Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Day Before

Today is the day before my birthday. In honor of that, I cleaned, organized and changed my sheets. It felt so good lying on my bed that I would have gone to bed then--except that I started my bread late and it won't be done until 10:30pm. I guess I will just have to have a drink and read until 10:30pm. Poor little ol' me!!! Tomorrow I will be (how can I ever get used to this??) close to 50. Yesterday I realized I was truly old enough to have grandchildren. I thank God that my children are smart and are waiting to make me a grandmother. Love those kids of mine. I am older than my mother was when I married. Older than my mother was when I had my first child.

Tomorrow my daughter is dying to go out to dinner at the Olive Garden so we can have lemonade lemoncello's--really really good drinks. Loved it so much that I went out and bought lemoncello to put in my personal recipe for vodka margaritas:

1 can Minute Maid limeade (has to be this brand)
1/2 can vodka
1/2 can water

Put in blender and blend. Good then or after freezing a bit in the freezer. Great on a hot evening.

The other choice is Felipe's on Auburn Blvd in Citrus Heights. If you live here, this is the most authentic and utterly delicious Mexican food anywhere. We love to eat there.

On a quilting note: I am currently part of round robin for an embroidery group I participate in. We get an embroidered piece and then must do some sort of border. I had a Santa last month and wanted to do angels. I embroidered (almost done) 4 angels and was going to put them in the four corners. In the end, the piece was too small for my 6.5" angels. So, I did a checkerboard border and then put a flower pattern around that. I felt bad about not doing an embroidered border and I did do the angels for it, so I have decided to finish them and will give them to Barbara to use or not use as she sees fit. I am almost done! I confess, I stopped working on them when I discovered how big they were in comparison to the Santa. It is a Christmas theme.
I will take a picture of the next one I do. None of these women even know I have a blog, so they won't see their borders. I also reviewed my Saturday Square quilts in their various stages of undoneness (is that even a word??). If I finish one, it will be hung at Quilter's Corner and people can pick their favorite. Seems like an easy way to see how much people love (or don't love) my work. I also think there is a prize. I love prizes!!!

Have a lovely Monday!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A few things I forgot

There was something else I was thinking of and so there are two posts for today. Check out the post labeled "The Pillowcase Police".

Today was my Saturday Square. I love going to this. It is very little pressure (except making the block to avoid paying more than the first $5.00) and there are people there I only see at this event. The leader of the group is Elaine. Today she shared something I just loved. Her husband decided he doesn't like California, so he moved to a little town in Idaho. He lives there for a portion of the year with Elaine going to visit him and then he moves back for a bit (the winter) until he moves back to Idaho (when the snow melts??). That is a great compromise. Elaine doesn't want to live in a tiny town in Idaho where there is an itty bitty quilt shop and the next nearest quilt shop is 3 hours away! Right now, my husband is in Montana, where he would live if I just gave in and agreed to move there. I am thinking that one day we will be retired and he will really want to go. The one thing that holds him here, besides me, is that his parents are still alive (may they live a great many more years) and live close to us. When those ties are gone, he might start lobbying much harder for a move there. I love the place in Montana. It is gorgeous and the Yellowstone river is right there. Yellowstone Park in only 50 miles away and there is a cute little town, Livingstone, just down the road. Most important, there is a post office, a bar and a quilt shop not too far away. I am such a city girl and not such a snow girl. There is a lot of snow in the winter. I just can't look forward to that. Here is the perfect solution. My husband could move to Montana for 6 months and then come back for 6 months. What a deal. I will save my perfect solution until the moment comes, but I must thank Elaine some time.........

Another thing......I was at the DMV renewing my driver's licence on Thursday. I made a big deal out of the eye test, but all is fine and I will live to drive again. My paper license is good until October 24, 2010 by which I should have the new license with a beautiful picture.....ha,ha,ha.

I have been sitting here for 15 minutes trying to remember what was so interesting that I wanted to include a posting and it has left my brain. Early dementia. I lose things in my mind all the time. Senior moments and I am not even yet a senior. I am only getting close.......but not too close. I hear that AARP thinks you are a senior at 55years old. I have TONS of time! Things are looking up, if only I could remember........
Julie :)

The Pillowcase Police

Today I got up as usual at 6:30am and got ready to take my monthly Saturday trek to Quilter's Corner for the Saturday Square. Most of the time I go over to spend the day with a friend. We spend the day putting our squares together. It is a great time and I love hanging out there. Every once in a while, one of us has plans that prevent us from hanging out together. I have to say that I have never that I remember in the last 3 years, missed the Saturday Square time because then I would have to pay an extra $5.00. I am such a penny pincher.......

Today I had to go spend the day with my guild who was sponsoring a Kid's Sewing Day. I was really supportive when it was first put to the board, and I might even have volunteered, about 4 months ago. So, when Natalie reminded me of the day, I felt I had to go. Turns out it was really fun. I like kids and these kids were Girl Scouts, so there was that much more cooperation. We made pillowcases for charity. The girls were wonderful and there were plenty of pillowcase kits for all. I enjoyed meeting the girls, their moms and grandmothers and we had lots of great help from the Girl Scout adults. One of our guild members, Cordelia, is the leader of the troop. She was also there helping.

Now that I have been supportive and complimentary, here is one black mark. There was a set of instructions on how to make the pillowcases. I had watched a really great video on the technique of making the tube and pulling it through to produce a pillowcase with the ever desirable French seam. I am going to be making pillowcases with students from the school where I work, so I have made at least 16+ pillowcases to make sure I felt comfortable with the process. I didn't read the handout. Instead, I showed the girls step by step my own method. I had my example and made the girls do their own so they would be able to do more. Come to find out that there is more than one way to get these pillowcases made. This one woman was there and I had no idea who she was. She told me I was doing it wrong and had the nerve to tear out one child's work and made this sweet girl do it her way. The instructions called for sewing the decorative piece between the cuff and the body of the pillowcase down. I have never done that. WRONG. That piece was suppose to be ironed up. I didn't do that either. WRONG. I was so darn tired of that woman. Who does she think she is? Turns out she is a dear friend of Natalie, the one in charge, and obviously the pillowcase police. I totally resisted any temptation and only called her a bitch when I was in the car, alone, on my way home.

We have a board meeting on Thursday. I am sure we will discuss this activity, which was really great and we should do it again, but I will make a note that it isn't productive to be the pillowcase police.

On a more positive note, Donna a lovely friend, was there with her grandchildren who were so darn cute. That was fun. And, I am proud to announce that my little group of three girls each made one pillowcase to take home and, at last count, 10 pillowcases for charity. I also made two and the grandmother who was hanging out at our table made 2 that I saw. I left a little after 2pm (I was there at 9:45am) because I was hungry after no breakfast and no lunch. I didn't think that far ahead to bring food. The girls were beginning to go home at 1pm and there were enough adults to supervise the ones still there. Despite the pillowcase police, it was a great day.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The End of the First Week

Thank God for today. It was the end of the first week of school. The children are still in their honeymoon period (some of them) and the halls are noisy, but still the children are well behaved. It is always this way. It takes time to get to know us and then, for some, the real kid comes to the surface.

The first week is tiring.

Have a great weekend....
Julie :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Update on football story

I was just checking my comments and I remembered I forgot to update the story. If you can believe this, my nephew is still playing football, although he is now on the freshman football team. I guess golf wasn't as exciting. So, I am thinking there will be some trips down to Modesto to see a game or two. Gotta go cheer him on like the good aunt I am!!!

Have a great day tomorrow.

muffins and jam

On Saturday I received a jar of peach jam. I love peaches and was anxious to try it. Tonight I made apple cinnamon muffins and opened the peach jam. OMG! ` That was so yummy. The muffins were fantastic and the jam was so good I cannot even describe it. Thanks Kim for the jam.

Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/4 cups flour (white or part white and wheat flour--1 cup wheat with 1 1/4 cup white)
1 large egg
1/4 cup melted butter (cooled)
1 cup milk
2 apples (cut into chunks or grate)
1/2 cup chopped pecans, raisins or dried cranberries--optional

Cinnamon sugar:
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400*. Line a muffin tin with papers and grease the insides.
Whisk together the sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and flour.
Whisk the egg. Beat in the milk and melted butter. Add the dry ingredients and then fold in the apple (and optional ingredients). Scoop into the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar topping. Bake for 20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a muffin. Remove from the oven and cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutritional info: 174 calories per muffin. 4 weight watchers points.

Note: I used white flour, but understand it did well intesting with wheat also. I grated my apple which makes the apple less noticable. Next time I will make chunks. It was also suggested that a 1/2 cup of butterscotch chips would make them into a dessert treat. I thought they were delicious as advertised.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

life happens

Tonight I was talking to a friend. We talk almost everyday, but did not speak last night. Her mom and daughter had been on a 3 week trip to Nicaragua before the daughter goes into the Army. Their plane landed in S.F. on Monday and they stayed with family until Tuesday when they drove home--here to Sacramento. At the time they reached West Sacramento, the daughter calls home and says they will be home in 20 minutes. That 20 minutes stretches into 40 minutes, 50 minutes--and then they get a second call from the daughter. They had an accident. Thank God no one was hurt. The current thought is that the driver, my friend's mom, fell asleep. Lots of bruises, but nothing bad. Even the guy in the other car was fine. His car was a mustang and he was broken down on the side of the freeway. He had been standing in front of the mustang and saw them coming, running out of the way to watch his car pushed forward where he had been standing, into a pole. I guess both cars are totaled.

Our family had an issue too. A cousin, Phyllis, who is in her late 60's(?) was boarding a cruise ship and suddenly collapsed and died on the spot. Phyllis had an aneurysm that burst and she was kept on life support until the family could gather. The funeral is Saturday, Aug 28th in Billings. We will send an nice something. I myself had only met her a couple of times, but she was very nice.

Reporting on my goals for July/August: I have gotten my friends together--we meet up on Saturday, August 21st. I have drank more water, but have also been drinking 7-Up. I usually don't drink soda because their is too much salt and they don't necessarily taste good to me, but I do like a really cold 7-Up. I have made progress on two of my Saturday Square quilts, but not finished either, or even begun on any of the others. I need to work on that. I have yet to begin Jane Eyre, but I have read several books including The Cinderella Pact, The Summons (John Grisham), and others. Currently reading The Appeal by John Grisham. Love his books. Also love books written by Jeffery Archer. He was a member of Parliament in England and was sent to prison for bad white collar/political crime. He went on to write crime novels and some really great short stories. I also finished Irish Girls About Town, an short story books by various Irish authors. Maeve Binchy is one of my favorites. I think I have read every book she has ever written at least 3 times each. Firefly Summer and Tara Road are my favorites. Back to my goals: I have sat outside more thanks to our very cool summer. I have watched my portions more and am thinking before I eat. I definitely have walked more often. I don't try to find the very closest parking spot. Love those spots, but still willing to walk a bit further. I have tried to be more forgiving, but I can't be perfect. I still have a few faults to work on. hmmmm.

I hope all is well for all. Good night,

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Cinderella Pact

There is a book called the Cinderella Pact. I began reading it at 10pm on Wednesday and I finished it Thursday morning. It was the funniest thing I had read in a long time.

So here I am on Saturday afternoon wondering what to watch on television (there was NOTHING on!--literally) and I find a movie on Lifetime and here is the book I just finished a few days ago on the television.

Now, I heard about the book from a woman who could one day be my friend. Unfortunately, she spoke of the book in thewse reverant tones like it would impart some great thoughts and help change lives. I am now afraid to tell her how I enjoyed it. I am sure I have missed some great message.

Got to go, the barbeque is calling.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Saturday Square Quilts

This is a sample of one of the Saturday Square quilts I am making. Actually, I can't remember if this one got done. But most important is that I finally learned how to upload pictures to my blog, so it will be that much more interesting to all!!! Hurrah!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Working on my Saturday Square Quilt

I have a friend who will be really jealous when she finds out what I spent my weekend doing. I finished the medallion part of last year's Saturday Square--Aspen from Quilter's Corner ( I am not using the Aspen line, but I am using the Aspen pattern. My fabric line is Provence. So very French! It is blues, yellow-creams, red, green and lots of flowers. I added about 7 inches of border to the top and bottom so it won't be square. I like my quilts to be rectangular. I only need 5 filler blocks to finish and then my friend (S---) will die of envy!!!

The Saturday Square was called, "You get what you get". In the beginning we picked plain paper bags that had a fabric line named inside. The idea was that each of us would have to use what we picked and there would be no whining. You get what you get. My friend (S---) was out of town and I picked for her. When I first looked in my bag, I was happy to see green because I don't usually use green. We were supposed to stretch. As time went on, it became clear that the Provence line wasn't going to make me stretch. It practically screamed my name. I love the fabric and was so happy when I found it sold in another quilt shop. Every month, during the first week of the month when the end of the bolt fabric is 25% off, I would buy a piece. I have enough fabric to make another quilt. I already have plans on using some of the fabric in another quilt I am planning on doing--Crimson Roses ( If you aren't familiar with Gerri Robinson's quilt patterns, you should check her web site out. Her patterns appear in McCalls Quilting and Gerri sells kits. I have purchased one kit from her and she was just the nicest person. When I had a question regarding the pattern, she remembered speaking to me. Her patterns are adorable and her customer service was first rate.

Back to the Saturday Square....if you remember, finishing ONE Saturday Square quilt (I have 5 of them I think) was one of my goals for the Charming Quilt Girls. I really thought I would complete the called "24" (there are 24 squares--we made two each month) since it is the closest to being done--or rather was the closest. Now it is the Provence Quilt. My darling daughter has promised to show her mother how to import pictures on Saturday. I hope to post a picture. Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mother-daughter time

Today I went out and got my hair cut. I went with the daughter and now she has 5 stamps on her card toward a free haircut. She is so excited!!! After we took the haircut plunge, we stopped at the post office to mail a package for our cousin Debbie. Now, I know the package contains 20 pillowcases for a charity, some shoes and a few clothes she didn't want to take with her "take-on" luggage--just a bunch of stuff she will need when she is back in Billings, Montana. I think I even said that. The post office person offers to send it for $88.00 overnight. I declined. Debbie won't even be back then. Then the offer was $35.00 guaranteed by Saturday! Think not. Only then did I say, "what is the cheapest way to send this?" Ended up spending $17.00 and I am sure it will be going by camel or very slow donkey. The woman at the post office just seemed disgusted. Who would spend $88.00 for a few pillowcases?????

Shopping in Grandpa's garden was fun. The tomatoes are finally in! I made a yummy tomato-phyllo tart ( for dinner. Sunday and Monday we had completely veggies-only meals and my husband didn't catch on--he is really a meat and potatoes kind of guy--so I thought I would try again with the tart. Very veggie for me with the tart and the corn-on-the-cob from the garden (more shopping in Grandpa's garden), but the husband had popcorn chicken of the run. He is helping a friend down the street build a deck for his mom. Grandpa--otherwise known as my father-in-law--grows the best veggies ever! I am really grateful to be able to shop in Grandpa's garden as our farmer's market moved 30 minutes downthe street. I haven't had farm raised eggs in a couple months.

After the fun shopping then the serious shopping at Costco. I just can't resist that darn coupon book. Bought a few things that were not on the list, but those cookies are yummy. I always get the variety cause no one should have to do without raisin cookies.

I took a nap cause I was so exhausted from my errands!

I am so excited. Tomorrow I am going to Bearpaws and Hollyhocks quilt shop ( to purchase fabric. I want to make a new quilt for my bed and I choose Tag Sale by Miss Rosie. My friend made a darling Schnibbles version and she is going to help me choose. I want to use the fabric line, Martinique--muted blues, pinks, creams and browns. It isn't too feminine so it will work in a bedroom for a husband and wife. I have a quilt on my bed, but I made 3 mistakes with the Ohio Stars, turning the squares the wrong way. While I can only see one when I lay on the bed, I know all 3 are there and it is bugging me. So, new quilt here I come.......

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Sister Came to Visit

I only worked on my embroidered angels for a round robin border I need to have done by August 21st. I was out having fun!

My sister, Caesar, came with her girls and picked me up to go up to Auburn. We had a yummy dinner with wine flowing. Yummm. On Sunday we all got up and went to mass with my aunt. She attends mass at St. Theresa's in Auburn. It is a cute little church where there is A LOT of singing. When time came for the homily, we were told there was a visitor from India needing help with saving some children somewhere in Africa. Now, when you hear the person coming up to the altar to speak is Sister Mary Caroline, you think she might speak English. NO! I guess I should be nicer. She did speak English, but it was so heavily accented that it might as well have been anything else. I got some part about the fertile soil and how they wanted to plant something there (makes sense), but completely missed other key parts. Caesar caught another part and my aunt got nothing. So, after Sister Mary Caroline finished her incomprehensible speech, the priest started talking about tractors and how there were a lot in Auburn. Turns out that Sister Mary Caroline was asking for money to buy a tractor. Really. That is what she wanted????? After mass and then breakfast, we went to Coloma to walk around and let the girls see gold panning. There is a cute museum there and no cell phone service whatsoever.

All in all, we got a lot of pictures and had a great time. I am going to have to get in some quilting time if I am going to make my goal of finishing a Saturday Square quilt by the end of August. Wish me luck!