Saturday, September 29, 2018

Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yup - I found another recipe that has a name that's bigger than the food itself.  It's about time to make my candy corn bark and I always have extra pretzels.  So when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to give them a try.

The pretzels are salty enough - I'd probably skip adding any salt on top when making these again.  I had just run out of chunky peanut butter, so I added peanuts to the batter to help make up for that.

Not bad!  They are reminiscent of Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, which I love.  I'd certainly make these again.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

I Like Thursday: Getting Things Done

I have been a bad girl and have not gotten out walking or swimming all week (although I did have a wonderful evening of dancing).  But as shmoo-ish as I've been feeling (the dark and the rain aren't helping), I've gotten a lot done.

I like that it's time for boxes of tomatoes.  We've been enjoying our homemade tomato sauce the last couple of years, so we've started on this year's batch.  This whole box boiled down to five pints of sauce.  Hardly seems worth it - but it is.  This makes me happy.



I like that I finished Shiplapped!  It's even been labeled.  Now it just needs a home.  Well... after I admire it a bit more.  I also like that Rob was willing to hold it up for photos.  That thing is heavy!  I had a couple of shots with mysterious feet sticking out, but I like that this one looks like it's just hanging in mid-air.


While we were out there, Rob snapped these photos of the bees.  I hadn't even noticed.  So pretty!




I like that I've been baking.  Finally bought some zucchini and made chocolate zucchini cake.  This time I poured it in a 9x13" pan which makes it easier to bag up and freeze (so I don't eat it all at once).  I finally posted the blueberry cake recipe, too. 

I am entirely grateful for the kitchen elf that lives in the house.  I created this disaster in an evening of making dinner, baking a cake, a batch of granola, and roasting some vegetables.  In the morning it was all cleaned (without the help of a functioning dishwasher).  How lucky am I??


Oh, and the badness continues....  I made a batch of the candy corn bark and covered the remaining pretzels with chocolate.  I've had to make room in the freezer to hide them so I don't eat it all!

I really need to get out and walk.

Whew!  Lots of good stuff.  If you haven't had your fill, there's more good stuff over at Not Afraid of Color's I Like Thursday.  Check it out.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Stormy Weather

I love stormy weather.  So I'm a little bummed we live in a spot that the worst weather skirts around.  A line of squalls passed to the north of us a few weeks ago.  There was a spatter of rain, a bit of bluster and some distant rumbling.  But I loved the chunky clouds and the shades of silvery grey.

The camera picked up the colors I hadn't noticed - to me it was all washed out.  It was really dark when this rolled through.

I attempted to video how the clouds slowly roiled around.  Kind of hard to capture.  The whole sky was like this; you can hear the constant rustling of leaves in the trees.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Shiplapped

I worked on this all weekend to squeeze it into the Blogger's Quilt Festival before the deadline.  Whew! I made it!

A few years ago I bought a kite ruler that could be used to create equilateral triangles.  At that time I had also collected a bunch of scrap strings.  I decided I wanted to make a quilt with triangle string blocks.  Soon after I started making my 6" string blocks I discovered selvedge quilts, and the remaining blocks primarily consisted of selvedge strings.  Every time I finished a quilting project, I'd make several more triangles (and some crumb hexies that were also inspired from the same ruler).

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Blueberry Cake

Newbury blueberries are little and flavorful.  They're perfect for baking and I recently received a four pound bucket of them.  Enough to make lots of blueberry cake.

I had to chuckle when I pulled out my recipe.  I copied this decades ago from my mother's recipes.  This must have been a recipe she wrote down and not out of a book, because the method was exceedingly terse.  "Fold whites" of course means you've beaten them first.  It never even mentions separating the eggs, it simply says to add yolks to the butter and sugar.  My recipe writing style is much the same - so I've tried to be more verbose here than usual. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

I Like Thursday: Leftovers, Odds and Ends

I like walking the beach on the off season.  Lots of sand and water, not many people.  I was amused by this sign I had not noticed before - it claims to be Pervert's Perch.  I'm sure it has a great view of the beach below.

I met a goofy golden lab on my walk, too.  He looked like he was digging to China at the waterline.  He was putting a ball in the hole, then digging deeper.  I stopped to talk to his caretaker - said the dog just liked to do that.  At this point, the dog took notice of me, ran over and dropped the ball near my feet.  The guys were impressed - evidently he doesn't share his ball with just anyone.  I threw it into the water - further than any of us thought I could.  The lab was thrilled and went swimming after it.

I also enjoyed meeting a pair of treasure hunters that day, with their metal detectors.  All they had found were nails, no doubt flung from the construction site at the top of the bluff.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Sunshine

Yay!  It's time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival!  I'm not sure where I'll find the time to browse through the hundreds of entries.  I always add more from each festival of things I need to try and I'm already working on a backlog of patterns.  This isn't helping.  Nonetheless, I'm thrilled to participate.  (I just need to finish my second entry by Monday.  Eek!)

My first entry was completed in January (thus the snowy photo).  My mother requested a twin-sized quilt with rounded corners and picked Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice as a pattern.  Once I calculated the yardage, we met at a fabric store and she picked the colors she wanted.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Fall Boston Pignic 2018

We always fret about the weather for a pignic.  Too hot?  Too cold?  Too wet?  We decided to hold it on a possibly too-warm day instead of wait for the rain date, which currently looks too cold and rainy!  We did the right thing.  Under the trees at the Wellesley Bowl, it turned out to be a terrific day for a pignic.


Wedgwood's Fifth Birthday

Wedgwood is officially five years old.  I still suspect she's a little younger than that, but we'll roll with this.

And what a year for rolling with stuff.  Since her last birthday Wedg has lost Boadicea, then lost weight, then eventually gained Mabel, and lost some more weight.  Through it all she's kept her attitude, her pointed nose, and her fan club down at the vet's office.  I suspect she's kept all her badness, too, but she's less inclined to dish it out with Mabel.  That tells you how well they're getting along together.  They're a great pair.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Nauset Light to Campground

One last leftover from Chick Weekend - then I swear I'm done.  Well, maybe a couple of more photos in the next I Like Thursday post.

We stay in Eastham, a short walk from Campground Beach.  Nauset Light (from yesterday's post) is on the ocean side of Eastham, three miles straight east from Campground.  When we got back from Nauset Light I recorded what high tide looks like at Campground for comparison.  These two clips were taken only an hour apart. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Ocean Fun

On the last day of Chick Weekend we headed to Nauset Light in Eastham, MA.  It was windy, cloudy and cool.  We decided to see what the water was like and check out the seal/shark activity.  Turned out to be an exciting way to spend the morning.

Shark warnings, kite surfer, lots of sea foam, and a much shorter sand dune with a missing staircase

The wind was whipping and the waves were impressive as high tide rolled in.  We were immediately sandblasted as we got out of the car.  The stairs and the bathhouse were gone from last year.  They've given up on building stairs (which have been rebuilt year after year) and have opted for a sloped path through the dunes to get to the shoreline.  I know there were plans to rebuild the bathhouse; currently there's a sad little trailer at the other end of the parking lot.  I'm amazed how much has eroded in my lifetime.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Kayaking in the Bay

Setup complete (in less than 15 minutes)
My sister was kind enough to bring down a pair of Oru kayaks to Chick Weekend.  I've written about these before - they're these neat origami kayaks that fold into the size of a large suitcase and weigh under 30 lbs.  She had the two of these stuffed in her hatchback with the back seats pulled down.

We have paddled around the Quaboag River and Pond, but I had not been in any kayak out in Cape Cod Bay before.  So this was new.  There was a good breeze on our first day and the water wasn't too choppy.  We headed north towards Wellfleet.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

I Like Thursday: Seen Around Eastham

I have so much to like, it may spill over into next week.  I jammed myself and six friends into a cottage on Cape Cod this weekend.  It was wonderful.  Even with all the terrific goings on with them, I had a chance to notice some fun little stuff.  So I'll start with that.


I was amused by these mailboxes.  Five of them lined up and not a single one the same height as another.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Cape Chick Weekend XII

You'd think that after a dozen chick weekends on the Cape I'd have nothing more to say.  Yet every year new stuff happens among the tried-and-true weekend routines.  While waiting to pick up pizza on Friday night, we ran into at least two other groups of chick-weekend gals.  Must be the weekend to do that!

I had a packed house this year, with seven of us down on Saturday.  Added bonus:  my sister made it for the first time!  We squeezed most of us in a single car to make our Atlantic Spice pilgrimage.  We all came back with goodies (I can't believe how much I purchased considering I had been there in July!).  However, once the last gal arrived, we had to pile in two cars to check out the sand sculptures.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Bittersweet

I have arrived to what feels like home.  It's odd, because I am here no more than five minutes and I start to yearn.  For what?  There's a crush of feelings.  This particular weekend in September reminds me of people I've loved (I still love) that are no longer living.  At the same time, there's the anticipation of my friends arriving for a chick weekend.  There's the peace and comfort of an old familiar place.  I miss what I've lost and love what I have.  It's a wonderful feeling, even with the tint of sadness.

I finished a book of Rumi poems Thursday night.  He speaks of longing; love's confusing joy.  I suspect that has colored my feelings, has made me pensive.  So I am grateful to have a little time to be still, appreciate the quiet, even for a little while - before the frenzied happy activity of the weekend begins.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

I Like Thursday: Nice Surprises

I spent Sunday with my mother, sister and nephew.  It was kind of a belated birthday celebration for me (because I had the audacity to let it quietly slip by).

We were walking around Puffer's Pond when this frog leapt out of the brush and landed right in front of me.  Startled the heck out of me - he was really moving until he came to a stop.  Then he waited for me to take photos.  Aren't the colors great?  He really was that green.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Ultimate Laziness

All guinea pig owners will mention guinea pig poo at some point in a conversation.  Firstly, because there is just so much of it (and it's worrisome when there isn't).  Secondly, you see it in unexpected places.  It's often laughable. 

Mabel is an expert at pooing in her sleep.  This isn't the first time I've caught her with a hanging chad.  It's so ridiculous.  What a care-free life.

On the Wedgwood front:  she's recovering really well.  The gate to the floor remains closed all day because Wedg will jump to the landing if given a chance.  No jumping anywhere for at least a few more days.  Mabel can't come to the kitchen as often to mooch  for lettuce.  Because they are restricted to the bottom level of the cage, there's more sleeping than usual.  I think Mabel and Wedgwood will be so happy when I can open the gate and the upper levels to the cage.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Slouching Zig-Zags

I'm quilting the zig-zag quilt.  It has proven to be more challenging than I anticipated.  Normally I worry about puckering the back of the quilt, not the front.  Basted, pinned and quilted with a walking foot, this thing is determined to crawl all over. 

How frustrating.  Straight line quilting is pretty simple.  Yet this thing refuses to stay still.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Not What We Expected

Look at that Frankenstein belly!
Wedgwood went for stomach surgery on Tuesday.  Morning traffic was slow and aggravating - it gave me additional time stress about past surgeries that didn't go well.  I was a tad emotional when I got to the vet.  But the vet techs were wonderful, told me Wedgwood was everyone's favorite and assured me she was in good hands.  I left feeling better than I arrived.

Surgery started out well, but they soon discovered the culprit of the stomach issues - a large tumor growing out of her pancreas.  Not partial torsion after all; Wedgwood's stomach was being squeezed by the tumor.  Because of the size, position and amount of blood vessels entwined with the tumor, the vet was disinclined to mess with it.  It was a nasty surprise from how she described it.  We made the joint decision to leave it, but it was disappointing to put Wedgwood through the surgery and be unable to fix anything.