A few months back I completed my very first attempt at making a quilt. I bought a pattern and some fat quarters and set to work...probably close to a year ago. The pattern I made was for a small lap quilt and involved simple squares and rectangles, and yet, after I cut the squares out, they languished for months waiting to be stitched together and become a quilt. This is what my final product looked like:
It isn't the fanciest or most complicated thing in the world, but it is mine. (And it is pretty sturdy!) It's really more of a toddler quilt size if you ask me (but then again, I like a full sized blanket for covering up on the couch), and I plan to make one for my little cousin for her second birthday. I would also like to make one that is four times this size for use on a bed, but, sadly, I think most of my bigger projects will have to wait for after the bar exam in July.
Jay and I have two adorable dogs, the nearly 12 year old Bailey (aka Buddy Boy) and the four and half year old Edie (aka Beadie and Beans and all sorts of other names). Bailey had a very rough 2009 (as did a lot of us in my family). He got an eye infection in August that wouldn't heal and had to have a corneal graft done on Labor Day because his eye was perforating. I thank God for Dr. Anne England at Vestridge Animal Clinic for recognizing the problem and getting him to the beautiful Dr. Jana Korsch at Veterinary Eye Care in Bessemer, who spoke sweetly to him and managed to save his eye. Then, two horrible days before Christmas, he was attacked by a much bigger dog while playing outside and required a week-long stay at the vet school in Auburn and a bunch of stitches. If he hadn't been wearing a Santa suit with a big fuzzy hood, he probably would have died. (No joke.) He's always been finicky about eating; he doesn't like it when his collar hits the plate, so he only eats around the edge and then 'grrs' until someone rotates the plate. Same thing when the water bowl gets around half empty. The past year or so he's taken to waking me up in the middle of night to be put on the bed because he can't jump up on it anymore. Needless to say, he's a pretty needy little dog.
We recently did away with our bed frame and put our boxspring and mattress in the floor so that our aging Buddy Boy could jump on the bed without assistance and jump off without injuring himself (he's missing a disc in his back, and we'll do whatever we have to to make sure that back stays uninjured). He's a very happy boy now and can easily get on the bed to do that adorable rooting around in the covers thing that he loves. (He did it again for me today at lunch because he loves me and wants me to be happy.)
And yet I miss his little whine at 3 a.m. every morning when he would want on the bed. He needed me, and he knew that I would unfailingly and without complaint (and often with a giggle) pick him up and snuggle him next to my side. I miss knowing that his inevitable collar shake would turn into an inevitable series of snorts which would turn into an inevitable series of 'grrs' and then an inevitable whiny bark. We were a team, and even though Jay is truly his 'person', it was always me that he came to when he needed a lift. I truly miss this neurotic bedtime ritual, but I know it's for the best, especially since I need sleep and he needs a happy spine. All of this just goes to show you (and me) that, as needy as this crazy little dog is, I still need him far more than he will ever need me.
My sweet Bailey on the beloved Green Blanket. All the dogs love this thing.
Jay and Bailey Christmas 2008. This was the Santa suit that saved him; it has a lot of tiny holes in it now where the Enemy Dog's teeth barely made it through. Dog clothes don't seem as ridiculous when they save your dog's life.
Very little fun has happened around the Courtney household over the past view days. Jay has a big test in his machinery class, and I've got to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination on Saturday, so, needless to say, we've actually been studying. I've also been walking nearly three miles per day with a friend of mine, so even my 'fun' time that I've been using for sewing projects has been taken up with work this week. The blocks for my quilted sewing machine cover are still lying on the kitchen table, just waiting to be paired up with some batting and stitched. They'll just have to wait a little longer.
However, cooking is still a great pleasure of mine, and since we have to eat, some tasty bites did happen this weekend. I made my dear friend Melony's famous enchiladas for a party Friday, cooked chicken on a bed of carrots, onions, and celery Saturday, and made pear-raspberry pies with butter that I MADE MYSELF (thanks to http://www.rostitchery.com/2009/06/attention-internet-i-made-butter.html !) and Jay's grandmother's ('Grandma') Green Rice on Sunday. And there are plenty of leftovers so that we have lunch this week, which is far better than spending $10 a day on lunch or buying fast food. Anyway, here is the Green Rice recipe for any who want it. I nearly swooned when Grandma opened up her little recipe box, plucked out the card, and let me copy it. Enjoy!
1 package frozen spinach thawed (I used a big bag a fresh spinach, chopped off the stems, and cooked it down)
2 small cans cream of mushroom soup (you can use cream of chicken or any other kind that you prefer)
2 small cans mushrooms
1 onion, diced
1 small can evaporated milk
2/3 cup vegetable oil
4 cups cooked rice
1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Put the spinach, eggs, evaporated milk, and vegetable oil in a blender/food processor. Blend until it looks green. Mix rice, soup, mushrooms, onion, and cheese in a separate bowl and then add the blended ingredients. Butter one large or two medium sized casseroles and pour the mixture into it. Bake at 350 for one hour.
I'm not crazy about spinach, especially cooked spinach, and this is a great way to get picky eaters (like I am) to eat it. Enjoy!