Saturday, October 29, 2011

Guess what!

A first after 15 years of retreating!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Having a wonderful time

The Patchwork Angels' retreat is certainly a different one…. all the ladies know each other, I’m the stranger in the group. Well that was on the first day, I hardly feel a stranger now. I am really having a good time and I am pretty sure they all are too. At least there is an awful lot of laughter going on.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm here

Here being the glorious world of Bird-in-Hand PA. This is just one of the lovely farms in the area. Had a great drive up now just waiting for the ladies to arrive.... I’m sure they are all out shopping.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Car empty and almost full

All that is left to go in the car is my briefcase and purse and me. Since I don’t have a passenger this trip there is plenty of room, even enough room for the two totes I left at the hotel. But boy am I glad I don’t have to move them in and out!

Tomorrow Tomorrow

The sun'll come out tomorrow
So you got to hang on till tomorrow, came what may!
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow
You're always a day away ...

Well truthfully the sun is out today too, which is a good thing since I have to pack the car.  But first I have a few errands to run. 

First is the post office to mail some T-shirts, then I have to go to the drug store.  No I don’t need drugs, I need my shampoo.  The giant store that begins with a wal and ends with a mart has stopped carrying my shampoo so I have to go to a drug store to find it. 

Then I need to get gas.  Well I might need to get gas first, since my gas light went on last night which didn’t make John happy, I’m not supposed to let it get below a quarter of a tank.  But hey, I knew I needed gas and I knew I needed it before leaving for Lancaster and I wasn’t planning on running around… 

And then I will pack the car.  This time I will take before and after photos… or should I call them empty and full photos.  But since I left two huge totes at the hotel, I should have some spare room in the car. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Appliance report

I ran the new dishwasher last night, right after dinner.  That meant it was also prime time TV, we watched 60 Minutes report on Steve Jobs which I found very interesting.  I was more amazed at the bit at the end telling how the I-Pad is helping autistic children communicate. 

And totally remarkable was the fact that the dishwasher ran the full cycle and I barely heard it!  I sit closest to the kitchen and could hear the TV at normal volume and not hear the dishwasher.  Best of all, it cleaned the dishes very nicely, LOL!

So this morning I decided to try out my new Steam & Sweep.  I took it out of the box, put it together and swept the kitchen floor and then steamed it clean!  The floor looks cleaner than it has in years.   (We have Armstrong linoleum which is going on 19 years old) 

So… knock on wood… everything is back in order again! Well not quite everything… only half the kitchen has power and none of the back porch does.  House is also going on 19 years old and you know what that means… 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lowes shopping

You know how when we run to a fabric store for one piece of fabric we usually always come out with more than one piece?  Well I’m finding the same thing happens when we go to Lowes.  John and I went for a GFCI replacement, the one in the kitchen went bad on us, and you would be amazed at all the goodies we found. 

A new surge protector for the office.  John wanted to plug in something and found that all the plugs were taken up with fat plugs that took up more than one space, so we decided to get one that holds fatter plugs. 

A back door key.  We realized one day when the power went out that if the garage was closed when it happened and we were out, there was no way for us to get in the house… well without breaking in that is.  The front storm door is locked and we don’t have a key, so that door is useless.  And somehow John didn’t have a back door key and I did.  Since we’re not always together when we get locked out, we had to remedy that.

Sliders for the buffet on the back porch.   I like to rearrange furniture and can’t push it by myself any more, getting weaker in my old age.  So we got some nifty furniture sliders.  And while we were right there in the slider section, we got new slider feet for the sofa back there too.  Now hopefully I can rearrange any time I want to.

Steam&Sweep™ Hard Floor Cleaner  OK, I saw it advertised on TV and it sounded like a good idea.  “The head of the Steam&Sweep™ can sweep and mop your floor at the same time – so you can clean in half the time! The rotating soft bristle sweeper brush sweeps dirt and debris into the Easy Empty™ Dust Bin. When you press the Steam on Demand Trigger, the mop releases powerful steam that will loosen grime while the washable microfiber mop pad wipes it away. This entire process can be done simultaneously, so you only have to go over your floors once.”  Still to be tested but I will keep you posted.  Anything to give me more sewing time!

New door knob for the front door.  When locked out I noticed the front door had tarnished badly and when I finally got in and tried to use my key in it, I realized it was broken.  So even though we can’t get in that way because the storm door is locked we replaced the door knob… one can’t have a tarnished broken door knob you know. 

And yes, we did remember what we went in for.  We even got a spare… just incase.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

More orphans

Orphan  [noun] someone or something who lacks support or care or supervision
An orphan is a child abandoned by his or her parents.

In the quilting world an orphan is a block or project which has been abandoned by its owner.  Yesterday I got another box of orphans delivered to my doorstep.  Abandoned just like a child in a basket cardboard box, left there to be discovered by us upon returning from dinner.

Does that make you sad… well get over it!  I was tickled to get this box, and I am all ready for this baby!  When I was in Lancaster last week I bought lots of brown yardage to be the borders, backing and bindings of all the quilts I plan to make from this box, and the box that preceded it.   

And this box like the one before it was full of goodies, some instant quilts just waiting to be finished.  And these will be a great start to My Year of Giving which starts in January. 

Thank you my dear friend! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

I am sooooo happy!

It takes so little to make me happy

Meet my new dishwasher, cute and quiet.  Bet you can't even hear it running... neither can I.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What didn’t I do today?

I was up about my normal time, even though the sun was hiding and it would have been a good day to sleep in.  I checked email, did some on line work and then started my errands.  I had a pretty long list today and I think I got everything done!

Drop off cleaning    John doesn’t like the way I iron shirts and since he’s paying, I take them to the cleaners. 

Staples for ink     Printing patterns takes a lot of ink, printing color patterns takes even more and I don’t like giving out B&W patterns so I’ve been using a lot of ink… and I ran out of color. 

Bank to make deposit and withdrawal    Deposit money in retreat account and take money out of personal account.  Can’t buy groceries etc with retreat money, then I wouldn’t have any to pay the hotel bills when they come due. 

Look for dishwasher    No I didn’t lose mine, it broke.  It broke back in February and I haven’t had the extra money to get a new one.  With the holidays coming up I decided I’d better start looking for a new one.  Being the savvy shopper I am I researched them… depends on what you want and how much you want to spend but I narrowed it down to a few models.  And the first place I went had one of the ones I was looking for so I got it.  I had to, it had a $100 rebate on it making it cheaper then I had planned on paying and the rebate is almost out of time, so I got it.  Now I have to remember to mail in the rebate form. 

Pick up T-shirt order    That was probably the easiest thing and I always love stopping at the print shop.. they are fun people and oh so very generous to me and my cause. 

Wal-Mart shopping    I actually for almost everything on my list.  Almost but not quite but it isn’t Wal-Mart’s fault, the manufacturer discontinued my shampoo.  And I found color socks, not plain white, actually real colors like blue and purple and navy!  I haven’t seen colored socks at Wal-Mart in years… they are always sold out by time I remember to look for them.  (For the last three years I’ve bought white and died them purple… I’m throwing them all out tonight!)

Do more packing for Angels Retreat    All the “prizes” are packed, all wrapped up nicely in some lovely fabric… well sorta lovely… maybe

And here is it 4:00 and I’m finally taking a break.    I think I deserve one! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bob’s Blankie Brigade

Last year at one of the fall retreats I met Helaine who was making small quilts for something she called Bob’s Blankie Brigade. Her energy and enthusiasm for the project really impressed me and I decided I would add Bob’s to my list of charities I give quilts to.

I like Bob’s because they give to many different groups, not just one. They make knitted and crocheted blankets, wraps and covers, and knitted and crocheted caps too, as well as many quilts of all sizes.

Their goal is to provide a warm and loving touch to children and adults in need. I like that so I am adding Bob’s to my list of charities.

And I have decided that in 2012 I will have a charity quilt-in every month, giving a free pattern or project that is easy and quick and suitable for any of the charities on my list.

Check back for more information as 2012 sneaks up on us!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More learning

I learned that some people truly do read what I write here, and sometimes what I write even influences someone to make a life changing decision. 

I learned that people care about what I write even if they don’t agree with what I say all the time. 

I learned that people are learning about me as I write, maybe even as much as I am learning about myself. 

I also learned that there are some truly generous people who read my blog and in turn give me the opportunity to be generous to someone else. 

I learned that many honestly worry if I don’t write daily, and at least a few now understand why I don’t write when I am retreating. 

I learned that blogging is just as important as Facebook, and to many people even more important!

And at lunch today I learned that Mufasa likes turkey.  How did I find that out?  I made myself a sandwich and set it on my table in the living room.  I went to check the laundry, came back and half the sandwich was on the floor minus the turkey. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Before and After

These photos show my car packed before and after the retreat.

Imagine how packed it would be if I had to bring back those two totes the hotel is storing for me? 

What I learned at the retreat

Normally I am the teacher, this year I was definitely the student.  I learned a lot about people and came home with a greater knowledge of the ladies from the October Retreat.  They are a truly generous bunch of ladies. 

We had an ugly fat quarter contest at the retreat.  Each quilter was to bring three ugly fat quarters.  Quite a few had to go out and buy their uglies, since they had none in their stash.  Others had many in their stash and some brought many more than three. 

Many of the fat quarters were only ugly to the person who brought them.  There were lovely floral fabrics, far from ugly, but perhaps the owner was tired of making floral quilts.  There were some very graphic fabrics, not everyone’s taste, but not necessarily ugly either.  And there were some camouflaged fabrics, they bordered on ugly but certainly won’t to the boy who gets this quilt. 

Any fabric can be ugly to someone, we all have different likes and dislikes.  But what is ugly to one person can be beautiful to another.  Not everyone likes the same thing, and that is what makes us who we are.  Not everyone likes 30s reproductions and not everyone likes metallics.  But we all love quilting and that is what brings us together.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Almost done

Well this retreat is ALMOST over, just a few ladies still packing up their stuff from the conference room. I've taken one of four (or 5) loads out to the car and will be heading south sooner or later. The retreat went very well and I think everyone had a great time. I haven't stopped except to sleep and my body feels like I forgot to do that.... my roommate would tell you all otherwise.

Good news, the hotel is allowing me to keep two large totes here so I have two less things to load in the car, unload at home, reload week from Wednesday, unload at the hotel... you get the idea. Have I said how much I love this hotel?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Having fun!!

Having so much fun I've forgotten to post here OR on my groups!
Report in on Monday, I promise

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Home Sweet Bird-in-Hand

Arrived safely, only one buggy the whole way up. Now to get sewing!
Or shopping… or both!

Anyone interested in making a log cabin?

I had to share this before I got on the road to Lancaster.  Someone apparently searched for log cabin and came up with my web page.  Me thinks this is a little larger than I want to make a log cabin... image all those strips!

According to our survey in the market of China,it shows that the log cabin have a prospect market in China, we hope that we can joint together to develop this market.
The specification of the log cabin we required are :70 for 5 suits; 80 for 8 suits; 100 for 10 suits; 120 for 5 suits ; 150 for 3 suits , and the height is 3.5m. Please design the pattern and foundation figure.
If you have similar designs,pls sent them to us for reference by email. And pls offer us a good scheme and competitive price, so that we can have a long-term cooperation.(The style of the log cabin should be classical and novel, and the appearance should be elegant.)The valid time is 30 days.
Thanks for cooperating.
Best Regards

I think I will pass on this one, too busy right now!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Printing again

Yes, again.  I have already printed three patterns for the retreats but when I was looking at my idea sheet I decided to add a fourth.  I hope the ladies are all willing and ready to sew a lot of different blocks this retreat. 

The car is more packed today than it was yesterday.  I added my slotted ruler and my Featherweight table.  Fortunately they both are flat and don’t take up much room.  Actually they fit quite nicely behind my seat. 

I think all that is left to go in the car is my purse and my briefcase.  I hope, because there isn’t much more room!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Packed and loaded, almost

I am amazed at what all we fit in my little car. Oh that photo doesn’t show half of it believe me. I should have taken a picture from the inside looking out, LOL!

On the bottom you can see two cutting mats.  Rulers are behind the seats where they won't get damaged, hopefully.  The big red container has in it risers to make the conference room tables higher, irons and a few miscellaneous other retreat necessities. Behind that is the electrical container with nine rolled extension cords and six surge protectors. Then there are the three Featherweights. One of the ladies at this retreat wants to purchase one, so I am bringing three for her to choose from. And of course I need one to sew on while up there. The basket is my sewing supplies as is the smaller tote bag has other miscellaneous supplies in it.

In front of the Featherweights are three huge tote bags, one with all the ordered retreat apparel, one with prizes and the last one with other miscellaneous supplies. (There is way too much miscellaneous in there, LOL!)

I still have to put in there a quilt, my suitcase, my computer bag and my passenger’s suitcase and sewing machine and supplies. I will TRY to remember to take a picture of everything in there… but no promises. We’ll be in a big hurry to get on the road!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Four More Days

Only four days left before the first fall retreat.  I can’t wait, but I will have to because I am not ready yet.   I have one page of six printed… ink ran out of the printer just about the time I ran out of energy last night.  So I’ll have to finish printing today, then staple them all together…. 

That’s actually the part I dislike the most, stapling them.  I used to have an automatic stapler, you just put the papers in and it stapled and it was easy.  Now I have to do it manually… so old fashioned and slow.  (Oh tell me I am not spoiled by modern gadgets, LOL!) 

There is a pile of “stuff” in the back room, all waiting to be put in the car.  I’m not sure it will fit this time…. And I have to leave room for my passenger and her stuff too.  Packing will be interesting… very interesting indeed. 

Friday, October 07, 2011

Following blogs...

I use Google Reader to follow my most favorite blogs.  Not all are quilting related, some are family, some are friends but a huge chunk are quilters.  Recently I’ve noticed a trend on Google Reader… many quilters are showing only the first three or four lines on their blogs forcing you to go read the entire entry on their web page.  And then when you get to that web page, it’s almost impossible to find the entry among all the ads, followers, maps, weather reports and who knows what else. 

So let me analyze what I am spending my time on…  I read three lines of Ms Quilters’ blog and want to see more, so I click on the URL.  It takes 34 seconds for the page to open fully because she has so much on there.  (And I am on high speed net)  At the top of the page is a HUGE header, takes up my entire 17 inch screen.  So I scroll down a bit, more of that same header, followed by her tabs, which there are so many of you can barely read what they say.  Scrolling down some more I find two ads, one on the left and one on the right.  On one side the ad is quilt related, on the other, far from it.  I am not real sure what THAT has to do with quilting so I’m not sure why she has ads like that on her site. 

Scrolling down some more I find on one side of the screen a list of blogs she likes to read, a list of her key words, the blog archive, every day every month for the last twenty years, a list of her finished quilts, a list of her unfinished quilts, her local weather report, and another advertisement.  On the other side of the page is her calendar, not one month, but three with where she was every single day for the last three months. 

Now let me pause here to say something… if I was a burglar who lived in her area I would pay close attention to this calendar.  She is gone to this club every Tuesday and that organization every Wednesday and has her hair done every Friday morning.  How convenient of her to tell me when she’s not going to be home.  

Back to the other side of the page where under the three months of her calendar the burglar so enjoyed I see a Live Traffic Feed with where the last 200 readers came from, photos of all her blog followers, a list of the swaps she participating in, a list of all the blog rings she belongs to (I didn’t know there were that many!) and a list of her favorite web sites. 

And crammed in between those lists is her blog entry for the day, in the tiniest font possible to publish

Apparently she doesn’t think people come to read what she has to say anymore, so I guess I will just delete her from my list of favorites.  And I think I will check my own blog and see how I can unclutter it!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Interesting Thursday

Day started out normal and went downhill fast.

I got up, showered, got dressed and sat down with my morning coffee to check the internet. 

At 8:45 I started to leave for my Doctor’s appointment and the power went out. 

Regardless I had an appointment so I had to leave.  Only I couldn’t open the garage door.  No power no opener.  So I pulled the magic red handle and managed to get it open manually… how old fashioned. 

Then I went to drive out, only I’d left my car keys in the house.  No problem, I had a house key in the car.  Hadn’t used it in several years, but I found it.  Problem was, door and key weren’t cooperating with each other so I had to go use the back door.  Fortunately that opened for me, and I hadn’t locked the inner door, so I was in. 

Found car keys, right where I left them by my coffee and went out through door that wouldn’t open from garage.  Locked it again and pulled car out of garage.  Got out of car to close garage door… I couldn’t reach it.  So I reached for a broom John had up on a nail and pulled it down to use as a handle and got hit in the head when a mop decided to come down at the same time.  Ouch

I managed after all that to get to the Doctor’s on time.  Not that it mattered, she was running late already.  My 9:15 appointment didn’t start until 10 and I was finished by 10:15.  Went and got the car washed, it needed it, and headed home. 

Power was still out so I entered through back door, locked it, went in house and… power was still out.  Called power company, they said it would be back on at noon.  Called at 12:10 and they said it would be back on at 1:00.  Called at 1:15 and they said it would be back on at 3:00.  Called John and he came home and started up the generator, hooked up the frig and went back to work.

I had dry cereal for lunch, finished my cold coffee and read for a while.  Thank goodness I still had some real books.  Then I got thirsty.  Fortunately what is in the frig was still cold.. and I enjoyed a nice tall glass of ice tea.  Only that made me want to you-know-what and with no power we have no water pump and that means no flushing. 

Fortunately power came back on at 2:59 and now life is back to normal… if there is such a thing.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Now I am mad!

If you read me often you may remember that Extreme Home Makeover recently did a build in my neighborhood.  The Rev Dale Dunning was built a lovely home, commercial kitchen and more in support of her Jusst Sooup Ranch.  Dale feeds hundreds of people in many locations all around our area.

Now her new neighbors are fighting her to keep her from serving people at the Jusst Sooup Ranch.  One says “it’s possible that sex offenders, mental patients and substance abusers would be in the area” 

Excuse me, this is a rural area on a main road.  Any hitchhiker on that road could fit that category.  And believe me, I’ve seen many hitchhikers on that road and in that neighborhood too. 

Anyone in your neighborhood could fit that category too.  You can’t know everyone who lives around you, not in a rural area like that.  When you bought your house did you knock on each door in your neighborhood to find out the details of all of your neighbors and everyone who might ever visit them?  Do you ever go out in public and stand in line at the grocery store.  You could easily run into a sex offender, mental patient and/or substance abuser at the grocery store, local dollar store or heaven forbid, even your Doctor’s office or the local hospital. 

There are all kinds of people in life, the good and the bad, the rich and the poor, the sick and the healthy.  If you want to avoid those people, move somewhere where you won’t run the risk of running into someone you might not like or who might be one of those people.

Try the moon.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

No hummers today

Last night it went down to 42 around here.  Today I have not seen any hummingbirds at all, not one.  Fall is certainly in the air, even the maple leaves are falling all over the yard. 

Getting closer to retreat time.  I still haven’t done anything with the samples, but at least I know where they are now.  I organized some more things today too, slowly but surely getting ready.

I did get an inspiration for a new quilt today.  I was looking at some photos a friend had posted on Facebook and one really talked to me.  It said make me a quilt, so I’m working on that.  Well the design part of it anyway, no time for sewing right now.

Spoke too soon, an hour later and we've seen both hummers from yesterday again, one at a time.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Hummers again

There is a reason they don’t keep track of when hummingbirds leave an area… that’s because the minute you think they are gone one shows up.  The other day I said we have one left…. Today at the feeder I see two. 

Not missing after all!

Remember the missing retreat samples which were put away during the wedding frenzy?  I found them! 

Now if I can get my fingers to cooperate maybe I can get the hand work finished before the first retreat in just 8 days.  Wish me luck, this fall chill has made these poor arthritic fingers achy.  Not to mention my toes cold… I even had to put on socks today.  And we turned the heat on too.  Burrrrr

Sunday, October 02, 2011


The birds not the car.  I never liked that car, looked too much like a tank to me, even when painted bright colors.  But anyway, I’m not talking about them today, I’m talking about my hummingbirds. 

We had a lot this summer, first one arrived on or about April 15th like they do every year.  And I really think there were more babies this summer then in some years past.  It seemed like there was a new batch at the feeder all summer. 

Photo taken in July.. the later hummers have been camera shy.
Mufasa has been kept entertained by their antics outside the window.  He sat there day after day watching them.  Early in September one actually was watching him, getting right up to the window and hovering there almost nose to bill with him.  Both John and Mike got to see this happen, but the hummer was very camera shy and took off before I could catch a picture. 

As September rolled on they started disappearing.  By the wedding there were just a few left visiting the feeder.  And now it is October and we have just one who is here enjoying having the feeder all by his or her self.  I’m not sure who is going to miss them more, Mufasa or me.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Happy October

October already, this year is flying.  I love fall, the leaves changing colors, the chill in the air and of course quilters retreats!  This year there will be two retreats in October, both fully booked with quilters who are ready to shop and socialize.  Yes we will do some sewing, and hopefully the ladies will all enjoy what I have lined up for them.

I am looking forward to both retreats, but both will be different.  The first retreat will have 23 ladies and all but two are repeat retreaters.  It will be like old home week for this group and I know it will be an exciting week.  Guaranteed laughs with this crowd and hopefully great weather for our shopping.   

The second retreat will be unique to me, eight of the 23 ladies will be new to me, but unlike years past they will all know each other before they come.  That’s because that retreat is a “private” retreat, reserved for a group of women from upstate NY.  (Well they call it upstate, but that’s still being debated.)   Since they all know each other already, I’ll be the stranger in the crowd.  But I’m sure this retreat will have plenty of laughs also, and I’ll let you know how much sewing gets done. 

I’m looking forward to all the retreats, and wish this first week of October was over so I could start heading to Bird-in-Hand now!