Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday afternoon

What a beautiful part of the week--Sunday afternoon. It's quite warm and breezy here and I'm waiting for Lily and her mom to arrive for swimming and playing all afternoon.

Last week was full moon week and it was absolutely crazy at work! After reading a few other blogs, it sounds as though a lot of people had wicked crazy weeks as well. We all managed to make it through ok and I, for one, have embraced the weekend. Friday night, one of my best friends and soul sister, and her husband arrived for the weekend and it started off great. For dinner, I made a penne pasta dish with chicken and green beans, from the garden, in a mild cream sauce and chopped hazelnuts for garnish. Yumm! It reminds me of my last trip to Mt Ranier in Washington state where the menue liberally included hazelnuts as garnish.

On Saturday, the rest of the visitors arrived--2 additional couples--and the party really got started. We were swimming, playing water volleyball, visiting, eating and drinking, etc. all afternoon and evening. Into the hot tub after dark but the mosquitoes chased us inside the house. Brunch this morning and more visiting and they were all on their way by 11 o'clock.

Since Don and I had worked like banshees preparing for this weekend house party, we have no yardwork, housework, gardening, or anything to do today. He suggested a day of R&R and I agree.

Yesterday, before the other couples arrived, I managed to finish the table runner I'd started in June. This was made with fabric I'd purchased in April when I was shop hopping with my friend--I got the fabric that she seemed to particularly like, planning to make her a gift of this runner. Started sewing it in June when I was laid up with my knee surgery and only managed to finish it now in the nick of time. She likes it, and I'm pleased.

The four women here this weekend made plans for a quilting weekend in the end of January since 2 of them want to learn how. This will be great fun, I think, since it's going to be at someone else's house--not here! Now, I'm putting on my swimsuit and going into the water to cool off.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My daughter has rediscovered the library. She takes Lily there and she remembered that she used to love to read but for some reason, stopped. She had finished a book she checked out of the library and on Sunday, was looking around my house for something else to read. I recommended one of my favorites, "Snow Falling on Cedars" by David Guterson, which she took home with her. Yesterday, she said she loves the book and can't put it down! I'm amazed--one of my kids is enjoying the same book as me!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Joy, Joy, Joy

I learned about the Ripples Project several years ago and I get an email from Paul every Monday morning. There are a couple of quotes and a paragraph or two from Paul giving some advice to carry throughout the week. This week, I want to share with you, part of what he has to say.

"We don't always get to choose what happens in our day, we don't always get to choose the people we are around. We can always choose how we respond to these events and people, and we can choose joy even when that isn't our first reaction. Anger is the right choice sometimes and so is sadness, and all the other emotions as well. Just remember that joy is also available to you, waiting for you to choose her. She can transform any ordinary moment into a miracle!"

Sometimes I have to look very hard to find it, but usually, there's something that's positive, even in the worst of times. A frivolous example: I thought I would finish my shawl last night and I was binding off the last row when I realized the I'm short about 10" of yarn to finish the thing. So this morning, I learned how to "unknit" a bound off edge, something I'd not known before. I'm also learning--AGAIN!--to be patient and persevere.

I heard a folktale about a man who arrived at a village riding a donkey. They stayed the night and in the morning, he discovered that his donkey was missing. The entire village searched everywhere, high and low, for hours to find the donkey but there was no sign of him. When they returned to the village, they found the man dancing and singing that he was such a lucky man. The villagers asked him why he thought he was "lucky" since he'd lost his donkey. He said he was lucky because he could have been riding the donkey when it got lost and he would have been lost too!

Joy. Find some today.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Family time

Lily is here for the weekend since her mom had to work Saturday am and then decided to spend Sat night with us, and son, Dan, came, home from Milwaukee for the weekend as well. Now, let me clarify that under normal conditions, even though my "kids" are all in their 20's and 30's, when they get together under the same roof for more than 2 or 3 hours, an argument of gigantic proportions usually breaks out and there's tension for the rest of the visit. This time, however, all is going smoothly! I guess there really are miracles! On the other hand, we still have a few hours to go before one or the other departs, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

It is hot here again! Those few Fall-like days we had earlier were just teasers! BBQ ribs on the barbie for supper with the last of the sweetcorn--Yummmmmm. Flies all over the place--especially inside the house. YUCK! That's summer in Wisconsin!

After supper last night, we all watched a PG rated movie, "The Fantastic Mr. Fox." What a gem! It's rated PG since there's lots of cussing in it--the characters say "cuss" instead of the other words. "What the cuss are you doing?" for example. It was hilarious and I highly recommend it.

No quilting, but I did look at some fabric and read a quilting magazine, looking for ideas. I'm knitting my fingers sore working on that shawl--which I will post when it's finished, I promise--and have only 2 or 3 more rows to complete. Maybe tonight I'll get it done. Then, I have no excuse for procrastinating any longer on quilting.

For today, it's outside to pull weeds.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Give Away and Quilt-along

Sewbernie left this button on her blog so I checked it out and decided to sign up for the giveaway and join the quilt along. You might want to as well.

The quilting giveaway and Quilt-along starts on the 21st. The Quilt-along is about FMQing which I've been doing for many years now, but I seem to always do the same patterns. I think with this quilt-along, I'll learn some new techniques and new patterns. I'm really excited about this--she says it will take less than an hour a week to do it. I'll post and let you know how it goes--as it goes along.

Monday, August 16, 2010

There's been a change in the weather...

And a change in me. I'm not nearly such a grouch as I was the past week when we had terrible weather--hot, humid, cloudy, rainy and stormy every other day. Friday night, the system finally moved out of here and we had a weekend of sunshine and warm, dry weather. What a joy to be able to open up the house after a week of keeping it closed so the AC would do it's thing! I have a theory that some of us are "allergic" to hot humid weather. Don't know if that's really true, but I get physically ill when I have to function in 90 degree temps with 80% humidity. My husband and one daughter, on the other hand, absolutely love that! I think they have some kind of heat tolerance gene that I lack. Well, that's why I insist on having a swimming pool--it cools me off better than any shower or AC can, and it helps me survive in these wicked Wisconsin summers. Winter, now, is my time of the year. The cold, dry weather does wonders for my temperament, the aches of my arthritis disappear and I overall feel very, very healthy. The spouse and daughter cry and complain all winter about the cold and can never seem to get warm. I love winter sports and probably spend more time outside in the winter than I do in the summer. Snow shoveling?--bring it on! Enough of this--suffice it to say that I'm enjoying this warm dry spell and looking forward to Autumn coming soon.

This weekend I didn't do much, other than the usual housekeeping and garden chores. Eggplants are haunting me and I will spend this evening making Rigatoni with Eggplant and Sausage.

One pan to eat for dinner and two or 3 more to go into the freezer for another time. The recipe is available at Corn is also calling me. We have friends who grow corn for us to take for free--can't pass that up--and the ears are ready for picking this week. That's tomorrow night's job--pick the corn and start getting it into the freezer and turning it into corn relish, one of my husband's favorite things. He's done about 20 qts of dill pickles so far with about 20 more coming on the cucumber vines. Yesterday he put up about 15 qts of sauerkraut--the best in the whole world, I think--so the freezer and pantry are getting full of goodness to see us through the winter.

No quilting, knitting, or other needle work this weekend--the garden takes precedent.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Last weekend with Lily was great! She absolutely LOVED the county fair, went on all the kids' rides, had her first sno cone, and won a toy at a carny game. Whoo Hoo! Me?I was a bit disappointed. Haven't gone to a county fair for many years and and the fairs from my childhood seemed quite a bit better and larger than this one. Is it my faulty memory or have county fairs become not much more than 4H exhibits and a carnival?

After the fair, we got home, set up the tent, hiked in the hills behind the house to get firewood and cooked our supper over a campfire. Lily's first weenie roast! She only lost one in the fire and she thought her hot dog was super! After a couple of hours in the pool to cool off, we "slept" in the tent. She slept and I tossed all night trying to get comfortable. I told Don later, my tent camping days are finally over. I've always been a tent camper--the more primitive, the better, in my opinion, but now the ground had become way too hard for me. Despite the fierce thunderstorm during the night which Lily slept through, she thinks camping is great! So I guess all told, we had a very good weekend.

Monday, I took off on a 6 hour drive to Milwaukee along with 2 co-workers, for 6 hours of training on Tuesday. Good material, but it could have been done on a webcast. It's so irritating that people in large cities have no idea how inconvenient it is for us to get there. I don't mind going but the training had better be worth it and this wasn't. I got home last night at midnight and decided to take today off.

I got green beans, broccoli and peas in the freezer, as well as blueberries from the store. Got some laundry done and am making great progress on the shawl I'm knitting. Overall, a day well spent.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Eggplant Friday

Hooray! The end of the work week is in sight! This morning I picked eggplants to bring to work for my co-workers who requested them. Of course, no pix, sorry, but believe me, those suckers were more than ready to be picked! With some luck, I'll be in the kitchen this weekend making eggplant dishes to go in the freezer for later on. It's the only way I know of to preserve the darn things.

I also make a dish I got from Baked Rigatoni with Eggplant and Sausage, which is soooo good! I'd like to have a few pans of that in the freezer. As well, there are beans, cucumbers, peas, and beets to be taken care of. I think I'm going to be working harder this weekend than during the week. LOL!

Actually, Lily and I are planning on camping in the back yard this weekend and making as much of a vacation weekend as we can. Tomorrow afternoon we go to the county fair--Lily's never been before and it's been years for me. I want to check out the needlework and sewing exhibits, if there are any, and she wants to see the aminals and check out the rides--not too high, she says. Then we sleep in the tent Sat night after roasting hotdogs for supper over a campfire. On Sunday, we have some hiking and swimming to do before I take her back to her house. I've been promising to go camping with her all summer and I reaized I didn't have to drive to a campground when we have everything in our own back yard! Should be fun.

Last night, I actually sat down at my sewing machine, not to work on the table runner that's begging me to give it some attention. No, no, I was good and did my sewing chore instead. Jo left 2 pair of jeans that need patches and I took care of that and will ship them to her today. The runner is still begging but I feel good for getting that annoying chore done and out of the way.

So I just have to get through this day and then the "fun" begins for the weekend. Hope you all have a good one as well.

Monday, August 2, 2010


I had a very quiet weekend. Lily has moved out. But a lot of her things remain--reminding us of her. Despite how glad I am that she's now with her mother, I'm a little lonely without a laughing, dancing, singing, excited-about-the-world six-year-old in the house. Fortunately, she's only about 25 miles away so we will see her often. Now the task is for Don and me to figure out how to do this empty-nesting thing. It's been over 30 years since we've been only a couple (if you don't count the 6 months we had before Tessa and Lily returned).

So far, the past 2 days, it's gone okay. Saturday, I bought a couple of steaks for our dinner--I rarely buy beef and more rarely steaks! We grilled them and Don fixed a salad and we dined at 9 PM. With Lily here, dinner HAD to be at 6 sharp in order to have time to get everything done with her before bedtime at 8. So we truly enjoyed having a lingering evening with the late dinner.

Don has been picking cucumbers in the garden and he tried making pickles for the first time Saturday. I resurrected my mom's dill pickle recipe and he finished up with 10 jars. The goal is to have about 20 or 25 jars of, hopefully, delicious dills.
Sunday he picked green beans for the first time and I'll be getting them in the freezer tonight. I guess you can say the garden is starting to come in.

Quilting continues to remain on hold for the summer, it seems. I haven't been able to resume my enthusiasm for it since I finished the auction quilt even though I started a table runner--it's still on my table, half finished, covered by my knitting things. Knitting, however, threatens to become my new passion! I'm nearly finished with the cardigan I started in June and Saturday I picked up some really great light weight worsted yarn and started working on a triangular shawl. Today, I brought it to work and will keep it here to work on at break time.

I have to keep this knitting thing in balance--if I stop quilting, what will I do with all this fabric I have? If I'm really self disciplined, I think I can manage to do both--time will tell.