Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone!  It's Christmas evening and the festivities are at a close. Frankly, I'm glad.  I love Christmas and I love when it's over and I can get back to my normal life. 

I've been super busy this year--working an extra day each week, working on politics, doing extra quilting for friends, sending a Christmas package to daughter Jo well ahead of time, and preparing for a pre-Christmas trip to Milwaukee with the family. 

Everything was accomplished in good time and with good (?) grace.  The trip to Milwaukee was fine--we toured the Mitchell Domes conservatory--such a beautiful place to go in the middle of the cold winter.  We went to see the Milwaukee Rep's production of Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" and it was outstanding, as usual.  The "kids" (I say that tongue in cheek since each is in his/her 30's) had their customary holiday quarrel while we were in Milwaukee so that was over and done with early in the season.  We had our usual holiday foods, presents and customs.  And tonight, granddaughter Lily is here with us as is son Dan and the house is quieting down. 

I'm posting some pix that I've been taking but haven't had time to post.  These are the placemats I made for Elaine in exchange for her sewing my bedroom draperies.  I met her for lunch on the 19th and she seemed quite pleased with them. 
I also made a couple of Christmas table tops, one for Elaine and the other for our friend, Judy, who joined us for lunch. 

Here's a close up of the quilting--just an overall meander, easy peasy--and fast!
And I did get a few of the little Matryoshka ornaments made and gave one each to Judy and Elaine, and there was one in each sock on Christmas morning.

I loved making these little dollies and I have several more cut out, waiting to be sewn up.  Maybe tonight while the football game is on.

So, the holiday is finished but good feelings remain in my heart.  Next up comes my 40th wedding anniversary on the 28th and then my birthday in January. Will the celebrations never end????? LOL  

I hope everyone who reads this has also had a wonderful holiday and that their annual family squabble didn't amount to anything serious. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Matryoska Christmas dolls

I found these felt ornaments on Sam's blog, All Things Quilty and Sewy,  ( 

They are so darn cute, I have to make a couple before Christmas, but I won't say which year. LOL Here are the directions:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I've had such a great week!

So many "best things" happened, I don't know where to begin.  How about work?  Last week was the end of the Medicare open enrollment period so I worked my last 3 day week. Yea!!!  I know, you're saying "Three day week???" Well, I'd gotten into the habit of working a 2 day week and then added a third day in mid-October to help with the crush of Medicare D clients who need help during this time.  It was hard to adjust to working that extra day, especially since that day was filled to the brim with appointments, none of them easy situations to deal with and the 8 hour day usually stretched to 10. So, I'm glad to have survived and to return to only 2 days a week. Maybe I can get some quilting done?

Secondly, Christmas events.  Thursday was Lily's holiday concert at school so Don and I were there, of course. This concert was for the kindergarten, first and second grades (The third, fourth and fifth graders have a spring concert.) Those little kids were so cute and sang so earnestly, all dressed up in their holiday clothes. Their director had them doing some things with very basic musical instruments and it was very sweet. The director has several elementary schools that he's assigned to and that's why, I suppose, that he has to split the grades into two concerts instead of having all the kids perform in each concert.  It's too bad that the music and arts teachers are spread so thin but at least the kids get a little exposure.

After the concert, Don and I took Lily with us to run errands in the afternoon, giving Tessa some time to get schoolwork done--she'll finish the semester on the 19th.  Yea!  Then we picked up Tessa and went out for an early dinner at a pretty good Mexican restaurant in Menomonie named Cancun. I ordered "Pollo Crema" which was sooo good!  Chicken breast covered with sauteed mushrooms and onions all in a cheesy creamy sauce. I'll definitely return and order that again.

After dinner, we dropped Don off at Tessa's house so he could rest his gouty foot, and us three ladies bundled up and went downtown for the Christmas parade. What a treat! It was colder than a well digger's butt but so much fun. The floats were all decorated in lights and had Christmas music pouring out of the speakers! Horses with jingle bells on their harnesses! Even the 3 wisemen were there riding a horse, a donkey and a real camel!  There were dancers twirling and high stepping as they moved along the parade route. And candy pouring out for the children!  OMG! Lily's bag was overflowing by the time the parade ended--and Tessa said she had only just finished up her Halloween candy!  There's a big Swiss Miss plant in Menomonie so Lily got many packets of hot chocolate mix and pots of pudding from the SM folks. 

On Friday afternoon, I picked up Lily and she's been at the house until just a few minutes ago. Yesterday afternoon, she and I went outside and (almost) finished the outside decorating.  We have yet to find the rest of the red ribbons we always put on the front yard fence and there are no more to buy in the store so I hope to find them soon. This is a pix of the front entry: 

I don't do a lot of decorating, just a bit of greenery and ribbon and a strand of lights on the pots on the left. It looks festive for folks driving by, day and night.

Lily and Don also set up the Christmas village that he got a few years ago.  She loves to play with the village
--rearranging the snowmen and the carolers every time she's here. Next Saturday, we'll take Lily with us to the tree farm to choose the perfect tree for the living room. And she'll help decorate it as well which is fine with me since that's a job I really don't like doing.  I love the final effect, but it such putsy work, that I'll let Lily and Don do that while I whip up a batch of cookies for them to enjoy when they're finished.

Now I have to get to my sewing room and finish the placemats I promised my friend, Elaine, in exchange for the draperies she's making for me. I also want to make a Christmas table runner for her as a surprise and since we're meeting on the 19th for lunch with our other friend, Judy, I want to have a runner for her as well. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

ATTN: Thrifty shoppers and crocheters

This video is for you.  Your shopping and/or crocheting may never be the same!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What's with binding?

Sometimes I get very annoyed when I read blog entries. Today I read one about machine binding your quilts.  Excuse me, but I've been of the school that bindings were machine stitched on the front and folded over and hand stitched on the back.  Seems there's a new way that I've been hearing about but haven't tried.

When I read this person's entry this morning, I got very annoyed because "that's not the correct way to do it."  (A little of my OCD showing ;-)  ) As I read, I started to realize that times do change and maybe it was time to change my attitude about bindings.  Just because I've always done it a certain way doesn't mean it has to be done that way, right? Actually, I'll be real honest here. On my first quilt, I simply folded the backing over to the front and hand stitched it down.  I still have that quilt and have repaired that binding several times and everytime I look at the quilt,I regret not doing it the proper way. 

I digress.  Our grandmothers and great grandmothers hand pieced and hand quilted and some people still do that today. Does that mean its "not okay" to use the machine to piece and quilt as I do today?  Of course not. We have adapted new methods of achieving the same results--a beautiful quilt.  So why not use the machine to finish the binding? 

Some of the examples I see of machine stitched bindings look very nice--using decorative stitches and variegated threads--and they add another element to the quilt.  It seems easy enough to machine stitch the bindings although one person said it took a bit of practice before she mastered it.  However, I don't know if I like the idea of doing another step of maneuvering the quilt through the machine one more time--after all, I usually make bed sized quilts or at least throw sized and that's a lot of wrestling when using a domestic machine!

I think I'll stay with hand sewing the final step of creating the quilt.  I like to sit with the quilt on my lap, good movie on the TV, a fire in the stove and the soothing rhythm of stitch after stitch along the edge of the quilt.  After struggling to move the quilt through the machine to cover it with quilting, this last, final step is the best part of the entire process for me. Very relaxing.  I may change my attitude and machine stitch on a binding in the future and that will be okay, but for now, I look forward to having hand work to occupy me in the evening.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

As usual, I'm a bit late at things.  I just read Sharon's post at and realize I should have been occupying my sewing room instead of standing in the cold this morning collecting signatures to recall Gov. Walker.

I live in the country near a VERY small village in NW Wisconsin. Wisconsin is in the midst of a movement to recall Gov. Walker and force another election. This is a grassroots movement and people all over the state are coming out to sign the petitions. My experience this morning was so rewarding, I really can't explain--but I'll try.

A small group of us arranged to set up signature collecting stations in my town and two other small towns nearby.  We stood on the street corner with our homemade signs, inviting folks to stop and sign the petition.  The response was overwhelming!  Many of the people paid no attention and ignored us as they drove by. A few shook their fingers at us in disapproval and three people actually gave us a one-finger salute with one person screaming at us to "GO F_ _ _ K YOURSELVES" as he rounded the corner.  That was fun.  But the majority of folks waved at us, yelled that they'd already signed, honked their horns, and/or gave us a thumbs-up as they passed by.  Enough folks stopped to sign the petition to make it worthwhile. 

Gathering signatures is really being part of democracy as is signing the petition.  People are so glad to be able to express how they feel about our government--it's a thrill that can't be beat. Everybody should try it sometime.

So, instead of "occupying" my sewing room, I was "occupying" Prairie Farm and had a ball doing it.  Now, I'm going to sew.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Thanksgiving is finished--except for making soup out of the turkey carcass! And I'm saving that for tomorrow.  I had a great holiday with only the immediate family here this year. All the extended fam had made other plans and that was a good thing since I still have a large and (getting pretty) dirty bandage of my left hand. I used a latex glove to protect the food from the bandage and vice versa and it worked ok. Also, Tessa came out on Wed and she and I worked together very well and made all the traditional foods for the dinner and it was lovely.  For the second year in a row, no sibling fights! Could this mean they are finally growing up?  I'll not hold my breath but I'm optimistic.

Now my thoughts turn to Christmas. Youngest daughter, Jo, absolutely loves Christmas and she used to drive us crazy with her Christmas music beginning right after Halloween!  And she would begin pestering Don and me to get the Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving.  That never happened since we get a live tree from the farm, but she still tried.

She's now in Bulgaria with the Peace Corps and this will be her first year so far away from home for the holidays with no relatives nearby. Her best friend from high school is teaching in France and the two girls young women are going to spend a couple of weeks travelling over the holidays.  A few days in Paris to start, then a week or so (including Christmas day) in Edinburgh Scotland, then south to London where they'll see a performance of  "A Christmas Carol." Boy, do I wish I was 25 again, footloose and fancy-free!

Anyway, Jo has a blog on blogspot and she recently posted this:
A couple of years ago, my neice who is married to a bush pilot and lives in Alaska sent this YouTube for us to see. I loved it then and I loved seeing it again this morning.  If anyone needs to get in the spirit of Christmas, I hope this helps.

With all the kids back in their seperate homes and Don tuned in to more football games (I have no idea how many he watched over the weekend, but I'm sure I'd have to take off my shoes and socks to count that high  ;-)  ), I'm going to spend the day in the sewing room and finish off the leftovers for dinner tonight.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Little Miss Cranky Pants

That's me these days. Cranky to the max!  And I don't know why. It could be the annual holiday stress season hitting me. I realized how stressed I get over the holidays when I quit smoking about 15 years ago. I would be fine the whole year and right about Thanksgiving time, I would start thinking about cigarettes, and looking at them in the store, and actually start craving them again. It would continue through Christmas and New Year's and then suddenly be gone.  After that first year, I learned that I had been a stress-reducing smoker.  Each year, the craving and obsessing would be less and after about 5 years, it was gone. But the stress remains, apparently.

Could I be cranky because Wisconsin is once again in political turmoil and I've plowed right into it, full speed.  I'll be involved for the next couple of months in gathering signatures on the recall petitions and that's a stressful activity in itself.  I meet Saturday with other volunteers to plan how we're going to hadle signature gathering in our little area of the woods.

Maybe I'm crabby because I'm having a second surgery on my wrists tomorrow, but I don't think so. The first one--on my dominant hand to boot--went very well and I'm very pleased with it. My left wrist isn't as bad so it should go even smoother, but still . . .

I'm particularly cranky at work. I love my job but I'd rather be back home, working on quilts, embroidering, cooking and baking and even cleaning, can you believe!  I just want to nest in my home and be content.  Don and I have done so much work on the house and yard and we're nearly finished with the entire house remodel, and the yard and gardens are as complete as landscaping ever is, and I want to spend more time there.  I received a comment from a co-worker yesterday that didn't sit well with me at all. Something that indicated that the work I do here wasn't actually needed.  Excuse me!  I would NEVER say that to another worker about the work he/she does--it's all valuable work that the public appreciates very much. 

At any rate, there are many reasons why I'm feeling so cranky and I'm not really sure what the true cause is--probably all of it.  I just know that I don't like being Miss Cranky Pants and I have to correct this attitude and get over it.  When my son was a preschooler and having a bad day, I would tell him to throw those old crankies out the window, and it helped.  I should do the same.  Maybe after the surgery tomorrow, I'll be better.  Maybe a little Vicodin will help. LOL (Actually, that stuff is like a sugar pill for me--I've never felt any effect from it like others have.  Tylenol is just as effective for me.)

Well, I feel better for having vented a bit about all of this. If anyone bothered to read all of this, I hope you have a great day and I intend on doing the same.  OUT THE WINDOW, DAMN CRANKIES!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Doo, doo, doo, Looking out my back door

Thanks, CCR, for the lyrics
 (as well as for all your great music--loved it then and love it still).

This is "looking out my 'front' door" this AM. I spoke too soon yesterday, being thankful the storm was staying out of my area. NOT! While I still think this is a beautiful landscape to wake up to, I would prefer it to remain autumn a bit longer. Oh well, I can't control the weather so I'll make the best of it. If nothing else, it's good quilting weather and that's what I'll be doing tonight when I get home from work.

Poor little bush, all covered in the white fluffy stuff. You can't even tell its a barberry covered with thorns.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Snow-Embroidery-Voting-Pin Basting

I just read Marcia's post about the first snowfall at her house, here:
While I think her photos are beautiful--only a northern girl born and bred would appreciate pix of snow lol--I'm glad the storm is south of where I live.  I'm just not ready for our beautiful Autumn to end yet. 

I'm embroidering the little snowman wall hanging for the guild exchange next month and making quite speedy progress on it to boot. For the last 2 evenings I've been watching MSNBC after supper and while stitching, and I must say I was very pleased with the voting coverage last night, particularly in Ohio and Mississippi and Maine.  In Wisconsin, we are beginning the Recall Walker campaign next week so my stitching and quilting may have to be put aside a bit as I work on that.

I brought 2 quilt tops, batting, and backing with me to work yesterday and after work, I laid them out on the tables in the meeting room so I could pin baste them together into a quilt sandwich.  I'm no longer able to do this on the floor and find that pinning at table height is soooo much easier.  I got the flannel baby quilt pinned, but when I laid out the Christmas throw, I realized the batting was about 2" too short.  Drats!  I had taken large batting scraps and pieced them and thought it was big enough, but not.  So I have to add a few inches on the batting and drag the thing back to work another day. And there's nothing I like better than staying at the office after hours to do this!  (Sarcasm there)  Oh well, there's nothing to be done but fix it and get on with the quilting.

When I finish the tops, I'll post pix of them.

Monday, November 7, 2011

So Far Behind

. . . and not just in my quilting. Somehow, I got about 3 weeks behind in reading the blogs I follow and my OCD tendency would not allow me to post until I'd read all the blog entries I'd missed.  And I have to read each one since you all write such great stuff!  After spending close to 3 hours reading last night and still being several days behind, my brain said "Enough!"  So it's time to share a wonderful experience I had this weekend--and I'll read the rest of the blogs later.  :-)

I spent Saturday with a person I've been wanting to meet for the past 3 or 4 years. Cathy and I "met" at My Quilt Blog and since we seem to have many things in common, we've been emailing each other ever since. We've tried numerous times to set a day when we can actually meet face to face and finally did it on Sat. Cathy lives less than 2 hours from me so we met in Stillwater MN for breakfast.

I've never met an on-line friend before so I was a little apprehensive--What if we don't have anything to talk about?  What if she's overbearing or shy and retiring?  What if she has BO or bad breath? What if she's too classy for me? What was my plan of escape if this didn't go well?  Not to worry. From the instant I saw her in the parking lot, I just knew we would hit it off. We talked all through breakfast and then went shop hopping for the rest of the day. We covered 4 shops in the area that I'd heard of but hadn't been to and, Oh My! What a treat each shop was!

I bought a few things pictured here, but the best part of the day was spending time with my new found friend.  I'm so glad we finally got together and I would have liked to have spent more time with Cathy except she and I both had obligations we had to get home for.  BUT, we both agreed that Saturday would only be the first of many times we'll be together.  All my concerns were unfounded. I felt as though I'd known her for years--she's so easy to talk to and best of all, she listened to what I had to say!  Yep, I'm glad we took a chance and finally got together. Thanks, Cathy, for a wonderful day together.

Here's what I got at the shops. I found these fabrics on the sale rack:  Some cute robins and a Xmas fabric I think would work well as sashing in a project.  One and a quarter yard of the robins and 1 1/2 yards of the Xmas.

Actually, as I look at the photo, I think these fabrics might go together very well.

At another shop, I found this embroidery pattern which I started last night.

Although the pattern is for a pillow, I'm going to make it up as a little wall hanging for my guild Xmas exchange.  We will have a pot luck party in early December and we are to bring a wall hanging no larger than 24" by 24" for a gift exchange. So, this will be my offering.

I'm off work today and have a ton of drudgery and toil homemaking to do. It's a beautiful sunny day with not too much wind and with promise of enough warmth that I'll be able to clean my windows before the frost and chill of winter sets in.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I'm full to the brim with quilting!

I can't believe the last 3 days of my life!  An amazing journey in quilting, unlike anything I've experienced before.  Three days on retreat with about 20 members of my guild--Ah, life is good.

We stayed at a northwoods resort on Lake Holcombe an hour's drive east of where I live. We were all in one room with our machines whirring away, irons steaming, Ipod playing great tunes, and a "special" table spilling over with delicious snacks. A quilter's heaven!  We all worked on projects that we had brought from home as well as a charity project. We each sewed a dress for "Little Dresses for Africa" and we'll send them to Nancy's Notions to be shipped to the organization.  I hope the girl who receives my dress enjoys wearing it as much as I enjoyed making it. 

We played a few games, had drawings for door prizes--I won a book of seasonal quilts and a little table to keep near my sewing machine for pressing little blocks or to hold quilting supplies as I sew--and talked/laughed/sewed/ate until the wee hours. 

I finished the applique on Lily's D 4 Patch quilt.

I also did most of the flannel owl baby quilt for my friend's expected new granddaughter.  (Thank you to whoever put this fabric in the Traveling Stash!) I created this quilt as I went along and decided I needed a bit of green flannel for a narrow inner border or flange before putting on the main border. When I packed up to leave on Sunday, I headed for the shop where I'd purchased the rest of the flannel to get the green.  I also decided to make prairie points instead of flange. 

Other than the tremendous amount of camaraderie, stitching, and sometimes reverse stitching that occurred, there were 2 highlights for me.

1) We took a trip to a new-to-me LQS about 20 miles away and they had some very cute things. I couldn't pass up this fat quarter bundle of Xmas prints (Can you believe 8 FQ for $12.50???) and I also bought this bag pattern which I'm wanting to make up RIGHT NOW!  and 2) On Saturday, I took a 2 mile walk in the afternoon (which I normally don't do because of knee pain when I walk) and NO KNEE PAIN afterwards! Hurray!

All in all, it was a wonderful retreat for a first timer and I'll definitely return next year. As Lily would say, "Aww--Do I have to wait an entire year for the next one? Not fair!"

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Apples and tomatoes

I've been up to my elbows in apples and tomatoes.  Don picked all the apples off the two trees we planted a few years ago in the yard and after a couple days' labor, I am the proud caretaker of 5 apple pies in the freezer (Hey! Thanksgiving is just around the corner!) And 4 quarts of the most beautiful and delicious apple sauce I've ever tasted or seen!  Next was tomatoes. I had picked all of them a couple of weeks ago--both red and green ones--when I was cleaning up the garden. Almost all of the green ones are now red, so they were washed, quartered and thrown into a freezer bag, ready for me to use in making chili on cold winter days. 

I've also been working on Lily's quilt and am ready to begin appliqueing the vines, flowers and leaves on the border.  I'm leaving tomorrow for a 3 day quilting retreat at a nearby resort and will work on that while I'm there. I'll be taking the stuff I need to begin working on Dan's quilt as well as some place mats and tables quilts I have in mind. I think I'll be delightfully busy, quilting for 3 days with a group of super great people.

This is the second guild I've been in. The first one I was in for 4 years when it dawned on me that I didn't feel like a member and I certainly wasn't treated like a member and if it hadn't happened in 4 years, it likely was not going to happen at all. So I left and haven't been back. I don't have hard feelings--this was a group of people who had grown up together in the same small town, went to school together, likely were in each other's weddings, babysat each other's kids, etc.  They didn't need to let a newcomer into their group, which is perfectly okay.

The second guild--my present one--I've been a member of for about a year. This is a more diverse group of women.  Many of them grew up in other towns and have moved from time to time because of job demands. I have more in common with them since I too have moved a lot and have been a "stranger" in many new towns. (Some would say I'm always "stranger" whether I'm in a new town or not, but that's another issue.LOL)  Anyway, I feel very comfortable with these ladies and I think I'm going to have a great time at the retreat.  I'll let you know how it turns out and what progress I make on my projects. I may just put my feet up, read a book, indulge in the goodies and treats, and laugh along with the others until I wet my pants. If I do that, I won't blog about it.  :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Traveling Stash

The TS is at Bernie's (check out so if you want to have a chance at getting it at your house, leave a comment on her blog and she'll put your name in the drawing which she'll have on October 13.  Take it from me, that box is full of quilting yummies! 

The rules are 1) You have to have an active blog 2) You can take anything you want out of the box but you MUST replace it with items of equal value and quality 3) You must post about the TS on your blog and 4) You must be willing to send it on to the next recipient. Because of the cost of shipping, this is limited to the US and Canada. 

When the box arrived at my house and I opened it up, it was like a quilter's Christmas!  So many wonderful things in there! The hardest thing about the whole venture was choosing what to take out, but it was fun shopping my stash to find replacement items. Bernie says she has some Halloween fabric to add to the stash--Sweet!

Anyway, it was a lot of fun to get the TS and to send it on to another delighted person, so please check out Bernie's blog and enter your comment into her drawing.

Lots of news

It's been awhile since I've posted--because I've been BI-IZZ-ZY!  I don't know what all I've done but all of a sudden we're well into October! Yikes! I hope I had a good time with whatever I was doing! :)

The last weekend of September Don and I went to Nelson Dewey State Park near Cassville WI in the SW or "driftless" area of the state. The weather was perrrfect!  This is a pic I snapped from the car window as we rounded a corner on the way there. Beautiful autumn colors. I love the deep wine color of the sumac.  Autumn is my absolutely favorite time of the year--such beauty but only for a few weeks unfortunately.  In the North where I live, the trees are just beyond peak color and the fierce winds are blowing off the leaves in heaps.

While on this camping trip, we were joined by some friends and Elaine and I spent the day exploring downtown Mineral Point while the guys played golf. I liked the old turn-of-the-century (the last century, not the most recent one. LOL) buildings in this town. A lot of the shops were closed for the season or at least for the day we were there, but we were still able to see lots of local art and crafty things for sale. 

The second day of our trip we spent several hours at Stonefield, Gov Dewey's Victorian era "gentleman farmer's) 2000 acre estate. It's now a state historical site and includes some of the original buildings as well as recreated buildings of the era. The state farm machinery museum is there--lots of old steam powered equipment, if you like that kind of thing!  Also a typical small farming village of the 1900's which I found very interesting. We'd been there about 15 or 20 years ago and on that trip, I had my first (and only) glass of sarsaparilla in the saloon as well as my first (of many) pickled egg.  This time, we were too late in the season for the saloon to be open. Darn!  And, I forgot to bring the camera that afternoon--double darn!

Since we got home from camping, we've been outside a lot, getting the gardens in shape for winter so I've not been doing much sewing. But last night I played with my fabrics for awhile and made several 6" friendship star blocks. At the recent guild meeting, we were challenged to make these blocks in autumn colors and bring them next month. You'll get an entry in the drawing for each block you bring and whoever's name is drawn will take home ALL the blocks!  I made 6 blocks last night and hope to have many more to enter.  I'm already thinking of how I could use a bunch of these blocks--Hmmmm.

At the guild meeting we discussed the upcoming retreat--only 6 more days!  And I can't wait!  I've been having trouble deciding what to bring with and I decided to begin working on a new quilt for my son. I'd bought this collection of fabrics a couple of years ago and have finally decided on a pattern for them.

When I looked pulled  them out, they were OK but then I remembered what our guild guest said the other night about adding from your stash to liven up the collection fabrics. So I did. Look at how much richer they look together with the additional fabrics.

This will be a "controlled" scrappy quilt!  I usually think I'm "cheating" if I add to the collections, I suppose because I think the designers have done their job perfectly and who am I to second guess them. But Jill gave me "permission" to go ahead and trust myself in this area, something I should have been doing all along. Why do I not trust that I'm doing things correctly???

So, I'm going to make a modified log cabin pattern out of these fabrics using 2" strips, and I can't wait to get started!  I also will add the borders to Lily's Disappearing 4 Patch quilt and have it ready to begin appliqueing the flowers on the border. I'd like to try needle turn applique, but for a child's quilt, I think I'll do it by machine.

That's enough for one post.  Got to plant tulip bulbs before the rains come today and before I get ready for a baby shower this afternoon.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Traveling Stash moves on

In my low tech but effective manner, I've chosen the winner of the Traveling Stash--it's BERNIE of SewBernie!  Congratulations, Bernie. I hope you find something you like in the Stash.  When you email me your mailing address, the Stash will be on it's way to YOU!! 

Paying It Forward

I've never done pay it forward but today I found this at Angie's blog here and decided to give it a try. Pay It Forward is simple: For the first 3 people who comment on this entry, I promise to send them something handmade within the next year. Now that's my kind of deadline! Here are the rules:
1. I will make a little something for the first 3 people that comment on this post. It will be a surprise and may arrive at any time in the next 365 days (yes, a year).
2. To sign up to receive a gift from me you must play along too. Share the giving love on your blog by promising to send a handmade goodie to the first three people that comment on your blog post.
3. You must have a blog.
4. After commenting on my post, you have to post this (or similar) on your blog to spread the love.

And what a great way to connect with people, by sharing a little love-ly gift at an unexpected time. I think this sounds like a simple and fun thing to do!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Appearing Disappearing 4-Patch

I've been working on Lily's new quilt--putting the blocks into rows and making the center. I have 2 more rows to go and the center will be finished. This is what I've got so far:

It looks quite busy to me and I have no more of the flowered white fabric to use for a border. I picked up some white on white fabric today and will use that for the border. I plan to applique some flowers on the border using the colored fabrics and will use the blue fabric for the binding.
I really like working on this quilt, but it's quite time consuming. Each block had to be sewn and cut twice--takes time!--and stitching the blocks and rows together requires lots of pinning to get the seams to match up properly--takes more time! But it's such a colorful quilt that I'm feeling good about taking all that time to do it right. And why make a quilt if you don't take the time to do it right, right?
Tomorrow I'll draw the name of the lucky winner of the Traveling Stash. I can't wait to find out who gets it next! Others on this blogging site who have giveaways use what sounds like complicated electronic name drawing programs but not me! I'm low tech most of the time and I'll just draw a name out of a hat. Trust me, I'll have on a blindfold so I can't cheat. LOL
You have until tomorrow at 8 PM Central Daylight Time to leave a comment on my blog to be entered in the drawing. I hope you win!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Design Seeds

I found a great website that I'll share with you here: It's a place to figure out palettes of color for quilts as well as other design challenges. Like decorating a room. Since I'm very design challenged, I thought this was a greatly needed solution! The only problem I think I'll have with it is deciding on which palette to choose for my next quilt which might be this: Lily is doing a "Dead Simple Quiltalong." I'm interested in the Simple part of this project!

Speaking of simple, please leave a simple commment (or complex if you like) on my blog before Saturday the 24th if you want a chance to win the Traveling Stash. I've decided to add a couple of additional things to the box, but will leave that as a surprise for the winner to discover.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Autumn Rains

Yesterday it was gloomy and cloudy with a gentle drizzle for most of the day. Generally a blah kind of day for many things, but a good day for the trees and bushes which need water before going into their winter dormancy. It was also a great day for sewing! Don's been gone for a few days on a golf trip and I only had Lily for a few hours in the morning so I spent my afternoon and evening at the machine.

Lily said she doesn't like her Nemo quilt anymore :( and wants another one. I found the white with colored flowers fabric in my stash and decided to make "Disappearing Four Patch" blocks for her. I got the idea here: They are a little time consuming to make since you have to cut, sew, cut again and sew again, but I like how they come out. I also like working with these brights--especially on a gloomy, rainy day. :)

Don't forget to leave a comment here if you want a chance to win the Traveling Stash. I doubt that you'll be disappointed if you win it! It's got some very good stuff in it. You can leave your comment anytime before Saturday, the 24th if you want to be in the drawing. You simply have to have an active blog, be willing to replace what you take with comparable goods, and be willing to send the box along to the next winner. EASY!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Traveling Stash

arrived at my house last Monday, the 12th, and what a treasure it is! If you want to learn about the Traveling Stash, go here:

I knew my name had been drawn by Sharon at a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, Sharon has been involved in a bit of flooding and cleaning up in her part of the world so it took awhile for the Stash to arrive here in Wisconsin. Believe me, it was worth the wait! I've been super busy here and I really couldn't go through it until Thursday night. Choosing what to keep was quite the challenge since it's all so good! Finally, I decided on these things:
From top right, a 4-pack of FQs in gorgeous caramely browns, 2-24 piece charm packs in bright colors, a roll of 5" polka dot strips (Can't wait to play with these dotty fabrics!), and a package of 2" squares that will convert quite nicely into 4 patch blocks.

I also chose the Moda "Hoopla" jelly roll and the pink owl flannel. I'd spent that day with my friend whose daughter is expecting her first child, a little girl, in December and who is decorating the nursery in an owl theme. We'd looked for owl fabric in the quilt shop but couldn't find anything that suited, so imagine my delight when I opened the Stash and this was right on the top! It's perfect for this new baby!

The Traveling Stash rules require that I restock the box with comparable items of comparable quality. I shopped my stash and chose these things to add to the box. In the back are 4 FQ in delicate browns and blues, and in the front left, a packet of 4 FQs in autumn golds/greens/browns/blacks, a funny Thanksgiving FQ and a cat print FQ.

I also added some pumpkin-y Halloween yardage, some geometric green/gold/rust/brown yardage, some brown with green leaves and gold berries yardage, and a packet of 14-4 1/4" squares of green and lavender flowers, dragonflies, and great blue herons.

More yardage from my stash, and I threw in a packet of quilting hardware--pins, safety pins, a couple of thimbles for hand quilters, and other stuff.

So, if you would like a chance at having the Traveling Stash come to your door, please leave a comment on my blog. To win you must have an "active" blog, and you must be willing to replenish the Stash with good quality items of value equal to what you take out, and lastly, you must be willing to send it forward to the next winner. Because of the cost of international postage, this unfortunately has to be limited to US bloggers.

I'll be drawing the next winner in a weeks' time--next Saturday, the 24th. So you have 7 days to leave your comment. To make it more exciting, feel free to share this post with your blogger friends so they will have a chance at winning it too. The more, the merrier, right?

Now, I'm going to play with polka dots. :)

Another raffle quilt

I've been working on another quilt to donate for a fundraiser. This time, it's for the volunteer services organization in the county where I work. I'm friends with the director who took over the job only a few months ago. One of the first things she realized was how impoverished the group was so we started brainstorming ways to raise money. We decided on holding a raffle and, of course, I donated the quilt shown below.

I used Kate Spain's "Flurry" pattern which is on line here: but I made it with Christmas fabrics I had left over from other projects. I like the way it turned out and the piecing was super easy. I quilted it with a holly/berry circular design in each of the presents, a triangular Christmas tree design in the sashing and long, curvy lines in the outer border. The raffle drawing will be on the 15th of December so I thought this was an appropriate quilt.

We want to have other things on the raffle like dinner theater tickets, a bus trip to somewhere, basket of locally grown and produced foods like maple syrup and pumpkinseed oil and so forth. I'm working on getting an "indoor/outdoor golf package." I want to get gift certificates for free golfing at half a dozen golf courses in the area including indoor golfing for this winter and, if I'm lucky, a certificate from a sporting goods store so the winner can get new shoes or a new golf club or something.

I'm excited to see what we end up on this raffle, and how much we get from ticket sales. Tickets go on sale on Oct 15, 2011 so if you want to get in on the action, let me know. :) (Only half kidding about this.)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Too heart-breaking for words

I'm in my living room this morning, having my second cup of coffee. Don has left for his daily golf game and I'm thinking of how I'll be spending the day. Sipping at my coffee and gazing out the front window at the beautiful September day outside--sapphire blue sky, gentle sunshine with a promise of heat later on, trees barely beginning their Autumnal color changes-and I suddenly remember a day so identical to this. Ten years ago, that day changed as I watched the planes smash into the towers in New York and later, into the Pentagon and into the ground in Pennsylvania.

My world was changed that day but not so severely as it was for the families of those killed in the attacks and the families of all those killed in the subsequent wars. There are no words to express the heartbreak I feel on this beautiful September day. Perhaps the tears flowing from my eyes as I write this, say it for me.

This is a Yahoo! picture.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I've received news from some followers that they are having difficulty posting comments on my blog. I've gone into the "comments" section and have changed some of the settings so maybe that will help. Or maybe not, since my computer savvy is minimal and I usually change things and simply hope for the best. Kind of like my gardening--I plant something and challenge it to grow despite my neglect. {:o)

Anyway, please let me know if you continue to have problems commenting. Thanks.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I won!

I opened my email and had a message from Sharon at Vrooman Quilts saying I'd won her drawing for the traveling stash box! I can't believe it! I NEVER win in these drawings, but I DID!

Check it out at Sharon's blog here:

I hope she's been safe from the storm and that the emergency lock down has been lifted. I've not paid any attention to news of the world since Sat AM so I hope the hurricane wasn't too bad.

Anyway, I suppose I'll be posting the next drawing for the traveling stash on my blog in a few weeks, so pay attention! I promised Sharon that I would reload the box with choice bits and pieces so the box will continue to be a treat for whoever gets it.

Can't believe she drew my name!

Weekend update

My weekend was FANTASTIC! I had a houseful of people and had a ball with them! Don and Dobie exchanged lots of ideas of how to improve camping with the pop-up and Dobie and Elaine decided to camp with us at the end of this month. Luckily, the season will be about over and they were able to reserve the campsite right next to us. Yea! This is going to be so much fun!

We cooked on the grill--brined pork chops on Saturday and brined turkey breast on Sunday. Absolutely yummy! I vow to never cook pork or turkey again without brining it first! We sat around on the patio and visited. We played volleyball in the pool--the guys skunked us 3 games to none! I told them we were "just hitting our stride when you guys decided to quit!" Rationalizing, I know, but fun. We hiked in the hills and down to the river, and we went out and saw the most brilliant star-filled skies at night. Saw the International Space Station twice, making it's way across the Southern sky.

What a great weekend! I love being with such good friends. I hope we have many, many more weekends with them.

Friday, August 26, 2011

All done

I did it! All my cleaning chores--I LOVE my clean house! :)--with a lot of help from Lily. She's (almost) always ready to help out with chores and today she didn't let me down. As well as finishing the cleaning, Lily and I made a batch of peach jam and I got the last picking of green beans in the freezer. And, I had time after supper to work on the raffle quilt! I haven't worked this hard in a long time. HA! When I was in my 20's and 30's, even my 40's, this would have been an average day. I wish I had a little more of that energy these days. But, I'm happy I got it all done and am now relaxing before my friends arrive tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Company's coming!

I love having company! Not only do I get to spend time with good friends that I don't see nearly as often as I would like, but I get to try out my culinary skills to folks who, hopefully, will appreciate it. Not that the Husband doesn't like my cooking, but he could care less about food. He'd eat boiled tires if there was enough sauce on them. LOL The other plus about having company is that I have to give my house a good cleaning.

I LOVE having a clean house. I absolutely HATE the cleaning process! I'm also too cheap ( I mean, frugal ;) ) to hire someone to clean for me. So I usually do superficial cleaning but when Company's coming, I get down and clean it really well.

Friends are coming on Saturday and staying through Monday AM. I created a cleaning plan and assigned Husband certain areas that are his to do and certain areas that are for me. So far I have 2 of my 4 areas finished and will do the other 2 on Friday. Husband also has only 1 area left for him to do on Friday. I also made a menu plan so I know what I'm going to serve for meals and snacks. Does this sound a bit compulsive? Well, I call it "organized." When I have so much out-of-the-ordinary stuff to do, I tend to get confused and end up not doing the things that should have been done. So, it's lists and plans for me.

I told myself that I had to get my cleaning chores done before I could work on any quilting and so far, I'm sticking to that plan. I've finished cleaning for today and now have to move on to freezing the green beans that have finally started to come in in the garden. Pretty late, but we had to plant late due to a cool and wet spring. After beans, it's quilting for a few hours before bed.

I'm working an a holiday lap quilt that will be raffled off in a fundraiser for the local volunteer services organization in the county where I work. This group of volunteers provide transportation for folks who don't have a way to get to their medical appointments, a truly critical service in such a rural area. They are funded through donations and the volunteer director and I decided to have a raffle this fall to raise some money. I offered to make a quilt and since the drawing will be in early December, I decided on a Christmas quilt.

I'll post pix of it when it's finished. I started the quilting on Monday and nearly have the center finished but am having a difficult time, as always, with designs for the sashing and borders. Oh well, it will come to me. I'm pleased with how this is coming along--I hope the public likes enough to buy lots of chances! There will be other items in the raffle as well but that's not determined just yet.

I hear green beans calling me . . .

Monday, August 22, 2011

Quilting and Camping

Here are a few additional pix from the quilt show. Again, these are NOT the winners! Actually, I realized that I never did see the best in show and other first place winners. They must have been hidden away in a room I didn't get to. Anyway, I love the brilliant colors in this quilt and very intricate piecing as well.

This is another example of the amazing machine quilting in one of the entries as well as perfect hand applique. While I personally don't like such intense quilting in my projects, I admire the skill it takes to make something like this.

And this is a beautiful work of art that just shimmered and sparkled in the light. I think some of the metallic threads showed up in the pix. Looks a bit "Russia in the time of the Czars" to me. :)

Now for new news. Don and I took Lily camping this week in our new/used pop-up camper! I've always been a tent camper and have done mostly wilderness camping. Now, however, my bum knees prevent that kind of strenuous activity and my bum back says, "No more sleeping on the ground." Arthritis is a scourge!

I loved being in the pop-up, especially the morning after a storm and I could fix breakfast on the little propane stove in there. Sweet! No more cussing at damp wood and fires that refuse to be lit! We went to Pattison State Park just south of Superior and Lily had a ball. She made a friend within an hour of arrival and the girls were together all evening and the next morning until the girl's family had to leave for home. Then it was hiking with Gramma and Grandpa, swimming in Lake Superior on Wisconsin Point, and cooking over the fire for supper. I found out that Lily is a S'More hound! She would have toasted the entire bag of marshmallows if we'd let her! We left Saturday afternoon, one day early, since storms were forecast for the evening continuing until morning, and I particularly don't like breaking up camp in the rain. :-(

This is the lake at the park. The beach was closed due to bacteria and debris from recent storms.

Lily loves going to the Lake Superior beaches! Water's a bit too cold for swimming but a great sandy beach for playing.

Here's the S'Mores queen!
Lily roasted the marshmallows and Don assembled the chocolate and cracker. What a team!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Milwaukee Machine Quilting Show

I spent 2 days last week in Milwaukee at the Machine Quilting Show and I can't begin to tell you how beautiful the show quilts were. Absolutely amazing in design and workmanship! I thought the non-winners were wonderful and the ones that got the ribbons--true works of art.

I took some pix and then the camera failed. Note to Barb--check the battery next time. Anyway, here's some of what I got:

Here's a close up of the quilt above. The quilting was so dense and precise. The little dots are crystals. A lot of the quilts had crystals and ample use of metallic threads.

This quilt was rather "ordinary" compared to the jeweled masterpieces but I like the quilting design and will use this in one of my "ordinary" quilts.

This is a blue on white quilt that looked amazing in person but the pix doesn't do it justice. Very intricate quilting on this one.

This one looked like an abstract design until I stepped back to take the picture and saw the face! I love the uniqueness of this one.

And here's a close up of the quilting and embellishments.

This quilt was absolutely beyond belief! I think it was done on silk fabric with lots of metallic threads and crystals. I remember that the mermaids were appliqued onto the top. I couldn't get the entire length of the piece in one picture--I think there's several more inches on the bottom and the top of this one. Just amazing!

And the last picture is one that was extraordinary in the show, but looks a bit dull here. It's a variation of a whack and stack--the quilter bordered each medallion like a feathered star. Another simply amazing entry.

I took two classes at the show--and learned a lot of things on how to attend to the details of finishing the quilt. Like various kinds of bindings and lots of tips on machine quilting.

I also spent some time at the Sunshine 16/Pennywinkle Ranch booth. This Tennessee company makes an affordable sit-down quilting machine--which is what I'd like to own--but I've never heard of them. Has anyone in Blogland heard of this company or better yet, owned one of their machines? Even tho their product is more affordable than those of the "big boys" it's still a sizeable amount and I'm hesitant to buy it without hearing from someone who's bought one.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Quilting and politics

Go together like a horse and carriage??? Oh well. Tuesday was the big recall elections in WI and while the candidate I was campaigning for did not win her contest, I'm so glad I am a participant in this movement. I've always been politically progressive in my thinking and all my life I've carried on about the injustices of the system, etc, etc--from my living room. I've never even written a letter to the newspaper until this year, much less demonstrated or knocked on doors to get out the vote. Even when I was in college in the 60's I never protested although I agreed with the protesters. So now, in 2011, I got off the couch, left my house, and became active in this political movement, and I'm really glad I did. I feel as though I've made a contribution as a citizen--more than simply casting a vote on election day. It's exhilarating!

As for quilting, I'm off to Milwaukee this afternoon--Can't Wait!!! I have all my stuff packed up except for a couple of things that go in at the last minute and I'm off! Since I'm taking a couple of classes, I'm bringing my machine and sewing stuff so I'll be able to work on things in the hotel room in the evening. Two days of quilting immersion without having to do laundry, tend the garden, or even cook food for myself. Now that's my idea of bliss!

Even more blissful is that the bandage has come off my hand! It was big and bulky and starting to get really gross. The first thing I did was wash my hands and put on lotion. I have a little pain but all the carpal tunnel symptoms are gone--Hallelujah! This means, I can cut, stitch and press without a worry! Thank you, modern medicine, and health insurance.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Quilting and elections

I spent yesterday evening in Menomonie knocking on doors in the "Get Out The Vote" effort I've been involved in over the summer. Today is the last day. We are having elections today for the 6 Republican state senators who are up for recall. I am only one of hundreds of volunteers who have put in probably thousands of hours in this effort and at 8 pm we will begin to get the results of it all. Regardless of the outcome of the voting, it will all be worth it since this state has experienced a lesson in Democracy that we wouldn't have otherwise. Unfortunately, the candidates seem to have been overshadowed by the PACs who are spending millions of dollars in advertising. I don't agree with the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court which gives corporations and unions the "freedom of speech" that the constitution states is for the people. If corporations have the same rights as the people, why don't they own up to the responsibilities that go along with those rights? Like paying taxes!

Enough of that soapbox. I was looking at some examples of machine quilting which were very beautiful. The quilting was very dense and I realized that as time passes, I'm seeing more and more densely stitched quilts. Is it just me or do others see this as well? Personally, I don't like my quilts to be too densely quilted--just enough to keep it all together and to emphasize the main features of the piece. Also, it's cheaper than using all that thread and it's faster to not do all the extra quilting. I'd be interested in what others think about this trend. I'm going to a machine quilting show in Milwaukee this week and I'll take some pix of the pieces I find there.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Road trip

I've been on the road lately. Don and I left Friday AM for Galena IL, a picturesque little riverboat town on the Galena River in NW Illinois that I've been wanting to visit for sometime. Halfway there, I remembered that I'd left the camera at home so--no pix. Sorry. Anyway, we spent the afternoon there wandering about the shops and took a trolley ride all over the town. I didn't know that it was the home of President Grant! Unfortunately, we were there too late to tour his home--next time, maybe. There are some spectacular examples of late Victorian era architecture--gingerbread overload! The shops were filled with very nice crafty products. I spent some $ at the wine store (The best wine I sampled turned out to be, you guessed it, the most expensive on this list!) and Don spent some at the "Canning Company" on salsa and BBQ sauce. We stopped by the Phat Quarters temp shop and I was a bit disappointed. Last week, apparently, there had been a massive rainfall--20" overnight!--that swelled the Galena River and did some nasty flooding in part of the downtown, including the Phat Quarter shop. So they had piled their stuff into a temp shop higher up until the other shop got cleaned up. Thank goodness they were able to salvage at least some of their goods.

On Saturday, we headed to Peoria, Don's home town, for the annual family reunion. I haven't attended for over 15 years and I really enjoyed being back there. The same people--and more--were there, except for those who have passed on their way, and I missed seeing them. We had some good food and good visiting as well. It was waaaay too hot for the annual softball game so the festivities ended sooner than usual. Every year, we have an money-raising auction of things that each family donates. This is how we pay for the food, park rental, and supplies. I compiled a basket of Wisconsin foods, particularly from my area of the state, and it was very well received (meaning, a lot of people wanted it so they bid a lot of money for it :) ) We always include a bottle of local maple syrup, pancake mix and honey and this year I added cranberries, wild rice, some steak sauce and mustard, and jam from my kitchen. I would have put in some cheese curds, brats, and local beer, but refrigeration is a challenge. Darn it anyhow!

After the reunion, we headed north and spent the night in Janesville and today we finished the trip and came home. We stuck to the interstate all the way and I saw that there were blue astors blooming with some other kind of yellow flower and the white Queen Anne's Lace. I think it's time I made a blue-yellow-white kind of quilt, don't you? Now, Don has the lawn to mow, and I have some work in the garden to tend to. Then a quiet evening.

I really love traveling, but I like getting back into my own house where I feel the most comfortable. Now I'm home until Thursday when I head to the Milwaukee Machine Quilting Show for 2 days. Can't wait for that--and I'm going to take the camera on this trip for sure!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A day at the zoo

Yesterday, Tessa, Lily and I went to Duluth to escape the heat. Usually, Duluth MN has temps in the 70's and maybe as high as the 80's in July and since neither Tessa or I enjoy hot and humid weather, we decided to go North to cool off.

Wow! Have things changed in Duluth since I lived there in the 1970's and 80's! Yesterday it was hotter and more humid there than at home! But we went to the zoo and had a picnic and finished up at Brighton Beach with our feet in the cool, cool waters of Lake Superior.

As it happens, my husband helped build the zoo and Spirit Mountain ski area as well, back in the late 1970's. He was in graduate school at UMD and for two summers, he supervised crews of teenagers working in a summer youth program. His crews did brushing along the trails and other manual labor jobs at both sites. It was a good program--the underprivileged kids earned some sorely needed money and got some job experience, Don had a good paying summer job to support our growing family, and the city and the public got two beautiful recreational areas.

This is me sitting on the bridge over the creek which flows through the zoo grounds. I've always loved Duluth for the natural areas within the city and the many rivers and streams that flow down the hillside to the lake. Just about anywhere in the city, you're within walking distance of wilderness, which I love.

I lived in Duluth for 12 years and I loved (almost) every minute of it. Even in the long, long winters, I learned to embrace ice hockey, sledding, skating and skiing and the cold months flew by. No doubt about it, I'm a woman of the North.

Right now, I'm ready for Autumn to arrive! But first, I have raspberry jam to make today.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Favorite Things Friday

Check out Mrs. P's blog here,, if you want to post about your favorite thing on this last Friday in July or to read about other folks' FTFs. Today, in the sauna we call the Midwest of the USA, we're having temps near 90 with humidity around 50% and this is my FTF:

'Nuff said, I'm joining Lily and Don!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Back to work

I returned to work today after having carpal tunnel surgery on my right wrist on the 25th. For 3 days I lounged around the house, high on Vicodin, and unable to do anything because my hand is wrapped in a gi-normous bandage! Certainly no rotary cutting even if I was off the Vicodin. Very boring to say the least, but I was able to sit and watch my husband working in the garden with no expectation that I join him. One of life's simple joys!

I kicked the Vicodin and went to work with only a little Tylenol and was amazingly pain free. After the surgery, the nurse said there was a Rx for 20 of the little pills and I asked her to change it to 10 since I knew from past experience that I wouldn't need 20. This morning I counted what was left in the bottle--5. I'll save them for later when I have the left hand done.

Anyway, tonight, I find myself absolutely wiped out. I have a fairly sedentary job so there's no good reason I should be so tired, but I am. Lily is at the house for the weekend and she and I went in the pool for awhile (my huge bandaged hand encased in a stifling plastic bag!) and Don fixed the entire meal for us. That's a rarity and I wish he'd cook more often since he does such a good job of it, but he pretends he doesn't know how. Yeah, right.

While I was sitting at home, I spent some time watching politics. What a mess in Washington! I usually watch MSNBC since I'm quite progressive in my politics but tonight I turned on Fox News and got the other side of the story. Talk about absolutely opposite viewpoints! How are they ever going to come to a compromise? It's one thing to get elected and it's another thing altogether to govern, and this congress is sorely lacking in the ability to govern. And all of us in the US will pay the price in the end, as usual. Well, I have faith that it will be taken care of at the last hour so lets wait and see.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Fresh Start

I've decided to begin blogging again. After I found My Quilt Blog (MQB) several years ago, I started my first blog and I loved the virtual friendships and camaraderie I found there. Unfortunately, MQB had to dissolve and many of us moved over to I've tried to keep in touch with my friends from MQB but it's not the same. I find myself making fewer and fewer entries at the same time as I found a group of quilters in my neighborhood. These people now serve as my quilting consultants in the same way as the MQB group did.

That said, I still want to be a blogger and I've decided to begin afresh with a diary of my life, not just the quilting part of it. I, as we all are, am a multidimensional person with numerous talents, interests, and abilities, as well as numerous failings and faults. Human, I guess, is the word for it. I'll be using this blog space as an account of my life and the issues that are important to me. I'm writing this primarily for myself and my family but if you want to follow along, please do so. If you find this not to you liking, that's okay, I understand if you "unfollow" me.

This summer has seen very little quilting in my household. I am now "semi-retired" and only work 2 days a week. My husband is newly and fully retired, and we both are determined to keep up with our gardening chores for once. We live on 2 acres of land surrounded by corn fields all around with beautiful hills in the background. Gardening 2 acres requires many hours of work, and so far, we're doing it! (Knock on wood.)

Today, I decided to go through my gardens and take some pix of the daylilies which are blooming now. I'm not a great day lily fan, but somehow I happened to have all these lilies blooming this year. Some of them I bought and others were gifts from my friends, and I have no idea which are which. I just know I planted them several years ago and they are blooming beautifully this summer for the first time.