Friday, December 31, 2010

Last post of the year

This is my last post for 2010. Nothing spectacular to write about. Been an average year. Maybe a little more difficult than others in the financial department, but there have been worse years. Not been particularly easy in the family department. We lost Gram M. There were ups and downs, as usual. I hope the coming year is a good one, and I wish the same for everyone else. God bless.

We didn't do much tonight. We did go see Little Fockers. It was pretty good. After the movie we went to dinner at Toni's. Tilley's is closing and tonight is their last night. Ev had the salmon and I had fried chicken.

I made a third set of sheets for the waterbed today. The bottom and top sheet are not identical. I had a really pretty flat sheet with a top edge that had eyelet lace along it. I wanted to put this together with something similar so I could use it. I found something that would work and used it as the bottom sheet. I used a third old sheet that had been cut into pieces to make the corner pockets. My brain wasn't functioning very well because I cut four large squares instead of triangles. This didn't turn out to be a bad thing, because I just folded the squares into triangles, sewed them to the corners, and topstitched the folded edge. It will just be doubled at the pockets, but since it's an old sheet, that extra material should give it the extra strength it might need. As soon as they were done, I stripped the bed and put them on. I think I'm becoming a clean sheet junkie....haha.

Stormy weather

Can you believe the temperature was in the 60's in December in Illinois? Well, it was, and did it ever cause the storms! We have been under tornado warnings and watches today, with storms moving in and out of the area. Sirens have gone off and we waited them out in the basement. Weird weather, that's for sure! Sun is shining now, and I'm heading upstairs to sew, unless the wind starts blowing again! Oh, and by tonight it's supposed to be in the 20's! brrr!

New Year's Eve morning

And what a gloomy morning it is! It's windy and rainy and overcast. I haven't seen the weather forecast, but I would guess we are going to get some storms. Our New Year's Eve plans don't involve too much traveling. We will probably just go to Litchfield and see a movie. I want to see "Little Fockers" and it is playing up there. We may end up going out for supper, too.

I don't know if it was the wind, or if there was something or someone out in the alley last night, but Ivy sure got to acting strange about quarter to four in the morning. She was laying in the bed next to me and she sat up and growled, while looking out toward the front room. Then she let out this low bark. She kept growling and barking that way, and pretty soon got up out of bed and went in to the front room where Wrigley was on the chair. Then they both wanted to go outside, so I let them out. Well, Ivy immediately ran to the back of the yard and started barking towards the alley. She kept it up, running from the back door to the alley for several minutes, and barking whenever she was back there. It kind of spooked me. Now, I live in a pretty small town, and our little police force is probably not very busy at that hour of the morning, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to call them and ask them to make a pass or two down the alley. I did, and they did, and nothing came of it, so either Ivy was barking at the wind, or who/whatever left. I have not been out back yet this morning to see if there is anything amiss.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My new house

See the blue house? That's my new addition to the village for 2010. I like it.

Well, those darn string blocks are almost finished. At least the sewing part is almost finished. I have ten more to make. I have made fifty so far and have the papers pulled off all but 15. The ironing won't be so bad, but I'm not really looking forward to the squaring up part. But it has to be done! And clue 6 comes out tomorrow, so I have to keep moving or I will just fall farther and farther behind! The string blocks are only clue 3.

Walked two miles tonight with Lori. Then ate cookies. ugh. But the cookies were really good, so I'm not going to feel too guilty about them. Yeah, like I would feel guilty about them if they weren't good! haha.

Lori and I went to the Salvation Army thrift store today and just nosed around. I found three nice tops that I can wear under a couple sweaters I got for Christmas and I found a few pair of slacks I can wear to work. All of their Christmas things were 75% off. I found a nice piece of material that was Christmas themed originally marked $3, which is cheap in itself, but I got it for .75. It will quietly wait it's turn until the Christmas it becomes a goodie bag...probably next year.

Tuesday Diane and I were in Joanne Fabrics in Springfield and I did not buy anything. I just exchanged a spool of thread. I looked at the Christmas fabric thinking I would get some for bags while it was on sale, but there were hardly any suitable fabrics left! There were a couple bolts of sparkly mesh stuff, but only one or two bolts of cotton types of fabric. I don't know if they just didn't get as much in, or if they sold out that quick or what.

I made a link sausage and some buttered noodles for Ev for supper. The sausage was homemade by my great uncle. I didn't want any of it, since I had a bowl of soup over at Lori's. She made tortellini soup, which I really like, and offered me some. I paid her in the form of a potholder! haha. She actually mentioned how much she liked the potholder I gave her a couple days ago as a thank you for helping with the dogs, so I whipped up another one for her. You would think I gave her a gold coin, she just thanked me so much! That makes it worth it, when someone really likes what you make them.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Half and then some done

I've made 30 string blocks and have started on 10 more. When I say I made them, I mean I have them sewn, not trimmed or pressed. Probably have time to do that tomorrow morning when Nick is sleeping up there.

Nick and his buddy moved the couch out of the sewing room and put his box spring and mattress in it's place. The basement is just too cold for him right now. Here are the cats after I took the cushions off the couch but before it was moved to the garage.

And here is Cheetah enjoying a moment alone on the bed once it was set up!

When the guys were done moving things, my friend Lori happened to drop by. We were all sitting at the kitchen table, so I pulled out the game 'Sequence' and we all played a few games. It was a lot of fun and I really really enjoyed it. Then Nick and his buddy went to eat dinner (that was the deal if they moved stuff for me! Small price to pay.) When Nick got back and I got done sewing for the night, he and I played a game of chess. I am not good at that game, but know the bare bones of how to move the pieces and that's about it. I think I will have to study up on the subject so I can give Nick a run for his money at it, instead of being an easy target! haha.

I made a pot of chili for Ev for dinner. I didn't eat any, since we had a big lunch at the Chinese restaurant. I had brought home leftovers and just finished them off. Don't know what we will have tomorrow night, but I have two Cornish hens in the freezer I'm thinking of making New Year's Eve or New Year's Day.

Oh to be twenty again...

Here's my twenty year old. He's my baby! Nick was finishing up a piece of birthday cake. I wouldn't want to go back to those years, but I wish him all the happiness in the world. It's a great time in his life.

Ev and I are getting ready to go to the Chinese restaurant over in Staunton. They have a nice lunch menu and we don't get the opportunity too often to have lunch there. There is a Chinese restaurant in Litchfield, where I work, but the food isn't as good. Litchfield has a buffet and everything just seems to taste the same - flat.

Going to get upstairs and make more string blocks this afternoon if I can. I put chili in the crock pot, so dinner is a no brainer. I have 20 blocks made, so I think I will at least reach my goal of getting the string blocks finished this week!

There is a New Year's Eve mystery that I wouldn't mind participating in. Am I a glutton for punishment or what? haha. Like I don't have enough irons in the fire...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mom's tree

I posted pictures of my tree and my dad's tree, so I had to put one up of Mom's tree also. This poor tree had the worse luck. Mom and Pop cut it down at the tree farm and put it up in the house, where it immediately started dropping needles! We couldn't walk across the room without hearing this little tinkle noise as needles dropped onto the floor! It really was a pretty tree, though.

Today I started 10 more string blocks and finished 5. They are time consuming for me because i have to dig through scraps of neutrals and cut strips. But they will get done, I'm confident of that. I have one third of them completely sewn, and that's a big deal.

Diane and I went to Springfield today. We had lunch at Olive Garden and stopped at a couple stores. I exchanged a spool of machine quilting thread for a different color. It was an even exchange, but you would have thought I was entering Fort Knox the way they have you give them information for a simple one on one exchange!

I made Nick a chocolate bundt cake with powdered sugar glaze for his birthday. I also made him mostaccoli with green olives in the sauce for dinner. It's hard for me to believe I no longer have teenage children. I must be getting old! sigh.

Monday, December 27, 2010

String Blocks

I spent a couple hours today making string blocks. I completed the sewing on 15 of them. They will need to be ironed and squared up, but I feel like I have at least 25% of the string blocks completed. These are step three of the mystery. If I can get the string blocks done and the next step done before I go back to work next week, I will feel like I have accomplished something.

Nick's birthday is tomorrow. He wanted a digital camera, so I let him pick one out at Best Buy and go get it tonight. It's not a real expensive model, but it's a nice one. I love mine, and I'm sure he will get a lot of use out of his.

Johanna will be turning 21 in a week and a few days. I'm scared and relieved at the same time about this.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Home again

I'm so glad to be home. It's nice to go visiting, but it's also so nice to get home, and sleep in my own bed! I even changed out the sheets on the bed tonight as a special treat. I'm sure we will sleep very well tonight!

The kitties and dogs are happy to have us home. The don't want to leave us out of their sight! Ivy totally destructed the Christmas tree. She ate ornaments and light strands! She also ate both the couch cushions. I'm going to have to do some sewing on them tomorrow, but for tonight we just flipped them over and called it good.

I think the kids had a good holiday. I know I did. There wasn't a lot of money this year, but that isn't what it's all about, anyway.

I'm hoping to get down to some serious sewing tomorrow. I need to catch up with the mystery I started. Both Mom and Dad liked the tree skirts I made them. I hope to see them under their trees next year.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope you all had a very blessed holiday and hope the coming year is peaceful and pleasant for all.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

It's a beautiful snowy Christmas Eve. We are at Mom's, getting ready to go to church. Midnight Mass is at 9:30 (figure that one It will be nice to go tonight.

Really don't have much to write about tonight. It's a quiet night and I'm just sitting in front of the tree looking out at the snow and enjoying the view. Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tree Skirts finished

Here are the two tree skirts I made. The one with green binding is for my dad and the one with red binding is for my mom. It took me a couple hours tonight to put the bindings on them. They are wrapped and ready for Christmas. I think after the dust settles from the holidays I'm going to make one for us.

Tomorrow we are going to Mom's in the morning. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone up there. I made a couple cheesecakes to take up there, as well as some Chex mix and Italian Beef.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Measure twice, cut once

That age old advice certainly applies to my ditzy brain sometimes! Last night I brought home some papers to sew triangles with. I had printed a sheet out from the internet, but it wasn't the right size, so I had made my own in what I thought was the correct size. Well, after I got to work this morning I started thinking that the triangles I had made were the same size as those that were printed out, and by default also the wrong size. This was correct, so I had to make another paper with the correct size on it. The correct size is 2" half square triangles unfinished and 1-1/5" finished. And the new papers have 24 units to a paper, so it will only take 25 sheets. That's not so bad.

I went upstairs tonight and did some sewing for a couple hours. It seems that subconsciously when I put the 'Just do it' shirt on, I can machine quilt on the old Singer! I had put the shirt on for warmth under my sweatshirt when I got home from work. At any rate, I started machine quilting the second tree skirt. There were a lot of snags and broken threads and needles with burrs in them. I figured out that the new bobbin case I got from Nolting is not acceptable with this machine. After I came to that realization, it was a lot better to quilt on. I finished the quilting on it, and now just need to bind both of them and they are done.

Lori came over tonight for a few minutes. I sure am lucky to have her for a friend. Early this morning I was having trouble sleeping and texted her. She answered right away. I gave her one of the potholders I had finished.

Apparently both of the cats needed a turn sitting on the one tree skirt!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas bags and ornament

Here are the kids' bags. I changed them up a bit this year. They are still a half yard of material each. Instead of sewing a tie about 4" down at the seam, this time I made a casing at the top and left it open at each side seam. I fed a piece of ribbon through the casing and then sewed the ends of the ribbon together to make them drawstring bags.

I have a small collection of Christmas fabrics in my stash. I think I might purchase some more at the end of the season when it goes on sale. If it goes on sale. It's just Wal Mart fabric. I usually just use it for bags so it doesn't need to be quilt shop quality.

Here's an ornament that I received in the mail today from a pen pal friend of mine in Maine. I think it's really pretty and she did a nice job on it. It's hanging on our tree now, near the top, so Ivy dog can't eat it. Like she did another hairbrush today....why does that dog like to eat hairbrushes? Can someone explain to me why they taste good to her? sigh.

I've got the Bear's game on t.v. They are playing at Minnesota's college field because of the collapse of the Metrodome roof last week. It's cold and freezing rain. Now, that's what I call REAL football... yeah! Go Bears!

I spent an hour in the sewing room tonight making the bags and doing a couple other little things. I have that mystery I'm working on printed out. The last clue I printed calls for 600 half square triangles. Bonnie likes to use the Easy Angle ruler, but I don't really care for it. It doesn't give me the accuracy I want. So I have printed out on paper some half square triangles. One sheet has 12 units on it, so I will just need 50 sheets. Just 50. sigh. And I have to finish two clues before I even get to this part! Good thing I have next week off! haha. I'm really looking forward to it, too.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Snowy scene

Here's a picture of the yard from inside the car! We were getting ready to go to church and I thought I would snap a quick pic. Isn't the snow pretty?
And here's a picture of Ev scraping the car windows. He looks a little crabby, doesn't he?

Sweet Clementine!

I love clementines! When they are in season I buy case after case of them. These actually came in a bag, but in years past they would always come in these wooden crates. And being the packrat that I am, I would save those crates, thinking I would use them for something. Last year, after seeing them stacked in a corner of the porch forever, I finally conceded that I was not going to use them, and threw them out! I need to get that attitude with all the junk I have piled in my basement, now!

See that white bowl the clementines are in? I picked that up at the thrift store a long time ago, intending to give it to my mother. It reminds me strongly of the crockery we had at my great grandmother's house when I was growing up. Mom would have connected with it also. But once I got it home, I fell in love with it and didn't want to part with it! I have kept my eyes open for one like it and if I find one, I'll definitely give it to Mom. maybe... :)

Woke up to snow this morning. It's so pretty and peaceful. After church and breakfast I think we will be going to Wal Mart, but after we get home from all that, I'm going to be sewing. I love to sew when I can watch the snow out the window.

Ivy was a funny dog last night. Ev let her out the back door with Wrigley to do her business. When it was time to come in, Wrigs ran in first then here comes Ivy with a big log in her mouth! Ev said it was about 2 feet long and a few inches round. Well, naturally when she got to the door he took it from her and threw it back into the yard. You can guess what happened...Ivy ran back outside and fetched the log! Ev threw it back again and of course she fetched again! Finally he wised up and held her collar when he threw it back the third time!

A couple days ago I was in one of those 'everything's a dollar' stores and happened to come across some good size rawhide bones. I picked up two of them, thinking I would save them for the dogs for Christmas, and if you have read my past posts you know I ended up giving them to them. Well, we went into that store again yesterday and got two more. This time Ev gave them to the dogs early! What was funny is that Wrigs dropped hers for a minute and left it unattended on the carpet. Ivy had hers in her mouth and saw an opportunity to double her money. She went over to Wrigley's bone, with her own bone in her mouth, and tried to pick it up. She couldn't get her mouth around both of them, no matter how hard she tried! It was funny to watch. She finally gave up when Wrigs came back into the room.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Our tree

Here's our humble Christmas tree. It's tiny compared to years past. It's way under decorated, and lacks garland, but it's really quite pretty in person. Since I'm making tree skirts this year, I think I had better make one for our tree pretty soon! I have some orphan log cabin blocks, but only have half the amount I would need. They are made with tiny strips and would take a while to make more, so I have three choices: 1. Use what I have and alternate with plain squares, 2. Make more log cabin squares, or 3. Use other orphan blocks. Number 3 isn't much of an option because I don't have that many more orphans in any sort of quantity.

The guys hounded me into making cheesecake the third tonight. It's cooling in the fridge and will get it's topping of cherries tomorrow. My diet is doomed...sigh.

I finished pin basting the other tree skirt. I ended up just using muslin on the back of it. I didn't seem to have anything that matched it to use on the back that I liked. Now tomorrow I need to get busy and quilt those suckers!

We went to Tilley's again for supper tonight. Sure hope that place makes a go of it. Those guys that run it are nice and they know us when we come in. The bartender brings Ev his beer before we even sit down and always asks if I want iced tea tonight. When it's time to order dinner, he knows how Ev likes his steak, even!

Village part three

Here's the part of my lighted village that is over the piano. See the church in the middle right above the bridge? That was my very first piece. My grandmother gave it to me. When I was little she always had a lighted church under her tree and it was one of my favorite things about Christmas. That and chocolate stars at her house!

I ironed both of the tree skirts and pin basted one of them. I was going to pin baste the other but the material I had washed for the backing had shrunk considerably and I didn't have enough. At any rate, it was the white and green material I got in Arthur this Summer. I bought an entire bolt, if you remember, and I am not concerned if I need another chunk of it. I am thinking that I might make the backing out of something else for the second tree skirt now. Just tossing it around.

I ended up putting the lights on the tree today. I usually don't do that because i break out from the pine needles, but I just took breaks and washed my hands a LOT. There aren't a lot of ornaments on the tree right now. With Ivy, the tree may only get decorated on the top half!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tree skirt tops done

I finished the other tree skirt top tonight. Last night I woke up around 3 a.m. and just could not fall back asleep, so I'm pretty wiped out tonight. I'm not going to attempt to do any free motion quilting until tomorrow. If Nick is sleeping in the sewing room I can always bring the tops down here and pin baste them in the kitchen. I'm making it an early night and going to bed.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A day in pictures

Here's how I started my day:

I went out to start my car and was greeted by a thin layer of ice over everything, making it difficult to walk and drive. It was like a layer of glass was over everything. I had to drive half the speed I normally do, and of course it took me twice as long to get to work. But I made it.

When I got home, I went upstairs and started sewing. I had found a tree skirt pattern and adapted it to use some blocks I already had made from shirting fabrics. The original pattern used log cabin blocks and was smaller. Here is one that I have the top finished on.

And here is one that is partially sewn.

The instructions I am loosely following will have me sandwich the top with batting and backing and quilt it. Then cut a hole in the very center and then cut from the center out to one edge only. It will be bound and have ties.

In the center I'm going to have my brothers and sisters trace their hand prints and put the date inside it, probably just the year, and their names inside it also. I will make one for my dad and his family here and have everyone put their prints on before Christmas, then have Dad and his wife put theirs on after I give it to him. On my mom's I'm not sure if I will have everyone sign before hand (haha) or have everyone sign after she opens it.

After sewing I came downstairs to find Shadow cat enjoying the warming effects of the heat vent in the kitchen.

She wouldn't look at me. Either that, or she was just warming a different side of her neck!

Ev called me at work today and said Ivy was pretending to be a flying reindeer outside on the patio. Since it too had a sheen of ice on it, and since Ivy doesn't have much sense to stay off it and just run in the grass, she was leaping in the air and coming down on all fours, going splay legged! He said it was funny but he had to let her in before she did serious damage like dislocate a joint or something.

And after a hard day of practicing for Santa's sleigh, here's my baby dog resting comfortably on my bed...

The t.v. stations have had cancellations running on the bottom scroll for tomorrow and I see that our little town is not having school again tomorrow (they didn't have it today). I don't think we are supposed to get any more sleet or freezing rain, but they are probably thinking about the bus routes refreezing overnight.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More village

Here's another table with some of my village on it. That is a little three piece train in the middle that my friend Lori found at a garage sale during the summer and gave to me. On the top shelf are two pieces that are replica's of Chicago landmarks. One is the Art Museum and the other is the Chicago Water Tower.

I did not get upstairs to sew this evening. I did cut some papers to 9" square to use for the crumb blocks. So at least I did something, even if it was just a little bit.

I went to the dollar store at lunch today. I think I may be going there a couple more times before Christmas. I have some ideas about getting things there.

A big tree

Here's a picture of my dad's Christmas tree. It is HUGE. See the two dogs on the floor? They are big dogs, about 85 pounds each. And those windows behind the tree are those big floor to ceiling (usually) ones and there is actually a door behind the tree! And I didn't even get the very top of the tree that is touching the ceiling. He does like big trees, that's for sure.

I'm glad it's Wednesday. Just a week more to work and I will have some vacation time. I'm so ready for it! Going to get off this computer for now and start the car, then head to work. Yesterday when I came home I was motivated to go upstairs right after work and do some sewing. It felt good to get up there and get something accomplished. Hope to do that again today.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Two kitties

Here are the cats doing what they do best...nap! It cracks me up to see them cuddled together. I always get a kick out of seeing animals playing or napping with each other, dogs, cats, or both.

I went upstairs and pressed all the blocks for step 2 of the mystery. I need to square them up and trim off the dog ears yet, but that step is real close to being finished. The next step is making the string blocks, so while I had the iron out I pressed some of my neutral scraps. That's going to be the biggest part of making those blocks...pressing strings!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Village with people

Here is one of the tables with my lighted houses and village people (not the group!). I know it looks a little sparse in the center, but this is one of four areas I set up the houses, and I need more people and accessories. I had quite a few, but over time they have gotten broken, just with age and kids and animals.

Ev brought the Christmas tree in the house today. Ivy promptly barked at it. I guess if the house is ever attacked by evergreen trees, Ivy will hold them off! She hasn't taken down the tree yet, but it's only been one day.

I made a lemon meringue pie tonight. Promised Ev I would, so he will be happy when he gets home tonight. I didn't really 'cook' dinner tonight, just made the chicken bacon ranch subs. Easiest dinner in the world - get breaded chicken tenders from the deli, microwave bacon, cheese (mozza or provolone), ranch dressing and put it all on a bun. Yummy! When fresh tomatoes are in season, they are good on the sandwiches.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Scrappy neutrals

Here are a couple of boxes of neutrals that I plan to use in step 3 of the mystery, whenever I get done with step 2.... The blocks in step 3 are crumb blocks done in scrappy neutrals. The instructions call for 60 blocks to be made in step 3, so I really need to get done with 2 and move on already.

I just finished doing dishes for what seemed like an hour. I didn't actually finish all the dirty dishes, but I'm done for the night. There were so many I had no counter space left. I also pulled out some leftovers out of the fridge that had gone bad and washed their containers. Would everyone think I'm a horrible person if I admitted that some of those leftovers were from Thanksgiving? ugh.

Here's Ivy romping around the back yard in the snow this afternoon. She really loves the snow! See how her back is kinda rounded up? That's because she had just leapt onto something. The dog doesn't run, she leaps! It's cute to watch her.

Two guys and a tree

Here's my guys after just cutting down our Christmas tree at the tree farm. We did not spend a lot of time searching for this tree. It is very cold today, windy and snowing. The wind chill is supposed to be well below zero.

I have some short ribs cooking. Going to have them with some sauerkraut, potatoes, and corn. Last night we did go to Tilleys. I had a cheeseburger and onion rings. NOT diet food.... sigh. I don't do that very often, so I am not going to feel guilty. Well, at least not very much! haha

Went upstairs and sewed for a little while this afternoon. I am only on step two of the mystery, still. I have to sew the half square triangles together. I started on that today, but I just am not motivated right now. I think I have too much on my mind. I will admit I'm worrying about money and bills again. It's probably a worry that a lot of people have at this time of year, and I probably worry about it every year at this time, so I should just relax and have faith that everything will be okay.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Two pretty pies

I guess being home and inside because of the weather isn't all bad...I baked two pies this afternoon. I took one of them over to my uncle's and we kept one here. They were both apple, but in the one we kept at home I added some leftover cherry pie filling in with it. It was only about half a cup so I threw it in with the apples. It turned out pretty good!

The temperature has really dropped and we have a winter storm warning out because of the wind and possible snow.

I finished putting up the village. It looks very nice and I'm glad it is done. I'll probably leave it up into January, unless Ivy gets a notion to destruct it!

Still raining

It doesn't look like we will be getting our tree today. It has rained all morning and is now the middle of the afternoon and there is no end in sight. The temp is supposed to drop, so if it stops raining we will go get it tomorrow, but it will be much colder.

The good thing is I have my village all done. It looks pretty and I'm pleased with it.

Nick just got up and Johanna has left for work, so the sewing room is mine now if I want it. I just need to motivate now... I might take a little nap. We are going to Tilley's for supper and I'm sure Ev will be going out later, so I'll get a chance then to sew if I want to. I have the clues for Roll Roll Cotton Boll that I'm working on. It's a Bonnie Hunter mystery.

Rain ran go away....just for a little while!

Woke up to raindrops on the window this morning. I was really hoping for a sunny and mild morning so we could go get our tree. Well, it's just 8 a.m. so maybe it will clear up long enough to go get it a little later.

I started putting up my houses. Got everything all cleared off the piano and side tables and had the kids bring in the big table from the garage. I unboxed all the houses and have some of the cloth on the the "ground" but I'm not anywhere near done. The layout of the village isn't complete yet.

Both kids are home and both are asleep upstairs this morning, so I won't be going up there to sew anytime soon. That's okay because I think Johanna has to work this afternoon and I'll have the whole afternoon and evening up there if I want it. I'll just work on the village until they get moving!

When we get the tree, Ev will be in charge of putting on the lights because I break out from the needles. I would like to switch over to new L.E.D. lights on the tree, but they are pretty pricey right now. I'm hoping to get several strands of them after Christmas when they go on sale. I don't think I'm going to get much decorating done on the outside of the house this year. Last year, the only lights we had up were the ones I put on the fence. If we have any outside decorations at all this year, that will be it again.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I like popcorn. That's no secret. I've gotten to where I can even eat it without butter on it if I have to, to save on fat calories. I found a way to pop popcorn in the microwave without having to buy the high priced individual packs or have any special equipment. I was blog surfing and came upon and she had instructions on how to do it. You take a plain paper lunch sack, put a third of a cup of popcorn in it, fold the top down twice and tape it, then put in microwave for three minutes. No oil is necessary and it just pops up as nice as you please. Tastes better than the air popped stuff, too. So of course I had to try something new tonight and I put some ranch seasoning in the bag with it. Not a good idea. It scorched and burned and now the house stinks. Yuck. Ev's not going to be happy, but hopefully I'm sound asleep when he gets home! haha.

So I'm thinking that beginning in January I'm going to take a picture every day. I may or may not post what I take on the blog, but it just seems like a neat idea. I've got to get used to using my camera that I've had for a year now. Just thinking about it right now.

Johanna made clam chowder in the crock pot today for dinner. It was very good. Nick even ate a bowl, which made me really happy. He has been on this vegetarian kick, and wouldn't even eat fish or seafood. Clam chowder was always one of his favorites and I hated to see him deny himself it. Maybe he will start eating a little better now, instead of all high fat dishes with low nutritional value (his idea of vegetarian consisted of a lot of cheese pizza).

Sure am glad tomorrow is Friday. I started clearing off the piano and tables to set up the houses. If I can get a good jump on that tomorrow then they will be up before the weekend is over. We are planning to get our tree Saturday.

Wrigley has become quite the smart dog. I have been giving her Benadryl to help her with her itchies. So smartie pooch now has figured out that I'm putting the pills in cheese and she spits them out. It's like she sucks all the cheese off the pill! Agh. So I ended up giving them to her shoved in a piece of hot dog, but it won't take her too long to figure that out I'm betting. I did give her some cheese without pills and she didn't trust me! Kept spitting it out and re-examining it! Too smart for her own good!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Consignment shop visit

While in Shelbyville today I had the opportunity to visit a consignment shop for a brief visit. I picked up a house and tree for my village (yes, the one I have yet to put up for the season...I'm gettin' there!). I almost bought a porcelain doll, but after carrying her around the shop for a while, I changed my mind. As much as I would like to collect something like that, it's just not practical. At least it isn't practical right now with destructo dog... I almost bought a few quilting books that were, shall we say, well aged. In the end, all I bought were the house and tree. I figured I could get the books at the library if I really really needed them.

There were several quilts for sale in the shop. They were mostly priced quite high. At least $140 seems high to me for a well used utility quilt! Again, maybe I'm just cheap.

Gift stress

Christmas should not be stressful. That said, buying gifts is stressful for me right now because of limited finances. I saw my sister (who still lives at home) today and asked her not to buy us gifts. She said "too late", which has been her comment in years past when I have asked the same thing of her. This now obligates me to buy her a gift. Which in turn obligates me to buy my other sister a gift. And my two brothers and sister in law. This really aggravates me a lot.

I just don't think she understands how things are for us. I know she would tell me not to buy anything for her, but I can't do that. And I know she enjoys gift buying and giving. It's just frustrating and adds stress I don't need.

I haven't even started shopping. Payday is next week. sigh.

Now I have to remember how good it feels to sew and motivate myself to get up into the sewing room so I can feel good and get lost in sewing.

Breakfast for dinner

I took the lazy way out today. I made hash browns, sausage and eggs for dinner. Quick and easy.

Nick is in the mood to make some veggie chili, so he's at Wal Mart getting the stuff for it.

I haven't put up my village houses yet. Going to have to do that this weekend for sure.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Baby it's cold outside!

Brrrr! Winter is closing in on us big time! It's a balmy 15 degrees. The electric blanket is getting a work out, that's for sure!

Tomorrow I have to go to Shelbyville's office in the afternoon for a workshop. I'm not really looking forward to the drive. It would be different if I could go a little further to Arthur and do some shopping! No such luck, though.

I don't think I'm going to get any sewing done tonight. Got home a little later because I went over to where Nick was giving lessons to have dinner with him. I just had a salad and a few cheese balls, but he had the salad bar as a meal. Have chicken in the crock pot for everyone at home.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Part Two

Here are the pieces all cut out for part two of the mystery quilt. They will make 120 half square triangles in different pinks and browns. I cut them out Sunday, but did not get around to sewing them together.

I was really cold all day. I just could not seem to get warm. Then by the end of the night I had a sore throat, so I guess I was trying to come down with something. Got a good night's sleep, which really helped.

Tonight I made a new dish for dinner. I made pork chops paprikash. Probably did not spell that right. Anyway, the recipe came from Campbell's. The pork chops were browned, then the onions sauteed with paprika. The sauce was tomato soup, water, and sour cream. The chops heated up in the sauce. Meat and sauce were served over noodles. We had fresh steamed asparagus to go with it. Pretty good eats.

I got a box of scraps from someone on the internet. I picked through it tonight for neutrals to use in step three of the mystery.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Last load in the dryer

Well, it's the last load of laundry I'm doing anyway. I stripped the bed so I could go ahead and wash the sheets, but I'm tuckered out. The last two quilts are in the dryer now. I will wash the sheets tomorrow.

Johanna and I went to the Salvation Army Thrift Store today. I picked up a few winter scarves. Barb had picked one up for me there a couple weeks ago, but Ivy discovered the little balls on the end of it and tried to eat it. I also picked up a funky winter hat and a pair of slipper socks.

It's snowing out. Mom said they got four inches and it was still snowing up north.

Saturday night

I started working on the mystery from the Quiltville website. It's called Roll Roll Cotton Boll. Each Friday a new clue comes out. I didn't get to start it right when the first clue came out. Yesterday was the third clue but I'm not too worried about doing it right on time. I'll print the clues out and do it at my own pace.

Been doing laundry all day long. I'm down to just the last two quilts on the bed. I could wait until tomorrow to do the linens, but I really want to have nice clean sheets to sleep on tonight.

Cheesecake the Second...Before and After

I think they liked it just as much as Cheesecake the First....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Snowy morning

Woke up to a light dusting of snow. It continued for part of the morning, but by the end of the day it had all melted away. It was pretty while it lasted.

So my brother calls me and asks to come over to use the internet. I told him fine, as long as he didn't bring any deer sausage (the last time he came over Wrigley was not nice to him). So what does he do, but come over straight from hunting, with blood all over his hands from gutting a deer! I could have pounded him! No wonder Wrigs goes nuts over him!

Speaking of Wrigley, I think the Benadryl is helping her with the itchies. She seems to have calmed down a lot with the scratching.

Looks like Nick might be moving back home from living with his buddy in Springfield. It will be nice to have both kids back in the house at the same time. Will take a little getting used to, but all in all will be a good thing.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Over the hump

At least tonight means I'm on the down side of the week. I have so many things I want to do, I'm in gridlock trying to motivate to do them! I think this weekend I will clear off the piano and tables and set up some of my village.

I have not done any quilting on Tennessee August for a very long time. It's been my hand quilting project that just hasn't been worked on for one reason or another. The main reason now is Ivy, but I just don't think my wrists can do much in the way of hand quilting anymore. I'd like to get it out again and maybe machine quilt it. But then I have the question of do I pick out the hand quilting or leave it in? I don't know what I'll do with it.

I baked another cheesecake tonight. Ev and the kids begged for it, so I figured why not get a couple practice cheesecakes made before Christmas? haha. Maybe I will go into business.... That would be funny because the gal a few blocks down the street actually does sell cheesecakes she bakes herself, along with salad dressing she makes. Odd combo, I know, but that's what she does. I've never had her cheesecake, but her salad dressing is very good.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mastering the mitre

The chunky churndash top is finished! And I mitered the corners! woohoo! They really weren't that difficult to do. I was pleasantly surprised. I spent about an hour pinning the last two borders and sewing them on, then mitering the corners. I'm ready to move forward to my next project. Just have to decide what that is going to be.... decisions, decisions....

Lost morning

Ev and I had some business to take care of this morning so I stayed home from work. I was on the fence about going in after we were done, but my lazy bones won out! It seems like the morning just flew by! After we got things taken care of I had errands to run. Went to the post office, city hall, the vet, and the grocery store. Then took Johanna to lunch.

Got some flea meds at the vet for the dogs and cats. Wrigley has been scratching a lot lately. I thought it was just dry skin, but yesterday I saw a flea, so got the meds. I thought they would be all gone because we have had a frost, but I guess not. I think part of her scratching was because of dry skin. The vet said it could be allergies or something and that I could give her benadryl to give her some relief. When we came home, I put the flea meds on all the animals and gave her a dose of benadryl, just to see if it will help calm her down. She seems content right now just to sleep on the chair, so I guess she is feeling okay again!

Doing laundry. Seems that's a never ending task! Also have a big pot of beef vegetable soup cooking. It smells good in the house! I like to put diced tomatoes and cabbage in my soup.

Going to go upstairs pretty soon and put those last two borders on the chunky churndash top. Mitering the corners is the next hurdle to get over and the top will be done. I have my "Just Do It" tee shirt on, so I'm like super woman today! ha ha. I can do anything! haha.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Stolen Moments

Nick played guitar tonight in the improv jazz band from school called Stolen Moments. He did really well on his solo's. The concert was an hour away and it was quite a rainy drive, but well worth it.

No sewing tonight since I left pretty much right after work and got home after 9. Tomorrow morning I have to go with Ev to take care of some business in the morning. I don't know if I will be going in to work or not after that. If I don't go in to work, I may get some sewing in, but I probably will go in to work. I just had four days off! :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nighty night

I'm going to bed. The kids are all home and settling in. Johanna and Nick are doing some homework. Bethany and Ev are watching the Wizard of Oz. I'm gonna go to bed and watch t.v. til I fall asleep.

I did get some things done today. I got the borders measured and cut for the chunky churndash and put two of the four sides on. I also made a couple more crumb blocks for potholders. I have enough made for six. I only have one finished, but I like the way they are turning out. It was fun digging in the scrap bin to make the blocks. And after making six blocks, it doesn't even look like I put a dent in them! I was making the blocks in green for the holiday, but I think I will make some blocks in blue for Mom. Her kitchen is blue.

The spaghetti turned out really good. Glad I made it. Also had salad and some garlic bread with it.

My foot is really bothering me. I think it's the bone spurs again. I'm going to have to break down and go to the doctor again about them. I certainly don't want to have surgery, but I'm not going to keep hurting like this.

In a funk again

I've got to snap out of this stupid funk I'm in again. I get so tired of trying to juggle bills and stuff, it just makes me nuts. I should be used to it by now, but there are days when it weighs me down and today is one of them. I'm going to go upstairs and drown myself in scraps, maybe that will help! haha.

Got the fixin's for spaghetti sauce for dinner tonight. Will make that up later this afternoon. Johanna works until 2, and Nick and Bethany won't be home until later tonight. Don't know what Ev's plans are, but if it warms up much at all I'm sure he's going to want to get the motorcycle out and take a ride.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Addictive behavior

I think making crumb blocks could be considered addictive behavior! I made three more crumb blocks and completed making one potholder. I used two layers of cotton batting and one layer of thinsulate and a plain piece of material on the back. I did some free motion quilting using the older Kenmore machine because I wanted to try the free motion quilting on it. I put a binding on using one of the decorative stitches that was called arrows, but could be considered Christmas trees since these were Christmas themed potholders.

Went to Tilley's for dinner. Ev had the special steak with onions and I had chicken wings. Nick and Bethany are on their way back to Mom's from a day in the city. Johanna is at work until 10 tonight.


I finally got out the iron and pressed the border and top for the chunky churndash. I don't know why I procrastinate so much on these things. It only took me half an hour! I also pressed the two crumb blocks I made last night, then trimmed them up to 8.5 inches square. I sat down at the sewing machine and made two more crumb blocks, also. Maybe my mojo is returning.

I put the turkey carcass in a pot with some water and set it to boiling. Going to clean the meat off the bones and freeze it in the stock. Not going to make soup out of it right away, but will have it for another day.

Going to go to church at 4 this afternoon then to Tilley's for supper. They have that steak that Everett likes on the special tonight.

Oh crumbs...

I did get upstairs for about half an hour yesterday evening. I made two crumb blocks on paper foundations to turn into pot holders. When we get the new semester magazine from the college at work, I take the old ones sometimes because they have nice big pages and are printed on newsprint. They make good paper for foundation piecing. Anyway, I cut the paper squares roughly 8.5 inches and just started sewing out of my scrap shoebox of greens. I vaguely have in mind to make some holiday themed potholders for my dad and maybe for my mom too. Still haven't gotten the iron out. sigh.

Went to see that movie last night. It was really cute and both Johanna and I enjoyed ourselves. There were a lot of little kids in the theater, of course, but that was to be expected.

A couple of blog readers inquired about the hoscah that I made and wanted me to share the recipe. I will be putting it up soon. It's a pretty easy recipe if you are familiar with using yeast and making bread.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Movie time

I'm a big kid at heart. The Disney movie "Tangled" is playing up at the show and I want to go see it. Johanna and I are going to the matinee in a little while. I'm looking forward to the movie almost as much as I'm looking forward to spending time with my daughter!

Made the grilled turkey, blue cheese, and onion sandwiches with some of the leftover turkey. They are always a big hit. Not even thinking about making any kind of dinner. Too many leftover in the fridge, although I know Ev will be tired of turkey really soon, like maybe later tonight. Will think about that later.

Nick and Bethany went up to visit my mom. I'm sure they will have a nice time. She is a sweet girl.

Maybe, just maybe, I will get up to the sewing room later. Bethany helped me pick out some colors to start a mystery quilt with, but I'm not going to start it until those borders are sewn on the chunky churndash. It won't take long, once I get things pressed, and I'm forcing myself to do it before I do anything else.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Late night t.v.

I taped the National Dog Show this afternoon with the intention of watching it this evening because there isn't much on t.v. I didn't have it on very long when I decided to send and email. In the process of bringing up my email, my home page flashes the winner of the dog show on it! Well, even though I know who wins, I'm still going to watch it.

Ivy was laying on the bed with me and caught a glimpse of the dogs on t.v. and was watching it! It's funny to watch her. The hound group is on now and they mentioned the Red Boned Coon Hound. Whenever I hear that name, I think about the book Where the Red Fern Grows. If you have never read it, you should. It's a good read and very touching.

It snowed for a little bit today. Bethany had never seen snow before and I was glad she got a chance to see it while she was here. Her and Nick are going to Bolingbrook tomorrow to Mom's.

Johanna has to work this weekend.

As full as a tick

I'm about to bust. I ate too much good stuff. Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, salad, the list goes on and on... oh and cheesecake! It was GOOD! Everyone loved it. And then it was nap time. It's been a good day.

I'm thankful for my family this year and every year, really. It's been so nice having the kids home for the holiday.

Everett just came in the front room and made the comment that he's afraid to open the fridge. Okay, I'll bite: Why? Everett: Because the cheesecake is staring back at me when I do. Me: Well, have a piece then! Everett: I can't. Me: Why not? Everett: Because I just had a big piece of pie! sigh. I wish everyone would eat the cheesecake so it was gone and it would not be tempting ME! haha.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve

The house smells like pumpkin pie! Bethany helped make the pies for tomorrow. The pumpkin is baking now and will be done in a few minutes. Then we will put the cherry pie in the oven and all the baking will be done. phew. I have all the side dishes ingredients set out to be put together. Tomorrow I will just have to assemble them and put them in the oven. The bird should only take a couple hours because he isn't really big. I'll put him in the oven early. If he sits after being baked it won't hurt anything.

Johanna just left to go to her friend's house in town for the evening. Nick and Bethany will be leaving to go to the show in a little while. I will have the house to myself, but I just don't feel like doing anything up in the sewing room. I'll probably go to bed early.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So cheesy

I have a cheesecake baking in the oven. Not one of those graham cracker pie crust ones, but a real cheesecake, baking in a springform pan with a homemade graham cracker crust on the bottom. I sure hope it turns out!

Stopped over to see my great uncle for a bit this evening. Mom had sent some cookies for him to my house and I took them over. He appreciated them, I know.

Tomorrow should be an easy day at work. I'll be the only one on my side in the office. I have a dentist appointment at 3:30 so I'll be leaving a little early, too.

Made Ev a couple meatball sub sandwiches for dinner tonight. Johanna had a few meatballs. Nick and Bethany will be here in a bit and they might have some cheese pizza bread.

Going to make the pies tomorrow night.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rain and muddy paws

We needed rain really badly so I'm not complaining that we are getting it, finally. What I am complaining about is the dogs and their muddy paws! Stinky mutts jumped up on the bed right from outside and now I have to wash the quilt that is on the top again because it's all muddy! Dag gone mutts.... sigh. Oh well, thank goodness we have a washer, that's all I can say.

Made sausage and noodles for Ev for supper. It was a garlic sausage that IGA makes in their butcher department and it smells really good.

There isn't much money for Christmas presents this year (what's new, right?) so I'm thinking about making everyone pillowcases. Not that there are a lot of people on my list, but the few there are would probably appreciate them. I will have to buy the kids something, but just don't know yet what to get them. Not going to stress over it, though.

Just two more working days and it will be Thanksgiving. I am ready for a four day weekend.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday supper

I decided to make a beef roast for supper tonight. We had that, along with gravy, mashed potatoes, pea casserole and salad. It was a good home cooked meal. I also made the hoscah today. Not sure if it's going to survive until Thursday. Half of one went over to my uncle and we ate our way through the other half. I put half of the second one in the freezer and kept half out. If it gets eaten before then, that's okay but I do want to send a half to my mom next weekend when Nick goes up to visit!

I think Everett has overdosed on football today. He has been watching it for about ten hours straight now... He may need an intervention...

No sewing today. I guess I'm in a bit of a slump again. Oh well, I always snap out of them, so not going to stress.

Late night post

I usually don't post at 1 a.m. but I fell asleep at 9 and now I'm wide awake! It was funny because I just wanted to warm up and got under the covers. That was all it took and I was out! Ev had gone uptown for a beer and all the kids were out so I had the house to myself. The pups and the cats were all being quite the lovers and kept me nice and warm and cozy.

I think Sunday afternoon I might make the Hoscah. I'll put it in the freezer for a couple days because it gets stale so quickly. I'm also going to make a nice Sunday dinner for Ev and the kids. Nick won't eat the meat, but I am thinking a beef or pork roast will be nice with mashed potatoes and gravy. That way we will have leftovers for a day or two then it will be Thanksgiving.

It's no secret that I live in a small town and people know each other and by default usually know some of everyone's business. Well, yesterday a friend of mine called me to tell me about an accident that happened to the grade school principal. Now, my kids have been out of grade school for quite a number of years, but this man was principal when Nick was in 8th grade and was very good to Nick and very fair with him. I have a lot of respect for him. Anyway, it's deer season and apparently the man was out hunting and had an accident with his gun. He shot himself in the arm, close to the shoulder, and almost died from blood loss. They have had him in several surgeries, and thankfully it looks like he will make it. The question now is if they will be able to save his arm or not. I think the whole town is praying for him and that's a good thing.

We went to Tilley's tonight for supper. I told Ev I was making Sunday dinner so we won't be going there Sunday night. I do like that place and want to give it our business so hopefully it stays open and continues to serve food. Johanna went with us and we had a real nice time. Nick and Bethany were at the LAN party, still.

I still love the new DVR we have with the t.v. service! It's so easy to just set whatever you want to record. I can even do it remotely from the computer.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday afternoon

I'm trying to warm my bones. We had a funeral to go to this morning and it was very cold out at the cemetery. When we got home I put on some really warm clothes and now I have the dog laying on my feet. That helps.

Johanna is home today, so I have not gotten much done in the way of sewing. Still stalled at having to press the top and borders for the chunky churndash. sigh.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu

A Musically Themed Thanksgiving Menu


Hot to Trot Spiced Fruit and Beautiful Baroque Baked Biscuits


Serenade Salad

Rockin’ Requiem Rolls

Terrific Tritone Turkey Bird

Mesmerizingly Major Mashed Potatoes with Grandioso Gravy

Dynamic Dressing

Cantankerous Cantata Cranberries

Vivace Vegetable Medly

Swingin’ Sonatina Sweet Potatoes

Portamento Pea Casserole

Grandioso Green Bean Casserole


Pretty Piannisimo Pumpkin Pie, Cheery Chorale Cherry Pie

Harmonious Holiday Hoscah

Late Night Snack

Too Much Turkey on Homemade Bunny Bread Sandwiches

Stellar Staccato Spinach Dip and Capriccio Crackers

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Coyote sighting

I can honestly say I have not seen many coyotes. Today on my way home from work, it was just getting dark, and I saw one in the field along the road I was on. They look like skinny dogs to me with bigger ears.

I just have not had the energy to do any sewing today either. Been an off week for me and quilting. Don't know why. Nick's friend from Georgia came to visit. She will be here for a couple weeks. Poor kid didn't realize how cold it gets up here and did not have a warm coat with her! I gave her one out of the closet that I've never seen anyone wear, I think it was given to me but it never fit. Anyway, she has a coat and a pair of gloves at least.

Just made Ev some bacon and eggs for dinner. He called on his break to tell me they don't have any work tomorrow. These four day weeks are killing us, financially. Thank God for family, is all I can say.

Uncle Ray's wife died yesterday. I will go to the wake for a bit tomorrow night then Ev and I will go to the funeral on Saturday morning. Uncle Ray seems to be doing okay. It was expected, and came as no shock.

I've made up the Thanksgiving Menu and turned the dishes into something musical. I'll post it on here soon.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shop til you drop

That's what I felt like I did today. I went grocery shopping, of all things, and still don't have everything for next week's Thanksgiving dinner! I have a turkey in the freezer, but would like to get a couple more while they are on sale. I didn't get one today, though. I mostly got canned goods that I need for the meal. I have a list and menu all made up, so when it gets closer I will get the perishables.

Nick called a little bit ago. He locked his keys in his car with the car running. All I can say, is thank Goodness for roadside assistance. Kids. Agh.

What's on t.v.?

Shadow kitty doesn't like to be ignored. Last night I was watching the news, when, during the weather, Shadow decided I should be paying more attention to her. Is this a funny picture or what? Cracks me up!

I haven't been up to the sewing room since the weekend. Just haven't had the umpfh to go do anything. Plus, I'm at the point where I must press things, and that's my least favorite part... Guess I need to put my 'just do it' shirt on! haha.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Busy Monday

It was a busy day at work. I'm glad today is over! I haven't gone upstairs tonight, and I'm not sure if I will or not. I need to press the top and the border strips I have sewn together. I guess I could bring them downstairs and press them in the front room but I just don't feel like doing anything tonight. Typical Monday evening.

I stopped at the store before I came home and picked up some breaded chicken tenders. Going to make Ev a chicken bacon ranch sub sandwich for his dinner. I had a couple corn tortillas with a little chicken and salsa and yogurt in them. Also had some fruit. Neither of the kids will be home for supper.

Mom is doing really well. She hasn't gone back to work yet, but will be going back soon. Probably after the holiday.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Center of top done

Here's another picture of the Chunky Churndash top. I finished putting together the centerof the top and now I'm working on the borders. I cut a strip of white and a strip of blue and am sewing them together. Then I'm going to attach them to the quilt and attempt to mitre the corners.

We went to Tilley's for supper tonight again. The special was chicken parmesan. I wasn't crazy about it. In fact, not too much of the high fat food I ate this weekend was very appealing, with the exception of the home made potato chips last night. I have got to stay on my food plan better over the weekends. I know I told myself it was okay if I just stayed where I'm at until the end of the year and the holidays are over, but I feel that I'm creeping up in weight and don't want that to happen.

Did you see that buffalo?

Here's another story from the past and my city boy husband. In our early years together we used to do a lot of camping. One spot we camped at was Marsailles State Park, along the Illinois River. It's East of Starved Rock. At the time we were there it wasn't much of a campground. It has since been developed quite a bit, but when we camped it was just a few camping lots, either with or without electricity. For the record, we had to camp in the electrified area because Everett had to have coffee in the morning. Yes, he brought an electric coffee maker camping with him. sigh. And I married him.... lol

The story is this: We decided to drive through the park a little one afternoon because there really wasn't much else to do around there. The park, at that time, was bordered by the river and farm fields. There is a lock on the river there that we visited. It was pretty interesting. We were driving through the park and this little sign says "Wildlife Viewing Area". I'm thinking, rabbits, squirrels, birds, etc. and I'm just looking around, when Everett says "Look! A buffalo!" I look and there, crossing the narrow road, is a cow. I say to Everett "No, that's a cow." He proceeds to argue with me because the sign said wildlife viewing, and a cow is not wildlife. Well, apparently the farmer's cows from the bordering field had broken the fence and wandered into the state park. I finally convinced him that it was indeed a cow. There are more cow stories to tell about that include Everett, but I'll save them for another time. Oh, and a horse story and .... you get the picture! Poor guy, just didn't know what he was getting into when he married me 23 years ago! lol

Up and moving

I'm up and moving this morning. Still trying to get warm! Getting ready for church. Then I'm sure we will go to breakfast. Don't have many plans for the rest of the day, really. Would like to get chunky churndashes top done.

A while back, when Anne gave me that big paper sack full of scraps, I separated them into colors and into gallon baggies. Well, in my s.l.o.w.... organization of the sewing room, I came across enough shoebox sized containers to use for those scraps. I still have that big tote full of my scraps that I would like to get sorted into smaller containers by colors. Once I have that done, then I want to have a string quilt project on hand at all times.

Mystery #17 from Mysteries for Relay is looking like something I want to do for sure. I've been looking at the clues as they come out and I really like the blocks. I've put it on my to-do list, along with a hundred other things!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Warming my toes

Just got home from the haunted walk in St. Charles. It was more of a light history lesson for two hours, with the tour guide promoting his book, but it was fun. Now I just need to get my feet and fingers warmed up again!

I was almost done with the book I was reading when I left this afternoon. While I was gone, Ivy had a snack. Ev took a shower and while he was in the shower she shredded the book! I swear she's not a dog - she's a mouth with a dog attached! agh.

I finished sewing the blocks together into rows, then sewed five rows together today. I have another five to sew together and the center of the quilt will be done.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Clear Conscience

When I was growing up I lived with my Great Grandparents. Grandpa was a retired coal miner who came over from Europe with his family when he was 8 years old. Mammy was the best person I will ever know.

Grandpa liked to work outside in the garden and from dawn until dusk he was doing something. After supper he would come into the front room and sit down to read the paper, usually falling asleep in the chair at some point. He would snore (although he swore he didn't!) and sleep in that chair until it was time to go to bed when Mammy would wake him up. Sometimes she would ask him just how he could sleep like that. His answer "A clear conscience!". Still cracks me up decades later...

Didn't do any sewing tonight. I must have had a clear conscience because I fell asleep on the couch at 8! Now it's almost midnight and I'm going to bed. Nick just rolled in a little bit ago. He will be here for the weekend, it looks like. Don't know Johanna's plans.

I'm almost done with that book. When I'm done with it, I know I'll be doing more sewing. Tomorrow afternoon I'm going to dinner and on that 'haunted walk' with Donna. That should be interesting.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veggie soup

Tonight I made a big pot of vegetable soup with lentils in it. I made it for Nick, but ended up eating more of it than he did! It was really good. I don't know if I could even duplicate the recipe again. I just threw things together. A list of ingredients are: half bag of frozen cauliflower, broccoli, carrot mix, green pepper, fresh green beans, summer squash, zuccini, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, a can of hearty progresso tomato soup, vegetable broth, half a bag of lentils. 3 bay leaves, italian seasoning, dried celery, crushed red pepper, dried chives, garlic powder, salt, pepper, parsley.

I did go upstairs and sew blocks together into rows for the chunky churndash quilt. I put blocks together for six rows. Also did a little organizing in the sewing room.

Happy Veteran's Day

A big thank you to all the Veteran's today.

I'm sitting here waiting for the guy to come to give the estimate on the basement waterproofing. He said he would be here between 8:30 and 9, so I hope he gets here soon. I've got laundry in and have several more loads to do throughout the day.

I also want to get upstairs and do some sewing. The chunky churndash is sitting there, all stacked in order and waiting for me to sew the squares into rows. I also want to start a new mystery on a pocketful of mysteries. Don't know if that's going to happen right away or not.

Ev's still sleeping. He has got to shake that cold pretty soon. It's hanging on and hanging on. Seems to have moved from his head to his chest now. I think we might go to Tilley's for lunch.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yummy in my tummy

I made that crock pot dish with the chicken legs again tonight. Wow, it was really good. I browned the legs like I did last time, used apricot jam, red pepper flakes, parsley, celery flakes, 2 sliced onions, and rehydrated shitake mushrooms. Good stuff. Served it over egg noodles.

I have tomorrow off work. Going to try and get some sewing done. Have a guy coming in the morning to give an estimate on waterproofing the basement. Not going to do anything just yet, but want to know how much it will be, at least.

I walked on my breaks at work today and counted the steps I took. Now, I lost count a couple times and can't exactly remember the numbers, but a good LOW estimate is that I took over 3000 steps. I think I need to walk more than that each day, but right now at least I'm doing something.

Got my hair cut tonight after work. It's short and I like it! It's so easy to take care of when it's shorter.

Ivy has been quite the lover doggy lately. She just wants to cuddle and pretend to be a lap dog. She finally seems to have the housebreaking down pat. We do not leave them in the house when we aren't home if we can avoid it, mostly because she is destructo dog, not because of potty accidents. I am anxious to get new carpeting as soon as we can afford it. That's on the to-do list when tax refund season comes around.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday night

Boring post titles the last couple nights, I know. Just not much interesting going on. Johanna is working tonight and Nick is teaching lessons. I know he will be by the house later because his laundry is here. It's so nice to be needed....haha.

Today was kind of a downer at work. A young couple with a baby was in the computer room. The woman was trying to put the guy's unemployment claim in the computer. She would have to ask him questions, or the system would burp and she would get an error message, and the guy was being so mean to her. Verbally telling her she was stupid and he was sick of her trying to put it in and to get up so he could do it. Then I hear him asking someone he needs to know someone's name because she is the one who fired him. And he tells them he wasn't given a reason for being fired. Well, I was only around him for a few minutes and I can tell you why...guy's a jerk. I felt bad for the gal that was with him.

Made chili with the leftover taco meat. I cooked a little spaghetti and had chili spaghetti with cheese for supper. Ev took a container of it to work, even though he will have it again tonight for dinner. He said it just was smelling real good and he wanted some! That made me feel good.

No sewing tonight. Just not in the mood. Thursday is Veteran's Day and I will have the day off. Plan to sew all day.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday night

You know, sometimes I wonder at the way people can be cruel in so many ways. Not that I'm letting it hurt me, I'm so far beyond that, thankfully, but it still shocks me. I guess it shouldn't.

I had written several paragraphs after that first one, venting about some things, but then decided I didn't want to put any more negativity out there. I know it's going to sound silly, but I just have to believe that one day, maybe their own personal judgment day when they pass, people will see the hurt they have inflicted and have to answer for it. I am not blameless in this arena and know there are sins in my past that I will have to answer for, I know that.

I didn't do any sewing today. I have been reading that book, which I knew I would do once I started.

Tonight I made tacos for dinner. I'll be putting together some chili in the morning with the leftovers. That will be an easy supper for tomorrow.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In bed before nine

Yes, I'm going to bed early again. Can't hardly keep my eyes open, so I'm giving it up and going to bed. We went to Tilley's for supper, as is our Sunday tradition. It was good, as usual. I had salad, asian wings, and seasoned fries.

I finished pressing all the quarter square triangle blocks and trimmed their dogears. Then I laid them out on my bed to figure out a good way to put them together. Originally I had thought to make the quilt nine rows by nine, but I had enough blocks to make it nine by ten. There were some duplicate blocks, but that was okay. And I'm not convinced it will be getting a pieced border anymore. I think a small inner border of white and a medium outer border of blue will be sufficient. Will see when it's done. This photo does not show the final layout. I moved some blocks around to get the best balance I could of colors and light and dark.

I also spent 45 minutes in the sewing room sorting some material into the bins that are sorted by color. I still have some more to sort, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I also put some of the smallest scraps into the shoebox size bins by color. It's just that one corner that needs to be cleared out, then the sewing room will really be in good order. Well, there will still be the games and stuff that isn't sewing related, but stuff's not bothering anybody and can wait. I really want to get all the material in it's proper place. I've got some serious sewing planned for this winter.

One project I have in my mind is to make another string quilt. Ev really likes the one I made a few years ago. The only thing is, it was made as a couch quilt and it isn't big enough to cover the bed. He likes to have it on the bed, so I've got it on there going the wrong direction, just covering the bottom 3/4ths of the bed. That's okay, but I would like to have a full size string quilt for extra warmth since he really likes the pattern. That's one of the reasons for sorting the smaller scraps into shoe boxes. I intend to work out of them for those blocks.

I started reading a good book today, The 19th Wife. I'll tell more about it later, 'cause I really am sleepy, but I know I probably won't sew much until I'm done reading. That's just the way I seem to do it. I read until the book is done, then sew like a madwoman until I want to read a book again!

Time change

Nobody told the dogs about the time change. They wanted to get me up and go outside at 5 in the morning. ugh. I know they will gradually get back on schedule, but these first couple days they always get me up early!

Going to church then probably to breakfast. Slept pretty good on those new sheets! In fact, Ev is still out!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pepper steak

We just got home from Tilley's. Tonight the special was pepper steak. When I think of pepper steak, I think of chunks of steak with grilled onions and grilled peppers. This was a ribeye steak coated in peppercorns. It was good, but I had to scrape a lot of the pepper off of it. It came with a baked potato and corn. Good meal and we didn't have to drive far, just a few blocks!

I am not a drinker, usually, but tonight I had a shot. When it was my birthday last month I had a shot they called 'chocolate cake'. It was very good, so I had one again tonight. I'm pretty sleepy right now... zzzzzzz

I love old pictures, chunky churndash update

Isn't this the cutest pic? This was my mother, many years ago, when she was a little girl. I have had her on my mind all day, and thought I would post this picture. I talked to her in the hospital this afternoon. She's doing well and should be able to go home tomorrow. The doc would have let her go home today but she had a little bit of a fever.

Here's a look at how the chunky churndash and quarter square triangles will be set. I'm liking it. I have all the blocks done. Just pressing them now.

New sheets

I went upstairs for an hour and made the waterbed sheets - yay! Now I'm washing and drying all the other bed linens, quilts, mattress pad, etc... Going to have a good night sleep tonight, that's for sure. Well, only if my hubby's cold is a little better and he doesn't cough all night... sigh.

I also took the green double nine patch quilt I made for Ev a few years ago and repaired the hole that Ivy chewed in it. I actually had some of the fabrics still that I used in it originally years ago. I didn't match the back, but used a piece of material on the back that I originally used in the binding. On the front I used material I originally used in some of the squares. It's a pretty good patch job. Ivy better find something else to chew on, though. That quilt took three years to finish. It's king sized and heavily hand quilted.

Ev's snoozing on the couch. That cold he has is really trying to grab hold of him. And it's kind of cold in the house right now. I'm tempted to get that electric blanket and curl up in the big chair with a good book. Maybe after I throw the next load of laundry in I will do just that! Ivy is laying by my feet and I know she likes the electric blanket too! haha.

Thank you

I did want to thank all the people who said prayers for Mom. I really appreciate it!

Looks like today is going to be a beautiful Fall day. Don't know what the temp is supposed to be, but the sun is shining and the colors are gorgeous on the trees.

Both kids slept at home tonight. I doubt either one will be up before noon, though. Johanna rolled in pretty late. Although Nick didn't go out, I know he was up pretty late. Ev's still asleep, but will probably be up soon. He's had a pretty bad cold. He didn't work last night, which turns out to be a good thing, at least for his health. Paycheck wise, it's another story. They called off most of the plant due to lack of work. Scary situation. Sure hope they get some orders in and quickly!

I'd like to get those quarter square triangle blocks sewn today. I'd also like to get the borders made for the quilt. I'm thinking of doing an inner border of a solid, probably the blue that is in the qst's, and then an outer border of two rows of scrappy two inch squares. Then I would use the blue for the binding.

Got lots of laundry to do today. Having Johanna home creates a lot more dirty towels. She has done her laundry for years herself, but the towels are another story. And, of course, Nick brought some of his home as well. He has to work at Dollar General today at 3. I'm glad he has kept that job for a while, just to make sure that things are going to fly with the music lessons.

Ev has been looking forward to going to Tilley's tonight for dinner. They are having pepper steak as the special and he wants to try it. They don't have a big menu selection, but they do have a daily special. The special usually is not on the regular menu, so it's a real treat to get something different. He got a steak smothered in onions last week that he just raved about. I'm guessing Delbert will go to dinner with us.

I still have to get those two flat sheets turned into waterbed sheets. That's the first thing I should do in the sewing room today. Then I can put them right on the bed and have a real treat - clean sheets! One of my favorite things!

I know one of the reasons I haven't been getting much done. It's because of the electric blanket. Yes, the blame lies on a common household appliance. (is an electric blanket an appliance or linen?) I digress, the reason is that I come home from work, get dinner done and whatever has to be done, then sit down on the couch. I only intend to sit for a half hour or so, then go upstairs, but when I sit down, I'm a little cold. So I pull the electric blanket over me and turn it on. That's it, game over. I'm out for the night.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Outside the box

My husband is so funny. Nick, Everett and I went to dinner tonight. We were at a buffet and Nick was trying to decide whether or not to get something to put on his plate. His comment was that it was meant for another part of the meal, and I told him to 'think outside the box'. It's a buffet, you can eat strawberry syrup on meatloaf if you want to (that wasn't what he wanted to do, but just an example I gave him). Well, darling husband Everett commented that he hears that moniker too much at work. Think outside the box, they tell them at his plant, especially in their safety meetings. This struck me as hilariously funny because my husband's company makes....boxes!

Mom came through the surgery fine. I haven't talked to her, just to my step dad and brothers. I asked Pop what time would be good for me to call tonight and he said not to call tonight, that Mom would call tomorrow. She might even go home tomorrow. So I will wait. I know they will call if anythings wrong.

My laptop has been giving me some trouble. Sometimes it would not turn on. I called HP and they had me download new BIOS or something like that. It's still under warranty, so I'm hoping this fixed it, but if not, I hope it acts up before the warranty is up!