Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

Well, here we are again on the very edge of a New Year. Do we know what it will bring? Do we want to know what it will bring? Maybe, and, maybe.

I know I would like more quilting time, more family time and more travel. While I know I can make room for all of these things, the question is "Will I?". I certainly hope I will. I have UFOs to finish for my quilting time. I can always use more family time. And I still have 8 more US States to visit in order to say I've been in all 50. The trick will be to have the time and the money at the same time for those travel plans.

Now comes the hard part. Actually doing what I want to accomplish this next year. Wish me luck as I embark on a New Year, one that is for now, a clean slate for me to write on. After midnight, the slate will start to show some of the writing. Maybe I won't feel like I have to erase?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Lazy Day

Christmas is gone for another year. Today was a very lazy day. I didn't have to go to work, so I slept in a little bit. Then I didn't get dressed until I decided I wanted to go to the store for a few items. Man, was that a crazy idea! The going to the store, not the getting dressed.

Silly me! It didn't occur to me that it was the day after Christmas sales. I didn't do the before Christmas sales and I wasn't really out for sales today. Only picked up 4 items that couldn't wait until tomorrow. Christmas decorations were all 50% off, but I didn't need any. Christmas clothes were all 50% off, again, I don't need any. How does one know that what's on sale this year will be what one wants to decorate with or wear next year? Guess I just don't see the logic when I'm lucky to be able to decide what I want to wear the morning I plan to wear it.

Oh, well. My errand got run, my items purchased and then home I came. To spend the rest of day being lazy because tomorrow is another work day. Hope your Christmas was merry and that your New Year will be brighter.

Happy New Year in case I don't get back to this next week.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Season

Here we are, just a few days away from Christmas Day. That holy day, in the Christian religion, that celebrates the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Now why would I bring this up? Well, let me tell you!

I have often thought, in the last few weeks, that while our economy is not faring well, that perhaps it is time to re-introduce the reason for this season. While most know the story of how Joseph and Mary were turned away from the inn because there was no room, how often do we actually think about what that would mean to us today. How many people do you know who are without a job? How many in your town are homeless? How many of your friends are not buying gifts because there is no money for extras?

I remember as a child, we had a manger scene that was set up the first part of December when we started the Advent candles that first Sunday. The babe laid in his cradle of hay. This was how we learned the story of Christmas.  I've looked and looked for a manger scene that I would like to have my adult home. Do you know how hard a good set is to find? It's tough! The new ones don't have to right look to them or they have the look but are way out of my price range.

So, I think, this year, I shall just make believe I have my manger scene and will recreate that lovely feeling by using my imagination. I will wish all I see a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I will try to understand when my friends only give me words as a present due to their tightening of budgets. I will wish a Merry Christmas to the stranger on the street in order to cheer them up. Will you do the same?

So I finish with Merry Christmas to all because I believe the Lord is the one who made this season possible!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bad things happen to nice people

Yes, bad things do happen to nice people. I went to a meeting on Saturday and had a good time. On my way home, I was waylaid by a blowout on the passenger side rear tire. Now that's a bad thing when one is on a major freeway. However, it was good that there was a shoulder and I could get off that busy freeway. It's even better than I have AAA towing service and a cell phone. It was very good that I had cell service to be able to call AAA.

Now, yes, I could have changed the tire. But I would have been tired, crabby and dirty from doing it. It was so much easier to make a phone call. Then after the nice AAA tow truck drive finished changing the tire, he kindly reminded me that since my spare is one of those small donut things rather than a full size tire that I needed to only drive 50mph. While that saves on gas use, it certainly does not make you friends on the roadways.

I "limped" into the next town on the way in hopes of finding the tire shop that I knew was there. I got lucky enough to take a detour through that fine town as they were having a Christmas parade on the main street through town. And, as luck would have it, that is the street I needed to be on. Got to the tire shop and the nice gentleman from the shop asked what he could do for me. I told him I'd like him to either fix or replace the sad flat tire in my car. Well, you may have guessed, it needed replacing. The good news is the tire was still under warranty so my cost was way less than expected.

I was about 2 hours later getting home than my original plans. Now that made me sad and happy at the same time. Sad because I couldn't get everything done I had planned to get done. Happy because I was home in one piece and no one was hurt. With luck, this won't happen again for a long time.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Decorating for Christmas

For the first time in a long time, we have chosen to put up Christmas lights outside our house. Not on the house, but on our lemon tree..

Yes, on our lemon tree. No, we don't live in Los Angeles. This is a warming effort to keep the lemons from freezing and then rotting before they are ready to be picked. Kind of a frost protector, beats the heck out of the old smudge pots that were used in the "olden" days. Besides, it's December and what better way to cheer up the lemon tree and all the critters that come out at night.

Kind of a quirky reason to put up lights, but hey, those old strings of lights that put out all that heat have found a new way of life.

The way that the picture was taken you can't really see the lemons on the tree. It's not as loaded as it was a few years back, but there are plenty for my co-workers who want them. Last year we lost all of the lemons because we didn't deal with the freezing temps quick enough. Will let you know about the end of December when we go to pick them if this new method worked.

Till then, Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

November is over!

Kind of an odd title? Maybe to you, but not to me. It means that Eastern Star installations are now over and we can begin our year with the new officers. I made all of the installations in my district plus one outside. I'm now ready to start the month of December with it's season of celebration.

Yes, it is a season of celebration! We celebrate the coming of winter because we can. We celebrate the reason for the December season of Christmas. I truly believe that we should be glad to celebrate. Even the Grinch realized that Christmas would come - without presents, without ribbons, without a feast, without a tree - that it was a celebration of the heart. While I may add more to my blog this month, I will wish you a Merry Christmas and a Joyous month. There are other celebrations this month. The Christian faith is not alone in its celebrations. The Jewish faith has their own. We may celebrate differently, but we all come together at this time of year in joy and our own beliefs.

May you have the faith you need, the joy to share and family & friends to love.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

Ever wonder why they call it Black Friday? The thought occurred to me that it might be because the stores make money that day. In other words, their books are in the black that day rather than the red. Just a thought from an accounting view.

Meantime, I'm spending my day working on projects that I need to finish before December 1st. I have to blocks that are due at quilt guild that night. One I got done yesterday and the other one is about half done. I also want to make a skirt to wear tomorrow night for an Eastern Star installation. I know where the fabric is, I know where the cutting table is. My only concern is where the devil did I put the pattern? Well, I shall find it I'm sure. It can't be too buried as I used it less than a month ago.

I usually don't shop on this Friday after Thanksgiving. It just doesn't seem like a good idea to be out shopping with people who are in such a hurry to get a good deal for something they probably don't really want or need. My shopping for Christmas is more thought out and less rushed. Really, how many of you do your shopping on this Friday?  Is it the only time to shop? NOPE!  I admit I haven't started my shopping, but I do know what I would like to get people. I have some things already tucked away and will get others as time allows. After all, I've still got 4 weeks to shop. And usually, I finish up my shopping in the last week, in the last moment. After all, I'm a top notch procrastinator!

On that note, I leave you with good wishes and hope you didn't overeat yesterday on Thanksgiving. I know I didn't!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Thanksgiving is a day for remembering all our blessings. Those that our forefathers gave us, those we have been blessed with since. We are a nation based on freedom of speech and religion. We can say, for the most part, whatever we wish, what our opinions are. We are able to chose our religion based on our own personal beliefs. We have all been blessed in some way. At my house, we are blessed to have each other and our families. We are blessed to both be in good health and have a steady job. We are blessed to have friends who are there for us no matter what the day may bring. I feel even more blessed that I can share my thoughts with my friends.

My wish for all is to have a very blessed life and a safe Thanksgiving with family and friends. May you know the peace and serenity of living free. This freedom that we enjoy is kept safe for us by the men and women of our Armed Services. May they all be safe as well and enjoy a peaceful day to count their blessings.

God Bless All!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another quilt day

Okay, as promised here's another quilt day. I just love these little quilts. They were easy to do and quick to finish. They came with the fabric and they went together quickly. I got to learn new things and realized that I don't have to do them exactly like the pattern. I can make things a little bit different and they still look like the pattern. They just have my artistic touch to them.

Garden Glories are June
May is the birdhouses and
The one for May reminded me of a bed and breakfast I have visited. The house had birdhouses all around the porches and not a one matched.

Suffice to say, you have now seen half of the banner series. You can see that they are small. Some of them had their pictures taken while on my dining room carpet, a couple while on the bed. I had a hard time deciding where to lay them for a picture.

I shall get the others up in between and betwixt the other sagas in my life. Thanksgiving is later this week and I'm sure there will be some tale to tell there.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Eastern Star Installations

Okay, we are now better than halfway through the installation season. I have been to 4 so far and will attend 2 more before the end of the month. It popped up in conversation that 30 years ago some of us thought nothing of going somewhere for either a meeting or an installation every day during the month of November. Thank heavens as we get older we tend to slow down and not try to do them all. In the State Association I belong to, there is no way I could attend all of them since there are sometime 2 at the same time due to a lack of weekend days and the length of time it takes to go the distance between chapters.

I myself have chosen to do only those in my district plus one outside. The one outside was in the mountains and was on a day when my district had nothing planned. So, that means I have 5 in my district. I have 3 of those done as of tonight and the other two are next weekend. The themes for each have been a little different. Some had carrying pieces, some did not. Some had a full corp of officers, some did not. Of the remaining two, I have yet to hear what the theme will be.

I wish I could attend more, but my time is limited and travel between some of the chapters is too great a distance. Makes me really wish for time travel and instant getting there similar to the way Scotty beamed them up in Star Trek. Maybe some day?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

2nd batch of Banner of the month

As promised I bring you the next installment of Banner of the Month. Of course, I called it block of the month in the last post. So you're excused for thinking I'm a mite bit confused.

These were a blast to do and I'm so glad that I did them. They make for fun little wall hangings that can be changed every month. A style of decorating if you will.
This is a March Hare - a slightly wild one if you will
This of course is April Showers, complete with a short rain shower.  Now of course you have to wonder what will be coming next? Well, you get to wait until the next post to find out.     

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Creating quilts

Wow!  I've actually been working on quilts for over 5 years now. You'd think I would have a sense of what it takes to get them done. Right now I have more unfinished than I have finished. I only have a couple that were block of the month done. One of those is already shown on my blog, one of my first posts. The other is a series of small banners that I did.

We paid for the patterns and the fabric to make the tops. Then had to some up with backing and the batting to put between. I did all 13 of them and will now share them one or two at a time with you.

This one is from January and is a really nice snowman.

This is February and is lovely hearts.
The two of these are part of a series of 13 small banners from Pearl Louise Designs. You will get a taste of more of them once I can figure out how to get the spacing to work out the way I want it to. Somehow I goofed on the one and don't know how to fix it. Guess I'll learn!

Monday, November 14, 2011

A trip to the Dentist

A week ago, I thought I broke a tooth, so I called the next morning to make an appointment with my dentist. This morning was that appointment. Surprise! The dentist agreed with me. I am now sporting what they refer to as an onlay, similar to a crown, but not over the full tooth. Actually, more precisely, I have on the temporary one and get the permanent one in 2 weeks.

I just wish I had been wrong!  That's an expense that I could definitely do without. But at least I get to pay it in 2 payments instead of one. So we'll have a story for 2 weeks out after we've been back to get the permanent fixture in my mouth. Until then, I'm not supposed to floss between the 2 teeth that touch the temporary onlay. Wish the dentist would make up his mind. First I hear "floss daily between every tooth". Now I'm hearing, "leave off on flossing those for 2 weeks". This could be a real thinking two weeks.  I also have to chew on what I consider to be the "wrong" side of my mouth for two weeks.

I'm sure I'll survive. Meantime, what's going on in your world?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Blogs can be contagious

Okay, it's fine to admit that blogs can be contagious!  I started mine because I had seen others and liked the idea. Now I have friends following me into the world of blogging. What fun that will be!

I started by reading one that a Sister from Eastern Star was doing. Then I found one that a quilt store was doing. Then another, and another, and another. So on it goes. What fun awaits when reading. There's the magic of the words, the beauty of the pictures. There's the not knowing what will be next. I love the thinking of what should be put on my blog next. What kind of magic can I weave for the person reading it? What will their reaction be?

You can have fun too. Start a blog and keep the rest of us imagining with you.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Customer ideas

This past week we had a customer who came in to our business. He was rather philosophical while at our counter. He apologized for being a bit crusty & harsh. He then went on to inform us that if money can solve your problems, then you don't have problems.

We looked at him like he was crazy!  He shook his head and asked us if we had enough money would it solve our problems? We answered yes and he repeated "then you have no problems". Again we looked at him and his answer to that was "Can money fix cancer?". We all answered "NO!". He said "then you got no problems." and walked out the door leaving us somewhat stunned by his comments.

We thought about it after he left our building. We discussed our thoughts and decided, darned if he wasn't right. Money COULD solve what we had considered problems and we decided that what we had were actually just bumps in the road.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The First Frost

It's now officially fall!  We've had the first frost of the season. Not heavy, but enough I had to use the defroster in the car to melt the ice. The patterns in the shade versus those already in the sunlight were rather intriguing. Long stretches of white frost in shaded spots surrounded by wider stretches of sun kissed ground. An amazing display from Mother Nature.

The fields that had warmed up just a tad bit from the sunlight had small tendrils of what looked like steam coming off them. The birds were just starting out and looked like they were flying through fog. Again, Mother Nature has graced us with a wonderful drive into work today. What will she show us tomorrow?

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Well, I went to my first Installation of officers for Eastern Star this afternoon. It was in the low mountain country and since the weather was looking gray and wet, we took a raincoat with a hood to go over the clothes. As we went over the summit of the one pass, there was snow mixed in with the rain. It was early in the day and we figured we'd be okay. Weather people had said snow down as low as 3500 feet, but when are they ever right on target?

The installation was beautiful and afterwards we went into the dining hall for a High Tea. We had just finished when I looked out the window and saw snow falling. I nudged the one member of my car pool and said look outside. She looked and nudged the driver and said "We're outta here!". As we headed home it continued to snow. It was not sticking to the road but it was starting to stick to the dirt and trees along side the road. We got down out of the mountains safely and were back into rain. We all agreed that it was a very nice thing to have that installation in the middle of the day rather than at night.

So the season starts. I only have 3 more weekends of crazy this month.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November is hectic

November is a very hectic month for those of us in California who belong to Eastern Star. We have installations of officers all month long. One can pick almost any day of the week and find one. And if not an installation, you can attend a Farewell night. Farewell nights are for the outgoing Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron. Sometimes a fun skit after the meeting, sometimes not. I wasn't able to go to the Farewell meeting in my district tonight. Had to work late and couldn't get there in time. Maybe next year?

Oh, well. My calendar looks like a black out game of bingo. If I'm lucky, I'll get a chance to relax in December. Or maybe not.

Monday, October 31, 2011


Halloween is a time for the children in our neighborhood to get dressed up as their favorite character and then go from door to door to collect candy. A parent or two to walk them around, maybe an older sibling. With luck, they get home and the parents will make sure that all the candy they've collected is doled out in small amounts over the next few weeks. That way their dentist won't have much to do.

We had some trick or treat little persons come to our door. But the most surprising visitor was a kitten who managed to come into the house. Cute little tyke, but where both of us have allergies, it's not a good pet for either of us. So, the kitten was put back outside in the hopes it would find its way home.

I leave you with a picture that my friend and I took when we went to a bed & breakfast for a weekend. It happened to be in October near Halloween and the yards and the trees were decorated. Enjoy! Some how, I think she had a small mishap.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Blogs are funny things

Blogs can be funny and they can be entertaining. They can also cause mind blocks!  I started my blog and did real well the first few days. Then I ran into a mind block - I couldn't think of a thing to put out here for people to read. I suppose it was because I was so tired from having attended California Grand Chapter in Fresno last week.

I had a good time and got to see a lot of my friends from around the state. I was busy almost every hour of the day and part of the evenings as well. I went to all the sessions where we voted on legislation. We even got out early twice which was way better than last year when we had to go back after our State Dinners. I went to my 2013 State Dinner and I went to see the 2012 Grand Family be installed in their offices for the next year.

When I came back from my trip, I had to get caught up at work. That took me until Wednesday of this past week. Life goes on, but works waits when you take a vacation. Oh, well.

I'm off to the land of nod, otherwise known as bedtime. More another time!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quilt stores around the state

Quilt stores can vary in what they have, the fabrics they carry, the patterns and books they stock. Today I stopped at one and found several patterns that I've been looking for and a book that I've had my eye on for almost 2 years. Then when I checked out and paid for my purchase I was told I qualified for 3 1/2 free yards of fabric. So, I had to go back and find some fabric. What a crying shame :)).

I picked up 2 yards of a gorgeous turquoise dot and 1 1/2 of Kona Black. The first I'm going to use for a blouse, the second for when I need black to applique something.

Tonight I will work on a couple of projects while waiting for the World Series game 1 to be over. Maybe tomorrow I can put in another picture of one of my finished quilts. Depends on how much time I have.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Vacations are for fun. I've visited 42 U.S. States, 4 Canadian Provinces, and Mexico. My goal is to visit the eight U.S. States I have yet to be in. I figure it will take me 3 trips. I can do the 6 in the northeast in one trip since they are small and close together. The other two I have yet to decide which will be first. For those who wish to know I have not yet been in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan or Nebraska.. Got any ideas on what would be good to see in the last two? My husband isn't in a big hurry to see them again. Says he didn't lose anything there and can't think of a good reason to go back.

I'm ready to head out at any time but like most people in today's economy, the budget doesn't allow for long trips. Guess I'll have to put it off until later. I would like to visit Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Sweden, Denmark and the balance of the Canadian Provinces that I have yet to be in.

Well, I think this is it for tonight. God Bless and keep all well.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quilt I have Shown Before

Tonight I will show you a quilt I put in our last quilt show, 2009. It is one that I started as a block of the month mystery and had I known what I was getting into, would not have signed up. It took me several years to finish but I have to say I really like it and it would have to be a very special person and a very special price that would tempt me to sell it.
It's called My Journey to County Clare and the pattern is by Jinny Beyer. I fell in love with the fabrics and I still love this quilt. It it a testimony to my perseverance that it got done. I won't be doing this pattern again any time soon. Maybe like never?!?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Some tidbits

I thought for my second post I'd share a little bit about me. I'm interested in quilting, counted cross stitch and reading. I belong to my local quilt guild. I am a 30+year member of Eastern Star and I'm going to be installed as Associate Matron of my chapter in November.

One of my favorite pieces of counted cross stitch is a piece called Enchantment by Kustom Krafts. I finished the piece but have not yet framed it. Hope you like it!

I hope to get it framed this next year. Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Adventure Starts

I've done it! I've started a blog. Now what? Guess we'll learn how together. Stay tuned for updates on where I've been and what I've been doing.