Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Gifts

I got a great Christmas gift from my husband.  He picked it out.  I really like it.  He thinks I hate it.  What he bought for me is a Keurig coffee station.  It is really fantastic.  You can make one cup of coffee in seconds.  The most fun is trying all the different kinds of coffee you can buy.  It came with six boxes of different coffees.  There was the doughnut shop coffee.  I didn't really care for that one.  The french roast was yummy.  It makes a lovely cup of tea which is wonderful because I don't like to microwave water for tea.
So, why does he think I hate this joyful present?  I haven't gotten rid of the old coffee maker.  I haven't figured out how to make coffee with my own grounds and I have a pound of Starbucks Christmas Blend that I just love.  Another issue is that I am home and it is annoying to have to make my coffee one cup at a time.  And I haven't yet figured out what to do about the day I go back to work and need enough coffee to fill my small thermos.

My in-laws gave me money.  I took that money and bought the pattern A Gardener's Alphabet by Crabapple Hill Studio.  All the quilt stores here seem to be doing it as a block-of-the-month (one store for $22.00 a month), but I don't want to go that route and prefer to do it on my own.  No pressure, no commitment that I can't meet.  That would be a $264.00 quilt.  I paid the $80.00 for the pattern and will do my own thing.  I am thinking of a cream on cream or a cream on white pattern for the background fabric.  Wish me luck in my fabric search!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

How Was Your Christmas?

Hello to all!

I had a wonderful Christmas.  It was relaxing, fun and filled with family.  We began with the daughter coming for breakfast.  I make this breakfast casserole from Paula Deen.  I know we all have a breakfast casserole recipe and swear by them (I'd love to try others if recipes come my way), but this one is easy and delicious.

Breakfast Casserole:

Assemble the night before in a 13x9" baking dish:
     4 cups bread cubed ( use enough to cover the bottom of the dish)
     1 pound ground sausage ( I use Jimmy Dean) cooked, crumbled and drained
     3 cups of grated cheddar cheese
Pour this mixture over the top of the cheese:
     2 cups milk
     4 eggs
     1 teaspoon dry mustard
     a few drops to 1 teaspoon hot sauce

Cover and put in refrigerator overnight.  In the morning, let stand 15 minutes at room temperature.  Bake in oven at 350* for 55 minutes to 1 hour.  Serve .

Even though there is bread in the dish, I usually serve this with muffins or link sausage on the side.  It is really yummy.  I use whatever bread I have on hand.  This time I used a cranberry bread that gave it a bit of sweet that wasn't too bad.  Plain sourdough is the best.

The first thing my husband said when he got up is that I had to open his gift.  He was so insistent that I wondered if it was something to do with breakfast.  It was the Keurig system--the coffee brewer that does one cup of coffee at a time.  It will be wonderful when I just want one cup of coffee.  We actually opened the rest of the presents after breakfast around 10 am.  What a joy to open presents at a leisurely pace.

We went over to the in-laws for a yummy prime rib dinner.  Lots of good food and wine.  A great time was had by all......

Sunday, December 23, 2012

It is a jungle out there


It has been raining cats and dogs--really--here since I waited until the last minute to do that all important Christmas shopping.  I must say, Target is fun at Christmas.  People honk if you get in their way.  I had to push at least three people out of my way to get the last Barbie tin.....just kidding.  Really the target workers are just too kind.  I handed the card upon which my son (who doesn't trust me to get this right) had written EVERYTHING you could need to know about which game he wanted and the very nice girl went and got it for me.  I am confident that I got the right game because the girl who brought it to me told me how much she enjoys playing it too.  She looked to be my son's age.  I should have gotten her phone number...... I found the shelves at See's Candy to be bare.  Really!  Not kidding!  No nuts and chews, no soft centers, no truffles.  Only big four pound boxes of candy and lollipops.  I had to brave Costco on Saturday afternoon with all the other crazy people to buy gift certificates and then go to the mall store.  There was no parking at Walmart.  Did I mention that I was shopping with my friend Leah who was in my boat?  Someone she buys for wanted a gift card to Walmart.  We did go Massage Envy to get a gift card for Lex, Leah's daughter, and her new husband, Chris.

The tree is up.  I have almost everything purchased (have to go to Denny's tomorrow for the gift card for my in-laws).   Sugar cookies are made.  I watched The Miracle on 34th Street.  I'm ready.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

If you give a mouse a cookie.....

My friend, Kim, emailed to ask when I would be home because she had a Christmas gift she wanted to drop off.  I said I would be home Wednesday and she could stop by any time.  At the time I didn't give thought to whether I should clean up for her.

Wednesday morning, my dear husband lost his phone book.  Why his phone numbers are not in his phone is a mystery to me, but there it is.  Unfortunately for me, he was convinced that his precious book was lying beneath the mound of clothes that I had on the dining room table.  He eventually went to work without his phone book swearing that it would be a really bad day and I went on my way.  When I got home I had thought about the phone book and decided I would feel very embarrassed if it was indeed under the clothes.  I folded the clothes and not finding the phone book, I went around cleaning up this and that.  I cleaned the sink in the bathroom because I had put new towels in and then I had to dust the shelf because it was right by the sink.  I fluffed pillows and folded blankets.I began at 2:30pm and was sitting down to eat at 6:30pm.  You just can't clean one thing.  We have way too much things to clean.....

In the end, my husband was happy I found his book (in the living room underneath a bit of wrapping paper from a box of Sees candy that he got from a neighbor that he threw on the floor.  I had my dinner (while I listened to my sister chat on the phone to me) and was deciding whether to take my shower at little bit early.  I opted for the shower--I was feeling a little grungy from all that cleaning--and while I was showering, Kim stopped by.  She dropped off the most adorable sheep pillow that has a blanket we will be making each month.  She came and ran and I never got to see her--okay because she isn't feeling well and I do not want to catch it.  I was admiring the pillow and my son comes out and says, "Your friend said to email her.  Is that why you cleaned the house today?" Hmmmmm.  Now why would he ask that???????

Monday, December 10, 2012

DInner Time Serenade

I got a wonderful surprise on Friday.  A local high school, Antelpoe High, came into the Red Robin at Greenback and Arcadia in Citrus Heights and serenaded the diners with Christmas music.  My daughter and I stopped in to share a burger.  We had just gotten our burger when the marching band shows up and begins filling up the restaurant.  They were dressed in their band unifiorms with hats on that made them resemble nutcrackers.  All red and black.  There were dancing girls in black pants, white sweatshirts and Christmas socks.  The band played three songs and then marched out the door!  It was adorable!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Oh No!

I was running my hands in my hair, a habit that I am now reconsidering, when I pulled out a 12.5 inch long GRAY HAIR!  Oh the tragedy of it all!  I showed it to my friend Naomi who put it under a microscope so we could really see it.  It isn't as if it were my first gray hair.  I have them, but until now was able to imagine them all very little and of no consequence.  12.5 inches long is--well, long!  So, I know what I will be doing tonight while waiting patiently for the ending of Dancing with the Stars.  I'll be dying my hair!!!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Back to Work

I wish I was retired.  If I was  retired, I could hang out with people I like.  I could sew a lot more.  I could sleep until 7:30am or even 8am!  I could have lunch that I fix for pleasure instead of a frozen burrito that I had to take because I ran out of time to make a lunch.  I could take classes.  I could shop.  I could, I could, I could.

Unfortunately, work calls because it takes money to live........

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Not Enough

There are some hard and fast rules in my life.  I don't try to hurt people intentionally.  I love my family and friends.  This week I made a new rule.  I do not make quilts for other people that I don't have total control over the pattern (I can always agree with your choice, but I get final say), the amount of fabric purchased (I always over buy, but for good reason) and when it gets done.  Sounds harsh, but for my piece of mind, I must insist.

I have made quilts for lots of people.  Tami has one.  Kim has a Christmas quilt.  I made a king size nine-patch for a fellow co-worker, Colleen.  Sammy has one of my best works--a red white and blue quilt that I hear sits in a closet.  William has a baby quilt.  Mary, Juliana, Olivia and Hans have the most at seven and counting.  Oops, forgot the minkie quilts for the girls.  Jim has two.  Tricia has one.  Baby quilts were made for all the mothers who taught my kiddies.  There was a quilt for a wedding gift for Mrs. Stockman, the darling daughter's third grade teacher.  One day my daughter comes home from school and tells me that Mrs. Stockman is getting married over the school break and could we give her a present.  I'm sure you got the picture. 

So, my friend Sandy tells me that I need to make a quilt for her.  I love Sandy like a sister, so of course I would be happy to make her a quilt.  She picked out the pattern.  Half square triangles.  Not so interesting.  She bought the fabric.  Blue and White.  I really love scrappy quilts, but the colors were very striking and the fabric was really nice.  That was a while back--2005.  I avoided putting it together by hanging the fabric in my closet for a couple of years.  Then I couldn't bear to make all those half square triangles without triangle paper.  To her credit, Sandy has been really patient.  She only brings it up once or twice a month now.   Last June I went to a quilting retreat in Auburn.  I brought the project and began putting it together.  I cut and stitched and then put it back in the box and I occasionally looked at it.  Now it is Thanksgiving break and I am hit with a bit of guilt.  Sandy is out of town and wouldn't it be great to finish it up and surprise her?  Not so much.  I found out that there isn't enough fabric.  Not enough of the white fabric that was purchased in 2005.  I will never find more.  It is a really BIG problem.  If it was all under my control, I could do multiple white backgrounds and cover up the lack of fabric.  I never looked at the pattern to see how much fabric (six yards) I needed to make this quilt.  I am screwed.  WHAT AM I GOING TO DO??????  If it was just the blue fabric, it would be fine.  I have a lot of it.  I really liked it.  The white is a different story.  I guess I will just have to confess that there is a problem.  Hmmm.  Stay tuned.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving to all.  We had a wonderful day visiting friends and seeing family.  My son and I went over to pick up my darling daughter at noon.  We stopped off at Grandma's to drop off the cranberry sauce the daughter made from scratch (it was yummy).  After a short visit with the in-laws, the three of us drove another five minutes to our destination-Noel and Lisa's.  My husband and our friend Paul went over in Paul's car.  Every year (except 2011), Noel and Lisa host a Thanksgiving open house.  In years past there have been people all over the place and crafts for the children.  Noel always had a place set up for different kinds of alcohol.  We always brought beer for Tom.  The food is always fabulous.  Lisa frequently wins ribbons at the state fair.

                                                             Thanksgiving 2012    
                                      Red Cabbage, Blue Cheese and Walnut Empanadas
                                                         Feta Walnut Date Cigars
                                     Virginia Ham & Melon Apple Chutney on Corn Bread

                                                        Roast Turkey and Gravy
                                                     Chorizo Corn Bread Stuffing
                                    Roasted Cranberry Sauce with Herbed Candied Walnuts
                                                      Herbed Rosti Potato Cake
                                        Molasses Horseradish Sweet Potato Spears
                                                   Crispy Cauliflower with Capers
                                           Haricots Verts, Roasted fennel and Shallots

                                          Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce
                                                          Frozen Vanilla Custard
                                                        Pecan Chocolate Chip Pie

It was absolutely delicious!   Before we actually ate this fabulous food, Noel tells me that there are cokes in an ice chest outside on the patio.  Someone had a coke in their hand and they were these small cans--perfect for me.  I love the taste of coke and the carbonation, but I can only drink about 1/2 can.  So, I go outside, get my coke and tripped on the step going back in the house.  Thankfully, I only skinned one knee, have bruises on my foot and a bump and bruise on my leg.  And, I only spilled a few drops of the coke I held in my hand.

Later I went over to my in-laws where we had dinner with Mary, Gary, David, Terry, Clare, Marilyn, Greg, Stefane, Tom, Amanda, Dan, Janice, Tim, Sarah, Jacob, Arlene, Zach, Alisha, Poli, Donny, Paul and Katherine.  Can you say that in one breath???  I brought a strawberry pretzel salad that was eaten up (my son was so sad that there wasn't any left for breakfast).  No recipe until I make it again (so someone can have it for breakfast) and try a small change.  The turkey was perfect.  There was good dressing and that awful oyster dressing, mashed potatoes, two kinds of sweet potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, broccoli salad, rolls and beans.  It was unbelievably great.  Arlene always makes the desserts--pecan pie, pumpkin pie, lemon cake, strawberry and chocolate pie and an apple cranberry pie.  Janice brought a pecan pie too.  No one went home hungry.

I hope your day was as nice as mine!


Books, Books

 Note from me:  I wondered why my last post was Nov 7th.  I knew there was more.  Found this in my drafts file.  I did sew--worked on a blue and white quilt for a friend.  More about that later......

Last night as I was waiting for my husband to get home so I could give him dinner, I was watching Diane Sawyer on the news program she does at 5:30pm here (channel 10).  There is an organization called First Book where books are given to children who wouldn't otherwise have a book.  The poor among us.  So, last night they gave away the 1 millionth book.  This brought up something that happened that I have not forgotten.  In 1996 my parents died.  My sister and I split the books since my brothers didn't care to have any of them.  I put aside a pile for my nephew, some to take for my children and then there were some (signed by the author many of them) that were duplicates.  My mom and I often bought the same books and went to author signings together.  I brought the books home and called an organization here that collects toys for foster children.  They refused the books.  Books that were virtually brand new and signed.  Books that were by talented and creative people.  What they told me is that (and I am quoting here), "Books are not toys."  No, they are not toys.  Books are so much more.  I was a donor until that moment.  Never again.  It was extremely rude to tell me books aren't toys when there wasn't a birthday, Christmas, Easter, Valentine's day, any holiday that didn't include a book in my family.  Books were prized possessions.   Give a child a toy and they can play for a while.  Give them a book and you give them the world.  

Other notes:  tonight is the Friday Night sew--

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Yesterday, while the entire country was worrying over the election, my son (23 and in college) was worrying about his paper on African American's during the gold rush.  There is VERY little on this subject and all of the books that even mention this were checked out by another student in his class.  So, my son requested the very same books from the public library--just not in time to be helpful.  Mom to the rescue.  One of the books was on the shelf at the Antelope library.  We drove over there.  I even stopped and bought my son a iced tea lemonade/black tea no sweetner at Starbucks on the way home.  Oh, to be the hero of the day!  Then my son comes out to where I am reading and tells me the book didn't help him at all and he found a selection of essays he could use.  Turns out he needed four hundred more words and was running out of ways to make his sentences go farther. 

I am still of the opinion that he should be grateful--and he is.  Over the weekend he was lamenting about how little there was and I came up with two books from our own little "library" that he could use.  People--my sister, my friends--come over to my house and ask, "why do you need all these books?"  We have so many books--fiction, history, encyclopedias (7 sets and counting), cookbooks, quilting books, time life series.  I love to read and my husband loves his history.   So, there is a reason why I keep my books.  After all, who reads a book only once????

Monday, November 5, 2012

Why I keep my books.

Let me first say that I just haven't had anything to say in the last couple weeks.  I am kind of falling apart and need to call my doctor toget an appointment--which I will do tomorrow.  Mondays are the worst day to try and call Kaiser for an appointment.  I did something to my elbow and it is driving me crazy.  By the end of the evening, I will be able to lift a coffee cup and not much else.  I am taking advil, but that can't go on forever.  My husband is bugging me to call, but I am so busy and I need a tetnus shot and that always does me in.  So, I have to go when I have no place to be. 

I have read a lot.  I was reading this book about the time Laura Ling and Euna Lee were held in North Korea.  They had gone to China to speak to North Korean Expats who had escaped from the dreaded North Korea.  Everything that written about North Korea made it seem rather bleak.  A guide was hired to take the crew (reporting for Current TV) to the border. He led them on to the ice of the river that separates North Korea from China and they stepped over into North Korea for a minute.  Guards saw them and chased them into China--definitely China--and then dragged Laura Ling and Euna Lee back to North Korea and charged them with spying.  It was very interesting to read.  Laura Ling wrote it with her sister, Lisa Ling (Oprah reporter, National Geographic) and it went back and forth between what was happening to Laura in North Korea and what was being done to bring them back here in the Uninted States. 

Funny thing:  I was watching what apparently was a marathon of the Science channel show, The Universe on Sunday.  There are all these scientists and they are telling us we are doomed--with a joyful smile/grin.  These people seem so darn happy.  Stars exploding--we will be hit with space junk--the world will end--all in five billion years.  I guess that it is so far off allows them to be so darn happy, but really.

Friday I took the day off and went up to Apple Hill with my friends (Sandy, Irene and Shirley).  We stopped at the quilt store, Shared Stitches on the way up.  One woman in there was so entusiastic and so freindly she wore me out.  We had lunch at some little cafe.  Good hamburger--mushrooms, avacado, bacon.  We ate pie, bought apples and ktichen gadgets.  I found these sauces--habanero hot sauce and a vadalia onion/jalepeno hot sauce.  Yummm.  I brought them home to my son. He was so happy!

So that is it for the moment.  I'm off to eat my lunch.  Hurrah!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Starbucks Recap

I stopped in at Starbucks on my way home last night because I was so worried about some other store out there who might have our order.  Turns out, our order was there.  They looked in the wrong book.  I had forgotten that they had my phone number.  No one called.  Nobody loves me.........

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bosses Day 2012

Today is the Hallmark Holiday--Bosses Day.  Our sunshine person made arrangements to get coffee and pastries from Starbucks for the vice prinicipals and the big guy himself, our esteemed principal and fearless leader!  A call was made ahead--as in last week.  We made sure we all knew which Starbucks it was since there are about 10 in this area.  All very important because the sunshine person was going to be gone today.

I got up 30 minutes early.  This is huge for me.  I value every little drop of sleep I get.  I left the house 30 minutes early.  Now, I live ten minutes away from work and about eight minutes away from the Starbucks that is on the way to my work.  I left the house at 6:40am to be at work at 7:30am and I barely made it! 

I get to Starbucks and there is no order for the traveling box with 3 pastries.  We had placed two orders--identical.  So, I get to wait while they make coffee and more coffee.....
The cashier was so sweet.  I wanted the stars for my free coffees and so I put the money on my Starbucks card and then paid for it off my card.  Daria charged me individually for the pastries so I could get more stars.  I got enough stars for a free drink.  Love her!

Overall, everyone was happy to have their treat. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Macy's Window Display

On Saturday, I met up with my circle of stitching friends at Kim's house.  Her house is just too cute.  It is always decorated with the season.  Now it is fall and Halloween.  I was sitting on the couch in the livingroom admiring the decor and talking to Kim's husband about these pieces of granite my husband has and how they could make a cute walking path up the side of the driveway.  When I said how much I loved the life sized witch and how the skeletons outside were me and my husband (one is holding a beer and one is holding a Smirnof Ice--me!), Kim's hisband said he was living in Macy's window display.
What a unique way to put it.  There is stuff everywhere, but it creates a whole look.  Macy's should hire Kim!  Go to her blog and look for the post on Friday, October 12, 2012.  It is labeled Spooky.

On Friday I was doing a bit of embriodery and cutting out pieces of the quilt I am working on--Mindy's Quilt by Melinda Bula.  On Saturday, I met up with my stitching friends and we made gingerbread men for a diplay.  We had a wonderful time.  I really look forward to these days.  Fun, food, laughter.  It has it all for me!  We had these pomegranite margaritas.  Had I been at home and able to nap, I wold have had more.  And I would ahve blended them.  It comes in a bottle already made.  All you have to do is pour....Yumm.

I made a fabulous dessert.  A layered chocolate thing with cream cheese and whipped cream.  Each of us had a small piece because it is very rich, except for Sandy who doesn't care for dessert.  I had at least 2/3rds of the 13x9--inch baking dish left. It was gone last night.  My husband and sin just love it and their friends had a few pieces.  I was totally craving it and it is so rich that you need more than just the three of us eating it!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Last night was my monthly Thimbleberries meeting.   In January, Pam told us we were going to do a kind of a mystery.  We were to make a total of 120 flying geese in only Thimbleberries fabrics.  We would turn them in monthly--15 glying geese at a time.  Then in October, we would get something to make--a pattern, there was mention of fabric.  I made my geese and finished my 120 in August.  Last night was the final reveal.  Pam had a pattern for flying geese in vertical lines with sashing and a border.  She actaully made a quilt using the Flying Dutchman pattern.  Hers were in pinks and browns.  The real surprise was the 2 3/4 yards of fabric we were given.  For Free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now that I have seen Pam's I wish I had stuck with two colors, except that  I don't have that many Thimbleberries stashed a my house.  So, mine will be very scrappy.  I choose a blue for the sashing and a dark maroon/wine color for the border.

I'm going home now to look at my flying geese.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Opps, I fell asleep

The board meeting for my guild was held tonight.  I wanted to go and discuss problems I am having with the block-of-the-month.  I called Donna and said I was attending.  I told my son the meeting was at 6pm--the reason I brought home sandwiches for dinner.  I was reading in the living room and all seemed fine.  I must have fallen asleep because I dropped the book and woke up.  It was so quiet, then I heard my son behind me.   

     "Oh, Mom.  You are still here.  I thought you would be gone by now." 
     "Why?  I don't have to be anywhere until 6pm."
     "Mom, it is 5:55 right now."

No!  I was out the door so fast.  Thank God I was only a few minutes away and I had been to Donna's before because I was seriously late.  All the lights were with me and I avoided all the construction.  I just missed a few minutes and later confessed.

Good news:  we had a quilt luncheon 2 weeks ago and the guild made $2700.00 after all the expenses were figured out.  Hurrah!

Good news:  we finished early enough that I was able to have coffee with Leah to discuss her husband and mine.  Yesterday I found out that men can be pigs--even if you are famous and smart.  Albert Einstein leaves his first wife and then marries (his cousin) three months later.  Really, even in the early 1900's there had to be some standard of mourning.  It only took him three months to find another.  Idiot.

Bad news:  I haven't found my quilt blocks yet that I want to work on.  They are here somewhere.

Bad news:  my light is out in the dining room.  My husband tells me that the Ott light just isn't doing it for him, so tomorrow I will go buy some light bulbs.  

Last but never least:  read Kim's blog, kimsbigquiltingadventure.  She sprayed her daughter's pepper spray and I can feel it all the way over here (a 10 minute car ride away).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My lunch tote

I was having a difficult afternoon.  There was a screw up at the library that was making me a bit irritated and stopping in there today was the last thing I had in mind.  It was 100 degrees today and I hate driving in the heat.  I had groceries (hamburger and cheese) in the car.  Very annoying all of it.

Just so you can appreciate my irritation, our library system has been taken over by a bunch of Nazi's.  Rules change all the time and no one tells you about the change until it really affects you.  Posting a sheet of paper that I never saw is not reasonable.  You can definitely see that the library is closed on October 11th for some training (How to Screw Over the Taxpayers most likely), but why tell us that you will be charged $1.00 for "reshelving" a book you came to pick up, but was gone because you have to pick your books up in 7 days now, not 14.  I totally take issue with this reshelving fee because I feel like I have paid my taxes and that pays for the library services that have gone down hill anyway.  To now pay them again to shelve the book seems really unreasonable to me.   I have to admit that I have been carrying a grudge about the library.  Totally not like me.  A couple of years ago, I noticed that the books were sitting on carts waiting to be shelved and no one was doing it.  It is busy work, but I thought they were over whelmed with other library tasks and I asked to come in and volunteer one day a week to just shelve books.  They turned me down.  I had a library minor in college.  I know the Dewey Decimal System.  I was going to do it for free!  On no.  They had students who would do that.  No thank you I was told.  Okay, my feelings were hurt.  I have not been happy with them ever since, but I really like to read.  So, I tolerate them.

While I was waiting in line (behind someone who ironically was volunteering to work there and was told no), Frances, one of the real librarians, noticed my lunch tote.  It is a yellow lemon pattern with black and white trim.  The inside is red with white dots.  We had a lovely conversation about how it looked so Mary Englebreit.  No lecture about how I could use the self-check out (hate it--tried it several times but it won't accept my card), no lecture about returning books in the book return (I had one to return inside and they hate that), just a lovely conversation.  It was only marred by the woman who wanted me to give up my card for a new card with a key chain thing (I don't put them on my keys).  I have a special card that signifies my place with Friends of the Library.  I would have to change numbers (I have mine memorized).   Wait--I am going back to my lovely conversation with Frances.  She is always pleasant......

Reading:  A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay.  Also wrote Sarah's Key (was a movie last summer).  Not as disturbing as Sarah's Key, but surprising.

Next project to work on is Mindy's quilt.  Not sure where it is at the moment, but it's crept into my head so I will go looking for it tomorrow......

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Catching Up

I have totally neglected this.  I haven't read my email either and had 285 emails.  SO to catch up:

1.  I sent thank you cards to my circle of friends for my birthday gifts.  We don't really send mail any more the way it used to be, but it is still wonderful to get mail--real mail in an envelope and with something fun inside.  Bills don't count.  I sent a card with sincere thanks and a skein of embroidery thread.  That was the something fun part.  I went to the post office at 3pm and most were delivered the very next day.  I don't know where we get the idea that the post office isn't really efficient.  That was excellent!!!

2.  I read the blogs and am so happy now that I don't spend all my time doing that.  I have 10 pages of blogs--are they vintage, modern, traditional, recipes, freebies, tutorials, etc.  If anyone wants it, just email your email address and I will send it to you via electronic mail.

3.  Irene asked me if I sew everyday.  The answer is yes.  If I am not sewing, I thinking about sewing, contemplating what I will do next, figuring out how I can be more organized with my sewing and I count doing embroidery as sewing.  If I am not sewing, I am reading and trying to avoid the laundry.

4.  I spent Saturday helping a friend finish up a quilt.  She is injured and mostly I was fetching her water, coffee, and stuff.  She will be so happy when her ankle heals.

5.  My sister-in-law in Iowa is getting interested in quilting.  I sent her the Miss Rosie quilt book--the one with the Tag Sale quilt--my favorite quilt.  She wrote back and said how happy she was to get it and did she have to send it back.  That answer is no.

My most recent purchase was a pattern for a wallet.  Very sweet and how easy to make.

Have a great Monday......

Friday, September 21, 2012


I have spent the past weeks checking out blog after blog to see who does what, who writes what, etc.  I am making up a listing for my guild for our member demonstration night.  I had a show of hands last month to let me know how amany members actually read blogs and there were quite a few.  I am sure I left out a lot.  There are a lot of quality blogs out there.  The big deal now is to figure out how to list them.

I leave you with this:

     Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
                                                        --Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sign in High School Classroom

Dear Students,
I know when you are texting.

Seriously, on one looks
down at their crotch
and smiles!

Your Teacher

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Luncheon

One more try and I found the pictures!  So.....looking above is a photo of some of the door prizes.  I didn't get the Ott light, but it was a free standing full size light.  I have no idea who won that because I was so enchanted with what I won!

 There were 29 raffle baskets.  I donated to one called the travel basket.  In the picture, Clare is looking at the baskets which we hope will make us lots of $$$.  There was a Bee basket that had a bee cookie jar.  I wanted that so much until I learned that my friend Jayma had put all her tickets (in to one basket) and that was the one.  So, I hoped she would win.  The basket went to Maggie, who seemed really happy.  Darn, that cookie jar would have looked really great in Jayma's kitchen.
 We had a lunch of three different salads--a chicken salad, a green salad with a vinaigrette dressing and Mediterranean salad with tomato, cucumber and feta cheese.  There were rolls and butter as well as a raspberry mousse with real whipped cream.  The dessert was prepared in advance and was set out first to continue to thaw.  There were eight women at our table.  Some couldn't resist and ate their dessert right away.  some ate the whipped cream and raspberry that was on top.  Some ate the whipped cream and into the mousse.  One (that wold be me) took very tiny bites to get a taste and still leave the illusion that I hadn't eaten any at all.

Our speaker was Jan Krentz.  She does these faboulous quilts using a diamond ruler.  That is her above and one of her quilts behind her. 

Below is the picture of my door prize.  I don't know how it got turned around, or how to fix it so there we are!  Beside the door prizes, every person attending received a fat quarter of fabric (I gave mine to Valerie), a Red Rooster pattern, assorted goodies and a quilting book.  My book was a hand quilting book that will most likely be donated to some happy person who lkes hand quilting.  That would not be me!  I could see what book my mother-in-law received.......A visit to the in-laws should be soon........
I know I should be darn happy I won that wonderful door prize, but there was a quilt donated by Dawn Licker of Quilter's Corner that I really wanted to win.  I know some people who would have been very jealous of me had I won it.  But it was not to be.

Have a great Monday.  I will be back with my little darlings in middle school......7:30am.......good night!

Pinwheels and more Pinwheels

On Saturday I went to to a luncheon put on by my guild.  Jan Krentz was the speaker (very interesting) and there were door prizes. I won a basket with a book on pinwheel quilts (love them) with fabric, and assorted sewing items.  I took a picture, but it seems that it didn't pop up, so I will hope for tomorrow.  And with that bit of news, I am off to look at my new book and then off to bed.  Early to bed and early to rise does not necessarily make you wealthy and wise; it just makes you an early riser.  One day I hope to be wealthy so I can be late to bed and late to rise..........

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Good deed for the week

My husband did his good deed for the week.  Good thing too, because he was beginning to whine a lot.  When you aren't happy with what you have, you should help someone with less and you might just begin to appreciate what you still have.  Last night we went to my friend Sandy's house to put in those bars in the bathtub/shower.  Last week she fell and fractured her ankle.  She has a lovely black boot on and is living in her pajamas.  Also last night, Sandy's sister, Marilyn, came over and brought dinner.  Some chicken and broccoli thing called Chicken Devine.  Sandy was worried that the bars would wreck the tile, but it all worked well.

Off to Thimbleberries tonight.  Ought to be different.  Pam and Nicole who are our fearless leaders, are at some quilt camp thing and Elaine will be our guiding force tonight.  Ciao.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Memory Returns

As some are aware, I was supposed to go to Pismo Beach with five other quilting buddies, but due to finances, I wasn't able to be there with them.  The only consolation is that one other of the group had issues also, and we got to spend a day together.  One of the rules about the trip (and I use that word rules loosely) was that we each had to make a kit for the others.  There was a pillow of wool that featured a sheep, a lunch tote with wool ornaments, you get the idea.  Mine was an embroidery project--a bucket with flowers, six flowers--one for each of us.  There were actually seven flowers, but the idea was there.  I did the kit project along with the others because I had thought there might be a way to go and I didn't want to get caught short.  One of my friends was going to bring a few skeins of embroidery thread and let all of us use it.  Seemed wasteful to give an entire skein for just a few stitches.  So I did something similar.  I figured out what they would need and put a bit more on so there would be a little extra.  I wound it on the empty spools from my sewing machine thread (I never throw anything away!).  My other concern was that the talk about thread always seemed to have them using Cosmo thread.  I use DMC.  I have a lot of it and it is readily available.  I thought it might be a waste to give out the DMC thread if in the end it would judt be tossed, or given back to me.  That sort of thing.  Turns out they all used the DMC thread.  I could have given out skeins of it and it would have been fine.  I worried over something that was not even a concern and then I felt it looked chintzy.  One of the group gave us just a bit of thread and hers wasn't wound on anything and it looked fine.  I was so darn happy about using the spools and then found myself disappointed.  I will remember this and take it into consideration the next time!

Monday, September 10, 2012

What was it???

I went to Joann's to pick up the darling daughter from work.  I went in, bought some fabric for a Halloween idea for the BOM and had a great thought.  I know just what I will blog about tonight.  Now, six hours later, I am at a loss as to what was so interesting at the moment.  If someone out there knows, let me in on the secret.  This happens to me a lot.  I try writing things down, but I was driving at the time and couldn't imagine that I would forget whatever that was.  I tried to retrace my steps in my head.  I dropped the daughter off at her apartment.  I went to the post office to mail a quilt book to my sister-in-law.  I stopped in at Sam's Club to buy beer for the husband and shampoo for me.  I bought the latest issue of Victoria (the magazine) and I saw Pam at the store.  None of this rings a bell of "Oh, that was it!"

I did discover that the quilt I want to take a picture of is a bit too big for me to take the picture and hold it too.  So, the joy quilt must wait a bit.  I did start and almost finish an embroidery project my friend, Kim gave out at our last gathering.  I want to send it to my friend Kim who lives in Colorado and deserves a nice present from me.  She will be 50 this year.  A milestone birthday.

Speaking of birthdays:  I got a pair of embroidery scissors and an organizing bag, the book of stitches I had been wanting, a gift card to Barnes and Noble, a jar of peach jam (yummm) and a canning jar of rolled fabrics that is just too pretty to break up just now.  There was a gift certificate for Quilter's Corner and some of the loveliest pumpkin fabrics that will be perfect for the Pumpkinville pattern.  That gift came with these teeny tiny scissors that are real!!!  It was a bit overwhelming, but what a lovely parade, and my brother-in-law sang t me.  I was feeling a bit down.  Not anymore!  On top of that, I have a wonderful Lynette Anderson pattern that was made into a kit, a sheep pillow pattern and kit, a tea towel and wool project and two wool ornaments to make.

I'm off to put some of that away.  Where oh where will I put it all?  I don't know, but it will be fun looking for a place for everything!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I Finished It!

Alleluia, I finished the Joy Quilt.  I will probably quilt it over the Thanksgiving holiday in time for Christmas.  I actaully made two quilts.  One is in blues and will go to someone I love dearly.  That ought to cause some people to think.  Speaking of giving away quilts, I am seriosly considering giving my provance quilt (so named after the fabric line) to one of the workers at Joann's.  Xia is just so sweet and she does anything I ask--so far....  Xia is like most of the Hmong people I have met--cheerful, smart, hardworking.  So I will go home and take a picture of each to post so if they disappear into someone elses home, I can remember them.

Currently reading Home Before Dark by Susan Wigg.  Not anything to write home about, but I am only on page 32.  We shall see...

Monday, September 3, 2012

My Sister-In-Law

I have what might be an unusual situation.  I have never met my sister-in-law.  Actually, I have three sisters-in-law and I have met and know well two of them, but not one.  Laura lives in Iowa.  That right there is a barrier to getting to know her.  I have never been to Iowa and see no getting there in the future.  She is my brother's third wife.  Wife number one was a disaster and he divorced her.  Wife number two (who I really liked and would have been friends with had she lived) died and left my brother a divorced man with child from wife number one and a widower.  When he married Laura, they married on the same day as another family member married.  We had already accepted the first wedding invite and my brother married in Utah, also a place to far to go.  I did send a present and a note with explanation.  Also, my brother does not like me too much.  

Right after they married, my sister began calling Laura.  One day my sister called to tell me that Laura told her she would call the next time and then hadn't heard from her again.  That was literally the last I heard for a couple of years.  Since my sister never said otherwise, I assumed that Laura never called back.  Well, she did and they have been chatty for years.  Now, my sister has a relationship with Laura, but I do not.

Tonight, my sister tells me that Laura has mention an interest in quilting.  That was the good news.  I also understand that her dad, has cancer in his pancreas.  Not good.  In fact, my aunt found out she had that cancer and died five weeks later.  I pray that there have been advances since my aunt died twenty some years ago.  While I am keeping him in prayer, I did write a note to Laura and I am sending her my favorite quilt book, Miss Rosie's quilt collection.  It has one of my favorite quilts, Tag Sale, inside.  I hope she likes it.  I hope she likes quilting.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

opps.  Didn't realize it was so long since my last post.  I have been busy working ont he Christmas Joy quilt, starting a Jo Morton pattern.  I don't have a picture of that one yet, but it is a kind of churn dash pattern.  While I was up in Auburn at the Mercy Retreat Center (see post in July), Natalie, one of my guild friends who was there too, had some leftover fabric.  She challenged one of us to do soemthing with it.  Well, it has been two months and I know she was expecting something sooner, like July.....I have slowly made my little squares and will be putting them togethere so I can show it at my next guild meeting in September.

I have joined the Starbucks 12 star dash.  I have to get 12 stars in 11 days and I get a Starbucks card.  My plan is to stop every day and get a tea, read for a while and then go home.  Since I go up and join Leah for coffee/tea a couple times a week, this shouldn't be so difficult.  I love my gold card.

Tomorrrow I am taking the day off to go hang out with my friend, Shirley.  We are going to commiserate over not being at Pismo Beach.  I have to go back and see if I blogged about that.  Funny story....

Friday, August 24, 2012

I am still working steadily on the Christmas Joy quilt.  I also got caught up on my block-of-the-month that I need for tomorrow morning.  I have choices whether to go at 7:30am or wait and go later.  After an inner debate, I decided I would stay with my usual time.  When I am done with the "class" and purchasing, I can zoom on over to the Denny's where my in-laws will be going for breakfast.  "Our" waitress is Katherine.  She is a family friend and always treats us the best.  Where else can you go and know that a cup of coffee will appear as you sit down?  No one asks because you always have coffee--if you are me that is.  Then at noon my husband and I are headed over to see our friends, Lisa and Noel, to eat  and play cards.   Round that off with an evening at home and I am sure it will be a wonderful day. 

I am really dragging this week.  Can hardly keep my eyes open, bored with having too little to do....All my little tricks are not working--stretching, walking around, popping mints.  Maybe I am getting too much sleep.

Have a lovely day...I will get back to my project.  I am looking at quilting blogs to see what is out there.  There are catagories--recipes, tutorials, pictures.  I am putting together profiles for my guild meeting in September for the Member Demonstration night.  About half of the guild seems interested.  We shall see.
If you have a favorite and would like me to give it a look (I already included Quilting for Hearth and Home by Elizabeth), send a comment.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back to work

I am back to the daily grind.  Students, schedules, and a lot of fuss.  My husband came home and he is full of stories about how he hates bacon.   I can't even imagine hating bacon.

I have been busy.  On Saturday I took my daughter over to the farmer's market.  We bought peaches, tomatoes, mushrooms, corn and grapes.  We bought all the ingredients for salsa and then Amanda went home and made it.  I picked it up on Sunday.  We are having mexican food for dinner tonight.

I am so sad.  I had to tell my friends that I couldn't go to Pismo beach for the week.  I really wanted to go, but I literally do not have the money.  Four of them will be there having this great time and I will be here.  I should take a day off and go to Shirley's house to sew while they are gone so we feel like we got to do somthing.....Maybe Tuesday......

I have been spending all my time on my Christmas Joy Quilt.  (see blog post for Wednesday, July 25th)  I have to get the borders embroidered and then it will be ready for quilting.

Have a great evening......                                      

Friday, August 17, 2012

Frantic cleaning

Good thing for me that my husband doesn't read this blog.  He is in Montana--or could be on his way home somewhere in Idaho.  This prompted a quick cleaning on my part.  I don't know if I mentioned this or not--I have never been a fan of laundry.  I have been dumping the clean laundry on an extra bed and I was busy folding and folding--okay, I spent an hour watching Person of Interest and folding.  Then my son wanted to play Life with me.  I am so easily distracted.  BECAUSE I HATE LAUNDRY!!!  I have one night to get it all together. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


It is still hot here--109*.  I broke down and turned on my air conditioner.  Every day, my friend, Leah, calls me and asks if I turned it on,  She turned hers on when it was only 85 degrees out there.  Day after day of 100+ degree weather really runs a person down.

I am working on a project for a group of friends.  As I complete the sample, I an figuring out how much of each item I need.  I can show mine off when it is completely done.  I have to have it to at least one of them by next Wednesday.

I am also going to be cutting fabric tonight for the block-of-the-month.  We are going to do a pattern called midnight garden.  In this heat it is the only time to be out gardening.  Last night Anna from next door called and asked if we still had some wasp spray.  She was doing some clean up in her back yard and bumped against this garden shelf attached to her shed and a swarm of wasps came pouting out.  Anna was stung twice by the swarm.  Probably lucky it wasn't more.  Really lucky she isn't allergic because no one would have know she was in the back yard alone.

Last night my son went over to the other side neighbors to play risk.  I am happy to report that the only girl playing won the game.  At one point, my son came back and reported that Trevor was moving to Texas in the morning,  Trevor is 18 years old and his father lives in Texas.  He found some job there for $4.00 more than he is making at Best Buy, so off he will be flying, until he has some issue with the dad and he comes flying back.  It is a pattern with them.

I am going to eat my breakfast now--quiche made by my very own daughter--spinach and mushroom.  Yum!  Have a great day--even if it is really hot......

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I just thought of this story

I was just visiting Elizabeth S. at Quilting for Hearth and Home.  She had made a curtain for her bathroom, noting the need for privacy.  It reminded me of my dad.  Sometimes, when my parents and I were out like at the Fresno zoo, I would notice my dad was missing.  My mom would wave her hand and say he was just around the corner.  I didn't think anything of it and never said anything to him.  So, time passes and we go to my sister's college graduation.  I stayed with my sister at her apartment while my parents stayed in a hotel.  It was the morning after and my parents had shown up for brunch.  I went to brush my teeth in my sister's bathroom and as I was brushing I looked out the window.  I caught my dad smoking cigarettes.  He thought he was safely hiding from us.  Mary, my sister, didn't have a curtain on her bathroom window.  The thing is that my parents always made a huge deal about how my dad quit smoking years before when I was a baby, twenty-four years ago.  All those times he "disappeared" from view, he was sneaking a smoke! I grabbed my sister and dragged her into her bathroom so she could see!!!  We never said anything to my dad.  His secret was safe with us.  I guess Mary could have used a curtain on her window......



It has been so hot here that I think I am melting occasionally.  Today, Monday, was day number five of over 100* heat.  The record was six days in July of 2009.  If I am melting, am I a wicked witch like in the Wizard of Oz???

Friday evening I was at Fabric Garden to take the Christmas Joy quilt class.  I met Tracy Souza, the designer, colored and embroidered until 8:45pm.  There were nine quilters in the class.  I knew five of them very well.  We had a lovely social time, but really, as my friend, Sandy, pointed out to me, this could have all been done at home.   I was curious about meeting Tracy.  She showed us upcoming patterns for the next year.  Very fun stuff.

Mostly I have been watching television--the Olympics--and playing games with my son.   I am happy about one thing this time around.  In years past the athletes would win that gold medal and then our national anthem would play.  When did we stop educating our children, teaching them to stand with their hand over their heart as the anthem plays?  This year it was done correctly over and over.  These are good kids!

Keep cool!  Drink iced tea!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

While the mouse is away......

I know it is supposed to be the cat is away, but I have spent years telling my daughter that we are cats.  Even now, I will ask how my kitty is and she always gets mad and tells me she isn't a cat! 

So, my husband is in Montana.  "We" have property there.  Really the property belongs to cousin Shannon and my father-in-law.  When he dies (God forbid that be soon--I mean in about 20+ years), my husband will inherit one third of his half.  So we will own 1/6th of the place.  My husband and his friend, Paul, go up there every year for two weeks.  They play and fix up whatever has broken over the winter.  The house sits about 100 feet from the banks of the Yellowstone River.  It is really indescribable how beautiful it is in the summer.  I have never seen it in the winter.

This year, Paul, left his dog with me to watch.  Jack/Dog (a mix of dog) is turning out to be very alternatingly good and annoying.  He sleeps nicely, eats well and plays well with our dog, Hunter (a yellow lab).  When I sew, use my sewing machine, Jack cries--loudly.  I don't think I can stop sewing for two weeks to accommodate this dog.  Unlike Hunter, who came to us directly from his mom as a puppy, Jack came from the pound which makes it impossible to know what has gone on before that would make him whine and cry like that.  I have resorted to exiling him to the backyard when I sew, but he still comes to the door and cries--probably wondering why he is outside.  It is better when Hunter is out there with him, but then Jack has a tendency to bark.  I know my neighbor, Anna, goes to bed at 9pm and wouldn't appreciate barking at 11pm.

Speaking of Anna--funny story,  She was in the restroom at work and when she went to flush the toilet, her phone fell out of her pocket into the toilet, flushed away.  Amazing that a phone can be flushed.  There doesn't seem like there is enough room, but there is.  Anna is happy now though.  She bought an I-phone and has all sorts of new things to play with.  I am thinking I am the last person on the earth whose phone only takes and makes calls.  No camera.  No texting.  Just calls.  Word to the wise--check the toilet before you flush.

Have a great day.  If you go to Starbucks remember your treat receipt.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Treat Reciept at Starbucks

It is treat receipt time again--until the end of August.  Love those grande mocha frappachinos....

Catching up......

 I looked out my window and saw these roses.  It was if they were faeries dancing in the breeze.  I just had to run out and take a picture.  We are so grateful for the breezes here to help drive out the heat--although a dry heat is better than a humid heat like on the east coast...

I have been trying to get a good picture of this mining cart.  My dear husband makes them and he is going to try and market them to people as planters.  It may be hard to tell,. but they are very authentic looking.  One guy has already bought one.  Hopefully we can put them in some of the nurseries in the area with business cards to take. 

I am so pleased with this picture.  This was the block of the month for my guild.  I didn't want to do anything too involved because it was out community service night and that is not always well attended.  There did seem to be a lot of people there this time.  That is always a good thing.
I think last year the guild made 600+ quilts for charity.  A lot of people do their part, but there are some who have never made a quilt for community service.  

But, back to the block-of-the-month....I did a scrappy pinwheel block.  I didn't have to buy very much fabric for this--I used a bunch of my scraps.  I only sold seven of the 20 I prepared.  I just don't know what else to do about this.  It takes hours to make up the kits.  I am not having fun.....Whine, whine, whine.

Enough of that.  This is the beginning of August.  This month's quote is

               A lady is one who never shows her underwear unintentionally.
                                                     --Lillian Day

Lillian Day was a novelist, biographer and playwright.  She wrote a book, The Youngest Profession, in 1938 which was turned into a movie starring Edward G Robinson.  She spent the last 30+ years of her life living in France. 

Back to my blocks.........

Thursday, August 2, 2012


If you are a quilter, you will immediately recognize BOM to be Block-of-the-month.  I am the BOM committee this year for my guild.  I have done it before with success, but this time I am not happy.  I seem to spend huge amounts of time prepping for it, making the kits and then only selling a few.  I bring the unsold ones home and sew them up myself so I have blocks to showcase when they are brought back.  I don't want the nine I sold to look lonely up there by themselves.  Consequently, I have done very little of my own sewing and quilting and I an darn tired of that.  I think I am done with this.  I am going to try small wallhangings and see what happens--after I finish up with the pieces I have already cut.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christms Joy Quilt

 I don't know how this happened, but the first picture should have been the quilt that is now the last picture.
I have spoken of the skirmishes over the Christmas Joy quilt--the fabric that I wanted and had to pay for a class in order to get the two yards I needed.  The bottom picture is the inside of the quilt--the pinwheels.  The picture above is what I did to change it just a little.  In the corners that have no embroidery, I did a broken dishes square to create interest.  Not sure if that was successful, but we shall see when the entire quilt is put together.  Now that I have this part done, I must find the two yards of pink fabric that my darling husband put away for me and has no idea where he put it.  Most likely is the fabric closet.  I am starting there on Friday--the hunt for fabric.

 Don't you just love the color of these potatoes????  My husband was putting up a screen door for our friend Lisa's mom. Judy.  Judyhas an amazing garden and she sent home with the husband, cucumbers and two bags of these potatoes.  It is a medley of potatoes--gold, red and blue potatoes.  It is a little disconcerting to eat them at first, but blue potatoes taste like--potatoes.  I am the only on who will eat them, so breakfast food they have become.  The sausages did get more browned and there was an egg and a piece of toast with coffee eaten in my backyard!

This is a secret.  Okay not so much, but no one who can't know reads this blog.  Names are changed to protect the innocent-me!  Jenny is married to George.  George is a sweet guy who weighs more than Jenny is comfortable with,  Her daughter and son-in-law are on the Atkins diet and doing great losing weight.  So, Jenny puts George on it. Now my husband was at Jenny's two mornings.  Each morning George had him drive over to Subway to get a sandwich with everything on it (including the vegetables).  While the cat is away, the mouse eats Subway.

 This is my son who refuses to eat blue potatoes.  He took this picture so he could show his online friends what he looks like as he is playing some online game.  He also plays with his cousin and best friend and they know what he looks like.  Hecame out and tells me tonight that there are two changes since the darling daughter left home.  He can cook anytime he wants without having to work around her and he hasn't had fast food since she left.  She would stop o her way home from work every Friday and get Chipotle burritos.  I was just thinking that McDonald's Chicken McNuggets sounded good.....

Speaking of birthdays.....My friend Kim is a year older.   My sister is a year older and three years away from her trip to France to celebrate her 50th birthday.  My brother is 50 this year and we did a photo album--this is your life--and someone (I like to blame my sister here) put the wrong date.  You would think we would know when he was born.  He told me he didn't know who was responsible since the album showed up sans note.  That is a quote.  My second brother will be 49 on Friday.  It always amazes people to know that before I was four years old, I had two brothers and a sister.  In fact, when Mary was born I was only three years and 10 months old.   One more birthday--my father-in-law will be 75 this year.  We were going to have a party fro him, but he declined.  Maybe just a family dinner.  One day I was over visiting and he was whining about not having a big scoop for soup and stuff.  I bought him one at Ikea to put on top of whatever gift card we get him this year.  He likes to go out to eat.  I wonder in Felipes has gift cards.  If you live in the Sacramento area--Felipes is a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant that is fabulous.  Always clean, great food and real Mexican family who owns it.

Here it is!  The middle without borders is five squares by six squares.  Each square is 8.5 inches unfinished or 8 inches finished.  Wish me luck on the fabric hunt!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

River City Quilt Guild

A long time ago (21 years ago) I was a member of the River City Quilt Guild.  I loved going to the meetings and there was a lovely quilt show to help with and every other year we had classes with nationally known teachers.  I was made corresponding secretary right away (sending cards and notes to people--reminds me of a line from a song).  I stopped going--not because there was any problem or I was unhappy with someone--but my son graduated from Webelos to Boy Scouts.  He had been in the Boy Scouts since he was 6 years old.  Out of the twelve that began the group as Tigers, only my son and one other boy made it to Eagle Scout.  I was committed to seeing my son go all the way to Eagle Scout and his meetings were on Tuesdays--the same time as the quilt guild meetings.  I had to give one of them up--so goodbye quilt guild.  I haven't been to a meeting since my son turned 10 years old in 1999--until Tuesday, July 17, 2012.  It was amazing to see Sandy Ross standing up there speaking.  She hasn't changed in the least.  Her mom was Kit.  Kit had had polio when  she was a kid and was the only person I knew who had polio.  It was a big scare in the 30's I think.  Kit was always nice to me.

Anelie Beldon was the speaker.  She is the author of  Thoroughly Modern Dresden.  She gave a talk about the tools she loves to use.  I took notes!  She began with her choice of sewing machine for quilting--the Brother 1500.  I don't know if it is all that, but Anelie says it is.  I know my friend, Kim, uses a Juki (not sure of spelling).  She does beautiful work, soooo....  She makes her own starch.  I will stick with my big blue bottle and dilute it.  Cost is pennies, so making it from scratch seems like work to me.  Cornstarch and water makes starch.  No amounts were mentioned.  And you have to keep it in the refrigerator.  Hmmmm.  Still not going for the cornstarch here.  Anelie also mentioned a specific brand of quilting gloves--Machingers.  She did say you need to keep track of your gloves or you will miss one and not find it until you turn over your newly quilted quilt and find that glove quilted to the back!  She even showed the glove quilted to the back of a quilt.  Anelie uses Sewer's Aid (a lubricant to put on your needle--Amazon sells a 12 oz. bottle for $7.03).  Another fun tool is the quick clip.  Not really sure about that one because Anelie mentioned using it to safely close safety pins, but I couldn't find anything but the little scissors.  The coolest tool tip was about the nail holders you can buy at Lowe's.  If they fall, nothing comes out.  Great for pins and rumor has it that they cost $2.25 each!  Believe me when I say that I will be making a trip soon to Lowe's to check this one out.  For marking, Anelie uses a white water soluble pencil.  She mentioned the brand --Stabilo--which is a German company and the web site needs translating.  You can buy the Clover brand at JoAnn's Fabric and Crafts.  Notions are 50% off this week through Saturday.  If it isn't labeled as a quilting notion, then it might be worth trying.  This one is a cool trick--using a clear shower curtain to draw out patterns.  Using an erasable marker, you can use that shower curtain over and over.  Anelie cuts it up into small pieces to make it usable.  Thinking Target?  Walmart?  Kmart?  Here is something I can't use because I don't have an I-Phone, but you may be able--there is an app for Quilt reference.  Appliquer's take note--aqua brush/pen.  You can buy one at Aaron Brothers or for about the same price go over to Quilter's Corner and get their version--that is the one I use and love.  We were cautioned that there is a 3-pack for not so much money or you can buy one for $10.50 (the Aaron Brothers route).  In this case, you get what you pay for.  Pay the money  and be happier.  For organization Anelie uses the Omnigrid organizer with the yellow handle.  These can be pretty pricey.  Try Tuesday Morning (friend paid $23.00 instead of $49.00) or wait for a good sale at Shared Stitches in Cameron Park--off HWY 50 towards Placerville.  There was mention of the cordless Maytag iron.  I wrote this note:  iron for model airplanes.  I have no idea what I meant and will email Anelie and ask.  She uses readers when she wants to see up close and she uses an eyeglass case to hold her rotary cutter.  Anelie also uses Retain and something else that I am not sure of.  I wrote it completely wrong, but it is used with retain.  Another question for Anelie.  The best tip of the evening was this stuff called Restoration.  It is a washing machine product that will get out stains--even rust!

So there it is in a nutshell!  Let me know if anyone out there tries one of these tips.  Did it work?  Not work?
Inquiring minds want to know.........

Monday, July 23, 2012

My feelings were dented a little

On Wednesday, July 19th, I received an invitation in the mail to attend a BBQ at Rusch Park as a thank you for my loyal service to Surewest, our telephone company.  I tried to RSVP to no avail, after I invited the darling daughter to come home and go with me.  Turns out the contact number is a mailbox which was full before the 19th--probably because it was the contact number for two events.  The invitation directed me to go to the web site, but that won't come up.  It is a Surewest site and I have Surewest Internet.  Shouldn't I be able to get on?????

Anyway, it is all about being loyal to Surewest.  Since I moved into this house April 19, 1985, we have had Surewest--which began as Roseville Telephone.  They had a monopoly.  We were stuck with Roseville Telephone because of where we lived.  No digital television, always the last to get anything because we are on the edge of the service area.  Now they are Surewest and we have a choice.  I could get rid of my landline and just go with ATT.  We finally got digital cable while all the rest of the world had been enjoying it for years.  Not us.

Now the BBQ is full.  I have to call and change plans.  It is annoying and really hurt my feelings--just enough to make me unhappy.  I am not feeling so loyal now.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Daughter Moved Out

My darling daughter has moved out of her parents house into a small apartment.  I miss her for many reasons.  She was my clean-up girl.  She did the laundry.  She kept the refrigerator stocked with beer and soda for her father.  I fall down on all these jobs.  Hard to miss her though.  She calls me at least twice a day.  One day she wanted to know what she should wear to the state fair (80* weather).  Another she wanted to let me know she couldn't find her corkscrew she bought and was it in my car?  Do I want to take advantage of her discount????  Of course!

I am trying to clean up the mess that surrounds me.  I am not having success.  One problem is that my husband wants to take the cottage cheese ceiling off and put in wood flooring down.  I haven't put anything in that room except this computer because of that.  I am rapidly changing my mind.  I don't see any of this starting before the middle of August.  So, I am going to stack stuff and occasionally decide what to throw away and have it all done by August 12th.

I did get the 120 flying geese for my Thimbleberries group done.  I have until September to turn them in, but I wanted to get this out of the way.  Next will be the Christmas Joy quilt to be completed.  I had a question and emailed Tracy Souza, the designer, and have gotten no response back.  I am disappointed.  Sigh!!!

Off to make dinner.  Now that the daughter has left the nest, I am the cook again.  That I can still do well....

Monday, July 16, 2012

I had the best time!

I am still happy from the retreat I went on.  There were 12 of us.  Before we even went up to Auburn, there were a flurry of emails about who would bring what, who needed rulers for a specific project, etc.  One of the topics was snacks.  I bet each of us brought at least three snacks.  The "snack" table measured 120"x32" and was absolutely covered with cookies, pretzels, chips, tail mix, candies, etc.  I brought breakfast cookies.  These are truly delicious and they are full of things you eat for breakfast.

Breakfast Cookies
   From The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham

1 stick of butter at room temperature (softened)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats or unsweetened granola
1 cup broken walnuts

Preheat oven to 350*.  Grease two baking sheets.
Cream sugars and butter together until smooth.  Add vanilla and egg.  Beat well.
Stir in flour, salt and baking soda.  Add cereal and walnuts, blending well.
Lightly flour a surface and turn the dough out onto it.  Roll out the dough to 1/8" thickness.
Cut the cookies out with a 3-" cookie cutter.  Place the cookies slightly apart.  They don't spread.
Bake 12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.  Cool on wire rack or waxed paper,

Just to give you a quick idea of how things NEVER go as planned:

Friday, June 29th
      The retreat starts at 2pm.  We got special permission to be there two hours early.  I leave at 10:40am.  I should say here that I live approximately 25-30 minutes from the far side of Auburn.  I drop the darling daughter off at work and then go in and shop at JoAnn's.  I stop at the bank (just across the parking lot from JoAnn's).  I am supposed to be at Paul's house by noon.  Paul is a family friend who moved to Auburn in June of 2011 and I had never seen his house.  I knew I would have all this extra time and seeing the house seemed like a good time killer.  By 12:10pm I was lost.  I get lost all the time.  I must say that this time it was Paul's not so good directions.  When I finally found it, I got the grand tour-- three bedrooms, two baths, kitchen with dining area and a livingroom.  We discussed the plans Paul had for remodeling and at 1:15pm went over to Chevy's to have lunch.  After a very yummy lunch with an extremely good margarita, it was 2:45pm and I was definitely late for the retreat (although I did have until 4pm to get there).  Because I left the directions to the Mercy Center at home and was coming from a completely opposite direction, I had to call and ask for more directions.  I was the only one not there and my friends seemed concerned since I was expected an hour ago!!!  I got there in one piece and Jill took my stuff to the room and then showed my how to get  to the quilting room.  I was ready and in place by dinner!

Despite this being a time away from distractions to quilt, we were required to work for our keep.  And it was such arduous work!!  We had to make our beds up the first night--Friday, and take them apart when we left on Sunday.  We had to set our table for each meal.  The dinners, lunches and breakfasts were wonderful.  The first meal was salmon (after all this is a catholic convent and it was Friday.  Jill, Valerie and I were the first three people in line and not one of us took the fish.  I had had a big lunch and only ate the vegetables, but I don't like salmon.  All three of us don't like salmon.  Every meal was fantastic.  My favorite was the giant breakfast burrito.  We shared our meals with two other groups.  One was an intensive healing group, but we didn't find out what kind of intensive healing was going on.  The other group, Abundant Life--about 20 black women dressed up like they were going to church with hats and gloves--had a message for their group.  It was MISSION POSSIBLE.  Isn't that just so uplifting???

We quilted whenever we liked.  Some until the wee hours of the night (I went to bed at midnight) and some beginning in the wee hours of the morning--Cordelia.....Vonnie told me someone snored loudly and kept her up at times.  I know I snore and her room was next to mine, but Jill was on the other side and said she didn't hear me.  Sorry Vonnie.  The first night I sat down to read before I went to sleep and found I had left my book in the quilting room.  I was already in my pajamas and didn't want to walk the few feet, so I read the Bible in my room.  It is a convent--nuns live there--there was a Bible in every room.  We had music in the quilting room supplied by Kimberly.  We finished enough squares to make two donation quilts for the Mercy Center.  Quilts were finished.  I made a purse, started a quilt for my friend, Sandy, and studied the blocks I had for my Linda Ballard project--Now You See It, Now You Don't.  Valerie brought her daughter's lap top and she and Jayma watched the Harry Potter movies.  It made me want to watch them all over again.  I will when I find the first movie that I have hear somewhere!!!!

The center was wonderful.  There was plenty of room to walk and see the beautiful grounds.  Jill and I walked the Stations of the cross.  I was winded at one point.  I must start walking again at home. I am so out of shape......

I am sure I left so much out, but I am at the end.  I am all set to go again next year!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Free at Starbucks

On Friday, July 13th, from 12-3pm Starbucks is giving out free tall refreshers.  There is a berry flavor and a lime flavor.  Yummmm.  My favorite is the lime flavor.  Go get one every one!