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.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

B5331 Update

Okay, I thought I would have this jacket done this week but I am getting there! SLOWLY!!! I had to redo some of the flat-fell seams as I did not catch the fabric on the fold over and with one washing they would have started to fray and all would be ruined. I was just going to use a little permanent fabric glue but decided to do it the right way and undo them.

I got the collar and front facings on without TOO much trouble. Now I have to tell you I haven't put a collar on anything since the late 70's so this was like Clothing 101 all over again. I am glad I chose the un-notched collar version. I still have a little issue at the back where the collar and front facing meet at the shoulder seam but I think I can fix it.

I bias-bound my side seams so now I have to put on the sleeves and then do the buttonholes. My biggest fear is the buttonholes. I have been practicing but it seems that they work perfectly until I put the GOOD fabric under the presser foot, then all h**l breaks loose!

All in all though, for a muslin I am really liking this little jacket. I found the perfect mustard gold color tank to wear underneath and it looks pretty good on me too. I can't wait for it to be done so I can get some pictures up for all to see.

I did make another skirt, this time from Simplicity 2917 in black stretch sateen. Yes, another straight skirt! It's so boring I didn't even bother to take a picture. I'm not crazy about the fit, the darts hit me funny, or else they are too long. I did use some cute black/white polka grosgrain ribbon for the waist facing. Too bad you can only see it on the inside.

I am actually going to take a break from apparel sewing to finish up a quilt for one of my brothers. I have had this quilt top finished for almost 2 years now and decided I need to finish it and get it out the door! And since his birthday is later this month I think it's perfect timing. So it will take me about a week to sandwich, quilt and bind it. As much as I would love to work on the jacket I need to get this done. I will post pictures of the quilt after his birthday.