Sunday, October 30, 2011

New toy and full garage

Yesterday Bud bought a trailer.  With all the extras that he has been buying, I think maybe we should have considered buying the farm.  That pole barn was pretty big.  He said that he couldn't pass up this trailer because it was only $100 and he could use it to haul his motorcycle. 

 As you can see it is parked in our carport. I am glad that we didn't decide to turn that space into something 'cute'.  It seems to get a lot of use lately. 
 He doesn't have room to park his car any place where it can be inside right now.  Maybe too many toys???
 The little boat is packed away for the winter, parked in the space beside the woodpile. 
 The sports car and the motorcycle have both visited repair shops and are ready for the winter.  The car needed a little body work, taking out a few 'dings' that have appeared over the years.  The motorcycle needed it's horn replaced, some new 'pipes' and insulation around the motor so it will be cooler in the summer.  He rode it home yesterday and parked it in the garage for the winter. 
The reason he doesn't have room to park his car in the garage is because he is finishing the side door to the garage. It came a couple of weeks ago and he has been working on matching the stain to the other doors.  He is very happy with this look.  I think it will look terrific too. 

So we are ready for winter here but I hope it doesn't come too soon. 

Friday, October 28, 2011


My name is Della and I am addicted to fabric.  I just can't help myself, It seems to show up in my sewing room and I can't remember what I did for those 2 hours yesterday afternoon.  I thought I had it under control this summer when I tried to use up some of the fabric in my 'stash' but it came ROARING back with a new project in my quilt group.I started out with a good plan in mind, I would continue to use my stash of batiks to make the new "Block of the Month" quilt.  For those of you who are not quilters, this is a pattern that recuites willing and weak quilters like me to make a new block each month and then put them together to make a quilt.  I had quite a few batiks (a kind of dyed fabric) in my stash so I thought I could make a new and different colored block each month.  I started out with kind of a rosy red color.  It looked great.  I liked it a lot but that was last Friday afternoon.  I realized that I 'HOOKED' again when I started looking at the next block.  I started thinking and planning for my next color and began to think that I probably wouldn't have enough fabric to carry through on this plan.  SO I rushed out to the fabric store before it closed for the weekend.  I didn't want to face Sunday without fabric for the next block even though I only needed ONE block completed before the group meeting on Tuesday. 

 I started buying and buying.  They had so many beautiful choices.  NOW a few of these pieces of fabric did come from my stash but I did buy quite a bit.  I LOVE the selection though.  I came home on my new "high"  floating through my sewing room and checking out my new colors.
 Here is the block that started it all.  I had these fabrics and I liked how it turned out.  The theme of this quilt is Sunbursts.  You can see a bit of a star in this shape. 
 I only had a few colors for my green block.  It sure looks great.
 This purple block doesn't look as much like a star but maybe it is the fabrics.  I still like it a lot though. 
 This is my blue block.  I like this star shape. 
This is another one that doesn't look a lot like a star but I still like it. 

As you can see, I am not a patient person, I couldn't wait for the next month to start my next block. Tuesday at the quilt group meeting a few others had gone on to the next block but I think that I had the most blocks done.  I do have another quilt that I started with a class so I think I should work on that since I am ahead on my blocks.  I do LOVE batik fabrics a lot and am looking forward to getting back to this one soon though. 

Thank you for listening to my confession.  I'm not seeking a cure though.  If you find my passed out in a pile of fabrics, homeless on the street, I will at least have nice quilts to keep me warm.

Monday, October 24, 2011

In the moment

In the past I haven't always been very good at 'living in the moment'.  I seemed to be thinking ahead to my next task, planning or worrying about what might happen, doing 'plan A, plan B' and such in my head and wondering what would happen if I did a certain task or skipped doing something.  Maybe it is part of my DNA or maybe it is because of my former career of always trying to juggle things and make them fit into that school day.  Maybe it isn't important to know why. 

I just finished reading a book about a woman that had an accident while driving and talking on the phone (Eva are you reading this??) and it left her with a severe brain damage that is called Left Neglect.  Basically it is that she doesn't see anything on the left side of her 'horizontal body line'.  She isn't blind but just unaware that she is only seeing half of the picture. It was a very interesting book but it reminded me that we so often think that 'multi-tasking' is a good thing, so good that we forget to pay attention to the task at hand. 
Even more important, we often forget to notice the 'present'.

 I am sitting here in the corner of my living room and outside my window is the beautiful fall day. The sun is shining on the trees and the beautiful leaves that have managed to stay on the trees.  The sky is blue with those white and dark gray clouds that fill the sky.  The bay is a darker blue and full of a few waves, indicating that it is probably cold and a little unfriendly but still beautiful.  Sometimes I need to remind myself to look out the window and just take in the beauty.

When I take my walks I don't take any technology with me, no music, no NPR, just me and the neighborhood.  I wish I enjoyed the exercise more but I am trying to stay focused on the fresh air and the view around me. 

So take a little time to "Enjoy the View" (Not just the TV show) today.  I am working at staying in the moment because my moments are pretty spectacular most of the time. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wonderful surprise

I have always been a voracious reader.  I remember as a child checking out books from the library and reading them in one night, often sitting in the corner of the kitchen with my back to the refrigerator and my feet up on the broom closet door with the radio playing the latest 'rock and roll' music on a show that played from 7:30-9:00 every evening (It was called Groove Yard)  For a while I was into biographies, I can picture in my mind those orange colored books that had a ribbon kind of logo around the titles.  Then later I switched to Nancy Drew books.  I would always look forward to the Scholastic book order where I was occasionally allowed to buy a book for all of 25 cents. I still had some of those old books when I started teaching.  ANYWAY, you get the picture.  I love to read. 
Occasionally I am lucky to find a book that really speaks to me and is a treasure to relish.  This past year Sara sent me one such book, The Elegance of the Hedgehog.  I read the book slowly but wanting to rush through it to find the end yet still cherish the beauty of the language and the characters.  It is rare to find such a book but I really did enjoy the experience. 

WELL, the other day I was looking through the paper and noticed this advertisement for a movie called Hedgehog.  It was a busy day and the computer was not on so I didn't go and check to see if it was the same book made into a movie.  Wednesday I finally did check and realized that the wonderful book had been made into a movie but it was leaving town on Thursday.  We have this terrific independent movie theater downtown that plays very good movies, often foreign movies.  The movie was playing for the last time on Thursday afternoon at 4:00.  I decided to take a risk and see if the movie would match my joy of the book.  That rarely happens but I have been finding that foreign movies do a better job so I was hopeful.  I knew that Bud would not treasure this movie as much as I would and since I was going at the last minute, I didn't try to rally any friends to join me.  I think I subconsciously just wanted to enjoy this movie alone, in the solitude of the theater without any discussion or outside influences other than my text to Sara to let her know I was going to experience this event. 
The movie was wonderful!!!!!  It was in French but I found that the subtitles really didn't distract me from the movie, another thing that I have noticed about foreign movies that are well made.  This is not a 'hollywood' movie and I would not recommend it to just anyone but I sure did treasure the experience. 
This is the first time I have ever attended a movie by myself but I think I will try to go more often.  I missed another movie I wanted to see earlier because it didn't fit into our schedule and I thought it really wouldn't be one that Bud would enjoy but now I think I will just broaden my experiences and go whenever I find a movie that calls to me. 

Sara, thanks for the book and sharing the text before and after the movie.  I wish you had been by my side while watching the movie but I felt that you were there in my heart. 

By the way, the book and movie take place in a Paris apartment and I made me feel like it was the apartment building like where we stayed.  That was just a bonus of the book/movie esperience.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Eva's trip to Guatemala

Well, after trying for about a half of an hour, I am only able to get this picture of Eva giving out the markers that Jessica made for the little kids in Guatemala but you can also see the cute blankets that she made with the Haley, Annika and Bookelynn.  She took the fabric down to TN and the girls helped her make these cute little blankets.  You can also see the little cards the girls made for the children.  Eva came back on Monday and I understand that she had a great trip.  I will find out more when I talk to her. 

I didn't have anytingh to post for myself so I had to use this great picture from Eva that she sent me.  My life isn't that interesting this week. Just my usual of reading, quilting, walking and today going out to help in Kingsley.  I hope the fall weather is reaching you. The wind took down a lot of our leaves so it is looking a bit colder outside my morning window. 

Enjoy the day.  I am going to quickly bake cookies to take to Kingsley for 'National Cookie Month'

Monday, October 17, 2011

Getting in shape

Well, I am trying to get back in some kind of shape.  This is a great season to get outside and establish a habit of walking again.  I took my walk today and enjoyed the smell of the leaves as they lay on the ground.  There was a bit of rain in the air but not enough to keep me inside.  It is a typical fall day in N. Michigan, now the sun is shining and the blue sky is dotted with wonderful clouds, some gray with a hint of another bit of rain and some white and fluffy.  The wind has been blowing the last couple of days so the leaves are falling rapidly.  Our view of the bay is opening up and the dark blue water has the look of the promise of cold weather that is coming all too soon.  The beauty of the moment, sitting here at my computer in the corner of my living room and the walk earlier, remind us of the ever changing season, each one with their own 'footprint'.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Read the fine print

Don't your love my new PURSE?????
This is kind of a long story but please bear with me.  I want to tell it all.  Bud and I have L.L. Bean Credit cards.  Instead of accumulating 'air miles' we get "Bean Bucks" that you can use to buy items from L.L. Bean.  You all know that I used my credit card a LOT this past summer with a couple of trips  and Bud used his to buy things for the new garage.  SO, we had racked up quite a few Bean Bucks.  I often have trouble finding things in the catalog that I really want (Maybe we should switch to air miles instead)  Before the Paris trip I used them to buy a nice and expensive trench coat but I still had over $200 of bucks to use this fall.  Well, I was looking through the catalog and found this nice 'Hobo Bag' purse.  I thought it looked nice in the picture and have been wanting to try that kind of bag that would be a little bigger than the one that I carry now and I really hate to shop for purses because they cost so stinking much.  SO, I thought, what the heck I have all these bucks, I can spend them on this purse that goes for $225 and see if I like this style of bag.  I didn't read the description in great detail and the purse was just a picture, without a person modeling it so I bought it and spent all my 'bucks'.  It arrived while we were in Chicago and when I got home and saw this huge box on the front step I should have known that it would be more than I had expected.  I unwrapped it and, YES, it is huge.  Finally, I went back to the catalog and read the description.  It is described as 18" long  and 13" tall.  As you can see it would work as a weekend bag for traveling.  It is a very nice leather bag and I will keep it but I think it will be a carry-on bag for me when I travel instead of a bag to carry when going grocery shopping and such. 
Live and Learn and of course, read the description before you buy, even if it is 'free'.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Our trip to Chicago

Bud had a conference in Chicago this week and now that I am retired I can go along just for the fun of it..... so I did. 
 We left here on Sunday morning so that we could stop and have lunch with Jessica and Doug. Doug has a new truck.  It is a Chevy not a Ford and he is still kind of missing the old one.  Jessica said that he really LOVED that old truck but the breaks were gone and it would cost more than it was worth to get new ones.  A friend found this truck for him so now he is adjusting to the new ride. 
 We arrived in Chicago that evening and settled in for the next few days.  Bud would get up early and leave for his conference but the sweet and wonderful husband that I married would also bring me back a breakfast treat and coffee (no coffee pot in the room??? What's with that in a fancy Chicago hotel???)  I would read the paper, sip my coffee and eat my treat while watching the morning shows, waiting for the shops to open.  Our hotel, the Palmer House, was located south of the river so it was a little bit of a walk up to the shops. 
 I did do a fair amount of walking and looking. Monday was Columbus Day so there were a lot of sales.  I managed to find some gifts and a couple of things for myself. 
In the evening we would find some nice place to eat and then relax together.  It was a quiet visit but the weather was terrific and the drive down was beautiful.  The fall colors are at their peak here in Michigan.  When we arrived back the driveway was covered with leaves and the trees are beginning to shed their leaves. 
It was nice to be able to go with Bud to Chicago.  I do enjoy the city and I sure did a LOT of walking.  Great times in the city.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The glories of Autumn

 Today Bud is going on a ride with a friend.  This is about the 3rd or 4th ride he has taken in the last couple of weeks.  The weather is perfect for a motorcycle ride.  It is warm and the sun is shining here in N. Michigan. 
I will stay home and enjoy the colors outside my windows.  This weekend is the 'peak' of color season here, the beauty before the cold winter that is sure to descend on us sooner than we wish. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I heard that October is National Cookie Month!!!   I do love cookies. 
The best cookie maker that I know is my sister, Eva.  Her advice for making cookies is:
1. Always use real butter
2. Always 'undercook' the cookies so that they almost look raw when pulled from the oven.  That makes them nice and chewy.

SO.. have a cookie this month or even better make a batch and share them with someone.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Good Monday Afternoon

I was busy this weekend making my newest quilt.  A friend's son is expecting a baby and I found out the colors so I am making a baby quilt and a teddy bear.  It is kind of hard to tell from the picture but they are decorating from Pottery Barn with the green and pink colors.  Yes, they are having a girl.  I ordered a crib sheet so that I could get the green color correct.  I think it turned out pretty nice. 
 It is a fairly easy pattern with a lot of cutting and sewing.  I used the last of much of my dotted material that I bought a couple of years ago.  I think this is the third quilt that I made from the dotted fabric.  This time I added the striped fabric for a little change of pace.  I'm not too sure how I feel about the stripes in the all dotted quilt but they are there anyway.  I am going out to the store to buy the backing as soon as I finish this post.  The back will be a bright pink color, like the small squares.  I still need to put a border on it too.  I have some of the green left but I am debating about how to "frame" the quilt before the border.  Usually I put a thin frame around my quilts and then the border.  The thin frame kind of acts like a small matting of a picture.  I have been thinking of using a pink 'ric-rack' to set it off.  I will check at the fabric store and get their advice.  
Bud did a lot of 'boat chores' this weekend.  The little boat is out of the water and stored in our carport.  The big boat is ready for someone to pull it out of the water and put it in winter storage.  Fall is here and we are making ourselves ready for winter. 

Bud also went on a motorcycle ride on Sunday.  Maybe the last one for the season.  He and a friend took a long ride kind of south and west of here.  He said it was a great day for a ride but a little chilly. 

Well, that is about it for us up here.  The air is crisp, the trees are turning and we are enjoying the fall weather.  I hope you had a great weekend too.