Sunday, July 31, 2011

Our "Running Man" did an excellent job.

Love the mug shot

I hated the fact that I wasn't here, but 
loved the fact that we could follow the race
as they posted times as each runner stopped at 
stations along the race.

When I last left him and headed to bed
"Running Man"  had done 63 miles.

When I woke up, I had this email.

"Missed the time cut off at mile 74 by 10 minutes. 
I was feeling strong 
but lost time because of foot and stomach issues. 
Once I got to feeling better I was making good time, 
but couldn't catch up on the time I lost."

Yea! for his great job!
We're so proud of him,


we'll  hold our breath to see if 
another race is in OUR future!

Until Next Time-

Friday, July 29, 2011

He's On His Way and Other Ramblings

My "running man" left yesterday for Cleveland
The Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Race.
Temperature in Cleveland: 87 degrees
Humidity: 70%

His number is 150.
That's a winning number, don't you agree?

His mind is focused,

his legs are strong
And his heart is full of determination.

I'm hoping for a "burn notice" after about 27 hours.
That would technically be a notice to say
"I'm over the finish line and "burned up" the course."

Wish I was going to be there to see him accomplish his goal.
I'll keep you posted.
Think good thoughts.

Quilt-wise, it's still July, so it's legal to
 continue working on my patriotic quilt, "Flying Free."

 I'm further than this picture of just pieces.
One good movie and I'll have the binding done.

I just got my "Beach Folly" quilt back from the quilter.
More binding to do.

Kathy is always so sweet when she says she enjoys quilting my
quilts because they're flat and square.
I appreciate that, but it doesn't  happen by magic.
It involves a bit of measuring and sewing that "required quarter inch seam".

Working at the quilt shop, I've seen plenty of quilts
that need a "little extra attention."
And the phrase is always, " No problem,
my machine quilter can quilt that out."
Check out this cute song, if you have time.

The machine quilters I know are sometimes literally magicians.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend,
run a 100 miles or sew on bindings,
enjoy the moment and keep
yours eyes fixed on the goal.
Until Next Time-

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Frozen Hot Chocolate

Ready for a wonderful summer treat?
I'm not sure where I got the recipe, but
everyone needs to try a 
Frozen Hot Chocolate.
Is that one of those oxymorons?
Like jumbo shrimp,
open secret,
seriously funny and
clearly confused?

It can be whatever, because it's super delicious.

I've tweeted the recipe a bit, but it's still low cal ( about 60 calories) and
probably still 1 Point value.

One 25-calorie packet diet hot cocoa mix (like Swiss Miss Diet )
1 or 2 no-calorie sweetener packets (like Splenda or Truvia)
1/4 cup light vanilla soymilk, (I've used nonfat milk)
1/4 cup water
1 t. sugar-free calorie free vanilla flavored syrup (by Torani)
1 tsp. sugar free chocolate syrup(by Hershey's)
1 cup crushed ice or 5 to 8 ice cubes

The recipe had you go through a lot of extra steps,but
I don't want to wait that long.
I just put everything in the blender and give it a buzz.

Pour it into a mug and
top it off with 
2T fat Free Reddi Whip, just a quick squirt.

It's a great summer treat on
these extra hot days.
Until Next Time-

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Red and White Tribute

I finished the binding this weekend on
my "Red and White Tribute Quilt".
Even thought I wasn't able to attend the "Big"
show in NYC, I wanted to 
make my own quilt 
to be part of the red and white tribute.

Finishing any quilt is a red letter day.
This is in fact is a perfect "red and white" letter day.

The pattern I used is called North Winds.
I love the graphics that the simple patterns create.
The red and white make it so crisp.
I used the Kona Rich Red
and the Kona Snow for the blocks.

The quilting was done by a fantastic local machine quilter, Karen A.
Her specialty and trademark are feathers and
I always have her include them.

I choose a small red dot fabric for the back.
I wanted something more than just a solild
It adds some interest yet, the quilting show up perfectly.
 It's light enough not to have any the print show
through all the white on the front.

These two color quilts never seem to go out of style.
I'm ready to enjoy mine for a long time.
The only problem is now
that I have more red fabric and plenty of white.
What pattern should I choose next!
I'm thinking about it, a simple nine patch,
pineapple, pinwheel,...

Until Next Time-

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Stranger To The Rescue

Sometimes, the way the world seems to be heading,
you loose faith in the kindness of strangers.
Everyone seems to be only thinking of themselves,  
hurrying here and there,
and paying no attention to those in need around them.

Until the other day.

This is a true story.
Only the name has been changed to protect my dear friend.

Do you ever get a craving so strong that you can't think
of anything else?
This is what happened to my friend, Gladys.
She was at the grocery store and suddenly,
all she could think about was potato chips.
She was craving something crispy and salty.
Now was it  hormonal, the heat index, or
some other physical excuse?  We don't know for sure,
but it doesn't matter.

She was in need.

She purchased her items, including a large bag of chips.
No, she wasn't even going for the small snack size.
She was in crisis mode.

Groceries were tossed into the car, but the
bag of chips was singled out.

Even despite the heat in the now roasting car,
Gladys wanted some chips.
Gabbing the bag, she attempted to open it.

What was this bag made out of anyway?
Why was it being so stubborn?
Didn't it know there was a desperate woman about to go crazy
from the lack of salt?
Was this bag being controlled by some nutritionist
at the American Medical Association?

Poor Gladys was loosing it and, literally, couldn't
get a grip.
In frustration, she tossed the bag into the passenger side of the front seat
and started the engine.

She glanced up at this point and saw a man standing in front of the
car looking at her.
He motioned her to roll down her window.
"What could he want," thought Gladys,
"Has he lost his car or in need of directions?"

She politely lowered her window and
said,"Hello, may I help you?"

"No," said the man, " May I help you open
your bag of chips?"

"Why, yes you can," said Gladys, feeling a sense of relief as
she handed him the blasted bag of chips.

The man very calmly took out his pocket knife and
slit open the impenetrable bag.

"Here you go," said the man, handing her back the chips.
"You have a good day."

"Why, thank you. I will," said Gladys.
"And you too"

With that the man turned and walked away whistling.
Gladys sighed in relief as she popped a potato chip into her mouth
and smiled.

Life has a way of working itself out.
A stranger can show up completely unexpected
and set things right.
My friend, Gladys, would like to thank that caring
man who saw a need and helped her out.
"He must have a wife", said Gladys, " and have seen
this kind of frenzied behavior before."

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Not for the Faint of Heart

Yesterday our thermometer read
96 degrees.
It was hard to stay cool no matter where you were.

My plan for the day was to sew the binding
down on my red and white tribute quilt.
 Sewing binding is not a recommended
activity in 96 degree weather,
even with air conditioning and a strategically placed fan.

I made a feeble attempt, but
was suffering a major melt down, so I had to wait until
evening and the air and my body began to cool down.

I keep all my binding supplies together in a small
cloth bag that a friend brought me from Japan.
It makes it so easy when you're ready to bind
a project to have everything together in one place.

So what do I keep in there?
My needle threader.  
I don't know how it works, but it threads my
needles perfect every time.

My needle dome.
This special needle holder can hold 30 needles
threaded ready to sew.  It saves all kinds of time
and frustration.

Binding clips
Yes, you might recognize these as little girl hair clips,
but in the quilting world they are binding clips.
I can get my binding in place before I start to sew, and
no worries about being poked with pins.

Now if only the temperature would cooperate.  I'm prepped 
and ready to get this binding done
without a nuclear meltdown.
Stay cool.
Until Next Time-

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday's Project

It's going to be a good week!

Until Next Time-

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cast Calling

Finding the perfect fabric for a project
is like a cast calling for a theatrical production.

 "Pick me, pick me."
"I'm the best."

All the perspective candidates line up for inspection.

Then there's the audition,
where you make comparisons.

 Is this red the right one?
Or this red?

Both work individually, but how do they work 
with the rest of the cast.

 Choice A?
Which one will add to the whole quilt
not just maintain the expected "red" flower.

Choice B?

B had been my original pick.  As I appliqued on my
block, I began to have second thoughts. 

Cast call.
Make a decision.

I'm going with my original pick, Choice B.
You may or may not agree, but that's the beauty of 
making a quilt.  Whatever the quilter likes
is the right choice.

Another audition.
 I needed to add a narrow border to bring out 
the colors in the main part of the quilt.
Did I like the soft peach batik or

or the more vibrant rose color?

Which one worked best with all the other colors?
Sometimes I can't decide right away. I'll have to walk
away for awhile, think and then review it again. 
 Do I want the pink in the quilt to stand out more or the peach?

I chose the peach.

I always marvel at the people who come into the store
and believe they can choose fabrics for a quilt in 10 minutes.
Where's the cast calling and auditions?
They're missing the fun part.

Have a great weekend-

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Another Try At 100 Miles

My "running man" doesn't give up easily.
His attempt last year at the Leadville 100
ended at 60 miles.
I recall his promise
 "I won't do that again".
He said that as he laid on the cot in the medic station 
after his legs gave out coming back over Hope Pass.

He has kept his promise.
He's not going to Leadville this year, but doing
the Burning River 100 mile Endurance Race.
This race is along the Cuyahuga River
near Cleveland and Akron, Ohio at the end of the month.

Where does the name of the race come from?
Back on June 22, 1969, an oil slick
on this very polluted river began to burn.
It was a river that oozed rather than flowed.
There was no living things in it and was considered
a fire hazard!

 Fortunately, the area has changed.

This race is a challenge because of the daytime
temperatures and humidity, running over 
obstacles on the trails, and the darkness that 
takes over from about 9 pm until 6 am.

Ed has been running, running, and running.
He's in great shape and ready mentally
to win that elusive belt buckle.

In order to practice running in the dark,
he decided he need to run all night long.
So starting at 10 pm
 he began running.
With periodic check-ins, he kept going until 4 am.
His crew, Me, kept the porch light on, 
drank two Mountain Dews to stay awake,
and kept my eyes on him from the front window as he 
circled the neighborhood.
I'm glad he stopped when he did,
my eyes couldn't stay focused anymore.
I think he's ready now.
Thanks to his brother, Tony, who will be his crew for the race.
His mantra:
"Quitting is not an option."
Until Next Time-

Monday, July 11, 2011

What's Hot in July?

July is all about red, white and blue.
 We eat it, wear it, decorate with it, and
 are proud of what it represents.

When it comes to my quilt collection,
patriotic quilts almost jump out of my quilt cupboard
when this month pops up on the calendar.
 These quilts are small and all made with wool.
They fit perfectly in my glass display coffee table,
making a great patriotic display

What's fun is all the different ways the flag
can be represented.
Appliqueing with wool is quick and easy, and
 is a wonderful medium for a folk art design.
Snow in July?

Well, it can happen in the mountains of Colorado.
One of our summer family's vacations in Vail combined
4th of July fireworks and snowflakes.

When my family was younger, one of our July traditions 
was to include a small snowball snowman made
from the last snow of the season,
 placed in the freezer, and then included as
part of the holiday table decorations.
He looks a little pitiful, but was happy
to be part of the holiday.
Needless to say, Mr. Snowman didn't
last very long.

July can be a hot month, but
enjoy the summer.
Work on a special project,
visit someplace new,
or just relax.

Until Next Time-

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Guess Who Came to Dinner

I can only remember a few times
in my life when I have been truly surprised.
Maybe when I got my first two wheeler as a kid,
finding out I was expecting twins or
receiving a sparkle piece of jewelry.

This weekend  my family really Surprised me.
I was expecting  two of my girls for the holiday.
Then completely unexpected,

my girl, Kate, from Florida comes around the corner of the house!!!

Elizabeth and Ed had concocted this big surprise last March.
And everyone had actually kept the secret.

Even Jessica didn't know.
It was a surprise!
A fantastic surprise!

Lots of hugs

And more hugs.

Needless to say, it was a blessed weekend.
 Don't you love wonderful surprises.

Until Next Time-