Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Songs

Hot songs!

Sean Paul, "Temperature" 3:36
iTunes, The Trinity
Good beat, but what the heck is he singing?! I can only understand about 1/3 of the words!

Midnight Oil, "Beds Are Burning" 4:15
iTunes, Diesel and Dust

Cool down:
D.H.T., "Listen to Your Heart" Edmee's Unplugged Vocal Edit 4:31
iTunes, Listen to your heart
I thought I downloaded the peppier version and had it in my workout playlist. I still want the faster version, but this was a nice surprise. It's pretty.

Today's stats: 50 minutes, 3 miles, 317 calories

Another easy CrockPot idea

I say "idea" as you can hardly call this a "recipe' -- Costco has Foster Farms boneless turkey breast next to the chicken. Approximately $8-$10. Easily serves 4 with leftovers. A hefty little bubba!

It is already seasoned/marinated, and tied up with string to keep it all together. Put the turkey (still strung) fat side facing up along with all the remaining seasoned liquid from the package...add enough water to get 1/2" of liquid on the bottom...cover and cook on LOW for about 3-4 hours. If you have one of the newer, faster/hotter Rival CrockPots, start checking the temperature a little after the three hour point. The center needs to register 165F. Remove to a platter, cover and let it rejuice again while you make the potatoes and green beans.

You can also cook it in the oven instead for 1 1/2 hours.

A nice alternative answer/solution to the questions, "Did you go to Costco today?" quickly followed by, "Are we having Rotisserie chicken (again!)?"

Rock on!

Hard to believe my Rock Rose is years old, but spent under the shadow of the Duranta. Despite the shady dealings, it still produced a few teeny-tiny 1/2" white roses. With all the new leaves showing already, we can't wait to see the blooms in the light of day this year!

Good Recovery!

The shy one is looking good! You'd never know it was practically withered and drooped into a limp heap. (Sunsatia Raspberry)

Who the heck is on my iPod?! - The L's & M's

L.T.D....Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers...Len...Lenny Kravitz...Leon Russell....Level 42...Lifehouse...Linda Ronstadt...Lisa Loeb...Liz Phair...Lobo...Londonbeat...Los Straitjackets...The Lovin' Spoonful...Lyle Lovett... Lynyrd Skynyrd...

Madonna...Magnificent Tracers...The Manhattan Transfer...Mannheim Steamroller...Mariah Carey...Maroon 5...The Marshall Tucker Band...Martin Page...Martina McBride...Marvin Gaye...Mavis Staples...Mary Chapin Carpenter...Mason Williams...The Mavericks...Merle Haggard...Michael Buble'...Michelle Branch...Mick Jagger...Midnight Oil...Mike Doughty...Modest Mouse...Molly Hatchet...The Moody Blues...Montgomery Gentry...Mozart...Mr. Big...Mungo Jerry...

Monday, February 26, 2007


This morning on the way to the Post Office to get postage figures for eBay on the way to working out, there was an unusual amount of traffic clogged in front. Other cars were going on the shoulder lane, so I did, too. I didn't hear anything, but as I was at the APC, someone came in and asked who has the car on the left side of the parking lot, it's making a hissing noise! ??!! Of all the empty spots he could have parked in, I'm glad he was next to mine. He said his car made that same noise before the tire went flat. I figured (I hoped!) I had enough air to get to a better place and call AAA. Fortunately I only had to wait about 30 minutes, which is about what it took for the tire to go completely flat. And fortunately again, it was repairable for only $7. Thank you to the mystery USPS customer, good Karma to you!

Kitchen Side Garden

We took out the 14 foot (!) Duranta/Golden Dewdrop last week. Too worried about its roots wrapping around the pipes. I'll miss the shade and the purple-ness (but not all those bees!)

But L found these, still keeping in the purple theme...

The new cast of characters, from the top right: Coral Bells Plum Pudding (Heuchera)...
top left: Oxalis... lower right: Sunsatia Peach (not shown, rather shy and still recovering from transplant-Sunsatia Raspberry) Nemesias....Lower left: Summertime Sun Purple African Daisy

Daffodils March on

Only a few days away, March's flowers are already blooming!

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Songs

Haddaway, "What is Love" 4:30
Can you still see Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan bobbing their heads to the side in their Saturday Night Live skit series when you hear this?

Adam Ant, "Goody Two Shoes" 3:28
iTunes, Adam Ant: Super Hits
(he had others?!)

Cool down: Martin Page, "In the House of Stone and Light" 5:00
In the House of Stone and Light (this is the only good song on the CD)

Today's Stats: 48 minutes, 3 miles, 382 calories (Wow!)

Not Bad!

Between the first choice and runner up selections, I scored:

Director (Martin Scorsese)...Actress (Helen Mirren)...Supporting Actress (Jennifer Hudson)...Supporting Actor (Alan Arkin)...Costume (Marie Antoinette)

If only I could pick winning Lotto numbers, too. . .

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Netflix Stars - Marie Antoinette, Half Nelson

Thank goodness we get three at a time!
Current group: Marie Antoinette...Half Nelson...Girl with the Pearl Earring

Status: Marie Antoinette, 3.5 stars if there were such a thing. Costumes great. L-O-N-G scenes. Note to Sofia: OK, we get it. Move on. The dessert fest was like the Fergie Candylicous video. Must be subliminal...immediately went to the kitchen afterwards for sugar fix. Aha! Cinnamon Sugar Simply Naked Pita Chips. Disgusting enough not to overeat.

Half Nelson, 1 star, 0 if there were such a thing. (Netflix needs new star ratings) I know, everyone loved it, blah, blah, blah. It only lasted 15 minutes in our DVD player. Depressing! See Oscar Picks note about Ryan's allergy face. My eyes are watering just typing this.

Girl with the Pearl Earring is still sitting there. May just go back as I see it occasionally on the Dish listings. But nothing else is interesting in the queue or upcoming releases.

Oscar Picks!

While personally I would love to hoist handfuls of Wolfgang Puck's chocolate Oscars above my head or in my mouth...Here's my hopes and predictions for tonight. Play along with your home game version!

Best Picture: Little Miss Sunshine
Runner Up: The Queen
Both are watchable movies

Best Actor: I didn't like/see these movies...I'll take that chocolate Oscar instead.
Runner Up: Ryan Gosling, How did you go from hunky cutie boy/The Notebook to needing a Visine IV drip? Yuck! Your eyes remind me that the upcoming spring pollen allergy season is near.

Best Actress: Meryl Streep
Gotta love the long shots when you have Dench and Mirren on the team. Good luck!

Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin
Runner Up: Marky-Mark (Yes, you will always be)

Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson (Take that, Simon!)
Runner Up: Abigail Breslin, but I don't want to see another messed up kid in the future.

Costume Design: The Devil Wears Prada (of course!)
Runner Up: Marie Antoinette

Director: Martin Scorsese (pity pick)
Runner Up: Clint Eastwood

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Who the heck is on my iPod?! - The J's & K's

J. Geils Band...J.J. Cale...Jaci Velasquez...Jack Johnson...James Taylor...Jason Chain...Jason Mraz...Jefferson Starship...Jerry Reed...Jethro Tull...Jewel...Jim Croce...Jimmy Eat World...Joan Osborne...Joaquin Phoenix...Joe Walsh...John Anderson...John Denver...John Mayer...John Mellencamp...John Parr...John Travolota...John Waite...Johnny Lee...Jon McLaughlin...Edwards...Jonathan Rice...Jonny Lang... Justin Timberlake

Karla Bonoff...Keith Urban...Kelly Clarkson...Kenny Loggins...Kenny Rogers...The Killers...The Kills...Kim Wilde...KT Tunstall...

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Songs

Dan Hartman, "Instant Replay" 5:20
iTunes, "Keep the Fire Burnin'" CD
Back in 1978, my friends and I would go to the "VI" on the weekends. Yes, I loved to disco and still remember most of the moves to this song. And the swirly red dress I made with this pattern - the ruffled skirt with the ruffled top. Fun!
Scandal, "Goodbye to You" 3:46
iTunes, "We are the 80's"
Got dance-y with this one too, in '82. (No pattern available)

Cool down song:
Sting, "When We Dance" 5:59
from the "Best of Sting" CD

Today's stats: 46 minutes, 2.78 miles, 288 calories

Friday, February 23, 2007

Who the heck is on my iPod?! - The H's & I's

Haddaway...Hall & Oates...Hank Williams, Jr....Head East...Heart...Heat Wave...Herbie Hancock...Hilary Stagg...Hoku...The Hollies...The Honeydrippers...The Hooters...I Nine...
Iggy Pop...Ike & Tina Turner...Ingram Hill...INXS...

Who the heck is on my iPod?! - The G's

Garth Brooks...Gavin DeGraw...Genesis...George Thorogood & The Destroyers...George Winston...Gerry Rafferty...Gina G...Gnarls Barkley...The Go-Go's...Golden Earring...Gordon Lightfoot...Grateful Dead...Great White...Green Day...Greg Hansard...The Guess Who...Guns N' Roses...Gwen Stefani...

Banana Republic - Grow some ------!

Banana Republic, what has happened to you? Previous years, no problem finding clothes long enough to fit and flatter. Lots of us tallies were happily shopping your racks. This year, zip.

Those extra inches you are lopping off to save some money and your bottom line are cutting off your customers of length. . .

Macy's Shoe Department - Thumb's Up!

When you have Size 10 feet, it is frustrating to shop for shoes. Usually shoe departments only get one Size 10 in each style, and maybe only in certain colors. Puce, anyone? And if my evil twin shoe size sister gets there first, I'm outta luck!

As it was the other day, following in her or someone else's Size 10 footsteps...Nordstrom, Dillard's, etc. Handing over armfuls of shoes (the cute and tiny Size 6 displays), only after an interminable wait to finally see the salesperson return with 1, 2 -- or no boxes.

Well, surprise! Enter Macy's into the new millenium of shoe shopping with a "Duh! Why haven't they done this before?!" The salesperson is equipped with a PDA/scanner type gizmo that scans the barcoded label on the underside of the shoe and it immediately reads out the sizes available in the back room. And then someone in the back pulls the shoes (so the salesperson is still available as you skip around the department and getting giddy with finding even more shoes in your size, in stock!). Suddenly you are no longer waiting and wondering and hoping!
And suddenly Macy's has redeemed itself in my eyes after taking over my regional department store. Upgrade!

Thursday, February 22, 2007


I've lost track how many times "swell!" is repeated in "Broadway Hostess" (1935) on TCM this morning...because the evening gown costumes in this movie are awesome. If they aren't one-shouldered, the sleeves are worth a second look. I couldn't get a shot in time of Winnie's song by the fireplace outfit - the ruffled (organza?) sleeves were pointing up instead of plunging down like the neckline. But check out Iris' sleeves here --
Yowza! Or...swell!!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Who the heck is on my iPod?! - The F's

The Fabulous Thunderbirds...Fastball...Fatboy Slim...Fine Young Cannibals...The Firm...The 5 Stairsteps...First Class...The Fixx...Fleetwood Mac...Foreigner...Fort Minor...Foxy...Frankie Goes to Hollywood...Franz Ferdinand...The Fray...The Freestylers...Full Blown Rose...

Who the heck is on my iPod?! - The E's

The Eagles...Eddie Rabbit...Eddy Grant...The Edgar Winter Group...Edison Lighthouse...Electric Light Orchestra...Elton John...Enya...Eric Clapton...Eric Tingstad...The Escape Club...Evanescence...Extreme...

Favorite TV Shows!

Project Runway (of course!)...The Simpsons...Ugly Betty...Gillmore Girls (though you can really tell the series is winding down this season, lots of sputters)...Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency (much better than Tyra's)...Mad TV (SNL is just awful now!)...The Colbert Report...Best Week Ever...The Soup...I Love Lucy...WGN News/Weather with Tom Skilling...Rob & Big...What Not to Wear-both TLC and the BBC America versions with a slight edge to Trinny and Susannah.

Addictive channels, which if the TV is on, they are usually on: TCM (Turner Classic Movies)...HGTV...Food Network...The Weather Channel...VH1...E!..977 "Aura" on Dish...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Who the heck is on my iPod?! - The D's

D.H.T....D.J. Rage...Dan Fogelberg...Dan Hartman...Daryl Hall & John Oates...Dave Edmunds...Dave Loggins...Dave Matthews...David West and Shelley Frizzell...Deana Carter...Death Cab for Cutie......Def Leppard...Del Amitri...Depeche Mode...Devo...Dexy's Midnight Runners...Dire Straits...Dixie Chicken...Dixie Chicks...Dolly Parton...Don McLean...Don Williams...Donnie Iris...Duran Duran

Who the heck is on my iPod?! - The C's

C+C Music Factory...The Calling...Carly Simon...The Cars...Carter's Chord...Cascada...Cat Stevens...Chambers Brothers...Charles Wright and The Watts...Charlotte Martin...Cherry Poppin' Daddies...Christina Aguilera...Citizen King...Climax...Club Nouveau...Coldplay...Color Me Badd...Conway Twitty...Corinne Bailey Rae...Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose...Creedence Clearwater Revival

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Songs

These will get you moving at 4.0+ -- easy!

Madonna, "Hung Up" 5:37
iTunes, "Confessions on a Dance Floor"

89ers & Rimini Rockaz, "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" 3:26
iTunes, Club Radio Edit

Cool down...

Eric Clapton, "Run So Far" 4:07
Journeyman CD

Today's stats: 43 minutes, 2.58 miles, 278 calories

Monday, February 19, 2007

Who the heck is on my iPod?! - The B's

Someone suggested, "Two-A-Days," so here are the B's

Backstreet Boys...Beck...Bell Biv DeVoe...Berlin...Beyonce'...Billy Idol...Billy Joel...Billy Preston...Billy Squire...Billy Swan...Black Eyed Peas...Blink-182...Blondie...Blue Oyster Cult...Bob Seger...Bob Welch...Bobby McFerrin...Bon Jovi...Bonnie Raitt...Bonnie Tyler...Boz Scaggs...Brewer & Shipley...Brian Setzer...Britney Spears...Brooks & Dunn...Bruce Hornsby...Bruce Springsteen...Bryan Adams...Buck Owens...B.W. Stevenson

Who the heck is on my iPod?! - The A's

ABBA...Ace of Base...Ace Frehley...Adam Ant...Aerosmith...After the Fire...Al Stewart...Alabama...Alannah Myles...The All American Rejects...America...American Breed...Amy Adams...Amy Lee & Seether...Amy Winehouse...Ana Laan...Animotion...Apollo 100...Aretha Franklin...Artic Monkeys...Ashton Shepherd...Avril Lavigne

Sew Stylish

The debut Spring 2007 issue of Sew Stylish is now on the newsstands and at Jo-Ann Fabrics. $6.99. I think it is a good complement to its older sister Threads magazine, but geared a little more towards the newer sewist. Which is a good thing...Sewing needs to rev up to meet the new generation of sewsters. This will help!

Proverbs 31:10-31

An excellent woman, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. She looks for wool and flax, and works with her hands in delight. She extends her hand to the poor; and she stretches other hands to the needy. She makes coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. She makes linen garments and sells them...Strength and dignity are her clothing and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying "many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all." Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
--From (the Bible and) an old Artful Illusions pattern catalog. I have this clipping on the bulletin board above my sewing machine.

Cat's back!

The new Cat Stevens' CD is out -- "An Other Cup" OK, albeit under his new name, Yusuf. Talk about a 30 year time travel machine, he still sounds the same! Soothing sewing background music...

Sunday, February 18, 2007


The robins arrived mid-January this year...they're getting fat and sassy and probably will be leaving soon. Though with all the snow, they may decide to delay a little longer!

I grew up in Rochester, NY, and my dad would pay me and my sister $1 for the first to see a robin. The robin was the sign of Spring!

I love the shades of green

Birds of a feather, flock together...

Apple Pie Muffins

This is modified from the Spring 2007 issue Taste of Home Cooking School Classic Cooking Recipe Magazine, "Cinnamon Muffins," page 40. I renamed it "Apple Pie Muffins"
While the original recipe sounded yummy, I thought it needed a little more "healthy oomph."

I added one chopped Granny Smith apple, leaving most of the skin on, and instead of 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, which I think can be kind of bitter, I substituted 1 teaspoon of Penzeys Apple Pie Spice. It has some nutmeg, but also cloves, 2 kinds of cinnamon (China Cassia and Korintje Cassia), and mace.

Costco carries organic eggs with Omega 3. A little bit pricier, but a lot healthier. And boy, is that yolk bright yellow-wow! I also used my Pampered Chef stoneware 12-muffin pan. It's HEAVY, but really makes a good result difference.

Apple Pie Muffins

Yield: 1 dozen

1/3 cup Smart Balance shortening
1/2 cup sugar (just a little under)
1 egg, preferably organic and with added Omega 3
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Penzeys Apple Pie Spice
1/2 cup milk

In a bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add egg; beat well. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and Apple Pie Spices; add to creamed mixture alternately, then add apples. Don't overbeat.

Fill cupcake liners half full. (I never have good luck getting things out of pans, so I use the cupcake papers). Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes (18 minutes, my oven), or until toothpick or knife comes out clean.

While still warm, put a small bit of butter on top and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

The original recipe said to mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and dip top of muffin into the butter then the cinnamon sugar. That would most certainly be very delicious if you are young, cooking for a bake sale, and/or don't have diabetes or cardiovascular disease in your family!

But indulging in just a dib of butter and a light sprinkle of cinnamon sugar can still be tasty and avoid the wag of the doctor's finger at your next checkup.

Heart to 4,200+ Heart Postcard Project

From the website --

...more than 4,200 cards showered into the company’s offices—so many that the original sole destination was expanded to include hospitals like the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, Brooke Army Center and William Beaumont Center in Texas, Eisenhower Army Center in Georgia, Madigan Army Center in Washington, Womack Army Center in North Carolina, and the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center in Virginia...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Yesterday's Favorite iPod Workout Songs

Prince (and Sheena Easton!), "U Got the Look" 3:47
iTunes, "Sign o' the Times"
Good middle/end song to revive and keep you going

Evanescence, "Bring Me To Life" 3:57
"Fallen" CD
This reminds me of Tru Calling. What an original series on Fox a few years ago. Classic good versus evil struggle, especially when they added Jason Priestley.

Cool down song:

Eric Clapton, "Please Be With Me" 3:26
Did you know that's Yvonne Elliman singing backup? Yes, that Yvonne Elliman ("If I Can't Have You") from "Saturday Night Fever."

Yesterday's stats: 45 minutes, 2.63 miles, 289 calories

Found, not Lost!

The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. -- Mark Twain
Found at the Signature Kroger! I bought 3 cases! Yay!

Hopefully it will trigger their stats to keep ordering it. And I did leave 2 cases behind to encourage other purchasers.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sewing Stats Up

Yes, those numbers increased today:

Three patterns, New Look 6618, New Look 6436 and Butterick 4463...

...and this hideous $1/yard "suede" print. I thought it was so ugly, it was almost attractive. I need to make a raincoat for a Scottish folk dance set to "Singing in the Rain". . . (the thought of that plus the fabric seemed like a match to me)

L was so horrified, it will only be the trial run before cutting into a more sedate $1/yard fabric from the stash.

I bought the patterns (and obviously the fabric) without L by my side, sight unseen. After consultation, she liked the shape of 6436 (and I liked the one piece back and front - no darts, seaming, yokes), and the length and fullness of 6618, but not the bell sleeve shape. The Butterick for the buttons. So it looks like I'll be combining, overlaying, and switching, probably using 6436 as the base of operations.

My plan is to make the hideous version fitting muslin this weekend.

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Songs

Despite the fact my knee got out of whack about 10 minutes in, I did prevail and got right with my left knee again! So not as many calories burned today, because I slowed down to mostly 3.6 and only a 1.0 incline.

Queen, "Don't Stop me Now" 3:31
From iTunes, "Queen: Greatest Hits"

Iggy Pop, "Lust for Life" 5:13
iTunes, "Lust for Life"
You'll recognize this song from commercials; and be so listening to the lyrics, you'll forget about your knees!

Cool Down Song:

David Frizzell and Shelly West, "You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma" 3:24
CD: Classic Country: The 80's

1981 duet and country legend relatives -- Shelly is the daughter of Dottie West and David is the brother of Lefty Frizzell.

Today's stats: 41 minutes, 2.36 miles, 242 calories

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Finished the taxes!

Whew! They are outta the way! Kept my tradition by getting them done by Valentine's Day.

Now on to raising those sewing stats!

Today's Valentine Day Favorite iPod Workout Songs

In keeping with our movie tie-in theme of yesterday. . .

Rick James, "Super Freak" 3:24
From iTunes "20th Century Masters - The Millenium Collection: The Best of Rick James

Have you seen Little Miss Sunshine yet?! This song in the scene made and stole the movie!

For a good cool down song...

Len, "Steal My Sunshine" 4:26
iTunes "You Can't Stop the Bum Rush" CD.

If you were a teen in the mid 70's, you'll recognize the repeating backbeat from "Don't Rock the Boat" from The Hughes Corporation. I heard the video for the song is cute, too.

Double points for the sunshine theme!

Today's stats: 42 minutes, 2.55 miles, 296 calories

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Yesterday's Favorite iPod Workout Songs

Today was yoga and yesterday too sloooow of a connection, so here are Monday's songs to keep you movin' and groovin' on the treadmill --

Cascada "Everytime We Touch" - Radio Mix, 3:19 From "Everytime We Touch"

Of which the CD is basically the same song at different beats, tempos, mixes. I downloaded this one based upon the iTunes Popularity ranking.

Michael Buble' "Sway" 3:08
iTunes did not have this song as a single available, only as an album purchase. I was able to find it on eBay as a Promo CD single!

It's from the movie, The Wedding Date Rent it and/or then watch it with the commentary by Dermot Mulroney and Debra Messing. It was made on a really tight budget and no true commercial soundtrack album is available per se (the cost of using the songs?). If you do a search, you'll only find a soundtrack performed by the Northwest Sinfonia Orchestra!

I thought one of the best scenes of the movie was when this song was played during the dance lesson. (well, and Dermot dropping his bath towel! No music needed for that!)

Monday's stats: 43 minutes, 2.62 miles, 307 calories.

My Heart-2-Heart, Valentine's for Wounded Soldiers Postcards

These were my three favorites of the nine I made.

At last year's Houston International Quilt Festival, I saw and admired (and bought!) the FiberArt for a Cause postcards being sold for American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Research Fund.

"Start to Finish"
by Monica

When a friend of mine fowarded information about the Heart-2-Heart Postcard Project, Valentine's for Wounded Soldiers, I thought I would give it a try. helped coordinate and deliver all the postcards.

I had to search a little to find the double-sided Pelltex, suggested by Deb R's Red Shoe Ramblings blog. Jo-Ann's had it behind the cutting table. A good use for your 40% off coupon, it's $7.99/yard. There's three kinds -- 70 (non-fusible), 71 (fusible on one side) and 72 (fusible both sides). On the 72, only one side "looks" fusible. That shiny side is the side you should fuse to the wrong side side of the fabric - the rough side will be fused to the paper backing when you are done embellishing. So stack it rough side down on the ironing board, preferably on a silicone sheet, then the fabric. I discovered that on my SECOND try! I saved my "oops!" and wrote on it with a Sharpie which side went where. I found the different colored cardstock for the backing at Hobby-Lobby, already almost postcard sized (4 1/2x 6 1/2), which gave me a little scootch room to trim and even up my edges to 4x6.

Since they didn't have to be Valentine-y and if they receive more than Walter Reed needs, the extras will be going to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland. What a great way to recognize and encourage our servicemen and servicewomen.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dr Pepper Diet Berries & Cream - RIP

My last can, worthy and deserving of photography for the record books!

I can't find it anywhere, anymore! The fully-loaded sugar version is still available, but not the diet. The "Leaded" version is so sweet, it makes your teeth fall out! Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper is a sad substitute. . .
And small consolation -- the latest suggestion is for women to limit consumption of cola drinks to 8 ounces once or twice -- A WEEK! (Shape Magazine, February 2007, page 124 - a recent study from Tufts University found that women who drank 3 regular or diet cola drinks a week had less-dense hip bones...blame the caffeine and phosphoric acid)
But nothing beats a cold DP after treadmill miles...or anytime!

Valentines, Part 3

Here's the one I made for my sister. . .with the same quote on the back.

Valentines, Part 2

This one is for my mom.

The four heart accents are the D24 stitch on the Viking 1100 in variegated metallic thread, which I also used to zig-zag the edges and applique. I embellished the wings with just a touch of different beads for each cat. It was hard not to go too crazy with the beads and the opportunities presented by the print.

I'm sure getting great mileage from this Laurel Burch print, from her Christmas/Holiday 2006 collection. I love the gold metallic stars and the colors, quality stuff!

I originally bought it to make one of those crinkle cat bags for Christmas. It was such a hit with her cat, I used more of the fabric cats as appliques to make more bags for 2 other cats.
Purple is her favorite color, and the purple linen is from the Sewing Workshop's Tamari Apron I made a few years ago. An interesting pattern, but I never really used it as an apron. Instead, more for something getting caught in the pantry door. Enough!
(Though I seem to be on a trend of cutting up my older garments...!)

Valentines, Part 1

Here is a Valentine card I made for my friend. She was very close to her sister, who passed away last year on Valentine's Day. (Mary was also my friend, too...JoAnn is my bonus, 2-fer friend!)
On the back I wrote, "A bond between two sisters is stitched together forever"

The piece is cut out from a vest I made years ago, velvet appliqued over flannel and then washed and dried. I zig-zagged it over light weight denim. The beads are those black glass faceted beads which either look gold, blue or black, depending which way they are turned. The heart is the same way, except there is a pinkish cast to one of the shadings. I thought it all worked together well!

Friday, February 09, 2007

CrockPot Cooking

I must add that if you are using older CrockPot cookbooks and recipes with a new CrockPot, watch your time.

I think food safety issues have raised the temperature of the settings on the newer Rival Crockpots. I've discussed this with other "Crackpot" (sic) friends and they agree --

If you put something on Low and expect it to cook all day without burning or getting funky around the edges or stirring every so often, you'll be surprised! I went through 2 Crockpots thinking there was something wrong with the settings. Low will now actually start to bubble/boil within 2 hours.

No longer do I believe the instructions to cook on Low 6-8 hours. It's more like 3-4 hours now.

CrockPot Cookbooks

I have a huge collection of CrockPot cookbooks! Addictive! Though I must bow down at the feet of Mable Hoffman, the CrockPot Guru-ess. One of my favorites is her Crockery Cookery, the revised paperback edition from 1995. (I still have the receipt from Venture tucked inside -- also purchased that day were pillow covers, chocolate graham crackers, Lever soap and "Ants in the Pants"!)

My favorites from this book are the Chicken and Dumplings, Red Beans and Rice.

I have also tried the Beef Burritos, Pot Roast with Creamy Mushroom Sauce, Beef Stroganoff.

Though when you pluck the book from my shelf, it opens automatically to the Chicken and Dumplings!

I love to CrockPot

My version of Mable Hoffman's "Nostalgic Chicken & Herbed Dumplings" from Crockery Cookery, 1995 (revised), page 137

1 package boneless, skinless chicken thighs*
1 can chicken broth
Handful of baby carrots or 2 carrots sliced
1 bay leaf
sprinkle of onion powder
sprinkle of garlic powder
1/2 tsp majoram (can also sub 1/4t oregano)
1/2 tsp thyme
pinch of basil
3 T cornstarch
1/4 C water
1 C lowfat biscuit mix (Bisquick)
1 T parsley
6 T skim milk

*I've also used 2 bone-in chicken breasts

Place all items above the line in c/p. Cook on Low 4 hours or until chicken is tender. Dissolve cornstarch in water, stir into chicken mixture. Cover and switch to High. Combine biscuit mix, milk and parsley - mix with fork until moistened. Drop by large teaspoonfuls along edge of pot. Make sure it touches the side. Cook on High 30 minutes or until dumplings are cooked in centers when tested with a fork.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

XM is great!

Not only does XM in "Duney" help keep me sane driving four trips back and forth to school and playing in heavy traffic, it helps fill my iPod library.

Thank goodness for the display screen (That's who sang that song?! That's the name of the song?!), and a Palm Pilot and a red light to scribble it down.

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Let's face it, treading on the treadmill 40 minutes at least 5 days a week, can get a little boring. And listening to the same songs. To keep the motivation going, I'll add new songs to my iPod to keep the pep and the speed going.

Here's today's favorite --

"Amos Moses" by Jerry Reed. From his "Jerry Reed: Super Hits" on iTunes.

Recently heard on XM Channel 7, from the 70's. It has a good beat to keep you instep. And at 2:18, useful as a pause between faster songs or warm-up/cool-down.

Bonus day!! -- Since I didn't get a chance to post, yesterday's song was --

"I Don't Feel Like Dancin" by Scissor Sisters. Scissor Sisters "Ta-Dah" on iTunes

4:48, bouncy and perfect for the first third/middle to keep you going and build speed.

Today's stats: 39 minutes, 2.3 miles, 256 calories