For Today ~ 29 January 2010 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 29 January 2010

Outside My Window… Hold on…let me walk over to the window. Big sigh. The blue sky and sun we had yesterday is gone and replaced by…SURPRISE SURPRISE…grey. As much as we need the snow up in the mountains for our water supply…Thanks a bunch Gulf of Alaska! I’m sick and tired of your grey storms.

I am thinking… I wonder who else uses their dish washer as a big ole drying rack? We just moved into a new house with a dish washer, and I still wash by hand and use the dish washer to let them dry.

I am thankful for… my family and friends and two furry cats to cuddle with.

From the kitchen… Maybe nothing. I’d like to eat out. I’ve made dinner every night this week.

I am wearing… Jeans, tennies, and a fuzzy grey pull-over.

I am creating… a baby quilt. I found a really cute cheater panel with Over-all Bill on it, added a few borders and it’s turning out pretty cute. I’m also getting ready for a February craft challenge.

I am going… have to go buy more bird seed, peanuts and suet for the birdies.

I am reading… lately, just the newspaper.

I am hoping… My constant wish ~ That everyone that is looking for a job, finds one. (Keep fingers crossed and send up a prayer…my husband just started his second month of work, and still liking it!)

I am hearing… The ice machine, liquid nitrogen tank venting, Dave Matthews Band, me coughing.

Around the house… boxes still to be put away. Boxes of stuff to be taken to St. Vincent’s Thrift. Boxes of stuff to be thrown away. Ahhh…the joys of moving.


A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… Quilt. Unpack. Hopefully get to my nephew’s birthday party.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you…

Quilting on the new Threadbanger…such a cool name for a sewing machine.


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So…Ummmm…there I was at Windy Moon Quilts

And…ahhh…I was in the back of the shop trying to find the Janome 1600P machine so I could ask a question on how to thread it (it was a Christmas gift that my in-laws picked out for me…bless my BIL’s heart, he tried his best!) and, well…instead, I saw my dearly beloved MC6500P, RIP, while petting and tearing up over it…a very coooool looking Janome, called the Threadbanger TB30, a flashy piece of machinery with a big ole star slapped onto it was trying to get my attention.

I found out that Windy Moon Quilts did not carry the 1600P so I couldn’t ask to test drive it and figure out how it worked. While being comforted by two of the ladies about my MC6500P, the Threadbanger kept jumping up at me like Horseshack on Welcome Back, Kotter. I snuck a peek at the price tag….$629….and told it to “stop flagging me down, you’re too expensive for me right now.”

“Ooh-ooh-ooooh! Buuut wait! See my star?! I’m on SALE! 40% OFF!”

Goodness gracious! You should have seen my VISA card, the one that I have way back behind other cards so I don’t use it very often, fly out of it’s hiding place and swish itself through the quilt shop’s credit card swiping machine! I’ve never seen it fly so fast before! The next thing I saw was that flashy Threadbanger running out the door with my car keys and had itself inside and safely buckled in before I knew what was happening.

So…does anyone want to buy a brand new Janome 1600P for $500????

Still have the Creeping Crud….

Still loaded with snot and have a bronchial cough, but I dragged myself to work today. My office doesn’t have a high traffic flow, so I won’t pass it onto anyone…Drats!

Monday and Tuesday have been dreary days here in Northern Nevada. Drizzling rain, snow, sleet, ice, more rain, more snow…grey. I’m tired of the grey. Guess it was good days to be sick.

I did get something accomplished though…I cleaned up my sewing room! Unpacked most of the boxes and made room to get out my ironing board and cutting table. I even unpacked my new Janome 1600P sewing machine that my inlaws gave me for Christmas…but it baffled the hell out of me trying to thread the bugger. I still can’t get the bobbin to work. Waaaaay different than what my Janome 6500P was! I miss that machine sooooooo much. So I took out my little Janome half-pint and sewed on it yesterday.

I made a baby quilt top…I used a cheater panel…it’s just so cute, had to use it. I think the baby will be able to use it into his toddler days. LOL!

Here are the fabrics I used…the panel is from RJR Fabrics ~ Everything but the Kitchen Sink (1930’s prints featuring Overall Bill).

Here is the top…I will bind the quilt with the dark blue material.

Creeping Crud Friday…

Big sigh. Me thinks that creeping crud that I’ve been fighting off for the last month has finally won. My chest is very tight, sorta hard to breathe, and the cough is worst. Patooey.

Nothing much happening here at the hollow…still have boxes all over the house waiting to be unpacked.

Thought I’d share a few things that has caught my eye online and in catalogs that I’ve found.

In our old house there was a funky storage under the staircase that we stuffed plastic bags from the stores. We used them for cleaning the cat litter, put lunches in, and whatnot. Don’t have that in our new house…may have to make something like these:

BAG LADIES (from Connecting Threads)…very cute indeed!

MOON BEAM CLOCK from l.l.bean found on page 35 of the Spring 2010 catalog. I love it! It comes in five colors, the pale green being my favorite.

Also in the same catalog (but unable to find a picture of the room…and my camera is sitting at home right now) on page 9. I absolutely love the Seedling Polka-Dot Chenille bedspread with the light lemon Sunwashed Cotton blanket and the Seedling Striped sheets with lemon & seedling pillow cases. So CITRUSY! Makes me want to BREATH DEEP (iff’en I could without coughing)! Makes me want to jump on the bed!

I received a catalog called Acres U.S.A. the other day…it’s a 2010 Book Catalog. Says it’s a family-owned business that’s been a leading voice for organic farming and living for almost 40 years.

I really liked the Gardening and the Homesteading sections.

At one of the after Christmas sales I picked up a box of Celestial Herbal Tea for .50 ~ Gingerbread Spice. I’ve been drinking lots of it with some honey lately. Very tasty and makes my chest feel a bit better!

One of the faculty here at work is on the mailing list to Sundance (as in Robert Redford)…I love the catalog and the jewelry in the magazine. Can never afford it, but I like looking none-the-less.

And last but not least…BRING BACK JOHNNY!

Weekend Rambles…

Just some rambles of things I did and saw over the long holiday weekend (that included a state furlough day).

First off…even though I have yet to organize my sewing room, I went to Windy Moon Quilts to pet some fabric and left with some fat quarters and a jelly roll in Moda’s Au*then*tic fabric line designed by Sweetwater. It’s really cute. I NEED to go back and get more or the newsprint fat quarters. 🙂

Lookie who I spotted in my back yard! A Rufus-sided Towhee! I just love them…so far in my new yard I’ve had quail, doves, sparrows, finches, robins, towhees, mockingbird, and juncos.

I have a new edition to my Irish Belleek collection…a harp! It has the Third Green (or Sixth) Mark and dates from 1965-1981. So pretty!

Yesterday’s sunrise from my kitchen window…

Lucy and Leo snuggling down.

The Great Backyard Bird Count ~ February 12-15, 2010

The Great Backyard Bird Count is nearing…February 12th through the 15th is the annual bird watch hosted by the National Audubon Society and Cornell Lab of Orthology.

Scrub Jay, Sparks, NV Oct. 2008

1 – Plan to count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count.

2 – Count the greatest number of individuals of each species that you see together at any one time.

3 – When you’re finished, enter your results through GBBC’s web page. The count will remain active until the data deadline on March 1st, 2010.

Oregon Dark-Eyed Junco, Sparks, NV, Dec. 2009

PRINTALBE TALLY SHEETS for your area. Just enter your zip code or town/state or national park/forest.

Here is the checklist for 89433 – Sun Valley, NV

Downy Woodpecker, Sparks, NV Dec. 2009

PHOTO CONTEST RULES ~ There will be three judges each from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society who will review all entries. All winners and finalists will be posted on the GBBC web site.

Images will be judged in six categories:
Bird in its habitat
Group shot (2 or more birds)
People enjoying birds

RESOURCES for all Educators/Teachers.

My version of PF Chang’s Lettuce Wrap recipe

Yesterday a friend emailed me OUR TOP 100 RECIPES OF 2009…and on the front page I saw the picture of lettuce wraps, so I clicked on it.

Recipe #15865 P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps was what showed up. But being me…I adapted the recipe for what was in my freezer and pantry. It helps that I have never eaten at P.F. Chang, so I don’t have anything to compare it to. I think it turned out pretty dang tasty!

You can click on the above recipe for the original Todd Wilbur & Top Secret Recipe. I have mine below.

Michelle’s Version of the Lettuce Wraps:

1 package Jennie-O ground turkey
1 Tbsp Peanut Oil
1 can whole Water Chestnuts
2 Carrots
1 clove Garlic
1 bunch Green Onions
1.5 Cups White Button Mushrooms
Iceberg lettuce leaves

Special Sauce:
1.5 TBSP Peanut & Sesame Oil (combined)
3 TBSP seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
2.5 TBSP Hot Chinese Mustard
3 TBSP Garlic/Red Chile Sauce
3 TBSP Hoisin Sauce
3 TBSP Newman’s Own Sesame Ginger marinade
2 TBSP low sodium Soy

Heat skillet with peanut oil and cook turkey, once mostly cooked pour 1/2 of the sauce in and cook until sauce has been reduced.

In food processor chop up all veggies and add to turkey meat & sauce to “stir fry” the veggies. Add rest of sauce and let reduce.

Peel off three lettuce leaves for each plate and fill up with meat/veggie mixture…crumble on those hard lo mein (? I forget what they’re called) noodles that you get in a box for some extra crunch. Serve with steamed rice.

These were very tasty! Tonight will be left-over rice and meat with a side salad.

New Digs…will be planning a new garden!

Well…we spent the weekend in our new digs. A nice rental on 1/3 acre north of Reno. The rent is almost half of what our mortgage was.

With Reno/Sparks job & housing market in the cellar, being a homeowner was no longer an option. Our house went from $240K to $139K in less than 3 years…and with a husband who was out of work for so long, we decided to let the house go. Kiss my Arse, Bank of America. Good riddance. You can have the alley-creepers that come into our FENCED yard to dig through our recycling bins and trash can, and the drug dealers that have moved into the neighborhood. And the church folks next-door that refuse to obey the Resident Parking only sign.

The only thing I will miss is my one-legged scrub jay. I hope he’ll find some peanuts nearby…he is such a sweet bird.

It’s a new year and God has been good to us. A new house on a third of an acre…that is flat and loaded with trees. Husband landed a full-time permanent job…that he actually likes. Health is good. The scrub jays in the new neighborhood have found my peanuts I’ve thrown out for them. The mockingbird has found the suet I’ve hung out. And all the wee birdies have found the new feeders. Leo and Lucy love the new place with all the windows. I love my new gas range in the kitchen.

I’m already laying out where the garden will go. I’m thinking 2 6×6 beds and 2 3×6 beds to start with…and a corn and pumpkin patch towards the back fence. I’m excited to see how the peach and plum tree will produce this year. Our landlord says the peaches are delicious. Will have to find more canning jars at yard sales!

I’ll post pictures soon…as soon as the pea soup fog goes away. Lord how I miss the sun!

Cheep Talk ~ new Fabric Collection from Connecting Threads

It’s not often that I fall head over heels in love with a whole fabric line…but I just received my copy of the new Connecting Threads catalog and look what was on the front cover.


CHEEP TALK…100% super combed cotton grown in the U.S. – 45″wide.

I’m definitely going to be buying some fabric in this line! It makes me smile.

Here are some more of the quilt kits that they made up….the Flying Geese pattern is one of my favorites, I like to add it into a lot of my quilts.




For Today ~ 5 January 2010 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 05 January 2010

Outside My Window… Out the west window…a service truck, patches of snow, looks grey outside. Out the south windows…icky inversion crap.

I am thinking… I really want to get totally moved into the new house so I can set up my new Wii that my mom and sister gave me for Christmas (and next birthday and probably next Christmas too)!

I am thankful for… deciding on getting that house when it came up for rent…I can’t find anything out there for under $1000 in a semi-nice neighborhood anymore. I pounced when I should have! 🙂

From the kitchen… Not sure. We had pizza last night. Maybe grilled chesse sourdough sandwiches and soup.

I am wearing… Jeans, tennies, and a burgundy long sleeve heavy t-shirt.

I am creating… absolutely nothing!

I am going… to go to the new house after work to unload the car…getting to the point that we only have the large items to move now.

I am reading… Just online news and the newspaper.

I am hoping… My constant wish ~ That everyone that is looking for a job, finds one. (Keep fingers crossed and send up a prayer…my husband just started his second month of work, and still liking it!)

I am hearing… The ice machine, me typing, doors slamming in the hall.

Around the house… Dust bunnies that I’m going to leave for someone else to clean up. 🙂

One of my favorite things… sunshine…it’s been missing for a while now.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… keep moving and on Friday we’re going to see Aaron Lewis at the Silver Legacy.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you…

My nephew opening the sock monkey I gave him for Christmas.

My niece and nephew at my mom’s pre-Christmas wingding.

My niece and her new American Girl doll.


The Simple Woman is the original home of The Simple Woman's Daybook.