"Make what you want to make, and make it the way you want to make it." Gwen Marston

Friday, October 28, 2011

Home, Home on the Range

We took a few hours break today from family obligations, and did a partial tour of the Black Hills and Custer State Park.  Remember the song:  Home, Home on the Range,

 where the deer
and the antelope play.
We also saw mountain goats, buffalo, and burros.  Although none of the wild animals are to be fed, the burros will come right up to the car looking for handouts.

The highlight of the trip was Mt. Rushmore, as always.

Please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow as we say our final respects to my father.

Counting my blessings.....Sunny

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In Loving Memory

9/5/1935 - 10/21/2011

On Saturday evening, following a fun day in Washington DC, and stopping for dinner on the way home, I received the phone call that we all dread.  My father was gone.  It was very unexpected.  On Sunday, I flew half way across the country to meet with my siblings and to make arrangements.  Services are scheduled for Friday and I plan to return home on Sunday.

My father was a good man - a family man.  He served his country, family, and friends with honor and pride.  He will be greatly missed.  Our entire family still vacationed together on a regular basis.  Although he officially retired in 1991, he worked tirelessly for many associations and organizations.  We learned today that one of the associations is sending a corporate jet with seven company officers for the services on Friday.

Always in my heart.....Sunny

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Going off grid

I'll be back in a couple of weeks.  SAHR November assignment may be a little late, but we won't have an assignment in December, so there should be plenty of time to get everything done.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

The phone rang!

I made it to the next round!  In-person interview next Wednesday!!!!!!!!!!!!  See post below for more details.

Random thoughts while waiting for the phone to ring.

On the Job Front:
I received an email yesterday stating that I had been selected for a preliminary job interview via telephone today.  So I'm waiting for the phone to ring.  I'll put a smile on my face and will answer my phone very professionally!  I will be confident and awesome. A few prayers wouldn't hurt!

On Hexies:
I've been whining, complaining, mentioning lately that I've begun sewing hexies together.  Last night I took out as many papers as I could, and that made the task a little easier.  I still have a very long way to go, but my fingers hurt and my carpal tunnel is acting up, so I think I need to slow it down and work on some other things.  I have a tendency to get tunnel vision when I'm nearing the end of a project.  I've been making hexies for almost a year, so I guess there's no reason that this has to be finished this week!

Actually, after laying this out for the picture, I'm not sure it's suitable for an Aunt Sarah.  I think there are too many colors.  I many have to start all over with new fabrics.  Maybe all from one line?  Not to fear, I have plenty of fabric.  And if I use a small hexie I can punch out my own papers.  I could use some of the really ugly scrapbook paper that will never be used otherwise.  Hmmmmm....  yes, I can see this happening.

On Hedge Apples:
While out walking one day last fall, I came across an Osage Orange tree.  Why is the fruit from this tree called Hedge Apples?  I can't answer that but I think hedge apples are cool looking.  When I happened upon the fruit on that particular walk, there was an older couple looking at the fruit as well, and they picked up a few to take to a friend.  As I was just starting out on my walk, I decided to wait until I returned to get a few for myself.  However, when I returned, every single fruit was gone!  Yesterday, while driving through the parking lot for that very same trail, I found another tree with hundreds of hedge apples!  I was actually looking for oak trees, but settled for some very pretty hedge apples instead.

On Oak Trees:
Yesterday I drove past a nearby county park that I seldom visit.  As it's located off Oak Ride Drive, I decided to drive through and look for Oak trees!  Yes, there are many, but I still couldn't find any acorns.  I'll go back later today (after the phone rings?) more properly attired, and I WILL find acorns.  Bonus:  there appear to be a couple of nice walking trails in the park, and it's very close to home!!

eta:  Hubby called awhile ago and asked if a shoebox full of acorns would be enough.  YIPPEE!  the search is over.

On Fire Sirens:
Living in a small town, we have a mixture of paid and volunteer fire fighters.  I live about a mile from the nearest volunteer station.  It's a beautiful day out, and sitting here with my window open, I heard the fire siren a few minutes ago.  It reminded me of something I saw in our newspaper a couple of months ago.  Did I already complain about this?  We have a column called "Mail Call" for which anyone can call in and make comments that will be printed in the column.  In general, I would say that the people who call in are on the lower end of the IQ scale.  I recently saw a comment from someone who had moved from 'the city' to a small rural community near here for the peace and quiet and the slower pace of life.  However, they were very upset about all the fire sirens and thought somebody should do something about them.  HELLO!  These sirens are calling the people and equipment who may be saving your life or your house someday!!!!!

On Cookies:
I volunteered to make cookies for an upcoming Hospice function.  Should I splurge and make these delightful looking confections?  Or should I use the ingredients on hand and make either peanut butter cookies or molasses crinkles?  I've also seen a version of these using mini Nilla Wafers instead of Mini Nutter Butters.  I guess if I was really ambitious, I could make my own mini peanut butter cookies for the tops?

On Pumpkins:
It's time to get off the computer and get to the sewing room!  Hmmm....shall I work on my Tilda sewalong?  My log cabin pumpkin kit?  The new BOM that I signed up for, which starts with a pumpkin block?  An applique project for a swap, that just happens to feature a pumpkin?

TTFN!    Counting my blessings......Sunny

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I went in search of acorns today.  I'd like to fill a pretty bowl or jar with acorns.  I didn't find any though.  Later, I'll Google oak tree habitat and see if I can come up with a better place to look. 

While thinking of acorns, though, I was thinking of fall and squirrels.  and the whole idea of "squirreling away for the winter" and that made me think of my quilty/stitchy/crochety stash again.  I've been squirreling away my fabric, threads, patterns, and yarn and I'm well prepared to hibernate for the winter. 
I almost stayed home and stitched today instead of going for a walk, but I'm so glad I changed my mind.  It won't be long before the cold winds of winter are blowing and I will want to hibernate!  So I should be out today appreciating the beauty of nature, and taking advantage of the fact that I'm not cooped up in an office all day. 

My favorite place to walk when I'm alone is on the tow path along the C&O Canal, which runs beside the Potomac River.  The trees growing there don't get very colorful,  and right now there is still a lot of green.  About the only red I saw today was poison ivy and I kept my distance.

I did see this beautiful tree/shrub while I was driving down the road.  It will be absolutely stunning in about another week.  I also stored up some images of fields that have been harvested.  Or not harvested yet.

In stitchy news, I started joining hexies last night.  I'm going to rank that as the least favorite thing I've done since I started making quilts.  I started by sewing strips together, and then joining the strips.  Now that I have two strips joined, I may just add one hexie at a time.  Perhaps that will be less awkward.  If anyone has any tips of words of wisdom, please share!

Thanks for all your kind comments on my last post.  It helps to know that there are others who are fighting their way through life the way I am. 

Counting my blessings......(but not my acorns)....Sunny

Oak tree = acorns   (picture from internet)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pixels are free...and another bridge

I've been watching entirely too much daytime TV.  A couple of my favorites are Nate Berkus and Ellen in the afternoon.  Last week there was a woman on Nate who had dug herself out of something like $24,000 debt in 16 months.  Her motto was "if it's not critical to my survival, I'm not buying it".  That has really stuck with me the past few days.  While I'm not in debt, I'm currently living on a very restricted income, and if I don't find a job by the time my unemployment compensation runs out, we will be in trouble.  So I've decided to adopt this motto!  When I took my little solo vacation a few weeks ago, I went on a major spending spree.  That should last me for awhile. 
I certainly have enough fabric to last a long time.  I might just need to get a little more creative in order to finish some projects.  Maybe I'll make the quilts that I planned and purchased  two years ago when I went on a Shop Hop.  I have all the materials necessary for plenty of hexie goodness.  I started sewing hexies together last night for my Aunt Sara inspired quilt. 
One of my favorite fun activities is taking pictures.  Lucky for me, pixels are free!  When digital photography started becoming so popular, I swore I'd never switch from film.  Needless to say.......  Today, I went down to Antietam Battlefield to take some pictures.  It was a beautiful day, and a good day to be outdoors and do some serious thinking. It's hard to imagine, on a beautiful day like today, that this was the setting of the single bloodiest day in American history, with over 23,000 casualties in a single day during the American Civil War. Thinking of the battle helps put things in perspective in my life.  I often feel like I'm fighting a losing battle.
The reality is, I'm only battling myself.  I wonder if I'll ever really believe that, because that's the only way I'll ever be able to win.  If I feel trapped, it's really internal.  There are no stone walls holding me back from what I want to do.  It's all mental.

I need to start being kinder to myself.  And if some one's mean to me, I'm not going to tolerate it any more.  Life is too short. 
I think I'm going to have to become more creative since I'm not going to allow myself to spend any money.  But I think creativity will lead to satisfaction and happiness.  So if you're on my Christmas list, fear not!! 
Being in nature and taking pictures is critical to my soul, therefore to my survival.  There will be more little escapes like today.  There was a potential high cost to today's walk, because I lost my eyeglasses!  I retraced my steps without any luck.  I returned to my car to make sure I hadn't left them in my purse.  Then I retraced my steps again.  The man and woman who were helping me search thought it was really strange that I found them in deep grass because I recognized a weed that I had photographed earlier.  I remembered changing the lens on my camera, and the glasses must have fallen when I bent to pull the lens from my bag.  Thank you weed.
A couple more photos before I finish up.  I took a bunch of pictures of Burnside Bridge, but they're all washed out because the sun was too strong.

It felt good to be outside today, and I'm counting my blessings......Sunny

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Catching Up

Where does the time go?  When last I posted, I was in southern West Virgina, admiring the fall foliage and a particular bridge.  On Sunday, we took yet more pictures of the bridge

Driving homeward, we stopped for awhile at Summersville Lake.  How beautiful!  We are already planning to go back next summer for some kayaking.  Although the area is famous for it's whitewater adventures, we'll stick with the flat water!

On Monday, I turned to the paper crafting side of my craft room.  I made some Thanksgiving cards, and then I (gasp!) worked on some scrap booking.  Before I became seriously addicted to quilting and stitching, I was seriously addicted to scrap booking.  I had a large stack of pages that had been started at a retreat several months ago, and just needed some finishing touches before they could be put away in an album.  It felt so good to clear that stack off my desk! 

Another project that required a lot of time this week was the Sew Happy Sew Along.  Three weekly stitcheries had been published, and I hadn't started stitching yet!  I'm happy to say that the fourth one was published yesterday, and I finished it earlier tonight.  I'm caught up!!
 I also took the time tonight to cut more fabric for hexies.  It's time to start joining them, and I need to make a BUNCH of white hexies to do the job.  They should to pretty fast, and I'm anxious to see what I come up with once I start the joining process.  At last count, I think I have approximately 85-90 colored flowers, and probably 75-80 white flowers.  I may need to make a few more, but I've decided to wait until the joining process is well under way to decide what I might need more of.
I recently purchased some Caron Simply Soft yarn when it was on sale, and was planning to make a shawl with it.  The pattern was on the wrapper.  Once I got home and started reading the pattern, I decided I wasn't interested in making it.  I like my crocheting to be very simple and mindless, so I decided to make a small afghan instead.  I didn't want to buy a lot more yarn, so I'm designing as I go.  I'll probably have a picture in a few days.

And now I guess I should go to bed, so I can get up tomorrow and start all over again.  Next up on my list is my Tilda doll sew along.

Counting my blessings....Sunny