Taking a Bit of a Break

Curlycueacreates is taking a small break. Instead of feeling guilty about not posting, since none of us needs any more guilt in our lives, I am officially posting the fact. With gardening, getting our wood in for the winter, planning a trip and keeping up with my girls I have little time to concentrate on my blog right now. It won’t be real long, but I wanted to let you and me know that I am not stopping or quitting, just taking a break.

Hope you are enjoying your summer so far!

Tidbits

Here I am on my second day at home without the girls. They are having a good time at camp. I am getting some things done that I want to do. For me. Not chore type things. I had to force myself. That is just the kind of person I am. It really felt good yesterday to sit down and sew in the middle of the day! I will do it again today.

I did get the chickens cleaned and I hung laundry. Today I will hang some more and get a few things ready for our camping trip but then it is back to the sewing machine.

I am leaving you with a few pictures from the last couple of days. This morning I picked a handful of blueberries just for me. Being here alone has its benefits.  Have a wonderful weekend!

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No Chores!

Today I am at home, alone, with plans to sew in front of a blowing fan! It is hot here in Maine. The girls are at camp and I have made a plan to just do sewing. A no chore two days!

Of course we know that isn’t realistic. I do have to feed the chickens, hang some laundry and unfortunately the chickens really need to be cleaned out. I need to do it this morning before the heat of the day. But, as soon as I am done with the chicken cleaning and I have a cool shower it is a date with my sewing machine and fan!!

Enjoy your day!

Strawberry Fields Forever

Now you are probably humming that famous song from the Beatles, right? Sorry about that. The girls and I went Strawberry picking last week. We left early before the heat of the day. It was a perfect day for picking. Beautiful, blue, bright, sunny skies. There was a touch of a breeze to keep the bugs at bay. There were lots and lots of berries!

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We went to a farm in Whitefield, Maine that is organic. Strawberries are one of those fruits that is on the list of foods you should really try and eat without pesticides. Luckily there are a few good farms in Maine that are growing organic strawberries. Apples are also on that list but are a lot harder to find in organic ‘pick your own’ form.

Anyway, back to the strawberries.

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Isn’t that a beauty! And boy did they taste good. There were so many strawberries we didn’t really have to move along the row much. Just sit and pick.

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Of course you have to eat a few while you pick.

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It was a nice morning and I was very thankful to have the girls help me. This week they go to camp so I will go myself and I know it will take me a lot longer.

I froze most of this batch. I love having strawberries all year long. We use them in smoothies and pies but the girls will just eat a bowl of them straight out of the freezer. I cut off the tops, cut the berry in half unless it is really small and place it on a cookie sheet. When the sheet is full I put it in the freezer overnight. The next day I scoop the frozen berries into a freezer bag. Dip the bag in a big bowl or sink full of water to get all the air out and zip lock it closed. Then put the bag in the freezer. The reason I do it this way is that the berries freeze independently and they don’t freeze in a big lump. It is so much easier to open a bag and take a few out without having to separate them all from each other. Strawberries any time you need them!

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Picking your own fruit and freezing it is a real money saver. Frozen bags of fruit in a grocery store are about three times as much as what I can do for myself. Plus I am getting exercise, fresh air and making memories at the same time. So go find yourself some strawberries. And don’t forget to eat some too!

Happy Picking. 🙂

 

 

What’s for Dinner & Beans and Rice Recipe

On the menu this week will be Beans and Rice. It is one of the most simplest and quickest meals I can make but is packed full of good foods. Many times quick and easy can mean fast food take out or something pre-packaged from the frozen food section. It doesn’t have to. There are lots of really simple, quick and healthy meals that we can do in our own kitchens.

I start out by quick cutting some peppers and onions. For me doing it fast means they come out a bit big. Saute in some olive oil or butter.

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Next thing I do is add diced tomatoes. Of course it is nice if you have your own tomatoes from your garden but I have since ran out of those. I use canned diced tomatoes and they are fine.

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It adds some nice color wouldn’t you say? Now I add the beans. I use some red and black. I already had some cooked and frozen, and they had thawed in the fridge overnight. Certainly you can use some canned beans of your choosing. I think any bean would work in this meal.

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The beans are not all that pretty, but they taste wonderful. Now I add spices. Again you can add what ever you and your family like, but I add cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder and then salt and pepper. My husband puts a little hot sauce on his after it is served.

And there you have it. It takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish and you have a healthy, tasty, home made meal for dinner. Serve it over rice or noodles or you could just eat it the way it is.

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Here is this week’s menu.

Monday: BBQ Ribs with brown rice and broccoli

Tuesday: Whole chicken one the grill (never did it before but I am going to give it a try) with sweet potatoes and salad

Wednesday: Cubed Steak with onions, peppers, and mushrooms with cubed potatoes and green beans 

Thursday: Stir fry

Friday: Beans and rice and hot dogs (camping)

Saturday: Penne and spaghetti sauce (camping)

Sunday: Grab it or leftovers (we will be getting back from camp and I know I won’t want to cook)

Two at a Time

It has been a while since I wrote anything about quilting or sewing. It has been pretty difficult finding time to do any quilting lately. Since summer really started we have been taking little mini trips. While I love spending the day next to the water or on a bike it is pretty hard to bring my sewing machine with me. I have been getting a few moments here and there to work on two quilts. Yes, the same ones I was working on the last time I talked about quilting. Oh well, slow and steady, right?

I decided to do my little photo shoot outside. The lighting is better and I am really not a very good photographer. These blocks are from the Farmer’s Wife 1930’s book. I am making a little quilt to go on the couch in my living room. Something pretty that we can curl up with near the fire when it is cold. I love the reproduction fabrics.

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Here are the blocks again flat. I am really enjoying these small blocks. They are only 6 inches. I love the challenge of making all the points line up right.

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My friendship block quilt is coming along too. I just finished one last night and started another. They are very easy. I am using some Liberty fabric that I have been receiving as part of a club. I love getting a different batch every month. Such a simpleton I am that I get so excited over a pack of fabric! I am trying to decide if I should sew all the friendship blocks together as they are or put some sashing in between. Or maybe a solid block in between the patterned ones, or ….. Do you have any suggestions?

I am already eyeing my next project. I have never bought a quilt pattern but am thinking I will. I saw something yummy online. It is the Persimmon quilt at Corianderquilts. I have done a wall hanging from Cory Yoder’s blog and love it. She is always great about responding to my many questions.

Joining up with Amanda at her blog  crazymomquilts. As always, Happy Quilting!

 

It’s Good For the Skin

We are quite fortunate to be living in a state that has so much beauty. I am sure other states have such nice places to see and visit but I don’t live there and very rarely travel out of state. With our regular scheduled classes and lessons on hold for the summer we have been hitting the road here in Maine.

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A couple of weeks ago we went to visit my son in Boothbay Harbor. He is working there for the summer. Great job, free housing, and right on the shore! Can’t beat that. The girls were so happy to see their brother. We miss him.

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My son took us on a little path that only the locals know about. The girls loved being sprayed by all that salt water. I loved watching them and listening to their squeaks and happy screams. The water was so blue and the sky so clear. What a day!

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The coast has giant rocks all along it. Quite a nice work out to jump and climb around on them.

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I loved this rock. Call me weird but I thought it looked like a giant clove of garlic. I love garlic! I don’t know about other coasts along the ocean but in Maine the rocks are so many different colors and textures.

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Later on in that week we went north to Peaks Kenney State Park. Mountains and lakes region.  We spent the day by the water (again). We had been camping there when the girls were younger and I showed them our old campsite. The didn’t remember much but wanted to come back to camp again soon. We even scoped out a really nice campsite. One that is tucked in the woods and surrounded by big flat rocks. Perfect for fort building.

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This girl is such a fish. She only comes out of the water for food. At this time of year the water is just too cold for me. I am such a wimp. It has to be really hot outside for me to get in or the water has to be quite a bit warmer. I do enjoy watching her though.

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Atop the famous rock. When we were here years ago the kids jumped into the water from this rock. It isn’t all that big but in her memory it was. She still enjoyed jumping off of it on this visit. Even though she is quite a bit bigger this time around.

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They both had a skin treatment later. There was lots of clay at the bottom of the lake. Good for the skin!

I hope you are enjoying your day wherever you happen to be!