Sunday, October 25, 2009

While I Was Sleeping....

Well, I wasn't actually sleeping ... not the whole time anyway!! But while I wasn't looking, our cooler than usually summer has ended and given way to a quite spectacular fall color display. And I almost missed it!!

Honey and I have been so busy these last few months, struggling to keep our business afloat during these tough times, it seems all we do is work and eat and sleep, and outside our little bubble, the world goes on, the seasons change, and time passes and we hardly notice.

Believe me, that's no way to live!!

Since I last posted, my youngest brother turned 49.

Big Guy and KT celebrated their 1st wedding anniversary.

Honey and I celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary.

The Wonder Child went back to school, is writing a weekly opinion column in the campus newspaper (he's a journalism major) and turned 24.

The Poet had an accident and wrecked his car. No injuries thankfully!!

I finally got our taxes done. We had applied for an extension until October 15. (If you remember, my computer crashed in March and I lost a 9 months worth of financial data for the business). So I finally got those done .. and guess what? When you don't make any money, you don't have to pay any taxes!!! We're getting a refund for maybe the 3rd or 4th time ever!!

I was looking for an appropriate picture to post (because I know it's more fun to look at posts wtih pictures in them), but I can't find my picture files at the moment. I probably lost a lot of those in the crash too!! So I'll just have to take some new pictures!!

Soon ... I'm making a vow to look up more often .... lest my life pass me right by!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Running in Circles

I need to get my driver's license renewed. Because of budget cuts, two of the three Secretary of State offices in our town have been closed leaving only one open, that usually involves a very long wait. Last week Big Guy told me that he had his license renewed in a little town about 20 minutes away that has a SOS office and there is never any wait and he offered to take me there.

It was a beautiful day, so the drive was enjoyable, and when I walked in, indeed, there was NO ONE else there. I handed over my paperwork, had a quick eye exam, and then the clerk asked me what my Social Security number was. Apparently, the Federal Government is now linking driver's licenses with SS numbers and tax returns ... some Homeland Security thing, I think.

It turns out, somewhere along the line, probably when switching computer systems or something. Social Security dropped my married name and had all my information under my maiden name. The names had to match exactly, so they couldn't renew my driver's license until I had the Social Security thing corrected.

So, okay, it was a nice day, we'll go back to our town, downtown to the Social Security Office and see what's up. We lucked out and there was no wait there either ... except, that even though I've been married for almost 36 years, and even though I have Social Security card in my possession with my married name on it, they need to see my marriage license as proof that I am, indeed, married.

We gave up and went home!!

Then next day, I went back to the Social Security office with my marriage license, my birth certificate, my driver's license, my Social Security card, and I think I took along my baptism certificate just in case!!

And I got a new Social Security card.

I still don't have my driver's license renewed. All state offices are only open four days a week lately ... also because of budget cuts.

That's going to be a trip for another day!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Fruits of Summer

Honey and I went to the Downtown Farmer's Market this past weekend. They've had this market for years, but it was only a couple of mornings a few days a week, not a good time for us to get away. This year, they've expanded their hours so we were able to go for the first time.

We will most definitely be going again. We bought fresh green beans and wax beans, the juiciest peaches I've found this year, corn on the cob, tomatoes, a huge bunch of basil and some Tuscan bread.

I'm in heaven this time of year with natures bounty!!! These days, you can get most anything year round, but there is nothing better than locally grown. Nothing compares to eating an ear of corn that was just picked this morning, or fresh picked green beans, steamed with butter, salt and pepper.

We've been enjoying pancakes with fresh blueberries and locally produced maple syrup. Pizza with homemade crust, fresh peppers, onions, mushrooms and just picked basil leaves.

I can't wait to see what new things they have this weekend!! It was so much fun ... and we spent less than $10.00. Pretty cheap for so much fun, don't you think??

I haven't been doing any sewing at all, and probably won't until the end of the month when the Wonder Child goes back to school and moves out of my sewing room!! But there are so many other things to do in the summer, I'm just not going to worry about it!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Wedding and other stuff

I haven't died and gone to heaven (or that other place either). I've been so busy lately, I've been living life on automatic pilot. Work, eat, sleep, work, eat, sleep. That's been my life for the last couple of months. Living like that doesn't make me very happy, and as our mothers always told us ... if you can't say anything nice ..... you get the idea.

I haven't been in the sewing room in a couple of months, except to do some mending. My pile of unfinished projects is still sitting there -- unfinished, waiting patiently for me to have time to pay attention to sewing again. There are so many distractions this time of year!! First there was the yard clean up from the winter debris, trimming the shrubs, pruning the trees. I even mowed the lawn this spring ... for the first time ever!! I grew up with three brothers, and raised three sons, so I've never needed to mow the lawn before. But with the kids all gone, the yard work is too much for Honey to do by himself. Now, understand, we have a riding lawn mower, so it's not like I pushed a mower over our half acre lawn ... but still. It was an accomplishment!!

The biggest news lately is that my oldest son, the Poet, got married on Saturday. He and his new wife live in Florida, but the wedding was here in their hometown. It was absolutely lovely!! Everything went off without a hitch, down to the smallest detail. If I ever need a big event planned, I'm going to call my new daughter -in-law, because she did a wonderful job ... especially considering it was all done long distance!!!

I didn't get any good pictures at the wedding, the lighting in the chapel wasn't ideal from our seats, so this is the best picture I have, but I'll post more when we get the professionally done photos.

We haven't had a chance to get to know Katie very well, but we love her already because she makes Ben so happy!! He's like a different person!!

Today is my birthday. I'm 39 years old for the 18th time!!. Honey is cooking steaks on the grill, and making strawberry shortcake, so I'm going to go have a glass of wine with him and celebrate!!

I won't wait 2 1/2 months to post again!!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Revisited and Other Stuff

The roast leg of lamb for Easter dinner was a huge success!! It turned out perfectly, if I do say so myself. I will definitely do it again. I used the leftovers to make lamb stew, which reminded me of my grandmother. She made the best vegetable soup, but it became a family joke that if she made soup with beef it in, it was vegetable beef soup, and if she made soup with lamb in it, it was lamb stew ... but it was the same soup!! Mine was a real lamb stew and we thoroughly enjoyed it for dinner the next day.

The piece de resistance was this cake. It's a lemon Jello poke cake and it's really easy to make, looks terrific, and is a light refreshing dessert after a big meal.

In other news, I have a new great niece, (number 20 for us - we both come from large families), born on Monday. Her name is Cleo Savannah. I don't have any pictures of her yet, but her mom is absolutely gorgeous, and I'm sure she is too! I did finish the rag quilt I was making for her, so I'll have to get that in the mail soon.

I have something very exciting going on in my life that I can't talk about just yet. Don't want to jinx myself, but if it works out, it's an answer to my prayers!!

And speaking of prayers, I'll be taking off Friday morning for a Christian women's retreat in Sault St. Marie in the upper peninsula. My sister has been going for years. She talked me into going with her one year, and I've been back every year since. This will be my 5th one, I think. Sis is now on the board for the group so she's also roped me in to being a group leader. I feel woefully inadequate to lead a group, but somehow, it always works out!! My husband calls it my weekend "galavanting with God". It's about a 4 1/2 hour drive, and across the Mackinaw Bridge. Every year, the last couple days before I just really don't feel like I want to go ... but I'm always glad I did. I've met some amazing women there, and I come home all recharged and full of faith and hope for the future. It does my soul good ... so I'm going!! I hope to get some good pictures to share next week!!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring Visitors

Our backyard used to flood every time we had a lot of rain. Sometimes if it happened in the fall, we'd get a cold snap and it would freeze and the kids would have an impromptu skating rink. We put some drain tiles in to help deal with the water, but still, in the spring when the snow melts, and it rains a lot before the ground is thawed, the back of our yard gets flooded. It doesn't usually stick around long these days. This year, for the first time, it provided a resting place for a couple of days for a mated pair of migrating ducks. .

The dogs and cats were in a frenzy, but these were savvy ducks, and they soon realized that the animals were not in love with the idea of getting wet, so as long as they stayed in the middle of the pond, they were safe!
They're gone now ... but we sure had a good time watching them for a couple of days!!

Singing the Blues

In case you were wondering, I didn't fall off the face of the earth. I've just been in kind of a blue funk the last couple of weeks, and not in much of a mood to do anything creative. The early spring is full of bittersweet memories for me. We lost my dad on April 1, 2003, rather unexpectedly, and that was the start of a few very difficult years for me, when it seemed like life just ran me over like a steamroller and I was lost for quite a while. It was a long road back.

Many thanks to all of you who offered your messages of sympathy and prayers for my uncle. He passed away peacefully in his sleep on March 26, less than 12 hours after being admitted to the Hospice Center. My aunt was discharged from the hospital the same day, and although her activities were very limited, she was able to direct the funeral preparations. The days since then have been a blur of funeral arrangements, family arriving and departing, making sure Aunt is managing okay after her surgery, and trying to keep up with work.

Now Easter is upon us, which is a reminder of hope and salvation, and time to be renewed and refreshed. That is my plan.

I'm hosting Easter dinner this year at our house and cooking my first leg of lamb ever!! Honey doesn't much care for lamb, so he's having steak, but my Aunt loves it, I love it, and the Big Guy and KT said they would try it. So lamb it is, complete with mint jelly, mashed potatoes and English peas!! Wish me luck. It seems like it would be hard to ruin a roast leg of lamb. I guess we'll see, won't we!!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Saying Goodbye to Uncle Bill

I've been blessed in my life to have an aunt and uncle who have been like a second set of parents to me and brothers and sister. My aunt is my mother's only sibling, and she married an only child. They had one son, and then lost two more from birth defects. They never had any more children after that, and sort of adoped us. My only cousin on my mom's side of the family is more like a brother to me and in many ways I'm closer to him than to my own brothers, because we both stayed in our hometown, and the others all moved away.

An avid fly fisherman, he realized a lifelong dream and owned a cottage on one of Michigan's most famous trout streams for 30 years. His own son didn't inherit his interest in fishing, but Bill patiently taught the art of fly fishing to my youngest brother, and my own three sons, and was always as excited as they were when they made a big catch. My oldest son in particular became an avid fisherman and will drop a line in just about any body of water that might have a fish in it. He lives in Florida now, and fishes the ocean, but he fondly remembers those early mornings drifting down the AuSable waiting for a trout to hit.

Bill, has always been just a genuinely nice guy, and you can't help but like him.

In December, he had to have his left leg amputated. At the time, we thought he would spend a few weeks in rehab and be home with a prosthesis in a month or two. But the trauma of losing a leg seemed to start a decline in his mental status and his general health. Four months later, he is confused and largely unresponsive, and after several surgeries over the last few weeks to try to restore circulation to his right leg, it is beyond salvage.

To complicate matters further, his wife of 60 years was admitted to the hospital and had emergency surgery on Sunday for a bowel obstruction. She is doing well after her surgery, but has had to make some tough decisions from her hospital bed.

Today, she made the decision not to put him through any more, and to provide comfort measures only. He will be transferred to a Hospice Center tomorrow, and they will control his pain and keep him comfortable for whatever time he has left. She was taken to his room today in a wheelchair, and was able to hold his hand, and kiss him (she said he kissed her back), and tell him she loves him, and that it was time to stop. I asked him if that was okay with him. He seemed more lucid than he has been for several days, and he answered, "Yah .... yah."

Then the nurse gave him some medication for pain, and told us he will probably be pretty sedated from here on and he drifted off to sleep.

Bye, Bill. I love you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Paddy's Day Memories

My married name is German, but my heritage is Irish on my dad's side. My maiden name was Frawley and my dad and his brothers were the 3rd generation of our branch of the Frawleys in America. They were of that Irish stock with dark, dark hair, blue eyes and fair skin. Then there was my Uncle Jimmy, red-haired and freckle-faced!! Each of the Frawley boys had at least one red-headed child. I was my Dad's, although I was never really a carrot top red like some of the others, but more of a dark auburn brown. I did have the blue/green eyes and freckles though!!

Looking back in our family tree, almost every male bore some combination of the names John, James, Edward, Patrick, Michael, Joseph or Richard. My dad was John Edward. My uncle was James Patrick. My brother is Patrick John, and so on.

St. Patricks Day was celebrated at our house with the wearin' of the green, corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread and green beer (Kool-Aid for the children). The passing of a family member was always marked with a wake, where the men would share stories of the dear departed between shots of Old Bushmill, often at the gravesite, where for each shot imbibed, one was dumped on the ground for the deceased.

Today, I will make corned beef and cabbage. Honey won't eat it. Neither will any of my kids. My daughter-in-law has never had it, and said she would like to try some. So I'll have it for my dinner, and probably lunch for the next couple of days!! But I can't let the day pass without honoring that part of my heritage. Some things you just never let go.

And later tonight, I'll call my brother Pat, who lives in South Carolina and wish him a Happy St. Paddy's Day. And an Irish Blessing to all of you.

Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fabric Finds and a WIP

Since I'm quilting on a budget these days, I've taken to scouring remnant bins whenever I'm near or in somewhere that sells fabric. Sometimes I come away empty handed. Sometimes I hit the jackpot. I've had a couple of good finds lately. I love this floral fabric. It looks kind of vintage to me. I got 3/4 yard for $2.00
This was my score for the day. Some 1/4 yard solid remnants for under $1.00 each, a little less than a quarter of the yellow polka dots for about $0.50, and the peach fabric for $1.00 a yard. I bought what was left on the bolt which came to just under 5 yards.
Then yesterday, I came across this fat quarter bundle for $8.00. It looks kind of springy, doesn't it?

This is the rag quilt I've been working on. I wasn't sure where I was going with this, and decided it needed to be a bit larger, so I'm going to add three more rows before I finish it off. I used warm and natural quilt batting between the flannel squares, and it's really very heavy. It probably would have been fine without the batting, but this way it's extra cuddly!! Pretty traditional fabrics for a baby girl. I have a hard time stepping outside that box. I'm going to have to really work on that!! I like a lot of the modern fabrics and patterns I see, but it seems like when I'm choosing fabric and design for a quilt to make, I gravitate towards traditional patterns and fabrics. I don't want to ... it just happens!!

Have a great day!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Fair Wind is Blowing

One of the ladies who works for us lives on the shore of the Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron, which is about 11 miles from us as the crow flies. We've had some warm temperatures the last few days with some healthy breezes and the ice on the lake has started to break up and blow onto shore. Her view is normally a gently sloping water view. This is what she found outside her window this morning. Fortunately, the wind died down, and as long as it stays that way, it's not likely to come any closer. Some homeowners weren't so lucky, and a few found ice pushed through their windows and piled into their house!!

I guess sometimes a water view isn't all it's cracked up to be!!

I'm still not able to upload photos of my own, but I've been working here and there on a baby flannel rag quilt that I almost have finished and my Cotton Blossoms charm quilt is coming along.

Other than that ... it's work, work, work for me. \

Friday, March 6, 2009

I'm Still Here ... Limping Along

After spending all last weekend restoring my computer, it became unstable again, so I switched over to my old computer, which we had saved as a spare. My pretty little laptop is going to have to have some warranty work done and will likely be out of service for several weeks.

My old computer is slower, and I can't upload pictures from my digital camera yet, as I have to install the software. I hope to have some time to do that this weekend.

It was another busy week with lots of work, and some time spent keeping my aunt company at the hospital while my uncle underwent some procedures. This is the uncle who had his leg amputated in December. He is in a nursing home for rehab, but he has developed some other medical issues, and his mental status has deteriorated alarmingly, and he's just not doing very well.

We're having some spring weather here, which has been a nice mood brightener. The thing about having nice spring-like weather in March here is that we're still likely to have at least one big snowstorm left before spring gets here for real! You just never know in Michigan!! I've decided to just enjoy it while it lasts!!

Some good news ... March 3 marked 2 months smoke free for me. I'm feeling really good about that, especially given the stress of the last couple of weeks. There were more than a few times when it would have been so easy to go back to it!! But we didn't ... and we got through it.

I think, since it's so pretty today, I might go out and wander around the yard with my camera today and see if I can find any signs of spring. My tulips and daffodils often poke their tips out right under the snow, so maybe I can find a little green. And I think I saw buds on our star magnolia, which usually is the first thing in the yard to bloom ... before it's even warm enough to get out in the yard and enjoy it!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

If It Weren't for Bad Luck ....

I'd have no luck at all. Isn't that how the song goes???

My computer died on Friday and we had to restore it from back-ups. Except that the back-up of my data file for my accounting program for the business was corrupt. We tried most of the weekend to save it, to no avail. Finally, running out of time, we had to get the computer set up so I could use it for work. I lost 11 months worth of finacial data for our business. Fortunately, I have the records to reconstruct it all ... but it is an enormous amount of work gathering and re-entering it all, and somehow, I have to find a way to get all that done and keep up with my regular work load.

Not having a good time here ..... sigh.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Finding a Balance

I've been too busy with work to do anything crafty for the past week ... and there's no end in sight. Honey and I have worked at home for 14 years. That entire time we have struggled to find a balance between work life and home life, and we've never quite been able to manage it. Sometimes it's hard not to be resentful, and I have to remind myself that even though I never get a sick day, a vacation day, or a holiday there are advantages to working at home. I can work in my pajamas if I want to. I can work when I want to, as long as I meet my deadlines. I was able to be at home for my kids when they were growing up. We were able to bring my ailing mother to live with us and care for her during her last days, surrounded by those who loved her, instead of being cared for by strangers. I was able to pack up my work and take it with me so I could be with my sister during her long illness. It's allowed me a lot of flexibility that I wouldn't have had in a 9 to 5 job. But I've certainly paid a price for that. Work still tends to take over my life at times and I don't really know how not to let it. This is one of those times!!

I've been laid low by killer headaches the last week, and it seems like all I've done is work and sleep. My blood sugar is way up, a function of stress, and being so busy I'm eating whatever is handy instead of what is good for me, the low humidity in teh house is giving me nosebleeds, my shoulders and hands are sore from long hours at the keyboard ... and I'm just not a very happy camper!!

All this is my way of explaining why I have no finishes to post, no pictures of new projects. In my blog hopping, I see so many sew alongs, BOMs, challenges and swaps that I would just love to get involved in. But I know I can't commit the time right now I have to pass. And that makes me sad.

Life hasn't been ALL work, exactly. Honey and I went out for dinner on Friday with the Big Guy and KT to a Japanese grill and sushi bar. It's one of those places where you sit around the grill and the chef cooks your dinner right in front of you, flourishing knives, and bottles of oil and sauce, and spatulas all the while. I had sushi for the first time, under the guidance of my daughter-in-law. I quite enjoyed it. I had what she referred to as "beginner" sushi ... California rolls with tuna and soft shelled crab. I had steak and shrimp for dinner ... it was delicious, and I really enjoyed it!!

On Saturday I had to work, but I did manage to take a few breaks here and there and cook.

I made Ina Garten's recipe for Parker's Split Pea Soup. If you haven't tried it, you should. It's the first recipe for split pea soup I've ever seen that didn't have ham or bacon it it .. but this one has no meat. With oregano, carrots and red skin potatoes, unpeeled), its a rustic, hearty soup that just cries out for some crusty home made bread. So I made some of that too. Since Honey doesn't care for pea soup, I made some chicken noodle for him.

The fruits of my labor on Saturday ... pea soup and chicken noodle soup for the freezer, and three loaves of bread.

I thought my week was off to a bad start on Monday when I was fixing my breakfast and absent mindedly dumped coffee creamer in my Egg Beaters instead of in my coffee cup. Things went downhill from there .. until I got the mail and received this darling little quilt from my Swap Til You Drop partner for February. It's paper pieced .. isn't it cute!!

She included some nice goodies too .. some notes, embroidery floss, and Ugly Fabric, although I don't think it's ugly ... exactly!!

So, today is Tuesday. This morning I'm working on lightening my workload so I can have my life back, and it's going to be a better day ... I just know it!!! It's Fat Tuesday, and I'm going to forego the paczkis this year in an effort to keep the blood sugar out of the stratosphere.
Hope you all have a great one.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday, Monday ...

I spent some time in my sewing room this weekend. I finished the top of the baby quilt I'm making for my newest great nephew. I did a combination of 9 patch and snowball blocks in a blue and yellow pin dot fabric. It was fun to piece and went pretty quickly.
I finished my paper pieced swap quilt for the February Swap Til U Drop. This was made all from scraps and I like it so much, I'm going to do another one for me to keep. It was a lot of fun to make. I'm still a newbie at paper piecing and I wanted something a little more challenging, but not too much. This fit the bill perfectly!!
Last, but not least, I made some 9 patch blocks from two Moda Cotton Blossom charm packs I bought a few weeks ago. I'm going to cut them into quarters to make smaller blocks and piece them together randomly and see what I get!! I'll be posting more pictures of this project as it evolves, I'm sure.
I had a great weekend. We had some record high temperatures here for a few days. It got up to 60 degrees one day. That's unheard of for February in Michigan. All the snow melted, the sun was shining, and it was a much-needed respite from the winter. We did get a little snow Saturday, but the sun was out a lot over the weekend. We have a winter storm warning in the forecast for tonight though, so by tomorrow morning winter will be back with a vengeance, but right now, the sun is shining and I'm going to enjoy every bit of it for as long as it lasts!!

I went to dinner with one of my oldest friends on Friday. She works nights and I work days, and it seemed like we never had a chance to get together. We go to the same hairdresser and a couple of years ago, we started making our appointments on the same day, and then we go out for dinner afterwards. It's a guaranteed way for us to get together regularly and have a nice long visit.

This week shouldn't be quite so busy for work. I sure hope not anyway. I need to do some catch up around the house before it falls down around my ears!!

I've been having some problems with my computer and somehow, my entire Inbox in my e-mail program got wiped out. So if you've commented on my blog, I usually respond, especially to new visitors, but I've lost all your e-mail addresses. Thanks for visiting, and please leave another comment, so I can find you again!!

Have a great day.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Eight Random Things

I've been so busy this week with work, that I don't have anything crafty to post. So instead, I'm going to post 8 Random Things About Me that you might not know.

1. I'm 56 years old and not afraid to say so.

2. I have been married for 35 years to my college sweetheart.

3. For two weeks every year my older brother and I are the same age.

4. I played the French Horn for 6 years in school.

5. I've worked from my home as a medical transcriptionist for 14 years.

6. Two of my sons will be married to girls named Katie.

7. I can't wait to be a grandmother!!

8. I collected dolls for a while, until I ran out of room to display them!!

So there you go. Useless facts about me!!

Hope you all had a great week. I sure am looking forward to the weekend.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sweet Dreams

My sleep study went well. Coincidentally, my study was on February 3, which marked one month smoke-free for me. I dont' know if it had anything to do with it, but the pressure settings on my C-Pap machine were lowered, AND I didn't need supplemental oxygen. I've used oxygen at night for 2 years because my blood oxygen levels took a nose dive when I sleep. Apparently, they stay in the normal range now, so I'm certainly happy about that!! I also got a new mask out of the deal, which I like much better than the one I've been using!!

Haven't had much time to sew, though. All I managed to get to this week was some mending for my daughter-in-law, and I worked on the mini-quilt for the February swap for Swap Til U Drop (STUD). The theme this month is paper piecing. I've only done a little bit of paper piecing and they were simple blocks, so I chose something a little more challenging this time. It's going well, but I have to really pay attention to what I'm doing. I'm itching to get back in the sewing room. This is going to be a realy busy week with work, so I don't know how much crafting time I'll have.

On a cheery note, we had record high temperatures yesterday and are looking for more of the same today. The sun is shining, a lot of our snow has melted and my animals are enjoying being able to be outdoors for more than a few minutes. More cold weather and snow is on the way, but this has been a nice and much needed break from winter!!

Hope you all have a great day!!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A New Project and other Stuff

I started the quilt for my new great nephew this week. I got a few blocks done on Sunday. I have about 1/3 of them finished. I took the advice of a fellow blogger who told me this is my hobby and it's somethine I should enjoy doing, and that I DON'T have to finish all my other projects before I start something new!!

I received this cute little quilt in the mail from my partner for the January Swap Til U Drop. The theme for this month was Sing It, Watch It, Read It. There were some really outstanding quilts submitted for this theme. You can check them out at the groups Flickr phot stream here

Here's the one I sent to her. It's sort of self explanatory!!


Busy, busy day today so I'd better get back to work. I get to spend the night at the hospital tonight having a sleep study. Fun and more fun! Trying to have sweet dreams with wires attached to you everywhere!!

Have a good day!!


An Award Bestowed

I received this award from Shari at Mumsyblossom's World a couple of weeks ago. I've been so busy that I've been blogging on the fly when I have a few minutes here and there, and I haven't had time to figure out how to post it here. (I'm really not very good at this yet.) I'm ashamed that it's taken me so long ... but finally ... here it is! Thank you Shari and my apologies for the delay in acknowledging it.

The meaning of this award:
This blog invests and believes in Proximity- nearness in space, time and relationships.
These blogs are exceedingly charming.
These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends .
They are not interested in prizes for self-aggrandizement!
Our hope is that when the ribbon of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated.
I'm supposed to pass this award on to fellow bloggers, to include the above text in their blog. Since I'm a fairly new blogger, I don't have much of a readership yet, and it seems that those who follow my blog have already received this award.

So, if you're reading this, and you haven't received this yet, consider yourself chosen and feel free to post it on your blog.

Thank you all for being a part of my day!! You can't imagine how much it has meant to me making new friends from all over the world!!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Wish Granted

I had to go to a client's office today to pick up some supplies, and to my delight, the snow stopped and the sun came out, bright and beautiful!! I have to admit, I dawdled a bit on the way, so as to make the most of it. And when I got home, I stood outside and turned my face up to soak it in all in for a minute. Now, it's back to work, but I feel recharged.

Oh what miracles a little sun can accomplish!!


Fabric Fun and Stash Building on the Cheap

I went to the grocery store on Monday evening to pick up a few things to get us through the winter storm that was in this week's forecast. I try to make sure we have enough bread, milk, eggs and such to get us through being snowed in for a couple days if necessary. Truthfully, we could very comfortably live out of our pantry for a week or more if we had to, but I like to be prepared!! While I was out, I picked up some fabric for the quilt I'm making for our newest great nephew.

I'm going to do a pattern of my own design that I worked up many years ago, but never made. So we'll see how it turns out!!
I always check the remnant bins when I shop for fabric. It's a good way to build up my stash without spending alot of money. Sometimes I don't find anything, and other times I hit the jackpot!! Monday was a good day. I found all of these 1/2 to 1 1/4 yard pieces for about $1.00 each. I love the chickadees and cardinals, don't you?

And I found these flannel remnants for a dollar and some change for about a yard of each. I see a baby rag quilt in my future!!
That is, if I ever have time to sew again! The rest of my week just got filled with work. We need the business, but it's really hard to work those 18 hour days like we did when we first started out. I don't know how we did it then ... and the kids were still young!! I feel like I'm working harder and getting less done these days and that seems to be all I have the energy for!! And being housebound because of the weather doesn't help any!! Oh, how I long to sit outside and let the sun shine on my face!!
Honey and I are going to try and get away for a weekend soon. I'm still working on that. We both need the break!!
Have a great day.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Winter Blues

I didn't mean to go a whole week without posting, but there hasn't been much to post about!! It was a busy week at work, as one of our transcriptionists was out sick all week so I had to do doublt duty. I spent my spare time at medical appointments ... which is not fun ... but necessary. And I watched the inauguration ... which I thoroughly enjoyed. I have a niece that lives in DC and her mom flew out there for the week and they went to the inauguration. I haven't talked to her since she's been back, but I can't wait to hear all about it.

I haven't been in my sewing room at all ... mostly because I need to spend a couple of hours cleaning up in there before I can work ... see what I mean??
What a jumble of mess, huh? Here's more ...
I have managed to get a little knitting done though. I have the back of my sweater finished and I'm about halfway done with the front. I'm liking it more the more I work on it, so hopefully, by the time it's finished it will turn out to be something I'll actually wear!!
I was the lucky winner of a prize in the Whirl Into Winter Giveaway and it arrived last week. It's a kit for a wool felt notebook cover and key fob. I can't wait to get started on it. Many thanks to Angela at The Country Cellar for participating ... and for picking me as the winner!!

Here's my Chloe, looking out the living room window, longing for spring. Me too, Baby, me too. It's still bitterly cold, and we don't go outside any more than we have to. We're all getting cabin fever!!

My oldest son, The Poet, is getting married in June. He and his fiance live in Florida, but the wedding will be here, since this is their home town and both their families are here. So they've been planning the wedding long distance. Yesterday, the mother of the bride and I went to a Bridal Expo open house to check out the food offerings by the caterer, since the bride can't go herself. It was a fun afternoon, looking at wedding gowns, table settings, flowers, but most of all ... the food!! They had almost everything they offer, and we had a taste of it all!! Everything was so good, it was hard to choose our favorites. We both decided we like the prime rib with horseradish sauce and one of the chicken dishes for the entrees. We talked about the wedding shower, which the bride's aunts are doing, and our dresses. I have an idea of what I'd like, now the challenge will be to find it!! Wish I could get away with wearing the same dress I wore to the Big Guy's wedding in September. Finding that one was quite an ordeal!!

This week is going to be another busy one with work. I'm going out for dinner with one of my oldest friends for dinner tonight. We do that every so often. She works nights and I work days, so it's not always easy to get together, so we make a special effort to do it every couple of months.

I'm going to start work on a baby quilt this week. We have a new great nephew, who was born on Inauguration Day and Honey asked me to make a quilt for the baby. Since he's already here, I'll have to get it done quickly, so I can get it in the mail on it's way to New Jersey.

Hope you all stay warm (or cool, depending on where you are), and that you have a great day.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Lazy Days and Keeping Warm

It's been bitter cold here, with wind chills as low as -20, and more snow. Even though we have a pretty new, high efficiency furnace, when it's this cold, it's hard to keep the house warm. We keep the shades drawn to keep in the heat we have, dress in layers, and pretty much live in one room that we try to keep the warmest. We go into a kind of a survival mode. No uneccesary trips outside, comfort food, snuggle on the couch under an afghan and watch movies. And that's just what I did this weekend!!

Honey made ribs on Friday with a spicy rub, recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay. It was so spicy ... it cleared my sinuses right up!! On Saturday, I made some great 15 bean soup from the ham bone I had in the freezer left over from Thanksgiving. A good, hearty soup that warms from the inside. I had it for lunch AND dinner on Saturday!! There's quite a bit left, so that's going in the freezer for another day. Yesterday, I made penne pasta with Italian sausage, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and lots of mozzarella cheese.

I worked on knitting a sweater. It's my first sweater and it's a pretty easy pattern, but hey, you have to start somewhere!! I loved this yarn in the store. I kept coming back to it, until I finally bought it. I'm not sure I like it knit up though. I'm reserving judgement until it's finished, so we'll see.

I haven't been doing any sewing. The sewing room is cold, and I've been feeling a little under the weather with the sinuses, so I've been taking naps instead of sewing!! I need to get back in there though. I have several projects to finish, and some new ones I want to start. Sometimes I wish there were more hours in the day!!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thoughts on Thursday

I'm sorry to say I haven't been in my sewing room all week. I've been laid low by the mother of all sinus headaches. I tend to be prone to sinus infections, but this is strange. I'm not congested. My nose isn't running. I have no cold symptoms, no fever and really no symptoms of an infection. I really don't feel sick, except that the whole right side of my head hurts. My face hurts, my ear hurts, my teeth ache!! I've been pushing lots of fluids, taking pain medication, using my Neti pot and warm compresses, and finally, today, I'm feeling some relief.

I'm thinking it could be the weather. We've had quite a cold snap here, with wind chill temperatures nearing 15 below zero. I think there's something about the barometric pressure when it gets that cold that plays havoc with my sinuses!! Between not feeling well, and the bitter cold, not only have I not been out of the house all week ... a couple of those days, I didn't even get dressed!!

The Whirl Into Winter Giveaway ends today. The winner of my table runner is Priscilla, from New Zealand. I think it's so exciting that a piece of my handiwork will be gracing a table on the other side of the world!! What an opportunity this blogging is to make friends all over the globe.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Morning Musings

For those of you wondering ... I'm on day 9 as a non-smoker. It's going well ... better than I expected. I know that there will be hard times ahead that I have to get over, but my confidence that this time I'm going to quit for good builds with each passing day. Thank you so much for all your messages of encouragement. They really help!!

I've been looking for some other places to purchase fabric besides Wal-Mart, Joanne's, Hobby Lobby, and the one little quilt shop I know of in our town. I remember noticing a couple of quilt shops in passing over the years, so I did a little exporing on Friday. Two of them are closed, and one isn't a quilt shop at all, but specializes in needlework and yarns. There are two more places I want to check out. One is a sewing machine repair shop, but I just found out they sell fabric too. After that, I'll have to go to the next couple of towns over. They seem to have several quilt shops each, so maybe one day soon, I'll make a day of it and go check them out.

I did manage to spend some of my Christmas gift money though. I bought the black and white fabrics for a special project I've been working on, which I'll show you a little later. The Peaches and Cream cotton is for some washcloths. I have several medical appointments coming up and they make good little waiting room projects!! I got some Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Autumn Print yarn and I'm going to start knitting my first sweater one day soon. And I couldn't resist the Cotton Blossom charm packs from Moda. I don't have any particular plans for those, but I'm sure I'll think of something!!

This is my Swap Til You Drop swap quilt for January. The theme for this month is "Sing It, Watch It, Read It." I chose a theme that is not only a song from the musical "Chicago," it's also the title of a movie. This little quiltie was a bit of a stretch for me. I have never done applique before, and if I'd thought about it a little more, I might have chosen something simpler for my first project!! I found a picture of the movie poster on the internet, so I downloaded it, blew it up a little with my copier, and traced it onto tracing paper for a pattern. I did a coupld of practice pieces before I tried the final project. I'm actually quite pleased with how it turned out. That's one of the things I love about this swap ... it's been pushing me to stretch my wings a little and try new things. Last month, I did the paper pieced chili peppers, which was something I only recently tried for the first time. It was a lot of fun, and I can't wait for a chance to do more paper piecing. Now, I'd like to try more kinds of applique.

I don't know how much sewing I'll get done this week. I have a lot of end-of-year accounting stuff to do for the business, which takes a lot of extra time, and that has to be the priority. The joys of being self-employed!!

Wishing for a great week for everyone ...


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Confessions of an Addict

I think I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my husband recently quit smoking. What I did not mention, was that I did not. Yes. There is it. My nasty, dirty little secret.

I've smoked since I was 18 and although I've tried to quit many times over the years, I have never been successful. I've taken three quit smoking classes, and while I did quit each time, it didn't stick. I tried nicotine patches ... they gave me a rash. I tried nicotine gum ... it made me sick to my stomach. I took a self hypnosis class ... and smoked on the way home. I've tried 3 different drugs to help me quit smoking ... one made me sick, one made me sleepy, and the other made me depressed. When I try to quit I turn into a raving lunatic. I'll smoke my husband's cigarettes, which I don't even like. I'll pick through the ashtray looking for butts long enough to light.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I even watched my mother die from emphysema and held her hand while she poked at the air for a cigarette while taking her last breaths.

Honey and I talked about all the times we've tried to quit smoking, why we failed, what we could do to prevent that in the future, and decided on a plan. We decided that we couldn't both quit at the same time because we get get so short-tempered and anxious and we hit a point where both of us are at our weakest and we go buy cigarettes. The plan was for him to quit smoking first. That made sense, because he won't smoke my cigarettes, or pick through the ashtrays, and I will, so the fact that I would still have cigarettes in the house wouldn't be a problem for him.

He quit smoking 3 1/2 weeks ago. He's been taking some medication he got from the doctor, which has helped him, and I've been trying to be as supportive as I can. He's gotten a little testy from time to time, but basically has done very well and is over the worst of it now. So it's my turn.

I quit smoking on Saturday. This is my 5th smoke free day. There are no cigarettes in the house, the ashtrays have been emptied, washed and put away. I'm doing fine. I don't know what is different about this time, except that I'm really finally ready, I think. I have some nicotine lozenges to get me over the cravings, but mostly, I've just been trying to keep busy. I've got my laundry caught up, started cleaning the basement, knitted a couple of dishcloths, listed a bunch of stuff on Freecycle, and have been sewing 4 patches from my scraps for a scrappy quilt I'll make someday.

It's working. I'm doing it. Soon, I'll be over the hump and I can start enjoying all the good things about being smoke-free. I can sit anywhere I want in a restaurant. My clothes and my house won't smell like smoke any more. I'll be able to have my future grandchildren over with no worries or guilt that I might be exposing them to second hand smoke. And with cigarettes at over $6.00 a pack here, the money I'll save will do nicely to finance my new addiction ... sewing!! It's much less harmful, and a lot more productive.

I'm Terri, and I'm a nicotine addict ... and I've been smoke free for five days.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Ta-Da!! ... and Other Stuff

I got the table runner for my giveaway pieced this weekend, so, as promised, here are some pictures. We have terrible light in our house during winter. Even when the sun is shining outsite, it's dark inside and it's hard to get good pictures. Flash is too much light, no flash is too little. I can't seem to find a happy medium!! I'm going to sandwich and quilt it today and then will just need to add the binding and hand sew it down and it will be ready to go in plenty of time to get it mailed out to a lucky winner!!

My oldest son, the Poet, and his fiancee were here last week. They were in a wedding on New Year's Eve, so we didn't see much of them early in the week, but Friday night we had a family dinner with the Big Guy and KT here too. Sadly, the Wonder Child couldn't come, as he had to work, so I didn't get to have all my boys together, but they did have a chance to spend time together as they all went to the same wedding!! We had a wonderful time, a great dinner, some wine, and played some Wii afterwards and just enjoyed each other's company. I'm never so happy as when I'm just sitting back, watching my grown up boys. They've all turned in to such nice young men, if I do say so myself ... and I am thoroughly enjoying the wonderful people they've become. And the two oldest chose a couple of wonderful girls to be my daughters-in-law, and it's been fun watching the two of them become friends as well!! Did I ever mention they have the same first name??

The Poet is getting married in June, and the wedding is here, so they will be home a couple more times before the big day working on the arrangements, so I'll get to see them a little more often this year!!

So I spent the weekend basking in the glow of family togetherness!! What a way to start the New Year!!

Have a great day.


Friday, January 2, 2009


It's the beginning of a new year, when we're all thinking about what we'd like to accomplish in 2009. In the last couple of months, I've come across many great ideas I want to try, but with so much "must do" sewing for Christmas gifts, I just started a pile of things I want to do "someday."

I've always loved flying geese and this quilt from the December issue of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine really caught my eye. I think I'm going to do a scrappy version and make this a long term project.
This isn't a wonderful picture, but I fell in love with this quilt in a Plow and Hearth catalog. It was for sale, of course, but I plan on copying the design since it looks simple enough. It would look great in my bedroom!!

I learned to paper piece last year, and I'd like to do more of it. I've already collected a number of paper pieced block patterns to try.

Somewhere in this house, are some blocks and the rest of the fabric for two quilts my mother started. I want to finish those. One, I will keep, and the other I'll give to my brother. The other three of my siblings have a quilt that mom made, but my older brother and I don't, so I want to finish these two so we have one of her quilts to treasure too.

I want to learn to knit socks. I tried a couple of times, with not good results .. but I'm going to give it another try. I took up knitting a little more than a year ago, and I'd like to continue to improve my skills and learn to follow a pattern better.

I want to learn to applique. My plan for the January Swap Til You Drop quilt calls for applique, so I'll get a chance to get my feet wet. I just hope I end up with something good enough to give away!!

I have a few UFOs to finish up ... a couple of quilt blocks I want to put binding on and hang as mini quilts, and a table topper I started years ago that I'd like to finish. Other than that, my plate is clean though and I'm looking foward to many new projects!!

I received this sweet little quilt from my partner in the Swap Til You Drop December swap. The theme was Sweet Sour or Savory. It's beautifully done and I just love it!! I'm accumulating a number of mini-quilts so I'm going to start a quilt wall in my sewing room.

I've received so many wonderful comments on my Whirl Into Winter Giveaway post. So much to look forward to in the new year ... anniversaries, birthdays, travel, retirement, new grandbabies, new homes, better health, and lots and lots of quilty plans!! I'm trying to respond to each comment, but it may take me a while!! I'm a little overwhelmed.