Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good Riddance to 2009!

Hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 25, 2009


Christmas Past .........about 49 years past!
Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You, Veterans!

Thanks to all of our veterans, especially those in my family (we have a veteran in every branch of the service except Coast Guard).

Your sacrifices and courage are appreciated by a grateful nation.

Thank You..........................................

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ed is 7


I can't believe he is 7 already! He was 10 months when we moved down to FL, just a young punk. He still hasn't grown up much, still a rowdy clown but always lovey, happy and smiling.

Many more, big guy! Many more.........................

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes

When I woke up yesterday it was 75 degrees, with humidity it felt like 80. Today when I woke up and it is 50 degrees and with the wind it feels like 45. I love the cooler weather!

This has been the warmest October since we moved here. It has been hot and humid and hopefully it is over!

I have been sick and also started a new part time job so there has been little of anything going on here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Birthday Dinner

A friend of ours celebrated his 58th birthday on Friday so we had him and his lovely wife over for a nice dinner. The Husband out did himself and served a 5 course meal along with an amuse-bouche. I was in charge of the bar.

We started with a cocktail - Caribbean Romance

Then came the Amuse-bouche - Tuna Poke salad with Ginger-infused chilled Vodka (which we infused ourselves). The fish gravel on the plate was my idea, it's so pretty!

First Appetizer - Pan-seared fresh Gulf Shrimp on a Grit cake topped with bacon and tomato in a shrimp stock and cream reduction. Served with Red Diamond 2005 Chardonnay.

Second Appetizer - Fresh Gulf Flounder en papillote with a tomato parmesan cream sauce with garlic bread. Served with Red Diamond 2005 Chardonnay.

Salad course - roquette, pear and goat cheese with lemon-pomegrante dressing drizzled with a pomegrante reduction.

Main Course - Rack of Lamb with a port wine reduction, mashed potatoes and asparagus. Served with Red Diamond 2005 Merlot.

Dessert Course - Sticky Date and Almond Bread Pudding with Amaretto Zabaglione. Served with Whiskers Blake Classic Tawny Port

Okay, sorry, no picture of the dessert. It was late, I was full and tipsy by this time. I forgot!

Here is the Birthday Boy with his Lovely Wife:

What I Wore to the Birthday Dinner

Nothing I made, all bought a Beall's Outlet.

It was a great dinner, good food, good drinks and best of all good company!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What I Wore........

My post on What I Wore When I Cut the Grass was so much fun I thought I'd do another one. So here we have:

What I Wore When I Worked Out.......

Here are the particulars:

Leggings - ancient (I'm surprised they fit)
Racer-back Top - 4 yrs old

That's it!

Workout Partner

I try and workout 5 days a week alternating between weights/boxing and what I call Crazy Dancing/Boxing. No one, and I mean no one see's me doing my Crazy Dancing except this little guy:

Every morning he is on the retaining wall outside my sewing room window where this activity takes place. Sometimes he even gets into with me, bobbing his head up and down or weaving back and forth. He stays there the whole time. I put on quite a show for him!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fido Friday


Oy, too much wine last night!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

One Done .......Many to Go!

New Look blouse 6598 is done and in the bag, or should I saw wash (need to get those buttonhole marks off). I won't bore you with a picture of the buttonholes, they came pretty good, equal size and straight! All in all, I like it and will probably make more.

Next up was to be S5306. The short brown wrap version.

I say was because after doing a quickie muslin I didn't like the construction method. It is really meant for fleece or shearling. I have hi-lo corduroy and I want to line it with hot pink flannel backed satin. I just don't think I am experienced enough to make it work. So I searched the pattern sites and found a pattern I like a whole lot more and it is lined.

So now S5197 will be my new winter coat.

I actually like it better, not quite as bulky. And hey, I may need a pair of wide legged bell-bottoms someday, I hear they're making a comeback!

While I wait for this pattern (and a few others I couldn't resist) arrive I will work on another new blouse pattern B4659.

I am going to make the purple version, you can't see them well in this picture but they have 3/4 length belled sleeves. The style is similar to one I just made but with a little more flair.

I will be using this fabric:

Which is an older Robert Kaufman cotton from my stash. Sorry the picture isn't great but this fabric looks great with jeans.

That's it, off I go Top Chef is on tonight!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Almost Done

New Look 6598

I am almost finished with this blouse. I made a muslin of it several months ago and it fit nicely so I thought I would try it with the short sleeves in a little nicer cotton fabric. I made it just a tich longer (5/8") but other than that nothing out of the ordinary. The sleeves are snug but I still have full range of motion. It may work better with a cotton with a little stretch to it. I have the buttonholes and back hem to finish and possibly top-stitching all around the facing to keep it in place. I plan to finish it on Monday but had my camera out so thought I'd put up a preview.

I don't think the fabric photographs well because of the tiny print on it, it is red with a tiny black/white print. Doesn't look like much on the hanger but it is a nice classically simple blouse.
Fast and easy.

Chrome Toes

I am sure most of you don't really want to see my feet, but I just thought this polish was so cool. The Husband said my toes looked like something from an alien cyborg...sigh...he is so romantic!

Late Summer Harvest

These are banana peppers. They are normally yellow when ripe, but when I brought them in the house and left them for a few days on the counter they turned these gorgeous shades of orange. They are quite tastey.

Friday, September 11, 2009


September 11, 2001

Never Forget.
Never Again.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fido Friday on Thursday

Since tomorrow is a very solemn day I didn't think it appropriate for Fido Friday, so I am doing it today.


The Social End

The Business End

That is one big Rottie butt for lots of butt rubbin's! His tail is docked at the second knuckle so it is larger than Lily's. I can actually grab it and hang on...............which I have done, several times. I think he likes it........................

Opening Night for the NFL, you know where I will be!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

What I Wore.........................

I love to look at some of the daily fashion blogs with Ephemera and What I Wore Today as my favs, because these ladies have what I don't.... a sense of style.

But just for fun I thought I would do a play on their blogs with my own fashion post of:

What I Wore When I Cut the Grass!

Here's the outfit particulars:

Souvenir tank top - 8 years old
Blue Jean shorts - 8years old
Crew socks - 6 mos old
Canvas Keds - 10 years old
Trusty TroyBilt Mower - 5years old

Close up of the Shoes:

Okay, these are authentic Keds. Preeetty BAD!

But under those, are these!

I don't like to wear polish on my fingers, but I do like to paint my toes! I love this electric blue color.

So this is my fashion post for today. Hope you enjoyed!

More Backyard Creatures

If you have stopped by here before you know that I love most of the little creatures that live in my yard. When I cut the grass I am very careful to watch out for said creatures lest I mow over them. While I was doing 'poop patrol' before mowing (yeah, you want to make sure all that STUFF is out of the way!) I found a hatching of green tree frogs near our retaining wall. They grass was alive with little green hopping dots like this little guy:

Honestly no bigger than the tip of my little finger. They were everywhere along the south wall, so I left a 3 foot uncut swatch for them. I hope a few make it but they need to watch out for this guy:

The rather large Southern Toad. He looks well fed!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back to Sewing

UFO Boxer Quilt

The quilt for my brother is finished, delivered and much appreciated by the recipient. Here he is with his daughter (my niece) and the Boxer Quilt.

These are fun quilts to make for boys, young and old. The fun part is picking out fabric for the boxers that reflect the recipients interests or memories, and I always include one Christmas boxer as a reminder of all the wonderful Christmas presents our aunts' made for us when we were little. This quilt was filled with lots of car and tool boxers, but my favorite was the Scooby-Do fabric (middle, 3rd row). It reminded me of watching Saturday morning cartoons with my brothers.

I have made 4 of these quilts, 3 for my brothers, with one more to go, and one for myself that is pink and black and the boxers are all dog fabrics. It is machine appliqued and quilted and works up fast.........except if you procrastinate, like some people.


Finally, this little shirt/jacket is pretty much done. I have some hand sewing to do on the collar facing and hem, and it needs buttonholes. I have put it aside for now though because unfortunately while I love it, it is a little too snug to button and it doesn't look good open. I took the side seams out as much as I could and I had to remake the sleeves because they were WAY too tight. The sleeves are perfect now but there just wasn't enough on the seams to let out anymore.

It doesn't look like much on the hanger but it does look nice on although the length seems shorter than it shows in the picture. The sleeves are not as puffy as they appear in the picture either. I cut out the belt but there is really no room for it. I'm hoping it will fit someday soon and I will then put the buttonholes in.

It is a surprisingly flattering design and I would like to make it again, but I would add some to the seams and the length, may 1"-2". But I will move on to something else right now.

I want to make a simple hip-length wrap coat for winter. I've got some hi-lo black corduroy and hot pink flannel-backed satin for lining. I've cut out the pattern pieces and will do a quick muslin just to check basic fit as it is a pretty loose fitting style. I don't really need a winter coat for a few months so I can take my time with this and work on it in between other things.


This blouse is up next in a red/white/black cotton print. Probably the short-sleeved collarless one. I made a muslin of the sleeveless version months ago and it came out very nice. I just have to watch the sleeves as I have arm issues.............................

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fido Friday on Saturday

Out of It

Poor Ed, he had his teeth cleaned and a tooth extracted on Wednesday. He was not himself for almost 2 days. This is his favorite spot under the dining room table.

Not to worry he is back to normal giving kisses and putting his nose where it doesn't belong!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Catching Up!

The computer was down yesterday for installation of a new fan so today I'm catching up.

Meet Claude!This was the little caterpillar that started to pupate on the basil just as Claudette rolled into town last week. I could not find him the next day and thought he was a goner but Tuesday I was sitting out and looked over at the basil and there he was in all his glory right next to the empty cocoon.

I'm pretty sure he's a he because there is more yellow than blue on the top of the wings. He is the only one that made it from the original six caterpillars.

I watched Claude take his first flight from the basil plant to the middle of the grassy yard where he sat for about a half hour, then he took off over the house. I hope he makes it to where ever he's heading!

Hot Tamales!

The Husband was inspired watching Top Chef Master and decided to make something from Rick Bayless' book "Mexico One Plate at a Time". The Husband LOVES tamales! Me, eh, I could take em' or leave em'.

Well that was before I had these! They were fantastic.

Spreading the massa. I took over for The Husband after I snapped this pic, so I could say I helped.

The pork filling. This was made the day before so all the flavors would meld together.

Tamales all wrapped and ready for steaming. We both could not believe how delicious these were. The Husband made some red beans from the same book and served the tamales with a chile sauce that had just the right amount of heat and flavor. We froze enough for another 2 meals! Economical and yummy!

I have some sewing updates, but I will save those for tomorrow!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Something About Me Monday

I Love Pro Football!

From September to February on any given Sunday, Monday, Thursday or Saturday you can find me in front of the tv watching a game. I just love it! It is a game of smarts and strengths, flair and finesse. It's great!

Teams I love to watch:

Chicago Bears ( of course) - maybe this year they have a quarterback!
Pittsburgh Steelers - they have it all, brains and brawn. But I miss Coach Cowher and The Bus!
Greenbay Packers - although they are a Division rival Favre was the best (he should have bowed out gracefully) but Aaron Rodgers looks to be coming along strong.
Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants - gotta love the Manning brothers!
Philadelphia Eagles - McNabb is a hometown boy from the south suburbs and a truely great quarterback. But they have slipped a notch in my book with the hiring of Michael Vick.

Teams I will always root against:

Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints - don't ask me why, it's nothing personal except with Minnesota (division rivals again). There are just some teams I can't warm up to and always root for the opponent.

Teams I think are overrated:

Dallas Cowboys - why are THEY America's team????
Tennessee Titans - Jeff Fisher got his start in Chicago during it's heyday but I just don't see it.

There are a lot of teams out there any one has the potential to be good, well there is Detroit. If you too are a fan I hope I haven't offended and that you will take this all in good fun.

Here's wishing all the teams good luck and good health this season!

Let the Games Begin!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fido Friday

Wysti - 1987

Let me....................

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Congratulations Rick Bayless - Top Chef Master!

It's about time Chicago is recognized for it's great chefs! I've eaten at Chef Bayless' restaurants (Frontera Grill and Topolobambo ) and he is in deed a Master! Kudos for a job well done.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

6 Years Ago .......................

We left this:
(Okay, it wasn't really snowing in August when we left) For this:

I can't believe how the time has flown. Things haven't turned out quite as we had planned and I think if I could I would leave this place.

It is beautiful here but I miss some things. I never thought I would miss the big city but I do, not that I want to go back to Chicago. I don't miss the crime and high taxes , I do miss the variety of food, entertainment and cultural attractions. I miss the diversity of the people. I miss crisp cool autumn weather with the smell in the air only autumn has, and yes, I miss the snow.... a little. I miss my family. We are not a close family but we always have a good time when we get together. For 46 years I spent every Christmas Eve with them, I miss that.

As I said it is beautiful here, it is also very, very safe. The cost of living here for basics may be a little higher than elsewhere because we are a tourist town, but our taxes are very reasonable even though people here complain about them. They have never lived elsewhere.

The lack of food variety here is good and bad. Good because The Husband has really become a great cook and we eat out less for this and other reasons (money) but sometimes you need to get out and the choices are mediocre at best. The food is expensive, portions petite and service .....well let's not go there.

Aside from the beach there is not a lot to do here. Our only zoo, about 30 miles away, is closing for lack of funds. There are a few small museums, but once you go, you've gone. We do have some nice outdoor recreation here, when the weather isn't too hot.

The weather, I thought I could take it, but from June through September I pretty much want to stay inside. It is more pleasant in April, May, Oct and Nov but those months still can surprise. Dec, Jan , Feb and March are okay, ranging anywhere from 25 F to 80 F. But the sun, no matter what time of year can be brutal.

And then there are the hurricanes. Mostly it is just hype by the Weather Channel and Jim Cantore. We have evacuated twice, Ivan 2004 and Dennis 2005. We have been very lucky since. But it is a little disconcerting leaving everything you own and hoping it's still there in one piece when you get back. I do consider ourselves fortunate in that we was plenty of notice they are coming unlike tornados.

The people here are very friendly and polite. Almost too polite, as when you are at a 4 way stop and everyone is waving everyone else through. Being a Yankee I am always happy to oblige and go, leaving everyone there to out-polite each other. And talkative, they will tell you their life story at the drop of a "hi". Once again being a Yankee and a Midwesterner I am pretty tight-lipped about myself. It makes for short one-way conversations.

I suppose there are worse places to live and I am thankful I have a roof over my head. It just isn't what I had hoped for I guess.

Oh, did I mention I miss my basement!!! Who would have thought..........................

Monday, August 17, 2009

Claudette Update

Claudette blew into town at 11:20pm last night and the electricity promptly went out! It was only out about 30 seconds, just long enough for me to have to reset everything in the house! It got pretty windy for awhile with lots of rain but everything calmed down after about 40 minutes. Then it was just a few gust and light rain. Today it is windy with a little rain.

The parsley pigging caterpillar is still there but the other is MIA. I feel bad....I should have brought the plant into the garage to keep it safe until this blew over. I'm hoping it hunkered down somewhere and will show up.

Ana is losing steam as we speak and Bill is heading out to sea so all is good on the tropic front. They still need to be watched because they can flair up or change course in no time. But for now all is right with the world.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Caterpillar and Storm Update - Two

Well, I found one other caterpillar on my basil plant and he/she is definitely getting ready to pupate. It should start it's cocooning in the next day or so. The other one is still stuffing his little face with parsley.

Tropical Storm Claudette seems to be breaking up as she hits land, which is a good thing. The eye is just starting to make it's way on shore but rain is very sporadic and the winds aren't bad at all. We'll probably just have some light rain through the night.

Caterpillar Update

I am down to one caterpillar and a Tropical Storm moving in.

I know one caterpillar died, I saw it but not sure if birds got the others or they moved off to find a place to pupate. I hope the latter.

We have a Tropical Depression (possible Storm by the time it gets here) moving into the area later this afternoon and evening. The Husband has a trip and is trying to get out early to miss most of the heavy rains. Me and the kids will hunker down and take it like true Floridians. I should be able to finish up my brother's quilt tonight.

Late next week we have Tropical Storm Ana moving into the Gulf and she could strengthen to a hurricane. We'll just wait and see.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Caterpillars in my Garden

I have a few pots with tomatoes, peppers and some herbs. It has not been a good year for the tomatoes, as the birds got most of them and then they got stripped by bugs. The peppers did better, but The Husband eats most of those. The herbs have done okay until today when I found one pot of parsley GONE and this in its' place:

There are six of them. They are the caterpillar of the Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly. I learned a lot about them today, especially that they eat fennel, parsley (flat or curly, they're not that picky) carrot greens and rue (whatever that is).

I have another large pot of parsley that I am going to sacrifice to them and have moved everyone to the far end of the yard near a small crape myrtle where they can build their cocoons or chrysalis'. Two of them are quite large and maybe ready to pupate. I am going to try and keep them supplied with fresh food and hopefully they will turn in to these:

The Female version or
The Male version.

I'm hoping for some ladies as I think they are prettier with the blue, but I'll be thrilled with any and all.