Saturday, April 19, 2008

Yesterday was such a lovely day. The sky was blue and clear. My little bird friend returned to admire himself in the mirror again and again and again. I began the day by giving myself a challenge - to leave the television and radio off during the day. I hoped in doing so that I might accomplish more in the hours and at the same time better experience the sights and sounds around me.
My usual habit is to have the television or radio on all day long. I always think it's nice to have the noise like company. Last spring Hubby and I took a weekend trip to a B&B and I recall how I enjoyed listening to sounds of the creek, birds, frogs, and even bugs whether we were outside or indoors. And for the first few days home from the trip, I left off the 'noise makers' in favor of the ambient sounds. But before long my usual habits returned.
So now I am going to have a go at it again. I think that I have fooled myself when I say, 'I just have it on for the noise.' It's easy to just stop for a moment to watch a segment of something and soon I'm surfing channels in search of something - anything to watch. I found things to keep myself busy and accomplished far more than usual during the day. I hope to keep it up.
In the afternoon, one of the sounds I was treated to was my own doorbell. When I got there I was delighted to find a SURPRISE package from Finn. I didn't waste a moment opening up that box to find out what treats she sent. A delightful selection of books she chose from her own library - each about a simpler time and way of life. Right up my alley, for sure. I've already read one and can't wait to start another tonight.
Also tucked into a corner of that box was a secret little wrapped package. Inside are these 9 patches of vintage fabrics. Oh what fun! Aren't they sweet? Just like Finn.
This morning, Hubby and I headed out after breakfast to the local farmer's market. It is open twice a week on Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning. The Saturday version is the smaller of the two. But I know that the 'Tamale Lady' is there both days and I have had a hankerin' for some of her tamales lately. She makes them by hand and has several different fillings. We picked up a Baker's Dozen - some green chile and cheese and some chicken.
We also picked up a flat of 'cosmetically challenged' strawberries for making jam.
The Tamale Lady offers a half pint of homemade salsa free of charge, but we find her recipe a little too spicy. Instead we favor the avocado salsa from El Pollo Loco that you can only get when you dine in there. One day I did an Internet search and found a site that offers a recipe. I have been tweaking it here and there and I think I'm getting pretty close to the real deal. I made up a batch today to use on our tamales tonight.
On the quilting front, I finished the cross squares for the little mourning quilt. It only needs sashings and a final border for the top to be done. And this is a sneak peak at the 'secret deadline' project - I'd better get back to work.

31 comments:

Karen said...

Cosmetically challenged strawberries; you are such a hoot! Looking forward to the next photo of the mourning quilt.

Stacy A. said...

Those tamales look so good. I think I miss the food in the Southwest more that almost anything(my mom still wins). Once I brought a dozen fresh burritos home with me on the plane...it might have to be tamales this time. And that bluberry cream bread looks fantastic. I really shouldn't read your blog when I am hungry!

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Avocado salsa sounds divine, perfect accompaniment for your tamales! I can't bear to have TV or radio on anymore as the politics, and coverage thereof, raises my blood pressure. I'm in NC so much is being pointed at us currently. I opt for classical CDs while I sew, or open windows and birdsong serenades. Love your package contents from Finn, yes it is so "her"! Enjoy!

Quilt Memories said...

I rarely have any kind of "noise" while I am at home. Way too distracting for me and it DOES get on my last nerve.Just me, I love quiet!Well, maybe the sound of the sewing machine running is what makes me happy...LOL... J

Beth said...

I love working on stuff when it's quiet in the house. I hate having the TV or radio on most of the time. I like to sit in my den sewing and all I can hear is the tick tock of my clock. I'm looking forward to when my daughter moves out so I get my sewing room so I can go in there and shut out the world, bad thing is it shares a wall with the noisy stepdaugther--reality check! LOL Those tamales look really good, and your salsa, yum!

Susie said...

Those tamales look yummy. I've never seen them at our farmer's market. I'll have to try to guacamole sauce, it's looks delish :)
It's been beautiful here too until these high winds came up today. Very blustery!
xo

Stephanie said...

Oh, I do miss homemade tamales. When I lived in NM, a bunch of us who worked together would request the same day off and assembly-line make 300-400 tamales right before Christmas.

As for green chile, well, I have some shipped to me here in NC each Sept. and roast them in my kitchen oven and freeze them for the rest of the year.

This is making me hungry!

Stina said...

It depends on what mood I am...music or no music...But it can go more than a third of the day until I miss some company (music) when I sew..;D
But I LOVE to be alone...just focusing on my sewing...eat when I want to...no dinner to prepare..Oh that is some Happy Day!!
Lovely gifts...and I love them ninepatches...

Joyce said...

I love silence when I sew with just the sounds of nature coming through the windows. Good thing I live in the country. Lol. Those strawberries look so yummy.

Wendy said...

I like having the radio on but I never turn the TV on during the day, if I did nothing would get done. What a nice gift to come to your door. The blocks will be fun to play with.
Enjoy the yummy tamales and special sauce.

Quilts And Pieces said...

You know, I"ve never had a tamale. Only seen pictures. Someday I"m coming to eat with you!

Karen said...

I like the television on when I am doing handwork. In my sewing room, I sometimes have the little DVD player on with a movie. I subscribe to Netflix. I mostly listen to the DVD player but can glance to the side if I want to see what's going or watch while I am pressing parts of a quilt block as it sits right on the ironing pad beside me.
Your goodies from Finn look ever so interesting. What are you going to do with the blocks?

dee said...

Lucky you to get those blocks from Finn. She's such a treasure.
That sauce looks so yummy. I haven't had tamales in many years. There was a great resaurant in NYC that made them so good. I wish I were closer, my mouth is watering.
Have fun with your goodies.

gwen said...

I have to have the radio on when at home but then it is a french station to remind me of my home country.
The cosmetically challenged strawberries look so appetizing. I can´t wait to buy some over here too to make jam. My shelves are getting empty. I like adding black pepper and fresh peppermint to my cooking strawberries. Sounds strange but tastes great! Take care.

Guðrún said...

When I am alone at home I prefer to turn off both radio and TV. What are tamales?

Knot Garden said...

I like to have the radio on in the background all day long when I'm on my own.
Your avocado salsa is a beautiful shade of green, and I bet it tastes good as well:)

Carole said...

I like peace and quiet. I often open the window that is on the same side as my bird feeders. I love to hear their sounds! That to me is peace! ;o) What fun mail! Thanks for sharing!

Beth said...

What a good idea. I have the TV on all the time when I am home. Then I get wrapped up in watching something. As you can imagine I don't get much done. Maybe we can do a challenge. I can't imagine all I would accomplish if I didn't turn on the TV.

McIrish Annie said...

Whenever I am alone in the house, I don't turn on the TV or radio. My DH has to have music going most of the time so it is nice to have the quiet. On Fridays, when I don't work, it's just me and the kitties. But they can be real chatterboxes! LOL

Carin said...

the food looks wonderful! Love the vintage blocks.

Laura said...

I love tamales. I work with a hispanic lady who makes the best! She lets my know when she is going to make some and I put my order in. The spicey salsa sounds wonderful. Out our house the spicier the better.

Kairle said...

We have a "tamale lady" who delivers to our home every couple of weeks. It's such a treat when her sweet little son with big brown eyes knocks on our door. :)

Thanks for the reminder that "I" need to get some strawberry jam made, too. The past two years I've waited too long and then the berries became outrageously priced!

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

I love, "cosmetically challenged"-kinda sounds like they can only put their lipstick on unevenly!
I am the same with the noise-don't have to starte at it, but need it on for company.
I have never had tamales, sure I am missing something.
Bird is gorgeous, Tracey

Marilyn R said...

I am a "noise" person too. The TV is often on even if I am not watching. I like to listen to books on CD's when I quilt too. A teacher that came to our guild said that if you have the TV on or music on while you quilt it keeps the left side of your brain engaged, the logical side, allowing the creative side or the right side to do it's thing. Hmmmmmm wonder if it is true?

KCQuilter said...

Love your new banner. You've got me on such a strawberry kick right now. I had to go buy berries and Reddi-Whip the other day!!! And tamales, ohmigosh, how I love 'em. Will need to work on that!

LBP said...

There has been no TV in our house since Saturday morning when I chopped the cable in half while digging a flower bed! Glad it was just the tv cable and not an electric line!

Tamales sound wonderful. I have never had these homemade.
Linda

Colleen formerly of South Africa said...

Those tamales looked divine.HAven't had homemade ones in forever!Yum!

The Calico Cat said...

You crack me up - first it's cosmetically challenged strawberries, then it is salsa that is too hot!

(My dad made salsa once upon a time ago. When I was visiting, he said that the small jars are mild & the big jars are hot. I finished the small jar & decided to check on the hot stuff... When he got home, I had to tell him that he made mild & milder...

I am intrigued by the avocado mush though.... I make a gracamosalsa - I keep the bits chunky...

Nicole said...

The strawberry fields in our area are full of nearly ripe strawberries. The stores are starting to get them in too. I think a nice dish of strawberries would be just the thing for my dinner!

Lea said...

Oh, Libby! Tamale Lady is my favorite at that market!!!!!*S* I'll be there and join you soon!
:-)

Marcie said...

Wow, what a great package from Finn! Such an interesting selection! Yum, Mexican food! Next week I will gain 10 pounds as I eat my way through every Mexican restaurant I can find while in AZ.