Sunday, October 30, 2011

Saturday, Oh Saturday...What a Day You Were...

Quote for the Day:
“Middle age is when you're sitting at home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn't for you”
~Ogden Nash

Yesterday (Saturday) we had to go to PIttsburgh to take care of some business, so we decided to get an early start so we could go to some thrift stores while up there.  It's about 90 miles north of us, so we headed out about 8 AM.

As luck would have it, we also got our first snow of the season yesterday, making Route 119 north, the 2 lane road to get to the freeway, treacherous to travel!  :( 

After going about 10 miles on this road, we were the first people to come upon an accident.  The poor lady had spun out and ended up in the opposite ditch, facing the direction she had come from, her Honda Element now resting on it's passenger side.   She was wearing a seatbelt and it held her suspended firmly in place.  Because the car was up on it's side, she could't get out either door.  Soon after we stopped, another car containing two nurses on their way home from working night shift in Morgantown....a male and a female.  The male nurse and Andy were able to tip the car so it was back on all four tires, albeit, still at about a 70 degree angle so the driver still couldn't climb out of the driver's side.  However, she was able to climb out of the passenger's front window!  We helped her up the steeply banked ditch and let her come sit in our warm car while we waited for help to arrive.  The other couple that stopped to help then left and continued towards their nice warm beds.   One other guy in a pickup did stop to see if we needed anything, but by that time everything was under control.

The first emergency responders to respond to our 911 call were two volunteer firemen, each in their own personal vehicles.  One of them had still been in bed when he got the call!  :)

You can't really see it, but her car is just ahead and to the right of the fireman in the yellow vest.  Since the car was dark blue and all I had was my lousy camera phone, you really can't see the car.   

Thank you to other couple that stopped to help and God bless the volunteer firemen...and not just these two...but all who volunteer their services to help others.

What astounded me was how fast people were speeding down this road that was slippery with wet, slushy snow...even as they were passing by an accident and people on the side of the road.  My pant legs got splattered with road slush more than once from  people barreling down that road while we were there.  :(  

People, if you see an accident and persons along side the road, please, please, please SLOW DOWN so they don't fear for their lives!

After that excitement, we continued on to Pittsburgh, passed a house fire that firemen were working on, and found where we needed to go to take care of the "business" part of our trip.  

After taking care of everything, we found a place to eat lunch and then  programmed thrift store addresses into "Jill", our GPS unit, and headed out to see what we could find!  :D  (I had found a site online that you can put in a zip code and it will compile a list of thrift stores in the area, with addresses and hours of operation!)

We hit  four thrift stores and came out with some great bargains!  Some to keep, some for other family members, and some to resell.  

Here are just SOME of the items that we bought to "keep"... a pair of Hush Puppies leather, sheepskin-lined, ankle boots for me...$2.00!!!  A winter jacket for Andy...$3.00!!  Two Liz Claiborne tops for me...$5.00 total!!  Three matching woven throw rugs...$1.99 each!!!  (You can never have too many rugs!)  :)  Four mugs and a cheese server/dish with matching spatula...all of them are part of my Pfaltzgraff Winterberry Christmas dish set...$5.00 for the 4 mugs and cheese dish/spatula!!  (BTW, Andy got me these dishes...a place setting for four...for $5.00 at a yard sale!  I've been looking for more to go with them since then but this is the first time I've found any!) 

Oh...and one more item that we found....

Yep...that's right...a vintage, full-sized, hand-embroidered, hand-quilted quilt!!!!!!  It was VERY yellowed from age and had some spotting from storage...but I've bought enough vintage linens at auctions and sales to know that a good soaking in Oxi-clean will remove those stains and yellowing!  And it sure did in this case!!  Isn't it GORGEOUS!!!

I soaked it overnight last night and this is what it looks like this morning...

There is no label on the quilt, but in the doorway of the house it is handwritten in blue marker, "The Hamill's".

The hand quilting is 8 stitches per inch...a very respectable quilting job!

Oh...and the price???  $24.95!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  By the way...there are no pulled threads or other signs that this quilt has ever been used!!

I don't know who the "Hamill's" are, but shame on them for getting rid of this beautiful heirloom and disrespecting the person who put so much time, labor and love into this beautiful quilt.   Their ungratefulness is my gain!!!  

Two other people picked this quilt up and looked at it, but turned their noses up at it because of the "stains".  However, when I looked at it, I recognized that the "stains" were not really "stains", per se, and would come out with an Oxi-Clean soak.  However, even if they hadn't come out, I would have loved it either way!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Still Kickin'...

Quote for the Day:
"Insanity does not run in my family.
It strolls through, takes it's time,
and gets to know everyone personally."
~author unknown

I hope you enjoyed the above quote!  In know it brought a HUGE smile to my face when I found it!   :D

I thought maybe you, my readers, had thought I had fallen off the face of the earth!  I thought I'd better let you know that I hadn't and that I'm still here kickin'.  LOL 

Wanted to share the progress I've made on the Sunflower Quilt that I'm currently hand quilting.  I'm just 6" away from the half-way point!  :D  You can see the huge star that marks the center of the quilt in this picture...

I'm really moving along quite fast on this quilt and am really loving the way it is turning out!  

The motif on this particular block is my favorite...

I'm not trying for "teensy" stitches anymore as I found that I actually like to see a little of the stitch, especially because I'm using variegated thread on this quilt.  Once the quilt is washed and "crinkles" up, the stitches will be less visible than they are now (for you purists out there who think that stitches should be too tiny to be seen!  LOL)

I have two book reviews for you, today.  BTW...I am love, love, loving my new Nook!  I'm very happy that I treated myself to one!  :)

First book:  "The Bag Lady Papers:  The Priceless Experience of Losing it All" by Alexandra Penney.   I listened to this as an audiobook on my MP3 player and thought it was very intriguing.    

  • Synopsis:  A victim of Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme, mom and former Self magazine editor-in-chief Penney (How to Make Love to a Man), hyperventilates her way through this intriguing memoir of putting it back together. Finding herself almost entirely without money, Penney faces the unexpected need to retrench with a daunting sense of paranoia; brought up by aloof parents, Penney lived for a long time with a chronic, seemingly irrational fear of becoming a destitute bag lady. As a "Person of Reduced Circumstances", Penney bolsters herself with chin-up wisdom ("unless you've been mummified, you have choices and alternatives") and bravely vows to apply her own nail polish while eulogizing her days as an expensively-dressed editrix at Conde Nast. While she ponders lists labeled "money can still buy" and "money can't buy," a collection of well-heeled and influential friends encourage her with quotes from Emerson, invitations to the Caribbean and tax advice. With considerations like, "Is it worse to have had money and lost it? Or is it worse to never have had money at all?" Penney can be an (admittedly) unsympathetic protagonist, but her struggle is genuine, her charm expansive and surprising, and her strength winning. 

My second book is "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" by Amy Chua.  (This is the first book I read on my Nook!)   Very interesting book!   I find that I don't have to agree 100%...or even 10%...with the author to still find their books interesting.  In fact, I like to read to find out about things that I don't know anything about.

  • Synopsis:  Chua imparts the secret behind the stereotypical Asian child's phenomenal success: the Chinese mother. Chua promotes what has traditionally worked very well in raising children: strict, Old World, uncompromising values--and the parents don't have to be Chinese. What they are, however, are different from what she sees as indulgent and permissive Western parents: stressing academic performance above all, never accepting a mediocre grade, insisting on drilling and practice, and instilling respect for authority. Chua and her Jewish husband (both are professors at Yale Law) raised two girls, and her account of their formative years achieving amazing success in school and music performance proves both a model and a cautionary tale. Sophia, the eldest, was dutiful and diligent, leapfrogging over her peers in academics and as a Suzuki piano student; Lulu was also gifted, but defiant, who excelled at the violin but eventually balked at her mother's pushing. Chua's efforts "not to raise a soft, entitled child" will strike American readers as a little scary--removing her children from school for extra practice, public shaming and insults, equating Western parenting with failure--but the results, she claims somewhat glibly in this frank, unapologetic report card, "were hard to quarrel with."

I love reading!  The love of books and reading was instilled into me at a young age, probably mainly by mother who was an avid reader and would let me read the Agatha Christie novels she would check out of the library to read!  She never read anything that she wouldn't want her children to see, so if she brought it home, I usually read it, too!   Eugenia Price, Corrie Ten Boom, Agatha name a few of the authors she read.  

I got my love of learning from my dad.  In the evenings if he wasn't busy doing something else, he'd sit and read either the Bible or an encyclopedia!  Yes!  An encyclopedia!  He was always trying to learn and what better place to do it than a book filled with all kinds of information!  (We had an old set of encyclopedias that were probably from the '50's!   But this was in the 70's, before scientific advances  started exploding at the speed of light, so the information wasn't really out of date.)

A book can educate you, move you emotionally, or take you places you probably will never go yourself!  So pick up a book today and expose yourself to all kinds of new adventures!!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Toy!!

Quote for the Day:
"A bargain is something you don't need at a price you can't resist".
-- Franklin P. Jones's time I fessed up about something...

When the Kindle book readers first came out a few years ago, I looked at the one a friend of mine bought and THOUGHT, "what a gimmick!  Who needs that?  That will never catch on."  

Of course, what I SAID was, "Cool, looks nice."  :)   (I was raised with the adage "if you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all".)

Over the last few years, I've seen other companies come out with similar e-book readers and more and more people buying them.  Then, a couple years ago, the library started coming out with e-books that you could download for free and every time I log on to the library's website, they have more and more e-books listed.  

I guess this isn't a phenomenon that isn't going away any time soon.  But the clincher for me was when I found a book that I really wanted to read and it was available instantly electronically...or I could get into my car, drive 18 miles to the library and check it out...hopefully before someone else got there before me to check out the same book!  This got me started thinking about and researching ebook readers to see which one might be best for me. 

After much research, I finally decided on a Nook and ordered a "certified pre-owned" one from Barnes & Noble and ordered it just before we left on our trip to Wisconsin for the wedding.  

It arrived while we were gone and was waiting at my neighbor's house...along with all our other mail...when we arrived home!  :D

Be still my beating heart!  I'm in LOVE!!!  :D 

I ended up purchasing the Nook Simple Touch, refurbished, because it carries the exact same warranty as a new one but I saved $40 over the cost of a "new" one.   (Checking the B & N site now, I see that they have come down another $20 to $79...I paid $99 for mine.)

BTW, the Nook Simple Touch was Consumer Reports #1 pick in e-book readers!  That, along with the fact that it was a touch screen, only weighs about 7 ounces, has a micro SD card slot for expandable memory (not all e-readers have expandable memory), and it comes standard with an A/C adaptor were all reasons that I chose this particular item/model. 

After selling one of my vintage sewing machines several weeks ago, I decided that with all the reading I do, that buying a Nook would be my treat to myself.  I used a portion of the money I made from the sewing machine to pay for the Nook.  (Note that the price of the Nook was LESS than what I sold my sewing machine for!)

I have already downloaded 4 books from the library onto my Nook.  It's so easy...takes a couple of seconds to download the book to my computer and then another 2 seconds (literally, SECONDS) to transfer the book to the Nook!  How easy-peasy is that??  So easy, even an old lady like me can do it!  :D

I still download audio books to my MP3 player to listen to while driving to and from work and while I quilt.  (I've even figured out how to use a tape adaptor in the earphone slot of the MP3 player so that I can listen to the audio books over my car stereo system when driving.  Before figuring this out, I had to use ear buds to listen when driving.)

I'm becoming quite the electronics wizard!  LOL


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

We Had Us a WEDDING!

Quote for the Day:
"Love doesn't make the world go round. Love makes the ride worthwhile."
-Franklin P. Jones

Well, I've been mentioning in some of my previous blog entries that my niece, Kristin, would soon be tying the knot!  And, she did!   :)

This past weekend, Andy & I traveled to Wisconsin to be there to help Kristin & Jeff celebrate their Happy Day!  :)  The trip was LONG and four out of the five days we were gone were spent In.The.Car.  :(   By the last day of travel, I was going "stir-crazy" and was about to get out of the car and WALK the rest of the way home!   (And by that time, I think Andy would have LET me!  LOL)

This blog is going to be laden with pictures, so let's get started!  

This is the groom, Jeff, being walked down the aisle by his two beautiful daughters, who, by the way, were also his witnesses instead of having a "best man".

My sister, Bev, and her husband, Denny...the parents of the bride...

Two of my nieces,
Tina, the maid-of-honor and sister of the bride...
and Kristin, the bride, in the background waiting to come in...

The bride, Kristin

Presenting the new Mr. & Mrs.!!

Kristin is a very creative person and did everything herself (except for the catering).  She made her invitations, her and her maid-of-honor's bouquets (out of vintage broaches!!!), all the corsages and boutonnieres,  and all of the decorations on the dining tables!  I wish I had some good close-up pictures of the bouquets, but I don't.  Sorry.  :(

But here are some examples of the beautiful vignettes that she designed that were on the banquet tables...

Kristin MADE all of the flowers on the tables from organza!!  
She said she heated the edges to get them to curl in like a flower!  
What talent!!!

Not every vase had flowers in them..
.some were left empty and simply graced the table...

Their last name begins with "H", so there were
H's scattered about in the decorations!

The food was delish, and we had our choice of ham and "fixins", Chinese food, fish, and taco makings!  She definitely had all everyone covered with those choices!  :)  

There was no standard wedding cake, though there was a small round cake for them to "cut" for pictures.  However, in place of the traditional wedding cake, there was a vast array of desserts to choose from, all displayed in serving sizes...ready for you to choose!  

And if I was a good blogger, I would have taken pictures of all of it!  LOL  

But, alas, what I did get pictures of was family...(and even missed getting pics of a few of them, too).  Sorry.  :(

After the dinner in the church reception hall, we all drove over to the bowling alley (next to the motel that Kristin had arranged for us all to stay at).  Kristin & Jeff had rented a party room and lanes at the bowling alley for all of us to enjoy the remainder of the evening.  Munchies were served in the reserved room and people were free to come and go, and visit as they wished.

These are some of the pictures from the bowling alley...

The bride and groom in their bowling shoes!

Andy in his suit and bowling shoes!

It was a blessing to be able to see Jeff & Kristin get married and to share in their happiness, and to visit with family!    Thank you for letting us celebrate with you!  May your lives be truly blessed!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Book Recommendation...

Quote for the Day:
"A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face.  It is one of the few havens remaining where a man's mind can get both provocation and privacy."  ~Edward P. Morgan

Today, I finished listening to an audiobook that I just HAVE to recommend!  "Inside the Kingdom:  My Life In Saudi Arabia" by Carmen Bin Laden. 

Synopsis:  Osama bin Laden's former sister-in-law provides a penetrating, unusually intimate look into Saudi society and the bin Laden family's role within it, as well as the treatment of Saudi women. On September 11th, 2001, Carmen bin Ladin heard the news that the Twin Towers had been struck. She instinctively knew that her ex-brother-in-law was involved in these horrifying acts of terrorism, and her heart went out to America. She also knew that her life and the lives of her family would never be the same again. Carmen bin Ladin, half Swiss and half Persian, married into-and later divorced from-the bin Laden family and found herself inside a complex and vast clan, part of a society that she neither knew nor understood. Her story takes us inside the bin Laden family and one of the most powerful, secretive, and repressed kingdoms in the world.

You can read the book or listen to the audiobook.  If you get the chance to listen to the audiobook, I would recommend it.  It is read by someone with a beautiful, melodic, Swiss (?) accent that is a pleasure to listen to.  It is also nice because all of the foreign words and names are pronounced correctly, so you don't have to try to figure out in your head how they might sound.  (Am I the only one that does that when they read???)  :)

This book captured my attention from the introduction and never let go!  

I am going to be attending a WEDDING this weekend!  Can't wait!  :D  My dear niece, Kristin, is getting MARRIED!!   I'll be sure to post pictures next week!  :)   (She likes it when I mention her in my blog!  hehe   Hi, Kristin!  *waves*)


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Product Recommendation...

I just found this product on Amazon and decided that I needed to share it with everyone out there in blogland!  

I encourage you to go to this page and check out the customer images as well as the customer reviews!  :):):)  

Go.  NOW!  Enjoy!  :)


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Couponing Day...

Quote for the Day:
 "If you die in an elevator, be sure to push the Up button."

This is one of those "hurry up and wait" months.  I've got a lot of things in the "works", but nothing seems to be getting completed...and not necessarily anything *I* can do about it to hurry it along.  I feel like I'm in a permanent holding pattern.  And I'm NOT a patient person.  :(
I did my couponing today at Rite Aid and Walgreen's and it turned out GREAT!  Check out these deals... 
From Walgreen's...
I got $68.56 worth of product, paid $13.88 out-of-pocket, got $39.98 back in Register Rewards and rebates, making this a $26.10 moneymaker for me!  :):):)

From Rite Aid...
I got $35.34 worth of product, paid $6.19 out-of-pocket, got $13.09 back in +Up and Single Check Rebates, making this a $6.90 moneymaker for me! :):):)
That means that today alone, I got $103.90 worth of product and MADE $33.00 in the process!  Now THAT'S what I call shopping!  :)
I just finished reading "Laughing Without An Accent" by Firoozeh Dumas. 
I loved it!  Funny AND intelligent!  Now I want to read her memoir, Funny in Farsi!  
I was listening to "Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer on my MP3 player.  
I listened to about 3/4's of it before I got bored with it.  It was interesting, but once I reached the part where I didn't feel there was going to be any new information (after all, we know from the start that Chris McCandless doesn't make it out of Alaska alive), I just decided not to finish it.  I have read several books by Jon Krakauer before and always read them till the end.  He does write about interesting subjects.  I'm not really sure why I got bored with this one.

Anyway...the opinions contained in this blog are mine and mine take what you want and leave the rest!  :)