Friday, March 27, 2015

A Book and Babbling

What I'm reading.

I've been heavily into this book the last couple of nights. As you know if you've read here a while, I have a fascination with anything neurosurgery and have read many books like this. Love it.

 Is this cute or what?
Credit & Pattern HERE.



I've been looking at lacy collars lately. They'd be fun to make with thread and a little different than a doily. I'd never wear it...just something fun and pretty to make. 

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I also thought it might be fun to do this:  Make Your Own Buttons  I probably never will, but it would be fun to do with a girlfriend on a Saturday with plenty of coffee and goodies to snack on.

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I still haven't gotten any new glasses since we got the eye exams and new prescriptions. The Cap ordered his online the day after. When I got online and started "trying on" glasses (you know how you upload a picture of yourself and you can try on different frames and see how they'd look on your face), I got all OCD and tried on about 2,000 pairs and they all started looking the same. I said f*ck it and signed off in frustration. I'll go to Walmart or somewhere where there are less choices and I can't get all confused and befuddled and JUST PICK ONE ALREADY! I annoy myself.

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Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy, or something like that:

Compassion literally means “to suffer together.” It’s a deep awareness of the suffering of another accompanied by the wish to relieve it. If someone has to define it for you and tell you they need it, you are incapable of giving it. It can’t be learned. You inherently have it or you don’t. Reciting words of condolence is not compassion. Telling someone you’re sorry for their circumstance is not compassion.

Just a thought...or maybe not. Ah-hem. My mind just went off on a rant about this, but I'm not going to write it down here. You're welcome.

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See ya next week.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Blueberry Review and Quiche


The Blueberry-Lemon Buttermilk Cake was really, really, really good!  I thought I should give you a couple more notes on it in case you make it.  It's more of a coffee cake than a cake-cake.  It's not very sweet at all. If you want something a little sweeter, I'd add a powdered sugar & milk or powdered sugar and lemon juice glaze to it. Also, I only added the peel of one lemon and it was pretty strong. I can't imagine using the peel of two lemons, but Kris said she liked it so what do I know? I thought it was even better this morning at room temperature with my coffee. Yesterday it was still warm.

This one is definitely goes in my keeper file. I have a feeling it'll be one I refer to often. Thank you, Kris!


And then I got all fancy-for-my-pants and made a quiche for dinner last night. Quiche seems fancy to me, even though it's really not. It was easy and we ate the WHOLE PIE for dinner. Mind you, we didn't eat the side crusts and didn't have anything else to eat with it, but still. We ate the whole pie. Oink-oink! The Captain has asked me to make it again tonight. I will oblige because I have another pie crust and enough of the other ingredients I bought for it leftover.


I used a Pillsbury All-Ready Pie Crust, which you can find in a box of two in the biscuit section of the grocery store (at least here in the U.S.). I just slapped it in the pie plate and scrunched it a little on the sides. I didn't try to get all fancy and make it pretty. I was going for more rustic, aka, lazy.

I used this guide for quiche which I got off of Posie Gets Cozy's blog. I'm always trying her recipes because she makes some good stuff:  Here's the link to the guide:   A Quiche Formula by Mollie Katzen

My ingredients for the filling were:

Swiss & Sharp Cheddar Cheese (1/2 cup each?)
Paper-thin Sliced Onion (1/4 cup or less)
Chopped button mushrooms (1/2 of a carton)
Chopped Spinach (1/2 of a 10-oz. pkg, the frozen kind, thawed)
Real Bacon Pieces Sprinkled on Top (Hormel in a bag from the salad dressing section of the store)
Salt, black pepper, dried parsley, dried basil 

Then I poured the custard filling over all (1 cup of 1% milk and 3 beaten eggs).
I baked it 43 minutes at 350 degrees F, and it was damn-near perfect.

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I'm very tired lately. You'd think that cortisone would have kicked-in and I'd be all energetic and chipper, but not so much. I just want to lay down. I felt it taking effect yesterday. I had a fever in my upper-left arm all day, and the right one (the one I had the injections in) was ice cold. It was really weird and stayed that way all day. It's back to normal today. I don't feel any difference yet in the shoulder, but it's only been three days. Steroids are weird....so are hormones. They do weird things to people.

See ya.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mostly Baking





Blueberry-Lemon Buttermilk Cake

I got this recipe from Kris over at Simplify. She got it from another blogger friend and happily shared it with me when I asked her for it and told me I could post it. She sent me a photo of hers while she ate it out on her back porch, which is exactly what I intend to do in about an hour from now. It turned out so pretty! I can't wait to have a piece.


Blueberry-Lemon Buttermilk Cake 
Shared by Kris Grover
                             
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 Tbsp for top
1 room temperature egg
1-2 tsp vanilla
Zest of 2 lemons
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups blueberries

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.  Blend butter, 3/4 cup sugar, egg, and vanilla until fluffy.  Zest lemons and add to creamed mixture.  Mix 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt.  Add 3/4 cup buttermilk and flour mixture a little at a time to creamed mixture, alternating.  Add two cups washed and dried blueberries in a shallow bowl with 2 Tbsp flour.  Gently fold into batter.  Spread into a pan (smaller than 9 x 13 if you have it).  Sprinkle with reserved sugar.  Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35 minutes.  Check center with toothpick for doneness.

My Notes:  I baked mine in a glass, deep-dish pie plate, so I turned the temp down to 335 degrees F. and baked for 45 minutes, checking with a toothpick for doneness starting at 35 minutes.



I found a whole bunch of these blocks at an antique store the other day and bought a bunch. I changed my header picture and used some, but I know I can do better. I made that on a day when I wasn't feeling so hot and just hurriedly put something together. I should have waited until I could do a better job, but you know me, I'm impatient when I have something in my head I want to do. Hopefully I'll get more creative later and make a better one. Or maybe not. I'm not so gung-ho on it as I was, but they are kind of fun.

Anywho...so bread...




I made this bread late yesterday afternoon so we could have it with dinner. The rolls didn't turn out so great. The recipe called for "instant yeast," but all I had was the regular kind. I think that made a difference in how these rose and baked up. Duh. I got some yeast that said "instant" on the package today, so maybe I'll try again and they'll be worthy of sharing the recipe.

This was our dinner last night along with green beans.


The Spicy Shake & Bake Chicken Tenders turned out great, and they were indeed done in 20 minutes. The mac & cheese was just okay. Regular flavor would have been better.

The yard is bursting with flowers from the bulbs we planted.


For some reason our hyacinths grew very close to the ground and have stubby little stalks. Maybe the snow that came after they started to grow stunted them. I just made that up. I have no idea why they're so stubby! They're still pretty and very fragrant. The yellow daffs are so pretty and have lasted several days in this vase already.

No crochet to share because I haven't done any. That's all for now. See ya.


Monday, March 23, 2015

A Small Entry


1.  I have no pictures today so I thought I'd put up an adorable baby picture of Ollie to fill the space.

2.  I got all the ends sewn in on my middles. It took lots longer than I anticipated...about an hour for each little bag, and I had 5 bags. I'll be sewing the ends in as I go from now on. I'll have to wait a couple of days before I do any crocheting because...

3.  I went to the doctor this morning about my right shoulder. Good news. No large tears that need repair with surgery as far as he could see with the x-ray. No MRI at this time. He could see where I was having problems (three different things that are too much to go into and don't need fixing at this point). I got two cortisone injections into two places in my shoulder. Holy Crap, it hurt. I was traumatized for a couple of hours and had to take a nap. LOL. What a baby. I feel much better now, and I'm very relieved that it's not a surgical issue yet. Whew.

4.  This is my third day without coffee because I had a little tummy bug. I'm about to have my first cup right now. It sounds good and I'm hungry so I know the bug has left the building.

See ya.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Little Bit of Spring







Crochet...





Do you know what those are?
It's the embryonic stage of a hexagon blanket!
160 middles.
I'll spend tonight sewing in all the ends.






Another hyacinth coming up in the yard.



We were both in dire need of new prescriptions for glasses, so we got exams yesterday. Now we just have to order our glasses and wait for them to come in. I only wear mine when I'm driving or grocery shopping or watching TV. I need them only for distance. The Cap wears his all the time. It'll be nice to be able to see clearly again. I remember those first few days with glasses for the first time ever when I was 41. I was absolutely amazed at all the things I wasn't seeing before. I especially noticed the individual leaves on the trees and the individual blades of grass! Wow. How did I not know I wasn't seeing these things?

We also got the taxes done. That's always a relief to have off our plates for another year.

I finished the book. I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. There was resolution to most everything except for the main character. I'm not sure what I expected. I mean, how much resolution can come to a 15-year-old girl with her whole life in front of her anyway?

I'm off to bed to watch some late-night TV and maybe sew in some ends to my little-bitty middles.

See ya.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Leave Me Alone. I'm Reading.

It's one of those dark days in my house with lamps lit and a light rain falling outside. I can hardly stand it that it's so perfectly my kind of day AGAIN! And I happen to have one of the best things to do with it...

Oh, it's good. I love that the copy I bought is old and used and tattered with dog ears all through it. It feels old in my hands, and I keep wondering how many people have read this particular copy. I came across one part in the book where someone had drawn a circle around a paragraph in pencil, and I wondered why. Now it's in my hands here in Texas. As my tears fell on the pages last night at just after 1:00 in the morning, I looked to see if I could see anyone else's tear stains on the page. No. They must have wiped them away before the salty-wet could leave their mark. I left mine. I'm keeping this book forever.

Maybe, when I've gone on to Glory and whatever is beyond that, the stranger who cleans out my belongings will find it. Instead of throwing it in the dumpster with my old granny underwear and eye glasses, they'll read it and wonder about the old lady who owned it and if she was the one who left the pencil marks and tear stains. I'm going to leave a handwritten note in it and maybe a dollar bill between some pages. I love finding things in old books, don't you?

It's perfect, I tell you! So perfect that I'm dawdling about reading it for too long at once...except for last night when I stayed up past 2:00 in the morning reading. Thankfully, it's a long book. I'm afraid for it to be over. Then I'll have to come out of my book fog, my make-believe world, and back to my real one. I'm trying to savor it.



I put another dish of bird seed out on the porch. It's under the cover of the porch roof so the rain won't get in it and wash it away. The birds are loving it. I saw several different species yesterday coming in for a snack. They were singing and whistling and making a lot of racket for little birds. I think it's because they were happy to have a big dish of food and they didn't have to scrounge in the rain for something to eat.


 A pair of doves have been out there all morning.

You know what's good on days like this?

Hot Chunky Soup over a bowl of rice.
I jazz it up a little sometimes with a shake of dried oregano.
Always plenty of black pepper, and a little garlic and onion powder.
So quick & easy. More time to read.
So warm in your tummy.

Here is that Cheese & Onion Bread I made a couple of days ago.
It is so good sliced and toasted with a little schmear of butter.
I'll be making this recipe again.
See my last post for the recipe link.


See ya.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It Feels Like Saturday



I've been working on this doily for quite some time now, although you can't tell by looking at it. I did the middle (bridal blue) in one afternoon, and then I've done a row or two at night in bed each night. I took several nights off from it too while I made those socks or just rested my arm. The darker color is gray. I know it looks like a chocolate color in the picture above, but it's a charcoal gray.


The two colors look so pretty together in real life, but I fear that the gray parts are not going to show the stitching pattern very well. I'm too far to turn back -- or at least I don't want to -- so I'm going to continue on as planned and see what how it looks. Maybe on a light background it will look good. I intentionally didn't try to get good pictures of the pattern so I wouldn't ruin the surprise when it's finished. :)


We had a beautiful, sun-shiny day today after a couple of weeks of straight cloud cover and rain. It's clouding up again right at this moment, and we're supposed to have four more days of rain now. I'm in rainy-day heaven.

I did a little cooking this morning getting a roast dinner ready for the crock pot...

I browned it up really good and sealed in those juices.

Then I browned up the carrots and onions (not pictured) and threw those in.

I peeled and chunked-up some potatoes and threw those in on top.
Then I mixed two cans of mushroom soup with some water and poured that over the top.
It smells heavenly after cooking for about 4 hours now.

Right now, I have some Cheese & Onion Bread rising. I mixed it using my bread machine and then took it out and put it in a loaf pan to rise. I used this recipe:  Cheese & Onion Bread  I'm crossing my fingers that it turns out well.



While I cooked, the Captain did some yard work and put down some weed killer and fertilizer on the lawn.

I plan to tuck myself into bed early with a full tummy of roast dinner and dig into this book.

A couple of nights ago, I left this note for the Captain. I had bitched at him before I went to bed because he gave all the dogs some ham pieces. He laughed when he gave Ollie an extra big piece and he trotted happily off with it in his mouth like he'd gotten away with something.


If you've ever watched South Park, you know what I mean by, "Threw up on me like a South park kid." There's no warning at all. They just open their mouth and projectile vomit. All the other dogs at least give you several heaving motions of warning before they puke. Ollie did not. 

As you can see, I still cannot draw, but that doesn't keep me from trying.

See ya.