Friday, January 23, 2009

On My Desk

Found a couple new magazine titles at the bookstore.The stuff on my desk seems to be multiplying. Yikes! Guess it's time to go through and get straightened up again. That's going to be one of my chores this weekend after work tomorrow. Tidy up the desk and file paperwork.

The green zipper bag was made on my embroidery machine with an
Anita Goodesign design. It is one of those "complete it in the hoop" designs that sews the whole thing, zipper and all, right in the hoop. It holds a small camera and camera cable for downloading my photos to the computer. I can grab it quickly to toss in my purse when I'm heading out the door. Most of the other stuff is clutter that needs to be dealt with. Funny how clutter multiplies the way it does.

What's on my desk today.I stopped at the bookstore today and purchased a couple new titles I noticed for the first time a few days ago. Perhaps they're new, or just new to me. Both are mags from the UK. There seems to be some interesting articles in each so I decided to purchase and bring them home for a more leisurely look. I think they'll go with me in a bit as I snuggle for warmth under the covers before I fall to sleep. I don't always read in bed as it can get uncomfortable after a short time. I usually enjoy reading while seated in my chair in the living room with nice bright lighting and a comfortable footstool to prop my feet upon.

It has turned considerably colder outside tonight. I was just thinking of heading off to bed to peek through these mags when I realized I did not plug in my car when I got home tonight. I have to do that first or this cold spell will surely have the engine block frozen solid by morning.

Okay, I agree, this is a pretty boring blog entry. Seems to be pretty much the same ol' same ol' around here lately. I've got some things coming up over the next couple weeks. Should have some more interesting things to report in the near future. But for now . . . snoooooze!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Piled High

Snow piled high (approximately 4-4.5 feet) along the sidewalk.I left work today and it was still light outside. How refreshing THAT is . . . to get off work and see the sun still shining. How wonderful that it was nice and warm along with the sun. Our temperatures were back up to 30 degrees. It was wonderful to be so much warmer. Of course the sun out and warmer temps combined to melt some snow and made it a bit slick with ice when it re-froze once the sun went down. The news reports tell of 40 car accidents and vehicles in the ditch. Even so, I look forward to having it warm up like this.

I thought I'd be able to get some good photos of the snow we've got piled up around the house since it was so nice and sunny. Unfortunately by the time I drove home, let the dogs out, and changed my clothes it was already getting dark out. So, the photo reflects that. Perhaps I'll get some better shots tomorrow. This is the view walking out on the sidewalk by our house. How's that for a big pile of snow!?!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

44 Below!! Lot's of snow!

This is the coldest day I have ever experienced! It is 44 degrees below zero today in the city where I live. Wow!

My car did not start this morning so I took my husband's truck to work. When I went to go for my lunch break the locks were frozen and I ended up walking to get a bite to eat rather than driving. Okay, it was a short walk; I changed my plans and just walked across the street rather that going further. My dh came and picked the truck up later in the afternoon. By the time I was scheduled to get off work my hubby came to pick me up. Yeah! a nice warm vehicle to get into rather than having to let it warm up. Apparently we are 2 degrees away from breaking the all time record since they started tracking this sort of info.

Brrrrrrr! It's cold outside!

Our poor little chihuahuas have been very good about going outdoors and getting back indoors REALLY FAST! I had to go out to help our older female, Sugar, to get up the back stairs. She was having difficulty moving with her little feet getting so cold and frozen from the snow packed sidewalk. Poor little girl!

We've got some good news in the forecast for the next few days. It's supposed to get to 20 to 26 degrees over the next several days. It's going to feel like a heat wave out there. I'm looking forward to being above zero for awhile!

We've also got record breaking snowfall this year. Yeah! I love snow! But I'm hearing everyone talk about having enough already. I'm just grateful that the lakes and rivers will be full this summer. That will be such an improvement over the dry summers and low water levels we've had now for so many years. I guess I can agree we've probably had enough for while, but I do like snow. It's so bright and clean and pretty coming down.

Thankfully we decided to purchase a snow blower last year. We've certainly been making good use of it this winter. News forecasts inform us we only need another 41 inches to break the all-time snowfall record. That's likely to happen because we still have the rest of January, February and March to go before spring comes. I'll see if I can get some photos of the snow depth to post over the weekend. We're running out of room to pile it with the snow being so deep. I think this last week was another five inches. We've got about 4 to 4.5 feet of snow piled up along the sidewalk next to the house. I can still see over the top of it, but it is starting to feel like tunnels we're walking through. It's not that deep all over, but the drifts are pretty high!

My sweet hubby got up on the roof last week and pushed most of the snow off so the weight wouldn't be so overwhelming for structural soundness of the house. This past week they closed the Wal-mart store in Minot because of safety concerns with the amount of snow on their roof. So far it's been closed at three days they've been closed while safety engineers determine how safe and sound the roof is. Wow! That's lots of snow!

The streets are seeming so narrow now since there's only so far to push it to the side. Many places around town it seems we're down to one lane of traffic with the piles of snow on either side and cars parked out on the street making the roads even narrower. Aah, the fun and excitement of living along the northern prairies!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Square Strip Quilt

Here's a view of what I've been up to the last few days. I went to sew with a friend on Monday. This is the clear see-thru tote I took along with my materials to work on that day. I've been sewing on a strip quilt. It is based upon a quilt I saw in the McCall's QuickQuilts magazine January 2009, page 57, Cozy Cabins quilt. It's a series of squares sewn around a black center square. I've been using up some scraps that I've had sitting around for a long time. There are a variety of bright colorful fabrics as well as some other more muted tones in this quilt. It should make an interesting mix.

When I think about it, the reason I like strip quilts lately is they seem so easy to do with lots of mindless sewing and a time to download and de-stress. It's been fun getting together with a friend and chat while passing the morning sewing. I've enjoyed our times together without having to stress with trying to read a pattern and follow specified cutting directions and other instructions. It's been fun to just sew and see what develops.

This quilt is nearly done. I will be laying all the squares out to arrange them in preparation for sewing them together. I've yet to get a quilt top aligned on my quilting frame. Perhaps this will be the one to have that honor of being the first.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sewing Basket

The sewing basket is out. I'm trying to get some work done a little at a time. It just depends upon how I work it in. A stitch here, a stitch there. Eventually I'll have something to show for my time.

I went to sew with a friend yesterday. We kind of took a break from our joint sewing day during the holiday season. Now that the new year is in full swing we will be getting together once a week again. It's always a fun time to sit and sew and chat away the morning with a friend.

Here's what's on my desk - a magazine I picked up the other day. Stuffed is a new magazine put out by Somerset Studios. It shows some of the new wave of interesting soft, cloth dolls being produced these days. I've been toying with some ideas about creating my own series of little stuffed softies.

I will be working on some quick little digitized faces I want to develop for some softies. It will be partly for a class I'll be teaching in early February, and partly just for fun. There's been a few ideas rolling around in my head for awhile now. Time to get those ideas into the development stage. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Kitchen Toy

Our new kitchen toy - a KitchenAid brand mixer.We picked up a new mixer today. It's a KitchenAid brand deluxe model with a bread hook and lots of power to mix dough. I mixed up a batch of dough to make some pizza and then mixed some dough for whole wheat bread.

Our pizza was yummy! We bought pepperoni and Canadian bacon, added green peppers, mozzarella and colby jack cheese. The dough recipe was supposed to be for two pizzas, but I divided it among four 12" pizza pans. We like thin crust better than thick so it worked out well. We slid two of them into the chest freezer in the basement. They probably won't be down there for long as we're already talking about eating them later in the week. Fresh made is always good. They're a lot better than purchased frozen pizzas. I'm sure there will come a day in the next week or two we'll come home from work wanting to just pop one in the oven and enjoy. That's part of the fun of frozen pizza, all the work of putting them together is already done.

Just out of the oven - yummy fresh bread.The smell of fresh baked bread filled the house. It smells so delicious! The dogs were especially excited everytime we walked into the kitchen to check the status of our goodies in the oven. They were beside themselves wanting a hand out. (Yep, I gave them each a sampling of pizza). I know it might not be the thing to do for those of you who don't believe in giving dogs table scraps. But I could hardly have them there the whole time smelling all that fresh baked goodness and not share at least a little bit of it with them. Those dogs are part of the family!

Two loaves of fresh homemade whole wheat bread.I know we'll be making lots of fresh bread and other goodies with the new mixer. It looks like there are lots of other attachments available to use with it besides the three tools that were packaged with it. I especially like the power it has to mix things and the reduced time to it takes to prepare these foods.

I am reminded of going to my grandma's house when I was little and watching her bake fresh bread. There was the old fashioned bread box to store it in, and loving the way it made the house smell so good all afternoon.