Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Just for fun

Hope you have a lovely day! I will return after my hospital visit. Please visit often, I promise to give updates!

Quilt in Process - Step 1

The actual first step is not pictured here, and it took a few months! 1, think of an idea. 2, shop for fabrics - in stores, and in my stash. 3, work out the details of the actual design. 4, procrastinate while working on other projects, waiting for the muse (see blog title) to hit me. 5, THEN, start cutting strips. This shows about half of the fabrics chosen for my project. I like scrap quilts, can you tell?

My finished quilt project will have very long (the length of the quilt) strips made up of crosswise short pieces. I have decided to piece the short pieces into little units of 2, 3, or 4 pieces, and then arrange them on my design wall into a pleasing arrangement. By doing this, I can chain piece! (see below)

Then, you cut the units apart...

...and press them flat, pressing the seam to one side. This is done many at a time.

This is the completed center of my quilt. I pressed the long seams, between the rows of pinks, open rather than to one side. Gave a much flatter appearance. I am pressing toward the pink, as I add on the white borders. Step One is complete!

My Grandma's Car

We spotted this beauty a few weeks ago, at a Friday night car show in our neighborhood. It is a DeSoto, I don't know the year, but I would guess late 50s/early 60s. And, it's just like one that my Grandma Johnson had - except hers was "midnight blue", sort of a deep blue-purple color. I remember that if you rubbed up against the car, some color might rub off on you! It is just an elegant car, with all of the great chrome on the front, and of course the finish on this car is polished to a mirror glow. I hope I drive a car this cool when I'm a grandma!

The background gives a bit of a glimpse into our nice little downtown area - a variety of shops and businesses, people walking about, walking their dogs, enjoying the evening. You can see the water tower in the background. We are lucky to live in a very nice town!

Studio - After and Before

Ok, so I am still learning adding photos to blogger - they don't always end up in my preferred order. This is the AFTER picture. I got these nifty new shelves just for my fabric. Everything is now orderly and not falling over!
This is also the AFTER picture. I have a nice batik curtain to keep out some of the dust and light. Cute photos of Hannah on top.

This before photo really shows why I needed an upgrade - my attempts at dividing the shelves worked for a while, but everything was about to tumble! Now, this taller shelving unit (which is super sturdy) is now used for books, and boxes of supplies.

Before shot. The AFTER is so much better!

The H Word

I have been avoiding talking about "this subject" for a while. One, it is not pleasant, and two, maybe then I wouldn't have to think about it. But no more time to but it off! I am having surgery tomorrow, perhaps the most common surgery for women of a certain age. Yes, that's it - a hysterectomy. It is elective, no cancer or bad stuff, it just becaue apparent that it needed to be done. And right away. So - tomorrow is the day, I like my doctor, I'm going to an excellent hospital, and all will be well. Mostly due to the folks you see below. I have a wonderful family, who will be sustaining me with their love and care. I have heard from old and new friends, some of whom are bringing in meals! I am truly blessed. And I just heard from a very special friend, who sent me the most beautiful and positive message of all. I know I will be ok, and while I will be off work for 4-6 weeks (!), I plan to keep blogging as much as I can.

My beautiful family: Mark (Hannah's boyfriend), me, Hannah (daughter), Scott (hubby), Emily (daughter), John (my brother), and Collin (my niece). Aren't they cute?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Time flies!

This is my younger daughter, Hannah, about 1 and 1/2. Isn't she a cutie? This is over 18 years ago! Hannah just turned 20 this month.
And here is Hannah today - still a cutie, but all grown up - happy and strong and confident. She is so talented, she is a singer, a junior, majoring in music education. I'm pretty proud of her, can you tell? So - does that mean that I am 20 years older, too?

Kristine's a Star!

Last Saturday night, we saw "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" at the Metroplis Theater in Arlington Heights. Starring in the role of Olive was our friend, Kristine Burdi. She was outstanding! It is a really fun show, with lots of great songs, and some audience participation, too. I did not know what to expect, as I had never seen the show before. It was really fun, and funny, and we loved it! The production was very professional, and I would highly recommend it to one and all. Go Kristine!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Most Scathingly Brilliant Idea!

Do you know this movie? This is a scene from "The Trouble with Angels", and while it's maybe not a "great" movie, I love it, and have for many years. It stars Haley Mills (center, above) as a teen who is sent away to an all-girls boarding school. Along the way, she has lots of crazy adventures with her friend, Rachel (left), and it seems they are always getting into trouble with the Reverend Mother (played beautifully by Rosalind Russell, above right). There are deeper issues covered than most teen adventure movies, and I highly recommend it. Haley's character, Mary Clancey, has lots of "scathingly brilliant ideas"!

So - now for my idea: I have needed storage for my cd's at home for years. I don't want to throw out the jewel cases (even though I hate them), because I often refer to the cover and inside information, especially for the piano recordings. So, then it's either a case that stands on the floor (no space) or hangs on the wall (ditto), or some boxes on a shelf. Ding! I like the idea of open boxes, but most of those available specifically for the job are either ugly or cheap-looking or expensive! I could use decorative baskets, which I would love, but they are not the right size. Then, it hit me! How about using cardboard boxes, and cover them with some nice fabric? Brilliant! But, where to find the boxes? Wait - my workplace has a warehouse FULL of cardboard boxes! I went out back, and my friendly warehouse manager set me up with 4 perfectly-sized boxes, ready to store my cds. Brilliant! Now - just to find the perfect fabric!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Change in plans...

No sooner had I posted yesterday's blog entry, about our puppy-to-be...when I got an email from my breeder. It seems that the mommy dog wasn't pregnant after all - they did an ultrasound on her, and no puppies. Sort of sad! But - the good news is, another pair of their yellow labs had mated, and those puppies are expected only 7-10 days later than the other litter. That means, we should have a new puppy just about in time to pose for a REALLY cute picture under the Christmas tree, complete with a big, red bow under its chin, don't you think? Anyway, here are some puppies from previous litters of the current pairing. Irresistible!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Why another lab? Part 3

As if there needs to be another reason - here is a very adorable one! This is a picture of a sweet puppy from one of our breeder's previous litters - from the same parents that have been bred for "our" litter, which will produce our puppy in the next month! Get ready to say "oh!" And like Mary Schmich, a Chicago Tribune columnist has said, "There are people who love dogs, and then there are people with no souls." That may be a little bit extreme - but who could resist this adorable bundle of yellow fluff?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good music is timeless!

When people ask me "what is my favorite kind of music", that is a very difficult question! There used to be a great radio program called "Adventures in Good Music", I think, and it was hosted by a lovely gentleman named Karl Haas. He once said "I could never be a critic, because I love everything!". I also love many kinds of music. There is a wonderful, old clip of Peter, Paul, and Mary, singing one of Paul (Stookey)'s songs, "Early in the Morning". Just go to youtube, and type in Peter, Paul, and Mary, Early in the Morning (I tried to give you the link, but blogger wouldn't let me - sorry!). Enjoy!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Why another lab? (Part 2)

We could use help with the dishes.

Why another lab?

The first and only dog I have ever owned was Maggie, our yellow lab. She was a really nice girl, a friend to all, and an enemy to none. She was very tolerant, as shown in the adorable photo below of my younger daughter, Hannah, about 6 in the picture (she's now 20!). Mags loved to look out the front screen door, surveying the world.

Maggie had been chasing tennis balls in heaven for about 5 or 6 months now.We have reserved another female lab from a very nice breeder, here in Illinois, and should have our puppy in time for a very special Christmas. I'll keep you posted on the puppy's progress, as I get news on the breeder's website!

So - why another lab? Or, why get another dog at all? Because having a dog is better than not having a dog, and having a yellow lab was great. That's why

Hannah and Maggie

Friday, September 17, 2010

Who knew?

I just read that September is NaBloPoMo - which is short for National Blog Posting Month. You are supposed to post every day for a month. Well, I'm getting a veeeeeeery late start on the month, but today makes two days in a row! Which is extremely good for me!

My usual excuse for not posting every day, or at least very often (and I have many excuses) is that I can't upload photos at work, which is where I tend to do most of my computer work, including my postings. So. I need to learn better how to upload my photos myself (without my daughter or best techie friend), and also maybe I should be posting at home, at a regular time each day. We'll see about that!

I have been thinking about all of my mentors over the years - all of those women who have guided me along the way, teaching me intentionally, or just simply by their good examples - they're like my oracles. Yesterday, I shared some beautiful advice from my wonderful Aunt Phyllis with a friend. She deserves another posting all of her own (note to self!). She always said, regarding kids and schoolwork, that all of the "other stuff" - like sports, and plays, and music, and friends, and jobs - was just as important, and that it's all a part of growing up. Which is so true! Phyllis is gone now, but her wisdom lives on, and continues to inspire me.

Here is one of my present-day mentors: my awesome SIL (sister-in-law), Jean. This is her latest profile picture, don't you just love it? It really captures her who-cares-live-life-right-now-with-gusto kind of spirit. She is one of the smartest, funniest, craziest, caringest (so what if it's not a word) people that I know. I like to think of her as my sister, and I am happy also that she is my friend. She is awesome!

Once, while visiting our house, my daughter's friend stopped by to visit. Little did he know that he would be encountering Aunt Jean! She started quizzing him about his earring...and the next time he stopped by, he wasn't wearing it! I guess you had to be there, but we still talk and laugh about it, and it was probably almost 10 years ago!

Here's to you, Jean!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Inconceivable! That not only did this wonderful man agree to marry me, but also that he had stuck around for 32 years! He is the sweetest, kindest, most patient man in the world.
Inconceivable! That I have two daughters who are 20 and 24 years old! I love them both with the fierce love of a mama bear, and I am so proud of them that I can hardly stand it.

Inconceivable - that today, I have been married for 32 years! How on earth did that happen? On the one hand, it seems so long ago, and yet also just like it was yesterday, the day of our wedding. A beautiful, warm fall day in Minnesota, surrounded by family and friends, a most special day. Thank you, Scott, for being there for me that day and for every day since then. You are my rock and my life.

Best Day Ever!

What a joyous day! Our sweet daughter, Hannah, and Danny Prindle were married on Saturday, May 26! It truly was the BEST DAY EVER!  H...