Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Grandmothers Quilt

Many of my friends ask me how I occupy my time when I am on the road with the pipeliner.

I tell them I always pack two special things to make the time pass.

The first one is my Bible, and the second one is my box of goodies.

This box holds all of my sewing projects.

I have a few cross-stitch samplers, a loom for pot holders and my quilt that I started when we first hit the road.

That was 5 years ago!

The design is called a grandmothers flower garden.

I have quite a few of the "flowers" made.

My mother actually started me out, by giving me the hexagon to work with.

Each "petal" is a piece of cardboard cut out in the shape of a hexagon. You then stitch a square of fabric around this form.

After you have 6 petals you begin sewing them around your center petal.

You can make this your flower or add another row of petals.

Like I said this project has taken me over 5 years to get this far. The pipeliner used to tease me that I would be a grandmother before I ever got it done.

And he was right!

But it takes a lot of work to hand stitch each flower!

I only have 4 more flowers to complete before I begin sewing them all together. Then it might take me another year to quilt it.

Who knows, I could be a grandma again in that amount of time!

I found a great website that has a pattern for this quilt, along with the template for each petal.

Now my friends know how I spend time at the camper waiting for my pipeliner to return!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Moneky Bread

Good Monday morning!

We received a dusting of snow overnight here in northern Illinois. Thankfully nothing like they received downstate. I heard they are measuring in feet, not inches!

This weekend I was on the refreshment committee at church. I have an old stand by that I usually make.

And after I bring it everybody always says, this is so good, why don't I make it more at home!

The good old standby:

Monkey Bread!

The ingredient list is simple.

3 cans of biscuits
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 stick of margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon

First cut your biscuits in to quarters.

Drop the cut quarters into a bowl of 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon.

Stir them around until they are good and coated.

Put the sugar coated biscuits into a greased bundt pan.

Then melt your stick of margarine, 3/4 cup brown sugar and 3/4 tsp. cinnamon over low heat until the margarine is melted.

Pour the mixture over the biscuits in your bundt pan.

Bake in a 350F. preheated oven 30-35 minutes.

After you take it out of the oven let rest for 10 minutes, then invert on to a plate.

That sticky goodness just oozes down the side!

This is such an easy and tasty treat to throw together!

My son was at the end of the line, and the monkey bread was gone. He is now begging me to make him his own.
I am going to email him this post.
I think its easy enough to make, even for a 26 year old son!

Enjoy your Monday!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Whats behind the barn?

Mother Nature has decided to put spring on hold. More snow predicted for this weekend!

She hasn't stopped me from working on my spring projects! The biggest one I want to tackle is what to plant behind the barn.

When we bought the place last year the weeds were over my head!

Much of the yard was in neglect like this.

But with a lot of raking, pulling and tugging (plus a bad case of poison ivy) we got it pretty well under control.

My 70 year old parents were a blessing in the help department! I don't know how I would have got it done without them.

The pipeliner always dreamed of having a red barn. So over the summer we had the outbuildings all painted red.

The ground was tilled so new grass seed could be planted this spring.

The little building to the back was for the former owners goats.

This little corner sits at the back of our property. Secluded from the house and surrounded by farm fields.

I think its the perfect place for a secret flower garden.
At least that is the vision I have for it.

I have been walking around the spot in my mudders, trying to measure and decide what flowers will be planted where.

A few trees in the back are dead. They will be removed along with some pruning of the others. I think some pine trees will be planted to border the edge.

It looks like nothing but a mud hole right now!

Mother Nature might be putting a delay to my plans. But she won't stop me from daydreaming about the end result!

(We officially put the house in town on the market today!)


Monday, March 18, 2013

Wash by hand or by machine?

My Monday mornings are usually spent picking up the house after the weekend. We aren't a messy bunch. Just that things are more relaxed on those 2 days.

But I have to admit the thing that still makes me shake my head in appreciation each Monday morning is opening up the dishwasher to a machine full of sparkley, clean dishes!

I usually hand wash the dishes during the week. There is only the 2 of us, not a lot of dishes to dirty.

But over the weekend I just put the dishes into the dishwasher after each meal. Then before we go to bed on Sunday night I add the soap and flip the switch!

When I get up Monday morning the machine is ready to unload!

Oh I have not always had the pleasure of a dishwasher!

We first had one when the son was born. It was nice for washing the never ending supply of dirty baby bottles. But it broke and was just to costly for a young couple to fix.

When we redid the kitchen they built a spot for a new dish washer to go. Again it was costly, and other things for the kids needed to be purchased.

Then the kids got a little older and could help with washing dishes.

Those after meal sinks of suds, got us caught up with events in their lives. We solved problems at school, we discussed their newest love interests and we shared lots of laughs.

(oh and a few fights over who's turn it was to dry)

We never did install a dishwasher in that house!

My life moved on after the kids left. 

I moved to another house that has a very efficient dishwasher.

(I almost forgot how to use one!)

But it does its job very nicely after a busy, running around weekend.

I can still be found most nights at the kitchen sink, washing up the daily dirty dishes.

So I ask,
are you a daily, dirty dish hand washer
do you let the machine do its job?


Friday, March 15, 2013

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Happy Friday!

The pipeliner has the whole weekend off!
Plus it is St.Patricks weekend!
What could be better?
How ever somebody (not me ) doesn't like corn beef & cabbage.

So this is what I am making that somebody while I enjoy a big plate of my favorite St. Patty's treat!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

The first thing is to combine all of the spices!

2 tbsp. onion powder
2tsp. thyme
2tsp. all spice
1tsp. cayenne pepper
1tsp. black pepper
1/2tsp. nutmeg
1/2tsp. cinnamon
1/2tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Mix all of your spices together in a large bowl.

To this add:

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce
4 tbsp vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
4 tbsp. orange juice
2 tbsp. lime juice

Stir until everthing is combined.

Plop your chicken down in your bowl. Make sure the whole thing is covered in the marinade.

I usually make the marinade in the morning. Then I let the bird sit in the fridge covered tighly with plastic wrap for the rest of the day.

But I made mine last night so it would be ready this morning.

The pipeliner prefers his chicken cooked in the rotisserie.

But it is also really tastey on the grill!

The house smells great while the bird is turning in the rotisserie. Now I need to make a phone call and reserve myself a carryout of cornbeef for tonight!

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Float my Boat

I guess the talk around these parts is still of the weather!

Last Tuesday the ground was covered with a blanket of snow.

This is the view of our pond in the backyard. 

But over the weekend we had rain, warm temperatures and a lot of melting.

This week our view changed dramaticaly!

The dock is sticking out of the ice.

The boats are about sunk!

And the water continues to rise!

Things froze up again over night, which stopped the water from getting any higher.

As I look out my window flakes of snow are flying thru the sky.

Could this weather get anymore stanger?

Mother Nature please change your mind!

Bring some warmth!

Bring some sunshine!

Make my yard turn to green!

Make my flowers grow!

Just please quit making it snow!


Friday, March 8, 2013

Bring on Spring


                     We received 7-8 inches of snow on Tuesday.

I was happy to see a big snow fall. We have been gone all the other
                                        times it has snowed.

I have spent the rest of the week shoveling out my parents drive, the farmhouse drive-way and a path for the dogs to run.

                                       It was pretty, but I say:

                                       Bring on spring!


Monday, March 4, 2013

What Do You Read?

                                      I love to read! 
    I love to read books, magazines, seed catalogs and your blogs!
 The pipeliner said if I didn't have anything to read, I would probably read the side of a cereal box. (I have done that!)

The only bad thing is the collection of magazines that over run the house!. I have decided now that the pipeliner is back to work I am going to go thru them. Many are dog-eared for things I want to rip out and save.

               One of my favorite magazines lately has been Grit.

Does anybody remember when this used to come in newspaper form?

I remember reading it at my grandmothers house.

I subscribed to this magazine for a few years. Then I decided to give the subscription to my library. I can read it there, and others can enjoy it as well.

Another favorite:

Their covers look so tastey!

Again, I subscribed to it until my library started putting it on their shelves to be checked out. If I find a recipe I really like I can just go to the website and download it.

My parents give this one to me every year as a Christmas present.

I have found so many neat places to visit, eat at or stay in my area through this great magazine.

A lot of my friends don't pick up magazines anymore, they read them online.

Not me!

I love to look at all the glossy pictures!
I love to read a few pages and then put it down for awhile.
My favorite is soaking in a hot bubble bath, reading glasses on and a stack of magazines on the edge of the tub!

Just came back from the library with a new batch to go through.

The weatherman has a winter weather warning posted for us tonight and tomorrow.
I say bring it on!
I am all stocked up!


Friday, March 1, 2013

Back to real life!

            The pipeliner and I are back from a great vacation!

                          Can you recognize this landmark?

Yes we spent a week in Key West!

The weather was fantastic!

The sunsets breath-taking!

We stopped for a few beers at Hemingways famous hangout.

Lots of these fellows strutting around the island. Even found a few while wondering around the cemetery.

And most days began and ended around this relaxing spot!

It was a wonderful trip. I would go back in a minute. But all good things must come to an end.

The pipeliner is back at work. I am catching up on laundry.

Life returns to normal!