Thursday, November 30, 2006


In answer to the questions:
Yes, our daughter did plan on telling us she is pregnant by sending the Christmas cards, however, I was talking to her on the phone before I went to the mailbox and when AJ got up from his nap, he got on the phone and said: "I'm going to have a baby sister".
It really wasn't a surprise, because we knew they were trying, and I knew it wouldn't take long: she got pregnant with AJ on her honeymoon and the women on my side of the family don't waste much time! vbg

Expecting snow tonight -- tons like everyone else is getting and it is really cold here -- a real difference from the 60° temps we've been enjoying the past few weeks.
Tomorrow I plan on spending in the sewing room. And we're still waiting on phone calls for results of Bill's tests, so can assume he won't be having surgery tomorrow for his gallbladder.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Christmas Card

We received this card in the mail today, from our daughter!

And this one of just AJ:

And this one of just Briana:

And my best friend's youngest son's wife had a 6 lb 6 oz baby boy this afternoon!


Monday, November 27, 2006

Done is better than perfect

My level of frustration was sky high today trying to put the pieced border on this quilt, so ripped off the inner border and put on the outer border and am calling it done. I really liked the look of the inner pieced border too -- this one just makes it look blah -- but can't take the frustration, honestly. The pieces were already cut and partially pieced -- not going to try to refigure an inch difference into all that! vbg

Bill went to the doctor today -- they think it is his gallbladder -- will get the results of the blood test probably late tomorrow and will schedule surgery then also. So -- if you're keeping count: that's two gallbladders and one appendix for 2006-- so far!

Did manage to get the laundry done, spent an hour on Christmas cards, an hour on the quilt borders and am ready to play with EQ6 for awhile!

1. We're getting close to getting answers and hopefully solving Bill's health issues.
2. Phone calls from the boys (Steve continues to recover).
3. Phone calls from friends.
4. Tackling the Christmas card list -- half done is better than not starting!
5. JR napping on his quilt by my feet.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Some actual sewing done

This is the center of a quilt called "Gracie's Garden Sampler" by Brandywine Design (2000). I finished appliqueing the final block and trimmed all the blocks and put them together. Next comes 3 borders. This is a ufo (from 2000!) and I'm going to finish it for a gift this Christmas. Progress is being made!

Also put away all the fall stuff on the guest room bed and put out a lot of Christmas stuff. May get the tree out tomorrow or may not -- Bill is still not feeling good -- has a lot of stomach pain, not totally muscles, so am keeping an eye on him -- may go to the er tomorrow or may wait for dr's appointment on Monday -- depends on how he's feeling.


1. Friends that call because they're worried about Bill.

2. Family.

3. The quiet of the house.

4. Getting things done.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Christmas is coming!

I spent most of the day cleaning house. But, while I was doing that, I also was taking down the fall stuff and specifically, the fall quilts. I've put up most of the Christmas/winter quilts, except for one (and that's because I'm using the fall quilt as a design wall right now! vbg).

Anyway -- I did manage to change over our little bath -- this is the bath on the main floor and the sole purpose of having a shower in this bath was so I could make seasonal shower curtains! vbg (Well, maybe not the sole purpose, but pretty close!) I took the fall one down and should have taken a picture first, but forgot. So, here's the Christmas one -- I made it probably 8 or 10 years ago from fabric I bought at Hancock fabrics. This bath is so small and has a pedestal sink and an antique medicine cabinet -- it's easy to decorate and I love it!

I have a guest bed full of fall stuff I've taken down that needs to be put away, plus I did a load of towels, two loads of bath rugs and the second load of quilts just buzzed, so need to go fold and put away! Tomorrow I hope to actually put some Christmas decorations out and maybe by Sunday Bill will feel well enough to bring the tree in from the box in the shed so I can get it decorated! I'm really glad I decided to go ahead and decorate -- it really does make it feel like Christmas is coming!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Hope everyone's Thanksgiving was grand.
Our plans have changed a number of times this year! Turns out Stephanie's former babysitter offered to take both kids tonight for a sleepover and babysit tomorrow. The kids are really excited about it and I don't have to drive up there tonight and drive home tomorrow night. Good deal all the way around. As it turns out, Bill is really sick today, so I would have had to cancel anyway, so it's really a good deal. I think Bill has food poisoning from our usual Wednesday night restaurant -- he's been sick since 1 am. He's finally able to keep some 7-UP down and I've made some turkey soup -- if nothing else he can have the broth tonight.

Made a major decision today while talking to Stephanie on the phone. They put up two trees today -- one upstairs and one in the basement. I didn't put up any tree last year and very few decorations, but I was inspired by her on the phone, so have dug out about 6 of my Christmas decoration boxes (not including the tree decs!) I'm going to put up our tree this weekend and after I clean house tomorrow, I'll start putting out some of my other decorations -- I miss them and I enjoy them. I know it's a lot of work taking out and putting away, and we don't have Christmas here, so it's only for Bill and I, but that's okay -- I feel like doing it this year!

1. I think Bill has turned the corner and should start feeling better by tomorrow.
2. Steve called yesterday and he's doing better also.
3. Steph has a line on a new job that she is going to explore -- NOT in retail!
4. I found some frames and have one needle punch gift framed and another started, with frame waiting.
5. Family and friends.
6. Our health -- we are grateful that we have had no major health issues this year.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I Have EQ6!

Guess where I'll be for the next week! Playing on the computer every chance I get. My copy arrived yesterday afternoon after I left for the lqs and guild! But I installed it last night when I got home -- lots of changes I think, and lots of improvements! Can't wait to play!

Monday, November 20, 2006


Thanksgiving is over for another year -- at this household anyway! Food was great, mess was large, a good time was had by all and it's back to normal here this morning, meaning laundry is being done!
Steve is on his way home this morning. He had a pretty rough weekend, spiked a temp of 102° on Friday night and was a pretty sick puppy all of Saturday and part of Sunday. Started to feel a little better after lunch on Sunday. Today he looks good and feels much better (except for the pain, of course) and is home with antibiotics and pain pills and hoping to get some much needed sleep. Thanks for the prayers.

Sew, today is our last guild meeting for the year (Christmas party/potluck) and plans are to stop at our favorite quilt shop on the way to the meeting (okay -- it's not on the way, technically, but who's counting a few extra miles?!) I need to pick up some frames for my punch needle projects and just get some inspiration. I probably won't be doing any sewing at least til Saturday this week, and really don't feel like starting something anyway. The hand applique project I was working on is not finished, but I determined that I very much dislike it, so will need to make something else for Steph -- so will try to get inspired at the quilt shop today! vbg

Thursday late afternoon I will be driving to WI to spend the night at Steph's to babysit on Friday. One of the bad parts of working retail is you always have to work on the Friday after Thanksgiving and even though Aaron thought he was going to get out of that this year because he now works for UPS, he found he will be working! LOL (For double time, so don't feel badly for him!). So, Grandma to the rescue -- it's a tough job, but someone has to do it!

1. Thanksgiving was lovely -- good family time.
2. Steve is doing so much better this morning (had to see for myself, of course!).
3. Back to the normal routine -- I do best with a routine.
4. No cooking today, and leftovers for the next week!
5. Cellphones.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Quick Update

No pictures today -- no sewing. Had big plans for yesterday and they were quickly dashed by my daughter-in-law, Kim calling to say son, Steve, 37, was at the ER in pain. We, of course, spent the day at the hospital. Steve had appendicitis and surgery was about 2 pm. They tried to do the laproscopic type, but his appendix was in bad shape, so they had to go the whole incision way. Back to his room about 4:30, in pain, but with a button! We left at 4:45 and Kim convinced him to push the button! (The pain meds kick in and he falls asleep and I guess he thought he didn't want to be rude or something! vbg) Anyway -- he'll be in hospital 2 - 3 days. We, of course, are having Thanksgiving tomorrow! So, big change of plans on who's bringing what and what is going to get done in the house today (nothing!). It does make you get your priorities in a row! Steph and family will probably stop at the hospital on the way down tomorrow, and I'm sure Kevin & Deb will be up today to visit. Plus, Kim's whole family! Kim thinks he'll be able to go home tomorrow, I'm not making any predictions. This is my boy who is never sick!

Today I have a bom class at the quilt store in the same town as the hospital, so will be running up to check on him after class. Then run home, bake 3 pies, mix up the other things I need to make for tomorrow, maybe run the vacuum on the main floor again and collapse in the chair before collapsing in the bed! vbg
Tomorrow, I'm going to take a page from Melanie and try to relax and enjoy the day with the family.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

No Sewing Day

Another shot of my darling grandson. I like taking pictures of him and putting them on my computer -- I can get a fix easily that way! vbg

Today was spent cleaning house -- Thanksgiving clean (we're doing Thanksgiving this coming Sunday).
Bill even vacuumed the basement for me. I still need to dust down here and clean the bathroom and scrub the tile floors -- all jobs for tomorrow. I even hauled all the clutter that was in the dining room back upstairs to the extra bedroom that holds all my "extra" quilting stuff -- magazines, books, papers, etc.
And then I decided to make a batch of Walnut Balls and mix up a batch of Ginger cookies to bake tomorrow. Well, the Walnut Balls recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, 1/3 c. brown sugar, 2 c. flour, etc -- so I got the butter out, and the 1 cup and 1/3 cup dry measuring cups and all the other stuff. Put the butter and brown sugar in one large bowl and used the hand mixer to cream them together. Added vanilla and salt and when I was going to add the flour, realized that I used 1 cup of brown sugar, not 1/3 cup! So, decided I had enough extra ingredients to go ahead and triple the recipe -- but had to transer it to my "Heavy Duty" Kitchenaid stand mixer. And even it wasn't real happy with me by the time it came to add the chopped walnuts! Needless to say, I have over 6 dozen Walnut Balls baked and didn't bother mixing up the Ginger cookies -- maybe tomorrow if I have enough butter! vbg Probably would have had 8 or 9 dozen, but I was making them a bit larger rather than have it take all night! Somedays I shouldn't be allowed to play with sharp objects -- or cookie ingredients.

1. AJ and Briana -- what blessings they are.
2. Making a list and working away at it.
3. Accomplishing more than what was on the list.
4. Having all the ingredients on hand when I make a baking mistake!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mental Health Day

I took a Mental Health Day yesterday (aka, Grandma Day!). Went up to get a quick shot of AJ -- I needed it!
The picture on the left is him putting on his backpack and "going to school"!

The second one is him taking a nap -- doesn't it look like he'd have a stiff neck sleeping on that Mickey Mouse pillow?! He loves his "big boy" bed.

And, in case you're wondering -- he has plenty of quilts from Grandma -- one is hanging on his wall -- just didn't get them in the pictures! vbg

Anyway -- that's my angel as of yesterday!

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Thanks for the compliments on Gratitude. I'm real happy with it and my plans are to quilt it and give it to Bill (DH) for Christmas -- after all, he's my biggest gratitude!

Updated pictures of AJ: I have some adorable pictures of AJ and Briana but cannot get my scanner to work worth anything today. Need to find the original cd and re-install, I think, but finding the cd is the key! vbg

The colors of the quilt are scrappy, with green borders and tan, not gold. I do have the dark gold in the scrappy parts. I've noticed the pictures on my pc come out really dark and hard to tell the colors, but the pictures on my laptop come out great! Guess I should use my laptop all the time!

Weeks' embroidery floss: the label says right on it that it is not colorfast and should not be washed. I used it in the punch needle projects and don't ever plan to wash them anyway. I do like the floss -- it gives such a nice subtle color change. It is expensive though -- around here it's about $2 a skein.

I haven't been able to get to everyone's blog lately, but I want you to know I think of you all and will try to catch up soon!

And thanks, everyone for all your thoughts and prayers. I feel really blessed with our blog family of quilters!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Gratitude is finished!

Well, at least the top, and my version -- I only did two plain borders, but I really like it! Thanks again Judy and Jeanne. I haven't figured out how I'm going to quilt it yet, but I hope to quilt it before Christmas. I have the binding made and probably have a backing big enough somewhere in the stash! Oh, and I pinned it to a quilt hanging on the wall, so it is not crooked -- just the way I pinned it! vbg

So that is what I did with my time today. Tomorrow I need to finish the applique block and get the borders on it.


1. Gratitude is finished and I like it -- that's a plus.

2. Steak for dinner tonight.

3. A whole day spent in the sewing room -- I needed this today.

4. No boxelder bugs crawling in the house today -- must have gotten a bit chilled last night!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Night

Well, I didn't get any sewing done today at all, but I did get the house cleaned. I had only the upstairs vacuum to finish and was going to leave that for tomorrow, but told myself to "git 'er done!" So that frees up the weekend for quilting. I hope to finish Gratitude this weekend.

The cold isn't too bad now (thanks to Dayquil!), but I did call and cancel our attendance at a group dinner at a pizza place -- didn't want to pass my cold on. I'm glad I did because late this afternoon we got thunder storms with sleet and it will turn to snow later tonight. There's a winter driving advisory out now.

Have one funny for you: AJ, 2½ years old, moved to a junior bed this week. Last night he fell out of it. He cried for Mommy and she came and picked him up off the floor and put him back into bed. He stopped crying instantly and said "Tank you" and went right back to sleep! How precious is he?!

1. Thanks to God for a clean bill of health -- I wasn't worried, but it's always in the back of your mind, ya know?
2. Thanks for the cold, it kept us off the roads tonight -- God works in mysterious ways, huh?
3. Thanks for the energy to finish cleaning house -- I feel better when the house is clean.
4. Old Fashioned Potato Soup -- yummy and great on a night like tonight!
5. My grandkids - they are true blessings.

Short update

The biopsy was negative -- just a fibroid adenoma, which is a cyst that NEVER turns cancerous. I have to go back for another mammogram in 6 months.

The sneezing fit day turned into a rotten cold. Felt miserable yesterday, today I feel rotten! LOL

I hope to get a few things done today but probably not too quickly. I definitely want to find some time to work on the Hour a Day!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The blocks are finished

I was hoping to catch up today -- I did manage to get all the blocks finished, but today's part will have to wait til tomorrow. Have you ever had a day where your sneeze reflex has kicked into gear and won't stop? I'm having a day like that -- I used to have them more often, but haven't had one in a year or two. I spend all day sneezing, blowing my nose, sneezing, etc... a real pita. So, I feel like I have hay fever or something -- but I have had all the allergy tests and am not allergic to anything -- just my sneeze reflex has gone haywire!

Anyway -- so going to spend some time in the recliner relaxing and hope it stops. I'm too miserable to sew -- how bad is that?!

BTW -- the biopsy went fine yesterday -- very interesting to watch actually. We have to go in tomorrow morning to get the results -- and I'm still convinced it's just a benign cyst.

Note to those that have asked: The floss used for the Pineapple Punchneedle is by Weeks Dyeworks and is in fact overdyed embroidery floss. All of the colors are beautifully overdyed which gives a subtle color change in the pictures.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Hour 4 of the Hour a Day

I have finished all 12 of my blocks, because I won't be sewing tomorrow. I still need to square them all though. I really like the looks of the centers -- that's what sold me on this quilt -- love that scrappy stuff!

1. Another nice fall day -- good for sewing!
2. The election will be over tomorrow -- no more annoying phone calls and ads! (And yes, we do vote at every election).
3. Laundry is finished.
4. A nice vanilla scented candle.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Caught Up

I'm up to date on Gratitude. Even have all the squares cut for the centers. The red strip on the left is the fabric I'm using for the sashing blocks. Still looks a little dark in the picture, but is a tiny bit lighter - enough that you can see the print anyway!

I spent a little bit of time on my applique project, but not much. Tomorrow I'll be working on that during the Bears game and more. I haven't done any handquilting this week because I strained/sprained my underneath finger, so I'm trying to not use it and let it rest, but not having much success. Wrapped the finger today, which helped some -- we'll see.

I finished the punchneedle project yesterday and ironed Heat and Bond lite on the back to hold the stitches. I am going to frame this one and give as a gift this Christmas. I do like making them -- doesn't take much effort and very little thought -- my kind of project! Plus it's a good fill-in project when you don't feel like quilting or piecing, or appliqueing!

1. Had a late breakfast and no lunch, so early dinner of chili and cornbread -- it's a cold, damp day outside.
2. Time spent on quilt projects.
3. JR, my constant companion.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Today was a Sewing Day!

I don't have much to show for it -- but a good day anyway! I had decided I wasn't going to do "Gratitude", Judy and Jeanne's Hour a Day quilt because I have tons of ufo's I should be working on. But.... well, you know how it is. So today I made my hst's. Tomorrow I'll do part two and maybe part three. The "light" is a tan Kansas Troubles fabric, the "dark" is a green Kansas Troubles fabric. I think the sashing strips are going to be a red KT fabric, but I'll decide for sure when I get there!

I also hand appliqued today, so that project is not left out in the cold -- it'll be done by Christmas anyway!

I ordered some Christmas gifts from on Tuesday and some stuff from Williams-Sonoma on Wednesday -- they both arrived today! I have no affiliation, of course, but their service is grand! I not only have all my shopping done, but everything has arrived! Now to wrap it all! I did order EQ6 upgrade for myself, but that won't ship til the end of November.


1. A sewing day

2. A nice fire in the kitchen fireplace

3. Broiled pork chops

4. A new Keith Urban cd

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Another No Sewing Day

This was another no-sewing day and a long one at that. The good news is I went to my second guild today and Paula Reid was the speaker -- very funny lady. She's the lady that is a friend of Alex Anderson's and has been on the show doing her "Fluff and Stuff" machine quilting (by regular sewing machine), and many other shows too. It was a fun afternoon.

The morning however, was not so fun. Had my regularly scheduled mammogram at 8:15 this morning (meaning I had to get up at 6 am and I don't do mornings well!). So, had the mammo -- go back to the waiting room to get results, get called again, need 6 more pictures in addition to the original 4 (I usually have to have 8 -- dense tissue) -- back to the waiting room, called again -- need an ultrasound of both -- have that done, wait in the ultrasound room while they read them, Radiologist comes in -- hey I finally got to meet the man that has read probably half of all my mammos and x-rays -- his name is on practically every bill listing a radiologist! LOL But, I digress. He shows me what they're looking at -- left side only (right side is probably nothing, so that will be checked next May) -- he called it an adenomyoma (I think), which is usually a benign cyst and in fact I had one removed many years ago from the same area. So, have to go in next Wednesday morning (another 8 am procedure), have an "ultrasound guided needle biopsy". Won't get the results til next Friday though. Anyway -- I'm not worried about this, or the least bit frightened, but I don't know why I have to have someone with me to drive me home -- it's only done with a local and I really don't use my breasts to drive the car! vbg
Anyway -- all of that took 2 hours, so had to rush around to finish my Christmas shopping -- which I did -- and met quilting friend for lunch before our guild meeting. All in all, not a bad day, but no sewing!

1. I'm grateful that our health system has figured out that having to come back 15 times for different tests is frightening and they now have it set up for the Radiologist to read and report while we are still there and they can set up the next test in the same place.
2. I am grateful that there is no history of breast cancer in my family.
3. I am grateful that the nurses, techs and radiologists all treat the patients with TLC and give us a straight answer right off the bat.
4. I am grateful that my Christmas shopping is done, done, done! Now to finish that applique project!
5. I am grateful that I froze hamburger as patties so I can throw them on the George Forman without much thought or effort! vbg

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A quick finish

A tea towel applique made from a kit I bought at our local Quilt Show. Took about 1/2 an hour start to finish! My kind of project.

Today was Bill's second shot in the retina. Then spent a few hours doing housekeeping chores. Needed to do a quick finish project just because. Next I need to do the checkbook balancing/computer work and then I'm going back up to spend some time appliqueing on the wall hanging.

1. Got the house cleaned so after tomorrow I can relax and quilt for a few days.
2. Being greeted by the dogs after our trip into town this morning -- nothing like a dog's greeting -- they make you feel like you've been gone a long time and they really missed you!
3. Getting my Christmas shopping list made out and knowing what I need to buy to finish it off.