Friday, November 30, 2007

I did It!!

I finished NaBloPoMo! I didn't join officially, but I managed to post every day but 2, and I posted more than once one or two days, so I still ended up with over 30 posts for the month.
I rode tonight- no one was there. Axe was good, she's got such a nice, rhythmic, lopey canter; very easy to sit to. The jumps were set up low- just the height of the fence, about 15" - 18". I was almost tempted to trot over one, but then thought "Well, if I did fall off, there's no one here to help me if I hurt myself." Then my bad self would say " Yeah - but there's no one here to watch you!" My lack of insurance slapped my bad self back into line.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Progress pix..

Stitch & Bitch tonight; some progress on Fruit of the Loom, and I backstitched the face of the Hawaiian biscornu and started the back. I also bought a star button for the middle.

I should have ridden Axe tonight, but talked myself out of it- I had my rubbish to collect, and then there was a whole bunch of people riding in the indoor tonight. I'll go up tomorrow night to ride- fridays are usually quiet.
I bought this cute chart: one of the ladies at S & B had bought this a couple of weeks ago, and had one design finished by the end of the night (about 90 minutes):
I've got work from Tom Saturday- YAY! I desperately need the $$. Which makes a whole lot of sense to be buying stash. Riiiight.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Town Spa linguica pizza- none better in the whole wide world! They also have awesome Greek salads. Unfortunately, Chicken smells the pizza on my hands, and is wandering around thinking she's going to get a piece. Little does she know but the 3 remaining pieces are destined for my lunch bag tomorrow.

I have to wash dishes and I really need to get to bed before midnight. I think the 5th Harry Potter book was the most tedious, but that Froggy Umbridge woman creeps me out- she reminds me of my boss's old business partner; anyway, I can't put this book down- i think because I want to finish it, just so I can get to the next.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Close but no Cigar..

I finished the top face of my Hawaiian Sunset Biscornu:
Now for the bottom face (something simple) and assembly. I hope this goes together OK- the border square is going to be 90 degrees off the design. Maybe I'll have to dig up some beads.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Stitching Stuff

I stitched about an hour on Fruit of the Spirit, not that you can really tell:
Chickie was my stitching buddy:
Now I'm back to riding the horse, beginning tonight. Dread,dread, dread. And Bob at the barn is pissed off at Emily, to make the whole experience even more dreadful. I really wish we were able to move Axe to Alice & Dave's when we had to get out of Dodge. I'll have to send them a Xmas card with a note to please keep us on their list.
Tomorrow morning I have to drop the car off for an oil change & 25K service. I won't bring FOS with me only becuase I have to walk a half mile down the road to the office. Hopefully it won't be raining hard. Blech.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I'm Posting because it's NaBloPoMo

Not becuase I have anything interesting to write about or post tonight. I was craving something sweet and breakfast-bread-like this morning, so I took my dinner roll recipe for my machine, and added craisins & walnuts and let it bake as a loaf. It came out quite yummy. Then in the spirit of "What's the most opposite meal from turkey dinner I can make today?" and made American Chop Suey for lunch for me & Bob today. I believe it's kind of regional to the Northeast, but it's basically macaroni, with a tomato/meat sauce stirred in. Bob likes his with butter stirred in, and topped with parmesan cheese. Not to gross anyone out here, but my Mom's version growing up was elbows, canned tomato soup-not reconstituted, and ground beef. If she could sneak some onions in there she would; personally I liked the onions in it, and would augment with onion salt. Today, I used a can of italian flavored stewed tomatoes, plus a can of tomato sauce, with ground beef sauted with some chopped onions. MMm..tasty! And NOT turkey!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Turkey Hangovers..

I got up at 7 am and was at the barn by 8:30 to make grain. I went out to find a b-day present for my friend Liz, even though her birthday was mid-October. Her husband threw a 45-th party back at the beginning of October, the week before my barn melt-down actually, i think. Per her request, I had donated to the Home for Little Wanderers in lieu of a gift, but we always exchange gifts, so I had to get something else. We go to Town Spa pizza in Stoughton for a linguica & a greek salad, always! Our date is Wednesday night. Then I'll have to think about Christmas/Hanukha gifts. I also went to Michael's next door to the TJMaxx (are they always built next to each other or what?) and got some ribbons & wreath trims.

After Bob left, I went out to Joann's and got the rest of the fabric for the quilt. Some of it will also be for the pillow. I found these tiny 6 foot spools of trim in the scrapbook dept.- perfect for pin keeps! And the color selection was way better than the regular trim selection. The other trims are also for pin keeps.

I had gotten this for Chickie for Xmas dress-up: she didn't want to cooperate:
It's a light-up Christmas tree headband and a plaid bow tie. The tree also plays jingle bells.
HO-Ho-Ho! just a little political incorrect-ness for you. Nothing like some post-holiday anarchy.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Well Deserved Day Off

I took Chicken to the vet for annual check up & shots; I brought Aslan along too because he's had a tiny sore enlarge to a small sore on his head, and then he ended up getting shots too.

Don't know what's going on with her mouth in that shot; but what can you do?
I finally got the baby quilt started for Avery. I have to go to Joann's for edge-sashing & backing fabric. My alignment skills leave a lot to be desired. But I don't think a baby will mind, do you?

It should be about 36" x 46" when finished. Then I have her little pillow to complete from the Thoughts of Baby sampler I stitched.
Which left me with T-day dinner Part 2 for supper tonight. Lots of yum there.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Oh. My. God.

THE best turkey ever!! I followed The Pioneer Woman's recipe for brining a turkey. It was by far, the most scrumptious bird I've ever eaten! I had bought the el cheapo 49 cents a pound frozen bird- 15.4 pounds, and was boasting as to how clever I was to my BF. He replied "It's not that Marvel turkey like you bought last year is it?" Which, in all honesty, was so dry we had to drink the gravy out of glasses to swallow- and I didn't overcook it! I swear! And umm... "Yes," I answered, "it IS a Marvel turkey. You gotta problem with that?" Coincidentally, Ree at The Pioneer Woman Cooks had just posted instructions for brining.

I also checked with Martha Stewart's site and found another similar recipe. Here's what I did:
Makes enough brine for one 15-20 lb. turkey
- 7 qts water
- 1-1/2 cups coarse salt
- 6 bay leaves

- 2 TBSP whole coriander seeds
- 2 TBSP whole black peppercorns
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 fresh, whole turkey (15-20 lbs), neck & giblets removed & reserved for stock
- 1 medium size onion, sliced thin
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 bunch (5-6 sprigs) fresh thyme
- 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary 4" long, or 1 tsp dried
- 2 turkey-sized oven roasting bags (Reynold's brand or eq.), insert one inside the other to double
- 4 to 5 gallon pot, or clean bucket to hold bagged bird, which will fit inside your refrigerator- I cleaned my crisper drawer and it held everything perfectly without consuming too much room
1. Bring 1 quart water , the salt, bay leaves and spices to a simmer, stirring until salt is dissolved. Let cool minimum 10 minutes.
2. Line your 5-gallon container with a large brining bag or doubled roaster bags. Place turkey in bag. Add salt mixture, remaining 6 quarts water, and the other ingredients. Tie bag closed; if turkey is not submerged, weight with a plate. Try to keep breast side completely submerged. Refrigerate for 24 hours, flipping bird once ( I didn't do this as my drawer was just right to hold the whole thing 98% under water.)
Roast per The Pioneer Woman: . I had a 15.4 pound bird, and followed her directions exactly (she mentions a 15 pound bird). After the initial slow roast and the foil tent is removed, I raised the temp to 375 deg. basted with butter then drippings every half hour, for an additional 90 minutes. My total cooking time was 4 hours, then I let it rest for at least 30 minutes .
The flavor was fantastic, the skin delectable, and it was JUICY, you could cut it with the side of your fork it was so tender. We didn't even save room for pie, it was so good. I'm even considering making it again for Christmas dinner, instead of my usual rib roast. I only make the beef for Xmas because the Thanksgiving turkey is always such a let down. Oh my god- I'll be talking about it for weeks!! Did I say it was JUICY??

I also made Slow Cooker Stuffing: , but with some tweeks- I wanted to try the procedure to see if it helped logistically in the kitchen, as far as oven space & attention, and I was very pleased- it's another keeper recipe. I'll post my version later. Typing this much is an extreme effort & I still have that last huge load of dishes to wash, while holding the turkey hangover at bay.

I also made butternut squash, peas, corn , mashed potatoes, gravy, dinner rolls, mashed carrots & parsnips, baked cauliflower with cheese sauce, and since I put the can of cranberry sauce on the table first thing this morning, I didn't forget that either!

For dessert I made an apple pie, but we didn't even crack that open. Emily wanted to make an orange cake for dinner with friends; we couldn't find a mix, so we doctored a white cake mix with orange extract & coloring. I frosted with a vanilla butter cream, because she was out until, yes- you guessed it- almost 4:00 am.
This is the dinner table partially cleared. That's Bob's plate to the left, mine is disappearing from view at the lower right- I didn't take more than I could eat, and wiped my plate clean. Oh- did I mention I went thru over 3 pounds of butter since yesterday? Really! I'd have to double check, but I used either one or two sticks out of the 4th box! Really!
Have to start washing - I'm the dishwasher!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Crazy I tell ya!

"Someone" stayed up until after 3:00 this morning on her computer. It wasn't me. I went to work and was able to leave at noon. YAY! Then I had to wake "someone" up (oh! maybe because she went to bed after 3:00 this morning???) to bring her to the insurance agent, and then to the RMV to put her car back on the road. Good news is: her insurance will be dropping in cost by almost half. Bad news is: won't happen until February, when she's had 3 years driving experience. Those public employees at the RMV sure like to gab with customers. It only took us 5 minutes to get the plates, and over 30 minutes to watch 13 people get processed thru 5 different clerks. I believe the math works out to almost 10 minutes per person: 2.5 people went to 5 different stations. Well- like 12 minutes per transaction. All I could see was chit-chatting to customers. And based on the animated hand gestures at license renewal cutomers, they weren't talking about driving.

Then I had to go to Walmart to buy $214 worth of new eyeglasses. Oh- did I say "but not for me?" Insert deep breathe here. Thanksgiving means being thankful she wasn't too full of herself to have NOT found suitable frames amongst Walmarts offerings. And she was desperate for new ones. I think the old ones were 3 + years old.

Now I have to make squash, cauliflower, carrots & parsnips, make rolls, tidy up & vaccuum. I'm making slow-cooker stuffing tomorrow and the apple pie. Aside from mashed potatoes & the bird (which is brining away as we speak), that'll be it. ... I think...Hmmm... what else? OH! I always forget the cranberry sauce! Just the canned jellied kind (gotta support the hometown team!) but I usually forget to put it out.
Happy Cooking! And thanks to all my readers, like, all 5 of you! Aw... you know who you are! Thanks!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

This is Going to be Fun...

Well, after driving 125 miles since 4 pm, including fighting rush hour traffic in AND out of Boston, the daughter is home. We had to go up to the barn so she could ride and I could make grain. Axe didn't seem to be lame, so maybe it was just my fat ass making her back sore. And finally eating a supper consisting of a Mickey D's snack wrap at 10 pm, isn't going to help that situation. No siree it's not.

Well my wacky dog gave me a chuckle to start my day: The kitten has taken to drinking out of Chickie's bowl, and hunching over between it, and the side of the 'frig, which is too darn close to Chickie's food bowl, thank you very much. Nope- she doesn't like that business AT ALL!

Plus, the kitten has taken to lounging in Chickie's dog bed on the kitchen floor in the sun, which is also starting to get annoying to little diva dog. This morning, after I set everyone's food down & refilled water bowls, the bed was in the middle of the floor, but close to the kitchen island. When I got out of the shower this is what I saw:
Someone is taking the guarding of her borders VERY seriously!
Doesn't this little terrorist kitty look guilty:
No- she isn't spooked- her tail seems to have grown in that fluffy. She also grew in a very thick cowl of fur around her chest.
Sigh- it's late & I have to go to bed; tomorrow I have to start cooking. I have to do everything I didn't do tonight. ...........thank goodness it'll be a 4 day weekend.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Just Swell!!!!

So I went up to the barn tonight to check on Axe & take her for a walk, and the nit wit tells me that there's a "flu going around the barn". Her horse came down with it, and a second horse had it a day before hers. It most likely came from the barn owner's girlfriend's new horse- the one she traded her 2 ponies & a horse (and some of boyfriend's money) for from the horse trader. Apparently, it came to the barn (just after I stopped working there) with conjunctivitus. I KNEW it should have been quarantined from the rest of the horses- BUT NO! - girlfriend knows everything about horses, and since her boyfriend owns the barn, it's the rest of us who have to make allowances for her.

Axe just had her booster last Thursday, but probably had been exposed at some point during the last 2 weeks that the new horse has been there. The first case of it- that horse had its booster on October 30th, just prior to the arrival, but he's stalled next to the new horse.
All I need is a $400 vet bill.

My two pretty girsl.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Quiet Day

It was a normal Sunday- like they used to be- I got up, walked the dog, went for a jog & the newspaper, tidied up a bit, did 2 loads of laundry BEFORE 10 am (!), had tea & toast with Bob, watched football, cooked a roast pork loin & mashed & the usual sides- all in all- just like it used to be. It was very nice not having to cram all my chores & visiting with bob into 5 hours. I even made a pan of Gingerbread ! Just so you know, whipped cream is much better than vanillla ice cream- the ice cream is too "heavy".
No sewing or crafts; I'm still trying to manage my time better to allow for that.
Emily's friend Liz was at our barn this afternoon. I jogged Axe for her and she couldn't detect any lameness. So maybe she was just stiff. Or I'm too fat to ride her.
I've been meaning to announce that I started to re-read all of Harry Potter- I just finished the 4th book. It is such a better way to read this series- back-to-back-to-back- I can retain the characters & plots much better without the gap between publishing each book. I had totally forgotten that Crouch's son had faked Mad-Eye Moody's persona.
Thanksgiving this week- a ton of cooking awaits!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Double GGRRR!

Axe seems to be lame and I don't know why. There's a show tomorrow, so the 2 people I'd ask for an opinion will be too busy to look at her. So I guess it's good I didn't ride her last night.
I just spent 2-1/2 hours inputting entries into Quicken & reconciling. The entries went back to Septemner 6th. Luckily, I wasn't off- not even by a penny. So you can subtract an "R" from that GGRRR up there.

Friday, November 16, 2007


I should have ridden tonight but my stomach feels like too much jostling will cause me to purge my contents. I think pre-menopausal symptoms are wreaking havoc with nature's order & harmony. How feng-shui.
I stitched about 30 X's at work & then my boss called to say he was coming back to pick up some plans I was to print. Niiiiiiiiice.
I will try to ride tomorrow morning. I had so many crafty plans for my first free Saturday in ages (no Tom this weekend), but that remains to be seen.
Now I have a date with my couch & a cup o' tea.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Oh- I forgot!

Here it is half-way thru November & I've blogged every day except two! I think that's pretty good- and I've double-posted some days, so I think I've madde 15 posts and thousands of typos.

No Witty Title tonight..

Here's progress on Creepy Kids (aka "Fruit of the Spirit"):

I also bought Winter Floral Sampler by Knotted Tree to go with my Fall Floral Sampler:

I let Deb hang my biscornu on her tree at the shop. It looked very nice & Christmas-y. Joann & Jean brought bakery cookies - various Italian favorites - SO YUMMY!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

And a Drum Roll please...

My first finished biscornu:

"Christmas Biscornu "
by Just Nan
32 ct. Jobelan "lambswool"
DMC threads & Kreinik filament
The back side I designed.
Maybe it should be puffier? It's kinda firm as is.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Best Laid plans...

I had just completed one more side of my biscornu, and my boss's wife comes in. It's a running joke in our office how she's not allowed to use the copier becuase she causes an error code every time she uses it. So today she comes in to use his cadillac of photo printers (not as big as Ree's, but definitely bigger than a bread box. SHe manages to load some paper, but it doesn't print to the correct printer (we have 4) then not the right size, then not the right orientation, you get the idea. So I'm enlisted for advice and I know nothing about making photos on this behemouth. So between the two of us, we muddle around with it for almost 2 hours, and finally produce what she wants: 1- 5 x 7 photo and 1 - 4 x 6. Oh, we went thru about 5 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11, and another 3 of 4 x 6, but we fianlly figured it out. But no more biscornu stitching at work. Luckily I had eaten my lunch earlier while I was working.

I didn't ride tonight. I came home from making grain & made spaghetti & sauce (from a jar, but doctored with italian sweet sausage & a splash of dry vermouth.
Yes- that's freshly grated parmesan cheese, thank you very much. A couple of years ago, Bob got me a KitchenAid food processor- it's one of my favorite appliances. And it sure beats the leaf blower he got me another year.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Biscornu Construction

I started putting my Xmas biscornu together today- I stitched the back side after my boss left. This is what I came up with for the back design: The little ticks under the date are for alignment guides.

Here it is under construction:
And another view:
Here are some shots of the little critters. My camera's shutter is kinda slow. I couldn't t get a good shot of Delilah- she just wanted to stuff her face. This first one is Aslan :
Delilah came running when I topped of the kibble bowl, but that's Aslan voguing for the camera. Chickie always gets a kitty bit too:
Off to wash dishes & watch Heroes. Good ride tonight- no one was there.

No Such Luck

Boss was here when I got in- DAMN!
But the Colts lost- Yippee! Manning wussy-boy had 6 interceptions & Adam Vinetieri missed a kick. Peyton must have gone thru 2-1/2 boxes of tissues last night. Giants lost too- gonna be suck-o-rama at the Manning Thanksgiving table!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sleepy Sunday

I forgot to post yesterday-sorry.
My elbows & forearms were burning yesterday, and my forehead throbbed whenever i bent over to pick something up, so I took an Alleve Cold & Sinus and a regular Aleeve late in the afternoon. I ended up barely sleeping all night- i seemed to look at my clock every hour or 90 minutes. I dosed a bit while watching football, and after Bob left, I went to Walmart for a few things, including a USB printer cable. And of course, it's not as easy as just plugging things in, and I still don't have a printer. I suppose I'll have to read the directions that came with the cable.
Never got around to any sewing this weekend- I may be able to tomorrow if my boss isn't back yet. I'll put myself out of misery now.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Well, another day that I didn't fall off the horse.
My boss is having all the windows replaced at his house, including the office & garage. They got to the office today, & replaced 3 of the 10. But it meant they were inside with me most of the day, so I couldn't stitch. My boss is away, so I could pretend to work but really play solitaire.
Axe is getting new shoes tomorrow, and some vaccine boosters next Thursday. So I get a call back from the vet because I wanted to know if she thought I should get an equine herpes vaccine for Axe, too. The answering machine picks up on the second ring, as I answer, so my whole conversation about herpes is being played out loud with the two carpenters listening in the other room. Rest assured, I explained it was equine herpes I was talking about! EEEWWW!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

If it's Thursday I must be bitchy...

I finished the top side of my Christmas Biscornu:

Now I have to do a bottom side and assemble. Deb is anxious to see the finished product. She wants us to do a group project biscornu.
Here's the Hawaiian Sunset Biscornu 3/4 done:
Both are about the same size in RL, the Hawaiian might be a touch bigger. I DO hate to try & keep track of 53 backstitches in a row. My Mom has completed 15 biscornus since maybe the end of August. She's a show off.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Curly Fruity

I couldn't wait and started "Fruits of the Spirit" on 28 ct. Jobelan "Bone". I found overdyed substitutions for most of the threads, there are a couple of DMC's in there, and I'm going to pick up a silk tomorrow. To do it in all silks would have been almost $70, and I just don't have it.

Here's progress so far:
I guess I really have a thing for curly branches.
I have to ride tonight. Sometimes the thought of going up there & getting on Axe fills me with dread, like tonight.

Sour Grapes

Shula-Schmoola! An asterisk next to the Pats should they have an undefeated season????
Are you kidding me???
Video-gate was a crap claim made by a crap coach. EVERY team videos the opposing team's sideline, as well as play on the field- watch ANY game this weekend & watch all the clipboards covering coaching staff mouths. If coaches on every team are still preventing their lips from being read, that means that EVERY team is still concerned that their opponent is taping, whether they are playing the Patriots or ANY OTHER TEAM. And if all the teams have been and are still doing it, then EVERYONE is cheating, and NO ONE has an unfair advantage.
Meanwhile the Miami Dolphins routinely wet down their playing field to limit any good opposing running backs. (So there!) Shula had his undefeated season during a year when the NFL sucked anyways. It wasn't hard to achieve what they did. This year in the NFL also sucks; aside from the Pats, there's the Cowboys & the Steelers,and maybe Tennessee, other than that, there's not any competition. If the Patriots "deserve" an asterisk, then so do the Dolphins.
And down off my soapbox I go... this isn't in my blog description.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tired Tuesday...

I didn't ride tonight, just went up to make grain. I walked Axe around on a lead. It appears the owner's bimb...OOPS!- i mean girlfriend is swapping some of her "pets". The horse trader was there, and one (or maybe both) ponies were gone, one horse was in a different stall, and a strange new one in its place. Nice of her to say something while I go make 4 days worth of grain for the missing (sold?) pony.

I am re-notarized. Had to take the oath- jeez! it was worth than marriage vows! I don't remember it being so long.

I really want to kit up & start PSS "Fruit of my loins" or whatever it's called.
I made some cookies- just a mix- but hey- these ones are actually pretty good, and quick to throw together. I added- what else- craisins & walnuts. I've added white choc chips as well, but then they're too sweet.
Well, off to wash dishes- my favorite thing to do!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Take that!

Pats beat the girlie boys!
Ya' know- I wouldn't be so derogatory about the Colts if Manning could be a little more stoic, like my man Brady. (Swoon!) Peyton (and what woman in her right mind would ever give a boy such a sissie name??!! What was she thinking??) just looks like he's about to cry when things don't go his way.
Oh- and the officiating absotutley SUCKED dead llamas, and we still won! Yippee!


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Post Storm...

So I survived the big storm. Lots of branches down, but no damage that I've detected yet. Emily came home with her roommate for the BSC show being hosted at our barn. I had to make chicken, broccoli & ziti for 20, with salad & garlic bread, drinks, chips, and cookies. I took as many shortcuts as possible: jarred sauce, packaged salad greens, store bought cookies, etc, but everyone seemd to like the spread, and were very appreciative. I also had to clean that black hole of a bedroom of Emily's. Took a couple of hours, but there's bare floor now- enough for several people to actually stand on!
The Pats are playing the Colts. It's half-time, and my guys are down 13-7. I hope they get a better handle on Indy the next half. I'm listening to the game- I can't watch, though I did see Adam Venitieri MISS his first field goal attempt, at a distance from which he's never missed before. Then the Pats got their TD.
I have to make a fire, after I do my daily jigsaw. I surely enjoyed my extra hour of sleep this morning!

Saturday, November 3, 2007


I forgot National Blog Posting Month means I was supposed to post every day.My membership card and secret decoder ring are SO going to be rescinded.

One Hundred!

Yay! Photos! Hawaiian Sunset & Christmas biscornus:
Xmas is done except for back stitching,beads & finishing.

Aslan sitting like the Queen he is:

I made bread in my machine today. Oatmeal Molasses Craisin walnut:
Stash I bought Thursday:
Plum Street Samplers "Fruit of the Spirit"

And Little House Needleworks "Gingerbread Cottage" and "Snowflakes"

These are the first LNH to catch my fancy. I see on other blogs they're quite popular, but i haven't been crazy about any until the Gingerbread one, and then Deb had gotten "Snowflakes" and another Christmas-y one similar to it.
We're being battered by high winds and rain today. I worked for my friend Tom today. It was odd not going to the barn & giving Axe her breakfast. ;(
Emily's college equestrian team is riding against a local team at our barn tomorrow. She's coming home tonight with her roomate to watch and take photos. Her roomate is a journalism major. I get to make a hot lunch for her 20 teamates. Oh fun. ..