Back in September I lent out my sewing table and when it came back it was so easy to work on a nice empty clean surface. I thought I had the key to cleaning up my sewing area, that I so liked the organized, neat area and I'd keep it neat and clean and really move on organizing and cleaning up the rest of the "room".
As a child (ages and ages and ages ago) Sunday breakfast meant Mass first. Then when we got home Mom made a big breakfast with grapefruit (cut in half and then each piece pre cut, sugar sprinkled on top), bacon and fried eggs and toast (buttered right to the edge) and orange juice. Mmmm. Then, while the family chatter was going on in the kitchen over second cups of coffee for the adults, I'd read the funnies in front of the heat register in the living room. Full belly, toasty warmth, and home sounds - nothing better.
When my kids were babies I remember breakfasts at Lady Bar Lane with Mom and Dad. I know I went in the wintertime too 'cause I remember wondering if I should've stayed home when it snowed. But mostly I remember Spring & Summer with all the green outside their patio doors... the grass (that we all laid - & had fun doing it), all the trees Dad planted, the flowers. Col & Jim would usually be there (maybe still sleeping at first) and sometimes other sibs but lots of times just Mom & Dad and my kids.
Sunday breakfast at Egg Harbor with family is always enjoyable. It's so good to see Mom and anyone else who happens to be there. Sometimes it's an intimate breakfast visit with only a few of us. And sometimes it's a huge event with many of us switching seats and trying to catch up with as many lives as we can. Mom tells stories from long ago, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes amazing, always interesting. We talk of our families, shared memories, work, play, life, death, faith, politics (did we really all come from the same parents?), current events. We tease, joke, catch up, empathize, comfort, encourage and generally enjoy ourselves. Always a good morning.
After a few false starts, a couple needle changes, change of thread, tension adjustments, finally quilting! I've been working on this quilt off and on for over three years now. Hopefully it'll be ready to bind and give in a couple days! For me, the silver lining in the process taking so long, is that when I know where the quilt is going, I can't help but think about the recipient(s) while I'm doing the work. I've spent a lot of time thinking about and praying for you, John & Sarah!
My sweet Sarah posted this on her blog & I got an awesome little package of treats from her (including some pictures of Cooper! - I had the audacity to make a request! - thanks again Sarah!), so now it's my turn.
You’ve heard of paying it forward, right? Someone does something nice for you, and then you do something nice for someone else.
Here’s how it works: 1. You make a comment on this entry of my blog that you want to play. 2. If you are one of the first 3 people to comment, I will send you a little something special in the mail. (If I don’t already have it, you will need to leave me your email so I can contact you privately for your address.) 3. IF you have a blog, you then post a Pay it Forward game on YOUR website and do the same. If you don't have a blog I'm sure you can find another way to pay it forward. Or you could start a blog.
So comment away!
When Sarah posted this she got me to thinking about how much fun it is to do something for someone who doesn't expect it and sometimes doesn't even know you did it. Then that made me think of the Frog and Toad story "The Surprise" in the book Frog and Toad All Year. They each decide to rake leaves for the other as a surprise and then, as they walk home to their own house, the wind blows the leaves all over their yards. They know they have to rake their own leaves but each have such a good feeling because they raked up their friend's leaves. I love Frog and Toad books.
Such strong feelings that word can evoke. I remember home when I was a kid. It was home when Mom & Dad were both there. It was home when my older "moved out" siblings came for dinner. I remember feeling bad for Mom & Dad 'cause they couldn't go home to their parents house and how hard that must be. I couldn't imagine moving out and not living with Mom & Dad.
Well, things change. Now, home is where Scott is. It feels more like home when he's there. Home is having all the kids & grandkids come visit.
We never did get around to making triangles. I don't know where the time goes when it's quilt day at Decorative. So here's a quick tutorial. We'll make a HST that is 3 1/2 "
First we'll get the math out of the way. You need to add 1/2" to the HST size you want. We want 3 1/2" so, plus 1/2" is 4" Cut a 4" square from each fabric . . . On the wrong side of the lighter fabric, draw a line from corner to corner . . . Put squares wrong sides together and line up all edges. Pictured here staggered just so you can see the two fabrics . . . Take the squares to your sewing machine and stitch a scant 1/4" from the line. Then do it again on the other side of the line.
You'll have two lines of stitching with the drawn line running down the middle. Cut right down the drawn line . . . Open up and you have a raggeddy half square triangle . . .
Trim to 3 1/2" inches (place the 45 degree angle line right on the seam) . . .
I love living where we do. I like the people, the slow pace, the open fields. There's no traffic - unless you get caught behind a combine or a tractor on the road. And if you do, that's ok, you just slow down and look around a little more... you'll get where you're going eventually. I like that a crowd at the grocery store means four people, and each one will give you a smile if you give one to them. And that the cashier will help carry out my bags if I have more than two. I like that I'm greeted by name when I go to the bank or the quilt shop or the grocery store.
I don't miss the heavy traffic, or the rude drivers, or the stop lights every couple blocks. I don't miss the crowds at the stores or at the bank. I don't miss the airplane noise. I know, not everyone in the city had to deal with that, but it's one of the things I don't miss.
But I do miss the forest preserves. Cook County Forest Preserves are just the best. We spent so much time there. Cheap entertainment when the kids were little. A walk in the woods was something we did a lot, any time of the year. In the winter, we'd sled sometimes and when the kids got older we'd cross country ski. We'd take our bikes, our binoculars, our cameras.
Then, of course, there were the horses. Rides to Maple Lake, to the meadow, down Country Lane, or just around the one-hour trail. And Fall was the best time for riding in the woods. The horseflies of August were gone (I swear, some of them were the size of hummingbirds.) The weather was cooler so the horses didn't get overheated. The trees were beautiful and the leaves underfoot had their own music.
So, aside from family, the forest preserve is what I miss.