Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's a bundt! A very memorable scene from the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding and a scene that I have been playing over and over in my head this morning.  With The Princess' wedding date getting closer and closer that scene has taken on all sort of nuance to me.  Hubby and I have put out an invitation to our new extended family (and, of course, the family we've had all our lives) along with the bridal party for an informal brunch the morning after the wedding.
It sounds like such a lovely idea and I have been talking about it for months now.  Then last week I sat down and made a list of those likely to join us.  30!  *wowza*  We have been but a family of three.  Extended family has had our holiday table swell to as many as 10 on a given year.  30!  I had better get planning.
At Costco this last weekend, I saw a package in the bakery section with a loaf of banana bread, a loaf of pound cake and a loaf of pumpkin bread.  Wouldn't that be a yummy addition to our table?  But the more I thought about it, the more I just wanted to do my own baking.  I have tried and true recipes for banana bread and pumpkin bread, but pound cake is new to me.  I set out to find a recipe and remembered something about a pound cake in a Ruth Reichl book or so I thought.
I finally found the recipe in the book Garlic and Sapphires.  It is actually called Nicky's Vanilla Cake and is baked in a bundt pan rather than a loaf pan. I gathered the ingredients, dug out my mom's vintage (check out that harvest gold finish) bundt pan and got to work.
It was very easy to make and the house smells heavenly.  I'm going to leave it to the Quilt Pals to do the official taste testing tonight when we get together.  If it passes the Pal Test of Approval, I will bake a couple more to put in the freezer along with the breads to serve with our brunch.  
In other news, in case anyone thought I forgot that this was once a blog that features quilts - I have a finish! *ta da*
 I finished Daisy's memory quilt yesterday afternoon.  Using inspiration from a Cheri Payne quilt for the design, I did the applique, stitchery and quilting by hand.  In addition to the outline quilting, I also quilted in Daisy's initials, her birth date and the date of her passing.  In the borders, I quilted the words Snacks - Snow - Snuggles - Sticks  Just a few of her most favorite things.  It's backed with a daisy printed flannel fabric that is soft and snugly - just like Daisy!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Shoes, glorious shoes!  I'm a girl and I love shoes - I always have loved shoes.  Coming of age in the 70's, I grew up wearing all kinds of shoes from 'chukka boots' to wood soled wedges to some of THE cutest spectator lace up platforms known to mankind!  Along came the 80's and I found myself wearing pumps of all heights and colors.  In the 90's I had a love affair with Steve Madden that lingers to this day.  And I had a pair of the original Simple clogs that I wore until they just no longer even resembled shoes.
As the 90's came to a close, I left the work force and swore off heels and pantyhose for life.  I still enjoy a good looking shoe, but my closet is filled with comfort.  For everyday wear -
flip flops.  Reef, Teva, Cobian - comfortable and supportive.
When the weather is a bit cooler it's all about the Uggs.
For walking, I only wear Brooks.
For most anything in between, I can get along with these Kalso Earth Mary Janes.  (A brand I have loved since the 70's)
 If you haven't guessed by now, I am a rather casual gal.  Even my dressiest occasions are pretty tame.  Enter The Princess' pending nuptials.  Now I joked (a lot) in the beginning that I was just going to buy a new pair of jeans and a white hoodie pullover to wear at the wedding - it is my signature look.  I have been rockin' it since junior high.  You can tell that's a long time because junior high doesn't even exist anymore.  Now everyone goes to middle school.  
While I was 'joking' I was a little hopeful that maybe my plan would be okay.  It was not.  So I found a dress that I liked (and was approved by the bride-to-be) and a pair of shoes.
Cute, but not really comfortable.  It has been a l-o-n-g time since I have worn heels of any sort.  I told myself I would put them on and wear them every day while I made the bed.  Just enough walking to hopefully become accustomed to wearing them by the big day.  Just putting them on made my feet hurt, so they stayed in the box in the closet.
So I ordered these beauties  . . .
Aye chi mama!  Like Cinderella's Ugly Step-sisters, I couldn't even begin to squeeze my feet into them.  Back they went. And I ordered these -
Better(ish) but they squeezed the toes on my right (and larger foot) in a way that made me squint funny.  Is this the face I want immortalized for all time in the wedding photos?   Maybe.  Hubby and The Princess both really like them - as do I, except for the discomfort.  I just planned to suck it up in the name of making everyone happy.  But as the day draws nearer, I found I could NOT stay off of
Yesterday these beauties arrived on our doorstep.
They are cute.  They fit.  They don't hurt.  And I love them!  Oh  . . . and they make me 6' tall.   Guess what I was wearing when I vacuumed this morning?  I only have a month to learn to walk gracefully while trying to not get a nosebleed from the lack of oxygen at those giddy heights.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

It's HOT!  We had a longer than normal period of monsoonal moisture and heat in August.  No sooner did that dry up than we moved into Santa Ana season.  A quick check of the weather forecast tells me that relief is on the way.  Today's predicted high is 96.  Monday the high is predicted at 76.  I will celebrate on Monday - right now it's too hot for anything but a celebratory ice cube.
All of that heat has done nothing but sap creativity and motivation of any sort.  So my once quilting blog continues to suffer.  The Princess and The Intended have taken up the slack for me though.
Earlier in the summer they found an online site that offered plans for making planter boxes that suit their gardening needs.  The Princess found plans for a coffee table that she liked and The Intended got to work.
Here is the table after they tea-stained (yep, just like Momma tea stains her quilts) it.  The Princess got quite a kick out that - I think she used to question my sanity with the tea dyeing of fabrics.
And here it is after it has been sealed and placed in their living room.  Looks like it belongs in a catalog, wouldn't you say?
Wedding plans are all in place and things are starting to hit a fevered-pitch as the days click off on the calendar.  There has been the first dress alteration appointment, a make-up trial and a hair trial.
Tomorrow is a bridal shower brunch with folks coming from all around the state.  Her co-workers have also made plans for a shower later in the week.  Another dress fitting is on the books. The boys all have their tuxes lined up, maid-of-honor is outfitted.  Even I have a suitable dress and shoes to wear.  The Intended was perhaps a little worried at one point - perhaps I joked one too many times that I was going to get a new white hoodie and a pair of jeans-my signature 'look'. Now we just X days on the calendar until the BIG day arrives.
Another way to mark time is to log just how much Larkin has grown.
We had a vet appointment on Monday.  In three weeks, she had more than doubled in weight!  She still seems a little on the small size for her age, but she will catch up and be running with the big dogs before we know it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Today is a day when we in the U.S pause to reflect on that dreadful day eleven years ago when we were attacked.  There was a senseless loss of innocent life that continues to impact so many families today and forever.
That impact reaches beyond September 11, 2001 and those in NYC, Washington DC, and in the air.  Our military is still impacted daily with deployments to war zones and far away places.  It takes a toll, for sure.
Hubby and I enjoy participating in helping groups that gather supplies for care packages.  During Hubby's own service to our country, I held a pretty good reputation as a good care-package sender.  With a family member currently serving in the Afghan theater of operation, I have dusted off those skills and have enjoyed going out shopping for fun and funny little things in hopes of keeping home sickness at bay.
So imagine my *surprise* when Hubby came home last night and said we had a package on our doorstep.  A care package for us!

To protect the safety of those involved, I will remove identifying details of the card that was enclosed.
So sorry to hear about Daisy.  She was always the talk of the town each time *Auntie* spoke to you.  Her Christmas card pics were the best!  She was in our hearts and prayers.
It is only fitting that her flag flew on board *details deleted*  Her spirit was with us *details deleted* Her playfulness, smile and love remind us what is really important every day.
She will be missed by all of those whose lives she touched - two and four-legged alike.  And she will never be forgotten as a smile overwhelms us each time we see a daisy.
Let me assure you that Hubby and I were consumed with tears at the thoughtfulness of this gift and what it took to make it happen when so many other things should take precedence - like personal safety. 
Today when you stop to think about what this day means to each of us all around the world, say a special prayer for those that are still working to make the world a better, safer place for us.  I can assure you they are thinking of us.  They just cannot be thanked enough!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

There is precious little time these days for things like blogging.  By way of explanation, this is Max -
Max is an oak ice box that is porcelain lined and HEAVY.  Max has been a fixture in our dining room for over 25 years.  Whenever we have moved, our very first decision is the placement of Max because once he's in place - he stays put! 
Someone was very clever to leave room underneath to place a drip tray for the melting ice and to get a dust mop under there for a good cleaning from time to time.  That opening is NOT very big -
just shy of 4 inches at the highest point.
So rather than writing blog posts or leaving comments, I am doing things like coaxing a growing puppy out of a spot I fear she may get into and grow just enough that she can't get back out again.  In just two weeks, she has gained 50% of her body weight - making this a rational fear on my part.  I keep picturing Winnie The Pooh having to lose weight to become unstuck from Rabbit's hole.  I don't relish a similar scenario here at home.
I'm trying my best to keep up with posts in Google Reader, but leaving comments just doesn't fit into the few minutes between rushing outside to go potty, stopping a naughty puppy from chewing an unauthorized object, and so on and so forth before I can even think about things like laundry, shopping and fixing meals  . . . puppies are not for the easily tired, that's for sure!
I know this phase will end, maybe not as quickly as I would like at this point - but stick with me, I'll be back.