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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Goodbye Old Friend

We said goodbye to my old van this morning! I get attached to my vehicles but it was definitely time for this one to go. I remember when I got my license and dad bought my Mustang, he traded in his pickup. It sat on the Taussig Ford used car lot for a while and I had to pass that lot everytime I went to town and I would get tears seeing it sitting there all alone on the car lot.

The 1992 Mazda MPV . . it was probably one of the best vehicles I ever owned. We bought it new in November, 1991 in Beaumont, Texas. We were living in Jasper, Texas and not long after we bought it, we had a house fire. The tires on the left side burned and I couldn't believe how much of the van melted! That was a surprise . . my vehicle was made of plastic! It was fixable so it was fixed and I was back up in running way before my house was repaired. There were many memories in that van because Chad was just 4 years old when we bought it. I can't tell you how many trips we made to FL in the van. It was such a great vehicle for traveling with a child.

In 2001, when we were finally ready to buy a new car (one of us was ready way before the other of us was ready!), I wanted another van just like this one. We were at the Mazda dealer, planning to trade in the old van, had the deal almost made and I asked what they planned to do with the old van. The salesman said "See that corner way back there. We'll park it there and then some auction company will buy it or it will be sold for scrap!" WHAT? My van . . sold for scrap? I started crying. Vince was just astounded so we left with the van. We ended up deciding to get a Honda CRV instead of another van and Vince traded in his vehicle . . not about to go through that fiasco again.

For 5 years the van has sat in the driveway, never driven but we've been paying insurance on it. In our effort to get rid of excess baggage, the van was donated to St. Vincent dePaul this morning. No tears . . just handed the keys over, went to the courthouse and did the paper work and we now have just one more vehicle to get rid of. Vince has a 1986 Ford Pickup and once we finish making trips to the dump with all our other junk, we'll donate it too and finally, we will have three cars for three drivers. Our driveway will no longer look like a used car lot (or should I say . . a salvage yard!)

Judy L.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Looks Like a Mess

But it isn't as bad as it looks! This is going to be our yummy dinner. We love chicken & dumplings. Seems like everyone has their own favorite recipe. The ones we like are the ones my grandma used to make. They're thin and chewy and I could eat the entire batch by myself. Only problem is . . so could Chad and Vince.

The round glob is Rosemary Bread. Yummmmmm!

I'll share my recipes:

Chicken & Dumplings:

Boil a fat hen in seasoned water. Because we don't like a lot of chicken in ours, I usually just boil a plain chicken, and I think it puts a little less fat in the water. I season with celery, onion powder, salt and pepper. Remove the chicken, allow the broth to cool and strain. Remove the chicken from the bones. Shred the chicken that you want to put back into the dumplings. If you don't want all the chicken in the dumplings, set it aside for another recipe.

For the Dumplings:

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup Bisquick
2 tsp. black pepper
2 eggs
1/3 c. milk (you may need to add a little more)

Mix all the dumpling ingredients. Roll out onto floured surface. Roll very thin - almost as thin as a potato chip. Cut into 1" x 2" strips. Dip in flour and lay out on floured surface for at least one hour. Flip them all over and let them sit out for another hour. They are better if you allow them to dry out a bit.

Drop individually into the boiling broth and cook til tender but NOT mushy. Just before they are done, add the shredded chicken. Do not stir the dumplings or they'll break up. I gently mash them down every now and then with a spatula to kind of separate them and keep them covered in the broth.

Rosemary Bread

In a large bowl, combine:

1 T. yeast
1 T. sugar
1 cup very warm water.

Let this sit until bubbly.


2-1/2 c. flour
2 T. melted butter
1 tsp. salt
1 T. chopped fresh rosemary

Stir all the ingredients together. Knead for about 10 minutes. Add more flour if necessary. Oil a large bowl. Place the dough into the bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover with a damp towel and let rise til double in size, about one hour.

Punch dough down. Divide in half. Shape into a small ball. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with 1 T. chopped fresh rosemary. Press the top down to flatten the balls a little.

Let rise for about 45 minutes. Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes.

Butter the top and sprinkle with coarse salt if desired.

Judy L.

November Quilt for an Hour

I have the quilt done and everything ready so have no fear . . we will have a November project. I hope to be able to take the pix outside but the rain has been relentless for the past two days. Yes, we've had gorgeous weather for the past 2 weeks and I just never got around to taking pix. Mr. Weatherman has promised a beautiful weekend so if I can't get pix taken outside tomorrow, I'll take pictures inside and post them so by tomorrow night, you will see the November project.

Responses to Comments:

Debbie from Dubiquilts asked: How did you do the photos of the socks and shoes?

I use Paint Shop Pro and I used the clone feature and basically copied the carpet and colored it over my white legs. For the shoes, I took a picture but it was too dark. The shoes are made by Steve Madden so I went to their website and found a picture there and snagged it. Yep, probably a violation of the law but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

Su Bee asked: How did you manage to block out your legs, and does it work on hips?

See the answer above. I doubt it would work on hips. If so, I'd love to know . . as I just returned from the gym and that's hard work!

Norma asked: If it works, I will head out to the dealer and get one ordered!

I used it (#57 foot for the Bernina) or a couple of hours last night and I love it. I've been amazed at how perfectly straight and perfect (perfectly perfect??) Vicky's seams are when I've quilted her quilts. No matter how hard I try, my seams are never perfect. I think this new foot may just be the ticket. It was $33.95 at my quilt shop and if you don't have a Bernina dealer near you, if you contact Betty, I know she would be more than happy to get you one and send it to you.

Judy L.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Who'd thunk I could write a whole blog entry about feet? :)

The foot pedal on the left is the old foot pedal to the Bernina 1230. It no longer works (although DH is sure he can fix it - I threatened to do great bodily harm if he touched it before the new pedal arrived). The middle pedal is the brand spankin' new foot pedal and the one on the right is the pedal to the 930 that I have been using. Now I can put it back with its machine and pack that machine. DH can have the pedal on the left to do with what he pleases and the middle pedal will be my constant companion for a few days!

I haven't been real happy with my 1/4" seams for a long time but the last time I checked, Bernina didn't make a #57 foot for my old machines. I think I had heard they were making one now and my good friend, Betty, who is a Bernina dealer, got this foot for me - not actually the foot shown in the picture because the one for my machine is just a bit different at the top. I'm using it for the first time tonight.

For the real feet - here are both my socks done and I have a second pair started. When I finished the first sock, I was so anxious to move on to a new pattern and new yarn but I kept myself focused and got the second sock done. I've blocked out my white legs! I should have planned better and started the second sock at the same spot in the yarn as I did the first sock. The stripes on the left foot don't match up with the stripes on the right sock. But .. it's my first pair and I love them. Thanks so much Susan for getting me started on making these socks.

My son . . I just don't know about that boy. I will spare you the details of the week he and I have had but it has been probably the hardest week of my parenting career. I think (hope/pray) we have things lined out and we can have a few smooth days. Anyway, he has been asking me if I would buy him some kind of python shoes. No! I don't pay that much for shoes. OK . . will you pay half? No! You don't need those kind of shoes. Well, today he shows up with them. I don't think I would have worn them home if someone had given them to me. He loves them!! He asked me if I liked them. I didn't want to say NO! I said "well, they're not something I would have bought for myself but if you like them, that's what matters." I don't understand this boy at all.

Judy L.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

My First Sock!

I've actually had lots of socks in my lifetime but this is the first one I've ever knitted. I'm so proud of it! Can't wait to make a second one so I can wear them.

Does it look halfway right?

The lady at the knitting shop not too far from me told me that I would never figure out how to do the heel by myself. Well, she wasn't completely correct. Susan had sent me a site that has little video clips so I was able to watch the video and figure out how to do the heel and the gusset and then how to do the kitchener stitch at the end.

I'm not going to miss my stash at all while it's packed away .. I've purchased yarn to make several pairs of socks and I want some of the Alpaca yarn but I wanted to be sure I could figure this out.

Off to start the second sock before I let myself get sidetracked and start a whole new project!

Judy L.