Friday, January 29, 2021

Weekly Roundup 4: EBHQ Unlocking the Joy in Scraps Quilting Lecture and Hand Piecing Class and Other Not-Quilting Things

 Checking in Week 4

I put the two quilting things at the top...

Attended a zoom lecture "Unlocking the Joy in Scraps" hosted by East Bay Heritage Quilters by Jil Fisher from Pie Lady Quilts. She discussed her design process and plan for using up the scraps from a quilt immediately in a second quilt.  She even made a few quilts from the scraps remaining after the second quilt as made.  Her website has photos of some of the quilts, but the discussion of how she made things was very interesting to hear.

As an aside she usually uses solids on the fronts of her quilts, but patterned fabric on the backs!

Each quilt made to use up the scraps from the previous quilt!

Also, attended a zoom demo and QAL about hand piecing an on point quilt project with 3-D bow tie blocks lead by Lauren Kingsland.  It was a small group, and will continue for a few weeks. I aim to make at least a few blocks for that! And will see if I can get needles and thread so I can try out the hand stitching part.

She likes patterns in her fabric!  Very traditional feel in the quilt is she having us work on.  Her web page shows other very fun Kolam quilts. I bet a class in that would be very relaxing.

Not Quilting

Walking:  Today walked 2.4 miles.  Saw a rainbow when I first started the walk today (Friday 1-29-2021).  So far this week (starting Monday have walked 13.1 miles) and 96.16 miles so far in 2021!

Also saw a rainbow on 1-23-21 - first thing in the morning.  Beautiful! 
And I could almost see both ends!!

Feeling much better than last week except for Wednesday visit to dermatologist.  He burned off several pre-cancerous areas.  First time he has done on my back - yuck!  

So exercise sessions getting better again.  Got some 15 lbs weights that have changed things up, made things challenging again. And also made the 10 lb weights seem very light!

Had a few days of eating healthily - no extra sugar.  But back to extra sugary treats.  Will try again.  Made some new to me meals.  Made a roast pork in the instant pot - starting with a piece of frozen meat. I have enough milk and carrots and pantry foods, so hopefully will pick some new recipes to try.  I enjoy the whole process of cooking and meals when I have time to think about them and change things up a little (but not like they do on the Netflix's Show Best Leftovers Ever).

Signed up for a zoom cooking class from a local company.  They will deliver all the food we need to make the meal!

Also, I signed up for a trial subscription to Milk Street about a month ago, but this week started getting - or started noticing the emails telling me about free asynchronous cooking classes - it's mostly reading articles, a few videos and then doing recipes.  They have some live classes too - that said they were for a fee - but when I clicked they said free.  So on Sunday I'll be taking a soft cheese making class - and I signed up for several different classes before the trial runs out.  If I like them will keep the subscription I guess for a year.  Would be nice if our son - or even husband would take with me!

Also on the online education side of things, we signed up for five classes thru The Great Courses.  They were having a sale so each was $25.  I picked the ones about Celtic History, Viewing Art, and Living in Ancient Times, while my husband picked North American Birding and Improving Writing. His cousins have liked listening to these while they are driving trips - in the old days that is - when driving trips were possible!

Worked on getting two boxes of papers gone thru, filed, typed in, scanned, in box to shred.  So many more boxes to go thru.  But any progress will help.  Husband took the boxes I had put out to Goodwill so there is an empty spot in the living room!

Still no vaccine appointment.

My New Way to Cut Avocado

Usually take the knife at this point and try to pull the seed out....  Wait.....

Keep the fruit together and make another cut.  The seed pretty much falls out.

Easy to use a spoon now to remove the flesh - or of course could slice with knife to what every size you want and then remove it from the skin.  I think at least sometimes you can then pull the skin back and have the flesh pop out.

* I saw this on a YouTube of a guy cooking something else.  He was a chef working in an empty kitchen.  I didn't subscribe to his channel and can't remember his name.  During his taping he cut his hand or finger and wrapped a towel around it.  As he spoke for the rest of the show one could see the blood spreading out on the towel.  

So that was the weekly round up!

: )

Friday, January 22, 2021

Weekly Round Up Note 3: Not Quilting

2021 Weekly Round Up #3 - Not Quilting

Walking progress so far for the week.  11.6 miles - for the month 77.5 miles!  I have set up a google sheet where I can post my numbers now - link at the top of each screen on the blog.

Not feeling great lately.  Back or knees hurting (with the humidity or the cold?). 

But I am in a slump.  Except for setting up Google sheets and links at the top of the blog!

Ordinary meals, several batches of cookies made.  Want to get better at that. I signed up for an online 'class' for food prep - but it turned out she was just selling her recipes.  She had forms for shopping lists and writing down what meals to assign to different days.  Nothing new.  I guess the only secret, as in so many things, is just to do it.  Then with consistent practice (fingers crossed) will get easier to do.

Listening to books on Audible.  I will need to pay for more titles in a week or so as only have three credits remaining.

Cut out templates that need 1/4 inch added to do last test of the wreath block for the exchange.

Spent time looking at web pages so have lots of ideas and inspiration for quilting and recipes to try. Guess that is my hobby of quilting now.  Just looking and collecting ideas.

Need to get appointments scheduled, paperwork organized for taxes and scanned and shredded for previous years.

I did receive the Walking Calendar, but it wasn't what I expected.  Instead of showing the maps and trails and a few photos, it is just a big photo of a place with very tiny map and a few questions about the area.  There is a spot to record miles walked.  : (  I would have to look everything up on the web as the type so so small.  Nice photos though.  My Google sheet follows the way they track the week (Monday thru Sunday). 

We got email from doctor with link to get appt for the vaccine, but when we clicked saw message that all the doses were already claimed.

Here is a screen to share the list of my exercises.  (Link also at the top of every screen on the blog.) I will update it every once in a while...

Feels good to have set up the ways to record different things online - but I do need to get my use of time in order. To take advantage of this self-isolation time.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Weekly Round Up Note 2: Not Quilting

2nd Weekly Round Up Note 

On my walking, I didn't do as much of anything this week.  The violence in DC and potential future violence - and probably loss of a friend over this has really got me down.  Look it's Sunday and I am just now sitting down to record my weekly progress...  

Even so though I did manage to walk 6000 steps all except one day last week.

The one day I did not walk was my birthday.  For years, on this day my husband and son make a special cake for me - Burnt Almond Cake.  My Godmother had it when she became the president or Worthy Matron of her Eastern Star chapter. (~1970ish).  It is still my favorite cake, made more special as we restrict ourselves and have it just once a year.

I've blogged about our tradition of each getting a special cake for our birthdays before, and the recipes are on the DodgeEats blog. (I blacked out the messy kitchen....)

For the dinner I made chicken sauerbraten using the same recipe we used for NYE, it was good, but not as delicious as making the recipe with beef!  Usually I do not do any of the cooking on my birthday - just keep them company while they cook and bake. We were not able to have the grocery deliver our traditional birthday dinner of premade chicken cordon bleu. Husband and son usually bake that and make side dishes and sauce for dinner. However, since we couldn't get first choice, I thought it might be nice to experiment with the frozen sauerbraten sauce.  

I used the leftover chicken from the birthday dinner to make a pot pie the next day - very nice indeed! Instead of making a crust though I used a Pillsbury crescent roll - and that was fine and made it very easy to make the left over chicken pot pie.

No Quilting or Sewing this week.  I did think more about the blocks that I need to make as I signed up for a block exchange with the Once a Month Saturday group that I used to sew with. We are not sewing together now.   If they are doing any zooming or emailing during this shut in, I'm not in that online loop - except for the one monthly email where the leader tells us all the bad news - one lady passed away, another's son is very ill, a quilt shop owner has cancer.  Other than the last I do not know the people by name - only by seeing them that once a month.  I have tried to get to know them, and for a few I email them a few times even before this shut in.  I'm realizing though that I really have no connection with them.  But I do need to finish the 20 blocks so they can be exchanged when the time comes.  In her email she was thinking we would be able to meet in person in March!  That seems very optimistic. 

Many of the ladies work together or at least used to work together at the same insurance company, but mainly they either attend the same church or at least attend church. They share the most delicious salads at the monthly potlucks. So they are generous to allow me to be part of their group.  For some reason I'm drawn to making a wreath block.  The only guidelines were that the block needed to be 9 inch finished and contain at least a little of the fabric that was distributed.  I know a few of them have done star blocks, and at least one made some with white background, and others with green background.  Guess she was using the fabric she had to make the blocks.  We saw an example of a group quilt they had done years ago so I saw that there was quite a variety in the number of pieces in each block and how they were made.  But I really like the idea of making a wreath block - my only hesitation is deciding the size of the wreath.  I mean do I need to make it smaller so it can be surrounded with white, or just go ahead and make it so the green of the wreath is at the edge...

No paper organizing, no decluttering.  I did remember to pay some once a quarter bills and to file paper work - when I got a notice that I had forgotten to do in September that is.  Oh dear.  Maybe this week will set up files for 2020 and for 2021 finally.

I did turn off the video news and will restrict myself to only reading or perhaps listening to the news for a while now.

I'm listening to more Elm Street Quilter books on Audible.  I getting them in the order they were published according to a list I found online: But the books were not published following the sequence of the story line.  Christmas Quilt for example has the main character un-married where she got married in the third book.  Anyway, it's a little entertaining, and the author is throwing in some American history in the stories too that is good to be reminded of.

I did do my exercise and made cookies with my son on Saturday - he thought of the idea to have a weekly bake day together during 2021.  So far we have just made cookies from mixes as I wasn't able to get all purpose flour.  But I got a bag finally so can really dream of different things to bake now!

I'm late with writing this second weekly round up.  I had planned on writing on Fridays and to cover the previous week.  I'm already into Sunday of the next week now, but still tried to keep the news about the previous week.

Hope this is a good week coming up.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Do Something Incredible in 2021! Walk 1000 Miles AND ....

 I get email updates from the View from the Teapot: Life in a Small French Town blog, and she shared how she is making the pledge to walk 1000 miles in 2021.  She lives in a beautiful part of the world so it will be fun to see the photos she shares.  I clicked to join her in making the pledge, and found the Walk 1000 Mile people have a beautiful calendar, so I ordered that.  Will be fun to dream that I'm in England....

I'll post a photo or two each week and share my walking progress here!

Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays I walk and chat on the phone with a friend.  The other days I'm usually by myself, listening to a book on Audible, or checking in with family and friends.  Talking makes the walking much more fun to do. But when I have a good book to listen to that is nice too.

Here is a cool cactus in the front of a house I passed in the next neighborhood while walking.  Isn't it beautiful?  So unusual.  

Even before the pandemic I have been lucky to be able to have a consistent walking friend.  We used to meet once a week at the San Diego Zoo, or when it was hot or cold in the local Costco and walk and talk. A lot of fun.  Sometimes we would go into different neighborhoods too.  

Now we walk each in our own neighborhood and chat on our phones while we walk, three times a week!  A reason to get out of the house in the mornings.  I have asked others to fill in more days of walking while chatting with phones, but no one else wants to make the commitment for a weekly walk.  : (  

I usually walk alone for part of the time, but generally our little dog comes along for at least part of a walk too.  When the pandemic first hit Buffy would come for the entire walk, but now her health has changed, so she is preferring doing her morning exercise after I return from my longer walk.

Here is my family on New Year's Eve.  (Masks removed for the photo.) We usually walk together once every afternoon with our little dog.  These are just short walks - maybe 15-30 minutes.

Here are our Irish cousins on their Day after Christmas walk on the Leafy Loop Walk in Durrow Co Laoise Ireland - just before their new shut down was put in place. Looking forward to seeing them again, and taking walks together there.


BTW I'm back to keeping track of the meals we eat - putting that on my food Blog - that will be updated every week or so.  I got behind in December so didn't post all the days - but started taking photos again so it should be more fun to follow.  Tonight I made a wonderful Dutch Baby for dinner, suggested to me by a friend in Northern California.  I'll write up the recipe and post a photo on that blog soon.  I was doing a great job of eating and serving healthy food (and losing weight), but now that I have mastered several online ordering services and am not worried about being able to get food, I've been making or buying too many treats.  Guess another goal is to get back to healthy food again.

Carolyn from From my Carolina Home, shared she picked one area each year to really clean out in a recent post.  She has so many interests and projects going on that even though I read most of her posts, I missed that she did this annual project too.  Every January, I choose an area of the house for extensive scrutiny. Everything is pulled out, looked over, and reorganized. I have followed Flylady for some time - her method is to pick a zone in the house and work on it for a week, then the next week to move on to the next zone, and so on.  She suggests working on decluttering and area before really working on cleaning it.  She sends reminder emails, and has help for setting up a control journal to help you keep track of things.  She adapted the index card system first written up by the Sidetracked Sisters in the Happiness File.  I bought their book while on our honeymoon in New York City.  The index card were crying out to be printed with a database - the calendar reminders work much better for me.  Now one of the sisters has a website that has been interesting to see.  So now, since I have figured out how to get food, and have been working on the meals, I will take advantage of the stay at home orders, and will work on the zones - and/or will just concentrate on going thru my boxes with papers and getting them scanned or just shred them so I can have the space for a while (before starting going thru other kinds of boxes - they are never ending it seems).  I have old journals and blog posts where I document my need for going thru these boxes - but instead it seems I just get more boxes to put things in!  Well, so 2021 will be the year of the boxes for me again.  

Sure hope I can get in some regular sewing and quilting too.  I missed the deadline for the EBHQ Lone Robin project.  Would have been fun to post and share my top with the EBHQ members.  Many of the blocks are sewn together, but I have squares, crosses, and my choice blocks to create and add to the mix.  The blocks are still on my design wall, waiting for me to finish things up.

The most important thing is to keep in touch with friends.  I have been trying to call people on Tuesdays or Thursdays when I'm walking on my own.  That has been nice, but it will be so much nicer to get to meet for lunch and chat in person.  

It would be really nice for more of them to call me first every once in a while too.  Sometimes, I sort of feel if I stopped calling they wouldn't miss it at all, and I'd just fall off their radar.  Hmm.  

But tonight I wrote a friend that perhaps we needed to take break when she texted (after I had texted a recipe, wished her well, and noted that it was a crummy day yesterday in DC). She wrote: Great day in DC. The whole nation got to wake up call.  I was shocked. I wrote back I didn't think it was a great day or set of events in DC. Sad you think it was.  But if you think that ok. We can take a break from each other.  My DH thought I must have misunderstood what she meant, so I ended up writing again.  DH said I must have misunderstood you.  I'm very upset and horrified at what happened in DC.  Am sorry for cutting you off.  So wonder what you meant.  She lives now hundreds of miles away so we only have contact with text or phone every other month at the most now, but it made/makes me feel so nice to know she was out there and to look forward to seeing her and chatting too.  I had enjoyed visiting her after my Berkeley quilting classes and hoped that would be an annual event forever. Fun to chat, go out to eat and to cook together too.  It was nice to see her daughters too and chat with them too.

Honestly though I have very few people who would meet for lunch on any kind of a schedule - maybe once a year at the most.  So I guess I need to somehow meet new people who would be open to doing that - along with walking and chatting and doing other things together.

As long as my personal trainer will do zoom, I'm doing three one hour sessions each week with her.  We made great improvements when we first started, but now that I'm not eating well - and that I'm sleeping so poorly with the political and covid situations we are just maintaining - so I'm doing the same weights and number of reps when we repeat exercises. Hoping to get to harder exercises without wimping out.  In addition to getting stronger, it would be nice to trim down a bunch too.

It has been really nice to do the almost daily evening walks together - we never did that before the shut in. Before just one of us walked with Buffy.  

We have all our meals together now.  Well, except for breakfast.  I'm the only one up for that now.  Used to be I had one lunch a week with our son - and sometimes one lunch with my husband too.  But we are all together for all the meals now.  Son did suggest we try baking once a week together after we made cookies last week.  That would be very nice indeed.

Looking forward to trips together too.  We missed our holiday trip in 2019 and of course this year too.

Master Calendar:
In addition to going thru those paper filled boxes I mentioned before, I really want to create a better master calendar to remind myself of when I need to call for insurance, pay annual memberships, etc.  I do all this myself now, but it would be good to have things set up so it's easier to go on trips and know what needs to be done before or while on the trip.

So I hope I do something incredible in 2021.

Good health and happiness.