Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More Spring Fever Randomness

No, I haven't got all my mental marbles back yet. My mind is still off wandering somewhere and shows no signs of returning. I wish it had left a note. Am I going to be like this until Summer?

Meanwhile, some more Spring Fever randomness:

I made a skirt. It's fitted and has a zipper.

Of course, since I don't have a brain right now, I made mistake on the waistline. I made the waistline a little too big, but that's better than too small...right? More room for strawberries.

I made the skirt from this book:

Sew What! Skirts. Fantastic book. You can make custom fitted skirts easily, even if you don't have a brain!

Uh oh....mind wandering alert. Do you have this problem:

Piglets overrunning your yard? We do. These are wild piglets and they're soooo cute...but they're accompanied by their very agressive mama, who storms out of the bushes to charge anyone who walks into the yard. It's a problem.

This is what the adult pigs look like:

These are the neighbor's pigs, but they're quite tame. I can't get a good picture of the wild mama that's charging me because I'm usually too busy screaming and running back toward my house. It's a problem.

This is a horse that visits us occasionally. He keeps the pigs away.

Speaking of visitors, we have a pigeon that started visiting us recently. I don't think we had pigeons before Wal Mart came to our island. Now they're at Wal Mart, Kukui Grove Mall, and Lihue McDonald's. They're spreading to all the people-y places. I don't think we should be feeding him, but look at that cute birdie face! We're keeping him in captivity so he doesn't breed. Don't want to displace any endangered Hawaii birds! He seems happy enough in his cage.

This one's name is Mr. Pidgy. He growls when you get close to him--it's really funny. Have you heard a pigeon do that hiss-growl thing....or is that just our Kauai WalMart variety? Maybe he learned it from the pig.

Here's another project I've finished lately, which has nothing much to do with anything else I've written here...

Mr. Wise Owl. Made from an old Aunt Martha transfer pack.

More animal pictures:

Mr. Bigglesworth is wondering why all the animals that come live with us have the prefix "Mr." or "Mrs." I guess it's because I respect animals. And also...they have their secrets, don't they? I don't really think you can ever really name an animal. They have their own name for themselves that you can never know. So I leave their secret first name up to them.

Of course, when they're not big enough to be a Mr. or Mrs.:

Awwwwwwww. Mr. Bigglesworth, just a few days after we got him from the Humane Society. His name was just "kitty" here. What a lovely little creature he is.

For the life of me, I can't think of a segue into this next picture:

My chocolate chip cookies. My favorite recipe is the Tollhouse recipe which is printed on the back of the chocolate chips. But why do my cookies always come out looking like this:

Flat and wrinkly. They taste good, of course, but why flat and wrinkly? My cookies used to come out puffy...do any of you know what the problem could be? Thanks in advance for any insight, and also thanks in advance for not telling me that my cookies are just going through menopause. They're very sensitive these days...

Yay! The last topic change....I think. Maybe.


My husband and I will be celebrating our 24th anniversary this Sunday. I'm the luckiest woman on earth. I love being married to him and love him with all my heart. Happy Anniversary, Honey.

And more good news...my son Grayson will be home from college for the summer on May 9th! This will be one wonderful weekend. With any luck, my brain will check in briefly in order to enjoy it.


60 comments:

Pat said...

Happy Anniversary!!! AND....2 questions for you........does that book tell a brainless person how to make fitted skirts for someone who is a bit plumper than YOU are? Second question.......do those piglets (and their pushy mom) leave little poopy presents in your yard??? YUCK!!! And...to answer your questions, I never got close enough to hear if a pigeon hisses here in Delaware (haven't actually SEEN any in our part of Delaware, as I think the seagulls and turkey hawks keep them away). And.....I never had my chocolate chips EVER turn out like the ones in pictures. At least yours USED to turn out that way, so consider yourself lucky and just EAT THESE flat and wrinkly ones, okay?

Pat said...

Oh, yes...meant to say, also, that I LOVE the fabric you used for that skirt. You do get the BEST prints over there. *sigh*

Jodi@SimplyThisThat n.. said...

Love the Skirt! Love the post! I wish my chocolate chip cookies turned out like that! I love them like that. My toll house are always fat and dry and hard as a rock. Happy Anniversary! We just celebrated #23 on Sunday. ;o) ooxx`jodi

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Enjoy your family~ happy anniversary, we have ten years on you and are still going strong! ;) The skirt is pretty, I've seen the book and will take your recommendation to heart. Well done, Lisa. I love the piggies, horse and pigeon. My dog is happy to hear that you address all amimals with respect, that's exactly what he's after here.

Sue said...

If instead of just butter you use 1/2 crisco & 1/2 butter your cookies will be puffier and I think they taste just as yummy.

Jane said...

Your cookies look delicious....my mouth is watering. My old Betty Crocker cookbook also calls for 1/2 shortening and 1/2 butter or margarine (as Sue suggested), but is also says, "For a softer, rounder cookie, add 1/2 cup flour." You might try that.

Salem Stitcher said...

Happy Anniversary!

I like flat and wrinkly chocolate chip cookies. I wish mine would turn out like that instead of fat and rock hard. I use the recipe on the back of the tollhouse package too. Maybe it has something to do with which side of the equator your oven is on.

We have Walmart seagulls around here. Used to be that seagulls were only at the beach but now, they are everywhere - Walmart, McD's, the mall. They don't growl like pigeons do but they will laugh at you.

Jackie said...

Happy 24 years!! Wonderful!! Okay, so by the looks of this post, you would think that this is a blog about animals not quilts. I just love all the animal pictures and it is a nice diversion from the normal quilting stuff. I have to say that we actually also call our felines by Mr. or Ms. They just seem to command that title. Oh, and I just love the skirt, super cute!

Jackie said...

Forgot some advice on the cookies... A little less butter and both sugars, brown and white. All those ingredients can tend to make a cookie spread. You will just have to play with the amounts.

Beth said...

LOVE the fabric from your skirt - gorgeous!
And I have a plate of cookies staring up at me right now that look exactly the same. If only I had waited a day to cook them. I'll have to try the 1/2 crisco 1/2 butter variety next time.

susan said...

hey, good for you guys! and with grayson coming home too...an extra pressie! ive been doing more knitting than quilting lately...not sure if tht is such a good thing but making great headway on max's blankie. miss you xo susan

Joy said...

I'm no use to you on the cookie question ... mine always seem to turn out a bit 'cakey'!!?!! Simple solution ... I just buy them now ;o). Love your skirt ...such a pretty print!!
Hugs,
Joy :o)

Andi said...

Maybe your brain just went on holidays and came back full of excitement over all the fun stuff it did.
Now it just wants to get everything out all at once and NOW!!!!
Nice work on the skirt. Wish I had legs that could get away with a skirt like that!
Happy anniversary.
Andi :-)

The Calico Cat said...

You've already heard it - but butter is probably your culprit.

& We have GEESE - lots & lots of geese! (With big poopies...)

Mr. Bigglesworth as a kitten - too cute!

Pieceful Jane said...

Love the skirt! I also love the uke hanging in the background. :) Congrats on making 24 yr anniversary. My hubby and I will also celebrate 24 yrs of marriage this year in November. As for the cookies, check this out: http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/Season3/Cookie/CookieTranscript.htm
I am a food network junkie, although I hate to cook. The butter makes a flatter cookie than shortening, but he also reccomends chilling the dough before baking.

MichelleB said...

LOVE the skirt - that fabric is divine! Love the owl - too cute. I'm sure Alton Brown could tell you the problem with the cookies! I love those little love birds, too. Happy Annivsary!

eatonjan said...

Beautiful skirt! My best cookie recipe calls for 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening as some have already written, but I read somewhere recently that the butter is too soft when it spreads like that. You could try chilling the dough.
P.S. I get to come to your glorious island this summer!
Can't wait.

Dionne said...

Your skirt is SO fabulous! I really love it. What a funny thing, to have wild pigs to worry about. Clearly, I've been living in the city for WAY too long, if I can't even imagine any wild animals other than birds populating my general space.
Cheers,
Dionne
PS - congratulations on your wedding anniversary. What a wonderful thing to celebrate.

Libby said...

Well, nothing for me to add on the cookie subject . . . . but I sure did enjoy reading all the tips. Bet they are delicious whether flat or fluffy *s*

Wendy said...

About the cookies: you need to add a small package of instant vanilla pudding mix for fluffy, not-flat cookies. I can send you the recipe if you like. Got it from my Gramma. Yummy!

Acornbud said...

Happy Anniversary! Those cookies look good flat, puffy no matter, heh. Hope you find your brain, although you seem to function quite well without it.

Norine said...

Sometimes my cookies get flat too. They're nice when I take it out of the oven, and during cooling, it gets flat. I think it's in the mixing of the butter and sugar. Or it could be the baking soda and/or powder is old. I don't know. But they still tastes good!! Do you have the name of the Aunt Martha pack you have with the owl? I've been trying to find a owl transfer to make a wedding gift. Love your blog.

Quiltersal said...

Happy Anniversary. No clue as to the livestock questions you pose. I may live on a home farm but don't get too close to the bovines we raise. And there are no pidgeons around here to my knowledge (they probably hide from the crazy knitter-quilter lady!).

Love the skirt...I don't sew clothing myself but I sure do appreciate the work that goes into doing it.

Regena@QuiltnQuiltthings said...

I love your Mr. Biggelsworth. He is very handsome.
As for your cookies you might try adding a little more flour to make the dough stiff. Of you could try adding Baking Powder same amount as Baking Soda.
Hope you have a great day. :o}
Regena

ladydi said...

I started using half low fat cream cheese and half butter - delicious, poufier, and less guilt. Great photos - how amazing that you have wild piggies and chickens. I wonder if someone might turn the aggressive mama piggy into blt sandwiches. Do you have an updated class schedule? I probably can't really visit Hawaii, but I like having a goal. You know the kind: "Lisa is teaching a class I just can't miss, so let's pop over to Kauai for a short visit." If someone is going to have a once in a lifetime splurge, do you have a favorite time of year on your island? (Besides the time when all the tourists go back home!)

Under the Lychee Tree said...

Happy Anniversary! Don't the years just fly by...would love to see your wedding pictures. We're off to pack up the kiddies!

Grayson said...

Hooray! I'm done with finals and ready to come home.

Angie said...

Happy Anniversary to you Both! Wonderful! Love your skirt fabric, and you look so nice wearing it! Pigs in the yard? I think you need a big dog to chase them off! I like Pigeons in small doses. Yours Mr.Piddgy looks very happy. Maybe his coo-er is broken, and sounds like a hiss?
I have better luck with cookie dough if I refrigerate it for a few hours before I shape and bake the cookies. If you can wait that long! mmmm---yours look good!

Connie W said...

I loved this post. You always make me smile and feel happy. Happy anniversary, tho belated.

Andie said...

Did you know that climate can affect flour measuring? I usually measure by weight. It sounds like your flour is probably packed tighter than average. Add a little bit and you should have sufficient fluff.

Carol E. said...

Super cute post! Love to see how your mind jumps around. Mine does, too, but I don't usually blog in that manner. Love your skirt, the animals and their names, and I ahve the SAME frustrating problem with chocolate chip cookies. I love them, but I want them thicker and chewy, not flat and crispy like they turn out.

happy zombie said...

I just love you Lisa. Do you know that? You're the ONLY person I know who could make menopausal cookies and being chased by pigs so cute, so entertaining and so delightful!

Happy, Happy Anniversary my sweet friend!
xoxo,
m

PS, I like my cookies just as you made them. I think the butter has to re-harden in the fridge before baking... why I never stick my dough in the fridge. I likes me cookies flat and crispy.

Tricia said...

re: the cookies
-using butter vs. margarine
-use a LOT more flour for fluffier cookies(like a cup or more!)
Hope they tasted good!
Tricia

Laura in IA said...

Cookies
I always understood it was the margarine. They make it with way more water these days. Read the label and if water is the first ingredient it will make your cookie flat. This was the information from about 20 years ago and we all know the products are still changing. I don't bake as much anymore but think I would try butter or a crisco like product, unless they have added water to it also.

sewing_passion said...

For your cookies - This sometimes happens to me too. If you soften the butter in the microwave you could be putting it in there too long. The butter should be room temperature. Also as others have said you could try adding more flour and adding baking powder.
My cookies sometimes turn out flat and crispy too. I've tried refrigerating the dough for an hour before baking and even overnight and they were still flat. The cookies don't last very long in my house no matter how they turn out, so I don't worry about it anymore!

Beth said...

Happy Anniversary, Happy Mother's Day, Happy, Happy got my kid home from school day!!! Great skirt. The pigs would make me alittle nervous or maybe alot nervous. If you eat the cookies either right out of the oven (or even before the oven) no one will notice.

Anonymous said...

I just saw your CC cookies. That is what mine used to look like before I started putting a little more flour into them. I grew up in Fl. and then moved to the High Plains of Texas (thought I had to get married!) a friend told me they needed more flour because of the altitude. Anyway, it worked for me. Now I just eat the CC out of the package. It is so much easier than getting the mixer out and heating up the kitchen! Happy Anniversary! We just celebrated 35years!
Marion

ck said...

Love the skirt!

Red Geranium Cottage said...

Oh my what is wrong with those cookie?? lolol Is your oven hot enough??? Maybe you should add a bit more flour? I find that helps sometimes.
It's like a zoo over there with all the animals, or like the Wild Kingdom. lolol
Happy Anniversary and Happy Mothers day to you Lisa.

ladydi said...

I just realized that your son's homecoming coincided nicely with Mother's Day! I hope you had a happy day.

zizzybob said...

Put the cookie dough in the refrigerator and let it get cold before baking. Bake a bit less at a lower temp.

Teresa said...

Happy anniversary! 24 years is pretty good going these days, I wish you 24 more!
Your biscuits look good to me - but then I buy them from the supermarket - not much of a cook I'm afraid! LOL!
Your skirt looks really sweet too

anne from finland said...

Happy Anniversary to you and your DH! I am so happy your son is at home again! You have almost a zoo in your garden! I like very much your skirt and your cookies look yammy! I especially love mr B´s kitty picture! We have no pigs in the garden, but hares and birds.

ladydi said...

Look who is smiling out at us from page 28 of the June/July issue of Quilter's Newsletter! None other than our own friend Lisa. Your Tiki Punch quilt caught my eye first, and they I recognized all the others, and you! Very nice.
My dh said he thought the basket pattern pictured on page 29 looked familiar (maybe because it's sitting on my sewing table as we speak. LOL)

artfilstitch said...

I just received my Quilter's Newsletter Magazine and sat down to read it. Quilting in Paradise is wonderful and your article is well written with all of your beautiful quilts. (I also had fun reading the article) 8>) They are all so pretty...I love the "Tiki Raspberries"! Do you have the patterns for sale? I would love to get that one and also Hawaiian Rainbow Baskets....I have some vintage Hawaiian prints that would be beautiful in your Hawaiian Basket pattern.
Great job!
Liz

Gnat said...

Love all the pictures. The skirt is awesome! Love the piggy pictures. I now want homemade cookies!! ;)

Elsie Campbell said...

Love the animal photos! And the skirt, and all your wonderful insightful musings. (Do you remember me? I was one of those editors at Chitra way back when!) Glad to find your blog! Check out my new website and blog, too.

http://elsiemcampbell.com

Laurie said...

Where do I start? I guess by saying sorry about your brain, I hope it checks in with you soon! Tell it to leave that note or at least send a text next time it wanders off! I work in a quilt shop and am thinking we need the skirt book, very cute!

Interesting wildlife you are faced with in your backyard, we have the random deer, great blue heron, ducks and squirrels. No pigs or horses yet (although the neighbors alpacas come to visit every now and then)!

Have a happy weekend,
Laurie

Laurie said...

I forgot to mention the cookies...personally I like them better flat and wrinkly...I think what makes them that way is soft butter. They will be fluffy and puffy if the butter is cold. That's my theory any way!

Anne said...

As other's have said, it's probably the butter. Butter has a lower melting point than margerine or shortening so the cookies spread further. Either use a 50/50 mixture. Or as I found out by accident, refridgerating cookie dough over night seems to make better looking cookies. However, it lacks in instant gratification.

tarabu said...

If you use bread flour instead of all-purpose, and chill your dough before baking, they tend to come out plumper and chewier.

Paige Talvi said...

Hi Lisa...I just read through "Great Cookies" by Carole Walter...and her advice is make sure your butter is not too soft and don't overmix the dough...these things make the cookie spread. She also suggests chilling the dough before baking. Also, she often uses equal parts flour and ground oatmeal. According to Carole, "Old-fashioned oats are coarser textured than quick-cooking oats and produce a rustic chewier cookie, while quick-cooking oats are cut finer and impart a more refined quality." Hope this helps!

Amanda said...

Lisa,

I am here to rescue your cookies. I haven't read the rest of the comments, so there may be someone who rescued your cookies before me. I know you won't mind.

It looks to me like you need to add a little more flour. It looks like the butter is okay, or your cookies would look greasy.

I don't ever melt my butter first nor do I leave it out on the counter to get room temperature. One time I tried to do it frozen, and that ended in my neighbor coming over to help me get my fingers out of the beater! What I would do is try your recipe without melting your butter. Beat it really well with the sugar so it gets nice and fluffy. After you add all of the other ingredients, bake a couple and see if that's the problem. If they're still flat and wrinkly, add a little more flour.

I've been making chocolate chip cookies for the past 30 years. Any time I go to a party I always ask what I can bring, and they always say chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate Chip cookies and Italian Cream Cake are the only things I know how to cook really well!

Mrs. Katie Picciottoli said...

Your cat is adorable!! I'm drooling over your cookies - personally I don't think you can really do anything to hurt a cookie, bu if you're concerned with how they look, you can try a few things. First, make sure you adjust your oven temp for altitude (easy to look u on the internet). Also, make sure your butter and eggs are room temp but NOT soft. You'll want the dough to stay at this temp - room temp, but definitely not warm or soft. So refrigerate and leave on counter as necessary. Last advice and very important: bake in the top of the oven, one sheet at a time, and reverse the front and back half-way through baking. Happy baking and enjoy those cookies!!

Auntie Pami said...

Try chilling the dough prior to baking and be sure the oven is perfectly preheated. Hope you feel better.

Joni said...

Cookies- make sure your butter is not too soft or melted. Its should be soft but not too soft. Right from the fridge with 12 secs in the microvave is good for me. Also, dont put the dough on a hot pan. Loving your blog!

Roslyn said...

iscovered your blog-you live on a beautiful island I have been there. re.the cookies, mine did that at our house in CO.[9,000 ft. elevation] & I had to adjust the liquid in the recipe, you might try a high altitude adjustment even though you are at sea level it's very humid there & that makes a difference when you are baking to the amount of liquid.Blessings......

Anonymous said...

First timer, here: definitely hooked! ADORE your direct writing style w/its unexpected surprises and humor. The thought of delicious Tollhouse cookies having to deal w/menopause clinched it for me ... your description of feeling flat, wrinkly, spread out, and HOT, like one had been in the oven describes that lovely feeling to a "T"! Also took me back immediately to childhood days with your clear, true-color Lovebird S&P shakers - thanks for that! PLEASE - keep writing and sharing your critters, life & humor. I look forward to reading more. /EHH P.S. Hope your husb realizes the treasure he found in you. Happy 24th.
Looking forward to future posts

crafty things said...

Love the owl!

Liz said...

If you add more flour to your cookies, they won't be as flat. I usually add about a half a cup per batch and see how they turn out each time. Great blog!