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Friday bullets - Oct. 23, 2020

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I'm still here. It's been a busy week, and frankly, I just didn't have anything to write about. It seemed more fun to sit and read a book instead. Some weeks are like that. We have all voted now. Some of us stood in line and voted early, others of us voted by mail and mailed the ballot, and still others used the mail-in ballot, but dropped it off at the county building. We have covered all voting bases, it seems... at least the early ones. I am suffering from my annual longing for the Twelve Days of Christmas ornament patterns... as well as the wool felt to make them. Someday.P. has decided on which working student position she is going to take and will be heading to South Carolina in early November. This is one of those happy/sad parenting moments.I will also miss P., my resident horse whisperer. She has been working with Emmy and has made some great progress getting her (Emmy) calmer under saddle. This past week I went along with a lead rope as P. made a first attempt at t…

Meal planning - Oct. 20 - 26, 2020

I don't have any idea how we can possibly here past the midway point of October, but here we are. I also don't understand how the part of the week involving grocery shopping seems to arrive faster than any other part of the week, but yet I went to the store(s) again today. 
Tuesday, Oct. 20
Mongolian beef and vegetables      P. saw this in my recipe binder when I was making the menu and wanted to have it. I still had some frozen steak in the freezer, so on the menu it went. It was good. Sesame noodles      I bought some Korean wheat noodles a while back, so we used those Dumplings      When I checked the freezer, I thought I saw a couple of bags of dumplings, so I put them on the list. When I went to get them tonight for dinner, I discovered they were bags of edamame which looked remarkably similar to the bags of dumplings I buy. We did not have dumplings. Everyone lived.
Wednesday, Oct. 21
Onion and cheese strata      I save up the heels of bread in the freezer, and when they start to …

Jack of all trades and master of none

I liked to dabble in different things even as a child. It drove my grandmother a little bonkers, I think, because a main memory if have of her is her reciting the phrase I used in the title. This always made me feel a little badly... as if I was doing something wrong or wasn't serious enough. Then M. (who shares my need to explore a lot of different interests discovered that there is a second line. The whole couplet goes:
A jack of all trades is master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.
Now, it was nice to here that this phrase had a more positive spin, but there was always a small part of me than still felt a little badly about not being a specialist in anything. Enter the new book I finished a couple of days ago, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein. It was both fascinating and a balm to my generalist soul. The author makes a pretty decent argument that in many domains it is far better to have a broad scope of knowledge than to sp…

Ren fair in the rain

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We have made some new friends over the past couple of months. It is a family who signed up for one of my horse classes and our children just clicked. They all love being outside, bugs, insects, amphibians, building thing, books, Greek mythology, writing stories, etc. The mom and I agreed it is so nice when others 'get' our children. We will all miss seeing each other on a weekly basis now that the class is done, but have vowed to get together so everyone can just play. 
Today was one of those times. We were invited to the Renaissance Fair they were having in their backyard today. My children (okay, some of my children), spent the weekend getting ready with appropriate costumes. K. made a Minotaur mask (which I didn't get a picture of), and G., L., and Y. made use of their cloaks that I made them a few years ago. 
That's L. in the armor (also made this weekend), with G. as her squire next to her. Y. was content with her cloak, and R. and H. opted for now costumes.
J. and I…

New project

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Remember when I took a quilting class a couple of years ago and made this?

I had some fabric left over as well as some of the squares I used to make the zigzags. In the book I bought at the quilt store in Michigan, there was a cute pinwheel quilt that seemed as though I could handle. In looking through my stash, I realized that it might be fun to use the leftover fabric (because it is really nice fabric and I like it) to make another quilt. Plus, it would fulfill my cheapness in that I would be getting another quilt out of some fairly expensive fabric. I did need to buy a background color, but that was better than having to buy all the fabric. 
Today, I finished doing the initial sewing, so I could start to see what the quilt will look like. I will need to do a lot of playing around with the squares to get the colors in the right place, but here is a little glimpse into what it will look like.

I will be a lot of fun to play around with the colors when I get all of these blocks cut,

and pr…

Friday bullets - Oct. 16, 2020

The week has felt full and I'm glad it's Friday night. The biggest news is that P. will be heading to Aiken, South Carolina in a few weeks. She has been looking for a working student job at a horse stable for the past several months. Last weekend she flew down to Aiken to interview with someone about a position. Now, if you are wondering what a working student job is, it's pretty much what it sounds like. Usually a working student gets a place to live and a small stipend in return for a lot of work (doing stalls, feeding horses, turning out and in, etc.). The plus is that there is a lot of learning and training that happens as well. P. actually ended up with two job offers, and chose the one she visited last weekend. I think it't going to be an amazing experience for her, plus she'll be in Aiken, SC, which is the epicenter of the hunting/eventing world. Our trainer here said she may never come back. Sending her to another state seems a lot easier then sending her ar…

(A much belated) Meal planning - Oct. 13 - 19, 2020

I had thought about skipping this week because it was late, but it's been a busy day and this is about all I can manage.
Tuesday, Oct. 13
Sausage risotto Wheat rolls      From dough in the freezer Salad
Wednesday, Oct. 14 (H.'s birthday)
Cha ca      A Vietnamese dish Rice noodles Cucumber salad Root beer floats
Thursday, Oct. 15
Sausage, pepper, and shells      A favorite from my favorite Italian cookbook. It involves a red wine reduction which vegetables simmer in along with a dried hot pepper. Garlic bread Spice cake with ice cream and caramel sauce      I had quite a bit of caramel sauce left over from making the caramel apple pie filling. One of the jars looked as though it lost too much liquid so I decided to make a cake to use up the jar of apples and served with with ice cream and the heated up caramel sauce. It was very good.
Friday, Oct. 16
Char Sui Banh Mi      Another Vietnamese dish with pork simmered in a char sui sauce in the crock pot and served in sandwiches with crispy onions and …