Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Another UFO bites (the dust!)

Here's a photo of this 'monster' quilt!! (Hey, for me it's a monster- I only make couch/lap quilts the biggest!) I, finally, finished my DH t-shirt quilt. It was started some time after 2002, and was a bear to handle. Back in Jan 2008 I wrote that I was working on this thing, but the truth be told, I tried to work on everything, BUT this quilt! I'm sure I avoided the disappointed look in his eyes as I worked on quilt after quilt after quilt for other occasions/charity projects, etc. I had good reasons... Here they are:
1. T-shirt material (I basted each t-shirt front onto a muslin foundation on 10 of them, before I realized I could have reduced the 'stretch' of the jersey material by using fusible interfacing--DUH!... never did one before, so I didn't even think about it)
2. I figured if the blocks were 20" square, I'd only have to make a few (DH couldn't let less than 16 make it into the quilt).
3. I was gonna hand-quilt it to a Ralph Lauren sheet (bright red)-- too dense to push a needle thru, and bled after washing numerous times. Figured this out after hand-quilting three blocks-- ripped them out, then burned the sheet. Ended up piecing the back, thanks to fabric from my Aunt Norma.
4. Didn't want to burden a LAQ with my 'stretchy/bubbly' blocks (only on a few), so I had to suck it up and tie it.
5. Didn't realize how much embroidery thread it takes to do ties every 4"-6" sections. Had to keep running to the fabric store.
6. Didn't realize how heavy this 'monster' was.....
The joke was that it was gonna be great to have it finished to lay over his coffin, or maybe I could put the UFO IN his coffin and be done with it!
I recently took it on our PA vacation in hopes that my mom and I would work on it (we did, one night in a B&B's living room). We made such great progress that it made me want to come home and continue what we'd almost gotten finished. (I kiddingly said to my DH that he might even get it by Father's Day (you should have seen his eyes roll!! LOL) It took me a week after we were home, but I persisted and as of 1:30AM this morning, IT"S DONE!!
Happy Father's Day, Lee ... But it's done and he loves it.... and isn't that why I did it? 5.

Monday, May 26, 2008

To the Park with Kai & Quilting, too!

Such a PERFECT weekend. Hope to hit a parade today (Memorial Day) in town, but since I was watching Kai, I decided to suck up the gas cost and drive up to MA to Forest Park with just us two. Papa was working as was Julie, so I packed up some cold pizza (hey, that came in handy), fresh pineapple, some granola bars and a corn muffin. Oh yeah, and a bottle of water (did I ever say how much I HATE "BOTTLED' water?? Not the water itself, but the fact that God didn't send it to us BOTTLED. I grew up in the country and water came out of the tap,... for free!)
Anyway, we played at the Park on the playground, got to go through the zoo up there Kai peering at the wild turkey,
and took a ride on the 'choo choo' train while flirting with the little girl behind him and feeling free with no carseat or seatbelt.
Also got to play at the playground. This is Kai 'tooting' back to the train.
Okay, so where did the quilting come in?? I received 4 quilts back from the long-armer (Heartstrings) and was so excited that I got all the bindings (from my stash) cut, ironed and sewn onto ALL FOUR quilts! I'll bring them to the next PbP (Peace by Piece) quilters mtg for them to work on.-- they think they have to sew on the bindings...hehe). AND I got so excited that I got that much done, that I finished 'tying' the ties on my DH's tee-shirt quilt (this one has been a few years in the process--he thinks he'll see it finished on his coffin-LOL). I know just have to sew around the outer edge and fingure what I want for the binding (I may just 'wrap the backing' to the front.) Just think, I COULD have it done by Father's day. I'm not even gonna mention it to him.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Home from Lancaster County!!

Hey, we're home!! And I must say we had an interesting time.... I will post a few pictures, but also some links to places we loved!! (Did we say 1825 Inn-Palmyra, PA and Bella Vista-Akron, PA??) The ride down might have been in the rain, but we got to see the 'puffs' of the coal mines in operation.
Our first stop was a return visit to 1825 Inn in Palmyra, PA-- "Will, you know how much we love your place!!" I feel like he's my brother! Do I look surprised here? (Can you say 'deer caught in the headlights?') My DH took this photo.
We arrived in a drizzle (like last year) and got settled in (Will McQueen,the innkeeper, is SO gracious) and while we booked the same room as last time, my mom found that she LOVED her 'Hearts and Flowers' room. We found a nice restaurant for dinner, Fenucci's, and settled in for the evening to play cards-Hand and Foot.
Mom and I got up early and took a mile walk and got excited to see the large turtle at the side of the road, until we realized he was dead...
Poor turtle...
Since it turned into great weather, we took mom to Chocolate Ave in Heshey, PA. Did you know the road leading to the center of Hershey is chocolate? It looks as though it's 'dusted' with cocoa powder (and it smells like chocolate!) Mom was laughing at the street lights... every other one is a Hershey's Kiss 'wrapped' in foil with a 'tag'.
We checked out Chocolate world (although Lee & I looked like we were 'melting' as we waited for mom to figure out where things are on her camera (she likes her other Polaroid instant model-can't get used to this one) AND take the picture! Helllloooooo.....LOL
We of course, bought chocolate. Just glad it's not a Godiva factory...!! It was nice to go back to the Inn later and check out what 'goodies' Will had cooked up for us. He always has something good cooking/baking to put out on the buffet.
That evening, Mom & I hung out in her room and watched '28 Days', while Lee watched another movie on the living room TV. We thought ours was such a weird movie and we laughed and laughed at it so, but we laughed harder when Will asked us the next morning at breakfast, what were we watching last night?.... He was underneath us, in the kitchen preparing our breakfast for the morning, and heard us laughing ...What a HOOT!- Glad mom is 80! Can't throw the elderly out for too much noise!!
The garage that we saw last year at the Inn, then being pulled apart, was now a beautiful 'back-to-back' cottage (two 2-room suites with jacuzzis, I believe, since they were booked and we didn't check them out in person- online only).
His flowers were absolutely gorgeous as you can see (can you tell I like flowers yet?). This candelabra was hanging along the path to the gazebo, out back.
The only thing I wish we had done is taken a photo of Will! Oh, well, we'll have to go back.Your breakfasts were worth it... wonderful cheese quiche, homemade cinn/raisin bread and choc (Hershey?)/raspberry bread....hmmm.
We left there and headed for Lititz to Wilbur Chocolate Co. (do you see a theme going here??) This sewing basket
(Hey, I noticed it because I'm a quilter, okay?) was WAY too beautiful to eat and yes, it was ALL made from chocolate!! They were also making choc-covered Marshmallow treat on a stick! What a fun job that must be.... and YES, we brought some home.
On our way to lunch at "Spill the Beans", a cute little cafe on streets that literally drop from the sidewalk, that drops from the side of the buildings, we saw quaint Giant Allium against a slate grey fence.
Mom is so patient, waiting for our quiche, and sandwiches & soup. Then off again to Intercourse area... fabric, oops-- 'dry goods' stores abound (what did you think I went there for, smile...). And while I was in getting fabrics, my dear husband was snapping photos away of the Amish. I love the photo of the ATM drive-thru at the bank! Talk about culture shock. LOL
Here are some other Amish shots...
Here is Aaron who took us in a buggy ride and told us about the Amish way of life...took us through a farm on laundry day...
The next place we stayed at was pretty awful. It was in Blue Ball and we won't even give out the name... It had a funny smell in the house (Lee said smoke or paint or combination of both), the bathroom ceiling had a pitch that I hit my head on after lifting the lid of the toilet to turn and sit....I laughed until my sides hurt!--Then kept laughing because I could hear my mom and hubby wondering WHAT on earth was I laughing so hard about!--which made me laugh more!! the vision of what the male species would look like 'leaning' to use the facilities was even funnier in my mind. LOL ... the breakfast was 'ok'... two strips of bacon and three pancakes, juice, fruit and whatever 'drink' (tea, coffee, hot chocolate) that you 'chose' the night beforeplaced at your mug. Granted it was the cheapest (no pun intended) of the three places, and we were all in one room, but I'll never go back. the only beautiful thing I could say to them, was that they had BEAUTIFUL flowers!!

We traveled to Intercourse, Soudersburg, Akron and on to our third and last place. Now you must understand that I KNEW I'd spend some time in fabric shops and my DH would not ever deny me that, but it's just not his thing. And he might start resenting the fact that we are stopping at so many...so, I'd planned to make the last B&B a place that had a 'Hot Rod Update!'

Since Lee is working on one right now, he'd be able to check out someone else who actually WORKS on them and inhale the air in someone else's garage.(Isn't that thoughtful of me?) We got to Bella Vista B&B in Akron, PA after stopping for lunch at the Akron Restaurant and as we pulled around the driveway (horseshoed around the back), we saw the 'hot rod' in the barn and the door was open.

Well, I just went right towards the barn and introduced myself to the gentleman in the barn (Jeff, the innkeeper) and the car created it's own conversation for the guys that lasted for quite a while (mission accomplished, dontcha think?)

Mom & I left Lee and Jeff still talking, and went to 'check in' with Jeff's wife, Sarah (very nice lady)

and we hoisted all the luggage up the THREE flights of stairs (remember, mom is 80!, so I did most of the 'lugging'). I gotta say tho, after 3 days there, I could take those stairs and not be winded at the top anymore! Wooo Hoooo!

Our room...

Now, I say that it's the 3rd floor, but you have to understand, the next few photos are...Leaving our room to first landing (halfway to 2nd floor) going at least 10 stairs down,

(no need for the settee yet- remember, I'm going down now), turn corner and walk about 8 steps down to 2nd floor landing.

another settee...

Leaving 2nd landing to continue down about 6 steps to landing midway between 1st and 2nd floors. Turn corner and down the rest to the beautiful foyer.

YEAH! Try doing that all day. You start to think ahead about what you need in your room, before you leave it to go down to the sitting rooms/porch/outside, etc.

On Friday we went to an outdoor flea market -Green Dragon-(that was also in buildings- this is good since it rained...), saw some beef jerky bones (I guess)

and the butcher shop inside the buildings there.

outside veg/fruit vendors...

(Back at the B&B, we met a couple who stayed at our last B&B the previous year and they had the same breakfast every day...the same as ours was. They also thought yuck! Sorry, Blue Ball, you won't ever see us again. We've been spoiled by places so much better. )

We had wonderful breakfasts with Jeff and Sarah, along with great conversations, and one night while mom & I were working on hand-work on Lee's tee-shirt quilt (of course I brought something to work on, ladies-- great excuse to work on it- and mom helped!--) we had a great visit with Sarah. It was as though we were old friends. I definitely will miss them. And to think they have the B&B on the market to sell!! (I hope we can get together with them even if they don't own it next year). They made it feel as though it was our own home. (Sarah, it's your job to count those stairs and email me with the number. I'll figure out how many stairs I'd climbed later. Thanks.

All and all, we had a great time.... and Jeff, if you want to see our antique cars, I'll link you there. Anyone who's still reading this, and you want to see more of our vacation photos, here's the link. I'll keep loading them as I can, so check back for more.

Monday, May 12, 2008

On Vacation to Lancaster County

See you all later. Lee & I are taking my mom to Lancaster county (do you think we'll be buying fabric?? Hmmm....). The nice thing is, Lee doesn't even mind, as he gets to sit outside and watch the Amish buggies go by. I have my $$ limit in fabric 'souvenirs' so I won't get into too much trouble. And some of it is for Peace by Piece Quilters. However, he's wonderful.... I'll try and post during the vacation if I get to a computer. Otherwise, you'll be inundated with photos after Sat.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Happy Mother's day to me...

My daughter Julie made this GREAT cake for Mother's day (I just happened to get it early in the week, since we will be on vacation soon). She is going to culinary school and knows I don't eat too much cake (oh, okay, pan-fried angel food is different!!), but made this for us to enjoy. These are her first marzapan roses....The carrots were also marzapan and looked better than regular carrots look. Tasted as good as it looked...., if I do say so myself!! Too bad I tried it out before taking a picture of it first....

Grandparents again!!

At 7:55am on Tuesday, May 6th, 2008, we had our 5th grandchild!! Lee's daughter, Amber and her husband Jason, had a beautiful baby boy named, Zachary Jason Dyer. 8lbs, 11oz., 20 3/4" long. Here he and Papa (Lee) are 'bonding', while he holds Grammie's (me) finger. It was tough since she didn't seem to feel good most of the pregnancy. Her doctor said her body doesn't like being pregnant. She spent the last 5 weeks on bed rest. As you can see, she was really tired, but they're very glad he's finally here!! Here's Mom, Dad and Zachary. Hey, Zack! You made it just in time for Mother's day! At this point of our visit, we figured everyone was tired and we should let the little one sleep.... Nite, nite, Zack......

Monday, May 5, 2008

Gored by a BUFFALO???

I know.... that's written correctly though! Are you ready for this story???
This is my aunt who was taken on her first plane trip ANYWHERE by her son (Xmas present- going First Class!) to visit friends in FL and do 'all the things she's wanted to do and may never get another chance to do them' (is what she told me). I think the list was... hold an alligator, have a snake wrapped around her neck and swim with the manatees.... Well, you can see by the photo she got some of her dream fulfilled.
I'll back up slightly. She was to make the trip on a Sat, come home on a Wed. I started calling her on Thurs and then every couple of days, since she didn't answer my message on her machine. Finally, I left her a 'crazy' message... something like, "Alright, I'm assuming the ONLY reason you aren't responding to my messages is that you have disowned me, you found a man to run off with, you have a strange illness and have been hospitalized but don't want to tell anyone about it, or you took a small private plane ride- didn't file a flight plan and it crashed and you're dead! If it's NOT any of those choices, call me." This was left on Wed, 2 weeks after she should have come home ....
Well, she called on Thurs and told me she just got home and 'it was almost one of your choices....'
"WHAT??" I said.
"Well, I got gored by a buffalo." my response, was , "Yah, ok... what really happened?"...
"I GOT GORED BY A BUFFALO and spent seven days in the hospital!"
To make a long story short, (although the long story is soooo entertaining), after the photo got taken, they were headed over to friends for dinner and went by The Villages and saw two buffalo in a 'pen' (if you could call three rows of barbed wire a pen)on a lot near the entrance to Buffalo Trail -- Families with children were there feeding the buffalo carrots so they stopped to take a picture of my aunt with the buffalos. She stood by the fence and just before my cousin took her picture he turned his head for a second and heard SCREAMING, turned and saw his mom tangled in the barbed wire!! As they were checking her over for cuts, someone realized she had a gouge in her leg just above the knee and it was spirting blood. After a trip to the firestation down the road (remember, they were 'tourists'), they were taken to the hosp (in the Villages) by ambulance, treated and sent back to the hotel.
That night she came down with a case of the chills, and although the room was 78 degrees, she went back to bed wrapped in quilts. The next day she couldn't use her legs at all and they rushed her to the 'real' hospital. She was on multiple IVs, was given medicine they use on Anthrax patients, her liver wasn't operating at full copacity, her blood count was off and she had a 'raging infection' going on....!!
She made the paper although they said she was an 'unidentified woman' and she 'refused treatment'. I DON'T THINK SO>>>>!
I guess the horn of a buffalo isn't bone, it's made of hair and is the most bacteria-infested thing and the most dangerous thing on any animal you can get infected from. She had to stay extra time to be checked after being released from the hospital, so that's why she was gone so long. She said she got to ride through the waves before she left (What,,, on a horse??, in a car?? What?), and it was a good trip all in all..(gee, didn't I read into it that she almost died!!??), but her only bad thing is she didn't get to 'swim with the manatees'...
Don't that beat all......