Thursday, July 31, 2008


Today's postcard - a re-do - not one of my favorites, by far, but better

Things I'm grateful for on this Thursday-


that Mike is working on my garage door so it matches the new storm door (and it will probably look 30 years newer - maybe more)

that Mike is going to fix the place where the squirrels came in last spring so there won't be a fall jamboree in my attic

that Janice is recovering

enough energy

enough money for trips to the bead store and the art store

that when Pastor Joel asked me to serve on a committee I could say "yes" with an open heart

that I'm going to Asheville tomorrow for an artsy weekend (it's always artsy in Asheville)

for the fresh sweet corn that Sandra brought today

for a fresh tomato sandwich tonight

for half loaves of bread so my bread was fresh too

for Nora's love of colors and her wonderful ability to verbalize just what it is she loves,or doesn't

for city gardens

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Rest of It

Today's postcard

We finished up Sunday with a trip to the Newport Aquarium, where Nora declared herself not scared of the sharks swimming overhead. She still didn't want to pet one in the open tank, though.

The play area has been replaced with the way-better Frog Bog, complete with really striking murals and big climbing frogs.

Near the otters is a sand tray with paint brushes - fun.

After a stop at Golden Corral (thanks, Steph and Mike,) Sarah and I headed for home. In the evening, Bridget fixed a pot of rice for Sarah in the rice cooker - thanks, Bridget.

Monday was a trip to the new IKEA, just 23 miles up the road. Sarah tried to prepare me about how huge and fabulous it would be, but I was still amazed. By the time we were done, I was in visual stimulation overload.

Before we headed for the airport, I covered a hole in the other knee of Sarah's Carhart's so they can go back to work another day.

And now I'm in fun-times withdrawal.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More Weekend

Today's postcard

Saturday afternoon and evening brought good times to Steph and Mike's neighborhood. In the afternoon was a home-run derby downt he street, complete with orange construction fence to block off the street.

In the evening was a karaoke party. Aaron and Nora spent the night with me (and all went well here.)

Sunday, Steph, Sarah, Nora and I met Bridget and Helen for an Art and Music Festival by the river. Nora was loving the chance to make a butterfly at the Kid Zone. And no, I didn't ask Steph and Sarah to pose behind her.

As you can see, Nora was very conscientious about technique and color selection.

Then there was a stop at the Fourth and Monmouth Street Graeter's, although Steph opted for a latte from Steamboat Bagels next door.

Nora's fav at Graeter's is the vanilla ice cream. She did try the strawberry chocolate once when she and I were out, but the huge chunks of chocolate, everybody's else's joy, were a little overwhelming for her and she ate around them. Once again, seriousness required.

Nora always recalls our Graeter's trip when she tripped over a chair leg and bumped her head. It happened when she and I went for a big-sister outing a few days after Aaron was born. We held the cold ice cream cup to her head - very memorable.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Way Too Short

Today's postcard

Saturday morning I picked up Sarah at the airport for a way-too-short but oh-so-good visit in Cincinnati. Asheville, NC, is the third one on the list - the one that says "landing."

Here's Sarah, waiting for her luggage. A little nostalgia: last time I picked her up, two-week-old Aaron was in the stroller and Nora, not yet three, was watching closely for a glimpse of Aunt Sarah.

Our first stop was the GAP Outlet - three miles from the airport. Sarah found lots of t shirts for work, and most of them were 99 cents. Gotta love the GAP outlet.

Then, brunch at First Watch, followed by a stop at the bicycle store.

Then, on to Steph's. Aunt Sarah last saw Aaron six weeks ago, but six weeks brings lots of changes in the life of Aaron. Aaron showed off his two of his most-used words, "that" and "dog."

More tomorrow. It was such a fun visit.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Aaron Pics

Today's postcard

Last night I went to Steph's to watch the kids, at least that was my intention. What I did, though, was eat wonderful whole-wheat spaghetti, caesar salad, and yummy yellow carrots and squash. Thanks, Steph.

My "watching the kids" consisted of giving Aaron his bath and coloring with Nora, neither of which is a chore. Here are Aaron's bath photos. Is he sweet, or what?

Mike showed me the results of the "or what?" from earlier in the day. Aaron managed to open the doors of the hutch and pull out a bowl, which crashed to the floor. The little guy wasn't bothered by the crash, just went on looking to see what else he could get his fingers on.

I can't leave out pretty Nora, whose bangs are starting to grow out. I took home a cupcake that she'd baked with her mom the night before. May she always love baking and pretty colors.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Fill-In # 82

Today's postcard

Here are the Friday fill-ins. Answers are in bold.

1. I believe whatever doesn't kill you makes you happy in the end. I believe that we can see a little picture of our lives, primarily what's ahead of us right now. We have the memories of what's behind us, of course, but we can't push back the frame to get a bigger glimpse that puts where we are right now in perspective.

2. If you're good at something, share it. I recently met a quilter who makes quilts for premies and donates them to hospitals. And she makes quilts that ride in the trunks of the Newport police cruisers so that if a child is involved in a tough situation the officer on duty can give the child a comforting quilt. She's my new hero.

3. Who so many careless drivers? We all need to look out for each other.

4. Something is out there, it's really, really good. And it will make our hearts happy. (Yeah, my glass is half full.)

5. If my life were a sitcom it would be titled Run for the Roses. I'm always looking for that horse that starts in the back of the pack, then picks up speed toward the end of the race. That's me.

6. Sitting on my back porch, I see St. Luke's East Hospital, up on the hill. When I first moved here, that bothered me a little. People die there. And then my sister, bless her, reminded me that people heal there, too, and leave a little, or a lot, better than they came.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Nora and Aaron time, tomorrow my plans include picking up Sarah at the airport and going to the GAP outlet and First Watch on the way home, and Sunday I want to go to the Newport Arts and Music Festival. (Hey, Steph, there's a Children's Art Zone.)

I love Fridays and hope you have a happy one.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kinda Sorta

Today's postcard

This afternoon I tried some shibori dyeing by taking my muslin and sewing in pleats before it went in the dye. I like it, kinda sorta, it's not bad for a first try. I didn't really know exactly what I was doing, but I've always felt drawn toward stitching in the pleats. What really worked well was using a rayon embroidery thread. It was light enough that I could just rip it out at the end of the first two rinses.

I'm not sure why I started out using a full yard, since I usually dye half yards or fat quarters. Next time I'll work with a smaller piece. I think it would be very cool with some batiking on top and then a second dyeing. Guess I'll try that next - maybe that's why I have such a large piece.

There may have been some divine intervention going on - I took this picture earlier in the afternoon when I looked up and saw the shadow pattern on the wall. It reminds me of my dyed piece, kinda, sorta.

It was a nice day. All week long I'd thought I was working today, then when I looked at the schedule yesterday, I realized I wasn't. I think it was a glitch, but I loved having the day off.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Today's postcard

I'm writing an article about totes and bags and I'm reminded . . . the little canvas bags you can buy so inexpensively in the craft section of your favorite store can be really fun to embellish and to carry around. And to use as gift bags.

I embroidered one with Nora's name recently. Really, I was just practicing with the embroidery part of my sewing machine, but she was pleased to have something with her name on it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Today's postcard

Yesterday's blog had WAY too much whining, which is ok for one day, but today we're going to look at things I'm grateful for. There're in the garden, which has to tell me something.

Yesterday I started a perennial bed where I can see it outside my dining room window. Next spring there will be something coming up (remember that this spring I looked hopefully but didn't see much.) I took out a prickery barberry bush, never one of my landscaping favorites. And last night it rained hard, by the looks of my plants this morning, although I slept through it all, so the new bed is off to a good, wet start. It's my personal theory, unsupported I'm sure, that rain is better for plants than water out of the faucet, which I'm also grateful for.

This garden angel beside the front steps reminds me of blessings whenever I come home.

If you look closely, you'll see two large tomatoes on this plant.

I love the curvy-ness of these garden stakes - their tomatoes were planted later and should be producing in September.

There's just something about the way geraniums look in a clay plot that is beautiful to me. There may be a postcard in that.

And one thing more - I'm grateful that by adding just a little to a quilt every day, when creativity seems slow, I can suddenly see the beauty and promise in the stitches.
Have a good day, everyone.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Start Over

Today's postcard

It's 2:30, and I'm declaring this day a Start Over. I have so much to do today, and I want things to go differently. Nothing's going really badly, no worries, but I just want to start again.

Right about the time the garbage truck took away my yard trash - thank you, there was lots - this digger showed up, along with a concrete saw, and I knew it wouldn't be a quiet day. I'm really glad they are here, because the storm grate needs to be replaced before someone drives over it and it caves in. I just wish they'd come tomorrow when I'm not home. Or Wednesday, or Thursday, or Friday.

I read Sarah Ann Smith's post about her computer traumas and expensive repairs to come - I'm so sorry, Sarah - and decided that today would be the day I would get an external hard drive and back everything up. When I opened the box at home, though, I realized I had gotten an internal drive and will have to go back to the store. This is the second go-round. A couple of weeks ago I picked out and paid for an external hard drive at a different store, only to find that it was out of stock. Oops.

Right around the time I moved into my house, I got two more smoke detectors for my house but never put them up. And I know they do no good in the box. Today was the day. Only thing was, when I was drilling, I ran into something hard and couldn't get one of the screws in. No big deal, but now there's a hole. I'll be so happy to not see those smoke detectors laying on the dryer any more, though.

My toenail polish really needed attention. I stopped at my favorite nail place on Sunday and found that they were closed Sundays, so I noted what time they opened today. When I got there, there was a hand-lettered sign on the door that they wouldn't open until 1 p.m. Rather than drive back a third time, I took off the old polish and painted my nails a light color and saved $30 for today.

Then there were the shoes. Nothing makes me feel quite so much like an old lady than summer shoe shopping. For extended wear, I can't wear a sandal that's too high or that has anything between the toes (yes, I've tried the ones that have fabric instead of plastic.) And I need a back strap and at least a little support. And I want something pretty. I found a pair today that made me really happy, tried on the black ones, and decided I really liked the gray and they were cheaper too. I got the one box with the gray in my size, but when I got to the cash register and the clerk checked, the shoes inside the box were much smaller than the size written on the box. I'm really glad she checked or I would have been going back to that store too, although it is right across the street from the office supply store. But no shoes for me. I know I'm whining.
So, I'm taking a deep breath, picking up my messes, and re-orienting myself in a positive mental direction. It's all fairly amusing, really.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Making Postcards With Olivia

Today's postcard. The June/July 2008 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine has an article by Francis Holliday Alford about using Textiva Fusible Film. Just so happens I have a couple of colors and will be experimenting for the next couple of days.

I am really blessed with nice neighbors. Olivia, who lives across the street, came over this afternoon to make a couple of postcards.

She worked hard, and the results were really great. She and her sister are talented young ladies.

Her mom gave me pizza afterwards - really nice. And last week there was peach cobbler. Mmmmm . . . . . . . thanks, Maureen.
In the past couple of days, I've moved my sewing machine and computer on down. It's hot upstairs, and while I could turn up the ac and open the vents upstairs, it seems like an unnecessary use of energy. For now, my dining room is where the action is and I kind of like it that way. Lots of running up and down, but I welcome that.

Last night I gave a ride home to one of the women I work with and she took me to a nearby marina for an appetizer. We sat out by the pond and watched the fountains. There were only a few people but lots of tables - she said that later in the evening there would be music and lots more people. I was really missing my little camera. Even though we weren't that far from the city, we were really in the country. Who knew?

As I'm sitting here writing, it's gotten dark and windy and a storm has kicked up. No watering necessary in the morning. The rain is a welcome relief in a week of hot days. I think I'll go sit on the back porch and enjoy this.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I wonder - four questions

Today's postcard - see below

Question 1: if you mix a little yellow tintzl with yellow fluorescent Angelina fibers can you get a really shimmery result that will still bond? Answer: yes. I used a really ugly green floral as the base.

Question 2: my sewing machine has a zig zag free motion option - what's up with that? Answer: it's pretty cool, the vertical stitches look very different than the horizontal stitches.

Question three: what's that on Nora's face? Answer: it might be pudding.

Question 4: Why do Nora's bangs look so short? Answer: there might have been an incident with scissors at school.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Fill-In # 81

Today's postcard

Time for Friday Fill Ins. Answers are in bold.

1. If I could be a fly on the wall, I would fly around here and there and peek inside people's houses. I love houses. Oh, and watch out for fly swatters.

2. Jealousy is non-productive, but oh, so normal. I try to stay away from it, usually do pretty well.

3. When I see a shooting star, my wish would be that my friends and family are well and happy. On a larger scale, that the earth will somehow survive the environmental mess we're making.

4. I'd rather be quilting or gardening than cleaning any day!

5. Certain songs when I hear them make me wanna just tune them out. At work the radio is on all day, and I get so tired of it. There's one song that goes "and you were just too busy being fabulous, too busy to think about us" that I would so.o.o.o.o like to not hear any more. I almost never play music at home. Quiet is precious to me.

6. If time were in a bottle it would be expensive. Probably even in a museum.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to making postcards with the delightful young women who live across the street, tomorrow my plans include work, then my "Saturday when I'm working" treat, nachos at Newport on the Levee (unless it's raining - oh, I wish - then I'll sit on the back porch and read), and Sunday I want to get started on Nora's little dress. If I don't hurry up, summer will be over and she won't get a chance to wear it.

Happy weekend, everyone.