Friday, December 30, 2011

Time is running out...

YAY!  I can't say that I'm sorry to see 2011 go at all.  I am so looking forward to a new year and a new start.
I realize I've been among the missing in action for the past few months.  A lot has happened and a lot has not happened- vbg.
I had the house on the market for 6 months -- it did not sell, which is okay with me, and it is now off the market.  I will be here another year or two.  I plan to relax, get some things done in the yard and the house and pretty much get back to living my life.  Here's my word for the new year:

Looking back over the past few months, I've had to replace the stove in the kitchen, a whole new furnace (and I have two in this house, so I'm hoping the second one hangs in there for a few more years!), had the driveway sealed (and it's a long driveway), bought a new car -- 2012 Ford Fusion - love it, had my dryer repaired just a couple of days ago, had a tree fall in my neighbor's yard that he thankfully cut up for me, but I think there's another one that I will have to have taken down -- at least an 80' oak tree that could land on his house if it fell; gave up my cleaning lady and found out I can in fact drive a riding lawn mower and save myself some money mowing my own yard -- oh yeah and bought a new to me used lawn tractor.  My plan for the new year is to be more frugal and more green -- I've closed off two bedrooms on the second floor so I don't have to heat them and I've started washing clothes in cold water.  It probably won't make a nickel's worth of difference and the water heater will probably die on me anyway -- but hey, frugal and green is a start!
The cleaning lady was a luxury I gave myself for the past year -- every other week and it was heavenly, but really, I can clean my house and it doesn't get that dirty anymore.

Another reason I'm happy to stay here for another year or two is I finally have my entire sewing studio in the basement.  My DSIL and nephew moved the big fabric cabinet to the basement for me on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  I love having it down here.
I still have a lot of organizing to do with it and the rest of the sewing stuff, but I love being able to come downstairs and pick up where I left off at either of my sewing machines or the longarm or just sitting and appliqueing.  I put up my design wall (a photographic stand with batting attached), and I have my cutting table and ironing board set up all the time too.  The whole time the house was on the market, I had to keep everything put away and neat. 
Anyway -- that's pretty much what's been happening the past few months and now I'm going to look forward to the new year.  I have lots of new year's resolutions, as usual,, but I'll only bore you with a few of them next time!

Family and friends that have "hung in there" with me.
My digital camera -- it was a gift from my daughter and family a few years ago and I hope to use it a lot more this year.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas!

I'll be back posting soon!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Ah, September

It's 90+ degrees in the shade today -- can't believe it's the first of September! It was my grandkids' first day of school -- thankfully their school is air conditioned.
I did get out to the flower bed at 7:30 this morning -- but by 8:15 I was done.  Made a little progress, but not as much as I wanted.  Next time!
Then I went to the shed and put a coat of varnish on my door trim.  The shop area stays cooler than the outside temperature, so shouldn't be a problem drying.

Then I came in and did some deep cleaning of my main floor bath (I love fall cleaning this bath -- takes no time at all!).  I put up my fall shower curtain (a Moda fabric from many years ago that I fell in love with).  This bath only has a pedestal sink, which I really love, and I added an antique medicine cabinet when we first moved in.
 And today, I did something radically different for me:  I took a page from my friend Kris and hung a couple of quilts in this bathroom.  I had a wooden washboard novelty shelf where this one is now.  This quilt was a group of lottery blocks I won at guild a good 10 years ago.  I put them together right away and love the small size of it.  The hand razor and curling iron were my grandparents'.  I found them when I was cleaning out my dad's house 18 years ago!
 In this spot I had a small 3 shelf unit that is painted blue.  I decided to paint it black instead, so hung this little quilt in the meantime.  Kris pieced this quilt, then prepped the applique for me (she made one for herself at the same time), and we worked on the applique together.
Neither of these quilts had hanging sleeves, so this afternoon I made and sewed the sleeves on.

I ran to Farm & Fleet today and bought the black paint for the shelf, but I'm in no hurry to get it done -- I'm liking the change of having quilts hanging in there now.

'Til next time.....

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Another day

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the movies with a group from church -- we went to see "The Help" after most of us had read the book -- fabulous book, and movie -- don't miss it.  Anyway, after the movie, we went to lunch, so I was gone about 6 hours (I live a half an hour from the next big city which is where my church and the theatre is!).  I came home to this:
This is the back door going out to the garage.  That's the very nice trim on the side of the door and the mess all over the rug.  My dog, who is 11 years old, btw, not a puppy, did this.  He also pulled stuff off the shelf of the bench next to the door, tore up a couple of throw rugs and generally made a very large mess.  (He wrecked the trim on the same door last year after Bill died -- everyone said he missed Bill --I said I missed him too, but I don't go around eating the woodwork!).  Needless to say, the dog is now being put into his kennel whenever I leave the house.  I had my brother fix the woodwork the last time this happened, but I get kinda tired of having to ask people to do all these things that Bill used to do.  So, Saturday I took both pieces of trim off the sides of the door, and put them in my car.  Yesterday I went to Home Depot, got two new pieces of trim to match, but they wouldn't cut the angle at the top of the trim, so I stopped at my brother's on the way home, and he cut the angles for me!  Today, I stained both pieces out in the shed.  (Thankfully, we still had a can of the same stain we used on the rest of the woodwork).  I'll let them dry a couple of days, then varnish them with the same varnish we used and then will attempt to put them back!....I am woman, hear me roar!

I also spent a few hours yesterday and today working on the yard and gardens.  I'm making some headway with the weeding; I've had to rake the grass the last few times it's been mowed -- some areas grow faster than others and it just looks tacky to leave all that grass laying there.  I pulled one tomato plant up and all the beans (and picked the last of the beans as I did) and cleaned up the vegetable garden.  I've got some pretty tall weeds in the asparagus bed (as tall as the asparagus ferns get and more), so I'm working on that slowly each day.  Last week I planted a bunch of mums up by the house and down by the road -- hoping to get things looking good for fall.  And this afternoon I pulled some of my fall quilts out and started putting them up.  I know it's not officially fall for a month yet, but I needed a change!  This is one of my favorite scarecrow quilts from a few years back.
And this little pumpkin quilt is still a favorite of mine.  It was a quick design by Kay Steinmetz after a workshop she gave a lot of years ago at guild.  I took the pattern home and whipped up the quilt the next day.  So much fun to do and I still love to hang it in the hallway or the kitchen every year.
The plan tomorrow is to do some more appliqueing with Kris, and of course lunch out!

'Til next time....

Saturday, August 27, 2011

August is almost gone....

the summer is flying by and I feel like I've been on a roller coaster for the past 3 months!  These are pictures of the grandkids when we went to the Wisconsin Dells in June.

This one is Briana riding the sky high bike at the Tommie Bartlet Exploratory Center.  That's really a long way up!
I've had my house on the market since the 6th of June -- hence the roller coaster ride.  Someone is interested....nothing happens.  Big Open House -- well attended, one couple stays for an hour and a half....nothing happens.  Today, that same couple came back, spent another hour and a half and still can't make up their minds.  So, first I'm leaving, then I'm staying, then I'm looking at other properties to buy, then I'm staying....Now, I'm planning on getting a lot of yard work done and some general outside cleaning; I'll probably go ahead and have the blacktop part of the drive sealed this fall as I was originally planning to do.  I'll do some more whipping into shape of the flower beds and all this with the intention of doing it for my own pleasure, not to sell.  Next week I'm going to put out my fall quilts and my fall decorations and if someone comes along and wants to buy it, fine, but if not, that's okay too.  When the listing runs out, I'll take it off the market for a few years. 

I'm getting back into the quilting groove.  I'm caught up with Bunny Hill's Henrietta Whiskers block of the month, just waiting for the last block to be posted on the 5th and then I'll put it all together.  I've been getting the sewing studio put together the way I want it, so it's a real pleasure to sew in the basement now.  And hopefully, I'll start posting more on the blog, with pictures of quilts! 

'til next time....

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Playing Catch-UP

It's been a busy summer so far.  As usual, I'm way behind on everything -- the yard, the gardens, my quilting, the house, spending time with grandkids...
Steph and I did take the grandkids to WI Dells the end of June -- I just got the pictures off my camera, so that will be another post :-).
We've had some really hot and humid days and finally the past three days have been wonderful, so I did get some weeding done in the garden -- actually found the tomatoes and peppers and beans.  Hopefully they'll ripen soon.  Also got a little bit of weeding done in the flower beds -- but tons more to do there.  I can't take the heat/humidity, so my time outside is limited.  Thursday I managed to get out at 6:45 am and spent 3 hours working out there -- it was wonderful.  But starting tomorrow the heat and humidity are back for at least a week.
One thing about the weather:  I managed to get some appliqueing done while spending my time in the air conditioning!  So, here are blocks 5, 6, and 7 of the Bunny Hill BOM - Henrietta Whiskers. 

I am now up to date on this BOM and hope I can keep up with it now.  I've been catching up with some quilting too -- still have one I need to put binding on, but finished two other small quilts.  I'll post them in a day or two.

Take care everyone and hope you're enjoying your summer.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A finished Top

I actually finished putting this top together on Saturday -- but either my satellite dish or blogger wasn't playing nice, so here it is today.  It's only 31" square.  It's a Kansas Troubles little quilt from her Summer's End line of fabric and that, coincidentally, is the name of the quilt.  I have the binding pressed and ready to go and even cut a backing for it.  I won't be firing up the longarm for a couple of weeks though.  I really like the quilt and it felt really good getting back to piecing.  Next project to piece will be Bonnie Hunter's last mystery quilt that she posted online -- I can't even remember how long ago, but I know I'm only half done with it, so I'll be pulling it out to finish up in a couple of weeks, too.

I drove Steph to her doctor's office and to physical therapy today -- her knee is coming along nicely and she's walking pretty well on it now -- she just had surgery last Friday!

I spent 3 hours in the yard yesterday afternoon -- I can see my tomatoes again, along with the peppers and beans I planted -- amazing what a little hoeing and weed pulling will do.  Also got part of one daylily bed weeded before my back and my knees gave out.  I hope to get some more done tomorrow.  This is two years worth of weeds I'm getting rid of  -- I sure didn't get anything done last summer.  I feel like I've survived the worst part of losing Bill now (although I know I will miss him for the rest of my life); I feel like I can make decisions for myself now and get some things done that I couldn't handle last year. I have to say I was blessed with a husband that was a great teacher and I actually paid attention even when I didn't think it mattered; so I learned how to do a lot of things even though I never had to do any of them when he was here.

A little advice for all you wives out there:  Pay attention.  Talk about your finances so you know what's what; learn how to mow the yard, even if you don't have to do it; learn where your electrical breaker panel is and how it works; learn how to change the furnace filter; find out where your water shut-off valves are (we have one on every toilet and faucet in the house); do you have a septic system that needs pumping?  Do you have your fireplaces cleaned regularly?  What about maintenance on your car?  Even if you can afford to have someone else do the work -- it still is important for you to know enough to tell them what to do.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

It's 95° in the shade...

but I had a great day today.  Probably only quilters will understand that statement, given my life lately, but it really was a great day!  I spent hours in my new sewing studio and actually accomplished a few things.  I not only got block 5 of Henrietta Whiskers BOM from Bunny Hill prepped,
 but I got block 6 prepped too!  That means I have a couple of to-go projects ready, or
maybe they'll be done right here at home -- but either way, they are ready for me to work on!

And then,  I pulled out a project that I've had spread out on the top of a Sterilite storage box since I'm not sure when.  I think I started it last fall -- it's been so long since I've done any sewing that I really can't remember.  It was a Kansas Troubles Project using Summer's End Charm Packs and I had pieced one 4-1/2" block and left all the pieces spread out on the box top and moved it around from the 2nd floor to the basement.  Luckily, all the pieces were still together and it didn't take me too long to figure out where I had left off.
So, I made 3 more blocks in a short period of time this afternoon.  There will be 12 more blocks in different colors to make and sashing strips and cornerstones and borders to add to make a little quilt 31" square.  With a little luck, I'll be able to show a finished quilt top before too long.  I really can't tell you how wonderful it felt to play in the studio today....but I know most of you understand!

It's supposed to storm tonight and cool off, so I suppose I'll have to do some outside work then --- unless it rains tomorrow too!

Friday my daughter will be having arthroscopic surgery on her knee -- same knee that was totally reconstructed when she was 17; they can't find the anterior cruciate ligament at all, but they're hoping that if they fix the two side ligaments (can't remember what they are called), and scrape some bone spurs off the knee, that that will tighten it up enough so they won't have to replace the acl at all.  As Gilda would say, "It's always something".  

Until next time, practice Random Acts of Kindness!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Mikey's Walking

This was taken at his first birthday party on Sunday, June 5.  Now two days later he's proud to carry a toy and walk down the hall -- boy do they learn fast.  He did have clothes on earlier in the day -- but after he had his chocolate birthday cake he needed a quick bath!

Other news of the day:  my house is officially listed for sale as of last night.  I'm going to hate leaving this place -- my quiet spot in the country with plenty of trees and wildlife; but it is definitely apparent that I can not take care of this place alone -- my flower beds need weeding, the asparagus bed got away from me the first week I think, the grass needs mowing and I broke the riding mower and it's being fixed at the moment, lots of trimming needs to be done and I do have someone to do that for me but it's hotter than blazes this week -- at least til Thursday, so I don't want him working in the heat.  I've spent months getting the house ready for showing -- cleaning out and putting away "stuff".  I think we all probably have too much stuff and I know I do for sure!  I've sold a lot of furniture at auction, but I still have enough to fill a house.  I finally have a sewing room I love here in the basement -- but that's okay because I will definitely buy a house with a basement that's big enough to hold it all!
Speaking of which, my latest purchase was a "find" in my favorite quilt shop:  A primitive table that came from a printing company in the area.  It's huge and it's heavy (it took 4 guys to haul it into the basement).  It sits between my sewing area and the longarm, so I have all the pieces of leftover batting pieces shoved onto the shelf on the longarm side.  On the side near the sewing machines there are two drawers.  I have lots of my newest fat quarters and my baskets of sewing notions along with some extra cutting boards spread out on top.  This is not my cutting table, though -- that is in the area of the basement on the other side of the staircase.

And finally, I think I'll be able to actually do some sewing soon.  I have four of the Bunny Hill Henrietta Whiskers blocks finished, but that still leaves me two behind, so I'm going to try to get both of them prepped today or tomorrow and maybe pull out a long ignored piecing project -- it just feels like I haven't sewn in years and I'm sure it's only been months!

I do love these happy squirrel and bird blocks -- I think this will be a fun quilt when it's finished.

Until next time, remember, Be Kinder Than Necessary!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

June 2011

This will be one last tear filled post and after this I will strive to have lots of positive, joyful and hopefully soon, quilt related posts.

Today is, first of all Michael Paul (Mikey's), first birthday.  I have a couple of pics in my camera upstairs, so will post them in a day or two -- he is after all the really bright spot along with the other 3 grandkids of the whole past year -- and yes, tomorrow is the 1st anniversary of Bill's death.  And on Tuesday, it would have been Steve and Kim's 14th anniversary.  Which brings me to the reason for this post.  Today I had to do one of the hardest things I've ever done. 
Two days before Steve died, he asked me to buy chocolates for Kim for their anniversary.  At the time I was thinking I would buy them and bring them to him to give to her.  I suspect he knew he wouldn't be here for the actual day.  So, today I brought her the gift of Godiva chocolates Steve wanted her to have on their anniversary.  She was working in the yard when I stopped by -- doing what I do -- trying to keep busy.  We both cried and I cried all the way home.  And I remembered that Steve was taught by the master -- his father -- in how to treat his wife.  Wow, do I miss both of them.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


                                   Steven Michael Talbott, 1/18/1969 - 5/19/2011

Our beautiful, amazing son lost his fight with brain cancer yesterday morning.  We were all there with him.  He was the most amazing man and accomplished so much in his short life.  He was an inspiration to all and he fought long and hard against all odds.  We will all miss his humor and his strength.  I will miss his phone calls and his love.
But now, he is at peace with Bill -- probably enjoying a round of golf and a rum and coke.