Thursday, October 29, 2009


Nothing is just tripping off my tongue, here.

Lots of stuff happening, it's just that none of it is coming together cohesively in my mind so I can put it down in words!

Let me think where I left off . . .

Saturday. Alabama won. Benefit concert at Lighthouse (during which Todd came up with an interesting idea of having Kim, James, Jocelyn & I sing, while Jason works our sound and Todd manages us).

Sunday. Church--then Todd was on shift. I went back to church that afternoon for choir practice and the evening service. Brother Randy's message was really good Sunday evening. He talked about what it meant to be a person whom God used to stand in the gap. Several interesting Scriptures that he quoted from. Psalms 15:2, Philippians 3:10, Colossians 1:28-29, and Ephesians 5:25 all listed traits of those God uses to stand in the gap, but the words in the psalm were the most intriguing.

When I left church Sunday night, I noticed I had several missed calls and two voicemails. I didn't recognize either of the numbers so I check my voicemail. The first call was from my Great Grand Uncle Frank from Montana! He was checking to see if he had the right telephone number for me, because his son, Chris, was delivering a truck load in Huntsville and wanted to talk to me! The second voicemail was from Chris himself! I hadn't talked to Chris Fowler since I was ... I dunno, maybe 15? At the last Fowler Family reunion at Pop's and Grandma Willie's! Chris had a kind of long rebellious stage (like decades long), had left home, and had eventually ended up in Arizona. Now he's been married for forever, has two kids, and is working to put some money away to buy a house. I called him when I got home and we talked for about an hour. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to leave his truck and was headed directly to Corinth, MS, first thing the following morning, but now that he knows where I am, I think he'll make arrangements so we can actually see each other. It was awesome talking to him after so long! :)

Monday, Todd came home off shift and the two of us ran some errands together, then we had lunch at Posey's, and then we went to Hazel Green Elementary, where Todd put on his turnouts and gave a little talk to Jenda Hillis's pre-k class. It was fun listening to Todd talk to the children and how they interacted with him. It made me proud all over! I took several pictures, so here's a snapshot:

He was so patient with all their questions and chasing rabbits with them! After they'd asked all their questions, he let each one of them try on his coat and hat -- I took their pictures. So, so darling! We had a fun afternoon doing that. From the school we headed to Publix and did grocery shopping together. I'm determined to find foods that he likes and is healthy for us. I was at the deli counter looking at different types of turkey. One that caught my eye was the Cajun turkey; I tried a slice and in was SMOKIN! Two hours later my mouth was still warm! Todd tried it and loved it. Yay! I think we're gonna make it. We even found some cookies for us to try! All in all, it was a good shop. I like shopping with him!

Monday night, I ORDERED TICKETS TO A BETH MOORE EVENT!!!! I'm so very excited. Tickets just went on sale on Saturday, October 24th. The venue (First Baptist Church Woodstock, in Atlanta), holds 9,000. Today they announced that it had sold out. SOLD OUT! But Joc and me, we're in like flint! And we have hotel reservations to boot! I so can't wait! The event is April 24th. Wow. I guess I'll have to learn to wait, non?!

Tuesday was back to work . . . Wednesday more of the same. Except that on Wednesday evening, since Todd was on shift and James was at school, Kim and I had dinner together! We ate at Ol' Dad's BBQ. It was yummy and we had a fun meal together. After that, I headed to Berryhill Funeral home. My good friend, Jeff, had lost his mom on Monday. Her visitation was Wednesday (last night). I'm glad I went. I love that Laster family. And it was nice to meet Jeff's dad and sister. After the visitation, I went to Costco and bought Halloween candy for Trunk or Treat! I got good candy, too. Now if only I could figure out how to decorate my car!

I also got a new movie -- Ice Age 3!! I'm so excited and I can't wait to watch it! Hopefully Todd will watch it with me tonight. I've been waiting forever for it to come out; that and Night at the Museum 2. Don't tell me I have to wait for Christmas for that?!?! I still have the dilemma of what to do with all my VHS movies. I hate the thought of giving them up/away. Especially since they are all movies I did want in the first place.

Okay. Payroll got done today. Billing, done. Work, DONE! I'm ready to go home. Is it Friday yet? Please?!?!?! Perhaps tomorrow will fly by . . .

I shouldn't wait so long before doing this. I forget things. Ugh.



Saturday, October 24, 2009

secret pals . . .

One thing that I have learned in being a secret pal is that it's not in the getting, it's in the giving. It makes me think of the scripture that talks about not lending, but giving without an expectation of getting it back. I have learned to take such incredible joy in giving, that whether or not there's something on the table for me doesn't matter. If there's nothing there, no biggie. If there is, pleasant surprise.

That being said, this week is a biggie week! It's the last Sunday before Halloween, so I wanted this week's gift to be *loads* of fun!!! I'd gotten a really cute copper pumpkin at Cracker Barrel, along with some of the creamy pumpkin candies (like candy corn, only pumpkins). I'd also gotten a pink John Deere tee-shirt. Yesterday at Two Friends (one of my favorite all-time gift shops), I got a really cool candle holder--it was frosted on the outside, and purple tinted on the inside, with silver bats! Inside that I tucked some scented votive candles. Then last night, I got the idea to make an applique pumpkin -- just a little sumpin'-sumpin' that was hand-crafted. Nothing extravagant. I'd picked up lots of really beautiful orange batik fat quarters at our quilt show, so I pulled those out and played around until I found a combination I liked. I zipped it out and rolled it up and put in the mix, and topped the whole thing off with some Hershey's Treasures. Add a cute little homemade card and some black tissue paper, and voila! It's a pretty cute little gift, if I do say so myself!

This is my first attempt to outline iron-on applique with a zig-zag stitch on the machine. I am really pleased with the results! I was going to quilt it on the machine, but I still don't have the guts to do anything but straight lines!

I tried to arrange the gold "Treasures" so that they poked through in the eyes, nose, and mouth holes! Glimmer of gold -- like a lit pumpkin!

I played around with the words for the poem for a while. I wanted it to be fun, but still make a point about what we're really about. God!

It's hard to read in the photo, so I'll reprint it:

Cauldron boil and cauldron bubble . . .
Halloween can be full of trouble!
But you little lamb, must not despair
The wickedness that fills the air;
For you are a child of the most High God!
He comforts and protects with His staff & rod.
And though mischief-making fills the land,
Nothing can pluck you from His hand.
Psalm 23:4 & John 10:29

The main thing is, I hope it brings a smile to my pal's face!

We're watching Alabama Tide vs. the Volunteers. I put some pork in the crock pot, and we'll have BBQ sandwiches and fries for dinner. At 5:30 we'll head over to Lighthouse for a benefit singing for HAP!

All in all, a lovely, quiet Saturday!


Friday, October 23, 2009

wrapping it up . . .

The week, that is.

I've not gotten a schedule from Tate Farms this week, so I guess I'm not scheduled to work tomorrow. It's not really a big deal -- I don't work there for the money. I may go by and pick up my free pumpkin! I think I'd really like to carve one this year. It's been a while since I have done that myself . . . I think I'd like to get one pumpkin for Halloween carving, and one for the turkey stand. :)

James and I went to lunch today and had a nice chat. Marriage and impending fatherhood has been very good for him. I've always had a soft spot for my boy, but I enjoy his company more and more as he becomes the man, husband, and soon-father, that God's whittling out of him. James has perceptive insight into situations -- I love to hear his thoughts on a subject.

Both James and Jocelyn have, by God's grace--not through anything I've done, matured into pretty cool people whose company I enjoy. And they both picked most excellent spouses, making for a double blessing; one for them and one for Todd & me! I love my family.

Todd and I will probably spend a quiet night at home this evening. He's been to Camp Macoba and chatted with that committee today . . . we're moving right along!

Today is better than yesterday. Both James & Kim, individually, offered to take care of Merlin. I am still not sure I want to burden these two like that! But last night, as I spent kitty-cuddling time with Merlin, I decided that I would just enjoy him each day that I have him, and that I would trust God to do what was best. Seems silly to spend time crying now, when I could be spending that time doing something productive . . . like scratching under Merlin's chin!

I got the cute little sewing accessory kit in the mail this week, along with my teapot BOM from The Cherry Pit, a beautiful Jerusalem's cross that Cynthia, my sister, brought me back from her trip to Jerusalem, the most current issue of Eating Well, and I think that's it for mail. Overall, not a bad week!

It wasn't a bad week for James, either. He's inherited (or stolen) my lucky gene! He won an xbox 360 yesterday on the radio. He goes to pick it up today!! Go James!!!! Now he's walking around twice as puffed up ... because it was bad enough when they found out they are having a BOY!!!! Yay! A grandbaby boy will be so much fun! His name will be Sawyer Graham Panter. I cannot wait to meet him next March! Let the baby boy quilts begin!

If I don't work tomorrow, I'll post some pictures of this week's treasures.

Hasta la vista!


Thursday, October 22, 2009


Have you ever had a day where you were dealing with something that was just plain hard?

That's my today. My day hasn't been bad or traumatic or anything like that. We (Todd & I) are just facing a tough decision with our cat, and it's really heart-sad. I shared yesterday that Camp Macoba is a go, and that we're moving the RV up there on November 14th. I'm *really* excited about that and looking forward to having a couple of months to make the transition--living in the RV, but still having access to our home, so that we can decide what we _really_ need to hang on to, and what we _really_ didn't need to take in the first place!

One thing that just can't go is Merlin. I understand, I really, truthfully do. I can't imagine trying to live with a cat box in that small of a space. Something about a cat's box makes a small space even smaller! I know that Todd is even more sensitive to odors than I am -- but no one likes the smell of cat box! And since this will be our home *and* Todd's office, a cat just doesn't make sense.

But knowing that cold, hard fact, and being able to easily accept it are two different things. When we first started talking about RVs, it was down the line, after Todd retired. No biggie. Then, when we were able to get a GREAT deal on the exact RV we wanted, the soonest we were thinking was along the lines of March/April 2010 -- still a half year away! No biggie! Now? It's three weeks -- twenty-one days! Reality crash! And my heart is heavy.

Let me reiterate. I know this is the right thing. I know what we are doing is God's will, and I understand that obedience comes with a personal cost. If doing what God wanted was always easy, there would sure be a whole lot more folks being obedient! Laying my will aside so that I might do my Father's will is a great honor for me, and I'm so excited that we're ready to move forward. I need to lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets me, and run with patience the race that is set before me. God's grace is good.

Flowers help too.

My darling husband had flowers sent to me at work today -- just acknowledging that he knew this was hard, and that we'd figure it out, and that he loved me. Aren't they fun & pretty? They made me smile and I knew that he understood; and I know that He understands, too.

I am blessed. I am truly blessed.


Or so she says . . . October Giveaway!

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

. . .

I have a SECRET!

drumroll please . . .

Humph. Evidently the drummer will be rolling for a bit longer. James has decided to *tease* me with inconclusive and noncommittal texts. They know . . . oh yes, they certainly know! But the thrill of holding something over my head is proving too much fun for my son!

All in due time, all in due time.

James did take a dvd, so they could record the ultrasound! I can't wait to see!

* * * * *
Okay. I had off on Monday. I didn't do much productive. I tidied and organized my yellow room; it was in dire shape! There were scraps and fat quarters and loose threads all over the place! I can't even describe everything that was out of whack with that room . . . but no more!

I also finished scanning all of my Celebrate magazines. I got about 50-70 usable pages out of each one. I'd had a copy of the Celebrate Halloween sent to Jocelyn and she loved it! I gave her the spring, summer, and fall issues, since I'd scanned them. For the time being, I'll just buy, scan, and send 'em on to her! :) Works out happily all the way around. She stopped by after work on Monday and guess what she had for me?!?! My birthday present! An iPod and the Bible on CD! I am so excited! I finally figured out how to load stuff on the thing, and for the past two drives to and from work, I've been able to listen to the Word! Love it, love it, love it!

Last night after work I headed over to Flint River for the Madison Baptist Associational meeting. Todd, as the Association's Sunday School director, had a table set-up with all kinds of SS info and helps. I'm so proud of my husband! I slipped into the meeting just as the sermon started for the first half. It was good -- I enjoyed the preaching, but I was sorry I'd missed the Flint River ensemble!

I joined Todd as he manned his table as the messengers went to dinner. I visited with the ensemble for a bit (which was really nice -- I miss them!), and then Todd introduced me to the two gentlemen who are with Rob on the Camp Macoba committee. I think it was important for them to meet me and understand that this was an opportunity I was interested in too! Todd continued to chat with them over dinner and after the meeting started back up. I went on into the service. There was a very nice tribute to John Long, and then there was my favorite ensemble doing congregational singing! The treat of the night, though, for me, was Brother Carl Tate singing "I Sing Because"! It was wonderful! I got to give him a hug last night, too. :)

There was some GREAT preaching in the second half, too -- by a fellow named Earl Johnson. His church joined the association last night. Great, great stuff.

When we got home, Todd shared with me that a date has been set:

NOVEMBER 14th, 2009!!!!

We're moving the RV to Macoba, and moving into it! Life is getting ready to make MAJOR changes!

Reflection time . . .


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

more weekend pictures . . .

Okay. Because I realized I had not uploaded all the pictures I would have liked to, and because I finally figured out that if you compress your pictures they upload a LOT faster, here are some more glimpses into my super-wonderful weekend!

Here's that lovely breakfast I told you about . . . note that the napkin is still on the table with the spider! I had tomato juice (which was very fitting, considering our table setting, I thought). And please also note the truffles & ice cream appetizer! YUM!

Our second course of eggs, toast, bacon & grits! Doesn't it look great? And I kept the coffee coming! (As I told Jane -- Todd's a one cup of coffee person, and I'm a one pot of coffee person!)

One cat . . . Spot

Two cat . . . Maddy! (And three and four cat, too!)

More festive decorations! (And more cats.)

And more . . . most everything had cats!

See what I mean?

I loved this guy, hanging out at the bottom of the stairs!

This was Ginger, one of the upstairs cats. She was very shy. In fact, she bolted as we came up the stairs to take a look at the other guest bedroom, and only peeked around the door when I called her by name. I think, by her look, she's wondering who the heck I am to call her by her given name. She really did look rather indignant!

These are pictures of the quilts I found in her church . . . they really were beautiful.

And finally, a darling hand wreath which was on the wall in one of the children's Sunday school rooms! (We got the royal tour!)

The heavens declare the glory of God. That pretty much sums it up, perfectly.

what a weekend!!!

And I can say that on a Tuesday, because my weekend extends into Monday! What a nice way to cap off my fun little surprise escapade with my hubby -- with one more day off!

So, the fun started Saturday morning. Todd came home off shift, showered, and we loaded up the car. I had lots of questions; most of them went answered! Anyway, we got settled in the car, ready to head out, and Todd had me put this into our trusty GPS:

Okay! I now know we're headed north to Murfreesboro, Tennessee! Our drive was about an hour and a half through rolling hills and lots of farm land. The leaves are just starting to change, and had it not been a drizzling day, the color would have been absolutely spectacular!

We finally turned our last corner, into the driveway of our destination, which was:

The Hastings House Bed & Breakfast! We were warmly greeted by our hostess, Jane Blakey, and shown to our room, The Quilt Room. How appropriate is that?!?! As you entered the room, the first thing that catches your eye is:

This beautiful quilt that her grandmother had hand quilted hangs over the sleigh bed. Quite beautiful! There were several quilted items in the room, including this gem which was one the wall at the door --

It was a piece of an old crazy quilt that had been in her family, and she'd had made into a skirt. When the skirt was finally too worn to wear anymore, she had a piece cut and framed to save forever. Really cool! There was also an embroidered quilt on the bed, with matching pillow, and several additional quilted pillows, including a patchwork cat! This was truly my kind of lady, as you can see here:

And this was definitely a home; she had two indoor/outdoor cats and four indoor cats! Two of the indoor cats were downstairs cats and two were upstairs cats. The two downstairs felines, Spot & Maddy, were long-haired, but groomed like lions. They were both very sweet cats and beautiful! Jane did warn us that we needed to shut the door to our room; the cats took ownership seriously, and to a cat (as anyone knows) an open door is an invitation! In addition to the live cats, there were a plethora of cats throughout the house as decor; Todd and I counted 49 just in our bed & bath rooms! There is no telling how many there were throughout the whole house. Hundreds upon hundreds, easily!

On top of the cat decor, Jane takes her holidays seriously, and the entire house was decked out in Halloween! It was quite fun, and literally was in every available space!

My favorites in the dining room were the buzzards perched on top of the china cabinet.

The three rats sitting on the parlor table were quite realistic (unless you take all the cats into consideration; perhaps that's why they were so "ratty"!

And there were lots more fun things (and I took lots of pictures that are not posted here), but it was time to get back into the car, because the surprises weren't finished! After a bite to eat at Logan's we headed to . . .

Bell Buckle, Tennessee!!! Where they had their HUGE annual arts & crafts/flea market/festival weekend going on! It was huge -- over 500 vendors, spread throughout the town. All *kinds* of stuff, from hand-crafted hats, to seasonal decorations, to jewelry . . . you name it, it was findable at Bell Buckle! We were able to park relatively close to the action, and the first order of business was finding a vendor who had GLOVES and HATS and SCARVES! It was *soooo* cold, windy, and drizzly! My first purchase, in fact, was a $2 pair of mittens. After that, I was good to go, but I didn't take a lot of pictures, because that meant taking my fingers out of their warm & cozy mittens! Weren't no way! I took one photo going into the food area, because at that point I had a very nostalgic sense of the Annapolis Renaissance Festival and it made me happy! :)

The festival shut down at dusk, and we stayed until the end! I found some fun pins -- a scarecrow, a cornucopia, and a darling snowman with snowflake earrings. I also grabbed some wonderful hot chocolate mix, a red flannel scarf that went perfectly with my newly fabricated sweatshirt jacket, a pink John Deere t-shirt for my Secret Pal, and some yummy pumpkin fudge for me and sugar-free fudge for Todd! Todd was more rudimentary in his purchases -- fingerless gloves with a mitten top, a crocheted scarf, and a crocheted cap. I'll probably end up wearing the cap! :)

Once we were spent, we headed back to the car. I was so glad to get the heat pumping! We had seen a Cracker Barrel on our way to Bell Buckle, and had already decided that would be our dinner stop. I was still so chilled, I had decaf coffee with my dinner! After dinner we (I) did a little (more) shopping. They had a black fleece poncho with a faux fur-lined hood which I snatched up. I also got a squirrel votive holder for James (because he'd coveted mine), and some Halloweenish stuff for my SP. From Cracker Barrel, we made a quick stop at KMart, and then headed back to the B&B to watch the Alabama vs. South Carolina game! When we got into our room, we found the fire place on, our bed turned down, and bon bons on the bed! I ate mine. Todd's is pictured. I ate his, too! :)

Oh yeah -- Alabama did finally win . . . but not before I feel asleep in the bed! I woke up in time to turn off the light and roll over! Hey, walking around in the chill and damp looking for serious sales and finds is hard work! :)

Sunday morning we leisurely got up and had a wonderful breakfast. There was coconut-rolled truffles in ice milk as an appetizer, with a slice of lemon friendship bread. YUM! Chocolate and ice cream for breakfast? I need to come back here! Then we had egg soufflés, country bacon, sour-dough toast (with a pecan honey jam that was superb), and garlic grits. Breakfast was delicious! Jane had put our napkins in big, plastic spiders. I immediately took mine and reposed it in a rather threatening way! Jane told me later that her husband noticed it and commented, "I bet I know where the man sat!" To which she was tickled to be able to say, "Actually, that's where the lady sat!" I'm a kid at heart, what can I say?!? Jane later showed me her collection of napkin rings -- I'm telling you, she and I were kindred spirits!

On a side note, she also told me that she purchases her milk from a local dairy farmer. He has, she told me, a "cow of the month". I'll have to check it out! Or rather, I did; clink on the link back there and check out Hatcher Family Dairy!

At one point, she was telling Todd & I their history and how they came to purchase the house and whatnot, and she said, "My husband said when he finished school he'd have to work another three years for the VA. I told him, 'You better plan on working longer than that -- I like to shop!" I felt the need to give her a high-five!

After breakfast, we showered and dressed and headed down the street and around the corner (we really could have walked) to First Baptist Church Murfreesboro. We had decided to go to the 11:15 service, which was the contemporary worship. It was a light crowd (the pastor explained they were in the middle of their fall break), but the worship was sincere and wonderful and the message was right on point.

We headed back and packed up, and Jane decided she wanted to show us the rest of her house (included the elevator and the basement) and her church, which was out her back door, through the gate, and across the parking lot! What a bonus for me, as there were several more quilts hanging in their vestry! Lovely.

When it was finally time for us to hit the road, I noticed the house across the street:

BOO! I love the spiders crawling down the side of this big, old, beautiful home. I am sure this town is a lot of fun on Halloween night!

Then we were back in the car and ready to hit the road for home!

My husband *loves* having his picture taken!

What a wonderful birthday weekend I had! We had a lovely drive home, stopping for lunch at a steak house along the way. The sun was shining and we got to see the beautiful fall colors. I really enjoy my dear man's company. I like just sitting beside him and noting things of interest as we drive. We are definitely comfortable companions!

We got home about 4:30; Merlin was most happy to see us! Traveling is fun, but it's always nice to be home. I think that's one of the reasons we're both so excited about RV living. The comforts of home will follow us no matter where we travel!

Thank, dear husband, for a lovely and memorable birthday trip! I had a marvelous time!



Saturday, October 17, 2009

we're off to see . . . ??!?

Okay, so here we go! I'm not taking my laptop, so no sharing until after we return, which will be late Sunday afternoon. I may get back here on Monday. Maybe. :)

So, last night I decided I finally wanted to makeover one of my crew neck sweatshirts. I've had two -- a navy and a black -- for five or six years and I never, ever wear them. But I had this book about quilted sweatshirts. It looked so fun! But there wasn't a pattern I like just bunches. So on my way home from work last night, while I stopped to get my last two blocks and the black floss, I also picked up a couple of fat quarters that I thought would go with my black sweatshirt. After about three hours, this is what I came up with:

Not too shabby for a first attempt! As with anything else, there's a learning curve. When I convert the blue sweatshirt, I'll do things a little differently, but overall, I'm very pleased! I'll wear it with pride today!
Hope everyone has a fun weekend . . . hasta lunes!
ps: Roll Tide ROLL!

Friday, October 16, 2009

busy, busy, busy!

I did mention that I was clowning around at last night's guild meeting, didn't I? Isn't it a darling costume? This won the first place ribbon at our quilt show last month, in the "wearables" category. Kari Hawkins was the designer/creator. It was really cute, and incredibly WARM! But I honored to be able to wear it and show it off for her!

The other wearable that was shown off last night (it won President's choice, best of show) was a beautiful vest that I'd love to have! I can't decide if I'm up to making one, or if I want to commission the woman who made it to make *me* one! :)

The Stitcher's Group met at McAlister's Deli for dinner before the guild meeting last night. It was a lot of fun! It's nice to get to know a smaller group of women within the guild. The Huntsville guild is so large -- 350+ members -- it's easy to feel lost! Having a "group" makes it a lot more fun!

You know what else makes a guild meeting more fun?? How about WINNING! I got my nametag raffle ticket (which you get for wearing, well, your nametag) and I purchased $2 in tickets. Can you believe -- I didn't win one doorprize, I won TWO!!!!! Isn't that just FUN?!?!! The first thing I won was four lovely blue fat quarters, and a $15 gift certificate from Quilter's Refuge. The first guild meeting I ever attended, I won a gift certificate from them. It's where I purchased all the neutral fabric in the Grand Hands quilt, and Matt's block in that same quilt. I know I'll have fun shopping there! The second one I won was a darling Moda cupcake package from Patches & Stitches! I've looked at that for a while; what a happy to be able to bring it home!

I also signed up for my first quilter's retreat last night. I'm not doing the Sewanee trip, with the guild, because that's in January (and I'm traveling to Atlanta for my nephew's wedding). But the Stitcher's Group is going to Grand Oak Retreat in Scottsboro in February for a four-day quilt-in! This is so cool -- I've known about Grand Oak since it was just blueprints! We did the iron work for it and I know it's impressive! So I'm very much looking forward to it. Plus the owner, Cindy Hildebrand, is a lovely lady and a quilter herself. It will be a wonderful time!

I finally got a photo of the rooster wall hanging . . . took me long enough, I know! I'll stitch around the applique this weekend . . .

I still haven't decided for sure & for certain, what to do in the corners. Input, please?!?

Are you wondering what, exactly, is the green thing across the bottom? It's a pool float tube (noodle-thingie). They make GREAT tools to roll hand work around, to carry it to-and-fro, so it doesn't get wrinkled. I have several cut into different sizes -- I use them a lot when I'm working on a quilt-as-you-go project. You just poke a pin through the fabric into the noodle to hold it in place. Nifty idea, non?

Speaking of kitchen tools (I know, I wasn't, but I think like spaghetti, remember?), here's a gander at one of my all-time-favorite-how-did-I-live-without-it tools:

It's a hand-held electric shredder.

It's light, fast, dishwasher-safe, and I don't ever have to worry about grating my fingers.

It's got three blade options -- slice, shred, and grate -- all of which work perfectly nicely. The shredding is perfect for fresh Parmesan cheese. I got this two years ago (thanks, Mom) from William & Sonoma. At the time, Todd laughed, because he figured this would be another one of those 'gadgets' that are short-lived. But no, this one has proved itself over and over and over. It will definitely make the RV short list!

I was in the kitchen this morning, taking pictures of birthday brownie bites! My friend, Jennifer, who gifted me with the flowering tea and tea pot last week, celebrates her birthday this weekend! She loves chocolate, so I definitely wanted to oblige!

These are similar to the ones I made last weekend and never got a picture of. I use store-bought brownie bites and store-bought frosting that I doctor. The canned frosting is so soft, and doesn't hold a piped shape nicely. So I add about a cup of sifted confectioner's sugar to a cup of frosting. Then I added butter flavoring to the white frosting, and chocolate flavoring to the chocolate icing. It makes it much thicker and easier to manipulate through the decorating tube. I put the royal icing pumpkins on the chocolate-topped morsels, and opalescent sprinkles on the white!

Of course, tasty birthday treats are lonely without a gift, so I had to do something a little more (and special). I'm all about memory-making gifts, so here's what I made for Jen . . .

I hope she's as excited about this as I am! I won't tell you what I've got planned for us on that day, but it *will* be fun!

Tomorrow, my darling husband's secret plan will be revealed . . . I'm so excited! I don't know anything but that we'll have a blast!!!! He did tell me I could bring my hand work, so we must be doing a little driving. I can't wait to take pictures and share our fun weekend!!! For now, though, I need to be off to work and about today's business!

Happy Friday, ya'll!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

nearly there . . . !

Yes! This day is nearly done (at least, the work portion of it is) and then there's only Friday left! Once Friday is put to bed, then it's SATURDAY! And not just any Saturday, I feel compelled to remind you, but the SATURDAY that my husband whisks me away for a fun get-away to destinations unknown! He's been very, very tight-lipped about this whole weekend. Clues are not really forthcoming and I can't even pump my children for info, because he's either (a) not told them a thing or (b) convinced them that they couldn't share *any* news with me! My inclination is that they don't know. What will this weekend bring?!?! All I know is that it's overnight, we're going to church somewhere different, and I need to dress appropriately for the weather. Are you as excited as I am?!? What a birthday this has been -- never ending! I *love* it! :)

I purchased a gift for my S.P. today. She's a Bama fan, so I got her some ear jewelry and a cool cup. Two Friends, the store from which I purchased it, gift wraps, so I let them!! They wrapped it in the hound's tooth tissue and tied it with a red (crimson) ribbon -- very cute! Here's a picture.

Here's also a picture of where I work. Or at least, where I sit, where I work. Why? Because I can. You can definitely tell it's me -- my pictures of flowers, my lady having tea, and my "D". Plus in the corner you can see the snowmen James welded me! (Not to mention my purse. LOL!) Yeah, I work in an iron shop, but I'm still all girlie!

We still haven't heard anything on Camp Macoba. Todd was supposed to meet with the committee today, but due to circumstances, they couldn't meet. We continue to pray and rest in the hand of God! You know, as badly as I want an answer and want resolution, I also am learning to be content to wait, and realizing that the waiting is part of God's plan too.

Tonight I'm off to the guild meeting. I'm looking forward to it -- dinner first with a group of the girls. Should be fun!