Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday morning quarterbacking of Sunday's dessert...


I took this for Sunday dinner dessert about a month ago, and happy faces met me at the door and happily scarfed it down after dinner.  I thought it was something that they could take leftovers in school lunches, so I took it again yesterday.

I think it was too soon, as the door greeters looked a bit disappointed when I walked in.  They really do like being surprised by new choices each week.  I'm not sure I've ever done any repeats before, come to think of it.
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Sunday, August 30, 2015

New Life for an old table...

I'm about to make a recommendation, but it is for a product I have been buying for decades, not for any freebies, as I have never received any.  

I'm still working on my list.  Since the promised delivery date of the glass top I ordered for the kitchen island/table is almost here, I decided to tackle cleaning the finish on the table top so it's ready.  I don't want to have to move the glass any time soon after it is in place.

I can't remember exactly when I found New Life Furniture Masque, but it was probably almost three decades ago.  I used it on the custom built cabinet fronts in the entire kitchen of a previous house to try to clean off twenty years of use and second-hand smoke build up of the former owners.  The cabinets looked FABULOUS when I finished.


It is more of a liquid than what one would expect of a masque.  It has a pleasant orange scent, and says you can apply it with your fingertips.  When I did the entire kitchen job, I did not think about ventilation or wearing gloves, and I think my hands were in it so much that some was absorbed through my skin.  I felt rather nauseous the next day, though quite possibly that was from absorbing nicotine from the smoke stain build up that I was cleaning off and not from the product itself.  (No kidding.  All surfaces in the house looked so bad that my Avon lady couldn't be budged from her opinion that there must have been a fire in the house at some time.  There wasn't, but that's how bad the smoke stains were.  That's what three adult chain smokers can do by not taking their smokes outside.)

Anyway, today I wore gloves since this was kind of a big job.  

This table is one that was my parents' when I was growing up, and it belonged to my great aunt and uncle before that.  Carey and I have had it and used it since our kids were little.  It has also been in storage some over the years.  See the dirt and grime that started being dissolved immediately?

I used an old diaper to wipe the masque off after five minutes.  (Yes, these are the diapers my children wore as babies.  I've still got a stack of them in the linen closet.  Nothing's better for cleaning.)

After the first application, I repeated the process.

 These photos were taken from one angle.


And these photos were taken from the opposite angle.  

Does it look perfect now?  No, it looks like the antique that it is.  But now it looks like a much cleaner antique.  I'm thinking I may go pick up some very fine steel wool and go over it (as recommended on the product container for heavy build up) one more time, as there is still some build up in places.

I didn't do the legs as they don't have the damage that the top did.  I probably will use a wood moisturizer made by the same company to go over the legs.

Ahhhh.  Another chore marked off the list!
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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Today is Thursday...

I picked up another quilt from the longarm quilter.  This is one my mother-in-law made.  I'm hoping to get the binding on it before she comes.

While I was out, I went to Trader Joe's and found figs!  I don't think I've ever seen figs in the supermarket before.  I bought 3 containers, and plan to make preserves this weekend.  I'm not sure how they will turn out, as these aren't as flavorful as last year's were from my sister-in-law's trees.

I also picked up several bottles of their French Berry Lemonade.  I love it, but it has a pretty high sugar content.  To cut back on the calories without losing any of the bubbles, I cut it with some of their Sparkling Mixed Berry Mineral Water.

When I was checking out, the cashier didn't want to put all the heavy bottles in a paper bag, so he gave me two reusable shopping bags...free!


I work tomorrow, so I thought I'd do a make-ahead, portable, healthy breakfast to grab on my way out the door.  Overnight No-Cook Refrigerator Oatmeal from The Yummy Life


I made one with figs, one with banana, and one with banana and figs.  I'm set for the next few days.


But the thing that absolutely made my day was when I stopped by Sonic on my way home to pick up some magic ice.  I had just pulled in, rolled down my window, and was about to order, when I began a sneezing fit.  A mustachioed young man was walking down the sidewalk...wearing a t-shirt, a bandana on his head, big dark sunglasses, and a tough-looking swagger.  Without breaking the swagger he turns my way and says, "Bless you."  :)  Oh how I love it when someone snaps me out of conclusion-jumping stereotypes in a good way.  I think I smiled for at least an hour.
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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

We're going to miss you, dammit...


We lost our Minne today.  I was going through photos to post, and realized that the one above is the earliest I could find, and she was about seven years old in it.  Which made me smile, because I realized she never held still long enough for photos before that.  She was the most hyper puppy and young adult dog we've ever had...and that is saying something, because we had a Jack Russell, but his energy level couldn't hold a candle to hers.

I used to tell the vet that he would either need to put her on a hyperactivity med, or I would have to go on an anti-anxiety med.  He would smile and shake his head and tell me to give her two years.  Well, it took at least three.  I'm sure she thought her name was Dammit for those years of her life...always, ALWAYS into something or underfoot.  Oh, the tiny pieces of foam and fabric dog beds strewn all over.  Oh, the garden hoses that were chewed to bits.


She was worth the wait.  She matured into such a good girl.  She had a long life for a big dog.  She was thirteen.  Now she doesn't have arthritis slowing her down.  Now she doesn't fear thunder and fireworks.


Yesterday I surreptitiously took a photo of her and Carey sitting in the front yard.  We knew the time to say goodbye was drawing near.  

We're going to miss her.  Damn it.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Modern problems...

Victoria Pearson, photographer.  "Deep in the Heart of Texas."  Country Living.
September 2013. page 101.  Print.

I spent part of today working on my list...going through magazines...winnowing out the chaff to recycle.  The danger there is that I get sidetracked so easily.  Like when I saw this quilt in a back issue of Country Living (Sept. 2013).

I'm very attracted to the graphic nature of this antique quilt.  And I immediately squinted closely to see how it was put together.  I think it's manageable to figure it out...even for me.

In the past, I would have torn out the page and dropped it in my old-school manila inspiration file, but it has been ages since I've even seen that file.  I have no idea where it might be.  These days I just "pin" my inspiration images.  But an image has to be online in order to "pin" it, and try as I might (and I spent an inordinate amount of time trying) I couldn't find this photo online anywhere.  I finally decided that if I scanned the photo and put it on my blog, I could then "pin" it to my quilting board on Pinterest.

So here it is.

But then, of course, I had to look up how to cite the photo, article, and magazine (because that's just how I am), so there went more time searching the Web.  

Needless to say, there are not a lot of magazines in the recycle bin...yet.
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Monday, August 24, 2015

T minus and counting...

this photo is here for lack of a better post illustration  :)

You may or may have not noticed the countdown widget on the right side of the page.  It is my reminder to get off of the computer, because I have a lot of work to do before my mother-in-law arrives for a visit.  The countdown days have been fluctuating, because I didn't have an exact date of arrival.  She is making a sort of round robin of sibling visits, and so there were a lot of households' plans to consider and schedule around.  Her arrival date here is pretty firmly set at Sept 17th now.

I really have been doing things to get ready...probably nobody but me could possibly tell by looking.  But maybe soon.  

We've been using an antique headboard in our room, but I want to move it to the guest room.  The round mirror in the photo above (which has been sitting on the floor for about a year and a half) is going to go over our bed, and eventually I would like to make an upholstered headboard for us.

The guest room was freshly painted right before we started on the kitchen remodel, and I never got around to adding the finishing touches, so there's a lot of that to do.

Here's a partial accountability list:

put Goodwill donation box near back door
put library donation box near back door
     fill and replace above as necessary
order bed
assemble bed
attach headboard
find side rails and foot board
make up the bed
finish quilt for bed?
hang art
hang vintage towel rack
stock medicine cabinet
order shower bench
assemble shower bench
*clean shower/bath surround
put up hand held shower head
put up new shower curtain rod
*pumice hard water lines on toilet
clean office desk
organize office
organize fabric
move sewing machine into office
   (need to retreat while m-i-l & dh watch baseball every night)
make template for kitchen table/island to take to glass shop
order glass top for kitchen table/island delivery 7-10 days
clean finish on kitchen table/island
change mantel decorations
dispose of old magazines
shred/file/recycle paper clutter
refresh window seat
go through makeup and discard unused
straighten my bathroom vanity
caulk kitchen seams I missed previously
plan menus
prepare some menu items ahead
move in counter-top microwave temporarily
    (m-i-l won't be able to reach built in)
*dust
*vacuum
*mop
*baseboards
*window sills
*windows
schedule maid service for '*' items?

Yeah.  That should keep me busy for the next three weeks.
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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hot off the longarm...

I picked up this Jelly Roll Race II from the professional longarm quilter today.  The fabric used was a precut jelly roll called Bobbins and Bits by designer Pat Sloan for Moda fabrics.  It's the first quilt top I made with my new quilt group...that was back in November of last year...and it has been awaiting quilting since.  Let's see if I can get some binding on it in a reasonable amount of time.

When I picked it up today, I also dropped off another pieced top.  I'm feeling a little guilty, because the one I dropped off is a hand-pieced top made by a loved one, and I feel like I should have hand quilted it as well.  I just don't foresee that happening any time soon, so...

Great experience with the quilter, and she does very nice work.  I look forward to giving her more business soon.
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