Sunday, November 30, 2008

Prayers for Ellie

This is Ellie, my first "grand dog". For a while there, I thought she was going to be my only "grand" anything! She belongs to DD and her family and has been a big part of all our lives for the last ten years. I have fond memories of her as a puppy, sliding across our kitchen floor and hitting the fridge with a thud as she learned to walk and stop. That same evening she slid into the swimming pool, we saved her just to have her do it again. She is big and loving, one of those dogs who has NO concept of her size. It is great fun to watch her clear all the goodies off the coffee table with one swipe of her tail.

Ellie somehow managed to get out of the house on Thanksgiving evening. They had a big family gathering with my SIL's family with lots of folks coming and going. DD thought that SIL put the dog out, he thought that she put the dog out, and they went to bed. The next morning they realized that Ellie was gone. Now, much as we love her, Ellie is not very smart, has never known anything but love and kindness so she would follow or approach a stranger or a run in front of a car.

They have listed her on several lost pet websites, went to the pound and canvased the neighborhood. They do live off a major busy street so that is a real fear we have.

If you have a chance in your busy day, send up a prayer that Ellie finds her way home. If she does not, please pray that she is in a spot where she will be loved and cared for the way she has been her whole life. The whole family is hurting but DD is really in pain.........she says she lost one of her children and needs to know that where ever she is, she is not suffering. It's not too much to ask.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas Sweatshirt 2008

When Julia was a year old, I made her a sweet sweatshirt jacket with gingerbread men and hearts to wear in her Christmas picture. Then every Christmas since, Nana has made her girl a Christmas sweatshirt. One year she had two! I made one for Colin when he was a toddler but our Bubba is much too rough and ready to have Santa on his shirt. I found a great camo flannel shirt for him that he really liked.

Last year I bought a pattern and shirt but when it came time to do it, didn't like it and decided maybe she was getting too big anyway. Not so, Nana, and there were tears. So Nana was up late a few nights rushing to get her girl's sweatshirt done. I was thrilled that it meant that much to her.

So this year, I am ahead, at least on this one thing. I finished it up over the weekend and it went home with her yesterday when they dropped by for a Thanksgiving visit. She was pleased. Not sure how much longer she is going to want a cute sweatshirt but as long as she does, if the hands hold out, there will be one. Great thing is we are having a nice winter storm after a few weeks of unseasonably warm temps, so it might even get cold enough for her to wear it!!

This applique is from Nancy Halvorsen's Art to Heart Pillow Talk book. She is one of my favorite designers. I added a few feet of blanket stitch to my line to California and back with this one.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Over The River and Through the Woods................

Not quite, it is more like "Get on the Freeway, to the House in the Middle of Town."

Like millions of American families, we are getting ready to eat more than we ever should in one day, in the name of saying thanks. We are a bountiful nation, and should be giving thanks! I hope that we can all look past the difficult times that are happening, that are coming and enjoy this day as it was intended so long ago.

To everyone out there, my best wishes for a wonderful day with loved ones. I will give thanks for all of you, for what you have contributed to my happiness.

So, what is happening at the "House in the Middle of Town"? First of all, there is the last ditch attempt to get this stupid turkey to THAW. There will only be four of us at the "House in the Middle of Town". This is the year that our daughter and her husband spend Thanksgiving with his family. The great white hunter son #2 and his wife will be here with us, and we will take dinner to our disabled son. If you are wondering why I have a HUGE turkey for five people, well, I believe if you are going to do all this work, might as well make it worth your while. Lots of that turkey and accompanying dressing and gravy will be frozen for quick meals all winter. This Nana isn't dumb...........but why didn't she take that big sucker out of the freezer earlier is the question???

The pies are done and two loaves of bread. I need to do two more loaves so my children can take a loaf home for breakfast toast on Friday. If I don't make extra, DD wil show up on my doorstep before going shopping looking for toast. After a quick trip to the grocery store, I will mix up the next two loaves. I was not going to the grocery store today but.......that is the same story as the turkey not being thawed.

Whatever, I am free to do as I please, just make sure you do not interfere with the Princess's morning/afternoon/all day nap. She is sure I am crazy anyway.

Happy Thanksgiving from the "House in the Middle of Town" to your house, wherever that might be!

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Schedule and New Project

The great white hunter has worked second shift for the last six years or so. At first it was because that was the job, then because the kids were here during the day, it was a choice because he could spend time with them. He was a lot of help when we were transporting Julia to Kindergarten at one school and Colin to pre school at another. He went one direction and I went the other. But, they are now in school full time and no longer here except to visit, so we have been hoping he could get on day shift. Last week our wish was granted, and we are trying to adjust to a new time schedule and routine. All of a sudden I seem to have lots of time on my hands so hopefully, I will get the creative juice flowing again!

I am such a visual learner. I can read or listen to instructions and sometimes, a curtain falls that seems to block what is being said from getting to the old brain. Try as I like it makes no sense. I had that problem with sewing binding on a quilt when I first started. Then one day, I picked up a magazine in Wallymart and it had detailed pictures, and wow, the clouds opened and the sun shone in. So I love tutorials!

Not only are they a gift from the blogowner/designer to all of us, I know they take a lot of time and thought to make them clear and understandable. It is great though, because it is like you have them right by your side walking you though the process.

This one by PINK PENGUIN is wonderful. Very well done and easy to follow, plus the result is terrific. This make up fast and will make great gifts any time of year.

Being the queen of blanket stitch (a name given to me by my sister), I had to add some around the upper edge. I think I will make a few more for gifts. I am thinking of things to fill them with, maybe a bag of homemade cookies and using them for the few neighborhood gifts we give.

Then. I was thinking how you could use this pattern so many ways......a sweet Easter basket made with Easter print fabric, a Fourth of July napkin basket for your picnic table, a birthday gift basket, baby gift or end of the year teacher gift. Hey, I could do a camouflage one for the great white hunter!! I wonder if I make bigger squares and make it bigger .....?????

Someone, quick, lead me to another tutorial before we have fabric basket mania at our house!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Blanket Stitch and More Blanket Stitch

I love to do blanket stitch around things. Over the past ten years or so, I have done a lot of it between the blankets and burp cloths I made for the grands, plus the appliqued sweat shirts I made to sell and the fleece blankets that I made for everyone and then some. It is wonderful mindless work and once I get going, very soothing for me to do. If I added up all the lengths I have done, I think we could have a blanket stitch line to California!

I have finished the two flannel blankets for Julia's teacher's expected twins. Think these plus some boy and girl pattern burp cloths will make a nice gift.

The Momma (DD) took Julia to pick out the flannel for the blankets. We were kind of disappointed with her choice as there is so much cute flannel print out here, but when they were put together, I think she made great choice. May have to start using her as color consult when the great white hunter is not available!

Here is the sweet little girl blanket.

This one is for the boy.

This is the fleece blanket for DD and SIL's school friend. He and his wife will be here from Portland for Thanksgiving and can take it home with them. They do not want "cutsie" baby items and we thought this was perfect. It is child like yet not blue, babyish print. There are 6 burp cloths to go with this to round out the gift.

I am working on a Christmas applique sweatshirt for Julia now, and then have a request for a new fleece blanket from Colin. Did I say I was done with the blanket stitch? Not anytime soon, apparently. Maybe we will have a blanket stitch line that runs BACK from California.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Circle of Friends

: Yesterday, I received a email saying I had been removed from the Quilt for Fun web ring. No explanation was given. It was followed by a couple more after I answered that there was no problem. Today, I got a email containing the email that I was supposed to get before I got removed and was not sent to me. I was invited to rejoin. Regardless, I was "dumped". The reason is not important, the fact that I did not in some way "measure up". is. Thank you for all the great comments. We have a friendly, supportive circle of friends going and that has been my goal since starting to blog. I am very happy with that don't have to join, you don't have to post or comment. You don't have to quilt or bake or have grand kids. All parts of the country and Canada are represented and the age group varies. I think we are doing pretty good on our own with out a web ring. Again, I find that I am one lucky lady! I look forward to anyone who comments and becomes part of that circle.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thrown Out

It happened. I have been "removed" from the "Quilting for Fun" web ring. I do not measure up, folks. My dreams of being a quilting diva have been squashed. Once again I failed as able to function as the member of a group. Ah, I just looked out the door and the sun is still shining and the clouds are moving so.......think the earth is still spinning. I knew this was coming and took the icon off the blog several weeks ago so as not to disappoint folks who would come for quilting posts.

Let me say that the web rings are great for those who can follow rules, but I have discovered that making a quilt now and then is just a fraction of who I am as a person. What you see is what you get and this blog is proof of that.

Does this mean things will change........naw, I am who I am!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remember the Families

I posted last year how I can name four generations of my family who have served in the military. This starts with great uncles in WW I, my Dad and father in law in WW II, a uncle in Korea, my great white hunter in Viet Nam and my oldest son served four years in the Navy. I am very proud of all of these men, luckily they all came home and moved on with their lives. Today is their day. Sadly, my great white hunter has to go to work but at this point, we are thankful for that job.

While these men gave much, I hope that when you remember their and other's service today and hopefully everyday, you will pause and remember the families these men left at home. I have been reading some blogs of Marine wives and know that some of these families are facing their third and fourth deployment. Babies are being born with Daddy not there, birthdays and holidays are missing that important person. Wives who are part of a two person team are running the show all alone. I have been there and it is no picnic. My sister in law and my son were born while their Dad's were overseas.

It is an added stress to the military man, serving his country and wondering if all is well at home. Think how hard it must be to leave their wives and small children, missing parts of their lives that are once in a life time things to go into a unknown war zone.

So, to those many families out there keeping the watch until the loved ones come home safely, you have my respect and my best wishes!!! To those now serving our country making it possible for us to live the life we live, my never ending thanks and respect come your way. Blessings for you all.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Some Progress at our House

I finished the quilt for my daughter's co-worker. It is pretty basic but I think will make a welcome gift with the addition of several burp cloths.

A few years ago, my great white hunter made me a rack for my rulers. Since then my collection has grown and I asked him if he could make me a longer one with a couple more grooves in it. This one just fits on top of the book shelf where I keep my quilting books. I will use the first one he made for the smaller odds and ends of rulers that I keep in a drawer. He did a wonderful job, he has a lot of pride in his woodworking, no short cuts on anything.

Here it is with the rulers in place. It is just sitting waiting for me to use one of them..........and waiting and waiting. You would think with all these great tools to work with, I would be pumping out the quilts. You would think............

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day 2008

I have read some very good posts on blogs today urging folks to vote. My great white hunter and I voted with a mail in ballot last week. It is much easier than standing in lines and easier to fill out your ballot. I, too, urge you to vote, so much depends on our vote this year.

The best post I read, in my most humble opinion, about election day was from Mary. I agree with her 100%. I did my duty and voted the best I knew how. I read and listened and then read some more. The only problem was there was no place to vote for "NONE OF THE ABOVE". Surely somewhere in this great and vast country of ours there is a honest man???? Or is it not the man but the political machine and the media that distort things so badly? Whatever, I pray that we, as a country, make the right choice on this one.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Forty two years ago tomorrow, my great white hunter and I loaded up into his dad's yellow and white Chevy pick up. He was wearing his AF uniform, I had a pretty suit I bought off the rack at J C Penney. We were off to find a Justice of the Peace to marry us. It would be the 4th before we would actually be man and wife and now that my mother is no longer with us, I will admit to that one! I was 19, he was 20. We had been dating since I was 15, although we had gone our own way more than once.

He had come home on leave to ask me to marry him and if I said yes, to marry me before he went back. This was 1966, he was in the AF and our country was at war. He was due for orders and there was a very good chance he would be going to "Nam". After a fifteen minute discussion about what I expected out of a husband, I, of course, said "YES!!!" The course for the rest of our life was set.

There was no time to plan a wedding. One problem was the fact that I was raised in the Catholic Church, the great white hunter in the Baptist. His parents had planned a vacation around his leave, thinking he would go see all the family with them. My family was not financially able to do anything for us, so we decided to buy our licence in town, then go else where to get married. One hitch was, that week there was a state wide meeting for the local Justice of the Peace. Everywhere we stopped told us the same story. "Come back next week." We finally stopped in a town where the lady working in the office took one look at the uniform and knew we were on a time limit. She called another near by town where there was a judge who could marry us. She told us that he hated to marry people, he was a divorce judge but that he also was a supporter of our military so he might just do it. He did, we had the local sheriff and a deputy for our witness. When it came time to pay the fee, he refused to take it, saying he would not benefit from doing something that might end up in his divorce court later on. (How I wish he could see how things turned out!)

We had a couple of days alone, then went on the family vacation with his parents. They dropped him off at his base in California and I went home to my family and my job. He did get orders and in Feb. came home to move me to Southern California. The "Nam" thing came a few years later.

He is my hero, my very best friend and my greatest support. He helps me pick out my quilt fabric when I am color challenged! If you ask him what his goal in life is, he will tell you, to make me happy. He has and does. The 42 years have not been without struggle and there were times when both of us felt like we wanted to leave. But every time, something positive happened that told us we needed to stay together. Would I do it again? You bet your boots I would, but this time I think I would like a wedding cake! LOL

Happy Anniversary to my great white hunter!