Saturday, August 31, 2013

Scrappy Sign Ups and Chit Chat

I wanted to follow up my post about the whole Crossfit thing just to explain a little bit.  Yes, it's a tough workout but they really don't make us do any more than we feel capable of doing, and they keep a close eye on us to make sure we're feeling okay.  When my muscles start to feel wobbly or when I'm out of breath and need to rest for a few minutes, no one minds if I stop, although they do encourage me with praise when I'm able to do more than I did the time before.  And if some part of us hurts, they try to figure out why and fix it or give us an alternate exercise.  Really, Crossfit is a good thing--even if the whole Crossfit concept and their "mascot" Pukie the Clown are a bit hard core. But that's really more for the athletes who are already fit and like a challenge--the gym rats.  At the other end of the Crossfit spectrum, my little "class" is made up mostly of people like me--ladies who have been away from exercise for a long time and are trying to get back into shape and be healthy.  And guess what?  Soccer Son's Lovely Wife seemed interested in what I'm doing, so I purchased a Groupon for her today so she can check out our class too.  She's been looking for a way into an exercise routine she'd enjoy, so maybe this is it.  My friend Missy's 20-something daughter is also in our class, and having someone else there closer to her in age will be nice.

I've also been riding the stationary bicycle Soccer Son brought over for me to use--I ride it just about every night.  When I asked my trainer what I could do to try to improve my lung capacity and endurance, he suggested a stationary bike, and it just worked out like fate that one showed up on my doorstep!  I've been riding it most evenings for 20 to 30 minutes, taking an occasional break if my pulse rate gets high or when I get tired.  And even though I've only used it this week, tonight I already noticed a change:  I rode for 30 minutes, I only took one break, and my pulse rate stayed a lot lower than it had been.

Someone asked if I'd started to see a difference in myself.  Yes, I definitely do!  For one thing, I noticed that all those little aches and pains I'd have when I got up in the morning or moved around throughout the day have disappeared.  I have more energy to do things.  I don't think twice about having to bend down and pick something up, or clean up anything on the floor.  I've never really had bad posture, but I feel like I'm standing straighter.

Along with the exercise, I've also been dieting.  I don't believe weighing myself helps keep me motivated.  I've seen too many women come back to work after a weekly weigh-in completely devastated and demoralized if they don't lose the weight they think they should or, heaven forbid, GAIN a half pound!   And all those women seem to starve themselves the day of their weigh-in until after they've been weighed.  That kind of thinking would just make me crazy.  So I can't tell you how much I might have lost, and it really doesn't matter to me.  Weight is like age--they're both just numbers that aren't necessarily the most important measure of your well-being, right?  I started both the exercise and the diet on August 6th, so it's not a month yet, but I know my clothes are getting looser--and isn't THAT a nice change from thinking they somehow shrunk in the closet?!

I hope I can keep it up.  It DOES take time away from quilting and some of the other things in my life, but I think it's going to make me better in the long run.

So, enough of that.  Let's start playing with scraps and turn out something great!  Once you have something scrappy on your blog to show, please add yourself to Mister Linky below and we'll all stop in for a visit.  My own goal is to finish cutting the sashing squares I need for the quilt I'm working on.  How about you? What's your goal?

Friday, August 30, 2013

CrossFit People Aren't Quite Right

I've reached the end of my first month of CrossFit, and I'm still hanging in there, but I have to tell you these trainers have really odd ideas about exercise that don't jibe with the real world.  Not MY real world, anyway.

Today, for instance.  We began with a 1000 meter row.  Then we did the dynamic warm up, and that consisted of lunges from one side of the room to the other, followed by two other leg-stretching routines and some jumping.  After that, we did a ring exercise where you lean back at about a 45 degree angle, holding onto two rings, and you pull yourself up, using your arms and shoulders.  30 of those.  Then we did push ups on a bar, with our body on a slant, kind of like the ring exercises.  30 of those.  Finally we did squats--yep, 30 of those too.

Now here's my understanding of normal work outs.  First you warm up by doing some stretching exercises.  Then there are the REAL exercises:  the main event.  Finally, there's a cool down period where you do some more stretching exercises.

Now, back to CrossFit's understanding of work outs.  All that stuff I told you we did today?  The rowing, the lunges and other stretching stuff, the pull ups, the push ups, and the squats?  Yeah, apparently that's just the prelude--the warm up for the REAL exercises.  For me, though, it's waaaaay past the warm up.  It's the warm up, the drown in your own sweat (and blind yourself with it too), and the pass out.  Then, once I can muster the energy to stand, it's the "exercise" where I stand for awhile under the air conditioning vent to dry off.

And at CrossFit, the routine changes every day, although that initial period of rowing is pretty standard.  The other day, we did the row, followed by a series of the lunges and other similar stuff, and then the many reps of whatever exercises the trainer decided we should do--I can't remember what they were now.  So then after THAT, he says--and I'm not kidding--"For the first exercise, I want you to . . . ."  Of course, I replied, "Oops, too late!"  He just looked at me like he didn't understand.  But I get that a lot.

In CrossFit, after all that stuff that's supposedly NOT exercise, they have the Workout of the Day ("WOD").  The workout changes daily, as the name implies, and admittedly our little group isn't really ready for the Big Boys' Workout du Jour yet, but they work us as much as they can.  Sometimes, they set up four or five stations with a different exercise at each one and make us do as many reps as we can for 40 seconds.  Then we switch to the next station, kind of like musical chairs except nothing disappears--all of the stations are still there.  That's what we did today, and we had to do the circuit four times, I think.  (At other times, instead of timing us at each exercise, we have to do a certain number of reps before we move to the next exercise, again completing the circuit several times.)

I haven't been nearly as sore as I was that first week, and I'm grateful for that, but now I'm working on stamina.  I usually have to stop and get my breath back a few times during the circuit, and after we've done a circuit or two, I'm usually not doing nearly the full amount of reps, but I keep trying and the trainer says it will come eventually.

I used to hate sweating, but now it feels kind of good, especially when I'm driving home from the workout with the A/C on full blast, as cold as it will go.  Yeah, I kind of like the exercise in a somewhat perverted way, but I don't think I'll ever be as crazy as those hard core CrossFit people.  Still, if I ever start talking about exercise as if it's nothing more than a Sunday stroll in the park, stage an intervention, okay?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Vacation . . .

Of course, just as work gets super busy, my thoughts turn back to our recent vacation--yep, I wish I was there!

Someone commented several days ago that I hadn't said much about our vacation, and that's quite true.  It's hard to know where to start when we saw so much.  There were drawbacks to cruising and I don't know if we'll do it again anytime soon, but we sure did get to see some beautiful country that we wouldn't have seen otherwise.

My favorite excursion was out of Ketchikan when we took the Misty Fjords tour via a double decker boat.  Hubby and the other passengers on the lower level had clear views of the beautiful scenery through plexiglas in a warm cabin while those who ventured up the stairs found themselves on an open deck--with a hot chocolate and coffee "bar" just steps away.

At some point mid-trip, I headed upstairs to check things out, and the lure of hot chocolate was simply irresistible.  I found, though, that it was very difficult to maneuver a cup of hot chocolate as well as a camera--in fact, I was an utter failure at it.  Rather quickly, the lid of the cup popped off and hot chocolate spilled everywhere, including all over my camera.  How embarrassing!  To this day, the automatic lens cover sometimes sticks closed on one side until a gentle little flick assists it in opening it all the way.

And really, to be fair, I should mention the downstairs passengers were also offered coffee and hot chocolate . . . as well as little breakfast pastries.  I think that's one of the things I enjoyed about the trip--not only was there a lot to see, but we were given a lot of tasty little tidbits along the way too.

Anyway, I want to share with you a few of the photos I took on that excursion, both pre- and post-chocolate incident:


This looks kind of like a lot of the snow and glaciers we saw, but this is a waterfall--there are several in the next photo too.

There were a ton of little birds nesting in the cliffs and flying around, but it doesn't look like any showed up in this photo.  Cool rock formations, though!

See the bald eagle?

Besides the coffee, hot chocolate, and pastries, they also served us a bowl of clam chowder on the return trip, and I think it was the best I've ever had!  (For those who didn't like clam chowder, there was chili.)  I thought I might write to them to ask about the recipe, but I haven't remember to do that yet.  Our last food treat was a snack of smoked salmon on crackers.  While we ate and enjoyed the scenery, we enjoyed a film about the salmon industry in Alaska.  And throughout the trip, there were people who told us about what we were seeing and the history of the area.

The Misty Fjords excursion was the most expensive of the three we took, but it was the best too!  If you're ever around Ketchikan, check it out!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Where's Waldo?

Okay, I'm not really talking about Waldo but that's what popped into my mind.  I thought you might be wondering where I am since I didn't post at my normal time late last night.

Well, as I mentioned a couple days back, work is super busy this week, and I ended up working last night until 9:30, trying to keep up with what has to go out this week.  After coming home and having something to eat, I really didn't have much time before bed to write--and I didn't have enough functioning brain cells left to think of words to string together into sentences, and sentences into paragraphs . . . .

I DID, though, find time to get in a little exercise.  Soccer Son and his Lovely Wife came over for dinner on Monday night bearing gifts--a stationary bicycle they weren't using anymore.  So last night I rode for 20 minutes (not altogether--it was split up into three shorter sessions), and traveled nearly 5 miles while going absolutely nowhere!  What's crazy to me is the amount of exercise and effort it takes to burn a measly 175 calories!  But by the time I was done, I was too hot and tired to want to have the "diet" ice cream sandwich I had been considering, so I figured I was ahead another 140 calories right there.

Now it's time for me to finish getting ready for the work day.  It seems like I just left!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"I Heard You Sew"

As quilters, how often do we hear those words?  And quite often they're followed by a request to hire us to sew something.  I don't know about you, but I don't really sew anything other than quilts and the occasional decorative household items.  I don't do hems, alterations, etc.  So I'm usually able to tell the person I don't really even know how to do whatever it is they're looking for.

Sometimes, though, the person wants a quilt or something else I do know how to make--something that they've seen me make for myself or a friend/relative.  And my normal response is to tell the person that I don't usually hire out my services because quilting is a time-consuming process and hiring me would probably cost a lot more than they're willing to pay. And if they STILL want me to make something?  Well, then I tell them what the item would cost.  And because my limited quilting time is very valuable to me, I put a reasonably high price on my services.  Funny, but I don't recall any of these negotiations proceeding much past that point.

Now and then, though, someone will ask me about making something for them, and if I'm in a very rare, generous mood, I say "sure"!  A couple weeks ago, one of the younger women I work with asked me about the coasters she'd seen around the office--I'd made them for all of the secretaries and staff at some point before she was hired; I had a couple in my desk drawer, so I gave her one.  Then she asked me if I could make a dozen for her bunco group--she was going to be hostessing in September and she thought the coasters would be a great little gift for the players.  Of course she offered to pay me, and of course I refused.  After all, how much could a person charge for coasters that would even begin to cover payment for the time it takes to make them?  So I simply asked her to buy the fabric, told her how much I'd need, and directed her to select cotton.

So she went to a general craft and fabric store where she got a really, really good deal on some sale cotton prints.  I won't name names, but I know this large chain store carries some fabrics that really aren't that bad; unfortunately, this stuff she brought me was.  Thin, almost see-through fabric with muddy looking prints.  But, still, I'm sure it's okay for coasters--it's not like they're going to be washed and used forever or anything!  Still, working with this stuff reminded me yet again why I like to buy my fabric from quilt shops!

It's taken me a couple evenings, but I finally finished a stack of coasters.  I had enough fabric to probably make about twice what she asked for, but I compromised by making 16 of them so she'll have a few extra.  Needless to say, I'll also be returning to her all of the leftover fabric.

How do you respond to requests to sew for people?

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Couple More . . .

I always expect I'll get a lot of sewing done on the weekends, but by Sunday night, it rarely seems to have gone the way I anticipated on Friday.  I guess this weekend I got a bit off track with shopping and cooking, but I really wouldn't change that--I think doing more than sitting in the Sweat Shop for two days keeps me from being too one-dimensional.  At least it gets me a little fresh air!

Oh, well.  I think the REAL problem is that weekends are just too darn short!

So what did I do?  Besides cutting those 300 squares I showed you, I worked on a few more basket blocks.  Here's what I have so far:

One more basket will give me 13, which is enough for the smaller quilt.  I'm still not sure if that's where I'll stop or if I'll go on and make more--25 are needed for the larger version.  I guess it might depend on how much I'm able to sew this week.

Speaking of this week, I anticipate it will be a very crazy, heavy week at work, so I might miss posting--I just wanted to mention it so you don't wonder what happened to me if there's no new post someday.  We have a lot of deadlines, and I suspect I may be going back to work in the evenings after my CrossFit classes.  ARGH!

Knowing what's ahead, I really, really HATE that the weekend's come to an end, but it's time to head toward bed.  Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Food, Glorious Food!

I hadn't been to the farmers' market in Auburn, about 30 minutes east of Sacramento, since last fall, so I thought I'd head that way this morning.  I find the Auburn market tends to have a few more interesting things than the Sacramento farmers' markets I usually visit (although our large one downtown is also good for finding unusual things--maybe next weekend!).

Because I picked out early variety tomatoes to grow in our garden this year, they're near the end of their season and not producing like they did in July.  Still, I want to stock the freezer with a few more batches of roasted tomatoes before the summer harvest is done, so I purchased some tomatoes and roasted them later in the afternoon today--yum!

I also visited the mushroom stand and picked out two nice, big portobello mushrooms.  Hubby's not normally content to eat a dinner without meat--unless it's a big dish of mac 'n cheese--but I thought I'd see if I could cook something that would make both of us happy, and I found the perfect recipe:  Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Portobellos.  They tasted like lasagna or pizza--something deliciously excellent like that.

This is a photo I grabbed from the website and not my own, although ours looked pretty much the same.  If you might be interested in the recipe, click HERE.  I used the roasted tomatoes I made--that I roasted with onions, garlic, basil, and a few other spices--in place of the marinara sauce in the recipe.  These stuffed mushrooms were filling AND only 200 calories a serving.  We also had an avocado and tomato Caesar salad.

What else did I bring home from the market?  Well a bag of tomatillos and a few jalapeno peppers made a nice Mexican green sauce; I think I'm going to use it in chicken enchiladas tomorrow.  And peaches became a low fat version of peach cobbler.  I also scored a bag of padron peppers--I'm going to share those with a friend.  I had my first batch last year and, frankly, they were the main reason I headed back to the Auburn farmers' market!  All quite yummy!

So, for the most part, I spent my Saturday engaged in food-related activities.  But I finally got into the Sweat Shop Saturday evening, where I cut another 300 scrappy squares for the Pie in the Sky quilt.

This gives me 900 squares and I think I need somewhere between 1000 and 1200, so I'll keep cutting next week.  And maybe I'll do a little bit of counting again too, because I don't suppose it would be a good idea to end up with a couple hundred extra scrap squares.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Winner!

We have a winner of the Merry, Merry Snowmen pattern giveaway--Luana (who posted as anonymous).  Luana said:

"Launa here.....soft teal with red and gray. I've loved this pattern so thanks Kim for a chance to win.
Launa in Tulare"

Luana, please email me the rest of your address and I'll get the pattern in the mail to you next week--congratulations!

Now, it's Mister Linky time.  If and when you work on something scrappy for our Scrap Basket Sunday, please post it on your blog and then link your blog to mine by signing up on the Mister Linky below.  We're always looking for good, scrappy ideas, and sharing what we're working on is an excellent way to find those ideas!

Friday, August 23, 2013

It's a Start . . .

Earlier this evening, I turned the door knob and entered the Sweat Shop; and tonight, I actually got something done!  It may not look like much, but it's the beginning of this month's Schnibbles quilt, Canasta.

The pattern shows two versions:  one with 25 basket blocks and one with 13 basket blocks.  I haven't decided which one I'll make, but I'm guessing it will be the one with 13.  Notice that I did, in fact, decide to use my leftover French General scraps from the Merry, Merry Snowman quilt too--I thought I might and it still seemed like a good idea tonight.

Before I ever got around to cutting fabric to make these two squares though, I went through my leftovers and sorted out what I had.  I decided to use all of the cream scraps as backgrounds and make the baskets in the the red and pinkish fabrics.  There are a lot of taupe fabrics in the pile of leftovers, and I was thinking I might use those in the sashing, but I'm on the fence about that for now.  These two blocks both use the same background fabric, but I'll be using other backgrounds too.

I think I have about a week to finish the top for the monthly parade on Sinta's and Sherri's blogs.  Normally I procrastinate until the last minute, so I feel like I'm getting a pretty good start this time!  No need to rush--at least not for another week.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Somebody Needs to Kick Me

Because I did absolutely nothing tonight!  Yes, I'm still sticking with CrossFit, so I DID do that, but then I came home and melted into the couch.  I didn't even OPEN the door to the Sweat Shop!

Consequently, I have nothing productive to show you, but I CAN try to tempt you to buy some stuff.  If you don't want to be tempted, click away now.

When we were on vacation up near Seattle, my favorite quilt shop of the couple I visited was Carriage Country Quilts--just as some of you recommended--and while I was there, I purchased a pattern or two by a local designer, Susan Pinick, who has a pattern company called On Pins and Needles.  Seriously, I could have purchased a lot more of her patterns, but I held back a little.  However, when I came home, I couldn't resist a little web search or two, and sure enough, I found her Etsy website.  Want to see it?  Well, first I'll show you two of her patterns, just so you know up front whether her work appeals to you before you click over there.

Embroidery anyone?

Or maybe you prefer wool?

I haven't bought either of these patterns (yet), so please feel free to show your appreciation for this tip by gifting me one.  Yes, I'm just kidding!  But seriously, how could her patterns NOT appeal to anyone and everyone? Anyway, here's a link to her Etsy store:  ON PINS AND NEEDLES

And, by the way, if you're ever in Des Moines, Washington . . . .

Oh, and when I said somebody needs to kick me, I wasn't suggesting you should retaliate for your lack of retail self-control!  After all, I DID warn you ahead of time.  Hopefully tomorrow evening will be more productive for me.  "See" you then.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Merry, Merry Me!

Done!  Well, sort of; except for all that quilting.  But the top's finished--woo-hooo!  Aren't borders kind of boring to add to an otherwise finished quilt top?  I had a hard time getting myself to do it but I finally gave myself a talking to, sat down at the machine, and just got it over with.

I know the quilt looks a little wavy but it's just pinned up on a wall using three tacks--the final quilted quilt will be much nicer.  I was really surprised how big this turned out.  I rarely pay much attention to a quilt pattern's measurements unless I intend to use a quilt on my king-sized bed, so I had no idea until I tacked it up on the wall that it was as large as it is--most of the Bunny Hill patterns I've made have been nice, medium sized wall hangings.

Are you interested in "winning" my used pattern?  Now that I'm done, it's time for a giveaway.  Leave me a comment telling me what fabrics/colors you think you'd like to use in making your own version and I'll add you to the drawing.  I'll pick a winner Friday night, which means that person will be announced on Saturday's post, so make sure you come back to see if it might be you!  You'll need to claim it if you win--I won't come looking for you.

By the way, if you need a little color inspiration for dreaming up your own version, check out Anne Sutton's Bunny Tales blog post HERE.  The green one is surprisingly attractive, I think!  Well, I like them both a lot; of course; that's not what I mean.  I'm just saying I'm surprised I find the green one as stunning as I do.  I'll have to keep that in mind for a future project.  And speaking of future projects, I guess I'll have to figure out tomorrow night what's next!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Just One Blanket a Month . . .

Is that too much to ask?

Sometimes it's harder than at other times to keep up with a block of the month project, right?  I've been falling behind on my project that I kit up and give to my friends each month, the Buttermilk Basin sheep blankets.  I started out making sure mine was done at least a week or two before our monthly gatherings, then I started lagging, to the point where I was actually working on mine AT our gatherings.  This month, though, I finished the blanket at record tortoise speed--I got it done over a week AFTER our gathering!

I'm not setting a very good example for my friends!  And, of course, the way block of the month projects usually go, the time most of us really start to falter is once we get into the holiday season, beginning with Halloween.  Yikes!  Something to look forward to, eh?  I guess I need to step it up a bit!

Monday, August 19, 2013


On Sunday I was puttering around the Sweat Shop, straightening things up and organizing a little bit before getting started on whatever project I decided to work on for the day.  I had a vague idea that I'd finish the borders on the Merry, Merry Snowmen quilt since it's so close to being done, and then I could redistribute the leftover French General fabric--I was thinking about using the scraps for this month's Schnibbles project.

Well, you know how easily such plans can be sidetracked, right?  As I was puttering, I came across the blue work embroidery blocks one of my readers, Shelley, had gifted me.  Remember these?  I'd received a free machine embroidery magazine and had a giveaway, and she won.  In return, she sent me these pretty blocks!

Awhile back I had decided to experiment with color crayons on one of the blocks to see how it would look, and I really liked the outcome, but that's as far as I'd gotten.  Well, when I came across the blocks again today, I thought I'd play around with my crayons for a little while.  Before I knew it, the afternoon had passed and now I have nine colored blocks--I thought I'd just color bits and pieces of the images so the color didn't overwhelm the embroidery.

After I heat set the colors, I trimmed them all to 8-1/2".  Now I've put them away again because I'm not sure how I want to set the blocks.

I was kind of thinking this would make a great quilt to contribute to the local quilt auction to raise money for breast cancer research--we do that once every three years and it's pretty successful.  And I think we do it again in October or November 2014--that certainly gives me time to finish it if that's what I decide to do!

I like the idea that a series of kindnesses and generosity by strangers would lead to raising money for such a good cause.  I'll be sure to show you how this project progresses next time I pull it out to work on.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Oh, What a Night!

My sister-in-law Kathy and our friend Lisa took me out to dinner to celebrate my birthday (which occurred while Hubby and I were in Alaska a few weeks ago).  They asked me where I wanted to go, and I suggested Seasons 52, a restaurant chain that just opened a restaurant in Sacramento a few months ago.  I'd been wanting to try it but hadn't yet.  Oh, my, the food was really good and the service was excellent!  Apparently when making dinner reservations, Lisa let the restaurant know it was my birthday, because just about everyone who came into contact with us wished me a happy birthday.  Our waiter, Jorge, explained the concept of the restaurant, which is to offer fresh, seasonal food that changes quarterly and specials that change each week.  Every dish on the menu is 475 calories or less and they don't use butter or cream, nor do they deep fry anything.

The three of us shared a chicken flatbread appetizer and we each ordered an entree--my choice was pork tenderloin with portobello mushrooms, polenta with herbs and cipollini onions, and brocollini.  Yum!  And after that?

They brought out these mini desserts for us to select from.  Fantastic!  Just enough to satisfy our craving for a little something sweet to end the meal.

And I didn't tell you yet, but the restaurant presented me with birthday card when I arrived and later, when we were choosing our desserts, Jorge took our photo and presented me with a print of the three of us when we were ready to leave.  Isn't that a special way to celebrate an occasion?  And, of course, the friends I was with were special too--two of my favorite people!

Our meal was a little bit on the pricey side (especially since we also had a cocktail or two) and there weren't any leftovers to take home, but none of us left hungry either and we were all pleased with our dining experience.  If you have a Seasons 52 in your area and haven't tried it yet, you might want to check it out!

On the quilting front, for Scrap Basket Sunday I continued cutting 2-1/2" squares to use in the sashing of the Pie in the Sky quilt.

It may not look like much, but there are 600 squares here, 300 of which were cut this week.  If I can do the same thing next week, I should be close to what I need, I think.

How about you?  Did you do anything scrappy?  Has your weekend been all that you wished for?  Mine has so far, and since I'm writing this late Saturday night--or Sunday morning, really--there's still another day left to sew!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pumpkin Progress and Scrap Basket Sunday

Shirley and I joined Imelda at her home tonight and began making pumpkins.  I thought you'd like to see.

Shirley unwrapped her kit and spread it out for us to enjoy--don't you love the green ribbon it was tied with?!

After admiring the fabrics a bit, we got to work.  Shirley and Imelda hadn't prepared their pumpkins ahead of time, so I started out ahead of the game, but they made great progress as I enjoyed the salad I picked up for my dinner from California Pizza Kitchen on the drive between my office and Imelda's house.  (And it's possible I was doing more talking than sewing at times too!)  By the end of the night, Imelda and I had both finished our three pumpkins and Shirley wasn't far behind.

These pumpkins go so quickly we've decided to meet and work on them twice a month:  the first Friday of the month and the third Friday of the month.  You may recall that in recently months, I've reserved Friday evenings for dinner out with Hubby, but after eating so many meals out on our vacation, I think dinner out every other week will work just fine for awhile.

Will you be joining us for Scrap Basket Sunday?  If you're short of ideas on what to make, how about pulling all of your orange fabrics out of your scrap basket--assuming you HAVE scraps of orange--and making some pumpkins?  I went looking for a link for a pumpkin pattern to suggest and guess what I found?  One of my own!  You can either click on the "Happy Jacks Tutorial" in the sidebar or hop over to my pattern at FaveQuilts (this link will take you to part 1).  And, of course, FaveQuilts has several other pumpkin suggestions for you--like a paper pieced Jack-O-Lantern--cute and perfect for smaller scraps!

"See" you Sunday!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Getting My Orange On!

I've hinted a time or two about starting a new project with a couple of friends and I'm finally ready to show you what it is.


Last year around this time my friend Imelda and I purchased the patterns for Bunny Hill's Pumpkin Pie quilt and had fun "collecting" the fabrics used in the original quilt.  We found out later our friend Shirley had already purchased the pattern AND the fabric kit directly from Bunny Hill, so in theory, we've been ready to start for quite awhile--we just hadn't been able to find the time until now.

The pattern isn't exactly written like a block of the month pattern, but the directions require multiple pumpkins from a handful of different patterns, so I think we're starting with pumpkin #1 and treating it as we would a block of the month quilt.  We haven't really all had a chance to talk about specifics yet, so what I'm guessing will happen may change.

The applique should be reasonable easy with these simple pumpkin shapes.  Here I have my fabrics for the first three pumpkins sorted out . . .

And I've begun to prepare the pieces.

We're meeting at Imelda's house and bringing our own brown-bag dinners this first time because we don't want to spend a lot of time going out to eat, but maybe we will at later meetings.  The idea is that we'll actually SEW when we get together, but sometimes there's a little more chatting than sewing going on.  And when you add eating into the mix, well it's a wonder any quilts are made at all!

I'll show you our progress and tell you about our gatherings as time goes on.  If this quilt has been languishing in your "to do" pile, please pull it out and sew along with us in the virtual world!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Things Are Looking Up . . .

I felt better today--my cold wasn't quite as bad and I didn't really have any sore muscles to speak of.  I might be singing a different tune tomorrow, because I had another CrossFit session tonight and when I got done, my muscles were feeling a little wobbly, but I'm not going to worry about it--I really think I'm finally starting to adjust and am over the worst of it.  Best of all today, though, is that once I finished CrossFit, I drove straight over to a local quilt shop for Thimbleberries Club, and let me show you the goodies I had to bring home with me.

I'm such a sucker for all things Halloween!  These two pieces are from a line by Maude Asbury called Spooktacular.  Darling, aren't they?

Of course, I have no idea what I'll do with them, but I purchased 1-1/2 yards of the first piece and 2-1/2 yards of the second; it seemed wise to buy large pieces because the prints are big and perfect for borders or large focus squares.

Clearly Stitch prefers the cat print though.  Maybe he'd like a cape for Halloween?

I was just telling my friends the other day that I have no idea where all the stuff that's cluttering up the Sweat Shop came from because I really don't buy that much fabric these days, but a yard here and a yard there really add up, don't they?  And, of course, I have no idea what tiny corner of my stash shelves I'll wedge these pieces into because the Halloween section is filled to bursting. Oh, well, I guess I'd better get busy sewing so I can use some of these fabrics up.  And I have just the project in mind--I'll show you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Little of This, a Little of That

After a half bottle of Nyquil (only a slight exaggeration), I slept pretty well but I was still feeling too sick this morning to go to work, so I stayed home.  I had a fleeting thought that I might spend a little time in the Sweat Shop catching up on a some sewing today, but before I could make it that far, I was back on my bed, taking a "little nap" that lasted all afternoon.  I guess it's the best thing when a person's not feeling well but it sure doesn't make for anything very interesting to talk about.

The Wild Child has come for a visit--she arrived around dinnertime, so she and Hubby and I were able to catch up a little.  She had a couple of summer classes that have now ended and the fall session doesn't start for a few weeks, so it's a good time to visit.  Hubby thought we might get Chinese takeout for dinner and I was REALLY looking forward to some soup from my favorite Chinese place, but then we found out it's closed on Tuesdays.  Darn!  Instead, I settled for making all of us wedge salads and turkey/cranberry sandwiches.

The Drooling Dog came along with the Wild Child, but he seems to be suffering from Ninja fleas that just won't die, so he's banished to the backyard, poor boy!  Before he and the Wild Child moved to Humboldt last year, the Drooling Dog was Hubby's daily companion, so Hubby's spent some time on the patio this evening, visiting with his canine buddy.

I'm pleased to report my workout on Monday night caused me no serious pain this time--probably because I took it a little easier in light of this respiratory thing I have going on.  By the way, I'm surprised--pleasantly so--to hear my pain has motivated some of you to get out there and suffer along with me--yay you!

I'm not sure if I explained my CrossFit group before, but I'm one of five women in our little class.  We all work together more or less--we're actually employed by two different companies that have a working relationship with one another.  Four of us are middle-aged, and up until now, none of us were all that active.  This is the third month for two of the women and they're pretty good at keeping up and working hard throughout the class--unlike me, but I hope to build up to it.  While we're there, we're working directly with the trainer and there aren't too many other people working out around us, so that's kind of nice--the intimidation/inferiority factor is low because we're not surrounded by highly fit 20-somethings!

The trainer told me yesterday that the first month is mostly changing the way we think about exercise and strengthening our bodies.  I'm not really looking for anything in particular; all I want is a way to become more fit and strong and burn off a few more calories, and I feel like we're doing that already.  I've read a little of the CrossFit material, and I understand CrossFit workouts change each day, and the workouts are designed to exercise all major muscle groups for overall strength and fitness.  The exercises can be scaled up or scaled down in intensity for anyone, including seniors.  In fact, my gym has a class they call CrossFit Lite, and I expect that's something like what he's having us do.

I hope to get a good night's sleep tonight, with the help of a little more Nyquil, because I really need to get back to work tomorrow--there's just too much to do for me to be off any longer, especially after being away on vacation for two weeks.  So I'm off to bed and I'll "see" you back here tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

If It's Not One Thing . . .

I'm not sure why any of you quilters would want to keep reading my blog when it seems most of what I've been talking about lately is how bad I feel, and tonight's post is no exception--sorry!  But I appreciate the fact that at least a few of you keep reading.

Remember that cold I had when I was on the Alaska cruise?  Well, it sort of went away, but I continued to suffer from allergies--it's just that time of the year here in our part of the world.  It seems, though, the virus--whatever it is--has returned, and I'm about ready to concede defeat.  The only difference between what I have now and what I had three weeks ago is that my throat isn't quite as sore.  Besides all the typical cold symptoms, I have an irritating cough that just doesn't seem to want to let me rest, and the other unusual thing is that there's an intestinal component as well--as if a head cold wasn't bad enough.

I went to work today--do you know why?  I didn't want to miss CrossFit.  Is that crazy or what?  But about an hour or so before class, I didn't know how I'd ever make it.  Still, I kept going and the weirdest thing happened.  While I was working out, I felt pretty much okay other than a tendency to get out of breath a bit quicker than normal.  I didn't push myself and didn't come close to completing everything the other gals did--nothing new there though--so I'm not sure how I'll feel tomorrow as far as aching body parts go.  I suspect this cold will make me feel so crummy, though, that a few body aches won't matter much.

I read an interesting article on dieting and the science of food today and I thought I'd share it with those of you who are interested.  There are all sorts of theories on when to eat, what to eat (more carbs/no carbs), etc., and that makes it confusing and frustrating to try to watch what we eat, but this article helps to separate myth from reality.  That being said, though, I mentioned yesterday that different things work for different people.  If eating your biggest meal for breakfast works for you, go for it.  If not eating until lunch works better, ditto.  One of the keys to dieting is finding ways to decrease the amount of food we eat, increase our exercise, and make sure what we eat is good for us; so whatever routines help us achieve that are worthwhile.

Finally, in follow up to the story I gave you a link for the other day about the mystery priest who appeared at the site of a serious accident, the priest does in fact exist and has been located.  Still, the circumstances of how and why he was there leave open the idea that there was some higher power organizing things.  Click HERE if you'd like to read the follow up story.

Now I'm going to go to bed and hope I feel better tomorrow.  Diet and exercise aren't for the weak willed.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The First 300

My arms felt well enough today to allow me to cut another 150 squares, so now I have 300 of the approximately 1,000 I need for the sashing of the Pie in the Sky quilt.

And since my Thimbleberries Club meets this coming Wednesday, I thought I should construct the August block for the block of the month quilt we've been working on.  I think it's supposed to look like a big sunflower.

Thank you all for the exercise support, and yes, I know you're laughing with me.  I just have to laugh at myself--and share the amusing stories with you--because I'm so obviously out of shape it's silly, but I'm going to do what I can to change that.  Diet too.  A couple of you asked about my diet.

For a long time, I've taken the position that diets don't really work and that it's more important to eat healthy foods and change the way one eats on a daily basis.  And I still believe that to some extent, but I recently read that people are more successful with weight loss when they very seriously DO diet, because seeing the quicker change keeps a person motivated to keep working toward their goal.  When I thought about it, that made sense.  After all, there has to be some reason why I keep falling off the "healthy eating" wagon before I'm ever able to lose any weight.  So instead of saying this time that I'm simply modifying my eating habits with a goal to slowly lose weight, I really AM dieting, with a goal to lose weight as quickly as I'm able in a reasonably healthy way.  And I'm not following any particular diet method.  Primarily I'm watching calories.  Within that parameter, I'm limiting fats and I'm eating lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and several servings of veggies and a couple servings of fruit each day.  Oh, and trying to make sure I get enough calcium, usually in the form of yogurt, low fat milk, a limited amount of cheese, and yes, low fat ice cream, because I love a daily treat and would feel grumpy and deprived without it.

So all in all, I'm hoping the diet along with the exercise will move me along toward the result I'd like to achieve.  And I think paying the money I'm paying for these CrossFit classes--which is higher than I ever thought I'd pay to feel the way I have this past week--will keep me going, because I'd hate to waste all that money.  And if I start losing weight and feeling better--and I actually DO feel better already--I hope that will keep me motivated too.  Then my idea is that after I've dieted and exercised for awhile, it will become more natural and a way of life for me--maybe.  At least I hope so.  Different methods work better for different people, and I'm ready to try something that's a little more drastic than what I've done in the recent past.  I'll let you know how I'm doing now and then without going on and on about it and boring you to death, and I'll be sure to share any funny stories related to my diet and exercise.  Laughter is good too--I think it even burns a few calories!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Just Can't Cut It

Usually when we say we just can't cut it--in speaking of quilting at any rate--we mean the fabric's so pretty we hate to cut into it.  Not this time.  This time, I mean it literally.

I didn't tell you before, but CrossFit killed me again on Thursday night.  Or perhaps killing me in actuality would have been more merciful.  Do you know what planks are when it comes to exercise?  Well, they're like this:

That's one of the exercises we had to do and I really think it's the one that did me in.  Thursday night's exercise routine focused mostly on upper body strength.  With planks, I asked the trainer if I could just lay on my stomach on the mat because I was pretty sure that when I was on my toes, my stomach would still be on the floor, but he said no.  So up I went on toes and forearms and held that position as long as possible.  Yes, it looks reasonably easy, but you try it.  I did that a couple times.  I also pulled a pile of weights around the room.  Then I did something with a thick rope that looked like I was at one end of double jump ropes but I just whipped them up and down.  There were also bar push ups and ring pull ups and several other things along similar lines that I'd just as soon forget about until next week when I have to do them again.

It's just as well I've been trying to diet also because on Friday, I couldn't lift a fork or spoon to my lips.  And when I tried, it took me several minutes to get my hands high enough to brush my hair away from my face.  Trying to reach back to grab my seat belt in the car was enough to make me think seriously about walking the 12 miles to and from work.  In fact, walking might have been quicker.

By Saturday, I could move my arms a little further, but they were still pretty achy.  Tonight, though--Saturday night--they're finally returning to near normal and I'm looking forward to being able to sleep without screaming in pain every time I turn over.

So, anyway, what I'm getting to is that as much as I wanted to cut a bunch of 2-1/2" squares today for my Scrap Basket Sunday project, it was a little hard to do up until just a couple hours ago, so I didn't get very much done, really--not as much as I would have liked, anyway.

I have 150 squares cut but I'll need somewhere around 900 to 1,000 squares for the sashing, I think, so this is going to take a little time.  On Friday, I believed a double arm amputation would be less painful than what I was experiencing, but now I'm glad I put away the power saw because I'm hopeful my arms will feel well enough tomorrow to get more squares cut.

How are you doing with your scrap basket project?  Don't forget to link up if you write a post about your project and progress.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Scrap Basket Sunday Sign Ups!

I'm kind of excited to say that I'll be joining everyone for Scrap Basket Sunday once again!  For the past three weekends, I've been unable to join in due to my various travel plans, so it's about time!  You may recall that I finished all of the blocks I needed for Kim Diehl's Pie in the Sky quilt pattern, but I still have to cut a ton of squares for the sashing, and that's what I'll work on.

As I was getting on the computer tonight to take care of my normal email correspondence and read some of the news stories, I came across a story about an "angel priest" in Missouri--did you hear about that?  Right now, the identity of the priest is a mystery and it may remain so--or not--but the story is amazing either way.  If you haven't read about it yet, click HERE.

Once you have a scrap basket project posted on your blog to share, add your link below:

And just in case you're looking for a scrappy project to get started on, there's a link for tiny cake stand blocks below--it would make an excellent scrappy project!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Some Improvement . . .

I'm happy to say I was less achy and sore today although I felt like I was winded quicker during the work out.  But maybe that's just because I was working harder?  Hard to say.  But it felt good, finally.  I'm no where near the endurance level of the other gals who started two months before me, but they're all very encouraging.  I don't have another CrossFit session now until Monday night, so I'm thinking I should do SOMETHING to keep exercising in the interim.  At least some walking and a few stretching-type exercises.  And I think I can modify some of the CrossFit exercises to do at home without special equipment, like the sit ups/crunches, push ups, etc.

And tonight, after dinner, I felt a bit more enthusiastic about quilting, although I was awfully tempted to just kick back and read instead.  Still, I'm getting together with my stitchery friends on Saturday, and I always bring them a sheep blanket kit, so that's what I did tonight--I made up the wool kits.  Tomorrow night I'll get mine prepped to work on Saturday.

Did you, by any chance, see Synthia's comment yesterday about the teeny tiny cake stand blocks she's been working on?  It's a free pattern/sew along by Temecula Quilt Co.  I was thinking it would be an excellent scrap project for those of you who might want to participate in Scrap Basket Sunday.  You can find it HERE, with a link to the PDF pattern.  Between that and this month's Schnibbles project, it seems that baskets are popping up all over!  And that reminds me--I was thinking if I could just get myself to finish the Merry, Merry Snowman quilt, I could use my leftover French General fabric for the Schnibbles basket quilt.  Wouldn't that be pretty?  Hummmmm, maybe I'm getting my mojo back after all!

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Thanks for all the encouraging words about this exercise thing I've foolishly decided to drop a bunch of money on that could be better spent on fabric try.  Tonight the trainer promised I'd feel better by the end of the class, and just before we left, I told him he was right--because I'd taken a pain pill about 30 minutes before class began.  But he assured me the first two weeks are the worst--then another girl working out corrected him by saying it's really the first three weeks, and after that I'd be fine.  I'd say it's probably the first four weeks, because that's all I've committed to doing with this gym, but we'll see.  I know it's something I need to do for my own well being, so maybe I'll continue on with CrossFit after August.  I think those darn rowing machines are going to kill me though.  They turn my legs into spaghetti!

Tonight we did a little more upper body work than we did the first time.  When I got home, I tried to call Soccer Son and realized I was having a hard time pushing the phone buttons to dial.  Seriously.  But I have to laugh at myself.  Lord knows how I'll feel tomorrow.

Once again, I went into the Sweat Shop tonight and just didn't feel motivated to do anything.  I don't know if it's the exercise thing or if I'm just going through one of those periods where nothing's grabbing my attention and getting me excited.  What are YOU working on now?  Maybe if you tell me what's exciting you, it might help me to find my mojo.

The other day I finished the center of the Merry, Merry Snowman quilt top; I still need to cut and sew the borders, and there's one little snowman peeking down from a corner that I need to applique, but it's pretty close to being done.  Here's how it looks so far:

There's a part of one seam I'm not happy with and need to fix, but I thought I'd wait and fix it when I pull it down from the design wall to add the first small border.  I went ahead and added all of the little buttons for eyes and, well, BUTTONS; I was going to wait until it was quilted, but then I decided they're so small they shouldn't interfere with the quilting.

The other day, there was something tickling my brain about another block of the month beginning in August, but I couldn't quite remember what it was.  Eventually I remembered--it's this one by the Quilt Company with fabrics by Maywood Studios:

That's exciting, right?  Are any of you signed up for it?  Also, my friends and I are going to start another applique project soon--but I'll tell you more about that another time.  Now it's time for bed. One more evening of CrossFit and then the first week will be behind me.  "See" you tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How Can Something That Hurts so Bad be so Good For You?

Okay, I know I'm just being a big baby, but I was right--exercise = pain.

Seriously, I got out of bed this morning and thought, "Hummmm.  Yes, I'm sore, but it's not TOO bad; not nearly as bad as I thought it would be."  Well, guess what?  As the day went on, I got more and more stiff and sore until . . . well, until right now, I guess.  I feel like I haven't hit the pain peak yet, because I sure can't say I'm any better now than I was an hour or two ago, and it seems to just get worse as time goes by.

After dinner tonight, I went into the Sweat Shop . . . .  Actually, that makes it sound much too fast.  Let me rephrase it.  After dinner tonight, I sat on the couch for about 30 minutes, thinking about getting up and moving but knowing it was going to be painful when I did and questioning whether my thigh muscles would even work.  Finally I got up and hobbled into the Sweat Shop.  Once I arrived about ten minutes later, I sat down and thought about what I wanted to work on.  Then I thought some more.  And it occurred to me that what I really wanted to do was take a hot bath and go to bed.  So that's what I'm doing.  I already took the hot bath (although it had cooled significantly by the time I convinced myself to try to stand up and get out).  And after I'm done on the computer, I'm going to work on convincing myself to get up one more time and head to bed.

Sadly, there was no sewing done tonight, and here I was expecting it would be my one free and productive evening.  Nope; didn't happen.  And I have CrossFit classes the next two nights.  I can't imagine how I'm going to get through them alive, but I'm going to keep at it--easy to say now while I'm sitting comfortably in a chair.

And yes, I did take ibuprofen last night and continued taking it today.  I drank water.  I took a couple hot baths.  I prayed a few times.  I tried to stretch out the sore muscles a little, thinking that if I used them more, they'd feel better.  Someone suggested today, "but it's a good pain, right?"  Well, if it is, I don't want to know what a bad pain feels like.  A "good pain."  What's that?!

I'll try to get back here tomorrow if I can still walk.  Send good thoughts my way.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I'm Probably Going to be Sorry in the Morning . . .

Well, I did it.  I started CrossFit work outs, three days a week.  Well, it WILL be three days a week if I can manage to get out of bed tomorrow, after completing the first day.  Seriously, if I had a child the last time I did any kind of serious exercise, that child would be over the legal drinking age by now.  And I'm not counting the sporadic walking I've done over the years--I'm talking about a real work out.

We started with five minutes on the rowing machines--the first minute or so went okay but it was a bit stop and go after that.  Lunges came next, but by then, my thighs were kind of wobbly, and on one of my lunges, I realized my thighs were no longer strong enough to support me through the forward momentum of the lung, and found myself kneeling on the ground.  And the rest of the session continued in the same vein.  By the time I coughed out a lung on the sit ups--because remember I've been fighting this cold--I was spending more time catching my breath than doing any kind of exercises.  The trainer reassured me several times that I would become stronger and it will all become easier as I go just as long as I don't give up.  Or die.

Later in the evening, by the time I felt recovered enough to get up off the couch, I decided it was too late for me to head into the Sweat Shop.  Besides, I wasn't sure I had enough strength left in either of my legs to push on the foot pedal of the sewing machine anyway.  So I thought I'd take the evening off.

And just so I don't feel like an unproductive failure, I thought I'd show you the two Sew Spooky blocks I finished during my vacation, back when I used to get things done:

and . . .

With these two done, I have all five of the main center blocks completed; I just need to do two smaller blocks and then I can put the center together.  After that, all I have to do is to applique about 729 bats and piece about 581 candy corn blocks and I'll be finished.

In other words, in about a year, I'll be extremely fit and muscular AND I'll have another Halloween quilt done and up on the wall.  It's good to have goals.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Back Again!

We had a nice time at my niece's wedding, but it's sure great to be home again.  Too bad I have to go back to work in the morning, because I could use a couple more days off to recover from my vacation!

First, the pattern giveaway.  As I've mentioned, Monice Moffat designed another excellent pattern and sent one to me for a giveaway.

And  I randomly drew a winner's name from the entries--Claudine M., who said "Glad you had a good time on vacation! Would love to win the pattern since I love all things with pumpkins and a fall theme."  Claudine, please email me your mailing address and I'll send the pattern out to you.

I wanted to tell you a funny little story from the cruise.  You know, I think, that my firm paid for most of our travel as a "reward" for having reached my 20 year anniversary with the firm, and my friend Missy made the travel arrangements.  In doing so, she asked that they celebrate my anniversary during the second day on the cruise, and they did that by posting this "card" on our stateroom door along with some balloons:

Well, of course, they assumed we were celebrating a wedding anniversary and that's okay.  When we came back to our room that night after dinner, we were surprised to find a couple of swans and chocolates waiting for us on our bed.

And while we enjoyed the artistry of these creatures made from towels, after we admired them, we placed them in a chair near the door so they could be collected and taken away by our steward the following day.  And sure enough, that next day when we returned to our stateroom, the chair was empty, but when I pulled open our curtains, Hubby started laughing, because there were those darn swans again!

So I took one and placed him under the bed with his head peeking out, and I took the other one and placed her in the refrigerator/mini bar.  Well, I'm not sure what our cabin steward thought of that because we never did run into him, but those swans stayed in place until the end of our cruise.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Scrap Basket Sunday Sign Ups!

Have you been playing with scraps?  If so, please post a photo on your blog and link up your blog post by adding your information to the Mister Linky below.  Also, if you haven't already done so, please check out yesterday's post about Monice's new pattern, Pumpkin Festival, shown above.

Friday, August 2, 2013

What I've Been Doing . . .

You may remember I took several projects with me to work on while I was aboard the cruise ship.  Did I finish them?  Not hardly!  But I knew I wouldn't; I just wanted to have some variety to chose from.  I did work on a couple things, though.

I have memories of working on this August sheep blanket while the ship was traveling through choppy waters--I was as close to being seasick by that evening as I ever got.  Hubby had picked up Sea Band "bracelets" for both of us, and they helped greatly once I finally put mine on that evening!  By the way, the tree on the left side of the blanket is supposed to be a weeping willow, but mine turned out looking more like a palm tree--ARGH!  Oh, well, I like it anyway.  Better than the tree on the other side--which looks pretty much like the pattern.  Odd.

I also finished one of the two Sew Spooky blocks I brought with me, but I'll show that one another time; I'm bringing the second block with me to work on this weekend, so maybe I'll be able to show both of them soon.

Today I added pink borders to the Schnibbles quilt and I like it--it seems to calm down the brighter fabrics in the line and makes the quilt look more "girly."  After I've quilted this, I'll trim the borders a little smaller; or maybe I'll make scallops--I haven't really decided yet.

Finally, I'll tell you about the treat I promised.  Monice of Hen House Designs has published a fall-themed pattern and she sent me a pattern to share with you.  Cute, isn't it?!

If you'd like a chance to win the Pumpkin Festival pattern, please leave a comment asking to be entered in the drawing.  As I've mentioned, I'll be away until Sunday evening, but I'll pick a winner then and post the results on my Monday blog post.  If, however, you'd like to just buy the pattern now and not wait and trust your luck, you can visit Monice's Etsy shop by clicking HERE.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

I'm Back!

Well, I'm back for a couple days; then we'll be leaving again.  I was planning to post yesterday, but I guess I got a little lazy or something.  And I thought I wanted to download my photos from my camera first so I could see what I wanted to tell you and show you from my trip, but now that I've done that, I'm still not sure what I want to say other than to tell you we had a very nice time but are happy to be home again.

I've still been battling a cold, and although I'm feeling a lot better, I have a horrible cough that's keeping me awake at night.  I'm going to try some Nyquil after I finish writing this to see if it will help me sleep.  I'm off work this week, so I can sleep in and/or nap if need be, and I've been taking advantage of that.

We got home Monday evening and we spent much of Tuesday getting unpacked and putting everything away, doing grocery shopping, etc.  I finally got into the Sweat Shop late on Tuesday and spent part of Wednesday there as well, trying to finish the July Schnibbles quilt, Lincoln.  I wanted to make a baby quilt to keep on hand and I had a bundle of fat quarters from the Doll Babies line by Barbara Jones of QuiltSoup.

With all the pink, this will obviously be a quilt for a baby girl, so I still need to make a quilt using blue fabrics for a boy--maybe I'll do that with the next Schnibbles quilt. And I think I might still want to add a pink border to this one--I have a lot of the pink fabric used in the backgrounds for the stars.  But it's enough for tonight.

I've earmarked Thursday as the day for housecleaning and packing for the next trip.  Our niece is getting married on Saturday, so Hubby and I will leave on Friday for the wedding and return on Sunday night.  I think Spike and Stitch will be disappointed we're leaving again, although Soccer Son and His Lovely Wife have been staying at our house much of the time and taking care of the cats, so they haven't been left alone.

Once again, I won't be able to participate in Scrap Basket Sunday since I'll be gone, although I'll post the sign up list on Saturday, and I have another little treat in store for you so check back in the next day or so.

Now I'm off to try to sleep.  "See" you again tomorrow!