Archive for January, 2008

Planning ahead

I put some thought into the coming year and setting some goals.   Just thinking about “setting goals” takes me back to my pre-retirement years and gives me gOoSeBuMpS.  So rather than having goals or focusing on UFOs, I made myself a “Want to Do” list .  I looked around my sewing room and found several things that I’ve been wanting to do, but for whatever reason have not done.   I’m excited to give myself permission to do what I want to do!!   I’ve already started the first one, and it’s half done already.  I’ve been wanting to make a quilted vest from the leftover DWRs from DDs quilt (see below).  I found a pattern by Park Bench Pattern Company  at the Fiber Fiesta last summer and it’s been languishing in a basket ever since — now it’s almost wearable.  I hope to finish it this coming week.   I’ll post a picture when it’s done. 

There are ten things on the list.  I jotted down how long I thought it would take to get each item done.  If I add all the time together it comes to 12 weeks.  That sounds about right to me — 52 weeks to get 12 weeks of stuff done.  That gives enough leeway to get some volunteer quilting and binding done, keep up with the guild treasurer duties, and maybe make a baby quilt or two.  The list includes one UFO that I really want to get done. 

Many years ago — when batiks were just becoming big — I started a NY Beauty.  I finished the paper piecing for the top and then designed a border for it.  It sat in a box for many years waiting for the border to get done.  A couple of years ago I finished the border and last year I started quilting it from the center out.  I love the way the center came out, but for whatever reason the pieced border would not lie flat.  I was new at longarming and I should have squared it up and basted the edges before starting the center.  The border is so bad I may have to take it off, and I don’t want to do that, so it’s in a UFO box waiting my decision.  I love this quilt and want it to done, but I want it to be wonderful, so it will have to wait until the mood strikes. 

Saturday morning

No pictures today.  My camera broke this summer.  I’ve been using DHs camera, but I can’t get the software for that camera to load on my computer (grrrr).  I’ve been swaping the chip from his camera into my old one to transfer the pics  — a tedious job.  DH got me another camera for Christmas but I wanted to have my other camera fixed.  Yesterday he took it in for an estimate.  It would cost more to have it fixed that the new one cost!  Is anyone else sick and tired of the mentality that say’s you pay big buck for electronics, and they have to be tossed away rather than repaired?  I wanted to get another one just like to old one on E-bay, but those cost more than the new one too — so I’ll be keeping the new one and need to learn how to use it.     Maybe I’m just getting old and learning new stuff is too hard. 

My knitting group met this morning.  Today we had a new friend, Gloria, join us and I hope she becomes a regular.  Currently I’ve given up knitting, but it’s always fun to get together and chat and share show and tell (or drag and brag as one friend call it).  This morning Diane brought a great set of books to share — almost makes me what to start a new knitting project.  The fun thing about this group is that with one exception, we’re all quilters too, so there’s always a bit of quilt show and tell.  We’re trying to get Lynne to try quilting, but she’s has a yarn stash bigger than most fabric stashes I’ve seen and and there’s nothing she can’t knit.   

I’m not a great knitter. It takes far too long to finish things.   There’s a couple of standard ways of knitting, most notably Continential and English.  I certainly wish I had learned one of these methods, but no — I utilize a combination of the two.   This causes me to have twisted stitches on some patterns.  It doesn’t bother me that my stitches are twisted, but it bothers my MIL alot.  I have honestly tried to knit using the Continential method, but I find it very hard to insert my needle from the front when knitting.  I knit in the back of the loop and purl in the front of the loop, it’s fast and easy for me.   I didn’t even know that there was a name for my method.  I found a great explanation at  Anyway, I think I may have a method figured out where I can keep my stitches from twisting, I just need to put a bit more effort into memorizing what to do — unfortunately, my memory is slipping along with my stitches. 

Home again

Yesterday we returned from our holiday trip to Pennsylvania.  We had a wonderful time with Sarah and Bryan.  We have long quit decorating the house and as we turned the corner onto their block I was delighted to see that Bryan had put up lights on their home.  Sarah had a bowl of her yummy beef barley soup ready to warm us up after a long day of travel.

 Sarah and Bryan’s Home

Sarah work ed Christmas Eve, so we stopped by the hospital and had lunch with her in the cafeteria — surprisingly good food and it gave us a chance to see where she works. That evening we had a most wonderful ham dinner. Both Sarah and Bryan love to cook and unlike me, actually follow the recipes! I should have taken a picture, it was truly delicious.

Of course, something has to go wrong or it wouldn’t be a real holiday. The dishwasher handle/lock assembly broke just as we were finishing up the dishes. I had offered to clean the kitchen and had just finished when we thought we would have to unload the dishes and wash them by hand. Not to fear, Bryan’s here with his handy roll of tape he was able to secure the door and get the washer started.  He ordered the necessary part on-line and fixed it before New Year’s.

We have a tradition of opening a small present each day.  The night we arrived, Sarah gave me a gift to open — a pair of long johns!!  I needed them, in fact, the day after Christmas, I bought another pair!  I wore them everyday I was there.  I’m sure it save big $$$ on the electric bill. 

Christmas dinner was Cornish hen, cooked with some tantilizing spice combination, Brussels sprouts with pancetta, a light fluffy dressing, and potatoes which had been simmered in chicken broth until tender and then smashed slightly to flatten.  The potatoes were then browned in the reduction from the broth.  Fabulous. 


Another gift Sarah gave us was the suggestion that we all go to New York City the following weekend!   As it turned out, Bryan stayed home to take care of the pets and go on a long hike with a friend.  After Sarah got off work on Friday we left for the 5 hour trip to Newark NJ.  We decided to lodge in Newark and take the train into the city.  This worked out wonderfully.  The second day we were there, Hannah Montana’s coach was parked outside.  We didn’t have a siteing but she was scheduled to be in the Times’ Square festivities on New Year’s Eve. 

One of the things we really wanted to do was to see a Broadway show.  We had checked on-line, but since our trip was very impromptu we had little time to plan.  We were going to get tickets at a booth in Times Square early in the day, but when that didn’t happen we had crossed it off our list.  After the trip to the Statute of Liberty, we were wandering around thinking about dinner when we stumbled on the Gershwin Theather where “Wicked ” is playing.  This show had been sold out for months, but there was a long line of youngsters (under 30s) waiting for something.   I went up to a group of young girls and asked where to go for tickets.  She explained that the line was for a lottery for that evening’s performance.  Stand in line from 5:30-6, get our name in the drawing and at 6 the start calling names until they run out of tickets.  The show starts at 8.   Sarah was pretty tired and needed some nourishment (she gets grouchy when she’s hungry, as do I).  She didn’t want to wait in line, but did so to humor me.  It was a good thing — my name was called and we won  2 tickets for $26 each.  A fantastic deal.  These tickets go for upwards of $150.  We could only get 2 tickets, so that left one of us out.  I went next door and got a ticket for the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.  We rushed off to a diner and had dinner before the show. 

Steve and Sarah saw Wicked and loved it.  They were in the front row, center seats and had a great view.  Steve said their heads were about even with the actors thighs, so they had to look up a bit, but hey for $26 who’s complaining!!  I enjoyed the Spelling Bee and had a nice talk with the couple next to me.  They were there for the third time.  I would see it again.  They say it changes each time. 

Two days was totally insufficient to see the city, but we did get a taste and will be back for more on another trip.   Our legs (my knee was complaining loudly) were showing their age and lack of conditioning.  NYC is a walking city.  They do have subways, but we had a difficult time finding the stations.  On Sunday afternoon, I walked a good thirty blocks.  About 6 of those were trying to get to Penn station.  I thought I had the right place and asked a police officer — he sent me back up to the street to walk another three blocks.  I was absolutely exhausted by the time I boarded the train back to Newark, but it was a good exhaustion.  Here’s some pics of our days.  

Looking back at Manhattan from the ferry:

 Looking back at the city from the ferry

Leaving the Statute in late afternoon

Leaving the Statute of Liberty

Strawberry Fields in Central Park 

Strawberry Fields - Central Park

A view from the Empire State Building

A view from the Empire State Building

Need a taxi?  Go to Macy’s

Need a taxi??  Go to Macy’s

Kansas fields with snow on the flight home

Kansas fields with snow

Flying over the mid-west == the light areas are all snow.  Looks like a quilt

View from plane of Kansas snow

More mid-west snow

Another view  from plane

Well this is alot longer than I expected.  In the next few days I hope to get myself organized and see what I can do in the coming year.  Happy New Year to you!