Wednesday, January 28, 2015


This is a far as I had gotten unpacking last week:

I  dumped the dirty clothes out and took these packing cubes out of the suitcase.  Today, I managed to do a bit of laundry (nearly naked again), tidy the kitchen and unpack.  I love the packing cubes--you can keep everything from tumbling out of the suitcase when it is opened and have it orderly.  I've been putting things away in hotel drawers and the cubes are so simple-just remove from suitcase and stash it in a drawer!  So this mess has been cleaned up and the suitcase emptied of everything that gets taken out.  I leave a few things in my suitcase that I don't need and know that I'd just pack it again anyway.  I didn't put up the suitcases, seems foolish to haul them up to the attic when I'll just be using them again in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mid-winter thaw

Today the temperatures were in the 60Fs!  I stood on the deck and chatted with my neighbor in a fleece jacket.  Just last week I wouldn't have stayed out more than a few minutes and then in my heavy coat.  I'm feeling some better, although I fade really quickly, so I took the camera out in the yard to see what I could see.

Daffodils up! Just three and this one in the highest about an inch above ground.  I have them naturalized all over the back yard, last year they all came up early then we had cold weather and snow and none of them bloomed so while I was happy to see signs of spring I kind of wish they'd stayed under ground a bit longer.

My old friend, Simba, enjoying a warm day on the deck!  He'll be 18 in June if he lives that long.  He has arthritis in his back and that makes it hard for him to get in and out of chairs, up and down steps, etc.  He doesn't seem to be in pain but moves ever so slowly and carefully and sleeps most of the time.  He's still very vocal about being left at home while I gallivant all over the place!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Short time out for being sick!

So, I haven't been around for a week-so much for my goal of blogging each and every day!  The whole photo each and every day went out the window as well, sigh.  I took one photo last week, of Ryan, on my cell phone and I haven't even dug out the cords so I can move it over to the laptop.

As you may have guessed I went to St Louis on Tuesday to see Ryan, his Mom and Dad!  I had decided to take my time going down and stop in Higginsville to visit a quilt shop I like-which had closed, although there is supposed to be another one there I have yet to find it!  I also want to visit this huge boot store, I've been meaning to stop for YEARS, literally!  I would really like to have some nice boots.  Several pair actually, warm boots, cowboy boots and designer boots.  Unfortunately, I can't seem to find any that will go on my foot!  This store does have thousands of boots, I didn't try any on but I may go back and try on jeans there as they had some really cute ones.
When I finally made it to St Louis I was late enough to check into my hotel (another less than happy experience) before I headed to Children's hospital.  I spent the rest of that day, almost all of Wednesday and Thursday morning in the NICU with Ryan, he is currently called a feeder/grower as they are just feeding him and waiting for him to grow.  The whole feeder/grower thing makes me think of the Stock report on small country radio stations--We've called them feeder pig stations forever!  He has only his monitors, feeding tube and roposil to manage now so I can just go in and pick him up and love on him!  Thursday morning he was actually awake when I got there and I got to see his lovely eyes as he tried to take in his surroundings and the face of this crazy woman holding him!  Scott and I had lunch and I headed to the UGG outlet-again looking for boots, again none of them would go on my foot!  Then I headed home.  Stopped in Columbia for a quilt shop break then on home to get Quinn.  The closer I got to home to worse I felt and by the time I got in I was sure I had a cold.  I still haven't really unpacked!  Since then I've had a tissue box tethered to my hand and the couch in the studio has been my best friend--Thank goodness for NCIS dvds!

On Friday, Scott called with the good news that Ryan's transfer to Boston is all approved.  He will be transferred on March 2 and have the first surgery on March 6 and the second on March 20.  He still needs to gain 1000grams of weight (and he is slow to do that).  I am really glad they aren't going up this week since Boston is forecast to receive 30inches of snow!  Flights into New York and Boston were already being cancelled yesterday!  My trip will likely be in April now, which is also good as I wasn't keen on the idea of driving up with the weather so dicey.

So, now I am tired again.  Just from getting out of bed, having my tea and breakfast and writing this blog!  A little rest and I will have to do a bit of housecleaning, oh joy!

Monday, January 19, 2015

18-19/365 A Day with the boys

Today being a school holiday for Martin Luther King (May he rest in peace) I spent my day with the "Big" boys!  Brayden and Kolby are such fun these days and getting easier all the time.  This morning they played on their Kindles while I did some housework and getting ready to travel then we went out to lunch!  I asked them where they wanted to go yesterday and Brayden said La Fuente's (Mexican) Kolby said "No, we just went there."  So today I asked Kolby where he would like to go--IHOP, Cracker Barrel, Ginger's etc and he said "La Fuente's"--What?!  I accused him of buttering Brayden up but he said he just wanted their chicken.  So, we invited Beth (Mommy) to join us as there is a La Feunte's very close to her work (like it took her longer to walk from her office to her car than it did to drive there!)  We had fun, ate good food and had fried ice cream for dessert, so yummy!  Mommy had to go back to work and we headed over to a new park for a little play time.  Except there wasn't any place to park the truck!  There were so many children on the play equipment they looked like ants at a picnic.  The combination of no school and very warm weather had us all wanting to be outside.  The boys decided they did not want to join the ant hill so we trucked on to their house.  I played Mean Granna and made them go outside!  It was over 60F. IN. January.  Outside we went.  They played a little garage soccer (don't ask) then got out these boomerang things--a triangle things, doesn't look at all like a boomerang--Kolby let his fly on their driveway and it disappeared!  After searching High, low, over, under and on top the truck for quite a while I spotted it on the neighbor's roof--guess the wind took it, but it definitely did not return! 
So they shot some hoops and I took pictures.  Can't believe I actually caught the first two! 

Kolby was looking darn cute checking out the truck!  You can see from these how gorgeous it was outside today, I just enjoyed soaking up some sun!  Then we went inside and watched How To Train Your Dragon 2--finished it up just in time for Mommy to get home!

Now, I have to go pack and make my bed!  St. Louis tomorrow to see Scott, Bri and Ryan!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

17/365 Paddington

17/365 belongs to Paddington!  Taken with my iPhone but still pretty good.  From top to bottom--Brayden, Tanya (seats next to her are highly prized) Kolby, Beth, and Ethan!  Very funny movie, I had many good laughs!  Movies intended for children are some of the best and Paddington is such a great story!

What is it about Fridays?

So I missed yesterdays photo, again.  Then I looked back and saw that it was last Friday that I missed before!  Need to see what that's all about!

16/365 This is Friday's!  Some kind of fungus growing on a tree stump in the park.  I have some of this in my yard as well and the stuff is hard as a rock!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

15/365 Ball fields in winter.

It was warm enough this afternoon for a walk!  Apparently, we are having a January thaw.  At the end of my street is Adair park, run by Jackson County even though it's in the city.  It's a softball complex, there are 7 fields and most weekends March through November there are competitive tournaments here.  It is one of Quinn's favorite places! (And much closer than the beach, another one of her favorites!)  From the time she was 3 or 4 months old and we were learning to walk on a leash we went to the park a couple of times a day.  Before long I would drop her leash when we were inside the fences on the ball fields and she would just run and run.  She still does that-it's most fun when her buddies are in the park to run with her but even alone she races around me, pulls on my pant legs and plays tug with the leash!  She can be such a puppy!  This is field 3, directly behind 3 is 4 and close behind 4 is 7--that's a lot of out field to play on!  She doesn't like it when the girls are playing though.  I mean, really, they are on "Her" fields and they wear really noisy shoes and pull noisy bags behind them!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

14/365 Lemonaia

This is part of my Lemonaia.  In Italy that's what they call the place the lemon trees come for the winter.  My Lemonaia is in my laundry room where the heat from the furnace, washer and dryer help to keep them warm.  I currently have 9 (I think) lemon trees grown from seeds, two clementine trees also grown from seeds and one lime tree that I purchased.  Lemons are the only one to really come up from seed, I had 30+ sprout a couple of years ago and I've been culling every year since.  Next winter I will need a new spot I think as they will get to big for the current arrangement!  I really want to add some oranges and tangerines to the citrus grove--maybe when I'm next in California I'll buy some small ones.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

13/365 Quilt Guild Class

Yesterday I did something I had never done before--I attended a class at my Quilt Guild!  I don't usually do the classes because I already have so many projects on the list!  (Thankfully, all the ones on the list are not all started just that I want to make someday!)  This class was for a bag to carry quilts or other bulky items and looked to be simple and easy to finish.

This is my beginning.  I worked on it until my shoulder said "Ouch, I'm so done here!"  It was fun, met some new people-always a good thing-I might do it again sometime.

My strips are not exactly straight, oh well, I'm not feeling the un-sewing love for this project.  Maybe I'll make another one with more precision later?  I'll be sure and post photos when I finish which I'd like to do before the next guild meeting.

Monday, January 12, 2015

12/365 Chocolate Love

I've been looking at things I love inside the house (it's too cold for much photography outside!)  For today it's Chocolate!  Things always look better after chocolate!

Sunday, January 11, 2015


I do love a cup of tea!  I especially like Irish Breakfast Tea, of which there is not a single packet in this picture!  I've always liked hot tea, I remember ordering it when we ate out as a child-it was a special treat.  My family drank coffee.  My grandmother drank it hot or cold, black as tar,one cup after another,  my parents had it after each meal, I drank it in college (some-with a whole lot of sugar) and when Larry and I got married we had it for breakfast every morning.  Several years ago I kept buying different coffees trying to find one I liked--it was a no go and after Larry passed I kept on making it, fixing a cup and letting it go cold so I could toss it out.  One day I had a light bulb moment--I do not like coffee!  Oh, I'll occasionally have a cafe mocha but I think that's mostly for the chocolate!  Now, I drink tea every morning, with honey, and it's delightful

Saturday, January 10, 2015

10/365 Books

 Another one of my loves--books!  I have shelves and shelves of them!  These are J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts In Death Books which I dearly love, thank goodness the woman is a writing machine!  I have no idea how many books I have on my Kindle, except that it is not full--I buy fiction for the Kindle and real books for non-fiction.  I read fiction so fast I'd never be able to store or afford enough books to keep me happy!
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

Friday, January 9, 2015

OOPS! Days 8/365 and 9/365

So I missed yesterday. I'm pretty sure it won't be the last time!
Day 8 continues the theme of crystals.

The same teardrop is proving to be lots of fun.  Both the green dot and the yellow are actually light refracted from the crystal!  I just moved a little bit to the left!  Playing around with a camera is all kinds of fun!

For day 9 I continued the theme of glass.  Glass is a miracle-sand and heat along with other chemicals create wonderful colors!  This is my collection of witches and fairy balls-along with a glass float.

Now, I'm off to Joann's for materials needed for a class I'm taking on Monday after Quilt Guild.  Then to Target for a few necessary things.

It looks like I'm off to Boston next Month--road trip!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

7/365 Tiny Rainbows!

I seriously love crystal prisms!  I have several hanging in my kitchen window and in the winter when the sun is low in the sky I have rainbows all over the kitchen and hallway!  Some are large and blurry, some are sharp and some are tiny!  These little ones are made by the teardrop you see and when you touch it rainbows dance around the room--today I'm celebrating rainbows!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

6/365 Storing Christmas

Today I finished taking down Christmas, so now on top of an ugly, barren house I have this:

Four artificial trees whose boxes need taped shut and 6 boxes of tree ornaments and other decor.  Keep in mind the fact that I didn't put my North Pole Village out this year (Stilled bummed about that) so this is really a much smaller stack of totes than normal.

All of this will need schlepped up the disappearing stairway to the attic for storage, sigh.  That has to wait for two things- Rob to have time to help me as I can't get them up there alone and warmer weather!  Tonight we are hitting dangerously low wind chills and that attic is cold!

I've done a little quilting the past two days!  Yeah!

Also, I took a nap, ah.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Design wall Monday 5/365

Today's photos are of the current project (the one the baggies from yesterday go to) on my design wall.  This one is from 2006-one of my local quilt shops (now closed) First Saturday Club samplers-done completely by hand.  So Far.

A close up of the blue to be used for sashing and borders, which have been the hold up all along!

Bitter cold coming, even so not as cold as it will be in Chicago!  Quinn will have to stay in!

Also, the Elna will have to have a repair man!  Am looking for one willing to work on vintage machines, so I put it back together and back in the case for the moment.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


 Today's photos is a grouping of my current stitching projects!  From Left to right and around--The hexagon flowers, sewing nine-patch probably going to be a "Dancing Nines" from Bonnie Hunter, Ryan's quilt, strips for a log cabin, baggies hold the last block and the nine patch setting blocks for my Sampler and lastly the current cross-stitch.  There are some more projects but I'm not actively working on them.  Who am I kidding, I haven't been actively working on anything since before Christmas!  Ah, well, tomorrow is another day.  One final project is the dismantling of my old Elna in the hopes of repairing it.  I love that machine!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Photo 3/365

Today's photo of Quinn with Simba in the background is my Photography class assignment.  I was to choose my favorite room in the house--either the kitchen or the studio--and make something happen there.  It's really hard to "Make something happen"  when you're the only human living in the house!  This is my attempt.  Of course the moment I sat on the floor they were both in my face!  Maybe I'll try setting up a still life in the studio.

Another day of gray skies, this time there was mist and the weather guessers say that there will be freezing rain and snow before too much longer.  I'd be happy if it held off a while as Beth, Lucas, Rob and Tanya are all driving home from St Louis-pretty much now.  A Mother worries!  They will all check in when they get home--they make me do it so they have to!

Next up for me is another photography class then I think I'll quilt and watch tv.  The past few nights I've been too tired to lift a needle, also I left my hand on the tailgate a bit too long and the top smashed my finger.  It was quite sore last night but is much better today.  I swear sometimes I need a keeper!

Friday, January 2, 2015


This isn't a great picture but it does show you what our sky has been like.  Gray.  Day after day of gray! It's hard on one's outlook to not have the sun, Vitamin D capsules can only go so far, then I just want to pull to covers over my head and sleep.

I've begun a happiness project as one of my goals for the year, so far I've just made that massive list of things to do this year!  Most of them are long term things so I get to check them off if I just work a little bit on them.  So, I am not marking too many things as done yet but each day it will grow longer. For example, I don't have to make menus tomorrow only follow them, much less time consuming so I can do something else! As part of the exercise I am re-reading Gretchen Rubin's books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. Also beginning a big purge (again) of belongings.  I plan to sell my house this year and I don't want to move more than is absolutely essential.

My word for the year is CHANGE.  So today I got a haircut--hope I end up liking that change!  As part of the changes I want to make happen I ordered a number of Great Courses to work through this year.  Everything from cooking to math and astronomy.  I began the first photography one today, hopefully you will see the improvement in my photos soon.

I'm off to watch a movie now!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Photo 1/365

Ethan!  Silly Boy!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to one and all!  Bright Blessings on you and yours!

One of my goals for 2015 is to blog every day( and include more photos)--wonder how that will go?  My list of goals is quite long, it looks like I will be quite busy this year.  Perhaps that's a good thing as I will have something to blog about!  Not too many people read this blog but I keep it as sort of a Journal so writing each day will be a good thing.

I spent most of New Year's Eve talking on the phone with an old friend.  I haven't spoken to her in a couple of years so it takes a long time to catch up.  Like me she's a widow and we talk about that journey, I'm a little further along the path than she is but we are slowly coming back to ourselves.  I really hope it won't be two years before we speak again!  In fact I think I'll put a "To Do" on my calendar to call her in a couple of months-maybe for lunch.

Today I have "The Big boys"  Ethan is now included in that list but only because Ryan is "the little boy!"  They should give me something to write about! And some photos, too!