Tuesday, January 29, 2008




O.K.! Over in my projects column I listed finishing an original quilt design. Today I can say, "Mission occomplished!" I started this quilt two years ago, got it almost finished and lost interest. When I needed to make a baby quilt for daughter no. 1 I took the pattern I had designed, changed it a bit and made a baby quilt. That's it all done up in pink. Well, in the last month or two, the orignal has been bugging me sitting there all unfinished, so this week I did something about it. It is throw size and I am not sure where I will put it; maybe upstairs in a bedroom since it doesn't go with anything downstairs. I'm just glad it is finished. I am thinking of taking the same pattern and tweeking it a bit to make placemats.
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Monday, January 28, 2008

2008 is My Year.

I turn 50 this year and because of that I am making it my year. I'm making a few changes and trying some new things. The big change? Once and for all I am losing the 40 pounds that have clung tenaciously to my body for the past several years. Each year it has been a little more but I am doing something about it this time.

I've chosen the low-fat way of getting rid of the lard. Plus, I am trying Alli, the only FDA approved OTC diet aid. It prevents your body from absorbing alll the fat you consume. We'll see. My big sis is doing Atkins and doing great with it (yeah!) but I love cooking and trying new things and all kinds of foods and know that I could never succeed with cutting out so many foods that you gotta say goodbye to on hat diet. For me, this diet is all about eating eveything I want, in small low-fat portions with lots of flavor added to replace the lower fat content. Tonight's dinner was so full of flavors. We had a tender roasted pork tenderloin topped with a fat-free blackberry wine sauce. Oh man! The taste! On the side was a quinoa salad filled with vegetables and finised with a low-fat lime vinegrette. Marvelous! It tasted so refreshing. We also had spinach sauteed in 1 T. walnut oil and finished with white balsamic vinegar. We washed it all down with a glass of white wine. The total fat was just under 18 fat grams. My tummy was smiling as big as my face was. With all of this I had to watch portion size to keep my fat grams under control. It wasn't hard to do with all that variety and flavor going on. Later, when I get snacky I have some fruit and some of those low-fat 100 calorie snacks in my stash to keep me happy.

As for trying new things, well, I am actually getting on a plane and flying somewhere! Here I am with a MAJOR fear of flying and what am I doing? Getting on a plane and flying 12 HOURS! To Hawaii, and the only reason for it is that I have a daughter there and a granddaughter who will be turning 1 in June. Thank the Lord for Xanac (or however you spell it) and Bloody Marys!

I am trying other new things too albeit not as drastic as the flying thing. Once I lose 10 pounds, I may actually go for a pedicure and manicure. I usually don't like such things-don't like people "fooling" with me. But I think I just may try it. At least once.

So here's to a year of getting rid of, trying new stuff, and making some changes!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Just Sunday

Sunday came in sunny, cold, and all sparkly like only sunny winter days can. The husband was working on his yearly performance review and growling about it as I stared at my laptop reading nothing in particular. Finally, I suggested bundling up, putting Jasper in the car and heading to town for a nice brisk walk followed by Starbucks and maybe some lunch. He was a tough sell but finally agreed. As usual, the sight of my big black dog, in Doggles, ears plastered to the back of his head as he road along head out the window garnered lots of finger pointing and smiling by anyone lucky enough to catch this sight. I think that is why I love his Doggles so much. They give anyone who sees him a little bright spot in their day. After arriving back home, all 3 of us found our favorite nappings spots and put them to good use for an hour or so.

This evening we watched "Dresden, the Burning" on History International. It is a movie about the bombing of Dresden, Germany during WW2. I don't know why I enjoy movies from this time period so much, because they are usually so depressing. This one, in spite of a love story in the plot, was no exception. And it was 3 hrs. long! I won't say anymore in case anyone reading hasn't seen it.

I've spent the last hr. or so reading my favorite blogs. Maybe I'm prejudiced, but I do think that Peaches and Posh is one of my favorites. Maybe it is because it is my baby daughter's blog, but I really think she does a great job of telling the day to day of a young mom/navy wife. The pictures of the little red haired baby don't hurt either. I miss them so and everytime I click on her blog and see a new post, my eyes light up and my heart does a little flip-flop, because I know I am going to get a little glimpse into their world. I think my other far-away daughter (but not as far as Hawaii) should do a blog too. I am so blessed that my oldest granddaughter is nearby and I hear about her day straight from the horse's mouth and see her lots too.

Well, the dog is sleeping, the husband is sleeping, and I am wide awake-the norm. Time for a bubble bath and maybe a few chapters in my current read.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Blogger's Block and Methane in a Can.

Help! I think I have bloggers block! Lately, I have had absolutely nothing to write that I think others would want to read. But then, I read my favorite blogs everyday and enjoy the everydayness that they sometimes blog. i know I need to post regularly-afterall, I don't want to lose my "readership". I have now had an entry with 6 comments! That's a record for me.

It's January and cold, so mostly I am just cocooning. Knitting, sewing a little, reading, that kind of thing. I've also spent a great deal of time cleaning/digging out my "studio" (sounds so much better than sewing room). It's a large room and I have it filled to the brim. Some of it isn't sewing or craft related tho. Because of its size my family has often mis-interpreted it as the junkroom/camping gear storage room/miscellanious stuff room. After Christmas it is a disaster from all my creating and it becoming the repository for all the shipping boxes that arrive during this time of year. So I've been cleaning and tossing and organizing. Guess what I found? 3 cases of baked beans! Yep. My husband brought them home (he works for a bean company in their logistics department), and not knowing what else to do with them he puts them in my sewing room. He calls it that I think because he doesn't feel as bad sticking them in a sewing room as he would if he were putting them in a studio. I won't touch a bean so he has to eat all that he doesn't give away. Global warming? Blame it on my old man and his gift of beans to all he knows. Talk about methane production!!! Stinky. Whenever we are with friends and family, at some point he steers the conversation to beans by saying, "Before you go, let me give you some samples of our new bean creations. After you try them, tell me what you think." I know what I think. I'll be glad when all those shiny cylinders of potential methane are taking up space in someone else's studio.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

We may get snow!!!


I'm so excited! We may have snow! The last good snow we had was 2 years ago. This picture was taken then. I'm glad I got pictures of it, since that is the only way I see snow around here lately.

I just love a good snow. I love the way it makes everything so quiet outside, like a blanket has been thrown over the earth muffling all sound. While it slows everything down, it energizes me and I turn into a whirling dervish of activity. I don't know whether to head for the kitchen and cook, drag out a quilt project, the knitting needles, or scrapbook supplies. Sometimes I settle for a good book, stretched out on the couch under a FINISHED quilt and a fire blazing away in the fireplace. I wish there were some way to do all of it at once...
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Friday, January 11, 2008

A conversation with a five year old.

I had one of the most enjoyable conversations I've had in a long time today. Today when Jasper, the very big very exicited dog and I went for our walk we were joined by my daughter B. and my granddaughter Hilary who is 5. If you really want to know what is important in life, talk to a 5 year old.

Surprisingly, she can walk a pace brisk enough to keep me on my toes and all the while she is walking she is talking. Telling me about her school day, about the Cheetah Girls (I'm not real clear who they are), about Morgan and Jayden and Laura and the other 20 or so kids in her kindergarten class, about the books she is learning to read. This is one kid who when you ask, "How was school today?" you are gonna hear all about it.

She got a ukulele for Chrsitmas from her Aunt Peach and Uncle U. and now she is heavy into stringed instruments, pretending it is her guitar. At one point she said she wanted to learn to play the violin. I asked her what she knew about the violin. Her answer? "Nothing, you just play it with a stick."

Yep, it was the best conversation I've had in a while.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I bet you could smell the smoke for miles.


From the money that was burning a hole in my pocket that is. It was only a small sum, probably left over from Christmas, but when I found it hidden away in my wallet I was thrilled. I intended to be disciplined and save it for an emergency (of the crafty kind that is), but almost immediately after placing it in my pocket, I began to smell smoke. What to do? Spend it. Where? The yarn shop? Nah, I already have a few projects on the sticks. Fabric store? Are you kidding? I have a lifetime supply. That left The Scrapbook Supercenter. Quickly, I jumped in my car and roared down the drive-way, fanning the flames as I went.

I spent the next hour happily browsing amongs paper, die-cuts, rubberstamps, and other goodies saying to myself, "I can buy this, or this, or maybe this..." I sorta had a plan. I subscrbed to Teresa Macfayden's Winterbella E-zine and was working on a project from there. Red seemed to be the predominate color in my basket. I did find one lovely piece of green that I had to have. I also got some really, really cute chipboard buttons from Elsie. K&Co had a lovely package of Valentine-themed cutouts I had to have. I also got a souffle pen. When the ink dries, it is sort of shiny and puffy. Not real puffy, just a little. A few other bits and bobs and I was broke. As I drove home, mused over my purchases and occasionaly checked my pant's pocket for smoke. Nope, no smoke. But I need to remember next time put the money in the other pocket to avoid the hole. Or maybe something fireproof?
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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Happy 100th to "this old house'" !

Not the television show of this name, but my house. 2008 marks the 100th year that this house has sheltered a family from whatever storms life has sent roaring over the earth, the 17 my own little family.

I wish I were a better photographer. I would showcase the beautiful chestnut oak boards that are a feature of every room, or the 3 fireplaces set into corners giving each room 6 vertical surfaces and the decorator any number of conundrums when it comes to furniture placement. I would show my readers that funny little alcove built into our livngroom. It looks a cross between a room and a large bay window. In our years here, it has served as a stage for any number of productions performed by our children and their friends. All the children are gone now but it still houses memories of children in the form of a too-big dollhouse that I long to get rid of but never quite can bring myself to do. Then there are the beautiful chestnut oak floor-to-ceiling cupboards in the kitchen and on the opposite side in the family room glassed in shelves filled with books. upstairs I might show you the huge hallway flanked by 6 doorways leading to 7 bedrooms. It truly is an amazing house.

I sometimes think about all the events in history that have occured since 1907 that have resulted in so much human drama and how this has "lived" through them all offering safe haven to its occupants. I remember it was the only place I wanted to be after 9/11 and I wanted all my family here with me. Is that how others who have lived here felt during WW1, the 1918 flu epedimic, WW2, and all the other disasters of the past century?

Now that is only the man of the house, a dog, and me here anymore, we really don't need all this space and my husband would like a shorter commute to work, so a move is in the future for sure. I've never lived anywhere as long as I have lived in this house and I do love it, but I don't really mind change that much. For now, I will continue to enjoy its sheltering walls and say, "Here's to another 100!"

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Renenber these?


Way back in the day when I was in highschool, these were all the rage with the girls. I always loved these pens and owned one for years and years until I wore it out. Used to you could buy them in any variety store or discount store. I recently got a hankering to have one again and searched everywhere with no luck. I found a website that sold them but they were pricey so I sort of forgot about it. Well guess what? My husband found one for me! I love it so much. It makes writing the most mundane of things feel so special. I like to sit at my desk and write in my journal with it. Maybe this year I will actually keep a journal for longer than the first two weeks in January all becasue of this pen!
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Friday, January 4, 2008

The Jasper smile-o-meter


Well, I took Jasper out today wearing his "Doggles" for the first time. In my rear-view mirror I saw the faces of many people smiling ear to ear as they enjoyed the spectacle of a happy dog enjoying one of his favorite things-riding down the road with his head out the window. When I pulled into the drive-thru at the bank the teller was positively charmed by the sight and called everyone in the bank over to her window. After admiring and laughing at him, they gave Jasper a treat and one teller proclaimed that he should be in a movie. Price of Doggles: 22.95. Price of making so many people smile: priceless.
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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Jasper's new doggles



Doesn't he look cool? He, of course, hates them and pouts mightily whenever we put them on him. but he loves to ride in the car with his head hanging out the window and I was concerned that a rock could fly upr and damage an eye resulting in a large vet bill. So Doggles were the answer. He already gets lots of looks and smiles when he goes riding with me-I am sure he will now more than ever!
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at our house was marvelous and grand. We were blessed to have two of our granddaughters with us this year. It didn't keep us from missing our Hawaii kids any less, but it did help soften the blow a little.

I wish I could post some pictures of the festivities, but I'm learning to use my new laptop (thank you Santa/husband!) and don't have my holiday photos downloaded here and don't have the 1st clue as to how to get them here.

The days leading up to the 25th were as much fun as the Day itself. We spent them out doing last minute shopping and one night even braved the traffic to drive to our tourist town to see the pectacular light show they put on. We drove down the main street ogling the tourists as they ogled the lights For a nightcap, we pulled into the Krispey Kreme and ordered boxes of deep-fried sugary goodness. I mean the "hot" light was on, we had too, right? By the time we made it home, there was very little sugary goodness left. We spent our evenings crammed on the couch and lolling in every available chair, cuddling the baby grand and playing with the 5 yr. old grand.

I really like Christmas Eve because this year I got to take it easy as my Italian son-in-law was the designated cook, along with any of the others he could enlist. My husband contributed pies, so I was truly off the hook. The best part of the evening was the traditional reading of "The Night Before Christmas" by Granddaddy to Hilary and Sophia. Amazingly, Hilary went to sleep at a decent hour and the grown-ups were left to be Santa's elves. Most of the elves had a few glasses of wine under their belts but the boy elves still managed together a pirate ship while the girl elves stuffed stockings and giggled about nothing.

It was baby Sophia who roused everyone Christmas morning wanting her bottle. I think I can safely say that we all had a wonderful, wonderful holiday full of surprises, fun, and just enjoyment of being together.