Thursday, August 22, 2019

I Like #128

Sort of a short list this week.  The heat of the summer and lots of stressful things going on.  But there's good there if I look.

1.  I liked this grasshopper!  He sat on my studio door for a long time so I got to take several pictures.  Maybe someday he will work into a quilt.  There was also a really cute medium sized spider running across the floor this morning.  He ran into a giant tuft of dog hair (Bentley is shedding), and a whole bunch stuck to him (he was kinda furry).  I felt sort of bad as he ran off in the other direction with a cloud of dog hair surrounding him.

2.  I like movie night with friends.  We got together Saturday night and it's always a lovely time.  I worked a bunch on my never ending giant crochet shawl-  I'm so ready to be done with this, it's such a boring project I haven't even taken any pictures of it.  But it will be snuggly next winter.  I started it to have something mindless to work on, and boy is it ever.  We did get to watch one of my favorite silly movies ever, the 80s comedy Adventures in babysitting.  If you haven't seen it, definitely check it out.  It's pretty silly, but tons of laughs.

3.  My sinkhole is going to get fixed.  I'm trying to find a silver lining here, but it really is a good thing.  There's a giant dangerous eroded out sinkhole around my sewer line access in my backyard that's been getting bigger and bigger.  I called out the city a couple years ago and they blew me off but it's big enough now that I insisted.  Apparently it won't be too hard to fix and theoretically they'll call me next week sometime to schedule.  So that will be good.  Bentley did not like the utilities man, though Blue was super excited to have another new friend.

I hope everyone has a good week!  This weekend I'm headed to my sister's so that will be awesome.  Head on over to LeeAnna's for more positive things!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

I Like #127

Welcome to another (late) week of things to like!  It was a rough weekend around these parts because my house AC was out and we're of course in the peak heat of summer, but I had an AC person out and it turned out it just needed a new filter and some coolant so that was an unexpected blessing.  I do need a new system, mine is from 1991, but at least I can wait until the fall.

Still some really fun things to like!

1.  I love crabapple leather!  I've always just made jelly from crabapples (rather than pies or dried apples or cobbler or apple butter or applesauce) because they're too small to core and with jelly you squeeze the juice through cheesecloth so you don't get seeds etc.  But I already made enough jelly this year so I googled what other people do with crabapples and there were lots of people who made applesauce and crabapple fruit leather and crabapple butter.  Come to find out, all you need is a food mill, which pushes out pulp without seeds/stems/peels.  IT was super easy, I didn't even have to chop the crabapples.  Just cooked them whole, put them through the food mill to make crabapple sauce, and then spread the sauce on top of lined trays in my food dryer.  I like things really tart, but plain crabapple sauce is really too tart to enjoy, so I added just a little bit of sugar.  The fruit leather turned out so delicious.  Chewy and flavorful.  Like the very best kind of fresh sour fruit candy.  Sooo good.

This is the food grinder.  The front side spits out these little goose-poop like things made out of seeds and core and skin, while the sauce pours out the back.

And here's the crabapplesauce before drying

And after drying.  So fabulously bright from all the good stuff in the crabapple skins.  YUM.  Also the end of the crabapples for this year so that's good.

2. I like doing my own DIY projects!  I DIYed drop leaves onto my home-made work table this weekend to make it wider and convert the whole thing into an ironing surface.  I'll probably do a whole post about it, but it was so gratifying to figure out how and build it all myself.  Hooray!

3.  And in the continuing construction mode, I installed a small hook and eye outside the sliding glass door.  That way when I go into the building I can keep the house door shut from the outside so Bentley doesn't AC the backyard.  Five minute fix I should have done years ago.We'll see how it holds up,  I think it will be enough to prevent him from opening it.  He's gotten to the point now that he won't even go through the dog door (he just opens the door with his big bony head) unless I'm gone and the board is in the inside of the door so he can't open it.  He's like oh- it's easier to just open the door than hop through the dog door.  But of course he doesn't close it behind himself....   Precious precious infuriating dog.

Have a great week everyone, and head over to LeeAnna's to check out more positive stuff!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

I Like #126

Well I'm super late to the party this week, but I suppose better late than never!  It's hot and muggy here but that's what summer's for I suppose.

1.  I like quilting!  The air conditioner in my studio (a metal building) went out and it's roasting hot out there, but I've still been making progress on my quilting.  I get pretty quickly drenched in sweat, but as long as I wear a bandanna, I don't typically drip on the quilt.  Hopefully the air conditioner situation will be resolved within the next couple of weeks.  Keep your fingers crossed!

2.  I love hiking!  My friend Linda and I went down to the Wichita Wildlife Refuge last weekend to go hiking.  We hiked a new-to-me trail in the Charon Gardens area that was just exquisite even though it was a fairly warm day.  Really fabulous rocks and scenery.  We saw several Oklahoma collared lizards-  they are so beautiful, an intense bright turquoise with gold heads.  I put my phone away for most of the day, but I did get a couple of pictures.  We had two bison encounters-  One with this big guy who was just wandering right down the road at us- I had to back up several hundred yards with the car until I could find a place to pull out far enough that I wouldn't be in his way  (I took the picture from inside the parked car).  Then there was a whole herd of bison right on the hiking trail-  we detoured off the trail quite a ways to make sure not to disturb them.  In spite of waking up the next day with a million itchy bug bites (I'm praying they were chiggers from the hike and not something living in my house) we had a really lovely day.

2.  Blue got a new collar!  All he'd had before was the blue one he had from the shelter, and it was a pretty color but very plain and getting very faded.  I got him this cool personalized southwestern one from etsy. 

And Benley is a napping doofus.

Just a short list this week- no new flowers (everything is looking a bit wilty and sad), but goodness all the same.  Hang in there through the heat of the summer and click over to LeeAnna's for more things to like!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

I like #125

Things to like this week!

Over the weekend Becky came up and she and Anna and I had a girls weekend.  We had an absolutely fabulous time together.  On Saturday we went down to the boathouse district.  It was really cool-  I'd never been there before.  Anna was absolutely amazing.  She went with us on all the activities, including climbing with us to the top of the six story open structure ropes course.  It was super fun and I was so proud of Anna for being so brave!  No pictures on the ropes course because no camera/loose items allowed, but really cool.  And then she climbed to the top of two different climbing walls-  here she is climbing one of them.  Phenomenal.

Then Becky helped me make a bunch of crabapple jelly (super tasty, and I'm still making it), and then we all made crowns/headbands together out of beads.  Becky made one for me that used some of the extra polymer clay teeth from Seymour, and it turned out really cool.  I actually wore it to work Monday (the teeth aren't too obvious.  All in all a great time.

On Sunday I did a bunch of quilting on my big quilt, but I don't really have any pictures to share.  It was nice to get a lot done though.

The dogs are being their regular selves (DOG!), and Blue had a good time over the weekend with Auto. 

Auto was here to visit for the weekend.

The flowers are still blooming.  One of my dahlias that's had big creamy white flowers now has a creamy pink flower!  Cool and weird!  We've also had a ton of wonderful butterflies and dragonfly things that are not actually dragonflies lately.   Also super cool!

I hope you are all having a good week and staying cool!!  Click over to Lee Anna's for more things to like.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

I Like #124

It's been kind of an up and down week here-  Anna has been staying with me and going to daycamp at the Zoo which has been absolutely fantastic, but we've also had some deaths and serious illnesses in my close friend group and some stressful days at work.

In any case,  it's been less hot than usual (thank goodness) and so the summertime goodness keeps on coming.

1. The pups!  Bentley has decided he doesn't like being outside in the heat but he likes smelling outside. So he just uses his giant head to open the back door.  Unfortunately it can only be latched from the inside so if I'm out in my building I can't secure it.  We air conditioned the back yard for about three hours the other day before I realized what he was doing.

2.  Quilting!  What was I doing in the studio you might ask?  Well, I was actually quilting.  I made a fair amount of progress on my latest piece (hooray),  here's a quick snapshot. 

3.  Crabapples.  My tree was covered this year, and Anna helped me pick them all over the last couple of evenings.  She was great at getting all the low ones.  Even though the tree itself is small, I think we have enough for two big batches of jelly. 

You can see them here,  full filling the bottom crisper drawer and fully filling that large roasting pan.

4. Anna!  Anna is by far the very best thing to happen this week- here she is tying her shoes with Blue's help.  He loves to help- help with breakfast, help with shoes, help with hair braiding, help with sunscreen application.  One of us is going to trip over him and break a hip.  

5.  Houseplants outside in the summer.  I move a couple of my houseplants outside in the summer and they've been doing great.  This mother of thousands is taking over the world, and some of the giant new leaves are so big that the leaf edge babies have leaf edge babies.  Fractal plants!!  Hooray.

6.  Of course my flowers.  Thanks to the cooler than usual weather, they're still going along.  Dahlias and zinnias and even a few marigolds and petunias.

I hope you all are having a good week!  Thanks to LeeAnna for keeping us positive!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

I Like #123

Things to like this week!

1.  Knitting!  My friend Barb is undergoing chemo, and though she seems to be doing great, she did lose her hair.  I decided to make her a hat, and found this cute free pattern on ravelry.  I'd never made a hat before, and it came out a bit lumpy, but it's bamboo yarn and so very soft and not itchy.  That's me modeling it in the picture, but I think Barb liked it too.

In a second knitting related event, my awesome friend Kristin sent me a new pair of knitted socks!  She's the one that made me my favorite turquoise ones before, and these are just as fun.  They're red and pink and have a fabulous waffle pattern.  They're a bit heavy-definitely winter socks, but it will get cold eventually! So wonderful.

2. When my parents were up in Utah earlier this year, they visited Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.  It's a huge place, and an even bigger organization.  They're dedicated to making all shelters in the nation no-kill, and are doing amazing work.  In addition to a huge animal sanctuary/adoption center in Utah, they have other sanctuaries/shelters/foster organizations all over the country.  They also provide extensive support and resources for other shelters.  It's really an amazing organization.  One of the things they were heavily involved in was the rescue of the large number of pitbulls from Michael Vicks horrifying dog fighting ring back in 2008.  Almost all the dogs from that wretched place were rescued, many by Best Friends, and later found forever homes.  That event really helped change the cultural perspective by demonstrating that even animals raised in such an awful place and trained from birth for fighting can heal and recover and become loving members of adoptive homes.  This particular group of dogs was renamed the Vicktory Dogs and was the subject of a documentary.  My mom got me a set of notecards for my birthday featuring eight of the Vicktory Dogs, and I wanted to snuggle them all (lots of them have now passed away from old age).  






Little Red

Handsome Dan
3.  And my pups!  Blue split his dewclaw all the way up last week and had to go in to the vet to have it clipped off at the base.  It was pretty painful, and even with some meds he was pretty mopey and sad for a few days.  He's doing fine now, running around and bouncing as usual.  Bentley is fine,  he saw a toad on the back porch this morning while I was throwing the ball for Blue and chased it into the flower bed (ignore the weeds).  I made them go inside after that so they wouldn't traumatize the toad further.
his bandage made him look like he had a ballet slipper on.

He stood like this, partly over Bentley, for like five minutes before moving.  It was the evening he came back from the vet and I think he was still a bit dopey from the sedatives.

The toad is sort of blendy, but as soon as he moved Bentley saw him, and I think he could smell him too.

4. My flowers!  I think this might have been the peak weekend for my flowers.  Everything was looking great, blooming and beutiful.  Now it's getting steadily hotter, the marigolds are dying and even the dahlias are looking sad.  Something is also eating the dahlia leaves and petunia blossoms again and I don't know what it is.  We haven't had any rain, and I haven't seen any slugs or snails, but I don't know what else it would be.  Bugs of some kind maybe?  Anyway, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can coax the dahlias through the heat.  The marigolds will probably die back but my sister says she gets another round in the fall so maybe I will too.  One weirdly exciting flower thing, my alliums are blooming.  They should have been way earlier in the spring, but I got the bulbs in so late I didn't think they'd do anything.  I don't think they're going to fully bloom- it's so hot they just seem to wilt as soon as they open, but I got these cool partly-bloomed flowers.

5.  Finally, I like kayaking!  I actually like canoeing better, but I just like boats and water generally.  A friend invited me to go on a full-moon kayaking excursion on Lake Overholser and it wound up being beautiful.  Lovely and breezy and not too hot.  The moon was pretty and it was great to be on the water (especially since we aren't sailing this year).  I didn't take any pictures on the actual trip because I put my phone in the car (nice in itself), but I snapped this one before we left.

I hope everyone had some things to like this week.  For more positivity, head over to LeeAnna's!