Sunday, August 29, 2021

Yellow Cake, Chocolate Icing


We usually look up  recipes online now but I dug out my old Betty Crocker cookbook for recipes for yellow cake and chocolate icing for son-in-law Mike's birthday.  It's his go-to birthday cake.

This cookbook has seen better days, and it was a replacement for another that fell apart.  There are loose pages, and some are missing and lots are stained, so it may soon be time to replace it once again.  There's just something about a good basic cookbook.

I could have just headed for the store for a cake mix but I wanted to revisit actually making a cake, plus I'm limiting trips out once again.  

And a shout-out to my cousin Bill who gave me the vintage Sunbeam hand mixer.  I've gone through a couple of newer hand mixers but this one just keeps going.  I even visited the Kitchen Aid repair place a few years with one of the hand mixers since it was expensive but learned that there were no parts available.

I hope that little repair shop off the beaten path is still in business.  The repair guy did a good job with repairing my stand mixer when it needed it.

And so, I'm looking forward to a family birthday meal at noon and cake for dessert.

Thursday, August 26, 2021


Happy National Dog Day to those of you who notice these things.  

In the days before Lucy left us, a little black chihuahua showed up in Sarah and Winnie's neighborhood.  He was well cared for on their porch, even had a vet visit, but no one seemed to be looking for him.  And so yesterday he rode away with the Small But Mighty Rescue people, who have a waiting list for just such little dogs.

After the zoo adventure, my week has been quiet.  A narrow hem on a long chiffon mother of the bride dress.  Serger thread and setting changes for a rolled hem on a bathing suit top.  Making a loved scrub top larger.  The double sashings on my sampler quilt.  

There are a crazy number of Covid cases in my state, sixty-five deaths yesterday, or was it the day before.  The governor has called up the National Guard for hospital help.  Wondering, should I change out the porch light to the green bulb again?  I was so happy to put that green bulb away just a couple of months ago.  Things seemed so hopeful.

I can feel my world narrowing again.  Fewer in-store visits, although so many people at the grocery store are wearing masks.  School has started, no more lunch drop-offs that I enjoyed.  Praying that school will be able to continue in-person.  That the band can play on. 


Monday, August 23, 2021

What Was I Thinking?


What was I thinking, taking my grands to the zoo this afternoon, when it was 92 degrees?

I was thinking that tomorrow the projected high is 95 degrees, so today was cooler.  I was thinking this was the last good day for an outing before school starts on Wednesday, since we're all busy tomorrow.

It was HOT.  The kids were very tolerant of my taking lots of rest breaks and then downright calling it at the end of a couple of hours.  We stopped for ice balls on the way home, and that was lovely.

At the giraffe exhibit is a measuring stick, and both kids measured at 5'9", with shoes.  Nora's days of being the taller sibling are coming to an end.  She's a sophomore this year, Aaron is starting eighth grade.  Although, he red shirted a year before starting school because he has a September birthday, so he'll be 14 in a few weeks.

Those grands though - they weren't bothered by the heat.  Nora is coming off a three-week all-day band camp at her high school and Aaron has been out with his golf team.  He decided to take a break from football this year to try out golf, which he also likes.  The heat, to them, was just more of the same.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

And the Answer Is

I wondered when I started using the big cone of Gutterman white thread - 3,281 feet of thread - just how long it would take to use it all.  And the answer is eleven months, almost exactly.  

Of course, I don't use white thread exclusively, maybe not even mostly, because I use a lot of pale gray too.  Still, this is interesting to me, although it might not be to anyone else.

The garden grows.  It's been an outstanding year for petunias, coleus, geraniums.  For impatiens, not so much.  Those started out great but got some kind of fungus disease.

Note to self:  for the expanded garden next year, plant squash every couple of weeks so that when a hill inevitably gets powdery mildew there will be another healthy hill to take over.  

And note to self, the geraniums in pots were perfect for pops of color in the front yard garden.  And apparently the deer and other critters leave them alone.  For the most part.  There was some nibbling in the back yard.  Once, even, on the back porch.  Close to the railing.  

Saturday, August 21, 2021

And . . . One Hundred


This was not the weekend I had planned, visiting Sarah and Winnie in North Carolina.  But, sore throat and achiness in their household  (not Covid, we finally learned) and today, the end of life vet visit for the oldest of their three little brown dogs, Lucy.

Lucy had the best life, rescued from being left at the goat barn at Biltmore Estates.  She loved living in West Asheville and walking down Haywood Road, taking in all the sights.  And then she moved to Hendersonville beside a lake and learned the joys of country living and mulberries in the summer.  She lived her very best life.

And so, I have just finished piecing the 100th, and last, sampler block from Susan Ache's Sampler Spree.  I have closed the book.  It's been a good run.  I'm very glad that I did the four-block sets with sashing and the red setting blocks as I went, because sashing the 100 little blocks would be daunting at this point.  There's a life lesson in there somewhere.  There is, of course, more sashing to come, pieced sashing that looks pretty fun.

Time now to sit outside in the 79-degree evening, hoping to soon hear Reds' end-of-game fireworksThe Reds are tied with the Padres for a wild card spot in the playoffs, and no matter how that turns out, it's been a fun Reds season..  



Sunday, August 8, 2021

Another Few Sampler Spree Sets


Another few sets of Sampler Spree blocks.  Not my favorites, and yet, when I look at these blocks all together they look better than they do individually.  There's a life lesson in there somewhere.

For the next two weeks I need to slow down with these sampler blocks because I have a large and timely sewing job to do.  Hoping the find time for at least one of these little blocks every day.  Twelve more to go!

I had a good time yesterday choosing new water bottles for the grands to take to school.  I've found that shopping for these teens isn't easy but they do like nice water bottles.

And it looks like I need to find some time to do more mask sewing.  Just six weeks ago I was looking at the unused masked elastics and wondering whether I should just dispose of them because - well, you know, it looked like masks were on their way out.  But now things have changed and it looks like it will be another mask-up school year.