Thursday, May 31, 2007

I'm so excited, I was invited to be a charter member of a new quilting bee. We had our first meeting last night, two main activities were working on a Christmas quilt for our guild's Quilt Bingo night in the fall and coming up with a name for our new bee. It's got to be repeatable in front of a priest. Rockin' Bobbins is a front runner. Any other ideas?

I'm glad to be in this group. I've been in a rut creatively lately, so just working on the group quilt last night has started the juices moving. They are not flowing yet, but the winter of my rut is over.

I pulled out a quilt I had started for Fern. I began it ten or eleven years ago. It's a Irish chain in white and green with a beautiful Hoffman grape vine print border. I started to hand quilt it, and quit working on it probably 7 or 8 years ago. Except for the border, its about five-sixths done. So close, yet so far away. The girl wants a quilt and she said I didn't have to finish it by hand. That's a load off!

And now I have a goal for the month of June: Finish Fern's quilt. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I've been meaning to post this for a while. It is my first attempt at a fabric postcard. After I made it, Fern wanted it, of course, but it was for my mum. She said it had been processed like regular mail and not hand canceled. Here's the scan before I mailed it: (I don't have the after.)

Mostly I was trying the stitches out on my sewing computer and these are just a few of them.

Here is a scan of two of the counter tops I'm considering.

The top one is called Sopporo, compare it with the company's image from a couple days ago. It's interesting how different they are. The bottom is called Sedona. Decisions, decisions!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pea Diaries - Day 57

A moment of silence, please. The peas are dead. What plants made it past 2 inches high were nibbled off by Flopsy and her gang. I should have been celebrating a harvest soon, but it just didn't happen. Good thing I didn't plant that second half pound bag of seeds this spring. I'll look for another place to plant them for the fall.

On a happier note, I have two of my four tomato plants in the ground with a dozen smashed egg shells for the calcium. I've been eating a lot of scrambled egg whites for breakfast. But I'm not done yet, two more plants to go. Now I've got to figure out how to support these new babies, cages, stakes, more copper structures? Maybe I could solder a copper pipe cage. Hmm... This calls for a trip to the hardware store!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Today, besides it being Memorial Day, I want to wish my college roommate, NJ, happy birthday. I have fond memories of spending her birthday weekend with her at her folk's house, her dad edging the lawn, and her brother yelling at the basketball refs while watching the NBA play-offs. I guess it was just coincidence NJ's dad was edging the lawn as we pulled into the driveway two years in a row. But, hey, memories are made of strange things, right?

Now I have my own edger. It came with the gas powered string trimmer I bought recently. I haven't used the edger part yet, but the thought of it makes me smile, for some strange reason.

Well, anyway, NJ, Happy Birthday!


Saturday, May 26, 2007

I just spent another hour in a large American home improvement center with the kitchen designer. This is after I spent two hours with him on Tuesday. Then we got the cabinet layout done and I got initial pricing. Today I went back for "what ifs?"

What if I chose the square panel door style instead of the slab style? (-$)
What if I took out the spice cabinets and made the peninsula base cabinet 6" longer? (-$)
What if I added the storage center under the sink base? (+$)
What if I went with all plywood construction? (++$)
What if I went with a premium glaze finish? (++$)
What if I went with cherry instead of maple? (+$)

Ah. It just so happens the pricing is exactly the same for the maple and cherry in the door style I'm considering. really?

So this is it: I'm opting for no premium finish, the new door style, plywood construction, and the under the sink storage package. And the cherry instead of the maple. That one was a no-brainer. And if I spend $48.45 more, I'll get a $750 rebate. If I don't spend anymore, then it's only a $500 rebate. I just have to order by June 8 to get the rebate at all.

Now, let's talk counter tops. How's this one? The image is pulled right off the Viatera site site. I might replace it with my own scan later.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

This evening I sat in the car, window down, waiting for practice to be over, listening to the game on the neighboring field. Twa-ing. The unmistakable sound of a base hit, an aluminum bat against a softball. That's all right ladies, two outs now, any base, any base... I'm a softball mom now. Fern joined the girls' '92-'95 spring Boys and Girls Club league. This is her first time playing a team sport outside gym class, and I'm so thrilled she's having a good time. She's playing catcher so she's throwing the ball a lot, more than the pitchers because they are rotated every couple of innings. And my baby's arm is sore.

It's my first time being a team sport mom. I don't yet know the chatter a parent yells from the bleachers, the nuances of "little league." When do I suggest to the coach my daughter needs to rest an inning? Or do I? So much to learn.

Here she is behind home plate:

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bah-humbug. Lisa wanted seven positive things. In no particular order:
  1. I like golf

  2. I like my job

  3. I'm proud of my kids and husband

  4. I lost three pounds last week when I was sick

  5. I like to mow the lawn with the tractor

  6. I have a good eye for color and contrast

  7. I'm pretty good at sudoku puzzles, but not the really hard ones

Ok, there are seven more useless and positive things about me.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I have been tagged. My first ever. Karin in Germany wants seven things about me. I think when she comments on my blog she writes in German and uses a translator to post in English. So her tag is worded strangely and I'm not sure exactly what seven things she wants. But here are seven things:

  1. I'm in the planning process of getting my kitchen re-done. There are too many decisions to make. The species of wood for the cabinets, Lowes or Home Depot, Silestone or Zodiaq.

  2. I'm in a rut with my quilting. So much fabric, so little inspiration.

  3. I think my butt is too big.

  4. I wish my daughter would do things the first time I asked.

  5. I'd rather be golfing.

  6. I'm worried about getting "my" girls bridged. I'm the bridging coordinator for my daughter's Junior Girl Scout troop, and I'm not sure all the girls will get all the requirements done they need to do to become Teen Scouts.

  7. I suffer from reality TV withdrawl after season finales are over.

OK, there you have it, seven random, totally useless things about me. Prepared to be tagged.

Friday, May 18, 2007

How weird is that?

I pass one of those fancy developments on my way home from work, you know the kind: the one with a big lit rock wall waterfall/fountain at the corner of the entrance. Yesterday I got stopped at the traffic light in front of the fountain, and I got to thinking about the old juvenile prank of putting bubble bath in the fountain. I haven't seen any fountains with bubbles in a long time. And wouldn't you know it, today, on the way home, there are bubbles in it. I had to laugh at the timing of my thought.

And, no, I don't have a history of sleep-driving, nor am I missing any Mr. Bubble.
I went to the Mecca of gardening centers on Tuesday. All those tomato seedlings I planted? scorched. I left them out in the direct afternoon sun too long. I was so bummed.

So I headed over and bought 4 tomato plants. This gardening center draws folks from southern Baltimore, Annapolis, and eastern side of Washington DC. It's huge. They have everything: vegetables, herbs, perennials, annuals, trees, pond flora, etc. And everything there is for Zone 5. It's not like a catalog where you've got to be careful what you buy, make sure you don't buy something for South Carolina, then it dies in the winter.

I wanted to get some Hostas, too. I've got some shady places in my flower beds that need something and Hostas fit in nicely. However, when you visit Mecca, prepare to pay Mecca prices. I wasn't prepared to spend $25 or even $14.99 for any of the plants I picked out, as pretty as they were. The lady ahead of me in line spent $470 dollars. I got out under $10 for my two heirloom and two regular tomato plants.

I heard on the news radio station which has a gardening "column" to put egg shells in with the tomato plants when you plant them to prevent blossom-end rot. Anyone ever try this? Does it work? How many shells?

I really need to get about 10 yards of mulch. My beds haven't been mulched in years. The weeds are so bad. Some have grown into weed-trees. Sheesh. I really want to hire a gardener. When I was a kid we lived in Okinawa and had a gardener. The image of him tending the hibiscus has stuck with me for years. Now I have a full time job and am often too tired or busy to take care of the flower beds after work. Oh well. maybe some day.

But for now, I need to find places for my new tomatoes and a place for the soon to be relocated lilac bush.

Monday, May 14, 2007

How was your Mother's day? I'm kinda mad. No one in my family wished me "Happy Mother's Day" until 3:25 pm. And then Fern only did it when she heard her friend's mom say it to me. I came down with a cold over the weekend and wasn't feeling too swift yesterday, anyway.

On the other hand, Friday, my son brought home a pot of dirt from his after school program. They promise me there are flower seeds in the dirt. I can't wait to see what grows!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

OK, I don't hear anyone laughing about my post from yesterday. I guess I needed to add I don't remember much of my 9th grade Spanish class except "Lima es la capitol de Peru," and basic things like "hola" and "no se." Oh, and I can count to 39. Slowly. So pulling "leche con cafe" out of the air in an instant was pretty good for me.

What do you remember from your junior high foreign language class?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

There was a young Hispanic man in the Panera this morning getting coffee. I saw him stir in copious amounts of cream, the contents looked like dirty milk. He laughed when I asked, "¿Leche con cafe?"

Friday, May 11, 2007

Are you Safe Today?

Today is Military Spouse's Day. The radio station I listen to had a bunch of wives in studio this morning. (They have listeners come in every Friday for fun and food and prizes.) The radio guys arranged to call one wife's husband in Iraq, who is a general. She hadn't seen him in a while and the first thing she asked was, "Are you safe today?"

Are you safe today?

Wow. Not, "Hi, Hon, howya doing?" But, "Are you safe today?" I found this very jarring, I wasn't expecting it at all. This wife probably lives one day at a time, and the most important thing is her husband is safe. And with that knowledge, she can go forward. Her question also speaks of experience, a long life as a military wife, developed coping methods. I'm only guessing at the meanings behind her question.

War is horrible and I'm not in favor of it. I'm not good at politics, it's one of those abstract subjects I don't comprehend well. I do better at concrete things, like logic, science, and basic math. So my soapbox on why war is horrible stops here.

I just wish wives, and husbands, and families didn't have to worry about the safety of the soldiers in their lives.
Postage is going up to 41 cents on Monday. This really irritates me. A year ago when it when up from 37 cents I questioned this decision. Why didn't they just increase the cost to an even 40 cents? Forty is a nice even number, it makes for nice math in calulating price for a packet. If they only "needed" 39 cents, then they could save the extra cent and stave off another increase for a longer period of time. But NO, no one listens to me. Now it's 41 cents. Not an even number and doesn't multiply well. Sheesh.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A few pictures for your enjoyment

Darth Son waits for big yellow transport

I took in an Orioles game on Saturday night. O's beat the Tribe 8-2. This is Kevin Millar, Fern's favorite player.

I like the composition of this one. This is David Delucci, who plays for Cleveland. Mr. Delucci, according to a former co-worker, has the best hiney in baseball. Too bad they can't do anything about VJL (visible jersey line).

What did you have for lunch today?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Just a quick report: I did my weight training yesterday and today; I piggy-backed my kids downstairs. No, not at the same time.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I guess whatever falls out of the freezer when you reach in for frozen microwave lunch is what you're serving for dinner.

Ever feel like that? No other inspiration for menu creation. When I was single I often forgot to eat. It just didn't enter my mind. I never learned to create a menu, it just didn't matter. Now I've been married for almost 17 years, and I'm still lousy at menu planning. I sincerely apologize to my husband for this void in my skill set. Come to think about it, my skill set is very much like Swiss cheese, more holes than substance. My better skills are with drills and hammers and putting tangible things together. Not abstract things, like menus. Or being a good parent when it comes to dealing with my pre-teen daughter and getting her to do things the first, or even second time I ask. She either irritates me or she's an angel, there is no middle ground in how I handle it.

But I digress. My original point. Meal planning and how I suck at it. I'm toying with the idea of subscribing to a meal planning service, where for $10 you get three months of seasonal menus, five per week along with recipes and shopping lists.

I've been considering subscribing for almost a year, but have been afraid to sign up. Why? I don't know, I'm still working on that. The autistic part of me has a hard time identifying feelings and reasons, but I'll try. Maybe I'll fail, or the recipes will be horrible. Maybe my family won't buy in to the idea. Maybe they won't help. Maybe they will help. Maybe they will help if they have everything available and ready. Maybe they will be thrilled and the service will be a success. Maybe harmony will flow, and world peace will ensue. Maybe I'm asking too much for $10.