Thursday, October 25, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Thank you all so much for your prayers and good wishes. I am overwhelmed by your kindness. We are home and we are safe.

This is not how our sky and yard look just now, what with all the smoke, ash and debris, but it all looks wonderful to us. The fire came within about 5 miles this time (in the 2003 Cedar fire, the fire came within 2 miles of our house.) It has been an anxious time for everyone, but we are so, so lucky. If you have been watching the news, you will have seen pictures of the widespread devastation. It is not over, but for us the danger is past. We are conserving energy and water, so I will only use the computer for a short time today.

Thank you again, I am so grateful I have no words.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


For the second night in a row I stare at the television news, watching in horror at the footage of homes being consumed by flame. We doze and watch, waiting for the word to leave. Many friends and some relatives are already evacuated, some multiple times as the first "safe" area becomes dangerous and they must evacuate to a second. It seems a little surreal.

We have our doors and windows closed against the choking smoke that is everywhere. Just to the east of us, evacuation is mandatory. Our van is packed with the fire safe, photos, a few special quilts, my best sewing machine and a few fabrics and thread. We have clothes, drinking water, and a place for the dogs to lie down in back. Dog food, leashes, medication. Cell phones and digital camera. My son has already been all around the house taking picture after picture, a detailed inventory we hope we don't need.

Earlier in the day the fierce Santa Ana Winds ripped and hurled palm fronds everywhere. There is an amazing amount of debris and ash in the driveway and front yard. No flames are visible from our house, but the television news is telling me that they aren't far away. After the huge Cedar fire in 2003, the city and county of San Diego installed a "reverse 911" to automatically notify people during emergencies such as this. We will leave when we get the call or see the flames, whichever comes first.
God willing, neither.

Everything in the county is burning. 300,000 evacuated so far.
My heart goes out to the people who have already lost their homes.
I know its only "stuff", but I can't help hoping we don't join them.
I am grateful that my family is here at home with me and we can all leave together when that becomes necessary.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Quilted Books and Winter Squash

I thought some of you might enjoy this link to an exhibit of quilted books.
Something I haven't tried yet, but I'm intrigued by the idea. That's it for my quilt related content today :)

If you need something to blog about, nothing like a good recipe or two.
Courtesy of Weight Watcher's web site, here's a good recipe for acorn squash. Use leftover rice or pick some up at the Chinese takeout.

Stuffed Squash
Makes 4 servings
POINTS® value 4 per squash half
These savory bundles make an elegant meal, whether for the family or your next dinner party. For the best taste, use freshly grated Parmesan.
2 medium acorn squash
Nonstick cooking spray
8 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
3 medium scallions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp dry vermouth or dry white wine
Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375°F.
Split the squash in half, stem to bottom, and scoop out the seeds. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and place the squash on it cut side down. Bake until tender, about 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and set over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, scallions and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms give off their liquid, about 4 minutes.
Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, sage, thyme and pepper. Cook 1 minute.
Remove pan from heat and stir in the rice, cheese and vermouth or wine.
Once the squash are fork-tender, turn them cut side up and fill each with a quarter of the rice mixture. Bake until warmed through, about 10 minutes.
Modifications Core Plan® Tip: To make this Flex Plan-friendly dish into a Core dish, substitute chicken broth for the wine, and use a soy-based cheese.
Read all about squash here.