Friday, December 28, 2007

End of the year thinking...

The end of each year causes me to think back on the year and what I have accomplished and what I have failed at. I try to look mostly at the happy times, but I do seem to focus alot on the sadness and regrets.
I regret that my family is not any closer than it was last year at this time. About four years ago a change started happening in my family. It was like a snowball rolling downhill. I was not in control of this change and no matter how hard I tried to understand it and stop it I couldn't. My family was coming apart. For months my husband and I went to bed each night crying and went through each day in blur. After a while we were able to smile and then after much time we were able to laugh again. Then with no warning at all a wind would blow and and someone would rub salt in our wounds.
All I ever wanted for 26 years was a happy loving family. I didn't grow up in one so I was determined to work hard at having one when my husband and I married. Until 4 years ago I really though we had succeeded. We had what I would have told anyone was the closest, happiest family. So close that when things started falling apart around my ears I didn't (and still don't)understand what was happening. I even went to my Doctor and told him I thought I was losing my mind. He assured me I wasn't and told me I might just need to talk to someone.
My dearest friend who has loved me since we met over 25 years ago listened to me and cried with me and then she told me the truth. She told me that I only saw what I wanted to see. She told me I had been blind to some things. I didn't believe her and actually I was a bit mad at her for telling me such hurtful things. I felt betrayed by the one I trusted most besides my husband. After I cried and threw a several day long fit she called me again and told me she loved me and asked how I was.
I was so confused. I couldn't believe I was so wrong. I was so sad that my family was hurting like it was and felt like I could have fixed it if I had only paid more attention.
Now that it has been this long, I still feel sad, and I still hurt for what was lost, but I also know that I could not have done anything to stop it. People make choices in life. They have to make choices for their own life and all you can do is love them and pray they make good ones. If they don't make good choices you love them anyway and still pray for them.
I asked a counselor once if I was ever going stop hurting and if I would ever get over this. I was told this was alot like mourning a death. I would survive and I would eventually make it though the day without thinking about it. I hope he was right.

Things I am thankful for this year...(boy aren't you glad after the previous stuff)

1.My husband got a promotion
2.I have a friend who loves me
3.Made some new friends
4.Husband and I celebrated 26 years of marriage and we are still in love
5.Home cooking
6.My grown children have jobs and can pay their bills
7.I get to be an aunt again
8.My MIL loves me like I was her own
9.I have a SIL who is my quilting twin
10.Synthroid and Lexapro!!!


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Rubber Ducky your the one...

You Are Ernie
Playful and childlike, you are everyone's favorite friend - even if your goofy antics get annoying at times.
You are usually feeling: Amused - you are very easily entertained
You are famous for: Always making people smile. From your silly songs to your wild pranks, you keep things fun.
How you live your life: With ease. Life is only difficult when your friends won't play with you.

My husband has told me for years I am easily I guess it's true! Honestly put me in front of my sewing machine and I am content. Give me the phone with my best friend and I am happy. Set me down with my family in Houston and I will laugh until I am exhausted. Give me a drive with my husband and I am just like a school girl again. I love driving for hours with Ray just listening to music and holding hands. I am a happy gal.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

It's beginning to smell alot like Christmas...

I have sausage balls in the mixing bowl, all the fixin's for chili out ready to be chopped, cookies in the oven, recipes taped up on the cabinet doors for easy viewing. As Rachel Ray would say, "YUMMO!"

I have got to be the strangest person when it comes to Christmas. I just can not get in the mood for it all until usually 3 or 4 days before. Then I am in a whirlwind trying to get everything all accomplished that I want done. Now we don't do all the hoopla stuff. We don't buy presents for everyone we know and their dog, just a gift or two for each of our children and dinner together usually the evening before, Christmas day and the day after. We don't do much in the way of decorations, usually just a tree and stockings but there is plenty of music.

My husband loves to go shopping right at the very last minute he gets a kick out of the crowds. Not me I love to be home and in the quiet. As a matter of fact after shopping all day (at 3 different stores) for all we needed for all the meals we cook for the next 5 or 6 days Ray is out shopping again, just for the fun of it! Not me, I am home, in the silence, but if we are going to eat at all I had better get in the kitchen.



Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Clever or not, here I come

I have about 20 more seams to finish and clue #3 will be finished! YIPPEE! I think normally I would be fussing about all the nine patches, but I am not since I learned alot doing so many of them.

I have had my Brother QC 1000 sewing machine since Christmas last year. So I have had a whole year to learn all the ins and outs of this fine would think. Do you know it was just during this mystery I FINALLY made and can consistently make an accurate 1/4" seam? I am a bit embarrassed to admit that, but it is true. I had sewed on my Bernina for so long and was very comfortable with it could make the perfect seam on it almost with my eyes shut, but it took me a year to do it on my Brother. Oh well at least I can do it now! :^)

What I did was take an index card and changed the foot on the machine to a flat foot, not the one with the fence, and moved my needle to the right until from the needle to the edge of the foot was a 1/4", then I wrote it down on the card what foot I used and what needle position I was in. The card I taped to my machine where I had to see it when I turned it on. Then I reminded myself I wasn't so clever since I am sure a clever person would have done this a year ago.

With the stress of my husband's departure to his new job edging closer and closer I am spending more and more time in the sewing room. I find cutting eases stress. I already had alot of 2.5" strips so I have been focusing on my 1.5" since I just about depleted them doing my log cabin and heartstrings blocks.

This is a Linus Quilt made my a couple of ladies in my guild, my friend Nancy L is quilting it.
This is a round robin quilt that belongs to my frond Nancy L. I added the green diamonds floating on cream and the multicolored stripe right next to it. I learned alot doing this RR with her.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekend sewing

I spent very little time sewing this weekend since my hand still hurts, but I am glad I got some done.
Friday evening I went with my man to his company Christmas dinner. It was nice as far as company dinners go. we sat at a table with several couples who we were able to talk with even though the DJ kept the music very loud most of the time. Once I even got up and asked him to turn it down as we couldn't talk over it. He mumbled something about being paid to play music and I smiled and thanked him and returned to my seat with many eyes on me. I am not sure if they were pleased with my or upset but I got to have a decent conversation for a few minutes.

Saturday Ray and I went to a late lunch at my favorite Mexican food place, then we went for a drive. When we got home we watched movies with youngest son and had a very nice evening.

I sewed some on Sunday, working on my mystery from Bonnie. I really think I am going to like this quilt. I love the fabrics together.

Ok, back to sewing...maybe pictures later


Thursday, December 13, 2007

As Rosanne Rosannadanna says, "It's always something!"

I have been working on my mystery and I am really pleased with the way it is turning out. I was a bit worried as I do have problems picturing things in my mind sometimes and since this was a mystery I had no way of picturing it anyway. So that is why I chose the colors I did, I was thinking how I liked the way Neapolitan ice cream looks so I figured this would have to look good.

I would be farther along, but I managed to have an accident. Our quilt guild had our annual Christmas luncheon on Tuesday and I was rushing around trying to get all manners of things cooked even though I had plenty of time and was not rushed. Well I cut my hand at the base of my thumb where the web of skin is. I thought no big deal, I would put a band aid on it and it would be fine. No such luck. I had to go get a stitch put in it at the ER. :^( I seem to always have something happen to me during the holidays, stitches, pneumonia, surgery...

BUT...I managed to make it to the guild luncheon just in time to eat! LOL This may be my last Christmas luncheon with these ladies so I did NOT want to miss it!
Well while I was at guild I picked up one of my Christmas presents to myself...believe me ladies sometimes if you want the perfect gift you just have to buy it yourself! :^)

These are the cool spring loaded scissors, I really like them.

I made one more stop on my way home, before the numbness wore off my hand...

I bought myself these 2 books. I can't wait to dig into them and make something.
For now I am trying to get caught up on my mystery steps, since Bonnie posted another clue today. Whew boy am I behind!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Working the stash

Ever since reading Judy's blog about her wanting to reduce the size of her stash I have had it in my mind also. This is not a new thought, as I have been feeling overly blessed in the fabric department for a long time. Now that I know we will be moving in the next six months I really have it on my mind to not buy new fabrics and use alot of what I have. So for the past week I have not added any to my stash and I have cut up quite a bit as I am doing the mystery quilt at Quiltville.
I have decided to do my mystery in brown, pink and cream. After cutting several strips from each of the fabrics I have in these colors I discovered I don't have as many fabrics in these colors as I thought. Oh well, I will just have a less scrappy quilt, since I really want to use only stash. I already have my backing fabric set aside since it has the same colors in it and it is several yards in length.
Ok, back to the sewing room...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Spirit of Giving 2007

Each year my youngest son's Jazz band plays for a local news station while they broadcast a program called "Spirit of Giving". Of course I think they sounded extremely good, and I really don't think it was just mothers pride. The band has done this for about 15 years and they are lovingly called the "NBC-15 Studio Band" by the newscasters.
I wanted to put some pictures of the whole band on here, but since I don't have permission from the parents I will only put pictures of my son..

This is him playing a solo part during the Charlie Brown Christmas song "Christmas Time is Here".
Do you notice his hair is ALOT shorter than in the last picture? I like it better short!

This is him telling me..."enough pictures Mom!" LOL But he is so cute! :^)
I know I know I have not posted pictures of my mystery units. Well, that is because I have not had 15 minutes to go upstairs and sew. I have planned it and thought about it, but I know that doesn't really do much good. I really want to get upstairs tomorrow after I rinse fabric for two orders I MUST mail out Monday. Just as soon as I get the fabric order rinsed and folded I will concentrate completely on my mystery units. Well, I also need to get the kitchen cleaned so I can bake some cookies and a pie for a dinner on Tuesday, then I will get to them. I have a doctors appointment on Wednesday morning but as soon as I return I will start them. Oh, I have a company dinner on Thursday but I promise I will get to them. I know none of you have as many distractions as I do right now, do you? LOL

Thursday, December 6, 2007

So much happening

There has been so much going on. We have had the same television for at least 12 years and it was tired. With the move coming soon we were trying to limp the TV along so we wouldn't have to move a new one. The last two times we have moved we have had so much damaged by the movers that we were trying to avoid that if we could. Well you know what they say about the best laid plans...The TV went out finally, well to be honest you could see green fuzz balls on a black screen and you could hear everything perfectly, but if you wanted to know what Rachel Ray was wearing you were just out of luck.
So fortunately Best Buy had the exact TV my DH had been researching on sale WITH a free home theater system. So DH came back in town from Iowa, my youngest got home from school and I called my oldest to come help. It took DH and the oldest to move the 200 pound old TV. Then there was instructions to read...

I just think that is the cutest, funniest picture...maybe because men don't usually read instructions, but here I have three of them reading how to unbox the TV! LOL
Then bing, bang, boom, I have a working TV with correct color!
And it is in FOCUS! You may not be able to see that, but trust me.


Next happening...I need a drum roll...

Youngest got his driver's permit! Yes I know he is 17, and most teen boys have their permits when they are 16, but my son never cared if he got his. His attitude was, "Why do I need a license when you and dad can drive and I know 100 people who do. I don't need to drive!"
Apparently he needs to now.
I haven't got any sewing done, but I have been planning blocks in my mind...does that count?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I'm in a mood

Just when I was getting good at this playing all day I have to work! I have fabric that must be dyed and taxes that must be filed! UGH!
I don't mind dyeing the fabric, that's fun, but taxes??? YUCK!
I have put it off as long as I can today. I have taken DS to school, I have read every blog I can, I have had a leisurely breakfast, emailed everyone I could think of, and the taxes are still here glaring at me.
So while you are off having a fun day at the sewing machine, think if me while I am NOT.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Sewing day

Today was Linus Quilt day. Several ladies from my quilt guild meet at a member's house and we spend the day working on quilts for Linus and local children's home quilts. I wasn't really up to going this morning, as I was very tired, but I got a call asking if I was going to be there and so I went.
Today we worked on twin sized tops for two little girl who's father is a soldier that returned from the war several months ago after he was horribly injured. I wished I had taken my camera, but I forgot it.
Maybe I will run over to N.L.'s house and snap a picture for you to see. I think it is going to be cute.
I'm off to take a hot shower and crawl in the bed with a good book. I think I will never get used to this daylight savings time stuff. My body still thinks it is bed time when it is dark outside.


Sunday, December 2, 2007


During Thanksgiving, my sweet niece Erin made a wonderful pie and shared the recipe with me.

I am here to tell you this is not only really really good, it is very easy.

If you would like to try it here is the recipe.

White Chocolate Hazelnut Pie

1-1/4 cup cold milk

2 Tbsp hazelnut flavor instant coffee powder

2 pkg (4 serving size) white chocolate flavor instant pudding and pie filling

1- 8 oz frozen non dairy whipped topping thawed and divided

In a large bowl whisk together milk and coffee powder, add pudding mix and beat 1 minute, mixture will get thick, then add 1/2 of the whipped topping.

Spread into a graham cracker crust ( I like the chocolate or Oreo one best) and top with remaining whipped topping.

Refrigerate or eat immediately.

It is suppose to serve 8, but my youngest thinks that is too many!



A Tale of a retreat

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...
I was so excited to go to this retreat. I planned I packed I prepared, and I proceeded ( I was thinking of my former Pastor who's points on his message outline all started with the same letter).
I joined a group of 14 women who wanted to make a swap quilt where each person makes 14 of a block of their choice, then at the retreat we swap and we all have 14 different blocks. We all have a year to get these blocks done. Now knowing that we have a year to get these blocks made what do you think I did? I waited until the week before! Typical! And Typical everything that can go wrong when you have a deadline did go wrong. Mostly my son was sick and my husband was unexpectedly out of town. Normally this would not create a problem for me, I would sew through it. This time however I was tripped up by it and wasn't able to get to the sewing room but in shirt spurts. Then I had to drag the pattern out and reacquaint myself with the directions and invariably I would get 3 seams sewn and the phone would ring (husband calling), the sick son who swore he was dieing would call, or a salesman would call. UGH!

Ok so I arrive at the retreat, which by the way is a really really great retreat, put on by a group of ladies who really know how to put on a retreat! More on that later.

I arrive at the retreat and I get all set up and start to sew. I am working as hard and fast as I can to get these blocks made that I have had a year to get made. I am reminded I have had a year by each one of the other ladies who come by my seat just about every 15 minutes to ask me if I am not finished yet. I won't go through the whole ordeal but I will tell you I did finish the blocks that I had a year to finish and I gave each person her block, I apologized to those I was short tempered with and went outside to sit on a wonderful porch and deep breath and get my blood pressure down.
With the help of calmer minds I was able to deep breath, eat a Tums (stress creates acid) laugh off the previous hours and get my mind on what I was there for.
Then the fun started! I talked, I laughed, I sewed, I went on the most fun scavenger hunt and me and my partner even got everything on the list, even if we had to get creative with our finds. :^)
I hope I get this right, but I believe it is 5 ladies who partner up to plan the weekend. You walk in and are greeted with a welcome goodie bag.

We had patterns, a magazine, our annual t-shirt, a snowman card holder, a ruler and post it notes, and we must not forget the shower cap! We all love getting our bags and digging through. It sounds like little kids on Christmas morning.

Doesn't she look like Cindy Lou Who? :^)

The head ladies are so kind and generous with their energy that I am never sure thank you is enough for all they do. They host a country store, which if you don't know, is like a garage sale but of our quilt stuff. You can find awesome deals and I did ! We have a mystery and a block challenge, and pedicures and massages, and the absolute best facilities. I could really go on and on..
Some of the ladies show up and are so organized, they are serious about their retreats!

We had new gadgets to try

(this is a beard groomer used as a seam ripper and it is great!

Help to give

and quilts to be basted

Normally you go home on Sunday after lunch, but I went home Saturday night so I could spend a little time with my husband before he left again on another week long trip. I got home and completely surprised him since he didn't expect me until Sunday afternoon.

Retreats are always fun and exciting, I can't wait until next year, but I didn't join the block swap again! :^)