Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Back to Sew Business

Eight years ago ... on my 40th birthday ...
my dear Hubby bought me an embroidery sewing machine.
Now this wasn't a random spur-of-the-moment gift mind you.
I had given him plenty of gentle (?) nudgings for months previously.

But it was he who surprised me in the end.

Since then I have accumulated spools of embroidery thread

An assortment of hoops

And other odds and friends along the way.

Stay tuned as the progress moves along in my Quilt Room

and all my 'stuff' will find a new home!

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Glance at the Garden

This past weekend proved to be another peak at
The ground is still hard ... I know ...
and there are no buds on the trees or on the ground ... I realize ...
but it had the anticipation of Things to Come in the air
And on one such glorious afternoon I took these pictures
as I strolled around my vegetable garden

The 'fluffy' of my raised beds seems tempting
but I will put that on hold for a while yet

These bags of leaves are standing ready to provide layers
in my compost bins and help mulch the raised beds soon

And what garden is complete without
the 100 foot garden hose?
~ * ~
If you squint your eyes just a bit,
you can almost see the bountiful harvest
in my simple garden.
~ * ~
My heart is leaping with anticipation.
~ * ~
How is your garden looking?
~ * ~

Friday, February 20, 2009

Showing and Telling # 3

Note to Self:
Remember to 'TELL' my Dreamer Daughter
that I 'SHOWED' her bedroom
to everyone on Kelli's Show and Tell Friday :o)
Show and Tell
Here is a lovely candle holder that Dreamer
acquired from the FREE basket at a Thrift store
down in Lynden, Washington.
(It's actually made of plastic, but looks quite real even up close.)

This shelf is on one side of her window.
It was simply an inexpensive pine shelf that she painted
with some left over paint.
Here is her bed piled high with pillows.
My Hubby and I purchased the 'just perfect' head board
for $1 at a garage sale this past summer.
Notice how neat and tidy Dreamer keeps her room
while she is away in her South Carolina university dorm room :o)
Her dresser top display ...
Don't you just love the haunting black & white photo?
And finally her not-so-expensive art work.
I think she bought them for 50 cents each,
painted the frames the same colour as the shelves,
and it more than fills the need for a corner in her room.
Thanks Dreamer for the impromptu showing
of your lovely bedroom!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Love Dare

On Sunday night, our church had a showing

of the Christian film entitled




Check out the web site below

and watch the movie trailer


Not a sappy chick flick,

but a genuine call to husbands and wives.


How much would you sacrifice

to save your marriage?

~ * ~

A Walk Around the Place

Today, Under the Beautiful Noon Sky, I took a bit of a walk around our place. We really do have five 'lovely' acres of God's earth, but during mid-February and based on the pictures I captured today, I even question why I would be proud of our little homestead. I suppose it is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Over the years it was the love and the fun and the hard work
that bonded our family together ... Not the things

I found it enticing to take pictures of the not so lovely parts ...

Even our antique manure spreader has a captivating side ...

To some our concord grape vines might look like a
bush of brambles ...

"He that's content hath enough.
He that complains hath too much."
Benjamin Franklin

Are you content today?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Post Valentine's Day Update

Well, I had a lovely Valentine's Weekend. Hubby came home with a beautiful arrangement of flowers on Friday. He is so thoughful in that he purchased this particular arrangement because it included a white bowl as a vase. This is the sweet part, as he knows that I am slowly collecting white bowls and plates for serving company. One thing about white ... you can change the table cloth and napkins easily for different occasions and season. Food looks good on white too. Soooo the extra thought about the future use of the white bowl/vase was just another reason I married the man!

He asked what I would like to do on Saturday, and I piped up LAMINATE for my sewing room. So out we were for a few hours in the morning, having a good old time laying 1/4 of the laminate planks down.

Sorry, but I only got a picture of the first two rows, but you get the idea. I will of course post the finished floor soon.

In the afternoon our Genius Son had to drive in to Burnaby to a fish shop (he is building a salt water fish tank and needed yet more supplies). He played chauffeur to my Hubby and I and dropped us off at IKEA for lunch and a bit of shopping.

I know some of you might question our 'romantic' choice for Valentine's Day activity and meal choice, but frankly ... you are not us. We had a lovely time.

I hope that you had a wonderful, relationship building time on Valentine's. Please drop a note below under 'Notes to Lori' about what you did. I would love to hear. Maybe Hubby and I will plan ahead and do what you did this year ... next year.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wise Quote

"The reward of a thing well done,

is to have done it."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Underlay Under Way

Oh my sweet Quilt Room. As you see in the picture below, my Hubby had time to begin the laminate flooring. The underlay (a thin layer of foam with plastic on one side to protect against possible moisture from the cement floor) had to be laid down in one direction and the laminate strips in another. The room had to be completely cleaned out before installation.

It was rather an easy procedure... at least for me. He did the cutting, taping and crawling around on the floor. And I passed him the rolls of underlay, cutting blade etc. We work well as a team I think. It also helped to be bouncing to the music exploding from my Bose speakers and ipod.

Stay tuned for more progress!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rice Wraps ?

This week end I had one of those ah hah moments. My little brain figured out how to do something. Well not entirely, but it was an adventure non the less.

We eat out for Chinese food quite a bit in this family. How they prepare some of the Dim Sum delicacies is waaaaay beyond me, but then I got to thinking. Spring rolls. How hard could they be?

I had in my refrigerator a bowl of freshly cut veggies for dipping. (A good healthy snack to have on hand when you have the munchies.)

I chopped some up with my Pampered Chef chopper and added a can of drained tuna.

Back to my pantry where I brought out these rice wrap "wafers". I don't know what you call them but I remember them being inexpensive and interesting when I purchased them.

I asked my Genius son to help me in the prep work. Here he is rolling them (like a steering wheel) in a bowl of warm water to soften. I don't have the link here but on youtube there is a short video of some guy doing the exact thing. I think that it was entitled "Vietnamese Spring Roll".

He shook the excess water off of each one and laid it on a cutting board for the next step. I filled each with a generous couple tablespoons of filling. Folded the bottom up, and flattened it down a bit. Flip one side in, then the other, and then tightly rolled from the bottom up ... like you were putting away a sleeping bag :o)

Place each rolled wrap on a platter until you have completed them all. While you continue with the rest, the wraps dry a bit and they sort of stick together so you might want to lay them on waxed paper and place so that they are not touching each other.

While this was happening, I had been heating some oil in a deep sauce pan ... I don't own a deep fryer. Popped them in about 4 at a time to bubble and sizzle and brown. This is the step that I don't quite understand. They didn't really brown like the ones I get at the restaurant. I don't know if it was the oil I used, the temperature or possibly that rice doesn't brown.

But I fished them out, let them drain on a cooling rake over paper towel and my family ate them all up with some plum sauce.
It's good for the brain to learn and do new things.
Cooking is a great brain exercise!
For next time I think that I will use shrimp, green onions, sprouts and shredded carrot for a filling. Also I may try baking them in the oven. Near the end the oil was dangerously popping and exploding all over the kitchen ... Yikes.
If anyone knows how to do this all properly ... please let me know.
I would love to hear from you.

Friday, February 6, 2009

What is Love?

With Valentines' Day around the corner, I thought that I might share this excerpt from John Cowan's SMALL DECENCIES.

My wife asks for reassurance of my love, and I always hesitate, wondering what the word means this time or, for that matter, what the word means at all. The other day I came up with an answer. Love as the dictionary puts it, "ardent affection", has meaning only when linked with forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the touchstone that distinguishes love from infatuation. I have been infatuated with other people. I see no faults in them. Nothing annoys me. They are perfect gems. That, of course, is not true. But that is the nature of infatuation, not to see the full person. The nature of love is to see the full person, flaws as well as charms, and forgive the flaws. Not reluctantly, but swiftly, automatically. To the point where the flaws themselves become charms.

Some people believe they cannot live with less than perfect, and therefore they cannot forgive, and therefore they cannot love.

Isn't that just a lovely way of saying I LOVE YOU this Valentine's Day?
Love despite the short comings. None of us are perfect.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Tease of Spring

Okay, okay. I know it is only the 3rd of February and spring is over a month away ... but today had just that smidge of Spring in the air. Enough at least for me to feel like going outside and picking up some pine cones and branches that have so littered the front yard.

I didn't get them all ... bending over repeatedly makes me dizzy ...

but I did make some progress.

And as Scarlett O'Hara is known for saying ...

"Tomorrow is another day".

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