Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Bits and Pieces...

...of that ordinary life of mine.

First, look what came in my mail Monday afternoon:

It's from Pinky, who won my 200th post/birthday giveaway back in August, as a thank-you. She loves to make aprons, so she made one for me, with long enough ties to go around my generous waist! I put it on that evening to cook, and promptly got something on it, so had to wash it before I could show it to you. (Something tells me this one's gonna show a lot of wear and tear before long.) It's made from a scrub top--can you tell? So clever! Thanks, Pinky!

I couldn't post about it yesterday, because we had an all-day competency test/social for work. Our manager, who is over both ICU and Telemetry, put this together at a church lodge on a lake about an hour's drive from the hospital. At first, I was a little grumbly about having to go to something work-related while on vacation, but I found out she paid for it out of her bonus--the bonus all managers get if they come in below budget for the year.

We've never had a manager do anything like this before--they always seem to be pushing us to work as a skeleton crew, so their bonus will be bigger, and we've always resented it. I clash with this manager sometimes, but she is a good person, and she makes sure to schedule a shift now and then so that she doesn't lose touch with us trench-dwellers.

This was well-planned, with required skill stations set up for us to breeze through, and annual TB testing done. After lunch was fun and games, with karaoke (my first!) and ice-breakers. The gal I rode down with needed to leave early, so we didn't stay for the Accreditation tug'o'war, nor the candlelight dinner.

Thinking it might be boring, I carried along some handwork, but only got a few stitches put in. It was a beautiful day, all crisp and colorful, and there was a lot of laughter and lots of photos taken by those who remembered to bring their cameras. Not moi.

Today we woke up to cold and steady rain. It was a great day for sewing and listening to books on tape. My little hummingbird friend paid several visits today:

I thought they'd be all gone further south by now, but maybe he doesn't leave as early as the rest. I'll keep putting the sugar liquid out there as long as he keeps coming.

I started a wild Halloween tabletopper for a friend at work. She and her husband love to ride motorcycles (and they're probably late 40s or early 50s), so when I saw the fabric a couple of years back, I knew I had to have it for her.

It took me a long time to figure out how to make it work, and thankfully, I had enough to fussy-cut one of each of the figures. I got it to a flimsy stage today, so I guess tomorrow I'll cut the backing and batting. The backing will be the rest of the flames fabric, as I can't think of anything else I would ever use it for.

The green fabric was a happy mistake. I had something else I was going to use, and make the rectangles wonky, but it just didn't work after I starting putting it together. That green star burst (or whatever it is) fat quarter was just in my stash, but not enough to do wonky. When I cut strips from the fabric, it really seemed to scream "collision" around the fussy cuts, and that was how I opted to orient the direction of the cyclists. And yes, those are dog bones in one of the strips, but they love dogs, and it was black and white, so in it went, too.

It turned out rather large, and it's not exactly square (37" x 35"), but I think she'll like it. She loves wild colors. You should see some of the scrub tops she wears!

The weather seemed made to order for the first chili of the season, so I cooked a big batch, along with some bread machine herbed bread. I haven't harvested my herbs to dry, yet, so I cut some thyme and added it to the mix. Even J-Man, who doesn't like a lot of herbs and spices, thought it was pretty good.

I always chop up onions to cook in the chili, but we also like some raw onion sprinkled on top, along with a generous helping of grated cheddar cheese:

We're going to bed with tummies full tonight.


Catherine said...

The hummingbird pictures are wonderful! What a treat -- thank you!

MightyMom said...

that's a lucky friend you have there!

jacquie said...

it's so "halloweenie" here! i love it. cute apron too.

Anonymous said...

Yay! I'm so glad you wore it to cook in. I hope J-Man likes it, too.

That chili looks yummy. I'm sooo hungry.

Love the table topper. You are really good, Stephanie!

Salubrina said...

what a cool post - just like your blog's title, scraps, it's got a little bit of a bunch of stuff - your job, your vacay, good friends, great food, quilt project...

great post!

Libby said...

It's nice when the higher ups try to tend the flock. Sounds like you had a nice day. That chili looks so yummy! I'm thinkin' chicken and rice soup for today - there is just a touch of chill in the air *s*