Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"This is IT!" Revisited

My grand kids can hardly wait until the water in the pool reaches swimming temperature. They check to see what the temperature is every time they come. So last week, on the way home from having sleep over at our house, the great white hunter and I took them shopping for their annual "stay at Nana/Papa's house" swim suits. They were excited because it was Saturday and Papa was with us.

They each chose three suits to try on. All three of Julia's were one piece which was a surprise to me. She and the Mama had already had a tussle over a two piece suit that Mama said was lacking in fabric for her seven year old and Julia got second choice. Two of the suits had matching skirts and she liked that. Colin had a white pair with blue sharks and two different Spider man print.

Trying on the suits was quite the production. They each had to leave the fitting room and troop out to show Papa the suits.........all six of them. I just crossed my fingers that none of their bare toes got ran over by a wayward shopping cart.

Colin decided that he wanted the white ones with the sharks. The Spider man ones were "a little snug", he said.

The first suit Julia tried on was a coral color with a striped skirt that went over it. It had the same striped fabric on the top. She really liked it but wanted to try on the other two. Next came a blue green tie dye. Now this suit had NO back even though it was high in front.......it was cute. Last came a white suit with bead work on the top with a white tie on skirt.......she stood in front of the mirror and struck a pose, one hip stuck out, her hand on the other one. She turned, checked over her shoulder to see how it looked in the mirror from behind and said. "This is IT, but I need to go show Papa" and out the door she went.

I stood there amazed at how sure of it she was, how she knew at seven years old that she had found "IT". And then a flood of memories came back to me.............

My daughter (Julia's Mama) and I are looking at a white Jessica McClintock dress. I am telling her, "NO way, that dress costs too much" and she is telling me, "this is IT!" We were shopping for her a dress to wear in a Jr. High School debate competition. Oh yes, she got the dress but only after making a deal with the great white hunter that she would pay for part of it with her babysitting money.

The great white hunter and I are walking down a isle in a mall store, our daughter walking in front of us. We have come to the mall to look at a prom dress that she had seen earlier that day on a shopping trip with her friends. She runs to a rack and grabs a sapphire blue dress with a beaded top, and says, "This is IT!" We have great pictures of her and her date (Julia's Daddy) at the dance. She has her long hair in beautiful curls and the blue dress on with shoes dyed to match.

Next memory has my daughter and I in the dressing room, trying on the 20th plus white wedding gown of the day. I am so confused, mixing up stores, styles and prices. My brain is on over load because nothing has been just right. She slips the dress over her head, I zip it up and she turns around. I burst into tears at the sight of my baby girl in that dress. She smiles and says, "Well, I guess this is IT then." That was the dress she walked down the isle in on the great white hunters arm to marry Julia's Daddy.

We are in the baby dept of some store and I grab a tiny, frilly white dress off a rack of christening dresses and hold it up for my daughter to see. She says, "Oh yes, that is IT." My Julia has her first fancy dress.

One of my favorite quotes is "LIFE IS NOT MEASURED BY THE NUMBER OF BREATHS THAT YOU TAKE, BUT BY THE MOMENTS THAT TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY." I do not know who said this, as my plaque doesn't have a author but to who ever, I say hear, hear! Best part of this grandparent thing is more of those moments to share.

This is "IT!"

Friday, April 25, 2008


Carol tagged me with this and it looks like fun. I am supposed to tag ten people to do it also but not going to do that part. If it looks like fun to you, please do it on your blog and let me know so I can read your answers. Let me tell you that the letter "N" is a real pain for something like this!

Use the first letter of you first name to answer each of the following. They have to be real places, names, things..nothing made up!

Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.




Nana..........my "other" name


Nissan (had to go to the classified ads in the newspaper!)




New York








Necklace (diamond, of course!)




Nightgown (hangs on the back of the door)




No! (but often not loud enough)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I Am the WINNER!

A few days ago, I found the most colorful blog.........and she was having a give away. I commented and got the word saying I won. It is a lovely bag, patterns and a piece of chenille that reminds me of my childhood bedspread! Best thing is, I really enjoyed the blog too! Check it out at Whippet Good.

Thank you Bronwyn!


My great white hunter was telling me the other day that it was time to make some goodies for the people at work. I guess he had heard a few comments about how some thing sweet would sure taste good. So what is a gal to do for her special guy? At our house, she digs out the cook book and she bakes.

I made two Texas Sheet cakes. They really enjoy this one but if we waited until it got hot, the icing melts on the way to work in the AZ heat. Now this is a very common recipe, you will find it in a lot of church or ladies club cookbooks. It is very simple, very portable and most everyone just loves it. I have made it for showers and a wedding rehearsal dinner, pot lucks, treats for work and birthdays. One thing I can say about it, there is rarely a piece left over and you will find folks picking off the bits of icing stuck to the empty pan! I will include the recipe below the picture in case you are interested.

Texas Sheet Cake

2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups flour
4 Tablespoons cocoa
1/2 pound (2 sticks) margarine
1 cup water
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13" by 11" by 1" pan. Mix sugar, flour, and cocoa in a mixing bowl. In a saucepan, melt margarine in the water. When boiling, pour over dry ingredients and beat well. Add eggs and beat well. Dissolve baking soda in the buttermilk and add to the batter. Beat well, then add vanilla. Pour into pan. Bake about 30 minutes or until done. Leave cake in pan and frost while hot.

Fudgie Frosting

1/4 pound margarine
6 Tablespoons milk
1 cup marshmallows
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 box (16 ounces) confectioners sugar
1 cup chopped nuts

While cake is baking, put margarine, milk, marshmallows and cocoa in a heavy 4 qt saucepan. Stir over low heat until marshmallows melt. Add vanilla. Blend in confectioners sugar, beating until smooth. Add nuts if desired. Spread warm over a hot cake.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

It Works!

I mentioned buying the Fon's and Porter Easy Diagonal Sets Ruler at Joann's the other day. I had found a pattern for a table runner in one of their magazines that had a lesson on how to use the ruler. I really liked the pattern, and one thing lead to another, in spite of my resolution NOT to start anything new until I finished a few things. I am weak and have NO will power is all I can say to that.

This has six setting triangles. To cut them, you look on the front of the ruler and find your block size line (6 in finished) then on the side of the ruler, it tells you how wide to cut your strip. (4 3/4 inches). Line up the block size line on the bottom of the fabric strip and cut the triangle............then flip and do the next one until you have what you need. I was thrilled how easy it was and how well they fit. Now if you have done diagonal sets before and are good with the math and cutting, you might not need this, but for me it was a great help. I can not wait to do a quilt with my blocks on point!

This is the flimsy..........I am going to hand quilt it with the dark green on the back. I want to hand quilt a simple flower in the center of the off white blocks, something I have never done before.........I just have done a outline quilting stitch. I did have a few problems with the slant part where the bottom border and the side borders fit, but after I adjusted it, it looked great. You can see where I have it pinned on the top. That was a learning process and I was pleased that it went well.

So..........at least I finally bought something that I can and will use! As I have said before, quilting is a journey and this one was a good trip with a great ending. I might figure this all out if I live long enough!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Blahs Cure

When I was a girl and got the blues, my mother used to tell me that women went and bought a new hat to make them feel better. I didn't wear hats so she said to go get a new lipstick or a new bottle of nail polish and it would help. So, beings I no longer wear lipstick and I just got a new bottle of nail polish in my Christmas stocking, I gathered myself up yesterday and went to JOANN'S. Big surprise, huh?

They had a nice sale and I had a 50% off coupon. This is what I bought instead of a new hat.

I think this is going to be great, I have a pattern for a table runner out of one of their magazines that uses this and it looks like it makes things really easy and fast. I will let you know.

After I got home, I was thinking about some of my other quilting notion purchases, you know the ones you just had to have and never use? Here are a few.....

Now this I had to have! I saw it on TV, looked for it on line and then found it locally. OK, got it home and spent a long time trying to figure it out, then decided that it was taking way too long to figure out if it was supposed to HELP and besides, did not want anything that I was supposed to TAPE to the bed of my beloved machine. Threw that one in the drawer where it has been ever since.

This seemed like such a great idea that I bought it twice! I was happy to see from the price tag that it didn't cost much but the first one I bought, I ordered and paid more postage than I did for it. Tried it both times I bought it, threw both in the same drawer as the above.

These I bought, never tried but they were in that same drawer.

Last but not least, I must like triangle rulers. The drawer has these three. Now I will plead the fact that they are different brands and each one is just a little different than the other one. Did I realize there were three of these? Have I used any of them? Ah, no, they were in that drawer too.

I don't think all of these goodies were bought in place of a hat but a I think a couple were. Do we see a pattern here?

So, what is in your "had to have it, never use it, forgot I have it" drawer?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I have the "blahs". No motivation to do anything and the day seems really long. I feel like I am pushing through a fog.

DD says it is the let down from being busy to get ready for company, having the company and then, back to normal life. She may be right, I have been busy since Jan. when I made my resolution to de-clutter my life and my house. I could still do more but for the most part, cupboards, drawers, and closets are neat and tidy.

My idea was if I got better control over the house work part of my life, I would have more time and motivation to quilt. Okay, so now that I can, how come I don't want to get up off my you know what and go do it? I even have a list with the things I want to finish all in order.........last week I was excited about this, today, its not looking so great. "sigh"

Monday, April 14, 2008

More Cherries!

I decided that rather than put the red and cherry fabric scraps away, I would just cut strips and make some nine patches for another single bed quilt for the trundle bed that is under that daybed. Not sure what I will do with them, kind of depends on how many I can make with what is left. I would like to make some hourglass blocks for in between to make them look like they are on point but we will see. I am open to any and all suggestions. So far I have 19 blocks and fabric for more.

It was 96 degrees here today, things are starting to look a little parched. So, those of you who were tired of my Spring pictures when you were up to your neck in snow and storms, I am about to get my just desserts!

Friday, April 11, 2008


My friend from high school left this morning. We had a great visit. We talked until both of us were tired of talking! There was lots of "remember when?" and "what ever happened to?" Then we talked about what our life had been this past 40 some years. We covered it all, the joys, the disappointments and misery plus what we wanted the rest of our lives to encompass. We groused about the health issues of aging and the expectations of retired life. You name it, it was on the agenda at my house. When the great white hunter asked her if there was something special that she wanted to do or see, her reply was, "I came here to reconnect with the two of you, not to sight see." We did reconnect, maybe in a way I have never reconnected with anyone ever before. We had time to just sit and talk about everything at length.

Our lives took really different turns. I married early, had children early and that has been my life. She went to college, married, divorced, remarried and divorced again. She has no children but has had a successful career that she just retired from a few months ago. She is fiercely independent, successful in a male dominated field with few responsibilities now that she is not working.

After she left today, I have felt rather punchy. The insecurity that I felt all through high school about who I was and what people thought of me, came rising back to the surface after 40 some years. I wondered how my life measured up. Then later this evening, I realized, it doesn't matter. What matters is NORMA is happy with the turns her life took. NORMA is happy with her job as a full time wife, mother and Nana. How other people look at me now, my life or what I have accomplished doesn't matter at all. If I had it to do over, I would not have done it any different. There are things I would have done SMARTER, but still done the same.

Getting old is not fun some days, but being able to be comfortable in your own skin is a great benefit of age. As Popeye used to say, "I am what I am" or something like that!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries and Cherry Mash

Look what the great white hunter brought me from Oklahoma! He took a quick trip last week to see his mother and his aunt. He also brought me two bags of local pecans, which are wonderful. A Cherry Mash is a center of very sweet cherry stuff, surrounded with chocolate with chopped peanuts. It is a blast of sweet, almost too much at first but then heavenly.

Cherry Mash was one of my all time favorite candy bars as a teenager/young adult in Colorado. Candy bars were about a nickel when I was really young and before that I bought what we called "pick candy" from a office supply/candy store on my way to school. There was a big glass case and we would all stand and wait our turn to "Pick" out our two or three cents, or even 5 cents worth on a good day. Mrs Cass would put the candy in a bag and take our pennies. We all thought she was mean but gee, the woman must have had great patience to stand there for a hour and sell candy to all these little kids who could not make up their mind how to spend three cents. The variety was huge, at least to a seven or eight year old. There was bubble gum and suckers, licorice and jelly beans, pixie sticks and sticks made from wax full of sweet liquid and wax lips. The holidays meant special varieties to choose from.

As I got older, I had more chances to make a nickel here and there running errands and doing chores, and too, smarts enough to flat out ask for a nickel now and then from a loving relative. I moved on to packaged candy and candy bars. Finn mentioned Sugar Daddy Suckers, Sugar Babies. There were Root Beer Kegs, Black Crows and Dots, Boston Baked Beans, Big Hunk and on and on. I loved chocolate so a candy bar was a normal choice.

Then came the magic money maker.....BABY SITTING! I did a lot of that, I was very "dependable". That meant I had more cash for my beloved candy and I discovered Cherry Mash candy bars. They cost a little more than the Hersey Bars or Baby Ruth, Butter Finger or others. Sometimes though, my frugal self showed up even then and I would buy two of the cheaper bars instead of the more expensive Cherry Mash.

When I left home for the first time as a newlywed, it was to California...........Land of NO Cherry Mash. Seems the distribution of Cherry Mash stops at the Rocky Mountains. When we went back to visit, I used to buy all the Cherry Mash I could afford and take them home. More than once, my candy was a melted glob when I got where I was going from sitting in a hot car. No matter, still tasted like Cherry Mash. My sister started sending them to me in her Christmas box and I sometimes, if I absolutely had to, shared with my family.

So, when my sweetie saw the Cherry Mash at the OK Walmart, he bought two bags. Now, I am old and diabetic but.........if I am very careful, I think I can eat a half of one with no blood sugar explosion! I am saving that for tonight and believe me I will enjoy every nibble!

"Life is just a bowl of cherries" is what the red and white print in my quilt says. I thought it went well with my stash of candy bars. I am so glad this one is done. I have been looking for a day bed set for this bed for long time. The ones I found were either too frilly or too tailored. I am pleased with this. Now this is the bed I normally pile fabric and all sorts of things I need to put away on. No more, so I am in hopes it will spur me to use better organization of the sewing room.
It is a nice relief to have it finally done and on the bed. Our friend arrives tomorrow.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Sore Hands!

We are expecting company next week. A gal that we both went to High School with and have not seen for 40 years, will be here on Tuesday. We have kept in touch all these years with Christmas cards, then email.

She will be sleeping in our guest room which the rest of the time is my sewing room. So I have been working on making it seem more like a bedroom. I have been wanting to make a quilt for the day bed in that room for a long time and this visit seemed to be the reason. The red and white disappearing nine patch will go in there. So, I have been frantically working to get it basted, tied and now put the binding on. And my poor hands are so sore! I seem to work better with a goal in mind but do hate deadlines! Why do I do this? I do every year at Christmas and end up frantic.

So, back to my binding after I take something for the sore hands. I am almost done, then need to make some simple pillow shams. Oh, and add a label on the spot on the backing that got nipped when I was sewing the backing together. After that I will put my sewing machine away for a few days and give my hands a rest.