Monday, December 31, 2012

2012–Year in Review

What?  Another year has passed since my 2011 – Year in Review??  Seriously?  Where DID the time go??  Let’s take a look back to see just what was happening here at Chez Nana during 2012.

In January, I finished my 25-patch and stripes quilt.I also spent a weekend visiting my dad who spent January and February on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

In February, we had a couple of birthdays to celebrate – mine and T#1’s.   

In March, for the 4th year in a row, we went to Florida to take in some spring training games and to have some south Florida fun and sun, which included a visit to the Everglades National Park.  I also switched to Iced Tea from Diet Coke … no small feat.

In April, my Chicagoland sister and her S.O. came down for a visit.  My Blues were able to advance to the 2nd round of the playoffs, something that hadn’t happened in 10 years … unfortunately they weren’t able to make it any further.  Who knew that would be the last hockey seen in St. Louis for many, many, many months?  And we had to say goodbye to our sweet but crazy Abby the Labby.

In May, we spent a week and a half in Hilton Head … our favorite place (well, our favorite place away from my Ts Winking smile). This is a shot of the Super Moon, taken from the ocean’s edge.  My Austin sister spent a weekend visiting.  And we had T#2’s birthday to celebrate.  

In June, I finished another quilt … a blue and white Irish chain. We enjoyed another visit from my Chicagoland sister, her S.O. and her grandson.

In July, we refinished our hardwood floors.  They’d been finished unstained, which was definitely not to my taste, so we finally had them refinished.

In August, we put in granite countertops.  (Yes, I know, there’s no faucet … this was taken before the plumber came back to install it.)  We celebrated T#3’s 5th birthday.  I finished another quilt … a blue and white log cabin (it’s my favorite quilt pattern).

In September, we said goodbye to the hottest and one of the driest summers on record.  We celebrated DD’s 37th birthday with a night out for all 8 of us at a Japanese Steak House.  We spent a couple of weeks on the road … we visited the Outer Banks and drove up the coast of Virginia into Maryland before returning home.

In October, we watched our Cardinals fall short in their bid for a return trip to the Fall Classic (the World Series).  We had another birthday celebration – T#4 turned 3 on the 15th.  I finally entered the 21st century … I got an iPhone (and I still love it!).  I also finished another quilt … a triangle wall quilt (don’t ask me if it’s hung yet … but at least I have a method for getting it hung Winking smile).

In November, we celebrated DH’s 62nd birthday … he’s applied for Social Security benefits, so I guess it’s official – he’s old.  Winking smile  We had to cut back on our Thanksgiving celebration again due to illness at DD’s house … this year it was T#1 being diagnosed with mono right before the big day.

In December, DH & I celebrated 25 years of marriage.  I finished another quilt, an I Spy Quilt which was a Christmas gift for my Ts.I also applied for my Social Security benefits – I’ll be 62 in February, so it looks like DH is not the only old person here at Chez Nana!  Winking smile  And we wrapped up the year with another birthday celebration - DSIL's 38th birthday.

I’m praying that you and yours will have a

The Weekend Wrap-up

And it definitely wasn’t your typical weekend.  ;-)

Friday I finally got the disappearing four patch top sewn and sandwiched with the batting and backing … and even got a few stitches in. 

We finally got some snow Friday afternoon/evening - it came out of nowhere.  All that “complaining” about wanting some snow must have done some good – ha!  We only got about a half inch, but it was enough to cover the grass - and there's still a little snow on the ground with more coming today.

But it wasn’t enough to cover the roads and highways … and didn’t keep us from leaving Saturday morning to take my dad south for a couple of months.  Driving through busy cities is too nerve-wracking for him, so we drive him south of Montgomery, where we stopped for the night.  He’s able to make the rest of the trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast Sunday morning … and DH and I drove back home.  That was a lot of driving in 2 days, but it was worth it to help my dad get away from the cold Illinois winters and to the warmer weather on the Gulf … with his friends, golf and fresh seafood. 

Of course, with my dad, there’s always apt to be a little drama … and this year it’s the absence of a recliner in the condo he rented.  His knees are about shot, and the only comfortable position for him to sit is in a recliner with his feet up.  So my sisters and I will be trying to resolve the situation long distance. 

This is taken with my iPhone camera from the passenger seat as we were driving down the highway at 65 mph … forgive the blur.  photo

This is also taken with my iPhone just as we got onto the highway on our way home Sunday morning.  photo

You can see here that the snow that fell Friday evening has managed to stick around … this is a view taken shortly after we crossed the Ohio River into Illinois – again with my iPhone camera and again at 65
You should be able to enlarge the pictures by clicking on them.

We’ll be traveling along some of those same roads in a week and a half when we head to Florida for our cruise.  It’s a good thing we both rather enjoy driving.  Winking smile

Today is New Year’s Eve … our plans are to have a quiet day here at home (quilting?) and to bring in the New Year at DD’s this evening.  I’m hoping that you all will have a nice evening, whatever it is that you have planned … and wishing you and yours a very blessed New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Gray Skies … Nothing but Gray Skies All Day Long


Sung to the tune of Blue Skies.  It’s another dreary, cold day here … if we’re going to have such ugly days, wouldn’t you think we could at least have some snow to go with it?  Yes, I’ll confess that I’m crazy about snow (although some might say that I’m just plain crazy – ha!).  Although I have to be honest and admit that I’m not disappointed that we were spared the worst of the storm that moved through Tuesday evening … areas about an hour to the south of us are reporting 14 1/2 inches of snow.  Surprised smile  No, 3-4 inches would have been just fine.


I have 14 of the 16 blocks finished for my disappearing four patch.  Here are some of the finished blocks as well as one of the four patches (upper left hand corner) prior to being cut and re-sewn.Unfortunately, the colors in this photo are NOT true at all!  Sad smile  Here’s a more accurate picture of the fabrics I used. 

Today I plan to finish the remaining 2 blocks, get the top sandwiched together with the batting and backing, and get started on the hand quilting. 


In addition to working on my quilt, my plans include watching the Ts this afternoon for a short time while Mama takes one of their kitties to the vet for a check-up. Red heart 


A day with my Ts and quilting … pretty close to perfect (if I could just combine Ts, quilting and the beach – now that would be perfect!  Winking smile)


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Meteorologists? Bah Humbug!

Once again the meteorologists failed to come through for us.  Originally the forecast was for 4-6 inches, then 3-4 inches, then a couple of inches, then less than one inch … and when I woke up this morning, there wasn’t a flake of snow to be seen.  The snow missed our area altogether.  Sad smile  What’s worse is that according to the weather map, the snow missed us by just a couple of miles. 

We had a quiet Christmas here at Chez Nana.  I worked in the nursery during the first Christmas Eve service, so we attended the second service.  During the message, our minister was sharing a story about a family who was driving around, pointing out the nativity scenes … “Look, it’s the Wise Men” and “Look, it’s the Shepherds” … and the little boy in the story exclaimed “Look, Mommy, it’s Baby Santa” … to which T#3 shouted out “No, it’s Baby Jesus”.  That little guy “gets it”.  Red heart

Thankfully we were able to get home in time to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” again.  Yes, I know that we watched it a few weeks earlier, but it’s such a wonderful movie … it’s worth seeing twice in one Christmas season.  Winking smile

Christmas Day, DH and I exchanged our gifts.  We promised each other that we wouldn’t get each other anything for Christmas, but it turned out that we both wanted to give each other a little something anyway.  Winking smile  I got a subscription to Quiltmaker magazine

Because it was Christmas, I didn’t want to sequester myself in my sewing room, so I brought my sewing table out to the living room … and continued to work on my disappearing four patch blocks.  DH read while I stitched … nothing very exciting, but we were together, both content, both doing something we loved.  We finished the evening with a movie.

Speaking of my quilt, I have 10 of the 16 blocks finished … I’d like to get the quilt pieced and sandwiched today, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to get that far as we really need to get our tree down. 

That’s about all I have on my agenda for today … taking the tree down and sewing.  Just like I don’t do Black Friday, I don’t do the After-Christmas sales.  Ha!

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Week Wrap-up

Another week has come and gone, and what a week it was!  Since I took a blogging break last week, this edition of The Weekend Wrap-up will be a The Week Wrap-up.  Winking smile

Tuesday was our 25th anniversary.  Since we’ll be cruising – in less than 3 weeks now! - to celebrate our anniversary, we kept the actual day a little low-key.  We saw Lincoln at the “movie-ator” (movie theater, in T#3speak) and had dinner at our favorite restaurant

The rest of our day was spent cleaning and preparing for my family who would be spending the weekend with us … I have to confess that I’d been so busy trying to get that I Spy quilt done in time for Christmas that the house needed a pretty thorough cleaning.  Surprised smile

Wednesday was cookie-baking day.  I’ve baked Christmas cookies for as long as I can remember, and since DD married, she and I have always taken a day in the week before Christmas to bake Christmas cookies.  And now that the Ts are growing up, they’re becoming part of the fun, too.  Our “menu” has changed over the years, but the fun we have has remained a constant.  This year, we baked fewer different kinds of cookies, choosing instead to bake our favorite … and more of them.  We baked peanut blossoms, snowballs, snickerdoodles, spritzes, sugar cookies, chocolate crinkles and shortbreads.  photoThis is just half of the cookies that we baked.  T#1 made the snickerdoodles all by himself, and T#2 helped me with the peanut blossoms and pressed out most of the spritz cookies.  Our day was made even more special with our first snow of the 2012-13 winter!  photo

Thursday was our Christmas with DD and her family.  We opened gifts, played games, watched movies, had a couple of wonderful meals, and just enjoyed time spent with the people we love the most. 

Friday, my sisters and dad were here for the weekend.  My sister L was flying in from Austin and had a lengthy delay in Dallas.  Luckily she was able to get on another flight and was “only” 2 hours late in arriving at Lambert.  We had our Christmas with them Friday evening … DD and her family were here for our Christmas.  We opened gifts, had a meal together, played some ping pong, and just had a nice visit. 

Saturday, we reconvened for Wii bowling, Rook, great food, and more visiting.  Sunday was everyone’s last day here … my sister K and her S.O. left for their Chicagoland  home around 1:00 …. we dropped my sister L off at Lambert around 6:00 … we drove my dad back to his house (he no longer drives at night).  We were home by 7:30 … and as much as we enjoy our visitors, I have to say that it's always nice to get our house back to ourselves and get back to our regular routine.  Winking smile

Today will be a bit of a busy day … the house needs tidying up from our visitors, and I’ll be in the nursery during Christmas Eve service.  Thankfully the service is early, so we should still have time for a relaxing evening spent watching a Christmas movie or two.

All the snow from last week has melted, but it sounds like we might very well have a White Christmas here, albeit Christmas Day evening.  There’s a huge front moving in, and while the forecast is for the heaviest snowfalls to be to the south, it sounds like we’ll be getting 3-4”.  Perfect, absolutely perfect!  Thumbs up

This week I hope to be able to get back to working on the disappearing four patch that I started before Christmas.  I miss my time with needle and thread. 

Wishing you and yours a very blessed Christmas.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Weekend Wrap-up



Another weekend has come and gone … 2013 will be here before we can blink an eye. 


I finished up the I Spy Quilt Friday.  I was feeling so good about myself because I had cut the binding strips for the quilt – so I’d be able to sew on the binding as soon as I finished the quilting, instead of having to take the time to cut binding strips, like I usually do.  However, when I laid out the binding strips Friday morning, they looked too wide … I measured them, and they were a good inch too wide.  The light bulb went on when I realized that I had used the 2 1/2” binding strips for my inner border instead of the 3 1/2” strips I’d cut for the border.  Thankfully, I could use those border strips for binding – I just cut off that extra inch.  Unfortunately, the inner border is now 2” instead of the planned 3”, but it is what it is … and no one will ever know but me – and now you all.  Winking smile

I Spy Quilt 001

I Spy Quilt 002

You can click on the pictures to see larger images with more detail.


It wasn’t until I logged onto my computer on Saturday morning that I learned of the horrific events in Connecticut.  Words still escape me … the only thing I can say is that we need to be praying for those affected.  Those events certainly colored my day … not just with a broken heart, but because I had my two littlest grands for the day.  I spent the day coloring with them, playing with them, and savoring every moment spent with them. 


Sunday was a fairly quiet day.  After church, I attended a Pampered Chef party, had my weekly “conference call” with my dad and my sisters, pieced a couple of blocks of my next quilt project – a disappearing four patch wall quilt, and watched A Christmas Carol.  



I’ve got such a busy week ahead of me, so I’m going to be taking a blog break … I hope to be back next Monday, Christmas Eve.  But if I’m not, I’d like to wish you all a very blessed Christmas.