Friday, June 27, 2008

Weekend is Coming

And aren't we glad? Last night Jimmy got the last gutter up on the deck roof just before we got a really bad storm. Rod has rigged up a pipe that goes from one of the downspouts into the pond, so that we don't have to fill the pond anymore -- Mother Nature does it for us. By the time we went to bed last night, the pond was overflowing. They are calling for thunderstorms everyday until next Wednesday. We're hoping that the weather person is right and that the storms will hold off until late tomorrow afternoon, as we're all going to Kennywood Park tomorrow for the Carpenter's Union Picnic. The whole family is going, and last year we had a really good time. I don't ride the rides, but I'm definitely a "people watcher" and there are always some sights to behold!! Everyone raves about Kennywood's Potato Patch Fries, but I'm more impressed with their corn dogs. It's the first place where I've gotten a corn dog and it hasn't tasted like the stick. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Then on Sunday, I hope to get some quilting in. Today I have a dr's appointment for my quarterly check-up and so I don't have any of the kids today. Maybe I can start a new project. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Moving Right Along

Yesterday I finished the wall hanging that I started last year. I had started it before I went into the hospital and was diagnosed with diabetes. When I got back home, the new meds were making my vision blurry (a condition that was only temporary) and so I put it away. But yesterday, I finished it. Now, today I may start the July banner from last year. The beads I ordered from Pat Sloan's site arrived yesterday, and so hopefully this weekend I can finish the Slice of Summer Quilt. June has definitely been a Finish it Up month for me. Perhaps in July I will start the girls' Christmas quilts. Linda

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday Whine Fest

Guess I did all my whining yesterday. Nothing new to report. I'm getting ready to start my next FIU project. I have a lot of the Banners of the Month that I was in last year that I never started and some I started but didn't finish. I have gotten out June's from last year, and hope to get it quilted today.

Mom got home from the nursing home last night, and has a home health person coming this morning. Bubby has preschool, and DD Kristin is taking Krissy and Izzy to the "Y" to swim, so I'm going to stay home for the HH person to come. Maybe I can get some sewing in after I run the sweeper in the living room.

Do you say sweeper or vacuum? I've always called it a sweeper, however Mary's kids call it a vacuum. When Krissy was little, there was an ad on TV where a lady was doing underground sweeper races. Do you remember that one? Well, Rod and Jimmy do most of the "vacuuming" in our houses, and while we were watching that commercial Krissy said, "Grammy, I didn't know that ladies vacuumed, I thought only mens did". Jimmy said that we were setting her up for a big fall later in life, and that we better teach her to find a hubby that also will vacuum.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The "F" Word

Did you see that George Carlin passed away? When I was younger and he was just starting out, I thought he was sooo funny. But then he changed, and his comedy routine became almost vulgar, in my opinion. The "F" word became way too prevalent for me. I don't understand why the word is so offensive to me, and why it is so commonly used. My sister used to tell me that it was just another "cuss" word to the nurses she worked with. But, in all the years that my Dad was alive, I never heard him use that word. My father-in-law either. Dad was a mail carrier, and Pap worked in the mill. You know it was used there. But they never brought it home with them. I've never heard my husband use that word, and my SIL's have never used that word in my presence. One night when DD Kris dropped a stuffed zucchini on the kitchen floor, she let it fly. I don't know who was more shocked, me or Rod. Then Jimmy said "Awww you dropped the "F" Bomb". Everyone laughed and it really lightened the moment. Kris apologized, and we've not heard it since. I'm thankful for that.

It's everywhere in some movies. I think movie producers need to reevaluate and determine if the word is really necessary to the plot of a movie. If not, get it out of there! OK, I am now climbing down from my soap box. Guess I should have written this post on Whine Wednesday. But I am thankful that my family has enough respect for me to avoid the use of the "F"word. Have a great day!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another Weekend Has Come and Gone

But this weekend I was able to Finish Up my Slice of Summer quilt -- well, almost. I ordered some new beads so that I could finish putting the beads where I wanted them to go. For the first time, I quilted on my appliques. Usually I quilt around them, but this time I tried something new. I tried to make the quilting on the fence look like wood-grain, I did wavy lines in the flag stripes, stars in the blue fields of the flags, I did swirls on the tomatoes, and although my technique isn't the greatest yet, I like how they turned out. Now I have to decide what to do next. But first, I have to finish serging the patriotic bandanas for the kennel. Have a great week. Linda

Friday, June 20, 2008

Finally -- Friday

Yep, it's finally here. And aren't we all glad. Why is it that two week days are longer than two weekend days!!! I have to iron bandanas and get them ready to be delivered. Then I have a small order of patriotic ones to do and they are done. I think this weekend I will start to quilt my Slice of Summer quilt. I have put the flying geese tablerunner on hold -- I really want to finish up the Slice of Summer that I started last year in Hershey before the Hershey show this year. I want to make myself a charm tote, but haven't been able to decide which fabrics to use. While digging for thread, I found a fabric pack that I bought last year at a quilt show to make a table runner. It's black, red, white and one piece has coffee cups on it. The colors don't go with my kitchen or living room, so I think I may use it for a charm tote. I saw the finished runner hanging at the show, and I couldn't pass up the fabrics. So, I bought them. Do you do that? Buy something you don't really have a place for just because it calls your name? Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Short Note

This is just a short note. I'm off to finish the bandanas, because I want to start my flying geese table runner. I've picked my fabrics, and am anxious to get started. Thought about going to the Colombus quilt show this Saturday, but I really don't need anything and with the price of gas, one has to weigh pros and cons. So, we've decided to stay home. Mom is scheduled to come home on Tuesday, and I think I just want to enjoy my last free weekend with Rod. I should be able to sew this weekend.

Mary called yesterday afternoon and told me not to start dinner. She and Jimmy had taken the kids to the pediatrician, and since they were in town, decided to bring pizza from our favorite pizza shop for dinner. It was a really thoughtful surprise and very much appreciated. See, I really am spoiled. See you tomorrow. Linda

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday Whine Fest

Wowser, do I have something to whine about this morning. Went shopping to Walmart last night. I don't buy a lot of fabrics there, but for bandanas it's a great place. Low cost fabric makes more profit for me. Well, they had some doofus cutting fabric. Never saw her there before. And there were signs everywhere that all regular priced fabric was 50% off. Where are all the regular fabric cutting girls, I asked. Oh, she replied, they've been moved to other departments because we are clearing out the fabric department before the big remodel in July. Walmart in all it's wisdom has decided that we don't need our fabric department any longer. So, once it's gone, I'll have to drive about 25 miles to the nearest Joann to get affordable fabric for my dog bandanas. After waiting in line behind only 2 people for 25 minutes, Doofus finally was ready to cut my fabrics. She had called for help 3 times and no one responded. By the time I left Walmart, I had quite a headache. And to top it off, the cashier was ready to leave for the day and we were her last customer. So, we unpack our groceries at home, and there's a bag missing. About $30 worth of stuff was in that bag -- it was toiletries. I called the manager this AM already, and she told me the bag was turned in and is at customer service. So a bad shopping experience at least has a happy ending. And, the fabric I bought was only $2.00 a yard and that yields about a 1000% profit on this batch of bandanas. Now I'm off to cut the bandanas. Have a good day.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gratitude Tuesday

Don't forget to give thanks for all good things today.

I do have the book I need to do the sew along with the flying geese, and hopefully will get started on that tomorrow. Today I'm cleaning up my sewing room -- you know putting things away that I left laying around. I'm really bad at that. I just throw the fabrics, etc. on the end of my table and worry about it when it falls off into the "black hole". But today, I'm putting it away -- go me!!! I really need to take an entire weekend and just rid up, as my granny would say. But I have to little sewing time lately, that when I do have a large block of time, I just want to sew. I have to do an order of bandanas for the kennel, and will get the fabrics tonight when I finally go for groceries. I'll do the one-stop Walmart thing and get everything in one place.

I've decided to do my flying geese in red/white/blue and use the table runner on the patio set. I had ordered a tablerunner from Terry's Village (I knew it would be cheaply made) but they didn't even sew down the stars on it -- they're just glued. So, it will probably be chucked into the trash when mine is done. See you tomorrow. Linda

Monday, June 16, 2008

National Fudge Day

I guess that this is National Fudge Day. Mmmm, I do love fudge. In fact, I don't think I've ever met a fudge I didn't like. Although Paula Deen's cheesy fudge sort of turns me off. Just the thought of cheese in fudge makes me go blahhh. For recipe, see here.,,FOOD_9936_22063,00.html

We had a great Father's Day weekend. Once again Rod and Jimmy worked through cloudbursts to put up the new ramp coming off the deck. My mom came home from the nursing home for the day on Sunday, so they were working against a deadline. But. . . . being the two awesome guys they are, they made it. We had burgers and chips, and then later s'mores for our Father's Day with all the kids. Our local Giant Eagle has a selection of pre-made burgers including, bacon and cheddar, bbq, gyro, jalapeno pepper, peppercorn, and more. We love the bacon cheddar, but this time we also tied the gyro and bbq burgers. They are huge, so I can barely finish one, but the gyro burgers were great. Next time we get them though, we need to make the cucumber sauce for on them. Kristin brought a veggie tray and hot dogs, and Mary made a great dip that she got the recipe for from the Pioneer Woman's website. Then yesterday, Mary and Jimmy, the twins and my mom joined us for a great dinner of marinated pork, baked potatoes, grilled corn and grilled pineapple slices. The twins made their daddy his favorite dessert -- coconut cream pie.

Starting Wednesday, Pat Sloan is doing a sew along from her book "Beyond the Basics". It's a flying geese pattern, and I've never done the flying geese. So, I'm hoping to do the sew along with Pat. Check out the info here at her blog, and see if you're interested. I think I have the book, but need to check so that if I don't I can order it. Pat's shipping department (hubby, Greg) ships almost immediately when you order, so I know if I need to I can get it super quick. Have a good week.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday the 13th. . . .

and the only thing running slower than I am this AM is this laptop. Maybe it's glad it's Friday, too. Well I got the bags finished yesterday. Kris didn't work until 4 so I didn't have Izzy until around 3 pm. I put my nose to the grindstone and finished it before noon.

This bag is niece Paula's. She always seems to be up and happy. She's a ball of fun, and so I used stripes and dots for her bag. To me, stripes and dots are fun. Paula is 29, and Mom to Eileen and Jaramy, fraternal twins - age 5. She found a job cooking meals at a halfway house for mentally challenged adults. The company sent her back to school, and now she's the manager of that same house. I'm proud of her.

This bag belongs to Becky. Becky is nearly 31, wife to Adam, and Mom to Keith (age 9) and Jonny and Joey (fraternal twins - age 6). Becky is our old fashioned girl. She loves to plan parties, cook and is learning to quilt. So, I figured 30's repro fabrics would be perfect for her. Like my twins, Becca works for Coventry Health Care System, but in a different department.

And last, but not least is Sharon's bag. Sharon is 27, wife to Brian, and mom to Lily (age 2) and Garrett (age 10 months). Sharon and Brian live with SIL Kathy in what was Rod's parents huge house. Sharon doesn't work -- at least outside the home!!! She takes care of her own two, and helps tremendously with her sisters' kids. She runs kids back and forth to school, shops for the groceries for the household and does whatever she's needed to do. She's truly a sweetheart, and we've always called her and my twins the "Three Musketeers" because as kids they were always together. But Sharon has a habit of talking to Brian like she's the Queen. So, May Engelbreit was perfect for Sharon. I even made sure that one patch boasts "It's good to be Queen".
So, now you've met my favorite nieces, and can understand why they're like daughters, not nieces. Tonight Kristin is having a candle party to which the nieces are invited. I'm hoping to give them their bags tonight. Have a great weekend, and make Dad feel real special.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Will I make my deadline?

I'm trying to get charm totes done for my three nieces for Friday night. I have two done, and the third is started. However, I have all three kids both today and tomorrow, so my sewing time will be limited. Paula's is dots and stripes. Sharon's is all Mary Engelbreit fabrics, and Becky's will be all 30's repo fabrics. I have cut way too many blocks, so guess who will get totes, also. Meee!!! See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wednesday Whine Fest

Today my big whine is mosquitoes. I absolutely hate them. They are so ignorant, rude, and just not nice. The other night Rod and I sat out on the deck until after 10 PM, it was so nice and peaceful with just the sound of the running water in the pond. And who shows up totally uninvited -- right, mosquitoes. And they strike in some places which seem to be almost impossible to scratch. I'm not fond of pain, mind you, but I hate itches even more - especially when you can't reach to scratch that itch. I now have 4, yes 4, mosquito bites on my left leg. They start just above my knee and proceed up to nearly my 'you know what'. So, mosquitoes, be on alert!! I'm coming to get you!!! Have a great day and keep kool.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Gratitude Tuesday

Two weeks ago my mom and I went for our yearly mammograms. Today I am very thankful that both of our results were normal. That's really good news for Mom who has had a mastectomy. Mom has been transferred to a skilled nursing facility where she is receiving physical therapy. She continues to improve.

It has been so hot and muggy here and I only ventured out yesterday long enough to get Bubby on and off the bus for preschool, and to hand my package of pillowcases for the swap to the mail lady. Did you know that you can schedule a mail pickup if you meet the criteria that the post office has set up? My carrier told me about it, so on Sunday I gave it a shot. I scheduled a next day pickup online, and voila, she showed up yesterday as requested. She even had a thank you note from the postal department to thank me for using their service. Keep cool and see you tomorrow.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Monday, Monday

Another weekend has come and gone, and I did manage to get the pillowcases for the swap I'm in finished. The fabric came on Saturday, and I did the cases yesterday. Of course, something that should have been really simple gave me fits. The pattern everyone is using called for the hem on the cuff to be topstitched. Now, I love topstitching, but I'd rather hand stitch a hem than to have to top stitch it. It just isn't easy for me. So after tearing the hem out three times, I finally got it right. I ironed them really well just like my mom taught me to do as a kid. My sister and I learned to iron by doing hankies and pillowcases. Only when they were perfect, were we allowed to move on to shirts, etc. I think ironing is a lost art. One of my fondest memories is of my granny standing at the ironing board in her housedress and apron, humming as she ironed all my dad's workshirts. She was a champion ironer. I don't do bad when I have to. However, my kids would rather buy something new than to have to iron. I think it's the whole working mother thing. They barely have time for things in life that are really important, let alone ironing. And certainly with today's economy, a double income is a necessity not a luxury. So, today I move onto finishing a charm tote for my niece, and then I have to make two for her sisters. I love this bag. And it uses up a lot of small pieces from my stash. Keep cool. Linda

Friday, June 6, 2008

Hurray, it's Friday

And the temps are out of this world for the weekend. They are predicting 90's for today and the rest of the weekend. I stay in doors during the hottest part of the day, since I don't handle the heat well. And for dinner, I make good use of my crockpots. Today I'm making my crockpot version of Amish Dressing - I omit the white sauce, and don't fry it. Instead I substitute some extra chicken broth and put it into the crockpot. Then I add some turkey breast fillets on the top, and cook it all day. Here's the original recipe:

Recipe for: Amish Dressing

3 large carrots, diced
2 large potatoes, diced
1 c. diced celery
1/2 c. diced onion
1 loaf bread, toasted and cubed
1/2 tsp. Sage
1 tsp. Salt
dash of pepper
1 c. chicken broth
diced chicken

Recipe instructions:
Mix together 2 Tbls. Flour, ½ can of evaporated milk, and one egg. Pour this over the other ingredients. Mix well. Fry dressing in hot shortening. When brown, put in roaster and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees

Try this when you're looking for something good! So, this afternoon my house will smell like it's Thanksgiving. I'll mix up a gravy packet or two, add a nice salad, and dinner will be served.

Since the weather will be so hot this weekend, I figure it's a good excuse to stay in the air-conditioned sewing room and sew! My fabric order just shipped yesterday, so I doubt I'll get it today. I'm starting to sweat, since the pillowcase swap is to be mailed by June 15, and I'm never late with a swap. If the fabric doesn't arrive, I may quilt a wall hanging I started last year and never finished. Then I could check another "ToDo" item off my list. They moved Mom to a nursing home yesterday afternoon for physical therapy, so I should be worry-free this weekend.

The new gliders that match the patio set came on Wednesday, and Jimmy and Rod got them put together. They aren't as comfortable as my favorite old swing, but they look a whole lot nicer. The cover on the swing was torn, and one of my grandpuppies thought the stuffing looked good to chew on. The kids and I spent yesterday morning on the deck, but came in at lunch time and stayed in the rest of the afternoon. Bubby and Izzy took naps, and Krissy laid on the love seat and watched TV. I think Grammy closed her eyes for a time, too. Have a great weekend. Linda

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wednesday Whine Fest

It's Wednesday -- time for the Whine Fest, but I don't have anything to whine about. Either life is pretty good, or I just don't get out enough. The severe storms that have been moving through the midwest are scheduled to arrive here today. I hate storms, but have to keep a calm face because of the kids.

I ordered more fabric for the pillowcases I am to make for a swap. I thought I had ordered enough, but was about 1 yard short, and hopefully it will arrive soon so that I can make the June 15 deadline. I also ordered some Heat n Bond lite because for some reason our Walmart has stopped carrying the lite. The price was about twice what I was paying at Walmart, but I have projects I needed it for. And, I ordered batting for my Slice of Summer top. Hopefully I can get it basted and quilted right after the pillowcases are done.

My sewing room is still greatly in need of serious de-cluttering. Kristina is out of school now, and she's a great little helper, so maybe I can get her to help. She loves playing with all the fabric scraps in my waste can. I used to make clothes for the cement and plastic geese, and when I stopped selling in the stores, we cut a slit in one of the plastic geese and gave it to Krissy for a bank. You should see some of the outfits that Ms. Goose ends up with. Krissy keeps telling me that she wants to be a fashion designer, and she's got a good start. That's it for today. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Gratitude Tuesday

I have so much for which to be thankful today. Rod's skin cancer is completely curable, that was good news. Bubby's seizure was a febrile and not a shunt malfunction. Izzy now has two top teeth. Kristin's eye is better. The deck is finally finished. So many good things. But with the good, comes the bad. Yesterday I had to call an ambulance for my mom. She called from the bathroom to say she couldn't put any weight on her left leg. She managed to get out of the bathroom into the hall, and I put her on my wheely chair (I guess they're called desk chairs) from the sewing room and pushed her to the back foyer. The ambulance attendants were able to get her to the gurney waiting on the deck by using the new ramp that Rod put from the back door to the deck. My house is too small for a gurney to come in past the pantry cupboard. The x-ray was inconclusive, but the orthopedic dr. feels sure that the hip is fractured. She fractured the right one 2-1/2 years ago. They were to do an MRI last night, so this morning I'm just waiting to hear from the dr. as to when her surgery will be. Mary and Kristin have both made other arrangements for the kids, and Pat has the day off so that we can go to the hospital when needed. I'd rather be sewing, but so it goes.

This morning I'm concentrating on cleaning up the sewing room. I have this small empty area between the sewing table and the shelves for my fabric. When I'm cutting I just throw all the unused fabric into what I call the "black hole". Well today I'm digging out all that fabric, refolding it, and placing it neatly on the shelves. I love when my sewing room looks neat. What I really need is a sewing room fairy who will put all my fabrics away each night. Do you know where I can find one? Never mind, probably couldn't afford one anyway.

Funny about the "black hole". Krissy told me the other day that I have a lot of "black holes", and boy is she right. The area under the kitchen table we started to call the "black hole" because Bubby would throw all the food he didn't want to eat down there. And in the living room there is a space between the wall and my end table into which everything that is piled too high on the end table falls off - another "black hole". Do you have a black hole in your house? Some day I'll tell you about the gravity problem in my house.

Hope your day is "sew" happy. Linda

Monday, June 2, 2008

What a Great Weekend!

It was sunny, warm, breezy and I spent a large part of it on the deck with my hand sewing. I got sashing put on three of the four rows on my one sampler quilt. Saturday AM was a shopping excursion to Walmart. We bought some herb plants, some tomato plants, a new pump and filter for the pond and, of course, groceries. A hurried trip home to put away the groceries, and we were off again, to the greenhouse this time. We finished up buying the herbs and tomatoes, and then onto Trader Horn (Rod says it's the best store in the world) for some garden soil and play sand. Mary called and invited us to her house for a picnic, so we sort of putzed until time to leave. Rod got the herbs planted, got a bed prepared for the tomatoes, and some zucchini seeds. Dinner was great --Mary makes the best burgers, and Kristin and Izzy came for dinner also. Kristin's arrival was just ahead of a cloudburst, but the rain didn't dampen our spirits.

Sunday was a work day for some, a sewing day for me. Rod got the new pump and filter hooked up - he no longer has to get into the pond to clean the filter. We watched Krissy and Bubby while Mary spent 6 hours at the ball field watching Jimmy's softball games. Rod and the kids weeded the grapes while Pat and Pam mowed the yard. On Saturday, I bought a boneless pork loin roast to do on the grill on Sunday - something I've never tried before. I cut it in half lengthwise so it wouldn't be so thick and then marinaded it for about 6 hours. I did honey roasted potatoes and green beans on the grill in aluminum foil pans, and of course the pork. It was delicious. I also grilled some fresh pineapple slices. Here's the marinade recipe:

Simple Pork Marinade

1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup light brown sugar

Mix together in a zip top bag, add pork and marinade for at least 4 hours.

Sunday evening after everyone left, we managed to get the house cleaned and Rod scrubbed the floors. So now my little bare feet don't stick to the floors. It's supposed to get really hot toward the end of the week, so Rod and Jimmy got the air conditioners put in yesterday also. I love weekends like this -- a little family, a lot of good food, a lot accomplished, and some great relaxation on the deck. Oh, yeah!! I'm spoiled!!! See you tomorrow. Linda