Monday, November 24, 2014

Apples and a Little Fall Decorating



Last week in preparation  for a "Farewell" Girlfriends dinner for a good friend, Linda, I did a couple of things I hadn't done for a long time.

First, after finding apples on sale for .69 cents a pound, I decided to can Apple Butter. I have not done that since way back in the day when I picked apples at an Apple Farm in Tehachapi. where we lived for years.

This is the recipe I have always used. It came with the Waring Blender I received for a wedding gift 46 years ago and you can tell from the splatters of  boiling sugary cinnamon apples that is has been used many times.
Washing apples bought in a store opposed to picking them is a little more work. See all that wax. Because I blend them with the peelings that wax has to go.
They are cored, blended and put in a pan with sugar, spices and cider...YUMM!
(If you don't have one of these apple corers, it's a must. The only waste is that little core.)
Simmer in the pan until it thickens.
Put it in jars and put in pan of water to simmer for 10 minutes.
Each batch makes 7 jars and I made a total of 21, so if you know me...guess what you might be getting for Christmas.
Oh, and there is nothing more satisfying that the ping of a lid when it seals. Mr. SS and I were having breakfast during the canning process and every few minutes I called out a number. He asked what that was about and I said I am counting as the jars seal. After 7, I can sigh and say "Job well done". Being hard of hearing he had no idea what I was talking about. Ya gotta hear that "ping"

Now, the second thing I haven't done in a while is set a table for company. Although I had family over for "picnic" type meals while in our RV tiny cottage, I had no place to set a pretty table and entertain friends.
I really missed that.

A dear friend that has been (and still will be) part of a group of my girlfriends that meet once a month for dinner and to celebrate birthday is moving to Utah this week. Even though we often go to a restaurant for these occasions, I wanted to have it in my new home. 

When we left our last house, as I have told you, I got rid of, gave away or sold almost everything, so except for a few things I was starting from scratch decorating my table.

I raided my fabric stash and found  backing and borders pieces I had purchased before I retired from Strawberry Patches...pre 2000 for a leaf quilt that never got made...imagine that. Anyway it wasn't long enough, so I pieced it...sort of like in a quilt.   
This gorgeous turkey fabric was only about 4 years old and I made a topper out of it for the center of the table.
A candy jar, cloche, a few candles, a couple of pumpkins, a fall leaf garland and the centerpiece was done.
I borrowed back some of my dishes my DIL has.
This plate I had kept because my sister made it for me the year before we lost her.
Dollar store glasses (What would I do without the Dollar Tree?)
Each of the guests got a jar of Apple butter.
You may remember my blessings quilt I made two years ago. I never really had a place to display it in the RV small cottage, but it has a perfect spot on my dining room wall. (Covering up some temporary holes, Mr. SS made while installing a pocket door to my sewing/laundry room.

I really enjoyed the process of preparing for this dinner, but most of all enjoyed the fellowship of some of my special friends. Sally, sorry you couldn't make it. You were missed.
We will all miss you Linda, and there will always be a place for you at our get togethers and in our hearts when you come back for visits.






Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Birthday Season and More





Counting mine, we have 7 fall birthdays in our family. It seems we are celebrating every week...which is fine with me.

Today is my baby boy's birthday. Brandon is the youngest of my three boys.
He's sick today so we aren't celebrating until Friday night, but just thought I would celebrate him here a little
He's Dad to 6 of my 10 grand kids.
He teaches and coaches at the high school right across the street from our new home.
He also coaches his son in baseball and foot ball.

Brandon and Jack after Monday night football playoff game.
They lost, but Jack is quarterback and threw a touchdown pass. We were all so excited, even Dad was jumping up and down. He's 8 and this is his first year, following in his dad's footsteps who was quarterback too.

Drew turned 15 two weeks ago.

As for the "more" part of this post, just thought I should let you know, I am still sewing. This is my handwork project. A yo yo quilt I am making for my cousin. It takes a lot of yo-yo's  and this will someday be a small throw for her couch. I've been working on it for 2 years. Next Christmas for sure, Judy.

Today, I packed up and mailed 19 vests to Four Tiny Cousins. Thanks to my friend Suzanne, they were finished in time. My beloved Bernina quit on me Monday night, and she let me come down to Strawberry Patches and make 64 buttonholes on one of her beautiful "new" Berninas. Thanks Suzanne. 

Emmy Lou...not her birthday til spring, but I just had to end my post with that smile. I said, "Emmy, I love your uh....bun? She said, "Oh Mamaw, it's not a bun its a Minnie bow."  Big sister Drew had styled her "bow" for her. Isn't that the cutest thing...the hairstyle and the smile?


Friday, November 7, 2014

Beginnings and Blessings





Every few days, Mr. SS brings a few of these in from our yard. He puts them in a glass of water and sets them in front of me wherever I am in our house.
He knows what makes me smile and I am doing a lot of that these days.

Our yard has over 30 rose bushes. Oops! Did you catch that?? Our house...our yard.
Now you know the reason for all my smiles.
Yes, we bought a house. Two months ago, we moved in and as much as I wanted to blog about it, I have just been crazy busy.

As much as we loved being neighbors (back yard neighbors) to six of our grandchildren, about a year ago, we decided we wanted our own place again. We looked and looked, drove the streets of Bakersfield...sounds kinda like a country song...and searched all the prospects up to 50 miles in every direction.

It wasn't easy to find something we could afford on retirement. Even though we both still work, we wanted something we could be comfortable in after we are on a fixed income.
After putting offers in on 5 homes, God answered our prayers and our offer was accepted on this modest little home in an older 55 and over area.


This is what it looked like when we bought it. It's an ugly unattractive gray green color and those bushes...oh my...Well, the bushes have been trimmed and we have big plans to add curb appeal, but for now, we are working on the inside. I will be blogging about and showing you all the before and afters.
Keep in mind, we gave away or sold all our furniture and appliances when we sold our last house.
It's been amazing how we have been blessed with enough to start housekeeping again.

We really miss the everyday adventures of the family we had spent almost 4 years with, but there are some good times ahead to be had in our new little home.

As always...



Tuesday, November 4, 2014

New Beginnings

         
If somehow you found yourself  here, you will already know what my first New Beginning is.
Yes, I have a totally new look (well, my blog does anyway). I have wanted to change it for a long time, but just didn't know where to start. Five years ago, when I started this venture called blogging, I chose a free design and by some miracle was able to put it together for a cohesive look. It didn't say anything about me, but was pleasant enough.

I have tried and tried to change it myself, but nothing worked. Then I searched the Internet and checked out a lot of blog designers. Nothing seemed to fit, or it was just way too expensive.        

Then one day, I was reading one of my favorite blogs Sewn With Grace, when I realized I really liked her design. It had the vintage look I wanted.  I emailed Renee right away and she shared with me who her blog designer was.

I had decided, I didn't even want to post on my blog until I could be proud of the way it looked. I think I emailed Keren of  Free Pretty Things within minutes of hearing back from Renee.
Keren got back to me quickly and we begin the journey of giving me (my blog) a new look.

She asked all the right questions and she "got me" instantly.
After a few days of back and forth emails I started to see my vision come to life, piece by piece.
Every time I would ask for something she came up with the perfect solution.

Can you tell I loved working with Keren and loved what she designed for me? She was so easy to talk to and really listened to what I liked. What a sweet lady.

When she asked about my signature and I told her how I end every post, look what she came up with.

I couldn't be happier.
Thank you Keren

  (There really is another New Beginning, but I am going to save it for my next post. It's pretty exciting!!)     



Thursday, June 12, 2014

Big Steps


Big step for me. I have been missing from my blog for so long, I wasn't sure where to start. Then this morning I just knew I had to start blogging again. I have missed the journaling aspect, but most of all the contact with all the new and old friends I have here.

Big step for these two precious granddaughters too.
Sixth Grade Graduation

They are less than a month apart in age and the best of friends and cousins.
They couldn't be more different in looks, Kobi, with her dark (Hawaiian) complexion, brown eyes and dark hair. Lexi, with her fair (German) complexion, blue eyes and blond hair.
But they are alike in so many ways.


I wanted to take them to lunch to celebrate going into Jr. High.
We also celebrated Honor Roll, Principals List and many more honers between them.

We went to Olive Garden where they both ordered Fettuccine Alfredo and a Strawberry Lemonade.
Listening to them giggling and talking was all I needed to make it a perfect day.

They both have phones now, and I learned that they had texted back and forth all morning about what they were wearing (sleeveless sundresses), how they were wearing their hair (buns), and even what shoes (white flip flop sandals). And Mascara!! Where did my babies go.
So proud of these sweet, sweet girls (young ladies).

Well, you all know, I am so proud of all my grands, but sometimes it is fun to celebrate them separately.





Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It's Her Birthday

The "baby" of our 10 grandchildren turned 4 a few days ago. We celebrated her birthday Sunday.
How can it be??
 
A few weeks ago, I made 3 little dresses for my friend, Suzanne @ my favorite quilt store to take to a quilt show. When Emmy saw me making them, she looked up at me with those big blue eyes and said "I know, those are for the other little girl" It just broke my heart that she thought I had time to make something for another little girl and not her.
 
So, I started thinking about what I could make her for her birthday. I usually make dresses, but decided  to do this cute top and pants.
 
The top is a Pam Kitty Picnic fabric with kitties on it. I knew she would love it.
 
I found some Minnie Mouse sunglasses and flip flops at Target to complete her outfit.
The minute she put those sunglasses and shoes on the "attitude" came on.
She started prancing around like a model on the runway.
Her big sister Drew helped me get some pictures of that attitude.

She had no trouble giving us just what we wanted.
 
Notice the hand on the hip.
 
Oh how we love our Emmy Lou!!
 
 
I have been the world's worst blogger lately.  So many ideas for posts run through my head, but time gets away and  another day...no post.
 
We are in Lake Tahoe with our good friends Dave and Gail Olds for a few days. I guess being in a hotel with no housework, laundry or sewing machine for an excuse, I had time for a little blog chatter.
We are driving around the lake tomorrow. It is clear and sunny and still some snow on the ground, so maybe I'll get some pictures for another post and maybe it won't take me another 2 months to post it.
Maybe.
 
 
God is Good!!
Life is Good!!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

On and Off my Sewing Table

 Starting with the "Off"
Other than the little doll cradles, this was my first week of sewing since way before Christmas.
Today I delivered  
6 Engineer hats
4 Cloche hats and 3 vests

"On" my sewing table is 3 vintage reproduction napkins.
My friend MariEllen gave them to me and challenged me to find something creative to do with them.
They are quite large and my mind has been going over all the possibilities.
The obvious being a large pillow.

But then I got to thinking more along the lines of kitchen accessories.
Frankly, at this point I can't spend any money, so I shopped my stash,

finding some fabrics, ric-rac, ribbon and of course my favorite...buttons.
The colors look a little Christmasy, but  I had to work with what was on the napkins.
I will take you along as I start.
I'm thinking:
Towels
Potholders
Oven Mitt
Small Table Topper or Runner
Maybe...a Mug Rug...yes definitely a mug rug.
Oh yeah!! An apron.
Can you think of anything else?

Speaking of stash...I have a rather large stash. Fabric is one thing I can not seem to bring myself to part with.
I have tubs and tubs of it in the storeroom behind the workshop.
I love that I can go out there and almost always find just what I am looking for.
However, greens are another story. I am not a fan of green and use it sparingly. It seems to be the color I have the least of and what I have is ugly.
Oh well, I found something that would work this time.



God is Good!!
Life is Good!!