Saturday, February 28, 2009

Our Grandson

Today I must proudly post about our grandson B. He is 6, he's in kindergarten, and he takes Taekwondo. The other evening he had his test in class, passed with flying colors and a week from today he will receive his Green Belt. Here is a picture of him during his testing. Isn't he just to adorable!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Latest Creation

I've been inspired by my friend Ginny at Bags and Rags to make some purses of my own (don't forget to stop by her site - she's doing a fabulous purse give away!!). My first creation was okay, but I made a couple mistakes. The second creation was gorgeous, but I sent it to my Sis in Chicago and forgot to take a picture of it first. So my third creation is for me, it combines my love of red and love of coffee and I just plain love this purse design. I have a wicker chair in my quilting room and my two boys love to snuggle on it and "help" me sew. Mostly they snore while I work, but they're positive it's helping me. I caught them snuggling up this weekend and looking so adorable. Just had to share a picture of them together.
So of course if I have a picture of the boys, I have to include my little Madison. She doesn't know it yet, but tomorrow night we are off to our first Obedience School Class. Oh lord I pray that she and I don't flunk out. Isn't she adorable - I caught her trying to hoover the floor after I put a white wine cake in the oven. My floor has never been so clean.
CR had a rough weekend, but is doing better today. He's still awfully sore from it all. We thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Searching for Relatives

In an earlier post I talked about CR's Grandma's quilt and having to split it into 2 quilts because of some misguided fabric paint applied to it by another relative. Part of doing this includes a wonderful picture of Grandma and Grandpa in they're older years and I'd like to write a bit up about them and include their wedding date.

I chose this picture because they're smiling and happy and look like grandparents. They're names are Grace and George.

This is their wedding picture and they look like they're headed off to be tortured rather than celebrating their marriage, so that again is why I choose the happier picture.

We thought CR's half brother had the family bible, this would easily solve the mystery of the wedding date and perhaps give us other information. But no, he doesn't have it. I'm hoping a cousin of CR's might have the exact date, but in the meantime I decided to go searching myself. It's a mystery and I just wanted to solve it.

So I got onto and have made some progress. I found a census in 1920 and one in 1930 in which George and Grace and their children, including CR's father were counted. Luckily it lists their age at the time of the census - which allowed me to calculate that George was born in 1871 and Grace was born in 1882. It also listed their age at the time of marriage, so this has allowed me to calculate that they were probably married in 1909 - when and where I've no idea. I also found that Grace passed on the 29th of June in 1944. CR knew that Grandpa lived to be in his 90's and was actually hit by a car near the Queen Ann Hill area of Seattle at Christmas time we believe in 1960. I'm still searching on a wedding date and don't plan to give up on that. In the meantime George was married to someone before Grace and had a son. She passed away, so I'd really like to find a census or something with his first wife's name and where they lived, etc. I should be quilting, but I've got to tell you this is all quite fascinating being able to view these old documents and trying to piece the puzzle together. It's also sad how little we know about our family history. Whatever we learn I hope to pass on to S - CR's daughter so she can tell her son a bit about his Grandpa's family.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Plug for My Friend

Hey All,
Do you need a new purse - cuz if you do, you need to visit my friend Ginny's new blog. She set her blog up to sell her wonderful purses and rag quilts and let me tell you this is top quality stuff. Her purses are so beautiful and the colors she uses are stunning. I hope you'll stop by and give her a look. And oh yeah, she's doing a purse give away, if you go visit her blog and etsy shop between now and March 1st, you will be entered into a drawing to win a purse. This is something you definitely want to do!! Don't delay, go visit her now.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What to do when waiting at the hospital....

CR had the seeds implanted today, we had to arrive at the hospital at 6am and I knew we should expect to be there at least 6 hours. So the night before I decided I better figure out what to take to keep busy. I took the book I've been reading, but I was almost done with it, so I decided to pack up one of my blocks. I got this pattern from HGTV a year ago, it was a quilt done in 2002 - Block of the Month - called Strolling the Block and each month features the house with a scene that matches the month. Today I was working on April. I had meant to take March with me, but I had April ready. I've only got 5 months done, it's my travel project and may take 5 years to get completed, but it's my first applique project and I'm having fun with it and will cherish the finished project when I finally complete it. So here is April, and what I got done today. I love the blue umbrella fabric - April showers bring May flowers is what I was thinking when I chose it.
Here are the months I have done so far: October, November, December, January, and February. Look at all the blanket stitching I've got to do eventually, oy vey!!

Now for news about CR. He is doing great, although very tired and sore. The procedure took 2 &1/2 hours, and they implanted 118 seeds. We were home around 1:30 and he's not having any problems - so far so good and we will do everything possible to keep it that way. We have the post-op appointment tomorrow. Then Thursday, he celebrates his birthday. We are so relieved to have this done and this out of the way and we sure appreciate all the wonderful thoughts and words from our friends in blog land, it means a lot.

And on another note - Happy Birthday to Sunye, CR's daughter and our Grandson's wonderful mother!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I want to sew today, but............

I want to sew today, but I was looking around the house and good lord it's the dust bowl in here. I could swear I just dusted, but in fact, it was the middle of January - a month ago, arghhhhh. I hate to dust, so it's not a weekly thing anyhow. Don't mind any other house work, but I hate to dust. So today, hate it or not, I will dust rather than have fun and sew. Perhaps if I get to it and get it done, then while I'm taking care of CR after surgery, I can sew while he rests.

My friend Linda Lou at Cucina Cara Mia asked if I would share the recipe to my Grandma's Chocolate Chip Cookies. Well Linda, I would love to, because good recipes are meant to be shared and enjoyed!!

Grandma's Buccaroons
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2&1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1&3/4 cup quick oats
1 - 12 oz package semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Cream the butter and add the sugars, then the eggs, then the vanilla. Next sift together the flour, soda and powder, add them slowly. Then add the oats. At this point it's a very hard dough to mix as there is not a lot of liquid. Grandma burned out several mixers making these, luckily I have a kitchen aid and it can handle it just fine. I fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts by hand. I use a large scoop (holds a bit more than a tablespoon) and bake them 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Grandma used a teaspoon from her silverware drawer, they were smaller that way and only baked them 10 to 12 minutes.

As a child living with my grandparents, I remember my Grandma making them, then lining a clean coffee can with wax paper and packing in all the cookies it would hold and mailing it to my Uncle who was in Vietnam. These cookies hold up well in shipping and the boys stationed with my Uncle sure did appreciate his care packages.

Today my biggest fan is my grandson. He loves these cookies. Well his parents seem to like them a lot too, and his grandpa - my CR.

I hope if you make these they are as loved by your family as they are by mine.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines

I just can't believe it's mid-February and Valentines day already. The year just started so where has the time gone. Yikes!! We have a busy week ahead as CR will be in surgery Tuesday getting the radiation seed implants for his prostate cancer. Thankfully he won't be awake, but even the things that can happen after the surgery sound awful too, good thing they let you know about all of them as it could be quite scary otherwise.

I'm baking cookies for the kids at the tanning salon I work at part time. I told them if they made over $1000.00 in sales in one day, then I'd bake them a batch of my chocolate chip cookies. For some reason they really like my cookies so they took that challenge and the next day they reached the goal.Here they are ready to pop in the oven - as you can see I like to make them big and lots of chocolate chips too. This was my Grandma's recipe, she got if from our local newspaper back in the late 1930's.

Now I just have to figure out a way to keep CR out of them - he loves these cookies.

Since today is Valentines, how could I not post pictures of my 3 adorable Valentines here at home (CR chose not to be included)
Here's Chance Man, he was looking at me so sweetly, but of course he looked away as I snapped the pic. Typical man, wasn't listening, haha.
And Skeezics - he's got that "can we just hurry this up" look. I think he just wanted me to go away so he could soak up the sunshine and dream of catnip.

And then there is my little Madison, the most adorable, kissable face in town. She even gave me a Valentines card this morning, isn't she so thoughtful.

And one last piece of business. My friend Ginny at Ginny's Quilts has been making these adorable purses, she even sells some so go check her out. Anyhow I loved them so much I got inspired, bought the pattern and made my own.

She felt I should post a picture. Here's the only problem with it. I sewed the button loop on the same side as the outside pocket - so the button is on the wrong side of the purse. Well at least it wasn't a gift and I can live with the mistake. I'm making another one for myself and 2 for my best friend in Chicago, those will have have the button where it is supposed to be. When the others are done I'll post pictures of those as well.

Happy Valentines!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I LOVE to Bake

I took the day off from work to get an epidural in my back. Since it was scheduled for 9am, I had the day free to spend with CR. So after the epidural, we went to breakfast and then to Costco and then came home to just take it easy. I had visited my friend Linda Lou's blog at Cucina Cara Mia and discovered a delicious brownie recipe that called for an ingredient called Nutella. I'd never heard of such a thing. Well it's a chocolaty hazelnut spread, like peanut butter, only reallllllly sweet, delicious and possibly addictive. I'm telling you, go visit her blog and get that recipe - make it for Valentines and your sweetheart will LOVE you. I also made a dark chocolate cake that I like to make and everyone loves to eat.
I like to put it in my Rose Shaped Bundt Pan, but I do have several pans to select from:

Yet another great idea for a special sweet heart or for your whole family and here is the recipe:

Dark Chocolate Cake:
1 package dark chocolate cake mix (the type with pudding included)
1 package instant chocolate pudding (3&3/4 oz)
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup warm water
4 eggs
Now dump all this into your mixing bowl and turn the mixer on - I use a Kitchen Aid - my favorite appliance of all time.
Turn the mixer on and beat for 4 minutes.

Then fold 1 & 1/2 cups of the semi-sweet mini chocolate chips into the batter (you may even want to pop a few in your mouth, just to check out the quality - quality is important, haha).

Bake it in a greased and floured (I use Bakers Joy Spray) 12 cup bundt pan. The oven should be set at 350 and it will take 50 to 60 minutes to bake. Cool it in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes and then put it on a plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar for extra decoration.

Now that the baking is done, make sure the floor is clean or the hoover of the house will try to assist in the cleaning and we all know that chocolate is bad for hoovers!!


Thursday, February 5, 2009

It Finally Happened

When we brought Madison home she was so tiny and only weighed 5 pounds. Still our one cat - Chance Man, weighing in at 13 pounds, was not pleased at all that a "DOG" had entered his domain. He was so disgusted he wouldn't walk on the floor if she was in the room, he'd travel across furniture and side tables to get where he wanted to be and avoid any contact with that "DOG". Oh, he was so put out and disgusted. Then this morning, after my shower I happened into the bedroom and I couldn't believe what I was seeing, so of course I quickly got the camera to document how far these two have come. And because it was so darn cute.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

CR Finishes External Radiation

Today is a milestone in our home. My sweet Hubby - CR has been going through external radiation for prostate cancer and today he finished that phase of his treatment. Now for some rest and healing and then on the 17th of this month he'll have radiation seeds implanted to complete that part of the treatment. Unfortunately he'll have to have hormone shots for 2 years as continued treatment, but that will be the easy part. We have come so far since the beginning of September when we got the dreaded news. And he is doing wonderfully. Sure there have been annoying side affects and he's been more tired than normal, but he's positive and glad that this phase is over.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Great Breakfast Quiche

Thought I'd share a really good recipe today. Not exactly superbowl fair, but it's a great breakfast idea for the family, for company and you can also change it up, make it different and it's always good. I found the recipe online - I think it was a Paula Deen recipe, but I'm not totally sure. Anywho, give it a try, I think you'll like it.

Hash Brown Quiche:
3 cups shredded frozen hash browns, thawed and drained
4 tablespoons butter - melted
3 large eggs beaten
1 cup half&half (I used 2%)
3/4 cups diced cooked ham (you can use whatever you like)
1/2 cup diced green onions (again use what you like)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Gently press the drained hash browns between paper towels to dry them as best as you can. In a 9 inch pie plate, toss the hash browns with the melted butter and press them into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and starting to crisp.
Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. When the hash brown crust is ready pour the egg mixture over it and return it to the oven.
Lower the temp to 350 and bake for about 30 minutes until the quiche is a light golden brown on top and puffed.
Yummmmmmmmmmm - you'll love it!!