Saturday, July 30, 2011

Great Eva Pictures

Eva sent me these pictures this past week.  I don't think that all of you received them so I thought maybe you would like to see them.  She was working on a new 'character' Vacation Bible School.  I am not sure if these characters were meant to entertain the children or not but they sure entertained me. 
 SO....  Where did she get these clothes and the hair???
 It looks like she is having as much fun as the kids. 
 If you are going to San Fransisco, Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. 
 Now I'm not too sure abut this dress.  It is a little strange.
Sorry, I tried to make this picture go the other way but I included it anyway.  I actually kind of like this dress. 

Hope you were entertained by 'Groovy Gram' as she calls herself. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Brittany is back home

Last night we went over to the cottage for dinner and a chance to see Brittany.  She came home from her Uganda adventure this past weekend.  It was fun to catch up with her and have time together with the family.  She had an interesting time on her medical trip to Uganda.  She was full of lots of stories and fun pictures.  She did manage to see some wildlife and enjoy the countryside a little too.  She is VERY glad to be back in the United States  with her family and John.

 Mom and Dad are glad to have her back home too.  It was a nice dinner together. 
David??? We aren't so sure that he was glad to see her (Just kidding)  Brittany and John cooked tacos for us and I took along homemade ice cream.  It was a nice evening. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

messy painting and messy words

Painting is the task for the two of us here.  I am painting the bedroom furniture.  I made a new quilt and the furniture needs to match the quilt.  SO, Eva and Jessica both said that I needed to paint it black.  I started the project on Sunday.  It is Tuesday and I only have one more piece to paint the first coat.  So far I have painted one large dresser, one small dresser, a chest, 2 bedside tables.  All of the pieces except the chest have drawers so that is a lot of work too.  Of course the chest has a lid that needs to be painted.  I don't know how many swear words I have shouted as I work on this project.  I still have the headboard to do.  Bud is disconnecting it from the bed tonight so I can do that tomorrow.  I ran out of room on the porch to put everything so some of the drawers had to be moved to the basement.  I sent out a cussing text to Eva and Jessica today.  I am TOTALLY blaming them for this project.  I hope that the results will be worth it. 

 You may not be able to tell it from this picture but I am a VERY messy painter.  The people at the paint store said that even though this is an oil base paint, it is suppose to be 'soap and water clean up' so I didn't wear gloves when I started on Sunday.  I ended up with black paint almost everywhere but definitely on my hands.  WELL,  I finally got most of it off after using an industrial brush and mineral spirits.  I wore gloves the next day.  I have concluded that I won't be painting the inside of the furniture. It is already painted white and no one will see it.  I told myself that I don't need to paint the insides of the drawers black either since no one will see it and I have convinced myself that it would be hard to see things inside black drawers.  Doesn't that sound like a rational idea to you too.  AND Eva told me that I still have to paint another coat.  Whose idea was it to paint the furniture anyway.  At least I am saving some money. 
Bud has been painting the garage.  He painted another wall this past week.  Notice that he is painting in a WHITE shirt and there isn't any paint on him, his clothes, his hands, his hair, his shoes or anything.  I swear that he could paint in his suit and come in clean.  We don't ever paint together. 

I started this project because my sewing machine was in the shop for what was going to be a week.  Well, they called on Monday and told me that it was ready so I got it back home sooner than planned.  It is a good thing that I started the painting project or I would just go back to sewing.  I enjoy that activity. 

I hope you have found a fun project that you can work on or maybe even a project that NEEDS to be done.  I prefer the fun projects.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


I am feeling lost this weekend.  Yesterday I had to take my sewing machine into have it repaired/tuned up.  I always miss having it in the house even if I don't use it.  I often sew about 2 hours a day at least and that is a big hole in my life when it isn't around.  I should have taken it in when I was out of town but just didn't do it so now I will pay the price.  It isn't as if I can't find something else to do, but it is my 'fall back' activity.  I did go out yesterday and buy some paint.  I am going to paint my bedroom furniture to go with my quilt. I have been putting off this activity because it really isn't that fun for me.  I will start it on Monday, when I have a whole day to work.  I have 2 dressers, 2 bedside tables, a large chest with a lid, and a headboard to paint.  I am painting them black per Eva's suggestion.  Both she and Jessica thought that would be the best color.  I will then look for some good knobs to make it look nice. 

My computer has also been on the fritz lately.  It will go into the shop on Monday.  We are having difficulty with our Internet connection and think it is the modem but want to give it a 'tune up' also before contacting the cable company again.  I spent about an hour on the phone with someone from India the other day, trying to diagnose the problem.  That is kind of like trying to perform your own surgery with a doctor from India and doing it over the phone.  "Now just a minute, let me put down the phone while I make that incision.  Where exactly would you like me to make that incision in my stomach"  I am not much help to the tech person in India. 

I hope your problems are more simple than mine.  Wish me good luck painting.  I will post a picture when I get it done.  Enjoy the heat or try to stay cool.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Quilting to stay cool.

OK,OK, I did say in my last post that we should be glad for the nice warm weather.  However, it has been a bit warm here lately.  The AC has been running all the time and I have been inside enjoying it. 

This is often a warm week in Michigan, I know this because it is the week of the Ann Arbor Art Fair and I am usually fighting the crowds and the heat in Ann Arbor.  My art fair partner and friend, Kathy just recently retired and is on her own adventure with her husband.  You can check her blog as I have listed it as blogs I follow.  I decided not to go this year even though I briefly thought of finding someone else to go with me.  I am working on not buying 'things' and I surely have enough rings and 'things' to last a lifetime.  I had Paris and that was my expenditure for the year.  A memory that I will hold dear for the rest of my life. 

 I just finished this quilt for a wedding gift.  I REALLY like this pattern and the color combinations.  It was a very easy quilt pattern and a great way to use a lot of different colors.  Most of the fabrics I just picked up as I was out to different stores, without this pattern in mind.  When I saw this pattern I knew that it would look great with these fabrics.  I like how the black in the middle of each piece really sets off the blocks.  I have toyed with the idea of trying it again with white in the middle or maybe a different color but I am very happy with this gift.  I continue to work on the scrappy one that I showed a few posts back.  It is looking quite good and it keeps me from the fabric stores and spending money on fabrics that I don't need since I don't have a project in mind just yet. 
I have also been reading quite a bit lately.  I just started a good book and just finished a pretty average  book.  When I started the good book, I remembered why I like to read good literature.  The book I like so far is 'Remarkable Creatures' by Tracy Chevalier.  She also wrote 'Girl with the Pearl Earring' which I really liked. 

So good reading to all of you, I hope you have a project that allows you to keep cool or inside and enjoy the summer. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekend activities

This past weekend was a busy weekend for Harley owners.  It was the weekend of the charity Father Fred ride.  Bud went on the Saturday afternoon 'Poker Run with the guys in this picture.  They had a good time and put about 200 miles on their bikes.  I met the crew downtown in the evening and we all went out to dinner.  Then on Sunday they did the Father Fred ride out on the Peninsula.  This was a shorter ride but everyone went at the same time.  They left the dealership south of town and then rode through town and out to the end of Old Mission Peninsula and back.  They went by our subdivision about 12:30 and I could hear the roar of the bikes from the house.  After that ride I met the group for brunch.  The women in this picture went with their partners.  I have not yet rode on the bike and remain a bystander. It is nice that they let me come and enjoy the after events with them.  Bud had a great time even though the weather was very hot for the ride yesterday. 

When he came home he switched into his painting clothes and began working on the garage.  We picked out a color that we seem to like and he wanted to paint around the doors to see if it was a good match.  We both like it.  It is a bit darker as you can see.  It is hard to believe that we may have nailed the color on the first try.  He bought a small amount of the paint just to try it out. 

I stayed in out of the heat yesterday, working on my scrappy quilt.  I also attended the memorial service of a friend who lost a battle with leukemia a couple of weeks ago.  She was a teacher and a friend that taught next door to me for many years.  I learned a great deal about how to be a teacher from her.  She was just 69 so way to young.  As with all such times, I did reconnect with several people that I haven't been in touch with for a long time.  I sat around the table with my former principal and his wife and another man that I began teaching with.  We had some good talks about the state of our educational system and of course 'the good old days' . 

I hope you had a good weekend and managed to stay out of the heat wave that has 'gripped' the midsection of the U.S.  Where would be be without the 'hype' of the newsmakers.  We just call that summer here and enjoy it while it last because it will be gone soon and we will be complaining about the cold and snow soon. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pre-Harry Potter Party

Yesterday I received a call from Sue requesting help with Charlotte's Pre-Potter Party.  She and a friend had decided to have a party before going to the midnight showing of the latest movie.  I was 'so not in the loop' and didn't even know that the last movie was coming out at midnight but consented to be a helper for this party.  I arrived about 6:30 and helped prepare the food for this little get together. 
 Since I am clueless on all things Harry Potter I also didn't know about this drink they prepared.  It was called 'Butter Beer'  the recipe includes ice cream, cream soda, and butterscotch syrup.  It looked and sounded interesting but I didn't indulge.  They had fun with their drinks.

 The boys stayed quietly inside, eating the leftovers.  (I made Jack wait until all the guests had eaten before he plunged into the hot dogs and burgers.)
After dinner they had a bonfire out on the beach.  A good crowd of teenagers.  They looked like they were having a good time.  The only thing us adults had to do was supervise and provide them with food.  It was a fun evening.  They left for the mall to 'hang out' for a couple of hours before the movie.  I am sure that included waiting in line.  We did not have to pick them up at 2:30 when the movie was over.  That was the one question that Bud asked when he found out that I had volunteered us for kitchen duty. 

I am not a Harry Potter fan but I am sure that some of you are.  If you watched the last movie, I hope that you had a good time.  I am too old for midnight movies even if it is something I do want to watch.  I don't even go to the 10:00 show anymore. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm a little scrappy

I have been working on a new quilt.  This is my 'scrappy' quilt.  It is scrappy because I am using up leftover pieces of projects that I have already made.  It is interesting because I can work on it any time.  The only material I had to buy was the white.  You may notice the 'pinwheel' shape in the middle of the white so it is a scrappy pinwheel.  I have about 50 blocks done so far and will just continue to work on it until I find another project to do.  I can always come back to this quilt and finish it when ever I think it is big enough. 

I have been feeling a bit 'scrappy' in other ways too.  I am VERY tired of our government in D.C. and wish they would just do something instead of have news conferences and talk about what other people should do.  When you 'draw a line in the sand' someone always needs to get their back up and then draw another line in the sand much farther away.  I think the people of the United States fully understand that neither side is going to get all they want.  We aren't that stupid, just the ones that talk loud.  The rest of us are continuing to live our lives and hope for the best.  This week I have been especially thankful that I took some time earlier in the summer and went to Paris with 4 wonderful ladies.  If the world comes to an end because Washington D.C. can't make up their mind about how to go ahead and make government work, AT LEAST I HAD PARIS!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekend activities

It was a fairly busy weekend here in TC.  Bud finished his electrical work on his garage.  Today the building inspector came and approved the building pending the electrical inspection tomorrow.  That is a nice feeling.  he also spent some time cleaning out the garage and rearranging his toys so that he can park in the garage now.  The outside lights look great and now we don't have an extension cord providing power to the building.  We still need to paint the whole place and put in new doors for the side doors on the garages and the house door.  Today Kevin is back working on the landscaping around the hill that was created when they put in dirt to make the garage floor level.  We are putting in landscaping blocks that will terrace the hill and keep erosion from washing it down into the yard.  It is slowly coming around. 

Saturday we rewarded ourselves with a trip up to Charlovoix to visit some long time friends.  They live in Kalamazoo but have a cottage on the lake.  We don't see them very often but always try to get up to their cottage when they come up. 

Debbie, Rick and the two of us sat around the cottage for a while and caught up with each other's lives.  Then we all went out to dinner to celebrate Debbie's birthday.  She is exactly one month older than me. 

Sunday Bud and Walt worked on the big boat and it is now ready for a sail. This is the latest in the season that we have gotten the sails on the boat and made it seaworthy.  Too many toys and things to do. 

I continue to work on a couple of quilts.  I am doing the edge of one quilt that I picked up a week ago.  I am sewing the pieces on another quilt that I started last winter.  It is a scrap quilt that I pick up when I don't have a bigger project to work on.  I don't have anything new to do so it is good for me to have this scrap quilt to work on so that I don't go out and buy any new fabric. 

Well, we are as productive as possible for us in the summer.  I hope you had a productive weekend.  Just to pass on some family news, I talked to Jessica and she spent the weekend on the river with Doug's family.  A great weekend to be on the water.  Eva is still visiting David's family.  She was planning to go and visit Uncle Eldon some time while she was there.  I talked briefly to Leo when I called about Josh.  It seems that Josh went to the hospital on Saturday from work.  He was having some shortness of breath while at work so they took him to the hospital.  After spending a day being poked and prodded they decided that it might be 'acid reflux' and sent him home.  I trust he is doing fine now.  I know that it has been HOT in Texas so maybe that contributed to the breathing problem.  I am glad that they checked it out and didn't just ignore it and equally glad that it turned out to be nothing alarming.  And finally, Matt and Diana returned from the beach and the family is glad to be back in their own space for a while.  I understand that they are "staying put' for the rest of the summer.  BUT you all probably know all this because you have checked up on everyone on Facebook.  That is how I found out about Josh's trip to the hospital so quickly. 

Everyone is having a productive summer, NOW it would be nice if we just could get our government to be more productive.  I vote for locking them in a room until they figure it out.  THEN, we the people, need to accept that there will be changes that we don't like.  Compromise is the word.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Evening at the cottage with MN cousins

Wednesday evening we went over to the Noble cottage for an evening with Bud's cousins from MN.  They are staying in TC for a week and Sue so kindly invited everyone over for an evening. 

 We sat outside in the beautiful weather and chatted.

 The little ones went swimming.
 Bud and Sue did the grilling.
 Volley ball was fun on the beach.
 Dinner was delicious. I made couscous salad, took some chips and Sue provided the meat. 

 The younger ones sat around the smaller table.
It was nice of Sue and Walt to have us over.
 David is guarding his delicious marshmallow brownies that I baked.  He was hoping to take some of them to work with him. 
I played the game of trying on jewelry with one of the little cousins.  It is my way of getting little girls to love rings.

It was a fun evening.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

4th of July in T.C.

 We celebrated the 4th of July with Bud's sister's family over at the cottage.  I thought this was a cute picture to start this blog entry.
 Some of you may know that Bud bought a new boat.  Leo helped him set it up on an anchor over at the cottage and NOW it was time to go sailing.  It is a pretty stable boat, unlike the laser that he traded for this boat.  It is basically a one person boat but you can put people on the trampolines between the pontoons if they don't mind getting wet.  Jack took it out for a sail but there wasn't a lot of wind. 
 Bud took it out a couple of times too.  Walt is helping him get it away from the shore.  It was a beautiful day. I was glad to be invited over for a relaxing dinner and evening.  I provided the homemade ice cream and they provided the beach and the rest of the dinner.  It was a great time.  
 Charlotte and her friend Olivia opted for the faster method of travel with the jet ski.  You can see that Bud's boat is just one more addition to the Noble Navy.  They have 2 jet skis and another ski boat.  If they get any more toys on the beach they may have to call it a resort not a cottage. 
 Ringo was all decked out for the holidays too with his 'red, white, and blue' star neck scarf. 
Brother and sister at the end of the day.  It was nice to spend time together. 
I hope you had a wonderful holiday with family and friends.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

It's the weekend

The 4th of July weekend and National Cherry Festival activities are keeping us kind of busy or at least as busy as we want to be.  Saturday Leo showed up at our door.  We had talked earlier in the week and I knew that he was thinking of coming up on his motorcycle.  The reception wasn't that good on the phone so I really didn't hear that he was planning to come on Saturday but we were home with very few plans for the day.  I was in the middle of cleaning and welcomed the chance to stop.  Bud continued his lawn work for a while and then came in and cleaned up.  There was an air show in the afternoon so we went over to the Yacht Club for a 'brat' and watched the show.  The Blue Angels aren't here this year so it wasn't the 'military' show that we see when they are here. 

 The weather was nice but hot in the sun so we found our place in the shade and just relaxed for a while.  After the airshow we came back to the house and all took naps, the hot sun and the beer just called for a Saturday afternoon nap. 

After refreshing ourselves we headed downtown for dinner and then to the movies.  This week we did a 'chick flick'.  Bud and I have both wanting to see Midnight in Paris so we warned Leo that it wouldn't be an action movie.  I LOVED the movie.  It was fun to see it so soon after having gone to Paris.  The scenery was nice and familiar.  It was kind of like reliving the trip some times.  I also LOVED the message of the movie.  It is a very good movie.  Now the guys didn't love it as much as I did but they did like it quite a bit. 

After the movie we decided that we needed ice cream so we drove out to our local ice cream place, Moomers, which won the Today Show prize for the best ice cream a couple of years ago.  The line was long even at 9:30 but we enjoyed our cones. 
 This morning Leo said he could stay a while and help Bud with chores so I was asked to make breakfast.  I had a few supplies in the refrigerator, eggs, English muffins, and fruit salad.  A pretty good breakfast for not planning. 
Then the guys went to work out on the garage.  Bud wanted to install two lights on the side of the garage so Leo helped.  I just took them some drinks (sodas because they are using power tools) and they continue to find little things to work on.  The lights look great and Leo is a willing helper.  The two of them will take a motorcycle ride later this afternoon.  Most likely Bud will go south with Leo toward Cadillac and then turn around and Leo will continue on his own. 

 I am always glad that Leo likes to come up and visit.  This is the 3rd weekend in a row that we have spent together.  The shop where he works will be down for some kind of mechanical work for the next 2 weeks but since he is salary he has to go in anyway.  He will be working days for the next 2 weeks and then back on nights.  They are planning a lot of work for a few months so I probably won't see much of him for a while unless I go down there. 

I hope you all have a good 4th of July weekend.  I haven't heard if Eva made it to Iowa but for those of you that don't know, she was planning to spend the next week or so with David's family and out at the cottage for some relaxing time. 

I love you all and hope you have some fun activities planned.