Wednesday, December 21, 2011


The Shortest Day

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.

- Susan Cooper
Author of The Dark is Rising novels

Looking Forward

Ah yes, once again it is time for "reflection". 2012 already has a few things on the family calendar. I'm excited to be heading for a retreat in mid January. I just get so much sewing done while away and totally focused. Another is on the calendar for March and one in April with my Runaway Quilter buddies. In the fall I will happily go back to Anna Lena's great retreat down south.
Also in May Lynn and I are going to his conference in Southern California. Then he is going to take a week or so of vacation and we will do some coastal driving. I might have him convinced to drive down instead of flying.
The BIG trip for me is a 2 week Caribbean cruise in late October, early November with sister Carol. It has been at least 4 years since I have cruised and already I can hardly wait!! We are both working on losing some major poundage. Well working on it might be used a bit loosely here.....
I've been processing some other ideas for projects for 2012. Mostly involved in the kitchen and in cooking. Right now I'm twirling around ideas regarding certain cookbooks and learning or mastering some cooking/baking techniques.
I think I will have a separate blog for this adventure, but I will keep any of my followers here who might be interested updated on that.
It's interesting to me that when I really get involved with the art of cooking, I really don't eat very much of it. I tend to savor. The joy is in the prep and any appreciation from whoever might be eating it. I want to work with some foods new to me. New veggies, fruits. More fresh herbs and some international dishes. And to make full use of the tools and appliances that I have accumulated over the last few years.
There are some great websites that show enough crock pot dishes that you could use it everyday!! For any meal! I want to be using it at least once a week. And to enjoy more non meat meals.
Anyway, just wanted to get a note up. Still things to do to prepare for Christmas Sunday with the kids and grands.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Nice Holiday Memory

A couple of years ago I think the cats felt like they needed to contribute something to the Christmas decorating.
As I recall Lynn and I were quietly involved in something, probably reading (what did you think???) and I heard that tell tale sound of some prey the cats had brought in. Bunnies are the worst!!! But it wasn't the right time of year for that!
As we started looking for the cat and the victim, something whizzed by us! A bird, and survived well enough to fly!!!
Now to find him. He did fly down the hall so I ran after it trying to close bedroom/bathroom/laundry room doors. Lynn was herding cats and throwing them outside so they wouldn't capture the poor creature. Back down the hall the bird flew toward the main living area and we lost track of him as he flew through the kitchen. We knew he had to be in the living room somewhere. So we rattled the Christmas tree, and looked behind couches with no luck. As I turned towards the fire, and looked up at the wreath, sure enough there he was. Looking like an ornament.

Luckily my camera was nearby. I gave him some time to recover then gently got him and released him out the front door. Fly away, fly away home......

Sunday, December 11, 2011

looking back

Something about black and white photos.....I love that you can take photos today all digital and print them black and white.

Anyway, this is me and my younger sister Nancy and the best dog ever Skipper. I think I recognize that as a first grade hairdo, braids. I still fight with my bangs. And Jeff and Jillian can see where their ears came from and I'll forever be sorry about that.

Nancy was very, very blonde as a kiddo. And what is with that dress!!! Pretty sure it was one of Mom's creations. She used to make most of our clothes. If I could get away with wearing a jumper at my age and size, I would!! Loved pinafores.

Part of my tasks for 2012 will be to scan photos into the computer one day each month. It is such a great place to store and share them with family. It would be fun to then create a book, using a variety of sites! I will probably start with Costco since it seems pretty user friendly.

Absolutely one of my very favorite photos. Again with the blonde Nancy, and my Mom!! I have many photos of her in those plaid pants. She seemed to have liked plaid in those days, plus it could show off her sewing skills!!!

I think this was taken at LaPush on the Washington coast. We would go down there with some cousins and the adults would dig clams.

And here is my little sister Carol. Oh dear, and me with the perm my Mom thought she would try.

This is probably as involved as I was with Carol until she was in her 20's......LOL!!

Yep, I can see it was taken in 1958, so it must have been in the Kennewick house.

She is still cranky about the fact that she was too young to go on the big Disneyland trip and had to stay with some friends of Mom and Dad's....She's been going to Disneyland as often as possible ever since, just to rub it in.

And finally (for today anyway) is one of my favorite photos with my older brother Steven. He is 5 years older than I and had about as much use for me, as I did for Carol....

Don't you love his hat??? And my bonnet?
Now he lives in Georgia with his family and I hardly every get to see him. He recently joined Facebook (with most of the rest of us....YELLING AT NANCY!!). It is fun to be able to have some political banter with him, as we are pretty much polar opposites. He is living in the south, so guess which polar he represents....

I'm guessing this photo was taken at my Candy Gramma's house in Silverdale. I loved that place. Slanted floors and all. But that is for another day.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Circle of Friends Christmas Lunch Treat!

This week our group of 12 got together for our annual Christmas luncheon. Most of us have been meeting monthly to share our love of all things quilting for over 10 years. More about them in a future blog.

We each bring something to share for the lunch, and I made these cool little brownie santa hats!! I actually got this photo (and the idea!!) from Pinterest (another of my online obsessions....) and thanks to Cindy J, I figured out how to transfer the photo!! Since I forgot to get a photo of the ones I made.

Mine were a little bit different. I didn't have anything appropriate to make those little circle cuts of the finished brownies, so I used my tart tins and just baked the brownies in those - worked great!!

And I didn't make the marscapone frosting, but used a spray can of cream cheese frosting and they turned out even cuter than these. Big hit!! Easy and fun. I didn't realize how yummy chocolate brownies and strawberries were together.

Yesterday when the kids and I went to Bellewood Acres to get apples, I picked up this jar of Pickled Red Beets. They are these little bitty whole baby beets and I could easily eat the whole jar in one sitting!!!

I have never grown, purchased or prepared fresh beets. I don't know why not....I might have to look out for these baby beets when they are in season and pickle them.

Did learn a lesson about them when they are on a salad bar....they are really if you are paying per pound for your salad, don't load up!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

End of the Day, End of the Week, End of......other stuff

Here is a lovely photo of Jillian and Ethan with their school principal (remember, he is your PAL) and the music director at Isom Elementary school. Today was the kids last day at the only school they have known.
Granted, Ethan has only been there for a year of kindergarten, which was limited days, and 3 1/2 months of first grade. Jillian is into 4th grade and very enmeshed in school activities as you would know from previous postings of her doings.
They each wrote their teachers 'thank you and farewell' notes last night before going to bed.
Ethan drew many pictures, and lots of tic-tac-toe boards (?) and was pretty matter of fact. Thanks, see ya.
Jillian used her best penmanship and wrote a thoughtful letter to her teacher and when she was finished she truly did have tears running down her cheeks. We talked a bit about how hard it can be to say goodbye, and to have big changes happening.
I went to the school a little early to pick them up and got some photos in Jillians class with her classmates.

She is standing next to her teacher and reading her goodbye letter to her class.

They each wrote her individual letters and read
them to her throughout the day.

Jillian and her BFF's. They have all exchanged email addresses and phone numbers.

A nice group of classmates.

And one more group photo from her class.

I caught Ethan's class as they were leaving the gym. His class never leaves the classroom at the end of the day. It's either PE, music, computer lab or library, so I didn't get much time to get more photos of his friends...
He was pretty stoic until he got to me for a hug and then got misty eyed, and told me it was hard to say goodbye to his friends....

Once we all got into the truck, Jillian and I sat and went through several tissues, before we left the school for the last time.

I wanted to pick up our spirits so we drove to Bellewood Acres, which is a wonderful apple farm just a few miles up the road. Kids each got to buy a cookie, I bought a box of Jonagold apples, some caramel to dip them in, and some honey roasted peanut butter that Lynn likes to dip them in.

Hoping to use my new small pie maker this weekend! But mostly we are helping Jeff and Krista get moved into their new house. Kids will start at their new school, in a new town, in a new school district on Monday. Instead of riding the bus, or me picking them up, they will be walkers!! That is going to be very different. Krista has Monday off, so she can walk with them, then I will go over on Tuesday.

They have been in their little old farm house renting for over 8 years. Never having any neighborhood, or nearby friends to play with. Their bikes and scooters were only used here, but we will be taking them to the new house this weekend too.

Yep, the end of something special. And the beginning of a new adventure....

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oh What a Beautiful Morning.......

Perfect weather to go out and do some outdoor Christmas decorating!! It was even nice enough to walk up to the clinic to get my blood drawn. Which starts me off on a quest of
Yes I know, we've all heard it all before. However, now, I have to do this. My blood sugar is way too high, as well as my weight. I really, really, really, really do not want to get the diabetes diagnosis. I know what needs to be done. And it will be hard. But, no more excuses.
And no more waiting.
My mission for week one.....UP before 9, which means in bed by midnight.
Breakfast every day before 10 (which didn't work out today, because I chose to walk to the clinic, and needed a fasting blood draw)
Nothing more to eat after 8 pm.
At least a 30 minute walk everyday, weather permitting.
No fast food.
Sister Carol and I are booked for a two week cruise in 11 months. We pledged to lose (at least) 52 pounds in the 52 weeks before the cruise. I'm a few weeks behind already, but full speed ahead!!
Now to go fix my oatmeal....

.........few hours later......
walked back to the clinic to meet with my doc. She is awesome. Good news, my fasting blood sugar was only 121, which is so much better than the two readings I got at home a week ago. Waiting now for a couple of other lab results to come back to determine what I might need to do MEDICALLY. She totally supports my plan to get my health under control. In fact she said it was so refreshing to hear, rather than most who say, just give me the medication.

Had my oatmeal which was yummy!!! And now some leftover turkey and peppers with cheese. And then out to attack more lights!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Anne of Green Gables

I love this movie. This is the book our book club is reading for this month. I have all the books, found them in a used book store in Olympia a few years ago. But I do love watching this production. Colleen Dewhurst was always a favorite actress and she is missed. And the setting, clothings, all of it.
It makes me want to make doll clothes of that era. And to put Jillian in a straw hat with ribbons in her hair.
I'm sure that all movies with 13 year old girls make that time much more romantic and amazing. Sure there were problems at the time, but to most girls that age, life was probably pretty romantic and amazing.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Thursday

Ah yes....once again it is Thanksgiving Thursday. Due to working schedules, coaching duties, Kyle, Genie Carter and Henry were unable to join us. My sweet moppets Jillian and Ethan were here with Jeff and Krista, and Todd was here with my grand dog Layla. Once again it is nice to have a dog around when things happen to spill in the kitchen.

The wonderful tip I learned of this year was to line the cavity of the turkey with cheesecloth and then stuff the dressing in. So I was able to clip the string around the legs, and pull it out all intact, then stir it together with the stuffing that didn't make it into the bird!! Very tidy, I'll definitely do that always.

Also the brining step is a MUST. After watching Alton Brown do a segment of Good Eats all about turkey, I pulled out a small cooler and put the bird in there with the water, salt, brown sugar and fresh thyme and rosemary. Then packed it with ice, put it outside on the patio table with a big block on top to keep any critters out!!

Unfortunately, I overslept a bit this morning, so the bird got in about an hour late, so we ate a bit late, but this bird was amazing. Plump, moist and tender. YUMM.

After doing all the dinner prep and enjoying the meal, the boys did all the clean up and dishes. How sweet is that????

I'm scheduled to work tomorrow from 11 a to 7 p, will see if they actually use me. They did call today looking for help so maybe so.

The photo of the casserole dish.....when I was looking for something else in the garage I came across this covered dish. This was actually a wedding present from a co worker way back in April 1974. It has a bit of a divit, or chip but I cleaned it up and used it for our mashed potatoes. Really a lovely dish.

Hope all my friends had as nice and comfortable Thanksgiving as I did.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday Thoughts....

I love this photo.  I took it last winter while retreating at Lake Cavanaugh.  It feels very serene and hopeful. 

Tuesday thoughts....

Herman Cain is a dunce and surrounds himself with people who make him appear truly intelligent...

I am really going to miss seeing Jillian and Ethan almost everyday.  Their move is really going to happen before Thanksgiving.

If I would spend as much time actually preparing food, as I do thinking about, reading about, watching about food I would be a master chef.

I truly am blessed to have a husband who provides for his family without complaint and loves us each and every day. 

I really do want to get another dog......

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Layout!!!

WOW!  Just clicked on some of the new options for the blogspot layouts and decided to give this one a try.  I like being able to see my photos from past posts.  Will give it a shot for a few posts, and see how I (and you, if you would be so kind to comment) might like it. 
Happy Thursday, off to pick the kids up at school.  Then back to hunting for my camera....Jo, it's not in the truck.....darn it!

Being Organized

First, I still haven't found my digital camera!!!  I looked a bit deeper into my quilting stuff, but haven't turned everything inside out yet.  So I went through some of my older photos to find one I could use!
Day two of my meal prep is done.  I did go to the dairy today and spent $20.82, on milk, cream, eggs and butter.  All necessary things.  Made the potatoes with the sausages and it was really yummy. 
One of the two books I ordered last week, Cooks Illustrated, will soon become a favorite.  I used their method to make the scalloped potatoes and it was great! 
For tomorrow (well, actually today, I'm up TOO LATE again!) I have a pork shoulder roast that will go into the crock pot and cook the day away. 
Now that I've found I'm going south for another weekend, Lynn will have potatoes and pork to eat while I'm gone.  Also tomorrow, planning to make a couple of cookie dough batches.  Will take some and do some baking with Carter, which hopefully will be fun!! 
I came across a couple more blogs that I loved reading tonight.  One of them had a great recipe for a fruit crumble.  And I discovered how much I really like writing out a recipe!  Seems so many things get printed directly from the source, that I don't write them very often anymore.  I do need to start a new hand written cookbook, so I'll be looking for a blank book to start that in.  Another way I'm turning into my Mom.....
OH!  I also made some great cookies tonight.  Graham crackers, butter, brown sugar and nuts.  I had them while at the retreat, and they were super easy to make and so yummy.  Will post the instructions and some photos......once I find that camera!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A New Challenge

November is upon us already!!  The year is almost over and I feel like I haven't accomplished nearly enough.  And yet it has been a year of many events and changes.
Every so often I like to challenge myself to use stuff up and to not spend money!!  So this month, I will be using up the stuff that has accummulated in my freezer and pantry.  And to see how little money I can spend at the grocery store. 
Thanksgiving doesn't count!!!
And as of today, I haven't spent a thing!!  So far, so good.  For dinner tonight, I had taken some sausages from the freezer and planned to make a scalloped potato/sausage dish, but I had to dash out unexpectantly at 4, and couldn't get it done by the time I returned, so thankfully, I had a bag of spaghetti sauce in the freezer, so out it came, and was yummy for dinner.  And the sausages will be cooked up tomorrow. 
Also will inventory what's in the freezer!  And planning to do some sorting in the garage. 
I completely missed out on doing any fall decorating, other than some quilts, but now that I am hosting my small quilting group next week, I'll put some of the non Halloween stuff out so we will have a flavor of fall at least.
I sure hate not having a photo to camera got tucked away when I was packing up AT the retreat over the weekend, and I haven't come across it yet. 
Anyway.....will be popping in every day this month to keep track of my some reviews and photos from the retreat and other daily happenings....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Running Away to Quilt

I'm in a cycle again of getting to go on more quilting retreats with lots of great friends.  Lynn is pretty okay with me going for a few days at a time, a few times a ......quarter!  Sometimes I go two whole quarters without going at all, so it probably balances out to about every other month, I get away for a few days.

We have been married since 1974.  You learn a lot about a person in that amount of time, and a lot about yourself.  I've done some pretty funny things to Lynn.  Stories for another post.

This time, I thought I'd share.  One of my little idiosyncrasies (gotta love spell check!) is that I tend to leave my shoes where ever I took them off.  About two weeks ago he made a comment, I think he was actually addressing the cat, about how I seem to need shoes in every room.  Which is NOT TRUE!  But I thought just for fun, I would leave a pair of shoes, in every room, for him to find when he comes home from work today, and I'm long down the freeway.

Above is a pair of shoes in the living room.  He stops there everyday to put his keys and wallet away.
Here they are in the kitchen

in the dining room

in front of my TV watching chair

next to the computer

in the entry

down the hall (in front of the quilting studio)

doing some laundry

in the guest room

in the master ( I KNOW the quilt has no binding works just fine!)

my favorite, taking a shower

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My first Pickle Pot!!

Yes, Pinterest has become my latest obsession.  I glanced at it several weeks ago, but didn't really "get" it. 
Had a bit of time and started clicking there and not I am really hooked. 

This was one of the things I came across and I have been wanting to do some kind of pickles for a long time, and so now I have. 

It will go into the refrigerator for at least two weeks, then I'll give you a review. 

Now I'm going back to the kitchen to make some pumpkin bars....maybe pack them to take to the retreat I'm heading out for tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Quilt in a Day

At the last retreat I attended, which was last month, I did actually make this top in about 6 hours.  I had been carrying this collection of fabric around for many, many retreats, never really doing anything with it.  I remember when I bought it, I was so drawn to the whole collection, and it is really not in my usual color palette.  I even offered the whole lot up for sale to my small group, but no one wanted it, at the time. 
Finally I came across a pattern that would allow me to keep the integrity of the beautiful big poppies and enjoy the companion pieces as well. 
If you click on the photo and enlarge it you will see the small dots on the background.  Now this quilt will head off to Carol for the long arm quilting portion.  I will share it once again, when it returns.  I'm so happy something came of it!!
I also had taken this long ago finished stitchery project.  I love redwork, alphabets and Christmas, so this pattern had it all wrapped together.  I worked on the stitchery for several years.  I can remember working on it while flying, and I haven't flown for quite a while!  So I tucked it away when finished with no particular plans of how to finish it;. 
The squares around the edge are from a collection of holiday fabrics that I had also been carrying around with a pattern for a table runner.  Turns out the pattern was a PITA.  While looking at them at the retreat, and coming across the tucked away stitchery block, I thought - PUT them together!!!  And so......I did!! 

And just last night I finished this stitchery.  Pretty bland as is, but I do like it.  So I'll be pulling some color and holiday appropriate fabrics and make something happen around this!

I have to start packing stuff up for the retreat this weekend.  I'm going to really TRY to take precut, preplanned projects and not drag along all the boxes of fabric that seem to find a way into my truck when I'm heading out. 

This is another new venue so it will be exciting to check it out.  Also will get some sister time, and some time with Carter, Henry, Kyle and Genie.  Back home for Halloween, and hopefully be helping Jeff and Krista get moved into their new home. 

Goodness my split pea soup is smelling just luscious......

Monday, October 24, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Ah.....Finally I have this much of my small quilting groups annual group lotto quilt done.  Each year the 12 of us decide on a pattern and each make a block.  When the quilt is finished we have a drawing amongst ourselves to win it.  If you have won in the past, you still get to be in the drawing!  If you choose to take the new one, the one you won in the past goes to the next name drawn. 
This year we chose to do the embroidery baskets.  Then it was my job to put it together.  Now I will add a small green stopper and then a border of the same floral.  Once it is quilted, another member is going to do a scalloped edge and binding.  Don't you wish you were in the drawing????

Fun Shopping Treasures!'s been a while since I've brought any new fabric into my studio and added it to my INVENTORY!!  I do not call it a stash anymore.  Stash has an interesting history, don't you think????

I'd rather think of it as my inventory that I go through when in my creative mode.  The Stonehenge collection is the center is a line of fabric that somehow I have missed in the past.  I started in my fabric collection with those pretty fat quarter stacks that retailers would place around the store.  Now it is strips like these or jelly roll!

I also picked up a few new patterns, books and individual at a nice shop in Mount Vernon.  These were all on clearance....except for the Halloween embroidery.  Carter, my 3 year old grandson is quite enamored with Halloween, as is his Mom, so I thought this might make a nice quilt/wall hanging to make for them for NEXT year, since it isn't going to be done THIS Halloween.  I am finishing a black stitch witch small piece though.  Photo of that when all done.

After the retreat I attended down south a few weeks ago, I got bitten by the Superior Thread bug!  Cruised their website and put in an order.  Very excited to use the fusible thread this weekend at another retreat, with a friend Judy, who is the queen of quilt bling!  So I'll be embellishing and doing some applique while there

The packets are for silk embroidery. 

I bought myself a new present a few weeks ago.  A floor model Ott light with an attached magnifying glass and clip to hold a pattern.  Figured it would really help, especially in the evenings of the fall and winter, to work on those handwork projects. 

It was on sale, but still pretty spendy.  I brought it home, put it together.  Turned it on, and everything worked just great.  Then I went off on a couple of retreats, and get a ways.  A few nights ago, I gathered my current embroidery project and a cuppa tea and sat to stitch.  Reached up to turn on the lamp and nothing.....checked the bulb, tried another outlet.....still nothing.  Ugh....No, I don't have the receipt or the box, because when I put it together, it worked. 

So I called Ottlite and a nice woman asked me a series of questions, and determined that it is indeed under warranty and they would be sending me a new lamp.  However, I had to perform a bit of surgery.
Can you see????  I had to CUT THE CORD, to make sure this lamp would never work.  And email the photo to her to prove it.  I guess then you dispose of the lamp....but I'm thinking I'll keep the bulb, just in case it is still good. and I wonder if the magnifying glass could be attached to something else?  Or even just keep it on the stand to use elsewhere. 

I'm thrilled to not have to return the lamp to the store, and excited they are sending me a new lamp, though I have to pay $9.75 for the warranty....worth it, don't you think?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Rhubarb Liquor ready to rest

My gosh this is a gorgeous color!  Months ago, I saw a blog showing someone making rhubarb liquor.  I believe I blogged about it at the time, and posted a photo showing the chopped fresh rhubarb bathing happily in the Everclear grain alcohol.  The directions were to put it in the pantry and leave it alone for 2 - 4 weeks.  Don't you know, I sort of forgot about them.  When I came upon them in August I pulled them from the pantry and put them on the counter to remind myself to go to the second step.
And there they sat for a week or more, then they got moved into another cupboard.  At least now it was some where that I would see it more often so surely I would get it done, right?  NOT!  Finally today months after I started, I did the next step.  I was so surprised and delighted when as it was straining, this beautiful color appeared.  The directions said to taste it after adding the sugar syrup and adjust for sweetness, but to beware it would have a "harsh" flavor.  Well, maybe marinating for 3 months helps because it already tastes wonderful!!
But I did get it poured into these two jars.  One is four cups, the other is eight.  So I have 12 cups of this moonshine!  I mean rhubarb liquor.....
Maybe is some people are lucky they might get a nice little container of a bit for Christmas.
Since it is supposed to sit now again for at least a month, I'm planning to bring it out for Thanksgiving and give it a toast. 
Anyone still with me out here??  I'm feeling a blast of posts coming out of here in the next few days.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

FINALLY!!  I made this top several Halloween's ago....I pulled it out each fall, still needing to be quilted and finished and then ended up folding it back up to be finished some other time, since quilting is NOT my favorite thing to do, and it was too small to send to my friend with the longarm. 
 Lucky me, got to attend two retreats, back to back last week and this project went with me.  And got to be finished!  Actually I had some fun doing some decorative stitching on it, and will probably do more, over time. 
This Halloween, it is up on the wall and being enjoyed! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Day of School. 8/30/2011

First Day of School. 
Turn around you guys!!! 
The bus arrives, right on time

And off they go.....

I have been lucky to be able to be there on the first day of school each year, since Jillian started in kindergarten.  This is a big year because Ethan is now in school - 1st Grade - so he goes every day, for the full day.  Jillian is in the 4th Grade now.  
It seems like not very long ago when Krista pulled into the driveway that July afternoon, and 20 month old Jillian toddled up the driveway and said "Hi Geema!"  That was when Jeff, Krista and Jillian moved up to Lynden, from Tacoma where I could help them with childcare.  A year and a half later Ethan was born, right here in my home.  And after having one or both of them with me for several days a week, now they are off to school.  
What am I going to do........

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Freshening Up

This is one of my fall quilts.  Actually this is one that I have used to teach a beginning quilting class.  It was good because it taught the basics of measuring and cutting accurately and then making Nine Patch blocks and bi-color blocks.  Once people can master those, they have a good foundation, IMHO.
Anyway, freshening up!  You may notice my blog looks a bit different.  I'm not sure how I feel about the new way to work through the layout, but I'll learn more as I go. 
One of the new features that I can access has to do with traffic.  And I'm wondering who in the heck is viewing my blog from Germany and North Korea....isn't that weird?

The kids are now in school, so my life will be very different.  I actually signed up for a few shifts at work, and have been called off for the first two.  I'm planning to get back into a nice gym, workout routine, but because of my surgery next week, I won't be able to do any exercise for two weeks following that, so it will be a few weeks before that happens.

Fear not, there are many things for me to DO!  In fact, I'm heading into my sewing room now to finish up the quilt I'm working on for my small group's Christmas quilt.  I'll be back here soon, and finally do my Back to School post.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


 Here to the right is the result of my Darling Husband unloading the dishwasher and putting the plastic ware away.   I can hear you now, how lucky I am that he even unloads the dishwasher!
We have had a long standing arrangement, that I do the cooking and he does the clean up.  It works for us.  But I don't think men are ever taught the home ec class theory of nesting.
So the second photo is the same drawer with the same exact stuff in it, nested. 

I don't know why this is such a complicated task....

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Too much Fear

Yesterday my book club met. The book this month was To Kill A Mockingbird. Unfortunately I didn't read the book, but not for lack of trying. Did you know that this is one of those books that you can't download or order from Amazon, even in actual book form? Now, don't start telling me about the library - I KNOW!!!
If you know me at all.......
Anyway, I did order the book from Barnes & Noble 3 weeks ahead of time, and it didn't arrive until the day OF the meeting, and my mail comes late in the day. I will read it. I actually only saw the movie about a year ago for the first time. It was a lively discussion, which lead to people chatting about home break in's, robberies and onto security issues in general. Then talk of how scary it is to be online. How it is very dangerous to post even photos online, because people can find out exactly where the photo was taken!!
Funny how all these same people are perfectly fine carrying and using their cell phones everywhere with them. Since that is probably a much easier way for someone to find you.
One of the well meaning members forwarded me a video that a news team somewhere had about the photos and finding you stuff. I'm thinking she sent it because I spouted off that if someone wants to find me that badly, they are going to find me. I sleep with my window open. How foolish they say!!! Someone could be walking by and see an open window and take that to be an invitation to come in and do me some harm. I said "whatever"....if they want IN my house they are going to find a way in.
So after watching the video, I sent the following message to this person, explaining why I don't worry about such things anymore. And after reading it, I thought it would be a good thing for my poor lonely, unattended here it is.

I lived with fear for many, many, many years. The earliest I can remember (other than being forgotten at VBS!) was when I was around 12. I started having trouble sleeping. Kept hearing noises in the night. My poor brother who slept in the room downstairs next to me, was forced awake every so often so he could check the basement and make sure we were secure. I used to get up in the night and check all the doors and windows.
My Mom started restricting me from watching any kind of scary television. At the time it was the Twilight Zone and Outer Limits - LOL!
I used to feel like people were watching me or following me. There was never any reason I have been able to discover. I've never lived in a house that has been broken into. Never been around anyone who suffered from a violent crime. My family members have all lived normal lives and normal deaths. Even after I married, if my husband was not home at night for some reason, I could not sleep. I had to stay awake and listen for danger.
Once I birthed my children, my worries just multiplied a thousand times with each of them. Afraid of everything from SIDS to kidnapping. All three boys have had a scary moment. Kyle nearly choked to death on a gumball at age 5. Thank goodness the neighbor who was a nurse (I wasn't at the time) was home and knew the Heimlich maneuver. Not so good, that she was the one who had given him the gumball.....Jeff at age 5 was playing in the front yard when the garbage truck came up the road. He turned the huge thing around in our driveway, and Jeff, thinking he was then going to drive back the way he came, ran behind the truck at which point the guy started to back up.....I happened to be watching from a bedroom window and screamed at him in time for him to run. Todd was about 4, when he opened the car door in the back seat, after he had gotten himself out of the seat belt, and I was going 60 mph on the freeway.
It was pretty scary to be diagnosed and treated for breast cancer at age 32 with three boys under age 6 at home.
So, about 10 years ago, I somehow came to a point of acceptance of life. And I refused to live with such constant fear all the time. Then came my first grandchild!!! I will admit my fears returned but to a much smaller degree. Now though, I watch my oldest son, with his two sons, living in fear, just as I did. I'm trying to help him through it.
I know there is a difference between being afraid and being aware. Between being foolish, and being smart. Between being careless and being careful.
I can only do what I can do. I can't control the actions, thoughts, intentions of another. And I have chosen to live each day being aware, smart, careful and not afraid.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thankful Thursdays

1. That I have perfect and wonderful grandchildren in my life. Happy, Happy First Birthday to sweet Henry Jefferson Templeton. This is Kyle's youngest. He has such a wonderful Templeton sparkle in his eyes.
Not quite walking yet, but will be any day now.
His birthday party was on a beautiful sunny day when everyone got to enjoy a backyard party.

It's very fun to watch his big brother Carter (who will be celebrating his Third Birthday in September) play with his cousins and friends.

It is very sad for me that I am not able to have more time with these two. A two hour drive may as well be a ten hour drive, in reality.

We got to play together on another day this week and it was great.

2. Two new books suggested to me by Barb, my hairdresser. Had my kindle with me at my appointment (for that under the dryer while color is processing, HIDE THAT GREY!) so I was able to read a sample of each of them, and did indeed order them both up, right on the spot!!
The first is Still Alice, and the second is The Glass Castle.

3. A surprise meeting with an old friend, her daughter who had the child I was present at the birth for and her newest addition. Pure happenstance. One of those things that makes you shake you head and wonder. If I had left the salon a minute earlier or later, I would not have seen them, and gotten reconnected.

4. Finding a couple of new Low Carb Bookbooks, by my favorite LC author - Dana Carpender.
Even while being gone have FUN! with my sister for a few days, I was able to maintain my low carb eating. I did miss my bike riding and will back to that tonight, if I get called off of work, or tomorrow if I don't.

5. My little used in ground sprinkler system!! Nice to be able to hit a button and get the lawn a nice drink of water. Mostly nice that it NEEDS it, finally......