Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Various family pictures

Leo went to N. Dakota for Thanksgiving. He had a great time. I talked to him a couple of hours ago and he is on his way back. It is snowing again so he is traveling in the snow. He was about an hour east of Fargo when he called about 3. He said he would stop for the night when it got dark instead of driving right through. He traveled in snow on his way out there too. The Great Plains were living up to their winter reputation by offering him lots of snow to travel through. He sounded great and he said he had a very good time. He sent me some pictures that I thought I would pass on to the rest of the family. This is Glen and Penny's house, lit up for the season. I think they worked on this together. They are ahead of us. Bud brought home the tree but hasn't put it up yet.
Penny cut his hair. I asked for proof that it was really cut off, not just pulled back. I wish now that I had taken a 'before' picture when he was here. Penny is great at cutting his hair and it did need it.

His hair is now pretty short so he probably won't cut it for another year. He is getting a little gray in his beard.
Diana sent these pictures to me of the girls. This one is kind of dark but it is Brookelynn with the tree that she decorated.
Here we have Hailey with her personal tree. I think it is up in her room.
I know that some of you have already received some of these pictures but I thought I would pass them on for those of you who didn't get them.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I am back from my travels and shopping

OK, I uploaded this picture and I must admit I don't know how to remove it so here it is again. Right after Thanksgiving dinner Bud and I headed to Grand Rapids for the weekend. Bud had an appointment for work on Friday so we drove separately because I wanted to stay and spend some time with Eva and do my Christmas shopping.
Here we are on Friday morning. Bud left for his appointment and Eva and I took off to the mall. It wasn't too crowded. We were able to find parking places right outside the door and take advantage of some early morning bargains.

We did a pretty good job with the large shopping bags. It was a LONG day but we got a lot done.
Saturday we met Jessica for breakfast (sorry no photo again, I am slipping up) and then we went to Target for a while. Jessica went on home and Eva and I continued shopping, going to some small shops but not back to the malls.
In the afternoon we came back to the house and started with some of Eva's decorating. The big bins came up from the basement and the two of us went to work.
One of Eva's new ideas was to put lights on the fences in the guest bedroom. It was a clever idea and it looks great, even better when the overhead lights are out.
I put up the fake Christmas tree in the corner of the dining room. This tree came from the farm and has all the OLD ornaments on it. I only broke one while putting it up.
I arrived home today (Sunday) with LOTS of bags to unpack and sort. Bud continued to work on his electrical work in his new garage. It was a busy weekend but we had lots of fun.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The feast

Walt with his assistant, ready to carve the delicious turkey. Every family needs a surgeon to carve their turkey.
The girls are ready for the food. It was great to have Brittany and David home from school.

We had a good group at the table.

We put the guys at each end. Sue and Walt invited their new pastor and his mother for dinner.

We missed Jack but not too much. He is skiing in Switzerland so it is hard to feel too sorry for him.
I hope you had a great meal with family and friends.

Funnies and Fun

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I thought I would share a couple of things to brighten your day. First of all, Bud found this on the opinion page of our paper. We both thought it was very funny. I hope that you think it is equally funny. We are a strange country, full of individuals with many different views. However, I am still thankful for this country where you can express all those views. I hope this cartoon made you laugh too.
Yesterday I went with a friend (this is the fun part of my post) out to lunch and then we went on to the Gwen Frostic shop. It was a gray northern Michigan day but a bright day with a friend. I was hoping to pick up some Christmas wrapping paper but they didn't have any. SO I will use up what little I have left and some of you may receive gifts this year that are not wrapped in my traditional green paper from Gwen Frostic.
Enjoy the day with family and friends. Don't eat too much turkey or watch too much football.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Travelers and teachers

Leo came up to visit on Monday. He arrived about 1:00 and we did a few errands and walked around downtown, just checking out the local sights and relaxing over coffee. He stopped on his way out to N. Dakota to visit Glen and Penny and the girls. He has 2 weeks of vacation to use up and wanted to 'get our of Dodge' for a while. He told the people at work that: "All that would keep him from returning is a $10 an hour job and a RICH woman". I told him good luck on that rich woman. He left a little after 7 yesterday (Tuesday) going the northern route. I talked to him about 9:00 last evening and he was almost to Fargo. He heard that there was a BIG storm heading his way so he thought he would just continue on through the night unless it got too bad to drive. I sent a sleeping bag with him and he had a blanket but was hoping he didn't have to use them. He sent me a text in the night. He arrived about 7:30 N.D. time so it took him a little less than 24 hours. I talked to him this morning and he said the last stretch along highway 94 going west from Bismark was pretty bad. That is the stretch that Glen plows and he was out already working. Anyway, he is safe and having coffee out there now. He is planning to stay until Sunday or Monday OR until he finds that rich woman. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of Leo while he was here. I was up and out yesterday too. I was the guest teacher at my quilting class. I taught them how to make the wrap bowls.
Everyone had a great time and they turned out nice bowls. I helped my local quilt shop by selling some of the books and rope. It is just a little volunteer job but fun.
Tomorrow we are having Thanksgiving dinner with the Noble family and then I am heading to Grand Rapids to spend the rest of the weekend with Eva. We will be doing the 'retail' experience on Friday.
I hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving. I am always thankful for such a wonderful family, my terrific husband and my fortunate life here in Traverse City.

Monday, November 22, 2010

More baskets

This is my latest basket project. I am teaching my quilt group how to make these baskets tomorrow and I wanted to have another example of how you can use your creative side and make them for seasons. I think I will make this one a 'door prize' after the class. I am not that good at making lids just yet. I should have made this one a little bigger but I think it looks cute anyway.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Birthday celebration and early Thanksgiving

Yesterday we went out to the Manistee River area to visit friends and celebrate. Kathy turned 60 yesterday so we had a birthday celebration for her which was combined with Thanksgiving. They have a cabin on the Manistee River but their neighbors hosted the dinner.

Just as the sun was setting the rising moon peeked through the streak of clouds. It was much more spectacular in person with the full moon shining brightly in that little break of clouds. It was a beautiful afternoon with great food and wonderful company.
Thanksgiving week is coming and I am excited. We will spend LOTS of time with family. Leo is stopping by tomorrow and spending the night. We are having lunch on Thursday with the Noble family. After Thanksgiving dinner I am heading to Grand Rapids to spend the rest of the weekend with Eva and see Jessica too. I am SO excited to spend time with family and thankful for the time with friends yesterday.

Friday, November 19, 2010

SO Cute Santa bowl

Doesn't this look cute!!! I am teaching my quilt group how to make the bowls next week. I thought I would try to use my creative sense and come up with a bowl to show them. I worked on this one and finally settled on this design. It took a little thinking and searching for ideas before I decided how to make the beard and face. I think it turned out great. It is kind of a big bowl, about 12 inches across, but it will be a nice one to show the group and let them know that they too can be creative with their bowls.

We are all creative in our own way so try to stretch your creative mind some time today. It may lead you down a path that you never thought you would go.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


How much power do we have over the power???
Today we lost our power again, fortunately it was just for a little over an hour. However, it sure leaves us powerless. How did those pioneers do it without electricity???

Being powerless is something we are not very good at. However, there are many people in this world that are powerless in so many ways.

Maybe I should practice being powerless more often. Maybe we should be more compassionate toward the powerless.

Power to the People, that was a cry from the '60s. What does that mean???

Give up a little power today??? It might be a good experiment.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekend's travels

This past weekend we drove downstate to attend a baby shower. We have been friends of Katie's parents for many years, even before Katie was born. So I made my traditional teddy bear for Katie's new baby. Natalie is due the end of January.
I also made the dotted quilt to go with the teddy bear. Mom and Dad loved the quilt and bear. It was a nice shower.

After the shower we drove back to "Hotel Eva" to spend some time. We went to dinner but had a little extra time between dinner and the movies. Eva and I went shopping at Ann Taylor Loft. She was interested in the 'jeggings' and decided to buy herself a pair. Now for those of you that have not been keeping up with the newest styles, 'jeggings' are leggings made from stretchy jeans material so they fit VERY close to the body. Eva found a pair on sale and jumped into this new style with an investment of less than $15. I think she looks pretty good.

She really got into the 'photo shot' mood. Not bad for a lady almost 62.

Sunday morning we met Jessica and Doug for brunch and then went back to check out the kitchen construction. They are getting closer and closer to being able to move back into their kitchen. It is looking great. You can't see the new floors in this picture but they stripped the wood floors and refinished them. It was great to see them too.
So, weekend travels are great. I hope you had a great weekend too.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Aprons for Eva

Well, I have finished my project for Eva. She asked me to make aprons for the children of some of her staff members. The color requests were for the traditional little girl's love of pink and purple. I like this one the best. The cute fabric that is on the back (these aprons are reversible) is one of my favorite. I thought of Jessica when I was making this apron. However, I am sorry Jessica, I put heart shaped buttons on it. Please forgive me but I just couldn't find anything that worked that wasn't in a heart shape. I think the little girls will like it though.
I also liked this pink and brown combination.

This one is very traditional with pink on the front and stars of many pastel colors on the back.

Finally, this is the smallest one with a pink on the front and dots of pastel colors on the back. I hope she likes them. My sewing room has been busy.
I am taking orders if anyone wants me to make one for them to give as a gift.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lots of Dots

I have been busy in my sewing room this week. We are attending a baby shower downstate this weekend and I made my traditional gift. This was a fun quilt to make. I collected all different kinds of dotted material in light pastel colors before I knew if the baby was going to be a girl or boy. After I found out that she was having a girl, I made this quilt with those fabrics and emphasized the pink. The pink teddy bear was the last thing I made. I hope she likes it.
I have also been making some aprons for Eva to give to some of the children of her staff members. I am not quite done, I have to go out and find the buttons for them this afternoon. I will take them with me when we go downstate and give them to Eva.
SO, you can seee that my sewing room is getting a lot of use. I still have another project to work on. I am teaching my quilting group how to make the famous baskets and I thought I would try to make some Christmas themed baskets. I will post the results when I finish.
We are having a wonderful fall here. The weather has been kind to us which is a good thing since we are still hoping to get that garage painted as soon as the siding goes on. I hope you are having a wonderful fall where ever you are.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Miscellaneous moments and activities

Well, I really don't have a topic today so I gathered some pictures of some of my activities this past week. Jessica sent this group picture of our trip to Tenn. and our canoe trip. I love this picture. It was a beautiful day and a great memory. Thanks, Jess for taking the picture and sharing it with us.
Josh sent this Halloween picture of Garrick to Bud's phone. I thought you might like an updated picture of him.

Well, the garage has a roof. Bud parked in it this weekend. He took his motorcycle and sports car to have their winter oil changes and is hoping the garage will be ready for him to use soon. We did receive a light dusting of snow on Thursday morning. It melted by noon but it was a reminder that winter is coming soon.

I finished off my latest quilt. I took a class earlier this year to master this technique. It was an interesting class. It is kind of hard to explain but you take 4 layers of a piece of fabric that has a repeat pattern and cut squares. Then you make this '4 patch' with those square. If you look closely you will see that the '4 patch' makes a pattern when you arrange them. I don't have a home for this quilt but it is very nice looking.

Such are the miscellaneous activities of this retired lady. Just a little of this and a little of that to fill my days. I hope your days are filled with some fun activities and smiles.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The trip to Tennessee with LOTS of pictures

Well, I promised lots of pictures of the Tennessee trip. I started sorting through them and couldn't decide so I picked a lot of them. I hope you enjoy the pictures half as much as I enjoyed the trip. It was wonderful to spend some time with everyone.

We arrived just before the girls got home from school on Friday. That evening we relaxed and enjoyed the company and wonderful white chicken chili that Diana made. Saturday was our first day of adventures.

Matt planned some fun activities for us. We drove south and went canoeing on a river that Matt had heard about. He took along his 2 canoes and we rented one.
The bus took us up river. We are ready to go.

We waited for the dam to shut down for the morning so that our launch would be smooth so we launched about 11:00.

The float/canoeing was wonderful. The temps were in the high 60s and the sun was shining most of the time.

Jessica was my guide since I can't steer a canoe at all. I am good at hitting the banks. She did a wonderful job and I helped paddle as much as possible.

Matt had a great time with Eva as his 'princess' in the front.

Annika watched over our lunch.

Here we have the princess, relaxing with Matt paddling. Notice that she doesn't even pretend to paddle.

Jessica did a great job in our canoe.

Now it was finally time for lunch. We found a nice little island to have our picnic.

After lunch Brookelynn joined Jessica and me in our canoe.

It was a beautiful day for all of us. Thanks, Matt for arranging such a great day on the river.

HALLOWEEN, Aunt Jess did a great job with the pumpkins. She had a wonderful time too since she love to carve pumpkins.

Gram enjoyed every moment with her grandchildren.

The knives were sharp but they had a good teacher.

Finally they were done. Aunt Jessica was the hero. She helped with the messy project and even carved the difficult little mouth that Brookelynn drew.

I gave the girls the easy jack-o-lantern that I made for them.

Sunday after church it was time to work on the costumes. Hailey went as a Greek Goddess, I'm sorry but I can't remember which one she was. She was cute though.
Brookelynn went as a cowgirl. This is the costume that Diana wore when she was a little girl. It was a great fit and a wonderful tradition.
Here they are, ready to go.

Aunt Jessica couldn't be out done by the kids. Can you guess what her costume is??? She is a CD burner???

Gram was so happy to spend time with her girls.

We went trick-or-treating downtown first but the crowds were too big and it was just a constant line of people walking around the town square. Then we headed off to a great neighborhood and did traditional trick-0r-treating.

Hailey or Brookelynn said that Matt was dressed up as a green frog. Diana had some mysterious costume that involved Abby from the TV show NCIS ????
We all had a great time. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and that I didn't post too many.