Saturday, March 17, 2018


Seems like less than a month ago that my birthday came around, and here it is again!  I've had two birthdays that really bothered me: my 31st and my 49th.  When I was 31 we had had our fourth baby--I loved having babies! and I knew that I was facing a hysterectomy and that was the definite end to having babies.  It was hard for me to say "goodbye" to that time of life.  But we were very blessed to have four children, two boys and two girls.  We have a fine daughter-in-law, a good man for a son-in-law, and seven beautiful, smart grandchildren.  The kids (they will always be "the kids") are all grown up now, and even the three oldest grandchildren are grownups.

When I turned 49 I was in a good place in my life--teaching Latin (the language) and Greek and Roman Mythology.  That was the best job I ever had.  I loved it.  But I felt that 49 was just too close to 50.  Well, 50 came and there was nothing to do but rejoice that I had another birthday.  My older brother and sister had both died at 45 years of age, so every year older was a gift for me.

Fifty was over a quarter century ago!  I've been very blessed and am very grateful to have a loving husband, four adult children of whom we can be rightly proud, pretty good health with no issues other than the general slowing down that accompanies increasing age, and some occasionally aching joints.  But altogether, I have no complaints.

I have a few very fine close friends, lots of interests--music, quilting, reading, knitting; plenty so that I never have to be bored.  We have enough resources that I may buy whatever I desire in the grocery store.  That has always been my "yardstick" of the line between being rich or being poor.  I've been poor.  There was a time in my life when I had just $10 to spend on food in a week.  Also time when I had to borrow money from my parents in order to pay my bills--and that was when I was teaching full time, but at a very low salary.  It used to be that Christian school teachers sacrificed to be that.  I don't know if it is still that way today.

Here's a picture that was taken many, many years ago.  I think I was two years old when this was taken.

Sunday, March 11, 2018


I think now that the colour combination on this sock is a little weird.
The toe part has a lot of the green/beige in it.  The socks made from this yarn (this was just a small leftover) seem more blue/beige.  I've been looking through my iPhoto to see what pair the yarn in the ribbing was from--also just some leftovers, but don't see them in my album of projects.

Here's the view from our windows this morning at 7:37 a.m., DST.  Does that look like a "Spring Ahead" morning.  Yuck!

Saturday, March 10, 2018


The first of the "retrieved" projects, found during the closet cleaning:
A single bed quilt top, layered and quilted.  Nice and bright.  I think this quilt top was made to send to Fort McMurray when they had that fire two years ago, but just didn't get finished on time to be included.  It has found a home brightening the futon in the solar space--extra sleeping room for grandkids when they come to visit.  

The pair of socks here were started last March as a demonstration of how two only slighted related balls of yarn can make a nice pair of socks.  They're pretty small, but they might fit our youngest granddaughter.  We'll see when she comes to visit this summer.

The bigger sock in the foreground is for the Dear One.  Didn't have two complete balls of yarn, needed for socks in his size, so I used a different yarn for the toe and the ribbing.  Turned out fairly nice.  This coming week I'll start on a pair promised to a friend and after that there's another pair in the line up for another friend.  Then I'll get back to making the second sock of the pair for the Dear One.

I've posted before about this very nifty way of keeping a binding under control when sewing it onto a quilt.  Make a roll and slip it under one of the feet supporting your sewing table.  Works like a charm!
Unfortunately when I trimmed the ends to sew them together I made a mistake and cut both ends in the same direction.  OOPS!  How to fix that, because then you don't have the material you need to seam them together.  

I picked out the stitching to the last seam between lengths of binding.  Cut another length and started it in place of the piece cut too short.  This time I got it right, and the quilt is finished.  It's the Turning Twenty pictured above.  Now to finish the Jacob's Ladder blocks, get them sewed together, layered and quilted.  Hope to do that this week.

Monday, March 5, 2018


On July 23 I blogged about my new Q'nique sewing machine.  This past weekend I machine quilted a quilt on it for the first time.  It's a really, really useful machine.  There was a bit of a learning curve: how fast to run the machine co-ordinated with how fast to move the material around under the needle.  That took a bit of practice, but this is not a really important quilt.  I doubt that anyone will inspect it carefully enough to detect the curve.

The view from the "driver's seat" is pretty wonderful:
I had been quilting on the front of the quilt on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  When I happened to turn it over, looking for where the bobbin thread ran out, it was apparent that the quilting was MUCH easier to see on the back.  So this morning, with just a little bit more to do, I turned it over and finished the quilting with the back facing up.  Much, Much easier to see what I was doing, where it was going, compared to looking at the front:

First thing up I needed to reload the bobbin.  There wasn't a lot of thread left on the spool, so I partially filled the bobbin, trying to strike a balance between how much thread was on the bobbin and how much thread was left on the spool.  There wasn't much left!  It would be a close call, trying to finish this.  I just didn't realize HOW close:
It seldom happens that way.  More usual is running out of thread about 5 inches from the end of the seam!  Here's where the quilting exited on the edge of the quilt.  The stitches right along the edge will be covered up with the binding.
I'm very pleased with this machine, happy that I made the investment.  The large throat is wonderful.  At one point the entire width of the quilt was to the right of the needle and it was still comfortable to stitch there.

Saturday, March 3, 2018


Yesterday morning the balcony was almost free of snow.  This is the view this morning:

The snow is about as deep as the sill for this window, about a foot deep.  The drifts are up to 3 feet deep.  This is the view out the back door:
That little bit of brown at the left edge is the door frame.

If we look out our bedroom window we can see snow hanging over the edge of the roof.

I HOPE that this snowstorm, which happened on March 2, qualifies as March coming in like a lion!  And I HOPE that this means that March will go out like a lamb and April will bring spring showers.  Flowers are too much to hope for in April.  Let's just say we'd like to see the tulips and snowdrops peeking through!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


When I had the flu in December the Dr. prescribed Amoxicillin for what he thought was sinusitis.  I took it for 10 days, and it didn't make any difference to what I was suffering.  That convinced me it was a virus not a bacterium that made me ill.  But if you've been on antibiotics you need to repair your intestinal floral, so I did some research on how to go about that.  One highly recommended fix was to eat and drink fermented foods and drinks.  Oh, they didn't mention wine.  Too bad!

I bought some sauerkraut, but when I got it home I saw that it was labeled "pasteurized" and thought, Well, that's not going to do any good!  I consulted Marcy who knows a lot about what to eat and she recommended a sauerkraut sold by Trader Joe's, a house brand.  I bought a bottle and thought it was good, even though I'm not a fan of sauerkraut.

There are no Trader Joe's around here, but I have a new cookbook which has a recipe for home made sauerkraut.
The recipe calls for about 2 lbs. of cabbage, so I went to the grocery store to buy some.  Their cabbages were enormous!  I bought the smallest.  It was 5 and 3/4 lbs.  So we've had lots of cabbage lately.  I made a big pot of minestrone soup and loaded it with cabbage.  We had Ichiban Salad.  Today we had boiled cabbage combined with brown Basmati rice and mild Salsa, with just a wee bit of Sweet Italian sausage.  It was very good!  And then I cut up about 2 lbs (I was guessing) of cabbage
added the salt and caraway seeds, 
and let it stand for a while.  Then I massaged it until it wilted--those were the directions!
I know that cabbage is traditionally made in a crock.  I don't have a crock but I have a crock pot and thought that would do.

The next directions said to put it in an airtight container and cover it with some of the reserved outer leaves.  I did that.

Next step: cover it with a towel and secure that with a rubber band.  O.K.

And finally, place it out of direct sunlight and keep it at room temperature for 24 hours, occasionally pressing it down with the back of a spoon.  I put it in the downstairs bathroom, which has no window and is usually one of the warmest places in the house when the furnace runs--which has been most of the time lately.

After that I just need to let it ferment for 3 to 10 days and then store in the fridge.  Well, let's see what happens!  I'm a great fan of making food from scratch.  We like to have a summer garden for fresh produce and preserving.  As I said in the post about making our own pizza: that way we know we have REAL FOOD!

Sunday, February 25, 2018


On February 2 Elaine Adair posted a blog entry on Inedible Pizza.  (  She had bought a frozen pizza, prepared it, took one bite and declared it inedible.  Hubby said the same.  I commented that it is not that hard to make your own homemade pizza--tastes wonderful and is real food!  A few other commentators mentioned that also.  That set me to thinking about making pizza some night for supper and today it happened.

I made the dough for the crust in the breadmaker, rolled it out and put it on a round of parchment paper on a pizza pan while waiting for the pizza stone to heat up in the oven.  Toppings include mild chunky salsa, bits of Sweet Italian sausage, red pepper, onion bits, chopped mushrooms, pineapple and, of course, mozzarella cheese--lots of it!  The crust was pretty big and puffy.  So big and puffy that I cut off a strip and made some cute little curls.  It was so loaded up with toppings that I couldn't move it from this pizza pan to the hot pizza stone and had to put it in the oven just this way.

  The pizza came out of the oven looking gorgeous.  It had been in for 20 minutes at 425ยบ and then under the broiler for just a few minutes.

We ate it while watching the 6 p.m. news, with the 7 day weather forecast.  It's warming up!  The weather, that is.

We each had 2 1/2 slices and feel pretty stuffed.  Here's what left, already put into the freezer for a snack some time in the future.

Really wasn't all that much work.  The Dear One declared it THE BEST PIZZA I'VE EVER EATEN!  Well, that was worth the effort!