Sunday, October 31, 2010

Corn Maze

Hubs and the girls went to the cornmaze yesterday. I stayed home to sleep as I am coming down with a cold, and I know if I will just go to bed many times I can lick it before it gets a good hold. (And it worked.)

But I was bummed not to go play with them all! So hubs took pity and snapped a couple of shots from his phone for me.

He's such a good daddy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Descriptor Not Definer

Who are you?

Who am I?

You know I read mostly women's blogs. I have mostly women friends.

And WHO we are seems to be a question that stumps the majority of them.

Sure alot of us are mothers.

Many of us are wives.

Sister, daughter, grand daughter, friend.

Many women use one of these descriptors to define themselves.

But they aren't definitions....they are descriptors. They are the icing on the cake. They aren't the cake.

For some people the answer is teacher, doctor, office worker, military member.....

Again...this is a descriptor friends. Its not WHO you are. Its ONE of the things you do.

Take away these descriptors and can you answer the question?

Who are you?

My friend Sandra just watched Eat, Love, Pray and started asking this question of her readers: If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would that word be?

Can you do it without using a relationship or a job?

Its not as easy as it sounds for most.

I had the advantage of losing a job many years ago that made me really think about this. See, at that time I defined myself by what I did. How good of a job I did. How valuable I was at what I did.

But the bottom line truth about jobs is this: If you died or quit or whatever tomorrow....they would hire another body and put it in your place. Someone else CAN do it. They might not do it the same, but they can take the position and the company goes right on without you. Do you really want to wrap all your worth up in that kind of a situation?

One day, it could leave you lost.

So who are you friend?

Somebody's mom? Sure. And no matter what you always will be. But the mom you are right now? Its temporary. One day you will be more of a friend than a mom. And then more of a grandma than a mom. Its an ever changing relationship. And its ONE part of who you are. Its not the end-all-be-all. There is more to you than that.

So think about it.

What is your word?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

MM Goes Fishing

At our family camp out this last summer Mighty Mouse went fishing for the first time. I didn't even go with her as I assumed she would get bored and hate it.


Instead she caught 3 fish. (And we had no camera with us.)

And she was the only kid that caught fish.

But I understand there might have been a little intervention in there somewhere.

And I'm thankful for the other mama that did bring a camera and gave MM this picture last week!

Poppy would have been proud kid!

Angels of Summer

Whew. Last Christmas quilt is done.

Not that I don't have other projects stacking up -- but at least my Christmas ones are done!

This one is named Angels of Summer due to its colors and its pieced angels on the back. I kicked a name around forever and ended up with this one. Still doesn't wow me .... but it will do.
I used Amy Butlers Lotus Brick Path free pattern with my own choice of fabrics instead of the Lotus line.

The back is once again pieced from left overs from the front.

Angels on the back. I've become kind of obsessed with doing a paper pieced block or two on the backs with some significance to the quilt recipient. Its becoming almost a signature kind of thing for me.
And this time I rolled up my sleeves and actually QUILTED. Free motion baby!!! And it wasn't so bad....although you can see the progress from where I started to where I ended. Practice does make perfect.

I decided to quilt every other strip on the quilt for a different texture. On the side where the back is green I used blue thread...and vise versa. Love the way it turned out.

And now an announcement:

Starting tomorrow I will have two wonderful teens coming to stay with me for about a month. During that time I fully expect this blog will be all about them and their days to keep mom up on what they are doing while they are here. I will return to my normal Autumn randomness in December. So, that means you probably won't have a whole lot of interest in what's going on here during that time and I apologize.....but its important. So! See you in December!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ramblings From the Mother of a Teenager

As hard as it was getting my son to adult age and out of the house (love you son) was.....its NOTHING compared to raising a teenage daughter. Especially when said daughter takes after a grandmother and aunt whose life descriptor would be DRAMA. It's in her genes. And not in mine. Makes for a crazy combo. And daddy missed those genes and grew up with the DRAMA so he can't stand it in HIS house now. And nothing gets mom and dads hackles up faster than emotional drama.

Cause most of it is so unnecessary. Seriously...its the "you had to CHOOSE to let something like that bother you" stuff.

Okay - so maybe I shrug things off a little easier than most people. I think its because I don't measure my worth by someone elses standards or opinions. I am who I am. You get what you get. I will not get along with everyone on the planet. AND THAT IS OKAY. So when things go south with someone, its not tragic to walk away. I cherish the season they were a part of my life...but I move forward. Without baggage in 98% of the cases.

And this post has gotten so far left of what I am blogging about. But my whole life is like that right now....which is a whole different blog post. Think its time to get the thyroid levels tested again!!!

So....what is this post about.....
It's about paintings and chocolate.

See, Songbird has a friend that she has had since 6th grade that she still keeps in touch with. Her and J were fast and famous friends. They were so compatible that as first year junior high students I once commented to his mother that if they were two years older I might just have to watch them a little more closely.

To which she replied that her and her husband pray for their children's future spouses from the time they are babies.


But at that point I started think about just how compatible they are and how much fun they have together, etc. And the future possibilities.

Even tried to work that into conversations with hubs. His response: "J????? He's so goofy. Not even." (Does anyone know a junior high boy that is NOT goofy????)

So we moved away and I breathed a small sigh of relief. Because I just don't want my kids dating early. It only leads to scars and baggage.....and with Songbirds drama flair its certain to drive me into a straight jacket. **Let me insert here that Songbird says they are just friends and nothing more to this most of this stuff is in my head.***

Except....a year later they still write and FB.

And then he painted her picture. Which I love and would love to steal from her. Maybe I should commission him to make me one?

And I think this is all just fine. Because I like J and I like his family. And they can't date unless they end up in college together -- which is perfect dating age.

And last week Songbird got a box of chocolates in the mail. REALLY good ones to - she shared one with me.

And NOW daddy is taking notice.

"Autumn. He. Sent. Her. Chocolates."

I know, baby.

I know.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Quilting Ranny: Would You Give $12 To Help 2 Children?

As most of you know, I am big on volunteering (in any manner) and helping out in your own community. A bloggy friend of mine posted about this ministry last week and I wanted to share. Its a great one to do with your kids if you do donation gifts with them at Christmas time. It could be helping a kid right there in their own classroom. And its less than $20.

Many of us in the international adoption community like to make sure we do a dontation type gift to our childs country of origin -- and this is an easy way to do both at $12.

Please at least click through and read about the charity even if you can't help this year. Maybe some other year you might be looking for a worthy cause and this one will come back to mind.

Quilting Ranny: Would You Give $12 To Help 2 Children?: "Each year around this time, charities begin hitting all of us up for monetary donations so they can meet the growing demands for help. Ever..."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Snapshot Saturday: Mummy Fingers Edition

Today the girls and I took a trip two hours north with the Girl Scouts. This is the 150th anniversary of Juliette Gordon Lowe starting Girl Scouts....and since the 31st is her birthday, a museum in Bowling Green had a full day of GS activities in period.

Of course I should be showing you pictures like this....
...and tell you all about what we learned about the mid 1800's and later during Juliette's life time.

But I get kind of antsy if I hang in a large crowd for long so near the end the teen animal and I wandered off a bit. Not really but kinda.

And that is where we found the gruesome display. There was a whole wall dedicated to crimes in the area from times past. And the fingers above? For real. An exhibit from a 1881 trial of a man that killed his pregnant wife. With a corn knife. And why the fingers where an exhibit I don't know. Did they do fingerprinting back then?? Oh, and they had the rope and noose they hung the guy with.

There were also lots of knives and guns and other newspaper stories. One display show a picture of a guy (and why did they all have really creepy beards??), the clipping of how he was found guilty, the rifle he used to shoot the victim (a father of 9) AND the shirt the victim was wearing when he was shot.

Not kidding.

And there was a display with all kinds of things...that were labeled like...

"knife used by insane person"

So while the little girls learned all kinds of wholesome goodness about the founder of Girl Scouts....I was busy being grossed out.

Now that's a fun day.

Only thing that could of made it better was if my Bones had been there. Because he would appreciated with me.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Too Many Heros

Its been a totally heartbreaking week.

Once again a mother and father get notified that their son was a casualty in Afghanistan.

A woman that is my friend.

A son that was my son's friend.

A whole 24 years old.

Another Hero for us to mourn.

And what do you say to parents that are broken by the news? God is their comfort...but that does not take away the pain. And even though there will be celebrating in heaven when they are all together doesn't make it easier to see that empty chair at the table this Christmas.

All the could-have-beens.

I haven't seen James for several years so all my vivid memories are of him as a young teen.

And what a kid! This was the one you were GLAD your son was playing with. He was the sweet kid. The kid with a big, big heart.

And his laugh! Oh his laugh! I loved his laugh. It was a true laugh. And him and Bones? Oh they laughed!!! Usually at one of the little sisters expense...... yes, I vividly recall lots of laughter over a wooden snake and a certain little sister that was scared to death by it.

And speaking of siblings, James was one of seven kids. Seven of the closest siblings I have ever met. Besides mom and dad there are 6 other people that are broken tonight. I always wished my kids had been as close as these siblings. Thankfully they will have each other to cry with and remember with.

So today's post is a salute to an American Hero that I feel privileged to have known.

You will be missed greatly by a large number of people. You touched many lived in so few years. Godspeed James.

James and Bones catching minnows. Big deal right? Did I mention it is Iceland? And they have their feet in that water????

Princess Days at the museum. Our gallant knights locked in a sword fight! And if James ever stops laughing he will probably make short work of Bones!
Row boats at the park....helping little sister into the boat. James was always a big help with the younger kids at home.
Typical shot of our boys. Is it any wonder he joined the Marines???
Would that be a war related game?
This is an awful shot but one I kept. You see, this is Bones Baptism day and its the only shot I have of the two of them together on this special occasion. The church baptismal was not built yet so we had to use a local pool in Keflavik.

Tonight, my friends, remember all the families of our fallen hero's.

We have far too many of them in our time.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Zombie Duck

So how is your horror movie fest going? What? You don't watch those???? LOL!

Yes, I'm a little off. It's an Autumn thing.

So it wasnt a banner week this week Lots of boring movies. I did manage to sneak in a couple of oldies just to shake it off.

So what was on the menu this week?

Monster Island
Its Carmen Electra and MTV. Need I say more?
Big bugs and they didn't even try to make it scary really. It was a fun flick that was every bit as bad as you'd expect. And the guy? Of course he gets the girl in the end.

Mulberry Street
Infected rats bite people who turn into crazy rat like zombie things. This is actually a good one. If you like zombie flicks you will like this one.

Ring of Darkness
Boy Band Zombies. Not kidding. If you have a disdain for boy bands this movie will crack you up. All the video cameos and pretty boy shots are hysterical. But its okay. They are really zombies under all that make-up. NOW the world makes sense.

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie
Classic British zombie flick from the 70's. Worth a watch if you like the genre.

Bunch of "dancers" and their manager get wrecked on Spider Island. Once you are bitten you are either dead or you turn into a spider like creature. This movie was actually lots of fun just because of the girls and their various stages of undress (but not fully). And there is a good cat fight of course. And the handsome men that show up to rescue them and run around the rest of the movie without their shirts. (Not the same effect as current day shirtless guys.)

The Giant Gila Monster

One I used to like as a kid. If you own a Roku box you can have the Pub-D-Hub channel. This is all the stuff that is old enough to be public domain. Most of the old ones like this you will see have come from watching Pub-D-Hub.

The Legend of Bloody Mary

Exactly what you would expect it to be. No surprises here.

Alien Invasion Arizona

Prisoners being transported escape with hostages. But man did they escape in the wrong place.

The Video Dead
Zombies come out of the tv.

Can you say double tap?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Would You Rather?

Joining Andrea at Sgt and Mrs. Hub in a "Would You Rather" Monday.

The question:

Would you rather…

Take a one-week vacation to a faraway country


A one-month tour of the United States?

That is very very hard.

So, if the question is about right now, the answer is a one-week vacation to a faraway country.

Because right now I can fit my ever-increasing behind in a plane seat somewhat comfortably. A few years from now I might not be able to say that (judging from my weight gain the last 3 years).

Right now I bounce back from extreme time changes fairly quickly.

Right now I do not have any medical issues that would require scoping out the nearest hospital and wondering about their standards if it is a third world country.

And I've lived and traveled many places in the US already.

Plus we have our retirement plan tailored to being able to travel when we I'm going to get to do the stateside thing in due time.

How about you? If you could go today? Which would you choose and why?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Snapshot Saturday

Friday I went on a day hike with the Junior and Cadette Scouts. We have some amazing parks with fantastic hiking trails in this area.
The fall colors here are to die for right now. I can honestly say this is one of the pretties places I have ever lived -- and definitely the prettiest fall surroundings. I didn't know what I was missing!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Butterfly's On Mars

Finally finished! I actually worked on this one for a year. Sort of. I started it a year ago this past summer while dog-sitting at my sister-in-laws. Did all my cutting and matching up the blocks.

Then it got packed away because of the move. And I didn't touch it again for months.

So I started back on it. And two friends got pregnant. And then a family member was getting married. And then another family member got pregnant. So, it was set down while I made gifts for all of them.

And then I got started again....and the quilt I planned on working on LAST for Christmas became a first and a finish and send now kind of thing. So I put it down again.

But with the help of my new GO! toy I am now finished (!) with Butterfly's On Mars.

Can you tell that my husband named it? LOL! I was stumped for a name and asked him to help. At first he was ganking on me for naming them....but I assured him that is was standard practice in the quilting world. Then he told me he isn't "artsy-fartsy" so he wouldn't be any help.

And then he belted out Butterfly's On Mars. And I loved it. Which shocked him. But hey, most of what I thought of (Strawberry Fields) has been used so many times it is tired already. LOL!
It was windy so getting a good picture with a camera phone was not easy. But its instant gratification for posting to the blog so I didn't break out the better cameras. (Can you say lazy??)

This is a free pattern called "Wickedly Easy Quilt". Its a huge block that you turn opposite directions when you pair them next to each other.
The back is pieced with my extra's from the front. I had a couple of corners and stuff that made for some interesting blocks up by my pieced butterfly's.
I was told the recipients favorite color was maroon -- hence the colors of the quilt. I had a hard time finding such a strong color in more modern fabric designs. Of course I started it in August....if it had been around Valentines Day I would have had alot more choices to choose from. But I was able to find several butterfly fabrics which has significance also.
I also found a free tutorial on the web for making these butterfly blocks. They are awesome!!
I also ordered another signature block for the back. Love that touch. One day if I get a new machine I will make sure it has embroidery choices on it also so I can do my own. Or maybe I wont since I get them at such a reasonable price.

And there she is.....a year in the making......Butterfly's On Mars!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blessings In Blue

I finished my hardest quilt to date. It was supposed to be a Christmas gift, but head bone had to go and shake things up and need surgery. Some people.

Anyway....I wanted her to have a visible hug from me while she was recovering from her surgery (and while I have her kids and she is allllllllll alone healing and resting). So, I double timed it and worked my tail off to get it done pre-surgery.

Wow. It was not easy. When it was done I kinda walked around in a circle not knowing what to do with myself for a day. Until I woke up to the fact that it is October and I have 2 more quilts to finish off if I want to give them as gifts as planned.

So.....the unveil of Blessings in Blue......
This is a total Frankenstein quilt. The bottom left corner out to the rectangles is from a pattern called Bricks and Stones from Red Pepper Quilts.
It wasn't quite big enough for what I wanted so I enlarged it a little and still wanted more. I decided to add the cross blocks. Still wasn't big enough. Then I made the alternating angels and butterflys (to signify her girls).
I still wanted it a little bigger so I used up most of the extra 2 inch blocks. NOW it was done.
I used a small polka dot for binding. I don't really care for dots, but all the best quilters I follow have been binding with them lately and I love the way it looks. Go figure. I wanted a bigger dot but this was the best I could do in the colors I was looking for.

My white sashing are in 3 different tone on tone patterns. The outer sashes are scroll work. The inner ones are stones/circle looking ones. And of course the other one is butterfly's.

I pieced the back with my extra fabric and extra blocks. It has an embroidered signature block also.
I also got brave and made this my first free motion quilt. Oh my is it a mess. Luckily most of it wont be noticeable once its washed and has the crinkled quilt look. I still need lots and lots more practice. I also need a machine that I can program to stop with the needle down in the fabric to avoid the shifting from the weight of the fabric when I reposition my hands.
The small squares I kept pretty was the bigger ones that gave me fits.
I did "crazy spiral" one the outer border. Didn't keep it very uniform but it wasn't too bad. Also, I used a variegated thread with 3 shades of blue. Wont do that again. I didn't like the darkest blue on the white. Plus, the thread had weak spots and would start to shred in the needle hole. This made lots of thread breaks and aggravated me to no end since I did not buy cheap thread.
The mid size blocks have a spider web looking spiral in the dark blocks. See how unsteady and wiggly it is??? I'm sure a year from now I will look back at is and nearly die of embarrassment that I actually gave that to someone. At least I hope so anyways....

And there she all her amateur glory. I learned alot from her. How to paper piece. Lots of free motion practice. How to cut a binding with the GO!

Hope Tricia loves her as much as I do!