Friday, July 30, 2010

Big Weekend Plans

Gibbie and I after receiving our God and Community Awards
This weekend will be a very special one.  I graduated from high school quite a number of years ago, and haven't connected with some of my classmates for just as many years.  Since joining Facebook, I have reconnected with several of my classmates, and play games with some of them there.  Most of us in my graduating class ('68) will be turning the big 6-0 during the year 2010.  Someone in my class came up with the great idea to have a 60th birthday party.  What a fun idea!!  There was a picnic planned for Saturday, complete with a birthday cake large enough to feed all of us.  Everyone is to bring their own food and drink, and according to one of the planners, "Music will be provided by the Panasonics -- that's a boom box with our favorite CD's".  But them some of the class couldn't be there for Saturday, but would be in town on Friday night.  So now we have an informal get together scheduled for a local restaurant/bar that has a nice patio.  So I'm really looking forward to this weekend.  Families were invited, too and Rod, the kids and grandkids will all be there.  One of my good friends is bringing her hubby, her dog, and her mom (her mom was a real hoot and we all loved her).  She will be coming to PA from South Carolina.  Other members are also bringing grandkids, and I think it will be so much fun.  This newspaper photo (torn and yellowed)  is of a friend and myself.  I think it was our junior year.  Guess I have aged a bit!!  Will report back on Monday.

Then, Mary invited us to attend an evening at the Pittsburgh Zoo on Sunday night.  I think it is sponsored by the Make A Wish Foundation.  It's been more years than I want to remember since I was at the zoo, and we're pretty excited about going.  Bubby is eligible for a wish from the Make A Wish Foundation, but every time they ask him where he wants to go he tells them either to Grammy's house, or to eat inside at McDonalds. He just doesn't get it yet, so they will wait a few more years for his decision.

And on a sadder note, my stupid dishwasher has stopped working properly.  Seems the control panel with all it's little plastic touchy thingies has become kaput.  Apparently it's a common problem.   Rod says we can replace it for about $180.  I told him that's just crazy -- I can buy a lot of paper plates and wash a lot of dishes for that!!  Whatever happened to the regular buttons that you pushed and they worked.  I'm just not into all these "touch pad" things.  Ok, now just toss me some cheese to go with my wine.  Anyway, have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Busy - busy

It hit me yesterday that we have only about 50 days until our trip to Disney.  I had planned to make neck coolers and new neck wallets.  But you know what they say about the best laid plans. . . .  So yesterday, I "put my wiggle on" (as my Granny would have said) and began to sew.  I cut and sewed about a dozen neck coolers, and got them turned right side out.   I still  have to iron them, sew the pocket lines, stuff them with the watersorb pellets, and sew them shut. I'm hoping to be able to finish them today. . .  and then to start on the neck wallets.  I have worked out a pattern based on the ones we got from our travel agent last year.  The neck wallets are very similar to this one pictured.  I'm making ours out of fabric (of course), and have adjusted the pocket sizes to accommodate our guest assistance passes and our cell phones.  When the first one is finished, I'll post a photo.  My plan is to put buttonholes in the wallet, and attach buttons to the end of the neck coolers.  This way, we can hang our wallets from the neck cooler and eliminate one string from around our necks.  These wallets are so convenient.  There is an open pocket under the flap along with a zipper pocket.  The vinyl pocket in the front is great for holding a driver's license or credit cards.  And on the back is a pocket for your cell phone and one for a pen.  I loved mine, but it was made out of nylon, and the weight of my cell phone tore the corners of the pockets out.  So that's why I decided to make one of fabric.  I made a prototype, but it needed some modifications.  I've done that, so will try again.  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

And the Garden Grows. . .

Oh, the Farmer's Market continues to grow.  I'm having so much fun putting these blocks together.  Not only are the colors fun, but who can resist peppers and mushrooms?  And there's scallions and potatoes - I can almost smell them frying in a skillet.  Don't you think the "red" (purple) onions look great with the Indian corn?  And for dessert, there's plums and peaches.  I was thinking that I should separate them with a solid fabric, but now I think they look great just like they are.  I think my next block will be lemons with a red raspberry center.  And then, who knows!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Changing Horses. . .

They say you shouldn't change horses in the middle of the stream, but I've never listened to "them".  I have finished 8 of the Christmas grandmother's garden blocks.  But, I've decided to put them aside for now, and starting something new -- Farmer's Market blocks.  This is the first block -- Indian corn and red onions.  What do you think?  Is it a good idea?

I've been planning Izzy's birthday quilt.  She asked for Toy Story.  And as I've been getting the designs ready, daughter Mary has done everything but beg for a Toy Story quilt for Christmas.  OK, OK.  I've got a quilt top finished for Pam, I've got a quilt top ready to put together for Pat.  But you just can't do a quilt for three and not the fourth.  So, what to do for Kris.  Is a puzzlement.  Kris and George have a big garden every year, and love to visit the local farmers' markets.  So, I hit on the idea of doing the grandmother's garden blocks with all the fruit and veggie fabrics that I've collected over the years.  I love these fabrics, and hopefully they will make a unique quilt.  Maybe changing horses in the middle of the stream isn't such a bad idea.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Time Marches On. . . . .

Yesterday Izzy fell asleep in my arms (as she does most every day), but something seemed different, and I found myself feeling quite melancholy.  She seemed so long, and that usually means that she won't be taking naps much longer.  And that usually makes me quite sad, as I love holding my grandkids especially when they are sleeping.  As I looked down at her innocent, angelic face, I was reminded that it just seemed like yesterday that Krissy was in my arms like that.  Krissy was my first grandchild, and I fell in love with her the first time I saw her.  We built quite a wonderful relationship in those first years, and it continued to grow stronger after Bubby was born.  Krissy and I stayed together during his surgeries, his seizures, his helicopter ride to Children's and the following  touch-and-go hospitalization.  And it continues to grow, even now as she comes closer to age 10 and attends her drama camp, softball games, and now cheerleading practice.  She's almost as tall as I, and it's no longer possible to hold her while she sleeps.  And I love her more everyday.

Then Bubby came along.  I fell in love with him also at first glance; but as his problems with infections developed, I avoided going to the hospital to see him.  I was so terrified that he was going to die, and figured that it wouldn't hurt so much if I didn't really know him.  But with God's help and many prayers from friends and people we didn't know, he survived.  I learned to administer his IV meds with the help of a pump, I learned to remove air from a syringe, and I learned to catheterize him.  I never wanted to be a nurse, but a special Christian friend reminded me that "God doesn't call the qualified. . . he qualifies the called."  And my relationship with Bubby became so strong that he had to call me everyday the first time he went to Disney.  And everytime they got onto a bus, he wanted to know if this bus was taking him to Grammy's.  Oh, yeah!   It's a really special  love, and it grows everyday.

But back to Izzy.  She's almost three, loves to "rock-a-bye" which means laying in my arms while I rock and sing to her.  But she's gotten so long that I can barely hold her.  So, I've been laying her down on the couch after she falls asleep.  But yesterday I just couldn't lay her down.  I know that soon she will stop napping, and hoping that she won't stop sleeping in my arms until new new guy arrives.  And then the relationship-building and growing of love will continue with another grandchild.  And it will be just as special in it's own way.  I know that there probably won't be more babies after this one, and I guess I'm ok with that.  But today I'm a little melancholy because time is marching on.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Quilts Finished

The two kids quilts that I was working on are now finished.  I want to make a pillowcase to put each in.  I have enough fabric left that they will match the quilts.  I never have wrapping paper, and this gives the kids something extra.

This is the quilt that I was making for my great niece, Lily.  Her quilt was destroyed in a fire, and this time around she wanted princesses.  The middle block that is in the second row is my version of Lily.  I hope she likes this quilt.

This is the dino-stars quilt that  I made for my great nephew, Garret.  His birthday party is on Saturday.  I cut these blocks with my GO cutter and was so happy about how easily they went together.  The cutter cuts the dog-ear points off the triangles, and they slip together like butter.  I'm loving this cutter more everytime I use it.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Whew it's hot!

This is the third day in a row that the temps have gone above 90 degrees.  I don't venture out when it's that hot -- I just don't do well with the humidity.  And that's one of the reasons that I'm worrying about the Disney trip in September.  But I've made neck coolers, and we have misting fans, so hopefully I won't do too badly.  Cooking is at a minimum.  Yesterday I put a roasting chicken into the crock pot, and Rod had his with some left over macaroni salad from the weekend.  I at a tomato and mozzarella salad with mine.  Today it's sweet sausage.  The window air conditioner in the living room is tripping a breaker when it gets working too hard.  Our house is over 30 years old and still has the original breaker box.  Rod has replaced all the circuit breakers that control the kitchen.  And today, it looks like it's time to replace the one that handles the living room.

I have finished the tops of the two kid quilts that I've been working on, they are sandwiched for quilting and one is already quilted and ready for the binding.  I'm hoping to get the second one quilted today.  I'm putting the binding on by machine, so it will be quick.

I did start my Grandmother's Garden hexes, and now have a total of five finished.  After the quilts are done, I will resume work on those.  I've really enjoyed making them, and it keeps my hands busy when Izzy is here and watching all her shows.

The end of this month I will be taking the Bonnie Hunter's Happy Scrappy Houses class at the Quilt Odyssey in Hershey.  I have my chimney blocks precut, but need to get my strips and tilting rectangles finished.  That's on the agenda for this coming weekend.  And then to my necessary notions and all packed.  I also need to decide which machine to take.  Definitely not the Janome.  It's too heavy and expensive to tote.  The EuroPro is by far my favorite machine, but the bobbin winder is broken.  Unless I wind a number of bobbins in advance, it's not in the running.  So, it looks like it will be one of the Brother embroidery machines.  They weren't too expensive, they are very light weight, and they fit nicely in my sewing machine trolley.  Well, now that's settled.  On to the rest of the day -- keep cool.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Oh, yea.  I'm so happy it's Friday.  I woke up late this morning.  Every AM I am awakened by a loud truck which evidently belongs to one of the employees at the contracting company on our road.  But this morning, no truck.  Either I was really zonked, or he took a day off.  And I couldn't seem to wake up.  I dragged myself to the potty, wiped the sleep from my eyes, and tried to convince my body that it was awake.  I drank my coffee and then headed to the sewing room to press my first two flowers.

Here's my first one.  A Christmas-y plaid with a gold snowflake center.  Not bad, for a first attempt. I love doing these, except for the centers. There must be an easy way, but as yet, I haven't found it.

And here's number two.  Some of my reindeer have lost their heads, and some (and one of the Santas) are standing on their heads.  But when they are in the quilt, I don't think it will matter.   I really have to work on those two kid quilts this weekend.  The birthday party is a week from tomorrow, and I want to give the kids their quilts at the party.  So, as of tomorrow, the flowers have to wait their turn.

Next Friday will be a big day for us.  Kristin has her ultrasound, and we should know what sex the new baby will be.  I think it's a boy, but next week we should know for sure. Hope you have a great 4th holiday.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


The paper pieces for my new adventure, Grandmother's Garden, came on Tuesday.  And the hexagon die for the Go cutter came yesterday.  So this morning,  bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I trotted off to the sewing room to begin cutting the hexagons.  OOO-Wee, that cutter is amazing.  I can cut six, yes six, layers of fabric at one time.  It's perfect since it takes 6 hexagons for the outside of the flower, and one for the center.  After much thinking and contemplating, I decided on Christmas fabrics.  I've only ever made one Christmas quilt for myself, and I think this will be a good way to use up those small pieces that I'm too tight frugal to throw away.  I only worked for 1/2 hour with the cutter, and I have an entire zippy sandwich bag filled with hexagons.  But of all silly things, I couldn't find even one single paper clip.  And you're supposed to use a paper clip to hold the fabric in place while you sew.  But, being the problem solver that I am, I am using some binding clips instead.  Hope it works.  I'll let you know.  Because today, instead of playing on Facebook, or watching the same kiddy shows I've seen dozens of times, I will be sewing.  Wahoo.