Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bright Granny Stripe Complete!

 I finally finished up the bright, granny stripe, baby afghan 
I started making for my niece and her new baby.
I'm very happy with how it came out.

Next time I will have to learn to play with rows of different sizes.
Baby steps...  
All this crochet stuff is a challenge for me.

No, the baby is not named Joseph...  
just in case you were wondering.  

I used Baby Bee Sweet Delight yarn in 11 colors:
Meema's Blue, Surf Baby, Surf Mommy, Teal Too, Mint Charm, Baby Sage,
Bashful, Apricot Jam, Sugar Plum, Lil Princess, and Sunkisses.
Meema's Blue was the color I repeated most often and used on the border.  
(I did start a second skein of that color.)  
I wanted vertical stripes, not horizontal,
so I made my starting row as long as I wanted the sides to be.
I crocheted 45 double rows of grannys using a size F/5/3.75mm hook.
And I finished it all off with double V edging.
(Thank you to Bunny Mummy for that super easy border!)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bass And Baskets B&B

A week ago I met up with some old college friends, for a fun girls-getaway-mini-vacation.
We stayed at a very inviting B&B on the shores of the Lake of the Ozarks:

My cottage style  blue bedroom was decorated with a flower garden/bird house theme.
The king bed, luxurious linens, spacious bathroom and beautiful view
 created a comfortable retreat fit for a queen.
The other rooms were equally nice. 

 Tea, coffee and freshly baked cookies were available day and night in the common area.

Deb is a fabulous cook and made the most delicious breakfasts you've ever had in your life.  
Picture this:  eggs benedict, ham wrapped asparagus and fresh fruit salad.  
Or cream-cheese filled french toast topped with strawberries, turkey sausage 
and quiche with a hash-brown crust.
Are you drooling yet? 

We sat out on the dock at night and watched the moon rise over Downing Cove.
The sound of the water and the gentle rocking of the dock nearly lulled us to sleep.

Looking up at the B&B from the dock.
(Sorry, this is dark.  I didn't get a picture  during the day, 
but the website shows how lovely it really is.)

Big Ed was up to go bass fishing before the crack of dawn.
Guests and other clients could make arrangements to go with him.

It was so relaxing to wake up to this view.
(Every room opened up to the deck and lake.)

The lake offers a myriad of opportunities for water sports, 
golf, shopping, dining,  etc...

My friends and I thoroughly enjoyed our time here
 and I hope to return very soon with my husband.
I honestly can't say enough good things about Bass and Baskets
and highly recommend it to anyone visiting this area.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

In Bloom And Ripe For Picking

In bloom and ripe for picking this morning:
Herbs, purple coneflowers, zinnias, petunias and tomatoes.

What's happening in your garden this week?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Warm Springs Ranch

Last week we visited Warm Springs Ranch in Boonville, MO.
This is where they breed and raise all the magnificent Clydesdales for the beer commercials.

The red barn and more than 300 acres of pasture are beautiful. 
We couldn't resist the opportunity to see the sweet baby clydesdales.

This is baby Hope, the tiny foal from the 2013 Super Bowl ad.

This little fellow (Stan) had a lot of personality.
We think he's gonna be a rebel.

Rock On with his Mama.
This little guy was soooo sweet and showed a lot of interest in the people who stopped by.

One of the foals was an orphan.  
With his Mommy gone, he needed a special buddy.  A goat.
We watched the two of them wander around in their outdoor paddock together.

Several other Mama and baby pairs were out in the pastures.
The big Papa Clydesdales were showing off their size in separate paddocks.

Almost all of the babies are named using their Mom's first initial.
They stay at Warm Springs Ranch til they are two years old.
Next they move to Grant's Farm in St. Louis to learn more about being around people.
And when they are three, they move to a farm in New Hampshire to
practice being part of a team.
Finally they get to join a hitch. 

The horse statues in the garden are pretty much life-size.

Have you ever seen them at a parade or state fair?

* * *
Joining Barn Charm 

Thursday, July 11, 2013


I was asked for the recipe for the cake I posted about yesterday.
So here goes.



Mix together:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 and 1/2 cups sugar 
 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

In a separate bowl combine:
 2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt. 

Combine the dry ingredients with the sugar mixture. 

Fold in:
 2 to 3 cups of shredded zucchini  (I used nearly 3) 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Spread mixture into greased and floured 9x13 pan. 
Bake in 350 oven for 25-30 minutes. 
Cool for 10 minutes then top with frosting.


Melt in a saucepan over low heat:
1/4 cup of butter
6 tablespoons cocoa powder in a saucepan over low heat. 

Remove from heat. 

In a separate bowl combine:
1/4 cup milk
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Stir the two mixtures together. 
Pour over the partially cooled cake.

It's delicious when it's still slightly warm.   Yum!

This cake has been kid and husband tested and approved.  
It truly is one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever had in my life.

  * * * * *
(What I have posted above is my slightly tweaked version of a pinterest recipe found online.  My version has different amounts on the zucchini and milk from the original recipe.  I used vegetable oil, because I didn't have any canola here.  I didn't have issues with the batter being crumbly once I added the zucchini, like the original author did.  Mine poured/spread very nicely into the pan.  I also didn't have any need to refrigerate the icing the way she did.)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Baseball Bat Sized Zucchini = Soup and Cake

 My friend had baseball-bat-sized-zucchini in her garden.
She shared some with me.

They truly are enormous!!!
I feel like I've been peeling and chopping and shredding zucchini all day.

But now I have soup simmering on the stove. 
And mouthwatering, moist, iced-chocolate-zucchini-brownie-cake.
As you can see, I didn't have enough willpower to wait til dinner.

Come on over.   I'll save a piece for you.

(When zucchini gets this large, the skin and seeds can be a bit woody.
So just remove the skin and seeds and then use as you normally would.)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Polly and Molly March With The Band

Don't Polly and Molly look cute?
They got dressed up to march with the band in their hometown July 4th parade.

Polly and Molly and Their Dollies  
with lace-on costumes, flocked in pink, blue and green
Saalfield Publishing Co.,  1958

I found this box of paper dolls shoved down in a corner at an antique shop.
It cost next to nothin' and was stuffed full of several other dolls and their clothes, too.
To me, that was like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  :-) 

What wonderful finds have you discovered recently?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy 4th!

What is your favorite way to spend the holiday?
Picnics, BBQ's, parades, boating at the lake, tossing horseshoes,
visiting historic landmarks, watching fireworks?
Whatever you do,  I hope you enjoy the time with your family and friends.
Happy 4th!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Granny Stripe In Progress

 I'm working on my third crocheted baby afghan for this year.
(And a fourth niece is expecting a baby later this fall, so that means one more to go.)
A colorful granny stripe this time.
I'm 30-something rows in and have about 70 (?)  more to go.

It took several very frustrating starts, stops, counts, recouts, and redo's 
to figure out how to make this granny stripe.
 I admit that crochet is not easy for me.  
But I finally got it to work, by following what common sense told me I had to do 
instead of obeying the count in the written instructions.
(Have you ever run into that with  crochet patterns?) 

What projects are you working on right now?

PS-  Happy Canada Day to my friends up north!

* * *
Update-  See finished blanket here.