Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November EGA Retreat

I got my camera back last night at the EGA meeting . . . yea!  Now I can show you pictures of the Lake Junaluska Retreat that took place the first weekend in November.  We had no "formal" teachers or programs for this retreat . . . we all brought our own projects to work on . . . but there was a lot of sharing and learning going on!  (Can't wait to try the paper-piecing quilt making technique!)

Lake Junaluska is a Methodist Conference and Retreat Center (visit their website to learn more: ) as well as a residential community.  "The mission of Lake Junaluska is to be a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body."  We renewed our souls, minds and bodies through our friendships, shared stitches and cool mountain air!

We stayed at the Terrace Hotel (pictured here in the center of the photo).  Our meeting room was located across the street in that low building on the edge of the lake.
Meals were provided in the Hotel Dining Hall buffet style. (This would be where I left my camera on the floor under our breakfast table . . . I was going to take some more pictures that morning.  Totally forgot about my plan . . . and my camera!

We had a large meeting room that comfortably held 34 of us with assorted seating for the various stitching and quilting projects going on.  We even had a kitchen (everyone brought snacks).  Stitchers can really work up an appetite . . . we did not go hungry!

 There is a covered porch the length of this building with rocking chairs and a full view of the lake.
I went for a mid-day walk part of the way around the lake (there is a 2.6 mile walking trail that circles the lake) . . . just can't sit all day.  I would have walked the whole way, but the sun was blinding me!  At the beginning of the trail there is a rose garden . . . unfortunately not in bloom the first weekend in November . . . there was one blooming yellow rose bush that must have been a recent plant.  No doubt this part of the path is beautiful in season!
There were signs along the trail forbidding the feeding of the geese because it may prevent them from migrating.  They didn't look like they were in any hurry to move on to me.    
Lots to do here . . . there's a Youth Center, Gym, Pool, canoes, paddleboats, volleyball, shuffleboard, mini-golf, and tennis courts all managed by The Conference Center.

There were some fishermen enjoying the mild weather near a bridge that spans one narrow area of the lake.
There are cute little cottages and larger homes in this lake community . . . some creative landscaping as well!
Couldn't you just sit here all day and enjoy watching the ducks and geese glide through the water?  But how would you ever get your stitching done!
We made a few side trips to a couple quilting shops in the area . . . yes, I added to my fabric stash!  As different groups came back from their shopping jaunts, we had to have "show and tell" . . . it seems everyone added to their fabric stashes!  

One evening, after a few people left for bed, we gathered Sue's "cats" and moved them to the piano.  The plan was to not say a word and wait to see if she could find them in the morning.  Nita, a guilty party in the plan, couldn't hold her guilt in and told Sue that her cats had partied all night and couldn't make it back to her table . . . Nita!  It was still funny and made for a cute picture:

The retreat was great fun and I got to know a lot of the members of our EGA group . . . a group I'm sure I'm going to enjoy for years to come.  I've already made my deposit for next year's retreat!

When we were looking for a place to retire, we actually looked in this area of NC.  We really liked Waynesville which is just a few miles from Lake Junaluska . . . and it's close to Asheville as well.  A beautiful area of the Blue Ridge/Smokie mountains!  Looking forward to next year!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Can't Stop At Just One

You remember the potato chip commercial:  "Bet you can't eat just one".  Well, I have this problem with not only potato chips . . . it seems to have spilled over into my decorating.  Remember that other commercial:  "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up".  It's more like: "Help, I found something I like and I can't stop getting more".  My newest collection is needlework scissors . . . saw this cute way to display them on Pinterest and went on hot pursuit of a glass flower frog:
 Found the frog and here are some of my needlework scissors . . . some.  Oh look, it's next to another of my new collections . . . sewing machine oil cans. 
 Then there's that adorable punchneedle chick (on an oil can . . . that's what got me started collecting oil cans) that my BFF Jen did for me . . . LOVE IT!  It's sitting on the old decoupaged cigar box filled with my grandmother's button collection.  (I come from a long line of collectors).
There's the tatted and crocheted pieces that my grandmother did (I have more). . . a few of my wooden spools (I have more) . . . you get the picture.

In case you aren't convinced I have a problem . . . there's my doll collection . . .

 This shelf are my dolls from Slovakia . . .

 . . . and the ones from Serbia . . .

These aren't really dolls . . . they're wine bottle covers from Hungary.  Budapest was close enough to where we lived in Slovakia that we made many trips to Budapest on the train.  Each trip I'd buy a few of these . . . they're so cute, I just couldn't stop!

Then there are the eggs . . . what can I say . . . I have over 90.  Only a few stay out all year . . . the rest of them come out at Easter.  I'll have to show them all to you at Easter time.  Here a few:

SOMEONE STOP ME!  I'm too embarrassed to show you the other collections . . . maybe another day.  Is this the beginning of hoarding?!  What do you collect?  Please tell me I'm not the only one!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cincinnati Chili

Stop drooling all over your keyboard!  Okay, okay . . . yes, I do have the recipe.  This is supposed to be the "official" Skyline Chili recipe . . . don't know for sure but, it does taste like it:

2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 gallon water (you may want to add some water after simmering depending on your desired consistency)
4 small onions, chopped fine
1 t. garlic powder
4 t. chili powder
1 t. cinnamon
2 t. crushed red pepper
1 t. cocoa powder (yes, cocoa powder)
5 medium bay leaves
1  1/2 T. vinegar
4 t. cumin
1 T. salt (I start with less and salt to taste)
1 t. ground all spice
2 T. Worchestershire sauce
1 - 6 oz. can tomato paste

Brown ground beef breaking it up in small pieces.  Mix ground beef with water in a large pot.  Stew until beef separates to a fine texture.  Add all other ingredients.  Stir to blend and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 hours uncovered.  Last hour, pot may be covered.  Remove bay leaves before serving.

Spoon chili over cooked spaghetti and top with a generous amount of finely shredded cheddar cheese for a 3-way.  If you want a 4-way add either red beans (not kidney beans) or chopped onions . . . and for a 5-way, add it all!  You must serve this with oyster crackers as well . . . it's tradition.  And why not include a cheese coney.  These are little hotdogs with a little mustard, chili, onions and . . . of course . . . cheese!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Home Sweet Home

I'm beginning to understand why my father never wanted to go anywhere on the weekends.  He traveled 3 weeks out of every month for work . . . my mother and us kids were always wanting to go somewhere and he just wanted to stay home.  We have been traveling a lot since we've moved here and I've about had enough!

I recently went to Lake Junaluska, NC for our local Embroiders Guild Retreat.  I will post pictures of Lake Junaluska when I get my camera back.  Yes, I left it there . . . under the breakfast table.  Someone found it and turned it in but, when I went to the front desk to inquire, she showed me a camera from a distance and said it was an Olympus.  I could have sworn our camera was a Cannon . . . nope . . . it's an Olympus.  After I got home and realized that was my camera she showed me, I called them back and luckily someone from the guild was still there and retrieved it for me.

We didn't have any teachers at the retreat, just brought our various projects to work on.  I brought my projects from the Shepherd's Bush Retreat.  I finished the Naughty/Nice scissor fob and put it on the scissors that were our gift at the banquet. It's adorable!

I also finished the R&R piece . . . changing a few things.  They had DMC threads with it and I changed out a few for overdyes . . . just like the look better.  I also changed the bottom border repeating the snow line and didn't do a top border.  I added beads to the snowflakes too.  I love it . . . can't wait to get the box to finish it!
I came home from the retreat, dumped my suitcase out, repacked and we drove to Cincinnati, OH arriving at 10:30 p.m.  The hubs had to work up there for two days and since we lived there from '88-'96, I wanted to go along.  It's always fun to see how things have changed since you've lived someplace.  It's also fun to visit with old friends!  We met up with a few former neighbors for dinner one night and got caught up on their lives and their kids (mostly grown now).  We also had to go to Skyline for some Cincinnati Chili the other night . . . if you've never had Skyline, you're really missing something yummy!  Cincinnati Chili is a greek chili served over spaghetti and smothered with cheese!  You can get a 3-way which is spaghetti, chili and cheese; a 4-way with beans or onions; or a 5-way with everything!  Gotta have a 5-way, a cheese coney and a root beer . . . then we have a peppermint patty (they have them at the cash register) for dessert . . . it's a must!
That's it for now.  I'll post pictures and tell you more about the retreat when I get my camera back.

Gotta go work on my Jeanette Douglas piece now.