Author Archives: Mary

Dietary changes

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Dietary changes

I don’t eat at typical meal times so whether you call this breakfast, lunch, or snack – it’s a quick bite and all allowed on the low FODMAP diet. The crackers are gluten free, the egg fixed in the Instant Pot the other night along with several others so they’re ready in the fridge when I want to grab something to eat. 

I won’t continue to bore you much longer with the low FODMAP stuff but right now I’m spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to accommodate it in my life. I can tell you I won’t be following it strictly but I’ve learned that I can eliminate a lot of problem foods without too much pain …. others will be more challenging!

I’m tired!

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on I’m tired!

I’m still feeling the effects of the last couple weeks … stress makes me tired!

I spent time today helping clean up the common area – lots of down branches and palm fronds. The city will pick up debris but we have to get it to the curb. 

Finn was also groomed today and since they come to the house I spent that time in the sewing room.  I had the strips paired up for my spools blocks and that was the easiest thing to work on. I’m procrastinating on assembling the schoolhouses and actually have some more nine patch cornerstones still to piece too but it’s not coming off the design wall until it’s a finished top!

I also spent some time knitting and listening to a new audiobook – a biography on Sally Ride. I’ve found I’ve learned to like audiobooks but just when I’m knitting and they need to be history or biography. I tried a mystery a few weeks ago but didn’t last 10 minutes…. and mysteries are my favorite books to read. Funny how that works! I think it’s because I listened to the History channel for so many years when I was binding or knitting when I sat down with Keith in the evenings. 

Yes, this is a quilting blog

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Yes, this is a quilting blog

Since I haven’t sewn in two weeks how about I share some vintage inspiration with you I found on eBay. I’m constantly looking for quilting ideas – some of which I manage to use, others never make it into one of my quilts but maybe you’ve been inspired by something I’ve shared here. 

I recently finished my Grandmother’s Fan quilt – I have the Accuquilt GO Dresden Plate die and I’ve just made this one quilt and cut this one of Mom’s from that die. I’d love to make a Dresden Plate and this vintage one appeals to me in spite of the fact that I’m taking FOREVER to do similar sashing on the Schoolhouses!!! Notice that my fans have a straight edge and Mom’s have the pointed edges –  both can be made from the same die. 

And how about this hexagon quilt?! I also have that GO die and while I’ve played with piecing hexagon flowers, I haven’t actually made a quilt with them. It’s an unusual setting which I like. 

This is probably not one I’ll end up making although I am VERY drawn to the idea of embroidery on quilts and save lots of inspirational photos for a some day quilt. It’s hand quilted too!

What’s for dinner?!

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on What’s for dinner?!

After sleeping today, I was ready to fix a home cooked meal for us tonight. 

You know I’m in love with my Instant Pot and Air Fryer … and I didn’t even have to turn on the stove tonight. 

On the menu – BBQ Chicken, coleslaw, and fries

I used the Instant Pot for the BBQ Chicken – no photo unfortunately!

2 boneless breasts seasoned with salt and pepper added to the Instant Pot with about 8 oz of Diet Coke. Cooked for 20 minutes, shredded with a fork and we used Stubbs original BBQ sauce. You could fix your own but I didn’t. 

The coleslaw was precut in the package and we use Marzetti slaw dressing. I have to limit this to 1/2 a cup due to the low FODMOP diet and before someone comments … I know that the BBQ sauce and dressing would be ‘safer’ if I made my own but it’s a compromise for me. I’m trying to decrease the FODMAPS in my diet to feel better but there’s a limit to my willingness to turn my life upside down to accommodate this diet. 

Let me say that I would LOVE to eat the BBQ chicken and coleslaw on a bun but we didn’t – that darn diet again! I offered the bun to Keith but he was happy to eat it without too. 

Last, the airfryer fries … I photographed my potatoes for Chris as we’d been discussing how I fixed them.

Two medium potatoes were scrubbed and sliced – this is just one of them 

Then subcut into fries … these were soaked in water for 30 minutes as recommended in many recipes. 

I sprayed lightly with olive oil and cooked them 20 minutes on 360 degrees in my airfryer. I toss them in the basket every 5-7 minutes and these could have been tossed one more time and maybe been cooked a minute or two less ( I got slightly distracted) but they were tasty anyway.

I like some pepper on mine, Keith follows a low sodium diet and likes them plain. 

All of this took about an hour to fix but I had time to sit in the library and sip a glass of wine with Keith for about 20 minutes while the chicken was cooking and the potatoes were soaking. My idea of a perfect meal!


Published / by Mary / 10 Comments on Standstill 

Thank you all – those that have written to check on and encourage and those who have offered prayers during the days leading up to and after Hurricane Irma’s threat to Florida and Georgia. We are incredibly blessed. 

I’ll admit I’m exhausted in body and mind after the last week and a half but I’m home and my house is intact without any damage that we’ve found so far. We have power and water here although surprising, Big Canoe took a big hit from the storm and the handyman who helps me out there hasn’t yet been able to get to the condo to check on it. Power and water is out there and they estimate that there are 500-700 downed trees in the community, many of them blocking roads and they estimate it will take at least 3 days before all the roads are passable. 

As with everything else with this storm, we debated when to head home. We knew traffic would be terrible no matter when we decided to head back but with my trip to Maine looming, I knew I needed to get back sooner rather than later if I was still going to be able to go so we climbed in the car at 6:30 pm last night and arrived home at 7:30 am this morning. TRAFFIC was HORRIFIC on interstate 75 the entire way. 

We worried about gas being available as many stations were out of gas in south GA and in FL but Becky told me about an app called Gas Buddy and the Subaru gets really, really good gas mileage so we stopped at 3 stations along the way, one didn’t have gas and the other two were madhouses but we were able to keep the tank full – I don’t think we ever got much below 3/4’s of a tank. 

Let me just say that Finn was wonderful – not a single whimper in 13 hours. I gave him his Bonine and he slept a good bit, no apparent nausea, no vomiting. I did most of the driving last night and Keith managed some naps here and there so he stayed up with Finn when we got home and I collapsed into bed. I’m up now and after lots of cuddles, he’s settled down to nap beside me in the chair.  We are SO blessed … he’s a wonderful puppy and has been very adaptable. 

I will spend some time in the sewing room over the next few days but I’m saving the schoolhouses until I get back from Maine, I’ll work on the spool blocks – starting tomorrow. Today is for relaxing and maybe a little knitting. 

Storm update

Published / by Mary / 15 Comments on Storm update

Keith just got a text from one of the neighbors. There doesn't seem to be much damage at home in Tampa – some fence boards and limbs down – no flooding and power is on. Of course we won't know if there was any roof damage/leaks until we get home but the good news was welcomed.

The wind and rain are hitting us now in the Atlanta area. Adam is a little south and east of us and has already lost power. So far just some flickering here and on a positive note, we're enjoying our unexpected time with Rae.

Finn is doing great considering all the car time and back and forth. He was extremely happy to see me yesterday.

Heading for Atlanta

Published / by Mary / 19 Comments on Heading for Atlanta

I appreciate all the emails and prayers coming my way. I’m at the airport now heading for Atlanta to join up with Keith and Finn although it took many calls to Delta as my original flight home to Tampa was cancelled of course. We’ll ride out the storm there and hope and pray that our family and neighbors in FL weather the storm safely.  Unfortunately, the storm seems sure to impact Tampa in a major way so we’re hoping the house comes through safely. 

As you know Keith and Finn left Tampa on Wednesday because we are in a mandatory evacuation zone. The space in shelters that allow pets is very, very limited and they warn that they are a last resort so we made the decision to go to Atlanta. Keith had a pretty awful drive even though he was ahead of many trying to get out of FL. 

We’ve been through many hurricane warnings and watches in the years we’ve lived in FL, been through several hurricanes, but we’ve never lived in an evacuation zone and I honestly didn’t realize how much more challenging that would make it. Deciding when to evacuate was a very difficult decision and certainly Finn complicates things. Hopefully we’ve learned a thing or two this week. 


Published / by Mary / 18 Comments on Stressed

Mom and Maureen have helped keep me distracted today. It’s so tempting to sit 24 hours a day and watch the progress of Hurricane Irma but worrying won’t help at this point. 

The most important thing is that my boys are safely at Big Canoe. I can’t believe Keith is still smiling after the day he had yesterday. 

Better safe than sorry

Published / by Mary / 14 Comments on Better safe than sorry

Keith and I had many discussion last night and this morning and decided he’d head to GA today — unfortunately, traffic is already pretty bad but it looks like it might thin out if he can get north of Gainesville … or all that traffic might follow along with him. 

The forecast shows a more easterly path but we’re still in the target zone and there are days still before it hits so better safe than sorry. 

Keith gave Finn his motion sickness medication and so far he’s done great in the car. I wish I was there to help but I’m checking in with him frequently and Mom and I are planning her projects and pulling fabric.