Friday, July 31, 2009

bunny hill giveaway

Mama Spark is having a giveaway for Anne Sutton's Bunny Hill ... if you win you will receive a $50 gift certificate to spend on the Bunny Hill website, courtesy of Anne herself ...... but don't count your bunnies till they've hopped because i am the one who is gonna win - the good spirits know that Mama Spark has megged me and megged me and megged me again ... and it just wouldn't be fair if you win and i don't!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

what i did on my summer weekend

this is what we bought with our tickets they call it winning - and i guess it is if you don't count all the gazillion dollars that we spent on various stuff that yielded "bonus" tickets at the TQS auction on saturday ... it is a lunch tote, complete with a cloth napkin and nice little pockets for silverware and my best guess is that it is now worth about $200 and a lot of aggravation from a fellow quilter who was just a wee bit mean-spirited ... i have the pattern somewhere upstairs but this one is already put together and i really like the colors ... i worked on the bat blocks and i actually finished the BOM block that is due this coming saturday...
...this is the first summer squash - it was deee-licious ... it has been followed by three more about the same size - not enough to make bread (yet) but Mr. Husker gave me a big honkin' zucchini from his garden when we visited on saturday - so i have a date with the Cuisinart...
...two weeks ago Gumdrop was stung when she walked in the door - there was a wasp on her foot and it decided to take a chomp of her ... and then i was stung one morning last week and found (GASP) a nest under a plant stand about a foot away from the front door ... that thing was HUGE - the size of a mixing bowl! it's amazing that all of us weren't stung by warrior wasps ... they were really, really mad at me when i started moving things away from the area so i could destroy their nest ... by then it was the middle of the morning and ALL of them were awake and ANGRY ... so i did what i do when i wuss out - i called an exterminator to send a guy out with a big old pole and a can of high-velocity poison ... he was not a small man - and he could move very, very fast ... he didn't get stung ... but he used up an entire super-sized can of spray killing those little buggers ... the nest was gross and i did NOT take any pictures of it...
...i did, however, take a picture of the broken handle from the downstairs toilet - a home repair i actually know how to do and was prepared for ... plastic handles don't last very long and i already had a nice metal one ready for when it broke...
...and so ... not much on the quilting front, but the wasps are gone and the toilet flushes and the grass is neat and trim and the house is clean enough and the block that had to be done is

Monday, July 27, 2009

all the way from sunny sacramento

Gran had a blog giveaway a few days ago and her son (i don't remember - was it Frick or was it Frack?) picked MY number ... woo hoo!!! and so a package arrived and it had all of these goodies in it...
...those little halloween pins are cute - someday i'm gonna make witch hat pincushions (using Kim's directions) for our sewing table and i'm gonna share those little jewels with Auntia ... the bunny pattern will look sweet for easter - have to do Hocuspocusville first - or maybe not ... and i am in love with the Australian quilting magazine (i was gonna read one at Barnes & Noble but people kept walking by and getting in my light - sheesh!) ... thank you so much, Gran - i'm lovin' all of it!

Friday, July 24, 2009

bubble & brew, wishy-washy hands, half & half, and frog eyes

i finished embroidering the Hocuspocusville coffee shop two days was a lot less stitching than the quilt shop ... i tore the rest of the fabric (now's a fine time to make sure that i have enough, eh? the shop where i bought it went out of business in march) and maybe i will be able to trace out the restaurant - the black cauldron with authentic witch cuisine - this weekend ... but HPV (not the virus) is gonna have to take a backseat to the stocking that i started for LuLu (formerly known as Littlelle) ... it is counted cross stitch, so i actually have to count when i work on it and it doesn't make that great pahwhoosh sound that embroidery does ... sigh ... i have made Shepherds Bush stockings for all (four) of my kids, my mother, my sister, and three of my grandbabies - it only took 386 days to find myself two stockings behind ... sigh ... Santa is an understanding guy and will probably leave goodies for little girls with no stockings...
Gumdrop, NoJo, Mrs. Moth, Little Nonnie and LuLu
...we did manage to get all of the m&m's up to see Little Nonnie ... she was in quite the mood when we arrived - i asked her to wash her hands so she could hold the baby and she went into the bathroom ... water turns on - swish - water turns off - okay, i'm ready ... did you use soap? no, i didn't use soap - why would i use soap? you're kidding me, right? no, i'm not kidding you - i haven't touched anything except my clothes and the toilet paper ... mom, go wash your hands with soap ... why? i've lived 84 years and i think i know a little bit more about babies that you do ... mom, if you don't wash your hands with soap, then you are NOT gonna hold my granddaughter ... fine! whatever!
what is it with people who refuse to wash their hands? she's not allergic to soap. she taught me that washing my hands was the best way to not get sick. she also taught me that i should never, never, never touch a baby unless i had washed my hands with soap and water...

...and she is not alone - everybody wants to hold LuLu, but the vast majority don't even think to wash their hands first ... one actually insisted that she washed her hands before she came over so she didn't need to wash them again - never mind the fact that she pet the dog and handled the steering wheel and the door handles for the car and the house and her purse strap and her car keys ... she has some kind of eye thing that makes her eyes watery - so she is always wiping at her eyes and then sticks her finger in LuLu's mouth ... well, not on my watch ... LuLu has a binky - use it - not your nasty knuckle ... what has happened to common sense?!?
NoJo is blowing out the used candle on his half-birthday piece of cake ... doesn't he look excited?
NoJo's half birthday was last saturday ...... three of my four kids were born within a month of christmas ... it is a loooong dry spell between christmas/birthday and the next christmas/birthday so i used to bake each of them half a cake and give them silly presents six months after their birthdays ... it's a family tradition ... my family tradition ... and i'm not gonna stop giving my grandson a little piece of cake with an already-been-used candle on it unless somebody can give me a good reason not to...
frog eye salad is another tasty treat that looks like it's already been eaten once
...and Auntia finally convinced me to make some frog eye salad ... we are gonna take some to Nicci when we go to see her tomorrow ...... and then we have some auction tickets to use at The Quilters Studio - they're gonna have some shop samples on the auction block - maybe we will have a winning bid or two ... and they are having their christmas in july sale (i am so gonna stay away from the winter graphix fabrics - just say no, dianne) this weekend, too ...... i am so far behind on BOM blocks that i may never catch up - Auntia even cut the pieces for me for the required block (actually, it wasn't out of the goodness of her heart - she lost a bet and that was the payment - ha ha ha! when will she learn that i don't bet unless it's a sure thing?!?) and i still haven't looked at it ... not to mention the six pink and orange blocks ... and the new saturday sampler that meets on the second saturday of each month ... and i haven't worked on Mr. Husker's Homestead since, well, forever ... and the applique blocks from class ... and the bat blocks ... sigh

Saturday, July 18, 2009

girls go to mars

to get more candy bars ...... have you heard about the Mars Real Chocolate Relief Act? ... on fridays from now until september you can go to the Mars website and get free chocolate if you are among the first 250,000 people to sign in ...... it takes 6-8 weeks to receive the coupon in the mail ...... by the time mine arrived, i had forgotten all about it ... the next time i went grocery shopping i took the coupon with me and received a free Milky Way ... it was on sale for 50 cents and i think that by the time Mars paid for the full-color, flashy, card-stock coupon and postage it probably cost them less than a dollar to give me my free chocolate ... i'm not complaining - the Milky Way was yummy ... as a matter of fact, i ate Auntia's free candy bar, too because she left it in the refrigerator for more than 24 hours and that made it mine ... she made up for it the next time we went shopping by loading the cart with candy packages that had Transformers logos on them... ...she even bought some that were strawberry and peanut butter flavored which should be good - who doesn't love a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich - but these were spit-out-of-your-mouth nasty tasting things that should never have been developed let alone marketed to small children and their aunties who are obsessed with Transformers packaging ... it took another trip to the store to find a package with Bumblebee ... and i don't even want to talk about the journey to three different 7-elevens to find Slurpee cups with Bumblebee on them because i was incredibly ill after slurping a banana-flavored one so that she could have the cup and came very, very close to going to the ER on the fourth of july and i will never, never, never buy another Slurpee ... i dunno what she's gonna do with empty candy wrappers and Slurpee cups ... maybe she'll blog about it someday and let us all know

Friday, July 17, 2009

boys go to jupiter

to get more stupider ...... one of my buddies (who just happens to be a man) sent me the following message in an email ... it is a real eye-opener...

Because I'm a man
, when I lock my keys in the car,
I will fiddle with a coat hanger long after hypothermia has set in.
Calling AAA is not an option ... I WILL win.

Because I'm a man, when the car isn't running very well,
I will pop the hood and stare at the engine as if I know what
I'm looking at.
If another man shows up, one of us will say

to the other, 'I used to be able to fix these things, but now
with all these computers and everything, I wouldn't know
where to start.' We will then drink a couple of beers and
break wind, as a form of holy communion.

Because I'm a man, when I catch a cold, I need someone
to bring me soup and take care of me tenderly while I lie in bed
and moan. You're a woman. You never get as sick as I do. So,
for you, this is no problem.

Because I'm a man, I can be relied upon to purchase basic
groceries at the store, like beer, milk or bread.I cannot be expected to find things like exotic cheese or tofu. For all I know, they are the same thing.

Because I'm a man, when one of our appliances stops
working, I will insist on taking it apart, despite evidence that
this will just cost me twice as much once the repair person
gets here and has to put it back together.

Because I'm a man, I must hold the television remote
control in my hand while I watch TV. If the thing has been
misplaced, I may miss a whole show looking for it.... though
one time I was able to survive by holding a calculator.

Because I'm a man, there is no need to ask me what I'm
thinking about. The true answer is always either sex, cars,
sex, sports, or sex. I have to make up something else when
you ask, so don't ask.

Because I'm a man, I do not want to visit your mother, or
have your mother come visit us, or talk to her when she
calls, or think about her any more than I have to. Whatever
you got her for Mother's Day is okay; I don't need to see it.
And don't forget to pick up something for my mother, too.

Because I'm a man
, you don't have to ask me if I liked the

movie. Chances are, if you're crying at the end of it, I didn't.
And, if you're feeling amorous afterwards, then I will certainly
remember the name and recommend it to others.

Because I'm a man, I think what you're wearing is fine.
I thought what you were wearing five minutes ago was fine,
too... either pair of shoes is fine. With the belt or without it.
Everything looks fine. Your hair is fine. You look fine.
Can we just go now?

Because I'm a man, and this is, after all, the year 2009, I
will share equally in the housework. You just do the laundry,
the cooking, the cleaning, the vacuuming, and the dishes,
and I'll do the rest.... like wandering around in the garden
with a beer in my hand, wondering what to do.

(This has been a public service message for women
to better understand men.)

Monday, July 13, 2009


we found ourselves in need of some halloween fabric (gasp - how could that be???) and went shoppin' ... these are mine...halloween hunks - you want them - you know that you do
Auntia let me use her 40% off coupon for the hunky halloween guys - halloween fabric isn't on sale yet at JoAnns - so they were $6.00/yard instead of $9.99/yard - woo hoo! i like the devil and she likes the pirate ... i suppose Twilight fans would like the vampire ... but the skeleton guy is a bit too - uhmm, i was about to write "bony" but i guess i'll say - thin for me ...... i dunno what i will make with the fabric - maybe aprons ... my halloween stash needed some good-lookin' dudes ...... the blue, yellow and black are gonna be bat blocks if i ever figure out how to make them NOT look like the Bat Signal and the lime green bats on black and the orange are gonna be nine patches ... halloween doesn't get mad at me when my blocks shout boo!

Friday, July 10, 2009

charm packs and patterns and books, oh my!

a few days ago, Gretchen at Stella Bella Quilts had a giveaway to celebrate her 250th post ... she asked for readers to leave a comment telling her where they would spend the summer if money was no object ... i didn't give the answer much thought or i would have chosen Gretchen's dream summer vacation (England, Ireland, Wales - which i don't think she mentioned - and Scotland - never, never, never turn down the opportunity to see men in kilts) ...... i said that i would go back to Dinkey Creek, California ... my family went on a road trip to California the summer between third grade and fourth grade ... Dinkey Creek was one of the places where we stayed ... my Grandma's husband worked in a logging camp - he ran a gigantic saw and would prolly be pretty disappointed to know that his granddaughter grew up to be a tree hugger... he was missing a couple of fingertips and told a story about how he looked down one day and saw his detached fingers on a big old log and wondered how the heck they got there ... he and my Grandma lived in a log cabin during the logging season ... i think that i remember indoor plumbing and electricity, but she had to cook on a wood-burning stove ... i picked a gazillion gooseberries and she made gooseberry jam - it smelled so good while it was simmering on the back burner all day - but it burned and we couldn't get it out of the cast iron pot ... we watched men log rolling and moving the logs into position for the mill ... Grandpa took us for a ride on a logging truck and we saw the tallest trees in the whole wide world - so high that you couldn't see the sky past them and we collected huge pine cones ... we swam in the creek and the water was so frigid that it took my breath away ... it was one of the best times of my childhood and it would not be a bad thing to go back and relive those few days ...... but i digress ... Gretchen used a random number generator and chose my number as the winner ... woo hoo!!! and these scrumptious lovelies came in the mail today (with an equally sweet card) all wrapped in posy tissue paper...the picture, of course, does not do the delicious colors justice ... Auntia has already oohed and aahed over two of the Moda charm packs and told me that she knows exactly what she would do with them if she can wrestle them away from me ... Just Desserts (by Edie McGinnis) is full of yummy recipes for quilts using precut fabrics ... and the Snow Pets pattern (goodies from grandma) uses cotton batting to make a bunny, a kitty, or a puppy ... thank you, Gretchen, and congratulations on your 250-plus posts!

teach your children well

my mother used to send us out to play in our back yard and lock us out of the house with a hook and eye on the screen door ... the back yard had a chain link fence all the way around it and a big gate in front of the carport ... we never, never, never played in the street ... the one time that i sneaked out to play on the drive with the skateboard my brothers made out of one of my roller skates, a two by four, and a couple of nails - never did get my skate back the skateboard flew out from under me ... it shot out into the street and was narrowly missed by a poor woman driving down the road just trying to get home - it prolly took four or five years off the end of her life and i did a belly flop onto the cement driveway ... my jaw snapped up, i bit my tongue, the wind was knocked out of me and i thought i was dying ...... you can prolly guess what my mother had to say about sneaking out of the yard and playing in the street and it served me right and so what if every other kid in the neighborhood plays in their front yards and if every other kid in the neighborhood jumped off a cliff would i jump off a cliff, too? anywho ... we didn't play in the street because our parents taught us that it was not a good idea to trust our lives to distracted drivers trying to make their way home at the end of a long day...the kids do wear helmets most of the time - their parents are not complete idiots
...right around 4 in the afternoon the little people who live around here come out with their bikes and trikes and big wheels and scooters and skateboards and wagons ... and their mothers put out signs to let the rest of the world know that the street is now a playground ... never mind the fact that there is a park with fields of grass for soccer games and trees to climb and a baseball field and swings and slides and monkey bars and lots of pavement for basketball games and tether ball and learning to ride bikes less than four blocks away ... and drivers need to get off the road...
...most of my neighbors in this (mostly) quiet little suburb are educated, professional people ... they have degrees ... there are teachers and regional managers and nurses and administrators and engineers and even a couple of professors...
...they know better and they oughta do better ... within five minutes of taking these pictures, the street was filled with makeshift ramps and a dozen little strawberry beggars who are not learning one of life's big lessons ... it is hard to pump up a smashed kid

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

hit the ball ... drag charlie

it's an old (very old) joke about four golfing buddies ... during the course of their 18 holes of golf, charlie has a heart attack and dies ... a real tragedy for the remaining three golfers - who spend the rest of the game hitting the ball and dragging charlie ... hey - i didn't say it was an old joke in good taste ...
...and that is how i feel about my three - yes, three - weed whackers ...... i am not good with gas powered tools - i almost always go for electric ... my george foreman grill is electric and my lawn mower is electric and my stove is electric ... and it only stands to reason that my weed whacker would be electric ... i have one that has two lines threaded through some kind of mysterious eyelets that i cannot figure out, and one that is a bump to release ... the two-timer never made it past the first run did i mention that i cannot figure out how to thread the new line through? and the bump to release lost its spring not that bumping ever worked to release the line anyway ... i'm just saying and i have to unscrew the dial doohickey, feed through some more line, re screw the dial doohickey and then whack for about four feet ... then unscrew the dial doohickey, feed through some more line, re screw the dial doohickey and whack for about four feet ... you get the idea - hit the ball ... drag charlie... this spring i got the brilliant idea of buying a new weed whacker and trimming my lawn without the usual hassle......Auntia put it together for me ... she even read the directions...
...and this is what happened the second time i used it ... it wouldn't bump and release (big surprise) so i put in a brand new reel ... i whacked a total of fifteen feet along the front wall and all of the line was gone ... i found the empty reel over by the spruce tree ... and bits and pieces of blue line all over the front yard ... i was lucky - it could have put my eye out!!! so i put the whole mess back in the garage and decided that i would never, never, never trim the lawn again...that nasty mess in the upper right hand corner is strawberry bird poop - it is disgusting
...till today ...... i took a good look at the shaggy mess of grass and weeds growing up the wall and decided that i would have to return to weed whacker hell ...... the front and the back are cut and trimmed ... it took me ten times longer than it should have but it is done ...... till next week ...... hit the ball ... drag charlie

Monday, July 6, 2009

bip bop boom

i was wandering around Hobby Lobby in january, looking for something to give NoJo for his eighth birthday, and i found this...
...NoJo had already told me what he wanted ... i have no idea what it was or whether or not i gave it to him - his favorite gifts seem to be money and gift cards and that makes a lot of sense to me ... and it was not a moon in his room ... so i passed it by ... i wandered off to the yarn ... and to the fabric ... and to the scrap booking stuff ... but i kept returning to the moon in my room aisle ... till i realized that the person who needed the moon in her room was me ... the Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon was burning a hole in my pocket and i could have a way cool moon shining in my room anytime i wanted...
...actually it isn't in my room, it's in the family room (above the quilting frame that i cropped out of the picture on accounta it's so ugly) ... is that not the coolest thing?!? it has a remote control that turns it on and off and cycles through the different phases of the moon...

it is so cool, in fact, that i gave one to Corbadoo for his third birthday on june 3rd (he was supposed to be born on june 6th, but his angels were looking out for him and had him come three days early so he wouldn't be a 6-6-6 baby)...
... he was pretty excited after his Auntia put the batteries in his moon and took him to the basement so he could see it shining brightly ...... like the real moon is tonight...

...the last time i was in Hobby Lobby they had an entire self-contained solar system that hangs from the ceiling and the planets orbit around the sun which glows without being connected to an electrical source because it is battery-powered and it is 42 inches wide and is so way cool that i almost bought it ...... but then i saw the look on Auntia's face and heard her muttering where we were gonna put it and don't you have enough toys and then she made a fist and said something about to the moon, Alice ... bip bop boom ...... and so i left it there ...... till i have another 40% off coupon and she isn't with me and i can hide it in the basement and she won't know anything about it till it's too late to take it back