Friday, March 27, 2009


Getting a haircut feels soooo good. Not the getting it part but when it's done. Not that there's anything wrong with the getting it part - it's just that it feels so good when it's done and all that hair is GONE. About once a year - usually after I'm really overdue for a haircut, and the last person to cut it didn't cut it short enough and I'm SICK of all the hair - I say to the stylist, "Short. You can't cut it too short."


As I learn everytime I say that, you CAN cut it too short.

Oh well. It'll grow back.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Y'all are on your own

I used to think I was good at multi-tasking. (My sister rocks at multi-tasking. She has been known to fold the laundry while playing after-school activity chauffeur to the kids.) As I get older and wiser, either I am losing that talent or I never had it in the first place and am now realizing it.

I hate wasting time (I'm mean REALLY). I'm not a patient person and I don't handle waiting well. I NEED to fill that time. Doesn't matter what I do . . . a puzzle, read, wash a window, dust, a few crunches . . . anything. So if I'm doing one thing and think I can do something else at the same time - I gotta do it. That is so the opposite of wasting time. Now, some things mix better than others.

Listening to the news of the day while fixing dinner - that works.
Reading while eating breakfast - that works.
Talk on the phone while ripping out stitches or washing dishes - that works.
Sunbathe while weeding - that works.

Eating Nachos Bell Grande (mmm, sounds good, doesn't it Col?) while driving - doesn't work.
Writing a post while watching the Grandkids - doesn't work.
Applying make-up (not that I would do that anyway) while showering - doesn't work.
And, no, I didn't try these - I just kind of know they won't work.

I did, however, try to sew these blocks as leaders and enders while working on my Trip Around the World.
(Cute, huh? The picture doesn't show it as well but the black is really black and the white is really white. I think I'll call the finished quilt 'A Splash of Red')

When you get to the end of a seam it's easier to start sewing another seam than to lift the foot and cut the threads. You can do this for the longest time. So as I finished a strip for one project I'd sew two pieces from a different project. And back and forth. No wasted time. I felt so clever. So productive. So time efficient. Then I took a minute to look at the blocks piling up.

Hmmm. Something's wrong . . . looks like I'll be doing some trimming.

And I can think about the recipient of a quilt as I sew. (With this one I was thinking how it's a Trip Around the World, and the person I'm making it for is embarking on a long journey - not of her choosing - but a journey nonetheless.)

I need to think about the seams a LOT with this quilt but can still think about, and pray for, the recipient. I cannot, however, keep these seams going the correct way with each row AND think about the solution for our country's economic crisis. So . . . y'all are on your own. Let me know when you've got it figured out.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Flowers

No, they are not blooming here yet. I had to import them from across the country.
I don't usually hug flowers but, oh . . . . Hug 'em for me you guys.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happpy Birthday Brother Jay

This is how I think of Jay - with a big grin, ready to share his happiness with the world.

Hope you have a great day!

My Trip Around the World has begun

More Green!

. . . . soooooo sweet

Friday, March 20, 2009

Nervous Cat


Do all cats relax this much when they sleep?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Your Irish Is Showing

We all had a good time at Joeanne & Darwin's wedding celebration.

Caycee was fascinated with the kitchen and kept trying to sneak in there. Maybe she thought she could get more of those yummy mints in there.
There were photographers everywhere.

These three spent a lot of time on the edge of the dance floor thinking all those dancers were pretty cool. Zak thought his older cousin was pretty cool, too.

My boys were sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting for their favorite songs to be played so they could dance.

Congratulations Joeanne & Darwin!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

More Haste, Less Speed

I heard those words so many times growing up. One of the momisms. Little sayings that we heard and just let roll in one ear and out the other. Thing is, years later you realize the truth in the momisms and dadisms. They were teaching us and we didn't even realize it. As I've mentioned in the past, I am a slow learner. I'm still struggling with this one. It always comes to mind when it's too late. Like when I look at the clock and see that it is 7:43 (I swear is said 7:12 when I looked a minute ago) and I need to be at work at 8:00 and I haven't showered or picked out my clothes or packed my snacks or filled my travel mug with coffee. There's a mini-tornado as I shower, dress, pack, and fill, and run out the door. Along the way there's an entire series of mini-mishaps that slow me down, each one causing me to repeat "more haste, less speed" and sometimes "when will I learn?!" I manage to arrive at 8:01 or 8:02. Does that count as late?

Today, instead of a series of mishaps, it was just one. I wanted a cup of coffee. Now. I was reading and really wanted to get back to my book before I had to move on with the morning. I really didn't want to wait for it to brew or whatever it does in these new fangled drip machines. I wanted my coffee. Now. I hurriedly washed out the carafe, dumped the used grounds, cleaned the filter holder, replaced the filter, filled the water reservoir, and opened the coffee container for fresh grounds. Empty. No problem, I keep the coffee in a small, not even one pound, container but keep a humongous container in the freezer. You know, buying the biggest one to save money but transferring to a small container 'cause it's easier to use and keep close at hand. The freezer is at the bottom of the fridge. There's a shelf at the top of the freezer where I keep the waffles and sausage and, of course, the ice cream so it's readily accessible. Then there's a big basket type drawer to hold everything else. The coffee is on it's side at the back so its out of the way. I'm smart like that. So, I reach in for the coffee. I'm in a hurry. I want my hot cup of coffee. Now. I grab the container and its stuck just a bit. Yank. I'm in a hurry. The lid (which is at the other end - not the end I'm holding) pops off. Coffee grounds EVERYWHERE. In the freezer drawer, on the other frozen stuff, on the floor of the freezer, on the kitchen floor. "More haste, less speed" I at least have the presence of mind to get my coffee started (as mentioned, I really want my coffee) with what's left in the big container (less than a third of what used to be in there) so it'll be brewing or dripping or whatever while I'm cleaning up the mess.

This brings me to another saying, "no great loss without some small gain" which I learned from Laura Ingalls Wilder, the real life Laura of Little House on the Prairie. If you think about your losses you will usually find a gain somewhere in there. It might not be a gain you wanted and you might want to trade back the small gain to erase the big loss. (Sorry, against the rules.) But the gain is there nonetheless. And every once is a great while, not with every loss but with a few, after some time has passed, you realize it wasn't a great loss and a small gain but the other way around.

While the spilled coffee grounds were a minor loss, there was gain . . . I didn't have to wait for the coffee. It was ready by the time the mess was cleaned up.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I recently stumbled across a blog and an etsy store called WoodAndPixels with beautiful images. He also has wooden quilts - pretty cool. The photographer is Dan and he has a dream assignment. In his words:
"A movement to garner support for America's downtrodden through photos and a daily blog/journey that will open eyes, crystallize needs and inspire grass roots mobilization to lend a helping hand to our fellow Americans lost in the shuffle . . . . The project will span from the Appalachians to urban centers chronicling the different aspects of our most needy. The purpose of the project will be to re-ignite interest in our own...within our borders."
Lenovo and Microsoft will finance the dream assignment of one photographer with $50,000. The top 20 vote getters will be considered. If you want to vote for Dan's project, or learn more about it, go to Name Your Dream Assignment.

By the way, this is from his Etsy store:
"Please be aware that all photographs are copyrighted and are the property of Dan Felstead and cannot be reproduced without permission. Just ask...I might say yes!"
I aked for permission to post his Hummingbird picture. He said yes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Trip Around The World

These fabrics and I are headed for A Trip Around the World. I'll post pictures in a few days.

Come Over To My House BOM - Block 2

The apartment houses are finished. They were behind schedule but finished under budget.

Busy week, part three: The visit (revised)

This past weekend was Drill for Justin so Dayna, Zak and Caycee came to visit. John will be starting his part-time job in a few days and won't be able to visit for a while so he, Sarah and Cooper came for the weekend. Adam had Drill also so he wasn't able to join the fun.

We had beef roast and potatoes and carrots but for some reason I usually think spaghetti is a good idea when the kids are here, so we had that too. The moms thought to take the kids' shirts off to avoid spaghetti sauce stains - smart moms. Here is the before picture.

And here is Zak's after picture - not much difference. He's getting pretty good about handling that fork!

And the other two . . .

It was John's birthday so then there was cake. He said it wasn't necessary to have candles and singing, but I didn't hear anything about the cake not being necessary. I heard "mmmm, cake".

Cooper hurt his foot a few days ago. Sarah and John were worried that he would want to be running with the other kids and put too much strain on the injury but that's not how things worked out . . .

This chair seemed to be a popular spot. There was some jostling for territory and a few spills and lots of laughs. Also a singing lesson from Zak: the ABC song and Tinkle, Tinkle Little Star.

Lots of applause for Zak when he finished. Yeah, Zak!

The dark marks on Zak's & Caycee's arms are temporary tattoos. Their other grandpa has lots of tattoos so they are big fans. And, yes, the kids did wear clothes - they weren't running around in just diapers all weekend!
All in all it was a great weekend but it went by too fast. Before we knew it Zak was having an earnest conversation with Grandpa. "You don't want me to go?" "But I have to." Too sweet.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Busy week, part two: Walking with MS

Browsing the internet recently, Scott found something called a WalkAide. It is supposed to help people with "drop foot" walk. Drop foot is when the foot drags and causes a person to stumble or fall. We've recently learned that Scott may not have it but that the problem is likely in his hip or somewhere other than the foot. But he made an appointment to be evaluated just in case the device could help. He says he just wants to be able to keep up with the grandkids.

The WalkAide is two electrodes held on with a cuff that has a controller attached. When the leg is behind the perpendicular the power is on and a shock is sent to the muscle. The leg moves forward, the shocked muscle lifts the front of the foot, the leg is in front of the perpendicular and power is off. Repeat.

Before the test run they poked around Scott's leg with another shocking device looking for the best spot to place the electrodes. It was interesting to watch the reactions of his foot depending on where the shock went. Sometimes just a wiggle, sometimes a swing to the outside and sometimes a hugh 4 or 5 inch lift of the toes. Very interesting but apparently it hurts! Why didn't I think of that? Duh. Eventually they found the best spot, then attached the electrodes, cuff and controller, and had him walk down the hall. Amazing. His foot lifted right up, and he walked a bit faster too.

They timed a walk unaided and then a walk with the device working. The tech said he thought another device on the other leg might help. So back to poking around, then fitting the second device and off he went. It did make a difference. Each device can be fine tuned with the stimulation lasting longer or shorter, the intensity adjusted, the start position can vary, etc. So they spent some time experimenting with all that and of course walks down the hall to test it all. He was exhausted before they were done and he paid for it the rest of the day. Sometime during the next day things let up for him but the muscles still seem affected. The device seems like it can work wonders but then there is still the balance problem. And the shocks bring on the exhaustion which causes falls, which is one of the things the device is helping to avoid! Stop the merry-go-round, it's time to get off!

It really is an ingenious idea and must work wonders for some people. We'll see if it's a viable option for Scott.

Busy week, part one: Lunch with Adam

Last week Tuesday was Decorative day. Adam was free for lunch so I met him downtown and he took me to lunch at Lloyd's. It took google maps and at least three phone calls to get me to the correct parking garage. Adam met me at the entrance and it was a very short walk to the restaurant. I've been downtown many times but I can never keep my directions straight when I'm there. I get turned around so easy, even when I'm just walking straight! Being surrounded by all the tall buildings and no horizon and not seeing where the sunlight is coming from just mixes me up. I have noticed though that sometimes you can look down a street and it looks as if the world falls off a few blocks away. That would be the lake, even though you can't see it you can tell that everything stops there. I know that's east and if I can see that, it helps for a bit. Then I look away and get "lost" again. It was nice to have Adam walk with me. He is so at home down there and he looks the part. Lloyd's is a nice restaurant and Adam fit right in with his work clothes (a very nice suit - still amazes me that my kids are all grown up into real live adults that know how to dress and work and EVERYTHING!) I didn't think ahead and had on Decorative work clothes - jeans, fleece and gym shoes - ugh. Next time I'll plan ahead. We had a yummy lunch and good conversation about adult things (ok, the grandkids popped up a couple times) and caught up on each other's lives. Even though we do that on the phone, an in-person conversation is different and so much better. Thanks again for lunch, Adam!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Match Me Quilt

This one is next up on the quilt frame. There are only two of each block. Seems like circles need to be a part of the quilting design.

Joeanne's Shower - Pasta, Pope & 'prises

Joeanne sure was surprised - nice job Marylou and Ryanne!

Joeanne said she was touched. Awww. (We already knew that!)

The Pope was on hand to provide entertainment. Here he is telling a joke to the girls.
Caycee and Cooper provided back-up entertainment. They lasted for a little while in their chairs but shortly after the cheese crackers ran out the chairs lost their novelty. Then they (Caycee & Cooper, not the chairs) got passed around and took turns squirming on Mommies', Grandma's and Aunties' laps. Fun for everyone!
Look at the Pope wringing his hands and eyeing our desserts.
It was a great evening . . . family, conversation, laughs, pasta and dessert. We were also entertained with Joeanne's touching stories of romance. Congratulations Joeanne. We're so very happy for you and we're looking forward to the celebration.