Monday, September 30, 2013

The Weekend Wrap-Up

It was a long but busy weekend.  And while it was a good one, I’m also glad to be back to my normal routine.  Winking smile

My sister, her S.O., her grandson, her ex-husband and her youngest son came for the weekend.  My sister, her S.O. and her grandson came in from northern Illinois … they got in mid Friday morning, so we all met up for a visit at my Dad’s.  By mid-afternoon it was time to head to my house to get ready to go to the baseball game that evening.  My sister’s ex and her son arrived here a few minutes after we got in.  We got to the ballpark plenty early … we like watching batting practice and soaking in the whole experience.  And since this game could determine if our Cardinals were going to clinch the division title (and have home field advantage in the post season), there was a lot of excitement in the air.  Playing against our traditional rivals, the Chicago Cubs, didn’t hurt either. 
Our Cardinals didn’t disappoint … they clinched the title in an exciting game.  There was a lot of celebrating going on, but my iPhone camera just couldn’t zoom in adequately to get a nice photo … so I’ve borrowed my ex-BIL’s photo that he posted on Facebook. 

Saturday morning we all met up with DD, DSIL and the Ts at the St. Louis Zoo.  I had my iPhone with me, but I didn’t even think to try to get any photos.  Sad smile

We spent the rest of Saturday here, watching the game, grilling brats and burgers, and relaxing.  Sunday morning we headed back to my Dad’s before everyone headed back home … including us.

It was nice to get back to our normal routine, even if the rest of our Sunday was spent tidying up and doing laundry.  It also included watching Sunday’s game … and of course, getting in a little quilting!  It feels like it’s been months since I was able to spend any time with my storm at sea, what with our trip and then the busy week/weekend. 

It’s hard to believe that today is the last day of September – where in the world has this month gone?  Although I do love the month of October … cooler temperatures, lovely fall foliage … what’s not to love?  Winking smile  And I’m certainly hoping to be able to get more quilting done in October than I did in September. 

Hope you all have a marvelous Monday!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge



Welcome to Wednesday, and that can mean only one thing:  Hodgepodge!  After missing last week’s Hodgepodge, I’m excited to get back into the Hodgepodge groove.  After you’re done here, why not check out what others have to say … just click on the button above.


1. What's one thing that's still the same about you as when you were young?

I love Cardinals baseball.  I remember being in 2nd or 3rd grade, keeping score as we listened along to a Cardinals radio broadcast.  I used leftover sheets of notebook paper from school, so I only had to draw in half the lines necessary to create my own “score card”.

2. What's more important-history or science? Why?

While they’re equally important, I have to give a slight nod to history … if only because if we do not learn from our mistakes in the past, we’re destined to keep making those same mistakes.

3. Lima, kidney, string, garbanzo, black or pinto-your favorite bean?

I do love baby limas, with plenty of butter, salt and pepper.  But my favorite would probably be a string (aka green) bean.

4. What's something people come to your town to do?

People come here to have babies, surgeries, medical procedures, etc.  While my little town is very small and has almost zero business establishments, we do have the hospital.  Even the larger town nearby, with 4x as many residents, doesn’t have a hospital. 

5. When was the last time you were in a meeting? Sum it up for us in five words or less.

Last fall, as a member of the Financial Oversight at church, I attended the annual budget preparation meeting.  My summation would be:  Why bother?  Confused smile

6. What special event would you like a VIP pass to attend?

The American Quilters Society annual quilt show in Paducah, KY. 

7. What's one piece of advice you'd give a writer?

Grammar and spelling can be your friends … use them.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I’m “working” the night shift tonight … DD’s schedule for today got moved to the evening shift.  Kind of nice to be able to get a lazy start to my day … even though I get up bright and early, I’m not usually ready to really start my day for a few hours. 


We watched the baseball game last night (it was a good one … the Cardinals rookie pitcher was one out away from a no-hitter … and the Cardinals reduced their magic number to 3), so I recorded the NCIS season premier.  My plan was to (finally!) get back to hand quilting my storm at sea, but perhaps I’ll work on some hexagons instead since that work is more mindless, so I can focus on NCIS. Winking smile


Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Getting Caught Up–A Trip Report



I promised pictures, but I’m afraid that I’m going to disappoint you all.  I took a few pictures – but nothing particularly exciting.  You see, when you’ve been to same destination as many times as DH and I have been to Hilton Head Island, there’s not a whole lot of anything new to take photos of … nor is there much of anything new that we did to share … not that we had plans of doing anything terribly exciting … our idea of a perfect Hilton Head trip is one where the majority of our time is spent relaxing on the beach … and indulging in the fresh seafood.  And this was as close to a perfect Hilton Head trip as we’ve had.  So without further ado, I give you a bit of a recap. 


We left Thursday morning, as soon as I was done at DD’s … well, as soon as we said goodbyes (thankfully I was able to hold it together until I drove off … then the tears flowed!).  We took our time on the road and made it to Lexington, KY – the middle of horse country.  Of course I had to take a picture of a horse farm for T#2 who is a huge horse lover. 



I was tempted to stay in Lexington a little longer as there was a table of women at Panera who had gathered for breakfast and stitching … several brought their knitting and a couple brought some quilting.  I would have loved to join them!  But the beach called me … and I did get to do a little stitching … not with that group of women, but in the car, with DH.  I finally decided to get myself a portable project for our trips … and decided to see if I couldn’t do a little stitching in the car.  And I could!  Open-mouthed smile  I did have to look up fairly frequently, and I did have to put the stitching down when we drove through the Smokies (lest I get car sick on all those twists and turns).  Yay!


We stopped Friday evening in Spartanburg, SC … just a little over 4 hours from Hilton Head.  Our plan was to get to the Island just in time for lunch Saturday … and we made it. After lunch, we were afraid that it would be too early to check into our hotel, but we thought we’d go ahead and park at the hotel and go on out to the beach.  This sand sculpture greeted us as we entered the lobby.

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We were pleasantly surprised to be able to check in and get to our room right away.  Unfortunately our room didn’t have an ocean view … if we had chosen to pay half again as much for our room, we could have had a view like this:

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It would have been wonderful to have been able to sit out on the balcony and watch the sun rise … but paying that much for the room would have meant a shorter stay.  We decided that we could just walk on down to the beach if we wanted to see the sun rise … and have more time on the Island.  Winking smile


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The first thing we did was reserve a couple of beach chairs and umbrellas … so we could spend our days reading or stitching.



We saw our very first star fish ever on one of our walks … it was still alive, so we left it where we saw it.

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We went down to the beach every morning in hopes of seeing the sun rise.  It was so cloudy every morning that I was worried that we wouldn’t get to see the sun rise … thankfully the skies weren’t too cloudy on our next to last day on the Island, and I was able to get a nice shot of the sun rising.


I would have liked to have gotten a shot of the harvest moon rising, but it was cloudy that evening. 


We also saw fishing boats that weren’t very far out to sea – another first.  One boat went by and must have turned around as we saw it coming back from the other direction … with a “companion”. 




I wondered if they were catching our dinner?  As I mentioned, when we’re not on the beach, we’re indulging in the fresh seafood available in Hilton Head.  When we’re that close to the source, why not?  Winking smile

Hilton Head 2013


I discovered a little quilt shop on the Island and persuaded DH to stop by on our way to dinner one evening.  There weren’t a lot of fabrics that caught my eye, but I did find a couple of pretty blues.

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Of course, the colors aren’t true <sigh> – they’re both darker and more of a true blue.  I suspect I might use these when I made quilts for T#1 and T#3 (coming up on my list).


I had to take a picture of these license plates to share with you all!

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Too bad Illinois doesn’t allow numbers in the middle of letters on their plates, or I’d be ordering these for our car!


I was pretty productive with my hand stitching … I’m stitching up hexagons to make a Grandmother’s Flower Garden, and I have made good progress.  Here’s one of the flowers (not sewn together yet), with little patches of the outer ring (the red).

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I’ve stitched up quite a few of the darker and lighter rings … I have more of them to stitch as well as most of the centers and all of the red ring hexagons (aka the “path”).  This will be a secondary, portable project – to take when I expect to have “waiting time” (for appointments, when traveling, etc.). 


We made it back home late Monday afternoon … with enough time to unpack, do a couple of loads of laundry, and take it easy.  It’s wonderful to be back home, and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing my Ts in a couple of hours.  But there’s a piece of my heart that remains back on Hilton Head Island.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge



It’s Wednesday again, and it’s crunch time for our trip.  I have to admit that I was tempted to just pass on this week’s Hodgepodge, but when I remembered that I’ll be missing next week’s, I had to jump in this week.  Why don’t you join me – just click on the button above.


1. What's the best thing about growing older?

Grandchildren, without a doubt!  Red heart

2. When did you first feel like a grown up?

When I became a mama.  Suddenly I had someone else relying on me for her very existence … huge wake up call to adulthood.

3. Chocolate cake with white icing or white cake with chocolate icing?

White cake … and don’t be surprised if I scrape off the icing and just eat the cake.  Winking smile

4. What's the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for you?

When I was a single mom and a full-time student, finishing up my degree, someone brought us a box of food.  It was just what we needed.

5.  What's something you learned from your grandparents?

I can’t think of anything.  I spent a good bit of time with my maternal grandmother, but I can’t think of anything in particular that I learned from her. 

6. Wednesday marks a sad day in the history of planet earth-9/11...what's something you do (or can do) to bring peace to your little corner of the world?

Be kind, be courteous, be patient, be loving.

7.  Share a favorite quote, scripture, or song containing the word peace. 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ~ John 14:27

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

We are now just a little over 24 hours from leaving.  We’ll hit the road as soon as I get home from DD’s tomorrow morning.  I’m not taking my laptop, so I won’t be blogging while we’re gone … I’m hoping to have a few pictures to share when we get back.  See ya on the flipside!


Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Weekend Wrap-Up




Another weekend has come and gone, but this week I’ve got no complaints as that means that we are now just 3 days from heading to Hilton Head.  Woo hoo!


My weekend got off to a great start … I started hand quilting my storm at sea quilt!  photo-003


Saturday was a busy day … I spent the morning finalizing our trip plans, making hotel reservations for our stops along the way, and updating the maps on our GPS.  I also cleaned the hardwood floors … they needed it badly, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to leave with them like that.  I spent the afternoon quilting, but I spent my evening working on my next quilting project … a grandmother’s flower garden.  Yes, I’m joining the hexie craze!  And yes, I’m a little late to the party.  But better late than never, right?  Winking smile  I’ve always wanted a portable project, to take on our trips, etc. and I think this will fit the bill.  I ordered hexagon papers and cut my fabric (I’m using leftover fabrics from other projects, mostly Kansas Troubles fabrics).  I need to find some kind of portable storage container as I’m planning on taking this with me when we leave … I am hoping that I can work on it while we’re in the car, but if I can’t, I will have something to do at night in our hotel room.  Thankfully someone from the Celebrate Hand Quilting Facebook group came to my rescue – again.  I found just what will fit the bill … on sale at JoAnn’s.  DH will be out running errands today and has graciously agreed to take a side trip to JoAnn’s … I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: he’s a keeper! Red heart


Sunday was a slower day.  After church, I did a little more quilting and just took it easy … a nice way to end the weekend. 


Have a marvelous Monday!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday’s Miscellany


Another week is drawing to a close, and it’s been a busy but productive week. 


Summer is getting in her last hurrah … we’re getting highs in the 90s again.  But fall is not far away … the days are getting shorter … that fact was hit home when we drove up to our house at 8:30 Wednesday evening and I noticed that our landscaping lights hadn’t turned on yet.  I need to reset the timer. 


Here’s my Storm at Sea on my tables, ready to be “sandwiched”:photo-002 … I got it basted and in the hoop last night!!  Woo hoo!  That means I get to start quilting today!  It’s been way too long since I’ve picked up my needle and thread.


We are now 6 days from leaving from Hilton Head … and I can’t wait until I’m here:2010_0506HHITrip0039Do you think that if I pack up now, Thursday will get here any sooner?  ha! 


I got a package in the mail yesterday … I just LOVE getting packages in the mail!  In fact, it’s one of the many reasons I enjoy shopping online.  Winking smilephoto (1)It’s a border hoop.  As you may remember, I hand quilt, using a lap hoop … but I’ve had troubles with quilting the outer edges of the quilt.  The batting and backing are cut bigger and fill up my hoop, when I’m working on the edges, but the quilt top does not.  As a result, it’s been a bit of a bother quilting the edges …  I was resigned to the fact that this was just part of quilting with a hoop until I saw a discussion about quilting borders/edges on a Facebook group devoted to hand quilting, and several members recommended a border hoop.     


Hope you all have a fabulous Friday!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge



Is it Wednesday already?  Feels like it’s only Tuesday … love those Monday holidays, but they sure do mess up the rest of the week.  Winking smile  Maybe a little Hodgepodge will set things right. 


1. What's something you're never too young or too old to enjoy?

A cuddle.

2. Share one happy memory from your high school years.

Hmmmm, high school wasn’t one of my more pleasant periods … in my high school there were two groups:  the really popular kids and the “hoods” (the really bad kids).  I was neither … and introverted, so I never felt “connected”. 

3. A nationwide strike of fast food employees took place in parts of the U.S. last week...they're calling for higher wages and the right to unionize? Your thoughts?

I have to admit that while I did hear about the strike, I don’t know that I know enough about this to make a call here.  I have to wonder, though, if they’re not cutting off their foot to spite their face … with unemployment numbers so high, employers shouldn’t have too much difficulty replacing the striking employees.  And even if some fast food establishments do raise their wages, those employers are going to find some way to compensate, to keep costs down and remain competitive … more than likely that’s going to include eliminating positions. 

4. September is National Honey Month...what's a favorite dish you make or eat that calls for honey?

At first reading, I thought you wrote National Hockey Month.  I was ready to wax philosophic about what an underrated sport hockey is … then I reread your question and read National Honey Month.  Embarrassed smile  I don’t use much honey, but I do use some in Sweet, Sticky, Spicy Chicken.

5.  If you notice someone with a tag sticking out, a button unbuttoned, a shirt on inside-out, or some leftover lunch stuck between their teeth do you say something or do you keep quiet?

It depends on my relationship with that person … if I know the person, I’ll mention the tag or button.  I’m not so sure on the inside-out shirt … it will depend on how noticeable it is as well as how well I know him/her.  And the food between the teeth, I think I’d have to know the person pretty well to mention that.

6. What movie always makes you cry?  Or at least makes you feel like crying?

I always cry when I watch movies like Steel Magnolias and Terms of Endearment … no matter how many times I watch them.

7.   'Mary Had a Little Lamb' was written in May of 1830, and published in Juvenile Miscellany in September of that same year.  Now for the fun part...create your own four line rhyme using that same tune.

Sorry, I can’t think of anything … drawing a blank on this one.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I’ve got about 3 more rows’ worth of papers to remove on my quilt top.  As I’m removing papers, I’m noticing that my machine is continuing to occasionally drop a few stitchesBaring teeth smile  I’m marking with a pin the skipped stitches and will go back and restitch before sandwiching the top with the batting and backing … which I’m hoping will happen today?  It will feel so good to get this in the hoop!  Even though almost every part of this quilt, so far, has taken considerably longer than I’d anticipated, I’m expecting to meet my goal of getting this quilted before we leave on our trip.


Speaking of, we are now 8 days from heading out for Hilton Head!  Woo hoo!


Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Weekend Wrap-up



Time for another weekend wrap-up … an extended one, thanks to the Labor Day weekend.


Friday morning I drove up to Staunton, about 45 minutes from here, to check out a new to me quilt shop.  As I pulled up, the sign said Staunton Mini Mall.  A mini mall?  I have to admit that at that moment, my hopes were dashed … and the displays in the front window didn’t help … they were unimaginative at best.  But when we walked inside, it was 180 degrees different!!  It was a huge shop with a ton of absolutely gorgeous fabrics!  I couldn’t believe my eyes!  It was almost sensory overload!  And it was all good quality stuff, a lot of Moda and Marcus Fabrics, at reasonable prices.  And their selection of extra wide backing fabrics was the largest I’ve seen anywhere!  It would rival Hancock’s of Paducah!  I will definitely be back … often!  I picked up some yardage … a beautiful red and a lovely cream.  I’m thinking that they might make a lovely two-color wall quilt for our great room.


It got up to 101 again Friday afternoon.  Not a very good day to dine out at a local restaurant called the Back Porch … which is in fact a large covered porch.  The fans were going so there was some air moving, but it was WARM.  Earlier in the week our friends had invited us to join them … the food was fabulous and the company was, too.  But we should have waited until it cools off.  Winking smile


In between the road trip in the morning and dinner out in the evening, I did get a couple more rows sewn onto my storm at sea top … that left 4 more rows to be sewn on.  Here’s the progress I’d made by Friday evening.

photo-001I got the top completed late Saturday afternoon … and then the REAL fun began: removing the foundation papers.  Wow, who knew what a tedious process that is.  I thought surely I’d have the papers removed by Sunday evening and that I’d hand quilting by Monday.  No such luck.


We decided to play hooky from church Sunday morning … it was nice to have a nice slow start to our day.  I got more papers removed … but there are still a lot left to be removed.  We spent the evening at DD’s for an early birthday celebration … we had appetizer night (always a favorite) and played games.  What fun!


Late Monday morning I was back at DD’s so I could watch the littles while Mama and Daddy had a long-overdue date.  It’s been months since they’d been able to get away, just the two of them, and they definitely needed some couple time … and I could always use some T time!  Red heart


It wasn’t a glamorously exciting weekend, but in my world, it was a fabulous one!


Have a terrific Tuesday!