Thursday, July 31, 2008


It's where your favorite pillows are! We're back home after a couple of days of summer time fun! The down side to driving is the hours spent on the road but I do have to say that the traffic was pretty light considering how far we were traveling (11 hours road time there and 11 hours back). Vacations are usually over before they really get a chance to begin, that's how I felt with this one.

I come back home to find out that my girlfriend Molly gave birth to her twins a bit early (8 weeks early). She gave birth to a boy they named Dean and a girl they named Sophie and they are both pretty tiny. Dean was a whopping 4 lb 1 oz and Sophie 2 lbs 12 oz. Obviously they will be in the nicu for quite some time. But the e-mails I've gotten tell me that they are growing and developing. Please keep Molly, John and their babies in your thoughts and prayers.

Also upon our return we find out that our friends Allen and Cindy are moving to Langley AFB, VA. That was our last assignment (I loved that place and would have loved to retire there). I'm really going to be lonely this fall with all of my close girlfriends having moved away. I hope that their house sells quickly and that they asking price for their house, it's a lovely home with a huge yard. I hope that the folks who buy it also have kids the sames ages as mine and it would be nice to have a boy the same age as our son and a daughter the same age as ours that asking too much? Kids older and younger are fine too but can we get some my kids ages please??? I sure hope that God is listening to my request :-)

Now for some tea and to watch Shark TV!

PS-Cindy is you happen to be reading, I didn't forget...Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tired and Happy

We've had two full days of fun in the sun! We went to Mount Olympus- it's water park and amusement park with tons of rides. Lucien and Hannah rode every single ride that was open. I did a couple of rides but pretty much kicked back at the big wave pool. Even Wilson the Travel pig enjoyed himself. We leave to go home (South Dakota) tomorrow. I'll have a ton of laundry to take care of once we get home- ours from this trip and Andrews from his camping/rafting trip with the JROTC group from school.

Looking for a family friendly environment- Wisconsin Dells is the place to be! Tons of fun, plenty to do for everyone!

I've got funny stories to tell- like yesterday at the gas station, this Dork pulls away from the pump without taking the gas hose out of his truck! Gasoline is spurting all over the place and the dork take off. Nice! Yea like gas stations don't have something like 25 cameras focused on the pumps and parking lot and the 2nd thing like people around you wouldn't report that- what an idiot!
No quote today but I'll but putting quotes back in on Friday :-) I'm about to fall asleep while typing, the fun in the sun and the Belgium beer I've been drinking have me wiped out!

Monday, July 28, 2008

We're here!

Here we are in Wisconsin- it's hot and humid, so humid in fact that I feel as if I'm in Virginia in August. Every where you look, it's lush and green. Tomorrow we start our adventure in visiting water parks.

Now about the accident this morning that we heard but could not see- a horse had been hit by an automobile. When we were leaving we saw the dead horse on the side of the road.

Our room here at the Ramada is modest but clean. A non-smoking room with 2 queen sized beds which will be fine for the 3 of us. While Andrew is off on another AFJROTC adventure...that leaves just the 3 of us plus Wilson the Travel Pig and Marty Cohen the naughty naught pet for this mini vacation. It feels rather strange having just the 3 of us on this trip. I'm sure that Andrew is having more fun with his friends than he would with his parents and sister.

Lucien and Hannah are getting ready to check out the hotel swimming pool while I'm going to work on a counted cross stitch project (an original deign that I purchased on that's going to be in Hannah's future French Country themed bedroom.

Oh Happy Day!

There's nothing like the first day of vacation to make me have a stomach ache- ugh! To look out the window and see nothing but a thick blanket of fog covering everything and the sound or sirens going to an accident that you can't see but you can hear.

We're pretty much packed and are ready to go (just need to load the kid mobile) but will have to wait a bit for the fog to lift. We're bringing the laptop with us so I'll be able to talk about what places we visit and check on other places to visit besides the water parks.

Yesterday I was a crafting machine! I had created 2 of the CUTEST tote bags ever seen! One for Hannah because it was her birthday and the other for me because I've been putting off making one for myself. Hannah and I had to do a run to the Fabric and Textile Warehouse in Rapid City (this place is quickly becoming our favorite fabric store)- bought some special fabric for her birthday tote bag and some fabric for a school book bag. Hey anyone who lives near one of the 5 or so Fabric and Textile Warehouse Stores- this week Schmetz sewing needles are on sale for 50% off- making them $1.50 per package! Now that's a HUGE savings if I ever saw one!

I'm off to drink more coffee and get the van packed to go to Wisconsin :-)

Quote of the day

"Nothing’s better than the wind to your back, the sun in front of you, and your friends beside you'.
~Aaron Douglas Trimble

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Being the Consumer Advocate that I am...

I'm a huge consumer advocate- always fighting for the rights of consumers. Lately I've come up against something that has me really miffed and I'm trying to resolve it- of course it's got to be on a weekend right before I leave for a little family vacation.

It seems that my sewing machine (the one I go on and on about)my Janome HT2008 has developed a little hiccup and needs to be checked out (It likes to continue to sew after I've taken my foot off of the pedal). I take it into the local The Sewing Center only to find out that they will not honor my warranty from Janome and want to charge me for parts and labor- excuse me, did I hear that right? My sewing machine is only 6 months old and you won't honor the 25 year warranty of a brand that your store sells??? Are you serious? Are you not a Janome dealership? Are you not a Janome authorized service center? I'm waiting to hear back from Janome and see what they have to stay on this issue. I went back to the store and brought the spouse with me this time (just in case the owner got snippy with me) and we picked up my machine and brought it back home. My husband is wonderful- he instantly suggests we take the sewing machine with us on vacation and find a store along the way that will honor the warranty. It's no wonder why I love this man so much!

Now this entire ordeal really has me peaved with our local sewing machine store- We've spent quite a bit of money with them in the past few months and now I'm treated like I've got the plague. This is not encouraging for those that have moved here from other parts of the country (military and civilian)- just because you bought your sewing machine in another state or part of South Dakota and not from this persons store store does not mean that he has the right to refuse to honor the warranty set by the manufacturer (if indeed his store an authorized Janome service center).

It's my humble opinion that the owner/manager of the place is a shyster and to take care when dealing with him. I've heard some stories for some local women about their dealings with him and to be honest- none of those stories cast him in a positive manner. Actually I've not heard one good thing about the guy. It's sad that we as consumers have to deal with business owners that are only out for themselves nor do they hold the interests of the consumers who shop with them at heart. I don't know if they realize it, but we are their source of income and there ARE other places to shop. When you live in a semi remote area, one where you ARE in the only big town around and the next larger metropolitan area is a good 7 to 8 hour drive away, well some store owners take on the attitude of "well, where the hell else are you going to shop? I've got the only store that sells this stuff for 150 miles so you have to buy from me regardless how high my prices are and how badly I treat you". I've got news for those kinds of store owners...the internet is an excellent place to shop! I'll be doing a lot more of MY shopping on the internet from now on!

Here's a shopping tidbit- Walmart sells the same Schmetz sewing machine needles but at HALF the price of what I've seen in the sewing machine and quilting stores! I'm not saying to buy everything at Walmart what I am saying is ...that by simply keeping your eyes open, you might be able to find a great deal on a consumable item or two. Heck even Hobby Lobby puts sewing machine needles on sale for 30% off which makes them an even better price! Be smart and shop around!

I'll be sure to post about the outcome from my conversation with Janome Headquarters and let you all know where I end up taking my sewing machine for servicing and if indeed it does get it's hiccup fixed.

Quote of the day

Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.
Clementine Paddleford

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Vacation Bound...on Monday

I'm happy at the very thought of taking a little vacation just to get away for a couple of days. Wisconsin Dells and it's water parks are calling to us. Granted it's no Caribbean vacation but it's water none the less. I'll pack my camera, swim suit and some sunscreen, I'll take oodles of pictures of my family acting goofy and hopefully I'll be able to get some scrapbook worthy layouts from the photo's. I do a scrapbook layout WOW! SOooo, my goal is to not only shoot some great pictures but to print those pictures out and make some layouts and share them here (alert the media).

I've got to see if this hotel has internet if so I'm bringing the lap top! It's the Ramada, so I'm pretty sure it does.

I'm off like a dirty shirt to see where my family has gotten off to, it's eerily quite right now.


We live in an area of urban development, and every day we're reminded that this used to be grassland with animals of all types. From the rattlesnake on our neighbors front porch, to the deer in our front yard to this picture or a mother deer and her fawn in my neighbors backyard right -behind our fenced in backyard. I first saw them up by the neighbors jacuzzi and ran to get my camera. So there I am on our back deck in my pink nightgown taking pictures of this doe and her fawn. She got tired of nibbling on the sod and went over and starting eating the leaves off of the little trees- eek! The fawn was running circles around her and I mean that in the literal sense. The little thing was springing and jumping all over the places and running circles around it's mother, it was really neat to see that kind of interaction with wild animals in real life rather than on TV. And to think that I got to watch it in my jammies on my deck with a cup of coffee in my hands- not a bad way to start ones day that's for sure! Oh and here you see the baby eating the tender new blades of grass newly spouted from seed, somehow I don't think that my neighbors will see the cuteness of this scene when they see the damage the deer have done- oops! They're already had birds nesting inside of their grill, and they didn't seem to happy about that.

Humor can be found everywhere

Not a day goes by where I don't find the humor in every day life, trust me when I say that there's always something to laugh at. Today's quote is just about that...laughing at every day kind of things. How many times have you watched a serious program on TV only to have one stupid commercial after another pop up about erectile dysfunction or vaginal itching and how about the one with the cartoon bear taking a crap in the woods and is using toilet paper? I roll my eyes at each and every ones of those! Yet another reason for me to have a DVR (digital video recorder) and record my shows and watch them later and whiz past all of the commercials. Besides, who wants to expose their children to crap commercials like the ones on E.D. and Vaginal itching? Not me, that's for sure!

Quote of the day

"It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper".
~Rod Serling

Friday, July 25, 2008

Yummy finds from reading blogs -Zucchini cakes

So here I am trying to catch up on the lives of my girlfriends and I'm ready Brandy's Blog (My Chaotic Life) and she's talking about a recipe for zucchini cakes that's over on The Pioneer woman. Hannah was in the room and I told her about the recipe (with pictures no less) and she grabbed my hand and said "Lets make this!". I knew that we had some yummy little zucchini's in the refrigerator I went into the kitchen to immediately make these. Talk about a little slice of yummy heaven! The only thing I changed was to add 2 eggs right from the start, 1/3 cup of bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic (yes I'm out of fresh so mine was from a jar too) and I used 2 small to medium sized zucchini. I added cracked black pepper (I didn't measure the pepper, I just twisted the pepper mill to my hearts content) added a dash of kosher salt and at least a half cup (or more) fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Hannah and I gobbled it right up! Check out the pictures below , don't they look yummy? And check out the video.

Children are a gift from God

Every day I spend with my daughter is such a precious gift. We've pretty much been best of pals this summer and I can say that I've enjoyed my time with her. Now as for our son, he's pretty much abandoned his family to spend time with his friends- I see this as what life will be like when he is away in college. I suppose that I better start getting used to it right?

My husband is planning a family trip to Wisconsin-Dells to visit some water parks. We'll only be gone a few days but it'll be packed full of fun! Our family loves water and since there's no ocean any where near us, an area with oodles of water parks will have to do. Heck, tomorrow I'm going with my teenage daughter and her friends to a local water park for her birthday celebration. I think that this will be a week of water park fun with the kick off being here in town. The water park we're going to on Saturday is an indoor park- no sunscreen needed there.

I'm off to make some coffee and get some sewing done before my guest arrives. We have baby Amelia coming over this afternoon- and is Hannah ever looking forward to her visit too!

A new baby to love

My Friend Kim gave birth to a new baby girl that she and her husband Tom have named Rachel Morgan- she's just precious! Congratulations Kim and Tom! Babies truly are a gift from God.

Quote of the day

Humans are the only animals that have children on purpose with the exception of guppies, who like to eat theirs.
P. J. O'Rourke (1947 - )

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A day in my life...

Some days have me being more busy than others. Yesterday I had a couple errands to do in town, came home and I've been busy ever since. Prepping fabric then cutting, sewing and ironing it takes a long time- especially when you're doing as many tote bags as I did yesterday. Today starts the long process of getting the little parts made for the tote bags (handles, ties and liners).

I've given up on machine embroidery- to tedious and too boring. It's a lot of practice practice practice to get the feel of the stitching. It's a lot of work trying to get the hang of the stitching to look even and uniform. Mine looked like I had a crayon for the first time and was all over the page, LOL! I'll have to post a picture so you can laugh- it kind of resembles an airplane and that's being nice, LOL!

We'll be celebrating our 5 year anniversary of being stationed at Ellsworth AFB this September. Why am I telling you this? Well there are several things we've wanted to do but have never gotten around to doing it and yesterday we were able to check one off of our list. So what was it right? There's this Auction house in Box Elder- now before you get carried away with your thoughts let me tell you that this place is nothing like Sotheby's or Christie's (nowhere close). So this "Auction House" has auctions every Wednesday and the parking lot is always packed and cars are parked in the grass down the side of the road in both directions for a half mile. My husband and I were out and he said "hey lets check out the auction", I was concerned that I wasn't dressed well enough (shorts and a sweater set and of course my Crocs) apparently I was way over dressed. There were at least 100 boxes of crap (and I do mean crap) up for live auction. This was all stuff we (the Thrift Shop Volunteer Staff) would have thrown away if it were to have shown up at the Base Thrift Shop. We're walking around the crowd looking at the boxes of junk on the tables thinking "why on earth does anyone want this stuff?". Some people were hovering over some of the boxes like there was a pair of $20K diamond earrings to be found it. The majority of the stuff up for auction was boxes of nasty used blankets, dirty used can openers, dirty glassware, old stereo equipment, odd pieces of melamine dishware, a couple of lamps and some books, all had been left out in the rain. All of it was soaking wet not to mention most of it was just dirty and so old that it would have been useless. My husband and I walked around, looked at each other and then left. So if you're here and you see the crowds at the auction house my advice- just keep on driving, you're not missing a thing!

We came home and had a good laugh. My husband tinkered around with a new toy- a hands free phone device for his car. This day and age something like that is a must have. I have a Parrot in my kid mobile and LOVE IT! Click on Parrot in blue and it'll take you to the website and show you my model and what it retails for click on Parrot in green and it'll show you a close up and all of the little features- shop around on the web for the best prices (we did).

Alright I'm off...need more coffee and have to finish up 10 medium sized tote bags so I can list them on Etsy.

Quote of the day

"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself".
~Anna Quindlen

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Must see Movies

During the summer months I don't watch much TV, but from time to time I watch a movie. First on my MUST SEE recommendation list is a rental- The Bucket List, WOW was that a good movie! Yes, the two main characters do die in the end but it's not about their deaths but their lives and how they lived them. All I can say is "What a fantastic movie" it's a must see on the summer rental list.

Another movie, one I saw last night- Becoming Jane, Anne Hathaway portrays Jane Austen and I can see this young actress playing other parts like "Emma Woodhouse" and "Elizabeth Bennett"- she'd be excellent in them. I love anything Jane Austen and this movie is very much like her biography. I've seen other movies about Jane Austen's life but this one really tugged at my heart strings. Is it a chick movie? You best it is! Make some popcorn and have a box of tissues near by- and prepare to enjoy yourself!

Dealing with grief

Today's quote is about grief and sadness and how best to help yourself work past it. Do you remember 9-11? I think that we all do. I was profoundly grief stricken, I cried nonstop for days on end, I couldn't do anything without crying my eyes out. I promised myself never to be so sad like that again. I know that everyone deals with grief in a different way but there is something to be said about keeping your mind and body actively occupied in something else, something productive. Choose a topic make it something that you enjoy doing and learn more about it, take your kids to the park or maybe to the library. But most of all be active in mind and body in a positive manner.

Quote of the day

Employment is the surest antidote to sorrow.
Ann Radcliffe,
The Mysteries of Udolpho, 1764

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My latest sewing project - Machine Embroidery

I'm adventurous to say the least and am always willing to try new things. Today's adventure- machine embroidery. Does my sewing machine "do" machine embroidery- yes, the manual kind. I'm the one with the design and I'm the one with the (supposed) skills that are required to be able to pull this off. My husband had a request and drew up the pattern- now it's up to me to see if I can indeed use my sewing machine and all of my sewing knowledge to create a B-1 that's decent enough for people to wear on t-shirts. It's a small motif but since I've never done this before in my life the difficultly level is kind of up there for me. I can do this, it's just that it's going to take a lot of practice...and I mean A LOT of practice!

A nifty item to have

I've been looking at these for a while and broke down and bought myself a couple of these nifty little half an inner tube looking bobbin holders. No more flying bobbins at my house- HA! Take that Kitty!, Your dastardly ways have been thwarted by the doughnut of anti-destruction! I can't begin to tell you how many time that stupid cat of mine has gotten up on my sewing table and when I step away she bats bobbins all over the place- ugh! Not any more! My bobbins are going to stay safely tucked into place in this!

Our Air Force Family

As I write this it's hard for me to know exactly what to say. The crash of the B-52 leaves me feeling heart broken and sad. Knowing that the family members of the aviators are sitting on pins and needles waiting to see if there are any survivors of the crash on Sunday. Having found 2 of the crew members bodies floating among the wreckage doesn't leave much hope of finding anyone alive. They may never find the plane as they are in an area that is the deepest part of the ocean- we may never know why they crashed. The only thing we do know is that they died doing what they loved- Flying.

We were once of the B-52 family and know many that are still flying the "Buff". My heart and prayers go to those families.

Quote of the day

Our American values are not luxuries but necessities, not the salt in our bread, but the bread itself. Our common vision of a free and just society is our greatest source of cohesion at home and strength abroad, greater than the bounty of our material blessings.
Jimmy Carter (1924 - )

Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.
John Adams (1735 - 1826),
Letter to Benjamin Rush, 18 April 1808

Monday, July 21, 2008

Our evening...

Last evening a series of events took place which makes my quote of the day very appropriate.

Our boy who is now 16 had not called AT ALL, I was getting more and more worried by the hour. We finally tracked down all of his friends through the cell phone bill- love giving that kid a cell phone! I'm going to add that parent tracker thing to it next (no joke). He decided to stay camping yet another day- words to our son-Hello it would be nice to let us your parents know of your plans instead of springing them on us at the last minute. I wanted to make him come home but my husband let him camp out another night with his friends. Our boy is growing up- I'm not sure if I'm ready for that.

Our neighbor Cindy called and asked my husband is he could come over- you see there was a snake curled up on her front porch. She didn't know if it was a Garter Snake or a Rattle Snake. Um guess what, it was a Rattle Snake. While my husband went back home to get a powerful flashlight to see this thing another neighbor out on a bike ride with his son stopped by to see what was up- he went to look at the snake, poked it with a stick and really got the thing rattling, that snake was angry! Cindy asked who to call and in our little town everything goes through the police department. The police came and they killed the snake by using a shovel to cut off it's head. I'm afraid that poor Cindy probably was unable to get any sleep last night. This is just another example of what happens when you build houses in areas that used to be cow pasture, animals (all kinds) used to have these lands and now houses are here. It's a wake up call saying "watch where you step", especially in the summer months.

I'm reading the news last night as I always do only to discover that a B-52 crashed off of Guam. Since we still have many friends flying that Air Craft, my heart instantly sank. I'm hoping and praying that all of the crew members are found and are alive.

I'm hoping that today will be a calm and relaxing day- nothing to have me worried out of my socks or that will give me ulcers. I pray each day that the Lord will watch over our Service Men and Women and bring them all safely home to their loved ones.

Quote of the day

"Courage is fear that has said its prayers".
~Dorothy Bernard

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Andrew!

It's official, my boy is now 16 years old. He went off hiking with friends yesterday and they ended up camping in the Black Hills last night. I'm so happy for him, I know that it was hard for him being here at first- having to make friends all over again. But look at him now, having made such close friends that he goes off hiking with them every other weekend, and this weekend- his birthday weekend he's camping with them.

Being an Air Force brat (OH how I hate that term) isn't all it's made out to be. It's hard on the families, making new friends all over again is not all that easy- you've really got to put yourself out there. Andrew struggled with that for a while until he met "Drew". That boy is so different from our Andrew, he's good for our son, he gets him leaving the house and meeting other people. And then there's the AFJROTC program- that's also been very good for for our boy. He's made many friends through that program, the kinds of friends that stick with you through the thick and the thin.

So here's to you Andrew and all you've accomplished these last 16 years! May the Lord continue to bless you and give you strength in ways you didn't know you had in you. And keep your prayers up- your Dad has already been looking at cars to trade yours in for a better one :-)

Quote of the day

I've learned that all a person has in life is family and friends. If you lose those, you have nothing, so friends are to be treasured more than anything else in the world.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone
, South Park, Prehistoric Ice Man, 1999

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Busy Bee Design Studio is open for business!

I finally finished listing my first "batch" of items over at my Etsy shop Busy Bee Design Studio, oh my gosh that seemed to take for forever! Of course I had to experience some computer issues (we lost internet for a while). But alas I was able to get it all entered. A friend asked me if I would be selling some of my nifty bags and the answer is YES (insert big smile here). I've been hemming and hawing over what my shop name would be for this past week, LOL! It's something that I've been toying with for a while and then once I decided to do it (open an etsy shop) I had to decide on a name- one that reflected my busy life. Hence the Busy Bee aspect :-) I have lots more to add to my shop and I'm working on it getting it set up. It takes hours listing all of this stuff- of course the 2½ hour nap I took did set me a little behind. Look for more goodies to be listed in the coming days.

Must have Coffee

For being such a little thing, coffee beans sure do play an important role in my morning routine.

The big surprise for me this morning is that I am not daughter Hannah is awake and hanging out with me. I think that she's making sure that I get things together to list on my Etsy Shop Busy Bee Design Studio. I've also need to finish up the hand bags that she's giving as "goody bags" to her friends at the end of her party. I think that I would be bored out of my mind if I didn't keep myself busy being creative. You do realize that besides God and my family, it's Coffee and dairy products that keeps me going.

Quote of the day

I think people that have a brother or sister don't realize how lucky they are. Sure, they fight a lot, but to know that there's always somebody there, somebody that's family.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone,
South Park, Cat Orgy, 1999

Friday, July 18, 2008

I'm up to something , something good:-)

I've been busy today, busy creating, busy organizing busy having fun but best of all I've been busy being up to something fun! I've got a new link added here to my blog under places to check out. It's Busy Bee Design Studio - I've finally decided on a name for my Etsy Shop. Have you been to Etsy? Don't know what Etsy is? Well let me tell you- it's a place to buy Handmade items! I'm excited about this website and frankly I find it refreshing! Nothing made in China here unless the person happens to actually live in China! It's like a big craft fair :-) I encourage you all to check it out. I should have my Etsy site loaded with items for sale in the next day or two. This is something that is having me doing the happy dance! Let me know what you think about my banner- Hannah designed it for me :-)

Saving Gas and time by shopping at home

I've recently gotten back into shopping online. I've gotten tired of wasting my time and gas of driving all over town only to be disappointed by not finding what I want or worse yet finding what I want but to have it cost 30% or more than it would have by buying it from an on line source and of course adding in my time and wasted gas the price of the items goes up even more. It makes shopping on line even more alluring because you can do it from home in your jammies. Then there's the added bonus of my items being delivered to my door or to my mail box, now that's what I call convenience!

A few days ago I had ordered some thread from an online source and it arrived yesterday- the timing was perfect, as I had just begun to take on a new sewing project. I was able to get the thread for much less than it would have cost me locally not to mention that I was able to get it in colors that the local store did not carry and better yet- I didn't have to listen to yet another poke from the store owner "Hey Sandie when are you going to trade up that Janome for a Bernina?" That just bugs the carp of out of me! I bought sewing machine needles and saved nearly 50% from shopping locally and I bought bobbins from the same online store too and I saved a TON of money! For what would have cost me to buy 19 bobbins locally @ 45¢ each I was able to buy 50 bobbins on line costing me a mere 16¢ each and my shipping was a whopping $2.50 - got to be liking that deal! They arrived and are in perfect condition. Take your time and shop around. I'm usually one to promote shopping locally, but there are times when you must resort to shopping on line. Soaring gas prices at the pump and long lines at the check out stand have me staying at home waiting for the mailman and the UPS guy :-)

Quote of the day

"Live neither in the past nor in the future, but let each day's work absorb your entire energies, and satisfy your widest ambition".
~Sir William Osler

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Celebrating my Children

My babies are having birthdays very soon- I can't believe that Andrew will be 16 and Hannah 13 years old- WOW! I wanted to make a special quilt to commemorate Andrews birthday but he doesn't want any part of "that stuff" (he's such a man). It's paint ball fun for him and his friends.

Hannah on the other hand, well I'm in the process of making "gift bags" for her to give to her girlfriends after the party :-) We'll put little things in the bags for the girls- half the fun was picking out the fabric!

I'm off...I've got a lot of sewing ahead of me!

Quote of the day

I take my children everywhere, but they always find their way back home.
Robert Orben

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thread holds everything together

My latest obsession is with thread. Just like scrapbookers need adhesive to stick things together quilters need thread- an a lot of it! I'll be honest, I was not aware of the mass quantities of thread quilters go through when creating a project. From stitching in all of your pieces of fabric before washing to, basting stitches, regular sewing it together stitches to the quilting of the project- oh is it ever a lot of thread!

Now here comes the other part- what kinds of thread to use on your various projects. Again this like scrapbooking and all of the different brands and kinds of adhesives, there are just as many or more brands of thread out there. Do you use polyester, cotton, rayon or silk thread? And then they throw in something else- weight. It's to do with the thickness of the thread- 50 is a standard cotton thread weight for quilting. The higher the number 50, 60, 70 etc the more fine the thread, a 25 weight thread is rather thick and is used for hand quilting and a 70 weight would be used for bobbin thread. Then comes the different brands- some leave more fuzz than others and it's only by personal experience will you really know what I'm talking about (it's something that you need to see happen with your own machine). Some people are fine with the lesser quality threads and the massive amounts of fuzz they leave all over their machine and projects and other sewers/quilters are not so tolerant and refuse to deal with that mess. Then comes another issue- price. It all comes down to what are you willing to pay for thread? Are you willing to pay more for a good quality spool of thread? How much more? There are many choices out there. There are websites like Red Rock Threads and All Threads that are dedicated to bringing you the best quality threads at reasonable prices.

Regardless of the brand or type of thread you buy to use on your sewing projects there's something else to consider- the maintenance of your sewing machine. Keeping your machine in good working order means that you will have to preform some maintenance tasks on a regular basis. I've read my manual and learned how to do this very thing myself. By preforming a "cleaning" of the bobbin and feed dog area after every project (some people do this after every bobbin change), it greatly reduces the chances of having you machine jam and have to be taken into the shop. Read the manual to your sewing machine and follow it's instructions, you'll be surprised the first time you clean your machine at the amount of lint it has collected- I know that I was very surprised at how much lint that my machine had in it. While I'm taking time to change the needle (after 8 hours of sewing time or there about) I also take off the sewing plate and clean it all out, the bobbin housing pops right out and I clean underneath and all around it, I clean the feed dogs and put it all back together. I once again have a happy sewing machine and am now ready to embark on another sewing adventure!

Quote of the day

I don't think there is a proper way to celebrate something which makes you happy.
~Matthew Oliphant

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

On the internet...

There's no such thing as being able to "hide" from ones relatives, LOL! I see that some have been doing Google searches for me and have at last found my blog... so here's a big Hello from South Dakota to my cousin Susie who lives in Illinois and my other cousin Cheryl who lives in Utah. I've been waiting for my sisters to stumble across my blog, in time everyone will find it, LOL! I've got nothing to hide (obviously) so come on out and say hello and introduce yourself ladies :-)'s a state of mind

I'm feeling rather philosophical today and wanted to boost the moral of several of my close girlfriends going through some of what I call some "technical difficulties" courtesy of the US Air Force so here goes...

Abraham Lincoln said it best -Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Waking up and stepping forth into what is the start of a new day holds many promises. Good, bad or in-between, WE are the ones that shape our own outlook, and by starting with that first step (mine usually takes me straight to the kitchen for a rather large cup of coffee) of positive thinking we can pretty much shape our day. It's about finding and growing your happiness where you are- not looking off in the distance where it could be someday. And this next part is for my girlfriends who have husbands in the military... Happiness will not start once your husband retires from the Air Force, it has got to be in place NOW with deep roots. I've got a handful of girlfriends that I consider to be rather close friends going through a rough patch, all have different circumstances but all are thinking that their husbands retirement from the Air Force will solve all of their problems. My words of advice to you is to seek happiness in your own backyard. The hardest part is taking those first few steps... it's doing what I did almost 18 years ago, go out by yourself and take a class- be it on a new craft or hobby or maybe a college course. I didn't take the classes with any one I knew (we were brand new to the area, I didn't know very many people and my husband was deployed), I went by myself with three intentions 1- of learning something new to me and 2-making new friends and 3- of being happy in my new surroundings. I am happy to say that I succeeded in all three. Being a military wife means that you are one of a special breed of women that knows hardships and personal sacrifice more than most. It's dealing with separations that can go from mere days and weeks to being many months or even as long as a couple of years. Do we get angry and feel resentful? Sure we do, it's normal but what's not normal is carrying that feeling around with you 24/7 and yelling at everyone and being bitter and angry all of the time. What we need to remember is that We are not our circumstances, that those events will come and go throughout our lives. That we can overcome anything, and we always have friends that can help us to get through the parts that we can't get through alone.

Now with that said I can go on to having more coffee and my day- call me if you need me

Quote of the day

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.
~James Oppenheim

Monday, July 14, 2008

It's the little things that make me laugh :-)

My personal quote of the day..."There's nothing more fun than spending time with my children".

My daughter had me laughing so hard today I almost peed my pants- several times! I took her to a second hand store that some of my girlfriends had been talking about (in a positive manner). So while being out in that part of town I decided to go have a look see. My kids are great with the one liner comments. As we're looking around at the merchandise, Hannah spots this old and I mean OLD microwave oven that's as big as a 27 inch TV set which reminded me greatly of the first microwave that my parents bought back in the 80's (I swear it was big enough to fit kids into). She opens it's door and says "Look Mom, it's an Atom Smasher and it cooks on the molecular level" I burst out laughing and found it hard to make myself stop laughing. Or the other comment she made "I've never seen a microwave THIS BIG before- I bet that the microwaves from this relic can fry peoples minds". I'm ready to pee myself just typing this in, LOL! To see her facial expressions and the manner in which she was saying these things- it would have been hard for anyone NOT to laugh :-)

What's your talent?

Today's quote is about creativity. I'm a firm believer in that God has given EVERYONE a special and unique talent. That it's putting that talent (or talents) to good use and sharing it with others that makes it a "gift". Don't believe me? Check out my bio over to the right :-) I say this over and over again to my friends and children- God has a hand in everything that we do!

It wasn't until after I was married and while we were stationed at Loring AFB, Maine that I started to get into crafting on any real level. My husband was deployed for the initial war in the gulf, no place was hiring -especially any of us military spouses. So I decided to take a counted cross stitching class at a little shop named "Rainbow Books, Crafts and Gifts" in Caribou Maine. I was in heaven! Oh by the way, I checked and it's still there :-)

Looking back, I see now that I had to slow down and get used to a slower pace in my life in order to be able to bring out my creative side. When I was working all of the time (before marriage and children) I didn't make time to truly relax. I've learned a lot over the years, and I've found what truly gives me inner peace and joy. I'm a busy person, there's no doubt about that one- some things will never change, but I also make time to do things that relax me. By letting my creative side take over once in a while I've found a sense of relaxation and joy that is beyond anything else.

Quote of the day

There is only one admirable form of the imagination: the imagination that is so intense that it creates a new reality, that it makes things happen.
~Sean O'Faolain

My very own tote bag design

The other night I woke up with numbers bouncing around in my head- all to do with designing a tote bag. I got my numbers down on paper and after church yesterday I created this tote bag...

Funny things about this bag, I'm planning on giving it it away to my mother-in-law for her birthday next month. This tote bag is large enough to carry 12x12 scrapbook paper and even a scrapbook album or two. But my m-i-l won't be using it as a scrapbook tote, she'll be using it for her knitting projects and most likely keeping it next to her favorite chair in her living room. I'm going to make one of these totes for me- now if only I could make up my mind on which fabrics to use :-)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mouse in the House

How this mouse got into the ceiling and then at some point it had fallen down the wall - all of this happening on the top floor of our two story house we will probably never know. My husband ended up having to cut a hole out in the wall of the linen closet and sent out cat in after it after his attempts to catch it failed. Here is a picture of our kitty with the mouse.

It's in the bag!

About a week or so ago I posted that I was working on a little project- well here they are! These are my prototypes. Later on this fall I'll makes some special Pink Bags to sell for my fund raiser "Crop for the Cure" it's an event that I put on for Breast Cancer Awareness (look for that in October). These are my "Baby Bags" and I'm in the process of drawing up my own pattern for a larger bag (going to work on it more today). I was up at 1:30 am working on a pattern, doing the math in my head then I HAD to get up and write it all down. My mother-in-law will be the first person to get one of my new bag designs as she has her 71st birthday coming up in August :-)

This is the bag that I use to tote fabric samples to the quilt shops- and it holds quilt patterns perfectly! I've used fabric that has my favorite colors in it- bright pink and green :-) Once I make the larger bag that can be used to hold knitting, quilting and needlework projects, or to go take with you when you go shopping for yarn, fabric or needlework supplies. You're always guaranteed of a "clean bag" for your special goodies when you use one of my tote bags! They're machine washable too!

Simply Charming

I started on this charm quilt last month and here I am ready for the next step- cutting it apart and realigning it to look as if I had sewn the entire thing "on point". The pattern is called "Chock Full of Charms" comes from the Straight to the Point Series of quilts by Quilt Woman, click on the links to see more designs from that company. The straight to the point series of patterns makes it easy for beginner quilters (and I do consider myself a beginner) to make beautiful on point quilts without the the hassles of setting up triangles and such.

Here it is "after" I cut it apart into 3 sections, realigned it and sewed it all back together. This is only the 4 time I've ever done a project like this (cut apart and sew back together) and the first time I've done it with this particular pattern. It's neat how you turn the 3 sections/cut quilt pieces and realign them, I look forward to doing this again! Now for the inner and outer borders, the binding and of course the backing. I need to decide what fabrics I'm going to use to make those items.
Once finished this will go in our guest room/home office. I've yet to make the throw pillows and the table runner for the dresser. Once I decide on a design those will go fast -okay so it's more like "I hope" it'll be a quick project, LOL!

The Baby Gift

I'm always looking to give a unique and personal baby gift and this is my latest idea...the mini baby bag and mini baby blanket. The baby blanket is small to use while baby is in the car seat. So many places just blast the a/c making it unbearable cold for infants and these little baby blankets are cuddly soft and warm. My little baby blanket bag can be used to carry other little things around besides being a nice place to tuck the blanket in. Side note- my mother-in-law makes the baby blankets for me, I just have her make them in assorted colors and I work from there :-)
Here you see the blanket folded and tucked away for safe keeping.
Isn't this a great size to use as a purse? I think so, plus it's great to tote other things in such a fabric samples and patterns to the quilt shop.
I adore the fabric I used to make this bag, I almost didn't give it to my girlfriend because it it's extreme cuteness, LOL!

Wildlife in our front yard

It's 5:30 am on a lovely Sunday morning and I'm getting the newspaper only to discover that there is a deer in our front yard. As I dash back into the house to grab my camera and there I am- bare foot in my jammies in my front yard taking a picture. I can only imagine what my neighbors would say of they saw me. So here I have living proof, the deer DO come into our yards! I was told by the contractor that once the subdivision was more developed that we would no longer have the deer coming up from the fields to be nibbling our plants in our font yards- uh huh yeah right! I shooed the deer away telling it to stay away from my flowers!

Quote of the day

What a beautiful, sunny morning. It makes you happy to be alive, doesn't it? We can't let the sun outshine us! We have to beam, too!
Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka and Toshihiro Kawabata, Animal Crossing: Wild World, 2005

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Home is where the Art is

I love life, love my friends and love to be in my garden. I'm a passionate person, I don't believe in doing things unless you can put your heart into it. Maybe that's why "crafting" comes so easily to me. I can see color, texture and design and put them all together and have them looking like something.

My friend Cindy and I were chatting about just that kind of thing yesterday - after our meeting with the developer of our subdivision. We both have such similar tastes, you see it in our kitchens, LOL! Although her cabinetry and mine are different colors (mine being red oak and hers a blonde oak) and she has black appliances while mine are stainless there are other things that make them very similar- we have the same Abraham Lincoln quote in our kitchens, the same black granite composite sink, the same brown granite looking counter tops, while her walls are painted brown in the entire kitchen and dining area (it's very striking) here, we've only 1 wall painted brown and it was in the dining area- we will soon both have the same back splash :-) What can I say, great minds think alike. We both looking at doing things to our homes in terms of scrapbooking. Adding color and texture to our homes and wanting our homes to be a restful haven for our families- we might not use those very same words but we think along the same lines. I'll be selfish in saying this- I hope that she and her husband Allen don't move before next summer.

Quote of the day

"At the worst, a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived".
~Dame Rose Macaulay

Friday, July 11, 2008

Boy oh boy is it ever windy windy windy!

My daughter says it best ... "Here on the prairie the wind really blows!"

You can forget having a decent looking hair-do, it's just not going to happen out here. I have my hair pinned up today, I refuse to fight with it (it's a battle that I would not win). I see that yet another garden flag is on it's way to Nebraska courtesy of the ever present prairie wind! The wind is carrying something as I can't go out of doors without my nose running like I left the bathroom faucet turned on, LOL! I've got a pounding head ache and I feel as if my eyes are going to fall out of my head. Allergies- it's when you feel like crap when there's nothing really wrong with your body. So here I am, feeling like crap looking out the window and seeing "stuff" blowing past my house...grill covers, swimming pool toys, garden flags, empty cardboard boxes and of course tumble weeds. I'm not about to chase down any of it! Our hose cart (for our garden hose) was down the street in the neighbors front yard- okay so I did retrieve that. But I'm staying inside for the rest of the day. I feel miserable and my nose is getting chaffed from blowing it so much. I think that it's time for me to have a glass of iced tea, kick my feet up and to just relax with a book. Who's with me on this?

HOA-get involved!

I volunteered to be president of our HOA last summer and my good friend Cindy volunteered to take on being secretary for our HOA. It's not that it's a hard job, it's that it's an unappreciated job. I've actually had home owners write me nasty notes and I've even had a couple of them yelling at me on the phone. Cindy and I are meeting with the contractor/developer of our subdivision today to address some issues before we can schedule an HOA town hall type meeting. It seems that everyone wants to live in the best looking subdivision/neighborhood in this town BUT no one wants to do what is expected of them in the way of the HOA bylaws. When buying a home in the nice looking neighborhood there comes a set of rules with it. They get pissed off when they get a notice that they've not paid the HOA dues or when they get sited for violations to the covenants, one would be not having their landscaping done in the 12 month period from buying their home, another would be not having the proper fence materials or the people that have more furry pets than the city allows . I don't write the rules but I do expect everyone to do their share and abide by them. More and more neighborhoods across the USA are going to Home Owners Associations to govern them.

Some may offended by what I say but lets be realistic- none of us wants to live in a neighborhood where people can dump broken down cars in front of a home or in their front yard, no one wants to live next door to someone who will paint their house any color they find in a government surplus sale and let weeds grow waist high. It's not fair to the other home owners in the neighborhood- the ones that have poured thousands of dollars and just as many hours of their time into landscaping -to make their home more attractive and to draw in future potential buyers. Buying a home is the single most important investment a person will ever make, and it's time that people wake up to it and take the time to groom their investment.

Quote of the day

The real power behind whatever success I have now was something I found within myself - something that's in all of us, I think, a little piece of God just waiting to be discovered.
Tina Turner, O Magazine, December 2003

Thursday, July 10, 2008

a new baby to love

My friend Lelani gave birth to a healthy little girl that she and her husband named Aurora Faith. Isn't she precious? I just adore babies!

Quote of the day

You can't deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants.
Stephen King (1947 - ),
"Hearts in Atlantis"

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Learning from your own mistakes-a quick lesson

Today's quote has a lot to do with what I did yesterday. I can look back this morning and laugh at it but I was pretty upset with myself last night when I realized what I had done. You see, I had gotten ahead of myself - I didn't pin the edges of my table runner, thought that I didn't have to since I had only the 3½ inch border to quilt, um that was a mistake! (you need to sing the word mistake like a choir of angels to get the full effect). So there I was grumbling as I had to take apart 2 different areas of free motion quilting all because the backing material folded up over it's self on the back of the table runner- ugh! It took me a while but I got it taken apart and I then proceeded to pin the edges together and finish my project. And since I had a 2nd table runner to finish up and do some free motion quilting on, I made sure to pin all of the edges up before I put it under the machine needle. This is a lesson that I will only teach myself once, LOL!!
Learning from your own mistakes- priceless!

Quote of the day

When you make a mistake, don't look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.
~Hugh White (1773 - 1840)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Our new Priest

An afternoon spent in the company of friends is a fine thing indeed! What a great time we all had! All of the kids were very entertained, trampoline, the air cushioned jousting area (that was a laugh riot) plus water balloons and squirt gun wars happening all over the place. Huge backyard so kids and parents could spread out and not be on top of one another. The food was great and the company fantastic!

Speaking of good company...I got to talk longer with the new priest for our parish, Father José DelToro- nice man, but a bit lonely right now, good thing he has his weenie dog named "Cigar" to keep him company ( a cute and very well behaved dog). I never thought of Priests being lonely until the other day when Father José said that he was missing his friends from his last assignment (he was there for 4 years). I always thought that they moved from parish to parish making new friends along the way, that it was much like going to be with extended family. I make sure to engage him in conversation every time I've been around him. I've got plans to have a dinner party and have him over as our guest of honor- now to get my ideas together and get an invitation list together and make sure that others can come- it would be horribly boring for him to come to dinner and to dine with the just 4 of us, LOL! But I'm not wanting a huge party like what we went to yesterday, just a smaller group of friends who attend the same parish- so our priest can get to meet some other folks and not just folks who are in the same line of work. Now to get my plans into motion :-)

Quote of the day

My mother used to say that there are no strangers, only friends you haven't met yet. She's now in a maximum security twilight home in Australia.
Dame Edna Everage (1934 - )

Monday, July 07, 2008

Monday, Monday, glorious Monday

Monday's are usually considered to be "bad days" as people are going back to work after a nice weekend. I've never considered Monday's to be bad, they're actually my 1st favorite day of the week. For me, it's starting afresh and feeling renewed after relaxing over the weekend. That and I'm getting my family out of my hair so I can get some things done around here without them constantly asking me to do something for them or asking me where something has been placed.

Today we're going to a staff BBQ hosted by the Ops Group commander and his wife. It's a cook out/get together for his staff and their families. There's going to be water fun for the kids and relaxation for the grown ups. Hannah and I have got ourselves basted in sun screen. I know how much the Colonel and his wife like my New York Cheesecake, so I made a big 10 inch one and will be bringing all of the trimmings to go along with it :-) I've got my tote bag packed with some stitching stuff that needs to be done on my place mats (I can't stand being idle anywhere) and Hannah has her swimsuit and extra sunscreen packed and is ready to go!

The Pig of Happiness

Edward Monkton's philosophical piglet aspires to elevate the spirit and become the Pig of Happiness. His happiness is so big it seeps from inside him to all the other pigs and then to all the other animals in the barnyard.

I simply adore reading books, especially inspirational books and this book is among my favorites! I urge you to find it in your local book store, once you have it in your hands you won't want to put it down :-) Yes its just that sweet! I actually bought this with intentions to give it as a gift and decided to keep it for myself, LOL! The words on pages hit home for me and they are ones that I want to live by :-)

Quote of the day

"There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone's life".
Sister Mary Rose McGeady

Sunday, July 06, 2008

It's Sunday, time to rise and shine!

It seems that for the month of July when I go to retrieve my 1st cup of coffee in the morning, I discover that it has rained during the night. It makes me think of Hawaii and how it rained every night and the days were all fresh and new. But with thinking about Hawaii I cant help but to think of my dear friend Kim and her family. I wonder how they are doing, how she's feeling while on the tail end of her pregnancy. I must have started a half a dozen letters to her. I should either start over and write one or gather all of the half written letters and send them off. Oh how I miss hearing her wonderful laugh! I miss her boys, I wonder how their dog Hershey is doing after his kenneling ordeal. That 6 hour time difference makes it difficult for me to pin point a good time to call.

Hannah is singing with the choir today- it part of something special for our new permanent priest. You see, we've been without a priest for our parish for several months now and we've relied upon the Rapid City diocese to provide our parish with one each Sunday- for which we are all very thankful! I'm looking forward to meeting our new priest and getting to know him.

Quote of the day

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.
Thomas A. Edison (1847 - 1931)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The things I've learned...

In my quest for improving my crafty goodness, I've learned many things...First off don't rush the process. It takes time to develop your own style. No one becomes a "pro" over night, it takes time, practice and patience.

My early works as a scrapbooker make me want to cringe. I grabbed just about every tool I had at my disposal and used it, making/creating what I refer to as some "eyebrow raising layouts" to say the least. But over time I developed my own style and have kept with it. Am I influenced by the work of others? Once upon a time I could say yes, but now I'm very comfortable with my own style- the one that I took my time to develop. I prefer clean lines and limited embellishments and not that hodge podge collage mess I see so many other doing now days- it's too chaotic looking for me and it tends to make you look all over the page and in the process it tends to lose focus on the important stuff -the pictures.

Card making and stamping- I have fun with this craft too! There's so much out there, many more great techniques than when I first started card making 13 almost 14 years ago, and my rubber and acrylic stamp collection and ink pad inventory proves it, LOL! I see where this can be a bit overwhelming to those that are just starting to get interested in making their own greeting cards.

Quilting and Sewing- I've been a sewing since I was 8 years old and still love it! I'll put sewing on the shelf for a while and go on to one of my other passionate hobbies, but it's always something that I come back to doing. There's something to be said about making something with your own two hand, you know the quality of your own work :-) I started making window treatments out of sheer necessity. Couldn't find what I wanted in a fabric that I liked in any catalog so I decided to make my own. And now 17½ years later here I am. Can I make clothes? Yes, and I do form time to time makes clothing, but I prefer to make other function things. The quilting bug has bitten me and good! I'm glad that I've waited this long to get into quilting, I feel that my years of experience sewing clothing and window treatments has aided me tremendously. The hardest part of quilting was tackling the terminology, after you get that figured out the rest comes pretty easy! The real fun for me now is the acquisition of all kinds of different sewing feet and playing with them :-) I had many different kinds with my old sewing machine and the only one I kept was the ruffle attachment (I can use it with my Janome). Oh all of the sewing feet I miss from my old machine I have to say that I miss my hemming foot the most. I'm now looking into purchasing the hemming foot set for my Janome HT2008, I know that I'll use them quite a bit as I'm getting really tired of using a seam ruler and doing the ¼ inch turn and pressing with the iron (my finger tips are tired of being scorched).

Embroidery and Counted Cross Stitching- Two fantastic hobbies that I adore! I learned how to embroider when I was a young girl. I was a newly wed and we were stationed in Maine when I took my first ever hobby class- I learned how to do counted cross stitching- it's been a passionate hobby for me ever since! I stitched like a crazy woman until I discovered Scrapbooking. Needless to say my stitching sat on the sidelines while I dove into scrapbooking, then came Susan. Oh my word this woman is an enabler! My stitching is no where near her level of excellence, then again I refuse to stitch on linen and Susan has no fear of stitching on super fine count fabrics. I met Susan while we were stationed in Virginia. Susan took me to various needlework stores in our part Virginia. Through our store outings she introduced me to Weeks, Gentle Arts Sampler threads and the Caron Collection all are the most beautiful hand dyed threads on the planet and cross stitching has never been the same for me since! Discovering these threads and seeing first hand how they approve the appearance of just about every and any needlework project- well it made me fall in love with stitchery all over again!

Cooking- I've always been one to be creative with food. As odd as it sounds I love to cook! Many of my friends just prefer to do anything else but to be in the kitchen, but for me I feel right at home. When you really want to know the ins and outs of making certain dishes, take a cooking class! I did this with many kinds of things- pastries, breads and even some ethnic dishes. I feel that it's helped me to develop my own kinds of specialty dishes that my family has come to think of as main stays in our household.

My recommendation when starting any new to you craft (yes cooking is a craft that needs to be honed)- take a class! Be it on line or a local shop or store. It all starts with the little seed of knowledge and grows from there.

Thimbleberries Thread Colors

Robison Anton Thimbleberries Thread

Robison Anton Thimbleberries 100% Egyptian Cotton Mercerized Quilting Thread is designed by Lynette Jensen for Robison Anton. These thread colors perfectly coordinate with the Thimbleberries fabric lines, and are available in special collections or in single spools.

The Spring Collection consists of Light Eggplant, Latte, Dakota Stone, Strawberry Cream, Green Mist, and Blue Eyes.

The Summer Collection consists of Winterberry, New Leaf, New Grass, Washed Denim, Buck Skin, and Raspberry Pie.

The Autumn Collection consists of Basil Green, Baked Pumpkin, Oatmeal, Hazelnut, Nutmeg, and Eggplant.

The Winter Collection consists of Night Blue, Wineberry, Black Walnut, Pine Bough, Tarnished Gold, and Sugar Cookie.

The Light & Bright Collection consists of Strawberry Cream, New Leaf, Raspberry Pie, Dakota Stone, Sugar Cookie, and Blue Eyes.

The Warm & Cozy Collection consists of Oatmeal, Buck Skin, Winterberry, Pine Bough, Light Eggplant, and Nutmeg.

Quote of the day

America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens.
~George W. Bush, Inaugural address, 2001

Friday, July 04, 2008

Having fun on the 4th

How did you spend your Independence Day? Did you mow the yard like my neighbor across the street? I thought that the guy was going to have a heart attack with that push mower of his- it was too darn hot to be out there even on a ride on lawn mower!

Myself, I preferred to stay indoors in air conditioned comfort! I played with my latest little toy- the darning foot attachment for my sewing machine. Holy Guacamole, it should be illegal to have this much fun with a sewing machine! I bought it for free form quilting (that's what makes those cute squiggles). I just dropped the feed dogs and went to town! My husband came out to see what I was doing- I kept saying things like "This is so much fun" and "This is so seriously cool". He had to see what I was doing. And to think that a little $12.50 sewing foot would make me this happy- I can't wait to use the darning foot again! My husband's old boss (The MSG Commander) is retiring from the Air Force next month and I've made her a lap quilt as a going away/retirement gift, something that she can actually use instead of some stupid Mount Rushmore book ends or yet another picture or plaque of Mount Rushmore- ugh!. Renita has a sitting room that she's done up in an oriental decor and I made the lap quilt with fabrics in colors that will go nicely in that room.

3 Scrappy Boys - up for sale

Here it is, the official news from my friend and neighbor. This just goes to show you how hard it is being married and having your husband being career military (regardless of rank). My heart goes out to Cindy and Allen, I know how hard it was for them to come to this decision. Deployments and moves, it seems that our lives revolve around them these days, add to it having a successful business, a happy home life and children that are active in many different things- sometimes the choices we have to make in order to keep on top of it all are not easy. I know of what I speak, believe me I do, heck I live it every day. I've condensed the e-mail she sent out, it's below please read.
Store News from Owner Cindy Husted
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer! I can't
believe it will be half over soon!


On a sadder note...
Unfortunately, the time has come for 3 Scrappy Boys to be for sale. We have not made this public announcement because up until recently have just been thinking about the idea. My husband who is an officer in the Air Force was told in the last few days that he can be expecting orders possibly this month for a fall or winter move and that we will definitely be moving by next summer. He only has a few more years in his career and this assignment which could be our last, may take us overseas. He is currently in Iraq for his 4th deployment, which if we get orders soon, is going to leave me to prepare for another move by myself. In addition to this, our 3 boys are getting older and more involved in their activities. I also have started a photography business that I plan to continue growing at whatever destination the Air Force sends us to.

3 Scrappy Boys will not be closing! I stress that I love this business as if it were my child and I will not leave it until the right new owner is found. If we do not find a new owner, the business will go with us to our new home and we will continue offering our fantastic kits! This announcement in no way will affect our current relationship with our customers.

Anyone interested in pursuing this transaction may contact me at

I hope everyone has a fantastic and safe 4th of July!

Happy Independence Day

It's July 4th- are you going somewhere to watch fire works? We're going to pass on it this year. We went to Mount Rushmore last year and although the fireworks display was fantastic and we had a fantastic guest with us- the thousands of people in the same area made me feel rather uncomfortable. I'm happy to report that we'll be at home this year grilling various kinds of meats on the barbie and for my own personal tastes lots of yummy veggies and my own little veggie burger, LOL! We'll be hanging out at home, washing cars, weeding flower beds, watering plants and other American past times, LOL!

Yesterday evening as we were out in our driveway my husband and I saw a B-2 bomber flying overhead- not an every day site that's for sure. It was obvious to us that it was on its way up to Mount Rushmore for the "fly by". What a neat thing that was to see and from the very comfortable vantage point of our own home :-)

Quote of the day

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963),
Inaugural address, January 20, 1961

Thursday, July 03, 2008

kitchen valances

This is the valance I had over my kitchen window since last Septemeber and I also have it in the area I refer to as the breakfast area others would just call it the dining room. Very formal looking and I love it, but I wanted something more fun in my kitchen. Something to reflect the fun that I have while cooking.
Here it is, my new kitchen valance. There was something about it that just made me smile from ear to ear! After a while I get a bit tired of the stuffy formal look and want to have a few whimsical things around me to make me smile- and this valance does just that! It's by Waverly® and is available at Lowe's Home Improvement stores around the US.

Lazy days of Summer

It's yet another rainy morning, actually it looks very much like yesterday morning did. You can hear the train blowing it's horn in the distance and the birds are just now starting to chirp. Doesn't much feel like a day in summer, it's the rain that makes it feel like that. So far our kids have only had 1 maybe 2 days where they were able to enjoy our family pass at the outdoor swimming pool on base.

Looks like our good friends Cindy and Allen are going to be moving sooner than anticipated (this fall or winter as to a 2009 summer move). My heart is saddened by this news, but happy that I've had the opportunity to get to know and become good friends with such wonderful people. With e-mail and cell phone plans, we can still keep in touch. Personally speaking- I like to use snail mail, I still send oodles of cards and letters via USPS. There's something about getting a lovely card in the mail from a friend, it's as if you're holding a piece of them in your hand (yes I'm a hopeless romantic when it comes to that sort of thing).

I'm off to work on some stuff here in my home- changing out window valances in the foyer to something that feels more like summer (to me anyway). With help from my daughter Hannah, I changed the valance in the kitchen yesterday- from the formal looking double tiered stripe valance to one a little less formal and a lot more fun! It's a chicken and rooster theme, what can I say- the valance makes me smile. I want to get with it and finish decorating the top of the 4th cabinet area in my kitchen. I gave up after doing the other 3, actually it was more like I ran out of ideas for it. But I've got a whole new idea for it now and am ready to get it going on today! Be prepared for a an ear to ear grin and maybe even a chuckle or two. Each little area has it's own theme and all of them are around the kitchen and cooking. This one is a more about the food than the dishes we serve from and eat from, cookware and cooking utensils that help to prepare it. You'll just have to wait and see! I've got a corny sense of humor and today it's going to be present in my kitchen.

Quote of the day

Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world; it is God's gift to humanity.
George W. Bush
, State of the Union address 2003

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

How Green are you?

I challenge all of my readers to take this quiz offered over at MSNBC How Green are you? It's got some interesting questions just be honest and see where you are in the green chart.

How green do you go ...
Here's my answer-
OLIVE GREEN: You’ve made significant changes to live greener and healthier, still being you but adjusting some of your creature comforts to do right by your planet!

Post this on your blog and challenge others to see How Green they are!

2008 Year of the Frog

The world's leading conservationists have joined together to name 2008 "The Year of the Frog," in hopes of raising both awareness and funding needed to mitigate the amphibian extinction crisis. Another great place is Amphibian Ark, learn what you can do to keep them from becoming extinct. Please click on the links (highlighted in green) for more information. Now on to some frog Trivia

There are close to 4,000 known species of frogs, including
toads. They range in size from less than half an inch to
nearly a foot long and come in a rainbow of colors and
Adult frogs are carnivorous and will eat just about anything
smaller than themselves, including insects, worms and even
other frogs.
The earliest known frog (Vieraella herbsti) appeared during
the late Jurassic period, about 190 million years ago. The
specimens that have been found in Arizona shows that the
skeletal shape and body plan of the frog has remained
almost unchanged.

The biggest frog is the appropriately named Goliath frog
(Conraua goliath) of Cameroon. They reach nearly a foot and
weigh as much as 7 lbs. The smallest frog is the Gold frog
(Psyllophryne Didactyla) of Brazil. They grow to only 3/8
Equally small is the Eleutherodactylus iberia discovered
only in 1996 in Monte Iberia, Cuba. (It doesn't even have
a common name yet.) Other small frogs are poison frogs.
They measure less than 1/2 inch.
Recently scientists have noticed a marked decline in the
numbers of frogs and other amphibians around the world.
Some species are believed to have become extinct within
the past fifty years. Causes for the decline include ozone
depletion, pollution, habitat loss, introduction of new
predators, disease and even a fungus.

Our Mother and Daughter outing

Yesterday was spent in the pursuit of finding fabric to make curtains and a bed-skirt for Hannah's room. We went to every store that sold fabric in the entire Rapid City area- talk about an adventure! I've got to make a scrapbook layout with great quotations from the day such as "Mom, are you serious? THAT fabric for MY room?" (the look that went with this one was priceless it was as if I were trying to feed her Limburger cheese- the really smelly stuff because she was pinching her nose while saying that to me) or the "Mom you're not only insane you're blind" and my favorite "Mom, you obviously need some coffee". While it was fun it was also a little frustrating to find that all of the stores were having a sale it was a Clearance Sale and they order no more that 1 bolt of any one kind of fabric. You might find a bit of fabric left on a bolt but it wasn't enough to make a valance or a bed skirt ruffle out of. Hannah was set on toile fabric which added a degree of difficulty to our search, not to mention that it had to be either green or blue toile. We saw Red and Black toile everywhere and even some Brown toile, but the colors blue and green were nowhere to be found. Okay so we did find a toile printed fabric at one quilt shop but I would of had to piece the fabric together in 1 yard increments to make it work because of the direction of the print. This was my fall back plan, but I really didn't want to have to do that- too much work). Just when Hannah was about to give up I told her that I was taking her to Lowe's- another classic comment " Oh Mom! You do realize that Lowe's doesn't sell fabric, right?". Oh was my girl about to eat her words! I drag her back to the area that has the Waverly display and there they are, the blue and green toile items we need for the project -Hannah thinks I'm nuts at this point, until I show her what we can do with the valances :-) I love these brocade valances this was plan "B" To turn these long valances into a bed skirt, all I would have to do to it was to sew them to a base piece of fabric woohoo!
She decided against the brocade, but I just may keep these for another part of my house.

Here you see the Toile we've been searching high and low for and it's at (of all places) Lowe's! The green valance you see here will be easily converted into the ruffle part of a bed skirt and the blue valance will be used just as that- a valance for the window. Are you ready to hear (or read in this case) how much this cost me? Be prepared to be amazed! These were on clearance for the low low price of $4.99 each! So to make the bed skirt is going to cost me $20! All of the major sewing is already done! I just have to make some adjustments to the top of the valance and put in a few box pleats and I'm there baby! Talk about ending the day on a perfect note! And yes, every one of these Waverly© valances you see here on my blog I bought for $4.99 each at my local Lowe's :-)

Now I may end up making a simple straight lined striped or checked valance to go under the blue toile valance to give it more depth. Now on to designing some throw pillows, the pillow sham and to wash-press and cut the fabric for the quilt top.