Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What's happening

Well… first, I am OK.  Nothing wrong with me, I am healed, recovered and everything is almost back to normal.  I see the rheumatologist next week and will know how my “counts” are doing, but I guess that means first I have to visit the vampires again soon.

Arden, John’s step-Mom, is still in the hospital, in ICU.  She went in for simple outpatient knee cleaning a week ago.  They found she had pneumonia after the surgery while in recovery, no signs before.  She has been on a breathing machine, and every time she even slightly wakes up she pulls all the tubes and needles out and they have to re-sedate her and start over. 

That made for a not very joyful Thanksgiving, we missed her at the table and in the festivities.  However we did the best we could to keep things normal for Pop.  Both boys men were home with their ladies and Eric joined us for dinner too.  After dinner and some football they all went to the movies, and after the movies started their shopping. 

Mike and Kelly went back to Maryland late Friday night and Jon and Steph stayed until Sunday afternoon.  Yesterday was court with John’s mother, the judge dismissed all of her objections to the accounting. 

And until there is something joyous to talk about, I think I’m going to take a break.  Prayers appreciated if you are so inclined. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sharing a favorite recipe

Since I'll be making this today, one less thing to cook tomorrow, I'm sharing this family favorite recipe with you. 

Sweet Potato with Coconut
Serves 10 – 12 (Can be halved easily)
4 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup white sugar
1 stick butter or margarine
½ cup milk (or orange juice)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup coconut
2 eggs slightly beaten

½ cup brown sugar
½ cup nuts (I use pecans)
¼ cup flour
Mix thoroughly, (I blend in food processor.)
1 stick margarine or butter

Heat sweet potatoes, sugar, one stick butter and ½ cup of milk in saucepan.  Add eggs, vanilla and coconut.  Mix thoroughly.  Pour into 13 X 9 inch baking dish. 

Top with topping.  Slice stick of butter over topping, and bake at 350º until brown, about 15 - 20 minutes.
Enjoy, I know my family certainly will.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

AOK for me at least

Just returned from my Doctor’s appoint and have been given the all clear, everything is OK and no further butchering surgery is required.  I see the rheumatologist early in December and am hoping she will say the same.  I’m tired of seeing so many Doctors and want to get my normal life back. 

On the other hand John’s Dad is not well, just returning home from a short visit at the hospital and now Arden is in with pneumonia.  Say a prayer they both recover and soon.  Their life is one Doctor’s appointment after another and that is a horrible life to life.

And I can happily report I got that Christmas project all cut out yesterday and about a dozen blocks finished.  More after Thanksgiving

Monday, November 21, 2011

Today I plan to sew!

Well that was my plan when I got up this morning, but so many things have interfered.  First I was checking email and noticed some of the keys on my keyboard aren’t working right.  I cleaned it off and then noticed my hinge row was off completely, so I called Dell.  The nice guy did some updates but that didn’t help, so they’ve ordered me a new keyboard and say it will be here by Wednesday.  I am not worried, because so far most of the keys are working, and I still have my traveling lap top as a backup.  But just incase, I am backing this one up today. 

Then there was laundry to do, three loads.  Between loads I did a little more cleaning up around here, and now I am ready to go sew.  Wonder how many ten minute table runners I can get done before the dryer buzzes again?
Updated August 30, 2012
The original link was removed by the shop that had shared it so I have updated it with a link to the original PDF on Delaware Quilts.  Please see the page Ten Minute Table Runner for more information and lots more links

Sunday, November 20, 2011

To the rescue!

This morning a hero came into our house and within ten minutes had our electrical problem solved.   Yes, ten minutes.  John worked on that problem off and on for two months… and it was fixed in ten minutes.  We tried to give our hero a check for his troubles, since we would have had to pay to get fixed if he hadn’t helped us, but he wouldn’t take it.  He refused to take it, even when I threatened to send it to his wife.  He said that’s what family is for, helping each other. 

Hearing that from a family member was strange for me… very strange.  That on top of the recent “reunion” at the retreat has given me a new look on family, that part of the family anyway.  I’ve not had a warm “family” feeling in years and finally the family glow is returning. 

Well.... not completely, but at least we know that not all the family hates us anymore. 

And yes, I am mailing the check and I sure hope she cashes it, or else I will have to try something drastic. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Yes I took a few days off.

Whoops sorry, meant to mention that in my last post.   I am OK, still recovering but doing better, I think.. I hope…  I see the butcher surgeon on Tuesday and am hoping he will be happy with his work and not have to repeat the procedure. 

I’ve been catching up on housework, straightening up so we can be ready for a house full of company next week.  All the kids are coming home for dinner. 

I’ve washed all my purchased fabrics, not that much this last retreat, but some, and put everything away where it belongs.  I even did some straightening up in the sewing room.  I hope to get up there to do some sewing soon, I have a quilt to make in the next 30 days.  Wish me luck!

Boy do I have a lot to be thankful for

I got an email this morning, the subject was “Deposit of $30.5 Million‏”.  What a pity there was an attachment that was to be opened to get all the details and that attachment set off virus alarms on my lap top.  Do you think I should email them back and tell them? 

So today I am thankful that I am not that gullible and that I have a good virus blocker. 

And I am thankful that our gas fireplace has decided it can work another winter. 

And I am thankful that an electrician is coming by to fix the kitchen for us.  I’ve only had half a kitchen for two months and will certainly need every outlet on the counters next Thursday.  And I am thankful we have $ in the bank to pay the electrician too!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Warning to ALL politicians

Don’t call me. 

That you think you can is another annoying thing you politicians get away with that us common people can’t.  There is only one thing worse than a political phone call, and that is one from "Rachael at card services with an important message" about my credit card. 

So take this warning… if I get a phone call from you it is a guarantee that I will not vote for you. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Retreat report

A couple of people have asked me to make a report on the November Retreat and I’ve even had a few phone calls asking about it… so here’s my report.

First, my problems.  I had a flare up of polymyalgia and another annoying problem which just made things more complicated…. I wasn’t allowed to drive.  So my dear husband drove me up to my son’s in Newark, and my dear son picked up my friend Anne from the airport and brought her to his home, and then she drove me to Lancaster for the retreat.  I had a great nurse Cindy on duty the whole retreat and Anne did a pretty darn good job of taking care of me too.  They, along with all the retreaters and the hotel staff made darn sure I was doing OK, and I did!

The retreat was a very special one, the 15th November retreat.  There were three of us who are still original retreaters, Candy, Mariann and myself, all still retreating after all these years.  There were also two retreaters who have attended 14 retreats, one ten, one eight and a total of 153 retreats for the whole bunch of us.  There were seven ladies who were attending their very first retreat, but you could hardly tell…. They fit right in like they’d been retreating for years.

I’m sad to say we didn’t do much project wise; my early bedtime sort of spoiled that.  However some of the ladies made pinwheels, and I finished one pinwheel quilt which I turned over to Candy for the shops charity.  There was a lot of other quilting done and even a few projects were finished.  And of course shopping, everyone contributed greatly to the local economy. 
There were three sisters in attendance, Candy, Cindy and Dawn and six other sisters were sort of there too, Deby, Pat, Cheri, Geri, Tesa and Cheryle.  It was funny for me to keep running into family at the retreat, and I’m glad they got to see I do have another life other than Relay. 

We had a celebration dinner, raised over $300 for Relay For Life, had a fun Pollyanna and then it was all over.  Everyone’s signed up to come back again next year, along with the missing few and a few others, we’ll have a full house next year, but I bet it will be another year of fun!

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

A friend sent me this email, and I thought it was a great idea, so I’m sharing it with you all.  I for one will be giving all made in the USA gifts for Christmas this year.  Not saying what, because I know my family reads this!
As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor.
This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Oh.... Yes there is! It is time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?
Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.
Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates. How about giving either your local animal shelter a nice donation to help feed and care for the homeless animals that are being taken care of.
Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamins on a Chinese-made flat-screen TV? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.
There are a gazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint.
Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.
How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.
OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.
Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip.
And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.
Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
Honestly people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community.If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.
You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US (We the People), encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we could not imagine.
THIS is the new American Christmas tradition!!
Please pass this around we can make a difference, can't we?
And I have to add, anyone want a new fish tank?  Support the growing Terra Reef company by installing a beautiful tank in your family room. Then instead of sitting around the boob tube you can sit and watch your fish and corals.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Another successful retreat

I think…. Have I had a good time? Certainly, despite the pain which bothered me occasionally. I have had two excellent nurses, one real and one just learning but she did a great job, and the pro did a pro job. I feel much MUCH better than I did when I got here, but I am so ready to go home.

This retreat was only four nights, but I’ve been here five and I am quite worn out. I didn’t do a lot of sewing, but I did finally finish one of those ten minute table runners, it only took me three retreats.

The ladies here have been very understanding of my mood swings and early nights and I certainly appreciate it. Much of the retreat is a blur in my mind, but I have photos of most of it to remind me of what I missed out on.

If you were here, thank you. If you missed it… sorry.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

15th Annual Quilters Retreat

OK. So someone suggested a group photo. We gathered together and pushed and shoved everyone until they fit in the camera. I set the timer and ran to my seat… Candy sitting next to me put her arms up as I sat down and I thought I’d bumped her. Camera clicked and I got up and went to the camera. Got everyone lined up again and started over. Same thing, Candy put her arms up when I sat down, camera flashed, I got up and started again. Third time, I sat down, Candy’s arm went up and someone else said “Mine fell off” and I looked right and saw the moustaches… And about died laughing. I could not stop; as a matter of fact I hurt from laughing… but it as so worth it!

The idea was Marji’s although I have no idea why she thought I was into moustaches?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

So far so good

Retreat going well, me so so.  I'll live and despite it all am enjoying myself

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Double whammy, big owie and Bird-in-Hand look out

Yes I know I haven’t posted. 
Yes I have had some “problems” 
But no, they are not keeping me away from the 15th November retreat. 

I will explain later, maybe, maybe not.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Fall in my backyard

Dreary Friday

No sun today, and no energy either.  Guess they go together.  So what am I doing to keep myself busy?  I’m reading a good book.  I’m a little behind on The Elm Creek series, so I’m reading  “A Quilter’s Holiday” to catch up.  I started it a while ago but it got set aside for something else.  Yes, set aside, a real paper book.  I have “The Aloha Quilt” in paper too and then the ones after that are on my Nook. 

I’m one of those people who swore she would never read a book on the computer, but I do and I enjoy them just as much as the paper ones.  And when my fingers hurt it is easier to turn the pages on the Nook!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Haircut and heartbreak

I first went to my current hair salon when we were visiting home before heading to Europe in 1987.  Michael got his first real haircut there, the “buzz” he wanted to get rid of all the blonde curls I loved so much.  When we returned from Europe six years later I would make appointments when we were home visiting.  Then we moved here and I was happy to have a salon I knew.  Hairdressers came and went, but I stayed there because I knew the owner and liked all of the ladies who worked there.  They moved and I moved with them. 

My current regular hairdresser has been cutting my hair almost as long as I can remember, a year or so before they moved to their current location.  I trust her with my skinny hair and odd cow licks and I know she will always do what I want done.  (Well except for the wedding but she did what she knew had to be done to keep my hair looking good all night, even if it did take a whole can of hairspray.)

When I returned home from the retreat I had a message to call my hairdresser, and I just now got around to doing so.  The shop is closing.  Such a sad thing, I hate seeing small businesses closing down, especially one I love so much.  I will miss them all.

I need a hair cut now, but can't go in there because I know everyone will be sobbing and sad.   However my gal has told me where she will be working for now on and I will follow her there…. I hope it is even half as nice as the old shop was  although I don’t think that is possible.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Houston Quilt Festival

A friend sent me a link to the winners at Houston Quilt Festival.  http://www.quilts.org/winners.html

I looked… a lot has changed in the quilting world

A lot of them are appliqué.   Appliqué does not inspire me, instead it frustrates me. 

Many others are art quilts, beautiful in some cases, not so much in others and again they do not inspire me. 

I am not saying they did not deserve the awards they were given, I am just saying that I was not inspired to try to make one for myself. 

Although, I have to agree with the judges of the Traditional Pieced category, I LOVE the Barcelona Crow's Nest by Patricia Delaney, now that’s my kind of quilt!  I would love to see that in person.   And that might just inspire me to try that myself.

I wish they had a category for quilts that just keep you warm.…. I seriously doubt any one of those award winners will ever keep anyone warm.  I’ll just keep on making my plain old ugly but extremely warm and usable pieced quilts and the rewards I will get from making someone warm and happy is good enough for me!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

November BOM

The November BOM is The Best Friend 

What an adventure!

The Angels retreat is over and will go down in the history books for sure, at least mine!  This was the first retreat that no one, not one single person, seemed to care that we had an itinerary.  Apparently they don’t follow schedules when on retreat, LOL!  They just kept on going like energizer bunnies, making their own schedule as they went along. 
  The conference room was empty more than it was full.  I honestly think there was not once the entire retreat that everyone was in the room.  And there were some people who hardly did any sewing.  Retreat projects… totally ignored, they all had other more important things to do.  And boy did they do… I saw quite a few projects reach completion. 

Shopping, wow!  Those women can shop!  They even went out in the snow! 

Yes, I said SNOW… lots of it.  Enough to cause an almost 12 hour power outage.  About the only panic I saw was when the ladies realized their Pollyanna gifts were still in the dark conference room and honestly, it took some convincing on my part to keep them from venturing down there to get them! 

The Inn served us dinner.  The ladies spent most of the time getting to know each other better, reading, chatting and playing cards.  Not one complaint… thank goodness. 

Sunday morning all was almost back to normal again, Pollyanna was just as funny Sunday as if it was still Saturday night… but as soon as it was over everyone packed up and headed home. 

And almost everyone wants to do it again next year… minus the snow and power outage of course!

Click here if you want to see the retreat photos, and here if you’d like to see some scenic snow photos.