Sunday, October 23, 2016

all the things . . .

What an odd week . . . we had something pretty much every evening this past week, and I feel like I've been oh-so-busy. But for the life of me, I can't figure out what ate up all the hours in all of the days of the week! Okay, well that's not completely true. As I went back through photos I'd taken (which were relatively few this week), I remembered a couple of things:

The only thing I don't like about this time of year is that I leave in the dark . . .
And I come home in the dark . . .
As much as some don't like it, I'll be really glad when we switch over to daylight savings time in two weeks, so at least it's brighter in the morning!

I *do* love the fall color . . . to that end, thanks to everyone who saw THIS post and voted for me!
This is the entrance into the camp. Isn't it pretty??! Voting is open until the 24th.  Just sayin!

Evey came by to see me at work last Thursday.  We had a lovely visit right up until her mama HAD to leave to pick up Ellie at school:
Two years old and strong willed equals a good ol' face-on-the-floor tantrum.  It was loud but brief and kinda funny to watch (and since it was me she didn't want to leave, rather gratifying, as well -- just don't tell her mama I said that!).

The ENTIRE day of Friday (my off day -- our together day) was dedicated to acquiring a new car for me. The PT Cruiser (aka Princess Buttercup) is ten years old and to the point where it's starting to need things that add up to $$$.  And we had to decide if we wanted to put the $$$ into her, or into a newer vehicle. I have loved my little PT Cruiser well, but she's not well suited to camp life (because she sits SO low to ground), so after a lot of online research and a lot of trying different things out, we settled on the Ford Escape. I'm please to introduce Ms. Scarlet (with a middle name of Ariel, as a nod to Ellie) . . .
Nice, huh?  It's a 2014 with low mileage and GREAT gas mileage (which the PT Cruiser did NOT get). I'm very pleased with her! And just so you know, this is why I gave her a middle name:
Hahahaha!  Joc says it's been pretty near impossible to get Ellie out of the wig and she's had to forbid her to sleep in it!  Gotta love it!

Finally, on Saturday, I attended the Tennessee Valley Colony meeting of the Alabama Mayflower Society. I'm a member, but my folks are Maryland members. I thought it would be a fun way to introduce them to the Mayflower Society in Alabama and they would get to meet new people and visit a Huntsville attraction (Constitution Village).  
My mom has quite the ribbon of ancestors! Of course, mine would look just like that, with the addition of William White, from my dad's side!

After the tour, we all had lunch at Humphrey's just off the square in downtown Huntsville.  While we were that close, I persuaded my folks to visit Harrison Brother's Hardware which is on the square. It's the oldest hardware business in Alabama and is now run by the historical society as a gift shop.
So I had to take a selfie with my mom outside the shop while we waited for my dad to park!

Needless to say, my stash report is unchanged.
And in fact, I have done NO stitching this week, and have nothing planned for today (except homecoming at church and a trip back to Lyon Farm with the grands).  So, no slow stitching for me. Maybe next week.  Maybe not!  Anyway, linking up to Patchwork Times this morning!

I hope for you are able to enjoy a quiet, blessing-filled Sunday!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

autumn colors . . .

So, Sunday's picture of the entrance into the camp?  I entered it on our local TV station's "Fall Photo Contest".  If you have an inclination, click the link to vote for it!  You can vote once daily as long as the contest is open -- which is until October 24th. 

Thanks much!! 


Sunday, October 16, 2016

a week of whew . . .

Whew, what a week it's been! It kicked off with a *birthday*! I had a great day, and so appreciate all the happy birthday wishes! Joc and Evey came to visit at work (which was kind of a crazy day, getting ready for our Annual Meeting the next day) and were a bright spot!
Notice those smocked pumpkins on her dress??! Her mama has an appropriate appreciation for the finer things in Autumn/life! I also got my Autumn/Pumpkin Vignette fixed up on my desk . . .
LOL!  Did you not think I'd have pumpkins at work, too??!  ;)

That evening, we met up at Bravo's at Bridge Street for dinner.  I love Italiano, and I've really been craving eggplant parmesan.  It was quite tasty!
But this sweet family is what made the evening memorable! (And yes, the girls are wearing matching outfits! But what's funny is that I *just* noticed that Joc and Jason are kind of matchy-matchy, too!)

Tuesday was super crazy as we loaded things up and went off site for our meeting.  Best I can figure, we had about 200+ people there! I'm the association clerk, so I have to sit through all four and a half hours of the the meeting (taking minutes, no less), but when it was over, I knew I didn't have to be back to work until . . . tomorrow!

Still, as quiet as we wanted to be, on Wednesday, Todd and I appeared before the mission board of FBC Huntsville.  They've been, and continue to be, faithful ministry partners. Thursday was a morning full of ministry, but an afternoon of granddaughters!
We had a great time exploring Big Spring Park and downtown Huntsville . . . we even had pizza and gelato on the square, and sat next to a HUGE dog. And we enjoyed live music (or as Evey put it, "find dat muzak!") from several sources; it was very festive!

Friday, Todd and I took a down day and hit the lake. 
It was an absolutely beautiful day, and the autumn color was pretty spectacular, even though it wasn't as bright as it could have been due to the cloud coverage. We had the most sun when it set and the clouds cleared! We also found a pretty little spot we hadn't seen before . . .
Isn't that gorgeous? The sound of the water spilling over the rocks and into the lake was so soothing ... I could have sat there for days! 

I wasn't as prepared for handwork as I should have been, so I settled in with some Patchwork of the Crosses blocks I've had, but haven't pieced.  It was a good day to stitch and read and rejuvenate.
I got the majority of the block done and will take advantage of a slow afternoon today to finish it up.
I will link this up to HeLP on the 17th, over at Sarah Did It! 

I did manage to get my pumpkin stitchery finished . . . 
I thought I loved how this turned out, but looking at the picture, the pumpkin gets a little lost in the leaves a little.  Hmmmm. I used three plies of floss on the pumpkin and the outline of the leaves.  I should have taken it down one or two plies on the leaves so the pumpkin would stand out more.

Saturday was mostly a ministry day, too . . . in the morning, our church volunteered at the elementary school next door, helping with their fall carnival. Back home, we had a D-Now group in at the camp, and I visited with them for a while. It was this group's first time to visit the camp and they really enjoyed their day. I managed to capture a good fall foliage shot at the entrance of the camp . . .
I do love autumn! There's still not as much color as one would think, midway through October. And the brown leaves that frame the drive are as much from drought as anything else.

Saturday evening, we had a ladies' event which was fun. I had planned to make something pumpkin-y to share today, but lost the time.  Instead, I made a pretty terrific (and easy) apple cider punch to put in my pumpkin decanter . . .
It'll do... it was the perfect color and pretty tasty, too!

Not much to say about my stash this week . . . 
And since the picture's worth a thousand words, I'll leave it at that!

And that pretty much wraps up my week! Linking up, as per usual, to Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts.  Enjoy a day of rest!


Sunday, October 09, 2016

pumpkins times three . . .

Have I ever mentioned how much I love this month, this season, and pumpkins?

I've done some pumpkiny things this past week. (Of course!) On Wednesday, my bloggy/quiltie/hexie/foodie/purple-loving/cat whisperer/tea party enjoying friend Sarah sent me a link to the Dessert for Two blog and a recipe for Pumpkin Cakes.  Y'all. I was not at home when she sent me the link, but as soon as I got home that night, I made mini pumpkin cakes. 
Todd thought I was a little crazy at first and then he tasted . . . they were GOOD! I mean they were really good.  Lick the dish, don't leave a crumb, scraping the sides of the bowl, wishing they weren't so mini, good. Luckily, they use leftover pumpkin, which I had from last week's Buttery Pumpkin Pie Fudge, and I still DO have some.  I may make mini pumpkin cakes for Todd and me for my birthday (which is tomorrow -- let me just get that out there)!

I also had a leftover banana that *really* needed to be used or tossed. I thought why not use mashed banana in place of the pumpkin, and use nutmeg in place of the pumpkin pie spice? So I did . . .
And those were very yummy cakes, too!

In stitchy news, I did finish my Santa . . .
I do love the way he turned out! Sometimes, when I'm working off-the-cuff, I envision a final product and it doesn't quite happen. With Mr. Crescent Santa, it happened!

I've also been working on something pumpkin. Don't laugh!
Just a little pumpkin stitchery on a kitchen towel. My hope is to finish it up this afternoon. When I'm stitching on pieces like this, where the back will be exposed, I work hard to keep the back clean . . .
I did a pretty decent job of it on this one. When I started to stitch the French knots, I was hiding my floss strand in previous stitches, and it wasn't until *after* I make the knot and rehidden my floss that I realized I was stitching on the WRONG (aka, the right) side.  
Ugh. Silly me! I'm not sure if it speaks to what a great job I'm doing on the back, or the quality of my stitching on the front! {grin} Luckily I was able to pull the "stitches in error" without compromising the existing stitches.

Todd and I were doing some WalMart shopping and I spotted this . . .
Which obviously came home with me.  LOL!  I couldn't resist! Happy birthday to me!!

On my stash report . . . well, there's nothing to report.
Is that like "no news is good news"?  Eh, probably not. Wow -- Week 41 . . . you know what that means, right? Christmas Day will be Week 52 . . . I won't do the math. ;)

That's it for me.  I'm linking up with Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts this morning. Enjoy this beautiful day to the fullest! And remember . . . weather is not the only factor in what makes your day beautiful!


Sunday, October 02, 2016

rabbit, rabbit . . .

(At least on the blog. It would have been more effective if I'd posted on the first of October. C'est la vie.)

It's been a long, busy week ... and more of the same is promised over the next two weeks!  But there's been happy, fun things, too. We kicked it off with one last "in the water" boat ride with Joc and her family.  The little girls so enjoy it, which makes my heart very happy!
The only trouble with boating on a Sunday afternoon/evening is that it makes for a long night (I know, cry me a river, right?) on a work night. But it's worth it!

The week was filled with long days of prepping for our annual meeting.  One more week of that and then the actual meeting itself the following week.  And then an extended long weekend! 

Friday finally came and the weather cooled off significantly, so I made some Buttery Pumpkin Pie Fudge to kick off my favorite month of all things pumpkin. It's a Paula Deen recipe and it's very tasty, made enough to share with some of my favorite people, and made a pretty decent breakfast appetizer . . .
With a cup of pumpkin spice tea, of course. (Of course!)

Friday afternoon, I met my parents and we hightailed it off to Taft, Tennessee, home to Lyon Family Farms and a fun pumpkin patch.  There we met Joc, Ellie and Evey and headed in for a fabulous afternoon!
What fun to walk around the farm with four generations of family! It really is a treat having my folks here. We had such a blast . . . and we all came home with pumpkins, from the "you pick 'em" hayride. No shock there, right??

Speaking of family, Joc sent me this pic earlier in the week.  You've heard of bats in the belfry, right? 
What about cats in the [dollhouse] garret? Ha! Last week I joked about linking up Todd's catfish to Feline Friday. No joke today!

Saturday afforded me some time in the Nook.  I played around with these hexies for a bit . . .
I have thoughts about them but I haven't settled on anything concrete. I also started and finished this darling little stacked wool Christmas tree.  
It's prettier than the photo shows. It was a kit from Primitive Gatherings, but it came sans pattern. Have I ever mentioned I get by with a little help from my friends?  In this case, it was friend Janet who came to my rescue -- she lent me a copy of the book that has the pattern (and sent some sweet gifties as well), so I could finish it up. One of the gifties was a couple of darling pumpkin prints . . .
I definitely need to use these in an upcoming fall project!!

I also have made good progress on the wool Santa . . .
I'm very pleased with him. I just need to re-cut the stars, blanket stitch them, and attach to the hat. That will be my slow stitching for today and two ornaments finished this weekend. Whoohoo! I was rather tickled with myself to discover I already have a very similar Santa ornament in tin:
I guess I have a thing for crescent moon Santas??

So my stash took a bit of a turn, thanks to pumpkin goodness, this week:
But as I said, I already have a project in mind for it, so it should be right back out in the next couple of weeks!

Linking up the stash report to Patchwork Times, and the slooooow Sunday stitching to Kathy's Quilts. And that's it for me today -- y'all enjoy a sweet Sunday!


Sunday, September 25, 2016

fishing and . . . baking?

It's been a good but hectic week . . . we're gearing up for our 179th Annual Meeting at work (it's two weeks out), and one of my primary responsibilities, as clerk for the Association, is to gather, format, and produce the roughly 70 page "Book of Reports" that is given to every attendee (about 250). I've spent the last week printing what I could, emailing/calling those that needed to get me reports that hadn't done so already, and working on the 2017 (??!) calendar for inclusion. Whew!

My evenings were just as busy this past week, so when Friday came, Todd and I were both ready for a slow morning and then to hit the lake! It's hard to see from the photo, but there is definitely a subtle change in the coloring since last week.
We went to the dam, like we did last Friday. I even got my fishing license renewed, because Todd had done so well. We were not disappointed!  Here's the big ol' 'cat' Todd caught . . . 
His 'whiskers" (the fish's, not Todd's) were so big, I thought about linking up to Feline Friday! We'd planned to be in before dark, but the fishing was soooo good!
That's dinner for *several* nights, and about a dozen of those were my contribution! So we stayed out a little longer than we intended. But the plus side to that is the sunset behind the dam . . .
God's handiwork is so incredible to me!

Saturday  the camp hosted a big family reunion, so we stayed close.  I'd seen a cake (Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnut Bundt Cake) in the fall issue of "Bake from Scratch" magazine that looked yummy, so I decided to give it a go.
Y'all, there are six cups of apple cider in this cake.  But it's boiled for over an hour and reduced to 1-1/2 cups of apple cider syrup. You definitely taste the "apple" in every bite! 
The only problem with cake baking, when you're cooking for two, is that there's a LOT of cake for just two people. Splitting the cake with my mom last week was ideal, but cutting a cake in half leaves you with ... I dunno ... a less pretty finished product, I guess. So I was scouting around on Amazon and look what I found . . . 
Perfect, right??!  Each pan holds 2.5 cups of batter, or generally speaking, one-fourth of a normal sized bundt cake pan. One for my folks, one for Joc's family, one for us and one to gift or freeze! It's now on my birthday wish list. Ha!

My stash report remains unchanged from last week . . .
A sorrowful state of affairs, I admit.

My little wool Santa ornament is also mostly unchanged, though I have managed to get most of him cut out . . .
He's going to end up being a lot of work, but I think he'll be very darling, too. He may have to be for someone VERY special!! LOL! *If* I have time to slow stitch today, this is what I'll focus on. It's supposed to be another very warm day, with highs again in the 90's -- probably the last for a while -- so we'll take advantage and after church, take Ellie and Everley out for a last swim (and their mom and dad too, I suppose!) and grill some dogs and enjoy one last summer fling!

So I'm off . . . linking up today with Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts.  Enjoy the day!


Sunday, September 18, 2016

taking the plunge . . .

This past year has been a year of taking breaks.  Breaks from my blog, breaks from a lot of Nook time . . . and breaks from the guild.  I took the entire last year off from guild (our guild year runs from September through August), and all of the 'serving' that goes with it!  I tried to take a break from just the serving, but quickly saw that it needed to be an "all or nothing" thing.  

That being said, the first meeting of the 2016-2017 guild year was last Thursday, and there was a national guest speaker.  
Lisa Bongean came to visit us!!  For sure and for certain, I was at the doors promptly at 6:30 with my membership renewal check in hand. It was great to see lots of happy, familiar faces, and some new ones, too. The program was wonderful and I gleaned a few new tips about working with wool that will come in handy. And of course, her trunk show was completely yummy! I took a lot of pics, but I'll just share this one . . .
Because it bears relevance to my *purchases* of the evening:
The book she gifted to each member in attendance -- wasn't that generous??! 
I couldn't help but pick up the Christmas in a Jar ornaments kit -- that's three ornaments right there!! And the pattern is the pumpkin table runner.
No surprise there, right?!  Gracious, she has tons of fun stuff. The little wool Santa pattern was not hers, but actually a freebie I snagged off our "free to a good home" table:
I thought he'd make a fine ornament to add to the growing collection!  Anyway, it was a fun evening and I was glad to be back among quilty friends.

Friday, Todd and I hit the lake.  He fished the day away and I read, stitched, colored, studied, read some more and stitched some more.  LOL!  The color of autumn has just begun to kiss the trees on the shoreline . . .
And the moon coming up as we were coming in was simply glorious!

I got some work done on my Santa (from last week):
The jury is still out on this one.  I've lost the yellow star which I'd already stitched, but I wasn't really pleased with it, so I don't mind doing that one over. There is a lot of stitching on the beard, but it's tough to see in photos . . . 
In a week I may have given up! But for now I'll persevere; if nothing else, it will give me something ready to stitch on this afternoon.

I spent yesterday at my folk's house.  It's SO nice having them close by!! Mom and I baked the cake on the cover of the current Southern Living, while the Alabama vs. Ole Miss game was on.  Or rather, Mom baked while I paced and shouted and jumped up and down. Yes. I'm that fan. Not in a bad or ugly way, just a wholly involved way. 
But the cake turned out *beautifully*!  And she gifted me with half to take home! Wasn't that sweet?! Fall baking with my mom and a Crimson Tide win . . . Saturdays just don't get much better than that!

My stash report remains unchanged from last week . . .
A lot of  zeros up there. And can you believe we're 38 weeks into 2016? Do you know there are only FOURTEEN more Saturdays until Christmas?! And one of those is Christmas Eve!  Hahaha!! And on that note . . . linking up to Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts.  Y'all enjoy the day!