Something Else

There was plenty of time for sewing yesterday, but I found myself dragging my feet about getting into the sewing room. Does it seem like I've done some sewing pretty much every day for the past month? It kind of does to me.

So I considered other options: baking bread, for one thing. I'm fresh out of toasting bread (aka "bread I've baked"), and so I set to work on a No-Knead Crusty White Bread from the King Arthur website. This is a super easy recipe. No special ingredients nor techniques required, and it makes a whole lot of dough. I baked off one loaf yesterday, and there is still dough for at least two more loaves. It has one initial room-temperature rise of 2 hours, then it is put into the refrigerator for anywhere from 2 hours up to 7 days. I was wanting bread to bake yesterday, and so I gave mine just another two hours. The remainder is still in the refrigerator to be baked another day.

After that it was formed into a loaf and then given another hour at room temperature before baking. It was a little disappointing in appearance since it didn't rise much on this third step. Nevertheless, it was very tasty, and it made a nice side for our dinner last night.

I toasted some more for breakfast this morning. Toasted slices of homemade bread have become a favorite breakfast food. For the two loaves I still have to bake, I'll give them more time on that third step and see if I can get a little more height.

As for dinner last night, that is a Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet. I think I shared this recipe the last time I made it. It's so good, and easy to make. It takes about 15 minutes to get all the veggies ready to go, then another 15 or so to cook it. It has chopped onion, green bell pepper, garlic, shredded sweet potato and baby spinach. You can shred that sweet potato in about two seconds in a food processor. It's all cooked up in the same iron skillet. Then you make four wells, crack an egg into each one, and then put it under your broiler to cook the eggs. Garnish it with some avocado and goat cheese, and serve it up in the same iron skillet. Yum.

Mike likes his with Chipotle Tabasco Sauce. I put salsa on mine. So tasty...and it uses up some of the accumulated farm eggs.

As you probably know, bread-baking is a whole lot of waiting without much hands-on effort, especially for this no-knead variety. So that left me with plenty of time on my hands for doing other things.

Here was my list in order of preference:
  1. Poke a fork in my eye
  2. Clean the interior of the refrigerator
Okay, so neither of those really sounded very appealing. Instead, I decided to get to work organizing the reams of travel articles I've been collecting for approximately 20 years. It's true we aren't taking off on our USA loop until September; but I worried it would take me that long to get organized, even if I started right away.

When I had all the articles sorted and divided up by states, they covered the entire large dining room table, and the peninsula in the kitchen.

Oy. From there, I made manilla envelopes for each state. Sorry, New Hampshire and Vermont. You have to share an envelope. Eventually, I had it all filed away alphabetically in one tidy box of envelopes. This represents all the articles for the lower 48 states. (Alaska and Hawaii...we'll get to you eventually. Except...RVing in Hawaii? I don't think so. Not until they build a bridge...which I would prefer to a wall any day of the week.)

When I counted the folders, there were only 45. If you add one for New Hampshire and Vermont, that still only equals 46 states. So who's not doing their part? Huh? Well, I'll tell you: it's Delaware and Connecticut. What's up with you guys? You're going to get a reputation for being lazy, tourism-wise. Guess I'll have to contact your state tourism centers and see what's going on.

With those finished, I sorted through campground directories and more tour guides and put those all in one box.

Finally, the coveted AAA tour guides and maps.

I totally love the AAA tour guides. Mike and I prefer staying off the interstates when we're traveling. With my AAA tour guides, even the tiniest little towns can become endlessly fascinating. Not every place in America is included, but there are enough that mine become worn out and dogeared by the end of a trip. How do you think I found the actual birth place of the Jolly Green Giant?

It's in Blue Earth, Minnesota. This fun fact comes to you courtesy of the AAA tour book. Never travel without them. 

And if that doesn't excite you, maybe the bobcat coming right up to the bird feeders yesterday will.

He just strolled on through like he owns the place. I imagine he thinks he does.

When I snapped these images, I was really wishing I could get a picture of the backs of its ears. I found this one on the internet this morning:

This one is from the Virginia Living Museum where they tell me that the ears are marked in a pattern called “false eyespots,” an adaptation used by many animals to fool would-be predators. Interesting, huh?

So that was a lot of excitement to pack into one day. This morning I finished up the last of Block 10 for Hocuspocusville:

The next time I work on this, I'll be doing Spooky Lou's.

By all rights, I should be starting on the next block for the Wine Country quilt, but with so few days left in the month, I'm going to get an early start on Gertrude. She's the next Bag Lady.

And this gives me the perfect opportunity to remind all you folks who are stitching along that the linky party goes live on Friday. You don't need to be finished to link up and win a needle threader. Just come on over and join the party, ready or not. It's a come-as-you-are kind of gig. I'll probably still be in my pajamas.

Since I was such a sewing room slug yesterday, I'm going to make a concerted effort to get going on the next block for It's Raining Cats and Dogs today. It's another gloomy day of weather, and so you'll find me hanging out in the basement where the fireplace is.

17 comments from clever and witty friends:

Kristin in Alaska said...

I've been to Blue Earth MN and taken a photo of the Jolly Green Giant! The nearby restaurant was delicious!

Sally Trude said...

Oh dear Smitty...I love your spring makeover...you are now over the top handsome...so much more impressive than that frilly quilt sitting nonsense.



Quilting Babcia said...

Wow, your bobcat is a handsome specimen. Sounds like you're planning a real American adventure! Have you told the kitties yet?

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Bob's will get bold if they have no one disturbing them - careful when you go out and about. Your are seriously organized with your travels and planning.

quiltzyx said...

Looks like you did a jolly job organizing all your travel info! Congrats!

The slice of bread looks good to me - glad it was tasty for you.

Brown Family said...

I was going through stuff to find photos for a Girl Scout reunion and found a paper on the history of Sourdough! I thought of you. it was compiled from Bake Your Own Bread bu Floss and Stan Dworkin, 'The Joy of Cooking'. Amazon still lists it it!

It is good to get organized for a trip as big as this one.

I am down to Mildred's head and half her purse, I know it is not necessary to complete in the month, but I always feel like I am behind if I don't!

Debbie said...

The bread looks good! Your travel plans are always so full of tidbits and fun facts. Sept. will be here quicker than you think.

Dana Gaffney said...

The Bobcat won't come when you're out there, will he? What if he saw Smitty with you, would he be that bold for a meal? How big is this guy?

Wendy Tuma said...

Those Bob pictures are pretty amazing, but hope you and your kitties will be safe with him around. Yes, the Jolly Green Giant is a Minnesota icon. I live about an hour from Blue Earth, but I don't have a picture of the green guy :-)

Lynette said...

You are so good, making those organized manilas and the the box of guides! I never get my act together so well for travels. More bobcat! We haven't had as many wildlife visits as we usually do this time of year - not sure what's up with that.

Nita said...

Good morning! Here goes my second attempt at leaving a comment. Spooky decided to scratch her face on my iPad as I was trying to hit "send" and I apparently lost the other one, lol! She's so helpful...
I think I was saying something about how good homemade toast is...and I took the last loaf out of the freezer this morning, which means it's time to feed the sourdough starter and put another batch of bread on. Oh, and that Beautiful Bob the Cat! Makes up the third cat on Three Cats Ranch, eh? Good thing you've got the catio patio!

Rosemary Rivas said...

Several years ago, one of my sisters and I took two Quilt History tour through states on the East Coast. There are many historical places, like Intercourse, Pennsylvania that we visited. I can make a list for you when I have time, if you're interested.

Barbara said...

Rosemary, sadly you are no-reply and so I can't respond to this comment, although I would like to. Please email me at threecatsranch at gmail dot com

Auntiepatch said...

You have a fireplace in your basement??! Genius! Basements are always so damp and dreary! Whose great idea was that?

Quilter Kathy said...

Love the orange threads you added to Hagatha's!!

Judy1522 said...

I love the pictures of the bobcat. Our son lives in Connecticut and we have spent some time there. We did some hiking near where he lives in Berlin and then there were a couple of other parks we went to. The Sleeping Giant State park and Talcott Mountain State park are both nice parks to hike in. Hammonasset Beach was also a place that we really enjoyed. We did go to the Mark Twain house in Hartford and really enjoyed that. Yale University also has a beautiful campus with some great old buildings. Anyway I am sure you will find things that you like to do there. What I found so great about the east coast was being able to visit the historical sites that I had only read about. It was so amazing to walk the freedom trail in Boston.

Kate said...

What a very productive day! To get all that sorted and stored. Plus bread baking and hand stitching. Doesn't get much better than that.