Saturday, November 27, 2010

Another Thanksgiving. . . came and went

Yes, another Thanksgiving has come and gone.  And now we're all looking forward to the holidays.  We had all the family here for the afternoon meal, and the new pictures on the side were taken on Thanksgiving.  But there are some new photos of Jake that you just have to see.  Daughter Mary is the photographer in the family, and how she manages to get some of the shots that she does just amazes me.  Here, Jake is just snoozing after his  Thanksgiving meal.  He didn't have a care in the world.

They say that babies don't smile, but you tell me that he's not smiling in this one.  I guess Mary said "Say Cheese", and he did.

And this was his silent laugh!  He was "cheesin'" but no sounds came out.

But soon his fascination with Aunt Mary and her camera fell by the wayside, and he let her know that he was bored with the whole picture-taking routine.

Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one.  For sure, we had a lot to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Time To Step Back and ReThink

After months of not taking my diabetes seriously and thinking I could cheat just a little (which quickly and easily becomes a lot), I find that my number are a good bit higher than they should be.  My weight hasn't come down much, but luckily hasn't gone up.  And basically, I just don't feel as good as I should and could.  So, it's time to take a step back and rethink my life habits.

I've become a Facebook addict.  No really, I spend way too much time on Facebook.  I keep telling myself that I play all the games because it keeps my mind young.  Maybe that's the truth, but it isn't doing anything for my physical health.  I'm so out of shape that exercise isn't really much of an option for me.  I've been doing some extra cleaning out in the kitchen, and in the process found the meal plan that I was given when I received my diabetic diagnosis.  I've started to take it seriously, and have made up my mind that I will find a way to stick to it over the Thanksgiving holiday.

I've looked over my eating habits, and have discovered that I do pretty well during the day, but at night when I'm watching TV, I eat and don't even realize that I'm eating something taboo until it's already in my mouth and chewed.  I have to decide what things that I could do and not want to have dirty hands while doing it.  So far, hand-piecing is one of the things I want to do with clean hands.  Either reading or playing games on my Kindle is another.

I joined a  brown bag swap few months ago, and decided to use my swapped  fabrics to make a sampler quilt for my living room.  Since our quilt has to be finished by March 1,  I decided that I'd better get started.  This is a block called Castles in the Air, and it's my first finished block.  I really love the card trick block, and this looked like a variation to me.  Now I have to get another cut and ready to piece.

Today I will be busy making bread and pies.  But I'm figuring that while the bread dough is rising, I can work on quilting the three baby quilts.  I got all three pinned onto the fleece yesterday, and want to get them started.

Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lookey Lookey, What I Got!!!

You all know how I love my crock pots.  I use them whenever I can.  And I have two Fix It and Forget It books, along with other crock pot books.  I read crock pot blogs.  But when Hubby and I were shopping at Costo on Saturday, I was stopped in front of the display of these wonderful pots.  Suddenly he walked up behind me and asked if I didn't think that this was the greatest thing ever.  And immediately, he put one into his buggy.  I was overjoyed -- didn't figure he would ever agree to buying this.  And quite frankly, I think this would put me into the category of "Crock Pot Diva".  Wouldn't you agree?  The crock pots are 3 quart size (just perfect for two people) and are individually controlled.  And now I'm thinking about Thanksgiving. Some of us love stuffing with corn bread, apples, sausage, and raisins.  Others prefer the old fashioned sage stuffing.  And I don't cook my stuffing in the bird.  So, now I can do two kinds of stuffing in my new triple crock pots.  And, there's still room for another item.  Maybe mashed potatoes to stay warm.  Oh, the possibilities are endless.  Can you see the sparkle in my eyes???

And now I'm considering a new, or revised blog that will feature quilts and crock pot recipes.  If you're in favor, say aye!

On the quilt side of things, I'm putting the three kid quilt tops that are done onto fleece and getting them ready for quilting. I want to piece the backing for my mom's quilt this week, and then next weekend, Hubby said he will help me put it onto my Flynn Quilting frame.  I've had it for some time, and never used it, but now's the time.  And I'm jumping in with both feet.  So wish me luck.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Making a List and Checking it Twice

Who can believe that Thanksgiving is next week already!!!  Thanksgiving is definitely my favorite holiday -- family, football, and food.  It's my own little bit of heaven.  Since all the kids and their families meet here for our big meal at lunch time, I've been planning my menu and making grocery lists.  There's definitely a turkey, possibly my favorite meat.  Rod loves Thanksgiving -- and here he is "snitching" a piece of turkey while waiting on the meal to be ready.

Mashed potatoes and gravy (lots left over for hot turkey sandwiches) are always a must have.  Veggies are always a problem -- twins don't eat corn and Mary's family doesn't eat green bean casserole. After searching the internet for a recipe that everyone would eat, I decided to try this Cauliflower Supreme.  Everyone loves it, and I make one change to the recipe.  Instead of breadcrumbs, I use Ritz cracker crumbs.  Most years I have noodles -- guess it's the German in me coming out, but I love noodles on mashed potatoes.  It's a carb overload, to be sure, but I just can't help it.

Here's a photo of me cheesin' with some homemade bread.  Wow, these are old photos, my kitchen is now red with striped curtains.  Oh, the date says 2004.  I love experimenting with bread recipes, but the country white seems to be everyone's favorite.  I usually make a honey wheat bread also.  This year I'm trying a new roll.   I found this on the King Arthur flour website.  They are called Golden Pull-Apart Butter Buns, and the picture alone makes my mouth water.

And here's a picture of the table before dinner.  The twins make the green peppers every year.  My mother-in-law used to make them and they are always a big hit.  She mixed cream cheese, Cracker Barrel cheddar cheese, and a little mayo and stuffed the green peppers.  Pam and Pat are the only ones in our family that still know how to do them.

Kristin usually makes devilled eggs -- hers taste most like Rod's mom's.  Mary is bringing two pies this year - a cherry macaroon, and a chocolate pecan.  And there has to be pumpkin pies.  I'll save the sweet potato casserole for the Christmas dinner since it tastes so good with ham as well.

My family had eggnog at their holiday meals, and I have carried on that tradition as well.  And now that the kids are all over 21 we usually open a bottle of wine before dinner, either a pink catawba, a spiced apple or a cranberry.  That's the story of Thanksgiving at my house, and now, I need to go get breakfast.  It's only oatmeal, but I can pretend can't I??

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sew Cal's Christmas Quilt Show 2010

After reading Pat's post, I decided to enter Sew Cal's Christmas Quilt Show.   Click the button on my sidebar to get more details, look at some great quilts, and think about entering one of your quilts.

This is the first large applique project that I attempted.  It was in 2004, and I also tried my hand at free motion quilting for the first time.  The real kicker is that I made four of these - one for each of my girls.  Each one is different in the fabrics used, and I left enough room to add the names of new family members on Santa's list.

This is a sampler quilt made out of Christmas fabrics, and was made as  Christmas gift for daughter Kristin.  I love to do sampler quilts by hand piecing, and this was a lot of fun.

And here's another entry - a penguin quilt.  I had so much fun designing "clothes" for my basic penguins.  It was a gift for granddaughter Krissy, and she loved it.

I'm not sure if this qualifies as a Christmas quilt, but this is a train quilt I made for Krissy.  I had hosted a swap of licensed cartoon character fabrics, and used them for the engineer for this quilt.  There is Dora and Diego, Pooh and Piglet, Snoopy and Scooby Doo.  It was so much fun.

Sew Cal Gal is offering some great prizes for the winners, so hurry over there and enter.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Add To The List and Cross It Off

I finished a project today.  It wasn't on my list, but I have to add it so that I can cross it off.  A few years ago, while shopping in Miller's Dry Goods and Fabrics in Charm, Ohio,, I found this pattern for a car seat cover.  It's made by Sew Baby, and is called a Peek-a-Boo Car Seat Cover.  It seemed so simple and yet so useful, and I suddenly wished that I had come up with such a great idea.  I don't know of any baby that has ever happily let someone bundle them up in a snow suit.  Izzy absolutely hated it.  So I bought the pattern and what I needed to make them, and made two for Izzy.  One out of pink sock monkey fabric for Kris's car, and one of pink John Deere for the seat for George's truck.  Kris said they were invaluable when she was in a hurry to get Izzy here before work in the morning.  Now, no Grammy worth her salt is going to let her new grandson use a pink car seat cover, so today my project was to make new seat covers for Jake.  I had already purchased the cotton for the top and the fleece for the lining, and (surprisingly enough) knew exactly where the pattern was.

George's dad is a farmer.  He raises horses and has a beautiful John Deere tractor.  So, the boy had to have John Deere.  This is the fabric I had chosen for Jake's quilt borders.  I fell in love with it the first time I saw it.  And so I ordered it.  I love to shop at  They have great prices, free shipping on orders over $35.00 (and who can't put $35 worth of fabric in a cart??), and best of all they are a member of ebates, where I get 4% back on all my purchases from them.  So, for me it's a win/win situation.

This is the fabric I ordered for the cover for the car seat on George's truck.  It's a bandana print (and what farmer doesn't use bandanas??) but if you look closely, you will see that it has the John Deere insignia and little tractors on it.  Cute, yet masculine, and perfect for a man's truck.

And now, both of the covers are done and ready to be used for the new little guy.  Now, I have to run the sweeper in the living room and pay some bills.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Jacob Has Arrived

At 10:49 am on November 14th, Jacob Mcandless Hall made his entry into this world.  Jacob weighed in at a whopping 8-1/2 lbs. and was 21 inches long.  He looks huge to me, although his mom thought he looked pretty tiny.  My largest baby was 6lbs.4 oz. and the twins only weighed 3 lb.4 oz.  So you can understand why he looked so big to me.  As you can see, he has a lot of dark hair, and his hands are larger than the girls' were. But he has beautiful, long, slender fingers.

This is a more becoming photo.  Here, he's had his first bath and is sleeping peacefully.

You can see how happy and proud his big sister is.  Everytime he cried, she told Kristin that he wanted down to play with her.  Kris told her that Jake couldn't get down because he can't walk yet.  Izzy simply replied that she could teach him to "scootch" like Bubby does.

And she didn't quite understand why he wouldn't eat crackers with her.

In case you're wondering about his name, George, his dad and my husband are all John Wayne fans.  Jacob McCandless was the name of John Wayne's character in the movie Big Jake.  Kris and George loved the name but decided to spell it without the double "C".

And one final photo of me with both of my grandsons.  Aren't they the best?  I'm definitely one very proud and happy Grammy.  Welcome, Jacob.  Glad to have you as part of the family,

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Update on Iron

I am back from JoAnn, and am pleased to report that there is an addition to my sewing family -- a new iron.  It's a Sunbeam and does everything that I need it to do.  And, it was on sale -- just a little over $20.00.  Today I was a bargain shopper.  All the fleece I needed was on sale and, of course, I bought the last of one of the bolts for half off.  The notions I needed for the baby's car seat covers were on sale BOGO - gotta love that.  I bought new nutcrackers for the granddaughters' collections at 40% off.  And I found really cool Christmas fabric to line the two stockings that I have to make.  All in all I spent over $100 but, with the coupons I had, I saved $85.53. And that's not bad.  I love saving money, I love spending money!

Taps for my Iron

Well, this morning we are playing taps for my iron.  My beautiful, beloved, purple iron has bit the dust.  It has been declared legally dead by the chief serviceman in our home.  And who was the murderer, you ask.  A stink bug.  Here to the left is his "most wanted" poster.  For weeks now,  in our area we have been under attack by these nasty looking and smelling stink bugs.  They are everywhere.  Rod has a jar filled with water and Dawn dishwashing liquid that he uses to imprison all captured invaders.  And usually when he's on bug patrol, Izzy is by his side pointing out all who try to avoid the jar.  This little "bugger" evidently tried to outsmart the Rod/Izzy army by seeking refuge in the inner workings of my iron, and it burned out the heating element.  The only positive spin that I can put on this is that "Stinky" also bit the dust.  So I guess you could say it was a murder/suicide. There will be no service.

Now that it has been said and done, I'm off to Joann Fabric to get a new iron and several other things.  Bye for now.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thank the Lord, it's Friday

It's been a very long week.  Oh, I know it's only 7 days like all the other weeks, it just seemed longer.  Kristin went to the OB on Tuesday, and was told the baby would most likely come this week, but that she should make an appointment for next Tuesday just in case.  But so far -- no baby.  No one is more anxious than Kris is, she is huge, her hands, legs, and feet are swollen, and she's just tired.  She took on more hours at work since her employer doesn't pay maternity leave, and disability isn't an option unless there's a problem with the pregnancy.  Normally George drops Izzy off when Kris has to be at work at 8:00 am, but he has a guy on light duty and has been covering his shift.  This means longer hours for George, and longer hours for Grammy.  Thank Goodness that Izzy is a really good girl, and has started taking an afternoon nap again.  These hours have limited my sewing time, but I've really accomplished a lot this past week.  The baby's quilt top is finished and ready to be quilted.  The log cabin quilts for Bridgett's twin girls (who arrived early in October) are ready to be quilted.  And when I got Mary's Toy Story quilt out to start working on it again, I was thrilled to discover that 8 blocks are ready to be stitched, 3 are traced onto fusible, and only one block needs to be traced.  Not bad.

The quilts aren't quilted yet because I need to give them a good ironing, and for some reason, my lovely iron isn't heating.  I found the cord laying on the floor (I always wrap it up and put it on the buffet), and have a feeling that somehow, someone knocked the iron onto the floor and won't admit it.  So, I have to go and buy a new iron before I can finish these quilts.  Rod said he would check it out, but as of yet "hasn't gotten around to it".  I noticed in my Joann ad that they have irons on sale right now, so hopefully I can find a nice one either tonight or tomorrow.  And then I will again be busy, busy, busy.  Hope you've accomplished a lot too.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

36 Years and Still Going Strong

Today is our anniversary.  We were married 36 years ago, on a day that was much like today is predicted to be.  It was warm in the afternoon and our ceremony was at 4:30.  But by the time we ventured outside for photos, it was into the 40's and we were all freezing our various body parts off!  Oh to be that thin again!! We were not permitted to throw rice, because Saturday night mass was scheduled for 6:30.  Nothing like getting the bum's rush.  There wasn't even time for photos there at the church after ceremony.

This is the photo taken of us with Rod's grannies.  Notice the concrete block walls that should tell you right away that they were taken inside the fire hall where our reception was held.

And these are my grandparents.  The lady next to me is my beloved Granny.  She loved the dress she wore, but it was sleeveless. And she didn't want her "jello arms" to be out for public viewing. To make her happy, I bought the sheer fabric, and took some of the fabric left from when I hemmed her dress and made the sleeves with the cuffs.  The gentleman with her is her second husband.  I never knew my Granddad Peters, he passed before I was born.  But she had dated Pap Leonard as a young girl, and then married Granddad. They met again years later at a class reunion and decided to marry.  She was 79 and he was 81.  She was so cute when she announced to me that she would be married.  She had to be sure to tell me that they wouldn't have any children.  Duh,  I was 22 years old and had kind of figured that out.  I really miss her, and wanted to grow up to be the kind of granny she was.  I think I come close.

And so, time marches on and I can't wait to see what the future holds.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Busy - busy

Can you say busy, busy, busy in the voice of the late Billy De Wolfe, who did the voice of Professor Hinkle in the Christmas classic, Frosty the Snowman?  Well, that's what I've been this morning.  Jacob's (that's what we'll call him for now) quilt is an ongoing project.  And finally this morning, I put together the background and fused the pieces in place.  I must say that the "quilter's license" continues, and that I didn't place the pieces where they were on the original pattern.  But I like the way it looks, and just felt that the cow and pony should be close to the barn.  I know the picture isn't the greatest quality, but my talents do not and never have extended to photography.

I've been staring at the quilt and trying to decide what colors to use to stitch down the appliques.  Should I use just black or will it be too harsh for a baby quilt.  Or, I could use matching threads.  Or I could use a thread that's a little darker than the applique piece. Kristin just dropped Izzy off to stay with me while Kris goes to her OB appointment, and says I should just use black to stitch down the pieces because it sounds easier.  Let me hear your opinion, please.

After Kris picks Izzy up, I'm hoping to finish up the log cabin blocks for the baby quilts I'm making for Kris's old roommate.  So, I'm moving right along.