Oct 31, 2010

Today's Praise

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The sunbeams stream forward , dawn boys,
with shimmering shoes of yellow.
~ Mescalero Apache Song

 A beautiful day to praise God & His creation.

Oct 30, 2010

Top 10 Lessons Learned

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I can't believe I've managed to post every day this month! Just one more to go. . . .

Thanks to this great challenge, I've learned a few things about blogging. . .

  1. This "quilting blog" is not in fact about quilting, mostly because I hardly ever quilt. Hmm, that may be more about my life than my blog.
  2. The day-to-day details of my life are pretty mundane, and I don't really want to write about them. 
  3. I WANT to write about creativity and/or blessings.
  4. I fantasize about having a kind of posting routine--WIP Wednesday, Finished Friday, etc. Problem is, my life is just the opposite--WIP Friday, possibly finished Wednesday.
  5. Posting on something other than real time is very difficult to get my head around. In other words, writing about a WIP on Wednesday if in actuality it is finished.
  6. My biggest obstacle to posting, at least in my mind, is a lack of decent photos. When the light is best in my house, I am usually at work.  Plus, I'm just not that good with the camera.
  7. I don't have enough moodling time for making stuff, let alone writing stuff. (see October 28)
  8. I seem to think in terms of obstacles instead of challenges.
  9. I need a new blogging "picture" in my mind to make this workable.
  10. I would like to have blogging be about developing relationships; this, of course, would require that I comment on other blogs more and lurk less.
  11. I hate exclamation points, mostly.
With all this in mind, after tomorrow, I'm going take a break and re-think my blog. Of course, I've taken many breaks before, but that was through neglect not reflection. I'm also going to visit my grandmother in Washington state--a little road trip! So here's a toast to blogging and all its possibilities. Thank you to tinniegirl for the blogtoberfest challenge and to any of you who have left comments (or not). I'll post tomorrow and then see you in 2 weeks.

Today's Praises
  • Enough time to contemplate lessons learned :)
  • Beautiful sunshine
  • Paying someone else to suck up all our leaves instead of raking them ourselves. Lovely!

Oct 29, 2010

Boys in Uniform

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Last marching of the year and probably forever for DS1 (the grumpy one on the right). They gave an "indoor marching band" concert, playing everything they know.

The last piece all the seniors left their shoes (their "legacy" footprints) and passed their hate onto an underclassman. DS2 received one from the 1st chair tuba.

Waving goodbye for kindergarten was a piece of cake compared to this. I kept thinking, "oh, she was so cute in 3rd grade" or "wow, he's gotten so tall." Most of these kids we've known since elementary.

Plus, I'm an absolute sucker for marching band, as I loved it in high school. My two best friends, even 32 years later, are from marching band.

These 2 young men complain about marching, but their best friends also come from that group of 140 band members--all pretty tight after many hours of sweating on the field and riding the bus to competitions. If nothing else, they have learned "do it right means do it less."

Today's Praises
  • Incredible music in our schools, despite heavy budget cutbacks
  • 2 handsome men in uniform
  • no snow during marching band season!

Oct 28, 2010


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So you see, imagination needs moodling - long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering.  --Brenda Ueland

How does one moodle in 15 minute snippets of time?
Can one moodle while doing the dishes, chauffering the kids, folding laundry?

For me these are the perennial questions. Granted, a "studio" or room of my own would simplify the process, allowing me to leave things out and to come and go as I'm able, but even then I find I need a kind of "warm up" time to get in the zone.

What about you? How do you get your creativity going? Do you need to be in a certain space, mind frame? Do you need peace and quiet or blaring music or the pitter patter of little feet going to and fro?

  • morning coffee
  • morning coffee
  • morning coffee

Oct 27, 2010

Cheer Up

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Since today is sideways gusting rain & sometimes snow, I spent lunch crocheting a sunny, cheery hat for a Christmas present. Still channeling Grandma!

Oct 26, 2010

Spooky Music

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Tonight we have DS2 in an orchestra concert--the high school kids get to wear Halloween costumes.

They love it, but now at the last minute he's changed his mind on the costume! The workings of the 15 yo mind.

Regardless, his cello will sound so cool, so rich. And they always play interesting music. Looking forward to a nice evening.

Oct 25, 2010


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Oh. my. word. It's finally happened.

After relentlessly  lightheartedly teasing my husband for over 7 years for receiving his own cards, it's finally happened to me. I turn 50 in 7 days. Just my luck.

Today's Praises
  • I don't feel 50!
  • Grilled cheese for supper on a rainy day.

Oct 24, 2010

Today's Praise

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"Satisfaction is the paralysis of the church. While relentless grace works to take us further, we are all too satisfied just where we are."  ~Paul Tripp, Twitter Post


  • Good general health
  • Work to provide for my family & care for others
  • Opportunities & success for my children that they may continue to learn the value of hard work

Oct 23, 2010

Pedal to the Metal?

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Finally have this quilt started 3 YEARS AGO ready to quilt. My hope is to speed right through it (I know, I probably jinxed that :)

The recipient will be driving through town in a week. Can it be done?

Vroom, vroom!

Oct 22, 2010

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah

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Day 22 and I have nothing to post about except the tedium of everyday life. blah, blah, blah (although I've had a nice quiet day off).

While I'm happy I've posted every day this month as challenged, I'm disappointed that I have no sewing to post about. This is "supposed to be" a quilting blog, or at least a creative blog. . . .

Alas, I spend more time thinking about quilting than actually quilting, or crocheting, or whatever I could manage to create. Hmmm. . . .I may have to mull that all over a bit.

Today's Praises
  • Probably the last day of Indian summer--still lovely
  • Music Boosters Soup & Pie tonight--always good food
  • I'm ready to sew something! I'm hoping for Sunday!

Oct 21, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

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 To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.
Joseph Chilton Pearce  
Working on this hat, I've been WRONG at least 5 times so far. In fact, I finally just started over because I didn't check my gauge--it would have fit King Kong the way I was going.
On the other hand, fear of making a mistake, of wasting that beautiful fabric, of using up time--that all can get in the way, can't it? Another reason to love swaps--they impose a real deadline so one just needs to make a decision.  What gets in the way of your creativity? Fear? Space? Time?

Oct 20, 2010

Road Trip

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How cool would it to be 15 years old and have an entire fall day to skateboard. . . wish I could manage that kind of balance. It looks so fun to have speed and air all at once.

As the last bit of Jack's birthday, we hit the road with two of his friends so they could skate in Spencer, the town with the GOOD skate park.

They got several hours in with a break at Pizza Ranch for lunch, highlighted by a celebrity sighting--the bass player from "Chapter" a semi-local band they love. DS2 even mustered up the courage to talk to this guy, who just happens to work at Pizza Ranch. Who knew.

I spent the day basking in the sun (inside the car, out of the breeze), crocheting Christmas gifts. Quite pleasant. Plus it was nice to spend time with these guys--they can be pretty funny, and they look WAY COOL with their ollies and whatnot. . . .still don't know the skating jargon, and I certainly can't spell it.

Today's Praises
  • Unbelieveably beautiful fall weather
  • Curried Cauliflower--yum, yum
  • Keepin' up with the laundry--it makes me smile to think that's a blessing!

Oct 19, 2010

Harvest Time

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This is the time of year to make THE BEST COLESLAW, or some of you may just consider this cabbage salad. DH & I love this; the boys hate when I make the dressing because it stinks (you'll see why). This cabbage is supposed to keep 1 week, but it never lasts that long.

One Week Coleslaw (serves 8-10)
adapted from The Frugal Gourmet's Whole Family Cookbook
  • 2 1/2 lb head of green cabbage, shredded*
  • 1 cup shredded carrots, green pepper, onions, whatever veggies you like
  • 2 Tbl sugar
  • 2/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp celery seed, whole
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
In a small stainless-steel saucepan, add the dressing ingredients togther; heat to a boil (this is the stinky part) and simmer 2 mins. Allow to cool. Pour over veggies, along with about 1/2 cup olive/veggie oil. Toss. Salt & pepper to taste. Chill a couple hours before serving.

*I often use the bagged coleslaw mix. This recipe is also easy to divide and just make 1 lb's worth.

This is a great potluck dish. DH & I will also eat it during the week for lunches with cheese & crackers or tuna or whatever. It's nice with sunflower seeds sprinkled on top, too.

Hope you enjoy this!

Today's Praises
  • Frost = less kleenex
  • a Tuesday night WITHOUT meetings

Oct 18, 2010


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Or maybe that should be "Caw! Caw!"
I never thought I'd ever go through a haunted house, not at 49 & 11/12, but our church youth group wanted to go. Susan (the other leader) and I were just going to stand outside, waiting patiently . . . .

Then this clown with green skin ran up and pounded on the car windows. The girls screamed. Emily wouldn't go unless I went. So I bought tickets, we went through the door, and a zombie popped out of a trap door. The girls screamed. . . . and went back to the car. I was already commited.

I did appreciate DS2 holding my hand the entire way (he's quite gallant). And it really helped that the girl in front of me screamed each time something scary happened, so I knew when something was coming. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks . . . .

Today's Praises
  • A new-found appreciation for teenagers
  • More lovely fall weather
  • key lime vanilla chip cookies, courtesy of the choir fundraiser

Oct 17, 2010

Today's Praise

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Thou that hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, a grateful heart.
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if they blessings had spare days;
But such a heart, whose pulse may be thy praise.
~ George Herbert
 I'm grateful today for awesome kids, both at home and at church.  Sometimes it is so easy to be cynical about teenagers (or maybe we are just embarrassed remembering our own teenage attitudes), but I have really enjoyed time yesterday and today with these guys. Our youth group hosted fellowship today, brought yummy treats and were just plain pleasant to be around. Tonight: we go to the Haunted House, somewhere I would not have gone on my own. My thanks for this fellowship!

Oct 16, 2010


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That's what I need before I post about today's road trip. All I can say is I wish I could skateboard.

Oct 15, 2010

No Time to Stop & Talk

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Well, for my 101st post, I have no time to stop and talk . . . my day off was full of errands and driving to and fro . . . I was so hoping to sew this afternoon, but I was only home about 15 mins.

However, my brain has been busy planning a variety of projects. Aside from seriously finishing some WIPS and starting some swap postcards, I think this will be the year of crochet for gifts. I would sorta prefer to sew, but that takes time and concentration and space.

We'll see how it goes tomorrow when I spend the day watching 3 fifteen year old boys skateboard at the "best" skateboard park in the area--90 miles away. Part of DS#2's birthday. I figure I can make at least 2 hats and 3 dishcloths unless I decide to take a nap in the beautiful fall sunshine ;-)

Today's Praises
  • Actually enjoying scoping out possible cars to replace Ginger
  • Beautiful weather for the last X-C meet
  • Pumpkin spice latte and lunch with a new friend

Oct 14, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

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from The First Importance

    What the gospel rests on
 “Do you require yourself to remember? In order to live as you can and should, you first must remember who you are and what you’ve been given.”
- Paul David Tripp, Twitter post

Oct 13, 2010


blogtoberfest 13 

Well, not work-in-progress, more like work-in-brain. However, I AM going to sew Friday afternoon no matter what. I'm in a fabric postcard swap (Christmas or Winter), and I have an idea for a table runner.

Today's Praises
  • Gorgeous sunshine!
  • Busy time = not boring :)
  • Split pea soup & grilled cheese for supper

Oct 12, 2010


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Rest in peace, Ginger.
Ginger is was our '97 Escort, 235,000 miles plus (nearly to the moon!) and 12 years in our household.
Fortunately, DS#1 is unharmed and brimming over with lessons learned.
Fortunately, it was a one-car accident.

Today's Praises
  • All in our household are safe
  • All in our household are humble (!)
  • Ginger served us well & protected my boy

Oct 11, 2010

Big Red Band

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Oh, for a man in uniform!

My man (DS#2) is difficult to see behind the bell of his tuba--he's the one nearly smack in the middle of the shot. The other DS is off to the side behind a melliphone bell.

They both looked so sharp in their uniforms, marching so straight. Sigh.

Yes, I sigh with nostalgia for marching bands, having been in one. Mine was not nearly so grand. The Big Red Band here is over 135 strong--nearly as big as the senior class!

 This was the last of their competitions this year, and possibly the last time I'll see DS#1 march.
 Sigh again.

His posture in uniform is perfect. And while he says he "hates" marching band, he works hard at it, going to school an hour early 2-3 mornings each week. He seems to like being a squad leader this year.  DS#2 has taken quite well to it as well and is working to be a squad leader even as a sophomore next year. :)

DS1's lesson from marching band: "If you do it right, you do it less." Oh, if we could all learn that lesson for other areas of life!

Today's Praises
  • MORE beautiful fall weather--unbelievable!
  • A dog who behaves on his walks
  • Fun stalking my secret partners for an upcoming swap

Oct 10, 2010

Today's Praise

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  • Fabulous fall weather
  • Young love
  • The chance to worship God
  • Kids singing "Amen!"
  • Laundry done (Amen!)
  • Turkey burgers on the grill
  • A week with more time at home
  • A chance to sew
  • Time with family

Oct 9, 2010

Channeling Grandma

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Like grandma, I like TV (there, I confessed) but find I can't just sit and watch. It's good to have some kind of low-thinking handwork to keep me busy. This should turn out to be a vest. We have enough beanies and dishcloths. (I'm trying to keep my dismay over the size I need in check.)

I'm blessed to be the recipient of many of grandma's projects: a beautiful lace bedspread that had been on her bed for years, a matching tablecloth she made just for me, many doilies, and once upon a time, many sweaters.

I can't believe I've posted 9 days in a row. Yay!

Hope you are enjoying your weekend. Today is our last marching band competition ;)

  • Lovely fall weather
  • One last chance to grill
  • Laundry--yes, it's always good to have it done :)

Oct 8, 2010

Real Time

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One problem I've always had with blogging is posting about real life but not in real time. For example, I love Sew & Tell Fridays, but Fridays are the only day I really ever have to sew (if I'm going to get to). It was very difficult for me to post about whatever I'd worked on the last Friday--because I hadn't worked on it "this week." Just a little ridiculous, I know. So blogtoberfest is a chance for me to stretch my brain around talking about whatever I want for the day.

Here goes--the Le Mars ChalkArt Festival--in September--was so cool. My husband, with DS#2 as his assistant, was one of the featured artists. Since it was also the anniversary of Jimi Hendrix's death, that was his subject. The Saturday was rained out, so they worked feverishly on Sunday to get the entire piece done. I think it looks great--DS is quite the pro "hair man."

DS#1 was also a featured student artist, so with his artist buddy they produced "Witty Kitty." No idea where that came from.

ChalkArt is a messy business, but the entire downtown parking lot was filled with people making their own pictures. Local bands played, local food was served. Despite the threat of rain, it was a good day. We celebrated a long, hard day of coloring with Chinese food that night!

It is great to live in a house with so much creation going on! We all love making stuff, drawing, painting, whatever. A good part of life.

  • Even though I didn't get my freeze, today's record-breaking warmth will be nice for the local Homecoming Parade & Game.
  • Tomorrow is the last Marching Band competition for the season--I love marching band, but 3 weekends in a row is tough.
  • An extra cup of coffee on my day off with just a couple hours at work.

Oct 7, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

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From one of my favorite blogs: http://firstimportance.org/

Two Lessons for Christians to Learn

“There are but two lessons for Christians to learn: the one is, to enjoy God in everything; the other is, to enjoy everything in God.”
- Charles Simeon, quoted by John Piper in The Roots of Endurance (Wheaton, Ill.; Crossway Books, 2002), 113.

Oct 6, 2010

Last of the Summer Roses

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The weather person predicts our first frost, so here is the last of the "Julia Child" roses. They smell just a bit like licorice and fade into the loveliest yellow. These were planted in honor of my mother.

  • Woke up feeling 100% better! 
  • Lovely fall day--still.
  • Feeling content.

Oct 5, 2010

Aaa. . .aaa. . .aaachoo!!!

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Oh. my. goodness. I haven't had a cold like this in years. After the X-C pasta feed (they ate it all--even 3 gallons of chocolate milk!!), I went home and felt as if I'd been hit by a truck. Each day I get to experience a new symptom. Oh well, I guess I just have to get a real cold every few years. Even with beautiful weather outside, it seems to be going around everywhere (although I tried very hard not to breath on the food I served). Here's to a good night's sleep tonight!

  • My DS really appreciated the pasta feed--I think making points with teenagers might count double.
  • It is beautiful fall weather--our huge maple is beginning to turn golden
  • My allergies always get me out of raking leaves :)

Oct 4, 2010

Today's Equation

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Pasta (red + white) X (Cinnamon Rolls)2 + Chocolate Milk + Bananas = 30 Full X-C Men

Does this compute?

We hope so! Hosting the men's cross country team tonight for carb loading before tomorrow's meet. The menu was requested by my son and includes spaghetti, tortellini, meat sauce, alfredo sauce, veggies, bananas, garlic bread, cinnamon rolls & chocolate milk. Just thinking about it puts me to sleep! But we have to be sure to fill them up, otherwise they tend to go and raid the women's pasta feed!

Go Bulldogs!

  • Team Spirit
  • Kind & fun-loving teenagers
  • Mild fall weather perfect for a 5K (and that I get to watch instead of run that myself)

Oct 3, 2010

Irish Inspiration

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James Galway is just as charming and delightful as anyone could hope. Last night's concert was a truly lovely selection of pieces, including a concerto for 2 flutes by Cimorosa I'd never heard--lyrical and clever without being overly showy. The Carmen, of course was showy.

Even better though, were the encores. Galway is a consumate entertainer--explaining how he has been nearly the only famous solo flutist ever (30,000 albums sold!). His playing is completely effortless and stunningly consistent, his stage presence witty and enchanting. He could charm anyone into anything.

One of the encores was Galway playing "Danny Boy." He suggested this traditional tune is nearly sacred in its lyricism, and that we pray while listening. He's right; its simplicity and beauty, accompanied by a chamber orchestra with harp, sent chills up my spine rivaled only by Garrison Keillor having the audience sing the traditional Doxology.

A couple more tidbits: DH and I enjoyed a perfect steak supper at Outback, with sweet potato fries, before the concert. Lady Jeanne's Grecian and golden gown made me wish for someplace to wear such a stunning piece of clothing--which should make you laugh, as I wore Converse high tops to the concert! Her gown was heavenly, really--she seemed to float across the stage.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
praise him, all creatures here below
praise him above ye heavenly host;
praise Father, son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Oct 2, 2010

Date Night Extraordinaire

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Tonight one of my dreams is coming true . . .DH and I are going to see Sir James Galway and his wife Lady Jeanne in concert. James Galway is probably the world's MOST FAMOUS flutist (and has been since I was in high school--that's over 30 years).

James Galway was always the pinnacle for we flute players. In college I discovered I would not be a professional flutist, but I kept playing, and I still play for church and a few other places on occasion. So when we heard Galway was coming to lil 'ol Sioux City, Iowa, my DH and I both thought "great date!"

The concerts are held at a beautifully re-furbished Orpheum Theatre in Sioux City (see the chandelier above). They have everything from the symphony to Rocky Horror Picture Show there. We may even stop at Panera's on the way. The teenage sons have a marching band competition 3 HOURS away (a little pity party for that--ugh, 6 hours on a school bus), so we're on our own anyhow.

What's your favorite date night?

  • Even though I have a doozy of a cold (allergies?), I have a quiet day ahead, so plenty of opportunity to rest.
  • Beautiful fall weather.
  • An extra cup of coffee this morning.

Oct 1, 2010

BlogtoberFest Beginnings

blogtoberfest ~ day 1

Of course, I'm so out of it that I didn't even realize my idea to post everyday in October in order to jumpstart my blog again ALREADY EXISTED. So how great to open my blogroll and find that many great minds have the same idea--post every day in October.

You see, I've been lamenting the absolute boredom on my blog and trying to figure out how to post regularly. The main problem is I wanted a sewing blog but my life has little room for sewing, hence little content. What if I expand it to include, like, I don't know, my life?

So here it goes, blogtoberfest, a nice kick in the pants to just plain share. I'm pretty sure my life isn't quite as boring as my blog has been in the last 6 months. And there will still be a bit of sewing.

  • the blogosphere--I love the swaps and the blogs that make a positive community
  • the potential for frost this weekend--and a chance to put away the kleenex
  • a quiet morning to myself, even it I'm doing laundry