Wednesday, September 29, 2010

2 More Finishes

These are my 2 UFO finishes for September. And boy am I glad to have them all finished up!

This first one you have seen before. Remember my mystery assistant?

I started it several years ago in a Sandy Turner workshop over in Cayucos. Lots of fun, especially now that it is done!!

This one was started several years ago, as well, at a Country Threads retreat.

Now that was a lot of fun, regardless of whether or not I never finished a single thing! I just love Country Threads.

Hope projects are getting all buttoned up in your neck of the woods, too.

And one more thing. Did you notice the new little scarecrow button in my sidebar?
Well, it is there because it is almost time for some fun and fabulous giveaways!
The fun starts on October 1st, so come back and see what I have for you. And be sure and check out all of the other wonderful prizes by clicking on the scarecrow to access all of the links in one easy spot. Good luck, I hope you win!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Momumental Crisis

Tomorrow is my guy's 25th high school reunion. And we are going. So, obviously hair must be addressed. I called my usual hairdresser, who has been cutting my hair since the late 80s. And wouldn't you know it, she was completely booked. She has been on vacation and is trying to catch up. So, with a heavy heart, I drove my shaggy head down to the salon of a stranger.

She was not the source of this crisis. The cut is a-okay.

Then, today I decided that I had better tackle the shock of gray at my temples. I surely do not want to be the only gray-headed spouse at this reunion!

I prefer to use Clairol Colorspa in the shade of medium cocoa, but apparently this color has been phased out.


Since I was being forced to make a change I decided to just try the one on sale. Revlon Colorsilk #40, medium ash brown.

I have medium brown hair.

Warm cocoa is medium brown.

This had a picture of medium brown.

Easy right.


I didn't notice the problem at first. But when I looked in the mirror after my 20 minutes was up, my hair was black with dark purple at the skin!! BLACK with DARK PURPLE!! I nearly had a heart attack on the spot.

And then I started praying. And shampooing. A lot.

I'm pretty sure I cried as I pictured my new life on solitary confinement. No church. No quilt group. No board meetings. No Mary Mashuta class next weekend. No Sarah Palin lecture the weekend after that. No dinner parties. No lunch with LB. And, definitely NO high school reunion.

This was looking very, very bad.

But, the Lord must have heard me! My hair is definitely darker than I like it, but it is not black.

And, more importantly, it is NOT PURPLE!!

Hallelujah!! My chains are gone, I've been set free. My God, my Savior ransomed me. (Feel free to sing along with me!)

So, if you have medium brown hair with a shock of gray at your NOT try Revlon Colorsilk #40, medium ash brown. It is just not worth the stress.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Two Finishes

I have been wanting to make this little Irish chain for a long time. I have only had a photograph, no pattern, so I have been procrastinating. For several years. But finally, with the help of my daughter, I was able to get it all thought out and made. Thanks Courtney!!

My second finish started out like this.

A little Sandy Gervais panel.
And it turned out like this.

Cute eh?!
Happy first day of fall to y'all!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Two Time Offender

Here's the thing: I am a first born. If you are a first born, or married to one, or raising one, you know what that means. Dependable, responsible, organized. All good things, right? Right.

But, occasionally (very very occasionally, hardly ever really, barely worth mentioning) we do something dumb. And when we do, it BUGS us. Because we are first borns, and we definitely do NOT do dumb.

And, as it happens, I have done two dumb somethings in the last week! That's right, two. What is happening to me!! I may need an intervention, or a support group, or medication, or.......something.

First of all, I watered the chickens. That's it, I just filled up their trough. FOR 6 HOURS!! With the water hose at somewhere near maximum flow! Aargh! Lucky for me, my guy discovered it when he went out to close the hens in for the night. Otherwise, our house may have just floated off the side of the hill in the middle of the night.
I was not a happy girl. And when the water bill comes next month.....

So, this week I am house-sitting for my bff who is on vacation. And, she has this great sewing room. And cable TV. On the coast. I love it here!
I brought several projects with me and I have been working away on them. This morning I wanted to shake out a quilt top and get rid of all of the loose threads. But not in the house, that would be too messy. A first born would never do that!
So, I walked out the front door to shake it out. And the door closed behind me. And it was locked. And so were all of the other doors. And all of the windows. Except one. The highest one in the whole house. It was on the second story, above a VERY slope-y walkway. I had no keys, no phone, no shoes, and no dog. But, I did have a really great Halloween quilt top to keep me warm if I didn't make it back in by nightfall.
Off to the neighbor's house I went. Her name was Phyllis and she was quite elderly and suspicious of the crazy, barefoot lady, covered in loose threads and claiming to be locked out of her neighbor's house. But, she did let me use her phone (while I stood on her front stoop). And, she called out to another elderly person who was out for a stroll. With his cane. Then she filled him in on the whole situation. And, then... she suggested we call the police! (Not the police, anything but that!!) Fortunately for me, the man (whose name was Bob) found me to be trustworthy enough to dismiss the idea of calling the cops. (Thank goodness. Could you imagine the horror of a barefoot first born explaining her 2nd dumb event of the week to the cops!! No thank you!).

Well, I had gotten a hold of my guy, and yes, he could come and help me out in an hour and a half. So, Bob and I walked back to the house to assess my options. First of all he insisted that I look for a spare key under all of the pots on the porch, under the mat and above the spider-infested door frame.
Sadly, there was no key. But on a positive note, it took most of the hour and a half to look under all of those pots! Then, we walked all around the house trying the doors and windows. And, eventually Bob came to the same conclusion I had. I was locked out.
"Well", he said, "I am taking my morning stroll. But you come on over and have a cup of coffee with Josie. She'll be glad to have a visitor". So there I was, having coffee with a new friend, in her living room with the MOST amazing view of the bay. We talked politics, motherhood, dogs, Turkey (the country not the animal), the Cuban missile crisis, more politics, crazy cultural norms of foreign countries, travel plans and dreams, pre-retirement careers....

Before long my guy had arrived with a big tall ladder. And he sure was chipper for a guy who had to leave work and drive 1/2 an hour (one way) to climb through a very high window on a precariously positioned ladder.
"Thanks for not being mad, Honey. You know I am a first born, and I don't usually do stupid stuff like this," I joked.
"I know. But this is your second offense this week."
"What?! What was my other offense?"
"The chicken water".
"Oh, yeah." Grumble, grumble, groan.
"And now you owe me. Big-time." Smile, smile, smile.

Pray for me, friends. I need it!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Fruitful FNSI

Friday Night Sew In has come and gone. I hope all of you participants got plenty done! I started with a nice long list, and finished only a little bit of it. Actually, I got a lot done, I was just hoping to finish more than I did. You know how it goes.

First on my list was to border my green and purple quilt and get it layered. I had lined up an assistant to help me layer it because it's so big. But, she did not show up! Some lame-o excuse about barfing children. Like that's a reason.

So I had to wait for my back-up assistant to get home from work. And, predictably, he proclaimed that he would rather be shot (in the head, none the less) than help me layer another quilt! Good grief. And, he also sternly warned me not to tell people that he sometimes, under great duress, helps me out. So, the identity of my Mystery Assistant shall forever remain a secret. My lips are sealed.

Then I moved on to a story quilt that has been in need of a little attention. I started with all of the blocks.
And it came together like this. It is going to be a Christmas Quilt.

Then, I finished up the drawing and headed off to the blue printer to get it enlarged.

More on this quilt later. Much later.

Next was these blocks for my quilt group ladies.

2 plaid string blocks.

And 1 delectable mountain. Almost. I guess I will be getting a couple of blue triangles in the mail next week!

Then it was the blocks for the guild's opportunity quilt. 2 bags of pieces.

Bag 1 = 3 little Ohio stars.

Bag 2= 1 Mariner's Compass.

Then it was 2 purses. One needed handles and the other needed a clasp and a button.

And finally, this little top needed to be layered and quilted.

I got this far when my guy inquired whether or not I was ever going to stop making all that noise and come to bed.

And so, FNSI came to an end. Along with about half of a crazy-long list.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Berries and Projects Galore

Look at what I picked in the garden this morning.

I usually pick raspberries from Easter to Thanksgiving. But not this year. It has been the weirdest garden year! Except for 7 or 8 berries here and there, this is my first harvest.

And I put it to good use, right away.

Breakfast parfait. Double yum!

Now, today is Friday Night Sew In. My house is clean, and dinner is made. And, as they say, it is 5 o'clock somewhere! So, I am off to tackle the dozen projects that are on my list. (They are also scattered all over my cutting table and my sewing table and piled up in my comfy chair! There is hardly anyplace left around here to work. Yes, this mess has got to be reigned in!! And today is the day.)

I have an assistant coming at 11:30 to help me layer this green and purple quilt, but it has no borders and no back. So, I guess you know where I will be starting.

Happy stitching to all of you fellow FNSI-ers.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wishful Thinking

It is time to sign up!

I don't know about you, but I have about a dozen small projects (parts of projects, really) that I would like to get off my to do list. So FNSI is just what I need!

And now, I am off to move the list from my head to a piece of paper.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Camel Spiders

We met so many interesting people when we took our daughter to college. And today I am going to tell you about 2 of them. Actually, I am going to tell you a story they told me.
Their names are Diane and Betty and they are cousins (by blood and marriage) of Becca's new landlady. One of the ladies was married to the other one's brother so they have a nephew in common. Confusing, I know, but just go with it. Now the nephew is a soldier who is currently serving in Afghanistan.

So we are having dinner one night, and one of them asks me if I have ever heard of camel spiders....

"No, I haven't".
"Well, our nephew is in Afghanistan and he has seen several. The soldiers shoot them because they are so big".
"How big is "so big""?
"Big". And she holds up her arms and makes the biggest circle you can possibly make with your arms.
"No way".
"Oh yes! Our nephew told us about them".
"They are this big?" I ask, mimicking the giant circle.
"Well, that includes the legs. The body itself is only about this big", and she holds up her hands like she is holding a big melon.
"You have got to be kidding! The body is this big," I say, mimicking the melon.
"Yes. They are big blood suckers. They attach themselves to the bottom of camels and suck their blood".
"Oh my gosh! I don't think I want to know about these spiders."
"Yeah," says the other one, " and they stand about this tall". She indicates something about as tall as a coffee table. "And they run fast".
Then my daughter chimes in and says "Yeah Mom, I heard that they will take bites out of the soldiers calves as they are trying to run away".
"Becca, is that really true" I squeak, hoping she is gonna start laughing and say this is all one big joke.
"That's what I heard, Mom", and she is completely serious.
Now I am thinking to myself, "Afghanistan is definitely going on the list of places I am NEVER visiting. Ever".

I have been thinking about these spiders a lot since we got home , and I needed to know if this stuff is true or not. So, I decided to consult the source of all wisdom and knowledge...Google. And this is what I found.

Also of note is the fact that camel spiders are practically super stars on You tube. You can watch a video here.

And that is all I know, (and all I ever want to know) about camel spiders!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One Flower Wednesday

It is Wednesday again. And that means it is time for a Grandmother's Flower Garden block update.
This is where I am. 8 flowers done. 8 of 100. Oh boy.

So, since my last post I finished 7 flowers.

The bright blue fabric was from Country Quilting and Stitchery in Clarksville, Tennessee. (10/03)

The darker blue was bought in Hill City, South Dakota at a shop called The Quilt Corral at Mistletoe Ranch. (Sadly, no date was recorded with this fabric).

The yellow fabric was from Windy Moon Quilts in Reno, Nevada. (10/03).

And the pink, just to recap, was from Country Stitches in East Lansing Michigan. (10/03)

The story behind these blocks can be found here.

In closing, here is a photo of the hexie organizer that I bought at the Bass Pro Shop this summer.
It is so nice to be able to just pick it up and take it with me to meetings and things. I love it!

If you don't already have one, get one right away!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What is that noise?

So, I was out working in the yard this morning when my little ears heard a most unexpected sound. Most unexpected indeed. It went something like this...!

Now Erererererrrrrrrrrr......happens around here all the time. Especially at daybreak.

But, is something else all together. That is the sound a new rooster makes. One who has just discovered that he can crow. One that hasn't got the kinks worked out yet.

But, the thing is, I did not realize that any of my new "hens" were morphing into something else. And believe me, I watch them very closely when they are little, because it is usually obvious pretty early on. Big feet, big comb, and of course the classic symptom...tail feathers. Nothing. So, I figured that I had a nice little flock of hens.

Until this morning.

Now, in my own defense, let me just say that I have been very busy and distracted this last month. Getting Becca moved off to school and then getting used to it, has been the focus of my days. The hens have been somewhere on the periphery.

Until this morning. Now they are definitely back on my radar!

So, with no further adieu, here is my new rooster. He is supposed to be a Cukoo Maran, but he is awfully white. So, I am not even sure about that!

Notice the absence of tail feathers?

But, his comb is bigger and he has the long neck feathers.

And then there is the crowing thing. Drat!!

But, on the up side, summer has finally arrived. And with the heat comes tomatoes! Yum!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Yes, we have no enchiladas

Last night I made enchiladas for dinner, and invited Pat over to eat with us. Actually, I made a big pan of them so that we could eat them tonight too.

And they were really good. Actually, when my guy took his first bite he commented on how good they were. Then, when Becca's guy took his first bite, he confirmed that they were, indeed, delicious.

Moments later, both guys had their heads in the pan licking up the last of the sauce. And, that was the end of the enchiladas.

So, we are having roast beef tonight.

But here is the enchilada recipe, just in case you want your guy to be happy too.

1 generous pound of ground beef
1 med onion- chopped
Cook beef and onion together until meat is no longer pink. Drain.
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3c olive oil
1/3c flour
2c beef broth
2 cans tomato sauce (8 oz each)
1 1/2 T chili powder
1 1/2 t cumin
1 t sage
1/2 t salt
2c grated cheese
corn tortillas
Saute garlic in oil until soft. Add flour and mix well. Stir in broth and whisk until smooth. Cook until thick and bubbly. Add tomato sauce and spices. Heat through. Add 1 c of sauce to the bottom of your baking pan.
Fill warm tortillas with beef mixture. Place seam side down in pan. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and top with cheese.
Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, uncover and bake 15 minutes more.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

7 New Mamas

I just have to tell you about the friendliest church in the world!
It is the Calvary Chapel in Quincy California.

We spent 10 days in Quincy with our Becca, getting her all settled into her new home/town/college. And in those 10 days we met some of the most wonderful people, and almost all of them attend Calvary. They were the kind of folks who go all out to welcome the new people who walk through their doors. By the end of the first service, we had met a dozen people, been invited to dinner and had a collection of phone numbers "just in case you need anything". Oh, and let's not forget the invite to bring the laundry by and have a cup of coffee! (Seriously! And you know that if you are camping for 10 days, at least 1 trip to the laundromat is required.)

And, the best part is that my little girl acquired 7 new mamas in the process. All specialized. What a gigantic blessing!! The Lord knew just what my heart needed. So, who are these new mamas?

Charlotte- she is the Preacher's wife and she has a true heart for the Lord. Just the person to mentor and hold Bec accountable. They get along just great.
Jeannie- she is a cowgirl and she available for all horse problems, trailering and trail riding. And, she has already proven herself to be a wealth of information.
Nanci- she is Becca's new landlord/dorm mom. What a treasure! They have already made all kinds of plans together, and I know that nothing is going to escape Nanci's attention.
Paula- she is the quilter. And if my baby girl gets lonely for her real mama, Paula is waiting in the wings to whisk her off to a guild meeting. (Becca assures me this will never happen, but you never know!)
Dee-she is the "Polish" mom. Her daughter moved to Poland just a few months ago, and you know that our Bec is obsessed with Poland. So, they are a great match.
Karen- she is the mom of twin third grade girls. So, I am sure she will have no trouble getting a handle on our little Gemini. And, there may be great babysitting opportunities here!
Atascadero Mom- she works for PG&E. When Bec went in to have her power turned on they struck up a conversation and realized they were both from the same home town. She told Bec to think of her as her new Atascadero mom, and to drop by often.

Can you believe it! 7 women who made an effort to meet us, take an interest in our daughter and give her their phone numbers. 7 beautiful women serving the Lord by loving others.
John 13:35 in action!

I will close this post with a little walk down Memory Lane:

Yes, we did let our 19 year old daughter, who looks 12, drink a beer in Ireland. It was legal. And she really wanted to try one. Does that make us bad parents?

I love you Bec!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The empty nest

How did this happen....
It was just yesterday.....

And now today is so sad and different....
I don't think I like this....