Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Back Home

How good it is to be home. We spent most of yesterday driving home from Louisiana. Marion, Michael and I arrived home about 7:00.  Our oldest son was not able to travel with us. He had bar-b-que chicken wings and fries waiting for us when we drove in the drive-way. 

Today, I've spent most of the time dealing with clutter. We still had remainders from opening presents in our family room Christmas morning. There was luggage to unpack. Clothes to wash, dry and fold.  I've begun collecting some of the Christmas decorations, but will probably wait until this weekend to put it all away. Rusty needed lots of cuddle time. We (Rusty and I) took an extra long nap. That should hold us over until bedtime. 

This was a difficult trip.  My Dad is in an assisted living in our hometown. He is having health problems, physical and mental. He sleeps lots. I did sit with him in his apartment most of the time that we were there. Marion and Michael ran errands. We picked up meals and ate it with him. It is a blessing that he doesn't realize that things are not good. 

 I did get to work on a wool applique project while visiting Dad. It is one of our Sisters projects, Antique Pomegranates. This is my first wool applique project. Looking at my work, you can see some improvement from one  section to the other. In fact, I made sure I didn't work from left to right on the project so that my work would be a bit even. I'm really liking this project. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Done - Finally!

The  cookies and banana nut bread have been baked. All the packages are wrapped and under the Christmas tree (oh why do I wait so late?) We even did some house cleaning. I dusted. You would think for someone who is allergic to dust and dust mites that I might get to this more often. The thing about dusting every 3 months is that you can really tell the difference :)

The last quilt is finally completed. I just finished the last stitch to the Sassy Sixteen quilt for my godchild/niece who turned 16 this year. We will see her on Saturday. She lives in Baton Rouge.We leave on Friday to drive to Louisiana to visit my Dad and my husband's mother. They are both living in assisted living communities. This past year has been difficult for both of them. It's rather depressing, but we are blessed to still have them with us.

Please say a prayer for  Marion's nephew's family. His wife is pregnant with their first child. She was hospitalized yesterday. The baby is about 32 weeks. They are in California and on their own. The baby is a girl - Baby Kate. As much as we are anxious for her arrival, we would love for her to wait a bit.

Merry, Merry Christmas, dear friends!!! May this be a special time for you and your family.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Our Family Tradition

The first Christmas that we were married I found a French Market Bean Soup recipe in Southern Living Magazine. My husband and I went to the grocery store and purchased 20 pounds of dried beans. We mixed the beans, bagged them in ziplock bags, reproduced the recipe and gave them to coworkers and friends for Christmas gifts. That was 21 years ago. Over the years Marion, my husband,  has revised the recipe, we've added lots of beans to the mix. This year we mixed the beans in one of our rolling ice chests. Seems there were over 50 pounds of beans. We all have our roles in the production line. Marion buys the beans. Michael, our son and I take them out of the plastic bags. Michael mixes them in the ice chest. I purchase Christmas stationary and make copies of the revised recipe. Michael and Marion bag the mix. Over the years we've also begun making a Cajun Spice to use with the recipe. It's one Marion revised from one of Emeril Lagase's cookbooks. The real secret with the spice mix is to purchase fresh spices from one of the international markets. While I can't send the bean mix to you my blogging friends, I can give you the recipe. It works with any mixture of dried beans, about 2 cups worth. I especially love the colors of the cranberry, pinto, black, and red beans.



1 bag Bean Mix (2 cups of dried beans)

1 pound sausage (sliced) or ham (cubed)

1 onion chopped

½ bell pepper chopped

2 stalks celery chopped

3 cloves garlic crushed

1 can Rotel tomatoes (in the canned vegetable section)

2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, such as Tony’s Chachere’s    Cajun Seasoning

Hot sauce to taste

Green onions and/or parsley


Wash beans thoroughly.  Place beans in large Dutch oven and cover with water 2 inches above beans.  Soak overnight.  Drain beans and set aside in a bowl.  Sauté sausage or ham until brown, add onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for 10 minutes in the Dutch oven.  Add beans, tomatoes and seasoning and cover with fresh water (2 inches above beans).  Cook on low to medium-low heat for 1-2 hours or until beans are tender.  Serve over rice.  Garnish with green onions and/or parsley.


Note:  You may add more water during the cooking and serve as a bean soup.



Monday, December 22, 2008

A Holiday Treat!

I'm still not believing this. Today, I met one of my all-time favorite authors, Jan Karon. I had no idea that she was visiting Atlanta.  Yesterday afternoon while reading the AJC (Atlanta Journal & Constitution) I saw a note under Literacy Activities that Jan Karon would be at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore on Peachtree (about 30 miles from my home). I had a dilemna. I had a dental appointment scheduled for the same time as her visit, but I really, really love her books especially the Mitford series. My friend Kathy (of the quilted tote bag) is also a big Mitford fan. She calls us Mitford nerds. I gave Kathy a call. It didn't take any convincing for her to also drop her to-do list and head to Buckhead with me. I called the dentist this morning and rescheduled my cleaning. 

We arrived about an hour before the event. We were afraid there would be a line. Well, I guess everyone else was shopping because there were only a handful of die-hard fans there. We had plenty of time to chat with Ms. Karon. She is a delightful, gracious lady. She autographed our copies of Shepherd's Abiding (the Mitford Christmas book) even though she normally doesn't autograph at her book tours because of problems with carpal tunnel syndrome. The first photo is me with Ms. Karon (I wore my Christmas vest with snowmen like The Mitford Snowmen book) She is currently working on the second book in the Fr. Tim series. It will be set in Ireland. She told us the working title, but of course I don't remember it.

The second shot includes my friend Kathy. Ms. Karon's sister Brenda Furman lives in Atlanta. She compiled The Mitford Bedside Companion. Last night at her house, they read The Cajun Night Before Christmas. Well, both Kathy and I are Cajuns and read that to our students. Kathy even dresses as an old Cajun woman to read to students at her school. Ms. Karon and her sister convinced Kathy to read it aloud to them with her Cajun accent. Brenda had Kathy sign her copy. How much fun! This was truly a special time for me. A wonderful holiday memory! 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Two down, one more to go....

I've been hand-sewing the binding on this quilt for months. I did a couple of inches every weekend watching football games. Guess I made the stitches too small. Anyway... this one is completed. It's for my husband's sister. We will spend Christmas day with them. I'll give it to her then.   I love this quilt. It's hard giving this one away. Of course, I do have enough fabric left-over to make one for me.The pattern is from McCall's Quilting magazine June 2005. The original quilt name is Star Light. My regular quilt holder is still sleeping. Rusty said, me hold the quilt? 

I need to machine sew the binding on my neice's quilt. My work was so poor yesterday morning that I put it aside. Decided I'd better wait until later today so I would do a better job. 

The tote bag pattern is a design by Penny Sturges. It is called Charm Party Tote. I gave it to Kathy last night. She was speechless for a little bit. That's always a good sign :)  

One down, two more to go...

Christmas gifts to finish, that is.  I'm just plain disorganized this Christmas. I can't seem to get motivated about the holidays.  This tote bag is for my dear friend Kathy,  who values homemade presents. I used a charm pack from the Peace On Earth fabric line by Moda. The lining is yardage from my stash. I think it's Chocolat by Moda.  The bag had to be finished and wrapped for tonight. Completed. Done. Check another one off.  

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Internet Shopping Suggestions

It just doesn't look like I can be coaxed into the stores to go shopping this year. Friday, I made a quick trip to Joanne's (or the J-store as Gretchen calls it) and Target. I quickly picked up the items on my list and headed home. This was a good thing in one way, but a bad thing in another. I'm not getting my shopping done. I came home and placed an order on and One site that I like lots (I'm working on an order for this site) is   They have remainders or overstocks from publishers. It's a good place to look for books at a reduced price. Anyone have any suggestions of good website to do my holiday shopping? I have lots of adult males to buy gifts for. Any ideas? I seem to buy the same items each year. Please send suggestions!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Left-Overs, Cajun Style

Our Cajun version of left-over turkey was absolutely perfect for today. It has been gray and rainy all day today (thankfully, we need rain so very badly here in Georgia)  My husband took the turkey carcus and made Gumbo, Turkey gumbo that is. It was absolutely delicious! It will be even better tomorrow. 

Making Some Progress

I completed another quilt top!!!!  For the past year, I've thought that I would like to do the Sassy Sixteen pattern by Divine Inspirations for my niece who turned sixteen last December. I had new fabric Moda's Maypole by April Cornell that would match her bedroom. Did I begin the quilt last Winter? Of course not. Yesterday and today, I pushed with my sewing to get the top complete. I pinned the rows while watching football games with my husband (we are on football overload this weekend). The top is completed and the backing is stitched. I called my favorite long-arm quilter, P.J. and thankfully she will have it quilted for me to get to my niece for Christmas/her birthday. The Sassy Sixteen pattern takes 16 fat quarters which is neat because M.K. is 16. But with the binding, I actually used 17 fabrics. Not to worry! She will turn 17 on December 30th. 

Quilting Fiction - A New One

Marie Bostwick has a winner in her new book, A Single Thread. This title is not a murder mystery like the ones by Terri Thayer. It is a contemporary fiction book with interesting characters - characters who grow through the difficulties life has presented to them. I was pleased to read in the author's note at the end, that the she is considering additional books  set in this quilting community of New Bern.  Ms. Bostwick also has a website with forums and Registered Reading Friends. Check it out at

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Quilting Fiction Books

The past couple of weeks I've read some new quilting mysteries. I first heard about author Terri Thayer from Annie Smith's podcast Annie's Quilting Stash. Annie interviewed the author.  I was intrigued after listening to the interview and wanted to read her books. Wild Goose Chase is set at a major quilt show. I liked the second book Old Maid's Puzzle  a bit better than the first. The characters are beginning to develop and form. I had the same feeling with this series that I do in Earlene Fowler's Benni Harper quilt book series. I don't always like the characters or their choices, but I seem to always read the next one when it comes out.

I did enjoy Lover's Knot by Clare O'Donohue (A Someday Quilts Mystery). I have not idea how I found out about this book. I evidently requested it from the library. I don't remember doing that either  and was surprised when I received notification that it was being held for me.  This is another "who-done-it"  mystery. Good escape from reality reading. 

In all three books, the friendships that develop among quilters was a theme. That is definitely true to life and not fiction. Enjoy! Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A New Project

I haven't started a new project in several months. I worked a bit on one of the T-shirt quilts this past week, but today I felt like working on something new. I've wanted to work on a quilt for my godchild. Possibly, I can finish it for the holidays. She turned sixteen this year so I thought the Sassy Sixteen quilt would be appropriate. I have a fat quarter bundle of April Cornell's Maypole fabric line. The colors are wonderful. This morning I was able to cut out the quilt. I even began sewing the blocks. It just felt good to work on whatever I felt like sewing. This afternoon and evening, I worked on hand sewing binding while watching football. I still have three quilts that need the handwork on the binding finished. One is our Christmas quilt. One is a Christmas gift. The last one is possibly for a nephew's new baby.

A new quilt magazine arrived in the mail today. I love quilting magazines. I'm heading upstairs to bed to savor this issue of Quilter's Home. 

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Stash Enhancement

It was so much fun!!! Adding fabric to my stash and another project to my list. Yes, I'm headed in the wrong direction, but.... I was helping a friend. That sounds like a good one doesn't it :)  A quilting friend is downsizing her stash. She had a wonderful garage sale on Friday. Actually, this is her second sale. She also had a table at the guild sale in July. Yes, I must confess. I attended all three sales. I couldn't attend the last couple of sales at Sweet Home (I hated missing the last Freaky Friday this weekend ) so this is my consolation prize. I purchased some yardage for backs. The lime green flannel will be cozy on the back of a project. I've been thinking of doing a red and white project. I've resisted in the past,

 but the kit with backing and pattern was too much for me. The pattern is from a American Patchwork & Quilting Calendar from 2004. I actually have the calendar with the directions. But this one is not the only red and white kit that spoke to me. Brenda who blogs as the Quilting Cowgirl met me at the sale. There was another kit with red and neutral fabrics that we both liked. There was fabric for two lap quilts. We purchased this  kit and will split it. It will be fun to work on it together. 

My sewing room has been a wreck. I've not put away projects or newly aquired fabric. Yesterday, I realized that because my room was such a mess I was reluctant to sew. This afternoon I made some progress. I put all the projects and fabric on my sewing table away. I put books and magazines back on the shelf. Much better!!!  I did spend a couple of hours working on one of the T-shirt quilts for this year. I ironed the stablizer on the back of the shirts and then trimmed the shirts.  Next time, I'll begin sewing the frames around the T-shirts. The strips are cut and ready to be sewn. 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Getting Back to Normal

Today was an absolutely gorgeous Fall day here in Georgia. Our son is a senior in high school so we did another college visit. We drove about two hours to central Georgia to tour one of the colleges that he is interested in attending. The drive was beautiful. The leaves are finally beginning to look like Fall.  The college visit was a good one. Our son liked this school. He has already applied to his first choice, but needs a back-up plan just in case. The competition is rather fierce at his fist chocie, UGA in Athens.  I worked on binding for our Christmas quilt while we were driving. I love the handwork sewing down binding. This one is close to being finished. I also worked on it when we got home. My husband loves football especially college football. I put clothes washing and sat with him to watch the Georgia/Florida game. Since we are big LSU fans , it didn't matter to us which team won. LSU lost to both teams this year. Guess we would have liked  for both Georgia and Flordia to lose today, but.....   Anyway, I'm almost finished sewing binding on this quilt. That means we will have our first Christmas quilt this year!!! 

It's been nine weeks since my hip replacement surgery. I'm finally beginning to feel normal again. I always felt good, but thinking and doing complex things was a bit difficult. But that has past and I'm thankfully doing most everything. Since my energy level has improved, I'm hoping to do some sewing and blogging this week .

Take care! Hope to be back soon!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Favorite Halloween Costume

My quilting friend, Gretchen at Stella Bella Quilts is celebrating her birthday this Friday. To celebrate she is having a birthday give-away. Gretchen shared a picture of her favorite Halloween costume, ISIS,  from her childhood. We didn't have "real" costumes at my house growing-up. We also didn't have many photographs. My favorite costume was in 1991. My school celebrated by dressing as  book characters. Most of the staff dressed in white with black dots. We were "101 Dalmatians."  which was first a book before it was made into a movie.  My son, Michael, was born in 1991. For his first Halloween, he was a dalmatian, too. Here we are together for his first "Trick or Treat."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quilting At Mulberry

Well, I made it. I've been back at school/work for a week. It is wonderful to be back with our students and actually teaching. It's a bit of a stretch for me to teach several groups in a row, but I made it. Yesterday, one of our teachers of the gifted and talented students asked me to speak to her second graders on quilting. It was a blast! These seven year old boys and girls were "psyched about quilt blocks". They had chosen blocks from the endpages in The Quiltmaker's Gift. They made blocks with paper on graph paper and are doing research on their blocks. I did my class on comparing Quilting in the Past to Quilting today. I brought digital pictures to show them of old treadle machines, quilts, our Stitch-ins today, my computerized sewing machine and my sewing room. I brought my Featherweight so they could see a real sewing machine.  I brought a stack of quilts for them to look at and touch. They loved finding blocks they knew in the real quilts. I felt it was important for them to know that quilters read patterns to make quilts. It's important for us to follow directions. I brought a work in progress with the pattern so they could see I had directions for the blocks.  I dug through some of my scraps and strings. I left a bag of fabric scraps and batting for the students to "play with." Even if they just fondle the fabric and enjoy the colors it will be fun.

I always like to have a picture on a blog post. Of course, I didn't think to take a picture yesterday. Here is a picture of the quilt that I made for our school Media Center. The pattern is called Mulberry Bush which is fitting since our school is Mulberry Elementary.

I'm off to Athens, Georgia tomorrow for our State Media/Library Conference. It will be two wonderful days spent with many media specialists from my County and around the state of Georgia. Lots of books and good friends! Even a couple of quilting librarian friends like Brenda at Quilting Cowgirl and Kristie, M.S.Doolittle Quilter. I'll check back later in the weekend.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Elm Creek Quilts

A new book for the weekend! I just picked up the new title in the Elm Creek Quilt series The Quilter's Kitchen from my public library. I went back to work on Wednesday after being home for six weeks recuperating from my hip surgery. I paced myself Wednesday and Thursday, but today was "too much fun" and I'm beat. My husband just left for his weekly high school football game (one of his passions). I'm going to eat left-overs, then head upstairs to read Quilter's Kitchen. This is one of my favorite ways to begin the weekend. I'll report back later this weekend. Take care!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Quilt Projects

Most of my sewing this past month has been hand sewing quilt bindings. I have them stacked up like planes at the Atlanta airport. I finished two projects and am working on the third binding. I have four other quilted tops waiting. This is rather comforting to me. My husband LOVES football especially college football. I like to sew bindings when I watch TV with him. I try to watch one game a weekend so these will get done during this football season. Sunday, I spent an hour or so in my sewing room. Everything in there is like I left it in late July, even my calendar. I have two projects from the Sew-In on my cutting table. I have a charm pack with fusible interfacing ready for a tote bag, etc. etc. etc. Even though I have all these projects breathing down my neck, I think I'm going to sew some blocks for the Heartstrings Quilt Project. I have followed Mary's blog for several years. I've started some string blocks, but never finished them. I really like this charity. Donations are accepted in several ways - cut strings, blocks and/or pieced tops. I love sewing string blocks. I'm setting a goal to try and do several blocks each day for the next couple of days. Care to join me in sewing blocks to send to the Heartstrings Quilt Project?

Checking In

Hi Friends! So sorry for the long silence between blogs. I mentally composed several posts, but don't seem to have written them. Could be the "cognitive thinking" disruption from my pain meds :) I'm at about half-capacity, but doing really good. Tomorrow will be one month from my surgery. I'm beginning to do short excursions. I've been blessed to attend some neat quilting activities. Karin from Life in the Slow Lane provided transportation to a great quilter's garage sale. It was just great getting out of the house and visiting with quilting friends. Pat from Silver Thimble Talk visited with great pizza and new projects to bind. Gretchen from Stella Bella Quilts brought awesome muffins and "treats." Brenda from Quilting Cowgirl shared magazines and dinner plus a fun visit. Krisitie from Ms. Doolitte Quilter read my heart and mind and offered to take me to Sweet Home Quilt Company. I was a bit overwhelmed with the luscious fabrics Melisa has added to her shop, but was able to find some Portobello Market yardage to go with the Jelly Rolly gift from dear friends.

I've been doing some rereading of favorite books. When I had a definite date for my surgery, I began stock-piling some Emilie Richards books. I especially like the Shenandoah Album series. I had recently read Sister's Choice her newest book. I wanted to reread the first book with the main characters Kendra and Jamie. That's the book I took to the hospital. Lover's Knot was a perfect read. I actually read for about two hours when in the surgery waiting area. Because I knew the plot, I could just enjoy the read. I am about to finish Touching Stars. I think I enjoyed it even more the second time around.

I love books by author Rosamunde Pilcher. Winter Solistice is one of my favorite all-time books. I've even listened to it on CD a couple of times. I decided to search the Netflix database to see if any of the books have been made into movies. The Shell Seekers was rather short and did not do the book justice. September was super. It was made about ten years ago. It was a great old-time movie. I just watched Coming Home. It was awesome. It was pretty true to the book. Only a couple of changes. I thoroughly enjoyed these DVD's. Any suggestions for other movies like these?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Old friends .... New Friends

I'd like to introduce you to one of my "new best friends", my walker. I've been home from the hospital for a bit over a week. Adjusting to my new body part, my new right hip, has not been bad. The prescription medications are handling the pain (mainly from the incision and my right knee) My walker has made it possible for me to be mobile at home. I use it to go up and down the stairs (usually once a day). Don't you just love my husband's addition to my walker? He was so proud of himself. He definitely is an LSU fanatic. I have three "potty chairs" in important places in the house (thanks, Pat for sharing) The physical therapist/nurse visits me at home twice a week. Yesterday, she showed me how to use another new friend, "my cane." Using the cane will be a bit easier in the house especially around the furniture in our family room. Saturday, she removed the staples on the incision. That helped tremendously!!!

The support from "people friends" especially quilters has been fabulous. Thank you friends! I love each day when one of my sons brings the mail in the house. My mailbox has been filled with wonderful "get well" cards. I've received visits at the hospital (thanks, Paula, Nancy and Kathy), plants (hoping they survive) a prayer shawl from my cousin Peg in Houston, and delicious meals. My husband is the cook in the family. Adding my care to his duties has added stress for him. We were blessed that he was able to take eight days off of work and take care of me at home. It just helped not to worry about what to feed us. Poor dear! He even burned the chicken and "missed" on a pot of soup all in one day. He was a bit discouraged. So meals for the "disabled" has helped tremendously. My school friends paid for a lady to clean my house. Bless them! Having a clean house, has been a blessing and helped me relax.

Karen from
Life-In the Slow Lane and Cindy from Knapsack Quilts were my "babysitters" on Friday evening. My husband loves football, college and high school. Our high school team had a game on Friday evening. Karen and Cindy came to my house so that Marion could attend the game with his "buddies." It was wonderful to hear "quilty" talk. Patterns, fabric lines, "Bad Melisa" shopping trips, Moda fabric lines, jelly-rolls, Quilts, Quilts, Quilts, etc. Thanks Karen and Cindy!!!!!!

Perhaps, my most devoted friend has been my dachshund, Rusty or "Dr. Rusty". He has been constantly at my side providing warmth and companionship. I worried that he might trip me or jump on my incision. No problem! He has been a constant companion, a devoted friend.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Getting New Parts

I apologize for being such a poor blogger this past month. I've been battling problems with my right hip for the past couple of months. I met with the orthopedic guy again in July. At that point, he said it was time for "total hip replacement." The timing was terrible. When you work in public schools, you try to schedule these things during the Summer. This plan would not work for me. I decided to schedule my surgery for tomorrow August 27th. This would allow me to attend all the beginning of the year meetings and work with all our students for media center orientations.  I just did not anticipate how exhausting it would be trying to walk and do my work. But it's done! I took care of what I needed to at school. Now, I can take care of my hip. New body "Parts" can be a good thing. I'll be a slacker for a bit, but promise to rejoin the blogging community once this is over.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

And they do grow up......

My baby is growing up. He will be a Senior in high school this year. He's a big kid. He's 6' 2 and still growing. He wears a men's size 15 shoe (expensive and hard to find)  All these factors have been easy for me to see and accept. This past week's events have hammered home that my "baby" is a baby no more. 

Last week, he had his wisdom teeth extracted. The very same day he was offered his first "real" job. He has done lots of pet-sitting for neighbors and even worked at my school for my boss last Summer. This is a "real" job where he had to interview with several folks. Because his job is several miles away, we had to buy a car for him to go to and from work. Black shoes had to be ordered from Friday was his first day on the job. I had to stay close to home. Of course, I worried and worried and worried. He is so excited about this job at a video store. His passion is video games.

Last week, we did his first college visit. Michael was psyched. He thought the place was awesome. I was actually proud of my hubby. He was so grown up. As we were looking at the football complex at UGA and they were raving about the Gym Dogs, he managed to keep quiet. I was waiting for him to add "And who won the National Championship?"  For an serious LSU fanatic visiting another SEC school, my husband was quite the grown-up.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Twenty Wishes

Summer is the perfect time to escape into a book. One author that I enjoy is Debbie Macomber. She writes inspirational romances. I love lists. This book Twenty Wishes had a great appeal to me.I enjoyed the other books in The Blossom Street series. The story usually takes place in a book store, coffee shop, yarn store - all places that I love. The main characters grow. They make changes in their lives. That's my favorite type of book - one with great charcters. The main characters in Twenty Wishes are widows who meet after meeting in a book club. They challenge each other to work on a list of 20 things they always wanted to do but never did. They search to find things that will make them happy and fulfilled. 

I do know that the act of making a list of goals helps to make these goals begin to happen. I have started several lists - 30 People That I'd Like to Meet, Things I Want to do Once I Retire From Teaching, Things To Do Once We Are Empty Nesters- so it is natural that I would want to do a list of Twenty Wishes. I haven't listed all twenty. I'm still searching and thinking, but here is a start.

1. Spend a month at the beach (reminescent of A Gift From The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindburg)
2. Learn to knit socks
3. Travel to Australia
4. Take a cruise with my just my husband (we went on a cruise with our son and friends)
5. Go on a week long quilt retreat
6. Act as a foster home for rescued Dachshunds
7. Travel to New England in the Fall
8. Quilt on a long-arm machine
9. Stay in a bed and breakfast

I can just see my husband's face on some of these wishes. LOL

Start making your list. What are some of The Twenty  Wishes for your life? Please post on your blog or comment on my blog. 

Stimulating the Economy

My family has done our part in stimulating the economy. With any more effort, one of us will have to get a second  job. 

It began with our dishwasher. It was the original builder's grade dishwasher. A neighbor had one rust through the bottom and flood her wood floors. The rack on our DW was beginning to rust so we replaced it in early June.  Shortly after that main shaft on my computer chair cracked. This was followed by the paper-shredder and fax machine. The mircowave oven was next to decide that it's job was done.   

We began looking for an older car for our son. He has a job. (of course, he will pay a chunk of his earnings for insurance and gas expenses)  We visited a reputable dealer last weekend with the idea of an older car for our son or something else for me to drive with the price of gas and the distance that I now drive to my school. Well, we found two cars that met our needs. We traded in my beloved van and are the proud owners of a"gently used" Nissan Altima and a Kia Spectra. (It's too hot to go outside and take pictures. The ones I used are courtesy of Google Images, but look like our "new" cars.)

Ok. We're finished stimulating the economy. It's someone else's turn. Care to volunteer?

Back in the saddle Again......

Well, I hope this is true about my blog. It's just been a bit crazy here for the past two weeks. I'm missed you, my blog friends! Here's hoping that things have settled a bit.

Summer is coming to an end for me. Yes, I know it's still Summer on the calendar and hot as can be here in Atlanta, but the school bell rings for teachers in my county this Monday morning. I'm rested. I've played. I've sewed lots. I've spent wonderful time with other quilters.  I'm missing the people that I work with, but more so I'm missing our kids. our students. It will be wonderful to interact with them again. Come Monday morning, it will be like hitting a brick wall. Back to the alarm at 5:00 a.m. and non-stop all day long. C'est la vie!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

T-Shirt Quilts

Our youngest  son will be a Senior in High School this year.  T-Shirt quilts are quite popular here at high school graduation time. I've saved his favorite T-shrits since he was in kindergarten. Sunday, I pulled all the t-shirts out of their hiding place. I had Michael go through the shirts to begin choosing the ones that will be in his quilt. He found it hard to believe that he actually wore some of those tiny shirts. We smiled at the Rugrats shirt with Tommy and Dil. Harrry Potter, The Ninja Turtles, and lots of videogame shirt were chosen for his quilt. Now, you might think I'm starting this a bit early. Michael's quilt is not the only one that I need to make this year. I have three to make before the end of May. Friday, I took him to Intown Quilts to choose background and border fabric. He wanted really "bland" fabric, but I think what we choose will work great. He told me " that what seems like five minutes in a quilt shop for me is really a long time."   He brought his Ipod and was very patient :)

I also have to make a T-shirt quilt for a friend's daughter. I had her do some of the cutting of the T-shirt. We've chosen fabric for her quilt. Her T-shirts are a bit boring so  we chose bright fabric, blacks, pinks and greens. 

The third quilt is for a teen who is a gymnist. She wants to use her competition leotards. That should be interesting and different.

This is the first T-shirt quilt that I made. It was made  for my previous elementary school. I collected T-shirts from the years that I was not at the school. The pattern designer Sharon Henderson taught a class at my LQS so I was blessed to have her quidance on this quilt. It remained at the school when I moved to my new school this past year. 

This quilt was made for my friend's son. He had almost too many t-shirts. He had some interesting shirts so it was fun to work on. 

French Exchange Student

My neighbor  Deb has an exchange student from France visiting with her family for the month of July. Deb's daughter had another commitment this morning so my son and I were asked to fill a couple of hours with Marine.  

Michael and I thought it would be fun to take Marine to eat a Southern Breakfast. We chose a small one-of-a-kind restaunt in our Old Town area. The restaurant is called The Blue Rooster. I had lunch there several times, but never had their breakfast. The place was packed with local folk. We had eggs, bacon, hash browns, biscuits (wonderful) and "grits." When you are in the South, you must try "grits." Marine was totally polite and cute about trying everything.

 Next, we took her to our local branch of the Public Library. She had read many popular Young Adult titles in English and was excited to see them on the library shelves. As a school librarian, I just had to talk books with her. On the spur of the moment, we decided to stop at a Garage Sale so she could have that experience too. Too bad, it was a dud sale. It was fun anyway.

 Afterwards we return to our house, Michael relished showing her his Ninetndo Wii. Ever the gentleman, he still beat her at Donkey Kong. Marine  asked to see my quilts and sewing room. What a precious girl:)  She "ooed" and "ahhed" at all the right places. 

Definitely a fun educational morning for all of us!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Home Again

I can't believe that we've been home a week from our grueling trip to Louisiana. It just wasn't a Fun trip.  Dad and my MIL are each  in an assisted living home in different parts of South Louisiana. They have very limited mobility. Each has some ageing issues. It's so hard seeing our parents so alone. They want to stay in Louisiana, but there is so little family/friends around for them. I know our trip did them some good. Wish it wasn't so far to visit.

I had Homework when I returned home that I needed to do. Yes, teacher/librarians have homework in the Summer. I am scheduled for a "professional learning" (new term for staff development ) class next week. I had to read 4 middle grade novels and write questions for each book. The questions are for our annual Reader's Rally held in early Winter. I had four wonderful books.

 My favorite was The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. It's actually a fantasty/adventure series. Once our class meets, I'd like to read the others in the series. Percy Jackson discovers that his father is a Greek god. The human portrayls of the classic Greek gods was amusing. I loved that Area, god of war, was a biker on a Harley motorcycle. My favorite was probably Poseidon as a beach bum. My fourth and fifth graders who love fantasy will like this title.  I also enjoyed The Amazing Flight of Darius Frobisher.  I loved all the bicycles in this book.  

My son swims in a Summer swim league. The past two days we've been involved in swim meets. We've had wonderful thunderstorms to help our drought, but the storms made swimming difficult. It's made for lots of wet towels and laundry, packing ice chests with drinks and meals. Finally, the folks in charge had to call the  event off. Our event was at another neighborhood pool. It happened to be in the neighborhood that my principal, my boss, lives. I am so blessed to have this woman for a "boss" - for a friend. She spent a couple of hours with me in my car while we wait for the thunderstorms to end. 

We changed cell phone providers this week. Thankfully, we have a teenage computer geek at home. He is helping us "learn" our new phones. I think I can check for messages:)  It's been fun choosing new ring tones. I chose "Summon the Heroes" for my main ringtone. Of course, I've missed more calls because I can't remember that means to answer the telephone. We found a sound bite with the LSU Fight Song for my husband. My son, the passionate videogamer, is using snippets from his favorite videogame. Fun:)

After "lots of togetherness" on our trip, in the hotel, in the car, I jumped at the chance to attend a quilting class on Saturday. My hubby seem glad to have me gone, too.  Melisa, at Sweet Home, had a Stash Class. She provided the stash and taught us a new technique. It was sanity for me. It doesn't matter if I ever finish these blocks. It was fun being in a different quilting classroom. I met some new ladies. I was even pretty restrained around all the luscious fabrics. I do hear that she has the new Portugal line by April Cornel. Oh no.....  I still haven't use the Maypole fat quarters that I purchased at Quilt Market.

Friday, June 27, 2008

On the Road .....

I've completed my to do list for today. We leave early in the morning for Louisiana to visit my MIL for a couple of days then visit my Dad for a day or two. Both of our parents are in assisted living facilities so we having to do the hotel and restaurant bit for the entire trip. In fact the only hotel in Central Louisiana where my MIL is living is in a  Casino. It's weird having to walk through the area with the slot machines to get to the hotel lobby. Since it is Louisiana, we are guaranteed to have great food the entire trip. We are hoping to have a good visit, but both our parents are having some "ageing" issues. I have binding to sew, stitchery prepared, books, magazines, and books on my Ipod for the LONG drive. It's an 11 or 12 hour drive from Atlanta.

I didn't get much sewing done this week, but I had lots of quilt ystimulation. I visited Sweet Home Quilt shop with my friend Brenda on Monday. Tuesday, I was able to attend the Gwinnett  Guild meeting (since I'm home for the Summer)  Visited with many wonderful friends. Thursday, I shopped at Intown Quilters with a friend looking for fabric for her daughtter's T-shirt quilt.  I just looked. I actually didn't purchase anything.

I did finish two projects last weekend. I completed the quilt top of the neutral quilt for my SIL for Christmas. I have to piece the back, then it's ready for quilting. I just love this quilt. It will look even better quilted.

I pulled an old UFO out of a bin. I worked on my Good to Go bag last Friday at Sisters. It's string pieced. I used Chelsea Lane fabric by Pat Sloan. I just love the autumn colors in this bag. The bag is a design by my friend Pat of  Silver Thimble Quilt Company.       I even used it a couple of times this week. That's another project off my extensive UFO list. DONE!

I'll have limited internet access until we return home next Wednesday. Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

And The Winner Is.....

Sorry about the delay in my birthday give-away drawing. It's just been "crazy" busy here. In addition to a hectic schedule, we've had some computer issues. 

I put everyone's entries on a slip of paper. Put the
 paper in a bowl. I attempted to have Rusy, our Dachshund, do the honors, but he was more interested in the "
treat" I hid in the bowl. Finally, my son did the honors. Sue R. from North Winds Quilting in Maine is the winner. Sue, please send me your address. I'll get the package in the mail.

Thanks to everyone who helped me celebrate my birthday! I loved visiting your blogs. I loved seeing which quilting book/magazine/quilters that you chose for your favorite.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sharing Favorite Quilt Books

It has been great fun reading the comments and checking blogs to discover the favorite quilting books of blogging friends. 

Pat at the blog Bell Creek Quilts e-mailed me to see if it was ok to post favorite quilt patterns. This drawing is  all about sharing our love of quilting so I said sure. Pat posted pictures of several quilts she had made from Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville website and Mary Johnson's Mary Quilts website. Pat's post is a great tribute to these two incredibly generous quilters. I have "religiously" followed their blogs for a number of years. Bonnie's blog is Quiltville's Quips & Snips . Mary's blog is Making Scrap Quilts from Stash. Great blogs! Great quilts.

Maggie's favortie book is Garden Party by Cynthis Tomazewaki. It is one for applique lovers especially lovers of flowers.

Sue R. at North Winds Quilting (also owned by a dachshund) chose Jinny Beyer's Color Confidence for Quilters as her favorite. She has a picture of a fabulous quilt she made from the book.

Julia shared the same title as Lori in South Dakota. Her favorite is Big Book of Best-Loved Quilt Patterns.

Margo at Heart in His Hand Quilting  selected Freddie Moran and Gwen Marston's book Collaborative Quilting as her favorite. Her quilt Colorful Waves is from this book.

Sewinsharon's favorite is Charm Quilts With Style by Bobbie Aug and Sharon Newman.

Mary at My Needle and Thread by Mary posted a fabulous snowman quilt Sampling of Snowmen from her favorite book Winter Whimsies by Suellen Wassem. 

Laura at Pine Ridge Quilter  chose Liberated String Quilts (one I actually own) by Gwen Marston. Her quilt from that book is awesome.

Quiltma has two favorites, I Can't Believe I'm Quilting and Quick Quilt Tricks by Billie Lauder.

Brenda, ( who helped me spend some of my birthday $$$$ this morning at Sweet Home),   "The Quilting Cowgirl" listed two favorite quilt books. Stack A New Deal by Karla Alexander and Creative Quilt Collection Volume 1 from That Patchwork Place. Brenda's quilt from Stack A New Deal was a fantastic gift.

I have started a list of all these titles. I have several to search for and possibly add to my quilting library. Thanks ladies for helping me celebrate my birthday. It's been a great two days actually. Hate to limit the celebrating to just one day:)

There is still time to get your name included in the drawing. We will pull the winning name sometime later tomorrow. I did pick up a new charm pack from Sweet Home this morning. I love anything and everything by Three Sisters. This one is Shangri-La. I'm having trouble parting with it.