Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Help a Neighbor Out

I love this idea. Catherine from “Everything is Under Control” brought it up last week, and I think it is the best. How simple is it to decide to spend $50 a month at three different local businesses.

There are stores I remember growing up that are no longer there. I remember a store called Marblestone’s that had the best clothes. They were so grown up and sophisticated looking; I always wanted to be old enough to wear their clothes. Once I was, they were out of business. There was also Paul’s Shoe Store. Paul’s smelled like leather and cigarette smoke. He could fix anything. He revived my favorite pair of boots more than once. There were three great drugstores: Rene’s, Morton’s and Pierce’s. Two of them had soda counters and all three would deliver. Only one is still in business, and it is hanging on by a thread. There were also some beautiful florist shops (that I cannot remember the name of) and eccentric junk/antique shops that I loved the look through when I was about 14. All of these places are gone. I can’t help but correlate this with the building of my small town’s first Wa1-Mart. I wonder if people had pledged to shop local shops 20 years ago how many of these places would still be here today?

I want my kids to know the lady at the bookstore, the man at the produce stand and the wonderful women at my local quilters shop. For them to know that things don’t have to come from large anonymous stores or the internet, they can come from people. People who are our neighbors. (Insert Mr. Rodger’s song, “The people that you meet in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood!”) Just because they are growing up in an suburban area, they don’t have to have anonymous suburban memories.

It may sound hokey, but I think this one small thing I can do.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Lazy Weekend

It was a lazy weekend around here.

I did some sewing on Saturday as it was too hot to go outside. I finished my tote bag and got a good start on the charm quilt. It is going together really quickly, so I will hopefully get it finished before the long weekend. It was so hot outside that I had to keep Mr. Oswald and Miss Pretty inside all day and they were not impressed. There was a lot of whining and fighting. After nap all was well, as Grandma (my MIL) brought dinner and came to play! What a relief! No cooking and another adult to distract them.

Sunday was great! It was so nice, 85-ish with a breeze. We played outside all day. We played on the new swingset, or "investment" as the salesman called it. (Insert eye-roll here.) Then we played in the sprinkler. After nap, we played some more and ate dinner outside. It was a perfect summer day.

Menu Monday

It's Menu Monday...
Monday : Stuffed Eggplant with Tomato Capresse
Tuesday: Pork chops, carrots, applesauce
Wednesday: Burritos
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Grilled salmon w/ compound butter, zucchini
Saturday: Finger foods for party (if we go)
Sunday: Smoked Brisket, garlic bread, cucumber & tomato salad

I'm really excited about the eggplant dish tonight. I love eggplant, but I don't know many ways to prepare it. This looks so good and pretty quick too!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

WIP (Work In Process)

I currently have three major sewing projects going on:

-Sarah's quilt (in background) needs quilted. I think I am going to do a simple cross hatch design.
-My Park Slope tote bag just needs to be top stitched and it is finished. I love it! I added some pockets to the inside for my cellphone, iPod, and current book.
-My Park Slope charm quilt is all cut out and ready to assemble.

I would like to get my bag finished and the charm quilt assembled before the weekend, so I can baste and quilt both big quilts over the weekend. It is going to be too hot to go outside, so I might as well sew.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Monday Menu

OK, so it's a day late!

Monday - Sweet & Spicy Grilled Scallops, Lime Glazed Pineapple and Coconut Rice

Tuesday - BLTA's (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Avocado)

Wednesday - Chicken Marsala, Roasted Red Potatoes, and Green Beans

Thursday - Brats and Cucumber/Tomato Salad

Friday - Spicy Braised Chicken Curry (Crockpot recipe)

I am really excited about the Crockpot Curry. I love a good curry- Indian, Thai, Indonesian, African... It really doesn't matter the country of origin. I love how the proteins just melt in your mouth and the combination of spices work together. The one on Friday has Thai red curry paste, peanut butter and coconut milk. It also has peas and carrots, so I know the kids will love it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The strangest thing I have ever seen

I know that's a lot to live up to, but I have truly seen the strangest thing ever. Last weekend, my husband and I went on a date afternoon/night. It was a great time. We went to the Missouri History Museum to see a special exhibit on the quilts of Gee's Bend. The exhibit was fantastic and inspirational. As a complimentary exhibit, the museum pulled some of their own quilts out to display.

We were walking through looking at all the samples from different eras: the German piecework, a Baltimore album, a few crazy quilts. Then, out of nowhere, we saw the craziest crazy quilt I have ever seen.
For those who don't know, a crazy quilt is specific style of quilting. It is a combination of irregular shaped pieces of fabric with many different types of fabric, such as velvets, silks, ribbons, and lace. For more information see here.

Now I have seen a lot of crazy quilts, I think they are wonderful. I love the embroidery and the rich fabrics. However, I have never seen taxidermy used in a quilt. Yes, I said taxidermy!
Those are real chipmunks! (Sorry for the photo quality, the lighting was low and no flash was allowed) They are in the bottom center of the of the quilt posted above.

There is no words for this. My husband and I stared at this for a while and just walked away. He later said, "And you thought my plan for an extreme taxidermy shop was crazy--there is a market!" (This is his funny plan for what he is going to do in retirement.)

Father's Day

To my husband, thank you for being a great father. I know you were nervous about becoming a dad. You said that you never had a father in your life and didn't know what to do. I told you that it would be fine; you would figure it out; you're a good man with good intentions. You looked at me like I was crazy. For once, I am glad to say "I told you so!"

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Can I bottle this?

The creativity muse has been visiting...

I have been fervently working on a quilt for Mr. Henry. She picked out all of the fabrics and the pattern; it is vibrant pinks and greens with deep chocolate browns for contract. It is lovely. It is a simple bricks and blocks pattern, but the simplicity really sets off the colors. She really wanted penguin fabric for the backing but I couldn't find any in the in right color way. However, I did find an penguin applique pattern. So, I have some pop art styled penguins for the back. She will be so surprised. Photos to come upon completion!

I also ordered some charm packs of Erin McMorris' Park Slope line. I love the colors and pop art style. It is very 70's. I am making a bag and a quilt for me. I haven't made a quilt just for me in almost 10 years! The quilt is going to be for my office; I get cold working in the winter. My office is currently just a bland yellow/gold. I am definitely going to add color with this line!

I also just finished a photography project. I went through all the photos I have of the girls and selected my favorite 16. I then cropped and tinted them. They all went into a photo montage for the front of the new jewelry box my husband gave me for mother's day.

I wish I could bottle whatever it is that gives me these bursts of creative energy. I guess I just have to enjoy it while it lasts.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Goal Achieved

Last week I participated in my first Tae Kwon Do test.  It was the hardest thing I have done physically in years (other than childbirth).  It was three hours of constant kicking, patterns, sparring and, finally, board breaking.  I broke my board on the first kick--AWESOME!

I passed my test and received my new belt.  It feels great to have achieved this first step in my marital arts journey.  I don't know if I will make all the way to a black belt; I can only take it one step at a time and celebrate the accomplishments as they come.


Mr. Henry left last Friday to go to her dad's for a month.  I am amazed at how quiet the house has become.  I miss her constant chatter about absolutely nothing.  I miss the crazy games she plays with the littles.  I miss the thump of music coming from her earbuds.  I guess I just miss her.

Remind me of this later this summer.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Menu

It's a new thing for me, but I know a lot of you are doing it; it's Menu Monday.

Monday - Spaghetti w/ Meat Sauce (Ground Venison) and Salad (lettuce from our garden)
Tuesday - Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad (spinach from our garden) w/ homemade orange-dijon dressing
Wednesday - Asian Spareribs and Lemon Snow peas
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Grilled Bourbon Pork Chops, Sweet Potatoes, Applesauce
Saturday - ??
Sunday - Father's Day - Out for something manly -- BBq, Wings, etc.