Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stripes galore!

As I mentioned way back here, Kristen’s birthday gift was a little late but it’s done now and in the hands of the intended.

Kristens quilt (4)

The pattern didn’t call for wonky blocks or a border but then I never did follow direction very well.  I’m so glad I didn’t listen to the pattern on this.  I can’t imagine it with straight blocks and no border.  I think the black really sets the colors off.  Kristen’s dishes are assorted colors of Fiesta ware.  Won’t this look nice in the middle of their table?

This one was really hard to part with.  I told her if she ever got tired of it, I get it back! 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Beautiful start to a Monday.

Not much beats a Midwestern winter sunrise and no snow yet!  Even better!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Whadda deal!

I've been a tad absent from here lately but I've been buried under Christmas preparation.  What, you say?  It's not even Thanksgiving yet! 

I get that but the boys, their significant others and families will be converging on our house this weekend and we'll be celebrating our Christmas together on Sunday!   

Why so early, you ask?  It's the only common time amongst all of our schedules we had between now & Christmas.  How sad is that?  But hey, it works and we just go with the flow around here.  The most important thing is to get together not when we do right? 

So anyway, I've been shopping and decorating like a mad woman since we just decided Sunday was the date 2-1/2 weeks ago! 

I love online shopping, I just gotta say.  No stress, no crowds to deal with (therefore no bail money needed  - unfortunately patience doesn't run very deep in me when it comes to dealing with crowds), orders delivered right to my door, how much better does it get than that? 

Speaking of online shopping, check out this deal for Bloggers over at Shutterfly!  If you blog about Shutterfly and their fun gifts, 50 Free Christmas cards can make their way to your door.  How slick and stress free is that???  No bail money needed while shopping for Christmas cards either and aren't photo cards fun to receive?  I'm always excited when they come in the mail.   Just look at these designs.  This one is a favorite of mine or maybe this one.  How can I possibly decide?  

Or wouldn't these mugs be fun to drink your hot chocolate out of during the cold winter months?

How fun would it be to create a photo calendar like this?

The folks at Shutterfly do such an awesome job.  Awhile back we ordered a photo book for a retiree where I work.  The online designing was easy peasy and it came lickety split.  It turned out so cool.  The recipient loved it and it will be something he can always look at and remember. What is that saying?  A picture is worth a thousand words!  

I just have to reiterate, I LOVE online shopping!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another week of Hodge or is it Podge??

I'm participating once again in Joyce's mid-week Hodgepodge. 

Hodgepodge kind of fits my life this week...a little of this...a little of that...and a whole lot of not much accomplished.  Do you ever have days, weeks, months like that?  Those times when you feel like you're busier than busy but aren't seeing much in the results category.  [sigh]

Anyway on with the Podge...

1. What is the most amazing weather you've ever seen?
My favorite-ist most amazing weather is a crystal clear Autumn day when the sky is bluer than blue and the leaves are crunching on the ground, sort of like we had on our bike trip this fall.  The weather couldn't have been much more perfect. 

2. What is a sound or noise you love? 
oooh, there are so many, the sounds of a crackling fire, the rustle of the cornstalks in the fall, the hum of my sewing machine, the sound of a diesel truck... but I think what I like most of all, is the sound of the truck door when I'm waiting on DH to come home.

3. Do you like seafood? What's your favorite seafood dish?
Nope, not in any way, shape or form.  Gross, yuk, ewww!  End of that discussion!

4. What part of your day requires the most patience?
Driving home from work at the end of the day definitely can show a little bit of an impatient side of me.  It's not like I have to fight tons of traffic as some do who live in the city.  I only have to drive 10 miles on a state highway through the rural countryside but invariably I get behind someone going the speed limit (or less)!  How dare they do that!?!  when I just want to be home!  I don't speed much but I do tend to go a hair over the limit on occasion.  I keep telling my husband it's where my foot is comfortable on the accelerator but so far he's not buying it. I just don't understand.

5. What's your favorite shade of blue?
If we're talking decorating, navy blue.  In fact, I have a fair amount of it in our home.  If it's clothing, I like navy on that front too but am really diggin' that turquoise I'm seeing alot of lately.

6. Do people underestimate you?
I don't think underestimate necessarily but I think people tend to put me in a box and when I wander outside that box they're shocked.    I think we all do that to others at times, don't you?

7. When was the last time you had butterflies in your stomach?
Any time conflict arises, especially if it's within the family.  My stomach can twitter with the best of them.

8. Insert your own random thought here, and remember...I have a wooden spoon and I'm not afraid to use it.
Only 10 more days until our family Christmas!

Friday, November 12, 2010

More hands on the way

See these two cute lil’ goobers?


After April there will be another pair of goober hands helping to make donuts.

That’s right Miss A. and Mr. O. are going to be a big sister & big brother! 

We’re excited and praying for a healthy momma and baby!


Thursday, November 11, 2010


I promised you back here, I would show you Laurie’s gift once she received it, so here goes…
I really like this runner pattern.  I’ve made it a few times.  It’s so versatile as you can appliqué whatever you want for whatever season on to it, like pumpkins, flowers, Christmas trees, etc., plus it goes together fast.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The infamous pitcher

Some of you asked for pictures of the pitcher I mentioned in my answer to question #4 in today’s Hodge Podge post.  You ask and I deliver.  Here you go!

This pitcher was a gift from my husband’s sister’s mother-in-law.  I don’t know if she made it or she purchased it from someone who did, but it’s hand painted ceramic.  Whoever did it, did a wonderful job on it. 

As I said in the Hodge Podge it has dead animals hanging from a spit around it.   I’ve always liked it.  It’s so unique.   I love the dog handle.IMG_5221

IMG_5223 IMG_5224

Over the years, the spout has broken so I don’t use it as a pitcher anymore but DH glued it for me.  It still sits in the hutch on display.

So, do you see the beauty in it or am I just weird?  No, wait a minute, maybe you better not answer that!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Joyce from "From this side of the pond" is giving a whack at some Wednesday random-ness.  Stop on over and help her get it off the ground with some good ol' fashioned participation.

This week's Hodge or is it Podge?  is...

1. Do you think you're more like your mom or your dad?

I am way more like my Mom in mannerisms, attitude and looks but definitely have some of my Dad's stubbornness.

2. Do you like roller coasters?
Nope, nada, no way, nein, uh uh, get the picture??

3. How did you name your blog and do you now wish you'd thought about it maybe another five minutes before you hit publish? Would you change your blog title if it were not a huge pain in the derriere? (French makes everything sound a little nicer doesn't it?)
I named my blog in a hurry as an experiment while taking a web design class. I never in a million years thought I would still be writing it today. I might have named it something different if I could have thought of something else and maybe will someday if I can ever think of something else I think I can live with for the duration but for now, it is as it is.

4. What is the best wedding gift you received? Not married? Didn't get any gifts? Then what is the best wedding gift you've given?
We got this really cool pitcher that has dead animals hanging on a spit around the sides. It sounds yukky, doesn't it? But really it's not. It's very unique and in watercolor type shades. I love it!

5. What is the one bill you most hate to pay?
Anything to do with healthcare. It seems they are rarely right as we're always waiting on insurance and they just remind me that I'm not in near as good of shape as I'd like to be.

6. Is the glass half full or half empty?
Half-full or more, bay-bee! It does make for an interesting union as I'm married to Mr. Half-empty and leaking!

7. What is your favorite word? Okay okay. Calm down. How about one of your favorite words?
Grandma! I love hearing it come out of my darling grandkids mouths!

8. Now, this is where you insert one random thought of your own...maybe something that struck you as funny, something that recently had you scratching your head in confusion, something that annoyed you a teensy bit, something on your to do list, something you are looking forward to, whatever. As long as it is in keeping with the friendly tone we've all come to know and love on Wednesdays then we're good. Don't make me get out my wooden spoon.
I'm thinking about how it is that some people constantly surround themselves with drama. There is always a crisis (sometimes self-induced) or drama. Please understand, I know there are really crisis situations that happen to people but there are so many that think it's a crisis when it's really not. Life is too short for that stuff! Can you tell I work with college students???

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Last helmet-cam of the season

We had almost 70 degree temperatures today which is uncommon for us in November. 

So what’s a girl to do when it’s this nice so late in the fall?  Take the afternoon off and go for a motorcycle ride, of course!

The trees are bare… IMG_5159

The corn is picked…IMG_5168

Fall field work is almost over…  IMG_5176

Cornstalks are baled…IMG_5184

and the hills are turning brown…IMG_5188

soon to be covered in that nasty white stuff!

We had a great ride this afternoon but it’s likely our last for the year.  [sigh]  but Mr. Helmet-cam will be back in the Spring!

Keeping me humble…

Wednesday evening I rushed home from work to change clothes and meet a few friends at our house to carpool to a dinner in honor of Judy, a wonderful friend who has been fighting Stage IV breast cancer. 

During the whirlwind tour of my house, DH came home after working over at some land of ours that has a creek running through it.   He called me out to the kitchen to see “what he brought me”.  :/  I walked over to the kitchen sink only to see a crayfish!  Now isn’t that what everyone wants to see in their kitchen sink?

My cousin arrived first and when I stepped out from changing clothes to greet her, I noticed my new little friend was no longer in the sink so I assumed(big mistake) that DH had taken our darling lil Mud-bug outside and disposed of it. 

A few minutes later, Judy arrived as well as our church’s lead pastor’s wife, who incidentally, I did not know was coming to my house and then add in that she had never been to our house.

Now, not that I think the pastor’s wife is a queen or anything like that but as with when anyone new comes to your home, you’d like for your home to be picked up and clean.  Since I was in a hurry when I came home, picked up and clean wasn’t goin’ on.  I dumped all my work materials on the table, threw my coat across the chair, mail everywhere, a cooler and a crayfish bucket on the counter, yada, yada, you get the picture.

I just did an “oh well” shrug to myself as there wasn’t anything I could do about it at that point when all of a sudden my friend says, sounding a little frightened – what is that?  Guess what was laying on my dining room table, on a paper plate nonetheless….

IMG_5143You guessed it …  Mr. MudBug!  The expression on our Pastor’s wife face was priceless.  In addition to the fact that she only had daughters, I would bet in all of her years as a pastors wife and going to different people’s homes, I’ll bet ours was the first one she ever saw a crayfish on the table.  Just keepin’ me humble…..


Monday, November 8, 2010

I’m a weee-ner!

The Cosmetology Department at the college I work at always goes all out during October/Breast Cancer Awareness month to raise funds for Well Woman of Northwest Illinois.  Well Woman is a non-profit organization that provides mammograms for the under resourced.  One of the Cosmetology Department fundraisers this year was a quilt raffle and I WON!   I never win anything so what a wonderful surprise this was!IMG_5130 IMG_5131

The woman who donated the quilt is a grandmother of one of the Cosmetology students and a 3-time breast cancer survivor.

Isn’t it pretty?


Sunday, November 7, 2010


Sending out Happy Birthday wishes to our “eventually-to-be” daughter-in-law, Kristen.  Kristen is engaged to our son Joe.  They’ve been engaged for awhile now but no date has been set.

IMG_4925 I can’t show you Kristen’s gift because a) it’s not  done and b) she doesn’t have it yet because it’s not done!  I’ll post pictures when all are complete.

Happy Birthday Kristen!

Dogs anyone?

Sunrise IMG_5144


Our sunrises & sunsets have been stunning the last few days but look at the sundog (the small rainbow-looking area to the left of the sun) we saw tonight while we were out for a ride. 


There was one on each side of the sun.  Weather folk lore says a sun dog means rain is on the way.  I wonder what two mean?  lots of  rain?  :)