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.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Greek Orthodox Church at Myrtle Beach, NC

I know nothing about Greek Orthodox, I only know I think this is so beautiful...looking at it brings me a sense of peace. I'd love to photograph it more, this was from a stoplight!

Heidi's afghan

I cast on 258 stitches, then single crocheted, chain one turn going in the back stitch for each one. I worked in rows of 14 except for that center purple stripe which is just two rows. Both sides from the stripe are the same. I then ran around the edge of the afghan picking up a loop in each space, then went around round 2 and picked up both loops, and again for round three and tied off...wallah one sore finger and three months later done.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Our Porch

It keeps changing, evolving...I've already taken away a green chair and added a red rocker....a junque shop find at the too. Tom had to reglue an arm and wallah...perfect porch chair. Mornings and evenings out here are devine!

Morgan's Birthday Afghan

He was eight, loves red, so red back ground with eight black stripes, four at each end. I think he was delighted with it.
I've just finished Heidi''s for Christmas but I gave it to her today, took pictures but need to download them. She loved it too. Now I'm eager to start another one.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Steam Pot and a Corn Crab Bisque made with leftovers

Okay, in our haste to dive in, I did not get complete or "good" pictures. July 2010 Martha Stewart Living has a recipe for a steam pot, slightly different from what we normally make so we decided we'd try it best we could as not all the ingredients were available.
In these photos we had already dished up and dived into the lobster and many shrimp...the peel and eat kind when I thought oh take pictures! So it's not truly what it looked like...that pot was so full the lid barely fit on top of it and I nearly could not carry it to the table.
So here's how it goes, it is simple to make and a bit cheaper to make at home than to go out, though this cost close to $200, seafood is not cheap, but it was better than restaurant food, and basically cheaper too. There were six stuffed Cochran clan at our table when we finished and four neighbors too.
Chop up 2 vidalia or other sweet onions along with three garlic toes chopped finely, toss into a large pot, add a bottle of pale ale, cook about five minutes, add bite size pieces of andouille sausage...Martha said Chorizo but the andouille was great, add one cup of water and bring to a boil! The andouille was so great we froze the remainder of it. Now with each add, cook about five minutes then toss in the next stuff...add about 2 lbs or around 6 red potatoes quartered or you could use new potatoes and about 2 teaspoons of salt, or maybe a tablespoon, just don't overdo it with salt, cook about five minutes more, I'm not going to keep saying that just do it, add five or six ears of corn broken in half, then add cherry clams enough for your gang...I bought one bag, mussels, same thing...we didn't have any, none available, now add crab legs, I used two packages, then the lobster tails, we had six of those; or whole lobsters but who wants to fiddle with all of that part...tails are fine here, and last I used 2 pounds of shrimp. Now cover the pot again and let simmer until the lobster, crabs, and shrimps are cooked, you'll know as they turn pink or red. Meanwhile make up bowls of melted real butter...slice up big slices of lemons, give everyone their own little bowls of butter...line your table with newspapers and put a bit hot pad in the middle...get your ice tea made or get your glasses filled with ice for your cokes or whatever...sometimes we'll make a pan of cornbread or have a nice crusty bread but who wants that when you got all that good stuff? We did make deviled eggs though...nearly always do that when the family eats together.
Now make up some seafood sauce....all of this is to taste...bottle of Heinz Chili sauce, add worchestershire sauce, lemon juice and horseradish and mix...serve in a couple of small bowls at least one for every two folks.
Put that steam pot in the middle of the table, use big ole tongs to haul stuff out. Pig out and enjoy! Didn't hurt to have a huge watermelon all cut up and read to eat either!

Now when we had eaten all we daughter and I sat and picked at least a pound of crab off all the remaining crab legs and let our men folk take the boys to the pool while we worked and chatted, just put the crab in a covered dish and refrigerate, same with the shrimps...right into a baggy. We froze the remaining andouille for something good later. We shelled the corn, chopped the potatoes into bite size pieces...

ahh then the Crab Corn Bisque the next night...all you need from the store is a medium size container of whipping cream and a large box, you know, the Progresso or Swan's type box of chicken broth. Now put the potatoes, corn, crab into a pot, cover with the whipping cream and the chicken broth, taste for salt...adjust...we did not need to add salt if you have too much add a raw potato to pull some of that salt out...add some fresh cracked pepper...just warm that up an serve with oyster crackers or was so good we couldn't see straight! I shared it with four of my little old folks neighbors that I adore....took each of them a quart of it, that was just to two houses...but it made a lot, we all ate all we wanted. We ate the leftover shrimps and seafood dip and corn crab chowder for dinner the next night...what we forgot was we strained all the juices off the steam pot, we were going to use it in the soup, but forgot but I'm betting it would've been as good as the chicken broth, perhaps next time we'll try that.
Normally when we make a steam pot we use just two cups of water and a package of Crab Boil, but this time we tried Martha's Pale Ale routine and man was it good...didn't even miss the crab boil stuff. This is just so simple and honestly our men folk thought my daughter and I were beyond did our neighbors...hardest part of the entire thing...cracking those crab legs...even though we had all the necessary crab crackers, hammers, and picks, still that was work but so worth it!

This we did on the Fourth of July....then after our swim the neighborhood treated us to fireworks watched right from our own screened in porch....perfect! just perfect!

What to do on a beach trip

Learn to ride without training wheels...yay!

ride to the pool with all your "stuff" and folks

Make big waves in the pool

Make a steam pot (recipe to follow)

Toss your favorite flip flops by the boardwalk and go for a long beach walk

take another picture of your favorite old boat

and be sure to zoom in on the gorgeous flowers by the fence

read at the beach, by the pool, on the screened in porch, play games, use solarcaine and sunscreen, eat lots of watermelon, go shopping at all the flea and junque shops, take naps, oh so much more we didn't bother to take the pictures of it all...oh and best of all if you're 11 or below...take naked showers outside with the garden that is fun! Okay so Mom stood by with a towel so nobody could see...but scoot inside and eat some cookies and milk!