Writing about the day to day mysteries of life.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Farewell 2011

2011 is not a year I want to kick in the fanny.  It was a year that had it's ups and just little downs- a good year.  I am actually looking forward to 2012 primarily because Ned totally has his grump on today.  He is something of a gremlin and not a cute elf at all.  We are off to do something spur of the moment, I think involving donuts or ice cream to send the year off with a smile.  I could do frozen yogurt, maybe that is what it will be.

I am starting my 2012 reading challenge.  I have a Wyoming book and a West Virgina book picked, but am going to push them off until after Alabama.  I have decided not to keep in alphabetical order, but also Ellen is reading "To Kill A Mockingbird" in January.   I can't not re-read it, I am already breaking my plan of no re-reads.  I think Juno will be taking the reading challenge with me.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Christmas Story

Thursday afternoon last week my neighbor called to tell me that an animal had trashed their front porch.  It had chewed up their umbrella and left prints all over the door trying to get in.   They are not pet people at all.  She asked if we had any trouble to which I replied nope.  Friday afternoon we went to the Carbon Leaf concert in Annapolis and when we got back around 6:30 there was a pit bull sleeping on the door mat.  I told the kids to stay in the car and tried to approach the dog, it lunged at me a little bit.  I couldn't chance it, so backed off.  I went to the back door and then rushed the kids through the front door.  I decided to deal with it the next day, hoping the dog might return to where it came from.  The next morning I found the dog still sleeping curled up on my door mat.  I really felt bad, because I knew it could not have eaten anything in ages.  I called my neighbor and told her the whole story.  I looked outside and the dog was gone.  My neighbor called and said it had moved to their mat.  She went out and fed her and was able to pet her.  Turns out she was the sweetest dog and came in the house to hang out.  The big problem was it is a holiday weekend and no agencies were open to take the dog.  The poor little girl was covered in scars.  She had also had puppies at some point.  There was probably a reason the dog had run away.  My neighbor's daughter found a home for the dog on Christmas Eve night.  The family sent a picture of the dog sleeping on the bed.  My neighbor had washed the dog for the new family.  It was a happy story.  I haven't heard the dog's name, but it was tentatively going to be Hartley. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Knits and Fits

Ned has been bursting at the seams with excitement over meeting his pen pal.  He has been writing back and forth since September.  They do the writing at school, but one of the letters made it home in his backpack.  His pen pal is 22 years old?  I ask Ned's teacher why this is so.  The kids are penpalling with kids that go to Towson University, but don't know ANY english.  Their reading and writing comprehension is that of a 2nd grader.  Yesterday was finally the big day to meet.  Tuesday night Ned was planning his attire and telling me what he and his pen pal were going to do.  "We are going to play on the playground, just run around together.  We are going to knit.  We are going to sit, knit and talk."..........no way was I raining on this parade, but knit?  Unfortunately, yesterday was poring down rain.  So instead they played rugby in the gym and had a fabulous time.  Later in the year Ned's class is selling finger-knitted scarves to raise money for charity.  Ned has knitted quite a few of these, most of them are about 15 feet long.  Let me know if you would like one.

Riley died just after Christmas last year, but everyday for his entire life he had one meal a day.  My ex-husband had strong opinions on everything when dogs should eat.  I always found it slightly cruel, I can't imagine eating only one meal.  About eight months ago I decided to start feeding Hoover twice a day.  The first day, I know he thought he had died and gone to heaven.  The funny thing about it is he can't get the extra meal into his doggy brain.  Every time I pass by the door he thinks it is time for his second meal.  He bounds up and stands by his bowl having a fit of excitement.  It really is cute, such a small thing has brought such great pleasure. It is the least I can do for someone who brings our family so much joy.  I wish I had done the same for sweet Riley.  p.s you-know-who feeds his new dog twice a day. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nifty-Fifty and No Refrigerator Art

The McD fourth grade teacher set up a large, blank U.S. map in between bookshelves in his classroom.  He has books that feature each state, approx. 400 of them that the kids can choose from and read.  After a book is read, he takes a picture of the cover and posts it to the corresponding state.  I am sure he did this last year when Ian was in his class and I just did not notice.  Today I studied his map and books for quite awhile and decided this would be my 2012 personal reading challenge.  I read from 50-60 books a year, so this will be perfect.  I thought about reading by region, but knew I would choose all the southern states first.  I really love southern writing.  I am going to start backwards, which means I need a good book that takes place in Wyoming.  I have until Jan. 1st to choose.  Send me suggestions.  I think I will tell myself no re-reads, even though I want to re-read "Handling Sin".  This project will curtail my fantasy reading, but the choices in that genre are somewhat slim right now.  Maybe by March I will be to L and can read the new Sookie Stackhouse book.

I met the cutest little old man in the waiting room of Hopkins.  He was dressed very dapper and reading "HP and the Goblet of Fire".  I had to strike up a conversation.  He told me the series was his comfort reading and I totally agreed with him.  His copy was battered, creased and folded - well loved.  

The kids and I really enjoyed the book "The Inventions of Hugo Cabret".  The movie has just been released and it is a fabulous movie.  It is so rare to find a movie as good as the book.  I also found out today that the author has a new book out, name escapes me, and it is even better that Hugo.  These are not books for an e-reader, you have to read them in hard copy.

I am saying farewell to my two years of refrigerator art.  I got a new fridge that won't hold my quilts.  I haven't even made November yet.  I enjoyed doing this project, but it will be okay to let it go.  I am not sure what to do with all those little quilts anyway.  I wish I could finds some motivation to finish a large quilt.  My poor sewing room is missing me.  Buying a new refrigerator was the greatest thing ever, I can't believe I waited so long to do it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Run Out of Words

I haven't been posting lately.  I feel I have run out of words.  My entire life I have written words in my head, but right now they have vanished.  At night I write novels and forget them when I wake up, this has always been the case.  Lately, no stories, no words - zip, zilch, nada.  I go to bed unable to construct a story to fall asleep.  I am sleeping well, just not surrounded by characters.  My buckle has not been swashed by pirates.  I have not scaled Mt. Fuji.  I have not had tea with Thomas Jefferson in Paris.  I haven't been on an archeological dig in ages.

I can't seem to muster interest in relating the oddities of people around me.  For example, on my way back from San Diego after passing through the body scan machines the woman in front of me said, "you can smell the radiation!"  I didn't have a snappy answer for her.  My response was, "radiation doesn't have a smell."  You know what, having been radiated almost thirty times I do know what it smells like -NOTHING.  It feels like torture, but has no smell until you smear burn cream on black flaking skin.

I could tell you about Ned's very important story,  a "true story" according to Ned. There once was a boy with very dry skin.  It was very serious.  It was on his neck.  In fact it was really lint.   I had no words for him after he told me this story.  This is up there with Ellen's poem, I bought a duck for a buck.  I didn't tell him about the beauty of dryer lint after you have washed brand new colored towels.

I don't even have the words to tell you about getting fake eyelashes.  It was a spur of the moment decision and one I felt quite foolish about.  Truthfully and vainly, I derived great pleasure from the eyelashes and the fact that people even noticed them.  All was swell until the first little cluster of three fell off at dinner.  With a final hurrah they all jumped ship except for maybe six of them.  Now it just looks weird.   As heroine of my own stories, I always have long, lush eyelashes.

I don't know, maybe all the words are crowded and stuck into a little brain cranny.  Perhaps the words are all shoved to the side by homework, laundry, shopping lists, missing socks, unfinished/unstarted quilting ideas, and worry over holding an imploding body together.  I miss my words.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Morphsuit and False Teeth

That is a morphsuit.  Ned put it on and tore around the house, so excited with his costume.  He wore it to school and had so many comments that he got embarassed and was sad he chose it.  He wore a football costume to trick-or-treat. 

Grandpa's False Teeth

In the summer of 1978 I was 13 years old, and my grandfather was diagnosed with leukemia.  My grandpa was 76 years old or just before his birthday.  He had gone in for minor complaints and came back with a serious condition.  It was not a disease any of my family had heard of and probably never really understood.  I did not understand it at 13 and no one could explain it.  He went from well to sick in a span of days.  The doctors told my grandma and mom they had a new treatment they wanted to try, it was called chemotherapy.  It would destroy the bad cells and then he would be better, remember he was 76.  Seven weeks we spent all day sitting by his side, my grandma, mom, sister (11), brother (5).  He got worse and worse and in more and more pain.  The chemo was terrible and there were no palliative care meds, no nausea meds, no steroids - straight chemo.   I remember hearing doctors discussing the treatments with only clinical interest, technical information not understood by us.  My grandpa was the glue that held us all together.  He was the only one who could keep my mom from being crazy.   Seven weeks was all from the day he entered the hospital until the day he died.  He was begging to stop and let him go home.  The doctors agreed and they were making the arrangements to release him when he died.  The day he died my mom had decided to leave the hospital for some reason I still can't remember.  We had sat by his side all that time and while we were away, he died alone.  I was devastated by this.  I couldn't believe I wouldn't see him one more time.  While all the grown-ups were talking I slipped behind the curtain to look at him.  The nurses had tried to put in his false teeth, but his mouth had changed shape from all the weight loss.  The teeth were sticking straight out, like something from a scary movie.  He looked very dead and ghoulish.  I was absolutely terrified and have never been able to get rid of that image.  I ran back into the waiting room and never told anyone what I had seen. 

The veil thrown down here is my deep fear of hospitals, doctors and medical treatments.  Between the age of 13 and 30 I set foot in a hospital maybe only a handful of times.  I have been to the hospital in the last 5 years countless times and have had what feels like millions of treatments and I have never gotten over my fears.  Every little cancer thing makes me think of my grandpa and how much he suffered.  Medicine and medical ethics have come a long way thankfully.  I am scared of hospitals from the first whiff in the door and I know there is nothing I can do about it but suck it up and endure.    It is hard to have a voice as a patient, hospitals and doctors are intimidating.  No matter how much I learn about my cancer or cancer in general, it is still not really comprehensible. This makes patients vulnerable and easily confused.  I know this and yet every time I get the scary nurse I don't speak up and ask for a different one. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dance of the Seven Veils

I was listening to NPR yesterday and an author used the phrase,"dance of the seven veils," I realized it was a quote I had not heard in years.  I was wondering what I had to reveal, today for no reason I re-read some FB notes.  I realized these notes removed three of the seven veils.  I am going to do small stories on the remaining four.  Don't worry I won't get down to naked, under my veils I will have a on morphsuit.  Not familiar with a morphsuit, next time I will post the funniest picture.  I am revealing my love of clutter, shortcomings pertaining to age, and my - fictional of course - mother's craziness.

Minimalism and Me

Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 12:22pm
Just out of college I got a job with a Knoll dealer in San Francisco. I loved learning about design, furniture, textiles and art. I was drawn to modernism and minimalism. I loved the ideas of the Bauhaus movement and Phillip Johnson. The clean lines and strategic placement of one piece of furniture was quite appealing. I live in a modern house, but have always wished for a wrap-around porch with a big swing.

In my heart of hearts, I am far from a minimalist. I love clutter, cutesy little items and just generally stuff. I was fooling myself into being something I am not. I am most comfortable surrounded by overstuffed chairs, full bookcases, home-made knick-knacks, books - lots of books, crammed closets and cabinets, blankets and towels, overflowing junk drawers and crowded desks, brightly colored pillows, endless Christmas decorations, spice jars, photos and frames, art on walls and craft supplies. I love the promise of what might be in a closed container.

Being a clutteraholic is made easier with children, stuff randomly appears. It is fun to get out a wine glass and have a Lego arm inside of it. We have a lot of one-armed Lego Mans, remember, Darth Vader cuts off Luke's arm? The clutter is monumental right now, because the kids have brought all of their stuff home from school. I have piles of books, paper, pencils, socks, art projects, back packs and certificates abandoned for summer all over the kitchen and diningroom. Every last item is a treasure! So I will sift through it and jam into closets and the back room. The beauty of all this junk is I can pull it out on a rainy day and the kids will spend hours lining up ceramic skunks.

The burden of having only one of each thing weighs on my mind. If I have four plastic schlocky bowls......then who cares if one breaks? Who cares if one of the bowls is taken outside to make a worm habitat? Who cares if one is filled with Cheetohs and taken to a barbecue, never to return again? Buying a bulk box of tape allowed Ian to use an entire roll making a paper football/hockey/lacrosse field. The possibilities are endless. I have shoved my appreciation for clean lines into a back cupboard, sometime I will find it again.

I Have Never Been Graceful, So How Can I Age Gracefully

Monday, April 13, 2009 at 10:04am
Most mornings I wake up and think, "hmmm, I look pretty good". Today was one of those days where there is no fooling myself. I don't look a day under forty-four. In the movie "Freaky Friday", Lindsay Lohan's character looks in the mirror when she realizes she has become her mom and shouts, "I'm the crypt keeper". That is one of my favorite lines and today I feel like the crypt keeper. This might have been brought on by two of my kids having birthdays, but I think it is all the commercials for anti-wrinkle cream. We were watching tv when one of those commercials came on. Two of my kids are leaning around to look at me, and then they look away quickly. It is quiet for a minute and then one of them says, "so mom, have you thought about trying one of those?". I guess my laugh lines do look like wrinkles and my age-spots really don't look like freckles.

When I was YOUNG I always did that higher math to figure out how old I would be when the year 2000 came about. I could not imagine being so old as to be thirty-five. Now if my body doesn't crap out I will be forty-five in 2010. I guess I shouldn't complain, I am still young at heart. What a load of crap that is. It is the american way to look good at all times forever. I guess a cocktail every morning at 8:00a.m will blur the wrinkle lines. But then what to do about all of the sagging? There are things sagging that I had no idea could sag. I do have very pert, perky boobs... oh yeah, they are silicone. Besides, everything around them is hanging to the floor, my under arms flap in the breeze. My butt doesn't sway, it jiggles. Are mumus in this year? Writing mumus reminds me of Ellen bringing home the spelling word tipis. I am thinking what the hell is a tipis? It is the plural of tipi. This leads nicely into the other part of aging!

I have never been a mental giant, but now I am a mental midget. I think I have forgotten way more than I every learned. It is better off not to ask me things, because I won't know. What time is it? Don't know, I can't find my watch. Where does Bob live? Somewhere in Wales, that is part of Scotland, right? I read this great article in the paper last night, it was about, about, about.....,oh drat? I CAN recite Good NIght Moon. All the great literature is in board books.

I am off to do, hmm what am I supposed to be doing.

A Weekly, Sometimes Bi-Weekly, Conversation

by Toni Killefer on Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 2:20pm
Two characters, Trudi and Joni

Hi, it's mother calling.
How are you?
Do you still have cancer?
Have you seen a Dr?
What are they going to do?
Is this a good idea?
I don't know, but I don't have a choice.
Did I tell you that your brother is a miracle? He is just a miracle. His life is a miracle.
Did you know he is going to Afghanistan?
Mom, I think he is moving to Colorado Springs in 3 weeks.
But did he he tell you he is going to Afghanistan?
He probably didn't want to worry you.
Joni thinks to herself, "then why the fuck are you telling me this?"
Is anyone helping you after surgery?
Yes, Sheri is coming to help.
Oh, that's good, because I am too busy to come help.
Really, too bad.
This deal is about to break open and I really need to be here to work with the financiers.
Sounds exciting.
It has taken me awhile to get back on my feet. You know I helped your brother? He is just a miracle. His life is really a miracle. When he goes to Afghanistan he will be on the front line. God is watching him though, he is a miracle.
Mom, he is the chaplain's assistant. He answers the phones. He won't be on the front line.
You are always so negative. If you would just be happier and have a positive attitude, then your cancer would go away and this part of your life would be behind you.
Thanks, I will try to be happier.
I am on my face right now just praying for you. I am praying, praying, praying for you-right now, praying for you. Did I tell you that your brother is just a miracle.
Mom, I have to go, really, I have to go. Bye. Thanks

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pitnicking and Panicking

Pitnicking is the title of October's quilt.  I enjoyed making this quilt. 

Usually I am doop-de-dooping through my day, but this afternoon I was on a schedule.  Wouldn't you know that I would bump into someone I hadn't seen in years and this person had a story to unload.  His soon to be ex-wife had JUST given birth to a baby.  I guess he found out nine months ago she was cheating with someone from work.  The baby's father has 5 other children with 3 other women.  There were plenty more details, but I was trying to walk away without appearing rude or uninterested (which actually I am).  As I am sprinting off in a panic not to be late, he shouts that we should go to lunch.  A big N-O on that one, it sounds like an episode from bad tv.

I have not been reading much, but finished "Outcasts United" by Warren St. John.  I wish I had read it a couple of years ago, when Luma came and spoke at McD.  I was impressed with the book.  It tells the story of a Jordanian woman, Luma,  who starts a soccer team for refugee boys in the Atlanta area.  The staggering part was hearing the stories of the boys.  I had forgotten about the atrocities in the Congo, the Lost Boys of Sudan and the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo.  I had never heard of the Nuba valley and other regions where the boys came from.  I recently read "Little Bee" which also deals with refugees, it is a subject I feel sadly we don't understand. 

In college when I flew back from Hong Kong, the airline loaded the plane with refugees from somewhere in Asia.  It was one of the saddest things I have ever seen.  These people had nothing, everything about them was drab and defeated, I truly was struck by the lack of color.  They were each clutching a clear plastic bag that had an orange or a roll or a pair of socks - some small personal thing.  They loaded them on first and put up another curtain so there would be no interaction.  I often have wondered where they were all going and if they have done well. 

I am going to try and go to bed, but it sounds like the people behind me are having a monster truck rally.  I may have to get out the binoculars and spy on their activities, although it might require night vision binoculars.  My neighbor spying is not that high-tech.  I can't decide if I am hearing go-carts or chainsaws.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Flip Flop Flee

Things have been lousy around here.  I can't actually mention what is going on, because the kids are dying of embarrassment.  I have been spending mucho time washing and COMBING hair.  I have washed and or bagged every piece of upholstered item in multiple rooms.  Turns out you can hire a professional "picker" to come take care of this, I am on the cusp of doing it.  It is outrageously expensive, but urchin number one has missed two days of school.  I have never wanted a test to be passed so badly.

I escaped the infestation this weekend by going to DC.  I got to take the White House Garden tour.  It was a beautiful day.  I spent all Saturday downtown seeing the sites.  I did not see the new MLK monument, too crowded and too far off the mall for casual walking.  I went to Eastern Market, which was a really wonderful area I had not been to.  We walked the open air market and then strolled to the Capitol. 

I have the idea for my October quilt.  I was looking at my refrigerator quilts and reflecting on how quickly a year goes by - crazy. 

I am off to do something new like go grocery shopping.  Once again it is old mother hubbards cupboard around here.  We are down to condiments and the gross ones at that.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pain in the Neck

Hole Schmole is what my friend's thirteen year old said when he got to the rim of the Grand Canyon.  I on the other hand thought it was a magnificent pain in the neck.  You were either sore from staring straight down or you were sore from staring straight up.   It was incredible.  It is crazy to think Powell and his team rode the entire Grand Canyon in a wooden boat, for 110 days.  Two of them didn't have enough and rode on to the Sea of Cortez.  Crazy!

My other favorite spot was Montezuma's Well, despite it's proximity to a casino, it was a mystical place.  Around the year 1100 Indians dug a canal out of an existing sinkhole.  They had a channel of water that ran for a mile. The water stayed 76 degrees year around and provided what the people needed to grow vegetables.  We took Tummi Bear along (Chummi's brother) and wouldn't you know that Tummi decided not to leave the mystical well.  I hope he found a nice home with one of the kids that was playing up by the water.  The well had a feeling of peace and serenity, it had more feel to it than the vortexes of Sedona.  I hope one of Chummi and Tummi's siblings might like to venture out in the world, the whole travel thing isn't working out very well. 

I made my September quilt, but I don't have the picture loaded yet.  It is a view of Sedona, but it doesn't quite look right.  I have to use only existing supplies and I own no brown fabric or thread.  It looks too green and bright, not the right shades of red, rust and dark brown.  I gave Teri a squirrel quilt, but forgot to take a picture.  I think she got the only brown fabric I had. 

I am off to save us all from the saxophone.  Why is it so loud, do they make a sound dampener for the sax?  The pets and I got lucky, because Ian was not chosen to play the tuba.  I think the triangle is a very nice instrument.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I have been doing a lot of a little bit of quilting.  There is nothing to take pictures of, I am just inching closer to finishing things that may never be finished.  It has been nice to be back in my sewing room.  Helen was moved from her apartment into the health center, so I got a little bookshelf.  It looks nice in my sewing room and makes me think of Helen and Peter and their house in California.  Ned came in and said, "wish I had a bookshelf."  "Ned, you do have a bookshelf in your room," I said perplexed.  "Yeah, but mine has books on it."  I am not sure we were having the same conversation?

Hoover had to have part of his tail shaved, a bit more than a snippet.  Poor guy has a licky spot that got all nasty and infected.  Dogs don't like you messing with their tails, so I have to sneak up on him to spread goo. 

I am getting excited for the Grand Canyon.  Teri and I have all sorts of things planned.  We will also be in Phoenix and Sedona - whoohoo.  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Quilt Confidence

On our trip west,  I got to visit several of the quilts I have made and given away.  The first one was folded on a chair in the living room and what drew me to it was the chewed spots from the dog.  I opened it up and realized I had made it AND it was quite nice.  I saw the quilts that I made for my niece and nephew and they looked great also.  I usually send the quilts off without taking a picture and then forget about them.  I am going to pat myself on the back and acknowledge that I am a good quilter.  It isn't just that the quilts are made well, it is the thought of color and design for the recipient.   It makes me happy to see the quilts being used.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Homage and Farewell To Summer

I had wanted to write a post about our wonderful trip to Oregon and Washington, but now summer has passed me by.  Farewell and see you next year.  I will detail a few highlights.

COUSINS, lots and lots of cousins.  Cousins are special and I wish we all got to see them more often.  I live too far away.  I found my dream house in Chehalis, WA.  It had a windmill, cute old-fashioned barn and looked like gnomes could live there.  It was painted light blue with red trim and of course my picture is terrible.  

We went to Seaside, OR and almost froze to death.  We showed up in bathing suits and everyone else was wearing long pants and sweatshirts.  We did a quick change in the car.  It was freezing.  The town had the best bumper cars.  I was slamming into old ladies, my kids and terrified strangers - a blast.  We met up with a friend, who did the teacups with the boys.  I won't do any hurler-rides.

Mount St. Hele
We raced from there to a fun wedding in Salem, Or.  The kids got to go for a ride in their uncle's tractor, wished I had climbed in.   Other cousins took us to a dahlia farm, absolutely beautiful.  Acres of bright colors.  We also had to check out a dead gopher.  We had a really long drive up to Bellingham, but listened to Ellen's summer reading.  She was required to read "Moon Over Manifest",  all four of us really enjoyed it.   Since weather was hot, we were able to see Mt. Hood, Mount St. Helens, Mt. Rainier and spent a day sledding on Mt. Baker. 

The tide pools in Bellingham were a huge hit.  The water was like glass.  We found giant purple sea stars, crabs and a dead bull shark with only part eaten.  Bellingham has a really nice farmer's market, many unusual items.  I wish I had taken a picture of the woman in the blueberry booth, container after container of big, fat blueberries.  I was grossed out by the girl selling washable menstrual pads.  They were cute, but eww, a little too back to basics for me.  The market was loaded with artisan cheeses, chocolates and roasted nuts.  I bought locally dyed yarn in a bright green color. Ned got to celebrate his birthday with a big cake.

The kids as usual had many great quotes and I wish I could remember them all.  Here is a quote from each.

As we drove by a Christmas tree lot, Ian asked if I thought the owners were Jewish?
During the wedding Ned points up to the front of the church and says, "is that a piano or a coffin?"

Ellen was doing a book of scratch off hangman.  I asked her what the word was and she said, "dared evil."  What, is it really two words?  "No, one word, daredevil," she notices.

We are now into school, which seemingly has brought never-ending rain.  Never-ending rain has brought never-ending traffic, floods, downed trees and power outages.  Summer is really over, our pool is closed. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Really Want To

I really want to post about my trip to Oregon and Washington, but I need to upload the photos.  I am also worn out - chemo blues.   If I don't get anything posted sooner, Happy Labor Day to all. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Candy, Candy Corn and Syrup

I made a pie that was beautiful, the color was so pretty.  I forgot to add enough sugar and so the pie was not good.  Plums need to be sweetened, Ned took the first bite and was gagging.  It was disappointing, that is what I get for talking and cooking at the same time. 

Ned is an elf, if he had pointy ears there would be no doubt he was a changeling.  He lives on the three food groups above and is mischieviously elfish.  If you have not watched "Elf" then you must.  It is a cute, cute movie.  I finally took it away and put it with the Christmas decorations.  I can't find my Christmas spirit in July.   Ned's birthday squirrel reflects his true passions in life.  This is also my August quilt.  I added glittery, shiny things to make the squirrel stand out after I looked at this picture.  The background fabric is my favorite fabric right now.  Aunt Teri decided she wants a squirrel quilt, she poo-pooed me when I offered her one for her birthday.

We went go-carting for the first time ever - it was a blast.  We had to put on thick-soled shoes and mohawk Ned's hair to make him tall enough.  I went two times, but there is no photo to verify my claim.  The kids would laugh each time they lapped me.

We also went to the Science Center.  The SC is in the summer of "irresponsible science."  We watched as melons and water balloons were launched off the roof through a giant tube.  We shot pool noodles from the third floor into the lobby.  The most fun was shocking each other with the electric current experiment.  I even snuck up behind a stranger and shocked him, the docent finally shooed us away.  We had cousins in town, therefore we crammed a summer's worth of activities into four days - yeehaw!

I am going to end this post with one last photo that sums up my love of summer.  There is no such thing as too much relaxation.  In fact I am off to float in the pool with the kids.  I have a good fiction book that combines quilting with Colorado history, cousin Nell left it for me.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Quilty Stuff

I am still gathering pictures of really big things.  Here is a picture of Ian with the biggest bag of licorice - crazy. 

Sideways, but a fence with flowers
I had really nice weekend at MAQ (two weeks ago).  The first day was spent landscape painting fabric.  After it dried, we used thread to embellish the quilt.  I really enjoyed this class, enough that I may look into a watercolor painting class.  I really don't need another hobby though.  The second day I took a fabric weaving class.  We put double sided fusible on two different fabrics, cut them in strips and wove them back together.  I liked this very much, it gave the fabric a totally different look.  I think I am going to make placemats this way.  The third day I took a class on freezer paper applique.  The teacher was interesting, organized and helpful.  I would take classes from her again.  It was the best MAQ I have had. 

My June quilt shows that it was a happy month, only marred by my black eye.  July is the woven quilt from MAQ, two gerber daisy woven into one. 

January - year of the rabbit and football.
February - bare trees and snow.
March - Ellen's birthday squirrel.
April - Ian's birthday squirrel.
May - two squirrels teasing Minnow

I have to get working on Ned's birthday squirrel.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Head Banging

At the end of the school year one of my little three's was banging herself on the forehead.  She was trying to get rid of a dream she'd had the night before.  That is how I have felt for the last few weeks.  I have been re-reading the Ice and Fire series and just finished "A Dance with Dragons".  It is banging around in my head and will be there for awhile.  I have been a long-time fan, not one of the newbies hopped up on the HBO series.  Who knows how long we will wait for the next book.

I had a great weekend quilting at MAQ.  I took three classes that I really enjoyed and learned quite a bit as well.  The classes were relaxed and none had me frustrated.  I learned to landscape paint on fabric, freezer paper applique and weave fabric together to make new fabric.  I was anti-social in the evenings, so I could read my book.

I did walk up to the Shrine, stepping over snakes along the way.  A woman said to me, "why would they have snakes here?"  I guess St. Patrick never visited Gettysburg.    People go up there to drink the healing waters, but I didn't want to risk giardhia(sp?).  I am sure you are all saying, "have a little faith."   Why did/do artists so often portray Mary as holding a tiny little man for Jesus instead of a baby Jesus?  It reminds me of Ellen aged three telling me that Jesus was a tiny little man.  I finally figured out she thought this because the pre-school father would carry a tiny little Jesus statue.    Ellen also told me Mary's father's name was Bob - the mysteries of religion!  "Talledaga Nights" anyone?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Eww and Eww

Yesterday, Hoover and Juno had vet appts for booster vaccines.  Ian volunteered to go with me and at the last moment Ned hopped in the car.  I told him not to come, because the boys always get silly.  They swore up and down that it wouldn't happen this time.  There I am in a tiny exam room with a yowling cat, a drooling/peeing/stressed out dog, and two boys carrying on maniacally.  Of course it took forever.  It got so bad that I opened the door and shoved Ian out into the waiting room.  I wondered why I didn't just go sit out there and leave everyone else in the room.  The vet decided to scale the cat's teeth.  The tech has the cat pinned, the vet is scraping away and both boys are so close Ned says, "eww, that smells bad."  So gross.

We were gone all day yesterday so I didn't check the pool skimmers as usual.  If I had, maybe I could have averted such a disaster, but am not sure.  This morning in the skimmers I found about thirty dead baby frogs.  It was quite sad and also disgusting - EWW!  I had planned to go in the pool to float and read.  I don't really feel like it now. 

I bought a handy little gadget at the vet.  It looks like the side of the hammer that is split down the middle, but it is a tiny size.  It is a tick extractor.  You slide the tick into the prongs and pull.  Ticks are bad this year,  Hoover had two by his eye on Tuesday. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fun and Games

SetI love to play games.  The kids love to play games.  They never want to play games when I want to.  I have been forcing them to play with me, that mean mom thing again.  Yesterday, we played many games of "Set".  This is a really hard game for me, the kids don't find it so difficult.  I just cannot find the matches, the kids will walk up and find a match in seconds.  I always lose at "Uno" also, they save all the +4's for me.  No matter haw many times I play, I cannot do well at "Angry Birds" and the kids find this hysterical.  I did do well at the pool game "try and flip Mom off the raft"-no way can they dislodge my girth.  It is fortunate we all have our strengths. 
The Raft

I have been reading non-stop.  I set up a mini-library of books we own that are on the kid's summer reading lists.  I have been re-reading and reading-anew many young adult books.  Jerry Spinelli has really wowed me.  I just finished "Tuck Everlasting" by Natalie Babbitt and had forgotten how bittersweet the book is.  I can tell you that my perspective is quite different now than when I read it before.  I am anxiously awaiting the next George R.R. Martin book - July 12th.  It took him five years to get this book out, it better be worth the wait! 

Ned is reading the "Henry and Mudge" books, a favorite or all my kids.

Ian just read "Holes" and is carrying the book around in his head.  He has now started "Peak", we had to look up pictures of dead bodies on Mt. Everest.  Boys are kind of grisly.  Nothing like viewing skeletons in snowsuits for an hour.

Ellen is reading "A Series of Unfortunate Event" series, she is on the fourth.  She also swerved off course to read the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books again.  That has been one nice thing about my kids learning to read, I don't have to read them painful-to-me books.  "Captain Underpants" really tried my patience - although Sloopy Farkelfricken is the stuff legends are made of.

Sorry to say this is still a no-quilt zone.  I am hoping my annual Mid-Appalachian Quilt Symposium will get me motivated again. 

Last weekend we went to a Bowie Baysox game.  It was Star Wars night, nothing like middle-aged people pretending to light saber duel in front of thousands.  It made you cringe a little, but was very entertaining.  They shot off fireworks and the kids got to run the bases.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  There is always one bugaboo, Ian caught the ball a player was throwing to Ned.

Happy 4th!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Corn Hole and Quilting

We have been all fired up for the game Corn Hole.  It is big in the south right now, especially colleges.  It is an absolute blast to play.  I bought unfinished corn hole boards, so that we could have the project of painting them.   We  have painted one purple and one turquoise.  Last night I put on a coat of poly-urethane and worried.  The instructions say shellac, the Home Depot guy told me to get poly-urethane.  I don't know the difference and so hope it will turn out to be correct.  They need to have a certain amount of slide.  I put on one primer coat and three coats of paint, I know I will need to add another coat of poly-urethane.  Pictures to follow.  I also painted the cross that the five day threes use for chapel.  Our cross disappeared in May, we were using one made from craft popsickle sticks for the last couple of chapels.  The brother of one of the teachers made new crosses for the preschool. 

Yesterday I went into my sewing room and actually worked on something - whoohoo!  Ian reminded me that I need to do June's quilt, that he is waiting to see what it is.  The kids are off squirrels AGAIN, it is not a squirrel.  A small hint to the theme is how happy I have been in June.  I had a couple rough weeks of being sick, but am so happy it is summer break.  This summer in particular I have really been enjoying myself.  I have been reading some great books by the pool, making nice dinners and just relaxing.   I love summer!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


We are in full summer mode!   Nothing but relaxing going on around here.  I am about ready to whip up a batch of simple syrup and then it will officially be summer.  I have the lemons, limes, seltzer and ice lined up for lemonade - can't forget the dash of mint from the backyard. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dashes and Dots

A couple of weeks ago I told a friend we never see turtles by my house, so of course yesterday we saw a turtle.  We were driving down Hillside and big turtle was in the middle of the road.  We pulled over to move him to the side.  I wasn't expecting so heavy - guessing 25 lbs - nor the speed of his snapper.  I quickly put him back on the ground so I wouldn't lose a finger.  By now several cars, bikes and motorcycles have stopped to look.  We stayed until he/she had crossed the road.  I had pulled into a long road that winds to the pond you can see from my house, two cars were trying to get by me.  I sped ahead to get out of their way and then rolled down the window to apologize for blocking their driveway.  They were going to the pond to release their pet turtles and asked if we wanted to go along.  Of course!! Turns out the boys had the turtles for 12 years and felt they should be free.  Those two turtles hit the dirt and dove right into the pond.  We could see one of them chasing fish within minutes.  The family was teary-eyed.  Turns out their boys go to McD also and they live down the road from us.  As we were driving out, we passed the big turtle.  He/she was really making good speed.   When we got home we read up on Maryland Snappers.

Ned and I have poison ivy.  Ned is also covered in little red dots, he was eaten alive by some little bug.  He must be tasty.   His PI is on his leg, mine is of course on my face.  I must have gotten a cut or something, because I have an infection around my eye.  My immune system isn't working well.  It looks really gross.  The only good thing is the infection hurts so bad the PI isn't bothering me at all. 

Here is the spring picture of my disintegration art.  I have now had them hanging for a year.

My poor sewing studio is collecting dust and dead stink bugs, maybe after school is out I will have time to quilt.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Here is the crack soup recipe.  Anyone who makes it let me know what you think.  I have a batch going right now.  I was short basil, so added a little mint.  I also had some celery so decided to throw it in.

1 large onion chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup butter
8 cups of vegetable broth (approx.)
FRESH ginger to taste ( I add quite a bit, just keep tasting it until it is where you like it)
1-1/2-2lbs of carrots sliced
1-3 tomatoes, chopped
1-3 potatoes, chopped
1/4 cup shredded basil
salt and pepper
1 cup of either creme fraiche/sour cream or plain yogurt.  It works well with any of them.  I use sour cream most often, because I usually have it on hand.
1/4 lemon juice
dash of curry and hot sauce (I use tabasco)

Saute onion and garlic in butter.
Add carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, broth, garlic ginger, basil, lemon, s&p
Bring to a boil and simmer for approx 45 minutes, until vegetables are soft.
Puree in blender in batches and add back into pot.
Add creme fraiche or sour cream or plain yogurt, stir, simmer until hot again. 
Add a dollop of above to soup before serving.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Typical Weekend

I pulled weeds and now have a, fortunately small, patch of poison ivy. 

I also woke up with a tick on my ear, Ian very nicely removed it for me.  

The cat barfed up a hairband hairball. 

Two kids, two cats and a labrador slept in bed with me last night, because we had a big storm with thunder and lightning.  The kitten was so happy to have so much company all in the same spot that she spent all night marching to a purring beat all over each of us.  It is hard to sleep with a cat percolating on your head. 

Juno left a dead chipmunk on the doormat.

I got five pieces in the jigsaw puzzle that has been on the table since January.  I think gluing and saving puzzles is totally dorky, but I may do it with this one.  Finishing it will be an accomplishment.

Vacuumed up about fifty stink bugs and I am looking at one belly up on the table in front of me.  They are everywhere!

I Made my "May Flowers" squirrel quilt.  I watched two squirrels tease Minnow, they were having the best time tormenting her.  She was in the crook of a tree and they would run around and chatter to her and then run to the other side.  All you could see of her was her tail going back and forth, she finally gave up.

I Finished 750 pages of the most boring book ever!   The last Jean Auel book was excruciating, if she didn't have a cult following this book would never sell a copy.  It was a MAJOR disappointment.  If I didn't have that neurotic habit of having to finish a book if I start it, I would have quit at page 100. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Luraya Carpets

Ellen and I went down to Harrisonburg, VA for my niece's graduation.  We had a wonderful weekend!  On the way home I told Ellen we are going to see Luray Caverns.  She told me she didn't want to see the La Brea tar pits.  I told her, "tough, we are going to LURAY CAVERNS, whether she wants to or not."  She had the best time and said, "thanks for taking me to the Luraya Carpets!"  Every conversation with my kids seems to be a game of telephone.

My April quilt was made in April, but not posted.  The quilt speaks for itself with all my frustrations. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Dicks Franks, Monsewer

Went to a story hour at the retirement community where Helen lives and listened to stories read by a monotone, droning, Baltimore accented volunteer.  Yes, it is nice of him to put to sleep - I mean read- to the resident's, but sheesh put some oomph into it.  He was reading a story that had french passages in it and foreign words that were absolutely appallingly butchered.  Ian, pronounced Ion by the guy, took a nap with the other listeners.  The story was about the pshaw and his trip to France aboard the vish door.  I didn't have a clue what he was talking about.  After some puzzling,  I deciphered that the pshaw was the Egyption Pasha.  One sentence was the one above, which I interpreted as "dix francs, monseiur."  

Shadow Tag: A Novel (P.S.)Two people this week commented to me that they would know I was feeling better when I posted again.  I think I am feeling better, finding the humor in things again.  I started a book, but it might be too depressing to read.  I was in her bookstore last summer and took a couple of pictures. She has a confessional in the middle of the store with this sign.  Chummi Bear who is still missing took a picture inside.

If the old adage "April showers brings May flowers" is true, then we are going to have lots of flowers.  It is hard to believe it is one day away from May and another school year almost wrapped up.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sad, Sad, Sad and More Sad

I have not posted in awhile.  I have not sewn in awhile.  I have not read a new book in awhile.  I have not walked in the park in awhile.  My seasonal funk has become a bout of depression - I think.  I really didn't know how desperately close to my heart I was counting on my vaccine trial being a miracle cure.  I knew rationally that this wouldn't happen, but I figured I would be the one to beat the odds.  The thought of going back on chemo, even the low dose that it is, has been devastating.  I don't usually write cancer stuff on this blog, but on Caringbridge everyone very nicely will tell me things will be okay.  You know what, things are not going to be okay.  I continue to fight a fight that no matter what, I am going to lose.  After I go on chemo again, it is just erosion.  Ned asked me if the bad cells and good cells are really fighting?  I asked if he meant with boxing gloves and he said, "no, swords."  Problem is my good cells have swords, but the bad cells have automatic weapons and rocket launchers.

I got the call today that Sarah had to be put to sleep this afternoon.  She is the same age, same litter as Hoover, but she got cancer.  I still haven't recovered from Riley's death and now Sarah is gone also.  I remember how cute she and Hoover were sleeping together in the baby bouncy seat.  She was the ultimate family dog.  I never met a dog who loved people as much as she did.  She loved everyone and wanted everyone to love her back.  The last few days I was told she only had energy to wag her tail, a sweet girl gone.

Add into this late nights, rotting wood, a cat with a nervous disorder, $4.69 gas, cold rain, weight gain, tired kids, a clogged toilet and it is just a sad time.  "Don't nobody bring me no bad news."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Unglued and Carrot Crack Soup

The boys wore me down into getting BB guns- "with their own money."  I gave them a long list of rules, which for now seem to be holding.  We shall see how long it is until Ellen gets hit with a BB.   She will be contemplating what color the sky is in her world and wander into the target area.  There is something satisfying about hearing the ping of the tin can.

I got quite a bit accomplished on a baby quilt that Teri and I have been working on together.  I added boucoup de embellishments, sticking to my mantra of there never being enough glitter or sprinkles.  Teri does not live by this creed and may groan when she sees what I did.  I used up the cool Swarovski crystals from Houston and can't find more online, I didn't know it was possible to not find something  on the internet.

I made two squirrel quilts, because remember my kids did not want me to make squirrel quilts in 2011.  Ellen has asked me repeatedly where her birthday squirrel quilt is.  This was after she told me she wanted to see dog sled racing for her birthday......what?  As you all know, if you do something for one kid, it has to be done for the others.  Surprise- Ian gets a birthday squirrel also.  I asked Teri if she wanted one, but she declined.  At the quilt show I found really cute precut/preglued die-cut acorns, she might want to rethink her decision.

Speaking of preglued, I got a bad batch of Pellon fusible and think I might lose my mind with it.  I can't get it off the backing paper.  It adheres fine, it just won't peel.  There have been bad words used up in my sewing room.  Why does Joann's keep the fusible behind the counter, do people steal it?  Is it dangerous like epinephren?  The clerk did not take kindly to my request to check out several bolts and then my decision to not buy any.  Odds are I would get the same $%^& bolt.  I am going to pay more and just buy it at the good fabric store, my sanity is worth the extra dollar.

 I make this fabulously delicious carrot ginger soup.  If I didn't make it and know all the ingredients I would think it could be drugged, I crave this soup.  It is a yummy combination of flavors and easy to make.  My last batch was missing basil and it needs the basil definitely.  Tomorrow I am going to make another pot of soup and eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner over the weekend.  Ned told his class about the soup and asked me to make it.  Last time we had it Amanda was over and Ned was so busy chatting that he ate about two bites.  Homemade garlic bread and a salad make a perfect meal.  I also need a homemade chocolate chip cookie - tomorrow!

Monday, March 21, 2011

fire, flood, VOMIT AND BLOOD

Those are the only four things you can use as an excuse if you are going to wake up Mom in the night.  We have had two of these events, fortunately not in the night.  We went to Great Wolf Lodge for three days and had a great time.  We were on 695, fifteen minutes from home when Ian spewed all over the backseat.  I could hear vomit hitting the back of my seat, the floor, basically all over sloshy.  Ellen bursts into hysterical crying, who knows why?  The dog panics and tries to hop over into the third seat and gets stuck. That ninety pound labrador is the biggest wussy.   I burst out laughing.  Ian shouts out, "I feel better, and hey, look at the bacon."  Ned is trying to yank the dog out of the way so he can study the chunks, boys are so gross!  I spent the next two hours cleaning.

Yesterday was not a great day.  I have this cold/cough/sinus/feel like death kind of thing.  We canceled Ellen's birthday party, she was VERY gracious to give up her day of fun.  Ian and I lay on the couch watching the Harry Potter movie marathon, it was pitiful.  I went into the kitchen to clean up slightly and cut my finger on a knife.  I was bleeding everywhere and sure I was going to need stitches, but it sealed back up nicely.  If I keep the band-aid on it stays sealed.  

I made it through work today, but have been resting this afternoon.  I went to sit on the patio to get some sunshine on me, but the couch is a better spot.  I have been just slightly sick since September, I don't know if it is the vaccine trial or chemo, but it really stinks!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spring and Fling

Signs of spring are: snow drops, daffodils peeking up, hot weather, cold weather, wind, woodpeckers madly tapping and absolutely wild kids.  If it doesn't stay warm sooner rather than later, I will have to fling myself in front of a bus bound for some place far away.  Being picked up or run over will get me away from: repetitive singing, ball throwing, headstands, whining, muddy laundry, stinky shoes and general indoor boredom. 

I had planned on coming home from work and doing all the things I don't like doing all in one fell swoop, instead I cranked the heat in my sewing room and worked on a bird quilt.  I think it will be quite cute.  I still haven't put the sleeve on my quilt for the show and it is next week.  I really need to get some real things completed, not just quilting, but real life thangs. 

Super Bowl weekend we started a jigsaw puzzle that is so hard, today I put together three pieces.  I am on a roll.  The kids declared it too hard and won't help me, it didn't look that hard when I got it.  I wonder how many pieces kittenlove has carried off.  I am about ready to put it back in the box and admit defeat.   I think we will build a fire tomorrow night and I will give them the choice to help with the puzzle or fold laundry.  Nothing like MAKING someone enjoy your interests.  Ian just read this and told me it should read "their interests", so unsuspecting!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sticks and Sewns

Luckfully, the wind has stopped howling, it was a little scary around here the last couple of nights.  I need to go out and walk around, Ellen and I heard a big branch or small tree fall somewhere.  The cats were all freaky, because leaves and sticks were rolling across the roof.  The yard is littered with broken branches and sticks and a mountain of leaves swirled into the driveway. 

I have not been working on much due to my medical crud, but I did a few little things. 
-I found a binding fabric for a quilt that has been sitting unfinished for months.  I got a black sateen, it will be perfect for my red silk quilt. 
-Ellen and Ned picked out the backing fabric for a baby quilt.  I don't have a photo yet, but the quilt is amazing.  Teri and I worked on the quilt together.
-I made 1 square for my family quilt project, it needs a bit of tweaking, then only 13 more to go.
-I took a bunch of scraps and made placemats.
-I appliqued this onesie as a baby present. It is really cute except for a small pucker at the tail.  I am going to add a french knot for an eye.
-I have almost finished the top of Minky animal prints for a little throw blanket.  I am never going to work with that type fabric again.  It is too slippery and stretchy and I just don't know how to make it work well.  I am sure there must be a trick to it, but I don't know what it is. 
-I boxed up the star quilt to be sent to the longarmer in College Place, WA, but she can't work on it until April.  I might be giving a "to be finished" graduation present.

I want to show you another example of things that are really big.  The boys and I saw this at RiteAid and had to get it for Nanny.  It was a "big" hit!  Helen turned 89 and deserved a big gift. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Squirrel Art

Okay, I still had the Christmas squirrel quilt hanging on the door - I know, I know.  The kids asked me why I haven't hung up a different squirrel quilt yet.  I was quite grumpy with them, because they are the ones who definitively said they did not want monthly squirrel quilts.  I could have had a cute valentine squirrel hanging up there.  Valentine's Day isn't until Monday......nah, too much effort.

Not much to report about anything, February is so dull!  I am not depressed, just can't muster the energy or interest to do anything exciting or actually anything.   A lack of anything is a whole lot of nothing!  An abundance of nothing! 

Ned just fell asleep on the couch next to me, it is 6:00, just proves how boring it is around here. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Winter Disintegration Art

I forgot to include this in my last post.  I took a picture of my art project in winter. As usual my picture stinks.  I use my cell phone camera and I think my finger is blurring the photo.  I am actually thinking about buying a camera, still won't make a difference if my finger is in the way.

Fat Albert and Ice Chunking

Today started out as a 2 hour delay and then become a snow day, ANOTHER day at home.  I don't have to make the decision to cancel school, thank goodness, but today would have been fine with the 2 hour delay methinks.  I groaned thinking the kids would want to watch tv all day, but in fact many other things were done.  I kicked 1 dog, 1 cat  and 3 kids outside and they spent at least 2 hours chunking ice off the driveway.  They did this on their own and I was not going to interrupt. 

The wild ones came in slightly less wild and we did some schoolwork.  Ian's homework was quite fun.  The fourth grade wrote a story to make into an imagery book.  His class spent two days painting paper with different techniques and paint.  Ian has to cut out the characters from all that paper and make his story entirely visual.   Ned and I helped him make fish, his story takes place in the ocean.  Ned read books to me as Ian worked.  I don't know how Ellen didn't end up with work to do - highly suspicious.

Unfortunately this bit of sitting led into my least favorite game, it is called Fat Albert or Fat Boom.  They have never even seen the Fat Albert tv show, so how it got the name is beyond me.  It involves finding every pillow and stuffed animal in the house and stuffing them in your pants and shirt. The game sneaks up on me, they are quiet as they are looking for all the padding.   After they are sufficiently fattened they run into each other and wrestle.  This always ends up with Ned getting hurt and today was no different.  It also means that pillows and stuffed animals are all over the house.  I guess at our house the game ain't over until Ned cries. 

Ned had a mohawk all day. He created his hair masterpiece all on his own.  I was relieved that he only used mousse and water.  He was going to go without a shirt all day, so he wouldn't mess it up.  I nixed that plan, clothing isn't optional in winter.  My children are seasonally challenged.

Not in actual position in this picture
I actually got to hang out in my sewing room a little bit.    For Christmas I received a really fun bird pin cushion.  I want to make a nest from fabric scraps, does anyone have any ideas on how to do it?  I was thinking water soluble interfacing quilted and then modge-podge.  Hmmmmm, suggestions???  I worked on my star quilt and it is coming along finally!  If that crazy kitten doesn't climb the design wall and pull off all the squares tomorrow I might be able to piece the top.  Lately the Minster has been unrolling all the toilet paper rolls, so maybe she will leave the quilt squares alone.    It is hard to get any quilting done with the kids, the kitten and having to step over the dog - Chaos (pronounced chowse) Quilting.  No lie, Sunday evening Ian had another rant about the word chaos, I might have to put him in therapy over it.  I might have to put myself in therapy over it!

I can hear the rain has started, where is a good el nino when you need it.  Probably more delays or cancellation as we are all flash frozen.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Oh My Goodness

"OH MY GOODNESS" is what the doc said when she looked up my nose.  I definitely have a sinus infection and an ear infection.  I got an antibiotic- whoohoo!  I was going to cry if she hadn't given me one.  Fortunately, I did not have to have a breakdown to get relief.  She said I should start feeling better in 24 hours.  I don't think I could have made it through the weekend, my head hurts so bad - sloshy.  She told me to get a Netipot (not a Neddypot), totally gross, but also is helping.  I think the weather is also going to play a part in my recovery, tomorrow we will probably have a school delay or cancellation.  I can sleep in a little.

I took the cat to the vet last night and his fur loss is due probably to boredom.  He better take up some hobbies, because I am not taking up additional cat entertaining.  I told the vet I am going to make him go outside, none of this winter lounging around.

I am going to bed early tonight!  Last night I had crazy dreams, nightmares, night sweats and a fox killing something out in the woods.  The screaming was horrific.  All in all a terrible night of sleep - or lack of. 

For you Baltimore readers, today I bought toilet paper.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Delays, Stars and Copy Cats

We have had a number of school delays and cancellations in the last couple weeks.  This morning I didn't even think to check and got us all up and dressed - 2 hour delay.  We could have been sleeping in! I am feeling better today, my ears popped slightly today.  I am not in so much of a bubble. 

I have been working on a star quilt and have stalled out.  I just don't know where to go with it, I am a bit frustrated.   I had an idea yesterday, but then couldn't figure out the math to get the stars all the same size.  Ellen just told me I have a quilter's block - harhar.  To add to the drama, I have run out of the background fabric.  I have a deadline on this quilt and am starting to sweat it a bit.

I wrote before about my sister's cat losing all it's fur.  I had gone to the store to look for a sweater.  My cat is losing all his fur.  What is up with that coincidence?  He is a copy cat?  Copy cat is an expression that really makes no sense,  cats are the least likely animal to copy.  They are so aloof and do their own thing.  I am going to take him to the vet tonight.  I will have to wrestle him into the carrier and cause him so much anxiety that more fur will fall out.

Monday, January 17, 2011

January Quilt

My January quilt for 2011.  
I have been fighting a cold for a week now and have nothing to write about.  I have been on the couch or in bed when not doing the stuff I have to get done. 

Ned wants me to tell you he is off to a birthday party, so I will be out and about to get him there.  Actually while Ned is at the party I will be taking Ian to the dentist for a chipped tooth.  It is good to be Ned!  It will also be good to be Ellen, she won't want to go.  She will stay home, watch tv and eat popcorn.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Quilt Expo and Strange Signs

I registered 13 quilts into the Baltimore Heritage Quilt Expo 2011.  The dates for the show are March 12-13 at Goucher College.  If you are in the area, please plan on attending.  It is a really beautiful quilt show, our guild has a lot of talented artists.  I entered my breast cancer quilt and my 2010 quilts from each month.   I think they will show better in the show than on my refrigerator.

I finished a quilt for a friend's pre-school fund-raiser.  It is cute, each kid made a self-portrait.  I am making one more small quilt for my friend, it is not finished yet. 

I have started my January 2011 quilt.  I will post a picture soon, it is almost finished.  I have to give credit to my friend and fellow blogger Cheryl at muppin.com.  She did a rabbit for the Chinese New Year and reminded me that I had a box of felt rabbits.  I sewed one on to a football themed quilt.  I am not a football lover, but the boys are.  In order to enjoy in their interests I have been learning about football.  I think I have reached my saturation point, my brain just doesn't want to be cluttered with football.  I don't really understand it!  Ellen is up on football also, she loves all the Raven's accessories.

A couple of years ago we went to New York.  When we were leaving I saw this crazy sign and no one else saw it.  My family would not believe me.  I decided to look it up on the internet to prove that I am not really totally crazy.   It is read "forget about it". 

We are all waiting around for the snow.  We are having a debate on whether we will have school canceled or just a delay.  I am hoping for a cancellation, just because I hate my driveway first thing in the morning.

I am off to make dinner, the kids asked for Kraft mac-n-cheese and I am going to oblige.  I will have left-overs.   Ellen and I are fighting colds and I feel even less motivated than usual to make dinner.  My neighbor gave us these yummy tangerine/grapefruit oranges.  We will have those and edamame as well- easy peasy -they hate peas.  For years Ian would cry, "I won't eat green balls."  Kind of makes you not crazy about peas.

Any good book suggestions?  I am going to start the "Omnivore's Dilemma", but then don't have anything on the docket.    There is a lull in all my trashy book series and I just don't have any ideas.   I got a gift card to Barnes&Nobles for Christmas and it is burning a hole in my pocket.  I should use it for books, before I fritter it away on peanut butter cookies and hot chocolate. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011


ABUNDANCE, is my word this year, or keynote if you read the following.  I am not really following a new-age  religion, I just shuffled over to a yoga website and got interested.  It is like doing one of the Facebook tests that ask what Star Wars character are you (I know I would be wookie)?  Anyway, I perused the list as instructed and the word "abundance" popped out to me.  It is interesting, because I really have been thinking about this lately.  My life is blessed with an abundance of humor, joy, love, friendship, good health (yes for real), variety/chaos, freedom, beauty, compassion and growth(not my girth).  I have been planning all the activities I would love to do this year.  We will not be able to do all of them, but I am happy to have an abundance of ideas.  

I am not advocating an abundance of things, although I do have many things that make me happy.  In my head I keep making a list of good THINGS or THINGS I like.  Maybe I will post it sometime.  I am thinking more of an abundance of life, preferably good, but there is always the bad.  If you have an abundance of good things to think on, then it gets you through the bad things. I have given myself permission to indulge, enjoy and rejoice in what life gives me this year and even ask for more.

If you read the list and come up with a word that stands out for you, let me know, I really am interested.

In Service to The One Life
Using Evocative Keynotes
The following evocative words contain principles, laws and qualities that aid in establishing the Spiritual Kingdom on Earth. They are needed to build character and a new world order. By choosing to align with any one of these keynotes you are linking up with other spiritual groups in the world who are meditating upon and putting these keynotes into action. This is service at a global level and aids in the planet's evolutionary unfolding.
How to Choose Your Keynote
Take a moment to get still and spiritually align yourself. When you are ready, begin reading the list of qualities. One may stir your heart, draw your attention or cause you to want to ponder it more. Which keynote is calling out to you?
Another method of choice is to tarot the keywords. Write each one on a 3x5 index card or print them out from this page and cut them apart. Take a moment to get still and align yourself spiritually. When you are ready, shuffle the cards and spread them out with the words face down. Affirm your willingness to serve the whole of humanity by allowing one of these keynotes to change you for the better. Which card is calling out to you? (You can use this technique by yourself or together with others.)
For multi-color printable .pdf file of the Keynote cards, click here
Right Speech
Essential Divinity
Spiritual Approach
Group Endeavor
Right Human Relations
After Choosing Your Keynote
Write your keynote on an a piece of paper, if it isn't already on one.
Light a candle and dedicate yourself to the service of the One Life using this evocative keynote.
Place the keynote where you will see it often. The quality will begin to have its effect upon your mind and heart and thus change your attitude and life.
Ponder upon and embrace the quality of your keynote in your eve