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?