I should be…

…quilting or playing in the yard, or running errands, but my computer has taken me hostage and I just can’t seem to break free!  :-)

I’m really just checking in to let those of you who read my blog know that I’m yet living’.

We’re in our first spring at our new home.  The Japanese weeping cherry is gorgeous, and we have a star magnolia in the front lawn.  I hope to open a new bed between the magnolia and a tree that’s further west, and add lots of blooming shrubs and perennials so that we have bloom three seasons.

The house has weathered our winter well, and made it through the heavy winds associated with the tornadoes that came through northern Illinois a week ago.  We were very fortunate, and so were our extended families.

Dear Husband and I were both sloths during the winter.  I dreaded getting on the scale yesterday, but oddly, it said I hadn’t gained weight.  I’ll find out on Tuesday whether my scale is broken, when I see the doc for  a check-up.

DH is studying to become a soaring pilot.  He’s taking lessons in a glider and hopes to buy one, one day.  I’ve been up for a ride, and I can see what he loves about it.

My Scraps on a Mission group is slow to get back to work this year.  I’ve finished four lap quilts, and have the tops for three twin-sized quilts finished.  I’ve sent one to the long arm quilter because it was more than I could do on my machine, but I hope to do the other two on my own.  I have an oversized baby quilt finished for the grand daughter of a friend, otherwise  I haven’t gotten to any of my own quilting in the past few months.  Ideas, I have tons of ideas, and lots of projects started, but just not enough time.

Exercise has been going well.  I subbed for our guru the past two days while she’s been taking a five day yoga seminar.  I suspect she’ll have all sorts of things to inflic….er share with us.

I’ve come to understand why Northerners become snowbirds.  I always snooted those who went south, but I’ve finally reached the age where weather, temperature, air pressure, etc, all have an effect and make me realize I have arthritis!  I don’t love winter as much as I used too.

We’ve met the neighbors to the south!  John offered to clear our sidewalks with his motorized plow, so we took a goodie basket over to say thanks.  We find we have a  love of gardening, and a dislike of the wildlife who eat our plants!  I can see DH and John shooting marshmallows at the critters.

So….we’re here, and have weathered winter, and are looking forward to the warmer weather.  I hope you’re all doing well.  Happy Spring to you!

Don’t tell me…

Has it truly been two months since I’ve last posted?  And I thought I was doing so much better.  Hmmpf.

Well, Dear Husband and I have both had our winter colds.  I started to get better and he got worse, so I nagged him to visit the doc.  The PA saw him and put him on antibiotics and a puffer, and had him get a chest x-ray.  He’s better now.  Apparently he had bronchitis, and was inching his way toward pneumonia.

I’ve subbed for my exercise guru four days in February.  She’s been ill, and now her husband has the flu.

I cancelled the opening day for Scraps on a Mission.  I didn’t want to share our germs with the ladies who come to sew.  We’ll have our opening day later this month.  Many of us have been sewing, as though the meeting had taken place.  I have three 50″ x 50″ lap quilts ready for binding, and I’m working on three 80″ x 80″ tops, one of which is finished.  I’m going to quilt two of them, and have the third quilted professionally.  When I’m a little further along, I’ll finish a quilt for a friend’s grand daughter.

We’ve had a lot of snow, but nothing like what’s inundated the East.  One of our neighbors  cleared off our sidewalk using a plow attached to an all-terraine vehicle.  DH cleared off the  driveway, which is very short.  We’ve had one feeder out for the birds.  As soon as we can get another pole into the ground, we’ll put up another.  Perhaps we’ll be able to lure some of the cardinals to our back yard.

Things have been very quiet the past two months.  That’s when you should begin to worry.  Two weeks ago my sister-in-law passed away.  I feel dreadful for my brother, because she was the light of his life.  He has planned a lovely memorial for her, and we’ll all gather on Sunday to share our memories.

Two of my siblings have lost their spouses, now.  So far, I haven’t lost a sibling, but with each loss I wonder who will be the first of us to pass away.  Our Dad lived to 70, but Mother was almost 94 when she passed away.  We have good genes and bad, and some of us lead very healthy lives, and some, not so healthy.  I’m reminded that we should live life as though this was our last day on earth.

And with that, I think I’ll call it a day.  I hope you are all high, dry and well!

Merry Christmas

For the few of you who read my blog, I want  to wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best in this coming year.  I hope you are able to spend time with family and friends, and have a little time off to be able to enjoy the season

As usual, I’ve been experiencing my anti-materialism gloom.  Dear Husband has done the “hit the pavement” shopping, while I’ve handled what needed to be ordered via the Internet. It helped to be able to spend a day baking with two of my nieces, and celebrating with our exercise class.

Our exercise guru opens her house to a pot-luck brunch immediately following class on the final session in December.  I subbed for her so that she could be ready for her guests, and class was very pleasant.  The day before, DH made his famous latkes, and I baked “egg muffins.”  The muffins are basically scrambled eggs poured over chopped veggies and cooked chopped meat and/or cheese.  I cooked them for 24 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  They puffed up, and then sank as they cooled.  They make a very convenient breakfast, and can be refrigerated for several days and reheated.

I have lots of wrapping left to do for our kids and granddaughters. We’ll see them several times this holiday season.  In addition to Christmas, we’ll take them all out to a marvelous seafood brunch.

I’m looking forward to hanging the bird feeder that my sister gave to us as a housewarming present.  It’s a platform that holds a suet/seed ball that has fruit added to make it look like a little owl.  I plan to put it out Christmas Eve so that we can watch the birds.

My family has already met for the year.  It’s so large that it has become difficult for them to clear the decks to gather, and….a number of them are spread out over the U.S.  This year we were instructed to choose a DVD to give, and a “snack” to go with it.  It’s tough to buy a DVD for a drawing, so there were some hits and misses.  We ended up with two Mark Wahlberg action movies, and a Nicholas Sparks chick flick. lol

January 2nd, my quilting bee will come for a Soup Supper night.  I’ll make several soups and provide bread, salad and dessert.  This will be the first time most of them have seen our new home.

I’ve enjoyed this Christmas more than several in the past, but the materialism really bothers me.  The push to get the best price and the perfect piece of technology misses the point of the season.  I’d rather spend time with friends and family and not worry about gifts.  So, I’m the Grinch.  I hope you all will carry on the Season for me.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


We have a bright sunny day today.  I doubt we have more than two inches of snow.  It’s just enough to cover the grass, but our street is clean, and most of the driveways are, too.  Dear Husband was “reading” the paw prints in the snow.  I think a dog may have meandered through, and we can see bunny and squirrel tracks.

We put up a bird feeder last week,  a gift from my sister, Frankie.  It’s the tube style which slides to cover the seed portals when a bird (or squirrel) that is too heavy tries to suck the tube dry.  So far the squirrels haven’t tried to bring it down, but we may have to deal with that as the weather closes in.  The little birds, juncos and finches and such, sit under the patio furniture waiting their turn at the feeder.

We’re supposed to get some more bad weather starting later in the afternoon on Wednesday.  Those who will be on the road to family will have tough going from what they are predicting.  Snow and sleet, perhaps some black ice.  If you’re out and about, please drive carefully, and watch out for those who don’t!

What’s new?

Well, we asked our favorite appliance repair company to come to check out our broiler and give us lessons on how to run our oven/broiler.  It turns out the broiler is fine.  It’s the users who need a little work.  While he was here, I asked him if he could order a replacement for the flange in the disposal that was missing.  If I ran the disposal, I had to place something above it, or wear what it threw back at me.  He couldn’t  help us with that, but offered to install a new disposal for us.  Normally I would have said “No” to an offer like that, but I went for it.  The inside of the disposal was rusted, and it sounded as though it was going to shake apart the counter when it ran.  It turns out it was a good choice.  There were signs of leaking at the bottom.  So, we are now the proud owners of a much quieter, cleaner, neater garbage disposal!

We’re going to resume Cookie Day!  I have probably less than half the space that I once had, and only one oven, but with careful organization, we should be able to do this.  I plan to bake the day before, and leave one refrigerated cookie ready to bake first thing that morning  We’ll use the eating area off the kitchen for some prep, as well as the dining room table.  I can clear the trestle table in the living room to store baked goods.  I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.  So far, there will be four of us, plus a five year old.

I finished two blocks for my great-nephew’s Minecraft quilt, and just kept on working on other projects.  I have a 25 block whirligig lap quilt in blues and yellow ready to be sewn together.  I want to add white, yellow and blue borders to bring it up to about  44 inches square.  It will be the first quilt finished for the 2015 season of Scraps on a Mission.

While I was at it, I pieced two blocks for a “Missing U” quilt, the large blocks that are crazy pieced from a single color per block.  The first is from strips of medium to dark blue.  When I began the second block, I had a handful of fuchsia triangles, so I sewed them to a variety of fuchia/pink fabrics to make squares, and then pieced them into two strips.  I was total happy just playing with fabric!  :-)

Where did Fall go?

We had an amazingly beautiful fall!  This is the beginning of the first year in our new home, and we were very happy to discover that we have a LOT of color around our house and through-out the neighborhood.

There are a variety of maples along our street.  We have one right next to the driveway.  The city has had plenty of forethought in mixing up the specific species of trees along the street, so we had quite the display.  Our neighbor’s beautiful gold leafed maple just lost it’s leaves this past weekend, the last to go.

A tree was removed from the parkway before we bought the house.  We hope to negotiate with the city on the choice of plants to be replanted.  We’d be happy to go halves with them on the cost, if we get some say as to what is planted.  Will they work with us?  Who knows, but it’s worth a try.  Meanwhile…winter, here we come!


It’s October 7th.  We are more than half way through the cycle of decreasing sunlight.  The sun is setting earlier, the sun is  tracking further south in the skies.  I love fall, but I mourn the loss of sunlight.

Well, maybe not all the time.  I just looked out the dining room window and saw one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.  Part of the sky looked like molten gold, with shades of melon behind it. There was a bit of crisp blue sky, and a con trail climbed from one color to the next. The final touch was a decoration of white wisps of cloud.  It was an amazing three dimensional gift from nature.

Our “new” home faces west.  Our dining room is at the front of the house and has a large window.  The houses on the other side of the street are tall, but they are on a lower slope of the land, so while we can’t see the entire sunset, we get to see a good portion of it.

You never know what will come your way when you make a change in your life as large as a new residence.  We are blessed that this change seems to be a very good one!

Busy Bees

Oddly, Dear Husband has been the busiest bee here.  He gets up and starts a load of laundry, has some breakfast and then begins opening boxes.  I’ve spent a lot of time in the kitchen or watching him work.  I wondered if he would complain that it seemed I was leaving all the work to him.  I was simply stymied.  There was no place to put anything!

I opened two boxes of Tupperware and Rubbermaid items.  I had one shelf in the kitchen filled with disposable plastic boxes.  I put ALL the plastic on the counters and started matching containers with tops.  I am amazed at how much I was able to put back into the cabinet once it was organized. (I can hear my sister laughing at that! :-) )  There were  a few items I didn’t have room for, and they will be stored on shelving in the garage.  The rest went either into a box for a garage sale, or into the recycling.

We went shopping last week and finally found the shelving we needed at The Container Store.  Part of it was installed on Thursday.  We have two guest rooms on the north end of the house.  We put shelving into both bedroom closets, leaving room for hanging clothes.  I began opening boxes of china, glasses and kitchen equipment today, putting them on the new shelving.

After some discussion, we decided to buy one more section of Swedish Shelving from Williams Sonoma.  That will be set up in the small eating area past the kitchen counter.  Cookbooks, the blender, food processor and mixer will go on those shelves.  They’ll be at hand, without taking up counter space.

We’ve ordered a custom made bookshelf for the bedroom.  It’s the only bookshelf planned for the first floor other than the shelving in the kitchen for cookbooks, and is fairly large.   We need to shop for carpeting in the bedroom before that bookshelf is delivered.  And then, I hope to buy a loveseat to finish the room.

The painter has been here and painted the living room, dining room and kitchen.  In the second week of October, he’ll return to finish our bedroom and bath and paint the laundry room.  It’s all beginning to pull together.  Bit by bit.


Recently a friend challenged me to take the gratitude trial.  I was to list three things I was thankful for each day, for five days.  It’s a pretty small effort.  Most of us can find fifteen things for which we are grateful.  I accepted the challenge and completed it.  I passed the test on to two of my sisters and a friend.

What I found was that I have a LOT to be grateful for.  I was surprised when I started typing  my thoughts down for Facebook.  Everyone addresses this differently.  I’ve seen one word responses, such as “chocolate,” and I’ve seen paragraphs describing a mother’s love for each of her daughters. Everyone responds to this differently, but each of them must stop and think about the quality of their life before they can answer.

I’m a list maker.  I spend a lot of time listing what needs to be done, and fretting when something on the list keeps getting carried over.  I am an impatient person, and I want to resolve issues NOW!  I was surprised that many of the things for which I m grateful are those which have come to me over time: having lived to the age of 65, having three lovely grandgirls and a grandson,  having a roof over my head and a place to lay my head at night.  Yes, I like chocolate, too, but it seemed that it was the big things in my life that came to me first.

I’m fortunate to have an established exercise class which gets me up and running three days a week.  I’ve been going to that class for so long that the members feel like family to me, and I’ve taken two of my sisters, and a niece to the class. Now that Dear Husband has retired, he goes with me to class.  A dozen or so of the members babysat my indoor plants while we were between houses.  How’s THAT for friendship!

I also participate in a small group that makes  lapquilts for those in need.  I consider those ladies to be friends, too, and would do anything they need.  We only meet once a month, but we keep in touch by e-mail, and I’m astonished at how hard they work.  I love it when I see their names pop up in my mail.

I think I may continue listing three things for which I am grateful for a while. I’m interested to see where this will take me. I know it sounds a bit hokey, but I encourage you to give it a try.  You might learn something about yourself in the process!

Family Wedding

Dear Husband and I have just returned from a family wedding that was absolutely wonderful!  We traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, a place I had never visited.  More than one entire floor of a hotel was reserved for family and friends for the weekend.  Most of the visitors stayed through this morning, but we opted to return on Sunday.  We need to be ready for the last delivery of our belongings, and didn’t want to be caught in the Labor Day traffic.

The groom’s parents hosted a party following the rehearsal, Friday night.  Usually rehearsal dinners are limited to those in the wedding but this party was open to anyone who was in town for the wedding.  It was wonderful to be able to catch up with family and meet people soon to be a part of our family.  The groomsmen got together and did a humorous presentation of the groom’s life for the past six years that had everyone laughing.  They had a life-sized cut-out of the bride and groom, and moved it around the college campus and other sites to tell the story.

Saturday morning was devoted to shopping and hair appointments.  Later in the day we were shuttled to a private club for the wedding and reception.  The location was beautiful, the ceremony touching.  The entire wedding party was lovely, from the flower girls on up to the grandparents of the bride and groom!

There was a choice of sea bass or file mignon for dinner.  My favorite veggie, green beans, were served steamed, whole!  While the meal was wonderful, watching the kids dance was even better!  I’m used to seeing bodies move to music, but what was interesting about this group was that they were dancing to the lyrics!  You could see their bodies responding to certain phrases, or accenting words.  It was fascinating to watch.  It also made me wish I knew ALL the lyrics! lol  Lucky for me, there were a lot of oldies on the play list.

We rode a shuttle back to the hotel and crashed around midnight.  Sunday morning we were invited to brunch at the home of the parents of the bride.  Their gardens are fabulous!    We strolled through them before sitting down to eat and found several plants I couldn’t identify. They had TWO very functional veggie gardens, mostly blocked from view by shrubs, annuals and perennials.  What  a treat!

We chatted with our extended family, caught some hugs, and were on our way.  DH drove the entire day, letting me chat with him or read, as the mood struck.  We stopped every 90 miles or so to get out and stretch.  This time, we chose not to have a meal, which made the trip go a little faster.  Kudos to the Ohio service areas, which are exceptional!  I discovered plastic cups of strawberries to go at one kiosk, and snapped them up.

Our blessings go out to the entire family but especially to my great-nephew and his bride!  Congratulations!