Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Springtime like the North but in the South

I am loving this Spring, it took care of my homesickness!  It is cool and rainy and green everywhere!
 My little Grayson boy (3 year old grandson) had surgery yesterday at the University of Iowa and thankfully he came through it just fine!  It's hard to be so far away when you want to be supportive but as usual he had the nurses and doctors laughing as he sang Old MacDonald Had A Farm right before he went under.
I tried to stay busy around here to keep my mind from worrying and it worked.  I got lots done yesterday! LOL!
Monday I went to Wal-Mart, and Tuesday I did all the chores that didn't get done Monday while I was gone and today I made a batch of peanut butter cookies.
The hummingbirds are back too much to my surprise!  Someone told me to put the food out in May when I first came down here but I googled a migration map and lo and behold they arrive in our part of AR on April 1st!  All these years those poor hummers travel a thousand miles or more from Central America and I don't have anything for them until a month after they arrive?  Shame on me but this time I had the curtains open and there he was....right in front of the window looking in at me as if to let me know they were back and they were HUNGRY!  I didn't get a picture of them yet but they are buzzing the feeder for sure!  And Mama bird (not a hummer but not sure what) is in the nest on top of the curve in the gutter right outside my kitchen window.  She nests there every year and is such a good mom.
The pansies have filled out........these are nestled in the window well so they look better......
These are out in the open and get the driving rain and hail and wind but they're tough little flowers for Springtime weather!  But you can see the difference in them.
 The dogwoods are blooming in the woods too but I had to take a picture through the window as it was raining......
 It's been cozy and I've been cleaning up the living room and sorting through books and papers.  I'm not even dusting just vacuuming and organizing. 
When I take a break I knit a round on my sock.....I just finished the ribbing at the top and now I have 6 inches of stockinette before I get to the heel and gusset.  I love stockinette stitch.
 My evening crochet is coming along too.......I have the body done and one arm and I'm working on the other arm.  2 legs after that, some embroidery and sew it together and I'll have a "funny bunny"!  Oh, there are 2 red ears also that aren't in the photo but are finished.
I picked up some herbs at Wal-Mart and as soon as it stops raining and dries out a bit I need to plant them and also mow again!  This is Greek Oregano.............
Here's some thyme, Italian Oregano, mint and cinnamon basil.....ahhh, the aroma!
 I cleaned my statue of the Pieta today.  I've had this statue for over 40 years (and I can't believe my children never broke it like they did everything else I had! LOL!)  It has a wooden base and it's heavy so I have to hold it upside down and scrub it with a brush and detergent as there are all kinds of crevices as you can see.  The original is about life size I think.  When I first saw this statue I fell in love with it and I am no art connoisseur as I did not even know how famous it was or who did it except for it stated it on the front.  There is certain art, music, literature and beauty in this world that can give you shivers, speak to your soul or bring tears to your eyes.  This one does all 3 and I still adore it 40 some years later.
Happy Trails!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

YOP Week #42

Finally, some new projects to show you.  I did finish my socks...after over a year?  I didn't try them on for the picture because I already had my shoes and socks on but I tried the first one on after it was finished and it fit like a dream thanks to Minding My Own Stitches expert advice.  She is our resident sock guru for the YOP group.
I ordered yarn for 3 new pairs as I will probably always have socks in the works either for myself or someone else.  I've noticed that once you start making them others want you to make them for them.  I taught myself to knit so I could make them for myself.  Do they have any idea what they're asking? LOL!  I never dreamt I would get the yarn in time to blog some of it but here it is.....there's another one coming and it was a custom order from Fishknits but she didn't charge me any sweet of her.  She'll be getting more of my business!  She's an Etsy shop and she makes this Canadiana yarn that makes your sock look like a Hudson Bay blanket.  Well, of course, I had to have it!  Those will be my Winter socks along with Springtime and Fall below.  I'll have to think about Summer socks....any suggestions?
  This yarn was very hard to find as I don't think they're making it anymore but I found some over on the designer's website.  I saw a pair Susan B. Anderson made up using this yarn by designer Kristin Nicholas and I wanted to try it.   Supposedly, you just knit as usual and it turns out looking like you did all this special colorwork like the Norwegian's do and which I love but don't know how....yet! LOL!
I reread Susan's blog post about it and checked the label and there were no special instructions so we'll see how it goes..........I got Springtime and Fall so of course I started on Springtime.....
I really haven't gotten far enough to see much yet but here's a closer look.........
Has anyone ever worked with yarn like this?  How does it just "happen" there anything special I need to do to make it turn out alright?  It must be magic! 
Here are Susan's socks in a different colorway.............perfect......I can only pray.....
Can you guess what it is now?  A little WIP of an amigurumi bunny.  I'm just starting to make the body now.  I get the biggest kick out of these little critters.  I might make myself a whole menagerie of them they're so cute!
I also started back on another WIP which I had barely just cast on when Christmas projects took over.............I haven't gotten too far yet but it's an enjoyable knit.  It's a Bee
 Blanket (as in baby but not necessarily) and I bought it as a kit from Knit Picks a while ago.  There are "cabled" bee designs later on in the body of the blanket and I didn't know how to do cables so I had to go learn that technique and now I know!  So, back at it...........
a few more preemie hats got done and I think I might be into April now.....catching up!
I measured the blanket I finished and it looks like I can get by with a yard of fabric for the backing and I found this wonderful tutorial on Pinterest for doing it.  Her blog is Italian Dish Knits and she's on Ravelry too.  She knitted a beautiful mitered square blanket then edged it with an I-Cord.....hmmmm, should I do that?  Would it add more stability to the blanket?  Then she hand stitched the backing to the edging and there is an overcast stitch to use so when the knit part of the blanket stretches it doesn't rip out your stitches.  Someone was thinking!  Brilliant!  There are so many smart and talented people out there and I thank my lucky stars for all of you!
 Hopefully, I'll be by later but there is supposedly severe weather on the horizon so we'll see. 
Happy Trails!


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Best Spinach Quiche....EVAH!

 I have made spinach quiche for years but I have been experimenting with recipes and like Emeril, I try to "kick it up a notch".  Don't get me wrong, I'm not a creative cook but I do look for recipes that have "kicked it up a notch" and I definitely found one and I am not looking back!
Here is the recipe   This makes 2 pies and since I use the Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts that come 2 to a package it worked out just right.  I'm not sure the "healthy" part of spinach quiche has been preserved in this recipe but DANG it is good!  There's cheese and eggs, and cottage cheese and butter and the green chillies are not hot chillies but add another "layer of flavor" that just takes it over the top!  So good and it heats up in the oven really well too for leftovers.  The microwave would make your crust soggy.  It was so nice to have a success after that crock pot disaster last week! LOL!
 While I was at the store they had some marked down produce that I could not pass up..........
I'll probably fix the artichokes tonight......dipping the leaves in melted butter....oh, I am SO bad!

These turnips will keep awhile........

and these oranges will go nicely with the quiche........
What great bargains huh?  That doesn't happen very often in the "real" food department.

 This bird was out in my back yard the other night and I think it is a hawk of some kind but not sure what kind.  Can anyone identify it for me?

It's raining here today and I have bills to pay and finances to work on but it would be harder to stay in and do that if it was nice out.  Plus, I will reward myself afterwards by spending "my allowance".  I know there is definitely some new sock yarn looming in my future!
Happy Trails!