Sunday, December 28, 2008

Where has the time gone. The last time I posted it was the beginning of the November. Now, Christmas is behind us and the first semester is over. I have been really falling behind on the home front and keeping up on things.

Seems I need to catch up a bit on things. I have been very busy trying to figure out how to run the house, clean the house, cook and do it all after putting in a full day at work. Not to mention finding time to hit the gym. That has not been working and while I have not put all the weight back on, I have backed up a bit. I am quite determined to get myself organized and to organize this house as well.

We went riding in the desert a while back. What an experience for me. I have ridden in the mountains, which I dearly love, but the desert is new. It was fun, something different, and of course I got a bit cocky and ended up rolling my quad. It was a hard hit. Dislocated my knee, jammed a hit and shoulder, bruises, scrapes, had the wind knocked out of me, hobbled around for several weeks and still having pain shoot in and out from my ankle. It has also been the reason I have had to wait to start back at the gym. But, as much as it hurt, as windy as it got, I would love to do it all again. I would really love to go up to the mountains and ride again, but winter has hit and we cannot get up there until spring or so. Maybe we can head out to the desert soon though. My son is wanting to memorialize our first real tree in the middle of the camp fire. Hey, I am with him.

I have added a member to our family, the four legged furry kind that is. He was dumped out by someone out where I work. Which is the middle of farm land, so it happens often. At any rate, a co-worker rescued the little male puppy from traffic and brought him to the office. From the first sight I knew I had to have him. He came right to me so guess he felt the same way.

Now, I ask you, is this a face you could just dump out in the middle of traffic and not care if there was food, water, or protection for the little guy? I just don't see how.

He has found a place in our family's heart, each and everyone of us. He is too small to let roam outside long so has become an indoor dog. He is very spoiled, but we feel he deserves it as he shows his love for each of us as well. Here in California we have Kit Foxes which are protected or endangered, not sure which, but the kids decided he looks a lot like one so his name is Kit. Best we can figure out is that he is a toy Pomeranian.

We have also had our first blast of winter, which makes me want to curl up and just do nothing. Which I am very good at. We went to Texas to see family for Christmas. It was a very long drive, taking us 19 hours one way, but it was so nice to see family again. Now that the holidays are over though, it is time to get working around here. I didn't have any vacation time, but took off the two weeks that the kids are out of school anyway. Now this next week I am determined to make some kind of order in this world of chaos. Cleaning out, getting rid of, organizing myself as so many people resolve to do this time of year. I woke up this morning with the sore throat and flu junk that the kids have had but I did manage to get the family to take down the Christmas decorations and take the tree out. I on the other hand worked most of the day cleaning out the two freezers and defrosting the one in the garage. I threw away what was no longer good or was just too big a mystery to figure out. There was several packages of that in there. I organized it all and made an inventory of what I have. I made a spread sheet listing the item, how much of it, what it is, where it is so I can use it to create some menus for the next couple of weeks. I was amazed at how much I actually had, amazed at the amount of money I have put in to that freezer, and how much pre-prepared stuff there is. I also informed the family that they would be eating what I prepared for the evening meals and that was all there is to it. It was just outrageous the amount of waste I found, threw away a whole pizza from a local pizza place that had been in the fridge for over a week. How many times over the last few months have I heard that there was nothing to eat so pulled through a drive up to bring home something. More details about that is listed on my cooking blog, which I finally updated tonight.

I recently changed gyms, part of the new membership deal is two free sessions with a personal trainer and a fitness assessment and nutrition help. My appointment is 8:00 AM on Tuesday so will find out how bad I have slipped backwards and what I need to do to get moving forward again. I am tired of standing still.

So, here are my goals for the new year:
1. Organize my home and myself.
2. Go to the gym on a regular basis
3. Spend more time with the family

Okay, sounds pretty normal I know, but not as easy as one would think.

Organizing the home and myself will consist of: planning and actually executing menu plans, scheduling my time to allow not only for gym time but writing and computer time as well. As you can see from the time gap in postings for this blog I need some serious help with the whole time management thing. I also intend to change my personal style a bit as well. And in doing all this, I want to make myself get in the living room with the family a little more instead of spending time hiding out in the bedroom playing games on the computer. My writing has been sitting idle as well.

Well, now I am going to close this off and get moving on with other things but will make a concentrated effort to blog regularly.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ding Dong Avon Calling

Well, I am now an Avon Rep. I don't really have time to work on growing the business, but I do intend to work on it a bit more after the first of the year. In the mean time, I will be getting all my little special purchases at a much better rate, not to mention a savings on the gift giving as well.

I have a website and all, through Avon, that anyone anywhere can browse through the current brochures and place an order, Free shipping directly to you of course.

Guess I will be starting a new blog for my avon stuff.

Not much else is new so guess I will be signing off. Looks like we will be going out to Mojave this week end for some camping and dirt biking.

Notice how I have purposely not mentioned the elections? Okay, have to say this though, if you live in California, tomorrow at the poles.


Regardless of my personal, moral, ethical or religious convictions, this issue was voted on and a couple of state supreme court judges (CA State) just ended up changing what the majority of voters voiced. It makes me feel like my vote doesn't count at all.

I realize that it doesn't really count, my vote that is, in the grand scheme of things as far as the national elections go. That is obvious with all the scandal of the early voting going on, the issue of super delegates and such. But I had been lulled in to the false belief that at least on a more local level anyway, my little voice did count. Guess we will see tomorrow.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Punish me gently.

I have been terribly neglectful of my blog life. I know, things have conspired to make me very neglectful of many things.

Where to start?

I finished up the crazy quilt round robins. Well, my participation at any rate. I do not even belong to any embroidery groups any more. Have not crocheted since my winter trip to the ski resort. I get kind of focused on the interest of the moment. I have just ran my course on reading over all my manuscripts that I have written over the past few years so now it is time to start writing another. I need to work on some quilt and crochet projects, but really need to clean up the work area before I do. In order to clean up the work area I would have to give up my computer time, and my latest obsession of casual gaming, in order to actually clean. get the general idea.

I have also taken on a new home business. I am now selling Avon. Don't know how much I will actually sell, but I have a few people that I know will buy from me often. Who knows, maybe I will actually get myself a little extra income out of it.

For the sunny side of things, my oldest son recently was married.

I am just so proud of them both. The were married on the coast and the weather was just totally awesome. It was a beautiful ceremony in both words and decorations. Simple but so profound. We ended up with quite a bit of family making it as well, which was nice, so was able to see my grand son and oldest daughter.

Guess that is about it, I am heading off to play a few rounds of some game and then go to bed early for a change. Oh yeah, and I have recently become an AVON rep. Ding Dong Avon calling.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


How I miss that West Texas Spring wind...NOT! I love spring here, it just kind of happens. One day I am driving to work and the trees are bare. Back after the week end off the trees have little buds. Then there is a profusion of blossoms signalling the production of fruits and nuts. In what seems like the blink of an eye, the petals are all fallen off and now little green leaves are everywhere. I love this time of year.

In my own poor excuse for a flower bed, our spring bulbs planted last year have suddenly pushed forth and wearing their spring colors.

If I could just keep the local foot traffic out of them they might just have a chance.

Last week was spring break here for the school kids, so I took off a few days to just do things with the family.

One day we went to the beach. Of course it was the wrong day to go as it was windy beyond belief which made it cold as ice. In fact, to me it was just plain miserable. I had on capri's and a hooded jacket, wrapped in a towel, still felt frozen. Youngest daughter, 11, didn't mind the weather.

At least at first. I will say this, she did at least bravely venture in to the ice cold pacific and catch a few waves with her bogey board.

After that, it was the blue lip shiver dance for the rest of the day. The wind just got stronger until we finally just gave up and headed back home. We had things we needed to do anyway to get the motor home loaded for our camping trip.

So, the next morning found us loaded up and off to the mountains. Where we go is public land, all primitive camping (as in no hookups) but I do love it. The guys love it because of all the trails they can ride the dirt bikes on. I just love being up among the pine trees. We were unable to get our usual camp sight, it was already occupied, but where we found one was pretty interesting. The whole area has a history of gold mines, way back to the mid 1800's and there is bits and pieces of the old equipment still scattered about. At our camp sight there was a steel cable that coiled up from the ground from no where. Kind of like a metal fountain springing forth. Then we found the old A-frame used to hold a hoist or bucket or some sort of device that went down in to a mine shaft. The shaft was of course long since buried over, but in my over active imagination I could just see us waking up to find the front of the motor home sinking in to a mass underground cavern. You could see part of an opening to the shaft, literally about two feet from the front tires.

I was sure that this trip was going to be a miserable one as well as the wind picked up there too, making it cold and miserable late in to the night. At least there I was able to hide away in the motor home and stitch on some projects.

I finished up this little potted plant for my contribution to one of the blocks for the green color study we are doing. It may not look like a lot of work, but that was a lot of beads. The biggest challenge is doing it all in green. I kept wanting to add little red berries in to it.

But the view of the stars from up there is just miraculous, truly awe inspiring. Billions of stars scattered across the night sky as if the angels had spilled silver glitter all about. The full moon rising over the mountain tops was like watching some one turn on the lights at a ball field. Early pioneers would have had no trouble traveling by that moon for sure. The next day though was calm and so rejuvenatory for the soul. I love the sound of moving stream or creek, the sound of a light breeze through the pines, bull frogs with their calls at night, the owls, a wood pecker in a tree over the next hill, the occasional screech of hawk, is just all part of the mountain song.

I ventured out and found my own diversions the second day. I found this tree not far from camp. At first glance I thought it to be a broken limb. But it is not, it is a pine tree that just didn't develop properly, no other branches are on the trunk and the top grew normally causing a weight overload so the tree is growing upside down. Reminds me of those Christmas stores that turn a Christmas tree upside down from the ceiling so that the ornaments hang off for a better view.

To the bottom left of this photo is a trail that leads down to a creek where there is still gold found by recreational panning. The coolest thing I found was when I was riding on a part of the trail and had to turn around because the next section was beyond my abilities. As I turned the four wheeler around I saw the remains of an old homestead. This guy was pure genius as he had a brick pipe way built down several hundred feet to a swift moving stream. Drop a bucket and you had water right at the house. I am sure that part of the house was also used as a spring house. Even in its decayed state, the moving stream of cold run off water caused a current of cold air to rush up the pipe way. It was however kind of sad to see what must of been a picturesque mountain home in total ruin. I had read that a mighty flood, twice with in a short period of time, had wiped out a whole town and settlement, so was not surprised that the home was in ruin.

Even up in the mountains were it is still freezing during the night, spring finds a way to show it is here. The hillsides are scattered with spring grass, tiny white flowers that look like baby's breath only more scattered about, and these tiny little purple flowers. The entire flower is maybe the size of a dime. Just big enough for the eye to catch a glimpse of color, not big enough or close to enough to concentrate the landscape. Along with these were a little plant that had crimson red leaves and a type of daisy that was yellow and small, but on a long stem for height.

My, it is nearly midnight and I have to get up and go back to work in the morning. Guess I better hit the hay.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

SO Funny

I did this for fun, downloaded a photo and let it tell me who I look like. This is what it came up with.

Who would have thought?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Quilt Snobs

On a Yahoo group I belong to, a member recently posted about her experience with a fellow quilter explaining that she should only buy the best of fabrics. In other words, this means the quilt shop prices. Now, I have nothing against local quilt shops making a living, am in fact often times quite envious of the ladies who have the budget to afford shopping at these stores. But, considering the price of their fabrics I will never be one of those people. Here is a little info to consider. Depending on the pattern or design of the quilt, and the size, on the average a full size quilt will take about 12 - 15 yard for the top, back and binding. In a quilt store, the fabrics will run 8.99 to 15.99 a yard for 100% cotton fabrics. We won't even get in to the specialty fabrics like Minkee for this purpose. So, using the 12 yards for figuring, that is $108 - $192 just in fabric. You will need to fork out another $30 in batting and $5-$7 in thread. All in all, you are looking at about $150 per quilt. Now, most of those same brands of fabric are offered online at lower rates, JoAnn's carries a lot of it at a lower rate, usually about $2-$5 dollars a yard less. When I first started quilting, I could go there and get calicos and cottons for about $3.99 a yard, then they were $5.99 and lately, I found them averaging about $7.99 a yard. No one seems to make mention of that increase in the news, not like milk and gas anyway, just as essential in my mind you know. Walmart also carries the same brand names, not as much variety, but they also have other brands of cotton as well. Most of them for $3.96 to $5.96 a yard. Just off the top of my head, that is about a $50 savings.

I only bring this up because of the thought that is predominant among quilters that if you buy your fabric anywhere but a quilt shop you are getting poor quality goods. I have heard this so many times myself from the "quilty snobs" and just don't buy it. First of all, when you mention the same exact brand is offered at a lower price they come back with this story of how the quilt shops get the middle of the middle runs which is a better quality than the end pieces. Okay, I am so sure that quality control in some factory is letting thousands of yards be made this is inconsitent with the hundres of yard in the middle. But this they swear by, even adding on to this that the fabric is even thinner than what you buy at the quilt store. Go ahead, buy a fourth of yard at the local quilt store of a piece of Cranston brand for instance, and the same exact piece at JoAnn's or Walmart. It feels the same. The texture of a piece of fabric is determined by thread count. Am I to believe that the factory some how adds threads to a machine run of fabric in the middle of the run? I think not. Besides which, if a major company is going to make an inferior product for the purpose of selling to discount retailers I serious doubt they will use the same name. Come on, even Walmart changes the name of their store brand.

I have searched online, even through Scopes, and found nothing to substantiate this view point. However, with that being said, I will freely admit that there are poorly made fabrics that are sold cheaply at the discount retailers. They are thin, woven badly, fall apart in cleaning. I also admit that you can feel the difference between a poor quality and good quality fabric. The worst piece of fabric I ever used actually came from a quilt shop.

Bottom line is this, there are quilter's out there that will spread this opinion to make their self feel better, make them feel that their end result is a quality piece. They don't want to hear that it could have been made, or was made, for less. I quit swapping quilt blocks because of this same mentality. Requirements being made on brands and colors of fabric. You know, half the fun in swapping is the swap itself. I can't afford to buy high priced fabric to make blocks that I will hopefully get the same amount back from. I admit, that when it comes to purchasing fabric for a quilt, where the quilt goes makes a difference in the price I spend on materials. A few dozen quilts for charity will be made witht the cheaper supplies. I don't mean the cheapest, as I still look for the quality in the pieces, but $4.00 a yard virsus $10 a yard is a pretty big difference when you are talking about several yards. It is a difference between one quilt for sick child and six quilts for six sick children.

Okay, I have gone on long enough. But, I can't help but think that when younger women are wanting to learn to quilt, make quilts for their family to use, for special gifts, but hold back because they perceive quilters as being older women, maybe it is because that older women don't have to think as much about a budget that includes children at home.

Here is the bottom line as I see it. A quilt is a special something that gives a person a special feeling of warmth, security, when it is wrapped around them. That child that has cancer and is cold because of his treatment, that mother greeting her newborn child alone because her husband is serving his country overseas, that soldier that is warming up with a piece of home that someone cared enough to send, the elderly resident that has bright spot of color on their bed in a home, that homeless man that is a little warmer because he has something to wrap around him, that child that has little flu bug and carries around the quilt made for them, a mother 1200 miles away feels like she still has a part of her daughter with her, they don't care that you used Cranston brand from Walmart instead of the local quilt store. To them it feels the same.

Monday - Mid Month

Okay, a little more than mid month, but that is all hair splitting any way. I am home with DD, 11, who is sick again. I think we need to go for a month wearing face mask and rubber gloves. Every little bug seems to find its way to our house and knocks us out. Valentine's was not exempt from this. I came home from work, hubby was not only asleep, but already in bed for the night and sound asleep, which means snoring. He didn't wake up until the next morning. My DD made me a grilled cheese sandwich for supper that night. Lots of genuine love, not much romance.

At any rate, since I was home today thought I would catch up on the laundry, but am pushing that down the list so I could update the blog. I am having camera issues, it just won't work right for me, and when I finally got some acceptable, not great, photos of some projects I down loaded them. That is also when I found out that all the photos of my son's play performance disappeared from the memory card. At any rate, here are some photos for you to puruse.

This is my contribution to Karen's block for the Green Garden Round Robin on my CQ For Newbies group. I am in the Avacodo Group and each of made a basic (otherwise known as a Nakkid block) beginning block done in all green. As the block travels through the group, we are to dress it. We each do one patch and two seams. I posted more about that on my Needle Me Crazy2 blog. All embellishments are to be done in green, only green. The next color is purple. I learned a lot from this green block that I will use for the purple one and I am looking forward to getting started on it. I have Karen's green block ready to mail out.

I have quite an assortment of items ready to mail out as a matter of fact. Planned on mailing them last Friday, but forgot them at home. Today of course is a holiday for post office, the school, banks, and as I discovered this morning the cable company. At any rate, here are a few things I have going out.

This is a dish cloth I made for an exchange through my Crochet Exchange Yahoo group. It is a free pattern online and you can get it by going to Bev's site at and be sure to look around at all her wonderful patterns she is so kind to offer as well. This was a fun project as I didn't have to think about the stitches too much and it was easy to use up my scraps of cotton yarn. This particular cloth has three varieties of Peaches n Cream. One is varigated blue, green, yellow, pink, and purple colors, don't know the name and that is what I started with, the bottom rows. The next rows is a color called potpouri and is really cool. It is cream with little flecks of the same colors here and there. When that ran out I finished up with plain ecru. I know that I will be making more of this pattern.

This is a potholder for an exchange on the same group. I used Peaches N Cream Westport for this one. I like the colors in this, will have to see if I can find a place to order a large one pounder of this color. The brown, blue and ecru combination reminds me of cowboys and western decor. Maybe it is because for the first 20 years of my marriage my home was decorated in blues and browns. Who knows. The back side of this is done in ecru. I recently found out that the difference between a hot pad and a pot holder is that one is used to set hot things on, the other is used to pick hot pans up with. To my way of thinking that is one in same, at least in my kitchen it is. This is one of the free patterns I found at JP Fun Crochet Club, the link is on the side bar of the blog under Free Crochet Patterns of the Day. They a free one each day that free only for that day but if you look through their sight there are lots of free patterns listed.

This is another one for the same group exchange. This is the same yarn on the back as on the front, but the design is a little different on front. I found this pattern through the listings on which has a ton of listings for free patterns of all kinds. Both of these were quick and easy.

As I metioned, for my birthday we went on a family day trip to a ski area. I took my yarn bag, okay a duffle bag I bought at walmart, which was all packed up the night before with the anticipation of working on several projects. I only worked on two. The first hotpad needed the back side finished, didn't take much time. The second project turned out to be the mind exploder. I started, then ripped, then started, then ripped, a total of five times before my mind could get a handle on the directions for this pattern.

This is a filet angel pattern and is the front side. It had been so long since I had done any filet type projects that it was border line insanity. So frustrating trying to get my pea brain to figure out that you read the even rows left to right, odd rows right to left. Finally I pulled out a pencil and ended up marking the graph row by row as I worked it. About the third time I unraveled it all, I swore I would never do anything with a graph again. Two days after I completed the angel, I was thinking I might do more filet. I had started on the back piece, using a varigated cotton yarn, half way through I placed the two pieces together in better light to discover that the yellow in the varigated thread clashed offensively. I will make a back piece that matches better and this will go to my mom. This is a free online pattern at and she has several if you take the time to navigate her sight. I have no idea where I first found her pattern listed, but I am sure it was on one of my groups.

That is about all for now, I need to go move the laundry around and crochet a bookmark. That is the one I am running way behind on. I made two butterfly bookmarks, not happy with either of them, so am starting over. Need to go check on DD as well, time for more medicine for her.