Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Time Out

I have become very discontent with the blogging process lately. It is starting to feel like work. Life is very much the same from season to season and coming up with fresh new posts is not always easy to do. Reading blogs and trying to comment, plus answering comments seems to take a lot of time that could be used more wisely elsewhere. So, think it is time to take some time off and see if I can't maybe come back with a fresh prospective, or maybe fill that time with more constructive things. Time will tell on that one.

I am also disillusioned with a lot of what I am seeing and reading in some of the blogs now days. For the most part, I have made wonderful friends in blogland and I value those friendships so very much. I will be visiting those blogs and making a major effort to keep in touch with those people. You all know who you are. I may take a day and read and comment on others at random, but for the most part, Norma has "Gone Quilting/reading/crocheting/stitching and maybe, just maybe doing some much needed work around her home.

Have a great summer and I will be around later.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Ok, so the link for Broomstick Lace directions does not work.......grrrr.

Try here and if that fails........just Google Broomstick Lace, there are several sites that have directions!

Broomstick Lace Afghan for Ryan

A few years ago, I made a broomstick lace afghan for a birthday gift for a close friend. She had just gotten a new couch so I made it to go with that. Her son was still living at home then and soon after her birthday, got sick with a really bad cold and spent his recovery days on that couch wrapped in her afghan. After he got well, he liked to watch TV, again wrapped in her afghan. The family jokingly started calling the afghan, "Ryan's blankie". My friend said she was forever finding it in his room rather than on the couch where it belonged.

I made the comment that well, I knew what to make him for a wedding gift anyway.

Fast forward, Ryan is now on his second enlistment in the Army, has spent almost a year in Japan and is now engaged to be married on July 4th. The wedding is in Vegas with just family, followed by casual reception at her parents house on July 18th.

They are doing their living room in cream and black, so the bride wanted a black afghan...........and Ryan is off doing Army things so couldn't ask him. So, I am working like crazy to keep my word and make Ryan his own "blankie."

I have done broom stick lace for years........this shows the big plastic pin that I use. I bought this in Germany when we were stationed there in the 70's. I have since found other needles but they are smaller, so this is my old stand by that I guard carefully. Never know when someone will need a "blankie" all their own.

Click here for directions for Broomstick Lace.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day Gifts and My New Fave Tool

Here are the lovely gifts that Julia and Colin painted for me for Mother's Day. I am one of those people who would rather have something that they made (or anyone made just for me) instead of a purchased gift. The Momma and Daddy gave me a lovely gift too, but the kids gifts always get the first spot!

I either tie or hand quilt my quilts. For the most part, my quilts are use and abuse so I tie them. That is what was done when I was growing up and I respect it as a quilt. Now I have read that it is not a quilt but a "comforter" if it is tied. You can call it what you want, I don't think the ladies who made quilts 100 years ago always had the time to wait for the quilting process because they needed those quilts on the bed to keep their family warm. A quilt is a quilt, regardless of the methods used to put it together in my book.

The sandwich process has become really hard as the only place I have that is large enough is the living room floor. The old knees can't do that much anymore, plus I get a stiff neck and headache from having my head hang down when I am on my knees basting. The last few quilts I have done, I basted down the center in both directions and then moved it to my folding table to baste and then tie. It worked but I have been less than happy with the results because my backing was not always smooth.

Then I read somewhere how a lady used her husband's clamps to clamp her quilt to her table. Norma had a AH_HA moment! My great white hunter uses these clamps in his woodworking and there were some in the garage! I mentioned it to him and he suggested that I get new ones to make sure there was nothing on them from the woodworking process. (besides his tools are HIS tools). Well, they work wonderfully! In fact, I just did my usual baste down the center both ways and then clamped it to the table, tied a section, moved it and re clamped until I was done without any more basting. My backing is nice and smooth and it took about a third of the time. Now I need to find a box to store MY clamps.

Colin did ask if I asked Papa before I used his clamps, and was very impressed that Nana had her own set!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day Visitors

We were up early on Sunday, getting ready to head out for our annual Mother's Day picnic. I looked over to see if the coffee was done and noticed that there was something floating in the pool. Now, when he was smaller, the little guy next door liked to see if he could throw things over the fence and hit the pool, so I figured maybe he hadn't outgrown that like we thought.

Much to my surprise, this is what was floating in the pool. Ma and Pa had made a stop in our backyard. They floated around like they owned the place. (and we were hoping that they would decide no, it was not for them) My great white hunter had to get a step ladder out of the garage so he could get a picture over the fence and they took no notice at all. After a nice swim, they took to the air, off to visit someone else and try out their pool.

We have not ventured into the water yet, way too cool for our taste just yet but it apparently was just right for ducks on Mother's Day 2009. Not bad for living right smack dab in the middle of large metropolitan area.

Picnic was wonderful, pictures later.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Home At Last!

Boy, you have got to watch this Flat Stanley guy. First, he takes his own sweet time going from Arizona to Canada, then he has a visit that my whole family is in awe of, takes a leisurely trip back home and brings a GIRLFRIEND with him!! The note that came with her said she was his Canadian cousin but.........he was way too happy to be traveling with a cousin!

Carol's daughter included this travel friend for Flat Stanley. Isn't she cute?

Dalton, Carol's son, drew this picture for the box. He does wonderful work!

Stanley returned home in a box full to the brim of great things from our friends to the North. The album was full of great pictures of his travels with Carol and her family. The Momma (DD) was taking the package to Colin's class today to share it with them. Colin was very excited that there were pencils for his classmates.

Thank you Carol, John, Dakota and Dalton for all your efforts in this. Bloggers are amazing people. Funny how you can reach out to folks and get very little response, then you have someone like Carol who volunteers and then goes way beyond what is expected. Friendship on the web is amazing. I am old enough to be Carol's mother. She found me through another Canadian blog I commented on, and a great friendship evolved.

On a "what is happening at my house" report, here are the first of the tomatoes! We had them sliced with salt and pepper the other night and they were so good. There are a lot more out back but the plants are in bad shape. Don't think the great white hunter and I will ever earn our farming badge! Cucumbers are doing well in spite of the heat. I am in hopes we will have lots of them for ice box pickles this year.

My great white hunter and I went yesterday and picked about 40 lbs of local peaches. That means I will be busy making jam and freezing peaches..........might fit a peach pie in there over the weekend.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

It is Raining Lemons!

This is the time of year when last year's unpicked citrus crop falls from the trees. There are little dark green new lemons already formed and growing as the tree bloomed in April. So we sit in the family room and hear the thump of lemons hitting the ground out back from our neighbor's tree. My great white hunter spent quite a bit of time one night this week picking lemons for the people at work. He took in three huge boxes (and this is just from our side of the fence) and the folks there took all of them home and were thrilled to get them. I priced lemons at the store and they wanted 39 cents for a small one, so I guess I would be glad to get them too. When you just go out and pick what you want, you kind of take them for granted.

Just to show you that Texas is not the only state that grows things big......I picked this one up out of the yard this morning on my daily "pick up lemons" job. The coin on the side is a quarter, sorry that is not too clear in the picture.

"Tuscan Sun" had a set back the past couple of days while I recovered from a nice bout of stomach flu but looking forward to posting the next couple of blocks soon.