Friday, August 31, 2012

More Zoo Pictures

Here the kids are waiting for the train to start.  Nora's forehead bandaid is covering an itchy bug bite.    Aaron always enjoys being the keeper of the map.  He yelled "go faster" and the young engineer turned around and grinned and said "It doesn't go any faster."

 Brushing the goats.  Nora always opts to skip this part, waiting outside the fence.  I really thought she might try it this time but she didn't.

And, finally, the carousel.  The zoo pass includes rides on the carousel and train, and there were five carousel rides yesterday.  For most of the time, the grands were the only riders.

When we went earlier in the summer it was hot and crowded, but still a good time.  This time it got hot as the afternoon went on, but it definitely wasn't crowded.  Usually when we finish our adventures there are good-natured complaints about the long walk through the parking lot, but this time we were right at the bottom of the escalator.  Nice end.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Summer's End

Summer is coming toward an end.  Most schools around here are already in session, but the grands' schools don't start until after Labor Day.  Today was the last swim lesson for the summer, and afterwards we stopped at the drug store for a hair brush for Nora.  She spotted the slap bracelet, and since it was on sale I just had to get it for her.  Of course, I probably would have bought it anyway.

We had a zoo trip with ice cream, more pictures tomorrow.  What I've learned is that the "field trip" spots aren't very crowded during these last August weeks.  We had a primo zoo parking spot and the crowd was about half of what it was earlier in the summer.  The grands had five carousel rides and two train rides.  Tomorrow:  Kings Island, and that will be the end of my twice-a-week "babysitting" gig for this year.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cutwork Needles

This potholder-to-be was made with a Viking design and cutwork needles.  Reverse applique.  Part of the class I taught today.  I gave the finished product to a coworker for a birthday gift.

Note the little red clips - they're called Wonder Clips and are marketed by Clover.  Such a nice alternative to pins.  I want to think of a new class just so I can use these clips.  Great for holding down binding.  They are really nice for serging too - easier to keep track of than pins, which you don't want to run over with the serger blade.  Take my word for it, you don't want to do that.  I get excited about new tools that I really, really like and this is one of those.

Some days, some classes, are hard, and this was one.  We got off to a rough start, and yet  . . . I think that everyone in the class now has a good knowledge of how to use their endless hoop, and how to use their cutwork needles.  These things are coming out of their boxes.  And for me, that 's what it's all about.  That's why I get excited about teaching new classes.  I want my students to love the tools that are available to them.

The Viking convention is coming up really soon, and I am so hoping for cool new feet, new designs . . . I love all that stuff.

Oh, and to add to my happiness - the Reds beat the Cardinals tonight.  Please, please, beat them tomorrow too.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Red Towel

Tomorrow I am teaching a class combining the endless hoop and cutwork needles, which aren't really needles at all but little razors on the needle shaft.  Hence, the red towel with pale green cutwork.  Things worked as they should, and all the designs line up very nicely.

The embroidered portion is serged on the dishtowel.  I have been doing some alterations recently, and have been threading and unthreading the serger a lot.  I can remember the days when it took me a long time to thread it, but now it's pretty fast, which is why I'm willing to do it for work that actually ends up on the inside.  Not to mention, doing it again and again is the best way to "get" it. 

When things calm down at the end of the summer, I want to actually spend some time with the serger and get comfortable with other things than the 4-thread over lock and the rolled hem.  I am always a little anxious about giving a serger lesson, especially if the customer wants "more."  

It's going to be hot today, so I need to get outside and mow while it's still cool.  That mowing is past due. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


It had been awhile since the grands and I had ridden the Southbank Shuttle to "downtown" and with summer drawing short I wanted to do that.

When we got off the trolley, there was exclaimation about a pig we'd missed before, right at the shuttle stop, named the Southpork Shuttle.  It is mounted on a tire and a sign says to spin the tire.  All the other pig signs say "don't touch the pig."  This was a very great hit.

Not so appreciated was the downtown Cincinnati library, despite its elevators and multiple buildings and circular marble staircase and wonderful bronze fountain.  I could have happily stayed all day, but the kids preferred the smaller Campbell County libraries with their quirky immaginative playthings.

So, they much admired the big fountain in Fountain Square, ate Graeter's ice cream, spun the pig, and climbed on the shuttle once again.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


At the Cincinnati Art Museum, a bronze sculpture of Pinnochio.  Inside, a Pinnochio portfolio and a scupture of Shark Girl.  And all the other good stuff.  Plus two special exhibits:  Art of Sound and Henry Ossawa Tanner.

Tanner must have been a very prolific painter and he was the first Black painter to earn international acclaim.  There were so many really good paintings in the exhibit.  Strange to think that, during this lifetime, (he died in 1937) there were many places in this country where he couldn't go.  At that time, in my state, blacks and whites couldn't attend school together.  Tanner eventually moved to France and a warmer reception.

For a little Civil Rights history, if you're interested, google Day Law Kentucky.  Berea College argued against the Kentucky legislature implementing the Day Law in 1904, which prohibited private schools from integrating, as well as public schools.  The Day Law was voted into effect and was upheld by the Supreme Court.  It was finally repealed by the state legislature in the early 1950's.

Only appropriate, one of the paintings in the exhibit, mountains in North Carolina's Highlands, was from a Berea College collection. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Piscah Pale Ale

Piscah Pale Ale.  My Asheville favorite.  Tonight, though, I'm not in Asheville, so I'm trying Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale.  Very good too.  I very much enjoy trying beers that I haven't tried before.

A man just knocked on my door and said he's running for state representative.  Handed me his little flyer and considered his job done. No comments about what he stands for.  I'm going to take a red marker and draw a line on his single-sheet flyer, reminding me to not vote for him.

Work today, then a trip to the Kroger Pharmacy.  I didn't realize they closed at 6:00 and got there at 5:30.  Service was fast in that last half hour and I have my meds.  Went to JoAnn's and got some of their Country Solids on sale.  White (lots,) green, red, light blue, light pink.  Guttermann thread on sale.  Used my half-off coupon for muslin for work.  Then back to Kroger, for food this time.  Now back at home, with that Harvest Pumpkin Ale.   A good Saturday evening.    

Friday, August 17, 2012

Veg Head

In front of the Veg Head was this striking plant and planter.  And close to the Veg Head is the Quilter's Studio, where my friend Carrye and I went this morning.  We looked at everything there was to look at, and I got a few things - a half off pattern that will be great for baby quilts, some Wonder Clips for bindings and other things that need clipping, a new seam ripper, some King Tut thread that changes colors every inch.  A tiny bit of fabric.

Lunch at The Veg Head was a lovely black bean burger.  There are quite a few terrible black bean burgers in this world, but this wasn't one of them.  I had humus on it instead of cheese, just because I'd never done that.  Probably won't do it again, but who knows.

And, wonderfully, the Kitchen Aid repair person called and said that my mixer was done.  The shop is only about a mile from the interstate, so the mixer is now sitting in my kitchen.  The repair guy had given up on it once, then decided that perhaps a new housing would do the trick.  It did.  I picked up an extra bowl while I was there, so now I can make real cakes, mixing the batter, then beating the egg whites in a separate bowl, then folding the egg whites into the batter.

It was a glorious day.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back Again

Just after my last post six days ago, my internet went out and didn't resurface in a few days like it normally does.  Finally, today, at the scheduled time, the truck pulled up in front of my house, the driver rode his bucket to the top of the pole, and my internet is restored.

And now, I know things again.  I am sad to see that the Reds have slipped in the standings, although they're still in first place, and happy to know that the temperature is 85 degrees and that tomorrow will be sunny.  I love turning on my Kindle and having the news on the USA Today app.  I enjoy checking email and facebook now and again.  All this happiness has been restored.

Above, Aaron studying the amazing scenery from the back seat - what he's looking at is the clouds dipping down over the mountain tops. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Smokey's Birthday

Smokey the Bear's birthday was last week and we got to celebrate in North Carolina.  He was 68 years old.

There was bingo at the party, as well as pin the water bucket on the fire and making Smokey masks,

 but by far the favorite game was putting out fires.

Smokey actually had FIVE cakes, each different.  How fun is that?  Happy Birthday, Smokey.  So glad that Sarah and Winnie knew about this party. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Weekend in North Carolina

Last Wednesday evening Steph, Nora, Aaron, and I left for North Carolina to visit Sarah and Winnie.  We spent the night in Tennessee - the kids love hotel swimming, breakfast, and more swimming.  And, it breaks up the trip nicely.

New for the kids was diving in from the side of the pool (Nora) and swimming backstroke across the pool (Aaron.)  I asked them how they learned these things and they told me that they learned from watching the Olympics.

Bridget drove separately and Helen met us for a night.  Camping group, with comfort.

There was shoe shopping since there is a favorite shoe store in Asheville and it was back-to-school tax-free weekend.  Hiking and swimming and eating. 

Aaron has a wide little foot and resists most shoes, but he ended up with a pair of Merrill's with the stretchy gussett and a pair of John Deere boots.  Both got in quite a lot of steps during the weekend, so things are good in that area.

These pictures were taken at the Cradle of Forestry.  More pictures from there tomorrow - it was Smokey the Bear's birthday, and there was a party.

Thanks to Winnie and Sarah for a great, great weekend.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Half Squares

Thanks to Ginny for bringing fabic squares to baby quilt group for this month's quilts.  I decided to cut mine in half and string rectangles across my quilt.