Thursday, April 23, 2009

Awesome News!!!

I have 2 good bits of news to share.

Baby Dawson Jeffery G. was born last night at 8:17 pm in Indianapolis. He was 21 inches long and weighed 8 lbs. 10 ozs. Teresa (Mom) is doing great and Mark (Dad) did well through the delivery except for near the end. I'm told he almost passed out and was woozy enough that they didn't let him cut the cord. Oh well, this is his first, I think we can let him off the hook on that one.

My car is fixed. I get it back tomorrow. (could actually get it today, but I have to be to the 2nd job by 5:30 so I figured I'd just wait.) The good news is that it was not the transmission. A mouse built a nest in my engine and chewed the electrical wiring harness connected to the transmission. YEAH!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Highs and Lows

I don't know about anyone else, but I had an awesome weekend. It was that time of year again: Spring Quilt Retreat. And the weather was the best it has been so far this year: in the low 70's! Mind blowing right.

The plan was for several of us quilters to meet up at Camp Freidenswald around 11 am and then carpool to Shipshewanna (a.k.a. quilt shop nirvana). So, I got up early Friday morning, finished gathering my supplies, cloths, bedding, packed the car and left town around 8:30 am. Camp Freidenswald is only 1/2 hour from my house near Union, MI however, I decided I would take a slight detour to Calico Point in Wakarusa, IN first. I was looking for several fabrics for 2 different projects and her prices are right up my alley; usually between $4.50-$6.99 for quality name brand fabrics like Northcott, Hoffman, Clothworks, Batiks. While I like the fabric stores in Shipshewanna (Lolly's and Yoders) and they have a lot better selection because they are bigger, I would rather spend less for my fabric. I ended up getting 6 different fabrics totalling 8 yards for $50. That's at least $20 cheaper than what I would have spent in Shipshe. Then I headed back north to meet up with everyone at the Camp.

After dropping off our food and several items to make room in Lu's van for everyone (Elaine, Ruth, Sarah and myself), we were on our way. It was so much fun. Our first stop was at Lolly's Fabric Store. Talk about fabric overload! I hit the basement first, where they have the discounted fabrics. I found a pink flowered fabric to go along with one of my projects. Then it was back upstairs to the regular show room to browse. I couldn't believe how busy the store was, but then I thought 'look how awesome the weather was, of course people would be out and about'. That of course was one reason, however there was also a quilt retreat going on in Shipshe, another quilt guild was meeting up there, plus several people had stopped by on their way to the Chicago International Quilt Show. Of course they were from Wisconsin, so I'm not too sure how Shipshewanna, IN was on their way to Chicago, IL? But hey it's their story and they can justify it any way they want right!?! I also spoke to several women from Toronto, who were in town for the Retreat. Actually, they were oohing and aahing over a sample quilt that was hanging up near the fabric table. I made the mistake of stopping to see what had caught their attention and fell in love!! It was a braided quilt made from one of those jelly roll things. I have been wanting to purchase one, but never quite found one that just jumped up and shouted 'BUY ME!' Well that one did. It was an oriental jelly roll in blues, greens and browns. But not just any blue, kind of a mix between teal and aqua. Oh it was lovely. Of course then I had to have coordinating fabric to go with it, because it was just such an odd fabric color that it would be hard to match at a later date. You know I'm right!?! Also, the jelly roll wasn't marked, so I wasn't sure who the manufacturer was. When I asked, I found out that Lolly's employs a women full time to make their own jelly rolls and other fabric kits. The pattern they used was the Friendship Braid. It was in a book they had for sale next to the sample. The patterns in the book were all geared towards using jelly rolls (sorry can't remember the name). Since I liked quite a few of the patterns, I decided to buy it also. Not mentioning any numbers, but lets just say I did my part to stimulate the economy this weekend.

Midway through our trek around Lolly's, Kathy showed up. She moved to Oottlewah, Tennessee last year, but came back up to visit for retreat. I've driven to Lafayette, IN for a retreat, which is 2 hours away, but she drove 10 hours to get to ours. Well she spent several days in Indy visiting her nephew Baby Jack before she came up to retreat, but still that's 3 hours away. Anyway, it was really nice to see her.

From Lolly's, we headed to the Blue Gate Restaurant to meet up with Cheryl and have lunch. I had never been there, but was warned to leave room for PIE. The Blue Gate is Amish run and has excellent food and AWESOME pies. I had a half chicken salad sandwich, potato soup and strawberry rhubarb pie. One of my favorites! Was a little on the sweet side, I like mine tart, but was still very good. Oh and lest I forget, the waitress brought out a loaf of bread and on the table was a container of home-made apple butter (Yum) and home-made peanut butter. I had never had the peanut butter, but I was urged to try it because it was supposedly very good. Personally I was looking forward to the apple butter, because I hadn't had it in so long. Little did I know that the home-made peanut butter would taste like... like... like... Jeez, I can't even think of a word to describe it, other than to say it was VERY Good. And that doesn't seem adequate. Smooth. Creamy. YUM. Oh man was it good. They had some for sale in their bakery, so I purchased a small container to bring home. And I'm not sharing! It's all MINE.

After lunch, we headed for Yoders Department Store for more fabric shopping. After the damage I did at Lolly's I feeling a little more picky. I actually didn't find a thing to buy. Who hoo the wallet was a bit exhausted anyway. From there, we decided to make our way back to Camp via Middlebury. I wanted to stop at the cheese factory from some fresh cheese curds. To my disappointment, they no longer sold the cheese curds. Boo! I loved the way the fresh curds would squeak against your teeth when you chewed them. Elaine asked Lu to stop at Gohn's Deparment store in downtown Middlebury, where they guessed it more fabric plus Amish cloths. They actually make the clothes upstairs and sometimes you can hear the machines going. A couple of bolts of fabric fell off the shelf as I walked by and I had no choice but to pick them up and take them along with me. :o) I just hate it when fabric gets a mind of its own and does that. Don't you?

I was so exhausted by all the shopping that I didn't actually do any sewing on Friday night. I just visited with friends and checked out their projects. Really, I just wasn't in the mood to work on the baby quilt project that I had planned to work on. On Saturday, I started cutting out my Oceans quilt. It was a free pattern sent out by McCalls Quilting Magazine when they were trying to get you to buy their magazine. I have a white-on-white background, 8 different Batik Type fabrics in lime, blue, fuchsia, orange, aqua, peach, purple, yellow/green and a dark lime Sea Turtle Batik that gets fussy cut and appliqued between the blocks. I purchased the Batik Type fabric from Hobby Lobby, but the funny thing is that they are 100% cotton handkerchiefs and they were on sale for 99 cents each, oh about 5 years ago. They are 20" squares, which calculates out to roughly the size of a fat quarter. At first I was going to use Thangles to make all the triangles, but after careful consideration, I thought I would just cut them out using my Easy Angle Triangular Ruler. More precise with less wastage. I wanted to make sure I had enough. I did, but just barely. Not a lot of room for error, so I'm glad I was careful cutting. The only downside to this method is that I need 728 colored 2.5" triangles, just as many white one and 104 6.5" white triangles and 13 from each of the 8 colors. That's a lot of cutting. I didn't get them all cut out, but at least half. I also got 4 blocks finished. Only 140 more to go!

OK, those were the highs for the weekend. Now comes the lows.

I had to work on Sunday, so I had to leave retreat early in order to get there on time. I did a little sewing and piecing, then packed up and headed out. I did not get too far, before I realized there was something wrong with my car. The transmission would not shift gears. Freak out time! I was a mile or so down the road. So I stopped, put the car in reverse and backup down the road back to the camp. I didn't really want to wait on the side of the road. I called my Dad, then called work to let them know I would be late. Once we figured out what to do about my car, my Mom was going to let me borrow her car so I could get to work. Dad gets to the camp (thank god they only lived 30 minutes away!) drives my car down the road and back. The @#$@ was shifting fine he said, only there was a blinking indicator light on the dash. OK that hadn't been on when I drove it. I got out the book and looked up the light. It was for 'Transaxle Error" and read "Car may be experiencing trouble shifting gears (Duh). Please see a service tech immediately." I turn off the car, so we can all go inside the camp facilities to wash our hands and use the bathroom. (Why is it that after standing in the cold you always have to pee?) Anyway, then we all get in our respective cars Me, Mom, then Dad bringing up the rear and drive back to my house. Once again, the car would not shift gears and to top it of the speedometer wasn't working either. The indicator light had gone off also. What is it about our Dad's or men in general that make the car work for them when it won't work for us??? I'm really curious, does anyone know this? I pull over, discuss the situation with Dad and decide to drive home in first gear going what 15 mph the whole way. Crap! But about 5-10 miles down the road, the Transaxle Indicator light pops on and Wow the car actually starts shifting again. Yeah I actually got to accelerate. Of course since the speedometer wasn't working I wasn't sure how fast I was going, but hey I know it was faster than 15 mph and less than 60 mph. I got to work just shy of 2 hours late and was pretty much bummed the rest of the day.

I took my car into the shop on Monday morning and they are looking it over. I got a call this morning that some critter had made a nest in my engine and chewed the hell out of one of the wiring harnesses. Bob the Tech was a little embarrassed when I told I loved him after he told me it looked like my transmission was OK. They'll know for sure one the wiring harness is repaired and they can clear the computer codes. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In a Fog

I am so tired today. I woke up this morning at 3am then tossed and turned until the alarm when off. I seriously considered taking a sleeping pill, but figured it was too late (?early) to take one. I probably would have slept through the alarm.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Quilt Retreat! Quilt Retreat! QUILT RETREAT!

It's that time of year again. Spring quilt retreat is this weekend. I've already been digging through patterns and my stash to see what interesting new items I can make.

Also, I'm riding an a bit of a sugar buzzzzzz right now. Love those hard candy coated easter eggs. You know the ones they call "hiding" eggs, because they are individually wrapped and when you crunch into them there is white marshmallowy stuff inside. I think I've eaten about 8 of them today. Actually is was more like those 8 were eaten in the last 2 hours) Yummy Yummy SUGAR.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Here are the promised pictures of my Tomato Sweater and my Celtic Vest.

I just finished this last night at 12 am, so it has not been blocked yet. It will be a little longer once it is.

They both turned out really nice if I do say so myself.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday Weigh In & Stuff

Jeez, I can't believe I haven't done any blogging since St. Patricks day! I thought for sure I had, because lots of things have been going on. I guess "thinking" about blogging a topic doesn't actually count. My knitting friends pointed this out last week. Yep, I said last week and I still didn't get a blog entry in until today.

Ok, first things first then I'll update you on what's been happening. Today is Monday weigh-in and the good news is that I lost 3 lbs this week. Woohoo! That brings my total to 5.6lbs. I'm totally amazed by this since I wasn't able to get to exercise class last week. I threw my back out somehow and was NOT feeling well at all. I couldn't move my neck and I had such a headache. It just made concentrating so hard. I went to the Chiropracter everyday last week and now I'm feeling better. Although last night when I got home from work, it was hurting again and the headache was back. But not as badly as before.

On the knitting front, several exciting things have occured.
1) I took a trip to Indianapolis over the weekend of March 20-22 to visit Teresa. Actually 4 of us went down to attend her baby shower. When I mentioned to a knitting friend that I was going to Indy for the weekend she exclaimed "Are you going for the big sale?" To which I promptly replied "What big sale?" Well Mass Ave Knits was having their annual classroom sale. All the yarn was $1 per skein (yes I said ONE DOLLAR) or you could fill a Mass Ave Backpack for $25. Well, since I WAS going to be in the area anyway, I did a mapquest search to see where they were in relationship to my friends house. Imagine my surpise when it said it was only a 17 minute drive. ROAD TRIP!! So we got up early Saturday morning, which was not too easy for me as I think I had food poisoning the day before. Yacked twice on the trip to Teresa's house. Of course it didn't start until I got to Carmel, IN so I couldn't really turn around and go home at that point. Besides, I had a passenger that was so looking forward to visiting Teresa. Leslie had never been to Teresa's new house and was excited about the weekend away. Sorry, back to the yarn. After standing in line outside the shop for awhile in the cold, we were usherred in to the classroom. At first I was a little disapointed, because all I saw was novelty yarn. You know stuff like fun fur, that bobbley yarn and ribbon yarn. But after circulating around a bit, I did find some cotton blend yarns. And you know, if you collapse the cardboard inserts on certain skeins, you can fit 41 skeins of yarn into your backpack; 20 Sonrisa by Katia all in one color (cotton/poly/nylon with a cardboard insert), 13 Cotton Twist by Berroco in various colors (cotton/rayon) and 8 Nostalgia by Berroco in 2 colors (cotton/acrylic). What a haul! I looked up the yarn on-line to see what they had been selling for and wow! The Katia had retailed for $7/skein and I got 20. That was worth the trip right there. I got $265 worth of yarn, for $25! Teresa's Mom and SIL got some yarn also. We were the only knitters/crocheters in the group.

2. I finished my Tomato Sweater!!! Mine is in Bubble Gum Pink. I was planning on wearing it this week, but with the temps dropping back down into the 30's and the snow flying around, I think not as it is short sleaved. Brrr!

3. I finished knitting the Celtic Vest. However, when I tried it on, it's a little tight around the middle, so I'm going to pick-out the cast-off edge on both sides and extend it a bit.

4. I finished another Temple Guardian applique' block. I now have 5 done, 4 to go. Yeah I've passed the half way point. The head of #6 is done. I'm planning on getting the last 4 blocks done this summer, so I can get it pieced by this fall. If I knuckled under, I could get all 4 done before summer, but that would mean no knitting, and I'm just not prepared to do that right now. I never realized how addictive knitting could be!

Yeah I know, where are the pictures?? I havent' gotten around to taking any yet. But I will soon.