Thursday, May 31, 2007


Reading Finn's post brought back memories of my HS graduation. Mine was in a small MI town in May 1959. My graduation occurred in our school gymnasium/auditorium. The girls wore white caps and gowns and the boys wore blue. I liked the blue ones better and wished we all were wearing them. Under my gown, I wore a flowered dress I had made and that I would also wear later that summer when I eloped and married. With my M last name, I marched near the middle of my class across the gym floor and up onto the stage. There I broke away from my classmates to sit in the front row. I was the valedictorian and gave a speech. The theme I chose was stepping stones of life. Like an 18 year old knows about that. Well, I thought I did and maybe for that time in my life I did. "Tonight the past lies behind us; the future lies before us with a challenge. After we step from this island to the shore of life, we shall find many paths leading us in varied directions. Some of us will go on to further education and training, some of us will enter into the service of our country, and some of us will found homes to build future generations. But bodily we shall go forward ever and backward never. (This was our class motto.) We can never again step upon this island and back upon the shore of our high school days. But we shall often do so in our memories. Thus with gratitude in our heart, we leave you tonight and go to meet the challenge of the life before us." What stepping stones and stumbling blocks still remain before me? Will they be harder or easier to navigate?

Front Yard

I got my statues put out by my very small pond in my front yard. Those cement statues are heavier than they look. The big frog is spouting water. He is in the middle and water is coming directly towards the camera. Bit hard to see. I should get close up. And lots of weeding and trimming needs done but it is nice out there. I can see it from my front porch.

Yesterday and today were in high 80's. Very unusual. Kipper got a summer hair cut. There was a new groomer there but she did a very nice job. Kipper is much cooler and happier. He looks at least 10 pounds lighter. Maybe I should try a haircut. I really need one.

My repair man is getting some things done but has other work that pulls him away some days. He did a bunch of little things on his first day and that really helped. Things like pulling my refrig out so I could clean behind it and getting my storm windows down. I washed the windows inside and out and then he put up the screens.

I got one more wacky letter space ship name done. I'll try to get pic soon.

Hope everyone is enjoying great weather and getting more quilting done than I am. I'm enjoying watching what you are doing.
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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pamper Me

I spent the rest of yesterday pampering myself. Movie on TV. Finished reading a book. Finished the hand work on Hawaii quilt. Long soak in the tub. Kipper said he wanted some grooming too. He likes to have his face washed with a wet paper towel every morning. He also loves to get his teeth brushed with his electric tooth brush. Sorry about the pic blur. It was hard to brush and take the pic at the same time. He is also going to the groomer next Thursday for full treatment including hair cut. He isn't shedding yet but panting a lot.

My pampering day worked great and I woke up this morning revived and energetic. I know some people just push through days like I had yesterday but I like to go with them. I remember once for my DD1's birthday, her husband took their kids away for the day and she was to just pamper herself all day. What a wonderful gift. Hope everyone can schedule one for herself.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Turtle Speed

It is mid-afternoon and I haven't moved off my rock all day. Waiting for some sunshine but the earth around me is being watered today. This pic is of little feller I bought at the farmers' market last year.

I guess today was meant to be my recharge day. I anticipated a busy day but the friend I've been helping this week didn't need me today, the handyman who was scheduled to come today had a family emergency and I missed the phone call for lunch with a friend until it was too late. So I read blogs, thought about all the quilting and life events going on in every one's life and took a nap.

I've been very upset with a doctor who jumped to a conclusion that was wrong and caused so many people so much heartache. I can't believe he did it. My friend had a cancerous mass removed from her parotid gland 18 months ago. Due to her other health conditions, she decided not to take the option of radiation. The mass has not grown or spread. Then she got a rapidly growing mass in her other parotid gland. The MRI before surgery showed no other masses so everyone anticipated this was the same type cancer as she had before. After the operation, the surgeon told the family, and later my friend, that it was not the same type of cancer but a much more rapid growing and serious type. He told them if she didn't take radiation she would be dead in three months. I could not believe he had said that. Might say it looked very serious and he thought it was worse than her previous cancer, but to say "three months" was way out of bounds. Anyway, a week later my friend goes back to get stitches out and see the biopsy report. Guess what? It was the same type mass as her first one - not the more serious one he "guessed" it was. The doctor apologized for what he had said but.... Now they will do many more scans and doctors in the specialized cancer center will tell her what options she has. She feels good but due to the trauma of the surgery, the left side of her face is temporarily paralyzed. Tests showed no permanent nerve damage so just will need time to heal. The worst part is her eye that won't close. And just after the surgery she scrapped it. So along with her other friends, I have been treating it and changing bandages to keep the eye shut. Her incision is healing nicely. It goes all around the lower part of her ear and down her neck some. Any scar will not be noticeable. Oh, by the way this doctor was not some small town guy but a high status one at a major medical center. So lesson to anyone reading this - ask questions and get second opinions.

Have you ever had a floater in your eye? For the first time, I did this week. I thought I saw a fly or bug by my chair but nothing was there. Finally figured it out. I got it checked out and no sign of detached retina - just aging process. Oh, me.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007


My local planetarium is having a quilt challenge to celebrate 50 years in space. Can you believe it has been that long since Sputnik? I just played with some letters. Typical me, jump in and see where it goes.

Lesson Hard Learned

I'm still doing the hand work on my Hawaiian quilt. Why didn't I machine knot those threads? Lesson learned.
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Sunday, May 20, 2007


So lovely, whether in my yard or on the fat quarter I got at the quilt show last week.

It's A Good Day When....

*In the morning, I wake to the sun streaming in my bedroom window.

*I have fresh fruit for my cereal

*The only thing in the mail is a quilting magazine.

*Kipper and I go for a walk.

*Words expand my horizons.

*My hands feel the good soil of my garden.

*I hear the birds singing.

*A memory puts a smile on my face.

*I get a phone call from a loved one.

*My computer, television and sewing machine all chug along.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Quilting Finished, Almost

I decided to quilt my Hawaiian quilt using my machine's walking foot. Good idea. Then I decided to outline each block in the sashing. Not a good idea. It was too hard to keep moving the quilt around so I ended up with lots of starts and endings which now need to be pulled through, tied off and hidden. Good easy chair job, anyway.
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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My Yard

Look what I found in my yard. The top pic is wild strawberries. I just couldn't have them mowed down. Even a few berries would taste so good. In my side yard I saw purple among the yellow. Wild pansies. So many and so pretty. But I let them be mowed. Wish now I hadn't.
Lilac also in full bloom and smells sooo good just outside my sewing room window. I spent three hours working in my yard today. Good exercise. :) I got my small pond cleaned out and left just enough water for the resident frog. Those decaying leaves sure smell bad. I'll let it dry out some and then I'll refill it and get the big turtle pumping water. He needs a little paint too. So much to do. Last year I wasn't able to keep up after my knee surgery but no excuses this year.

More Quilts To See
My local quilt shop also had a quilt show in the apple barn which is empty this time of year. How about Shop til You Melt by Judie Martin?

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Monday, May 14, 2007


I heard a public radio interview with an author who had written a book about dandelions. I was outside and the book may have included other plants, but it told all about dandelions in America. They were treasures brought from several European countries and used in oh so many recipes. They were cooked and eaten raw. The leaves, flowers and even roots were eaten. I just had to look on the web. Wow. They have many nutritious values. Sure learned a lot about dandelions and have a lot more respect for them now. I bet they were used to dye fabric yellow too.


Raining here today. Nice soaking rain. Sure feel sorry for the people near the fires in FL and CA. I was in FL once when the fires were burning. Due to the dry weather, the marshes had dried out and the vegetation that had been under water was burning. Terrible smelly clouds of black smoke that traveled long distances. The smoke was so dense that highways had to be closed. Oh what it must do to our ozone layer. Such events affect our dear earth. I remember once when we had effects here in MI from a volcanic eruption somewhere. I didn't think that was possible. We are truly a global community.

More Quilt Show

Libby is so right that it is great fun to be able to visit so many quilt shows via blog land. Here is some more pics for you to enjoy. Top to bottom again.

Roseville Vases, Virginia Anderson
This is a Block of the Month by Maggie Walker. Most of the fabric and the patterns were purchased from her. It is hand appliqued and hand quilted by the maker.

Way Beyond Baltimore, Diane Turner
I took a class from Jane Townswick at Applique Academy in 2003. I purchased her pattern and began making blocks. I included a block from Elly Sienkiewicz's book Dimensional Applique in the upper left corner. This quilt is hand appliqued by Diane and machine quilted by Melissa O'Connor.

Butterflies In the Garden, Millie Cusenza
This is hand appliqued by owner and machine quilted by Karen's Quilting. It was started in 1998 and finished in 2005.

Bonnet Girls in the Country, Millie Cusenza
I purchased the "Bonnet Girls" patterns while taking classes in Ripley, West Virginia from the pattern maker, Helen Scot. She had a wonderful display of original Bonnet Girls quilts, and I was really taken in, This one is hand appliqued and hand quilted.
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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Dandelion Greens

Glad to know there are some other yellow yards. My DH used to eat dandelion greens but he said they were only good to eat before they made flowers. He also ate poke salad (a cooked green) that he had eaten as a child in Arkansas. He was surprised when he found it growing wild in Michigan. He ate every other green that grew too. I like spinach and collards but not the strong tasting ones.


A big Hug for all the mail carriers today for collecting all our food donations ! Thanks for reminding us of the empty cupboards in many homes.

Quilt Show

A local guild had a quilt show yesterday. I don't belong as it is too hard with me spending half the year in Florida. Lots of applique but some pieced too. No scrappy quilts, at least none that were scrappy with both fabric and design. :( I'm getting to love scrappy more and more but I like to look at and dabble in all types of quilting. The following info is about about the pictured quilts, top to bottom.

"The Thistle Quilt, Shirley Miles
Yellow. Yellow. I thought you don't see many quilts done with yellow. It is from A Piece of Cake book. I really enjoyed working with this. It was quilted by Terrie McCullough."

"Pa, Jan Rodgerson
The pattern is by Eula Mae Long. It is machine pieced by Jan and machine quilted by Dave Forrest."

"Out of Darkness, Helen Blankenship
Helen Blankenship pieced and machine quilted this project. The quilt was a real challenge started by her small group from Pam Bono's design. Hers had a black background, but Helen prefers the muslin. It was quilted by Ruth Schultz."

"Basket of Logs, Joyce Viall
A class making this quilt was taught by Joyce this spring. It is machine pieced and long arm quilted by Quilting by Joyce. Quilters Dream Collon was used."

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Yesterday I went to a local guild show. There were pieced quilts but my eye and camera saw applique everywhere. Information goes top to bottom. The Katie in the top one is not me. :(

"Celestial Dream, Katie Olive, Owner
This quilt was made for Katie by her mother, Ruth Schultz. Ruth saw the block of the month pattern at the IQA Festival in Houston. Despite the fact that this quilt was a different style for her, she loved the colors and design. During one of her trips to Houston she appliqued 110 small circles that appear on the left side of the quilt. Once those were done, she realized that the rest of the quilt wouldn't be so hard to finish. She was making a simpler version for her daughter's friend , Mary, when she died March 23rd of this year."

"Poppy Garden, Helen Blankenship
This quilt was made from a kit found at an antique shop in St. Louis, Missouri. It is hand appliqued and hand quilted by Helen Blankenship. It was made in 2003-2004."

"Baltimore Album Tribute, April Yorks
This Baltimore Album quilt was begun in 1992 in a class taught by Audrey Derscha. The blocks were completed over a period of 2-3 years and then sat in a pizza box waiting for inspiration. Last summer I put the top together and Missy at stitch'um was able to quilt it for me. I want to thank Audrey for teaching me to applique. It has filled my life with joy."
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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Views From My Yard

How about those yellow flowers among the green weeds? That's my back yard.
I just can't use chemicals there. I do put table salt on the thistles. Works great.

There has been lots of farming equipment going up and down my road. Busy time for farmers.

I have some asparagus behind my fence and picked the first of it a few days ago. And see the rhubarb that is coming up. This is all I have. I should plant more.

I got my Hawaiian quilt sandwiched today and even began quilting it using my walking foot.

Oh, yes my library millage passed. :)
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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

So Pretty
Beautiful weather here. Tulips a little past their prim. What isn't around here? What about that tulip center? Looks like a quilt inspiration to me.

I've been dividing my time between the inside of my house and my yard. Lots of work but keeping my sanity. Outside has been weeds, weeds, weeds. But a few treats too. I saw a fox come up to the backyard fence. I think he was looking for the rabbits under the shed that is inside the fence. The fox nosed all around. Looked so healthy.

I bought a new shower curtain, liner, pole and hangers. Nice touch to the clean, rust free room that is almost done. Hard to believe how much rust from the humidity of the basement flood last winter when I was in FL. I also got some silver paint to touch up the frame around the mirror of the medicine cabinet. Still got to clean out cupboards but progress in at least one room is satisfying.

Today is election day. I wonder how U.S. got Tuesdays for elections. I have a new location to vote. We were using schools but they decided the added traffic was a danger to the children so they moved them. Mine is now at a church. I'm voting to extend taxes for library coverage. In my county, the local town provides the building with maintenance and the county provides the staff and contents including computers and books. This is a millage vote to extend the money for the county part of the library system. Times are really hard here in MI and people don't want to pay taxes but I think the hard times make the libraries even more important. Got to get out and register my "yes" vote. It always amazes me that sometimes elections are decided by a small number of votes, sometimes even one vote.

I've got a few errands to do while I'm out. With gas $3.19 a gallon, I try to plan my excursions better.

Have a nice day in your corner of our good earth!
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Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Sorry about the wait but here is the finished Hawaiian top. The colors are not correct but the green lattice looks good. I don't know when I'll get it finished.

My house is over 50 years old and it is having problems. When I get into one, another comes up. Basement water problems. Furnace. Repairs needed from my flood last winter. Getting opinions and estimates. Oh, me.
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