Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Opinions please!


This is from the quilt kit I bought in October. It was the first and last time I will ever buy a quilt kit. The instructions are the worst and the cut fabric amounts do not match the requirements. Fortunately I bought enough to make a pillow case as well, and was able to use that fabric for the quilt. My question is, do you like the blue corner posts? Since it's for a baby I thought black might be a bit stark, but I do think black squares would look better.

This is the back. It came out a little longer than the front, so I am going to make the brown stripes about half the width they are now. No more quilt kits for me! I prefer to either buy what I need or use what I already have, but not be assigned incorrect amounts. AAK!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

When the snow melted. . .

in the spring, we were disappointed that slipping and sliding down the hill was no longer possible. Or was it? One spring day I was playing on the hill, which was a bit muddy. Up and down, up and down I trotted, wearing out the early spring grass. It got more and more slippery - more like the snow I remembered and enjoyed from winter. Pretty soon I could stand at the top and - swoop - right down to the bottom of the hill. My sister came out to see what I was doing, and joined the mud slide. Our neighbor from across the street came, too. She was a few years older and was surprised that people were allowed to play in the mud, but she got into the spirit of the game, and we laughed and slid for quite a while.

The parents in the neighborhood all had a way of calling their children home to meals. Our Mom rang a bell, the neighbors had a whistle; everyone had something. When the bell rang and we went in - oh my! It turned out that our parents had seen us out the window, but by that time we were already so muddy they let us enjoy it. "You looked so happy," our mom explained later, after the neighbor mom complained to her about all the mud.

We had to undress in the garage, and head straight for the bathtub. We were covered in mud from head to toe (we were ages four and five at the time). I don't know if my mom ever got the mud out of our clothes - she wasn't the kind to dwell on such things. Years later my dad just smiled and said, "I've never seen so much mud."

They did make it clear that there was not to be a repeat performance of "Sara and Diana's mud day". :>}

Sunday, December 20, 2009

50 years ago. . .

when I was three years old, our family of five (my younger sister wasn't born yet) had just moved to Chagrin Falls, Ohio from Richmond, Virginia. My dad worked for DuPont and had been transferred to the Cleveland plant. My parents were sad to leave Richmond where they had been so happy, but were good sports about heading north.

Well! We three kids were so excited by the snow. We didn't get much of it in Richmond, but in Chagrin it snowed a lot. We moved shortly before Christmas, so the first thing my parents did, even before having a bathtub installed in the house, was put up a Christmas tree. The next thing they did was shop for warm jackets, snow pants, hats, mittens, scarves, and boots for their three children who couldn't wait to go play in the snow.

We all got sleds for Christmas, and our wonderful new home came with a hill right in the back yard. How perfect! The neighbors up the hill had a BIG hill and we had a smaller one, with a plateau in between which was marvelous for soccer games, badminton, and gymnastics practice in the warmer weather.

The neighbors were generous about sharing their hill, so we all started at the top of the big hill, swooped down, slid across the plateau, down the next hill, across the back yard and into the side yard. What fun! We'd all go trooping in for hot chocolate after a couple of hours, and can you imagine the jumble of wet clothing that came in with us? Mom had a drying rack in the basement, so we took our gear down to dry while we warmed up in the kitchen.

I have such good memories of those days, and sharing them with you makes me smile through my tears. I miss my dad, and I miss the way my mom was. Some days she doesn't even know me now, but we have good memories to be thankful for.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas reading

We went to visit my mom today, and wanted to take some books to read aloud. People with Alzheimer's Disease tend to say the same thing over and over again unless you introduce a diversion. Reading was a perfect diversion today, and these make excellent Christmas reading.
Oh, and a bit of Christmas sewing, as well.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

How often do you eat dessert?

We sometimes listen to WGAR 99.5, and every weekday morning they have a trivia question they call "the impossible question". Friday's answer left me stunned. The average American adult does what an average of three times a week? Listeners called in with their guesses, and it took quite a while and a few hints to get the answer of "eat dessert".

Really? Just three times a week? No way. That means I am FAR over the limit on dessert, because I have to tell you that I eat dessert fourteen times a week. That's right, I don't eat breakfast dessert (well, at least not every day), but lunch and dinner wouldn't be complete without at least a bit of chocolate or a couple of fig newtons, or even better, a tasty cookie.

I checked my trusty dictionary to see if their definition matches mine. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, copyright 1969, defines dessert: "The last course of a lunch or dinner, consisting of a serving of a sweet food, such as fruit, ice cream, or pastry." Oh! That means if you have your chocolate, say, at three o'clock in the afternoon, it doesn't count as dessert, right? I often save my lunch dessert until mid-afternoon when my blood sugar drops to my shoes, and I need a chocolate jump start.

And according to the definition, it only counts as dessert if you have it after lunch or dinner. So when I'm packing lunches in the morning and there's only one fig newton left in the row and it jumps into my mouth, it's just part of breakfast?

Is anyone else brave enough to 'fess up as to dessert consumption? I've always been envious of the British and Australian custom of having afternoon tea (even though I don't care for hot drinks) because it sounds like such a delicious meal, and if the novels have it right, made up of buns and cakes. A whole meal made up of dessert! So, my friends from other lands, is that the way it really is?

And what about my fellow Americans? Do you do like I do, and eat undressed salads or plain sweet potatoes for meals, just so you can have your daily dessert ration?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Magic of Christmas

The magic of Christmas is everywhere. The tree comes down after over eleven months in the attic, we plug it in, and the lights come on. Really - no fiddling with plugs and wires and tiny bulbs. It just comes on, which sounds like magic to me.
Getting our treasures out for another season of joy.
Saying hello to the Raggedys again. They look good for being 35 years old, don't they?
The fun we have playing the piano (very badly) and singing Christmas carols together.

The best magic of all - the birth of Jesus.

Wishing you and yours joy during this magical season.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Some fun reading

My sister in law, Judy, lent me these books to read six months ago. The reason it has taken me so long to read them, is that I have to keep stopping so I can try the recipes. Each book has about a dozen tasty recipes. Mmmmm.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A mixed review

Party time!
We managed to transform our waiting room into a party room for the evening.

Mary Ann decorated the amazingly beautiful tree. Wow!
Larry is such a great date!
Things got a little out of control during the gift exchange. You'd think people that have worked together 10 hours a day for ten years or more could get through an evening without drowning out the entertainment with their chatter, but it wasn't so. One nice gal didn't hear her number called, and never got a gift to open. There were four left at the end, so random people opened them. Afterward I realized Maxine hadn't opened one, so I went home and made her a tree to hang on her wall. We had been talking about how we hadn't started our decorating yet, and when would we find the time. I gave it to her at work today. She especially likes the mouse! (I do too.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Stage Fright

Does your mouth ever open up and words pop out that you WISH you could take back, but they're out there for all the world to take note of?

At a meeting at work a couple of weeks ago my mouth allowed the words, "That would be fun." to slip out. Somehow those words put me in charge of the gift exchange at the party this Friday evening.

And now I'm afraid. Afraid they won't like it. Afraid no one will participate. Afraid I'll just want to go home after working ten long hours, and not want to go to the party at all.

Here's the deal. Everyone is to bring a wrapped, unmarked gift, and take a number from a darling decorated oatmeal box. This bedecked oatmeal box will be on a similarly bedecked card table, wearing a charming red plaid tablecloth with white eyelet around the hem.

Person #1 selects a gift and opens it for all to see.

Person #2 does the same, and can decide if he wants to keep what he opened, or trade with #1.

Each subsequent person can trade with anyone who has an opened gift in hand.

The last person to open a gift can trade with anyone at all.

These are not supposed to be new gifts. Something you had, or found, or made, or as a last resort bought for less than $10. This charming ceramic lettuce bowl was supposed to go to the church rummage sale, but was too perfect for this to give up. (Thank you, Betty. I LOVE this bowl and hope I end up with it.)

I'm taking several gifts in case someone forgets to bring one. It was fun to forage around the house for likely candidates.

What do you think? Is my stage fright justified?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

How did you meet?

See these nice looking guys? Larry is on the left, and David is on the right. You've all heard me talk about how thankful I am for my family, but have you heard how Larry and I met, back in 1978?

We lived in the same apartment complex at the time, and had a nodding aquaintance, as we both left for work around the same time each morning. One lovely June morning I went out to my car as usual, to leave for work. This handsome young man nodded "good morning," and then did a double take. "Did you know you have a flat tire?" he asked.

It was on the passenger side, and I had no idea. "Here, I'll change it for you," he said. It turned out to be a much bigger project than he anticipated. It was an unusual make of car (International Harvester) and required an odd size of lug wrench, which he had to borrow from someone. After he was finished I said, "I'd like to do something for you in return. I sew, is there anything you need to have mended?" A few days later he gave me his jeans to patch, and the rest, as they say, is history. Two years later we got married, and have been enjoying each others company ever since.

How did you meet your spouse or best friend? I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Thanks

It's that wonderful time of year. We spend several days cleaning, cooking, and preparing, all in honor of Thanksgiving. I was cleaning my desk and getting a little bogged down, surrounded with bits and pieces of paper I didn't want to throw away, but didn't really have a place for. Larry said, "Put it in a box, store it in the porch, and get it out again next year and see if you still want it." Now THAT is very good advice; I followed it immediately.

I took a similar approach with my sewing area. No time to do it properly, so I bundled it all into a box to make decisions about some other time. :>}

I like the way he thinks!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On Safari

If I had a quarter for every compliment I got on this charming scrub top at work yesterday, I could take you all out to dinner!  And to think I almost didn't buy it because it has a small burn hole in the front.  It's previous owner must have been a smoker and had a small accident.  I thought about covering the hole with a red ladybug button, but considering the location I thought it would look a bit tacky.  :>}

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Whoosh! Another month half over already.

We have had the most glorious November weather. It's hard to come inside to sew sometimes, but it gets dark so early that I've been able to get a few things done.

My mom's birthday is just a few days after Thanksgiving, so I made her some pajamas. At least I made the pants, and then didn't have enough fabric for the top, so I bought a pink top and added a plaid heart and trim on the sleeves.

This gorgeous fabric is even prettier in real life than it shows up here. It has gold sparkles, and is going to be our Thanksgiving tablecloth this year.
I've told you that my nephew and his wife are expecting a baby in February. I thought they would enjoy the double meaning this wall hanging has when I send it to them for Christmas. I liked the way this came out so well that I am going to make another one.

I hope you have a pleasant week, and that all goes well.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Miss Molly gets her cardigan, and a gift survey

Miss Molly finally got her cardigan. She is visiting at the assisted living facility where my mom lives, and is seated in a darling chair just her size, right beside the front door. With the door opening and closing all the time, she was getting a little chilly now that it's November. She likes to be in the thick of things, and needed her cardigan to keep warm!This morning I made some apple cobbler using the useful casserole dish pictured below. It came in a set of three, nesting in graduated sizes, and Larry and I got two sets for wedding presents in 1980. It made me think of gifts we've given and received over the years. When I opened the second box I did wonder what on earth I would do with two sets. Let me tell you, a week has not gone by in the last 29 years that I have not used at least one of these dishes.

Even though they may not have been my favorite wedding gift at the time, they have served us better than many of the others. Another favorite that is still in use is the Fannie Farmer cookbook my sister, Sara, gave us. We're still using the gorgeous green glass salad bowls my brother, Peter, gave us, and the outdoor cooking utensils from my sister, Janet.

And do you see the pretty ceramic burner covers? My mother-in-law, Betty, gave us those several years ago. They're wonderful, and I don't know how we ever managed without them.

What was your favorite present, wedding or otherwise? What has lasted the longest? My favorite present has to be my sewing machine! My parents gave it to me for high school graduation in 1974, and here I am still using it nearly every day.

I used to always give towels for wedding presents because that was my favorite to receive back in 1980. You can never have too many towels. Then I realized that they wear out. After ten years of frequent use you have a lot of stringy rags to wash the car with. I do like gifts that last longer than that, so you can remember the occasion and the giver many years later.

And speaking of gifts, of course the best gifts of all are God's love for us, and a loving family, which I am very blessed to be a part of.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Blogblast for Peace 11-5-2009

I wasn't able to follow all the rules for posting, but I did want to participate in this worthwhile event. Wishing you and yours a peaceful place in the world.
Here's the latest addition to our peaceful place.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Rethinking the quilt kit.

This is the first time I've ever bought a quilt kit. I saw it made up into an adorable baby quilt last weekend, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. I love this fabric.
I like this one, too.

Cute chickens.
Not too bad.
AAK! The whole back of the quilt is supposed to be this. These pigs are not cute. In fact, they are rather scary looking. I think I better find something else to make the back out of. I don't want to scare any babies.
A fun birthday message for a friend. I read today that the word fun is not an adjective - oops, I use it that way all the time. My bad.
With the extra hour we had this weekend, I got started on some tiny projects for Christmas. I dislike everything about losing daylight savings (and summer) except for the fact that we get an extra hour on the weekend. That part I like!

I hope you have a wonderful week.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fun Mail Aussie Style

I received two fun surprises in the mail recently, and they both came from Australia. Blogging has brought me in contact with such nice people that I would never have otherwise met.
Susanne (www.reeesas.blogspot.com) is an amazing photographer, and she sent me a picture of three kangaroos that she took, as well as a beautiful card she made herself. Don't you wish you knew what these three are thinking? I decided that a kangaroo photo certainly needed a fabric frame with a kangaroo pouch to put the photo in. :>}
I put the card in the pouch in this photo. Isn't it pretty?
Jodie (www.vintagericrac.blogspot.com) designed this adorable pattern to make Monty and Pearl, hedgehogs extraordinaire. So far I've only made Pearl, and I haven't even given her the flower for her hair yet, but I will. Jodie made a kit that included everything I needed to make them - what a fun gift! Thanks, Suzanne and Jodie, and thanks to Blogger for making these long distance friendships possible.

I can hardly believe the weekend is over already. I hope you have a great week.