Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jerky Weekend

So this weekend was a busy one.  I worked on the spiderman quilt on Friday night, finishing the second quarter of it.

We had a yard sale on Saturday morning.  We didn't sell much.  Kind of disappointing.  But everything sold, is something that doesn't go back into the house.  I had to clear out my sewing area so my son could move some stuff in.  I put most everything into my bedroom, except for the table and the sewing machine.


It's a little cramped and messy, but I still have access to everything.  I should have cleaned up before I took the picture, but didn't want you to get the wrong impression of me. 

Saturday afternoon/evening we went to a pool party at the boss's.  It was really nice.  Great food! Good company! and the boys went swimming.  No pictures, yet.  All in all, a nice day, but quite exhausting.

Then today we put boxes back in the attic.  We had them in a storage unit and at my #3 son's house.  Now it's all back here and taking up lots and lots of space.  I wish I could get rid of it but I can't, yet.  Two of my boxes are the good china that I'll put out when we get a hutch; one box is some antique tea cups, again when we get the hutch I'll put those out.  I think I have three boxes of pictures which I need to scan.  That'll be a project for this winter.   Then there is the box with the sweaters my grandmother made for my kids when they were little.  I'm saving them for grandchildren... or I'll figure out something else to do with them.  There's one box of mine with papers, which I will go through and shred, just haven't taken the time.

I don't mind keeping the camping equipment or the Christmas decorations, but all the other stuff drives me crazy.  too much stuff.

I finished another quarter of the spiderman quilt.  Just one more to go and the quilting will be done.  hooray!  Here's a picture of the back.  (I think I might like the back better than the front!)


Then we decided to make some beef jerky.   It needs to cook for 6 to 16 hours.  This was taken at about 3.5 hours .. the house smells great!


and now to Monday ..

Friday, July 29, 2011

Favorite Things Friday

My favorite this week is puff's plus.


I have a summer cold and all the other tissues just aren't soft enough.  So, this is my favorite this week!

To see what other favs there are this week, check out QIMP.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pyjama Party Sunday

Today is my first time linking up for Pyjama Party Sunday .. I didn't spend the day in my pjs, but I did get some sewing done and I may even go back and do some more.





I've been wanting to make stockings for my family for ages .. Shay and I decided we would both make them.  I did get one done .. if I stick with this pattern, I've got only 9 more to go .. or maybe 10.

I finished the spiderman quilt top too, but that was yesterday.  I haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do on the back.  I have four more spidey blocks that I'm going to incorporate.  I also have some spiderweb fabric, but not enough.  So I'll do some sort of pattern incorporating both.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Favorite Things Friday

My favorite thing this week is challenges.  I am really good a procrastinating and challenges really motivate me.

The first challenge I joined was not really a challenge but a quilt along.  Last January, I joined the p.s. i quilt pinwheel sampler quilt along.  I thoroughly enjoyed each block and looked forward to making them.  I usually made them the first day they came out and was anxiously awaiting the next block.  I even posted that somewhere -- it wasn't meant as a complaint but as a compliment, however, i'm not sure it was taken that way and I formally apologize to Rachel if she was offended.  I just love the quilt.  It was a great project all around and I even made a second pinwheel sampler (cleverly named "the other pinwheel sampler").  It is on my bed and I love, love, love it.

The second challenge, was Myra's PhD Challenge.  I joined this challenge in December 2010, and the goal was to take my PhDs (Projects Half Done) and finish them.  I only had 3 projects started (one of which was "the other pinwheel sampler) so I committed to finishing them, and I did.  I'm not sure I would have without the challenge.

The third challenge is an on-going one, the 15-minute challenge from Life in Pieces.  Without the challenge, I would be putting my quilting (and other sewing) off until whenever.  Now I try and commit to 15 minutes a day.  Usually 15 minutes turns into a lot more.

If I spent 15-minutes a day on all the other things I put off, I would get so much done.  But instead I lollygag and dilly-dally and things don't get done.  I need someone to do a 15-minute challenge on house cleaning or meal planning or reading or ...

I was going to post pictures, but y'all have seen them already ...

To see what other people favorites are this week, check out Quilting in My Pyjamas.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Birthday Party!

Last Sunday we had the boys' 1st and 3rd birthday party.  They had a bounce house and some pizza and lots of presents.
A Toy Story cake


Fun with dad

Fun with the other Grandma (Nana)


Fun with bubbles

Uncle Paul and Grandpa (or Uncle Paul as he'd like to be called)

Uncle Dan, Dad, and Uncle Mark

more aunts and a cousin ...

Presents

more presents (see spiderman on the bag..)
Lots of superheroes and bubbles and cars.  I need to finish up the spiderman quilt.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

15-minute challenge - July 26

This has been a pretty good week for sewing ...

Tuesday - two spidey blocks
Wednesday - finished spidey blocks; sewed two rows together
Thursday - sewed more rows together
Friday - no sewing (visited with friends)
Saturday - finished spidey top
Sunday - made one Christmas stocking
Monday - finished the back of the spiderman quilt

To see how others did on the challenge, check out Life in Pieces ...

15-minute challenge - July 19, 2011

Before I start, let me just say that I really enjoy the challenge, on nights when NCIS is calling me to the TV, if I just take 15 minutes, I accomplish something.  Thanks Kate.  To see what others have been up to this week, click here.

Tuesday - two spiderman blocks finished (15 more to go)
Wednesday - two more blocks done
Thursday - two more blocks
Friday - nothing
Saturday - zip
Sunday - more nothing
Monday - four more spidey blocks

Not too bad.  I just need to be more focused.  There actually could be an end in sight for the quilt but I'm really dragging my feet.

I've seen a lot of cool HST blocks lately.  I might have to try my hand at that again.  oh and I also need to get a knitting project for our trip in August.  Any thoughts on what I should knit?? I usually do blankets but i don't know if any of my kids need any more .. hmm.   Of course, it seems like all their friends are having babies so that's probably not a bad idea.  I don't like doing clothes because they need to fit someone.  Scarves are nice and quick, but maybe too quick.  I could do some beanie caps..

I still need to get my Christmas stocking pattern and get that cut out .. I'm a real slackard.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Favorite Things Friday

My favorite this weekend is my grandkids .. the older one turned three yesterday (I forgot to post a cupcake for him) and the younger turned one in June.  We (actually my husband) have been watching them for the last two weeks so they've been around a lot.  It's really hard, because we were more than 25 years younger when we did this with our kids .. but it's also fun.  Watching Andrew take his first steps ... hearing Mikey come up with original thoughts and ideas .. the hugs when you come home.  The smiles when they get to the house in the morning (even though it's earlier than I'd like to get up).   These things far out weigh any down side .. 








For other favorites, check out QIMP .. have a happy weekend!

The birthday party will be at the park across the street from our house on Sunday .. party pics to follow.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

15-minute challenge - July 12, 2011

So this week I did do a little better.  I didn't keep track like I like to so I may not have the days right, sorry about that.  I'll try and keep track this week. promise.

Tuesday, July 5 - finished white borders on spiderman blocks
Wednesday, July 6 - started red borders
Thursday, July 7 - nada
Friday, July 8 - finished shirt, mended pillow case for #1 son
Saturday, July 9 - worked on red borders
Sunday, July 10 - finished red borders
Monday, July 11 - started next borders (got distracted by the devil cat)

To see what others accomplished this week, check out Kate's blog.

I need to start working on my Christmas stockings this week, so hopefully next week I'll be able to show you something.

#1 grandson turns three this week.  The spiderman quilt won't be done .. but he probably won't care.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Story about a Snake

So, last week I posted a picture of a snake that came to visit for about 6 months.  My older daughter and her friend had decided to go to France to live for a while (ended up being 7 months).  Her friend had a five-foot long boa constrictor, named Lulu* and Lulu needed a place to stay.  My #3 son said that he would watch her.  I said it would be okay.  WHAT WAS I THINKING??



So after the daughter and her friend went to France, Lulu came to live with us.  My son built her a cage.  My son bought her animals to eat and fed her in the bathtub.  Lulu stayed in her cage.  The son was very popular with his friends.

The cats were also fascinated.  They used to sit on top of the cage watching her.  However, the cage top was not well built -- at least not for heavy kitties, and they damaged the cage top so that there was a gaping hole.

One day, Lulu found that hole and left her cage to explore.  We searched high and low but couldn't find her.  We were worried about the cats (the devil cat was a teeny tiny kitten at the time).  We worried about our lives.  We worried about the neighbors.  But worry didn't find Lulu.  Time passed and I stopped worrying so much and just figured that Lulu had slithered away and would never be seen again.

Fast forward four months, there I am getting ready to do laundry ... I walked into the laundry room and looked at the water heater and screamed.  I have no idea where "she" was for those 4 months, but there was Lulu wrapped around the base of the water heater.  #3 son was not at home so we called one of his buddies to come and get that thing from the water heater and put her back in her cage.   She escaped again the next day, and again I found her, this time sitting on top of the DVD player (not mine, the one in the garage where #3 son lived).

I realized then that I HATE snakes (me and Indiana Jones).  (How did I not know this before??)  I don't know what possessed me to say it was okay for that thing to live here.   I didn't want to even be in the same room with it.  I don't think I will ever willingly be in the same house with a snake again.

The end of the story is that shortly thereafter, the daughter's friend came back from France and Lulu left our house for good.  I sleep much better now.


*Her name has been changed for her protection.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

$1 Challenge

So this week, I made some purchases in my "buy 52 - $1 items" from my 2011 list of 52 things to do this year (specifically #21).  I bought the following:


Five suitcases - $5

Blockhead game - $1

Three pyrex dishes - $1

I've been a little slow at this, but I'm working on it.

I also finished up item #16 by reading a third book - A River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters.

If  you like light mysteries, I find Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody mysteries to be quite entertaining.  There are many of them, I don't know how many.  In my future life of leisure, I wouldn't mind going back and re-reading them in order. 

Some pictures

I've been negligent the last couple of weeks, no 15 minute challenge, no FTF.  I am finally doing some more sewing.  I have all the white borders on the spiderman blocks.  This week, maybe today, I'm going to add the next layer, the red.

I also made a shirt -- simple but I seemed to make it harder.  I don't like the way it turned out enough to run out and buy some more fabric.  I may try it again, a little smaller and in some fabric I bought for that purpose.  We'll see.

I also mended a pillow case for my son.  A simple job, I know, but it was something.

Anyway, one of my favorite things is taking pictures.  (I know, I know, I don't do it all the time.)  I like when I take a picture and it turns out really neat.  One day, I'd like to get an SLR camera and take a class and learn how to take pictures.  The following are a few of my favorite shots.

This is my youngest son standing in front of a waterfall.  Would have been better to show his feet on the rocks where he was standing but I didn't know how cool the picture was going to turn out.

This is a picture of the sun with a ring around it.  very cool.

My first grandson standing in front of a window.

Okay, this one is not so cool but this was a visitor at our house for about 6 months.  I'll write about that some point.

I posted this last week, and remembered how nice I thought it was.

Same tree, different lighting.



Friday, July 8, 2011

Life is short

I just learned that one of my dearest friend's granddaughter died.  She was a week shy of one year.  Life is short and you never know what tomorrow holds.

My heart is breaking for my friend and her family.  I wish I could be there to help her, but I can't.  It's too far away.  So I pray for her.

Just after I posted this, I ran across another blog with this Longfellow poem, "The Rainy Day."  It seemed appropriate ..


Be still, sad heart, and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
  Some days must be dark and dreary.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Just wanted to wish all my friends and family out there a happy 4th!  Here's a picture from New York that I waited to post.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Leslie!

I know she doesn't read my blog, now, but maybe someday in the future she will and I don't want her to think she's forgotten.  Today is my niece, Leslie's birthday .. so this is for you Leslie!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
(picture from here)

Visiting .. and Pumpkin

After all of our walking around New York, the husband and I spent the afternoon with his brother and his brother's wife in their apartment in NY.  The BIL works in Battery Park selling T-shirts to tourists (like me); but was off for the weekend.

 
This was my test picture with the timer .. It turned out okay ..

Here are the four of us .. not a particularly flattering picture.  In 10 years I might like it .. :)

The brothers..

and here's Pumpkin!




Friday, July 1, 2011

Favorite Things Friday

My favorite thing this week is the place we vacationed when I was a kid, from when I was about 3 until I graduated from high school.  I've been back several times in the last few years.

Eagle Harbor, Michigan .. about as far away from civilization you can get.   Check out this map showing how far it is from our house in California.



The Eagle Harbor Lighthouse.

The dock in front of the Lake Breeze Resort.

The tree in front of the Lake Breeze Resort.

Kelly & Robin at the stamp sands in Gay, Michigan.

Me, my mother, and my oldest sister, Anna.

Another picture of the tree.

A picnic on the beach in Eagle Harbor ..


In the winter, from November through April, there is snow on the ground.  I've never been there during winter, but I hope to some day.  This is a really old picture of the lighthouse above, in the winter ...



For more favorites, check out QIMP.