Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Door Knocking

Four years ago I did some political campaign work. I felt motivated by my fears of where this country was headed, so I did some phone calling, door knocking, even recruiting people for joining a neighborhood campaign group. I was terrible at it! I hated it! I only did it because I cared about what was going on.... enter my daughter, four years later. She is doing the same thing, but she is getting paid to do it (by her union). And she is VERY GOOD at it. She LOVES it. I can't imagine... but it is fun to hear her excitement about all the work she is doing. And she is getting results! I couldn't really say that about my feeble efforts.

Isn't it fun when our children grow up and become so accomplished in something we can't do?!

Yesterday I walked 1.5 miles. Today I didn't walk. I've been hit and miss for a while with my exercising, but I'm not giving up!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Quilty Weekend - Yes!

Another weekend comes to a close. At least I had a fun weekend, for the most part. Friday was my birthday, so we went out for pizza to a new place near our house. My pizza was delicious! And it was fun to see a lot of people I knew out and about in the lovely evening air, walking around the neighborhood. Afterwards I watched the presidential debate while I sewed.

It was great to finally get in some sewing time! I made the little bird quilt for Ami's Alzheimers Art Quilt Initiative. I have been meaning to do one for a long time and finally got one made with a little push from Tonya.

My church has a small bazaar/boutique during a turkey dinner event, and I'm making some table runners to sell there. This is the first one I finished. I have another one in the works, and others in my little brain. I hope I get a good number of them done!

Today I enjoyed a lovely nap while hubby watched football and golf on TV. Now it's time to hit the Sunday Night Panic Laundry that gets me ready for the week.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Water Aerobics

photo by GarfieldTheLazyCat

I started my water aerobics class tonight. It was fun! (I love to swim, so just being in the pool felt wonderful.) We all pretty much looked like this picture - floating pandas. Real beauties.

I'll have to figure out how to convert the swimming to miles, so I can add to my 100-mile walk to the quilt shop.

Tomorrow is my birthday! Back when I was young, I thought my current age was a very old person. But inside, I'm still young, and life is good. Have a great weekend! (I'm hoping to get some sewing time - as the birthday girl I think I deserve it.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Miss My Sewing Machine!

You may think I have been sewing, due to the pictures I posted here. You're only a tiny bit correct. I did not sew the squares above -- I only added the French knots by hand. These are for Caron's project, And Still Counting. Read about it here. She had the big quilt on display during the RNC.. very near my office, but I did not make it over there to see it in person (I wish I had). This is a picture I borrowed from Caron's site.

I have not had much time for sewing lately, and it is driving me nuts. I actually had not even touched my sewing machine in 11 days! To me that is an eternity. Tonight I sat down and made these two heart blocks. They are Heart Hugs for a Sunshine member whose father recently died. She asked for John Deere colors to honor her father's memory. How do you think I did on the John Deere look?

I hope to get in more sewing time this next weekend. I'm crossing my fingers!

no exercise for the last two days, other than about a mile that I clocked during my daily work routines - I'm not counting that toward my total

Monday, September 22, 2008

Gorgeous at the Lake

Last weekend I went to the lake for our annual cousins reunion. We always meet at the cabin(s) and have a great time together. We read a book and discuss it and, of course, enjoy great food, laughs, conversation, and fun. It's such a beautiful time of year for a little break at the cabin. The lake was just gorgeous! Though it doesn't show well in this picture, the leaves were starting to turn, more than they are around here (it's further north). Wish I could have stayed several more days!

As for my walking progress, I'll admit, I did my usual... started an exercise program and then sabotaged myself (stopped walking and started eating). Today I got back on track and walked about 1.5 miles. It felt great. Wish me luck on keeping it up (again).

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Dad - World Alzheimer's Day

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative: Raising Awareness & Funding Research

My Dad had Alzheimers. We were lucky that it was a late onset, and he never got to the point of forgetting us. When he died at age 86 of congestive heart failure, he was just starting to slip in really noticeable ways.

I made this virtual patch in memory of my dad. He was a great guy, and so loving and sweet and funny. I miss him a lot!

See the Alzheimers Art Initiative here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Please, No!!

I loooove this picture! It was taken at a rally in Alaska, where they know. I borrowed it from here:
(thanks, Happy)

Did you know? -- Palin has done everything she can to deny Alaska native peoples of their subsistence hunting and fishing rights that are guaranteed by federal law. She is still pursuing challenges of the subsistence laws in court. Why? So rich, white people can enjoy sport hunting and fishing. Please notice the difference: subsistence (staying alive) vs. sport (going out for a good time). Arrgghh!

Think about this: our reputation in the world has gone to the toilet. Who can help fix this? Obama who is intelligent, caring, friendly, and understands the issues? Or McCain who is a Bush-carbon-copy and his buddy Palin who has ZERO know-how in foreign relations? They both strike me as people who want to turn the clock back to 1940. I'm sorry, but those times were not good for anyone other than rich, white men. Let's fix our future, not long for our past.

PLEASE vote on Nov. 4, and put on your thinking cap before you do so.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Baby Ben!

Guess where I got to go today... to visit Ben! He was born on Aug 31. His mommy is my co-worker. Ben came five weeks early, so he is still tiny. I'm happy to report that he is doing just fine. He weighs about 6 lbs now.

He was so nice to let me cuddle him today. He just sleeps, mostly, but I did manage to catch a bit of open eye peeking at me for a minute. What a doll!

By the way, that little quilt is a preemie quilt given to Ben by the hospital. It was made by a group of quilters from Baldwin, Wisconsin. I think the hat was a donated gift as well.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fast Weekend

The weekend went too fast!
Friday night I was so tired, I can't even remember what I did. Probably rested until it was time to go to bed.
Starting at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, I sewed all day with fellow guild members.
Attended a funeral for a very kind, generous, funny, and wise man. (I'm so glad we knew him - he will definitely be missed.)
Sunday went to church.
Cleaned a little in anticipation of a visit from son and girlfriend.
Ate dinner and had a nice chat with above.
Took a nap.
Daughter came over and gave us more junk. (She's moving.)
And suddenly it is Sunday evening, time to do laundry for work clothes, and time to think about the work week coming back 'round the mountain. Dang.

Here's one of the projects I finished on Saturday... a quilt that was started by a woman from Illinois while we were at Rosebud. I offered to finish it for her. I'll send it back to Rosebud this week. (It's super soft.)

And I finished my "Methodist Quilt!" (In the center is a quote from John Wesley, the founder of Methodism -- 'Do all the good you can.')

I have missed a couple of days of my walking routine, but I have progressed 25 miles on my 100-mile goal of "walking to my favorite quilt shop." I'm 1/4 of the way there!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Famous Brother

If you read me now and then, you know that I went to Rosebud Reservation in August. I had a profound experience, and so did my fellow travelers. Beth, for example, wants to keep helping Rosebud as she can. She is asking for donations of underwear! (for Rosebud, not for herself! haha) In exchange, she will draw the name of a winner to receive a signed copy of her brother's new book, "Leper." Her brother is Steve Thayer! Have you read any of his books? I have not. But I hear that his readers are big fans. His stories are set in lovely St. Paul, Minnesota!

Please consider donating some undies to Beth! It would mean a lot to me, too, if you would help us help Rosebud. Click here to get started on your undies donation.

Today Beth talked about where she was on 9/11/01, so I will, too. I was driving to a community college. I can tell you exactly where I was on the road when I heard on the radio that a plane had hit the World Trade Center tower. I pictured a little prop engine plane going *boink* and falling to the sidewalk. Maybe a few people dead or injured. Sad.

I got to where I was going, and the teacher I was working with kept coming out of his office with more reports. He was listening to the radio, and I swear I thought he had grossly misunderstood something. I couldn't wait to go listen for myself so I could figure out the *real* story. It was just too much to comprehend.

By the end of the day when I knew the awful story was true, I felt so sad, I was close to throwing up.

Here is something I like to do on 9/11's since then -- I leave a book in a random spot with a little message that it's for whoever finds it. I tell whoever it is that it's my simple way of honoring each other and the unity we felt at that time. Today I left a book on top of the newspaper stand near the post office. Oh... speaking of books, go back and read my first paragraph about how to win Steve Thayer's newest book!! And then go buy a pair of undies.

Today I rode my bicycle 3 miles; as soon as I got back into the house, it started pouring rain

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Andrea and the Cathedral - and my son!

I'm adding this a few hours after I wrote the below stuff. I can't believe I forgot to mention my favorite son! Today is his birthday! He is 22 years old. He is such a wonderful young man. I am terribly proud of him. Isn't he cute? Here he is last spring with my other favorite guy: my hubby. They are both adorable. [gush, gush]

Andrea H-M sent some gorgeous red/white blocks. They arrived today, one day after I chose a winner's name. Oh, I'm so sorry Andrea's name didn't get included in the drawing. Aren't her blocks wonderful???

Andrea, I am going to send you a home-made checkbook cover. I think you told me that you were sending blocks, and then I forgot. I could have waited another day. So you're getting a small version of the prize I sent out.

Today at work I happened upon this view of the St. Paul Cathedral. I used to take a lot of pictures of the cathedral back when I was posting a photo a day of St. Paul. I always loved finding unusal views of the cathedral. This one would have qualified.

no work-out today - but I walked up 4 flights of stairs again

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A Completed Challenge!

This red/white challenge has been VERY successful. Thank you so much to everyone who contributed blocks! I have a pile of 46 beautiful blocks that I will send to Clare very soon. And I have a nice pile here for me to make at least another couple of tops. What a great success!! Lots of kids will enjoy the cuddles that we all created together.

The above picture is the final blocks that arrived yesterday and today (from Barb, Susan, and Heather). At least I am not aware of any more that are en route. So... I have drawn the name of a lucky winner!

The winner will get the fall colors gifts that I posted on Sept 6... a FQ, two embellishment doo-dads, and a checkbook cover made by moi. I happen to know that the winner no longer carries a checkbook, but that's OK. She can re-gift the checkbook cover if she wants.

Have you guessed? Heather? Do you know I am talking about you??? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the winner is Heather S. of Kansas!!!! Thank you for playing and thanks again to everyone. You are ALL winners for helping the kids so generously.

Here's my 'get fit' report that impresses even me: today I walked 1.5 miles, and I walked up 4 flights of stairs instead of using the elevator, AND, drum roll please, I registered for a water-aerobics class through community ed. Other people are going to see me in a swim suit! Eeeek!

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Winner

Fooled you! I will not announce the winner of my red/white challenge just yet. I am still expecting some red/white blocks in the mail, so the winner will be announced in a couple of days.

Today I walked 1.5 miles.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Dorothy's Fabric

Dorothy has gifted me again. Dorothy was the mother-in-law of a woman at my church. Dorothy passed away a couple years ago, and right away I was given huge piles of fabric that they found in her house. Some of it I shared with Sunshine folks, and we all made some decent kid quilts out of the assorted fabrics I was given.

Now they found a ton more fabrics and some in-progress quilts in her attic. I got to see one of the quilts that was almost done. It was very nice; I would have been proud to inherit that one. But, not knowing Dorothy or anyone in her family at all, I was not a logical recipient of her quilts. I did, however, get a big box of fabrics today.

I sorted through and am going to give some of it to my guild to sell at our store during the quilt show in February. Look at these funky fabrics! Aren't they reminiscent of the 60's?! Peace and love, sister. I found a funny receipt among these fabrics. It is from 1965; wouldn't we love those prices today! One piece of cotton was 59 cents a yard. A piece of wool was $1.50 per yard.

This is the pile of fabrics I am keeping for my own and for give-away quilts. On the top of the pile is some denims that I will use for making tote bags. There is a lot of shirting fabric here, and I'm thinking I will find lots of use for this at Bonnie's site. Bonnie would probably drool over all the shirtings I got! I'm going to let all these fabrics simmer for a while. After I have time to ponder and plan, I'll start using them. Won't that be fun?? Thank you for the nice fabrics, Dorothy. We didn't know each other, but I am having fun looking at what you packed into your attic and finding your little notes and thinking about what you might have planned to do with all this fabric. I'm lucky I get to play with it now!

Oh, sad report: no workout on Friday or Saturday, and today it is Sunday at 4:30 p.m. and I still have not had a Sunday workout. There is still time, however. Do you think I will still get in a work-out today?.

Later: I did it! I walked 2 miles. I'm glad I did (my commenting visitors were right.) And.. I want to add this link. It is where I found that sock-doll pattern that I made the other day.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Fall Colors

Since it is nearing fall, I decided that the prize I give away for participating in my red/white challenge will be fall colors.

So here's a nifty FQ and a couple of fallish embellishments. Then, do you know what the thing on the left is? It may be something you used to use and now no longer do. Or maybe you still do and it is very familiar to you. I got the idea of making these at this blog:

They are checkbook covers! So fun to make, now that it is the 21st century and I hardly ever use my checks. Darn. I am going to make some anyway, and hope they sell at my church bazaar. Surely there are still people who carry around checkbooks. Do you??

Friday, September 05, 2008

Sobering Sight

On my way home from work tonight I came upon this accident. It seemed to be very recent, although I had not heard or seen it happen. The police had just arrived and started directing traffic, and the ambulance was arriving from the other direction. This blurry photo shows an SUV turned on its side, and I believe there was someone inside with injuries. It was a sobering sight. Believe it or not, as I drove away, I had an impatient driver right on my tail, eager to get wherever she was going and giving me no breathing room. Hadn't the accident been a sobering sight for her?? I was glad when I got to turn off, and she zoomed away in her little hurry-up world.

I received these red/white blocks from Tracey B. Thanks, Tracey! This challenge will end in just a few days. Are you eager to see who is going to win the little prize??

No workout today except for some moving around of a ton of books at work.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Walking to my Favorite Quilt Shop

photo by Juria Yoshikawa

I decided to keep a running total of how many miles I have walked since joining the Crafty Creative & Fit group. So far it is 17 miles. My favorite quilt shop, Aunt Annie's in Avon, Minnesota, is about 100 miles away. When I have walked 100 miles "to Aunt Annie's," I will have some sort of celebration. Don't know what it will be.. I'll think of something.

Thanks to hubby for taking me (by insistence) for a walk today, I walked about 1.5 miles. Too tired to do any more than that!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Sock Doll

Wow, yesterday I was so wordy! Today I was smarter about maneuvering around the RNC traffic and roadblocks. And I had a better day in general. I sure am liking the cold front that came through! OH, yeah! Let's have this weather for a while now.

I decided to make a doll out of a sock. This is my first-ever attempt. She has really long arms! I wonder how a doll like this would look with NO arms? The arms were kind of a hassle. I had fun braiding her hair, though. Do you think I should make some French knots for eyes, or just leave her face blank?

today I walked 2 miles

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Difficult Start

I've been back at work for a few days, but today was our first day with students. It started off with a real shocker -- one of the teachers in my program had a baby over the weekend. The baby was born 5 weeks early, so it was completely unexpected. (Baby is doing well and will probably get to go home in a week.) Teacher-Mom had thought she'd have time to get ready for her leave and even to help the district locate a sub for her. But the baby had other ideas! That left ME suddenly in charge of a meeting with a new student and the student's mom. I had not been anticipating being in charge of this meeting, and was not well prepared! I came off looking pretty dorky, I'm afraid.

A second teacher is also out, having had emergency eye surgery over the weekend. This is all on top of big staff cuts we suffered last spring, but we are working with the same number of students. So.. to start off the year short and then two of the staff we had left were suddenly out.. it was quite a shocker.

After my not-so-well-done meeting, I went off to a college site to work with another student. I got a ride there so we could consolidate and have as few of us as possible trying to drive through Republican National Convention detours and roadblocks. I went about my work, and afterwords I decided to attempt to walk back to my office. It's only two miles, and I thought it would be a good way to get some exercise and see some of what is going on around the convention site, and not have to bug anyone at work to come pick me up.

Well.. joke was on me, as even pedestrian traffic was detoured every which way. I ended up on sidewalks that I didn't even know existed, got rained on, and finally ended up walking along the Mississippi River (the wrong side) where there was no stairway up to the bridge I needed to cross. I didn't get to see any convention goings-on, but I did see LOTS of well-armed police and other uniformed security type people in riot gear.. something I had never seen in my quiet little city.

After a walk of nearly an hour, and my feet in rotten sandals that hurt, I gave up and called my office and asked someone to come get me. By then I had managed to find my way to a place that was not blocked off, and I knew someone could drive there. I don't know how far I walked to make it the two miles to my office. More than two miles, that's for sure! And never did make it to where I was going.

Tomorrow I'll have to be more creative (or maybe less creative) when I need to go out and about. Wish me luck! And I hope I don't have to be in charge of any more meetings where I feel totally unprepared! Not a good feeling.........

Things can only get better from here, right??

Oh.. and here's an FYI from a person who loves St. Paul (me) ... if you see on TV violent protests and lots of police in riot gear making arrests, that's what the news media is showing you. It's a *small* part of what's going on. Most people are behaving properly and protesting legally and appropriately, if at all. Please don't think we're all a bunch of hoodlums here!

walked over 2.5 miles today

Monday, September 01, 2008

Goodbye, Long Weekend!

I had a super 5-day weekend! What a treat! Now it's back to reality.

Today I puttered around. I cleaned off another table top! I didn't do much sewing, but I did finish some partially-done crumb blocks. Look at this big pile of crumbs! I need another 5-day weekend so I can play with all these blocks and make some quilts for kids!

I got right on the stick and made my Lotto blocks for September. Brown this month. I don't have much brown on hand, so this is all I'm making.

Have a great week, everyone, and may the school year be happy and productive!

no work-out today