7/21/13

It's So Sunday

We had a dinner guest up last night.  We served shrimp cocktails, marinated rib-eye steaks, cottage fried potatoes, an orange and hazelnut salad, and a bumbleberry jalousie.  Everything was delicious.  I tried to keep it simple, including Mike grilling the steaks.  Nevertheless, I still spent the entire day cooking, cleaning, and watering outside.  That makes two days with no sewing.


It's become necessary for me to give myself a good talking to about participating in various online challenges, swaps, sew-alongs, quilt-alongs, and BOM's.  While I love joining anything and everything, sewing can start to feel like a job when one is pressured by lots of deadlines.  While I've felt pressured at missed sewing days because of looming end-of-the-month deadlines, it's also been nice to have a few days off from sewing.  I love sewing, but anything starts to rub like a new pair of shoes if its taken too seriously.

So, while I'm telling you this, I'm also talking to myself...which is what my blog is about much of the time...me, talking to myself. (At least I'm doing it silently in contrast to the way I used to do it...loudly, often losing arguments with myself in public, which was very embarrassing.  Not the talking out loud to myself. The losing arguments with myself with so many people in earshot--especially when I start swearing.)

Anyway, all of that to say that while I'm still endeavoring to complete my monthly goals, I'm telling myself that I'm not going to get all worked up about it.  Summer is for being outdoors, and there is plenty to do outdoors.  For example, today Mike and I are going to pick the ripe cherries on the cherry trees...the ones the squirrels, birds, and raccoons missed.  Also, we have ripe raspberries that nearly escaped our notice. There could actually be enough raspberries to do something with them, aside from eating them as they are picked.


Also, I have a half flat of blueberries in my refrigerator.  I picked them up on the way home from the dentist the other day.  My plan was to make blueberry chutney today, but since I spent the whole day cooking yesterday, I decided to hold off until tomorrow.  (That image above is from last year.)  Besides, that gave me a chance to get my towering disaster-waiting-to-happen of cast-off canning jars organized a little better.  As we've eaten last year's harvest, I've been sticking the jars back on high shelves sort of willy-nilly until it's a bit scary to consider going into the pantry.


This morning, I got all the jars down, matched them up with rings, and put them back in some order so that they can be stacked more safely.


There.  That's a little better.  Also, it gave me a chance to pull out appropriate jars for making chutney tomorrow.

Despite my lack of sewing at the machine, I've been working away on my first Vintage Tin stitchery.  I have most of the bottom motorcycle finished now.  It's hard to see, I know.  Imagine how I must feel as I'm stitching it.


When I take a stitchery out of a hoop to take a picture of it, ordinarily I spray it with water so that I can iron all of the wrinkles out more easily.  Since this new product I'm using is a water-soluble stabilizer, that would have been a dreadful mistake.  Fortunately, I smacked my own hand just in a nick of time.  (Yes, I was arguing with myself again.)  But I wanted to tell you how this is going and let you know that I'm liking the new product so far.  I'll say that it's a little more difficult to needle through, although that could be because I have a layer of muslin on the back.  That means three layers to needle.  A thimble might be a good idea, but so far I've not felt a huge need for it.  And I'm linking this post to:


Finally, I want to close with a little message to all of you from my friend Lisa.  She has very much appreciated all your well wishes, thoughts and prayers.  The latest news from her little community is turning more optimistic.  This is what Lisa had to say this morning:

At 5:26 am as we are starting our journey north to go camping, we are leaving behind our mountain home, trusting its fate to The Lord and the proven capable hands of the 3000+ firefighters who have proven over and over they are among our truest heroes! Thank you all for your concern, thoughtful comments, and prayer. The lightning and rain currently on display are cause for continued prayer and the use of extreme caution. We all feel this expected weather pattern is the beginning of our last hurdle!

The latest news is that the fire is 49% contained, and some residents of Lisa's mountain are being allowed to return to their homes.  Also, I want to thank reader Becky for sending me this link with continuous updates for anyone who is interested.

So that's it from me this morning.  I hope you have a restful day doing what you want...even if it includes no sewing at all.

17 comments from clever and witty friends:

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

I'm so glad the squirrel, birds, and etc. left you some cherries to pick. :D :D

We keep trying to tell the squirrel and racoons to share the tomatoes, but they just don't listen.

I agree that sewing should be for fun!

Quilter Kathy said...

Loved reading your post today...so much to ponder, lots of smiles along the way. I can just picture you slapping your hand before you dissolved your pattern and talking away to yourself about what to do today :)
Love the recipe for blueberry chutney and hope to try it some time soon...yum!
Thanks for linking up to Slow Stitching Sunday and showing your motorcycle project...enjoy!

Marti said...

I am having trouble getting much sewing done with all the gardening and canning that needs to be done. I wish we had a cherry tree. I used to love to pick cherries when I was young. I'm up to my ears in tomatoes right now, so I guess it's just as well I don't have something else getting ripe right now.

Teresa in Music City said...

Enjoy your Sunday! Sounds like you could use a nice day of doing exactly what you want to do :*)

Sherry said...

Glad I am not the only one trying to balance "things" with sewing this summer. It is a hard task sometimes. Thanks for the update on the Solvy product that prints the embroidery design. I am anxious to hear your final verdict. Have a great Sunday!

quiltzyx said...

Dinner last night sounds marvy - lucky guest!
I think it is very cool that you have enough home-grown fruits to make you straighten up your canning supplies! lol Years ago, my friend & I attempted to make pomegranite jelly once. Neither one of us had ever canned anything, and we couldn't find a recipe for it, so we picked another berry recipe & winged it. What a riot!!! Gilda is an RN, and was working in her uncle-the-doctor's office at that time. By the time we had the jars filled, both of us had black hands and the white porcelain sink was dark gray. We both were looking at her hands, saying that that wouldn't look very encouragine to patients! Then, somewhere from the far corners of my mind, I remembered my Mom using bleach to clean the grout on the kitchen counter (neither of our moms taught us cleaning tips), so we grabbed the Clorox & read the label....it was like MAGIC! The sink turned white & our hands came clean at the same time! Then we went into the living room, to watch TV or play games or something. After a while we heard a scary (to us) POP! sound coming from the kitchen. We thought the jars were cracking or something! Ran in to look at them, but no, we couldn't see anything wrong. Luckily her husband came home not long after that, & he knew - because he had helped HIS mom can - that the lids we just adjusting as they cooled off. In the end, we had a very tasty pomegranite SAUCE. Guess we needed more pectin, but it was lovely over ice cream! LOL I haven't tried any more canning since then, but I do think about it once in a while. :D

The motorcycle looks good to me - if I look closely I can see that it's a tiny bit darker than the one above. Yes, we do all need a break now & then.

I'm at work today, and so far, in almost 3 hours, I've only had one call, and it was a wrong number! When I get home, I think I may make some neck coolers. Maybe.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Oh, enjoy the outdoors, weather, produce of the season, and good company. And we love the 'talking to yourself' - it's like visiting an old friend.

Sher S. said...

Sometimes I think we are the same for thinking through things or hitting our foreheads that "Oh! I should remember that!". Love reading about your day, activities and the kitties. I've done canning, loved it when I could create yummy goodness in a jar. There isn't any way I can grow fruits or veggies in my yard, we have too many squirrels, blue jays, and other critters that love to use the block wall highway to get at everything. Luckily I do have two small tomato plants that none of the critters have touched and I might get a handful of tomatoes to put on our salads. Thanks for all your sharing, it brightens my day and puts a smile on my face.

scraphappy said...

Anything can start to feel like a job instead of a hobby when we start taking it too seriously. The feeling of obligation can be hard to overcome, but enjoying the process really is more important than a set of deadlines. Glad you are enjoying the seasons while they happen, soon it will be winter and you will be glad of projects to fill the inside time.

libbyquilter said...

ha~!! have to laugh at your dangerous tower of canning jars/lids as i have one that looks very similar. it's getting that time of the year again where those of us who can will be busier than ever getting all that fresh wonderfulness into jars for the winter months.

i agree with you about sewing deadlines sometimes becoming the enemy. it's so hard to keep a balance, isn't it?
the motercycle embroidery looks interesting.

wishing all of those effected by wild fires peace of mind as they get throught this fire season.
wonderful husband does this and is currently in nevada helping to get those fires stomped out.

happy slow stitch sunday
:-)
libbyQ

Lyndsey said...

I'm so pleased that I'm not the only one who talks and argues with them self. It is so embarrassing when you lose an argument with yourself in public.

I know what you mean about deadlines. It seems like a great idea at the time I sign up for things but life gets in the way and then the stress levels go up and I stop enjoying what I'm doing. You might not be meeting sewing deadlines but you're a busy lady with lots of interests and it's sure fun reading about your exploits.

treadlemusic said...

I am an "all or nothing/black or white" type that, also, gets way too involved with 'stuff' and then had too much on her plate. Victoria Wolfe ("Bumblebeans") wrote a book...15 Minutes of Play. The premise being that even if you don't have a whole day for sewing, if 15 min. a day at the machine could be accomplished then there is quite a lot done at the end of some days and our skills are kept sharp with the daily repetition. As gals we "keep many balls in the air" and multi-task all the time. I've learned to give myself permission to say 'no' in the past couple of years and have enjoyed many moments of calm because of it. It is a "battle" we all struggle daily with and you are in a very large group, my Dear!!! Uber hugs.......

Brown Family said...

I have to have those little talks with myself, too! THey do help. I am glad to see someone still has the art of canning. I would not know where to start!

Nan

Beth said...

I've been so glad to see that the Idylwild fire is closer to containment. Thanks for sharing the note from Lisa--she sounds very resilient. I hope she'll soon be able to go back home. Is there anything better than returning home, especially after an episode like this?

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Other than Christmas I have no deadlines, if I get things done I do, if not, it will still be there. You're right, summer is for lots of outside things and canning, travel, etc. I've done very little sewing since the weather has turned nice.

Diane Wild said...

Thanks for the tip on the Solvy. I just ordered some through Amazon because I needed to meet that $25 free shipping quota. Yes, call me easy..but, not cheap. Anyhoo, I would've made the same blunder so will keep it in mind. I got rid of all things to do with canning this spring. One person is not going to can any longer but I do keep a few pint jars on hand for a bit of this and that.

Pieces to Love said...

I feel exactly the same way with swaps a lot of the time. If I don't have a lot of time to complete it then it is a chore, and I don't like chores :). I'm at the point where I have taken on a few commissions and they interfere with my swaps so I had to let the swaps go until I can get my chaos under control.