Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Out With the Old, Up With the New

Robby thought he was too old for a purple Winnie the Pooh Christmas stocking. I saw his point, so I made him a new one. Funny how each Christmas I make at least one new felt sequined Christmas stocking and each year I think it is the last one I will make. Each year I believe I have all the family members covered and each year I discover I am mistaken. This year I realized Colleen's theoretical husband doesn't have a stocking. (Theoretical because I have never met him or spoken with him. Who's the shy guy in this scenario? Him or me?) So, I've fashioned a do-over for Robby's stocking. Andy's name will replace Robby's. Colleen assures me Andy is not too old for a purple Pooh stocking.

I dream of a Christmas when all family members will magically show up at my house with their stockings and hang them from my fireplace(s). If I have counted right, that would be twelve stockings, plus mine, making thirteen; we'd probably have to hang some of them downstairs.

Fall is definitely in the air and I'm ready for boots, sweaters, good cooking smells, and the end to mowing season. It's really been a struggle to keep the lawn mowed because each week something different goes wrong with the mower or weed whacker. By the time we get through all the possible problems, the boys will be expert at small motor maintenance. I try to stay clear of it and let Grandpa provide guidance.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Designer Labels or What's in a Name?

The quilt police in this part of the country want quilters to put a fancy, unique, informative label on the back of their quilts. Here's one that reports the names of the quilt, the quilter, the designer, the assembler/appliquier, and the construction dates.

This wordy label reports the history of the name (Birth of the Elephant), the maker, place, and date.

Because Mallaika is going to be five years old and will soon be learning to read, I made a label for "Dancing With the Stars " with large clear letters.

I designed this label so that each of the members of my applique group who made a block for the quilt could sign it. I thought up the open book with the flower for a bookmark, but it was Logan who suggested I strew the leaves around the book.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On the Road Again

We said good-bye to Uncle Bill this morning and he headed west -- intending to stop in Amarillo this evening. He left us with a copy of "Winged Victory" a vintage movie about WWII pilots. We watched a bit of it last night and as soon as we have a few hours at home, we'll see the rest of it. We had a good visit -- two full days on each side of his 13th Bomber Group reunion in Branson, marred only by anxiety for his daughter, Janet, who is suffering from a serious lung infection. She is in surgery as I write this and will hopefully be mending by the time her Dad gets home to Southern California.

We wish he could have stayed longer; Logan really wanted him to come to his first home football game this evening.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rolling Along

Scrimmage held at 8:00 A.M. on a Saturday morning when we should have been sleeping. Logan is #66 again this year, but the number doesn't show in this photo where he is stepping on the the 34 yard line wearing a white jersey right behind #7 in the red jersey. The "home" stands were quite filled at this early hour -- testimony to the dedicated parents and the importance of sports in our town. They have played one game so far (and got trounced, but it doesn't count because they played Webb City and no one ever beats Webb City!) Next week they'll beat Willard in a home game.

If you click on this image to pull up a larger version and look at the vibe player in the foreground in front of the 40 yard line, you may see red hair and recognize Ben. And maybe not. Our school beat Willard at this game Friday night. I noticed at the beginning of the game as I looked out at the forested hills, that a slight cast of orange was visible -- a hint of approaching fall. By the end of the game, I was glad I had brought my jacket. Before the season is over, I will be huddled in boots, blankets, long johns, scarves, and mittens wondering at the sacrifices I make to bask in pride.

Here's Valery's birthday gift -- but she will have to come here to collect it. My offer stands, if you come to visit, I'll send you home with a quilt.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rushing the Season

While shopping at Sam's Club in late August, Christmas displays assaulted my sensibilities. Christmas lights, lawn decorations, gift wrap, cards, and teetering towers of cookie tins and chocolates had knocked the Halloween candy and Thanksgiving trimmings back four aisles.
I dashed home and assessed my own state of preparedness:
Quilted table runner complete?

(Detail of table runner showing "broderie perse" applique in the center of the block -- a new technique for me, but a very old one in the history of quilting.)
Kitchen cabinets decorated?
Reindeer at their posts over the living room fireplace?
Piano top display arranged?
Tree up and lit?

Nutcrackers ready to go to work?

Christmas is at my house. It always is. I'm stubborn that way about my favorite holiday. I have a hard time understanding people who prefer Halloween, or Easter, Thanksgiving, Independence Day. Don't they get it? Christmas has it all! Religious significance, music, pageants, parades, presents, decorations, friends, family, food, good smells, winter weather you haven't yet grown tired of, traditions, parties, excess -- YES!!! So, come to my house this year -- you're invited!!!!! Now, I have to go bake some cookies.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ruby Salad

What to do when life deals you beets and arugula:

Here's the recipe I promised a couple of weeks ago:

Yeah, I made up the name, what else could I call it when it's made of red potatoes, red onions, ham, and beets?
Here's what I think I put in it:
2 C. diced cooked red potatoes (skin on)
2 C. diced cooked beets (peeled)
2 C. chopped arugula
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 C. diced ham
2 hard-boiled eggs

1/4 C. Mayonnaise
1/4 C. Sour Cream
2 Tbsp. Dijon
Salt, pepper

And then I tossed some chopped roasted walnuts on top. Fortunately, I thought it was yum because the boys thought it was yuck. So, it lasted several days.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


According to Logan, perfection is a 5-meat stuffed pizza from Papa Murphy's cooked just exactly right.

I've noticed a few other perfect things today:
  1. The ten-day-old baby baptized this morning.
  2. The weather today, 84 degrees, 28% humidity
  3. The boys fertilizing the lawn and weeding the garden after I asked them ONCE to do it.
  4. Sewing while yard work magically gets done.
  5. A holiday weekend with no commitments!
  6. Finding my car keys exactly where I expected them to be.
Surely there are more, I just can't put words around them.