Friday, December 30, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tomorrow is Christmas and New Year’s Eve rolled into one day of celebrating at our home and we will celebrate for sure.  And since I plan to be busy off line, even if it is just sitting back in my recliner and enjoying my family, I have updated the web site for 2012.  Starting on the homepage, almost every main link has been updated.  The Family pages of course will be updated a little later.   
I am happy to tell all that I am declaring 2012 as My Year to Give!  Each month I will post a free pattern which everyone can use to make charity quilts.  During that month I personally will try to make at least ONE quilt using that pattern for one of the charities that I have on my personal charity list.  At the end of the month/beginning of the next month, I will report on my progress.  I am welcoming anyone who would like to join me, even giving you a logo to post on your site if you feel like it.   

There will not be a new BOM in January so everyone can try the January project. 
Because all the fall retreats filled up we’ve added a fourth retreat for fall 2012.  It’s a mini-retreat and details can be found at  It is filling up fast too!

So whatever holiday you are celebrating tomorrow, have a wonderful time.  The best of everything to you all for 2012!

2012 UFO list

I made myself sit down and carefully go over my master list and make sure all of the quilts were listed properly.  Mistake… I found more UFOs, LOL! 

However I am pleased with my 2011 progress.  I may have slipped in the UFO numbers but I accomplished a lot. 

Finished in 2011                                                             
Lighthouse wall hanging 3                                         Finished April 19, 2011
Lighthouse wall hanging 4                                         Finished April 30, 2011
Hearts baby quilt                                                       Finished April 14, 2011
Fantasy Flowers OW BOM project                            Finished Jan 27, 2011
Snowmen quilt in purples                                          Finished Jan 12, 2011
Tea Garden Bullseye                                                 Finished March 13, 2011
Crooked Baby Stars, Aunt Graces                             Finished April 9, 2011
Any Size You Want mystery                                       Finished April 10, 2011
November Stars Red & White                                     Finished March 6, 2011
2011 BOM blocks or sampler                                      Finished March 31, 2011
Started AND finished in 2011                                       
Green Green                                                                  Finished May 26, 2011
Fall Retreats sample                                                      Finished October 12, 2011
Fall Retreats sample                                                      Finished October 13, 2011
Christmas project  ;^)                                                         

Donated in 2011                                                             
Orphan Sampler (made from orphan blocks)              donated to Wilford Hall
Barb's Broken Dishes (ditto above)                             donated to Wilford Hall
Orphan MishMash (ditto above)                                  donated to Wilford Hall
Barb's Pinwheels (ditto above)                                    donated to Wilford Hall
Next Generation nine-patch                                        donated to Linus
Swirley Eye Spy, made from Marge's scraps             donated to Linus
Green Pinwheels                                                        donated to Linus

As for my 2012 UFO list, well if you really want to see it you can here.  51 UFOs and one WIP.  And if you look carefully, that last one under started and finished doesn’t have a finished date on it yet… it will be finished this year!  I guarantee it!!!

PS and yes I posted this when it says I did, 1:14 AM, dang prednisone!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Working on the secret project?

No I wish I was.  Seems I got an unwanted present for Christmas, bronchitis.  It’s knocked me off my sewing chair, computer chair and flat on my back since Tuesday.  I’m up now, but barely.  The meds the doc gave me yesterday are working some, but far from the miracle she promised me.  I just called the office to see if there is something else I can do… the cough is killing me. 

And apparently some people are mixing up two secret projects, sorry.  One is a Christmas gift, which was to be started at the November retreat but wasn’t, then was to be quilted by me, but wasn’t, but thanks for a kind-hearted friend it got done except the hand work.  That is half done and will be done before it leaves this house on Sunday come heck or high water. 

And that other secret project… I will be posting the web page on New Year’s Eve, if I am up.

Monday, December 26, 2011

I can't say Merry Christmas

Why? Because we haven’t had Christmas yet! My boys men are with their other families this weekend so our Christmas won’t be until the 31st. Yep we’re celebrating Christmas and New Years on the same weekend. Should be a great holiday!

Now to finish that secret project, I haven’t even started the hand work yet. And I haven't wrapped a single thing!

Disney 2011 cont.

The next day we headed to the Animal Kingdom with one goal, to see the Festival of the Lion King again.  We were lucky and got into the first show of the day and had stage seating right up front. 

While walking around park I couldn’t help but notice all the beautiful plants and flowers, including this unusual plant… 

And some really strange looking bugs too!

We had lunch at Flame Tree Barbeque and I had one of the best turkey sandwiches I’ve ever had away from home.  And we had a nice view from our seats while we ate.

We then changed parks to get in some good Epcot time.  Unfortunately the crowds were there too, and all the popular rides and attractions had huge lines.  So we did what wasn’t popular and had a good time anyway.  We visited Spaceship Earth, Figment, Captain EO and then went into The Seas.  I could spend hours in there just watching the fish. 

Then we did something different, we rode the monorail around to different resorts to see the Christmas decorations.  I liked the decorations at Grand Floridian best, and the smell from that giant gingerbread house was just yummy. 

We then headed back to our resort for dinner at Shutters.  Dinner was very good, but the room was so cold even my hot tea got cold before I was half way through the first cup. 

The next morning we were back at Epcot again.  First we fast-passed Soarin’ and then went looking for short lines.  We found one at Ellen's Energy Adventure so we took the ride.  After that it was lunch time so we checked into the Coral Reef Restaurant  and were lucky enough to get seats right up front near the aquariums… or I guess I should say tanks. 

When we were finished eating we went into The Seas again, visiting Turtle Talk which is another audience interactive show.. I love watching the little kids. 

Then we headed into World Showcase, riding through Mexico then meandering through Norway, China, Germany, Italy.  Then we stopped for a bit to listen to some of the Candlelight Processional before passing by US, Japan, Morocco, France, UK and finally Canada. 

After a snack of some yummy fried shrimp we found a good spot to watch Illuminations.  Always a must for us when at Disney, this one was even better with the added segment for the holidays, and what a fabulous finale of fireworks!

Early the next morning we headed home, but extended our fun by having lunch in downtown Norfolk. 

Way too soon this vacation was over and it was back to reality for us.  To me the best part of this whole trip was watching John truly relax, something he can never do at home.  We had no schedule, except for food reservations, and went where we wanted to go when we wanted too.  We slept in several mornings and stayed up way past our bedtime most nights.  And for the first time in two years I had my sweetheart all to myself for seven glorious days.  And that is what made this vacation the best one ever!

Catching up

Where to begin?  I guess I should report on my mother-in-law Arden… she is still in a nursing home and not making much if any progress at all.  She wants to go home but is still unable to take care of herself at all, can not walk and can barely do anything.  Prayers still appreciated there.

And as I said in my last post, ten whole days ago, John said we needed to get away and get away we did.  We left Friday morning for our Disney vacation slightly postponed.  Our drive the first day was nice, not too much traffic and no wet stuff at all.  We didn’t rush to get on the road the next morning, we were taking a relaxing vacation, and I tried to stick to that schedule the whole trip. 

We stopped at our favorite BBQ place for lunch and then hit the road again, arriving in time for dinner before checking into our room.  We were supposed to be in Jamaica at the Caribbean Resort, but there wasn’t room for us there, so we were moved to Aruba.  It would have been fun to be in Jamaica because Mike and Kelly were headed there on their honeymoon, the real Jamaica that is.
The next morning we were off to the park, our first one was Hollywood Studios.  We started off with breakfast, John had to have his coffee and well we both needed to eat something, we had late lunch or early dinner reservations.  The Starring Rolls CafĂ© had just what we needed, and even available seating which was nice.  After that we waited in line for Toy Story Mania, long line but worth the wait.  I actually managed to beat John’s score and had a fun time doing it! 

We did the Studio Backlot Tour and didn’t get wet and then decided to see Lights, Motors, Action!  It wasn’t as loud as I thought it would be and kind of fun to watch.  Then we went to see how long the line was for Muppet*Vision 3-D, too long, so we checked in at Mama Melrose's, our favorite place to eat in Hollywood.  We had about a 20 minute wait and then were seated in the exact same spot we had two years ago, and had the same waiter too!  Lunch was delicious and filled me up for the rest of the day.

After we ate we got in line for the Muppets then meandered over to Fantasmic!  We had special seating as a part of our dinner package and got seats right smack in the center, something we’d never managed to do before.The show was great as always.

When it was over we headed to see the The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights  WOW is all I can say, I think it gets better every year. 

Now let me say one thing here… if you don’t like crowds you should avoid Disney World the week before and after Christmas.  I don’t and will admit to having more than one panic attack despite the magical pink pills the Doctor gave me.  At one point on the way out of the park after seeing the lights I thought I was going to be crushed by the crowds… John made sure I wasn’t. 

The next morning when we finally got up we headed to the Magic Kingdom.  After a yummy breakfast snack we got in line for Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin.  John was looking for revenge for me beating him the day before.  I let him win, and concentrated on taking photos.. not each in a spinning car… however that’s my fault, I kept it spinning to keep his score low, LOL!  After that ride we headed to see Laugh Floor.  If you haven’t seen this, I think it’s a must.  Characters from Monsters, Inc. do an interactive comedy show which includes members of the audience and can be quite a good laugh. 

Next was Pirates of the Caribbean but the line was too long for my comfort so we skipped it and went instead to the Enchanted Tiki Room.  Yes it’s old, but it’s still enjoyable to us. 

Then we found good seats to view Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade and then just kind of wandered around looking for short lines.We found one at the Laugh Floor, so went in to see it again.Yes, it is that funny to us, but it depends on the audience.

We had dinner reservations at Chef Mickey's in the Contemporary Resort so we hopped on the Monorail and checked in for dinner.  We had a short wait, less than ten minutes and were soon enjoying the buffet.  (Yes, Chef Mickey’s is expensive, but not if you are on the dining plan and the food has always been good there) 

 I even got a special birthday cup cake during the “celebration” and got kisses from Mickey himself as well as Minnie, Donald and Pluto. 

 After dinner we headed back to the Magic Kingdom to see the Electrical Parade and when it was over we headed back to our rooms… too tired to wait for the Nighttime Spectacular fireworks.  However, we got to see the air fireworks from Epcot at our resort when we got back there. 
More to come, next post!

Friday, December 16, 2011


Thank Goodness It's Friday and that is all I'm going to say.  Vacation here we come!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What a difference a day makes!

Arden is no longer in the hospital, she is now at a nursing home in our area. Still a long road to recovery, but better every day.

And John said he needed to get away, something I never thought I would hear him admit… so we’re going to make it happen. I’ve made new Disney reservations and we’ll try again. Cross your fingers for us!

I did get six blocks done today for February’s project, maybe I can finish it this week year, LOL! I just need to keep on sewing and forget about everything else, like the holidays, vacation, etc.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

OK OK so I haven’t posted…

I forgot that’s all, really.  Thanks for asking now let me answer some questions that have come via email and Facebook. 

First Arden is out of ICU but still in the hospital.  She has no strength at all, and needs to get that back so she start taking care of herself.  She is on soft foods, a big step forward.  Keep the prayers coming please, she has a long road to recovery.

Second, Jamie asked if Mufasa is still living with us, since I hadn’t mentioned him lately.  Oh yes, he is still here.  He made one very important step forward, access to the sewing room.  He actually finds it boring in there, especially when I won’t let him up on the sewing machine table… imagine that.  When I go up he runs up ahead of me, makes the rounds then comes back downstairs where things are apparently more exciting.  He made a step backwards when he decided to chew on my two brand new Christmas cactuses. 

Third, one of the retreaters asked me how my Disney Birthday was… well actually it wasn’t.  We cancelled our trip due to Arden’s hospital stay.  However I had breakfast on Sunday with some characters anyway, four of John’s sisters.  Actually, three of us have December birthday’s which is why we went out to breakfast. 

And I had dinner with another real character, John…. He took me out for prime rib and lobster at our local Outback, it was very yummy. 

Yes, I am sewing.  I finished the top secret can’t say what it is project, except for the handwork on the binding.  I made a sample of my January project, and started a second one, and just because I wanted to see what it would look like I made one block for my February project.  I’m using some so called ugly tie dyed fabrics which are making great blocks… I can’t wait to get back to them.

And today I made two more ten minute table runners and a camera strap for myself. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I've been sewing

Yes, despite everything going on around me I’ve been sewing.  (No change since the other day sadly)  At first it was just some mindless sewing aka string blocks but when things starting looking better at the hospital I worked on some projects.  Yesterday I picked up a quilt and did some more work on it, can’t say or show what because it’s a secret… but it’s coming along nicely.  (THANKS Jackie!)

I also started on my 2012 projects… yes I said projects. I have a new and hopefully exciting idea for 2012 and I wanted to get a head start on it, so I made my first sample.  I’m going to try to make another one today… well today and the next few days as it takes me about four days total from cutting to finishing the binding.  And if you read between the lines, yes I am quilting them myself…

While I can’t say exactly what is it I am making, I will say that I am using so called ugly fat quarters which were donated at the fall retreats this year.  I separated them, made a pile of graphic patterns and another pile of floral patterns, and am making quilts with them.  The first quilt certainly shows that not one of those fat quarters was ugly when used properly!  I can’t wait for the retreaters to see this quilt!

Thursday, December 08, 2011


Thanks to everyone who have sent well wishes and prayers.  I can happily report that Arden has finally made a turn for the better.  On Tuesday they reduced her sedation level and yesterday they took her off the ventilator.  Last night they wanted her to sleep with a C-Pap mask, but she fought it so went without.  Regardless she made it through the night safely. 

Today they cleaned her up and got her out of bed for the first time since she went in to the hospital for a knee cleaning on the 22nd.  She is still in ICU and may go straight to rehab from there, but only time will tell.

We cancelled our trip to Disney for my birthday, there was no way even Disney could distract us from what was going on here at home, so we’ll save that trip for another time.  I’ve been doing some mindless sewing to distract me from the hospital and have made some progress.  I finished that project that I can’t talk about, and I’ve made one of my charity quilts for January.  Well the top is done, maybe I will quilt it today, since my head is a little straighter and I can concentrate on what I am doing…. I put a whole row of the secret project together bass aackwards.

I will try to get back to a more normal self now… but still have my heart with Arden and family 100%.

Saturday, December 03, 2011


A few ladies have asked me to make an update, so I will.  Arden is still in ICU and off and on the ventilator, more on than off though.  She was awake when John and Pop went to see her last night (Friday) and seemed happy to see them.  Still not the good news I want to report, but hopeful.

And yes, thanks to Ginny I remembered it was the beginning of the month and I updated the BOMs page.  This month’s block is Game Cocks, and it’s prettier than the name.

I will try to do better in updating.