Monday, May 4, 2015

Usury Wind Cave Take Two!

 On April fourth I went with the Chubby Chicks (four of them) on a hike I did with DJ four years ago.  I remember when I did it that I thought we would never make it to the top.  We almost gave up several times and it was way more than I physically could do at the time.  I was nervous to do it again but I decided to go anyway.   Kathy was working and didn't want to do this one anyway.  This time I didn't ask myself once how much farther.  All of the sudden we were at the top!  It was a great workout and though I needed to stop a few times to catch my breath, I had a great time.


 This hike is 75 floors up!  That is the most I have ever done (now twice) and I look forward to doing it again when it cools down!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

One Finish, One Start and a Few See Progress!

 I woke up this morning and knew I needed to get at least this Eye Spy done...so I started cutting and piecing the batting and backing and eventually got it done!  This one is for my cousin Jamie's second child just born a few days ago--Benjamin.  I love sending an Eye Spy quilt and book to the little ones!  

 When my ex sister in law Tiffany saw it she messaged me and said she would love an eye spy quilt for Colton at her house.  I didn't give him one because I knew they still had Ben's in pristine condition.  However, my brother kept all the quilts so Colton doesn't have one at his mom's house.  So I finally decided to start sewing the hexies I have been cutting and sewing for years!  This is as far as I got today but no doubt this one will be done and snuggle the little guy soon!
Here are some pictures of the other quilts that got batting, backing, etc.  I didn't quilt any of them but they are one step closer!



Apparently my camera lens was dirty since some of these are blurry but you get the idea.  Other than that, we cleaned house some more.  The family all comes over here for Mother's Day and since we didn't do our usual deep clean this spring (since Monica didn't get to visit and I had surgery) we are doing it now.  More to do next Saturday but happy the drapes and windows and the like are done!
This week I am working freelance early in the morning three days (followed by my other two jobs) and have a doctor's appointment, weight watchers and Pilates the other days.  I better get some sleep--it is going to be a LOOOOONG week!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Empty Nester and Catching Up on RSC!

 Thursday night we took Coleman out for steak (and ribs) for his farewell dinner.  Then at the crack of dawn on Friday morning he flew to Minneapolis where Chelsea picked him up and drove on in to Eau Claire.  He is having a great time and has already called us a few times :)
 Today after Pilates (and I lost 2.4 pounds this week!) Kathy and I stopped at SAS and bought some fabric cheap.  Didn't really need it, but felt like I needed a pick me up!  After some yard work and pantry cleaning Kathy and I got to sewing.  She is on clue five of Grand Illusion and I was working on April's RSC purple.  I thought Angela hadn't gotten around to posting the second block.  I haven't been reading my blogs with my new job (love it!) we don't have internet on the computers there and I haven't brought my own laptop.  So blog reading has gone by the wayside lately.  I looked for it a week or so ago and I must not have gone far enough back.  Tonight I found it!  Broken Sugar Bowl in purple.
 Our block party block for Nimble Thimbles is "Scrappy Hexies" from the recent issue of McCalls.  I had some difficulty in the beginning.  Realized I was making triangles!
 I did some trimming and they turned out about as good as I could expect.  I would love to make a bunch of these and do a quilt, but not sure I love the trimming constantly.  It interrupts the sewing!



 I then got to the April bitty blocks that didn't happen at Quilt Camp.  Kathy and I went for a walk 1.3 miles to the McDonald's down the street (first time to walk and first time I have ever been inside) and we got an ice cream cone.  It was dark and on the way home it started to rain, but it was a good way to get some steps in!  I am sure the cone negated the walk, but it is what it is.  After that I made the May bitty blocks in green since that is the RSC color for May.  Bear paws, these blocks are so much fun!

 I am still hoping I can make two tiny sampler type quilts with these blocks when they are done, but they are different sizes so we shall see.
 Then without Coleman's help we had to figure out the TV!  Our large downstairs TV has gone on the fritz (a little over a year or so old) and so we swapped the bedroom TV to the downstairs, the quilting studio TV to the bedroom and Coleman's TV to the quilting studio.  Size wise this made sense, but of course this TV didn't get rehooked up til tonight.  I can never even figure out how to switch it to netflix or dvd.  Tonight Kathy figured it all out and then I even learned!  (TV remote input 5 and turn on the dvd then over to movie or premium and viola!).  No changing of cords like we have to do in the bedroom.  I think I got this!  Oh and watched Robin Williams in "Angry Man in Brooklyn" which was pretty good.
 Last I sewed the Sawtooth Star block in green.  Despite my notes about which color is the bigger one for when I cut the squares to make Quilt in a Day flying geese, I still screwed it up.  Pretty sure my notes are wrong because I followed them.  May be taking this one apart or may just put it with the other screw ups for the back.  OY!
Linking up with SoScrappy for the fabulous Rainbow Scrap Challenge!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

At Long Last--Sewing Again!


 I haven't sewn a stitch since I had to abruptly leave quilt camp over two weeks ago due to the gallstone in my bile duct.  When Becky brought my stuff back it got dumped all over the place in my quilting studio....so today after Jump Pilates I spent close to two hours cleaning and this space was included!

 Then the fun started and I laid out Orange Crush.  My floor just wasn't big enough and I couldn't figure out the middle.  I suck at these diagonal layouts!
 

 Becky came over to sew (and we ate healthy meatloaf, potatoes and corn on the cob for dinner).  She was working on her string spider web.  That is still on my list!  After she left I finally got to the middle and realized somehow I was two star blocks short...luckily I had plenty of four patches left so I made up the hst's and then the blocks.



 And viola!  The top is a flimsy.  I did get the borders sewn too, but wasn't up to the math involved in making all the borders fit.
 
Tomorrow we are planning to go hiking and then to my brother's house for a going away party for Coleman.  He is moving back to Wisconsin to be with his girlfriend Chelsea.  I am a bit worried about this since Coleman really requires lots of supervision and assistance, (with both his diabetes and his autism, etc.) but he is 28 and so I am letting him try it and crossing my fingers he is more capable than we believe.  While we are looking forward to the break;  I have always thought he would live with me forever so this is an interesting endeavor.
On the weight front--I have really not lost anything in the last six weeks.  The week of my surgery I gained 5.6 and the following week I lost 11 pounds.  Since that time, I am up one pound despite really getting back to the exercise (10 days later) and eating right.  They have adjusted some meds and I am hoping that will help and I am not giving up but seriously I am doing Pilates twice a week, jump Pilates once a week, hiking twice a week and now I have added back in the elliptical and bike several times a week.  I am at 87 pounds down at this point so trying to look at the bright side..but really frustrating that I have plateaued again!  :)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Book Look Bloggers Review: The Berenstain Bears God Bless Our Country

When my three kids were young we read to them every night and some of their favorites back in the day were by Stan and Jan Berenstain.  The Berenstains' son Mike has now written a book called "The Berenstain Bears God Bless Our Country" in the same tradition as his parents--Brother and Sister Bear learn a lesson from the older and wiser folks in the book.

This book shows how the bears celebrate their country on the fourth of July.  They make preparations for the parade.  Brother and Sister bear decorate their bikes, Mother Bear sews bunting and flags and Papa's uniform.  The family marches in the parade and enjoy the patriotic day.  
The last page of the book has a section titled "Activities and Questions from Brother and Sister Bear."  I love the conversations that can be started with little ones with these prompts.  The message of the book is a good one as all the Bearenstein Bear books are and the pictures are fabulous and engaging.  The book also includes a sheet of patriotic bear stickers.  
This is a great book for kids up to age 8, I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone wanting to teach their children or grandchildren about building up others for their talents and letting others build up you instead of bragging and boasting about yourself.  Great message!
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. They did not require me to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”*

Sunday, April 12, 2015

What Happens at Quilt Camp....

On Thursday Terri picked me up and we headed to Prescott for quilt camp!  I was so excited to be going even though I had been having some pain on and off since Tuesday.  It wasn't awful and I thought I would be fine.  So Thursday after lunch I had more pain and set up at camp and sewed anyway.  I managed to make up these two purple Betty's Choice blocks for Amy and I and the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  
 Next I made up this block and since I had made two of the previous one and I had planned to make two sets of the outer flying geese I went a little nuts and made two of the inner one by accident too!  Sometimes I just don't know...maybe it was the pain!
 After that I got out this Laundry Day Quilt kit by Kim Diehl.  I managed to get all of the inner pieces made before bed.  I am in love with this cute quilt, love the pattern, love the size, love the fabrics!
 I didn't sleep real well so I was up and sewing by 9 or 9:30 AM.  I also made the binding.  I even got started on the pairing the borders for Orange Crush.
I started having pain again and finished this little quilt.  We had plans to meet up with Becky in town at 11 and so Terri, Dr. Kathy and her mother in law and I all went into town and did a little shopping before going to lunch.  My pain kept getting worse and before their food came (I already knew I wasn't eating) I started crying and Terri jumped up to take me to the ER.  Becky later met us there with Terri's boxed up food.  They both stayed with me and kept me in good spirits until the ambulance drove me back to my home hospital where I had had my gallbladder surgery five weeks ago.

 Love these girls, they are great friends and I am truly blessed that we all found each other!  So the ER ran tests and told me I had a gallstone in my bile duct and needed an ERCP that they couldn't do.  That is why they called Mercy Gilbert and sent me back there.  Once there, Kathy was relieved to be with me.  For various reasons I just hung out getting sicker with the pain coming and going (at rib cage and between shoulder blades) for hours at a time.  The ERCP never did get done, but my billirubin and jaundice went from bad to worse to better over the three days they were checking.  I will spare you the details of all the sickness I had, but by today (Sunday) it all seemed better.  They could not longer find a stone and felt that it had passed.  Crossing my fingers that is so!
 Meanwhile here is the picture I got of all that the ladies sewed without me.  I was tickled to death to see that my little quilt is hanging next to Terri's!  I don't know who did hat otherwise, but some really pretty quilts!
 Terri and Becky packed up my stuff and Becky delivered it to my house on the way home from camp.  Thanks girls!  I unpacked it all and took a few pictures of the groups the blocks go to.  These are mine and Amy's and a few extras of Betty's Choice.
 Kind of blurry, but all the RSC blocks so far I have done.  Linking up to Rainbow Scrap Challenge!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Book Look Bloggers Review: Bella's Gift How One Little Girl Transformed a Family and Inspired a Nation

In the past few weeks I have been reading Bella's Gift How One Little Girl Transformed Our Family and Inspired a Nation By Rick Santorum and Karen Santorum, with Elizabeth Santorum.  This was a good read in which my heart really went out to all those who suddenly discover they have a child with a medical condition who is not expected to live.  Bella is born with Trisomy 18 which is a genetic disorder in which the children often don't survive to birth but if they do they don't usually live long.  The Santorums embraced their faith and their daughter (on different timelines) and refused to just let her go.  They cherished her and learned to love even more unconditionally from her.  They realized their love for her is a lot like the Lord's love for us.  
While I did not agree with the politics in the book (he is a conservative republican), I was able to look past that and relate to the Santorums as a mother of a disabled child (now adult).  I could really empathize with some of the battles they had to undertake to get their daughter things she needed to live.  I felt like there was much to glean from the lessons in the book.  
This book was a good read and I would recommend it pretty readily.  I will be keeping an ear out to hear how Bella is doing as time goes on, she has already well defied the odds and I hope she continues to do so!

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. They did not require me to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”*