Thursday, September 30, 2010

Magic in Magic Kingdom

Monday was a really fun day.  The kids had an early morning breakfast at Chef Mickey's, but Rod and I decided to play sleepy-heads and didn't do the breakfast.  The kids were planning a day of water play at Blizzard Beach (one of Disney's water parks) and they had a great day for it since the temperature hit 92.  Rod and I had a relaxing morning, and arrived at the Magic Kingdom at about 9:30.  I was a little concerned that it wouldn't be as much fun if we were by ourselves, but it didn't work out that way.  It was an absolutely great day, and luck was certainly with us as we didn't have to wait long for anything we decided to do. The fall decorations were just beautiful, and we enjoyed seeing all that we could see.

Upon entering the park, we headed down Mainstreet U.S.A., to the Mainstreet Bakery.  Here we got a ham, egg, and cheese croissant sandwich for breakfast, along with coffee for Rod and milk for me.  While we were eating, a group of performers following the horse-drawn carriage stopped near us to perform.  After enjoying their performance, we headed toward the Castle.  As luck would have it we arrived just as the Dream-Along with Mickey stage show was beginning.  It was a cute little show in which Maleficent tries to turn Mickey's dreams into nightmares, but as usual, good triumphs over evil.

After seeing this show that we knew nothing about prior to going to the Magic Kingdom, we decided to head toward Toontown.  Here I was able to see Alice again, and lucky enough to get the White Rabbit's autograph.  While in Toontown, we decided to ride the Walt Disney Railroad.  Here I had to transfer from my ECV to a wheelchair.  Since the ECV had to stay in Toontown, we rode the whole circle on the railroad.  It was a very enjoyable ride, and gave us a chance to get a "bird's-eye" view of the Magic Kingdom.

Upon leaving the train, we just started walking and found ourselves in front of Mickey's PhilharMagic.  I love this show, and was so glad to see that we could walk right in -- no waiting line.  PhilharMagic is a 3D movie that takes you through some of Disney's movies as Donald Duck chases the Mickey's Sorcerer's hat.  When we left this attraction, the wait had grown to 50 minutes.   As each attraction and ride exits you into a gift shop, we did a little shopping.

As we walked on, we discovered we were near Columbia Harbour House.  We had planned to eat lunch here, and so we went in.  This meal was a pleasant surprise.  It was considered a counter service meal on the Disney Dining Plan.  Rod and I both decided to get the shrimp meal, and boy what a meal it was!!  Each of us got 10 nice sized shrimp, french fries, coleslaw, a dessert, and a drink.  I wasn't able to eat all that we were given, so I left behind the fries and the dessert.  This will certainly be on our list of places to eat for the next time.

We walked on to Liberty Square so that we could ride the paddlewheel steamship.  I grew up along the Ohio River, and often saw the Delta Queen passing by.  I had always dreamed of cruising on the Queen, but since it was out of our price range, the Liberty Belle was a suitable substitute.  The 17 minute tour is narrated by "Mark Twain" and at times the captain requests a depth measurement.  It was a cool ride on a hot day, but on the bottom deck there weren't many places to sit.  Along the river, were Indian villages, hints of river pirates, and woodland animals.  While we were in Liberty Square, we decided to visit the Hall of Presidents.  The attraction begins with a film that highlights our country's origins and struggles.  Lincoln recites the Gettysburg Address.  Then the curtain rises on the Presidents, all 43 of them.  They are audio-animatronic figures that are very realistic.  George Washington and President Obama deliver speeches.

As we were exiting the Hall of Presidents, Cast Members were roping off the area for a parade.  This parade was honoring the volunteers who had  participated in the Give a Day, Get a Disney Day promotion.  I wasn't invited to join the parade, but I did participate in this promotion by making two quilts for Project Linus.  I was able to turn my certificate in for a special ear hat complete with trading pins.  Since I am a pin collector, I was pleased to add this special reward to my collection.

By the time the parade was over, we were baking and decided to do the Country Bear Jamboree.  It's not one of my favorite attractions, but there was no wait and it was air conditioned.  Rod and I had dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern, and to be honest, we enjoyed our lunch there last year much more than this year's dinner.

We met up with the kids and all of us did the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor.  It's a funny show, with jokes by some of the monsters from the movie.  After the show, some of the group did Space Mountain, and then we proceeded to the Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station.  We had purchased tickets for the Wishes Dessert Party, which gave us preferred viewing for the Wishes fireworks show.  I had heard such good things about this dessert buffet, but I can't recommend it at all.  For some reason, our party of 8 was seated at the same size table as the party of 4 seated next to us.  Talk about feeling like a sardine!!  The desserts left a little to be desired.  We paid $27.00 per person for this, and don't feel we got our money's worth.  Mary and Pam complained to a Cast Member, who went and got the manager.  Pam even requested her money back because she told the manager that she felt she hadn't gotten what she paid for.  The manager attempted to make things better by bringing a smaller table to place next to our table.  It wasn't much of an effort, but at last he tried.  And quite honestly, the preferred viewing wasn't any better than the area where we watched the fireworks from last year.  So, it was a disappointing end to a magical day.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Animal Kingdom

One of the greatest things about visiting Disney as a family is that we all have our own interests, and there's something for everyone.  Mary and her family are mostly about the rides -- they love the coasters.  Pam and Pat and I love the animals, and Rod likes to do both.  Because of all the animal adventures, I love Animal Kingdom.  Although Animal Kingdom is divided into seven sections, my two favorites are Africa and Asia.  Since the kids were staying at a different resort from Rod and I, we met here outside the entrance to Animal Kingdom on Sunday morning.  We arrived before the park opened, since we had an 8:10 breakfast reservation for Donald's Safari Breakfast at the Tusker House restaurant.  Tusker House has an incredible breakfast buffet - all the normal American foods like eggs, bacon and sausage, but also some unique African items such as spicy corned beef hash, porridge, and beef bobtie quiche.  The juice they serve here is called Jamba Juice, and is a blend of orange, mango and passion fruit juice.  It's really good, but too much sugar for me. I prefer to have my tomato juice every morning.  Our waiter, Rudi, told me that they only served V-8, which I just can't tolerate (something from my childhood).  But, again the magic of Disney came to light, when Rudi managed to snag me a large glass of tomato juice from the bar area.  He was a great waiter and made me feel very special when he returned with my juice. While we ate, we were visited at our table by Mickey, Goofy, Donald and Daisy all dressed in their safari clothes.  After breakfast, we were off to begin our exploration.  

We saw the Festival of the Lion King Show.  It's a great show with music, dancing and acrobats.  And, the audience participates by making animal noises.  We always enjoy this performance.

Then we were off to the Kilimanjaro Safari.  Here again, I was able to  transfer from the scooter directly to the seat in the truck.  If you don't like being bumped, jostled, jiggled and tossed, this is not the ride for you.  The "jungle paths" are very rough, and you travel through waters and over rickety bridges as you proceed on the safari.  We had a great driver, who was really skilled at pointing out and identifying the various animals.  We were very lucky on this safari, and saw giraffes, elephants, rhinos, zebras and lots of antelope, deer, and birds.  

While in Africa, we did the Pagani Forest Trail, a walking trail where you are able to see gorillas, hippos, okapi, meerkats and many species of birds.  Call  us a little weird, but we just had to take a picture of the gorilla picking it's toe jams -- Izzy picks her toe jams on occasion.  However, unlike the gorilla, she doesn't eat them.  

Rod, the twins and I had wanted to to the Flights of Wonder show.  Mary, Jimmy and Krissy wanted to do Expedition Everest, the roller coaster in Asia.  Bubby isn't quite big enough for Everest yet, so he tagged along with the rest of us to the bird show. The cast member who seated us fell in love with Bubby and gave him a small finger puppet. It was quite an impressive show lasting 25 minutes and featuring some 20 birds.  Disney always manages to throw in a little humor, we enjoyed the show as well as seeing the birds.  While in Asia, we did the Maharajah Jungle Trek, where the path leads you along the viewing areas for the Komodo dragon, the gorgeous Asian tigers, a Malayan tapir, and various bats and birds.  I truly believe that the Komodo dragon is avoiding me -- the last trip he wouldn't venture out because it was too cold, and this trip he was hiding in the shade of a rather large bush.  Everyone did their own thing for lunch since we had a special dinner planned. 

While Mary's family did the It's Tough to be a Bug show, Rod and the twins and I explored the Tree of Life.  Each of Disney's theme parks has it's own icon, and the Tree of Life is the centerpiece of Animal Kingdom.  The tree of life is a massive, sculpted tree that stands 145 feet tall and is 50 feet wide.  Looking at the tree is quite an amazing experience as you can see the various animals carved into the tree.  The Discovery Island trails weave around and through this tree, and Galapagos tortoises and lemurs can be seen along this trail.

But all too soon, it was time to leave Animal Kingdom and make our way to Fort Wilderness for the Hoop-Dee-Doo Review.  The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review is an old fashioned dinner show featuring hand-clapping music and comedy.  I wasn't sure about doing this show, but it was a lot of fun.  The fried chicken was really good, but the ribs were dry.  And all the food is served in metal buckets.  The audience is drawn into this show in many different ways, and I think we all enjoyed ourselves.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Back to Disney

Friday was our first EPCOT day.  The kids had an 8:00 a.m. breakfast with the princesses at Akershus, but Rod and I elected to pass on this one and get a later start.  I was really excited about this day since I think Epcot is my favorite park.

Rod and I arrived at the park a little after 9 and decided to do a counter service breakfast at the Sunshine Seasons inside the Land Building.  We had never eaten there, but have always loved the balloons which hang from the ceiling, and represent the four seasons.  Breakfast was a really pleasant surprise.  We elected to get the breakfast platter, and couldn't believe how much food we got.  There was scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage links, home fried potatoes, a biscuit and french toast with syrup. And you had your choice of two beverages.  After seeing the amount of food, we realized we should have gotten one platter and shared it.  We will certainly keep that in mind for the next time.
After breakfast, we met up with the kids and did the Living With the Land ride.  This is a photo of the boats that you ride in.  It was no problem for me to transfer from my ECV into this boat.  The first part of the 13 minute ride is a journey through past struggles of the land and the future of farming.  It ends with a ride through the Disney greenhouse where you can see how they grow foods using modern methods, including fish farming and hydroponics.  Disney uses some great methods while growing veggies that could make their way into your salad at the Garden Grill restaurant.

Have you ever seen a Mickey head shaped pumpkin?  Well, they grow them here.

We then went to The Seas building where we did the Turtle Talk with Crush show.  It's really cute, and I never tire of seeing it.  The kids did the Nemo and Friends ride, but I was left out as the nasty and rude Cast Member told me that I was not able to transfer to a wheel chair because they "don't have them THAT big".  After a brief cry, I decided that she wasn't going to ruin my day. Rod and I had lunch at the Coral Reef restaurant in The Seas building.  I had so looked forward to it, but it was kind of a disappointment.  My lobster raviolis were OK, but there was a birthday party going on, and every time the large sea turtle, the shark, or the ray came near the table of kids, they screamed.  Quite frankly, I think I've had better seafood at Red Lobster, and we definitely won't be eating there again.  While Rod and I headed to lunch, the kids did the Soarin' ride followed by lunch at Via Napoli, a new pizza restaurant.  Their food was really good, but lunch took 2-1/2 hours due to the poor service.  Since they weren't finished as quickly as we were, Rod and I headed to World Showcase to explore some of the "countries" we hadn't visited before.  At the World Traveler store, I bought a new hat, and some Disney bus replicas for Rod's train layout.

How do you like my new sexy hat?  I'm here on my scooter in front of the Nemo display near The Seas building.

We also did the Journey into Imagination ride with Figment and Dr. Nigel Channing (played by Eric Idle of Monty Python fame).  I wasn't too thrilled about this ride, but I am so glad we did it.  It was interesting, funny and the cars were the neatest I'd ever seen.
They loaded me and the ECV onto the back car using a ramp.  Turns out that I was sitting on a large turntable, and the cast member needed only to turn that table and I was facing the right direction.  No backing up, banging the sides and becoming totally frustrated here -- it was just simple and perfect. When the ride ended, it only took one more turn of the table, and I was ready to drive straight off that car.  It was pretty amazing, and made me very happy.

Rod and the kids also did Test Track, and some did Mission Space.  We walked around, got some autographs, and ended up back at the Land Building for dinner with Chip n Dale, Mickey, Goofy and Pluto at the Garden Grill.  We loved the food when we ate here last year, but this year it wasn't quite as good.  Not quite sure why, but it just didn't have the same flavor.
We did some more exploring, some more shopping, and Mary pulled some magic out of her hat to get us preferred viewing for the Illuminations show that evening.  It's a beautiful show, but everyone hustles to leave the park when it's over, and the bus stops are crazy afterward.  It was a long and  hot, and truly wonderful day, but I was glad to be back at the room for a good night's sleep.  Tomorrow -- Animal Kingdom.

Monday, September 27, 2010

We Interrupt These Disney Blogs. . . .

To bring you something else.  It's been quite a while since I participated in a swap.  I found that in many instances some of the other swappers didn't put much effort into the swap, and many times, didn't even follow the swap guidelines.  But, recently I came upon a swap that really intrigued me.  It's a Brown Bag Swap.  You swap 2 yards of fabric with someone, and by using 90% of those fabrics, combined with your stash and one new fabric, you make a quilt (size is your choice) to keep.  You must post a photo by March 1.  It sounded like a lot of fun, so I joined.

I got my fabrics in the mail while I was on vacation, along with a note from my swap-mate.  They are from a collection by Connecting Threads, and surprisingly enough, I had some of these fabrics in my stash. These are the fabrics I received.   I looked them over, and was having a hard time deciding what to do.  So, I went over to Connecting Threads and there I found a book of Rose of Sharon blocks.  I wanted to do something I could hand sew (since I'm tired of the grandmother's garden blocks) and decided to order the book and do a Rose of Sharon quilt.  I think these fabrics will make beautiful Rose of Sharon blocks.  You know I'll share as I get these finished.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Our first day and a half were spent at Hollywood Studios.  Our first night at Disney, we had dinner at Hollywood and Vine, a great buffet restaurant.  We had booked a Fantasmic! Dinner Package there, which gave us preferred seating for Fantasmic! (us and about 3,000 other people). What is Fantasmic!, you may ask.  It is a 25 minute show that combines fireworks, dancing waters, and laser lights in a story involving both heroes and villians of Disney classics.  And the name couldn't suit it better!  The music combined with the special effects and the story made for a wonderful fantasy experience.  The evil queen gathers together the various villians from Disney movies and attempts to turn Mickey's dreams into nightmares.  But, Mickey, combined with the power of imagination save the day.  I think of all the shows we saw, Fantasmic! was my favorite.

We also did the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.  I love Indiana Jones, and have all five of the Indiana Jones movies.  This show was so much fun.  Before the show, they pull some audience members out, and use them as extras in the show.  One of the stunts they explain is the rolling boulder.

Another of the stunts they explained was the stunt with the airplane.  They showed how the stunt man escapes, and how the gasoline is used both safely and effectively.

We elected to do The Great Movie Ride.  Rod, the twins and I hadn't done it before, and we really enjoyed it.  This ride uses audio-animatronics, film clips, and special effects to showcase some of the great moments in movie history.  Some of the films highlighted are Casablanca, Tarzan, Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, and Fantasia.  You enter this ride through a replica of Graumann's Chinese Theater.  It was an enjoyable ride, and the fact that it was air-conditioned made it even better.

We also did Muppets 3-D Vision, and took the animation class at the Animation Building where we learned to draw the alien from Toy Story.  Rod and the rest did Rock-n-Roller Coaster with Aerosmith, and the Toy Story Mania ride.

For dinner on Friday night, we did the Clambake at Cape May.  I'm sure the food would have been really good, but I had the misfortune of getting cold crab legs each time.  The fish bites were really great, and so were the salads.  After dinner, we took a bus to Downtown Disney, and did a little shopping.  Rod and I took a boat from Downtown Disney back to our resort.  It was cooler and quite romantic.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Port Orleans -- French Quarter

Front of the main building at FQ

Since Pat from DE is curious about the French Quarter resort at Walt Disney World, I'll start there today.  We just spent 6 days at French Quarter (FQ), and I loved it.  Our travel agent recommended it since it's one of the smallest resorts at WDW,  it's quiet, and very romantic.

If you are staying at a WDW resort, you are eligible to use Disney's Magic Express.  This is a bus service which Disney provides free of charge to transport their guests to and from the airport.  They provided a bus with a lift for my cart since I'm not able to do stairs.  Here is where the bus dropped us off on that first afternoon.  From here you proceed to registration inside this building.  The concierge service, Jackson Square gift shop and store, and the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory which is a food court is also located in this building.

We had requested a ground floor room, and our request was granted in building 7.  At first it seemed that building 7 was quite a distance from the main building, but we had wanted a quiet spot and we certainly got it.  The landscaping here at FQ is just beautiful, well maintained, and the whole area just smells so good.  There is boxwood (which I love), pine trees and other flowers and, when all those scents mingled, it was just wonderful.  We were on the back side of the building, and heard no noise, not even from the buses.

The best way to show you what the building and our  room  was like is by linking to this video.  The room in the video is exactly like our room.  At Disney, the housekeeping service is called Mousekeeping.  Our Mousekeeper was really good.  I showed you a photo of the towel bird we received one morning.  Another morning, we were surprised with a Mickey bow, which she made using the bathmat and a washcloth.  And, still another morning, our soaps were arranged into a "Mickey Head".  The room was always well cleaned.

Normal routine is to tip the Mousekeeper $1/person in the room per day.  When the service is good, Rod and I just leave a $5 bill and use special envelopes, which we leave on the pillow.  Last year, we used envelope designs available online by other Disney guests, but this year I designed our envelopes.  Here are some examples of the six different envelopes I designed.  Mary Poppins is always one of my favorite movies.

Although as a kid, I was terrified by Fantasia; I now appreciate it and used it for an envelope design.

This is the envelope we left on the final day.

Looking toward the buildings of French Quarter.

This is the area where you wait for the Magic Express to pick you up for returning to the airport at the end of your stay.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm Back with So Much To Tell

The Castle lit for Halloween

Yes, I have returned from what was probably the best vacation I've ever had.  I have so much to tell and so many photos to share that I'm not quite sure where to start.  So maybe I'll do just a quick wrap-up today and go into more detail in future posts.

Simba float from The Lion King Show

Shows -- We saw shows that we hadn't seen before, one of which was the Beauty and the Beast show.  And it was phenomenal.  Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney movies, and the show couldn't have been better.  Because of my scooter and Bubby's wheelchair, we were seated in the first row.  Also we did Hoop-Dee-Doo review and it was one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

Lettuce being grown in "Pods".

Rides -- I'm not a big rider, let me say that.  But we rode the riverboat and the train, two of my favorite methods of transportation.  We did The Great Movie Ride in Hollywood Studios, and it highlighted some of what I consider to be the best movies and actors ever -- John Wayne, Gone with the Wind, and oh, yes, The Three Stooges.  But one of my favorite rides is the Living with the Land ride.  Here you board a boat that takes you through a display of how the land has been used by humans, and ends with a tour of the Disney greenhouse where they are experimenting with new methods of growing vegetables. Some of these lettuces will find their way into salads at the "Garden Grill" restaurant.

the Mad Hatter and Mary Poppins

Characters -- there were a lot of characters out and about, and I managed to get 8 blocks signed by characters I hadn't been able to get before.  I was able to add the White Rabbit and the Queen of Hearts to my Alice in Wonderland blocks; Princess Tiana and her beau Naveen  and also Princess Jasmine and Aladdin to the Princess collection; and Handy Manny and Lotsa Hugs Bear to the kids collection.  These are two of my favorite characters - Krissy dressed as Mary Poppins, and Bubby dressed as the Mad Hatter.

my pirate pins

Pins -- I am a Disney Pin Collector.  Not one of the serious collectors who strives to find the most valuable, but a collector who builds collections of her favorite things. On the last trip I concentrated on Pirate pins, and pins for the four parks; pins from movies and various shaped pins.  This trip, I concentrated on pins from Winnie the Pooh; pins from my favorite movies; and pins from the special rides and events we attended.  And I couldn't resist buying a pin that was Mickey dressed as a nutcracker (I do have a nutcracker collection)

Magic -- Somehow Disney always manages to provide "Magic".  We got chocolate covered strawberries for our anniversary at the Disney's Playhouse breakfast -- completely unexpected that a meal designed for kids would make two old people feel special.  We got a towel bird from our Mousekeeper and she folded our bathmat with a washcloth to make a bow on our bathtub.  And we got an anniversary card with a photopass discount from our hotel.  Mary's kids got cupcakes at two meals to celebrate their birthdays.  Mary was given preferred viewing for the Illuminations show from Guest Services to make up for the lousy weather preventing us from seeing that show last year.

Beautiful views --  The area surrounding Disney is spectacular.  Rod snapped this sunset photo while we were on a boat (see I told you I love boats) returning from the Hoop-Dee-Doo review at Fort Wilderness. It was truly a perfect ending to a perfect day.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thinking Out Loud

Tomorrow morning at this time, I will be at the airport waiting to board my flight to Orlando.  I should be bubbling over with excitement.  But this morning I have other things on my mind.  Please bear with me as I think out loud.

Yesterday was my Dr.'s appointment for my quarterly checkup.  First the positive:  I lost three pounds, and my cholesterol was good.  Now the bad news:  my fasting blood sugar levels were high; my A1C was high; my triglycerides were a little high; and my thyroid levels were somewhat elevated.  Don't know much about the thyroid; but from what I read online last night, high levels are not a good thing.  I will be retested after returning from Disney.

But I'm most concerned about my blood sugar levels.  I've been feeling pretty lousy lately, and I guess my high levels explain why.  So, after returning from vacation, I need to make some serious lifestyle changes.  I had practically stopped drinking milk (16 gr. of sugar per cup) and I miss it.  Dr. O stressed that I need milk, he would prefer I use skim milk, but will compromise  on 1%.  But he voiced a definite NO to grapefruit since it could interfere with my medications.  I've been avoiding carbs as much as possible, and he tells me that is also a no-no -- I need carbs, and just need to choose "good" carbs.

And so, after vacation, I need to return to the GI diet.  I've never cooked (and rarely eaten) kale, Swiss chard, broccolini, or spinach.  These leafy green veggies are high in iron, vitamins, and minerals.  If you have any favorite recipes using these items, please share.  And if you know of any blogs on the glycemic index way of eating, please let me know.  See you when I get back from vacation.

Friday, September 10, 2010

You're Invited to be an MFL Blog Author :-)

This afternoon when I opened my email, this was the title of a very exciting email.  I had done three guest blogs for The Mouse for Less, and today I was invited to be a regular contributor.  You can find one of my guest blogs on their blog site.  Daughter Mary has also been invited to be a contributor as she had also contributed guest blogs.  So, if you're interested you can find our blogs, and those of others on the site  I'm so excited about this opportunity since I have always enjoyed writing.  And as a special incentive, the people at The Magic for Less have provided us with some really nice gift possibilities.  For our trip next week, there will be a special flower arrangement from them to thank me for my first three blogs.  Hope you'll give their blog site a read.  My first post is now up and running.

6 days to Go

OK, let me hear a big WAHOO!!!  I have finished machine sewing the binding on Izzy's quilt.  Today I will hand sew the binding down while watching children's television.  I love to hand sew because it is so relaxing for me.  If I'm doing charity quilts or quilts for nieces or nephews, I will machine sew the binding.   But for my immediate family, I hand sew the binding.  Makes me feel like there's a little extra love put in.

So, what to do next?   I took stock of my Halloween fabrics this morning, and have decided that as a surprise for my family, I will make Trick-Or-Treat bags for all of us to use at Disney.  I've found a couple of free patterns on the "Net", and today will decide which one to use and print it out.  Hoping to "assembly line" them over the weekend.

Yesteday, after much frustration and cussing at my printer, (we have a hate/hate relationship), and with help from daughter Mary, we managed to get the envelopes printed for our Mousekeeping tips.  I designed my own envelopes for all of us to use.  I made a list of what we need to buy this weekend.  So, I'm feeling like I am finally accomplishing something.  Hopefully pictures of the quilt and the bags posting on Monday.  Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

7 Days to Go

I guess it's not really dreaming any more - it's a reality.  One week from now, I should be on an airplane nearing the Orlando airport.  It's that close, and I'm starting to panic.  I just feel that somehow I was more prepared for the last trip.  I seem to have nothing done, and think I will make a list today of what needs to be done -- just so I'll feel better.  And zowie!!  Daughter Pat has been saying all along that she wasn't going on this trip.  But just this very minute, she called to say that she had changed her mind, and now daughter Mary is scrambling to make all her arrangements.  I'm so excited. I really wanted Pat to go too, and now she is.

I think I've said more than once that fall is my favorite season.  Fall foliage, football, cool breezes, and homemade soup -- what could be better!!  And I'm so excited about seeing the fall decorations at Walt Disney World.  They look so beautiful in the photos in the link, but I'll bet they are even more stunning in person.  It's been years since I went trick-or-treating.  And one of the activities that we have planned is to attend Mickey's Not So Scarey Halloween Party.  One of the most popular events here is that even the grown-ups get to go trick -or-treating.  How cool will that be!!!  A lot of the characters that you don't see during the rest of the year make an appearance during the Halloween party.  So, I need to take the quilt blocks that I didn't get signed the last trip.

And now, I need to stop. . . take a deep breath. . .  and get my rear into gear.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Since yesterday was a holiday, today is Monday/Tuesday.  Daughter Mary thinks that Monday/Tuesdays are worse than just plain Mondays.  I think she might be right, except that now there's only 3 work days left this week.  (Since it's late afternoon when I'm writing this)

Rod took a personal day on Friday, and we took the Izzy-Boo to Costco.  Whoa, there was a boatload of money dropped there.  But somethings are cheaper there.  So, I believe it's justified.  The kids were all here for a Friday night pizza night, and Mary, Pam, and I did the transfers onto the Tee shirts for Disney (which is in 9 days).  My job is really hard -- I have to cut out around some of the transfers.  Pluto's tail was a bugger, but I cut very slowly, and Pluto and his tail are still in tact.

Saturday I went for blood work, and then for groceries -- more money.  And then home for one of my favorite things in the whole wide world -- college football.  None of my fav teams were playing, so it was a good excuse to check the eyelids for holes.  It was chili and windy, and I wished most of the day that I had made soup.

Sunday was the best day.  The twins had never seen Phantom of the Opera.  Rod and I saw it in Toronto, but you didn't have to twist our arms to go into Pittsburgh to see it again.  This is supposed to be it's final tour, and Pam made all the arrangements for tickets.  We had really good seats, but the chairs were very uncomfortable.  You know that I'm a little Pooh shaped.  Do you remember as kids when you had those squeezie things (not the right name, I'm sure) that you squeezed to make their eyes bug out???  Well, I wish that someone, somewhere, could squeeze little ole me and make my legs pop out a little more.  To keep from sliding out of the seat, I had to sit with my little feet on their tippy toes.  Didn't seem like a big deal at the time, but oh were my legs and knees sore yesterday.  On the way home from Pittsburgh, we stopped at a steak house to have dinner with the twins.  It was a really fun day, and I'm so glad that we did it.

Yesterday, I got Izzy's quilt and a wall hanging pinned for quilting, and just tried to recuperate from Sunday.  Today I'm feeling pretty good.  Did some quilting this morning and played games this afternoon.  Now I'm watching TV with Izzy.  Hope your weekend was a good one.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Grandmother's Garden

I decided to do my own take on Grandmother's Garden -- using fruit and veggie fabrics.  I had posted some photos of blocks before, but just couldn't wait any longer.  I started putting some of my blocks together.  I'm not quite sure if I've done it the right way -- it's pretty much hit and miss.  If the quilt police show up, I'm sure they'll have some criticism, but I'm OK with how it's turning out.  I probably should have put the black hexies on every block, but I've just been putting them wherever I need them.  Hey, it's a learning process.

Another busy weekend on tap.  Ball games on Saturday, and Phantom of the Opera on Sunday.  We're going to a matinee with the twins.  Rod and I saw it in Toronto about 15 years ago, but Pam and Pat have never seen it.  It's making it's farewell tour, and so we will be seeing it at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh.  It will be our second trip to the Benedum -- our first was to see the Lion King on Broadway with Mary and her family a few years ago.  Not real cultured are we?

I really have to get Izzy's quilt put together and quilted by the end of this weekend.