Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Last Light

Last light of 2019.  Picture courtesy of Sarah, taken from her yard.

And so, Happy New Year, everyone.  

I had planned a quiet night in, and will have that, but first I'll do a Kroger pick-up.  I'm out of many things, and the pick-up fee is waived until the end of 2019, and that's now.  I got the last 7 pm - 8 pm spot.

In my order will be veggie hot dogs, whole wheat buns, and slaw.  Somehow, that just sounds good.  Not on the DASH diet, and maybe that's the point.  Celebration food.

Monday, December 30, 2019

A Little Buddy

Ah, last week.  A small buddy laying beside me.  Begging to be petted, it seems, but not really.  Petting is not encouraged and may result in a snarl or a nip.  She wants her own terms.

And now Monday and its own kind of quiet.  I'm trying to get off the couch, get back to 250 steps every hour at the least.  I miss my fitbit and its reminders.  Not to mention its phone alerts and texts.

Later today, a trip to the library.  I'd love something really good to read.  I had two possibilities left from my last trip, but neither was worth a full read.  Back they go.  I am in awe of President Obama's favorites on his reading list.

There is a house down the street, purchased by a contracting company several years ago,  For the past five years, at least, renovation work has been ongoing.  A little work, a long time off, a little more work.  It looks like they are using things left over from jobs or from the discount building supply.  This week they are putting a shiny copper roof on the front.  This is not a copper roof kind of neighborhood.  My hope is that they will somehow tie everything together in the end, that there is some kind of master plan that has eluded me so far.

Sunday, December 29, 2019


After the white car packed with dogs and other things that come with a visit from Winnie and Sarah went up the hill, I went out and got my hair cut.  Because, as usual, the house was way too quiet  when they leave.  

It was a pleasure to get my hair washed, I've pretty much just been throwing water and shampoo at it.  And the hair cut - I would have guessed that I last had it cut in October but the stylist said it was July 1.

It was a wonderful Christmas and it went by far too quickly, as it always does.  There were good meals, a few outings, a little after-Christmas shopping.  What I'll do again - Hallmark gift cards for day-after-Christmas shopping.  Those seemed especially appreciated.

Now I am back in my bedroom.  It's the larger bedroom on the main floor and quickly fills up with dog beds and other things.  One of my favorites is a dog co-sleeper, purchased for the smallest dog but loved by the middle-sized one, who is also small.  It puts the dog at bed level.  Who knew?

One of the best Christmas gifts was the weather, warm for December, high's usually in the upper 50's.  I can remember numerous snowy icy holidays and this was a treat.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Short Blue Cast

The splint has been replaced for a short blue cast.  My elbow is free and the big wad on my palm is now replaced by a flatter one.  

Despite all that happy stuff, I spent time awake during the night, trying to get comfortable.  I'm sure that will get better as I maneuver muscles that had been held rigid.  I can tell a big difference from yesterday to today.

There are two best things with the cast.  One, I can use the keyboard with both hands easily.  I journal Morning Pages on the computer and it was just too much effort to do too much "talking to myself."  I've missed it.

And, oh joy, my coat fits over the cast.  It wouldn't go over the splint.  I avoided going outside because if was just too cold.  I still can't get on a long sleeve tee or a fleece, but I'm sure that a trip to TJ will turn up something.  Maybe a men's fleece without elastic at the wrist.

And so, today.  Journaling.  Getting out wrapping paper and doing some wrapping - I can do that now, I'm sure.  A trip out to order some baked goods and do a few other errands.

And celebrating the solstice.  I can't forget that.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Christmas Stars

Now hanging in my dining room and making me happy.  I had such a good time, back when, finding the Christmas fabrics.  Using my new computerized sewing machine.  And because I didn't know it couldn't be done, I quilted it with metallic thread. 

One reason that quilt is making me happy is because I did some of the piecing and all of the quilting with a cast on my broken wrist, same one that's broken now.  Lots of pulling and twisting, good therapy.  I didn't need additional therapy afterwards. 

There's a dusting of snow again this morning.  Streets seem ok.  My neighbor brought in my trash cans, early.  Usually I'm the one up first.

I have a box of really good ready-to-bake cookies in mt freezer, so, maybe . . . I could call them Christmas cookies.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

North Pole

This was an after-Christmas purchase last year.  About 3 1/2" in diameter.  It has been on my desk all year but now in honor of the season I turn on the flashing lights from time to time.

I just dragged in a huge box from my front porch, a gift I ordered.  I never could have finagled it into the shopping cart and my car.  So, thanks, Fed Ex and Amazon.  I'm very excited about this particular gift, although it's practical as can be.  Hint:  the brand is simplehuman.

More votives to light at church tomorrow.  I love this time of year.

This week I read that sunset is actually a little later each day now.  But sunrise is later yet each day so the total amount of daylight continues to be less until the winter solstice, December 21.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Post Concert

This picture of Nora was after her symphonic band concert last night. I cropped out her fellow bassoon player since I didn't ask permission to post a picture of someone else's kid, but you can see that she is a happy girl.  I missed this concert but her mom posted an awesome video of the Christmas selection.

The furnace guys were here most of the day installing a new furnace.  Very electronic.  I will be able to control the thermostat by my phone, should I decide to do that.  The new furnace is so quiet.

On the wrist saga, the swelling continues to go down.  I can use both hands on the keyboard now for limited periods.  I haven't tried sewing yet.  Soon.


Thursday, December 12, 2019

December 12

So, the  broken wrist.  I met with the surgeon and decided against surgery.  I will have a bump on the wrist but I can live with that.  Casting will be longer but I can live with that too.  The cast will not be over the elbow like the splint I have now.  Flexibility should still be good.  Pain could go on longer but I have almost none anyway.

I'll get the cast December 20.  By then the swelling should be gone.  My wrinkles are reappearing daily.

In the Merry Christmas to me category, I am getting a new furnace tomorrow.  It wasn't on my list.  It wasn't expected.  Still, I am grateful for a warm house.

I am also grateful for warmer weather today.  My splint doesn't allow for a coat or even a long-sleeved shirt.  So, I put mt coat over the other arm and then sling it over my shoulder.  Try to not stay outside any longer than necessary.  Appreciate the heated seats in the car.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Jingle Bells

Aaron and his mom after the sixth grade band concert.  I love after-concert pictures.  I missed the concert but have a video of Jingle Bells.  Amazingly well done.  Band teachers are miracle workers.

I got up this morning and did the three things most on mt mind.  Bath, hair washing, dish washing.  Maybe not well, but I feel better.  The splint has to stay dry.  I have other things I'll do today but those were the first things.

Two packages with Christmas orders came yesterday.  I'm glad I didn't procrastinate with shopping.  Nora.s birthday is next week, too.  We did some birthday shopping earlier but I'm hoping one more thing comes in time.  And Aaron's un-birthday gift.  I like to give a small un-birthday gift to the one who isn't having a birthday.  Something easily done when there are only two grands, and something that makes this grandmother happy.  

Friday, December 6, 2019

My View

My view looking down - pajama pants and a splint.  

I fell on some ice on Wednesday.  It looked like water, and it was, but there was ice under it,  I broke my wrist. 

For now, I wait for the swelling to go down.  The ortho doctor said he was on the fence between casting and surgery.  He wants the surgeon to make that call and I see him on Monday.  The doctor said that if I weren't active and wanting to sew and quilt they would just cast.  And so, we'll see.

In the meantime, I am reminded of what my grand guy and I used to say, "There's always another way'"  Or, a slower way.  The splint goes over the elbow.  Very luckily, though, I'm right-handed and this is my left wrist.  It could be so much worse.  I can do most things, just differently.  And slower.  And I slept pretty well last night.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Fly Away

Time for this witch to fly out of my kitchen and be replaced by something more seasonably appropriate.

I finally figured out how to rescan the channels on my tv and I can get the local and educational channels plus others.  I feel like a real person again.  I hope that moving the channel frequencies doesn't happen again any time soon.

What I learned:  buying three Kings Island passes with names and addresses other than my own triggers the fraud alert from the credit card company.  All is well again.

Really, I can't imagine not being able to do online shopping, going from store to store and hoping they might have what I'm looking for.  I don't have that kind of focus and stamina.  I am just not a shopper in any season. 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Advent Worship

Yesterday I hung my Worship Advent banner and was so dismayed.  It did not say what I wanted it to say, at all.  I remembered how much I had liked the sparkly blue tulle but it looked bare.  And the lighted starts I had put behind it - they were so, so crazy bright.  Ok, so maybe I shouldn't have waited until the day before to hang it.  I finally decided that good enough was good enough and went on my way.

But then, fussing on it later in the evening, I realized that I must have hung blue fabric under the blue tulle last time.  Duh.  And so I was at Joann Fabrics when they opened at 9:00 this morning.  It was still black Friday weekend and the fabric I wanted was 70% off - score!.  I pinned that blue fabric behind the sparkly tulle and it was instantly better.  And, except for the ones hanging outside, the stars were much more dim.

And then, I decided to take a different turn and have no lights on this first Advent Sunday.  Next Sunday, I'll light them and the ones on the sides will shine, the others dim behind the fabric.  Then each Sunday I'll pull out a few more.  Not the story I was originally going for, but it will be nice.

My gluten free, nut free bread for communion was very crumbly.  But, it worked.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Table Runner

Table runner for church communion table, at least for this Advent.  Made with leftovers from a baby quilt, with donated fabric.

It was a great Thanksgiving.  The rescue turkey was declared very good.  Roasted from frozen in three hours.  I wonder whether that is a grocery staple or whether it just shows up at Thanksgiving.

There were all the usual good things.  My plate was full, and I brought home mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes.  For whatever reason, I want mashed potatoes and gravy these days.  Comfort food, I guess.

I also brought home my cranberry relish and froze it  I am the only one who likes it, apparently, the others like the cranberry sauce in the can.  With rings.  Maybe I need to rethink making it.  At any rate, I have lots for Christmas.

I loved watching football on Steph's tv.  Mine are smaller, and I am having a moment.  Or a month.  It is necessary to rescan the tv channels if you don't have cable, which I don't.  I've heard it's to make more room for broadband, which doesn't make sense to me.  I was able to do it on my bedroom smart tv, but the living room tv is still a puzzle.  I'm getting closer, though.  Once I master that, the little tv in the studio should be easy, since it's a smaller version.  

You might get the idea that I don't watch much tv, and that would be correct.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

It turns out that when there is an epic turkey failure, to not be spoken of again, there is still hope in the grocery store.  Who knew?

Wishing everyone the Thanksgiving Day their heart needs.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

More Bread

Once the jar of yeast was open yesterday, I decided to go ahead and make oatmeal bread from the More With Less cookbook.  I didn't have the quick oats the recipe called for, so I used steel cut oats.

What I learned:  there is a reason why the recipe calls for quick oats.  The loaves with steel cut oats are dense, crunchy, for some reason less sweet.  The slices really need butter to taste nice, and I'm not usually a butter eater.  I used the same amount of butter in the recipe as I always do - two tablespoons for two loaves.

I think that if I didn't have the memory of how the oatmeal bread usually tastes I'd be happy with these new loaves.  So, I've frozen one for the Christmas holidays and I think everyone will be happy.

Soon to be, thinking of happy, homemade applesauce.  The grands love it.  One container for tomorrow, one for Christmas.  My small chest freezer has been very bare - now it will start to have some good things.

The wind has begun to pick up - it's supposed to be a very breezy day.  Hopefully, the oak leaves will blow off my neighbor's huge tree.  Next week the Gutter Boys are coming to clean my gutters and I'd like the leaves to have fallen by then.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Gluten Free Bread

My first try at gluten-free bread, to be used for communion on Sunday.  We have folks who need to stay away from gluten and nuts, and we want to everyone to be able to share.

The websites I visited were right.  The dough is sticky, really sticky.  The bread doesn't rise as much as bread with regular flour.  I used a thermometer at the end because apparently if the inside doesn't reach 200 degrees the loaf may fall.  It didn't.

For a smile:  the recipe suggested ginger ale as the liquid, so I used Ale 8 One, which is a Kentucky-made ginger ale and loved by Kentuckians.  I knew that when Sarah comes for Christmas she will be happy to see Ale 8 One in the refrigerator.

It had been a long time since I'd baked, months, really.  But having revisited my jar of yeast, I went ahead and made two oatmeal loaves, after the gluten free loaf was safely tucked away in the freezer.  There may be another picture tomorrow.

I didn't have quick oats, so I substituted steel cut oats.  We'll see how that works out.  And then I realized that I'd used most of my flour for the bread, so I'll need to get more tomorrow for pumpkin bars.  I'm thinking a trip to Family Dollar - no grocery store on the day before Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Putting Up the Tree

On a weekend when Aaron had an out-of-town football tournament, Nora helped me decorate my tree.  We got almost finished,  That girl loves to decorate.  We went to the store and got a small tree for her room and she put that up too.

We debated about whether Aaron would want a tree and decided to wait.  He said he would look at hers and let me know.  In two days, his team played four games and outscored the opponents 144 - 0.  Not his usual team.  This coach has an appreciation for the kids who play on the line, and I admire that.

Baby Quilt Group this morning.  Last month I couldn't go, working, and it will be good to see everyone.  Have a nice lunch.  You would think that I'd have two quilts to take since I missed last month but I only have one.  

The tee shirt quilt has taken most of my quilting time.  Just the binding to put on now.  On the quilter, I've oiled the bobbin case and put in a new needle.  I'd like to get back to doing some more fancy free motion instead of the meander that I used for the tee shirt quilt.  It's a funny thing, if I don't do it for awhile, it takes some studying and practicing to get back into it. 

Monday, November 11, 2019

# 89

Aaron has football tournaments for next two weekends, and the weather is no longer balmy.  Steph got him this Cincinnati Bearcat hat and I embroidered his number to help keep him warm coming and going.  An easy project.  Cutaway stabilizer and Clear and Melt on top when embroidering to keep the design from burying into the knit.

Yesterday was a busy day.  I read scripture in church, figuring on reading a short Psalm, but when I got there I saw that no one was scheduled for a long Hosea passage.  I read that too, but not well.  I like to practice ahead of time, I'm not a great impromptu reader.  It could have been worse, though.

Rain today, and we may see snow this evening.  I'll try to get my leaves swept out of the driveway and sidewalks.  Leaves and snow don't mix, according to me.

Half the blocks on the tee shirt quilt are quilted.  Half!  I'll take a time out on that today while I add some tee shirt motifs to the borders of the back.  

Time to put the Halloween decorations away.  I may have a few Thanksgiving things, we'll see.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Tee Shirt Quilting

The tee shirt quilt I'm working on has been on the living floor for three days while the what-ifs swirled around it.

It's two-sided, meaning that there are tee shirt blocks front and back.  And the biggest what-if was "what if I can't line it up right so the blocks on the back are right on top of the blocks on the front."  I think it worked out pretty well.  I put the top on the batting and stitched in the ditch.  Then I used those lines to pin on the back.  I stabilized that with swirled lines so that it wouldn't show on the front if the stabilizing was slightly off.

And now I can quilt, which is the part I enjoy and look forward to.  Another what-if was "what if the quilter doesn't like to quilt through two thicknesses of screen printing."  So far all is well.  Shout out to my Viking Platinum 16, which is made by Handi-Quilter.

Plus, I wanted one thread color on top and another on the bottom.  "What if the tension isn't perfect and little bits of color show through, especially on the curves?"  Hasn't happened.

I have no idea how long the quilting will take.  It's the kind of thing that I can pick up and put down.  Really, it works better for me that way.  It gives my shoulders a chance to relax.

You might wonder if a two-sided tee shirt quilt might be heavy and you'd be right.  But this customer wanted as many tee shirts as possible and it's for memory, not for use.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

New Governor

We will have a new governor in Kentucky.  Probably.  Maybe.  The race was so close and the current Republican governor is not conceding.  And so, it will continue to play out, for not too long, I hope.  In the past week, Trump, Pence, and Ben Carson all came to campaign.  They really wanted this one.

I have read that Kentucky is the Trumpiest state.  The president carried the state by 30 points during his election.  The governor was very unpopular, however.  I don't think a single teacher voted for him.  

My county, which I consider quite red, voted for the new governor.  I am looking at my neighbors a little differently this morning, feeling a little less alone.  If nothing else, this election shows once again how divided we are, how much work we need to do to move together.

Already I've seen facebook posts urging Kentucky toward the next goal, to Ditch Mitch in 2020.

This election reminds me of the North Carolina governor's race in 2016.  The Democrat won by the narrowest of margins, the Republican governor would not concede, and it took a long time to get it all settled.  I hope for smooth continuity here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


If you have pierced earrings, you're probably familiar with this joy.  An earring, lost for several days, found!

I usually put a little silicone backing on my earrings but once in a while I get in a hurry and don't.  And then occasionally I'm reminded why I do.  You can buy a whole bag of a few hundred backings for a very nominal price.

My Halloween candy is ready.  Two big bags.  Because maybe this will be the year!  I know better, though, plus the night is supposed to be rainy and cold.

In a minute, I'm off to sweep the oak leaves off my sidewalk, to be repeated again and again in the coming weeks.  My neighbor's oak tree is old and huge but the acorns are very small.  The leaves are plentiful, or so it seems.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Fog on the Mountain

On our recent North Carolina trip we planned a visit to see a pretty fall view.  It was not to be, but we did get some spooky Halloween pictures.

Instead of a hike and fall scenes, we had a shopping trip in town, which was fun too.  There were a couple of brewery visits.  Thumbs up to the Sanctuary Ginger Fig beer.  Both traveling days were pleasant weather, with the rain and fog sandwiched in between.

Now I'm home and looking forward to moving forward on some long-term sewing projects.  Sometimes it seems as if my projects involve taking out lots of stitches as well as putting lots in.  This morning my seam ripper had the beginning of that little tell-tale wobble that means it's time for replacement soon.

I just had a call from the gutter cleaning people letting me know it's time to schedule the fall cleaning.  I knew that.  I like to wait until all of oak leaves fall from my neighbor's tall tree before getting on the schedule.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Thursday Late Afternoon

My Thursday late afternoon mall seat, during Nora's bassoon lesson.  Kids come in and out of the store with cases carrying various kinds of musical instruments, I'm picturing several lesson rooms in the back. With mall music in the background, there are sounds of instruments being tried out in the store.  Toward the end of lesson time, I stroll down to the end of the hall to the Aunt Annie's for a container of Niblets and Nora's beverage of choice, strawberry lemonade.

Yesterday Nora agreed to stopping at Panera for take-out of chicken noodle soup, her favorite food, probably.  I'm more of a carb person, so I picked up a whole wheat bagel. 

And then, my favorite part, Nora found on her phone the music she is working with.  Chatted about the coming concert next week.

On Tuesday, I saw the dietician for the final time in the study.  My cholesterol was 168, HDL increased to 48.  And so, I feel motivated at the end of the study and I feel like I have some good new habits.  I'm working still on adding in all those veggies.  Fruits are easy.  Whole grains, those are easy too.

I'm happy with the low fat, low sugar, cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese options that I've discovered.  Low sodium isn't an issue as long as I'm eating at home.  I'm encouraged that even as a vegetarian I can eat healthy and nicely balanced meals.  Meaning for me, fewer grilled cheese sandwiches and cheesy casseroles.  

It's been an amazing experience to be able to work with a dietician one-on-one.  Not to mention, trying out the online grocery shopping.  If you get a chance, try it.  It's so worth the small charge.     

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Be Thankful

Winnie and Sarah bought me this nicely scented pumpkin candle when we were out and about.  And, I watched Winnie "trim the wick" of a used candle by wetting a bit of paper towel and running it up the wick.  The gloppy stuff was gone and the wick was like new again.

Rain this morning, in the darkness, which I wasn't expecting but which we so need.  For that, I am thankful.

The three little visiting dogs were not fans of the neighborhood deer.  Or the raccoon that hissed at them.  They are used to different critters.

Thinking this morning of mindfulness, and of confidence.  Things I am lacking in just now.  Thinking of how to bring them back into my life.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Other Days

And then there are days when the last bite of toast is about gone.  The white car with two loved people and three little dogs went up the hill and life at my house is way too quiet and the visit is over.

The lovely toast was at Baker's Table, which is a wildly popular breakfast/brunch dining spot on Monmouth Street in Newport.  We waited patiently for our table and it was so worth it.  Definitely recommend.

The reason for the visit was to experience Blink!, which is a light projection experience in Cincinnati and Covington.  Sort of an evening festival that goes on for four nights.  I didn't go to all the places that the others did, but I enjoyed what I saw.  One of the bridges was lit up and closed to car traffic and that was a popular and crowded scene.

Yesterday I did little.  Got new library books, washed sheets, ran the dishwasher.  Reset.

Monday, October 14, 2019

There Are Those Days

There are those days when the football falls just the way you want it and you recover a fumble and the aunts get to see you play and your team stays undefeated and your blue eyes are dancing at the end of the game.

And there are days when the bridge, which will be unbelievably crowded after dark during a huge city-wide art event, is already closed but almost empty early in the day and it feels like freedom.

And there are days when school is closed for in-service and there can be mid-day pizza at The Gruff, along with soup and fries with homemade catsup.

Those are the days, my friends, that we need to remember.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Halloween Quilt

New Halloween quilt hanging in the dining room.  It is minus the binding, but I wanted it up before company came, Sarah and Winnie.  I feel pretty confident that no one will say, "That quilt doesn't have a binding."  I can do that after Halloween.

I have a feeling that "after Halloween" will extend into mid-November, when it will be replaced by a Christmas quilt.  Maybe there will be a visit to IKEA before then, a couple of the clip rings need to be replaced.  Maybe I'll look at Target first, that store is much closer.

The gang went to Blink in Cincinnati last night, it's a light show on various buildings.  I stayed home, by that time I was ready for rest, not for walking.  It was a good choice, they said they walked a lot.

My house now has dog beds and little mattresses and even a co-sleeper for the tiniest dog.  It's a happy house.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Baby Quilt Mix

It feels like awhile since I've actually completed something, but here's a baby quilt started at retreat probably last spring.  The green strips in the center came from a bag of Moda scraps from the local quilt store, remember, someone else's scraps are always better.  The little pink blocks are from my own scrap bin.  The strips have free motion quilting, the "solids" at both ends are quilted with the walking foot.

I'm usually drawn toward making baby girl quilts.  That's ok, since others are drawn toward making baby boy quilts.

Finally, last night, gentle rain, most of the night.  Yesterday my daughter and her husband were putting the winter cover on their pool   It's finally a new season.  Aaron told me that he had visited six haunted houses on his visit to Kings Island Saturday night.  Maybe today, I'll get out a few Halloween decorations.

I watched the end of the Bengals game yesterday.  Nothing to celebrate there. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Thirty-nine of Forty

The thirty-ninth block of forty for the tee shirt quilt I'm making.  Just one more.  I'm finding that I like the pieced blocks best.  Each finished block is 12" x 12".  Somehow, I had the same number of blocks fused for the front as the back.  I hadn't counted.

Last night I stopped at my daughter's house and found Aaron swimming in the twilight.  Probably still ninety degrees, on October 1.  The pool water was silky warm.  

I took Nora's now-repaired trombone.  No more dent in the bell or crease where the mouthpiece attaches.  

I'll worry about both grands in the heat this afternoon, Nora at band and Aaron at football.  The high is expected to be 94 at 4:00 p.m.

First Worship Committee meeting at church this evening.  I'm hoping that I can be a good contributor.  I was on that committee once before, but it's been quite a few years.

Monday, September 30, 2019


A trombone oops from Friday's pep band.  You can see the dent between 9;30 and 11:30.  There was a bend further in.

I drove with my daughter to the music store to leave it off for repair.  Hopefully, it will be better soon.  In the meantime, there will be some trombone switching off going on between Nora and Aaron.  

This trombone was purchased in the spring.  It was used, a step-up model for reasons I don't quite understand.  Something about a trigger.  And there was once again a Sunday afternoon trip, this time to someone's house.

Later this week it should be . .. . cooler.  For now, temps continue in the 90's.  Hard to believe.  Fall will be short.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Halloween Piecing

At this week's retreat I took customer projects to work on but chose to spend a block of my time piecing a simple Halloween quilt to hang in my dining room during October.  Using once again the Yellow Brick Road pattern from Joanne.  It will be lap size, so if another year I do a more complicated piecing I can use this one as a throw.

Tomorrow - the autumn solstice.  I have a pair of earrings that I enjoy wearing on the solstice days.  Other days too, of course.  Already the darkness comes so early during the evenings.  Already the vine that twines around my porch railing is starting to get a little woody.

And tomorrow too, will be the first sermon for the new interim pastor at my church.  I have deep hopes that he will have the wisdom for healing.  I have agreed to be on the Worship Committee for the next couple of years and am hoping that I'll find some wisdom too.

On my facebook this morning, a picture of Aaron and his girl friend at Kings Island.  He is in sixth grade, so this isn't a big romance, but they do enjoy doing things together.  Apparently she convinced him to visit a couple of haunted houses at Kings Island, just like she convinced him to ride some of the big coasters earlier in the summer.

Last night I made the best cornbread, actually, I have to admit, more like a yellow cake with corn meal, it's that sweet. 

Saturday, September 14, 2019

The Days Go On

A weekly page from my planner.  Marjolein Basein Nature's Inspiration.

A reminder that the days are moving on and that I have little to say, it seems.  The usual for me.  Some sewing jobs.  Aaron's birthday, he is twelve.

In my mind, Nora is thirteen, but she tells me that she is fourteen.  What kind of a grandma?

My car is burning oil at a rapid rate.  I took it to the dealer yesterday and they said things look ok.  And so, I will keep checking it.  Like, every week.  It has over 100,000 miles on it, which in my mind is barely broken in.

The days continue hot, high 80's for the next week and no rain.  I had gotten out of the habit of watering my plants, need to get back in that habit.

Monday, September 9, 2019


The half time band performance, first time in uniform this year, 

No eating when wearing the band uniforms.  The kids are fed a meal before the game.  The hat plumes are only for actual performances, not pregame shows.  Things I have learned.

The opposing team's band lined up at the band concession stand after half time, which seemed nice and supportive.  The weather was perfect, no rain this time.

I saw an online picture of a light red tee shirt saying, "What is the football team doing on the band field?"

This morning I hemmed six tee shirts and mended the seam on another shirt.  In an effort to not procrastinate.  Keep moving

Soon, I'll put clothes in the dryer.  I've already rewashed them once, and I hate it when I do that.

Friday, September 6, 2019

What Would My Mother Say?

Sitting here, feeling old.

I was leafing through the free magazine from a neighborhood grocery and saw this section about what's in the store.

Dandelion greens.

I remember how happy my mother and grandmother were when the first dandelion greens popped up in the spring.  They would wilt them with a bacon dressing and add hard boiled eggs.

These greens were so welcomed after a winter of no fresh veggies.  My grandmother called them a tonic.

I can't admit to being a fan, but I enjoyed their delight.  And now, to buy them in a store?  

What would my mother say?

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Colonel's Kitchen

One more weekend picture.  Visiting Colonel's Kitchen in Fort Thomas, where they cook the wonderful French toast and Brussels Sprouts.  

Of course if you don't like that combination, they have a great list of sides.  But I always choose the same one, with whatever else I order.

My goal for September is less fast food, but I don't consider this fast food.  There are a few local places that still make the cut.

Tonight, though, an omelet and a salad.  That works too.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Fall Beer

If you're looking for a fall beer, and if this kind is to be found where you are, it's worth a try.  Very smooth, just enough pumpkin flavor.  But, the alcohol content is 10%, so go easy.  It's good to share.

The holiday is over.  The calendar page has turned.  Weather has turned from high's in the 90's to highs in the 80's.  It doesn't quite feel yet like time to bring out some yellow and orange touches, although displays outside the grocery say otherwise.  Ceramic pumpkins and owls.  Mums.

I have felt a bit overwhelmed with sewing projects for people, but I'm almost caught up.  Sort of.  There are a couple of projects ongoing and the phone has already rung.  There is a baby quilt in process for my quilting group.

I am watching progress on a Ross store in my neighborhood.  My friend says we will get new wardrobes.  That, I sort of doubt, but it will be fun to have another option.

One option will be leaving, I guess that's how it goes.  There is a Sears store beside the music store where Nora and I go for her music lesson.  It will be closing by the end of the year.  We have commented numerous times that it's a ghost store.  But I will miss their Lands End section, just last week I got some good end-of-season bargains. 


Monday, September 2, 2019

Labor Day Weekend

Aaron and Aunt Sarah after Aaron's football game.  A good afternoon.

And all too soon it was Sunday and the car went up the hill and Sarah with dog Lucy were on their way home.

And now it is Monday and there is that emotional sag of the leaving, still.

Last night was the big Labor Day fireworks show on the Cincinnati river front.  I didn't go, it is a huge crowd scene, although I've enjoyed the times I did go.  Sarah went running Friday and Saturday and was amazed at the people reserving spots with blankets and tarps.  I watched the show on tv, and that was good enough.

Sarah reported that the various Starbucks on the way home had long lines, until finally in Knoxville she was able to easily drive through with Lucy.  I guess everyone wanted a pumpkin spice latte on September 1.  Lucy had a puppuccino, which is a free Starbucks treat for dogs, whipped cream in a cup.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Rainy Friday Night

My daughter Steph, grandson Aaron wearing his jersey #89, and Aaron's friend and me, on our way to a Friday night football game.  Daughter Sarah is visiting and took the picture.

And yes, it's raining.  The game was delayed for an hour.  But the band performed well in their first home game and their half time show was worth waiting for.  The culture seems to be that parents sit in the bleachers and most students wander around, or in Aaron's case, toss a football with his buddies behind the stadium. 

This afternoon - Aaron's football game.  Aunt Sarah is happy to attend a couple of these events.

And I am happy to follow along and also eat some good food here and there during Sarah's visit. 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Phone Calls

As seen at The Elusive Cow . . .

During the night I got four - four! - phone calls from France.  Mostly spread out.  One was labeled Fraud Risk and one Telemarketer.  I am not happy.  Tonight I am turning the ringer way down.

The Reds have drifted downward in the National League Central during the past few weeks, but I still enjoy the team and the stories.  My favorite player has 38 home runs for the year.  Eugenio Suraz may well beat some Reds records this year, there are lots of games left.

I have finished a glider cushion, complete with a zipper.  The hard part was the thinking about how to put it together.  Of course I thought too long and too hard.  That's my usual.  The cushion changed from a faded beige floral to a snappy red and white.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Elusive Cow

Yesterday - after getting her hair trimmed.  Nora and I went to The Elusive Cow, which is my favorite restaurant.  We ate fried portabello mushrooms, the absolute best, in taste, not in healthy food.  They are SO good.  Nora had a hamburger, I had red bean soup.  

Then to Victoria's Secret to pick up a couple of last minute back-to-school things.  A pretty unusual shopping experience for me but we did fine.  There are now new leggings.  I didn't know that's where to buy them. 

Today - school started.  Early morning bus stop and car pool.  Middle school and high school.  My heart is happy but a little nostalgic, especially since my daughter posted first-day kindergarten pictures along with today's photos.

The kindergarten Nora had a headband, pink back pack, plaid skirt,  socks with ruffles, Mary Jane shoes.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019


Not my tomatoes, not my pretty presentation.  Thanks, Sarah and Winnie, for the picture.  It looks like something from a magazine.  Pretty sure that Sarah cut the wood pieces.

I planted one cherry tomato plant again this year, just to see.  I have had no tomatoes that stay long enough to ripen.  The deer newsletter probably prints my address.

Today, I'm taking Nora to get her hair trimmed on this last day before school starts.  And then, lunch.  Before I pick her up, though, I need to check the air in my tires since the light has come on.  On the first cooler day, that wasn't even all that cool.  It seems to be a thing.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Rose Bush

This really fits the descriptor "rose bush."  It has thrived this summer with the early rains followed by heat and no rain.  And neglect, as you can tell by the weedy vine growing near the top.  I am thrilled by all the re-blooms that have shown up.

My earlier library book holds have been showing up one after another.  The latest is Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.  It's easily the best book I've read this year and it's the author's first novel, although not her first time published.  I went back and re-read the last ten pages just to be sure I read what I thought I did.  You won't be sorry you spent time with this book.

This is a chipping day, visiting my undone tasks and taking a chip out of each.  Not a bad way to spend a rainy day.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Old Woman

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
     Jenny Joseph

Except that I won't, I'll go on wearing Life Is Good tee shirts with short sleeves in summer and long sleeves other times.

But, I will have the Door Dash delivery car come streaking to my door three times a day with French toast and Brussels sprouts, Impossible Whoppers, salmon and broccoli.  And sometimes mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, and cole slaw from KFC when I feel like I need more vegetables.

And then after four days I'll be sick of it all and the Kroger delivery car will come driving to my door.

In between times UPS will bring fabric and tread and new scissors and whatever else I need.

Reflections at the end of the day yesterday, which was a fun work day with a longer than usual commute.

But while I was dreaming of being lazy, my daughter Sarah was running a 25K up Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina, with an elevation gain of 4200 feet.  There were some ropes and ladders involved toward the summit.  Sarah was the third place female finisher.  And she sounded happy at the end of it all.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Nice Things

My daughter always says she can't have nice things, thinking of wrestling matches, flying footballs, rolling Hoverboard, all in the living room.  This was her flower bed yesterday.  She could be right.

Last night was the open rehearsal for Nora's band, capping off three weeks of band camp. Two weeks of nine to five and one week of nine to nine.  It was pretty amazing to watch them.  One hundred and sixty kids, all of whom survived heat and intense learning.  At the end, they all seemed so happy.

And in the end, the last day was cooler.  I was glad for my fleece as the sun went down.

I don't remember how many of us were in my high school marching band, maybe someone else does.  I'm pretty sure there were probably only about 160 of us in the entire high school.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Sequins and Beads

No creativity here, but the zen-ness is nice.  Catch a sequin with the needle, catch a bead, stitch down.  Repeat and repeat and repeat.  Maybe this stocking will be ready for this Christmas.  Maybe not.

Back in the day, I enjoyed stitching the Bucilla calendars with sequins and beads.  I gave them to my grandmother, who had few sparkles in her life, by choice I think.  I hope she liked the calendars, at least she said she did.  She would hang them in her kitchen.

My grandmother's life was simple.  Corn flakes, then shredded wheat when the corn flakes ran out.  Then corn flakes again  .  Sugar cookies in the big tin, then molasses cookies.  Then sugar cookies again.  Pink peppermints in the drawer, then white peppermints.  Then pink again.

She never had hot water in her house, she would heat water for bathing and dishes on the stove.  I remember the excitement of the new electric stove replacing the kerosene stove.

She made it a habit to never eat between meals.  It just wasn't done.  Except for one memorable time when the ice cream truck came by and she got ice cream bars for both of us.  So out of character, both the treat and eating it then, in the afternoon.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Tiny Pink Flower

For Easter, my neighbor brought me a small plant in an egg-shaped container.  Now, in August, there are a couple of reblooms.  The pink flower is about the circumference of a dime.

Thunderstorms this early morning, and finally rain.  I would have said I was sleeping lightly, but I missed a lot of it.  The street has big puddles.  The beds are watered.

My dreaded eye  doctor appointment is over.  Things are stable.  Pressures are good.  Come back in six months.  I can stop looking at this calendar date with dread.  I wish I wasn't like that, but I am.  I just dread doctor appointments, and especially this one.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019


The nicest lunch date yesterday.

I asked Aaron where he'd like to go for lunch, anywhere in his larger neighborhood.  He considered and chose Applebee's.  Boneless chicken wing appetizers.  Chicken tenders as the main.  The guy likes chicken.  He had boxes to take home.

At the end the waitress thanked him for being so polite.  She said that his grandma should be proud.  And I am.

Nora's band camp this week is 9 am to 9 pm so she is busy, no lunch date with her.

Grocery shopping is a must today.  My whole wheat bread had mold yesterday.  My packages of low fat cheese sticks and Baby Bel lights are empty.  My reduced fat whole grain crackers are no more. The produce drawers are almost empty.  The little containers of CarbMaster cottage cheese are almost gone.  I can do well and feel well with the Dash diet, but it does require a little more shopping.