Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Debbie Macomber Books

Today is the day! The tenth book in Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Series, 1022 Evergreen Place  was released for sale. I picked up my copy this afternoon at Publix, my local grocery store.  Debbie Macomber is one of my favorite authors. I look forward to her new releases. I even mark the date on my calendar. (I know,  pretty lame)  Two years ago, when I had my hip replacement surgery,  8 Sandpiper Way ( book number 8 in the series) was released the day before my surgery. It was a great comfort book. I read in the surgical pre-opt room an hour before surgery and in the hospital room after surgery. I could only read a page or two at a time (pain meds:) but it was the perfect book to help take my mind off the whole hospital experience.
Last November (I told you I had lots of pictures and activities I still hadn't included in my blog) Debbie was at the Georgia Center for the Book in Decatur, Georgia. Her second non-fiction book, One Simple Act: Discovering the Power of Generosity had just been released. Debbie was on a country-wide tour promoting her new book. Some people have a list of places that they would like to travel. Instead of places, I have a list of people that I would like to meet. Debbie Macomber was on my list. She has been in the Atlanta area before. This is the first time that "the stars aligned" and I was able to attend her speech and book signing. Some authors are fabulous on the written page, but not as a speaker. Debbie was an entertaining speaker as well as author. She shared stories about her journey as an author as well as personal stories in her life. Her first non-fiction book   Knit Together: Discover God's Pattern For Your Life contains some of these experiences that she shared with us. 
After her talk, Debbie autographed any and all books that we had with us. I was able to purchase a couple of her books for my MIL for Christmas gifts. 
Getting to meet and talk with Debbie was an awesome event for me. 
My dear friend Kathy (also from Louisiana) joined me in this wonderful experience. Her gift to me last Christmas was Debbie'st One Simple Act also autographed. Debbie's website  has a list of all her books and all herseries. She also has a blog. Today I received an e-mail message about a free IPhone/ITouch app (search Debbie Macomber on ITunes)  I downloaded the app on my ITouch. It's fun and informative. It  also contains the first chapter of 1022 Evergreen Place In November, Debbie's newest nonfiction book God's Guest List  will be released.

Can't wait until reading time this evening. I'm ready to read and savor 1022 Evergreen Place.


"Treat."   Rusty here. That Mom doesn't she know that this is not "Treat."

This is "Treat." and Daddy is the one who gives me two treats after they sit at that place and  eat.

Alright. I'll make Mom happy and eat a piece. Hmmm. Ginger snaps. I love Ginger Snaps.
What's that you say? Happy Birthday!  Oh, Mom, can't you get it right. Yesterday was my birthday. Yea, I know I'm now  8 years old (56 in human years. I'm trying to hide the fur that's coming out in a lighter color)

Oh no! Not Blackie again. Blackie likes to get in "MY PLACE."

Much better! That's MY PLACE, Mom's Lap. I was here first Blackie :)

Happy Birthday, one day late, to our dear Rusty! You've made us laugh. You have us enslaved. Enjoy your birthday treat, your favorite Gingersnap cookies.

Mom, Dad and Michael

Friday, August 27, 2010

Small Projects

For someone who is retired, I seem to have very little time to actually sew or putter in my sewing room. Today, I tried to steal some minutes here and there to sew something. I had a small gifty project that I've been wanting to try. My SIL makes  burp cloths for newborns out of cloth diapers and fabric. My cousin Peg was blessed this month with her first grandchild. I thought it would be fun to try and do some of these burp cloths for her new grandson. I dug through my novelty fabrics. Some of the prints I choose to use for the burp cloths were some of the oldest fabrics in my stash (Yahoo!) 

I purchased a package of cloth diapers from Walmart, then  washed and dried them. Before sewing the fabric, I ironed the diapers. 

The novelty print fabric was turned under on the raw edges, then topstitched along the sides and bottom to secure it to the diaper. Flannel is especially good to use as well as soft cotton prints. I used the scrap pieces that I had, but tried to make sure there was the same amount of diaper showing on the left and right sides.

I was happy to use some of the truck fabric I purchased for Michael (age 19) when he was a toddler, some frog prints, and especially some dog prints. My cousin Peg is a true dog lover. She has several golden retrievers. Her son has exquisite taste in dogs; he has a daschshund like my Rusty. His doxie is called "Gizmo."

I think the above print with Einstein the doxie is a perfect fix for "these boys."
This is my favorite picture of the newest member of the family with his "big brother, Gizmo."

Book Winner

The winner of the Robyn Carr book Summer in Sonoma is Mary at Quilt Hollow. Congratulations, Mary! Thanks for sending your address. I'll get the book in the mail. Enjoy:)

This was fun. I'll definitely do another book giveaway. Have to finish the book first:)

Have a great weekend friends!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

GO Give-Away Mania

I confess. I'm LUSTING for a GO! fabric cutter. All over the blogosphere, bloggers are posting photos of their new GO! cutters and the quilts they are making with their new cutting tool. In our elementary schools, we had a similar machine that teachers used to cut paper letters and shapes for their classrooms. Guess who was in charge of ordering the new dies and servicing the machine? (Media staff:)

 Several weeks ago at our week long stitch-in, Jane brought her big Accuquilt studio fabric cutter for us to use.

Jane gave us a demonstration on how to work the machine (easy, peasy) and we began cutting:)
It was super easy and fun to take fabric left-over from other projects and cut my own 2 and 1/2 inch strips for "jelly rolls" using my fabric stash. 

Gingham Rose (love that fabric) and Chelsea Lane (Pat Sloan design by P & B Fabrics) strips

are now cut and ready to GO! for a new project.

I'd love to have my own Go! I'd love to get the rag quilt die to cut flannel and batting for our guild charity quilts. There are several blogs that are giving away a Go! It seems daily a new give-away is popping up.  I know. This is hard to believe. Visit these blogs, tell them I sent you and enter to win!

Quilt Hollow  until Thursday, August 26th. Mary has a great blog. It's one that I read regularly.

Sweet P Quilting until Tuesday, August 31st

Freckled Whimsy until Friday August 27th at 9 pm central time.

Jackie at Canton Village Quiltworks (great blog, webstore, and podcasts) through midnight Eastern Time on Thursday,  August 26.

I'll update other give-aways as I find them on the side-bar of my blog. Good luck, friends!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Zip Code Changes

Gratefully, not DH and me, but members of our family have had lots of moving these past couple of weeks. DH's mom turned 90 in June.

 For the past twenty something years, her two children and her five grandsons have lived in the metro Atlanta area. It's over 600 miles one way to the area she lived in Louisiana (central LA). This past year has been one with  some health issues for her. At the beginning of July, we asked her to consider moving  to the Atlanta area so that we could spend more time with her and provide help when she needed. With great courage, she agreed to make the move. She had always lived in that area of Louisiana. We are so grateful that she agreed to make her home in Georgia. We spent a couple of weeks looking at assisted living facilities.

 The facility we decided on is about five miles from our home. DH's sister and her family live about 30 miles away.  For years my two brothers and their wives have provided care for my Dad. Living  600 miles away, I was lucky to visit several times a year. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to help with my MIL's care. She is mentally sharp, but has mobility problems. Please say a small prayer that she will adjust to her new living conditions. It is good for the family to have her here near us.

On Saturday, it was time again to move our dear son back to college. He is beginning his second year of studies, but has changed universities. He has decided to attend Georgia State University in downtown Atlanta. Yes, DOWNTOWN. You can imagine the discussions at our home when he announced that he wanted to rent an apartment with a buddy from high school instead of living in the dorm. After visiting the apartment complex, I relaxed some. He had a terrible roommate situation last year. We want him to be successful. All summer we have been collecting unwanted furniture and household goods. (Thanks Pat and Kristie for your donations) With 3 pickup trucks and 4 cars, we managed to move them into their new "digs." All this "moving" is plain hard work!  Please keep our son in your prayers. Moms worry.
(Keenan and Michael signing their apartment lease)
One of many trips to Walmart and grocery stores.
"Essential" college study aids:)
All settled in and ready to "study." His quilt (Blueberry Pie in Simply Indigo fabric by Kansas Troubles) is attending college, too:)

I wish we could say that we are finished with all the moving. Dad is in an assisted living facility in Baton Rouge. In spite of his insistence that he purchased the place (he has been diagnosed with dementia), it's been suggested that we look for a new place that provides more "assistance." We are in the research stage. Again, it's difficult because all three of us (my two brothers and me) are involved in getting our children off to college. It's the decision-making that is so difficult. We only want what is best for Dad. It's just so hard to know what that is.

Thanks for listening!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


The CELEBRATION began with the arrival of this quilting magazine in mailboxes and newsstands.

Our quilting teacher/mentor/friend Pat Wys of Silver Thimble Quilt Company designed the project Gathering Baskets in the Sept./Oct. 2010 issue of McCall's Quilting.
Yahoo!!!!  At one of our "Musketeer Sewing Sessions", Pat worked on this project to submit to McCall's Magazine. We'll been waiting for monthS to actually see the quilt "in PRINT." On Saturday, August 7th, Mita owner of Patchwork Cottage Quilt Shop hosted a party to help in the celebration of this event.

And gather and celebrate, we did. 
Pat and Karin 
Pat and Marty
Pat and Suzanne (long-time BFF)
Me and Pat and "The" Magazine
"The" Quilt of Honor

Sarah getting her magazine signed.
Gathering Baskets in different fabrics.

Thank you, Mita for hosting this Celebration!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quilt Along and a Give-away

Christina from the blog A Few Scraps is hosting a quilt-along. This quilt-along is not about piecing blocks. It's to help us piecers became better machine quilters. The quilt along will begin this weekend. Visit her blog and learn more about this super blog event. Enter her give-away while visiting her blog :)

Book Give-away

This summer I discovered a new to me author, Robyn Carr. My friend Brenda lent me the first book of the Virgin River series. It had the charm of Debbie Macomber books and Jan Karon books. I've spent the summer reading the entire Virgin River series, about 10 books. I've just started the second book in the Grace Valley series. Ms. Carr's books are a great summer read! Her books containe lots of characters. Characters who are forced to grow to achieve happiness.

In late July, DH and I made a long, quick road trip to Louisiana and back. The book that I brought with me to read in the car was not holding my attention. It was one that I had to read for my book club (Mennonite in a Little Black Dress). On one of our refueling for gas/bathroom breaks, I ran to the Walmart next door. I was frantic for something to help pass the endless hours in the car. I purchased Summer in Sonama by Robyn Carr. My problems were solved. I was totally immersed in the book and happily made it home.

Several bloggers are paying it forward and re-gifting books that they have won from other blogs. My problem is I haven't finished the books that I won. My solution is to share Summer in Sonoma.  Leave a comment on the post for a chance to win. I'll pull a name next Wednesday, August 25th. I'd love if you left me a title of a book that you enjoyed in the comments. I'm always on the look-out for something good to read:)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

First Days of Retirement

Monday was the first day of school in our school district. Retirement is beginning to seem real. The months of June and July have been incredibly busy here at our home. This week looks like life may slow down a bit. I received lots of advice of how to spend my first day the students report back to school. I've decided to incorporate many of those ideas into my week.
Many years ago, I was blessed to work at a school that became our first "school family." I was blessed with many, many wonderful friends. This school has an active group of employees who worked at the school and are now retired. I was fortunate they included me in their group. Monday, we met for breakfast at a local IHOP. It was fabulous to reconnect with these ladies. They were part of my support group when our son was born, when we lost my Mom to breast cancer, when we were building our family and careers. From left to right, Dottie (upper grade teacher) Dyanne (literacy coach), Evelyn (media specialist and ex-neighbor) me, Winnie Pat (paraprofessional) and Pam (school secretary). Plans are in the works to go on a "field trip" in October. What a blessing to reconnect with this group!

On Tuesday, the three of us who retired from Mulberry in May, met for lunch. It was fun to reconnect and update each other on our lives and school news. We plan to meet monthly and will include other friends who are now retired. The three of us retired from one school, but had all worked together in a previous school so we have lots of mutual friends. This photo is from the school retirement party in May. In the photo are Connie W. (assistant principal) Terri, retiree, me, Marian, retiree and Vivian, our beloved principal.

Anyone remember the cartoon "Bananas in Pajamas"? My Michael loved that program. We even have stuffed dolls in his childhood treasures box from those years. Today is "Pajama Day" at my house. Maybe, what I mean is today is my day to do whatever I want. I had one of my favorite breakfasts, whole wheat pancakes with honey and hot coffee. I'm watching the "Today Show." After I post this blog which I've wanted to do for days, I'm heated upstairs to my sewing room. Before I can even work on a sewing project, I'll have to declutter the place. I'm so looking forward to this. This afternoon I plan to watch "New Moon" from the Twilight books series. I have the DVD from Netflix. Neither my DH or DS are interested in watching it with me. I have a novel that I'd like to finish (Virgin River series by Robyn Carr) DH is out-of-town for the day. I can keep whatever schedule I want. Ah, Retirement is Good!

Monday, August 9, 2010

My "Pet" on My Quilt

The fun has begun! Sewcalgal's Pet's on Quilts Quilt Show has begun. Our Pet is Rusty, a short-haired miniature dachshund. He has me trained :) Rusty joined our family five years ago. He has added lots of laughter and affection to our home. Rusty believes that all things belong to him. All quilts belong to him, but his favorite is this neutral one that coordinates with his rust colored coat. He insisted it belonged to him; although, he reluctantly agree to allow my SIL to keep it one Christmas holiday.

Join in the fun, by posting a picture of a quilt that you made for your pet or your pet on a quilt by Saturday, August 21st. See the other entries on SewCalGal's blog. Thanks so much to SewCalGal for organizing this awesome quilt show.