Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Let’s set some August goals

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Let’s set some August goals

We arrived home late yesterday afternoon – Keith was nice and did most the 9+ hours of driving and after unpacking the car he went to the grocery store while I worked my way through a month of mail and caught up on the paying the bills. Luckily I can get many of my bills via my bank’s e-bill feature but some I just have to guess and overpay when I’m gone for a month as I don’t get mail at Big Canoe. It’s not a big deal because the extra is applied to the following month’s bill and I avoid paying anything late. 

First up this morning I unpacked and organized myself in the sewing room and I’ve already made a start on my August goals. 

  1. Bind two quilts for Mom (I do NOT have to do the hand stitching on these).
  2. Bind 5 of my quilts
  3. Finish piecing the sashing and assemble the schoolhouse top
  4. Make HeartStrings blocks for our Block Drive
  5. Hit 1200 miles on my 2017 walking challenge – (that’s an additional 146 before the end of the month).
  6. Make progress on the new baby’s knit blanket

Today I trimmed Mom’s first quilt, made the binding, and got it machine stitched on and worked on cutting and piecing more of the sashing for the schoolhouse quilt. 

I also got a bonus mile in walking to lunch with Keith. He took the short route home and I walked home via Bayshore. It’s nice to be back here at home – after a month, the BC condo starts to feel a little small but I’ll miss the cooler weather. Even North GA in the summer can be hot and sticky but I think we had a mild July there and now we’re back to hot and steamy. My least favorite months in Tampa are July and August but I don’t think I could stand being away from home for a full two months so I’ll deal with the heat. 

I’ve got to get another 4 miles in today but I’ll wait a little longer before heading out. 

Kevin’s last day

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Kevin’s last day

Today was the last day of Kevin’s visit and as I type this he’s just starting his journey back to Virginia.  We decided we’d drive over to Ellijay, have lunch and wander around a bit. 

On the drive over, we rounded a corner and saw an animal in the road … a dog maybe?

Nope – a black bear cub

After that excitement, we stopped at a farmers market so Kevin could get some Georgia peaches and apple cider to take back with him. 

Had lunch and then wandered around town a bit – I found a store that sold Himalayan salt crystal lights. I bought one of the smaller lantern ones 

Even better, they make inserts for fireplaces … this one is too big and they didn’t have the smaller one in the store but he said he’d get one for me when I come back in December for my electric fireplace in the library at the Tampa house. 

We got home in time for me to make a pot of potato soup in the Instant Pot and for Keith’s new recliner to be delivered (he convinced the guy in the shop this afternoon to deliver it today).  Yes those are bears and canoes, etc. very woodsy!

All in all we had a great visit with Kevin including today’s outing!

By the way, I’d give the soup tonight a B minus although Keith thought it was good. Kevin thought it was good but agreed it might need a little tweaking! 

Bacon Potato Chowder

Local History and Family History

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Local History and Family History

Who knew the first gold rush in America was in Dahlonega GA? We took a drive today. 

We sorted through lots of family photos

Ever wonder what my ex-husband looks like?! I don’t have many photos of him around after 30 years … boy does that make me sound OLD!!! I came across this one of my brother’s wedding and that’s us behind Mom and Dad who are on the far right. Hugh’s not the only former family member … my brother and his wife divorced years ago too and you may remember that the boys lost their father (Hugh) a few months ago. Family relationships are challenging – marriages, divorces, difficult spouses, siblings who aren’t close… it makes me grateful for those special relationships I do have. 

Keeping score

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Keeping score

Apparently we’re a competitive bunch and all of our activities seem to have winners and losers. This afternoon the guys played golf and while I understand it wasn’t pretty for any of them (they don’t play often) – Keith came out ahead on the golf course. 

I did head out to kayak after finishing my quilting but since the guys were busy, I had to rent a kayak rather than use mine because I can’t get it down by myself. I’ll be glad when a lower berth comes available but it won’t be this visit. 

Chris left after dinner and the Uno cards came out … this time Kevin was the winner. I wonder what the next competition will be?!


Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Quilted

I quilted my fan top today and I’m done – it’s #9 of 9 that I’d planned to quilt in July while I’m here at Big Canoe. Pantograph is Flirtatious and this one is my 2nd oldest UFO started in November 2010. 

Keith, Chris, and Kevin are golfing so I have time to go for a paddle after I fix some deviled eggs. I’m using the Instant Pot to hard boil them. 


Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Success

I realize that Pot Roast is supposed to have veggies but Keith’s Mom made it without them and served it as an open faced sandwich and that’s how he wanted it. I almost forgot to take a photo – mine was half eaten when I snapped one to send to Chris. 

I didn’t have his Mom’s recipe and she made hers in a crock pot so I looked at a number of different recipes and made my own from them. 

Pot roast

  • 2 lb roast
  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil to pan
  • Season with pepper and sear on all sides on sauté setting 
  • Onion soup packet
  • Cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 and 1/2 cups water
  • Cook on Medium Meat setting for 60 minutes

Since there were no veggies, I served it with a salad. 

I had a couple little blips … but it tasted great, the meat was nice and tender and we’ll definitely fix it again. I can’t believe I risked a new appliance and an untested recipe when I had company but Kevin says not to treat him like company so I didn’t and I got lucky!

I think Finn was trying to distract him so I’d win the game … and I did! Kevin is Finn’s godfather because he was visiting us in Tampa and Keith claims Kevin is responsible for us getting Finn while he was there. 

Barefoot and in the kitchen

Published / by Mary / 24 Comments on Barefoot and in the kitchen

It’s how I like my man! With the longer visits the last few years and the kitchen being updated, I find I do a lot more cooking while we’re here. Tonight, I fixed chicken tortilla soup and our deal is that Keith grocery shops and cleans up … I make the grocery lists and cook. 

I also went looking for a crock pot to replace a small one I have here and ended up buying an Instant Pot. I’ve never used a pressure cooker but I’m intrigued by the multi function abilities and decided I’d give it a shot. Worse case, it can be used just as a slow cooker, best case, I figure out the pressure cooker, and rice steamer functions. 

I never cook something for the first time with company but my brother visited us in Tampa and told me not to treat him like a guest so I’m going to experiment tomorrow night and try pot roast for the open face sandwiches that Keith likes – his mom used to fix it  (I don’t have her recipe but I found one online). I have no idea whether it will be edible or not so Kevin might end up having to fend for his own dinner. 

I’ve read that the Instant Pots are very popular right now – do you have one? If so, what’s your favorite thing to fix in it?