Friday, September 28, 2007

Postcard Update

HA HA! If I had a piece of clipart with a tongue sticking out, I would post it here. Despite the trouble at the post office, I know for a fact that 2 out of 3 of the postcards I mailed made it to their destinations unscathed!

Susanne in Switzerland
received hers on Wednesday (even though her website is in German, I still got the gist). Nellie in Michigan also received hers this week. Both went sans envelope! Nellie said it was the first one she received in that manner. The one to Switzerland arrived simply with an international postcard rate stamp.

The interesting thing is, I haven't heard from Postcard Recipient #3 - and she lives on Maui. It wouldn't surprise me at all if that one takes 3 weeks to arrive. :-)

What about the Quilting Content?

OK, I know. I've been surprisingly lax on the quilting front. The only thing I've done recently is get Honu III ready to quilt, which I plan to do this weekend.

I only have 6 weeks before Art Quilt Tahoe, so another thing I am going to do this weekend is tape up a piece of paper on the sliding glass door of the studio (my only available vertical surface) and write my TO DO list and schedule things as best as I can. I really do better with a visual!

I have been SO tied up with my day job and my new fitness regimen that I come home and drop at the end of the day. I work out in the morning, so it doesn't impact my creative time which is usually in the evening, but by the time I get home at night, do dinner, clean up and prep for the next day I am beat.

I am once again faced with the need to re-evaluate all of the areas of my life to try to omit and simplify some things. I just have too much on my plate.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Killer Cat Attack

Cody and I take our morning walk, usually before the sun comes up. I enjoy it because it's quiet, there are no cars, no barking dogs, etc. Cody enjoys it because, well, he's a dog. It's nice. Usually.

This morning we started out and, as we were cruising up the street minding our own business, we saw a cat stroll into the middle of the street about 200 ft in front of us. Then, out trot three kittens, probably about 7-8 weeks old. Momma is sitting in the middle of the street looking at us, then pops up and starts to stroll in our direction with kittens in tow. She's prancing along, tail up, like a friendly little kitty (a lot how Ginger acts).

Cody is in a sit, watching patiently. He's not a cat attacker (he's a Lab, for heaven sakes!), just curious, but he stays still better in a sit. I think to myself, "OK, let's not bother the kitties, we'll just go out and around them on the other side of the street." Right.

Just about the time we become parallel with momma kitty, she freaks out, bares her teeth, and runs hissing and spitting at Cody and me. She's darting in and out, coming closer and closer, flattening herself on the ground, teeth bared, claws out. Then, she rushes Cody and jumps on his back, going absolutely crazy. I'm freaking out! This damn cat is attacking my dog! Cody yelps and sprints around me on the leash and finally the cat jumps off, which gives me just enough time and room for a squirt of pepper spray. I push the button and a tiny squirt, followed by *sigh*, and there's no more pepper spray, but she got just enough of a whiff to chase her off.

We trot up the street, then she comes back at us again and I have to throw the empty pepper spray can at her (and miss) and she scoots off into the bushes.

HOLY CRAP! Talk about a wake up call in the a.m.

I have never seen a cat attack like this unprovoked. She had kittens, so I understand her need to protect them, but this was unbelievable. We gave her a wide berth, but she had it planned all along. She was probably scoping us out before we even saw her coming.

Cody and I got away relatively unscathed - I was mostly worried for his face and eyes - but she didn't draw blood. Thank goodness for his thick coat!

I have a mind to find out who this cat belongs to and give them a piece of my mind. I would have done it this morning, but I was so afraid of being attacked myself, that I didn't go back. If she's a feral cat she needs to be picked up. She's a menace!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

*&@%^$ Post Office!

I have three very important postcards to mail and I got nothing but static from the post office. I should have known (and did, but decided to try anyway) that Kahului would be a nightmare.

I handed over one to the clerk and said, "I need a stamp to send this postcard to Switzerland." She said, "Don't you want an envelope?" I said, "No, thank you, it's a postcard." Mind you, it was only fabric - no beads or glitz of any kind - it was a POSTCARD, only it was made out of fabric. She turned around and asked another clerk if she could send it and they said, "only in an envelope." So I said, "Nevermind," and took it back from her. Then she says, "We have regulations, you know."

HMMPH. Tell me about it - AND IT'S OK TO SEND IT! I didn't have the time, energy or patience to explain to her about the number of people on the QuiltArt list who have researched this in the post office regulations and found it to be OK TO SEND A FRICKIN' FABRIC POSTCARD WITHOUT A DAMN ENVELOPE.

Can you tell I'm a little peeved? I wanted to say, "It's not like I'm sending a bomb or anything," but they probably wouldn't have been amused, called the cops and had me hauled out of there in handcuffs. Not worth it, so I did the next best thing.

I went to another post office, asked for the stamps I needed, stuck them on the POSTCARDS and mailed them from another post office.

My friend Robin actually mailed a postcard with a $20 bill attached to it. Believe it or not, it made it to it's destination intact.

I'm sure she was just jealous SHE wasn't getting one. And with that kind of attitude SHE WON'T!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Food Break

I've been on a fairly rigorous diet and exercise program for the last four months or so (more info on that HERE). I've lost nearly 20lbs and gained more stamina, optimism and energy than I could have ever imagined. I think it's been easy for me because I love to cook, so I've been open to trying all kinds of new, healthy things. So here's a peek at a couple of things I cooked this weekend.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Garlic and Basil
(this is the healthy one)

Roast about 2lbs tomatoes (cut in half and squeeze the seeds out) and garlic cloves (unpeeled), drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for one hour. If you like more garlic, use more. Saute (in a soup pot - I use my lovely Le Creuset!) one whole onion in a couple of tablespoons of butter along with a good teaspoon full of dried oregano until the onion is translucent. Add 2-15oz cans of chicken broth to the onion, add the tomatoes and their juices from the pan, and squeeze out the garlic from the skin into the pot (discard the garlic skins). Bring to a boil, then simmer for a half hour or so.

Do you have a VitaMix blender? If so, puree the soup until it's smooth, then add 1/2 cup of milk for a little creaminess. (If you don't have one of these beauties, get one... in the meantime, use an immersion blender or your ancient Osterizer, but it probably won't be as smooth and you might need to strain it through a fine sieve, pressing on the solids).

Sprinkle with grated FRESH parmesan and chopped basil. If you think you don't like tomato soup, you haven't had this before. YUM!

For dessert:

Peach Cobbler
(definitely a special treat!)

You can find this recipe HERE from Paula Deen. With one KEY substitution (keep reading)...

Yummy ripe peaches with a bit of sugar in my favorite pot. The recipe calls for water, but you need to substitute the SECRET INGREDIENT....

HA! I was only going to use a quarter cup of Jack with a quarter cup of water, but my mom suggested using ALL Jack, which is fantastic! It lends a subtle, earthy, smoky flavor to the peaches as they simmer. YUM!

Pour the batter into the pan, then spoon the peaches on top, then pour the remaining juice gently over the top. The picture on the Food Network's recipe of the finished product is much nicer than mine, plus we ate some before I took the final photo, but here's a look:

Be sure to serve it warm with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream. YUM!