Friday, October 18, 2013

Quilting, Canning, Reading & Reviewing – Two Weeks Worth

So why is the blog late this weekend?   I actually have a good reason this time around…. I swear.

Well it’s because I spent Saturday cleaning house and quilting on an UFO that was given to me.  It’s a pattern called “Harlequin Halloween” quilt.  Which I am proud to say,  I got all the rows put together .  It’s made from blacks, oranges, & white fabrics.  Once it’s finished, I already have plans for it.  As you can see the “Girls” decided that their input was needed as they was more than happy to give me their opinions.  From there I moved over to my Redwork. I’m on the “Pears”  square which is almost finished. Giving me 4blocks done. 


Sunday was spent canning white potatoes in a pressure cooker.  At the point that I headed home there was 13 quarts cooling on Mrs D’s counter.  Some are big chunks, small round slices and a few little chunks.  These are potatoes that were left in the field after the machinery go through.  Once that happens, you are allowed to go and pick up any left behinds.  But they might have been hit by the machinery, they either need to be used with in a month; or  find a way to preserve them.  Which led to learning how to can them.  With the copy paper box that I took over there today, I would say it was about a 1/3 of them.  We are thinking by the time it is all said & done; we will have around 3 or 4 dozen quarts put a way. 

After potatoes, we are thinking of what to do with all the wild apples that are just getting ran over.  I’m thinking of apple butter myself.  That is something I can do in my crock-pot here at home.  I’m thinking that I might do a mix of sizes for that. We love apple butter and it makes nice gifts too.  I like putting some on a pork roast just before putting it in the oven. Yum!!   Mrs D is thinking along the lines of pie filling and maybe some applesauce.  I like to fry them to put on things like  ham, pancakes, waffles, ice cream, etc.. I mean with the bumper crop this year, there are plenty just waiting to fall and the best part is they are FREE -- just like my potatoes were.  One of my favorite four letter words!!  LOL.  I can see that there are different type apple trees around here with their different skin colors so that should make for a nice mix of sweet and tart apples to play with. 


On the reading front, I have been doing a bit more of that  as I downloaded 8 more books to my e-reader.  I have a variety of materials to work with just to keep things from getting stale as I do most of my reading in bed as I try to doze off.  The truth is no matter if I go to bed at 11 pm or 2 am, I usually don’t get to sleep until 2:30 – ish.  There is a medical term for it but anyhow the e-reader is light enough that it’s easy to handle while I read with it’s one pound weight. 

So far I have read “After The Kiss  by Lauren Layne. This one will have you thinking of words like: Steamy, Hot or Oh My!.
This e-book came to me through NetGallery for my review & honest opinion so please keep that in mind as this is only my opinion and not one associated with the book. This is the first in the  “Sex, Love, & Stiletto Series”  This was published on 8/26/2013 by Random House Publishing Group-Loveswept.


In the first book of a delightful new series from Lauren Layne, the star columnist of Stiletto magazine will do anything for a story. Anything . . . except fall in love.

Julie Greene loves flings. Loves steamy first dates, sizzling first kisses, and every now and then, that first sexy romp between the sheets. Comfy pants, sleepy Sundays, movie nights on the couch? Shudder. But when Julie gets assigned the hardest story of her career—a first-person account of that magical shift between dating and “I do”—she’ll need a man brave enough to give a total commitment-phobia a chance at more.
Normally, Mitchell Forbes would be exactly that man. A devastatingly hot workaholic who tends to stay in relationships for far too long, he should be the perfect subject for Julie’s “research.” But what Julie doesn’t know is that Mitchell is looking to cut loose for once in his life. And the leggy journalist notorious for avoiding love is exactly the type of no-strings fling he’s looking for. In other words, Mitchell is the polar opposite of what Julie needs right now. And, at the same time, he’s exactly what she wants.

It didn’t take me very long to read the 156 pages but it’s fast pace did keep me in grossed in the story line.  Now we all have read the stories that start out with a harmless joke, bet  or betrayal before, but this book thinking about the “chick flicks” we all love to watch when no one is looking.  You know the ones I’m talking about.  (wink, wink)  Lauren takes you into the realm of a “big name”  woman’s magazine editor’s office.  Our female main lead - Julie Greene will do anything for the sake of “research” for her column and has the (mis ?)- fortune to met Mitchell  and the story takes off from there.  I won’t give too much away with this little gem of a book that had me giggling at some fun antics that the characters find themselves in.  But the love scenes are steamy, with hot details and has visions of a “Scarlett O'Hara” style southern woman delicately fanning herself and muttering “Oh My!!” in attempt to keep from swooning.  I really enjoyed the book and can’t  wait for the next book in the series “Love the One You're With  in the Sex, Love &Stiletto Series #2 by Lauren Layne and is due out December 09, 2013. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and give it 5 out 5 stars. 

Next I have up for review is “ The Icecutter’s Daughter” by Tracie Peterson.  This is the 1st book in the Land of Shining Water Series.  This book could be described as thought provoking as the other Land of Shining Water book that I read.  I would go as far as to say it’s Endearing, Knowledgeable and an Amazing Delight to read.  This book come to me from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing group for free in exchange for my honest opinion. This my opinion and is not associated with anyone involved in the making of this book.  Once I was finished with it I happily donated it to my local village library in Barryton, MI.  This was the second book that I read of Tracie Peterson and in this series.  You might remember when I read “The Quarryman’s Bride” and gave my review here.


Overview – First book in the Land of Shining Water Series

As the lone female in a houseful of men, Merrill Krause dedicates her life to caring for her family and their business, as her dying mother asked. Besides, it suits her; she's never felt like she fits what most people expect in a girl—she'd rather work with her father's horses and assist with the ice harvest. And though she's been mostly content up to this point, a part of her wonders if there will ever be anyone who will notice her amid the bevy of brothers determined to protect her from any possible suitors.
When Rurik Jorgenson arrives in their small Minnesota town to join his uncle's carpentry business, he soon crosses paths with Merrill. But unlike other men, who are often frightened away by her older brothers, Rurik isn't intimidated by them or by Merrill's strength and lack of femininity. The attraction between them begins to build...until Rurik's former fiancé shows up with wild claims that bring serious consequences to Rurik.

Can Rurik and Merrill learn to trust God—and each other—when scandal threatens their newfound love?

This is another well this written story by Tracie Peterson.  I once again felt drawn again into the story as we visited Minnesota on the last last day in the year 1895.  As Tracie historically takes us back the end of the 19th century with her care of proper detail  during her research. She makes you connect with the characters. You can almost feel the bone chilling cold as Merrill  opens the book out in the barn trying to assist one of the family’s prized Belgium mares give birth.  You feel the weight on her shoulders upon the death of her mother, the lost of having what could be  and the family “tradition”  of caring for the male members as the only remaining female in the house.  You can feel the pain & suffering for the lost at the chance for her own future with her own husband-to-be Rurik as she breaks both of their hearts by running away from her heart and given into her duty bound responsibilities.  Only to have him leave and come back again.  The struggle of Faith and “Tradition”  is a struggle that we all we can relate to at one time or another in our  lives.  Can forgiveness find it’s way in all the needed places?  I won’t give anymore away the great story that will have you questioning  yourself about  what you wondering  what would you do in this situation.  Could you make a different choice?   Would you chose between what is expected or your dreams?  I love that Tracie leaves you thinking about the moral of the story long after you are done reading the story.  It could leave you having some interesting discussion with those around you. I could keep going on but what I will do is tell you that you need to read this book as I gave it 5 out of 5 stars.  I have to admit I’m looking for more books by Tracie Peterson in my near future.  She has quickly endeared her books to my “must read” authors. 


This week I found myself still in the middle of canning potatoes.  By the time we got finished on Wednesday, I have 40 quarts put away for the winter.  It will be nice that I’ll be able to save the potato money and use it on some thing like meat and stretch the family budget just a bit more.  I am glad to have learned a new skill that I can put to use in the future.  Now I want my own pressure cooker and collection of jars to play with.  Hey… yet another thing to that makes me feel like a pioneer lady from 2 centuries ago.  This is what half the stash looks like just before I had to find some storage room for the “fruits of my labor”.  So now I have canned potatoes and tomatoes.  I’m still thinking about apple butter … and apple pie filling … fried apples…. yes I have apples on the brain.  LOL.


In the Redwork Challenge front I have finished my pumpkin and pears blocks.  I am currently working on block #5 lemons.  These are such a delightfully simple project that I work on in the evenings as I relax.  And with all this canning - that is a blessing.  I now have show you the pictures of course….

DSCN3743  DSCN3751

 Of course I got that Harlequin Halloween quilt top finished this week after I was able to wrestle it away from the “Girls”.  Once I figured out that it was better to undo the diamonds that had been put together to get it to go together properly.  This was the first diamond pattern that I have attempted and it’s not for the faint of heart.  I had to starch the dickens out of them to keep them in shape when piecing them together.  But without much ado … the top is made.

DSCN3749   DSCN3750

Now that the hard part is done, I can move on to the those Secret Santa projects that I need to get cracking on.  I finally got that dragonfly baby quilt in the floor hoop for hand quilting and only two and half weeks later than I planned.  So much for staying on a timeline (rolling eyes here).   And with that, I’ll sign off for this week.  Thanks for stopping by  and yes comments are always welcomed.   Which reminds me…. since I had one comment  on the subject of making my FWS quilt a queen or king, I had one comment and made the choice to extend it in hopes of more comments.


1 comment:

  1. Hi you got my attention with the books. I like the sounds of them both.....have added them to my list of to get when available...thanks for the reviews.

    Just love the Harlequin Halloween....looks fabulous. Now the feline inspection team is to love all that free

    Your potatoes look clear and very white. Never thought about doing them up that way until we talked......doh...I buy canned potatoes to have on hand for emergencies....really silly

    Enjoyed your blog...keep it up and happy sewing.

    hugs and stitches