Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sew What's New

I've been working on Pie's quilt for almost a year. I have ten days to finish it.

Naturally, nothing has gone smoothly. When I sewed the first seam of the backing to the top, one side puckered up. I had to pick out the whole seam.

Then I had to go to the sewing center to buy a walking foot to do the quilting.

When I went to use the walking foot, I discovered that it required an adapter.

Of course, I didn't have the adapter.

So I had to go back to the sewing center to order one.

While waiting for the adapter to come in, I decided to work on embroidering her bath towels with her name.

I discovered that I couldn't remember how to embroider towels.

So I had to go to the sewing center and get a refresher lesson on how to embroider towels.

Then I realized that I didn't have the materials I needed.

So...I had to go back to the sewing center, where I bought sticky paper. And Solvy. And new needles for the machine.

This morning I did a practice towel.

It actually turned out pretty well.

So I did one of her towels.

And it turned out pretty well.

So what is the trouble now? I'm too tired to do the rest.

So I'm going to take a nap, and do the rest of the towels this evening.

Assuming I don't run into any more shortages, problems, or missing parts, and have to go back to the sewing center.

Oh. I forgot. I do have to go back to the sewing center to pick up the adapter.

I wonder if they are getting tired of seeing me yet.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hello, Goodbye. Come back soon.

Last summer, Wick bought me a fancy new sewing machine that has all kinds of bells and whistles. The sewing shop offered free lessons. I'm all over anything free.
Then I heard that my niece was expecting, so I thought I could make a quilt for the baby, using the quilt project to practice the skills I was learning in my sewing classes.

I couldn't find a pattern that was exactly what I wanted, so I sketched out a little house, complete with chimney, clouds, cartoon sun, flowering trees, and a little red path to the door.

A baby quilt is about 45" by 60", so I was able to handle it quite well.

This became the central panel, a sort of "welcome home" for the new baby. The surrounding panels were patchwork, and I was very pleased with the outcome.

Then my son and DIL approached me about making a quilt for Pie, who would be graduating this year. They had a big pile of soccer jerseys, jackets, shorts, t-shirts from all her years of playing club soccer.

Since she has received a soccer scholarship, what a great way to preserve the memories and look forward toward her college years.

Even though I had almost a year for this project, I had to start right away. I'm slow, and have to take frequent breaks, so I needed to get started right away.

The squares are 12" x 12", with two inch lattice strips. As long as I was working with a square at a time, I was fine. Then I started sewing the squares into strips. The pieces began to get heavy and harder to handle.

By the time I had 5 squares across, by 6 squares down, I was struggling. The top got really heavy. I still need to add the borders, and then quilt it, but I don't think I can handle it alone.

Thankfully, Wick has volunteered to help handle the quilt as I sew.

Two quilts.

One to welcome home a new addition to the family.

The other to say Goodbye, as our eldest grandchild spreads her wings, and begins a new stage in her life.

Yes, she will come home now and then, but she will be different every time, as she grows and evolves into young adulthood.

It's easy to say hello.

Hard to say goodbye.

Come home soon, sugar pie.

Monday, February 08, 2010


It's a cold, rainy, bleak day.

My niece, who had her first prenatal check-up last week, lost her baby last night.

True, it was not a planned pregnancy. And not the best timing. Her husband is on the short list to be shipped overseas with the National Guard. She has a year-old boy, and less-than-three-year-old girl.

But this baby was wanted, nevertheless.

Wanted by its mother and father.

Wanted by its grandparents.

Wanted by its aunts and uncles and cousins.

A beloved child.

Our great consolation is that this baby is back in God's arms today.

even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Moonlight and Ice

In one of her "little house" books, Laura Ingalls Wilder describes a night of frigid temperatures, when she and her sister Mary went for a walk on the frozen lake.

She describes the path of light created by the moon shining on the ice, and how she and Mary walked and "skated", sliding over the ice, following the moon path.

Each time I have read this passage, I have wondered what it is like to live in a place where water freezes deep enough and hard enough to walk on. I wonder what it is like to live in a place where snow stays on the ground all winter, where even the tightest, best insulated house has cold spots, where the temperatures fall into the teens or lower.

Aside from the snow, that's the kind of weather we have had here this week. One night it got down to thirteen degrees. We have been drinking a lot of hot spiced cider, tea, and cocoa. We have every blanket in the place on our bed, even the "fur" throw I usually keep on my rocker.

The pond at the RV park is frozen over. It has been frozen for five days.

Last night I let Frankie out, and was struck by the light shining on the frozen water, and like Laura, I felt as if it were inviting me to walk that shimmering path.

Unlike Laura, I am not a child, with a child's boundless energy. I am also fighting a sinus infection and bronchitis, so have not actually been outside for several days.

But last night, oh, last night, how I wanted to follow that icy path, to run and slide and run until my lungs hurt, to run and slide along that shining silver path, into the moon.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

New Year's Eve

For the past several years, we have been invited to New Year's Eve parties, but have stayed home and had a quiet evening together.

Last New Year's Eve we spent in a hospital room, drinking cranberry juice and watching New Year's Eve on t.v.

This year, our niece and her family, who have a place here at the lake just a few doors down from us, wanted to have a party.

Hey, a party we can walk to and walk home from, without fighting traffic and dodging drunks. What a deal.

Our son and his family came.

Some cousins came.

Some extended family came.

About fifteen of us, five of whom were teenagers, and we had a great time playing a game called Werewolf, the point of which is to see who is the most convincing liar.

A little drinking.

A lot of eating.

Family stories that made us laugh until we cried.

A guitar lesson that made me laugh so hard I couldn't breathe.

Some people want to be out among the crowd, with all the alcohol and smoke and noise, waiting for the ball to drop at midnight.

For us, midnight came and went without much notice, because we were so involved with each other.

We told our resolutions, some funny, some serious, and talked about the future, with one of the teens leaving for college next summer, and about the past, and good times together.

Not very exciting by some people's standards, but for's the time of our lives.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

A Progressive Christmas

We started by visiting Wick's brother Tommy and his wife Betty in Oklahoma City.

Next, a Saturday with my mama, step-father, siblings, nieces and nephews, their spouses, and kids, and our kids and grandkids.

Then we spent a couple of days in Houston with his cousin Skip and wife Kathaleen.

From there we went to Scott and Jamie's, where Jeana and family met us for a few days.

After a couple of days' break, we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with our dear friends Bob and Dean and their family.

Different foods at each stop. Gifts to open, and the joy of watching loved ones open their gifts from us. Lots of family stories, and laughing, and a few tears as we talked about those who have gone on before us. Kisses and hugs and promises to see each other again soon.

It was wonderful.

But we are glad to be home.

It just seems awfully quiet all of a sudden.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

You are what you eat

Well....if you are what you eat...then this is what I am:
bean dip
raw broccoli, celery, yellow squash, zuccini
fiesta ranch dip
cheese (smoked gouda, colbyjack, cheddar, provolone, havarti, pepperjack, and a couple of varieties I couldn't identify)
ranch dip
onion dip
guacamole dip
pumpkin pie
apple pie
candied sweet potatoes
chocolate chip cookies
raw cucumbers in sugar and vinegar
jellied cranberry sauce
cranberry sauce with whole berries
cranberry/orange/pecan relish
spiced walnuts with cumin (Jeana made those)
spice tea
hot spiced cider
hot cocoa
coffee with cream and/or Irish cream and/or spiced rum
hot buttered toast with eggs sunny-side up
smoky maple bacon
pulled pork
roast turkey
smoked turkey
turkey salad
turkey casserole
turkey soup
turkey and dressing (cornbread/biscuit/sage, not light bread stuffing)
beef stew
black eyed peas and cornbread
lime cake (the one Wick's mama used to make)
chocolate covered pretzels
white chocolate covered pretzels
chocolate cookies
red velvet cake

In the weeks from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve, this is just what I can *remember* eating. I may have forgotten a few things. But not much.

If anyone wants me, I'll just be sitting over here looking out the window, drinking my Slim-fast.