Sunday, June 28, 2009

The last weekend in June

June is almost over, and we're just starting our summer vacation!

Yesterday Ralph and I went to some yard sales, the first we've gone to all year. He got a huge drill press, a shredder, and some odds and ends. I got a surprise for Manda, a surprise for Heather, (they both read this blog), a set of steps for the dog (the lady who sold them said her dog was too dumb to use them- we'll see if Toast is smart enough) and some books for Jake.

Last night Ralph, Steph and I met Barbara and John at Cracker Barrel for dinner. Barbara buys blueberries by the 10 pound box, and I'd asked her to get one for me and one for Mom. Cracker Barrel is about midway between us, so we tend to meet there. After dinner I came home and bagged the blueberries and put them in the freezer. Gorgeous, huge, beautiful blueberries!

Steph says she is taking Toast home to the new apartment today. Toast has been here since the first week of May- we call her the Timeshare Dog. Right now she's sleeping on the couch behind me. She's such good company, except that as soon as I start to do something, she decides she has to go out.

Heather and Ed have settlement tomorrow- crossing fingers here for them. We go see them and the new new house in two weeks. The old new house was very nice, but no usuable yard, and other issues.

Goals for the week- check out the golf club for Manda's shower, work on Orange Crush, and make appts for the dentist and eye doc.

And the beat goes on!

Week 26 numbers

Wow, week 26! That means the year 2009 is halfway done! I haven't posted numbers for weeks, because I couldn't figure out how many yards used in Crossed Canoes and Gingerbread Dreams. So I went to the instructions for the two quilts, and the supply lists, and came up with the numbers.

Fabric bought these weeks- 4 yards
Fabric bought this year- 49.5 yards

Fabric used these weeks- 19 yards
Fabric used this year -67 yards

Books bought these weeks- 3
Books bought this year- 30

My books read this week- 1
My books read this year 18


Friday, June 26, 2009


School is finally done for the summer! We're probably the last district to get finished, and the past week has been at least a month long. But we're done- Yay!

And, the tickets for the Alaska cruise are bought! Yay again! Linda got them thru Costco, and got the best rate around. We're on the Royal Caribbean Rhapsody of the Sea, August 14-21, out of Seattle. We're going "Y" status, which means the room isn't assigned ahead of time. We know that we're oceanview, porthole or better. And Linda and I decided we need trip insurance, because life happens. It'll be me and Linda, Manda and Steph. I'm the only one who hasn't cruised before.

Another Yay- Steph is finished her first summer semester and 6 credits closer to her bachelor's degree. Next week, when the second summer semester starts, she'll only have one class, which meets two nights a week. So she says she's taking Toast home with her, to the new apartment. Toast has been here for about 2 months. She's my constant shadow and I'll miss her, but she'll be back.

Quilting related- I got out my Orange Crush work in progress, and I'll start working on that again. My summer goal is to get all the flimsies quilted, and finish and quilt Orange Crush.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gingerbread Dreams Flimsy Done!

Her's a corner of the completed flimsy. (a flimsy is a pieced but not quilted quilt)
Side view- you can see my summer quilt peeking out underneath.
It ended up queen sized!
The green chain pattern shows up well in the pix!
Another block- I'm very happy with the way it turned out.
Now I have to figure out how to quilt it!
Of course I had to get a pic of Miss Millie sitting on the blocks that I was trying to sew together.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

My Dad was never into Hallmark Holidays, so Father's Day wasn't a big deal. Early on, Ralph and I agreed to not give each other gifts for Mother's Day or Father's Day, since at the time we both had moms and dads. (And forget Grandparent's Day- I refuse to buy into that Hallmark nonsense!)

One of the radio stations was asking people what advise their fathers told them that turned out to be useful. I immediately flashed back to Dad teaching me how to drive. "Listen to your engine," was his big thing. And he was right, and it's advise that's served me well over the years. Whether it be a sewing machine, a lawnmower or a car, you can't go wrong if you listen to the engine.

He used to tell my brothers that it was OK to quit a job as long as you had another job to go to the next day. When Michael was young he tended to quit jobs and go pump gas down the corner. Within a few days, someone would come along who knew him or of him, and would hire him. That drove Dad crazy!

The other advise Dad used to give the guys was "Keep your pecker in your pocket. If you can't do that, put a raincoat on it." Words to live by!

I have to throw in the advise Mom gave my brothers. "If you have to drink to enjoy your friends, it's time to get new friends."

To all the Dads everywhere, Happy Father's Day!


Gingerbread Dreams

This was a mystery class at Quilted Treasures last fall. That day, we made one of each block. I was having issues, because I had my Jem with me, and the 1/4 inch seam wasn't coming out right.
So I had to remake the three blocks I made that day, and do a little more cutting. The two with the gingerbread people are the "A" blocks.
This is the "B" block. The pine center will also be the outer border. The quilt will be 5 blocks by 9 blocks, then an inner and outer border. I have all the blocks made, and over half of them trimmed. Then I can start laying them out. The look will be a kind of Triple Irish Chain.

One of the other women in the class did her quilt in flannels, with a moose theme. Another did hers in a frog theme, with almost flourescent colors. Libby did the sample in snowmen. Knowing the other women in the class, I'm the last to finish the quilt.

Once I get this flimsy together, I'll be left with one WIP/UFO, working title Orange Crush- it's a Bonnie Hunter pattern, and was another mystery quilt online, but I got so far behind that I just printed out the directions.

One of my goals this summer is to get all these flimsies quilted. I have plenty of backing fabric, and just need the ambition. Five more school days to go- yes, we are the last school district in the entire country to get out for the summer!


Saturday, June 20, 2009


I had a long quote here that was attributed to Maya Angelou called "A woman should". In the comments, it was pointed out to me that the quote was actually by someone else. I had read the quote, and liked it, and never thought to check it on

I appreciate the commenter that pointed out the error. The internet is a wonderful thing, but there's as much misinformation on it as there is information.

Saturday- Ralph is working, it's yet another rainy day, and I'm not doing anything productive. I've already taken Mom to the bank and we went to lunch.

First thing this morning, I made my every-other-year trip to Walmart. My niece had told me about some fabric she saw, and I wanted to check it out. I thought at 9.m. on a rainy, dreary Saturday morning, it wouldn't be too bad. Hah! The parking lot was jammed, and so was the store. Walmart has so good buys, but I don't understand the big attraction. Every Walmart I've ever been in, all two of them, have awful parking lots. No matter what time of day or night, they're crowded. I got the fabric, a new shower curtain, a wiffle ball and bat for Eddie, and got out of there.

The laundry is almost done, so I can put that away and feel like I've accomplished something!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This and that

We had a busy weekend. Jacob turned 9! I don't know how that could be possible, but he did.
There were some surprise guests at his party! Heather, Ed and the kids decided to come up for the weekend, so they crashed the party. Eddie was much too busy to get his picture taken, but Princess Julianna sort of posed.
Julianna with her Aunt Steph.
Another night, we all visited at Sharon's house. Mackenzie and Julianna decided to show us that they were two years old, and both wanted the same toys at the same time.
Once Julianna woke up, she was quite happy as long as Mommy was right there.

We also went to Nadia's 11th birthday party on Sunday. Nadia was so busy with her friends that I didn't want to bother her with the camera. I'll get her next time.

Heather, Ed, Eddie and Julianna are back home now, ready for their next adventure. Ben is home from his adventure, and Manda is delighted. Millie is back home, and settling in. She likes to sit between me and the computer moniter.

I've been diligently working on a holiday quilt, and hope to finish piecing it and get pix up by the weekend.

And the beat goes on!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Manda is 28!

Manda's birthday was Monday, June 8, and she turned 28. We had the family, and a lot of her friends over Sunday night. It was a "Come wish Manda Happy Birthday, see her ring, and admire our new patio" party.
A lot of her friends from high school came over, ate, and socialized. We got 2 birthday cakes, and used most of both of them. We went thru a lot of meatballs and kielbasi and sauerkraut, potato salad and pasta salad. and 3 gallons of iced tea!

I almost wished I could cancel the party when Frenzy died, but I'm glad we didn't. It was a good distraction for us. The party broke up before 11- everyone had to work the next day. We did some final visiting, then went to bed. Monday morning Rapid Rover was picking Manda up at 0730, so I got to see her before I left for work and she left to return to her real life.

Jacob also has a June birthday- he was 9 on the 9th! His party is this weekend.

And it's raining again! This has been a ridiculous month- open the windows, close the windows. Turn the heat on, turn the heat off.

Message to Manda- 48 hours left, you'll make it!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A beautiful wedding

Last Saturday, my Mom and I went to the wedding of my cousin Denise's daughter, Heather. Both Denise and I have oldest daughters named Heather. Heather the bride and her dad arrived at the wedding hall in this carriage. I didn't get there quick enough to get a pic of them in the carriage, but I was quite impressed by it. It looked like something Disney would have.
The wedding was held in Philly, at a place called Bridgeman's Hall. Just beautiful. The ceremeony was held in a gazebo, on gorgeous grounds. When I parked the car, I could smell the honeysuckle. That's Heather's Dad, Henry, escorting the beautiful bride.
Here's the bride and groom after the ceremony. The bride's grandfather thought the minister talked much too long, but it was only about a 15 minute ceremony- just right!

Mom and I got to see family we hadn't seen in ages. We only live about a half hour from most of them, but it's "over the bridge", LOL. I try to not go to Philly, and they're not crazy about Jersey. And of course we're all wrapped up in our own lives of family and work. So we see each other at showers, weddings and funerals. Thank goodness for Facebook and email!

When I got home, Manda told me about the places she looked at to hold her wedding. She wasn't crazy about the place in Princeton, she loved Lambertville, and we went and looked at Villari's the next day. She has to share the pix with Ben, and decide what they're doing.

Every time I go into the bedroom, I look for Frenzy- she was usually curled up on the foot of the bed. Ralph ran to the grocery store today, and said he almost cried in the cat food aisle! We're a pair.

Today was Eddie's last day of school for the summer! He's now officially a first grader!

And so it goes.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

RIP Frenzy

Frenzy started out as Heather's cat, along with her little sister Sunshine. Then Heather met and married Ed, who is allergic to cats. Sunshine decided she belonged to Manda, and Frenzy, or FooFoo as Steph and Manda called her, became Ralph's and my cat.

Frenzy had the sweetest face, to mask her evil heart. She delighted in terrorizing Miss Millie. She was possessive of any item of clothing that she happened to be sleeping on, and would scratch if you dared to try to move her. If the dog was sleeping under the covers, she would deliberately walk on top of her, and I swear she smiled.

We think she was born in 1994- no one can quite remember. This year she really started to show her age, and began to lose weight and get clingy. She died on Sunday, June 7. We buried her next to her step-sisters Tee and Crackers, and cousin Sheba.

Her death was not a surprise, but it's so hard. I felt terrible that she died while Manda was home, but Manda got the chance to say goodbye. Even as I grieve for her, I'm glad she was a part of my life for so long. I'm glad that I'm the type of person who mourns when a beloved fuzzy friend dies, and doesn't dismiss her as "just an animal."

Fifteen or so is a good long life for a cat, and I'm glad we got to share that life. The pain of losing her will fade, and we'll be left with the good memories.

Goodbye Frenzy, and Rest in Peace. We love you.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


We've had a few days of awful thunderstorms, and another day to go. But our AC is fixed, so when it gets hot, we're ready! Tonight I went to dinner with 18 of the nurses I work with. The food was good, and we had a lot of fun. It's nice to sit and relax and chatter.

Manda is coming home for the weekend! We're having a come see her ring, wish her Happy Birthday party Sunday night. A lot of her friends are going to stop in and see her. Saturday she and Steph are going to check out some wedding locations. Ralph has to work, and Mom and I are going to my cousin Denise's daughter's wedding. She's flying back Monday morning, so she'll get home before Houston's infamous rush hour traffic.

And Heather and Ed are moving again! This time they won't be on the side of a mountain. The pictures look very nice, and they have 13 or so acres of ground. Plenty to sell us an acre and Ed's parents an acre. They'll still be in the same town, but on the other side- closer to Heather's work and to the airport. This will be their 5th house in 7 years- I'm exhausted just thinking about it. I guess moving frequently keeps you from accumulating too much junk. This house is a rancher, which my knees appreciate.

17 more days of school! We're always one of the last districts to get out, because we get some ridiculous holidays off. The last week will be half days for the kids, so we can get offices and rooms taken apart for the summer.

And so it goes!


Monday, June 1, 2009

It's June!

This is our new fountain. It's not turned on yet. It's sitting on the block patio, and in the background is what will be grass and flowers. A work in progress.
This is the quilt top that I finished last night. It was a class that I took in October, called Crossed Kayaks. I worked on it all week, and finished the border last night. I need a good name for it. Toast approves!
You can see the secondary, circular pattern formed by the lights and darks.
I really like the way it went together.
This is what a single block looks like.
I wanted a border that would soften the darker colors and the lines. I fell in love with this fabric. I'd call this quilt an intermediate level quilt. I've been quilting almost 6 years, and I was real careful with the 1/4 inch seams, and I still lost a lot of my points.

So this quilt went from being a UFO (unfinished object) or a WIP (work in progress) to being a flimsy, which is a quilt top that the piecing is done, but it's not yet sandwiched and quilted.

I have to go back to the cutting chart and figure out how many yards of fabric I used!