Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Between Holidays

Christmas was great, and mostly none the worse for being celebrated on Saturday.  The tamales I ordered from New Mexico finally got here on Saturday--but were room temperature, so weren't safe to eat.  I have a bone to pick with both the US Post Office AND the New Mexico catalog.  They were shipped from NM on Mon. the 21, Priority Rush mail, but didn't arrive for 5 days??  What's that all about?  

So we only had green chile stew, because I don't really care about cooking anyway and didn't want to spend the whole day in the kitchen. And everyone was fine with that.  Not sure what we'll do for New Year's, as we don't have a tradition for that meal, but it's all okay.

I gave J-Man a Kindle, the new edition that will audibly read to him.  Having only one hand, sometimes it's hard to do something as simple as scratch your nose when you're trying to read a book.  He's also a bit dyslexic, and the adjustable font size and limited number of lines on a "page" make it easier to keep his place. Since we gave DD the first edition last Christmas, she's been able to help him figure it out, while learning about the new features. 

J-Man gave DD money on a Visa card to start a dining room set fund.  She has 2 chairs bought for her at a yard sale, and a drop leaf sofa table also bought at a yard sale, and that's it.  When she moved into her tiny one-bedroom apartment with no dining room and minimal kitchen, she got rid of lots of her furniture, as well as her artificial Christmas tree.  Now she has lots of space, but not much else, and is slowly buying the pieces she wants. This is the year of Gifts for the Home, as the catalogs put it.

I bought her 4 place settings of open stock Oneida flatware, and she's still trying to decide if she likes this pattern or wants to exchange it for another. I also put 4 cloth napkins in her stocking, each rolled up and tied with a small ribbon.  She pulled them out with a puzzled look on her face and asked why I was giving her fat quarters!  Only a quilter's daughter would make that mistake, right?

She bought me Jinny Beyer's book, Quiltmaking by Hand, which has been on my wish list for a couple of years, and J-Man got me a new watch (I love funky watches) and this.  I saw it on Rare Bird Finds and fell in love with it.  It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so I will get to try it out!

J-Man says he ordered the Supreme Slider for me, but it hasn't come in yet, and knowing his aptitude (or lack thereof) with the computer, we can't be sure he really did order it.  Guess I'll have to check the bank statement, as his email box is a mess.

Anyway, it's been a great few days, as I was off for 4 nights, but now have to go back to work for a couple of nights.  It's been nuts at work--in fact, they called me Sat. night to ask me to work extra--so I'm not looking forward to it at all.  DD doesn't leave until Saturday morning, which means we'll get to watch the ball drop together.  And I've gotten her hooked on Ghost Whisperer (evil grin), so we'll spend a few hours watching back episodes.  I did get to spend some time sewing yesterday, starting the borders on the string quilt I'm making her.  It felt good to crank up the Bernina again! It won't be finished before she leaves this time, but maybe within a couple of weeks.

All in all, it was a wonderful holiday season here in the NC mountains.  Hope you were able to make some beautiful memories with your loved ones!

P.S.  There is STILL snow on the ground!

Friday, December 25, 2009


Merry Christmas, everyone!

We will officially have our Christmas on Saturday, as I worked Christmas Eve, and I want to be totally awake and rested to enjoy everything. (Besides, I haven't wrapped a darn thing.)

We HAVE received two early, unwrapped gifts, however.

Gift #1:  DD made it in okay.  Because of the office being closed for the weather and the holiday schedule, she didn't have to use 3 vacation days to come down as she thought, so is now planning to stay until Sat. 1/2, instead of leaving Tues. 12/30!
(Of course, it may take that long to work out the insurance stuff, as I scraped her car with ours while backing out of the garage tonight. But who's sweating the small stuff?)

Gift #2:  J-Man had a complete metabolic panel of bloodwork drawn last week--the first in almost 2 months.  All his lab values are normal.  Not just borderline, but solidly, right-smack-dab-in-the-middle of normal. We may never know what caused the liver failure, but that's okay.  It's gone and he's fine.

We're all together for Christmas.  Everything else is secondary.

 I hope all of you have a blessed Christmas, too. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

After the Snow

Well, the snow surely threw a monkey wrench into all kinds of works this weekend!  I think we got a total of about 10 inches--and it was a wet snow.  There are some pretty sizeable snowpeople around town.  Wal-Mart and the little neighborhood mall  plowed the parking lots, but piled it up in random spots, so cars are parked crazily throughout--and this is NOT the time to be skimping on parking spots.

I shoveled snow for 5 hours on Saturday just to get out of my driveway.  The plow was late getting our street done, so the neighbor's car had to be manipulated to the side of my drive so I could get to work.  I went out Sun morning and brought in my day nurse replacement so I could sleep there at the hospital and work Sun. night, then took my aide home Mon. morning.  Some folks just worked their buns off trying to get in to work--and some didn't bother.  It was an unusually tough weekend at work anyway--only the sickest of the sick were there--and the scant amount of personnel really made the workload heavy.  When I left to come home Mon. morning I warned everyone the phone would go unanswered if they tried to call!

DD got about 2 feet at her place and she was homebound from Fri. evening to this morning.  She stopped by the grocery store on the way home to stock up and said the Blockbusters in town were all empty--there had been a run on folks stocking up for the weekend.  Here's a photo of her car after it quit snowing:

That black spot is her driver's side view mirror!

And here's one of her parking lot and neighborhood townhomes:

Looks like a Christmas card, doesn't it?
Now I would have loved to be homebound for 4 days with plenty of food and movies and snow on the ground and nowhere to have to be, but she was having major cabin fever.  The HOA plowed her parking lot, but the street to the main road didn't get plowed until yesterday.  We were afraid she wouldn't get to come home for Christmas, as there is another front coming in on Thurs., but she's leaving this morning.  Hurray!

Just a couple more pictures before I finish getting the house ready.

This is the yard card that goes up every year in front of our house:

See that white glow out in front? That's not a UFO--that's the spotlight that shines on the card.  It's buried.

It occurred to me that with the spotlight and the cords submerged under the snow, we were just asking for an electrical fire, so it's all been turned off for a few days. Mon. evening after I got up, I decided to take a wooden spoon and scoop snow away from the lights and outlets.  Now the top of the snow is all crusty and Tandi can run all over it, but not an overweight adult female.  I lost my balance and fell face forward into a snowbank.

Dignity is my middle name.

BTW, the wooden spoon was no match for crusty snow.  Maybe it'll melt down enough today that I can turn the lights on to welcome DD home, as I'll be at work before she gets here. 

Two more nights and I'm off for the weekend!  Woohoo!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Look what's going on at our house!

It started snowing about sunrise and has been going all day long.  There must be sleet mixed in, because it's not a quiet snow at all.

Our neighbors can't get up the hill to their house, because her tires are bald, so they've backed into our driveway for the time being.  Fortunately, I don't have to work until tomorrow night, because we can't get out of the driveway now. It's usually my lot to have to work when it snows--but I lucked out today! 

There's beef stew in the crockpot and flannel sheets on the bed and the rest of the ornaments to put on the tree and a great recipe for caramel apple cider ready to be tried out and a Christmas movie playing on the TV.  Could it get any cozier?

Actually, there needs to be a quilt here somewhere.....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Two-week time delay

That's what I seem to be experiencing! I finally have my reader count under 50, but I haven't kept up with my own blogging.  I'm behind in Christmas preparations, I just found the Christmas cards today, the tree is up with lights but no ornaments,  and I have to get out some thank yous. "Time flies when you're having fun" they tell me.  But they also say time seems to go faster as you get older.  Well, either I'm getting old rather quickly, or I'm having lots more fun than I am able to remember. 

The Friday morning after Thanksgiving, we left for my daughter's in VA--a 7 1/2 hour drive.  (I need to remember to send a thank you card to the vet for the doggy Prozac--Tandi traveled really well!) J-Man caught my virus and then passed it on to DD.  It was a family thing--share and share alike. It was nice to see her little city and her office and be able to visualize some of the things she mentions.  She made a point of driving us past one of the hospitals in town. (Did I mention she's trying to persuade us to move up there?)

Mealtime for the animals was a bit busy, but they minded their manners pretty well. 

( left to right: Beautiful But Dumb cat, Cute Chihuahua Mix dog, Tandi, Grumpy Old Man cat)

 It was a nice time, over too quickly as usual, but she's coming down here next week and it'll be good to see them all again.  Yep, the cats are coming, too, as DD has lost her cat-sitter.  Grumpy Old Man cat hates to travel and will yowl approximately 4 hours of the trip.  Beautful But Dumb cat will yowl some, because if Grumpy yowls, it must be the thing to do. Cute Chihuahua Mix dog loves to ride in the car, however.  She's a great little traveler.

Better DD than me.

In the meantime, amongst all the shopping and MD appointments and laundry and work party, the mailman has been mighty welcome at my house.  Look what he brought:

Fabric won from Kate, my name kindly chosen by  Archie, her cat:

Note the Halloween colors! And it has such a nice hand to it.

Fabric bought from Maggie via her eBay auction:

(just the fabrics; the rest will be explained later)
I love batiks!

And look what Lettie sent me from Hawaii: gorgeous fabric, a mug rug, a pincushion, and a yo-yo key ring!

Lettie is the yo-yo queen!  Check out her blog to see what she can do with yo-yos!
Isn't that pincusion just the cutest thing?  Can you see the little bead "sprinkles" on that doughnut?

And macadamias! Omigosh, if these make it to Christmas unopened it'll be a miracle!  What a sweetheart!

And just because I was a good girl and hauled hiney over to my gynecologist's office for the first time in 3 years, I treated myself to these little goodies from one of the local quilt shops:

(OK, now it's time for the rest of the picture)

I had every intention of making that table runner from some Christmas fabrics, but it ain't gonna happen.

In addition, I bought these from fabric.com:

I really like that "Bottled Poetry" fabric. I'd thought of making DD some napkins from it, but it's so pretty, I'm thinking of placemats instead, because I just can't cut it into small pieces!

The holiday plaids were intended to become Christmas gift bags, but again: ain't gonna happen this year.

The bad news is brother and his wife won't be able to come up for Christmas this year. 8^(.
The good news is I don't have to empty out the sewing room for them, so I might get to work on DD's string quilt.  It's on my list of hopeful finishes for Finn's UFO challenge.

Speaking of which, I did finish one item on the list:

It's a tablerunner made from 3 of 12 swap blocks I got 8 years ago.  Hand-pieced and hand-quilted, it was a soothing bit of handwork to take along to appointments or watch TV and do.  In fact, I was actually able to use it for about 3 weeks! The other 9 blocks are assembled into a table topper, but that's only made it to flimsy stage. That one will be machine-sewn for sure.

Well, that's my month in a very large nutshell.  Not much happening, to have been so busy. I have to say, though, I haven't been stressing about what's not getting done. Usually I'd be totally over-committed by now, and pulling my hair out from frustration.  Maybe it was J-Man's illness that made us all slow down and just enjoy being together, no matter what. Maybe it's just tiredness. Or anti-motivation.

Because I swear I didn't take any of Tandi's doggy-Prozac.

Movie Trivia Answer

Saturday's question was about the Christmas comedy fluff "Deck the Halls".  Danny DeVito's goal is for his house to be seen from space on "My Earth"--much to Matthew Broderick's dismay. 

Question: Near the end of the movie, what do Buddy and Steve do to bring their families back home to them?

They took Buddy's lights and made a trail all the way from the hotel back to the house, where Buddy and Steve had cooked a Christmas meal.

No one had an answer for me this week--most of you probably hadn't seen it.  This was the first year I did, and though it wasn't that good, it was an easy movie to multi-task to!

New question on Saturday!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Silent Monks Singing Halleluia

Saw this on Shellhawk's blog and had to steal it!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday at the Movies

Today's movie is another bit of fluff--in the form of Christmas Comedy.

 Near the end of the movie, what do Buddy and Steve do to bring their families back home to them?

Answer on Tuesday!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Movie Trivia Answer 12/5

Ooops!  Forgot what day it was!
The movie was "Bride Wars".  The question was to name two of the ways the brides sabotaged each other.

Both Pokey and Karen came up with the answers:

Pokey said...
Oo-o, we just watched this again last week. My favorite mean thing was the chocolate to make 'Liv' not fit in her Vera Wang dress. Then there was the always popular hair color switch.

Karen said...

I know this one - blue hair, gaining weight, stealing the perfect dress, putting the wrong video in for the wedding... !

Nice going, ladies!

New question on Saturday.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Saturday at the Movies 12/5

Okay, it's back! 
This week's movie is a fluffy one--a definite chick flick--but easy to watch.

 Your question?  Name two of the ways the brides sabotaged each other.

Answer on Tuesday!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A Week Late...

...but here is this year's TV holiday specials guide.


Hope it's not too late to find your favorite one.  Enjoy!