Saturday, December 9, 2017

Through the Windows

  

We woke up to a snowy day.

  

I didn't want to go outside.

  

So I took pictures through the windows.

  

It's beautiful out there.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Quilting Again




Years ago I bought what is known as a jelly roll when my favorite quilt shop was going out of business.  A jelly roll is  a bunch of fabrics that all work together, cut into strips for quilting or other projects.  Then I started making my fabric baskets and the jelly roll sat on a shelf in my craft room.

I have sufficient baskets, so I decided to take a shot at a new quilt.

My friend, Doris, showed me a fun way to use jelly rolls to make a lot of fabulous quilting squares.  This technique was originated by 3 Dude's Quilting by way of Missouri Quilting.  You can see the video here

  

Take four strips and sew them together.

  

Cut them into squares.  Place one square with the strips running vertically.

  

Then cover that square, with the right sides together, and the top square running horizontally.

  

Sew a 1/4 inch seam around all four sides.

  

Cut the square from corner to corner, making four triangles.

  

Press them open and that is the basis of the finished square.

  

I have been having fun trying different ways of putting these squares together.  I have tried using two squares from different strips.


  

Next I tried two squares from the same strip set.

  

I like them all!

I have quite a few finished squares and will spend then next few weeks making up all of my strip sets into quilt squares.

  

This technique is quick and I am having fun putting them together.

  

Sadly, now I need to go back to the fabric store to but the rest of the fabric to finish the quilt top.  It is always a risk going to a fab ricin's store.  I may need to buy some extra fabric for more baskets.

Monday, November 27, 2017

RJ Meets His Niece

  

RJ the Wonder Dog lives on the top of a great hill.  He spends his days chasing off all other animals, except the cats that live in the house.  They won't budge and RJ has learned that trying gets him in trouble. RJ doesn't like to get onto trouble.

RJ and his family recently celebrated Thanksgiving.   RJ likes Thanksgiving because there is the potential for bits of turkey to be snuck to him by various family members. Even Tara, who is a vegetarian, has been known to hand him a bite now and then.

  

But this time Tara brought her new dog, Rosie.  RJ loves it when other dogs visit.  This doesn't happen often, so the excitement level was high.

  

The cats did not share RJ's enthusiasm for Rosie's visit.  Ashley spent the whole time up here, except when Rosie was locked up in her room for the night.

  

RJ is getting older, so he knows he runs out of enthusiasm for enthusiasm.  When this happened RJ's family would get in the big red Mule and drive all around the property while RJ and Rosie followed along. This would tire them out. For a few minutes.

All in all, RJ enjoyed the visit and the cats are glad the visit is over.

  

Shall we warn them about Rosie coming for Christmas?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Downsizing

I haven't written anything lately.  We have been visiting our granddaughter and making some life decisions.  Our 57 acre farm is getting to be too much for us to maintain. It is time for us to downsize.

Lee still wants about 5 acres.  He has gotten used to not seeing any neighbors.  He also wants to be able yo build another shop so he can continue to work on vehicles.  And he wants to build this one to hold his cab-over diesel truck.

We thought about moving to California.  Our granddaughter is a powerful lure.  But it is so crowded and expensive and BROWN.  We have really come to love the green and seasons of Virginia.

We don't have to make any plans, yet.  Our realtor has told us it may take as much as two years to sell our house.  We just need to find the right buyer. This house really calls for a family with children.  The woods and the stream would be such a great play space.  The six stall barn and two pastures would be great for horses, alpacas or any other large animal that a family would have.

The shop would be perfect for a car lover.  It has a lift for repairs and room for three cars, in addition to the 2 1/2 car garage attached to the house.

It is hard to leave this place that we spent so much time building, but we are ready for the next chapter of our lives.

Our realtor is Dayna Patrick at Remax in Daleville.  She sent two photographers to take pictures inside and out.  The drone photographer came three times to get the right light.  There is even a virtual reality tour that is amazing.  The pictures are so fabulous we are worried we will have second thoughts about leaving such a beautiful home.  We will never live in a more beautiful home and in a more beautiful place.

Please check out the pictures and let me know what you think.




Saturday, August 12, 2017

Etsy Site


I am in the process of setting up an Etsy site to sell some of my baskets.  Slow internet and slow brain are making this an arduous process.  I even downloaded new photo editing software, but I need a child to teach me how to use it.

As of this time, I have three baskets listed.  I'll try to upload another one today or tomorrow. I also need to make more as I have a craft show coming up in October and I need to have a lot of stock for that.  I have sent 10 baskets to a friend in California and she will try to sell some at the craft fairs where she sells other items.

I have named the site SgfCreations.  I would have like to make it two words, but that is not allowed on Etsy.  Would you like to see my Etsy site?  I would love some input.  Go check it out and let me know what you think.  I need more photos on the site and will be working on that in the coming days.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Blueberry Peach Dump Cake

I will admit to scrolling through Facebook.  The best thing about it, in my opinion, is the many different recipes.  I get bored with eating or making the same thing over and over.  This recipe I found on Tip Hero and, with some modifications, we had some last night. Obviously this makes enough for a family, so we will be enjoying it for some time to come.

A dump cake is one in which you assemble the cake in layers and don't spend time mixing.  After you get the ingredients together you dump them in and bake.  Easy, right?

Blueberry Peach Dump Cake

3/4 cup butter, plus more for the baking dish
flour, also for the baking dish
1 pound peeled and sliced peaches
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 pint blueberries
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 box yellow cake mix OR use the following:
     1 1/4 cups flour
     3/4 cup sugar
     2 teaspoons baking powder
     1/2 teaspoon baking soda
     1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans

   

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Butter a 9X13 baking dish.  Sprinkle it with about 1 Tablespoon of flour and shake it to distribute it evenly.  This will prevent the cobbler from sticking.  Set aside.

   

Place the peach slices in the dish and drizzle them with the lemon juice.  Add the blueberries.  Add the vanilla to the juice and pour over the fruit..  Sprinkle the sugar over the top.  

   

If you are making your own cake mix, place the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.  Whisk to mix and dump over the fruit. If you are using a cake mix, then dump it over the fruit.  

   

Gently use a fork to spread out the flour mixture and then gently shake the dish to settle the cake mix among the fruit.  Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon.  Slice the butter into small pats and place on top.  Sprinkle the chopped nuts over everything and slide this into the oven.

   

Easy, right?

   

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour.  The cake should be a golden brown and spring back when touched. I baked mine for 50 minutes.

   

Serve warm.  Even better, serve warm with ice cream!  

   

The buttery topping was crisp and delicious. the fruit was flavorful and the creaminess of the ice cream added a level of pleasure to this dessert.  Actually, for us, this was dinner.  We can no longer eat a full meal and then enjoy a dessert without feeling too full.  So we decided to do what they say and enjoy dessert first.  Or, in our case, only.

   

Friday, July 28, 2017

We Don't Own Cows

Sometimes after a big storm we find that a few cows have wondered up to our driveway.  Or up by the house.  We don't own cows.

This usually means a tree has fallen on the fence line up in the woods.  This allows the cows from the neighbor over the hill to wander from their property, through the woods to our grassy, green pastures. You know, the ones that look greener than their pastures.

  

Cows seem sort of like cats in this regard.  What's over there that might be more interesting than over here?

When our dog, RJ,  sees these cows he runs at them barking, hoping to chase them off.  He does this to the deer frequenting our property and they turn around and dash into the woods, with their white tails flapping behind them.  This is very satisfying.

Beef cows don't run from RJ.  He doesn't scare them in the least.  After all, they outweigh him by more than 1000 pounds. That's half a ton.  When he runs barking at them, they stare him down.   RJ stops stops barking and trots back to us. He doesn't act cowed by them, pun intentional.  He acts as though he has done his job and we can go about our business.

  

After a few of these visits, we got the name of the man behind us and now we call him to come and get them.  He doesn't try to chase them home, either.  He shakes a grain bucket and lures them home.

  

By this time the cows have had a grand adventure.  They got to sample some greener grass, they got to intimidate a dog and they got a mid day treat.  No wonder they love to visit us!