Monday, February 26, 2007

We’re buried. It started Saturday night, and it’s still snowing.
Schools are closed today, but I still have the infamous ‘Parent –Teacher’ Conferences this afternoon. Chelsey and I had “the talk”, so she’s assured me there will be no surprises…. Stay tuned…

I didn’t get off early Friday --- but I did manage to get most of the housework done before everyone made it home. We started a small remodeling project. Our kids/Guest bathroom needs an update from 1990. The wallpaper was the first thing to go. We’re going for paint this time. Chelsey keeps thinking she has a vote and that vote includes purple but she’s wrong on both counts… I’ve got to commit, Don plans on painting Wednesday evening. I’ve got a rainbow of paint samples to go through.

I’m still appliquéing on my primitive garden. The sewing machine hadn’t been turned on in seven days—a rarity. I went down yesterday and made some postcards, photos to follow soon. I made spring cards—I guess I needed the snowstorm as a jolt back to reality. I’m even going to steal fifteen minutes and sew a couple of seams in a second before work.

Most people would be ecstatic about remodeling a room—new mirrors, cabinet, light fixtures. We even went looking for a new television cabinet for the living room this weekend. I’m so weary to change—what is that? I’m really trying to get motivated, but I struggle….

1. Everyone’s safety in the snowstorm.
2. Weekend rest
3. Cinnamon

Friday, February 23, 2007

I haven’t done much quilting this week. I worked on my Sunday school lesson, the general day in –day out stuff at home. The weather got up to 50 degrees one day. Ransom and I took a walk without a coat- Defiance I call it. They’re predicting snow this weekend, but the break in the weather was nice.

Hopefully, I’ll get to leave work a little early today and I can knock out the housework where we’ll all get another free weekend. That way I’ll have quilt pictures to post.

What do I do when cabin fever sets in? Some people really get it bad this time of year because the winters are long. It’s a mind over matter thing for me. It’s something I talk myself through. And I change the dishes and the quilts.
Here are the dishes that will get me through March and April. Blueberry dishes. I’m rushing spring but I’m tired of snowmen. They were gifts from Don one Christmas. These are the best mugs for soup. I definitely need to work on spring quilts.

Eric’s got one week until spring break. My folks are doing well.

It’s funny how the Good Lord always gives you just what you need. My bible readings this week dealt with complaining. When Moses lead the Israelites out of slavery to their “Promised Land”, they complained. They were tired. Things weren’t easy. They were hungry. Many times they lost focus on their purpose. I think I needed that—at least I’ve spent the week thinking before complaining and then choosing not to.

1. Longer days- the sun is beginning to rise as I go to work.
2. Recognizing my limits
3. Bubble bath

Monday, February 19, 2007

I guess one of the realities of keep a journal is realizing when it’s time to print a retraction. I had sworn of block of the month programs because I always claimed my attention span wasn’t there. I was definitely opposed to mystery quilts for myself because I’m: a. not a risk taker and b. have limited quilting time to gamble on not having a project that I love.

Cancel all of the above. I took the plunge and signed up for a Lisa Bongean block of the month program. I studied it for five weeks before deciding to commit.
Maybe it’s because I’ve got spring fever incredibly bad, but I love the flowers. The project doesn’t even have a completed photo of the entire quilt. She’s kind of taking it a month at a time. I’ve done three of her quilts and loved each one of them. I chose the cotton version though she offered it in wool also. This is the January block. I’m hand appliquéing it. The February block is geraniums in a black pot. Everything is small and portable. It’s sits in a basket on the coffee table. I had a girlfriend laugh at me and ask how do you leave sewing junk on a coffee table and turn it into a decoration?!?!? My answer-- - sometimes… it just works….

On the home front, Eric came home this weekend. He told us Thursday night. It was a quick trip—Don said he just need to “recharge the batteries”. Last time he came home, groceries weren’t bought ahead of time; the house wasn’t “polished”. Don said,”Awww- he’ll never notice.” Eric’s response, “ Wow, yall really didn’t clean house for me.” So, after work on Friday the three of us plowed into the house so I had a totally free weekend. It was definitely worth it. Ransom, I think, got the most “quality time” with Eric and vice versa he gave 110% back to Eric. He combed the house looking for him on Sunday afternoon. He has spring break in a couple of weeks.

1. Warmer temps (20’s and 30’s) on the horizon.
2. Twelve kids in Sunday School
3. Needles and Thread

Thursday, February 15, 2007

This week marks the longest time Eric been away from home. I’m about ready for a visit. He doesn’t call as often. Don says it’s because he has a life. He talks to his sister. But for the chatterbox she is…for some reason she keeps her brother’s secrets.

When Chelsey and I go on our shopping conquests—We do pretty well at taking turns, Her clothes, my clothes, stuff for the house, a quilt shop, and a scrapbooking store. While she tackles the scrapbooking shop I entertain myself pretty good. I usually walk out with 5 or 6 sheets of plaid paper—what else would a quilter purchase. I’ve also purchased rubber stamps—stuff to use with my Sunday school kids.

Eric is my kid that always ask those profound questions, “So, you’re into this…Why?” He’s made me rationalize various treasures in my life---keys, quilts, dishes, barns, rusty stuff (he calls it).

Last time we hit Chelsey’s Scrapbook Shop I purchased the Rocking Chair Stamp.
It’s not something that I can exactly use with My SS kids. I must have picked it up 3 or 4 times before I committed. They even had a stamp that was a rocking chair with a quilt draped over it, but it was the lone rocking chair that kept talking to me. I have two rocking chairs in my house. Don bought both of them for me when I was pregnant with Eric. We lived in a cracker box house and his logic was we needed one upstairs and downstairs. Even though we have changed houses and we’ve changed furniture a few times the one constant has been those rocking chairs. One of the chairs has a built in blue cushion that now goes with a green living room. I put a blue and green pillow on it and call it “coordinated”. The front porch has 2 white rocking chairs—why two? There’s something incredibly lonely about one rocking chair alone on a porch.

I look at the stamp and laugh—why did I purchase it? Maybe it’s that in my eyes a Rocking Chair stands the test of time, never going out of style. They cradle newborn babies, hold preschoolers with the flu, and rock teenagers with the loss of first loves. That chair will hopefully comfort through life’s changes and totter an old woman through quilt stitches for a long time….

I stole some of Chelsey’s scrapbook paper and made cards to write my Mom. I can’t wait till we hit the store again---- I remember a wheelbarrow stamp calling my name....

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It’s Valentine’s Day---Don and I exchanged cards this morning. In lieu of fresh flowers he told be to go to the florist and pick out a new silk arrangement and say it’s from him. My practical side comes through--- I’m thrilled. I went yesterday with a mug from a set of dishes and 5 fat quarters to give the florist inspiration…I’m confident it’ll be the fabric that inspires her the most. Fresh flowers are wonderful, but the arrangement will be around a lot longer.

We have a high school girl that comes in 15 hours a week and does cleaning at my office. She’s a sweet girl, kind of reminds me of a church mouse… meek and quiet. She moves the trashcan and chair out of my office for cleaning and 9 times out 10, she’ll forget to put them back when she locks my office door. Valloury will right a ¾ page letter of apology each time. I just laugh. I’m grateful she dusts and takes out the trash AND locks the door. Her birthday is tomorrow, so this weekend I dug into my fabric and found “ the coolest” fabrics for a “dorky” mom I had in my stash and made her a journal cover.
Then I went to Wal-mart and got colored pens and M & M’s.
I left it in my office last night because I didn’t figure she’d work on Valentine’s Day or her birthday.
She’s a good kid, the oldest of 4 girls—Dreams of getting her pilot’s license.

1. Valentine Cards
2. Valloury
3. Music on the Jeep Stereo

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Over the weekend I completed my Mom’s “Springtime” Table runner.
I mailed it out on Monday. Odds are it won’t make it by Valentine’s Day, but at least my heart was in the right place. She can put in a Crock, or drape it over a basket. Neat lady. She’s can make something beautiful in ways I never think of.

No quilting last night. I had a meeting on Chelsey’s Spanish class field trip to Mexico. Looks like we’re pretty well set on that. I’m a little nervous, but it’s incredibly supervised, and she’ll learn tons.

It’s was –1 degree on the way to work this morning. It’s always dark on the trip. But even so, it’s funny how you pick out markers along the way. There are no streetlights until I get to the main highway. But there’s a house on the left hand side of the road--- just around a deep curve that always has an old man sitting at his kitchen table drinking his morning coffee. It’s a round kitchen table complete with a tablecloth. He’s there every morning. I drive by between 5:30 and 6:00 am. He’s up, looking at a newspaper from the day before. I count on him being there. I bet I could count on just one hand the number of times he hasn’t been in that chair, at that table. And if he’s not there—my heart jumps…and then I always exhale the next morning to find him sitting there.

Little things that make you slow down and think…

1. The family in the house on the left hand side of the road.
2. Homemade beef stew tonight for supper.
3. Lotion that softens dry hands…

Monday, February 12, 2007

We’re in the midst of a heat wave. It got up to 22 degrees yesterday. Ransom and I hit the woods. It’s amazing how warm 22 degrees can feel. I had a great weekend. I can’t even put my finger on what actually made it great, but it was. The weekends are really the only time I get to quilt without being tired. I’ve taken a week’s worth of pictures to post.

First off. I’m bragging--- no ifs, ands or buts. I’ll make no attempts at denying it. My daughter writes a weekly column for our local newspaper. It’s a six-day a week newspaper, with rough 16 pages an issue. She took the internship in the fall. Chelsey goes to the newspaper one hour a day to learn the basics in journalism. She took the deer hunting pictures in November. She’s learning how to set the comics. And she’s learned a lot about writing. She wanted to write impacting stories obesity, teenage drug use, etc.,. But the editor said, “ Chelsey, there’s enough news in the newspaper. People want to hear about your life.” So….She’s wrote about her brother, her car, the mouse in her car,and volunteering at a nursing home. She’s given good press to her grandmothers and her dad. People always ask me—“When is she going to write about you?” I’m sort of her counsel for subjects, so I never put myself on the topic list. She used to let us preview the articles. But as she has grown more confident, she’s told us,” You have to wait for the viewing audience”. A little scary…

Well, in Friday’s paper, here’s her article.
I’m so proud. As a parent, you are always fighting the battle within yourself—How come I can’t get through to her? What am I doing wrong? Well, she made my day, week, month and year in one swoop.

Just a little something to let you know, it’s OK to believe in Santa Claus, because miracles do exist. And while parenting is the toughest thing I’ve ever done without a doubt, I’m glad I made the choice to have kids.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Today’s a big day at work. I’ve got my biggest aircraft part sale ever. The company is coming today to inspect and take possession of the parts. Everything is in place. I’ll just be glad when 3:00 pm gets here.

I’ve got pictures of the borders I’m working on for the basket quilt. They are leftover squares from another project.
I’m really thankful I didn’t toss them. I think they’ll be great for the quilt. The tan fabric is a piece I’m “Letting go” of for the backing of the quilt. I don’t think there’s enough for the entire backing so it’ll give me a chance to put together a pieced backing, something I’ve never done.

It’s still below zero this morning, but I think it’s supposed to hit 17 degrees today. I was daydreaming on the way home yesterday about bike riding. The time will get here; I just have to be patient.

1. Email
2. Laughter at dinner
3. Photographs from home

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sometimes you have to have a bad day to appreciate the good. I went to the dentist on Monday to get a crown put on a tooth. It’s something that had been needing to get done and I finally ‘bit the bullet’ and did it. When they started drilling, it turned out I needed a root canal--- or lose the tooth. So, I got it done and went back to work. Heck, it was numb so no big deal. I woke up Monday night with fever. I don’t know if the two were related, but I did the ‘Advil Thing’ and went on to work. The dentist got me some antibiotics. Other than that weak feeling you get after fever I felt pretty good the rest of the day.

I went home and knocked out the chores and started supper. The project for the evening was below.
My Sunday school kids are making snowmen this week so I got all of the pieces together. They’ll have hearts instead of stars in their Hands for Valentine’s Day. They’re made out of mittens. I’ve been collecting mittens from the Goodwill store for over a year. With 19 kids in class I need ten pairs. I even kicked around buying them and you just can’t find mittens anywhere in the stores. I think these guys are real cute. They’re filled with popcorn. Anyone wants the instructions just email me. I like the way the mitten ’thumb’ becomes the snowman’s arm. There’s nothing like seeing that 4 year old handing their Mom a gift after class….

I’m still hand-quilting my Mom’s gift. I’m really cutting it down to the wire, but we’ll get it completed yet. It’s warmed up a little (ha!ha!) It was 5 below this morning.

1. A Pellet Stove keeping us warm at night.
2. The Half moon lighting my way to work.
3. Don – he turns 45 today.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I haven’t posted in a week. Life has been getting in the way I guess. I ‘ve been working on hand quilting my Mom’s valentine table runner. Here’s a photo of it in the flimsy stage. The wind was whipping while I tried to photograph it. We'll show a completed picture later.

Chelsey turned 17 on Sunday. You have to realize we don’t have birthDAYS in our house--- we have birthFESTIVALS that last about a week. And Chelsey attempts to get the most ‘bang for the buck.’ The temperatures have been frightful. 17 below in the mornings. Sunday it never came above zero. Think about it…At –17 degrees, it could literally warm up 48 degrees and still be below freezing. I had to pull the parent card and say, “no sledding” and “no ice-skating” over the weekend. It just wasn’t safe.

Eric tried to come home Friday, but got about 20 miles out of town and had car trouble. It was weather related so we looked on the Internet and lucked out and found a good mechanic that had a son away at school too, so he took good care of Eric. It was one of those times when I didn’t want Eric to travel as much as I wanted to see him. But you never want to tell your kid they can’t come home. But we’ve decided that we’re going to have too. He even said the university was telling people to stay in side.

Hope everyone is staying warm.
1. Our furnace.
2. Green quilting thread
3. Devil’s food chocolate cake for Chelsey.