Monday, February 25, 2008

Mailbox Love and Stacey's Treasures

There's nothing better to brighten up the middle of the day like some mailbox love. I received the nicest package recently from Rexanne at The Church Lady's Blog. Rexanne was out shopping when she ran across not only this Jemima Puddle Ducks book, but also another one. She remembered that my daycare is called Puddle Ducks, so she bought both of the books, (which I have already read at naptime several different times!) and sent them to me along with two wonderful handmade lavender sachets. Thank you Rexanne, we just love them!! Then, just the other day, the mailman left another box on the front porch. I couldn't imagine what was in it, I hadn't ordered anything recently. Much to my delight, that brown box revealed this wonderful old childrens size quilt from Sarah at The Misadventures of Mama and Jack. Sarah had held a giveaway on her blog quite awhile ago and I won it, but had missed the post that said I did and asking for my address. I've been so busy with the new grandbabies and the new business that my blog reading has really gone by the wayside, so when I fiiinallly popped over to visit Sarah and her darling little Jack, I found out that I had won this fabulous quilt. I emailed my address to Sarah, whose computer promptly bit the dust and lost all of her contacts. Anyway, it's been a long time and I had forgotten that this delightful quilt was on it's way to me. It arrived on a beautiful spring morning, so I gathered up my Puddle Ducks, took the quilt and the Jemima Puddleducks book to our sunny back deck and there we had storytime. Doesn't take me long to use these fabulous gifts. Thanks so much, Sarah and Rexanne! I love it all!

Zippy the Frog and Felicia Kitty are two cell phone holders that were a special order. I finished Zippy this weekend and Felicia last night. Like a dummy, I was so excited when I came up with a decent drawing for Felicia that I didn't measure her to see if the cell phone would fit. I am, by far, NOT an artist so am always tickled to death when my patterns in my head actually turn out cute on paper. Anyway, I was putting the last stitches in Felicia's ears when it dawned on me that she just may be too small. I grabbed the nearest cell phone and yep, she sure was. My little embroidery scissors fit her nicely, so Felicia is for sale on etsy and her much bigger sister, Mabel, is purring away in her new owners purse.

My sister, Stacey, has just started a blog and I would like to welcome her to this crazy blogging world. I am so excited to be able to keep in touch with both of my sisters this way. It's not that we don't chat on the phone whenever we get the chance, but I love this also because it's different stuff. A lot of the pictures we post and subjects that we tend to write about here aren't necessarily things that pop into our everyday conversations. Sometimes there more of our inner thoughts and sometimes there just silly jibberish. Either way, it's just one more way to be that much closer. Welcome Stacey, and, Susan, I hope you're already enjoying your journey.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sunrise Rainbow

I can't honestly say that I have ever seen a more spectacular sight than the one that greeted me last Friday morning. I was out on our deck at about 6:45am, trying to capture a picture or two of the beautiful pink sunrise. As I turned to head back into the kitchen, I was mesmerized by a full rainbow, pink and splendid in the early morning air. The rainbow was so close to me that I couldn't get a full picture or even half of the rainbow in one frame. The rainbow seemed to start two houses down from ours, hovering in the golden end-of-the-rainbow air right above one of our neighbors houses. The other end was also in sight, a few blocks up the hill. So close that I could hear the Leprechauns laughing as they slid down the sleek pink rainbow to fetch their pots of gold.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

From the Pig Sty

These three little piggies, Tulip, Jasmine and Daisy, came snorting and wiggling out of my wool felt pile yesterday. I've seen them in there for quite awhile now, but finally picked up the scissors and needle and let them free. I'm so glad I did. They have the darn cutest personalities and are so happy to be romping in our house instead of stuck in that flat old wool felt. Jasmine was happily trotting around the living room and I was just finishing up Daisy's final stitches when Shilo and Brittany informed me that they both required piggies to hold their cell phones. Who am I to complain when someone else loves my little piggies as well as I do?? So, Daisy and Tulip, instead of being little craft tool pouches, now spend their time munching down on cell phones. Shilo says her friends at work are going to be SO jealous. There are more piggies in that wool pile and they can be bought...

...Wagging their tails behind them.

I love these notecards that I recently bought on etsy . Aren't they gorgeous?? Yes, they do happen to be some of my sisters work. I was tickled to death when I popped over to her etsy shop for a quick visit and spied these notecards. Beautiful ~ my pictures here do not do them justice. Thank you, Susan. I love them!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sock Frustration

This is my very first partially finished knit sock. The yarn is called Sockotta and knits up in these delightful stripes so that you're not having to change colors all the time. Very cool. Learing how to knit socks is on my list of goals for the year, so I'm tickled to death that I'm on my way.
I've run into a bit of a problem though. I am working on the heel ~ it has 32 stitches on the needle for the heel ~ the next row instructions read as follows:
slip 1, knit 16, ssk 1, turn
To my pea brain, that leaves 12 stitches still on the needle ~ huh??!
The next row is even more confusing, only giving instruction for 6 stitches.

I bought the pattern and yarn in a great little shop in Seaside called Creative Beginnings. The girls who work there are wonderful and I know will help me out, so I think a trip to Seaside is definately on my list of to do's this weekend.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Roses and Wine

A wonderful, sweet Valentine Day dinner from my sweet. What could be better than dinner for two with a beautiful bouqet of roses and wine. My darling husband came home from work last night, roses in hand, and whipped up this incredible dinner of shrimp and scallop scampi with french bread and wine. Heavenly. He used a blend of Tillamook butter, Spanich spices, garlic and cilantro. The flavor was outstanding.
I am such a lucky girl....

I hope you all were blessed with a little bit of love yesterday (and today, and tomorrow...)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Low Sky

Does your sky hang low?
Does it wander to and fro?
Can you catch it in a net?
Can you kick it with your toe?

Our sky has been hanging quite low for a few days now, but it is winter on the Oregon Coast after all. Seems that I can just reach up and touch that gray sky as it shifts and shimmies around. Sometimes it smells of salty ocean air, sometimes of fresh new ideas. When we walk on the beach it always blows the cobwebs out of the old thinker. I don't mind that our sky is hanging low these days. I know that those days of blue skies and daffodil fields are just around the corner. Today I saw a rhododendrum bush starting to bloom. Ah, the wonders to come...

Our walk on the beach this weekend could have been a bit hairy. We failed to check the tidebook before heading out. Pulling onto the beach, we saw that the sign that reads "No Vehicles Past This Point" was a little island in itself, surrounded by surging waves. Riff reached for the tidebook ~ "We're fine. High tides not until 1:20". The clock on the truck read 11:35 ~ (really, I'm building up more suspense here than this story deserves) ~ "Yah, but the waters already purty high. Not gonna be much beach left at high tide." We unloaded the whining dogs, pulled on gloves and hats and started off. I had on my delightful black and white herringbone rubber boots, so was brave and walked along right at the edge of the surf. Dustin was trailing along, so I kept checking over my shoulder to make sure he was still there. DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK ON THE PACIFIC OCEAN, PEOPLE!!! I swiveled my head around just in time to see that big sneaker wave sneak right on under my feet. I squealed just a bit and ran for it, as did Riff and Dustin. That darn thing chased us all the way up to the doons! We continued our walk but I was quite concerned for the truck that was sitting there, vulenrable on that ever changing beach. Do insurance companys cover the stupidity of people for leaving their vehicles on the beach at high tide? Probably not... We cut our walk fairly short and headed back home for a warm fire and a movie. (Jane Austins Book Club. I liked it~ go ahead, rent it!)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

A Little Kitchen Time...

I love to bake but haven't indulged my passion much lately. Today seemed a perfect day and those cookies up there are to die for. You'll have to pardon the dark pictures. I just can't seem to get the right light in my kitchen for nice pictures. I think some new task lighting might be in order one of these days. Anyway, my new Better Homes & Gardens came a week or so ago but my days are so full of messy diapers that I didn't really even thumb through it until Friday. Holy Cow are there some good recipes in this issue! I made the Pineapple Curry Chicken last night ~ Scrumptious ~ and the Rosemary-Lemon Sandwich Cookies today. I love to bake and anything with fresh herbs gets my attention, so this recipe grabbed me right off. It's an easy one, so try it for yourself. Very spring-timey taste. Mmmm....

Prep:30 minutes Bake:8 minutes
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. snipped fresh rosemary
2 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup lemon curd
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese (I substituted cream cheese)
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. In mixing bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, rosemary, lemon peel, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can. Stir in remaining flour.

2. Shape dough in 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on a parchement paper-lined cookie sheet. With bottom of glass dipped in sugar flatten to 1/2-inch thickness. Bake 8 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack; cool.

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine lemon curd and mascarpone cheese (where I subsituted cream cheese). Spread on flat side of half of cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat side to filling. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately or refrigerate, in layers separated by waxed paper, in airtight container up to 24 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Makes 20 cookies.

I found that between batches I should have refrigerated my dough because my second batch of cookies didn't hold their shape as well. These are really yummy!

Riff made a pot of his incredible chili that's simmering away on the stove and my beer bread just came out of the oven. The spicy chili smell has swirled together with the fresh baked bread smell and tantalized my tastebuds. My mouth is watering for that first delicious bite. What a wonderful meal to enjoy while the Patriots are kicking some Giant butt. Actually, my dear husband can't make up his mind. They're both his favorite teams, so he's holding to "I don't care who wins, I just want it to be a good game." I call BS on that one. Sounds to much like "I don't care if we have a boy or girl, I just want it to be healthy." We ALL want them to be healthy, but we all secretly have a preference. Stop waffling Riff ~ name your team, man!

I'm going now to finish my book, The President's Lady, and hopefully get some embroidery done. Happy football, baking, reading, crafting day!