Sunday, July 13, 2014

It's been a Loooooong time!

Let's see--if anyone still reads this I apologize for the lack of posting. 

I still don't have much interest in quilting.  Hopefully that will change in the near future.  But until then--well,  life still goes on.  :  )  

Our little doggie, Sissy,  had puppies in April; three of them.  Unplanned.  Neighbor's Chihuahua.  She had them.  No problem.  Long story short--birthed, nursed, weaned and given away. 

About the time her puppies were old enough to give away it became apparent that Stitches, our kitty, was pregnant!  Her kittens were born July 1.  Five of them.  Wowsers!  All these girls are getting a trip to the vet.  Soon. 

And lately I've been busy making jelly, jam, pickles, and relish.  We found wild plums. I think some call them sand plums.  So I made jelly and jam.  Mixed some with peach juice and cinnamon.  And then one of my quilting buddies has a big garden and gave me two big bags of zucchini and yellow summer squash along with some cucumbers.  Hog Man helped me cut, slice, grate, etc. We will have soups this winter with added cubed squash.  I can make zucchini bread from the grated zucchini.  And we'll see how the sliced squash fares.  I blanched it and froze it in a single layer before bagging in freezer bags.  I will let you know.  And the cucumbers--we're enjoying sliced at mealtime.  I've made two different relishes.  And oh yeah, I made yellow squash pickles.  Love those things!  So the house has had some very nice scents going on lately. 

I made these wonderful little yellow summer squash fritters.  Some of the squash was a little big.  You know how a few will get big on you.  The seeds are too big to really enjoy steamed or fried so what to do.  I scooped out the seeds and grated some and mixed up my version of a fritter.  With  two cups grated squash I added one large egg,  half of a small onion chopped--stir together.  In a separate bowl I put a little less than a cup of all-purpose flour, 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon baking powder,  1/2 teaspoon Lawry's seasoning salt,  dash of black pepper --stir all together then add to squash mixture; stirring until all dry ingredients are mixed in.  In the meantime heat about an inch of vegetable oil in a pan.  Using two spoons drop about a tablespoon into hot oil.  Cook on both sides until golden.  These are so good. 

So the water bath canner has been seeing some action that it hasn't in recent history due to the drought around here.   I scrounged around in the garage for more canning jars.  I found some pretty jelly jars I didn't know I had!  Reminds me I need to see if there are some more.  We found some wild mustang grape vines.  We had a vine down by the barn that we didn't even know we had.  A few grapes --I picked them and juiced and it's in the freezer waiting for more.  We located some more vines on a country road near one of Hog Man's leases he checks every day.  They are still green.  He's keeping an eye on them.  I've never made grape jelly from Mustang grapes but I hear that it is really good.  :  )  It's a lot of work but I really enjoy all the bounty. 

I hope you are enjoying summer in your neck of the woods!
Blessings,
Catering Quilter

Friday, April 11, 2014

Apologies

It's been a long time since I last posted.  Sorry.  I lost interest in blogging.  The winter was long, cold, and we had lots of cloudy weather and I NEED sunshine or it effects me adversely.  Spring is here and lots and lots of warmer and sunnier weather and I am doing much better.  Lots of things to catch up on. 

Speaking of. . . in the course of looking for sewing items and fabric I found projects (UFOs) long forgotten.  Oh dear,  add them to the list.  That list keeps growing.  I think I will dub the list my bucket list now.  LOL  It may take forever to finish all of them.  But I'll have fun doing it! I went through a dresser (count that one dresser) and organized and straightened.  A closet and another dresser and every crook and cranny stuffed to the brim yet to go.  LOL   Progress is progress.

Let's see . . . "Stitches" the kitty is doing quite well.  She is a very loving and entertaining cat.  We have been letting her outside and she is enthralled.  LOL  She caught a mouse in the house and one outside and as for me she has earned big kudos.   "Sissy" our yorky. . .  had an unplanned breeding.  Yeah,  she's due next week.  Next door neighbor's Chihuahua.  I was cooking and on the phone and Hog Man didn't realize she had gone outside with him.  Too late.  Can't undo it. 

The estate sale was held in January for Mother's estate.   A local estate sales business handled it for us.  Only way to go!  Everything was gone.  Totally.  And she vacuumed.  I haven't been back since.  We need to go soon. 



At Thanksgiving we acquired my grandmother's Singer 66 treadle sewing machine.  My older sister had gotten it after my grandmother passed.  I always thought my aunt got it and that's what my mother thought.  But when Mother was in the hospital and we were visiting I asked her.  No.  She told me that my sister had it.  I contacted her and asked her about it.  She decided she wanted my oldest granddaughter to have it.  DD Amanda and hubby brought it to the house so I could clean and oil it. The machine had sat unused for 20 years.  We got the belt put on and started playing.  I love it!  I am sewing little four patches and nine patches on it.  It has a beautiful stitch.  The decals have silvered somewhat and the cabinet veneer is chipped but I am in love.  For me to sew on something my granny used is awesome.  It did take some practice to learn to sew with thread.  The machine was manufactured in Feb. 1924.  My grandmother would have been 20 years old and she was also born in Feb.  Pretty neat, huh?  My aunt didn't think she got it new but remembered Granny sewing all their clothes on it.  DD Amanda wants the machine back at some time.  : (   It will go perfectly in their 1920s house.  So I will have to play a lot until time is up.  :  )  And then I will find one for myself to keep forever and ever. 




This year for our birthdays the Kraz-z Quilters decided to make signed string blocks for each birthday girl.  We have had two with birthdays so far.  This is one of the girl's blocks with a future birthday.


 These are some of the little nine patches I have been sewing.  Remember  Bonnie Hunter's pattern Tumalo Trail quilt that I made and posted here?  These were some that were too pastel for using in that quilt and I have started another quilt.  Yes, I know.  Another project.  And DGD Paisley likes it.  It's PINK.  At least it will be a smaller quilt.  And only four 9 patches needed.  This block is called "Balance" and is found in Nancy J. Martin's 365 Quilt Blocks A Year.  Find it on Dec.27.  It is a 15" block and no I didn't sew the block on the treadle.  LOL I used the Elna Lotus SP for that.  Still in love with that machine. 
 
Some young ladies called one Saturday afternoon wanting to borrow one of my sewing machines to hem some curtains for their church.  I originally thought they were going to take the machine with them so I got out my Kenmore (I'm terrible -- I though I can sacrifice it--if they mess it up) I couldn't bear the thought of them messing up the Elna.  They wanted to use the machine at my house.  Oh, well that changes things.  I can supervise.  And they needed it.  One hadn't sewn since high school and she is in her mid 20s and the other didn't have much experience.  I let them use both machines (they had six panels to do).  They managed to get both jammed.  But I got them unjammed. Mission accomplished.  The little Elna had some hiccups next time it was sewn on.  Threads caught in the bobbin area. 
 
 And yes, Hog Man, is still in the pig business.  Baby pigs in different stages.  I think he is done farrowing for now.  He has been breeding for the summer birthing.  For show pigs for winter shows.  Always have to plan ahead.  He is enjoying his job.  Pumping oil and gas wells.  I ride his route with him on Sunday mornings.  He enjoys seeing wildlife.  Turkeys, deer, hogs (yes, wild hogs), etc.  The recent rains we've had have brought us green grass and the leaves on the trees.  The redbud trees are blooming now.  So pretty.  Bluebonnets are small this year.  And not many in our area. 
 
So check back for pictures of puppies.  She is pretty miserable these days.  Waddling here and there.  She wakes me up in the middle of the night to go outside.  Bless her heart. 
 
Blessings and happy quilting,
Catering Quilter



Monday, December 09, 2013

Sleet

Two to three inches to be exact.  And 20 degree temps.  I took this picture on Sunday afternoon when things had begun to melt.  Then things refroze.  I was in the house for three days.  Hog Man thinks that is horrible.  I think it is divine.  Lap top and a quilt on my lap -- cooking when I have to.  What's wrong with that?   : )    Did you hear?  The highways in the DFW area pretty much iced in with 18 wheelers and vehicles of all kinds stranded.  That would stink so bad.  Hog Man attempted to leave.  He got backed out of the driveway.  Then when he tried to go forward.  It didn't happen.  We become so aware of slight inclines when there is ice on the road.  Well, he totally forgot we have a slight incline to go forward after leaving the drive.  Yeah.  He put it in reverse to see if he could go back a little ways and get a run on it.  Yeah.  No traction.  He let it slide backwards into the bar ditch to get it off the road.  That was Saturday.  A neighbor came by on Sunday afternoon with a 4 wheel drive one ton and pulled him out.  Hog Man's truck is a one ton.  Heavy.  So not everyone can pull him out.  His is not 4 wheel drive.  : (

Speaking of 4 wheel drive.  Hog Man is in need of a 4 wheel drive vehicle.  Not because of this last weather but because he has a job!  A job!  It's been since May that he has had regular employment.  God has provided.  He is a pumper.  What is a pumper?  He has eighteen gas wells to meter, check, etc. every day.  Some of the properties where these wells are located get pretty muddy and hard to travel in bad weather.  He got out today and we'll see how today goes.  He called his boss Saturday when he couldn't get out.  The boss said he would go check the wells.  He has 4 wheel drive and even found it really treacherous. 

I haven't told you about Stitches, our kitty.  She is doing wonderful.  She is such a joy and a belly laugh most days.  She and Sissy, our little yorkie,  get along great.  They play.  They chase each other and play fight.  We caution Sissy.  Get your bluff in early because the kitty may get bigger than you.  LOL  Our family came to help us celebrate our birthdays back in October.  She hid the entire time.  The next time when we had company she ventured out a little.  The grands really want her to like them.  She will -- but you know cats.  They have to do it in their time. 

I made chili and potato soup during our cold weather.  Yum.  I guess you could call the potato soup I made more of a chowder.  It had cream style corn and whole kernel corn and cream cheese.  Just a little cream cheese.  It added such creaminess.  I also added some heat.  Cayenne pepper.  For Hog Man.  He likes his heat.  Will I make it again?  You betcha! 

Still not much sewing going on.  It will happen.  Or it won't.  : )    

Blessings to you,

Monday, November 18, 2013

Blah-blah-blah

That pretty much sums it up.  Blah!  That's what I've been feeling like.  I haven't felt like myself since Mother's passing.  I figured it was the grieving process.  Part of it may have been until my glands on the right side of my neck started swelling and I knew it was something more.  After a week and they didn't go down I made an appointment.  Dr. M gave me an antibiotic.  The pain from the swelling is gone but the swelling is still there.  : (   I've put in a call to the dr.  We'll see what's next.

After I determined I wasn't contagious we made another trip to Ballinger to do some banking business for Mother's estate.  We got a lot done in a short amount of time.  It was a good thing we went when we did. The house insurance draft was not drawn for November.  We got it all worked out.  We talked with someone who does estate sales.  We will meet with them later in the month.  What to keep and what to let them sell?  Decisions.

We've had some cold temperatures and we have beautiful fall foliage on the trees.  The sumac is such a beautiful color.  This last weekend we had temps in the 80s and little visitors.  The two youngest grands came and spent one night with us.  So much energy!   I wish I had a small amount of their energy!

I have been in such a blah mood I have not sewn a stitch.  This may be the longest stretch I have lost my interest in quilting.  At this point--I'm wondering if it's going to come back.  

Blessings,


Friday, October 25, 2013

Reunion and Birthdays

Our high school graduating class celebrated our 40th recently.   Hog Man and I graduated from the same school, same class,  etc.  It makes it simple to go to class reunions.  We had lots of fun.  Some people hadn't hardly changed at all.  Others had changed some but I still knew who they were.  Others I had to read their name tag!  I hadn't seen some of our class mates since we had graduated.  I had reconnected with some via facebook and have connected with more since the reunion.  I was visiting with one gal who had moved down around Brownwood right after high school.  I told her our daughter in law was originally from Brownwood.  She asked what her maiden name was.  Turns out she knows Angie's folks.  Small world!  

We used the weekend of the reunion to do some more work at Mother's house.  We took down all the family pictures and boxed them up.  We located all the photo albums and boxes of photos.  Our DD Amanda drove down and helped out.  Lots of sorting.  Lots more to do.  I brought all the photos home with me for safe keeping and for storing.   Several of us had lost parents this past year.  One gal lost both her parents within a few weeks.  

I was clearing out our answering machine the other day and ran across a message from Mother.  I left it.  I thought it would be nice to hear her voice sometime.  I've been going through a very low time.  I guess it's part of the grieving process.  I have no interest in sewing, quilting, etc.  I know the urge will return in time.  Everything has a season.  

Hog Man and I are also celebrating our birthdays.  Our birthdays are only three days apart.  So tomorrow we will have the family over and cook some good food and have a wonderful time all together.   Psssst----
Hog Man celebrates a big one.  But I'm not telling.  LOL


Blessings,
Catering Quilter

Friday, October 04, 2013

Game Changers

I looked at my husband the other day in the car as we were traveling on I-20 back again to San Angelo and said this is a "game changer".  Let me explain.  We had taken my mother to the audiologist for her hearing early in September.  It was determined her current hearing aids could not be adjusted enough to give her the range she needed.  She purchased new ones.  In ten days the new ones should be in.  Just like clock work they called.  We made to trip.  When we got to her house I knew something wasn't right.  She wasn't sitting in her recliner waiting for us.  The house was very quiet.  Lights were on throughout the house.  I didn't want to startle her so I waited a few minutes to see if she would come walking out of her bedroom.  When she didn't I went in and her bathroom light was on.  I peeked in and she was sitting on the toilet.  I turned away.  But in that one glance I knew something was wrong.  I looked again and knew she wasn't doing well.  I helped her get dressed and let her to powder her face.  She walked into the den but was very weak.  I got her blood pressure machine and she started telling me she couldn't get it to register earlier.  Her batteries were out.  I got new ones and knew then what was wrong.  Her blood pressure was very low.  She stood up and would have fallen if I had not caught her.  We called the ambulance.  At the hospital they determined she was having heart issues.  She was transferred to a larger hospital.  They did a heart cath stat.  The doctor came out and was talking heart by-pass.  After what the Ballinger hospital told us I knew she might not be healthy enough for that.  Kidney failure and weak heart.  I questioned the doctor about that.  He called in a surgeon.  The surgeon determined she would not survive the operation.  We were told she probably would not make it out of the hospital.  Pow! That's a game changer.  All our plans were changed in a blink of an eye. 

That was Friday.  I called my sister who lives out of state.  She made arrangements to fly in.  She arrived the next afternoon.  She had started improving on Monday.  Since she was doing better and my sister was there Hog Man and I went home to take care of some things.  He had an appointment with some pig buyers on Tuesday.  It was so nice to have a couple of days out of the hospital.  My sister called and said that Mother had been moved out of ICU on Tuesday morning.  She had plans to fly out on Wednesday.  So we planned to drive back Wednesday evening.  My sister left the hospital around 11:30am to drive back to Abilene to catch her flight out.  We were almost to Mineral Wells around 1pm and the hospital called.  Mother had taken a turn for the worse.  The doctor called around 1:30pm then at 2:30pm they called to say she had passed.  Needless to say that was a major game changer.   My mother always wanted to do things on her own terms.  They had been talking to my sister while I was gone about arranging for a nursing home.  Mother and I had been talking about moving her near me.  She didn't want to move.  So she got her wish. 

Her funeral was Saturday.  It poured rain.  I was grateful for all of those who turned out for her funeral in spite of the weather.  It was a nice service and she had such a peaceful look on her face.  We had found a picture of her when she was a very young woman and asked them to put it on a pedestal beside her casket.  She was a very pretty woman. 

We began to go through my mother's things.  My sister and I and our husbands.  We found lots of pictures.  Baby hair.  A special signature quilt that I brought home with my relatives names that dates probably 1947.  Much, much more.  Lots that needs to be shredded and lots that needed throwing out.  She didn't throw away anything!  It has sure made me think about my own house.  LOL  Then it was time for all of us to get back to the schedules of our lives. 

While we were in the area we had a joyous occasion.  Hog Man's mother celebrated her 80th birthday.  After seeing the signature quilt I decided I would make her a signature quilt in celebration of her special birthday.  She had some muslin left over from a project so I prepared it with freezer paper backing and got those in attendance signatures.  I will mail out pieces to relatives who couldn't come.  It will be a special quilt. 

My emotions and physical body have been through a roller coaster.  It has taken me days to feel rested and back to normal.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose a spouse or a child.  I can honestly say I have more sympathy and understanding than I did before.  Isn't that how God shows us things?  I felt His presence the entire time.  It was amazing to me how strong I was.  It wasn't until I got home that I let down and felt the weight.  God is so good and so loving. 

Glory to His name and blessings to you,
Catering Quilter

Friday, September 13, 2013

Games

I started playing some of the games on Facebook.  I resisted for a long time.  They are so addictive.  Anyone else enjoying the challenges of Candy Crush.  Enjoying is a relative term.  I suppose it is the challenge.  I am doing that instead of watching TV.  Maybe at least the games will help my mind stay sharp where watching some of these TV programs are demoralizing.

Update on the kitties:  Stitches is doing well.  Blade did not make it.  I have moved Stitches outside.  I had brought her back in after Blade was gone.  Hog Man's allergies are really bothering him right now.  Both of our boys are allergic to cat dander so I wondered if he was as well.  Anyway she is doing good. 

Hog Man has been cooking for us on his gas grill.  He's watching youtube videos.  He's cooked ribs, ham, steaks, hamburgers, fish, pizza, etc.  I like him cooking.  ; )  It's keeping the house cooler with these hot temperatures and it's pretty simple for me to put some side dishes together. Plus plus! 

Lovey had her pigs on Sunday.  Eleven.  Ten alive and doing well.  I will try to remember to take pictures. 

Blessings and happy quilting,
Catering Quilter   

Monday, September 02, 2013

Update

The summer has gone by SO fast!  The older two grands came the first week of August.  For a whole week!  It was fun.  It was hot.   I enjoy each time they come because I know it won't be long as they get older that they will grow up and they will get busy with things in their lives.  : ) 

DGD Aimee came again to spend the night with us so she could be a part of the WCQG quilt show.  It worked out well since Hog Man had some things he needed to do the morning of the show.  She helped me by sitting in my booth and helping out.  : )  Then when Hog Man got done with what he had to do he came and I could leave the booth and do a demo for those in attendance.  She thoroughly enjoyed the show.  Even though she got there at 8:14 and didn't get to leave until after 5pm.  She's a trooper.  And a worker.  I had taken my yo-yo makers and she made yo-yo's when it was slow for her. 

It was a fantastic quilt show that was well attended.  Karen S. in our group is our quilt show coordinator and does a great job organizing it completely.  Members pitched in and worked.   Setting up, putting quilts up, taking down, and cleaning up.  Not to mention all the before show things--baking items for the bake sale; making things for the country store;  getting door prizes; etc. etc.   There was also quilts made for the silent auction which was a great success.  Some of the pictures turned out fuzzy.  :(   Sorry



Quilts going up


 


DD Amanda's quilt made by Hog Man's mother got an Honorable mention by the judges!

More beautiful quilts.

 

 
DD Amanda's Dresden Plate quilt that I made for her. And yes it needs rotating but I don't remember how. : P

 
This Cathedral Window quilt won best of show by the judges. It was HEAVY.  Completely hand done!

 
Here's a close up

More quilts


 This was taken Friday  before the show.  Hog Man, on the left,  is helping put up the Silent Auction quilt racks.






Like I said the quilt show was a great success.  Thanks to all who contributed.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. 
 
And DGD Aimee got to come see us again. : )  And here I thought when school started I wasn't going to get to see her much.  She spent two nights with us over this Labor Day weekend.  We didn't do anything particular but just "hang out" as they say.  So relaxing.
 
After the quilt show I got the two small C.A.S.A. quilts machine quilted.  I finished putting the last binding on day before yesterday.  Such a good feeling to have those finished.  I know you don't want me to mention this BUT  -- Christmas is not that far away.  OMG  Time to get BUSY!   I always want to make so much and in reality it doesn't happen.  : (  Maybe this year.
 
If you're still reading -- : )  we have more babies.  It's the season for show pigs to be born so there are more being born.  This last week has been 100+.  So hot and hard on mothers and babies alike.  Stitches the kitten is doing well.  I moved her outside when her brother showed up.  Or I think he is her brother.  Same size.  He was COVERED in fleas and malnourished.  We're getting a handle on the fleas but he is still not out of the woods yet.  I moved Stitches outside to keep him company.  I couldn't have him inside with the fleas.  I don't know if I have ever seen an animal as infested with fleas as he was.  Several baths later he is looking better.  We will see. She has adjusted well to the outdoors.  Although she would like to be in the house.  : )  Can't say I blame her with the temperatures. 
 

 


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Babies

Stitches and Sissy love Hog Man!

 

Baby pigs, puppies and now a kitten.  A very young kitten.  A too young to be weaned from mother kitten came to the house Sunday evening late.  I heard it meowing out in the field behind the house earlier that day then when a thunderstorm came up it came running to the house.  It is tame. Purrs like some kind of machine.  It laps milk well -- very good.  And it can eat cat food.  But too young to survive without some care.  So here we go.  Hog Man is not fond of kitties to begin with and certainly not in the house.  He grumbles a little.  It's been two days.  Grow fast kitty!  Oh, and DGD Aimee and I decided "Stitches" would be a good name for her.  Yes, she is female.  Oh, there he goes grumbling again.  LOL 


The puppies are growing.  And as you can imagine they don't stay in the kiddie pool anymore.  So Hog Man made them a pen from a cattle panel that has smaller wires and they cannot escape.  We've started them on puppy food.  A few have been given names.  There's Roman, Opal, Jet, Diva (just imagine why), Diamond, Whiney (always whining when the rest are asleep) and the rest I don't remember what the grands named them -- not that it matters.  Their owners will give them new names when they are adopted.  In just a few more weeks.  I am counting down.  LOL

This has not been a really hot summer but I am ready for fall.  There is something restful about cooler temperatures and the beautiful blue skies of autumn are a sight to behold.  Speaking of the sky--we have had some beautiful sunsets lately and the clouds and blue sky at times have been so pretty. 

Yesterday I was invited to go shop at United Notions/Moda. I had never been in their warehouse before.  It was too much to take in.  Everyone of their employees were very helpful and courteous.  And their facilities were 5 stars.  The FABRIC!  I tried not to drool.  It's a good thing the bolts are wrapped in plastic.  ; )

The WCQG quilt show is coming up next weekend!  Lots to do. 

Blessings and happy quilting,