Friday, January 11, 2019

Pot of Gold

The Grumpy Ol Gazer and I decided that we needed to get busy and clean out a lot of the stuff that has been cluttering up our closets and drawers for years. It has been a big task and one we are not going to hurry with. Cleaning out these spaces is like taking a walk down memory lane! We each would find little treasures from years ago that had been safely tucked away (then forgotten about). We are able to get rid of a lot of things that we no longer need or want while making new spaces for other items.

While cleaning out my closet I found some quilt tops that I had obviously just put away before finishing them off! I found three row quilt tops from exchanges I had participated in and I found some house blocks from another exchange I had taken part in. I will be sharing these over the month!

First of all is a Christmas row by row quilt. This is the top half.

This is the bottom half.

I also found several finished cross stitch pieces that I thought were gone forever! I had especially been looking for this piece by Plum Street Samplers. I see a Christmas pillow for next year!

I saw that LHN is coming out with a new series. I know that I said I had enough but I really really like this series. I am not going to make any commitments yet but I do keep looking at it and drooling.

I fell in love with this free block over at Quilters Cache. It is called Hard Times and is a 10 inch block. I automatically knew how I would put it together. I will save that for a later surprise just in case I can't find the fabrics I need for it. Or in case I change my mind about the colors.

I found several other designs I like but I am going to take them one at a time and enjoy the hand quilting on each one. I sure wish my Grandma was here so we could talk about quilting; gardening flowers and vegetables And even though I was not big on playing the piano, I sure loved to sit beside her while she played and sing those hymns after dinner!

This will be the year of home improvements around here. We have been putting things off for too many years and now we really need to get busy! Instead of listing all the things we hope to get done, I just post them as they happen!

Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

It's A New Year!

Happy New Year!! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a safe New Year! I have a few new items to share! I was lucky to get some fun gifts over the holidays.

I was thrilled to get this quilt book! It has a lot of great quilt patterns that are drool worthy but I have already picked out 3 designs from the book that go to the head of my "to do" list.

This is a fun pattern. I have mentioned before that I love row quilts and Christmas quilts. Two loves in one pattern!

So far, it has been a rainy cold Winter. It certainly feels a lot colder when the heat goes out! Brrrrr. A little mouse climbed into our unit outside to keep warm and built a nest. I guess all the noise and moving parts were too much for him so he left but the nest stayed and slowly worked into the moving parts and locked them up! Unfortunately this happened on the weekend before Christmas so a lot of places were already closed for the long holiday weekend. We had to wait and shiver several days so the part could be ordered and fixed all because of a little tiny mouse!! We are already making some plans for warmer weather! Maybe a tour of state (and out of state) quilt and cross stitch shops!

Just like with my Chicken and Dumplings, I had been on a search for the perfect Chicken Pot Pie recipe. The first one I tried was awful! That recipe was trashed. The second recipe was better but was still not THE one. I found a third recipe that looked like it would be it. I tried it and (yahoo, kicking my heels together) I had found a winner winner chicken pot pie dinner! This is the ONLY chicken pot pie recipe in my recipe book now. Sorry I do not have a picture but it goes really fast! A good chilly night dinner with a salad.

Preheat the oven to 430. Use a 9 inch deep dish pie plate.

2.5 cups of shredded chicken
1 can of Veg-all
a handful of pearl onions
Put these in the pie plate and mix. In a small pot, mix 1/4 c. melted butter, 1 teaspoon of flour (I use a pinch more), a teaspoon of Thyme. Let this blend together then slowly wisk in 14 oz of chicken broth and a chicken boullion cube. Stir constantly until thickened (about 2 minutes) and pour over chicken and veg-all. Cover with a 9 inch pie crust and make 3-4 slits in it. Bake until brown

Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Goodbye 2018

This is the same post I make every year at the end of the year. Sometimes I adjust it depending on my needs or life situation. So far it has worked good for me.

A New Year is right around the corner! A brand new clean calendar! It is up to each one of us what we do with it. Each year I take the same basic goals with a possible extra or two tossed in for good measure. I prefer to use "goals" instead of "resolutions" because I feel I am taking already important things in my life and putting my focus on strengthening them.

1. To make an effort to learn something new every day. The joy of knowledge is indeed a blessing no matter what you choose to learn.

2. To make time for myself. It's amazing what 15 minutes sitting on the deck with a hot cup of coffee and watching the birds can do for my soul. A little time each day to refresh my spirit is all it takes.

3. To take time to appreciate each day. To often we forget to see the beauty around us and take the simple things in life for granted. My continued goal is to look with my eyes but to see with my heart. To simply enjoy life and all that is part of it.

4 To enjoy my family and friends. I am lucky to have each and every one of them in my life.

5. Organize and Simplify! Two key words I always yearn to make a part of my everyday routine but often lose focus on. Organize does not mean that I have to go on a cleaning binge each day. It just means that I need to get my life and things that are a part of my life in some sort of manageable order so that I feel comfortable instead of constantly overwhelmed. Not putting things off until the last minute can contribute greatly to this cause. Simplify! Just what it means - plain and simple! Stop making a mountain out of a mole hill. Do what I can and leave the rest. Don't take on more than I can handle or feel will leave me stressed out!

6. To remember. So many people have come and gone from my life over the years and I want to keep their memories alive.

7. To keep my faith alive and strong.

8. A Random Act of Kindness. Like so many others, I was raised to do them. Only back then they were called "manners" or just plain "consideration for others". So many people still do these and without even realizing it. For the New Year coming up, I challenge myself along with each and every one of you to make RAKs a regular part of your life and to become more aware of them. Whether it means opening a door for a person, buying a stranger a cup of coffee, taking the grocery cart back inside the store or something else. Let us all strive to bring back those values and in doing so we will give back and make someone's day a little brighter.

9. To Forgive. Things happen that cause hurt, anger and resentment but often the people who cause these feelings don't know or just don't care. We are the ones left with the bitter feelings that only mount up and make us more and more miserable. I will let the past remain in the past and let go of these feelings so that I can move on with my life

10. To use kind words and patience more often. I will try to live by the good old standard rule "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

And of course the New Year would not be complete without some fun goals!

1. Take more trips. Even a day trip can be fun.

2. No pressure. Keep the fun and joy in my hobbies. After all, that is why I started them.

3. Take more pictures.

4. Continue to write daily in my gratitude journal.

5. To blog more often.

6.  To work on my hand quilting.

Have a safe and Happy New Year. Thanks for stopping by! Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Good Memories

Hot Dr. Pepper?? Yep! And it was good! I remember my dad taking me to hockey games at the Coliseum at least once a year when I was growing up. I was not a hockey fan but I loved spending time with my dad so I gladly went. Hot Dr. Pepper was a staple at the games just like popcorn at the movies. It isn't hard to fix but it just never tasted quite as good as it did when I was cheering on the home team with my dad! Good memories

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Another Year Older

I had another birthday come and go this month. I have always loved being a December baby. It has just always felt like all the lights and hub-bub made my birthday even more special. I celebrated by spending a nice relaxing day with my husband (who always takes vacation at this time of year). What did I get?

A new journal to start the New Year with

The quilt kit pictured in my last post. Bubblegum and Chocolate from Private Source Quilting on Etsy. Be still my heart!!

Every year I buy myself a new coffee mug as a Happy Birthday to Me gift

And a nice dinner at the local steakhouse.

It is time to get my infusion project rounded up and get a head start on it. I will try to get to that before January 1st. I hope everyone has a wonderful Merry Christmas!

Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

All I Want For Christmas!

I know I have missed several weeks of posting on my blog but as we all know, this is a busy time of year!  I really don't have a lot of progress pictures to share but I do have pictures of items I hope to start on around the first of year.

I have been bitten by a crafty little bug called QUILTING. I did some quilting some years back and enjoyed it a lot but I became overwhelmed with all of the stacks of fabrics that just got bigger and bigger!  

I have no intention of stopping my cross stitching. After all, I have to have something to work on during infusions! Besides, cross stitch has always been my first love but quilting did run a close second!  I just want to be to do both! My perfect world!

This is a picture of a quilt kit I found on Etsy called Bubblegum and Chocolate! I love the colors in it!

This is a free Christmas quilt pattern I found online. It is called Pinwheels and Patchwork! Who doesn't love a cozy Christmas quilt!

But first, before I can begin to quilt again, I have to set up an area to keep my supplies and sewing machine on. I really don't have a lot of free space but I saw this idea on Pinterest. I like it and I think I have just the place for it. Now we have to out and look for this furniture!

Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Good Stuff!

Yes, I put the Willow Tree Sampler away for now. I will finish it up next Spring. It just did not feel like a chilly weather stitch. I have been wanting to stitch an alphabet sampler but I did not want to start anything too big so I found an alphabet I like, pulled some fabric and threads. I am ready to start and it should be a quick stitch!

I have another round of infusions coming up again in January. I always work on an infusion project during this time so I want to get everything together and I usually start on them several weeks before the infusions start. As I have said before, my infusion projects are usually prayers or proverbs. This time my infusion project will be the Praise Sampler by Plumstreet Samplers.

What did I cook for dinner this week that I want to share? Chicken and Dumplings! One of my favorites but also one of the dishes I am very picky about. I set my standards compared to my Grandma's recipe. No one made chicken and dumplings like Grandma!  I have tried several recipes only to be disappointed. I was about ready to give up and just get my chicken and dumplings when we go to Cracker Barrel (who, BTW, makes wonderful chicken and dumplings. As close to my Grandma's as any I had found) but I found a new recipe I thought I would try and it was GOOD! It was easy too which was an added bonus! Now I can have my chicken and dumplings any time I want them! Excuse the picture. NOT ME got a bowl full before I could take the picture!

6 canned biscuits
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 T olive oil
5 cups shredded chicken
1 T parssley
1/4 t dried Rosemary
1/4 t pepper
3 cans (14.5 oz. each) chicken broth
1 (4 oz) can mushrooms, drained
1 chicken bouillon cube

Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces and set aside. In a large pot, saute onion and green pepper until tender. Stir in all the spices, bouillon cube, mushrooms and chicken. Mix well. Stir in broth.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add biscuits, one at a time. Cover and simmer for 11 minutes or until dumplings are done. (Do not lift cover while simmering). Enjoy!

I ordered a few clothes that arrived. One of my very favorite sweaters is the Thermal Hoodie from Roamans. Once again I borrowed a picture from Pinterest.  I have 5 of them now! They are so comfortable and extremely warm on a cold day! They are a little pricey but I watch for those sales!

Until next time may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Chilly Mornings

I took a needed break from stitching for several days so I am not as far along as I hoped to be by now. A few new birds have found the tree.  I am getting really anxious to start on my next stitch so I better get a move on and finish this one up!  Maybe it is the cooler days but I am just not feeling this piece as strongly as I did when I first started. It just feels like more of a spring/summer stitch.

Speaking of cooler days, it is time to start putting out some food for the birds again. I have noticed a lot of cardinals hanging around outside my window in the mornings. It almost looks as though they are trying to get my attention!  I only feed them November thru the end of May. That covers the cold weather and nesting season. The rest of year they have plenty of insects and berries to keep them full.

I made an oldie but goodie for dinner the other night. I used to make this a lot when the boys were little and for some reason I just haven't made it in a long time. It was good and very filling! Even the Grumpy Ol Gazer was pleasantly surprised when he got home from work and saw this sitting on the stove top. It is really hard for me to get good pictures of food. By the time I go get my camera, NOT ME has usually cut into it!

Impossible Cheeseburger Pie
1 lb. lean ground meat
1 large onion
pinch of salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c Original Bisquick mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs

Heat oven to 400. Spray 9" pie plate with cooking spray.
Cook beef and onion in skillet till done. Remove, drain and put in pie plate.
Sprinkle cheese over hamburger.
Mix the rest and pour over mixture. Bake 25-30 minutes.

For those of you who have not heard the news, I have a third and invisible child. His name is NOT ME. He has obviously been around for years. Every time I ask "who did this" the culprit is always the same -- NOT ME.

Until next time may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Christmas is a Comin'

The holidays are sneaking up on us a little faster each year! I remember how I used to cook all kinds of delicious goodies during the festive season! I don't cook the big dinners anymore. We either go out or order a ready made meal to bring in. The first year we went out for Thanksgiving I was floored at how many other people had the same idea to let someone else do the cooking!

I have never really cooked on Christmas. We used to go down to my in-laws so the boys could show them what Santa brought. I have always cooked the week before Christmas making all kinds of appetizer, snacky foods to set out and we would munch on those all day with plenty left over for a few more days! Biscuits with ham or sausage, chex mix, cheese balls and crackers, cream cheese bread and so much more! A big pan of BBQ from our favorite BBQ restaurant is always a must!

Even though I don't cook the family sit down holiday meals anymore, I still like to bake the extra goodies. I thought it would be fun to share some of our favorites with you this season.

The first one I will share is a recipe that I have had in my file box since we were first married. I have never taken a picture of it in all the years I have made it so I borrowed a picture from Pinterest. It is really pretty if you use pink champagne and something fun to pass out to family and friends. 

For those of you (like me) who don't drink, the alcohol continent will cook off and just leave the flavor. I don't recommend putting it on plain toast. UGH. But it goes nicely with a slice of pound cake or another sweet bread or cake.

1 1/3 c. champagne or wine
3 cups sugar
1/2 bottle of Certo liquid pectin

In a 3 quart pot stir champagne and sugar (stirring constantly). Boil for 1 minute. Stir in pectin and take off heat. Pour into small decorative jars and seal with a thin layer of Gulf sealing wax.

I took a break from my stitching for a while while the Grumpy Ol Gazer and I worked on getting painting done outside before cold weather takes over. Just to make it clear, the Grumpy Ol Gazer aka my husband is so named because he is an amateur astronomer. I wanted to make that clear! LOL.

Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

One Day At A Time

Life is starting to settle down a bit and getting back to normal. A few minor things are still keeping us jumping otherwise all is as it was before. As I like to say, Dull is good.

The grass is coming up nicely around the Willow Tree and some birds are beginning to find their way to the branches. Several birds bumped their heads on the branch above them but they look fine to me.  I am not going to put Hannah's name at the bottom like is in the design. I decided I wanted to make it mine. I am very happy with it so far and look forward to getting it finished.

I prefer to only do one piece at a time. My poor old mind gets befuddled if I have too much going on at once but I just couldn't help myself. I started on the Stacey Nash design, Buttermilk and Blue but since I HAVE to have some red in just about  every piece I stitch, I am calling it Buttermilk and Blue with a splash of Red! I have not really started. I am still in the setting up stages of picking out the fabric, getting my threads together...... A picture will come once I actually start.

One of my favorite Fall meals is Chili Beans and Cornbread! Really warms you up on a cool day!  I fix my chili several different ways. Sometimes I want a meaty chili and other times I feel like a vegan version. Both are delicious and very filling.  I made some Chili last night and had every intention of taking a picture but by time I got my camera out, it was GONE! LOL.

What is your very favorite Halloween candy? I have loved candy corn since I was a little girl. I still buy a big bag at Halloween time but I don't eat as much of it as I used to. 

I picked up a few houseplants while we were out last weekend. I always enjoy a nice houseplant. They just make everything look fresh and welcoming.

I spent the last several days getting my kitchen back to how I like it! Someone by the name of NOT ME is always moving things around! It really gets on my nerves when NOT ME turns my kitchen upside down. I still have a good bit more to do but I have the counter tops set up to my liking again! But now that I see my pretty organized counters, I realize my kitchen walls need to be painted BAD!

As I sit here I am listening to our resident woodpecker pecking on the house! He used to peck, peck, peck on the gutters. I guess he got tired of that and now he pecks on the house! We even have a hole on the outside that we need to repair or we will have woodpecker babies hanging around within the walls of our house! I bought a woodpecker house just for them to use but he still prefers OUR house! LOL.

Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Life Happens!

This will be a short post as (like the title says) Life Happens when you least expect it! Unexpected things have been happening all week but that doesn't mean they aren't good.
I am still working on the Willow Tree Sampler. It is coming along nicely and I will have a new picture to share with you soon.

I hope to start sharing pictures of my stash with you within the next month after every thing begins to get back to normal. Every time I promise myself to only stitch from stash I find another design I just have to have! Now I say that I will stitch mainly from stash!
Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Good Morning One and All

First things first. I have an update on Willow Tree Sampler to share. Have I mentioned how much I love this piece? The tree has been planted and grass is starting to grow around it now.

I am already going through my stash to choose my next new start!  I have pulled a few to make my pick from. I wish I could blink my eyes and they would be complete and framed!! LOL. The designs that are in the running are Sally Spencer by Birds of a Feather (I have special plans for this one) and Buttermilk and Blue by Stacey Nash. Oh me, oh my, oh you. Whatever shall I do??? LOL. I am leaning towards Buttermilk and Blue. I always enjoy a good alphabet sampler but I could change my mind at the last minute!

I just love a good mail day! Yesterday several orders arrived. A new pair of cozy pajamas and from a stitching store lots and lots of yummy threads!  The wooden hoop I like was out of stock but will be arriving again soon. I can't have too many of these! See the hoop on my Willow Tree Sampler above?

My wild rose is on it's last legs of the season. See you next summer, sweet rose!

We have been working on downsizing or just decluttering the house! We have so much that we just use anymore. My husband is worse than a woman wanting to hold on to things saying "I might be able to use/wear that someday"! LOL. I hate to have yard sales so I usually just bag up the decent stuff and donate it.

We are getting ready to paint the outside of the house this Fall. The main color of the house will be Marshmallow. The doors and shutters will be Hot Chocolate. Doesn't that sound yummy but that's not why I picked those colors. It just worked out that way! LOL

Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart!

Sunday, October 07, 2018

A Sunday Hello

Before I start on anything else, I have an update on my Willow Tree Sampler by Carriage House Samplings. The more I stitch on it, the more I love it!

Where are all the bloggers?  Since coming back to my blog, I have noticed that so many of the regulars are no longer regulars. A lot of them have just given up on their blogs or their posts are few and far between! I guess I'm not one to talk though since I took a 2 year break from my blog! LOL.

I have been working on A Mother's Tree by Lavender and Lace a little bit each month. This and And A Forest Grew by Rosewood Manor are my only two WIPs left in my basket. Once I get this huge tree finished I think it will go much quicker. Also I have been digging into my family history in hopes of finding one more name to add to this tree!

With Summer and Fall, come gnats! We live in an area that is has alot and every time a door is opened, gnats fly in the house!  I hate those little things. I don't like to spray pesticides in the house or in the yard for health reasons so one year when I was looking for something to control these little varmits from taking over indoors, I found these traps. Cute, 2 to a pack, they last a month and best of all, THEY WORK! They are labeled as Fruit Fly traps but they work just as well on ordinary backyard gnats!

Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart!

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

October Days

October has rolled around again! I always enjoy the cooler weather that October brings. Cool enough for a sweater but warm enough to still get out and enjoy the day!  I am hoping to go to a local Apple Festival later this month. I will be looking for some Winesap Apples.

I have a few more finishes to share with you. I started and finished Because Nice Matters by La D Da. I have had this pattern since 2003 and kept pulling it only to put it back in place of something else. Now it is done and I love it!

I also stitched on a freebie by Lori Brechlin over at Notforgotten Farm (link in my sidebar) called Samplermaker.

Right now now I am working on Willow Tree Sampler by Carriage House Samplings. Another pattern I have had for a long time. When we were first married, we each made a list of 5 items we wanted to get over the years. His list was compiled of things like a pick up truck. nice tools, a building out back, ect. While my list was a roll top desk, a bentwood rocking chair, walls full of cross stitch, stacks of quilts in every room and a weeping willow tree.  When we moved into our first house, our new neighbor found out that I wanted to plant a Weeping Willow and promptly let me know that he was allergic to them so to be a good neighbor, I did not get one but I still dreamed of having one. Now I will have my Weeping Willow tree complete with birds!