Friday, August 09, 2013


After I moved to Georgia  I realized how much I missed my friends back in Wisconsin and other places.  It was a big wake up call on how important my friends are to me, whether we were close in proximity or not.  I decided to try and do an autograph quilt.  I did two previous blog posts on this quilt.  First post link is here and the second post link is here if you are interested in reading the whole history.

Reminds me of newsprint
I finally got it completed, quilted and bound.  It was quilted at The Quilt Shop on Main in Jasper, GA.  I think I should have bound it in solid black, but I am happy with the way it turned out. The fabric is beautiful and the result reminds me of newspaper print.

Close up of some of the quilting
I especially love the backing fabric.  So pretty!

I love the backing fabric

The quilt has made me realize  more than ever how important it is to work at maintaining friendships no matter where you are on this earth.  Social media has become huge for me.  Facebook keeps me "talking" to friends far and near.  I can stay active in their lives and they mine, to a point.  As we all know, it does have its issues.  But, what a great way to stay in touch.

Anne Marie is the sassy one! LOL
The past year I have also made an effort to send out more cards to friends - especially for no real reason, but just to let them know I am thinking of them.  Who doesn't like to go to the mailbox and find a piece of mail that is not a bill or junk?  And, sometimes when going through a bad time, knowing that a friend took the time to mail a card can lift your spirits.  I know it does mine.

There is nothing like picking up the phone and calling someone.  Hearing someones voice, their laughter - well, there is nothing like it.  And, sometimes you just need to talk.

Becky and Cary included their wonderful children - a great family!

My friend, Nancy, retired to the Phoenix, AZ area a couple of years before I moved to Georgia.  We have found a unique, fun why to stay in touch.  We both enjoy watching certain TV shows, especially Project Runway.  For the last couple of years every week we call each other within a few days after the show and discuss the program.  It may seem silly, but we really do talk about the clothing made, the techniques used, the results and, of course, the contestants.  Our conversation then goes into what is happening in our lives, the world, the books we are reading, mutual friends, etc.  We joked that after Project Runway is done for the season we wouldn't talk.  But, there is Design Star and Food Network Star!  Calling each other weekly to discuss a TV show may sound funny, but Nancy is one of my dearest friends and even though we are thousand of miles away, we are extremely close.

Close up of border and binding

Getting back to the autograph quilt, my friend, Kate, wrote on her block, "a quilt of 26 hugs." How true. When I miss my friends from Wisconsin and other places I can cuddle up underneath this quilt  remember how wonderful it is to have them in my life.  I can be quiet and still and think about how important they are to me and feel their love.

I am truly blessed.

Thursday, August 08, 2013


I like fresh goods.  I like good food.  I like to eat.  And, I love eggs. 
Look at these beautiful and colorful eggs
Fried, scrambled, poached.  I love them. 

Since retirement I have found a lot of pleasure in baking.  I have a "new" Kitchenaid mixer (bought at an estate sale) and I have been baking like crazy.  I find using good ingredients is a must.  Pure vanilla, good butter and, of course, eggs.

Good ingredients make fabulous cakes, like this Strawberry cake
I had been trying to find someone or someplace that sold organic/free range chicken eggs to no avail.  Then, a few months ago I stopped in a little craft store in Ball Ground, GA and the owner sold the eggs I was looking for.  She connected up with a local man who has a flock of "girls" as he calls them, he raises for pure enjoyment.  Over 55 chickens gives him a lot of eggs.  So, some he sells to the store owner, who, in turn, sells them to the public.  Beautiful eggs.  I would purchase two dozen at a time and had at least one double yolk in the bunch.  Yes - a real double yolk egg.  Who sees that in eggs from the grocery store?  I was in in egg heaven.  Deep orange yolk.  Shells of brown, white and blue.  What fun to cook with and so good to eat! 
Look at the deep, rich color of the yolks
And, while driving down the road close to my house I saw a sign stating "Eggs for Sale."  Another source for egg!  Yea!

The best thing is that while talking to my neighbor, Rachel, and she mentioned her parents had a small flock of chickens.  They could not use all of the eggs and sold them to friends.  REALLY?  My friend, Pam, and I went to check out the chickens.  And, I got right into the coop!  I could gather my own eggs.  How cool is that?  I lived in a city all my life until I moved to Georgia in 2010.  I have been around farm animals, but not chickens.  Rachel's mom lives less than a mile from my house.  Perfect.  And, the eggs are just as wonderful.

You can't get eggs much fresher than this!

Gathering my own eggs! 
So, now I text Rachel when I need eggs and within a day or so she delivers them to my door.   Tonight Rachel dropped off a couple of dozen eggs for me.  I hand her the money (considerably less than in the grocery store) and empty egg cartons.  One time she said I might want to wash them as her parents were out of town and they gathered the eggs in a hurry.  How fresh is that?  

Feeding the girls.
Looking at these eggs I have to laugh.  Along with the blue, brown and green eggs is always one HUGE white egg - far bigger than any "extra large" size eggs I would get at the store.  This egg makes me shudder a little.  Poor hen - having to push out an egg that size a couple of times a day. 

This is the lady who pumps out those huge white eggs. 
She doesn't seem too stressed!
Using these eggs makes me almost giddy and I love the thought that I am eating something so fresh, local and contributing to my neighbor's hobby.  It's a win/win situation. 
Fun signs in the chicken coop.
I love knowing my eggs come from good, healthy chickens.  I love that I can get them from a neighbor.  Now all I have to figure out is which came first - the chicken or the egg?

* All pictures were taken at Rachels mom's chicken coop.  Thanks, Rachel!