Saturday, October 31, 2009

Baby Pumpkins. . . ?

The original "baby pumpkin." (I'm really embarrassed at my "masterpiece." (???) But aren't they just the cutest! Little witch Jenny and pumpkin Katie. Must have been cold out there! Katie looks pretty well bundled up.
And now for the next generation of "baby pumpkins!" Obviously, Katie is much more the artist than was I when I was making a pumpkin costume for her!

And now I have to tell the rest of the story. Walt has related now about how he had a pumpkin costume when he was a boy and I remember at some point with one of her little ones Jenny also had a pumpkin costume! This is obviously a set-in-stone family tradition. Baby pumpkins for halloween. How adorable is Luna. (You can check out the rest of Katie's pictures of Luna here.)

I Forgot!

I left this one out of the previous post. The two generations together celebrating. What a beautiful family. Congratulations to all!

WEDDINGS--Then and Now

I was rummaging through the photo albums this afternoon and came across these pictures and had to pull them out and post them. They are pictures of Thayne (Walt's brother) and Cathy's wedding long, long time ago (1977?) and seeing as how I was just this afternoon going through the pictures of their daughter, Hayley's wedding a couple weeks ago, I just coulldn't resist putting them together.

Phoebe (Walt and Thayne's mother on the right) attended this wedding. . .
And here are photos of Hayley and new husband, Ganesh, sharing their bites of wedding cake (cupcakes!).

. . . And at age 94 Phoebe also attended this wedding! You go, girl!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Show and Tell! WOW!

It's always so much fun whenever we get together for a group work day because the first thing we do is start pulling out all those projects we've been working on since last we gathered and show them off. Yesterday was especially fun! This is Joan's finished top from our last group project day--it's her Christmas fan quilt which she turned into a dresden plate design. She did a great job by adding the green sashing strips--really makes the green in the "plates" pop. Gorgeous! Rich. Very Christmasy.
Let me see--this is Ellen's "garden twist" design that she has turned into a Christmas tablecloth. I love it. It's amazing how we all used the same fabric selection and turned those fabrics into totally different projects. Beautiful.
And this is Ellen's autumn/Thanksgiving table runner. (She has a thing about table runners! She turns them out like crazy!)
Another project using the same set of Christmas fabrics. Drin used them to make the Jacob's Elevator pattern that the rest of us made weeks ago. I think she's glad she waited and used the Christmas motif--it is really gorgeous.
And this was my project for yesterday--done in a day. A Christmas table runner. I wasn't sure I wanted to tacke a "quilt-as-you-go" project, but Ellen helped me get started and it turned out pretty darn good. I will probably make another.

We had a really fun day--and Drin redeemed herself when she brought the best cake ever--the famous Hershey's Chocolate Cake. And with "scratch" 7-minute frosting it was absolutely delicious. Thanks, Drin. You are totally redeemed! So, what are you bringing next week????

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy 60th Birthday, dear Cathy!!!

I have a dear, special sister-in-law who celebrated her 60th birthday a few days ago. She's one of the few people I know who looooves anything and everything Asian. About a year ago I asked Thayne what were her favorite colors (red, gold, purple) as I knew at some point I wanted to make a quilt for her. So I started collecting Asian fabrics. What fun I've had and I've come to really enjoy and admire Asians--they are stunningly beautiful and the designs are lovely and elegant and flowing. Most Asians are shot with gold thread, so they just glimmer. I have a huge stack of them--more than enough now for several quilts! But I will enjoy working with them and am looking forward to my next Asian project!
So. Make a quilt for Cathy for her 60th birthday. The only problem with that was finding the time to get it done (that is frequently my problem with making quilts these days). Serendipity! The doc gave me "house arrest" so sadly I was unable to attend their daughter's wedding in San Diego. It was the first family wedding to which I was invited that I couldn't go. It was really hard for me as I love weddings--any wedding!--but family weddings especially. So I decided to spend that time that I was missing by making Cathy's quilt! And now it is done, she got it in the mail today, so I can share this beauty with all.
Another serendipity. Cathy loves cranes (frequently used in Asain design) and I just happened to pick a focus fabric for this piece that is made up of cranes. So beautiful. No way do any of these images do justice to these gorgeous fabrics. They are all shot with gold thread (well, gold colored thread!) and the colors are glorious. And the gold fabric is really rich and beautiful. Just doesn't show up here (you can click on the photos to enlarge them).

I think she likes it!!! She called a little while ago so we could talk about. I'm happy that she likes it as I was so pleased with the way it turned out and hoped she would be truly blessed by my gift for her. She is so special and does so very much to make everybody else feel good, so I'm happy to do something special for her.

The only problem is that I wanted something that would be warm and snuggly and she would enjoy curling up in on that odd Phoenix evening that might actually be a little cool. It's not soft and snuggly, but oh well--guess I can't have everything! (Anyone out there hoping for an Asian quilt???)

Now, the fun thing was that I went to the post office on Saturday to send this off to her and got a box in the mail from her! She sent me a "wedding" box chockfull of all the wedding favors and guest gifts that they used for Hayley's wedding! How fun. The fabric they found to decorate the reception tables is absolutely stunning and she sent me a couple of those. I have them on my table and am especially enjoying them. (I have a thing about beautiful fabric!!!) I know the wedding was lovely and I can hardly wait to see the photos.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CATHY!!! And many more!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Moose Fatigue!!

Actually, she's has arthritis in her knees (!!) so she had to lie down to eat!! Seriously. Well, seriously she was lying down to eat! When I came to the door she heard me and looked up at me till I came in the house. She really was eating! You can see her calf eating--on her knees!
She's a really beautiful animal. I love watching her.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Foodie Friday -- Pumpkin Shell Dessert

1 small 7" to 9 " pumpkin
2 cups peeled, chopped apple
1/3 cup sugar (dash more if brown sugar is used)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Wash and dry pumpkin. Slice off top for lid. Scrape out fibers and seeds. Mix together remaining ingredients and fill pumpkin with mixture. Top with pumpkin lid. Place on large pie dish. Bake in 350 F oven until apples are tender. Begin checking after 40 minutes -- it may take as long as 1 hour and 45 minutes (good probability of that). Serve from shell, spooning some pumpkin with each portion. Top with sour cream, ice cream, cream or whipped cream, if desired. Serves 6

This is a yummy, wonderful autumn dessert. I always look forward to making this when the aspen leaves turn golden, although I occasionally have a problem finding just the right size pumpkin. But not this year! We had such fun at the pumpkin barn and they had hundreds of pumpkins to choose from. This one was perfect and oh so, delicious. (Click here to go to Foodie Friday and check out all the wonderful recipes! You won't be disappointed!)

5 Hours Later. . . . . !

Ahhhhh. Saturday! Nothing on my calendar. The whole day for working in my workroom. Just a couple hours to finish off the Club Raffle Quilt, then I can get on with projects I really want to do!

RIGHT!!! Five (5) hours later I finally finished up the club quilt top. But it's done and it is going to be really unique, to say the least! (Remember, you can enlarge photos by clicking on them if you want to see the detail in this piece.) That was about it for any major work--fortunately, I have lots of handwork, so I was able to pick that up for the rest of the day.
This is the pinwheels and rectangles quilt. Love the design of it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

On The Road Again. . . .

DingDong and TheBoss in front with Moan&Groan and Flash in the back, and they're off! Again! Another Shop Hop! Here we come.

We were off this morning on the annual Autumn Mini Shop Hop. We got an early start north to Deer Lodge--well, it turned out they weren't actually participating, but we like that shop anyway. The bennie for our drive up there was this delicious bakery we discovered. Unfortunately, we all sugar-overdosed on wonderful glazed treats like cinnamon pinecones--YUMMY!

From there we headed to quilt shops in Butte, then on to Whitehall, Twin Bridges and finally back to Dillon. Let me see, if I recall, I think it was about 2:30 when we got there and even then it was questionable as to whether we were actually hungry (remember the bakery treats?), but Drin said something about "The Bus" and then it didn't matter whether we were hungry or not, we headed to "The Bus!" Who can pass up the best Mexican food-------ever! Anywhere! (I had the other half of mine for supper--even then I still wasn't hungry.)

Great day. We have a lot of fun together. Thanks to our love of quiltmaking.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Refrigerator Art--From Germany!

I went to the post office this morning to pick up the mail that came while I was in Billings and there was an envelope from Katie in Germany which held a wonderful surprise--my first piece of "refrigerator" art from our little lulu! It is fun to look at as it is obvious that she has used a whole bunch of colors on her part of the artwork (looks like Katie did some of the fill-in work!) which is interesting of itself. I will very much enjoy having this to look at in my kitchen--it will brighten my day! I can only assume that she did this in her kindergarten that she is now attending two days a week.

Thanks, Katie. I will treasure it. luv, mom

Saturday, October 17, 2009

OMG!! Whose Feet Are Those???

This is what my doctor had to look at when I visited with him on Friday. Yes, I'm finally having enough trouble with them that I've finally decided to have surgery on both feet--at the same time!--after Christmas. Yes, they hurt. It will be good to have this done. But I'm also very aware of just exactly how painful it is going to be to put two screws in each joint. Just ask Emily. . . . I must get some polish on those toenails!

Friday, October 16, 2009

An Overview of the Current State of America from a Grasshopper Viewpoint

My long-time desire is to turn our beautiful home in the Grasshopper Valley into a bed and breakfast where Walt and I can offer hospitality, good food and the peace and tranquility of this gorgeous mountain getaway. Along with that my heart longs to spend as much time as possible with our children and grandchildren even if that means flying halfway round the world or driving 20 hours to do so. I guess you could say that I just want to live a normal life. To do what I have to do to realize my dreams. But these last 10 months have turned everything upside down not only in my world, but in the whole world, and I know that I am at a point where I have to give up what I want to do and go to work to do whatever I can to take a stand against this insanity that is happening all around us. I feel like we've dropped into Alice's "rabbit hole." My head keeps saying this can't possibly be happening. It won't happen. But it will happen if every one of us doesn't wake up and do our part to turn this around. To stand up and say, "Enough." Or maybe to say "Not on my watch." This is "my watch" and I cannot leave this insanity to my grandchildren.

So I'm taking a stand. Please forgive me if you disagree with the stand I'm taking. I do not want to deliberately offend anyone. I absolutely will not be offended then if you hit "Delete." Otherwise I hope you, too, will think long and hard about what it is that you also can do to take a stand and make a difference in this world gone crazy.

It's time to take back America. Before it's too late.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Greetings in the Name of Him who is Truth!

How many times have you tried to explain a political situation to a family member, friend, or acquaintance and they look at you like you have three heads, saying, "no, that just can't be"? It happens to me a lot. And it happens because the events of the world are so outrageous that normal people just cannot make the connection to what they have believed in the past would never happen and what is actually happening now. This is exactly how the anti-American, anti-Christian forces in this nation have gotten away with taking over the country, disposing of the Constitution, and are rewriting the very basis of our guaranteed rights and foundational ethics as a nation. Believe it. Our nation is becoming overthrown.

None of us wants to believe the unbelievable. But this Constitutional Republic called the United States of America is in fast transition to becoming a socialist state--the antithesis of freedom. This socialist provisional government already has taken over large portions of the financial and automotive industries, representing a combined 30 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. And the usurpers in Congress are moving fast to bring another 16 percent of the economy under government control with socialized healthcare--against the expressed will of the people. The government, itself, is the nation's largest employer. That's just the domestic side, the foreign policy side is equally alarming.

The man who occupies the Oval Office (OOO) has transferred the approval process of missile technology sales to the Commerce Department, paving the way for US missile and space technology to be sold to China. The White House also has agreed to allow the most intrusive Russian inspection of US nuclear sites in history--a move justified by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying, "We want to ensure that every question that the Russian military or Russian government asks is answered." Investigative reporter Daniel Greenfield also writes that Saudi Arabia is directing America's policy regarding Iran. Greenfield says that "the Saudis need [sic OOO] to prevent Iran from being a danger to them."

He writes in a recent editorial, "Bolstering his image among Muslims and generating the idea of America as a Muslim country is a key asset in their domestic PR campaign" He says OOO delivers "an Islamized America ready and willing to promote the "Soft Power" agenda of the Saudis." The Lord speaks in Jeremiah 2:11, "Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit." In verse 3:22, the Lord says, "Return you backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings." But Israel and Judah were judged because they did not heed the Lord. Is this the unbelievable that we will see? Perhaps, if we remain unrepentant, silent and inactive.

Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Bill Wilson
Word of Life Ministry

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Hmmmmmm. Very interesting. I normally rise somewhere between 5:00 and 5:30--6:00 is really sleeping in! And then this is where I spend the first couple hours of my day--in front of a nice warm fire with a hot cup of coffee. And everything you see here. Well, if you came to my house, I doubt that you would see this (!), but this is what I see.

I was sitting contemplating this morning and this table caught my attention. As I really looked at it, I realized that much of my life is represented here--the things most important to me. First of all there is my Bible. I have a yearly schedule of reading that takes me through the Old Testament one time, but twice through the New Testament. I've been using this schedule for several years now and I really like it.

So there's my Bible. Along with that I have a couple little daily devotionals that I read and then I pick up "My Utmost For His Highest" and see what Oswald Chambers has to say for the day. Then there is my prayer "book" which is a ring binder where I keep 3 X 5 cards with prayer items and requests.

Next on the table is my journal. I journal on a daily basis in the morning. I have to admit sometimes I have a hard time remembering everything I did the day before--but then that's part of the point--I decided somewhere along the line that I had to nail down every day just to prove that I had lived it--even if it was a wasted day! I want to know that I was there.

I see at least a couple photography books! One is on understanding exposure and the other is understanding shutter speed. I'm concentrating on that right now. Start out with the basics, you know. Actually, I have them out because Jenny asked me a question to which I had to look up the answer! So those represent my love of photography.

The other part of my life represented here is that stack of books on politics! Yes, I have to admit one of them is Glen Beck! Arguing With Idiots. I don't have many opportunities to argue with idiots, but I will read it anyway!

My family is represented by the prayer book, for sure. The other loves of my life would be quiltmaking and travel. Other than that it's mostly right there in front of me!!!

What a great way to start the day! (After that I head for the treadmill. . . . :-)

Breakfast on the Green

SMILE! You're in my frame! This is a yearling bull. . . .
. . . . hanging out with his mom and his half-sister! (A cow with last year's calf (the yearling bull) and this year's calf. Love family portraits. Granddaddy bull was hanging out somewhere else this morning. Nice green grass for breakfast.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quilt Festival Fall 2009

I was poking around through some blogs and found this quilt festival and decided it would be fun to post one of my beautiful quilts. This one is special, to say the least. It is what is called a "round robin quilt" made by my quilting group in Dillon, Montana several years ago. The idea, if you're not familiar with it, is for each quilter participating in the round robin is to make a center block. That center block then is passed around (in secret) to three or four other quilters and each one adds a border to the original center block. Each person will add one border to each quilt involved in the round robin. This quilt is the final result of my center block--and I love it. I took it to Billings, Montana, and had it quilted then by internationally-known quilter, quilt teacher, fabric designer, Laura Heine, and what a magnificent job she did on my quilt. It is truly beautiful and one of my "treasures." (Remember, you can click on the picture to see it full size.)

So this is my entry for the on-line Quilt Festival Fall 2009. (Click on the embedded hyperlink on "Quilt Festival Fall" to go look at all the quilts.)

Monday, October 12, 2009


I happened to catch this cow moose at breakfast this morning in our front yard. It's always such a treat for me when the moose are wandering around--munching!
I got so involved shooting this one that I was close to being late for my dental appointment in town. Had to put the pedal to the metal! (I will probably put this one in photoshop and do some work on it--I really like it.)
She was really beautiful. I got some good shots. They are rarely spooky--take little notice of people hanging around. (Remember you can click on the images to see them full size.)
It was pretty cold this morning at about 6 degrees, so I did some of my shoot from behind the glass--it was a lot warmer!
This is how moose munch when breakfast is on the ground! It's really funny to watch them down on their knees to eat. But I love watching them. It's one of the pleasures and gifts of living here.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Autumn Angst and Moose Drool

Well. Today is the 10th day of October. This is what I got up to this morning. Lots of snow. And the temperature was exactly 2 degrees above zero. That's cold. I'm going through a lot of firewood considering that it is the 10th day of October.
That's about 6 inces of snow on the table on the deck. I'm beginning to have some real angst about autumn this year. I can't figure out if it's autumn or-or-or-or early winter. Could be a long one if it's actually starting now. I don't see any warm days in the coming forecast. It never got above 18 degrees today.
There's a lot of hungry birds out there. This is just one of our four feeders--every one was teeming with chickadees and sparrows. Even have a pair of stellars jays hanging around. They are beautiful birds. Good thing I had a supply of bird seed.
Now this is the weirdest thing of all. The aspen still have green leaves. We have had some color, but very little. Most of the aspen are still wearing their coats of green. Really weird. Sure makes me wonder. . . . Must have something to do with global warming. Ya think???

I had moose in the back yard yesterday and got some pictures of them, but for some reason they won't load. There was a great huge granddaddy bull moose stalking his prey--a cow with her calf feasting on the willow bush beside the summer house. (I got some really good pictures of him.) The bulls are in the rut. We never see bulls hanging around except when it's time to find a cow. Today when I came home from the post office there were 5 (five!) bulls around the house. No cows anywhere to be seen--just the bulls. They must have been waiting. . . anticipating!

Ding Dong Day

We had a group project day yesterday. Ellen brought lunch (yummy chicken salad and puff pastry) and Drin brought dessert. . . . Really, Drin. She now has a new name--Ding Dong Drin!!
Took me back to our camping days when we always had a box of ding dongs in the food basket.

Ellen brought some show and tell. She did two of these fan quilts while the rest of us got started!

This is the one she worked on while we worked together. Beautiful, Ellen. Very creative.

So she was done with her fan quilt (both of them) so she brought a Christmas table runner to work on. She made short work of that project, too!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hump-Day Lunch Day at Mid-Day Today!

Several of us received a note yesterday from Colleen with the above subject inviting us to lunch today! What a fun way to bill it. She offered up taco salads for us, but solicited a dessert contribution. I love doing desserts, so volunteered to contribute that for our gathering. So this is what I came up with. It's a recipe I tried for the first time when Ty and David were here this summer getting in our winter firewood. I worked hard to make sure they were well-fed while they were here, so made several desserts. This was the favorite of all, I think. It is so good! And so easy! Raspberry Cream Tart

Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour
Makes: 8 to 10 Servings

3/4 c sliced almonds
1/2 c sugar
1 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 tsp almond extract
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp plus 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
3/4 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c fresh raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a food processor, pulse almonds and granulated sugar until finely ground, being careful to stop before they turn into nut butter. Add flour and salt and pulse to blend. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. With motor running, add combined egg, egg yolk, and almond extract and whirl until dough comes together.
2. Press dough evenly into the bottom (not the sides) of a 10-in tart pan with removable rim. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then remove rim.
3. In a small frying pan, bring 1 inch of water to boil. Put chocolate in a small metal bowl. Set bowl directly in boiling water, turn off heat, and stir until melted. Stir in 2 tbsp cream. Spread chocolate on crust and let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile in a large bowl, beat remaining 1/2 c cream to firm peaks. Fold in softened mascarpone, pow sugar, and vanilla. Spread on chocolated coated crust. Serve tart immediately or cover with saran wrap and chill up to overnight.

You will love this one! Obviously, at this time of year I didn't have any fresh raspberries, so a sprinkle of sliced almonds made a nice topping. Sliced almonds are darned pricey, so I chopped up some of Costco bulk whole almonds and used those in the crust. I saved the sliced almonds for the top. You could also use some grated chocolate on the top. If you don't have the tart pan, you can use a cheesecake pan or even just a regular tart pan or a pie plate.

Now I'm going to give you a bonus of another recipe. Lucky! Yesterday I did the October Soup Swap and as I was going through some of the other recipes that were posted I came across what I think is a really tempting recipe for green chili corn muffins. So I'm going to share that one also. I can hardly wait to try it.

Green Chili Corn Muffins
1 pkg (8 1/2 oz) corn bread/muffin mix (Jiffy Mix)
1 pkg (9 oz) yellow cake mix (surprise!)
2 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/3 c water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies, drained
1 c (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese, divided

In a large bowl, combine dry corn bread and cake mixes. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, water and oil. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Add chilies and 3/4 c cheese.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 for 20 - 22 minutes or until muffins test done. Immediately sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Serve warm. Yield: 16 servings.

This will be so good with your next batch of chili or just a bowl of soup. Right now that sounds really good, seeing as how it actually is snowing up a storm outside. I'm beginning to wonder if we are going to have our normal, wonderful Indian summer. Doesn't look like it. The worst of that is that Mark and Russ are in the middle of sanding and re-staining our garage. I don't think they will get it done this year. They waited too long--they live here--they should know better! Anyway, if you know me, then you know I never use any kind of mix at all--ever. But I am really intrigued by this recipe, so I will try it. It will make a sweeter muffin with the bite of the spicy chilies. Interesting. Try it! Let me know what you think. I'm going to go look for a good soup recipe to cook up tomorrow. Then I'm going to get in wood for my fire in the morning. What a way to start the day--I love it! Nice warm fire. A hot cup of coffee. My study time. I love morning!

Have a great day!

Monday, October 5, 2009

October Soup Swap

Smoked Sausage Soup

2 c chopped onions
2 Tbsp butter
2 c cubed cooked chicken
1 lb smoked sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
3 c sliced celery
3 c sliced summer squash
2 c chicken broth
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1/4 c minced fresh parsley
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp pepper

In a small skillet, saute onions in butter until tender. Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 5 - 8 hours or until vegetables are tender.

I found this soup swap at, so you can head over there and check out the other recipes listed. It's that time of year, and I'm lovin' it! I'm a soup girl!

You're Gonna Like This One!

I was at Front Street Market in Butte and was chatting with the owner, Jim. He asked me if I had tried the limoncello liquer. (I had to tell him I hadn't even heard of it!) Anyway, he went on to sing the praises of this drink and since I love anything lemon I looked for the first liquor store so I could pick up a bottle. He said he likes to keep a bottle of it in the freezer and when he wants a dessert he gets a bowl of ice cream and uses the limoncello as a topping. Yummy, he says.

So I now have a bottle of this treat (as seen above) and it came with several recipes. I decided to share them here so everybody who wants to try this will have some fun ideas for it. (I tasted the liquer and it is really yummy.) The ice cream idea probably sounds best to me.

Limoncello and Cream: 1 part limoncello, 2 parts cream. Combine in a shaker and shake well. Pour into a arocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon strip.

Limoncello Lemonade: Pour lemonade in a tall glass with a splash of limoncello.

Limoncello Ice Tea: Pour 1 oz. limoncello in a tall glass over ice. Fill with unsweetened iced tea. Add sugar to taste.