Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

I had planned to write another post today with deep thoughts about 2008 and my plans for the upcoming year. My kids would be the first to comment that "Mom, you can't have deep thoughts because your mind is too shallow!!" :-) So.......I will keep this post very short and just say HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ONE AND ALL!!

I'm finally back from a wonderful visit with our children. The only bad part of the trip is coming and going through St. Louis. I hate the traffic there, and every time we go through there, we see a major accident and this time was no exception. People there drive awful!

We went first to Cumberland MD. to DS's apt. DD came up and we were all together there until the 26th. Then we drove down to Blacksburg, VA and spent several days with DD. Both kids had to go back to work on Dec. 27, but we were still able to visit in the evenings and I had dinner waiting when DD got home. She appreciated that!

I snapped a few pictures while we were out in Cumberland MD. It's a beautiful, old city. The area seems somewhat depressed, but the scenery is wonderful. Dec. 23 was DD's birthday, so we took her out to eat in the downtown area. They are revitalizing that area and have turned one street to pedestrian traffic only. Some of the buildings are so pretty. They had a store in the pedestrian is like the old five and dime stores I remember from my childhood! It was open, so I had to go in. It was like a trip down memory lane! I didn't get a photo of it, but here's a few of the pictures I did get.

This is a shot down the pedestrian street....and yes, that's DH and DD. Also notice my umbrella handle in the shot!!

There is an old movie theatre there. It's not restored yet. DS is in this pic.

I thought this building was just pretty. So I took several shots.

Here's another view.

While we were in Virginia, I went a quilt shop/fabric store that I visited often when I lived in that area. DD had to go to work, and DH had work to do on the the day was mine. The shop is in the little mountain town of Floyd, VA. It is about a 35 mile drive through the mountains and I truly enjoyed that as I love those mountains! I took a few pictures and hope you enjoy looking at them. I also made a few purchases because I found some items I haven't seen in my area. I'll share pictures of the store and my purchases in another post.

Then it was time for the long drive back home. Some how, it is always more fun going than coming.

Oh, by the way....both kids loved their flannel quilts and were rolled up in them watching movies each night we were there.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas!!
Happy New Year too!!

I'm off to visit the fledglings for the holidays. I do not know if I will be able to post anything while visiting, but I will return ..... hopefully January 1, 2008. Cannot believe it is almost 2008!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Did it!

I finished the last rag quilt! I like how it turned out and it was much easier doing a big 16 inch block than doing all the 6 inch blocks. Here's a picture of the one I just finished. It's for DS.

And here's a picture of the one I did a few weeks ago. It's for DD.

I think my kids will like them to snuggle under on cold evenings at home.
Now....I'm wrapping this afternoon and I still have a few cookies to bake before we leave.

Bright and sunny today.....and 40 degrees F. Hoping for weather like this as we travel to and from the east coast!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sewing, snow, etc.

I'm busy sewing today...and today is a good day to sew. I posted pictures of some flannel back on Aug. 30, 2007. I'm trying to finish up my second and last flannel rag quilt for Christmas. This is for my 25yr. old DS who is a rocket scientist. Please note that I was able to find fabric with the word "rocket" on it and he has always been fascinated by planes. I know it is kiddie prints, but this quilt is for him to lay on the floor while he watches tv, drag up and down the it will be washed often. It isn't meant to be a pretty item, it is meant to be a utility item. Here's one block.

It is 16" square. I sewed 23 of them in one night. The pattern is "Wicked Easy Quilt" which I found on the Internet for free. I tried going to the web page again and keep getting a message that the document contains no data. I would love to link you to the website, but I can't even get there. Anyway, the pattern should be credited to Annette Unrein. I will continue to try and if I can get to the website, I will post the link.

I'm going to post some more weather pics! This was out my sewing room window on Tuesday. See the icicles hanging from the roof! I'm not real good a photography, but I try. Sorry the picture isn't better.
Take a look at the trees too!
At least we were lucky to not have it as bad as the people about 50 miles north in St. Joseph MO. They got blasted! Many have been without power almost a week now.

We actually had sun and melting on Thursday. I went out of the house shopping for the first time since Dec. 5! I only did the grocery store and library and the crowds were so awful, I came back home because I hate crowds...especially when people are rushing and rude. Then last night, it started snowing again and is suppose to continue until around 7 pm tonight. So, this is the scene out my back window today.
And for a's a picture from my front porch. Notice the brick house across the street. If you enlarge the picture and look near the peak of their roof, you can see the lovely "KC Arrowhead". That thing lights up along with icicles lights all along their roof. The icicles lights look nice, but I think that arrowhead is soooo tacky....but I guess they do love their KC Chiefs. They have done that every year for the 6 years we have lived here. It's an older retired couple and I guess they think it is cute. Different strokes for different folks. I tried being friendly to them after we moved in. I would speak to the man when I was out working in my yard and he was out too. He would make a sound that is just a grunt and walk away. Finally I stopped trying. I know he can talk because I hear him scream at the neighbor's dog. His wife isn't friendly either. Does anyone else have overly unfriendly neighbors like that????

Now, something a little more pleasant, I'm going to show you my Christmas tree. I did a very small artificial since we will be with our kids for most of the holidays. Sorry the picture is a little blurry.

The big box in the background is the table I finished for DS. I was going to post a picture of the set finished and nicely staged, but DH took it apart and put it into the box before I could. I will try to get a picture when we put it together at DS's apartment. And for my last picture today, I'll show you my nutcrackers that I always put out somewhere in my house. This year I put them on the mantle.
You can also see the wooden tree that I finished when I was working on the table and chairs. I decided to just sit it on a doily I crocheted along with the nutcrackers. I didn't notice the safety glasses when I snapped the picture. DH uses this mantle as his "dumping ground" when he comes in from work. Then he conveniently forgets to pickup after himself!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I visited Bren's blog this morning and read about a strange ritual that she remembers from her childhood involving her mother ironing. Funny thing is, I remember the same sort of ritual from my mom and from a spinster great aunt that I spent lots of time with. This great aunt was like a second mother to me. She actually took in ironing to support herself. Back then, people would starch everything they wore except underwear. They would use the powdered starch that you mix then immerse the garments.....and hang them outside on a clothesline to dry and would later iron them. The clothes were wrinkly and stiff. They would bring them to my aunt, she would sprinkle them with water, roll them up and put them in plastic bag, and put it in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, she would get up and start ironing. She always put them in the refrigerator because we lived in south Texas and if you didn't, she said the clothes would sour and begin to smell. I sometimes think it was so the garments would become evenly moist and easy to iron out the wrinkles. Anyway, these two pictures show the spout she put on the bottle...and then the bottle with the spout. She used a Coke bottle instead of a 7-Up bottle. this it???????
Believe it or not, I still iron some of my husband's dress shirts using my aunt's old fashioned method. I even use the powdered starch! It works so much better than the spray starch....which I do use sometimes.

It is ever so cold this morning.....18 and the roads are no church today.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

It's a little on the cold side today....25F with freezing drizzle when we got up this morning. The temps have been dropping and the drizzle is suppose to change over to good ol' freezing rain. Weatherman says we are in for an ice storm. I've mixed up an extra batch of bread and will get that baked just in case we lose power. There's also a roast in the oven slowly baking, so my house should smell good for the remainder of the afternoon. Roast and mashed potatoes with green beans is on the menu for dinner tonight.

Now for an update on the heat pump issue I posted about. I'm going to have to take back some of my harsh words. When the man came out to give us our estimate, he had looked at our records on our unit. I have had them come out twice a year and do maintenance on it since we bought the house. The estimator told us that was an impeccable maintenance record and that the unit we had should have lasted 15 yrs. with no repairs. He had been in touch with the manufacturer and said manufacturer was willing to discount the cost of new equipment even though the warranty is expired on the old unit. It still isn't a welcome expense and it would have cost a lot more than we thought it would ......but with a discount, it will be within the range we thought.

I have been busy sewing. Here's a little of what I have done over the past few days. I've made these flannel lounge pants and shorts to give my kids for Christmas.

I started making these when they were teens. They would come home from school, change into ones I had made for them and get busy on homework. I've continued to make them through the years as they tell me they are just so comfortable to bum around in. DD told me DS really, really needed new ones because when he came to visit her at Thanksgiving, the whole butt was worn out on some of his. He will get 4 pair of the shorts and 2 pair of the long ones. The long ones with the penguins are for DD since she collects penguins. I still have another pair of short ones to make for DD.

I have a pond by my house. Most times of the year it is so pleasant to look out the window and watch the neighborhood kids fishing. The other day I had several pair of male and female ducks out there. I love seeing them too....especially the male mallards with the beautiful green heads. During the winter however, I'm not happy when I look out and see this!
Yep! That's right. A pond full of Canadian Geese. Being originally from Texas, I use to think they were beautiful birds. Now I think these are about the nastiest creatures on earth. They poop in my yard and hiss at me when I chase them back into the pond. At least today they are on the water and not in my yard. Sure wish they would go visit someone else's pond!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

I've had a few people ask how the bread turned out. It didn't make a pretty loaf, but that was my fault, not the bread dough. I forgot about it and left it rising too long. When I moved the pan, it deflated like a balloon. I've been baking bread for many years....and I know better than to go off and forget it....but I did it anyway. So, I ended up with a square loaf rather than getting one with a nice rounded top. Here's a picture of the loaf I just took out of the freezer. The first loaf is all eaten already.

When I took it out of the oven, I thought I should do a quality test while the bread was still warm....and maybe I should use a little butter! Afterall, I wouldn't want DH eating an inferior product. The bread tasted really good. I will make it again using the lemon pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. I used some of the bread for my tuna sandwich yesterday and it was wonderful. The bread had just a little bite of spice-i-ness.

Cold here. Rainy...with freezing rain just to the north a few miles. I'm snug in my sweatshirt and pants, warm socks and slippers. I'm thankful to have the gas furnace as a backup to keep us warm. On that front....we will have a man come out on Wed. night to give us estimates on replacement cost. Then we can make the or replace.

This afternoon I am going to finish the last few stitches on another knitted tea cozy and get that sewn together. I also need to clean my messy sewing room. It has become such a mess I can't it is time to stop and clean.