Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Posting From Florida

Kipper and I are safely in FL again and just in time so I hear. It is even cold here and may break the record for the low temp tonight. Not pool weather here but it won't last long. And it is great weather to ride my bike while Kipper runs with me. Sunny.

Our trip went fine. My son was able to come and help me close up my MI home and get us to the airport. We had to change planes in Detroit
and were delayed for an extra half hour because they had so many wheelchair passengers to get seated. Sure glad I didn't have to have one this year. They gave Kipper water. He must have been panting. That is the first time I've known of them to do that. He is a seasoned flier and does so well.

My daughter was here to pick us up at the airport. She had been to my house already and had it all opened up. She even bought groceries and dog food. That was Saturday and on Sunday she gave Kipper a hair cut - a nice short one. He had been rapidly growing his winter coat.

The palm is in my neighbor's yard, as is the grapefruit tree. The ducks have multiplied and were at the pond last evening.

Yesterday Kipper went running with me as I rode my bike around. Then he ate supper and was soon snoozing on the couch. This
is his usual one ear cocked-up position. Somehow he always knows when I get the camera out and gets up but he was so tired this time, he only opened his eyes a little and quickly went back to sleep. As I write this he is in exactly the same position. Ah, the life.

I am still unpacking and cleaning but hope to get to the sewing machine soon. I brought down a couple of the quilt tops I had ready to finish and hope to get to them soon. I am so happy to see the Hancock store is still here and I will soon be going there to buy some batting. soon.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Bit More

I didn't explain very well the problem I had with food stamps. It was the people who were "living for a week" on food stamps. One of them said she bought her daughter "snackables' and juice boxes for her lunch but had to put back the frozen sausage biscuits she wanted to buy for her breakfast. And the canned veggie prices were a special just last week. I do think we need to help people learn to cook from scratch. One thing they do at my local food give-away place is to give out recipes and the food needed to make it. Good idea.

People with food stamps have several problems. One of them is getting to the grocery store. And the selections at local grocery stores is often very poor. It amazes me that chain stores don't carry the same produce in their stores in the poor area of a city than they carry in other areas. I sure think there are lots of people that are needing help now days. And not just with food. I often donate toilet paper, laundry soap, toothpaste etc. And dog food too. People are having a rough time keeping their pets. Lots of senior citizens are having it tough too. We have a van at our local center that will take seniors to stores and doctors and such places. They also bring them into the center for lunch. The big soup kitchen in our nearby city is feeding over 300 people a day - many of them are children. You can also donate to them food left over from things like funeral dinners. And then there are the working poor. Everyone is hurting.

I know my local food prices are lower than in many other parts of the country. This week a gallon of milk is $2.69 at Walgreens drug store. The regular price at the grocery is $3.59 and will probably be a dollar more than that in FL. And there are so many people just barely making it in good times in FL. I think Walmart has the best prices on spices. Not everything there but onions and cinnamon and such.

Okay on to other things.

I've been cleaning out a little and found the two pictures I made about 45 years ago. At the time I had two little children and was a stay at home mom with no car. I joined a craft club that sent me a craft every month. After lunch, my daughters took naps and that was my time. I know lots of women who said nap time was when they got so much done. Not me. I ate my lunch and worked on a craft or read a book.

This summer I have been going into my senior center working on my family genealogy. A great volunteer there has been a lot of help to me. I discovered she was going to make her grandchild an "I Spy" quilt. I decided to cut her some squares from my stash. I cut two of each and kept one set. They are 6 1/2 inches each. Now I need to decide if I want to take them to FL.

I'm busy getting ready for my trip to FL. My next post will be next week from there.

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Friday, October 17, 2008


Do you know who Cynthia McKinney, Chuck Baldwin and Bob Bau are? I didn't either until today when I filled in my absentee ballot. Along with Ralph Nader, they are also running for President.
My vote is cast. Hope you also vote.


I was putting this one away and wondered if I had a pic of it. My mother made it. She used several designs and made many afghans. I especially liked this one as it looked so modern. I should have taken a close-up pic. Just click on it so a better view.

Fall Outing
Today Shirley and I went for a ride to see the fall colors. They are at their peak with lots of red color now. We went out for lunch and then to the orchard. I had to have a fried cake (donut) made with cider and a glass of fresh, unpasteurized cider. Absolutely delicious. Wish you could have come with us.


Do you have one of these Swifer dusters? They are just wonderful for anyone who has trouble getting up high or down low to dust. It also bends to clean things like ceiling fans. It also gets in long narrow places like behind the microwave. I'm sure they have other brands but it sure has made my life easier. No excuses now for things being dusty.

Low Cost Eating

I don't know if they are doing this in other parts of the county, but here in MI, they have had a push for people, especially public officials, to eat for a week on the amount of money a person on food stamps would have. They have had the stories about the people moaning about missing their coffee and having to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day. One said she would be eating a lot of macaroni and cheese made from a box. It can be an economical choice but there is no need to eat it every day. How about making coffee at home and taking it to work in a Thermos? Or take a tea bag and heat water in the microwave at work? Also those people getting food stamps, would also be able to get free hot lunches at school for their children. I got thinking and did some math to see how I would do. For one person, I would have $3.40 cents per day. Of course I couldn't eat in a restaurant or have goodies at the orchard but I'd eat very well at home. My Cheerios with milk, sugar substitute and banana was about 75 cents. Choices for lunch were several sandwiches including toasted cheese (made with 1 1/2 slices of real cheese - none of that terrible cheese food stuff), tuna, egg salad or that peanut butter one - any of them for a $ or less. I also often eat a cup of cottage cheese with canned dices peaches or tomato and whole wheat crackers. About a $ and a half. Or a bowl of homemade soup with crackers or bread and butter. Or serve it over a home made biscuit. Add a glass of milk and a couple chocolate graham crackers or save them for a snack later. Supper might be 1/4 pound of pork steak (on sale this week was 50 cents), fried potatoes with onion, green beans, radishes, dill pickles, carrot sticks, bread and butter. Cup of tea. Maybe a dish of custard or pudding. I'd definitely be under the $3.40. I know I eat what is on sale. And food prices are lower here in MI than in many parts of the county. And fresh fruit and veggies are getting expensive. Bananas have just gone from 59 cents a pound to 69 cents. That means a medium-size one is 25 cents now. Apples are so expensive that they can be $ each and they are in season too. But canned vegetables were on sale this week for 2 or even 3 cans for a $. I sometimes treat myself to a "day old" donut which if half price (25 cents) after 5:00. I bought fresh bread baked in the store. Regular price for the cracked wheat, which is my favorite, is $1.99 You can't buy anything you want and can't buy premade foods but you sure can eat well.

I definitely can eat well for little money. Now buying medications is another story. Sorry for the rant.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fall Color

The color is at its peak and this was a beautiful sunny weekend. I heard that the reason for so much yellow this year is because we had a lot of rain this summer. Click on the pics to see more.
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Friday, October 10, 2008


One of my favorite foods. That's plenty of nutmeg on the top.


Fran over at Making Memories One Stitch At A Time has a funny post about housework not interfering with quilting. She mentions about putting dirty dishes in the oven when unexpected company was
about to arrive. Hum. She didn't say anything about forgetting about the dirty pans and later heating the oven without checking it. Now I'm not saying who I heard once did that.

How about having to take something off a chair in the living room so they can sit down? There is something on every one of them. Well all of them except Kipper's couch, but it is full of dog hair.

Someone once said my house always looked lived in. I was really impressed that he could think of a positive thing to say. It was positive, wasn't it?

Once I heard a tip. If your house is dirty and unexpected company is coming, put the vacuum cleaner out and plug it in. They interrupted you about to clean. Humm...

Another time I took a survey in a magazine about what kind of a housekeeper I was. I only missed SLOB by one point. Suppose I fudged on a question?

I've tried many plans like Fly Lady's suggestions but .... About the only suggestion that I try really hard to stick to is to not bring any new things into my house without taking something out. It is so hard for me to get rid of things.

Fran said there shouldn't be so much mess in her house because there are only two adults living there. Oh me. There is only one adult living here. Does Kipper count? He only leaves one bone and one toy around.

Fran said her mother always picked up and put away. My mother, who worked full time outside the house, would scrub and wax the kitchen floor. When it was dry she would cover it with newspapers. I never understood that.

I do know that my mess makes it harder to find things. But when I put things away, I can't find them either. At least I keep telling myself that. I do hang my keys on the hooks just under my favorite sign.

So why am I a messy person? For one thing, it doesn't bother me. I do know it makes it harder to clean. Maybe that's why I put that off too. Yes, I do procrastinate and am poor at prioritizing. I have a poor sense of how long it takes to do anything. And I get distracted easily.

Oh, well just a happy, junky person here. I'm not sure that is liberated but it's me.
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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

My Favorite

Here are more of the quilt show. I liked lots of them but decided this is my favorite, at least today. I love the embroidery and hand quilting. It is titled Chelsea's First Christmas, the pattern is red work embroidery and it was made and hand quilted by Viola.

How about that tree quilt? It makes me want to start one of my own. The title is Avery's Double Digit Birthday. It was made by Mary and quilted by Arlene.

Today I went with my friend Shirley to the U of M Medical Center. Shirley is my friend who has brain cancer. She gets blood tests done every week and goes for an oncology check once a month. Her lab tests have been too poor to let her take her chemo for the last six weeks. But her blood work is good now and they will give her another round of five days. She takes the same oral chemo that Senator Kennedy takes for the same tumor, but Shirley's was located in a different part of the brain. Today Shirley took another respiratory antibiotic treatment as this chemo increases the chance of getting a type of lung infection that is very hard to treat.

What I wanted to tell about was the wonderful things they do at this Medical Center to ease the patients' tests and treatments. They have beverage carts in several areas. Someone comes around offering everyone currents magazines and puzzles like Sudoku. In the laboratory area there are art quilts hanging on the walls. Really professional art. Sorry I didn't take a camera. The fabric arts council had a small loom there and would help you to do a few rows of a table runner under construction. A pianist was playing show tunes from memory. He must have been from an orchestra. I have also heard a
guitar played. Today a soprano sang a few songs. One of them was the theme from the Sound of Music. All these things are going on in the waiting rooms. It is very nice. The staff is also so kind. I don't know if all big medical centers connected with teaching hospitals are this helpful, but this one sure is. My friend sees the head of the neuro-oncology department. He is the kindest doctor and is teaching this to his residents. I'm sure they will end up all over America and will help many other patients in the future.
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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

More Quilt Show

My own quilting activity is null so here's some more pictures I took at a nearby quilt show in September. This is the display where the only requirement is that the quilt has a star somewhere in it - the fabric, pattern and/or the quilting. Aren't these great?

The first one was chosen for the entry (first quilt you see). It is titled Color My World, the pattern was bargello color wheel and it was made and quilted by Debbie.

Title: "Stack and Slash Stars"
Pattern: 5 pointed star
Made and quilted by Diane

Title: "Ohio Star #2"
Pattern: Ohio Star
Made by Michelle ad quilted by Karen

Title: "Star Bright"
Pattern: Cutting Double
Made by Carol ad Quilted by Sandra

This time of year, as I get ready to migrate back to FL, is not my favorite. I am very good at procrastinating and it catches up with me now. I must do many things before I leave. I printed my four page list off my computer. Lots of appointments with doctor, dentist, financial advisor. Lots of people to notify. Things to pick up and finish up and clean up and pack up and .....

The good news is I don't have to pay for the first suitcase I check. I bought my ticket before they started charging so it doesn't apply to me. Hope it works when I get to the airport. Second suitcase will have a charge of $25 as near as I can figure from the information. The other good news is that when I finally get to FL, it takes me only a few days to get everything up and running and all my procrastinated jobs are done so I can go back to retired mode - that means quilting. Ya! The flying date is October 25.
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