Closing in on Two Finishes

There was a little progress made on my current embroidery piece while we were at the river last weekend. I didn't get as far along as I'd hoped, but since we've been home, I've picked up the pace. Now I'm working on the final two quilt shops for the Shop Hop embroidery.

After I took that picture, I was able to get just a little more done on the Fort Bragg shop. If I don't waste too much time this morning, I should be able to get them all finished. And, just in case I do waste too much time, there's always tomorrow. If it weren't for tomorrow, nothing would ever get done. Thank about that for a minute.

After that, I went outside to water the flower pots. While I was out, I noticed Himself gazing off toward the field. What's he looking at?

It's Sadie, obviously stalking something.

She's quite a little hunter. Smitty likes it. She does all the work of hunting, stalking, and catching. He just waits for her to bring her critters back to the house, and then he eats them. It's a good deal for him.

So let us review: Hunter...


When I'd finished watering and filling the bird feeders, I was able to get to work on the flamingos. There was supposed to be some housework in the mix, but Mike did that. Unasked. Wow. That was something. So I was free to sew away.

When I finished the next section and pinned it up to the mis-matched section above, it covered the offending portions without hurting the design. I think this is going to work out just fine without me making any changes to it. As I've mentioned to a couple of you already, I think there are a lot of seams coming together at the point of the pink bird's beak, and that is what I'm seeing when I look at the mis-matched seams. The pieces are often elongated triangles, and when I cut around the freezer paper template, I often end up with a point that stretches out, seemingly for miles. I always leave them as is because if I cut them off, I could end up with an unwanted hole. The trimming can always wait until the whole thing is sewn together. (I hope that makes sense.)

While I was gazing at my work, the inspector came in. She was ready for treats.

And when I had her taken care of, I finished the next section. Here's where I left it yesterday.

It was about 4:15 by that time. Have you ever noticed how much time flies when you're engaged in quilting? It didn't seem possible, but I'd been in the sewing room for around five hours without taking a break. It was hard to walk away with just one section left, but I knew I'd be there past dinner time if I didn't stop.

As for dinner...I haven't said much about the diet lately, but we're still making progress. I've been on a plateau weight-loss wise, ever since we got back from our trip. I lose, then gain, then lose again, the same couple of pounds. Finally, I think I'm back on a losing streak. Yay! I love that about dieting. You can celebrate being a loser. But this talk of dieting brings me to my point, which was last night's dinner.

Our CSA farmers can challenge us to try brassicas and other greens we aren't fond of. Among our not favorites are kale (which I happen to like, but Mike doesn't) and bok choy...or apparently you can call it pak choi if you're hip to those sorts of things. So bok choy has a texture I'm not fond of...and I don't like cooked celery...or even raw celery. It's the texture I dislike, not the taste. Bok choy often makes an appearance in our CSA shares, and I say something along the lines of bok choy...oh boy...because I like being a poet, but I say it in my most unenthusiastic tone of voice. Nevertheless, I try different recipes to make it palatable because I'm a good sport that way. Now, fennel...that's a completely different story. I totally dislike fennel, and I refuse to even try eating it any more. Do not try to change my mind. Consider yourself warned.

But to pull my tangential brain back to the bok choy, I tried this recipe yesterday for Grilled Honey-Sesame Bok Choy, and it wasn't bad at all. The recipe is for baby bok choy, which is easier to like, because, you know, who doesn't like babies? But we always get the big boy bok choy in our CSA shares. I cut the root end from the plant, then separated and washed the leaves. Then I cut the stems from the leaves. From there, I sliced the stems in half the long way, then cut them cross-wise into about two-inch lengths. Then I stacked the leaves and cut them cross-wise into about inch-wide strips. From there, I stir fried them, adding the remaining ingredients when it was cooked to crisp tender. We left off the sesame seeds because we just say "no" to sesame seeds here at the Three Cats Ranch. It would be prettier with them.

And on its right there is a hunk 'o salmon prepared the way I was told on our Cooking Light Diet meal plan. The link to their recipe for Easy Sesame-Hoisin Salmon can be found right here. And that was super good...and super easy. Hands on time was about five minutes, and then it baked itself in the oven for about 15 minutes. I'd definitely do that again. We're still loving the diet. You barely know you're dieting.

While we were eating our dinner, Smitty was relaxing in the warmth of the setting sun. His life is impossibly difficult, as you can plainly see.

After I took that picture, he stretched and changed positions.

Stressed. To. The. Max.

Today I'm making the Spicy Dilled Carrot Spears in an attempt to defeat the carrots piling up from our CSA shares. It's a challenge every year, and the war is only just now getting started. Fortunately, this is quick and easy to do. My jars are washed and waiting downstairs. Then, I'll get back at the flamingos. For sure I'll finish the last section today, and then I'm hoping I can get all the sections sewn together before it's time to stop.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

Barbara said...

Celery raw develops the jaw, but celery stewed is more quietly chewed. ~ Ogden Nash

Quilting Babcia said...

Don't know about the bok choy but that salmon looks mighty tasty! Smitty does indeed seem to have it made as senior cat in the household! We began our summer preserving season with 8 jars of mango chutney a couple days ago. Found the most gorgeous mangoes at our local store that generally has a dreadful produce section. You just never know.

Kate said...

I'm not a fan of fennel either. So you are not alone there. Hopefully you got all your canning done and got in some good sewing time afterwards.

crazy quilter said...

Fabulous progress on the flamingos! I was thinking it would all work out. I am with you I don't cut things until the end much easier to cut after the seams are sewn than to have to patch a hole ... Hunter , gatherer they make a fine pair, indeed. I am not a lover of kale or bok choi or fennel, and I have been around a while and have not died from not ingesting them. Life is too short to eat what you do not like when there is so much to cherish like chocolate! I know what you mean about time passing fast when a I am in the sewing room the day seems to fly by, unlike the days when I have to work.... Slow slow slow. Your celebrating being a looser gave me a laugh, which I was celebrating with you but I seem to be going the opposite direction. Guess I better step up my game . Have a great day!

SJSM said...

Ah...food and diets. I am playing with the same 5 pounds. The good news is I’m not reaching my dreaded top weight. I’m on an exercise kick so hope the muscle I’m building will start burning more of the fat that is around. We will have salmon tonight. No bok choy will be involved. Just a salad and salmon.

My sewing drop dead project is learning to put a zipper in with a serger. Deadline Monday morning to teach a few others. A baby blanket and pacifier leashes are next, then some muslins for classes I’m taking in July. I better step it up and not just stepping around the block.

Love seeing the flamingoes develop kinda like a slo-mo Polaroid film.

piecefulwendy said...

Remember when all the to-do was about making kale chips? So I tried it. Big mistake. Made the house stink, and they tasted gross. I can do a little kale in a salad, but that's about it. I haven't had much fennel, and haven't used it in my cooking, so I don't know how I feel about that. The salmon recipe sounds good. We love a good grilled salmon, so I'll check that recipe. Nice work on the flamingo project! Smitty's got a good thing going - ha!

Denise :) said...

It's a challenge getting in the recommended daily vegetables, especially the leafy greens. Or just greens. I'll eat most anything (there are very few things that give me trouble texture-wise), but Todd is infinitely more picky and less willing to try new things. I eat a lot of raw spinach during breakfast and lunch (at work) to balance things out for me. LOL! That being said, your dinner looked pretty darn good! Why no sesame seeds? Those kitties are super-chill. I mean SUPER. :)

quiltzyx said...

I don't know if I've ever had bok choy or fennel, so I will take you at your word on them. I DO like celery - preferable raw, with peanut butter or, for a special occasion, cream cheese with cashews! The salmon looks wonderful. My sister's salmon recipe is also delicious:
"The salmon is easy. Just season the salmon any way you like. I use salt pepper and tarragon. Put a tablespoon of oil and a tablespoon of butter in a sauté pan.
When the butter melts, brown the salmon for 5 minutes on medium heat or less if it is thin. Flip over and put one ice cube in the pan and put the lid on.
Cook four or five minutes more and serve."
Oh Smitty, even lazing around you are so handsome!

Brown Family said...

I am working on a Cynthia England Haunter piece. It is similar to what you are doing with the flamingos. I understand what you mean about not wanting to stop when you get going!

Olka said...

The cutes hunter ever <3
Pok choy and salmon look so delicious! You made me hungry I think ;)
Thanks for the recipe! I'll try to make it soon :)
I'm also trying to eat clean and make some healthy dinners. Well, during my trip it was almost impossible to eat healthy things but now I'm returning to this. I feel so heavy after 10 days of fast foods and deep fried meat :/ I think I prefer steamed meat.