2 Feb 2014 09:56 am
I have managed some more cooking (one of my goals).  This past coupleo f weeks it has been sour dough waffles, sourdough bread with ground amaranth (the whole seed is not as sweet as amaranth flour), sourdough fruit bread is rising now and a king cake is planned when I figure out when Fat Tuesday is.  Oh yeah, and sour dough dumplings in stew.

Sour dough.  Add enough flour to make a thick dough.  Add egg, herbs if desired (I used herbs de Province this time), a dash of baking powder if you are impatient or like a really fluffy, biscuit-like dumpling.  Let rise.

Make your favorite stew or soup (I made leftovers beef stew).  Bring to a boil.  Spoon risen dough  into the pot leaving a little space around each dumpling.  Reduce to simmer and cover.  cook about 20 minutes.  Uncover and cook about ten more minutes.  To test for done-ness, cut open the largest dumpling and make sure it is not doughy at the center. 
I hate having to re-enter a post.  I made the mistake of selecting a link for changing a setting I wanted to use, and of course lost all my work as soon as I navigated away.  Wish it would warn me!  so a short version:

Have one more quilt with a deadline: the UnfFnished Object challenge.  It's on the outer round, of course the last quarter is half the quilt.  Radius squared and all that.

Finished the Olympic-themed quilt top and have it hanging at work for the month, which is convenient since it i too long to layout or hang anywhere at the house (Its over 10 feet at the long end).  It's not supposed to have a long end but now that it is hanging, i can see how to fix it.

A little house-hunting.  Slow.  Either people aren't selling or flippers are picking everything of  decent price up and ruining it.   There's open, and there's stripped.  There's modern and there's modern disaster with nothing functional.   Everything on market has been for a long time because it's overpriced for profiteering despite serious flaws.  Highway expansion chopped off the front yard, so that makes it worth more?  Renovation removed all the closet space so that makes it worth more?  A "finished" basement takes up storage space, pretends to be more space than the same house with a perfectly usable unfinished basement, and that makes ti worth twice its assessed value?  Not.  Flaws we can accept.  High prices so that we can't afford to fix them, not so much.

Everything else is trying to remember how I survived night shifts.  I already have insomnia so don't have to worry about developing it...  Sis found me a tension rod to create an extra curtain to keep my bedroom darker during the day.  That starts this coming week.
Yesterday I made a quilt top, from design to finished. Just a baby quilt, but still, i was impressed. I called it Scrapple - Scrappy appliqued Rag quilt. Not a lot of "rag" but I took squares, zig-zagged the edges mostly because it is a baby quilt. Otherwise I would have left them unfinished, and appliqued them down onto the background by sewing large circles. That leaves the corners a little floppy. I cut out the circles behind the appliqued pieces and though I might applique them on the alternate squares, but mostly the alternate squares have cute pictures of ducks and bunnies and cows and Betty Boop in a pink cowgirl outfit and such so I left them like that and will use the circles elsewhere. Also, some of the fabrics are older and thinner and I left the background fabric in place for strength as this is definitely more play blanket than pretty for special occasions. I don't much like the colors. I aimed for pink with a kind of aqua-green but our baby fabric selection is more to the rainbow pastels, so it has aqua-green of a few shades (the darkest was the Betty Boop), and all the baby fabric whose blues leaned in that direction, and not much pink. A few reds, lots of white with pastels. It will get a pink flannel packing and maybe a darker pink silky edge if it still matches or if I have enough blanket binding left. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next weekend, probably not today as I have many other things I need to do, including on the time-stealing computer.

We survived the storm. Noisy until 1 in the morning, and more rain than we needed but the winds were most outside the city in either direction. Still overcast and storms expected again this evening.

The roof top garden is doing well. Only a few rather fibrous radishes but a good flavor. Some of the peas didn't make it (I think the package directions were wrong and they should have been planted earlier. They didn't appreciate the 90's we had a couple of weeks back.) The sunflower seeds drowned or the squirrels ate them, but I think it is early enough to plant some more. Maybe after the current storm series is done. Squashes, beans, cantaloupe, basil, I forget what all else and we lost the labels in the rain storms so maybe we'll see, are all holding on nicely for now. The pails and waste cans we use for larger pots have holes in them, and sometimes a second set if they didn't drain fast enough the first few rain storms.

The irises are done and the day lilies are only in bud but the spiderwort and one of the climatis and several heliobores are all blooming so we have a little of purple and white front and back. The lilac still hasn't bloomed. Not sure what we are doing wrong, but the tiny struggling rhododendrun (it gets too hot here for it to be happy) finally has a full flower and it is lasting quite a while though it is mostly hidden by other plants, it has grown so little.

We are looking at houses west of Madison.
Researching paper work besides trying to put away old stuff. Yes, researching paperwork, specifically for what might be needed to set up a small business or not-for-profit. Messy regardless and I think not something to actually do before we are ready to start or heading in that direction, but good to know what is expected, what is required, and how to speak the speak so that we don't accidentally confuse roles and upset tax people and supporters (Lesson of the week: Boards of Directors for not-for-profits don't normally get paid so you can only ask s much of them: managers of various sorts might if it isn't a volunteer-only role...).

Researching future cruises - they don't schedule them as far in advance as they used to, possibly due to the need to make changes more than usual in recent years, or the need to adjust prices... We aren't planning on one soon, just looking where we might want to go yet besides a general world cruise when we retire and relocate.

A little bit of fabric shopping but more thrift store shopping looking for an old comforter or two in light cottons to which other stuff can be appliqued, the best way to use up the stash of non-cottons in our "closet", I expect I'll make several in the next year or two, as well as several planned quilts this summer, including multiple "fall" quilts for self, charities, and maybe to try selling on Etsy to test the market's view of my idea of a good crazy quilt. (A lot of people confuse scrappy--meaning mixed fabrics on a repeating pattern--with crazy--meaning not much pattern, either, and ideally no pattern, so unique. But scrappy is more widely acceptable in my local observation, unless it looks specifically like a Victorian crazy quilt. I don't mind the latter, but since I hand quilt and embroider, it's not something I would ever expect to get paid a "reasonable" amount for. A dollar an hour for labor is more likely, so I'd keep, gift, or donate those for charity auctions, not try to sell as a means of earning money. Still, there are things that are not Victorian that are nice crazy quilts, with their own artistic value as well as comfortable for a bed, and some of them can be done with a reasonable time investment, if the style is something other people can appreciate.

February 2017

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