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My sewing machine saga continued

Thommmee bought me a beautiful vintage sewing machine this week.

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I have recently been obsessed with sewing machines while I try to decide what I am going to do about my machine. These old machines are quite something. I remember my mom had something very similar.

When researching this machine, I found that there is a wealth of information about these classics on the internet. There is a large blog community, a Facebook page, and multiple websites to help you date, clean, repair, fix, use, collect, and anything else you can think of on these old machines.  Although it does not seem most of them are worth a great deal of money, I feel fairly confident that Thommmee’s $20 was well spent.

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While I can appreciate the beauty of this machine, I don’t plan to keep it.  First, my machine does not seem to have a long future before her. After taking her to the sewing machine center, I found out that it will cost $169 to repair. I only paid $149 for her new (well, refurbished) 4 1/2 years ago. They were able to get her running again while in the store, but she still conks out after a while.  I have to baby her along so I know her days are numbered.

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Secondly, I have a rather small sewing room (at least I have a room so I am very grateful for that)! I just do not have enough space to justify keeping it.  While at the store I  discovered I really need three machines to make the type of projects I am interested creating!  I need my basic sewing machine…

…one for embroidery…

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…and a serger .

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  I actually came away feeling like I stepped into a new world of possibilities.  I am a bit embarrassed to admit that some of technology was new to me. Yes, I have been sewing for many years,  have been to quilting shows and craft fairs but did not spend much time looking at these fancy machines. I guess I thought they were a bit beyond me for some reason. I had no idea what could be done with these fabulous machines! I immediately came home and added each of these machines to my wish list.  The salesperson was very informative. She helped by showing me which machines would work best for my needs.

I first must take care of my immediate problem. That, of course, is my  workhorse sewing machine…the one that will do the majority of the work and day-to-day stitching.

Sooooooo…after many hours of research I made a decision.

This is the sewing machine I finally decided upon.

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Now all I have to do is be patient  until it is delivered!!

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Sew On!

Tomorrow I  must make a decision regarding my good friend.

My sewing machine.

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I have worked this machine hard.

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I have stitched, zig zagged, zipped, and zapped and now it needs a good tune up…..

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or maybe it is time to be replaced.

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I called a local service center and tomorrow I am taking this trusty machine in for a look-see. She says there is a good trade-in credit given if I decide to buy a new machine…

Time to upgrade?

…or possibly it may just need some adjustments.

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Either way, I  feel a bit lost as I packed up today…

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…in preparation for a short road trip tomorrow.

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Maybe they don’t make them like they used to.

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Maybe I really want a new fancy machine.

I like bells and whistles.

I like to save money.

Can I made a sensible decision??

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One thing is for certain….

I will keep on sewing!

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Saying Good-bye to Summer

Labor Day marks the unofficial end to summer. The stores have been full of back to school shoppers. Already the pens, pencils, and notebooks are being pushed aside to make room for the Halloween goodies.  Kids all around us have started back to classes with a few stragglers  preparing to resume their studies within the next few weeks.

 For us summer for has meant beach outings,

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road trips,

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 playing outdoors,

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and swimming pools.

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It has been enjoying cool mornings before it gets too hot,

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 evening sunsets,

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and tomatoes from our garden.

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We have had some 100 degree plus temps and higher electric bills-but for us in Southern California, this is just the beginning.  September and October will bring us Santa Anna winds, hotter temperatures, higher fire danger, and more serious drought conditions. It will also extend our summer and allow us to enjoy more of the fun… wpid-2013-10-27-11.50.52.jpg.jpeg

…until we are so tired of the heat we will welcome with open arms the coolness of  a late fall.

The best part of the year is still to come!

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November is my favorite month. We will have pleasant days and chilly nights. The winds will have blown all the dust and dirt away.  There will be blue skies.

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We will pull up our blankets at night and run around in jeans and a t-shirt during the day.

We will take a rides

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and go camping in the desert for Thanksgiving.

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Before we know it (dare I say it???)

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It will be Christmas!

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Oh the things you see…

We have been away from home for almost two weeks. We have seen some absolute beauty, reconnected with some wondeful people, had a fantastic time, and well…seen some most interesting things…

…like the biker in the Colorado mountains…

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…with his tiger riding shotgun…

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…the custom trailer designed to look like a sports car…

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….and the drive through the Eisenhower Tunnel in the Colorado mountains.

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Loved seeing the Clydesdale horses at the brewery in St Louis…

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…the funky (but cute) area near the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque…

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…and the New Mexico rest stops.

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I cherished spending time with family…

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…meeting interesting characters…

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…enjoying the sunrises…

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… and the fun we had seeing it all…

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…together.

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On The Road Again!

 

We have been off on another road trip. We are headed back to Missouri for a family reunion. Thommmee and I agreed that this trip would require a different route, take a little longer, and we would be stopping to smell the roses (or whatever) along the way. Here are a few of the high points of our trip so far.

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Zion National Park-Koloab Canyon

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Sunrise over Richfield, Utah

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Rocky Mountain National Park -Hallowel Park Meadows

Vail Pass Colorado

Big sky of Colorado

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Burlington, Colorado

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Carousel  built about 1904

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The Cranberry Cabin in Missouri-our temporary home.

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I love road trips!

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Orange Cauliflower Rice

At our recent trip to the Farmer’s Market, we came across an orange cauliflower. I had never seen this variety so golden…so cheesy looking……..I grabbed one up with an idea of cauliflower rice forming in my mind.

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One of my favorite foods is white rice. We have given up this delicacy the past few months while we have focused on healthy eating and portion control. I know if I make up a batch of white rice I will over indulge with mounds of butter or gravy. For now, it is off my list of food choices so the idea of cauliflower rice sounded really good.

I began searching the internet for a recipe. While I did realize that the uniqueness of this orange color would not actually change the flavor of the cauliflower, I could not wait to make my rice. I took a combination of several recipes to create my masterpiece and this is what I came up with.

Orange Cauliflower Rice

Wash cauliflower and break into small flowerets.

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Using a food processor or grater, chop into fine rice-sized pieces. I used a small food chopper and chopped in small batches.

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Sautee onion and garlic in a small amount of olive oil.

This is optional.

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Add drained cauliflower, stir into pan, cover and cook for 5-10 minutes until you reach your desired tenderness. Thommmee and I don’t like our veggies too mushy so about 8 minutes cooking time worked . There were different opinions about adding additional water or oil. I decided to add a small amount of oil as I began cooking to avoid sticking. If your cauliflower is wet, the additional moisture will help steam it. You don’t want it too wet, however.

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It worked perfectly! We both loved this ‘indulgence’ and liked it better than cauliflower mashed potatoes. The consistency was more satisfying and the nice orange color (while not changing the flavor) made the ‘rice’ more visually pleasing . We added a bit of butter, salt, and pepper.

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Dinner is served!

This is a keeper.

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A Saturday Adventure

This past weekend Thommmee and I loaded up our bikes and headed to the beach.

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(Well, he did most of the loading.  I made the coffee and packed the lunch)

Our favorite place to ride is along the oceanfront path in Huntington Beach….

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(also know as Surf City USA)

We parked and unloaded at Sunset Beach which is about 5 miles from the Huntington Beach Pier. Our goal was to reach the pier.

There is always so much to see along the route which makes the ride enjoyable.

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 A volleyball game…..

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(or a nap)

……an exercise class……

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…. and a beach clean-up day.

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We checked out beachfront campers….

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….and stopped to appreciate the surfers.

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We noticed the local wildlife….

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and stopped at one of many pit stops along the way.

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Before we knew it we had arrived at the Huntington Beach Pier.

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And now we had to make the return 5 mile trip.

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We made it back in one piece (whew!) and met up with our daughter and grandkids for a few hours.

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I guess we had not yet worn ourselves out yet so we decided to visit the Irvine Farmers Market. We loaded up the car and off we went.

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(got some wonderful white peaches and fresh tomatoes)

Still full of energy, we decided to move on to our favorite flea market located in Orange. We lucked out since it is only a monthly event.

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After all of that we were sufficiently exhausted and made the 30 minute drive home to collapse.

I think that was enough for one day!