30 January, 2024

Day Brightener!

Look at what I received this morning; isn't it just the best?!! It was created for me by our DIL and Lynnleigh, I couldn't love it more! Our DIL got a sublimation printer for Christmas. You can click on the hyper link for more info, this was all new to me; I'm so VERY excited about the result!
I'm including a day brightener for you, too; a dear friend texted this to me yesterday. It hits close to home. 
Are you smiling? 
Life is Good!

29 January, 2024

Reflections on January

I don't know where this month has gone. It's been filled with activity, not the least of which is keeping up with breadmaking from two different sourdough starters! What have I gotten myself into? Loaves are being gifted continually. I've branched out into English muffins, cinnamon buns and multi-grain breads too.
Without a lot of words or explanation I'm going to catch up with a post  resembling a photo journal; a look back at this month and what's been finished, what I'm working on and what's been started (there's always something new). 
Driving Age has become a full-fledged flimsy...
...borders have been added...
...quilts have been quilted...
...bulbs have bloomed...
...new starts have made it to the design wall...
...someone has turned ELEVEN, we made our annual pilgrimage to the AG store... 
...sacred stitches have been sewn...
...new recipes have been tried (Pear Pie using Bosc pears)...
...and new perches have been explored!
It's been a snow-less January here, that's not a complaint; we've had some serious cold weather that, hopefully, helps to keep the bug population down come spring. Thank you to those friends who've reached out to check on me in light of my sparse blog posts; I'm  here, all is well... 
 Life is GOOD
💗

10 January, 2024

Driving Age

So, I pulled these four-patch posies out of the stash closet the other day, they'd aged well. These are all fussy cut and reassembled from the same large scale print. Turning to the laptop and EQ8 I was able to draw up a setting for them that, hopefully will show off each block's individual beauty. It's about time. I seriously couldn't remember how long they'd been languishing until I searched old blog posts and found this.  Imagine that, if UFO's could drive, this one would already have its own license! Stay tuned for a finish.

Life is Good!

08 January, 2024

What's New?

What's new, besides the year?! I've been busy with new things, breadmaking for one. Loaves abound! As I posted before, I am baking rustic, sourdough loaves from a wild starter on a weekly basis now. Mr. G. was eager to resurrect another sourdough starter, similar to one that I had used back when our children were small. It is fed with sugar and instant mashed potato flakes and produces sweeter, more conventional loaves for slicing. I was able to get that one going too. 
Since there are just the two of us here, and we can't possibly eat this much bread; we've been gifting loaves to family, friends and neighbors and will probably continue to do so as long as I keep up the process! Another new thing, to me, is making pancake batter from the discarded starter. 
It all begins with an overnight "sponge" (above); the sponge is made with the starter, flour, sugar and buttermilk and sits out on the countertop, covered, until morning. When it's time for breakfast eggs are added, along with oil, salt and baking soda; the result is an airy, foaming, fluffy batter.
The sourdough "sponge" batter produces the lightest pancakes that I've ever made, or tasted!
Saturday of last week was spent putting Christmas decorations away for another year. Mr. G and I were able to accomplish that task together in record time this year.  Inspired by Janet O., The Rogue Quilter, I snapped some pictures of our various nativities that I've had on display. They are all from different countries and, except for the carved wooden set with the stable which we bought when we lived in Switzerland, they have been treasured gifts received throughout the years. It's always sad for me to pack them up and store them away.
A few poinsettias remain (Augie says "hi"!) as a reminder of Christmas-all-too-soon-gone, but that's about it. I've never successfully had any luck in saving them for reblooming the following year but that doesn't mean that I don't try. 😉  We'll see if this year's any different. 

That's about all that's new, for now, from around here. 
How about with you, what's new?
Life is Good!

26 December, 2023

Christmas!

Another Christmas has come and gone; as always, I was almost ready. Are we ever completely prepared? Naturally, all of the gifts were purchased and wrapped, cards addressed and sent, and the food was ready at the appointed time and place. But, then, there's always those "extras", those things I think I'd like to make and tuck in as a special surprise- those little cross stitch ornaments I admired last July and had every intention of completing. The cute little Christmas quilt blocks that I decided would make such adorable pillows to give my friends. The precious quilted zipper bags for holding treasures. Some more mini-Chrismons for our home tree. The list goes on... did I make any of them? No. Where did all those days and weeks go? What did I do with my time? Sigh. I don't know. So, I tell myself the same thing that I always do:  There's always next year! 
I did get  our annual BIG batch of Almond cookies baked in time for holiday desserts (and snacking).
Gingerbread men (and ladies) were baked and decorated, as well as Sourdough Rustic loaves. 
I was able to keep up with my traditional favorite Christmas movies while I was in the kitchen baking. 

Our children and oldest grands, from the Capital City, spent Christmas Eve afternoon with us. I'm officially the shortest of the whole bunch now. Lucy Ann reminded me that I'm still taller than Augie!  
Christmas day was spent with our son and his family, the youngest grands. Lynnleigh is still captivated by American Girl dolls. Lila, her newest "child" is ready for gymnastics and received her own dog too. 
Gregory is quite skilled on the golf course. Video golf will keep him in good form during the winter. 
Today has been spent cleaning up, breaking down cardboard boxes and making more Rustic Sourdough loaves. These last two turned out very well. Mr. G. bought me sourdough starter and a crock from King Arthur for an early Christmas gift; I have wanted to get back into bread making for some time and this is a great way to begin! I'm really enjoying the process. So, another Christmas has come and gone and here we are again. During this "in between" week I hope to accomplish a few of those aforementioned little "extras" before we launch into the New Year... time will tell. Where, oh where, to begin?!

 Wishing you and yours a blessed week
filled with joy and gratitude and all 
the best in the New Year to come!

Life is Good!

16 December, 2023

Something Fishy...

I've been creating a few small Chrismons for our home tree. This one, the Beaded Fish, is symbolic of the action used by the Persecuted Believers to secretly designate themselves as followers of Christ. The initials (IXOYC) for Jesus Christ is the Greek word for fish.  It's a precious little addition to our tree. 
Do you have a kitchen tool like this? It's a fish spatula. It's a fairly new addition to our implement drawer; I use it ALL THE TIME. It's thin, flexible yet sturdy, and extremely versatile; from removing cookies off a cookie sheet, flipping pork chops in the pan, to carefully lifting (and draining at the same time) a poached egg from simmering water for placement directly onto a piece of buttered toast. I can't believe I've ever done without one!

Life is Good!



12 December, 2023

Trees!

The trees are up at Chez Goodneedle; not without a few headaches along the way. Lights can be a temperamental thing, even on a pre-lit tree. There's never a mention of tempers flaring and patience sorely being tested by uncooperative lights on any Hallmark movie where the tree springs instantly into brilliant life all while singing carols and sipping hot chocolate; nope, as for us we're going with 'the trees are up'. 
Speaking of temperamental- do you think that we could get this rascal to look anywhere in the direction of the camera for his Christmas picture this year? I think he was embarrassed by the scarf! 
The Chrismon tree is up in its customary place in the foyer. I had intended to make some more small beaded Chrismons this year to add to this tree but time hasn't allowed for that yet. Take a look at the stairs behind the tree, they lead to our finished attic space. Augie's favorite new self-taught game is to drop a ball from the top step to whoever will wait on the landing below; the catcher's job is to pitch it up and over his head for retrieval. This activity can go on for at least thirty minutes, or until one of the players gets too tired! Watch below:
So... last night, while playing like this, the ball slipped through one of the balusters and, unknown to me,  got caught in one of the branches in the back of the Chrismon tree. It was totally hidden.  I was on my hands and knees searching everywhere that I thought it could have rolled while Augie just sat, on the steps, barking at the tree! He knew where it was! 
Here's the family room tree again, from another angle. Gifts can't reside beneath the tree without being carried off and/or torn into; he thinks everything is his.🐾 Enough said. 
More trees. After years, and years, and years... of trying to keep evergreens alive at the front door we've resorted to this variety. They are derived from the hardiest strain of plastique,  require no water, fertilizer, or attention at all; and they came in a box from Amazon! 😉

Life is Good!