Thursday, January 28, 2010

The week is winding down

Made it thru another one! Tomorrow is Friday, payday, and time to do the end of the month reports. It's supposed to go down in the teens tonight, and only up to the low 30's tomorrow. Hopefully it at least stays clear.

Linda B's funeral is Saturday, and her daughter invited me to the memorial luncheon afterward. Linda will be buried next to her parents and her daughter that died at age 8. Her surviving daughter wrote the most beautiful obituary- it made me cry to read it. Tomorrow would have been Linda's 57th birthday- I had included her when I wrote the January birthdays. Linda was one of the friends that wandered in and out of my life since high school, and that journey has been cut too short.

I finished the newest Coffehouse Mystery, and the newest in the McKenzie series. Now I'm reading a series by Frederick Ramsey about Ike Schwartz, sheriff in a small town in Virginia. I read the newest one first, now I'm starting at the beginning. In between, I read the new Jayne Krentz and the new J.A. Jance, from the library.

Miss Millie's bloodwork came back fine, so she doesn't have any thyroid issues. That doesn't explain why she's eating everything that's not nailed down, and not gaining weight. She's attached herself to Ralph- everytime he sits or lays down, she's right there.

I finished the quilt top that I've been piecing, but I can't put up a picture since it's to be a gift. And I'm working on another that I can't describe, for the same reason. I'm also still crocheting away at Julianna's afghan, which is about half finished.

And the beat goes on!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Short work week

It was nice having Monday off- it made the week fly by. On Monday my friend Barbara came down and we watched the movie Steel Magnolias. It's her favorite movie, and I'd never seen it. The message of the movie was that your strong woman friends will be there for you thru happy times and sad. It was a bit of a tearjerker- Julia Roberts dies in it. And it was strange seeing SallyField playing Julia Roberts mother- will Sally ever age? Barbara knitted and I crocheted while we watched the movie, and afterward Barbara helped me pick a border for the lap quilt I'm working on.

Thursday morning I got a sad email. Linda B, who I'd been friends with since 7th grade, died. Her daughter emailed me. We'd been in sporadic contact for several years, and tried to meet every summer for lunch. Last summer we didn't get around to it, and she'd stopped answering emails. I just figured she was busy, and I knew her health wasn't the greatest. I was shocked to get the email, and very sad. I'm waiting to hear back when her funeral is, or if they're even having one.

With Heather and Ed being in NC now, we're long distance grandparents. One of the things we do is send packages to the family. Last week Steph and I went to the Christmas Tree store, and got some Valentine's Day things, which Ralph packed up and mailed for me. Today Heather called and Julianna got on the phone and said Thank You! The kids love to get packages. Heather said when they were looking at the things we sent, that Eddie said that Grammy and Poppop must really love them! Yep, we sure do! And we now allow money for postage and plane (and train) tickets!

We're getting into bridal shower mode for Manda. The place is booked, and Steph is working on invitations. Ben's Mom, Polly, is coming for the shower! The shower will be a brunch shower, and I'm hoping it's a lot of fun for all involved.

Ralph is working today, so I need to get it in gear and get sewing! Goal for the day is to get the borders on the small quilt.

And the beat goes on!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Another dreary Sunday!

About 40 out, and a cold rain. Ick. A good day to stay in and be glad it's not snow! I went out for a while, to Joann's Fabrics. I needed backing fabric, and of course found some other fabric that I needed. I was planning to food shop today, but that can be put off til tomorrow, when it's hopefully not raining.

Yesterday Steph and I went to the Christmas Tree Shoppe and to lunch. Then we went to the bookstore and she went to the shoe store. Then we went to a new shop called Sprinkles. It's self serve soft serve yogurt- they have 14 flavors. You're given a bowl and you get as much of as many as you want- I got strawberry, vanilla and birthday cake. Then there's a big selection of toppings- I had blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and sprinkles. It cost 45 cents per ounce. And they give you a glass of water with the yogurt.

I'm on the last of the Cleo Coyle Coffeehouse mysteries, "Holiday Grind". I've been enjoying them a lot. I had the first 4 in paperback, and got the last 3 from the library. I'm watching the second season of Big Bang Theory, which I got for Christmas. It's hysterical! I don't usually like sitcoms, because I don't find the so-called humor to be funny, but this one I like. It's full of science and scifi jokes.

While watching the DVD's, I've been crocheting on Julianna's afghan. It's coming along nicely. It's stripes of lilac, pink, blue, cream, light sage, and a variegated. It's a simple double crochet, only picking up the back loop, so it goes fast- about 20 minutes per row. Nice, mindless crocheting.

Ralph went to work yesterday and today. He's feeling a lot better, so it must have been something viral. Mom Mary Jane finished up her course of anitbiotic eyedrops.

I've been reading a lot of blogs, and many of them are by women who either longarm quilt to earn money, or are not gainfully employed. I was starting to feel sorry for myself, for having to trudge off to work everyday. I really could entertain myself nicely if I was home all the time. Plenty of fabric, books, and yarn. But no one is going to pay me to stay home, and the end really is in sight- five more years and I can retire with a decent pension and SS and benefits. By then Ralph will already be retired, and we can move to NC to be close to Heather, Ed and the kids, and be a bigger part in the kids lives. By then Manda and Ben may have kids, and hopefully will be living somewhere they like, so we can go on road trips to visit them. Steph doesn't plan to stay in NJ after she gets her master's, so we won't be abandoning her. She may possibly also move to NC.

And the beat goes on!


Friday, January 15, 2010


It's Friday, payday, and the start of a 3 day weekend! That's the good stuff!

The not so good stuff- Ralph either has a virus or the flu- he's been in bed most of the day. I'm hoping it's "just" something viral and it passes. Miss Millie had her vet appointment yesterday- she has a mouth infection, so has antibiotics. The vet suspects thyroid issues, and they drew some blood. After Ralph advised the tech twice to wear gloves, she did, so she didn't get shredded. Ralph heard Mills yowl from the waiting room- she was not happy. She even broke a tooth in the process. When the bloodwork comes back, we'll know if she has to go on meds.

Toast had an issue last night which we hope was isolated. Steph said she seems to be feeling much better today. And Whiskey is great, a happy little creature.

Happy Weekend, and Happy Birthday to Lou!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


It's just a little warmer- it was in the upper 20's this morning, which is better than the teens!

We had a rocky start to the week with the Moms. Mom Florence had heating issues, which luckily were easily solved.

Mom Mary Jane had a corneal abrasion which necessitated a Sunday night ER visit. Luckily she was Fast Tracked, and we were there and back in two hours. She had to have drops in her eyes every two hours for a week and see the optho today. We thought we'd have to take turns taking days off to do the drops, but she's able to do them herself. And nephew Joseph was able to take her to the optho, since his college doesn't go back til next week.

Steph went to an open house at St. Joseph's University in Philly, where she wants to get her Master's in Fire Science and Public Safety Administration. When the admissions officer found out that Steph has a 3.8 average at Holy Family (but can't graduate with honors- colleges suck) she told Steph that the only way Steph wouldn't be welcomed at St. Joe's would be if Steph murders someone between now and August.

We were afraid we were going to have wedding shower date issues because of Ben's job (when did the grooms start staying at showers anyway? It's just recent, since Heather and Ed got married) but the issue was pretty much resolved and we're going with the original date.

I've been working on a cute quilt that I'm not ready to show yet. It needs borders, and tonight I was too tired to look for fabric that will work. I came home and took a long nap, which is why I'm up now on a work night.

And the beat goes on!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday afternoon

The sky is blue, the sun is shining, and it's still too cold to spend anytime outside! The little bit of snow that we got on Friday is still mostly there- it's too cold to melt it!

We're having a quiet weekend. Ralph had the septic pumped out on Friday, and he's added some chemical to the drains to make sure they're clear. We went out to Friendly's yesterday for a late lunch/early dinner, and I've been in the house since.

I got the first two season of the Big Bang Theory for Christmas, and I'm watching them. The show is simple, and so funny! I only started watching it on TV this year, so the DVD's are new to me. I'm also putting together a quilt top made mostly of Laurel Burch fabrics. The squares are sort of log cabin-y, and it's going together fast.

We have January birthdays! This week is Lou, Sam's husband. He'll be eightysomething. Later in the month is Mary Ester, and Linda, and Janet, and nephew Jim and great nephew Zachary.

I'm still working on crocheting Julianna's afghan, and reading the Coffeehouse mysteries by Cleo Coyle. Since I didn't decorate, I didn't have to un-decorate, which was nice.

And so it goes!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bonus Day Off!

After working two whole days, we're off today for Three Kings Day. It's supposedly a big holiday in the district where I work, tho I've never found a kid who celebrates it. But it was nice to sleep in a little.

It's so cold! The high today is 30! Even for January, this is ridiculous. And the wind is terrible. But at least (knock wood) we don't have snow. I took Mom to get her EKG and BP done, then we went out to lunch, which is always nice. One of our favorite places to go is called The Carriage House. It's got a glass enclosed back porch (yes, it's heated!) overlooking a pond. We very rarely see men there- it's definitely a ladies hang out. My mom always refers to it as "The Old Ladies Home". The food is always good, and they have an herbal iced tea that I always get.

I was kind of planning to do some other errands, but it's just too cold out. Ralph is working- the ER is moving from one space to another, so that's sure to be total chaos. So I'm going to hang out here in the warm, and be glad that I don't live in the Midwest, where they're getting snow again.

And now to throw some laundry in the washer!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Anniversaries Happy and Sad

Today is the anniversary of two events that are very important to my family.

Eight years ago today, Heather and Ed got married. It was a lovely wedding, with Manda and Stephanie as bridesmaid and maid of honor and Ed's Dad as Best Man. We were (and still are) delighted to have Ed as a part of our family. We were fortunate that all four of Heather's grandparents were living and able to attend the wedding. I assigned my sister in law Donna to be the official family crier, because I knew I'd be too busy. Donna did a magnificent job!

Five years ago today, Ralph's Dad died. Rocco hadn't been entirely well for several years, then he broke his hip and went downhill rapidly. His last wish was to be taken home. Mom Florence enlisted Hospice, and Rocco came home the evening of January 3. He didn't seem aware of his surroundings, but I'm convinced that on some level he knew he was home and safe and could let go, and he passed peacefully a couple of hours later. Rocco was a man who loved his family and adored his grandchildren, and he is missed.

So Happy Anniversary to Ed and Heather, and Rocco we miss you!


Sunday, January 3, 2010


The year is starting out cold- it's 21 out! Last night when I took a shower, I could hear the toilet gurgling, which has never happened before. Ralph went investigating, and the septic was full. That was strange, since we'd had it pumped out in December. But then again we had 22 inches of snow melt, plus rain. So in the bitter cold last night, he hooked up a hose and pumped off some of the liquid into the woods.

But he thinks it's got a clog where the big pipe dumps into the septic. So now he's looking for the long drain snake. He thought maybe it was at his brother's, but no luck. He's out searching the garage now.

Manda and Ben are back in Houston. She's glad to be back where it's warm and no snow.

In 2009 I read 153 books. 31 were mine, and the rest from the library. My goal was to read 50 of my own books, so I didn't make it. Right now I'm reading two series- the MacKenzie series by David Housewright, and the Coffeehouse Mystery series by Cleo Coyle. I also keep track of what I've read by using Shelfari, which shows on the right side of my blog.

I started out 2009 by keeping track of fabric bought and used, but that fizzled out. I've concluded that when I see fabric I love, I'm going to buy it. Eventually a project will come along that's perfect for the fabric.

I'm better at not buying yarn, because I don't crochet as much as quilt. Eddie's afghan is finished, and Julianna's is well on the way. After hers, I'll get started on the donation one I always make for the Farm Fair Raffle. Crocheting is more mindless, so I'll do it while I'm watching TV.

2010 looks like it'll be a busy year. Manda's bridal shower will be in March, and the wedding will be in June. I won't get to MQX this year, because it's not over Easter break, so we may go to NC for part of that week. In August we want to go to Williamsburg, and in November to the Houston Quilt Show.

My big goal is to get it in gear and get some of the flimsies quilted, so they can be moved to the done list!

And so it goes!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

2009 is over! Steph and I started out the year by visiting Heather, Ed and the kids in their mountain home in NC, over Inaugeration weekend.
In March, we had Julianna's 2nd birthday party along with Mom Mary Jane's birthday party. Julie was born on Mom's birthday!
In April I flew to Texas to meet Ben's mom, Polly and his Aunt Judy. Also in April, Ralph and I went to Manchester, NH for MQX.
In the spring Ralph put in our fountain on the new patio.
He got a lot done using his new tractor. Working 2 shifts a week rather than 3 made a world of difference for him.
Ben's family went to England to celebrate his parents' 25th anniversary, so Manda came home for her 28th birthday. Sadly, Frenzy died while she was at home.
Heather, Ed and the kids came for a visit, and Steph and Julianna posed.
Tori turned 13! She's almost as tall as Dad Kevin, and much prettier!
Ralph and I drove down to see Heather and Ed's new, new house, the one not on a mountain. It's a great house, and the yard is much more usable.
Manda, Steph, Linda Githens and I went on an Alaskan cruise! We loved it!
Manda, Steph and I flew to NC in September for Eddie's 6th birthday. He's in grade 1!
Steph added Whiskey to her little family. We're so proud of her!
We ended up the year with the December blizzard of 22 inches, and the trip to Omaha. It was quite an eventful year!

Happy New Year!


A quiet New Year's Eve

Stephanie and her friend Mike were going to AC on the train last night to see a group called Jimmy Eats World, so our granddogs came to stay with us. Whiskey is very afraid of loud noises, so Steph didn't want to leave him alone at her apartment. Plus she knew they'd be late getting home.
Both dogs are world class snugglers. The dogs and I were in bed before 11. There was a little discussion about who slept where- they usually sleep one on each side of Steph, and I was on my side of the bed. When she's here, Toast sleeps near the top of the bed between the pillows, and she wasn't giving up that spot.
They don't really have demon eyes- something with my flash does it. Whiskey very industriously took the noisemaker and most of the stuffing out of his toy before settling down with me. Of course the idiots who insist on shooting at midnight woke us up, but we were back to sleep by 12.30.

When Steph came in at 0300, she woke all four of us up. The dogs were glad to see her, but not thrilled that she hauled them out from under the covers and took them home.

Happy New Year from Holly, Ralph, Steph, Toast, Whiskey and Miss Millie!