Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I can't wait to try this bib I made today on my grandson! He will love the monkeys. I like the color combination!

I love to sew on whimsical fabrics.  I would enjoy finding this soft waterproof fabric in other colors and prints.  I don't believe this is vinyl yet it is too soft to be any of the oilcloth fabrics I have felt lately.  It looks like a research project in the making.  In the meant time I will look for other things to make with the monkey print.  My brain is full of ideas now for time to put them to work!

In the meantime, I know this bib will be more comfortable than the others with smaller necks and Velcro.  I have caught the hair of many a child with Velcro and in my experience, it is easier to get a tie untied without catching the hair of a little one.  Now that he likes to "feed" himself, the waterproof aspect is a plus! 

Oops....we hit Mr. Snowman

This is looks like a scene from my window today.
The snow cannot deter children from having a good time outdoors.
I wonder how warm children in this era stayed in their sweaters and knickerbockers.
I remember a special photograph taken of my father around 1914 or so,
all dressed up in a tie and jacket and his knickerbockers. 
 I bet he was glad when he could wear trousers "below his knees!"

Sunday, November 28, 2010


What a lazy Sunday afternoon!  The temperature is cool, a mere 27 degrees; the house beckons me to relax and be still after our busy Thanksgiving week.  I have the luxury to stay indoors to enjoy the snow while others are out braving the weather.  It will be a slippery drive for those going back to work and school tomorrow.  The city is working overnight to keep the roads plowed and de­­­-iced.  Imagine trying to drive in 17.9 inches with ruts made from drivers who slid their way down the road.   I am thankful for the plowing crews who are working straight through their schedule to get it done.

Friday, November 19, 2010

An Apron for Thanksgiving!

I have an apron waiting on my table to sew for Thanksgiving.  It is going to be my first bias tape bound apron and I am excited to get started.  This will be a good way for me to remember those who gave me my passion for cooking on this wonderful day.  My mother made cobbler aprons in many colors with coordinating bias tape.  I am excited that this tradition of retro aprons is popular as they are symbols of those days when the kitchen was the heart of the home where families sat down for dinner together.

I also have one apron that my grandmother made and gave to me in 1965.  She made them from gingham and  embroidered wonderful teneriffe patterns on them. It will be hard to decide which of my two daughters to pass them along to!  I treasure this apron because it is such a good memory of my grandmother.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Relaxing in the midst of chaos

Today I was at Costco, shopping for m Thanksgiving cooking spree.  It was busy.  Food tourists gathered aisle wide for tastes of bread with butter or a little Greek yogurt, salsa soup and my... oh my who knows what else.  It is a boost for sales and a bust for my zipping merrily through my list.  The lines were long and my cart was heavy.  While I waited in line I watched the people, intrigued by what they had in their carts.  It amazes me how much I can miss when I see someone with a great new toy or a good looking wheel of Brie but not enough to give my space in line!  It was good to slow down and watch.  Sometimes that isn’t easy.  Traffic…carts, people Oh it was busy…even walking out to my car.  After I finished unloading my groceries, a nice young man took my empty cart with his and put it away.  How sweet and it made up for all the near traffic jams inside the store!  I wonder if he is participating in the Thirty Day Challenge!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Memories in my kitchen of Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. I enjoy planning for it, baking for it and pondering whether I should try something new or keep the same traditions. This year I will be blessed once again with family around the table and memories of holiday dinners from long ago.

I remember being so nervous roasting my first turkey. I got lots of advice from my sister, and then absorbed every word about roasting turkeys in my Betty Crocker Cookbook. It turned out to be far easier than the first pot roast I made for my new husband all those years ago. I had to laugh it was so easy; I decided from then on that Turkey Day would become my forte.

Last year I replaced my old speckled dark blue roaster pan. I purchased that pan in mint condition for $2.50 at the neighborhood St. Vincent DePaul Thrift store. I used that roaster for more than 30 years when finally, the finish was kaput. I wanted to hang onto it for the longest time because I get sentimental about these “treasures.” When Thanksgiving rolled around and I used that new roaster for the first time, all sentimentality for that pan was forgotten. Even my gravy was a snap to make in the new model.

I still remember and will remember the great feeling I had when I bought that old roaster because I learned to cook with that pan. Those are great memories. This year I am looking forward to the memories we will make this year in the kitchen. I will be joined by my cat, who will be camped out by the oven until everybody else comes in to supervise the progress of the feast.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Seize the moment...it passes so quickly

As I look at my grandchildren, I remember the faces of my little girls, so bright and excited ready to go outside for an adventure.  Now mother's of their own, they are busy with their families and it is hard to believe that so many years have passed.   Barbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Cabbage Patch dolls and books, boat rides and bike rides all filled their dance cards.  What a treasure my memories are to me, and now I am building new ones with my grandchildren.  Life is wonderful.

This is a reminder for me to pause before the busy season comes across the Thanksgiving table with a new project or sale every day for the next month.  It can be overwhelming if we let it, but honestly Christmas will not be any better if I get so busy I forget to savor the moments of tree decorating, a broken bauble or two and shopping with my husband.  Ah, I do love this time of year even with the busy hustle and bustle.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Celebrating Motherhood...Savoring some long ago moments

This morning my husband called me to share the sunrise with me.  The sky was a glorious pink that soon shifted to a gold richer than the splendor of any jewelry I've ever seen. I had just texted him reminiscing the birth of our first child so it wasn't as if he roused me from sleep.  Thirty five years ago today, our lovely daughter was born.  She is an amazing woman now, and we couldn't be prouder of her.  She is a wonderful wife and mother and has such a giving spirit.  

I remember the day she was born like it was yesterday!  Where has the time gone?  I fretted over her colic and worried about so many other things that nowadays I would take for granted.  She slept through the night when she was three weeks old and when we woke, we jumped out of our beds so fast only to find her sleeping peacefully.  What memories my husband and I shared over the phone.

There are so many memories flooding my mind, it is like a whirlwind.  It seems like I turned around and there she is a woman, no longer the baby I once held my arms.  Oh I miss that baby, but I celebrate the woman she has become. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thirty Day Challenge

I heard about the 30-day giving challenge  recently, and decided to join.  It is good to think of others in a world filled with ways to avoid contact with others for many days.  Oh we can blog and email, and these enable us to avoid the phone or leaving the house.  It can make me out of touch with the world if I give in to this solitary way of living.  Of course, this is not a life I would willingly live on a regular basis.   I crave human company, it is part of my nature.  I enjoy those moments when I see a smile on a face that was unexpected.  I love gifts, the kind of gifts that are the rare thought by someone who took time to see what was needed to make a difference in the life of another.  I have received many of these gifts in my life, and these gifts helped me become the woman I am today.  A wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend.  My life is richer because of these gifts and the price tag was insignificant compared to the giver. 

I am challenging myself to find ways to give for the month of November.  I plan to touch lives, one person at a time, in a small meaningful way.  I will not share with you what my gifts are, I wish to stand back and watch without recognition.  I have not the riches of the world, but I can make a difference. 

Click on the 30-day button and see what you can do to help change the world.  You will see the following quotes as listed below that inspired me.  I hope they inspire you too.

"Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something." ~Author Unknown

"In everything I showed yo that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, the He Himself said 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"  Acts 20:35


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Today is the Day....

“Today is the day, You have made, I will rejoice and be glad in it…” I love these words and the lively beat in Lincoln Brewster’s version of this song. How often I wonder how I will spend the day, and make it a joyful time.

Joy has many ways to pop up in our lives. This past month I pushed my enthusiasm to the limit. I sewed like I haven’t for years. My granddaughter asked me if I would be interested in helping her choir at school by mending their choir robes. I checked into this project with her teacher and brought home 19 robes in the first “batch” on the spot. Some needed hemming some had problems with the yokes and three needed new zippers. Separating zippers; you know, the kind that used to be readily available when fabric stores were simply “Fabric Stores” carrying all manner of fabric and notions. The project went fast and as I noticed the yokes that needed sewing down I realized I needed to go back and review the robes I didn’t bring home. What a stack I brought home on that trip! While the pile was big, the actual sewing time took less than taking the robes off the hanger and putting it back on! Not a big deal. But the zippers? I fixed one of them and the other two will be replaced by two good zippers in otherwise unusable robes that are simply beyond repair…something many resourceful women learned during the Great Depression of the/ 1930’s.

My sewing room was blue all over, surrounding me and my sewing machine. I took ownership of the project. I liked it. I dreaded it. I pushed myself to start this and I am glad I did. I had been in such a funk and really needed to get out of it. My wise 12-year old granddaughter knew this would be good for me. In the meantime, I helped my daughter sew two skirts and made her a laptop bag. It was good to be back in the groove again. My mind is full of ideas like visions of sugarplums, only things to sew or crochet instead.

The students made me a huge card, cleverly designed with musical notes and signed by all. It means a lot to me. What is most important though is the appreciation of what I could give. I called my granddaughter and thanked her for asking me to mend the robes. I know I got just as much out of the project as the students who will wear these robes during their performances.  I am so blessed to have been asked to mend these robes, not for the glory or praise but for the opportunity to serve.