July

July

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Beauty All Around Us---Macro Photographs

I know I brag shamefully about my husband. He continues to amaze me, so I can't help it. This morning he loved the light so he went out and took some amazing photographs. I loved looking at them over and over so I thought in this first series I will just share his photos of dandelions.

The beauty of each seed and fiber.
The tiny center of each seed pod.
Each tiny seed is a thing of beauty tied with a umbrella of gossamer thread.

I love how they are cupped to receive light and dew with the catching the light.

Just tiny bits of beauty in the early morning light.
Even milkweed has beauty when she is dressed in morning finery.
I hope you enjoy photographs. They were taken with an I phone and a macro lens. I love how these reveal the beauty is all around us if we take the time to look I want to thank Ron for letting him share his photos today with you.

~Kim~

"
If a flower blooms once, it goes on blooming
somewhere forever, It blooms on for whoever
has seen it blooming."
---Sounder, William H. Armstrong, 1969

Friday, January 30, 2015

A Converstation about Rug Hooking


Happy Friday!! Can you believe February is peeking in at the edge of the calendar? I wanted to tell you about a conversation I had yesterday. I became a member of ATHA ( Association of Traditional Rug Hooking Artists) so that maybe I would find other rug hookers in my town.
 ( Always a temptation to just leave the rug part off.) Not a single person for my town was listed. So I continue to hook away by myself. Thank goodness for the internet.


  Yesterday I received a phone call from a lady who got my name from ATHA. I was so excited because I thought another person to hook rugs with, Finally! As we talked, I found out that nope, she has never pulled a loop. She has though bought and bought rug patterns, kits, hooks, frames, books, magazines, and a cutter that is still in the box. She has bought all kinds of hooks and wool. She thought she would do rug hooking but circumstance in her life happened that she was not able to do it. She has read, watched videos and can name designers, and rug camps and teachers. She wants to get rid of it all. ALL OF IT!!!

Next week, I am to go over and look at everything. Isn't that cool? I thought it was. Getting to talk to her and I did talk like a Dutch Uncle to try and get her to try to hook a rug. I told her I would help her and she might really love hooking rugs. So I hope that I can persuade her to try. I think with the challenges she has in her life, I think rug hooking would be nice for her as it is for me, but she just says no. So we will see. 


It should be fun I think. She lives on my side of town. So I am excited about an adventure. Part of me though, says, I just got my house decluttered. Do I really want to do this? So we will see.

Ron has been making things, this time it is lovely pendants. Meg's birthday is next week so he made this for her. He is so sweet, I tell you. I gave it to her yesterday, so I can show you. It is a tree with cherry blossoms.


Ron's Grandfather was a wonderful silver smith among other things, so it is so much fun to see Ron making these things now. I continue to be amazed how he can think of something and sit down and make it.

Must go, I have a hula hoe calling my name. Maybe for Valentines Day, I can have a new one, as my hula hoe is almost through the metal on the blade. That is my favorite Valentines Gift. 

Have a lovely weekend, weeds and cleaning chicken coops are on my list of things to get done this weekend.

~Kim~

" Each thing she learned became part of herself,
To be used over and over in new adventures."
---Gypsy, Kate Seredy, 1951

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cooking Grits


Right up front, I will explain to my Southern friends,  I don't know how nor have I ever fixed grits.  Megan fixed grits the other night for her sons, my grandsons. My sons, said, " What are grits?"
When Ron and I were going to get married, I was talking to him on the phone before I left for work, and I asked him what he was fixing for breakfast and he said, " Fried eggs and grits." I thought is was just so cute that he was having that. Even though, all of my family came here from lots of other states, my Mother and I were both born in California.  Iced sweet tea and fried potatoes, both were manna that she fixed, and that was about it on the Southern scale.

Stupid blooming tree.
Last night, I fixed dinner which was this lovely shredded BBQ chicken over pumpkin grits. It was lovely.
Since I have never seen them cooked even though I have read recipes. Ron was nice as I was getting ready to dump them in the boiling water, to say, " don't just dump them in, pour them very slowly and keep stirring." I was just going to dump them in and leave them. He said, " You need to stand there and stir or they will stick." Those things were popping all over me and I burned myself really good before it dawned on me to turn the fire down. Then he kept his mouth shut. Isn't it amazing all of the things you learn after almost 35 years. :)

Somewhere in the depths of my mind, I remembered eating them. I think my Mom must have fixed them but they were full of lumps. I liked the lumps. Anyway, mine were not lumpy but creamy and nice. I felt pretty proud of myself.

I will fix them again. You know I don't do recipes but I liked this recipe very much so I thought I would share it today. I changed it a bit though, I made the sauce and poured it over the chicken and put it in the crock pot. The left over chicken would make great sandwiches. It is a really good BBQ sauce I think. This comes from Taste of Home---Comfort Food Diet Cookbook.

I hope you enjoy it. I will fix this again. Have a lovely Thursday.

~ Kim~

Shredded Barbecue Chicken over Grits.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 cup hickory smoke-flavored barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon ground ancho chili pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2-1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup quick-cooking grits
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 6 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Directions

  • 1. Sprinkle chicken with pepper; place in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray.
  • 2. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup broth, barbecue sauce, molasses, chili pepper and cinnamon; pour over chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170°. Shred meat with two forks and return to the skillet.
  • 3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring water and remaining broth to a boil. Slowly stir in grits and pumpkin. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 5-7 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted.
  • 4. Divide grits among six serving bowls; top each with 1/2 cup chicken mixture. Serve with tomato, sour cream, green onions and cilantro. Yield: 6 servings.

 

 

 

 


 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Whew!! Its Wednesday


Do you ever have those weeks when so much was going on that in a way, it is good it is only Wednesday and in other ways it feels like, it is only Wednesday?  That has been this week. Today, I think I will be binding the rugs I managed to finish yesterday and Monday.

My first rug was a little thing done by Primitive Spirit. It is a sweet rug, a bit out of my comfort zone. I wanted to push myself this year to try different styles.


It makes me happy to see this finished. Now hooking was a different story. I think for me big rugs are easier to hook. Little ones really give my hooking hand a work out.

My next rug I have done before and it continues to be one of my favorite patterns. I have always wanted to do it in different colors and I like this rug. It is a pattern done by Maggie Bonanomi called Mother Earth from the book Garden Gate Threads by Need'l Love.


I have no idea why this picture is coming out so small, but oh well. Here is a close up of that robin.

Just a fun rug.

I made my goal to do samplers this year. I am almost finished with my one for January. I hope I get a chance to work on it today.


This is a pattern done by Nan Lewis whose blog is called Threadwork Primitives. It is a nice pattern to work on and I do love stitching letters.

Okay, who knows what I did with my Picassa, but here is how the sky looked this morning. It looks like a old pictures doesn't it? Really though it was this morning as the sun was coming up and the fog was rising across the field. I thought it looked cool, and this effect makes it look pretty cool too.

One of the things I read when I was a young mother was how important it was for children to have animals to love. So all of the kids had animals that they took care of and loved. Then the children started growing up and the animals stayed with me. Which is okay, because I love animals. Not this part though. I had our two oldest cats that were beginning to really age. So yesterday, I had to take them to the vet to be put to sleep.
Bobbi was 19 years old and Claw was 17. Claw was blind and deaf and had really stopped eating and Bobbi would I think have died in her sleep this week. I think the hardest thing about having animals is doing the humane thing. I did okay until I got in the car to drive home. I sat in the car and cried until I didn't think I could cry anymore. But what is done is done and I still have three cats left but even they are getting old too.

Yesterday, all I could hear in my head was my grandmother saying, " Kim, you must never allow an animal to suffer, because that is the greatest sin a  person can commit, animals are given to us and we are responsible for their well being, they are to be cared for and taken care of and you must do that hard thing, and never let them suffer." I think she would have been ashamed of me as I think I let them suffer much longer than I should have, but I could not do it and I had to pray, " Oh Lord give me the strength." He did, but gosh, what a basket case I am.


But today is a new day and I have a lovely new morning. The other three cats though, keep walking around staring at me with big eyes.

Have a lovely Wednesday,
~Kim~

" Who bends a knee where violets grow
A hundred secret things shall know.
---"A Charm for Spring Flowers," Poems, Rachel Fields, 1957

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Last Sunday in January


After living though drought, I find the fog and the gloom and the cold a blessing. The dripping trees and the dripping plants are all such a wonderful treat for me.

This morning, every thing was dripping like it rained. We are going to get rain next week so I am so happy about all of it every single day. Every morning when I wake up I feel like I am waking to the best day that there ever was. Rain and fog are like that to me.

Though, I get to where I am crazy for color. So yesterday, I just had to make something to bring in some color. Cleaning out the closets and the cupboards I have ran across things. I found one of Emilie's old umbrellas one day. I knew just what I was going to do with it. Living in the desert like we do, umbrellas don't get used very much so this one looks brand new.


 It is very simple and fast. I went to Micheal's and all of the spring flowers are 50 percent off and if you used that 40 percent coupon they would be pretty cheap. I knew what kind of tulips I wanted so I bought five bunches of them  and put the stems inside the top of the umbrella. Then that little part that goes around the umbrellas to keep it from unfolding just put that around and you have your spring bouquet. I didn't have the right kind of stuff to make a bow so I used this. It makes me happy.

I love the colors.
I think fresh ones would be nice too.
Since it is almost February, I just want to think of hearts. I made this out of some more things I had in my closet that I didn't use last year. Yep, another quick and easy craft.


I painted a old fence board, then scrubbed it up after it dried with sandpaper. I had this heart I had made out of ticking and glued it on with wood glue. I love wood glue. Then drilled a couple of nail holes and I have this hanging plaque. I like fast.


I loved how dripping wet this bottle brush plant was. I was taking pictures and It was dripping so much I got all wet.

Last night, it was so foggy you couldn't see down the driveway. There was a cat fight or maybe a fox committed a murder. I tried to do CSI on the crime scene and didn't come up with any clues. I went out to check because there was so much fur I thought it was one of my Silkies. I will spare you the details but it was really gory. As I was looking at it, Ron's take on it was " He just thought it was another case of the Catfields and the McCoys " I thought it was so cute I just had to share it with you.

I hope you are having a lovely day. It is has been so nice to have lots of hooking to do. I sold two rugs.
I feel so honored and thankful for that. I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love. Dreams really do come true.
Have a wonderful day,
Kim


" Because your lovingkindness is better than life,
my lips shall praise You."
Psalm 63:3

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Quick Post

I thought I would stop in and write a quick post. Though I have lots of good features with my new, updated O.S. ( operating system) It isn't for me like riding a bike. Everything I do takes a lot longer. Not to mention this morning my computer told me it had 46 updates to post. So all day, it would shut down and do a restart.
I can type fast but not that fast. It will be nice once I learn how to get pictures again. I think I am almost there. Ron who is affectionately thought of now as my training wheels. He can come in do a little of this and a little of that and things work. Me on the other hand feel sad and lost.

 I told him last week right before he started the computer chores.  I said, "I want you to remember no matter what happens, I love you." I have tried not to glare, and complain and I have tried to be nice. There are times though, I am just not a good communicator. Words leave me. Things come out like that thing over there and those programs that used to do this. Nothing coherent. Which of course, leads me to think fondly of picking up a stick and beating this computer to death. Not Ron of course, but well, this morning, it did cross my mind. The father of my children and all of that.  Not really, one of my sons was sitting in the room and he would have been appalled at his mother.

Good news though, after seven months, I finally had a repairman fix my oven. I now have both of my ovens working and I am so excited. I never burnt the house down. The broiler never came on by itself while we were asleep nor did it happen when I was cooking a big dinner. I am lost without both ovens. Since I never post recipes, just because I am lazy and I hate typing out recipes you would think I don't cook. I cook constantly. I like cooking. In fact, next to sewing, cooking is my other favorite hobby. Like tonight I made chicken curry and fried rice. I was so happy to see my boys and Ron go back over and over for seconds and thirds. Now I can start baking again. I have missed that.

Okay, then after that the next thing I like is chickens and gardening. Followed closely by cleaning house. I thought I would share that too. I realized I really like cleaning house. Okay, stopping here I said quick post.
I have one of those update things blinking on and off and it said, " Your computer will restart in 8 minutes." I feel like I am on a space ship.
Have a lovely weekend,
~Kim~
All pictures on this post are old ones because I am still trying to figure out how to get new ones off my camera.
From Child's Garden of Verses
               Winter-Time
Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.
---Robert Louis Stevenson---

Monday, January 19, 2015

Computer Woes


Earlier this week, Windows had some new things that they do occasionally, called I think, " Windows Updates. Which always fills me with apprehension. My computer develops all kinds of problems. I will spare you the details from last week, but by Saturday morning, I couldn't even get on my computer.

Ron mentioned that even at his work, where they have very techy people who take care of computers full time, they were having fits. Ron said that the only thing we could do was to put a new O.S. on my computer. Not being that savvy, I said, " What is an OS?" (In my mind I am thinking of OZ, like Wizard of Oz with lots of flying monkeys.)  He told me, my heart just sank. I knew I had to do this.


I also wanted you to know that after last year, one of the things I have learned is going forward and trying new things and not looking back is a better way to live. Living in fear is not good. Which is how I am with new technology. So Ron started and after 121 updates once he got things all changed around. It took hours and he babysat my computer. I have to say, I am leaning new things and new places and it is a real improvement. I had so much voodoo going on to get my computer to do what it was supposed to do that now to walk in and turn it on is nice. Nothing hangs, nothing freezes. No errors or bells and whistles going off.

My pictures load again. That was a nightmare, trying to get my pictures to load. Not to mention visiting blogs. My computer just wouldn't load pages. I will have to spend a few days learning things but it isn't as hard as learning a new phone. Or a new remote for the T.V. I remain remote challenged. It doesn't work at all when you hold it upside down, which happens mainly when I have my grand children here.


I am just using old pictures from my computer. it is a gray and foggy cold day here.  The visibility was down to 1/4 of a mile this morning. It smells like a deep freeze outside. Yesterday it warmed up to 43. It was nice.

I hope you have a lovely day today. I have to sit and make a list for this week. I only have a few more cupboards to clean. It feels so nice to get so many things cleaned and straightened.

Have a wonderful day,
~Kim~


" The deep part of winter gives most of us a little more time alone. The natural rhythm of time has changed from that of summer. But instead of dreading the dark winter days we ought to savor them for what they can give."

" I hear the shadowy horses, their long manes a-shake,
Their hoofs heavy with tumult, their eyes glimmering white;
The north unfolds above the clinging, creeping night---"

The book of Stillmeadow, p. 77-78  Gladys Taber.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ten Things That Make Me Happy


Today is a cold and dreary day. Yay!! The wind chill makes it a day I am so thankful for a nice warm house.
I had to go out to take care of my girls ( hens) and while out there, I found myself finding things that made me happy and made me smile. I thought I would share them with you, just in case it s a dreary and cold day for you.

.
1.Camellias blooming in the flowerbed




2. Warm fresh eggs in my pocket.
 
 
3. Finished projects.





4. Nettle and chickweed growing all around.
5. New projects to work on.

6. Wishes to come true.
7. Surprise sunflower coming up through  old leaves.

8. Oranges for snacks.
9.Finding my silk tulips in the shed and putting them in blue jars to chase away the clouds.
10. buds and the promise of spring.
This morning, I found out that looking for things to make me happy, were all around me. I took lots more pictures of things but I will save them for another day. I was so surprised to see that the world is filled with such small pieces of joy in such little things.

Have a lovely weekend,
~Kim~

Such green grass after the years of brown. It is such a miracle to me.
" St. Julian of Norwich: All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manners of things shall be well."
" God is our refuge and strength and ever present help in trouble, therefore we will not fear."
(Psalm 46 :1-2)