Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Charmed, I'm Sure

I recently decided that I wasn't going to participate in any more swaps. They can be time-consuming and stressful trying to make sure the package you send is perfect and awesome and won't get tossed out or donated and what you receive can also be a disappointment after you've worked so hard on yours. I haven't been disappointed yet, so I'm going to stop while I'm ahead! I would rather create something for someone that I care about and know they will love.

But because I was tortured, forced, had my arm twisted behind my back, invited and encouraged by my good blogger friends, Karen and Amy, I thought this swap would be fun and I jumped on the bandwagon.  And NO sewing involved at all!  How easy peasy will it be?!

Along with 56 other women from around the country and internationally, I will be swapping 5" fabric squares cut from 2 yards of Christmas fabric (56 squares from 1yard each of 2 different fabrics).  In return I will receive 112 - 5" charm squares of different Christmas prints!  I love Christmas fabric so I am really looking forward to all that yummy goodness coming my way.  Charm squares are a fun way to incorporate lots of different fabrics into your designs very inexpensively.  I made my recent Halloweenie table runner with 5" charm squares.  I already have a few projects spinning around in my head for some fun Christmas stuff - mug rugs, table runner, maybe even new stockings for the family and grands....who knows!  Stay tuned!

Friday, September 16, 2011

50 Years of Love

Today is my parents 50th wedding anniversary!  Fifty years! My goodness that's a long time to be married to someone!  In August we had a mini family reunion and celebrated their special day in Dunsmuir, California.  Dunsmuir is near Mt. Shasta and is one of their favorite places to visit and camp.  We go there at least once a season - sometimes twice.
The party was wonderfully awesome.  My aunts, uncles and cousins were all there along with my immediate family.  We had a speghetti feed on Friday night and a wonderful BBQ on Saturday with ribs, chicken and sausage and all the fixin's both nights.  We played games, had relay races and fires and ate Smores, ice cream, Twinkies and Ho-Ho's.  It was a wonderful way to spend their special day and they had a marvelous time.

My parents have lived in four houses, owned 14 cars (I think I counted correctly), a Ford Model A, a VW camper bus, two motorhomes and a travel trailer. They've traveled all over the United States and parts of Canada.  My dad was in the Navy for 6 years then worked locally as an electrician for the rest of his career and is now retired.  My mother has been a nurse since 1961 and has worked at the same hospital for 45 years.  They also own an antique store "Red Geranium Antiques" and have collected furniture, Fiesta ware, Depression glass and antiques my whole life. 

I am the oldest of three girls and my sisters are Lori and Debra.  We had a great life growing up and got to see a whole lot of places and do a whole lot of things.  My parents always supported all of our activities and were always there for us 100%.  In fact - they still are.  They attended every school function, band function, Girl Scout and Camp Fire Girl function, Job's Daughter's function and made countless Halloween costumes, Christmas cookies and always taught us to be creative.  We went to Disneyland, Great America, the ocean, the mountains and the desert.  They watched me and my sisters and my three sons graduate from Antioch High School - the same school where they graduated - and my nephew Tyler is only has a few years to go.  They have 1 great-grandson, Christopher III and another great-grandchild due in March.

My parents have had their own set of adventures including camping, antiquing, fly fishing, and collecting rocks - from tiny ones to ones that you almost need a wheelbarrow to lug back to the truck! 

They've ridden bikes, hiked to Vernal Falls in Yosemite - twice - water skiied and rowed their pontoon boats on various rivers and lakes.

My sisters and I have learned so much from our parents - Love, Respect, Tenderness, Happiness, Kindness and how to be good parents.  We were fortunate to grow up with both sets of our grandparents and always had our aunts, uncles and cousins around for big dinners, BBQs, camping trips, fishing trips, holidays and "just because" times.  We had a great life growing up and even though I didn't follow all most of the rules when I was a teenager and was never almost always on time for my curfew, I wouldn't change a thing. 

Acting silly and playing games at their party!

My Family

Mom and Dad in the front.  Back row: sister Lori, my nephew Tyler, Sister Debra, Me, my husband Chris

I love you Mom and Dad very, very much. 
I wish you many more years of happiness, love, fun and outlandish adventures! 
You are the best parents a girl could ask for!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Will Never Forget

Do you remember where you were on that September day in 2001?  I do.  I had the day off and I was in bed. Chris called me and said to turn on the TV; that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.  At that time, we did not know that America had been attacked. 
I turned on the TV and within seconds I witnessed, along with the rest of the world, the second plane crashing into the second tower.  And then planes at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania
 I didn't know what to think, what to say or how to act.  I became glued to the television. 
I prayed and I cried. 

I wanted to hug my sons and never let them go.  I wanted to protect them from this devastating, senseless tragedy.  My oldest son, Christopher, had graduated from high school that previous June and talked about enlisting in the Marine Corp to go and fight for our country.  I was proud that we wanted to serve the United States of America, but scared.  In the end, he didn't enlist, but I know that he would have made an awesome Marine.

America as we knew it was changed forever that day, but we all came together, fought, and made it through because we are Americans.  We are survivors.  We are strong.

As we remember the people who lost their lives and the fallen heros who rushed to their rescue, let us also remember the families they left behind and let us pray for them
today and everyday.

"Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident." - Psalm 27:3

GOD is always in control. Let us never forget those who lost their lives on 9/11/01.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Laboring on Labor Day

Whew! What a weekend! Started off our weekend knowing we would be hitting the hardware stores to check out the best deals on a washer and dryer.  Our dryer burnt out this past week - and by burnt out I mean totally glowing, red hot! Pretty scary!  We started out with lunch to give us sustanance for the long job ahead and then headed to Lowe's. Chris wanted to purchase a brand new set because we have the "Whittle Luck" which means that if we only purchased the dryer by itself, the washer would break down within a week.  So a brand new set was in our future. 
Lowe's was having a sale and we looked at and fondled and opened every door and lid on front loading and top loading washers. Did we want a front loading washer?  Well unless you purchase the storage drawer, they are pretty low to the ground and because we were buying a set, the drawers would run about $500 thanks.  Did we want the extra steamer, the dry-cleaning cycle, the less wrinkle cycle, and so on.  I just want to get my clothes clean and dry.  Nothing fancy schmancy.
Next - Home Depot. They were also having a sale and we saw a Maytag Bravos set that we really liked and the price was right.  Except they didn't have them in stock and it would take TWO weeks for them to get here! Back over to Lowe's and the same (original) set that we looked at but a few hundred dollars more expensive. Talked to the sales guy and told them the Home Depot price and guess what!? We got the Depot price! Yay! and it was available for delivery today and they would take our old stuff. 
Now, we aren't able to put our vehicle in our garage because after living in the same house for 18 years we have accumulated a lot of junk/stuff loveable items we can't live without and we needed to make a path for the delivery people to be able to get the old set out and the new one in.  This little project took almost the entire weekend! We would get a little moved and tossed and moved some more and it started to look so good and was loooonnnnng overdue so we kept going.  And it looks wonderful. There are a few bags/boxes for donation and lots of bags/boxes for trash. Still a ways to go though, but that's for another weekend.  AND I did all this with a possible meniscus injury on my knee and waddled around with a cane! LOL!

My beauties were delivered today and are all hooked up and we're on our third load of laundry. The washer is a High Efficiency Low Water Washer - which means we need special detergent - but we will get a $100 rebate.  Yay! The machine is very quiet and I think we are going to really like them!

 No agitator. The machine fills up with water based on the weight of the clothes....I think...
 the first load....can't cover the center thingie....
 High Efficiency Tide!
And we have lift-off!

While we were waiting for our 1st load of laundry to finish, Chris made us a super, wonderfully, yummy late lunch early dinner. Fried Chicken, Mashed Taters and Gravy, Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Baby Carrots (thanks for the recipe Karen) and bread.  Delish!  Total comfort food!

Last night he made a Smoked Brisket, Cowboy Beans and Potato Salad and our kids came over for dinner.  Yes I have a great husband and I ate very well this weekend!
It has been a great, productive weekend, but I'm tired and my knee hurts.  Time to relax and watch a bit of TV before bed.  Chris thinks this blog post was "goofy" (because I had to take pictures of everything) but I think it was kinda fun.  Talk about goofy....see him in the shiny dryer knob?  Takes one to know one I guess!

Friday, September 2, 2011

September is Here!

Wow! It seems like just yesterday that it was the beginning of summer! Where have the days gone!?  We've had a great summer with lots of travel, gardening, sewing, cycling, bbq'ing, and playing with the grandson, but I know that cooler temperatures and shorter days are just around the corner.  It's time to start thinking about the holdiays, getting the yards ready for fall and winter, and ordering wood for our fireplace insert.  It's our main source of heat during the cold winter months.  I know you are thinking " live in California..."  but lemme tell you - it can get mighty cold here in the winter!

It's also "National Sewing Month".  I have lots of things planned - some for Christmas gifts and some just for fun.  I'll share them as they are completed.  What are your sewing plans for the month?

Happy Friday, Happy Labor Day and Three Day Weekend, Happy Family Time,
Happy September!
Be safe! 
Life is Good!