Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Coop Full of Characters

I'm going to apologize in advance for the photo overload today and yes, ya'll are probably thinking I need to get out more if I spend my mornings taking pictures of guineas, but it's not such a bad gig when you get to capture faces like this:

It was time to release the guineas into the chicken coop, but we had some mending to tend to first. The trees had torn out the rusted out chicken wire covering the coop and that really wasn't a problem until we got guineas because guineas can fly while chickens can't.  The guineas aren't quite ready for that much freedom so we fixed the coop on Father's Day:

The guineas were all a twitter about their newfound freedom and they gathered in the nesting boxes to discuss whatever guineas discuss:

It must have been a riveting conversation:

They actually took over the roost and the chickens have been demoted to the lower rungs:

Looks like trouble comes in threes these days:

They had a few standoffs, but peace reigns in the feathered community these days although the big chickens still get dibs on the watermelon:

Here they are bellied up to the water bar...must be happy hour:

They do everything together and run around in a tight knit group:

Their little faces make me laugh:

This one looks like he is bobbing for apples:

Are you looking at me kid?

How can you not love a face like this?

Hope your day is filled with things that make you smile too!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Breath of Avignon Plus Quilt Finish

The fabrics in this collection just say summer to me:

I posted about them here when I was debating about using my extra jelly roll and making this bigger:

Plus Quilt Using a Jelly Roll

The decision  was Skeet approved:

Since I am still on a mission to use up my jelly roll collection, I cut into the extra strips and added to what I had already pieced:

I never met a Plus quilt I didn't like...or a puppy who stole our hearts faster

Jackie quilted a pattern called Wrought Iron across it...once again, the perfect choice for this French inspired fabric collection:

This line is Moda's Breath of Avignon by American Jane aka: Sandy Klop. I think it's from 2010. I bound it in a navy and backed it with a blue dot from Connecting Threads that sadly, they no longer carry:

This finishes at 50" x 60" so its a small lap quilt:

My obsession with plus quilts continues. I want to make one for our bed, making the pluses larger, but I haven't settled on fabric yet.

And yes, I DID drag this out to the coop to snap some pictures:

It was closely scrutinized by the CIA: Coop Inspector Agency :)

Who decided that scratch was more to their liking

After a spin through the washer, it enjoyed some time on the line

before settling in for it's first job as my reading nook companion:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Dog Days of Summer

Skeet has a passion for footwear. He doesn't chew on them. He just prefers to snuggle with them:

This was our forecast last week:

But we even surpassed that:

So, although he sleeps on the porch at night and spends his mornings and evening outside:

He gets a pass and spends the heat of the afternoon napping indoors:

Puppies are champion nappers and I'm thinking this is a pretty good way to spend the dog days of summer:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Father's Day Weekend

This weekend was just too fun! The kids were all home for the entire weekend and DS even brought his sweet girlfriend, E, and her little boy, T. It was such a joy to have a little one around!

 DD brought Harvey too and my in-laws came on Sunday. DH smoked pork loin, chicken thighs, and jalapeno poppers with little smokies in them - aka: Atomic Buffalo Turds. :) My mil brought her potato salad and Butterhorns and I made corn casserole, baked beans, and deviled eggs with Summer Berry Pie for dessert.

 I don't think anyone went hungry:

DH's girlfriend fit right in. We all adore her and I teased her that the only strike she had against her is that she doesn't like watermelon. :)

This is actually her second visit and I hope she feels at home and comfortable here. This is such a good place to kick back and relax and that's just what we wanted her to do.

Skeet and Harvey kept us all entertained and were best buddies right off the bat:

I thought Harvey may be wondering when this little pesky pup was going to go away, but our girl said he is depressed for a few days when he leaves the ranch:

So good to sit back and watch DH visit with our boy:

And our girl:

T is 19 months old and just the cutest thing. He and Skeet hit it off right away:

They both kept each other...and us, entertained:

 We cooked hot links and S'mores over the fire Saturday evening:

 And the kids went fishing on Sunday morning. So it's no wonder that this is what we all felt like after the weekend: tuckered plumb out!


Friday, June 17, 2016

Caramel Fudge Brownies

We branded the last of the calves a few weeks ago so that meant I was knee deep in soapy water and elbow deep in bread dough for 4 days. One day I drug out an oldie, but a goody for dessert. This recipe's been in my favorite's file for over 30 years. My sister-in-law gave it to me before she was my sister-in-law. :)  I haven't made it in a long time and figured I'd make it one day and share it with ya'll. It starts with a cake mix, but don't judge me. You could just as easily make a German Chocolate mix from scratch, however, although I make most everything from scratch, I do have a few shortcuts and  I will use a cake mix for some dessert recipes that call for them.


Caramel Fudge Brownies

1 German Chocolate Cake mix
2/3 C evaporated milk
3/4 C butter, softened
50 caramels
6 oz chocolate chips

*Mix cake mix, butter, and 1/3 C evaporated milk until creamy - may need to add a little more milk - I usually do. Spread half of dough in greased 9x13" cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. While cake is baking, melt caramels with 1/3 C milk. Spread on top of first layer and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Spread remaining dough on top and bake about 25 minutes or until top is set. Let cool and cut into squares. I keep them in the icebox before serving them. Everyone requested seconds without me asking and that's a pretty good indication of a winning recipe!


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

For the Bookworm

Earlier this year, I posted about the 2016 Reading Challenge I was taking via  Modern Mrs. Darcy. I've made good progress and have tackled them all with the exception of War and Peace and the book I am currently listening to that is my selection for a book published this year, Titans.


Titans was written by my High School English teacher. She was a gem of a teacher and is a true southern lady, with whom I have continued to keep in touch. I was the school newspaper editor and Mrs. Meacham was our sponsor. I think my penchant for saying things like "Oh, Fudge" and "Fiddlesticks" may have started in her class. :)

  I discovered Ann's blog late last year and was quickly drawn in. On Tuesdays she posts a podcast called What Should I Read Next where she interviews a fellow bookworm and they discuss books for 20-30 minutes. Ann also has a summer reading club, but I didn't sign up for that although I will probably read some of the titles she has chosen.

Ann has a Daily Kindle Deals that you can sign up for as well.  I have definitely found some gems and some fun new selections. Sometimes there are also wonderful discounts for the audio book.

I just thought this was a great source for those of you that are avid readers and wanted to share with ya'll.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Scrap Box

My 2 - 1/2" scrap box was was getting out of hand and it was high time I whipped it back into shape. Choosing a pattern is often the hardest past for me, but I've had this one on my list for a long time:

This is Color Box by Carla over at Lollyquiltz and I dove into my overflowing box at 3 a.m. on Wednesday morning with gusto.

Lots of mindless chain piecing while listening to an audio book That's about all I'm capable of at 3 a.m, but I sneaked in and out of my sewing room throughout the day:


And the little stitched piles seemed to grow quickly

while the scrap box remained unruly:

And then blocks began to appear:


And I laid a few out for a test run:


And I saw the pile diminish a tad

I've got other projects that are vying for my attention, but I'm making this my leader-ender project and hopefully I'll have an empty box by the end of the summer.


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