Saturday, January 26, 2013


Today I am feeling a little out of sorts. I am feeling better physically, but we still have no hot water and it's been a week.  Hopefully that will change tomorrow when Rod installs a new hot water tank. But that's not the problem.  I feel like I have lost control of my household.  I have no idea what's in my freezer which is in the basement, and I can't go downstairs to find out what's in there.  I don't what all is in my pantry because it's so jumbled that you have to search every shelf before you can find what you are looking for.  And it's driving me crazy.  Tomorrow I will rearrange the shelves and threaten bodily harm to anyone who messes it up again!  How do you keep track of all that in your household?   My grocery bill goes higher and higher, and I don't know how to cut it back.  I'm thinking that I need to start planning my menus around the sale ads and what coupons are in the paper.  I run out of ideas of what to fix the grand kids for lunch, which should be healthy, inexpensive, and easy to prepare.  I need to find some way to bring down our debt.  I pay extra on each credit card each month, but still it doesn't seem to make much difference.  Lately, Rod has been talking about retiring in six years, and it terrifies me.  I don't know how I will pay bills on a retirement income.  I am afraid that hitting the lottery is the only way to bring down our monthly output, but even that doesn't make sense since we never play.  There has to be some way to regain control of all that I feel that I have lost control of.  Any outside help or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, January 25, 2013

R.I.P. Houdini

Can't say that I'm sorry to wish Houdini a long rest in peace.  Yes it's true.  Last night the little sneak died, perhaps of natural causes, because he was found dead but outside the trap.  I had heard him chewing on a wrapper from a pack of cheese crackers that had fallen out of the trash can.  And then he was dead.  Perhaps he couldn't breath after eating the cellophane, or maybe he just choked on the peanut butter he had been stealing.  But whatever the cause, the annoying little varmint is dead.  Rod is the king - Long Live the King.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Poke It With A Stick!!!!

You all know that we're "country folk" and that, where we live, sightings of raccoon, skunks and possum are not at all unusual.  We have become accustomed to field mice in the house during the winter months.  But this  winter, we have inherited a mole or two.  They're bold, much bolder than the field mice - perhaps because they can't see what they are approaching.  We have one who insists on sneaking up through the couch, and it tickles the sitting anatomy of whomever seems to be sitting there at the time.  Rod has tried several traps, and even beat it with a pillow the other night, but the mole keeps winning.  So, Tuesday night, Rod set two glue traps behind the couch - one with a chocolate covered raisin and the other with peanut butter.  Early yesterday morning, I could hear the trap moving behind the couch and was very excited to think that we had caught "Houdini".  When I emailed Rod at work to tell him, he told me to let it be and he would take care of it when he came home.

Last night Rod took the flashlight to check behind the couch.  The trap was gone, and when he found it under the couch, the raisin was gone and so was Houdini.  But as he shined the flashlight further down behind the couch, there was a large ball of fur laying at the opposite end.  He called me to ask what it was.  I had no idea.  Had the kids brought a stuffed animal that color???  Not that I remembered.  It looked like a raccoon. But in my house!!!!  I asked him to check it and he replied, "I'm not touching it unless I can poke it with a stick."  I went to the kitchen to work on dinner, and soon he came to the kitchen with the fur ball on the end of a stick.  It was not a raccoon, it was not the stuffing from the couch.  It was a fur vest that Krissy had worn here before Christmas.  Evidently she had balled it up and put in on the back of the couch, and it had fallen off behind.

I didn't blame Rod for wanting to "poke it with a stick".  I envisioned him with a raccoon hanging off the front of him like in Money Pit when Shelley Long opened the dumb waiter.  I'm sure that the phrase "Poke it with a stick" will be showing up a lot more in everyday conversation.

Monday, January 21, 2013

This and That

Seems like forever since I felt like posting.  I had bronchitis, then got a cold, went to the doctor and got antibiotics.  But everything is good now, and I'm anxious to get back to life again.  I still need to see a doctor about my gall bladder, but that isn't until Feb. 7.  I'm terrified to have surgery, but I know in my heart it's necessary.

I haven't spent much time in the sewing room since before Christmas.  The first thing I need to do is a good cleaning and organization day.  I still have all the kids' Christmas quilts to finish - thank goodness they are all patient.  And I have some new purse patterns that I'm dying to try out.

We've set tentative dates for a trip to Disney in December which gives me time to save the money.  I love that resort, and regardless of what others think, I love going every year.

I've been checking out the dates for the quilt shows that I like to attend, and putting them on the calendar.  When my surgery is will determine which one I will attend.

I have all four of the grandkids today, so it should be a fun day.  It's snowing, and the birds are glad that Rod filled all the bird feeders yesterday.  As I look out the window, it's like looking into a snow globe.  Glad to be inside where it's warm and toasty.  Have a great week.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Gotta Love Those Notions!

Have you seen these before?   Do you know what they are???

Silly me - I thought they were hair clips, and couldn't understand why they were in my quilting catalogs.

Then I saw this photo, and decided that I needed some of these. They are called "binding clips".  I guess it's because you use them to hold your binding in place while you're sewing.  So I bought them.  Evidently, my granddaughters thought they were hair barrettes also, because they used them for dolls, for holding fabric together when they do their fashion shows, and I have no idea what else.  All I know is that I can only find a handful of the bazillion I ordered.

I'm working on my new hexie project, and seem to be all thumbs.  So, I dug out two of the clips that I could find, and started using them to hold the first side of the fabric where this person is using paper clips.  I like the binding clips because they release easily and don't catch the fabric.  I sew the side opposite the clip first and it holds the fabric tight.

And then I discovered that when I'm sewing the hexies together as in this photo, if I used the clips on the side adjacent to the one I'm sewing, I don't have any slippage and it is more comfortable for me.

See, gotta love those notions!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A New Project

Isn't it funny how when you need a new project, there is one that presents itself!  I needed a project that I could work on by hand during the day when the kids are here.  I have a niece (she's my godchild) that will be getting married in May, and she dropped a few hints that she would like a quilt.  I loved making hexies, but never did anything with them.  So, I searched Pinterest (what did I do before Pinterest?) and found just what I needed.  I decided on these hexie flowers.  My niece said her favorite colors are pink and blue.  I'm not planning on making all the flowers alike, but all will be pink and blue.  The flower measures 13" across, and I think I will applique the flowers onto 18" blocks.  I'm going to do a quilt as you go technique to put them together, and will make 25 blocks.  The quilt will then be 90" x 90", not counting the sashings and a possible border which should be just right for queen size bed.  Here's the first one.

Friday, January 4, 2013

And So It Begins. . . .

My Weight Watchers 360 kit arrived yesterday.  When I ordered it, I thought perhaps I was wasting my money (it was nearly $40), but not so.  There was a tape measurer (which I quickly hid in the bottom of the bag), a set of collapsible measuring cups, a points calculator some stickers, a workout DVD (which I haven't watched yet), the tracker, with which one can track their foods and two other books.  The first book is "What To Eat Now".  It explains what items to stock in your pantry, and gives recipes and meal plans.  There are 15-minute meals for the first month, 25-minute meals for the second month, and 30-minute meals for the third month.  But my favorite book is the Success Handbook.  It's all about "ME".  It's what makes the 360 plan so different from others.  You track yourself, your feelings, your self esteem, your strengths, and your weaknesses.  I'm excited about this plan, and will be reading more and making my grocery list during the next two days.  I'm going to be brave and add a weight loss ticker to this page.  Hopefully it will keep me honest, and encourage me to not give up.  Keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It's a whole new year

Wishing you and your family a new year filled with only good things. This is as close as I will ever come to New Year's fireworks at Magic Kingdom.  Just not my style to spend New Years away from home.  We spend last night at home, with part of our family.  Mary's family and the twins were here.  We've had a tremendous amount of snow here in western Pennsylvania, and yesterday was the first day Rod was able to get the car up our driveway.  Kristin's driveway is worse than ours, and they ended up stuck in the snow when they started down it last night.  Wisely, they went back home and so we didn't get to ring in the new year with them.

Do you make New Year's Resolutions???  I try, but each year I seem to let the same resolutions fall by the wayside.  This year I resolve to not let some of them drop away.  First and foremost, I want to get my blood sugar under control.  For me, it's not so much what I eat as much as that I don't move much. So this year I resolve to do something each day that I don't usually do, something that involves movement.  I am also planning to walk around the house once an hour, and keep track of my steps with a pedometer.

Secondly, I want to seriously work at weight loss.  I think that the walking and more movement will help with that cause, but I have also joined Weight Watchers and ordered the new program of Weight Watchers 360.  To help with the Weight Watchers, I ordered this kit. Don't you just love the pink with the polka dot? It should arrive by Friday, and I am excited to get started.  I'm not setting large goals, but will start by concentrating on 10 pounds at a time.

Thirdly, I want to make my time a little more productive.  I think that cutting coupons and keeping them organized so that I can use them instead of just filing them away, is a good place to start.  I want to stick to a budget, and I'm currently working on an Etsy store.
And maybe I will start a redwork quilt that I bought the pattern and fabrics for several years ago.  This is "Winter Wonderland" by Crab-apple Hill.  Since I love hand piecing, it is a perfect "by hand" project.

So, I welcome 2013 with open arms.  I can't wait to see what it holds for me.