Friday, July 29, 2011

Going to the Sun Road Plowing

For those of you who followed my trip to Glacier National Park in June, you know I bemoaned the fact that the Going to the Sun Road was still closed due to snow. Here is a link to the NPS flikr page with a ton of great photos of the plowing they were doing in June and July this summer, including a cute set of pics of bears playing in the snow.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A trip back in time

Finally had enough time and cooperative weather to get out and take some photos of dear little Poland, Ohio.
That's right, established in 1796, although the first settler, Jonathan Fowler, settled here along the banks of Yellow Creek in 1794.

 The first established building in Poland was the tavern Fowler built for his family and business, just a block from the creek where his log cabin and the mill he later built were (both are long gone).

The origional Seminary School. I went to 7th and 8th grade here. Other notable students include Ida Tarbell and William McKinley (who grew up to be President McKinley. He stayed at the Fowler Tavern and its rumored he was sworn in as president on the front porch of the Tavern.).


A few century homes on Main Street. Most of the century homes were built between 1830 and 1850.

This is Town Hall and the Police station, complete with an old fashioned jail.

The bridge over Yellow Creek behind the library. On Friday nights in the summer they project movies onto the bridge support. This week it was "Beach Blanket Bingo". I spent many summer days dipping my toes in the creek after visiting the library.

Poland is only ten minutes from Pennsylvania, and only 30 minutes from Amish country. On my way through new Wilmington I snapped a few photos of Amish farms, such pretty countryside. Stopped and bought fresh peaches at an Amish farm stand, even saw the Amish saddle maker shop where I bought my first saddle.

Poland is a quaint old town, a great place to raise a family and come back and visit. Its funny how it has grown and changed, and yet not changed at all. The village is still dry, and yet 6 minutes outside town is a winery (didn't stop and check it out, I already know its too sweet for my tastes). Handel's still has the best ice cream in town (even if it is across the street from Dairy Queen), Poland manor is still the prettiest street for miles around, and kids still walk to the library from the Middle School. Missing are Isley's Ice Cream parlor in the village, Whitenaur's Pharmacy (the best candy selection for any middle schooler), and the old Hardware store (although I remember when it burned to the ground, right next door to the fire station). Its been nice to visit, but I'll be glad to go back home to St. Louis.

Tuesday's Truth

Enjoy the little things in life. One day you may look back and realize that they were the big things.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Small Town

Its a bit strange to be back in my home town. I haven't spent this much time here since I was coming home for holidays in college. The town is all grown up. When we moved here over thirty years ago there was one stop light, now there are a dozen or so. Lots of shops have sprung up, including a Walgreens in the center of town, and the new post office is aweful to get into and out of. But sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same. The village is still dry and still one of the biggest speed traps in the state, the Manor is still beautiful, the century homes are getting close to two centuries old, Jerry is still the mailman (and still good looking!), and the snackbar at the pool still stinks to high heaven with greasy fried food. Here are a few pics of Poland:
The BACK of the new library.

The front of the new library on the other side of Yellow Creek. The library used to be a little, round, ugly building with a scary basement. There is an Underground Railroad tunnel that comes out under the bridge.

I spent most of my summers in this pool.

My parent's house.
 I'll try to take more photos and post as the weekend goes on. It is just so strange to be back, everything (except the library) seems so much smaller. Off to get another scoop of Handel's, just can't get enough of it when all St Louis seems to have is frozen custard.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On the road again

The drive to Ohio was uneventful, if you discount the following:
*the entire state of Indiana is under construction
*got honked at by the truckers because I guess I was showing a bit too much leg (it is sun dress season!)
*the chicken truck spewing feathers behind it for miles (guess that's one way to defeather them)
*the Goodyear blimp coming low into Akron for a landing
*gas was priced anywhere between $3.48 and $3.98 a gallon for regular

Rolled into Poland 9 1/2 hours after leaving St Louis, and the first thing I did was get an ice cream cone from Handel's.

Before I even went home. Because Handel's is that good.

Black Cherry, Yummmm!

Sounds like I'll be busy; going berry picking tonight at the farm, have already been to the store for mom once before dinner. I'll take pictures as the week goes on, wait until you see the library.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Deer Slayer Returns

I think the car is actually smiling! Sooo happy to have my baby back!  We will be having a long talk about not killing deer with the bumper, especially now that we have a new bumper, hood, and side panel without any nics or dings. And yes, the first thing I did after I got in my car was hug the steering wheel. I love my car!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday's Truth

The true harvest of my life is intangible - a little stardust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched.
~ Henry David Thoreau~

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Challenges, Challenges

Let me start by saying, I love my Saint Louis Modern Quilt Guild! What a great group of gals, sooo much fun!!

But. Oh my goodness do we love challenges! This is completely a good thing. Keeps all of us on our toes, thinking and creating, stretching our self set limits so that we continue to grow in the quilting world. So here are the challenges...

The Rip, Ripping challenge fabrics
 I haven't spent much time thinking about this challenge because of the trip out west, but now I need to get my butt in gear. Its due next month!

As if one challenge is not enough, a new one started today, using fabrics from Jay McCarroll's Habitat collection. Lucious fabrics!

This one is ripe with possibilities, lots of ideas already. I really should be writing them down. I will likely forget every one of these ideas and come September will be scrambling for ideas to create some lovely bit of quilt. Thank goodness I have until October for this one.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

English Muffins

One of the many benefits of not sleeping late is it's cool enough to bake at 4am in Saint Louis. I've been craving a good bacon and avacado sandwich, and the best thing to have that on is a fresh toasted english muffin.
Mis en place

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Then add in the butter and buttermilk. Knead by hand (if you're a traditionalist) or using the stand mixer (if you got it, use it!) until a soft, tacky but not sticky, dough forms (8 min in the mixer, 10-12 by hand). 

See that beautiful silky dough? Wanted to take a picture of the windowpane effect that shows the gluten development, but I'm lacking that elusive third hand. You'll just have to trust me. Let the dough rise for an hour or so until doubled.

After the first rise, portion the dough out equally, shape into boules and set on a bed of cornmeal (and sprinkle the tops with cornmeal for good measure). I didn't do such a good job keeping them the same size, but I didn't want to get crazy with the scale. Sometimes its just better to eyeball something. Cover and let rise again.

Nice second rise!

On to an electric griddle for 5 minutes a side. They will brown quickly, but it will take a while for them to burn. Don't be tempted to flatten them out, you'll loose all the beautiful crumb structure that the air pockets are forming.

Check it out, the flip side! After frying both sides, stick in the oven at 350 for about 8 minutes to make sure they have baked all the way through.  Yummmmmm!

Think I have to run to the store to get an avacado now....


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday's Truth

Happiness is a risk. If you're not scared a little, then you're not doing it right.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Charity Blocks

Here are my charity blocks for St Louis Modern Quilt Guild. Lots of fun to make and really easy!

Friday, July 1, 2011

My Guitars Silently Weep

I am broken hearted. I discovered yesterday (how much by accident I don't know) that my ex-husband did a mean and horrible, malicious thing to me. He gave away to unknown persons a quilt I had made him in happier days. True, I gave him the quilt in the divorce, but with the cavet that if he ever tired of it I wanted it back. It was a show piece, probably worth thousands, but priceless to me. I dyed all of the fabrics myself, bought special threads, designed each part, quilted each piece of fabric differently with tiny, intricate quilting. I spent weeks designing this quilt, which was a representation of his guitars (some of which I gave him).  I was apprehensive to give it to him and now I know why. I spent a sleepless night posting the loss on "LOST QUILTS", a website designed for helping quilters recover missing or stolen quilts (yes, I now consider this quilt stolen).  I also wrote to the contact person of one of the two quilt guilds in Joplin, Mo to request her guild's help. Apparently he gave every quilt I ever made him to the Tornado Relief Effort to get rid of them. I don't care about any of the other quilts. I donated several quilts to the Red Cross after the tornado. I would gladly donate a dozen more to get this one back. I know there is little chance I will ever see this quilt again. And it kills me.