Thought I'd share what's outside of our little hole in the wall condo. These are olive trees and this time of year, they are really loaded with olives.
Olives have to be cured to be eatable. From last years rain, they are so loaded, it woud have been a shame to havethem go to waste.
We found out to our joy that there were Italian people who harvest these every year. One group came a few weeks ago and then yesterday another group came. They gather the olives, gallon buckets of them and take them home to cure.
Alan spoke with them and they invited him to help them which he did. He found out that they knew some of the Italian contracters we befriended in our old town of Vista, California. In fact, one of the men had the same last name so they could have been related. Small world!
I guess we're starting to get adjusted to being here. Its hard to go from a 4 bedroom home with a huge garden and yard to a tiny condo. For some time, its felt like we're just visiting or on vacation. God's ways are not our ways but His ways are always the best.
I've been slowly restocking my Etsy shop. Making alot of fabric tags for the holidays.
I will be listing more in the next few weeks and months. Not just tags either, some new cards, towels and wall hangings. Hopefully by next year, I'll be back on track. It takes alot of time to get organized!
I crocheted two baby afghans some time ago. They were made with very soft baby yarn. Its an amazing yarn, so soft and warm.
The first one is a giant granny square...its done in white, green and blue.
I enjoy crocheting and will probably start doing it again. I still have my hooks and just need some yarn. Back in the early days, Alan and I made things to sell in a little gift shop. I made crocheted stuffed animals and he made rocking horses.....
The animals were something like this, I had alot of fun crocheting these and did sell quite a few of them back in the day. Now they have so many cute patterns! Back then, it was much harder to find patterns as there was no internet. I'd buy crochet magazines and go to the library for pattens.
and Alan's horses were like this
I got these images from Google search, these aren't ours. We made ours back in the late 1970s. He would made the horses and I'd paint the features on them. He sold a few of these too. He made a miniature one also which I put out at Christmas time.
The second afghan I made is a ripple one. Its Alan's favorite pattern and is an easy one.
As you can see, its the same color and yarn as the first one/ This one is rather small though, I guess I may have run out of yarn. I think I may use it in my mom's doll buggy. Nice for a doll.
I do love the ripple pattern and thinking of making a large one for our living room. Afghans make nice gifts too.
Another warm day here, but its getting cooler. Hopefully the fall is coming, Its been a long deary hot summer.We're slowly recovering from losing our nice house and garden. I have sure missed homegrown tomatoes and vegeables. Plus our dining room table, I didn't realize how much we used it and now, not having it is difficult. Praying about that, definitely!
I've been going through my cedar chest where I store linens and such. I had forgotten this beautiful pineapple tablecloth so got out our little round table to display it, I think its just gorgeous, don't you?
I believe this is made by my MIL but not sure.
Here is a closer look at the beautiful crochet work.
The Pineapple crochet pattern is a very popular design. A antique symbol of hospitality, warmth and family. It has been often used to welcome their guests. I especially am partial to it in crochet as its just beautiful.
Here are a few other doilies I found on Google
My grandmother crochet many doilies and many of hers have a pineapple theme too. So glad to have this table topper as it adds a little touch of elegance to our small living room. Do you have any pineapple themed items in your home?
My maternal grandmother was a avid crocheter and I inherited many of doilies she made. I know they aren't popular to use as they were in her day so I haven't put them out but keep them in the cedar chest for the most part. She also crocheted a lovely large tablecloth which I just handed down to my brother and family. We don't have a dining area in this little home or a table. We use TV trays to eat at which is ok for two. Not sure what we will do this Thanksgiving!
I taught myself how to crochet as grandma passed away when I was only 11. I wish I could have gotten some pointers from her. I will show you next time a couple of things I have here that I crocheted. Two baby blankets that are granny squares.
Alan inherited a beautiful afghan that his mother had crocheted and I will share that also. Guess I should crochet again as its fun and relaxing.
I've been blest with many online friends, and one of those is Penny King. She is a talented artist and also makes these darling primitive dolls. I hope you would look at her lovely things in her Etsy shop which goes by the name of Miss Pootsies Primitives... I don't know about you but Belinda Mae has such a whimiscal smile...I just love her. All her dolls are hand made and unique. Each has its own personality.
As I said before, she is a watercolor artist and here is one of her watercolors
With the holidays coming, any of these would make lovely gifts.
I've also opened my Etsy shop, Sweet Home Stitchery...
I've been busy getting caught up with stitching. I don't have very much listed right now but do have some tags and will be listing more in the coming weeks. I have several new wall hanging art done but not framed yet. However, if you like these, I will sell them just by themselves and you can frame them/ Much cheaper that way.
These would be $11.00 with shipping of $3.00. When I get them framed they will be $28.00 plus shipping. I prefer Paypal.
If you're interested, you can reach me at my email address..email@example.com
We've been really enjoying all the fresh berries this summer. Cherries, and strawberries have been especially good as have peaches and nectarines. We went to the local farmers market here and fonnd these berries. Prices have been quite reasonable too. The peaches and nectarines were only .99 cents a lb!Alan loves fruit but he does have to be careful and not over do it with diabetes.
I usualy just clean the berries and have them cold in the fridge for snacking and dessert. We like them on cereal and pudding of course, too.
Its been interesting watching life go by our little condo. We've seen alot of characters and interesting people stroll ,walk, bike and drive by in golf carts. Many of the seniors here use bikes or golf carts. The carts are usually decorated, some heavily with flags and such.
Today, I put a chicken in the crock post and later will take the meat off the bones. Making chicken tacos tonight and quesadillas tomorow. Easy way to have a tasty dinner when its warm. I also am baking Alan a pan of sugar free walnut brownies. I bakes some banana bread early this morning too. Guess I'm in a cooking mood!
I have the two quilts, I had posted about to show you..
The first is my great grandmothers..she was born in 1864.
The quilt was made from dress material from the 1930s when she visited my grandparents...I believe the pattern is 9 patch but I could be mistaken. Its bound nicely with red fabric and is in fairly good condition for its age.
The second quilt, my grandmother made..she was born in Iowa from German immigrants who came over in 1850. They spoke German in the home. She was born in 1888 in Ottumwa. Having done some research, I found the family farm in that town. Its on the outskirts and still has a farmhouse on it. I'd love to go one day and see it. There is farm land there too but from the Google site, it doesn't look like its been farmed in some time.
Its done in pink and green and is in great conditon but the binding in some sides is worn. This would fit the top of a queen bed. The other quilts I've shown are better for a full.My grandparents had one on their bed and one in the guest bedroom. I remember sleeping on the floor in the guest room when I was little and later slept in a bedroom in the basement of the house when I was older. The basement was creepy for me but as I got older, it was fine. The creeking of the floor joists was the worst!
Grandma also did alot of crochet work. She was always making doilies and used them in the living room on the chairs and sofa. I am lucky enough to inherit those too. She crocheted a beautiful tablecloth which my brother has. I plan on giving him some of the doilies too if he wants them.
Here are a few photos of my great grandparents, the German immigrants,
This is my great grandparents on my mothers side, Henry Wagner and his wife, Laura Alice. Henry arrived in the US with two brothers, and then went back to German tofind his wife. They were farmers, just look at his shoes!
Here is my grandma when she graduated from high school
she made the pink and green quilt...
I'm sorry, I know I said I'd share the other quilts but we had a bit of small emergency and had to watch our 5 year old grandson for a few days. As the quilts are in the cedar chest, its a little difficult for me to get them out right now.
I do promise to show them to you but until then, I wanted to share a great cake recipe. This one I made for my mother on her 78th birthday. She was really impressed and loved it. It does take a little more care and work than a normal cake but well worth it. Especially for a special person. Many times older people don't need things very much for their birthday, but something like this does that shows care and love makes a big impact.
I got the recipe from this cookbook,
Its a collection of the magazines recipes from throughout the year. We used to subscribe to Sunset. The cake I made is the one on the cover. Isn't it beautiful? and its just as delicious too.
The print is small so I'm going to give you the recipe so you can make it for your special person. Its well worth the work, believe me!
Strawberry Lemon Crunch Cake
Lemon-pistachio Sponge Cake
4 cups strawberries, hulled
Pistachios reserved from cake
Mint Lemon-pistachio Sponge Cake
Place 1 1/2 cups shelled, roasted pistachios in a 8 inch square pan and put in a 350 oven for around 10 minutes or until deep golden in color. Cool completely. Reserve 1 cup for later, chopped finely the rest.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, 4 large egg whites, beat at high speed until foamy. Beating gradually, add 1/2 cup sugar until whites hold their shape. Set aside.
In another large bowl, beat 4 large egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of grated lemon peel until very thick. Add 1/2 cup flour and 3 Tablespoons water plus the chopped nuts. Mix at low speed.
Stir a bit of the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture gradually, and then gently fold in the rest of the white mixture. Spread batter in a ungreased 9 or 10 inch cheesecake pan with a removeable bottom.
Bake at 325 oven until cake is golden and springs back when lightly touched in middle when touched gently in the middle. About 40 minutes. Let cake cool completely in pan on a rack. Run a spatula around the edges between cake and pan, then remove sides. Slide a spatula until the cake from the bottom of the pan. At this point, you can make the cake ahead of time and it will keep about a day.
In a 2 to 3 qt pan, mix 4 large egg yolks 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, and 1/2 cup butter ( use the real stuff) cut in pieces. Stir over medium low heat, until mixture thickens and heavily coats a spoon a metal spoon. 8 to 12 minutes. Cool and chill until cold, at least, 1 1/2 hours. Beat 1 cup of whipping cream until stiff and then fold in the lemon cream. it took can be made ahead about a day.
Butter a 12 square of foil and set aside. In a 1 to 1/2 qt. pan, mix 3/4 cup sugar, 3 Tablespoons water, and 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup. Boil over medium high heat until syrup measures 300 degrees on a candy thermometer 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, immediately stir in 1 teaspoon baking soda and grated lemon peel. Pour onto foil. Let cool. Enclose in a plastic bag, coarsely crush the candy with a mallet.
it can be made ahead of time.
Place cake on a platter and slip pieces of paper underneath it to cover plate rim. Swirl all the lemon cream but one cup on top and sides of cake. Pat lemon crunch around the sides of the cake and just to the top edge. There may be extra which you can use for other things.
Arrange the strawberries , either cut side down or up on top of cake. Garnish with mint. Chill the cake for up to 2 hours.
Serve the remaining nuts and cream on the side. Nice to add as a garnish to a cut slice.
As I said, this cake is more work than most but well worth it. Absolutely delicious and great for a special birthday or other celebration. Most of it can be made ahead of time too which is a plus. My mom is no longer with us but we have great memories of her birthday and this memorable cake.
This is one of two quilts I inherited from my great grandmother, Mary Roberta, my grandfathers mom. She visited the family in Spokane, Wa one winter in the late 1920s and during that time made two quilts. The time line would make this about 90 years old.
It is beautifully handquilted and the perfect size for a full bed. Its also in wonderful condition as you can see. All done in soft yellow and violet.
I also have another quilt, which I will share tomorrow. Its in a little rougher condition and also I have one that my grandmother made. It just needs to have the outer binding redone.
these quilts were all used in my grandparents house until they passed. None of the other family wanted them so I guess as the youngest grandchild they fell to me. I cherish them and always wanted to have a guest room to display them.
Here is a photo of Mary and her family, my grandfather as a young boy, and his two sisters, Gladys May and Katie Edith. Poor Katie, the smaller girl on the left, died of the flu, in 1899. She was only 15 at the time. My mom was named after Gladys.
I plan on working more on my family tree and finding out more about the family. I started working on it some time ago but family matters took over so now that we're semi-retired, I hope there will be time to continue my quest.
I do have a Wiki Tree page with what I have so far and its been wonderful meeting others that have added to it. Especially offshoots from my immediate line.
Great grandma's first husband, the father of the the above family, died when my grandfather was only 3 months old. She again married her brother in law, and went on to have 4 more children. I really don't know much about them, nor do I know what really happened to my mothers namesake, Gladys May.. So there is much to find out and explore!
I also inherited my mama's doll buggy. She had stored it out in a shed so it was rather dirty when we brought it home. But it is in very good condition. Even the tires have their original rubber on them.We did paint it as the white paint that it originally had yellowed considerably. This is probably as old as Rosemary. Mom was born in 1919. So this is from the 1920s also.
I've always liked it and thought of many ways to use it as a display piece. Not only for a doll, but it would be darling sitting next to a fireplace filled with wrapped Christmas gifts or greenery.
I cherish both Rosemary and this doll buggy. I hope to pass them on one day who will cherish them as much as I do.
Mama told me once she had a tiny iron toy stove too. A toy that she took out into the yard and actually cooked on. I've seen these on Ebay but never had one.
Here is a picture of one I found online
I have found a couple of the accessories for such a stove...a coal shuttle and a cooking pot.
The cooking pot is a "spider" with legs on it.
As I said before, you can find them on Ebay...here is a link for such a listing...Cresent Stove-Toy
In my next post, I'll share the quilts I also inherited...from the 1920s and 30s.