Monday, January 27, 2014

Some Quilting

Not the best job by far, but done is better than perfect!  This was the latest project from Jo's Little Women's Club.  All hand appliqued - but I'm definitely out of practice.  It was fun to make it anyway.  (The pink in the bottom left corner is my slipper sock covered toe!)

We're back in the deep freeze with gusty winds and wind chill temps in the -40's.  I am so done with winter!  I can't believe it's just dragging on and on and nothing improves -- if it's not below zero, it's snowing!  Okay -- complaint done!

Until next time....blessings.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Basement Stuff

Samples of the vinyl flooring for the small bath in the basement, the carpet for the rest, and the kitchen cupboards that are going to be down there.  Just got the estimate for all that!  Whew!  I told them to order everything - I'm only going to do this once, so I want what I want.

I am getting really excited about the whole project.  They've finished roughing in everything -- next is getting the shower down there and then the electrician and the heating guys need to do their part.  Then the contractor will put up the walls and ceiling.

While I'm waiting, I cleaned out the office closet today AGAIN!  I still have some kitchen stuff in here that goes downstairs, but at least the main part of the closet has office supplies and files in it instead of blenders and whatever!  Still need to do a lot of paperwork sorting and a ton of shredding yet again.

I am so looking forward to getting everything unpacked from the basement, garage and all over the house and put away where it really belongs:  a place for everything and everything in it's place.

Until next time....Blessings.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The makeover has begun!

Both end walls are now framed in including the sump pump.  The plumber will probably be here tomorrow to start the bathroom and they should have the walls all framed by Friday.

Update on the Bacon Cheddar Chicken in the crockpot:  It was delicious.  I will fix it again - it took no time to put it together.  I put it on low for 5 hours, used only 3 frozen chicken breasts and 6 slices of bacon.  Really good!  Check out The Picky Kitchen.

Until next time...Blessings.

Monday, January 20, 2014


I just got word this morning that the basement finishing is going to start this week! I'm really excited -- can't wait.  These are the before pictures -  The first two are one room -- this is going to be my quilt studio.  The shelves on the back wall will be moved to another area for storage.
 At the end of this part of the basement, I'm having some kitchen cabinets put in -- just for a little more cupboard space than I have upstairs for those things you only use rarely.  And a counter to put a coffee pot and a microwave! 
 This third area will be a closed off hallway with storage at the other end.  I'll probably  put my book cases and some other furniture in the hallway -- stuff I need but not every day.  It will be open to the middle of the big room.
 This last space behind the door to the upstairs is where the small bathroom will go.  I'm having them put in a shower, in case the future owners of my house use the space as a bedroom or whatever!  Might as well put it in now - even though I don't plan on using it.
Let's face it -- once it's done I don't plan on going upstairs much!

On another subject:  My nephew and niece have started a cooking blog:  The Picky Kitchen.  They have 3 boys and a few picky eaters!  Mostly it'll be crockpot recipes.  I just put the Crockpot Bacon and Cheese Chicken in my crockpot a bit ago.  I made a smaller version -- 3 chicken breasts, 6 slices bacon, and put it on low. I'll let you know!

Until next time.....Blessings.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

I hate winter!

Have I mentioned lately that I hate winter?  Well, I do!  We got rain last night that immediately turned to ice.  Funny thing is that it was my daughter's birthday yesterday and on the day she was born, we had an ice storm and had to drive to the hospital on very slippery roads!  She mentioned yesterday morning that at least it wasn't icy -- I told her to wait, she wasn't born til 11:36 pm, so there was still time and right about 5 pm the rain/ice started!
Hopefully, they will come by with the salt trucks on my street soon.  I'm sure the main roads have been salted now, but there were tons of accidents last night.

This is one of the Jo's Club quilts I finally caught up on last month.  I didn't add the inner border, which I really liked, but just didn't feel like messing with!  The colors look a little washed out in the picture, but are a little richer in real life!
Yesterday I went to the place to order the cabinets and carpet for my basement.  I'm having a cabinet added to my kitchen upstairs and a set of bottom and top kitchen cabinets in the basement.  The one in the kitchen will match those already there, but the ones I ordered for the basement I really love!  Also picked out carpeting and the sink for the bath that will be built downstairs.  It was so much fun -- I could have spent hours there picking new everything for the kitchen and living room and bedrooms and baths upstairs! Can't afford it, but would have had a great time!

Until next time....blessings.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


This has been on my list to finish for the past three days.  I finally finished this hat a little bit ago.  It will be the first of many I will put aside for next year's Hat and Mitten tree at church - for elementary school kids.

Finished all my to-do list today, plus I cleaned out my kitchen cabinets.  Bad news is that my office just got filled with more "stuff"!  

The contractor is sending out the guy we're getting the new cabinets and carpet from this afternoon.  I'm having a cabinet added to my kitchen and then a set of base and wall cabinets for a spot in the basement.  The over-flow from the kitchen will go in them -- things like crockpots and dishes I only use once or twice a year.  I'll put a coffee pot and microwave in the basement too -- gotta have the essentials for my quilting studio!  When they finish the basement, I'll have it carpeted also, so the guy will measure for all that tonight. Hopefully, they'll start working on it next week.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

I am woman, hear me roar....

I bought this quilt hanger/shelf last month.  It's solid wood, so kinda heavy.  I could wait for my son-in-law to hang it for me, or my brother offered to come over and do it, but I hate to bother either of them.  I figured I'd give it a shot and if I screwed it up, they could fix it!  So, today I gave it a shot!  And, it's level too!  I bought the shelf from Country Store of Geneva - love their stuff.  Also bought an old looking medicine cabinet for the new bathroom in the basement -- when it gets built, that is!  I'll be replacing the light over the table sometime too -- it's on my list!
Yesterday we were in the deep freeze with howling winds and -18° - wind chills in the -35 to -40 range.  Nasty day.  Today it's still cold, finally reached 0° this afternoon, but no wind, so its bearable.  Poor dog just about froze every time I took him out.  I'd bring him back in and wrap him in an afghan in order to warm him up.  I got nothing done yesterday either except I baked a cake and made a loaf of bread. 
My to-do list today is partially done, but instead of finishing, I did some extra things, like hang this shelf and clean out my bathroom cabinet.  When I moved in and started to unpack, I just shoved things into cabinets and closets, so now it's time to rearrange and clean them out.  I've done my walk-in closet and the bathroom.  Hope to start on the kitchen cabinets soon.
The quilt on the shelf, btw, was a Country Threads quilt on the cover of I think American Patchwork and Quilting magazine the first year it came out.  That was basically the first applique I did, other than the first quilting class I took.

Until next time....blessings.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

And, it's Sunday

My plow guys showed up a bit after nine last night.  They are so fabulous!  They plow the drive, and shovel the sidewalks - all in about 10 minutes.  'Course, the city came by again after they were gone and managed to dump a big hill of snow at the end of the drive, but I guess that's to be expected.  Better get used to it, this is going to be a long winter!

The chicken pot pie in the crockpot was delicious, which is good because there's enough left over for a few more meals!

I did manage to get everything done on my to-do list yesterday and may even be able to finish the hat today.

Only thing on today's list is to take the garbage to the road for tomorrow morning pickup!  Oh, and go to church and run the media program.  Done and done.  I do the bulletin on the big screen monitors at church -- I do the work at home and take it on a thumb drive to load onto the laptop at church.  When I finish it here, it's just the way I want it, but when I project it onto the monitors at church, there is always some little glitch!  Today it was a picture of a baby behind the words to a song - totally not what I had for a background!  But, I discovered today I can fix things on the fly if I catch them fast enough! LOL  Always exciting on Sunday morning to see what the gremlins have planned for me. 

The picture at the top is one of the Jo's Little Women's Class projects.  I was two months behind at the end of the year and managed to catch up over the holidays, so this is one of them.
Now I'm off to knit a little and nap a little, and watch some football -- too bad my Bears aren't playing, but I sure don't envy the Packers playing in this subzero cold.

Until next time....Blessings.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Someone turn the snow machine off...

This was taken out my front door a few minutes ago.  See the mailbox?  It's pretty much buried under a ton of snow that just keeps coming.  Plus we have a lot of wind today, and we've got deep freeze temperatures forecasted for another week at least.  I hate winter -- don't know why I stay in this part of the country -- other than I've lived here all my life and my family and friends live nearby! 

Only one thing winter is good for:  staying by the fire (which I don't have in the fireplace!), and quilting or knitting!  And eating good old fashioned comfort food - the Chicken pot pie is in the crockpot!  Only thing left on my to-do list today is again, knitting on the socks and the hat. 

Until next time....Blessings.

Friday, January 03, 2014

They sure don't make 'em like they used to!

I moved the 27th of September.  On the 28th, I had my new washer and dryer delivered and installed.  Which makes them just over 3 months old!  Repairman was out yesterday late afternoon.  Verdict:  Needs a new electronic board! has to be ordered through Samsung and it'll take about a week to get here.  So, next Thursday, hopefully, I'll have a working washer again.  And because I don't have enough underwear to get me to next Thursday, I had to go to the laundromat again today.  Not my idea of a fun day.  Back when I was a new wife, the first time, I had to go to the laundromat for a few years before we finally got a washer and dryer.  That was ages ago.  The one I went to way back then is long gone.  It was clean and new back then.  The one I found close enough now, is old, not all that clean, and the machines do not all work.  I only did two loads of laundry, and only washed them, since my dryer still works, thankfully.  But, I gotta tell ya, the laundry came out of the washer practically dripping -- their idea of spin dry and mine are a long ways from being close!  Okay - rant over!  Clothes are dry and put away now.

As long as I had to go out in the freezing temps anyway, I ran to the bank and the grocery store too.  Also stopped at Farm & Fleet and bought myself a 4 qt. crockpot, on sale!  I have a 6 qt., but it's a bit too large for some things.  I've been going through my crockpot cookbook: 365 Slow Cooker Suppers by Stephanie O'Dea, and so far have marked four recipes I want to try.  Tomorrow I'll be trying "Classic Chicken (Crock) Pot Pie".  I love chicken pot pie, and it sounds so good!  Cooking for one is not a lot of fun - and when I make any kind of casserole, I eat it for days, which is fine, because I don't have to cook again for a few days! :-).  I thought it would help if I tried something new about once a week -- give me some variety and forces me to actually cook instead of nuking something! So that's the plan!

Only thing left on my to-do list today is knit on the socks and knit on the hat!  Dinner will be parmesan encrusted tilapia fillets and a salad!

Until next time....Blessings

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Organizing the Knitting Stash

 The other day I was thinking about knitting and needles.  I wanted to try a different cast-on method than the one I use, so I grabbed a couple of straight needles and cast on (using the two needle knit cast on), this yarn for a plain jane scarf.
 I filled up the long straight needle and knitted a couple of rows.  That made me start thinking about a post I remembered Judy made awhile back:  (I follow Judy's blog every day).  Anyway, I asked her a question and before she even had time to read it, I thought about her post.  After trying to knit on straight needles - and I've only made a few dishcloths on straight needles, I have to agree with her -- I prefer to work with the circular needles.  So, today, after cleaning out my knitting mess:

I switched the scarf over to the same size circular needle -- which I discovered in my mess!
The picture above shows that I have at least 5 sets of US 2 circular needles for socks!  Apparently, I tend to buy more because I can't find or forget what I already have.

I have a lot of sock yarn too -- which at the rate I knit will last me a lifetime.  The worsted weight I'll use mostly for hats for kids.  I also have a bit of cotton yarn for dishcloths - which I probably won't ever use.  I have a bunch of long straight needles too -- might donate them, but for now I've bagged them and put them on the bottom of the Rubbermaid container. 

Still waiting for the repairman -- sometime between 1 and 5 today, so now I'm off to spend some quality time knitting!

Two posts in one day -- how 'bout that!
Until next time....blessings.

More Resolutions

Lest you think I'm not making any progress on the socks, I am doing other knitting also!  This is the second hat I've made -- these are for the hat and mitten tree at church that we give to school children in our neighborhood.  I can't think of a better way to practice my knitting skills than to make something for needy children.  My plan is to continue to knit hats, maybe scarves and mittens, during the year so next year's tree will be full.

My daughter and I were discussing goals and quotes this morning.  Her favorite:  You are never too old to make a new goal or dream a new dream. - C.S. Lewis

One I just ran across today:  Good habits make all the difference. - Aristotle

Steph had just gotten off the treadmill and we were discussing the fact that I need to get on the treadmill, but just can't force myself to do it.  So, with Aristotle's quote in mind, I'm going to try to establish a new habit of walking on the treadmill after dinner.  The carpenter will be starting my basement work next week, so getting on the treadmill after dinner will be better for scheduling that trying to fit it in before they get here in the morning.

On today's to-do list:  wait for repairman to fix my 3 month old washer -- don't you just love all the electronics that can go wrong on our household equipment?!
I'll also be organizing my knitting supplies in addition to working on the hat above and my socks.  I know what I'm fixing for dinner and now I'm planning on walking after dinner.  Pretty light day all in all!

Until next time....blessings.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

New Year's Resolutions and Goals

Happy New Year!

Although nothing really bad happened last year, I'm just as happy to see it go!
It always feels good to start anew -- fresh slate, etc.

I do make New Year's Resolutions, or Goals.  I've been thinking about them for at least a month, and probably will still be thinking about new ones the whole month of January!  I do the normal ones - lose weight, exercise more, etc.  But this year I have a few different ones.

I used to write to-do lists every day and actually got a lot done by following the list and crossing things off.  I never made them so long that it would take more than a day to finish.  Some things get moved to the next day, but I try to make a list that is doable.  For some reason over the past year or more, I got away from making my to-do list.  Part of it was because I thought I was being too anal about it.  But for whatever reason, I stopped making lists consistently.  But, when I have a list, I get a lot more done -- I stay focused on the task at hand.  So, first on my New Year's Resolutions is to write a to-do list every day.  Mind you, posting this blog page was not on the list today! vbg

Second on the Resolution list is finish this pair of socks.  And it is added to my to-do list every day - knit two rounds on the socks!
I started this pair last fall -- I had a pair on the two circular needles with yarn that I love, and made it all the way to the heel turn and then screwed up somehow and because I'm new at this knitting thing, I couldn't figure out how to rip back to where I started messing up, so I had to rip them up completely.  I saved the yarn and will go back and use it some day, but in the meantime, I'm going to learn how to finish this pair on the needles.  I'm a very slow knitter, but I love knitted socks, so I'll keep at it until they are finished!  So that's my second goal for the new year.  I'll share more next time!
Until next time....blessings.