Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Another morning of testing at the local middle school for Middleman-the child formerly known as C-man.  LOL
Hey, if it works for the rock star formerly known as Prince...
Co-op's last day was Monday.  Bye bye Classic Lit, Science Lab and Greek & Latin.
We're down to Espanol, and Algebra I here at home and the science class at school.  Javi is wrapping things up at his school and will be done in the next couple of weeks, then graduation.  It's all a blur!

Well, that was different!  A new way to upload pictures to my blog.  Hmmmm.  Maybe someone needs to ask first before they start changing the way they do things around here!  Hrumph.

Really, it's okay.  It took a minute, but I think I got it. 

I've been free piecing during my free time in the morning.  Seemed appropriate.  Although, it sounds a little hippyish or druggish to say that.  And I keep singing "Freebird" in my head.  Hope you get to sing it to yourself all day too!  I wouldn't want you to miss the fun.  Nothing wrong with a little Lynyrd Syknyrd in the a.m.

Scraps from all over.  From friends near and far.  Greedy little hands frantically stuffing a ziploc baggie with as many as she can and still get the zipper closed.  Kaffe Fassett, Denyse Schmidt, Amy Butler, Heather Ross, Wal Mart and some vintage.  LOL  Rubbing shoulders.  Kickin' back.  Hangin' out together in my quilt.

Remember those candy necklaces you could buy?  On the teeny tiny string of elastic?  The ones you crunched off?

Those are what this quilt remind me of.  Candy on a string.  LOL

I know, I know.  Yes.  Please look at the new hole in my head.  It's there with this new project I've started.  I chopped up

(after having added a little more) into 6" squares and sashed with fun, fanciful, happy fabric.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What every self respecting mother does

when her kids are off at school is-

I'm off to spend an hour with me and myself.  We're free piecing today because it's that kind of a day.

--wishing you kindness today.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Hard evidence that the cat and dog are in collusion.  This is what is left of the fresh, hot loaf of bread we had with our salad Saturday night before going off stargazing for fun/school.

The cat, who can get on the counter, hopped up and ate what she wanted.  To pacify and bribe the dog, she knocked the rest onto the floor.  Lady, I'm sure, ate some of it and then hid the rest in her cage.  Sunday morning she brought it out for al fresco dining.

My good friend Joy brought me a vase full of lilacs last week.  One of my favorite memories from childhood is the huge lilac bush my parents had at the side of their shed in the back yard.  My mom would cut armloads and bring them inside.  Every time I walked by this bouquet, I was a little girl again playing in the yard.  Smelling the lilacs when the wind blew.  I was a little girl in the kitchen of my parents' house.  Thank you Joy!

Before.  The gag me, gross me out, so abused couch cushion.  Once upon a time, this was the coolest couch.  The In-Loves gave it to us when we were married.  It's still in awesomely good shape as far as the frame goes.  It is one of my favorite pieces of furniture.  And it needed to be saved!

This is where it's going.  Last week I got the two seat cushions and one of the back cushions sewn and threw away the old covering and stuffing.  I was going to do several square pillows for the back instead of the two that the couch originally came with.  But I dreamed the back cushions looked better with two and with the gingham in the center sashed by the floral.  So, I'm working on the second back cusion today.  I just sewed the zipper onto the fabric.

May I just take a moment?  LOL  I am not a zipper person.  And now I realize how I could have done a hidden one on the cushions.  But, we learn as we go don't we?  I am especially proud of the zippers.  I salvaged the old zippers from the original cushions.  One, because I'm cheap economical and like to recycle and repurpose.  Two, because I wanted to keep the exact same size cushion cover and this made sense.

I am so very pleased with how this is turning out.  I hope to get the other back cushion finished today.

Yesterday I got the fabric for May's block for the ISQ beeAlison sent us Hope Valley fabric to make her blocks.  Feeling a little sheepish, because I just finished the prototype for Sharon.

She asked us to make wonky gnome homes.  Any size.  Well, if you're gonna go, go big!  LOL  I got to thinking that there might be gnomes who love to sail.  And all sailors need a way to find their way home.  So, I'm pleased to introduce you to the Lighthouse Keeper Gnome.  He keeps the glass glean and the oil full.  He never abandons his post and lives to help his fellow gnomes come to safe harbor.

Thank you for your responses yesterday.  They lifted my heart and I was thankful for each one.  Like little stars twinkling in the dark sky that sometimes feels way too big and overwhelming to me.
Bless you all.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude

I am thankful for legs that are healthy enough to wear out knees in jeans.
I am thankful for growing teenagers who use all the food they eat to be healthy.
I am thankful for dogs and cats who can cooperate (cat knocks it off the counter after her cut, dog cleans up the rest) and are friends.
I am thankful for green grass that needs mowed.
I am thankful for raised garden beds that give you 6 inches less to bend down to.
I am thankful for oak trees that keep their dead leaves all through winter and shed them in the spring.
I am thankful for the family that is here to wear so many clothes.
I'm thankful for so many clothes for my family to need washed.
I'm thankful for dishes that need to be done three times a day.
I'm thankful I don't have to go to the creek to wash all the clothes and dishes my healthy, clean and (ahem) happy family use.

I am thankful for the land the in loves own that we can go spend time at.
I am thankful there were no mosquitoes.
I am thankful no children were lost or harmed during the excursion.
I am thankful the weather was wonderful.

I am sure the tick that followed Bean home somehow is thankful we have dark blue carpet in our room.
I am sure the tick is thankful that instead of squashing him, Bean merely flicked him onto the blue carpet.
I am sure the tick is thankful it was that late at night that my eyesight probably missed him with the sweeper.

Do you think I need a vacation?
I am sure I would be thankful if you all sent me on one!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Oh my! The smells

are heavenly.

Spring cleaning like a mad woman here.  Up at 12:30 in the am.  I mean.  I'd been sleeping for over two days straight, and was wired for sound.
So, I'm cleaning the chandelier.  Thinking, "If I were Amy and expecting, I could understand."

Hubby sleepy head came down and asked me, "Are you nesting?"

I went to bed.

Today was an afternoon pruning the rose bushes. 

I have beautiful Don Juan climbers that were my Grandma's.  The peonies are really coming along.  There are some volunteer Bachelor's Buttons needing relocated.  Daisies are poppin' up like, well, daisies.  LOL

Tomorrow I meet someone very special.  A special someone who's asked me to make a quilt for her to remember her dad by.  We're going shopping for backing, thread and batting tomorrow since Joann's is having a sale.

I'm so excited!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Okay, so I've spent the last two days flat on my back doing not much else but sleeping.

Seems my cute little tatertot who came to play last week brought a little bit more with her than her toys.  Little Miss J brought me the flu.
A knock you down.  Twist your tummy in knots.  Fever so high you're praying you'll pass out.  Too sick to even lift your head.  Flu.

Tonight I got to catch up on one of my favorite tv shows, since anything more than moving my eyelids still makes me dizzy.  Extreme Home Makeover.  Online.  Limited interrruptions.  I now know beyond the shadow of a doubt that CVS is the only pharmacy I will go to for all my shopping needs.  That Sprite is the drink of choice from now on and that the Blue Crew at Sears-well, they just rock!  Their spirits of giving just blow me away.
And after tonight's forty three minute show, I am now a Jeff Gordon fan.  Not NASCAR, mind you.  Just Jeff Gordon.  Okay, and Clint Black.  I really like Tyler Perry too.  Celebs on the show help me think maybe things aren't as bad as I think they are in the world.

The people these shows are built around amaze me.  Parents of four, who adopt nine other children, three of whom have special needs.  A mom who watches her first responder husband struck by a car and goes on to become nurse, caregiver, taxi shuttle driver, and sole bread winner.  A young couple who take the wife's five siblings in to raise when her addict parents are incapable of being parents any more.

They make what I worry about on a daily basis seem pretty small indeed.
This morning's offering at the worry alter.
Did Bean have the soup he likes with his lunch today?  I was incapable of getting out of bed to pack it for him.  Javi stepped in and saved the day.

What will hubby have for lunch when he comes home since I obviously slept right through the noon hour?  Well, he made it home after work before Bible study and didn't look the worse for the wear.

What is C-man doing downstairs while I'm upstairs dying?  LOL 
History.  I hope.

Are all our "t's" crossed and "i's" dotted to finish getting Javi into school next fall?
Oops.  Not yet.

So many "What is--?" "What if--?" "How will we--?" "How can I make--?" questions that don't seem nearly as stressing now as they did last night and today during my awake periods.  Not all of them are so trivial as the ones above.  I have loved ones who are sick.  Loved ones who are suffering and struggling.  My own fears for the future of the boys.  You know, all the ones you've all had yourselves through the years.  The ones that make you lie awake at night because they've run through mudpuddles and are leaving wet, muddy footprints wherever you look and there doesn't seem to be a mop in sight.

But, look.

When we know the answer to one question, the rest really is just icing on the cake.  Ann over at 
 Holy Experience has had me thinking all weekend.  Again.  Funny, how she can do that.

About how for a Christian, the question of identity isn't about who we are.
A good mommy who makes sure her Bean has what he likes for lunch.
A wife who has a hot meal prepared for her husband everyday.
A homeschooling mama who had it all planned out and perfectly executed.  Even in her absence.
A mom of an almost college freshman with her finger on the "enter"  button for all he needs to succeed.
Perfect gardener. 
Home decorator and designer.
Maid extraordinaire.
Ironing all caught up.
Laundry-so done!
Hip-ly cool mom.
Hair perfectly coiffed.
Fabulous parent.
Tidy clothes on tidy kids.

All of these things are great at describing who I want to be.  Who I hope people see when they look at me or my family.  But not bloody-probably-likely.

But, they don't say Whose I am.

And this, is what Ann says I should be accepting of.  And in that acceptance, I have died.  Or should have.  LOL  Died to the worries and fears I have because my book has already been written.  I even know the end and I'm not the One Who wrote my own story.  Now, I can't read every page or even a paragraph in advance, but I do know how the story ends.  And because of that, I'm learning that everything else is, well, just icing.

Funny, how knowing Whose I am and letting go of figuring out the rest of it can help you sleep a little bit better at night.  Smile a little wider at a stranger.  Lift your head a little higher when someone tries to belittle you or force you into playing their games.  By their rules.

Knowing that, in the end, everything really is going to be okay.

Good night all.

Friday, April 9, 2010

P.S. Anonymous, I love you!

A couple of weeks ago, I got a frantic phone call from my mom.  And one from KT.  Wanting to know if I had read the horribly scary, nasty comment from Anonymous at the end of the post where I shared a picture of our house.  They were very concerned.

I went and read the comment and had a very sneaky suspicion it might have been hubby toots.
Well, he confessed last night.  So Mom, KT and anyone else who was a little freaked out, try living with him 24/7/365!  Now you know where my boys get it from and why there's more gray in my hair than there ought to be!

It also might be why he may not make it to his birthday next year!  LOL

We celebrated hubby funny's special day on Sunday with his side and my side of our families.  Two parties in one day!  Crumbly coffee cake for his parents' house and chocolate, chocolate for the Easter celebration at my sister's house.
All week, chef Dee called him at work and asked his preference for a favorite or appetizing meal of his choice for that night.  Chicken Parmasagn.  Pizza.  Cinnamom and vanilla French toast.  Among other tasty culinary delights.
Last night we went to Ruby Tuesday's and split the steak and lobster meal and he got a free sundae for his special day!  Home then with the boys and a candle on the birthday cupcake.  The "Happy Birthday" song and an evening watching "The Unit".

Happy the Day After your Birthday honey!
I'm sure my mom will forgive you if you don't do it again!
Knowing KT, she'll probably kick yer lil' fanny!

Fabric that Sharon from ISQ's bee sent us.  This is super confectionary sweet fabric for her block for April.  She's asking for 1-2 blocks of gnome homes for her quilt.  I'm so excited!  This is going to be fun!

My Friday Finish this week is to have all the vintage blocks sewn together.  The heart I'd made turned out to be the perfect size to sew into the middle of them all!  This will be a twin size cuddly quilt for us when all is said and done.

I just need some suggestions on the outside sashing for this.  It's such a mix of vintage quilty color, I'm at a loss as to what to use.  Any suggestions?

Another Friday Finish will be next week's starter project.  The three walls I was hoping to have done in order to paint the ceiling and then move onto the walls themselves, are done.  Woo hoo!  Somewhere about mid-week, I discovered that if you take the shop vac (turned on, mind you) with you as you sand, it sucks up almost all of the dust and you don't scare the garage door repairman into thinking you're a sickly white vampire or ghost.  Such a slow smart cookie I am!

Don't forget to go to Amy's blog and check out the other fantastic Friday Finishes there.  I'm heading over here in just a second.

Leaving you with C-man's art Algebra project.  His cirriculum includes manipulatives and this week he was learning to build equations such as X squared + 4X + 10 in three dimensions.  He got a little sidetracked and made me this bridge:

  his interpretation of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Please notice the Hot Wheels car tooling along at high speeds.  LOL

Who says homeschooling isn't any fun?

Have a great weekend and sing a happy song today!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I'm making real progress on the family room.  I'm to the mudding the crappy spots on the wall that went down to below the white stuff on the drywall.  I have almost three of the four walls done.  I sand and then shop vac as I go along because we're still using this room!  At some point, the tv stand and wall shelves will have to be moved.  Right now, the shelves are over the tv stand, but I'm thinking about moving them to this east wall.  That way, we won't ding ourselves on the sharp corners when we come in through the back hall door. 

Man, this looks happier already!  I'm narrowing down the color for the walls.  White on top or bottom (which I'm leaning towards) and a soft yellow for the other half.

Finding fabric this weekend helped me throw out a lot of chips.

A "mill end" roll from Joann's we found in Indy.  Soft, shabby chic colors and florals.  I carried this thing around in the cart for a long time, hoping hubby muffin would like it as much as I do.  He did!  So, it came home with us.  Along with some of this

beautiful, blue gingham.  There's only 9.25 yards of the floral.  Not nearly enough to do the whole couch.  After lots of thinking and planning, I've decided that a quilted couch along these lines

would be very impractical.  Just the sheer amount of seams that could get ripped is daunting.  So, I will make the seat cushions from the gingham and trim with piping made from the floral.  The rest of the couch will be the floral.  Then, instead of two, large back pillows, I'll grab some huge ones from Joann's (when they're on sale, mind you!) and make 4-6 pillows for the back and sides.  Alternating between the floral and the check.  The visual in my head makes sense and I like so far, we'll see how the theory works in practice!

The floral was on sale for $6.00 a yard and the gingham was 40% off.  I will need to go to the next town over to get more of it since I bought all that the one store had.

I had the chance to swap some vintage goodies with Colima and Bethany this last week.  I'm hoping to build up my yellows enough to make a sunshine quilt for me.  I know, I know.  Another project.  Selfishness supreme.  But me and yellow.  Me and yellow and vintage.  We have something going, you know!

How could you not fall in love with such romantic fabric?

A good friend brought me some sunshine in a four cell

the other day.  This is the first year I'm not working at the greenhouse I usually do.  It started out as a part time job in the spring (but I ended up working over 40 hrs some weeks) when all the boys were in school.  Sunshine, green-growing things, tanning without a bed in the wintertime and getting my hands dirty!  What could be better.  Last year was a very hard year trying to homeschool C-man, keep the other kids going, maintain sanity from completely crumbling into chaos at home with laundry, dishes, groceries, etc.  So, we made a decision to not have me work this spring.  It was very hard to have to tell them I wouldn't be there this year when they called.  The last two years I had pretty much been in charge of custom plantings for customers and companies.  Ordering basketes, planters, plants, etc for what we needed for the season.  Helping people plan their plantings, planting them and then taking care of them.

I miss it.  But, I know it was the right thing to do with Javi's senior year and still homeschooling C-man.  I had some awesome validation yesterday when I realized through co-op teachers' grades and adding up his grades here at home, that he is an almost straight A student.  From C's, D's and extreme anxiety, stress and anger in him to a much more relaxed, able to learn, happier kid.  As a homeschool parent, it's easy to second guess the job you're doing and the grades you're giving, but to have other teachers giving grades and input on how he's doing in school really gave me a good boost of encouragement.

Sunshine everywhere!  And I am thankful.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

O Glorious Day!

"And if I go and prepare a place for you-

-I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
John 14:3

Friday, April 2, 2010

Blockheads' Friday Finishes!

Come meet the blockheads!
KT and


KT and her crew all came over yesterday for lunch and the afternoon.  Two of the boys are on spring break and we figured what better way to celebrate than have friends (read that family!) come over to play.
And play we did.

KT's basket and baggy of quilty goodness.  Thoughtful and resourceful her brought a power strip so that

we both could have some quality time with our machines.  Thankfully, both of us have an addiction to soda and lunch at Taco Bell (closest place to eat, we don't want to waste time when we could be sewing!) started the afternoon festivities off with andale, andale!

KT worked on

her projects so fast, her hands blur!  She is a very efficient sewer.  I'm more of a meandering putzer.
She finished up her pinwheel block for the week.

She's making two pinwheel block quilts and she thinks I have have too many projects going on and a poor little orphan gets to come live at my house.

Where it will be loved and NOT called names!  LOL

She finished up her star blocks.

I can't tell you the feeling to have a friend like KT.  Who knows where your iron is (well, it was on the ironing board waiting to be used to press work shirts), is comfortable in bare feet in your house, has her kids wear gray footed socks to keep you from shame, and still loves your dog even though she's been a very bad puppy.

But so was KT's little "puppy".  Her youngest decided to help himself to the open container of homemade chocolate chip cookies KT brought over to share.  Well, they were on the edge of the counter top and someone did leave the lid off and well, the dog was right there too.

Fate.  They will be best friends forever.  Unfortunately, no one else got to enjoy anymore cookies.
More please?

Meanwhile, amidst the chaos supreme

I pulled out my scraps and worked some more on

this.  Which, I'm not really sure what it is except a big, giant, scrap quilt in progress.  A crazy quilt where the quilt isn't crazy, but the quilter is?

I'm blending greens and blues into the right side right now.

I also finished

my wallhanging for the family room.  The border is the top of a vintage sheet I wish I could get more of.  Alas, I must keep looking.  Or-you could keep looking for me!  LOL

I like my hearts so much, I made another one

Am I sad, or what?  They're like kids.  I keep making them, but I'm not really sure which one is my favorite!  LOL

Ansje's quilt went into the mail and because it's Easter weekend and it's on its STUDly way, a look at who's hopping into town

That's right.  The "E"aster Bunny.  Hoping she likes it as much as I did when I was making it.

Today is not only Sew & Tell Friday (click on the link to see the other creatively fabulous projects that got finished this week), but it's Good Friday.  Javi went to the Lakes with the snowbirds to help get their place ready for summer fun.  C-man had a genetics paper due this week and I now know more about hemophilia than I ever wanted to.  He's off to see "The Passion of the Christ" with his youth group tonight and Bean will be spending the night with his other Mimi.  Never a dull moment.

May Peace reign in your life. 
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a Man laid down His life for His friends."
John 15:13