not what you'd expect

well, we spend time planning our day, week, holiday, etc... and you know what?  it just doesn't always turn out the way we think it will.  sometimes it is better... and sometimes it is not.  profound, huh?  well, the last few weeks were not as i had planned.  the week prior to thanksgiving, we had a small (ok, moderate +) family emergency.  my son had an accident up in new york, and we left town the next day to be with him.  the nurse assured me (when she called me from the trauma center, yup) that he was alright.  they were going to do x-rays, and mri's, and whatever other tests they needed to do.  "he is ok, and he wanted me to call you.  he thought you would 'freak out'.  oh, they did bring him in on a helicopter, too. but he is alright."  just what a momma wants to hear, right?  he is an amazing kid (not that he is really a 'kid' anymore... he is 23 now... but he is MY kid!)  he is in his third year at west point (aka the united states military academy).   we made our way up there the next morning and arrived 9.5 hours later.  he was ok.  he was in pain.  he was on pain meds.  he was my boy.  i love him, what can i say?  10 days later and 2 hospitals (one civilian & one military) we are back home and he is back in his dorm/barracks.  he has an amazing God watching over him.  he has a broken shoulder blade.  we have been told many times over the past week and a half... the shoulder blade is one of the hardest bones in the body to break.  it will heal on its own while all the muscles around it hold it in place.  just have to put up with the pain for a little while.  he has some nerve damage to his brachial plexus.  it is affecting his finger movement.  he has a lot of physical therapy to do.  and he has to be patient.  we are praying for a total recovery.  this may not come for months.  but, we know already how blessed he has been.  we are greeting the future with a smile and open arms.  bring it on.

Me and my boy, Tone, in September while he waited to go skydiving... he is an adventurous soul.  


good busyness

the last week has been a busy one.  a good busyness.  so much was going on around here.  this year i was the banquet chairperson for an amazing ministry called Young Life.  it is an international ministry that reaches out to high school kids right where they are.  they don't have to come looking for Jesus, he is right there in the leaders who show up to help kids, encourage them, cheer them on, be their friends.  i could go on and on, but check out the website to find out more. we have an annual fundraising banquet to cover the cost of the ministry in our area for the new year.  ours was monday.  about 100 folks attended, and we raised a good portion of the budget.

the theme was 'all hands on deck' so we decorated with nautical stuff (thanks to some good friends who came up with the table and banquet decor! great job cathy & andrea!)

and in the middle of preparing for the banquet... we had to do a little work on my 'new' ride.  so, with my husband teaching me, we removed the by-pass tubing which carries the antifreeze to cool the engine (at least that is what I think).  in the process, i was able to get the best picture yet of my truck...

what can i say?  there is just nothing i dislike about that picture.  but... maybe i should move on to what else i have been working on...

quiltin' on the baby quilt.  this has taken a back burner while prepping for the banquet. but... now i am back on track.  i hope.  i think.


my 'new' ride

every since i can remember i have loved old trucks.  pick-up trucks.  i can't remember how many times i have seen an old truck and thought how awesome it was.  well....  just last week, my husband saw an old truck along his route to work and stopped to check it out.  it is a 1964 Ford F-100 white pickup truck.  sure there is a little rust.  there are a few things that need to be fixed up.  but, seriously, what after 46 years of use doesn't need a little work.  did i mention that my husband was also built, i mean born in 1964?  that is neither here or there.  what is amazing, is that phil, the love of my life, the man of my dreams, let me buy that ole truck!!  so now, here is my new ride.

i got to drive it around today.  went to the store and got some groceries.  it is just fun.  what can i say, weird, i know.

it has a lot of knobs... but not alot of bells and whistles...

now, if you are thinking that is the air conditioner knob... think again.  it just opens a vent on the dashboard and lets air flow through when the truck is in motion.

remember when we only had am radio?  come on, i know some of you do.  my favorite station as a kid was WROV in roanoke, virginia.

little look inside.  time to take my husband out to eat for being such a great guy.  he deserves it even without the new old truck.


on the go early

friday. the beginning of the weekend.  yay!  but first, i had to get up before the sun, send my son off to school, and hit the road to an early morning appointment for a mammogram.  i hadn't been to this location before.  they treat you right... nice robe, choices of hot tea, comfy furniture, and relaxing music... it was like when someone tries to sweet talk ya before they drop the real news.  it's not so bad.  i survived and would encourage all women to have a mammogram done routinely.  and try to find a lovely place like i did.  you might as well enjoy yourself, right?

progress was made on the quilt...

i did take a break in the middle of the day to help my son a little bit.  he wanted to make cupcakes for his girlfriend for her birthday.  so, he found a recipe online and then made them from scratch.  no box mixes here!

he filled the mini cupcake tins with 2/3 of batter, then colored the rest pink and piped it into the center of the plain batter.  they turned out great!  not bad for a 16-year old guy, huh?


biscuit quest

i have had the desire to make some fluffy delicious biscuits.  if you grow up in the south (virginia for me) then you grow up eating biscuits.  that's just the way it is.  and ya love them, too.  smothered in sausage gravy, mmmmm.  anyway...  i have made biscuits, but they are just never like i want.  they are good, but not nearly as light and fluffy as they need to be.  so, i am going on a biscuit quest.  well, a biscuit recipe quest, really, to find the perfect biscuit.  today i made biscuits from a recipe i found in better homes & garden magazine.  here are the ingredients:

They turned out better than my previous ones.  these were tasty, but still not as light as i would like.  here is the recipe if you would like to give it a try.  i worked hard to not overwork the dough.  this might be a skill i need to work on as well.  they were nice and golden brown.  i think i will toast some for breakfast tomorrow.  with butter and honey.  is it morning yet??

yesterday i put all my pieces together for the baby quilt.  my daughter helped me while she was home.  thank goodness, because it was a little confusing.  there are so many colors and patterns going on.  but i love they way it is looking.

today i have started sewing all the blocks together.  it is really coming together nicely!  i will be quilting in no time.   and (this has nothing to do with quilting) they are calling for snow flakes tomorrow!  yikes! better get my son some sweatshirts since he has out grown last years.  i think he is going to be kinda chilly going to school.


lots of pieces...

on saturday, i finished getting all the fabric i needed for the new baby quilt from sew to speak.  it is the sweetest little fabric store around.  the quilt is going to be so cute... i hope. :-)  here is the inspiration fabric which is from 'boys will be boys' by david walker.

how cute is that?  so, the quilt is made of 48 - 8" blocks and 48  6.25" circles...

sew the circles to the squares,

 then cut all the squares into quarters...

now, trim the extra material under the circle so that you don't have the patterns showing through... all my extra little pieces...

my dog, cooper, likes to sit on the steps just above where i am working.  it's a cute face to look up to when i am sewing or painting.

i found the instructions for this quilt on cluck, cluck, sew in the tutorial section (i loooove this site, by the way).  the quilt is called raw edge circle quilt.  my next step is to take all the quarters, put them back into mixed squares, and sew them back together.  hopefully, i will have a full morning to work on that tomorrow.  look for an update tomorrow.


Halloween Fun

it's that goblin time of the year.  when all the cute kids around our neighborhood dress up in all kinds of imaginative costumes.  this year was no different.  except for one thing.... my good friend, Ellen, decided she was going to dress up at work as the breast cancer awareness ribbon.  not a bad idea, right?  she bought 3 yards of pink felt to make something.  trouble is, she then decided she didn't know how to make the idea she had in her head. so she called me on wednesday.  she needed the ribbon costume for work friday morning... so she needed it ready thursday night (last night).  :-)  i love ellen.  she's the best.  so here is what i did...

i cut out a sort of dress form.

used pinking shears to trim all the edges... to make it look a little fancier.  ok, ok, i know it is felt.  for a costume.  but i just couldn't help myself.

then i sewed the edges together using a zigzag stitch.  it matched the cutting from the pinking shears.  and i cut a v-shaped opening at the neck.

then i added a large pink ribbon in the front middle.  ellen added one to the back after she picked it up.

while i was working on the costume... my dog laid around staring at me.  i think he was wishing he could go for a walk.  no such luck.  it was almost time for the trick-or-treaters!

our neighbors have a nice little fire to roast hotdogs & marshmallows before and after the kids go collecting their loot.  it is fun.  however, last night was freezing.  brrrrrr. so my husband dressed me up in his uniform for the evening so i wouldn't be so cold.  it worked!  it was nice and toasting.  and i looked like i had planned a costume.

my daughter come home to help hand out the candy and check out the parade of goblins.  it was a good day.  hope your halloween is full of treats and not so much trickery!


Workspace Love

having a space to create things is so wonderful.  my family has all had the need to use 'my' space at one time or another.  for fun, for school projects, for wedding preparations, and more.  I use it for painting, card making, sewing, scrapbooking, and, oh, we have even used it for thanksgiving dinner one year when we had a crowd!  here are some things I love about this space:

lots of paintbrushes in the sunshine

plenty of acrylic paints from which to choose

cubbies for odds & ends... and an extra plug which has come in sooooo handy!

A place to store canvas and roles of fabric, etc
primitive 'dolls' which I love!  made by erika crawford. 

the craft table my husband made me years ago went through a makeover last Christmas when he and my children added the cubby holes and a storage area for my floorcloths under the tabletop so I can lay them flat when I am not working on them.  it is fabulouso.  it is great for cutting out fabric pieces for, oh, quilts and sewing projects.  and... I am almost finished with the floorcloth I started last week.  once i have the 5+ coats of polyurethane on, it will be time to move to its new home at TH's house!  here is a peek at what it looks like now:

I should receive the new fabric today which I need to start a quilt for a friend having a baby soon.  I will share that tomorrow.  I can't wait!  yay!  oooooooo, the mailman just dropped it off at the door.... gotta go....


My Canning Man

first, let me just say, this is what you want to read when you arrive in your kitchen after your daughter has been home to visit:

it as delicious!  scrumptious!  we ate it all and wanted more.  anna, come back and make us more!

now, what I was going to discuss to begin with... canned vegetables.  it just sounds good.  fresh.  organic.  green.

I always have high hopes for having a garden full of bright and delicious vegetables, which my husband & I would then can... then eat throughout   the cold winter months.  a girl can dream.  but this year, with our daughter's wedding, I informed my husband that I just couldn't keep up with the garden.  soooo, he took it on.  planted tomatoes (grape, roma, some other large variety), peppers (bell & hot), cucumbers, squash, green beans, beets, lettuce, and even a couple watermelon plants.  not everything wanted to grace us with yummy goodness though.  some beetles ate up the green beans.  a mean fungus attacked our squash & cucumber plants... and if that wasn't bad enough - a nasty little bug decided to have a feast on the vine of both of those plants and killed them dead.  our lettuce was bitter, and the peppers didn't really impress us much.  BUT, our beets were great!  we had beets galore.  and our tomatoes did well... we even had volunteers (those we didn't plant, but they grew from last year's plants) join the garden.  yellow pear tomatoes.  in july, I helped my sweet husband can some of our beets.

then in August, my husband gathered all the fresh tomatoes and canned them while I was out of town.  and just last week, he took all the tomatoes left and canned those as well.

I really will have some canned veggies to use during those cold, snowy winter nights!

all because i have a canning man.  i love that guy!