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!