Friday, October 30, 2009

Project ideas and kid pics . . .

Here are some pics I didn't get put in the previous post for today so I will just put them here. This is the next installment of the quilt from the "Breakfast Club". I am going to love this one - may have to keep it myself. It is the Astor Manor jelly roll from Moda.

And here is my project for next Wednesday's sewing day with my friend in Helena. We are going to meet once a month to make bags and this is going to be my first one. I saw this pattern on one of the discussions all done up and loved it. Yesterday I was in Joann's and they had their home dec fabric on sale so I got these two pieces. I will dig the lining fabric out of my stash - these are my colors so I have lots that will work. I will go early (it is about 100 miles) and then stay over night and go on from there to Missoula (another 100+ miles) for a visit with Mom and Dad.

Rainy brought the boys out this morning so we could we could do a little repair on Weston's Halloween costume. He is going to be "Mr. Incredible" which also is one of my favorite movies. He has had the costume for a couple weeks and worn it a little and the mask came apart - like it was made to last 30 seconds. So it needed some special "Grandma attention". I love that part. Walker is just smiling all the time and he is such a cute little button. I will ad more pics of them after the trick or treating tomorrow night when they have their costumes on. We have decided both boys look like a mixture of their Mom and Dad. We are brilliant, huh?

October 30th

So, I put on my costume in the avatar to wish you a Happy Halloween tomorrow. That is as close as I get to putting on a costume. I suspect trick or treating will be less this year with all of the flu sickness going around.

So - where did October go? It was just a couple hours ago that we were starting fall and the trees were just starting to turn a bit and then the snow fell, the winds howled, it dropped below zero and winter was here - and that was 3 weeks ago. I keep thinking we will have that beautiful fall, but guess not now. November can be nice, but autumn, as I love it, will have to wait for another year.

Another one of my Dad's sayings is sticking in my brain today . . . "Don't make decisions of the heart based on finance."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

All days are good days . . .

I joined a "Breakfast Club" for quilters at a local quilt shop and I missed part of it last Saturday. It is always the 4th Saturday of each month. I got there late so I started on my project last night. I am using a Moda jelly roll. Each month we have a new project and they will get progressively more difficult through the year. It is so much fun and so relaxing as they are easy projects. This one will be a small lap quilt for Mom for Christmas. I think it will go with her new living room chairs she ordered for her senior apartment. She is really beginning to like living there.

I also worked today on a quilt that has had be stumped. I used Hoke for the plain blocks using one of the "Megan's blocks" from One Song. But, the customer wants quilted images of their Great Danes in the center blocks - along with a frog and an airplane. They had the simple drawings so I was kind of stumped as to how to get them to the quilt top without taking the time to make a stencil or digitizing them. So, I just cut out the silhouette and then drew the center lines in with the wonderful Marvy pen. I think it is going to work and I will be so glad to get this one done. It was so quick. Isn't it funny how the smallest things seem to be the stumbling blocks? You might have to click on the picture to enlarge it to see the quilted dog.

I was nervous today about the interview for the education consulting work possibility. It was a phone interview and I have another one set up for next week so I guess that is a good sign. We are wanting to do some traveling in "Gus the Bus" so I have wondered how this could work. But, it seems it is possible to do the work from anywhere. If I am to be onsite, I can fly in from anywhere for the two day onsite and about half of the work of coaching teachers in schools is online. It is not fulltime and you can do a couple gigs a month or more as you want. You know, it just might work. It would be a great way to pay for our diesel fuel. . . and there could be a lot of that. We took Gus out this afternoon to add #2 diesel to the tank to keep it from jelling in the cold. It is a 100 gallon tank - guess we really better hope for that work, huh?

"We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails. - Author Unknown

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Some thinking . . .

I have been thinking about how to encourage and support changing how I do things. In the shower this morning, I remembered one of Dad's favorite sayings. "There has been a lot of water under the bridge since then and now some of those bridges are out." I always thought it only meant that he couldn't always remember events from the past.

But now, I am thinking it probably fits the method of travel as well. If something has always worked, we are hesitant to change the process or method we are accustom to using. But what if something external causes a change, do we just say, "I can't get there from here" - or do we look at other ways to accomplish the journey.

Does Dad's quote fit for other things? What do you think?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Reliving the fun of the past few days . . .

I had a very quiet day today working on some odds and ends of projects and organizing - and reliving the fun and good times of the past few days. This first picture shows the heavy snow we had a couple weeks ago. Everything was still green and blooming and then it hit. Of course the flowers are now long gone as are the green leaves. And tonight the wind is howling and it is supposed to storm again.

But in that two weeks we have had many visits from Weston. Here he is leaving after a fun visit. He had his H1N1 vaccine and he had a little down time so his eyes are a bit weary here and it reflects how he felt for sure. This was the day before we left to pick up the motorhome.

And then the good memories of our time shared with our good friends. We stopped on the top of Lookout Pass (between Montana and Idaho on I-90) to change drivers in the LilyB and there was something very fun and funny. It was such a great time traveling with them and laughing at things that were probably not even funny - but we thought everything was right with the world. Here is a nice picture of the mountains at the top of Lookout that same day - low clouds and a damp road, but no ice or snow. I would not want to be going over that pass tonight or tomorrow as they are predicting a foot of snow.

And the last picture is of a wonderful pillow pattern with felted wool that I had to buy at the quilt shop in Coeur d'Alene. It is Bear Paw Quilting and is well worth your stopping time when you are in that area for sure.

Lots of great memories. I also had a long phone call from a friend in California this afternoon. We did a lot of consulting in schools together a few years ago and we had not talked for a couple years. She is now working for a company that provides professional development to schools all over the US. She wanted to know if I would be interested in doing some contract work once again. I am not sure so I am thinking about it.

And - in closing for the day . . .
"Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these"
Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What a night!

Sometimes you just finish a wonderful evening saying, "It just doesn't get any better than this." That is the kind of day we had. We had plans for friends to come and help us officially welcome "Gus the Bus" into the fleet. We had drinks and hors d'oeuvres in Gus and then we came in to the house for supper which was wonderful salad, cheesey garlic bread, great taco soup and a wonderful french silk pie. The guys have all known each other for over 40 years so it was a great evening of good memories. One couple is leaving on Wednesday for their annual trip south for the next few months and the rest of us are just getting into that phase of our lives.

We laughed about memories of college, of children, of grandchildren and even a tear escaped a time or two as we remembered past choices good and bad. It was the best of times.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Finally . . .

It has been a long month since we bought the motorhome. It has been quite a learning experience, but we are finally here to pick it up today. Our good friends from Helena came with us yesterday and we are so enjoying the trip and the company.

We have a 3 to 4 hour class this morning and then we are going back to Missoula for the night before heading home tomorrow. The picture is from the day we bought it a month ago as I didn't bring my cable to download pics to my computer - what is up with that?

We named it "Gus". When we got to Helena to pick up our friends, they had a wonderful "goodie basket" ready for us with some things we would need. They are experienced RVers. And, Ken had written a poem to welcome us to the RV world. The last line was "so, get on the bus, Gus". That is one of my favorite songs so we just had to name the coach "Gus". We are now thinking of acronyms for that - could be "grandparents under stress" - but we will keep having fun with it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Too good not to repeat here . . .

"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky." Rabindranath Tagore (Indian Poet, Philosopher)

Wednesday morning . . .

I wanted to share some pictures from an adventure I took last night. A few months ago, Judy Laquidara shared a tutorial on how she sews the binding down on both sides with the sewing machine. There is a link to it in the right hand column of her blog under "General Info". I loved it then and last night I tried it on a practice piece as I have a bunch of placemats to bind. I don't mind doing binding by hand, but I am working a few minutes here and there on a customer quilt binding so one hand binding at a time is enough for me.

The first picture is just of the pile of placemats and the second one is of the practice piece - I quilted one lone block that was leftover. You can see it from the front and the last picture is a close up of the back. I am so impressed. If you haven't tried her guidelines for doing it this way, you really should. It is perfect!

I woke this morning at almost 9 - not sure why as I never and I mean NEVER sleep that late. I was deep in a dream about the motorhome when the phone rang. It should be done this week and the weather is looking good so we are hoping to go get it on Sunday and Monday. In the dream, it ended up at a car dealer's and everyone was going through it. You had to climb up a ladder to get in and once in, it was a disaster. There was blue stuff running down the walls in the bathroom and the bed was on a pedastal that you had to climb up stairs to get on. It is a good thing the phone rang, huh? I hope it is not prophetic of what is to come. We are so looking forward to getting it, but had no idea it would take this long and we have had to solve a few problems along the way already. I think that will be the norm from what we hear with a motorhome.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sicky weekend . . .

Feeling better today, but I was down with the achy, runny nose crud all weekend. And - I missed the Homecoming activities for Montana State University here in Bozeman. Not so good! We always enjoy seeing lots of old friends - so it will have to wait for another year.

I did get some work done - between naps, nose blowing, and feeling sorry for myself. I quilted the placemats using Debra Geissler's "Swirls" on Hoke. I like the way they turned out. I also got the binding on the quilt I took off and now need to hand turn it to the back. I will do some of that tonight when I watch "Dancing with the Stars" - hope it is good.

The centers of the placemats are made by cutting squares on the bias from strips sewn together. I took the scraps left over and just sewed them together randomly as it was mindless work and I didn't have much for a mind that was working. This is what I ended up with. I will quilt it with the last couple placemats later today.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Things to sell . . . things to consider . . .

I am starting to get interested in selling some stuff on eBay. It is time to thin out! I ordered a couple books from Amazon that will arrive by Saturday and I heading off to become an eBay seller. Any readers out there selling stuff this way? Any advice? Most of my personal stuff is sewing and quilting related - patterns, books, fabric, sewing machines and not Miss Daisy or Hoke - yet anyway. We also have tons of clothes, collectibles, art, decorator items, dishes, etc. Bob has lots of tools and sh*& in the garage that he is interested in moving out as well. I would rather do a few things at a time than drag it all out for a garage sale. And we live in the country so traffic at a garage sale is not always so good. So - stay tuned in for my next adventure. LOL!

Our "Spokane and Back" trip was good - the weather there was wonderful. We are having snow and very cold temps here (highs in the 20's and lows near 0). This is supposed to last through the next 3 or 4 days and then we will be back to more normal temps. The problem with this is - no fall colors this year and they are my favorite. The leaves will just be brown and hang on the trees until a good wind hits. Not what you might call "autumn eye candy".

So - I said - "let's move to Spokane". It is half way between Portland and Bozeman where the grands are and they have a bit less winter. It is also closer to Seattle which I love and we have so many good friends there and it is actually a bit closer to Missoula than we are now. But, I really need to get high behind and thin out. We will do the motorhome thing this year - travel a bit into warmer weather through the winter time. But, we will focus on getting things thinned out and then make a moving decision next summer. We feel like kids again and the whole world is our "oyster". Isn't life grand?

Monday, October 5, 2009

More for today . . .

The snow has ended - at least until Wednesday and then more is on the way with unusually cold temps for this time of year by weekend. And - it is Homecoming at our Montana State U here - brrrr - may have to watch that game on TV.

Anyway - I like the way this turned out so I wanted to share. I am also doing the binding. I tried "tucking" a little curved crosshatching in behind the feathers at the corners and I like it okay. Click on it for a closer look - it is all freehand - needed to let Hoke (my IQ) have a vacation and keep my freehand sharp. I am going to let Hoke do the driving on the next one.

We are off to Coeur d'Alene tomorrow and Wednesday - need to do some "motorhome" stuff. We had a repair list and they are having trouble getting the necessary parts. It is nothing major, but we need to go visit it and try to get some alternative options in place - or else decide to just park it in northern Idaho and use it as a condo as we pass through. Hmmm - with all this snow, that may not be too bad an idea for this year. We also want to get some things changed on the suspension that is our choice. The roads are okay once out of the mountains here.

Snow - and it keeps coming . . .

This is what we woke to this morning . . .

The electricity was on and off all night and the snow is supposed to keep falling all day. The leaves are still on the trees and most of them are still green so I guess we will not enjoy any beautiful fall colors here this year. Also, the flowers are covered with the snow - maybe you can see a bright pink one peaking out from under the snow cover in the hanging basket to the right. And - it was 80 degrees just last week. It is a "hunker down" day with warm bread and warm soup. . . and lots of sewing.

Ah - the fun of living in the northern Rockies - but for those of you to the east - it is coming your way.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Busy days

"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings." -- Eric Hoffer

Family . . . . Walker came for a "by himself" visit on Wednesday morning for a couple hours. Here are a couple pics of him. He is so cute and so peaceful. He eats. He burps. He sleeps. He smiles. He jabbers. He is 4 months old and he is the sweetest thing. We thought he might be going to be blond and blue eyed like his Dad was, but his eyes are the prettiest tweed color - more like his Mom's. Sometimes they are green and sometimes gray. And always there are specks of blue and gold in them. He is going to have light brown hair I think - not as dark as Weston's.

And his big brother, Weston, was here all day yesterday. It was rainy and snowy so we didn't get to go outside much and we had to put up a tent here in the house for "somethin' to do". He is coming back this afternoon after his school and will stay over night. I will get some new pics of him then to add later.

Fiber . . . . Quilting? Well - I am getting one finally finished. It is a good thing my few, well chosen, customers are understanding. I will get it off the table this morning and then get the binding on so I can sew on it as I watch the last episode tonight on PBS on The National Parks. I have enjoyed the series so much - learned a lot about our parks and made an even stronger commitment to visit more of them. I am so impressed with the dedication from those individuals who gave their lives and great sums of money that we could have these places set aside. Growing up in Montana, we think we have the corner on the market with Glacier and parts of Yellowstone in our state. Heck, we really think all of Yellowstone is in Montana, but I know most of it is in Wyoming.

Fun . . . .Motorhome news? We are waiting for a couple things that had to be ordered to arrive and be installed at the dealer in the Spokane area and then we will make arrangements to go back to get it. Everyone is asking, "where are you going first with it?" Hmmmm - we are thinking of just getting used to driving it around large parking lots in the early morning hours before traffic hits - and then maybe an overnight at our local KOA - three miles away. Or, I told Bob, we could just park it out in the north field for an overnight. LOL. The anticipation is so much fun!