Sunday, March 31, 2013

Quilt Top Progress

I am done sewing the pieces together, now I have to add a border around the edge before it goes off to the quilter to put a backing on it & run it through the long arm quilting machine.  Then it will have to have an edging put on, so I am far from done.  I'm very happy that it measures 90 at 3 locations down the one side and 81 inches at 3 locations all the way down the other, and corner to corner it is square.  That might be a miracle!  
As soon as I laid it on the floor to measure it, the cats were right there, of course.

Mary said that the back of the quilt needed to look tidy too, so took a picture of the back, it looks okay.

I had lots of different fabrics to use and worked hard to let the colors be random and not try to adjust the pattern.  I'm very very pleased.  I think it is going to look beautiful on the guest bed!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Free Soup?

Well, not free soup as in no charge, but free as in the Weight Watchers language of zero points.

I decided to make a big pot of soup today, it's raining and cloudy and funky outside, 
so seemed like a good plan.
I've been trying to be true to the Weight Watchers plan for the past 3 months, 
but there are days when I think I am starving!
I printed a recipe from the WW website for a veggie soup that claims to be zero points and used it is my guide to make my own version using veggies that I love.
Rather than saute the veggies to soften them for the soup, I decided to roast them in the oven.  Less interaction from me required, so I could drink coffee and play my computer games, and the oven took care of that part of the process.
Weight Watchers has a feature on their website so you can enter the ingredients of any recipe and their calculator will tell you the point value per serving under the Weight Watchers guidelines, see below.
After I had the soup all together, I decided it needed some zip, 
so I added a generous portion of canned jalapenos.  Yum.
So, I am currently down 8 lbs since I started this health focused eating and exercise plan, and I'm pleased with those results.  Now that the weather is going to be better, and the ice will be gone, I'm looking forward to outdoor activities and getting back into a serious walking routine again.
Until then, I don't want to be starving!  So this is my anti-starving soup.
I'll let you know how it goes.

Wanda's Not Going to Starve Vegetable Soup

Your Recipe
1PointsPlus Value
Prep time:N/A
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Serves: 20



  • My stock was a large freezer bag of homemade chicken stock that I made from boiling the remains of a rotisserie chicken I used to make chicken salad. My ingredient ounce sizes are roughly what is in a can or two. The spinach was one bag of fresh. I chopped into bited sized pieces and roasted the carrots, onion, cabbage, garlic and spinach in the oven before adding to the soup. The spinach only took a few minutes to look wilted, and I added it to the broth and canned ingredients. Once the remaining veggies were roasted, I added them to the liquids that I already had in the pot. Simmer and eat. I'm going to divide this into containers to have in the refrigerator to help with those moments in my day where I think I an 'starving'. I am guessing this to be a 20 serving pot of soup if the servings are about 3/4 of a cup.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Quilting Up North

Last weekend, I drove up North to Mason, WI to stay overnight with friends Rick and Mary.  Mary and I were classmates at Luck some years ago.  The plan was to go out for fish on Friday night and then spend Saturday at a quilt class in Bayfield.  
Mary was teaching The Yellow Brick Road quilt pattern.  She assured me that I should be able to finish sewing the quilt top during the class which started at 8am and ended at 6pm.  I had done all the precutting of fabric that I could do ahead of time, (see my previous post about Measure Twice, Cut Once).
The fish was great, we saw about 40-50 deer along the road on our way there and home again.  I am guessing that the snow is still too deep in the woods, which is driving the hungry deer out to the road side to see what they can find to munch on.
Saturday morning started very early as we had to be the first to arrive at The Orchard Edge Quilt Shop so that Mary could greet the students and help set up.
We started sewing close to 8am.  6 students of varying abilities and experience.  All with different, in fact very different, fabric colors and patterns.  A short break for lunch and then back to the machines.
As it turned out, the other students were not quite as aggressive/foolish as I was when selecting the size of quilt top to sew.  I was working on a Queen size, most were doing lap size or twin size or even baby size.
No matter, with Mary's help, everyone made steady progress throughout the day.
By the time we packed up our sewing machines and supplies to head home, I had spent as much time at a sewing machine as I wanted for that day!  My quilt squares are done, but they still need to be assembled into the final quilt top.  I'll post some photos once I get that job done, maybe tomorrow?
I spent Saturday night at Rick and Mary's too.  They have a large herd of deer that come into the yard every-night   They clean up under the bird feeders, and there might be some other snacks supplied to them as well.  Here are a few pictures of their white tail herd.
The classic pose we all love

Fawn and Momma

This guy wanted a drink so badly, but he was so nervous.  Kept creeping up closer and then backing off.  I never did see him take a slurp of the bird bath.
The deer are not very pretty this time of year, and they really blend in with the browns of the woods and dormant grasses along the road.  Drivers have to be very careful.

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Great Nephew

My great nephew, Anders, and his Mom & Dad live in SW Wisconsin near Alma and very near the Mississippi River.  I spent Sunday, Monday & Tuesday nights there last week.  Anders is 4.  The plan was that he would do his daily school / day care thing during the day, and I would take care of him the rest of the time.  The weather changed our plans.  Monday morning when we got up, the snow had started and the wind was strong.

This was the view out the window to the South.
Not a very nice day.
So, I decided that Anders would stay home with me, safely snuggled in the house.
As it turned out, the kids were released early from school that day.

 So, we spent the day in play.
 Putting together the train track was quite a challenging job.
Good thing there was a sheet of instructions for us to follow.

The train cars hook together by a magnet.
Very cool set and fun for Anders.

 Anders explained to me that the inside track is a 'shortcut'.

But dogs don't really get trains.


And Greta just gives you 'that look' when you ask her to move!

So, then we took a break from the train and played games on Aunt Wanda's iPad.

Did you know that Mr. Leprechaun makes a visit to little boys on St. Patrick's Day?
He left Anders some coins and chocolate.
Anders was nice and shared some chocolate with me.
Breakfast with Anders was Cheerios.  Yum.
 The weather outside was snowy, windy and very cold.

Inside, things were silly.
Anders likes to watch The Kratz Brothers, Dinosaur Train and other PBS cartoons.
Outside it was below zero wind chill.
On Wednesday, it was time to drive to Luck so Anders could have an adventure with Grandma Lolo.
On the way, we stopped at the National Eagle Center.
It was fun to see the eagles close up.
Anders and Angel
Fun things for kids to do included an old Viewmaster to see an eagle in 3D.
Hanging out with the eagles
These eagles are injured and cannot return to the wild, but they still are magnificent .
I couldn't resist taking a photo of his beautiful head feathers.
Anders enjoyed being inside the eagle's nest display.
Any place where a 4 year old can stretch their legs is fun.
 When we were done at the Eagle Center, I drove along the banks of the Mississippi River so we could watch the eagles soaring and fishing for their lunch.
There were probably 20 eagles around the river area.
Some perched some soaring.

This eagle had a successful catch and then found a perch to eat his lunch.

Yummy fish for lunch.
 The ride to Luck was a long one, Anders soon fell asleep.
Time for a nap
Anders got a little eagle at the National Eagle Center as a souvenir.
He named his eagle "Little Cutie" because, he was little and cute.
Even Little Cutie was tired and took a nap.

Anders woke up when we were almost to Grandma's.
I dropped him off so he could have fun with Grandma & Grandpa and his Luck cousins.
I went home and took a nap!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Anders pictures

Anders drew this 'rectangle' and then he drew this whale under the ocean and wanted to take a picture of him holding it up.  As you can see, he didn't want to show his face.  I told him that his Mom might not remember if he has a nose or not since you can't see it in the pictures.

                                        We had a fun day here, but the weather is quite awful.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Golf? In this weather?

Last week, after yet another snowstorm, I got a call from my friend Carol asking if I wanted to go golfing, and she wasn't kidding!
During the summer we had been going to a driving range near Chetek, but you can see how it looks now....

But inside, there is a computer generated driving range.  It was really fun and I can see it is a good tool as you get instant feedback on your shot, club face angle, speed and other tidbits.  

You can see Carol checking out her stats on the screen.

We practiced for about an hour and plan to go back next week.  
And it won't be very soon that we can move to the outside range, as more snow is coming tonight!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

No Rush

Lately a couple of things have happened that made me a bit cranky.  No big deal, but I figure it might be worth a minute to get it out of my system on this blog.
Why do we always have to be in such a big hurry?
A baseball game, a nice sunny day, fans complain about how long the game is.  Seriously?  I paid plenty for my ticket, or I paid nothing if it is amateur ball, but regardless, I came to enjoy watching the game.  I knew it would be 9 innings long when I decided to attend.  Extra innings?  I call that free baseball!  What could be finer.  Yet, many want to shorten the game, hurry things along, get if over with.
Let's play some cards.  Let's play as many hands as it takes to complete a game or two of Bridge.  If we have to throw in a couple of hands that are not biddable, or if we take some time to noodle over our responses to our partner's bids, it's all part of the fun of the game.  Yet, there are those who want to finish early, finish at a certain time, speed play along.  I just want to play cards.
I love road trips, whether it is an hour or a day, I love seeing the scenery and enjoying the ride.  I always loved 'going for a ride' as kids on Sunday afternoon with Mom & Dad.  My brother Gus used to take us for a ride when I was home on vacation to look at this real estate or property and along the way we enjoyed talking about who lived where, what is the name of that lake, did you see that deer?  I love the time spent in the car traveling, whether it be around town, across the state or making a trek with an overnight along the way.  But, there are many who want to know how long will it take, when will we get there, what is the fastest route.  I just want to go for a drive.
While I admit, I have my moments of impatience, there are fewer and fewer as I live a life of retirement which has few deadlines and responsibilities.  
I wish others could see how much more fun the journey is in a slower speed.
I was paging through the 2013 Old Farmer's Almanac today 
and ran across this little saying in the March chapter:  
If one is not in a hurry, even an egg will start walking.

Friday, March 15, 2013

From the Wayback Time Machine

I think the Wayback Time Machine was part of Rocky & Bullwinkle in the segment with Mr. Peabody, which has nothing to do with these two photographs of course.  But I did love that show as a kid.
My cousin Kathy Pedersen Wilson has been looking into her family genealogy and sent these two very old photographs my way.
Bartholine, sister of Ane Henriksen and Marie Møller

Bartholine, sister of Ane Henriksen, and her husband Andreas Jeppesen and children

Kathy's Dad, Edwin, had a photo album belonging to John Miller/Møller.  She had never seen it before and didn't understand why her Dad would have had it, but her Mom said that Edwin bought it at Arlo Miller's auction.  
Arlo was no relation to John, but he took over John's hardware store in Milltown.
There are photos of the Møllers which someone has identified with little slips of paper--not Edwin's handwriting.  But there are lots from Denmark that are not identified.  I will attach two that do have names.  They are of Bartholine, sister of Ane Henriksen and Marie Møller.  One is of her with her husband (I think his name is Andreas Jeppesen) and children and one of her as an older woman. 

Now, where are they in the family tree?
Marie Møller was my Great Grand Aunt, 
so this is her sister Bartholomine, who would also be a Great Grand Aunt to me, if I have my names correct.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A visit to Anders

In anticipation of my visit with Anders next week, 
I thought I would post these three pictures that his mom, Lora, sent me recently.

A snow day cave.
March 11, 2013

Learning to use the 'big boy' shower.
March 11, 2013
A Youtube link to 'learning the pledge', March 12, 2013.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Rookie Mistake

My job today seemed like a simple one:  cut the fabric strips for my upcoming quilt class.
I had purchased 'fat quarters' of fabric some many months ago thinking I would sew a quilt on my own, which hasn't happened.  Now I am signed up for a quilt class in Bayfield, WI at The Orchard's Edge Quilt Store.  My high school friend, Mary, is going to be the instructor which gives me an excuse to go visit Mary and Rick overnight, & attend class AND make a quilt top.
Mary sent me the cutting instructions, not difficult.  
Out of each fat quarter, cut a 6 1/2 inch strip and two 3 1/2 inch strips.  Simple, right?
So, I set up the ironing board (this was Betty Rosenow's board and I was happy to have it to use).
One by one, I ironed the fat quarter and then folded & aligned it on my big cutting pad, cut off the edge to square things up and proceeded to cut my strips.  

This was going along nicely, although there was a little nagging thing in my head wondering if it was just too easy.  Something was bothering me, and finally I realized what.
Oh yeah, I was lined up the the 1 and then cutting on the 6 1/2 inch line.
As I have heard from my Dad, many times, it is critical to measure twice, cut once.
It is important in carpentry for sure, just as it is in sewing.
So, why did it take me almost 20 fat quarters before that little nagging thing in my head finally popped up to the front of my mind and made me realize was was cutting my strip only 5 1/2 inches???
It was lucky that the little nagging thing in my head stopped me before I was completely out of fabric.
It was also lucky that I had extra fat quarters because when I was buying fabric I had not decided if I wanted to make a Queen or King sized quilt.  So, I had just enough extra fabric to cut the number of strips I need at the correct width of 6 1/2".
Good grief.
A rookie mistake? I wonder how many other beginning quilters have made that same silly mistake.
Maybe I was distracted by my cool use of a Pinterest idea to use a bathroom suction cup grab bar as a handle on my large ruler.  It really did work slick.
In the end, my pieces are now cut, although I have almost 30 strips of 5 1/2 inch fabric that have no use as of this moment.  It looks like there will have to be a second quilt sewn.  

 Hopefully I will finish my quilt top at class on March 23rd
and I'll post a photo or two of that finished product.
  In the meantime, I suggest that you pay attention to little nagging things in your head; and always measure twice, but cut once.
And on a personal note, another 1.4 lbs have been lost in my journey to better health and fitness.
I am enjoying increasing my strength and endurance.
Staying motivated is always tricky though, and every day that I find myself without time to focus on working out, is a day that I worry about my continued motivation.
Losing weight and maintaining a healthy level of activity is such a head trip.


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