Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hearts and Flowers

Hello my friends!  I may be a day early for jumping into the heart thing, but you know me.. I love my holidays!  I made some felt heart pins years ago with sequins and beads, so I decided to make a new one!  This took forever but turned out nice and sparkly!  Now if I could just find my little bag of pin backs!

Here are my two older ones and the new one in the middle.  Which one is your favorite?  When I wear the "Hug Me" pin, I get hugs from all kinds of people.  :-)

When Dayle and I went out for a late lunch and to the grocery store the other day, when we headed home Mt. Hood was putting on a big pink show!  I took a back road home where we found a new place to snap a photo of my mountain.  The camera focused on the trees in front, which put a soft focus on the mountain, but I think it's pretty.

Now.. the next day when out running errands we headed to Al's Garden Center to buy a Camellia.  One of my blog friends, Aimee, showed her Camellia in bloom, and my blog friend Gracie has a huge bush in bloom, and I decided that this old farm place was in dire need of a Camellia.  Right?  This bloom melted my heart and it came home with us.  It's name is "Elegans Splendor".

This one is the same as Aimee's - called "Mary Christian".  Isn't it pretty?  Now to find just the right spot for them both.. that Dayle won't mow them down.  That's a challenge.  

I'm not sure what flower this is, but I snapped a few photos of the other flowers at the nursery.  This one fascinates me as the blooms open white, turn pink, then darker coral.  Neat!

Hmm.. what the heck is this?

Another color of the mystery flower.

Dayle bought me a pot of red tulips.. awww.. 

I love taking a close up of the center of a tulip, it reminds me of a Georgia O'Keefe painting.  

Happy happy, joy joy.

My red Hibiscus wanted to be in the blog today.  It's such a show-off.  

More sunny days.. this may be the sunniest year ever in my life.  But last year might have been the sunniest.. it's hard to choose.. so much sun.  :-)

Dayle also bought me another pot of tulips, these are dwarf sized yellows with a pretty red and black center.  What a sweetheart!

Happy, happy, joy, joy.  :-)

In an effort to make healthy choices when dining, we went to Elmer's Restaurant and had their crab salad.  OMGoodness!  So good!  It's served on crispy greens, with sliced black olives, chopped tomatoes, sliced avocados and crispy chopped bacon.  I used Thousand Island dressing.. it's better with less dressing so you can taste the fresh ingredients.  

What I like is how generous they are with the fresh Dungeness Crab!  

For dinner last night, we had shrimp salad here at home, Romaine lettuce, salad shrimp (lots), black olives, grated cheddar, chopped tomato, sunflower seeds, beets, dried cranberries with broiled cheesy bread on the side.  :-)  We're going to have a Super Bowl family gathering tomorrow, our older son and his family are coming for the day.  That will be fun!  We're having pizza.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bug Story and One More Hat

Hello!  I have a story for you.  I took this photo a bit ago of my wonderful African Violet that consistently produces these eye-popping blooms for me.  I didn't see the "visitor" until I downloaded the photo to my computer and looked at it.. do you see it?  With our unseasonable warm weather, we're having a "bug problem".  They call them "Stink Bugs".  Night before last Kristi gave me a mint Oreo and after I ate it I took a drink of ice water that I keep in an insulated stainless steel mug on the table next to my easy chair.  There was something in my mouth, which I thought was a bit of Oreo and so I chewed on it.. but hmmm.. it had an odd texture... so I evacuated the item (I thought that sounded more ladylike than "spit") into my hand.. whence I was HORRIFIED to see, that I'd been chewing on a.. STINK BUG!  EWWW.. run to kitchen.. evacuated my mouth into the sink.. washing out my mouth.. making all kinds of horrified noises.. blech.. argh!!  Husband comes from the back of the house and I tell him what happened and what is his response?  Concern?  Worry?  Oh no.. he launched into the most raucous laughing fit that I've seen in all our years together.  Sheesh.

On to more pleasant topics of conversation.. I finished my 4th baby hat for Taci's "Hats for Brazil" project.  It's my favorite so far.. I used the KnitPicks "Marshmallow" organic, unbleached cotton.  AND, I used the little cotton skeins of Drops "Safran to make the flower.

I designed my own pattern that I'm happy with.  Using a G hook and worsted weight yarn -  You begin with a double crochet circle and then I start making continuous loop 3 dc shells until it's the right size.  About 10 circles of the shells.  

Baby Hat With Shells for Newborn - by Teresa Kasner

Row 1: Make a magic circle, ch 1 in circle, 7 sc, sl st to first sc, (7 stitches

Row 2: Ch 2, dc into same stitch, 2 dc in each stitch around, sl st to top of first ch 2   (14 dc)

Row 3:  dc into same stitch, 2 dc around, sl st into first ch 2 (28 stitches).  

Row 4:  Ch 2, 2 dc into NEXT stitch, *dc in next, 2dc in next* around, sl st into first ch 2.  (42 st) 

NOW.. ch 1, skip 1 st, 3 dc into next st, sk st, sc into next st, sk st and 3 dc shell, just keep going around in continuous shell rounds until you have 10 rows or the hat seems the right size.. do last shell at the point where you see the "row joins" of the crown.  I ended with a half double crochet and a single crochet and finish off.  (10 or 12 rows of shells)

Does anyone want to test this pattern for me?  Please let me know if it works or if I've written it totally wrong.

Now.. these are rather addicting as you can get one done in a few hours.  :-)  If you want to make some and send them to me, let me know and I'll give you my address.  I will then get them to Taci - we're meeting for lunch in February before she leaves for Brazil.  And also to celebrate Taci and Gracie's birthdays!

I made up the flower too.  Magic circle, ch 1, 8 sc around, join, finish off, add another color, slip st into first stitch, ch 2, do 1 dc, 1 triple crochet, 1 dc, ch 2, sl st into same stitch - sl st into next, repeat in all 8 stitches and you should have 8 petals. - finish off.  Any takers to test this flower?

These are coming up in one of my huge pots.  I wonder what they are?  :-)

My peace lily bloomed.  This is extra special as I got this plant from my Dad's funeral, so it's like my Dad is saying hello to me when it blooms.  I can't believe he passed away a little over 11 years ago.  He was a very loved, gentle, kind man.  

We're having another sunny day.. it's 44 deg F out.. so not super warm, but definitely pretty outside.  We plan to go out to lunch again.. it's what you do when you're retired.  :-)  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hens and Hats

Hello my friends!  How are things going along for you?  We're cruising along.  I am happy to report that ONE of our hens.. and I know which one.. has started laying eggs again after a... SIX MONTH VACATION!  Gracie is an Ameracauna which lays aqua eggs.  I named her Gracie because she has a lot of grey feathers.  I wonder when the other slackers will get busy?  I am so happy to have home grown eggs again.  Do you remember this wooden egg holder?  I saw Lady Mary use one on Downton Abbey after saving the pigs - did you see that episode?  I got right on eBay or Etsy and found this.  So, now I can cook like Lady Mary.  :-)

I figure that the one with the darker blue top was her first one in 6 months so there was lots of blue saved up in her egg maker.  What do you think? :-)

I went out in the farmyard to get a photo of the girls.. but only 2 of them would come out to see me.  The big black hen is the Cuckoo Maran named Hershey - as she lays milk chocolate colored eggs.  Both of these two look gorgeous and very feathered out.. 

Gracie and her grey tail.

The roses are leafing out!

I'm fascinated with the colors in these tulip leaves!

I got my 2nd gold colored cotton wash cloth done.  

I'm going to try this as a face cloth.. I've always used them as kitchen wash cloths.  

I got a third hat done for Taci's charity project - hats for new babies in Brazil for underprivileged expectant mothers.  Taci's mother puts together bags for the new mothers with hats, sweaters, booties and other necessities.  Isn't that nice?

I am halfway done on a 4th hat using my organic cotton.  

I really like how the little variegated one turned out, I used the shell pattern after I got the crown increase part done in double crochet.  I think Betsy or Gracie gave me that cotton.  

I snapped a photo of our moss covered garage barn.. yes, Oregon is green. :-)

More Snowdrops are showing white buds.

Behind the garage was another round of wood from some of the trees we had felled as they had died.  The entire end of this is covered with those Turkey Tail mushrooms!

I sauntered down our driveway and snapped this image of the pastures and forest across the road from our place.  A hazy day.  Soon they will be planting fields of flowers there.

Our Black Bamboo stand needs trimmed up - many of the branches have bent over.  We'll have to work on that.

I am in love with the black canes of this plant.  I used the branches as stakes in other plants, which is neat.  I wonder what else I could use these for.  Any ideas?

A snap of the bamboo and our barn.  I have 5 varieties of bamboo on the farm and each one is a clumping bamboo and not a running bamboo - each has stayed very nicely in one spot.  They do get big and bushy, but they do not run and take over.

Well, Dayle and I are going on a jaunt together - we're both in the mood for a healthy salad and we have a favorite restaurant that makes a killer shrimp salad.  I might remember to snap a photo.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

False Spring and Baby Hats for Brazil

Dear friends.. we are in the middle of a "false Spring".  Here it is, late January and yesterday it got up to 63 degrees F. outside and it was so warm inside the house that we had to open the front door and kitchen window!  I grabbed my camera to get a photo of the Snowdrops that I had spied in early bloom lately.  

Soon there will be many more in bloom!  They have spread all over the farm yard.  These are under the apple tree.

The branches of the apple tree are covered with mosses and lichen.  I doubt that the tree likes this, but it sure makes for an interesting look.

Pretty greens, eh?

I said hello to the hens.. we finally got 3 aqua eggs after they went on strike for 6 months!  I've never had chickens go that long without laying eggs.  Next to the chicken yard there are some large rounds of the old maple tree that died and we had taken down a few years ago.  I was amazed to see it was covered with "Turkey Tail Mushrooms"!  (Thanks to Google for giving me the name of this!)  These are quite amazing looking.

This is a huge round of wood.. at least 3-4 feet across.  

Talk about natural colors.. cream, brown, greys.

Aren't these amazing?

The Daphne Odora buds is getting bigger.. I think they're afraid to open up.. it knows what happened last year.. after this false Spring weather we had a terrible snow and ice storm which ruined all my tulips that were halfway up.

Yesterday we relaxed all day inside which was really naughty of us.. not to get out in the sunshine more.. but Dayle was watching "Cleopatra" and it went on forever.  So, I kept him company and began making a baby hat for Taci's "hat project".  She is going to visit her family in Brazil and wants to take 200 baby hats for the poor women who don't have many clothes for their babies.  If you want to help, you can go to Taci's blog and leave a comment to get her address to send them to her.

I got a baby girl hat done in mauve with a purple flower (I'll add a button center today) and a denim blue boy hat.  2 hats in one day!  I used a simple "beanie" pattern but added my own spin to the design on both hats.

Chef Dayle made homemade teriyaki sauce and baked 5 lbs. of chicken wings in it for 3 hours yesterday. He also made homemade fried rice with veggies, scrambled eggs and sausage to serve with it.  We had a yummy dinner!

Teriyaki Chicken Wings

Heat oven to 300 degrees

1 cup soy sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
t tsp ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
5 lbs. of chicken wings 

In large baking pan, put ingredients above and heat to dissolve sugar, add the chicken wings, stir to coat wings with sauce, put into oven, turning wings occasionally.  Bake until caramelized, 3 hours.

I might want to make another baby hat!  What are you up to today?  ((hugs)), Teresa :-)