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Archive for October, 2008

Boo!

Happy Halloween!  This is one of my favorite holidays.  Bill and I have dressed up for the past several years and gone visiting to our friends’ houses.  They were quite saddened this year when I told them I was working.  Boo hoo.  A couple of years we even went dancing and won first place in the costume contest (certainly not in any dancing contest).  Next year…I’ll be RETIRED!  That’s right, not working at the fire department any more.  I visited the retirement office in Augusta earlier this week.  They were able to answer all of my questions and give me an estimate of the monthly amount I will be receiving.  Time will tell whether or not I will still have to work and how often.  It will depend on how much is taken out to cover taxes and insurance.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

On a good note…my friend Su has finally returned home after 10 days in the hospital.  The news about her health was All Good.  I am very thankful that she is home and on the mend.

I was able to get a little more background quilting done on the butterfly wallhanging.  I had a gift certificate from Keepsake Quilting and I spent it on a Halloween pattern and a fabric pack, even though I haven’t finished the wool wallhanging that I started after last Halloween.  It isn’t finished but it’s hung on the wall anyway.

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This was a beautiful weather week.  Temps were in the mid 60’s and Bill and I were able to ride our bikes and sit in the sun.  It always feels soooo good.  On Sunday we rode 14 miles from Bill’s house to the Dunkin Donuts in No. Berwick.  We checked out a craft shop but didn’t find anything we really needed to take home with us.  From there we rode back on Rt. 4 to Bill’s house.  It was a spectacular day and we felt blessed to be outside in October feeling the warmth of the sun.  Not only that, we are blessed to be healthy enough to exercise on a semi-regular basis (as time allows).  We spent another day with Bill picking up leaves with the tractor and I cleaned up the gardens.

On the down side, my best friend, Su has spent the week in the hospital after surgery.  She is doing well but isn’t expected to return home for another couple of days.  She has suffered serious illness for the past several years and this is another bump in the road.  I am considerably blessed with good health, even though I’m approaching 60 (yikes) which is the opposite of Su.  I am always supportive and attempt to help her fend off the overwhelming depression that accompanies another health problem.  I am also blessed to have Su as my best friend.  She is such a wonderful person and I consider her my soulmate.  It is difficult to understand why she is faced with illness over and over again.  I pray that this time the final news is positive and she can look forward to some good years ahead.

On the quilting front, not much time to sew; however, I have been doing some background stitching on the butterfly picture.  I am using a technique from Diane Guadynski which she has termed Diane-shiko.  It isn’t difficult but time consuming.  After 5-6 hours I have completed maybe 1/4 of the background.  ti doesn’t really matter, this wallhanging was for Greg and Vanessa last Christmas.  As they say…better late than never.

I also did a some border quilting on the red oriental flower wallhanging.  I stitched a flower in variegated black and white thread.  I still can’t get the hang of doing it without a pattern so I have traced the flower on tracing paper and use that to follow.  The down side is taking all of the paper off when I’m done.

Two other good things happened this week, I listed my condo for sale and Bill and I finished my sewing room at his house.  We painted the ceiling and I chose a very light blue for the walls.  Bill pulled up the carpet and put down a laminate wood floor.  It looks so nice, clean and bright.  I still need to decide on curtains and blinds but I bought a new 6′ sewing table and it is set up in front of the window.  We moved a small bookshelf from my house.  It is holding fabric right now but will eventually hold children’s books and toys for the grandkids.

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A big decision day

I started this blog with the idea of sharing some of my quilting projects with friends but also as a place to express my feelings about changes taking place in my life.  Today was a big change day.  I listed my condo for sale and once it is sold I will be moving into Bill’s house with him.  I have been giving this some thought for several months and at first considered waiting until spring; however, taking into consideration the housing and mortgage market I decided the more time I could have it listed, the better.  I made the decision based on the fact that in only 335 days I will be retiring and I can’t afford to make two mortgage payments on my pension income.  In addition, Bill and I have talked about sharing our lives when we both retire next year and this will be the first step in that direction.

The problem with this decision is that I Love My Condo.  It is the only place that has ever been MINE in my entire life.  I have decorated it the way I Like!  The only mess I have to clean up is Mine!  It feels good to be there.  Realistically, I don’t spend much time there.  It doesn’t make much sense to be making a monthly payment for space I don’t use effectively.

Bill is very supportive and is willing to do just about anything and everything that might make me feel more comfortable and at home in his home.  It will be an adjustment for both of us, I’m sure.

So, this is a BIG step for me.  Actually, it was kind of a depressing day.  I will start packing up some things and moving those boxes to Bill’s.  I don’t know where we are going to put everything but we will sort it out and make room as we need it.

Wish me luck!

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Miss Ella came to visit

Yeah, my beautiful granddaughter, Ella, came to visit over the weekend and she brought her mom and dad along, too.  She is getting soooo big already and has learned to roll over.  We had a really nice couple of days with perfect weather.  On Saturday the four of us and her Auntie Wendy went for a great walk along Main Street.  Ella didn’t see much, she took a nice nap.  I would nap too if someone was pushing me along in the warm weather.

Wendy’s boyfriend, Dan, Ella’s grandpa Bob and his wife, Donna, came for dinner.  It was a pretty full table with 7 but we managed.  We had a nice chicken and lo-mein stirfry with a spinach and mandarin orange salad.  Papa Bill selected the menu but he was working so didn’t get to enjoy it with us.  We had a scrumptious dessert…warm blueberry sauce over vanilla bean ice cream with sugar cookies.  Yum, yum!

On Sunday Auntie Wendy came to see us in the morning, then the four of us went for another walk along the beaches in Kennebunk.  What a beautiful day with clear blue skies and a light breeze.  Greg commented to Ella that I loved the ocean and had passed that love on to him and his sister.  He was right about that!  I’m sorry to see the “beach weather” go but there will still be some warm, sunny days to enjoy the beach.

I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving when Ella and her family will come back to visit!

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Not a cloud in the sky, temps near 70*. We could not have asked for a more perfect day. We tossed around the idea of hiking or biking and decided on riding our bikes. We started in Wells, rode to the Rachel Carson Nature Reserve and from there to Parsons Beach. We parked the bikes and walked over the little hill to the beach. The color of the Atlantic was that perfect blue of the reflected sky with the sun dancing in sparkles over the surface. The trees in the distance were decked out in their fall colors and all was right with the world.

From there we followed the road along Mother’s, Gooch’s, and Kennebunk Beach until we reached the Franciscan Monastery, where we stopped for a bathroom break. We left there and rode into Kennebunkport, following Ocean Ave. past the Bush Compound and wound our way back into the “Port” where we stopped or lunch at The Landing. We sat outside on the deck next to the river. The sun was nice and warm by then and it felt great. Our food was quite good but we found the staff to be somewhat unfriendly, rather aloof. Well, after all, we were in Kennebunkport.

From there we rode back along the beaches to the nature reserve where we got off the bikes and walked along the mile long trail, stopping at points along the trail and read the small brochure that was provided. it had some good information about the march and it’s importance to the overall picture. We took the road near Laudholm Farm, much quieter than the main road, and ended out trip at Big Daddy’s Ice Cream Parlor. Bill enjoyed a coffee heath bar cone and I had a cherry chocolate chip one. They were very good.

We were even able to sit in the sun for a few minutes when we got home. There aren’t many days like today, especially in October and we enjoyed every minute of it.

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I couldn’t stand it any longer…I bought myself a couple of quilting books that I have been wanting for a long time. First of all is Diane Gaudynski, Quilt Savvy. It is a great book and I’m enjoying reading it. when I finish, I’ll start over again, there is just too much to remember after one time through.

Next, I treated myself to Karen McTavish, Mastering the Art of McTavishing. I have been wanting to try McTavishing for some time and the book, along with the DVD, will make it much easier. I got out my white board and practiced along with the DVD. There were a couple of tips that helped a lot. From there I went to the machine and started practicing on my quilt sandwich. It’s a little harder than I thought it would be but I think with practice (lots of practice) I’ll be fairly good at it. I’m using a DSM, rather than a longarm (my heart’s desire) so it’s a little different than the video but I will be presistent. I was thinking about using it in the background of the butterfly panel but I won’t be good enough to do that for some time.

Anyway, I’m a happy camper. In addition to the two books, I received my copy of American Patchwork and Quilting as well as the new Quilting Arts magazine. So much inspiration, so little time!

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An Army of Women

Not many people read this blog; however,if you are stopping by, Welcome!  Please take a moment to check out The Army of Women, a drive to sign up one million women to fight breast cancer.  The idea is to match women with researchers.  They are looking for all sizes, ages, ethnicities…everyone.  The site can explain it much better than I.  My mother died more than 30 years ago of breast cancer and finally, I have a chance to do something that might lead to a cure that will save someone else’s mother.

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