Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobble Gobble

It's Thanksgiving morning! Manda and Ben are here for a few days. Mom Florence has been moved to subacute rehab, and is going to Frank and Charlotte's today for dinner.

We're going to Mike and Donna's for dinner. I have Joseph's Trifle and cranberry-pineapple sauce made. Sweet potatoes are in one crockpot, broccoli casserole in another, and brussels sprouts in a third. I have to put the veggies (yams, potatoes, carrots and brussels sprouts) in to roast, and get the piggies in blankets ready.

Manda got her Master's degree in Physics from the University of Houston in May. It got overshadowed by the wedding, so we surprised her with a graduation gift when they got here. We got her a Nook! Something she didn't know she needed, but is already loving it.

It's so good to have them home. Steph went and got them from the airport Tuesday night, and I had soup and sandwich fixings ready. Yesterday they went with Ralph to see Mom Florence at rehab, then we met Steph for dinner at Carrabas.

Heather and Ed and Eddie and Julianna are going to her friend Angela's for dinner today. Heather is introducing them to pumpkin roll and pineapple stuffing. Angela and her husband are from Michigan, so they're also newcomers to NC.

What I'm thankful for today: my family, close and extended. That Mom Florence is doing so well at rehab. That it's not snowing!

And the beat goes on!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Almost Turkey Day!

November is such a fast month- so many days off of school. Election Day, Teacher's Convention, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Mom Florence is in acute rehab and doing well after her surgery. This week she should be transferred to sub acute rehab. Sadly, she'll be in rehab over Thanksgiving.

Ben and Manda will be home for Thanksgiving! They get in Tuesday night and will be here til Sunday. Thanksgiving will be at Mike and Donna's. I just got back from foodshopping for the dishes I take. I make roasted veggies (yams, potatoes, carrots and brussels sprouts), a broccoli dish in the crockpot that everyone likes, a new to us brussels sprouts dish in another crockpot, sweet potatoes, pineapple in cherries in yet another crockpot, a chunky cranberry sauce, and Joseph's Trifle. The bad news is that because the newlyweds used so much vacation time for the wedding, they won't be able to visit both families for Christmas. Rebecca is graduating college in December- Yay Becca!- so they're going to Nebraska for that and an early Christmas. They'll go to NC for a long weekend in January for yet another Christmas celebration.

Saturday we're doing Thanksmas at Steph's. She's making us a Vegan meal, and we'll do gifts with Ben and Manda. She had to make some adjustments to the meal due to Ralph's soy allergy and my almond allerty- two foods that are good for you if you're not allergic to them.

It looks like Ralph and I and Steph and her babies are going to NC for Christmas. The weather will determine when we actually leave- right now it's looking like Christmas Eve day. It'll be nice to have Christmas morning with Eddie and Julianna.

I just finished reading The Last Lie by Stephen White, the latest in his Alan Gregory series. It was very good. I hemmed two pairs of pants for Steph, and fixed her jeans yet again. I sewed more patches onto Ralph's vest. I'm still in crochet mode, and am almost finished the current project.

This week we have Morgan, Donna and Joseph's birthdays! Three of my favorite people!

I'm missing my Dad. He loved Thanksgiving- what's not to love with a holiday that revolves around eating! And my friend Pat's husband died 9 years ago this month. He's missed terribly.

It's a clear day with a blue sky and it's chilly out. Hopefully Manda and Ben will remember to bring coats with them.

And the beat goes on!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

Thanks to all those who serve! We are the land of the free because of the brave.
Ralph was in the Navy Seabees and served in Vietnam. My cousin George is retired Army, and his son is in the Army. My Dad was in the Navy for WWII and Korea. My grandfather was in the Navy in WWI. Ralph's Dad was a Marine during WWII. Ed's Dad was a Marine. Lou was a Marine during Korea.

My mother in law Florence is in the hospital. She fell down some stairs and cracked her left hip. She had surgery and 3 pins placed. Now she has rehab in front of her. We're all very worried about her.

It was nice being off today. My friend Barbara came over and we muddled thru a quilt for her on the HQ. I made the mistake of observing how well it was going, which meant that immediately after we had issues- batting too short, thread breaking.

The time changed, which means it's almost dark out already. B101 is playing Christmas music on it's website, so it'll soon start on the radio. I love Christmas music.

Steph told me that Toast is feeling much better. She's still on the anti-inflamatory, but hasn't needed the pain meds lately.

And the beat goes on!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Steph's Phone Case

Someone on Facebook was figuring out how to make a fabric sleeve for her Nook. It would be like making a phone case, but larger. To make Steph's phone case, I measured her phone. Since I have the same phone, it was easy. I added a half inch to each side for sewing allowance- I use 1/4 inch seams, being a quilter. I figured out how long to make the strips- I positioned paper how I wanted to fabric to fall, and measured it. I cut two strips that size.
I put them right sides together, and sewed the two long ends and one short end.
I put the phone on the strips, and folded the bottom up and the top down to decide where the velcro should go.
I sewed the velco pieces on, then I topstitched all around.
This is what the case looked like open.
The case closed. I like the look of the white thread, but matching thread could be used.
The case isn't large, but it's lined and gives the phone some protection. I don't need one for my Nook, since I have a leather(ette?) case I bought when I got the Nook.
Of course Millie had to get into the act. Ralph was pinning patches to the leather biker vest that he bought to wear when he goes with the group that greets returning servicepeople.
She got shooed away, so she retreated to the edge of the work table.
Good thing my Janome is such a workhorse- sewing the patches to a leather vest needed a jeans needle, and a good heavy machine.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Four day weekend!

November is a terrific month to work in a school. We were off Tuesday for Election Day, had school Wednesday, and we're off yesterday and today for NJ Teachers Convention. I feel that I've used the time well.

Tuesday I went to an inservice from 8-1. It was sponsored by the county, was held at the middle school in my town, was free, and we got 5 CEU/prof dev hours! And they had a continental breakfast. And it was interesting, which few inservices are.

I'm still feeling virtuous- yesterday I had a colonoscopy for the first time. As the doc said, the prep will kill you, the procedure is nothing. I had to be there at 6 a.m., and was home by 9 a.m. The hardest part was getting the IV put in. They wheeled me in, the nurse anesthetist said Nighty Night, and then I was in recovery. The results were good, and they'll see me in 5 years. So this year I've had a mammogram and a colonoscopy, not to mention the hysterectomy. What a year!

So it's November! We got no trick or treaters for Halloween- we're at the end of a dead end street, and it's too much trouble for the kids. So I was feeding Reece's to my co-workers.
Tomorrow is my nephew Kevin's birthday, and great-nephew Justin's birthday party. Later this month are my friend Franny, sisters-in-law Donna and Morgan, and nephew Joseph's birthdays.

I also finally quilted the quilt that's been up on the HQ for about a month. My friend Barbara has a quilt she wants to do, so that motivated me to get to it. It still needs to be trimmed and bound. I've been in crochet mode. I finished an afghan for Steph's friend Kate, and started another one.

In October I read 9 books, which brings the total for the year up to 130. I added several books to my Nook. Barnes and Noble announced they are coming out with a Nook Color, which is like a mini iPad. It's not an upgrade, but a different product. I read the specs, and I don't want one. LCD screen (hard on the eyes), 8 hour battery life (mine will go about a week) and it has to go to BN when the battery needs to be replaced. And I don't intend to either read magazines or kid's books on it, so I don't need the color. And it's only WiFi, no 3G's.

I've been going over recipes to decide what to make for Thanksgiving. We celebrate with the moms and Big Mike and Donna and their kids and whoever else is around. This year Ben and Manda will be with us. Donna does the turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and pineapple stuffing, and I do a lot of sides and a dessert. I do a broccoli casserole in the crockpot that the "kids" all like, and I found a crockpot recipe for brussels sprouts that looks promising. Sweet potatoes in another crockpot. Cranberry something. And Joseph's Trifle, which I make almost every year.

And since Ralph is retired now (and job searching) he doesn't have to work any of the holidays!

And the beat goes on!