Thursday, August 30, 2012

Torn between two loves

This week I have been alternating between two of my loves, a good book and a quilt project.  My book is an old fashion mystery/crime thriller.  Nothing too fancy, just a good twisting plot that surprises me often.  The quilt is a surprise quilt for someone I love.  Thank goodness for hobbies because the TV of this week is pretty weak, the RNC has been capturing the airwaves with their 'speeches'.  I'm not convinced but find it interesting that of late I have heard some praises of former president Clinton.  Yes, he did balance the budget.  He also didn't get us involved in a war without thinking of the human or financial consequences of starting a war in the Middle East.
SO, I will go back to my fantasy world and enjoy the mystery thriller and my quilting.  Enjoy your weekend.  I hope you have an escape from the world to indulge in this last weekend of summer.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Weekend full of fun and injuries

Saturday was a beautiful warm summer day in N. Michigan.  Bud was full of ideas on how to spend our day.    Since I am retired and have EVERY day to relax I was very happy to spend time with him and enjoy the summer weather while it lasts.  

 We were lucky to find some of the Noble kids home and available for sailing.  David and his girlfriend Danielle were very happy to join us out on the bay.  This was Danielle's first sailing adventure and it was a perfect day.  It was quite warm on land but the air cooled off as soon as we left land.  We sailed around the bay for a couple of hours.  It was nice to catch up with everyone and just relax in the sun.  We tried to get David to 'skipper' the boat but he was unwilling to take the boat away from the dock until someone else puts the first scratch in the new paint.
 Jack came along too.  They will all leave for college at the end of the week so it was great to get them out on the boat one more time before leaving town.
 Bud and I were just glad to be out on the water and to spend time with everyone.
 We had also arranged to go for a bike ride with some friends in the evening.  It was a beautiful evening and the sun was setting over the bay as we took the path through the downtown marina.  'It doesn't get any better than this'.  We are very fortunate to live in such a beautiful place and to have an day with family and friends.
 The reward at the end of the bike ride was to stop at Wonder Freeze.  Mike and his wife Nancy have been friends for a long time.  I worked with Nancy when I was single and working as a waitress at the Holiday Inn.  Bud has became friends with Mike several years ago when he was part of the J. C.s.  Mike is enjoying his ice cream and Bud his Diet Coke.  He is working very seriously at trying to lose some weight so he only had a few bites of my ice cream and his Diet Coke.
I never have been the most coordinated person and that was proven last night on the bike ride.  The path we were biking on was a little narrow and someone was coming toward me.  I kind of got nervous as I tried to stay out of the way and dropped my bike and skinned my knee and leg quite bad.  It didn't interrupt our ride too much.  We just had to swing by Bud's downtown office and clean up the blood.  He also had some band aides so I was patched up and we continued on our way.  I was in good enough shape to eat ice cream later.    It is quite a red knee and reminded me of ALL the banged up knees I had as a child.  I think my knees were covered with scabs all summer.  Riding on that gravel driveway in Coleman did leave me with a few scars, now I will have another one.  I am taking good care of the wound.  I do have a few other black and blue marks on the other leg.  I am seeing my doctor this week for my yearly physical.  I hope he doesn't think that I am being abused.  He has been encouraging me to exercise more so I will share my battle scars or as Diana calls them 'trophies' when I see him .  Maybe he will tell me to find a different sport.  The sailing was safer yesterday but probably not as much exercise.
Today is much more quiet here.  I am doing laundry and so far I haven't injured myself but the day is still young.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

New Stack and Whack quilt.

I am inspired to work on the wall hangings that I am going to put in my entrance way.  I now have a plan for decorating that space and this was my next project.  I started this project in a class this past winter.  I just wanted to learn the technique but didn't have a plan for the quilt.  Well, now that I am going to hang some of my work in the house, I thought it would make a nice hanging.  I am planning to change the hangings with the seasons so this one will be my Christmas hanging.  The poppies one that I finished a week or so ago will be my summer one.  I have a pattern in mind for the fall but it will have to wait.  I am on to making some 'surprise' quilts for family.  We have some babies and a wedding so I won't be posting those quilts on the blog because I want them to be a surprise.
I love this quilt and the way it turned out.  It is an interesting pattern and technique.  It is also very bright looking.  I think it will look great hanging in the entrance.  Maybe I will even get it up for this Christmas.  It will take some rearranging of the bars that are there now but that is just a weekend project for the two of us. Maybe when the weather is colder and we don't have outside things to do.  Today is too nice to stay inside.
It is nice to finish up projects.  Us quilters often have what we call UFOs around the workroom.  I am glad that I found a place for this one and finished it.  Finished projects have a nice feeling of accomplishment.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

30 Years and going strong

Yesterday was our 30th anniversary.  That is hard to believe.  Yes, the most important thing you can do in your life is to marry well.  I am so happy that I married Bud those many years ago.  I didn't know that it would turn out this great but what a blessing.   

 Don't we look cute here at the courthouse.  Bud in his 3piece suit and me in the dress that I made for this occasion.  Neither of us have our 'wedding outfits' anymore but I do remember this dress well. Most of you know that we didn't tell anyone except Warren, Sonja and Eva and they were sworn to secrecy.  It was just the wedding that we wanted.
 SO, 30 years later we celebrated by loading the bikes on the back of the car and heading out for a ride at the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes new trail.  It was a perfect day, not too hot with a nice breeze.
 We rode about 3-4 miles one way and then back.  It was a nice way to spend the afternoon.  After arriving back home we both took a nap.  Yes, we are getting older but the ride and the nap both were great.
 We invited Sue and Walt to join us for dinner.  It was a great evening. We had dinner outside and just enjoyed great conversation.
We don't look old enough to be married 30 years.  The years have been good to us.

I hope all of you are blessed with someone as nice in your life as I have been.  We are looking forward to 30 more years together.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


It has been a wonderful week here.  We were blessed with a visit from a wonderful couple that we met on our cruise three years ago.  We met this couple when we did that cruise across the Atlantic.  Alan was our photography instructor.  He and his wife Anne gave many classes on how to take more beautiful pictures.  They live in New York City and were coming to our area to visit the Sleeping Bear National Lake Shore park.  We invited them to stay at our house and I volunteered to show them around.  
They arrived on Tuesday evening.  We met Bud for dinner at a wonderful restaurant over at Grand Traverse Commons (the old state hospital grounds)  Stellas is a wonderful restaurant and we enjoyed a great meal and the conversations as we caught up on each other's activities the last three years.  It was nice to catch up.  
 Wednesday morning Allen took us to a garden right here in TC.  He had this invitation through another friend who knew about this garden.  We did NOT know about this beautiful garden right here in our own town.  It is open to visitors every day and we had a special tour from the owner and gardener.  It is all around this old Victorian house on one of the oldest streets in TC.  You would not believe that so many beautiful flowers could be squeezed into the back and side yards of a home.  I should take Eva here when she visits.
 There are several 'gardens in this back yard.
 You can see that it is right in a neighborhood.

 Allen, Bud, me, Dee the gardener and Anne posing among the flowers and one of the gardens.  It was a wonderful experience and a great surprise to find something new right in your 'backyard'.
After visiting the garden, Bud went to work.  He had an important meeting that couldn't be rearranged.  I was the tour guide for the afternoon.  We drove up to Leland and then took the Lake Michigan coastal drive down past Glen Arbor.
 We stopped in Glen Harbor with our picnic lunch.  It was a beautiful day to sit and watch the lake while eating lunch.
 Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes was beautiful as usual.  Anne is trying to see all the national parks of the United States and this trip was designed to pick up some of the 'stray' parks that she had not visited.  From here they are going to the Pictured Lake National Park.
 In the evening we picked up sandwiches and went out on the boat for a beautiful sail.  The temperature was just perfect.  We had a nice amount of wind and the sun was shining on us.
 Since it was Wednesday night the Yacht Club races were just finishing up as we took one trip across the bay.  All those sails against the blue water and the blue sky made for great pictures.

It was a picture perfect Traverse City day for visitors.  After sailing we came back here and I served homemade ice cream to the group.  It was its usual delicious treat.  My newest recipe of using ALL cream makes the ice cream especially delicious and easy since I can make it ahead of time and freeze it without it turning into that crystal and hard ice cream that I remember from other recipes. It was a delicious way to end  the day.
It was very nice to reconnect with Alan and Anne.  We enjoyed our visitors.  SO, you can see that we are good hosts.  Family, are you interested in a visit???  Our bed and breakfast is open.  It includes sailing, ice cream and now a garden walk if you are interested.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

poppies quilt is almost finished

Isn't this beautiful????  I am almost done.  I have one dark border to put on this quilt and it will be finished .  I just love the poppies fabric.  I finally broke down yesterday and bought some more via the Internet along with some of the other fabrics in the quilt that I like.  I don't have any plans for that fabric but as Jessica confirmed with me on the phone a while ago, "My name is Della, and I am addicted to fabric."  It takes an addict to recognize another addict.  We bond together and support each other when ever we need to make difficult decisions.  I tried and tried to resist the pull of this fabric on the Internet site but just kept coming back to it almost daily.  That must mean something, don't you think??? I am guessing it means that I need to incorporate this fabric into another quilt some where or at least have some extra around to play with and dream with.  I try to avoid that problem of having beautiful fabrics around just to fondle, but this time I couldn't do it. Maybe there is a 12 step program for us fabric addicted  but I'm not sure we would be very helpful to each other.  We would probably just get together and swap fabrics and make quilts.

While I am at home doing laundry and sewing, Bud is doing a good deed today.  Today is Coast Guard Appreciation Day here in Traverse City at the Yacht Club.  He took his boat down to the club and offered rides to the 'coasties' and their families.  I am joining him in a bit to have dinner.  TC is a Coast Guard town so once a year or so the Yacht Club likes to do something to show their appreciation to their work and invite them and their families to have a day of fun and good food on the bay, before school starts.  It is a nice thing to do.

I hope you had a good weekend, whether you fed your addiction or did something nice for someone.  Summer is slipping away so enjoy it while you can.The snow will be flying for most of us sooner than we would like.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Husband Cleaning for hire

If you want your house to be thoroughly cleaned, call me.  I have the husband you need.  It all started like this.  We NEEDED  our windows cleaned.  At our house that is a lot of work and requires special equipment to reach those high windows. We have a great company here in town that will come over and do that cleaning in just a half of a day.  I hired them to clean this past Friday.  They did such a great job that we realized that the rest of our house really needed one of those day long cleaning events.  I never have enjoyed this task but we set aside today to get into the cleaning and spiff up our house.  That means attacking those little piles and places that you sometimes ignore.
This morning we split up the jobs.  I said that I would do the kitchen, bathrooms, and dust.  Bud said that he would run the vacuum and take the brush to the cobwebs in the chandlers and and along the edges of the ceiling.
WELL, it is many hours later and I have finished the bathrooms, kitchen and dusting. I even took the brush to the cobwebs in a couple of rooms to speed things up.  Bud is still diligently working.  He took this as an opportunity to clean  EVERY nook and cranny in the house.  Now I'm not complaining at all.  I love a diligent worker  but I am amazed at all the places he found to clean.  This little day of cleaning up the house turned into a LONG day of cleaning.  I really didn't think it would take this long and that we would find so many places to clean.  I just finished cleaning off the glass of pictures that are hanging in the living room, something that I rarely do but probably should do more often based on the dirt I found.  Bud just finished cleaning off the tops of the kitchen cabinets, another place that should be periodically cleaned but is often on the list of things to do another day.  He is talking about going up on the roof and cleaning off the skylights, something that hasn't probably been done since we moved into the house.

SO, if you want to come and visit us, we have a clean house.  That is what you get when you ask an accountant to help you clean the house, slow and thorough.        

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

beautiful new poppies project

This is my newest project.  I am so excited about the way it is looking so far.  Here is the back story.  My friend Kathy gave me this quilt kit for my birthday last week.  We were shopping in various quilt shops a few weeks ago and came across this quilt hanging on the wall.  We both fell in love with the poppies and the bright combinations of colors.  Of course the store didn't have most of the fabrics left and didn't have the pattern.  I came home and started checking with some of my online stores, just looking for poppy fabric.  I found the collection bit was on back order and didn't include the pattern. I became kind of obsessed with the fabric, checking every day to see if it was in and pondering buying the collection without the pattern but remembering that the pattern was special because it really 'showcased' the poppy fabric in bigger pieces and it was an unusual pattern. I continued to check my sources and trying to not buy just a yard of everything and look for a pattern that would work.  This was one time that procrastination paid off because Kathy took down the exact information and then found 2 kits on line.  She ordered one for herself and one for me as a terrific birthday gift.  I had finished off my star batik quilt and was looking for something new to make . This is perfect.  

 There will be more of the 'sashing' between these two rows but I haven't made that yet.  There is one more row to make too.  It will be about 54'x65' inches, kind of a throw size.
This picture is just a closeup of some of the fabrics.  This is the first time I have ever used a kit. All the fabric that you need for the quilt comes in the kit and you just need to cut it up and sew it together properly.  I am being very careful because there isn't a lot of extra fabric to fool around with.  I always buy extra when I am selecting fabric for a project.  (that is the way I end up with so much leftover fabric for my 'stash')

Anyway, the next problem I had was what to do with this wonderful creation that I LOVE.  We have been thinking of changing the banners that hang in our entrance.  Bud wanted me to make new banners.  I have one project that I started from a class that I took last winter but haven't gotten back to it.  I have been working on other project that were more pressing.  I also have not been that excited about hanging banners again in the entrance of our house.  I wanted a new look.  SO, I asked Bud if he minded just changing and hanging my new project on one wall.  He thought that would be a good idea so now I have a place to hang it.  I am also excited about changing the quilt with the seasons or any 'whim' that I may come up with.  I can make smaller quilts and hang them in the entrance and have a good time changing them around.  I like the idea of having a place to display my work.  Our house doesn't have a lot of extra wall space so this will work for us and show off my hobby.

I am excited to finish this project and get on to other projects to finish or make for this space.  I hope you like this idea as much as I do and I hope you will be able to visit and see them in person some time.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Baby bump, betrothal and birthday

OK,OK, I know that is a strange title for my posting but it has been an exciting week and I just had to share ALL of the blessings in my life.  

 First of all isn't this a beautiful picture?   That little baby bump is not so little.  She is due with a boy and a girl the end of December, the 27th to be exact according to Eva.  She is looking so beautiful.
 NOW on to the betrothal, YES, YES, it happened this weekend.  Jessica and Doug are engaged.  I received my phone call on Saturday morning but I am told that Eva and Matt received a rather excited call late on Saturday night, after he popped the question.  Yes, he did get down on one knee and yes it was a surprise to everyone but one of the most beautiful surprises.  They are a wonderful couple and I am very happy for them.  I have received a couple of other pictures of the ring in the last two days, one of it on the river canoeing with Jessica and another one today out on the pontoon boat.  That ring really gets around.
 The rest of the posting is rather boring in relationship to the news and pictures above but I will still share with you my birthday dinner pictures.  Eva and Leo drove to Big Rapids to meet us for dinner.  It is becoming a tradition in our family to meet there to share birthdays.  It is a central point for all of us, each driving an hour or so to get there.  Eva was beaming with the news of Jessica's engagement.  She asked Leo to guess what her great news was.  He had 3 guesses. 1. Sara was having triplets  2. Erik was getting married  3. Eva was getting married.  What a comedian he is.  We all listened to Eva's stories of the call and the sleepless night that she had just excited and happy for Jessica and Doug.
 Bud is Googling something here.  He is addicted to his phone and now when I ask him a question he goes quiet for a while and then comes up with the answer.  I can't even remember what he was looking up this time and most of the time I can't remember the question by the time he finds the answer.
 I am so rarely in the pictures so I had Eva take some of the two of us.
 My birthday gift from Eva came in one of my favorite kind of box, a Talbots box.
 It is a beautiful new sweater with navy and gray stripes.  I will have to wait a few months to wear it but am looking forward to looking stylish this fall.  A great choice as a gift.
 Bud bought me new sunglasses.  I lost my best pair early in the summer so I went out and bought this pair.  I have expensive tastes in sunglasses so they are my birthday present.
 Leo gave me this great card that really sums up our family relationships.
On the outside it said: Sis, it was awfully hard to grow up in the shadow of Mom's little favorite.
On the inside it said: I think you handled it very well.
Great card and a great birthday.
And of course the group picture.  I was thrilled that we had a chance to get together and celebrate my birthday.

So bumps, betrothals and birthdays all celebrated this week.  A lot of excitement for me.  Thank You, Thank You to all of you that called, sent a text or sent a card.  I truly felt very loved on my birthday.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Go Blue

This is my latest project.  My friend Kathy's son is expecting his first child the end of the month.  They are U of M fans and do not know the sex of their child so I decided that this would be their teddy bear.  I think it looks cute.  You may notice that all the words and symbols are right side up. That took a little work on my part to make sure that I didn't reverse anything.  I don't know how many of these bears I have made but it sure seems like a lot.  I have been making these bears for so long that I made one for Josh and for his son. I don't make them very often anymore, the charm of making them has kind of worn off.  Anyway, I think it looks cute.
Have a nice weekend all of you.