Sunday Chat

Seems like the number of activities has increased exponentially lately. Maybe it is just the contrast from the past year of staying home. We are playing pickleball a couple of times a week now, and doing more with friends as well. Two trips to Atlanta to deal with issues with my mother in law’s home didn’t help. We also made a quick trip to Virginia with one of our car clubs, and I’ll have a post on that for you soon. It was a fun time of dodging raindrops while we motored along past pastoral scenes of rural farms and beautiful mountain views. Very relaxing.

Early June brings the dogwood blooms, and the tree on the edge of our meadow is blooming beautifully.

The honeysuckle is blooming too. Paws folded and looking hopeful, who can resist this face? Please, may I have a sandwich?

Oliver isn’t missing any meals, though. We can tell him apart from the others now as he is a bit more portly than Jack and Charlie. It is past time for the females to have their litters so it isn’t a pregnancy. I haven’t yet seen any little ones yet, but probably will soon.

The last of the later blooming irises came up, and now those are all done. They are a nice two tone purple. My burgundy ones only had one bloom, and my purple and white ones didn’t bloom at all. I think I need to clean out the bed and uncover the rhizomes, they must have gotten covered with falling leaves.

In the continuing saga of the wrens, My Sweet Babboo decided to buy them a home. He ordered one specifically for Carolina Wrens, and put it in a tree near our home. We do like listening to their songs in the avian choir. You can see it here in the middle of the photo.

It is a lovely place, supposedly perfect for them, and should be very attractive to them. It is just the right size, placed under the cover of the tree branches. They sometimes sit in that tree, so this seemed like the perfect thing. So, did they use it? Of course not.

While we were out of town, they were able to build yet another nest and lay eggs for their second brood this year in a pot on the edge of the veranda. No way am I going to disturb eggs. I’ll keep an eye here to see if we get little ones hatched. Maybe next time they will find the wren house. I just hope that being away from our front door will keep us from being attacked when we are on the veranda. I also hope the moist dirt under it will not develop a nest fungus.

Inside, something exciting is happening! It looks like my orchid is going to bloom again. I am thrilled with this, as for several years it didn’t bloom at all.

Tomatoes are coming into the tailgate markets, and I got a haul of them recently. Of course, it was time for a tomato pie.

My recipe took months to develop, and the secret to not having a watery pie is to dry the tomato slices overnight.

I also make a vodka crust. The alcohol burns off in cooking so there isn’t any vodka taste. The secret to flaky crust according to America’s Test Kitchen is substituting another liquid for half the water, and this is what they recommend. Water with flour makes gluten, and that is what makes a tough crust. This crust is still flaky the next day! Plus, no water in the dish from the tomatoes either. Download the whole recipe with the vodka crust – Carole’s Tomato Pie Recipe – the crust is on page 2. You can also see my post Carole’s Tomato Pie for the recipe step by step.

After the Safelight Project delivery was made early in the week, I was able to have lunch with friends. We ate at my favorite restaurant, Champa. I love sushi, and the plates are always presented so beautifully. Not all sushi is raw. This one was spicy lobster topped with mango and tobiko (a Japanese caviar), and a shrimp tempura with avocado. Sometimes food is art.

Sometimes rocks are art. This past week, I painted more rocks and got them varnished. I hid some this past week, and have a few left to hide this coming week. This is really so much fun!

I was taking photos from the car as we drove out to see friends for lunch in Waynesville. It was hard to get a photo of the horses with the carpet of yellow dandelions. With the mountains in the background, these scenes are all over the county in late May and early June.

I participated in another bird count day, and was able to get this photo of a blue jay. There was a pair together in the tree. I tried to get both in a photo, but they wouldn’t sit still for their portrait.

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I need a quilting project, as I am done with everything I have in progress. Nope, no UFOs here! I have a repair to do, so that will be next, then I may start another Quilt of Valor. That is kind of my go-to when I don’t have something of my own design to do. I did a patriotic table runner for the MadamSew blog and it is scheduled to publish on Tuesday the 8th. I also finished a new design for a sewn Christmas ornament and that will publish on their blog in July. I still have those Japanese fabrics that I need to use, but I just cannot decide what to do with them. It sure is nice to spend a hot day in a cool basement sewing space, though. Now I just need to figure out what to sew next.

What are your plans for next week?

26 thoughts on “Sunday Chat

  1. Julie

    Thinking of D-Day today. We have baby squirrels now & a wren nesting in the box hanging from the eaves. But no lovely photos like yours! Thanks for the visual feast.


    Wonderful post today! We have 2 sets of blue jays. They are fun to watch and are busy birds. Lovely pictures also . Thank yoy

  3. Just new to your posts. Love them! One question…when do you sleep? LOL. I’ve been through NC but would love it better if I could do a tour. It is beautiful country! I am a quilter just starting again after a long hiatus. I wrote a book! Knew I couldn’t focus on two hobbies at once. But I love that I’m back and my piecing skills weren’t lost. Having fun going down the Pinterest hole (where I found you) and seeing all the “new” blocks and patterns. I live in the desert of Nevada so your pictures of greenery are envious.

  4. Janet B

    I am working on a quilt repair. It has a hole in it approximately an inch in diameter. Would you cover it with a round patch or a square patch?

  5. Super fun post. I reallly like how sweet Oliver held his hands and asked so politely “Please Miss Carole, may I have a Peanut Butter Sandwich?”.

  6. Donna

    Oliver is a chunk!!! Your rocks are so pretty! You are an artist! One would think my rocks were made by a small child! They look that bad but it’s fun hiding them and they always get picked up! I did enjoy reading how you started the Safelight Project and how it has grown!

  7. This is such a delightful post, Carole! How far is Waynesville from where you live? Our favorite mountain hideaway is near there. Beautiful photos, tomato pie sounds so good!

  8. Jean McKinstry

    The animals, birds, and the views, all a huge delight as we have grey days and some rain down here. No project, that sounds unusual for you as there is always something fun and interesting and really beautiful on the go, maybe just time to look at your lovely fabrics and play with them, I can always have great joy in just looking at my batiks, with no set plan in mind. Car outings, you must all be so thrilled to actually be able to go out and meet others.

  9. 2cbv

    I must have been daydreaming when painting and hiding rocks have been discussed previously. Very pretty artistry. Where do you hide them? Around your yard or public places?

  10. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    Oliver looks so cute sitting there with his hands folded for his portrait!! He is definitely more portly than the next one, Jack or Charlie? Beautiful birds and views. We have a bird nesting in the top my wire mesh wreath on the back porch. We were able to sit out there yesterday morning and while she didn’t attack us. She would fly in and out in a huff to let us know she really didn’t want us around her nest! I have an embroidered card class tomorrow and after that will be working on Sunshine Cove block 7. Got all the appliques cut out and now to get the background starched and ironed and marked and then I’ll be ready to go!

  11. Susan Nixon

    Thank you for pictures of things I would never see without you. Your food all looks delicious! Oliver is probably chubbier because he catches your attention. LOL

  12. Mary Ed Williams

    I love your Sunday chats. They are inspirational, not enough to get me moving, but very good. I can see the wheels turning in that squirrels head. I spent many, many winters trapping and carting them off, only to learn that they come right back if you don’t go several miles. Gas got too expensive to continue that. So I bought one of those very expensive feeders and then bought another when they completely destroyed the first. Are you seeing a pattern here?
    Have a wonderful, hot week.

  13. Mary

    Are the cars all black? They must look pretty impressive all in convoy! Lovely day out. Your garden is lovely, along with birds and animals. You have spiked my creative juices with the little stones – must get painting!!
    Lovely chatty post, most enjoyable. Thanks Carole. :))

  14. I enjoyed reading about everything going on over there, Carole! Life is getting busier, isn’t it?! I’ve never played pickleball, but have friends who love it. Love your painted stones – they do look like fun! We took a long drive out to the eastern plains of Colorado yesterday to meet our son for a picnic lunch. Even Colorado is beautifully green right now!

  15. You asked our plans for the week. Grandson finished up soccer tournaments this weekend with a celebratory pool party. His softball season starts Tuesday… then Wednesday he and I are heading south. Meeting friends for lunch in Knoxville, then on to Upstate SC. (of course, there will be stops along the way to enjoy – I love to stop in Hendersonville). Family reunion and visiting for several days, a brief trip to beach, then return to Ohio for his birthday. Will be a busy 2 weeks.

  16. Rita C.

    Sounds like life is good, wrens included. Your sushi looks really good! I’m sure you’re probably already into another project by now. 😉

  17. Chloe Crabtree

    It sounds like you have had a busy month or so! I just love the beautiful dogwood and iris. I so miss the flowers that just don’t thrive here in Florida! That little squirrel is quite the chubby fellow, isn’t he?!

  18. Phyllis Smith

    Hello Carole, Have been here at the computer desk all day getting recipes and checking the e-mails. Defrosting my supper In the micro so I can have supper. It is some kind of chicken with carrots so It will be a bit of a surprise cause I made it back in March an that’s the best clue I have , SURPRISE!!! Oh well it will fill my tummy with a bit of wine with it.

    Called my son about the air conditioner in my car & told him he needs to take care of his family obligations just like his customers do their own family, they aren’t the only people on this earth. I have waited for 2 years for this to be taken care of so get with it son. I want to take a trip to Ashville to see some relatives I haven’t seen in over 50 years but we have kept in touch and I want to give them some things I have from other relatives that need to be kept In the family . I know there is a craft show in the fall in Ashville that is quite large and I’d like to go to that if the timing is right and convenient for me to be there. Also I know there is a hotel on the ridge that use to host the gingerbread house competitions I want so much to go to. Have you Ever been to that event? There was an article in the Southern Living book a few years ago about it. If you get that book monthly you may have seen it. Well my chicken and carrot meal is ready so will go feed my face and enjoy a glass of wine with it and take my pill to help my blood pressure and call it an evening and relax. You and yours have a great evening. Phyllis

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