Back to Work.

All good things come to an end, and now, it’s back to work. Enjoyable time off is always too short and fleeting. I didn’t get as much done this weekend as I would have liked, but I had some good family time, and that’s what’s most important.

Yesterday, we all met at BigDaddy’s and split firewood so he’ll be stocked for the winter. Goofy me, I didn’t take my camera. I was very sorry about that as the picture of TheFirstChild and BigBurlyBIL both swinging axes at the same time would have been a good one. They worked up a soaking sweat chopping wood, while TheManoftheHouse, SweetiePie, and I picked up the pieces and stacked them. After all the work, we had a little cookout. MyDadLovesMeBestSister outdid herself by bringing four fabulous salads. Bratwurst, end-of-season corn on the cob and Cowboy Baked Beans rounded out the menu and filled us over the top.
I made Karen’s S’more dessert. Being a S’more fanatic, when I saw Karen’s recipe I knew I had to make it. It was a VERY BIG hit — even with TheManoftheHouse who doesn’t usually like desserts. Karen jokes about all the Fudge sauce — holy cow it takes two bottles. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think it was almost too sweet for me. I would have been happy with more ice cream and less fudge sauce. I was overruled though — everyone loved it just as it is!

I did manage to get a little bit of sewing in over the weekend. Back in May, I saw this cute celery crisper on Monica’s blog. Now, MeMum makes The Best green salads on the planet. They’re always crisp and delicious. She washes the lettuce, spins it, and then wraps it up in a flour sack towel and puts it in the fridge for 20 or 30 minutes before dinner. So, when I saw the celery crisper, I thought how fun it would be to make a lettuce crisper for her. I mentioned this idea to my quilty friend Junie a few months ago and she found a picture of a lettuce head similar to the one I put on this little bag. Thanks for your help Junie, MeMum thinks it’s really cute!

Lettuce Crisper

And one last thing, the lovely Holly has tagged me for the middle name game.  Ahem.  I don’t have a middle name!  It’s been a long-standing tradition in our family that the girls don’t get middle names.  There have been a few dissenters though.  One of my cousins, feeling gypped, just made one up when we were little and it stuck.  And MyDadLovesMeBestSister gave one of her girls a middle name.  ???  The one without the middle name was feeling left out however, so she now has one too.  I’m afraid if I’d had girls, they would have been middle nameless.  Tradition, you know.  Oops, I digress, another tradition around here.
Anyway, I read somewhere that if you don’t have a middle name you should just use one that you like.  I’ve always loved the name Tess (thank you Thomas Hardy), so I’ll use that one.  Anna Tess sounds pretty stupid, but that’s not the point now, is it?

T – Tired.  Had to go back to work today, that makes me tired.

E – Embroidery, of course.  I LOVE embroidery.

S – Sewing, I REALLY love sewing.  Anything.  All kinds.

S- Sorry.  I’m very sorry I don’t have something really incredible to blog about today.  Like maybe I whipped out a beautiful quilt this weekend.  Nope.  But I sure thought a lot about it, does that count?

Now, I’m supposed to tag one person for each letter in the name.  Just so that those who are blog-less don’t get left out, I’m tagging Judy (MSN Judy are you there?) and the three quilty peeps, Gurney, Junie, and Jewels who can play in my comments if they want.  Let’s hear it for your middle names!

Busy Puttering

I’m having a nice busy break, but there’s not much on the crafting front to report. BigDaddy has been a BadDaddy this week. On his regular visit to his Dr. on Thursday, he mentioned that he’d been having a little bit of chest pain. (When BigDaddy speaks of chest pain, doctors listen. He’s had two quadruple bypass operations, and a mild heart attack!) So, the Dr. decided to put him in the hospital overnight to run a few tests.

Me: BigDaddy, did you happen to mention to the Dr. that you’ve been playing Paul Bunyan again?

BigDaddy: Um, well, no.

That’s what I thought. BigDaddy had a few BIG trees blow down a few weeks ago and last week he whipped out the chainsaw and proceeded to cut up those trees and then haul those big logs all over his lot (because Babe the Blue Ox was apparently unavailable for the hauling.) BigDaddy has chest pain. Hmmph. The rest of us would all have had heart attacks over that much work. BigDaddy, don’t make us take your chainsaw away! There will be more tests next week and hopefully he’ll only need some medication adjustments.

While the nurses were checking under BigDaddy’s frock, I took MeMum and her FloridaFriend to JoAnn’s for a quick visit. I picked up this issue of Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts.

Holiday Crafts 1

I’ve always loved the BH&G family of magazines.  (American Patchwork and Quilting is my favorite quilting magazine.)  They’re usually full of lots of inspiration.  But the past few years, the Holiday Crafts issue hasn’t held much of interest for me.

Holiday Crafts 2

This year, however, I was pleasantly surprised.  I saw several projects that I’d like to try.  Especially the paper mache (hmm, I wish I knew how to make the little hash mark over the “e” in mache) items.

Holiday Crafts 3

I hope you’re all having beautiful weather like we are.  I’ve finished my yardwork today — our weather is spectacular — a wonderful unofficial end to summer.  Now, I’m off to decide which sewing project to work on.  There are many choices, but I’ll have to wait on the one I really want to start.  Holly if you’re reading, throw more peanuts to your hardworking squirrels on their treadmills.  I ordered your champagne dots for the wedding quilt and they’re on backorder!  And speaking of Holly, did you notice that cute little “coming soon” button in my sidebar?  Busy little Holly has a fun surprise up her sleeve, so stay tuned!

P.S.  To you all of you blogspot bloggers:  I think I figured out why my e-mail wasn’t appearing when I commented to you.  It was an ugly fix.  I comment under a google username that has no blogspot blog associated with it (apparently a typepad or wordpress blog aren’t good enough for a google account.)  I ended up creating a fake blogspot blog and hopefully that will solve the problem.  I know you’re getting comments from other people whose e-mail addresses don’t show up and perhaps they have a similar problem.  Lack of e-mail addresses in comments was my biggest complaint with my old blogspot blog, so you have my sympathy!

Caution: Slow Week Ahead

There’s not much going on around here this week. I’m in the slo-o-ow countdown to a four day weekend. Yipee! I’m hopeful that there will be a little time for sewing, shopping and visits with BigDaddy and MeMum. (We certainly know there won’t be any grilling happening around here. The new grill is on order, but sadly won’t arrive until after Labor Day.)

Gauze Shirt 1

Before we left on our roadtrip, I managed to get the third of my three shirts sewn. The pattern is Simplicity 3786, view D, sort of. I altered the sleeves. The original sleeves were straight to the elbows, then there was a seam around the elbow and gathered poofy sleeves fell to the wrists — sort of gypsy style. I didn’t like the seam at the elbows, so I eliminated it, and just widened that straight sleeve to the wrists, which you can’t really see in these pictures.  The wrist cuff looks like a little 1/2 inch quilt binding.

Gauze Shirt 2

I really like the way this shirt fits, so I’ll probably make it again. The styles now crack me up — they’re the same styles that we wore as teenagers. I don’t care though — they’re lots more comfortable than the fitted shirts we’ve had the last several years.

Gauze Shirt 4

Now I’ll go and try to plan a little for a sewing project this weekend.  There are so many choices, it’s hard to know what to do.  While it seems a little overwhelming at times, I think its a very lucky problem to have and I feel very blessed.  I’m also feeling very lucky to live in internet times that allow me to be so inspired by all of you!


A Riddle*

We have built-in grill on our patio — it isn’t mobile, it’s attached to the cement. We use it a lot during the summer but it’s getting pretty old. So, here’s your riddle:

If TheLadyoftheHouse says “That grill is going to fall over, and no one listens to her, will it still fall over?”

Here. I’ll help you out and make the riddle a little easier.

If TheLadyoftheHouse says “That grill is going to fall over, and no one listens to her, and a big storm comes along, will it still fall over?”
Well, here’s proof, that those of you who answered “yes” would actually listen to TheLadyoftheHouse, aka Me:


A big storm did come up and it did fall over. It was probably time, there was a lot of rust on that poor ol’ grill — it’s been here a lot longer than we have. So, we went grill shopping yesterday. Woohoo! New grill!

Hope you’re having a Beautiful Sunday!

*The title of this post would have been more accurate to say: How I wasted spent my Saturday. I had lots of other things that I would have rather been doing!

Chicken Enchiladas

Boy, you have all certainly been busy while I was gone. I just can’t seem to get caught up, but it’s been fun reading some of your blogs and being inspired. You all need vacations! I don’t think I’ve even whittled my bloglines down 50%, and the weekend is coming again. I always get behind on the weekend. Can you get behind if you’re already behind?

I’m on business travel again until tomorrow, so that means I’m posting a recipe. These chicken enchiladas should be what my little family had for dinner tonight — I made them in advance and left them for my HungryMen. This is one of our favorite recipes for a number of reasons. First, they’re rich and delicious. If you’re on a diet, you should probably just skip this post altogether. (Unless, of course, you have incredible willpower and can eat a very small portion.) Second, they might look a little detailed to make, but they’re really pretty easy. And third, they’re very versatile. I first had them at a VERY nice dinner party, so they dress up well. Or, they can dress down, as we usually have them — nothing fancy. They’re pictured here with the VERY yummy jalapeno poppers that were featured on Pioneer Woman Cooks recently. The enchiladas are looking quite over-done in this picture ’cause I love the cheese nice and crusty brown, but trust me, they’re REALLY good. MeMum and I make them for several people who have visited us and they always ask for the recipe.

Chicken Enchiladas

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

1 T. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 4.5 oz. can chopped green chilies
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
8 8-inch flour tortillas
2 8-oz. packages Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
2 c. whipping cream
3 1/2 c. chopped, cooked chicken breast

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat; add onion, and saute 5 minutes. Add green chilies; saute 1 minute. Stir in cream cheese and chicken; cook, stirring constantly, until cheese melts.

Chicken Enchiladas

Spoon 2-3 T. chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas and place seam side down, in a lightly greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Sprinkle with Monterrey Jack cheese and drizzle with whipping cream. To lighten, substitute half milk. (But we never do, we’re oinkers!)

Chicken Enchiladas

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until bubbly and browned just the way you like them.
Yum, Yum. I hope they have some left when I get home!