Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm in love...with a dog! Last NQR before... (Part 1)

my next quilting post, I promise. I really wanted to wait and post on quilting progress before my next not to you but today I just can't help myself and it's because Sasha has decided to snuggle up to me while I type tonight.

"Sasha" is a Vizsla mutt. I suspect Vizsla and Lab but could be V and another hound. I just don't know. Now, despite my family and I owning dogs my whole life, I've always felt a dog was a dog. Don't abuse or mis-treat, but really, they aren't humans... they are dogs. My sister, mom, dad, brother and friends have always been smitten with one or another dog here or there, but not me. As an adult, I've never really understood that, "we belong together" mentality with a pet.

Now I do. Let me take you back to how she came to be with us.

Aside from the children asking me for the better part of 1 year to get another dog (we already have a 5 yr. old cocker spaniel), I've been reluctant. Time, energy, money... all are reasonable considerations and the reason I've held firm. Even when DH (dear husband) joined the fray. Now, it's Aug. DH has given up, kids have given up. Mom drives down the road and sees some labs for sale- and I stop. I check em out, decide it's just too much and walk away. I don't want a lab, too much energy. I mean, they are puppies until the year before they pass, for crying out loud! Not really but still, energetic pups. So I leave and kids are bummed. I go to bed, wake up the next day and check the internet for local shelters. Pack the kids up and we head out. Why? Well, I still don't know why. I honestly cannot tell you, just like I couldn't tell DH why that day and that shelter I chose happened. I can tell you how the day progressed.

3 of 4 kids came with me (1 was grounded, the girl). It was a shelter devoted to puppy litters that had been abandoned. It was so sad. Anyway, the kids were excited and when we went in, pointed to one or another. I declined... too loud, too black (must not show shedding that easily-lol), too energetic, etc. I pointed to Sasha and said I'd like to see her. She showed mild interest in all of us, was relatively calm and had a beautiful red color.

(Taking a moment to insert a shameless plug for this shelter.
If you want to donate to a worthy place, this is it.)

They brought her into a seperate room with us. She laid on my youngest's lap for the first 2 minutes. Reached up, licked his chin and settled back down. It's probably important to note right now, J, my youngest, was the one pushing the hardest for another pet. After bonding with J, she got up and wandered over to...

(to be continued tomorrow)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Another NQR post... I'm moving (in a few months)

It's as official as it can be so far. DH is working in TN and we are going to be moving (kids and all) to be with him for the 2009-2010 school year. We will go out sometime this summer and return the next so our house in VA will only be rented. I am praying that's slightly less hassle than trying to sell.

Either way, Clarksville, TN, here we come and I'm excited. My company is going to let me telecommute and there will be some great volunteer opportunities for the family (which hasn't always been that easy to coordinate here in VA due to being a blended family.)

The one other thing I'm excited about, I'm going to start a small container garden with herbs and some veggies and fruits. Tomatoes, strawberries, etc. Hopefully, we'll get something out of it rather than having to purchase all the time.

That's it. Nothing special about this post. I just wanted to ramble a bit about the upcoming move. I'm sure it will start taking much of my time to get organized for it so I'm going to take this next month and make it a priority to finish up some quilting projects. Hopefully, that means you will see a few more quilting posts!

Friday, February 13, 2009

NQR means, Not Quilt Related

Why would I bother to tell you this? Well, because I have found myself feeling the desire to ramble lately about something other than quilts. I mean, I still want to ramble about quilts but there are other things, important things, on my mind, like whether or not to eat a fudgsicle as soon as I'm done typing this post, that I want to write about.

Anyway, for those of you who read all my wonderful, intelligent and insightful posts for the lessons you learn from them or for those of you (likely all of you) who read to laugh at me like I'm laughing at myself while I travel on this quilting journey, I'm giving you fair warning so you do not have to read the non-quilting posts. :)

And there's the why and, if we're truly honest, an NQR post really means it's a, "read only if you are really bored" kind of post!

Today's topic: APPLE BUTTER

oh, mmmm... have you had this stuff? I'm losing weight.

See how I said that?

Not, "I'm trying to lose weight," but, "I am losing weight." If I think it, it will be.

NO! Don't start adding in the whole, exercise so it will be comments, this post is not about that. Maybe tomorrow. Today, it's about apple butter. Were you just skimming earlier instead of reading every word? Geez...

The apple butter I have consists of apple and cinnamon. All natural. Healthy as a condiment. I'm bored with salads, I don't want sandwich bread, so I go for a whole wheat small wrap today. I have deli turkey, 98% fat free. I think... gee, why not? Wraps alone are nasty dry to me. So I add apple butter, turkey, and for crunch and flavor (oh, yeah, and for some vitamins), I add baby leaf spinach, tomato and cucumber.

Oh my, it was good! I forgot black pepper, that would have helped but what a great idea. Now I'm thinking the whole "butter" thing is a good idea... puree a select fruit or veggie as your "moist condiment," add some seasonings or spices and go to town with your wrap ingredients.

Who knew apple butter had the power to turn me onto sandwich wraps? That says a lot to me and now I'm thinking of creative ways to get veggies and wraps together, maybe with some protein.

Not a moment too soon, too, b/c I need to change things up for more variety!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sewing, sewing, sewing...

This is the first block from the color challenge on OST. It is hand pieced, which was done without any instruction or real experience. Let my just tell you, that is NOT the way to go. I'm all for learning by trial and error, but I will never advocate that for learning to hand piece. The reason why is simple.

After you spend so much time piecing it, it's very disheartening to spend just as much time ripping it out again. And then doing the exact same thing over.

But then again, when you finally break the cycle and complete it, man, it feels good! Of course, that's how you get suckered into starting the process all over again with a new block.

So, like all else with quilting, proceed at your own risk.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I bought a treadle!

I've been looking for a while but haven't purchased due to the fact that I just don't want to spend $150 - $200 for a machine/base that I have to put work into anyway so I've been looking around for a cheaper one.

I wanted to accomplish a few things with this purchase:
1) a machine that I could sit in front of the television with next to DH that wouldn't make noise,
2) a machine I can still use if electricity goes out (lol),
3) a great piece of history I've fallen in love with, and
4)a project for my DH and the boys to "bond" over.

A special note, DH was thought of to head this project (other than now that I have it I've become afraid of it) is b/c he used to do a lot of woodwork and talks of getting back into it but never seems to get around to it. Boys and he need to bond more and they are interested in helping me or him or both of us so it's a win-win if DH goes for it. I hope it will accomplish getting him back into working with his hands while getting good time with the boys. My biggest hurdle is letting them do it how they want if I get his help.

Which goes back to the $50 I bought this for. Chances are, it will not be refinished to look like a 108 year old machine and base should look for it's age, but will wind up with replacement part & wood which will make DH want to make it all look the same in age & condition and I'm okay with that if #4 is accomplished in the process! I think it will also help later when I want to get one but have it restored to what it should look like for it's age to have this less expensive starter project out of the way. (I know, it's a bit wacky that I just called this a starter project!)

I don't know if that made sense, all I know is I have this idea and I hope DH is interested but if not, I'll roll up my sleeves and get to work this spring. Wish me luck. Here's the current before pictures (along with those two boys I mentioned).

ps - I told J if he touched that machine or table with the hammer, he'd better run so he said I had to post the photo!