Tuesday, November 24, 2009

There WILL Be Pie

Thanksgiving is in 3 days (two really, but it's still morning on Tuesday) and this means PIE. As in, time to be baking PIES.
Last year we made the usual suspects: pumpkin, apple and pecan and a new-comer, Snickerdoodle Pie. That was the last to be consumed so this year we swap it out for



We are in Port A, holed up and waiting for the teaglettes to fly in from the East. It is raining outside and no better time can be spent other than in the pursuit of pie and quilt-making. Reading comes in a close Third but I didn't bring any material or the Kindle for that matter. (boo)

This town, Port Aransas, Texas, is a sleepy back-water burgh and fishing village, plodding along in a pace all it's own. We take a 3-minute ferry from Aransas Pass. We went fishing the first day and although I caught a couple, they were on the small side; too small to legally keep but the catching was fun. John brought home the bacon. er, redfish. I brought home panda eyes. Toasty toasty.

Port A has a micro-brewery, been open almost two years. Beer beckons, must answer the call. I asked for a sampler set and chose 5. Not one was great. They need work. The after-taste was medicinal. I couldn't make a single one even that good but I am a critic. The worst kind of critic: the kind that PAYS for the fare and then critiques.

The condo we have rented has 2 bedrooms and a complete kitchen. Great view out the window of the harbor and channel. Lots of boat activity, even for the autumn. This was dawn on the first day.

We walked out on the pier, Day Two, and found Pele here, giving me the evil eye. He was SO FINE. Never stopped watching for a moment. Kept swiveling around and posing, but never afraid either. The glare was so bad I had a hard time getting a quality shot and even this one has his beak shaved off but what a glorious face!

THE ONLY thing I dislike about being away from home is that I am also away from this:

She was so sacked out, her mouth hung open!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

HURRAY!!!! We lost Cuba!!!

You're gonna LOVE this

Do you know what this is? This is the cover to Nobel Peace Prize Awardee and Oscar Winner and all-round Mensa devotee, Al Gore, Jr's new BOOK! "Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis"

And this:

is the Children's Brainwashing version of the same hefty tome. What do you think of the "artwork"? That's some creative geography going on there.
Max (02:09:59) :

This is what the historian Boorstin called the “geography of the imagination,” typical of medieval maps of the “known world.” All that’s missing are sea serpents and unicorn at the ocean margins, and printed warnings, “Here be dragons!”

Wait a sec... let me give a better view of the adult version, from Watts Up With That blog,back and front assembled for easier viewing. What's wrong with this image?

hint: Where's CUBA??????????????

Where's Panama (and the famous canal)and most of the State of Florida? Where's El Salvador? Haiti? The Dominican Republic? The entire Carribean collection of island paradises?
OH NOES!!!! They're ALL GONE!!!!

HOW ON EARTH do hurricanes go in BOTH directions simultaneously???????

How does any breathing human on this PLANET take this man seriously? Do you have to distort everything to make a lie the truth?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You Think You Can Handle It????

Just to tease you a tad, here is John taking a shot with this cell phone of his beautiful garden. To the left of him is the reason for this post.

I love those post toppers he put in. There's one at the garden gate with a solar light. It doesn't exactly illuminate the area but I can see it off in the distance from the kitchen window at night.


Isn't this the cutest coop you have EVER seen???????

And that's only the BACK! Check out the window vent. I will paint it green to compliment the roof. The door on the other side will also be green, eventually. I want to paint a quilt block on that empty space.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA I love this coop!!!!! And if the chickens don't work out for us, it will make an EXCELLENT potting shed and tool storage. I can't stand it..... it is so awesome. See the sliding doors on the side, so the girls can get out and about without leaving the front door open all the time. Oh I should have taken a shot of the interior with the auto waterer and the hanging feeder. Everything is there ready for "the ladies" but they have to wait til after Thanksgiving.


And peas!!! Well not exactly... we seem to have an interesting problem with the English Peas (in the foreground). Lots of leaves, very healthy but no flowers nor peapods...... too much nitrogen perhaps?

This little volunteer has friends out in the clover,

they're zucs and I left them to see if they'd produce any fruits and sure enough. But I think by the time they are harvestable, we will be in Texas for Thanksgiving. That's ok. Our good neighbors will be keeping an eye on the house & garden and hopefully eating the goodness so it doesn't go to waste

Here's a wide shot of the center beds. I will probably not try Swiss Chard again. The only thing eating them is bugs. Once the chickens arrive, I'll be feeding it to them and planting something else in the space. We have eaten the first broccoli and it was good. Lots of lettuce and kale and greens. The yellow squash is still cranking out veg and we await the tomatoes turning red but I fear the lack of sunlight is thwarting that. The sprouts are beginning to form on the stalks.

To show that all is not perfect in the world:

That is what happens when you paint on a blustery day. The wind hit the shed door which hit the ladder that held the paint can that fell over and splashed the fence. It's latex so we will dig up the dried paint off the earth.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Victory Quilt

I started this with a post back in August.

I am going to show all the the blocks I have made and will try to keep this updating as I go along.

First, I'd like to mention that making the blocks is much fun. MOST of them are coming together exactly to size and the one, the only one so far, that didn't is still up in the air as to why. I'll get to that later.
Also, I am not listing them in any order, just however they appear when I UL the image to blogger.

But here is the "Radio Windmill"

I had to unsew and resew the center twice to get the points to meet. They are not perfect. There is a lot of bias going on in the block. Now, interestingly, EB says this one is a Beginner block and I would have to disagree. It isn't difficult but that bias stretch makes it a tad more challenging to join up than straight, simple on-weave piecing.

"Fala", how cute is he?

The first block in the book is "Roosevelt's Necktie" and I didn't find it interesting at all. (There's another one of the 20 featured in the book that I will give a pass on as well. You'll have to read on to find out which that might be.) So I decided I'd start by doing the applique Fala. There's a little piecing but it's mostly applique. And he is NOT finished at this time. There is a little more embellishment to do on him before he's complete. But I like him. He was fun.
"Comfort Quilt" - Easy

This SHOULD be level easy. It is. Very. and I like the simplicity. Teresa Varnes' large version of this quilt using the block repeatedly with echoing sashing is super. That's in the book.

BTW, it's a terrific book for ANYONE who is keen to try a "Block of the Month" but doesn't want to join a shop's offering. I work at a shop that has several wonderful BOMs every year and I usually take part in at least one but this is a solo BOM. I am making it at my own speed and if I choose to put it away and focus attention elsewhere, I know it's there waiting for my return.

Okay, Back to work.... "Stars and Stripes"

When I made this yesterday, I found that the center, the stripes, measured out 1/2" too long and I fretted over where I went wrong. I found another blogger, Lillian's Cupboard, who has completed the whole quilt and the back is a work of art. Go Look and scroll down. The Cupboard is a fun blog, great looking recipes and instruction. Give it shot!

Anyway, upon rereading the instructions, I see EB has this covered.... if the block measures more than 4 1/2" wide, trim the excess. Right, try to remember that in the future, CT.

Now it comes together exceedingly well. BUT I don't like how anemic my block turned out, and until I get all the blocks finished, I will not remake it. It might turn out to be exactly what the quilt needs when I start to lay it out. (hey, a girl can dream)

"Star Spangled Banner"

This one is not finished either. The solid bits will each have an appliqued 4 point star, hence the "star" part of the title. But I am waiting for a new product to arrive in the shop. It's a spray-on version of steam-a-seam, 606, and I am keep to give it a go.

"Sky Rocket"

This one was fun; although it looks complicated, it came together brilliantly. It's categorized as a 3 Star difficulty level and I don't get that at all. Go figure.

"Silent Star"

Eleanor Burns version had green outer corners and my quilt will have NO green at all. I think the yellow stars work well, I love the name of this one.

"Signal Lights"

I love the way it turned out but alas, it's 1/2" too small. This one must be remade and that has to wait til the last block is complete. I don't know what fabrics I will have left and that brings me to this paragraph:

Lessons learned:
1. READ the instructions!
2. UNDERSTAND the instructions.
3. BUY FABRIC YOU WANT TO HAVE ON HAND when you need it as soon as you see it! When I started collecting the fabric for this quilt MONTHS ago , I wanted to use a super great red stripe and that dark blue with stars as the outer border swags. That was going to be months away, but we had so much on the bolts I thought, heck I'll get that another day. WRONG! Epic fail on my part. I went to the shelf last week to take off 2 yards and the BOLT was gone. poof.
Tracking it down on the internet took hours, no exaggeration, and I did get 2.5 yards ordered. But I was starting to sweat.

I'm fairly certain that list will grow as I proceed to the end.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Eleanor Burns Victory Quilt

I have now completed 9 blocks for the quilt and have hit the first sign of trouble. Appropriately named, Signal Lights.

I followed the instructions precisely and ended up with a 12" unfinished block. Every other block has been perfect. I will try again to see if it was in the cutting. I rather doubt this because the block is made up of lots of pieces. If I had cut anything off size, it would have revealed itself when I did the sewing.

So THIS NEXT time, when I make it, I will use a realscant quarter inch seam allowance and see if that helps to stretch it to the full 12 1/2" block.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

You Know Where You Stand

"According to Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, who supports the health care bill, President Obama asked, “Does anybody think that the teabag*, anti-government people are going to support them if they bring down health care? All it will do is confuse and dispirit” Democratic voters “and it will encourage the extremists.”

"Senator Sidney Whitehouse quoted President Clinton arguing: "The reason the tea-baggers* are so inflamed is because we are winning."

OK! Let's break it down to basics. Here we have TWO statements of complete crassness from what is supposedly a universally accepted truism.; ie THESE two Presidents (unlike that yahoo cowboy that stank up the office last year) are revered as the most ELOQUENT, well-spoken, erudite, educated and persuasive politicians that memory can muster. Such command of the English language and THIS is how they refer to AMERICANS who oppose their ideologies.

I do not believe, (after all the term was coined and applied back in April), that no one has paused long enough to explain it to Clinton and Obama. They know exactly what they said, what it means and continue to say. They think they are in on the joke and the rest of us rubes are clueless. The disrespect is amazing, breathtaking in it's scope.

Yeah, I dropped the title "President" on purpose. These two characters don't deserve respect when none is offered in return. Hey you two clowns, YOU WORK FOR US! Not the other way around.

Tea bagging, Tea-baggers: If you don't know what that expression means, you'll have to google it yourself. It is offensive and not what you might think it means.

"Tea parties" is what the Loyal Opposition call the events of protest. The media in control of all else twisted it into a perversion. THERE'S a surprise!

I miss President Bush. He saw protests and opposition as a sign of a healthy democracy, not as a point of derision. He never sought to shut them down or stifle the noise.

Where have all the cowboys gone, indeed.