Saturday, January 07, 2017

a birthday and busyness . . .

Todd and I rang in the New Year sick and have pretty much stayed that way the entire first week of 2017.  BLAH! Oh, you know ... not seriously ill, just icky.  I made it to work on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (my worst day was Monday), and Todd was about two days behind me.  I'll be glad when we're BOTH feeling better!

Our last day at Wears was sweet and I took selfies with all my gals and a few of the fellows . . .
And they did a presentation at the end of the service and gifted us with roses. 
Aren't they just beautiful? I will sure miss that sweet church family.

Ellie celebrated her 5th birthday a little early.  We went over there for a birthday dinner, cake and presents.  She elected to wear her "Cinderella" dress . . .
She's so precious! She wanted a pink cake with flowers . . .
Huntsville has a new bakery (Edgar's) and I'd say they did a marvelous job! Evey was also very excited about the cake . . .
I've never seen her (or Ellie, for that matter) clean her plate so quickly!
Even Leia was sociable. Fancy that!

I managed to complete my little wool project:
I love how this finished! It was a bright, happy spot of color during this cold, grey week!

Speaking of grey, I also started a new project . . .
The hexies are almost finished.  I'll continue whipping them together as part of Sunday's slow stitching. Then it will be on to part two of the project which involves wool and more hand work.

And I've been playing around with bullion knots.  Bullion bunnies.  
For a potential project that involves a line of children's clothing.  Have mercy.

And last but not least, I also stitched up a quick pair of lounge pants for Ellie's bitty baby:
The pattern calls for knit, but I used cotton, hoping it would fit okay.  It does. (Whew!) There's a story here, but I'll share it for a later post.

My stash report was going to have changes, but Todd needed to go out last Saturday afternoon, so I went with him and went into Hobby Lobby.  They had exactly the fabric I needed (for the grey hexies), so I went ahead and got it instead of waiting until Monday (when I was too sick to have gone anyway). But stash had already been reported for 2016 and since 2017 starts a fresh slate, it just goes unreported . . . until I use it!  Bwaaahahaaha!!
Needless to say, my report is unchanged. -wink, wink-

Linking up with Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts and the Feline Friday post at Sarah Did It!

Happy Sunday -- this is the day that the Lord has made!  Rejoice and be GLAD in it!!

:)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

out with the old . . .

Here it is . . . the last day of 2016.  Wow, this past year has simply flown by.  I don't know that I can handle time marching on any more quickly than it did this past year. If time moves more quickly the older one gets, I'm in trouble! I was woefully negligent to my bloggy-blog for the past twelve months--with only 41 posts for the entire year--but I don't for a minute regret the time I spent doing other things . . . like cuddling grandchildren, tinkering in the Nook (which actually was also a tad neglected), hanging out with my best friend/hubby, chilling on the lake, being with family . . . nope, no regrets. All-in-all it was a pretty terrific year!
Ellie and Evey agree that 2016 was pretty good!  :)
Todd and I will be serving our last Sunday at Wears Chapel tomorrow . . . so 2017 will be ushering in big changes right from the start. We plan on taking a brief furlough, visiting other churches in our association, before being re-assigned.  As of right now, we have no idea where we'll be!

I wanted to have closure on my 2016 stash report, so here it is . . .
. . . unchanged from the last one I reported on 11/20.  -grin-

And here's the first report for 2017 . . .
. . . all sparkly new and fresh and clean!  Although, I'll admit right off the bat that Patches & Stitches has it's annual sale on January 2nd, and I plan on being there. I wanted to start a little project, but realized I had very little 'grey' in my stash.  *sigh* At least I know it'll be out almost as soon as it's in!

Good thing wool isn't counted in stash reporting (and I'm not about to start). Todd and I took a little overnight jaunt to Nashville, just the two of us.
We stopped at Quilter's Square in Franklin, Tennessee, on the way home. They were having a nice little sale and I picked up some yummy wool (among other things, none of which was fabric) . . . 
Isn't that pretty?? And a four new little patterns, the bottom two of which are kits . . .
One of which I've started working on . . .
This will be my slow Sunday-into-Monday Stitching, for sure!

I'll be linking up to Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts (tomorrow). Happy New Year's blessings to you and yours!

:)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

family traditions . . .

This time of year . . . what I like to refer to as the holiday season . . . seems to be a time of enjoying family traditions, or starting new ones, as the case may be, for a lot of folks. It's no different in my family. We enjoy reliving past Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings and introducing new family members (either by marriage or birth) to our 'ways'. But one of my absolute favorite NEW traditions (and I say new because it's just been the past five years) is the annual Merkel Santa photo.

Jocelyn and Jason take the girls, and with a gathering of their friends--and their friends' children--do the walking trail through the Galaxy of Lights at the Botanical Gardens. (Just FYI, I wait until we can drive through). And at the end of the trail, there's Santa Claus. And the children happily, even eagerly, climb in Santa's lap and share their list of Christmas wishes.

Well, all children but the Merkel children, that is.  Without further ado, I share our family's funniest tradition:
Ellie and Santa 2012
Ellie (with Sawyer) and Santa 2013
Love Sawyer's holding his ears!
Merkel Girls and Santa 2014
Merkel Girls and Santa 2015
Merkel Girls and Santa 2016
Oh gracious, I love these girls! And the Santa is precious -- I'm sure he's had years of practice. Maybe next year we'll have our happy, smiling picture?!?  Or maybe not . . .

It occurred to me this morning that I'd like to make some kind of special ornament for each of the grands.  Hmmmm.  I need to get busy on that. I didn't make a whole lot of poinsettia ornament progress -- I finished two big ones and one little one:
I do love these! I have two or three more cut out that will be a good, slow project for some Sunday afternoon stitching!

Ellie, on the other hand, made FORTY ornaments this past week (with the help of her mama). She crafted these darling little Christmas trees . . . and then sold them for $5 a piece.  She made this one especially for me (it has an extra bead on it, because she knows how much I love beads).
Her mama posted them on facebook and instagram, and Ellie's sold *all* of them. With her proceeds, she's going to go through one of the organizations that helps families in need in third world countries, and send goats and chickens and water wells.  Pretty smart thinking on the part of that mama, is what I'm thinking!  :)

The grandbabies (and their mommies and daddies) are all together in California this week . . .
Look how grown they all are!  The only one missing is Evey.  It may have only been 7 o'clock local time, but it was 9 o'clock Evey time!

My stash report remains an unchanged melody . . .
Same song, second (or twenty-second) verse. A little bit louder and a little bit worse!

I'll be linking up with Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts today.

Enjoy this beautiful day that the Lord has made; rejoice and be glad in it!

:)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

insert clever title here . . .

It was another busy week, but different in several ways. Todd and I started Weight Watchers on Monday, and of course I had lunches scheduled for each of the working days and dinners for two of the nights! Yikes, right off the bat I was facing hurdles, but I handled it like a pro (and no cheating), though tomorrow morning's weigh in will determine just how well I handled it! At Judy's recommendation, I looked up Dr. Michael Vanderschleden's The Scientific Approach to Intermittent Fasting. The book is available for free on kindleunlimited, so I went ahead and borrowed it.  It's a fascinating read and debunks most of the food myths I've embraced for years. This week I've played around with fasting times and I think I've found a system that works.  Again, tomorrow's weigh in will tell!

We had Thursday off because we are closed on Friday, but we still get the Veteran's Day holiday.  I'll take it! Anyway, Miss Ellie came home with me Wednesday night for a sleepover. She loved her scarf of sparkly red, but informed me that it should have tassels . . .
Good enough!  Sawyer's did not have tassels, but since "he's a boy, he shouldn't have tassels." Ha! Thanks for that word of scarf fashion wisdom, Elle. She also had fun creating her breakfast masterpiece:
Though she was a little disappointed that I didn't have any blueberries (like I did last time). Note taken.

Friday was too windy to take the pontoon out, so Todd and I bummed around and ran errands. We went to PF Changs for lunch (where I'd looked up the entrees and knew we would be okay with points). Plus, veterans got a free entree when an additional entree was purchased, so I ate free! 

I got some fun squishies in the mail this week, too.  The first was from a "mug rug" swap I participated in. Dana doesn't blog, but we have enjoyed getting to know each other through emails. She sent me this pretty little mug rug:
Along with a parcel of fun goodies . . .
What a sweetheart Dana is!  Her package has been received, too, so I can show you the 'out-of-the-box' mug rug I sent her:
Very seasonal, I know, but I like changing out my mug rugs as much as I like changing out my hanging quilts for the seasons!

My second squishy came from Sarah and contained my 'houses' from the Hexie Birthday Swap!
Plus a couple of 'kites' from last year's swap -- and some happies from Sarah (who knows me so well)!! I will have fun playing with these! :)

My stash is silent . . . nothing in and nothing out.
Ugh. I know it's a matter of making time . . . perhaps as the days grow colder (if they do) and darker (which they are), I'll be able to sneak away more quilting time!

I did a quick inventory of my ornaments . . .
So far I've got sixteen, which is a little off course (I should have twenty-two), but it's a sight better than what I had last year at this time, which was ZERO! Today I'll do up a couple more poinsettias, both in the tiny size and the brooch size.
These are my go-to stitch-ups because they're so easy and I can make them so diverse with a change of color or button or size. Variety is the spice of life, right? These will be my sloooooow stitching this afternoon!

Aaaaah . . . and before I forget, last week I issued a challenge!  My favorite quote for this picture:
was Janet's, "Hands back in your pockets, guys!"  It made me LOL! Especially since Marilyn and I both look like we've been goosed!

And only a handful of folks got it right.  Jocelyn got us all together for a group picture on Evey's second birthday.  She then said, "Everybody say, "Evey's going to be a big sister!'" It took a couple of seconds for it to register, but Marilyn and I must have worked it out before the men, judging by the picture! I let the random number picker do the work and Mary's "You're pregnant?????" won the prize!  I'll send a happy little something to both Mary and Janet!

Linking up today to Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts!  Enjoy a beautiful day -- regardless of the weather!

:)

Sunday, November 06, 2016

tricks and treats . . .

First things first.  Did you remember to fall back last night before going to bed??
I'm not all about time change.  I wish they do away with it. But I *do* like the extra hour on Sunday morning and the change so that I'm not driving to work in the dark in the morning.  Yes, I like that just fine!

Last things are last. So be sure to read through! (That means there's a giveaway!)

Todd was in Florida for a conference most of the week, so I was on my own. I battled a headache for pretty much the whole week, but managed to squeeze in some fun time.  Mainly on Halloween night, where we (Jason, Joc, Ellie, Evey and I) gathered for a 'spooky' dinner at my mom and dad's home and then trick or treating. My mom was in her party hostess element! We had Goblin's Eyes:
Jack-O-Lantern Humus:
Poisoned Apples:
And Pumpkin Brains:
Not to mention dessert . . . 
Pumpkin, Spider and Cat's Tongue cookies! The little girls--especially Ellie--were delighted.  But I think Jason, Joc and I were equally delighted with the fun of it! 
Even the table was dressed to the nines!

I had managed to finish up Flotsam and Jetsam for Evey's costume. Please don't mind the mess on my kitchen counter!
They came to work and kept me company for the day. 
That certainly raised some eyebrows as visitors came in during the day!

I didn't get any great pics of the girls dressed up for Halloween . . . I let Jason do all the photo taking and I've not seen any yet! I did snap a pre- and post-Trick or Treating photo of the two . . .
They had matching glo-in-the-dark pjs.  Ellie is demonstrating hers in the bottom right capture.  Evey is demonstrating how worn out she is!

I finished up both scarves this week and finished up my swap mug rug that needed to go in the mail by Friday.  I can't share a picture yet, but I will next week.  I hope my partner is pleased with it.  She sure did a great job on mine -- reveal later.

Thursday I took off a little early and met Joc and the girls at the Botanical Gardens.
With temps still in the 80's, it seemed the thing to do. Ellie loves to "strike a pose"! Evey just wants to run. Everywhere.
Even the butterflies were still out and about.  And loads of flowers still blooming, since we haven't had a frost yet.

My stash experienced a little change up this week. 
I took in two fat quarters I was gifted with from the tea cup exchange.  And then my mug rug going out and the two eels, took it and a little more back out.  I'll take it!

I need to work on some Christmas ornaments today. Just need to figure out what I'll try next. Probably not the crescent Santa!  LOL! 
That'll be my sloooooow stitching for today!

One final thing. This picture was taken at Evey's birthday party in September. I'm holding Ellie and Marilyn, Joc's mother-in-law in standing next to me, holding Evey.  Our respective husbands are behind us. Leave a caption for this photo in your comment.
For the bestest, funniest, zaniest caption I'll give a prize. Then I'll draw from all the captions that peg the picture correctly for another prize! That's TWO prizes! I'll leave it open through Wednesday and announce it next Sunday. If you are a no-reply blogger, please make sure you leave your email in your comment!

Linking up to Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts today.  Enjoy your extra hour and have a blessing-filled Sunday!

:)