Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dream, dream, dreaming

SO, last night I had this dream that I made a quilt for Whoopie Goldberg and sent it to her.  They invited me to come on The View.  What do you think??? Am I quilting too much or watching too much of The View???

I hope this made you smile.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Weekend Update

Memorial Day weekend was fairly quiet for us.  I had invited Leo to visit but he declined.  He has been working the day shift and it seems that this shift has kind of interrupted his unusual sleep pattern.  After several years of working nights and afternoons, he has become accustomed to coming home from work and going to sleep.  You can't do that very well on the day shift if you want to sleep at night. He also said that he was planning to go to the 10 acres and work on his lawn mower.  
Kind of the same thing happened here in TC.  After the rainstorm on Sunday cleared up, Bud went with Walt over to the boat and they worked on getting it ready for the new summer season.  I stayed at home and did my usual reading and sewing activities.  The Nobles kindly invited us over for dinner Sunday evening so we were able to see most of the kids.  
 Charlotte, Sue, Walt and Jack at dinner.  We had wonderful salmon from the grill and great conversation around the table.  The only one missing was David.  He stayed in Ann Arbor to study for his MCATS,  For those of you that don't know what it stands for (like me who doesn't know exactly what the letters stand for), it is his medical school admission exams of some kind.  He will take them this week and I am sure that he will do very well.  We did miss him though.  
 Brittany was there with her fiance John.  She has started her 'rotations' in medical school so she is enjoying some patient contact now.
We really enjoyed the evening with the family.  It is nice to be included and to see everyone.  Great family, great kids and terrific parents.  Our future is secure with these kids running it.
Monday Bud did a lot of lawn work in the heat of N. Michigan.  The lawn looks great or as great as our lawn can look.  We don't really have a great lawn but we do live in the woods so we do our best.
I stayed inside out of the heat and worked on my sewing.  This is my latest project.  I have shown this quilt in earlier posts with just the center piece.  I have now added the pieces around the edge.  The blocks are all stars and the center piece is suppose to be in the shape of a star.  The green part is the star.  It is a little hard to see the 'star' in some of the pieces but that may be the fault of my choice of fabric.  This quilt was a bit of a challenge, trying to see how each block turned out.  Each block starts with about 6 different pieces/colors of fabric and you then piece them together so it is often difficult to visualize how the block will turn out with your color choices.  Some of them turned out better than others.  Overall I am happy with the way it is progressing.  I still have another group of smaller stars to put around the edge.  I am making this quilt larger than the pattern so I am designing as I go, hoping that everything works out.

Bud was rewarded for all his hard work out in the heat when he came inside to take a shower.  The bathroom sink drains have plugged up :( so the rotor-rooter guys will come today.  Not the way he had planned to end his weekend.

I hope you had some fun this weekend and yours didn't end up like Bud's with a disappointment.  However, you know Bud, he just took it in stride and called in the professionals.  They will come and solve our problem some time today.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lazy Day

Rain, lightning and thunder
Rolling over the hills and lake
Today is the kind of day that
If you hadn't just slept all night
You could sleep all day

We have a great place to view thunderstorms and one is coming across the bay right now.  First it became as dark as night.  Then the wind shipped across and the more than 50 foot trees in our yard began swaying back and forth.  You would think that they would break with all that swaying.  It seems like they move more than 20 feet in each direction as the wind whips them around.  Finally, the rain comes in sheets and a river pours down our road.  Michigan thunderstorms can be brutal but they are a wonder to watch from the windows of our living room.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Just a warning at the beginning, I am anticipating that this posting/story will be kind of long so begin at your own risk.  I am attempting to do a little 'story telling' here.  Maybe a new 'creative' outlet for me.  If you comment, please be gentle.

If you were 9 years old, what would you plan for a career?   While talking to a Third Grade boy the other day our discussion went like this.

"What do you think you will be doing when you are as old as me?" I asked on afternoon as we were walking back from the ice cream shop. This question was preceded by a discussion of how old I was.  I never give up my age so I had led him to make his own calculations by reminding him that I was his father's teacher, asked him hold old his father was (37 year old) and let him do the math.  He came pretty close but was kindly about 10 years short of my real age.  I think he must have either been trying to be kind or just not planning on me attending college too long.  Anyway I took the 'low' number with gratitude.

"I am planning to be rich." he quickly responded with all sincerity.

I smiled at his confident response and countered with, " How do you plan to become rich?"

He was equally quick with this response, "I am planning on winning the lottery."

That optimistic attitude of youth was delightful to hear but being a realist I decided to continue my questioning with "What do you think the odds of that happening will be?"

With a thoughtful look on his face he did pause before answering, "Probably not so good."

Not wanting to throw a wet blanket on this conversation I countered with, "Do you have a backup plan?"

There was a brief pause before he decided how to answer that question.  "I will mine for gold" he said with a new found confidence and a bit of a smirk on his face.

"Well," I said.  "You might want still another plan.  Might I suggest that a way to get rich would be to marry a rich woman?"  Two can play at this game and it was a game by now.

I received a puzzling look and then that smirk returned.  He knew the game was on but was not interested in thinking about marrying just yet.  Being young he still liked his ideas better than mine.

You might think the story would end there but the next time I saw him he came up to me quickly and needed to give me the rest of the story.  He told me that his dad thought all three of the ideas for becoming rich were good.  However, His mom only liked the first two.  She didn't like the idea of him marrying a rich woman.

I could tell that a rather fun conversation had occurred   around that dinner table the night before and he enjoyed it a lot.  I wonder if I should show up for the end of the year picnic or try to avoid his mother?

OK,OK, it really sounded more funny in my mind but I have committed all this time with this post that I am going to push the publish button anyway.  It is a good thing that I am already retired and not counting on a new career in writing.

I hope you have a fun conversation with some young child this week.  It is especially fun to "match wits' with a clever child.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wednesday wanderings

Memorial Day is this weekend!!!  I realized that the grave site in Coleman was unadorned so I decided to take a road trip on Wednesday.  
 I found a wreath here in town and drove down to put it on the grave site.  The flags are already there so now it is complete.  The 'good daughter' in me came through once again.
I also planned to meet my cousin Greta to spend a little time with her and see her new 'town house'.  We had arranged to meet at 1:00 but when I arrived nobody was home.  I stopped by the church where she said she was spending the morning and they told me that Aunt Ruth (her mother) was coming home from her latest (and last as far as she is concerned) stay at the hospital.  All three of the kids were there so I was able to chat with them and Aunt Ruth for a little while.  She will turn 94 this Saturday and like I said, she is just happy to be back in her own home.  They have 2 different nurses/health care aides to stay with her and she spends most of her time in her recliner napping and watching some TV.  We Lewis's come from LONG living and strong stock, not to mention stubborn ones so beware family, I may be MORE difficult in my old age.
Greta's brothers were staying with Aunt Ruth so we went into town so I could see the inside of her new house.  She just had an addition put on the back and really 'spiffed up' the interior to make it her own.  It is right in town, across from the library and very convenient.  Her daughter has bought her 'country estate',  She is married with 3 children and it is perfect for them.  Everyone is happy and the circle of life continues.
I left Coleman and drove on to Clare to visit Leo.  It was still early in the day (about 3:30) when I arrived so it was too early for dinner.  We just chatted for a couple of hours and then I headed home, my responsibilities taken care of and my day filled with family, both old and young. ( I forgot to take a picture of Leo for the blog but he hasn't changed his look much since I saw him a couple of weeks ago.)
 It was a good day.  I am glad that I am able to do this kind of thing with my retired schedule.  It is pretty light but once in a while I sneak in a busy day.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mystery meat, meals, music and many mundane moments

NOW, isn't that a strange title for my posting???  Mr. Colebank, my high school English teacher, would be proud of my alliteration.  I don't think he would be as proud of my posting/writing but what the heck, I'm not being graded on this.  
 SO, let's start with the 'mystery meat'.  This piece of frozen meat has been so nicely preserved in my freezer for a couple of months.  I couldn't remember what it was.  I thought it was either pork ribs to make into b.b.q. pork ribs or some 'stew meat' for vegetable soup.  Saturday I decided to thaw it out and be open to either choice of meal when I found out what it was.  I thought if it was stew meat I would make soup and take the extras to Leo later in the week.  If it was ribs we would have them for dinner.  Do you care what it turned out to be or are you tempted to click off this posting now???   For the curious, it turned out to be country style pork ribs and we had ribs for dinner.  They were delicious.
 Bud spent several hours on Saturday cutting up the logs in the back yard and stacking them.  He will have to rent a wood splitter later but the logs are now being cut into pieces to split.
 Back to the food, I made this terrific sandwich for Bud on Saturday.  You may wonder why a sandwich is such a big deal in our house but I never fix lunch for my husband.  I figure that he can 'forage' for his own lunch so this is a exception for me.
 Sunday we decided that we needed to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.  Bud took the sports car out of the garage and we explored Leelanau county.  Someone recently published a list of some of the most beautiful places in the U.S. and Leelanau County was listed as 'as close to Tuscany as anywhere in the USA.'  Well, I'm not sure about that description but we did take a long drive and enjoy the area.
 We stopped in Glen Arbor for ice cream and it was customer appreciation day so the ice cream was free.  'It doesn't get any better than this'.
 This place is called 'Inspiration Point".  It looks out over Glen Lake and is very pretty.

I had to get in the picture too.  It was a beautiful day, I have a little pink skin to show for it and we explored the area close to home.
Good company, fresh air and free ice cream.  WOW, I guess it wasn't mundane after all.

Finally for the Music part of my alliterative title.  Thursday and Friday of this past week we attended the spring Traverse City Central High School choirs presentation of a show called Rendezvous. It is a showcase of the musical talent here in Traverse City.  Charlotte was performing in the concerts.  She had a solo and she was in one of the choirs.  We went twice because they do different acts on different nights.   I didn't take my camera (sorry) and Bud's picture from his phone didn't turn out very well.

Anyway, I hope your weekend was filled with some fun and maybe even some 'mystery meat'.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Red Sky is getting a new coat

The boat is getting a new coat of red paint.  This really looks RED.  There was very little discussion about changing the color since the name IS Red Sky.  I hope everyone likes the new color.  Sailing season is arriving so think of scheduling a trip to N. Michigan and helping us get this boat out of the harbor more often.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Weekend

Mother's Day weekend and spring are finally here.
Friday evening Bud and Walt were out to dinner with a group of men so us women decided it was a good opportunity to get together and catch up.  We had a great dinner.  I am sorry this picture was taken with a little corner of Sonja's card in the bottom because it is a great picture of Sue and Sonja.  We enjoyed our evening without the guys.  

Saturday Bud and I went out to lunch with Sonja so I was lucky to see her twice in one weekend.  She is doing very well and looking forward to spring too.  Projects and friends keep her as busy as she wants to be.  Kind of like me.

Saturday night we decided to go to the movies.  I let Bud pick the movie again.  His choice was Dark Shadows.  I was surprised with that choice.  I remember the old Soap Opera that was on at 4:00 every afternoon.  We would get home from school and go directly over to Kay's house to watch it when we could because my mother wouldn't let us watch such a thing.  It was 'corny' and very poorly acted, not to mention SLOW but all 'soaps' were slow and poorly acted.  They have been replaced with talk shows and some game shows that are for the most part equally slow, poorly produced and sometimes trite.  The movie was mildly entertaining, Johnny Depp did a good job with the staring role but it still was 'corny'.  If you have a 'dying' desire to see it (pun intended) wait for it to come out and rent it.

 I try to listen to NPR during the day after I indulge my one pleasure in 'pop culture' by watching The View.  However, sometimes even NPR is a little trite.  Today on Talk of the Nation they were discussing 'Opposition Research' which basically means 'digging up dirt' on political candidates.  I'm glad that no one is doing any 'opposition research' on my life.  A life without a little 'dirt' in the past is an 'unlived' life in my book.  That is enough political commentary for one day.  

 Sunday Bud did a little yard work.  Last fall we had some trees taken down between our house and the house beside us.  They are the Ash trees  that have the Emerald Ash Bore disease and were all dead.  However the wood is still good.  They left behind the longer pieces but they need to be cut up and then split later.  Bud did some cutting of the longer pieces yesterday and then worked on some weed whacking.  Along with spring comes yard work.
I hope you had a great weekend.  I salute all Mothers, past, present and future.  It is one of the hardest jobs to do but I am thankful that all my children turned out so well.

SO, all my children and you know who you are, I am proud of you!!!!!!  You made my life easy.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Evolving Retirement

While waiting for sleep at night I often review my day's activities.  Some days I am kind of critical of my activities or lack of activities.  Some days I review the things I want to do in the coming days, listing possible projects that I have in my head for future action.
The concept of having the freedom to go anyway I wish is still new with me.  I have lived most of my life with a schedule that dictated my daily activities and a 'school' schedule that had a yearly cycle.
Most people don't have the 'school cycle' lifestyle of teachers.  We have 9 1/2 months of intense work in which you have a limited time to move children along on their education timeline and then turn them over to the next year, regardless of how far you managed to 'move' them on this continuum. It is definitely a  cyclical schedule.  The end of the school year arrives, you have 'completed' your year of work but know that your work is only partially done.  You now need to turn the children over to the next teacher and ready your mind for a new batch.
Summer allowed me to convert my mindset.  As the summer began, I would spend the first few weeks relaxing and winding down.  Then I would have a few weeks of relaxation, time to read and enjoy doing what ever I wished.  Then the end of summer comes and I would spend the month of August gearing back up for another year.  The 'school year' schedule has been a part of ALL of my life since I was 5 years old.  I think it has been 'imprinted' on my brain.
I am just finishing the 3rd year of my retirement as the school year ends.  I have managed to keep that schedule 'embedded' in my life by continuing to volunteer in the school. I really enjoy that part of my life and the rewards it brings to me.  I know that Molly is always so thankful for my bi-weekly appearances in the afternoons and I enjoy the contact with the children.
However, I am still working on this retirement in my mind.  It is the unending 'freedom' that sometimes catches me off guard.  Like I said earlier, most of us have a schedule in our lives that keeps us focused.  Being without that schedule is a dream for many people, probably more so for people that find it easier to expand their life.  I remember being worried before retirement about living a life full of purpose in this next phase of life. That part of me is still evolving.
So, as I lay there at night, waiting for sleep, I wonder if my life has been full of purpose today, what will I do tomorrow, and what is the right purpose for me in my life.
Evolving, that is what I call it.
Now family, don't worry.  I am just evolving not depressed.  I am happy.  I have a blessed life.  I enjoy my quilting and reading and volunteering.  I enjoy my freedom.  I enjoy my husband and my life.  Just like always as a human, I am reassessing and changing all be it slowly.  I do wish I had some ability to change things that I can't change.  I wish that I lived closer to my family so that I could just drop by and  'chat', babysit or teach a sewing project to a new learner.
Evolving and growing.
 Who knew that you had to keep doing that all of your life???   I am thankful that I am able to explore the evolving life I have.  Many people of the world don't have the freedom to live as examined of a life that we do here in the United States.  Their lives are full just trying to live their life.
Evolving.  I will continue to evolve.

A blesssing to all of you that made it this far in reading my post.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Treasure trove at the used book store.

I can't believe my luck.  When we were in N. Carolina we visited a used book store while waiting for our next activity.  I love bookstores but this one was an especially good treasure trove of books.  I wandered around, reading and selecting books that sounded interesting, new authors and some old favorites.  I walked out of there with a large bag of about 20 books and a very low bill for all those books.   I shared some of the books with Diana when we stopped in TN to visit but brought home at least 15 or so. I have been slowly working my way through the stack.  I started with the new authors, hoping to discover someone new to love.  I have NOT been disappointed as of yet.  They are all different, kind of quirky but interesting.  I started with The Postmistress, then went on to Good Harbor.  They were both VERY interesting and I appreciated every chapter.  I am now reading Felicia's Journey which is very different from the first two.  This one is some kind of mystery that I haven't figured out or at least that is what the jacket cover says.  All of the books are very character driven and well written.  The kind of book that you need to read slowly so you don't miss details or descriptions of the characters.  I love books like that.

So, on this rainy Sunday afternoon I am reading, doing laundry and making quilt blocks.  It is a good day even though it is raining.  I hope you are having a great Sunday afternoon, doing things that you love to do.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Charity quilting

At my last quilt group meeting I volunteered to bring home some 3 1/2 inch squares and make them into something for the group to give to a charity.  We make quilts for several groups such as Habitat for Humanity, Munson Infusion Clinic and more that I can't think of.  Anyway, I haven't made anything for them the last 3 years that I have been a part of the group so I thought I could make something for them.  I must admit the squares were of "questionable' quality but I did put them together anyway.  I decided to put a strip between them with some of my own fabric, just to kind of bring together the scraps.  
 I think it turned out pretty good for such a wide variety of fabrics.
 I also decided to do the backing in some of my leftover pieces and began digging into my own 'questionable' fabric box.  I found several large pieces of fabric leftover from the 80s when I was making bunnies and teddy bears.  I pieced together this backing for the first quilt.
 While looking through my OLD fabric box I found a LOT of these shades of blue and mauve.  I know that I made bunnies out of this fabric in the 80s and really don't want the fabric for anything now.  It isn't my taste AND the fabric is quite inexpensive, not as sturdy as the fabric I use now.  This looks kind of cute but way too country for me.  What was I thinking???My tastes have changed a lot.
I also decided to use up the scraps for the backing of the quilt.  I had some pretty big pieces of fabric and tried to make it look cute on the back too.  I only saved enough of this fabric style for the binding and the rest which was in much smaller pieces was tossed.  I am done with the blue/mauve color pallet now.  I am happy that I used it up and it is going to a good cause.

SO. do a little something for someone you don't even know the next time you get a chance.  It is nice to give something and attach your own story to the piece, wondering who will use it and what they will think of your work but not ever knowing what effect that your work may have.  Anonymous giving is good for the soul.