Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Miracle

My friend, Leah, is wonderful in most respects. There is one area in which she falls down. I can barely even begin to explain, but she hates In&Out Burger. There it is, out for everyone (the few people who read this blog) to see.

Here is the miracle. Leah ate at In&Out Burger and she lived to tell about it! She even liked her hamburger and french fries! I almost fell out of my chair when she told me.

I love In&Out Burger!

Books I am reading.....

Books I am reading

Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo
Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
Hour Game by David Baldacci

I spend a great deal of time reading. When my darling daughter was in kindergarten she was having trouble writing her entire name. According to the rules, you could only check a book out of the library if you mastered your name. Since she had a longish name, it was taking her a while. One day she came home and cried because everyone else had been able to check out a book. I went back to school and chatted with Mrs. Britt, her teacher and requested, quite nicely, that my daughter be allowed to check out books too--after all I would take full responsibility for the books. Oh no! That just couldn't happen. I went to the principal. He supported the teacher, who shared with me that some kids just shorten their names, like Edward. He only had to write Ed. It was suggested that we let her write Amy. Her name is NOT Amy. I finally wrote an impassioned letter to the school board, noting that reading was like breathing in my eyes. Amazingly enough, my darling daughter was checking out books right away. This wasn't the school's only misstep with my darling daughter. They tested her for special education without my permission. They decided, also without my permission, to let her do less than everyone else because she was just "so young" and then told me she couldn't go to first grade, after they told me she would never catch on to reading. I insisted she go to first grade and they sent her home one afternoon with a playmate and couldn't tell me who that was. I had to call the police to get them to help me cause I was too emotional for them to deal with. We moved her to Holy Family the next day. The first thing I heard from that school was how impressed they were with how well my daughter read. Turns out she is like her mother--not very good with phonics, but reads well anyhow.

He who loves a book shall never want!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Love this saying

Wine is constant proof God loves us!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ahh, Vacation

Hello, hello. Vacation time at last! I finished my last day of summer school and I am free! Okay, free for 2 weeks, but how glorious it will be for 2 weeks. I celebrated by going to tea with my friends. We meet at Bearpaws and Hollyhocks quilt shop ( and Gran, as she is known in the blog world, has tea for us. We all bring goodies and then we sit and chat for three hours. It is glorious and so much fun. Today was a birthday celebration cause there were 3 birthdays--yesterday, today and August 1st. It was also great to meet Gran's daughter-in-heart (isn't that just sweet??) before we take her class next Thursday. Now, it will be like meeting a friend when we meet again.

Speaking of birthdays, my brother had a birthday yesterday. My parents had children one after another. I was born in August. 11 months later, Jim was born on July 22. Richard followed 12 months and 5 days later. My sister came last 11 1/2 months later. When my baby sister was born, I was 3 years and 10 months old. My mom always told me that no matter what anyone said, the rhythm method definitely does not work. I had 2 brothers and a sister as proof.

My brother Jim, who followed me, was especially annoying when we were kids. The minute he woke up on his birthday he would start in about how he was the same age as me and he would keep this up for the next 39 days before I turned another year older. A friend of ours, Mark, told me he has the same thing going on with his two daughters. As much as things change and we get older, nothing really changes!

Now that I am free, I expect that I will be quilting up a storm beginning Wednesday. My sister, Mary is bringing the girls to see me. The girls are Juliana and Olivia--my adorable and much loved nieces. I just love every minute I get to spend with them. Juliana just went to girl scout camp. I can't wait to see the pictures! Most people wait to be a parent. I wanted to be an aunt.
I have 3 nieces and 3 nephews. Sarah is so smart and she is just a beautiful girl. She has her mother's looks. I have always thought my sister-in-law was a beautiful woman and Sarah will be also. Jacob is the football player. He is smart like Sarah and just a sweet kid. I love them dearly. Juliana and Olivia are the youngest of the six. I am able to talk to them every week, even though they live six hours away. Sammy is the oldest. He is so amazing. He is musical and just a very nice kid. His brother, William is the only one I have never met because, unfortunately, he lives in Iowa and that is 2000 miles across the U.S. Hopefully someday we will meet. Either way, I still love William and Sammy as much as the ones I see.

I will be hanging out with two cute chicks and their mom as we go visiting our Aunt Pat and Uncle Wilburn, so good-bye until after the weekend!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

There is something just so perfect about hanging out with friends. Last night I was at my
Knot-y Embroidery Ladies group and it was just the perfect gathering of women. We made two new friends and had great conversation. Our fearless leader is the sweetest person and we were teasing her (in fun and out of love) unmercifully. I always go home with a smile and such good intentions.

For once I did live up to my good intentions. About a month ago I took a hand quilting class and, besides learning (again) that I just don't like hand quilting, I let my mouth get in my way. I was challenging the others to get their pieces done and then I failed to touch mine until yesterday. If I am going to be honest. I spent more time chatting than quilting. All in the classmates are from my guild, Golden Valley Quilt Guild, and our next meeting is this upcoming Thursday. If I don't finish this piece I just know that I will be the only one, so I have frantically hand quilted like crazy. I finally finished the last stitch this afternoon while watching reruns of Law & Order (the original of course).

I think it is a bit odd that I don't like hand quilting. I love to hand sew my bindings, embroider, cross stitch, etc. Why does hand quilting just bore me to tears??? I love the look of quilts hand quilted. I imagine that if it was 1860 then I would be there sitting by the fire each night hand quilting my little heart out--so Little House In The Prairie. That image goes out the window every time I take a class thinking this time it will be different. This is my third class.......When will I learn?

Only 2 more days of summer school for me and then 2 weeks of "vacation" defined as the time I spend between jobs and more important--between paychecks. I plan to spend some of that time figuring out how to load pictures onto this site. Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Goals for July and August

I am so excited to be a part of the Charming Quilt Girls group. The first item is to post my goals for July and August. My goals are simple.

1. Body: drink more water, walk more often and watch my portions when I eat.
2. Spirit: be more forgiving, sit outside every morning and re-read Jane Eyre.
3. Quilting: finish one UFO--a Saturday Square Project, get a group of friends together and
last, I want to remember to blog at least three times per week.

I thought back over the first goals--body. I am doing all of those. So already I feel good about myself. The others I will work on. I love sitting outside in the morning and I just have to give up a few extra minutes of sleep to do this. Today it is really hot out and I am wondering why "drink more margaritas" is not on my goal list!!!! I am serious about the Saturday Square projects. I want to finish just one!!! I have 3 that are as yet undone. That doesn't count all the others, but if I finish just one.........

In the finished column I can put my curtains for my room. I used a muted pink color that is in my quilt on the bed and put them up last night. I was surprised at how dark the room is now. No moonlight. Very different. I was quite pleased with myself of getting this done--after I procrastinated for about a year--until I woke up this morning and there was this eery, slightly creepy pink glow all over--and where did my morning light go??? I might have to run out to the store and check out cream colored sheers. We will see how fast I get used to the pink glow.

I also went to my guild embroidery group--The Red Thread Society. I also belong to the Knot-y Embroidery ladies through a local quilt shop--Bearpaws and Hollyhocks in Sacramento. Today was the Red Thread Society. We are doing a round robin. All participants were to show up with an embroidered piece not more than 15 x 15" square. I got my first piece today and it is a Christmas piece. Barbara embroidered a Santa on red fabric. I thought immediately of my guardian angels redwork pattern by BirdBrain Designs ( I am going to embroider 4 angels for the four corners and then do a pieced checkerboard in green and cream. I am thinking of doing the angels in green, as in "green work".

Now, I'm off to work on that UFO. I think I will choose the Saturday Square "24"--probably so named because there were 24 squares we had to make...2 per month, The quilt has a total of 48 squares and a couple of borders. I saw the quilt on the wall at the store and the fabric spoke to me. I begged Lindy, store owner, to let me in and she gave me a spot for soeone who had just dropped. It was fate. I had to catch up, but I did and now I have fallen down in putting it together. We made our last squares in March and here it is July! It could be my first try at putting pictures up. Just think of all the skills I am gaining! Until we meet again.......

Friday, July 16, 2010

Only the tough play footbal

From this point on, I may not be able to tell my sister-in-law (who I dearly love) about this blog. This morning she calls to tell me she just spent the last two days in the Emergency Room with my nephew because he got hurt playing football--or so she thought. First a little background. My nephew is not a big kid, a little heavy weight wise, but pretty normal for an incoming high school freshman. Sometime last year the coach for the private school in Modesto, CA runs into my brother-in-law and they chat. My brother-in-law played football in high school (20 years ago!!) and based upon that chance meeting and not even meeting my nephew, there were negoiations about getting my nephew to play for them. Since none in our family can afford Catholic high school and no financial help was forthcoming, my nephew is playing for the local public school (the rival for Modesto Christian). Now, you might think he was on the freshman football team. Not this kid. His parents are okay with his playing on the varsity team....After a few practices, my nephew gets hurt and here we are.....

There was the visit to the pediatrician who, upon hearing the details thought he might have a spinal injury or a broken rib, called 911 to transport him across the street from his office to the hospital. After tests and more tests, the doctor finds nothing and sends my nephew home. One of his other symptoms was a headache, but still nothing.

The next morning my nephew is throwing up and he is complaining that his head is going to explode. The pediatrician calls to check on him, asking specifically about his head and off they go back to the emergency room. More time, more tests and the only thing that can be found is that he might have a mild concussion and he hyper-extended his back. As they are headed out the door, my brother-in-law calls and tells my sister-in-law that he was throwing up too and his doctor diagnosed the flu. So guess what my nephew has????

Now I hear my nephew is not going to be playing football. He is really smart and is part of the IB program anyhow. Now his brains will have to get him into college. Good thing he is going with his brains because his mother has chosen his new sport. She wants him to take up golf. After all, golf is a non-contact sport and no one gets hurt playing golf.....

I wonder what they thought playing serious high school football woudl be like???

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jane Eyre

Once upon a time I challenged my high school English teacher, Mr. Prall, and I ended by making a grown man cry at age the tender age of 16. As I look back, it was really mean, but I have a temper and I don't always think before I act. Unfortunately, I have LOTS of stories that show off that side of me, but this one hurt someone else. I was reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

Mr. Prall was so proud that he bragged about it and then wanted to have endless discussions about the greatness of the book that I thought was not so good. After a while, I just had had enough and I wrote a book report for my English class and turned it in. I wrote a comparason of the classic (and favorite book of all time for Mr. Prall) and those Harlequin Romances that I bought at the used book store for a nickel. I read hundreds of those and loved all of them. If you haven't read a Harlequin Romance, then you have to know it is a formula of girl meets boys; girl hates boy; there is forced contact and then girl and boy fall hopelessly in love forever more. The best that can be said it that they are cheap trash.

I got an "A" on the report, but my relationship with Mr. Prall was never the same. I never considered his feelings and I sure didn't respect Jane Eyre as a classic.....until yesterday.

I am helping teach a reading program called Read 180 this summer. Cindy, my supervising teacher, is really the expert. She could teach it in her sleep, but I am new to the program. I was all full of praise for everything when I discovered the comic version of that same story I was so dismissive of 33 years ago. How could anyone who cared about books even think to make this a comic??? All I could think of was how Mr. Prall loved that book. If Mr. Prall is not dead by now, he must be in his 90's. I wish I had been nicer...ususally the result of one of my temper trantrums. In honor of Mr. Prall, I am going to reread Jane Eyre with a new attitude. As for the comic version, you can toss it in the trash.

Friday, July 9, 2010

New bed quilt and others....

I tried finding me on the internet, but no such luck. No opinions on what I wrote. No answers back. So, do I tell people and invite them to read? I thought it would be more anonymous, but not THIS anonymous...... hmmm.

I was sitting here composing a good-bye messge for a fellow quilter. Barb was a really interesting woman and her quilts were just the best! She had a beautiful saying for her quilts that she quilted into many of them. I had always coveted that because it said just the way I felt, but this wasn't the way I wanted to get it. It is always iffy to have to write a note to the greiving family, especially if you don't know them. I just hope I hit the right note of sympathy.

I am so excited. I am going to make the pattern Tag Sale by Miss Rosie's Quilts. I am using the Three Sister's Park Place line. At least, I think that is the line. It is soft and pretty and has a really great contrast. I am thinking that it would be good for my bed quilt. I spent a great deal of last year making the perfect bedquilt and ended up making 3 mistakes. I thought I could see past them, but I am obsessing over it even as I am lying on the quilt. So, new quilt. A second quilt for the bed can't be a bad thing. I did some work for a friend of my husband and he paid me enough to get the whole 7 1/2 yards of fabric I need. I can't wait until I can go and spend my money!!! I will experiment with putting pictures up as I make my new quilt.....