Saturday, August 23, 2014

Gift for Grandma

My 93 year old grandma came all the way from Austin, Texas to Virginia to visit her grandson and his family. I had the pleasure of being close enough to drive to see her and my cousin and his family all last weekend. 

When I visited with her in the spring, she showed me some kitchen towels she had that she really liked. She likes how the dish towel is folded double.  She said that she couldn't find any more of them, so I determined to make them for her. They are really simple: a potholder sown to a dish towel with a button sown on. Of course I found a pinterest tutorial

Here's how they turned out:
So simple and I hope she gets good use from them.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Baby quilt

I found some great fabric at Tuesday Morning and then I went looking for a quilt pattern.  I found this one on AllPeopleQuilt. I halved all the pieces and added my own boarder and I'm very pleased with how the top turned out. Now I need to get brave enough to finish it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Last week's food

Last week I tried several new recipes. I was on a soup kick because I thought it would be easy to make. (sorry for the lack of pictures)

This first recipe was easy, but it sure did take a long time. My carrots wouldn't cook!!  The soup was delicious, however.
Roasted Summer Vegetable Soup

I also tried a guacamole soup from a friend's high school recipe book. This one was delicious and so easy! I smashed up half an avocado in the bottom of a bowl and mixed in some lemon juice and garlic salt.  I then boiled chicken broth and added it to the bowl with some shredded chicken and cilantro.  So tasty!

The last recipe I tried was for dessert for my life group.  I used this pioneer woman recipe: Deep Dish Fruit Pizza.  I wasn't as impressed with it as I thought I would be. I liked the look of it better than the taste.  The cookie part was rather dry (and there was so much cookie!). I also thought that the recipe made 2x the icing I needed.  The icing and fruit were delicious. I think the icing would make a great fruit dip or spread. And if I were to try this again, I would probably try making individual fruit pizzas from individual sugar cookies (so there would be less cookie). I also might try a different cookie recipe to see if I could keep it from being so dry. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Natalie MacMaster - Volcanic Jig

This has inspired me to pick up my violin again. Surprisingly, I remember my fingerings and I can make some sound. :) I would need some practice to play this well (and fast).

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Summer Vacation - Part II - Asheville

Michael and I drove back to Virginia from Texas because he was working at a band camp and planning to stay for a while in Virginia so he needed a vehicle of his own.  I had been wanting to visit an old friend of mine in Asheville for quite some time, and the drive back seemed like the perfect opportunity. Fortunately, it worked out for her as well.  We drove around the Biltmore grounds, tasted their wine, ate great food, watched the Fourth of July fireworks in downtown Asheville, and drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Asheville is a quirky city with lots of great food and shops. I would love to visit again and do some hiking (and more eating).
views from the Grove Park Inn - beautiful!


Biltmore wine
Farm Burger

Blue Ridge Parkway and orange watermelon from Texas

Looking Glass Falls - great for people watching (just like reality tv)
Battery Park Book Exchange - enjoy wine while browsing used books!  That's my kind of place!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer Vacation - Part 1 - Austin

This year, my summer vacation was mostly spent seeing family in Texas before I start school this fall.  The impending stress of school full-time and work full-time means I don't know when I'll have the opportunity to see everyone again.  My 93 year old grandmother lives in Austin and since Michael was with me, we took some time to explore downtown before seeing my aunt and my cousin's baby in New Braunfels. We didn't catch some of the best parts of the city, but we did get to spend some time around the University of Texas. 
View of downtown Austin from Mount Bonnell

View of the Colorado River from Mount Bonnell (this is where the rich people live)

Peacock at the Mayfield Nature Preserve

Austin Murals (I would have liked to see more of them but I didn't know where they were)

State Capital building


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Health Care Economics

I just finished a Health Care Economics class last week and I found it fascinating. I would take more economics classes if I had the time.

One of the books recommended by the professor is this one by David Goldhill:

I just finished reading it and I think it has content that many in our country should read. I had no idea that there was another way to think about how to pay for healthcare other than the current insurance model.  From both the class and this book, I have learned that we treat health insurance unlike any other insurance we buy (ex: we don't expect car insurance or home insurance to pay for regular maintenance) and that because we expect for health insurance to pay for all of our health care costs, it creates waste and increased spending.  I don't know how we're going to get out of the mess we're in, but it looks like it might bankrupt us.  This book is definitely worth a read if you have the time.