Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Fabulousness

Not that I can add anything to the fabulousness of a Friday … Fridays are pretty fabulous on their own.  Winking smile

We’ve got more rain on the way <sigh> but at least it’s going to be bringing in cooler temperatures.  I was all ready to complain about the crazy weather we’ve been having, when I saw this on Facebook:
The large numbers are last year’s highs (the asterisk denotes a record high); the smaller numbers are this year’s projected highs.  Not only did we have a HOT summer, it was a DRY one as well. 

We had another swim meet last night … a road meet.  I just love watching the Ts compete.  There’s a break in their swim meets next week … whatever am I going to do with my evenings?  Ha!  Fortunately, I can think of a few things.  Ha!

It’s looking to be a rather uneventful weekend here at Chez Nana … so that means there should be plenty of time spent with needle and thread.  Winking smile 

Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday’s This and That


As you all know, I’m a quilter … and I hand quilt … I use a 16” wooden lap hoop.  I love this hoop!  With it being square, there’s more quiltable area inside the hoop, which means that I don’t have to move the hoop quite as often … and it’s a perfect size - it’s not too big so I can reach the center comfortably, even with my short arms.  Winking smile 


Unfortunately the bolt and nut have gone bad.  While I keep my quilt fairly slack inside the hoop, I like to have the frame itself good and tight so there’s no movement or shifting of the quilt.  My first thought was “am I overtightening the bolt and nut?”, but both DH and I are inclined to think that’s not the case … I have almost NO arm strength, so it’s hard to imagine that I could tighten it too much.  DH is going to shop for a new bolt and nut for me … hopefully he’ll find one that will fit. 


We got our first bid on our deck project … the bid came in less than I expected but more than DH expected.  We’ve still got more bids coming. 


As I expected, most of our garden was under water again after the thunderstorms that moved through yesterday morning.  <sigh>  Hopefully the water has dried up … I have to wonder how many times those plants can be in standing water and still survive. 


Since Google Reader’s days are numbered, I thought I’d go ahead and switch to Bloglovin.   That was a mistake.  It turns out that there are still blogs that don’t come through my Bloglovin feed.  I contacted Bloglovin support twice.  The second time their response was that all my blogs were feeding properly … I responded, identifying the blogs that still were not feeding but heard nothing back.  Baring teeth smile 


Have a terrific Thursday!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge



After a much-deserved break last week, Joyce is back with another set of questions for this week’s Hodgepodge.  Why not join in the fun … just click on the button above!


1. Summertime is a season of reunions, weddings, and other family celebrations and gatherings...are any of the above on your calendar in the next two months?

None of those – at least not at this time.  However, T#3 will turn 6 on August 3, so there will be a family celebration/gathering to celebrate his birthday … it’s just not on the calendar yet.


2. June is National Iced Tea Month...are you an iced tea drinker? If so, how do you like yours (sweet, flavored, etc)? 

I switched from Diet Coke to iced tea a good while back.  I prefer mine REALLY cold, unsweetened, unflavored and not too terribly strong.


3. When were you last nervous?  Looking back, was the 'event' actually nerve-worthy?

I have to admit that I’m drawing a blank on this one … not that I’ve not been nervous, but that I just can’t remember the last time.  I do, however, feel pretty confident that whatever caused the case of nerves was “much ado about nothing”.


4. The bristle toothbrush was invented in China on June 26, 1498...not sure how that date was pinned down so precisely but, on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being sick to your stomach and 1 being not at all, how nervous do you feel when you're headed to the dentist?  Do you see your dentist twice a year?

I’d say that I’m a 0 when it comes to going to the dentist … and yes, I go twice a year.  It doesn’t hurt that I’ve been blessed with good, healthy teeth.  Winking smile


5. What's making news in your town this week?

Nothing much newsworthy here in our little town. 


6. Curtains, drapes, blinds...your window treatment of choice? Are there any bare windows in your house? Is that by choice or because you haven't gotten around to covering them? 

Actually I prefer plantation shutters, but when we had our windows (our windows are 3’x6’) measured, I just couldn’t bring myself to pay that much money!  So we went with blinds … and eventually we bought curtains for every window (except the one in the sewing room) … because we have blinds, the curtains are more decorative than functional … to soften the windows.  I haven’t ruled out curtains in the sewing room … I just couldn’t find any that I really liked.  I have plans of making a quilt for the day bed in there (the coverlet on the day bed right now is not my ideal choice … I just couldn’t find anything that I liked that would go with the wall colors, so I went with the best I could find at the time with intentions of making a quilt … now 5 years later, I still haven’t made that quilt! Disappointed smile) … and I am hoping that once I make the quilt, I’ll have an easier time of finding curtains. 


7. Summertime is officially here (in the Northern hemisphere anyway)...what one song is a must-have on your summer playlist?

I don’t have a summer playlist.  My playlist is praise and worship – lots of Chris Tomlin with some Mercy Me, Kristian Stanfill, etc.  The only time I change my playlist is at Christmastime. 


8.  Insert your own random thought here.  

I woke up this morning to another HUGE thunderstorm.  <sigh>  It’s either feast or famine here … last summer we were in the midst of a severe drought and this summer we’re in the midst of monsoon season.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Weekend Wrap-up

I know I say it all the time often, but boy that weekend just flew by! 

It was a nice, quiet weekend … we didn’t have a whole lot scheduled for our weekend, and for once nothing came up to change that … which meant that I was able to spend a good bit of time with my needle and thread. 

We had rain – and a lot of it this weekend, especially Sunday.  We stopped by the garden after church on Sunday, and while the ground was still wet, there was no standing water after the 3/4” we got Saturday.  Unfortunately I’m not sure that I will be able to say that today … we got just under 2” yesterday, and that much rain with the wet ground from Saturday’s rain sounds like a recipe for more standing water.

At least as of Sunday everything was looking pretty good … that sunny hot weather we had during the week must have been just what the Garden Doctor ordered, as we’ve got zucchini blossomsphoto
more tomato blossoms

… and a tomato!!!!photo (66)

After we visited the garden, we drove to a nearby small city to do some fabric shopping.  Earlier in the week, I registered to take a quilting class … just as I had selected all my fabrics, I got a phone call that the class had been cancelled.  As frustrating as that was, I am thankful that I got the call before I had the fabric cut and paid for.  After I got home, I got to thinking that perhaps I should have gone ahead and purchased the fabrics.  I’m pretty confident that I could probably make this at home without the pattern.  Quilt ClassThat’s just the snail’s trails pattern … and I’m sure I could find a paper piecing pattern online. BUT as it turns out, it’s just as well that I didn’t because this morning I found a paper piecing pattern for the storm at sea quilt, which I have been wanting to make for FOREVER!  Smile   It’s next up on my quilting line-up!

I was so looking forward to the Super Moon, but alas, with the rains, there was no Super Moon viewing here.  Sad smile 

Have a marvelous Monday!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy First Day of Summer!



(source: Google search)


Yay!  It’s official!  Summer is here!!  And as someone with zero tolerance for cold, I have to say that I LOVE summer. 


And with perfect timing, our summer-time weather has arrived.  We’ve got 90+ temperatures in store for the next week.  We’re praying that the warm, dry weather is just what our garden needs.  Winking smile


Another sign that it’s officially summer:  local sweet corn should be available at farmers’ markets and produce stands next week … and I cannot wait!  Too bad our attempts to grow sweet corn in our garden were to no avail.  Sad smile 


There’s not a whole lot on our weekend agenda … which at Chez Nana means that we’ll be as busy as all get out.  But while I wait for the change in plans, I’ll probably be doing some sewing (pineapple blocks) and quilting (T#4’s quilt).  With yard and garden work and swim meets 2 nights/week, I haven’t had as much time to do either one as I would have liked … so I plan to make up for it over the weekend. 


It figures … now that I’m seeking medical attention for the cyst on my foot, it’s been bothering me quite a bit more than it had in the previous 6 weeks.  Even so, it’s still not been bothersome enough to interfere with my normal activity. 


There will be a Super Moon on the Sunday, the 23rd.  We were blessed enough to have been at Hilton Head for the Super Moon in May, 2012 … I have to tell you that seeing the Super Moon rise on the ocean was a spectacular site (my photography skills didn’t do it justice).2012_05052012HiltonHeadMay0034


Enjoy your first day of summer!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

This and That Thursday


I got another couple of pineapple blocks sewn yesterday … I’ve got a total of 10 completed and have started an 11th.  I pulled out my strips when I started this, but I’m thinking about digging through my stash to see if there are any larger pieces of other blues to use.  I’m hoping to get a couple more sewn together after lunch this afternoon.  I also did a little hand quilting while we watched the baseball game last night. 


Right before our trip to Florida, I discovered a small knot on the arch of my foot.  I saw my doctor about it yesterday afternoon … the knot is some kind of cyst on the plantar fasciitis, and she referred me to a specialist.  I’ll make the appointment and see what he has to say … since the knot rarely causes any discomfort – and even then, not nearly enough to keep me from being able to do whatever I’d like, I’m not too inclined to do anything drastic if there won’t be any serious consequences to leaving it be (such as continued growth of the cyst, etc.). 


On the way home from the doctor’s office, I stopped by the garden.  Remember the standing water I reported?  Thankfully it dried up quickly, so while I’m sure it wasn’t very good for the garden, hopefully it didn’t last long enough to kill off anything.  Everything is growing … just very, very slowly.  I did discover that 3-4 of our tomato plants have blossoms!  photo (63)Maybe we’ll have tomatoes at least?  Red heart


Tomorrow is the first day of summer … and summer-like weather is coming in, right on cue.  The high today is supposed to be 90 with temperatures in the 90’s for the next 7 days (even then, when it “cools” off, it’ll be in the upper 80’s).  Sun


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday Catch-up

I spent a few hours in the sewing room and got 4 pineapple blocks sewn and started a 5th block.  I still need to remove the paper, but that shouldn’t be too big a deal.  photo (62)This makes a total of 8 finished blocks so far … although I’m still about 4 blocks behind on my goal of sewing up a block a week. 

We had a little excitement while I was in the sewing room … we got 2.7 inches of rain in about 2 hours with very strong winds … so strong that a neighbor’s gas grill was blown across their patio into their pool.

With that much rain in such a short time, guess whose garden has standing water again?  Sad smile  We replanted seeds twice and replanted tomatoes once … we’re done.  If our plants don’t survive this, then we’ll just have to get our fresh veggies at the veggie stand.  Not to mention that this certainly reaffirmed our decision to put in a raised bed garden out in our back yard next year. 

Our appointment with the contractor was right in the middle of the storm, so he called to reschedule for Wednesday afternoon.  We’ve got an appointment with another contractor scheduled for tomorrow. 

We were misinformed that the pizza place sold half-baked or bake-at-home pizzas … so we bought a pizza, had a couple of slices, and brought the rest of it home for today. 

There’s another swim meet this evening.  Red heart  Maybe I can get caught up on my pineapple blocks this afternoon. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Weekend Wrap-up



Whoa … where did the weekend go?  I can’t believe it’s Monday already!


Here at Chez Nana, the weekends start on Friday … and what better way to start the weekend than with picking up my new glasses.  I was afraid that with a stronger close prescription, I’d have a more difficult time when looking away after looking close … but my eyes have adjusted well.  I did give my glasses a try-out by spending a little bit of time with needle and thread.  Winking smile


Saturday was a busy day … we worked out in the yard that morning.  Our afternoon and evening were spent at DD’s, celebrating Father’s Day.  We had a wonderful meal (fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, baked beans and strawberry shortcake), a great visit with the in-laws, played games … a wonderful time, even if we had to spend the last couple of hours in the basement  (the storms sirens sounded … thankfully the storms went to the north of us).


Sunday was a lazy day … I took advantage of that and spent a good chunk of the day quilting, while watching a couple of movies, including To Kill a Mockingbird.  I read that book back in high school but had never seen the movie.  I’d forgotten most of the story line, so it had me spellbound. 



Today we’ve got a contractor coming over to give us a bid on replacing our deck.  The drought and heat last summer took a toll on our deck … several boards need to be replaced, and the entire deck needs to be re-stained.  We think it would make more sense to put the money toward replacing the deck using low/no maintenance materials.  I’d like to make it a little larger, and DH would like to add a roof.


Tonight T#1, T#2 and T#3 will be working at a pizza joint in the small town where their swim team meets … a fundraising effort for their swim team.  Their shift is 8-9PM, and Nana and Papa want to support their efforts.  Thankfully this pizza place sells prepared pizzas to be baked at home, so that’s probably what we’ll buy … I don’t think we want to wait until 8PM to eat nor do we want a second meal.  Winking smile 


Between now and then I hope to get caught up on my mini pineapple blocks … hopefully I’ll have some more blocks to share. 


Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Fun


Yesterday was a *BUSY* day.  DD and I went to Sam’s Club.  The nearest one is about a half hour away, but one is coming to the small city where DD lives.  DH and I decided to go get a membership a couple of months ago (so we wouldn’t have to fight the crowds when the new Sam’s opens), and DD and I decided to go see what bargains we could find at Sam’s.  We stopped at Hobby Lobby before grabbing lunch and heading to Sam’s.  By the time we finished up and got home, there was just enough time to fix some dinner so we could head out for another swim meet.


DD is as OCD as I am, and the rather chaotic/seemingly unorganized way these meets are held is driving her as crazy as it is me.  She thinks that they’ll try another summer program next year.  I’m just glad that they are swimming in the summer … DD wasn’t sure that it would be in their budget (between the costs for 3 swimmers and transportation to/from the pool in a town about 15-20 miles away), so Nana made sure that the kiddos are going to keep working on their swimming skills.  It’s a wonderful opportunity for them to interact with other kids (they’re homeschooled, as you may remember, and while they have play dates and fun with friends, they don’t get the same interaction that they would if they were in public school), it’s a fun way for them to get exercise, it’s an excellent way for them to learn to compete and work in a team environment, they enjoy it, and Nana loves watching them swim.  Red heart 


This is T#3’s first time on a swim team, so he’s learning as he goes.  He’s doing well, but he’s had his moments.  Last night he was to swim the 3rd leg of a relay … he got up on the block in plenty of time, but when the 2nd swimmer reached the wall, T#3 wouldn’t dive in!  No amount of encouragement from his teammates and coach could persuade him to dive in … he kept telling them that the guy didn’t say “take your mark” and the horn didn’t sound (the signal for the race to start).  So the coach said “take your mark” and made a horn-like sound … and off he dove!  Needless to say, they did not win that relay.  Winking smile  At least he got to swim this relay … he was the anchor on Tuesday’s relay, and the 3rd swimmer turned and swam the 4th leg, T#3’s leg.  Poor T#3.  Like I said, this is a learning experience for him.  T#1 and T#2 are doing very well, as we expected. 


I forgot to point out who’s who in the picture I posted on the Hodgepodge.Swim MeetIf you click on the picture, you will get a larger image.  In the larger picture, that’s T#2 getting ready to dive in on block 6.  In the picture of the two boys (the upper right hand corner), that’s T#1 with the cap.  And in the other picture (the lower right hand corner), that’s T#3 on the end block, looking like a Minion.  It wasn’t until later in the meet that I realized that I could walk up to the fence and get a much better, closer shot, so the pictures of the boys (especially T#3) aren’t as close-up as I’d like. 


Today, thankfully, is turning out to be a nice, quiet day.  This morning, I fixed some strawberries for our get-together at DD’s for Father’s Day.  My plan was to spend the rest of the day quilting (I can’t remember the last time I got to sit and quilt for more than an hour or so).  But I just got the call that my new glasses are in, so I’m going to go get them.  Since the reading prescription was increased, my optometrist and I are hopeful that I will see better when I sew/quilt.  Whether that means my sewing or quilting will be better is another story.  But when I get back, I’m definitely going to quilt!  I’m suffering from withdrawal.  Winking smile 


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge



Once again Wednesday has rolled around, and that means that it’s time for some Hodgepodge.  Click on the button above if you’d like to join in the fun.


1. What do you think makes a good dad?

"Anyone can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a daddy."
  - Anonymous

A good dad has patience, is willing to discipline when necessary (not leaving it all to mom), leads by example, allows his kids to learn from their mistakes without leaving them unprotected, and above all else loves unconditionally.

2.  What's something you learned from your own father?

The love of baseball … particularly Cardinals baseball.  I remember when we had to go to Florida when I was in kindergarten (I had pneumonia which wouldn’t clear up, so our doctor recommended that my parents take me somewhere warm).  As much as I loved the time out on the beach (and still do), I cried when I couldn’t go with my dad to see the Cardinals spring training game. 

3. It's your birthday-what kind of cake will we be having?

I’m not a HUGE cake fan, but I do have a few favorites.  A moist white cake is always nice, and so is an angel food cake … not to mention carrot cake.  And I do love dump cake … with coconut and pecans on top.  Of the cakes I mentioned, only the carrot cake needs frosting … otherwise I prefer my cakes un-iced.  Winking smile


4. When you're faced with a big decision are you more of a go with your gut type of person, or are you someone who reasons it all out, weighing the pros and cons?

I’m an accountant … so I’d say that 95% of the time I weigh pros and cons.  There is, however, the 5% of the time when I go with my gut. 

5. June is National Dairy Month. What's your favorite dairy item? Most often purchased dairy item?

My favorite dairy item is ice cream.  However, it is definitely NOT the most-purchased dairy item!  I’d say that the most-purchased dairy item is probably yogurt … I use it for cooking and every once in a while I get on a yogurt-for-eating kick.

6. Explorer Jacques Cousteau was born on June 11, 1910....what's something you've recently discovered or something you'd like to explore?

I’d like to explore Alaska … which is why a cruise to Alaska with a glass-domed train ride back to Vancouver is on my bucket list.

7. Are you typical of your generation?

I’m not sure what is typical of my generation now.  I certainly wasn’t very typical of my generation growing up.  I grew up in a small rural town where everything (fashions, trends, etc.) were a good 10 years behind the large cities.  I became an adult during the late 60’s/early 70’s, and I never even had a desire to become part of the hippie movement nor anti-war movement. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Last night was the first meet of the Ts’ summer swim session.  It’s at an outdoor pool in a nearby town and quite different than the YMCA meets … rather chaotic with no scoreboards to show who’s swimming, their lane, and their times, but there’s nothing like being able to watch them compete.  This is T#3’s first time on the swim team, and he did surprisingly well (finished 2nd in his first event).  T#2 finished 1st in one event and 2nd in another, and T#1 rocked his events, finishing 1st 3 times (including an exciting come-from-behind finish in the fly).  I know I’m bragging … but I’m just so proud of them.  Red heart

Swim Meet


Monday, June 10, 2013

The Weekend Wrap-up



While this past week didn’t go quite as quickly as the week before, it still felt mighty short.  As is often the case, my plans for the weekend didn’t work out quite like I had planned … but since those changes in plans usually involve DD, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Red heart


My Lazy Day Friday plans were to spend plenty of time with needle and thread … and instead of quilting, I spent the day at DD’s.  It’d been a good while since we had some time together, and after being together 24/7 for two weeks when we were in Florida, I was really missing her and my Ts.  Red heart 

photo (35)Sunset Friday evening

I did get to spend the evening quilting, while we watched the baseball game.


Saturday was the day for our annual neighborhood block party … and the weather was gorgeous … quite a contrast with last year’s weather when it was rainy and downright cold.  While the turnout wasn’t quite as large as we would have liked, we had a wonderful time visiting and catching up with our neighbors.  I took a tortellini-broccoli-bacon salad and an apple pie.  I love fruit pies – with LOTS of fruit, so I was quite proud of how high I piled the apples in my pie.  But look at how it collapsed after it cooled off.  Sad smile

photo (37)The good news is that it still tasted good.  Winking smile  I was able to get in a little quilting while we watched the baseball game.


After church on Sunday, we got a phone call inviting us to join DD and family for lunch.  The meal wasn’t anything fancy, but we sure enjoyed the time spent with our favorite people.  We wrapped the evening up with some play time at the new park in the small city where DD lives. 

Recently Updated


There’s nothing much on today’s schedule … maybe today will be the day I get to spend with needle and thread.  Winking smile