Saturday, December 30, 2006

Definitely a sign of the new coming year….

Look what came in the mail today. There’s nothing like the receiving of those seed catalogs to let you know Christmas is over. We’ve still got 4 months of hard winter left but the first two have been pretty mild. My garden shoes were a $9.95 purchase from LLBean. I’ll be smarter this year. I left my old pair on the back porch and Ransom and his buddies hauled them off into the woods somewhere. The kids always say, “Mom, you’re such a dork in those shoes…” I think they’re awesome, the dorkier the better—and as long as they are dorky, Chelsey doesn’t borrow them, plus they’re pretty easy to spot in the closet…

I took a break from quilting… that right. I took a break from quilting, not work, not housework, and not even laundry. I took a break and Ransom and I took a walk. It’s about 35 degrees.
The fresh snow makes everything seem so clean.

I took the Christmas tree upstairs down today. It’s something that Don usually does. I put the decorations up and he’ll take them down. I don’t like doing it. It’s not about being lazy; it’s about the ending of the season I think. But I realized time is going to pass and procrastinating isn’t going to make it “not happen”. So I sucked it up and did it. I’ve got to rearrange the quilts around… but that’s the fun part…

1. Sleeping late (6:15am)
2. Ice cold water to drink
3. Listening to my kids laugh downstairs.

Friday, December 29, 2006

I thought I’d write a few lines before heading to work. Chelsey is working on a class project. I worked with her on that last night. I can’t wait to post it after we’re complete. I got another row done on my quilt. I pulled the machine out away from the wall to let the quilt flow from the back. I remembered reading that from you girls, somewhere--- thanks, it was a big help. Then I brought out the bubble gum like Libby suggested and it was a better night. I was tempted to start another row, but didn’t. Limits are good. I picked up a little and went upstairs and read a book and played with Ransom.

Plans for the New Year's Eve? None--- just the way I like it. Chelsey is having a few friends over for board games. Eric will probably hang with her a while and us a while. Don and I will watch football, maybe play dominos, backgammon, and cards. Quiet….I’m not the partying kind, being at home is perfect on New Year’s Eve…..

Here’s the buggy out front, decorated for the season.

I’m not much for New Year’s Resolutions. I typically fall short. With Work and Teenagers, life is way too unpredictable. I will try to be dedicated to exercise in some way. If I take care of myself, I’ll feel like doing others things. Statistics show exercising 20 minutes a day 5 days a week lowers your risk to so many illnesses by as much as 50%. I’ll take those odds. Television is the enemy. Unless I’m watching with family (we do the Survivor thing, probably American Idol & 24) it robs me of valuable time.

If I quilt something at least twice a week, I’ll feel like I’ve done something for myself. It’ll make me a better Mom if a take that time. I’m not going to make lists of quilts, because at this point it sort of overwhelms me and I get bummed that I don’t accomplish things fast enough.

And then there's reading my bible every day, because I'm smart enough to know that life is way too tough to make it out there on my own.....

1. My horse Buggy
2. Cyber-friends
3. Pizza take out

Thursday, December 28, 2006

It’s official—I’m not having fun….
I’ve got My Heart Crazies quilt stretched, basted and pinned. I finished 6 weeks ago. I’m determined to use it this Valentine’s season. I don’t want an unfinished project lying around. So, I started machine quilting last night. I’ve machine quilted before, but nothing ever this big. It’s not easy.

Maybe I was tired; I pulled a 10-hour day at work. It couldn’t be helped. But there will always be a reason I’m tired. I get up early; I’m a wife, a mom, and an employee somewhere. I completed one row of the quilt. There are 5 rows and a border. Maybe in a week it will be done.

I got tickled. My sewing room is down in the basement. Don and Eric were downstairs playing video games with the speakers wide open. Eric is in one room, Don in the other. It was a freaking war zone and my sewing room was in the middle. Doesn’t matter how much elevator music you pipe in when the “Gears of War” video game is running…. After I completed a row, I said, “Enough”. It took an hour and a half. I found as I went along, I did get better at it…

I guess I don’t mind the video game noise—it’s fun hearing them laugh together. And I love having Eric home. Chelsey learned to snow ski last night. Remember we’re parents from the South. So while we taught the kids, swimming, bike riding, roller blading, tennis, etc….skiing was out of our league. I just kept thinking—“Good skiers break their legs….” But there’s no challenge my fearless one won’t take. She had a ball.

1. Family at home.
2. My watch marking the minutes until I can be at home again.
3. The heater in the Jeep – warms up real quick.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

First things first…. Gifts from my Mom. When I was home in December, she took me to a quilt shop that had fat quarters on sale for a buck each. I can’t wait to play with these. The thread is from Connecting Threads. Great Colors.

I had a productive day at work yesterday. There was a skeleton crew there, so I got a lot accomplished toward our inventory on January 2nd. I took off a little early. Don and the kids were still off on holidays. It was 28 degrees and we took Ransom for a two mile run. I’ve about decided as for as winter weather goes, that’s about perfect for outside exercise because you don’t have the dirty slush on the roadsides.

Eric and Chelsey are headed to Green Bay today to pick up a friend of Eric’s that is spending a week with us. Jasmine is flying in from Denver. Her French class and Eric’s went to France over the summer and they kind of hit it off. We’re pretty excited to meet her. I baked a dessert last night. I keep asking Eric,” What are you going to do for a week? What does she like to eat?” The only response I get is, “Mom—Got it covered…relax…” We’ll see.

1. A Mild winter--- so far.
2. Books to read. They take you places you could never go otherwise.
3. Digital photos – Holiday pictures you can share as fast as email.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas 2006 was outstanding…. The picture below was a surprise I received in the mail on Friday.
The ornament is made with a punchneedle crow. Pretty cool. Surprises are the best…. I am grateful for all the quilting friends I’ve made this year.

Everyone was healthy for the holiday. That in itself was a blessing. The Christmas feast consisted of Grilled Steak and Shrimp. I have to work today so I leaving a note on the fridge because everyone else is off today and still asleep== “Don’t eat the Steak and Shrimp leftovers for breakfast…We’re Having it for Supper!!!” Wonder if the note will work???

I remember my first ‘married’ Christmas. I got new cake pans as a gift. I cried. I was definitely over the hill at 21…Well, I got new pots and pans for Christmas this year. And I was doing the “Happy Dance” around the tree!!! I guess with age does come wisdom. For the past month Don has been throwing a pot away at a time for different reasons—the pots & pans were 22 years old; they had probably earned their fate. I knew I needed new ones—even had these picked out---but I just struggled with letting go of the money. I didn’t even mind doing the dishes on Christmas day because I was washing my NEW pots and pans along with the Christmas dishes.

My mom took care of me on the quilting front—21 new fat quarters and 10 spools of thread. Pictures will be coming.

My Mother-in-law gave me a set of dishes… can’t wait to share them…

I hope everyone’s holidays were special….

1. My new thread holder from Eric
2. Snowshoes for Ransom & I
3. Board games with Family--- Have you ever played –‘Buzzword?’

Sunday, December 24, 2006

From My Home to Yours --
I wish you a Truly Memorable Christmas....

Chelsey's skates age 3.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The bunnies are set for Christmas. They are sitting on a rocking horse my father in law built for Eric’s first Christmas.

We had fun at my office Christmas Party last night. They gave $100 bills away if you took a Christmas carol of a fish bowl drawing and sang it. Neither Don nor I can carry a tune in a bucket. But we gave it our best shop and did “The 12 days of Christmas”. The crowd joins in after you start…

We’ll be busy with all of the holiday fun but I wanted to take a second and wish everyone safe and happy holidays.

(Chelsey got an extension on the Spanish project and got enough study time to pull a ‘B’ on the test. She leads a charmed life--- she’s got a 2-hour delay from school today because of icy roads.)

Steady Tires on Icy Roads
My Sewing Machine
Ribbons on Packages

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I’m off to a good morning. I spent twenty minutes in my sewing room before leaving for work. It’s incredible therapy. I have a couple of last minute gifts I have to get finished.

Chelsey was up early this morning. She worked last night. Normally she gets home from the dress shop between 9 and 9:30. The registers broke, so it was after 10. She has a Spanish project due and a Psych Test at 8:30. The conversation went something like this…

“Mom, I’m just going to fail the test. I had not planned on working late. I have to finish the Spanish project. Let’s just accept it and Move on.”

“Hey, I’ll go to work late. I’ll quiz you. We can go over the chapter facts while you eat breakfast.”

“No Mom. It takes longer than an hour to retain that junk. There’s nothing I can do. I have to finish my Spanish.”

Keep in mind, she’s an A-B student. She has known about both all week. This is one of those times I want to ‘fix’ it and just can’t. It wasn’t the time to give her a lecture on planning ahead and not waiting until the last minute on these things. Gut instinct--- I wanted to save her and say, ‘stay home sick and finish everything’….But no… this is one of those life’s lessons that is just as hard on Moms as it is on daughters.

The picture above is mittens I made a couple of years ago. They hang on the closet door. I made my mom a set too. They hang until after Valentine’s Day. There’s just something about plaid.

1. My daughter
2. Thread in every color
3. The high school girl that cleans my office

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

We have two Christmas trees at our home. The Boyd’s Bear Christmas Tree is downstairs. Over the last 20 years I’ve collected the Boyd’s ornaments. Three years ago we purchased a tree and they now have their own home. I have a curio cabinet that Don and My Father-in-law built that is their home eleven months of the year. The lighting wouldn't let me photograph it. The tree is trimmed in grape vines. Chelsey and I went out and harvested grape vines growing wild along back roads. The location is “top secret”. We had more fun gathering them.

We have a cut Balsam tree upstairs. It has always been our family collection of ornaments. Hallmark ornaments with the years written on them. There are the ornaments with each child’s age for the first 6 years of their lives. Don’s Star Trek Ornament, the Coca Cola Santa Claus, and of course the Packer ornament the year the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl. Don’s rule is the angel is always on top. We’ve looked at fancy ornaments and Star, but he always said the Angel goes on top.

This year, I found berry vines that drape the tree instead of the usual garland. I also added burgundy (my favorite color) poinsettias and balls. My collection of bird’s nests is pulled out and somehow there are always perfect spots for each. The tree really came together this year.
Even Eric says, “Mom, it’s my kind of tree”.

Chelsey left for work before we had finished decorating it last Saturday. My Mother started her a collection of Barbie ornaments back when she was three years old. Each year she gets a new one. Even though she’s past the Barbie years, she still gets an ornament. We saved the ornaments for her to place on the tree. One day went by, two days went by, finally last night I said, “Chels, you going to put up your ornaments?”

She hesitated a second, “ I didn’t think they matched the tree…”

I sat down by her and emphatically told her, Christmas trees aren’t about matching, they are about memories. That tree was her tree too. And one day, she’ll have every one of those ornaments for her own tree.

It kind of got me thinking. Maybe Christmas trees symbolize a season where everyone “fits” in. But I think in the grander scheme of things, maybe it’s a time when it’s OK not to fit in—to be differentand still accepted. That every one can celebrate the season of believing and remembering and thankfulness.

So smack dab in the middle of our Christmas tree, not at the bottom or even on the back. But front dead center is Chelsey’s collection of 12 Barbie Ornaments…

Monday, December 18, 2006

Other than a few presents to wrap, I think I’m ready…I’m enjoying this holiday season like I haven’t enjoyed one in a long time. I keep trying to put my finger on exactly what the difference this Christmas is as compared to others and I can’t place it. Maybe it’s because we had an early Thanksgiving, giving more time for the Christmas season. Maybe work is at a comfortable pace right now. I guess it’s one of those things that you ‘don’t ask why--- just be thankful.’

Eric made it home. One semester down --- nine to go. Chelsey is really enjoying him being home. This week our church has a live nativity scene. I’m a greeter for two nights. It’s always fun and a good outreach to the community.

Here it a photo of my Christmas dishes.
These are my favorites. They weren’t expensive. They’re not china. I just loved them. We eat on them throughout the holiday season. I have a real weakness for dishes. I’m not sure my marriage can withstand another set. I don’t know what it is. But I have a ‘dish shelf’ and the dishes change with the seasons. My husband always laughs and says if there is a natural disaster everyone needs to meet at our house because I could feed a small community with the number of plates and bowls I have.

I look back and think… when did I start collecting dishes? I go back to when I was in high school and worked at an old department store “Woolco”. It was back before the Wal-Mart era. I bought a Christmas crème and sugar bowl set just because I was charmed with them. I still have them.

My Mom and I have matching apple stackers.
When I was home she had hers decorated with Christmas ornaments….too cute. This weekend, I found ornaments for mine. We’ve put pumpkins on it, pears, and apples of every color. I think I’ve talked with my Mom every day since I’ve come home from their house. Moms are great.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Today’s picture is of a table runner I. made several years ago. It was one of the nice things about having a quilt shop in your home town. We were having friends over and I decided I needed a small table runner for the buffet that had the dips and chips. You walked in told her you were in a pinch and she had all the answers---something fast and easy. I really miss that.

A story from Louisiana….

Preface: I believe religion is a personal thing. I’m don’t want anyone feel like I’m trying to convert anyone.

I’ve gone to church my whole life. I’ve been in the little kids class, classes through the teenage years, classes for the young married couples, and even classes for parents with little ones. All approached life and God with different perspectives. My Mom insisted I bring a dress when I went home to Louisiana, because we would go to church. When I got down there, Daddy (yeah, he’s still Daddy) said we would also go to Sunday school because we could visit and see more old friends.

Soooo, I go to My Mom and Dad’s class--- a class for ages 70 and up. The teacher was Mr. GW—a family friend, I’ve known my all my life. He even reminded me he was a guest speaker in my 4th grade class. We all did the “Meet and Greet” thing, and then sat down for the lesson.

Every time I would lose my train of thought, or started to ponder something else, Mr. GW was call me by name and bring me back down to earth. I was having a deja vue of the 4th grade over and over again.

The most incredible part was seeing life’s lessons spoke through the wisdom of a 78 year old man. The lesson was about Faith…believing in something you can’t prove.

Mr. GW spoke, “I’ve had faith in 3 things in my life: My Doctors, My wife Ruby Kate (We’re in the south, it’s Ruby Kate), and God. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized my faith has changed...”

I’m thinking…’With age comes wisdom—how could your faith change? You’re on the right track, why the change?”

Mr. GW says,
”As I’ve gotten older my faith has changed.
I have less faith in my Doctors,
More faith in God,
but my faith in Ruby Kate never waivers….”

It’s true—for the past 20 years God has held his course and my faith in the doctors has been steadfast. I’m sick or the kids are sick, we go to the doctor and they give us medicine or remove the broken part (appendix, tonsils) and we’re fine. But I realize, with age, there will come that time that the Doctors will not be able to heal the ailments and I’ll have to keep my faith on something stronger.

And for the hopeless romantic that I am – the moment he said—“My faith in Ruby Kate never waivers...” Well, it doesn’t get much better than that…. That’s the good stuff…

Until tomorrow—
Live up today…

1. Someone holding the door for me at the grocery store.
2. My dishwasher.
3. The fortitude to put 2 miles on the treadmill when I was tired after I got home.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

This is one of those Thimbleberries Club quilts from a few years ago.
Last year I wanted a new table runner so I pulled it out, cut the size down a little and put it together. It’s machine quilted. As you read, the quilt sits on the kitchen table with my Wooden Snowmen and gift bag I made.

My Mother, 74, had a reaction to some medicine she was taking about 3 weeks ago. I made up my mind that I was getting a plane ticket and going down there to check on her. She lives in Louisiana. We talk about every other day, we write, (she thinks the internet is the Anti-Christ). But until you see how your folks live day to day, you really don’t know how they are doing. I flew down Dec 1 – 6. We had a wonderful visit.

She had been stressing about Christmas. We got her tree up. She has a story for every ornament. We shopped--- she even took me to a quilt shop. We did some cleaning. It was the first time I had really spent any time alone with my parents in 20 years. I’ll never forget it. I’ve decided to do it more often. Hey--- the family survived with out me. I survived a week without a computer too. Over the next few days I’ll share stories with you. You may think they are ridiculous, but I just want to write them down, because I don’t want to forget this visit.

1. Safe Travel.
2. Everyone’s holiday Spirit.
3. Warmer weather - 40 degrees.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Everyone has been showing Christmas tree skirts. Christmas tree skirts can be considered a tough call. You make this quilt and then you a hole out of the center.

A couple of years ago the LQS had a day-after thanksgiving sale. Fifty percent off of anyone item --- if you wore your PJ’s to the store. They opened with donuts at 6:am. I told Chelsey – 14 at the time---“ Mom we have to do it… You can wear some of my pajamas.” Does this mean—mine aren’t good enough??? We’re not even going down that road…. On with the story.

We got to the shop, took pictures even, as proof for the scrapbook that we did it. I purchased the kit for this tree skirt. It was a Thimbleberries pattern.
The fingerprinted picture doesn’t do it justice. Yes, there is a mistake in the green area of each snowflake. There is 1 half square triangle flipped the wrong way and it wasn’t until after the quilt was completed that I realized it. Keeps me humble….

When it came down to cutting the quilt after the quilt was quilted, I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t close the scissors. I figured if I ever decided to use it as a tree skirt, I could just wrap the tree trunk with it. I like the frame it makes on the table. Even though it’s red and green, it doesn’t scream ‘Christmas’ as I can use it after Christmas too.

P.S. We even wore the PJ’s to Wal-mart and Shopko on our next stop…. We still laugh about it…

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The South

That's a Southern accent you've got there. You may love it, you may hate it, you may swear you don't have it, but whatever the case, we can hear it.

The Midland
The Northeast
The Inland North
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Pretty neat. I was born in Louisiana and lived there for 22 years. I've lived in the Upper Midwest for 20 years. I guess some things you never lose.
The Packers lost last night. I went to sleep and they were ahead 21 to 12. At least I got a decent night’s sleep, right?!?!? Win a few – Lose a few.

The journals. They were made from a pattern by Hedgehog Quilts, called Wrap it to Go. The pattern cover is on an earlier post. Tips for making it a little easier. I machine stitched the Velcro before attaching the pockets. Hand-stitching Velcro is no fun. Also on the binding around the edges, the pattern calls for a 2 ½ inch bias strip. I like ‘skinny’ binding, so I made my strip 2 inches. Then, you fold it in half and sew in on--- you know the drill….

I realize my camera has a fingerprint on the lens. But I think you can get the idea still in the picture. Here is my “Mitten” stocking. I made it a couple of years ago. It’s tons of fun. It’s a project that can be out until Valentine’s Day too. The buttons are made of whole cloves and the arms are pieces of grapevines that curl. The project didn’t take much time to make and I gave my secretary one for Christmas a couple of years ago.

I don’t talk about DH’s job much, but he said something I want to think on. This week he’s on a promotion board. People apply for jobs. Feedback is gathered from fellow employees and a council of people from different departments group-interview each person and choose the right one from the list of candidates. In a perfect world this sounds like a great process. Well, he’s been going through the steps. He keeps re-iterating ‘Let the process work.”. After many years in my field, Don has a pretty good idea who should receive the job. But, the ‘Process’ states otherwise. And you know what he said?

“ The guy comes to work. He does a great job. But he’s not well liked. They say he’s stand offish. Hey, he doesn’t gab in the control room. He doesn’t get caught up in the Petty.”

“He doesn’t get caught in the Petty”. Gosh, I wish someone said that about me. That statement has gone over and over in my head. I’ve even mentioned it to my daughter. Whether it’s family squabbles, teenage backbiting, coffee cup gossip at work, or someone stealing your parking place. Don’t get caught up in the Petty. Hey it’s not easy. It’s a lot easier to sit and listen. A lot harder to walk away. But at the end of the day you feel tons better not knowing garbage or waste anger….

Think about it… Don’t get caught up in the Petty…

Monday, November 27, 2006

I’m getting an early start this morning. I have to be at work for 6:00 am. I’m rested at ready to go at it after to week off. Usually I’m in bed between 8 and 8:30 pm. When you get up at 4:30 am, you crave as much sleep as you can get. I was off long enough to get my sleep turned around to where I was staying up till 11:00 pm and living like normal people. I’ll be paying for it come tonight. But Chelsey is working until 9:30 pm and the Packer game is tonight too.

I got more sewing done over the week. Here are the journal covers I made. They were easy and lots of fun to make. I even made size adjustment depending on the size notebooks I had.

Chelsey loved them.

“Mom—where’s mine?”
“Well, you can have one. Just pick out which one you want.”
“Mom, those aren't Cute Colors.”
“Cute colors, huh? Well, go pick out 3 fat quarters and I’ll make you one.”
“Mom, you don’t have cute colors. Can I go to Wal-Mart and pick something out?”

I laughed and sent her on her way. For $4.96 including buttons, she came back with this. So on Sunday afternoon I made two more covers--one for her and one for her best friend. It gave me much needed practice on machine meandering and quilting. I think I’m still going to make a couple more. Realistically, from start to finish, it took about 5 hours to make two covers. I love buttons too.

1. A job to support necessities as well as the fun things in life.
2. Eric’s safe trip back to school
3. No complaints over leftovers

Friday, November 24, 2006

The vacation is fast drawing to a close. But I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Thanksgiving was wonderful. Eric has had a great visit home. He been fighting a chest cold, but I even enjoyed mothering him with the Nyquil and Tylenol. It hasn’t slowed him down any. I’ve got 15 kids in my basement right now—home from various universities across the Midwest.

Here are some pictures of the project for the afternoon. After running Ransom I started working on some postcards for the Winter Season.

They are still in the rough stages yet, but I couldn’t wait to show you the progress.

The weather is still warm---warm for us anyway...40 and 50 degree temperatures. No complaints. We’ll have snow before you know it.

The game plan for tomorrow is working on my Sunday school lesson and to continue working on my cards.

Safe holiday travel.
Plenty of food for everyone, we don’t know what it’s like to go hungry.
Walks with Eric.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving. Two years ago I put my Bunny clothes away and they have disappeared. I just did without last year. But Life has slowed down and I really enjoyed making them this year..

Eric is home and we’re all home for Thanksgiving—no working for anyone.

We always take a Christmas card family picture. We’re taking it today because Eric will go back to school until the 15th of December. No Snow, it’s suppose to be in the 50’s. Ransom and I aren’t complaining. Eric keeps saying he’s bummed. He said that he’ll Photoshop some snow in our picture. It’s ok with me to not have snow. People always assume we live in igloos and travel by dog sled. It’ll be good for them to see bare ground in November.

We all work on Thanksgiving dinner together. I had been married 2 years before I had ever baked a turkey so I want every one to know how around here. Cornbread dressing is a staple. The kids, since they were little, mash up the bread.

I’m glad we have a season to recognize, as we should everyday, the things we have to be thankful for…. Our freedoms, our homes, our health and our families….

…and our quilting.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I may not “tuck” Chelsey in every night, but I do go in there, make sure she's covered up, give Ransom a couple of pats and make sure the “I love you’s” are the last words spoken for the night. Last Wednesday night, we were going through our routine and Chelsey said,” Can you straighten my covers, I’m cold.” I paid attention. I started straighten the comforters and noticed she had 3 small quilts laid out in alignment to cover her body over the sheet and comforter.

“Chels, you should have told me you needed another quilt” I go to closet.

But upon inspection, I realized that every quilt was the wrong size.

There was 3 queen-size hand quilted ones. I bundled her up for the night.

But I realized something. This wouldn’t work. I’m a quilter--- with a cold daughter. This wouldn’t do. I needed a quilt—quickly that could stand a minimum of 4 teenagers crashing on it at any given moment. It had to be able to withstand wrestling matches with a “Sorta” lab dog in addition to regular teenage abuse. I took out my Thimbleberries Twilight garden quilt. I took it to a friend who machine quilts. Miss Bunny said she could put a pantogram daisy pattern all over for me and stay within my budget. I felt funny about it. I had such plans for the quilt, but I knew my schedule wouldn’t allow it and it was 72 x 90--- that’s a lot of bulk to machine quilt myself, especially quickly.

I picked it up in two days and completed the binding.
I still sort of feel like it’s not my quilt but I feel good that Chelsey is sleeping, warmly, under something I made. If I had a partner in the piece, I couldn’t imagine anyone more fitting than Miss Bunny. She told me I was ridiculous and that it was positively my quilt. Every piece was put together with love by me. It turned out great.

P.S. Bloglines users-- since converting to the beta version of blogger, I noticed bloglines isn't regarding my updates. You may need to go into bloglines, unsubscribe to my post and re-subscribe again and that should fix it. I miss talking with you.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I’m having a great week. I’ve been sewing everyday. Funny story--- DH and I went shopping out of town. Don only shops with a plan. He makes me have my shopping itinerary and potential gift list. It was a pain... but really a good idea. We pile into the car. Of course we have our”plan” and our jackets—it’s cold where we live. I have my hand quilting in my lap. We’re about 50 miles down the road and I realize I forgot my purse. So when it came to shopping and purchasing, Don and I were pretty much Velcro-ed together for the day as he had the credit cards. All he kept saying was “Hey—you remembered your quilting!!!!” I thought it was funny—he didn’t. But for the first time in years he was a participant in the gifts, rather than just paying for the credit card bill.

Me--- I think a therapist would say ‘You definitely are showing signs of a quilting addiction!!!”

Anyway--- A couple of things before I return to the sewing room. Pictures will come soon---I promise. Every year I give my Sunday school kids—4 year olds--- a book for Christmas. I search and research to find the perfect one. This is this year’s gift—Room for a Little One.
The Illustrations are beautiful. It’s a unique tale of Christmas through animal’s eyes. I think the kids will go back to year after year. Even my kids who are 16 & 18 go back to Christmas tales. We pile up the Christmas children’s books in a basket. They will be waiting for supper or a date and I’ll see them flipping through them still. Another is The Crippled Lamb.

Money Back Guarantee on this one. I had extra copies last year and brought as gifts in the Nursing Home. Adults love this one.

OK for yourself – on a clearance rack at Barnes and Noble on a College campus I found this book—A Barn in New England, by Joseph Monninger. It’s not a best seller nor will it ever be, I paid less than ten dollars for the paperback version, I’m entranced with it. I’m on the first 75 pages about a couple refurbishing an old barn into a home and their relationship. There's even a lab. I haven’t finished the book, but I’m decorating the barn with quilts already in my mind. It’s not heavy reading—I’ll keep you posted. But I wanted to mention it in case you’re ordering on line, treat yourself to a present for yourself this season…..

The coffee pot just beeped… Coffee is ready—then back to quilting….....

Friday, November 17, 2006

I have succumbed to pressure and swap to the blogger beta version. Other than pains of continuously signing in, I’m doing OK. At least I haven’t lost any posts.

I’m off of work for nine days. I had a good week at work so I’m glad I’m off. Chores and errands for Saturday morning and I hope I get to quilt some. We’re Christmas shopping on Monday.

I want to complete the journal covers I have cut out. They’re lots of fun. I want to post pictures. I want to make some Christmas post cards. I thought of all kinds of ideas, mittens, stockings, ice-skates, stars---all will make cute cards. If I make a bunch, when I have reasons to remember someone, I just pull them out and send. I’ve even kicked around making a few gift tags with the same principle as the postcards. I want to stretch and baste my heart crazies quilt and so the binding on a thimbleberries quilt I have completed. Maybe I’ll get lucky and get half of my list complete.

Eric will be home Tuesday night… He’s got three or four people riding with him. I feel better with him not traveling alone.

I think the main thing I want to focus on is to enjoy the holiday without getting caught up in the hype. Sometimes I worry about the holiday being so “special” for everyone that I forget to enjoy it. I’m going to slow down this year.

1.Learning that if I give criticism, I have to be willing to take it.
2.Spaghetti for supper.
3.Taking time to appreciate the little things-
a.letting someone else have the right of way---I’m not in that big of a hurry
b.Crackers and Diet Coke
c.Puppy tails wagging.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I had a great weekend. Friday ended a really tough week at work. I have to catalog every tool desk chair, adding machine etc. It’s a big and dirty job. I’ve almost completed so there is a ‘check in the box’ on the task.

I went to work with cloudy skies and came home to 8 inches of snow. It started about 8:30 am. They almost had to close runway as it was coming down faster than they could clean it up. It was gorgeous. I came home and Don and I shoveled our way out.

Chelsey had a birthday party to go to Friday night. Don said he’d drive; the roads were too bad for her. She never complains--- has a healthy respect for cars and weather. We caught up on some TV we’d missed and I sewed. Look-----

The buggy Barn Heart Crazies is complete. I told you I had run out green border fabric. I sent a swatch to the quilt store and they couldn't match it. It was a Moda marbles. Who knows what shade of green. It was my own fault…I got greedy. I decide a 2 ½ inch border would look better than a 1 ½.

Libby said doing something to aggravate the quilt police. I thought about it. I’ve been really looking at the Lynda Hall patterns and she does some great things with borders, so look at what I came up with. I even have a 12 inch piece of the green left over.

I didn’t tell Chelsey ---a tough critic----. I finished it and showed her, she thought it was supposed to be this way. Victory.

I made a journal cover from a previous post. It was easy and fun. Pictures, tomorrow. I’ve even got 2 more cut out.

I better get to work---

1. Safety in the weather.
2. Time in my sewing room.
3. 12 kids in Sunday School.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Evidence…. You’ve seen it. I’m alive and sewing a little bit. These are the postcards I made 16 of my Sunday school kids. I mailed them yesterday. I tried to complete them last week, but it just didn’t happen. I almost put them away. But I stopped and said, ”No—they’re worth it (the cards and the kids).” It was some Wal-Mart fabric I had picked up a couple of years ago. I tea-dyed muslin for the back. The cards are an opportunity for Mom and Dads to read to their kids. You can never tell kids you love them enough times a day.

What’s been going on? The weather has been incredibly mild…. in the 50’s. Ransom and I have been doing lots of walking. Don’s been working some extra hours, but we’ve spent a lot of time together working on the house junk…cooking, and cleaning, laundry—this man irons and I hang up… is he a keeper or what?!?!. Chores aren’t quite as bad if you have someone to do them with.

I had no luck with finding the fabric matching for the buggy barn quilt. I’ve going to have to get creative with the OOPS in not having enough fabric for the border. Maybe I can work on it tonight. I’m in defiance mode now. We’ll get it worked out.

Here’s one last photo. Ransom came home a few nights ago after roaming in the woods. He had something all over his head. Truthfully, it looked like an elephant sneezed on him or something. There’s no way I was letting that dog in the house. So, Chelsey and a friend volunteered to clean him up. I took it as a photo op.

I have to get to work---quilt a couple of stitches for me.

1. Warm weather in November
2. Good grades for my Kids
3. Lots of Rest last night

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or treat!!!! It’s Halloween. Chelsey and a couple of friends are carving pumpkins after school. We typically don’t get trick or treaters out where we are at, but I bought candy just in case. One can always hope…..

Trivia question once asked of me: You’ve got a bucket of trick-or-treat candy, what piece of candy are you digging out first? I’m definitely the Nestle Crunch kinda girl. While it’s not my ‘All-time’ favorite candy (Special Dark Bars), for some reason it’s the grabber from the Trick-or-treat bucket.

I’m at a holding point on the Buggy Barn quilt. I’ve got it all together, but I’m 12 inches short on border fabric. Yeah, I sew it without measuring, but I guess it’s that lack of detail thing coming through, I don’t have enough. I wrote the quilt shop I purchased it from and sent a sample asking to purchase more. The rest is just up fate. I know it’s a Moda Marbles fabric--- but do you know how many different shades of green there are?!?!?!

I’m making a fabric postcard for my Sunday school kids, this week. I’ll post when complete. Then I’m hoping to work on the journal covers for Christmas.

I made my Scarecrow about 14 years ago.
It was an attempt to teach a friend to sew. I think it was a Simplicity pattern. I remember us going to Shopko (the only place to by fabric in town) to get supplies. Fabric was just tossed on tables and you had to “dig” to find what you needed. We split up and met back at the cutting table. She chose something TOTALLY different from what I envisioned a patchwork Scarecrow to look like. We both left happy with our fabric. She’s since moved across the country several times I think. We’ve lost touch. The patches on his knees are my favorite parts

1. Crisp days in the fall.
2. Mail in the mailbox
2. leftovers for supper

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The weekend is here. Of course, I have the opportunity to sleep in and I’m wide awake at 5 am, so I thought I’d type a few lines. Eric made it home this weekend. I haven’t seen in him 6 weeks. It’s the longest he’s ever been away from family. He seems to be thriving. We celebrated Don getting a promotion last night, going out to eat –lots of fun.

Work is going well. Lots of tasks completed, but longer days than I would have liked. Don and I have been getting home about the same time. He’s been running Ransom with me and helping out a lot around the house. We’ve kind of got an unwritten law that housework is divided by how much you’re home, so we’ve put in about 50/50.---No complaints.

Chelsey is having friends over for a Halloween bash tonight. They’re wayyyyy tooo cool to dress up, but we’ll have munchies, a couple of games, and movies… I’ve got the bunnies ready.

I’ve got one last seasonal quilt. It was a Thimbleberries quilt from a few years back. The vines are a little different than the pattern.
I guess reading and studying everyone’s quilts has gotten to me. I want my quilts to be different. We’re neck deep in Thimbleberries country around here, but when ever I go shopping now, it’s not the Thimbleberries stuff I purchase. I guess everyone’s taste changes over time.

1. The quiet hum of the furnace this morning.
2. All my chickens, aka my kids, asleep in their own beds.
3. Time to sneak down to my sewing room right now.

Have a good weekend—
Count Your Blessings

Monday, October 23, 2006

Just a short note this morning----I’m not going in to work today. Yes, we’re dancing right now, you just can’t see. I have a 3:00 doctor’s appt. Soooo, I didn’t want to be late. (yeah, right).

I tried to make it the night without Nyquil, but at 12:30 am I got up and took it. This cold isn’t letting go, but it’s not slowing me down. I’m off to Green Bay/ Appleton before the doctor’s appointment to shop. Just a routine check up, no worries. I’m going alone. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

I got the Buggy barn hearts squared up. Maybe I’ll start sewing them together tonight. No definite plans, when ever I make plans--- they change.

Here is my Front Porch Witch.
She’s at least 13 years old. I made her myself from a wired tomato cage. She has Spanish moss for hair that I picked off of a tree in Louisiana. I’ve tried throwing her away 3 times. Once Eric, then Chelsey, and even once Don all said she can’t be thrown away and pull her out of the trash. So after every Halloween season, we pack her away for next year. I guess she was meant to be with us.

I had 13 kids Sunday in my class. Our lesson was about being a cheerful giver. I guess I’ll leave you with that thought. Whether it’s time, talents, or money --- it doesn’t matter if you do your part in giving--- if your heart, isn’t in the right place….

Quilt some for me today…

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I am alive. It’s the weekend. Don and I are both getting a much needed break. We just completed the most hectic and tiring 3 weeks of work ever. Our Lansing Hangar has been sold so my job should get to a new level of normal. Don’s work just went through a maintenance outage –now complete. So we’re both at home together.

Enough about work. Here is a photo from my covered porch about 10 days ago. Incredibly peaceful. To sit on a porch swing and look out is the best feeling.

We cleaned the house together today, got the errands ran, walked Ransom 2 miles, and even squeezed in an hour nap. I am fighting a cold. Ever since I was a little girl… put me under pressure and I’m going to catch something. Every semester during finals, a new job, a new challenge…I guess my defenses wear down and I get socked with kooties. I am just refusing to give in. I can be sick during the week…but never on a weekend.

Look at my witch Don helped me build to day. I saw one in Country Home magazine and decided the porch needed one. She’s a hip one--- complete with a spider tattoo.

I baked a pecan pie after supper. The 42 buggy barn hearts are complete I’m about to go square them up and start piecing them together.

It’s definitely a great weekend.

1. Spaghetti for lunch
2. Broken in tennis shoes
3. Day-quil to ease the pain of a cold.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tuesday morning—early, very early. But I like the quiet at home and at work early in the morning. It kind of gives you time to ease into the day. No quilting last night. Chelsey’s Spanish class is going to Mexico and there was a meeting on it. Don told her she had to pull B’s in order to go. This is her 3rd year, and even the teacher has seen a difference in her, she’s making A’s. So a deal is a deal. She wanted to go last year, but mentally AND financially, one kid in a foreign country at a time…..

I haven’t talked about my quilt shop trip 10 days ago. I went to ‘My Favorite Quilt Shop’ in Green Bay. That’s its name. It’s small, but it also sells antiques and is a framing shop so there are framed prints throughout. A neat place. I bought this fat quarter bundle.
It’s by Whimsicals called Grandma’s Garden. Chelsey and I were leaving and we saw this pattern for covered journals. It was too cute. We studied it carefully and decided I didn’t need the pattern. I could make it without it. Then the next day I wished I had bought it. If I tried to make it without the pattern I would waste $10.00 worth of stuff and lots of time to save $7.00 for the pattern. So, I called the shop and they mailed it to me.
It’s by Hedgehog quilts—Wrap it to Go. It’ll be great for several people I want to remember for Christmas…just because. That is what the fabric bundle will be used for. It takes 3 fat quarters for each cover.

1. Blankets on cool nights.
2. Pumpkins
3. Headlights lighting my way to work in the morning.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Just when you have plans—especially Plans to not do anything---things are going to change. It’s bound to happen, at least to me.

Friday night, Eric called. There were a couple of things he needed. Yes, I realize they don’t have stores in Lower Michigan, so Don and I went and picked them up. I threw in a pumpkin and Orange and Black M & M’s for the season. He’ll probably think it’s ridiculous on one hand …and know he’s loved on the other. He’s got friends home this weekend so Saturday I brought the package to them to tote back.

We went to the High School football game Friday Night. It’s the weekend for the major small town rivalry. It was pretty chilly in those stands, but fun. Even in the dark, you could see the blaze of color on the fall trees. Chelsey made it home about 10:00 pm, there was a school bonfire—pep-rally thing. Major problem—Chelsey and her boyfriend broke up. She was devastated. Remember those days. She’s never been one to just date one guy for long, but Joey has been around for 6 months. Oh, the tears.

Don’s response was ‘they’ll be lined up at the door tomorrow—what’s the big deal?!?!?’ No, he’s not a girl. I rolled my eyes and tried to settle her down. The next morning Don left for work, I talked with her all morning. I remember those days and no--- I don’t want to re-live them. We talked about seeing other people, about him still being a good guy, about keeping him for a friend. All those things…Finally, she says, ‘Mom, do you need some help cleaning house?’ ‘No Chels, just get in the shower…I do it.’ The Varsity game was at 1:00 pm and she was cheering…

I worked on the house and ran errands in the afternoon. Life as Mom…:).

Friday I came home from work. Look what was in the mail!!!
It was from my Mother-in-law. It’s my favorite lotion. I had seen it in Green Bay the week before and passed it up. It’s one of those ‘treat’ things that I thought I’d pass up this year and the lotion only comes out in the fall. She always knows just the right thing to do.

I finally got all the Terracotta Pots all put away for winter. Kind of sad…

I planted Chrysanthemums in the fall of 2005. This is the only one that returned the following year.
Our winters are really hard on them. Isn’t it beautiful?!?!?

1. My radio – on the country music station right now.
2. My dehydrator...the apples & oranges are ready for my SS Kids today
3. The Woods outside –yellow and orange.
4. My Mom… she went through those same things with me…

Friday, October 06, 2006

I worked until after 4:00 pm yesterday. Most would say,”Hey that’s not too bad,” but when you are at work at 6:00 am, that is way too long.

I made it home about 4:30 and Don and ran Ransom together. Then we cooked supper together. Nothing is too bad if you have someone to lighten the load with. I tackled some laundry next. Then I sat down and started working on my Buggy Barn quilt again.

Every day, I’ve been getting between 15 – 65 seams done and pressed. Chelsey “scrap booked “ with me, so we had time to catch up. But by 7:45 pm that was it. I was tired. I sat down on the other end of the couch. I laughed to Don, ”You know, I love to quilt, I just wish I could do it and not be tired before I even begin.” It sounds like a complaint, but I don’t think it really is. I just noticed it was a fact. You know you love something if you do it even if you’re tired. So Saturday, Don has to work and Chelsey has school activities. I’m sewing first---- before the house housework, and before I’m tired.

Today’s picture is a cross-stitch piece from a couple of years ago. It was a free pattern from BH & G. I finished it 2 days before Thanksgiving, but I knew I’d have it for years to come. The words read:

Count your pumpkins while they last,
For soon their time will come to pass.
The Winter winds are sure to blow,
Turning Autumn fields white with snow.

1. Animal Cookies
2. My pearl bracelet
3. The weekend ahead.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

It’s the day before Friday, October 5th. Work has been pretty intense with the pending sale of our Lansing branch. I’ll be glad when it’s complete. Don’s in the middle of a maintenance outage at his work, so he’s got long hours too. If we’re not working were taking care of business at home or just plain ‘dog tired’.

I played in my quilt room last night. I really made a mistake by walking down there this morning before work. Now all I want to do is quilt. I’m going to say it’ll get me through the day, but right now I’m just a cranky..

Look at what Don built me this weekend. The Raven--- The Old crow.
I saw it in a picture. I’ve searched far and wide for one. I finally drew it out on paper and Don built it for me. I painted it—antiqued it in green. (Don helped with that part too). He comes in handy every now and then. There’s even a piece of quilt fabric around its neck. We built one for Don’s Mom and it’s done in antique blue. I mailed it out yesterday. It’ll be a nice fall/Halloween decoration for years to come. I really like them both.

The leaves have peaked in color now.
This has been one of the most beautiful falls I remember.
Or maybe it’s because I’m stopping… and taking the time to appreciate it.

Both kids are doing fine. Don got up and said, “I’m really missing Eric today”. I guess there will always be days like that.

1. Wood Working Tools – for things you want AND things you need.
2. Spaghetti – last night’s supper
3. My washer and dryer – thank heavens we don’t have to tow those clothes down to a river or something….