Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cats and Quiches

"She (the cat) hasn't had her full ration of kisses-on-the-lips today...she had the half-past-six one in the garden, but she's missed tonight's."

So we've been busy gardening, kissing the cat, making zinnia bouquets, watching the tomatoes starting to turn, cleaning up my studio, and savoring every moment of summer, no matter how hot it is! We try to have our coffee early early these days--before the heat! I saw a little green-striped snake in the garden this morning! Yikes! We've named him "No-Feet."

Easy Spinach Quiche
Spinach quiche and roasted rosemary-garlic-and-parmesan potatoes made a perfect dinner one night. So easy. Buy the pie dough. Line your pie plate, and bake it for five or six minutes at 450 degrees. Mix three eggs and about a cup-and-a-half of milk, sprinkle in a bit of salt and pepper. Cook a few slices of turkey bacon, and chop up 1/4 cup sweet vedalia onion. Add onion to egg mixture. I use a bit of frozen spinach, thawed, and water squeezed out of it. Then pour egg mixture into hot pie shell, place a cup-and-a-half of shredded sharp cheddar cheese around, sprinkle in the crumbled bacon, sprinkle the spinach around and put the whole thing back in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 to 50 minutes until done in the center. Make two and have enough for breakfast the next morning! Most store-bought pie dough comes with two pie shells.

We've been making plenty of pasta salad too--just waiting for more of our tomatoes to turn! Hurry tomatoes!

More things I love about summer:
getting a tan
lots of flowers to put all over the house
morning sewing sessions on the deck
music outside
coffee outside
long, long days
going to bed at midnight
the farmer's market
the gigantic butterflies I saw in my garden today!
big fat bees
late-evening walks around the neighborhood
watching movies with my daughter
dinner at our favorite Mexican place (teeny tiny joint) with my hubby
pasta salad, potato salad, fresh salsa, tomato paninis
a braid in my hair
ankle bracelets
long flowy cotton skirts
my favorite sandals
the look of white gold on tanned skin
a little sun-kissed streak of blonde
the beach, the pool, long baths
Joseph on my mini ironing board--not exactly pressed for time.
thunderstorms that pop up out of nowhere--like right now, so I should post this!

Have happy summer dreams everyone!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Little Mailbox Garden Story

When your doorbell rings at 2 a.m., it's usually not a good thing. So last fall, when our next-door neighbor came a calling in the middle of a cool fall night, he was actually being very kind. He's a great neighbor. He was awakened by the sound of a crash--the crash of a young mother, drunk, who had run her SUV smack into my treasured brick mailbox!

This mailbox was the original brick mailbox built with our house. I had always thought of it as being fairly sturdy, but when a drunk driver fails to make the curve on a culdesac, and in fact hits it head-on, well, that's the end. Our neighbor ran outside to find this woman sitting on the curb by our now-crumbled old mailbox as her two friends hoofed it down the street and ran away with her car keys. Nice friends. When she saw our neighbor walking towards her, she tried to run away from him, and even yelled curse words at him! She was out of her mind.

The old mailbox after the crash.
He, being the gentleman he is, convinced her to calm down, called the police and a tow truck, and even gave her a ride home afterwards. So now, we knew who she was and where she lived.

A brick mason friend came to the rescue.
A call to her insurance company--now noted on the police report--took care of the rest, and I was on my way to getting a brand new brick mailbox with the built-in flower bed I had always wanted. This summer is its first crop of flowers, and I decided to go wild, planting wild flower seeds--since it wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for that wild woman and her drunk driving. I really hope that she grew from the experience and got her act together, especially since she has young children at home. Although it was obvious that this would have been a hit-and-run if she hadn't been too drunk to even know where she was or what she was doing. And, if she hadn't hit the mailbox, she could have hit our house! It was a very sad situation, and I'm glad my neighbor was kind to this poor soul because we were kind of in shock that night. But just seeing my growing flowers is symbolic that you can restore and bloom. I know my mailman has enjoyed watching my flower seeds grow each day he delivers the mail, and I hope it's something that my neighbors who are out walking babies, doggies, and jogging enjoy every day. I do! Now, I just hope it never gets mowed down again! 

He designed my special flower bed just for me!

The zinnias are the first to bloom. I'll post more photos when the coreopsis and marigolds get into the act with their blooms! Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Grow!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Every Inchie Monday--BOOKS

Happy Inchie Monday everyone!  

Today's theme "Books" could definitely go many directions. I chose to see how many favorite books would fit on an inch. I suppose my hand-written font could have been even smaller, for sure, but after listing a few, I went ahead and added a few stitches (all good, non-digital books have stitches), some color, a teeny button and little tacks.

I could spend all day dreaming up book Inchies, but thank goodness there are many creative ones to look at on

My daughter and I had a lovely morning today at Barnes & Noble book store. Once in a while it's nice to go on a quiet weekday morning, get a table in the coffee corner, and take your time leafing through books and mags. And I love to see what she picks out--she's quite the avid reader and writer. Very proud of her! (a future English major) I grab all the latest issues of Somerset-everything (they have several varieties of publications) and choose which one I can't live without! And now, when I'm settled down for the night with my cup of tea, I'm going to attempt "Howard's End."

We have been enjoying our summer, in spite of the continuing heatwave. I try to get up as early as possible and do my gardening by 8:30 a.m. I have a lot of writing to do, reading to do, and plenty of stitching inbetween! Due to the lateness of my garden, the tomatoes have not quite turned yet. But the plants are loaded so when they do...I'll be chained to the waterbath canner, getting all the yummy fresh tomato love packed into jars of salsa and other goodies!
Eat, READ, Write, Dream, Stitch!     

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Banana Bread Morning

Banana bread is just about one of the handiest quick breads. It is ideal for dessert, potluck, tea parties, and breakfast--it's always ready to go. I tried a new banana bread with a streusel topping, and we love it! Warning: it's decadent. Yum!

Streusel-Topped Banana Bread
In your large mixing bowl combine 3 medium bananas, mashed, with 2 beaten eggs, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup room temp. butter.
In another bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
After the wet ingredients are mixed together well, gradually add the flour mixture, only gently combining, and pour into two greased small loaf pans, or one greased large loaf pan.
In a small bowl use a fork to mix 1/4 cup brown sugar with 3 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of butter. Add 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts if desired, and sprinkle streusel onto top of banana bread loaf(s).
Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. 

Have a good morning!

Back to work on my new little cross-stitch heart quilt!

Eat, Write, Dream, and Stitch yourself happy!

Monday, July 4, 2011


A tiny button and bead for the flower.
I love this little pewter Pooh button, and finally found a way to use him for today's Every Inchie Monday theme: SWEET. 

Pooh is someone who would definitely take the time to stop and smell the flowers, and even wait for the bee to show up and lead him to the honey!
Started with three layers of fabric.
Visit amazing, tiny, one-square-inch artworks at

Put as much as you want in the cap and throw it in.
I don't usually do product reviews, but I'm very excited about a new laundry product that is coming out. I love it when my whole laundry room smells fresh and sweet, and couldn't wait to try a product that is nothing more than a scent booster for anything from bedding, to workout clothes. I'm one of those people that will use more than one dryer sheet at a time, just to get the scent into things like quilts and towels. But here's the thing about this Downey Unstopables: the scent lasts for more than 30 days! I have been using the fresh scent, and it really is ahhhmazing! The fresh scent is floating into every room of my house. Love it!

I got this full-size product, free to try, from Vocalpoint is a great website filled with information, tips, savings, and ideas. I was really excited to get Downey Unstopables in the mail, and a cute pair of socks to go with it! All I can say is, sweet!!

My roma tomatoes are all grown up and producing!

Remember my little Roma tomatoes?