Saturday, August 19, 2017

Helen Farro's Potato Salad

One of the reasons I am willing to suffer the Iowa HEAT and HUMIDITY is what it does for the garden.  My two favorite the hot weather crops are plentiful now.  Sweet corn and tomatoes...YUMMO...
There is nothing better than sweetcorn...and warm, fresh picked juicy ripe tomatoes...
Along with fresh eggs from our own chickens -- I am on my way to one of my favorite summer dishes...
Making the PERFECT hard boiled egg is a part of Grandma Camp.
Since she was three years old, Lilly has always loved slicing the eggs for this dish...
My mother-in-law, Helen Farro's green bean potato salad:
Helen's cooking was never so much about a recipe -- as it was about techniques or flavor. But here's the basic idea:

2 cups of cubed boiled, peeled potatoes
2 cups of chopped raw tomatoes
2 cups of cooked (crisp) green beans
1 cup of diced hard boiled eggs
1/2 c. sliced black olives
1/2 c. sliced green olives
1/2 c. chopped green onions

Dress it with your favorite vinaigrette...I like olive oil and Balsamic vinegar (3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar)...with some minced garlic and oregano.

The salad is best if it sits for an hour or so before serving. And it is GREAT the next day!!

Friday, August 18, 2017

How will you know me?

THIS year, as Becky and I were discussing the possibilities for our fall visit, we heard from another roommate, who would love to be a part of our little reunion. Betsy lives in Minneapolis, and we haven't seen her for about 20 years. It just has never worked out for her to join us...

Although we'd love to have her...there are some logistics involved, and she would probably fly -- so we need to pick an airport, and a date, of course.  I got right on it...

I suggested we go to a lakeside "resort" north of Chicago (it is a motel with a lake view and an indoor pool).  It's near Becky's house -- Bets could fly into O'Hare.  Hey -- I MIGHT TAKE THE TRAIN into the city!! It could work...(I've done it twice now, I'm nearly an expert...)

In the middle of these back and forth email negotiations, Betsy says, "it's been so long since I've seen you, how will I recognize you?"

I told her not to worry -- I haven't changed much.  But I sent a recent picture, just in case...

Thursday, August 17, 2017

College Roommate Reunion

Every Fall, I look forward to a few road trips. John and I usually do a Wisconsin Cheese Tour...and I always get together with my old college chum Becky -- who lives in Chicago. We usually try to split the distance...so we meet in some quaint Illinois town...
I love a good road trip!!
Especially if it starts off with some Bacon Pizza from Casey's!
Who could forget the Tinker Cottage in Rockford, Illinois?
Or the Barbed Wire Museum in DeKalb!!
Usually, we find the city park and sit there for a couple of hours...
It is always thrilling to realize how quickly you can get down to business -- and REALLY SHARE YOUR LIFE -- with a friend you've had for 40 years...

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Photos on Fabric

I wanted to figure out how to print photos on fabric -- thinking it would be a GREAT addition to the leftover Splendid Sampler quilt I'm working on. If I could incorporate some Hamilton pictures -- or photos of Lilly wearing some of her Hamilton garb -- well, that would make it extra special for her, right?

And I DID IT!!

The key is butcher wrapping paper.

On your computer, choose a photo and pull it up on the screen to be printed. Set your printer preferences and layout.

1. Iron a piece of white cotton fabric to the WAXED side of the butcher paper.
2. Cut your fabric/paper piece down to exactly 8.5 x 11.
3. Put it in the printer FABRIC SIDE DOWN (your printer may be different).
4. Push "Print"

I thought the quality of the photo was excellent.
Lilly will be DELIGHTED to have this picture of Lin-Manuel Miranda in her quilt!
And how can she forget the day she went to the Hamilton Sisters luncheon?
But then the wheels came off the bus...

A single drop of water got on the Lilly picture...see that spot on her left shoulder?  HOLY COW -- it won't be washable!!  If I put these pictures into the quilt, the first time it is laundered, the ink will rinse away...possibly staining other parts of the quilt as it goes...

Ugh.

Time to move on to Plan B...

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Final Grandma Camp Adventure!!

When the TMBC came to Princeton for our Featherweight Friday...OF COURSE, Lilly stopped by to sing a Hamilton song for her honorary Grandmothers.

So I decided this was the PERFECT moment to tell Lilly and Warren about their surprise.  Hummm maybe it could be a library scavenger hunt?

Wednesday (tomorrow) My cousin Jackie is joining me for the last Grandma Camp Adventure.  We're taking the kids on Amtrak into Chicago for a day trip. We'll get on a real Amtrak train in Princeton, Illinois at 8:30 AM -- and arrive in Chicago by 10:30. We'll eat lunch at the Beef and Brandy restaurant -- then walk across the street to see the Private Bank Theater...

We'll take the 5:30 train home...

It's basically a summer trial run for our January 3 HAMILTON adventure.

I had a gift for each child to depict THEIR part of the adventure.


For Lilly, an Alexander Hamilton bookend...and for Warren, of course -- A TRAIN BANK!!
I hid both things somewhere in the library -- and then gave Lilly this clue:

When the rag tag Army in need of a shower defeated the global Super Power --they emerged from the quagmire -- carrying what?

Of course, Lilly yelled, "Betsy Ross's FLAG..!!"

So I told them that's what they were looking for...and Lilly had to let Warren go first...
He found the first flag...wrapped around his new train bank...
But Lilly's was not so easy...
She looked in ever stack...
Finally, she saw the flag, which was all rolled up -- sitting on top of her new Alexander Hamilton bust...
SHE WAS SO DELIGHTED...
This is the only picture I got of the two kids, with their gifts...ugh...
I explained exactly what the trip would be. A trial run for our actual JANUARY HAMILTON EVENT..

Hey -- this whole idea of giving a Christmas Present in June -- so she has something to look forward to -- has been AWESOME!
Lilly and her four Grandma's will go to Chicago in JANUARY. We are all excited!!
In the meantime -- there's one final Grandma Camp Adventure!!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Library Fetherweight Day

You already know how, after I purchased my first Singer Featherweight, many of my friends and cousins also bought them....and my three sisters currently own 8 of them...

So, getting a friendly little group of fellow-Featherweight owners together for a sewing day has become, for me, a new happy place!!

Last week,  cousin Jackie was visiting from North Carolina -- so -- I booked the back room of the Princeton Library for a Friday Sew-A-Thon...
My sister Ronda joined the TMBC:  Ronda, Sandy, me, Linda K., Linda P, and Jackie.
We set up two ironing stations.

LP brought her mini-iron...
Sandy and Ronda had some machine issues...which we group-fixed...
I demo'd my new coffee Carafe. (it keeps coffee HOT for 12 hours!)
LP was working on one of her DOZENS of Row by Row panels!!
Well, you the the idea. It was a ton of fun -- and we got a lot done. (half-way to a poem, right?) We laughed so hard we peed (that is a pretty low bar nowadays)...

Hey -- LET'S DO IT AGAIN NEXT WEEK!!  My sister Deb is going to be in town.  She is ALWAYS sewing a bunch of stuff...I'll keep you posted.
*************
MMWI:  235.4

Saturday, August 12, 2017

MORE HAMILTON!!

Because I am quite sure YOU JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF AN ADORABLE EIGHT YEAR OLD GIRL SINGING HAMILTON -- I'm posting yet another video.

This was Lilly, singing in the talent show at the Mississippi Valley Fair last week. It was actually a "Kid's Karaoke" contest.  Lilly was the only one who sang acapella.

She lost out to a 13 year old boy who did an amazing Bruno Mars song.

And the best thing?

She was fine with it.  She didn't whine or cry or make excuses.  Little Bruno Mars was terrific.  Mostly, I love that Lilly will sing Hamilton for anybody, anytime...and she is still enjoying it.  She doesn't have one bit of nerves or stage fright...And I also love that she doesn't take it too seriously...





But you can relax. Lilly goes back to school next week -- so that will be the end of the singing. Right??

Friday, August 11, 2017

Misissippi Valley Fair

In these parts, the Iowa State Fair is a really big thing. And, of course, in the weeks prior to the BIG EVENT -- there are county fairs going on all over the state.

Last week, I decided to take Lilly and Warren to the Mississippi Valley Fair in Davenport, Iowa. It's been at least 25 years since I attended this fair...but, hey -- Thursday is KIDS ....so what can go wrong??

Kids "get in free"-- and seniors only pay $5.

Sounds like a great deal!! Lezz-go...
Here's a reality check, Grandma...

Of course the kids can get in free -- because the rides cost $5 per kid, per ride.  UNLESS YOU BUY THE UNLIMITED-RIDE-WRISTBAND...which is $20 per child.

Ugh.

And the lunch was $25 bucks...(and mostly inedible)

The parking was $5...

Of course, we had to stop at a restaurant to eat on our way home...

I don't know exactly how it happened -- but the FREE DAY at the Mississippi Valley Fair pretty much killed a $100 bill.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Row by Row Experience™

Sandy and LP worked on the Splendid Sampler™ for a year....that internet quilt-along was a GREAT experience....and we had fun. It added a major "sew and tell" element to our TMBC Tuesdays.

But now what??

NOT TO WORRY -- they finished their Splendid Sampler™ quilts just in time to start their Row by Row Experience™!!

You've never heard of that??

Here -- from their website:

Row by Row Experience™ began in 2011 with 20 quilt shops across New York State. Today thousands of stores across the US, Canada and Europe welcome travelers through their doors. The quilts created with those rows are stunning… and no two are alike! 

Although the quilt shops are organized by area, quilters have no borders. Travel, shop, collect patterns and add rows to your quilt from anywhere! Read some of the amazing stories about the rowers (quilters) and Row by Row quilt shops around the world on the Row by Row Studio blog. Even Prince William received a row as a gift!
Oh, yeah -- THIS IS GONNA BE FUN!!
This is a VERY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE from the Splendid Sampler™.

Row by Row works more like a Shop Hop. There are thousands of participating shops -- and each shop has created their own, unique "pattern". You can go to the website, and see the designs -- then decide whether or not you want to drive to that shop to buy their kit. (or pick up the free pattern).

They cannot sell the patterns to you over the phone or online...

YOU HAVE TO GO THERE...

GIDDY-UP...!!
Sandy is our official Facebook Editor, and camp photographer.  She took some pictures of the first Row By Row patterns.
LP had a friend visit (from Virginia) -- and she brought many patterns with her -- PLUS they went on an Iowa Row By Row Junket...
This was one of the first Row by Row kits LP finished...did I mention the fact that her daughter in Texas is doing a Row by Row tour of the Texas shops...(and her other daughter is doing the same thing in Illinois)...
Sharalan is trying to collect 8 patterns featuring campers...
Because there is a THEME every year...and 2017 is "On The Go!"
Oh, yeah -- THIS IS GOING TO BE FUN..!!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sprinkle Pancakes

One of the best Breakfast-at-Grandma's-house ideas I ever had was coconut pancakes. I just added the coconut to the pancakes, once I poured the batter onto the grill...
When I flipped the pancakes, the coconut got all crispy...yumm-o...
Warren wanted "sprinkle pancakes"...and I figured that would be simple enough. So, using the same technique...
Warren was all in on this deal...
I flipped them, expecting greatness...
I am, once again, trying to answer Warren's most frequently asked question, "why can't we eat butter with a spoon?"..
But then, this happened....YUCK...The sugar melted and burned. Epic Fail!!
But, hey -- WE NEVER GIVE UP ON SPRINKLES!! We decided to try the smaller sprinkles...
Lilly's favorite color is red; Warren's favorite color is blue...Fingers Crossed...
I can't believe this is MY BEST PHOTO of the delicious, SUCCESSFUL sprinkle pancakes!!