Sunday, March 30, 2014

On the road and on the ice

Esther, an aunt on my mother's side of the family, died this past week.  She was married to my Uncle Amos who was my mother's oldest brother.  She was 93 so she had a long life. 
I don't see the cousins on that side of the family very often.  We took this opportunity to  take a picture.  
 Left to right, Leo, Me, Eva, Susan (Esther's daughter) Sharon (Uncle Roy's daughter) and Steve (Esther's son)  Missing were Glen and Cindy who is Sharon's sister.
It was a nice service and Mom would have been proud that 3 of her children attended.  We went to the Coleman Hotel for lunch after the service.
 Eva headed home because she was having 11 people for dinner but I had lots of time to help Leo spend some of his money.  He has been putting some new lights in his kitchen.  It has some dark corners under the counter so he has been using his electrical skills to 'brighten up' some corners.  Little jobs like that are good for him.  I think he likes to have someone along to consult with when he is out shopping although I don't know how good of a consultant I am when it comes to  electrical equipment.  I was just along for the fun of it.
 Bud stayed up north on Saturday and worked on tax returns for family.  He wants to get them all done before we go away on vacation.  He accomplished his task but the ice went soft that day before he could get out and give it a try.  He packed up his boat Saturday afternoon so that he would be ready early on Sunday.  He was out on the ice by about 9:00 today.  The ice was hard (a good thing) since it froze last night.  There wasn't much wind at first but by about 10:00 it picked up a little bit so he called me to come over and take some pictures.Here he is about ready to go out and have some fun.
 The ice was a little choppy since it froze with some ruts in it from yesterday's activities.
 He starts out standing up kind of pushing with one foot to get going.
 Then he sits down and hopes the wind will take him.
 Finally, he lies down and off he goes.

 You can see the tracks in the ice from yesterday's activities.  The ice wasn't real smooth but it was good enough to get up some speed.
 Off in the distance you can see some racers checking out the course.  It was a little smoother farther out from shore.  The were about in the middle of the bay.  That is the peninsula behind them.
 Bud took this shot from farther out in the bay than I walked although I did acturally walk out on the ice.
 Here you can see how the ice has tracks from when it got warmer yesterday and froze with those tracks in the surface.
 I took this shot and sent it out to some family.
And here I am just to prove that I walked out on the ice.  It was a beautiful day.  It is suppose to get up in the 40s tomorrow so it is unlikely that they will have a chance to go out again this week.  I doubt that the ice will disappear while we are gone but it probably won't be good enough for any more ice boating.  I am glad that he had a chance to get out this year.

SO, it was an interesting weekend.  For some reason I have been watching the NCAA basketball tournaments and of course I have been disappointed that both Michigan teams failed to advance.  I was hoping for a final matach between Michigan and State but no such luck.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Saturday was a busy day here.  We received notice that our furniture we ordered in Clare had arrived so we had to get Leo to help us transport it since he is the only family member with a truck.  It is a pretty handy thing to have someone in the family with a truck.  We drove down early on Saturday and met Leo in Clare.  We loaded up the furniture and headed home.  I rode with Leo so we had a nice long time to catch up.  All is well with him but he is having a bit of a mud problem at his new house.  Since the house went in in the Fall/Winter, he didn't get a chance to do any landscaping.  He needs to wait until the frost goes out and then work on his yard.  The good news is that it is good soil and he has a tractor so it should just be a project for him to work on.  
 We backed that truck right up to the door.
 This is the piece that we kind of had 'made to order' so no assembly was required.  It is going on the end of our living room to hold things and balance that wall.
 The guys brought it in.
 Set it up in its place.  We will have to work on different pictures to hang on the wall but it fit perfectly in the spot.
 Then we rested while Bud did the assembly of the tables.
 We have a small side table that goes beside one of the chairs.
 It is a perfect fit.
 Then the coffee table needed its legs put on.
 We spent a lot of time looking for a table that would be big enough to fit in the middle of our furniture arrangement.  This table is about 42" square. It looks very nice.
 Later in the day Bud put the shelves in our 'sideboard' piece.  We like how it looks.
After a short visit and lunch, Leo headed home to watch NCAA basketball.  It was good to see him.  He has a new haircut and all his cute curls are gone.
 I have been working on this quilt for the daughter of a friend.  She asked me to make a quilt for a twin bed.  My deal on things like this is: If you buy the material and pay for the quilting, I will make it for you. I love having projects to work on and this one is going to look very pretty on her bed.  The picture above is of the back of the quilt.  I had a few extra blocks so I decided to put this little design in the middle of the back.
This was a fun quilt to make.  I'm not sure I will make it again though.  There were a lot of little points to match.  I am sure that this will look great on a little girl's bed and look nice as she grows up.

SO....  That is what we have been doing.  Both Bud and I seem to have caught a cold so we are both recovering.
Spring has arrived on the calendar but not in the air.  We are still having below zero nighttime temps and the snow is melting SLOWLY.  We hope that we don't get much more but know another snowstorm is probably in our future.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Staying our of my sewing room

I have been having difficulty staying out of my sewing room lately so all other activities have been 'put on the back burner.'  I decided I would catch up on my blog, do some cleaning, put away my snowman collection and put out the Easter things before I entered the sewing room today.  I hear it calling to me so I will get busy and try to spend some time there later in the day.  I picked the activity that I thought would be the most fun to do first.  Cleaning and redecorating can wait.
 This past weekend we went down to G.R. to attend a shower for Jessica.  Megan, one of Jessica's long time friends, put on the shower at Eva's house.  Megan's daughters were a lot of help and really consider 'Aunt Jessica' as a member of their family.  Eva's house is perfect for entertaining and in a great location so it was a wonderful day.
 The 'boys' went out and spent the day doing chores and having lunch at a local sports bar.  Left to right: Doug Sr.  Bud, and Tom, Doug's sister.   Doug was at a rugby game so he wasn't able to join the guys.
 The food was terrific and many of Jessica's friends came.
 Wonderful gifts were appreciated by Jess.
This package came from Great Grandma and a cousin.  Lots of wonderful goodies in this box.
 Of course everyone needs a new car seat for this little girl.  Both grandmothers have a 'base' so that this seat can fit in their car too.
 Everyone seems to think that Jessica loves elephants, maybe it is the color gray.  Anyway, this little outfit is one of many very cute things she received.
 I found this cute camping fabric so I made her some little blankets that had canoes on one side and thermos on the other side.  I thought it fit right into their lifestyle.
 I also made this little blanket.  When I heard her colors were green, gray and coral, I found this little panel on line and decided at the last minute that I would make a baby blanket.  I had a great time doing this in about 3 days last week.
 Everyone needs a wonderful wagon like this and notice that it has two seats.
 Aunt Cathy made treats for the new grandmas too.
 Left  to right, Aunt Christi, Great Grandma, Jessica, Aunt Cathy and Eva.
 After the shower and after Jessica had some time to take a nap in the afternoon, we picked her up to take her to dinner.  This is the new nursery.  It is newly painted by Eva and Jess.  I love the nice gray color and want to talk Bud into painting our living room this color too.
 Jessica has moved her 'craft space' upstairs so that there is room for the baby downstairs.  A lot of creative wonderful things happen in this space.  She is a very creative woman.  Notice that it is very well organized too.  Maybe I should have her come up and help me organize my sewing room.  I think She would be discouraged though since I would probably mess it up again.  I tend to have a messy sewing room.
 We bought her the new crib.  Sunday she and Doug put it together.  It looks so cute and ready for the little one.
 This is the quilt that I made.  I cut out the blocks from a panel and put them together. I even quilted the piece which means I didn't send it to the quilter to connect the back to the front with the batting in between.  I don't usually do that step but since it was for Jessica and it was a smaller piece, I decided to give it a try.  I think it turned out quite nice.  
I also put some of the fabric on the back so that it looks cute on both sides.

SO, that is what I have been doing.  I am working on another quilt for the granddaughter of a friend which is almost finished but it will wait.

I am off to find the 'bins' that I keep all my snowmen in and my cleaning supplies.  I hope it doesn't take too long.  I'D RATHER BE SEWING.

UPDATE: I made it through all my cleaning and redecorating and was able to sew.  It was a busy day for someone that is retired.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sweet Treat

You know you have nothing to post when you resort to posting a recipe.  I found this one in a magazine the other day and have resisted making it even though it sounds irresistible.  If anyone tries it or has enjoyed this experience, please let me know.  I would like to live the taste treat through the mouth of someone else.  That way I won't add about 10 pounds to my thighs.

Crunchy Squares
1 large bag of chocolate chips
1 large bag of peanut butter chips
1 large bag of butterscotch chips
1 bag (270 g.) salted ripple potato chips
Combine first 3 ingredients in a double boiler and melt.  Crunch up chips and stir into mixture.  Pour into a 9x13 pan and refrigerate until set.  Cut into squares.

You do realize that there is NOTHING that is good for you in this recipe.  I find it fascinating that you would combine all these flavors but I am fairly sure that it will turn out delicious.  Some day when I have a weak moment at the grocery store I will buy the ingredients and make this little tasty treat.  Then I will taste it and get it out of the house immediately.

This is what we do in N. Michigan when we are waiting for spring, fantasize about delicious sounding food.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Just Lazy

Well, here it is Wednesday already and I didn't do a posting last week.  Lazy is the word I used but really I have been busy, just not on the computer.  
 I continue to go to school and volunteer twice a week, when they are having school.  It has been a bad year for 'snow days' and unlike Diana in TN, (she mentioned on F.B.) we DO have snow here so our school cancellations are valid although I do think that some of the days have been questionable and I DO know that they have not have been as bad as some days I drove to work in my early days when we had a superintendent that almost refused to cancel school no mater what the weather.  YES, I know that kind of sounds like the stories we heard as children about our parents walking to school in blizzards, almost barefoot and uphill both ways.
 OK, back on topic.  I was able to catch the school play  this past Monday.  It has been a tradition since 'way back' that the teachers put on a play for the students to kick off March is Reading Month.  Something to do to brighten up the LONG winter days up north.
This year the theme of Reading Month was The Wizard of Oz.  I have great memories of these plays and was happy to watch from the audience and keep Molly's class in line while she played one of the flying monkeys.  She is the one on the right.  The costumes have really become pretty professional.
 What would the Oz play be without the scarecrow, lion and tin man.  I have worked at the 3rd grade level with all of these teachers. It is a fun group of teachers and I still love going down and volunteering.  I was especially happy to catch the play and remember all the years I participate AND happy to be in the audience this year.
 Last week we had a great Quilt Group meeting.  I am the leader this year and I invited my favorite quilt store owner to come and do a program.  She showed us how to use a special ruler and her new and very fancy machine that cuts fabric.  I am really enjoying being the leader.  It is a fun group.
 Saturday Charlotte turned 18.  That is hard to believe.  She is such a talented young lady, not to mention beautiful.  She is off to college next year and planning to study voice.  She does have a beautiful voice.
 We were invited to join the family at a dinner out.  David and Jack came home because it is spring break.
 Jack decided to give me a funny face for this picture.  That is usually David's job but fear not....
 he did manage to hide behind Ringo when I took pictures later.
Yes, 18 is a lot of candles but just the beginning of a life for old folks like me.
As many of you know, I broke my wrist/arm this past year.  I had surgery to put it all back together but that required many sessions of Hand Therapy.  I have finally graduated and have most of my mobility back.  I will continue to stretch it and look for some of the stiffness to go away but we think that I can do that at home without help.  My hand therapist was this wonderful woman, Virginia.  I enjoyed our twice weekly sessions.  We talked travel, books and just common interests while she stretched and messaged my arm and wrist.  Thanks to her I am going to have full mobility.

Well, it took me a while but I finally was able to get this published.  Maybe I am a little lazy because I haven't received any feedback lately.  I do know that someone is reading these entries but a little fun feedback would be welcomed.

Only a few more weeks until Spring and we here in N. Michigan are really looking forward to a change in weather.  We didn't get out of town this winter but are planning a trip in May.  I just booked a tour with a group to travel from Bucharest to Budapest so that will be exciting.  More to come on that later.