Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Peacock Room

Have I mentioned our guest room? It has a peacock theme.

Here are a few of the linens in the room. I also have decorative pottery peacocks, wall pockets, pictures and ornaments.

I like to have a theme...

I purchased these pillow cases recently at an estate sale.
The embroidery is finished, but the edges of the cases are not. This is the type where you finish the edge by adding beautiful crochet. (see the pillowcases above as an example)

Since I don't crochet, I'll have to get out my sewing machine and hem them.

Because they weren't hemmed, the pattern number and company are visible. (#9197 Peacock - by the Frederick Herrschner Company in Chicago, IL)

The company still exists, but I couldn't find the pattern on their website.

Isn't this a pretty pattern?
I know guest rooms are a luxury. I really appreciate ours and love to decorate it.

Do you have a guest room in your home? If yes, does it have a theme?

Also, when can I come and visit?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Small Accomplishments

I have a list of small accomplishments from the last couple of days:
  • reorganized the "stuff" under the kitchen sink and in the cabinet above the microwave
  • moved a few of my houseplants to their summer home on the front porch
  • read a lot of recipes in the vintage appliance booklets my Mom gave me
  • learned about potato nails
  • laundry
  • lunch on the porch
I'm sure there are other things I did, but I just can't recollect them at the moment!

What have you been up to the last couple of days?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tulsa Bed & Breakfast Tour

The Husband and I participated in the Tulsa Bed & Breakfast tour on Sunday. This tour was sponsored by the Oklahoma Bed & Breakfast Association and featured six B & Bs.

The first B & B is located across from beautiful Woodward Park, which was FULL of people today enjoying the weather, enjoying the flowers and taking thousands of pictures! The 1920's era Inn at Woodward Park is lovely. I drive by this inn dozens of times each week and have always wanted to see the inside.

The second B & B is located northwest of downtown Tulsa and just to the east of Tulsa Country Club. Kennedy Mansion is a wonderful oil baron's mansion, built in the 1920's.

The third B & B is located west of Tulsa. Cedar Rock Inn is a unique property, the original portion of it built in 1890. It is so unique, The Husband and I are contemplating reserving a night there soon just for the experience.

Unfortunately, we were not able to visit the remaining three inns on the tour.

I believe Bed & Breakfast innkeepers must be a unique breed of people. They frequently take old, dilapidated houses and spend years (as well as untold thousands of dollars) to restore the property and update it with current conveniences. Then, they invite total strangers into the home to cook and clean for them, all while being extremely hospitable. Every! Day! Sounds exhausting to me...

Thanks to the Tulsa innkeepers who participated in the tour. We will be sure to recommend your properties to anyone who asks us where to stay in Tulsa!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Channeling Our Fathers

The Husband and I have had conversations this week about canned meat. Spam, sardines, oysters, vienna sausage, etc.

We both remember our fathers eating sardines and crackers when we were kids.

Everyone knows this type of canned food is suitable for stockpiling in preparation for a nuclear war! It never goes bad and we proved that on Friday night.

This can of sardines had been in our pantry for who knows how long.
I unwrapped the cover and opened the can. The contents had a lovely appearance and a fishy smell, as expected.
I organized the appetizer tray for the porch. Perfect presentation, don't you think?
The sardines and crackers were great, but we couldn't get any of the neighbors to share them with us!

I am not going to stock up on canned meats in preparation for a crisis, but I'll probably buy another can or two of sardines next time I pick up groceries. Just in case we get a hankering for them again.

How about you? What canned meats do you have in your cupboard? Come on...you can tell us. We won't judge you!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fun On A Bun

My Mom brought me a sack of recipes cut out of newspapers by my grandmother as far back as 50+ years ago, as well as those lovely kitchen appliance books you receive when you buy a new counter top grill, electric skillet, blender, etc.

I have been closely reviewing this treasure trove of 1950's, 1960's and 1970's appliance instructions, recipes and images.

I think one of my readers should make the following recipe and report back to the rest of us:

Fun On A Bun
Grind together 1 loaf Spam, 1 small onion, and 1/2 lb. cheddar cheese. Stir in condensed mushroom soup to moisten. Scoop out soft centers of buns. Fill with mixture. Heat, foil-wrapped, in oven or on grill.

Who's going to take on this challenge?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Yet More Recipes & A Place Setting

You know that my sister and family came over for dinner on Saturday.

You know we had The Pioneer Woman's Olive Cheese Bread for an appetizer.

You didn't know that these were the table place settings:
  • My grandmother's china (Nancy - Japan) {not expensive - pink and gray were her signature colors}
  • Morgantown Amethyst Water Glass
  • Araglin Waterford Red Wine Glass
  • Vintage Easterling Sterling Silver, "American Classic"
  • Vintage Linen Napkins
  • Other linens sewn by me
I don't have photos of the food, but I do have a menu and a couple of links:
A good time was had by all.

What did you have for dinner Saturday night?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Pioneer Woman's Olive Cheese Bread (Updated Below)

The Sister and her family came over for dinner Saturday night.

I decided to make the Pioneer Woman's Olive Cheese Bread (OCB) as an appetizer. The recipe is found on pages 206-207 of her cookbook.

All the ingredients are pictured below. I have seriously been practicing my knife skillz the last couple of days!
After all the ingredients are mixed, P-Dub said you should grab a cracker and taste the goodness. So, I did.
Spread the concoction on the halves of the bread. One to freeze and one to cook.
The one to freeze:
The one that was cooked:
This was a heavy appetizer. Good, but heavy.

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best), following is the scoring:

The Husband = 7
The Brother-in-Law = 9 (but you gotta love olives!)
The Sister = 8 (great PMS food because of the salty olives!)
Me = 7 (great PMS food with all the olives, but I'm planning to reduce them for the next attempt)

P-Dub says the OCB can be frozen for up to 6 months.

I'm planning to serve the remaining half in a couple of weeks at a birthday party. I'll let you know how that turns out after being frozen.

All in all, a success!

That P-Dub...she's amazing!

UPDATE:
Connie asked for the recipe and instead of my typing it here, I went to the PW's website and searched for a link, which is here.

Interestingly, there is a difference between the recipe on the website and in the cookbook. On the website, it calls for 6 ounces of black olives. In the book it calls for 14.5 ounce can of black olives. Big difference. I've already made a note in my copy of the cookbook!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Claudia!

Today is my sister-in-law's birthday.

April 19, 2001

What were you doing on April 19, 2001?

Evidently, I was crossing Arctic Circle and have a certificate to prove it!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"No Taboli For Me, Please"

I am so proud of how well my first batch of taboli turned out.

Saturday night, The Sister and her family came over for dinner. I had seen the brother-in-law and nieces earlier in the day at the movies. I asked the 7 year old if she would taste my taboli when she came to the house later. Her response, "Yes, Aunt Cindy, I will taste the taboli."

She ate the dinner I had prepared for her and her sister and then I remembered the taboli.

"Big Sister A, do you want to taste the taboli I made yesterday?"

"Yes, Aunt Cindy. I want to taste it."

I took her dinner plate into the kitchen and spooned some on to it. I was putting away the container in the frig as she walked into the dining room. As I arrived in the dining room, my sister and brother-in-law were laughing hysterically, saying "Where is the camera? Where is the camera?"

My sweet, 7 year old niece was standing in the dining room, with the funniest expression on her face and her mouth open.

She turned to me and said (with an open mouth) "Aunt Cindy, where can I spit this out?"

I sent her to the kitchen trash can.

Needless to say, she did not like my taboli.

A couple of hours later, as The Sister's family was leaving our house, we were at the front door hugging and saying good-bye.

The 7 year old niece came over and hugged me, thanked me for dinner, and said:

"No taboli for me, please!"

What a little squirt she is!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Taboli

I blogged about taboli last year in the post. I said I was going to learn to make good taboli. I never made one batch. Shame on me.

Niece Amy and I have recently discussed making the summer of 2010 our time to perfect a taboli recipe.

I started today with my first batch. I used the Bishop Brothers packaged "Taboli Wheat" and followed the recipe on the package.

I added finely chopped parsley, green onion and tomatoes.
Here's the final product.

I stirred everything thoroughly and let it sit in the refrigerator for 5 hours.

The Husband and I taste tested it together. His reaction: "This is pretty darn good!"

I feel like I hit a home run out of the park today. Thanks Bishop Brothers!

The 2010 Tabouleh Festival in Bristow will be held on May 8th. Are you planning to attend? If yes, I may see you there!

Note:
I need to develop better knife skillz. Next time I have to finely chop parsley, I'm going to try the two knife approach in this video!

Spiffing Up Our Kitchen

Over the past couple of years, we have saved money that has been designated to "spiff up" our kitchen.

Over the past couple of days, we have met with the owner of the construction company who "spiffed up" our bathroom last year and his stone person.

The construction guys will make our new refrigerator fit.

The stone guy is going to transform our countertops from Corian to granite.

Before and after pictures will be posted at the appropriate time.

I'm excited!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Amy!

Today is our niece Amy's birthday.
We are wishing her a happy birthday today!

A Kansas Turkey

I promised you a Kansas turkey story and here it is.

On the way to Kansas City last weekend, we drove along a slight curve on a narrow stretch of highway and suddenly saw a larger than life turkey!

We passed it, but I made The Husband turn around and go back to take pictures. This part of the highway does not have shoulders and there was a lot of traffic, so the pictures were HOR-RI-BLE.

We agreed on our return trip home Sunday, we would stop and get better pictures. These are our best attempt from the highway with our point & shoot digital camera.

It's a turkey made of barbed wire and metal. I'm assuming he has feet made of rebar, or some such material. He stands 3-4 feet tall.
Another view. Look at the majestic tail. Our niece-in-law said his tail used to be bigger, but she thinks the wind has played havoc with his "feathers."
I can just imagine the creator of this turkey gathering the components for this sculpture:
  • rusted barbed wire (from old fences)
  • metal (torn off of barn roofs during high winds/tornadoes)
  • rebar
Funny side notes to this turkey discovery:
  • When we arrived in KC, I told our nephew and niece-in-law about seeing this sculpture. They both laughed and told me they had already discussed that I would probably stop and photograph it on this trip, since I have started playing the "yard art game." How right they were and how predictable I am!
  • About 2 miles from arriving at the turkey location on the Sunday drive home, we saw 3 live turkeys foraging along the side of the highway. We were so focused on discussing where we thought the barbed wire turkey was located and strategizing about how to safely photograph it (since there are no shoulders on that stretch of highway), we were totally bum-fuzzeled when we saw the live turkeys. We did not get one photo of them. They were so close to where the fake turkey was located, we didn't have time to turn around to photograph them. Not that they would have been there, because pretty much as soon as our car passed them, they started running for the woods.
  • About 10 miles past the turkey sculpture, we entered a zone along the highway where it appears it is being prepped for widening. Fences have been taken down and rusted barbed wire has been rolled into small(ish) balls. I told The Husband all I could see, while looking at the balls of barbed wire, was a flock of turkeys! I must have one...
I L.O.V.E. yard art!

What have you seen on your recent road trips? Anything interesting?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Things You Don't Expect to See in Kansas

As The Husband and I were driving to Kansas this past weekend to see the nephew, the niece-in-law and to attend the KC Royals baseball game, we saw the following:
  • The Prairie Spirit Trail which is 51 miles of hiking or biking fun. Really? In the middle of Kansas, along the side of the highway? This may be my kind of bike/hike trail. Totally flat...no hills to strain my calves
  • The Safari Museum in Chanute. Again, really? In the middle of Kansas? A facility that celebrates and preserves the story of Martin and Osa Johnson, native Kansans. The town has a Safari Motel, as well as statues of lions, giraffes and huge planters painted in giraffe, tiger and zebra motifs. I'm sure there are other safari themed items/places in town, we just didn't have time to explore this weekend. We will definitely do so in the future!
Kansas is so very, very interesting and we didn't even run into Dorothy or Toto!

We did, however, run into some turkeys.

The turkey story is coming soon...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Batter Up!

I have eaten more than my fair share of hot dogs, peanuts, ice cream and drank a few beers over the last few days.

We were at Thursday's opening night of the new ONEOK Field. The Husband scored great seats for us on the 6th row behind home plate. We had a perfect view of all the opening ceremonies and of downtown.
The view at night was spectacular.
Saturday morning we drove to Kansas City for the Royals game that evening. Our nephew won a drawing for 4 tickets and a gold parking pass and invited us to the game.

Here is The Husband with his nephew and lovely wife. Notice the Royals shirts? Giveaways at the park that night. We all matched!
Here I am with our niece. It was her first MLB game. We had fun watching the game and watching the people. And let me just say, that gold parking pass was "the bomb." We have never parked that close to the front gate at any major league event!
We got up early Sunday and drove back to Tulsa because we had tickets to the Driller's at 2:05pm.

Our seats were in the sun. The breeze was great, and the temperature wasn't bad, but the sun was too much. Fortunately for us, there were empty seats in the shade that we could use.We only made it through 5 innings at the Sunday game. We were both in serious need of a Sunday afternoon nap after our fun weekend!

What did you do over the weekend?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Our Front Porch

This is our front porch.
A former co-worker, who was in town for a conference Friday, stopped by to see me in the afternoon. We sat on the porch and visited over iced tea.

Our neighbors know if we are on the porch in the evenings, it is an open invitation for them to stop by.

Friday night we had a few visitors and lively conversations on books, politics, the city trash program and our immediate block.

We have diverse neighbors, which makes for fun times.

We are thankful we live in this classic neighborhood with large front porches and sidewalks!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Trixie Belden

Do you know Trixie Belden? It was my favorite book series when I was a young teen.

Trixie and her best friend, Honey, solved many a mystery with the help of their brothers, other family members and friends. I thought they were the coolest teenagers in the world and I wanted to be just like them.

Remember, I was 11-14 years old at the time!

I collected all the books in the series. I read them over and over again, so much that I wore them out.

As I aged, the books were moved here and there, packed away with other books. Unfortunately, they were also stored in less than desirable environments and were mostly ruined by those conditions. My original, worn and damaged books are now at my sister's home. She is building a library for her daughters, who are 7 and 4.

Trixie Belden books are out of print now and hard to find anywhere. I scored 10 of them in paperback at an estate sale recently. I was excited to add them to the library!

What books did you read and love when you were young?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yellow, Green and White

I mentioned earlier this week that I had unpacked pottery that I display in the spring and summer. I have finished the displays for this year.

Yellow and Green on the shelves in the living room.
White in the non-working fireplace. Over the summer I have additional items I will add to this tableau.
Last year, I blogged about displaying this pottery here and here.

It's funny, I put the pieces in the opposite locations this year without even thinking about it or viewing the old pictures first. I guess I just knew what to do.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Again With The Joys Of An Old House

I mentioned in the last post that we purchased a new refrigerator.

Since the dimensions of the new frig are larger than the old frig, before signing on the dotted line we carefully measured the space. And then, we carefully measured it two more times. We knew it would be an extremely tight fit, but it was going to work.

The new frig was delivered yesterday. The delivery guys measured the space and said "No problem. It will fit."

They disconnected the old frig and brought the new one into the kitchen, where they hooked up the water line for the ice maker and started removing all the tape and packing materials. Then, they started pushing it into place.

Into the tight place. Push. Push. Push. Uh?

Push harder.

Uh?

When we had a new kitchen floor laid a few years ago, one of the cabinet baseboards was mortared in slightly off kilter. That piece of wood, combined with the natural non-square nature of our old house, means the new frig sticks out 2-3 inches farther than it should.

We had planned to have some kitchen work done in the future that will impact the cabinets.

I guess we are now going to have that work done sooner rather than later!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Monday

Today was busy, busy, busy.

I cancelled a dentist appointment a couple of weeks ago when I was so sick. They put me on a "call list" in case they had an appointment I could take. They had a cancellation first thing this morning and phoned me. So, I unexpectedly had my teeth cleaned!

At lunch time, The Husband and I purchased a new refrigerator. It will be delivered tomorrow. Whoo hoo.

I unpacked collections of white, green and yellow pottery. I show these pieces during the spring/summer. Once I get them displayed to my satisfaction, I will post some photos.

The Husband and I watched the NCAA final game tonight. We were so proud of Butler's game against Duke. Congrats to Duke for winning, but also congrats to Butler for making it to the Championship game and playing such a FANTASTIC game!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Preparations

What have I been up to?

Well, I finished hemming my Easter tablecloths and put out the remainder of the decorations.
I also got a manicure and pedicure. I love pretty nails and toes!

What have you been doing?