Poppy Production

It was a two mountain day for Mike's birthday celebration yesterday. We were a little on the windy side here, but still lovely warm weather.

We used to see three mountains from our place. Here, you can see Mt. Rainier on the left and Mt. St. Helens on the right. We used to see Mt. Adams to the right of Mt. St. Helens, but the trees have grown up now, blocking our view. Mike has a plan to top the ones down below before they block the view altogether, but I'm not sure how successful that will be. There are a lot of trees, and we only control a few of them.

Yesterday was busy. There was lots of sewing and lots of cooking. Mike's favorite breakfast in the whole wide world is Eggs Benedict, and so we started his birthday morning there. You need strong arms to whisk that Hollandaise sauce into shape, but we got 'er done.

After that, I had only a few stitches to take on the first of the three snowmen. My friend Marei says this guy looks as if he's hanging onto his candy canes for dear life.

I'm started on the second of three now. They go pretty fast.

From there, we set free the cats. I always take a walk around first, clapping my hands and yelling at the "bad dogs" to "GET OUT OF HERE!" We haven't seen any bad dogs in months, and so it seems they've moved on. As I walked around, I snapped a few pictures. This is the second of the rhododendrons to bloom. It's looking so pretty right now.

The first two that bloom are on the sunny side of the house. These have gotten so large they are blocking the sidewalk. Rhododendrons grow wild in Oregon, and these domestic ones can get as big as a tree. These two are going to have to get whacked back when they finish blooming, which is a shame, but it will be less expensive than rerouting the sidewalk.

Speaking of things that grow as large as trees, check out this volunteer catnip. I wish it were a little closer to the catio. I still might try weaving some of it into the fencing so the kitties can get at it when they're confined.

Finally, I wanted to show you how big the peonies have gotten already. Except for the one on the far left, they are covered in buds. They're my next thing to put on the Bloomers Watch List (which I just made up just now). Expect to see the buds opening in daily documentation very soon.

Back inside, I was determined to finish off the poppies. I had just the top and bottom square-in-a-square borders to do. First the top...

And then the bottom.

And then, there was just one narrow green border to add. This is a Jane Kakaley pattern. She often adds that narrow border around the outside.

My thinking is that it helps keep from cutting off the points of the diamonds. I can see where I'm sewing with the border, but I won't be able to see where I'm sewing when I add the binding.

Sadie helped me choose the binding fabric. We auditioned about half a dozen from my stash, and we both liked this one best. Sadie rolled around on it and rubbed her cheeks against it.

She liked it so much, she decided to take a nap right there...which made cutting the strips kind of difficult.

I laid it out next to the quilt so you could see how it will look on the left there. It probably won't get finished until next year sometime.

But there was still cooking to do. Mike requested Three Cheese Lobster Macaroni and Cheese for his birthday dinner. This is the very definition of comfort food.

It uses a lot of pots and makes a very messy kitchen when I cook it, but it is so cheesy and good. Also, it makes six of these large ramekins. We ate two and then froze four for future camping trips. When I've made this before, I've been able to find cooked and frozen lobster. I couldn't find it this time around, and so I bought some frozen lobster tails. They just needed boiling for about 8 minutes, and then I chopped them up and tossed them into the mix. Yum.

Instead of a birthday cake, he wanted a skillet cookie. It was a sweet way to finish off the day.

Okay, and so yes, we've totally blown our diets this week, but birthdays only come around once per year. Celebration is mandatory.

It continues with more cooking today. We're having a prime rib roast on Saturday, and I'm getting a head start today. I'm making a cheesecake for our dessert on Saturday, and I'll do that today. Also, I'm making Mike's favorite green bean dish, which is best made a day ahead, and so that's also on today's agenda. I have a few little things I'd like to get done in the sewing room today...making a couple of masks for one. We both have masks we've been using, but it would be nice to have a spare for when the others are in the wash. Oregon is beginning to reopen next week, but we'll probably continue to quarantine and wear our masks until we see how this first wave goes.


Julierose said...

Snow person looks like he's guarding his candy canes from thieves;)))
So cute...
Poppies came out so beautifully...nice work on this....
Enjoy your feasting...
~ ~ ~ waving from my recliner Julierose

QuiltShopGal said...

Happy Birthday to Mike. Looks like a great way to celebrate. I love Rhododendrons and yours looks so beautiful. They offer such sweet color. I thought your poppy quilt was gorgeous before you added the border, but you really did a great job. I love the special frame it gives to the focus of the poppy. Perfect fabrics & colors too!

Quilting Babcia said...

Comfort food is the order of the day around here - especially since it's snowing like it's December again. Maybe it is, who would know. Loving the poppy top, Sadie (and you) chose a great binding to go with it. Enjoy your warm beautiful weather!

Linda said...

Your "wild" rhododendrons are so pretty. Sadie made a great choice on the binding. Mike chose a great day-long menu, everything looks really good.

HouseDragon said...

Happy Birthday to Mike!
I followed the link to the Poppy Wallhanging: oh dear, so many choices! Your's is absolutely gorgeous. Sadie made a great choice for the outer border.
Staying home is a smart choice!!! Stay Home! Stay Safe! May The Force Be With You!!!

Della said...

I love your poppy quilt and adore the black and red border. That really dresses everything up. My tomato plants arrived today, just in time for the snow flurries. Will have to baby them in the house until this cold weather spell moves on.

Kate said...

Poppies turned out beautifully! That black and red border is so dramatic and is such a nice frame for the quilt. Mike has very good taste for things that taste good, his birthday dinner looked really yummy. I'm back to making masks too, My Guy needed at least two more to have one per day at work and I need at least three more. They've been opening up things here since last Friday. The college girl and I went to pick up lunch yesterday and no one who was out and about was wearing a mask. They may be shutting things down again before too much longer.

piecefulwendy said...

I love how Mike eats - eggs benny is my hands down favorite breakfast. Looks delicious, I might add. I don't eat mac & cheese often, but when I do, I like it with smoked gouda. Yum. I'm sure lobsta would be tasty in there with the gouda. What a beauty of a view - those mountains and all your blooming things. We are having frost, maybe snow, this weekend. It's definitely cooler outdoors; no sitting on the deck today. I have plans to wrestle the vintage UFO and get the binding sewn on. We'll see. I have a little project that I started yesterday that may win out.

Karen said...

Thank you so much for all the f!oral puctures. It's especially calming when we got snow again yesterday. It snowed so hard that I couldn't see the two semi trucks ahead of me. Covering up the plants and bushes every day for two weeks now.
Mike looks like he had a nice birthday.. It is all about food, isn't it..?
Love the mountain pic s.
Our state is not opening up. You wouldn't think so by the population in the store. Three different families, dragging their parents through the store. 6 kids in one group. Uggh. Came home and took another shower.

SJSM said...

I do like your floral quilts. The large motif of blooms set off by the backgrounds. This will be part of your gallery collection "Life in Blossom".

Glad the coyotes moved on. All can rest easier until they roam back this fall. We are shutdown with a small reopening; outdoor activities one can do solo. The parks are still closed but one can move 10 miles away from home instead of 5. Outdoor activities include golf. The course we live near were taken over by the turkeys. I’m sure the turkeys were not amused when the first ball went sailing by.

I’m on the next set of 35 masks. 20 go to requests from friends, family, my auto mechanic and a doctor’s family in NYC and New Jersey. The rest will be divided between a stash to give out on the next request and essential workers a church is collecting masks to supply our underserved area. I will be glad when masks are more easily available as making them is getting very old. I’ve seen the generic ones and some pop up ads for cute ones but others either haven’t seen them or the employers won’t buy them. In our area we all need them to keep the infection rate manageable until effective medications and contact tracing can be instituted widely and thoroughly.