Monday, December 29, 2008

We’re pretty much Mug People at our house. There are tons of cups and saucers, but we generally gravitate to the mugs. I really don’t know why --- maybe the dirty dish count--- but the coffee mugs are usually the first choice.

When I was a little girl, before the day when tea came in a multitude of varieties in pretty boxes. I guess they may have existed. But there definitely was no money for things like that. Every fall my Mom would make a mixture she called Spice Tea. We would have cups in the afternoon together, always in a cup and saucer. I remember feeling so grown up.

A couple of months ago I was feeling nostalgic. I hadn’t had spice tea I know in 25 years. But I made up a batch and have had afternoon tea everyday and smiled and thought of my Mom. It's even gotten me through tough days at work. I called and told my Mom about it and she laughed and said she hadn’t thought about it in years.

I guess there are some things little girls just don’t forget.

Spice Tea
1 cup instant tea
2 cup Tang
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground Cloves
1 cup Sugar.

Mix all ingredients. Store in a covered container. When ready to serve, place One tablespoon in one cup boiling water. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

In all the hurry of Christmas coupled with the “tonsil” episode I forgot to get a snapshot of the gift I made for my friend at the office. Here’s the pattern.
It has whole cloves for button and grapevine curls for arms. Lots of fun to make. With the red and the heart on the snowman I thought it would suit her front door through Valentine’s day. The scarf is tacked on with the button and tucks just like the picture.

The weather has turned our house to a version of the North Pole. It rained throughout the day yesterday and froze with a couple of inches fresh snow to top it off. Great snow shoe weather if you have to find a bright spot. Good for quilting too.

I was packing up my cookie cutters to take back to my Sunday school class for ‘play dough’ lessons.
I’d like to say they were the neat red handle antique ones, but truthfully they are Rubbermaid. Beside cookies, they make great quilting stencils so don’t put them on the back shelf without thinking of the possibilities.

Tomorrow I begin a new adventure of my own. My work has shut down the offices for a week due to “economic” stress. I could get on a tall soap box about the entire thing but have decided to use it as an opportunity of pretend. What would my life be like day to day without that job? There won’t be late sleeping in but an afternoon nap will definitely be appropriate. There won’t be dirty dishes in the sink and hopefully the laundry stays caught up. There are fantasies of losing 10 pounds but realistically I’ll settle for not gaining any weight from having a refrigerator close by. I definitely will be low on excuses for being in a bad mood….

That guy on the snowplow having to brave the bad weather first.
Don helping stretch my quilt—I have got to learn that on my own—eventually.
My 3 four year olds in Sunday School saying prayers of thankfulness For Santa--- Yes we pray for Santa in our class.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Here are the quilting treasures I received from my Mom and my Sister in law. I had been wishing over the quilt books for some time. Can't wait to snuggle up and read them cover to cover. We braved the weather--- totally stupid thing to do--- and went people watching in Green Bay yesterday and checked out the after Christmas sales. Eric and I both got new coats and Chelsey got some money for Christmas so she set out to maximize the return on the cash.

It was a fun day - and we played those silly car games on the way down...You remember-- My name is ADAM my wife's name is AVA. I'm from ALABAMA with and ARM full of APPLES--- Through the alphabet. We were all together and that is all that mattered.

We dropped Chelsey and a friend at the mall and Don and Eric took me to a quilt shop. I asked if they wanted to go in and Don's response was something like this---"I'm going toteach Eric the art form of Napping in the car while you shop..." I just laughed. I could have spent a million, but considering the treasures I had already received I settled for quilt backings for the quilts I plan on machine quilting this week. $4.00/yard-- was a great deal.

Plans for today--- a little "family" house cleaning, after all it's everyone's mess. We've got plans at a friends for New Year's Celebrating so we are having our Chinese cooking tradition today. Winter storm watches are in effect so we're staying close to home.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

It didn't get completed in time for Christmas 2008, but I'm not even upset. It's a piece by Lisa Bongean. I had wished over the kit for a couple of years-- for some reason it 'talked' to me--- and found the pattern in Marquette on Clearance. The little heart is supposed to be punchneedle work, but I don't know how. I kind of like the crazy quilted heart. It already has memories attached--- I worked on it while Chelsey was having her tonsils removed. A minor surgery, but that doesn't keep mothers from worrying.

I also kind of look that this piece as a "never quit" kind of piece. I'll get it stretched and it will be ready next season. I'm not going to give up stitching just because I have this time table or calendar date keeping me from completing the project on time. I still had a lot of fun doing it. I spent $3.50 on a pattern and got hours of entertainment just using threads and scraps around the house.

A sunny day - Temps over 20 degrees
family time
Twinkle lights lining the fireplace at night

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A quick note before the holiday begins... I must work a half of a day--- anyone can do that.... Chelsey is on the mend, and Eric is relieved classes are over. The snow in about ten inches deep in the woods so it feel like Christmas to us.

Merry Christmas from My Porch to Yours--- May Everyone take time to remember the Good Things in their Lives... Their Faith, Their Family, and Their Friends....
God Bless.......

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I have had so many good intentions for posting but life has been so busy. It’s the good kind of busy so no complaints. My front porch is decorated for the holidays. I completed this wall quilt.
It was easy and fun—the red bird was my favorite part. The Santa mugs are out for Santa’s coffee break.
Don and I went to Christmas parties last Thursday and Friday. Stayed out way too late, but had so much fun. Saturday night we had 5 couples over till the wee hours of the morning. I think the remainder of the Christmas season will be spent relaxing.

The trees are trimmed.
My tree sort of turned into a birdhouse Christmas tree this year.
I have collected abandoned birds nests for several years and now have 8 that are gently tucked into the tree each year.
Dried flowers and pinecones along with Chelsey’s collection of Barbie ornaments trim the tree.

I got an email from and it had this gift bag pattern that I whipped up Sunday night.
It’s for my mom. I filled it with note cards, thank you notes and blank cards along with stamps, and pens as a Christmas gift. She’s a faithful letter writer. I hope she likes it.

Melissa had the cutest sign and I fell in love with it. She gave me directions for purchasing it so now I have my own.

The first year we were married Don was out of work--- a lot of the time. It’s why we ended up in Michigan. That first Christmas we lived in a duplex that had a complex of 4 apartments filled with little old ladies next to it. He made succor trees for each of the ladies.
I laughed at the layers of paint that are building up. Christmas holds a lot of traditions for me and no matter how old, that tree is one of them.

The fireplace is lit up.
I decided to hang the stockings from my quilt ladder this year. With the ‘Snow Drifted Inn”—sign at the top.

Chelsey got her tonsils taken out yesterday so I wasn’t at work. She was at the hospital at 8 am. They took her to surgery at 10:30 am. I was bringing her home for 2 pm. It’s a lot different than when I was a kid. I got up several times during the night checking on her. She, of course, was sound asleep. I got her up before I went to work let her shower. Talked to her about her medicine. Retrieved everything from the basement to keep her from going up and down stairs. I left for work with one of the worst guilt complexes I’ve had in a long time. I can promise you, Don never felt that. I went home and got her lunch sat down for a few minutes of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and made my way back to work. She’s fine. Resting, even folded a load of laundry. She’s 18 after all. But that doesn’t change it for Moms. Sometimes it’s just tough. But we press on….

Monday, December 01, 2008

Thanksgiving was really special. Took some pictures, but kind of got caught up in the holiday that I forgot to photograph it like I should have. It was just the four of us. Instead of place cards--- my kids threatened to take me to the doctor if I used them with just four of us at the table---I opted for Thanksgiving verses.
And Even though I got the “Mom, you are so cute” line, I think it was outstanding. I wanted to press the point home that the holiday was more than just about food.

Both kids are settled back into their college lives but as I look back on the weekend, it was definitely one of the more memorable ones. We Played Buzzword. If you want a great family game—this is it… We all still laugh over playing. Trust me—you won’t be disappointed. Friday, Chels and I went to Appleton. Lots of shoppers--- but I could tell there wasn’t so many buyers. We spent the day shopping for her an outfit for a Christmas party. She’d get a little frustrated and I’d calm her down---“Who cares what we’re doing… at long as we’re together…” By the end of the day, I think she recognized it. We ended the day at a quilt shop in Green Bay. And she spent the trip home trying to convert me to her “kind” of music….Where’s Kenny Chesney when you need him?!?!?!?!

Saturday she returned to school, as she had to work. Don and Eric did their thing and I played in my sewing room. I started a tiny quilt. It was for a gift… but I may not be able to part with it.
On the advice of Libby--- I went to the scrap box and dug in. It does become addictive. When I look at this little 8 x 10 piece… all it keeps telling me is to “Appreciate the little things…”

I started work on a wall hanging. The pattern was a gift from Colleen. The stitching is complete.
Over the last 12 months my stitching has improved.

I’m off to work. Did I say I have a “wife” this week? Don has a week of vacation. And I truly believe…”Every woman needs a wife….”

Safe travel for my kids
That scrap box of fabric