Thursday, March 28, 2013

Computer troubles

I have been silent the past few days due to computer problems.  We have been having trouble with the start up of our computer lately so Bud decided to take it in to our repair shop and check it out.  WELL, the hard drive was in danger of burning out so they had to install a new one.  That was cheaper than buying a new computer.  While they had it, they cleaned up any viruses that managed to get through so we are hoping that it will be good for a while.  We do have a 'back-up' system but I would hate to lose all of our pictures.  That is the disadvantage of keeping pictures on the computer.   I should burn them to disks more often.  
 I have been my usual 'busy' which means not so busy but at my own pace.  I started this quilt a week or so ago and now have it almost finished.  I am making another border to put around it but I should finish that today.  I like it and the way it turned out.  The blocks are big, 16 inches square, so it went together quickly.  This is a throw size.  I wanted to check out the pattern and see how easy it was.  I do have some plans for this one so no one can request it.  I did use a lot of my 'stash' fabric for this one although I did buy a few pieces.  I think this looks good and it would look good in almost any color scheme so if you like the pattern and would like a different color, let me know.  I am always looking for new projects and have almost any color in my stash.
I also did a puzzle the last couple of weeks.  I haven't done a puzzle in a long time and picked this one up when I was out one day with Leo.  It was fairly easy until you got to the grassy part at the bottom.  Even the sky was easier than the grass. I might try another one some time because it was kind of a fun thing to do.

Bud and I continue to 'chug along' on our diets, losing a few pounds a week.  I am impatient for it to be over.  I don't get to eat any carbs which includes fruit, on this diet.  I am tired of the program but trying not to complain since I have lost 18 1/2 pounds so far.  Bud mentioned this morning that he is surprised how hard it has been for me to give up carbs even though several years ago I gave up smoking quite easily. I don't know the difference but I know that this has been difficult for me. Leo teases me when I am visiting because I keep recommending he eat things that I would LOVE to eat such as a nice slice of great toast or an ice cream float that he DOES need to eat.  I have reentered the 'normal' BMI range of my body as of a week ago but it is still going slowly, too slowly for me.  Leo is doing a good job of keeping his weight up even though food doesn't seem interesting to him.  He is now weighing almost 150 pounds but of course he is the only person I know that gladly gets on the scales at the doctor's office fully clothed with a heavy pair of shoes and a jacket on.  He is probably wearing 5-10 pounds of clothing when they weigh him.

I have just one RANT today, I have been listening to NPR as usual lately and the last couple of days have been filled with the Supreme Court Arguments regarding marriage equality.  I am "so over" this issue and can NOT see why this is an issue in our country.  I don't really understand the oppositions "Defense of Marriage' argument. Why does marriage need defended???   I think that marriage is a good thing for all people and we are not forcing anyone into a marriage that they don't want.  I do understand there are some financial issues that involve the government but I think those arguments are weak and we should just let people love and be loved.

So much for my 'rant'.  I hope you are enjoying the spring weather.  The sky has been blue and beautiful here.  The snow still covers the ground but the sun is shining.  Sunshine makes the world look beautiful.  Enjoy your little bit of sunshine today and take in the beauty of the world.

Hey, it is 2:00 and I have finished the border.  Now I have to get the backing together and take it to my quilter.  This is too big for me to work with.  I think it looks great.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Obsession/addiction??? How can you tell the difference?

My obsession/addiction lately is fabric.  Sometimes I just can't resist even though I try and try.  I see a beautiful piece of fabric and it just won't leave my mind.  The obsession part takes over and I check it out on the Internet,  see the whole collection by the one designer and then I am even MORE obsessed.  I just can't let it go UNTIL, I finally give in and order the collection.  This happened to me recently.
I found this piece of fabric when I started working on my latest project that I showed you on an earlier posting.  I kept using it and loving the gray/tan/brown color combination of subtle colors.  I then went to the Internet and entered Earth tone by Norman Wyatt Jr who is the designer.  I found the other colors that are in this collection and loved them equally if not more.  I kept going back to the computer checking out the designs and the collection every day, not knowing what I would use them for but still loving them, especially the one with leaves.  FINALLY I gave up last night and placed my order.  I am not a strong person when it comes to fabric that I love.  I delayed gratification a few days but finally gave in.  Is that an addiction????  I don't know but at least it won't break up my home (unless I drive us to bankruptcy with my buying but I think I don't have enough storage space for that much fabric),  it won't make me fat, it doesn't hurt anyone so I guess I will just enjoy it.
If you wish to check out the whole collection go to  Google earth tones by Norman Wyatt Jr. and check out the site .  Do you agree with me that it is a beautiful collection????  Is anyone loving it as much as me and would like something made from it.  I don't have any idea what to do with all this fabric that is coming but I could sure make it into something beautiful.

I am off to Clare this afternoon and NOT stopping at my favorite Farwell quilt shop.  I have done enough damage with the fabric addiction this week.  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A quiet weekend alone

This past week was full of changes.  My trip to be with Leo was postponed until this week,  All is well, we just needed to wait a week.  So I returned to school on Friday and had my usual day of volunteering.  I do love to go down there and help out.  It is still fun for me and I feel very useful.  I am reading a book to the class so they look forward to hearing the latest chapter.  
Earlier in the week one of Bud's aunts died.  She had been in hospice so it wasn't a big surprise.  She was the oldest of Warren's sisters, in her 90s.  He decided to go to the service but this time he would fly since it was over 900 miles to Newport News where she lived. He was also interested in meeting her children, his cousins because he hadn't ever met them.  He left about noon on Friday and is arriving back tonight.  
SO, I was alone for the weekend, the first time in quite a while.  I had bought some fabric for a new quilt and a new pattern that I wanted to try out.  I had cut it out this past week and decided that it would be a good project for me to do while he was gone.  Here are the two blocks that go into the quilt.  These blocks are pretty big, 16 inches square, so it won't take many to make this quilt.  I had a lot of the fabric already but added a few more pieces.  I think it will make an interesting quilt, all in kind of earth tones. 

While he has been gone I have been sewing, reading and staying up late watching things like Saturday Night Live and such, things that I usually don't do.  It is still cold here with snow on the ground and in the weather forecast.  We have had lots of sunshine though so that makes winter seem like it is almost over.

So there you have it, the weather and an update on my latest sewing project.  I'm sorry but that's all I have for you on this Sunday evening.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


OK, OK, I am feeling especially intelligent today because I guessed the Final Jeopardy question correctly last night  AND none of the contestants were able to come up with the correct question.  I must give all my credit to Mr. Colebank, my high school English teacher though.  He taught me all I know about early American Literature and British Literature.

The category was British Novels the answer was: Fittingly this Thomas Hardy character is introduced near the Pure Drop Inn.  Do you know the answer??  I guessed it correctly but would have been embarrassed because I would not have been able to spell the title correctly.  Have you guessed it yet??  Maybe Diana will know and probably Sara and maybe Eva since she had the same English teacher that I did.  I will put the answer at the bottom of the post so keep thinking but do not Google it.  Rely on your own brain to come up with the answer or maybe you too had a great English teacher.

Today I am going down to Clare to spend the next few days with Leo.  All is going well there.  We seem to have our little 'routine' that we fall in to and get along quite well.  I hope the weather is better this time. The last time I was down we had quite a snowy trip to Midland one day.  After the trip was over, Leo said that maybe he should have driven the truck.  I don't know if that was a comment on my driving or just that he felt that his truck was safer.  I am making vegetable soup to take with me.  It is his favorite soup that I make.

I have been working on 'baby projects' the last couple of weeks so I can't post a picture of them just in case those babies check the blog and see their gifts early.  We are going out to Cape Cod the first of April to spend a weekend with those lovely babies.  Eva just spent the last weekend with them.  Just in case you want to see a happy Grandmother, check out this picture. They are all so cute.  I can hardly wait to have my chance to hold them.  
SO, have you figured out the answer yet????

The question was:  Who is Tess of the D'urbervilles.    If you knew this, thank an English teacher today.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I've got nothing

Yes, Yes, Yes, I know that isn't good grammar but it makes my point this week,  I don't have anything to write about but that rarely keeps me from going on and on sometimes.  
I am back volunteering at school as often as my schedule with Leo allows me.  I try to go on Mondays and Fridays this year.  Fridays I usually spend the afternoon correcting papers or going over tests with children that missed some concept.  This past Friday I even taught Social Studies so that Molly could do some other work. It is always fun to do a little teaching.  I am also trying to read to the class every time I go, just for about 10 minutes or so but just enjoy a book together.
Jodi, the one on the left, celebrated her 40th birthday this past week.  I stopped at a local bakery and took wonderful bread for them to enjoy with the soup that Molly (the one on the right) made.  Of course, I couldn't indulge yet since bread ISN'T on my diet until I lose the rest of my weight.  I also didn't get to have any dessert.  It is so nice to join them on a regular basis and help out.  It makes me feel useful and it keeps me in touch with the younger generation.

We have rain here (you can always count on me talking about he weather if I have nothing else to say) and the snow is disappearing fast.  You still can't see the ground though the snow in our front yard but a few more days like this and it will appear.  Right now it is foggy out. I don't think it dropped below freezing last night.  I think the maple tree sap is running so spring must be coming soon.

Bud and I continue to chug along on our diets.  We have both lost 14 pounds and are anxious for more to drop off so that we can start enjoying some carbs.  (I am more anxious than Bud since I am the carb person in the family)  It does feel good to be a little lighter but we would both like to lose at least another 15-20 pounds before summer so that we have a little cushion of weight loss.

Well, as  Bugs Bunny would say th-th-th-th-that's all.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Signs of spring

OK,OK, I know it is early to be looking for Spring but the snows of February have made me anxious for some warm weather and spring flowers.  We were lucky and missed this last snowstorm that flew through the United States.  I am guessing that Glen had LOTS of snow out in N. Dakota.  I am thankful that it missed us this time.  However the signs of spring are here in N. Michigan.
1.Dirty cars, every one's car is covered with this white looking muddy salt solution.  If you just happen to brush against your car, you too are covered with the same dry, salty, muddy gray mess.  I will be glad when it is gone and I can wash my car. Right now it looks more gray than black.
2. Dirty snow, along the sides of the roads we have this dirty snow that is piled up.  There is nothing more ugly than brown snow.
3. Dirty rotten potholes,  the potholes around here are almost as big as that sinkhole that swallowed up the man in Florida last week.  It is an obstacle course to drive down the roads and try to avoid the oncoming cars AND the potholes.  I'm not sure which one would do the most damage.

Spring, please come soon and save us from these dirty disasters.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Food, music and birthdays

SO, I realized that it has been a few months since I posted some food item on my blog.  Maybe that has to do with the new diet that Bud and I are on.  It is a rather boring diet but it is slowly working.  This diet is a high protein diet that involves drinking or eating specially prepared and doctor sponsored protein drinks or foods for breakfast, lunch and snack.  The 'meal' of the day is also high in protein and this diet requires you to eat at least 4 cups of certain vegetables every day.  It is a challenge to find vegetables to eat and interesting ways to prepare meals.  We have always eaten simple meals here but they often included some vegetables that are 'forbidden' on this diet.  I have been eating a LOT of cucumbers and celery.  Bud has been preparing vegetables for breakfast since it is sometimes difficult for him to get in all his vegetables.  We both have lost about 12 pounds in 6 weeks, not a fast weight loss but it is 'chugging along'.  Bud has dropped a size in the waist of his pants and I no longer have to struggle to get into my jeans.  I miss carbohydrates a LOT.  Sweets and carbs are my downfall.  I was hoping that this diet would rid me of those cravings but so far that part has not 'kicked in'. I also miss salty cracker type foods.  Basically, I LOVE all kinds of foods that aren't good for me and find the foods that are good for me BORING!!!
 Bell peppers have been on sale in the grocery stores lately and I bought quite a few, hoping to use them in stir-fry.  I had about 6 of them in the refrigerator and decided to experiment with roasting them.  I went online and checked out some recipes and away I went.  I cut the peppers in half, tossed them with olive oil, placed them on a cookie sheet with just sea salt on them.  I roasted them at a high temperature then took them out of the oven and put them in a bowl and covered them for a while to kind of steam them in the final stage.  They were then a bit cooler and I was able to remove the skins quite easily. I then cut them into strips.  There was still quite a bit of olive oil on them and I added sea salt and some spices that I had in a mixture in the pantry that was to be used as seasoning in olive oil for dipping bread.  I decided to make this into a salad so I chilled them a bit, not too much though. Along with a nice chicken breast from the grill, it made a very pleasant meal.  I had some leftover the next evening and I just reheated the whole thing so they were good hot too.  Anyway, if you happen to find an excess of peppers on sale in your store or your vegetable drawer, try roasting them.  They are good hot or cold.
 Saturday afternoon we went to hear Charlotte sing in a presentation for young children called Disney and Desserts.  She dressed up as Aerial in the Disney movie and sang a beautiful song.  Unfortunately the sound system was not working well, cutting in and out so the performance wasn't heard at its best. She was a real 'pro' and kept on singing, her voice was strong and we could still hear her very well.  Her voice is growing stronger and stronger as she gets older and she really has a beautiful voice.
 Then we were invited over for dinner.  Jack and David were home on spring break.  That was a pleasant surprise for me.  I haven't seen them since Christmas.  Danielle, David's girlfriend, came along too.  Tomorrow they are leaving and going to Utah skiing with Sue. Charlotte has to stay home since she is still in school, Walt has to work and they have invited Brittany's fiance John, to come with them although Brittany has to stay in Ann Arbor for medical school.  It sounds like a fun trip.  Sue will have a great time with the kids.
 OH, I guess this is out of order but here is Charlotte in her costume along with Bud.  LOVE that hair.  Quite a wig.
It was also Charlotte's birthday this past week.  She turned 17.  Since she is the last one, the whole fuss about having the correct number of candles isn't that important.  One candle in the middle of the cake is sufficient.

It was a lively dinner with many different conversations.  I love the fun of family around the table, laughing, talking and just enjoying the company.