Sunday, August 31, 2008

My Lazy Sunday

This was a quiet, lazy day for me. I went to church and afterwards took a nap. For sewing all I did today was put borders on this 9-patch top. I'd made the top a while back and set it aside. Now it's ready for quilting and then donating to wherever I decide. This is sometimes a last-minute decision, as there are so many options!

I also pieced a backing for it using Mary's system at maryquilts dot com. (Thanks, Mary. I like your method.)

I cleared off one table top. Does that count for cleaning for the weekend??

Today I walked 2.5 miles.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I Should Have Cleaned

I spent all day sewing. I made a gorgeous quilt top! No picture yet.. I want to put the borders on first. I should have cleaned! But then, that's the story of my life. I still have Sunday and Monday. Maybe I'll get something done around the house before Tuesday.

Today I walked 2 miles.

Friday, August 29, 2008

My Helper is Back

We are cat-sitting for our daughter. Mr. Cat loves to "help" me sew. He slows me down just a tiny bit, as you can imagine!

I got more red/white blocks today! Hooray! These are from Cindy C:

and from Ritamary W:

AND I WANT TO MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT MY RED/WHITE CHALLENGE -- I have decided to extend the deadline to Sept. 8th. Why? Because my p.o. box is sort of in the neighborhood of restricted travel and possible traffic tie-ups due to the RNC being in St. Paul... so I probably won't check it very often until a week or so after the original due date. And if Hurricane Gustav changes the schedule even more, I may extend the deadline even further. This gives you time to make more blocks if you want to, and also pushes back the announcement of who will win the little Thank You prize. Thanks for the great response to this challenge! It has been loads of fun.

Today's report: I walked 1.5 miles.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Awesome Speech and Another Quilt

WOW! Obama blew my socks off with his fabulous speech tonight!! WooHoo!

And back to the mundane: I finished another red/white quilt top. This is top #4. Do you notice the shoes in the border fabric? They sort of give this quilt some movement, I think. I just thought the shoe fabric was awfully cute.

Today's 'get fit' report: I walked about 1.5 miles.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Quarter Century

Today I got to attend a luncheon for employees of my school district who have been there for 25 years. I never dreamed I'd stay this long, but the job really worked out well for me. I couldn't have asked for a better career. The luncheon was fun, and the people who were there to honor us were so friendly and cheerful (the superintendent, some other high-ups, and some school board members). We each got a clock with our name engraved on it. Way cool! Now on to the next 25 years. (Most of them served as a retiree, I hope.)

My 'get fit' report for the day: no work-out today!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gorgeous Day

It was a gorgeous day here in Minnesota. Wow! I got to spend a little time outside, so I was lucky to enjoy the soft breezes/sunshine/shade. Perfect!

After working with red/white blocks for Sunshine and for leukemia quilts, I got into the red and white mode and am working on a mystery project for me. Here's a sneak peek. This is all you get to see for now.

I'm looking forward to hearing Hillary Clinton's speech tonight. Although I'm an Obama supporter, part of me wanted Hillary in the White House. I'm sad it didn't work out for her. I want to see a woman president in my lifetime! Do you think I will?

My 'crafty, creative, & fit' report: I walked 1+ mile today. P.S. Later tonight, I went on a 2nd walk, so my total for the day is 2 miles!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Red and White Day

First, I went back to work today, though reluctantly after such a nice summer. I'm happy to say that it was a good day. It's always fun to see co-workers again after an absence. This year will definitely be a big challenge, but it's interesting and energizing to have an unknown ahead of us and to see how we face the challenges. I'm glad to be feeling positive about being back to work.

Second, I had a wonderful, full mailbox today. I got a bunch of beautiful red & white blocks. Look at these bad boys:

Third, I took the plunge and joined Wendy's "Crafty Creative & Fit" group. I hope it'll keep me honest and motivated, because I am in such terrible shape and *need* to do something to improve my health. Today I did my first-in-ages workout! I'll admit it wasn't much. I walked about a mile, but I walked briskly, and it was enough for me at my current condition. I know it is smart to start slowly and build up. It's just embarrassing that I'm so out of shape, that a simple mile wears me out. Anyway, I'm proud of myself for starting, and I hope, hope, hope I can keep this up.


172 words

Speed test

Yes I really did type that fast. Of course, it is just a list of words, and I was racing myself, and I could never keep up that speed for a normal document. I probably average between 80-90 wpm. Don't ask me how that happened... I worked in clerical jobs for several years and did LOTS of typing, so I got good at it, and I am good with spelling and language, so....... I guess that's how. It does come in handy. :-)

(I found the link on Bonnie's site and just had to give it a try. I did surprise myself with that score, but it's not the first time I have scored in the hundreds.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

33 Already??

Today is our wedding anniversary! I have been married to this man for 33 years! He's my best friend and my rock. And my partner in silliness. And as I feel like I'm about 39, you can see that we married VERY young.

Can you believe HE has been married to this nut case for 33 years? He is accepting sympathy cards. Please write.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Productive Last Day

Today is my last day of freedom (before heading back to work next week), and I'm trying to make it a productive one. I ran some errands, found some nice quality kids' shoes at a garage sale - I'll be sending these to Rosebud. (The kids I saw who had no shoes have been gnawing at my heart.) And I *finally* got this orphan-blocks top done. I monkeyed around with the border, and that's what slowed me down. I thought it needed something to tone down the busy-ness, and this seems to do the trick.

I got these lovely red/white blocks from Kathy T. This is her second batch (thanks, Kathy). As soon as I finish this message I am going to tackle some more red/white blocks myself, or I'll work on assembling a top. These have been such fun.

If you want to play along on my challenge, please feel free - but hurry! The deadline to enter blocks is in 9 days - August 31. I'll draw someone's name for a little prize as thanks for playing my challenge game.

I almost forgot to show you all these sedate Church Ladies. haha! We go out for dinner once a month. The group varies in numbers from month to month. Last time we had about 20, this time only 8. We always have fun, and this time for added sparkle I made them wear these tiaras (on which is printed "Women of [name of our church]"). Even a couple of the waitresses wore them around the restaurant, so we got a little free advertising.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Question Authority

Liberate your quilting by ignoring the "rules." (Thanks, Tonya, for another fun challenge.) Click on the photo if you want to inspect my fabrics and my broken rules. Not all the fabs are uglies; some are just old fabrics that I'm very sick of and wanted to use up. I generally don't like solids, for example. So I got rid of that lavendery one.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Best Summer Ever

This has been the happiest summer I can remember in a long time. It was fabulous in so many ways! Beth gave me the idea of re-capping my summer with a few photos. Here goes:

I attended Obama's speech in St. Paul

Weather this summer was fantastic, and if I remembered to water them, my flowers did great.

Super fun reunion with my pals

Another fun reunion - former students and staff - approx 20 years since we'd all seen each other

Great vacation at Lutsen - I'd go back any day

Raised a family of baby wrens in our bird house

Actually worked on writing my autobiography. Why? Because I'm in my 50's and feeling reflective. Do NOT look for this in any bookstores, ever.

Son and Girlfriend got engaged!

Had lots of time for sewing, and gathered 30 quilts to take to Rosebud.

Life-altering mission trip to Rosebud & Pine Ridge

Fun family times; swimming, boating; beautiful days & beautiful sunsets

My mom is in good health!

In one more week I go back to work, so it's time to say farewell to my free time and my most enjoyable summer in recent memory. I love fall, but it's sad to see the end of a great summer. I hope yours was great, too.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I made a BLT, and the tomato spoke to me.

Today I received these lovely red/white blocks from Claire. Remember, my challenge goes through August 31, and someone will win a little prize. Send me some blocks if you can!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Improved Wonkiness

I've made a few more Fungly blocks and have had no problem making them wonky. I'm in more of a wonky mood today, so there you go. Not sure where this is headed...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fungly Challenge!

I have a hard time resisting Tanya's challenges. I decided to try some Fungly blocks. Here are my first two. I chose Shoo Fly, one of my favorite blocks. You know what's crazy about this? These are so "poorly made" (no measuring.. just whacking at approximately the right size) - yet my eye is reading them as almost correct! I don't want this project to look like I just don't know how to put a block together. I want my wonkiness to look intentional! I hope when they're all together it'll have the look I want.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lone Star

I bought this quilt in a gallery at Rosebud Reservation. I need to add a hanging sleeve; then it will hang in my living room and remind me of the awesome time I had at Rosebud.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Almost Normal at # 300!

It's my post #300! I just happened to notice that today... I didn't do any big giveaway or celebration. I think I'm just celebrating the 300th by being back home and almost back to normal after an amazing week at Rosebud Reservation.

Five of us from my church went and joined a larger team from my sister's church. It was a wonderful experience. The needs at Rosebud are enormous. Tree of Life ministry works there in a relief agency role and does a lot of good stuff. All our jobs were organized through them. They have a thrift shop and food kitchen. In the shop people pay $1 and get two bags: one to fill with clothing and stuff from the shop, the other with food. They can only take one of each food item. The needs are so deep that they need to ration things in that way to make sure that everyone gets a chance to get something.

I could go on and on about how destitute the entire region is, but I'd actually rather not. My goal here is not to inspire pity. The people there are so gracious and gentle. They are very spiritual and kind-spirited. This in no way implies that they are happy being poor. My take on them as a people is that they have maintained their respect, generosity, and high ideals of years gone by when they were a strong nation. Now they have enormous problems to cope with, but have kept those qualities that make them admirable.

The issues are very complex, and there is not a clear solution to the many problems that exist. I can't begin to be an expert, but I'm so glad I went and learned what I could in my short week there. I definitely gained more in education and spiritual growth than I gave in my little bit of manual labor. It was such a meaningful trip that I hope to go again next year. We already have a team leader (thank you, Beth), and are starting to talk about our hopes and plans for next year.

After my week of physical labor (lifting boxes, moving things around, sorting through donations, painting a house, serving meals, sorting through a zillion books, and even sewing) I came home exhausted and have slept like a log: nine hours last night and a couple hours of a deep nap today. Shows you how unused to physical labor I am!! I managed to lose one pound over the week. It could have been more except that the woman who prepared our meals is an excellent cook, and I ate like a horse!

Now I need to get back to my real life and see how much I can get done in the woefully short time I have before I return to work full time. Waaah! The summer flew by, and I'm not ready to go back. But I will say, this has been the most fabulous summer I have enjoyed in many years. I'm very thankful for that.


the guest house where volunteers stay

working in the thrift shop back room

downtown Mission, South Dakota

one of our speakers

stocking shelves

one day I worked in the sewing room and made a pillow and these 2 quilts

monument at Wounded Knee

painting a house

Friday, August 08, 2008

Our Last Day

What an experience! We just love working here; all five of us have promised to come back again next year. It is hard to explain this experience in words. We'll be home soon and will explain our week at church and with pictures. Can't wait to tell you about it, as best we can.
beth r
beth j
All of us totally amazed

Monday, August 04, 2008

Another Day at Rosebud

They say the sky here is very big, and it IS an amazing sky. Somehow also the sun beats down hotter than it seems to at home. Temperatures have been in the 80s, but it feels hotter than that. We have been lucky, though. At night a cool breeze has come up, and is sooo refreshing. Last week they tell us it was 105 degrees. We are glad we are here this week and not last week!!

We have done a variety of jobs such as stocking shelves, unloading boxes, building an accessibility ramp, loading trucks, and today I am sewing quilts, curtains, and pillows. Later tonight we will hear more about what the other small groups are doing. There is great need for just about everything here. People appreciate our efforts. Tonight we are going to participate in a sweat lodge. They say it is usually a very moving experience.

Being here has already been a beautiful experience and touching to the soul. Already it is hard to explain this in words! I feel like my heart is being hugged and I'm kind of weepy with no apparent reason. Amazing.

Our First Day

We made it! It was a long drive, but we enjoyed good conversation and the changing scenery. Sunday night we had an orientation and talked about the jobs that will need our attention. It's a whole variety of things. Today I worked in the Thrift Shop. We unloaded boxes and boxes and boxes of donated goods. People come into the shop, pay a dollar, and can pick and choose from the clothing and other items that are stocked in the store. It was quite amazing. We were busy all day restocking shelves and collecting empty hangars in order to stock more. The undies that my church donated were GREATLY appreciated. New items are kept behind a counter so that everyone gets a chance to pick just one at a time. Some of our other team members were out with a construction crew. I am eager to hear about where they went and what they did. Soon I'm heading back to our home away from home to hear all the stories. Wish I could write more, but my time is limited. I'll try to catch up again soon!

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Tomorrow morning shortly after the crack of dawn, five of us from my church are heading off to Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. We will be working on whatever projects they have lined up for us... could be any number of jobs such as painting, visiting elders in a nursing home, sorting school supplies, feeding the homeless, playing with children, etc. We are joining my sister's church team from another town, so altogether we'll be about 30-35 strong. I am hoping for a wonderful learning experience and hope to do something that's useful.

We are carrying along a couple dozen quilts, a bunch of donated clothing, books, fabric, shoes, underwear, etc. Here's my husband, the magician, packing it all neatly into my tiny car. Who knew it could hold so much!?

If possible, I'll check in and give a couple of updates as the week goes on. In the meantime, your thoughts and good wishes coming our way are appreciated! Catch 'ya later, alligator!