Monday, July 25, 2016

Newport Aquarium

The grands and I enjoyed being at Newport Aquarium today.  The Monday crowd was light and you'd never know that it was such a hot day.

I don't remember the kids ever taking much notice of the portholes just off the penguin exhibit but they had a good time there today.  The line for the sorta new shark bridge was very short and Nora took a nice video. They liked the little otters that have taken the place of the birds, which were never a hit.

This year no one wanted to play in the big play house in the Frog Bog any more so there was no taking off and putting on shoes.  I'm nostalgic about that.  The aquarium is just a couple of miles from my house, and we've been there many, many times.  

We had lunch at The Gruff and talked about the fact that most people who go to the aquarium don't know about it.  Aaron said that even if they did know, they would just think it was a little restaurant under a bridge.  Actually, it kind of is, but the kids love the pizza, fries, and soup.

Sunday, July 24, 2016


Thanks to Sarah for recommending this hydrangea for my front yard.  I like it so much better than the scraggly bush it replaced.

Last year I planted one of the endless summer hydrangeas in the back yard.  I had to move it this spring because a rose bush overtook it and it hasn't been happy about the move.  Not that it was happy before the move.  At least it's still hanging in there.

It is so hot that I've moved one of my sewing machines down to my bedroom.  I'm quilting one of the baby quilts that's been waiting.  My bedroom is always coolest in the summer and warmest in the winter.  It does mean a lot of running up and down stairs for this or that, but I'm ok with it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

On To Football

Nora had a break after softball, but Aaron ended baseball last week and is now on to football.  

I sort of wondered - would Nora really do this, but so far she has.  I like the shirt she wore to her first practice.  Both kids love anything with a ball.  At the campground, they were trying out lacross.  I haven't heard any poison ivy reports from the ball going in the weeds, but I have my usual post-camping itching.  Just a bit this time.

I've been sewing some dresses and plan to deliver them this morning.  It will be fun to get back to quilting and the cottons.  I missed taking a baby quilt to the group - again.  For the first time in awhile, everyone was there and it was amazing to be together.  There were a lot of life events to catch up on.  

I have three baby quilts pieced so things will start moving along soon.  I have a few jobs for people and more on the way.  It's always amazing to me how I'll finish someone's project and the phone rings. 


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Gracious Camping

This is Sarah and Winnie's camping picnic table.  If it were my campsite, I probably wouldn't even have a tablecloth.  There might be a can of Diet Coke.  Strictly utilitarian.

They had this cute little tablecloth, a pretty lantern with a candle, and a little picture that said, "Peace, Love, S'mores."  A nice pour-over coffee maker.  

I've been unhappy with my short list of goals for the year, and it's past time to re-evaluate.  I think I'll add a few to put me over into a more "pretty living" category.  I always admire other people's pretty things, as long as it doesn't go to the extreme.  There's a line there, somewhere.  I have a long way to go to get to that line, though.

Maybe I could even serve myself attractive food on pretty plates.  I have a long way to go there, too.  

Monday, July 18, 2016

Camping Adventures

Our June camping trip turned into a July trip, as we tried to time it for the end of the baseball season.  And, Aaron still missed his last tournament game.  League and tournament champs.  Nice for a little guy whose basketball team didn't win a single game.

Sarah and Winnie brought the three dogs, who turned out to be good campers.  Bridget was down to two nephews this time.

Tubing with Aunt Sarah was big fun.  And, on the last night, when Aunt Sarah had gone home and the nephews had deflated their tubes, the kids took a couple of runs with just the two of them.  Steph and I waited on the bridge, seeing first their pale legs, then their tubes.  A rite of passage, I think.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Pool with a Slide

All spring I watched as the Oakley pool and playground near my church were renovated.  I just knew that the grands would love that curvy enclosed slide.

We started out and a thunderstorm came up before we were a mile from home.  That gave us time for lunch and some playground time before the pool reopened, and when it did there were few kids there.  It turned out that the kids had to pass a swim test to use the slide and diving board area.  Nora declared that she had passed the test at the Y several years ago but Aaron had never taken a test and got to practicing.  Nora helped him out with his strokes and he was able, by sheer determination, to swim the long length of the pool.

Turned out that the test was just to swim the short area of the deep part, touch the wall, and come back.  Easy.  Aaron had the cutest little grin when he saw that he was going to make it.  They had a great time on that slide and the diving board too.  We will most likely be back soon.

Monday, July 11, 2016


Friday was a zoo day, the first this summer.  Earlier in the afternoon there was wind and a thunderstorm and we took off as soon as that was over.  For us, a trip to the zoo is about a 25-minute drive, and a zoo pass makes it possible to not feel like we have to make it a full day.

The only cars in the parking lots were in the covered spots near the entrance and there were plenty of spaces there.  To me, that's the best time to go, when bad weather has chased the crowd away.  There were just a few people scattered about inside.

Nora had never, ever been inside the goat section of the children's zoo before.  To her, goats have been highly suspect ever since, when she was a toddler, one tried to nibble on her mother's shorts.  She would wait outside the pen while Aaron brushed and petted.  This visit was her own good time, and she went inside and brushed.

Almost as much anticipated as the zoo trip was the visit to their mom's office at the end of the day.  They have been asking to go all summer.  The three-minute trip between zoo and office makes it a good combo trip.

Monday, July 4, 2016

One More Hour

One more hour to go for the 4th of July, and the booms are still booming.  Since I have no babies or dogs, I'm loving it.  The grands were old enough this year to light their own smoke bombs and snakes and maybe even a few other goodies, under supervision of course.  They made a lot of smoke but not much noise.  I think that all the neighborhoods around here are full of smoke.

Perhaps in a week or so, the first quilt may be coming off the quilter.  Tomorrow I'm expecting a package with prewound 50-wt bobbins for my next quilt.  I'm thinking that if prewound quilter bobbins are anything like prewound embroidery bobbins, there will be more yardage on each bobbin, meaning fewer bobbin changes.  Plus, I'm using 40-wt thread this time, and less of that can go on the bobbin.

But here's the thing:  I'm really enjoying this machine.  Yes, I put a lot of time into learning free motion designs before getting it, but the extra room makes the quilting easier.  Speed, that's hard to figure.  The machine has the capability to go really fast, but I'm still under 50% capacity.  Maybe always will be.  I don't know how that compares to what I was doing before and I have no desire to go back and compare.

It's been a fabulous weekend.  I love the 4th of July, like I love all holidays.  Just having the holiday swirl around me is celebration enough.


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Ordinary Times

This time of year in the church calendar, from the Monday after Pentecost until the Saturday before the first Sunday of Advent, is called ordinary times.  The color is green.

Above is the worship banner I made to hang during part of that time.  You may recognize it as the Cathedral Windows pattern.  I like it because it represents interconnectedness and because it has the inclusion of many different colors of green.

I must be feeling that my stash is light on green now.  Today, with my 60% off coupon from Joann, I got some Kona yardage in a pale gray green that I don't see represented in the banner.  Kona is my favorite solid cotton and I'm always on the lookout for a sale.  With my coupon:  $3.60 per yard. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

At Last

At last I have a new phone and can share pictures again.  It just doesn't feel like I'm writing a blog post if there isn't a picture at the top.

The grands have had an artistic week, with paints and play dough.  They have spent numerous happy hours creating.  Of course I love this.

June has flown by and July is on the calendar.  All of a sudden there have been lots of sewing jobs and I'm trying to catch up.  Which reminds me that I meant to stop at the sewing store to get new bulbs for my machine.  With the excitement of the new phone, I totally forgot.  I'll live - it's not like I have only one machine.  It's just that I like certain machines for certain things.

The flower beds are getting planted.  The other night when I was walking a neighbor on the street behind asked if I was the person who planted pumpkins.  He said I did a good job with my gardening.  That is definitely a stretch, but it was nice to hear.