Monday, June 30, 2008

A Cool Award

This lovely statue is called the "Arte y Pico" award which was created to be given to bloggers who inspire others with their creative energy and talents no matter whether it be in the form of writing, artwork, design, interesting material, or contributions to the blogger community. When a blogger receives this award it is considered a "special honor" and, once presented to you, it is to be passed on to at least 5 other bloggers who meet the criteria.

Pinky at Cheese in My Shoe presented this terrific award to me! I am so flattered and honored she chose me for this! Pinky, of the purple hair, is mom to three adorable young 'uns, takes beautiful photos, and writes straight from the heart. Thanks so much, Pinky!

She beat me to the punch in nominating Steph from Conversations with Grace, who is mom to Grace, an incredible little girl, and Sarah from My Wonderful Life, who is a sewing, quilting nurse/mom of three special, cute kids and wife to a straight-talking veteran, so I must now find 5 more friends. Lettie from Polkadot Pineapple also received this award from someone else, or I would have chosen her, too. I'm glad all these folks have received it because they deserved it.

Now, my nominees are:

Mandy from 3 Kids, 2 Jobs, 1 Dog. This single mom is successfully raising 3 lovely daughters against many odds, and is able to do so with a great sense of humor. I love reading about her girls.

Libby from A Simple Girl is constantly fighting off squirrels in a beautiful garden, just welcomed home her daughter from the Air Force, paints lovely stencils on walls, and makes yummy recipes and sweet quilts in her spare time!

Jacquie of Tallgrass Prairie Studio is a teacher who has recently ventured into quilting, and wow! She makes some fun contemporary quilts using lots of color, which I love. You'd never know she was a "novice", as she calls herself.

Penny of Penny Quilts is a guardian ad litem and has some incredible insights into what makes families dysfunctional and how to help them, and makes amazing paper-pieced blocks with the sharpest points ever! Not to mention she has beautiful Samoyeds who sing to her.

Jennifer has a relatively new blog, (since March, as far as I can tell) Gardenymph where she displays photos of her beautiful children, is clearing out her garage to get started back in pottery (and she has a web page of what she's done), is a new quilter, and has started crocheting again. She is such a friendly gal and I think she should move into my geographical neighborhood.

Lori is a Dakota City Quilter, who helps her husband work the farm, volunteers at her Visitors Center, enjoys her new deck and does her quilting on a long arm machine, which is only one of MANY sewing machines she has collected! She is so faithful to set goals for the week and then report what she accomplished. I might have to take notes here!

I'm delighted when my Google reader shows posts from these ladies, because I know I will see some great photos and read bits and pieces of the lives of some creative women. If you go visit their blogs, I think you'll see what I mean!

Just Playing Around

I couldn't start another quilt just yet. I needed to just fool around, be a little creative and not adhere to a pattern for a bit. Yesterday added another 50 apron patterns and tutorials to the 54 already posted, and though I'm not much of an apron person, there were some cute ones.

This is my "Daisy Mae" rendition of one of their jeans half-apron patterns:

I had set aside a pair of J-Man's old jeans, thinking I should be able to do something with them. Years ago, I made a wheelchair bag from an old pair of jeans for an MS patient of mine. All the pockets came in very handy when it came time to take her anywhere. But when I saw those patterns on Tipnut, I knew exactly what to do. I even had some bandana-type fabric for the accents, right in my stash.

The ties are just a tad too short for me right now, so I may give it to DD, who's coming down this weekend. If she doesn't want it, someone at work probably will. It's a bit rough, since I was really winging it, but that's what makes it "Daisy Mae."
But that's okay. It was a lot of fun and that's what I was aiming for. Mission accomplished.

Oh, and on another note--I missed my own first blogiversary! I checked today, and my first post was June 21, 2007. This won't do. I must figure something out. Hmmmm....

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturday at the Movies

Okay, Movie Fans, here's a tough one for you!

I am a credit fanatic. I will sit in the theater after everyone has left, including my husband and friends, and watch the credits. Of course, that takes a little longer these days, since every Tom, Dick, and Jane who ever fetched a cup of coffee for someone must be listed. But there are rewards to remaining until the last possible second.

For example, did you know that in A Star is Born, the credits list Barbra Streisand's wardrobe as coming from "her closet"?

And for several years, there was a family of stuntmen with our last name--which is spelled differently than you'd expect. I don't know if they were any relation. And since I don't see them anymore, I figure they must have gotten too old for such a lifestyle.

Now, remember the old song, "Harper Valley PTA"? Well there was a supremely forgettable movie made in 1978 from the song. The best part was when a truckload of manure was dumped on a convertible.

Based on the credits, who supplied the manure???

Answer on Tuesday!

Friday, June 27, 2008


Inspired by a photo Pinky took last week, I went out into the yard with Tandi one morning after I got off work and took some pictures. One of them is my newest header.
Here are some of the others:

I love how this leaf looked like a fish:

The aforementioned dill stalk I cut to dry:

My garlic chives:

Hiding out under the trees:

My little shadow:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

After the Fast

Food tastes really good today. My before-meal blessing is not rote, because I truly am thankful for this food.

The June 23 post by Mrs. Goodneedle of From the Strawberry Patch sums it up very well for me: I'm going to use this myself.

I hope I can keep this feeling of gratitude and not slip back into taking so much for granted. Another thing to pray for.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fasting Journal

I stayed up til after midnight last night so I could get in a last munchie before the fast started. (Last munchie = Monkey Bites) Then I managed to sleep til almost 9am, thinking the longer I sleep, the less I'll think about food.

Trying to stay busy. Watered the plants, harvesting the handful of cherry tomatoes that are ripe today. Usually I eat a couple warm from the sun with a dash of salt, but this time they all go into the bowl in the fridge. The dill is falling over, so I snip the two long stalks so I can hang them upside down to dry. The scent brings pickles to mind and the salivary glands go into overdrive. So I fix a glass of iced tea (with Splenda, not sugar--no nutrients) and crush a couple of mint leaves into it for more flavor. It's not the same.

2:00 pm
Thank goodness it's time to take a nap for work; my stomach is growling loud enough to be heard 3 counties away. I wonder when Aduri's one meal of the day is. Breakfast, so she can get through the day? Lunch, to break the day up a bit? Or supper, so she can sleep well?

5:26 pm
I overslept! J-Man came and woke me up and I had to rush to get ready. I wonder if that is just avoidance or fatigue from not eating? He fixed a glass of tea for me again--I took my blood pressure medicine and my daily vitamin. I know they give the children supplements at the Center in her village--thanks to Compassion. I doubt the adults get them. How do they function?

My hands are shaking slightly, but the headache I woke with is gone. I do feel a little lightweight (!) but not dizzy or anything. I'm counting down the hours til midnight, and hoping I don't make any mistakes here at work.

The headache is back and I'm feeling hollow. It's a little hard to concentrate on what I'm doing because all I can think about is eating something. How do laborers do it on so little? Does it get easier? Do they get used to it?

So I just wolfed down an Arby's and some jalapeno poppers and half a diet coke in no time flat. I was getting a tad irritable and woe to the person who would try to get between me and the refrigerator! But I couldn't eat as much as I thought. And I wonder what it would have been like to only eat maybe a half bowl of rice and start the whole process over again. How depressing that must be.

As for the prayers, well, what does one pray for? Good harvest? Low oil prices? More financial aid? Strength and stamina for those afflicted to survive? Softening the hearts of those who are in control the world over? Greater awareness for the masses? All of the above. And in the meantime, do what I can.

If you decide to contribute to the Global Food Crisis Fund or sponsor a child through Compassion, would you let me know? Thanks.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Movie Trivia Answer

Well that one was way too easy, I guess.

Yes, it was Shirley Temple who was the youngest actor ever to be awarded an Honorary Oscar, in 1935 at the age of 6.

On April 23 of this year, Shirley Temple Black celebrated her 80th birthday.

Tatum O'Neal was the youngest actor ever to win an Oscar, in 1974, at the age of 10.

New question on Saturday!

Monday, June 23, 2008

More Compassion News

I've mentioned before about my efforts to lose weight, although I really look at it more as changing to a healthier lifestyle. It isn't easy for someone who just loves the taste of food. There isn't much I won't eat, and my philosophy has always been if one serving is good, 3 must be better. Diet pills won't work, because I don't eat because I'm hungry, I eat because. Or just, I eat.

That is why it is so difficult for me to imagine the effects of the current global food crisis. I cannot imagine not having food in the house, readily available for me to pop into my mouth anytime I want. I don't think I have ever REALLY been hungry in my life.

I read this on Compassion's site this week: "In Bangladesh more than 90 percent of the 12,179 children we serve in 82 Compassion-assisted centers are affected. Many children are eating only at the church-based center." Folks, my newest sponsored child, Aduri, lives in Bangladesh. This is one of the reasons I chose her--the adults in her community make an AVERAGE of $22/month as day laborers. My $32.00/month, barely more than a dollar a day, is more than most of their incomes. How do you feed a family of 6 on that? In my research on Bangladesh, I found that their hunger months are July, Aug, and Sept--the months we harvest fresh vegetables and fruits from our gardens and orchards. It is so hard for me to wrap my head around this.

You can help. Sponsor one of the many children Compassion has on their waiting list. Go look at those beautiful faces. Some of them smile with hope. Most do not. Compassion chooses one child per family, so they are able to help many families in a community. I have sponsored Dalia in El Salvador since Dec. 2000, and watching her grow in the pictures she sends me, the transition to letters in her own handwriting, learning about her interests and the efforts to teach her a trade so she won't fall prey to teen pregnancy or drugs--these are personal to me. She is not just one of the nameless, faceless many who need help. She prays for me and my family. Her favorite color is pink. She loves pizza.

Aduri has just started school. She's eight years old and her favorite color is red and she wants to be a doctor. She is very thin. I wonder if she will survive. I think about her eating rationed portions at the Center with the other children. She doesn't get second, much less third, helpings. Her siblings may not be eating at all. As a mother, I cannot conceive the pain and despair her parents must be feeling.
If you don't feel you can take on a sponsorship right now, there are other ways to help. Consider contributing to their Global Food Crisis Fund. This is what your donation will provide:
• food vouchers to children and families needing immediate relief.
• seeds and agricultural tools so that families can grow their own food as well as earn extra income.
• supplemental nutrition services offered at Compassion-assisted centers around the world.

I'm going to try fasting on Wed. I don't know if I'll be able to complete the whole day.

But then, I have that option.

Aduri doesn't.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Summer Poetry

Okay, scroll past this one to the movie trivia if you'd like. This is just a poem I wrote in July of 2000 for a message board challenge. I still like it, and thought I'd inflict it on anyone willing to bear with me.

Summer "Sense-ations"

Morning sunlight dappling my sheets.
Droning power saws and lawnmowers.
New freckles on a child's face.
Mimosa, wisteria and honeysuckle blossoms.
The sweet/sour taste of iced lemonade.

The infinite shades of green in the cottonwood leaves.
Watermelon juice trickling down my chin.
Cocoa butter.
The mesmerising patterns of lawn sprinklers.
Wet earth.

Afternoon naps under the richeting of an oscillating fan.
Airplane trails across a cerulean sky.
The white line between a new haircut and a seasoned tan.
Ripe, warm tomatoes eaten in the garden.
Freshly mown grass under my bare feet.

Hamburgers sizzling on the grill.
Locusts and crickets in symphony.
Buttercup deposits on a little girl's nose.
One last game of hide-and-seek in the deepening twilight.
The confortable silence between long-married couples, broken only by the creak of the front porch swing.

Saturday at the Movies

When the Academy Awards began, there were few categories (that's why it didn't take so long and people could get all their thank yous in before the orchestra started cutting them off).

As time went on, more categories were added to include different specialties, but in the beginning, they just awarded Honorary Oscars to special people.

Who was the youngest person ever to receive an Honorary Oscar?

Answer on Tuesday!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Movie Trivia Answer

Well, Steph and Pinky got it right--it was Sidney Poitier, as we all figured, but it was "Lilies of the Field" that won him his first Oscar. (My guess was "To Sir With Love")

Way to go, ladies! Thanks for playing along, everyone!

New Trivia Question on Saturday.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Great Giveaway!

Lettie of Polkadot Pineapple blogged about this giveaway and I had to check it out.

WOW! Prize is free longarm quilting on a quilt up to twin size! Count me in! Go on over and put your name in the pot, too.

I've never had anyone quilt for me, (of course, I haven't done many quilts, nor any I thought were good enough) but I have a top in mind that I think would qualify!

Crossing my fingers!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Saturday Movie Trivia

Okay this week's trivia is a little different.

Hattie McDaniel was the first black woman to win an Oscar for her performance in "Gone With the Wind."

Who was the first black man to win an Oscar and for what film?

No looking it up on IMDB, LIBBY! lol

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Natives are Restless Tonight

Well, it's 1:30 am at work, the air conditioning is off for 4 hours and we are out of fans. Patients are not happy. Maintenance is not happy. Nurses are not happy.

In addition, one of our nursing assistants was fired this week and is threatening employees, even calling some at home. One of the ICU nurses won't come in this weekend, because he has threatened her specifically. There is now a guard posted outside our unit, though what he will be able to do is beyond me, because they aren't allowed to carry weapons. Maybe harsh language will control the situation. Yep, that should do it.

If that wasn't enough, apparently one of our patients' husband is abusive and is threatening to come up here and shoot her. I heard her earlier on the phone, crying and telling him she will always love him, but she just can't take it anymore. Always love him? Are you kidding me?

I wish it were the dead of winter, since criminals don't like to come out in the cold. Usually.
I wish Hillary Clinton was here to see how I earn "too much money."
I wish everyone would go to sleep.
I wish I were (almost) anywhere but here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Visitor

Yesterday afternoon, as J-Man and I were getting ready for supper, I happened to glance out the kitchen window, which looks out onto the front yard, and saw a stranger strolling up the road in front of our house. As I raised the blinds for a closer look, he turned onto our lawn.

A wild turkey! I have never seen one before, much less in this neighborhood. J-Man said he once saw about 4 or 5 together, but not around here. He reminded me to grab the camera--oh, yeah, blog material!

I eased out the front door with it and snapped photos as he crossed the lawn. A neighbor driving by slowed to watch him also.

My back door neighbor, a single gal, has a Jack Russell Terrier named Buddy, who spends his days in a pen while Mom works.

Buddy and the turkey were unaware of each other for the moment.

Then the turkey gobbled a time or two, and Buddy woke up. I wish I'd been quick enough to get a shot of that turkey taking flight, because it was an amazing sight.

Maybe he'll be back.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Movie Trivia Answer

Steph knew this one!

"o/~ Pretty woman, walkin' down the street... o/~"

I remember reading that Nora Ephron had to fight to get that last exchange into the script; the one where Richard Gere asks "What happens after he rescues her?" And Julia Roberts says "She rescues him right back."

Yeah, it's about a prostitute and it's pure fantasy. But if ever two characters needed rescuing....
And that's what I love about this movie.

New, slightly different trivia question on Saturday.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Saturday Night at the Movies

Okay, an easy quote for this week:

"I appreciate this whole seduction thing you've got going on here, but let me give you a tip: I'm a sure thing."

I really don't think you'll need hints for this one, but if you do, I'll post one on Monday.

Otherwise, answers on Tuesday!

Trashed treasures

This morning seemed like a good time to go yard-sale hunting and I haven't been yet this year. I was hoping to find some vintage beads, buttons, laces, etc., but there was only one estate sale going on. However it was in a condo community and the streets were so narrow and parking so non-existent, especially with the "annual yard sale" going on there, I bagged it. Temperatures are soaring into the mid-nineties right now, and I had no desire to park at the entrance and hike the hilly neighborhood. I managed to live without whatever they had for sale.

But I hit a few others and brought home some goodies anyway:
A Christmas garden stake still in the box and with all the pieces:

It originally sold for $26.00 and I got it for $2.00.

Another Christmas gift box, tin bucket, ceramic bag, and tiny tin box:

I try to keep my eyes open for containers for candy and food gifts (containers I'm willing to let go) and these are in great condition.

Here's a closeup of that luminaria-type candle holder:

Cute little spice bottles and a copy of a magazine I've been wanting to peruse before subscribing:

Oh, and see the potato masher? I guess I was more aware of it because of this recipe that I plan to fix tonight. And I'm thinking those little bottles might make great gifts when filled with oil flavored with herbs from my deck garden.

More reading material:

These great plant stands for $5.00--for both:

A vintage, heavy, greenish glass bowl--maybe a fishbowl? I'm thinking of displaying some of my buttons in it, or maybe my collection of marbles--but the marbles might make it too heavy.

And then these:

There's a tablecloth that I might cut down, but might not, and a pillowcase I liked but am not sure what it will become.

The cream-colored item is a window panel, and I don't have a window it fits, but the fabric is so pretty, I was thinking of making it into a tablecloth. Then J-Man suggested it would make nice Christmas bags. Perfect! Since he is unable to use one arm, I have begun making bags with drawstrings or some other easy closure for him to use in giving and receiving Christmas gifts within the immediate family. This fabric will make a couple of elegant bags.

I wish I was one of those folks who can just look at something and instantly see another purpose for it, or envision it transformed into some neat little craft, but I'm not. I'm sure I missed out on some other potential treasures, but all in all, I'm pretty satisfied with today's haul, and I spent less than $25.00. Not too shabby!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Tax Updates

Remember my tales of procrastination--aka TAX SEASON?

Well, we got over $800 back from the state of NC, most of which went to plumbing repairs and H&R Block, but hey, it was necessary. And we had to pay federal about $200. So we figure we broke even.

Then it was time for the 2006 taxes, which were delayed while we waited for a replacement 1099 to come in. Yesterday was another visit to the People ("I've got People" commercial), and I really liked this accountant better. I think I'll make all my appointments with her.

NC is going to refund us over $500.00--and we owe federal over $600.00. Not quite balanced, and we'll get the news about penalties and interest later, so the scales were tipped against us there.

However, I forgot to add insurance premiums to our medical costs for '07, and since I funded a good part of my dentist's rent last year, we were already over the 7% of our income in medical deductions. If I file an amended return, we will get an additional $150.00 back from NC. And the $200 we sent the Feds? They have to give it back, plus about $300 more. Scales tipped in our favor.

But the plumbing had to be fixed and the People must be paid.

So we're Even Steven again.

And that's all I asked for.

Did I mention I still have the 2005s to do?

Movie Trivia Answer

Okay, it's Wednesday. Sorry to be late.

The quote was: "People don't think miracles happen every day, but THEY DO."
It was Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump when he was talking about the first time he ran, and the braces fell off.

I really thought someone would guess this one!

Another question on Saturday!

Monday, June 02, 2008


Friday I worked all day in the yard. I only meant to work for an hour or so, and then go sew, but there was always just a little more to do, and it looked so good when I finished, and it would be almost a week before I could do it again....and so I OVERworked in the yard. I mean, you know you've done too much when you take a hot shower and still walk around like Methuselah on a bad day.

Consequently, I hit the hay before dark, totally wiped out, only to awaken at 1am. One am is my usual bedtime, not when I get up! What the heck was this about? So I lay there with my C-PAP on, for 2 hours, trying to get back to sleep, and getting hungrier and hungrier. (Actually, I find that C-PAP rather comforting and it usually lulls me to sleep, but not this time.)

I gave up the fight, got up and had a bowl of Go-Lean cereal and was far too awake to even think about sleep for a while. Not wanting to wake the hubby or the dog, I decided to cut some fabric. I have several baskets of scraps in all sizes, and periodically I cut them down into 6 1/2" squares, 4 1/2" squares, 2 1/2" squares, and finally into 1 1/2" squares (because no fabric is ugly if it's cut into small enough pieces). It's a nice, no-brain kind of activity when I want to be a bit productive, but not really into a major project.

After slicing and dicing awhile, said neck and shoulders, already tired and sore from yardwork, began to complain. I decided to sew some of the 1 1/2" squares together, because I want to reach the ripe old age of 108 with a postage stamp quilt on my bed. I started pulling random squares out and sewing them together, and after awhile, I saw a few squares sewn into pairs, that I'd forgotten. They were scraps left from a preemie quiltlet made when I was a part of the Quilting Angels. (Sorry the photo is so fuzzy--it was done with my last camera phone a couple of years ago).

So I fished the rest of the scraps from the bag and began sewing them into pairs and 4-patches again. Finally about 10:30am, I began to get a little tired and sleepy and had to stop and go to bed, as I had to work the next 3 nights. This is what I've done so far:

Not sure what I'm going to do with these, but I still love the fabrics and colors and will just have to figure something out. Any suggestions, anyone?