Sunday, January 31, 2010

More birthday . . .

We spent the day celebrating more of the big 6th birthday. This pic was taken at Meagan's favorite restaurant - or at least they have her favorite milkshake with worms hanging over the edge. She is enjoying downing one of those gummi worms in the picture. We also watched the movie "Bolt" at her house together, read several books, opened more presents, made some dolls out of funny little plastic pieces that you spray with water and they stick together. An amazing day!

Tomorrow is a morning for me,a stop at Fabric Depot and I will pick Meagan up after school for some serious "girl shopping" - with pictures. See you then!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Birthday girl . . .

Meagan had her birthday party at a jump place - you know the kind - filled with giant inflatables that kids can bounce on and in. She and her friends had a wonderful time that ended with pizza, cake and presents. Tomorrow we will share in another birthday party with her. She has the right idea already - have a whole birthday week - and never count the years.

Roy and I went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant in the Sellwood area of Portland near where he lives. It was a good time to have a long visit - we have not done that for a while as it is rarely just the two of us when we come to visit or when he is in Montana. It was quite a treat! I like Roy - and of course I love him because he is my son - but I really like him as a person.

Before we went out, we watched the movie documentary with Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White called "It Might Get Loud". I was mesmerized. It was amazing to see someone like Jimmy Page believe in himself and his art enough to take the risks needed to change the guitar sound forever. See it if you get a chance.

Here is my inspiration picture for today - it is from the upholstery in the room - I like the design, colors and the possibility for the straight line quilting. I like it because it is so orderly - so predictable and strong. It must be something I need now.

A reminder . . .

I just came across this again - had to post it for me to remember. It is an aligning quote - one I align my journey to . . .

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge -- myth is more potent than history -- dreams are more powerful than facts -- hope always triumphs over experience -- laughter is the cure for grief -- love is stronger than death. -- Robert Fulghum

Friday, January 29, 2010

Another vacation . . .

Twelve hours and 750 miles later and I am in Portland, OR. I came by myself as we had an issue again with frozen pipes. That new boiler system is just not designed for a nine sided house with sections that hang over the foundation. Bob thought he has this solved, but he wasn't comfortable leaving it and I wanted to get here to celebrate that special grand daughters 6th birthday tomorrow.

So I got up early, packed the car and headed west on I-90 to Missoula then on to Spokane and to Portland. You can see it on the map - just click on it and it will enlarge. The roads were good and there was no snow after leaving Montana. I love to drive. I run my iPod through the speaker system of the car (that is the LilyB, you know) and I listened to some great pod casts and favorite music. I have a couple audio books I wanted to listen to as well, but never got to them as there was so much listening to do.

We decided to stay in a hotel when we were all coming as we were bringing Kassie - our Scotty dog. She stayed home with Bob, but I decided to just stay in the hotel anyway so Meagan can swim after I pick her up from school. I brought a couple projects that we can do together and then have dinner with Roy after he gets off work and spend some fun time at their house. It is all good!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It is over . . .

This was the last day of the vacation. It has been an amazing 14 days at the lodge. It has helped me realize just how blessed I am every day of my life. I really focused on doing whatever I wanted today. I did very little in the studio and decided to not hurry to get the quilt finished for Meagan. It is for Valentine's Day so I will take it with me to sew and quilt it up quickly when we get back and send it back to her.

My focus today was on her birthday. I am having trouble finding that Janome Hello Kitty sewing machine. So, I made lots of calls here and in Portland - no luck. I see where Target has them in some of their stores. I will look at Target on our way across - in Missoula, Spokane and then in Portland area. If I don't find one, I have a plan B. I have 3 coupons made up for "shopping trips - one to The Disney Store, one to Macy's, and one to another store of her choice. She is very reasonable about what she chooses - I am not reasonable at all - I go way overboard. I will take my little Janome and we can still sew her the vest with the hearts - pictures of that later. I am also getting her the little teapot set and some packets of hot chocolate and marshmallows for our hot chocolate tea parties.

I also spent some time today getting my closet organized - it is something I wanted to do all vacation so it had to be done today.

And, I had to do a lot of dreaming and reading about the new Apple iPad. I am ordering one as soon as I am able to order. Wow - I can hardly wait.

Tomorrow is a getting ready day for our travels to Portland. The vacation at the lodge is officially over. I am not sure how it will be different except I know my spirits are much brighter. It has been a grand two weeks!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Memories . . .

Today I found out the first boy I ever kissed died on Saturday. The kiss was many, many years ago. He was my first crush, first boyfriend, my first prom date, my best friend in high school even after we were no longer boyfriend and girlfriend. It was a very small high school in a very small town in the shadow of the Northern Rockies. He lived with his family right around the corner from us and we would walk to school together most every morning. And then we graduated.

He and 5 other boys from our small class, all good friends, left the next day to serve in the armed forces and several of them ended up in Vietnam. Roger didn't go to Vietnam. He was selected to be a Navy honor guard at Arlington. Our paths went in totally different directions. His family moved from the small town where we grew up. My family sold the general store and moved away as well.

I went on to college and he served in the Navy. I married someone else. I knew later that he also married. I hope he was happy. I know he was the most handsome boy. I saw him one more time after graduation about 16 years ago at a class reunion. And he had become the most handsome man. My heart, my prayers, and my love are with him and his family.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 12 - Getting Close . . .

I like being on vacation so much that I am going to have to do this again real soon. It will have to wait until we get back from our Portland visit in a couple weeks. It has really changed my view of the "every day".

I spent way to much time this morning listening to this Leonard Cohen song from different artists. It was like warm oil on my soul and I shed some long reserved tears. I heard it first by Justin Timberlake on the Hope for Haiti show Friday evening. The melody, words and mood stayed with me. I then found it and other versions on YouTube. Here are some for you to compare if you want. I won't tell you which hit me the hardest. The links are below rather than embedding them - I will figure that out later, but I wanted to share this before I head to bed. I hope you take the time to enjoy them as much as I have today.
Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris From Hope for Haiti
Jeff Buckley
K. D. Lang
After some healing tears, I finally did some quilting on Miss Daisy - and then this evening I started a little, easy quilt for Meagan for Valentine's Day. Of course I have to get the quilt done on Miss Daisy tomorrow and get it off so I can do this one on Wednesday. I am cutting it close, huh? We aren't going to leave until later in the week and I can stitch down the binding in the car. I got this idea from the Moda Bake Shop. I changed the sizes a bit so I could get the outer pieces and one inner piece from one width of fabric strip so I could just reverse using fabric I have here. I will finish the couple blocks left, sew them together and get the hearts machine appliqued on tomorrow evening. I may have to burn some midnight oil to get them done, but I will.

My decision to not visit the quilting discussion board I mentioned over a week ago has been a real positive renewal for my creativity. I am not sure if it is the extra time or just less stuff to think about. I miss some of the "regulars" who are wonderful people and fantastic quilters, but have found I can keep up with most of them via Facebook, another board or private email. It is all good! Thank you!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 10 and Day 11 - Busy Weekend

These have been really busy vacation days. I sewed all morning yesterday at our Breakfast Club gathering sponsored by a local quilt shop. They make a new breakfast recipe, share a pattern and we gather and either make it as shown or select our own fabric. The top photo shows the blocks we worked on in the sample provided by the teacher. She made a shortened table runner and 2 placemats with only one showing. Most of us selected our own fabric and here are three blocks made by three of us. Mine is the bottom block and I selected the "Attitude Girls" jelly roll from Moda. I am thinking I want a lap quilt, but it is going to be put aside for the next couple weeks - then maybe - but it will probably be a table runner

We enjoyed wonderful company this weekend with great meals made even better with long visits, lots of laughter and good stories. Our home team, the Montana State Bobcats beat the cross state rival, University of Montana Grizzlies in basketball last night. That game was the excuse we used for gathering with friends and the win was an even better excuse to linger over the friendship.

Another celebration for our grandson, Walker, who won a prize in the annual baby pictures contest sponsored by our local paper so his picture is in the Sunday paper today. All of the babies were too cute - not sure how they decide who wins the prizes, but we know they made the right choice selecting Walker as one of the winners. That is a "grandma" speaking, of course!

Now - this will be an early to bed night after a very short night last night. Back to normal tomorrow. Only 3 days left of this vacation so I have a lot to get done before we head for Portland later in the week.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 9 - Vacation Continues

Tonight we are watching the "Hope for Haiti Now" - amazing and I know we can help by giving. We are giving what we can here.

Walker was out this morning and then we met Rainy at Weston's school and did the trade off so Walker went with his Mom and Weston came with us. We went to Costco for our "retirement lunch" which is a hot dog and drink for a buck fifty. Weston couldn't believe you could sit down and eat at Costco. We introduced him to the tables with the umbrellas - he thought that was fun to have umbrellas inside. I don't know how he had missed it.

We had our tea party - with hot chocolate - this afternoon with the new "teapot and cups". Weston really liked changing out the tea for hot chocolate.

No pictures today - not even old ones. This grandma is tired and heading up to sew for an hour after this show is over.

Our big snow storm predicted is starting to arrive - it is the moisture from California meeting the cold air - could get deep.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 8: The crocheted dress

It is getting excited around here as we are heading to Portland a week from today. We have not been there in 6 months. Meagan is going to be 6. These two pictures are of me and then Meagan a few decades later in the same little crocheted dress. Mom made the dress for me. I love these two pictures so much. I hope she enjoys having the dress someday for her own granddaughter.

Bob and I went out to lunch today and then on to the little town of Belgrade. Our Habitat for Humanity is located in Belgrade and we took some stuff to donate. We are planning to volunteer there this spring - hopefully one day a week at least.

It was a very productive day here - lots of quilting for me. I love it!!!

I stopped off at a quilt shop to get some fabric for a little fun, quick quilt I want to make. More on that later. I will need to burn some mid-night oil to get it done on time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 7 - Oh, no - it is half way over.

The wonderful "two week vacation at the lodge" is almost half way over. This is a picture of the sunrise this morning. It was like the sky was on fire. I took this right out our front door.

We went to Helena today for a wonderful day of visiting with our friends there. Here is a nice picture of our state capitol building that we drove by while we visited the little city. Those leaves are still on the trees because the first freeze and snow hit while they were still green last fall and they never turned and dropped off. Laurena and I did some shaving cream paper dyeing for some cards we are making. We then all went out for a long, long lunch to share ideas of best ways to get to Arizona and then where we should stay.

Bob and I stopped to look at a few used car lots on our way home. We are looking for a little pickup to tow with Gus. We have a little old, old pickup (25+ years old) that we use to haul garbage and other stuff. It doesn't go very far ever. It is so decrepit that it might come apart in pieces if we towed it. We laugh at the image of the yellow pickup pieces dropping off all the way there - like a trail of crumbs. At least we could find our way home and that might be important!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day Six - busy vacation

This is a busy vacation. I cleaned cupboards in my studio this morning. I wanted to rearrange things so I could get out of the habit of doing my online reading and writing with the computer on my lap. I think this new arrangement will work. At least it looks better as before you couldn't see the top of this area - it was covered with paper and books.

Then I hauled a portable table up to the entry area room just before going into my studio to set up a small place to make some cards. I want to try some more stamping. I did some several years ago and enjoyed it and I think it is something I could take with me. As much as I love a stash of fabric, I am not into collecting a bunch of stamping stuff - or so I say now. I have some distinct ideas in mind and I think this area will work just fine. Besides there is a large oval table on the opposite wall that is not far away so I can set projects there once they are done.

This afternoon, I headed out for my second "artist date" - you know the one recommended from the book I am reading, "The Artist's Way". There are links in previous posts for more info on that book. I haven't really started doing anything except the morning pages and the artist's dates - that may be as far as I get. So today, I headed to Cost Plus World Market for some shopping and took my sketch pad for some drawing. It is kind of like Pier One married Target and this is their offspring. I had a good hour and a half there. I had never been there before. I wanted to get this little teapot set for tea parties with Weston. He likes tea parties. Now I think I will have to go back and get another one for Meagan for her birthday. And then I found these cute Pez with the fun Disney characters. I love them - but I promise I will give them to the grand kids. Of course there were a few more items in my cart, but most of the time I spent studying possible quilting designs.

I then ran over to Target to see if they had the Hello Kitty sewing machine - they didn't. But while I was there I picked out some cute outfits for the new twins in the family. Twin boys were born 10 days ago to my great niece (my brother's grand daughter) in Arizona. They were a bit early and each weight just over 4 pounds. I think they are heading home soon and seem to be doing really well. I found the little sleepers for now - or maybe in a month or so and something for a bit later. I hope we can see them when we head south next month. They are identical and the pictures of them are amazing. That makes me a great great aunt. How can that be?

To end the evening, I ended up here at Sola Cafe with my art group. The food here is amazing - I had a salad that I can't even explain, except that it had fennel in it with sugared hazelnuts. Oh, my! I have not gone in a while and the work they shared was wonderful. I wish I had taken my camera to show some of the exquisite work. I need to go more often. I always feel inspired when I am there, but I know, in reality, that kind of beautiful work takes hours and hours.

This 6th day of vacation was a busy one. Tomorrow it is off to Helena (100 miles away) to do some paper dyeing with shaving cream with my friend and have lunch to plan our "heading south" next month. She and her hubby have a 5th wheel and are "experienced" at this RV stuff.

Day Five - The Morning After

That title sounds much more interesting that this brief note. I forgot to post yesterday about the 5th day of my "vacation at the lodge". So here I am this morning staying with my commitment. I am not sure why I forgot, but Bob and I got to visiting last night and it just happened.

I started out taking a vitamin - after my breakfast - and then being sick most of the morning. Don't do that! I want to take vitamins, but I just can't keep them down. I read online about some solutions. Always take them with a meal - did that and that didn't work. Cut them in half - may try that next. Take them with dinner so you have had a day with food in your stomach - may try that next, but I have to get brave because I don't want to be sick in the night. The one solution I really liked - take children's Flintstones vitamins - just take 2 or 3 during the day. Maybe I will try that - I like the looks of the "gummy" kids vitamins so maybe that would be a solution.

I watched Oprah and the talking/texting on cell phones while driving episode. I wasn't going to watch it, because I was one of "those people" who feel I can do that on the limited basis I do. But, I happened to read Kay's blog, "myOlivebranch" here just before it came on in our time zone and decided I had better watch. I never text, but on occasion I do talk on the phone while driving. Wow - I won't do that anymore - ever. I will state my concern openly, with kindness, to those I love who do. And, I will not stop until they stop talking on the phone while driving.

And then, after supper, I watched the movie, "The Secret Life of Bees". It was a good movie. I loved the book when I read it a few years ago, but had just never gotten around to seeing the movie. I liked the book much better of course, but I did enjoy the movie. And then I came downstairs from my studio and got to talking with my Bob and forgot to write about Day Five of the vacation.

It was a good day.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day Four - As good as it gets . . .

We had Weston and Walker out overnight as I said on my post last night. They are so much fun. Walker and I got up early - he was really hungry and so we had some time together before anyone else got up . . . here is a cute picture of his amazing smile after his tummy was full.

Stan and Rainy came out to pick them up and we had breakfast together here before they all left mid-day. Bob and I then watched the Vikings play the Cowboys. We are basically Denver Bronco fans - they didn't make the playoffs, so I was cheering for the Vikings today.

Late this afternoon, we took dinner over to our neighbors. He had a knee replaced last Tuesday and he loves Chinese food so we did the "carry out" thing for them. They are not only neighbors - across the field - but she and I have been friends since college days. It was a nice visit and I am glad he is doing amazingly well.

Another wonderful day . . . almost as good as that smile on Walker's face!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day three - vacation is getting better.

You know how sometimes when you are on vacation you get renewed energy - energy you would like to use to do things at home, things that would be a great help, but you aren't home? Well we are home. When we moved this boiler last summer into unfinished storage room in the garage, it left the "boiler room" empty. The boiler room is an unfinished small room that housed the boiler (we have hot water heat) and the water heater. With that gone, it has been empty. I have said I would love to have it finished and have shelving put in for storage of appliances we use only on occasion. This old boiler room is off the area we call the "back entry" which connects with the garage. (This is kind of an unusual house.) Bob agreed that would be a great storage area, but getting it finished was not at the top of the "to do" list. So today, we decided to add portable shelves in there. Now, I have a place for the bread maker, the food processor, large electric fry pan, 2 boxes of margarita glasses (we use them a couple times a summer only), crock pots, and so forth. It may not be fancy, but it will provide lots of storage for things that are not stuck here and there or on the counter tops. Funny how a vacation can renew energy.

And - the best part of the day. . . guess who came to dinner? That is right - Weston and Walker came out this evening to have dinner with us and to stay over night. Walker is crawling around all over so he is fun to keep track of and Weston just loves being here. We watched the movie, "The Incredibles" for the umpteenth time as it was on the Disney Channel. It is a good movie! Weston starts out the night in "his room" - it is actually the bedroom that Bob uses as an office now, but we have a daybed there that is Weston's. Sometime in the middle of the night, he will come crawl in bed with us. Walker sleeps through the night in his portacrib. It will be a good night, but it will seem short come morning.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day Two . . . Aren't Vacations Wonderful?

It was a really nice vacation day. We spent a little more time than normal over our breakfast and then I went into town to do some errands and wash my car. I ran into a group of our "basketball friends" at Costco and we had a great visit - laughed that things are not good when Costco is our social outing. We have had more gorgeous weather - more like March than January. I didn't get all of the stuff I needed so we went back into town again after supper.

I am looking at little sewing machines and hope to get one for Meagan for her birthday. I want something that can actually sew, but is fun as well. Any suggestions? I have looked at this one at Target today - it is a "Miss Kittie". I am going to keep looking.

I am getting into making some Valentine cards so I will be "practiced" for when we head to Portland. Meagan and I are going to make Valentines. I have enjoyed the cards on this site, Papertrey Ink. One of the site owners and designers has this wonderful blog that has lots of ideas. It is just perfect for me. I like their stamps and the cards seem clean and classy.

There was a little interesting event today on one of the quilting discussion boards. Those who participate in this particular board are willing to share a ton of talent and be kind and respectful. But there are always one or two who take great joy in being critical for no purpose and passing it off as a legitimate "critique" to help others make wise purchasing decisions or to assist others in understanding copyright violations. As much as I have come to enjoy this particular board, I will not be visiting there much anymore. Thankfully the world is full of choices. . .

I am off to set up a "stamping station" in the outer room of my studio area. Oh - one last thing - Costco is taking donations for the Red Cross for Haiti. Every dollar there goes to the Red Cross just as the texting option.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day One at the Lodge . . .

I have always wanted to go away for a 2 week vacation. You know the kind, where you can do whatever you want . . . sleep late, eat whatever, read books, sew if you want, go shopping. I have never really wanted to spend two weeks at the beach. A swimming suit is not my most flattering attire. But, I have always wanted to spend two weeks in the mountains. Well, it dawned on me that I kind of live in the mountains. I mean lots of people come to Bozeman, MT and pay big bucks to have a two week vacation here. So, I live here. I am pretending that I am on vacation in a house in the mountains . . . a lodge maybe. Of course the lodge is really this house. We do have a huge rock fireplace, does that count? Well I will pretend!

I have been writing my morning pages from "The Artist's Way". I can't begin to tell you the calm I am feeling inside. I know some have morning quiet time to meditate and this may be something similar for me. It is a good time - being on vacation - to read this book and start through the weekly activities.

We have these two weeks before we head to Portland on the 28th for Meagan's big 6th birthday. That will be a wonderful way to end a vacation - with a trip to see Meagan. Between now and then, we don't have anywhere we "have to go" and we can enjoy our time here as we want.

I did get more done on the Irish Chain. Hoke is doing the Celtic knot and I like it. This pattern is from "Sweet Dreams Quilt Studio". The CC is freehand and I have only done that with the cream thread. I will go back through and do all of the green blocks when I change to green thread and that will settle in the outside edges better. It has been a relaxing way to spend some time today.

I am still thinking on the "art" or "craft" discussion. I have read some interesting views from others on the "QuiltArt" discussion board. I am just not sure.

My prayers are with the people of Haiti - especially the children.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Art or craft?

I read this article with Harrison Ford in the Parade magazine that comes in our Sunday paper. Do you get this little insert in your Sunday paper? I like Harrison Ford, but what caught my mind in the article was the two paragraphs about him working on his craft as a carpenter and an actor. It has stuck with me. I have been thinking about my quilting all week. I want to be better at my craft. Do you consider yourself a craftsman or an artist? Or, is it one in the same? Or, does one lead to the other? Lots of thinking this week on this one.

I did get some work on my craft today. I upgraded Hoke with the latest version of the IQ software and gave Miss Daisy a spa treatment. I continue to be amazed with how wonderful the IQ is. I have only begun to touch all that it can do. And then we went into town for all afternoon to do some shopping and a hospital visit with our neighbor who has a new knee. He is doing great! I didn't get back to it until this evening. But, I did get a little start - working on my craft.

I have 14 more days to do whatever I want in my studio. . . quilt. . . make cards . . . sew . . . work on my class. . . whatever! We are heading to Portland in 14 days. I am thinking of this as a long vacation at the lake - without the lake. We are not needing to be anywhere or do anything - just whatever I want in my studio - and I mean whatever - no deadlines. I can't remember when I had such luxury!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just get back in the water . . .

First I worked on getting my Wacom tablet to connect. I have had it for over a year and a half - it is part of a 4D embroidery drawing kit and I got it from the local Viking/Husqvarna dealer in trade for some quilting. I needed to connect it to the PC with Vista. I am really a Mac person, but the box says it is only for Windows and I don't run both Windows and Mac OS on my Mac even though I could. I prefer to have two computers - the Windows is for EQ, 4D, and my embroidery stuff. My vision for this - when I had the vision - was that I would want to be able to go back and forth on two machines side by side rather than on the same machine. That was over a year ago when I bought the PC. Well, the tablet's driver did not work with Vista and the tablet was only listed on the Wacom European site for a driver update - not on the US site. And, I could not download it from the European site - the server kept resetting. It must have been a tablet made special by Wacom for the embroidery drawing kit put together by Husqvarna for their 4D package. Well with a little problem solving, I found the right driver on the US site and downloaded it. And then I even downloaded a driver so it will also work with my Mac. I enjoyed being a bit of a geek again.

Then I decided to dig out this UFO and get it ready to put together for an art group meeting next week. I had started on this a couple years ago, but it was not my favorite. I then rearranged the log cabin blocks around the koi center and I think it will work. I will sew the blocks together and take it to the gathering next Tuesday evening for show and tell - it is fun to have something to share. It won't be quilted until later because . . .

I actually finished loading this quilt. I will make a commitment to show my progess each day - and don't expect great progress - it may be slow, but it will be progress. Tonight I did a bit of simple piecing while I watched "Idol" auditions in Boston. So - it was a really good day.

I decided I am missing my Dad - maybe that is why the world is all in gray scale and not in color. I am so glad he is not suffering any more and I know he lived a long, good life. But, I am still missing him.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Practicing the date night . . .

Three things today have brought light. I started the class from Carla Barrett on "Quilt Whispering" that she is offering as an online class on Machine Quilters Resource. It is a perfect opportunity to renew my inspiration. It is a three week class and I am really looking forward to the lessons planned and shared.

The second thing is that I have started reading and discussing the book "The Artist's Way". One of the first things on the assignment list is an art date. My first one was tonight after supper at Michael's. Not the most exciting date destination, bit it worked and I got some items for some cards I want to make. I also got some ribbon that I caught my eye and a couple valentine stamps for some cute little cards to make with Meagan when we head to Portland in a couple weeks. I have made a few cards with stamping and enjoy the creative experience. One of my good friends is a "major stamper" and we sometimes plan creative days together. I think we need to plan one soon. I was inspired for these cards from this site and blog . . . {capture the moment}. I just love the examples here.

And - finally - most of the afternoon was spent going through my fabric stash. I have some wonderful projects to finish and some great fabrics. It was exciting just to refold and see the possibilities.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Thinking about being "burned out"

On one of the lists today there has been quite a conversation about being burned out on doing customer quilting. It has been interesting to me and I can certainly understand. I don't like to use the words "burned out" to describe my own situations. I just see the hulk of a house all burned out and blackened inside when I hear those words and that is never how I feel. I never feel as bad as that image.

But, I do understand the lack of enthusiasm and/or drive to "get to work". I have been experiencing that since the end of October. I have not turned Miss Daisy on since before October 24th. I have 4 quilts from customers (I still keep a few good customers) who have been very caring, understanding people. They are nice quilts - the kind I usually love doing. They will require a combination of free hand and using Hoke. But, I just can't get going.

I have a few UFO's of my own to finish. I have two I would like to enter into local, regional and national shows, but they sit undone. I have done some piecing and that seems to be okay as long as it is mindless stuff - no creativity required. Just simple piecing following a pretty easy pattern. That I can do, but it is not very exciting. That is the kind of thing I am doing with "The Breakfast Club" I started going to the end of September. And, I have enjoyed going to the monthly classes - enjoyed the people and the sharing. But, I have not wanted to go to any other quilting related gatherings. I have not wanted to go to guild meetings, art group, quilt study or a planned retreat. Nothing!

There I have said it! I have thought maybe I should sell all of this stuff - the A1, the IQ, the sewing machines, the books, the fabric. And then I realize, no, I want to do this! I want to create beautiful quilts, traditional and art quilts. I just don't want to do it right now. So what gives. I am not burned out as I have never worked as hard at it as others. I have not had to make a living quilting as it has always been a supplement to my retirement and I want it to be again. But, right now I am standing still.

One thing I do know for sure. When big emotional things happen in my life, it can cause me to not be able to move forward. Sometimes it has been caused by the death of a loved one, serious a illness of my own or a loved one, a divorce, a job change, a major move, or an all consuming job. I have had some of those things cross my path again in the last few months and I know I will again in the future. That is the rhythm of my life. So, until I hear "the music" again, I will be thankful for knowing that it will return when the time is right. And the time will be right for me when it is right. Until then, I will work on other things, be happy with other aspects of my life and be grateful. I will not "fret" that I am not creating my quilts. I will enjoy!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fun Day . . .

We had a fun day with Walker here this morning while Weston went to school. When Rainy came to pick up Walker, Weston was through with school so he stayed for the afternoon. We just enjoyed watching Walker eat and begin crawling this morning. It is such a fun age as they start to really explore and figure things out. Weston wanted cookies so we had to bake chocolate chip cookies. It was good to get the "cookie makings" gone that were left over from Christmas cooking . I sent the cookies home with him so I wouldn't be tempted. We loved the entire day.

Tonight we went to the basketball game and watched Montana State University play Portland State University. We won, but it was close at the end. We sit with folks that we have sat with for several years and it is always a good time.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Again . . .

It was -22 last night and it is already -16 tonight. And then - it is supposed to warm up a bit and get closer to normal. . . wonder what that is. The house creaks and groans - I am glad it is the house instead of me.

We put all of the Christmas stuff away today - finally. The tree is a big articial one that comes apart and has to be stowed in three parts, wrapped in the attic. We laughed - it takes longer each year to get it all set up for Christmas and it takes longer each year to get it finally all stowed away. Is there a lesson there?

Tomorrow morning early, we are having a Walker visit. I will try to get some pictures.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Quick . . .

Another good day!

1. It is cold, cold, cold and we got more snow. It is -22 tonight. This has been a long winter already.
2. Friends from high school called for a surprise lunch as they traveled through. They were high school sweathearts - married and have lived a wonderful, enlightened life. I changed all plans to enjoy them over lunch. I know they were sent today for a special treat.
3. Tonight Bob and I watch "Marley and Me" - good movie.

It was a loving day!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lunch Party . . . what was I thinking?

At my age I should know not to go to a lunch and then drink champagne - in the middle of the day yet. It really made for a slow afternoon after I got home about 3. It was a fun lunch in honor of a friend from Denver. With my new guiding words, I had the best time. I usually feel somewhat insecure at these things because of my weight, but today I just envisioned being loving to others there and it was just the best time.

I did get some things done upstairs tonight. I finished the piano key border around this quilt - it is a late Christmas present for Mom. She loved it when she was here for Christmas, but I did not have the border on and was planning to do a plain fabric border with one of the reds. And then I thought this would look better and I am glad I did it. It also helps use all of the jelly roll. Now if I could just finish the quilt that is on Miss Daisy so I can get it quilted for Mom before I see her in a couple weeks. She bought some new furniture for her apartment and this will look great.

I also started a table runner - both of these are from "The Breakfast Club" I am enjoying once a month at a local quilt shop. This was the December project and it has a real Christmas look, but I will finish it before the next meeting and then put it away until next year.

I watched the movie "Australia" while I sewed. It was a good movie. I had wanted to see it when it came out, but it had less than good reviews so I didn't go. What do I know, but I really liked it. I would have liked it better on the big TV in the family room, but The Orange Bowl was on - need I say more? I will watch it again with Bob on another day. He will enjoy it as well.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dentist and great cookies

Today was the day to get my teeth cleaned. I get it done twice a year as recommended for maintenance. That is about the only thing in my life I do "as recommended". I am glad it is done for another 6 months. I hate to go to the dentist - it is only slightly better as I get older.

And - we went to the neighbors for a cuppa mid-afternoon and she put out some Maple Leaf Cookies from Trader Joe's. I am not much on "store bought" sandwich cookies, but I sure like these. Maybe it was the need for something sweet after the dentist. Have you tried them? I am glad we don't have a Trader Joe's here, but I will sure make a visit when we are in Portland the end of the month.

It is cold here tonight - a little more snow - and more cold and snow coming.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Good Day . . .

First - here is a cute picture that Weston took Christmas eve. He was using my new digital camera. The flash was off so it is dark, but he wanted to take a picture of "the ladies" - my Mom, my DIL and my SIL - sitting at the counter. I like the picture. He loved having everyone here and everyone let him help them open each present. When he came back last week, he pranced in and then went into the living room where we have the big tree and came back with that amazed look and asked, "Where did everyone go?" He was ready for more.

I never sleep late, but this morning we had to leave the house at 8 and I slept until 7:30. That makes it tough to shower and get a "face on" for the public appearance. It seems to take longer each year to get prepared for an outing. We took our good friends Jesse and Diane out to breakfast at Chico Hot Springs. It was our way of helping Diane celebrate her retirement after 30+ years from Montana State University. Chico is a great place to eat and it was a gorgeous drive down the Paradise Valley that leads to Yellowstone Park.

If you have a minute, hit the links to see where we were today.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Guiding words . . .

I am identifying some things to focus on this year as I have done at the beginning of each year. In several blogs I read, there is a movement to identify a guiding word or words rather than resolutions. I like that idea. I have decided on two guiding words for me for 2010.

After a lifetime of never feeling "good enough", my words this year are "proud" and "loving". I will work this year to be proud and loving to myself in everything I do and in every way I act and interact with all that is around me. It seems to fit.

I am back. . . . working on being "regular".

I enjoy blogging - even though I have nothing earth changing to say. When the world gets me down and I feel overwhelmed, I always try to simplify and the blogging seems to be the first to go. Sometimes I go get my hair all cut off as well - like a boy cut - didn't to that this time. I enjoy reading other people's blogs so much so I am back in the game. . . until the next time that is.

This blog is about cereal. Bob and I have eaten Fiber One cereal almost every morning since he had a medical need for more fiber a few years back. And then this fall I read about aspertame and decided we could live without it, but wait - that is the sweetener used in Fiber One and diet coke - how will I survive? Well I also needed the Fiber One - I know "way too much information here".

I have learned to live with out the diet coke and other diet drinks pretty good, but the Fiber One need was a major problem. So, we came up with a great hot oatmeal cereal. It is high in fiber and "good stuff" to help with Bob's clogged artery problem and the "regular" problem. Also - see my wonderful new red dishes. Love them!

9 cups water - bring to boil.
Add 2 chopped up apples
3 tsp cinnamon - we like a lot of cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground clove
(You can change the amounts of the spices up as you like of course)
1 cup plus a few more raisins
When the water is boiling - add 3 cups of steel cut oats - or whatever amount they say for 9 cups of water from the brand you use - that is just what works with the ones we get from Bob's Red Mill. Sometimes I use half steel cut oats and half Wheat Montana 7 Grain Cereal to change it up. We really "step right out there with change" don't you think?
And . . .
Add a half cup, more or less, of ground flax seed - I have used either the brown or golden - just be sure it is ground.
And . . .
Add a half cup, more or less, of chopped walnuts
Boil for 15 to 20 minutes - per directions on cereal - stirring as needed.
It makes the best hot cereal - high in fiber and high in all of the good stuff you need to reduce cholesterol and artery clogging.

We eat it fresh the first day and then put it in the frig and heat what we need each - and every - morning in a pan on low with a bit more water. I suspect you could freeze it if you didn't want to eat it every day, but we eat it every day - every day - did I say "every day"?

Happy New Year!