Sunday, February 28, 2021

Just poking along...

 

I have nothing amazing to share.  We got about a foot of snow.  My weekend was spent quilting, shoveling, cleaning, and sleeping.  

I'm poking along on my quilt.  I'm almost done quilting the leaves.  I would like to try and quilt a wind pattern behind the deer.  My confidence on such an endeavor is waivering.  Any thoughts or advice?
The leaves were easier to do with the templates I created.  The quilting part is my favorite.  It gives me something to focus on when it is too cold to be outside doing projects.  A search on Amazon proved successful in finding a few things that make machine quilting easier.
This little table and measuring mat make a big difference.  The table helps keep the quilt flat, so I won't get puckers on the back of the quilt.  The measuring mat helps the quilt slide eaiser.  Small things that make a big difference.

That's it for life in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  I'm just poking along waiting for spring.  What are you doing to alleviate spring fever?

Sunday, February 21, 2021

A long cold February...

 As February takes its long cold sweet time, I haven't been up to much.  I'm almost done quilting.  It was finally warm enough to take Ella for a walk.  Other than that life is moving pretty slow. I hope you are all seeing warmer weather.



Sunday, February 14, 2021

Duck Duck Jeep

 The weather has been hovering around-10.  Thank goodness there isn't a wind.  The goal this weekend was to settle in.  I have always wanted to make these Swedish Cardamom Knots.  They turned out perfectly. The recipe is here: https://the grandmkitchen.com 


My ever romantic husband got special M & M's for Valentine's Day.  They are wonderful.  I am forever grateful to have such a sweet caring man.
We have been on high alert for the last few weeks.  This young lion has no fear of humans.  Our neighbor took these photos and has video as it inspected his place. 
He has been making regular visits around the cabin and seems to enjoy going under our porch.  We are not pleased.  
On a positive note, I learned about duck duck Jeep this weekend.  It started in Canada.  If you see a Jeep you like, you leave a rubber duck on it.  If you get a rubber duck you are supposed to take a photo and post it on a Duck Duck Jeep website.  It was started by a woman who was having a super bad day.  Instead of getting sucked into the hate trap or falling into self pity, she saw a Jeep she liked.  She left a little rubber duck on it along with a note that she liked the Jeep.  Her hope was to make someone smile.  I LOVE it. I am tired of  negativity, the thought of spreading something positive is great. Once I learned about Duck Duck Jeep, I immediately bought three rubber ducks to give out.  One I put on a beautiful orange Jeep I see daily.  She never waves.  Who hasn't heard of the Jeep wave?  Jeep people always wave at each other.   I left the second duck on a Jeep driven by a wonderful lady I also pass every day and she always waves like crazy.  I haven't given out the third.

I'd like to think I've learned a few things in life.  One is not to dwell on the negatives.  They are always there and never ending.  Instead, look to the positive.  Make people smile and feel good about themselves.  I try very hard to tell my students positive things.  I tell my amazing husband I love him every day, because it is true.  I am forever grateful for his presence in my life.  I hope you have a spectacular Valentine's Day.  Remember there are a million beautiful things in the this world, please don't take them for granted.   Have a Duck Duck Jeep kind of day.



Sunday, February 7, 2021

Hunkered down...

 It was a whopping 1 degree today.  We were ready for the big chill.  I got my husband a bunch of books from the library and my quilt project was calling.  We had chocolate waffles for breakfast.  Even better with hot coffee and vanilla peach syrup. 



 

I'm pleased with my quilting progress.  I wanted the leaves to be random, but I am not that good at machine free-motion quilting yet.  It is a lot of work.  I am becoming more confident.  This is going to be one of my favorite quilts.

I also racked my wine.  The three gallons of grape and 1 1/2 gallons of raspberry were ready to bottle.  One day a month I rack and bottle my wines.  It always amazes me how my little kit years ago has turned into a pretty steady hobby.  I have made 147 batches of wine.  Every month I make a new batch and bottle a batch.  My husband got me a little keg a few years ago for my grape wine. Today I filled it to the top.  The oak gives the wine a deeper flavor.




We had a few small snows.  Just enough to keep us shoveling.  Despite the frigid temperature Ella and I went for our weekly jaunt.  As the saying goes, "there is no bad weather, just bad clothes."  I dressed warm and the trip was refreshing.  We were super careful, as the last few days we have had a mountain lion wandering around.


The lion's tracks have been sticking close to the house.  It was here about the same time last year and likes to go under our deck then up our sidewalk.  Ella has become wise to lion watch.  When she goes on the porch she gruffly barks both ways.  Then she goes to the end of the sidewalk and barks both ways.  Then she checks to make sure we are behind her before she goes to do her business.


Despite the cold temperatures it was a good weekend.  It sounds like we will have a few more like it.  How is the weather where you are?  What are you doing to stay busy?

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Thread and ropes...

 I set my machine up for quilting, made a plan, and began my first official free motion quilt.  

I wanted to quilt aspen leaves, so I found a few outside.  I traced them onto some old labels. It works perfectly.  I just stick them on and quilt around them.


I'm very happy with the results.  I think it should go well.  Quilting is my favorite part of the whole project.  It is soothing to just focus on each stitch.  

Today I went to the Rapid City Stock Show to watch my niece team rope.  The steers were fast and she missed. It was an honor to be there as only the fastest high school rodeo times got to go.  It was good seeing the older two nieces.  They grow up so fast.


I'm afraid that is the extent of my adventures.  How have you been occupying your winter time?  

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Whiling the winter away...

Nothing exciting this weekend.  I made an upside-down pineapple cake.  As always, Ella and I went for our weekly jaunt.


This cake is easy peasy.  

Pineapple Upside-down Cake

1/4 c. Butter melted 
1/3 c. Brown Sugar
1 can of Pineapple (rings, chunks, or shredded)

Melt butter in bottom of a 9x9 pan.  Mix in brown sugar and pineapple.

1 1/3 c. Flour
1 c. Sugar
1/2 t. Salt
1 1/2 t. Baking Powder
1/3 c. Shortening
3/4 c. Milk
1 Egg

Mix flour-egg and pour over the top of the pineapple mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  A refreshing treat.


Ella and I had to work off dessert.  We went for some cold crisp fresh air.  We actually had enough snow to break out the snowshoes.

She is a bit stiff tonight.  Other than that, it was a quick weekend.  I hope you had more excitement. 


Monday, January 18, 2021

Winter work...

It is hell getting old.  Today we got about 8 inches of snow.  Did the shoveling get to me?  Maybe a little, but not as much as basting that dang quilt.  
The only place big enough to spread out quilt for basting is in the basement.  The floor is a very cold hard tile.  Actually, colder and harder than I remember.  I am very happy with the quilt, not so happy with how stiff and sore I am.  I can hardly move.  During the process my knees popped like corn in a hot kettle.  I don't remember that being such a deal.  Now it is done, I will recover, and on to the fun part the quilting.
I got a pleasant surprise from my sister.  She sent me my Grandmother's favorite cookbook.  Filled with notes and recipes.  I was overjoyed to see her silver dollar pancake recipe in her handwriting.  Whenever I stayed at Grandma's she would make silver dollar pancakes, bacon, and hot black coffee.  I really wanted that recipe for the family cookbook.  We tried the recipe today and it came out perfectly.
Ella and I went for a run yesterday.  It was good to get out and breathe fresh air.  We had terrible winds on Thursday and Friday.  There was a bit of a break then scattered snowstorms yesterday and today.  I guess winter finally found us.

 It was a good weekend.  I accomplished quite a bit. Most of all I appreciated the time winter offers to sit, reflect, and plan.  I spent a lot of time researching and preparing for my quilt project.  I also did some serious housecleaning.  Part of it was to ease my restlessness caused by the high winter winds.

Do you find winter productive?  How do you keep busy?  I hope the weather was a bit calmer in your corner of the world.