Monday, September 19, 2011

What in the world has happened? No posts for a whole week! And just when I was getting back in the grove. Well . . . there were a lot of things going on that kept me away from the computer.
First up, we finished the board and ladder project that I teased in my last post.
They have been assembled into a shelving unit. (pay no attention to the tangle of wires - they will be dealt with in a neater manner as we finish up filling up the shelves.)
When we moved in to this home, we quickly realized that we were going to need some shelving to accommodate electronics and books. At about that same time we received the Restoration Hardware catalog. I found something I liked but was not willing to pay the price. So began the search by visiting my favorite junk spots. The search paid off when we found the components to create something uniquely our own. The biggest bonus is that including the lemon oil and spray paints the total cost is about 10% of what two the RH pieces would have cost.
And that means there was a little coin left in the piggy bank to purchase a storage solution for the quilting space.
Last week was the long awaited Big Red Barn show. I have had my heart set on one of their dry sinks for years now. So with some Quilt Pals in tow, I got to the show before the official start time to ensure I would get the pieces I wanted so very badly.
Once the cabinet was hung on the wall and the dry sink was in its place, I set to work rearranging the quilting space.The space continues to be a work in progress. We returned to the architectural salvage yard over the weekend for some more of those vintage boards for shelves. The quilt frame needs to be assembled and placed. But I have changed the name from the quilting space to My Happy Place. Of course, there is the quilting space but also the kitchen is right there. There is easy access to my future garden. I can even stay on top of the laundry all without skipping a beat.
So you can see that the week was a full and busy one. Not much time for blogging or for meal prep either. I'll leave you with a fun and easy recipe idea - Deconstructed Pesto.
Cook a package of linguine according to the directions. In the meantime, chop some basil leaves and garlic cloves and place them a serving bowl. Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the bowl; drizzle on some olive oil, toss and serve onto plates. At the table have a small bowl of toasted walnuts or pine nuts and a nice Parmesan cheese. Add in a green salad and you have a great fresh and easy dinner in the time it takes to boil water. Enjoy!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Manic Monday? Not really, just the usual chores. Still when I started loading photos I realized this thing was just going to be all over the place. Where to start? With great news, of course.
The thimble (my favorite) that I thought was lost forever in our move reappeared today. And the crazy part is that it was right in the basket where it should have been. I have removed everything from that basket several times. So why did the thimble show up today? I dunno. I don't care. I'm just glad that we are reunited.
The reason I was going through the basket was to find a glue stick - which was not there. Maybe if I wait 6 months, it will show up? I want to glue some wool applique in place for stitching. The Quilt Pals started working on Cheri Payne's project from the current issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects.
I have opted to put the cart before the horse, as it were. I after completing the piecing, I chose to quilt, bind and coffee dye the top before the applique. I often do this with smaller applique pieces because I like having the entire piece quilted without those stitches going through the applique.
Over the weekend there were more projects around the house. Hubby moved the garbage disposal from the left to right side of the sink for me. It seems that nearly every home we've lived in it has been that way. After three months of scraping dishes on the wrong side, it seemed easier to just make the switch.
We did a little roaming around at some of my favorite junk stores. Spotted this fella at a stop light.
That is what I would call Dog Tired!
The shopping brought us two ladders.
And 42 linear feet of wood salvaged from a circa 1890's building tear down.
First everything was treated for termites, then cleaned. All the boards have been given a liberal coating of lemon oil. The ladders are due to receive a coat or two of paint. Stay tuned to see what becomes of it all.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The trouble with a design floor is:
not every member of the household is a respecter of the creative process.

In fact, it could be considered tiresome.
Did you hear something outside?

Do I smell treats?
Ho hum.
Maybe a nap is called for.
If only I had a pillow.
Wish there was a t.v. in here.
What's a puppy got to do to have a little fun around here?

Friday, September 09, 2011

September 9 - California Admissions Day! On this day in 1850, California became the 31st state of the union. Did you know we have an official state anthem? Here is a recording from 1913 accompanied by images from all around our great state.

Mountains, deserts, the Pacific Ocean, lakes, rivers, streams, cities and towns - big and small, California has it all. I remember learning in elementary school that if California were to become a country of its own, we would have only to import nickel.
Oh there are troubles here, too. Plenty to be sure. But if there is one thing I have learned recently it is: There is no place like home!
Even if the power goes out. Late yesterday afternoon the power suddenly went out at home. I thought it was perhaps too many folks using too much power, but quickly learned that the outage was spread not only throughout San Diego county but Arizona and into Mexico as well. Seems someone over in Arizona pushed a wrong button *oopsie* which led to approximately 5 million people losing power for as many as 12 hours.
Daisy was undaunted by the event.
She kept her cool by playing in the sprinkler.
No cooking for me, tuna sandwiches made up the dinner menu. We pulled out the crank powered emergency radio to listen to the news for updates.In order to conserve batteries (we had been told we could be without power for as long as three days) I pulled out the solar powered lights that rim the backyard to fashion a lantern bouquet on the table for playing games.
As the evening wore on, it occurred to us that the sky was very clear. With little interference from street and porch lights, we set up the telescope for some star gazing. The moon was bright, but we got a good look as things we might not normally see.
It's good to know that things are getting back to normal. Things like this are a good reminder of what you should have on hand in the event of a disaster and also that modern conveniences aren't always necessary for a pleasant evening. Maybe we should take the time to turn out the lights from time to time and just enjoy the place where we are.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The Labor Day weekend is now behind us. It was certainly a productive one. Hubby worked so hard to make one of his dreams come true - park our two cars in our two-car garage. He carried every single thing in the garage to the back patio (in an effort to keep garage-sale hopefuls from stopping by). He then swept and washed the garage floor before starting the process in reverse order. Many things did not return to the garage, they are at home in a spare closet, the backyard shed or destined for donation.
We still have boxes to unpack - will there ever be a time when we won't? But Hubby's dream came true. We are now parking both vehicles in the garage, but first -
a little decorating. His garage ALWAYS features a life-sized Humphrey Bogart poster. The original Bogey didn't survive the move eastward. But an exhaustive Internet search resulted in a new poster last Christmas. He happily unveiled it yesterday. Daisy was NOT amused and spent several minutes growling at the interloper.
Another project that is underway is changing out lighting. When we changed out the powder room light, we purchased the same fixtures for the baths upstairs. Out with the old -
and in with the new.
That's more like it. Next up was the dining room light. I didn't get a photo before it came down, but here it is in the donate pile.
And now our dining room fixture.
Yes, this is the third home we have installed it in. Each time we have prepared to move, we head to Home Depot and find something suitable and neutral to hang in its place before the 'For Sale' sign goes up. I would hate to leave it behind.
Also on the way out is the giant Red Sox foam finger. Youthful-Sister-In-Law brought it home as a gag souvenir from her adventure at Fenway Park. I was told I had to keep it until I lived in California again. I have fulfilled the requirement - even sending her the photo as evidence.
It is now in the donate pile, too.
So as not to leave you thinking that I rested on my laurels while Hubby slaved, I did more trim painting. I will spare you the photos as it is just more of the same. And there you have it, the Labor Day weekend was certainly a weekend of labor for us. It sure felt good!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Simple things. For me it seems to often boil down to just that. Let's start at the beginning. Well maybe not the beginning, but back in time just a few months.
When we found our new home, we knew that it had not always been lived in gently. The owner we purchased from had done a lot to repair and update, but there is still work to be done. While we are up to the task, our plan is to take our time - enjoy the process.
One thing that really (REALLY) bothered me was the bread board in the kitchen. It was dirty and gooey and generally not something that I would put food on for any reason. I scrubbed; I used bleach; I used cleanser; I tried lemon juice and salt; I left it out in the sun. Still I wasn't comfortable using it. But I use a bread board a lot!
Then I had that light bulb moment and searched the Internet. And there it was.
The package arrived on Friday. We have used it at every meal since then. The kitchen feels right. It really is the simple things.

Friday, September 02, 2011

I'm in a pickle or at least in a pickle mood. For a long time now, I have yearned to make pickles. The dream was to grow my own cukes and them put them up. #!@#&@&* varmints kept me from growing the bumper crop in the past. This year I didn't feel settled enough to start a garden still the dream has not yet died.
Recently I saw a post on Mennonite Girls Can Cook for No-Can Bread and Butter Pickles and I just couldn't stand it any longer. I NEEDED to make pickles. I decided to just buy the cucumbers and make a batch. That was going to be the easy part. Trying to find a one-gallon jar proved a little more difficult. Enter my local True Value Hardware store, my 'go to' one-stop shop for all things 'old-fashioned'. They did not disappoint.
Next on my list of purchases was pickling salt. Clearly suburban San Diego is not the epicenter for all things homemade as this item was a little more difficult to locate. After some online research, I learned that pickling salt is simply salt with no additives which will cause your bounty to turn an unappetizing color. While I never located 'pickling salt' I did find a nice container of sea salt that fit the no-additive requirement.
Armed with my salt and all of the cucumbers in the market, I came home ready to get to work.
I sliced those cukes and put them in the jar. They are not as tightly packed as I would have liked, but remember I bought all that I could.
Next I cooked up the pickling liquid and poured it in the jar.
Can I say that it smells just wonderful? The jar is cooling on the counter, then into the fridge it goes. I can hardly wait to give them a try.
My work was not yet done though. A few weeks ago, Hubby made a request for pickled hot peppers. Again I had to buy the peppers rather than pick from the garden, so my jar is not nearly as full as it could have been.
Still we now have a small supply of pickled peppers. Fall is coming and with it meals like black-eyed peas with buttermilk cornbread. These peppers are the perfect accompaniment.
On the quilting front, I'm happily working away on A Penny Saved.
I'm working on the fourth row of pennies. What I love most at this point is that with strategic folding, it looks like a lot more!