Sunday, November 30, 2008

Black Eye Friday

That's what our news paper is calling it- Black Eye Friday. Apparently people are getting killed in states other than New York, at a California Toys R Us store 2 people we killed when after they started shooting at one another inside of the store. Here in the Rapid City Walmart store a man (the police are still searching for him) punched a 15 year old girl in the throat knocking her out all because she had an X Box 360 game in her hand that he wanted.Where is the sanity in that??? Sure people should keep themselves in check BUT I think that retailers are to blame for the chaos that is happening across the nation at this time of year. The retailers put a handful of items on sale at some ridiculously low price and then have the nerve to act surprised when they have 2000 or more people waiting for doors to open the doors at 4 am- come on! I could see this train wreck about to happen 10 miles away, couldn't you? I'm surprised that more people were not hurt at the New York Walmart beyond the one employee that was trampled to death- Walmart management needs to shoulder some of this blame.

Our local Kohl's department store opened at 4 am this year and in an interview in our local news paper the store manager was reported to say that he was surprised to see the line wrapping around the outside of the store before they opened. My daughter and I were there 2 years ago when they opened at 5 am there was next to no one outside while shopping inside you could roll a bowling ball down the isles and not hit anyone. Apparently this year that was not the case as people were starting to line up outside around the store at 2:30 am in the frigid temperatures to have a chance at the elusive deal, if you ask me it's NUTS! Do I dare ask...what ever happened to "Jesus IS the reason for the season"?

My husband and I went to the mall yesterday for a few hours and you could roll a bowling ball down the mall and not hit anyone. There were no lines at any check-stands. We actually went into stores that had ZERO people in them with exception of a lone sales clerk or two. Any store that we had went to and bought something, we were the only people at the register. I think that retailers are going to have a very tough time this year. I'd say look for more deep pocket sales to happen before and after Christmas.

Quote of the Day

Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.
J. K. Rowling,
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Scrapbooking stores in MA to check out!

Believe it or not, I still scrapbook! And when I'm visiting family in MA I check out as many scrapbooking stores as possible for stamps and scrapping goodies that I'm unable to get where I live in SD. So when you find yourself in Massachusetts check some of these places out!

Right at Home Scrapbooking
560 Kelley Blvd.
N.Attleboro, Massachusetts 02760

Scrapbook Cupboard
516 N. Bedford
St.East Bridgewater, Massachusetts 02333

The Stamp Act
58 Main St.
Marshfield, Massachusetts 02050

A Time for Memories
78 Worchester St.
#2N. Grafton, Massachusetts 01536

Leave a Legacy
1470 New State Hwy Unit 6Route 44
Rayham, Massachusetts 02767

THe Scrap Shack
208 College Highway
Southwick, Massachusetts 01077

Scrapbook Village Inc.
930 American Legion Hwy.
West Port, Massachusetts 02970

Memory Lane
449 Washington St.
Weymouth, Massachusetts 02188

shoes anyone?

I didn't really have plans to go out shopping yesterday but I ended up going anyway,LOL! My daughter was quick to be on my heels and came along. I had the camera in my hands asking her if she wanted to to bring it and take some pictures. Her reaction was priceless" Mom do you really want to bring the camera and have pictures of yourself w/o makeup and your hair in a pony tail?" I looked at her and said "good point" and left it home (insert much laughter here).

Driving past the various shopping plazas on our way to the mall we saw parking lots packed to capacity. The new Target store along with Cabela's and Walmart had parking lots packed full of cars, Hobby Lobby and Toys R Us were a couple of other places we passed- again their parking lots were filled to capacity. We went to the mall, were blessed to find a rather close parking space and went inside. The lines in the stores were very do-able. Not long at all as a matter of fact I was the 2nd person in line while in Scheels Sporting Goods and maybe the 5th person at bath and Body Works. I was able to walk right up to be checked out while in Sears and many other stores had no lines at all or very few people in them. Could be because I was there between 6:30 and 7 am and not when the stores opened. Still, there were plenty of "good deals" to be had. Just because the parking lots are packed full doesn't mean that consumers are spending big bucks.

Now after all that, I'm going back today to return a pair of clogs that I bought, the more I look at them the more they look like they were designed to go on men's feet than on women's feet. I want something a bit more feminine looking, this androgynous look that seems to be the rage these days is not for me :-o The best part about this experience was...I got to try on shoes and they didn't hurt my feet! It's been almost 7 months since my foot surgery and there are still days when my foot aches but on the pain scale it's nothing as compared to how it was hurting before the surgery! And the best part, I can finally buy myself some new shoes! Granted I can't wear shoes from many brands because of the lack of arch support and a few other things BUT I can buy shoes! One of my new favorite brands is Söfft, talk about COMFY!!! There's also my other all time favorites such as Clarks, Merrill and Börn, oh my gosh they all feel great on my feet which for me is really saying something :-) And they're all quality shoes made to last! Treat your feet right and give them a good solid pair of well made shoes to walk around in! I still couldn't go the Ugg shoes route even though they are super cute, the $160 a pair price tag was keeping me at of these days maybe, but not today. I have a friend who swears by them, then again she discovered them while her husband was on assignment in Denmark and EVERYONE was wearing them there :-)

I'm off to enjoy my Saturday, to do a little online shopping and a little in town shopping :-)

Quote of the day

"A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug".
~Patricia Neal

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

I woke up at 3am, no I don't have any intentions of shopping at the crack of dawn this year. I'm just awake nothing to read into it. I think it was the turkey from yesterday, it always makes me sleepy. I had to nap...I napped for over 4 hours, got up for a couple of hours and then was back in bed and sleeping by 9 pm. Needless to say, I'm feeling rather rested and am now tinkering around in the house- contemplating making some pillowcases for our bed (the fabric is gorgeous).

I did some on-line shopping yesterday and can hardly wait for the items to arrive so I can wrap them up and put them under the tree, the tree that my husband will put up today (I hope).

Now to have some more coffee and contemplate going out... I do want to look at those Born brand clogs that are on sale Ü and all the crazy people should be off the road by now...

Quote of the day

"Before all else, we seek, upon our common labor as a nation, the blessings of Almighty God".
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Returning Heros Home

Do you want to be a part of something really good? If so, please check this out...what a truly lovely and wonderful thing for volunteers to do... Returning Heros Home

There's so much to be thankful for...

Everywhere you look, there are things to be thankful for.

I'm thankful for my husband and the career path that he has chosen. He's dedicated to his career and I wouldn't have it any other way. I've got to live in various places in the USA, a couple have been in tourist areas which are an added bonus. I've been able to make many friends along the way-again another bonus.

I'm thankful for where we live. My son has made many friends here, learned how to drive here and has found his self here. Here, well that's the little town of Box Elder, South Dakota. It's a quiet home town kind of place. A few minutes away from Ellsworth AFB and about a 10 minute drive from Rapid City. It's a community where you can get to know your neighbors, your children make friends and a place that can feel like home even if you're not a native to this part of the country. And that comes from a displaced California girl.

I'm thankful for community involvement. I'm someone who does get involved in her community. I help the spouses of our deployed airmen get through the rough times with positive interactive programs. Things such as just getting out of the house and having lunch with a friend can be the biggest spot in a persons day-trust me I know this first hand. Being there, listening means a lot to these spouses who are far away from home and their husbands are off on a deployment to places far away- some are experiencing this for the very first time. I host get- togethers in my home for spouses to make cards and scrapbooks for their loved ones. If they have questions I do my best to answer them or find the information they need or better yet refer them to the places where they can get the information. Besides the military community I'm thankful for my local community. The Black Hills Quilters Guild is filled with wonderful ladies who do so much for our local community. This group does so much for the local and military communities, I'm VERY proud to say that I am a member of this group! There's also the local paper crafting group head up by my girlfriend Peggy. Through her I've got to meet an interesting cast of friends which have all become very dear to me. Through people like Peggy, Ellen, Donna and Sarah I get to see a more broad view of local life and the folks that make up our community. They are caring, loving and giving people, giving of themselves to all kinds of local charities and causes.

I'm thankful for the life that I lead, It's a Good Life. Sure the military life style isn't for everyone and I know that. Some become resentful because they are often left alone for many days, weeks or months out of the year. But hopefully they can overcome that part and make life long friends along the way. I know that I have and I have the Lord to thank for it.

Quote of the day

When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.
- Helen Keller

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Every day brings something new

So there I am in the waiting room at the orthodontists office and guess what...I bump into an old acquaintance. This woman was a neighbor when we lived in base housing here at Ellsworth, her husband had a new assignment and they moved away...and now they are back here for another tour. Talk about a small world! So she's asking me if we still live on base and I let her know that we bought a house and so forth. She was happy to see someone she recognized and at all places the orthodontists office. I was happy because I found out that she quilts and scrapbooks! I'm in heaven! I want to get together with her after Thanksgiving (and while our kids are still in school) just to hang out and chat and get reacquainted. Life IS good!

Hannah wasn't into having the before and after pictures with her braces and I totally understood why. But I'll see if she's up to having her picture taken this morning before she goes off to school Ü.

Quote of the day

"The world is round, and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning."
~ Ivy Baker

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

sites to check out

You've got to go over and check out Pegs Blog...TONS of great crafty stuff going on over there! The woman just had knee replacement surgery and is still a crafting maniac! She makes some of the BEST paper craft items around! Need some paper crafting ideas? Then go over and check out Peggy's blog- ideas are running loose all over the place (kind of like the cattle on her ranch Ü).

What do you think of my blog tog make over? Like it? Well you better get on over to Blog Tog Makeovers and get in the SALE! That's right Cindy is having a sale, get yourself in line to get a blog makeover!
Blog Togs

Do you need a reason to be creative?

Christmas next to Easter and Halloween are times of the year when I really get into being creative. I love making things, I can't help it. It kills me when I hear ladies putting themselves down by saying "I'm not that creative" or I don't enjoy doing crafts because they make me feel stupid". I recently heard someone say that there's no reason why they should be creative. Do you really need a reason to be creative? My mom is in her 70's and I like to think that I keep her actively creating things by sending her crafting projects that she can enjoy making. I just bought her one of those cute apron panels from Hancock fabrics. I remember growing up how my mom would always wear these pretty aprons and the majority of them were those cut apart panels from a fabric store. She'll get a kick out of this next sewing project that I send and a little trip down memory lane too!

When my kids go on field trips and are required to bring a brown bag lunch, I like to decorate their lunch bags with sweet doodles. The kids always loved it when I did that, they said that their lunch bag was never lost in the ocean of 60 or more brown paper bags, LOL!

One thing the kids and I have done for years is to make paper snow flakes out of white coffee filters. This year will be no exception! Some double sided tape, a pair of scissors and we're off for some crafty fun! Paper crafting is oodles of fun no matter how old you are!

And who of us didn't make paper chains for the Christmas tree when they were growing up? My daughter Hannah still loves making them!

Go get yourself some coffee filters, tape and a pair of scissors and bring out the kid in you!

Quote of the day

"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start now and make a brand new ending."
~ Carl Bard

Monday, November 24, 2008

and I wonder why I'm tired, LOL!

Most of the things I had to get done have been accomplished. Now the question is I run out for the 3rd time and drop off my Americana quilt top to be professionally quilted today OR do I drop it off tomorrow while Hannah is getting her braces put on? If ever I felt as if I needed a nap, today is the day! My head is pounding and I feel exhausted! I've made up my mind, I'm going to wait until tomorrow, why drive downtown for a 3rd time when I really don't need to?

I got my packages in the mail, dropped off coat at school since Hannah was in such a rush she forgot it. Bought the things I needed at Walmart before the store was crowded, dropped off package at UPS store, stopped by Hancock fabrics and totally forgot the size of the zipper I needed, yes it really happened. Talk about having a brain fart! I had to laugh because it was pretty darn funny- the only reason I went there and I forget the zipper size? Oh geez, just call me a dork and get it over with, LOL! Getting back to Hannah...Now honestly, how could anyone forget to bring their coat when it's 25 degrees outside is beyond me but there it was at home on the cedar chest. Yup that was the 2nd trip out the door this morning. I think that it's cookies and milk time what do you think?

on your mark, get set, GO

It's Monday and I'm off and running! I'm getting ready to do errands and get things together before I'm trapped in the house for 4 days with my family. I still can't believe that Thanksgiving is THIS Thursday, where did the time go? I never did get the backing done for the quilt, got stuck doing "other things". I've got to get it done TODAY- this will be the best of days- while I'm kid free. I can't believe that in a few days we'll be setting up the house for Christmas. Does it feel like Christmas to you? It doesn't for me. I think that I need to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" a few times before I really start to feel like it's Christmas time.

I've got to take some pictures of the things I've been working on and get them posted. I keep talking about them and I know that it's hard to get a mental picture. So now for me to break down and take pictures...I hope to get that accomplished within the next few days.

Well I'm off with errand #1, get daughter to school early so she can work on a project. Let the chaos begin!

Quote of the day

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".
~John Lennon

Sunday, November 23, 2008

the start of a new week

This morning you will find me answering e-mails to friends and family. As I look at my week I realize that it's jam packed with things going on every day. My week is cut short because of Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Hannah gets phase 2 of her orthodontics on Tuesday (that's full braces w/rubber bands) . I'm working on putting on bindings on my table runners...3 down only how many more to go? UGH! Meanwhile Hannah and I chose a pattern and are picking out some fabrics to work on a lap quilt project over Thanksgiving break. I tell ya, I ALWAYS have something going on! Starting Tuesday afternoon and moving into Wednesday I'll be the Cheesecake baking Queen.

I plan on a nice quiet Thanksgiving here at home with my immediate family. No friends stopping by, no house guests to contend with, just me, my spouse, our kids and our kitty. I plan to dance with the turkey before I roast him, LOL! This year we're going to take a lot of thanksgiving day pictures- I want to remember this one and pay tribute to all of the things we're thankful for.

Quote of the day

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful".
~William Morris

Saturday, November 22, 2008

shopping locally

So you all know that there are times when I feel as if I live in a bubble when it comes to shopping and finding things that I'm looking for. I'm here to tell you about the local places that I enjoy shopping at, where customer service is at it's best and the products that are sold are simply delightful!

One would never think of a place that sews on military patches as a unique little shop. Well I'm here to tell you that "Angelique's Sewing and Alterations" in Box Elder sells this fantastic line of Goats Milk soaps and lotions. I've been using this soap exclusively for just about 8 weeks now and I love how it makes my skin feel. I first bought it for my daughter who is allergic to some of the additives in commercial soaps and I have to say that this stuff is fantastic! So good in fact, that if we ever move I'll continue to order it via on-line! want to order some? Click on this Nanny's Milk Soap it's lightly perfumed and it's hand made here in South Dakota, USA...what's not to like? I use it every day on my face and have noticed a difference in how my skin looks and feels. It's a fantastic all over soap. Angelique even sells a foaming hand wash (liquid antibacterial hand soap),I use it in the kitchen and LOVE it! My hands actually feel clean and moisturized!

We have 3 bonafide Quilt Shops in Rapid City;

Thimble Cottage home of Pearl Louise designs

Quilt Corral too home of Gusty Geisha Designs

Quilt Connection etc the website is not up and working as they have just moved to a brand new location. New location is on Haines Avenue and it's a beautiful well lit store with plenty of parking! You should see all of the new quilting patterns and pattern books they have- OOh Whee! I had to hold myself back from spending any money- I could have spent at least $75 yesterday on patterns alone! Although that chicken pot holder pattern seems to be calling my name pretty loudly, I just might have to go back and get it!

Each of these quilt shops has unique fabrics & quilting patterns and I encourage you to shop locally as much as you can. Obviously there will be things that you just won't be able to find locally (like the Mary Engelbreit quilting stuff I bought on line). But there are oodles of things to catch your eye that will make excellent stocking stuffers! Am I on your Christmas list? LOL! Feel free to get me a gift certificate at any of those 3 quilt shops! Ü

Quote of the day

"Humor is perhaps a sense of intellectual perspective:
an awareness that some things are really important, others not; and that the two kinds are most oddly jumbled in everyday affairs."
~Christopher Morley

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Cookbook Nook: For those who like to bake...

My Cookbook Nook: For those who like to bake...
Build a Bear...this is adorable!

I'm feeling better...really

I like to say that with a British accent while thinking of the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, LOL! It's amazing what a hot steamy soak in the tub and 12 hours of sleep can do for a person! I can't say that I feel like a million bucks but I can say that I feel like at least $250K, LOL!

Today it's COLD! How cold? Well when I drove my daughter to school the wind-chill brought the temperature down to a whopping 6 degrees-ugh! Now of course we're supposed to have lots of wind, some snow and of course it wouldn't be South Dakota unless the snow was mixed with freezing rain- what is not to like right? I don't see any of that being put on the Black Hills tourist brochures any time soon, LOL! All I can say is that the sun must have called in sick today (and I don't blame it one bit) because it's totally absent from the sky. I'm one of those people that opens ALL of the blinds in the house and lets in every ray of sunshine there is and today it's just dark outside which makes me have to turn on ALL of the lights... in every room of the house in order to get the same effect as natural sunlight. Good thing we have those energy saving bulbs right? LOL! I'm addicted to "sunlight" what can I say, LOL! it's not like it's a bad thing:-)

Quote of the Day

"My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that 'achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that's nice, too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success".
~Helen Hayes

Thursday, November 20, 2008

my 1st head cold of the season-ugh!

It's official, I've got a head cold. I do not enjoy staying in bed all day as others in my household seem too. It's nearly 9am and I'm still in my jammies, that is so unlike me. By this time of day I've gotten a ton of stuff done, but today-well my neck aches (from sitting in my chair in a crooked manner), my back aches because I'm hunched over and I've got a headache-lovely just lovely! I feel tired and what does the label say on my medication? Will not make you sleepy, yeah right! So here I am, at home, being sick and still in my jammies. I pray that no one knocks on my front door because I will scar them for life if anyone was to see me right now. Medusa looks good as compared to me at the moment.

I'm off to crawl back into bed...

Quote of the day

"Nothing is as simple as we hope it will be".
~Jim Horning

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

you heard it here first

In case you didn't is world toilet day, check out the website But seriously...clean drinking water and good sanitation practices are limited to the so called civilized areas of the world. There are 2.6 billion people in the world in area where there are no toilets nor do they do practice any kind of sanitation.

Jelly Rolls

One of my latest fascinations with quilting is the Jelly Roll. No this isn't about baking it's about quilting! Jelly Rolls are 2½ in wide strips of fabric (their length is the width of the fabric or WOF). A Jelly Roll is comprised of anywhere from 24 to 40 strips of fabric from a fabric line. Prices run anywhere from $24 to $40 for a Jelly Roll.

I've bought 2 different patterns books that are dedicated to making strip quilts using Jelly Rolls. Many quilt shops have monthly Strip Club events that are totally devoted to making strip quilts. One of our local area Quilt Shops (Quilt Corral Too in Rapid City) has a Strip Club event the first Saturday of every month and she (Joan the owner) gives away a free pattern with purchase of a Jelly Roll. But one can also buy just the pattern w/o having to purchase the Jelly Roll. I've bought a couple of Jelly Roll patterns from QCT and have plans to make them in the future. I've also been making my own Jelly Rolls using coordinating fabrics. I've bought 2 books- "Strip Happy" and "Strip Crazy", talk about some amazing patterns!

Now I have a magazine that I bought over the summer and it has this adorable Mary Engelbreit inspired design for a strip quilt. Soooooo, I finally break down and said yes to making this the hunt for the fabric. I was able to find on line (at 2 different e-stores) the main panel (see picture below) it's available at The Fat Quarter Shop and the Jelly Roll (also pictured below) available at Clotilde to make this item. The fabric line is Mary Engelbreit company name is Moda fabrics (oh how I love their fabrics!). I was able to find the other fabric items needed to complete this project at a local quilt shop here in Rapid City. Needless to say, I'm excited about getting to work on my next quilting project! It's going to be CUTE!

My Crafty Goodness

I'm all over the place when it comes to crafting- be it working with fabric or paper. Most of the of scrapbooking techniques out there have actually come from quilting. So with that in mind it's no wonder why I've gravitated towards quilting right? With natural progression in mind, plus the fact that we no longer have any bonafide scrapbooking stores out here in this area- I can now add another crafting addiction to my repertoire of "hobbies". So with all that in mind, I'm keeping busy working on my Holiday gifts. Are you making anything to give as a gift this year?

Quote of the day

I base my fashion taste on what doesn't itch.
- Gilda Radner

this is my winter motto

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution".

~Albert Einstein

sewing like mad!

So here I am...about to embark on a sewing/quilting adventure! Okay so last night I was sandwiching and pinning together 15 table seemed like it was never going to end, LOL! but I got them all done (whew). Now for today's project- quilting all of those items. I'm watching my friends baby for a few hours this morning and might not be able to get everything done in one day but I'm going to seriously try!

Monday, November 17, 2008

My girlfriends often e-mail me stories, and the one that my friend Lizzy sent to me is one that makes me smile. It's about having two different ways of looking at things- a positive and a negative way of looking at things. I like to look at the positive aspect hence my quotes of the day being positive...for the most part anyway, LOL!

But seriously folks, are you a glass half empty or a glass half full kind of person. I like to think of the glass as being half full. There always a chance for something good to come out of any kind of situation, but only if you think positively!

Things to be thankful for...

I give thanks to the Lord daily for the things and people in my's a peek

I am thankful for...

* my husband who is thoughtful, kind, loving and a good provider in more ways than just bringing home the bacon

* the gift of laughter and to be able to laugh at myself

*the gift of friendship. It's through making friends at each and every assignment that I have built a rather extensive network of friends that live across the USA and beyond!

*being able to have developed my love of cooking to a level of excellence that makes me look at food in a whole different light than most other people see it.

*being able to be a stay at home/work at home mom.

Quote of the Day

"Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world".
~Annie Lennox

Sunday, November 16, 2008

a Mother's moment...

I asked my son to put in a load of towels in the washing machine for me, he did as I asked. Now the interesting part... I went to pull them out of the washing machine and realized that they didn't smell quite right. So I checked to see the boy washed those towels alright, LOL! detergent in the detergent bin and more detergent in the fabric softener bin- nice, LOL! Note to self- make sure children know how to fill the little bins with the correct stuff (insert eye roll here).

Saturday and Sunday

Nothing much going on around here. Went to church, went to BX to pick up I said, nothing much going on around here today.

Now yesterday...I was a cooking and baking Queen yesterday! I made my ever so yummy BBQ pulled pork for BBQ pork sandwiches, seasoned potato wedges (my own secret recipe), fudge (2 different kinds- oh is there a story to go with that) and Monkey Bread from my latest issue of Cooks Illustrated. The Monkey Bread was to die for! I can't say that it was "quick" to make but it was easy to make. It's all that time the dough spends rising that makes it a long drawn out process. But the end result is delicious to say the least! I've been very pleased with every recipe I have made from Cooks Illustrated magazine! I highly recommend that magazine to anyone and everyone who loves to cook and even to those that don't Ü

When I get the cooking bug I get it bad! I can't seem to make just one thing, I've got to have at least 4 to 5 things going on simultaneously. I like to think of it as my own way of multi tasking. Meanwhile I had 4 packages of chicken breasts cooking on the grill (it was above freezing) as I was preparing the pork for it's first round of cooking in the crock pot and prepping the kitchen for making monkey bread. I made the fudge on a whim...too bad that recipe was missing a step and it seems as if I've made a thick chocolate fudge sauce and not thick brick of fudge. So hence I used a different recipe and this time it came out the was it was supposed to come a brick of fudge, YUM! The other stuff has been in the refrigerator for 24 hours and still has not "set", yup, it's chocolate fudge sauce (we're going to try it on ice cream today). So much for the fudge recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens special Pink Edition cook book that I got a year or so ago. I'm going to write to BH&G and let them know that their fudge recipe is "missing" and ingredient or two.

I'm off to be a couch potato today...all of that grilled chicken was sliced up, packaged and frozen to be used in various recipes. I'll do some more mass grilling later on this week when we have more fine grilling weather! You can take the girl out of California but you can't take the California out of the girl- Oh how I love to Grill!!!

Quote of the day

"Without enthusiasm, there is no progress in the world".
-Woodrow Wilson

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Practice makes perfect...or so they say

So there I was, practicing some meandering quilting stitches and I tried something new...hearts & loops and stars & loops. I do better making hearts from an upside down position and stars from the right side up or pointed towards the left side position- weird huh? I tried doing a feather pattern yesterday- oh my gosh what a mess! I thought that I was ready but it quickly became clearly obvious that I was not. Oh yeah, it's safe to say that I need more practice in perfecting quilting techniques. We never know what we can truly do until we try and as we all know, we DO learn from our mistakes. I'm going to practice some more today on my stitching techniques and then make something for show and tell here on my blog.

Quote of the day

"The most important work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes".
~Harold B. Lee

Friday, November 14, 2008

when friends divorce

No matter what, I can never get used to hearing the news of friends getting divorced. This week I was smacked with surprise over 2 different couples that we know that have gotten divorced and a 3rd couple is in the divorce process. The thought of my friends getting divorced has been giving me bad dreams this week and making me feel rather sad. One friend is getting remarried next spring/summer and wants us to attend the ceremony. On a personal level I have to say that I don't want to attend the wedding. To me, attending the wedding is like me giving approval of the divorce. I liked the ex-wife, she was/is a very nice person, but it's as if the guy is claiming us as "his" in the divorce and it makes me feel as if we're not allowed to be friends with the ex-wife, it's all rather sad if you ask me, very sad indeed.

The wind is blowing harder than ever today, 40 mph with gusts to 60mph-ugh! Try having long hair with that sort of weather, I dare ya! So it's braids today- I can only do a pony tail so many days in a row then it starts to get rather tiresome.

Quote of the day

"Depend not on another, but lean instead on thyself...True happiness is born of self-reliance".
~The laws of Manu

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Today has been one of those go go go kind of days and it's nice to sit down and relax with my family. Tomorrow I've got to get rolling on all of that quilting that I need to get done on my table runners. I'm going to practice some new designs then get started on the sandwiching and the actual quilting process. It's going to be an all day event. I'm tired just thinking about tomorrow.

my busy morning

So after my rather busy and productive morning...

*finished the back of Hannah's quilt (cut and sewn)

*cut the batting for Hannah's quilt

*pressed all of the fabric for the quilt backing and the quilt (might I add that that was a lot of ironing)

*dropped off Hannah's quilt at the long arm quilter

*had 3 phones calls

*e-mailed invoices off to realtor for HOA stuff

all of this done before 10:30 am

Left house @ 10:30 am to have lunch with friends and am now home and preparing to make one of my very yummy cheesecakes for my friend Peggy who had knee replacement surgery. I'm going to have some Earl Grey and relax for a bit then I'm off to indulge in another one of my passions- baking Ü

I'm enjoying being Me

There are days when I feel as if there's nothing that I'm unable to accomplish and then there are days where all I want to do is to kick back and relax with a margarita in my hand and do nothing Ü I think of myself as a Martha Stewart type, wanting perfectionism in my home and in the things I do to make it a home. There's one small snag with that picture, it's that I don't have the funds or the entourage of people to help me pull it all off like Martha day maybe, but for now it's just me.

My interests are all across the board- maybe it's the Gemini in me Ü, LOL! I enjoy being creative and making things and try to do something creative everyday. I see my stash of fabrics growing- even after I said I would try to curb my fabric shopping....but those clearance sales have been awesome! I mean, who can resist fabric that was $10 on clearance from $5 all the way down to $1.00 a yard? I mean come on...$1.00 a yard NO ONE can pass that up! I have some awesome fabrics to use as quilt backings and bindings...heck even for the quilt top. But the backing is where it gets really expensive since you need on average 6 yards of the stuff for a twin. And at $10 a yard, well you see why I bought the cool looking fabric at $5 all the way down to $1 per yard right?

Quilting is very much like scrapbooking, there are those folks that are always looking for the latest and greatest in products- be it fabrics, notions or tools.
Myself, I've not gotten into the "need" for the latest of anything. I'm happy with what tools I have and am loving all of the different fabric colors and prints. My thing is thread, LOL! I seem to go through tons of it!

Now I'm off to finish up putting together the backing for one of my quilts.

Quote of the Day

"In human life, art may arise from almost any activity, and once it does so, it is launched on a long road of exploration, invention, freedom to the limits of extravagance, interference to the point of frustration, finally discipline, controlling constant change and growth".
~Susanne Langer

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Cookbook Nook: Soups on!

My Cookbook Nook: Soups on!

Cooler weather brings out the Chef in me, how about you?

Are you ready?

What does that actually mean? Exactly "what" are we to be ready for? Could be...
are you ready for Thanksgiving and all of the relatives?
are you ready for Chirstmas?
are you ready for the next snow storm?

Quote of the day

"The cat could very well be man's best friend but would never stoop to admitting it". ~Doug Larson

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

going to the long arm quilter

Another day filled with errands and things to get done. I've got to finish up the backings for my 2 twin sized quilts, get the batting measured out and have it all ready to go and take it over to the professional long arm quilter and have her stitch it all together. It's the moment I've been waiting for, it seems like it took for forever to get here too! Hannah and I went to the new location and I let Hannah pick out the quilting design/pattern that she wanted to be stitched on her quilt. It's going to be so seriously lovely! I knew what I wanted for the Americana quilt from the get go the all over swirls with stars- it's going to be cool!

The different designs that a long arm quilter can do on one of those machines is amazing! I was in awe of the entire set up. Is this something for me to consider doing in the future? Not on your life! Oh my gosh the long arm machine and frame take up a room the size of my family room- that thing is HUGE! I'll be more than happy to take my quilt tops to be stitched together by a long arm quilter. Ü Now I Did feel inspired while there- to do some more quilting and to try my hand at working with flannel. I really want to get on and make my strip quilt that I have planned- the one using pinks and browns Ü

Now to get with ironing and some sewing together of some very large pieces of fabric. And I need some more coffee...where's that mug gone off to?

Quote of the Day

"We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry."
~ EB White

Monday, November 10, 2008


With so many things going on around me some days it's hard for me to concentrate on just "one thing". Today's quote has something to do on a subject I 'touched" on but never really spoke about. My husband has put in for a job and if he gets said job, that job would have us moving next year. We've still not heard more on it. The waiting is well you know how it can be... when you're waiting to find out if you need to get your house ready to be on the market to sell it and a few other things. So we wait. If it happens, it happens- it's up to the powers that be to make the final decision on things. The assignment is an awesome opportunity not just for him but for our entire family. Please keep us in your prayers are we try to be patient while waiting for news if we will or will not be moving next year

Quote of the Day

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.
Ovid (43 BC - 17 AD)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

We've got Snow and lots of it too!

The snow was blinding and at times we were unable to see out of any window because of the ice that was covering them. A front loader came by yesterday and cleared the streets of snow drifts. I kind f wish that the person doing the snow removal would have piled the snow across the street with the rest of the snow- only so the kids could do more sledding. But alas he piled it on my corner garden are- the one that has 10 rose bushes and 3 three foot tall peony cages. Maybe it's just me, but kids don't like to sled on snow banks that contain metal pieces, thick sticks and thorny ones at that! The roses will survive the extra snow dumped on them, so will the other flowering plants. As I see (understand) and hear from a child's point of view "ah man, they wasted that snow" that was a reference to the snow being piled on the rose bushes. I look forward to seeing children playing in the snow in my front yard today :-)

The driveway is cleared of its thick coating of ice and supposedly it's safe to go out and about. But I'm not going anywhere unless I really need to. Heck I was out of dairy products (you know- Half & Half) and sent my husband out to do the grocery shopping. It's not that I'm afraid to drive since the storm, it's that I prefer to stay warm and comfortable at home, LOL!

Quote of the Day

"We all need to have a creative outlet - a window, a space - so we don't lose track of ourselves".
~Norman Fischer

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Every time you spend money...

Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want.
Anna Lappe, O Magazine, June 2003

I look at this quote a lot, I use it as my stepping off spot. This quote is what I think of as I look for country of origin labels on items I purchase for myself, my family and my home. I try to buy "Made in the USA" items as much as I can. With the holidays upon my heels I'm holding steadfast to my quest of finding items made here in the USA. The best way to do this is to make the gifts we give this year. I look closely at country of origin labels of the products I intend to purchase to make said gifts.

So with that thought in mind, I better get a move on with my sewing!

Quote of the Day

"Beware so long as you live, of judging people by appearances".
~La Fontaine

Friday, November 07, 2008

Snow Day = Girls Day!

This is the first time in 3 days that I can see past my front porch or past my backyard. The sky is clear and everything is a glistening blanket of snow. Ice is everywhere especially underneath that seemingly harmless blanket of snow. People need to be careful while walking around outside, they also need to dress appropriately, it's still very cold out there!

Highway 90 is till closed from the Wyoming border to Mitchell SD. It's another snow day for the kids and they were pretty happy about it last night. As for me, I've got to find ways to keep them occupied and keep myself from going stir crazy- I've been cooped up here at home since Tuesday. Besides Onions, cream cheese and my Special K blueberry granola bars there's nothing I need from the store. Heaven forbid that I run out of Half & Half because then I WILL have to leave the house...must have half & half for my coffee, 2% milk just doesn't cut it in my coffee, LOL!

Just because we're stuck in the house because of tons of snow surrounding us is no excuse to not to pamper ourselves. I think that I'll treat myself and Hannah too if she's interested to a deep conditioning treatment for our hair and a pedicure- sounds good doesn't it? :-) OOooh a hot soak in a tub full of bubbles sounds good too! Snow day = Girls Day!

Quote of the Day

"Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day".
~Sally Koch

Thursday, November 06, 2008

how to keep occupied during a blizzard

There are days (like today) where you can't go outside and there isn't much one can do that doesn't involve electricity. Our power was going off and on continuously for hours. So I decided to occupy myself in other ways. Since I couldn't use my sewing machine which bummed me out or even an Ott light (I use one when doing counted cross stitching or when reading a book) I decided to clean out and rearrange the pantry and rearrange my cookbooks. After a few hours and that chore was done. Then I started on other parts of my kitchen and WOW what a difference that made! I really got into cleaning and took everything out of the refrigerator and washed it down inside and out! My kitchen is sparking clean and everything in it's place!

I was talking with my in-laws this afternoon and they heard about our area being pummeled with snow. I let them know that it was all true and then some. If any house on my street was to catch fire there would be no way anyone could get to them in time because of the huge snow drifts covering the street. I'm waiting to see if school will be closed tomorrow or just delayed by a few hours. There's no way any kind of vehicle never mind a huge school can get down some of these streets. The wind is whipping up again and at least this time I've got the patio furniture and the grill secured. Those 60 mph winds were wreaking havoc yesterday with my patio furniture and I was determined to win that battle (and I did). You can't be married to an engineer as many years as I have without some of his ingenuity rubbing off on you, LOL!

OOOh I better hurry and get this posted as the lights are beginning to flicker...that means power outages-again!

Pegs Creative Cards

Have you been over to Peggy's Blog yet? Oh you are missing out on a great source of inspiration..hurry up and check out the cards she's got up there right now! I won't tell you how old she is (it's not polite to tell a ladies age) only that I aspire to be as creative as she is when I reach her age :-) It's seeing stuff like what she's got on her blog that inspires me to create! Thanks Peg for all of the wonderful paper crafting classes and for being such a wonderful friend!

Quote of the Day

Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared.
Eddie Rickenbacker (1890 - 1973)

It's a Blizzard!

Hey in case you are wondering what I'm up to today...we're keeping warm and are staying indoors. The schools have been closed, parts of highway 90 are closed to travel and our entire area is on a no travel advisory. The power keeps cutting out -it's been like that since last night. Since 5am the power has gone out and come back on at least 6 times. The wind is howling at 47 mph with gusts up to 60 mph. Snow is piled as high as my fence (and I've got one of those tall cedar fences). It's a bit freaky to go through this especially while my husband is away in another state, but we'll manage.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

moving on to better things...

No more political talk...that's for Susan's blog, LOL! I'm moving on to better things like crafting and making stuff for my home.

My order from Connecting threads has arrived! I'll be the first to say it, I'm a bit leery of buying fabric on-line, sight unseen ET all, considering my recent events or what I like to refer to as "my issues of late" with buying defective pieces locally, LOL! The fabric is beautiful and it's hand (that's what you call the "feel" or texture of the fabric) is right there with the $10 per yard fabrics. It's every bit the same quality as the $10 per yard quilting fabrics.

I've bought and now am going to test driving some of their exclusive thread line called "Essential Thread". The colors are lovely! And they will fill in color gaps where Gutterman, Robison-Anton, Mettler and Coats and Clark don't quite meet. I'm going to sew with this thread today and see if it casts off fuzz. There are thread colors that I buy from Coats and Clark only because they aren't available in the other lines- trust me if those colors were available in other brands, I would no longer use the fuzziest thread ever made by man! Little things like the all of the shades of gray are amazing! It's finding just the right shade of beige for the top stitching on a project which makes a come to life. The shades of beige are amazing too! Besides buying every neutral color they offered -at $1.99 for a 1200 yard spool, it was VERY affordable! I also bought some other colors- the Turkey Red is a beautiful warm crimson red, and the Moss green, it is what it is! Either of these colors would be perfect for the top stitching I want to do on my Christmas table runners.

I'm going to play with new thread, woohoo! And with weather like ours, playing indoors and doing something fun is #1 on my list of things to do today!

A new sheriff

So here we are making history- Obama is going to be our first African-American president in the United States. I suppose that Americans could see 2 men in the White House but not a man and a woman. Here's something to think about...What else is to come in our future ? A gay couple being in the White House?

Quote of the day

"The great thing about democracy is that it gives every voter a chance to do something stupid".
~Art Spander

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Can I have a cortisone injection? Please?

I made and appointment and was seen AGAIN for my elbow- the one I injured by putting up one of those nifty wall rub-ons, LOL! Well this new doctor actually listened to me. To make a long story short I received an injection of cortisone and lytocaine in the area and I'm here to say that it is WORKING! It's been a few hours since my appointment and still no sharp pains, WooHoo! This is what I asked for last month and what did I get? A wild goose chase around Rapid City looking for an elbow brace and a prescription for 800 milligrams of Motrin to be taken 3x's a day UGH! Besides getting blocked up, having my hair shed more than usual and causing me some serious discomfort when the tablets would get stuck in my throat, the Motrin did nothing for the pain in my elbow area {sigh}. So for today, I'm curled up in my recliner reading some quilting patterns plus on the doctors recommendation I have a heating pad wrapped around my elbow. Add a hot mug of tea and an almond poppy seed muffin to my reading nook and I'm set!

Go out and VOTE!

It's election get out and VOTE!


As my husband and I were talking last night about our next house...keep in mind that my husband is in the Air Force and that we move every few years. It makes me laugh because most couples who buy a home live in them for 30 or more years, LOL! Take both sets of our parents for example, they've lived in the same homes for at least 35 years. Anyway, as my spouse and I were talking about the size of the home we were both in agreement on a few key issues... of a smaller house (less square footage) and a larger craft room (I want all of my crafting to be contained in one room) and a few more amenities (more spacious master bathroom with a tub and a separate shower along with a list of a few other things). I've turned the formal dining room into my 2nd craft room and I never meant for that to happen. My husband put a computer in my craft room and for that I am grateful! Now I can keep the crafting mess out of the home office. I'm trying to keep my messes contained to one space and it's hard, LOL! Now I'm determined (more than ever) to keep my space and my mess under control...wish me luck!

Go, Go Faster!

Yesterday afternoon was a scurry of activity for me. I had gone into town and purchased some fabric for the accent pieces for some more table runners. After I get home and look at the fabrics is when I noticed that 2 of the 4 pieces of fabric I had purchased were flawed, and of course as things being as they are, they were from 2 different stores. Seriously now, what are the chances of that happening to anyone? As I'm peeved at the shops and myself for not looking at the fabric before I paid for it, I call the stores to let them know that I was coming back in to exchange the pieces of fabric because of said mentioned flaws. Keeping time in mind, I knew that I had to wait for Hannah to get home from school- and of course being that it was meet the teacher night at both the middle and high school. So I pull out the super mom shoes and tie them firmly to my feet and get to it! I race off with Hannah in the car and get downtown to the 2 different quilt shops which are located in (of course) 2 different parts of town, I exchange fabric, and get to the Middle School all within an hour- I even had a few minutes to spare- woohoo! This just goes to show you that wearing the right shoes and having the right attitude can help you to accomplish most anything!

Quote of the day

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler."
~ Henry David Thoreau

Monday, November 03, 2008

my quilting projects

Now for some narration on these pictures...This crumpled heap of fabric is Hannah's quilt top, well a good portion of it anyway. next is the ironing board with strips of fabric that is to be the border fabric on Hannah's quilt top. On the stair railing behind the ironing board you see fabric that will be used for making some Christmas themed table runners.

The crumpled heap aka Hannah's quilt top

a little piece that Hannah put together for a pillow top, pretty cute stuff! Now for me to sew it all together and make said quilted pillow top.

Here's the fabric when I had the strips sewn together to make blocks and the blocks to make the larger strips that would eventually become the quilt top. This was VERY time consuming. And of course the seam ripper was my best friend on this project too.

My latest Autumn themed table runner...have you noticed the way I quilted it? Look closer at the pumpkin fabric. I'm getting more adventurous with the quilting process. I'm branching out from quilting in the ditch to making actual designs.

The chicken you see here is something that my Grandmother gave me over 25 years ago, and heaven only knows how long my Grandmother had it before she gave it to me. My mom says that Grammy had ever since she's known her and well that being as old as I am makes it at least 46 years maybe even older. That glass chicken is one of my favorite pieces of glassware.

As you know, Halloween is a big thing here at our house. This is the Halloween table runner that I made for the Buffet. This pattern was my own design and I'm VERY pleased with how it turned out. I even painted that cute ceramic pumpkin you see there in the middle (I did it at a local paint it yours pottery place a couple years ago).

Scrapbooking and Quilters Unite!

I know something that you may or may not know...many of the patterned paper companies that we scrapbookers love and adore also have fabrics done up with those same designs- no joke! Please check out The Fat Quarter Shop. This place rocks! I love it all!!! It's such a crack up seeing Basic Grey being offered in a fabric line.
Go see for yourself and enjoy!

Autumn leaves

It's been unseasonably warm here in the Black Hills but that's soon to change. Temperatures will drop back down to the 40's in the next couple of days. It's been delightful having it be in the mid 70's and even today with the high being 65 (it's at 61 right now), it's pretty darn nice! My flowers and bushes are starting to go dormant for the winter- which is fine with me. I need to tend to the flower beds and put down more mulch. The wind has blown a lot of mulch around into the grass and I need to get the kids out there raking it back up.

One tree is totally without leaves and the others are on their way to losing their leaves. Our Russian Olive tree is holding on to her leaves pretty tight this year so it could be a few more weeks until it's branches are bare. It's Autumn and no other season that makes me miss New England with it's spectacularly colored foliage. And being from California that's really saying something!

Quote of the day

"It is necessary to dig deep within oneself to discover the hidden grain of steel called will."
~Ryan Shay

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Christmas is on it's way...

With it being November ET all, I'm happy to say that I've got a good start on making the Christmas gifts I will give this year to my girlfriends, my m-i-l, s-i-l and even my own mother. My husband is one who always thinks that Christmas is some big show and tell...I on the other hand would like something a little more low key. It's not about what you buy for people, it's more that you think of them and show them that they are worth taking time for. Quilting, stamping, scrapbooking and baking are all ways in which we can take our time creating wonderful things with our hands and our hearts.

I plan on making my 2008 Christmas theme "From the Heart". Handmade items are the most thoughtful gifts one can give to a friend. The very thought of my friends thinking... "wow my friend (insert your name here) took a lot of time making this for me" fills me with joy. So off I got to sandwich those Holly table runners and to prepare to quilt them.

PS- I've sidelined 2 of my pumpkin themed table runners- the more I looked at them the more I really did not like the colors that I put together. I decided that I'm going to cut new ones and start over, I'll make a different pattern too. I finished one table runner yesterday and I like it very much- the other 2, just weren't doing it for me. Quilting is like any other's all a learning experience.

political advertisements

I'm so sick of political advertisements on the TV, radio, news paper and now the phone calls have really started coming. I find that I'm now screening all of our telephone calls. Since Friday it seems as if we're getting at least 6 political phone calls a day and frankly I'm sick of it! My mail box is stuffed full of fliers for this coming election, and to be perfectly honest I scan them for what they care and they all go right into my recycle bin! We record our favorite TV shows and watch them a day later so we can fast forward through all of those nasty political ads, the ones where one candidate bashes the other are the worst. It all makes me ill and lets face it, there won't be anything to watch on TV from now until Tuesday but election stuff- a great time to have the TV off or to watch a movie or two with the family.

Quote of the Day

"There are days when any electrical appliance in the house, including the vacuum cleaner, offers more entertainment than the TV set".
~Harriet Van Horne

Saturday, November 01, 2008

restarting my day

Start each day in a happy way (insert eye roll here). So far today I've started my day before the birds even started to chirp, looked out the front window and freaked out with a huge deer looking back at me in the front yard, went back to bed and have restarted my day. So on start #2 I've ironed on my applique leaves for my table runners (I'm not sure if I'm thoroughly happy with them yet). I've got to go out and get the news's waiting for me on the driveway and I'm wondering if those deer anywhere near? Because I don't want to go out there if they are.

I've got a "craft" planned for my daughter- making a fancy pillow case to go with her new quilt top, I'm hoping that she'll be up for it. Good thing I've got 2 sewing machines, we can both be working on something at the same time Ü Besides the table runners, I've got some small baby quilt ideas in the works. I swear that I can never be still, my mind is ALWAYS working! Colors and designs are always going through my head. Now I'm off to change the feet on my sewing machine and to start the quilting process on some table runners!

Introducing ...Chocolate!

With a name like Chocolate...who wouldn't want to gobble this up? I'll admit that I don't have any black white or even the new ivory color (they do nothing for me) but this one just might have to be in my kitchen. I'll have to go check it out and see if it looks as pretty in person as it looks here. Brown is one of those "iffy colors" that could be too green or too blah.

Happy November!

Last night had to be hands down the warmest Halloween in the past 6 Halloweens we've been here. No rain, snow or freezing temperatures-WOW! Too bad that we had maybe 20 or so kids come out trick or treating, I'm bummed with the low turn out. But on the brighter side- I did get rid of all of those Snickers bars-yuck!

I hate being up at the crack of dawn, heck this is before the crack of dawn. I'm not an insomniac because I can get to sleep. And I don't always wake up like this.

Here's a funny- I go out to the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea (it's herbal) and I see this glow-yup my neighbor across the street didn't put down her garage door. That couple has lights in that garage that make it look like an alien spaceship has landed (it's a very eerie glow). I pull up the blind in the formal dining room to make sure that there wasn't someone out there and guess what! There's this HUGE Deer standing on our drive way. It turned it's head and was looking right at me in the window looking right at it. It proceeds to walk into our front yard, slowly but still looking at me. Then it heads towards my flower first thoughts are "Alright Bambi keep walking! Those are MY plants!". I open the front door and the deer trots off across the street. I saw a group of deer yesterday in my neighbors backyard, nibbling away at plants and grass (talk about being happy that we have a fence). But what a freak out to open the blind on the window and to have this HUGE animal looking straight at me!

Quote of the Day

When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope still is to leave the world a little bit better for my having been here. It's a wonderful life and I love it.

~Jim Henson,
It's Not Easy Being Green And Other Things to Consider