Friday, August 29, 2008

What's on tap. . .

for the holiday weekend? Tonight we may visit our local fair. Haven't been there for years. When I was nine, I entered the gathered skirt I had made in 4-H in the fair and won a blue ribbon. And I was hooked. That's when my love of sewing started.

Saturday, we're having all the kids for dinner. What's on the menu, you may ask. Beer can chicken. Love the stuff. And to go with it a hash brown casserole that I do in the crock pot, also some picnic beans (also in the crock pot). Have to use the crock pots since college football kicks off tomorrow, and I'm a college football nut. Mary is bringing a salad, Kristin is bringing deviled eggs, and Rod and I are making a homemade cheesecake. Come on over, there will be plenty of food!!!

Sunday and Monday I'm hoping to get a lot of sewing done. The Sesame Street characters for Izzy's quilt are fused and ready for buttonhole stitching. Today I'm hoping to get the appliques for Mary's pirate quilt ready for buttonhole stitching, and then all weekend I can sew. We bought a folding table (which Rod shortened the legs on) that I use for sewing on the deck. I form an "L" with the ironing board, and I'm off to the races. For Chistmas, Rod bought me an IHome for the Zune. We plug it in, set it on the table, and I have music which makes me a happy stitcher.

On this morning's news, they were calling this weekend, "The Last Hurrah of Summer". That's OK by me, since I love the fall. The foods, the smells, the crisp mornings. I love them all. Did you ever make clove studded oranges as a kid? We made them every year in Girl Scouts. Party-Lite candles has come out with a scent that smells just like those did. I ordered them for the holidays. Can't wait till they come. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thinking about Dee

Last night Kristin and Izzy were here for dinner, and Izzy had her first official dinner with our family. Oh, she's been in the high chair at the table before, but last night she actually ate real people food from her own plate. She loved the roast beef, and held her spoon in the right hand while shovelling the mashed potatoes in with her left. And all the while was saying "Mmmmm, good". Our dinner last night was what Rod's family used to have for Sunday dinner. Dee (my MIL) would put a beef roast in the oven before church. She taught me to cook them low and slow -- which is all the rage now. Along with the roast there would be mashed potatoes, gravy, yorkshire pudding, and "grandma beans". What, you may ask, are "grandma beans". Well, one Sunday during dinner, one of the kids asked what the green beans with mushroom soup (never any french fried onions on top) were called, and Dee replied that they were Grandma Beans. And so they have been called ever since. Dee would have loved watching Izzy last night. And just like my kids and my other grandkids, Izzy decided that the sleeve of my shirt was better than any napkin.

Dee was a great cook, and made the best applesauce I've ever eaten. She would peel the apples and cook them til they were soft. Then she mashed them by hand, but left them very chunky. When no one was looking, she snuck a jar of prepared applesauce into the pan, and added cinnamon, a little sugar, and just a pinch of nutmeg. Everyone loved Dee's chunky applesauce and never guessed that it was just a way of doctoring up generic applesauce in an effort to stretch her food dollars. She loved to cook, and to teach others to cook. From the time the kids were little and could stand on a chair, she would give them pie dough or bread dough to play with as she showed them to roll pie crust or knead bread. An so, this morning as I raise my coffee cup, here's to you my beloved Dee. Thanks for teaching me all you did.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wednesday Whine Fest

We haven't had a whine fest for a while, and I can't hold back any longer. I have this serious anger about one of our American freedoms. I realize that electing a president is right that we should celebrate, but it's become one of the most dreaded times in my life. I am so tired of advertising that attacks the other guy. Why in such a great country don't we sing our praises, acknowledge our strengths, and celebrate our accomplishments rather that shouting the shortcomings, inabilities, and weaknesses of the other guy. Who really knows what one brings to the table that qualifies him as president because he's too busy slinging mud at the other guy!!! And what makes it worse is that we still have two months of this to go. Thank goodness my remote control has a mute button, because I find myself using it more and more. Now if it just had a delete button, so I could delete all these annoying political ads. Sure wish that Pat Paulson was running this year because I would vote for him. DD Mary says she's voting for Elmo because he thinks about something everyday, and never thinks bad thoughts. Hmmm, Elmo for president. Well, OK.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gratitude Tuesday

Yes, it's another gratitude Tuesday. This morning at 5:45 am, my phone rang. Only twice, and by the time I got awake, it had quit ringing. I just sort of sat motionless in the chair thinking of all the things that could be wrong. Finally, I got up enough nerve to check the caller ID. It was one of the twins -- not what I had anticipated. I returned the call, only to have Pat answer with "What's wrong?" "You tell me," I replied, you called me. "No Mom it wasn't me." "Well, it was Pam's phone." So, she called for Pam who was outside walking the dog. Seems that Pam called the wrong number. So this morning, I'm really thankful that it was only a wrong number. Do you ever have such a stretch of good things in life that you wait for the other shoe to drop? Well, my life lately has been really good, and I was afraid that the other shoe had finally come home. Thankfully it hadn't.

How about today is National Cherry Popsicle Day. If you check back to an earlier blog, I am a cherry popsicle. Guess that means it's my day. Wahoo!!

Have a good day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I DID IT!!!!

Remember on Friday I said that I was going to finally finish the borders on my sampler quilts. Well I did one better than that. The backings have been prewashed and ironed, the bindings have been readied, and the borders are on. Since this is my first experience with sending a quilt away for machine quilting, I called the quilter on Saturday and we spoke about how I wanted them quilted, what type of batting I wanted used, and how I go about paying for this service. She seems very nice, but warned me that she took 52 quilt tops back from my local quilt shop a few weeks ago, so it will probably be three months before I get my finished quilts back. I started this class on July 11, 2006, and after my diagnosis with diabetes and the blurred vision resulting from beginning my meds, I doubted if I'd ever get them finished.A few more months won't matter. So, this is a major victory for me. The top photo is the original sampler quilt that I picked the fabrics for. I really love it and can't wait to see it finished.

This is the quilt that I made at the same time using scraps that I purchased from Pat Sloan. She was selling off some of her stash, and I bought some to build my stash. But when the boxes arrived, it looked like the fabric had been put together for a quilt, and that's what I did with some of it. The green paisley, the purple marble and the bright floral were picked to go with the blocks after most of them were completed. I also love this quilt, and don't know which I like best. I guess it's like kids -- you can't love one more than another. So now you see what I did this past weekend.

What's up for the holiday weekend coming up? I hope to get more done on Izzy's quilt, and maybe to start DD Mary's Christmas quilt. Let's see what I get accomplished. Have a great week!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Whew, Friday

Yeah, it's Friday. First an update on the raccoon. It must have been sick, because when George got home from work and went to release it, it was dead in the trap. He said there must have been something wrong for it to have died. Our good Lord seems to send sick and homeless animals my way. And so it must have been with this raccoon. At least his last day was good for him since he got a lot of food and water from us. And the little guy can know that he was very entertaining for that last evening.

I'm making my list for the weekend. I am determined to get the borders on those sampler quilts. I have saying that for most of the summer, but this time. . . yeah, yeah. I'm now four or five months behind on my "Be Attitudes" BOM, I still have not started my 2005 Circle of Friends from Pat Sloan, and I have three other BOM's which are all here, but not started. Wow, I just realized I'm starting to resemble a Slacker!!! But Fall is almost here, and that's my favorite time of year. So hopefully, I'll get cracking. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Big Game Hunt At the "Hive"

Yes, you read it right! Last night we had a big game hunt here at the "Hive". DH Rod was vacuuming the deck with the new Dyson Sweeper he won at the company picnic last Saturday, when I heard him say "You're getting a little too bold for my comfort". "Who, me?" I asked. "No, that coon", he replied. And when I looked, the cutest little coon was peeping out from under the deck. He ambled over to the pond and proceeded to get a drink just like he owned the joint. He was really friendly, and not at all shy - a trait that made us a little nervous. (Do you remember the movie, "Old Yeller"?) Well, although we have no dogs, and only the two cats, we do have the three grandkids and a coon just didn't fit into our family. He was so cute, though, and you could tell he was quite hungry. But I called DD Pam, who borrowed George's coon trap. (You remember he's DD Kris's FIL) She brought it down, set it up and then sat down to wait. Boy was he a bright little fella!!! He set the trap off twice from the outside, and then stuck his little paw in through the wire to eat the food. Pam filled the food bowl twice, while holding him at bay with the skimmer from the pond. What a brave superhero she was! Everyone knows how dangerout a skimmer is as a weapon . . . not! Finally when our wild animal could get no more food from the outside, he ventured inside. Yeah!!! But wait, the trap door didn't close. OH NO!!! So our brave huntress, Pam threw a root beer bottle at the trap.(Root beer bottles can be really scarey, you know) Door is still open. So, our superhero picked up the umongeous pipe wrench laying near the gas grill (we use it to change the gas bottle) and tossed it at the trap. You'd have thought she was in training for the olympics!!! And voila!!! the trap sprang shut, and the vicious beast was captured. Dad helped her load the trap complete with raccoon into the back of her truck and our excitement was over. Pam took him to the barn, and tonight when George gets home from work, they will take him into the woods and release him. Unfortunately, I was so fascinated with him that I didn't think to get the camera until it was too dark to take any photos. I know I'm a doofus!!

Been really busy lately. Mary had to work extra hours last week since her boss was on vacation, and that meant that I had her kids extra hours. Sewing took a back seat. I did manage to complete five blocks for DD Kristin's Christmas quilt. Will post photos hopefully this weekend. Also made some neck coolers for DD Mary and her family to use at Disney in September. They looked so simple, but keeping the water absorbent pellets inside while sewing up the seam proved to be a little bit of a challenge. In the end they look pretty good, and Mary was pleased. I have the coloring pages for Miss Izzy's first birthday quilt ready to begin, and the fabrics have been selected, so I will start it this weekend. Have a great week.

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's Monday!!!

I have to report on the birthday party, but first. . . Pat Sloan had this on her blog this AM. It asked what kind of popsicle are you. Of course I had to take the test.

You Are a Cherry Flavored Popsicle
You are sweet and friendly. For you, summer is all about doing your favorite things.
You are a nostalgic person. You love old fashioned things like ice cream trucks.

You savor everything. Every taste of summer, the feeling of the sun, the smell of the beach...
Of all the types, you love summer the most. Flavor Popsicle Are You?

And now onto the party!!!
This is a photo of our Bubby with the surprise clown who came to his party -- his Meemaw. She surprised all of us by saying she wasn't feeling well and couldn't be there. When she came up to him, she asked if there was a birthday boy here, and he yelled, Meemaw. If she hadn't said anything I don't think he would have known who it was. The carousel at the bottom right was his cake, made by DD Kristin's mother in law. Wasn't it cool? Complete with cookies decorated as horses.

The party was a hoot!!! Jimmy built some games -- a skee ball alley, a dart and balloon game, a shooting gallery where the kids shot rubber duckies off a ledge with a nerf gun and bullets. There was a ring toss, a fishing pond, a water gun shoot, and a ping pong ball toss. Each kid won a ticket for trying each of the games, and a maximum of ten tickets per child was awarded. Then, they went to the prize tent and traded them in on prizes. Mary had some great prizes -- teddy bears, cheerleading sets, pingpong ball shooter, basketballs with net hoops, matchbox cars, and disney night lights. And she even purchased some baby toys for the two littlest ones. The kids had a ball, and so did the adults. Her food was great. And well received, too. Everyone said it was the best birthday party they had ever attended. And finally, Bubby got his Backyardigans quilt. He was so excited, and I was really proud. I love how it turned out. Now, I'm going to rid up the sewing room and then start a Seseame Street quilt for Izzy's birthday. Have a great week.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Yep, that's the date. And, I'm told that today is National Frozen Custard Day. DD Mary will be glad to hear that. She's as crazy about frozen custard and ice cream as I am. We have some great custard shops in our area. One makes peanut butter ice cream as their Wednesday special. Have you ever had a hot fudge sundae on peanut butter ice cream? Ymm!! And another makes a great chocolate peanut butter milkshake (had one of those last night). The third still has the old twist cones, and this is where we go for the awesome burgers. Nothing fancy -- they just use a lot of black pepper, and I'm a big fan of black pepper. So, take a break today and have some frozen custard. Now to finish that quilt. See you. Have a sew great weekend.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Getting There

Well, the grid quilting is done, and I'm about to start the free motion quilting. Then the binding, and voila, I'm done.

Rod has worked really hard this summer to upgrade our backyard with the new roof, carpeting, ramp, pond area, and two weekends ago, the tractor and the lawnmower both quit. (They have since been fixed). Then last weekend, the weed whacker died (may it rest in peace). I told Rod that he was going to have to take a time-out this weekend since he keeps breaking his toys. He's been wanting a chaise lounge, and the one to match our patio furniture was on sale on line. So, I ordered it. It came yesterday, and he got it all put together. Now, Pappy has a "time out chair". We re-aranged the furniture since all time out chairs should be in a corner, and wow. The patio looks so much bigger. We got rid of the old swing since we have both hated it since we got it. It's like having a new deck all over again. Now, when I sew on the back deck, Pappy can relax in his "time out chair".

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Just a short note

this morning. I'm trying frantically to finish up Bubby's Backyardigans quilt. That's been my primary focus, although during the day when the kids are here, I'm working on the blocks for Kristin's Christmas quilt. Today, I'm going to finish the grid quilting on Bubby's quilt, and hopefully start the free motion quilting. Tomorrow AM I want to get the binding on, and then on Thursday and Friday I can hand-sew the binding down. I have tried to finish the binding on the machine, but just don't like the way it looks. I guess it's just a matter of preference. Catch you later in the week.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Busy, Busy

Yes, I've been really busy trying to finish up the Backyardigans quilt. It's the first month that I haven't finished my Farmer's Market Block before the end of the month. I've got most of the blocks ready for blanket stitching. Seven are already done. First thing tomorrow morning I'm planning on painting on the eyes, mouths, and other details that I decided not to applique. Then I'll take some photos so you can see them. Tonight we're going out to dinner and then to shop for groceries (geez, I hate that job). The next birthday is Izzy's in late September. Kristin wanted a Sesame Street quilt for her. So yesterday morning, I got all the coloring book pages I liked downloaded, and will be ready to figure out the appliques as soon as Bubby's is finished. Hope your weekend is sew happy.