Saturday, July 16, 2011

Buckwheat Cereal

As my bio says, I am gluten intolerant...double-gene gluten intolerant in fact. And based on that, the dietician told me I might as well consider myself as having Celiac disease. So I gave up all the gluten grains and dairy foods over four years ago. It didn't help my skin all that much. At the beginning of 2011, I finally decided to try eliminating ALL grains, as advised by Loren Cordain, PhD., author of "The Paleo Diet". He advises this for anyone suffering from any of the 200+ autoimmune diseases...and it has seemed to help.

When I want something grain-like, I cook buckwheat, which is not "wheat" and is not even a grain. It is a fruit.

I buy whole organic white buckwheat and grind it in a blender so it cooks faster. To cook it, boil one cup of water, then add one third cup buckwheat and cook til thickened,... only a couple of minutes. I add vegan margarine, local honey and occasionally, Lydia's Organics sprouted cinnamon cereal for crunch, (which is mostly seeds, but does contain a small amount of quinoa). Satisfies my simple carb cravings wonderfully!

If you would like to know more about "The Paleo Diet", go to

Monday, May 30, 2011


I fell HARD on my knees today, and it wasn't in prayer. In fact, I did a face plant on hard flagstone and cement.

Two days ago I ran out of honey. And since honey is my sweetener of choice, I made a trip to my local honey company in the next town down the highway. And since I was in that town, I also had to visit my favorite quilting store. I bought a fat quarter of a gorgeous rainbow batik with a leaf print on it. Over the last two days I decided I needed some yardage of this beautiful fabric, so I braved the 60+mph westerly headwinds buffeting my vehicle to go back to the store.

I usually park in back of the store because it is easier to find a space and walk down the gravel driveway to the back door, but I had just the slightest concern that the store might not be open on Memorial Day, so I parked in front of the store, actually one store down from the entrance to the quilt fabric shop.

As I walked toward the shop, I had my eye on the storefront, looking for the OPEN sign,...and completely missed the step from the curbside sidewalk level to the store level sidewalk. In other words, it is a two tiered sidewalk, with alternating step area and garden spaces every so many feet going down the block. It was like a trip wire. I just went down before I knew what hit me. Came down so hard on my left knee, that I couldn't immediately move, from the pain. I did a survey of the damage. Two knuckles were skinned, my upper lip had barely touched the sidewalk and my knee hurt like hell, but I didn't think anything was broken.

Two ladies walking into the same store witnessed the whole thing and came to my aid. The store owner brought me a bag of ice for my knee and wet paper towels for my knuckles, while I sat in a wooden chair just inside the entrance. Fortunately, I had brought the fat quarter of the fabric I wanted with me, so I asked the store owner to find it for me and cut the yardage.

Unbelievably, a lady who was in the store while I was being ministered to, walked out the door and fell down the step, kind of...she mainly stumbled but managed to stay on her feet. She came back in the store to tell everyone!

As I was writing this, I realized how lucky I was not to have broken teeth, or busted open my lip, broken a bone, etc., etc. Thank you, GOD!

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding

Like a couple billion people, I watched Will and Kate marry today and wish them many happy years together. Loved every minute of it. Kate's Dress was exquisite and loved Pippa's dress. Carol Middleton's dress and coat was so elegant. The Queen looked lovely in her daffodil yellow outfit and I pray I can have skin THAT smooth at eighty-five!

I had never heard the term fascinator for a hat before, but the name fits. There were a few that were fascinatingly hideous. And a few awful dresses, worn by the same hideous hat wearers. I won't mention names, I'm sure you know who they are.

The entire ceremony was romantic and beautiful. Will and Kate seemed so happy.

I laughed when the Happy Couple was driving from the Palace in the Aston Martin. I'm sure each of my three sons, in the same position, would have said, "Honey, look, the bobbies have cleared out the people. Let's do some donuts around Queen Victoria's fountain while we have the chance!"

You think I'm kidding?

Anyway, it was a beautiful, wonderful wedding that I don't think I'll see the likes of again in my lifetime. Many thanks to all the hard working people who made it all happen so flawlessly for the world to enjoy.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pansy Garden


Our lamp post garden is the easiest garden I have because

A.) it is always planted in annuals and
B.) it is relatively small and
C.) I don't have to work around any tree roots or shrubbery

In past years I have tried zinnias because I love them and they are such a great long lasting cut flower, but they are warm weather plants that grow best from seed after the last frost...and even if I do buy them already in pots, they take so long to get established that it is late summer before I see a profusion of flowers.

So I went with a cool weather annual this year. The pretty pansy.

I didn't get all the leaves raked up last Fall and decided to use as many as I could to "compost" under the pansies as I planted them. Get two things done at once...leaf cleanup and planting.

One garden planted... and now on to the perennials.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Apron Appreciation

My mother learned to sew when I was in fourth grade. Back then, it was cheaper to make your own clothes, so she made dresses, mostly for herself, but sometimes for her daughters. One of the first projects I remember her doing was matching mother and daughter dresses for herself and the three of us girls. Sleeveless A-line dresses with a ruffle along the bottom, in a beautiful white fabric with large red daisies on it.

Here is a piece of the leftover daisy fabric, which I found recently. I absolutely love it! Always did. I wish Mom had saved the dresses, but they are long since gone.

When I was in sixth grade she offered me sewing lessons given by a local department store. I was good at it and liked it, though by high school I rather resented being expected to make any new clothes I wanted. I was envious of girls whose Mom's made them lots of pretty clothes. But, honestly, with five kids in my family by then, I knew that was beyond my mom's capabilities. In any case, I got enough practice at it that by high school I was able to take a basic pattern and make some creative changes to it. Like the time I copied a dress worn by Barbra Streisand in "Funny Girl". LOL

For decades I did not value or appreciate my sewing skills, even though in my early twenties, I was able to make my wedding dress from a beautiful Vogue pattern. It had a gorgeous French lace and hand glued pearls. (I couldn't find anything I liked off the rack.) I thought sewing skills were pretty mundane... "traditional women's work", but I've come to appreciate the talent and skill required. Mostly, I like the creative aspect of it and the uniqueness of whatever I've made because I almost never follow a pattern or directions exactly as they are presented. I haven't made my own clothes for decades, though I do have a few special pieces waiting to be made now. I gravitated to more artistic sewing...quilts and such.

I inherited all of my mom's fabric, most of it scraps, because she pretty much bought a pattern and fabric and made it, before she bought anything else. But there was a pretty little flower patterned fabric (three and half yards) that she bought and never got around to making whatever she had planned for it.

I decided to make matching aprons for my sisters and I from it. Two of my mom's skills and favorite things to do were baking and sewing, so this seems like an appropriate way to honor of her and put the fabric to good use. Here is the first one.

P.S. I just realized, as I was reminiscing about that first dress I made in sewing class that it was made from a daisy fabric also! Tiny white daisies on a turquoise background. How funny!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Vintage Kitchen Apron

I bought a book with patterns for vintage style aprons a year and a half ago, but couldn't find any fabric that I was crazy about for an apron, until a couple months ago. That's when I found this lovely flower seed packet design on a 100% cotton at a local quilt fabric shop. Instantly, I knew it was just perfect for an apron.

A view of the back...

I will make a few more with this pattern. As the book suggests, one can have aprons for every occasion and holiday!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Quilt Show

I visited a quilt show today where the featured artist was Linda Hibbert. She is a wonderfully talented quilter and quilt designer. The detail in her quilts is amazing! The flowers are all paper pieced. (The quilt was hung around an inside corner, so it was a little difficult to get a photo.)

A close up of the daisy.

What I love most about her quilts is the fabulous quilting.

The purple pansy and the red poppy.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Pillowcase Dress

Today, I was privileged to participate in a Girl Scout troop project making a dress from a pillowcase for a girl in Uganda. This troop partnered with the Dress a Girl Around the World organization and enlists the help of volunteers from churches and the community. My church donated the space to work and asked for volunteers. That's how I got involved. It is a wonderful dresses to orphan girls who may be wearing rags because that is all they have. The dresses are very simple to just takes a pillowcase, some bias tape for the arm holes and some ribbon to tie the dress at the shoulder tops. Cute little dolls are made to put in the pockets of the dresses, also.

I brought home some donated fabric to make some more dresses.

You can read more about the organization and how you can help at this website.

You will never look at a pillowcase in the same way again!