Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Okay, it is finished. I have it up on my design wall, that I see needs to be vacuumed. If you click on the photo you can see the bells I put on the tree and some of the other stitching detail. I certainly hope my secret sister likes it.

I have this lovely tin that is filled with buttons.

I've been throwing buttons in there for about 15 years. I knew I had some cute stuff in there and thought I would see what might work on this piece. So I grabbed the tin out of the cupboard and reached to put it on the table and well......I missed....

I will say, I probably wouldn't have found those tiny little bells if this hadn't happened!!

Now I need to finish up my gifties for my quilting friends in my small group. Last year at Christmas time I asked them what their favorite Christmas carole's were. And if they had a loved version of it. So I took my list and spent some time on iTunes and found all these lovely songs. And now there is a CD with everyones choices on it, so we can all enjoy them. Just need to do the labels and wrap them up.

Happy Wednesday!

A New Phone!

When I was away with my BQF's for the weekend (best quilting friends) I was terribly jealous when they were all doing all kinds of cool things with their phones!! So I thought, WTF (fa la la la la), and drove into town and bought myself a new phone!!!

One of the reasons was because I could download a FREE Kindle app! Eileen had it on her phone and that was the factor that made me decide. Yes, I still had to pay just under $10 for the book, but I LOVE it! My screen is showing you the book I downloaded. I had been pondering a actual Kindle ever since they came out, and they were becoming more affordable, so this at least gives me a chance to see if I would like reading a book with this format. Will let you know.

Here is my center block for the secret sister project I have been working on for my small group. The party/exchange is day after tomorrow, and I still need to create the pieced border around it. So I probably ought to get to it!!

We did put our Christmas tree in the stand and got it watered, but it will be bare until Friday at least.....maybe even Sunday.

Tomorrow evening we have a dinner to attend and Friday we are heading south for the weekend.

I'm still feeling just about 0 "Holiday Spirit" this year.....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Look Back - Cooperstown!!

Every time I look at these photos, I remind myself that I haven't yet posted about this part of our big New York trip that we took last spring. So here it is!!

This is the Inn where we stayed for our Cooperstown visit. Last time we were on the east coast we visited this wonderful town and were thrilled to return. The first time we stayed a bit out of town so it was great to be right in the middle of it this time around. Our room was the three windows on the top right.

These pots of tulips were outside all the big buildings in town.

So beautiful I had to take two photos....

This is the top of the staircase outside our room.

This is the staircase heading up. The desk to the left is where we checked in.

And a view looking down!!

This is the dining area where breakfast was served.

And here is a shot of the sitting room area.

This is Doubleday Field. The place they filmed A League of Their Own.

In the stands

I loved taking this photo....a view out onto the field of play

the score board

from the right field area

Cute, cute, cute diner where we liked to get a bite.

this is the inside of the diner....really small. But good food!!

this is the library

across the street from our Inn

and around the corner

I spotted this house that is actually built INTO the hillside on our way into town. Had to go back and get some photos of it.

Amazing place....I sure hope you enjoyed my little tour of Cooperstown. Yes, Lynn spent another day at the Hall of Fame, is now even more grateful to get to see Dave Niehaus honor being there. If you ever get a chance to visit this spot, we highly recommend it.

Catching Up

It is well after midnight here. So much has happened in the last couple of weeks. I will be playing some catch up here, some looking back and some planning ahead.
I just had a wonderful long weekend with my three favorite quilting friends. We went to a new place in Poulsbo and spent three days visiting, laughing, eating, sewing and planning our next few get togethers. I've been having trouble using the generic battery charger for my camera, so I didn't take my camera to get any photos, but I certainly will next time. I noticed that Sony finally charged my account today for the charger I ordered, so hopefully it will arrive soon. I have a bit of charge left and will get some current photos up here soon. In the meantime, here are two of my favorites I have on my media card.

This was taken in the summer at my Uncle Robin's place way out in the back forty! My Mom is on the left and her older sister Adele is on the right. Just a couple of sisters. This is an annual gathering for the family that has been going on for about 35 years. We used to get together the Saturday before Christmas. Some of my very best memories are of the party at Adele's every December.

These two are only about 18 months apart. It was fun at this gathering hearing them talk about being "girls" and how they would test each other on trivia at night when they shared a bed.

Those of you who share Facebook with me have seen this next photo. Thought I would share it here, it's so fun.

I took this a few Sunday's ago. Lynn had spent a lot of time in the yard, raking, mowing and puttering. After a nice shower and the sun going down, he decided to lounge on the couch for a nap. Next time I checked I found that Dutch had decided to join him!! Talk about dedication.

Hope you are all well, and enjoying the Holiday Season.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Heading for School

Last night Jeff and Krista went to see a show at the Mount Baker theater so Jillian and Ethan came to spend the night, on a school night which doesn't happen very often.

So getting up with two kids to get ready to go to school also doesn't happen very often!!! As you all know by now, I was blessed with birthing only boys, so I never had the little girl prep stuff as a young mother. So Jillian, bless her heart, let me play with her hair!

We did four fairly tight braids last night before she went to bed, and unfortunately they didn't dry all the way this morning, so we whipped out a curling iron and had fun creating some curls!! She has a cute little barrette clipped onto her headband.

Jeff likes to keep Ethan's hair cut pretty close. He is so darling any which way, I was just beginning to enjoy him having some hair until his Daddy took the shears to him yesterday!!

Once we looked at the first photo we decided to try again. I got a couple of smiles this time, but oh my, does Jillian look like ME in this one!!

Wednesday is my day to get my fall quilts down and put up the Christmas decorations. Will probably put up the trees this weekend.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

End of the Holiday Weekend

It was a very different one for us around here. It was great having all my boys and their families here for Thanksgiving dinner festivities, but on Sunday. This allowed for Kyle, Genie Carter and Henry to drive up on Saturday and spend a little bit more time. My sister Nancy and her husband Terry came as well, along with my niece Kelli. Traditional food, I forgot to put out the cranberries, and nobody even noticed.

I know I've been away from my dear blog quite a bit lately, always with a promise to return more regularly. Funny how life doesn't seem to want to remain in any kind of regular pattern.

But I do think about you, dear blog, nearly everyday and write such wonderful posts in my head. I'll probably have quite a few postings in the next several days, as I clean out my media card from my camera, and prepare for holidays and a great quilting retreat coming up in two weeks.

For now, I'll leave you with more photo, of the dear Grands, then head off to bed.

Kids are here overnight, and I'll be up at the crack of dawn getting them ready and off to school.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Rainy Night in Lynden

Boy, does Rocco know how to relax!!! I actually had to watch for a minute to make sure he was actually breathing....

I did get the family room, hallway and master bedroom carpets all cleaned today. It's amazing that as old as this carpet is ( I think about 17 years old and it is beige) it sure cleans well.

While watching another UW Husky debacle on TV. It's so hard to watch this team continue to suffer with transitions.

It was a perfect day for making some chicken soup with dumplings. Here is my chicken in the pot with it's veggie friends and some fresh herbs from the garden. It makes me feel so "Martha" like to snip fresh herbs.

I'm surely missing my daily contacts with sister Carol. Her cruise ship is on it's way back to Fort Lauderdale and she will be back home on Monday I think. I was hoping she would have better access to internet updates, but that didn't seem to happen.

Looking forward to a nice long day of sewing tomorrow. Lynn has a rotary event all day. I downloaded a couple of new books onto my iPod so will have a grand time of it. What are You planning to do?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Krista did such a great job making these costumes for Jillian and Ethan this year. Jillian is Amy Hedgehog and Ethan is Sonic. They go into Bellingham and trick or treat with some other little friends and this was taken after that so they were pretty wiped out.

I live in a small town that is extremely right wing/conservative and with Halloween falling on Sunday that was virtually no trick or treaters that night, we only had one other than Jillian and Ethan. On Saturday night we had about a dozen.

Thankfully Lynn took the leftover candy into work and got rid of it there.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Preparing to Runaway!

I'm so excited to be preparing to Runaway with some quilting friends next week. I haven't been to a retreat since April, and my stack of things to get quilted surely shows that. I just got another quilt back from Carol, here is a photo.

This was a top I made many years ago. I wanted something that would have "wintery" feel to it, and with my love of blocks and scraps this is what developed.

The border is actually made of nine patch blocks that are cut on the diagonal.

This was a pretty low priority top to get quilted, and now that it is done I really, really like it. I washed it, as I always do, and can you believe that some blue ran!!! I've only had a bleeding problem once before, and thankfully I still had my nice bottle of Synthapol, so I washed it again with that and the bleed off disappeared and left my quilt as you see it.

I am so NOT a prewasher!

Will be posting as I prep for my retreat. Hope you are all well.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

More quilts back

My dear friend Carol, who does my long arm quilting has given me back three quilts in the last week. So more to add to my pile for binding!
It is amazing that I have almost nothing left ready to give her. I've gotten so many quilted this year, it must be time to finish up some more projects. I've only attended one retreat this year and I'm sure that is why stuff isn't done. So I'm so glad to be finally planning another retreat for the first week of November!! Only a handful of us going, but we are heading back to the very first retreat site I attended.
Tomorrow a few of us are taking a road trip to visit an online quilting store. She runs it from a huge barn on her property. A bit of a challenge shopping through bolts that way, but we always find good treasures, and a wonderful time being away together.
Off to bed, early!!

A Change is Gonna Come

Just so you know, I just yesterday opened any of that candy I showed you that I bought when I was excessively blue....
So I VOW that today was the LAST day I am giving to FarmTown.....those of you who know me, know that I have a bit of an addictive personality. It's good though that these things don't last too, too long, and they haven't been damaging. There have been many over the years. Tupperware, gardening, teaching, working with birthing families, parenting, grandparenting, cooking, gardening, reading, eating, quilting, blogging (remember those 100 days in a row????) even a spell of excessive exercise.
FarmTown was the latest and I could continue to do it daily, but I have got to stop. There is just so much more I could be doing, want to be doing, should be doing. So today was the end of obsession. If only I could find a way to balance all the things I like to do rather than being overwhelmed with one thing.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Depression Candy

Do you have a particular type of treat that really calls to you when you are feeling down and out, blue, out of sorts, depressed, tired, lethargic, cranky or just sad? I'm not really much of a sweets lover. Carbs with salt are my drug of choice. But the last few weeks I have felt at least all of those things. Bronchitis is the physical cause I believe but I'm pretty sure there are some emotional virus's running around in me too.

At least this time I didn't wait for my congestion to make it all the way to pneumonia. But I've gone through my antibiotic, prescription cough syrup and way too much Mucinex and still I am coughing. Granted it is not as bad. But now I get to add on a UTI (bladder infection). So now I have another antibiotic to take. No wonder I feel so bad.

So this is what came home from the store with me tonight.
At least they were on sale....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

it's a RANT!!!

GRRRRRRR!!! Nothing frustrates me more than poor customer service. And once you treat me poorly, I don't come back. I haven't been in an Albertson's store now for about 14 years. I'm sure they don't miss me.
We have a few local businesses here in Lynden that I have frequented almost weekly since I moved here 10 years ago. One of them lost my business tonight.
For months their reader board has advertised hours of Open 8 - 9. This was a big deal because previously they had closed at 6:30. It's a small dairy. I have bought my eggs, milk, cream and butter here every week for almost 10 years. Their high school aged counter girls over all those years have changed, but their attitudes never have. They never say a word. Not a greeting, not a thank you, nothing. Nada....most of the time. I've tried smiling, saying hello. Sometimes I would get a response, most often not.
This dairy serves a HUGE Canadian population. It is about half a mile from the border crossing and the Indian community in Vancouver is enormous and they buy gallons and gallons of milk.
Anyway, I've put up with these anti social counter people because I like their product, and I like to shop local, if possible.
Tonight, I arranged to meet Jeff at the dairy and he could get the kids there. I pulled in at 7:29. There was a girl standing in the door and when I opened my car door, she shook her head and said no, they were closed. I was stunned!! There was still a family checking out. Then I saw a sign on the door that said their new hours were 8 - 7:30. My clock said 7:29. She said hers said 7:30 so I was out of luck. I was amazed. I said "are you kidding?" She crossed her arms and said no she was not. I pointed to the fact that there were still customers in the store. In the meantime another car pulled up and a guy walked up and she turned him away as well.
This is not a big store. I would say maybe 14 x 24. So it's not like going into a big grocery store or department store and wandering around. I just wanted milk, cream and eggs.
Why weren't their new hours advertised on their big reader board as they had been before?
This place is only convenient to me when I am taking the kids home, or picking them up. I go out there to give them my business.
But not anymore. I stopped at Food Pavilion on the way home and got my eggs, milk and cream.
I'm pretty sure they won't miss me at the Dairy. I'm pretty sure they never even noticed I have been there nearly every week for the last 10 years.....
What happened to customer service?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Book Stuff

I always have several books going at a time. Audio, go to sleep, and bathroom.....
Just finished listening to The Friday Night Knitting Club. I have this book in print, and had tried to read it a year or so ago, and just didn't get into it. Then sister Carol mentioned she had listened to it, and I had an credit, so I got it, and LIKED it!! So now I'm listening to the sequel, called Knit Two.
For my "go to sleep" book, I have two going. The Lost Quilter, by Jennifer Chiavarini and On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Neither has really captured me, but I will finish them both.
In the "library", I am reading The Family which is about the origins of the conservative right wing residence in DC called "C Street". Very, very interesting.
My book club selection this month is The Help. I listened to it earlier in the year, and just loved it. I still miss those lovely southern voices coming from my car speakers.....
What are YOU reading?????

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bird Feeder?

I have three suet feeders in the back yard. One in particular seemed to be empty much quicker than the others. And finally I caught sight of the culprit!!! He leaps from the shrubs in the back onto the shepherds hook!! Buggar!!!

He needs to beware though, since Rocco has decided he can just catch his own food, and I have found two squirrel tails (ewwwwww.......) near the front door, which seems to be Rocco's favorite feasting spot. One day it was the whole bottom half of a squirrel.

So maybe it's a cat feeder, actually......

Friday, September 17, 2010

First Trip on the School Bus!

Getting up at 7:30 in the morning is pretty unusual for me! But I HAD to do it to get photos of Ethan's first day to ride the school bus. I had done this with Jillian and intend to even be where Carter and Henry are when they have their first days of school.

This first photo is the two of them waiting for the bus. I love how "big sister" like Jillian is and how Ethan is looking up at her. They are such good friends.

And right on time, the bus arrives!!! They are one of the first kids on the route and so therefore, the last kids OFF the bus at the end of the day, so it makes for a long day. The bus arrives at 8:15 and school doesn't start until 9:10. They get out at 3:10 and the bus arrives back at their house at 4:55.

More often then not either Krista or I pick them up after school.

Once they got on the bus, Krista and I got in my car, went to the local Starbuck's and got a coffee to go, then proceeded to the school so we could catch him...
getting OFF the bus at school.

He was all smiles!! Jillian walked him to his classroom and through the outside window we could see her help him get his coat hung up and into his room, before she ran off to her class.

Krista and I could have stood there all day and watched him through the window.....

Another big milestone, and another wonderful memory....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rock On!

Okay, my friends. I'm gonna be back, even if it's just a thought of the day. I've been so tired lately. Completely unmotivated. In fact, getting out of bed has even been a drag. I've worked quite a bit in the last two weeks, which has been mostly a good thing. The "plan" is that I will be working at least a couple of short shifts each pay period. What I really need is to get back into an exercise routine. How many times am I going to say, post, think, dream, hope, plan to do this before it actually happens? So, I thought that maybe getting back into my blogging routine might actually be a good place to start.
Isn't this pretty? My friend Jackie came by to show it to me before she finishes and gifts it to her daughter in law. This was created from the blocks that I designed and taught in a block of the month program last year. The students had a choice of 4 different color ways to create their quilt. I called this one "romance". I have mine from the same fabrics ready to go to the quilter.

There is a photo of it somewhere back in my 100 photos I did that began at the first of the year. Jackie loved the floral print so much, she got the large scale print to make a beautiful backing.

That silly Rocco thought he needed to be part of the picture I see.

It's almost as satisfying seeing a quilt I designed get finished as it is to finish one myself.

The binding on Kyle's quilt will be on either tonight or tomorrow so I can bring it down to him on Sunday, when we go south for the day to celebrate Carters second birthday. I'll snap a photo of it before it goes.

Hope all is well with whoever is out there in blogland......

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

School Starts Tomorrow

Today, I was honored with taking Jillian and Ethan to the school so they could officially meet their new teachers and check out their classrooms. First we went down to the kindergarten section and found Ethan's room.

It's going to be interesting to see how he does. He has Mrs. Hoekstra as his teacher. This is the "other" kindergarten teacher as Jillian had Mrs. Anker. They are both fabulous and it will be fun to work with her. Ethan acted a bit shy while we were there, but he did sit at his desk, and check out his "cubby"...with the help of big sister, of course.

You can see a bit of anxiety on his adorable little face.....

Then down the hall we went, all the way to the other end of the building in fact to meet Jillian's teacher Mrs. Van Dyken and see the classroom

This teacher just discovered that she was going to have the third grade class last week. There was some shuffling round the district at the last minute and she was reassigned from 1st grade to 3rd. But she originally was a 3rd grade teacher and is thrilled to return to them. She and Jillian had a pretty quick connection!

A big moment too for Jillian to get to have the big kids desk, that opens up. She immediately put all her supplies very neatly away into her desk.

It was great getting to watch her in action when she got to see friends, and big hugs when they discovered they were in the same class this year.

Once we left the school we hit the grocery store and got our last few ingredients and came home to make our mondo batch of Geema's special back to school cookies. I think they are also known as ranger cookies.....LOL!

It's going to be a great year for us all.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Lovely Weekend

It was a rare treat that I got to visit with BOTH of my dear sisters this weekend. Sister Carol (the young one) came up on Thursday and we had a few days of sister time. Besides our regular casino "fun".....we got pedicures and went to the movies. I love when she visits too, because she always appreciates whatever I cook for her. We weren't very close friends as we were growing up. Not until we were in our 20's did we start to share friendly activities. We both have strong "gaming" genes, and share a bit of competitive spirit. Back in the early days of video games we used to meet at a little house, that had once been the water department office in Boulevard Park, that had video games like Pac Man, Ms Pac Man, Frogger, Centipede and we discovered a great game called The Nibbler.

And sister Nancy ( the middle one ) was in Bellingham for not quite such a great reason. Her brother in law had been seriously injured while felling a tree on his property and it hit him in the head. He is in the ICU. It appears right now like he has neurological function, but is still basically comatose. So Nancy and her husband Terry drove up to get more details and spend some time with his family.

They were able then to come out to Lynden and have a bit of a visit.

We usually only get to be all three together on holidays. I am the oldest, and since we are each 3 years older than the next, we didn't ever get to go to school together. But it is now, as we are getting older, that I so appreciate having Sisters. I want to find one of those merry go rounds like the one in the photo above and take a current picture of the three of us. Because as the world goes round, and round, and round and's nice to have sisters to share the ride with.

I love you both so much...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

In My Mail today!!

AWESOME!! It took a little investigative work to find out it came from Kyle, Genie, Carter and Henry for my birthday. This is a HUGE book, like an old Sears catalog. And filled with lots of great info about spices, and tons of recipes.

Can't wait to dive in and choose something to make first.

Speaking of the Sears any of you remember those days when the catalog would come in the mail? I could spend hours turning page after page after page. Sometimes one sister or the other would sit with me and whoever was on the left side got everything on the left side of the catalog. We would snicker and giggle over the ladies underthings section. Most of my school clothes up until about 8th grade were ordered out of the catalog. OH! And when the Christmas catalog came it was like a holiday all in itself!!

On the occasion we would actually load into the car and go to Sears in Seattle, it was a major adventure. We always parked in the back, and got a bag of popcorn as we came in the back door. By the shoes....

One of my first "real" jobs was working for Sears. My Dad loved it because he could go into the employee discount store.

It is still a bit sad when I pass by on I-5 and look over and it doesn't say SEARS on the top of that building anymore....almost as sad as not seeing the Rainier beer logo.....gosh I loved those commercials! What a rambling post today...