Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge



Is it really possible that another week has passed?  How time flies when we’re having fun!  Winking smile


1. The Hodgepodge falls on the last day of February this year, a leap year. How will you spend that extra day?

I hate to say how I plan to spend my extra day because every time I have any plans, they always seem to get changed.  I may – or may not – go to the Zoo with DD and the Ts.  I also will be going to dinner at church for an all-church meeting about our upcoming plans to go to two worship services.  We should be home in time to watch a little of the Blues game before it gets too late.  Or I may not do any of those.  Winking smile 


2. What has recently required a leap of faith on your part?

I think it was a leap of faith to roll over DH’s retirement plan last fall, what with the way the market has been. 


3. We're one week into the season of Lent...are you marking these 40 days in some way? Giving something up or adding something extra to normal life? How's it going so far?

I grew up Baptist where Lent wasn’t celebrated, and I’m now a member of a Christian Church where Lent isn’t celebrated.  There's no way that I could give up anything that could compare to what Jesus gave up ... I'd be far more willing to do something for the 40 days of Lent that would cause me to focus more on what Jesus came to do for me.   


4. When was the last time you sat beside a fire?

At Christmas time, when we had our fireplace going. 


5. Surf and Turf is on the menu. Do you order as is or do you ask for just the surf (lobster), just the turf (steak), or a menu so you can select another option?

I really like lobster and I really like steak, but I don’t know that I’ve ever ordered Surf and Turf.  While a part of me thinks that maybe I’d might want to view the menu … just in case there’s something I like even better than Surf and Turf, the other part of me says go with the Surf and Turf (especially after finding this picture online – yummy!).


6. If you could have any television program back, not in reruns but in new episodes, what program would you choose?

I really enjoyed ER and would like it back … with the original characters, of course. 


7. They say an elephant never forgets. These days would you say your memory is more like an elephant or a gnat?

My memory is more like a sieve.


8. Insert your own random thought here.

I use a pack-n-play for the littlest ones to sleep in when they nap at Nana’s … T#4 is still sleeping in a crib, so she still gets the pack-n-play.  But those days may be numbered … as she figured out how to climb out of it after naptime yesterday afternoon.  I couldn’t figure out how she managed to get out of the pack-n-play (she’s so tiny … she’s going to be a shorty like her Mama … and her Nana Embarrassed smile) so I had her demonstrate it for me … she just hiked her little leg up to climb right over … and looked up at me with such a big grin on her face … she was quite proud of herself. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Google is making a few changes.  Instead of allowing readers to follow a blog using Google Friend Connect (near the bottom of my sidebar)
Google Followerthere’s now Linky Followers.  It’s fairly intuitive … just register (it’s free). 

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what impact it will have for any of us.  I like to think that I’m fairly technologically savvy, but I just can’t seem to find a definitive explanation of what this change means.  About the only thing I can find is that any of you who follow me but don’t use Blogger will need to use my Linky Follower tool (which I’ve added to my sidebar – near the bottom) to continue to follow me effective March 1. 

I cannot find any information on what impact this will have, if any, on us Blogger bloggers.  I can’t determine if the non-Blogger blogs will continue to feed through to Google Reader.  I’m curious, too, to see if the Blogger follow options (in the upper left hand corner of my blog) will still be available … will we still be following blogs we opted to follow using the Blogger follow button (which is what I use when choosing to follow a Blogger blog).  Goodness, could I use the words follow or blog (or some variation of them) any more often in a sentence??  Winking smile
Follow blog

I just hate not knowing what is going on.  Change can be difficult enough, but it’s doubly difficult if we’re trying to navigate the changes with only limited bits of information.  Confused smile

I remarked last week that we were 5 weeks away from our Spring Training trip.  Ooops!  I miscounted … we were 4 weeks away!  And not only that, we’ve decided that we’ll leave a day early … we’ll hit the road after the Ts’ soccer games.  This will give us a head start, and one of the stops along the way will be the beach at St. Augustine. 

It’s a very cloudy, dreary day here … I think that means that it’s going to be a perfect quilting day, don’t you?  Winking smile

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Weekend Wrap-up



Another weekend has flown by.  Another uneventful (but fantastic) weekend.


I spent the first half of Friday quilting … the quilt had dried (from my efforts to remove the spilled Diet Coke) so I was able to get back to quilting.  The second half of the day was spent at DD’s.  DSIL is out of town at training this week, so they wanted to have a night out before he left town.  That meant that I got to spend some time with my sweet Ts.  We played some games (Stratego, X-box), watched a movie, had pizza (thanks to our delivery boy – DH) and had a great time. 


I spent Saturday morning finishing up the reorganization of the closet in the sewing room which I had started when housecleaning on Wednesday … it got sidetracked when I started on my box of remnants.  I was able to get rid of a lot of stuff that we no longer need and was able to make more room for the Ts’ toys and for some of my sewing stuff that used to stay in the basement.  My reward for finishing that job was to get back to quilting … I just love hand quilting … I love seeing needle and thread create beautiful designs, and I just plain find it relaxing.  I quilted while watching the Blues win a matinee in Winnipeg, and I quilted while watching the original Oceans Eleven. 


Sunday morning I found in my inbox an email from Lori at Humble Quilts, notifying me that I had won her giveaway - a copy of Jennifer Chiaverini’s latest Elm Creek Quilters book Sonoma Rose!  I couldn’t believe it!  I’ve loved that series … and I had to wait and wait and wait to get my hands on The Wedding Quilt, the book that came out in last fall … even though I got on my library’s waiting list back a good couple of months before the book was released.  I thought sure I’d have an even longer wait for Sonoma Rose, since I wasn’t aware that she was going to publish another book so soon … and didn’t have the 2-month lead time that I had with The Wedding Quilt!  I was so excited!


After church, I did some more quilting … do you sense a theme for my weekend?  Winking smile   Even though I spent a good chunk of my weekend quilting, I still have a long ways to go before I get this quilt completed … hand quilting a full/double quilt takes a good while, and the more intricate quilting that I’m doing in the white blocks is slow going.  Here’s where I stopped last night.



I don’t expect to get much quilting done today.  I have to make some phone calls this morning.  A dear friend of my dad’s is an artist and did a graphite drawing of my dad.  I have the original here and am charged with getting prints made for my sisters and me.  We’re going to have lunch at an award-winning BBQ restaurant with our neighbors.  This afternoon, I need to get caught up on my reading for small group this evening and will have my weekly “conference call” with my dad and my sisters … and this evening we’ll have small group. 


Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Fragments


Mommy's Idea


It’s Friday once again … my how time is flying while we’re having fun!  Winking smile  That means it’s time for a little fragmenting … and since I’m the queen of random, that’s right up my alley! 


I got the blue and white Irish chain basted together yesterday.  I wasn’t sure, when I first woke up, if I had enough energy to get it done … I was still sore and tired from my busy Wednesday.  But I knew that the quilt wasn’t going to baste itself – ha! – so I got ‘er done.  I baste my quilts together at our church building … the classrooms are empty during the week, and I can shove two large folding tables together to spread the quilty layers out onto.  It’s a rather slow process to baste the layers together, but it’s worth it to keep the backing from developing puckers.


After lunch I got started on the hand quilting – my favorite part.  I got a couple of blocks quilted, moved the hoop and was settling back in my recliner … when somehow I bumped the can of Diet Coke on the table next to my chair.  Surprised smile  The majority of the soda spilled on the floor … but I did get some on the quilt.  Thankfully, I was able to clean it all up … if you look carefully at a couple of smaller spots, you can see where I had to “scrub” a little … but that’s a whole lot less noticeable than the brown soda spots that were there before! 


We’ve had warm weather the last couple of days … mid 60’s Wednesday and almost 70 yesterday.  It’s going to feel frigid in comparison today, with a high of only 44. 


Today I plan to do more quilting – of course.  DSIL will be out of town next week for training, so he and DD are planning a date night tonight.  Which means I get to watch the Ts!  Red heart


We’ll be heading to southern Florida 5 weeks from Sunday … but who’s counting?  Winking smile 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I hit the jackpot!


A couple of days ago, when the end of piecing my Irish chain quilt was in sight, I went searching for my quilting stencils.  Since I have just a small portion of the 3rd bedroom for my sewing space, I keep a lot of stuff downstairs in our storage … and that’s where I searched first for my stencils.  While searching through my quilting stuff downstairs, I saw that I had 2 big boxes full of remnants.  Yesterday, I decided to go through my remnants and see just what I had and see if I couldn’t somehow organize them … so one of these days maybe, just maybe, I could make a small, scrappy quilt from my leftovers. 


I couldn’t believe how much leftover fabrics I had!  Surprised smile  Never in my wildest dreams did I realize that I had so much … that I actually have a stash (quilters’ term for their collections of fabrics on hand.  Many quilters deliberately add to their stash by buying fabrics that they love and/or anticipate using some day … some quilters have so much stash that they will never be able to use it all.  I, on the other hand, purchase only for specific projects … but because most of the quilts I’ve made have been made using traditional patterns rather than a pattern, I’ve never had yardage recommendations.  And since, for the longest time, there were no nearby quilt shops, I’d err on the side of caution and buy *plenty* … so I wouldn’t run short on a fabric and have to make another trek to the fabric store to get more.  Obviously I’ve been overly generous in my estimations … thus I’ve built a stash.)  I was so excited to see that I had so much fabric left!  I really felt like I’d hit the jackpot!


When I was making T#1’s baby quilt, I must have sat and stitched up the segments of the little 9 patches of all the strips I cut (and I must have cut them all because there’s no leftover fabric) before piecing the blocks together to make his quilt.  There are enough 9 patches (completed and segments) to make another baby quilt … maybe even two!  And if I bought some white to alternate the pieced blocks with solid blocks (in an Irish chain setting), I am sure that I could make two quilts, possibly even three! 


And I have enough strips cut from the fabrics for T#2’s big girl quilt to make at least one, maybe two, baby quilts.  I’m thinking that wouldn’t it be awesome to make the Ts baby quilts for their babies, using the same fabrics that I used for their baby quilts?  Red heart  Unfortunately, I don’t have enough leftovers from T#2, T#3, and T#4.  But I could make them each a baby quilt (for when they have babies) from fabrics that I used to make quilts when they were little ones.  I think I’m definitely going to do that … when they’re old enough, I’ll give them the baby quilts that I’ll make.  That way they’ll each have at least one baby quilt made by Nana for their babies.  


And if that weren’t enough, I’ve got a ton of various dark blue prints and white already cut into strips.  I think I very well may have enough to sew into a full/double or queen quilt.  I’m thinking of making a log cabin quilt, using the white for the lighter colors.  I will need to buy some yardage of red for the chimney, but other than that, I should have enough fabric … and since I’ve not made a log cabin for DH and me, I think it’s about time I remedy that!  Winking smile


I’m planning to baste together my blue and white Irish chain quilt top, the batting and the backing today so I could get started on the hand quilting (my favorite part).  But after yesterday (a thorough housecleaning in the first half of the day and sorting/pressing/organizing my remnants in the second half of the day), I’m still a little sore this morning.  I’ll get it done … just maybe not this morning like I had originally planned.  Winking smile 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It’s Hump Day … and while Hump Day doesn’t mean as much as it did when I was working (when you’re retired, every day is the weekend), I still look forward to Wednesdays … because that means it’s time for Hopdgepodge! 

1. February 22nd is National Be Humble Day...what makes you proud? What keeps you humble?
My daughter makes me proud … I love, love, love the beautiful, compassionate, caring, nurturing woman she’s become.  My aging body keeps me humble … I’m learning that I cannot do everything like I used to. 
2. Where is the catch-all (aka dumping ground) in your house?
Our kitchen island.  We come in to the house through the garage, and the first flat surface we encounter is our island … so everything gets dumped there.  Just how long things stay there … well, let’s just say that can be the source of a bit of disagreement with DH.  Winking smile

3. Do you make it a point to visit State/National Parks when you travel or even in your own hometown? What's your favorite?
We don’t necessarily go out of our way to visit state or national parks, but if in the area, we'll definitely visit.  I would have to say that Johnson Beach, part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore (part of the National Park Service) located at Perdido Key, FL, would be my favorite.  Beautiful, pristine beach … what’s not to love?  Winking smile   
Johnson Beach Jan 2010 (5)

4. How would you define honor?
I believe that to honor is to respect or hold in high esteem. 

5. Angel's food or Devil's food-which cake do you prefer?
Angel food … no icing … with fresh strawberries (and a little whipped cream, too, please?).

6. What's the most recent road trip you've taken? Where did you go and how many hours did you spend in the car? Do you like to zoom to your destination without stopping or leisurely wind your way there with stops along the way? What is your car snack of choice?
The last road trip we took was our trip to Hilton Head last fall.  It’s a 13+ hour drive (each way) … so we were in the car for 13 hours (not 13 solid hours … we stopped for lunch, for gas, and for a rest stops along the way).  Our preference is to get to our destination as quickly as possible … on the way there, we’re anxious to get to there, and by the time our stay is over, we’re anxious to get back to “home sweet home.”  Our car snack of choice is usually animal crackers … easy to eat, no mess. 

7. Recent headlines told how a preschool child in NC had their packed lunch from home taken away and a school lunch substituted by a school inspector who deemed the homemade lunch unhealthy. Reportedly the parent was then billed for the school lunch (chicken nugget meal) although an update to the story says the parent was not billed. The inspector was conducting a routine inspection of the classroom-he/she was not there solely to peek in the lunchboxes. The packed lunch contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, an apple juice box, a bag of chips, and a banana. You can read the story here. Your thoughts?
Another example of Big Government. <sigh>  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that if state and local governments stopped micromanaging our lives, they would be in much better fiscal condition.    

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Yesterday it was a reasonably warm day – for mid February … time to prune back my knockout roses.  It seemed that the thorns were especially sharp this spring … even with gloves on, I couldn’t seem to escape the nasty thorns.  And unfortunately, my jacket “took one for the team” … a small rip in the sleeve.  <sigh> 

I noticed, while outside, that many of our plants are starting to bud out … my hydrangea, cherry tree, etc.  This is just way too early.  Surprised smile

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Weekend Wrap-up



This weekend was declared Hockey Weekend Across America, and the Blues had afternoon games both Saturday and Sunday … perfect entertainment for my afternoons spent in the sewing room.


The weekend started with T#1’s 10th birthday party Friday evening.  Any day that includes some time with DD and the Ts is a great day.  The only downside was that the birthday boy wasn’t feeling well by the end of the party. 


I spent Saturday and Sunday afternoons in the sewing room.  I managed to get all the rows of blocks sewn together and I got some work done on the borders.  Unfortunately, I had to rip out about a third of the stitching I did on the borders (I’ve done more ripping with this quilt than I’ve done with all my other quilts combined Confused smile).  I think I’ve got it figured out (I hope) and should be able to get the borders completed and sewn on today … so I can can get the top basted to the batting and backing tomorrow … and can start hand quilting, which is my favorite part of quilting.  Saturday and Sunday evenings, DH and I watched a couple of movies.


Another fairly uneventful weekend …  I’ve noticed that since we retired, our weekends have become quieter and less exciting.  I suspect that’s because even though we find ourselves looking forward to the weekends, they’re really not much different than the rest of the week … a far cry from when we were working, when weekends were our only chance to accomplish all our chores - or all our fun. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Fragments


Mommy's Idea


Yay!  It’s Friday … that means that the weekend is in sight!  Even though we’re retired, we find ourselves looking forward to the weekend … old habits are hard to break, eh?  Winking smile


I’ve noticed that Blogger has changed word verification … from one easy-to-read word to two words, one of which might as well be gobbledygook.  I don’t  know if it’s just my old eyes or what, but I have the hardest time trying to decipher those obnoxious scrambled words.  Having to try two to three (or more) times to correctly read those scrambled words is frustrating … and a little time consuming as well, which adds to the frustration. 


I’ve sewn my quilt blocks in rows … 11 blocks in each row and a total of 14 rows.  The next step is sewing those rows together … and then adding the borders.  I had hoped to make this a queen-sized quilt, but it’s going to be a full-sized quilt instead.  I had the yardage requirements for a standard Irish chain, but when I saw an Irish chain with borders, I knew that I wanted to add those borders to my quilt.  I didn’t have any idea how much extra yardage to buy to have enough for the borders, so I asked the clerk at the fabric store for assistance in estimating how much extra I’d need.  I knew that when I miscut my strips for the 9 patch blocks that I might not have enough for a queen-sized quilt.  As it turns out, I don’t think I would have had enough for a queen-sized quilt even without my miscut.  I’ve estimated that I wasted a half yard of the white fabric with my miscut, and I’ve used a bit more than a half yard of the “replacement” white fabric I purchased after my miscut (it’s not the same fabric as the white I originally purchased, but it’s close enough that if I put it in the border, I don’t think anyone will be able to tell the difference) … and I will still only end up with a full-sized quilt.  I’m a little disappointed, but since this quilt isn’t going to be used for a bed cover, a full-sized quilt will be fine. 


T#1 turned 10 yesterday!  Red heart  How in the world can that be?  It seems like it’s only been a couple of years since we sat in the hospital waiting room all night long waiting for him to arrive.  His family birthday party will be this evening. 


Spring training starts tomorrow.  Smile  And it will be 5 weeks until we leave for our annual spring training trip.  We’re beginning to do a little of our pre-planning … which is almost as much fun as the trip itself.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It’s Wednesday again, and time for some Hodgepodge fun. 

1. George Washington-Abraham Lincoln-Thomas Jefferson...who would you most like to meet and why?
I would prefer to meet Abraham Lincoln.  Not only is he from my home state, but of all the Presidents, I think his term surely had to be the most difficult … with his country at war with itself. 

2. What's your favorite chain restaurant?
St. Louis Bread Co./Panera.  Here in our area, it’s called St. Louis Bread Co.  It was started/is headquartered in St. Louis … funny how you don’t have to go too far from St. Louis before they’re called Panera.  Wonder if the marketing people thought that the association with St. Louis would be a detriment outside of the greater St. Louis area?  Strange, there are Atlanta Bread Co. restaurants as far away from Atlanta as Wisconsin.  Guess Atlanta has more selling appeal than St. Louis? 

3. I spied this question on the Bears at Home blog last week and she gave me permission to
borrow it-
When you look back on your life, do you imagine you'll think about the goals you failed to meet with regret? Or will you look at what you accomplished and say: it was good?
I think it will be a combination.  I’m human, and I’ve made mistakes … and I can’t help but think of those failings with regret.  But I’m trying to live in such a way that I will be able to look back and say that it was good.
4. Grapefruit-take 'em or leave 'em? Given the choice between an orange and a grapefruit which would you choose? Would you prefer it served as is or squeezed into juice?
I prefer oranges over grapefruits, and I prefer my oranges peeled over juice.  While I like orange juice, there’s something more satisfying about eating my food than drinking it.  Winking smile

5. When was the last time you cleaned out a closet? Is there a closet in your home that currently needs cleaning? What are you waiting for?
I don’t remember for sure just when I last cleaned out my closet.  Probably within the last 12-15 months.  The coat closet could stand some reorganization.  Otherwise, most of my closets are in decent condition.
6. You get to have lunch with three famous people...who would you like to see round your table?
Hmmmm … this kind of a question is a toughie for me.  Since Joyce didn’t give us any restrictions on who we could use (living or dead), I think I’d like to spend some time with David (how much I could learn from him … a man who God could consider after His heart in spite of all his sins) and with Paul (what I could learn from him … all he did for the kingdom in spite of his struggle with not being able to do the good he wanted, doing instead the evil that he did not want to do) and with Jesus (what can I say … the Son of God, my Savior … it would be a foretaste of heaven).
7. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your ability to parallel park?
Maybe a 6 or 7 if the spot is a good-sized one.  I’ve always had a little trouble with the backing-up part.  I got to the point, while I was still working, that I could back into a parking spot at work … if I could find a spot with just one car already parked next to it.  I am not brave enough to try backing into a spot with cars on either side.  So if there was a little bit of room for me to maneuver, I think I could probably parallel parking without too much trouble (although we won’t discuss how much jockeying it will take to get the car close enough to the curb).
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Our snow from Monday night was gone by mid-afternoon yesterday.  The only remnants were from where snow had been shoveled into some piles.  Oh well, it was pretty while it lasted.