Monday, June 29, 2009

Dreams Do Come True

As you can see from the counter on my blog, we're planning a trip to Disney in December. This will be to celebrate our 35th anniversary. I've always dreamed of staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge; but when we started planning our trip, it just was out of our price range. We decided to do Coronado Springs instead. Then when Jimmy got laid off, we downgraded to Pop Century. But . . . . last Thursday night, Mary got a code for 40% off on your accommodations. So, our travel agent checked into AKL, and with the code it was less than CS would have been. So. . . to make a long story short, we're booked at Animal Kingdom Lodge, and I'm so excited that I could pee my pants!!!! And see, dreams do come true!

Went to Kennywood with family on Saturday. I don't ride any rides, but I'm a "people watcher", and boy were there some people to watch!!! How about the girl in the sequined evening gown?? or the one dressed in a tank top, short shorts and furry snow boots??? And that's why I love to watch people. Of course, you can't go to Kennywood and not eat -- corn dogs, potato patch fries, and funnel cakes. But, on Sunday morning, my blood sugar told me it knew exactly what I'd been eating. You can't fool the numbers. I felt a little out of sorts all day Sunday, but went for groceries, watched what I ate, and spent the afternoon sitting on the deck with Rod. We had summer showers all day, and we love to watch the rain on the pond. Rod cooked steaks for dinner, and we did some "Disney Dreamin'". A great weekend. No sewing though. Plan on doing that this coming weekend. Have a great week.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dad's Day in Review

We had our Father's Day Celebration on Saturday and it was labeled a huge success. All but 4 of the people invited were there, and a good time was had by all. It was strange in some ways because the last time we hosted a Father's Day Picnic, both of our dads and our three BILs were in attendance. This year, only Rod and 1 nephew were there. Sad to count all the people missing, but we traded memories, and then moved on to the new faces in attendance. There were 12 kids under the age of 9 in attendance and for some reason, they got a great deal of satisfaction from digging a hole in what used to be the garden. That hole goes nearly all the way to China, I feel sure. Some played wiffle ball with Jimmy and Mr. Al, but just about every kid took a turn at digging in that hole. Who knew that a shovel could keep kids that age occupied for so many hours. The party broke up a little before 10 that evening, and all the clean-up had been done by those in attendance. Rod left to get some gas for DD Mary, and while he was gone, I sat on the porch, listening to the fountain and offering up a prayer of gratitude for a wonderful day filled with good food, good friends and beloved family.

Officially this is the first full day of summer, and the heat is scheduled to build each day this week. Tuesday Krissy has a double-header and that finishes her softball schedule. She will get her trophy that evening. Then on Saturday is the Carpenter's picnic at Kennywood, and we all look forward to that with the potato patch fries and corn dogs. And then it will be July 4th. Bubby has his last game that day and will get his trophy. Whew, my head is spinning just thinking about how fast this summer will go.

I haven't done any work on my Disney blocks for a couple of weeks, so today I'm going to start fresh with the hardest of the blocks. Wish me luck. And take the time this week to thank our Lord for all good things.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Day of Wonder

Today I am in awe of the power of the weather. Last night our area was hit by several severe storms. This morning's newscast was full of reports and pictures of areas hit so hard by this weather. But in our area, we were lucky. We had heavy rains, many lightening strikes, and lots of thunder, but we have emerged pretty much unscathed. We have no down trees, no large branches down and our only flooding is the overflow from the pond that has taken up residence in the basement. The garden plants that were looking a little droopy and dry are this morning standing tall and revived, showing proudly the blossoms that soon will be the fruits of our labors.

I am reminded of May 31, 1985 when a tornado passed through the field behind our house. Rod had been out of work for three years, and had received an offer of a job in Newark NJ. We were at my mom's and had received a phone call from my SIL, who had a police scanner, saying that the tornado had hit on our road. Fearing the worst, my dad and Rod drove out to the house to see whether we had a home to return to. Rod and I decided before they left that if the house was gone, we would move to NJ and he would take the job. I prayed in my heart that the house was still standing. I didn't want to leave my home. When Rod came back, he reported that although the crops in the field were gone, our home was standing with no damage. The dog was still fine and the doghouse was unchanged. Even the lawn chairs were still standing in the yard where we had left them. He said it was as though the hand of God had protected our little bit of life. We thanked God for our blessings, and remained in this area until 1988 when it became necessary to move to Hampton VA. Less than 4 months after we moved, the kids and I returned home, and Rod followed a few months later. But that's another story. And so today, I thank God for all his wonderful blessings.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Week in Review

Remember last week I told you that I was in a deep funk and didn't know why. . . well, I think I figured it out. It's me and the way I look and feel. I'm so overweight, and have tried almost every diet and diet plan and have always failed. I saw a girl on Good Morning America last week who had lost weight counting steps. So, I got out the pedometer that I bought months ago and never opened, and started to use it. What a shock!!! The first day I walked less than 500 steps. I have been increasing each day, and on Saturday nearly made 1000. Not quite the 10,000 steps I'm shooting for, but it's a start. I hunted up my Simple Abundance book and started to reread it. It always gives me a boost, and I started making plans to move my sewing room back into the larger bedroom where I was before my mom moved in. I opened a new reed diffuser and placed it in the sewing room, and it's a new scent. I really like it, and so my life is starting to change. And hopefully all these new changes will result in a new, and happier me. I went to Bubby's ball game on Saturday, and as I watched all these brave kids with various disabilities doing what didn't come easy so that they could play ball, I had a wake-up call. Here are all these special kids doing what they had to round the bases, and I was sitting there in my ECV -- just because it is easier. And that's when I made the commitment to walk more. After Bubby's game Rod and I went shopping to a large aquarium store to buy some new pond fish, and I walked the store. I was sweating when we were done, but there was a sense of accomplishment.

Rod worked so hard this weekend on the yard. He dug out some old landscape timbers where we used to have a garden, and got them burnt. Then he cut down all the old weeds that had been there. He weeded the grape arbor, and then set to work on the front yard. We knew that there was a red miniature rose bush left in the front corner, but who knew that there was a yellow one left as well???? And the dianthus I had planted have tripled in size!!! Rod's glad to go back to work on Mondays to get a rest!!!

Yesterday would have been my dad's 82nd birthday. We brought Mom out for dinner, and all the kids were here except Kris, who was in bed with the flu. After dinner, Pat took the two girls out front to see the "new" flowers, and they surprised us with some beautiful nosegays of multi-colored sweet williams. They were in a "wildflower" assortment we had planted two years ago. I had no idea they would be so varied in color, and so we put them in the glass of roses that Rod had picked for me on Friday evening. It's just a glass from dried beef, but it looks so pretty on the table on the deck.

And how about those Pens!!! And now Pittsburgh is again the "City of Champions" !!! Super Bowl and Stanley Cup in the same year. Now it those Pirates could just get it together. Have a good week.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Don't know what's wrong with me --just haven't felt like doing any sewing. Over the weekend, I just sat on the porch and watched the fish. Oh and watched Rod doing all the hard labor he did last weekend. He built boxes on the two sides of the pond where there's fencing. Then we went and got mushroom mulch (smelled a whole lot like a horse stable --more than usual), and Rod shoveled it all into the boxes. He also bought two kinds of pepper plants, two kinds of cabbage plants, and some seed for cucumbers and pumpkins. The beans, tomatoes and zucchini we planted in the first two boxes are doing very nicely, I'll have to get some photos to show you.

I have a new "do". Mary took pictures, and as soon as I get them, I'll post photos of the "new"me!!

Mom had a colonoscopy last week and the results weren't good. She has a mass in the anal canal of the colon. Dr. is scheduling a CAT scan to see if the cancer has spread anywhere else, and then will decide the plan of action from there. Surprisingly, Mom took the news better than we did -- said she had a feeling. Say a prayer for her, please.

Sunday, I cooked a chicken in the smoker. We brined it in beer and Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipolte overnight on Saturday, and then used the same Mrs. Dash under the skin and in the water pan (with beer and water mixed). This time we split the chicken and took out the backbone so that the bird laid flat, we patted it dry and smoked it for nearly 5 hours with cherry wood. The skin got nice and crispy and the meat was done more than when we smoked it whole.

Last night we attended Bubby's graduation from preschool. The kids all have some sort of disability, and the ceremony was very moving, as all the kids sang songs and recited their alphabet. Needless to say, I shed a few tears.

Today I have to clean up the sewing room a little so that Rod can put the air conditioner in tonight. I have decided to move my sewing back into the larger room, that I had moved out of to make room for mom. I ordered new fabric for curtains, and am planning on painting the room a light blue. My shelves are a bright blue, so they won't need repainted. What do you think of this fabric? I think it will make me feel happy, happy! And how about the crowns for the "Queen Bee"!!!

And now I'm off to the sewing room.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Disney Quilt Blocks

I decided that this morning I would show you the Disney Blocks that are done. I took Mary's advice and used the invisible thread with a cream underthread in the bobbin. I really love the way they look.
This are the blocks using Wendy, Piglet and Pooh.

Three of my favorite princesses: Snow White, Mulan, and Pocahontas.

Here's Mickey, Minnie, and Eeyore.

Lilo is next. And Tink, with the glitter wings and shiny buttonhole stitch, and last Alice.

And here are Princess Cinderella, Princess Aurora, and loveable Dopey

And finally, Buzz, the Genie and Jiminy Cricket. Mary says the cast members at Disney will make a big fuss about this signature blocks.
I have so much fun doing these blocks. I start with a coloring book page, and then use a graphics program to crop and adjust the size of the photo. I really love choosing the fabrics to make each character come to life. When they are all fused onto my applique sheet, I use fabric markers to add the little lines and facial details before fusing onto the blocks. Finally I add the buttonhole stitching. I have 42 blocks planned, but will do some blank ones just in case we get to meet characters other than the ones I have made. So far the ones that I've done haven't been too difficult. I think that next I will do some of the more detailed ones -- Mushu, Captain Hook, and the Mad Hatter. Pinocchio and Gipetto don't look too easy either. Maybe this weekend I will get some more time to work on them. DD Mary has suggested that when I'm done, I do some blocks for Epcot, perhaps flags of the countries represented there. Geez, I really like that idea. It should certainly a quilt to remember Disney by.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Another New Month

Well, June 1 is here, and another month has come and gone. Time seems to move faster as we get older, don't you think? I seem to have started this month in some sort of "blue funk". I don't quite know why, but I seem to be somewhat depressed, angry with the world, and just all around unsettled. Have you ever felt this way? What do you do to put a stop to it? Maybe I need to start a new quilting project. . . Maybe I need to read a new book. . . Maybe I need to just sit and try to figure out what's wrong with me. . . Maybe I just need to pray for some guidance. . . Maybe I need to read an old book - Simple Abundance. I usually turn to this book when I need help, guidance, and a fresh outlook. I know I will work through this, but bear with me while I do.