Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Home For Christmas

I'll be home for Christmas, that song just rings through my head since last Monday it's nearly all I've thought about. Tom was called to the US for a weeks worth of meetings which brought us home for Christmas for the first time in 8 years. The morning of the call he woke me with a start, he thought I was awake and he was talking to me. I knew I had to get moving earlier as I had my stitch group and our Christmas lunch and then remembered I also had to take Tom to a meeting on beach rd, so I hurriedly began getting ready, then I heard Tom on the phone about this meeting in the US and my mind just totally left me. I was completely out of it at stitch group and lunch, nearly don't remember a thing about that day...I seemed to be walking around in a big thick fog. I had packing to do, last minute shopping to do as we were leaving in two days! Wow...
Now I can slow down and reflect just a's a picture of my friends as we had our lunch at PF Chang's in Mall of the Emirates, I do remember the food was great and we talked about one of our members engagement and wedding plans. I think I waved Merry Christmas to them as I left in my inner fog....
Today I have a few presents to wrap, some finishing touches to do on my guest rooms and I want to try making yeast rolls, I haven't done anything like that in years, sounds so fun to me. I so love this time of year, snow is expected too, though hopefully it's going to not stick. Tom has to return to Dubai the day after Christmas and I will stay until he returns for our planned vacation at home in late January. Hopefully the few weeks apart will allow me some cleaning time at home, as well as some sewing time. I did pack two quilts to work on and a crochet project.
Merry Christmas to all.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Behind, far far behind

So you want to know how I feel about being behind? This pictures says it for me.....I've been here there and yon and experienced so many different things since I last wrote a note here and in everything I do I seem to be mostly behind. So slurp a noodle!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's a Dog's Life

Oh I just wanted to post this picture of my Daisy that I found the other day. She's such a great companion, an all around "good dog". I must confess though, I did complain to Tom today as I ironed black pants and shirts that I am a bit tired of white dog hair on everything and slobbers, on a white shirt I had to get a wet cloth and rub the dried Daisy slobber off it....she likes to walk under the clothes as they hang on my indoor dryer thingamabob. Here in Dubai we do not have clothes dryers, or at least not here in this Villa.
Reminds me we got the new magazine today called Inside Out and it shows pictures of homes on the Palm Jumeriah...oh my goodness, talk about fancy schmancy. I'm not sure I could live that fancy...then again...I could think about it.
We saw the movie this weekend about Mark Zuckerman who founded Facebook, it was called Social Network. It was an interesting movie and how weird to be worth 25 billion dollars and be only 24 years old. We can't even conceive of that kind of money. As it is we feel rich and we're no where near that kind of money. I'd like to think if I had it, that I could do some good in the world, I don't know what exactly but something good. I know a really nicely done homeless shelter in my home town would be nice, also a nice women's shelter, though I think both places need to require that recipients of their services pay back with their own services to the shelter, either by cooking, cleaning or gardening to help keep the place up. Wouldn't it be nice, even in one town in America to see NO homeless folks on the streets and to have a really nice women's/children's shelter for those abused in their own homes and wouldn't it be really nice to see abuse disappear? I wonder if some sort of rehabilitation services for both shelters would work.
I know my Dad was raised from age 13 to 18 in the Odd Fellow's and Rebecca's Orphanage in Oklahoma, and he had to work on their farm, I don't think that hurt him any...but what did hurt him was the loss of his father to a ruptured appendix and then the poverty of his mother which forced her to place her six children in the orphanage. He had very mixed feelings about that part of it and thus mixed feelings about her. This was back in the 30's and I can't conceive even what that must've been like then for her or for him or his siblings. Only one of the six children is alive today, my Uncle Davey, I think he's 86 now and what a treasure. I should ask him a few questions.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Plum Cake

This recipe is from Martha Stewart Living and is delightful for a quickie dessert or to take to my stitch group.
Plum Cake

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for skillet
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for skillet
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Coarse salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 ripe medium plums, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast-iron); dust with flour, tapping out excess or a square baking pan or a large pie pan. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg. Add flour mixture alternating with buttermilk.
Pour batter into prepared skillet, and smooth top. Fan plums on top, and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly.

I like to use demerara sugar for the top and I just butter a large glass pie plate for the cake. It's nice served warm with vanilla ice cream or just with tea at stitch group.
I hope everyone visits Martha's website for all the wonderful ideas she so generously shares there.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup and Life Lessons #6 & 7 & 8

Have you ever been invited to go somewhere and think "oh I'm not sure I want to do that" but then you go anyway as you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings because you're an old stick in the mud? Well next time I have that I'm not sure feeling, I'm staying in. My stitch group, eight of us I think, decided we'd go as a group to Dragon Mart way out in the middle of the desert and we'd shop then have lunch. So my expectation was we'd be back by 1 or 1:30...well at 3 we were finally underway and they wanted to stop at yet another place, the Outlet Mall and I felt like an idiot begging them to do it another day or drop me at a taxi ...and I was the one who sat on a bench and did a lot of waiting, still with my old arthritis rearing it's ugly little head all the time I got really worn out between 9:30 and 3. Life Lesson # 6 Never go shopping with 7 other women! Thus by that night I started getting a sore throat and next day even worse and next day the full blown cold! I know I just wore myself out. You see Dragon Mart is gigantic, like maybe a mile long? not sure...but I know we covered a lot of area. As soon as we got back I went to bed, straight down for a nap, crashed, boom, out like a light! Then woke up sick. So now I have that nastiest of nasties a cold. So what do I do for a cold, well when I can gather my wits about me which I think I just did, I make a pot of Chicken Noodle Soup. Homemade of course.

Todays Version of Chicken Noodle Soup
I had leftover already boned chicken pieces in the freezer. I began by cutting up one sweet onion and two big pieces of celery and three garlic toes, those I sauteed until clear in lemon olive oil (find that at Carlucci's either in person or on line at oh it made the veggies smell delicious as they simmered. Then I cut up a big fat carrot, diced it well and put it in a small saucepan with more lemon olive oil and just covered with water to cook through, you see I forgot to add it to the other veggies. I added in six spinach balls, here in Dubai our frozen spinach is formed in the size of tater tots...then I added in Poultry Seasoning, salt and pepper, and garlic powder. You see you need all that garlic to get better...haha....then I decided I would add the juice of half a lemon and six cans of chicken broth and then four little round bunches of tagliatelle, and I crunched those up as I added them. Well then I decided I might like to add some cannellini beans, well the ones you get here in the can still seem to be a bit crunchy so I've got them boiling away while my soup is cooking, I'll add them in a little bit. I think that's all....I did a simple taste, pretty good with that lemon, now I can't wait until everything is all cooked together. I think I've decided to serve that for dinner. I'll also make an egg salad, bacon and basil sandwich, on toasted seeded bread. Yum, sounds good to me. Now, let's see, what did I do with that extra half a lemon, oh yes....I made myself a lemon tea....bring your water kettle to the boil, squeeze the lemon into a cup, add a spoon of honey then the hot water, stir and drink...soothing drink and supposedly Lemon cleans out your system, well let's hope so. Ahhhhh......maybe this will make me feel better fast.

Now if I can get myself really moving I want to try my hand at Malva Pudding. You can easily find it on the internet, my recipe came from My stitch group went out for lunch last week too, but it was just lunch, no shopping but we went to Festival City Mall which is also huge and it was quite a trek to get to the restaurant, oh what was the name of it? oh yes Spurs, it's South African I was someone's birthday so we celebrated with Malva Pudding. It must be the best thing I've ever eaten in the desert category.
Oh I am not such a genius, while I sat right here by the stove and typed, my beans ran out of water before I noticed, well that takes me to Life Lesson #7. Buy really good pans. Mine are Jamie Oliver and I adore them, unfortunately they are quite difficult to find in the states, but never mind that I have purchased them here. Well here's what I did, I salvaged the top layer of beans, well yes, they do taste just a tiny bit smokey but they're fine, I did a taste test, then I put my little Jamie Oliver sauce pan to soak in hot water, I will give it twenty minutes to do that then all I have to do is scrape those beans out that got stuck in the brown/black goo and use my trusty little stainless steel scrubber and that wonderful pan will be good as new in less than five minutes, no kidding, I've burnt stuff before on these wonderful pans and they have always come clean as a whistle. I can remember way back when...I've been known to toss a heavily scorched pan.

......if you're out there Jamie, I do love your pans! Now my soup has that sort of smokey what on earth did you burn smell, but the taste is still to cover it all up and get out my Lysol Linen scented spray and hopefully Tom will be none the wiser to my spoilt beans! I wonder sometimes if Martha Stewart or Julia Child ever burnt something onto their pans?

You see after about 10 minutes soaking in the hot water, I scrape this to one side so you can see how easily Jamie's pans come clean...and now I've had my bowl of soup, I'm still sneezing and sniffling of course but have had good nourishing stuff and I've made a pot full so that will be dinner as well my lunch tomorrow and after that whatever is leftover I think I will freeze for another lunch.

Now Life Lesson # 8 is extremely important, taught to me by my dear most of the time sweet husband...he says "Expect nothing, then you're not disappointed". I did make a huge booboo today by burning my beans and as I dumped the "good" ones into my soup pot I did wonder if I was ruining the whole pot, though I couldn't stop myself from dumping them in, I didn't expect anything and thus my soup is delicious!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Twenty Five Years

For twenty five years I have shared my life and love with this man. What an incredible experience and how blessed I am to have had these years. I can still feel the coolness of that fall day and the warmth of this man as we stood on our front porch amongst our immediate family and a small handful of friends and exchanged our vows. Our wedding was made even more special as Tom took my daughters to love and cherish as his own and he meant it and has stood by his vows.
I wish our wedding pictures were with us today to reflect on, but they're home in the states and we will see them soon. For now some really special memories are with me, at the end of the short ceremony Tom's father turned to my mother and said "it's about time". I always did think that simple loving man was full of wisdom and on this note he was so wise.
My wish to all who read the few words I write is that you too have a love this strong, this secure, this wonderful a marriage, to call your own.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Limes, Limes and More Limes

My little Lime Tree sure needed a hair cut, it had grown out at least 40 feet around and perhaps 20 to 25 feet was sagging with the weight of itself so I did ask the Gardener to go ahead and cut it back some...herewith the result and all the limes that were on the cut off branches and the thing is still FULL!
I've learned several other is to dry the entire lime, there are recipes from the Middle East and Asia that require whole dried limes, I believe you crush them in a mortar and pestle. Also I learned that you can slice them and freeze them...thus I sliced a bunch, laid them out on a cookie sheet to freeze then I will collect them into a zip loc friends tell me that you then just take one out as needed to add to a drink such as limeade or lemonade or even hot tea or some club soda.

Life Lesson #5/a bit graphic if you're "delicate", but it's funny

Well...I certainly won't do any photos for this one but must share this Life Lesson #5...if you did not go see "The Bucket List" either go see it or rent the movie or better yet, buy the DVD or video. Jack Nicholson gives us a few Life Lessons in that movie and they are these three, never pass up a bathroom, never trust a fart and never waste a hard on...I know they're all a bit graphic but bear with me as I share the Life Lesson from them...Tom wasn't listening apparently when the LIfe Lessons were given. The other day he called me frantically from work telling me he had had a horrible accident...he had let what he thought was a small fart slip out in his office at work...fortunately for him he was paying attention and made it to the bathroom just in time so to speak, though not totally...I had to pack up clean clothes including shirt, underwear, pants, and shoes along with a wash cloth, towel and plenty of soap too. he called me of course, I laughed so hard I nearly died, but began gathering up things to rush to help him...fortunately he had no meetings scheduled and everyone in his area seemed to be gone for the day as we talked my stomach began to chortle terribly...I thought it was simply from laughing, perhaps sympathy I dashed out for the 30 minute drive to help him get cleaned up....I had remembered my cell phone for a change so was able to call to let him know how close I was and what floor is your office on anyway? and he said oh I'm waiting outside...hope you brought a towel...yes I had...well my stomach kept cramping, hurting something awful. However, I did pay attention to Jack Nicholson's Life Lessons so I didn't even entertain the idea of a fart. Well I got to the University, indeed he was waiting outside, just too anxious to get on home and get this mess fixed up....when he got in the car he told me that in his haste he forgot to lock the bathroom door....of course in walks one of the "Tea Boys" they call them, these are young men who actually serve tea in the executive offices, they do not speak any English at all...understand very little etc...well one of them walked in as Tom stood in front of the stink, drawers on the floor trying his best to clean with paper towels etc....we nearly died laughing as I drove away..again the cramping in my stomach...I told him this is not going to be a fun ride home...another at least 1/2 hour depending on traffic...well the traffic Gods were with us and we dashed home in record time...and of course I had a rather rough time in the bathroom too...we must've both eaten something the night before that urgently wanted out....but we sure did laugh....we really haven't a clue what the culprit was but we did both learn that we must pay attention when someone gives us a LIfe Lesson.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


grated zest of about 50 limes, dries well overnight, store in a glass jar.

Limecello in the making, at this point it is simply vodka and the lime zest.

My set up, limes, vodka, zester, juicer. I freeze lime juice in 1/2 cup amounts in zip loc bags, lay them flat, works out very well, then you can easily stack them up in the freezer. You do not use the juice in the limecello, just the zest which is later filtered out. After a few weeks I will need to make a simple syrup to add to the vodka/zest mixture. Then it will set again for several weeks.
This is the recipe I am following from my friend John....I'm hoping to get a good result and also hoping if it is good that I can make it again next year. I would've made more this year but only had the one bottle of vodka.

Limecello recipe from John:
take some of your limes ( depending on the size, 45-50 if they are small ones and peel the zest off, taking care not to get any of the white pulp.. Then in a glass or metal bowl, soak the zest's in 1 liter of Everclear (grain alcohol) if you can't get that, use a plain, unflavored vodka.
Let them marinate for 3-5 weeks, until the zests are the consistency of a chip. In a separate pan, make a simple syrup. 1 ltr of water mixed with the equivielent amount in white sugar. Bring to almost a boil and then simmer and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Set the syrup aside to cool. Take the zest's and drain the vodka off using cheese cloth. Mix the vodka with the syrup an ...Voila! you have a nice batch of lime-a -cello. Sip, savor, repeat.

So my limecello has been quietly brewing in the fridge now for 3 weeks. I will let it sit another two weeks before making the syrup. I notice though that my zest has turned a bit dark as has the vodka. hmmmm....we'll see.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Life lesson # 3 and # 4

Life Lesson # 3, don't always follow the recipe...I did an oops and it turned out better than the original recipe. I forgot to put the sugar in the topping, so scraped the topping off, and put the sugar in the peaches, returned topping for baking, sprinkled well with about 2 -3 tablespoons of demerara sugar, oh it was so good...also forgot the cinnamon was to go in the peaches, so put it in the topping...worked out fine! So the life lesson is perhaps the original recipe wasn't the greatest after all.

uhoh...poor little chicken in oven, put the tray back in under the grill and did not notice the plastic chicken cutting board was hanging onto the back side....oh dear...always check...Life Lesson # 4, just in case the chicken is still damp and holding on for dear life! Oh the tray got dirty when I baked the cobbler and like an idiot I did not cover it with foil before baking the cobbler which boiled over. So I had removed the tray and scrubbed it, put it behind the faucet for drying apparently right next to the chicken cutting mat and they got stuck together!

I had been preheating the oven for jacket potatoes I intended to stuff with cheese, bacon, butter and sour cream...I scoop out the potato and mash all of that together, then put it all back's yummy! I turned and noted smoke pouring out of my oven and a horrible horrible stench! Aaaaccckkk!

Fortunately I kept my few wits about me and shut off the oven, a first attempt to scoop fried plastic chicken off the bottom of the non removable part of my oven showed me that it needed to cool because it had the consistency of wet chewing gum stuck on your shoe!

I got so lucky, the little chicken did a regroup of its molecules in the cooling process and came out mostly whole...the rest I was able to clean up with a razor blade scraper...oh so fortunate that the oven base is ceramic too. It only took about five minutes with the blade and hot soapy dishwater to clean it up...oh I was lucky this time as I could've turned the thing on and left the house for an hour. So the lesson is always check the bottom of whatever you've stuck in the oven, just in case a plastic chicken goes along for a ride!
Ha and when you check your post you find out that your pictures are in reverse order....the clean oven should've been last and the poor little chicken should've been first...ahhh Scarlett said..."tomorrow is another day".

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A pot that age has made beautiful

I often wonder where this pot came from. It magically appeared one day, that happens sometimes when you have a gardener. When it first appeared it was a normal pot with normal colors. I think the gardener was trying to replace a pot that I had loved and he tossed out, it was broken and I had put it in a tree branch for decoration. Well...over time this pot has beautifully aged. I notice it daily when I go outside. I rather love it now. I think it's a happy pot. I love the age spots on it and just like my own, Mother Nature provided them.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Life Lessons 1 & 2

First life lesson...remember to prebake crust for key lime pie at least 20 minutes before adding filling and baking the 12 minutes which is perfect by the way for filling, cuts perfectly and eggs are bacteria free after 12 minutes...just be sure the pie crust is properly prebaked. It may take longer than 20 minutes, will test that again.
Egg yolks here are very dark orange, hence nearly melon or pumpkin colored key lime pie!

And to Life Lesson number 2. Keep rubber gloves in the bathroom for when your bracelet falls in the toilet! I had to fish out the chain then find the little ball too...ugh..thank you to whoever invented rubber gloves! I soaked them in bleach/dish wash soap and hottest water possible. And always remember to look BEFORE you I once flushed the last $20.00 we had and payday was a few days away.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pie anyone?

This is my key lime tree in my garden in Dubai, two years in a row now it has produced somewhere in the area of 100 lbs of key limes and thus many pies. I decided I must find more recipes using key limes as I have so many and still have frozen juice and zest from last summer! I found this there are several recipes there that sound just terrific.
Several years ago I was interviewed for an article for Friday magazine, a local magazine here in Dubai that comes with your newspaper on Friday. I was required to make six pies and submit the pies for photographing along with the recipes. The lady that interviewed me was from India and she had brought her little ten year old girl along, neither of them nor the Phillipine photographer had ever had pie so we sat and sampled them all after the photo shoot. I use an old recipe for piecrust I found years ago in the Southern Living 1979 recipe book. I learned to make some new pies for the article, one was a coconut cream totally from scratch, it was delicious and fun. I also made pecan, apple, key lime and a cherry and a blueberry though they did not photograph those two. I have so many pie dishes because of that photo shoot! I have given several away full of pie. I also found a site online that shows you how to make individual pies in little canning jars, I made them while at our beach house and shared them with all my little neighbors, so nice as you can put the lid on and freeze them until you want a pie then thaw, heat and eat!
So this is my key lime pie recipe:

Pie Crust
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons Crisco
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water or more depending on your altitude

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add crisco and blend with a pastry blender until soft crumbles the size of small peas. Slowly stir in the ice water until able to make a ball of dough. Chill, then roll into a circle, roll it up on your rolling pin and drape over your pie dish, trim the edges and decorate as you please. As you'll see in the picture of the front of the magazine, they picked my American Apple Pie as the small featurette and there it is with the apple falling into the pie...silly me cut the shape all the way around instead of just making slits, then it fell in! Didn't alter the taste at least.

Key Lime Pie
4 large egg yolks
one 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup of fresh key lime juice
2 teaspoons of key lime zest

Whip the eggs together until thick and creamy, but do not over-whip. Add the sweetened condensed milk. Add the juice a little at a time mixing until well blended. Add the lime zest. Pour into prepared shell (I prebake my pie crust for about 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven). Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes to kill any bacteria in the eggs and to set the yolk. Remove, cool and keep refrigerated until serving time. Serve with a dollop of home made whipped cream

Home Made Whipped Cream
Pour contents of one small container of whipping cream into a bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and a few drops of vanilla. Whip until it just barely holds a stiff peak, again do not over-whip. Serve on top of your pie, easy and delicious.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My Parents

My parents, Tipp and Gloria McClure, September 18, 1993, posted on facebook by my niece. It's a great picture of them. My niece thinks the occasion was my Aunt Rosie's 50th anniversary dinner.
hmmm...this brings back such a flood of memories..

Peach Cobbler

1 stick (4 ounces) butter
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 peaches peeled, and thinly sliced (I used about 6...I like alot)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Melt butter and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt; stir to blend. Stir in the milk and vanilla until blended. Pour the batter over the melted butter. Toss the peaches with the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon and pour on top of the batter and butter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees until batter begins to pull away from the sides or toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. The top will be browned. Serve warm with heavy cream or whipping cream or a scoop of ice cream. Serves 6

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Three Graces

My sweet husband took on me and my three young girls many years ago. We began in a big ole barn of a house in the Historical District of Asheville. The grand stairwell was covered in pictures, one of them being The Three Graces. Soon we began to call the girls, who have now become "our" girls, The Three Graces. So the photo is a current one of our Graces and the statue pictures are the real deal from the Vatican Museum, a trip we took about six years ago.
In Greek Mythology they were thought to be goddesses of gracefulness, the charms of beauty and cheerful amusements. I found their names in Wikipedia...from youngest to oldest: Aglaea ("Beauty"), Euphrosyne ("Mirth"), and Thalia ("Good Cheer"). In Roman mythology they were known as the Gratiae, the "Graces". Sounds like a bit to live up to....I just settled the names on my own and where near the truth of them. Mine are real flesh and blood and they fight tooth and toenail both for and against each other, they also laugh and cry together; I think that's likely normal for a trio of sisters. One thing amongst them seems to really stand out...they are all three devoted to the other's children, and that I think is marvelous.
Strangely enough, most generally in a picture of the three of them, they do have their arms draped across each other, many pictures come to my minds eye, they just are not on this computer. Here they are standing on the deck of the last place they all three knew as home, we all built it together and family life as we know it continues here in the long awaited home to our Three Graces.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Post Op Boredom

well this is me not even 24 hours post op, more like about 18, I was rarin and tearin to go home but my Dr was stuck in a C section and couldn't release me...finally they talked to her via a nurse assistant and she said let'er go already! So I'm now three days post op at home, enjoying it so much, just came in from the porch as now at nearly high noon the mountains have decided to let the heat seep on down from the I'm in my comfy indoor rocker as opposed to my not so comfy but oh so cute outdoor rocker pictured below. So what one does post op, putter just a teeny tiny dust two tables then sit and blog, then put the dishes in the dishwasher, sit and blog, then shower, then sit and rub lotion all over, then maybe take a short nap with a good small amounts of good fresh foods, drink lots of water...repeat all of the above...until bedtime then drink about 1/4 to 1/2 glass of prune juice and go to bed....repeat the next day, apparently for a couple of boring weeks...though today I think after I finally shower....I will work a bit on a quilt...that is easy enough...just sit and let the machine do the work.
I found this lovely little tray at a junque shop for $ kind of buy..usually today they are so collectable that they are much more...but this was buried in a junque that!
The little fabric bowl my daughter made me to go with all my bits of red the cute salt and pepper shakers...from a neat shop kinda like UK's Green Gate or Kate whatsherface?, and I found those sugar and creamers in Dubai too...always the watchful eye for polka a cupboard behind where I took this is a set of little mixing bowls...all reds...from AC Moore or Michael's or Joann's or one of those kind of stores on their half off sale rack...oh they're cute as bugs ears too. beach find, the junque store rocker, one time had a price tag of $100, reduced to $55 as it didn't sell for that pricey tag as it's not all that comfy, thus I sit on that face pillow my daughter made me years ago...I went to the shop three times to look at it, sat in it about like Goldilocks and kept thinking but it's not comfy so would leave it, but I loved it, the look of it and it's red! and couldn't erase it from my mind until one day, my dear sweetie went to fetch it for me and alas it was gone! Much much much to my surprise he asked after it, I mean he never does things like that, normally he would just come back and apologize and explain that it was gone...but he didn't do that and there it was out in their shed, with a missing arm, since he builds furniture as a hobby he looked all the bits over...then ...he dickered on the price tag and bagged it for $25.00 though apparently he tried really hard for $20...I had told him to settle on $ bargain!!!!!!, her reglued the arm for me and old oak rocker with great the shapes of it for a grandson had gone with him to pick it up and told me the whole story...cute eh? Now to figure out some padding for the seat and my weary old bones....
okay so have blogged around and surfed around enough for today...will go upstairs and stay put a bit, they did tell me easy on the stair climbing bit...will sew...I hope Tom remembered to set up the ironing to collect my disappearing nine patch pieces...oh can't wait to finish up the shower bit to cut and sew!

The Surprise Doll

When I was a little girl, maybe just old enough to read, I got this book, at the time it was a mere pittance like perhaps 29 cents, this one came from ebay for my birthday a few years back for $100! It's an original, in good condition with the "extras" of the storey that are not in every single issue. I adore this book, always have and always will. One day I plan to make a quilt about this book, not sure yet how I will do that but it works itself around in my mind a lot.
So it's a storey about Mary and her father who is a sea captain and how he has brought her six dolls from around the world, you'll see bits of them in a few more pictures. Well, Mary, being a female after all was not happy with just six dolls. She wanted one for each day of the week, but her Daddy being a man after all, did not understand this and refused.

This part tells all about what Mary looks like and quite honestly, I've always felt that's me in that's about how I feel deep down in the dark recesses of my soul........only my flowers are always daisies. So you can just barely see there, Mary waves goodbye to her sea faring Daddy...then begins her plan........

She loads all her dollies into her little red wagon, yes I do have one, belonged to my grandson and now lives down at my beach house in the bathroom full of magazines...otherwise it would likely be full of dolls or stuffed animals. Okay so she loads up her dollies and heads down the hill into town to the dollmakers and he says yes he can make her a Sunday doll, but it will take a week and she must come back....are you now wondering who takes care of Mary while her Daddy is away? yep me too....the book never tells you anything about a Mother or a Grandmother or a babysitter....just Mary, her dolls, her sea captain Daddy and the dollmaker...

So here are Mary's dolls and here is what the dollmaker took from each of them, can you imagine how hard it was for a little girl to give up all her dolls for a whole week....well see below...I do believe it was worth it....

Oh I really should've photographed the page with the kindly old dollmaker...kind of amazing that it was a man and he had such a vision eh? I continue to love this storey and any grandchild who will listen gets to hear it from me. I have since purchased copies for my great nieces who came before my darling grand daughter of my very own...the one who much prefers puppies to dolls and now thinks horses are quite neat too.....
Where have the days of innocence and sweet stories like this disappeared to? This was publised by Wonder Books in 1949, so I imagine, since I was born in 1946, that the very second I could sit still long enough to have a story read to me that it was my book....I so wish I had my original copy. There is another book from that era about a Boston time I share a book it will be about Archie and the Biggers and why they had to move and what happened to least I think it was Archie...not positive as my own Boston was Pixie...though this storey was about a boy dog. Until next storey time!

Beach Sewing Spot

What is it about the beach's lazy days that one becomes so busy that you cannot possibly finish a small baby quilt in three weeks at your little sewing my new's an Ethan Allen, cabbaged at a junk shop for $22.00, it scratches, all maple, just lovely and I love love my chambray blue colored table...another thrift shop buy, carried that one around in the car for a bit, can't remember where I got it but it was no where near the beach house, I do remember that...but that chambray blue color grabs my heart strings every time....this whole room is shades of blue, with some dashes of gold/yellow and red...I love it so much. Wonder what it is about me that I love simple things like these so much...note all the little tins collected at different TJ Maxx's along the way...all in the 2-3 dollar category, my price range for "junque" stuff, oh I just looked at the picture again and you can't really see them...I think there are maybe 4 or 5 different coffee tins back there behind the machine. I keep all kinds of haberdashery in them. The little book shelf was a junque shop find for $2.00, the drawer handles are long gone, handles are now long screws. Ha...nearly everything you see is junque shop finds except for the red camel, my Sri Lankan friend brought me that from Colombo...from a shop called Barefoot, the owner is, I believe, American and she employs the locals to make all these lovely things from their own line of woven colorful fabrics. Their website is It's certainly worth a visit. The little red camel was all of maybe $2.50 American money. Simply amazing...I have quite a collection of their things and my friend had brought all our Piecemakers Stitch Group in Dubai a little animal for our pins and needles one year for Christmas. Since then I have been to the shop myself and have asked my friend to bring back more things for me when she goes to visit her mother and family in Colombo. Oh I have such wonderful friends from all over the world.
And I sew on my little Winnie the Pooh Brother machine, it's small and perfect to tuck into the beach digs...doesn't take up much space and has a handy dandy dust cover.
I'm just idling away my time recovering from a hysterectomy and bored to tears as I feel so well but am following orders, behaving and not doing anything much at all which is why I have been blogging so the bored something to do and maybe gives some stranger somewhere some new idea, gosh how neat would that be?
Next I think I will write about my most favorite book of all time......

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Daisy's spot in the sun

This is our precious Daisy in her chair by the window in Dubai...I miss her so. She has a great kennel in Abu Dhabi where her Bombi looks lovingly after her when we're away. Once we're back I will have been away from her for five months...I won't be leaving her much at all, the weather will be more temperate and she will make the short jogs to the grocery with me...sitting in the shade for 10 minutes, there are huge umbrellas over the car parks and some lower level parking that is cool too, but I don't leave her in know the milk and bread the winter months she will happily sit in the car people watching while I shop. I open the sun roof for is much cooler and in the shade she is safe in the car then. Summer she only goes when one of us sits in the car with her with the a/c running. Tom was with her earlier this summer but I was here...I only want to return to be with her.

Little antique handquilted treasure

I've had this at least 15 to 20 years perhaps. When I worked I would treat myself to an antique quilt now and then, sometimes I laid them away, sometimes I could just buy one...this one was fairly reasonable, like maybe $50.00, it's in great shape, it's hand quilted. I have no idea where I bought it as it was just too long ago to even try to remember. I guess I am trying to do a bit of cataloging here of my quilt stash. I think this one is still at the beach house...I tend to bring them back and forth as desired. I guess you could say I relocate them occasionally as my heart desires. I so love doing that with my things. Actually I call it puttering.

Traveling Hearts for Krista

Time goes by so quickly it's difficult to remember dates...I think it was September 2006 when the Dubai Quilters Guild each did a block for our Quilt Pink charity quilt designed by one of our members, Cynthia Tomaszewski. find her at her Simple Pleasures website My daughter loved the design so I made this quilt for her using just the hearts from the daughter wanted pastels and especially wanted me to add in lavendars/purples to remember her great grandmothers favorite from my Dubai stash I was able to make this quilt. The Teddy Bear Label I found somewhere on the internet only it was not a label it was something else I do not even remember what. I sewed all these hearts by hand on plane and auto trips over about a six month period...hence....Traveling Hearts. Somewhere I have a picture of the original quilt that our guild was just absolutely gorgeous and was raffled off for Breast Cancer Research that year. The original had appliqued flowers and vines all around the border and was all pink.

This is an antique quilt I bought years ago...I call it Don't Fence Me In, does anyone know the real name? I just love it. I don't leave it hanging when we're away as it is handstitched, so it is waiting on our return before I redo my hanging sleeve and rehang it in my dining room. I have already removed those old things on the shelf and redone that area in there.

I made this little quilt for a friend of my daughters, for her little girl Hannah. The friends Aunt had given my daughter a bag full of scraps from a local shop that sells handmade childrens I took yellow homespun backgrounds and then used those fabrics to build rag flowers and leaves, added the raspberry sashing and cornerstones from my stash...then had my friend in Dubai, a professional machine quilter quilt it for me. From what I hear little Hannah loves this quilt so much she sleeps with it every night. I named it Just Ducky Flowers.