Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What a Difference a Day Makes

After enjoying a week and a half of record breaking temperatures, old man winter has once again reared his ugly head.

Yesterday I was impressed with the storm clouds as they started to roll into the valley. The view through the silver maple in my front yard offered an eerie, foreboding glimps of what was to come. You should have seen the kids running, trying to dodge the hail stones, as the skies opened and unleashed its furry at 2:15 p.m. Exactly the same time that the school bell rang.
This picture shows what the silver maple tree looks like this morning after we recieved 3" of snowfall during the night.

Last night we needed something to warm our insides, but because I had two girls that had to be at work by 5:00 I needed something quick and easy for dinner. My solution was a "semi-homemade" chicken noodle soup.
While I cut up the onions, carrots and celery, Meggan pulled the chicken from a store bought rotisserie chicken. After the veggies and bay leaf simmered for several minutes in the stock I added the chicken and some homemade noodles that I found in the frozen food section at the market. I cut up a loaf of French bread and dinner was ready in no time flat! The family gave dinner rave reviews and polished everything off! Sandra Lee has nothing on me!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Contemplating the Dandelion

How is it that I don't have one flower in my garden, yet dandelions are popping up in the lawn already?
I guess at one time I really liked least I liked this fabric. It caught my eye immediately and I knew I just had to make a jumper for my oldest daughter. That was back in the days when I used to sew the majority of my childrens' clothing. Too bad you can't see the cute little yellow checked apron that is attached at the waist. This picture was taken back when DD1 was in first grade.
Now look how much she's grown. It's hard to believe that she'll be graduating high school in just two months!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday, Monday

While most people complain about the dreaded "Monday morning", my three friends and I look forward to it with much anticipation. After we get our kids off to school on Monday, Laurel, Robin, Susie and I head off to Einstein's Bagel shop for our bagels and diet Coke. We've been doing this for about three years now and find that it's a great way to recover from the weekend and it gives us the chance to catch up on what's new. We consider it cheap therapy and we've been known to schedule doctors appointments for dying children until after 10:00 on Monday morning. Yes, I know...pretty pathetic, but it helps us keep our sanity.

I don't have a lot of vices, but I'll admit that diet Coke is one of them (along with chocolate and fabric). We all got a good laugh when Susie walked into the shop this morning with a copy of the following story for each of us. You can replace "diet Coke" with your favorite cup of "Joe" or whatever it is that

Amanda was walking down the street when she was accosted by a particularly bedraggled and shabby looking homelss woman who asked Amanda for a couple of dollars for dinner. Amanda took out her billfod, extracted ten the asked, "If I give you this money, are you going to spend it on diet Coke instead of dinner?"

"No, I had to stop drinking that years ago", the homelss woman replied.

"Will you use it to go shopping instead of buying food?" Amanda asked.

"No, I don't waste time shopping", the homeless woman siad. "I need to spend all my time tyring to stay alive."

"Will you spend this on a hair stylist instead of food?" Amanda asked.

"Are you NUTS?!" replied the homeless woman. "I haven't had my hair done in 20 years!"

"That's just fine, " said Amanda, "I'm not only going to give you the money, I'm going to take you out for dinner with my hubby and myself tonight."

The homeless woman was astounded. "Won't your husband be furious with you for doing hta? I know I'm ragged, dirty, and I probably smell pretty disgusting."

Amanda replied, "That alright. It's important for Andy to see what a woman looks like after she's given up diet Coke, shopping and hair appointmenst."

Friday, March 23, 2007

1-800-Man Answers

Is it just my husband or are there other men out there that have an answer for everything? I don't necessarily mean the right answer...any answer will do. It's gotten to the point where it has become a big joke in our family. If one of our girls asks a question to which dad gives a questionable answer they always ask, "Is that a man answer?"
In our house a man answer leaves you scratching your head, wondering, "does he even know what he's talking about?" The appropriate response from the girls is, "Dad, did you call 1-800-Man Answers to get that information?" Like a tall tale, the man answers get bigger and better as the years go on.
Poor DH! During the past two years, while our son was living in Mexico, he was the only man in the house. I can't imagine that it's easy being the only guy in a household of girls. Perhaps his man answers have become a matter of survival. Certainly a source of entertainment!
I got a big kick out of the Pickles comic strip this week. Apparently, Earl has a direct line to 1-800-Man Answers. LOL!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

It's all the Buzz

Here's a little quilt that I whipped up this week. With Spring in the air I was ready for something bright and cheery and though using fabrics from my 30's stash would be just the ticket.

Buzz Saw Block
To make a baby sized quilt, using twelve 11" blocks, cut:
(24) 6.5" squares 30's fabric -- cut (2) 2x6" rectangles to match each 6.5" square
(24) 6.5" squares muslin -- draw a diagonal line, corner to corner on each square

To make a large throw, using thirty 11" blocks, cut:
(60) 6.5" squares 30's fabric -- cut (2) 2x6" rectangles to match each 6.5" square
(60) 6.5" squares muslin -- draw a diagonal line, corner to corner on each square

Take all 6.5" muslin squares and sew to Aunt Gracie square matching the right sides together. Sew a 1/4" seam down each side of the diagonal line. Cut on the line and then press the seam to the dark. Trim each square to 6".

Cut each square into (4) 1.5" pieces. Make sure that all of the blocks are turned so that the light muslin corner is to the upper left side, as shown. Stack each block together.

Now take a block set and lay it out the opposite way it was. Sew the blocks together as shown in the picture. Sew the 2x6" piece to the block end. Press toward the 2x6" piece.

Sew four different 6" pieced blocks together to form one large 11.5" (unfinished) block.

Note: I put a 1" (1.5" cut) inside muslin border before the outer green border.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tortellini Salad Recipe

Carolyn asked me if I would share my tortellini salad recipe. I'd be happy to!
Tortellini Salad
2 pkgs. frozen cheese tortellini
1 cup julienned ham
3/4 cup frozen baby peas
2 Tbls. green onions, minced
1 Tbls. parsley, minced.
2 cups ranch dressing
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
Prepare the frozen cheese tortellini according to package directions. Cool under cold running water. Let drain and combine with remaining ingredients. Refridgerate for several hours.
Note: Although the recipe calls for 2 cups ranch dressing, I don't use near that much. Start with 1 cup and go from there.

Holiday Quilt

Last night was Jo's Little Women Club that I host at Quilt, Etc., in Sandy, Utah. This is the first time that the quilt shop has had a LWC, so our group is on the small side, but the ladies are already asking if we're going to do the next series of quilts and promise to bring their friends. It's a fun group of ladies and we're all learning lots of new things. The Holiday Quilt, above, has been our project for the past two sessions. It measure about 24" square.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Which Superhero Are You?

Boo hoo.....I wanted to be Wonder Woman. I guess I should have answered that push up bra quesiton differently. LOL!
Your results:
You are Superman

Iron Man
Wonder Woman
The Flash
Green Lantern
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

Monday, March 19, 2007

Found it!!!

Posting to my blog from my lap top has it's downsides. I carry the thing from room to room and sometimes I've been known to loose track of the cable to my camera , which makes it extremely difficult to upload pictures. It took me 20 minutes of searching this morning, but I finally found it. Yippee!!!

My parents recently arrived home from their winter hiatus to Arizona and Mexico, so last night all of the family got together at their home for dinner. My assignment was to bring a salad so I settled on one of my favorites; tortellini salad. Very quick and easy to make. It was a real hit and my bowl came home empty.

The grandkids had a great time, as always. My dad broke out the paper rocket launcher, which we all pitched in and bought for him last Father's Day. It's a great thing for one of those men who loves gadgets and it's always a hit with the kids! Here's a picture of my dad, who rarely actually uses the rocket launcher, but loves to see the kids have a great time, and DD2, who is getting ready to send her rocket into space. It's amazing what 30 lbs. of compressed air can do. These rockets will shoot 100 to 200 feet into the air. The weather was great...not too breezy. Only a few of the rocket landed on the neighbor's roofs and in their backyards. LOL!
Here's a cute picture of my mom. We were teasing her because she was finishing off the last sliver of pie from the pie tin, while holding cotton candy between her legs. Can you ever have too much of the good stuff?!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Another Top Finished!

Here's a picture of my Buggy Barn Spring Fling top. Gotta get this one off to the quilter so that I can get it finished and hung on my living room wall.

Now I think that I'm going to work on a baby quilt using 1930's repro fabrics and a buzz saw pattern that I got a my first guild meeting.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Welcome to the World, Addy!

After reading Patty's post about the arrival of her friend's new grandbaby, I just had to share our good news.

Late Saturday night (eight minutes before midnight), Addison Grace entered the world!

Addy is my oldest brother's first grandchild; my niece's daughter. As a matter of fact, she's the first grandchild born to our family. We've all been anxiously awaiting her arrival and now she's finally here! She's even cuter in person than she is in the picture.

That's my brother in the picture. Doesn't he look proud?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Preparing for Spring

Yesterday I worked on my Buggy Barn Spring Fling quilt. This is the first Buggy Barn quilt that I have ever made. I have admired the pattern for quite some time and I've actually had this quilt cut and ready to sew for about a year. It's nice to make progress on a project that nagged at me every time I walked into my sewing room. I'm still trying to decide whether or not to add a border.
I like the Thimbleberries Berry Patch fabrics that I used to make the blocks, but I don't like all of the wasted fabric from this type of pattern. I guess that's a trade-off for the simplicity of the design.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Mission Complete

I almost forgot...this is supposed to be a quilt blog. LOL!
A couple of weeks ago I challenged the members of an online group that I belong to to pull some of those swapped blocks off of the shelf and make them into a quilt. To me it kind of seems funny to collect finished blocks and not make them into tops. Even funnier is that I've had these 12 Thimbleberries Pansy Park blocks sitting on my top shelf since the fall of 2002.
This morning I finally got the last border on. One of the reasons that it has taken me so long to finished is because I've kind of fallen "out of love" with this quilt. Regardless, I decided to push forward and get 'er finished up.
Now I'm going to go and work on a project that I really WANT to do!

Some kind of help.....


by Shel Silverstein

Agatha Fry, she made a pie,
And Christopher John helped bake it.
Christopher John, he mowed the lawn,
And Agatha Fry helped rake it.
Zachary Zugg took out the rug,
And Jennifer Joy helped shake it.
And Jennifer Joy, she made a toy,
And Zachary Zugg helped break it.

And some kind of help
Is the kind of help
That helping’s all about.
And some kind of help
Is the kind of help
We all can do without.
What is it about cats and quilts? The top picture is of a giant cat, named Jarold, who temporarily lives with us. He's "helping" me measure my quilt for borders. The bottom picture is one that Kim sent to me of her cat, Spike. She's simply "helping" by showing how comfy it is to lay under such an amazing quilt. What great helpers!

Those Little Rascals

Well, last night was a first. I went to a country music concert, and I'm not even a country music fan. So how did I end up in the EnergySolutions Arena (formerly the Delta Center) with a bunch of people wearing cowboy boots and hats, listening to Rascal Flatts? Our family was invited by a friend of my husband who had box seats. How can you turn down an offer like that? It's been a long time since I've been to a big concert and it kind of made me feel young again. It was especially nice to be there with my kids, who kept checking to see if I was having a fun time. Of course, the kids had the time of their lives, but they're country music fans. :-)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Snowmobiling at Daniels Summit

I don't enjoy cold weather much. As a matter of fact, after John finished his masters degree at BYU I told him I didn't care where we lived as long as it was warmer than Utah. So we moved to Southern California. It was great...I loved it there! But after two and a half years and a job change we found ourselves back in Happy Valley, where we both were raised. Now I am cold from October till March.

Last Friday DH told me that he had made reservations at Daniels Summit Lodge for us to spend Sunday night and then go snowmobiling on Monday morning. The plan was that we would take our two youngest daughters and have a great time. A great time? In the snow? I didn't think so!!! But I put a smile on my face and packed some warm clothes and Sunday afternoon headed off to Daniels Summit.

Okay, this is the part where I have to admit that I really DID have a great time. DD2, my riding partner, told me before we got started that she had a "need for speed", and indeed she did! She had a great time driving the machine through the snow. John was even able to convince Jocelyn that she should take a turn driving and, once she got over her initial fear, she wouldn't let dad take control again.

It's good for us to step out of our comfort zones every now and again. Last weekend we created memories that can never be taken from us. I'll never forget the 360 degree view of the beautiful snow covered mountains and valleys as we sat on top of the world. Or the giggles and squeals as sisters raced to see who could go fastest. Yes, I had a great time...and I didn't even freeze to death!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Peer Pressure

I distinctly remember a conversation that I had with my son several years ago. It was a defining point in both of our lives. I was driving him home from high school one day and we started talking about his friends. DS has always been blessed to have great friends. You know, the kind you would choose for your son if you had the chance to hand pick them. This group of about eight or ten guys, who played basketball and soccer together all through junior high and high school, call themselves the Fun Boys.
Anyway, my son was talking about how his friends made him want to be a better person. After listening for a while I commented about how nice it must be to have that kind of peer pressure. I'll always remember the look on his face when he said, "I've never thought of peer pressure as being a positive thing."
Isn't that funny? We typically think of peer pressure as something negative, but really, the door swings both ways.
Like my son, I have always been blessed with great friends. I'm still close to the girls with whom I started elementary school. I also have three dear friends that live in my neighborhood. We give help and support to each other in almost all facets of our lives. Then there are my quilting friends. They are are a unique group of ladies. Many I have met, but most of them I only know from online conversations. They inspire me and encourage me in my quilting and generally try to keep me in line.
Three of those friends have been putting the pressure on me to update my blog. They've been threatening to make up stories about what might have happened to me during my trip to Hawaii that might explain why I haven't updated during the past year. And so, here I am, caving into peer pressure. Patty, Kim and Sharon...this post is for you!
BTW, that's a picture of DS that was taken about a month and a half ago in Parras, Mexico.