Saturday, August 18, 2012
Coffee Chat- Bucket List, Quilt, Guilt, and A Wake Up Call
"The Bucket List" was on this afternoon. We didn't get to see it all, but we watched the last hour perhaps of it. A good film and one of my favorites of the modern day sort. Which made me think of something I found while clearing out files earlier this week. I didn't feel well and that was just the sort of piddly job that allowed me to feel I was accomplishing something without expending any energy and feeling worse. I found my Bucket List from 2005. I'd crossed off several things in 2005 but I'd put it away, no doubt in January 2006 which is when I'd normally have set aside 2005 things from my notebook. In the seven intervening years, I'd only done two things on that list. TWO. In SEVEN years! I can't remember but one of the things I'd done now and that was 'Go to an estate sale.' Two items on the list that I keep harping/repeating I'd like to do are: learn to make real fudge from scratch and make a quilt.
A bit later in the week (perhaps Thursday) I still wasn't feeling well and so I settled at the computer to take an online survey (I earn points which take forever to wrack up but eventually I get enough to get a $5 Amazon card). "How many hours a week do you spend on the computer?" was one of the questions and I guess I was feeling more under the weather than I thought because I answered it. Honestly. And the answer shocked me no end. It was the equivalent of a part time job! Now mind you, I did not subtract the number of hours I spend writing the blog, and the two newsletters (not nearly enough to make a big dint), but the answer was a huge wake up call. If I complain I don't have time to accomplish anything extra beyond housework? It might be because I'm on the computer! Owie, owie, owie. The truth really does HURT. Maybe I should stop using the excuse of no time for that quilt, huh?
Here I am with the quilt material on hand, the first block all laid out and NO quilt started! Or I should say there I WAS, because last night I went into the craft room after John left and I passed away two hours or so cutting fabric for the quilt. I made mistakes. I screwed up a few pieces. I decided after it was all cut out that I didn't much like two of the fabrics and I'm not at all sure of my vision for the rest of the quilt beyond that appliqued square. I cut the fusible interfacing for the appliques and have that pinned to the central block and cut a border for it. But no matter how I lay out the remaining fabric, I can't get away from the fact that I like most of it but not all of it. This evening I dug about in my stash and found a lettuce green gingham that might work for one of the fabrics. But you can bet I will do something on that quilt every week until it's finished. I may not have huge blocks of time to work on it, I may spend more time figuring out what I want to see when I look at it, but I will NOT waste any more time putting off something I've wanted to do for so very many years.
I may decide once this is done that I never want to quilt again, that I don't LIKE quilting at all, but I somehow don't think that will be the case. I think I will spend a lot of time learning about quilting and will enjoy the planning of it perhaps more than the actual making, but I will be satisfied in the end. At least that is what I hope will happen. And if not? Well I've tried it and I can scratch another item off that Bucket List of mine.
By the way, I threw the Bucket List in the trash. Number one reason was that many of the things listed weren't things I wanted to do any longer. I felt it was time for a new one, so I'll be playing with that over the next week or so. Maybe come September I'll have a whole brand new list of things to look forward to trying. Or I could just do what the friend of a friend did: go through her pinterest board and try all the recipes she'd pinned. Since I don't pin recipes, I guess I could go through and do some of the crafts of try some of the thrifty tips I've saved.
I can't believe it's been two weeks since our last 'chat' post. I really do not know how time can slip away so quickly. August is half done. If trees and golden rod are any indication at all, we'll be seeing autumn early this year. I noted today on the way home that many trees are now sporting the beginning color changes. And I've seen many stalks of goldenrod that is overly anxious blooming already while the rest is just beginning to get yellow tinged buds.
We went to synagogue this morning after John came in from work. I'm not sure if we'll do that again. He was tired and we slipped out before the service was fully over to come home. I'd put in a chicken to roast this morning when I got up at 7am so it was done before we left home. It was such a lovely golden chicken! I've been craving roast chicken all week long, since reading the Pioneer Woman's post early last week about roast chicken. I didn't butter mine, nor use lemon in the seasoning. I chose to use rosemary and olive oil and garlic on my chicken, but it did the trick of turning it golden brown all the same. I'd meant to have vegetables with it but I couldn't even think which I'd like to have. Then John suggested sandwiches, so we had chicken sandwiches which was no doubt the better idea. A much lighter meal and he went off to bed to sleep about an hour later.
I reckon we're having roast chicken for dinner tomorrow, too. I'll just serve it with the vegetables we didn't have today. I found some lovely little yellow summer squash, the small ones that are especially tender and good I'd like to cook and I've one last green tomato to fry. I suppose I'll make some potato salad or cook green beans with potatoes. That sounds nice doesn't it? And I think I'll just go on and boil the bones and skin and broth that are left and make chicken dumplings for later in the week. I have some flour tortilla that need to be used up and I can surely use a few to make dumplings. All you do is slice them into strips and slip right into the boiling broth.
Talking over my living room wall arrangement with Katie last weekend, she suggested I get a green platter to hang in place of the blue and white metal platter I've had there for a long time now. I could immediately see her suggestion and Monday I went on eBay and looked at green platters. It took me about a half hour to come up with only a dozen options. I could see any of them on the wall but wasn't sure which I'd like the best. So I texted Katie to look them Green Platters on eBay and tell me what she thought. She chose one of the ones on my list. I ordered it and it was delivered on Wednesday! That is service isn't it? The platter is the right size, larger than the one I had before but not too big. It's the perfect shades of green (the shading and highlighting makes it appear to be about three colors) picking up the greens in the prints below it. And it has rabbits on it. There are a pair of rabbits at the four compass points with two carrots in between. I thought it the perfect play on the 'old home in the country' theme I was going for overall.
Looking at things on eBay only made me long to go into the local flea market. I've not been in there since I bought my buffet back in May. Friday we had been two days without soda and I knew I would have to go buy some. The local grocery had a 20 pack on sale which was the best overall sales price I'd seen in weeks and so with that excuse I planned a trip into town Friday morning.
I stopped at the flea market first. Best get that out of the way, I felt, since I knew I'd need to get milk, and a couple of other dairy products at the store and I didn't want them to sit in the hot car...Yes, that's what I'm saying, just forget the insulated bags, etc. I had with me!
I found right away a steamer basket with handles, large enough to fit into my Dutch oven and just perfect for holding a chicken carcass (or whole bird) if I chose. I couldn't help but remember that tip I'd read and shared a good while back to use a pasta pot insert to hold the carcass and vegetables when you were making broth. You'd lift out the insert leaving behind the broth and not have to strain it. Well Tracy and I had discussed this between ourselves back then and decided that a colander might work just as well. Only mine wouldn't fit in my pot and when I bought that pretty little Robin Egg Blue enameled one it took about once of pouring hot pasta to drain in it and watching the finish crackle to make me wary of putting it in to boil. So the steamer basket seemed to be a great compromise, especially since it's such a nice large one.
Then I found two pretty little cognac glasses. I'm always looking for pretty little liqueur, sherry or cognac glasses to use for our Shabbat kiddish (communion) on Friday nights. I have some lovely handblown glasses we're using just now, but I tend to break things. I like to have a backup. These were especially sweet looking so I got them.
I found an old fashioned soda shop straw dispenser the sort that you lift the lid which is attached to a little tray at the opposite end and it lifts the straws. It really reminds me of a smaller version of those big jars that sit in Barber shops with the Barbisol and combs. Same principle, lots smaller for straws. I haven't seen one of these in years and I'd been wanting a nicer way to keep our straws handy.
A fat biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe, signed by the author was my next item. I can't resist a good promising book and I've been reading about Beecher Stowe for years. High time I learned all about her! Then I found a metal John Deere tractor, which I figured could do double duty. It can sit on my bookcase as part of my 'old country home' theme until the grandchildren come to visit and then it can just be the toy it was meant to be. I was very happy with my purchases and even happier that my total was exactly $20 the amount I'd set as my spending limit.
Oh I looked at just loads of stuff. I found a solid wood, early American style 3 drawer chest from the 1950s I'm thinking I may go back and get. If it won't fit by our bed as a bedside table (to replace the oak washstand that went to our son's home) then it will surely fit by the guest bed and provide much needed storage in there. I really need to call next week when they reopen and get a price on it. I know about what I'd like to spend. The price wasn't marked.
I plundered through a whole lot of linens, no doubt overflow from someone's home. There were silky smooth percale cotton pillowcases (the sort that we don't find anymore) and embroidered table runners, hand crocheted dishcloths, vintage table cloths. I so love to look through that sort of thing. I just thoroughly enjoyed myself that morning and I'm glad I took the time to go in.
The grocery shopping took less than ten minutes. Funny how quickly that went and how long it took to wander over that flea market that is half the size, lol. Spent more at the grocery, than I did at the flea market, sigh. For all that I had my bit of fun, I still didn't feel well. I opted for pizza crust in a can and shredded cheese (on sale) to make a quick pizza. It was far less expensive to use what I had at home and those two purchased items than to buy the frozen rising crust pizza.
Oh sorry, lol, did you miss me for a moment or two there? I decided to shuck the chair I was sitting in! I did a very amateur upholstery job on this chair a few years ago. I had a total of $12 in the chair. $5 for the chair itself and $7 for the curtain panel I used to cover it. But it had begun to look really shabby and what's more I've been looking for a new slipcover for it anyway. I'd like a natural looking muslin/cotton canvas/duck cloth/denim type cover. Something good and sturdy and washable. In the meantime, I realized the original upholstery looked as well or better than the 'new' cover that was on it, so I decided to strip it off. And then, since I was piddling about anyway, I thought I'd just run a load of dishes tonight. It was one of those 'might as well as' moments and it all started because the cushion cover had slipped off one corner, lol.
It's gotten late and I ought to wind this up for tonight, I suppose. I've been trying to keep as much as possible to my non-work week schedule. Off to bed at 10:30 and up about 7 seems to be working very well for me. Tomorrow is a new day and begins a new week in my home and my mind is already ticking along with the things I'd like to accomplish. It's going to be a busy week...especially with my new found resolve to not let this computer eat so much of my time! Good night...