Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

2009 is winding down fast. Darling Hubby and I went out for supper but were home by 8pm. Not much of party animals. Going to bed soon. We are leaving to go visit family in the morning.

I did the Christmas mystery through clue 11. Clue 12 is the last clue. It's laying out the blocks and sewing the rows and borders together. That may just have to wait until Sunday or Monday.

My strange thought/reflection for today came to me as we were driving home from supper. We went to a restaurant about half an hour away and the drive there takes us through some rural areas and small towns. As we were passing through some areas, it occurred to me that there are just some houses that look lonely. I know there is a word for giving inanimate objects human characteristics, but I can't remember it. Anyway, we would pass a house along the way that just seemed to be in the middle of no where and I thought to myself, "that house looks lonely". Like it was playing hide and seek with it's brothers and sisters and got lost. Okay, so maybe I'm weird...

Tonight is a 'blue moon'. By definition, that is the second full moon in a month. It's pretty rare, and for it to happen on New Year's Eve is rarer. The next time it happens on New Year's Eve will be in 19 years.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gift card was burning a hole in my pocket...

So I went to JoAnn's today and spent the gift card my sister gave me for Christmas. And then some, but not much... honest! I picked up material to make a lap size quilt for the upcoming New Year's Eve Mystery. I know right now that I won't get to start the quilt on New Year's Eve (tomorrow) but I can download the clues, just like I did for the Christmas Mystery and make it soon. I picked out fabrics suitable for a young boy, so I'm planning to give this to Darling Daughter's b.f.'s 2 year old son.

I also picked up half a yard of some material that was already quilted. I took it right up to the sewing room and made a walker bag for my grandmother. I'll post a picture of it soon. I made two pockets on the inside of it and put ties along the top and at the bottom corners to attach it to the walker.

Tonight I'm making a meat loaf for supper. The house is smelling pretty good about now...yum!

I went back upstairs last night after posting on the blog and did two more clues on the Christmas Mystery. Now I have to press pieces before continuing...ugh. I just have this aversion to the iron... Will probably go do some more sewing before the night is over unless my friend Lori comes over to play some games.

Seems lately I have been posting things I want to get off my chest. Here goes another rant (or whatever you want to call it!). I know it is wrong to feel jealous of others and what they have, and I would not change my life for anything. There are times, though, that I feel things are a little lopsided. I read a lot of blogs and are on a couple of chat groups and sometimes people post on there how they have just begun quilting and have these fabulous set ups, machines, frame quilters, rooms, etc. to quilt with/in. Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge people their nice things. I just needed to vent. I have made choices in my life that have led to what I have or don't have materially, and I am happy with those choices and would not change them for anything. I do not know the circumstances that others live with who have the nice things. They may have health problems, marital or family problems, or any number of issues to deal with that I am so very very fortunate not to have. So now that I have ranted, vented, and whined, I feel better and will vow to look at things in a different light and not covet my neighbor's goods. I have what I need. I'm blessed with an amazing talent and thank God for it. I am blessed with a fantastic family that loves and supports me. I know this in my heart and will try my best to let go of any petty jealousy I may have.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Working on mysteries without any clues...

Okay, so maybe I have clues, but that old Bob Seger tune popped into my head when I was putting in the title for today's blog post. I have completed step 5 of the mystery. I've also been sewing the waste triangles together as I put the units of the mystery together. I'm getting a nice little collection of them and I'm thinking they may come in handy along the border or on the backside of the quilt. The more I work with the little rosebud material, the more I fall in love with it.

I'm making homemade chicken strips tonight for dinner. The coating on them, after dipping in butter, is bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. I just put them on a cookie sheet and in the oven. I also am making some egg noodles with a chicken gravy for a sauce, and a fresh salad. Nothing fancy, but a decent meal for Dear Hubby when he gets home.

It's pretty cold outside tonight. We are supposed to get some snow this evening and tomorrow morning. The track record of our local weather people is pretty lousy, so I'll believe it when I see it.

I have to bring up something that has been on my mind recently. I am feeling quite a closeness with my mother these days. We seem to be sandwiched in between difficult generations. She is dealing with her mother, still adjusting to having her living there with her and all that goes with it. I am adjusting to my Darling Daughter having moved out and all the things that go with that situation. It's nice to have my mom to talk to. I'm really lucky, and I know it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Began sewing on mystery

Here's a picture of my fabrics for the Raising Cane mystery. I have made it through clue 3 and will be starting clue 4 in the morning. The tan fabric has tiny rosebuds on it and it is the fabric most used in the mystery. I've had this fabric in my stash a long time and really like it, so I'm thinking I'll keep this quilt for myself. The green material was actually a sheet that I had bought to make waterbed sheets with but then cut them wrong and they didn't fit, so the sheets went into my stash.

I had my dad, stepmother, and sister over this evening. I made a big pot of chili and had lunchmeat for sandwiches. We had a nice supper. I wanted Dad to see my village because he has a collection of houses also. He commented that I pretty much have the one room dedicated to the village. It's true! They also had not seen our Christmas tree and I wanted them to see it also.

Today is Darling Son's birthday. We didn't really get him anything yet (no $$ til payday!) but I think at 19 he understands it's coming, just has to be patient. He had to work tonight.

Darling Daughter called this evening. Her b.f. got called back to work this evening and I think she was lonely.

I had to laugh out loud today when reading another quilter's blog. She mentioned her son was home from college for the holiday and that his room was right next to her sewing room. He was spending time in his room practicing his duck call and while she was glad he was home, she was pretty sure no ducks would be migrating into his room! It reminded me of when Darling Daughter was home and I wanted to sew but she would be upstairs in her room, right next to my sewing room, and would have the stereo on or something like that. She actually warned Darling Son that he shouldn't move into that room because I would be waking him up with the sewing machine on weekends. Guess the irritation factor runs both

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Finally did some sewing today

Today I made it upstairs and completed the Quilts for Kids top. Need to press it and then quilt it.

I also brought the fabrics downstairs to the kitchen for the Christmas Mystery "Raising Cane". Between sitting in my comfy chair with the heating blanket on and dozing and making hot wings for dinner, I would cut different pieces for the mystery and put them in separate ziplock bags and label them. I got all the fabrics cut out and ready to roll. There are 12 steps to the mystery and cutting was step 2, so I'm good to go. Don't have a printer hooked up at home at the present time, but I downloaded the clues to my computer and can look at them any time I need to.

Tomorrow is Darling Son's birthday. It's hard to believe my youngest child will be 19. Wow. I am so blessed.

Darling Husband and I were having a heated discussion about insurance premiums this evening that was not pleasant. He left the room and our big black Labrador jumped up on my chair and tried to lick my face! I guess our little argument upset her! At any rate, we resolved things for the evening, but it just amazes me at how in tune to things our animals are.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day after Christmas

Just got home from Darling Daughter's. Had a nice meal and a nice visit. We had ham, pea casserole, bbq venison, deviled eggs, macaroni salad, and desserts. Pretty good eats. Her b.f. had his son. The baby opened his gifts while we were there. He really liked the truck we got him. We all met more of his family today. They seem like a nice family.

I am bound and determined to do some sewing tomorrow! I want to get started on the one mystery quilt. Too tired to do anything tonight. Last night I was in bed at 9! Probably be going to bed about the same time tonight.

We are getting a dusting of snow. Not much of an accumulation but it's really pretty.

Mom said they had a nice Christmas. I'm so glad Gram is with them and was able to have a family Christmas again. It's been so very long since she has had that, really. Oh, she came to my house for the holiday when Mom would come down, but she hasn't been living in a household where there is a Christmas tree and decorations and just a general good feeling all around for days leading up to and after the holiday.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Beautiful Christmas today

We had a very nice Christmas. Darling Son, Darling Daughter, her b.f., Darling Hubby and I all went to 9 a.m. Mass together. That was a wonderful start to the day. Our family is very blessed. We have our health, a place to live, food on the table and clothes on our backs. The kids have the opportunity to go to college and are taking it. We are truly blessed and I thank God for all good things in our lives.

The kids all liked their presents. Darling Hubby liked his new jacket and all his other presents. I got some very nice gifts. There will be three additions to the village: a small sweet shop, an old time police station, and a theater. I have a new sweater and a new pair of slacks. Darling Hubby gave me a cd with a song on it I really like. He also gave me an iced tea maker. We all received very nice gifts at my dad's also. My favorite there was a new digital camera. My all time favorite is this new lap top my mom gave me as an early present a couple weeks ago. I absolutely love both presents.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Last night wasn't very good late in the night, but things have leveled off. Darling Daughter and her b.f. had a tiff. Things are getting better, but still touchy. We all had a really nice dinner here tonight. I made a pork roast, gravy, mashed potatoes, dumplings, salad, green bean casserole, and rolls. Oh and sauerkraut! yum! Darling Son is still not eating meat, so his big thing was to have dumplings with kraut on them. My little Bohemian...:)

We have a beautiful tree this year and the presents under it make it look so homey. Tomorrow morning we are all going to 9 a.m. Mass then will come home and open presents. Then at noon we will go over to my dad's house and have Christmas there.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My house smells like peanut butter cookies

Yum. I finally baked the cookie dough I made the other day for the peanut butter cookies. I would still like to make a batch of chocolate chip and sugar cookies, but at least I've made a few batches of cookies.

Did a little bit of sewing this morning before work. I added some rick rack to the kids' bags as ties. Any other time I have spools of ribbon floating around the house, but wouldn't you know when I want some ribbon I can't find any? So I did find a card of rick rack that is probably older than both my kids combined. Had just enough to make the ties for four bags.

I also put half of the inner border on the charity quilt this morning. I wish I had finished it before Christmas and had sent it off, but it's getting there.

Still have a couple gifts to get. Planning on getting up with the chickens and going to Wal Mart in the morning before the crowds hit. I stopped at Rural King on my way home tonight and got a couple little things. Still need to get on the wrapping!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One more work day to go!

One more day of work and I'm on vacation for 12 days! Tomorrow we are having a carry in at work for our Christmas party. I am bringing saucy potatoes that you make in the crock pot. Put them together tonight so all I have to do tomorrow is turn on the crock pot.

Last night I went upstairs for about an hour and pulled out some Christmas fabrics for the kids' bags. I also pulled out fabrics for the Christmas Mystery online. This morning I made the bags before work, except for the ties. I need to get some ribbon for the ties or make ties from material.

My friend Lori stopped by tonight for a cup of tea. We just sat around for about an hour and talked. It's nice to have a friend that can come over anytime at all and just visit. Lori is the one I made the apron for out of the funky fabric.

Darling Son is not too confident about his grades this first semester of college. They are not posted yet, but I'm bracing myself for the worst. Ugh. Apparently I'm not alone as two of my friends, mother's of college students, got the same news last night also.

Darling Daughter stopped at the house for a few minutes today. I came home from work at lunch time to visit with her for that short period of time. She is going to make her daddy some cookies for Christmas and her brother some brownies. I told her she could come get the ingredients from here to make them and she took me up on my offer.

I was on the treadmill for 20 minutes tonight. Just got a monster cramp in my calf muscle. See what I get for exercising? Ugh!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday night

Did a little sewing this morning on the charity quilt for kids. Just 15 minutes before work but it was something at least.

Wrapped a few more presents. I have to pick a few things up yet at the store but not much. And I have to make the kids their bags yet. Maybe I'll go upstairs and dig out the Christmas fabric and get those done. If not tonight, then in the morning. I'm just so worn out on Monday nights, I have no energy. I didn't even bake the peanut butter cookies tonight. Oh well, the dough will wait one more day...

I got on the treadmill for 22 minutes tonight after work. Of course when I got off I ate pizza so that negates the treadmill, but at least I got on.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday drive

Darling Hubby and I took a drive tonight to look at Christmas lights on houses in town. It seems that not as many people have lights out this year as in years past. We don't have lights on the house, but we do have them all around the fence. Darling Hubby isn't quite as keen on getting up on the roof to put the lights along the ridgeline.

I did some baking today. I made oatmeal raisin cookies, put the dough together for peanut butter cookies tomorrow, and made rum balls. I also made hot wings for dinner with broccoli cheese rice casserole.

Didn't get any sewing done this weekend like I wanted too. Got some presents wrapped last night. Still have a lot to wrap, just going to do them a bit at a time each night.

Darling Daughter got home from Florida okay. I think they got in about 3 a.m.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Light snow

We had a light dusting of snow overnight. It makes the streets and yard look pretty. There's not enough to even call it an accumulation. I'd like about a foot more, please!

Last night I was sitting in the big chair all covered up with the electric blanket when my husband came home from work. Now, my Darling Hubby is a very thin man, not for lack of trying to gain weight, it's just the way he's made. He see's me sitting with the blanket on and acts like he's freezing, which he probably is because the house is not too warm and he has no meat on his bones. So I gave up the heating blanket and let him have it. I should have bought another one when I got this one at Wal Mart on black Friday. It's a twin size one and I picked it up for $18, which is pretty cheap. Maybe I'll get him his own for a Christmas present, although I thought I had all his presents bought. I need to take stock of all the gifts I have ready and what I still need.

What I really need is some motivation to go sew! Been playing on the computer too much! ha ha. I wish I could sit in my comfy big chair in the front room with the electric blanket on and sew on my machine, but I don't think that would work...

I don't really have any plans for today outside the house. Probably go to the grocery store at some point, but that's about it. Not planning on doing any other shopping unless someone else wants me to go with them. Kind of waiting until it's closer to payday on Thursday, Christmas Eve. But that all could change, of course.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A week before Christmas

Wow, am I ever glad this week is over! Everyone I talk to felt like this was one long week. I guess it's because it's the week before the holiday. I did go up into the sewing room and look at those log cabin blocks. There were only about 7 of them, so not enough for a tree skirt. And I just don't know if I want to use them for stockings of now.

Went over to my friend's house after work and played a few board games. She loves that game Rummycube. We played a couple games of it and one game of Othello. I hadn't played Othello for a long time. Didn't stay very long.

Didn't cook dinner tonight. Had pizza over at my friend's and brought a sub sandwich home for Darling Hubby. Last night I made some meatballs to put in a jarred sauce. Well, I just put the meatballs on a plate and pushed it back to back of the counter. Then I pretty much fell asleep on the couch in the front room. In a half state of sleep I heard Wrigley go in to the kitchen. I would hear her nails clicking on the floor, then stop, then she would come back into the front room. She did this a couple times, then I remembered the meatballs. I got up and looked at the plate and there is this neat half circle of meatballs missing from the front portion of the plate! I guess Wrigley thought I made her a plate of hor douvres. And no, I don't know how to spell that word! Got lucky that she didn't get sick from them. That dog is walking garbage disposal!

Darling Daughter is still in Florida. I had lunch with her bf's mother today. She is a nice woman. Darling Son is still cat sitting for them. He's enjoying the freedom, I think.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday Evening

Here's a picture of part of my Christmas village. This one is set up on a 6' folding table. There are houses on a shelf, on top of the piano, and on a card table in other parts of the room. Tonight I put up the Nativity scene on the cedar chest. Been decorating the tree throughout the week. I can't do it all at once because I break out from the needles.

Darling Daughter sent a picture from Florida. Her and her bf got down there this morning. The picture was of them driving his truck along the beach. I think they are having a great time. Her finals are over and she needed a break.

Darling Son is cat sitting for them. I think he's enjoying his little vacation away from home too! So I'm here all alone at night, with the exception of the dogs and cat. I don't have a lot of energy to do much sewing right now. Finishing Double Delight kind of zapped me, I guess. Mom got it today at work. She opened the package and laid the quilt over a chair in her office. She had a lot of people come by to see it and they were very kind with their compliments. That made me feel really good.

Mom also mentioned that one of the attorney's she works for, a fairly young woman, asked if I would be interested in putting together a quilt from blocks her mother, now deceased, had embroidered. I told her I'll take a look at them. I'll probably take the job. Mom says she thinks the blocks mean alot to the gal.

I walked 20 minutes on the treadmill today. I need to keep it up. It's just not something I enjoy, I know that!

I am very glad tomorrow is Friday. This week has been very long at work. I think I'm just ready for the holidays to get started.

I've been thinking of the mini log cabin blocks that I have from a swap a while ago. I have a couple ideas for them. One is a possible tree skirt for under the Christmas tree, but I don't think there are enough to make one of any decent size. The other is to make some quilted stockings from them. I don't even remember how many blocks I have. May go dig those up before the night is over or in the morning.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday of a long week...

As promised, here are pictures of the finished Double Delight quilt. This was a mystery on at the beginning of 2009. I loved doing the mystery and really liked the way the quilt came together. The photo doesn't do the colors justice. The reds really are more vibrant. The label says "Sarah, Friends Forever. Love, J."

Today was a long day at work, but they all seem to be that anymore. I'm really ready for some days off over the holidays. Tonight I'm going to bake a couple of apple pies and take one to my uncle tomorrow. They won't get done until later and I won't have a car after 6 tonight, so he will just have to wait one more day... He has a freezer full of peeled and sliced apples from his tree this Fall. I think he's dreaming of pies! hee hee.

Darling Hubby put the lights on the tree today before he left for work. I'm planning on putting the decorations on it tonight and also getting the Nativity Scene set up.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday evening ramblings

Darling Daughter stopped by for a few minutes tonight. Her and her bf are leaving for Florida tomorrow evening and Darling Son is going to feed the cat for them. I was glad to see her. Really been missing her lately.

Didn't do any sewing tonight. Need to get going on a couple things before the holidays. Just too tired tonight.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Getting close to Christmas

It's almost Christmas! I just have a few more gifts to buy then I'm all set. Going to do my baking the week between Christmas and New Year's so I can take goodies to Mom's for the holiday.

I finally finished the Double Delight quilt. Mailed it to Mom for her to give to her friend. I liked the way it turned out. I'll upload a picture of it soon. The total amount of time spent on the quilt was over 62 hours. 50 plus were spent piecing the top! The machine quilting was all done on the '27 Singer. I feel a lot better about my machine quilting abilities since doing this quilt. It really comes down to practice, practice, practice! The binding took a while to hand sew, but it's sewing I enjoy. And just so everyone knows, the duct tape marks came out....ugh... I was very pleased they came out but sure don't want it to happen again. I'm going to get some of that heavy plastic and cover my card table with it.

I will have to wait to cover the table until after Christmas. My village is all set up and the card table is in use! The village keeps growing and growing. I'll post some pics soon.

Been getting on the treadmill almost every day. I'm trying to do it as soon as I get home from work. I really have to push myself to do it.

Sure do miss Darling Daughter. She's been moved out for a couple weeks now. Darling Son feels like an only child...