Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I know the calendar says it is already Thanksgiving, but somehow it doesn't seem like stress!

Seriously, for almost 27 out of the last 31 years, we have had the large family Thanksgiving at our house. This year we are having Thanksgiving at my daughter in laws house, and Christmas at my daughters house. All the stress of getting the house clean and decorated, shopping for and then cooking the food, then cleaning up afterwards...not there! I'm not really sure how I feel about that. On the one hand it is really nice to not have all the stress; but I have discovered I think I am really missing the stress???? I know I am pretty weird!

Usually I have a list of what needs to be done and when. I am usually glued to my list. I am barking out orders and my house has wonderful smells of cornbread, sage and lemons. I am usually making a last minute shopping list of those items I either forgot about or am purposely waiting for the last minute to get. The kids even get lists of what they are supposed to do. One would be in charge of making sure the table is set, one would be in charge of making sure all the serving dishes have little slips of paper telling what is supposed to go in there.

How I miss that! I am making a shopping run in a bit. I need to get the fresh fixings for my herb butter to put on the turkey before he goes into the oven tomorrow. See, my job is to roast the turkey. That's it, just the turkey. Sure he is the star of the show, but only a small part of the actual preparations. (and even though I will admit to being a bit of a control freak, that is not what this is about...just in case my hubby reads this!)

I think what I am really missing is the tradition of the stress! Not the stress itself. I thrive on traditions. In a way I grew up coveting Catholics. Their religion is filled with traditions. Not so much mine! Growing up, the only traditions we really had, had nothing to do with the holidays! Every Friday night we (kids) got to choose what we had for dinner. It was always either pizza or hamburgers. Not the fast food kind. The get it at the grocery store and make it from scratch kind. Every Friday was grocery day. We would bring the groceries in from the car and put it all away for Mom. Our reward was to choose what we wanted to eat. Of course I had to cook it, but it was really fun to have that power! Of course I will never forget those 16 oz Pepsis. That was the only time we were allowed sodas. Ah the memories!

I know Tasha will be making a perfect Thanksgiving dinner. She always does. Sometimes I think she was Martha Stewart in a past life! She loves to entertain and she is really great at it. And it will be great to relax and not have anything to worry about. But one tradition will be missing...I ALWAYS burn something! My husband is joking he is going to burn some marshmallows to put on the table...

Here is hoping you and yours have a happy and joyous Thanksgiving. Please remember all the wonderful things you have to be thankful for and all the wonderful people you have to be thankful for. And most importantly, don't forget who to give the thanks to!


Sunday, November 23, 2008


The following is a post by someone I only know via online forums, but feel I know her personally. I followed her story for the past year. When she told us of her husband's cancer, and how the doctors thought he had beat it, then when he started his last round of chemo after the doctors discovered it was back with a vengeance.

As he fought the battle and, even though he was loosing the battle, he never gave up on his determination that he was going to go to a better place.

The following post was posted by Patty Jo on the APQS forum on Thursday afternoon at 3:15:

"Hello all - I first of all want to thank all of you for your prayers, good thoughts and the support in so many ways over the past months. I wanted to let you know that Bill went home to be with the Lord this morning at 4:30 AM. He was not in pain and was totally at peace and without fear in going to see his Lord. I have a friend here with me and she will stay here until our daughter can get here tomorrow morning. His services will be Saturday, the 29th of November at 1 PM. If anyone wants more particulars, I would be glad to send them to you. Thank you again for your prayers. When he walked into heaven, his body was made perfect and without any cancer to contend with anymore. Still leaning on Him, "

Since I first read that post I have been thinking about those words... how he was totally at peace and without fear as he left this earth. It made me wonder if I would feel that way when my time comes. I want to. I really want to feel completely at peace and looking forward to going to heaven, but I'm not sure that I'll be that calm.

On Sunday mornings we have been discussing providence. I understand that the final act of providence is death. I understand that the final act of life is death. I understand that death is more of a transition than an actual end, and is the beginning of something even better. But still, I wonder. I can only hope that I can face that transition with as much grace and calm as Bill did in his final moments.

Patty Jo, you and your wonderful husband have been an inspiration to me in ways I cannot put into words.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Window Experience

I'm hoping my younger two do not have the chance to read my blog before, Brianna, Damien, if you are reading this ...STOP RIGHT NOW!!!

There, now with that business taken care of; I have to tell you what Santa is bringing them..a Wii!

I have ordered it online at lest two times before, and something happened both times. So, I finally got through to the AAFES website and ordered again, and it looks like this time it is actually going to come before Christmas! Although I did have a scare this afternoon. I was reading emails and one popped up from AAFES saying that the status of our order had changed! In the two short minutes it took me to log on and find out what was going on I started panicking! But they were just letting me know it was being shipped this week after all... our original ship date had changed to mid December...and I was getting worried it wouldn't make it in time for Christmas (I'm cheap and did not want to pay for super fast shipping!)

Yesterday, Damien nonchalantly asked me where Dad was. I told him he would be home soon and he said he would wait until Dad got home and walked away. Now, I know Dami. I knew something was up. I tried to pull it out of him, but like any good little seven year old he insisted Dad could take care of the problem and I didn't need to 'worry' about it.

With that information, I decided to check out his bedroom (which he had uncharacteristically closed the door to!) There in all its glory was his window....not in the window opening, just laying on his floor! {Now, I have to admit that we lived in this house for a full two years before I discovered that the windows were the 'tilt' know you can tilt them inwards to wash them, so I can understand how scared this little guy was!} He has developed a habit of opening up his window, which has no screens on and is a floor to ceiling window. He sneaks out when he knows he isn't supposed to . (did I mention he is 7?) He discovered the little clips at the top of the window that let them tilt, and got scared. Somehow he managed to drop the window and it came completely off the track and he put it in the floor.

While it wasn't terribly cold outside, it was very breezy and a bit chilly. His room got quite a bit of an airing out! I let him think he had broken the house until Dad got home and we put it back together. Hopefully this has scared him enough that he won't try it again...but with him I won't count on it. As much as we hate to, we are going to fix his windows where they can't be opened. The chance of being stuck by a fire is a lot less than the chance of him leaving through the window again!

Well, I'm still listening to Christmas music and still driving my family crazy! I have a couple more quilty things to get finished before Christmas so I better take advantage of the fact that the kids are out playing and get some of it done!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells!

Can you tell I'm ready for Christmas? I can hardly wait for Christmas to get here, I'm worse than a kid at this time of year! This time of year really makes me miss my step mom, Frances. Doubtful that any who reads this blog will know her, but she and I shared a big obsession...Christmas! It is from her that I learned it was OK to start planning Christmas on Dec 26.

And while I'm not near as anal about things as she was, I do admit I have some of her tendencies where Christmas is concerned. (and I will leave that to your imaginations, since both my daughter and daughter in law read my blog!)

I finished the Christmas stockings Sunday afternoon, and a Birthday table cloth quilt for Logan on Monday, so I feel like I need another Christmas project! I found a great pattern for a Christmas Tree Napkin. The trick to it is in the thread you use on the serger to create the Christmas Tree-like decorations and folding it so it looks like a Christmas Tree...of course I don't have a serger, so I'm not sure how this is going to turn out...but I might tackle this and modify it a bit to see what I can get. I think it would be cute for the kids to use during Christmas time.

I am SO tempted to get the Christmas countdown on my computer, but I'm afraid everyone will really start to kid me then...they already think I'm a bit strange since we have broken out the Christmas movies for Movie night for the kids. It isn't even Thanksgiving yet!

This year we are going to start a new tradition. Each day we are going to do something festive and Christmasy. sort of our own 25 days of Christmas. I'm starting a list and couldn't believe that I am having so much trouble finding 25 things to do with them! One of the daily things will be they get to visit a Christmas website to play after they finish their schoolwork. I've been busily finding and approving the various websites for the past few weeks. It is not as easy as I had thought to find good websites. I want something that has appropriate content and enough fun stuff to do to keep them occupied for at least 10 minutes. There are several that have some good content, but no games or other fun stuff to keep them busy. And I've found a couple that have some fun stuff to do, but the content is less than what I'm happy with...too many ads and too easy to leave that site for something less than desirable.

We are already working on our letters to Santa. I'm making them write them out in proper form, and later we will send them via email to Santa. Brianna said it was too much trouble writing regular letters, and no wonder people only send e-mails now!

She could be right!


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Merry Christmas...almost!

Well Christmas is definitely coming soon! I've been driving my family absolutely crazy playing Christmas music (loudly) for the past week or so. Last night the kids had their first movie night with some of the old Christmas movies. I've spent the entire day working on the stockings for our family Christmas gathering at Amanda and Korey's house.

Those stockings are going to get me in the end! So far, I have invested over 30 hours into their construction, quilting and the piecing. I'm only making 10, so I really didn't expect it to take me this long. I'm about half way through the construction stage, then I have to find a way to put everyone's name on the cuff. I had originally thought about having he cuffs embroidered, but now I don't know.

I originally had visions of making some to sell at the Crepe Myrtle Festival next June, but I really doubt anyone would pay what I have invested just in time, much less in fabric. I really like the way they are turning out, but I'm not so sure I will ever do this again! At this point, I'm hoping my family will appreciate all the time that has gone into this little project of mine!

I made some table runners and I was able to knock them out in about two hours, not including the binding. So I doubt I'll be selling many of them either.

Currently only the quilts are remaining cost effective, but not many of them will sell at the craft festival. Most people will want a quilt that has their specific colors or a specific pattern. Making them without a buyer in mind is kinda dicey. I was hoping to have them to showcase my work and then take orders for exactly what the customer wanted. I had really thought the majority of my sales that day would be from the smaller quilted items. Now I'm not so sure. I'm beginning to think I will not be able to justify the booth charge, much less the materials for what I've already purchased.

I have a few other Christmas projects that I want to get finished in the next week or so, but have had to put everything on hold for a while. I RAN OUT OF BATTING!!! I can't believe it. I thought I had enough to finish up all the projects I have started, but I see I was wrong, very wrong!

I'm also making a Birthday quilt for Logan (like the one I made for my Grand daughter Alyssa, except in blue) and need to get it quilted so I can have it ready before his first birthday. Darlene's baby shower is next Saturday, and at least her baby quilt is finished, but am still working on a matching pillow for it.

With all the stuff I still have to do it is a wonder I am still on this computer instead of working on them! I guess this week I am using my computer as my excuse to get things done! ( Sorry Amanda!)


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ramblings on Piecing

I have come to the conclusion that I am a terrible piecer! And I am OK with that!

My daughter, Amanda is a fantastically accurate piecer. She is and always has been a perfectionist in everything she does. (maybe a bit of OCD as well, but in a good way!) The quilt she is making for Christmas has EVERY seam match up PERFECTLY! Each and every 4-patch has a perfect intersection.

I have found that MY quilts rarely have perfect intersections, and somehow I'm OK with that notion. I've always heard that once you start machine quilting,you become a better piecer, but I have found the opposite to be true for me. I've actually gotten worse in my piecing since I've been longarming! My quilts are less square and my borders are more 'friendly' than ever.

But, yet I don't have any problems quilting them...makes me wonder. Am I destined to be the quilter that people use when their piecing is quite a bit less than perfect? Or is my quilting also mediocre and no one notices how bad it really is...maybe like not having something to compare it to?

As I finished piecing two quilts last night while watching the election results (one was actually started while watching the results and finished in the same hour) I wondered is the quilting going to be up to snuff? I've discovered that I am pleased with my quilting if I can complete a quilt without too many thread issues, but is my quilting any better on those quilts than on the ones that I have multiple thread issues?

As I enter another phase of my quilting, I will be paying very close attention to that thought. I really hope to have some actual customer quilts by the middle of next year. Between now and then I need to re-evaluate my skills and mindset.

I guess I have always thought of my quilts as things to keep my family warm as opposed to pieces of art. While I know others think of them as pieces of art I also know those people are not the ones that will be asking me to complete their masterpieces. I guess I will be more of a utilitarian quilter. That's IT! I've found my niche! I will become the UQ extraordinaire!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Halloween has come and gone without too much incident! The kids were a bit upset...they had gotten into the candy (two gigantic bags from Sam's!) and I told them as punishment they couldn't go out trick or treating... but those who know me know I am an old softie at times, so they did get to go around the neighborhood with Dad.

We didn't have too many little trickers out. Maybe less than 50. It was a little strange. Usually we have hundreds. I'm not sure if it was the economy keeping the kids home or the fact that it was Friday night and lots of churches had parties going on and lots of parents had parties going on.

We took a short trip to the north Georgia Mountains on Saturday to look at the leaves. They were spectacular! I didn't get any pictures (much to my husband's dismay) but you will just have to trust me! At one point a huge wild turkey flew in front of the car! We barely missed it. Was in SUCH a hurry to get to the other side of the highway, and yes, that sparked about a half hour of jokes about why did the TURKEY cross the road. And Damien couldn't resign himself to the fact that it wasn't a cooked turkey!

Now, I'm back to getting all the Christmas stuff made and quilted. Brianna wants to make some of her gifts this year, and we have seen a couple of patterns that make quick and easy gifts. At this point I'm not 100% sure we will have TIME to get them all done in time for Christmas...we'll see!

I've started decorating for Thanksgiving, but have a couple more boxes of stuff that I can't get to, so I will have to wait until my hubby has some time to get them for me...he doesn't understand why we have to decorate if we aren't having the family Thanksgiving dinner at our house...MEN!!

Well, I have to apologize...I went to get the camera to put in a picture of the kids and realized Rex took it to work with him today...after all it IS his camera and I did have all weekend to get my pictures off!