It's spring in Texas and I'm taking full advantage of it because it won't last long.  We worked in the yard both mornings until we couldn't anymore.  I got almost all the dead stuff out of the garden and it's bagged up and on the street.  I also started the composter again with leaves and food scraps and started moving plants out of the greenhouses and gave everything a really good watering.  I've trimmed off any growth that died over winter and it's all looking great!  So far, the only thing I've lost is a little cactus that was too close to the roof in the greenhouse and froze.  At least that's what I think happened to it...  Either way, it didn't make it and everybody else did, so I must have done something right.

I got a little overambitious on Saturday, cutting things back, raking out dead leaves, and yesterday, it was time to bundle and get it ready for the street.  I'm all about making a mess and worrying about the cleanup later.  I did the same thing in the kitchen yesterday, too.

Yesterday afternoon, I baked bread and made a cake.  We enjoy our fresh baked goods.  The recipe made two loaves of bread, so I'll freeze one for next week.  We love home baked bread with our dinner and I'll slice off a couple slices, wrap them in foil and put them in the oven with whatever I'm cooking and it's like it just came out of the oven.  The cake is orange flavored and I found the recipe in a vintage cookbook.  It was supposed to be baked in a 9" tube, but that's too much cake for us, so I put it in a 6" tube and two 6" layers and still had enough for a 6" bundt pan.  I kept the bundt out and we will eat it first, then I'll pull out one of the others and frost it with a different frosting or a drizzle and it will be like a different cake.  

The bread is French bread.  I didn't realize that the first couple of times I made it, but last Sunday, I baked Julia Child's recipe for French bread and realized that the new recipe is just a much (MUCH!) easier version of that.  The kitchenaid does most of the work and you don't build a firm gluten cloak for the crust so it isn't as tough, but that's fine.  Julia's recipe ended up making a great crust, but there was a large air bubble in both loaves, just under the crust and the easy version doesn't end up that way.  And, Julia's recipe took all day. and had multiple long rises.  The new recipe took 3 hours with two shorter rises.  

Saturday, I left the lights on in the greenhouse and looked out after dark.  It looked so nice that I had to take a picture.

I've been inspired to make a shirt for Rob.  He asked for more room in the shoulder and sleeve for this one, more like the cut of a Hawaiian shirt than a fitted shirt.  I needed to muslin that and it took a couple tries, but I think I've got it.  He tried on several shirts that he likes the fit of, and I noticed where he pulled at them and I gave him extra size in all those spots.  I've started taking it apart so I can trace the new pattern pieces and get started.  The muslin will go in the bag with his pattern so the next time I need to make an adjustment, I'll have a muslin already started.  

I saw this and it really spoke to me.  Thought I'd share it.  

Everybody have a great week!  My office has moved to a new location and I need to go in this morning to take a tour.  They want it to be an all day event, with lunch and a walk around the walking trails, but who got time for that?  I'll be there long enough for teacher to take roll call, then I'm headed back home to the peace and quiet where I can actually get some work done.  

Be well!  Lane


A busy couple of weeks

Being without glasses is weird.  I've worn glasses since the 80s.  I need a pair of readers for really small print, but otherwise, I'm getting used to seeing myself in the mirror without glasses.  I had a birthday last week and I can see all those years laid out around my eyes.  At least my creases and wrinkles are from smiling and laughing and not from brooding.  I'll need glasses again at some point, but I'm going to enjoy this time of clear sight as long as it lasts.  

Over the two weeks, I spent a lot of time knitting and cooking.  I made this scarf out of a really chunky yarn and huge needles.  It was easy to see, even during that week when my eyes were out of sync and I couldn't see much.  

I made beef bourguignon.  About the most I ever try to do is feed Rob leftovers once, but when he saw the leftovers after that, he asked for it again.  I made half a recipe that was supposed to feed 4-6 and we ate 6 meals from it with some boiled potatoes.  I needed the potatoes to cut down on the richness.  If the potatoes had been cooked in the wine with the meat and carrots, I think it would have been too much.  This way, it was perfect!

I also made myself a delicious birthday cake; strawberry with 7 minute frosting.  Does anybody else ever make 7 minute frosting anymore?  It's the perfect accompaniment to a flavorful cake.  It's like frosting it with marshmallow or something.

It wasn't all good stuff tho.  We lost our old cat.  Sugarfoot was almost 20 and it was his time.  
Here he is, torturing Mable with a bath.  Don't let this pic fool you.  They were big time rivals for Rob's attention.

Work is good, but I wish I'd taken more time off.  I have the time and I had an excuse and I should have used it.  Instead, I rushed back to work and gave myself a couple of headaches the week between the surgeries and I should have given myself more time.  But, I guess that's more time I can take off in the spring, when I really want to be outside.  

Everybody have a great week!  Couple of gifs that I thought were fun.



As seen in real life

Both  cataract surgeries are over.  All went well and I"m in that stage where I'm doing drops all day.  First surprise was color.  Blue is sooooo blue and white is very, very bright.  As a quilter, that's going to help!  

Working last week was as challenging as I expected.  Sometimes I had one eye closed or covered and sometimes, I had the other.  I probably wasn't very productive, but I was able to get some stuff done.  

Today, my eyes are working in tandem again and I can see/read everything but small print on computer and phone screens and I have a pair of readers that I'll use until I'm fully healed for the that.  After that, I'm supposed to be slightly nearsighted.  We will see.  

Everybody said cataract surgery was no big deal.  And, they were right.  It's not how I'd choose to spend a Sunday afternoon, but as medical procedures go, it wasn't bad.  Oh, and I've finally learned to put in eye drops, which I've always been terrible at.

Everybody have a great week!