Sunday, January 31, 2010

Learning as I go

Making progress.

I had something peculiar happen when I picked my knitting up today. I must have gotten it turned inside out, because suddenly the stockinette stitch I'd been doing turned into the garter stitch. I just turned it the other way out and carried on. I had already started over four times, and I just decided this first snowman will be the experimental one. That lumpy part will be on the bottom anyway. :>}
This was lots of fun. I just need to fill the basket with flowers and make it into a lovely springtime wall hanging.
We had another birthday in our family! Larry's turned 61 today, and we had lasagna with spinach and of course more birthday cake, our third this month! We've been having as much cake as Ginny!
This little bowl is the cutest thing you've ever seen. I put it next to the chapstick and keys so you could see how tiny it is. It looks like it belongs in a doll's tea set.
As you can see, I don't need any more small bowls. I have a dozen of these little custard cups.
So I just bought one of the cute little Corelle ware bowls. Just to see how it fits in with our other dishes. Today I decided that it is my duty to buy the other five. If I don't they'll probably stop carrying them because nobody bought them. I looked at them in the store three times before finally buying one. The only thing is, each tiny doll sized bowl is $2.76 plus tax. That's about $18 for six little bowls, when all our other dishes put together probably didn't cost that. Gotta love garage sales and Goodwill!
In the winter we get our exercise inside. The cat couldn't quite get the hang of the exercise bike.
I hope you all have a good week.

Friday, January 29, 2010


I have to tell you. . .
I NEVER thought I would be posting about knitting. BUT. . . you crafty gals have inspired me. Lucy Locket and Heckety and Ginny and Suzanne's mum and Lisa Boyer are all amazing knitters, and they make me think it would be fun. Not that I've never knitted before. It's just been a really long time. Like about 20 years, and then it was just a scarf. I made a mitten once, and then another mitten of a different size and color a year or so later. And half a sweater which my mom kindly finished for me.

So you see, I don't have the best track record when it comes to knitting.

But all that is about to change!

I ordered the above pictured pattern to make knitted snowmen - aren't they the cutest? How hard can a snowman be, I asked myself before I ordered it. Well, pretty hard to one who has never kfb in each stitch 12, but I'm determined to learn.

And speaking of knitting, do you want to hear another memory? This one is from the summer of 1963. We had been to visit our grandparents, some 350 miles away. We packed the things we would need for a week away from home, knowing there wasn't room in the car for ALL we would have liked to take. After a pleasant visit spent swimming in the lake and visiting with our grandparents, we made the long drive home. As we were pulling in the driveway, the neighbor across the street, a police officer, came over in uniform, to greet us.

He was sorry to have to tell us that our house had burned while we were gone. Not to the ground, but the inside was pretty well trashed. We spent the rest of the summer living first in a motel, then at a friends' house, and then in the shell of our house as it was being rebuilt.

My memory of that time centers around my mom and my aunt, who had come with her children to lend moral support. Those two dear ladies spent much of that visit sitting in aluminum lawn chairs in that shell of a house, knitting clothing for our troll dolls. Most of our playthings had been burned beyond recognition, so when Aunt Jan came, she brought us each a troll doll. Even my brother, because trolls were very cool back then, even for boys. I don't recall them using a pattern, they just picked up their yarn and needles, and pretty soon we had remarkable outfits for our trolls. And you know what? I still have them. I will post a picture one day, but today it is too cold to venture into the attic to find them.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This and that

I made this pillow for my dad's birthday a few years ago.
He enjoyed the 3 D effect. When my mom moved to the smaller room last summer I brought the pillow home. She could no longer see it, and had no place to put it, anyway. Now we're enjoying it in our living room.
My friend, Michele, lost her mom this month. We've lost several of our elderly patients this month at work. Winter is a tough time.
On a more cheerful note, please observe that I'm an "exhibitor". Exciting! This paperwork arrived in the mail today, so I guess my quilt must have arrived safely at Lake Farmpark. The show starts Feb. 12, but I'll probably wait and go on March 5 or 6, which is the vendor's weekend. Who knows what treasures I might find?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I love leftovers!

I have washed at least 700 dishes today, but the results are worth it. I love having leftovers on hand to serve for meals. To me they are like money in the bank, well worth their weight in gold. You know why? Because they give me the rarest thing of all - time!

I was so busy I didn't even think to get out the camera to show you, but no doubt you've all seen a messy kitchen before. :>}

I made birthday cake; carrot cake again, the gentlemen in the family like it the best. I don't know how the chocolate preference skipped a generation in our family. I also made birthday cookies. Not sure why, just wanted to pamper the birthday boy. Well, okay, and myself. I do love cookies much better than cake.

We had a tasty pot roast for dinner, with mashed potatoes, green beans, and homemade rolls, and I can just heat leftovers the rest of the weekend. Nice!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Is this how it's done?

Did you ever help your child pack his bag for camp, and watch him leave with a lump in your throat? You know he's going to have a good time, and you hope he'll be safe, but you feel sad that he's leaving.

The boys survived camp, and now I'm sending my very favorite quilt to a quilt show. This is the first time I've done such a thing, and I'm a bit alarmed by the protocol. I had to send in my application several weeks ago, with a description of the quilt. They didn't ask for a photo, though I did include one. They only notify potential entrants if their quilt is not accepted.

It has to be delivered on Wednesday, 1/20, or Thursday 1/21 between 9 and 5, or it can be mailed. Amazingly enough I have to work both of those days, between 7:30 and 6:30, so I packed up my very favorite quilt to take to the post office. I packed it ever so carefully, and then I decided it needed another layer of protection, so I put my carefully wrapped quilt in a box.

Is this normal? They don't even want to see the quilts before they agree to display them at quite a reputable quilt show? Last year there were two that were nearly identical, and I now see how that happened.

Just for you!

I built a snowman just for you.

Hee hee ha ha hee hee - this is too funny! We have to renew the registration for our cars every year by our birthday. We get new stickers to put over the old ones on the license plate, and every ten years or so we get new license plates. What do you do when your birthday is in January, and cold, wet, dirty plates are all you have? You can wipe them clean and dry them, but there's no getting around the cold. Unless you happen to have a heated garage. Fortunately the stickers actually do stick to cold plates. :>}

Friday, January 15, 2010

Did you

join the 100 mile fitness challenge? (this is a link - really!)

This is such a wonderful help to me. Winter is a difficult time to exercise, but this challenge is inspiring me to JUST DO IT. I have added my own personal challenge; limiting my calorie intake to 15,400 per week. It sounds like a lot, doesn't it? But I have a little problem. It's called four o'clock. Every day at four o'clock I am hungry. Very hungry. When I'm being good I have a tasty handful of nice crunchy carrots. So delicious, and so healthy and low in calories.

But sometimes I forget about carrots for a little while. Then I accidentally eat a great big peanut butter cookie, or a handful of plum sweets , (check these out!) or some yummy fig newtons and chocolate squares. Oops.

I put in 25 miles this week, and consumed 15,855 calories, 455 more than my limit. Better than last week when I covered 24 miles and had 17,135 calories. In my defense, we had a birthday in our family that first week. Mmmm. Carrot cake.

We also have a birthday next week and the week after that. The gentlemen in our family all have January birthdays!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just nice

This is a picture of my dad.

It was taken while he was at work, probably in the sixties. The way I got the photo is just nice.

I work in a doctors' office, and part of my job is to make sure we have up to date health insurance information for our patients. Right after my dad died in 2007, a man came to my window with his insurance card which said "DuPont" on it. "My dad worked at DuPont." I said with a smile. Our patient said, "Oh, what is his name?" When I told him, he said, "Oh, I worked with Ed." We had a pleasant conversation, and it was so nice to talk with someone who had known him professionally. The patient said, "I have some pictures at home. I'll bring them for you."

Well! A few weeks ago, two and a half years after our conversation, the patient brought some photos. I was delighted to see my smiling dad at his desk at work. His face looks so incredibly like our son Daniel. Aren't family genetics amazing things? And wasn't it nice of the patient to bring the photo?

Today I took it to Wal-Green's and had copies made for my mom and my brother and sisters. I took my mom hers today, but she was unable to see it. That's okay, she enjoyed hearing how we got it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Learning experience

Don't look closely, because there is lots of room for improvement, but this was a fun project. The colors are actually brighter in person. It's yet another representation of a sunrise.

Whew! The roads are finally clear, and we were able to visit my mom. As Daisy pointed out, I am very thankful to know she is well cared for, even when I am unable to visit.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

No more whining!

All done! No more whining. There are lots of things to love about winter. Baking bread. . .

and rolls.

and working on my hand quilting project. Even though I've changed my mind, and think the colorful thread on black has to go. Plain black looks more elegant.

I've been inspired to get out there and walk no matter what, thanks to the 100 mile fitness challenge. I love the way they count miles! Every fifteen minutes of exercise counts as a mile - nice!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lake Effect

Remember the lake photos I took last summer?

Lake Erie, which we love so much in July and August, is not such a good friend in January. Before it freezes solid, the term "Lake Effect" is in our weather forecast a good part of the time. The lake water evaporates into big gray clouds which float south and east, dumping vast quantities of fluffy white snow on those of us who live south and east of the lake. It snows much more in the "snow belt" which I am happy to tell you is not our home. Those hardy souls in Chardon and Ashtabula received four feet of snow yesterday. AAK! We have a lot, but not that much.
Daniel is such a trooper about keeping our driveway shoveled. This is about the tenth time he's been out in two days. You can see the snow mountain he has made alongside the driveway. I tried to go visit my mom this morning, but the roads were terrible, so by the time I got to Twinsburg and encountered an accident on Route 82 I turned around and came home. I did make it to work yesterday, and will again tomorrow, but today is my day off and I am hibernating.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Winter has arrived in our part of the world.

So what could be more fun than a blog giveaway of something fun to read? Visit Colletta's blog to enter her giveaway. I heard about her from Heckety. And many many thanks to Daisy for teaching me how to do links. Never mind that I have to get out her very clear directions every single time I do it - at least I can, thanks to her!

I've resumed my quest for a way to portray a sunrise on fabric. I am going to add black binding after I quilt it. The white you see is batting to be trimmed off. I think I am going to quilt it by hand - a good project for a snowy day.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

I didn't make the little onesie pictured above. I just couldn't pass it up while thinking of baby presents.
I did make a reversible bib. Basketball on one side, soccer on the other.

2010 sounds very futuristic somehow. Can it be ten whole years ago that we were all concerned about Y2K? Lots of changes have happened these last ten years. One of the changes is that my nephew, Mark, grew up, went to college, got married, and is about to make my sister a grandma.
The quilt I just finished is for their baby. Mark was an amazing soccer player in high school, so I thought he'd like a soccer bib for his baby.

He was the goal keeper, and in one game he kicked the ball out of the goal, and it was such a mighty kick, and a windy day, and the ball went right into the opposite goal, and scored for his team. It had never happened before in their town, and caused quite a sensation. :>}

All done!


I appreciate your input. I went ahead and left the blue cornerstones in place and added a black border.

It was nice of you to help me realize that everyone likes different things, and I don't know what the baby's family will like, but I hope they use it! I put some of what I learned in quilt class to use, and did free motion quilting on the whole thing. Usually I just stitch a grid, which gets awfully boring. My free motion quilting needs a lot of practice still, but it was fun, and babies aren't too fussy about stitching.

Happy New Year!