Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wigelia Joy

I love wigelia bushes! They're so happy with their dancing little trumpets. We have several and they've begun to bloom in earnest. I just had to share.

This one is a purple wigelia: the foliage is a deep burgundy purple fading to green in the center as you can see below. The blooms are a dark pink. This bush grows under window of the home office; from the inside, those blooms are dancing on the window ledge.

This is a row of a different variety of wigelia. Their foliage is a brighter green and the blooms are a paler pink.

The fencing is a salvage propped against the side of the house behind the bushes. They look so cottagey cute and the wall is so suburban blank without them. It's not visible in today's pictures but we've hung a copper sun on the wall above the fencing. The scene makes me so happy when I pull into the driveway.

Hope your spring is lovely, too.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Feed My Soul

It seems like I've had this pair of pants on my sewing table for months. They're finally finished and I got to wear them to work yesterday! They're the Simplicity 4366 that I wrote of earlier. They're made from a navy blue microfiber I purchased on a mini-vacay to Land Between The Lakes. I've tried to photo them on, but I'm a poor self-photographer and my schedule is so wonky this week what little time I have with family is better spent without a camera. The fly treatment was new for me and I'm still undecided whether I like it or not. I had one of those lightbulb moments, and suddenly the hemming foot made sense to me and worked beautifully. I have a lovely blind hem for for the first time!

Sewing seems to have fallen very low on the priority list since October. I'm not sure how that happened but I sure need to change it--it gives me so much that "feeds" my spirit. I dearly love fabric & colors and sewing allows me to saturate myself in them. It's also a creative process matching the color scheme to fabric and pattern and determining the processes to be used in construction and whether or not add embelishment to the project. There's also the visible gratification when a problem, and there's always a problem, is successfully resolved. (I also have a "That was easy" button I can hit for a little verbal praise, too.) I enjoy learning and sewing involves so many skills there'll never be nothing left to learn. Best of all, I love that wonderful sense of accomplishment and pride when that project is finished. For there's always a 3 year child lurking in all of us that says "I made that!"

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What's For Dinner?

I'm really enjoying the quiet this morning. We're having one of those soft, soaking, spring rains that even the birds play in. Mr B's little herb garden is visibly growing it seems. Especially since he put up the little chicken wire fence to keep out the bunnies. Bad bunnies, nibbling on those baby herbs before we get to!

Last night was one of those quickie dinners that looks like Rachel Ray or Martha made. (I was so proud of it and basking in the compliments, I'll admit.) We had Pepperoni Grill Cheese sandwiches with Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms for Mr B and I and kids had Cucumbers in Sour Cream-Dill Dressing (they hate mushrooms).

Pepperoni Grill Cheese Sandwich
1 foccaccia bread (I use one from Walmart that comes with a pepperoni & cheddar topping, you could easily add that yourself)
Cheddar Cheese slices or Spread. (I found a super-yummy spread at Sam's Club 24oz for around $10 that family loves and actually goes pretty far.)
I simply slice the bread horizontally, spread on the cheese, re-top it, then slice it in half to fit on my Foreman grill. Grill it for about 5 minutes with a heavy object (canned good, flour bag) on top for the panini effect. Repeat for the other half. Feeds 4-5.

Mushrooms Stuffed with Tomatoes and Spinach
2 Portobello Mushrooms
1 large tomato, diced
1 cup free spinach, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, according to personal taste, minced
2 tsp dried basil (until our basil grows large enough to use)
3 tbsp parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse and pat mushrooms dry. Coat caps with olive oil using pastry brush. Place on baking sheet with caps down. Mix remaining ingredients in medium mixing bowl then fill the mushrooms with this "pesto". Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. You can also grill this outdoors and is wonderful.

As a side note for the thrifty cooks out there: This meal came in at around $7 total including kid's cucumber salad; feeding 4 of us and took about 20 minutes from start to finish.