Saturday, July 30, 2011

traffic and quilting

I was driving home today from spending the day with my friend Sandy. As I got on the freeway, staying at Sandy's until 6pm just to avoid the traffic on the Capital City Freeway, there was a backup. What would cause cars to almost come to a complete stop? A flat tire. Really. There were two people hanging onto each other on one side of the car as it was sitting to the side of the freeway. I thought they were kissing and I cheered them on until I passed by and saw that they were just watching a guy fix their tire. So boring! After we passed the flat tire, the excitement of the day, we were all going 65mph without any problem. So much for traffic updates.............

Sandy and I went to Quilter's Corner for the Saturday Square. At one time there were so many people at the 8am group that even the fire department couldn't be happy. So, Elaine turned her two sessions into three sessions. Now I get up really early to be at Sandy's house by 7am so she can drive me to Quilter's Corner to be there at 7:30am. It is important to be at the first grouping. Any time there is to be anything offered for a deal, the first group gets it first. Today was no exception. Elaine offered the kits from last year for sale. Kits not picked up and complete were offered as a kit and there was a 25% discount offered. There was a shabby chic kit offered (the one I did for $5.00) for $97.00! Amazing. I feel so good that I showed up every month and spent only the original money and got a $97.00 quilt out of it. I did pick up a few packages of the blue and white fabrics to go toward my idea of a blue and white quilt.

Have a great Sunday. It is my father-in-law's 74th birthday! Happy Birthday, Gary......

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What will I do with all this ribbon?

A couple weeks ago we threw a baby shower for our cousin, Alisha. She is due September 9th. It is the first question everyone asks.

There is a game we were going to play--How big is the Mom-to-be? Now, the way I played it in the past, we were given a ball of string such as yarn and we cut off the amount we thought would go around the mommy-to-be's middle. My mother-in-law had other ideas. She had me cut 20 pieces of ribbon 50 inches long and we would then give them out and let people cut them down. I did as I was told and cut the ribbon. Now I have 20 pieces of 50-inch long ribbon hanging on a hanger. What am I going to do with this ribbon??? Any ideas out there????

Are Cell Phones Robbing Us?

Today I learned more about how to use my cell phone. It has so many abilities that I will probably never master. I think a phone is just that--a device to call people and answer calls. I don't text or surf, etc. I am only one step above those who don't have phones. As I walked around Costco this morning, I met up with a friend, Jan. She was on her phone. I said how lovely it was to see her. She waved at me. We went our separate ways.

In the past, Jan and I might have stopped and spent two or three minutes catching up with each other. If nothing else, we would have said hello as we passed by. Now, we always seem to be on the phone. It robs us from having real conversation. This morning I saw a friend who I haven't seen in a long while and I have no idea how she is doing. It seems quite sad to me.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Computer Troubles

The other day my computer kept telling me that I was out of battery time. I wasn't too concerned because I had the computer plugged in. Come to find out I think I need a new plug as there is no connection. That means no pictures of the absolutely fabulous concert in the park I attended last night! The group was the Q-Balls. A bunch of not so young guys who have a band and sing songs from the 60's, 70's and 80's. All tunes we all know! I took my daughter along to give her some culture!

There is one thing to celebrate--I found myself listed on google when I typed in "Julia Quilts". A big day for me!

Best Buy here I come!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Last Day of School

Hurrah! Vacation starts today. As of now I am a free woman until August 16th.

Tonight I am having dinner with a friend. We are attending a support group for her gastric sleeve/lap band surgery. She has to attend at least one and we went to the wrong location for the last one we tried. Who was to know there are two libraries on Marconi Avenue in Sacramento??
Tomorrow we zip on down to South San Francisco to see her surgeon and get her surgery date. There will be a lunch I am sure. Saturday is free and Sunday is a free concert in the park which I confirmed the dates and times after the small disaster with Music in the Park last Monday. Monday is a trip to the airport and a fix the car day (we have to get a smog check). Then we relax!

Have a great evening.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Saying Good bye to the Son and Purse Snatching

It has been so hectic here. Yesterday I had so many calls from my mother-in-law because today they left for Montana and they took my son. I told him that I would cry every day he was gone. I admit that would be A LOT of tears. He will be gone until August 1st.

Call#1: Why hasn't their grandson brought his stuff over to be loaded into the car?
Call#2: We will be by a little after 6am to pick up the grandson.
Call#3: the purse snatcher was caught (read further on)
Call#4: We will be there at 6:30am to pick up the grandson
Call#5: Could my mother-in-law use my Costco card (which I can't find) so she could go by and
get my father-in-laws glasses? I went for her because she was taking my husband, her
beloved son, to the Good Will store to get some shorts (long story). I creatively
sidestepped the whole "How could you lose your Costco card discussion!

And this is how it went......When it was all said and done, I am now taking my sister-in-law and nephew to the airport on Monday so they can fly to Montana and picking up the whole group flying back on the 1st of August. And I get to drive the Honda Pilot!

Now up to today. I got up 45 minutes early for work so that I could say good-bye to my darling son. Since the in-laws would be here so early, I told my husband that I would make him breakfast and then planned to stop at Starbucks for coffee and the reduced fat coffee cake before work. Got to get that treat receipt! The plan was totally screwed up when no one showed up until 7am....I still made breakfast, stopped at Starbucks and made it to work with seconds to spare.

About the purse snatcher:
Yesterday my daughter and I went to Costco to add my in-laws to my phone plan. This is when I discovered that I have somehow misplaced my Costco card. As we were walking out, we saw this woman screaming about her purse. Two guys drove around the parking lot in a red Expedition looking for a victim. They stopped what we thought was their car and the guy in the passenger seat jumped out and grabbed her purse from the basket as the woman was loading her new big screen television into her vehicle. It does not pay to do this in Citrus Heights or maybe it doesn't pay to do this at Costco. There was a guy repairing windshields and he took down the license plate number. A bunch of customers who were waiting in line at the gas station jumped out of their cars and ran after the guys in the red Expedition. Imagine thinking you can chase down a car. One guy finished pumping his gas and followed the purse snatchers. The police came in record time. While they don't recommend following the bad guys, they did catch up to them and the car following them in West Sacramento where the purse snatchers crashed their vehicle and were arrested for purse snatching and car theft......The whole thing made our local news.

For the record, I put my purse in the car first. Obviously a good practice. Note to would-be purse snatchers who might think my purse would be an attractive target. I have no cash usually as my husband likes to clean me out first thing in the morning, carry no information that would help you steal my identity except my drivers license and that is replaceable. If you read this far, you have to know that I have trouble keeping cards in my possession. That Costco card is in the house---somewhere! Best to snatch a purse that would give you more than the $1.75 I found when I looked last night! Sometimes I am such a mess.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Where is the music???

I am very disappointed. Every year I go to see Music In The Park in Roseville at Royer Park. I looked up the schedule and tonight was supposed to be the Dave Russell Band (country music). I was late (it starts at 6pm) and I expected a crowd when I got there. There was NO ONE there! I thought perhaps I got the date wrong, but no it says July 18 very clearly. I have no idea what happened. My plan was to go there and listen until 7:30pm, then drive home in time to watch the Bachelorette. I watch it every week and call my friend, Leah, at the commercials to critique it all. In the end, I ended up having my picnic dinner in the park, reading while children ran all over the place.

Next concert is July24th at Rusch Park. They better be there!!! I have faith because this is not Music In The Park--it is through Sunrise Park and Recreation and they have always come through. I will call the city of Roseville tomorrow and find out the problem. I hope they hadn't posted all the dates wrong......

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Whole Lot of Cake!

I was at the library picking up the books I had reserved when I glanced over and saw this book,

The Vineyard Kitchen by Maria Helm Sinskey. It was with a display of new books. I am always interested in new books, so I grabbed it up. I didn't pick it up again until it was time to return it. So, as I was putting it in the book return, I flipped through it and thought I should really keep it for a bit longer. Unfortunately, It was due and I am so cheap I will not pay that 25 cent overdue fee. I wrote down the name to reserve later. When I went online, I checked with Amazon to see how much it was. I got a copy for $.92 plus $3.99 shipping. I decided it was worth the price to check it out and it came yesterday. I LOVE THIS COOKBOOK! The first recipe I plan on making is the Honey Walnut Cake right after the Berry Sorbet.

One year for Christmas, I wanted an ice cream maker. I figured it would be the run of the mill ice cream maker and that was only if my husband had really listened to me. He seldom does when it comes to presents. I was really surprised when I opened a Cuisinart 2 quart ice cream maker. (It was the daughter who was listening...) The only problem is that we had a VERY small freezer and it has been a huge problem to freeze the containers so we can make ice cream. No room to freeze them and not much room to store them. If you have been reading, you know that my husband bought a refrigerator at the Salvation Army when ours died last month. This one has a freezer that could freeze the containers! I am truly excited. Now to find where the ice cream maker is stored..... I am going on a search because the Berry Sorbet sounds so yummy. If it works out, I will share the recipe.

Cake story #2: On Monday, my son tells me he is tired of homemade cake (the lemon cake) and asks me to buy a cake from the store--specifically telling me not to buy a lemon cake. Can I really be hearing this? Homemade is not good enough??? Being the good mother, I don't kill him or tell him how other people appreciate homemade food. Also, being the good mother, I looked on Friday at Safeway for a store bought cake. Safeway has $5.00 Fridays and usually has some kind of dessert on sale. This Friday, Safeway had a Black Forest Cherry cake usually priced at $19.99 on sale for $6.99 which I thought was a great deal. When I got home and presented the cake, someone had the nerve to tell me he didn't want whipped cream frosting. He wanted the other stuff! Again, being the good mother, I refrained from killing him. All in all, a great day for him.

It has been a cake month for us. We also had a carrot cake from Bel Air. Not so good in my opinion. Too much frosting and it should have been cream cheese frosting. Carrot cake should always have cream cheese frosting.

Wish me luck finding the ice cream maker!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bus duty

I have already posted tonight, but then I remembered something that happened today. Names have been changed.

I work at a local high school with special education students for summer school. Some of these students have very low I.Q. and get lots of supervision. When I was asked to work I was offered bus duty. It is an extra half hour; we work 15 minutes before school starts and 15 minutes after school ends. We have four buses that transport our students. So far it has been the same routine each day. The buses show up early and wait for us to appear so the students can be let off the buses. The students get off and we wait the rest of the time until school starts. At the end of the school day the students get on the buses at 2 minutes past the bell and we spend the rest of the time until we have been there 15 minutes. We don't leave until our appointed time. At exactly that moment, we all get up and we leave. It has been the same every day for 3 weeks, until today.

Today one of our students (we will call her Mary) left the classroom, but she definitely was not with the students waiting for the buses. Debbie, an instructional assistant in Mary's class, and her daughter were checking all the bathrooms. We were VERY concerned. Mary wasn't anywhere. She was really gone and the bus driver refused to wait while we searched for her.

It is important to the story that you know the class went on a walking field trip to a local ice creamery. Mary's teacher mentioned that Mary had a coupon for a free ice cream from the trip. Then another woman, who works at the school and knows Mary and her family, came out and shared the thought that perhaps Mary had walked back to the creamery for her free ice cream. It seems that Mary's family is really strict about sugar and candy, etc--as in Mary isn't allowed to have it. It was thought that Mary could have possibly just walked off and was on her way there. Debbie got in her car and drove to the creamery and Mary's teacher followed in her car just in case they didn't see her and would need to drive in other directions. We had already called Safe Schools which is the same as calling the police. Debbie called her daughter to tell her she had in fact found Mary and was headed back to school. Thank God! When Debbie came back, Mary was not in her car. She had refused to get in the car with Debbie and was reluctantly persuaded to get in her teacher's car.

So, in the end everything was fine. Mary was fine. Debbie was upset, but she will recover. I am sure Mary will lose the privilege of walking ahead of the teacher.

What prompts me to write about this is that Mary refused to get in the car with Debbie. Not because Mary doesn't like Debbie, or is afraid of her. No, she refused because she wanted to go get her ice cream and Mary is very stubborn. Low I.Q. does not mean compliant. As we were waiting for the okay to leave, Debbie was saying she was grateful that Mary's teacher was there. She had hoped it wouldn't take both women to get Mary into a car. So what to do in that situation? Here you are on a very busy street forcing a young girl into a car. Do you do that? Does some well meaning driver see you and take your license plate and call the police? Yes, it can be explained, but who wants to have to explain. In the end we thought that the safest course was to call 911, explain the situation and request police assistance to transport the student back to school. We decided this would be the safest course. We will have something to ask our Safe Schools officer on Monday.

In the end all our students got safely home and that is the goal of bus duty.

Barbeque failures

On Saturday I spent the day with friends at Imelda's home. Her husband graciously offered to barbecue tri-tip for our lunch. He did all the work and then as we were sitting down to lunch, Kim noticed there was a fire in the backyard. The bag of charcoal had caught fire. David ran outside and put it out with the hose. I spent the entire lunch obsessively watching to see if the fire would flare up again. Twice I saw little flames try to start, but in the end, it went out on it's own.

Tonight I barbecued chicken. I had marinated the chicken in an onion dressing and it was smelling so good. As I sat and watched the barbecue, my dog Hunter, was nosing around the barbecue. I was thinking that wouldn't last as there were tiny bits of coals falling through the holes and I figured that one contact with that would send Hunter running. That didn't happen. What did happen is that Hunter bumped against the barbecue and knacked the whole thing over. The chicken went flying to the ground. Coals went rolling out onto the cement. After making sure that Hunter wasn't hurt or burned (he was perfectly fine!), my daughter and I lamented over the lost chicken as we looked in the freezer for a substitute. Silly me, I thought we cold eat the leftover sausage from the other night. Little did I know that the son and the husband had had a few midnight snacks and there was only half of a sausage left.

We ended up with pot-stickers. Not what I had looked forward to, but it worked out.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I logged on and found my followers were gone. That is sad. It wonderful to see people followed me. I thought it was something I did. I somehow found a virus and have not had use of my computer for close to a week. I managed to talk my daughter into letting me use her computer Sunday evening, but other than that, nothing. My son was amazing. He fixed the problem and installed something to make me more protected. I have no idea how I picked up the virus, but it wouldn't allow me to access the Internet or my email. So, you can imagine how I figured it must be me. Then I clicked on Kim's Big Quilting Adventure and she lost her followers too. Kim has lots! She said she found hers, but mine are still missing.......I miss you my lovely followers.

Off to work now. God, how I hate freeway traffic! Seven more days of this and I will go back to my regular school that is a 10 minute drive down the street. No freeway. Very little traffic.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lemon Cake

I am sure this has happened to all of us at one time or another.....

Yesterday, I was at a friend's home spending the day sewing, chatting and eating. We meet up once a month and have a great time. When we meet at our homes, the hostess provides the main entree and drinks while the others bring goodies to go with the entree. This time we were being treated to barbecued tri-tip. Yummm! There was a vegetable plate with dill dip and some very yummy appetisers with prosciutto, brie cheese and apples as well as a fruit plate. I brought dessert. I made a lemon cake with lemon frosting. It fell (as in the layers slid around on the plate) to one side and it was a disaster. I took the mess with me and tried to rescue the cake somewhat when I arrived, but it was never going to look fantastic ever again! It tasted great, but not so much in the looks department. Has this kind of thing happened to you?

The cake was a recipe from the latest issue of the Sandra Lee magazine. There was a lot of ingredients and in the end, I wasn't really satisfied with the cake itself. It just wasn't something to write home about. On the other hand, the frosting was special. Whipping cream, lemon curd, lemon juice and one package of dream whip. I don't know exactly what is in dream whip, but you can make yummy desserts with it. What really impressed me was that there was no added sugar. There was a tart lemon taste, but not too tart. I think I will work on the cake part some more and will file the frosting for future use.

Lemon Frosting:

1/2 package (2.6 ounce) box whipped topping mix (Dream Whip)
1/2 cup lemon curd
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Beat together at medium speed in electric mixer until blended.

1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Add whipping cream to lemon mixture, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form. Frost cake and refrigerate.

Note: can reserve 1/4 cup of whipped frosting, adding 1 cup of lemon curd to make a filling for the cake layers.

In the end, we had a great time together and no one was afraid to eat the cake. Good thing for me cause that was a lot of cake!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

St. Andrews

Today I went to a memorial for Tricia's mother. Charleene was 91 years old and died the first part of July. Her family took her back to Texas and buried her with her husband and had a full funeral service there. Today it was a memorial for her here at the church Charleene attended, St. Andrews. We had a small lunch and cake during the social hour after the regular service. It was very nice, well attended and not too long.

While I have participated in events at different Methodist churches (Christmas concerts and others) I had never been to a Methodist service before. This little church is full of friendly people--hugging friendly people who want to be your friend. I am not a touchy kind of gal, but I can hug if I have too. This is a church full of old people. I remember going to events (not the Sunday service) there when my children were little and it was very sweet. Today there was a full church and not all there for Charleene. Except for a disabled child and three other children (one of whom was only a couple months old) there were no children or young parents. It is my understanding that as good as the pastor is, as nice as she seems, she doesn't care for old people. I have a sense that the pastor is wrong for this church. The church sits in a neighborhood full of young families. They need to reach out to the community to get people in there. That part felt sad.

An interesting note: while Charleene was a Methodist, her grandchildren all married into Catholic families and had children, also Catholic.

The weekend is almost over!!!

Got up this morning and thought about how I only have today and tomorrow and then back to work!

*binding on table runner for friend
*binding on a quilt--again for a friend
*watermelon table runner (thank you Kim!)
*squares for "thank you " quilt for Lily, RJR Rep
*block of the month--squares for me and a friend
*block for Block Robin for Golden Valley Quilt Guild
*embroidery on vintage handkerchief for Block Robin

We are doing a Block Robin at my guild. It is a nine month program. This month the quilter had requested flowers. I used a Thimbleberries club members only pattern that I know only I will have. Since I know this person, and she had requested a bit of embroidery, I looked for something to do. While I didn't do an embroidered square, I did do a bit of embroidery. I had a vintage handkerchief and I found a sweet little poem

Roses are red
Violets are blue
If friends were flowers
I'd pick you.

I did the poem in red work with the words "blue" and "you" in blue. I was really happy with it.

Funny thing happened while I was doing the piece of embroidery. My friend is having a surgery--the gastric sleeve. Her surgeon wanted her to go to at least one support group meeting. To be a supportive friend, I volunteered to find a meeting. The meetings were difficult to find, but I did find one for July 1. The woman who runs the group, Sandy, seems a bit crazy. She ranted about her problems with the library system here when I called to get details about the meeting. Crazy Sandy told me the library was on Marconi Avenue. How could I need more information? There are TWO libraries on Marconi Avenue. My friend and I waited for 45 minutes before giving up and going home. You are probably wondering what this has to do with the vintage handkerchief. I brought my embroidery things and got a great deal of it done while we were waiting so patiently. Thank God we had stopped at Starbucks on the way there so we had sustenance.