Saturday, November 30, 2013

Changing blog backgrounds

is something I have fun doing.  I always look at this birthday one and think I'll use it 'next time' but my birthday comes during the Christmas season so I don't get a chance.

This year I'm using it because it's a BIGGY.  Biggy for me, anyhow.  It's the oldest I've ever been.  50.  It gives me shivers.

Today is not my birthday but we're celebrating since all the kids are home.  We are going to a Japanese Steak House where you sit around the grill and they cook while entertaining you.  Should be fun.

It's a picture-free post today because I'm saving up.

The Twisted Stitcher is going to be my inspirations for 25 day of Christmas posts.  I don't think I can follow her format exactly but I am going to try to post each day up until Christmas.  Sometimes it will be crafty...sometimes it will just be about us getting ready for the holiday season.

I hope a few other bloggers will give this a shot.  It's fun to watch other people's holiday preparations and decorations come together.

What do you say?  Any other takers?

Happy Stitching


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Let there be...

pie!  My favorite thing to bake is pie.  Pie from scratch.  Thanksgiving is the one holiday where pie is a given. 

 Everything from scratch.

 Apple, pumpkin, mince, a batch of cookies and some applesauce while I was at it. 

Lucky for us the big storm was a dud but I know that's not the case everywhere.  Hope everyone is safe and sound and settling in for some Thanksgiving goodness.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Camera located.

It took several searches but I finally found the camera.  I lose that thing on a regular basis but this time it took longer than average to find it.  It was under some fabric.  Surprise!  I looked under everything *I thought* I'd handled.  Guess not.

Anyhow...the only pictures I'd taken was of my fabric for Bonnie's mystery...which starts in just 8 days.

As I thought about this post along with the lost camera problem...I thought that you are going to start to be suspicious about my ability to take care of my stuff.  Or, as my kids would say, see why we can't have nice stuff?  So not true.

One of the problems we quilters have is that of the incontinent iron.  Or the iron that won't get hot enough.  Or the iron that won't steam.  You all know what I'm talking about, right?  Recently my fairly new iron wouldn't stay on the right temperature setting.  It dropped down to the lowest setting about every 30 seconds.  So, off to Walmart I went for a new one.  I've been holding off on buying another expensive brand...mainly because they're expensive and kind of heavy. 

When it came time to iron  I took it out of the package and plugged it in and casually walk away for a few minutes while it heated up.  While I was checking my email doing other important household tasks I had an AHA moment.  I thought...that iron didn't have a protective covering on the bottom, did it?  Oh, I bet if it did I'd smell it burning.  OR NOT. 

Fast forward after a trip to Joann's...

...for a tube of this...

...a towel, a wooden spatula and the entire tube later...

...I am back in business with my shiny new iron.

That stuff is like magic. 

Back to work.  I am only a few good stitching sessions away from a finish.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

MIA camera

In an effort to become a good blogger I planned a post or two with a few photos.  However, my camera needs a homing device.  I took pictures in my sewing room Sunday but can't find the camera so we'll have to go with what I took with my phone.

Here's a happy thought...


Thanksgiving first.  The recipe books are out and groceries are being shopped for.  The kids will be home making for a happy, busy house.  My girls and I are planning some fun for the next day.  I hope I find my camera before then so that I can show you what we're up to.  

Another fun Friday after Thanksgiving event involves this pile of fabric.....

The first clue in Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt will be out.  That means I will be trying to find time each weekend to keep up.  I am not a big fan of orange but I've chosen fabrics in the same color scheme as Bonnie.  I think my colors are a little more subdued, though.  Her quilts are not for the faint of heart.  They involve many pieces, tons of cutting, and miles of thread.  My sewing machine is acting up so I might have to pull out my travel machine while my main one goes in for a check up.  I can't imagine being without a machine, even for one day, so I am glad I have a back up. 

Thank you for all the lovely comments from my last post.  Also, I am happy some new followers have come on board.  It's a nice way for me to check out some new blogs, too.

Until next time...


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Young(ish) and innocent.

Early in my adult life I watched the 'older' ladies at church make plans to fill the cheer baskets that were delivered to the shut-ins of our church community.  In my youngish innocent mind that was for the 'old' ladies to worry about.  Foolishly, I thought that I didn't have the skill to create cute and clever little goodies so I was free of any responsibilities in that department.

Fast forward ten or fifteen years and I started to notice that the 'old' ladies were becoming the shut-ins and that nobody new was stepping in.  Also, I caught a glimpse of one of those mysterious baskets and noticed that there wasn't anything clever or stylish about the little packaged goodies.  The same year, a man with an ailing wife, stood up and read a poem modeled after 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' about how wonderful it was to be the recipient of one of the deacon's baskets of cheer.

So, I started making time to fill a dozen or so treat bags with some baked goodness out of my own kitchen.
I wrote about those treats here one year. This year, fate must have been looking down on me when I decided to make jam.

I recently came across a jam recipe that looked too good to pass up.  

After all, apples are in season and can be had for a very good price.


Since canning isn't something I've done for years, I don't think I've even unpacked my canning pot after moving years ago. I had to make do with what I had on hand.

Luckily, I have a couple nice size pots.

 The brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice are what make this different from regular apple jam.

Oh, the smell!

Two batches later and I have enough for us, for the cheer baskets, and a gift here and there.

The whole morning I was working, I kept thinking of my friend who usually makes the jam for the cheer baskets.  I wondered if she was making any or if I'd be stepping on her toes by making the same type of gift.  Well, this is where fate stepped in because my wonderful sweet church friend died that morning.  It was sudden and very unexpected.  One has to wonder how and why things work that way.  

I did not intend this post to end with that bit of news.  I took the photos along the way with the idea of simply posting about jam making.  I guess you just never know how things will end up.  

I can't ever imagine being able to step into her shoes...however after attending her funeral and listening to her family...I can dream about my own kids and future grand kids saying such wonderful things about what it was like to be in my home and part of my life.  I hope I can put to use the lessons I've learned from her.  First up, make jam for the cheer baskets.  

Thanks for stopping by.  It's hard re-generating a blog.  A special thank you to Carol and Lee.  


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Where are they now?

Catching up is hard to do!  I can summarize the kids.  They are great.  Here they are sitting out front of one of our favorite restaurants. 

The Scholar (the child I was sure was leaving the country the minute she could) has graduated and is employed in her chosen field while getting her master's at night.  She is a middle school Spanish teacher in a nearby district.  She just moved into her own apartment a couple weeks ago.  She is in and out of the house   cleaning out her room...conveniently at the same time as doing her laundry. 

The Boy Wonder, gulp, turns 21 next week.  He is such a nice kid young man.  He is a junior in college.  He proudly announced that he'd have all the credits he'd need to graduate after this spring semester.  However, before drawing those purse strings tight, he went on to say he still needed to go next year because he hadn't planned on having enough credits so didn't do his Capstone project. Doesn't it just figure?  He should have lead into the conversation with that part. 

Buttercup is a high school senior.  She continues to wow us with her swimming times, grades, acting skills, and general wit.  She is a sheer joy to have around the house.  That is, when she's around the house.  She leaves at 6:40 in the morning and comes home at 8:00 in the evening.  We chase around to area schools for swim meets, local thrift shops for costume ideas, and help out at set build every weekend.  We've visited a number of colleges because APPARENTLY she didn't pay any attention to the campuses when she went visiting with her siblings!   She's in the process of finishing her common app then the real fun begins.  Hopefully, by Christmas, we will have a college choice made. 

So, that's the nuts and bolts of the kids.  They make us proud and I'm a tiny bit...sort of...getting used to being the parent of young adults. 

Sadly, we don't have either of our cats anymore.  I think Oliver died back when I was a good little blogger but our sweet, sweet Snickers died about 1 1/2 years ago.  Oliver was almost 21.  We'd had him exactly 20 years.  Snickers was only 12 but developed a tumor.  Both were rescue kitties.  I have never, in my entire adult life, been without a cat.  It's been a huge adjustment for me.  I am sure we will get another one (or two...shhhhh) but right now I will admit to enjoying a little no-guilt freedom.  I can put a piece of stitching down and not worry about who is going to curl up on it or who is going to make off with the threads.  I don't even have to mention travel.  The Scholar has volunteered to cat sit so that gives me some comfort.  However, she has already announced that she won't do it during the summer.  (Both girls work at a summer camp.) 

Phew!  That was a long post.  Here I thought I could add one picture and a few words and cover the basics of the household.  Guess not.   I think it's time to settle into my stitching chair for the evening before it gets too late for me.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Claim the name

A quick post to claim my name in Bloglovin'
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

A new day.

So much talk about why we stop blogging brought me here.  It sure took some commitment, too!  Figuring out how I used to log-in took a whole lot of time.  My blog was gone from my dashboard so 'we' had to do some recovery work. 

Note to self:  the reason Blogger and/or Google ask for your cell number to verify your account is not a scam to get their hands on your cell number!  GIVE IT!  This process would have been so much easier.  However, my incredibly inaccurate answers to their questions still yielded me my blog.  I don't know if that's a comfort or not.  Knowing that my Google account could be verified with rough estimates of what the answers must be is kind of scary.  I guess maybe they aren't worried about a 50 year old women's blathering about sewing, reading, kids, etc.  Or, maybe I got one key element correct giving them the confidence they needed to let me in. 

Anyhow, back to why we quit blogging.  I suspect we all have our reasons.  I feel like...been there, done that...who wants to read about that again?  However, I DO LIKE reading similar things on other blogs.  Someone also mentioned facebook.  I don't do, and will probably never do, facebook.  I think it is the way you have to 'friend' people.  I want to just link or google or accidentally discover blogs.  I also prefer a certain degree of anonymity.  I don't want my boss* reading about my exploits.  I know...don't 'friend' your boss but we are friends in the real world but don't share the same passion for sewing.  I guess I'd prefer to keep some things separate. 

*change 'boss' to just about any other person and you'll start to understand why facebook isn't for me.

So, why am I back now?  Two things happened that brought me back.  Well, two reasons besides the recent discussion I had with my blogging friends about making an effort to revitalize our dead or dying blogs.  First, I was browsing around and reading blogs that I don't normally read and came across a post where the author talked about deleting dead blogs out of her reading list and my first thought, with great sadness, was whether she deleted mine or not.  Then my aunt mentioned how much she missed reading it.  That was another sad realization that maybe one blog wasn't so easily replaced by one of the millions of other blogs out there. 

I thought and thought about it and decided that I should try one last time before letting it go completely.  The trick will be getting my blog back out there.  I will need to go claim my name on Bloglovin' and maybe see if my blogging friends will let people know I'm alive and posting again. It is no fun writing posts and having nobody read.

After all that...I've run out of time and need to get out the door for work.