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Meow Monday: Works in Progress

I’ve been on a crafty roll lately and have a few works in progress… and the cats are never far away.

There’s the Once Upon a Time sampler, of course.  September’s block is Rapunzel… I just started working on it this past week and so far I’ve got happy little trees (and a lot of Madden in the background).

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

I started a couple mini cross stitch projects for some bookmarks inspired by Hey Porkchop.  Can’t wait to put them together and share… so cute! Plus, it’s fun to have something completed in a weekend.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

 

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

I’m still reading lots of books for the Nerdbery Challenge.  I’ve collected some through Paperbackswap.com and visited the library for the first time this weekend for more.  I love having a big To-Read pile!

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

I’ve also finished up my UFO pile that’s accumulated since 2010… such a good feeling!  I have to take more pics but I’ll share more soon.  I’m brainstorming ideas for my next quilt… I’d like to do something with the hand dyed fabric I made with my guild.  Maybe something with stars?  Planning is part of the fun… but right now I’ve got too many ideas to get started on any one thing.  So we shall see!

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Happy Monday!

 

Nashville City Sights: Tennessee State Fair

The Tennessee State Fair is open for the next couple weeks so we took a look over the weekend.  I don’t think I’ve ever been to a state fair before… it was fun!
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The food and rides were pretty standard fare (get it?!), but for us the fun part was all the exhibits and animals. Prize winning produce, crafts, and animals including lots of cows, pigs, goats, & poultry.  It was neat to mingle with people who live and work with animals all day long and get a glimpse of their world.
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
There was lots of great people watching around the carnival rides, too.
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
Of course we had to fit in the ferris wheel before heading home!
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
 More city sights coming soon as we explore the Nashville area!

Meow Monday: Inside/Outside

The cats have had three homes now in their short little lives (not counting their extended visits with hubby’s Grandparents!). They used to have free reign inside and out when we lived in MS.  There was a park nearby but they mostly hung out on the front porch… wait, scratch that… Cora mostly tried to get herself killed by getting stuck in trees and caught by animal control.
The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday
The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday
When we moved to CA, they were suddenly inside-only cats with about 600 square feet of space to share. They tolerated each other pretty well, but the confined space led to plenty of spats over territory.
The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday
The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday
Now in TN, we have a bit more space but the most important improvement (for the cats, anyway) is the screened-in porch.  It keeps them contained with plenty of people/dog/bird watching to keep them entertained.  But really, all a cat needs is some sunshine and a human or two.  I suppose they’re technically still indoor-only cats, but that patch of porch has made all the difference for these outdoor-loving kitties.
The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday
The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday
The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday
The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday
The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday
It’s a win-win compromise for everyone, human and feline.

City Sights: Dismals Canyon

Over Labor Day weekend, we went for a little day trip to the Dismals Canyon in Alabama. I’ve lived in Alabama and Mississippi for most of my life but had never heard of it before until recently, when hubby’s aunt tipped us off. It’s a really cool spot – literally, actually, because the canyon’s temps are about 15 degrees cooler.  Which is awesome, because it’s been pretty HOT and humid lately!
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Dismals Canyon is about a 3 hour drive, so we left in the morning and ate lunch at the cafe in the general store before hitting the trail.  We spent a couple hours winding our way through the trail, looking up all the landmarks from the trail map.
But enough words… here’s a photo dump:
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
I finally got to see a waterfall!  Well, a real live waterfall, anyway.  And it was awesome!
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
We took a break to shower and grab some dinner, then we were back again for dessert (yum… amazing milkshake!) before the night tour to see the “dismalites” – little glow worms that live in the caves.
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
The tour was fun… but I wish we had visited on a non-holiday weekend with a smaller group because our group just could not be quiet!  That’s one of my pet peeves, especially during a tour when I can’t even hear the guide because no one will be quiet.  Almost everyone just chattered away the entire time (the dog that came along was better behaved) and it really detracted from the pitch black experience while we waited for our eyes to adjust and spot the dismalites.  Oh well… otherwise, it was really cool!
The Amateur Librarian // Dismals Canyon
 More city sights coming soon as we explore the Nashville area!

Nashville City Sights: Opryland Staycation

My company offered everyone a free night at Opryland and my night came around last weekend.  We had a great little “staycation” just a few minutes from home!
The Opryland complex is huge – almost 3,000 rooms and connected areas called the Cascades, Conservatory, Delta, and Magnolia.  We checked in around lunch time and while away the afternoon walking through the trails, browsing the shops, and indulging in a few treats… good times!
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
Now I can cross “waterfall” off my summer bucket list :)
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
Mmm… espresso gelato!
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
We did the boat ride around the lake… a bit cheesy, but fun!
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
It was sooo hot and humid outside we didn’t even want to sit by the pool!  There was enough to do inside that we didn’t mind missing out.
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
There were multiple restaurants and we chose the Italian Rivallo… yum!  We caught the last water fountain light show and finished up with drinks by the waterfall.
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The fountain show was pretty spectacular… so after a few pics I put the phone away and just enjoyed it :)
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
We had a beautiful night… so lucky to have such fun places to visit nearby!
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Opryland
 More city sights coming soon as we explore the Nashville area!

Meow Monday: Cats of Instagram, Part Fifteen

Another Instagram update!  This batch is from April – May as we settled into our new apartment and I started my job.  Time flies!

 

Stitching on the porch with my buddy Cora

Stitching on the porch with my buddy Cora

 

Keeping a watch in all directions

Keeping a watch in all directions

 

Such a helpful thing.

Such a helpful thing.

 

More stitching, more sunning

More stitching, more sunning

 

Cora claimed the new table right away

Cora claimed the new table right away

 

Tali blends right into the furniture!

Tali blends right into the furniture!

 

Two levels of napping.

Two levels of napping.

 

Bath time.

Bath time.

 

April stitching.

April stitching.

 

Cora's view of the "design wall"

Cora’s view of the “design wall”

Meow Monday: Stitching Buddies

The cats love it when I sit down to stitch, and they settle down close by as soon as I get started. That’s why you see them in every other progress pic of the Once Upon a Time sampler monthly updates.

This weekend was no exception…

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Tali enjoyed the sun on the porch, until the rain drove us inside.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

 

Franklin City Sights: Walking

It’s hard to believe we’ve been here in Franklin almost 6 months now!  I haven’t joined a gym yet, but I’ve been walking a little 2.5-mile loop pretty regularly.  I started out walking when I was job hunting, leaving every morning after dropping hubby off at work, then continued on the weekends after I started my new position.  For a couple months I was motivated to wake up every morning before work to walk, although our recent trips have thrown me off course a bit.  I’m trying to get re-motivated again… so I put together this post to remind my of my very favorite part about walking around here: the Canadian geese and other fowl living on a couple nearby ponds!
My favorite geese family built a nest in March, hatched six babies in April, and adopted a duck!  The duckling hung out with them before the goslings hatched, and still swims and eats with them even now.
Here’s a picture dump of some sights I’ve snapped since starting my daily walks:

The Amateur Librarian

 

The Amateur Librarian

 

The Amateur Librarian

 

The Amateur Librarian

 

The Amateur Librarian

 

The Amateur Librarian

 

The Amateur Librarian

 

The Amateur Librarian

 

The Amateur Librarian

 

The Amateur Librarian

 

The Amateur Librarian

 

The Amateur Librarian

 

The Amateur Librarian

 

The Amateur Librarian

 

The Amateur Librarian

 

The Amateur Librarian

 

The Amateur Librarian

More city sights coming soon as we explore the Franklin area!

Meow Monday: Watercolors Part Two

Still loving the Waterlogue app these days, so here are a few recent-ish pics of the cats in watercolors…

One of these days I might print a few to hang up somewhere.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

And a couple other random pics from my camera roll too…

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

Mini Peach Pie

I saw a recipe for mini peach pies in the July/August issue of Food Network Magazine and had to give it a try… I guess it’s the summer of peaches!  Pies have always intimidated me but miniature things always seem more manageable.  The recipe is so easy that the magazine didn’t really include the traditional ingredients/instructions structure, so I rewrote it below for my own sake… and maybe you’ll give it a try too!
Mini Peach Pie
The Amateur Librarian // Mini Peach Pies
Yields: 6 mini pies
Ingredients:
  • 3 small peaches
  • 1 package refrigerated 12-inch pie dough (2 sheets)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 thin slices of butter
  • 6-cup muffin pan
  • two glasses or cookie cutters with 3 1/2-inch and 5-inch diameters
The Amateur Librarian // Mini Peach Pies
Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut each peach in half and take out the pit.
The Amateur Librarian // Mini Peach Pies
Next, cut out 5-inch rounds from the pie dough and press into a muffin pan cup.  (I used a travel soup mug.)  I bought a 9-inch package of pie dough and didn’t have quite enough for six pies, but I think if I had bought a 12-inch package it would’ve been plenty.
The Amateur Librarian // Mini Peach Pies
The Amateur Librarian // Mini Peach Pies
The Amateur Librarian // Mini Peach Pies
Place a pitted peach half, with the cut side facing up, in each muffin cup.  I had smallish peaches and they fit pretty snugly in a standard muffin pan, so I would err on the smaller side when picking out peaches to use.  Top with a thin slice of butter and sprinkle with sugar.  The magazine didn’t specify how much sugar, so I just sprinkled about one tablespoon over all of them.
The Amateur Librarian // Mini Peach Pies
Cut 3 1/2-inch rounds out of the second sheet of pie dough and top each pie.  Crimpe the top and bottom crusts together with a fork.
The Amateur Librarian // Mini Peach Pies
The Amateur Librarian // Mini Peach Pies
 Pierce the top with a knife, brush the beaten egg on top, then sprinkle with more sugar.  I don’t have a pastry brush so I just used a spatula.  Bake at 350 degrees until golden, about 35 minutes.
The Amateur Librarian // Mini Peach Pies
The Amateur Librarian // Mini Peach Pies
The Amateur Librarian // Mini Peach Pies
The Amateur Librarian // Mini Peach Pies
My little pies didn’t look quite like the magazine… but they were pretty tasty!  So good that I ate two for dinner and kept snacking on them for breakfast and dessert all week long.
The Amateur Librarian // Mini Peach Pies
I especially like that you don’t have to do anything to prepare the fruit filling – just cut and bake!  I don’t normally have pie dough on hand, but otherwise the ingredients are super simple and it’s pretty fail-proof… my kind of recipe!
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