Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday Blahs

Rainy, humid Monday. I need sedatives for Chicken when it thunders- she quakes like she's about to go into cardiac arrest. And she sticks to my side like super glue, including jumping into the shower with me this morning!

Here's my progress on Bittersweet Moon from S&B Thursday:

The alphabet is done except for the "G", and i added another star. Here's a close-up of the berries & acorns- Smyrna crosses over 2 threads, I think, and acorns over one:

Here's what I hope is a better shot of the 2 different WDW Cadets:

The skein on the left being new, and on the right the older skein with which I stitched the house.

Below is what I think will be my pink nine patch baby quilt combo:

and here are the 2 possibilities of the darker, blue combo. I only changed the top upper right square for the 2 combos:I think I like the lower set better.

I haven't been baking at all- it's been way too hot and humid, and I have no AC except for the computer room.

I've been depressed lately, and wanting to just cry at random times. I think I need more sleep, but don't have time even for that. I'm tired of the "Drama of the Stupid People" at the barn; most of the people up there are just so f$#-!!-d up, it's not funny. I'm thinking of checking on the rates at another barn where I know the owners are sane, stable (no pun intended!), and NICE; where I won't be treated like a citizen from the 3rd world because I shovel stalls on weekends. I think they're cheaper. They may have shoveling positions; if not, I'll check into either UPS or FedEx or Walgreens to see how few hours I can work & still get health insurance- another insurmountable problem that has my hair turning white with anxiety. God damned state of Massachusetts & it's foolish "universal health care". What's wrong with paying out of pocket???

Ireland so made me happy...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hey there Delilah

Emily sent me some cute photos:

I woke up in the middle of the night & she was snuggled under my arm. Aslan has been playing with her- they wrestle & bat at each other. This morning he was reclining at the top of the stairs flicking (deliberately) his tail, and she would swat at it. Fianlly he let her "catch it" and nibble at the tip, at which point he swatted her!

Chicken doesn't like her taking over her patting time and will chase her away; she's a little too jealously aggressive at times, but she's getting better.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Lost my blogging mojo. ANd I've been so wrapped up in reading Mystic River, I didn't even bring my stitching to work the last two days.

I need to mow the lawn, but now it's too late, so I'll be out in the swelter tomorrow night.

Delilah is getting big and she's very cute- but Chickie doesn't think so.
I don't know if you can make out the kitty next to the books. I think I used to be able to insert photos that would link to a larger version when clicked, but no more. ?
I bought Bob a 5th generation Foreman grill for his birthday. It has 5 interchangeable plates so he can grill, make waffles, make pancakes and grill.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Day After Birthday..

I had an unexpected surprise or two:
At S&B Jean presented me with a gift: Knotted Tree "Spring Floral Sampler" to go along with my Fall Floral Sampler! I was so surprised! Thanks Jean! Plus, she baked a loaf of Strawberry bread which was very delicious!
I woke up yesterday morning to find an envelope marked "Mom", and inside, a cute kitty card & a gift certificate to Cranberry Cross Stitch (Deb's store, aka: the weekly venue for S&B).
I was floored by that! Em & I have been having "issues", shall we say, but she has been making a monumental effort to comport herself in a pleasant manner, and I greatly appreciate it. The pains she has been taking are truly a gift of their own, but a card & a certificate on top of that are more than I expected.
Greg took me out for lunch and let me go home after, so I was even able to take a nap.
We had grilled chicken Caesar salads. After my nap, I went grocery shopping, and Em had just taken a cake out of the oven: strawberry with funfetti frosting. yummy!
I made a bit of progress on Bittersweet Moon, but not enough to warrant a picture just yet.
I've been reading 'The Horse that God Built", and picked up "Mystic River" at the beginning of the week, and just received "Without Reservation" (about the Conn. casinos) and now 2-3 chapters in. I REALLY want to re-read Harry Potter start to finish, in preparation for the finale. (As I'm sure every one else has done!)
OH what's a girl to do???!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I'm tired.

I have progress on Bittersweet Moon, Thoughts of Baby, and I finished Red House Sampler, except for the charm which I'll get at Deb's tomorrow.
I also forgot to mention that Bob got me a small bouquet of flowers and 3- yes- three!! - cookie sheets for my birthday. I looked unsuccessfully for some at Cirellis last weekend- I use those silicone pan liners which don't fit the disposable aluminum sheets. My silicone mats fit perfectly!
I cannot advise strongly enough: if you bake a lot of cookies (XMas, perhaps, ladies???) those silicone or Sil-Pat mats are terrific! I have just some generic blue-colored ones that my local supermarket were selling as part of a "bakeware-of-the-week" sale. I think I paid $6.99 for each mat. My former cookies sheets are the air-bake ones, but I have grown away from using them. I don't know if it was the beginning of my oven thermostat going wonky, but I started getting irratic results, and had better luck with the plain old disposable (or re-usable, if you're cheap like me!) aluminum pans. The mats were too big, though, and I was loathe to trim them; again- I paid good $$ for them and I'm cheap & didn't want to throw away any of it!
Emily brought a new kitty into the house and named her Delilah, after the song. She seems sweet. She (Emily)needs to carefully introduce her to Chicken and Aslan. She's going to be a long hair it seems. BUT- she's (emily says she's a she, but I haven't checked) black! Which is a prerequisite in this house.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Grilled Pizza

Buy a 1-lb ball of fresh pizza dough at your local grocery (maybe near the deli dept or fresh cheese case)
1-1/2 to 2 cups Pizza sauce
8-oz package shredded mozzarella
1/3 cup each shredded parmagiano & cheddar
toppings- I pre-saute’d my green peppers & onions on the stove because these pizzas don’t cook long enough to really cook toppings completely on the grill. I would suggest the same for mushrooms, unless you like crispy veggies on your pizzas. Pepperonis are good, but since these are thin crusted, DON’T OVER LOAD with toppings or it may all fall into the grill! Remember:LESS IS MORE.

I use my gas grill, and preheat on high while I work with the dough.
Divide it into quarters to make a nice single serving size pizza, and for ease of handling.
Cover a large baking sheet (or 2) with parchment and dribble about a teaspoon of olive oil over. Drop each blob of dough in the oil, smear a little on your fingertips, and stretch each piece of dough out as thin as you like. I hold it in the air and “steer” it in a circle, pulling at the thicker edges to thin it out and letting gravity do a lot of the stretching. Try to not let it tear or get so thin you get a hole. Lay it out flat on the oiled parchment, and repeat with each piece. You may have to let each piece rest while you move on to another because the dough likes to fight back and it needs to rest a minute for more stretching. Lay out more parchment on trays if necessary. The pizzas should be about 8” to 10” ovoids (sorry- these pizza are rather “rustic”!)
You’ll need about 1-1/2 to 2 cups of pizza sauce for 4 pizzas- this time I used Cento brand San Marzano “Arrabbiata” pasta sauce. It has a very homemade flavor. The label says it has hot peppers, but I can’t taste them. Pastene makes a canned “California Pizza Sauce” which is good. I don’t like a sweet, thick sauce- which is what Ragu Pizza Quick tastes like to me, but by all means, use what YOU like! I think Ragu makes a pizza sauce in a green labeled jar called just “Pizza Sauce”, and I like THAT too.

Place all your “fixings” on a tray, and bring that and your tray(s) of dough and some tongs, a spatula and a spoon for the sauce to the hot grill. Turn the grill down to medium. Place each stretched piece of dough on the grill, using the tongs to pull out all the wrinkles & folds.
Don’t walk away! After a couple of minutes, pull up an edge to see how fast you’re cooking- you don’t want it to burn! When it’s starts to brown lightly, and get some bubbling on top, use the tongs and spatula to flip it over. Watch this side as well,; you want to get a light brown crust going on both sides before you put on any toppings. Flip back & forth a couple more times, placing the smooth side up. It should be a light golden brown both sides.
Spread about 1/3 to ½ cup of sauce over each pizza, then divide the cheese
(I mix them together in a bowl first) and sprinkle over each, then finally your toppings. Use the tongs so you don’t burn your hand reaching into the grill. At this point, peek underneath again, and rotate the pizzas to avoid charred spots. Turn down the temp as necessary, even to low if your grill runs hot. The key at this point is cooking the bread thru, while not burning the bottom surface, and getting the cheese to melt. Drop the lid down to retain the heat if the temp seems Ok.
Let it bake for 3-4 minutes, lift the lid & check your progress. If the bottom is getting too brown, cover your upper grill surface with foil, and move the pies up there, and re-close the lid. This should cause the cheese to melt nicely, but not burn the bottom. When it looks like done-pizza, remove the pies with the tongs and the assistance of the spatula for support.Cut into servings, and enjoy!

Food, Glorious Food!

My pie was delicious, thank you Cindy for your compliments! It was just tangy enough, the way I like it. The meringue was tall, despite it's smooth appearance. See:Here's the birthday girl: She's waiting for pizza to fall out of the sky onto the floor! I don't know how old she is, but I've had her over 3-1/2 years.
I'll make a new post with the grilled pizza; Cindy (commentator #2! YAY!) inquired how to do it.
I had a bit of progress on Thoughts Of Baby today, but i just wore out the camera batteries uploading the pizza pictures.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Relaxing Saturday

I finally had a little time to do some stuff instead of work:

I made the world's Ugliest Lemon Meringue Pie:
The recipe is from Mark Bittman's "How To Cook Everything". I'll let you know how it tastes tomorrow! Doesn't it look like a huge hamburger bun??!!
Here are some shots of the blackberries growing at the edges of my yard (wild):

Unfortunately, I don't care for blackberries. I tried one, but it didn't have a very strong flavor at all. I don't know if it's the particular variety, or lack of cultivation , or what, but it was pretty tasteless. The photo with the mail box is just a pix of my front yard looking towards Main Street, without the fence. You can tell where the fence was though. I burned two CD's of my Ireland photos, one for Mom. There was a TV show on that I taped to DVD caled "The Edge of Europe". It was about the Christian monestaries in the part of Ireland that we visited- Borus Head, Ballinskelligs, Valencia Island. Extremely interesting, and pertinent to our travels. My Mom & I want to go back again.

For supper tonight I made pizza on the grill. I totally didn't even think to take pictures! It came out SO good!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

S & B Progress pix...

Here's Bittersweet Moon:

I added a couple of the leaves & infilled stem vein, plus started the alphabet, and added one of the stars.

Here's Thoughts of Baby:

Sorry it's dark- I scanned it & it's rolled on the strtcher bars so it's not in contact with the platen. It's coming along nicely though.

Here's Red House Sampler:

I finished the red of the house & the bush & started the windows.
Here's that WDW Cadet color discrepancy I mentioned a couple of posts ago:I hope it's more apparent on a newer monitor- mine here at home is dying and displays colors too dark. The full skein is much greener that the used one. The used one is what I stitched the house in on Bittersweet Moon.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I'm SO Bummed Out!

I filled out a survey the other day: I'm now in the next group of ages: 45-54!!!

I've been wanting to stitch but weekends are pretty much shot, and I had a Walmart run last night and install the window air conditioner. Tonight's project is 3 months of bank account reconciliation. Oh what fun!!

Have a photo:

Those are the Skellig Islands in the distance. This was that spectacular Saturday we had.

Here's inside a little art gallery we found just outside Ballinskellig: The fish's scales & fins are knives, forks and/or spoons.

Here is a castle ruin on the way past Kilorgin. It was close to the little replica village we toured.

I'm becoming VERY jealous of Jane. I desperately want to go back.


Saturday, July 7, 2007


Just being superstitious (or >SNORT< -super-stitches!!!) and wanting to post today.

I'm so funny- NOT.

Bob was here when I got home from the barn (relatively early). We had hot dogs & burgers. We also went to Cirelli's for more burgers, beer- and OO- I just remembered I bought a bottle of Blackstone Merlot.

I was going to mow the lawn- today is supposed to be the coolest of the next week, but he talked me out of it. Now I don't have the ambition to do it at all. Maybe all the heat will burn it off?

Here's all my fabric for the quilt(s) cut into 4" squares:

Sorry- the darks at the top left are TOO dark- the most upper left is a purple-y green pailsley.

Here's Chicklet saying "Thanks for the burger Mom!"

Thursday, July 5, 2007


So I forgot to take a photo before I went to S&B- so sue me!!
Here's one after:

I won't show you what the "undo" portion looks like on the back; let's suffice it to say that it will probably involve Fray-Check to make it permanent. I bought a replacement skein of WDW Cadet, which is the body color of the house (as in pale blue). The new skein is drastically different than the old. the new is much more green-ish blue. I should take another picture with both colors side-by-side to show you.

Here's little Chicken: she's jonesing for a hot dog:

She said she noticed that she was overlooked yesterday at cheeseburger time; she thought she had waited long enough thank you, so could she have her burger now please?

Well, well, well

Didn't get to the picture of Bittersweet moon (yet). I'll be sure to take one when I get home before S&B tonight. I did get 4" squares cut from all my fabric for the baby quilt(s) Tuesday afternoon. I had quite a lot of fabric to iron & cut. Then yesterday morning I got caught up in cleaning my baking cupboard- at soem point a bottle of those silver dragees (is that right??) you know- those little silver sugar balls for cake decorating- spilled and collected at the bottom of the cabinet (wall hung). I've been seeing a few ants while & since Mom was here, and after a bit of investigation, it seems they've been attracted to this sweet sticky mess. At first I was only seeing 3 ants pig-piling, but Tuesday night I saw a pig-pile of ants pig-piling over it, so I knew I had to take action. DONE!
I wanted to make a lemon meringue pie for the 4th, but Bob came as I was airing the cleaning agent-smell from the cabinet, so I ran out of time.
We did hot dogs & potato salad for lunch, then burgers around supper.
She-who-shall-not-be-named (for now) made herself Velveeta with hamburger. She really needs to clean up her greasy mess afterwards. I'm starting to feel sorry for her former roomate.
I did get her car's inspection sticker with no problems, other than that they didn't give me the report that it had passed. Bob had gotten a letter from the registry to return the plates because it had failed the emissions, even though my 60-day re-test period hadn't passed. I hope I won't need that report.
I will REALLY try to post later.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Here's my progress on Red House Sampler- I've managed a couple of days of stitching at lunch at work. I'm pleased with the variagation in the tree.
Here's my new start: "Thoughts of Baby" by Erica Michaels on 28 ct jobelan "Raspberry Lite"- the haze of pink is just that- clouds of pink across a white field. I'm using Crescent Colors "Prickly Pear". This represents 2 hours of work. I will be taking a photo of Bittersweet Moon's progress when I get home today & post. The people on the 15th floor are leaving early today, while those on the third floor are kiss-asses and are staying until 4:00. ME- I'm leaving by noon.
I washed all my fabric, and supplemented with stash, and have to iron it all. I want to start cutting out 4" squares today. Greg's daughter is having her baby any minute; I think I'll have enough fabric for two quilts. Tomorrow I'm off, and I'm NOT going to work at the barn. I need to sleep until I wake up. The weather has been glorious the past few days- nice & cool and perfect for sleeping in. Then I hope to be up and stitching something- either cross stitch or quilts.
See you this afternoon.