice some change left over from my Christmas cash that I reserved for only fabric so here it sits awaiting the next influx of change.

The black framed picture behind it is actually a piece of wall paper from my grandmother's house. I don't know how long it had been up but I don't remember any other paper and I'm pretty darned old. The paper had mostly fallen off the wall and would be removed once the house sold, so I took a chunk and framed it.

This green fabric matches the leaves on my new fat quarter perfectly and depending on what I do the multi colored piece might be able to be mixed in as well.

I thought I would show you some of the other pieces I have. I'm not sure what to make with these right now so if you have ideas let me know.

While I was looking around I untied my scrap pack I picked up at a St Louis quilt shop. Such pretty rabbits. I don't know what I'll do with it but this piece has several nice images I could fussy cut. It came with some green, blue, yellow and a print.

Some of them will be lost in the 1/4 inch seam but you never know when you need a foot or a tail.

I just love the bunnies!

I found some cute chicken material and paired it with some black/white, reds and yellow with various patterns. I have a block in mind that I found on last year's calendar.

This is part of my patriotic stash that I really want to do something scrappy with, scrappy with a pattern to it. I've seen some examples in magazines that might be nice.

Then the other day I splurged on this. I didn't intend to. I was just using my February coupon for 50% off all clearance items. This was not on clearance but I love this embroidery-pieced pattern but I do need to have the hubby make a light box for me since I have to trace the pattern. I won't get to this for a long while but really wanted the pattern. It's done here in red and I saw on one of the blogs where someone else chose winter blues.

I also got these four, two of which were 50% off!

For one reason or another fabric seems to have a calming effect on me, except of course my current BOM that is a bit more complicated than my skill level is comfortable with. Well, we all have to have stretch goals!

Thank you once again, Barbara, for the wonderful fat quarter. It completely turned my mood around after a particularly stressful day at work.

Lettuce See What Grows -Botanical Interests

I need a little Spring, not that our winter has been horrific, in fact, it's not been too bad at all. But it's still winter. I don't have a nice greenhouse (yet) or a good place to start seeds with hanging lights and great tiered tables to watch pretty little seedlings emerge. What I do have is a great sunny area in the breakfast area of our kitchen.

We never put a table there, silly when it's next to the large breakfast bar and dining room table, so my husband set up a makeshift table constructed from sawhorses and a long board which I covered with a table cloth. I found a cute little lettuce seed starter set at Dollar General. I didn't want their seeds, just the pot because it was a perfect size. I did use their potting mix since it was included.

I sprinkled Botanical Interests Lettuce Mesclun mixture in it, gave it a drink now and again. My seedlings poked through within a few short days. They are small now but I hope to have a little salad bar in the window. Of course these are only a few seeds, the rest will go outside later.

I also have some marjoram started from the same seed company. I'm going to see which ones take off and then thin it out. We typically substitute marjoram for oregano due to it's sweeter, milder flavor so I like to keep it handy too.

He's thinking about building some cabinets into this area and topping it with a nice tiled surface so I can keep plants on top and still have storage beneath for larger things such as the canners or other large pots.

Well, it's Friday and little Taylor is staying with us this weekend, recovering from some foot surgery, poor thing. I hope your weekend is off to a great start and hopefully I'll share some lettuce photos in the coming weeks, unless we eat it first! :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Center Block Y Seams Part A&B DONE!!! (oops!)

(PS: Oops! I goofed- I have to take off my corners and re-size the very center, it's too big. I misread the instructions to square up to 13 1/4 reading it as 13 3/4. At least I am no farther and can fix it pretty quickly.)

OK, it's not perfect, but I hadn't counted on that in the least bit; however, my Y seams are DONE!!!! I thought there were only 8 of them but no, there were sneaky ones too. I still don't have the hang of it. I'm getting closer though- I'm still a beginner when it comes to fancy piecing!

The Y seams are on the outer corner pieces that look like a crown. I made two of the crownish pieces with a triangle for the Y seam. Then a square was pieced between them followed by triangles on either side.

I started with center square Part A.

Then added the corners (part B)

The pieces I completed tonight pieced to the center square (parts A & B ) between the red and green spotty corners. Once all of them were attached I had a bigger square. I had to play around with them to get it to fit, as I mentioned, they were all over the place.

I still need to square it off to 18 1/2 inches and then add the next border before the flying geese border that goes between the other 8 blocks.

This is what it should look like when I have completed it- based on the sample hung on the quilt shop wall during our block of the month meetings.

Y Seam Previous Post

Here are all the blocks so far

Picnic Hams- Pork Processing Continues

Our ham processing saga continues . . . .

You can read part 1 here.. We started with 220 lbs of pork that we had the butcher block out - not cutting it into the pork cuts you see in the stores. The bacon is finished as well as the ground and pulled pork leaving us with the picnic hams that we are boiling and long cut hams that we will process to be the type you see hanging in burlap sacks.

It was been four weeks since we injected the picnic hams with cure, wrapped them in plastic and put them in the spare refrigerator. After two weeks we soaked them to remove the surface salt, rewrapped them and stored back in the fridge for another two weeks. Today was the ham boil.

These two picnic hams cooked at a simmer for about 4 hours until done. He deboned one of them, leaving a little meat on it for soup. I tasted a little bit and it's really good and extremely tender.

After they cool we will cut and package them up, vacuuming sealing some for future use.