Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Awards and a Couple of GiveAways

Isn't that the cutest award? Janie at Southern Lagniappe sent this to me. She's a sweetheart and you'll love reading her blog. She has wonderful pictures of all kinds of things southern that I just love to see.

This wonderful award came from Tracy P. at The Journey. I love it! Thank you so much Tracy. Tracy is a cute young thing (I'm almost 62 Tracy so to me most people are cute young things!) and I love her stories about her children. Especially this one.

I sat here for the longest trying to decide who I would pass these awards to but I cannot choose! I'm like a child in a candy store, reading my blog list over and over choosing first this one and then that one. Do I want to pick the Tootsie Roll Pop or the Butterfinger, the Hersheys with Almonds or the Snickers? So I'm simply going to say I love my Blog Friends...the serious ones and the funny ones, the ones having family problems and the ones who are looking back at a lifetime of memories, the ones who would love just 10 minutes away from their mischief making little ones and the ones who long for a child's arms, the young and the old, the joyful and the sad, the tired and the energetic. You have made my days to be joyful and I have been blessed by the way you have welcomed me into your hearts and your homes. To each of you I give this Friendship Award and this I Love Your Blog Award and also my heart.

Anna at Around the Quilt Block is celebrating her 32nd birthday (she's a mere child!) with a giveaway. Just look at all of this wonderful stuff she's giving! I know you want to hop on over there and comment so you get a chance to win.

And this wonderful giveaway is from Deana at Sugarshop. Fabric, girls, is like gold to those of us who are addicted to quilts or aprons!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Is It Just Me Or Is The Sky Falling?

It is 400 miles from my door to my sister's door. Remember her? The one I'm addicted to? Thursday morning bright and early (well 10 is early isn't it?) I left my house driving to her house. It's about an 8 hour drive but I wanted to stop and visit a friend on the way so I figured I'd get to her house about 7, which was a good time because she'd be home from work then.

In preparation for the trip, which I was taking alone by the way, my husband took my car last week to WalMart to have the oil changed and the tires rotated. He's thoughtful like that. (It doesn't count that I made him do it, does it?) On Tuesday I noticed the car wasn't acting right coming home from the grocery store. It was like it was laboring to go, like I had the brakes on but I didn't have my foot on the brakes. When I got home it smelled like something was burning. Ah ha, says the man of the house. It's the brakes, they locked up. We had new brakes put on this car in May so they should have been fine. Locking up - not fine. So Wednesday off he went to the brake place, who checked everything, said it's fine. Nothing wrong.

Yesterday, in a rural part of southern Missouri, 175 miles from my destination, the nothing they said was wrong went horribly wrong. The brakes locked up on a two lane highway where I was peacefully driving listening to the 7th book of the Mitford series. With an 18 wheeler riding my bumper. And no where to get off. I had to drive about 10 miles with them locked before I found a service station where I could pull off. By that time the front tires were smoking. SMOKING! The nothing that was wrong was smoking!
Well my car wasn't as bad as this picture but I found this one of Flickr and thought it was appropriate.

I went into the service station/convenience store to see if there was a Midas Brake Shop in this town since that's who told me nothing was wrong. The sweet lady behind the counter (who had not even one of her front four teeth) said she didn't know. I asked her if she would look in the phone book and she agreed. "Which part?" she asked. The yellow or the white? And then she asked me how to spell Midas. Hmmmm. Rural Missouri is a lot like Arkansas, any part of Arkansas. But there's no Midas. So I called Triple A. They would send a tow truck in about an hour. It was 97 out on that parking lot. And I'm sure you remember I'm having hot flashes.

God sent me a wonderful tow truck driver. I'm not kidding. Wonderful. Triple A wanted to send me 50 miles back the way I came where I would have to rent a motel room. I wanted to go to Jefferson City where my sister lives. 175 miles forward. The tow truck driver, Sheldon, called Triple A and told them they needed to send me to my sister's and that's how it was. I rode in the tow truck for 3 1/2 hours, part of it in the worst blinding rain and lightening I've ever witnessed, with a gentleman who really wanted to provide good service. In our conversation I found out that he has two aunts (87 and 89 years old) who live in the small Arkansas town where my husband and I spent 15 years and where we raised our kids. Small world? God's world!

At the brake shop here in Jefferson City, where I was planning to stay until Tuesday, they have now told me that whoever changed my oil and "topped off" my fluids last week put the wrong thing in the master cylinder and the entire brake system is ruined. Yep. Someone put oil in the brake fluid, which apparently is a major contaminant. Ruined everything it touched. To the tune, so far, of $2,352.77. Unless they have to order more parts. And they might possibly have it ready next Wednesday but they think it will probably be Thursday.

I've always told my husband that I would be happy in any situation as long as I wasn't hot, cold, broke, or stranded. I am now broke, stranded, and still having hot flashes. Get the picture?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Finished by Friday - Focused!

I know you can't tell but this is actually green thread on this embroidery. I participated in a BOM stitchery of herbs which began a couple of years ago from Patches in St. Charles, Missouri. There are 16 of these blocks, plus a four piece poem that's part of the border of this quilt. I have completed 13 now with Aloe and Basil the two I've done this week. I need to do 3 more plus the poem before I can put the quilt together. These are small, maybe 3" or 4" square of embroidered area and only take a couple of evenings of television to complete. I should have finished months ago but put it off when I started Winter Wonderland. I'm back on it now and hope to get this finished soon so I can start Nice People, Nice Things.

Oops, first I need to make a redwork Christmas stocking for the coming grandbaby. I've made one for the other seven and even though this child won't be born until December 31 (his birthday is on the schedule!) he is a very real, very eagerly anticipated child and he shall have presents from his grandparents. :)

This is an Alex Anderson pattern called Shadow Work. You can't see in the photos but the hearts and flowers are done in red and inside the heart in thread the same color as the background are words. One says "the purpose of love is love." I've had these blocks done for some time and couldn't decide how to use them. Finally I decided I wanted something simple that wouldn't take away from the hearts at all. I have so much redwork that I'm thinking about filling one wall in my bedroom with just wallhangings - a sort of collage.

This little angel is a Lynette Anderson design that is free on her website. Since this is my life motto I couldn't wait to stitch it. BUT it has a problem I need some help in correcting. First of all the binding didn't act right - I don't like the way the corners mitered so I'm going to take that off and redo. But after I put it up to take a picture I noticed that the half square triangles aren't right! In the upper right corner two print fabrics are together...somebody who has an eye for these things tell me how to correct that!

Last week when I took the class from Debbie Maddy she gave us a brochure with her patterns in it. She had one that used a fat quarter and simply framed it with borders. I decided I didn't need a pattern to do that (sorry Debbie, but that's money saved for more fabric) so I tried it this week. This fat quarter is directional so I trimmed it to 18" square and put a 1" yellow border, then a 3" print one, and finally a 5" red one. It's now 27" square and a good size for a baby quilt. This is just the top and I don't have it quilted yet but I'm sure some little one will like it. What color binding do you think I should use? I have plenty of all three borders left.

I had this piece of Christmas fabric in the top of my closet and I couldn't remember buying it. :( I'm sure I did because there are no fabric fairies making deposits in that closet. If I know me, and I do fairly well, I probably found it on sale somewhere after Christmas 5 or 10 years ago. Anyway, I thought it would make a cute apron with that border on the hem. I didn't use a pattern for this one, and I definitely should have. I've folded the waist back but it's considerably larger than it looks. I'm large but it will comfortably fit someone a good bit larger than me. :) I had a little leftover fabric so I made the pockets to match the border. It's a fun apron, don't you think?

No you aren't seeing double! I have actually made four of these table runners because a) I love them, b) they're easy, c) they're fast, d) I can quilt them myself, and e) they make great gifts. These are #3 and #4 even though I called them Americana #1 and #2 on my sidebar. That's ok, I often call my children by the wrong name, too. If you look closely you can see the quilting - wavy lines (like the wind) down the stripes and in the border, and I also outlined each of the three stars

I had this house block that was supposed to be 12 1/2" square. It ended up being 12 1/8" on one side and 12 1/4" on the other side. Don't ask...I have no idea what I did. So I just trimmed the darn thing to 12" added a border and a snowman on the door and a snowflake for the doorknob and made a small quilt/wallhanging. I thought at first I'd make a table runner but then I regained my sanity when I realized people would see it up close and personal while eating dinner.

Whew! I sewed all day on Saturday and wore myself out. But it was a good week. I sometimes am amazed at how much I can get done if I just sit down and work nonstop. I put supper in the crockpot when I got up and only emerged from the sewing room for sustenance. Do you ever do that? Then I was able to sew for several hours on Monday and again on Wednesday. Turns out when I get focused stuff gets done - who knew?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Best Menopause Question Ever

I did not write this. I couldn't dream this one up. :) But it's about the funniest e-mail I've gotten in a long time. So appropriate at this point in my life. It could probably apply to those of you who are just hormonal right now.

Best Menopause Question Ever
Q: How many women with MENOPAUSE does it take to change a light bulb?

Woman's Answer: One! ONLY ONE!!!! And do you know WHY? Because no one else in this house knows HOW to change a light bulb! They don't even know that the bulb is BURNED OUT!! They would sit in the dark for THREE DAYS before they figured it out. And, once they figured it out, they wouldn't be able to find the #&%!* light bulbs despite the fact that they've been in the SAME CABINET for the past 17 YEARS! But if they did, by some miracle of God, actually find them, 2 DAYS LATER, the chair they dragged to stand on to change the STUPID light bulb would STILL BE IN THE SAME SPOT!!!!! AND UNDERNEATH IT WOULD BE THE WRAPPER THE FREAKING LIGHT BULBS CAME IN!!! BECAUSE NO ONE EVER PICKS UP OR CARRIES OUT THE GARBAGE!!!! IT'S A WONDER WE HAVEN'T ALL SUFFOCATED FROM THE PILES OF GARBAGE THAT

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


You've listened to me rant and rave about menopause. You've heard my lament about hot flashes. It's only fair that you hear my latest moaning. After all, that's what you're here for, right? To hear me moan and groan I mean.

Women who are hormonal have issues. We who are aging and have hormonal issues need sympathy, kindness, conciliatoryness (is that a word? of course it is, I just made it up). We need people to be considerate so we don't have to bite their heads off, to be as hot as we are so they can withstand the not so moderately lowered air conditioning, and above all to keep all remarks about aging and hormones to themselves. Maybe that's not above all. Maybe above all is agreeable. They definitely need to keep their sense of humor because we, the afflicted, have lost ours.

Photo by Flickr Sixties Books
Today I went to a very upscale department store to buy new bras. Mine have become suddenly too tight but at the same time too loose, both in the wrong places. I've worn the same size for years now. I wear very good bras because I know this is important. I don't want to bounce, protrude, or trip over myself when walking. I asked the kind clerk, the older of the two clerks because one of them was certainly underage and shouldn't have been working since she must have been a junior high student, for a fitting. I assumed that I might have changed sizes a little.

I'm one of those women who prayed for a growth spurt upon entering high school. God granted that wish after the birth of my first child. And again after my second child. And again after my third child. None of it ever left. While in my twenties and thirties that was fine. Heavens, it was more than fine, it was good...just ask my husband. But I digress. As I enter my sixties it is no longer fine. It is now burdensome. As the kind older clerk measured me I felt a note of satisfaction to see that she wrote down the same number I've always worn. However, when she wrote the letter size it had changed. Not just one size up ladies, but two! And not just two sizes but I have now graduated to double digits. Letters, that is. I wasn't kidding about tripping over the darn things.

I know there's surgery for this kind of problem but I made the mistake of watching it on the medical channel once. Do you know how they do that? Horrors! I vowed a long time ago to grow old gracefully with no help from a surgeon. I maintain that vow. But if I could wiggle my nose and get rid of a bit of this extra I have you can bet I would.

How about you? If you could wiggle your nose and "fix" something would you do it?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

To My Sisters In The Lord

I read this recently on Kentucky Bound and loved it so much I wanted to share with you. I have Liz's permission to copy it here so enjoy!

To my sisters in the Lord...There comes a time in every woman's life when she has to take a close look at herself. Not at her circumstance, not at what she did, not how unfair life is, or at who made you do it. She has to just look at herself in all her glory and imperfection. Have you ever admired a woman who has been through changes in her life? Or have you made up in your mind that she is just messed up. Before you make this mistake, take a closer look. A woman who has endured the most unusual life is someone of wisdom, someone who has been chosen by God to go through things that have made her stronger.Think of all the great women in the Bible: Mary Magdalene, Ruth and Naomi , the woman with an issue of blood, and Esther , to name a few. Mary was a prostitute, a very uneasy woman. But by the time Jesus was done with her, she was His closest follower. Esther was unfortunate in marrying an abusive man, but by the time God was done with her, she had married one of the wealthiest men in the land. Women are so quick to beat the next one down instead of trying to hold her up. Before you wonder, " What's up with her?" ask yourself, "What's up with me?" That woman could be my mother, sister, aunt, in-law, stepmother, niece, grandmother, great-grandmother, neighbor, friend, or co-worker, etc. That woman could be ME .Women are the carriers of life, not the channels of death. Let's build and encourage each other, as did Ruth and Naomi . Pass this to all the women in your life. Encourage and love, forgive and forget, and trust that the woman that receives this will be touched in some way.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Before you read this post promise me (did you promise?) that you will read all the way to the end. Don't read a little and get aggravated or mad or sad and quit. You have to read the end to see where I'm going with this.

Since I told you about my favorite teacher, Mrs. Watson, I thought it only fair that I also tell you about a few (very few!) bad ones I had, and one I didn't have but know about. Don't worry, I'm not going to call names here.

I took Latin for two years. I learned a lot in that class despite the teacher. I love words and at that age I was good at memorizing so Latin and I got along well. There are only a few Latin words that I remember well enough to translate, but more important I still recognize them as the basis of many of the words in our language and in other languages. This gives me a little edge when reading. Mrs. H was an older lady but I couldn't begin to guess how old. Bear in mind I was 15 and 16 when I took that class so age is relative. But she was no spring chicken. She was also quite unattractive. Now I'm not trying to be mean but that's the truth. I wouldn't hold that against her but what I did have a problem with was her flirting with all the boys in class and giving them A's when they didn't earn them. That's just wrong. They recognized this immediately and really buttered her up and she was either too stupid to recognize it or she didn't care.

I didn't go to college until I was 35. I had a hysterectomy 3 weeks before I started a PE class in my junior year. The teacher for this class began with a physical assessment and when I explained that pull ups weren't possible because of the surgery he said, "oh that's ok, just jump up to the bar and hang for one minute." I'm sure that you just gasped. I, however, stood there in stunned silence. When I recovered enough to answer this young whippersnapper I merely said, "are you prepared to sew me back up when my incision rips open and my intestines fall out?" Duh. On our first test the "bonus" question was Name the actors who played The Dirty Dozen. On our second test the "bonus" question was What was the last name of the barber on The Andy Griffeth Show? Need I say more?

But the very worst teacher I've heard of wasn't even one I had. Several months ago I was having some tests run at a doctor's office. The woman who was doing this particular one was about 45 or so and very, very sweet. She asked me what I do and I told her I was a retired teacher and administrator. She asked what I taught and I replied, "algebra and geometry." Tears began to roll down her face as she told me that in elementary school her teacher told her she was stupid and would never learn to do math. In front of the class. Everyone laughed. At home her brother was really good in math and because she was so afraid he would laugh at her she would hide and study math for hours and hours and hours. But when she got to class she was so afraid that this teacher would make fun of her that she simply froze and couldn't do anything. The whole time she told me this tears ran down her face. It was all she could do to hold back the sobs. At least 30 or 35 years later the pain inflicted on her by that teacher still grabbed her heart and squeezed. She still hurts so badly over that incident that the very word math brings it all back.

I know there are some horror stories out there about teachers. Some of them are even worse than these I've mentioned. But I want to say this right here and if I could shout I would - they are a very small minority. Most teachers - like 99.9% of them are there because they love kids. They love taking little ones by the hand and guiding them on the path that will lead to their success. They get up at daylight every day to stand out in the rain and cold to open the door of the cars these children ride in, they wipe runny noses and clean up barf and teach them numbers and letters. They hug them when they've just come in from running for 10 minutes on a hot day when the odor is overwhelming. They give up any hope of a quiet few minutes to eat lunch to tutor the child who stayed home the day before because Mommy slept late. They spend their own money to buy pencils and paper and colors and scissors for the child who has none. They give kids rides home when no one shows up to pick them up and they buy coats for the ones who are cold. And they teach them love and responsibility and respect and compassion. Their day doesn't end at 3:00. That's when they go to a workshop to learn how to teach a child who doesn't speak English or a child who is dyslexic. After that they have papers to grade and lesson plans to make out and tests to copy and bulletin boards to decorate. And summers - they're not off in the summer. That's when they take more classes so they can learn better techniques. That's when they read new textbooks deciding which ones are the best for our kids and when they plan new ways to present a lesson that kids had trouble with the year before. They're like the Energizer Bunny - they never stop. They never stop thinking about how to improve at what they do and how to love kids more. Because that's what teaching is all about - doing it better and loving kids more. Teachers are the unsung heroes of our lives. I've heard it said that if you can read this you need to go thank a teacher. Amen. Do it. Go thank a teacher. And if you are a teacher I love you. May God bless you each and every day and each and every moment of this school year. May He grant you rainless duty days, parents who think you hung the moon, administrators who let you alone and let you teach, family members who appreciate the person you are even when you're not at home with them, and children who are eager learners, who have no BO, and who lavish love on you every day.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Finished by Friday, Just Barely

More Winter Wonderland! Are you tired of these yet? These are the last two - I can hardly believe it. This one is called sledding and goes right in the middle of the quilt.

In the Winter Wonderland quilt the embroidered blocks come in several different sizes. The largest one is the entire width of the quilt and goes at the top with the others scattered underneath it. This block I put off nearly until the last because it seemed so intimidating because of it's size. It actually didn't take as much time as I thought, though I did spend a couple of weeks on it. I know I'm going to love this quilt!

On Monday and Tuesday this week our quilt guild had Debbie Maddy here to do two workshops and a lecture/trunk show at the meeting. I took her class on Monday called Carpenter's Star. Debbie's claim to fame is the "no Y seams" method of piecing and she has showcased it on Simply Quilts as well in books and patterns. (There are no diamonds in this quilt - it's all half square triangles.) This quilt is supposed to be scrappy (8 fat quarters plus background and borders) but I wanted a two color quilt so this is what I ended up with. It is supposed to have a couple more borders on it but I'm waiting to do those after I measure the place it's going to hang. There may not be enough space for more borders. Right now this is about 52" square. The actual colors here are a deep burgundy, almost purple, and mustard. Debbie is a good teacher, very personable and laid back. She's not intimidating at all - just regular folks. Because she drove she was able to bring 5 or 6 suitcases of her quilts to show. She absolutely amazed me because she could tell you what fabric line she used for every one of them....I can never remember that stuff! If you get a chance to take a class her I would recommend that you do it. It's fun, no pressure and the top is fast. I only got through row 5 in class and put rows 6-8 and the background border on today. She also gave us a good tip on getting good points which I sort of expanded when I got home and it really helped me. It's one of those things you'd have to see to understand but I love it when I learn something that I can really use in one of the classes I take. I think I'd like to make this one in Christmas colors.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mrs. Watson

I graduated from high school in 1964. A lifetime ago. Two lifetimes ago! A different world, for sure. During my high school tenure we were tentatively allowed to wear pantsuits to school. But only if they were a very nice matching set. No plain old slacks and shirts and good heavenly days no jeans. That was a giant leap for the administration who firmly believed we should only wear dresses or skirts but who were tired of the parents and students telling them to "get with the times."

In the 8th grade I had been selected to take a "new math" class. I don't know why they called it new math because it was essentially Algebra I but I remember how impressed with myself I was because this math came from THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO (and it was always said in capital letters) and it was a paperback book, not a hardcover book. That proved to everyone how new it was. Taking that class meant that I eventually ended up in Mrs. Watson's Algebra II/Trig class.

(Photos from Flickr)

I loved school from beginning to end. First grade Mrs. Hensley, second grade Mrs. Davis, third grade Miss Wilson, fourth grade Mrs. Seymour, fifth grade Mrs. Wall, sixth grade Mrs. Hermann, then off to junior high where oh my goodness how will I ever remember where to go when I had 7 different teachers in one day!

Of all the teachers in all the grades in all the classes Mrs. Watson was my favorite and the one I was most terrified of. She was not young though looking back I'm sure she wasn't as old as I thought then. She had white hair and I equated white hair with old (and yes, my hair is completely white now). But she was beautiful, truly beautiful. She always dressed like a lady, talked like a lady, acted like a lady. She moved with such grace that I wanted to watch every move so I could perhaps capture a bit of it for myself. She taught from bell to bell with no thought of doing otherwise. She wouldn't have dreamed of wasting time because we had much to learn and she took the job promising to work hard so that's what she did. A woman of her word. I can still see her face and smell her sweet scent - not a perfumy smell but a sweet old-fashioned bath powder scent. Smell is much too harsh a word for her.

I said I both loved her and was terrified of her. Why terrified? I never heard her say an unkind word or call a student down. She never raised her voice or sent a student to the office. But I thought she was so wonderful that I was scared of disappointing her. And that would have been devastating. She inspired both loyalty and a desire to succeed in me. She told me often that math has rules and that I could learn those rules and I could solve any problem with them. She made me believe in me and in what I could do. She gave me so much confidence in myself that I eventually went on to major in math in college. Oh, I didn't make all A's in my math classes. But I knew it wasn't about the A; it was about the learning. It was about what I was capable of. It was about being able to solve the problems by using the knowledge I had.

Mrs. Watson was a real teacher because she didn't just teach me the math. She taught me how high I could soar. That's what real teachers do. I'd love to hear about a real teacher who made a difference in your life.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I think I have confessed on here before that I am just a touch OCD - that's obsessive compulsive disorder for those of you who haven't heard of it before. I am self diagnosed, of course. But then who would know better than me?

That means that I like all of the clothes hangers in my closet to be just alike. In my closet you will find only plastic hangers, the kind that things hang on in Dillards or Penneys. Well that's all the blouses and dresses will be on. Pants will be on the wire hangers with paper bars that come from the cleaners. All the pants. And all the blouses will be hanging together and all the pants will be hanging together. In my husband's closet all his shirts and jackets are on those hard plastic hangers you buy at WalMart 10 for $1 or something like that because they are stronger and will hold heavier things without breaking. Except his pants which are on those pant hangers that you can also get at WalMart. He doesn't keep his shirts and pants separated, which drives me to distraction, so I rarely will get in his closet. If he wants things all jumbled up like that well he can just clean out his own closet when it needs it. Come to think of it, maybe he jumbles things up so I won't clean out his closet - never thought of that. Besides he has a couple of those wife-beater type shirts that I have to put on my hangers because they kept slipping off the other kind and that means he has...different...hangers...for...his...shirts. I can hardly breathe thinking about it.

On my desk, which can be messy, the tissue box will be exactly parallel to the edge of the desk. If there is a lamp on one side of the bed there will be a lamp on the other side of the bed. I don't have to have bedside tables alike, and they aren't. But both sides will have a lamp. Makes no sense I know. When I was a teacher that meant that my student desks were in rows. Straight rows. Parallel rows. Not in circles, my goodness no. Because you could never get a true circle. I like for things to be balanced. Even. Straight. In my sewing room if a pin is bent it goes in the trash even if it still works. I like things to be sorted. I like small paper clips in one box and large paper clips in another. Now I'm not a fanatic about that sort of thing. But it does make me nervous when things aren't straight, sorted, balanced or even.

You all know that I have 7 beautiful, smart grandchildren. You know that because I've told you about them. They are, naturally, the most beautiful and smartest grandchildren that ever were. God blessed me with 7 grandchildren who are funny and sweet and kind and loving and joyful and...oh dear, I'm bragging, aren't I? That's not nice so I'll quit.

I'm telling you all this to say that you can imagine my delight to learn today that my 8th grandchild will be a boy!!!!!!!!!!! Before you jump to the defense of girls let me just say that I now have 7 grandchildren, 4 girls and 3 boys. That's not even. It's not balanced. Soon that will be corrected. Thank goodness. I was beginning to get very nervous.

Just as a side note you might like to know that when my son sent me a text message this afternoon to let me know the results of the ultrasound he said, "boy...girl...boy...girl...boy!!!" When I first read it I thought he was saying it was twins. My first reaction was, "Good grief, what was I thinking when I told them I would babysit all of April and May?" My second thought was, "Oh no, it will be uneven again!" I'm not sure which scared me more.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Bonnie at Calamity Jane's Cottage is having a giveaway. It's a wonderful purse she made and if you win it and I don't would you please use it this year and then pass it on to me? Because I want it. I tried to put a picture here but it wouldn't work. That's ok cause I don't really want you to see it. Then you'd want to keep it forever.

Also Carin at Conceived Without Regard is giving away fat quarters and a log cabin quilt book. All you quilters will want to hop over there and comment.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

About Me

I am excited at the thought of a new grandbaby coming in early January. Babies are gifts God gives us which fill our hearts with joy and our noses with sweet baby scents. Well mostly sweet baby scents; there are a few that aren't so sweet but they aren't important. Babies are the epitome of hope and are worth every moment of nausea and swollen ankles we suffer. Of course, in this case I don't have to do the suffering but I would. You bet I would.

I want to see the end of hatred.

I have got to lose weight and exercise. Would someone out there in blog land kick my behind and get me started? Please!

I wish I could ride a bike. Seriously. When I was a kid I rode a bike to and from school, all around my neighborhood, even on a paper route. As an adult I cannot balance the darn thing. My husband has forbidden me to get on one again because the last time I tried I had a nasty wreck that peeled the skin off my face (yes, I had on a helmet but the helmet didn't have a face mask!) Now I have an adult tricycle. Yes, you read that right. But I still don't feel comfortable on it - I feel like any minute I'm going to keel over even though I know that's not possible. It isn't possible, right?

I hate that I can no longer multitask like I could when I was younger. I burn a lot of food because I put something on to cook and try to do a load of laundry, or make a phone call, or vacuum the carpet. I've done it enough that my husband knows exactly how to make the smoke alarm quit ringing in the shortest amount of time possible.

I fear living longer than my children. I can't imagine anything worse. And also snarling dogs.

I hear static in my left ear. Ok, someone out there should know the cure for this. I wouldn't care if it was music but all I get is static.

I search for the very important thing that I put in a safe place so I would know where it was when I wanted it.

I don't think it's fair that just as I get older and wiser I seem to be unable to remember the wise things I need to tell you. Or your name. Or where I met you. Or if I met you. But I can remember what color my bicycle was when I was in the 4th grade and what my telephone number was then.

I regret the things I didn't do that I should have done. Like wear a bikini when I was young and looked good in one.

I love finished quilts, good books, a clean house, jeans that fit, shoes that don't hurt my feet and are the envy of everyone who sees them, phone calls from friends.

I ache for hungry children.

I always cry when the wind blows in my face. Darn allergies.

I am not happy about this menopause thing. In fact I'm very angry at Eve. It's her fault - everything is her fault. Hot flashes, allergies, cellulite, weeds, snarling dogs - I lay them all at her doorstep.

I dance like The Tin Man. Stiff. Jerky. Not graceful and not pretty.

I sing beautifully when I'm alone. Off key when anyone is close.

I never plan to ride a motorcycle. Unless one of my children or grandchildren is sick and that's the only way to get to them. Then I'll ride anything.

I rarely do nothing. Rarely relax. I don't think I'm ADD but I'm always busy. I've had to put my calendar on my google site so my children and husband can keep up with me. There's something wrong with this picture.

I cry when I watch babies sleeping in their mother's arms.

I am not always patient with people who feel sorry for themselves for no good reason. There are a lot of good reasons to feel sorry for yourself - I do it quite often. In fact, I quite often have a pity party. But I once heard someone say there's 2 things wrong with pity parties - no one comes and there's no refreshments. If you're going to feel sorry for yourself that's fine but set a time limit - I'm going to feel bad till say 10:00 in the morning and then I'm done with that. But if you have a good reason I'm ok with you feeling sorry for yourself for a bit longer.

I hate that politicians are ever allowed on television.

I'm confused about why people break in line. Or get road rage. Or yell at sales clerks who have no control over the price of what's in the store.

I need Iced Tazo Chai Tea Lattes. A lot. I'm addicted. Seriously addicted. It's a sickness. Help.

I should spend more time praying and less time thinking about praying. I think God would like that.

I stole this format from Melissa at Stretch Marks who stole it from someone else so feel free to steal it from me. In fact it won't be stealing. I give it to you. Take it, please. I'd love to read about you. And if you haven't read Melissa do it right now. This woman makes me laugh out loud almost every day, except for the one time when I sobbed out loud. She is truly remarkable and even though she has not ever read my blog I'm sure and even though I only comment on hers once in a while and she has never commented on mine I will be keeping her on my reader list forever because she's that good. I took The Pioneer Woman off and kept Melissa - does that tell you anything? No offense, Pioneer Woman, because you are truly wonderful but I really, really have to do something else during the day than reading blogs. My behind is getting seriously numb sitting here and reading.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Gifts from Afar

I am constantly amazed by the generosity of the bloggers I have met in the short time I've been reading and writing on this new (at least to me) world wide virtual bulletin board. I recently received two gifts from women I met here and have come to admire and enjoy on a regular basis.

Mary Jane at Blind Pig and the Acorn had a giveaway recently and I won! Look at this darling angel - she's sitting in my kitchen with my antique egg baskets guarding the eggs. Oops, the lemons. Those are lemons in the basket. Fake lemons because I don't have any fake eggs. That's beside the point - you gotta' love this angel. I've named her Abigail Angel and I love to see her there watching over my kitchen. Thank you so much Mary Jane - she is very special.

And Liz at Kentucky Bound sent me this Debbie Mumm book Country Settings. She wasn't using it and wanted it to have a good home. I wish I had her spirit of generosity! It has some great patterns in it but I especially like one that has barns on it and the one you can see on the cover that has tea cups on it. Those two have gone on my "I wanta' make this next" list which just seems to get longer with every book I see or blog I read.

To both of these ladies I say thank you - for the gifts and for the generosity and love you share with others. I hope that I can follow your example and be a friend to all those who drop in to visit my blog, and perhaps share a little laughter and a little wisdom and a little encouragement with each one. May God bless and keep you in His loving arms.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Finished by Friday and I Just Love It!

Checkerboard and Rails - this top is done and ready to be taken to the longarm quilter! I love this quilt and am really pleased with the colors. The light teal batik was a beautiful fabric and the brown with teal polka dots really sets it off. The pattern called for a fourth border of the teal but I liked it better without. I might bind it with teal but I'm not even sure I want to do that. I was surprised at the time this one took - the checkerboard squares are 3/4" finished and even though I strip pieced them it took a lot of time. I got the pattern from a Better Homes and Gardens book Quilting Pieces of the Past. According to the book this pattern was first documented between 1860 and 1890. Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860 and the Civil War began the next year. Rural quilters continued to piece scrap quilts during this era but fashionable city women had access to a good variety of fabrics. Muddy brown, dark chocolate and cocoa brown were common and double or cinnamon pinks were also popular. The book shows this quilt in a dark blue and muslin.

Linda at Behind My Red Door is having the most wonderful giveaway. Please go visit her, not just for this but for a great read. She's funny and sweet and entertaining - she's on my bloglist at the right of this post. And if you go please tell her I sent you so I'll get an extra chance on this!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Back to the Future

Today while my daughter was working I took her children to the orthodontist. The oldest, who is 16, has braces and has been wearing them at least a year now. He was in for his monthly adjustment or check or tightening or rubber band snapping or whatever it is they do to braces. His sister, who is 10, was in for a 6 month check up because they are anticipating that she will have to have braces as soon as all her permanent teeth come in. There's some "crowding" there apparently and her baby teeth are bigger than her permanent ones. Though how you can tell that when the permanent ones haven't come in I don't know. The youngest, who is 9, was just there because he had to be - he didn't want to be and for sure didn't want to be going to the grocery store or to run errands or that kind of stuff. He asked about that the minute he got in my car, just to be reassured that he wasn't going to be forced into shopping with Grandma.

Have you been to the orthodontist lately? Me either. I thought I'd stepped into some new world...a place where the future became now and now became oh dear I'm old. The kids checked themselves in on a computer sitting on the counter for this purpose. They picked up their charts and went right straight back to....well, to .... well, this room where there were multiple dental chairs all set in a row. In one room. Lots of chairs. And lots of dental hygenists wearing little red suits, scrubs I suppose. It was sort of like an army of ants scurrying about. When I go to the dentist I go into a room that has one chair. Just for me. Privacy while I hold my mouth in that wide open awkward position that you never ever want any of your friends to see you doing. In this room children and their mothers are everywhere seeing everyone and everything. Even the 9 year old who didn't have an appointment went back there because that's where they had the video games for you to play while you wait. Video games. In the orthodontist office.

I'm having these horrible visions of the gynocology office of the future. Oh my.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Tragedy

We had a real tragedy in Arkansas today. Oh it wasn't an unusual one in any way. It wasn't one involving hundreds of people or massive damage to homes and property. It will get a big spot in the nightly news and the media folks will cover it for a few days and then something else will come along and take it's place. But it was an event that will affect a lot of people for a long time to come.

This morning a man walked into the Democratic Party Headquarters and shot the Chairman, Bill Gwatney, several times. Bill died later at the hospital. The suspect left that office and got into a chase with police and was later shot and killed himself. Bill was 48, had a wife and 2 daughters, a lot of family and a host of friends. He had once been a state senator here in Arkansas, for 10 years I think.

I don't know why this man was so angry/upset/frustrated/overwhelmed that he would do such a thing. It doesn't matter really. What does matter is that a man is dead and the people who love him are hurting. I don't know why the suspect chose this route to settle what he obviously thought was wrong in his world but I do know that he is ordinary. He is routine. He is every day in America.

The tragedy, as I see it, involves much more than the death of one man, though I don't want to minimize the loss his life will be to many, many people. The tragedy is that it does happen every day, every hour. Senseless murder, senseless anger, senseless hatred, senseless racism, senseless greed. If you're like me you get several hate filled e-mails a day preaching to us about some political candidate or his opponent, about people who are gay or who belong to a different religion than "us." Oh it's not blatant hate in the e-mail; it's always hidden beneath a message of "would you want this man to be your president?" or "this religion is made up of terrorists" or "love the sinner but hate the sin." When did we decide it was ok in this land of the free to force others to believe like we do, to dress like we do, to talk like we do, to act like we do?

I love the movie "An American President" because I could listen to his speech at the end of the movie over and over and over. In it he says that if you really love America and love her flag then you'll defend the person who burns it. That says it all. I might not agree with your opinion, the way you drive or how often you don't mow your grass - I might not like tatoos or purple spiked hair or blouses that stop below the breasts showing parts of your body I'd rather not see - I might not understand why you insist on riding helmetless on a motorcycle or won't bathe every day or yell obscenities at football games, but I will defend your right to do these things.

I don't know if today's murder was because of political differences or personal differences and it doesn't matter I don't suppose. It was a tragedy whatever the reason. And the real tragedy is that this kind of event happens every day and we can't seem to stop it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Colorful Characters and the Menopause Witch

I met the nicest gentleman today. I meet a lot of nice people but this guy was what you’d probably call a “colorful character.” He was 78 years old he told me, beanpole skinny and tall, with very, very long white hair and a very, very long white beard. If he wasn’t so skinny he would make a wonderful Santa. At 78 years of age I believe he was born in 1930. That doesn’t exactly put him in my generation but he’s not that far off – at this age 16 years is not so much. He wasn’t feeling well today but he assured me he was never, ever sick and had rarely seen a doctor since he got out of the armed services after World War II. I asked him where he served, wondering if he was anywhere my father had been, and he said he never went overseas because of a back problem. Now if I remember my history lessons correctly that war began in 1939 and ended in 1945. That would mean that he was 9 when the war began and 15 when it ended. Hmmmm. Either he doesn’t know how old he is, he lies about his age, or he lies about his military service. Well, it’s not exactly a lie I guess because he really did get out of the service after WWII – a looooong time after.

He told me he retired from a government agency which will remain unnamed in this post and that he had worked there until recently. Considering his memory (see above) that could have been last week or 20 years ago. He also told me he planned to jump off the nearest large bridge when he turned 80 because he thought that was long enough for anyone to live. I told him I knew lots of people who did great things after that age and named a few but he wasn’t impressed. He just laughed and said his friends had all agreed to go with him when he went to the bridge and would put weights on his legs to make sure he didn’t “float.” I asked him about these friends and he said he had lots because he “visits a few bars every day and sips a little.”

He couldn’t understand why everyone was worried about his “pressure.” He’d always had blood pressure – even in his 20’s he’d had blood pressure. The doctors then couldn’t figure out why he had pressure and they still couldn’t figure it out. Since I’m not the grammar police I didn’t try to explain that…of course, he has blood pressure, everyone who is alive does! He might have elevated blood pressure, or high blood pressure, or low blood pressure....but if he had no blood pressure he and I wouldn’t be talking! Oops, sorry about the tirade. And just for the record, he had a temperature too. I counted to 10. Of course he had a temperature. If he was dead he’d have a temperature – it might be room temperature but he’d have one. He might have fever or his temperature might be high but he darn sure has one.

Where am I going with this post? First, apparently menopause (see previous post) also takes out your normal nice person brain and substitutes the brain of a witch you never met before. Thankfully, your normal nice person brain still has control of your tongue because I was able to keep my mouth shut. I can handle the hot flashes but this whole crying/witchy thing I'm not so sure. I've got a lot of things I want to say to Eve when I get to Heaven about why she ate that darn apple and she better hope I'm over menopause when I get there. If she's even there.

Second, I love the “colorful characters” I occasionally get to meet. Like an older lady who was standing outside her room in the most colorful robe and hat I’d ever seen (the hat was covered with pink pom poms), staring at the American Flag outside the window. When I approached her she said, “watch the flag…it’s like a beautiful lady dancing. When the wind blows it slowly starts moving, gracefully unfurling, then dancing about until the wind dies down and it slowly sinks down.” Wonderful, delightful stories about living in Manhattan and going to nursing school in the 1930s were my entertainment that day. Another gentleman I met welcomed my visit and said he’d never heard about Jesus until he got to prison. Then he taught Bible study for a while but lately he’d “backslid” and done some things he probably shouldn’t which accounted for the reason he was living in his car down by the lake. And also was why the police had confiscated his car and all his belongings. But he most certainly planned to do better – he was going to “forward slid” now. Right….

Have you met any colorful characters lately? I’d love to hear about them.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Menopause is a Four Letter Word

Background information: When I was 35 I had a hysterectomy. I am now almost 62 (and could that please hurry up and get here because for once Uncle Sam will be paying me instead of me paying him!) The doctor put me on hormones right away and there I stayed until April this year when I had a “mini” stroke. Whoever invented that word mini when associated with a stroke has never had one. It is as scary as if Satan has materialized right in front of you because you don’t have a clue what’s happening to you. For me it was manifested by losing the sight in my right eye abruptly while eating lunch one day. In the car. Between errands. It only lasted about 5 minutes but for 5 minutes I was completely aware that I could only see a pinpoint in the middle of that eye and I had no clue why or how to fix it. Shaking my head did not work. Blinking did not work. Calling my husband on the phone did not work. So off to the doctor I went. Many doctors and many tests. The same doctor who told me to keep taking hormones because I should be more interested in “quality of life” now said, “remember I told you if you had problems you’d have to quit taking them? Well this is the problem.” So I gradually weaned myself off hormones. I started by taking them every other day for a while. Then twice a week for a while. Then once a week. Then…..nothing. This week my body figured out it was getting no more of the good stuff.

Menopause has paused at my door. Who the heck invented that word anyway? I propose we rename it Menohurry, cause ladies believe me when I say you do not want it to linger! I am having awful hot flashes. I am the original snowgirl – my hands and feet are always cold. My husband and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum with body temperatures. My children laughed at a recent vacation picture of him and me standing in front of the Continental Divide sign in the Rocky Mountains. He had on a tee shirt and shorts and I had on jeans, a tee shirt, a long sleeved shirt and a fleece jacket. Typical, so typical. (And yes, I was still dying my hair then - you wanta' make something of it?) I wear wool socks year round in our house. I can’t stand for a fan to blow on me because I freeze with moving air. But now….now I break out into a sweat putting on makeup. I can be perfectly content rubbing on a little blush when sweat trickles down my face and drips off my chin. Several times a day you could fry an egg on my body. Multiple showers are mandatory. One minute I’m in my wool socks and long pajamas and the next I’m shedding all clothing possible. I wake in the middle of the night and I’m naked with no covers and still I’m hot. Then it passes and I’m back to freezing mode.

Today, Sunday, the day when I bounce out of bed, get dressed and head out for church where my heart fills with joy to worship and to sing and to see friends who are more family….today I got out of bed sobbing. I cried in the shower, I cried putting on makeup, I cried putting lotion on my body (well for heavens sake even if I’m crying I still have to have lotion or I’ll dry up and flake away to nothing!), I cried curling my hair. Finally I gave up and told my husband, while standing in my underwear with my hair curled but not combed and my mascara running down my face, “I’m not going!” And then I sat in my rocking chair, still in my underwear but with my prayer shawl wrapped around me, and sobbed some more. I called my sister who is supposed to be able to fix everything because she’s “medical” and you know what she said? She said, “I’m sorry.” That’s it. That’s all. Nada. Nothing. Well she did say to google hot flashes and see what natural things I could take to help. But that’s nothing because that’s later sometime when I go to the store which I cannot do right now because I’M CRYING!! Now don’t misunderstand me. I’m happy. I love my husband, I love my children, I love my family and friends and church and retirement and my house and living on the lake and stitching and my neighborhood and my town, but not shopping. I don’t love shopping any more. But do you get the picture? I’m more content than I’ve ever been in my life. I love being almost 62. I don’t love being 20 or 40 pounds overweight but that’s a moot point. Nobody loves that. I SHOULD NOT BE CRYING! Oh, and there is also the anger. Did I mention anger?

And then there’s the whole matter of bodily functions. If you’re squeamish you better bail out now. Your body doesn’t work the same any more. What used to be regular isn’t any more. Sleep all night and go to the bathroom when you get up? Nope, try waking to go to the bathroom 2 or 3 times a night. If you didn’t know better you’d think you were pregnant. At least when you’re pregnant you get something wonderful in the end. But with this you get nothing. Everything that can fall has. Things that ought to be moist and supple aren’t. Hair grows where it should never grow and quits growing where you expect it to. Sit for a while and you’re stiff when you get up.

So why am I telling you all this? A couple of reasons really. If you haven’t gotten here yet I want you to be forewarned. Get prepared. Buy lots of lotion, tissues, sleeping pills, dipilatorys, waterproof mascara, oh and a laxative couldn’t hurt. And get busy inventing a cure because you could be an instant millionaire. What am I thinking? You could be an instant billionaire!

(Photos compliments of Flickr)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Help, Please!

I'm looking for help from my quilting friends! My mother died 4 years ago and the floral fabric here was in her stash. There was only a small piece but I managed to use every inch of it and make this lap quilt. I put a wide white border on it thinking I would applique something on it. A vine? Flowers? I can't picture it....would I use solids? Or what about embroidery? A verse all the way around? Or maybe take the white border off and put several borders on, different colors? Any ideas welcome!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Finished by Friday Despite Busy Grandchildren

I know you thought I couldn't do it. You did, didn't you? You spent all week thinking, no way can she finish anything by Friday this week. She has grandchildren. Lots of grandchildren. Grandchildren who want to eat every hour and who want to tee tee every 15 minutes. Grandchildren who run everywhere and change clothes every time you take your eyes off them. Grandchildren who want to sew with you and sit in your lap and go outside and swim and, and, tv! Sometimes they will sit/stand/dance for a couple of hours with Studio DC and Hannah Montana! Sometimes they will watch Nanny McPhee over and over and over and over till you want to scream. I'm not sure their parents would approve but who's gonna' ask them. This is grandma's house and at grandma's house we eat brownies and "pasgetti" (spaghetti) and Oreos and we watch all the tv we want. Until bedtime because that's where grandma draws the line. Grandma needs sleep. All that tv watching does allow grandma to get a little handwork done while she sits with them.

I added the snowflakes to this one that I showed you last week!

And I started and finished these two! They're small, granted, but they're also done and done is good. :) I have only two more to do on Winter Wonderland and then it's time to make the pieced blocks and put the whole thing together. The last two are Big and Bigger. That means that when the grandchildren are gone I better get into high gear and get that checkerboard and rails quilt top done!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

More Things To Laugh About, Or Not

1. A 2 year old caught just as she is about to give her baby a bath in the toilet and who has the most innocent expression on her face - what? I'm not supposed to do this?

2. A 7 year old who replies to all instruction with, "Gotcha!"

me: Would you please pick up your toys?

her: Gotcha!

me: Please don't scream at your sister.

her: Gotcha!

me: If you're going to sew you have to be in a chair alone because otherwise you might poke the needle in someone's eye (like mine!)

her: Gotcha!

3. A 2 year old who wears her Grandpa completely out by having him put her on the top of the water slide instead of climbing up herself - over and over and over and over.

4. A 7 year old who carries her purse constantly, even to bed.

5. A 2 year old who, when being "watched" by her grandpa, gets the tv remote control and attempts to put it in the toilet.

6. A 7 year old who keeps saying "something stinks" referring to her sister because she thinks it's funny.

7. Cousins who play so hard for so long that they sleep until 10:00 in the morning.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

This Makes Me Laugh

Things that make me laugh while babysitting:

1. A 2 year old who answers, "OK Honey!" when told it isn't nice to hit her sister.
2. A 7 year old who screams at the top of her lungs while going face first down the water slide.
3. A 2 year old who constantly poses and says, "Picture me!" if a camera is anywhere in sight.
4. A 7 year old who does all the dances 1 foot in front of the television while watching Hannah Montana - and doesn't have a clue anyone is watching.
5. A 2 year old who is in the middle of potty training and will go anytime you ask her as long as you let her "push" the handle.
6. A 7 year old who calls up her aunt to tell her to bring fingernail polish when she comes to visit because Grandma doesn't have any and because she needs to paint her toenails this week.

7. A 2 year old and a 7 year old and a 63 year old Grandpa who are easily fooled into believing that Grandma made Pineapple Dumplings for dessert when she actually made Pineapple Cobbler and forgot to put in the Baking Powder!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Good Stuff/Bad Stuff

I only have a moment but I've been thinking about this for a day or two and wanted to share it. Recently I've read on several blogs about a rash of bad things happening in people's lives. Not really, really bad things but you know when you've had one of those days or weeks or months when nothing seems to go right? Maybe your alarm clock doesn't go off, your battery operated toothbrush dies mid-brush, you run out the door on your way to work and have a flat tire, your son calls from school and he left his English essay at home and it's 1/2 of his grade this get the picture. I even posted something like that myself recently when I said we had to have the seawall rebuilt, had a flood and the dock floated 8 feet out in the lake and got stuck, the pump went out and the kitchen stove started leaking carbon monoxide! Anyway, someone said something (jokingly) along the lines of "What have I done so bad that God's punishing me this way?" even though she really knew that God doesn't send bad stuff.

And here's what I'm thinking. When the bad/nasty/inconvenient things happen perhaps you should be smiling, rejoicing and dancing for joy asking yourself "What am I doing so good that Satan is sending all of this bad stuff to me? I must really have him on the run!"

Here's My Day

This is what my day will be like today:

Weather - We have a wonderful, rainy day today. Yesterday too. After weeks of a drought I am rejoicing that God is watering my trees and grass and flowers. They have greened up overnight and you can almost see them smiling.

People - There's just my husband and I at home today. I love quiet days at home when it's just the two of us. No grandchildren. :( But I'm going to see other people as I run my errands.

Food - I'm going to put a roast in the crock pot this morning using a recipe I got from Janera at My Garden Hat. It calls for a roast, cream of mushroom soup, rotel tomatoes and a cup of dry pinto beans. Sounds interesting, doesn't it!

Clothes - hmmm, I'm still in my pajamas but since it's raining I think I'll wear slacks and a short sleeved shirt and tennis shoes today. I'll have to take some sandals with me when I run errands so I can change (see below).

Errands - Only a few, thank goodness! First I'm going to drop off a Beth Moore video for a new friend to borrow for her Bible study group tonight. Second, and my favorite, a pedicure. It's been too long and this is one luxury I hope I never have to give up. Third, I'll stop by the bank for myhusband. And last, the Christian Book Store to get a birthday card for my sweet 17 year old granddaughter. Her birthday was actually Saturday but I haven't gotten to see her yet so I'm safe.

Home again - I should have the whole afternoon to work on the Checkerboard and Rails quilt. I'm hoping to only have 2 or 3 more days work on this and I plan to take it to the quilter later this week. Yea!

Bible Study - I'm a little behind in my reading of Genesis with Prodigal Jon in 97 Seconds With God so I'll catch up with that.

Reading - before I go to bed tonight I'll read a little more of the third book in the Twilight series Eclipse.

Blogs - I have over a hundred on my Reader these days and that's way too many. At some point I'm going to have to take some off but I love them all and don't know how to decide which ones have to go. Any suggestions?

What are you doing today?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Great Read

I saw this on Suture For a Living and thought it was a wonderful meme that's going around. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has a program called "The Big Read". The Big Read is an initiative of the NEA designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. This meme isn't part of that, or at least I don't think so, but it is interesting to read the "meme list" and see which ones you have read. I admit that some of them I've never heard of and that there are several I think should have made the list and didn't.
“The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed.” Where do you fall on this list?

1) Bold: I have read.2) Underline: Books I love.
3) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read only 6 and force books upon them!!
4) I'm adding this one! What books do you think are missing from this list?

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. The Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7 . Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials – Phillip Pullman
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 . The Complete works of Shakespeare (Like Purplesque I've tried, and failed. Have seen many of them performed.)
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit --J.R.R. Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveler's Wife
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 . The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 . Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
(I didn't understand this one!
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding (we studied this to boredom in sophomore English)
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune- Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (I confess to not finishing this one all the way to the end)
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince – Antoine de St. Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams (one of my favorite books ever)
95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town like Alice- Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet- William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Finished by Friday, Not Quite

On Monday I started putting this quilt together (Checkerboard and Rails). I had all the pieces cut and ready but nothing sewn. I thought this was going to be a piece of cake and I'd have it whipped out in a couple of days. It didn't happen. I worked about 4 hours on Monday and this is how far I got. But I knew I would have several times during the week to work so I was optimistic. I sewed all the rail blocks and that went great. I strip pieced them and cut them the designated 6 1/4" length. All 140 of them. Then I started on the checkerboard block - looks easy enough. It would be if my seam had been 1/4" like it was supposed to be. I sewed and sewed and sewed, then unsewed, unsewed, and unsewed some more. Muttering under my breath. Things like stupid, stupid, stupid. Should have measured. Should have paid more attention. Should have, should have, should have. Oh well. On Wednesday I worked about 6 hours, on Thursday about 4 hours and today about 8. This is where I am now.

It's taking a little longer than I expected. But it's gorgeous, isn't it?
I really, really wanted to have something finished by Friday. I have blogging friends waiting. Expecting. Anticipating. You were, weren't you? I mean you do expect me to be here on Friday showing what wonderful things I've accomplished, right? So each night I worked on this block from Winter Wonderland. My fingers hurt and I only half watched NCIS. Do you know what a sacrifice that was? Do you? Just for you. I didn't finish. There are still several snowflakes waiting to be born there. Frantically I'm thinking what to do, what to do? And then I remembered I hadn't shown you these! They were finished by Friday - one Friday, long ago. It doesn't really matter which Friday, right?
This little wallhanging that I call Fly Fishing was made for my husband. Not that he fly fishes but he does trout fish and that's close enough for me. I used the Cotton Theory. Badly. I used it badly. I could not keep a straight seam no matter how I tried. So I disguised them with decorative stitches. Badly. Bad disguise. Oh well, it looks primitive. Right? That's what I intended all along!
And this Mariner's Compass - well I'm a little proud of it. I drafted it!!!! That's right, you heard it here. I drafted it in a class and it turned out to really be a Mariner's Compass. I was a new quilter, just a year or two, and when I walked in with my fabric the teacher took one look and said you brought a stripe? A stripe? You bet I said, all proud and everything. Aren't these colors good together! She wiped the sweat from her brow and set to work. We did ok I think.