Monday, October 26, 2009

What I've Been Up to

My posts have been further apart than I would like, but working 10 hours a day cuts into my blogging time (not to mention every other aspect of my life). I've had to stay after school to work at the PTO spaghetti dinner, attend an inservice, and sit in on conferences. Arriving at work at 7:30 and leaving at 5:30 or thereabouts is not my idea of a balanced life.

When I've been home, I've been binding off the quilts I got back from the quilter a few weeks ago. This one is for my son who went to school in Miami and now lives in LA. It's my first top and I think I did a great job of matching the houses on the border when I had to put a seam in the middle. It wasn't until after I had it quilted and laid out on his bed to surprise him when he comes home for Thanksgiving that I realized that the beach chair sections on the right side and the bottom make it seem unbalanced to me. I probably should have added another row of chairs to the top and left side. Oh, well, I'm learning and I enjoyed making this top. I'll just say that I was going for a "light and shadows" effect and won't show this to my quilting guild, whose members make amazing quilts. Here's the back which adds some fun.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How 'Bout Those Phillies?

I am so not a baseball fan, but my principal is. When the Phillies are in the post season, we as a school cheer them on by wearing our Phillies gear (although I personally own no such items). And that also means being able to wear jeans to work. For two days in a row this week. I am a huge fan of being comfortable, so GO PHILLIES!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quick, Before It's Gone!

I got four (4!) quilts back from the quilter* last week and that has meant a whole lot of binding. Here's a photo of the first one I completed--ignore the shadow from the tree in the upper right. I found the kit at a quilt show a few years ago and knew it was perfect for my second son who loves to snack. The finished quilt is now on his bed, but he's coming home for fall break this weekend and I'm sure this will go back to college with him.

Thanks, everyone, for your encouraging comments on weight loss and exercise. It does help to have my husband to walk with. We have an on-going joke about who has to pull whom out the door every day.

*Someone told me once that there are quilters and then there are piecers. I'm definitely a piecer and think life is too short to do my own quilting.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I've struggled with my weight ever since I was 10 and had to take large doses of prednisone to control my asthma. I lost 17 pounds with Weight Watchers a few years ago, but those pounds crept back on and invited a few of their friends to join them. My husband and I have been walking 2 miles at least three times a week since the beginning of the summer. With the arrival of the cooler weather, we've been out nearly every day. He's lost 14 pounds. I know I've lost inches and I'm waaay more physically fit because I can talk all the way up the long hill on our route, but the scale wasn't budging much. Until today when I finally saw a 9 as the last digit (and by the way, the scale is from Google Images and doesn't represent my weight. Not even close, thank goodness!). I had promised myself a new cross stitch project when I reached this milestone. I'm thinking Quakers and Quilts, Bent Creek's Teacher Row or La-D-Da's Act Justly. I'll let you know.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Goal Accomplished

When I was a senior in high school, I had to write a short essay on what I hoped to accomplish in life. One of the things I wrote was that I wanted to be a mother who greeted her children with homemade cookies when they arrived from school at the end of the day. Now, mind you, I didn't have a mother like that--she worked as the kindergarten teacher or librarian at my school from the time I was in 5th grade. So who knows where I got that idea--chalk it up to being 17 and living in Nebraska.

Well, I did end up being a mother of three wonderful children, but I worked before my oldest was born and I kept right on working after he and his siblings arrived except for the relatively short maternity leaves I took. We did a fair amount of cookie making together over the years, but after school "quality" time was usually spent in the car on the way home from day care in the elementary years, and in the case of my second son, on the way home from track practice at his high school.

Then, last year, I found myself with only one child at home. She runs cross country and had a meet during my last week of summer vacation. The night before the meet, I baked a batch of brownies and a batch of oatmeal cookies for her to pass out after the race. The kids were so grateful (guess their moms weren't home after school with milk and cookies either) and one even joked that he liked me better than his own mom. So I started baking for each meet. I even baked for the day when my daughter participated in a recruiting session for the incoming freshman. And I'm continuing to bake before each meet this year. The kids love it (and so do the coaches). I think it may have been a major factor in my daughter becoming the co-captain of the team this year. After using approximately 20 pounds of sugar and flour over the last two seasons, I think I can check "being there with cookies" off my list.

FYI: Yes, that is an avocado green Sunbeam mixer. I got it as a wedding present in 1975. It still works wonderfully as does the avocado green hand mixer I got the Christmas before I graduated from college. However, the bowl is not the original. Early one morning in December, 1991 (I know because it happened days before my daughter was born), I rushed downstairs as fast as a woman who was 41 weeks pregnant could move after hearing a "thunk" in the kitchen. I found my son, who was then 2 1/2, eating the cookie dough I had refrigerated overnight out of a bowl that was now slightly chipped. I finally got tired of catching my fingers on the chip and found a replacement at a hardware store (remember those??).

More FYI: When we remodeled our kitchen six years ago, we put in an island that houses the stove. I insisted on an electrical outlet on the side of the island. Best decision ever since I store the mixer, flour and sugar in the cabinet below the counter and I can just pull everything out to start baking.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Actual Stitching Progress

Here's the third panel of Petit Sampling Etui. Not tooo much frogging occurred during the stitching of this segment, so it went more quickly than the first two panels. I'm plugging away on the fourth panel and discovered last night that I needed to frog a small section I had misplaced. Shouldn't take too long, but I want to make forward progress, not reverse! I'm getting a bit discouraged about how long it is taking me to stitch this since I've been working on it pretty much exclusively since July. I've always known that I would finish in the top three if there is ever a contest for World's Slowest Stitcher, but this is getting ridiculous!!

Of course, my foray into knitting (thank you everyone for your kind comments!) and trying to complete four quilt tops to take to the quilter next week has abolutely nothing to do with how little stitching I'm getting done. Nothing at all.