Thursday, October 22, 2009

Doing Well

We have been enjoying our visit with my husband's mother. Yesterday I took her to Old Town Lansing where we got to look at cute little shops and walk along the river. and for dinner we roasted a turkey and had biscuits and mashed potatoes along with some other goodies-- It's been great to have Lois with us-- we really like her! (I have some nice pictures of her, and I'm glad to have them but I think she would be happier if I didn't post them on the internet even though the pictures are nice and she looks very nice in them)

So far we've gotten out of house every day and I hope that will get to continue as this afternoon we sticking to rainy day activities-- because today it turned into a rainy day.

Rainy day activities have consisted of sewing and reading... but mostly sewing. Between the two of us over two days we've finished 5 quilt blocks which is pretty sweet as I have many more to do and it feels good to whittle down the number of unfinished blocks.

"But Kristen, where did these quilt blocks come from in the first place?"

I'm so glad you asked! These are all from 'quilt block of the month' programs-- which are very fun and get you to try new things. It basically works like this: your local quilt shop sells you a pattern and fabric to make one quilt block (about five bucks) with the idea that you come back the next month with that block completed to receive another pattern w/fabric which you finish and bring back the following month so in theory you can make 12 coordinated quilt blocks for $5. This is great and fun... and just the beginning. Once they get you in the store there are all sorts of things they sell at you (it's a store, I don't hold it against them, I just don't have the cash). The most common, aside from all the little things you can buy that do one thing really well, is the "finishing kit" which gives you instructions and fabric to turn your block into a quilt top-- these typically cost at least $60 (so I never buy them) which sometimes does not contain the batting backing or binding that you will also need to truly finish. They also get you with 'bonus blocks' which cost a little extra and often look so nice and if you don't complete your previous month's block then it will cost another $5 to start up again.

And then sometimes you can get behind (like me right now) because inevitably life gets in the way. This problem is compounded by the fact that I still have blocks to do from last year's block-of-the-month program in Sacramento that I didn't get to because we got married and moved out of state (but I still had very nice people pick up my blocks for me). It's fun to see how different shops run their block-of-the-month programs. All in all I'm having a good time of it and learning new things but will probably take next year off with the hopes of finishing some of these quilts.

Since this afternoon I've felt considerably tired... a little more than I think is normal. We'll see if this is the beginning of the downhill slope or just a lazy rainy day.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Quick Update

In recent days I've had a slightly noticeable influx of "how are you feeling?" It's not bad to ask but it reminded me that perhaps I should give an update since it has been a little while.

I feel fine, quite normal, it might take me a little longer to get going in the morning-- but I think that that is really more of a motivation issue than a chemical imbalance issue. I usually have been getting my first wind around 1:30 or 2pm-- but other days when I know I have something with a deadline to do and somewhere to be I've been able to get up and at them without a problem-- so I'm being lazy lately.

I stop taking the temporary replacements on the 20th. This is also the same day that Dennis' mom, Lois, is coming for a visit. We're looking forward to that-- we'll see how my energy goes. I could see it going either way-- down because I'll loose thyroid hormones or level or up because we'll have out-of-town company and I like to have visitors! ... especially when they are nice like Lois!)

I'm reminded that life is good by times like yesterday morning I had a visit from a cardinal just outside our kitchen window. At that moment I was really glad I hadn't yet pack up the humming bird feeder. Perhaps there is something to be said for procrastination? no.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Mid to Late Summer is when you find little toads-- it's too cold to find them now so I like to look at these pictures and think of July and tiny toads!

He's pretty little!

But not this little!

It's a good thing these guys hop around, otherwise you'd never see them! So tiny!

In this shot it easy to see just how new this toad is... he still looks like a tadpole.

On my first visit to Michigan, the July before we were married we saw tons of these little toads crossing the trail in the park behind the house. It's a pretty brief window when these guys are out and about in large numbers. I'm so glad we got to see them again this year.

And I hope we get to see them next year!

oh and you can click on the pictures to see their tininess even bigger!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sew, What Have You Been Up To?

I haven't written about sewing for quite a while which is weird because I sew and haven't stopped sewing for any noteworthy length of time but just noticed that sewing has not been fairly represented. So let me present:

This is a my contribution to a wedding quilt for Katy and Andrew's Wonderful Wedding. Each guest was mailed a 10" (or maybe 12" ?) square of white muslin and asked to personalize it and mail it back. The mother's of the happy couple then covertly assembled and quilted it all and displayed it at the wedding. It was very sweet!

I had the idea buzzing around my head to make a quilt using only white fabric and create the pattern through texture and piecing alone. I would still like to do a whole quilt that way some day but it was great to actually do something along those lines. I also thought it would be fun to send back a square of white fabric... but I did end up writing on it since the directions said to be sure to include your name-- and I always follow directions.

It reads: "Wishing you both the best kind of happiness-- the kind that comes with love. from Kristen & Dennis"

Sappy I know but it's for a wedding and weddings are the best time to be sappy!

A great book that I used for reference and inspiration is The Art of Manipulating Fabric

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bee-Bop-a-Ree-Bop Rhubarb Pie

We have a neighbor down the street-- one of those guys that's lived on this street for the past 60 years. He used to own about five houses on the street (including the one we're renting now). Now we just owns three (not the one we're renting now) . He's a nice guy. He grows rhubarb but doesn't do much with it so this spring he asked us if we'd be interested. We said "yes." And he said "I'll be right back."

It was a lot of rhubarb he brought over so I made two pies using my apple pie recipe and delivered one back to him. See? It pays to be nice!

Wouldn't this be a good time for a piece of rhubarb pie?

... I think it's quite fitting that my 50th post is about pie...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Two Pints of Cream

We were invited to a waffle breakfast and I was asked to contribute whipped cream topping. And since these were friends that would appreciate it, I decided to whip it 'in house' and since these are really good friends that would appreciate it I picked up and extra pint and made butter.

So I learned that a pint of whipping cream will make a cup of butter and a cup of buttermilk (which I used for biscuits). It's fun to make butter but we'll have to wait until we have good friends that own a cow and so we get cream on the cheap since currently it's not exactly cost effective-- but still nice for special occasions-- and super tasty on waffles with their homemade blueberry syrup!