Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's our anniversary!

Ralph and I are married 37 years today! Since we got married we've both gotten BSN's from Rutgers, had 2 houses, 3 daughters, 2 grandchildren, 2 dogs, 8 cats, many assorted cars and trucks. We've been thru a brain tumor, torn meniscus's (menisci?), cardiac issues, a kidney stone, many hospital and school jobs, good times and bad times.

We've held each other thru the deaths of grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, and Dads Joe and Rocco. We've rejoiced in the births of our girls and Eddie and Julianna. We were so thrilled to welcome Ed to the family, and look forward to adding Ben.

We're fortunate to have wonderful brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews (by birth and by marriage). And a whole new generation of great-nieces and great-nephews. We're fortunate to have Moms Mary Jane and Florence with us.

I can't think of anyone else I'd rather spend time with. It's been a good life together, and I hope it goes on for many more years.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

I'm so happy to live in the home of the free, because of the brave! My grandfather, dad and Ralph were Navy, my FIL and Heather's FIL and Lou were Marines, and my cousin George was career USAF. Thanks to all!

My grandfather was in WWI. He told the story about being 16 and paying a street bum a dollar to sign as his father so he could enlist.

My dad Joe and FIL Rocco were in WWII and Joe was recalled to Korea. Joe talked a lot about being on the ships. I don't remember Rocco ever talking much about the Marines- I think it was some painful memories. Lou was in Korea, and will never discuss it. Ralph was a SeaBee, and served in Vietnam. Big Ed is a very proud Marine- Semper Fi! George served all over the world in his USAF time. Steph's friend Jay has a brother who is coming home from a second tour, and they're hoping he's home to stay. My friend Jean's son Jimmy has done some time in the desert also.

Today we passed the cemetary where my dad is buried, and it was a sea of huge American flags. He would think that was so cool! And when we came by the town Monument there was a service going on. Dad faithfully went to the services every year.

Semper Fi Rocco
Anchors Aweigh Joe

And the beat goes on.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Productive Sunday

I finally got some things accomplished in the quilting room. I pieced the backing for the paper pieced star I made last year, and called the longarmer I use when a project is beyond my capability. I'll drop it off to her tomorrow.

Then I finally got the borders on the MQX mystery quilt, which I'm calling Manchester Mania (thanks to Mary Schilke for the name suggestion). It took some figuring, because I wanted to have cornerstones, and the math is beyond me. So it's now a flimsy, and will be quilted one of these days. I put off doing my weekly numbers post til tonight, so I'd have some numbers to post! It was getting pretty pathetic, all those zeroes!

It's starting to rain, and when Toast and I were just out, I could hear thunder rumbling in the distance. Maybe it'll cool things off a little, since Ralph hasn't caught up with the HVAC guy yet. (Of course, he has to make that phone call to catch the guy...)

Steph reports that Miss Millie came out from under the bed in just a few hours, has eaten, and seems to be settling in. It seems funny to not have Mills here, but we'll all adjust.


Week 21 numbers

Fabric bought this week- 0 yards
Fabric bought this year- 45.5 yards

Fabric used this week- 3 yards
Fabric used this year- 48 yards

Books bought this week- 0
Books bought this year- 27

My books read this week- 0
My books read this year- 17

Friday, May 22, 2009

Yay for Friday!

This was a long week. We're in the final stretch, about 5 weeks til the end of school. It can't come fast enough- the kids are done. We may still be in session, but the kids are done. They don't even want to be in class.

Today is Jim and Sharon's 10th anniversary- Congratulations to them! Mike, Donna and Jake are off to Conn. to her dad's for a family reunion weekend. Ralph is off all weekend. I think Steph is planning to spend the weekend laying on her couch watching the birds and squirrels.

Ralph got a new-to-him truck! His old was was falling apart- Jim had to fix it so he could drive it to the dealer to trade it in. It was a 1996, and served him well. It was so old it only had a cassette deck. The new one is blue, 4WD, extended cab, and has a CD player and a dock for his MP3 player- how cool is that! It's a 2007 with 30,000 miles on it.

The only time I went in the sewing room this week was to turn on the TV to tape a show. I read a lot, but had no ambition to sew. Ralph worked on the patio a lot, and the blocks are all laid down. It's looking real good, and I'll get some pix of it.

And now to start the holiday weekend!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Week 20 numbers

Fabric bought this week- 0 yards
Fabric bought this year- 45.5 yards

Fabric used this week- 0
Fabric used this year- 45 yards

Books bought this week- 1
Books bought this year 27

My books read this week- 1
My books read this year- 17

Dreary Sunday

Rainy this morning, cleared up this afternoon. Ralph helped Steph move from her apartment in Philly to her new one in Mt. Laurel. Also enlisted to help were Jay and Kate. The new apartment is very spacious, lots and lots of closets, and faces the golf course- very nice. Miss Millie is going to go live with Steph. Toast will stay here at Grammy's Doggy Daycare til Steph's summer semester is over.

I went to a meeting of South Jersey Longarm Guild. Must have been a bad day, because there were only 3 of us there. We still had fun, did show and tell and chatted. I went from there to the new apartment to pick up Ralph, and we took Steph, Jay and Kate to Cracker Barrel for an early dinner.

Yesterday I talked to Heather in NC and heard their latest news, which is for her to share (no she's not pregnant, LOL)

Sunday things to be happy about:
Steph is so happy with her new place
Manda and Ben are so cute together
I'm reading a good book


Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday night

What a long week this has been! More standardized testing going on at work, which meant peace for the first two hours of the day and chaos the rest of the day. Every afternoon, the kids were a mess!

Tuesday night we got The Phone Call about Manda and Ben's engagement, so that was wonderful.

Wednesday night was the Camden County School Nurse's banquet. The food was mediocre, and the speaker apparently works in Mayberry. The company at the table was fun, and there were lots of door prizes- I won a basket with a big candle and 5 bottles of wine!

Thursday night was a dinner at school, so I was there all day, and til 8 pm. I'm too old for 2 long days in a row- this morning I felt like I was run over by a truck. Speaking of trucks, Jim was able to fix Ralph's brake lines, so the rental can go back tomorrow.

So I got no sewing, quilting or crocheting done this week. Just too tired and too much going on. I don't use a rotary cutter when I'm tired, as I like all my fingers attached to my hand.

Ralph worked on the patio a lot- he's almost done the patio blocks, and the fountain is up! If it doesn't rain this weekend, he should be able to turn it on.

And so it goes!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Ben and Amanda got engaged last night! We knew it was coming, that the ring was ordered, but we were sworn to secrecy. When Ben's Mom, Polly, and his Aunt Judy and I were all in Houston, we kept talking weddings, and Manda and Ben kept protesting that they weren't engaged yet. (Not that that stopped us!)

Last night we got the excited phone call- Ben proposed, on the beach, under the stars. Very romantic! He picked up her ring while she was off visiting NC last week, and managed to keep it a secret!

So now decisions have to be made- when and where. Who will be in the wedding? Where- they have to decide if it's going to be in NJ or Nebraska, or maybe Iowa. Inside, outside? How formal or informal? When? Manda is thinking the Summer Solstice, which is a Tuesday. I don't think Tuesday weddings are real popular, but who knows? Who to perform the ceremony?

And her ring is a beautiful sapphire (not from Sri Lanka, their sapphires are not politically correct)

No matter what they decide, she'll be a beautiful bride, and he'll be a handsome groom, and both their Moms will look gorgeous. As will their Aunts, all of them. And their Grandmothers. We're all just thrilled for them.

For more pix, go to her blog - you can click on Manda's site, link on the right side of my blog page.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all! I've already talked to all the girls. They called from the car- they're going out to lunch, then Heather is taking Manda and Steph to the airport. It sounds like they had a wonderful visit, and the weather cooperated.

Ralph and I suffer from a disorder called FSS. Flat Surface Syndrome. It means that whenever there's a flat surface, we have to put something (or many things) there. I'm not sure it's treatable. It's really annoying. I've been looking for a document all weekend. It's in a manila envelope, and I'm sure it's on one of the many flat surfaces of the house. I'm also sure they're are layers on top of it.

Ralph has been working on laying the block for the patio. Each block weighs 40 pounds, and he's laid 170 of them. He's about halfway done, and it's looking great. Once the block is laid, the fountain can go up, and we can get some dirt for the rest of the yard and get some things planted. Things like work and rain and been delaying him.

No quilting this week. I've barely been in the sewing room. Total lack of ambition! Two nights I went to bed really early, and the other nights I was reading.

Next weekend Steph moves to her new place! Instead of being 29 miles from us, she'll be 12, which the dog will appreciate, beings that she hates the car. And with the new, larger apartment, and being closer, she can actually entertain!

Sunday things to be happy about:
Sun tea made on the deck
Steph and Manda got to spend time with Ed, Heather and the kiddies

And so it goes!

Week 19 numbers

Fabric bought this week- 0
Fabric bought this year- 45.5 yards

Fabric used this week- 0
Fabric used this year- 45 yards

Books bought this week- 0
Books bought this year- 26

My books read this week- 1
My books read/discarded this year- 16

Saturday, May 9, 2009

It's not raining!

This is the first day all week I can say that! It was a dreary, dark, wet week, and I'm glad it's over. I didn't get very much accomplished all week- just went to work every day, wasted two evenings napping, and read a couple of books- still going thru Mariah Stewart's book.

Last Sunday Sharon had a Tastefully Simple party, so I got to go hang out with some of the family, and that was fun. Some family news- nephew Joseph is in Las Vegas at a piercer's/tattoo convention. The thought of a huge area of tattooed and pierced people boggles my mind! Nephew David is relocating to the Washington DC area- I don't know if he realizes that DC was built on a swamp, so it probably rivals south jersey for humidity.

Frank and Charlotte just had their 37th anniversary, and we'll be 6 weeks behind them. Mike and Donna's 25th was right after Easter, and John and Morgan's 21st was in March.

Manda and Steph are in NC visiting Heather, Ed and the kids. I talked to them last night, and it sounds like they're having a really good time. It's the first time Manda has been to the new house, and she hasn't seen them since New Years. Steph will be home Sunday night, and next weekend she's moving to her new apartment. She's decided to take Miss Millie with her for company, since Toast will be here at Grammy's Doggy Daycare while Steph takes summer classes at Holy Family. Since Mill and Frenzy hate each other, it'll be a nice break for all involved.

Last night Ralph and I took our Moms to dinner for Mother's Day. Forget going out on Sunday, when everything is so crowded. We had a nice meal and visit. After dinner I went to Franny's to hang out with "The group formerly known as Cookie Swap". I have to put the qualifier on it, or Ralph expects cookies, silly man. Franny's Jake made lasagna for us, and sent some home to Ralph, so he'll be happy. We had fun catching up on what we've all been doing. Sandy and Kami are going to a boot camp, and sounds like they may not survive it, LOL.

And now I'm off to try to accomplish something!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Week 18 numbers

Fabric bought this week- 0 yards
Fabric bought this year- 45.5 yards

Fabric used this week- 8 yards
(the MQX quilt is done)
Fabric used this year 45 yards

Books bought this week- 5
Books bought this year-26
My books read this year-15

Mystery Quilt Revealed!

I got the pieces all put together, now I need to decide on a border. I'm thinking yellow then floral, or the reverse. I had 4 snowball blocks leftover, so they will be cornerstones. As to how to quilt it- I'm going to take the top to the next longarm guild meeting and ask for advise.

You can see that Miss Millie approves. She's easy, she approves every quilt I've made. I guess that makes her a quilt floozy. Steph and I decided the quilt should be all wallhanging rather than a throw and that we like it better longwise than up and down. As for names, I'm considering "Manchester Mystery", "April in Manchester", and I don't know what else. I have to think about it.