Sunday, December 31, 2006

"Honey, I'm home!"

Didjamissme? OK, admit it, you surfed by more than once, sorry!!

We are beginning the research towards our retirement home in Arizona. We drove south to the LA area to overnight at my sister's house on the way to Tucson. She was away, so we visited with the cat, lol.

Retirement for dh will be April 2008, unless his company decides to lay him off first. While that sounds horrible, it just isn't. His company is downsizing at at an alarming rate, taking most of it's business back to Germany. Lay-off would be accompanied by a huge severance package, or patience will be rewarded by the traditional retirement perks.

Nonetheless, we are doing a great deal of internet searching to decide upon style and ammenities for our future home and went to the greater Tucson area to scout neighborhoods, traffic patterns, etc., and to get the general feel of the area to see if it would likely be a good match.

We fell absolutely IN LOVE. We came a hair away from signing on a home, but were wise enough to realize that if everything wasn't aligned correctly, then it probably just wasn't meant to be. Didn't actually mean to go inside with a realtor, really we didn't, it just happened that she was checking on her listing when we were pulling the sheet from the info-tube!
This is a sunset picture that we took while we were in an hour and a half traffic standstill. Unfortunately a fatality had occured and poor old I-10 just doesn't hold gazillions of holiday travellers well.

We're home safe and sound in N. CA after 2000 miles of driving (and another stay at my sister's on the return trip-and actually got to see her, lol).

I've accounted for 2 of 3 of my daughters on this New Year's Eve, and hope you all are safe and enjoying your evening your most favorite way. (Our's is being home and in our jammies after a dip in the hottub.)

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

On account it's the holiday, and I don't have ONE original thought left, lol...I've stolen this MeMe from Dorothy who stole it from DebR, yadda, yadda...please feel free to follow the trail.

Do you own a gun? No.

What do you think of hot dogs? The more mustard, the merrier. They MUST be Omaha Steak's version too btw. Grilled to a crisp.

What’s your favorite Christmas song? I must be getting cynical, "Momma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," came to mind first.

What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Starbucks fresly ground Verona. One Splenda, thank you very much.

Can you do push-ups? Yes actually, I'm good for 10.

What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? My diamond studs my dh gave to me the first time we met.

What is your secret weapon to lure the opposite sex? My smile? Dunno.

Middle name? Jean

Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment:
1. Wish I was closer to the space heater
2. I've had my oatmeal, now let's blow this popstand!
3. Are we there yet?

Name 3 drinks you regularly drink:
1. Coffee, coffee, coffee.

What time did you wake up today? 4:53am - digital clocks are the worst!

Current hate? Never

Dislike? Frequently, lol. As to what? My own self-image, when I know I ain't that bad!

Favorite place to be? I ditto Dorothy, behind the wheel. I love to drive!

Least favorite place to be? In a dirty public bathroom.

Where would you like to go? Arizona, and did I mention, are we there yet?

Do you own slippers? Yes, blue knitted ones by moi.

What shirt are you wearing? My green fluffy terrycloth bathrobe, nope, haven't gotten rid of it yet!

Do you burn or tan? Burn & peel

Favorite color(s)? Blue baby blue...never waivering.

Would you be a pirate? Yeah, especially if I could be like Rupert on Survivor, argh!

What is your favorite holiday? My birthday, I get to be selfish with a license

What songs do you sing in the shower? From Sesame Street, "That's why I sing, sing in the bathtub, cuz I like the way my voice sounds so loud and clear!" (Yeah, I never get the words right!)

What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child? Ants and crawly things.

What’s in your pockets right now? Hopefully not the used tissue I'm so famous for leaving. (I'm not the one who does the wash.

Last thing that made you laugh? dh and I both selecting the same random letter for a computer drive as "Q", ok so I'm weird!

Best bed sheets as a child? anything fresh from the laundry line

Worst injury you’ve ever had? Toboggan hit & run, 6" stitches and LOTS of hair shaved off while a sophomore in a new high school, new city, etc.

Are your parents still together? Both are deceased, 1985, 1997

Do you wish on shooting stars? ABSOLUTELY

What is your favorite book(s)? Bridges of Madison County, Tuesdays with Morrie

What is your favorite candy? Thats a toughy, Payday or Heath.

What song did you have played at your wedding? Eloped in a park. Does that make the music "The birds-n-bees?"

How is the weather outside right now? 38º, partly cloudy and ridiculously cold

What was your first thought this morning when you woke up? WHY isn't the heater on by now?

Consider yourself tagged, if you wish.

Mostly, I just want to wish you a Happy Holiday and wonderful New Year for 2007.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Wisely, I surrendered !

(image clickable for enlarged view)

Last Thursday I showed the two blocks that I had finished for a project that was due yesterday (Monday) for our office Christmas Secret Santa luncheon. We have only 2 ladies at our office, and I was fortunate to have chosen the "easy recipient" as far as gift-giving was concerned. I initially intended to make her a quilt to keep warm in the edit room. She's a "thin mint", very tiny, and always cold. As a gift from her Secret Santa(me), she received a mug and an assortment of teas. The game we play is to decide who gave you the gift. Her first pick was me. OK, so I guess I'm transparent. I'm the Office Mother, always concerned for my kidlets, you just can't shut that OFF. After her guess on the first package, I pulled the wrapped quilt from behind my back...if I had given that first everyone would have known where it came from. I guess it really didn't matter after all, now did it!

Once again, my ideas and expectations were wildly out of my reach. Will I EVER learn? Each block took 30 minutes (paper-pieced) and by Sunday morning I had completed only 16. Mind you, on Saturday my errands included a bank, haircut, Target, lottery, grocery and Starbucks, and on Sunday I had to be at work from 11-4. I intended to be removing the paper from the blocks on Sunday, but I got involved with the tribute we were shooting and that never got done. I had made the decision late Saturday that she could just use it for whatever...a small lap warmer, a wallhanging, a table topper. She's a young lady, mid-20's who's fiance is a resident....good as a starving college student, lol.

I utility machine quilted around the blocks and once on the diagonal with invisable thread. I was up at 3:30am yesterday morning (woke without the alarm-ha!) and put on the binding and hand-stitched it down. Got it in the wash during my shower before work and it was wrapped and ready to go.

The lavish quilt shrunk to a finished 28" square or so. It is hung with care in her cubicle right behind her laptop. I'm happy. She's thrilled.

Sometimes you just have to surrender, glad I listened to the little voices.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Um...WIP "Thursday" ??

Good Morning! (Afternoon/Evening)

Working full-time puts a cramp in my sewing time, but I try to squeeze it in wherever I can. So my WIP Wednesday melds into WIP Thursday...Friday...whatever!

I am still doing the MQ on the faux log cabin as previously blogged, but I need a lap quilt as a Secret Santa gift for a co-worker. I used the paper-pieced pattern from Quilter's Cache and love the way these are looking. If this doesn't use up my "avacado/sage" stash, I don't know what else to do! We are only supposed to spend $15, I consider my scraps as freebies, and most likely have something leftover for the backing. Heck, I have batting scraps as well that I will piece together.

This lap quilt will get alot of use, my recipient is one of our Producers who spends a huge time in our edit rooms. We have to keep them cold to preserve the edit machines themselves. Makes it really cold for the operator howsomever.

Do you have a recommended size for this lap quilt? The blocks measure 7" or so (if I remember right.)

Edited: To repair link, it took me FOREVER to figure out how to get back in to edit!!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony-CA style

Many know I've moved from Ohio to CA. I thought the transition would be easy. I didn't take into consideration the fact that being, well being "my age" would have any play in how well I would assimilate into life on the west coast.

I am constantly surprised by things here, some are cultural, some are climatical. But OH! The traditions are the ones that are grabbing my attention the most.

Take last evening.

I work for a small local community television station. My husband and I have been trained in camera operation on the side, and took up the assignment of covering the Mountain View Tree Lighting Ceremony. We donned our parkas and comfy shoes and were at our cameras at the ready at 5pm. DH had the wide shots, located at the rear of the seating area and I was up near the front for the close-ups. We were LIVE. We had a blast, got a little cold, were amazed at the goobers who have no notion that they shouldn't stand right in front of a huge television camera on a tripod, or that a 6' adult with a child on shoulders are hard to film thru even if you are on a riser...argh.

My real amazement...and my total shock was yet to come. Obviously I'm in denial that my expectations had possibly gotten the better of me. Aren't Christmas trees (ESPECIALLY THOSE PICKED FOR CEREMONIAL TREE LIGHTING!) supposed to be elegant evergreens? (OK, so in San Fran., there is even the artificial one at the wharf that is relatively acceptable to me, lol.) I wanted all twinkly lights, and feel the total awesome-ness of it's beauty. What I got was this:
I guess if you put enough presents UNDER it, it might be OK...sheesh.
Oh yeah, and to make matters worse, DH got the good parting shot with the blurry lights fading to black.

Bah Humbug.

Good thing I wasn't in charge of cropping photos, huh?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Tagged for a MeMe!

Tagged by DD#2 for a MeMe...gee thanks! 8^)
(You can access her blog from my sidebar, I can't figure out to do it now on beta-boo!)

5 favorite Christmas Songs:

1) Silent Night
2) White Christmas
3) Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer
4) Deck The Halls
5) Twelve Days of Christmas

Yeah, DD#2, I changed it to add "Favorite"...

Basically I love ANY Christmas music that I know the words to, and the louder I can sing it, the better! (In private of course! The kids used to just hate it when I sang out loud, I couldn't be THAT bad, huh?)

If you would like to participate, consider yourself "TAGGED", leave me a post too, lol.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

WIP Wednesday

This is the top that I started last weekend. It's for our company's Bid-n-Buy which will be held at our Studio Party (that I just sent 300 invitations for yesterday, lol).

I'm not thrilled, I see LOTS of room for improvement in color choices, but I refuse to waste the fabric since it is made entirely from my stash. It's meant to be a quicky, and it was. I really did enjoy the faux and easy piecing.

I've finally gotten around to the "it's OK" opinion, it's layered, pinned and ready to be quilted. I designed a holly and berry continuous quilting pattern that I will try, or otherwise I will just meander. I purchased a varigated green/cream combo to try and also a light golden to see if it might work.

I can't wait to see what you're working on, I am really loving this Ring!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Christmas MeMe

I found this on Maria's blog who got it from Dawn, etc...and thought it looked fun, thanks Maria!

Christmas MeMe

1. Hot Chocolate or apple cider?
- Definately ROUSTER'S Apple Cider
2. Turkey or Ham?
- Dark meat turkey
3. Do you get a fake or real-you-cut-it-yourself Christmas tree?
- Prefer real but will settle for artificial or none at all if we are gone.
4. Decorations on the outside of your house?
- I love to decorate the outside but rarely have the stamina! A few on the inside is good.
5. Snowball fights or sleddin'?
- Sledding, have always loved it since childhood.
6. Do you enjoy going downtown shopping?
- I love it. Used to enjoy going downtown in Flint, MI as a young adult...spending $.35 and rode the bus alone and would catch a movie.
7. Favorite Christmas song?
- Silent night, sung at Church on Christmas Eve.
8. How do you feel about Christmas movies?
- Love the moldy oldies...over and over and over.
9. When is it too early to start listening to Christmas music?
- Before Thanksgiving at least pul-lease!
10. Stockings before or after presents?
- Stockings while waiting for the rest of the family to gather.
11. Carolers, do you or do you not watch and listen to them?
- Maybe across the street at the neighbors? 8^)
12. Go to someone else's house or they come to you?
- They can come here, but I need help!!!
13. Do you read the Christmas Story? If so when?
No, never, just not my preference.
14. What do you do after presents and dinner?
- Just enjoy the moment!
15. What is your favorite holiday smell?
- Cinnamon and pine.
16. Ice skating or walking around the mall?
- Ice skating definately.
17. Do you open a present or presents on Christmas Eve, or wait until Christmas Day?
- Prefer Christmas Morning...but it's great to be flexible.
18. Favorite Christmas memory?
- Seeing an antenna with a blinking light and just KNOWING it was Rudolf.
19. Favorite Part about winter?
- The smell of an incoming snow.
20. Ever been kissed under mistletoe?
- No, but there's still time!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thank you dd#2

Thank you for the switch over to Beta. You know I would have waited until "they" made me switch if you hadn't done it for me! I'm so chicken.

I was SO afraid to open my blog this morning! But HEY, it doesn't look any different, lol!

You are really good at this stuff, ya know?! I'm one proud Momma.

Thank you darlin', you are just THE BEST.

Friday, November 24, 2006

2 fer~ Random Acts of Kindness

I've been waiting for Dorothy to announce this! (Ok, why I waited...I have no excuse other than I've gotten procrastination down to a fine art!)

We went to Flames this morning for breakfast. We had the best waiter I think we've EVER had. Cesar is going to have a letter written to his manager today. We eat out probably at least 4 times a week, to have someone go the extra mile puts him at the top of my list.

What American Accent do YOU have?

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
The South
The Inland North
North Central
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Well I guess my results were predictable.

I lived in MI for 23, OH for 21, MO for 4, CA for the last 1.

Everyone outside of MI asks, "Where are YOU from?" so I must "talk funny", lol. But stubbornly, I don't see how I do, when I hear the MI accent they all sound like Canadians!

I'll be either sewing or knitting today, likely both. What I won't be doing is SHOPPING. I see many stores are opening at 5am, sheesh.

Have a great day today!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

WIP Wednesday

OK, OK, the day isn't over yet. I just got home from work!

I'm not thrilled. I'm hoping more blocks will improve it. I'm hoping not displaying it against gosh-awful unflattering carpet will improve it. I'm hoping for a miracle I think!

I'll keep making the blocks, they take 5 minutes each and go ahead and finish the top. Everyone needs a picnic quilt, I don't think this will ever go to my bid-n-buy at the station! Yuck-poo.

How would you quilt this?? I will do MQ but haven't the foggiest of ideas. The strips are cut at 2.5", the longest is 10.5". It will be a great place to practice for sure.

Ever have one you just didn't love. (I'm talking about quilts!)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving "our way"

As Thanksgiving 2006 draws near, it's a time that enables one to have a few focused memories.

Our tradition in the 60's was to go to the Parade in downtown Detroit sponsored by J.L. Hudson. I guess it was my maternal mother's idea of how to get the men and kids out of the house so Grandma and mother could cook our Thanksgiving dinner. My father and brother would pack Grandpa's stepladder and we would go to the steps of the same church each year, on the side of Woodward Avenue. That way my younger sister would sit on the platform of the ladder's flippy-part and I would stand behind her on the rungs. We'd be heads above the rest of the crowd and Santa (who would of course be at the very end) was in plain site. I clearly remember seeing floats of the Green Hornet, I was totally impressed being the tomboy I was. I remember being totally frozen, Detroit has a way of being perfectly miserable on Thanksgiving Day!

Little did I know I would be one of the marching band members marching in that same parade a few years later. It was warmer marching rather than waiting for Santa in those younger years!!

I also remember marching in the Lions football game during half-time during a blizzard. Our game-time seats were right behind the team's bench...couldn't see a thing, lol.

I remember having dinner in my Grandmother's small dining room with the table leaves all spread. When I would finish before the rest of the family I was permitted to crawl under the table thru the sea of legs to free myself from table bondage.

My own children are all grown and miles away. They are having/creating memories of their own. My soldier is happy to have a day off of duty and training but is warned of a 12 mile "hike" on Saturday. Dd#2 will travel to her grandparent's home, and dd#1 will enjoy a few days off from college with her girlfriend.

I am very happy to have a 2:45pm reservation at a local restaurant on Thursday. No cooking, no clean-up, no leftovers to find places for in the tiny 'frig. I am absolutely thrilled. We will buy a turkey while still at a good price and tuck it in the freezer. We'll spend the rest of the weekend catching up with laundry and each other, I hope to get a bunch of sewing in, Dh may have time to finish his book, and maybe we can squeeze in a hike in the mountains.

...just have to get thru Wednesday...*sigh*

What memories does this holiday stir for you?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Cheddar & Greens

I'm doing the Happy Dance, it's DONE. A breeze blew just at the exact moment I snapped the shot and I had to cut the underwear hanging on the line outta the picture, but you get the idea, don't you?

This is a baby quilt began long ago and is being delivered late, dang. I have such good intentions, and very poor follow-thru, but I AM working on that!

As mentioned before, this was my first attempt at meadering machine quilting. I always do grid quilting using painters tape or stitch-in-the-ditch, I gravitate to what's easy to do "right".

When the Quilt Police come to arrest me regarding my binding,I'll cleverly distract their attention over to the fact that THE BACK binding corners show perfectly mitered corners. When I attached the binding this time I chose to do a 1/4" seam(I usually like it about 3/8", but when I turned it to the back, it was about 1/2-5/8" wide! I was going to resew the binding on with a deeper seam allowance, but once I turned the first corner and found the corners turning SO easily I was in heaven, lol. Guess I'll go back to my 2-1/4" binding strips like I used to do...or not.

After I finished this baby quilt I ran and started something NEW, oh yeah! I am trying Billie Lauder's Faux Log Cabin pattern. I needed something fast to donate to our Company's Bid-n-Buy at our Annual Christmas Party mid-December. If it turns out ok I'll donate it for that, if not, I'm sure it will find a good home.

Have a good week!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Beta Blahs & my soldier's birthday

So we..ok, #2dd tried to switch my blog to Beta. I was SNUBBED. It said all blogs are not able to switch at this time as the program is being rolled out s-l-o-w-l-y. Whatever. I'm trying to do my best by you know I'm trying!! #2dd, I couldn't (make that wouldn't) attempt this without you, thank ya, thank ya, thank ya!

Today my #3dd who is in the Army Reserves is celebrating her 20th Birthday. Please think of her today, and what it means to be a soldier in today's military forces. She's in her AIT training down at Ft. Bragg until mid-December. She will be stationed in Columbus, OH and is a sophomore in college...*sigh*

I'm sewing during the UM vs OSU game half-time adding the binding to a recently blogged baby quilt. I will begin to handstitch it onto the back during the second half. GO BUCKEYES!
(that's really hard, I lived in Michigan 23 years & Ohio 20 years!)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

WIP Wednesday

WOO-HOO my first NPO logo was published!

I have always enjoyed drawing with my good ol' #2. I am generally a copy artist, excelling at cartoon copies, but also can draw hands, feet and animals. Pul-lease, don't ask for a face!

Working as chief, cook, and bottlewasher for a Community Television has it's ups and downs. I was trying to have the Lonnie Anderson Receptionist job but I guess *ahem* I just wasn't blonde enough. My job encompasses all the accounting, payroll, and HR...reservation scheduling, marketing, cup washing, coffee making, carpet shampoo's crazy, but I keep it afloat generally speaking.

Rather by accident I ended up designing the logo for a bay area food/soup pantry. I gave my scribbles to a producer and she digitized it and it was accepted in it's rawest form. That's what they wanted, simple and line drawn. Who woulda thunk. The top part is a section of the brochure, the bottom piece is one side of the fundraiser envelope.

I show this as my WIP today, work is my life, I love my job. My DH is included here at the station, where I go so does he(when he isn't doing his own job, 1/2 mile away)! He is floor director for one program, and has done a bit of narration. I'm scheduled to do camera work on something in December, should be fun. I think that composing your camera shot is definately an art-form! I rarely have the time to get into the studio, but the secret is out...I want to do it all!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

2-fer today! ~ ~ Vacation Stories ~ ~

So thankfully, this is a very blurry picture. Pretend you "DON'T know what it is, and have NEVER seen one...yeah, right!

Whatever you do, don't encounter them ON VACATION!

11 days in Maui almost went in the dumper because of on.

We'd been up since 4am and extremely tired as we checked into our condo at 4pm, via special lock-box key.

We've stayed at this condo the past 2 years, and have been completely satisfied. Ocean lanai, full efficiency, separate bedroom & bathroom. We went right to bed to take a nap after arriving. We awoke and began getting unpacked and getting the groceries put away, etc...and I always have to take the garbage can out from under the sink...I just hate it there. EW...EW...there's a bug. OK, I can hardly say it...A COCKROACH.

OK, I can handle ONE.

EW...EW...two, my, he has lots of friends...EW...EW. That photo was one in the BATHTUB. (The next morning, they graced our feet on the carpet! Gives me shiver-bumps just rethinking it!)

DH starts opening drawers and cabinets, and they are EVERYWHERE. He starts throwing stuff into the dishwasher and arms himself with the RAID can as I stand on the sofa. Yeah, yeah, he is THE original domestic GOD and I'm a weenie, I admit it. We diddle and dink around trying to decide what to do, and at 7:45pm we call the Condo Office. The always-gruff, never pleasant lady says, "She's busy with a Marlin Tournament tomorrow and she'll deal with US Saturday (this was Thursday evening).

US? US? How about dealing with THE BUGS TOMORROW? She wouldn't give us a commitment for hotel reimbursement, wouldn't agree to switch our rooms...nadda.

Rooms on Maui can easily range $200+ for a one night stay. We toughed it out that night, but were wide awake at the smallest thing. My hair brushed DH and he jumped a mile...I drempt of roaches on the ceiling of the unit below us, etc.

First thing the next morning we were down at the coffee shop a block away while waiting for other places to open for the morning. We were EXTREMELY fortunate to spot a place right next door advertising for $45 cheaper per evening than we were paying...and had vacancy and would love to have us. The Hale Maui is not the Ritz, but it was cleaner than any place I've ever stayed, including any fancy Westin or better I've been in. It didn't have an ocean-front lanai, but if you sat sideways on this lanai, you could still stare at the ocean. Thankfully it is Mom & Pop run and I cried with joy at having this fall into our laps. We are two happy customers who will grace the Zimmerman's door again. Dumb luck.

I wrote the 1st place a stern note and turned in our keys to the substitute attendant that morning. I added in my note that, "I know you will do the right thing by returning our entire deposit." I never expected to see a dime of our $300. When we got home a few days ago, a letter was waiting with a full refund to our credit card.

We were moved in by 10am to the new place.

End of a beautiful day..finally!

This photo was taken from Honokowai Beach, just a few hundred yards from the condo. We spent a couple of afternoons under the trees enjoying the beautiful sand and warm water.

This is the famous Hana Highway. We couldn't get to the end because of road closure due to the recent earthquake. I did the drive in the rain...white knuckled it a bit, but there were few on the road so I could mostly have my own pace. It's our second journey to Hana, we'll get to those 7 Sacred Pools one of these days!

On one of our excursions, DH went to the sought after blow-hole. I stayed behind up on high ground, my tri-focals make rock climbing tenuous at best. I was perfectly content to view the scenery and do a little rock rearranging myself. This is the place where people stack rocks. It has no significance other than "just because", so that is OK by me!
Gosh! These were just about 24" from my grasp from the lanai. They weren't quite ready yet, this variety is the HUGE kind so they were only about 1/2 grown!

So I'm home, I missed my home. I missed my bed. I can't wait to go back next year, hahahaha.

Maui Socks

THIS is what I did on my vacation. I am TOTALLY head-over-heels IN LOVE with Emily's "Sophie's ToeSocks" lighweight yarn and her awesome colorations. This color is Iris Garden. (That was a link to her blog, her Etsy site can be accessed from there, it was down as I posted this!) I took this yarn with me to Maui because it reminds me of all the colors of the island. The ever-changing ocean colors, the lush vegitation, the blue sky, oh yum.

As I've expressed before, I'd been experiencing mucho angst because as a new knitter I couldn't get the yarn weight vs. needle size vs. project requirement all to work in my favor. Well NO more. This stuff rocks socks. Size 2 dpn. Knitted from the cuff down...and the reason the cuff is short is because I have "thunder calves", lol.

OK, so I chose something that would match my new favorite "Bean Crocs" (from LL Bean and are Croc knock-offs...AND WERE ONLY $20!).

Am I in "hog heaven" if my piggies are now finally comfy. I think so!

Friday, November 10, 2006

I'm back...physically at least!

I am home.
I am tired.
I am buried at the station.
My house is a wreck full of dirty clothes.

I promise pictures with a blog update over the weekend. Left my dang USB cord at home.

I promised to survive coming home from a wonderful vacation.

Come on girl, FOCUS!
Need more coffee.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Don't forget me!

See you November 7, I'll be thinking about you!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Are you being served?

This is a glass covered tray that I made for my older sister last summer. I needed a house gift QUICK! I never think of this stuff beforehand, GGRrr. I've had two trays for probably 15 years looking for the perfect application. Whew!

Really bad picture, I know, I was just desperate to snap it before we ran out the door.

The plate is paperpieced onto unbleached muslin, schmear-dyed with coffee grounds. The cup is fused on top with another piece of muslin in between so it wouldn't shadow thru. The recipes are from our mother (upper left), my father's mother (upper right) and my mother's mother (lower right). I somehow have ended up with everyone's recipe boxes! The plate fabric is significant because my father's mother left me all her Blue Willow China.

My sister loved the gift. We all had quite a laugh, my mother was a STICKLER for spelling and she misspelled RAISINS as RAISONS.

Friday, October 13, 2006

WOO-HOO for a Site Meter

Thanks dd#2 for the encouragement, let's see if I did it right (aka, let's see if you need to fix it for me!).

Sunday, October 08, 2006

First Meandering

Sorry for the over exposed picture, more will follow as I get this next project finished.
*edited to say...geez, can't even crop my pic properly these days!

This is my first attempt at meader machine quilting. I have been strictly a stitch-in-the-ditch kinda gal, or diagonal utility quilting. Those kinds are good for the anal. I know I need to GET OUT OF THE BOX, and this baby quilt was a good place to start. The colors are light/med sage greens, pale yellows, cheddars and bits of unbleached muslin and is made for my nephew's first son.

I've got alot of practicing to do, lol. I have problems keeping all the roundy parts roundy, and the stopping and starting are a bit rough. I kept repeating the "head and shoulders" mantra, but before I knew it I was off on all sorts of tangents.

I've got the first of my Charlie Brown socks (blogged below) more than 1/2 done, been working away at that two, alternating between knitting and sewing and catching up on TIVO'd programs, lol. It's amazing how far behind on my shows I can get with only 2 hours at home in the evening!

Hope your weekend was productive!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Them R not Rabbits ! ? !

I've gone to "hell in a handbasket", they're going to have to pry all methods of artmaking out of my hand when I die.

I joined up yesterday with a "little" group of 1400+ participants in Socktoberfest . As you can see the next pair is already in the works. This time it's Italian Sockotta which is 45% Cotton, 40% Superwash Wool, and 15% Nylon. Socks are multiplying like rabbits around here, but I really love making them, I think it's the short rows! I'm into the heel flap on this one, the skinny yarn is hard to get ahold of. I DO like the Charlie Brown appeal of this varigated stuff!

I did get the baby quilt all pinned Saturday, and ready for MQ, pictures maybe tomorrow, camera at home is d-e-a-d.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

First Pair of Socks

TA-DA! My first pair of socks. More like slippers, but what did I know about double-pointed needles, sport weight vs. sock weight yarn, ssk, ssp and which way to re-load stitches after frogging. Not to mention...getting the stripes to match and the "kitchner toe". Nada, zippo, zilch. The entire process was a huge learning curve.

These were made on 3.25 bamboo double-points (48 stitches) with sport weight "yarn" from JoAnns. Never again.

I've purchased a skein from Emily and it's over in my bag yelling, "pick me next"! here's my problem. I don't know what to change. Do I change the size of needle AND yarn AND number of stitches? I can't find any site that says "do this, this and this" without alot of "if, ands or buts"! I am after a nice weight sock to wear with my crocs to work, semi-casual.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

They Surprised ME!

As tradition has it, if you have a birthday here at the station, it is celebrated at the end-of-the-month Staff Meeting. I am in charge of all meetings and/or celebrations, and I dutifully passed around a card for another employee's birthday which fell a day before mine, and we celebrated at the end of August appropriately. He remembered that it was my birthday also...and of course I was chastised for not letting everyone, yeah.

September had no birthdays, good thing - the meeting had to be cancelled because of other goings-on.

Yesterday we were to have a pre-election coverage meeting and for whatever reason, it was scheduled to be held in the Green Room. Weird, but we aren't locked into the conference room, I'll go along with it, and I had no pre-prep to do. We all shuffle into the meeting...and SURPRISE! OMG, they surprised ME...the general busy-body, think-she-knows-it all, chief, cook and bottle-washer. The one who holds down the fort and front lobby. They even snuck my hubby in, and since we commute he had to walk the mile to my office as I had the car!

They served my favorite boston creme cake with the addition of fresh raspberries, and one of the gals made origami bowls for pretzel treats. The table is covered with an impromptu wrap of aluminum foil. Without me to buy/arrange/schedule...they're on their own...and did a terrificly, wonderful, surprise birthday party.

I've never been truely surprised before, and I only shed a few tears! I absolutely had NO idea. Didn't notice added hub-bub, and didn't see my husband walk right past me! Geez Louise I need to be paying better attention!!!!

I love my job and my co-workers, and my hubby for "going the extra mile".

Monday, September 25, 2006

Skyline or Gold Star?

Anyone who has been to Cincinnati surely has some knowledge of that city's version of Chili. There's always a rivalry between Skyline Chili and Gold Star Chili. They are both good, but IMHO Skyline is tops. Now that I make my own, and because I live 2500 odd miles from The Queen City, mine is best.

Whaddya say dd#2 and dear readers? Who's is the bestest?

It's our absolute favorite to take camping. We freeze in vacuum bags already cooked pasta and (separate) chili. Pop both boil bags in a large pot of water and then use that same water to wash the dishes!

Bouquets of flowers

Thanks to dd and DebR for the added pieces of information I needed to get my head around getting the photo on the top of my blog. It just took me a few more tries.

This photo (Black-eyed Susans) was taken in August while in Michigan for a Memorial. They sit in my lucky sister-in-law's carefully tended garden by the lake. I've used bits of this photograph for many different things, namely writing paper border and blog mastheads!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

"Orange Sock, Green Sock" FINISHED!

In the late 80's my oldest daughter was quite the difficult sort. She was born in '82. I once read a book that described her as having, "The Difficult Child Syndrome". Well duh. These difficult children (she matched to a "T") don't like constrictive clothing (didn't wear jeans or courderoy, much less dresses, slips), didn't like to have the noise level up high, couldn't stand extremes of any sort..lights, heights, activity level, etc. We learned to work around it, plan ahead, made provisions. She wore stretchy (but NOT clingy) pants, and loose sweatshirts and wasn't fond of changing her clothes up much. Clean clothes were ok, so I washed and rewashed about 3 different outfits...

SHE HAD THESE DARNED NEON ORANGE AND GREEN SOCKS. They were nylon and bright. She didn't much care if she wore one orange and one green. As long as they felt good, she felt good. Sometimes she'd wear 2 pair.

Fast forward to 2003...

The Free Spirit Fabric Company put out a pattern called Bippety Bopp a couple of years ago. The Glass Thimble in Columbus, OH made up fabric kits and had the finished quilt up on display. As soon as I saw it I knew it was going home with me. It almost did, they didn't have all the fabric in yet and would get it to me soon. Soon meant a couple of months, but in the grand scheme of things, what did it really matter? Anywho, this was THE quilt for my oldest daughter. Matches her to a T, lol. Bright, crazy, out of step, unpredictable, but it all fits (the quilt and the kid) together to make up a wild, zanny, life-loving adult. This quilt is for you oldest daughter. It was made to stand up to your lifestyle, meaning, yes, it's ok if Zebby sits on it!

Oldest daughter was a 12-Varsity Sports Letter holder and is now in the film industry, bungee jumps, parachutes and has a trampoline in her backyard.

I brag, because I can, lol. No, it's just so YOU realize that even tho your kids make you crazy on some days, they WILL grow up and be fruitful. If they have been taught the right values in life, they will always "know" them. (May not always show that all the time, but then they are the ones who have to take the consequences of their actions now!)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Yeah, that's me...*confused*

You Are 45% Left Brained, 55% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

I know "why" I'm confused. I'm a total "rule follower" but very organized regarding how I handle my tasks, etc. Oh...and pretty darn stubborn!

We decided to spend this weekend totally home. We've been running since Spring, or so it seems, and will travel again late this Fall. Yesterday was just wonderful, I spent the day doing 30 minute spurts of machine quilting (all my neck will allow), followed by 30 minute spurts of cleaning/organinzing my clutter. See? When the timer rings I get up and move, not ignore it and finish the seam like other right brainers.

I also finished my first sock. Not totally enthused with the Kitchener Toe finish, and neither is dh. I tried 3 times to do it myself, then asked my dh to read the directions over and over until I finished with all the stiches. I love the sock, pictures will follow another day, but the yarn was too bulky and I should have done the ribbing in a smaller gauge needle. I used 3.25 dpn bamboo, but heck, this was my first, what did I know!

We tried to get all our running out of the way Friday, and dh worked valently on getting the laundry caught up during the week. All that was left for this weekend was the weekly sheet load. DH worked on his "science experiment"...A SOLAR OVENfor camping! Here, the temperature was only around 225º, but with a little fiddling he achieved 260º, enough for the cup of tea which he presented to me!

I guess we are true midwesterners at heart and did a little "putting up for the winter", even tho we live in northern CA. Some of our running around included our favorite Omaha Meat Store, and picking up a rain-check of shrimp at Smart-n-Final a small warehouse store. Yes, I know there needs to be some airflow room, it does now, we've eaten a couple of helpings. We were able to get 26-2 people portions for $125. We buy from Omaha all the time, their meat quality is just the best, and it's all prepacked in individual portions. Someone forgot to remind us how small our freezer was and it was quite a challenge, but we did it!

Off to work some more on machine quilting my dd's last Chrismas quilt. I should have the MQ done today, and hopefully the binding made and attached. I'd L-O-V-E to get that darn thing in the mail today to Florida! Next project is MQ on a baby quilt to a family baby born in July...ahem.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Mt. Ranier

Sunday we spent the day driving to Mt. Ranier. I had no idea what to expect, and was not disappointed. The view was breathtaking, and we stopped many times along the way to enjoy the vista.

The sightseeing opportunities were just wonderful. We had binoculars and we could see teeny-tiny mountain climbers w-a-y up the glacier face climing towards the top of the mountain. I have no desire to join them, but I do love to "watch".

The beautiful Seattle skyline as we returned home from our trek.

Back at home, I've started getting my sewing stuff out. I have SO many things started and incomplete, it's embarassing. My oldest dd's Christmas quilt is first in line. I've only got 2 borders to finish the MQ on. What to do, what to do (next)?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

More of Seattle

OK, so I fell in love with Seattle!

These first two pictures are still from Pike Place, the open market area. I have NO idea what kind of funky veggie the strange one on the right is, it felt like a broccoli-type tho. I'd eat it, lol.

Once a seafood importer, always a seafood nut! This cool shop is extraordinary because if you buy fresh fish here, the attendants on the outside literally throw the huge fish to the guys behind the counter to be wrapped or shipped. Of course, I was WAY too amazed to catch a flying fish with my camera. I could have stood there for hours, it was very entertaining!

This is the large boat we took to Tillicum Island. There were probably 200 folks on board, all ages, who travelled at 4:30pm over to the island for the sunset cruise.

We dined on salmon cooked on alderwood racks over an open fire. New potatoes, salad and a nice salmon shaped hunk-o-chocolate for dessert. A drama was performed after dinner about the history of the Indians in the area.

And of course, the sunset.

We had a great time with family, it's wonderful to be a part of it.

Tomorrow a few pictures from Mt. Ranier.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Seattle's best

If you know me, you know what I love.
We were in Seattle last weekend visiting family and I was able to go to THE ORIGINAL Starbucks store...the mother ship. It was wonderful, and wonderfully delicious.

We visited the public market, Pike's Place and I fell in love with these brightly colored strings of various peppers and garlic. Such a treat for the eye.

On totally another subject, does anyone have any ideas for turning a living room into a studio? Of course the front door opens right there into the room, but I have been given the go-ahead. Me thinks someone has realized that there is a frustrated artist just about to go postal. It's in both of our best interests!

DD says my blog posting is unreliable. Cross my heart (again) I'll try to do better.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

"I can make that"

Have you ever said that?

Pretend you never have.

Pretend you are NOT a craftsperson.

Strike that sentence from your vocabulary.


OH! Be brave, go ahead...
You'll end up making THIS darned purse for your middle daughter!


After I was almost finished, aka, leaving the hardest part for last I asked my hubby, "WHAT AM I DOING?"
His reply? "Making a purse from junk."

Guess I need not be making one for myself.

File this under the catagory, "Fun, but not worth drinking 10 Capri Suns for"

At least I did something creative today. Yesterday I worked on my knitting (socks) and tomorrow I begin with the "gang" in the 1 hour of dedication to quilting.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Letters from my soldier soldier reported for duty in early July. I've had one phone call, I actually missed my first call, can you believe it?!

She is 19. Isn't she too young to learn to shoot a rifle (she calls a "weapon") and learn the ins and outs of a gas chamber? Didn't I just send her off to her first day of school, or take her to Driver's Education?

No, she is just the right age to learn about our country, learn what it takes to keep us safe...and keep us free...and just plain keep us. It was her choice to do this, and I am one of her strongest supporters. Her personal reasons for joining aren't nearly as important to me as her dedication and commitment to herself and her country.

Her letters home are my most precious possession right now. I linger just a moment at the mailbox each day, sorting and resorting thru the mail, hadn't I missed one? Is there anything stuck between the sale papers?

My second daughter has made me SO proud by taking the lead in making sure our soldier (her younger sister) has everything she needs and desires. Odd requests for toilet paper and "supplies" keep coming, and my daughter never fails to send her something bright, crazy and cheery...not to mention substituting eye cream with chocolate syrup since candy is forbidden, lol. The bond between my girls is cement, tho they'd be the first to argue "just because".

Thank you girls, you make your Momma very, very squishy inside!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

2.249 and tired dogs!

According to the pedometer site from Dorothy, that's how far DH and walked this evening. I am soooo out of shape! I've lost more than 1/2 of the weight I wanted (42 off, 30 to go!) but seriously need to get some of this saggy baggy stuff taken care of. D'oh! Exercise? That should be spelled with 4 letters, lol. I like exercise about as much as I enjoy a glass of water. I DID tho, decide to take the "long route" instead of the short-cut, and I DID think of a walk all on my own. Credit given where credit due. Pathetic? You betcha!

Off to the hot-tub and early bedtime. I've been to a brunch-party-thing all day and have a out-of-town Producer in for a private shoot Mon-Wed. Need to make sure everything is in order for his early arrival. Got any ideas how to keep everyone at the Studio QUIET for 3 days?

Friday, July 28, 2006

What NOT to try!

Each year our family has a gathering of the "Sisters". We bring gifts, we eat, we catch-up on the past year, we eat, we giggle and laugh....oh, and we eat.

This year was a family reunion type of gathering, sometimes it's just "the girls". I decided to make towels with the logo we've been kind of using. I had to stylize the logo a bit to make it work on the towels...and then it didn't even do that well!

First I fused the black hearts onto the dolls then went on and fused web onto the cotton doll shape then tried to fuse it onto the towel. The towel had high nap so it just wouldn't stick well. Ended up doing a buttonhole stitch around the shapes. It looks only OK, but I sure wasn't going to choose another gift!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Performance Review

I've completed almost six months of employment at my new place. Gosh, the time has flown. OK, so that's not news I guess.

It was probably the least stressful, least anticipated, MOST refreshing Performance Review I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED.

I am an all or nothing type person. If I don't feel I'm doing my best, I bow out. I was scared to death when I started this job and was FULL of doubt and questioned my self-worth. I almost ran away scared from this position as Administrative Assistant to a Community Television Station.

OMG, I just love it! Six months in, and I'm totally captivated. It's not a hard job, but it sure has it's peaks and valleys of stress. Huge deadlines and the show goes ON. My title is more like Chief, Cook, & Bottle Washer, but that's ok. Figure I have had 24 years of motherhood training to prepare.

My job involves keeping track of everyone and "all" the money, lol. I put "all" in quotes because we are non-profit...there is no "all" if you know the business. I thankfully don't have to make many business decisions...just keep track of it all.

So back to the Performace Review, sorry I strayed. If typical corporate style, the Executive Director (my only boss) had emailed me a template to complete...What have I accomplished, What did I think my biggest accomplishment was, blah, blah. OK, so I filled that paper and added MANY more lines! He was totally complementary of my accomplishments, work-ethic and maturity, yeah, yeah...but I guess what impressed me the most was that he said I possessed the ultimate cheer factor. Always can deal with stress, don't let the little things bother me, and get to a successful and positive outcome. Ya know what? I think THAT'S what I'm most proud of. Not to mention that I've taken an office that was in moral shambles and am half-way to revamping just about everything. The Board of Directors had just about elimated the entire Staff last summer. New ED and all, it was an emotional year to have to follow in it's footsteps.

It made for a wonderful close to the week. Not to mention, we have also finished our first complete session of Summer Camp, new session and new kids next week. Oh, that and I'm looking foward to my Sisters Family Reunion!


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A study of my diet

I use a program called CalorieKing for my diet journalling. I have lots of limits, but the software keeps it all graphed and has almost everything already in the database. This includes many of the restaurants we frequent which is important because we eat out at least 3 or 4 meals each week. The database is updated frequently too.

These are the limits for me, considering my BMI. As long as I continue to loose weight, I keep the BMI entry the same. When I plateau the BMI gets adjusted according to my new #s.

1396 calories
168g carbs
111.5g protein
min. 25g fiber
40.5g fat

Today I've consumed 903 calories, I'll likely have a Beef Jerky snack this evening, not because I'm hungry, I need to boost my protein level!

My meals today:
fresh pressed apple juice, nothing added
White flour wrap (LaTortilla-see note below)
corned beef
celery sticks
1-1/2 sausages (Hillshire Light)
white flour wrap
salad w/lowfat dressing

I consider 2 foods our "wonder foods". LaTortilla White Flour Wraps and Beef Jerky. The wraps have only 90cal., 3g fat, 8g protein, 20g carb and a whopping 13g fiber. We give away the carbs to gain that pesky fiber, we are always on the low side! Beef Jerky is something I've loved since being a kid. 80cal, 1g fat, 12g protein and 6g carb. Oh yum!

My downfall is water. I have NEVER liked it. We've turned to the fruit flavored carbonated ones and I do drink a little bit more, but it gets expensive. I'm going to have to start forcing it I guess. Maybe before each cup of coffee I have to ingest 8oz of water? Hmmm, interesting proposal.

Any ideas?

Never enough time!

Will this be done Thursday by 4pm? Considering I have a Chamber Mixer to decorate for, and OH! I work, remember? Sheesh!

Laz, our Sports Director, is leaving after 17 years of service. He told us that in no uncertain terms were we to give him a big send-off. They did do a big shabang for his "Sweet 16" years of service anniversary, so we surrendered to his wishes this time.

We decided to give him a special gift instead! Can I ever just SAY NO? Um...NO. See? I can say it, just don't like the sound of it I guess, lol. Hopefully it will generate some leads tho, I'd really like to get this business back up and running.

Off to decorate some signs for the Mixer, woo-hoo...(OK, so I love it, lol).

Never enough time!

Will this be done Thursday by 4pm? Considering I have a Chamber Mixer to decorate for, and OH! I work, remember? Sheesh!

Laz, our Sports Director, is leaving after 17 years of service. He told us that in no uncertain terms were we to give him a big send-off. They did do a big shabang for his "Sweet 16" years of service anniversary, so we surrendered to his wishes this time.

We decided to give him a special gift instead! Can I ever just SAY NO? Um...NO. See? I can say it, just don't like the sound of it I guess, lol. Hopefully it will generate some leads tho, I'd really like to get this business back up and running.

Off to decorate some signs for the Mixer, woo-hoo...(OK, so I love it, lol).

Friday, June 09, 2006

40 and still rollin' on

A big F-A-T forty pounds gone. Aren't I the proud one?!

The ongoing diet and lifestyle change is still in the works. DH has lost 47 and is in "his last 10" to loose. He wants to stay between 160 and 170. I will get to 150 and not exceed 160. We've been on this track since January 1. A winning combination of healthy eating and food journalling.

I've lost 40 twice before, but I am now at a weight where I've never been "down to" on previous diets. Those diets were both carb elimination diets. I never learned how to get to the maintainance part, and missed the carbs terribly. All my previous no longer fit. I've gone down 2 full sizes, gosh it's nice to shop off the rack!

Todays meals consisted of lots of goodies...fresh pineapple and Cheerios with Skim milk for breakfast; DH and I met for lunch and each had a very large Chinese Chicken Salad and a diet Snapple Tea. For dinner we sauteed shrimp with garlic and onion, served with 6oz rice and frozen vegetable medley. I won't need a snack, but if we do it'll likely be beef jerky. All day (without the jerky) I've only consumed 1100 calories. I've not gone without any food groups, and have kept the major players at their correct levels (carbs, fats, proteins & fiber). I'm convinced it's the only way to go.

Celebrate with me and do a Happy Dance. Go do something good for yourself and feel me smiling for the both of us! I couldn't do it without your support.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Airing of the Quilts 2006

I joined with many quilters across the world in Airing of the Quilts today. Check out "2006" on that link. I neglected to put up the one I'm working on...*sigh*, maybe I'll cut and paste that "on the fence" for next year, lol.

The one on the left was made as a going away present by my bestest friends The Serial Quilters. It's on our bed in the summertime (we're blanket heapers in the winter!) The rail fence on the left was a gift given to my dh as a Christmas gift. It was from a swap on