Friday, November 29, 2019

Table Runner

Table runner for church communion table, at least for this Advent.  Made with leftovers from a baby quilt, with donated fabric.

It was a great Thanksgiving.  The rescue turkey was declared very good.  Roasted from frozen in three hours.  I wonder whether that is a grocery staple or whether it just shows up at Thanksgiving.

There were all the usual good things.  My plate was full, and I brought home mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes.  For whatever reason, I want mashed potatoes and gravy these days.  Comfort food, I guess.

I also brought home my cranberry relish and froze it  I am the only one who likes it, apparently, the others like the cranberry sauce in the can.  With rings.  Maybe I need to rethink making it.  At any rate, I have lots for Christmas.

I loved watching football on Steph's tv.  Mine are smaller, and I am having a moment.  Or a month.  It is necessary to rescan the tv channels if you don't have cable, which I don't.  I've heard it's to make more room for broadband, which doesn't make sense to me.  I was able to do it on my bedroom smart tv, but the living room tv is still a puzzle.  I'm getting closer, though.  Once I master that, the little tv in the studio should be easy, since it's a smaller version.  

You might get the idea that I don't watch much tv, and that would be correct.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

It turns out that when there is an epic turkey failure, to not be spoken of again, there is still hope in the grocery store.  Who knew?

Wishing everyone the Thanksgiving Day their heart needs.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

More Bread

Once the jar of yeast was open yesterday, I decided to go ahead and make oatmeal bread from the More With Less cookbook.  I didn't have the quick oats the recipe called for, so I used steel cut oats.

What I learned:  there is a reason why the recipe calls for quick oats.  The loaves with steel cut oats are dense, crunchy, for some reason less sweet.  The slices really need butter to taste nice, and I'm not usually a butter eater.  I used the same amount of butter in the recipe as I always do - two tablespoons for two loaves.

I think that if I didn't have the memory of how the oatmeal bread usually tastes I'd be happy with these new loaves.  So, I've frozen one for the Christmas holidays and I think everyone will be happy.

Soon to be, thinking of happy, homemade applesauce.  The grands love it.  One container for tomorrow, one for Christmas.  My small chest freezer has been very bare - now it will start to have some good things.

The wind has begun to pick up - it's supposed to be a very breezy day.  Hopefully, the oak leaves will blow off my neighbor's huge tree.  Next week the Gutter Boys are coming to clean my gutters and I'd like the leaves to have fallen by then.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Gluten Free Bread

My first try at gluten-free bread, to be used for communion on Sunday.  We have folks who need to stay away from gluten and nuts, and we want to everyone to be able to share.

The websites I visited were right.  The dough is sticky, really sticky.  The bread doesn't rise as much as bread with regular flour.  I used a thermometer at the end because apparently if the inside doesn't reach 200 degrees the loaf may fall.  It didn't.

For a smile:  the recipe suggested ginger ale as the liquid, so I used Ale 8 One, which is a Kentucky-made ginger ale and loved by Kentuckians.  I knew that when Sarah comes for Christmas she will be happy to see Ale 8 One in the refrigerator.

It had been a long time since I'd baked, months, really.  But having revisited my jar of yeast, I went ahead and made two oatmeal loaves, after the gluten free loaf was safely tucked away in the freezer.  There may be another picture tomorrow.

I didn't have quick oats, so I substituted steel cut oats.  We'll see how that works out.  And then I realized that I'd used most of my flour for the bread, so I'll need to get more tomorrow for pumpkin bars.  I'm thinking a trip to Family Dollar - no grocery store on the day before Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Putting Up the Tree

On a weekend when Aaron had an out-of-town football tournament, Nora helped me decorate my tree.  We got almost finished,  That girl loves to decorate.  We went to the store and got a small tree for her room and she put that up too.

We debated about whether Aaron would want a tree and decided to wait.  He said he would look at hers and let me know.  In two days, his team played four games and outscored the opponents 144 - 0.  Not his usual team.  This coach has an appreciation for the kids who play on the line, and I admire that.

Baby Quilt Group this morning.  Last month I couldn't go, working, and it will be good to see everyone.  Have a nice lunch.  You would think that I'd have two quilts to take since I missed last month but I only have one.  

The tee shirt quilt has taken most of my quilting time.  Just the binding to put on now.  On the quilter, I've oiled the bobbin case and put in a new needle.  I'd like to get back to doing some more fancy free motion instead of the meander that I used for the tee shirt quilt.  It's a funny thing, if I don't do it for awhile, it takes some studying and practicing to get back into it. 

Monday, November 11, 2019

# 89

Aaron has football tournaments for next two weekends, and the weather is no longer balmy.  Steph got him this Cincinnati Bearcat hat and I embroidered his number to help keep him warm coming and going.  An easy project.  Cutaway stabilizer and Clear and Melt on top when embroidering to keep the design from burying into the knit.

Yesterday was a busy day.  I read scripture in church, figuring on reading a short Psalm, but when I got there I saw that no one was scheduled for a long Hosea passage.  I read that too, but not well.  I like to practice ahead of time, I'm not a great impromptu reader.  It could have been worse, though.

Rain today, and we may see snow this evening.  I'll try to get my leaves swept out of the driveway and sidewalks.  Leaves and snow don't mix, according to me.

Half the blocks on the tee shirt quilt are quilted.  Half!  I'll take a time out on that today while I add some tee shirt motifs to the borders of the back.  

Time to put the Halloween decorations away.  I may have a few Thanksgiving things, we'll see.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Tee Shirt Quilting

The tee shirt quilt I'm working on has been on the living floor for three days while the what-ifs swirled around it.

It's two-sided, meaning that there are tee shirt blocks front and back.  And the biggest what-if was "what if I can't line it up right so the blocks on the back are right on top of the blocks on the front."  I think it worked out pretty well.  I put the top on the batting and stitched in the ditch.  Then I used those lines to pin on the back.  I stabilized that with swirled lines so that it wouldn't show on the front if the stabilizing was slightly off.

And now I can quilt, which is the part I enjoy and look forward to.  Another what-if was "what if the quilter doesn't like to quilt through two thicknesses of screen printing."  So far all is well.  Shout out to my Viking Platinum 16, which is made by Handi-Quilter.

Plus, I wanted one thread color on top and another on the bottom.  "What if the tension isn't perfect and little bits of color show through, especially on the curves?"  Hasn't happened.

I have no idea how long the quilting will take.  It's the kind of thing that I can pick up and put down.  Really, it works better for me that way.  It gives my shoulders a chance to relax.

You might wonder if a two-sided tee shirt quilt might be heavy and you'd be right.  But this customer wanted as many tee shirts as possible and it's for memory, not for use.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

New Governor

We will have a new governor in Kentucky.  Probably.  Maybe.  The race was so close and the current Republican governor is not conceding.  And so, it will continue to play out, for not too long, I hope.  In the past week, Trump, Pence, and Ben Carson all came to campaign.  They really wanted this one.

I have read that Kentucky is the Trumpiest state.  The president carried the state by 30 points during his election.  The governor was very unpopular, however.  I don't think a single teacher voted for him.  

My county, which I consider quite red, voted for the new governor.  I am looking at my neighbors a little differently this morning, feeling a little less alone.  If nothing else, this election shows once again how divided we are, how much work we need to do to move together.

Already I've seen facebook posts urging Kentucky toward the next goal, to Ditch Mitch in 2020.

This election reminds me of the North Carolina governor's race in 2016.  The Democrat won by the narrowest of margins, the Republican governor would not concede, and it took a long time to get it all settled.  I hope for smooth continuity here.