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.