Sunday, March 29, 2009

Slow Week

I've had a pretty boring week I must say. I got an epidural in a new area for my lower back. Oh man I couldn't sit, stand, or lay down, for 3 days that thing almost killed me - okay I exaggerate, but it wasn't the best of times for sure. On top of that I've had the headache from hell, I don't usually get headaches and certainly not ones that last for days, I felt like I was a walking zombie and a cranky zombie at that. For all you who suffer from headaches on a regular basis, wow, I don't know how you do it, I was a total wimp from mine. My Sis gets migraines and I really don't know how she survives them. I honestly don't think I'm tough enough to make it through one of those.

Madison did pass her Obedience Class - or should I say that CR and I passed the class. She even passed the Canine Good Citizen test which is dealing with different situations and noises and people, etc. I knew she'd be okay there, because anyone, stranger or not, that she comes across and she's on them like a cheap suit, ready to french kiss them to death. Yeah, she's not shy or afraid of people. She loves them all even if they're not dog lovers. Like our neighbor B, he just doesn't seem to know what to do with a dog. She sees him and man she turns on all the charm she has in her little 18 pound body and is not giving up, she is just sure she'll win him over one of these days and it's so cute to watch her work.

One thing I did this weekend was watch the movie Milk with Sean Penn. WOW, what a great movie. Sean Penn is such a great actor and because I remember this piece of history and Harvey Milk, Anita Bryant (I have never liked that woman) and the events of the time it was especially riveting. I also remember him being killed along with the mayor too. I was in high school at the time and really it was my first real knowledge of what being Gay meant. If you get a chance I highly recommend watching this movie. If you're to young to remember the times then it's a good lesson for you and if you do remember the times it really brings a lot back and again teaches us what people in this country went through and gave up to obtain equality.

Here's the trailer for the movie:

Monday, March 23, 2009

My 50th Post!!

Wow, time sure flies when you're having fun, and I have been having fun blogging and reading blogs and making friends. It's amazing to me that this is my 50th post.

It's been a busy few days. I've been working away at several sewing projects. The first of which is a baby quilt for my friend Cathy - her middle daughter is having her first baby - sometime soon and so without any ideas of colors for the baby's room, etc, I decided, it's a girl and she needs pink. So here is her quilt:

I had some left over flannel, so my good friend Julie copied her burp cloth pattern and I made a couple of those also:

My Sis loves the purses I make, so she asked me to make one like the first one I made her so she could give it to her ex-sister-in-law for her birthday in early April. I keep looking at it thinking, something is different and I just realized that the main fabric on the purse is the darker version than the lighter version I used for Sis's purse - I think. Should have taken a picture of the original one. Oh well I think she'll like it just the same.

I'm having another back epidural tomorrow. My back is a mess, my doc wants me to think about a rheumatologist - I have so much arthritis it's crazy and I'm only 48 (it started when I was 34). So after that, since I have the rest of the day free, I'm meeting up with Cathy and Barb (whom we call Bubbalicious), 2 of the Ho Sisters from my career days as a contractor for DOE. We're having a Non-Birthday lunch for Cathy who turns 29 again, haha. So in honor of this, I made her a Non-Birthday White Wine Cake. I posted the recipe a while back and this is what it looks like. Can you say rich and yummy. I think she'll really like it and since it's a new recipe, it will be a surprise. Unless she reads my blog, but I don't think any of my girlfriends read my blog, so I'm probably safe.

Well, here's to 50 more posts. Hope you will all keep reading!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

23 Years

Although a few hours early, 23 years ago on March 19th, I said I do to the most wonderful man on earth. I can't believe it's been 23 years already, it seems like yesterday, except in the last 10 years I've noticed the wrinkles multiply at a faster rate, haha. There is a 20 year age difference and I think a lot of people didn't think it would last, but we knew it would, sure there have been the ups and downs any relationship experiences, but we knew we'd fight for us and stay strong through the tough times.

CR, I am so blessed that you came into my life, loved me for who I was and who I'd become over the years, believed in me and supported me. And the way those gorgeous blue eyes look at me, even today, makes me feel like I'm the only woman for miles. I love you Hon - Happy Anniversary!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Trips, Exhaustion, and Bugs...........

Last time I blogged we were off to Portland the next day to fabric shop. It was a fabulous trip and a beautiful day. We left at 5:30am and got latte's at Starbucks, then off to The Dalles and Mama Janes Restaurant for eggs benedict (they make it good!!). From there to Portland, first stop was Fabric Depot where I bought some fabrics to make a couple more purses for myself and a couple of gifts, so, no posting fabric pictures till they're done and prezzies have been delivered.

After we did our shopping there, we stopped by Trader Joes. Ugh, I wish like crazy we had a Trader Joes, or a Whole Foods Market in this area, I'd shop there a lot if we did. But we don't so I purchased some EVOO and Wine and then we were off to another fabric shop. Our next stop was Holly Hill Quilt Shoppe in West Linn. They recently, well a couple months ago, moved into their new store, much roomier and gorgeous and I think it's got to be one of my favorite quilt shops to visit. I did get a couple of quarter yards there, and other than that, I really controlled myself.

After that stop it was time for a late lunch/early dinner before we headed home. I'm a huge fan of Macaroni Grill, so we went there and it was delicious as always. On the way home I realized we could not only see Mt. Hood clearly, but also we could see Mt. St. Helens. You know it's a clear and beautiful day when you can see both. A gorgeous site and NO - I didn't get one picture, didn't even think to take my camera, dog gone it.

Saturday/Sunday were lazy days, I was pretty much pooped out, Portland is a 3.5 hour drive just one way, and combined with all the shopping, well it does leave a girl tired the next day. I did however bake a new pound cake recipe I got in Gourmet magazine. It's a cardamon vanilla bean pound cake - and I did remember to snap a picture of that. Can you say YUM and very moist too!!

Later that day CR was working on taxes (ugh) and Chance Man decided to help him out by holding the box of papers down. I thought it was so cute I had to snap a picture of him.

Saturday afternoon I started to get a horrible headache and the last couple of days have been all about some intestinal thing that has been very uncomfortable and not at all pleasant. I'm hoping I wake up tomorrow free of whatever it is so I have a bit more zippity do dah. Sorry for the boring post, just not much to say when you're feeling off.

One thing to pass on, my friend Ginny at Ginny's Quilts and at Bags N Rags is having a give away at each of her blogs. They are really good give aways and you don't want to miss out - so go there and post a comment and follow the rules and you could be a winner!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Off to Shop

I'm so excited, tomorrow morning, very early (Starbucks opens at 5:30), my friend Julie and I are off to Portland to the Fabric Depot Sale - I mean who can resist a rode trip, no sales tax and 35% off all fabric. WoooHoo!! However before I leave, Shazza at Random Thoughts has requested my white wine cake recipe, so for you Shazza, enjoy - and since it doesn't use all the wine, drink the rest while baking!!

1 box Duncan Hines Deluxe Butter Cake Mix
1 (3oz) pkg. instant Lemon pudding mix (or you can use vanilla, but I like lemon best)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup warm water
4 eggs
1/2 cup dry white wine (not oaked wine), I used a Sauvignon Blanc

So dump it all in your mixing bowl, and turn it on med for 3 minutes.
Pour it into a greased and floured tube or bundt pan (I use bakers joy spray and it's a flour/pam sort of spray)
Once you spray the pan, then add 1/2 cup of chopped pecans in the bottom, then pour the batter on top of the nuts.
Bake at 325 for 50 to 60 minutes.
While the cake is still warm and in the pan, make the glaze and pour it over the warm cake esp. around the sides of the pan. Leave the cake in the pan for at least 20 minutes and let the glaze soak in.

1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 stick of butter
1/4 c. white wine
Bring the glaze to a boil and let it do a rolling boil for about 2 minutes.

Hope you love it as much as my company did!! Darn, I would love a piece of it right now. This weekend I'll be trying a new recipe - Cardamom Vanilla Pound Cake. I'll let you know how it turns out!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pretty Dishes and a New Quilting Project

Although CR's birthday was Feb. 19, he'd just gotten the radiation seed implants and really didn't feel like celebrating, so last night a group of us - 8 total, went to Anthony's for dinner and to celebrate a tad late. It was an excellent dinner and afterwards we came back to our house for dessert. Earlier in the day I was trying to figure out what to serve the cake on when it hit me. I have this set of 12 beautiful plates that were my mother-in-laws that I'd had for years and never used. What a shame to let them sit in a buffet and never be brought out. So I decided they'd be perfect for the cake. They're stamped as being made in Western Germany with a date of 1930 and our friend Sylvia who is German and speaks German told us that on the back they are made by a famous china company there. Mostly I just think they are gorgeous.

I made a white wine cake for dessert - wish I had taken a picture of it on the cake stand before it was almost gone, but here is what it looks like - what's left that is. Everyone really enjoyed it which I was thrilled about.
After baking the cake and picking up the house for company, I decided it was finally time to get to some fabric I had tucked away for a special project. I think I've had this fabric a couple of years now, but other projects kept getting in the way. I'm using a book called 40 Fabulous Quick-Cut Quilts by Evelyn Sloppy. She was even our featured quilter at our Guild's quilt show last year and she does beautiful work.
The quilt I chose to make is the Anniversary Stars. I've seen this made up with all sorts of different color schemes and it is a very striking and beautiful quilt no matter what.
The fabric that started me on the road to this is this gorgeous red and off white paisley. I love paisley. It will be the outer border fabric.
For the star points, I'm using this fabric.
Then I needed dark neutrals, so chose these. They look awfully light here, but trust me they are dark in value.
And light neutrals.
I'm backing it in a dark red flannel. But for now I can't worry about the backing - lots of work to do cutting and sewing. Once done, this will go on our bed - finally a quilt on my own bed. I just can't wait.
So what new projects are you up to this spring??

Friday, March 6, 2009

Starting to feel like Spring

Today was just beautiful, still a bit chilly, but the sun was out and I discovered what I've been waiting for - the first signs of spring, our crocus are blooming, oh joy, oh boy, warmer weather and longer days can't be far off now. Here is proof of those pretty little flowers:

I love my fake quail in the flower garden, the best thing is we also get the real thing too. They are so much fun to watch. It's been a rough week here at our house. We started Obedience School for Madison last week and she really freaked out at the place, the smells, the other puppies that were 4 times her size already. It was very overwhelming for her. So we thought perhaps we should take her to a doggie day care - which happens to be at the same place and let her have play time with other dogs. We had hoped that would help. She didn't enjoy that experience at all and it took till the next day for her to feel better and relax. Needless to say we won't do that again. While she wants to french kiss every person she meets, other dogs just don't seem to be that appealing to her. She's doing really well with training, but I've got to say I'm not thrilled with the teacher. He is really full of himself. He constantly points out how much he doesn't like the type of collar we have on Maddie, nor does he approve of the leash (one of the retractable ones). I'm like one more time buddy and I'm gonna point out a few things myself and you might not like it. Really if he quit yammering on about himself and all he thinks he knows the class would be over in an hour, but we have to listen to him for 90 freaking long minutes. It was especially irritating last night as we went outside to practice the heel technique, and it was very cold out with a biting wind from the north and he kept going on and on and on, I was reaching the end of my leash for sure. Well just 3 more classes and we can just be done and move on, in the meantime we are learning things and so is Madison, so it won't be a total loss. Speaking of Madison, she went to the groomers today and doesn't she look so cute and fluffy.