Sunday, January 30, 2011

Winter Storm for the Record Books?

That is what is being reported about the ice and snow that will hit Oklahoma on Monday evening.  This snow storm will spread North East through the US.  The weathermen are predicting that central Oklahoma will receive 12 inches of snow.  Sounds like a repeat of last winter.
This doesn't look like much but it is our generator.  It is wired into our home and if we lose power this little piece of machinery will be our best friend.  It will give us enough power to run our water well, refrigerator,  lights in our living room and bedroom.  We have gas heat so that isn't a problem.  I bought groceries today along with what seemed like a thousand other people.  I am ready to be stuck inside for a month if needed (this is so funny because it will probably only last 2 days). 

I will post again on Tuesday and let you know what is happening in my little corner of the world. 
Until next time,

Friday, January 28, 2011

Garden Update and Roses from Hubby

As I am writing this post it is 75 degrees F outside, a bright sunny day with a hint of wind.  It is warm, time for a T-shirt and shorts.  That is until next week when we are again supposed to have frigid temperatures.  We have such extreme high and low temperatures here in Oklahoma. 

I took advantage of this wonderful day to spray a little glyphosate (herbicide) on the weeds that are coming up in the pathways.  Hopefully I can stop them now before they get out of control. 

Upon examining the border in the potager I found these coming up.

 The daffodils are about 2 inches tall already. 

Now for the surprise from hubby.   
Last Saturday we were celebrating my daughters 34th birthday.  Before the party started my husband gave me a dozen yellow roses.  Perhaps he gave them to me for giving birth to his children or perhaps he gave them to me just because.... but whatever the reason wasn't that sweet? 
Below are a few more pictures I took in the back yard today.

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The War againest English Ivy

Today was a beautiful day, the temperature was 55 degrees F and there was no wind!!  Yes, that's right, here in Oklahoma, "where the winds come sweeping down the plains" there was no wind.  The past several days I have been piecing  my Star Crazy Quilt until I am almost crazy so I took advantage of the nice weather to get outside and work in my Empty Nest Gardens.
This is English Ivy.  My grandparents had this growing in a large garden bed in their front yard.  I always thought it was beautiful, a lush, thick ground cover.  So I bought 3 small 2 inch pots and planted them 15 years ago. 
Now it is attempting to take over my acreage and if it had it's way it would take over the neighborhood. 
This is our swimming pool.  It would love to grow in, over and around the pool.  BUT NO I SAY, THIS IS WAR, me verses the ivy.  I have tried spraying it with herbicides and nothing kills this pesky plant.  I always have to resort to cutting and pulling it.  It does help to use the weed eater to remove the leaves and then I can see the stems to pull and cut them out.  I use regular household scissors, they work great.
Brutus is always right in the middle of things.  He loves to get in my leaf bag when it is full of clippings.
This is the same picture an hour later.  You would have never known there were stairs under all that ivy.  I have to do this clipping every year.  This year I am going to work hard to contain the ivy to a smaller area. 
It has been so dry outside that I took advantage of the nice weather to turn on the drip irrigation and give the garden beds a good soaking.  This is a miniature Nandina shrub.  It is such a beautiful burgundy color.
Until next time,

Saturday, January 15, 2011

David Taylor Machine Quilt Class

The Oklahoma City Winter Quilt show is this weekend.  It is always held in January at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.  David Taylor is one of their featured instructors this year.  Yesterday I was fortunate enough to be able to take his machine quilting class with my friend Freda. 
David Taylor has won many awards for his pictorial quilts.  They are gorgeous, take a look.
I took this picture at the 2008 Houston International Quilt Festival.
This was also the 2008 Houston IQF.  Notice he won a blue ribbon for this quilt.
He was a grand prize winner at the 2006 Houston IQF. 
The class he taught was called "Free Motion Quilting - Yes, You Can Stipple!".  This is one of the quilt sandwiches he gave us to practice our stippling.  He has us quilt randomly around the little designs, practicing how to meander.  The class lasted from 9am - 4pm and it flew by.  He is a very good instructor and very entertaining.  I am so glad I took his class.  If you are interested in learning to machine quilt on a domestic sewing machine and you have the opportunity to take one of his classes I would recommend it. 

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Touch of Snow

Monday of this week we got a dusting of snow. For those of us in Oklahoma that like snow this is a big deal. This winter we have not received enough snow to even cover the ground.  I was so excited to see a little snow that I had to go outside and snap a few pictures of the little bit that had landed on a few of my plants.
Colorado Blue Spruce
Lemon Balm Seed Pods

Until next time,

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Bathroom Remodel

Last October I remodeled my bathroom.  I am just now getting around to blogging about it.  Here are a few before and after pictures and an explanation of the process. 

Before my bathroom was Victorian Country. 

This is my new bathroom.  I tried to give it a modern look with a french flair.  The venetian mirror is what inspired me to do the remodel.  I had seen a similar mirror on HGTV.  I went to their website and found out where they bought it.  I ordered it online and the remodeling started.   
I love the classic black and white tile. 
The new water conserving tolliett from Lowes
I love bees and I found these accessories at Marshalls and they were on sale!!  I bought this piece that is a trash can but I use it to hold reading materials.  I also bought a kleenex holder, soap dish, hand lotion dispenser and flower vase in the same pattern. 
I love the prisms that the sconce globes cast on the wall. 
We bought most of our supplies from Lowes.  We really like shopping there. 

 I did about 70% of the work and my husband did the hard stuff.

These were the steps:

Decide what I wanted and what the finished bathroom should look like. 
Strip the wallpaper off the walls
Sand the walls
Primer the walls
Texture the walls
Order the faux marble counter top
Primer and paint the cabinets black
Buy and install new cabinet hardware
Rip up the old tile (husband did this!!)
Rip up the old carpet and pad
Lay a new tile floor (yes, I did this but husband cut the tiles when needed)
Paint the walls
Install new tolliett (husband did this)
Paint and install new baseboards (husband cut these)
Paint remaining wood trim white
Install faux marble countertop (professionals did this)
Install new faucets (husband)
Install new wall sconce lighting (husband)
Install new shower rod (husband) and shower curtain
Hang new bathroom hardware (towel racks, tolliett paper holder) (husband)
Hang mirror (both of us)
Purchase new accessories.

We did not replace the bathtub nor the tile that surrounds it. That was a little beyond our skill level.

 I hope you enjoyed taking a look at my bathroom remodel.
Until next time, 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Chicken Breast Recipe

I have been reading my cookbooks, looking for a recipe(s) that sounds delicious and doesn't use too many strange ingredients.   I made a few things that were not all that special.  I have donated 10 cook books to the library booksale.  Maybe something in them will appeal to someone else.

This is a very tasty recipe that I made for dinner one evening this week.  

Chicken Breasts with Toasted Mustard Seed Sauce
6 skinless chicken breasts, boned
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp ground black pepper, divided
1 1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (I used finely chopped white onion)
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Place chicken breasts on a lightly greased rack in a broiler pan.  Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Bake at 500 degrees for 15 minutes; turn oven to broil, and broil chicken 6 inches from heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned.  Transfer chicken to a large serving platter.  Set aside and keep warm.

Place mustard seeds in a small skillet; cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until mustard seeds begin to pop and are lightly browned.  Removed skillet from heat.  Let mustard cool completely in skillet. 

Place whipping cream in a medium saucepan.  Bring just to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally.

Stir in reserved mustard seeds, remaining 1/4 tsp salt, remaining 1/2 tsp pepper, onions, Dijon mustard and lemon juice; cook until mixture is thoroughly heated.  Pour sauce over reserved chicken.  Serve immediately.  Yield: 6 servings.

I served this over rice, with brocolli.  Since there are only 2 of us I halved the recipe and it came out great.

Now I must post a few pictures of the cats and of the evening sky.
Nosey sitting in the bay window.  She is soooo sweet.
Our new cat Beau, very content to be 6 foot up on top of the cat condo.
Our beautiful reddish pink evening sky. 
Until next time,