Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Wonderful Little Red Machine

Have you ever heard of the Xpress Redi-Set-Go Cooker?? Well, I ordered one in March 2010 from QVC. (Unfortunately, it's no longer available through QVC).  I hate to admit it, but I have a terrible habit of ordering things that I think look really cool and then not really using them.  The Xpress Cooker was no exception.  I used it once or twice and then it was put away in a cupboard.  I had almost forgotten about it. I can't stand on my feet for long periods of time, so cooking breakfast really isn't an option.  I was telling daughter Mary how much I wished I could cook good things for the kids, and she asked me why I couldn't use my little red machine.  And so, I dug it out. I can sit at the table and use it there. It came with all these other pans (which I haven't tried to use yet) but the inside is non-stick.  A few weeks ago, I used it to make scrambled eggs for the kids and I for lunch.  I use egg beaters, which are convenient and more nutritious, and added a slice of fat free cheese when the eggs were nearly cooked.  It was delicious, and the kids were really impressed.  I know to most people cooking eggs isn't a bit deal, but for me it was a small victory. This morning I used it to make french toast, again with egg beaters and I added Splenda, vanilla and cinnamon to the egg mixture.  We all loved it, and the kids ate every bite.  They say that you can make a small cake in the bundt pan, but a small cake in my house would be ridiculous.

I think I may try to make heart shaped pancakes with some Bisquick Shake and Pour.  And who knew that Bisquick now makes Shake and Pour Brownies!!!  And now I'm thinking about little cocktail wieners and corn muffin mix to make mini corn dogs in the pan next to the heart shaped pan. Eureka!! the possibililties are endless.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ramblings of a Dizzy Broad

All my best laid plans for the Christmas quilts have fallen by the wayside. My vertigo reared it's ugly head suddenly and without warning, and has left my world spinning - literally.  Usually it strikes in the summer when there's a lot of high humidity, so I'm not sure what kicked it into gear right now.  We've had a tremendous amount of rain, so maybe that's it.  I can only thank God that it hasn't been snow or we'd be up to our "well you get the idea" in the white stuff.  Sure would love to have some snow for Christmas, though.  The dizziness has interrupted my life,  I can't bend over, I can't put my head down or back, and any sudden movement results in the room spinning.  So, sewing has been out of the question.  It's getting better, so hopefully I will be able to return to life as I know it very soon.  I've been spending most of my time watching Christmas shows, both for kids and adults.  And I introduced Izzy and Jake to "Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas".  It's one of my favorite holiday videos, and now the kids like to watch it also.

I've also been spending a lot of time on Pinterest.  I've added new boards, new pins, and would love for you to "follow" me on Pinterest.  You can find me by searching for "Linda Burton".  Each year at Christmastime, we exchange food gifts with some of our neighbors.  This year I decided to do Cinnamon Spiced Almonds, and I found a recipe on Pinterest  for making them in the crock pot, which I'm going to try today.  If you're interested, it's on my Christmas Gift Ideas board.

I've also been toying with the possibility of opening an Etsy store after the first of the year.  Check back later for more news on that.  I need to clean and better organize the sewing room before starting that new project.  So, finishing the quilts and reorganizing the sewing room are the first two items on my agenda after Christmas.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Christmas Tail

Just to set the stage -- We live in the country surrounded by lots of fields.  Field mice are just part of life here.

Tis two weeks before Christmas and all through the house,
We’ve got critters stirring, one is a mouse.
I think one’s a mole, cause it hasn’t a tail
We’ve tried hard to trap them, but to no avail.
They run ‘cross the glue traps while singing a rap
They steal PB and cheese right out of the traps.
We’ve sent in the cats – they run back out scared.
They’re both really old and one is impaired.
Willy has but one eye and his hearing is shot.
They’re sweet, loving kitties but no mice have they caught.
These critters run out and they laugh in my face,
They scream “neener, neener” all over the place.
I’ve so much to do, but my vertigo’s back
When I move, I get dizzy and fear that I’ll yack!
So instead I just sit here, I’m stuck here at home.
I’ve nothing to do but write stupid poems.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Lost and Found

 Remember the fabric that's been lost for months???  It has been Found!!!  Yesterday while working on some appliques, I needed a piece of pink.  I pulled the pink fabric bin off the shelf and, WAHOO there behind the bin was the mailing bag with the missing fabric still inside.  I jumped up and did the happy dance! I needed the red dot that was in that bag for Bubby's Mario quilt, and didn't really want to order more, so it appeared just in the nick of time.  That's how I was able to finish the "Mushroom Guy" that I showed you yesterday.

This morning, I was up before dawn and got an early start in the sewing room.  I've been avoiding Mario and Luigi since they looked so difficult.  But I was in a good frame of mind, so I decided that today was the day.  I've very pleased, I like how they look.  I have three more to go, and I'm ready to start the finishing stitching.

I may finish in time yet!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

More Mario

Today, I am working on more of the Mario Brothers appliques. Done so far are (as I refer to them:
Chompy Flower


flower guy

polka dot mushroom

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Show and Tell

Here's the finished Princess Quilt top.

And I have two more blocks finished for Bubby's Mario Brothers quilt.  Since I don't play the game, I don't know all the character names, so I call this guy "Blah Guy."

And this is "Squiddee Guy".  If you know what they're real names are, don't hesitate to post them.  I am totally video game illiterate.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Moving On

The Princess quilt top is finished.  I had only 3 strips left to put together yesterday, and the electric went out. Do you have any idea how quickly your hand tires when turning the machine by hand?!?!?!  It came back on 1-1/2 hours later, but by then the sewing urge was gone!

Now that it's finished, I'm moving on to Bubby's Mario Brothers quilt.  Since I don't play video games, I don't know what all the characters are called.  I call this dude the "Meanie Mushroom".  He's ready to fuse onto the background - as soon as I decide what it will be.  Have a good week.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A New Project

Most of the sewing projects that I have to finish before Christmas can only be done on the sewing machine.  But I have so much time during the day when the kids are here that I can't sew.  Mostly I sit and watch kids shows.  But last night, Mary mentioned that she was waiting on the additional recipes that I have saved since the first cookbook was printed.  And some other family members need a new copy of the old book.  But printing the recipe cards that I did before takes a lot of colored ink.  So this morning, I googled a cookbook software program and found one that was less that $25.00.  I downloaded it, and have done 68 recipes today.  It looks pretty good, but there's still a long way to go.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hump Day

Yes, it's Wednesday - Hump Day.  Today I have a day off from babysitting, and am hoping to make the sewing machine smoke!  I'm hoping to finish Izzy's quilt top today, and get started on Bubby's.  I am looking forward to the weekend, as Rod and I are taking a road trip to Ohio Amish country.  We plan on visiting the flea market, the winery, a Christmas store, and the cheese factory.

We have Sirius radio in the car, and they have two Christmas channels.  The carols they play, however, are not our cup of tea and so I will be charging up the Holiday Zune for the trip.  He will drive, I will sing, and we will discuss our Christmas decorating and cookies.  I have pinned several "diabetic friendly" cookie recipes.  Ho, Ho, Ho, I'm beginning to feel a lot like of Christmas.  But now, it's on to the sewing room.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Say What!?!?!?

Last night I had a panic attack.  I was looking at the calendar and suddenly it hit me -- 30 days from last night is Christmas night. No, I told myself.  It just can't be.  But, everyone assured me that it was so.  So how am I doing gift wise?

 Mary and Jimmy - Done
Kristin and George - Done
My Mom   - Done
Pat and Pam - know what I'm getting them, just haven't bought it yet.
Krissy - gifts are bought; quilt top is finished but needs ironing, quilting and binding.

Bubby - gifts are bought, quilt appliques are fused -- need to get busy.
Izzy - gifts are bought, quilt blocks are being buttonhole stitched -- needs to be finished
Jake - gifts are bought, quilt top is finished, but needs ironing quilting and binding.

Judging from the above list, I think I need the quilting relatives of the shoemaker's elves to help when I'm sleeping.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Day After Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is over, the fridge is clear full
With lots of leftovers in clear plastic bowls.
There’ll be turkey sandwiches, soup and potpies.
The choices are endless, some new things we’ll try.
We’ll make cappeletti, and turkey spread too.
But before we all know it, the weekend is through.
Christmas is coming – it’s coming too fast.
I’ve so much to do; I’m left feeling aghast.
There’s shopping and trimming, I could just moan.
So why did I waste time on this silly poem?? 
Hope your holiday was the best.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What Was I Thinking???

Last night Rod and I stayed up until 1 a.m. to watch Gone With the Wind.  I knew that I had to be up early to get the stuffings (or is it dressing?) into the crock pots, but I couldn't pull myself away from that Yummy Captain Butler.  So although I was a little bleary eyed, I dragged myself to the kitchen before 8:30 and the dressings (I think it's dressing since it wasn't stuffed into the turkey) was in before 9.  We are planning on a 1 p.m. dinner. The turkey is done, and resting comfortably in the oven.  Potatoes are peeled, and in water ready to turn on.  Pam and Pat came down this morning and made the relish tray.  Yesterday, Mary and I made the cornbread for the cornbread stuffing, and made a loaf of bread.  Last night, Pam made the pies, Rod and I made the homemade buns, and he cleaned the house.  The pickled eggs are finished and ready to eat.  I always make pickled eggs on holidays as a reminder of the blood Christ shed for us.

The house smells so good, and I'm starving already.  Hope that you and yours have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Disney Memories

We finally got our PhotoPass CD from Disney.  And here are some of my favorite memories:

I got a kiss from Mickey.  But someone alerted Minnie Mouse, and she was out for revenge.

I think Rod was actually blushing a little.  We decided that it was the most fun we could have with mice!

We had breakfast at Tusker House and had our picture taken with Donald.  I don't think either of us looked any thinner!

We met Belle.

We posed with Cinderella.

And I finally got to meet my favorite princess, Tiana.

I had a talk with Chip.

But the best time of all . . . . .

Was the time spent alone with Rod.

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's Almost Thanksgiving,

Can Christmas be far behind?  All twelve of the princesses are fused onto the blocks, and now I just have to the finishing stitching.  The weather this coming weekend is supposed to be nasty, and I think it will be a perfect weekend to move the sewing machine into the living room, and stitch the princesses while I watch football and Christmas movies.  Rod is off on Friday and we will have Kristin's kids, so he plans on putting the Christmas lights around the front deck.  And afterward, we can have hot chocolate with whipped cream.

I'm sure all of us has seen "The Christmas Story" at least once.  I love that movie (although Mary hates it).  At one point the narrator says, "Now it is well known throughout the Midwest that the old man is a turkey junkie.  A bona fide golly turkicanis freak.  A few days before Christmas his eyes would begin to gleam with a wild ravenous light." That is exactly how I feel about Thanksgiving.  Just thinking about that turkey makes my mouth start to water.  I could probably live on roast turkey (as long as there was bacon and an occasional steak thrown in).  So, we buy the biggest turkey we can find.  And on Black Friday, when everyone is fighting the craziness of shopping, we stay home and enjoy hot turkey sandwiches on homemade bread.  I'll be making homemade buns for Thanksgiving dinner, but tucked away in a non-conspicuous corner of the house will be a loaf of homemade light honey wheat bread.

Are you sitting down?  No, really - sit down!  This will be such a shock that I can't be held responsible for anyone who isn't sitting down.  This morning, this very morning, I went to the sewing room and folded all the fabrics that I had used for the princess appliques, and - are you ready?? - Put It Away!!!  Yes, every last scrap is put in its proper place.  And now, I'm ready to start fusing the appliques for Bubby's Mario quilt.  Will I make it before Christmas?? I sure hope so.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday Whine Fest

We haven't had a Wednesday Whine Fest for a while, but today I feel the need to whine a little.  Maybe not so much whine as complain.  I do a lot of internet shopping, and most times am very pleased with the service I receive.  Often I find the customer service to be amazing.  But not this time.  Monday AM very early I received an email from a company, which shall remain nameless, regarding a special.  It was something I really wanted, and so I immediately clicked on the link.  However, what came up was not what was pictured in the email. I couldn't even find the item in their on-line catalog. After several tries, I phoned their customer service department and voiced my concern.  I was told that they would check into it and email me the proper link before lunch.  After waiting until late afternoon, I googled the item and ordered it from a different company.  Imagine my surprise and delight when the item arrived yesterday afternoon by FedEx.  And still I haven't heard from the first company.  Can you say "lost customer"??

My second whine involves all the advertised "Black Friday" sales.  How can it be considered Black Friday when these stores are opening on Thanksgiving evening.  And when one merchant announces opening at 9, another has to beat that by opening at 8.  What happened to the one day designated for "giving thanks"?  What happened to a "family holiday"?  What happened to "over the river and through the woods to grandma's house"?  My heart goes out to those people who will be required to work these holiday hours, and probably receive no extra pay.  My raspberry award goes out to the merchants who are doing this.  Shame On You!!

 But on a happier note - Two more princesses are finished and I have only two more to go.  Pocahontas's neck looks a little large, Not sure how that happened. Might have to fix that.
Tiana looks pretty good.  Can you tell she's my favorite princess?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Princess Progress

The princesses are coming along.  Cinderella is finished and I'm pleased with how she looks.

Rapunzel's eyes look slightly out of scale, but they match the coloring page I took her from. And I'm not sure what's up with that mouth!

I think I need to redo Ariel's mouth, she looks like Martha Ray.

I've never seen Merida (from Brave) so I hope she's OK.

Maybe they just look nasty to me because it's Monday.  Hopefully they'll look better tomorrow.

I still have Minnie Mouse, Jasmine, Tiana, and Pocahontas to finish.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Creating of a Princess

 That's what I'm doing today, creating princesses.


Sleeping Beauty


Snow White

Belle from Beauty and the Beast

Four down, 8 to go.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Where Is The Time Going?

Time seems to be flying by, faster than I can keep up with.  I will certainly be relieved to have this election behind me.  This past week, I have had 2 calls from our governor, one from Clint Eastwood, several from special interest groups and several candidates for local offices. As much as I'd like to stop answering the phone, I can't because Mom is in the hospital and calls on this phone. And so my mantra for today is "just one more day".

Turkey by Pearl Louise Designs
I did manage to get the pieces for Izzy's princess quilt traced onto the fusible over the weekend.  I made a pot of German potato soup on Saturday and spent some quality time with Rod.  And although it seems like the weekend was a waste, we did manage to replace the Valentine's Day quilt in the living room with a turkey quilt.  A pilgrim turkey wall hanging was placed on the basement door, and a silly pilgrim turkey wall hanging replaced the Christmas tree in the bathroom.  My excuse that I celebrate all holidays at one time was wearing thin, and I was tired of looking at the old ones.

Turkey Feathers by Rasmatazz Designs
This is the living room wall hanging.  Mine, however is done in cream and a sage green print.  I love Thanksgiving and am saddened by the fact that it gets squeezed out by early Christmas sales.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Where Are You Going . . .

One of my favorite songs from Fiddler On The Roof.  Where are you going my little girl, little girl?

Where have you gone to my baby, my own?

Turn around and you're two

Turn around and you're four

Turn around and you're a young girl going out of the door.

Happy 12th Birthday, my sweet Krissy.  I love you so much.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy Birthday To Roddy

 Today I'm wishing a very happy birthday to the best thing that ever happened to me -- my husband.  This is about how he looked the first time he kissed me, it was a joke but I still remember that kiss.  And I've always loved those lips.  All those years ago, he was just my best friend's bratty little brother.  He teased me mercilessly.  Then they moved to another town and I went away to college.  So his sister and I lost track of each other.  And time passed.

When I moved back home after college, he wasn't so little and he wasn't so bratty - but he was cocky and arrogant.  But I was so attracted to him.  It started out as friendship.  We would go to dinner on Friday nights and take turns paying.  He always made me laugh, and I always loved just being in the same room with him.  His proposal was so romantic - not.  He asked me how soon I could have $500 in the bank.  When I asked why, he said he figured when I had that in the bank that we'd get married.  The joke's on him -- I've never had $500 in the bank!!!

His looks have changed over the years, and he's not cocky any more.
He sure looks like he has an attitude in this picture, though.  This was the day we got engaged.  I think I still look at him that way.  He's been the best husband I could ever have wished for.  We've been so much together.  In the 80's, there were 5 years when he didn't work a single day.  But he did a lot for my ceramic business, which couldn't have operated without him.  We've dealt with the loss of 3 of our parents, my sister, one of his sisters and his brother.  We've raised 4 daughters together, and now enjoy the blessings of 4 grandchildren and 4 step grandchildren.  And are so happy to have all of them within 10 miles.

There have been happy days that were difficult, too.  This was the day he walked the oldest of our daughters down the aisle to be married.  He was starting to get gray here, but looked so distinguished in the tux. (I have to admit a weakness for him in a tux)

And there was the day when he helped Kristin out of the buggy and walked her to meet her future husband at her wedding.

And now he's much grayer than ever.  And after nearly 38 years of marriage, I still love him more each day. He still makes me laugh, I still love just being in the same room with him.  He's here in this photo with his "favorite daughter".  They idolize their  Daddy, and he's been a great one - just ask them.

So, Happy Birthday to my Roddy.  And may you have many, many more.