Monday, December 31, 2018

New Bike

On this gray and rainy New Year's Eve, we waited at Sleepy Bee in Oakley for a wonderful breakfast and then stopped in Newport at Reser's Bicycle.  It's one of Sarah's favorite places and I always enjoy Christmas shopping for her there.

I waited in the car to catch up on the national news - I know I shouldn't and it isn't good for me, but I just can't stop.  Sarah and Winnie were gone for a long time.  And then Sarah came out.

Sarah:  Sorry it's taking so long.  A thing happened.  And it wasn't my fault.  Winnie bought a bike!

And so she did, a green Salsa she had been admiring but hadn't found in the size she needed.

Don't worry about the bike getting to North Carolina.  Their car top carrier has a rail for a bike.  Of course.  When they go down the road tomorrow, other travelers will be admiring that bike.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Three Little Visiting Dogs

Three little dogs, left to right:
     1.  Lucy, the oldest.  She was a stray, dropped off near a goat barn.
     2.  Milo, the youngest, a rescue from Tennessee.  
     3.  P-Nut, a foster, now adopted.

Lucy is the most even tempered, the one who soothes the others.  Milo is a lover, wants to be petted and give kisses.  And P-Nut probably had a bit of abuse in another life.  Be careful how you approach her.

Milo is doing well after his dental surgery, lots of tail wagging and ear perking yesterday.  He is getting pill snacks like Lucy and will for another week.

We are glad he was able to have his surgery and recovery here, not face it when he got home.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Little Dog Blues

There are three little brown dogs visiting along with Winnie and Sarah.  The middle-sized one, Milo, who weighs about eleven pounds, took a tumble off my high antique bed two days ago.

Yesterday he had dental surgery to remove several teeth loosened in the fall.  The little guy was pretty groggy last night and is still snoozing this morning, but he was his usual brave self prior to the surgery and was able to eat last night.

He went to my other grand-dog's vet across the river in Ohio.  The practice is called All Creatures, which makes me happy.

I'll try to post his picture tomorrowHe is definitely a lover, a sweet little rescue.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Krohn Holiday Display

Every year the Krohn Conservatory Christmas display is familiar, and every year it is a little different.  This year's theme is "A Crystal Holiday," with crystals draped here and there.  There are the usual wonderful poinsettias and coleus plants as well as a few others.   Interspersed here and there are Cincinnati landmarks and trains.

After the Christmas rush of "doing," the Krohn is a wonderful way to slow down, to look at flowers and huge plants and water and just be.  We went toward the end of the afternoon, in the last hour, and it was still crowded but there were a few close parking spots.  As the 5:00 closing time approached, the crowd started to thin and there were photo op spaces. 

A surprise for us this year were National Park Service structures, including the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore National Memorial.  The first clue was when we spotted a National Park lodge, probably Yellowstone.  These structures are in the greenhouses outside the special display area.

Definitely, go if you can.  It's open through January 6.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018


Merry Christmas everyone!  Joy to the world, please!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Baby Bib

Anita Goodesign Bundle of Joy.  Lettering from my software.  I can't tell you how many times I've used this design collection.  Lots.  It's totally done in the hoop, no sewing involved.  Usually.  This time I did stitch around the outside,

So grateful today to have more energy than previous days.  No coughing.  Went to the grocery early.  Took gifts to work.  Doing laundry.  Wrapping.  Resting in between.  

Keeping a mental list in my head of staples I've forgotten that I can pick up at Family Dollar.  Dryer sheets, food storage bags, batteries, juice.  Quick in and out, and they have lots of things, even some frozen and refrigerated foods.

Does anyone from the Detroit area remember Lawson's stores?  Milk, orange juice, bread, sliced deli ham.  It seems as if we drank more orange juice then. 


Thursday, December 20, 2018

VanGogh Exhibit

If you live in the Cincinnati area, and you can squeeze out a little extra time, this traveling quilt exhibit from Cherrywood Fabrics will be worth your time.  And, it's free.  You'll find that it's very striking since all the small quilts are the same size and all use some, but not all, of the same fabrics.

Just walking into the room will be a treat.  And several of the quilts were done by local fiber artists.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018


Mom.  1999.  A flat metal ornament.

This week I machine-embroidered names on three felt stockings for my neighbor.  She had made four stockings with Bucilla kits we rescued from her stash and mine.  Apparently kits were in short supply this year because there was a fire at the Bucilla factory.  She told me it took a long time to embroider a name at the top and I told her I could do that for her.

The stocking I was working on has been languishing.  Not a single bead sewn on since before Thanksgiving.

This was the laziest of days and I'm not sure why.  I wasn't feeling all that sick any more, just discouraged.  Tomorrow I want to take a shower right away and just get started.  Maybe start off with baking some banana bread.  And I do want to go to Target.  And pick up some groceries.


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Tuba Concert

Yesterday Nora and I went to a tuba concert at Newport on the Levee.  Tuba, Souzaphone, and euphonium players get together and practice earlier in the afternoon, then hold a concert.  Turns out that this happens all over the world.  You can read about it here.

Afterwards we went to Barnes and Noble for a book.  It's one thing Nora never turns down.  That and Panera chicken noodle soup.

I took the picture out of the second floor window at Barnes and Noble.  It was a rainy, gloomy day but people were in a good mood.  Lots of cars in the parking garage.  Looking out the opposite direction, you would see the Ohio River and the Cincinnati skyline.

I was good for nothing in the evening, but it was so good to be out.  Oh, and my friend Suzy was there with her grandkids and it was so nice to see her and meet the kids. 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Santa's Snow Plow

Santa's Snow Plow.  2001.

I actually ordered this from ebay after Christmas since I really wanted it.  A nice reminder of my dad, who was a farmer and always had red tractors.  He farmed well into retirement age, probably until age 80.  I think he especially enjoyed that last decade of farming, when his farm and equipment were paid off and he was no longer responsible for a family.  If he had a good year he could buy a nice piece of equipment and if he didn't, he still had social security.

I can remember how opposed he was to social security in his younger years, feeling that he could use the required contribution better to grow his farming.  In the end, I'm sure he was grateful to have some  retirement money for all those years.

Rain this morning and pretty much all day.  The sound is so nice, better than the sound of snow plows, there would be lots of snow if it was colder.  Fifty degrees.

I've ordered a pie and rolls from Graeter's for pick-up on Christmas Eve.  There may even be store-bought frozen lasagna for Christmas day, when we put the lasagna in the oven and go to the movies.  As my Swiss grandmother used to say, "Things can't always be the same."  I am so much less stoic than she was, but these words have  stayed with me.  

Friday, December 14, 2018

Please Pause Here

Please Pause Here.  1991.  Santa with a Coke.

I don't know what's happened to his left upper leg, that little hole.  I might guess a mouse chew, but the box and the bubble wrap are unchewed and the plastic is really hard.  Maybe a burn from a bulb, prior to the bulbs we have now?  After all, it is 27 years old.  Santa clips to a branch.

Steph and Nora just stopped by, raving about the Transiberian Orchestra concert.  A lot of smoke and lights, wonderful but loud music.  They made my heart happy.

Nora was pleased with her birthday gifts, an Echo Dot, pajama pants, a music book, and her favorite holiday lotion.  I think I scored.  Whether Aaron will like his un-birthday gift is another matter.  A recorder and music.  If he doesn't like it, he can trade it in and Nora will have a nice recorder.  And if he does like it, he might change his mind about being in the band next year.

Probably about 50% less coughing today than yesterday, so that's a big jump forward.  I had a great coupon, so I'm off to pick up a Marco's Pizza, a do-over from last yesterday's frozen pizza.  I've had this pizza lots of times so I know it won't have much garlic.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Answering Machine

Santa's Answering Machine.  1992.  Back when there were answering machines.

This ornament hooks up to the light string and when the button is pushed says, "I'm out packing my sleigh now.  Wait for the jingle bells."  Followed by jingle bells.  That button has been pushed a lot over the years.

Coughing a little less today.  I made a quick trip to the library for books and another to Aldi for food.  Aldi is the quickest in and out in my neighborhood.  I got a frozen pizza, frozen sweet potato casserole, and some snack mix with peanuts and almonds.  

The pizza has way too much garlic, although I'm a light weight when it comes to garlic.  The snack mix is wonderful, but there are 43 servings in that can!  Maybe my family will like it too. 

I've had tickets forever to take Nora to hear the TransSiberian Orchestra.  I know that will require more energy than I have, so Steph will take her.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Dogs in Sweaters

I went to the quilt shop to drop off some postcards for the Van Gogh exhibit, really, that's all I went for.  But this Elizabeth Hartman pattern caught my eye since I have three little brown grand dogs.  It has a pillow option or a wall hanging option with just four dogs, easily adaptable for three dogs. I'm picturing myself at the next quilt retreat, working on just this.

Trying to figure out how I feel this morning.  Better, I think, after having been up for awhile.  Less coughing, easier breathing.  Steph picked up my antibiotic last night and it wasn't ready, something about the robot being empty.  What?  I wonder how many people were waiting for Z Packs, with no one to advocate for them.  Anyway, I felt bad that after a long day at work she had to deal with that.  In a few minutes, I got a text that the meds were ready, so they must have by-passed that robot.

I had planned to take pizza and chocolate cake for Nora's 14th birthday, but they had pizza and chocolate cake without me.

This may be a day of just laundry and some hand work on the beaded Christmas stocking.  I am tired of Kindle Unlimited reading, and my clothes options are getting slim.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Happy Campers

Happy Campers.  2017.  A bulb from the light string pokes through a hole in the back, giving the tent a lit-from-within appearance.

Loving thoughts to the family of Ruth Butwell, who died yesterday morning.  Never could I have asked for a more wonderful boss.  When I started working with her, she was Dean of Students at Berea College.

A visit to the doctor this morning revealed that I don't have pneumonia or bronchitis, just a congested cough.  Really good news.

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Most Precious

Bell Chimes.  1982.  One of the most precious.  My first Hallmark ornament, and it was from my mother.  I'm guessing that she probably got it at an after-Christmas sale and saved it carefully for the next year.

My mother died December 19, 1985, so this happened toward the end of her life.  My dad, December 20, 2002.  As his life wound to a close, I wondered whether he would pass on the same date as my mother, but he got his own day.

To check the dates, I looked at a website that showed their monument at the cemetery.  It seems a little strange to me, but I can see that such things would be invaluable to people checking their genealogy.  

And then, because I could, I looked up my grandmother, Emma, my dad's mother.  I never knew her.  1877-1938, so she would have been 61.  I always heard that she died fairly young, but sixty-one isn't all that young.  She had five children fairly close together.  Baked pies on Saturday and put them to cool on the Hosier cabinet that sits in my dining room.

All right, strange ramblings for the holiday season.

Sunday, December 9, 2018


Time for a Treat.  1996.  This one needs a little propping up with a tree branch to hang right, but I love the Hershey bar on the sled and the little mouse taking a bite.  He has a friend on the other side but the friend isn't eating any chocolate.  Don't you just love the little shoes?

Sun today!  For me, anyway.  Sarah and Winnie are getting snow and ice and word is that Sarah got out her chain saw to remove a tree that had fallen on their road.  But then, she loves a chain saw opportunity.  I'm sure Winter Lights is cancelled for tonight.  So far, power is on for them.

I just glanced down and saw our tickets for Nora and me to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra on Friday afternoon.  I'll probably get her out of school half an hour early so we can make it downtown.  Last period is band for her, probably her favorite time of the day.

Bengals play in a bit.  I'm promising myself that if they don't play well - again - I'm moving on to something else, not watching until the bitter end.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Do Yourself A Flavor

Do Yourself A Flavor.  2007.

After teaching a class today, I promised myself a cozy evening reading in bed.  A promise I'm keeping.

I've had the porch light on because for some reason I decided a package was being delivered today.  Just checked, and it's Tuesday.  So, I can turn off my light and go back to my reading.  A mindless Christmas novel.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Gingerbread for Joanne

Joanne posted yesterday that she was getting out her gingerbread house for Christmas and I told her I'd post a picture of the winning "house" from this year's Grove Park Inn National Gingerbread House Competition.  It was the 26th year for the Asheville competition.  There were 190 entries.

The winner is "Gearing Up for Christmas."  Rules state that the creations must be 75% gingerbread and be completely edible.  I've read that sometimes the judges use drills to get a peak inside to be sure the rules are followed. 

The Grove Park Inn is worth a visit any day of the year, but right now it's all the better.  Besides all that gingerbread, there are gorgeous trees and a fire in the big fireplace.  In the huge lobby, people sip hot chocolate and the year's craft brew.  Plus, there's all that history.

So worth a visit if you're in that area, say for Biltmore Christmas.  Or Winter Lights at the Arboretum.  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Sittches of Joy and Loving Stitches

Stitches of Joy on the left and Loving Stitches on the right.

I started working early this morning on class preparation for Saturday's Epic Machine class.  Tomorrow I'll go into work and sit down at the machine for awhile and also copy the handouts.  I know that by the end of the class I'll be lusting after that machine all over again.

But today - lunch at the Art Museum and then viewing the special exhibit Fabrics of India.  Friends who have seen it have raved, and I'm looking forward to going.

One of my friends was complaining that we don't need to see pictures of George W. Bush passing candy to Michelle Obama.  I disagree, I think we do need to see those pictures of warmth between two people on the opposite sides of the aisle.

And how inspiring was the video of Bob Dole being helped from his wheelchair so he could salute another war hero.  Age 95 saluting age 94, there aren't many of those World War II veterans left.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Most Nostalgic

Of all my ornaments, this is the most nostalgic.  Titled simply "Dad."  1995.

Purchased early in the season and already on the tree when my husband died in early December.  

Seeing it always takes me back to that weekend.  The unexpected death Friday morning.  Visitation Sunday evening following Sarah's college graduation ceremony.  Funeral Monday morning.

I didn't think to take a camera to the graduation.  It wasn't even on my radar until I got there and saw all the cameras.  Steph asked a random someone in the audience to share their pictures.  It turned out to be the father of one of the students who went out west with Sarah for a short term camping class. During the preceding January.  That father sent a video as well as pictures.  There were many blessings during that long weekend but that one stands out.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Li'l Jingler

Li'l Jingler.  1986.  If you look closely, you can see the raccoon hanging from a string of gold bells.

I had gone to see Steph in her first year at college to buy her a winter coat.  At Crestview Mall, now Crestview Town Center, we bought a long tweed coat and visited the Hallmark Store.  I really wanted this ornament, even though it was out of my budget.  $6.75.  Like I said, I keep the boxes.

Now whenever I go to work I pass Crestview Town Center.  You never know the twists and turns that life has in store.

I'm not happy with myself for not using my sit-down quilter, made by Handi-Quilter for Viking.  So today, I just did it.  Free motioned the inside of a wreath on a Christmas quilt.  Nothing fancy.  Just a re-start.  Stippling, because I feel like a beginner all over again.

I was amazed at how quickly the quilting went.  Remembered how much I really like this machine.  I chose ecru thread on an ecru fabric, just to hide any bobbles, now I wish I'd chosen a thread with a little more contrast  Just breathe, that's my quilting secret. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Tree Decorating

The tree decorating has begun.  Maybe 5 ornaments are on it.  This is one of my favorites.  Mama Bearinger from 1993.  Yes, I do love Hallmark ornaments and yes, I do store them in their boxes.  I know, don't say it.

One of my goals from last year was to not drag down that over-sized tote of ornaments, so I'll be bringing down a few at a time.  That tote is just too bulky and too heavy.

Work day today.  I got on the interstate and realized that I'd forgotten my phone and wallet at home.  It was fine, I needed neither.  Usually I'm not so careless with these things but I had several other items that I needed to take out the door.  I did remember all of those.

I have more things on my to-do list than I can hope to do today.  I always think I'll have plenty of post-work energy and that doesn't happen.

Friday, November 30, 2018

European Robin

Thanks to Winnie and Sarah for this little light-up robin picture from the North Carolina Arboretum gift shop.  The clerk said it was a European robin.  I don't know about that, but I know I'm happy to have it.  I'm always drawn to birds in art work, but in real life I do NOT want to be in a room with a bird flying around.

The Newport Aquarium used to have a space with birds, some of which did fly around.  I was always glad when the grands said they wanted to skip it.  In recent times there have been otters in that space, and that's been better.

I need to go to church and take down the November visuals.  Run some other errands.  Groceries would be nice.  So would a hair cut.  Back to the bike shop to order a Christmas gift for Sarah.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Dual Season Week

This week feels like a dual season.  Christmas coming quickly.  But, still November and the last of the fall candle still burning.

And the weather.  Cold this morning with a little snow falling but the promise of 60-degree temperatures on the weekend.  There may yet be a chance for me to plant those bulbs and do some clearing up.

I am a bit-by-bit person, so I'm Christmas decorating a bit at a time.  Tucked away the Thanksgiving decorations yesterday.

Has anyone else seen those retro candles in the catalogs?  Molded Santas, angels, trees, etc?  I used to love those - we saved them carefully from year to year, maybe adding a new one.  Who knew that the nostalgic re-dos would be so price-y. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Blue Skies

Winnie and I on Friday at Grove Park Inn in Asheville, trying out Highlands Brewing Hansel and Gret Ale.  Notice the architecture and the gorgeous blue sky.  Nearby a wedding was about to take place, the bride had beautiful weather for an outdoor late November wedding.

And on Sunday, here's Sarah sitting outside at New Belgium Brewery.  There were kids on skateboards and running around having a great time.  Blue sky once again.

By the time we went to Winter Lights on Monday night, we were bundled up, but the light display was well worth a little cold.

When I drove home today, there were light snow flurries most of the way.  When I got home, there as snow covering the grass.  No blue skies.  But I am grateful for an uneventful trip.

Coming and going I stopped at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.  I love to look at the art, and the bathroom has fresh flowers, but really, I always stop for the corn pudding.  On the way down there were mashed potatoes and gravy and sweet potatoes as well and today fingerling potatoes and carrots.  Nice corn bread.  I have one potato left to slice for breakfast tomorrow.  It looks like a Yukon gold, nicely roasted.  Of course they have meat too, but for me it's all about the veggies.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Small Dog

Today is my last North Carolina day and I am doing some homework with this tiny rescue dog companion.  I do not take her companionship lightly because it's hard for her to trust.  Especially with men.  I think she had a hard time in a previous life.  This life is pampered.

Tonight we're going to Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum.  I have my heavy coat ready for outside walking.  Yesterday was a warm and sunny day.  We sat outside at New Belgium Brewing and watched the river flow by.

We also went to Sierra Nevada Brewery, an amazing place.  Huge with lots of seating places and outside gardens.  I've heard that they are good neighbors to the small local brewers. 

And the day before, a trip to Grove Park Inn to see the gingerbread houses.  And the people dressed up for an outside wedding.  It's a wonderful place - maybe a picture tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Stack of Baby Quilts

A stack of baby quilts from our meeting on Monday.  I think we had nine.    

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  There is much to be thankful for.

I am packing.  I always dream of being that person who has the car loaded the night before but it never happens.  Of course, I did have a church meeting last night and a last-minute sewing job for a customer who needed something for Thanksgiving, so I need to be easy with myself

Sunday, November 18, 2018


Nora and I are hanging out this weekend while the rest of the family is gone.  She is an easy hanger-outer.  A friend staying overnight Friday night.  Mall shopping with me on Saturday.  Skating on Saturday night.  I introduced her to the joy of the hot bar at Whole Foods.

Here she is practicing her trombone, which she hasn't played much since learning the bassoon.  She is thinking ahead to marching band next fall when she'll need to return to the trombone.

In a bit we will be going to my house for awhile so I can finish a sewing job that I need for tomorrow.  No baby quilt to take to tomorrow's baby quilt group.  I have even had one sandwiched for the past month but haven't worked on it.

While I'm home, if the sun is shining and the temperature rising, I need to bring in the garden hose and shut off the water from the inside.  Last year I forgot to shut off the water.  Oops.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Some Say in Ice

My back yard this morning.  Usually there are tall ornamental grasses but this morning they are covered in ice and drooping.

They remind me of this favorite Robert Frost poem:

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

I learned this morning that a former boss is in her last hours of her life.  She changed my life in huge and positive ways and I wish her a peaceful last journey.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Red Table

This red formica kitchen table was one of the few pieces of furniture still in my house when I first visited it.  My daughter Sarah loved it, so I put it in the purchase agreement, doubting that the heirs would want to part with it.  But they did, or were anxious for a sale.

The table lived in Asheville for eleven years and just came back to me.  It originally had two chairs, but those had seen better days over the years.

It is in my bedroom for now, and I am enjoying having a bedside table large enough to actually put things on.  My bedroom is located over the furnace and is the warmest room in the house, and I can picture bringing in a chair and doing some handwork during winter evenings.  We'll see.

Remember that picture from the Nature Center last week, when the temperature was in the 60's?  Today the high will be in the 30's.  It's hard for my body to adjust to these temperature changes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

What To Do?

Under the newly-placed Christmas quilt, that belonged to Winnie's mother,  is a slightly baggy burgundy slip cover.  And under that is a beige floral sofa bed from fifteen years ago.  That floral is not a good look, even I know that.

But, what to do?  I know nothing about picking out a sofa these days.  Previously, it was easier.  I just went to the small local furniture store and picked one out.  It always looked nice and ok, if not wonderful.  

I find furniture placement in my Cape Cod living room to be awkward at best.  Sometimes I look through pictures of neighborhood houses for sale to see how those living rooms look, but they are no better than mine.

And where do I find a small local furniture store?  There is one near by but it's out of my price range.  And I still don't know what would look good.  

For the holidays, I'm happy with this quilt arrangement.  For the summer, I got a white bed cover, which will look nice on a bed but won't appear on the sofa again.

I also need a mattress, maybe I'll just get that and forget the sofa.  But goodness, mattresses are even more confusing.

Does anyone have words of wisdom? 

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Tree and the Cat

When Sarah was here this weekend, she helped me put together my new tree and she very nicely put on the lights.  She said I won't like her when I take them off, but she is wrong!

Sarah got a late start back because of a visiting cat.  The grands adored that cat, who just showed up on the porch, plump and friendly, on Saturday night.  The cat soon had a box house with towels and all the petting a cat could wish for.

Today Sarah took it to a local vet, who said the cat was chipped but he wasn't able to read the chip.  The animal shelter had better luck and Sarah met the owner's ex girlfriend   Apparently the couple adopted the cat together but are no longer a couple and the boyfriend got custody of the cat, which was registered to the woman. The boyfriend's dad died a few days ago and the boyfriend has just been in and out and hadn't been able to stay to let the cat back in.  It really was the friendliest cat ever.

And, good news, I had my car detailed and it is amazing.  And I can check off one of my goals for the year. 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Family Visit

Sarah's car arrived from North Carolina at 1 a.m. Saturday morning for a weekend visit.  

Here we are at Fifty West having lunch yesterday.  A restaurant meal with my family is one of life's nice pleasures for me.  

Aaron worried a bit as he always does at a new place since he's always hungry and what if he doesn't like the food.  His plain cheeseburger with fries was just fine.

This morning my house is full of sleeping folks.  I went to bed early and missed the game of Clue that started late.  An overnight visit with Aunt Sarah is tradition.  

A cat came out of nowhere and got lots of petting on the front porch.  Life will be less complicated if it's gone this morning.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Come Wednesday (On Thursday)

If I didn't post these powerful words two years ago, I should have.  But now, two years later, they still resonate just as powerfully.  

By the way, just saying, Hasan has a great book:  Written Off:  How One Man's Journey Through Poverty, Disability and Delinquency is Transforming the Juvenile Justice System. 
By A. Hasan Davis
Come Wednesday
I will kiss my partner good morning, 
turn on the hallway lights
then wake my kids for school.
Come Wednesday
I will return to my unfinished Tuesday work
on behalf of all children and families in America.

Come Wednesday
My America will not fall into chaos,
even if my candidate did not win the seats of power
Come Wednesday
I will accept the election of new leaders
As a statement from those who chose to be heard.
But, I will not accept their election as a raging scream
Powerful enough to drown out the voices and rights of all the “other” Americans
Because my America is greater than
The rhetoric of fear that has spewed
Uncorked from all orifice of this political machine.
And my American is stronger than
The identity politics that seek every nook and cranny
Of human difference, hoping to widen the gaps within U.S.
Come Wednesday
I will choose to walk another mile with people
Who do not look like me.
Come Wednesday
I will choose to discuss our future potential with people
Who do not talk like me
Come Wednesday
I will choose to offer an affirming hug or strong supporting hand
To anyone who may have need of them,
Even if they had never imagined we could stand taller together
Come Wednesday
I will still be an American who grew up in the South
Come Wednesday
I will still be an American of African descent
Come Wednesday
I will still be a proud American who has:
Meditated with Buddha,
Fasted with Allah,
Lit candles with Yahweh, and
Prayed with God
And not one time felt
an imposter,
or betrayer,
or fool.
Come Wednesday
I guess I will keep my own promise of
Making America Greater,
Just like I have done at the break of every other new day
I have been blessed to meet.
Come Wednesday
I hope you will join me
On this long, worn road
Towards tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

That Day in November

Yesterday was a day off school for the grands, since their schools are polling places.  They had morning dentist appointments, then we went to lunch at The Gruff.  Nora's soup of the day was chicken dumpling, which she loved.  (Thought of you, Joanne.)

After a visit at my house, we headed out to the Cincinnati Nature Center.  Every year I look forward to that day in early November when the temperature is in the 60's, a last farewell to summer.  There were still many leaves on the trees, there was blue sky.  Perfect.  We stayed just long enough, then headed back toward their house since Aaron had basketball practice.  The Nature Center is about a mile from the baseball/softball complex where they play and it was fun to take one more pass and look at the empty fields.

I am relieved that yesterday's voting is pretty much past.  More votes to count in Georgia.  I am reminded of listening to the speakers before the Women's March in Cincinnati, two years ago.  The speakers were urging women to run for office, and it looks like all across the country women took that message to heart.

Maybe even someone in the crowd that day - for the first time, an African American woman was elected to the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners.  (Cincinnati is in Hamilton County.)  She had $12, 562 and her opponent had $389,987. 

It looks as if a legacy of this president will be more women in elected office.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


It's the kind of place you don't really notice until you need it.  Between Sweet Frog, the yogurt place, and Jungle Jim's, the big international grocery store.  I was so happy to be able to take Nora to get the shattered screen on her phone replaced and a new home button put on and make her world right again.  I felt like such a grandmother.

The story is that she zipped her phone into her fleece when she was bike riding and the zipper slowly came unzipped and the phone flew out.  Both grands are really reluctant to take me up on any offers to spend money on them, but she quickly agreed to this.  An hour later, after a stop across the street to the mall for a pretzel and dash into the music store, and the phone was fixed.  A friendly technician.  I recommend this place.

It must have rained a lot during the night, but I didn't hear it.  Lots of oak leaves down from my neighbor's tree.  It's supposed to get cooler throughout the day.

Election day, finally.  Go vote, please.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Tough Loss

Hard football game on Saturday evening.  14 - 8 playoff loss.

His mom said it best: 

The disappointment in his face breaks my Heart! It was a tough loss and it could have ended either way. But I can honestly say he left it all on the field last night. So proud of him. Last year he played no defense. It was his heart’s desire to play D so he spent many many hours at the gym and practicing at home. Hard work paid off and he ended the season starting at middle linebacker. He made mistakes along the way like everyone else but I can honestly say he helped his team every game. You can’t ask for more than that from a kid.

Way to go buddy and way to go jr wolves!!!

Kids are resilient, though.  Now it's on to basketball.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Pies, Filled

The pies were baked and, mostly, eaten.  Turns out that pies are more popular than cake, at least at my church.  Understandable, I would choose pie over cake any time.  And, I want to make more of them. I had a nice compliment, one of my friends said she was picky about her pie crusts but mine was thumbs up.

Thumbs up to me means not using a refrigerated pie crust and manipulating the crust as little as possible.  Using ice water and not adding more than necessary but not worrying too much about that.

One of my church friends has a deli and he provided three soups for Friday night - broccoli cheddar, vegetable, and ginger carrot.  I was surprised that the younger kids didn't go for just the vegetable.  Their parents have done a good job introducing them to other tastes.

Nora will try any soup of the day at The Gruff, and she's liked them all except the seafood chowder.  But given a choice, she will pick chicken noodle almost every time.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Pie Crusts

When had I last made pie crusts?  A year ago?  Two?  Five?  On those rare occasions when I bake pie - not a current family favorite - it's so tempting to grab one of those ready-made crusts from the grocery case.

But this time I bought Crisco, there was none in my cupboard and hadn't been in forever.  Luckily, I'd made enough pie crusts in earlier times and the memory was still there.  And it's easy, you all.  If you haven't made one recently, give it a try.

My rolling pin, a lovely metal one with ball bearings, came from S&H green stamps that my mother in law gave me forty plus years ago.  Prior to that rolling pin, I'd made do with a Coke bottle.

It was well known in family lore that the Habeggers loved pie.  My dad would eat it for breakfast, after his eggs, if there was any available.  Raisin pie was his favorite.  My mother made great pies, often double-crusted with a cut-out in the middle.

There is a pumpkin pie in the oven now, to be followed by pecan and an apple pie that has a granola topping.  I think it will be a good morning.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Day After

This is the Trick or Treat bowl, before the Trick or Treating started.  Two hours later, it looked just the same, except for missing one peanut butter cup that I nibbled the chocolate from.  My neighbor across the street got five kids, but I guess the steps leading to my front door discouraged them.

I saw my next door neighbor at the Kroger where he works yesterday.  He said he bought Halloween candy for the first time this year.  He has steps too.  Probably no visitors.

It did rain, but not a hard rain.  I saw lots of facebook pictures of kids having a good time.

Other than filling the candy bowl, I have been baking.  We have a church retreat this weekend and I volunteered to bring desserts for the Saturday meal.  So far, I have apple oatmeal cookies, chocolate cupcakes, and a pumpkin bundt cake.  A huge amount of homemade applesauce.  Today I'll bake pies.  My freezer is happy.

I rarely bake, although I enjoy it, and just finding everything in the store was an adventure.  Who knew, for example, that the chocolate chips and baking soda would be in a different aisle that the sugar, flour, and cake mixes.  I had recently been looking, but not too hard, for yeast, and finally found that too. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Townhouse Quilt

The first two blocks of the Anita Goodesign Townhouse Quilt.  As the quilt builds, there will be blocks of color and lots of buildings.  I wish I had purchased some black prewound bobbins for this project, but I didn't.  I am kind of spoiled.  I can wind bobbins.

Here we are, on Halloween.  In a couple of hours, the rain is supposed to start, heading to a 90% chance of rain by Trick or Treat time.  And yet, there is something in me that wants to get one more bag of candy, because maybe this will be the year that lots of kids come.  Actually, I will probably do that, even though I might have twelve kids on a good night.

It is dark in the mornings now.  Next week, will it be darker still?  I have trouble with the concept of fall back and what that means.  Seven this week will look like six next week, so I guess it will be lighter.  I think.

And next week, the midterm elections.  I'm dreading the ugliness to come.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Hat Revisited

It was a cold and drizzly evening for the first playoff game.  The guys showed up with their hats.  And they won, so they will play again next week.

I missed the game because of a previously scheduled church dinner.  I had hoped that the game would be earlier, but it was not to be.

No one but the hosts knew who would be coming - different families were told to go to different houses.  A neat idea.

Here's hoping that the weather will be prettier next Saturday.

Saturday, October 27, 2018


This week I embroidered numbers on hats for Aaron's football team.  Their playoffs are today and last night my daughter and the team mom delivered a bag with a hat, wolf cookie, and candy to each player's doorstep.

The hats were easy enough.  Use a font in the embroidery machine.  Hoop the stabilizer, spray on some basting spray, position the hat, embroider.  I used black thread in the bobbin so the numbers would look good even if there was a tension mishap.

I enjoy that kind of project, knowing that the guys would be happy to find a surprise on the day of a big game in the life of a ten-year-old.  Or eleven-year-old.

Other projects for the week:  running a seam in the top of curtains so there would be a header above the rod pocket.  I put a piece of blue masking tape on my machine and used that as a seam guide.

And, fixing a blouse so that the back would be even with the front, not longer.

And, making a pair of sweat pants two inches shorter.

Working Monday and Tuesday at a big sewing event and seeing so many of my friends.

That's been my week.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Felt Stocking

Did anyone else used to get felt and sequin kits and make stockings and other Christmas things?

It had been ages since I'd done that, but I was digging in my post-Christmas sale purchases for my neighbor, who is on her fourth stocking of the past few weeks.  She made her first two then was having trouble finding kits in the stores.  She finally called the Bucilla company to ask for a catalog and was told that there had been a fire at their facility and they were behind this year.

She took two of my kits and I am happy that my stash is now lighter.  What was I thinking?  But her enthusiasm was contageous and I started one of my own.  Definitely not my usual thing but I'm finding enjoyment in doing just a bit each day and watching it all add up.

There used to be calendars too, remember that?  For several years I'd make one for my grandmother every year.  She was definitely into simple living, not many sparkles for her, but she did seem to enjoy those calendars.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Football Afternoon

Football afternoon.  Windy.  Team gathering after the game.   Note the little oak leaf in front of the track.  The sky.

Every time I watch Aaron play, I think of my dad and how much he would have enjoyed watching Aaron play.  

My dad used to go to local high school and college games in the years after my mom died.  He didn't know any of the players, probably, but he loved the game.  He often spoke of his own high school football days.

And yes, he would have enjoyed watching Nora play during her one season two years ago.  He adored his granddaughters and would have adored both his great grand kids.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Day Drinking

I was on my way to Nora's second softball game of the day when I got the news that it was cancelled.  That left a three-hour gap between her game and Aaron's football game.

So, my daughter and I went to Fifty West for a flight of beer and some nice carb appetizers.  Day drinking is so rare for me, and this was so enjoyable.  Of course I did get a headache sitting in the hot sun later, but it was so worth it.

It was a nice kid weekend.  Last night I got to see Nora's eighth grade band play with the high school band at a football game.  It was a hot night, and there was lightning, so there were recurring delays, but the band had already performed.  And today, Aaron's football game with him playing a different defensive position.  

Then there was a trip to Joann with a $20 gift card.  I spent $19.95.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Opposite Kind of Bowl

The opposite kind of bowl from the one we looked at the other day.  Lives on the same kitchen window sill.  Made in China, and there are probably 500,000 in this world just like it.  I think I bought it on sale at Kroger.

Holds two wing nuts from who-know-what and two beads from who-knows where.  And, usually, the little bar of soap with the bird.  The soap is made of lovely natural ingredients.

Even though it's so different from the Mark Nofziger bowl, I enjoy it too.  Except for those beads, their time is over.  And those wing nuts can live somewhere else.  I think I'll start a little bag of mysterious things.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Tiny Mark Nafziger Bowl

Tiny Mark Nafziger bowl, about 3" in diameter.  Purchased at a Mennonite Arts Weekend.  With a lonely Lego.  Because some day someone might say, "There is a green piece missing."

It lives on my kitchen window sill and I am happy whenever I see it.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Soccer Game

Waiting for the FC Cincinnati soccer game to start.  The stands were pretty full by the time the game started.  

I took my grandgirl and her friend so they could get credit for their Spanish class.  I was a bit nervous about finding parking and getting to our seats on the big campus, but it was easy.  (They play at University of Cincinnati this year.)  Although none of us knew the finer points about the game, we all had a good time.  We especially enjoyed the student section below the scoreboard.

The thing is, I don't do enough of this kind of thing, going out in the evening for something different or fun.  Or going out in the evening much at all.  And that kind of being will make me old quickly.  Something to work on.

I was reading this weekend about an exercise where women were asked what they would do in the evening if men had a 9:00 curfew.  The most common answer by far was taking a walk, just that simple thing. Men apparently were surprised at the results of the exercise, they don't give a thought to going out in the evening for a walk if they want to.  No concerns about safety for them or even realization that there would be concerns for women.  So interesting. 

Friday, September 28, 2018

Baby Blanket

Ziggy Lamb by Shannon Fabrics

This baby blanket came in a kit with pieces of fabric and a picture of the lamb to trace.  Pink Minky fabric with dots for the backing.  The top background was in two pieces, the solid pink and the chevron fabric to cut and applique.

One of my friends makes the most wonderful baby things with Minke and fleece but I'd never really tried.  The directions warned about paying attention to the fabric nap, which made me a little apprehensive but, really, it was easy to figure out.  A walking foot is pretty essential to keep things from slipping.  I took out my bobbin case at the end of the project, and sure enough, there was a LOT of stuff underneath.

The only thing I'd change is putting on a cotton binding, I wasn't a fan of trying to bind with fleece.  I think my friend uses a pillowcase finish with top stitching, but I do love a binding.  Oh, and I'd probably make the name larger.  

The blanket is ever so cuddly.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Welcome Flowers

Flowers from my second Jeanine Babich Welcome Banner, shown below.

Instead of piecing little black and white squares, I used a patterned black and white fabric, which made the start of the banner much faster.  I accidentally made a few extra flowers, and that was nice too.

I have been checking the news from time to time for the Christine Blasey Ford testimony.  I am sad, there can be no good outcome that I can see today.  But, how I admire her courage.  I don't have that kind of courage, I know that.  I have courage in other ways, but not courage to answer questions for four hours before a national audience or courage to tell my story before senators with a president ready to tweet.

I hope, contrary to what I have heard, that every senator is watching today with an open mind, listening to both sides of the story and hearing the words.  Watching the faces.  Paying attention.