Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm home

I'm home. I'm drugged. I'm fine. for now.


Surgery Monday

Some of you may know that I am scheduled to have surgery today, exploratory surgery on my knees to clean them up, and maybe see what’s wrong with them. (Other than old age, LOL!) I promised I would update everyone here about that great adventure, so here’s a warning…. DO NOT WORRY when you don’t hear anything. My surgery won’t even start until after 3PM when I have to check into the hospital. More than likely I will not post anything at all until tomorrow morning, so please don’t stress, and don’t be pestering my honey… he will be taking care of me which will be his primary job for a day.

Happy Birthday Anne!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Father Christmas

This morning while chatting with my friend Marge, she told me her son had taken her almost three year old granddaughter to see Santa, but it was not a good trip. Poor Faith was overwhelmed by the jolly old man, and had a total melt down. I do sympathize with her, they can be strange looking.

But I admitted too that I never had that problem with the boys. They never were afraid of any Santa, even the ones we adults were a little skeptical of. One Christmas really sticks out in my memory….

It was 1987 and our first Christmas overseas. In England they have Father Christmas, and he doesn’t look anything at all like the jolly old guy we call Santa. We were in our local town at a …get this… hardware store… and they had a Christmas grotto where you could see Father Christmas. We went upstairs to find this grotto, and found what almost looked like an old tent decorated for the season, with this poor pathetic looking skinny man dressed in a reddish robe standing outside. He greeted the boys and asked them inside his to talk… I was a little apprehensive, but they went right in.

And when they returned to us they were glowing. Now, remember this, Jonathon was all of five, and Michael hadn’t even turned three yet. Christmas was very important to them, especially the jolly old man. Jonathon had started school that year, and I know he’d heard rumors that Santa wasn’t real… but I assured him he was. That there were lots of Santa’s helpers all over the world, but somewhere the real Santa was in charge.

Jonathon came out of that grotto glowing, grinning from ear to ear. He motioned to me to lean down so he could whisper in my ear, and he and Mike came as close to me as they could… Jonathon said to me in his quiet but extremely excited voice… “That is the real Santa Mom, I know he is. He knew we were Americans and knew we lived on base too.” Mike shook his head in agreement, and they both looked back at the old man and waved, then turned around and walked away.
I believe!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

This time last year we had a kitten visiting us. This year we have an older dog, Bounce, who is Steph’s dog. Luckily Steph and Jon are here too, and it’s been a fun holiday. Our Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful, lots of food, too much, and a full table. Sean, Deidra and Xion, Pop and Arden, and the six of us… Mike and Kelly, Jonathon and Steph, John and Marge.

This morning was exciting, although it started way to early for me. But that’s my own fault, since I am a light sleeper, and hear every little noise in the house. At 3AM Jonathon and Steph were up checking on line Black Friday specials. They were hoping to get a TV, but failed… so they went back to bed, and so did I.

Then they were up again, but I slept through, as they left to go deal hunting locally. Again they were after that TV, but WalMart was a mob scene, so they left there and went to Staples. They had much better luck there, and both Steph and Kelly now have brand new laptops.

I did wake up when they got home at 7:20, and have been up ever since, watching Jonathon and Steph play with her new lap top. They just gave up and went to take a nap, so here I am. I think I might do some Black Friday shopping too… wonder what I can find?

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I don’t remember all of our, the Gordon family's, Thanksgivings in detail, but I know we always had a great meal, together as a family. Even the year we ate at a German McDonalds, since our household goods had been packed up to be shipped back to the US, and McDonalds was the only place we could find open when it was dinner time.

One year recently I couldn’t get my boys to tell me if they were coming home for Thanksgiving dinner or going to their girlfriends’ homes. I had told them that when they found that one special lady, the one they wanted to stay with forever, that she became their family and their place on holidays was with her and where she wanted to be. I want them to have their own family traditions, and if having Thanksgiving dinner with her family was it, then that was where they belonged. I knew some year those special ladies would take my boys away, but that’s life…

Anyway, I when I asked, neither boy could say for sure if they were coming home or not, so I decided to make Thanksgiving easier… I cooked lasagna. MUCH easier than all the turkey fixings, and we all love it. Jonathon didn’t make it home, but Mike did, and he was just slightly miffed with me. Not so much because of the lasagna, but because we didn’t have pumpkin pie, LOL. Now when I ask if they are coming home, they do their best to let me know their plans as soon as they can.

This year both Jonathon and Michael will be home, with their special ladies who have become special to us too, and I hope will stay a part of our family forever. And Pop, Arden and Sean, who I think have shared Thanksgiving dinner with us almost every year since we moved here.

All of the things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving are my family and friends.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Strange, I don’t remember to many Thanksgivings from my childhood, those memories have faded away, probably for the good. I think the first Thanksgiving I remember was the year I met my husband. My Father had this idea to cook Thanksgiving dinner for all the women in this group he belonged too, including John’s mother. Somehow it ended up at their house, I think. It was the first of many such Thanksgiving dinners, and I was glad when I didn’t have to attend them anymore. Thanksgiving was a mess back then.

I also remember the first Thanksgiving dinner I cooked. It was a mess too. I put the turkey in and then started everything else. You know what happened, everything else got done a LONG time before that turkey did. Worse, my father was there to witness it, and of course tried to take over, since he was the chef and I was … well unqualified. We argued and I spend an hour or so in the bathroom crying.

Fast forward a few years and John and I were in San Antonio Texas in a little (tiny) apartment. I went to the commissary to get a turkey, but all they had were giant ones. I got one anyway, and John invited some people over and I invited some, and we ended up with a nice crowd, and a great dinner and wonderful memories. Some people ate on the floor, since we only had a few chairs, but no one complained.

Few more years forward, 1981 to be exact, it was Thanksgiving morning I allowed myself to admit that I might be pregnant. I shared that information with my neighbor Nora as she mashed the potatoes for our combined family dinner. I hadn’t even told John yet, I was afraid to. The next day it was confirmed, and our lives changed forever. And our Thanksgivings too. All of a sudden I really had something to be thankful for, a family.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Marge, what are you doing?

Do you really want to know, LOL! I am doing a little bit of everything and a whole lot of nothing. Doing as much as I can every day to get ahead on Thanksgiving and Christmas, yes Christmas. We did our grocery shopping, John helped. Although, honestly, he’s not a lot of help. He just seems so lost in the store, while I know where things are and can get them before I explain to him where they are and he finds them. He managed to obey orders pretty well the last two trips, LOL! Only thing that showed up at home I don’t remember on the list was chocolate donuts, but we both love them so they won’t go to waste, but to waist instead.

Today I started the cooking and cleaning. BIG JOKE.. me cleaning. I sat in a chair and dusted what I could reach. When I couldn’t reach anything else, I stood up until the knees started screaming at me, then I sat down again. I got the office and our bedroom done, so it’s a start.

Then I did some pre-cooking, I started Mom’s Jell-o Salad a favorite I haven’t made for a year at least. It can be made ahead of time, so it’s started. Tomorrow I will make the Sweet Potato Casserole, except the topping.

And in between the cooking and cleaning I am working on future patterns, the pattern part at least since I can’t get upstairs to do any sewing. I have “hired” a whole bunch of new testers, and sent them several patterns to test, and still have three in the works which I am not 100% happy with enough to send. I can keep those ladies busy as much as they want to be, and so far they are doing a great job at finding things to be corrected. (Especially Gail, thanks!)

AND I am wrapping Christmas presents as they arrive in the mail. Been shopping on line and found some fun things for my guys. Wrapping them as they arrive so no one accidently sees their Christmas present when they are here at Thanksgiving.

And that’s what I’ve been up to. Aren’t you sorry you asked?

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Year’s Eve button

On my Yahoo Group Fabricaholics Anonymous we are getting ready for another one of Ann’s terrific New Year’s Eve mysteries. Ann presents really fun mysteries and the excitement seems to grow as we all get ready for another one.

One member of the group sort of challenged me to create a button to announce Ann’s mystery. I didn’t think I wanted to do it, but the more I thought about it, the more I did. (The button, not the mystery)

So I played around a little bit, and came up with two, totally different and totally just for fun. If you want to use one, the code will be on the group page somewhere.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Grocery shopping done

Grocery shopping is done. Well almost, you know how that goes, you always need something. We went shopping last night after an enjoyable but loud dinner out with Kelly and Mike for Kelly’s b’day. She picked a restaurant that just happened to be hosting a charity benefit, and was packed and loud, but we managed to get a table, and had a nice meal. Only the conversation was lacking, since we could barely hear ourselves over the music. But since it was for a good cause, we put up with it, and the food was great.

Don’t get me started on loud music… I hate it. No that’s an understatement, I despise it. (Which is stronger, hate or despise?) And in a restaurant, even more. People go there to eat, not have their ear drums blasted out. Recently we dined out at a nice little place, and I actually asked them to turn the TV down. We were the only ones in that dining area, and didn’t care to watch or hear the football game in progress, but wanted to talk. The waitress was happy to mute it, her team was losing.

But back to grocery shopping… it was delightful. We got there about 7:30 or so and had the store to ourselves. There were people there stocking shelves, preparing for the pre-Thanksgiving rush, and us, pre-pre-Thanksgiving rushing. I don’t think we passed another shopper in an isle until we reached the dairy section. We got almost everything we needed, and even put off a few things.

A manager was stocking a display of butter and crescent rolls, and I asked him if he would be upset if I took some from his display. He said I could but I should wait till Friday when they would be much cheaper. “How much?” I asked, since I hate shopping so much. I’ll go back on Friday to get my three packages of cheaper crescent rolls and free butter.

And they were out of celery, which I have to have for stuffing.

When we got home, and most of the food put away, I decided to add a few more goodies to the menu. I decided to add some other family favorites, which I need to look the recipes up for, and make sure I have all the ingredients. I know I need orange and lemon jell-o for one.

So back to the grocery store again, I hope we can have the place to ourselves again!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I’m just killing time

Not much else to do…. Well that’s not true, there are a billion things to be done, I just can’t do any of them right now. My to do list is longer and longer every day, and my knees hurt more every day too. Surgery can’t come soon enough for me.

Next week is Thanksgiving. Confession, last week I thought it was this week, thankfully my friend Marge set me straight. (Yes I have a friend named Marge, she lives in Arkansas, and no, I am not talking to myself. Although it sure looks that way when we chat, Marge Says Marge Says Marge Says… even I have to admit it looks comical.)

If Thanksgiving had been this week, I would be a mess right now… the house is a mess, the grocery shopping hasn’t been done, and I’m just not ready for a major holiday.

It will be interesting, I have to go off of my pain medicines on Monday, so by Thursday I would be just jolly… not… but the day will go on, no matter how I feel. It won’t be the first time I’ve cooked under the weather, and probably won’t be the last time either.

Right now I’m not even sure how many are coming for dinner, better make some phone calls. I know for sure right now it will be six, with a possible five more… I think I can handle that.

So to kill time, here I am, blog hopping. Perhaps I should get back to those new patterns I am working on. Two have gone out to testers, two more are in final stages and are almost ready to go out. Two more are no where near ready to be checked, guess I will work on those for a while. Maybe…

Monday, November 16, 2009

She met Jeff

I have an internet friend, one I have never met in person, but one who is so special to me I call her Santa. Actually she has been Santa for the last five years or so, hosting a really fun holiday swap. She assigned us a person to gift and of course assigned someone to gift us. One night close to Christmas we got together on line on some chat program, which ever one worked for the majority of us, and opened our gifts. Fun Fun Fun!

Reading our bios, we soon discovered that we were both Survivor fans. That gave us a lot to talk about, who we wanted to get voted out, who we liked and didn’t like, etc.

I believe it was the first year I was assigned to give Santa her presents, so I gave her a survivor care package. She enjoyed it tremendously. And to me reading her opening it was the best Christmas present I could ask for… Fun Fun Fun!

A following year, it may have even been the next one, Santa gave to me and got even, sending me a Survivor care package. It was a hoot, and I still have much of it tucked around here and there. Fun Fun Fun!

Well the other day I got an email from Santa, she had her one of her dreams come true, she met Jeff . She told the whole story in her email, but I’m only going to share part of it with you…

I MET JEFF. You would never believe this but I was on a flight to Reno (by way of San Jose). I walked into the line and prepared to board my flight. As I was waiting, I saw him go by very briefly. I thought "NO WAY... IS THAT HIM?? The dimples gave him away, but could I really tell it was him?” So I boarded right behind the Business Class, and onto the plane. I looked down, then up and there he was!! I quietly said "Jeff??" and he looked up and said "Yes?" and that's when I just about died!

Jealous, you bet I am, but oh so happy for her, lucky gal she is! Being the true friend that she is, she shared with me this picture, which I now share with you. Santa and Jeff, wow! Fun Fun Fun!
PS, I would have just walked by him, afraid to say anything at all and sat there trying to think of something clever to say and probably never said anything and regretted it the rest of my survivor life.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What a difference a day makes

Today’s weather report, sunny and warm, bright blue sky and 70 degrees. What a lovely Sunday it is.

I am in need of a few pattern testers. Two of my testers have decided to have new babies instead of quilting, congratulations to both families. But your gain is my loss, and I must replace you.

I need a few volunteers who are willing to make at least one block a month to test my BOM patterns. I will need you to check for typos, grammar errors, measurements, etc. I would also like it if you could send me a photo of your blocks to add to the web page.

And there will also be a few mystery patterns to test also, where you may be asked to make at least a lap quilt. Again I would need you to check for typos, grammar errors, measurements, etc. I would also like it if you could send me a photo of your blocks and or quilts to add to the mystery pattern.

Interested, send me an email at

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday at last

Weather report, no sun yet, but thankfully the wind and rain have died down. According to our rain gauge we had about four and a half inches of rain, and according to the trees, it was very windy… limbs are down all over the yard.

A few people have asked me for the pattern to the November Retreat project, so I’ve made it into a real pattern, and even named it. Quarter of a Court House is now for sale on my Patterns For Relay page.

Not only was it the retreat mystery, I also presented it to the Mysteries For Relay group at the same time. Maureen, a member of the group, showed off her blocks on her blog, setting them three different ways. I like setting three the best, but since I’ve sewn my blocks together into squares won’t be able to do mine that way. Maybe the next one!

And some sad news to report… my mouse died. Unless you are a retreater and/or have seen it, you won’t know what I mean, but it is a sad thing for me. It was the perfect mouse for me, tiny to fit my tiny hand. However, good news to follow, I found mini mice on eBay, and purchased one. If it’s the same as the one which preceded it, I am buying a supply of them just so I will have one whenever I need it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weather yucky still

DOVER, Del.- Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has declared a state of emergency for Kent County and Sussex counties to better enable response to the storm passing through the region, effective at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Cape Henlopen School District and a whole lot more, closed.

Portion of Route 1 Closed Due to Flooding Both the southbound and northbound lanes of Route 1 in the area of the Indian River Inlet Bridge remain closed Friday morning due to flooding. Waves have breached the dunes just north of the inlet and water is covering the highway. Motorists are encouraged to take Route 26 instead. Other roads in Delaware are also closed due to flooding.

And cable and internet keep blinking, and the power too, and it’s so dark I can’t read… can you say bored?

Thursday, November 12, 2009



It’s almost the end of hurricane season, and we’re getting remnants of a tropical storm combined with other systems, which is acting pretty much like a good old nor’easter to me. We’ve had a lot of rain lately, but yesterday and today have added even more to the saturated ground here. There’s been standing water in areas that normally have it after a good storm, but now it’s more like lakes. The rain is going sideways, and the leaves, what’s left of them, are being stripped from the trees, or shredded right on them.

It sure makes for a dreary day, and if the weather man is right, this is just day two of this, with two more days to come. I’m not going to complain because this is the first major storm of the year, so we’ve been lucky. I’m not going to complain because I know it could be a lot worse.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm home

I’m back home in Delaware, and almost caught up from my time away at the retreat. Oh what a great retreat it was… seeing old friends, making new ones, lot of giggles, more laughter, and just a general all around good time. The November photos can be viewed at if you really want to see them.

I did some sewing myself, up to step four, the squaring up part, on the November mystery. Since I have a hard time cutting while sitting, those blocks may sit a while before I get to squaring them. I’m anxious to get them done, I love the scrappy look of my blocks and can’t wait to see them all put together.

Doing a mystery on line and at the retreat was fun, except when I couldn’t get on line. Thankfully it was a work day for many of the on-line ladies, so they made do until I got connected again. And the retreaters were so busy shopping, they were keeping up with the on line ladies at the end. I just may do double mysteries again in the future.

I’ve had a few requests from non-retreaters or Mysteries For Relay members for the pattern, so I need to come up with a name for it, and convert it to a pattern, so I can add it to my Patterns For Relay page. One retreater who had made the “other” pattern similar to mine said that my way was much easier, and ten times as fast, so much so she was going home to make a second one of mine. Hope she remembers to send me a photo.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Wednesday afternoon

It’s 1:25 Wednesday afternoon and we’ve already shopped out. I did very well, only buying a few yards of backing fabric. Anne on the other hand did a lot for the Pennsylvania economy.

The photo on the left is in front of Sauders Fabrics.

Another beautiful day here, since we got back from shopping we’ve been watching the local farmer harvesting corn. The photo below is from our bedroom window!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Home Sweet Home away from home

Funny, after only one visit here, it felt just like home coming back this trip. And best of all, it isn’t raining! AND as a matter of fact, as we came out of the restaurant after dinner we were greeted by a full moon… and the smell of a little black and white creature…. Oh yes we are in the country.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Retreat and UFOs

Tomorrow starts the November retreat, well for Anne and me anyway. We probably won’t REALLY start until Wednesday morning, but we will be together as soon as her plane lands in Phila tomorrow about 1:30ish.

That sort of made me wonder where has the year gone. We didn’t end the November retreat last year on a good note, a bunch of us came down with something awful, and I even had to be picked up by family members and driven home. So I was really looking forward to starting the New Year… we had big plans, trip to Texas, and more. But just barely into January all those plans went to awry when we were called to NY to tend to Aunt. (That situation is still up in the air if anyone wondered)

And my life has been on the back burners since. Not only because of that, but also because of these bum knees of mine. I started two projects at the Spring Retreat and that’s as far as they’ve gotten. My UFO list, well I finished a FEW things, but barely worth counting. My UFO list shows how poorly I did in finishing, but then again, at least I didn’t start a new bunch this yet. Three new projects in one year, probably the least quilts I’ve done in many many years.

I started the year with 47 UFOs, started three more, and finished four. Which means unless I get some sewing done I will start 2010 with one less than 2009. Pathetic.

Anyway, I will be doing the UFO challenge again next year, hopefully I can do better. And I may sign up for every UFO challenge I find, to motivate me. Here’s one I happened upon while blogging today if anyone is interested. Jacquie at Tallgrass Prairie Studio Not for me, since she wants me to finish all my UFOs before 2010 starts… that will never happen, LOL!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Uh oh… here we go again

When I got up today, my bed side clock said it was 6:45. It was a little early, but it was the first of the month and I hadn’t updated the web pages yesterday, so I had to do that this morning. I got the web pages all done, updated my blog, wrote some emails and chatted with some friends. I commented to one of my friends that I’d gotten a lot done already.

Fast forward, and now it’s 9:30 on my lap top, but 10:30 on the other clocks in the house and the weather channel reminds me that I should have fallen back last night.

Guess who didn’t fall back, and was up at 5:45 this morning.

Interesting November 1st

My web site has a counter on it, it tells me all sorts of details. When I went in this morning to update the BOM page, it showed me that already 124 people had been there looking for the November block… 124! I’m impressed. Impressed that they are so anxious for it, impressed that they are up so early too! But then again November started a lot earlier for quilters on the other side of the world.

So November is here, and I have now updated the BOM page. This month's block is the Ribbons Block.

The 13th November Quilters Retreat will start in just a few days. The 13th! WOW, where has time gone? It seems like just yesterday that someone said to me that I should host a gathering of chatters at that hotel that has the quilt shop in it. 13 years has flown by and now we are retreating in a newer nicer hotel which may not have a quilt shop in it, but has one within walking distance on both sides.

I’m more than anxious for this retreat, happy to be seeing some old friends again. One friend is coming for our annual get together, we’ve known each other for over 22 years now, and I sure wish we were closer so we could see each other more. I’m anxious to see some 13 year friends too, ladies I met through the chat room, who became retreaters, who became very close friends over the years. And I’m anxious to meet all the new ladies too… more friends in the making.

And I’m anxious to show them the new hotel. The October retreaters liked it so much, I’m sure the November ladies will too. But I can’t wait to hear their reactions!