Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The ABC's of Me

I came across this little game on one of the blogs, Tonya's Sewing Room, that I regularly follow and thought it would be fun to feature on mine. It's called the ABC's of Me where I divulge a little bit about myself for each letter of the alphabet.

A – Age - 48
B – Bed Size – Queen
C – Chore you hate – After raising boys, I hate cleaning bathrooms.
D – Dog’s name – We have two dogs, Boris and Chica.
E – Essential “start your day” item – The first thing I do in the morning is take a shower. It’s the only thing that seems to wake me up! LOL
F – Favorite color – If I have to pick a color, it’d be raspberry.
G – Gold or silver? – Definitely gold
H – Height – I’ve been 5’ 7” since I was in 5th grade.
I – Instruments you play – I played the flute all through school and taught myself how to play the guitar well enough to play Stairway To Heaven when I was younger.
J – Job title – Currently I’m not working but when I am my title changes within the project controls area.
K – Kids – I have six children, three boys and three girls.
L – Living arrangements – I live in a rural area where the garages/shops are larger than the houses with my husband, two goats, one cat, and two dogs.
M – Mom’s name – My mother’s name was Joane. To be unique she added the ‘e’ at the end of her name.
N – Nicknames – Mom, Grandma, Nana, Dear, Honey, Aunt D
O – Overnight hospital stays (except when giving birth) – I’ve had to stay in the hospital a few times but the most recent time was in last December when I fell on black ice and broke my ankle. I now have ten screws, three pins, and a couple of plates holding it together.
P – Pet peeve – I hate when people who don’t do things for themselves and instead rely on everyone else.
Q – Quote from a movie – From Harry Met Sally, when Rob Reiner’s mother says “I’ll have what she’s having.” One of the funniest moments I can remember in movie history.
R – Right or left handed – I’m a lefty
S – Siblings – I’m the second oldest from a large family. I have eight sisters and two brothers.
T – Time you wake up – I’m up at 4:00am most mornings. In fact, I have this internal clock that works overtime and into the weekends.
U – Underwear – Yep, I got some of them.
V – Vegetable you dislike – I absolutely hate okra and garbanzo beans! Okra is like eating slugs…
W – Workout style – Before I moved to the Skagit Valley area I would go to the gym every day. I’ve wanted to restart my routine, but work always seems to get in the way. Since I broke my ankle my physical activity is very limited. Once I return to work where I’m working up to seventeen hours a day, it’ll be difficult to find the time or energy to go back to the gym.
X – X-rays you’ve had – I’ve had a few, but the most recent has been on my ankle every time I went in to see my orthopedic surgeon.
Y – Yesterday’s best moments – With our temperature reaching 104°F yesterday, the best moment was when my husband and I went to a local casino where there was air conditioning. Relief!
Z – Zoo favorites – Anything but the snakes!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Black/Fuchsia/Turquoise/Purple To-Die-For Pumps

Have you ever had something happen to you that is so funny, that even you couldn’t stop laughing? Yeah, me too. I thought I’d share my funny story with you today.

I had a suit that I loved to wear to work. It was an electric purple a-line skirt with a form fitting blazer in the same color in medium weight rayon. I always wore my fuchsia silk blouse with it and this day was no exception. I also had these black/fuchsia/turquoise/purple to-die-for pumps with 5-inch spike heels and with black stockings, I looked good! Hah!

On this particular day I was dressed to the hilt, thinking I looked great. Never mind that I was driving an Aerostar van. I was driving home from work, turned into our driveway which was at a pretty steep incline. I went to step out of the van when all of a sudden my face was meeting the concrete of our driveway and my hands were the only thing preventing me from becoming intimate with the concrete. As hard as I tried, I could not get upright from this position. So I’m frantically searching to find out why I can’t get out of this position and learned the heel of my black/fuchsia/turquoise/purple to-die-for pumps was stuck in the door seam. With my butt up in the air and my hands still holding me from collapsing on the concrete, I’m feverishly shaking my leg to try to get me heel out of the door seam. And in the background I can hear someone hysterically laughing, but I couldn’t tell who because my movement was limited. You’d think this person would have offered to help me, but they were having too much fun watching me squirm in an attempt to get out of this predicament.

It becomes obvious to me that I’m on my own and as I continue to shake and pull my leg I can’t get my foot out of my black/fuchsia/turquoise/purple to-die-for pump! My shaking and pulling did do one thing; it caused the door to swing closed on me and bumping me in the head. Even that didn’t dislodge my foot. And the laughter continued!

After what seemed like 15 minutes or more but was probably more like 5 minutes, I was able to get my foot out of my black/fuchsia/turquoise/purple to-die-for pump. With a little tugging and twisting I did get my black/fuchsia/turquoise/purple to-die-for pump out of the door seam and as I limp with pump in hand to my front door my oldest son comes running out to greet me, asking how my day was. All I could do was grunt as I could feel the holes appearing in my brand new black stockings with each step.

I did finally learn where the laughing came from when my neighbor from across the street was visiting one day. She hesitantly told me a tale of her husband, Denis, working in their back yard one afternoon when I pulled into our driveway. He told her he had gone to put some brush in his pile when he happened to see my butt sticking up in the air. Upon further investigation he said he could see me struggling to get my heel from being stuck. When she asked him why he hadn’t offered to help me his response was he was laughing so hard he couldn’t stop long enough to walk across the street to help me.

Yeah, I loved wearing my electric purple suit, fuchsia silk blouse, and black/fuchsia/turquoise/purple to‑die-for pumps. But I haven’t worn the pumps since because I can’t get the image of me bent over with my butt up in the air as I tried to get my heel out of the door seam out of my mind.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Metamorphosis Is Complete

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a picture of some scraps on my cutting table in a pile. Originally, I had hoped to complete its transformation to enlighten you of its identity. But, life seemed to get in the way and I was delayed a bit. As of last night, this...

Metamorphosized into this...

What is it? Well, this is the backing to my musical angels quilt I'm doing for my two year old granddaughter, Brielle. I still need to press it, as well as the quilt front, before I can make my quilt sandwich. But it sure feels good to complete another milestone. If you're interested in seeing the front of the quilt, on the left side of this page is a list of headings in my blog, click on Musical Angels Quilt and you'll see some shots of the completed top.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hand Embroidery and A Giveaway

When I was a little girl, I can remember my mother doing hand embroidery and crochet all the time. She would embroider pillowcases and other linens. After she embroidered her designs she would finish the item with a pretty crocheted trim in pretty colors.

My mother died when I was eight years old. After her death I taught myself how to hand embroider. I must have watched her embroider many, many pillowcases and linens because I taught myself from memory. I must have stitched-out a thousand little daisies and leaves accented with even more French knots. Maybe I felt closer to my mother while I was stitching, I’m not sure. But I know I continue to get deep satisfaction whenever I do embroidery, sewing or quilting. Something I’m positive my mother and I shared.

Now for the Giveaway! A friend of mine is sponsoring a Giveaway on her blog. She has two prize packages she’s offering. Visit her blog to learn more and to read about her and her favorite things.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Modern Technology

I'm so far behind on my sewing projects, reading other's blogs, and in updating my blog as I feel as though I'll never catch-up. Three of my grand kids have been visiting with us for the last month and I haven't had a lot of free time. I've had a moment here, a moment there to sneak in a few minutes on the computer and I find that is not enough time to read my emails, some of my favorite blogs, or to throw out a few words for my own blog.

I love browsing the internet, reading blogs, and corresponding with friends over the internet. Isn't technology wonderful? I find it amazing how we can touch each other's lives without ever meeting face to face. Whether we are drawn together by a common hobby or life experience, we all have the ability to become a strong influence in someone else's life. How awesome is that? I've seen amazing advancement in technology through the years.

Years ago, while in college I can remember typing term papers on a manual typewriter. At the time, correction fluid had not been invented yet and if you made an error you had to use an eraser pencil. Sounds good, right? NOT! These erasers would wear a hole right through the paper while smearing the typewriter ink if you were not careful. And don’t even make an error while you were typing a term paper because you would have to start all over again. So come back in time with me for a moment…

I’m working on a term paper for my Anthropology class. The subject is the effect the changes in our environment has on the rain forest, minimum 25 pages, typed, and single spaced. I have one week to complete my research, compile my notes, hand-write a rough draft, edit, and type final draft for submission to my professor.

Item 1 – Go to the library and select a couple of books for gathering reference material for paper. Remember, the internet didn’t exist so I couldn’t search for data on Google.

Item 2 – Read books and compile handwritten notes. Again, no PC so I couldn’t just type points of interest into an outline. Everything had to be handwritten.

Item 3 – Prepare handwritten outline and edit. See comment above.

Item 4 – Prepare handwritten term paper and edit for final draft. See comment for Item 2.

Item 5 – Once the final draft is perfect, type out title page, outline, index, term paper, and bibliography according to professor’s specifications… very carefully. If an error occurs, attempt to correct using an eraser pencil. If eraser creates a hole in the paper or smears the ink, pull-out paper and start over, being careful to not make another error.

Item 6 – Proofread term paper for grammar, content, and format. If an error occurred, attempt to correct. If correction made error more noticeable, retype paper. Hopefully, the error is small enough and only the page the error occurred on needs to be retyped. Otherwise, retype term paper.

Item 7 – Turn in term paper and pray you caught everything. Remember, no computer, no spell or grammar check, no print preview, no special effect features. Everything is manual Even making Xerox copies was different from today.

In real life, I was up until sometime after 1:00 am the day the term paper was due editing and typing. Although today’s technology would have made it easier to complete my task, the fact that I was carrying a 20 credit load with labs, working 40 hours a week, and raising 2 small children plus a husband at the time was probably a bigger hindrance to my progress. But just imagine the time I would have saved had I had access to a PC and the internet.

So, when I complain about not having enough time to write a few lines on my blog, or some other task, I just remind myself how grueling a task it would have been when I was younger and we didn’t have computers, we had terminals; we didn’t have computerized sewing machines with automatic buttonholes, we had all metal sewing machines with a buttonhole attachment that shook the entire house when in operation; we didn’t have the internet, we had a neighborhood library system we could check books out of; and finally, we didn’t have the electronic social groups for meeting people in other states or countries while building lasting friendships with, we had the local PTA, YMCA, church or other local community center were we met people who resided in the same town and we could build lasting friendships with.

Isn’t modern technology mind boggling?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

100th Post Giveaway

Visit Green Fairy Quilts Blog to learn about her 100th post giveaway. She has some wonderful prizes for four lucky visitors. While you're there, read about their charity work:

Monday, July 6, 2009

Busy Weekend - Fireworks

I love holidays. For me, it is family time and the Fourth of July is no exception. As my children were growing up we always had a huge celebration. It seemed to always include a large BBQ with a huge assortment of food shared with family and friends, followed by the grand finale... tons of fireworks. I would set-up a large banquet table outside where the fireworks would sit until after dark. It would soon turn into a neighborhood display that would last over 30 minutes. Today, our traditional celebration usually includes two separate events.

It begins on July 3rd. We have friends who have a house on Big Lake and every year the fire department sponsors a huge fireworks display on the lake, the day before the 4th. The kids spend the day swimming in the lake while the adults visit. Often times, we also cruise the lake in our friend's boat until BBQ time. When it begins to turn dark, everyone sits along the shoreline of the lake in anticipation of the firework show. In the meantime, we continue to visit while watching the individual fireworks.

This year I had to sit at a picnic table because of my ankle. But I was able to get some decent pictures to share with you:

The only downside to the day was my sunburn. When I say I am lobster red, I mean I am literally lobster red... my face, arms, back of my hands, shoulders, knees, back of my neck. Lobster Red! I've never been so sunburned in my life. It's going to take awhile for me to recover, but we all had fun. I'll just remember next year to remain covered, regardless of the heat.

My contribution to our BBQ was a fruit salad with a lemon cream cheese dip. I thought I'd share this recipe with you:

Fruit Salad with Lemon Cream Cheese Dip

3 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup lemon curd
1 honey dew melon, peeled and sliced
1 cantaloupe, peeled and sliced
4 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
2 cups strawberries, hulled
2 cups red grapes

In small bowl, wisk cream cheese and lemon curd until smooth. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Arrange fruit on platter and serve with lemon cream cheese dip.

Our second event occurs on the 4th. We love going to the races and our favorite racetrack is Evergreen Speedway located at the Monroe Fairgrounds. They have figure eight races featuring cars and buses hauling boats that are hilarious. Most of the time the boats are larger than the car resulting in the boats controlling where the cars go during the race rather than the other way around. They also have races featuring school buses as well as a school bus jump. They set up several RVs, campers, and cars stretching several feet which a school bus attempts to jump over. The kid’s favorite part is when fire shoots up in the air during the jump. Prior to their massive fireworks display they hold a demolition derby which always entertains the crowd.

In my opinion, the fireworks display at Evergreen Raceway is the best in our area and I'm saddened that I was unable to get pictures of it. I had forgotten to recharge the battery for my digital camera. But we had lots of fun sharing the day with our grand kids.

These are memories I'm confident our grandchildren will remember them, always.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What Is This?

It's alive! It just showed up on my cutting table the other day and it's continuing to grow... and changing by the minute. Should I be afraid? I wonder what it is? Hmmmm.....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Where Has The Time Gone?

It appears I've been absent from my blog. I have a good excuse, really. My grand kids have been visiting for the last couple of weeks. Joseph is 14 yrs old, Chuckie is 11 yrs old, and Brielle is 2 yrs old. The two older boys pretty much take care of themselves but Brielle is another story. When my kids were growing up I had a schedule that I strictly adhered to. We were up at the same time every day, ate breakfast, got dressed, and started our day. Nap time was immediately following lunch and lasted about 30 minutes. Our evening routine was simple. My husband worked swing shift so the kids and I were always on our own for dinner. Either I would cook dinner or we would pack a picnic and go to the park or down to the waterfront for the evening. I learned early that bedtime was always easier if the kids got fresh air beforehand. Living in Tacoma we had several nice parks to choose from. Often times we would go to Pt. Defiance, Puget Sound Park, or Jefferson Park. The kids loved it. If we didn’t go the park, we would load up the van, often with extra kids, and go down to the waterfront where the kids could roller skate or run along the walk way. This is a five mile stretch along the water and by the time we left the kids was exhausted. When we got back to the house, it was bath time followed by quiet time before going to bed. Quiet time always consisted of reading a book or watching something on television. Brielle doesn’t have a schedule, other than her own. Her parents work odd hours making it difficult to adhere to a strict schedule. Her mother works nights and her father works three jobs with hours stretched between 8:00am and midnight. Consequently, Brielle doesn’t go down for the night until the early morning hours and sleeps until noon. This is a huge conflict to our schedule. We’re up at 4:00am and usually in bed around 8:00pm. Aside from the odd schedule, their visit has been wonderful. We’ve baked bread, cookies, and blueberry muffins. We’ve had lots of strawberry shortcake and BBQs. We canned 20 pints of strawberry jam. They’ve enjoyed water fights, played with distant cousins, and visited with their friends up here.

Isn’t she adorable? Who would imagine someone so innocent looking could create so much havoc to our daily lives?

Brielle has helped her grandpa mow the yard, feed the goats, and take care of the dogs and cat.

She even got to help her older brothers wash the cars. And I think we’ve all had our fill of watching Tigger and Pooh and A Musical Too, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Chip and Dale movies.

But at the end of the day, we have learned to appreciate our quiet life even more than before the invasion.

Even if they all fall asleep in the family room instead of going to their rooms… Life is good.

Then morning arrives and it begins all over again. I love being a grandma!