Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year.

Today on her blog, Pat Sloan talked about Ali Edwards and her challenge to choose a word and live it in the coming year.  And after much contemplation, I have chosen my word.  It is "DETERMINATION".  Webster defines determination as 
  1. a firm intention
  2. the quality of being resolute; firmness of purpose
The trip to Disney made me realize that I really need to take off the weight.  I've known for years that I should, but certain aspects of the trip made me realize that the time is now.  Needing a seatbelt extender on the plane was the first eye opener.  I use one in the car, but never thought about the plane.  Having trouble walking from where I had to park my scooter to the table in restaurants, and needing someone else fill my plate at the buffets was another eye opener.  And so, in the coming year, I firmly intend to accomplish some seriously needed weight loss.  

The last two weeks have been spent in trying to decide how I will achieve my goal.  I bought a new book about a diet for Type II diabetics, and hoped that it would be my guide. But after reading the book and feeling  that the 650 calorie diet it proposed wasn't my idea of healthy, I put that idea aside.  I dug out my copy of the GI Diet by Rick Gallop, and have chosen it as my method.  It involves low carb, high fiber, sugar free meals, and should also help my blood sugar levels. I bought the Wii Fit Plus for our Wii system in November, and haven't even opened the box.  That must change.  To me exercise has always been a dirty word, even if it's more than 4 letters.  I will have to force myself to do some sort of physical exercise, which won't be easy since walking is often difficult.  But, I am "determined". 

In this photo, taken at the Grand Floridian at WDW, I am my heaviest ever -- a whopping 332 pounds (I'm ashamed to admit my weight, but feel it's necessary to keep me on track.)  I'm only 4 feet 8 inches tall, and so every pound is noticeable.  My stomach hangs almost to my knees, and I don't think I have ever walked without my thighs rubbing.  So, please bear with me over the next 12 months as I document my weight loss attempt.  I will certainly need your encouragement and support.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

An Anniversary to Remember

We wanted to do something special to commemorate our 35th anniversary, and decided to do the trip to Disney World.  Although our actual anniversary was November 9, I wanted to see Disney at Christmas.  And it was truly an anniversary to remember.  I had always dreamed of staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and when Mary got a code for 40% off, that dream became a reality.   When we checked into our hotel,  the cast member gave us buttons that announced to all that we were celebrating our anniversary.  These chandeliers are in the lobby of the Animal Kingdom Lodge.   If you look to the right, you can see a balcony.  Our room was on the fourth floor, on this side of the lobby.

When we walked into the room, I was surprised to see this vase of flowers on the table.  Seems that Rod and Mary had conspired to have those flowers in our room when we arrived.  There was a card from Rod with the flowers thanking me for 35 years and wishing for 35 more.  I thought these were so beautiful and was so sad when I had to leave them behind when we left.  I had wanted to take the vase at least,  but alas there was no room left in the luggage.  At least I have these pictures to remember the arrangement by.

This picture was taken the morning we left, and the bouquet was still so beautiful.  I have always loved flowers, and when we were younger and raising our kids, there was little money for flowers.  I never really thought that much about it -- that's just how it was.  But since Rod has been working good, and the kids are out on their own, he certainly makes up for the early years.  So many times when he goes to the store alone, he comes home with flowers.  I guess I'm odd, but I like carnations and chyrsanthemums more than roses.  They just seem to last longer.

This photo of Rod and I was taken in front of the Christmas tree in the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  The tree was so beautiful.  There were woven baskets, dried seed pods and dried flowers, and the most beautiful animal masks used to decorate this tree.  I had hoped to purchase a small one similar to the large ones on the tree, but didn't find one anywhere.  I did buy a small wooden mask and a small woven basket to put on our tree, but still wish I could have found an animal mask.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Could I have your Autograph, Please.

That was the question I asked the characters that I met at Disney.  Before our trip to WDW,  I had made 50 appliqued character blocks.  I had posted photos of them in November.  Using coloring book pages that I had researched online, I traced the faces onto fusible web, and made the appliques. It was so much fun choosing the fabrics and colors and adding the details with fabric markers.

To prepare for the trip, Mary purchased crayola fabric markers.  There were colors in the set, and they had to be heat set.  Pretty much the same as other fabric markers.  So many people suggested what I should do with the blocks to make them easy for the characters to sign.  Most of the characters wear gloves, and needed something to hang onto.  Most people suggested ironing the blocks to freezer paper.  That meant cutting all the freezer wrap to fit the blocks, and that seemed like a lot of work to me.  Since the blocks would need to be taut for the signature to look good, I thought about what my options were.  I could use the freezer wrap and clip each block to a clip board.  Hmmm. What else would work???  I finally decided to purchase some spring loaded embroidery hoops.  I found them to be fairly inexpensive on the internet, and made my purchase.  Mary and I tried using them on some sample blocks, and they worked pretty well.

Here you can see that Minnie Mouse wears gloves, and didn't have any problems signing her block.  We found it was easy for us to hold the hoop and just let the characters do what felt most natural for them.  It was a real ego boost for me to see how the characters reacted to their blocks.  Most were very impressed.  Ariel asked me what I was making with the blocks, and then wanted to see some of the others.  She said that she wished she could see the quilt when finished.

Here's my buddy, Goofy signing his block.  He seemed to remember me and the block, because when I saw him other times in the park, he used his "sign language" to tell me that he remembered the blocks.  And in the one character connection, I blew him a kiss as we were leaving and he ran over, gave a hug, and then waved goodbye.  It was so much fun.

I loved the Toy Story movies.  As a kid, I wanted to be a cowboy, and had my very own holster with pearl handle six shooters just like Hop-a-long Cassidy.  So it's no wonder that Sheriff Woody is a fav character of mine.  I even have curtains in the travel trailer made with fabric of Sheriff Woody.  I had gotten Woody's autograph in the Magic Kingdom, where he was appearing with Jesse.  This picture was taken in the Pixar Place section of Hollywood Studios.  The rest of the group was riding the Toy Story Midway Mania attraction, and I snuck into the  photo opportunity across the "street" to get Buzz's autograph.  When I drove up, and asked Buzz for his autograph, Woody indicated that he remembered that he had already signed his block.

Even the kids got into the spirit of getting autographs. In the upper photo, daughter Pat is getting the signature from Tinkerbelle.  In the lower photo, Mary is holding the hoop while Mr. Frederickson is signing his block.  I loved getting the signatures, and can't wait to start putting the quilt together.

I got signatures from JoJo and Goliath, and two of the little Einsteins from Playhouse Disney.  I hadn't made blocks for them, but had some blank ones just in case.  So, counting those three blocks, I have 42 blocks that are signed.  I'll set the quilt up as 6 across and 7 down, and I am thinking about putting a thin sashing between the blocks.  I feel like I was pretty successful getting my signatures, and had a really good time doing it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Princess for a Day

Krissy loves the Disney princesses.  Always has, and as she has gotten older, it hasn't changed much.  She loves dressing up as a princess, and has several "princess dresses".  One dress that she didn't have, was Mary Poppins' Jolly Holiday dress.  Jimmy's Aunt Karen is a wonderful seamstress, and offered to make Krissy the Mary Poppins dress she had only dreamed about. She did an incredible job. We had breakfast with Mary Poppins at 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian resort our first morning there.  And here you can see Mary Poppins posing with our little Mary Poppins.  Krissy was so proud, and Mary Poppins made her feel so special.  She asked Mary if she could borrow Krissy for a few minutes, and took her by the hand to several of the other tables to show that her "twin" had come this morning for breakfast.  So often, Krissy is overlooked because her brother is so cute, but at Disney she is made to feel like a princess everyday.

As a surprise for Krissy, Aunt Karen made her another dress -- it was Belle's country dress.  Not only did she make the dress, but also the large bow for the back of her hair.  Krissy has the gold gown that Belle is wearing in this photo, but she loved her country dress.  I hope that Aunt Karen knows how happy she made this little girl.

Krissy has a Mulan dress, Cinderella's gown, Sleeping Beauty's pink gown, but her dream dress has been Belle's Christmas gown. This year she got her dream gown before the trip to Disney.   Disney has the Bibbity Boutique where little (and big) girls can go for a Princess Makeover.  Krissy went last year, and loved the results.  So this year, Mary surprised her with another makeover.

Here's Krissy after her makeover.  The tiara was a gift from Aunt Karen.  We aren't quite sure why the stylist chose to put the white hair extension in, but Krissy was pleased as punch.  On her left cheek, is a jeweled "tattoo".  She really looks like a princess, don't you think?

Krissy's favorite "princess" right now is Tinkerbelle.  She wanted to be Tink for Halloween, and got this costume for Trick or Treat.  Here she is getting a hug from her idol.  All the cast members at Disney are so awesome with the kids.  Everyone who sees her in her    costumes, greets her by saying "Hello Princess" or calling her by the Princess's name.  And although Krissy is always smiling, she really beams when someone calls her Princess.

So as you can see, Disney really is the place where "Dreams come true".

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bubbs and Kisses

Today I'm just chillin' and watching the Steelers. Go Ben!!  I've been looking through the photos on our Photopass CD and deciding how best to showcase them.  Today's post is called "Bubbs and Kisses". Boy, that grandson of mine loves getting hugs and kisses from all the characters in Disney.  One of the first kisses he got was from Mulan. And she left a lipstick mark on his cheek.  He was so thrilled, and when Jimmy tried to wipe it off, he refused saying that princess kisses weren't supposed to wipe off.

Next came a kiss from Snow White.  Since Mulan's kiss was still on his left cheek, Snow White used the right one.  He's such a charmer, and no one can resist those big brown eyes.  He was so proud of himself because this year he used his walker to walk up to all the characters.  Last year he was in the stroller most of the time.  Watching him interact with all the characters was a joy.

Here he's kissing Minnie.  Since she couldn't leave any lipstick marks, he kissed her.  He also kissed Goofy, Pluto, Chip, Dale and of course Donald and Daisy Duck.  That boy just loves kisses.

Here, he's kissing Russell, the scout from the movie UP.  When we met the UP characters, he got a hug from Mr. Frederickson and Dug, the dog, got down on the floor to play with the tennis balls on his walker.

But he loves hugs too, as you can see from these pictures of him with Fairies Fawn and Tinkerbelle.  And that's our Bubby, hugs and kisses.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


It's December 23 already???  Where did the year go???  I've done no baking this year.  You see, I'm a Cookie Monster.  No really.  I can pass up a cake or a pie, but  a cookie - well, that's a whole 'nother story.  I love cookies!!!  Hard or soft, sugar or ginger, cream filled or sugar sprinkled -- I've just never met a cookie I didn't like.  Not a good thing for a diabetic.  And my sugar has been bouncing around a little, so no cookies for me!!

Oh, you say, surely you've wrapped all your gifts since you haven't done any baking.  The answer there is a big NO.  I'm starting to wrap gifts today.  I don't believe in waiting til the last minute.  Oh, you say, it's because you've been sewing so much.  Again, the answer is a big NO.  So what have you been doing then, you ask.  I'm embarrassed to say that I've done very little other that playing games on Facebook.  Just wasting time and accomplishing not a thing.  Daughter Mary says I'm keeping my mind sharp.  She only says that since she's been doing basically the same thing.  So, she will lie and I will swear to it.

I do have my shopping done- thanks to the internet.  And all the gifts have arrived.  Don't I get some points for that??  Next year will be better, I promise.  Next year I will be a good girl and get back into the Christmas spirit.  But for now, I'm feeling like the old guy who sits on the water tower in the movie "Christmas Comes to Willow Creek".  I just don't feel a lot of Christmas spirit, and am waiting for some special sign that Christmas spirit is alive and well.  No, I'm not feeling "Bah Humbug", I don't know why I'm just not feeling.  Please Lord, give me back my Christmas excitement.  I miss it.  But a very Merry Christmas to you all.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Yes, I know.  It was a short week, but the day after we arrived home, I came down with a head cold.  I hate feeling all stuffy.  But, at least I didn't get sick until after we got home.

Today's topic is the decorations in the parks.  I have never seen so many poinsettias in one place.  They have the most beautiful poinsettia balls in the parks. The wreaths in the parks were so gorgeous.  And in Disney's Hollywood Studios, all the trees were decorated with tinsel -- you know, Tinseltown.  In Animal Kingdom (as well as in our resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge) the trees were decorated in an African theme with masks of the various animals, woven baskets,  and the like. 
 But the most magnificent lighting display was most definitely in Hollywood Studios, where we saw the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.  You just didn't know where to look because there was so much to see.  And the lights danced to various Christmas carols.  The Spectacle of Lights includes: over 5 million lights, 32 miles of extension cables, 66 snow machines, 100 gallons of snow fluid a night, and 43 hidden Mickeys.  Disney at Christmas is truly a sight to see, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Disney Characters and the Quilt Blocks

I haven't counted the blocks that I had signed, but I have 9 out of 50 that aren't signed.  However, we had lunch one day with the characters from Playhouse Disney, and I got signatures from JoJo, Goliath, June and Leo. So, I think I have 44 signed blocks since JoJo and Goliath signed on one block.  Not bad, huh?  Hooping the blocks with the spring hoops was a great idea.  The hoop kept the block stretched tight for signatures, and also gave the characters something rigid to hold on to.  It was also quick to remove one block and replace it with another.  I had a total of 6 hoops - three small and three larger.  So I could hoop more than one block at a time.  It worked well since I could hoop all four Pooh characters at once for breakfast at Crystal Palace.  This is a photo of the grandkids with Alice.

The characters were very impressed with my blocks.  They see a lot of autograph books, so the fabric blocks must have been something different for them.  Ariel asked what I was making with the blocks, asked to see some of the others, and even put my name on with her signature.  Goofy, who is one of my fav Disney characters,  just kept kissing me and showed his approval of his block.  I got Woody's signature at one point with Jessie.  When I met him later with Buzz Lightyear, he indicated that he remembered signing his block.  It was so much fun getting the signatures, and the characters were so much fun.  This is a photo of the grandkids with Snow White.  Krissy has on a replica of Belle's peasant dress that Jimmy's Aunt Karen made.

But I think that the best thing about meeting the characters was watching them interact with Bubs and Krissy.  Bubby gets so excited when the characters approach him, and wants to kiss everybody.  Pluto even managed to give him a kiss with his fake tongue.  The Mad Hatter was certainly the most fun -- he just kept going around the restaurant yelling "Mary Poppins".  And everytime he shouted, so did Bubby.  He came to the table and was just the silliest I had ever seen.  This photo is Mary and the twins with the grandkids and Chip and Dale.  Pam is on the far right, Pat is kneeling in front of Krissy.  Mary is the one standing.

Jimmy's aunt made the Mary Poppins outfit for Krissy.  Mary Poppins was so impressed that she took Krissy by the hand and took her to some of the tables at 1900 Park Fare to show that today her twin was there.  Krissy was so proud.  So often she is overlooked because Bubby is so cute and uses the walker.  But at Disney she gets as much attention as Bubby.  Doesn't she look so cute with Mary Poppins in her matching outfit?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'm home

Yes, I'm home -- with mixed emotions.  I'm glad to be home, but I loved Disney.  Mary asked me yesterday what was my favorite part, and I couldn't really pick just one part.  I don't have the pictures yet, Mary took most of the photos.

And I'm still so excited that I could go on for hours.  But I'll try to organize my thoughts and tell you a little bit each day.  Today I guess I'll discuss what was my biggest worry - how I would get around my disability.  I just can't walk very far, and standing for long periods of time is almost impossible. You guys were all right. Disney makes nearly everything easy for those with disabilities.  In fact, you are practically treated like royalty.
Those using scooters or wheelchairs are loaded onto the shuttle buses first, and their families go with them.  Then the other passengers are let onto the buses.  I only had one person who voiced their dislike of this procedure, and I just figured that some day I may be able to get around better, but he will always be ignorant!  And only one bus driver got nasty, and the cast member handling transportation for our resort overheard it and reported him.  Disrespect and cursing is just not tolerated in the Disney family.

Each show has special seating for those with wheelchairs or scooters, and you are entered in a separate line. (Your family is always admitted with you. They are never chased away to the other line.)  There is special areas for parking in each theater with seats separating each area so that your family sits with you.  There is special viewing areas for handicapped for the parades.  It was just so incredible to me that all these special accommodations are made for the disabled, and I applaud Disney's consideration.  I was so at ease at this amazing park, that we booked another trip for late October.  See you tomorrow.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Do I hear Five?

Yes, I do.  Only 5 days left until we leave for Disney. I didn't take enough photos of the blocks, and there aren't a lot of photos you haven't seen.  Today's blocks are Cinderella, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and Dopey.

We had a great Thanksgiving.  Good Food, great family and of course, I ate too much and some of the things I shouldn't have.  We ate early - 12:30, all were gone by 4:15.  But Mary's family returned in the evening for pie, and the twins came back to eat again.  That's what's so great about having family so close by.  Hope your holiday was a good one.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mickey and Minnie and Goof, OH MY!!

Yes, today I'm starting to feel a little like Dorothy on her way to Oz.  I'm what you get when you cross excitement and fear.  So today's blocks are Mickey and Minnie.  All 50 blocks are finally finished, and have been pressed for the final time before packing.  T-shirts are done.  My rewards card has been validated. The pins I'm planning to trade have been put on my lanyard.  And this weekend, we will start to pack.  Not to difficult for me since I don't wear the same clothes each day that I'm taking to Disney.  But Rod will still need to keep out clothes for work.  And so, today, the readiness begins in earnest.  Hope your holiday is the best.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

8 days to go

Oh yeah, only eight more days.  Since Disney would consider me "Pooh Shaped", I decided to show you my blocks for Tigger and Pooh.

Today I want to finish zigzag stitching the final 5 blocks, and get them ready to pack.  Also I need to start making my list of when to do what for Thanksgiving.  Rod works on Friday, so there won't be any Black Friday shopping for me.  Most of my shopping is done, just a few small items to pick up.  Have a great day.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Single Digits

Yes, today we're in single digits.  9 days to go.  I've never been on an airplane, so I'm thinking of it as my own  magic carpet ride.  I showed you the Genie block the other day, and now her's Aladdin and Jasmine, who rode on their own magic carpet.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

And then there were 10

Yeah, we're almost to single digits.  I have this funny feeling in the pit of my stomach, and it's not the flu!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

And now it's 11

Yes,only 11 days to go.  I feel like I should be packing or something.  I've never been on a trip that lasted this long, and I'm so afraid I'll forget something.  Mary emailed us a list of what she recommends we bring along, and I'm planning on printing that out and checking off the items as they go into their designated bags.  If you have any suggestions for packing, please share.

Friday, November 20, 2009

And now we're down to 12

Yep, that's right.  Two weeks from now, I should be waking up in the Animal Kingdom Lodge and getting ready to head to Epcot.  Breakfast with the princesses at Akershus is the plan, along with dinner at the Biergarten and the Candlelight Processional in the evening.  I'm so looking forward to the Biergarten experience since I was a German major in college.  I love Oompah Bands, and there's one that plays at the Biergarten.

The blocks for today are Jiminy Cricket (my childhood hero), Buzz Lightyear, and the Genie from Aladdin.  Today I want to make the blocks for the main characters from the movie "Up".  Have a good day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

13 days to go

Todays blocks are the ones I made for Pinocchio and Gipetto.  I loved this movie as a child, and wanted a Jiminy Cricket of my own.  I have made a block for him, but don't have a picture of it as yet.  I hated the donkey-boys, and used to practice singing "When You Wish Upon a Star" when I was alone.  This morning I made blocks for Jesse from Toy Story, and Marie from the Aristocats.  Tomorrow, I hope get the blocks for the characters from "UP" done.  And I still want to do blocks for the White Rabbit from Alice, and Thumper from Bambi.  Rumor has it that they are now appearing and signing in some of the parks.  For sure, my blocks will be in my carry-on.  I don't want to take any chances of them being lost.  See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

14 days to go

These are the blocks I did with Donald and Daisy in their safari hats.  We will be having breakfast with them at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom on Saturday, December 5.  See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

15 Days and Counting

The two blocks I have chosen to share today are the ones for Chip and Dale.  Do you know which is which??  Chip has the black nose like a chocolate chip.  We will be having dinner with them at the Garden Grill on Thursday, Dec. 3.  These two pesky chipmunks are two of granddaughter Krissy's favorite Disney characters.  See you tomorrow.

Monday, November 16, 2009

16 Days til Disney

Yep, we're counting down, and so I've decided to post one or two of my quilt blocks each day.  These are the blocks for Beauty and the Beast.  It's two blocks, but I'm folding two blocks together each day for the photos so that I can show more to you.

On Friday, Mary brought over all the transfers for the T-Shirts.  We had so many to make -- 6 for Rod and I and for Mary and her family, and 4 for Pat and Pam.  So I think it's 40 in all.  I spent part of the day on Friday cutting out all the transfers, and then on Saturday Mary came over and ironed all the transfers onto the shirts.  It was so nice, and we stayed out on the deck to do the ironing.  However, by the end of the 6th hour, it was starting to get a little chilly.  But the shirts are all done, and look really nice.  I'm sure you will see pictures of us in the shirts -- but will have to wait until the trip is over since Disney charges $10 per day for internet service.  Have good day.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day

and a special thank you to all the military personnel, both past and present, who have so bravely fought to defend our country and protect our freedoms.

As a kid, Veteran's Day held a different meaning for me.  My dad was a postal worker, and in those days, he worked very long hours and on weekends during the Christmas rush.  Veteran's Day was my dad's last holiday before the rush, and so our family did their Christmas shopping on that day.  Some years we took the two widows who lived across the street from us.  These ladies were the greatest.  They were sisters-in-law, and lived  with their two cocker spaniels.  They were fairly wealthy, and had lots of collectibles in their home - Fenton Glass, Royal Doulton character mugs, dogs, and figurines. And also beautiful Hummel figurines.  Although their house had a very funny odor from the dogs, I used to love to go there.  Their Christmas trees were unlike any I had any seen.  They had beautiful glass figurine ornaments imported from Germany, the arms and legs moved and they were so shiny.  Anne's husband had been a Navy diver, and there had been a book written about him.  About once a month, when Catherine had to work late, Anne would invite me for dinner and we would use fancy china and crystal and eat lamb chops with mint jelly.  I loved those evenings.  She made me feel so special.  Anne was an excellent knitter, and each year for Christmas she would give me a baby doll for which she had crocheted clothes.  And one year, I got a set of twins.  Betty and Bobby had the most amazing knitted pants, hats and coats with beautiful pearl buttons.  My sister and I never had to wonder where our winter hats and mittens were coming from-- we knew that Anne would see that we had whatever we needed.  How I wish now that I had asked her to teach me to knit.  These two ladies sponsored me for the Rainbow Girls and had my gown special made for me by a friend of theirs.  And yes, they did still have the plastic on their furniture.  And the most amazing flower garden was just outside the back door.  I haven't thought about these two special ladies for years, but today they are on my mind, and in my heart.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hump Day

We are only 28 days out from the trip to Disney, and I'm getting more excited.  Our travel documents arrived yesterday. I have confirmed with the airline what needs to be done to "fly" my motorized cart, and have been making a list of what needs to be packed and bought.  Our dining reservations have been made, and our flights have been changed twice (what's up with that???)

This weekend, however, is our "real" anniversary weekend.  On Monday, Rod and I will have been married 35 years.  Wow, are we really that old?  We have been through so much together, both good and bad.  We have laughed and cried; argued and made up; dreamed and dreamed and dreamed together.  It's been a great journey, and I look forward to the future with my best friend.  We have a room in Berlin, Ohio for Saturday night to celebrate.  We really love staying in Amish Country, and our room has a hot tub and a fireplace.  Hey, I did say we were going to celebrate!!!

I'm working on another sampler quilt.  Seems like sampler quilts are all I do, but I really love hand piecing the blocks, and don't get bored since there is only one of each design.  I do find, and try new patterns which makes each quilt a little different from the previous one.  Next week, I'll post pictures of the some of the completed blocks.

Bubby's bus driver has given me two huge bags of fabric, and I'm in the process of going through them and deciding what to keep and what to return to Becky.  She will donate it to a church or school.  There are some really large pieces, some as much as 5 yards.  I needed another color for the current project, and lo and behold, a suitable one was in one of the bags.

Christmas is rapidly approaching.  What are you making for gifts?  I don't know if I'm making too many gifts this year.  Depends on how much time I have left over after finishing the quilt for my mom.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Birthday to Rod

Today is my hubby's birthday, and I wanted to wish him a very happy one.

I'm feeling better about the Disney trip.  DD Mary has been checking into traveling with my ECV, and feels it will be a piece of cake.  I've just decided that if a ride looks too difficult for me, I will sit it out.  It's just that simple.  I'm not supposed to be stressing on my vacation.  Rod is making a wooden box to fit inside the back basket of the cart, and it will be there to help me get into the bed, should it be too high for my little short legs.

My sugar has been up and down in the last few weeks, but I finally have it under control again.  I will really have to watch closely while at Disney -- it will be so easy to over-cheat and send it out of control again.  I'm really excited about the restaurants we have chosen.  We're doing a special dinner before the Candlelight Processional, and that will guarantee us seats for that show.  We are staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and that is a dream come true for me.

 Mary is making shirts for everyone to wear.  This is the design that Rod and I have chosen for the first day of our trip.  We are hoping that we might be given a room upgrade at check-in if they see that we are celebrating our anniversary.  I'm so looking forward to staying so close to the animals on the property and hope to be able to do some serious animal watching at the hotel.

We have chosen some other really cool designs for shirts, too.  Rod and I have chosen a Steeler design of Goofy dressed in a Steeler uniform, and the shirt proclaims "I'm Goofy for the Steelers". Perfect for us, huh?

Today I'm hoping to get some serious sewing done.  Have a good day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

40 Days til Disney

and counting.  And with each day that passes, I become more apprehensive about the trip.  I am a WOULS (woman of unusually large size) and have never flown before.  I am flying with my electric cart, and am worried about that.  I'm hoping it's too big to be lost or misplaced by the airline.  I'm worried that the bed will be too high for my 4'8" body.  I'm worried about walking for the buffet meals, I'm worried about not being able to get into the rides.  I guess I'm just worried about ruining the trip for the rest of my family because of my limitations.  Our trip is already paid for -- if not I'd be tempted to cancel it.  But the Scotch in me prohibits me from wasting money.  So, I'm going.  In just 40 days.

I thought I had all my Disney blocks done, but they have taken some of the characters out of the parks and put new ones in.  I'm so excited to see Jesse from Toy Story, the White Rabbit from Alice, and Thumper from Bambi.  Those are three of the new blocks I'm working on now.  This weekend isn't supposed to be very nice, so I'm hopefully going to get a lot of sewing in.  Hope your weekend is a good one.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Weekend

 For us, Friday night was family night.  It wasn't planned- it just happened.  I had made a pot pie with leftover roast beef, and knew that Kristin, Izzy and the twins would be joining us.  But, to my surprise, Mary and family showed up for pot pie, too.  We prayed over the pot pie, but still it wouldn't serve enough, so we ordered pizza.  And it was so much fun.  Isn't it funny how the spur-of-the-moment things can turn out better than events you plan for days!!

It took a while for the pizza to arrive, so as you can see by my "monster clock" (as SIL Jimmy calls it) it was after 6:30  when we ate.  And when Izzy asked for the choo choos, Pap put the Christmas train platform on a folding table in the living room, and oila - trains.  Krissy is manning the controls, and Kristin is just enjoying the pizza.  Bubby is on the stool with his pizza in front of him, but quite frankly, when there's trains, pizza is nothing.  The set is a great western freight set, complete with a Lincoln log car, a car with horses, and even some Lincoln logs to build with.  Rod and both loved Lincoln logs as kids, and our grandkids seem to have inherited our love for them.

I'm really getting excited about Christmas, and better go and get started on gifts.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm Baaaack

Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since I posted here.  Life has been so hectic, and I have to admit, I've become addicted to Facebook.  I've been playing games (something I never thought I enjoyed).  I don't want to sew, I have done little housework; but I have been cooking and still watching the Izzyboo.  But I have decided that my second childhood must come to an end, and I have to grow up and start doing adult things again.

I did work on a wall hanging for halloween.  I did a small one, which I posted a photo of in my last post.  I gave it to my Mom to hang on her door, and she was thrilled that I thought of her.  I do so love the feeling I get when I give someone something they really like.  So then I started a bigger one.  It was in a magazine, and I did make some changes since I didn't like some of the blocks.  I substituted the owl, (which is adapted from a pattern by Pat Sloan) for a witch's shoe.  I made three candy corns, and put them in a block which was supposed to be a spider (didn't like the way it looked), and I made two pieces of candy instead of one and a candy corn.  And I like how it looks.  That's the fun thing about quilting -- you can take a pattern and change it to make it your own  (for personal use only and not for sale).  I did add a dark purple border and it's ready to sandwich and quilt.  But I just can't seem to get into finishing it.  Why, I don't know.  If you can tell me why my sewing has taken a back seat lately, please do.  It's really buggin' me.

Last week, Rod and I thought that the little Izzy-fingers had turned down the temp on the water bed heater.  The bed was cold, and not pleasant to sleep on.  We turned it back up, but alas, the bed was still really cold.  So on Sunday we decided the the heater had just gotten to old to perform it's required duties and needed to be replaced.  I ordered a new one, and it's scheduled to be delivered tomorrow.  So, this weekend will be spent draining the bed, installing the new heater, and refilling the bed.  And hopefully by Sunday evening the bed will feel like the warm, inviting, comfortable bed we've loved for so long.  And to make the job less unpleasant, I'm planning to make a sausage lentil soup and homemade bread for dinner on Saturday, and stuffed cabbage and homemade bread for dinner on Sunday.  Mmmm, just the thought of it on a weekend that's supposed to be chilly and damp makes me warmer.

Hope your weekend if filled with wonderful things that you love.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Last day this year of more daylight than darkness!

Did  you know that?  Yep, that's what the weatherman said this morning.  We have 2 more minutes of daylight than darkness today.  Enjoy those two minutes.

I've been busy this week.  I finished my pumpkin quilt, and it's adorning the back of the love seat in the living room.  I finished the mini Halloween wall hanging I was working on, and gave it to my mom to put on her door. The quilt was put together with blocks that I got in a swap in 2005.  I love how it turned out. The wall hanging was a challenge in one of my yahoo groups.  Mom loved it and was so surprised when I told her she could take it home for her door.  Rod gave her a small pumpkin from the garden.  And she was tickled that she had some Halloween decorations.

 I made a child's apron for Izzy for her birthday- - day.  Her party is Saturday, and I've bought her the Tupperware kid's plates, cups, bowls,etc. and a basket to put them in.  But I also like to give the kids a gift on their actual birthday.  Aunt Mary bought her a pair of pink cowgirl boots, and she looked so funny running around the house in her apron (which came past her knees) and those boots.  Changing a diaper on a child wearing a long apron and cowgirl boots isn't easy.  I know, I had to do it yesterday since she wouldn't let me take either off.

This weekend is supposed to be rainy, so hopefully some sewing will get done.  I have so much to do before our Disney trip.  I loaded Christmas music onto the Zune yesterday -- somehow the Christmas tunes help me make gifts in October.  Hope you have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

September Poem

Did you have to memorize poetry in school?  We did.  In 6th grade we had to memorize the poem, September by Helen Hunt Jackson.  And recite it in front of the class.  I still remember and love that poem.  The days are growing shorter here in western PA, the air is a little brisker, and the pumpkins on our vines are turning a bright orange as the vines are dying.  And yesterday this poem came to mind.

by: Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885)
      HE golden-rod is yellow;
      The corn is turning brown;
      The trees in apple orchards
      With fruit are bending down.
      The gentian's bluest fringes
      Are curling in the sun;
      In dusty pods the milkweed
      Its hidden silk has spun.
      The sedges flaunt their harvest,
      In every meadow nook;
      And asters by the brook-side
      Make asters in the brook.
      From dewy lanes at morning
      The grapes' sweet odors rise;
      At noon the roads all flutter
      With yellow butterflies.
      By all these lovely tokens
      September days are here,
      With summer's best of weather,
      And autumn's best of cheer.
      But none of all this beauty
      Which floods the earth and air
      Is unto me the secret
      Which makes September fair.
      'T is a thing which I remember;
      To name it thrills me yet:
      One day of one September
      I never can forget.

"September" is reprinted from Poems. Helen Jackson. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1892.

Have a great September day, and take the time to look at all of the autumn signs around you.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Take a Look at This!

Today Bubby came here to stay since he wasn't going back to school until tomorrow.  And this afternoon Izzy showed up with a bag of hull-less popcorn.  These two love popcorn. But to quote Izzy's daddy, "she's a messy little thing".  And it's so true, spills and messes just seem to follow Izzy everywhere she goes.  So you can understand how the bag of popcorn ended up all over my living room floor.  And as soon as I got the camera out of the case, Izzy said "Cheese"  And cheese it was!! All over that little face.

Bubby apologized for the mess, and immediately began to clean it up.  Izzy had her own idea of how to pick up the popcorn.  Can you see here stuffing it into her mouth?  Bubby very patiently picked up the popcorn piece by piece and put it back into the bag.

Can you see where the popcorn that Izzy picked up went? This is our little chipmunk with the cheesey bits all over her face.  But they were happy to be together again.  These are the kind of days I will always remember.

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's Just Another Manic Monday

Do you remember that song?  Never sure what it meant, but I liked it.  To update Bubby's condition, yesterday morning he made a complete 360 and started to talk, play basketball with his socks and his mom and dad.  The result of the latest cat scan was better than the one on Wednesday, and a shunt malfunction was ruled out (again).  To make a long story short, they sent him home!!  He was so happy to be out of that hospital, and we know that he doesn't remember anything that happened because he asked Mary where they were and why they were there.  Then last night, he had another seizure.  Mary called the ambulance, and then called neurology at Children's.  They told her that they felt it was just his body adjusting to the new medication, and didn't feel that hospitalization was necessary.  He came out of the seizure quickly, Mary canceled the ambulance, and I'm sure she had a very restless night.  Additional thanks to all for your prayers and support.  I have some really wonderful cyber-friends.  I am definitely blessed.
I really needed something to do yesterday - something fun.  So I used some pumpkin swap blocks from 2007, and put them together with fabrics in my stash.  I really liked the way it turned out.  No to get it sandwiched, quilted and bound.  I really love the colors green and orange.  Fall is definitely my favorite time of year, and pumpkins make me happy.  So today I am cheesin' (as DD Mary would say).

 Some of these swap blocks almost look like our pumpkins out back.  Anyone know when you harvest pumpkins???  Ours are turning orange and the vines are starting to die.  I think in October we are going to have a soup supper.  We invite friends and family, ask them to bring a pot of soup to share, and we provide the homemade bread and desserts.  We had one a few years ago, and everyone loved it and has been asking for another.  Rod and I both have birthdays in October, so we usually make it the weekend in between our birthdays.

Today I want to "rid up" my sewing room.  That was one of my granny's favorite sayings.  Some fabrics need folded and put away, and my sideboard needs to be cleaned off.  So I'll say have a good week.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Update on Bubby

After 24 hours of stating that it was definitely not a shunt malfunction, the drs. have now determined that it probably is!!  So, there is a good possibility that Bubby will be undergoing brain surgery this afternoon.  Whether the shunt will be reset will be determined by whether or not the cerebro-spinal fluid is infected.  If it is, he will remain in the hospital until the infection is cleared up. He is still on the ventilator, and Mary is starting to break down.  She's been so strong, but her will is weakening.  Please continue to pray. 

Prayers, Please

This is a photo of Bubby and Krissy on the first day of school.  Life was so happy then. . .  but things change.  Yesterday at school, Bubby had a seizure in the cafeteria.  The adults present surrounded him so that the other kids wouldn't see what was going on and be frightened.  And that's when the nightmare started!  The school called Mary,(his mom) and then DD Pam was called.  When Pam got there, he had been seizing for about 30 minutes, and Pam told them to call an ambulance.  He was taken to our local hospital.  They couldn't control the seizure, and called the neurologists at Children's Hospital in Pgh.  They were instructed to bring him there, and he was life-flighted to Children's.  He is now on a ventilator and in the Pulmonary Intensive Care Unit at Children's.  They have run numerous tests, but have yet to determine what's causing the seizures.  Mary stayed at his side through the night, and Krissy stayed here with Pappy and I.  She's only 8 years old, but is so strong.  She's been very quiet, and I know that she's very worried about her brother. Right now we are playing the waiting game.  They don't think it's a shunt malfunction at this time, and are waiting for cultures and tests for flu to come back.  I don't know that I've ever been so scared in my life.  The thought of anything terrible happening to my Bubby terrifies me.  Please pray for this little guy and his family.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Attack Of The Giant Pumpkin Vine. . .

No, it's not the latest science fiction movie, it's what's happening in our garden. This is one of the vines which starts at the fence. I've pointed out one of the pumpkins. It's one of 17 that we have, and that was out of one package of seeds.

Here's another vine climbing over the fence.  There's a pumpkin here too.

And it continues past the angel statue, past the little girl with the basket of apples, and . . .

over toward the deck.  Rod says we should be able to pick some of the pumpkins from the deck.  And the vines continue to grow.  Some of the vines  grew out of the boxes going the other way, and the pumpkins are in the boxes, on the grass, and even one is in the corner of two boxes.   I think there's a total of 4 hanging from the vines as they come over the fence.  I'm hoping that we can can some pumpkin.  Pumpkin pies from the pumpkins we grew in our garden will surely be a welcome treat at Thanksgiving.

Hope you all have a great Labor Day weekend.  We're going to our camp for just the day on Saturday, and hopefully I'll get some sewing done during the rest of the weekend,