A Little of Everything

It was a busy and productive day yesterday. I'm happy to say life at the Three Cats Ranch is returning to normal after my bike accident back in December. I need Mike's help with certain things, like lifting heavy objects, but I can do most things independently again. It sure feels good. Hopefully, we'll be seeing the pandemic wind down as well, with more people being vaccinated. But let's all continue to be vigilant, shall we? It's too soon for any super spreader celebrations.

Nevertheless, we can celebrate these small victories in our own backyard, right? I'm celebrating finishing the quilting on the Sundress quilt. 

There were three star blocks and two Dresdens left to quilt. That took me around to the fourth corner, and the quilting was finished. I took it off the machine and down to the living room windows where I get the best lighting to show off the texture. My quilt holder-upper wasn't around, and so I tried my best to get above it where it lay on the floor. (No quilt inspectors anywhere.)

Here are a few taken from the side so you can get a better view of the quilting.

Smitty was happy to have this all done so he could take a well-deserved nap. He's been making sure I don't overdo it at the quilting machine.

Before I went to work on the quilt, though, I canned these Spicy Dilled Carrot Spears. So yummy. I started out with about a dozen short fat carrots from the farmer's market. It only took about an hour from start to finish, and I had five 12-oz. jars. The kids love these.

When the quilt was finished and photographed, I checked in the greenhouse. With a squirrel trap set in there, we're checking it frequently. Yesterday I noticed the tomatoes are already developing flowers. That's a good sign.

Furry little fellows. Also, I have lettuce in all three containers.

Since Mike made their digging much more difficult, the squirrels have been behaving themselves and staying out of the greenhouse. We aren't optimistic they won't find another way in, but for now, they're staying away.

After checking the greenhouse, I took a little walk around. I noticed another of the daffodils is blooming. These are especially pretty, I think.

And I paused again to admire the blooming star magnolia.

Backing up, the whole tree looks like this.

Mike keeps threatening to whack it back, and I keep telling him not to. When we moved in here, it was a small shrub. Now, it's grown into a full-blown tree. I might be willing to let him cut some of the lower branches to make it more tree-like, but leave the top where I can see it from the dining room.

This morning, I finished the first of the Heartland Barns blocks. This was a much more enjoyable piece than I anticipated. The pattern by Erica Plank at Unseen Hands has been in my pattern stash forever. I decided to start it after finishing up the Appalachian Memories stitcheries. Now I'm wondering why I waited so long.

Next on my dance card is to do some more stitching on Calendula Patterdrip's Cottage. You might remember when I traced this out way back in December. The next embroidery motif actually spans three blocks. Here's how it looks on the pattern cover.

Since the entire motif runs more than half the width of the quilt, I'm going to stitch it in three sessions. I'll start on the far left. You can see how it's divided up in the image below.

I'll be starting in the lower left corner with the Hobgoblin Ear Wax.

It's a little hard to see on that mottled background fabric. Here's how it looks on the pattern.

This will be a challenging project, partly because I chose unwisely when I selected that mottled background fabric. When I trace out the next stitchery, I'll probably switch to a black pen. I still think it's a great fabric for the pattern, but it is hard to see to trace and stitch. But it's also challenging because all of the stitcheries are so BIG! It's a lot to hang onto when one is trying to take tiny hand stitches. We'll get 'er done though. I have kitties to help me. What could possibly go wrong?

Okay, so this morning, I made one of our new favorite breakfasts from our diet. This is a Smoky Egg Tostada. (I think that's my own name for it.) 

If you're like me, then you always have little bits of things taking up space in the refrigerator or pantry. In this case, it's one green onion, or several 6-inch corn tortillas, or little bits of grated cheese. So here's how I put them all into this tasty and low-cal breakfast. 

First, toast the corn tortilla. I just do mine in my toaster over, but you can also do it in a skillet. You want the tortilla to be crispy like a tortilla chip. Then you spread it with some guacamole. In that regard, I can't say enough about how much I love these little Wholly Guacamole mini packs. These can be found in the produce section of most grocery stores.

It's more expensive to buy it this way, but we have a hard time eating the entirety of a batch of homemade guacamole. I'm trying to get rid of things from the refrigerator and pantry, not add more. And besides, guacamole doesn't keep well. These are little single-serving packs (only I stretch them to serve the two of us).

But getting back to the breakfast: spread the toasted crispy tortilla with guacamole, then top it with a fried egg. It's best to break the yolk on these...which I usually do anyway, no matter how careful I am. They're easier to eat if you're not dealing with a drippy yolk. Then, top with salsa, grated cheese, and chopped green onion. It's a finger food...pick it up and eat it like a slice of pizza. Mmm, mmm, mmm. So easy and tasty.

Today is going to be a nice day. Our weather just keeps improving. We're going together to get the annuals for the pots on the patio. We're also going to try to find hanging baskets for our deck, and we're going to look again for one of those beautiful blue clematis. Remember this one we got last year?

And if you remember that, you might also remember that we cooked the poor thing by planting it in direct sunshine right next to the dark wall of the house.

We tried to revive it, but were left with those famous words, "It's dead, Jim." We looked for another one, but couldn't find the pretty blue. Instead, we got this burgundy one.

And it's very pretty, but I still have my heart set on the blue one. So we'll go in hunt of another one this morning, and we'll pick up the rest of the flowers. Aside from that, my one goal in the sewing room is to get the binding sewn on the Sundress quilt. 

I love it when a day holds so much promise. Flowers and quilt bindings. The only thing that would make it better would be a lemon meringue pie. That will wait though...maybe next month when we have the family over for our May birthday trifecta celebration. We're dieting, remember? But why spoil a good day with talk of diets? Forgive me. And forget I said anything about it.


Barbara said...

Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul. ~ Luther Burbank

gpc said...

It will be another month and a half before I dare bring annuals home; snow is forecast for tomorrow and, although we don't expect it to stick, it is another reminder that winter isn't done with us yet. That barn block is about the prettiest I've ever seen. You do such lovely work.

Katie said...

Those carrots have me intrigued. How does one eat them? (Besides the obvious by using teeth...) The magnolia is beautiful, but does look more like a bush than a tree. Nothing wrong with that as long as you like it! Ours is nearing blooming, but we're colder than you, so I'll enjoy yours while waiting for mine. Your breakfast looks delicious. I tried something similar that used refried black beans on the tortilla instead of guacamole. It was delicious...well, I thought so. Mr. PickyPants my husband thought otherwise... I'm glad to hear you are able to do most things yourself, even if they include following hard to see embroidery lines!

Julierose said...

The dresses is so bright and sunny--really lovely...great texture with your beautiful quilting...nice work;)))
hugs, Julierose

Vicki W said...

So glad you are feeling so much better!

SJSM said...

What a day of successes! I need one of those days. I like the tostada breakfast and may try that this morning. All of the items are in our kitchen as leftovers, too. It’s time to start tackling the taxes. I’ve put it off as it is one of my least favorite tasks of the year. A young lady came over yesterday and we did hers. It was a long day that ran into the evening. It usually takes me several days to gather the data and do ours. 😞 sigh

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Those flowers are gorgeous, and I want a meal of that smoky egg tostada! I still have a hand embroidery project ready to go yet not a stitch taken.

Sherrie said...

Your Magnolia is beautiful. Love all your embroidery work. That's what I'll be stitching today. Your Smoky Egg Tostada looks and sounds so yummy. I'll have to give this a try. I really like the red Clements...so pretty. Have a great day!

Miaismine said...

On this, my first visit to you lovely blog, I feel like I went on a lovely walk with you all over your farm! Your crafty projects are lovely! Thank you for sharing such a warm, welcoming post!

CathieJ said...

So many pretty pictures today. I think I have to try those pickled carrots. I saved the link. Have a great week!

Anorina @SameliasMum said...

Visiting from Slow Stitching Sunday and you have so many lovely things to see on your blog. Gosh I love your stitchery and that pattern you're following looks like a lot of fun.