Sunday, February 28, 2010

February is ending!

We spent a quiet weekend. The dogs were happy to curl up with me while I finished up Julianna's afghan.
Whiskey wears his fleece that his Aunt Pat gave him all the time- he's cold.
He decided to sit in this basket that's in the doorway. If you click, it'll enlarge and you can see him better. I was in my stylish weekend at home attire.
Finished! This will be one of Julianna's birthday gifts. It's twin bed sized, and should last forever. I love the soft colors.
My Nook!
So tomorrow is March 1. Frank's birthday, and Rita's Water Ice opens, snow or no snow! We still have about a foot of lingering snow in places. And the weatherpeople are threatening more snow towards the end of the week! Enough already with the snow!
March 3 Mom has her 80th birthday, and Julianna will be 3. Mom and I sent gifts home with Heather so she'll have presents to open on her birthday. Big Mike's birthday is March 31st, so we begin and end March with brothers' birthdays.
We talked to Steph last night, and she's having a wonderful time at Sugarbush, Vermont. She should be on the bus to come home around now, and should get home around midnight. She'll come get the dog pack tomorrow after work.
I haven't done any sewing this weekend, since I've had Whiskey attached to me. But I got the afghan finished!
I read 11 books in February, ten from the library and one of mine. We put the HQ16 back in it's place, so I can get some of the flimsies quilted and on the "done, done" list.
Ralph's back is feeling a lot better, but still not good. He's moving very carefully. Luckily, he's off til Thursday so he can continue to rest.
And the beat goes on!


Friday, February 26, 2010

Snow Day #7

Seven snow days! We haven't had seven snow days in the last several years put together! It finally stopped, after two full days of snow. I have to watch the news for the totals, because it was blowing all over the place. This snow was a light and fluffy one, so I could keep a path for the dogs with a big broom.

Ralph woke up at 0400 with muscle spasms in his back. He could barely get out of bed. Advil, tylenol and res later, it still hurts. He's probably going to have to call out sick from work, something he rarely does. But no way can he be slinging stretchers around- he'll end up as a patient!

The dogs had a good night, once it was settled who sleeps where. Toast has her spot at the head of the bed between our pillows. Miss Millie sleeps on the outside, next to Ralph. Whiskey gets cold, so he was mostly under the covers. When Ralph got up with the muscle spasm, the dogs decided they had to go out. It was a quick trip. Then at 0515 I got the school cancellation call, so we were up for a little while.

So we're having a lazy day. Naps, chewing up toys, chewsticks- it's all good!

And the beat goes on!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Another snow day!

A snowstorm and Ralph is not working! How'd that happen? Progress on the hall bathroom continues. The floor went in the other day.

The old tub and surround is out.
The job involves every tool he has ever owned being spread all over the dining room.
Figuring out the next step.
More tools!
Of course Miss Millie had to see what's going on.
The tub is in, waiting for the surround.
The surround went in today! It looks great! Now it needs trim, spackle, all that good stuff. The vanity top and toilet have to be bought and installed. Luckily Ralph is the guy who can do anything!

I'm typing around Whiskey. He and Toast have come to visit til Monday, while Steph goes off to Vermont with the ski club. He's adjusted well, but is still very needy, and wants to be on a lap all the time.

It's been snowing all day, but the ground is warmer and it's not laying on the pavement. Tonight it's supposed to get colder and we could get another foot. School was closed today, and I'll be surprised if it's open tomorrow. As long as the power stays on, knock wood, we're fine.

I emailed Barnes and Noble customer service about how dissatisfied I am with the one book bundle, and put up a review of how badly it's put together. We'll see if I get any results. I love the Virgin River series by Robyn Carr, but the bundle is awful. I do love the Nook, tho.

Secret project #2 is all pieced and waiting to be quilted. Julianna's afghan is about 2/3 done. I could never make quilts for a living- I'd starve! I want to quilt when I want to quilt, not under a deadline.

I finished The First Rule by Robert Crais, which was really good. Now I'm reading another library book about a female Army sniper, but I can't remember the name, and Whiskey will be upset if I get up to go look.

And the beat goes on!


Sunday, February 21, 2010


It feels like we're going to have snow on the ground until July4! It's been 40 and sunny every day this week, and a lot of melting is going on. But we had a lot of snow, and even after a lot of melting, there's still about a foot of snow on the ground. And the side roads are still only one lane cleared, with patches of ice.

Ralph is working on the bathroom. The floor is in, and today he replaced the vent fan, and fixed our attic fan. The new tub and surround are in the middle of the dining room, along with every tool he owns.

This week I read the new Julie Garwood "Sizzle" and the new Kay Hooper "Blood Ties". Now I've got the new Robert Crais to start. The part of our tax dollars that go to the library is the best money spent!

I downloaded two books to the Nook. One is driving me crazy. It's a four book bundle, and I can't figure out how to go between one book and the other. The page numbers and progress don't show up on screen, and it think it was bundled poorly. I have a question into the tech support group, so we'll see what they say.

I played Suzy Homemaker today, and cleaned the kitchen, made baked potatoes for lunch and lemon bars for later. I also tidied up the stack of CD's in the dining room, then ran out of ambition. I haven't been out of the house all day.

I joined an ABC swap on the HGTV quilting boards. I got the letters B and T. I bought the fabric on Friday, and washed and dried it. Then I cut 27 5.5 squares from each fabric, and bagged and labelled them. Ralph will mail them Wednesday for me. When the hostess gets everyone's squares, she'll repackage them so every swapper gets one each of all 26 letters, with #27going to the hostess. I'll get two sets, since I chose 2 letters. Everyone has to have their squares to the hostess by mid March.

Steph is going on a Vermont ski trip next weekend, which means I'm dog sitting. Of course Ralph is working the entire weekend- I swear the hospital makes his schedule to annoy me. Toast is no problem, she's spent so much time here. Whiskey has only been here for a day at a time before, so it could be interesting.

And so it goes!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Birthday Weekend

We started to have some melting, which led to this huge icicle forming. To knock it down, Ralph has to shovel a path across the deck! Saturday night was a shocker! We got to Sharon's for Zach's party, and I walked into her kitchen, and was greeted by the surprise guests!
Heather, Ed, Eddie and Julianna came up from NC for a long weekend! Everyone but me knew it- I was speechless! I said something totally dumb, like "How did you get here?"
They had gotten up on Thursday night, and visited friends Friday and Saturday. They got to Sharon's really early, so the kids could all play before the party.
Eddie was giving me his serious face while eating cake. The whole group sang four times- once for Zach, once for Jim, once for me, and once for Mrs. Doone.
Cousins Heather, Naureen and Steph got to visit. There was a lot of wedding shower talk!
Mackenzie let Grandpop Frank feed her birthday cake.
Julianna got changed into her jammies. Heather and Ed and the kids stayed over at Jim and Sharons.
Sunday we met up with Mike, Donna and Jake at my Mom's, then we headed out to Christmas Tree shoppe and other stores, then out to lunch. While we were out, I spent 2 years of Christmas and birthday money and bought a Nook at Barnes & Nobles. Ralph and I were researching, as to whether to get the Nook or the Kindle. The Nook won, for me. I got it registered online, and played with it a little last night, but I need to watch some tutorials- mainly, I can't figure out how to backspace when using the keyboard, and I was really getting frustrated with it.

Ed and Heather are visiting with his family today, and will either head back today or tomorrow. We'll see them in a month, when they come up for Ed's race and Manda's shower. It was a wonderful visit!

And the beat goes on!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

We had another snow day yesterday- we only had school one day last week! The main roads are fine, but the side streets, including mine, are a mess. Idiot people who have driveways park in the street, and the plows can only make one lane. I think the boro should ticket the cars in the street.

Steph had a vacation day yesterday, so we met at Olive Garden and she bought me lunch. Soup, salad and breadsticks with alfredo sauce- it was really good. This morning Ralph is taking me to breakfast. We never go out to dinner on my birthday, because Valentine's people are out and it's crowded everywhere.

Tonight we're going to Zachary's birthday party. It was supposed to be last week, and got snowed out. It's always fun to hang out with the family. Ralph is off this weekend, and it's not snowing!

So today I'm 57. That used to sound so incredibly old! I was born on Friday the 13th, a few hours before Valentine's Day. My Mom says it's been her lucky day ever since. I started quilting the year I turned 50- it was on my bucket list, and that was the year Heather was pregnant with Eddie.

And off to the diner we go!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

And more snow!

Yesterday was deja vu all over again! Ralph left for work at 0400, and made it in, tho the roads were extremely sloppy. It snowed, and snowed. Light snow, heavy snow, wet snow- you can see it on the trees across the street.
There really is a road there, under all the snow! The Boro did a good job- they probably plowed 3 times during the day.
The tree branches and wires were really getting covered, and I was getting worried.
There is a basement door roof with an overhang, and you can see the snow outside the window on the overhang roof. I sewed, watched TV, and read.
The trees really did look pretty.
There really is a driveway under all that snow!
I was looking out Steph's window at the garage. Then at 6 pm the power blinked and went out. Mom Mary Jane is on the other side of the main street of our town, and it's rare that we both lose power at the same time. We did this time. Mom Florence in the next town had power, as did Steph. I called Ralph at work, after lighting some candles and the battery lantern. It rapidly got chilly in the house, and I bundled up. They let Ralph leave a little early, and he got home around 8. He got the truck in the yard, but couldn't get all the way in the driveway- he kept sliding. I was so happy to see him!
The power blipped at 9, but went out again. At a little after 10 pm it came back on and stayed on. Yay! How incredibly boring it was without power, in addition to being cold! I could sit at the table and read by battery lantern, but no sewing, no TV, no computer! Boring, boring, boring!
The snow finally stopped late last night. This morning the sky is blue, and the snow is blindingly white. Ralph used the snowblower to make the driveway passable, then headed out to do the Moms driveways. Looking out the window during the night, it was amazing how light it was with the snow reflecting the moonlight.
You can sort of see the road out there!
The view from the bathroom window looking to the woods.
Looking out the dining room window.
From the kitchen window, you can get an idea of the depth of the snow. It's over 2 feet- we had over a foot left from the last snow, and we got about 18 inches this time.
Looking out the slider towards the back. The TV said we've had 71 inches of snow this winter, beating all existing records for the Philly area. Yeah, that's a record we wanted to beat. Every school is closed today, and I doubt any will be in session tomorrow. Too dangerous for the kids to be on the streets.
There really is a deck under the snow. The railing is 36 inches high.

And so it goes! North Carolina is looking really good!


Monday, February 8, 2010

Snow Day!

Our district is mostly walkers, so it closes when others don't. So we have a snow day today, which we'll have to make up. And they're predicting more snow for tomorrow night into Wednesday- we could get another foot! This is getting ridiculous- we've gone entire winters with less snow than this!

Ralph used the snowblower and dug us out. He also went and did the Moms driveways. Mom Mary Jane says she's in til the big thaw, but Mom Florence goes out much more often. The sun is out, the sky is blue, and there's lots of melting going on.

I tidied up the sewing room a little, and sewed squares while watching Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. Harrison Ford is aging very well!

I've got a pot of chili simmering for dinner- it smells wonderful!

And the beat goes on!


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Snowed In!

This is the flimsy (top is together, but not quilted) that I just took off my design "wall" which is actually a sheet hanging in a closet door opening in the sewing room.
I love how the border looks striped, it's actually the way the fabric is shaded.

This is view out the back door on Friday, before the snow started.

This is the main hallway bathroom, which Ralph is remodeling. He's replacing the old green tub and toilet with new white ones.

Looking out the back door during the snowstorm.

Looking out the front door. There really is a road there under the snow!

More during. If you click and enlarge, you can see how hard it's snowing.

You can sort of see the mailbox, and the road, which was plowed twice already at this point.

Still snowing. Ralph was already at work- he left at 0300 and it took him an hour. The interstate was the worst- they hadn't plowed his side of it yet. He packed a bag, and stayed last night. The hospital gave him a private room. When he gets home tonight, he'll have to use the snowblower on the driveway so he can get the truck in.

After the storm, looking out the dining room window. The sky is blue, and you can hear the dripping of the melting snow. And we could get another foot of snow Tuesday! Good grief, we'll never get out of school!
I just finished a really good book, Deeper than the Dead, by Tami Hoag. Four ten year old on the way home from school take a shortcut thru the woods and fall over a semi-buried dead woman. It takes place in 1985, and was really good. I didn't figure out who the killer was until the police and FBI did.
All the years Ralph worked nights, I was never uneasy being home without him, but then again the kids lived home. Last night I was jittery (reading books about a serial killers when home along- not the best idea!) so I stayed up til 3 a.m. I'll be glad when he gets home today.
And the beat goes on!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The snow is coming!

It looks to be a big storm coming- 12 to 20 inches, starting tomorrow afternoon. We're as ready as we can be- I went to the food store for Mom and for us, took Mom some library books, we have plenty of cat food on hand.

This past week hasn't been good. Linda B's funeral was Saturday. Her daughter spoke about Linda, and I think everyone cried. It was nice to meet Megan and her fiancee, and to see Linda's brother and a lot of her cousins that I haven't seen in years. Linda and I were super close thru high school, and after graduation she married and moved away, then divorced and moved back with her two little girls. Anna died as a child from Reye's Syndrome, a month after my Manda was born.

We were in sporadic contact for years and years, and now I'm so regretful that we didn't see more of each other. Work and family kept us both busy, but we each knew the other was only a phone call away. Now Megan has to pack up her Mom's whole life and do something with it. There's a task I don't envy! And it's not something anyone can do for her, because decisions have to be made that only she can make.

It's February! Manda and Steph are both back in school, for their final semester before Steph gets her bachelor's and Manda gets her master's. This month is my birthday, and Doris D's. Ralph is remodeling the hall bathroom. Today he took out the old tub, vanity, and toilet.

And the beat goes on! No pix this post, I have to get busy and take some.