Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December 24: Happy Christmas Eve

Life has been moving by at flank speed, but today I am mainly just kicking back.  After reading through many posts from others, I felt moved to actually do a bit of writing, or maybe what I have decided is to list things that have happened within me, to me, and around me.

Since I last wrote in mid-October, I have....
  • finished yet another semester of school, as a student
  • made 2 small quilts
  • done lots of cutting, sanding, and drilling
  • started a Face book page for the woodworking business
  • cleaned house, but not enough
  • cooked, but not necessarily often
  • written reams of papers
  • learned more about business insurance than I ever wanted
  • prayed for many others and for myself
  • played with my grandchildren
  • done business bookwork, but am always behind
  • dreamed about the life of a quilter
  • worked as a vendor in our business's booth at several craft shows
  • opened a more permanent booth for our Woodworking business at The Warehouse in Brandon (year-round)
  • gained weight I do not want
  • gotten re-acquainted with old friends
  • contemplated getting a puppy
  • read a few novels and lots of textbooks
  • started planning two family reunions at our house for July
  • enjoyed a great Thanksgiving Day with many of my family
  • Shredded lots of paper
  • been through several good snow storms
  • laughed at some funny movies
  • enjoyed several delightful evenings with friends
  • finished some small sewing projects for Dad
  • promised myself I would get organized before the end of the year - I am getting closer and so is the end of the year
  • love much
  • counted my blessings daily
  • considered the future, but enjoyed the present
  • read many recipes and made a few
  • considered once again the idea of writing a book
  • made thousands of quilts in my head
  • found so new friends
  • considered myself very fortunate and blessed
  • thought about a new hobby, but have not invested much time in starting one
I do not live in a dream world but love the world I am living in.

Life is GOOD!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

October 11: Losing Focus or Maybe Just Different Focus?

I have not been very faithful about writing my posts.  School and the business are winning all of my time.  Love all of it - mostly.  However, I do miss writing and reading blog posts. 

In two weeks, I will finish my most involved class, but we are now entering the holiday craft show phase, so I am sure I will still be quite busy.  If you want to check us out on our custom woodworking web site, it is finally working the way I wanted it to.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

September 21: Random Thoughts

Here we go again!  Can't upload with this program.  Wonder how long it will take for Blogger to get it fixed.  GRRRRRRRRR...... The major reason for writing this post was to share a few photos.  I will when the system starts working again.

Considered dropping out of school for a few hours on Tuesday.  Computer was driving me crazy, I had created the problems myself and also corrected them myself.  Got back on track!

Had to take a series of random photos with strangers for models.  Had to tell them what I was doing and have them sign a model release.  I am not so good with walking up to strangers for this kind of thing, but everyone of them accepted.

Homework this week has mostly been enjoyable and easy to accomplish - just time consuming for a few assignments.

Worked in the shop Wednesday morning.  Stained my new creations, sanded picture frames, and held the ends of long boards for cutting.  Did homework whenever I took a 10 minute break.

Photos should go here.

Did my share of painting the house, or at least the low parts of the addition.  Now that is done, our place looks like it fits into the neighborhood.

Yesterday, I working in the shop, did homework, did laundry, and helped a bit at a rehearsal dinner.

Photo should go here.

Thought I would share one photo of how my new creation will be used,  Kevin and I collaborated on building wooden stands to display small embroidered projects that Dad will be selling a couple of craft shows.  The design is our creation so I am not revealing how it is put together - copyrighted.  We are planning to sell these stands to customers for a variety of different handcrafted fabric projects.  I can envision them with miniature quilts, Dad's embroidery projects, needlepoint, and appliqued pieces.  Why not just buy something out there? 
  • Well, having handwork framed can be very expensive.
  • Wooden frames don't display these projects as something fully completed by the "artist".
  • Designs can be changed regularly.
  • Just a couple of changes and a larger or smaller piece can be used.
  • The stand looks great on the fireplace mantle or on a shelf.
  • Handmade gifts are showcased, not the frames,
  • Etc.
  • Etc.

Even if the system is not working............

Life is GOOD!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

September 15: Enjoying Sunday

We began the day with church, and then I was on the "corn" team for our annual church turkey dinner.  We used lobster size stockpots and prepared pan after pan of it.  After my 2 hour shift, Kevin and Dad joined me for a delicious dinner.  Great way to spend the morning!

Afterwards, it was time to work on a design in the shop.  Sunday is our day to be creative and do what we enjoy.  We designed a stand for displaying small quilts and other needlework designs.  Dad loves to embroider and I love quilts, so these stands are a great idea.  We also made very simple frames to use in a like manner.  4 hours of work/play was well worth it.

After a huge turkey dinner, we did not really need or want a real dinner, so we made popcorn, played with our laptops, and are still watching Avatar. This is the way to end this day of rest. 

Life is GOOD!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

September 8: Quilting and Relaxing

Today is our day to step back from the hectic parts of our life.  Kevin and I have decided that we will use Sunday, each week, to do things that we love.  It can be woodworking or quilting or pontooning (if the wind and weather cooperate) or even homework, but what we are doing must be relaxing.

I started out with feeling miserable because of this cold, but I got up and knew I could do whatever I wanted today and that the world would not fall apart if I did nothing at all.  I put a roast in the crockpot, spent a few hours taking pictures with my camera for my photography class - lots of fun! Then I went down to the studio and decided to do brainless piecing.  My cold makes me feel a little fuzzy!

I am making another half-square triangle quilt - a pinwheel.  It is being made up of coin strips that are made from
all kinds of leftover strips and some green fabric that will never be used for anything else.  This quilt will be the last of the quilts needed for the grandkids' bunk room.
 Each pinwheel measures 10" x 10".  Many of the strips are leftover from the Byrnes cousin quilts, but there are quite a few other memories being sewn into this one.  When I quilt it, I plan to use loops or swirls, but as always, the goal will be to make it light and airy.

Just think of it is a HAPPY quilt.

Life is GOOD!

Friday, August 30, 2013

August 30: Goodbye Summer, Hello Favorite Seasons

Not one to love summer except for some of the fruits and veggies.  Pontooning is great, but ours has not seen much water this summer.  Hot and sweaty is definitely one of my favorite conditions of life, either.

Temps are supposed to break this weekend.  Can't wait for the promise of longer walks on the trails.  As I said, I don't do sweat well.

Hope all of you have a chance to rest from your normal labors and enjoy a long weekend.  I am going to do all of it >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
  • study
  • pay household bills
  • complete all the business paperwork and file
  • study
  • study
  • play with my software
  • study
  • play with my digital camera
  • study
Life is GOOD!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 29: Adjustment Takes Time

I have finished the first week of classes.  I am taking 6 classes.  Business Communications, Marketing Public Relations, Integrated Marketing Advertising, Illustrator Essentials, Photoshop, and Photography.  All but the Bus Comm are on Tues/Thurs so I am at school from 7:15 to 6:30, but  couple of the hours include time for lunch and studying. I am excited about each and every one of them.
 Most of the classes are very hands-on, but there will be a learning curve as well as a readjustment to monitoring things on the home front.  I have not monitored all that goes on in the kitchen because I have not eaten with the guys several nights this week, Jamie's family is coming for the weekend, and last week, I had already planned to bake just one kind of bars.  Dad does a lot of the baking, but he does not tell me or write on the grocery list when he uses things up.  Brown sugar is a staple for the man.  Oatmeal on the other hand is not.  Even so, he used them all up and did not even mention it when we were at the store this evening discussing this evening's baking.  So I improvised and used just plain white sugar instead of brown and used my steel cut oatmeal (did not consider how that would be different).  Think these bars will be a little different and maybe a bit crunchy.  Fortunately, I made only a single batch so if the experiment does not work we won't be out much.
On the other hand, it has been very hot and humid this week and working in the shop needs to end by early afternoon - no air conditioning.  When I arrived home tonight there was a delightful surprise waiting.  The guys vacuumed, dusted, and made guest beds for our weekend's company.  All we had left was grocery shopping and the bars.  These are now done, so tomorrow will be used for business paperwork, homework, shop assisting, and more practice with the hands-on classes.

Adjusting to changes is always a bit of a challenge, but we will get back into the swing of things.

Life is GOOD!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

August 24: Time to Share

I have been rather busy the last month, but I have wrapped up several projects and want to share.  I have lots of other quilts floating in my head, but classes begin on Tuesday, so.............

Life is Good!


Riley chose a black and blue theme with only
20 of his t-shirts.  Nick, on the other hand, chose black
and whatever I wanted for his.

This is the 21st Byrnes Cousin quilt made.

Dad and I collaborated on this quilt for Jakob.  He used scraps to make the monsters.
Then I pieced and quilted it.

This is my very favorite project of the summer.  It is a queen-size quilt made Ben and Jill as a
wedding gift.  I allow or maybe demand that the couple select the basic colors and then I find
or create a pattern.  This is my version of "Majestic Garden" by Monique Dillard.  It appeared
in the Mar/Ap 2013 issue of Quiltmaker.  It is made of batiks and lots of thread! 


Friday, August 9, 2013

August 9: Bibs, Bibs, and More Bibs

Dad loves to embroider on his machine.  I do the finishing up of the projects for him.  These bibs represent a good share of the bibs he has done this summer. I think there are a total of 80.  I promised I would have them all finished by the time I go back to school, so I am working at finishing them up over the next couple days. He has some at my sister's kids consignment shop, Kids and Kaboodle.  He is also going to sell them at 2 craft shows this fall along with several other items.

I am also working on 2 t-shirt quilts and some woodwork, so I am keeping busy.  Had to wash the fabric so decided bibs should be on the list for tonight.  Sure am glad I love what I am doing!

Life is Good!

Last pile to need necks attached.  It goes fairly fast so I will
probably have them finished tomorrow.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

August 4: Sunday Means Choices

We have declared Sunday as a relaxation day.  After going to church, each of us decides what will bring the most relaxation to the day.  Kevin is doing so small chores this morning and probably turning wood in the afternoon.  I am cutting t-shirt quilt blocks.  We are hoping to be housebound due to rain, but if it clears the pontoon boat is calling.

Dad does not quite get this Sunday concept, but he goes with the flow.  His church and coffee last most of the morning, and then he is ready to do something.  Now that he is feeling so much better this is a good thing, but it is our declared day off, so...............

I am also going to load and quilt the cousin quilt that will be going to the newest Byrnes cousin who is due this month.

All in all, sewing is one of my favorite relaxation sports, so it is time to head to the studio.  Peeks will be offered later.

Life is GOOD!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

August 3: Followed through with all my plans............

Last night I worked on the revamping of the office and got everything organized. I even got our calendar laid out with a good yet flexible schedule.  I have planned in a real office schedule, class and study time, quilting time, exercise time, and even a few hours off to play at other things.  Feels good. 

Then, when I probably should have headed to bed, I played on EQ6 to lay out the two t-shirt quilts I am working on today.  I tend to overbuy the fabric if I don't plan a bit.  I don't mind having an extra yard, but I sometimes get a bit carried away.  These quilts are about 80 x 96.  They are for two of my TALLEST nephews who have recently graduated from high school and are heading off into the world.  Want they to take a piece of their past along so they never forget the good times at home or is that on the soccer field?  (For my nieces and nephews that have never received a wedding quilt or any other type of quilt from me, know that your time will come.  I still have a lot of years in me!!!)

Kevin is mowing, but once he finishes we will be headed to the shop to begin work on other projects. He is making a beautiful oak plant stand/pedestal.  I am making Christmas ornaments.  We each have our own thing to do.  Love spending the time with him even if we are focused on our own stuff.  I just did all the updating to our business funds and know we are not making real money, YET, but we have the funds to maintain, and that is all we had hoped for at this point in the life of this business.  We have a number of arts and crafts sales during the last few months of the year. We are fairly certain that we will make sales, but we are hoping for more furniture commissions where Kevin can really show his talents.  Maybe by the end of the year we well have almost made some kind of profit, but this is a tough business to break into.  Thank goodness we do not have to pay for our household needs from our earnings!  We know we are blessed!

Life is GRAND!

Friday, August 2, 2013

August 2: Where is the summer going?

I am not much for hot weather, but I do love the idea of summer being leisure time.  It isn't but I can dream, right?  What seems to amaze me is just how fast it is slipping away.  The fields outside my windows are growing nicely.  Farmers have made several cuttings of hay and such (NOT a farm girl, but I am listening.)  I know we need more rain, but we did have some today that lasted several hours.

Some of my friends and family members have started getting ready for school either as students or staff members.  Is it old age, or did we used to have much longer summers?  I am all for maximizing learning, but South Dakota has such a short season of warm weather.  I hate that the kids and families don't have more of it.

I am working on a number of things during this month of August.  I am going to get back into my walking routine and shake up some of the last year's fat build-up.  But, I am also going to pull together my schedule for the remainder of the year.  I have quilts to make, wood to transform, paperwork to maintain, a website that should be updated more often, and reading to do enjoy.  Come September, I know that I will be throwing myself under the bus because of trying to juggle school, the business, fall arts and crafts shows, and quilting, so I am hoping that a little planning now will make it all a little easier for all of us during the Fall semester.

Tonight, I will finish up the office and will have all the t-shirts ready for cutting up into t-shirt quil blocks.  Tomorrow will be divided between quilting and a new wood project.  Sunday will be more of the same along with church and maybe a pontoon ride.  A month of jury duty is starting on Monday, but I won't be doing that every day or all day, so the weeks will be scheduled lightly with the possibility of doing more if time permits.

Still getting used to my tri-focals.  If my eyes are lined up the glasses are great, but it not I become a bobble-head.  Time will make it better!  My eyes are already less tired from the need to constantly adjust.

Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July 31: Family Things Happened, but the Quilt is Bound

Wish I could share the look of the finished wedding quilt, but I have to wait until the wedding.  Tradition with me.  I have given peeks, but only a few have seen the finished product.  It is very purple and green with a touch of brown just for Ben.

We are actually surprised that August arrives tomorrow. The year is flying by. Love what we are doing but it there were more hours in the day, it might only be March, right?


This week brought most of my sisters and my brother together to attend the funeral  of one our brother-in-law's brothers.  I am uncomfortable about attending funerals even though I know they are meant to help begin the healing process; however, the minister did a fabulous job of making it a celebration of Bob's life.  I know there will be a lot of grief on the part of his family, but that is because he was such a good and caring man.  Prayers will continue to flow toward them as they discover live in its new form.

Life is GOOD!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

July 27: Kicking Back

Decided that after the long day and a few hours in the studio, I needed to just kick back.  Had a 1/2 glass of wine and popcorn and am now watching "George of the Jungle" with Kevin and Dad. 

Thought I would spend a few minutes and tell you about a wonderful birthday gift I just received.  Yes my birthday was a few months ago, but....Jamie and her family gifted me with a hardcover book that I actually wrote.  It is the blog I wrote while we were living in Vermont.  How cool is that?  We told our children we were headed off on our 2nd honeymoon, hence the book title.

Life is GOOD!

July 27: Quilting and Woodwork

Just so you know, I am still working on the wedding quilt.  Binding starts on Monday.  That being said, this is what I worked on today.  Kevin and I are making them for our craft shows.  Wouldn't these be great for a gardener or bird lover.  We had a great time doing it.  Dad helped with a little of the scroll saw work, and that made it even more fun.  We were doing it together.

We are expecting some company over the next few days, so I should probably do some cleaning, but tonight is for stitching and I am going to keep my personal promise to myself.  Tomorrow is another day.  Right?

Life is GOOD!

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 21: Close but not quite!

I have all the blocks sewing into strips.  I have FIVE seams left to finish and then add the border.  Tomorrow, I plan to load it, but need to pick up the bamboo batting first.  Should be able to do that after Dad and I take the sewing class for his new machine.  Should be able to bind in the evenings for the remainder of the week and then be able to roll it up and put a bow on it for the happy couple.

Wednesday and Thursday I will be meeting with my nephews to pick out some fabric and have lunch.  Two more quilts in the works.  These are the last of the nieces and nephews to graduate from high school, so after that I will go back to making some of the designs in my head and finishing other projects that I have already started.  Of course, Dad has some sewing for me to do as well.  August should be a great deal of sewing fun!

Life is GOOD!

Friday, July 19, 2013

July 19: Goal is Still Possible

I set the goal of having the wedding quilt top done by Sunday night.  It is still possible but I am going to have to really push.  I need 55 blocks and have 50.   Then I have to put them together and add the border.  I am so positive it can be done, but I do have a few things to do this weekend --- eye exam (so needed) and Saturday evening is the Jazz Fest.  Guess I better go and stitch.

Life is GOOD!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 18: Happy Birthday Little Sister

Debbie is having a b-day today.  Sent a card, but it will probably be late.  Calendar needs to be more visible next year!  I know when here birthday is but that does not mean I get cards out in time.  Just like every other birthday this month, ICE CREAM will be eaten by my husband to celebrate.

Today I have only two big goals.  Take my last summer school test and quilt.  I am to the next step where I make the smallest blocks the next size.  I think I have enough made, but fabric can do strange things over night.  Maybe I will also have leftovers that will go into another quilt.  OR I might not have counted right and that will mean more cutting and small block building.  OH the thrill of the experience!

Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 17: Sun with a 100% Chance of Quilting

I am continuing with the plan to spend most of this week quilting.  Last night I think I cut the last of the pieces.  I am going to be putting blocks together today  Each block has 4 smaller blocks and each smaller block has 2 sets of smaller blocks.  I am making the smallest version today.  This is a controlled scrappy quilt of purple and green with a touch of brown for the groom.  Have not quite figured out whether to border it or not, but that is probably a couple days off.  Love the pattern and the color combinations.  Can't believe that at one time I thought batiks were ugly.

Life is GOOD!

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15: Happy Birthday , Anna and Wendy

Anna turned 3 yesterday.  We had scheduled some Skyping time with her at 7:15, but Jon called to say she had fallen asleep in her plate at 6:53.  She is constantly on the move when she is awake, so I guess she had just worn herself out.  We will try again until we get it right.  Happy Birthday, Sweet Little Girt!

I may be 60, but my baby sisters are still spring chickens.  Happy Birthday, Wendy!  May you have many more joyful celebrations of life!

Yes, I quilted most of yesterday.  I went down into the studio after church and emerged for meals and for a little trial and error winding bobbins on Dad's new machine.  Believe me quilting was much more fun than the bobbin stuff.  I am taking him in for a bobbin lesson this morning.

After dropping him off at the house, I am meeting a school friend for lunch.  That is my treat before doing a task I do not enjoy - shopping for clothes.  When I stopped teaching and being the boss's wife, I found I had little need to dress up except for church and I can wear slacks with a nice shirt or sweater there.  Thought I could live out my life with jeans, t-shirts and sweatshirts, but I have jury duty all of next month, Kevin's class reunion and then Ben and Jill's wedding.  I have never loved shopping except at quilt stores and recently wood stores, so this is going to be a marathon shopping day with the hopes of getting it all done in one outing.  I am going alone so I can yeah or nay pieces right in the dressing room. Guess I should not complain too much, though, because I can at least afford to buy clothes, right?

Life is GOOD!

Friday, July 12, 2013

What Can I Say?

For months we have have been truly worried about my FIL's health, but a couple of weeks ago he started to turn the corner and feel better.  He is even on a break from physical therapy for 2 weeks, his appetite seems to be more normal even though he can't taste everything he eats..

Several times in the past month, he and I have taken his faithful companion - his embroidery machine in for repair. (First it has had in over 5 years!!)  This time it may have pushed Dad to consider the machine's future demise.  He bought a new one and is having the old one repaired as a back-up, if possible.  He is really excited about the bigger hoop and larger designs that will be in his future.

Lfe is GOOD!

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8: The Quilt

In case anyone is wondering, I am working on the wedding quilt.  I am not going to show any other photos of it until it is finished.  I have piles of half-square triangles and the other block parts.  I am going to use today to do some trimming and then make more blocks. 

I have also started to sort through some t-shirts for the first of 3 t-shirt quilts.  Need them all finished before colleges start in the fall, but I am using the traditional pattern so once I have done all the ironing and cutting, they will go together quickly.  Figure I can do lots of binding in August because I am not planning much of anything else since I am on jury duty for the month.

Biggest problem with loving all the things I do is that I am always ready for the next project be it quilting, woodworking, or school, but I never catch-up to thoroughly enjoy the process and the product.  Binding is my way of slowing down and enjoying my handiwork, so August will be more relaxing, at least in my head.

Life is GOOD!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

July 7: The Big Reveal

After the better part of 3 days, spent with our dear friends, power tools, sand paper, and the smell of cedar, we have completed our three gliders.  The two matching ones are ours and will be used on our future patio.The one with the high back is going to live with our friends, Dan and Nancy. Below are shots of us working and then the finished gliders.   Nancy does resemble Edith Ann in the highback chair .( I was the camera person.)  The seats are very comfortable and the glide is very smooth. 

Life is GOOD!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 2: No Drive or Ambition Today

This doesn't happen often for me, but I am not accomplishing anything of value today.  It is bugging me, but it is NOT motivating me to get up and do something either.  Ever had one of those days?  Maybe I will go touch fabric and see what happens.  Probably stayed up way too late truly enjoying a novel, but maybe it is just time to be a slug?  Have a naggy headache which means I will probably need an early bedtime.  ;o}

Did enjoy today's lunch with Dick and Margaret, though. 

Life is out of whack today, but it is always worthy of appreciating.

July 2: House Painting in the Offing

Well, the rain seems to be less constant, so the outside paint for the new addition has been purchased.  We have several other things planned this week, but the paint will be drying before this time next week.  It is on our HAVE TO GET IT DONE list.  Neighbors have not said anything, but I am sure they would like something other than the patchwork colored house we have at the moment.

Also wanted to report that Dad is feeling the best he has in months.  Don't want to jinx him, but it makes his life so much better.

Life is GOOD!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

June 29: An Ugly Job, but a Beautiful Day for It

Kevin and our nephew, Nick went into the trees and really cleaned them out.  It is a job that took all day, plus the work that Kevin had done earlier in the week.  Great breeze and nice temps made it less painful, but the knees and arms are going to know it.  Great job, guys!

When they finished this, they tackled three bushes that really tested their muscles as they sawed them down to nothing.  After taking Nick home, Kevin and I picked a bag of weeds and then said "DONE!"  We are not, but we are for a few days.

I conveniently had to study for my one class and do some quilting for most of the day.  Guys had a great time bonding and sweating together.

Life is GOOD!

Friday, June 28, 2013

June 28: Photo of What I am Quilting

The original quilt pattern was designed as a throw and is in the Mar/Apr '13 Quiltmaker magazine and is called Majestic Garden.  This is the basic layout, but I am not certain that it is how it will stay.  There is a wide border around it, but I am not certain that will happen either.  I love the block and that is what I am really working to create.  The block is 8x8.  At this rate I will need to make quite a few more to make a queen size, but the process is fun.  I feel inspired just to be playing with the fabric.

Life is GOOD!

June 28: Yes! It is time for quilting, etc.

Sent the photo from my iPhone but it is not going to upload.  I will get a different shot at the end of the day.  I am so happy to be touching fabric and making quilts!  Everyone should do something they love!

Only have one online class left this summer.  Have lots of homework weekly but it is interesting and should not interfere with the fun stuff.


Life is GREAT!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

June 23: What a WONDERFUL Weekend!!!

This is a picture of our new vendor tent.  We kept a simple theme of white on the tables so that the wood would be center-stage.  We had a great deal conversation with some visitors, but we did not sell to many items.  We are hoping that the conversations will lead to jobs, but at least we gave out a lot of pamphlets and business cards.

The weather was okay on Saturday, but today it was fabulous.  What a wonderful way to spend summer day.  We chatted with visitors and other vendors and I had a green apple caramel smoothie that was wonderful yesterday.  Today I had green apples with caramel dip.  It was delightful., delectible, and ever so delicious!  No big earnings but still...............

Life is Great!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

June 22: Weather Included Everything But ........

Today we were in Dell Rapids doing the first of a 2 day show.  We had a huge storm last night with high winds, lightning, and rain.  It was very cloudy and had the feel of dampness.  Then the temps started to climb and the humidity also climbed.  The sky started to clear, .....................  No rain - sunshine!

We had a good time, even though we did not have very many sales.  We talked to lots of people and maybe started lining up a few jobs.  The goal for the first day is to at least pay for the booth, and make some contacts.  We did, so success.  Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be worse tomorrow, but I am Pollyanna and believe there will be a reason to be glad whatever happen.

Quilting days are coming closer.  Campus classes end on June 27 and then the rest of the month and July are mine for quilting, reading, carving and painting the house.  Live will be so much more laid back!

Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

June 19: 6 minutes to blast off......

Not much time because Dad and I will be heading out for his physical therapy in a few minutes, but I have to tell all of you that it is only

7 days

 and counting until the sewing machine and I will truly do a great deal of bonding!  I only have one class, 4 quilts and the addition to paint on the outside on July's schedule.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

June 9: 10 Hours of cutting and sewing and only one full block, but many parts!!!

Here is the first full block for Ben and Jill's wedding quilt.  Ben wanted a little brown and that is all he is getting.  Purple is top choice and green was second.  There are actually 7 purples and 6 greens in this.  It is going to be fun!  Blocks are 8x8 finished, so there will need to be quite a few.  Guess that means I love this couple!

Life is good!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

June 8: So Relaxing

Last night I started working on Ben and Jill's wedding quilt.  I have been working on it all moring, as well.  Just wanted to share!  Now back to the studio!

Life is GOOD!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

June 6: It Is Up and Running

Just finished uploading our woodworking website.  Take a look and feel free to comment.  I have to have feedback to improve.  For this moment it is an informational website, but maybe some day we will make it order friendly.  Time will tell.  There will be a blog added but not until I finish school.  I still have so much more I want to learn and that takes time.


Now back to studying Business Law.

Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June 5: Lots on My Mind

I am back in school and trying to figure out a schedule.  Funny part is that one of the classes will be over next week and I still have know idea what kind of schedule I have.  My Business Law class is only one month long but meets 8 hours a week with all exams taken online.  My Consumer Behavior class is an 8 week online class that means I have to focus and remember to do the work.  Did you ever have that nightmare dream where you failed a class because you did not even remember you had it, so you did not graduate and there were no do-overs?  I am having it.

We did finish putting everything back in order after our Shop Open House and rummage sale weekend.  It was a fun and profitable weekend, but ohhhhhhhhhhhh the exhaustion!

Dad only has a few appointments this week, and since he got the new hearing aids we have seen some very positive changes for him.  More jokes, more laughter, and more interest in everything.  Guess we all take our hearing for granted until we see just what happens to someone who can once again hear.  We bought him a "Happy Hearing Day" present today.  He has all kinds of CDs that he use to play all the time, then he just quit because it was getting so hard to hear all the words.  Tonight he was downstairs listening to Mel Tillis and singing along with his gorgeous voice.  Made me a bit teary!

Our daughter is having some medical issues that concern me, but I do not know enough to understand what it is or what needs to happen.  Internet research is always scary, so I made a list of questions for her to ask at her appointment with the specialist next week.  She has her own list, as well.  Anyone know anything about Chiari Malformation?  Seems to be what is causing her migraines and constant headaches.  Prayers are requested!

Jon and Aleah have once again cleaned out the basement of their home.  There was a lot of rain, a poorly planned sewer system and sewage involved.  This is the second time!  Can't even imagine!

All of these things run around in my head and wake me in the night, but in general life is great and the weather is to my liking.

Life is GOOD!

Friday, May 31, 2013

May 31: When will summer arrive?

Stopped trying to figure out when Spring was coming and have moved on to thinking about summer.  It is not my favorite season but it does mean fresh fruit and grilling, so there are some benefits to the season.

On this last day of May, I have been very busy with running a rummage sale and helping with our shop open house.  My sister Jodie was kind enough to assist by pretty much being in charge of so much of it.  We never know how to do things nice and slow, but then where is the fun in being laid back and slow-moving?  The best parts of  the sale were having time to spend with my sister, talking to a few people I knew, and meeting all the interesting characters that came through our garage.  Tomorrow we will be doing a bit more, but we did already sell quite a bit of it.

Our shop open house was run by Kevin.  He talked to many people and shared what we do in the our shop.  We heard lots of compliments about our furniture and other wood items.  Many people took our cards and several asked some questions that could lead to new commissions.  Tomorrow is another day.

I even took several hours off to go down and help with the community lunch sale.  It was fun feeling a little like I was becoming part of the community.  Everyone ws so friendly.

Our business is picking up and we love what we are doing so all is good.

Next week I start two other classes and work as hard as I can to finish up another.  I love learning, but there is a drawback.  With all the homework, business book work, and shop work, I am not finding any time to quilt.  No complaints just  the facts of life.  Riley, Nick, Ben and Jill will probably still get their quilts before the summer ends, but July will be fairly uncomplicated (only one online class during the month!)

Life is GOOD!

Friday, May 24, 2013

May 24: Mowing and Rain Don't Mix, but the Dandelions Love It!

Not a complain, just and observation.  We have had a lot of much needed rain.  I do not know if this is the right time for the farmers and their crops, but the dandelions are certainly turning the yards golden.  Kevin has even spoken of baling some of the grass down in the trees because the last rain storms chased him to the garage.  Today was supposed to be a non-rain day in the middle of a lot of rain.  Yesterday was beautiful, but we were at the hospital.  This morning was great, but he was at the hospital.  This afternoon he is out racing the clouds and hoping to at least take it down since bagging it would take far too long with the thunder we are hearing.  Memorial Day weekend is predicted to be very wet around here.

Yesterday, Dad had the generator replaced for his pacemaker.  After the surgery, he had to have the standard 12 hour antibiotic drip, so he could not come home until this morning.  Of course that really meant he could not come home until he saw his doctor, so he arrived home just after 12:00.  He is tired from being awakened and poked and prodded in the night, but the surgeon says he did well.  Could be a long few days as he mends.  I have work to do in the house, so I am here and ready if he needs me, but for him it will be the added discomfort.  Poor guy!

If a crazy moment several weeks ago we decided to have both a shop open house and a rummage sale during the Crooks Community Days next weekend. We are getting organized, but I am definitely not the queen of rummage sales.  Several neighbors, friends and sisters are contributing to it, so I will have some help there.  I vow that this will be the last on my watch!  The shop open house may be an even each year, but that will remain to be seen.  Guess we just don't know when to say, NO.

EVEN SO, Life is Good!

May 23: Jamie turned ?????????????????????

Does not really matter how OLD you are, you are still my baby girl!  Love you!

I am 60 and had you when I was 27, so do the math!  Gotcha!

Life is good!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

May 19: Graduations, Fun, Food, and More Food

We have attended several graduation parties this weekend.  Each was meant to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates and possibly the patience and solid support of parents, but the food feasts were something to behold.  All the parents outdid themselves. For those of you that chose to have no party, I salute you as well for being who you are!

Now it is time to test the wings and fly!  Each of you has so much going for you.  Be the best at whatever you choose to do.  If you feel proud of yourself, no one can take that away!  If you need a cheerleader, call me!  Love you!

Life is GREAT!

Friday, May 17, 2013

May 17: Positive News

Dad had another hearing appointment today.  It did not go as planned, but it did go well.  He is going to have to pay out for new hearing aids instead getting the BAHA, but he is excited!  He actually offered to write the check today, but they could not connect up with the hearing aid.  We will be waiting until the 28th for his fitting but the look out world.  He is all smiles and anticipating great things.

Life is GRAND!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May 15: Planning, Studying, Sanding, Sorting, and ???????????

Summer has arrived, or maybe not, still the windows are open and the birds are calling to me.  Sat on the back patio and worked on percentages for homework, played with the neighbor's dog Molly who believes she is really everyone on the corner's dog, and simply enjoyed being outside.

The shop has been reorganized and is closer to being ready of the Open House on May 31-June 1.  A dump run cleaned out many of the spaces, and now it is time to get things pulled together for the neighborhood sharing of a garage sale that is part of Crooks Community Days.  It will be running the same time as our Shop Open House, so others are going to be responsible for the rummage on the actual days of the sale. 

Friday and Saturday will bring several graduation parties and some travel if Dad is up to it.  On Friday afternoon we are going to be investigating the possibility of a different type of hearing assistance for Dad.   do not know the official spelling or even the right initials, but it is something like BAHA- Bone Attached Hearing Aid.  Sounds like it is the only option left.  Please pray long and hard for it!

Right now I am headed to the studio to do some organizing - we rearranged Dad's things this weekend, but the studio is in chaos.  Then I will begin cutting Ben and Jill's wedding quilt from these fabrics.

Tomorrow I will be getting a much needed haircut, having my annual blood draw, and sanding-lifting and polishing in the shop. 

Life is GREAT!

Monday, May 13, 2013

May 13: Where Does the Time Go?

The best laid plans........................Somehow, it looks like we might miss Spring and go directly into Summer.  May started with snow, then rain and more rain.  Today it will be 82 and tomorrow should be 92.  That sort of speaks to my time off since Spring semester finished.  I had a week of moving equipment, building in free-standing room divider walls, dust removal (a hideously sneaking part of woodworking), and then came the fun of rebuilding and reorganizing the wood racks.  I should be very buff, but I think I just tightened a bit of the flab.

I have also spent quite a few hours with Dad at the doctors or at physical therapy.  When he moved in 10 months ago he talked a bit about not being as quick on his feet, but he was always in the thick of things.  He commented, last week, "What a difference 10 months makes!"  He does not drive anymore, moves slowly, has numerous health issues, aches every where.  He is trying for a new hearing system, needs his pacemaker battery replaced, has a neurology appointment for his legs and feet, and just plain feels worn out.  If you are a praying person, he could use one of comfort and de-stressing.

Quilt studio is in upheaval.  We moved all his embroidery supplies and machine up to his bedroom level of the house so he only has to deal with 7 steps.  That really opened up the studio, but I have not had time to deal with it.  I already have 3 quilts on the list for summer, plus at least one more that needs to be quilted and bound.  There are also all those started projects and Dad's bibs.  I love a challenge, so I will get in there before the end of the week.

School started again on Tuesday.  I had 6 assignments to do before tomorrow night, including my first exam.  That is caught up.  This is another exciting but very intense class on entrepreneurship.  Class runs from 5:30 - 9:30 on Tuesday night.  I am carving out 12 more hours for homework and reading for the class.  The rest will be organized between doctors, quilting, and the shop.  Lots of projects in my head!

Had a great birthday and a very quiet Mother's Day.  Being 60 is great, so far.

Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


So far I have made Sue and Jim 60th birthday quilts.  Since I am the quilting sibling, I decided to dedicate this one to me.  It was an experiment in working on something until I loved it.  That is how I approach life.  Seems a fitting gift for me, right! 

Debbie, start thinking about what I might have in line for you! 

Life is GREAT!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May 1: Snow, Screws, Drills, Cleaning, Reorganizing,...All Fun

School is official finished for the semester, but so are I have not seen my final grades.  Not to worry, I did it the best I could and that is good enough for me.  My web page will go on the Internet in a couple of days, but I finished it and posted it for a grade...A.  All of that is good.

Today was a great day.  May 1st and there is snow on the ground.  Unbelievable!  We spent the day reworking the shop.  After almost a year, we have finally decided what will make the shop be more efficient.  We have moved things around, planning out new electrical wiring,  I put more screws in the partial walls than I ever imagined doing in my life time, but I am impressed with myself.
Lathe area with new
 divider wall
This is the back wall
of the lathe area.
It will be used to store
sawhorses up and out
for sweep up time.

The downdraft table
sits to the right of the saw
horse wall.
This is a place that I will be putting to use quite often.  Kevin is taller, so
we had to compromise on height, but we both decided this will be a good height.
Tomorrow, while Kevin works on some shaping for a quilt stand order and a spice cabinet, I will continue with this reorganizing project.  I am going to be putting the staining/painting, and finishing room together.  It is going to be kept cleaner and more dust-free by setting it off from the more dust creating areas.  There will be no power tools used in this area, and there will be a daily vacuuming of the space to try and maintain the best environment without having a sealed up finish room.  (Some day the budget may cover the cost for the ventilation, for now, we plan things so that we will be leaving the shop for a number of hours to help keep the air calm and as close to dust-free as we can.)

Only sat briefly today - what a change from being at the computer. I have a couple of naggy muscles but it feels wonderful to know I could keep up the pace all day.

Life is GOOD!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April 23: Did Not Take Me As Long As I THought!

Still have a week left of classes, but I am so close to being finished that I started planning Ben and Jill's wedding quilt today.  It will be purple and green with touches of brown.  Now I need a good pattern.  Have not committed to batiks or anything else, but I know the colors. The design decision will be made this weekend.  That is a start.  I am going to create the design in EQ or do a scrappy round-the-world.  However, I think it will have to be a fat-quarter quilt because I do not really have these colors in abundance.

I am also planning to do some other sewing this weekend.  Dad has done a great job embroidering bibs so I have a large number that will require the stretching neckbands.  The best part is he is truly enjoying selecting the various designs and he always seems to have someone who is looking for one.

School has been a lot about computer software this semester,so it will be nice to switch to tasks that are not as eye intense for a week or two.  I am embroidering a set of snowmen, and find that I can enjoy a half hour and accomplish quite a bit.  Imagine what it will be like when I do not have homework in the evening.  Might have to do a few more for Christmas gifts, too.  Relaxing to just sit and stitch!

For those that care, I am going to commit to blogging about some quilting/sewing task at least once a week from now until classes begin in late August.  The posts will be about what I have actually done during the week.  The wedding quilt will be revealed only in part until the happy couple receives it, but there are lots of things that I would like to stitch so there will something going on every week.

I am also going to do at least 4 hours of carving weekly, so I will be sharing that, as well.  I have a number of ideas, but nothing specific at the moment.  That will wait until the last group paper is turned in on Tuesday morning.  ;o)

Life is not only GOOD, it is filled with blessings and reasons to be abundantly greatful!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

April 14: Out of Sight, BUT Thinking of Those Who Keep Checking IN

I have 3 weeks of school left and as always that seems to translate into too many projects.  We are also doing a craft show this next weekend and have a number of jobs to finish.  Therefore, I am going to continue to be more absent than present on this blog.  I plan to read my favorite bloggers' post and hope to do some catching up over the next couple weeks, but...................

The two days without power, was worthy of noting, as have been a number of other fun moments, but I am going to allow myself to slide for a few weeks and then see where my head is.  Until then, enjoy the coming of Spring.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

April 11: The Power is Back

God and Mother Nature have their ways of reminding us that we can't control things.

These are views of the windows on the north side of the house, and no we do not have privacy glass on them.

Tuesday morning Kevin drove me to school because I am not fond of driving on ice.  A mile up the road, I would have turned back but he continued.  I am really glad he did because I had a great class.  However, during class we were informed that most schools in the area were closing.  I called home and we decided I would skip my late class and we would pick up a few things for the impending storm.  In the past that has always helped cancel the storm, but not this time.

As we turned into our driveway, the view was pretty sad.  These are the bushes that I photograph often, but this is a sad version.  Fortunately today they are looking a little better but not much.


We got home and realized that we must still have a few of our flashlights still packed, and if the power were to go off, we would need D batteries for the fireplace starter and the flashlights we could find.  So we ventured forth, again.  By the time we got back from the store a 1 1/2hour trip that usually takes 45 minutes, Dad was sleeping in his chair with his trusty blanket and the power was out.  When you are 80 you tend to notice the cold more, so we moved his new chair upstairs and got the fireplace going.  Did not figure it would last all that long, but........................

We had brought back a hot (lukewarm) pizza for supper before setting him up.  I got out lots of candles and settled in for a cozy evening.  I think I lasted about an hour before the dozing began.  Woke up and texted with Jodie for a hour and then cuddled up again and enjoyed my recliner.  Dad snores a lot so expected it to be a long night, but I woke refreshed.  The guys did not sleep as well.

Breakfast was hot chocolate and oatmeal courtesy of Sterno and patience.  We spend the morning considering options and spending time thinking of what rat-race we would have been running if we had the electricity. Still the snow had not really started yet.  The ice had continued to build all night, though, so  Kevin went out and chipped off pieces of ice from his truck that were about 1 1/2" thick.  By noon, we decided that we needed to get Dad up and moving so we took him to the mall for a walk and hot lunch.  Weather was not wonderful but the road was okay.  Wore Dad out so headed home.  Still no electricity, so we discussed options. Power crews were working on the highway near our house, but we were told it would be 11:00 PM tonight before the lights were back on.  Options considered:  Just tough it out as we had been - Dad was NOT in favor of that.  Rent a motel room and hope to get back home today to shovel the still predicted 6-10 inches.  Buy a generator for lights and frig.  Hotel rooms were scarce, so we then debated the other two options.
 Found a generator for sale at Mac's and had Ray help us install it about 8:00 PM.    Last of the steps completed about 8:30.  Power came back on at 8:43.  HA! HA!  We will be quicker to start it next time.

Everyone was able to sleep in their own beds.  Power stayed on even though the snow did appear and leave at least 6+ inches in places with large drifts in other spots.

  We have a huge driveway and parking pads.  Ray has used his plow to clear our few snow piles in the past, but he was ready for spring and had stored his blades.  We were thinking we might need to wait for the Spring thaw, but a very nice neighbor/farmer brought his John Deer Tractor over and clear everything but the sidewalks which Kevin had already done.  Country living is wonderful.

Today we will get back into full swing, but probably not until after lunch.  We know this was not a huge storm by many standards, but I am days short of 60 and I have no memory of that kind of ice or length of power outage anywhere that I have lived.  My eyes are rested and I am gearing up for school work.  Kevin has headed down to finish a project in the shop (but I can still hear him chopping the ice,so...), and Dad is back to being comfortable in his own space.  We gained a good deal of admiration for the weather, the frozen foods stayed frozen in the ice chests on the porch the huge chucks of ice I put in the frig did not melt so no food spoiled, and I am beginning to see out the window again.

Life is GOOD!