28 July 2020

Tuesday Accomplishments, Blessings and To-Do's

Hello Tuesday To-Do'ers!

I felt a little bad after talking about how worn out I was
last week when I really have so much to be happy about.
I've been making a real conscious effort to notice all
around me the many blessings.  Even the smallest ones.

I know you're excited to go check in on everyone else's
to-do's but for right now, slow down there, my quilty friend
and grab a cuppa!  Let's look in the sewing room and then
have a walk around the garden to see what's going on.
(Meanwhile, I'll be over checking out what you've
been up to!  Ha ha!)

Firstly, we'll cover last week's lone to-do which was to
complete the 13 star blocks for the West Point quilt.

Then, completely unscheduled, I pulled it all down
and quickly sewed up the blocks for a little quilt I've
had lined up for a month or so.

I guess I just needed a quick, fun project!
I should get this little top done in no time, right?
(And another precut put to use!)

Now for some other things around here:

There are certain tasks that I find super-relaxing.
Simple and methodical.
 I think it's all about really focusing on doing that
one thing, and doing it well.  Like making crepes. 
I could do it for hours...if my legs and back would let me.
And if I had an army to feed all those crepes to
because Lord knows I don't need to be eating them.

Harvesting herbs is another one.
It taps into my inner-hippie.  Minus the weird political issues.
And the illegal substances.  And any other odd things they did
that I probably couldn't mention here...even if I knew them. 
Ok, I really don't know anything about being a hippie.
I was a wee toddler at that time.
But I did develop a liking for 70's music so I figure
that makes me cool and groovy and such.
I just mean someone who likes to be outside,
living off the land, making the most of what God has
blessed us with and all that.

So, I spent a lot of time with the herbs this week.
I have enough dill seed dried up for a couple years
(the stuff grows like weeds, even re-seeds itself--love it!).
I have flat leaf parsley, lemon and regular thyme drying.

Lemon thyme?  Oh it's my fav.
Perfect for Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup in the winter
and all kinds of other chicken recipes.

I played around with herbed simple syrups (for drinks), learning
that basil is a great flavor, I like rosemary syrup but haven't found
use for it yet and, on a whim, discovered that yes, by golly,
fennel (fronds) simple syrup mimics the flavor of Ouzo.
I'm not an Ouzo fan but hubs is so I'm patting myself
on the back for that idea.

When the new herbs come in, out go the old.  
In taking stock of my current supply, I wanted to try
to use up some older lavender so I tried out this recipe
for Lavender Shortbread cookies and found them to be
perfect for coffee or tea.  If I were to alter anything, I would
add just a tiny bit more lemon and lavender--but perhaps
my lavender is not as strong since it's last year's.
They're unbelievably simple and yet such a treat.

Love, love, love these colors!  

The rest of the old herbs are going into a mix that I'm
collecting for the chickens to help the eggs stay rich and
full of vitamins throughout the winter.  I'm also gathering
up tons of marigold petals/seeds and rose petals.

ALL extra and "grade B" herbs, as I call them, from
this year are being dried and added as well.
"Waste not, want not," right?
Soon I'll be adding in seeds from pumpkins and acorn
and butternut squash.  Perhaps TMI but these are a
natural de-wormer for the chickens so it's really
beneficial to include these seeds in the mix.

Outside of building a strange collection of chicken trivia
that should guarantee I'll be sought out at parties
(perhaps only those at the farmer's co-op!?),
this is a new and exciting project for me.
I hadn't found the time to do this in previous years.

It's all about keeping these girls healthy and happy.
I'm wondering if their coat of feathers is already
showing the great nutrition they've been receiving?
Soon they'll keep us healthy and happy, too!

Oh!  I can't forget this guy.
How could I with those fantastically feathered legs!
He must be named Buckbeak (from Harry Potter).

I just hope they enjoy eating it as much as I am building it.
I would be so disappointed if they decided to be finicky.
Doubtful, though, as I've been giving them everything
there is to offer around here from the day they arrived!

Out in the veggie garden the pumpkins and gourds
are starting to go crazy, as they always do.

[Crazy pumpkin/gourd lady rubs her hands together in glee]

This week's rain and cooler temps will be very welcome to
them--and to me as I try to keep them under control...sort of.

I'm doing my best to fit as many veggies into our menu
as I can but it's hard to keep up!  It's a great problem
to have and one I really enjoy tackling.  Blessed.

Anyone have fav recipes with tomatillos, btw?
I enjoy making green enchilada sauce and have
canned green salsa but I'd like to try other ideas.

Ideas for butternut and acorn squash are welcome, too.

I finally updated my garden journal which is noteworthy
because my last entry was in August of last year--yikes!
I keep track of the weather, what grows well, what doesn't
and all of the to-do's and, more importantly, not-to-do's
in there along with general crop info.  If you do any
serious amount of veggie gardening, this is a must.

As always, I am keeping up my sourdough baking.

A few minutes to mix it up the night before and 
by mid-morning the next day it's ready for shaping.

My bread-loving heart cannot stay out of it when it comes
out of the oven, all crispy-flakey on the outside, soft yet
spongy on the inside, tangy and topped with butter.
~ To die for! ~
Fortunately there is plenty and it goes well with
so many meals, like ratatouille.

With our garden, this is a summer staple.
It's sooo pretty and fun to make!

I've had to learn to make just enough for two now.
Once baked, I pop it back under the broiler when it's
topped with parmesan and goat cheese and serve it
up with a generous sprinkling of fresh basil.

Okay I am really digressing now, aren't I?
And now that we're all starving,
back to quilty [and calorie-free] things...

My to-do's for next week:

1) Make log cabin blocks for West Point quilt

2) Play around with Sew-Can-She's hexi-hotpads

I found this fun idea from Sew-Can-She
and am anxious to try it out.  I think they'd be a fun
scrap buster and make nice little gifts.
You know, it's pretty much August and as someone who
prefers to make gifts, it's time to start thinking about
that Christmas list a little more.   That sort of
to-do'ing will be coming up.

 3) Finish kitty quilt top.

4) Make a pincushion to keep at longarm.

5) Continue working with herbs
Dry regular parsley and sage.
Make mint extract and herbal sprays.

Now, lastly, out of respect for those who can't handle
eight-legged creatures, I've kept the picture of this
year's garden spider till the very end.  Though there is
always a large egg sac by the end of every fall, I usually
only find one or two spiders protecting the garden
throughout the summers.  I don't like spiders one bit but the
gardener in me respects these.  We just keep our distance.
At least they aren't furry!  ICK!  Anyway, I put a picture
of her at the very bottom for those of you who want
to see her.  I haven't named her yet--any ideas?
She will get quite large very soon so I will post
an update later.  She may not seem like a
blessing to most people, but she is to me.

Happy quilting!
Linking up to Home Sewn By Us Tuesday To-Do #51


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I have found Rosemary to be very good with roasting meat, poultry or beef especially. I love the look of your garden it is so nicely maintained from the look of the photos and I know that is a lot of work - the veggies all look so good and you make bread too - I love homemade bread and as soon as hubby looses a little more weight I will make just one loaf now and then - the problem is he loves it too much if you get my drift.
The squash dish looks wonderful - I would need to make for one - what all do you have in that one yellow squash and zucchini? and is that red peppers or tomatoes?

Debbie said...

What a beautiful garden.....all your produce and herbs are wonderful. I love using rosemary in bread topped with sea salt! You have so much going on between the plants, herbs and chickens. Where you find the time and energy is a wonder to me.

Home Sewn By Us said...

Hi Cheree! I loved the stroll through your garden and how you're using and enjoying those herbs. I also love the quickie quilt but you can't forget the WP one. Thanks so much for linking up today and good luck with your list for next week. ~smile~ Roseanne

Joyful Quilter said...

Thanks for the eight legged creature warning...hate the things.

Your kitchen must smell wonderful! My niece grew her first garden this year and has been sharing her herbs and zucchini. I think she has had fun with it but it was more work than she anticipated.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Your garden looks lush and green - beautiful! I would love to grow some herbs - so interesting to read about yours. The stars for the West Point quilt look great! Good luck on completing the next step!

Kim said...

You always have such gorgeous quilts on your design wall! Love the hexie oven mitt. I think this design would make a fabulous quilt. Must put it on my 'To Do' List. I must say all your delicious looking food has made me a tad hungry. Oh, and 'girls' always make me smile.

chrisknits said...

I can't do peppers anymore!! At least not until I can get an endoscopy to see what's up with the reflux. Fingers crossed it's not a lifetime ban!! LOL. Lovely projects in progress.

R's Rue said...


Vicki in MN said...

Wow I need a nap after reading all you are accomplishing with your garden and prepping meals for the chickens. I hope you will keep us informed on the gourds and pumpkins as I love those too. I don't mind your spider photo, just don't post any slithers or give me a warning so I don't look!!

Kate said...

You are one busy lady, gardening and quilting this time of year is quite the balancing act. Lovely, gorgeous photos of your garden and the chickens. Good luck on this week's to do list.

Needled Mom said...

It's no wonder you were tired! The garden alone can keep you busy, but add to that your quilting, chicken care and cooking, and you are one busy lady at this time of the year. All done beautifully too. Do you share your bread recipe? I'd love to try some.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

We used to have huge thyme plants, but they died last year (don't know why). I couldn't find any thyme plants last year, and only found lemon thyme this year (tiny plants). I miss having our lemon/thyme chicken. It's not the same with the stuff in the jar.

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