Sunday, July 28, 2013


So far it's been a perfect country Sunday.  We were able to sleep in a little this morning and the Girls cooperated with us.  After a walk around the garden and picking a few ripe tomatoes and zucchinis, I wandered back indoors and made a pot of Mexican hot cocoa....yum.  We had cups of foamy chocolate with some Panera bagels I found while organizing the freezer yesterday.  This held us until I cooked the 'real' breakfast later.

We are enjoying an incredible harvest of tomatoes this year, so much so that I'm inspired to make a tomato quilt.  More on that later.  So far I'm going through my stash (which Hubs swears is a full fabric store) looking for different shades of red prints. It won't be a large quilt, maybe something I can fold and put on the back of a kitchen chair or hang on the wall.  I love quilts in the kitchen.  I know the environment isn't the best for quilts, but with homes having open concepts nowadays I figure the kitchen air can't be much worse than in any other room of our house.   

I made a quick trip to the market earlier today and picked up some grapes and cherries.  It will be a good fruit week!  Lately we have been enjoying sherbet as a nice break from ice cream.  It's so refreshing and colder than cold when the weather is so hot.  A few years back I made several freezers of fresh fruit sorbet and froze it in small containers.  We enjoyed that project for two years.  I made strawberry, fresh peach/nectarine, blueberry, blackberry and lemon.  I love large kitchen projects and I think that's why I volunteer to cook for so many funerals and benefits. 

Dinner is going to be a super easy affair today ~~ skillet enchiladas.  Corn tortillas (about 12) are cut into squares and browned in a little oil and removed from the skillet to cool.    Brown a pound of hamburger with a little onion and when that is done add a can of red enchilada sauce and heat through. Once everything is nice and hot, the tortilla bits are stirred into the mixture and everything is covered with cheese, black olive slices, green onions and dollops of sour cream.  You can serve the sour cream on the side.  This is a simple and satisfying meal.  If you need something else to serve with it, Mexican rice and/or black beans smashed a little and refried.  Often it's the simple food I seem to enjoy the most. 

I wish you a relaxing Sunday with your family and friends.  I'm definitely counting my blessings today and I'm so thankful that Life Is Good. 

Friday, July 26, 2013


All is well in our little corner of the world.  I had a hectic day yesterday and it feels nice having that behind me.  It promises to be a beautiful summer day today.

The tomatoes are giving us a bumper harvest of perfect tomatoes.  Some of the problems (splitting, black bottom, worms, etc) are not a bother this year.  Every time I leave the house I take a bagful to pass along to someone.  I can remember how thrilled I was whenever I was gifted with homegrown produce when I wasn't able to grow my own.  Sharing food is a real blessing for the giver and the receiver. 

We have been eating tomatoes every way I know how to fix them:  marinara sauce, tomato tart, tomato pie, salsa, BLTs, scalloped, tomatoes stuffed with tuna, cottage cheese or egg salad, tomato sandwiches, tomato jam, plain sliced, Italian bread salad with tomatoes, etc.  We haven't even begun to get tired of them! 

My sewing room has been sitting idle for a few days.  I plan to remedy this situation later this morning after I get a little cleaning done around here.  I made my Grandson a nice quilt for his birthday and today I will make a coordinating pillowcase or two. 

The pattern for this quilt is possibly the easiest block of all time.  If it has an official name I believed it's referred to as the Framed Square.  I took 5" squares and sewed 2 1/2" strips around the sides.  The fabric line is called Rising Sun and, as you can tell, it has a southwest theme.  The colors are rich and vibrant and I loved making this for my only grandson who will be 19 on the 29th.  The Girls gave their stamp of approval and semi posed for a quick picture. I machine embroidered the feather label with my Janome 9500. 

Our wonderful Scottie girls, Dottie & Olive, are taking their first nap of the day after enjoying their breakfast.  Scotties are such interesting and entertaining pets...we love them almost to distraction!  The older one, Dottie, is the best canine communicator I've ever known.  She is also a fine watchdog.  Little Olive goes with the flow and spends at least half of her life on her back waiting for tummy rubs.  Dottie likes her rubs and attention from one person, me.  I have an advantage in the canine pecking order around here because I'm their source of food and snacks!  

I hope all is well in your life right now and that you feel like I do when I say that Life Is Good!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013


This week has literally flown by.  I guess it's because I've been so busy with the dogs, who are adjusting quite well.  Miss Dottie still insists on using our living room furniture in the morning while I'm on the computer.  Little Olive hates to have her feet handled, but she is gradually trusting me more and more and now lets me pull twigs and pebbles from her paws. 

Our weather was over the moon hot today.  In the afternoon we had a thunderstorm with hail that was pretty impressive to watch.  I love the sideways rain!

Yesterday I trimmed the edges of the quilt I'm making for my DGS's birthday later this month.  I will post pictures after I get the binding done.  My head is full of new projects and ideas.  I got a nice shipment of fabric from Missouri Star yesterday ~~  two layer cakes and two charm packs.  Some of you will write me to say that I am supposed to be on a fabric diet ~~  but these items were ordered before I made that decision!!! (insert ghoulish laugh here).

Speaking of ghouls, do you realize that Halloween is about three months away? Time to get busy on our spooky projects.   Last Fall I made a Halloween quilt but I couldn't get it finished in time for Halloween ~~~

We don't really celebrate Halloween and never get any trick-or-treaters since we live in the country, but I love the gorgeous bright colors of Halloween prints.  This was a fun but labor intensive quilt to make.  Sometimes the things that look simple aren't!  I'm thinking of washing it before I display it since it's been folded up for a year. 

I am often asked how I wash my quilts:  I have a large capacity washer.  I use mild detergent, cold water and a delicate cycle.  Unless my quilts have been washed a few times and I'm positive they don't bleed, I use a few color catcher sheets in the wash water.  Then the quilts are dried to slightly damp in the dryer on low heat (redistribute your quilt a few times during the drying cycle) and then spread the quilt on a spare bed to finish drying.  If you have a ceiling fan over that bed, turn it on to speed things up.  If you will be folding and storing your quilt make sure it is completely dry before doing so.

Now it's off to bed for me before this becomes an all-nighter.

                                    Blessings To Everyone,   Barb

Monday, July 15, 2013


I'm happy to say that all is well at our home after the weekend.  Dottie and Olive are napping and I have been able to get a few tasks done ~ notably, laundry.  We are a small household and I continue to be amazed at the quantity of dirty laundry we generate.  I have always said we are either really clean or really dirty!

I have no plans for our dinner this evening.  It will be hard to top the BLT sandwiches we had last night with big slices of our homegrown tomatoes.  I'm thinking along the lines of small pan-fried steaks with sliced tomatoes and cottage cheese.  Maybe a bowl of sherbet later for dessert.

It's a lovely feeling when all is well in my world.  To me this means that my family is doing well, I love and I am loved,  we are relatively healthy, the bills are paid,  I have plenty of fabric for quilting, the pantry is stocked and the house isn't too messy!  I could add to this list, but why press my luck!!

Recently I have come to the point I can admit that I'm a full-blown fabric addict.  My sewing room is terribly messy right now, mostly due to stacks of fabric sitting everywhere waiting to be put away.  I'm thinking I have to put myself on a fabric diet.  Hiding my credit card doesn't work because I have the numbers memorized because I use them so often!  More on this topic later ~~  I don't want to get too hard on myself!

I'm off to straighten up the sewing room ~~~~  Barb

Saturday, July 13, 2013


This afternoon Hubby surprised me and took me to our gorgeous local tea room for lunch.  This was his first time there, but my daughter and I ate there three times last week while she was visiting.  The food is wonderful there.

The decor is rustic/elegant shabby chic.  Elegant items are juxtaposed against very rustic, rusting items.  Old quilts line some of the walls, the china and utensils and all the dining tables are old and the overall place is decorated absolutely beautifully.  I wish we would have taken our camera...sorry, but next time!

I had a large Berry Salad with raspberry dressing.  The salad was composed of mixed field greens, fresh strawberries, dried cranberries, diced cucumber and a smidge of alfalfa sprouts.  The dressing is good enough to drink!  I was then served the best cream of broccoli soup I've ever tasted.  Since I just ordered a cup, it was served in a teacup and saucer.  The soup was crowned with a few homemade croutons and a little melted cheese.  Hubby had a pastrami Panini lunch special, which came with a side salad and homemade chips and a pickle.

On the way through the antique section of the building I picked up and bought a nice old teapot/chocolate pot for our coffee table.

This turned out to be a very nice day indeed!


I had hoped to be able to sleep in a little this morning, but a little black Scottie nose was poking underneath the bedroom door crying the most pitiful cry you ever heard...I couldn't resist, so I got up.  It's a glorious morning and I'm glad I didn't miss it.

Dottie and Olive are adjusting quite well. Dottie still thinks she is entitled to live her life on our living room furniture. This week we discovered, to our delight, that Dottie loves to play in water.  Give her a hose and turn on the water and she will play for hours running and jumping.  Olives runs and hides while Dottie has all the fun. 

I completed the binding on a second PICU quilt yesterday and both quilts have been washed and are ready for their trip to St Louis to the leader of our group.  Here's the second quilt:

This quilt has a different border and a scrappy binding.  I cut the strips (3 inches WOF) for both quilts at the same time and just changed the borders and binding.  This was a simple way to get two quilts in a short time.  I'm not a fast sewer at all like some of my friends.  These days I don't do much of anything very fast!  That's fine with me because when it comes to sewing I enjoy the whole process very much. 
I'm off to pick garden tomatoes and give a think about what to fix for our dinner this evening.
I hope you have a great weekend  ~~  see you next week! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Once again we have Scottie girls in our home!!  Meet Miss Dottie (on the left ~ 5 1/2 years old) and Little Olive (age 4).  These sweeties belong to my daughter and my grand kids.  As far as we know the girls will be living with us for a few months until the family can get resettled.

If you have never been loved by a Scottie dog, I feel sad for you.  I have had this breed in our home for 42 years and while they all share similarities, they each have their own special traits, tricks and personality.  Miss Dottie is a bit reserved, although she's a sweetheart and I still see a lot of puppy in her when she plays.  She's an extremely beautiful specimen of a Scottie and she knows it!  I've never met a better watchdog than Dottie.

Little Olive is the happiest Scottie I've known.  She's always loving, snuggling and at my side.  She was raised by Dottie and the two get along famously.  Olive has beautiful gold eyes and has a fabulous disposition ~~ she's a real Lovebug. 

Many of you know that we lost our 14 yo Scottie, Miss Molly, three months ago.  Although no other dog will ever replace her, it's great having new life in the house.  It's been too quiet for me since Molly left.

On the quilting side of life, I just finished binding a small quilt for Cardinal Glennon PICU.  It's bright and cheerful and has a beach theme.

Life is settling down for us a bit and I should be able to post more often now. 

Wishing all of you a terrific day filled with Peace & Plenty!