Happy Fourth!

It's looking like a pretty day for our Fourth of July. Happy Fourth! to my American friends. We have nothing planned at this end. In previous years, we've gone down to the east bank of the Willamette River to watch fireworks over the river. Here's a photo from a previous show:

Erik brings his barbecue and everyone contributes a dish:

And we always eat pretty well at those celebrations. Here's a plate from a few years back.

But those are just some memories of holidays gone by. COVID put the kibosh on those plans for the previous several years. We don't even know if the fireworks shows have resumed, but with COVID on the rise in so many places, including here, getting into a crowd of cheering people seems like a bad plan. Matthew will probably be able to see them from his house since he lives just a few blocks from the river, but we're still sticking close to home. We'll be celebrating with the kitties...not these.

We'll celebrate with these.

Don't turn around, Smitty. The pawpawrazzi are right over there.

Let me know when it's safe, Sadie. Oh, and thank you for standing. Your tail is just the right height for a good chin scratching.

Behind them, the clematis has three flowers now, with lots more coming. 

The daylilies are beginning to open too. I suspect this one has already opened.

There are a handful of blueberries on our first-year bushes. That's kind of exciting. I'll use these as a garnish for some Lemon Cheesecake Mousse as soon as they're ripe enough for picking.

We have very few cherries and zero plums on our trees this year, but the apple tree is coming through with quite a few apples.

Back inside, I was ready to get to work sewing together my July RSC Jericho Walls quilt blocks. These are the purples I chose. That bright pinky one in the middle is more purple than it looks here. It's a very bright color and overly-saturated in pictures.

When I had the purples cut, I cut the background pieces and sewed little strip sets for the corner pieces.

Then I laid the pieces out for sewing.

And then trouble arrived, stepping right in the middle of my bits of fabric and rolling around in them. She was encouraged to find another job.

Then I sewed them together. It takes a while with these.

This quilt will have 32 blocks when they're all finished. Here are the 21 I have so far.

After that, I was all set to start a new project. A while back, my friend Wendy shared these 12 patterns for quilt block barns. She received them in a Sew Sampler box. She didn't think she would make them, and so I was the lucky recipient. 

The grouping also includes some finishing instructions at the end that lists fabric requirements. As I was studying these and thinking how I wanted to do them, I realized I'd need a common background fabric for each quilt block. I'm planning to do them scrappy, but each block will have a background I'll use again and again. Rifling through my stash, I didn't find anything I wanted to use, and so I ordered some fabric. I'm hoping it will arrive soon so I can get started on these. 

For now, I'll set them aside and work on the Flannel 4-Patch started last time around. This is what I have for this quilt so far:

It will have nine rows when it's finished. I'll make another three rows today.

While I was in the sewing room, Mike was hard at work figuring a way to keep the squirrels out of the greenhouse. He had in mind to dig a trench and bury some fencing along the walls, and then fold it back over the ground to further discourage them. When he has that finished, he'll fill in all around the greenhouse (and over the fencing) with pea gravel. Eventually, I'll put some flower pots around the outside, and it'll make a nice little garden area. 

And that was all well and good, except the ground was so hard there, he couldn't get a shovel in deep enough to dig a trench to the depth he needed. And so he did some checking around and found a special nozzle for his pressure washer. Yesterday, he spent most of the day trenching along one side of the greenhouse, using the power of pressurized water.

It's a big job, and he'll be back at it again today. It'll be nice to be able to grow things in the greenhouse again. We're really missing the greenhouse lettuce. Last year's crop was completely decimated by squirrels. We didn't get even a single leaf.

Okay, and I tried another new recipe for dinner last night. This is Peanut Butter-Glazed Salmon and Green Beans. They had some nice Copper River salmon at the grocery store on our last trip, and so it seemed like a good time to try this. We liked it, and it was very easy to make. It's simple enough to do in the RV, which always gives a recipe high marks in my book.

The green beans are seasoned and then laid out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Then, the salmon is seasoned and laid right across the top of the green beans. Then you make a simple glaze, applying half at the beginning, and the remainder halfway through the roasting time. My salmon was about an inch thick at the thickest part, and so it took 10 minutes longer than specified in the recipe. I didn't have enough green onions, and so I just roughly chopped some regular yellow onion to make mine. I've linked to the recipe back there. If you're not able to access it, I'm always happy to share. Just email me (link in my right side bar), and I'll send it to you.

Okay, so today will be a pretty easy day. My housekeeping and gardening chores are all caught up, and so I can spend most of the day sewing. If I'm feeling energetic, I might get out for a walk. It looks like a nice day for it. 


Barbara said...

In the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it. ~ Barack Obama

Cathy Smith said...

Happy Fourth to all of the Stanbro clan! It's hot and humid here in Tucson (our "monsoon" season), so my fur purrsons and I are staying in today and playing with fabric. Always a good way to spend the day!

Anonymous said...

Happy 4th to you too!
Those patterns for barn quilt blocks sound great…looking forward to seeing those in a future project!
I think cats have some sort of radar that detects when small pieces for quilt blocks are out in the open! Cosmo seems to be particularly tuned in to anything with small pieces/parts that can be strewn about!!
The salmon with the green beans sounds delicious…I am definitely going to give it a try, but will substitute almond butter as I have a peanut allergy.
It is a hot day here…just looked at the thermometer….temp is at 95 degrees….at least it is not super humid….as long as it could be worse I think I will refrain from complaining!
Sandra B

piecefulwendy said...

We usually have a quiet 4th, but this year we are having some family over for dinner. It's all pretty low key, and will be nice to catch up a bit. Your flowers and kitties are looking good! I'm looking forward to seeing the barn blocks! Now I'm hungry for salmon!

gpc said...

Like all the grown ups in the room, President Obama has to say the right thing. I just hope he is right and that it isn't too late. Even though I am making blocks so simple that they can hardly be called quilt blocks, I am two months behind on the RSC project. Jack says I haven't sewn since we were sick and I am sure he is right. We are both well again, but I slip easily into laziness. It is one of my finest traits.

Susan said...

Since the squirrels are so good at digging their way into the greenhouse, maybe Mike could get them to help dig the trench. I hope all the work and effort he is putting into this project works. I like barn blocks and look forward to seeing what you do with these.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Might have to try that peanut butter salmon recipe. Love both so why wouldn't they be good together.
I agree that discretion is the better part of celebrations these days. With the current uptick in cases it's wise to stay home.