Wednesday, December 31, 2008

San Antonio was Wonderful

I can't say enough about what a good time we had, even though our team, in overtime, lost. DH was thrilled to be in a sea of purple:


and at the game.

We started our day at The Alamo (did you know that alamo means cottonwood?). And where did we park? Right outside the wall of the fort:

We couldn't believe we found the perfect parking place where we just fed it quarters every couple of hours.

Oh, and I was there, too. I loved the fort and the mission and the people working there was not only knowledgeable but enthusiastic about both the history and the women who saved and now run the fort and mission.

We ate on the River Walk (mushrooms sauteed in a tomato & oil sauce and covered with melted swiss cheese = yum!) and then shopped in a couple of very nice antique malls. And here I have to say that all of the locals we talked to or did business with were so very nice and helpful. I can't remember being in a city and being treated so well. Anyway, by the time it was time to head for the Alamodome, I was ready for some sitting time.

The game was really fun. Northwestern led most of the game and both teams played well, for the most part. What was also nice to see was so few penalties. We would have loved to see NU win this game but since they were 2 touchdown underdogs, we were mighty pleased with their play.

It is a 14 hour drive from San Antonio to home, especially when DH has to stop every time he sees "Antique Mall" on a sign. But even with that we were home by 10:30 and I was in my little bed by 11. Now I need to get off the computer and unpack the car so I can get in the studio and pick out my fabric for Bonnie Hunter's New Years Eve Day Mystery Quilt. Being gone I am so far behind everyone else. Oh, well, tomorrow is another day (didn't I just say that?)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

This holiday season it was interesting to see how much our family loves us. At Thanksgiving we went to DS & DDIL’s house where they served Weight Watcher’s planned meals. It was wonderful that they were so thoughtful and we lost 2# over that weekend. In mid-December we received an email from DDIL in CO. She likes to bake wonderful cookies for Christmas but before making some for us she asked if we would prefer to not be tempted. While saying “yes” to her, I also was able to tell her how much I appreciated her thoughtfulness in honoring our efforts toward a more healthful way of life. Then for Christmas dinner our DD made a wonderful and yet Weight Watcher friendly meal. She, of course, is also on WW so everyone was helped by her thoughtfulness. But over this month I have been impressed by this very loving show of our children’s support.

I have had a great weekend: I have been in the studio. I have been working on my Black & White challenge quilt. Prior to Christmas I had cut all the strips and since Christmas I have sewn all the blocks (30). I did have to laugh when I looked at my design wall and realized that there are once again three UFO on the wall with me working on something else. For the challenge I am using left over fabric from this B&W project plus some new pieces. I am not showing anything of the new quilt yet because the plan is kind of coming as I sew. LOL

And there will be no sewing for the next couple of days. We leave very early tomorrow morning to go to San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl: DH is a Northwestern Graduate. Living in Al there are very few NU games we can get to. I did make DH something to wear for the game:
I couldn't find any of these things in purple so I dyed them. I was really happy with how they came out and DH is planning to wear them. He also got a new NU tee shirt from DD so he will really be outfitted.
Anyway I am not taking the computer with me because we will either be on the road, visiting the Alamo, at the game, or sleeping, for the next three days.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Today is the day that we celebrate the birth of the Christ. It is a joyful day and also a day of remembrance of Christmas Eve's and Christmas Days gone by. I remember, vaguely, the Christmas' with my parents and grandparents and with more nostalgia the Christmas' with our four children. We were always financially struggling but oh how we tried to make those Christmas' good for the kids. Of course there was the Christmas my husband gave me the electric blanket (which I had said I didn't want) and in the night it started to flash at me, but we won't remember that, will we? Now our Christmas is much quieter, as it is just the two of us. We have made new traditions to take the place of the bustle of kids and we have come to enjoy the peace and quiet those Christmas' can bring. One of our newer traditions came when we had broken water pipes on Christmas Eve: we went out for Chinese on Christmas Day. Now we eat Chinese every few years, just for the fun of it. But this year we will be going to our daughter's house for Christmas dinner and gifts. We will enjoy her children and grandchild and then come home to the peace and quiet of our house.

This is one of two placemats I made last Christmas (Quiltmaker). I love them but we have never used them. I put them on the table but my husband prefers to eat on his lap in front of the TV so these placemats look just as good they did when they were new. At least they make the table festive.

I have been blogging now for three months and I want to thank everyone for the acceptance I have received. I wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holiday.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The picture quality is not great (cell phone) but isn't this the neatest way to enter into Christmas week? What you are looking at is great grandson, Skylar (Sky) with his Grandpa Santa.

Now a puzzle: what in the world are these? No prizes as I am all gifted out what with Christmas, but I think they really look funny.

I think we are almost ready for Christmas. We have either made or gotten all of our gifts with the exception of two: one is still on backorder and the other will be a gift card that I will get getting tomorrow.

We have heard from my SIL: they got electricity shortly after I posted that they were out. However it is snowing there now and they are expecting another ice storm soon. It's a good thing they got a new cord of wood for the stove, it sounds like they may need it.

And here in the South, we are supposed to be going down to 22F tonight with a brisk breeze. I should tell you that I really don't like to be cold. But at least we won't have ice to wake up to.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Busy but not Quilting

This has been a busy week. I have been using my embroidery machine more than the HQ16. This is a free standing lace gift tag. I have made several for different family members but ran out of time to make them for everyone. This is the one I practiced on: for hubby.

I have also been working on my Black & White Challenge quilt. I have cut all the fabric and designed it in EQ6. I plan to start sewing on it on Jan. 1.

In the "plan for the future" section of my mind, I have been making plans to get some UFO's and other quilts done. I usually work on two or three projects at the same time. One of those will have to be a UFO or one of the "kits" I have already put together with a pattern, usually of my own design. I have two shelves of "kits" but I tend to forget to go get them when I want to start a new project. So, I have come up with this new idea. I sure hope it works: I really like some of the ideas that became "kits."

And one other bit of news. While I was in Lakeland I bought a kiln. I have wanted to get into fused glass and now I am going to. I have also purchased some glass and some of the tools so I am almost ready to go. I have a plan (another one) for setting it all up and hope to try it out next week. I only want to make jewelry and buttons right now but I think this will be another outlet for creativity: pictures to follow (?).

Addition: We just talked with DH's sister in NH where she has been without electricity for a week. She reported that they are expecting 12" of snow tomorrow and another ice storm over the weekend. Fortunately they just had a wood burning stove installed and cook with gas. However, this has been a really rough time for them. Our prayers continue to go their way.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Back Home

Short but good trip/visit, lots of driving (9 hrs each way), feeling good sitting in my own chair.

This is what my mother gave me as a birthday gift.

She knows that I am the primary finance officer in the family. The $$ that goes in the His Money pig drops right down into the Her Money pig. I love it, don’t you?

When I got home it was time to put up the tree and decorate it with the ornaments I bought last Christmas.

The balls are Jim Shore’s 12 Days of Christmas with quilting motifs. The snowmen are a tribute to the Styrofoam snowmen that were on the tree when I was a child. I always love those snowmen but they disappeared so I finally able to get some of my own.

So now I am sitting by my tree and fire (in the fireplace), resting up from my trip and avoiding any thoughts of work. I did empty the car but nothing has been unpacked and won’t be tonight. Tomorrow is another day…..wonder where I heard that?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Away from home

Today I drove to Lakeland, FL for a short visit with my mother. I am staying at the Hyatt and what a neat room this is. That TV is a 50" plasma, just for me. It swivels so I can watch from the bed or the 8' long couch.

Right now I am sitting in that corner, stretched out on the foot stool.

Anyway, I woke up at 4:30 am and heard rain. I checked the weather online and saw a BIG storm coming my way. So, I finished packing up the car and took off, just ahead of the storm. On the road for 8.5 hours, a little rain and the traffic was well behaved. Of course that might have been because there were more state troopers on the interstates than I have ever seen: lots of flashing lights. I, of course, was perfect and sailed along.

No quilting going on this week but I have started a "to do" list both for the end of the month and the first of the year. My LQS is doing a BOM (Eleanor Burns) next year and it will be the first feed sack type of quilt I have ever done. My UFO's include one BOM not sewn and one BOM not quilted. I guess that means I better get busy on what I have while I start another one, huh?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Quilting Again

Today I spent almost all day in the studio. I worked on some small Christmas gifts but also started on a charity quilt (guild project). I got the polka dot fabric on sale and the center square was a $1.00 fat quarter. I love fabric sales. The white is shirting that was given to the guild and I use some of it in every charity quilt I do. I will probably use the same as the backing.

Anyway, this is going to be a disappearing 9 patch so this is what happens when it is cut. I have only cut the square and will probably turn the parts a few times before I begin sewing.

I love the colors and the brightness: I hope it will brighten some child's life.

I am leaving in two days to go to central Fl to visit my mother for a few days. And, I am trying to get everything for Christmas done before I go. I think all the gifts are either made or purchased so tomorrow I will try to get them all wrapped and ready for the mail. Then I will leave them for DH to mail, his contribution to Christmas preparation. lol

Happy Birthday, again, Linda.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's beginning to look like........

So, with everyone else in Blogland posting pictures
of Christmas decorations, I decided I need to get on the stick. Here you can see the first of the village pieces finding their places in front of the almost quilt. I am really loving how it looks.

The carolers in this picture were made by my parents several years ago: the outfits were knit by my mother.

Here is some more of the village. Please note the clean fireplace. I played Cinderella and cleaned it: the logs weren't getting any air underneath because of all the ashes. The two stockings were machine knit by me many years ago. That year I knit 16 stockings for family members: each one was unique. That was truly a Labor of love.

The last part of the village is here. We put a trunk (lighthouse and airport) and the coffee table (ice skating rink, tree sales shack, and McDonalds) together to form a bi-level plane.
There are still some decorations that need to be put up including the tree and a train. But this got done between sewing projects.
One more note: Weight Watcher's weigh in today = 2# loss. Daughter had a 3# loss. Not bad following a Thanksgiving weekend, huh?