Friday, July 30, 2010

Fabric... mmm

I forgot how nice it was to have new fabric in my stash! I wanted to purchase but was able to curb it mostly by keeping in mind I didn't have a way to get other fabric out of my stash.

However, I participated in Myra's PhD challenge for the first six months of the year and out of the participants, was randomly chosen to receive a prize from our host.  I'm tickled pink (or should I say purple?)! Check it out...
I can't wait to make this pattern with these fabrics. I know I have complimentary fabrics in my stash to make a larger size.   I have a thing lately for lap size porch quilts and this one will fit right in.

Thank you, Myra, for providing opportunity and incentive to get some unfinished projects completed! I will be back next year to keep it going.

(Of course, this also means I'm really fighting no more fabric purchases and it's harder each day with the sewing machine in sight.)

Cheers! Beck

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm alive, no thanks to my throat.

First off, this post may be a little TMI for you discreet and sensitve personas out there.  Consider yourself duly warned. 

Me, well, I'm not sensitive... think bull in a china shop.

So I made it back to VA from my trip 2 days late. The good news, the hubs change of command went off without a hitch and he's officially got only himself to worry about until retirement from the army.  For those of you who may have experienced, you can understand what comes next.  For those that haven't, well, imagine you're life's plans have been thwarted at every making, left dangling in the wind, told you could to find out you couldn't, etc. then you might understand what comes next.



I'm back to feeling like a schoolgirl just graduating highschool. I'm so light-hearted, I cannot explain.  What we do next is what WE choose for us, for our family without need to consider military contingencies.  Sweet mother of God, I'm not sure how to act! 

Well, apparently, my throat did. My throat decided the best way to celebrate was to try to kill me at worse and lay me up at best. To make me settle down and rest instead of continuing my mad driving dashes across the country.  By Sunday's drive to TN from OK, I knew I had to go see a Dr.  Monday confirmed strep throat. 

Not all bad, right? Except I had let that sucker fester for 4 days so it had  a good hold on me.  Dr. said 10 days oral antibiotics or a painful shot of penicillin in the ass. 

Being a good scaredy cat, I asked how painful and would it work faster?  (See the kids were being watched by SIL but I knew it was only a matter of time before 2 teens, 1 pre-teen wore her kidless self out!)  Dr.  said it hurt but she couldn't say how much since she's allergic to penicillin and never had it but yes, it worked faster.


I opted to go the army way since I was, after all, in an army facility. I got the shot in the ass.

It hurt.  (Not as bad as those Rhogam shots I had when I was pregnant, though.)

My ass has a multi-colored contusion the size of golf ball at the injection site and it hurts to touch it. (Yeah, I know, then don't touch it, thanks for the advice ya know it all. ;-p)

This made it difficult to share some love with the hubs to celebrate his milestone. I mean, really, it did work faster, but really, next time I'm going to think ahead about which butt cheek and where on that cheek! Just sayin...we gotta think of these things b/c the Docs sure as hell aren't piping up and saying, "oh btw, if you are thinking of being sexually active, you might want to know there's an ass bruise that rivals the best black eye you've ever seen!"

Seriously, they aren't and if your Dr. is, I want his/her name.

So, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, while my throat did it's best to make me think I was hit by a semi-truck, I worked from the hubs place in TN.  Drove back to VA yesterday and am now in the month end working grind. Still a bit tired but feeling a whole lot better.

Next up, back to TN in Aug. to get some house items to bring back to a rental for 6-12months while we continue to search for a home to purchase.  Joy.  Bright side? I GET MY SEWING MACHINES BACK BY THE END OF AUGUST!!!!!!

Sing it with me.


Cheers! Beck

Saturday, July 24, 2010

If I never blog again, send help means I didn't make it back from my recent trip.

This summer, I seem to be takin many long road trips. This weekend, I drove from VA to TN (11 hrs) to celebrate the Hubs change of command ceremony. This means only outprocessing for the next few months before retirement after 27 yrs. in the army. Hooray!

Then we are driving 9 hrs to and from OK o drop a dog off for hunt training and I'm back to VA again.

So back to my original note, send help if I don't return to blogland soon. Our last known location as I type this is near signs for Hillbilly Junction while driving on highway 60.

Really, I think the dog smelled Deliverence when we stopped atthe one country store/ gas station/ local hangout and made fast time of relieving himself & getting back into his crate.

I just wanted to let you all know I loved ya and was thrilled to have you pop in.

Cheers, Beck

ps- if I do return, I still love you but can we pretend I didn't say it? I hate all that touchy feely crap. Great, thanks. I knew you'd understand.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mystery Meal 4 - Ingredients

Serves: 2-4

2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bottle butter/dill/lemon seafood marinade/dressing
3/4 cup semi-dry white wine (I used Beringer's Chenin Blanc)
garlic/herb mayonnaise
sliced cheddar or colby & cheddar cheese (think sandwich slicese)
2 small white or yellow onions (or 1 large)
salt & pepper
thin hamburger or bread slices
2-3 Tbsp butter

16 oz fresh spinach (I love baby spinach for this - be sure it's well dried after being washed!)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 small vidalia onion, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup low fat milk
3 oz light cream cheese
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp black pepper (can add more to taste but be careful not to add too much)
semi-dry white wine (Chenin Blanc again...)

fresh blueberries
white peaches
quick cooking oats
all-purpose flour
brown sugar (I used Splenda)
1-3 Tbsp butter, melted
vanilla ice cream, optional

**NOTE: in my ingredient lists, when I don't list specific amounts, just anticipate it's meant to season and not a large amount will be needed. At most, a couple tablespoons depending on the ingredient.

I broke out the ingredients to make it easier to guess.  Got an idea what the meal is yet? :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I could buy a mansion! No, really...

Quick refresher, the hubs and I are looking for our next home to live in for a 5-10 year time frame. Maybe longer if we get lucky and find one we just adore. As a matter of fact, most of my free minutes outside of work are devoted to driving around and looking at houses. I feel terrible for my realtor b/c we just haven't found one yet. 

Except look at this.

Have you read any of those quilting stories by Jennifer Chiaverini? If not, please do then come back to this post. It starts out with Sylvia  deciding to sell the family home. Home really means a place big enough to host a quilting retreat business from, which includes boarding for those who come to the retreat.  Hello? Can you say mansion? The home above, in real life, reminds me of how similarly I pictured Sylvia's home in my mind's eye. At least, with a little less modernization.

Now, the hubs and I one day were messing around with thoughts and ideas for future plans (meaning, after kids, after "real jobs") and since I'm only 36 and he's not too far ahead in his 40's, this will be a little while yet.  One of our ideas, a vacation retreat geared toward the hobby couple. Hunting/fishing (maybe nearby golf) for the man, Quilting/wine tasting (maybe nearby golf for the woman).  A husband can do his thing for part of the day, a wife can do hers, they can reconvene and enjoy activity/time together or just chill. Well maybe not those exactly but you get the idea.

Anyway, it stuck with me. I can't say if the hubs feels the same but I like the idea of "hosting" in this manner.  I always have.

Have I bored you yet with the background?  Back to the house hunt.

This baby is situated on 6.5acres. 

A 7400 sq. foot property. The only thing missing is a pool. It's in relatively good shape for a foreclosure and it is FREAKING HUGE.  I love it.  I won't buy it beacuse it would call out for something extra to happen in it besides our family life and we aren't in the position to do that right now, but I wanted to show you what can sometimes cross your path if you are open to looking at non-standard properties for sale.  A freaking mansion (well, maybe not by Hollywood standards but by mine).   Enjoy the eye candy photos. All I can say is, it's much more impressive in real life and if I ever did purchase something like this, you'd be the first I'd invite over!

Can you just see it? Lots of tables in two of those fireplace rooms (there are 4 total), lounges on the porches with fans circulating the air overhead. 

A big kitchen to keep bellies full and people happy! Another room for the men, deep tones, rich furniture...  -sigh- It's fun to dream, isn't it? 

I'd just have to change the name to Sarcastic Quilter's Mansion. That shouldn't cost too much for a stone like that, right? -snicker-

Cheers! Beck

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mystery Meal 3 - Shrimp Primavera

NOTE: Due to familial circumstances, I have not made this yet so I do not have pictures to show. Luckily, I have made this before (as opposed to the other meals where I make for the first time with you also) and can vouch for how yummy it is. I will be making this on Mon. or Tues. this coming week if you'd like to wait for the photos.  Otherwise, enjoy!

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot
2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. chopped, fresh parsley
15 oz. deveined large shrimp (tail off is optional but I prefer it.)
2 cups hot, cooked bow-tie pasta
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (may use regular pepper)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 diced bell pepper (red, yellow or orange), optional

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Place oil in large sauce pan; heat on low. Add carrots and simmer on low heat until desired crispness (should be somewhat soft), stirring occassionally. Add garlic and broccoli (and bell pepper if including); simmer.
3. Once vegetables have warmed and reached their desired crispness, slowly add shrimp. Stir in chicken broth and cornstarch to thicken. Simmer to a boil on low-medium heat until shrimp is cooked (pink).
4.  Reduce heat to low; slowly stirring in pasta. Warm for 2-3 minutes.
5. Place in serving dish and sprinkle parmesan cheese over top of dish (can also add to pan when adding pasta if desire a bit more thickness to sauce.)
Side comment - this recipe is gerat if you like substituting ingredients. Change any of the vegetables; add more of one and less of another or just change them completely.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mystery Meal 3 - Ingredient List

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot
2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. chopped, fresh parsley
15 oz. deveined large shrimp (tail off is optional but I prefer it.)
2 cups hot, cooked bow-tie pasta
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (may use regular pepper)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 diced bell pepper (red, yellow or orange), optional

Got any idea?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Mystery Meal 2 - Ham Wrapped Scallops w/fruit terriyaki glaze and Tomato & Corn Salad

Ham Wrapped Scallops w/fruit terriyaki glaze and Tomato & Corn Salad

   12 oz. bay scallops (fresh are good but if using frozen, THAW them first, please.)

   9 to 18 pieces deli sliced honey ham (think thin sliced lunch meat)
   salt, to taste
   6 Roma tomatoes
   16 oz sweet corn kernels (if using canned, drain; frozen, thaw)
   1 stalk scallion
   2 Tbsp. basil vinagrette dressing (if you don't have this dressing, choose an italian vinagrette or equally subdued vinagrette and add fresh, chopped basil to it)
   1 Tbsp cherry jam
   1 Tbsp blackberry jam (you can substitute jams, just try to stick in the berry family)
   4 Tbsp apricot ginger terriyaki sauce (or you can simply add terriyaki, fresh ground ginger root and apricot jam/preserves or juice when the time comes)

1. Finely chop scallions and put into small bowl.
2. Dice tomatoes. Add to scallions and add corn to bowl. (Note: If using canned corn, drain first.)
3. Add basil vinaigrette. Mix well, cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

4. Season scallops with salt.
5. Roll 1 scallop into 1 piece of ham. (Note: My ham slice was approximately the size of a slice of bread. Therefore I used 9 slices of ham but cut each in half for a total of 18.The idea is a small piece of ham that rolls completely around a scallop.) Place on a greased cookie sheet.

6. Bake at 350 degrease for 10 min., lower heat to 300 and bake 10 minutes more or until done. The ham should not be crispy.
7. While scallops bake, add jams and terriyaki to a small sauce pan, turn on to medium heat and melt all together, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and let simmer until scallops are done and turn off heat. 

8. Grab the tomato salad and plate up your food. Drizzle glaze over scallops on your plate.
Don’t forget a glass of wine( or beverage of your choice) and some fresh bread, I liked sour dough with this recipe.

Enjoy! Beck

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I did not last

I did not last the summer without attempting some sewing of some sort.  Admidst the house hunt, the job, various other events, I have decided I'll try hand sewing.

I bought fabric, cut them all into squares and started hand sewing the squares together. This is a daunting task considering I know I could whip this up in something like 1.5 days on my machine!  Alas, hand sewing it is.  I've decided I'll also hand quilt this one when it's done just so I can say I've made a quilt, completely be hand.  I am also certain it may be YEARS before I think of doing it again.

Should be pretty though, check out the fabrics. :D