Saturday, February 28, 2009

Train Layout

I've been telling you about hubby Rod's train layout. We go to train shows, train shops, and buy offline. (We do quilt shows, too) I thought that you'd like to see some of the photos of what he's been working on. It starts with the framework, made of 2 x 4's and plywood. Then he covered it with homesote, a building material that helps to deaden sound. Then we added layers of rolled newspaper, which were covered with plaster cloth. The plaster cloth dries and hardens, and then is painted. He's doing the wiring now, and soon we will be able to start with the landscaping. It's been quite a process, with so many of the family helping. DGD Krissy loves the people and does a lot of the arranging of buildings and people. We've tried to include areas that remind us of our life together. Main Street is very much like the little town of Beaver, PA where Rod and I both grew up.

This area is to remind us of our camp. The tent represents how we started there, and the two trailers are representative of camp now, the trailers are ours and Mary's.

We live now in a rural area, and love the farms. Amish friends of ours have a farm slightly similar to ours here.

We used to go to a carnival sponsored by a local fire department. My deceased brother-in-law was very instrumental in the maintenance of this carnival, moving in all the booths, and keeping the whole thing in operation. Keith has now passed on, and so has the carnival. But it lives on our layout. All the rides are operational, even the roller coaster. The midway area has a ring toss game, bottle game, camel races, and of course, food!!

This is the logging area. Note the Heinz Ketchup sign, we love our light-up signs. We grew up with Heinz products, and now it also represents Heinz field, home of our Pittsburgh Steelers. In the logging area there is an operating sawmill.

This area we call the turnpike area. Whenever we go to quilt shows or train shows, we seem to always take the turnpike. There is a covered bridge in our local park, and of course more farms. Note the Steeler water tower. You can see a small gazebo, this area will be the park in our hometown, complete with benches and street lamps. We still have a long way to go, but I thought you'd like to see what's done so far.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Orange Challenge

This weekend I've been working on an orange challenge with my Pat Sloan yahoo group. I did 4 blocks on Friday, but haven't gotten back to doing any more since. I want to make more, but wasn't sure I liked the ones I had done already. But after looking in the photo album for our group and seeing some of the blocks put together, I've decided to make more and put them together to use as a machine quilting practice piece. I saw some had put them together on point, and I really loved those. However, I don't know how to figure how large my setting triangles have to be. If you can help me with calculations, please let me know. Here are the photos of the 4 blocks I have done.

DD Kristin had to put her beloved Newfoundland down a few weeks ago, and last night introduced us to our new "grandpuppy". Her name is Sydney, she's also a newfie, and just as cute as can be. She's such a little ball of fur, but she's only 8 weeks old.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th. . . .

Usually a bad luck day for most, but since 13 has always been my lucky number, I'm looking for something good to happen today. We're having the twins birthday dinner tonight since everyone is feeling pretty good. The flu seems to have left our family. . . finally.

I finished up the quilt top I was working on, made the binding, ironed the backing, and today DD Mary is shipping it to my favorite quilter in Florida. Can't wait to see it finished, although Linda says it will probably be 2-3 months. She does such a beautiful job that it's well worth the wait. I'm now sewing the binding on the Sampler Quilt that I got back just before Christmas. I want to make pillow cases to match the sampler quilts that are done, and then they will be ready to give to Pat and Pam. Now I need to finish the quilts that I started for Mary (a batik attic windows) and for Kristin (a 30's repro basket quilt).

Yesterday I got to keep Izzy for the first time in nearly two weeks. She's finally feeling better and Kristin was finally able to return to work. I don't know which one of us was the happiest to see the other. She ran across the living room with her arms outspread, and gave me the biggest hug when I picked her up. We spent most of the day snuggling and watching movies. She's a big Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer fan, and hasn't allowed it to be put away. For dinner we had pork chops, parsley potatoes, and Lima beans. She really ate well, although the pork took too long to chew, so it was left on the plate. I held her when she took her naps. I probably could have put her down on the couch, but it seemed like such a long time since I'd held her that I just couldn't let go. Granny prerogative!!.

I haven't had Bubby for over two weeks, either. Jimmy has been laid off, so he keeps Bubby. I really miss him. I asked if he could come over to stay today since he and Izzy keep asking about each other. Really I miss him too. Hopefully Jimmy will say yes. He'll be going to Kindergarten in August, and I don't know how I'll part with him. When he came home from the hospital after a 69-day stay, I had to learn how to use an IV pump to give him his antibiotics. I've cathed him from the first day he stayed here, and have been there at his side with each seizure that he's had. A good friend of mine once told me that "God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called". That's the way it's been with me and Bubby. When he had the first big seizure, I knew that something was wrong, I called Kristin to come down (she's the dr.),I called Mary to come home, and I called the ambulance. It was the scariest day of my life. Krissy was at kindergarten orientation, so Mary had to leave her (only until Aunt Kristin got there). My official title is the Holder of the Fort. Once orientation was over, Krissy came back here and we spent the day making a pillow for her to take to kindergarten, answering all the phone calls, and mostly just hugging each other. The girls and Rod all went to the hospital, but I held down the fort. I guess I've been the stable influence in Krissy's life when something has gone wrong with her brother. She's really special to me.

Mom was in the hospital, and then was sent to a skilled nursing facility. There she almost died, and went back to the hospital. Now she's in a different skilled nursing facility. She's been there many times before and feels like it's home. So, she's decided to make it a permanent arrangement. It will make my life a lot easier, but I'm still having a tough time accepting it. I tried so hard to take good care of her, but I'm not a nurse, nor did I want to be. The night she fell here, I felt so guilty because I couldn't get her up and she had to lay there for nearly 30 minutes before Jimmy could come to get her up. I should have called the ambulance then. My life is going through some big changes.

I guess you can tell that today I'm a little maudlin'. Don't know why I feel so down, but it will get better. I'm looking forward to dinner tonight. It seems like forever since we've all been able to be together. Have a great weekend.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Update on flu

Izzy was discharged from the hospital yesterday afternoon. She and Kristin stayed here wth me for a few hours while George went to have the truck serviced. She is so pale. She was very quiet, hardly talked at all. Not like Izzy. She's very snuggly, so I think she still isn't feeling up to snuff. She laid in my arms to watch "Maggie and the Ferocious Beast", but then went to lay on the couch with Kristin, and they both fell asleep. So, I spent most of the afternoon sitting in the living room watching them sleep. Did I mind? Oh, no. I was just glad to have them here, and to know they're both going to be OK. Kristin is still off work today, and Jimmy is laid off, so I have no kids for the third day this week.

I really miss Bubby. He's such a talker. Tomorrow Mary is taking him out to the kindergarten center for a meet and greet with the kindergarten teachers. I can't believe he's going to kindergarten in August. But I was equally worried when he went to preschool, and it's been so good for him. He has grown so much and I have to trust that God will look out for him. They fitted him for arm crutches at therapy two weeks ago, and last week he got to try them out. It's a big change, but he will adjust because Bubby doesn't know how to quit. He's such an inspiration because he's so determined to do what's expected of him.

My house is so quiet, and I'm almost lonely. But I do have my quilt top almost put together. I just have to cut the borders and put them on. Hopefully, I will be able to send it to the quilter next week. Thanks for all your prayers.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Update on flu

Mom was transfered to a nursing home two weeks ago. A week later, she was in really bad shape, and when they transfered her to the emergency room, they couldn't get a bottom number on her blood pressure. It was touch and go for a few days, but now she is on the mend, and today was transfered to a different nursing home for physical therapy. Pam had the flu, and had it pretty badly. But she's all better now. Izzy has had bouts of flu-like symptoms for over a week now, and finally tonight they took her to the emergency room. She was at the pediatrician yesterday, and they said she was severely de-hydrated. She ate today and had a good bit to drink, so Kris and George thought she was OK. But late this afternoon, she started vomitting again, and when Kris called the pediatrician, he said to take her to the ER for IV fluids. Kristin has also had the flu, and hasn't been to work at all this week. Pam just called from the ER, and they're doing lab work before they start the IV. The ER doctor said if they can get her to drink from her cuppie, it will be better for her. Keep her in your prayers, please.

And the Final Blocks are Done

Well all my blocks are done, and the sashing has been put on the top of each block. Tonight Mary will help me lay them out, and then I'm ready to start putting the quilt top together.

This is my log cabin. I had to add two strips to make it the right size, but the quilt police aren't allowed in this area. (Thank Goodness).

This is my Ohio Star. It's one of my favorite blocks.

This is my version of Maple Leaf. I had to include it since I'm such a fall person.

This is a block called Bear Tracks, another from I love it too.

This is my Kentucky Chain block. I love how this block looks.

And last, but not least, a block from called Aunt Dinah.

So that makes twenty. and I'm glad they're done. It has been such a relaxing way to start the new year. The blocks are made from scraps from the Bee Attitudes BOM. And I've still got 5 blocks to finish for the Bee Attitudes quilt. What shall I do with the rest of the scraps? I know that This-n-That Fabrics is posting a free Strip of the Month pattern on their website, so I may try and do that one.

And a final tribute to our Steelers, who brought home their Sixth Superbowl trophy. Thanks for such an exciting game! My husband says he can't watch football anymore, it's not good for his heart. Yeah, Right!!!