Sunday, November 29, 2020

Well that step is done, and went better.

But then I started out the next step with a rookie mistake.  While it's a little difficult to tell from the photo, there IS a right side and a wrong side to the fabric.  And guess <g> how I started off?

Back to frog-stitching...

It's also slower going since my focus fabric is directional - 

and "somehow" <g> one strip got sewn on upside-down and needed to be redone.
I'm being more careful now!

Plus for some reason I'm finding it more challenging than it should be to figure out which way to sew the diagonals.  So a simple project is not so simple after all!

It's already going on 11:00 and I'm way behind where I thought I'd be by now.


I was up early as usual, but once I finished my 'coffee' (and the Sunday crossword puzzle) I decided to get right to work sewing even before going out for a soak.  

I really really really thought I was being careful, but as you can see I didn't orient the brown scrap piece correctly... and so my second strip turned out 1/2" wider.

IF I drank I might be starting earlier today....

And while it's easily fixable at this point, I do so hate frog stitching. 

It not only takes longer than sewing, but really slows down my momentum!
Where are those sewing fairies when I need them? <G>

Okay.... back to work, right?

or placemats...

Saturday, November 28, 2020

 Brownie was his usual excited self when he saw me gathering the water bottle and leash this morning in preparation for a walk.  Expecting another cool day Mary and I had both dressed warmly - but it turned out to be considerably warmer than yesterday so I was actually little over-dressed.  And while I had neglected to grab a poop bag at the house, despite frequent waterings at least Brownie did not need to make any serious deposits.   The three of us walked our usual route near the wash.

Today a couple of things I'd ordered were delivered to the front door (at separate times) but the delivery person never rang the doorbell, which I found surprising.  Good thing Brownie alerted me to both deliveries; I hate having things sit out front any longer than necessary, especially this time of year.

I had let Alex know he had some mail here, and when he popped over to pick it up Vera tagged along.  As you can see she's already getting into the holiday spirit...

Today, in preparation for sewing I finally buckled down and ironed the two fabrics and then started cutting strips.  But before I even thought about sewing Wanda 'interrupted' <g> my momentum and we chatted for a bit.  

It turns that she's been doing some baking, and she has some cookies and fudge set aside for me to pick up.  The last time I received goodies from her I really was disciplined, enjoying just a small nibble at a time.

Hope I continue to deal with temptations responsibly!

Yesterday morning Brownie and I headed over to Mary's for a walk with a change of scenery.  He got pretty excited when he saw me pick up his water bottle, assuming (correctly) that like the leash it portended a walk.  While I had thought about throwing a sweater or jacket into the car for me, that didn't happen since it was approaching 10:00, the sun was shining, and there was no wind.  So I was surprised when the car radio announced just how frigid <g> it was (only in the low 50s!) with a high for the day only expected to reach mid 60s.  

When we arrived at Mary's Brownie was anxious to exit the car and get the fun started, though he finally realized I was not going to let him out until he had some water... so he finally relented and took the tiniest sip.  

After borrowing a sweater from Mary (and handing over the container of faro salad to go in her fridge; I'd just enjoyed a bowlful for my breakfast before heading over there) and chatting with the little boys (ages 3 and 5) across the street, who were extremely excited to show Mary the Christmas decorations their dad and grandpa were erecting on their front lawn, we were off around her neighborhood.  

With so many new smells for Brownie to investigate it was definitely a leisurely walk, with numerous stops, while she and I caught up on each other's Thanksgiving "gatherings" from the previous day.  Hers had been changing almost daily the week leading up to T-Day, and sure enough the latest plan had had to be changed.

When we'd finished exploring her neighborhood, still bundled up we sat in the sun in her backyard; I so enjoy the wide variety of plants she has back there.  Walking around I checked out her desert tortoises' preferred hibernation spots; one of them is burrowed in so deeply that even down on my hands and knees to peer into its tunnel I still couldn't see it, while the other one has chosen to remain right on top of the ground, under an up-ended laundry basket covered with a blanket.  Such different choices!

Brownie seemed a tad cowed by the 'conversations' from the dogs in yard next door, and the tall block fence kept them from interacting face-to-face. Those dogs did sound a bit unfriendly...

Later we headed in to have a light lunch, which was the perfect meal for the day after a big feast: grapes and cheese/crackers.  Brownie, who is starting to master the sad puppy dog look whenever food appears, had to settle for watching us eat - though I assured him I ate enough for the two of us.

I approved of Mary's new couch that had arrived last week, which is nice and comfy!  Brownie hung out by my feet and didn't do too much exploring of the house yesterday, though he had to know (smell? remember?) that cats lived there, right?  Since we never saw hide nor hair of them during our visit the cats obviously must have been well aware of the visiting pooch.  Or maybe they were just engrossed in a good book?

Since Mary had missed the dog show I pulled up the finals on her tablet for her viewing enjoyment, and she agreed that the winner of the Herding Group, a Miniature American Shepherd, was indeed a stunning specimen - and of course reminded our family of Sabra. 

Miniature American Shepherd

However it turned out that (unlike me) 

Mary also appreciated the dog that took Best in Show. 

I'd planned to sew in the afternoon after I returned home - guess how that went?

But (in theory) that will happen today....

  At least I correctly predicted last night's dinner menu....

Friday, November 27, 2020

Zooming yesterday with (almost) everyone was wonderful - 

though we did miss Marilyn.  

They've been raising chickens for a while, and apparently one of their roosters "volunteered" to be their Thanksgiving dinner.

I'm impressed, never having cooked meat that came in its "original" package instead of from a package found at the grocery store.

There were about a dozen Zoom screens yesterday for my viewing enjoyment (once Alex finished rolling his eyes and 'fixed' my view, though it turns out Gloria had been in the same boat!) representing family from all around the country: Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Texas, California, and of course here in Arizona. 

Babies Greta and Madison were especially intrigued with each other, and also dogs Brownie, Pippa, and Lenny when they made their cameo appearances.  

Alex's plans for the day had changed, so he was here with us after all - and was especially entertaining during Zoom when he did things on his laptop to change the appearance of himself and Tom, and their background.  

He later decided to try do it on my laptop, but maybe it didn't work because I don't have the necessary  apps?

 When hunger pangs got the best of the guys they headed into the kitchen and did the last minute cooking while I stayed and continued visiting with everyone until dinner was served. 

Despite my oven snafu (naturally that story elicited laughs when I shared it during Zoom) dinner still turned out to be delicious, and thus I was somewhat disappointed that I was too full to go back for seconds.  Of course even though we sent Alex home with a packed doggie bag, we'll 'probably' <G> get to enjoy all the goodies at dinner again tonight!

Last evening I managed to stay awake long enough to enjoy an hour-long documentary on Bubbles (who knew?!) though I did fade early.  

The Science of Bubbles

Can I blame my drowsiness on the triptophan in the turkey?  

(Science says no.)

Haven't stepped on the scale post-feast, though except for the mashers/gravy most of what I'd piled on my plate wasn't overly "bad".  And of course one pig-out day on Thanksgiving is allowed, right?  

Still, a long walk with Brownie today will feel good.

Alex had insisted that "since it's Thanksgiving" Brownie (who doesn't get people food) should have a turkey treat, so he plopped some morsels into Brownie's dish.  There were certainly NO complaints from Brownie about that!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

 This morning I was busy in the kitchen, like folks pretty much everywhere.  But instead of watching the Macy Parade while I worked, this year I decided on It's A Wonderful Life.

Deviling eggs were first on the agenda, and I was relieved that the eggs peeled easily and perfectly.  While it wouldn't detract from their taste, it's always nice when the whites also look attractive.

 Next were the potatoes, the last of the bucket that Tom dug up and brought back from Idaho.  They did need a 'bit' <g> more scrubbing than ones from the store, but that was no biggie ~

and paring went according to schedule.  

However there was a slight glitch...

I opted to try a brand-new knife to dice them up, which (having never been used before) was exceptionally sharp.  So "guess" what happened on its very first cut?  

Of course as soon as the blood appeared I instantly heard Dad's voice in my head, admonishing me to be very careful with a sharp knife.  He always preached safety, and know that he would have been unhappy about me slicing my finger.

I got the turkey prepped while I pre-heated the oven, and then slid it in right on schedule at 9:30.  The plan was to be able to take it out around 1:00, enjoy our feast around 2:00, and thus be stuffed and ready to visit on Zoom by 3:30.  

According to the enclosed Butterball directions, 2/3 of the way through cooking the turkey should be covered with foil, so I wanted to set the oven timer for 2 hours.  Usually I'm dealing with minutes, and had to keep starting over figuring out how to do the hours.

Then I worked on the dressing for the faro salad.  I did have to guess at some of the seasoning amounts because my measuring spoons, which I'd loaned to 'someone' at the back house several days ago (and who of course promised to return them...) still had possession of them.  

Luckily the amounts 'probably' <g> aren't crucial, like with baking!

Since Alex had turned out to rather unhappy that I'd gone into his place "nosing around" for Vera's collar yesterday, I decided not to do that again.

Almost 90 minutes into the turkey's cook time I went to peek through the oven door, wondering when that wonderful aroma would start wafting through the kitchen - which is when <OY!> I discovered that in addition to turning off the timer, at some point I'd also turned off the oven. 


So much for my planning; obviously now the dinner timing is going to be way off.  

Though turkeys pretty much cook themselves, 

in this case the cook somehow still managed to screw it up.

Guess my culinary reputation is still intact?

Happy Thanksgiving!