Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy day

I had a wonderful day yesterday with DS, his girlfriend and her mom. The day itself weather wise was beautiful. Not too hot, sunny, and over all a beautiful day. God's world is full of beauty and entertainment if we just take the time to notice and appreciate it. While we were at the apartment we watched the birds and chipmunks antics. The manager is working at getting the pool cleaned up and ready to open for the summer. They take good care of the grounds. Once we girls left the apartment to do a little shopping we found a really great antique store. BTW, I didn't buy anything even though it was DH's and my wedding anniversary, and I could have felt I deserved it, I didn't find anything that I truly wanted at least at a price I was willing to pay. There is also a fantastic farmers market close by that we scouted out. They had a lot of local homemade jams, soup mixes and great looking fresh produce. They also had lots of plants. Lovely hanging baskets and flats of annuals.

We asked for recommendations for a good place to eat while we were at the antique store and the gentleman told us we had to try Tinitinque Tavern, he told us how to get there which sounded like a long ways away but he reassured us it was just a mile or two away. We found our way there and we were rewarded with a great meal and lovely atmosphere. The menu was handed to us on a clip board and was about 10 pages long. They had just about anything you could want and they prices were reasonable, which once we got the meal we realized just how reasonable. Let me show you.

I ordered the reuben and the presentation of the meal was just as good as the taste. Also I brought home as much as I ate so I have a 2nd meal out of it. Considering I will have had 2 lunches the cost per lunch is comparable to eating at a fast food place and the quality of the food supercedes any fast food fare. Here is a good picture of 2 people very happy with there menu choices.

We also got to see some great bridge architecture during our outing. I don't know the name of this bridge but I love the shape and the dark silouette against the sky.

It was hard to get a good picture of it in a moving car especially since we ourselves were on a bridge with iron supports every 10 feet or so.

On our way back to the apartment we stopped at a used book store. Wow this was the best organized and largest used book store I have ever been in. They had room upon room set up with bookshelves and displays and had everything marked as to genre. The prices were reasonable too. They had one of those signs like you see in the malls, you are here, and where different categories of books were. Very nice.

To finish off the day, DS made us a great meal on the grill as he has dubbed himself "The Grill Master". We had chicken breasts marinated in Italian dressing and grill roasted veges. Yummy. We topped the meal off with juicy strawberries from the farmer's market.

It was almost 10:00 PM when I got home. It was a wonderful day spent with wonderful people enjoying God's wonderful world.
Have a great day and remember to be thankful for those great days you get to spend with friends and family.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Anniversaries and beauty...

Today is our 32nd wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary DH, I know you feel like we have been married for 52 LOL, but I pray that we do hit 52. We aren't guaranteed anything so we need to honor these days when we get them. I am doing that. The TV that DH ordered was to be delivered today but when the delivery company called to set up a time I told the gentleman that it couldn't be today because I would not be at home. DS and his girlfriend invited her mom and me to spend the day with them. I feel it is more important to spend time with family than sit around waiting all day for a tv to be delivered. It is important to chose people and relationships over things. These things that we have in our lives are to be used to foster and nurture relationships. So many times we get our focus on the wrong thing and get out priorities "twisted" around and it is easy to use people in order to get things. Let's not let that happen.

I was checking out the different flower beds around the house and have some photos of the latest bloomers. Enjoy. First up is this little clump of snap dragons that I don't even remember planting.

Just over top of this little clump of happiness is this beautiful peony.
I used to paint on silk when we lived in France and peonies were one of my favorite flowers to paint as there were so many petals and I could do a lot of shading and highlighting on all of those petals. So fun to do and they turned out magnificent. I had transplanted this one from the main peony bush and it is blooming this year and the other one isn't. It doesn't get enough sunlight so DS helped me transplant it this spring to a sunnier spot so next year I hope to see some blooms. Peonies are one of my favorite flowers.

Here is another of my favorite flowers, perhaps my favorite. Wisteria.

When we were transferred to France the 2nd time with the Navy, DH went house hunting without me as we had 4 little ones. it was not real easy to navigate around Paris with everyone and everything needed. He found us a house to rent outside of Paris. As we were driving up to the house DH said it might not be what I was hoping for in a place to live, but it would be big enough for us and as he pulled in the driveway I saw cute cottage style house with the eves dripping with wisteria blooms all across the front. I said I didn't care what the inside was like I was already in love. Funny story, the gardener came the next day and cut off all those beautiful blooms. I was so upset. That is perhaps when my love affair with wisteria goes back to.

Here is some sort of lily that is just in full bloom right now. I love these dainty little flower heads and of course I love purple so what's not to love.

I seem to love wispy droopy hangy types of plants and of course anything that is purple as I mentioned.

I hope you have enjoyed the photos and the stories that tell you why I love them so. I pray that you have a wonderful day. Remember to be thankful for something today. I am thankful for 32 years with DH. He is a wonderful man and has given me a life full of adventure and experiences that I could never have anticipated. Here is to another 32 years sweetheart.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The steps of progress

One major project almost done. My goal was to have this done by May 21, my second treatment and birthday, but didn't get it done. So my next self imposed deadline was June 1 and I should be able to make that one early. Oh, you would like to know what the project is? Ok, I will share. It is a t-shirt quilt for an Air Force pilot. He brought a large tote full of t-shirts that he wanted made into a quilt for his man cave. He had so many that this quilt needed to be double sided with the shirts in order to use them all. So the front, or what I call the front, used all the various colored t-shirts. Here is what that looks like.
This is pieced together except for the outer border. I needed to wait to see how big the other side was going to be before I committed to the outer border size. The other side used the black and white t-shirts. Here is the lay out I chose for those, in this photo they are just pinned to my design wall. I hadn't yet added the red fabric in order to piece them all together.

Once I had the centers pieced together I was able to determine the outer border sizes for each side. One side had to be bigger than the other side for the quilting process to be done on the longarm. Usually the backing is to be 6 inches larger than the front overall. I only had 2" top to bottom but on the sides I probably had the 6 inches.

I used a partial float method for the top when loading it onto longarm, I won't go into all of what that means but I will tell you why I liked it. I could see the progress I was making. Obviously, when I started, the excess top was puddled on the ground at my feet and with each turn it got shorter and shorter. Let me show you what I mean.

This is how much I had to do when I started yesterday, and this was after I completed one pass with my quilting motif.

This was great motivation to keep at it when I could see how much (or how little) I had yet to quilt.
At this point, I have just the binding to stitch down by hand and the quilt will be all done.

Progress. That is what we need to strive for each day. Progress in what is determined by what is most important to you. This was a project that I had committed to last year. It required my attention and determination to finish it. I have promised myself that once this was done, I would finish one of my own projects before I tackled another customer quilt. I am beginning to get them coming back in now that I am mended myself and ready to tear up the world again. Progress as you can see is about taking small steps to finish a large project. Stepping up to do the work and keep on going even when you don't feel like it. So if you are being weighed down by some gigantic project that you just can't believe you will ever get done, break it down into managable pieces or steps. Do the first step and then move on to the second step as so on and so on.

I hope you have a great day and remember to do something kind for someone today.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Family sharing time...

I am sorry that I didn't take any photos yesterday. Two family members were at the Rocky Glen Cemetery for the Memorial Day celebration who are the family photographers and I just didn't feel the necessity to take my own, but now I wish I had a photo or two to add to this post.

I invited everyone over to the house once the ceremony was over for a chance to visit and we had a great time sharing stories. I had left overs from our outing to the local winery the day before so I was able to put out a light spread of goodies to munch on. Two pies were brought by family and we were set. We had a wonderful time sharing stories which created roars of laughter and then more stories of memories from childhood throughout the years. The kids were in and out playing with Georgie, the ever present, ever ready to play beagle. It turned out to be a great day. No great planned event or big feast just a day full of family. Isn't that what Memorial Day is truly all about? The soldiers who sacrificed so much, time, comfort, jobs, health, families, and many times ultimately their life, isn't that what they did it for? To ensure that their families and friends can continue to live in freedom. Their love for family and friends is far greater than the risk of losing their lives.

Let me encourage you to take the opportunity this summer to get together with family and friends that you haven't seen in a long while. We are not guarenteed tomorrow, we are not even guarenteed the next 10 minutes. Don't let the opportunities of the day pass you by. I could have just said good bye to every one yesterday at the cemetery after the ceremony was over and come home to spend a quiet day doing my own thing but that would have been a lost opportunity. I could have thought I don't have the house cleaned up, I don't have any food ready, I have plans to do... excuses. I think it is more important to take opportunities when they arise and even more so to make opportunities to get together with those we love. We need to share and uplift one another. We need to be involved. Our lives are getting so busy. Our communities are getting ever so big that we as individuals begin to lose the ties that bind us together. Worse off we begin to believe that we don't need one another. I have 'me and mine' and I don't need anyone or anything else. We all need some help along the way even the strongest of us.

I hope you had a memorable day and that your summer plans will include some extended family time. With all the advanced technology we have we don't even have to be in the same state or even the same country for that matter to spend some time together. Have a blessed day and plan some activities that will bring you closer together with distant relatives and friends.

Remember to be thankful today for something that was bought and paid for by the lives of those who have fought through out the centuries of our country's history.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial day is a day of thanksgiving for our heros...

Here we are at Memorial day. The beginning of our summer celebrations. This is a day to remember all the sacrifices that our soldiers in every branch of military service have made to make and keep our country free. Many of our service members have not made it home to us for which we remember the sacrifice of life that they gave. Thank you for our freedom. Thank you for your service. I also want us to remember all of those who have come home. They also have given great service to our country and thankfully made it back home to family and friends who also made sacrifices during their abscence. This is a great country because of all the sacrifices that were made and will continue to be made to keep it that way. We all have our part in serving our country even if we don't don a uniform. I pray that you will continue to remember to be thankful for the great service these men and women have made for our country. Here are photos of my soldiers.

I have these pictures on my bulletin board in my home office. My 4 kiddos along with DD's husband. As you can see they represent different branches of our military. Here is DH and me, taken years ago, unfortunately my bulletin board photo got taken down for a news press release. DH is speaking today at one of the local Memorial Day celebrations and they needed his photo for the newspaper write up. So I had to dig for another photo of him in uniform.

Thank you, my dear family, for your sacrifice of your time, strength, talents and for your love of country and family. You are my heros.
I love you. Mom (Mum-for Kate.)