An “Ice Day” to Stay Inside

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I’m in Mid-Michigan, where it’s been spring for only a few days.  Yet Mother Nature decided she wanted to send another blast of ice, sleet and snow our way, covering everything with a thick glaze.  Everything is closed: schools, senior citizen centers, etc.  I could go to work at my day job, but I think I’ll take this opportunity to work at home and get a few critical items checked off my list.


The Woodworker took this picture last night when he got home.  Today it’s much worse.  What you’re seeing is not snow, it’s ice.  Yucky, slippery, cold ice.  Not worth risking life and limb to get to work.  I’ve convinced myself.  Twisted my own arm. 

Stay safe, Michigan!

Happy Solstice, Happy Birthday Mom


Today marks the Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice marks the reversal of the gradually lengthening nights and shortening days. I wish my camera was completely able to share all the senses with you of what we are experiencing in Michigan right now. The wind is gusting and blowing the snow horizontally. This photo was taken when the wind died down for a few seconds. Ten seconds after this shot, it kicked in again and you couldn’t see the trees in the background. Here, you are looking at my deck and back yard. The wind is howling!

Today also marks what would have been my mom’s 82nd birthday. Mom0002 Here’s a photo of my mom with her brother, Raymond at his place in Florida. A much warmer day when this was taken!

I’ve had two friends lose their mothers in the past few weeks. It’s never easy, whether it is after a long illness or very suddenly. Most days I get by alright, but a day doesn’t go by that I don’t think of mom in some way. I was out shopping for the last time before Christmas yesterday, and I heard someone whistling along to a Christmas carol. My mom was a regular whistler. Not just any kind of whistle, but a warble with lots of vibrato. That’s what I heard in the store yesterday. It brought back so many memories, and a tear.

Memories are good. Share them with others, and write them down. The process is very healing.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah. I hope you make lots of great memories this holiday!

A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen. ~Edward de Bono

Can You See Me Now?


This big blob of snow, ice and rain is covering almost the entire state of Michigan. I’m under the blue part waving at you. Can you see me? The snow is coming down at a rate of 1-2 inches per hour. Everything around here is closed. Colleges, day care centers, airports… everything. I’m working from home today writing a large proposal. I can do that and stay off the roads. Life is good.

We went to a Christmas program last night that was put on by Jacob and Samantha’s school (really cool day care center). It was in an auditorium with a stage, and the kids did such a good job! Sammy was even on stage, being held by one of her “teachers” doing Jingle Bells. The toddlers all had bells and rattles, which they loved shaking.

Jacob was on with the Pre-Kindergartners, front and center. He knew just what to do, and followed directions to a T. That’s our boy!!! Singing “The Mitten Song”, Jake’s in the front row, black mittens right in the middle.Christmasprogram08

Sammy Sammy sat with us when she wasn’t on stage being adorable… either with Grandpa or with Daddy. This will be a really fun Christmas!


Snow, Triangles and Dad Returns

It’s a snowy, Friday morning here in Michigan. We’ve had more snow this year than in the past few years altogether, I think. Getting a little tired of dealing with it, but it sure is pretty!

I have had these triangles for the border of my “Dear Jane” quilt sitting on my desk for several weeks now, waiting to be scanned and posted.

The first picture is called “Phoenix.” It didn’t scan very well and looks all wacky, but it looks good in person.
The second pic is called “Olympic Torch.” I forgot to add two tiny triangles on the bottom, but I think I will leave it as is. No sense in messing up a good thing. For those of you like my good friend Lorrie from work who might not know what a “Dear Jane” quilt is, there is a photo of the original quilt here. It seems like I write about it every time I post, but when you see the original, you’ll know why. The original quilt was made in 1863 by Jane A. Stickle.
Dad comes home from Scottsdale on Saturday. I’ve missed him a lot. I don’t have to teach Saturday morning, so I’m hoping to get in some quality sewing time. More later!

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An Applique Sort of Evening

I felt like doing some applique work last night, so I stitched on this little block, E-11, “Wagon Wheel.” I’m really pleased with how it turned out! It’s nice when your stitching doesn’t fight you!

When I came home from work yesterday, it was snowing pretty hard. There was a beautiful cardinal outside my kitchen window eating at the birdfeeder. Alas, by the time I got out my camera, he was gone and other birds were feasting.
Shortly after Dean got home, he went to the sliding door at the back of the house to look out, and there were 3 deer wandering around our back yard. He had me come over to look, and then we spotted another 8 deer in the neighbor’s yard. Sadly, one of the deer had an injured front left leg. She kept trying to walk, and they waited patiently for her before going down the hill to the creek. I don’t know if she was hit by a car or had a broken leg, but it was very difficult for her to walk. We tried to get some photos, but the snow and the setting sun made it very difficult to get a good picture. I’ll watch for her in the next few days and see if she’s doing any better. I don’t know what to do to get her some help. Breaks my heart to see an injured animal!

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So beautiful in Michigan… and California…

I wish I had been able to go walking outside yesterday morning. It was so beautiful with our 11 inches of Mid-Michigan snow on the ground. Dean got out and shoveled and utilized his big, manly snowblower that I haven’t used yet. This pic of the front of our house gives you a little peek at the depth of the snow. Everything was so crisp… the kind of morning that makes you just want to stand there and breathe in the clear, clean, cold air. But work called, and I made it in. Lots of people did not. I’m surprised how many people drive 45 minutes to over an hour to get there! The Saginaw people saw about 18 inches of snow! Yowza!

For a drastic opposite of the photo above. visit Debby’s Journal Quilt blog. Ok, I change my mind. Forget the cold, crisp snow. I want to be HERE! Yes, you should click on the link and go check it out. Makes me want to be sitting on the pretty white bench looking at the birds.

If you are in Mid-Michigan like me, perhaps you have been to the The Quilter’s Garden quilt shop that USED TO BE at 302 1/2 S. Leroy Fenton. Guess what? They have moved! Their new location is at 1364 N. Leroy, Fenton. Lots more room and better parking too! Just travel from their old location 1.3 mi. north on S. Leroy to the Fenton Towne Center plaza, on the right (east) side of N. Leroy. They are in the plaza at the opposite end from the new VG’s Grocery Store. Cheap commercial plug for them. Didn’t cost me a cent!

Am I the only one who is getting tired of the 2008 Presidential Election already? I know who I want to vote for, and it isn’t a woman. Not sure I could take another 4 years of their family in the White House. That’s it… my political rant for the month. I’ll shut up now.

Time to sign off for the evening… Dean is home with a yummy pizza from our favorite pizza place. We’re going to fill up on pizza and play chess, listen to some good music…

Yes, one CAN have fun without quilting. Sometimes. Maybe.

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Winter Wonderland

Mid-Michigan weather right now is beautiful… it looks like a Winter Wonderland, with heavy snow falling, sticking to the trees, fences, and everything else that it can find. Driving is horrible, though, and schools all around the area are closed. I’m sure lots of employed workers are staying home today. Stormie wanted me to stay home in the worst way today. She followed me from one end of the house to the other, everywhere I went she was only a foot or two away. I love it when she is a “Kling-on Kitty,” but alas, I headed to work.

I visited a great blog this morning and added it to my Google Reader . It’s called “Subversive Stitchers: Women Armed with Needles” . Lots of great things on this blog, written by a writer about quilting. She includes an interesting post on Karen McTavish of Duluth, Minnesota. You probably have heard about Karen and her “McTavishing” (long-arm machine quilting with tons of stippling). Karen is now stippled herself – her arm, anyway. Visit and scroll to the very bottom to take a peek of her feathered arm!

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Happy New Year – Happy Snow in Michigan

First, Happy New Year to all my friends and family!

We celebrated by going to Sorrento’s Restaurant – they have fantastic Italian food. We received a Christmas gift card from our friends and neighbors, Tim and Lisa Judson, so we enjoyed a great meal “on them.” Thanks, guys! I must admit, we fell asleep before the midnight hour, so weren’t awake to see the clock change. But, we’re in luck – I’m typing this around 8:30 AM, and the world is still here.

We got a heap o’snow during the night, and it is still coming down quite heavily. Weather people are saying we may get up to six inches more. Here are a few pictures of my world here in Flushing, courtesy of Dean who is now out snowblowing. The pic on the top is of my house. We’ve lived here almost ten years now!

This is our beautiful pine tree that sits to the left side of our house out front. We planted it soon after we moved in… well, actually, we had someone plant it. It was huge when we bought it, and it’s grown a lot. I love how it looks in the snow!

This is a pic of my side yard. Snow is so pretty when it sits on the fence! If you look at the back right corner of this little space, that’s where our little goldfish pond is. Cold little fishies!

The last snowy photo I took out my dining room window and into the back yard. I had to take it through the screen door, because the sliding screen door wouldn’t open. This is our deck, gazebo and wooded back yard – so pretty in the snow!

Side note:
I love using Blogger for my blog, but every time I post more than one photo I get so angry. Why can’t they create a program that always works? Every time I try to post a photo, it puts it at the TOP of the blog, then I have to fiddle around to reformat the text and slide the photos to where I want them. ARGH!