Thursday, July 28, 2011


Quote for the Day:
“I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich.”
- Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford, "Identity Crisis," M*A*S*H

Yesterday I had a BRILLIANT idea...
Erin is currently not working and Sera starts kindergarten the end of next week...and I, unexpectedly, got a 3 -day weekend this weekend...

Sooooo... I suggested that Erin bring Sera and come for a visit this weekend! 

It took a lot of arm-twisting on my part...(yeah, right)...but Erin ultimately agreed!  LOL

So she and Sera are coming in tomorrow (Friday) and will stay till next Tuesday...since Sera starts school on Thursday off next week.

(this picture of Sera & Erin was taken last summer) 

YAY!!!  I am so excited to see them!  I have to work tomorrow night, but I suggested that she stop by the hospital on the way to our place (the hospital is located at the exit that they get off at to come to our much easier can it be???)

We don't have any "plans" but I know Erin will want to visit a couple friends while here.  Basically, we'll just enjoy each others company and we'll get to see our darling granddaughter!  

Unfortunately, Dale won't be able to come with them, but he has to work Friday and Monday.  I understand that he will be spending the weekend doing some repairs to the house that they will be closing escrow on sometime very soon!   He will be missed, but  I appreciate him letting his girls come home by themselves for the weekend.  :)

I have been frantically cleaning house for the visit.  Not much housecleaning has been getting done with the downstairs in an uproar due to the kitchen renovation and Andy & I working our butts off at our respective jobs the past couple months.  :(    But, alas... many, many dust bunnies gave up their lives today in preparation for Erin & Sera's visit!  

I'm very excited and can hardly wait!!!!  



Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Monday....

Quote for the Day:
"Those who forget the pasta are condemned to reheat it."
  ~Author Unknown

"Monday Monday....can't trust that day..."

Raise your hand if you remember those lyrics to the song by The Mamas and The Papas.  Yes...I see those hands...    :)

I hate Mondays.  Just sayin'.  I'm sure it has to do with the whole "return to work" idea.  Why can't there be more Saturday & Sunday's in the week?  Huh?  Is that too much to ask?

But I digress...

Anyway...yesterday, a friend & co-worker turned the Big 6-OH and her boyfriend and her daughter gave her a SURPRISE birthday party at Oliverio' Italian restaurant in Bridgeport.  Andy & I were blessed to be part of it.  Pat was REALLY surprised!  I think she was on the verge of tears at the sight of everyone who turned out when she thought she and Don were going to have a private dinner...just the two of them.  LOL

BTW...the food was DELISH!  But you know the problem with Italian food is that you're hungry again in 5-6 days!!!!  LOL

I also did my couponing at Walgreen's yesterday...

Total of items purchased was $42.48.  After coupons and Register Rewards, I paid $5.19 out-of-pocket and got $10.50 back in Register Rewards...making this a $5.31 moneymaker for me!  :)

I have been gradually listing items on Ebay that I got from that estate auction I went to...things that I don't need or are duplicates of what I already have.  Last week I listed a total of 11 auctions.  Four of them ended yesterday and after all Ebay & Paypal fees, postage, etc., I've made $65.25.   I am still waiting on payment for one item that sold yesterday and have three more auctions ending tomorrow, and four ending on Thursday.   I've taken more pictures today and will list a couple more auctions before heading to work tonight.

I have so much stuff to still list on may take me a couple months!

And to answer Kristin's question about decluttering going on...

I've been getting rid of some sewing/quilting items that I've had for a while....gadgets and things that I just wasn't impressed with what they did or how they worked.   I've been throwing them in with the "lots" that I've been selling on Ebay and have been getting rid of some of my own "sewing clutter" that way.  The items are not terribly impressive by themselves, but throw them in with a bunch of other sewing/quilting paraphernalia, and you've got yourself something interesting!  :)

And speaking of Kristin...I received this beautiful item in the mail today...


Till next time...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Signs of Summer...

Quote for the Day:
A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, 
the breeze is blowing, 
the birds are singing, 
and the lawn mower is broken.  
~James Dent

It's summer.  You know how I know?  Well...I'll show you the "official" tale-tell signs that it is SUMMER.   

Yep...ceiling fans in every room of the house and box fans in most rooms.  Yes, we do have air conditioning, but you would have to be a millionaire to keep this house cool using only A/C.  Besides, I think that feeling air "movement"  keeps you feeling so much cooler than just air conditioning alone.

And one more sign that it summer is upon us...

For some reason, God thought that it would be great fun if He made the blackberries ripen during the hottest 2 weeks of the year!  LOL

I've always made the "cooked" jam and water-bath canned it in years past.  But this year I thought I'd save myself a lot of time and stove-generated heat and make freezer jam instead! is DELICIOUS!!!  Even though I reduced the sugar slightly, it seems to be setting up well!  You let it "set" for 24 hours at room temperature before putting it in the freezer for "keeping".

And what do you do with that little "extra" that is left over...not enough to fill a jar???

MMMMMMMMM!!!!  Fabulous over ice cream!  :)

Update on Chucky...

He has a girlfriend!!!  :)

Yep...I came home from work one night to find him the clutches of Miss Mop Head Doll herself!  LOL

Stay cool in this heatwave...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Meet Chucky....

Quote for the Day:
Wisdom doesn't  necessarily come with age. Sometimes age shows up all by itself.
-Tom Wilson

I thought I'd introduce you to the newest member of the family...

Do you remember in in my last post  when I told about finding a ventriloquist's dummy in the bottom of a black trash bag that was part of a "box lot"?  And how we had him sitting on top of some boxes in the living room that contained our new kitchen cabinets while he awaits his fate on our yard sale??? 

Well...what a waste of a good ventriloquist's dummy!  * *insert evil laugh here**

Sooooo....last night when I came home from work (at 3:45 AM) I decided to have a little fun.  Now let it be said that I may have been a little sleep deprived, but sometimes I have my best ideas when I'm in that state!  LOL

I sat "Chucky"  (as we have come to call him after the demented doll that comes to life in the movie "Child's Play")...anyway....I sat him on the cupboard in the kitchen beside the refrigerator with a post-it note stuck on the front of his shirt that said "Hi, Andy".  I figured Andy would find him when he came down in the morning and got the cream out of the fridge for his coffee.  :):):)

Well...he obviously saw Chucky...for when I came downstairs this morning I found Chucky sitting on a box behind the sofa...

with a this sign...

Chucky is now sitting on the couch where Andy always sits to watch TV and surf the 'net...and I think he may have taken over Andy's laptop... I'm thinking Chucky needs to stay with us instead of going on the yard sale.  :)   Hey...I'm just thinking of what fun it will be for the grandkids...

Answer this question for me...

How many kids can say that their grandparents have a ventriloquist's dummy just sitting around the house...with Post-it notes on it's shirt???  Huh??? 

To be continued...


Monday, July 18, 2011


Quote for the Day:
"Behind every quilter is a big pile of fabric."
~author unknown

Well, well, well...what a weekend!  Whew!  

Okay...let me start from the beginning...

On Friday night Andy & I went to an estate auction that advertised a "sewing machine" and "quilt frames".  Well, you know when you see those things listed together that it is probably a quilter's estate and there will probably be quilt-related items there.

Heavens to Betsy, you wouldn't BELIEVE what was at the auction...and what came home with me!!!  Let's just say that it is a good thing that we had taken both Subaru Outback station wagons...because they were both packed to the brim by the end of the night!  (Andy had come from home and I had come from work so we had both cars there.)

Let's start with the sewing machine...MY "new" sewing machine...a Husqvarna Viking 936 Huskylock, about 3 years old, originally $1400+...AND the custom-fitted sewing table (would not have been included in the $1400 price tag)...AND boxes upon boxes of quilt-store-quality fabric...AND, not one, not two, but THREE sewing of them is a Longaberger sewing basket with liner and protectors (paid $6 for the box-lot that one was in!!!  WOOHOO!!!).

This lady must have been ultra-organized because all of her stash was in organizer totes with the pattern tucked inside...all nice and neat.  And let me tell you from the get-go that only about 1/10 of the stash they had for sale there came home with me.   I've spent all of Saturday and Sunday going through all the totes and measuring fabric and organizing it into my stash.  Some of the patterns she had chosen were not my style, etc., so that fabric got taken out of the tote and refolded into my stash.  There were 9 projects in various stages of was not started at all, a few were partially done and a couple were almost finished...I left those in their totes with the instructions and I hope to finish them off.

These nine totes hold the projects that I hope to complete.

Now for pictures of the fabric that I added to the stash this weekend...

These are the 1/8 up to 1/4 yard cuts...

The 1/4 up to 1/2 yard cuts...

The 1/2 up to 1 yard cuts...

And the greater-than 1 yard pieces...

There was one "jelly roll"...

And one "layer cake"...

And twelve "charm packs"...

And not to be forgotten...2 small Christmas wall quilt kits...

Three quilt panels...

 And the flannel fabric...

 Fifty-six spools of Mettler embroidery thread...

These two rolling sewing machine totes...the one on the left is empty and is for my current machine...the one on the right contains the sewing machine I bought at the auction.  I haven't set it up yet and am not sure if I will keep it or resell it on Ebay...I can double my money if I put it on Ebay!  :)

Totes and totes full of quilt patterns, miscellaneous pillow panels, sewing notions, and cross-stitch supplies, etc., that I will be putting up on Ebay...


I am just starting to go through the non-fabric items and so far have found no less than 6 pair of scissors...2 of them Gingher!  (The BEST on the market!)  I've also found 3 Ott-lites so far!  LOL   From my figuring, I spent about 50 cents/yard for quilt shop quality fabric that normally runs $8/yard!  I think I did very well!

And just the cost of the 22 totes alone (that the fabric was in) is over $100!!

Here is what I still need to go through...

In the above picture you can see a box of yarn that was in one of the box-lots.  We will take it to Andy's mom next time we go to Maine.  :)

I've already listed 4 items on Ebay and will continue to do so as I go through and categorize things.  

Andy bought 3 box-lots from the auction and got some nice things in them...including a Sony Walkman MP3 player and a ventriloquist's dummy!  :)   haha  That dummy is hysterical!  We are calling him "Chuckie" and he is sitting on top of a tall box in the living room right now.  If he moves or starts talking HE.IS.OUTTA.HERE!!!  ;)

It's been like Christmas around here...going through the boxes and finding all the little "goodies" in them!  :)  We are planning a yard-sale in August or September, so what we don't want and don't sell on Ebay will be gotten rid of then.

I have a box of miscellaneous craft, clothing and upholstery fabric "Freecycle" and another small bag of fabric to pass along to a friend.  

While going through this haul of fabric it made me realize that if I don't make a concerted effort to use up my stash, my family will one day have to go through it...just like this person's family did.  It made me resolve to myself to "shop my stash" and not buy any fabric for a LONG time!    I can truthfully say that I am "set" for quite a while with my quilting!  :)


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

First Harvest of 2011...

Quote for the Day:
"Happiness is a bowl of cherries and a book of poetry 
under a shade tree."
 ~Terri Guillemets cherries they ain't...but they are the first of the 2011 blackberry harvest that grows just outside our back door.  :)  Huge, luscious and oh-so-delicious.  Full of antioxidants, too!  :) 

The blackberry bushes are LOADED and the berries will continue to ripen over the next 1-2 weeks.  When the majority are reaching full ripeness, we sometimes have to pick them TWICE a day...that's how fast they ripen!  It is at that time that I will be making a batch or two of jam!  :)  I just hope that those "bountiful harvest" days coincide with my days off as the berries make the best jam when they are freshly picked!

Day off...yeah...that's rich!  HA!  My summer can best be described as CHAOTIC when it comes to my work schedule.  I have been working almost twice as much as I usually do...and a lot of night shifts.  At this point, I am past the point of exhaustion.   And patience???  Don't bother asking for any...I gave at the office.  :(

But I have recently finished listening to an audiobook that I'd like to share with you...

You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness by Julie Klam.  It was great fun to read and is one of the shorter, quicker books I've read/listened to lately.  And, yes, though I am partial to Boston Terriers (we currently own our second one), Ms. Klam's dog-love extends beyond just that particular breed.  I highly recommend this'll laugh, you'll'll thank me for recommending it!  ;)


Sunday, July 10, 2011

I'm Drinking Again...

Quote for the Day:
"Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint on it you can."
-Danny Kaye

Okay...I admit it...I have a drinking problem.  :(  In fact, today I was drinking and driving...

Yes...that's another McD's frozen strawberry lemonade...but I know I can quit anytime I want to.   ;)

When we lived in California, on Sunday mornings I would grab a cup of coffee and a granola bar and eat them while I drove to church with the kids.  One Sunday when Erin was about six she said, "Mom, don't you know you aren't supposed to 'eat and drink and drive'?"  I guess she had seen her share of "don't drink and drive" ads on TV and didn't realize they were talking about alcohol!  LOL

Ya know how I've said that Lady always has to be where I am?  Well...I thought I'd take some pictures to prove that point.  

When I am in the bathroom, I look out the door and see this...

I's like having young kids again.  I can't even go to the bathroom in peace!  LOL   Sometimes when I am in the bathroom, she will be laying on the carpet facing away from the bathroom door...usually facing towards the staircase leading she's guarding me.  :)

And here she is laying on the floor near my desk while I was on the computer...

When I'm in my quilting room, she'll lay on either of the two rugs in there and every so often she gets up and comes over for me to pet her...then she goes and lays back down again.

Now that the kids are grown she really has become my shadow!  :)

I went couponing today and Rite Aid and Walgreens.  I got the following at Rite Aid...

I got $48.39 worth of product, paid $24.20 out-of-pocket, got $3 back in +Up Rewards, $15.69 back in Rebates, and a coupon for $3 off of a $15 purchase...making my actual cost $2.51 for everything.

I did a little better at Walgreen's...

I got $50.97 worth of product, paid $14.92 out-of-pocket and got $19.00 back in Register Rewards...making the trip a $4.08 money-maker for me.  :)

We worked on cutting a couple pieces of paneling for the kitchen today, but the last one didn't fit right and will have to be recut.  :(   So we both got disappointed and quit for the day.  Besides, it was 100 degrees out this afternoon and we have to do the cutting outside, so we were both quite worn out from the heat.   

We've been at a standstill on the kitchen lately while we try to figure out exactly what we can do with the space between the chimney and the cabinets.  We keep tossing around suggestions, but haven't come to a complete meeting of the minds, yet.  


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

This...and That...

Quote for the Day:
"You know that you have had enough coffee 
when you can thread the sewing machine while it is running."
~author unknown

Hope everyone had a FANTASTIC holiday back to the daily grind.  :(

Let me just say this...I can quit anytime I want!  (Yeah, right!  I won't quit till McDonald's stops selling these [frozen strawberry lemonades].)  LOL for some book reviews...

I've recently finished reading "We All Fall Down: Living with addiction" by Nic Sheff . It is the "sequel" to "Tweak:  Growing up on methamphetamine" and you can read my review of that book here.  Let me just say that I am very disappointed in what I learned in "We All Fall Down."  Basically, either Nic lied all through writing "Tweak" or he lied all the way through "We All Fall Down".  Both books are riveting, but I will never believe another word he writes or interview he gives.  It just reinforces what I know to be true...addicts are skilled liars.  It's how they manage to live in the addiction like they do.  

Onward to the next review...

Run, do not walk to the library to get "Spent:  Memoirs of a Shopping Addict" by Avis Cardella!  Excellent, excellent book.  What can I need to read it for yourself.  

So why are you still sitting there????  ;)    Okay, can wait till you finish reading my blog.  But then you must GO!  :)

I did my weekly coupon shopping, only hitting Rite Aid so far...Walgreen's didn't have any "must get" deals and my Register Rewards don't expire till next week, so I'll just wait and use them then.

Here's what I got at Rite Aid:

No...I didn't get the dog there...she just always has to be where I am.  I laid out the items to take a picture and when I turned to get the camera, she had come and laid down.  I tell you, she's never far from fact, she's usually right behind me.  I think if I stop quickly, she'll run into my ankles.  And if I turn around quickly she does get stepped on.  Frequently.  You'd think she'd learn!  LOL

Anyway...back to my shopping trip...

I bought $17.84 worth of products...spent $1.16 out-of-pocket...and received $11.50 back in +Up Rewards and SCR's (Single Check Rebates).  Not bad, huh?


Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July edition...

Quote for the Day:
"You cannot do a kindness too soon, 
for you never know how soon it will be too late."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy "4th of July"...or "Independence Day" we call it here in the United States. is the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which was the document adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, that announced that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with Great Britain, were now independent states, and thus no longer a part of the British Empire.

This weekend, while the States celebrated this historical event, Andy & I celebrated another historical event.  Yesterday, July 3rd, was our 29th wedding anniversary as well as our son & daughter-in-law's 6th wedding anniversary!  WOOT WOOT!  

 July 3, 1982

July 3, 2005

So how did I spend the holiday weekend???...

...making a quilt for the daughter of a very good friend.  You see, the daughter was in a bad car accident last Wednesday and has been in the hospital, first in Surgical Trauma ICU and now in the Trauma Step-down Unit.  So far she's had one surgery and multiple blood transfusions and has a long rehab before her...and possibly more surgeries.  After seeing the picture of the car, you realize how lucky she is to be alive! 

So what do quilters do in times like these???  They QUILT!  Some people cook or bake to bring a gift to the family in times like this...but quilters quilt!  'Cause when you are wrapped in a quilt, you are wrapped in love!  Can I get an "Amen, Sista"???

I had some crumb blocks stashed away that I had made at some point.  (I like to make crumb blocks and string blocks when I want to do a little "mindless" sewing.)    "Crumb" blocks are made from the little pieces of fabric that are leftover from the making of other quilts.  You see...I'm too frugal to throw out those end you just start sewing them together until you have the size of block you want...

These are some of the crumb blocks...if you own a quilt made by me, you may recognize one or more of the fabrics from your quilt in them!  LOL  

Anyway...I've had a BUNCH of them stored for a little while now...had no sure plans of what I was going to do with they've been on my shelf, stored in a clean pizza box.  (Yes, I buy new ones especially for this use.  My local pizza place sells them to me for 50 cents!)

So Saturday I pulled them out and started joining them to plain white-on-white squares...

Here they are on the design wall...

After sewing them all together and adding a cheery border (yellow with blue lollipops!), I embroidered some flowers on some of the plain blocks (I love my embroidery machine!!)...

I hope you are looking closely to see if there is any of your quilt's fabric in it!  :D  Trust me...making a scrap quilt like this is a walk down memory lane for me!  There's leftover fabrics from my kitchen curtains from my previous house, fabric from a skirt and top I made myself, some fabric from a skirt I made for Erin when she was in 4th grade, and even some fabric that I had inherited from my mom's stash when she moved from California to Illinois in 1978!!!  LOL    Yeah...sorry...I'm that frugal!  :)

Anyway...moving on...

I machine quilted the quilt yesterday and then washed it...

...and here is a close-up showing the crinkliness (is that a word?) that washing creates.  (You can see the border fabric in this one, too.  Don't ya just love those lollipops on the border fabric?)

Today I delivered it to the parent's house so they could give it to her.  Her mom was at the hospital and her dad was leaving shortly to go over there, so hopefully, she will receive it today.   (Later we found the card that had been in the bag with the quilt had evidently fallen out and was in the back seat of the car.  :(   Oh well...)

BTW, using those crumb blocks didn't even make a DENT in how many I have!  LOL  Not to mention the fact that my scrap bins are starting to overflow again...time for more "mindless" sewing, I guess!  :)

Hope you had a great holiday weekend!