Tuesday, November 28, 2006

June 14 on November 28

Thanks to Nancy, NP for continuing this meme.

The Rules:

1) Go to Wikipedia
2) In the search box, type your birth month and day but not the year.
3) List three events that happened on your birthday
4) List two important birthdays and one death
5) One holiday or observance (if any)
. . . .
Okay, here goes:

Events (perhaps not the most important, but notable nonetheless)
  • 1648 Margaret Jones is the first woman hanged in Boston for witchcraft. (Did I mention that my mother's family, the Joneses were in Massachusetts at that time??)
  • 1777 Stars and Stripes adopted as Congress as the flag of the United States (Thank you Betsy Ross for your sewing skills!)
  • 1846 Bear Flag Revolt Anglo settlers in Sonoma, CA start a revolt against Mexico and declare the California Republic (Right here in Sonoma County! Sorry guys, we really should be better at sharing the state with it's rightful owners)
  • 1864 Alois Alzheimer, German Physician (What? Who?)
  • 1928 Che Guevara, Argentine born revolutionary
  • 1939 Steny Hoyer, Democratic Congressman, Nancy Pelosi's new right hand man in the House of Representatives.
  • 1801 Benedict Arnold (American Revolutionary hero then turncoat)
  • 1825 Pierre Charles L'Enfant, French Architect (Thanks for the great job designing Washington, DC. Well Done!)
  • 1986 Alan J. Lerner, American Composer (With Frederick Loewe composed the music for Camelot, My Fair Lady and many, many other wonderful musicals.)
There it is, the good, the bad and the ugly facts about my birthday, June 14th.

Other Notables
  • World Blood Donor Day
  • Flag Day in the US
  • Mother's Day in Afghanistan
  • Birthday of the US Army

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all from my house to yours.

Thanksgiving in our family always involved the re-telling of the famous story of my parents' first date on Thanksgiving in 1937, my mother's freshman year in college. Mom was in a sorority and was required to do numerous extra-curricular activities outside her given specialty (drama). She thought the editor of the school paper was cute so she opted for journalism. Well, it didn't take long for frosh journalism to turn into first date--like what, two months??

Dad came by the house on B Street in Sparks, Nevada to pick Mom up and was met by the family elders who had just finished their turkey repast. My grandparents Emma and Everett Jones and Emma's older sister and her husband, Etta and Fred Lippman--I can just picture them lined up on the sofa and armchairs. The stern faced Samuel sisters gave Dad the "fish-eye" as he later told the story, and though he was 23 at the time, he was pretty nervous. Of course, she was only 17, so her parents were probably a bit justified. According to Mom, her mother took her aside and hissed "He has a mouth just like Tom Fuller." (Tom Fuller being a short, ill-fated first marriage of my grandmothers.) It didn't help, though. My parents were pretty much "an item" after that day. =)

Here are a few of us at Thanksgiving 1971. Back row is Dad, my sister Jo and me. Front row is my cousin Ellen, cousin Barry, Mom and aunt Madaline.

Our turkey dinners were always the same and we liked it that way. I gained a reputation for "helping" with the turkey, which in my early years translated to patting the bird while Mom stuffed her (always a hen). As I got older, I got the "help" with the stuffing which translated into stirring it during the saute of the veggies and then actually stuffing the bird. And eating the leftover stuffing. (Or did I reverse the order of those?)

To the right, me working the bird in 1972 with Dad pretending to supervise.

And finally, Mom is watching me pat the bird in 1975. I was lucky enough to be the recipient of the blue granite roasting pan that belonged to my grandmother. Mom brought it to me the first year I did a turkey at my house. It is still being used to stuffing preparation whenever I do a bird.

This year, we are starting an new tradition. We are going to one of the kid's homes for the holiday instead of playing host. Sarah and her girlfriend Kristin are hosting at Kristin's house and we are bringing potato rolls, pine nut and asiago cheese rolls, green beans with bacon (not that gawd-awful casserole) and hubby's famous cheesecake.

On Friday, the girls are coming back with us and we are going to Lambert Bridge Winery to hear the Russian Orthodox Choir sing in the barrell/tasting room. This should be awesome, as the room is very large with a huge fireplace.

Finally, I can't even express how lucky I feel in this life and how much I have to be thankful for. Our kids are grown and doing well, we have our health and each other and we live in the most beautiful place in the world. Who could ask for more?

I could. World peace. An end to poverty and illness in this country and all over the world.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Native Daughter of California

Thanks to my pal Nancy, Near Philadelphia, who is a Philly girl for sure!

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland


North Central

The Inland North


The South

The Northeast

What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Monday, November 20, 2006

Why we quilters do what we do....

Baby Joel at three months with his Noah's Ark quilt.
'nuff said.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Widdy Biddy Blocks

For two years, my pal Nancy, near philadelphia (aka nana, near philadelphia) and I have been swapping blocks monthly. We nicknamed it the widdle biddy block swap because our blocks are 4 1/2 inches square. Were we nuts? Probably.

Last week, I finally got caught up for the remainder of 2006 and we have declared the swap finished. Pictured at right are my blocks for July to December 2006. The ones I did for Nancy, that is. Mine are still yet to be sewn, but are cut and the foundations printed. This is going to be a darling quilt whenever I finally get it done.

And....I finished the last row for the final sew-a-row of 2006, the Halloween special! This was such a wonderful project when it came to me, that I had a hard time figuring out what to add. It seemed perfect to me as is, with bat, cats, pumpkins and witches.

At first I tried three dimensional spiders from Liz Aneloski's book Simple Fabric Folding for Halloween, and though they were cute, they just didn't "cut" it. Then I tried paper pieced skeletons from Shirley Liby's More Holiday Paper Piecing Patterns, but they were tooooooo labor intensive and too small.

Finally, I went to a good, but often overlooked book on my shelf, Better Homes and Gardens' 501 Quilt Blocks. The pumpkin row came from that book and possibly the cats, so the ghosts seemed like the perfect thing. And they were.

Now, all I have to do is win this thing!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sew Busy!

Thanks to my friends at the NFL and the college leagues I have been getting a lot of sewing done!
First, I finished the baby quilt for hubby's former stepdaughter Michelle and her new son, Arjuna. Michelle's mom was married to hubby from the time she was 3 1/2 until she was 14. She's now almost 26 and a new mom. When she was a senior in H.S., she had to do a project and she opted to learn to make quilts, with me as her teacher. Here she is with one of the preemie quilt tops she made back in 1999. Since then, she has earned an AA and is one class short of her BS. She works as a paramedic and plans to enter the RN program and then get a BSN. I have no doubt she'll do it all. An only child until she was almost 20, she plans to have a passel of kids and loves being a mom.

During the time they were a family, Miniature Schnauzers were the dog of choice, first Julie and then Cindi (who I inherited), so when I found out that Michelle was pregnant, I decided to finish this quilt top I made in a workshop with Billie Lauder in July, 2004. The workshop was "There's a Dog on My Quilt," and I modified the pattern to make it a mini with slightly less psychotic looking eyes than Billie's original pattern. The dog on the quilt features 3-D eyebrows (like all good minis) and a large 3-D tongue, the better to lick your teeth when you first wake up in the morning!

I hand quilted the quilt with dog bones in the lattice and border. Now to pop it in the mail in time for the cool weather.

Finally, here is a picture of Michelle and her son Arjuna with my hubby when we got to meet him at 7 weeks on October 20th.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Just Peachy!

Thanks to Kim at Peach Quilting for adding me to the Quilting For Pleasure blog ring. I'm among some great quilters here and also some of my long-time online pals like Desertsky and Nancy, NP.

On the quilting front, I just finished a panel quilt for my daughter Kate's good friend Christina, who recently home-birthed her third child, a 10 1/2 pound boy. (ouch) I made quilts for her two older children, but since Kate made me a quilt last year I thought she might want to do this one herself, so I bought her a "Good Ship Noah" panel by J. Wecker-Frisch and the go-withs. As time went by, Kate got pregnant herself and was not feeling too swift (still isn't at 16 weeks!). I took the materials and made the quilt, finishing just in time to leave it with her on my recent visit.

It was fun, and I got to practice my free-motion quilting skills, which definitely need some practice!!