Tag Archives: food

Is There Too Much of a Good Thing?

Remember the holidays of your youth, and maybe even the more recent “healthier” versions? Holidays where the family and friends gathered for visits and food. Lots and lots of food. Tables groaning from the weight of the food. Every flat service as a food-server.

Remember those meals? Remember how we’d leave the table barely able to walk because everything was soooooo good and we consumed much more than our usual daily fare?

Remember those feelings? Well, currently, that’s how I am with blog hops and challenges.

It seems every time I click on a blog I’m following they are about to begin a blog hop or challenge. Worse, they’re inviting me to join in. It wouldn’t be so bad if the hops didn’t sound like fun, but they always do. Right now I’m following, or participating in a couple of challenges or hops.

1. The Ultimate Blog Challenge, UBC – the brain child of Michele Scism. The idea is to post on our blogs ever day in January. Every.single.day. Today is day 12 and this post will be number 8. I have another post in mind, was going to tack the information here, but why not give it its own post? That will leave me three behind. With any luck I’ll come back tonight and post about my week with post 10. Then I’ll only be two posts behind. 🙂

2. The Finishers – A Facebook group devoted to cleaning out and finishing projects in our UFO stash. It started last year, I finished, I think, three UFOs. This year will be better.

3. Get it Done – From Judy Laquidera at Patchwork Times. For this challenge we list four projects we’ve started and plan to finish in a given month as well as four more projects we’d “like” to complete. My list is here.

4. The Rainbow Scrap Challenge – From the Super Scrappy Blog, oh my how I love anything with scraps. For this one, a color will be selected each month and we will make something, or finish something, in that color. January is all about pink. Hot pink. I need to get cracking on that one. This challenge didn’t require a sign-up, but I do need to add her button to my sidebar.

5. In the non-sewing/quilting lane we have reading. Specifically reading historicals. This challenge comes from Historical Tapestry.

6.  On Friday’s the goal is to link up with The Gypsy Mama, write for five minutes, no editing, no over thinking, and posting.

As if those weren’t enough, I’m adding another challenge, hop to my plate. It gets it’s own post.

I love Blog Hops and challenges. Enough is enough however, for me there is too much of a good thing. How about you, is there such a thing as too much? Are you involved in any hops or challenges?


Sewing and Family Thanks

Today I’m thankful for my sewing machine.

It allows me to make quilts for friends and family. I can sew on other projects that enter my little brain. The sewing machine helps me retain my sanity.

Any sewing machine could do that though. This machine is special, not special enough for a name, I don’t name inanimate objects. I guess I could call it Bernie? J

This sewing machine is special because it was a gift from my husband. Money was always tight for us, and a new sewing machine seemed like an extravagance to me.

I’d had a couple of used ones over the years. Then mom gave me a department store special. It worked well for several years. Finally, it was on its last stitches. In fact it was skipping stitches.

David told me to find a sewing machine. Yikes! Good new sewing machines were expensive! Prices started in the triple digit range, for a “cheap” one. One day in the local sewing store I noticed a machine on discount because that line had been discontinued. The price was still in that triple digit range, but at least it was a good quality machine, which made it an amount I could justify to myself.

I had no money with me that day. The owner agreed to hold the machine for me if I sent her a deposit the next day. I did. A couple of days later my daughter-in-law and I were shopping in another town and the store owner called.

She told my husband the price of the machine wasn’t what she’d quoted me, but three hundred dollars more. David said I still wanted the machine.

In the meantime, while shopping I had second, and third, thoughts about spending so much money on a sewing machine. I decided to try to get my deposit back and buy another cheap machine from the department store.

David had other thoughts. When I told him my decision, especially in light of the fact the new machine was now creeping toward the four digit area he said, “no, get the good machine.”

It’s not even a fancy machine. It sews fabric together. It does do a buttonhole, and it does have a limited zigzag stitches, but mostly it sews. It doesn’t embroider, it doesn’t sew by itself, it doesn’t come close to washing the dishes. There are machines that seem to do everything except the dishes you know, mine isn’t one of them. It stitches fabric together. That’s it, nothing special.

“But, honey,” I countered “It’ll cost almost $1000 by the time tax and everything is added.”

“Do you like that machine?”

“Well, yeah. But…”

“If you like it buy it. We spend money on other things, you should have it.”

The look on his face, more than the words from his mouth convinced me. I went to town a few days later and purchased the machine. I even splurged and bought a walking foot at the same time. It did cost slightly over $1000.

I know, I know. I can hear you all going, “What?” Especially those of you who don’t sew, and are thinking “that’s a lot of money for a sewing machine.”

Maybe, but it’s not too much money for a cherished memory. And now, I can sew quilts, clothes (sometimes), and other projects.


train postcard for one of the grandboys.






I’m grateful for both the machine and the memory.



On the blog here, I listed my children and family on my list for Nov. 1.

Part of my family.

They keep me going and make me smile. Every day I’m thankful for every one of them.

My three children call and share their lives with me. They call to see how I’m doing and to invite me to events in their lives.

My six grandchildren give me lots of opportunities to sew for them. They make me laugh. They add color to my life.

My sister and brother keep in touch, and visit. Often siblings lose touch with each other after the parents are gone. Not us, we still call and check in with each other, we still add to each others’ lives.

Aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and other extended family members all add to the mosaic of my life, making it more beautiful.

However someone we are related, I’m grateful for everyone in my family and hope I add to their lives as much as they add to mine.


Cooking for Thankful Tuesday

Today I’m thankful for the desire to cook.

I know that sounds strange. But, I’ve a passable cook, when I cooked cooking for my family I enjoyed the challenge of preparing something nutritious, tasty, and economical. Cooking for my family was almost fun.

In recent years, there wasn’t much challenge or fun in cooking for just me. My plan had been to cook a meal that would feed four or six and freeze part of it for a later date. Sounds good. Right? Problem was, I just couldn’t find the interest in cooking.

Instead, I ate fast food, or convenience foods, not healthy at all. Now, I’m cooking more. I’m beginning to enjoy cooking so much I’ve started a 60 by 60 challenge for myself.

I’m going to try sixty recipes by the time I turn sixty. As I try them, I’ll be posting them here. Since I have plenty of time, recipes may show up twice a week.

An interest in cooking is a tasty thing to be thankful for, don’t you think? What are you thankful for today?

As promised yesterday, here’s my list for November. Since I missed the first five days, I’ll be including them as the month progresses.

1 – My children and the rest of my family.

2 – Friends, physical friends, online friends, those nearby and far-flung.

3- Love, the world is filled with love.

4 – Memories, some good, some bad, some just are.

5 – My house.

6 – The desire to cook. Today’s Gratitude.

7.- My sewing machine.

8. –My computer.

9. –The internet

10.- Ozziemy little Cairn Terrier.

11. – The trees around my house.

12. – Traveling.

13. My husband’s retirement check

14. My vision.

15.- Sounds of life.

16.-The ability to taste.

17. The ability to smell.

18. The gift of touch.

19. Communication.

Yes, I know, I just listed our five senses, but I’m thankful for each one and didn’t want to list them all together.

20. The rain.

21. Creativity.

22. Special days.

23. Routine

24. Change

25. Fresh food

26. Laughter

27. Health

28. Transportation

29. My husband

30. Pictures

As I mentioned yesterday, here, Melissa the Williamette Valley Wonderwoman has a list of items to be thankful for daily and her list can be found on her blog. Some of our gratitudes are the same but we each have our items we are grateful to have in our lives. What about you? What makes your heart sing? What are you thankful to have or experience?

Mariam Kobras- Word Scraps Create Novel- Under the Same Sun

What happens when a quilter starts writing?  Scraps of fabric make beautiful quilts, word scraps create wonderful stories. At least in the hands of former quilter, Mariam Kobras.

Mariam has gone from sewing scraps of fabric together to form a warm, comforting, cover to stitching words together to create an entertaining, enjoyable read.  Under the Same Sun, is the second in The Stone Trilogy, and follows Naomi, Jon and those close to them as they try to regain control of their lives after the shooting of Naomi. The event  affected  them all in different ways. Added to the mix is Naomi’s desperate wish to have a second child and her difficulty in conceiving.

Mariam’s characters and situations, while figments of her imagination, are real and she could be telling the story of their lives were they actual living, breathing, people instead of just “real” characters from her fertile imagination.

She expertly stitches events and feelings together to form a tapestry that one can almost reach out and touch. Her descriptions are beyond good. She writes with layers, much like a quilt.  Each sentence another stitch in the written quilt, the story.

Mariam’s beautiful sensory descriptions of each new venue allow her readers, even the most frugal of us, to feel as though we’ve traveled the world with Naomi and Jon. Whether we are dancing on a lakeshore in Geneva with them, shopping at Harrods in London or decorating her house in Brooklyn, with Naomi, we are there. We can see the area, feel the smooth wood of the Steinway or the rough cobblestone road, the local aromas waft around us, as the sounds mingle with those of our real surroundings.

Real life drama fills the book and the resolutions are satisfying and make sense.

Sometimes in reading the story I wondered, “how did she know about that?” Because a portion of my life so closely followed the happenings in the book. There are so many real life situations in the book, that most people will be able to relate to at least one of them. Even if we have no idea what it’s like to be a rock star and have more money than we could possibly need.

While Under the Same Sun is the second book in the series, it also stands alone. That is you can read it and understand who everyone is without reading The Distant Shore, but why would you want to? Reading the books are a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

And of course, Mariam needs to buy a Porsche. How can she do that if we don’t all rush out and buy both books?

I am so happy  to be a part of Mariam’s blog tour, that way I got to read the book sooner. I’d been looking forward to reading it as soon as I finished, The Distant Shore. Now, I am eager to read the final book. Oh. My. Gosh. It won’t be out until next year !

This was the sixth stop in Mariam’s Blog Hop celebrating the launch of her latest book, Under the Same Sun (Book II in the Stone Trilogy) which hit the Amazon.com bestseller list on its first day on sale!

There’s only a few left, so order yours now, then while you’re waiting you can go to our blog and click the link to read the first two chapters for free.

But first, write a comment below about this blog post for a chance to win one of three copies of Under the Same Sun (plus some pretty gosh, darn, yummy chocolate)! You can get additional chances by following Mariam at every stop on her hop and leaving comments after each post. And hey, while you’re here, why not follow this blog. You won’t regret it.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, 10/23, Mariam will be visiting Carrie Bailey.  Join us there!

Check our blog for the full calendar and more details!

about the author: Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Mariam lived in Brazil and Saudi Arabia with her parents as a child before they decided to settle in Germany. She attended school there and studied American Literature and Psychology at Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen, where she met her husband. She lives in Hamburg, Germany, with her husband, two sons and  two cats.

Join Mariam on Facebook,  her blog, and her publisher’s website.

I am linking up with The Nester during the month of October and posting about one subject each day (more or less). My subject is “scraps”.  Check out her website for other blogs writing on the subject of their choice.

Scrap Jars Day 3- 31 Days

I found a new water bottle last week. A recyclable, reusable, convenient and scrap water bottle. It was not being used for anything else.

At first I worried about carrying and using a glass water jug. Then I remembered, way back when I was a baby, all the baby bottles were glass. Didn’t seem to hurt us much.      My new portable water container is easily washed for reuse and has a lid to keep the liquid from spilling. All it needs is for me to make a cozy for it to keep the drink cool. The cozy will also act as a container to hold the broken pieces should I drop my new water bottle.

It has a wide opening for adding ice and is easily managed while driving. I have a fancy plastic water bottle, made of “safe” plastic. The problem with it is, it’s too tall. It feels awkward to use. It’s harder to feel clean, since I don’t use a fancy electric dish washer.     Since I live in a rural area, I call my new reusable water bottle, “the redneck water bottle.”

It comes in several sizes,  I prefer the pint. It’s easier to hold and isn’t too heavy when filled with ice and water.  Yes, my red-neck water bottle is a canning jar. Most people use canning jars to preserve food for the coming winter. That is a good purpose for them. But, the extra jars that don’t get used, or one bought with food in it that isn’t safe to reuse as a canning jar is a scrap jar and makes a good water bottle.

I’m not the only one who thought of using a scrap jar as a new, cool on-the-go drink container.  Kara over at Kara’s Party Ideas used the metal jar ring to old an inverted cupcake liner place on her jar. She then poked a hole in the cupcake liner and insert straw. Viola! She used these recyclable, non-spillable, drink containers for a three-year olds birthday party.      

Jasie from Fine and Feathered, added a hole and washers to the metal lid of her water jar to hold a straw.

Me? I just add the plastic lid to mine jar, and remove it for drinking. Although, the straw ideas sound good, I may borrow them too.

There are other ways to use scrap jars too. Garden Therapy used scrap jars to make solar lights.

What do you do with your scrap jars?

Silent Sunday – A week of Adventure

Sunday Sunrise



Mon. - Ozzie thought the Christmas blanket was for him - Wrong.

Tue. Christmas decorations, including Ozzie’s washed blanket, packed away for another year.


Wed. Dinning table cleaned off, no patterns, no fabric, no wrapping paper. Waiting for tablecloth

Project for January.

Fri. Shelf finally up in utility room - next project?

Sat. Local store/cafe.Supper with friend.

Food for Gifts

I recently received an email suggesting some changes in the way we Americans (and probably other countries as well), handle our Christmas gift list.

Rather than add dollars to foreign businesses and companies, let’s try to keep our Christmas dollars at home, and help our neighbors stay in business. Plus, do we really need to make a gift of something that end up in the landfill in a year or two?  There were several suggestions, and I’ll be sharing them through the week, before the big Christmas shopping rush begins on Friday.

One often appreciated gift is the gift of food. Your niece who’s busy with family and work might enjoy a gift of a frozen meal she can just bake one evening. The elderly friend or relative who lives alone probably doesn’t cook meals for one, you could prepare a dish, package it in individual servings, a gift of several meals, sure to be appreciated. If you have a favorite teacher, how about a plate of appetizers she and her family can munch on that evening after school and before heading out to the school program. The appetizer may become their meal for the evening. She will appreciate the help you give her, the candy you didn’t, and not having to find a place for yet another knickknack.

Food, of course, won’t be the perfect gift for everyone, but it may be just right for one or two people on your list. To help you out here are some of my favorite food blogs.

First up, Ree Drummond, also known as The Pioneer Woman. She has some recipes I wouldn’t touch, no matter who prepared them, like the Pumpkin Smoothie (not a big fan of pumpkin unless it’s in bread.). But, then she has some recipes that look so good I might be tempted to try preparing them. Recipes like, the Dreamy Apple Pie (um, looks sooo good), or the Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Apples. Now there’s a recipe I think I’ll try.

Cynthia Matzat at What’s for Dinner, not only blogs about that question mom’s often hear all day, every day, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” She not only posts her menu plans for the week, she includes the recipes, and the notations as to whether or not a certain dish would be tried again at her house.  Not only does she have dinner menus, she shares appetizers and finger foods (my favorite kind of food), like these BLT Roll-ups.

Finally there’s my friend Tracy at her recipe blog, Recipes From Miller Manor.  I’ve eaten Tracy’s creations, they are always wonderful and tasty. Much better when prepared by her instead of me, however, her directions are simple enough, even I have trouble ruining them. Her baked pancakes sound especially tasty.

I’ll stop here and save the sewing, and gift idea posts for next week.