Wow, it’s July already. The first full month of Summer. I wish I could say I’ve been crazy busy sewing and show you all the great things I made, but the truth is I’ve just been super busy with the usual things: kids (OMG, we’re so busy with kid stuff ), work, volunteering, house work and all that blah-blah-blah. I’ve done the absolute minimum amount of sewing.
I’m sure Ruth is glad I finished her block for Fresh Comfort Two. She used a rainbow of colors and we each made a block using Denyse Schmidt’s “Drunk Love in a Log Cabin” as the inspiration. This block scared me too much to be too creative, but here it is:
I did square up the edges before I sent them to Ruth.
I also finished Kellie’s block for Fresh Comfort Two:
Now it’s my turn to have the bee members make blocks for me. Well, here’s where I already feel like I made a mistake. While I know the other ladies will do a great job with my blocks, I know I chose a block that is way too simple. I mean, these ladies can SEW! I chose wonky star blocks in red and blue. My thought was that I’d have a picnic blanket for summer holidays. And I still will. The thing is I have soooo much pink, orange, yellow, green… BRIGHT colors that I should have used that and had everyone help me finish my pinwheel sampler quilt. Why didn’t I? I just ran out of time, even though I had 6 months to get it together, I simply ran out of time so at some point I came up with the idea that it would be easy to cut and bag fabrics for the stars (it was) and that’s what I did. Anyway, I know they’ll come back really great and regret is a waste of time so I’m moving on. I just had to get that off my chest.
My in-laws are in town. We haven’t seen them since Thanksgiving in San Diego and were able to spend a little time with them last night. They were sitting for our niece while her parents were out with friends, and when we got there our niece (just over 1 year old) was up and wide awake. It was 9:00. My in-laws were chasing her around making sure she didn’t crack her head on any of the MANY hard surfaces in their rented house (more on that later). She was very entertaining to our 11-year old. He took a picture of her and sent it to her mom, to which she replied, “IS SHE REALLY AWAKE?” and “DO WE HAVE TO COME HOME?” Of course, we were all enjoying having her to ourselves so the answer was absolutely NO. She was having a blast and it was great to see her toddle around since the last time we saw her she was just tiny and always being held. At one point, I picked her up and detected a faint dirty diaper odor so I gave her a sniff and sure enough, she had a full diaper. Segundo just laughed and said, “yeah, I smelled that too. I didn’t want to say anything. Ha ha”. Kids.
So, the rented house. It reminds me of a Frank Lloyd Wright house and one in need of some love. The furniture is really contemporary, like truly 50s contemporary. As in from the 50s, not reproduction. And it’s pretty nice, but the house itself hasn’t been maintained as well as a rental house should be. My in-laws wouldn’t even stay there the first night because it was so dirty. Four hours and a cleaning crew of 3 later, they moved in. I think I noticed a board over one of the kitchen windows – I’m going to have to check that out today. There’s also a room with a bank of windows behind which are some plants. An indoor garden, if you will. But there’s no obvious source of insulation with windows above the window wall, so I’m guessing it’s pretty cold in the winter (and Wisconsin winters are COLD). There’s also a massive fireplace with a stone hearth, the one on which we were trying to keep our little niece from cracking her head. There’s a large patio in the back with white wrought iron chairs and that looks really nice. I counted at least 4 bedrooms and 5 full baths, but I couldn’t close the door on the bathroom I used because it was stuck. The kitchen can only be described by one word: icky. I opened one of the oven doors and it clearly hadn’t been used or cleaned in a while. The other door appeared to be a separate broiler which is pretty cool. The dishwasher is about 150 years old. The living room (with the massive fireplace) is really spacious and the furniture there is comfortable; there’s a beautiful rug on that floor. Apparently my mother-in-law bought new dishes and silverware so she didn’t have to use theirs. That makes me laugh. Really, the furnishings are pretty nice; it’s just the house itself that has me scratching my head. I’m going to try to snap some pictures today. It has to look better in the day light. I’m really glad my in-laws are here – it’s been a long time since we’ve visited and we always get together over the fourth, so it feels like summer.
Speaking of the fourth, I have a recipe to share. This is one of my standbys and was given to me by my friend Sarah, in that she dictated a list of ingredients with some basic instructions on how to do the dressing, so I’m not sure it’s really the same as Sarah’s but she definitely introduced me to it and I doubt she’d mind sharing. Here it is:
1# bowtie pasta
6T oil in small sauce pan
6 cloves of garlic, minced
3 medium tomatoes; remove seeds and chop (this is a dry salad – the seeds add too much liquid)
8-10 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1T capers (I omit these b/c I’m not crazy about them)
Feta cheese (about 4 oz container)
1/3c roasted pine nuts
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse. Bring the oil and garlic to a simmer and cook until the garlic is warmed up and the oil is infused with it, but the garlic is not brown. Swish around in the pan periodically. The garlic should basically be swimming in the oil, NOT stuck to the bottom of the pan. Set aside to cool. Toss the pasta, tomatoes, olives, capers, and parsley. Pour cooled garlic olive oil on top and toss. Top with feta cheese to taste and the roasted pine nuts. Chill and serve.
This is really a crowd-pleaser and the ingredients can be increased or decreased according to your preference.
Now that I write this, I might just have to make it myself this weekend. We’ll be celebrating with family and going to at least one parade and, of course, the fireworks. We have a membership to Discovery World and members can watch the fireworks for free from their patio. It’s a spectacular place to watch.
Happy Fourth of July!