Friday, January 30, 2015

Wedding Ring Quilt

My grandmother gave my aunt a wedding ring quilt back when she was first living in California.  I don't know whether it was to be a remembrance of home, but my aunt loved it and took it everywhere.  Like to the beach and for picnics.  She loved it, but she didn't take care of it and it wore out.


She regrets that now.  So I have offered to make her a new Wedding Ring quilt.  I am cutting out all the pieces for the rings first.  I need about 700 wedges to make the rings.  I have been cutting out strips and using the template for the wedges for about a month.  I can't sit for too long as it hurts my back.  So it is taking longer than I thought.


Some people buy fabric for the rings and do it in a pattern, the same six colors for each section.  I have some bits and pieces from previous projects, so I am using them.  It is helping me to use up my bags of fabric, but I liked the fabric then and I like the fabric now.  I am trying to get colors that all work together.  When you do a scrappy quilt you just fill a basket with the colors and grab different ones and see what you end up with.  I may be a bit more picky than that and try to get colors that look good next to each other. 


Because I am cutting up bit and pieces, it was getting hard to keep track of how many wedges I had cut.  I started putting the finished piles in the snack size Ziploc bags and writing the number of pieces in a Magic Marker.  Remember not to touch the black numbers when it is still wet.  My "sewing" tip of the day.

Next I cut out the "jewels" that hook the connecting rings of fabric together.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Crochet Class

My cousin in Troutville got some crochet kits for beginners and held a class for beginning crocheters.  Is that a word?   She asked it I would be available to help out.  I was.  The class wasn't limited to girls, but only girls showed up.  It has been so long since I did any crocheting, that I had to hop on YouTube to remind myself.  I guess as long as I am one lesson ahead of the girls, we should be OK.  I have made a ton of crochet squares and even made an afghan, but it has been years.


One of the easy patterns in the kit was for as phone holder.  They called it a tech cozy.  I wanted to make something easy for a demonstration and also to make sure I knew what I was doing.  The pattern called for two equal rectangles the size of your phone and then sew them together and add a chain stitch for a strap. 


I can't imagine anyone wearing their phone that way and I thought a chain stitch too fragile for the job.  And why make two squares when you can make a rectangle as wide as your phone and then twice as long?  Then you can just fold it over and stitch up the sides.


So that is what I did.  I made a chain stitch of 12 loops.  Then I started a row of single crochet, making sure to do one extra chain stitch at the end of every row so you can turn the piece and start the next row.  That way you end up with 11 stitches.  I just kept doing the single crochet and turning the project until it was the proper length.


Instead of cutting the yarn when the piece was long enough, I just kept using it to sew down one side.  I decided to sew along the bottom and back up the unfinished side, just to keep the decorative stitch all around the piece. 


At the last minute I thought to make a little loop to secure the phone somewhere in a purse, so you don't have to dig for it.  The chain loop would not be necessary.


This is an easy project for a beginner.  But really, how many little girls need their own phone?

OK.  All you little girls that either have or want a phone can stop screaming at me.  So, if you have a phone, make this for it.  And if your mother has one, make this for her.  If your father has one, DON'T make this for him.  Maybe someday we will do a leather project and that would work for him.

That would be a class for both girls and boys.  I wonder if there is a leather wholesaler around here?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Goodbye John

Lee sold the 1954 GMC truck he rebuilt on eBay.  The new owner is from Flint, Michigan.  He arranged for a guy with a truck hauler to come by and pick it up.


Lee met him at a nearby school parking lot.  He would never get up our driveway.


They loaded the truck and off it goes to an alpaca farm.  The truck hauler had been asked to let the new owner know if the truck was as advertised.  He called him up and raved about it.  Said he was getting a good deal.  He did!


And even as it drove away, Lee was already planning his next purchase.


Of course he still has the 1974 Camaro that is almost finished.  Then when that one sells, I imagine he will find a need to replace that one, too.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Frosty Morning

The weather people had dire warnings last night that there would be icy rain and freezing overnight.  I woke up prepared to be stuck here until it warmed up. 


While it was cold I couldn't see any ice on the driveway. 


Lee came in from getting the paper and told me to look behind us at the trees on the neighbors property.


It seems that is was colder on their slope than ours.  The bare trees were coated with ice. 


Monday, January 19, 2015


I had my young cousins over recently.  They wanted to spend some time making cards.  I believe they wanted some for themselves and some for others. 


I got out some bits of this and that I like to use for cards and stamped a few things for them to use.  I only put out a few things as too many things are overwhelming.


I made a few cards as inspiration for them.  Not to copy but to see what I had out for them and give them a few ideas.

They made quite a few cards and went away happy. 


Now I need to make a few more and put everything away.  I have a quilt to get back to.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Murder of Crows

I was lounging around yesterday doing much of nothing.  I heard the raucous cries of many crows.  I expected it to be some passing birds and attempted to ignore it.  They kept arguing right outside.


I finally got up and looked out of the window.  There was a murder of crows in a nearby tree.  Did you know that was the term for a group of crows?

I grabbed my camera and took a few pictures through the window.  When I opened the door it startled the birds and I was able to catch them as they flew around and landed, only to take off again.  The crow version of "touch and go" for airplanes.


There were so many and they looked sort of ominous.  It was a MURDER of crows, after all.  It reminded me of the Hitchcock movie, The Birds.

And then I remembered that Rod Taylor recently passed away and was saddened anew.  He was a favorite actor of mine.


Perhaps the crows were paying homage.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Food: A Love Story


I just finished Jim Gaffigan's latest book.  It is called Food: A Love Story.  Gaffigan is a comedian known for his jokes about Hot Pockets.  If you read his previous book you know that he has five kids and lives with his wife in a two bedroom apartment in New York.  I'm sure he sold a lot of books and has enough money for a bigger apartment, but they are still there.  I can only imagine they just have no time to look.

I find Gaffigan very funny and sometimes I laughed out loud while reading Food.  That is my definition of funny.  Lots of books give me a smile.  I laugh out loud at the truly funny ones.

Gaffigan is a comedian, so that means he travels a lot.  Therefore, he is an expert on food in every state and most cities.  He also confesses to being fat and many of his jokes are about weight and food.  I don't think he is that fat, but it remains part of his act.

He even jokes that one of the best things about living in New York is the availability of food to be delivered to his apartment, so he can get food without moving.  Those are two of his favorite things.

When Weight Watchers says that nothing tastes as good as thin feels, he disagrees.  (After all, he is married to a beautiful (and thin) wife and no longer has to stress over what he weighs to get the girl.)  Many of those things end in the word cheese, like Cheddar cheese and grilled cheese.  "Even unsalted French fries taste better than thin feels."    Gaffigan believes this level of sacrifice, eating unsalted fries because it is too much work to get up and find salt,  would make him a great contestant on Survivor.

Most of the book involves riffs on what the different states feel is their finest food.  I happen to agree with him that lobster from Maine looks like a giant sea scorpion and the only reason people eat it is because it is swimming in sticks of melted butter.

He seems to not like fruit, unless it is in a pie or covered in chocolate, and he really hates vegetables. He figures people only eat vegetables in some insane effort to be healthy and he only eats them in front of his children.  A man has to be a good example, after all.  I doubt he will let them read this book, as all parental arguments on healthy eating from his wife will end up with, "Well, DAD hates vegetables, too!"

If you want some light reading and a good laugh, I would recommend this book.  If you are trying to lose weight, or you think young impressionable minds might find this book and make every mealtime an argument, save it for your next trip out of town.  It might even let you know where to get the best food for that particular city.  Or send him a message on Twitter.  I'm sure he knows.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Closed For the Winter


This is why I closed the B&B for the winter.  You don't know weeks in advance, when bookings are made, what the weather may be.

We didn't want guests to be unable to get up the drive.


And breakfast on the screened porch looks like it might be a bit nippy.


The cat doesn't seem to mind.  But he has a fur coat!


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Dumb Move

I got out some heartworm preventative called Heartgard for the dog.  But then I couldn't find the dog.  I put the log in a Ziploc bag and promptly forgot about it.  This morning Lee brought me the chewed up bag and plastic holder where the heartworm preventative used to be.  It seems the one or both cats ate the preventative.  Or opened the package and the dog got it from them.


I know that some medicines for dogs are toxic to cats, so I quickly searched the internet and got conflicting information.  One site said it wasn't an issue and one said to induce vomiting and get the cat to the vet. 

I quickly called our vet and got the number from the recording for the emergency vet, because it is Sunday and the vet is closed.  The emergency vet sent me to an animal poison control center that will answer questions, but it is not a free call.


During all this frantic calling the cats calmly ate their breakfast and sat around the house as usual.


They looked bored, but not sick.  Inducing vomiting, and I can't imagine that would be easy, would be a wasted effort if they had taken poison 10 hours ago.


After obtaining a credit card number and the dosage consumed, and a long wait, I was told the amount was not poisonous and not to worry. Not poisonous even if the smallest cat consumed the entire amount all by his lonesome.



So the lesson is simple.  If you get out something for the dog and he is not immediately available.  PUT IT AWAY.  I figured I would find him and feed him later.  But I forgot.  If you accidently let your cat eat the dog's Heartgard, don't panic and make him vomit.  It won't be good, but the amount won't kill a healthy cat.

That will be $39.00, please.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Crafting Help

It's winter and the B&B is closed.  Time to catch up on some crafty things.


My cousin came by with her daughter, Julia, and we set the embroidery machine to embroidering. 


Julia needed a bit of help setting up the machine. 


But not this kind of help.


Totally not helpful.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee

I've been laid up since Christmas with a cold.  You know I don't feel good when I can't read.  I loafed around and tried to watch daytime TV.  We have a bazillion channels and rarely is there something worth watching during the day.  I was in no mood for a movie.

I have heard about the Jerry Seinfeld show with comedians and was finally bored enough to check it out.  It is called Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.  Those of you who watched his television show, Seinfeld, remember that the whole premise is a show about nothing.  I can just imagine him pitching this premise. 

"Now I want to do a show about my friends, but this time we match them to a car and go get coffee. "

"And then what?"

"We talk and drink coffee.  And maybe eat something."

"And then what?"

"I take them home."

Unlike network or cable shows, there is no set time limit.  The shows are edited to what they want to show and then it goes on the internet.  Most of the shows are terribly funny and you get a bit of insight to your favorite comedians.  On a couple of them I was unamused, but found the people likeable.  There was one that I found unfunny and unwatchable.  This one was where the comedian was playing a bit in character.  For the whole show.  Or at least all of the show I was able to watch.

I have now watched all the back episodes.  There is no set number from what I can tell.  He does it when he wants to and then doesn't do it anymore. And then you have to wait for the next season.

You should check it out.  Even if you don't have a cold.

On his next season he should pick up the actor for the Acura they are trying to get me to buy.  (And, by the way, I LOVE the product placement in many of the shows.)   He is good enough that I really want to go get one of those cars,  I wonder if he would be funny having a cup of coffee with Mr. Seinfeld.  It's worth a shot.  Or a double shot.  With half and half.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Tools

First there was the invasion much anticipated and longed for visit from far flung, and close flung, family.  Then the colds that we both caught.  I would love to blame the far and close flung, but they weren't sick.  So NOTHING has gotten done in at least a week.  We (meaning Lee) fed the animals and crawled back in bed or on the couch.

Before the creeping crud did us in, we visited a fun store in Roanoke called the Cook's Nook.  It is filled with fun things you didn't know you needed to buy.  Or even that they existed.  Lee had given me a gift certificate, so I had fun buying a few things.


I bought a silicone muffin pan (?) baking thing (?). I am attempting to go on a diet, when I can finish off the holiday food I already have and can get to the store for healthy stuff.  So trying this out this will have to wait until we open again for B&B guests.


I bought some cute little ramekins for serving condiments to our guests.


And then I bought this.  A  Chopula!  It is from an Australian company.

Like you, I have a multitude of spatulas.  But, if you are like me, you have a favorite or two.  I am hoping this will be another favorite.

It is very thin and flexible.  That should make it great for flipping, or moving to a cooling rack. Things like omelettes (flipping) or cookies and scones (moving). 


It also has a sharp edge for cutting in the pan.  Cool.


A really smart thing is the angle built in to the handle so that it sits up off the counter top.


I have only used it once...sick, you know.  But I really liked it and can't wait to use it again.  When I am not sick and feeling yucky.

Self pity, anyone?  It is the new thing now that selfies have been shown to be so narcissistic.  Self pity is completely normal, she said while moaning and groaning in bed and ordering another cup of tea from her long-suffering husband, who also has a cough, but manages to get up and do things.  And could you put some rum in it?  For medicinal purposes, you know.