Rip Van Winkle.

It’s been ages since I’ve posted.  Life has been full, and while I’ve thought about putting it down for you to read, that’s as far as it’s gotten.  I need to get a new memory card reader for my camera, so I can share a wealth of pictures that have accumulated.  I’m a dinosaur where phones are concerned.  I have a Tracfone flip phone.  It DOES take pictures, but I haven’t a clue how to move them from the phone to more useful media.

We’ve been busy. (Obviously too busy to get the memory card reader! lol)  We are mostly moved into our “new” home.  We have to do a little work in the garage yet, and in the basement TV area, and the living room.

We celebrated our 25th anniversary early by going on a Viking Tulip Time cruise with friends.  We flew to Amsterdam and then cruised around the Netherlands and Belgium.  We were gone from May 1 to 11, and it was a wonderful trip!  If you watch PBS and see the pictures of the riverboat in Budapest, thats the type of boat we were on.

Our oldest granddaughter is eleven and I’ve been teaching her to sew.  My goal is to get her to the point where she can make a simple quilt, but we started with a portable game and a skirt.  I think it’s been a good start!

We came back from vacation and scheduled sleep tests for both of us.  We both flunked.  We see a consultant next Monday and will likely be using Cpap equipment in the future.

Fred is learning to soar.  He started in late March with lessons at a soaring association west of us and is nearing the time when he will solo.  He’ll have to have more instruction and then take a very long written test, and  a soaring test to get his license.  He may have to do an oral test, too.  I’m not sure about that.  He’s as happy as a clam.

The Arr! is for sale.  Know anyone who wants to buy a 1983 Bayfield 30 foot sailboat?

We’ve seen our house and lawn through every season, now.  I have plans to change the front landscaping.  Although I like most of the plants, I think the curb appeal is sadly lacking.  I’ve met one neighbor who is an amazing gardener, and I understand there is another just a few doors down who is an expert at landscape design, so you can guess what I hope to be doing this winter.

We’re well and busy, and settled in.  I hope that those of you who might chance to read this are having a good summer.

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!

Friday, January 2, 2015

I may have told you that my quilting bee is meeting at the home of one of the other members.  While we were packing up and moving, and unpacking, hosting the bee was more than I could handle.  Our new home is half the size of our old house, but we have room for the bee and two husbands to sit at our dining room table.  If more husbands decide to attend, I have two more tables where I can place them.  Seating is more difficult, but we can still  accomplish it.

This is our Souper Supper, which is very fitting, given the cold temperatures we’ve had recently.  It should be around freezing (which may feel warm!), and we should be precipitation-free.

So this is what I think the menu will be:

A Cheese Plate with Crackers

Golden Cheddar Chowder, Stuffed Green Pepper Soup, and Lasagna Soup

Croutons, French Bread and Butter

Caesar Salad

Mixed Fresh Fruit

Chocolate Cake with Raspberry filling, and/or Carrot Cake.

I’ll have to ask DH what he wants to serve for beverages.  We always offer tea (hot and iced), soda and water.  He may wish to add wine to the menu.

This will be the first time that many of my friends will get to see our new home, so we want to make them as comfortable as possible.


Well, I managed to stay awake until midnight to usher in the New Year.  Dear Husband crashed around 10:15.  I was astonished that I was able to keep going, and was just thinking about going to bed, when the neighbors set off fireworks at midnight!   I thought DH might bound out of bed at the noise, but he was sleeping so soundly that it barely disturbed him.

I had planned to make a nice dinner, but DH wanted to finish off leftovers.  He did the same thing to me Christmas Eve.  I had a lovely dinner for two planned, with a beautiful setting, and we ended up eating in our bedroom, watching a PBS show of Gershwin music.  I guess I’m lucky to have a husband who is so easy to please.

I didn’t go out to bang a pan to drive away the bad spirits for the year.  I think the last time I did that, we received a call telling us that DH’s oldest son had died from a massive heart attack.  I’m not generally superstitious, but I don’t care to risk any of the other kids.

I hope that we will all be blessed with good health this year, and a Congress that is willing to work to pass bills to help the majority of the population.  Stay safe, and have a great 2015!

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!  :-)

Let’s see if this works…

I’m working with one of my nieces to make  Minecraft quilt for her son.  There are twelve blocks, and nine of them are based on an 8 by 8 grid.  The most difficult thing about those blocks is having enough solid colors to accomplish the design, and then having to cut them into 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ squares.

This is the quilt we are creating:  Minecraft

I’ve made the sword and the diamond pick axe blocks which are the same size block but on a 16 x 16 grid.  Each square finishes out at one inch.

If you can see the quilt, then the link worked! lol


It’s not supposed to be this cold in the middle of November!

Yesterday they said it would be 22 degrees in our area at the peak heat for the day, but with wind gusts up to 30 mph, it was going to feel more like 1 degree.  Just 1 degree due to windchill.

We’re bundled up, but I need to search for gloves and scarves.  I don’t usually wear a hat, but if it’s really bad, I’ll loop my scarf up over my head, and pull up the hood on my coat.

I know that there is more reasonable weather coming, but we’ve already had measurable snow (on Sunday), so I think we need to begin hunkering in.  I think I may add some things to our pantry, so that we can make meals without having to brave the icy fang to shop.