Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Lost, and Found

Since returning from Philadelphia on June 13 life has been just a bowl of


First thing was the jet lag... I must be getting a bit too old for the rush-rush of trips like this, because I was absolutely DEAD when I got back.  I didn't sleep well at the hotel.  Not that it wasn't nice, but I was worried about sleeping too soundly through the six alarms I set and not making the early meeting setup or getting back to the airport on time.

Silly me...

They didn't really need much from me at the meeting, that's how well the setup had been arranged before we got there.  All I had to do was connect my computer and make sure the coffee was delivered on time.

Then Tuesday I arrived at the airport with a full two hours to spare.  That wasn't bad, I did have a book so I had a croissant roll with wonderful Philly Cream Cheese filling and sat for a while before going through security, which turned out to be quick and painless.

Elena, the lady who was there actually running the meeting got home and ended up in the hospital on Friday and had emergency surgery.  She'll be out for a couple of weeks but thank GOD she was home and not in Philly when the emergency came up!

She is recovering at home and doing OK so far, expecting to come back in a couple of weeks.

This week I started reduced hours for the summer.  I have my eyes on a retirement date, and I'm trying to ease myself into things.  Working from home 30 hours a week might create enough separation from DH to help us both adjust.  Every day this week he has asked me "so you're not going downtown today??" when I shuffle into the kitchen in my fuzzy slippers and no makeup!

Not that I wear a lot of makeup, but applying it generally comes with combing the hair, and you can truly tell if I haven't done that!

I presented our church budget at a recent congregational meeting.  That was a little nerve-wracking but turned out fine.  I only had three slides, the questions were gently presented, and the budget was approved.  Whew!

Now I am trying to catch up on home stuff, fun things like cleaning closets and washing windows, scrubbing the bathroom floors and the shower stall, stuff that you hate to do but you love it when it's done.

The grands are having a summer.  Miss A went to spend a day with a friend on Monday and ended up with a two night sleep over at the friend's house.  Bless that mom!!  Miss E has been going to summer school in the morning and entertaining me with teenage drama in the afternoons. 
Hair in a bun so it fits in a bike helmet,
since Miss A loves to ride.

I did do some sewing of sorts -- hemmed some shorts, made a tee-shirt fit the teen to her satisfaction, mended a few items and finally bound a table braid that I started about a billion years ago.

Ahhhh, summer!

Sew on...

Monday, June 12, 2017

City of Brotherly Love

I just finished up two days in Philadelphia for a conference for work.  I was here once about 15 years ago for a convention with the American Sewing Guild.  I remembered the airport when I go there, the baggage area looked familiar so not ALL of the grey cells have lost it!

I remembered being in a hotel which I believe was called the Adams Mark.  I remember that the elevators weren't working very well, only about half of the 8 were operating.  There were 800+ women at the conference, and the lines in the bathrooms were unbelievable, so lots of us tried to use the room bathrooms, only to find the lines for the elevators even more unbelievable!

Needless to say, times have changed.  I found out through internet searches that the Mark was sold to Target Corporation in 2005 and demolished in 2006.  I stayed at the downtown Marriott, which is adjacent to the Pennsylvania Convention Center. 

On Sunday night we walked a couple of blocks over to a place called McGillin's Olde Ale House for a  client appreciation event.  The bar bills itself as the 5th oldest in the US.  Their web site says they started serving beer in 1860 and have been pouring it out ever since.  They even survived prohibition.  I didn't ask how they did that!

As the person in charge of registration I didn't see a lot of the place, but the music as loud and the conversation was too.  People seemed to enjoy it.

On our walk over we saw the statue of William Penn on City Hall as we crossed blocks.  I think there were tours back in 2000-whatever that took in the historic sites.  I went on an evening walking tour called Liberty Lights or some such thing.  We put on headphones and walked around listening to history read by actors while we saw lights displayed on the buildings.

Last night while walking to McGillin's we went through an alley with bunches of guys standing around smoking and talking, and broken glass on the ground and two dumpsters.  We kept saying "are you sure this is it?"  Gone are the days...

The skyline is great though.  The two shiny buildings in this photo are One Liberty Place and Liberty Two.  They sort of looked Chrysler Building-ish from the air.

I was right smack dab downtown, like right where this pin is... but it was 95 degrees, and too dang hot for sight-seeing.  The other lady with me wanted to go see the liberty bell.  I said OK you go and tell me how it was because 95 is too hot for this old bag!

Philadelphia was the birthplace of W.C. Fields.  Other famous people moved here or died here, like Theodor Kosciusko of revolutionary war fame and the guy the high school and park on Milwaukee's south side are named for. 

Some that came up in a Google search were Grace Kelly, Marian Anderson, Lionel, Ethel and John Barrymore, Alexander "I'm in charge" Haig, and Legs Diamond.  Also George McClellan and Jack Klugman, and the famous Eds, Bradley and Fisher (OK he was an Eddie).

WC Fields was very irreverent about his home town, and was known to quip things like "I spent a week in Philadelphia once, I think it was on a Sunday".  His tombstone epitaph is purported to be "I'd rather be living in Philadelphia".

This week I just found it to be hot.  But then, the inside of one hotel could be just like the inside of another, as long as the elevators are working!

Next, we go back to our regularly schedules programs...

Sew on!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

To Err is Human...

To really screw up, you need a computer!  

I've been trying to work on transferring my old programs and data to my new computer.  For about a year.

The data transfer program that came with my new computer didn't recognize my old computer.  I had used the same program to transfer my data to my old computer from my even older previous computer and that went just fine.  This time, not so much.  The program on my old computer says it's out of date, which shouldn't matter if I'm using the new computer with the updated program.  Or so say I.

The computers do not agree with me.

I'm not sure what to do next to solve my problems, but in the meantime I have a new computer that isn't plugged into my printer, doesn't have any of my embroidery designs on it or any of my favorites or shortcuts, and I have an old computer that decides not do things, or decides that it will do things but very slowly.  Very, very slowly.

All I can say is, where is the ten year old when you need something!  Probably playing games on her Nook. LOL!

Carry on...

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Happy Birthday, Miss A!

Well, that's actually happy BELATED birthday, Miss A.  Her birthday was Monday.

She's into double digits now.  Yes, she is 10!  I think they call them Tweens now, not exactly children, not yet teenagers.  Although she wants to grow up fast, too fast in my humble opinion, like all children these days.

Her mom says it's double digit trouble. 

Miss A and DD
Today is her last day at her elementary school.  Next year she'll be in a middle school somewhere.  Fifth grade is in a separate group in the middle school because all of the elementary schools were running out of room.

Last full day in elementary school
So next year it will be getting on the bus almost an hour earlier than this year, changing classrooms and teachers more frequently, and more homework.  But guess what?  This girl is looking forward to more homework!

That is the total opposite of her high school sister, who is allergic to homework.  Although she does very well when she finally sits down to do it -- at the 11th hour!

two of five...
Gramma's birthday gift to the Tween was a couple of knit night shirts, courtesy of the stash.  I had to brush up on my garment sewing techniques but after the first one, it got easier.  Each one took just one yard of fabric, minutes to cut out and minutes to sew... two pieces, both on the fold.  Sew the shoulder seams, neck finish, hem the cap sleeves, sew the side seams, clip, hem the bottoms.  They were knit so I didn't even press.  (Don't tell the sewing police!)


But you have to remember to remove the quarter inch quilting foot with the single hole before you zig zag...  ask me how I know this.  And you have been warned.

I'm off to Philadelphia this weekend to spend some time with engineers, scientists and planners at the American Water Works Association annual conference.  DH will be holding the fort, and no sewing will be happening from Sunday to Wednesday.  Poor me! 


Sew on...

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

It's Officially Summer in Wisconsin. Wait, Are You Sure?

Summer starts on Memorial Day.  Ha!  Today's temperature is predicted to be 67 degrees.  It was 62 degrees when I left home this morning for the office and it didn't improve much after that.  What I wouldn't give for it to be warm.  Or maybe just
  • room tem·per·a·ture
  • Room temperature is defined as a comfortable indoor temperature (68 to 77 degrees Farenheit).
  • An example of room temperature is the temperature of a cup of water that has been sitting in a room for an hour.
Well, if you ask me, 67 is NOT a good room temperature! Nor is it a great summer temperature. I'd much prefer it to be around 72-73 degrees, but that's not happening today.
According to the weather bureau (remember when they called it that?) we might reach 75 on Thursday, but it's going to rain most of the week. Like it rained most of the weekend.
Monday night we were kept hopping to close the windows, open the windows, close the windows to alternately keep the rain out and let the fresh air in.
But seriously, all this rain!! 

But then to quote Henry Wadsworth Longfellow...

While it was raining, I spent some time straightening up my sewing space, and cleaning out a few closets and cubbies. I started another pile for donation, and got Miss A to pull out some baby toys from a few hiding spots. She took some lovely wooden baby puzzles to the one year old next door, and we put the dress up stuff in a box for donation. Next week she'll be ten, and she informs me that 10 is much too dignified to play dress up anymore!

I also made a trip to the farmers market with my DD and got some asparagus and rhubarb.  Other than seedling plants, that was about all that was of interest to us there.  When I got home I made the rhubarb into my favorite rhubarb thing -- pie!  It was delicious. 

And then I needed to sew.  Needed it, you know what I mean?  So I pulled out a few fabrics and made up a kit called My Favorite Quick Donation Quilt, and sewed it up!

Apologies for the photo, the fabric between the parrots and the green is actually purple, which matches the dots between the rows of parrots.  Here it looks too pink.

And having cut a half dozen kits in the past week, I had another bag of strips.  I found some muslin pieces and binge-watched a British crime dram-edy called New Tricks and sewed up some six inch string blocks.
New Tricks is a show about a group of retired police detectives who work for the Unsolved Crimes or Cold Cases unit in London, England.  They're all old guys, working for a woman commander who's a bit younger than they are, and the title is taken from the expression 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks'.  They're clearly capable of solving mysteries that others have given up on, and about the only thing they can't do is maybe run as fast as the younger guys.  They're funny and irreverent and I'm enjoying the heck out if the show.  It runs on my local PBS station in the afternoon so I record it and watch it later.  If you tune in be sure to listen to the theme song.

Sew on...

Thursday, May 25, 2017

It's Friday! uhh...

Yes, it's my Friday, meaning I have tomorrow off from my job making it a nice long weekend.

Projects that need to be finished:

Layered for quilting -- it's on the
five year plan...
  1. Organizing the last section of the sewing room -- got a new cabinet, need to finish cleaning up!
  2. Cut some kits for the church guild.  I only have three left in the bag, and those ladies are sewing up a storm!
  3. Finish that boys' camp quilt that I started last fall.  Pieces are cut, I just need some sewing time.
  4. Quilt something -- I have two small projects pinned.  I need to put on my big girl panties and get to work on them.
  5. Put borders on my biggest project yet (and the oldest) - a red/green/black&white queen sized quilt I started when Hearthside Quilters Nook was an actual brick & mortar store!
  6. Bind my Wisconsin Row By Row 2016 table runner.
  7. Sew some more blocks for my batik stars quilt that was supposed to be a gift a couple of Christmases ago... but who's counting? 
  8. Continue the clear out of the laundry room    ound

Projects that I should not start until I get a few of those UFOs finished:

  1. Little Lambs nursery wall quilt
  2. Layering anything more out of the UFO bucket 
  3. Any other new thing at all!
One of these is actually done!  But the pile is still pretty large...

Thought for the day:

Sew on...

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Blue Monster Costume, Redux 2017

"Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine --"

as sung by the late Elvis Presley, memories come back in sweet little packages, making us happy...

Or not.

Last night my youngest grand Miss A came bopping down the stairs at about 7 p.m. and started digging in my pantry.  I asked her what she was looking for.  She announced that she needed party brownies for the class at school, for the store because she lost her business and now was an employee of someone else's store and they were selling brownies.

Say what? 

OK to back up a bit, the fourth grade Genius Hour project was to find a product you could make and sell, set up a store, pay rent, sell your stuff, and see how it turned out.  Play money was used.  She made some hand warmers, priced them at a dollar each, sold some but not all of her product.  Rent was $20 and she couldn't pay it, so she sold something less than 20 items.

Another student who was making and selling brownies had lots of money so he bought her store and her stock.  She then became his employee.  She was asked to make some brownies and bring them in to sell on Wednesday, to which she agreed.  On Monday.

Then she forgot to tell anyone.  Until Tuesday at 7 p.m.

OK so we looked at recipes and decided that since the grocery store is a mile away, a brownie mix would be the easiest way out of this dilemma.  Gramps went to the store.

We baked between rounds of homework converting grams to kilograms and back.  Tears ensued.  She has a good math brain but kept saying OMG this is so hard!!  She was tired and cranky.  So was I.  I said words under my breathe about teachers who can set up a business enterprise for 40 kids but can't adequately explain multiplying by 1,000 to just one.

Meanwhile the brownies were finished.

They were cooling when she went home to go to bed.  I cut them while they were warm because that is what the box said to do.  I went to bed late.

This morning we got up early and applied the "Party" aspect to the brownies before breakfast.  I like to let the frosting set before I package things up for transport on the big yellow school bus -- although I'm sure the kids will eat anything with sprinkles on it regardless of the appearance.

This was transpiring in front of my daughter, Miss A's mom.  I said "this is just like the blue monster costume you needed for that play when YOU were in elementary school."

She said "I thought it was ORANGE."

I said "It was orange, and it was orange because you asked for it on a Sunday night for Monday.  All I had was orange fabric, so you had to have them change the script."

She said "I told you about that WEEKS in advance!!"

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind...

'nuff said...

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mean People

Mean people suck. No one reading this blog would ever be mean.

Everyone says they think bullying is bad.  We try to teach our kids and grandkids not to be mean, and how to react when someone is mean to them.

The "Golden Rule" was given by Jesus of Nazareth, who used it to summarize the Torah: "Do to others what you want them to do to you. This is the meaning of the law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets" (Matthew 7:12 NCV, see also Luke 6:31).

Evidently I missed the recent Facebook blowup about a group of QUILTERS for goodness sake who started a group so they could badmouth another group of QUILTERS for goodness sake!  It's probably because I keep my FB pages pretty private, just my friends list.  But I did see a couple of reactions to the posts by friends of mine, and I have to say I'm ashamed of the world at large and those narrow minded so-and-sos who went to that mean place in a down and dirty way.

Do they do it because they think that no one will know it was them?  Does it make them feel bigger or smarter to knock someone else down?  Were they raised by wolves???

I blame it on ignorance.  Not the I don't know something kind, but the stupid I'm better than you are kind; the people who are apparently in league with all the imps, demons and other-worldly beings who make you stub your toes when you're wearing your new shoes and spill your soda on your car seat and drop your ice cream cone when it's the last of that flavor.  But it can be and this did get so much worse.

In Matthew 5:21-22 Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” 

It is a sin to hate someone enough that you wish they were dead, so to God hating someone is equal to murder.

If you want to read a very funny and snarky response to the FB thing, go read The Bitchy Stitcher's LINK:  comments today.  She is irreverent but she has a point of view that is undeniable, and I can't add anything to what she said.  I warn you up front, you're going to see some words you shouldn't say in front of your mother.

Here's the thing:  to any of you who were involved in that whole mean quilter FB thing, go look at yourself in the mirror and then slap yourself good and hard.  How would you like it if you were on the receiving end of what you put out?

Shame on 'them'.

Back to our regularly scheduled program tomorrow...

Friday, May 19, 2017

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Previously I blogged about my friend Suzi being the big winner at the Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend event.  I was a tiny bit jealous, but only for a minute.  Really!  As I said previously, there was that sewing machine...

Wednesday night when I got home from work there was a message on my answering machine from the Sew and Save in Racine WI about a pattern I had ordered at the Mukwonago quilt show.  It was in and would I call for information about getting it sent to me... well of course!  It's a lovely stitchery pattern, hand embroidery, which I enjoy doing very much.

Then later when we were getting ready to go to bed I noticed a light blinking on my bedroom phone.

The downstairs phones blink too I think but you have to really pay attention to see that there's a message.  It was too late to call anyone back but I picked up the message anyway.

"Hi, Sue, this is Quilt-agious in Mukwonago, you won the yard of fabric for a month..." was how the message started.

WOW!  If you live in southeast Wisconsin and haven't been to the shop, you should go!  Mukwonago may be a bit out of the way for some but it's totally worth the trip.  Go to their website for directions:

They bill themselves as the largest collection of Kaffe Fassett fabrics in the state, and I believe it!

This photo is borrowed from their web site, in case you don't know
what a Kaffe fabric is all about.
Since I am in charge of the monthly raffle for our local quilt guild, I think I'll be picking up some fabulous things there both for the raffle and for myself.  And getting that free yard each month for TWELVE whole months!

Thanks, Quilt-agious!  And thanks too to the Mukwonago quilt guild for putting on a great show that included opportunities for purchases and winnings!

Sew on...

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Some Things Cannot Be Improved Upon

Got lost on the internet the other day, and when I was done looking at these quotes I felt a whole lot better.  Some things just can't be said any better than this...


Rock today...

Monday, May 15, 2017

Monday, Monday...

"can't trust that day. Monday, Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way."

What's your favorite day of the week?  I love the weekends between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, but Sunday night has a sad flavor... I get can't go to bed-ism, because I know Monday morning I have to return to work.  :-(

I also like Tuesday because it's so much CALMER than Monday... and the food trucks show up at my work location so there's the opportunity for lunch al fresco (outside) and a variety of cuisine available.

My quilt guild meets on a Tuesday, so that's fun.  And my favorite TV show NCIS is on Tuesday too.

So I guess in order, my favorite days are Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday.

Remember that old poem from Mother Goose about the day of the week on which you were born?

Monday's child is fair of face
Tuesday's child is full of grace
Wednesday's child is full of woe
Thursday's child has far to go
Friday's child is loving and giving
Saturday's child has to work for a living
But the child that's born on the Sabbath day
Is wise and kind and good and gay.

I was born on a Thursday... and I wondered what that meant so I looked it up here:

Thursday children have a long, successful life ahead of them.  Sometimes, “far to go” is interpreted as meaning a difficult path, such as children with special needs. However, traditional versions focus on the concept of positive abilities and talents that will take them far in life, rather than attributes to overcome.

My DD was born on a Friday.  My two oldest grands were born on a Thursday, like me, and my youngest was born on a Tuesday.  If grace means elegance of movement and motion like dancing, maybe not so much.  Talk about your stubbed toes and thudding around the house... but if it's grace in the sense of honoring a place with presence, then I think she fills the bill!  She has a very tender heart, which I hope she keeps forever.

I'm pretty sure my grandson was born on a Monday... and we all think he's as cute as a button except when he's pouting.

My DH commented to me while I was on vacation that he forgot what day it was because it was a day I normally went to work and I hadn't done that.  He likes his routine and he's the guy who would never forget to take the trash to the street, or to water the plants, so that was pretty funny -- he forgot and it was my fault!

Whatever day you're reading this blog, I hope it's a great one!

Sew on...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sewing Weekend Follow Up

About 4,000 of my best girlfriends and I had an absolute blast at Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend last weekend. 

And after attending this event for probably 20 or so years, I finally figured out that I need to take some days off work AFTER the event to decompress, pet and oooh and ahhh over the stuff I bought there, and maybe do a project or two while I'm still inspired.

And inspiring it was!

Some of the great things I saw were in the presentations, and some were just in the people attending and the meals shared.  it was just the best weekend ever.  I'm telling you, next year you HAVE TO BE THERE!!

My pal Suzi won a couple of door prizes, including an OTT lamp!  I am still cruising on the personal high of the Baby Lock I won two years ago...

I saw some wonderful speakers giving various topics from renegade sewing (Nancy Zieman) to modern quilting (Weeks Ringle) to wonderful pictorial quilts that just defy the imagination (Cynthia England).

Weeks Ringle - she said "yes, that's my real name".
I bought this book...
Cynthia England -- laugh a minute!!

FABULOUS quilt I saw it in person!

Maybe the most fun was being at the Thursday night Midwest Ya Ya Sisters program and seeing Mary Mulari and Rita Farro do their thing with new sewing ideas and lots of jokes and laughing.

I'm in a few of the pictures on Rita's blog too, so I am now famous, in a kind of anonymous way...

Go read her take on it.  See if you can find me (ha ha, I'm very small...), and afterwards see if you don't want to make your reservations right now.

Sew on...


Tuesday, May 2, 2017


I am so excited about this weekend that I'm practically vibrating!  My friend Suzi and I leave at the crack of o-dark-thirty on Thursday morning for beautiful downtown Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, for Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend...

As near as I can calculate I've been going up to Sewing Weekend for 21 or 22 years.  And it only took me that long to figure out that I should take some days off after I get home so I can start working on some of the projects I am inspired to start after being there!!

I have souvenir pins going back to 1996.  I don't know how many years they've been giving out pins, but I think I went at least one or maybe two years before I started collecting them.

... so maybe 1995 or so was my first year.  Although it wasn't THEIR first year.  Plenty of ladies from the area around BD have been going since the first weekend.  If you're anybody in sewing, you've been there at least one time.

So I can hardly believe it's time to go, and again this year I have sewn nothing new to wear there.  :-(

Oh well, maybe next year.

Wednesday is my birthday, and for the first of many years, it's not one of the days I'll be in Beaver Dam.  I'll spend it cleaning out my car, packing my suitcase, and figuring out where my husband would like to take me for dinner.  The girls will come over for cake and I'm told there are presents involved.  Should be fun... if they don't light the number of candles that belong on that cake!

Life is good... thank you God for family, friends, health, interesting hobbies and decent weather for this weekend!

Rock on...