Monday, March 2, 2015

Caramel Heavenlies

Caramel Heavenlies is a good name for these things.  Although, one could argue they're wonderfully evil.  They smelled so good coming out of the oven, I barely let them cool before taste-testing them.  I nibbled some more when the pan had cooled, then sampled a few when I cut them.  I'm a little surprised enough survived to be photographed and packed away.

The pieces are sweet and crunchy, a little gooey.  They'd go great with a cup of tea or coffee.  It's a quick easy recipe even though I managed to botch it.  I always have sliced almonds on hand for making toffee, but as I started to cook, I discovered I was out.  Then I got distracted while chopping almonds and forgot to add the cinnamon.  Really?  Regardless, if I liked them without the cinnamon, I know I'll like them even better when I add it.  Obviously I need to make another batch soon.

You can follow the recipe at The Girl Who Ate Everything - Caramel Heavenlies.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Road Trip

Cannoli and Boadicea had more luggage than I did!
Every year we go on a family trip for a few days of cross country skiing.  The guinea pigs are usually dropped off at the pig sitter's before we go.  But this year we went to a different place.  It was a shorter drive and they allowed pets.  Road trip!  Cannoli and Boadicea came with us.

This was their first time in a carrier together for a lengthy drive.  They did really well.  Very different than Pinniped and Cannoli's first trip.  There was a few minutes of whining and shifting around.  Beyond that, they spent two hours quietly stuffed in the cozy together.  I brought the second carrier just in case, but it seems we didn't need it.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Arrowhead Mug Rugs

I had a couple of extra squares from Antia's Arrowhead that didn't go with the rest of the set.  I put them aside and decided to make mug rugs with them.

The squares were perfect to practice freemotion quilting.  I tried new patterns and focused on filling in specific areas of the block.  I have a terrible time quilting up next to borders.  I picked a leafy design for the purple one.  It's not terribly even, but it wasn't too difficult to do.

I chose the dizzy daisy for the blue one.  I have a thing for spirals.  I practiced filling in along borders for this one, too, working one quarter of the block at a time.  I probably shouldn't have done that with this pattern, and just meandered across the whole square.  I think it needed more space to do it justice.  I will definitely try dizzy daisy again on a larger piece and remind myself to spread out. 

I enjoy making mug rugs, but when I finished my first one last year, I wondered how useful it really was.  The coasters I have worked fine.  Then I threw it on the corner of my desk.  It is constantly occupied by my tea mug, often with a snack or cereal bowl keeping it company.  I'm glad to have new mug rugs so I can rotate.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snow Bunnies

My parents are buried from these snowstorms - they got a lot more snow than we have.  My dad showed me photos of the mess last weekend.  These two pictures were among my favorites.

The top photo, believe it or not, was taken from their dining room window (the curvy wood is the back of a chair).  There was a narrow valley between the snow pile and the house and this rabbit managed to hop into it.

The other photo was taken from the basement.  Who knows how this little guy managed to burrow to the window.  I'm guessing as cold as the basement was, it was warmer against the glass than outside.

Enterprising buns!  With this weather, one needs to get creative to stay warm.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Can I Eat This?

Boadicea dives into lettuce and carrots with abandon.  Most other fresh food puzzles her, especially fruit.  Green pepper took three or four days to determine it wasn't poisonous.  During that time she mostly tried to eat the pepper from Cannoli's mouth, rather than eat her own piece discarded on the floor.  At some point I figured Boadicea didn't have a sweet tooth (some guinea pigs don't) when she rejected cantaloupe rinds.  But that changed.  Cucumber and celery were met with the same suspicion.  Even cranberries had to be thoroughly inspected before she'd take a bite.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cuddle Cup from Poland

I belong to the Guinea Lynx forums where I meet guinea pig lovers from all over the globe.  Kind of neat.  I posted that I had an extra calendar to give away, I would mail it anywhere in the US.  A woman in Poland convinced me to send it to her in trade for a custom-made guinea pig bed.  I was intrigued and agreed.

Between international shipping and snow delays, I wasn't sure when the guinea pig bed would arrive.  I was puzzled when the mail carrier came to my door and asked me to sign for a delivery.  Then I realized what must be in the package she was holding.  She laughed when I did a little happy dance before signing the paper.  It arrived!  Isn't it cute?  And so cushy - there's an extra removable layer on the bottom.  I wished I was small enough to try it out.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Frumpy Bluebirds

I looked out the window yesterday when a flash of blue and orange caught my eye.  Except for the cardinals, most birds that frequent the backyard feeders are various shades of cream, brown and grey.  Bluebirds!

There were three bluebirds on the suet feeder.  Most birds won't share the suet - I've never seen that many birds piled on it at the same time.  There were at least five bluebirds in all, out on the feeders and the railing, along with a lone mockingbird.  They all looked a bit out of place in the snow.

The photos are crappy - I was afraid to get too close to the window and frighten them all away.  I couldn't get a good shot of all of them together.  Regardless, I had to share.

I saw my first bluebird in this area last fall, but he was solo and far from the house.  I didn't think the flocked like this.  These guys were all puffy; they looked liked someone had rolled them out of bed too early and they needed their first cup of coffee.  The blue and orange stood against the drab afternoon light.  Seeing the bluebirds, along with some twiterpated titmice give me hope that spring can't be that far off... even if the piles of snow says otherwise.