Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Look what I won from sweet Camille who blogs over at here and has a site at this address. A couple of weeks ago she announced a giveaway, and I entered. And I won one of the gifts and I am so excited! My gift was two turnovers and her pattern for the Wild Thing quilt. Now for you non quilters, I should explain a turnover. It is a pack of already cut fabrics from one fabric line so the fabrics all match. They are diagonally halved five inch squares that have been precision cut by machine. This pack contains 80 triangles, I just fanned out a few of them. With two packs I have 160 triangles! Now a pack of just five inch squares is called a charm pack and they come in pack of 30 to 40+ squares. There is also a pack of 10 inch squares, called a layer cake. You can also buy a roll of 2 1/2 inch strips, called a jelly roll. There are a few other packs too, some smaller and some larger. These packs are loved by quilters because they are all exactly the same size. You know the fabrics all go together because they are from one line. And, cutting the pieces is one of the biggest pains of making a quilt. AND, there is no wasted fabric! Love, love, love those pre-cut fabrics. These triangles are from Moda's Mary Engelbreit Basket of Flowers line and I love them! The funny thing is, I already had a charm pack of this line! And the pattern is one of Camille Roskelley's own designs, called Wild Thing. It's funky cut pinwheels made from two charm packs and a bit less than two yards of neutral fabric. Looks like a fun one to make, and it is now on my list of projects!

So I had best get busy and finish up what is on my sewing table so I can start on these two new project. Thank you again, Camille! I love my gift!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I think I'm picking myself up, dusting myself off, and starting all over again............well, not exactly starting all over. But I do think I am back to the blogosphere. I've just been really down in the dumps, no life, no energy, no ideas, no nothing, so I thought it best that I just keep my mouth shut. Never know what might come out in the mood I was in! But like I said, I think I'm back. I went out for a walk after supper and I grabbed my camera on the way out the door.
I'm so happy to say that this is a small pond just a few blocks from my home, and not the Red River by Fargo and East Grand Forks where they are building dikes and sandbagging and some are being evacuated from their homes. However, I have filled a lot of sandbags in my day. There was a flood in the late 70's when we were stationed up there, and we worked alongside the folks in town, filling and slinging sandbags. Hard work.
Have you ever seen such a fatty?
His friend up in the tree isn't quite as plump!
And look what I found! GREEN! It's coming, folks, spring is coming!
All the ice is gone from the big pond. I saw a couple of ducks down at the far end of the pond.
And saw this fat creature along the muddy bank.
Do you think it's a rat? GROSS and UGLY!
I turned around to head home about the time the sun was setting.
And you know me. I can't ignore a sunset when I have my camera along!
It was nice and peaceful as I arrived home.....but still a little chilly. I was glad I had gloves along.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I haven't posted much since we returned from Florida. I've just not felt like it......and then a situation developed that I had to deal with, and I wasn't happy, so I've just kept silent. But today I'm going to write about my love/hate relationship with shopping.

Sometimes I really, really dislike shopping, especially grocery shopping. The high prices are just a part of it (since when is a white plastic laundry basket $17.95? Not me.......I'll go to the Dollar Store and replace it every few month when it breaks!) More often it's the amount and conduct of the other shoppers. (read here about one caffeine deprived shopping trip in Yuma, AZ) Sometimes I get actually ill..........sick to my stomach from the crowds of folks who are also trying to shop. And the older I get, the more I really don't like to shop, especially for groceries. In my ideal world, I'd buy meat in bulk from a farmer, veggies and fruits from a Farm Market, and whatever else I need from the local coop, and never set foot in a huge super market again.

And then sometimes, I love to shop! Especially to get things for the house, and I love shopping the most when I get a bargain. And sometimes shopping is a cleansing and rejuvenating activity. Take this past Wednesday, for instance. Monday and Tuesday I had dealt with the previously mentioned situation, and I was really down in the dumps. Way down. Like laying on the rocks at the bottom of the dump. And then I decided to do a solo shopping trip, aiming to find a few needed things for the new to us RV, which I have named The Wild Thing as it's a Wildwood brand. Anyhow, I set off to the local thrift shops. At the first one, actually my favorite thrift shop, I found two lace valances that I could use in the bedroom windows, $1.00 each. I also found a needlepoint picture, all completed, of an antique shop with a couple of quilts hanging in front of the shop. 50 cents. Then I moved on to the second shop, where I seldom find anything good, but did I ever score here that day! I found a flannel duvet, queen sized, still folded in it's original fashion....it had never been used! Marked $8.50, but 25% off. PERFECT for the RV! It is a cream background, with sage green and kind of a grey plaid. And not the cheap flannel. It's a good one! I looked on the internet and they sell for $60 - 199! A good buy indeed! At the last thrift shop I found a book that looked interesting for 50 cents.

Then it was off to TJ Maxx where I found a shower curtain in the same colors as the duvet, except a stripe instead of a plaid! It was the most expensive thing I bought that day, $12, but out of it I got curtains to go with the lace valances in the bedroom, curtains for the kitchen, and enough left over to make a pillow or two for the bed. So for less than $20 I got everything I needed for the RV.

Except for one thing. The cornices over the windows in the main room of the camper were a hideous red with a narrow gold stripe. The gal who had the RV before us had redone them from the original tan. They looked bad. I remembered I had some sheets that I had found on sale for a dollar a couple of years ago and I dug them out from the storage basket in the sewing room closet (and in the process finding the Food Saver we had been missing since we moved home 14 months ago!). I pressed them, had Ernie take down the cornices, and I recovered them. They look so much better! And they're about the color of the original coverings. Ernie rehung them today, and I have some ribbon or tape that I'm going to glue around the edge to cover up a few staples that are peeking out.

I'll soon post photos of the work we've done in the RV. We can't wait to get out, even just for a weekend, to try it out and enjoy the extra length we gained by trading trailers! And if I could have more shopping trips like this one, maybe I wouldn't dislike shopping quite as much!

Friday, March 20, 2009


My daddy has been living in Heaven for 27 years now, but I can still hear his bass voice saying:

Spring has sprung
The grasss has riz
I wonder where
The flowers is!

Go take a walk.......it's spring!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Yesterday, Friday, morning, we took off bright and early for a community about 2 1/2 hours northwest of us. We had found a couple of trailers on Craig's List that we wanted to check out. As we were leaving town, the sun was peeking through the grove of trees behind us. I had Ernie pull over so I could snap a picture. It was very pretty, and the old saying of 'red sky in the morning, sailors take warning' did not hold true for our day. Maybe that's a summer sky, not a winter sunrise, do you think?
We found our trailer at the first place we stopped. It's TWICE as long as our teeny tiny trailer, and it has a slide. It has a separate bedroom, and a sofa to sit on, and a dinette to eat at. The twin beds in the teeny tiny trailer also served as our sitting area, and the seats for our table.
This is the kitchen area. Look at that big frig! Twice the size of the one in the teeny tiny trailer.
In the back, next to the bathroom, are grandkid bunks! When we're on a long trip I envision storing extra supplies and clothing in baskets in this area. I'm going to make a curtain to close it off.
And over the sofa and dinette I plan to recover the valances. They are a maroon red with a gold stripe, not a close match for the grey upholstery! The bed also has a red velvety spread on it.....not my style at all! I have a patchwork quilt that will look much better!

See the TTT next to the new one! It's half the size!

And I will be removing the stained glass kokopelli window from the TTT and installing it in the new one. The window from the new one will go in this one.
Oh, the trailer is not new........it's a 2001 or 2002. It was taken very good care of and seems to be in excellent condition. We hope to take it out for some trial runs before we head to Alaska in July. I won't bore you with putting up a countdown widget for the Alaska trip quite yet, although I am already so excited I can't stand it! And my mouth is watering from thinking about feasting on fresh salmon and halibut! Oh, ya, I also can't wait to see our son, Chris, and his Amy! We love them dearly and just don't get to see them often enough.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I am a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, wife, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, mother, mother-in-law, and a score of other things. However, the name I cherish the most, the name that sends shivers up my spine, the name I am the most proud of is GRANDMA! And twenty three years ago today is the day I first became a grandma. My oldest granddaughter, Kjirsten, is celebrating her twenty third birthday today. She is a beautiful, sweet and funny girl, and I love her dearly! She has worked at a nursing home since she was seventeen, and she loves her patients, and her patients love her. When she was less than two years old and she would come to our home, grandpa would let her do whatever she wanted to do.......even play in the mud puddles on the street while wearing a pretty white sundress! This resulted in us being named grandma and grandpa puddles to keep us from being confused with her other grandparents.

This is a picture of Kjirsten taken Christmas of 2007. She is modeling her new boxer shorts! I think this picture shows the real Kjirsten, obviously beautiful, yet a crazy funny girl. Happy birthday Kjirsten. I love you so much!

Friday, March 06, 2009


Those of you that have been with me for awhile, or have read back into my earliest posts, know that we started our retirement life in June of 2006 by selling our home and moving into a 35 foot 5th wheel trailer with three slides outs. We were going to live in the trailer and travel the world.........well, our country anyhow, for several years. Then in January of last year, 2008, we moved back home, into a rented apartment, to help care for my mom. At that time we sold our big trailer and bought a teeny tiny trailer, just for weekend getaways around home here in Minnesota. As you all know, my dear mom is now living with Jesus in Heaven. We now can travel a bit more if we want to, and as we just found out on our trip to Florida, our teeny tiny trailer is just too teeny tiny to spend more than a week in. I think I've recently mentioned, probably more than once, that we were looking for a larger trailer. We want nothing as huge and as elaborate as our original fifth wheel trailer, but we need a little more room than the teeny tiny trailer gives us.

Guess what? We've found it! On Craigslist!

Yesterday afternoon we went to look at a trailer in a town about 40 miles from here. It is almost exactly what we had in mind. Bigger, one slideout, and even space to turn around! It's five/six years old, but not used much at all. It is in good shape, relatively clean, lite weight, and it is calling our names! It has a bed, sofa, and dinette that can sleep people, and it has two bunks in the back end by the bathroom! However, there is not much storage or cupboard space, so we would use the bunks to store the extra food, clothes, and stuff (fabrics, threads, patterns, sewing machine) that a person would need on an extended trip, like to Alaska in July. We are excited! We took last night to think it over, and this morning we both decided that this is the one.

AND!!!! It is priced almost the same as we could sell our teeny tiny trailer for! So hubby is off to town to make the arrangements. Now I have to get out there and sweep the sand out of the teeny tiny trailer so we can put it on Craigslist! If this all goes through as we think it will, I will be posting pictures of the bigger roomier trailer soon!

Thursday, March 05, 2009


This is what our friends that are still down in Florida are doing! I think we left too soon!


I was finally able to finish this tote bag I had started in Florida. I think it turned out kind of cute. It is going to someone who has a birthday coming up soon. I hope she likes it!
The other day as I was passing time in my local quilt shop and drooling on a couple dozen pieces of fabric that I coveted, I spied a clearance basket with some rolled up flats in it and I started digging. I pulled out about 9 or 10 of them that were obviously from the same fabric line. They were 50 cents apiece and I figured for five dollars total I could find something to do with them. Last night I cut them into six inch squares and laid them out on the living room floor. I think with the addition of some olive green, teal, or eggplant colored borders, I will have a pretty neat (and cheap!) small quilt, don't you think?
Meanwhile, on the other side of this guest/sewing/computer room, hubby is searching all the camper dealers and Craigslist, looking for a good deal on a used trailer that would give us a bit more room. One where two people could actually stand up at the same time! One where a person could sit on the toilet without his legs touching the wall and cabinets on the sides and his knees poking through the shower curtain in front of him. One where one person could do dishes and the other person could actually pass behind him without squeezing through. And one that wouldn't cost much more than the trade in we could get on our almost brand new tiny trailer. And of course it would have to have plenty of storage space for fabric deals someone just might happen to find along the way. Wonder who that might be?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


My sewing machine is working just fine. However it cost me seven days and 60 plus miles, and $50. Here's the ending to my story.

Yesterday, on day six of my machine withdrawal, I went in to town to the shop where I had brought it and asked for my machine back. Well, why? the woman asked me. So I explained that they were supposed to just open up the machine, look to see if it was something obvious, and let me know so I could decide what to do. Well, seems they hadn't gotten around to even taking the case off the machine, so I told them I would be taking my machine elsewhere. They gave me the deposit back, no questions asked, but muttering something about it only being six days since I brought it in!

I found a repair shop for my brand of machine, about 30 miles away, and took off to deliver it there. It arrived there yesterday afternoon. This morning they called, said they could find nothing wrong, but had tightened things up, cleaned it, oiled it, and put in a new needle, saying that maybe my surge protector had gotten bumped and the plug for the machine loosened or something. But whatever had caused the problem, it seems that it's fine now and I could come and pick it up. Which I did.

And now mama's happy.......Not with the first repair place, but with the very nice, friendly, competent, trusting folks at the second place. I say trusting because I had planned to pay with my credit or debit card. The guy told me that they don't do cards, only cash or check. I didn't have enough cash, and I have no check blanks. Don't write checks anymore. So he told me to just take the machine and he'd "charge it" and I could pay later! Do you believe that?

Yup, mama's happy now!