Monday, May 31, 2010

Intro to Summer

There can't be many better ways to introduce the summer than spending time with Aaron. We took the bus to Covington so we could have a longer bus ride. I wasn't sure what to do when we got there, so we went into the Westin and had Cheetos and chocolate milk from their pizza shop.

Once off the bus in Bellevue, we stopped at Subway and took a picnic to the park. The park wasn't a hit except for the boats going by. There's no flood wall in Bellevue, so the river view is nice.

Sunday Bob Evans was way crowded with a long wait, so we went to LaRosa's, which was good too. I let Aaron drink too much chocolate milk and he didn't want much lunch, but it was good times.

We stopped at Bridget's to pick up a tent for the Smokies camping trip coming up soon. Bridget showed Aaron the new hitch on her SUV, the better to haul a basket with gear.

Then it was time to take the little guy home to his mom and dad and his bicycle.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Aunts

Thanks to my sister for sending me this photo of our aunts, our dad's sisters. Fan on the left and Nina on the right.

They've been on my mind lately. I've been wondering whether my sister and I favor our dad's side of the family because we don't resemble our mother's side. And the answer is, probably, not definitely.

I can remember Nina's neighbor referring to Fan as a bird because of her slightness, much like my sister's. I'm built more like Nina.

I used to enjoy Nina's dining room, where she sewed and sewed. I think I remember her having one of the old Viking sewing machines, but I could have made that up since I love Vikings. There was always something in progress, always some pretty fabric around. And tools, she had sewing tools that I loved.

She had another job, worked at Crow's Variety Store for many years, but I remember her spending her time sewing. She must have had lots of energy - her house was always clean and pretty.

In later years she lived in a little house, and she still sewed and sewed. Mostly doll clothes, exquisite lacy creations.

I know less about Fan. She lived in Lima and her house was a fun place for family dinners. I can remember my mother and the aunts in her kitchen, making the meal and laughing. She had a closed-in front porch that I thought was so inviting. She was probably a little more quiet than the other aunts, but I can appreciate that.

Thanks to my sister for this photo, taken at my sister's wedding in 1985. I imagine that the aunts were in their early 70's. Not sure who was older. My sister will know.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Fill-In # 178

Friday Fill-Ins on Memorial Day weekend. Hope everyone enjoys the long pre-summer weekend.

1. Potato chips - the best food to take on a picnic. Just open the bag, no cooler required. Barbecue Baked Lays are the ones I'll take.

2. Summer is here already. It's been hot all week. I hope the weekend is rain-free so I can get things mulched and planted. I see blog pictures of gardens already in and feel wistful. When I moved into my house the landscaping was almost nonexistant and I haven't improved it much.

3. I never could wear flip flops, at least not for more than a few hours. Flip flops mean blisters for me, even though I love the look. Do you have to build up a tolerance?

4. To love someone is pretty awesome, healthy and spiritual.

5. I'm getting ready for a long hike in the Smokies. I might take Aaron for a pre-hike this weekend, build up those hiking muscles. Although, come to think of it, his muscles are ready. It's mine that need building up.

6. When I crave food, it's usually the real stuff. Dinner with all the parts. Salad, bread, main course, relaxing. I'm usually just pulling out a piece here and there, rarely everything at one time.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to sitting outside for awhile just thinking, tomorrow my plans include an early morning visit to Findlay Market, and Sunday I want to have fun with my little grandguy while his sister's visiting Aunt Tina.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Graduation Day

Ah, my beautiful little grandgirl, ready for preschool graduation. In her handmade dress.

Aaron was all happy with the occasion, saying again and again, "I'm going to Nora's graduation."

Outside the ceremony room, there was a deck with a pond and one duck. One duck who got bits of more pretzels than any duck could possibly eat.

In the words of the song the graduates sang, "Kindergarden, here we come." It seems like no time at all since Nora started to that day care as a little baby with spikey hair. Nostalgia. Changes. I love that little girl.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This Time and This Place

From my church's covenant: "This time and this place are God's gifts to us."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Library Quilt Show

My friend Carrye and I went to a vintage quilt show at the Boone County Library. It was a one-day show, lots of work involved for just one day. There was a lot of hanging and documentation involved, and there was a program in the evening, which I couldn't attend.

I asked about taking pictures and was told it was fine, that they welcomed it.
The quilts below have similar colors, just a little difference in pattern and placement.
Applique, embroidery, and lots of tiny quilting on this one.

Local quilter Julie Lambert is a local and very awesome machine quilter. She saw the quilt on the left at a different show and decided to make a reproduction. The one of the right is hers.

Julie's piecing and quilting are exquisite, always, and this quilt is no exception.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to You

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Sarah,
Happy Birthday to you.

Of course we sang twice, that's what happens with Nora and Aaron. They love birthdays, love the blowing out of the candles, love the singing. As it should be.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friday Fill-In # 177

Once again, Friday Fill-Ins on Saturday. Still fun.

1. A win by the Cincinnati Reds always makes me smile. Whether they're up in the league or down, a win is always happy. I can remember my mother- and father-in-law listening to the Reds, sitting on their screened-in porch in the evenings. Even though they were living in Detroit, they followed the Reds because they lived in Sarasota during the winter.

2. I'm looking forward to watching the fireflies at Elkmont really soon. And camping beside the Little River, sleeping soundly with the river roaring in the background.

3. Faint traffic sound from 471 is what I'm listening to right now. And the clicking of the keyboard. Soon to be the clicking of the spoon in my Cherrios.

4. Potato salad must have potatoes in it. And lots of eggs and the light version of Hellman's mayonnaise. Not many onions.

5. Salad was the best thing I ate on Friday. With organic lettuce and add-ins from the salad bar. Light honey mustard dressing.

6. Today was a busy day because I was teaching a class. The last couple of hours just flew by. I'm happy because we got done everything we were supposed to cover, plus a few extras.

7. And as for the weekend, Friday night I took a walk, today I'm looking forward to shopping for a baby shower gift after work plus picking up some special paper and pens for church, and Sunday I plan to be busy all day, then enjoy Journey Group at the end of it - hope I don't forget any of the things I'm supposed to do. I have a list.

Happy weekend, everyone.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


There will no doubt be more later since this was such a fun and happy weekend - these are just the highlights.

A birthday party for Sarah Friday night and Steph, Nora, and Aaron stayed for a sleep-over.

The wedding on Saturday night, perfect weather and fun times dressing up,

Sunday lunch and playtime afterwards.

Nora snuggling with her mom.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Friday Fill-In # 176

Friday Fill-Ins, on Saturday morning.

1. I just had the sweetest sleep with grandguy Aaron in my bed. He snores just a little, kicks just a little, murmers just a little, dreamy reminders that he is the sweetest little two-year-old ever. Before bed we sat on my porch, listening to the Friday fireworks by the river, enjoying the May evening. Last night it was hot when we went to bed and all the windows were open and the breeze was blowing. Awesome.

2. Few times of the year are as pretty as this weekend is. The grass is still green, the peonies will soon be blooming, the lavender has buds, gardens are going in. I have big plans to work in my front yard on Monday, putting in a new and huge garden bed for veggies and flowers. I like the mix of both.

3. The third sentence on the seventh page of the book I'm reading is "In my dream I am swimming to the moon." From The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry. I finished it this morning but will go back and read it again because it's one of those books with a great plot that weaves throughout and I missed too many of the little clues.

4. I was looking at a craft magazine this morning and the idea of using recycled wool for bags tickles my fancy. A trip to the thrift store is coming. And I have a jacket of pink wool that I've worn maybe once. It was super cheap at the end of winter, but I'm just not a pink jacket person. I could be a pink bag person, though.

5. I was walking along the river, looking at the houses on Millionnaire Row, checking out the bronze statues along the street, and I was reminded of Steph's wedding day. That's where she had her wedding pictures taken, with the river in the background. It was a gorgeous September day and I felt like I'd just stepped into a dream.

6. The morning after the party makes me laugh. Several bottles of opened wine, plates and forks with leftover birthday cake, glasses with the remains of red cows (red pop and vanilla ice cream,) and three pizza boxes. It was a fun impromptu birthday party for Sarah, who came yesterday with Winnie on one of her popcorn visits to town. We're going to a wedding later this afternoon.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight (Friday) I'm going to pick up pizza and veggie sandwiches for the party, tomorrow my plans include a lovely spring day of getting ready then attending the wedding in a park overlooking the river, and Sunday I want to just marvel at it all.

Happy weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nora and I

Nora and I are traditionalists. She always gets chocolate chip ice cream at Graeter's and I always get raspberry or strawberry sorbet. And we mix them. Always.

It's been a long week, and it's only Wednesday. Quilt guild Monday night, late work night last night, Worship Committee tonight. The late nights are over now . . . except for posting pictures of the quild guild and doing the minutes for the Worship Committee. And I'm tired.

Interesting discussion at quilt guild about how some big shows don't want any entires that have been posted on the internet. They publish their own photos in booklet form and make some of their money that way. I always post pictures, but I'm not entering any national shows either. Something to think about though.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

In the Studios

You never know what you'll find in the studio. When I visited a friend's yesterday, I found a tub of baby chicks, 8 days old and ready to go outside. It was cold yesterday, though, so my friend was keeping them inside just a little longer. Her studio was pretty incredible, on the second floor of her house, lots of windows, lots and lots of fabric nicely pressed and stacked by color.

I like my studie too, and I like Nora's new little dress that's hanging there. About half the squares had been sitting on the sewing table for about a year, and it was finally time to cut the rest and put the dress together. It's an Indygo Junction pattern. I appreciate Indygo Junction because their patterns have the casual look I like plus their kid patterns grow nicely with the child. This one will probably last at least a couple of years, with the long skirt getting shorter and the straps let down. I have a feeling that for slender little Nora the top will need to be made a little smaller - we'll see.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I Love Spring Red

It's spring and time to give up the socks. At least on some days. I got my pedicure on the prettiest day in spring and the next day it was cold again. Furnace-coming-on-again-cold, but my toes are ready for nice weather.

It was a happy Mother's Day, with a red plant picked out by my grandgirl, who knows that red is my favorite. And from Sarah and Winnie, a Petzl head lamp with a red LED option, perfect for going to watch the fireflies in Elkmont next month.

There was pretty red origami as Crohn Conservatory was all dressed up for the butterfly show. The kids didn't care for the butterflies at all but they loved the waterfall section.
And then there's the best red of all, showing up on the heads of the grandbabes.

And the red on a cup of Graeter's ice cream is nice too.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Fill-In # 175

The Friday Fill-In answers are in bold.

1. Salsa and blue corn chips are the best, especially with peach mango salsa. Just the right combination of sweet and salty.

2. MorningStar veggie dogs are awesome and you've even got mustard to make them taste like the real thing. I wish they had them at the ball park.

3. By the time I get home I'm really hungry and am apt to grab for nuts or cheese and crackers or some other calorie dense food. And sometimes that turns into dinner.

4. Checking out the home dec bargains is what I look forward to most when grocery shopping. Followed by checking out the wonderful cheeses and the soup bar and the produce. Last stop: the magazines to see if there are any sewing or quilt magazines that I've got to have.

5. And I was dreaming about people and places and about camping and about projects yet to come. And I was happy.

6. Kentucky in the first half of May; is there anything else better? I think not. I heard it described this week as heaven on earth and that about says it all.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm planning to help pick up Nora and Aaron at child care at the end of their day, tomorrow I'm planning to work then have a longer grand babe time, and Sunday I want to make a dress for Nora. From an Indygo Junction pattern with lots of green and pink squares.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I am such a fan of UFO's and have a box of them. All that work, then maybe I was just tired of it. Maybe I couldn't figure out where to go next. Maybe I was disappointed with how it was going.

But sometimes there's something in that box that's just waiting for the perfect time. I did the fireworks for a Quilt University class, then couldn't get it nice and square and didn't know what to do with it. It was done on Timtex, with a pieced background and fireworks made with embroidery threads. I recently got some Mary Ellen's Best Press, which was just the thing to wet the piece and steam it into shape.

My quilt guild is having a place mat challenge this month, so all I had to do was put on the borders, make the quilt sandwich, do minimal stitch in the ditch, and bind it. Easy, but there's a lot of work in the piece and I won't be reluctant to show it.

And now I have something to help me decorate for the seasons, which was one of my goals for this year. I love UFO's.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Yard Update

The plants around my house are old varieties, like this spirea. And forsythea and peonies. Still nice, though.
I forgot to empty my rain barrel at the end of the season and it split. I'll have to order a new one. Same with one of my favorite ceramic pots. I'll have to try and do better this year.
I have pansies to plant, and rosemary and peppers. And lots and lots of weeding to do. Things seem to get away from me.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Jungle Jim's

I'd heard of it - but I'd never been to Jungle Jim's. What a grocery store my friends introduced me to. Tonight I'm having roasted asparagus and cooked carrots made with yellow, orange, and red carrots. And strawberry chardonary cheddar and the best fresh mozerella ever.

The store is a long way from home, but what fun. There was a greenhouse too, and I got some rosemary and the gardening gloves I've been needing.

Thanks, guys.