Archive for September, 2009

In the Soup Pot Today

Wednesday is a good work day for me.  It isn’t a swim day and JP leaves at 7:25 a.m. so the morning is really quiet.

Today I worked on Chloe’s Virus Killing Soup.   Chloe (her pseudonym) is a friend from the Sonlight forums.  She is famous for being wise & sweet as well as for her famous soup.

The house smells divine!  If I had a smell-o-vision-blog, you could enjoy it.  But since I don’t, I’ll let you make it yourself.

Virus killing soup…

One chicken
Appx 15-30 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 Tbs salt
3-4 Thyme sprigs
Cayenne pepper (to taste. I use about a tsp)
Fresh Rosemary sprigs
Fresh ground pepper

Place chicken and other ingredients in a soup pot (I use my pressure cooker) and cover with water or chicken broth (I really like those boxes of organic chicken broth). Cook on stove top until chicken starts to fall apart. Remove from heat. Strain out chicken and stuff and set aside until cool enough to chop. Reserve broth for next step.

1 large onion (coarsely chopped or sliced)
1 fennel bulb (sliced thin)
1 leek (sliced thin)
4-6 stalks of celery (coarse chopped)
large red pepper (coarse chopped)
1/2 lb. carrots (coarse chopped)

2 tbs olive oil
1/2 C good White Wine
salt and pepper

Place oil in bottom of large pot and heat. Add onion, fennel, celery, pepper and leek and saute until onion just transparent. Add wine and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Cover the vegetables with chicken broth from chicken–add more broth from can or box if you don’t have enough broth from chicken and simmer veggies until just tender.

Frozen green beans
Frozen peas
flat leaf parsely (chopped)
1-2 cans chopped tomatoes with juice
salt and pepper to taste

Add these above ingredients and simmer until everything is tender. Add chopped chicken, salt and pepper to taste.

No virus can withstand this soup.

You can also add cabbage with the end ingredients if you like (I do!), or any other veggies your family likes. Sometimes I’ll throw in whatever is in my veggie bin in addition to the above.

The next day add egg noodles and turn it into chicken noodle soup.


Because I am using my own chicken broth (as well as some water) to get this going, this will be safe for me on the HG diet.  Yeah!  And most of this will head to the freezer for the next time a bug tries to invade our house.

Especially if I am the one that is sick, it is very hard to have easy but safe for me foods.  (Soups in a can have starches and/or sugars. 😦  )

My version today is fennel-less and I don’t know how much that will affect the virus killing tendencies.  But I was so excited I had the herbs — fresh — in my herb garden just beside the deck.  🙂  Makes me feel smug!!  We like garlic here so I used the 30 cloves – 2 heads.  🙂

I also don’t have a “good wine” and would have to have someone point one out to me specifically while in the store so it is missing that 1/2 cup. 🙂

Stage 2 is still simmering at this point.

Meanwhile, I made dinner (grilled pork chops & zucchini ribbons), baked bread (enjoying the first piece now 🙂 ), quilted a bit (nearly done quilting the 08 BOM), sold $36 worth of soap to the 2 nice ladies at the door, forgot to get JP out the door for a haircut, and got Nina to eat & drink twice.   (Somehow she managed to find the umpf and found me downstairs in my sewing room.  She is zonked out there now.)

Next I am going to go over our small group study for tonight.  It is just for a few weeks and started last week.  However, the leader’s granddaughter’s birthday is tonight so I’m leading.  I hope they are fine with the leader not having all the answers.  🙂

I hope you make some soup & stay healthy this fall & winter!  🙂

~~~~Edited to add:

The soup is quite yummy!!! Phil & I had a bowl for supper that night.  It is chocked full of veggies.  It wasn’t strong or too spicy at all.

I boxed up the rest for the freezer but I’m thinking if I start eating that before we are sick, I’ll just make another pot full.  It is a super veggie-filled soup.   And carb-free w/o the noodles.  🙂

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Frisbee Fun

A great afternoon routine this summer has been frisbee time for Nina & JP.   We have had this huge frisbee for several years and it is Nina’s favorite!


Obviously, Nina is a bit hard on it.  Now I have to try to find a new one.


She just loves this!



She catches it nearly every time.  Sometimes by the inner opening and sometimes by the outer edge.  However, she doesn’t take it back to JP very often.   Mostly, he has to trick her and give her a good tackle!



No frisbee play today.  Nina went to the vet this a.m. for her “Bob Barker treatment”.   The men returned before noon to bring her home.   She is sleeping away the afternoon in the hallway on a flannel sheet.

JP had to go out and work with Phil.  I heard a thump and I think she tried to go out with him.  She is now turned around.  I petted her and laid her head back down and soon she was sound asleep.

I want to get to swim soon but think I’ll wait until JP returns.

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Radish Update

We finally had some sunshine yesterday so Phil & I went to check his radishes.

Nina went with us – she loves rides!  First we stopped to feed the gilts at his dad’s barn and Nina was tired of waiting for Phil to get back in the truck.


radishes Sept g

Phil drilled these into a (previous) wheat field in August.  He had hauled manure on this field and the radishes are great at finding that nitrogen and holding it for next season’s crop.  (So we’ve been told.)

After only going 8 days w/o rain once all year, soon after he planted these radishes, we entered a 3 week stretch without rain.  Personally, most of us were thrilled!  Maybe the radishes weren’t so thrilled and were thirsty.

radishes Sept a

Not sure if just missing rain but they are VERY green and bushy in the rows where the manure is incorporated.

radishes Sept b

See how tall the radishes are against Phil’s boot?

radishes Sept c

He tried to dig one up but couldn’t w/o a shovel or fork.  Next time!

radishes Sept eWishing the radishes had grown well everywhere and snuffed out some horse tail weed.  :\

clover sept 27

When he ran out of radish seed, he finished up the area with clover.  At this point he is pleased with its growth.

JP Sept 27

Coming to see us is a good ride for JP.  😉  (He isn’t legal for the real roads yet.)

JP Sept 27 b

Sept 27 checking beans

These are some early soybeans that Phil thinks would need a bit more time but will be ready the soonest.

Sept 27 checking beans 2

And so the fall farmer ritual…. of trying the beans…. a bite tells you if they are still too chewy or ready to combine.

This answer…. they need a LOT more time!  :\

radishes Sept f

He also put radishes along the corn plot where he had wheat.  A few of the companies have put up their signs for each variety.

The farmer’s almanac forecasts 2 light snows in October and a harvest-ending snow by Thanksgiving.   Praying for some more good drying days!  We have a long way to go and haven’t started yet!  (Last year they finished within hours of the big snow.)

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Super Meet-up SL-style

I was up bright & early on Tuesday morning and for good reason!  I was joining with some friends I’d met before and some I’ve only known online for a meet-up!  We all have the connection of homeschooling our kids with Sonlight curriculum.  (Well, except that I’m retired but they still let me come!)  The forums that Sonlight provides are such a great sense of community.   It is a treat to be able to join a meet-up.  🙂

I packed my lunch and headed out at 7 a.m. in the rain & fog.  I stopped for a gas fill-up and continued on.  I hit pouring rain where I slowed to 50 mph and had the wipers on super-fast.  Ugh!!

I arrived at Sheila’s a bit after 8 a.m. and we continued on with Sheila and her dd, newly minted 9 y/o!  🙂

With great map reading by Sheila, we arrived at Naper Settlement about 9:30.  Yeah!  Sure not much traffic at that hour.  🙂

DSCF4766(I couldn’t resist this picture!  Moms enjoying getting to know each other.  Children not so thrilled!)

After a few minutes the rest of our crew arrived.  Sarah + 5 from Naperville, Leslie + 4 from CA, Judy + son from the burbs, Becca + 3 daughters from IN, Sheila + daughter, and me.  Fun!  Fun!  Fun!

DSCF4773The Moms

L-R: Sarah, Me, Judy, Leslie, Sheila, Becca

kids bestThe 14 kids – aren’t they so cute!

The Naper Settlement was really quite nice midst the drizzle that we had occasionally.  The workers were great at explaining their area and answered wonderful questions from any of us.


We went in the blacksmith’s shop where he made an iron hook, the print shop, the lawyer’s home, the post office, and a log cabin.  Then the kids loved playing on the covered wagon and at the fort.



We thought we’d aim for the schoolhouse 😉 but instead went in the meeting house.  Great!  There were lots of activities and toys for the kids while the moms all pulled up a child-sized chair or the step and sat to visit!!  🙂


It was fun watching the children role play and enjoy the dress-up clothes.


Sarah had taken her 2 youngest home earlier so after telling Judy & Becca good-bye, Leslie, Sheila, & I went to Sarah’s for lunch and more time to visit.

best kids 2

Sheila & I headed back home about 4.  The traffic wasn’t as bad as I expected until we came upon the back-up on the toll road because of an accident.  We traveled 3 miles in about 30 minutes.  All the while, Miss E in the backseat was wonderful!

I got them home at 6 and arrived at my house just after 7 p.m.

A 12 hour day!  🙂  It was fun but I was sure tired!!

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Quilt Guild Sept

Soon after our potluck Monday evening, our speaker arrived to set-up for the program.  Our members love to shop so it was great that Tammy Tadd brought lots of goodies from her store to sell.

Tammy & her very funny assistant gave us a trunk show of her patterns & quilts from the shop.

sept 3Tammy on the left while her helper & a lady from guild (r) help hold this Lifesaver inspired quilt.

sept 4

I like these young child/baby quilts!  I usually don’t do appliqué but really think these are darling!  I need another great niece or nephew, don’t you think?  🙂

sept 5

sept 6

LOVE THIS!!  And those dots!!  Tammy explained that the dots are a piece of fabric.  If you cut strips one direction, the dots are multi-colored and were used in the outside border.  When the strips are cut the other direction, the dots are from one color family, used around the blocks.

I would love to use fabric like that!  However, it is out of print in fabricland.  😦  It even came in dots on black fabric!!

sept 7

Three quilts – all from the same pattern.  What variety!   Cute & fast piecing.

sept 8

I know this is out of focus but the pattern design is great.  I’m not too keen on the green border this time but loved all the movement in the block piecing.

It is such a treat that we have her in the area.  This fall she is featured in the Top 10 Quilt Shops magazine!  I wish I could have gone for their party.  It sounds like they can really put on a party.  I would have been so tempted with all their yummy food.

They filled 2 “church” tables with things from their shop.  I barely got to pass-by and say a quick Hi as I had my own busyness to attend to with guild responsibilities.  Others kept them busy with shopping before & after the program.  They said we were very organized.  🙂  Thanks!!  I’ll take that one personally! 😉   And share a bit with my board & show committee.  (Of course, I take low attendance personally too!)

I really need to pay a visit to her shop!   I will have to not be so busy the next time K arrives by train and plan some time at the quilt shop near there.

We had a good crowd for the program.  Along with better member attendance, we had 17 guests.  Yeah!   Plans are finalizing for the quilt show, October 17.   And I need to get a few quilts finished that I want to show!  🙂

I got home at 9:15 p.m. Gone for 11 hrs 45 mins.  I quickly loaded the dishwasher, checked my email, and got to bed.  Tuesday was so close….

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Quilt Guild Workshops

Monday was quilt guild and besides the meeting in the evening we had 2 workshops as well.  Before I tell you about the meeting, here is my review of the workshops.

I was there by 9:45 a.m. to open the church, it was posted for 10 but you know how those guild ladies are… early!  🙂

I had packed SO much for the 12 hours I’d be gone!!  Thankfully, there is a drive going right up to a door.  Then 15 feet inside the door is an elevator to the basement! Just wonderful for quilt guild.

Bunny was unloading while I was unloading, so I put some of her things on the elevator with mine.  I saved room for my feet!

Sept elevator full

Class started at 10:30 and I had a sheet for sign-in and to pay for the workshops.   We had about 11 and 2 teachers; not the 23 she told me would be there.  (She counted each page but that was counting each one twice since nearly all of us signed up for both workshops.)

First we started on our fabric covered boxes because they needed time to dry before the final assembly.

sept 1(Here near the front of the table closest to you you can see Susan’s box pieces drying with the clothes pins. )

Thankfully we got that done by noon as we were quite hungry by then!  😉  We had only worked shy of 2 hours but breakfast was long before that… for those of us that did that healthy start to our day!

sept 2

In the afternoon, we worked on our woven baskets.  These hold a large glad leftover container so using them for food or crumbly items would be fine.  🙂

To keep the handle stiff, we inserted that strapping that sometimes comes around a box that is shipped to you.  Or you can asked at Menards for the pile on the floor when they are unpacking!


My handle needs some fiddling as  it is droopy.  I think the strapping was cut too short or the handle cut too long!  🙂


I found this idea for the top of my box in a magazine by Somerset Studios.  Love their stuff!


We finished the workshops 4:00 – 4:30 and packed up all our equipment.  Some took walks outside as well.  We had a group potluck at 5:30 and some that weren’t there for the workshops joined us for supper.

Next post will be about our program!

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This week is so very busy!!

I spent Sunday working on getting ready for Monday & Tuesday!

Monday is quilt guild.  But we have 2 all-day workshops (I will be the first one there to unlock the doors) so I got my fabrics all chosen & precut on Sunday.  Then packed up my sewing machine and tools.

On these workshops days we take our own sack lunch so I grilled extra chicken at  Sunday lunch for me on Monday.

Plus I have a meal for the crock pot to share for the potluck supper.

Then I have my president’s stuff for the meeting and wrote out the agenda on Sunday too.

I also have the VP’s stuff that I forgot to take in August when she wasn’t there.

Plus the secretary has resigned so I have new member folders from the secretary to distribute.

Another member can’t be there so her husband brought a bag over the other day for me to take.

I have my 4 embroidered clutches to take so they can be ready for the quilt show next month.  (I finished these 2 the other day.)

emb clutches

It will be a very long day… hoping the fun outweighs the responsibilities!!

Tuesday I’ll meet a new friend and we’ll go together to a Sonlight Meet-up with lots of us in a Chicago suburb.   Another packed lunch  😦  and a long day.

Wednesday you’ll find me napping but then I get to end the day with a ladies small group so I’m excited for that! 🙂

Here is another picture – another month of New York Beauty blocks were finished sometime before the cold hit me!  😉

june block

The 4 quarters won’t be joined — I just arranged them like this for the picture.

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