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Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Still, really, no snow. Nothing really to write about. Although more than what there was in Portland Oregon. I know I should not complain. Snow complicates everything. Last week, one day, I did have to brush the snow off my car. That was nice. I drove the streets in this dusting of snow and this little car drove pretty good. I don't know if I have snow tires. They look like new Michelins according to George. Does this mean they are good in the snow? Should I get chains? I don't have a problem so far. Oh and I did drive in the dark the other day for the first time. It went well. Driving is getting better. Easier. I am less timid.

I should talk to George about the tires. I found out today that I have an assigned parking space behind this building I live in. So tomorrow, I will check that out. We have a parking ban here in the city. You have to park on even sides of the street on even days during the night hours and odd sides on odd days. Otherwise you get a ticket. It doesn't seem like they ticket much as there is a car out there that seems to be permanently parked in this one spot and it never has a ticket in the window. But I don't want to take a chance. Still, I like being able to look out my window and see the car. I worry about someone stealing it. It's not that I live in a ghetto. It is just a regular neighborhood. And I don't know why I worry about it at all. I just do. But having it in back of the house off the street will be good unless someone living here decides to do something to it. I worry for nothing. I think that's it. I worry for nothing. It is stupid. Residual emotions.

I may have found a job today. A lovely little cafe owned by an old friend of George and mine. It is not too far from where I live. "That Extra Touch Gourmet" cafe and catering. I would be working the front of the house. Customers. Nice little place. You can go to their website by typing in the name .com. It is small, well established, and somewhat busy. I will write more when things happen with them. Everyone, keep your fingers crossed, except when you are typing, or doing the dishes, or wiping your .... .

It should work out.

A demain

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fruit cake

I was just reading a cooking magazine and once again I was reminded that another Christmas has gone by and I have not seen a single fruit cake. What has happened to the fruit cake. Why has it fallen out of favor?

This lovely cake used to be on every shelf during the holidays. I would always buy them. They would last forever. I would cut slivers off as treats and savor each bite. And old friends knew me well enough that each year I would get sometimes five of them as presents.
And there was a couple of years, back in the early eighties, when I had this huge cupboard in the front hallway and I made fifteen loaves of this thick whisky cake filled with fruits that I even candied myself. Everyone thought I was nuts for going to that extreme but I didn't see anyone throwing the cakes out! And I made them in lovely shapes using some pretty fancy molds. At one time I had quite a collection of bundt cake molds. I miss those. There is nothing like a beautifully shaped fluffy cake.

Alas, I am afraid I will have to research recipes and look into making my own again. Quelle Domage (what a pity). Maybe I should revive the art and sell them.

Why have they fallen out of favor? Personally I think people took bites that were too big. This cake should be eaten delicately. If at a table setting, there should be a little slightly whipped, lightly sugared cream to the side. It has to be eaten a certain way. We have a tendency to just load our mouths full with everything. We eat too fast and pass judgement just as quickly without having really tasted every crumb. And fruit cakes have so much going on. They need a light touch. A delicate mouth.

I guess you have to decide if your mouth is capable of being delicate.....

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

No longer sailing

OK. So the pictures are not the best. I am not known for my fantastic photography. Not like my dear friend Jody who takes the most beautiful photos. She probably would have put a basket of vegetables and flowers on the hood or one of her beautiful quilts.

I was still at the dealership. And the weather was bad, and I have never taken a picture of a car before. I have never had to. But this one is a milestone for me.

Yes, this is my car. Did you read this? My car. Well, it belongs to my family really as they purchased it. But I get to take care of it and drive it. What is it?

It is a 1998 Ford Escort SE. It has 73,000miles, Michelin tires that look brand new that are filled with nitrogen (what?). It is front wheel drive. George says that is important. OK. It does not have a single ding outside nor dirt spot inside. It is a 4 cylinder motor so it is not meant for high speed. So no trips cross country in search of Elvis Presley. It has no noises. I feel totally safe in it. This is important because I will be driving my mother around in this car and heaven forbid something should happen while we are out. And she will be comfortable in the front seat. Some cars you sit in are not comfortable. They are too low, too hard. Some car seats I just don't like. This is a good one.

It is a simple car. When it came time to drive away we went to fill the gas tank. When I opened the door this thing kept beeping. Even when the door was closed it was beeping like it was going to blow up. George didn't know what it was about either. It stopped when I started up the car. So I drove back to the dealership and told them about it. Stupid.

It is amazing how far technology comes in a short period of time. The headlights were on. These you have to manually turn on and off. If you leave them on and take the keys out of the ignition, the beeping will tell you "Hey lady, don't forget me!!!" See, with George, his lights are automatic. They go on when he is driving, and off when he is not. I got used to that in a very short period of time. Everything is simple in this car. I rather like that. Simple, like my sewing machine.

So, I am no longer sailing. I am driving.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Bag

I bought this pattern back when I first arrived in New Hampshire, in July I think. It is Japanese. I know it is Japanese because when I researched her name, Etsuko Furuya, everything is in Japanese with a remote reference to Japan. But when I bought this pattern, I did not realize I was getting one that was completely written in Japanese, not English.

I have several books, I probably should say that I have maybe 20 or so books, that are all written in Japanese and Chinese, on different needle arts, stored away in boxes between Oregon and here in New Hampshire.

What I love about these books and patterns is the fact that their drawings are really comprehensive. And there are references to numbers which are typically in metrics so I can usually translate quite well. Of course, it helps to have a good knowledge of sewing and construction.

For months I have been looking at bags in stores. My bag is very big. I got it at Fabric Depot. It was a display model I made. It is big enough for a new mother to hold all the necessities for the baby. Big enough for a traveling quilter to hold her project, fabrics, rulers, a small cutting mat, tools, everything. Big enough for a knitter to hold her needles, books, yarns, project, tools. It is just a big bag. I loved it because I could carry to work all of my things, My lunch, my personal tools, things I wanted to give to people, books, anything I wanted to carry to and from work. Often I would bring projects home to work on because it was time-consuming hand work that was best done at home. So it was perfect for me. But here, Pretty much I just have my wallet and occasionally a small knitting project when I am going somewhere where I am sitting for a time with nothing to do. I never go anywhere with nothing to do with my hands.

I bought this beautiful decorator weight toile at Fabric Fix, this wonderful little store that sells fabric for ridiculously low prices because they get them from back rooms in NY and what you see is what there is and there are no repeats. So I think I paid three dollars a yard. I got two yards of this one. That is all they had. I fused to the back of this a medium weight canvas. This gave the fabric a great sturdy weight that is almost leather-like and will give it a life span of probably ten to fifteen years. I do the same thing with my kimono silks in order to give the silk a good hand for this same use but on a smaller scale. I found that fusing canvas to a fabric rather than an iron-on interfacing really changes the hand and it doesn't collapse like an interfacing does, even the stiffest interfacing. When I passed this concept on to customers at Fabric Depot in Oregon, always they would ask if they should fuse the canvas to the lining instead of the outer fabric. I could never figure out why that was an issue. If you were making a leather bag, would you put the leather inside and the lining outside the bag? So I would explain the mechanics. Still, I could see the hesitancy. It's OK. To me, it is the difference between and $300 bag and a $35 dollar bag.

I love toile. I love choosing the scenes. You can see the baker bringing out what looks like a gateau, a cake of some sort. I say that it must be a cake because the couple is dancing and so there must be a celebration. There are never any accounts of what the stories are behind the scenery. Sometimes they don't make any sense. There is supposed to be some velcro to keep the flap closed but I really loathe the stuff so I have no closure right now. I am yet to decide what I will do.

When the bag was done, I measured out two layers of cardboard and made a sleeve for these which I inserted into the bottom of the bag. I love a good solid bottom. For my own personal taste, I never did like sagging bags. And although you could barely see it in the directions, the designer did put in bias binding. I had some left from the apron I made for my niece at Christmas which was just the right color, I think.

So, voila! A new bag.

It is a beautiful bag, is it not?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Shoot Me

I was at Mom and Linda's house today. Suzanne picked me up. We were going out for lunch, the four of us. Suz and I were making Mom's bed and we came across the things she wears on her head at night when she sleeps to keep her hair in order. A hair net. That's what it is called. I put this one on and had Suz take a picture. Now if anyone, anyone, sees me wearing one of these when I get old, please I beg you........... shoot me.