Wednesday, January 30, 2013

One Closet At A Time

I was inspired after reading this Blog post to do something about the state of my teeny tiny entry way closet. Just so you understand, this little bitty closet is the ONLY closet/storage space that we have on the main floor of our house. I'm not kidding. When we first moved in I tried to cram everything into it. I finally realized that cleaning supplies and the vacuum cleaner would have to find a new home upstairs. Please don't judge us by the before picture I'm about to show you. This mess just happened over 2 1/2 years.
 I know what you are probably thinking. I just tried not to open the door very often. The first thing that I did was to take every single thing out of the closet. I sorted things into several piles including: Goodwill, trash, keep, find a new home for. I did buy some nice wooden hangers and a hanging shoe thing from Target.
I have to say that I'm pretty pleased with my efforts. The goal was to get everything off the floor and as you can see I accomplished that. The baskets hold hats, mittens and scarves
 I really like the shoe bag thing. It's very narrow but holds all of the winter shoes that I don't really want in my bedroom closet.

I even have a couple of extra hangers for company. Next up I'm planning to tackle the Tupperware cabinet. I'll spare you pictures of that job. I'm not sure why I'm on this reorganizing spree, maybe I'm just getting a jump on spring cleaning. Another possibility is that I'm trying to avoid other things.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Quick Catch-Up

I can't believe that January is coming to an end this week. It's been a pretty busy month for me with wrapping up the holidays, a colonoscopy, long weekend trip to Iowa and last weekends work related trip to Paducah KY.
Just in case you didn't know, Paducah is the home of the National Quilt Museum. I was a little bummed that I didn't get a chance to visit the museum while I was there, but the hospital where my training took place had several beautiful quilts on display. This quilt is by Gail Stepanek called November Fields. It is just stunning and is hanging  right outside the meeting room of the Heart Center. I could have spent the day just admiring it. Do you see all of those tiny triangles. Wow!  is all I can say.

For those of you that are interested, Grace is back to blogging. Check her out here.


Monday, January 28, 2013

New Friends

Remember these flat little guys from last week?
Well, with a little rice and a few scoops of dried lavender they have come to life.
A couple of minutes in the microwave and you have a new, warm, snugly friend.
I think I just might have to make some more.
I got the pattern/kit at Common Threads Quilt Shoppe in North Liberty IA
Thanks Peg!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Things I Didn't Think I Needed

I really wanted the title to say "Things I Didn't Think I Needed and Now Can't Live Without" but I thought that might sound a little over dramatic.  I received some pretty awesome Christmas gifts this year. At the top of my "I don't really need that list" was a new "smart" phone. I develop strong attachments to my phones. As long as they work why would I need an upgrade? I'm so dumb. My new phone is amazing. I seriously am enjoying it and all that it can do for me. Mind you I have absolutely no idea what all it can do for me, but I'm learning.

The second thing that I thought I didn't need, was a Keurig coffee maker. Sure I thought they were pretty cool, but the whole one cup of coffee at a time thing seemed odd. Let me just say that it is not odd at all. I'm the only one that drinks coffee in this house, so one cup at a time means that my coffee is always PERFECT.  My wonderful kids must have known how much I would love it. Either that, or they just didn't like the way I used to make coffee. I may never go back to the old way.

I feel like such a modern woman now, except for the whole spinning wheel thing...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I spent last weekend in the company of some of my favorite Iowa friends. I had been keeping my fingers crossed since October that Mother Nature would cooperate once again and she sure didn't let me down. The weather was absolutely perfect for the 8 hour drives there and back home again on Sunday. Not a bit of snow to be seen between here and there. Just the way I like it. I got to Iowa City early enough on Thursday that the amazing Jacqueline had time to "freshen" my hair. We went out to the Atlas  one of our favorite restaurants for dinner and just happened to be filmed by an Iowa Public Television show called Iowa Ingredient. I think the episode is number 102 and it should air sometime in March. 
 Over 70 lovely ladies participated in the 8th annual Common Threads Quilt Shoppe Sew In
  Peg runs the show. She cooks the most delicious meals so that we can keep on sewing and she makes the cutest things on her tiny antique Singer sewing machine.
 Here are two of my favorite sewing fiends. Kandy and Barb.They sure know how to keep me on my toes and keep me laughing for hours.

 These are my finished projects. Honestly, I really went to visit and I did an awful lot of that. I'm glad I managed to accomplish what I did. I finished a Mile a Minute quilt top, a Christmas table ribbon, 3 origami bags, 1 little box bag and 2 adorable owls that you fill with rice and use as heating pads. Not bad considering the amount of talking that went on.

Here's a sneak peak at my next project.

 Barb and Jorge were kind enough to put me up again this year. The accommodations were 5 star. I had flowers in my room, chocolates on my pillow and fancy soaps and shampoos. Not to mention the yummy breakfasts prepared just for me each morning. OK, so they had to eat too, but it felt really special. Thanks guys. Let's hope it all works out again for next year.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Little Red Hats

An email went out at work last week that the hospital was looking for knitters. That's right, KNITTERS. 
 They are hoping to give every baby born in February a RED hat, not in honor of Valentine's Day, but to help promote woman's heart awareness. You know, Go Red for Woman. 
 They think they will need about 250 hats. 
 That's a lot of babies. That's also a lot of hats. 
 I got busy right away and I'm donating 9 tiny little hats. 
 They were super easy, fun and fast to knit up. 
 I may knit some more, but I ran out of red yarn.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Good Morning

 Here's a little peek outside of my front and back doors this morning.
 Not a lot, just enough ice, sleet and snow to slow things down in Louisville.
 Alan's quick trip to Ohio for a lab inspection was cancelled, but the schools are still open.
They say the roads are pretty clear.
Maggie and I are staying in until it's all melted, which should be around noon. I just love winter.
(That's me trying to be positive)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

More Broken Traditions

Just warning you. This post may be heavy on words and light on pictures.

It all started with Christmas Eve dinner and then escalated from there. We did not take our Christmas tree and decorations down before New Years day this year. We did eat black eyed peas and turnip greens to try and counter act the bad luck karma. Only time will tell. I also did not make a single New Years resolution. I know. It's crazy. I really don't know what's going. on. All of this goes against my crazy Virgo need of control and organization. All I can come up with is that now that I'm 50 I'm seeing the world through new eyes. Corny, I know, but I have to have some sort of reason or excuse for this sudden change in behavior. Just humor me and go with it OK?
Something new ~ Knitting a Magic Loop Toe Up Sock
 While I was taking down Christmas decorations on January 5th, I was listening to Pandora through my TV. (I still have not figured out how that works, but I love it). Anyway, about the time that I was sitting down to take a break because undecorating is a lot of work, an old James Taylor song came on. This is where things get weird... I have heard this song at least a million times. At least, but I don't guess I'd ever really listened to the words. Sitting there in my house sipping a cup of tea I decided to make the song my theme song for 2013. I know that a lot of people out in Blog land are choosing a theme word for the year. Well, I couldn't come up with just one. I like words too much for that. So, here is my theme song.Secret Of Life If you haven't heard it in a while just click on the title and it should take you to YouTube. The gist is "the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time". He says that "any fool can do it" and that "it's a lovely ride". There you have it,  my 2013 words to live by.

Just in case you think I've had a total personality switch-a-roo. I did kind of come up with a few, to borrow a Yoga word "intentions" for 2013. I like that word so much better than "goals". It just sound gentle and possible to me. "goals" sounds like "diet" and that's not a gentle word in my book. So here are some of my "intentions".
Take care of myself and the people that I love
Do things that make me happy every day
Try really hard to be positive (why is this one so hard for me?)

Have you broken any traditions? Did you make new years resolutions or intentions? Am I the only one that thinks about these things? I hope your new year has gotten off to a great start. 


Friday, January 11, 2013

Christmas Morning

Looking back at the pictures that I have taken over the past few weeks, I was a little distressed to discover that I did not take a single picture on Christmas day of my kids. That has to be a first since the first one was born. What was I thinking? What was I doing? Honestly, I can't remember. I do recall that we had a lovely morning opening gifts. Everyone was delighted and happy. We ate a delicious brunch and had a fantastic Christmas dinner. Where was my camera during all of this? The only member of the family that got her picture taken on Christmas day was Maggie. Seriously, what does that say about me? I don't even want to know.
 Maggie LOVES stuffed animals. She especially loves them when they make noise. Since we have been having a bit of a real opossum problem since we moved into this house, we found her a stuffed one that she could actually catch and obviously take out her aggressions on.
 Poor opossum. Before we had even finished breakfast, the majority of his stuffing had been removed along with his squeaker. Way to go Maggie! The opossum is still hanging around. Every now and then she finds it and shakes it to pieces. It's totally flat, missing an eye and absolutely pitiful looking. I should probably throw it away...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Christmas Recap

 I guess you can see that Alan was able to help me out. It seems that Internet Explorer is messed up. Not me.What a relief. I switched over to Mozilla Firefox and TaDa.... we have pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. I'm sorry. I'll try to cut back on the chit chat a bit.
 A day or so before Christmas, Grace willingly volunteered to go hiking with Alan. She even put on my hiking hat for the picture above. She says that she's going to try and be more "outdoorsy". I find that very interesting. I guess if you have plans to join the Peace Corps you might want to actually enjoy the great outdoors.
 Christmas Eve, we totally broke with tradition. Instead of our usual fondu dinner we decided to switch things up and go with a Spanish meal of Paella and Sangria. The Sangria was fantastic, the Paella, not so much.

 We followed a recipe that Grace translated from Spanish, and it just didn't turn out they way we were hoping. I think we need to take another trip back to Spain to get the real stuff.

 The day after Christmas we hit the road (for 12 hours) driving through quite yucky weather to Louisiana.
 Alan's mom has moved in with his sister Melinda and her family at the old  family homestead. We got to visit for a couple of days and really enjoyed each others company. We ate some amazing food and just hung out.

 In addition to playing interactive dance video games, Grace and Sarah wanted to learn how to play bridge.
 They talked their grandmother into helping out and after a few hands seemed to have the whole thing figured out.

We wished we could have stayed longer, but David had a plane to catch back to Norfolk. We spent a quiet New Year's eve with my Dad. We all managed to stay up until midnight to ring in 2013 and then we rushed off to bed. I wish I could tell you that I made all kinds of wonderful resolutions, but I didn't. I do have some goals in mind, but that's where they are, in my mind. Maybe I'll share some of them with you next time...