Friday, December 16, 2011

Fabric Flowers

My mom and I have been admiring these fabric flowers for quite some time now.  So yesterday my mom found out how to make them!  What fun!  They don't take long at all and in a way they aren't difficult.  In a way, they are.  But here's what we have so far! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hazy Shade of Winter

It has been a crazy weekend and through it all it has been dark and rainy.  Usually I'm sick of it and wishing for sunshine after a day or two, but after the very long summer, I notice none of us are complaining.  Funny what a little perspective will do for you...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Now that Thanksgiving is waning... we've already feasted and napped and started pondering whether or not anything which will be on sale after midnight tonight will be worth getting out of bed for... I offer wishes for your happy Thanksgiving, hoping that you have enjoyed the love of your family and friends.  Happy Turkey Day, friends!

And, since Miss CQ posted such a lovely photo with her post, I feel compelled to photo-enhance mine.  Hence, I give you....  My Brother's Thanksgiving Plate:

(Note the artistically positioned carrot and celery.)

We are blessed beyond measure, and the food we celebrate with on this day is but one small example.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope it's a great one!!                    


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

I thought I'd share the soup recipe that I made yesterday for our lunch.  It was butternut squash soup.  It is sooo good!  It isn't quite as sweet as pumpkin pie, but it really reminds me of it.  I've made it twice now and it was great both times!  I got the recipe from, which is my favorite online recipe site. 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled and seeded butternut squash , cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 large onion, cut into large dice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 3 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth, homemade or from a carton or can
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half (or whole milk)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Garnish: store-bought apple chips


  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep saute pan until shimmering.
  2. Add butternut squash, then onion; saute, stirring very little at first, then more frequently, until squash start to turn golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low and add butter, sugar and garlic; continue cooking until all vegetables are a rich spotty caramel color, about 10 minutes longer.
  4. Add cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cayenne pepper; continue to saute until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute longer.
  5. Add broth; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until squash is tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Using an immersion blender or traditional blender, puree until very smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (If using a traditional blender, vent it either by removing the lid's pop-out center or by lifting one edge of the lid. Drape the blender canister with a kitchen towel. To 'clean' the canister, pour in a little half-and-half, blend briefly, then add to the soup.)
  7. Return to pan (or a soup pot); add enough half-and-half so the mixture is souplike, yet thick enough to float garnish. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed. Heat through, ladle into bowls, garnish and serve.               

I used probably twice as much squash as the recipe called for and I baked the squash for 45 minutes at 400 degrees so it would be easier to peel.  It's really soft at that point and I just scoop it out.  It doesn't brown that way like it does in the recipe, but if you'll cook it for the same amount of time it comes out great.  :-)   Watch out with the liquids, though.  I only used two cups of broth and then just enough milk to get the consistency I wanted.
I garnished with a cinnamon stick instead of apple chips.  We didn't eat the sticks, but they looked nice.  I meant to take a picture, but I forgot once I dished it out, but it's such a pretty soup.  A nice dark orange.   Serves about 6.

Friday, November 18, 2011

lunch with friends

Rosy tablecloth, rosy plates, rosy roses, yummy lunch and delightful company.  Very nice afternoon!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What is it???

Great day at the thrift store.  Found some very good things at very good prices!  And then there's this:

Does anyone know what it is?  The little black things are flexible and rubbery.  One of my favorite things about thrift stores is the odd things that we just really don't know what they are... It's fun to guess and try to imagine what anyone could do with some of these things.  So, any guesses?  We couldn't figure this one out at all!   --Oh, and I didn't bring it home with me, just in case anyone wondered.  Someone let me know if it is a highly useful thing that I can't live without, okay? 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

the camper story, part 1

So, my boss, you see, had a tiny, old, beat-up, ugly camper.  It used to sit behind the barn.  Then it sat out front of the house, with a sign in one of its little window advertising its availability.  This sign managed to attract the attention of exactly one interested party, but in the end, no one was interested enough to fork over cash and haul the thing away.  So it moved back to the barn, and sat, forlornly baking in the sun and leaking in the rain.

Then I had a bright idea.

When one day I tucked into the conversation something about me possibly buying the camper, my boss hemmed and hawed just a little bit, then informed me that I could have it for free if I really wanted it.  But it would need work, he assured me, to get it water-tight and livable.  In fact, at every subsequent mention of the camper, my boss would try to assure me that I really wouldn't want it once I looked inside.  I persisted.  And finally, on my way home from the office one day, I stopped by the barn and took a look inside the camper.

The prevalent water damage, previous make-do fixes, and general age-related degeneration did not deter me.  I knew that behind, around, or through all those issues, a delightful little mobile living space is hiding.  And the more I surf Pinterest, the National Serro Scotty Organization website, and the web in general for rebuild photos and other inspiration, the more excited I get.  Who cares if I've never built anything in my life!  Who cares if I don't own one power tool!  Who cares if I have no real idea how to upholster, wire, plumb, or panel!  I have always been one to enthuse about learning when I have a purpose for it.

My Serro Scotty Sportsman Gaucho, which I finally measured today at 10 miniscule feet in length, is now sitting in my parents' sideyard.  Realistically, the more I investigate, the more convinced I am that this is going to be a complete re-build project.  As in, from the frame up.  I don't anticipate a religious adherence to the original design, at least not in specifics.  But thankfully, should I need to cut new walls and build new fixtures, I should be able to use the current (if rotted) pieces as a guide.  I am a long way from picking out paint or even configuring storage space, but those are the fun things to consider.  Life in sixty square feet... what an adventure!
Consider this the "before" before post.  Here are some photos of the Scotty in its current state.  Expect in-process pictures to follow... although it may be several months before I am able to make that happen.

What has happened to me?  In a matter of days I have developed an addiction to web-surfing for camper rebuild stories, which keeps me up into the night.  I anticipate scouring online listings for cheap replacement parts, creeping construction sites for free building supplies, and learning to man a table saw.  I even decided today that I probably ought to at least buy my own drill.

I repeat: What has happened to me?  If you figure it out, please let me know.

Monday, November 7, 2011

So, on Sunday, I made the hour's trek across town and country and had a nice visit with Miss C. Q. and her family.  We even had a photo session, in the dark, complete with props and family members photographers obliging us by perching perilously upon chairs for proper camera angles.  We obtained at least two blog-worthy photographs (of feet, of course).  We also have documented, for all time, our mutual attachment to the Denim Skirt.

Yep.  That's us.  :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My most recent project: 

Favors for the piano recital I'm having in a week. A friend of mine gave me the idea and another friend gave me the Lifesavers.
 I wrapped Lifesavers rolls in sheet music.  I really like it since they look like scrolls of music.  And when you open them, the Lifesavers look like whole notes. All very musical, you see. 
It was really easy too, which is very nice.  I just cut some sheet music in to 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" squares and used a glue stick to glue the paper over the labels.  Then a tied a ribbon around them, which looks pretty and helps hold the paper while the glue dries. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy November!

A slight chill in the air.  Soft, damp grass beneath my feet.  A light breeze rustles the leaves in the tops of the trees.  The first day of November.  Lovely. 

Friday, October 28, 2011


Hi Everyone!  I'm so glad you're here! 
I'm very excited to be doing this blog with my very dear friend, The Distracted Dame.  We thought we should introduce ourselves, so here I go! 
First of all, I think everyone should know, I am not good at introducing myself. 
I'm Contentedly Quirky.  The Distracted Dame gave me this name and I am loving it.  I'm looking forward to living up to it!  We'll see how it goes.  I love music and the outdoors and working with my hands and I expect those things to make up the bulk of my posts. 
That's me up there in the picture, in my tall shoes.  Unlike most high heel shoes, these shoes actually make people believe that I am tall, even though they previously thought otherwise.  So don't be fooled from this picture.  I really am not tall. 
I'm so glad ya'll are here and I hope you'll come back again soon!

Good Day!

Greetings and welcome, friends; may I introduce myself?  For the purposes of this blog, you may call me the Distracted Dame.  I get brain block whenever people ask me to talk about myself, so we'll keep this short and sweet.  I am a reader and a thinker trying to become more of a doer.  Currently I work part-time doing something I am horrible at anywhere else-- namely, managing and organizing-- for a small business.  I am also a college student.  I could fill a book with my aspirations and interests... we could start with midwifery, maternal care in developing nations, foreign languages... but I'll leave those for another time. 

I love conversations, so please do come back again, and let's get acquainted!  Miss Contentedly Quirky and I can keep the conversation going for a while, but we want to include you too.