Monday, September 30, 2013

Recipe Testing

Every Saturday morning without fail, my trusty DVR records The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network.  She has some great recipes, and I just like watching her and her family on a big cattle ranch in Oklahoma. 

This past Saturday she did this recipe that was so simple even my Aunt's - who aren't cooks, could do it.  You buy a roll of refrigerator cookie dough - she used Peanut Butter and you slice it into 1 to 1&1/2 inch thick slices, then cut the slice into fourths.  Put those pieces in a mini muffin tin and bake for 6 to 8 minutes at 350 degrees.  The minute they come out of the oven pop a mini Reese's peanut butter cup in the center and let it melt and set up.  You can also do this with Chocolate Chip dough and use a Hershey kiss, etc.  Endless ideas depending on what you like.  I wonder if they make refrigerator brownie dough - wouldn't the be good with a couple of Andes mints shoved in the center or a York peppermint patty??  I think they would but I love mint and chocolate together, maybe that's why my favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip!

Here they are, CR will be doing the official taste testing this evening.  If he likes them, then I will make some for our visit to Ben's house in late October.  Speaking of Ben, in just 8 days, on October 7th,  he will be 11 years old - my how time flies!!


I was a busy girl yesterday, not only did I make the homemade fresh tomato sauce, I made Eggplant Parmesan for dinner.  Then I went into my sewing room and finished all those cat hammocks and made a couple of pieces of wall art (rumor has it that something similar may be in the box with all those cat hammocks on it's way to North Carolina).  I've seen so much of this on the Web or Pinterest that I decided to do something myself, just for fun.

Kitties lounging on chairs

Doggies with their tongues hanging out.
I used scrap fabric, and scraps of batting, just did some straight line quilting and put them in embroidery hoops.  I thought they turned out pretty cute.

Seems like the more I try to get done today the more I don't accomplish anything.  Hmm, must be a Monday.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gettin Saucy

Yep, I'm getting saucy today.  Our friend Ken brought us a bunch of fresh tomatoes and they may be the last of the season.  I didn't want them to go bad and I've been wanting to make my own fresh tomato sauce - a recipe I recently found.  So today, I got saucy and made homemade tomato sauce to be used for an eggplant dish I will be making for our dinner.  It is currently simmering and it smells so divine in here.


Later I'll add some fresh basil to the sauce and make it even better.  This is probably the last of our basil for the season as well.


I like the cooler weather, but I hate how dark it is.  It's been so grey the last few days.  Thankfully the big rain and wind storms never seemed to hit us - now watch, they'll hit tonight just because I said that. 

I had better get back to sewing cat hammocks so I can send them off sometime this week.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Friday, September 27, 2013

Meeting Friends

What a fantastic day despite the grey and rainy weather.  CR and I drove to Walla Walla to meet up with Candace and Bob.  Candace has a blog called Squash House Quilts and if you don't read it, you need to.  She's always up to something interesting and if she's not up to it, her cats are and those stories will definitely entertain you.  Don't we love our fur babies and their antics!!  Anyhow, we only live an hour away from each other, but our schedules haven't permitted us to meet in person - till today.  We met up at the Walla Walla Quilt Show.  It's a small show but they had some gorgeous quilts on display.  I had my camera with me - in my purse - also known as the black hole - yep, didn't take a darn picture and I'm kicking myself.

After the quilt show we went downtown to a wonderful restaurant called Maple Counter CafĂ©.  Mercy, talk about good food and a LOT of food.  CR and I are going back to eat there.  They serve Breakfast and Lunch (breakfast all day), they're closed on Monday and are only open till 3pm.  I was stuffed but my tummy was happy when we were done.

After that we visited the local quilt shop called Stash - fantastic quilt shop, I've already sent an email to my friend Kelly about it telling her we need to do a road trip.  I know she'd like it as much as I did, and I think we'll have to do lunch as well when we do get to our road trip.  Maybe Candace will join us.

On the way home we decided to stop at the L'Ecole No. 41 (pronounced La Coal) located in the old Frenchtown School House.  L'Ecole means "the school" in French.  The building has always intrigued me and so since we'd never tried their wines, we thought it would be fun to stop and try a couple.  We got some Semillon and some Merlot.  Both exceptional wines.  I did remember to take my camera out and get a picture of the building - the inside is gorgeous too.



 
Built in 1915 in School District 41.  The oak and beauty of this old building is maintained and showcased very nicely.

Tomorrow after breakfast out, farmers market and grocery shopping I plan to finish the cat hammocks, work on a special little something to put with the hammocks and send to the Aunties and then get to business and start quilting and having fun with Aunt Bea the Babylock. 

So what are your weekend plans?

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Miche Party

Tonight was party night.  It was a small group, but we had a good time and lots of laughs.

Lets start with the food.  I made these mini pizza's using crescent rolls, cut a package into 8 squares, press them into muffin tins, layer of cheese, then pizza sauce, then a filling (I used Canadian bacon on half of them) then more cheese and bake for 15 minutes at 375 - got the idea on Facebook.  Everyone enjoyed them.  I also made a lemon pound cake with a very tart, pucker up lemon glaze, yep, there isn't much left, it was enjoyed as well.  And last but not least, some raspberry and mint M&M's.

A couple of purse covers in a pretty teal


More purses, lots of colors, lots to see.

Miche is doing some jewelry now too.  It's pretty stuff that is interchangeable and its magnetic, so it's easy to change around and if you have arthritis like me, I LOVE magnetic stuff!!


Here's the Gang.  From Left to Right:  Alicia, our Miche Rep, Louise and her daughter Lori, Cathy and Carmen (not pictured is Dawn who is a new to Miche Rep and works with my Step Daughter Sunye).  I have a history with many of the ladies you see.  Louise - I worked with her when I was in my 20's and I've worked with a couple of her daughters too.  Love her and her hubby Jerry.  Cathy, I worked with her for several years before I retired.  I miss seeing her everyday.  We had fun working together and she is one of the sweetest, nicest ladies you'll ever meet.  She's like a sister to me.  And Carmen, well her mother once dated my Uncle.  We've been family friends for as long as we've been around.  Her Mom has said that I said one of my first words with her.  She's not related, but she might as well be - she's family to me.

I ended up having a darn good party, but truly the best part was the special people who came and spent some time at my house and shared stories and laughter with me.

Now the house cleaning is done and tomorrow CR and I are off to the Walla Walla Quilt show to meet up with a blogging friend Candace (Squash House Quilts blog) and her hubby.  I'm so excited to finally meet her in person.  Should be a very fun day.

And what's on the agenda for the weekend - time to play with Aunt Bea and do some fun sewing!

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Autumn - My Favorite Season

It's finally very fall like around here.  The weather has cooled off - a bit to fast, but a nice break from what seemed like the constant heat this summer.

I've been busy cleaning, dusting, weeding through junk around the house, washing quilts, table toppers, table runners, doilies, and then pressing them and with the exception of doing the floors, which I'll tackle tomorrow, my house is in order and it feels good.  After a long hot summer and being gone most of August and then chemo, the house just felt like a big old mess.

I'm having a Miche Purse Party this Thursday, so that helped get me in gear to do some major cleaning and sorting, etc.  I don't think many people are showing up.  Don't you hate when someone says - please have a party and my sisters and daughters want to come and then when you finally hear from them a few days before the party - oh, we're going out of town.  I sent the invites over 2 weeks ago.  Arrrggghhh.  This is why I don't do parties, guess I had to do one to remind myself why I don't do them.  Oh well, at least 5 people are coming and it will be fun.  I'm fixing these little pizza cup appetizers and having wine or iced tea and then a yummy lemon pound cake for the sweet tooth.

Today I decided, since it's close to October and it feels like fall, time to put a few fall decorations out.  So I'm going to share pictures from around the house and patio.  Enjoy.

 











So tell me, do you put a few fall/Halloween decorations out to enjoy, or do you skip it.  I don't do it every year, and then when I do put my fall stuff out, I truly enjoy it.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Blast From the Past

Several years ago I discovered a lot about my biological father, by meeting his sister.  She was kind enough to give me pictures of him as a young boy and she also had a picture of my mother and him on their wedding day.  The man was never in my life, he was a cad to put it nicely.  You see when I was born, he had another woman pregnant with my half Sister - Diane, who is 11 months younger than I am.  So my mother promptly left him and he was never a part of my life.  To be truthful, in talking to my many half siblings, he never was a part of theirs either.  I call him the Love Em and Leave Em Dad, who never once attempted to support any of his 6 (that we know of) children.  It's a long and interesting story, but I won't bore you with the details, kind of like a soap opera that you couldn't make up even if you tried.

Anyhow to get to my point.  I scanned those photos of our sperm donor for some of my siblings and I also scanned a couple of the very few photos I have of myself as a child (another long story).  So I thought I'd share a little bit of nostalgia with you all. 

My Father and his Older Brother

One of the endearing things about him is his Sister said he was crazy about cats
and I love it when a man loves cats.  Probably his only redeeming quality.

Outside his childhood home
 
His early teens

There I am, dimples and all - you can really see the resemblance with my Father.
In fact all my half Sisters and I look very much alike - it's uncanny especially since we all have different mothers.

A foretelling of me in my teen years - always on the phone. 

Me and My Grandpa.  He and My Grandma were really my parents my first 6 years
And thank god for them!!
 
Hope you enjoyed my little walk down memory and bad bangs lane, haha.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What a Day

Scotchie Here.

Mom has been working away and learning her new sewing machine.  I like to be in her sewing room with her so I took to the chair for a nap, all that learning was really exhausting.  I figured I better be quiet, so I hid my head and pretended not to be there.  Mom thinks I'm to cute.



I had a really good nap and I like how quiet her new machine is.  Well it's time to grab a bit to eat, between naps I like to keep my blood sugar steady.

Meows and Purrs,
Scotchie

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Beatrice

Well the day has come - allow me to introduce you all to Beatrice the Babylock Crescendo.  She is a beauty, I call her Aunt Bea (a throw back to the Andy Griffith show).  I'm just getting to know her and setting her up.  I know she and I will have a lot of fun together.


Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, September 16, 2013

Vicky the Viking

Vicky the Viking and I had one last sew together this afternoon.  I believe my new machine will be in tomorrow and I'll begin a new chapter with Beatrice the Babylock.  After some deliberation Beatrice felt like just the right name and if you remember the Andy Griffith Show and the character Aunt Bea - well that's what I'll probably call her most.

So today, Vicky and I stitched up a fun Halloween pillowcase for Ben.  The smiles on the pumpkins glow in the dark and I thought he'd get a kick out of it.  He'll be 11 on the 7th of October, so I'm hoping he's not to old to still enjoy things like this.


Earlier today I was doing some laundry and took the sheets out of the dryer, went back to put a load in the dryer and washer and then went back to the bedroom to fold the sheets.  In just a couple of minutes, someone had settled in nicely and didn't want to be disturbed:



What is it about cats and warm laundry.  I still haven't folded those darn sheets, I better get back to it.

We had one heck of a storm last night - big winds, rain, thunder and lightening.  We had planned to bbq a tri-tip, well that didn't happen.  So tonight we'll do that.  The storm brought us into cooler temps.  Last week we were unseasonably warm in the mid-90's and now we are in the upper 70's to low 80's - much more tolerable.

I'm hoping to have new machine pictures to show you tomorrow, so stay tuned.  Maddie also had a grooming appointment tomorrow - but don't tell her, she's not a fan of getting her hair done, haha.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Girls Day

Yesterday was a lot of fun.  I got together with my friend Kelly (she taught me to quilt) and we went out to lunch at Frost Me Sweet Bistro.  A fabulous little lunch place that has great sandwiches, salads and pizza, but the best thing - dozens of cupcake flavors.  These cupcakes are not only frosted, they have a surprise filling.  Kelly got a chocolate cupcake with a peanut butter frosting and a caramelized banana center.  I got a red velvet cupcake with a cream cheese center.  So sinfully delicious.

After lunch we went to Craft Warehouse.  It's a great store with departments for quilting, knitting, floral, stamping and scrapping, jewelry, holiday items, framing.  Anyhow they were having a truckload fabric sale and there were tons of flat folds at $4.44 a yard.  The good stuff too - Moda, Andover, Thimbleberries, Maywood, etc.  So we got to business and got some yardage:

fabrics for a lap quilt?  I don't know but they all coordinate and I love them!!

3 more fabrics for my civil war collection - I have the pattern, just need to gather fabrics.
We went from Craft Warehouse up to Prosser to the Sewing Basket and I finally found some fun glow in the dark Halloween fabric to make our Grandson a pillowcase for Halloween.

The smiles on the pumpkins glow in the dark.
In other news, I got a new laptop and it's making me cuss.  It has Windows 8 on it - they all have Windows 8 it would seem and it's just enough different that it's frustrating me, but I am adjusting.  The only problem I'm having is setting up the email. 


When I was taking pictures of the fabric, Scotchie was in the sewing room looking out the window and was to cute to ignore:



One last thing.  My Aunt Jean sent me this cute little flower pot that is solar powered.  The flowers dance and move.  It's so cute, sometimes I catch Scotchie batting at the flowers like it's annoying him, or maybe he's just bored and it's something to do.



So how was your weekend - did you do anything exciting??

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Friday, September 13, 2013

Oh Betty..............

After 21 chemo treatments, Betty Bladder has gone and gotten herself a bad bladder infection.  Making Tammy miserable.  I feel lucky though, it can be quite common for this to happen and this is the first time, plus it happened after the treatments were done, so it didn't delay anything.  All in all it could have been worse, but then again I've been a tad miserable.  I never thought I'd be so aware of my bladder, ugh.  Thank God for a great Urologist and antibiotics!!

I took a few pictures of Madison the other day in what I call - Her favorite screwed up sleeping position.  She's slept like this since she was a tiny 4 pound pup.




She cracks me up - if I tried sleeping like this I'd have a stiff neck and be walking funny I swear. 

This was an exciting week despite Betty.  I am trading in Vicky the Viking Quilt Designer I for a non-embroidery machine.  I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of a Babylock Crescendo and the TruStitch for free motion quilting.  This sewing/quilting machine is just the bomb diggity.  No embroidery, just lots of things a quilter needs.  I will post pictures of her when she arrives.  I was originally looking at a Brother that was basically the same as the Babylock, but I like the shop that sells Babylocks a lot more for their customer service, etc.

So now I need to name my new machine.  I've considered EllieBee, I'm a huge fan of Eleanor Burns and she endorses Babylock.  Or Crissy the Crescendo, or a favorite movie - Dirty Dancing, the lead was called Baby, but her real name was Francis, so there's another option.

What do you think?  Like any of those names, have a suggestion for me??

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, September 9, 2013

Exams and Snoring

Yesterday while I was in my sewing room I kept hearing this funny wheezing noise when I wasn't running my machine.  Guess who snores:


Yep, Scotchie is a little buzz saw.  Doesn't he look so sweet and innocent here - trust me it's only when he's asleep, when he's awake and barreling through the house and things fall, well it's not so sweet then.

Last night Maddie was beside herself as her Dad "studied" for his Monday morning exam.  He didn't eat all day and well he spent a lot of quality time in the, hmmm, "water closet".  It was just an off day and it had her all off and disgruntled. 


For some reason I had it in my head that CR's Colonoscopy was at 9, which meant we had to arrive at 8:30, so I was up at 6am this morning to get going and get him there on time.  Well his appointment was at 10 and we didn't have to be there till 9:30.  Ugh, why did I get up so early.  Anyhow it all went smoothly, he's got a clean bill of health and he doesn't have to do it again for 10 years this time.  You talk about a happy man when he got that news.  I was just glad when it was done and he could have coffee and eat - he was a bit cranky and not himself this morning.

So to celebrate his good news and to do something special for him since he went through all of that, I baked him a sour cream peach pie:


I did my best to not have any food smells in the house yesterday - I felt guilty for having coffee, but a girl has got to have coffee - one of us had to be clear headed, right!!

My Auntie called me today, we need to make a small size adjustment to the cat hammocks which will be easy to do.  And the straps that are used to hang the hammock need to be longer.  Well the stuff I used was 1.99 a yard which is way to expensive when you need 28 inches for just one hammock.  I did find some at JoAnn's that was a 1.29 to start cranking some hammocks out now, but I also found some stuff at Amazon.com that you can purchase in 50 yard increments and it comes to .24 cents a yard.  You only get the color option of black, but I think we can work with that.  I ordered 2 - 50 yard rolls cuz those Kitties loved that one hammock and they need more, pronto!!

Well that's about all we are up to.  Tomorrow we see a breathing specialist for Cliff, he's always so stuffed up and as a result can snore the house down to the point it wakes me up - and nothing wakes me up, or at least that used to be the case.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam