Friday, August 20, 2010

Too hot to eat anything but salads

Today in a fit of weather-denial (my mental state addled by the heat) I made a dish called "Skillet Chicken Ole" for lunch. The combination of Rotel tomatoes and cayenne pepper, in a hot dish served on a bed of steaming rice, had DH and I sweating from just looking at it -- waaay too much heat for lunch in Texas, in August, when the heat index is above 100 degrees. It was a good dish that I won't prepare again until we get some cool Autumn nights.

A more sensible lunch was one I made a few days ago:
Sliced Bartlett pears grilled and drizzled with honey, on a bed of romaine lettuce and glazed pecans, dressed with raspberry vinaigrette -- A very satisfying lunch on a very hot day! Next time I think I'll add crumbled goat cheese. Yum.

I watched an Ina Garten rerun yesterday. She tossed diced watermelon, diced feta cheese, arugula and mint leaves, with a citrus vinaigrette. Yum again. You can get a citrus vinaigrette recipe (like Ina's) here:
I'm a confirmed salad eater until this heat wave breaks. Anyone have a good recipe or salad idea?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Knitting Softly

"May every stitch you knit bring you a little closer to that calm, clear space in the center of your soul." -- Earth Heart Designs

I love to knit for my daughter. I'm knitting a sweater for her birthday -- or Christmas, depending on how quickly I proceed. She chose the yarn and the pattern, so I'm not giving away any surprise. My gift to her is my time.

But it's a gift to myself as well, because she is in my mind with every stitch that slips from left needle to right. Pure, uninterrupted time to think of her and, yes, miss her because she lives so far away.

But I have only to pick up my needles and yarn (silk and mohair, soft as Autumn mist) and my thoughts are with her across the miles. The pattern is "Aislin" by Kim Hargreaves, whose unique designs we both love. This one is almost tunic length, with an elongated soft ruffle around the bottom. This is the back. Though it's still on the needles here, it's finished now.
It will look glorious on my beautiful daughter.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fiesta Colors

Wow! Quite a thunderstorm blew over Slipper Moon this evening. Just at sunset, too.

Gorgeous fiesta colors in the sky -- lots of thunder and lightning, but not a drop of rain so far. A perfect evening to be upstairs in my studio/hideout!I'm reworking a bracelet that just doesn't make me happy. I made this bracelet some time ago from shards of broken Fiestaware because I just love the bright colors, and it reminds me of Galveston (wherein is a great Fiestaware shop) and my husband (who shares my love of Fiestaware). The African trade bead dangles are fun and accent the bracelet's Caribbean colors. But I don't love the twisted chain. The bracelet will look fuller and hang better on a chain with bigger links, I think. So, I'll tear it apart.Next step is to polish the charms' solder. I use only lead-free solder, and I polish it with a simple manicure block.On the right is an unpolished charm, with a polished one on the left. Soldered charms always look better when polished. I attach the charms to the chain with sterling split rings, a task made easier by toothed pliers.With all Fiestaware charms attached, I accent the bracelet with African trade beads. Many of these trade beads are antique, purchased from various dealers over the years.The toggle clasp is attached, but I need a few more African bead accents to complete the bracelet . . .a job for another day, I think. It's after midnight, our thunderstorm has passed, and I think I can sleep now. Have a lovely evening, everyone.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Blogging about nothing special

Finally, I'm feeling like myself again. I had surgery for a ruptured disc in my lower spine earlier this summer and, believe me, I felt that my life had changed. For weeks I could only sit on the sofa and contemplate pain. But all's well, and at last I can again do things which make me happy, such as making jewelry, visiting my new granddaughter, and sharing my blog with you!We just returned from Chicago earlier this week, where I spent lots of quality (spoiling) time with my granddaughter Bella. Life doesn't get any better!
We stopped by Efurd's Orchard in Pittsburg, Texas, on our way home. The fragrance of tree-ripened peaches sweetened the air and I couldn't resist! I now have lots of peaches in my freezer, and those in the photo made the most delicious peach turnovers. I'm lazy, though, and used puff pastry instead of making dough from scratch. I'll leave you with our gorgeous sunset this evening. A storm threatened late this afternoon but failed to deliver much-needed rain. But the deepening sky and clouds illuminated by the setting sun were lovely through the pine trees. Have a restful or exciting weekend, as the spirit moves you, and go with care, my friends!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A funny thing happened to me on my way home from Chicago . . .

Sooooo . . . Today, Neely and I were on the last leg of our drive home from Chicago. We stopped for gas and I visited the ladies' room. A young lady in a McDonald's uniform exited the ladies' as I was entering, and she hesitated and looked as though she wanted to say something to me, but then just went on. I stepped in and closed the door, and a young man was hiding behind the door! I gave him my best teacher voice: "EXCUSE ME!!??" and he mumbled, "sorry, Ma'am, I was just going to change the trash bag" and he quickly left. When I left the ladies' room, those two were walking out arm in arm. The young man walked the young lady back to work at the McDonald's next door, where she gave him a passionate kiss before going back inside. Young love, huh?? :D (You know you're getting old when you cannot imagine having a romantic encounter in the restroom of a gas station!)