Monday, August 29, 2011

Mundane Monday...

It's that time of week, again. Love that.

Thought I'd share some of my goings on. Made my sweet Evabeth a wallhanging for her bedroom. She likes all things Asian. And of course, all things pink. This particular piece was made using a weird method. But it works and I think it is a bit more pleasant than dealing with triangles. First, you sew together some squares and rectangles. Then you layer a larger rectangle under that piece- with right sides together. Draw diagonal lines and sew, cut apart and you have two of these squares. Clear as mud, huh? Wish I could remember the name of the book I got this from, but it's Sandy's book so...

Isn't that funkiest tomato you've ever seen? I have no idea what kind of mutation it would take to transform a round tomato into Grue from Despicable Me. I planted a ton of tomato plants, but alas, I've seen very little return. We had a month of drought and extremely high temps and then it's been very cool ever since. Tomatoes really struggle to ripen in cool weather. Maybe next year.

The last picture is of Nena and her quilt for a new grandson they're expecting in a week or so. She choose a Michael Miller print with retro cowboys and cowgirls and his handkerchief fabrics in red and blue. She has her two granddaughter represented and the new baby with an adorable little cowboy on a saw horse. We just meandered it in red thread. Doesn't she look just tickled pink?

Hope everyone is having their very own wonderful Mundane Monday! Catch ya on the flip side!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday favorites...

I've challenged myself to feature a favorite, each Friday. Some of my favorite places, people, and products. Thought that would be a lot of fun for me and maybe it would bring to mind some of your favorites, too.
This week's favorite is Ivanhoe's. It's a mom and pop diner in Upton, Indiana. They've been in business since 1965- before I was even born. OK, not by much, but it still counts. They used to be a drive-in, but presently they are a sitdown, carryout business. And they do a very brisk business. Expect a line, but it moves quickly and there's lots of friendly folks to visit with and for us quilters out there- lots of mini's on the walls to enjoy and inspire. Too few restaurants like this remain. People like the consistency and familiarity of a chain restaurant, but you can't beat the quality of a locally-owned restaurant that depends on happy patrons in order to stay in business. Ivanhoe's is a great all-American diner. While most diners are known for greasy comfort food, Ivanhoe's has set itself above that standard. They're famous for... drumroll.... their salads.
Yep. I know that's hard to believe, but if you mention Ivanhoe's to anyone within a 50-mile radius, their eyes roll back in their heads and they breathe a big sigh and say, "Ah, their fruit!" I admit, I was skeptical. Fruit is fruit, right? Nu-uh. Not true. So I had to experience this phenomena of "ah, fruit!"

Anybody who knows me, knows I'm a serious gnosher. Ain't anything dainty about the way I eat. So I order the large. I was hungry, after all- and how full could I get eating fruit? Thought I'd need a dolly to get my tray to the table. No kidding and no exaggeration when I say there's a solid 8 cups of fruit in that bowl. And it was amazing! The fresh seasonal fruit isn't mixed until it's placed in your trough- I mean, dish. Any fruit you don't like? No problem, just request it be left out. I had my fruit topped with their homemade chicken salad, which is in a class of it's own. On my most recent visit, I didn't see a single burger among at least 100 customers. I hear great things about their vegetable salad, also. I'm just hooked on the fruit. I haven't a clue if their accompanying muffin is any good- I never get to it. And I haven't ordered the large since that first time- a "small" salad ensures enough fruit for two meals.

As an aside, Ivanhoe's is also known for it's 100 different ice cream sundaes and milk shakes. All I have to say about that is, while they are excellent, there will be no room for that particular indulgence if you eat anything else there. So the ice cream is an entirely different visit. And then you'll see the fruit... and the ice cream becomes an afterthought that will only rarely come to fruition- get it? fruition- fruit. Ivanhoe's- a great American establishment. I'm hoping they'll be serving up quality food for many more years to come.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wednesday 's Whine of the Week....

so it's Thursday. Ya wanna make somethin' of it?

I was figuring that if I allowed myself one whine a week, it would cut down on some negativity. Not that I consider myself a negative person... but then who does? Hmmm.... I've whined about hair color and Hollywood slime, there must be something else out there that annoys me. Oh, I know.

Letters To Juliet. I like that movie. Nothing award-worthy, just a sweet movie. The older I get, the more I enjoy a "mature" love story. (The kids think it's freaky. Too bad I won't be around to remind them of that when they reach the age to find love between two 65 year old people very touching and romantic. But that's not my gripe.)

My problem is the wardrobe. Vanessa Redgrave could wear a potato sack and still be elegant, but the rest of the world needs a little more help. I've never seen a movie where the wardrobe drives me to distraction like this one. And someone was paid big bucks to torture me. I honestly sit and crochet while "watching" it so that I'm not having to see the horrid clothes they are putting on these beautiful people. When I do look up at the screen, I concentrate on keeping my eyes above their chins, or else the whole mood is ruined. Why oh why is she wearing a gray T-shirt? In Tuscany??? Do you honestly expect me to believe that the lovely Sophie is going on a romantic trip to Verona, Italy, and she packs a bag full of utilitarian gray and beige clothes? And they are even more cruel to Charlie. A very attractive guy with typical body shape issues. And the best they could do for him is an ill-fitted T-shirt and a sloppy, rumpled, long-sleeve shirt hanging over that? He's an urbane, successful lawyer people! In the final scene, he did look very dashing in a morning suit- but then, who doesn't? Generally, they all look washed out and ghostly- very sad ghosts, at that. Along with every criticism, we should present a solution. The wardrobe should've included the colors of Italy- rich reds and purples, blues and golds. It doesn't have to be a constant onslaught of color and you could still go sophisticated, just make something interesting to look at so the poor actors don't have to fight their way through to be noticed. But what's been done, can't be undone... I guess I'll just keep my head down and enjoy the soundtrack.

I do feel a tad better. What? Things like that don't bug you?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Mundane Monday...

My brothers must have all the thrill-seeking genes in my family. Being real adrenalin-junkies, they ride motorcycles, fly airplanes, camp in the dessert- with scorpions as companions, and I don't even want to know all the other crazy things they do and don't tell me. They really are kind that way.

I love the dull, everyday, "same ole, same ole" routine. If my sweet William comes home and asks me how my day went and I answer, "uneventful" he knows I've had a good one. Hmmm....maybe that's a result of having 5 sons in 7 years. It was a solid decade before an uneventful day ever occurred. True to say, I might have had my share of "thrill-seeking" kicked out of me- a steady diet of adrenalin could do that. Now, I treasure days that require nothing special, no calls to the poison control center(hello, it's me again...), no wails of injustice(those would be mine, by the way) no near catastrophic events(um, Mom, John was blowing up this thing and...) Just laundry and dishes, a bit of sewing and crochet thrown in, fixing dinner, a movie before bed. A stellar day. Oh I still enjoy a bit of excitement, I just have much lower standards than the general public...

Mondays are meant to be mundane. The crazy rush of the weekend comes to a sudden halt when that alarm clock goes off on Monday morning. Back to the regular schedule of routine tasks. It's my "regroup" day.

I did have a date night with my sweet William- after a mundane day. See? My idea of excitement. Dinner- I had an amazing salad, he had enough meat on his plate to be mistaken for the local butcher shop. Then we went to a movie- Cowboys and Aliens. Why? I don't know. Bill wasn't in the mood for a chick flick and I wasn't in the mood for stupid humor, so we do what a lot of couples do- we compromise so that neither of us will be happy! Actually, he had a great time- if his laughter at my expense was any indication. When I saw the previews, I was thinking- a little action, a little western, a little sci-fi- hey, what's not to like? But a very important issue had completely slipped my mind... the whole Hollywood slime factor. Who was it that decided that all aliens must be slimy? As far as I'm concerned, "mucous membranes" is the all-time most nauseating words in the English language. No kidding, I'm holding a bucket on my lap just typing those words. gag. So the cowboys are tough- Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. The little flying spaceships are tough- all metallic and zoom-zoom. Then they have to throw in these aliens dripping...gag...mucous. Their slippery, snotty, bodies are jumping out at people- just once, I'd like to meet an alien with dry skin- in need of some moisturizer. Nope, not in this movie. The other movie patrons are getting a double feature watching me climb over seats and dash for the bright red EXIT sign! What can I say, I have finely honed my emergency responses. Were the aliens really scary- oh yeah, but I was honestly more concerned that they were gonna drip on the cowboys. When I wasn't clawing Bill's arm off, I was standing up and making a dash for the door. As Bill's laughter is echoing across the parking lot, he's expressing his amazement at how fast I could move and how far I could get before he'd even had a chance to flinch. Oh yeah baby, that mugger's gonna have to catch me first.

So I'm all wrung out and ready for a tepid Tuesday. Please...

Girls, so here's the red head shot- it was supposed to be brown- with a hint of red. My hair didn't get the memo, I guess.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happy Lord's Day!!!

"Today is a fresh day- with no mistakes in it."

Well, that didn't last long. Picked up the wrong box of hair color. Who knew there would be such a drastic difference between "auburn brown" and "copper brown?" I got up early to color my hair because I just couldn't stand another day with all that white hair at the roots. I am almost completely white headed in the front and while I understand that some people are enamored with white hair(they don't usually have that particular "blessing", mind you) I don't particularly care for the look on me. Now I'm wondering if these "beautiful auburn brown" tresses might not be "ten times worse." I'm gonna have to shoot "The peddler I met on the road, today."

This post sponsored by Anne of Green Gables.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Just like me...

Instead of working on a project that simply needs to be finished, we start a new one. But it was small, so that makes it OK, right? Sarah and I had a really good time during her visit. We ate out several times and went to a local quilt shop. She bought some blue batik to bind the quilt we quilted while she was here. Her son, Ian, has a thing for Pez dispensers, so we all had to check out a couple of the antique malls. Sarah got the find of the day with a McCoy pitcher- in robin's egg blue- for only $12! How cool is that? I found a few neat books. Sadly, Ian didn't find any Pez. My quilting machine was a bit stand-offish with her- the thread kept breaking. It must be used to me, 'cause it was more friendly when I had a go at it.

These "baskets" are by This-n-That and are called "Clutter Keepers." I got the pattern at the quilt shop and thought it would be a fun project to do, together. I had all the supplies needed except some heavy weight interfacing. I was a bit disappointed in the size. For some reason, I assumed that it was much smaller. Turns out it's 5" high and 12" long. Should have read the details. We had fun sewing it- though I must admit the directions were a bit vague and half the fun was figuring out just what in the world she was trying to convey. We both choose fabrics from my stash. Hard to believe that these two color ways came from the same stash- must have multiple personalities. One guess on whose is whose. Yeah, mine has some orange in it. Go figure.

I have more company this week- and next week. So the sewing will be minimal. But I have started painting my kitchen. I am now fully appreciative of the fact that it has taken me 7 years to repaint in there. 10' ceilings and lots of cabinetry is a real hurdle to paint. I'm taking the day off- sore muscles and all that. But my company- our two nieces- have agreed to give me a hand- bless their hearts. That will get me all squared away for company, next week.

Well, I feel the couch and my crochet hook calling me...