Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day

I had a lovely Mother's Day with my family. In the morning DS Justin brought me tulips and a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee (my favorite). He even brought half-and-half on the side so I could add just the right amount.

Later DH picked flowers from the yard and then made a delicious steak dinner with baked potatoes and green beans with mushrooms. He and DD Emily made lemon squares for dessert. Another favorite! I enjoyed the at home meal more than I would have if we had gone out, so that was perfect.My DS Steve called and we had a long talk, the best we've had in ages. Brian also called and I missed the call; he tried again yesterday and I missed it again! I'll try him tonight after he's home from work

The reason I missed Brian's call yesterday is that I was taking my final exam in the statistics class for this semester. Most of the past couple of weeks has been taken up by the course. Last week a project was due and I had to give a presentation. The projects were done with a partner which was a bit of a pain for adult students. My partner was a young woman who is a biochemist. She already has her degree but was taking the class because she uses statistics in her work. She is originally from Nigeria. It was fascinating to get to know her a bit as we worked together. The professor had the class vote for the best project presentation. Much to my surprise my partner and I won! That was a nice feeling. I wonder if the professor considers that in his grade? Assuming I passed the class, I'll be student teaching in the fall.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Laura's Recital

To go on with the story....

On Sunday, the 10th DH and I drove to Cleveland arriving in late morning. We knew we wouldn't be able to get into the hotel that early, and neither of my sisters were arriving that early. We decided to take advantage of the opportunity to go to the Cleveland Art Museum and see the exhibit of illuminated manuscripts.

DH and I were both interested in the geometric sculpture outside the museum.

My sisters and their husbands called us as they arrived in town. It turns out that the museum is walking distance from the hotel. They parked at the hotel and met us at the museum where we had lunch.Clockwise from front left: my sister Linda, me, my sister Marie, Marie's husband Richard, and Linda's husband Joe. My DH was taking the picture.

We wandered over to the hotel, the Glidden House. It was lovely, in a historical building. We got into our rooms around 2 so we were able to unload our luggage. Then it was time to head over to the church for the recital.
We got to see Laura and her husband John before the recital, but they were both too busy to take much time to talk. I enjoyed the music, but am not knowledgeable about organ music. Apparently something technical went wrong with the organ, but I couldn't tell the difference. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of Laura that she would want me to post. Too bad, because she's lost some weight and has been exercising-she looks great. After the recital there was a reception, so we got to meet some of Laura's professors, classmates and friends. After everything was over, and cleaned up the group of us went out for dinner, then back to the hotel where we talked until late. I hadn't seen any of the others since last summer so it was wonderful to catch up.

The next morning we all met for breakfast at the hotel. My DH and I had to be on the road by 8 because I had a test in my college course at 5:30 that afternoon. I studied all day as DH drove and we went straight to campus arriving around 4:30. Cutting it close weren't we? Studying all day in the car worked well, I did very well on the test!

It was a hectic and tiring few days, but I'm so glad we went. Since then my in-laws have moved into assisted living. My MIL isn't doing great, but it could be a lot worse. An older friend told me that getting old isn't for sissies and I guess she's right.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A quick trip

The days have really gotten away from me. I've want to be a better blogger than this!

We took our trip out to Ohio and it was a whirlwind. First we went to see my in-laws and then to Cleveland for my niece's Master's Recital.

My MIL was still in the hospital and still in a lot of pain. One thing that concerned me is that she was acting very helpless, more helpless than she really was. That's not like her at all. It was almost as if she's given up and that isn't good at all. Even though she's had some real problems the past couple of years, she has a strong constitution and I think could possibly keep going for a number of years. I know that a broken leg is not a small thing, I've been through it myself. It's just so hard to see her acting as if she can't do a thing to help herself.

As it turns out things were in progress for my in-laws to move into assisted living. The unit is right near the hospital where my Brother-in-law works and is less than a mile from their home. My MIL is very happy to move but my FIL is having trouble with it. He keeps saying that he thought they'd live in their house until they died. It's a little strange, I think most people who live into old age have to eventually go into a nursing home, or assisted living or at least move in with relatives. Realistic or not, he had the idea in his head and is having trouble giving it up. Fortunately the facility they are moving to is quite nice. DH and I stopped by unannounced asking for a tour and they accommodated us. I thought that was a good sign. We stopped by at lunchtime and not surprisingly noticed that the vast majority of residents are women. I don't know if FIL will like that or not.

Of course the unit they will be in is much smaller than their house. Fortunately they will not give up the house quite yet so will have some time to reduce their possessions. When we visited MIL in the hospital she kept saying things like, "take some crystal, take some vases, take anything you want." We were there with a very small car so weren't about to take much! In a couple of weeks DH will rent a truck and go out with one of our DS's and take a few pieces of furniture.

This is getting long, so I'll continue with the tale of our trip within the next few days. Meanwhile, here is a picture of our daffodils-they are one of my favorite flowers.

They really need to be thinned out before they stop blooming so well. That's a project for later this summer.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Worrisome News

My husband got an e-mail from his brother tonight saying their mother had fallen and broken her leg. We are very concerned because my MIL is elderly and somewhat frail these days. The bone she broke is the thigh bone which I think is called the femur. We'll be heading out to Ohio late next week.

We were already planning to go for my niece's Master's recital which is April 10 in Cleveland. This will just extend the trip a bit. I'm very concerned about my MIL.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

So Much for Spring

Spring arrived on Sunday. Then it snowed on Monday, but at least it melted fast. Today it snowed, sleeted, and we had freezing rain and, I think, hail. Not to mention thunder and lightning. It was definitely an indoor day as far as I was concerned.

Hopefully tomorrow will be nicer because I want to go to the library to study. I went yesterday and it worked out better than trying to study at home. Not so many distractions. Besides, I got e-mails telling me that 3 of the books I had reserved had come in.

I worked on stitching my second green Tis the Season block and it's just about finished. I couldn't resist putting the borders on the first block to see how it would look. Here it is, and I love it.

Justin is still out somewhere and I'm a little worried about him driving in the mess outside. He leaves tomorrow for his job in Boston. It's shorter than I had thought, just a long weekend.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Today was the last day of Spring Break but the first day of spring. It was kind of cold out but sunny. Don grilled chicken and Emily was thrilled. It was excellent.

Tomorrow, the semester starts again. I spent a couple of hours at the library both yesterday and today. I'm finding I focus better there. I'm planning to make a routine of going three times a week for at least two hours each time. I'll try to do all my homework and studying there except for the things that I need to do on the computer. I would rather use my home computer for that since I have the statistical software downloaded. In some ways it's harder to focus on my work when I'm not going full time.

Here are my March blocks for the red Tis the Season.

I'll add pictures of the green ones once I have finished them. So far I have stitched one and a little bit more.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


My intention is to write a blog message at least twice a week.Obviously the days have been getting away from me. Saint Patrick's Day was yesterday and we had the traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner. It was yummy. No Irish ancestry in our house; we just like the food.

The situation in Japan is continuously on my mind. I lived there for several years when I was a girl, and have always loved that country. Now that it's been more than a week, the newspapers (well, the New York Times is the one I read) are getting away from the story and focusing more on problems in the Middle East. I've wondered if the news we get is sensationalized or muted-I really don't know. The estimates are more than 10,000 killed in the tsunami and earthquake. That is a huge number. Then there is the problems with the nuclear power plants. It sounds like those are starting to be brought under control. I hope I'm right about that. remember how frightening Three Mile Island was, and that was a much smaller disaster.

Anyway, I'm praying for the people of Japan and their leaders

Meanwhile, I've been stitching away and finished my three Tis the Season blocks for March. I've also started a second Tis the Season quilt-yep, this one in green. The second one will be given to someone I owe a dept of gratitude. I'm too tired to get out the camera tonight, so pictures tomorrow.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Finish!

Believe it or not I actually finished something. A few weeks ago I mentioned getting back to an old project, thinking it would only take a few days. Weeks later..... It wasn't quite as easy as I thought. It is a tiny project from 1998 that I'd completely forgotten about. It is a Mother's Day card with a cross stitch insert from a UK magazine called Cross Stitch Collection. I believe the kit was included with the magazine, but I'm not sure. As small as it is, it's not an easy project, so I was going slowly. Then, just as I was finishing I ran short of one of the colors of thread. I couldn't find the thread around here and didn't want to order it and spend 50 cents for the thread and $5.00 for the postage. I called my sister in Texas and asked her to get it and mail it to me-Thanks Linda! So here it is-a lot of aggravation for something that small. I'll send it to my MIL for Mother's Day. Sadly, my own mother died in 1997.

Doesn't seem like much does it? But it is a sweet little card and I think my MIL will appreciate it.

Next thing is that I finished this month's third and last stitchery for TTS. Now I have to do the borders for all three and I'll be all caught up. I'm gradually getting better at it as I go. The back still looks bad, but not as bad!

Tonight we switch to Daylight Savings Time. Which means that spring is coming. We have a bit of spring around here. Not only has all the snow melted, but we have crocuses blooming!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

TTS has begun

These are the stitchery for two of the three March blocks for the Tis the Season stitch-along. These two just need the borders added. That may be harder than I expected. Some of the girls who are farther along have found it a tight squeeze getting the borders on without cutting off part of the stitches. I'm hoping that being forewarned and taking extra care will be enough to have it all work out.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Time for 'Tis the Season

Well, it's almost time for the 'Tis the Season stitch along. We start March 1 and that doesn't happen for another hour here. The Australia girls are already getting going. I'm totally ready to start, with my blocks traced, the interfacing ironed on and even the thread cut. I didn't quite go so far as to thread a needle!

Still no camera. Apparently DS finished the play he was working on and immediately started another. I've seen so little of him that I didn't even know what's going on. He still has my camera and I havent even seen enough of him to ask for it back.

I had a test tonight in the course I'm taking this semester. I don't know how I did; I'm just glad it's over.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Slowly, slowly

Progress has been made of the Stalker cat pillow for #2 son Brian, but not a lot. We didn't see him on his birthday and probably won't for another week so I have a bit of a reprieve.

Meanwhile, I am getting organized for the 'Tis the Season stitch along. I have chosen my fabrics, cut out the backgrounds and most of the borders for the blocks. Today I purchased fabric for the inner border and interfacing for backing the stitcheries. I had some interfacing, but not enough. I still have to trace the patterns onto the background fabric, cut the interfacing and iron it onto the backgrounds and finish the cutting of the block borders. I was planning to trace today during daylight, but it turned out to be a dark, rainy day. Maybe I'll trace tomorrow if it's brighter out.

The rain is melting a lot of the accumulated snow. Maybe we'll be able to see the yard soon. It's been buried under snow since the day after Christmas. Some low spots are flooding from the runoff, but nothing to cause great concern.

I wanted to include a photograph of my progress so far on these projects, but #3 son borrowed my camera yesterday and hasn't returned it. He's stage managing a show currently. Between that and his job, he's gone 17-18 hours a day. He must be exhausted. This is the final weekend for the show, so he'll be able to rest soon. I'm proud of him for working so hard, but as his mother, I worry too.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sons and cats

It just hit me that it is only four days until #2 son's birthday. I have been planning on making him a throw pillow for his apartment using this pattern.

It's called Stalker and is by Helene Knott. It's part of her Garden Cats series and I just love it. I also have Eggplant Purrmesan. All the patterns are of cats as vegetables. I'd love to do a whole quilt with a bunch of them. Maybe someday..... Anyway, I purchased the pattern from Over the Rainbow Quilt Shop. I'm hoping that my son Brian likes it as much as I do. He and his girlfriend are both cat lovers-they have two. Anyway, I'd better get busy if I'm going to have it done on time.

The Over the Rainbow shop is about 3000 miles from here. I discovered it doing the FabShopHop. FabShopHop is basically a form of advertising for quilt stores and related businesses. The advantage to the hoppers (like me) is that I find out about a lot of different quilt shops and try to win some nice prizes. A few years ago-2003?- I won the grand prize, a Bernina Sewing machine. These days there's a hop almost every month. If I'm not too busy, I participate.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One down, many to go

I finished my Piano cross stitch.

Ta Da........

I do need to work on my photography skills, but you get the idea. After I wash it, I'll set it aside to be framed. It won't be hung until we've painted and we won't paint until we can leave the windows open-probably May. I have finished very few sewing, stitching, craft projects for the past 3 1/2 years since I went back to school. This semester, instead of going full time as I have been, I'm only taking one class and have much more time.

I've also started another quickie project which I'll show when I finish it-not more than a few days.

Meanwhile, DH gave me this for Valentine's Day. It's a Sierpinski Triangle valentine. You probably have to be a math person to appreciate it, but go ahead and google it

It's a kind of fractal, very cool.

Meanwhile I continue to seek out new fabrics for the 'TTS SAL. (Ohmygosh, I'm writing in acronyms!)

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I'm starting the process of gathering the materials for 'Tis the Season wall quilt designed by Natalie Bird. First of course was ordering the book. I got mine from Daisy Cottage Quilting.

My next step while waiting for the book to arrive was to order a variety of red floss. When I get the fabrics, I can choose whichever red looks the best.

I also thought I might do the quilt in greens instead of reds. So I
ordered an even bigger selection of greens to audition.

Next step is to choose fabric. I have to dig out and paw through my many boxes of fabric to find a suitable assortment. I may make the quilt more scrappy than the original. So far I have a cream solid to use for the sticheries if I don't find something I like even better.

What does everyone else do when planning a project? Do you shop from your stash or do you head for the quilt store?


I've been working away at my little cross stitch, and I just love it. Another week, maybe less and it will be done. There are so many projects that I want to do! For a while I'll try to concentrate on old UFOs, just to reduce the pile. That doesn't mean I won't start a few new ones.

I should probably make a list of all my UFOs, but the idea is daunting. I don't want to scare myself out of tackling them. Anyone have any input on that?

Thanks to all those who have been visiting and leaving a hello in the comments. A task high on my priority list is to reply to some of the comments-as soon as I figure out how. I know it sounds silly, but when I decided to do the blog I didn't think that anyone would actually read it!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I've got pictures

Here is my piano cross stitch showing how far I'd gotten on 1/31/11. Below is the leaflet with the piano cross stitch. Tomorrow, when there's better light, I'll try for a picture showing its current status. It's much further along now. It has been quite a few years since I've done any cross stitch and I'm enjoying it tremendously. This is the first time I've ever done cross stitch without a hoop. I read somewhere that it was an individual choice rather than a necessity. I decided to give it a try and the results seem just fine to me.

Yes, both of those pictures were taken on top of snow. It has been a cold and snowy winter so far.

I have joined the
Tis the Season stitch along organized by Chookyblue. It will go from March until August. My book arrived in the mail today and I'm so excited to be a part of the stitch along. See the sidebar for a look at the project.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A New Beginning

I've had this blog for a while and used it for a couple of college courses which required me to have one. Those courses are done and I've erased those posts since I no longer have need of them. I decided recently that I wanted to have a personal blog to record and share some of my interests. I enjoy reading blogs, and wanted to have my own.

Some of those interests are quilting, needlework, doll making beadwork-all kinds of crafts really. I'm also a big reader-nothing heavy- mysteries are my favorites.

My current book: All Clear by Connie Willis. I guess it is classified as science fiction. It is a time travel book in which people in 2060 travel to England during WWII.

My current project: A counted cross stitch called Piano by Gail Re. It's at least 20 years old. I made the companion Violin piece many years ago. I'll see if I can figure out how and post a picture withing the next few days. Blogs are much better with pictures.