I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Last Day of January

Hi guys! Didn't January just fly by! Today is the last day of the first month, 2015. Wind chill 1*.

Yes it's cold. But today is the most perfect and glorious day. Navy blue ocean with bright white waves, hydrangea blue sky. Just beautiful. The air is intoxicating, like breathing champagne. Does cold air have extra oxygen? Seems like it does...or extra ions?

If today was a July day---all this sunshine! the beach would be teeming with people. But no, it's just me and Mo. We tried to go to the beach but the entry is still drifted over.

We peeked over the seawall and into gardens, walked about 2 miles.

koi pond

upside down icicles formed by the wind

(I have to give a lot of credit my Lands End down jacket and REI wind pants). Overhead were many flocks of geese and ducks, perhaps searching for areas that are now drifted free of snow. I had a bag of bread for the gulls, but carried it home uneaten. Sunday into Monday may be rainy and the beach will be accessible again so I can feed my friend Gully. Here he is on a much warmer day. I bet he is hungry!

It's the end of the month so it's time for our Flags of the American Revolution show and tell.
I made the rest of the sawtooth star blocks...

so I am caught up there.

Mo has a good eye for color! He brought his beloved green Gator to play on the Stars.

And the many many many stars block (George Washington's flag?) was sewed for me by my friend L.

She does such beautiful work, so fine and even.

You'll recall my friends are helping me with my applique blocks, since I had hurt my hand. The good news is, it was a lot better. Sore but not useless. The bad news is I banged it really hard last night. I almost cried. The fridge drawer was stuck, I lifted and shoved--and my hand slipped. BAM!

We were also supposed to start piecing our tops together but I was too busy with my etsy and eBay shops. Instead I finished a new pin keep make do. It's a heart made of reclaimed, recycled, hand felted wool, aged and dyed by me.

The best part is the brooch,  a Civil War era memorial/ mourning pin. The photo is the sweetest little girl with hand colored rosy cheeks, a red sash, and  pearl necklace..

I like to make up stories for my prims. Here goes:
A woman is sewing by candlelight, a young woman whose husband has been gone for many months. He is a cavalry captain in Mr Lincoln's army. Their child was born after her man left for the war, so she had an itinerant photographer make the special brooch with the baby's picture. He handtinted the image and set it in a tiny fine gold frame.Tonight she is finishing a blue wool coat for her husband. After she sews on his shiny brass eagle buttons, she will gently pin the brooch on the inside lapel. With God's grace the coat will reach her love, somewhere faraway, back east in Virginia, where he is stationed, awaiting yet another fight for freedom....Her foot rocks the cradle. "We're sending this to Papa, my sweet. We're sending our love."
Wouldn't this be a wonderful gift for someone who makes Civil War repro quilts? Or collects them? I
hope so....

So, tell me: How cold is it? And how do you cope? (Hunter and Kelley, you  can tell how warm it is.)


gone to the beach

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Blizzard Fail

Ha ha ha This is pretty funny. I just had a feeling....

"Meteorologists Apologize for Miss''



snow day, sunset

I'm not complaining. Exactly. We didn't want to be stranded in the dark with no heat.
But still.
What about next time? Will we do like we did with Hurricanes Irene and Sandy? We evacuated for Irene---which was just a rainy night for us. So we stayed for H Sandy, only to witness the appalling unforgettable sight of huge waves crashing over the seawall, swamping our yards and cars. I hope I never see waves coming over the high dunes again! I couldn't sleep last night. I'm always afraid someday my old flimsy ocean facing windows will be blown in by high winds. It's not REAL scary, but maybe a little?
So what about the next ''blizzard''? Stay, go, shop, cook or ignore?

I'd guess we got 10-12 inches of snow which is drifting dramatically.

deck portholes, knee high?

So there is bare sand, bare grass, and fences under 6 feet of snow. The usual.

Anyway all is well and I got lots done for my  etsy Valentine projects.

Mo had fun!



gone to the beach....

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Hi guys! It's been a beautiful sunny Sunday here at the beach.

So---what the heck is THIS?!:

''Blizzard warnings have been posted from coastal New Jersey to Maine, including New York City.... If the storm comes as forecast, it would be enough to temporarily cripple the region. Expect gusts to 50 mph in the city, with brief gusts up to hurricane force on Eastern Long Island. Wow.'' [they said Wow, not me!]
''Coastal storm surge could reach four feet —that’s on top of 10- to 15-foot waves, which would be big enough to damage coastal properties. If you live on the waterfront, it’s probably best to treat this storm more like a close brush with a tropical storm or hurricane."

Uh oh. Well. Yikes. We don't like to hear the word ''hurricane'', do we.

I'm well stocked and friends are nearby for added support if needed. The Jeep could use a fill up but if it's really bad I won't be driving it anyway. It has 3/4 of a tank.

When I finish this post, I am going to make a shepherds pie, which could be eaten cold if need be and  earlier I baked oatmeal bars.

Usually when it snows I make oatmeal cookies, but I had this weird jar of chunks of dates leftover from Christmas. I have no clue what I thought I'd use these for, maybe to feed Mr Mockingbird, I don't remember. They were expensive so I decided to make oatmeal date bars instead of cookies. I can freeze them in individual portions to send with the kids for next weekend's skiing. Like power bars from Mom? Or of course we can eat them if we're snowed in and starving,lol.

Turns out date bars are kinda complicated. Sift the flour? I don't thinks so, I only sift flour for a fancy cake. And one recipe online that got 5 stars called for THREE sticks of butter plus 1/4 Cup of ''shortening'', whatever that means.I got out my old worn c. 1959 Fanny Farmer cookbook.

When I left home, to live alone at college [dorms seemed creepy], my mom gave me three cookbooks, plus a handwritten small book of cooking hints and favorite recipes. The three cookbooks were the Fanny Farmer [traditional stuff, like pickles, peach pie], James Beard [roasts, stews, excellent, easy goulash!] and Julia Child [the fancy stuff]. Of course I still have all these books and FF seemed the way to go. My mom found my copy in a used book stack at a flea, I'm sure. It's dated 1959!

But then apple pie and sugar cookies haven't changed much in the past 50 years, so it's fine.

I actually used an online recipe , because that cup of sugar stopped me cold. So I guess things have changed, at least a little?
You know me---wrong kind of oats, oh well. No brown sugar, Splenda instead.

I love oats and oatmeal, so I used lots!

Here's the butter crumbled in, like making pie dough. Huh.

I got this all put together and thought, What's gonna hold these bars together? Surely not that ONE Tablespoon of icewater?  Seems to me I made some power bars a few years ago, ended up with a mess of "granola" instead.

Took a loooong time to brown up. But looks pretty good?

Time for tea!

Yes, the ''crust'' crumbled a lot, but they are toasty and oat-y and pretty good. If the power stays on tomorrow, I think I'll make real oatmeal cookies. And I have all the makings for pumpkin-brown rice doggy treats [lol, poor Mo.Yuck.].
 I'll let you know how things go?
Snow day project? Start a doggy quilt for Mo?

Back home in the Midwest, we always had our snow day specials: grilled cheese and tomato soup! Hot chocolate and maybe popcorn?  Daytime TV!

How about you? Any snow day favorites or traditions?  And what about this blizzard? How are things by you? Stay safe and warm....



gone to the beach!

Update: so far---light snow.

The shepherds pie...not really, I guess? More of a pot pie. The Pillsbury rolled up fridge crusts are sooooo yummy.

False Shepherds Pie---recipe is simple: sautee ground meat [beef tastes best if you must eat this cold due to power failure, keeps more safely] with a minced large onion and some garlic Cubed parboiled/ micro'ed potatoes. Mixed veg to taste. Lots of pepper and seasoning.  1/2 jar of gravy and a little wine. Put in 2 crust pie shell, egg wash top. Bake 375* for 35-40 minutes.

This is comfort, emergency day food. It's filling but not elegant or I suppose ''healthy'', though you can make with more root veg and no meat if desired.