Wednesday, November 30, 2011

two in a row . . .

Two great days in a row, that is! Yesterday was a ticket-buying/picking up kind of day. First, Jocey came and got me. It was a grey, snow-flurry, misty morning ... can you believe that it was 33 degrees and we had snow flurries in November in North Alabama?! Some of the more mountainous spots in Huntsville had TWO to FIVE inches!!

But I digress.

Joc came and got me . . .

And our first ticket stop?! A 11:30 matinee showing of Breaking Dawn! Yes!!! She'd purchased tickets online to ensure we'd get handicap seating. The theater was nearly empty (which I enjoy) and we sat center stage. It was GREAT! Joc had gone to see it already (the very first showing), so this trip was just for *me*! What a darling daughter, non? I'd make Nutella No-Bake Cookies and cut up some cheese and crackers -- we had quite a feast for lunch watching the movie. Real swank-like. LOL!

After the movie, we headed over to Jo Ann Fabrics to look at material for curtains for the nursery and pick up some flannel and other supplies. Joc also got some dark pink minky material so I could make a new changing pad cover. It was fun meandering around the fabric store!

From there, we did ticket pickup number two ... tickets to a December 10 performance of The Nutcracker! It's put on yearly by the Huntsville Ballet Company. This is the 45th year of the production. I got a great deal on Living Social for $15 orchestra seats. I was so psyched! That'll be a busy day -- we're celebrating the coming of Ellie with a small gathering for dessert at The Melting Pot earlier that evening.

After we picked up the ballet tickets - and since we were so close, we stopped at my (our) favorite bakery, Peggy Ann's Bakery. They have the BEST petite fours I've ever had. Seriously. I sent Joc in by herself (which may have been a mistake) and she came out with a pastry box filled with some lovely, lovely sweets . . .

Aside from the petite fours, I think both of our favorite sweet treat were the petite four cookies (which we ate in the car, pretty much before we left the bakery parking lot). They were *wonderful*!!! There were some sweet tea cookies, a lemon bar (which was scrumptious), and a frosted brownie (we split the two bar cookies). It was so fun we *had* to get out the China and have a tea party!! So, a little on my Lenox Kelly, a pot of Almond Rocker tea and a plate of cookies, all on the Christmas topper ... it was quite a lovely feast!

And that's when I remembered I hadn't looked through my latest issue of Tea Time! I was saving it for a special occasion. :)

Perusing through it, I came across a page of recipes for a Christmas Eve tea.

How festive!! The candied fruit scones look marvelous, but it was really the Christmas Tree Tea Sandwiches that caught my eye.

Aren't these darling?!?! They are heartier than they look and the recipe was fairly easy.

Christmas Tree Tea Sandwiches from Tea Time Magazine
Yield: 12 sandwiches
Preparation: 30 minutes

12 slices pumpernickel bread
12 slices ham
12 slices Havarti cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
48 very thin slices English cucumber

*Using a 4-inch Christmas tree cookie cutter, cut 2 tree shapes from each slice of bread, ham, and cheese. Using a 1/2-inch star cookie cutter, cut 12 stars from remaining cheese scraps. Discard all scraps.

*In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Spread mayonnaise mixture on pumpernickel bread. Top each bread slice with 1 slice ham and 1 slice cheese.

*Cut cucumber slices in half, and arrange on top of cheese in shingled fashion, trimming as necessary. Place cheese stars on top of cucumber layer. Serve immediately. [And enjoy!]

It was such a fun day -- and I definitely think I'm beginning to get into the Christmas mood now!! Decorating on Friday ... whooohoo!!


Monday, November 28, 2011

up one side . . .

And down the other. It seems to be the major theme of my doctor visits!! This is my third cast removal in two months. Whew! Today's appointment was at 7:30 -- the first of the day. It was a nice change of pace for us. The last two have been afternoon appointments and we've waited 1-2 hours before even getting back to a room. Today we were in and out in under an hour.

The swelling has measurably improved . . . from straight on it really almost looks normal again!! the doc is pleased with the progress, but there's still another week and a half to two weeks of non weight bearing. He gave me a 'cast shoe' that I can wear after that and start putting a little weight (no more than 25% of my body weight) on it, if there's no pain. If there's pain, I'm to hold off.

From the side it still looks rather like a shaved hobbit foot. But better. The incision is healing up very, very nicely!! But you can see where the opening for the ultra sound has been. Doc noticed, too - he switched the opening back over to the inside again.

And so, without further ado, here's cast number four!! And hopefully the LAST cast. I went with a seasonal green this time. I'm thinking Christmas lights and holly. With bells on the shoes, perhaps!

And then, I had the BEST treat this afternoon!! Jean, from Jean Creates, was not too far away visiting family for the Thanksgiving weekend and decided to drive down a meet ME!! She and her sweet husband, Bill, drove to the camp and spent a couple of hours visiting!!

Isn't she beautiful!! The best smile and the prettiest eyes, and a kindred spirit! We have so much in common -- they've spent hardcore time in their Airstream, she's a creative person, and we both met our respective husbands online!! We had a fun afternoon chatting and her visit ended all too soon. I hope I get a chance to meet her again ... hopefully when I'm able to be up and active!!

And as if driving all the way down here to meet me wasn't enough, Jean came bearing a sweet gift -- a quilty book!

It's full of marvelous tips and tricks for quilters -- organization, piecing, tools of the trade, storing your finished quilts ... you name it! But the really sweet thing about this little book?

The inscription from my friend. I'll add today's date to it -- what a sweet memento to remember such a great afternoon, and a lovely lady!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

season of advent . . .

Did you know that today is the first day of Advent? Advent is the period of "hopeful expectation" prior to Christmas, which each of the four weeks prior to Christmas representing a different aspect of the season: hope, love, joy and peace. The folks at Busted Halo have put together a marvelous, two minute video on what Advent is and isn't. My sister shared it with me and it was so great, I wanted to share it here . . .

And there's even an Advent calendar on the site. Each day, in turn, will lead to a special Advent-themed Daily Jolt, with an opportunity for reflection and a microChallenge. Pretty cool stuff and a great way to keep close to heart and mind, the true Reason for the season.

Happy Sunday!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

an iron faceoff . . .

An iron BOWL that is. Bowl game. Football. A classic, classic rival game! The Alabama Crimson Tide versus the Auburn Tigers.

And no matter how our respective teams have played through the season, when it comes to this, the last game of the regular year, you can't help but be a little anxious. This game is not one decided by polls or fans or even necessarily the better players or coaches . . . it's decided play-by-play, minute-by-minute, and quarter-by-quarter. And just because you're ahead at half-time doesn't mean you're the winner. This is *definitely* a four quarter game!!

And -- all that being said -- just so there's NO confusion as to which side I cheer for . . .


[Post game update: final score was Alabama 42, Auburn 14. And the Tide rolls on!]


Thursday, November 24, 2011

a long line . . .

This was my great, great, great times a lot, grandfather. On my dad's side.

One of my cousins grabbed these two pics when she toured the old homestead, when it was up for sale a year or so ago.

I thought today was an appropriate day to show and tell! I'm one of those lucky people who's descended from Mayflower stock from both parents. My dad from William White (Peregrine's dad), and my mom from EIGHT Mayflower passengers, including Miles Standish, John Alden, Priscilla Mullins, and George Soule, to name a view. Pretty cool! Thanksgiving takes on an extra special meaning for our family.

And so, Happy Thanksgiving!!

From my home to yours!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

parade of cuteness . . .

Over at the Generation Q blog, this week has been declared the week of "Oh Thank Cuteness". And seeing as how I have all this marvelous family here for the week of Thanksgiving, I have a lot of cuteness to be thankful for!

Starting with this trio of beauties . . .

Taken at Emma's Tearoom, where we had a marvelous time!

And then the two youngest of our gathering . . .

Does it get any cuter than this?!

Mommy and daughter, hiking the trails . . .

So sweet!

And look, a wood fairy!!

Such a little darling!

And I believe this is her brother . . .

The wood gnome!

Water babies!

Yes, it's November and they're playing in the stream wearing flip-flops. It's Alabama.

Look Ma, no hands!

Actually, I believe she was 'surfing'. Seriously.

Lucy has no problem striking a pose . . .

Top of the world, Ma!

What's cuter than kiddlies making haunted gingerbread houses?

Such fun!

No really, it's cuter in person.

Well, it was cuter before it was, um...taken apart.

Bon appetit!

And here's a cuter-than-cute pair . . .

Nothing says cute like a toddler with his finger 'in the zone'!

Daddy and son . . .

That's all folks!

Head over to Generation Q to see all the cuteness being blogged about this week!


Monday, November 21, 2011

hang the design . . .

No, literally ... my 'design wall' is actually just the last two blocks I completed quilting of My Orange Crush quilt. Hanging by pins off the bunk!

Really you can't even tell that they're quilted in these pictures, except that you can still see my blue marking pen in the last one I finished . . .

Yeah, I need to get that off. Four blocks down, twelve to go!! But seeing as how it took me less than a week to finish these two, once I get all the blocks set and sandwiched, the quilting shouldn't take long. Of course, nothing will probably get done this week, seeing as how my sister and her family are here - we'll be too busy having FUN!

Speaking of which, today all the girls in the family are headed to my favorite tearoom, Emma's, for lunch! Yay!

All right, I'm off. But two things first . . . if you have a chance, please check out this post from yesterday about a dear quilter in need of some hugs *and* check out Judy Laquidara's Patchwork Times to see what's up on design walls all over the bloggy world!!

And . . . it's Monday!! Have a *marvelous* day!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

a quilter in need . . .

In need of some hugs and cheer, that is.

A bloggy/quilty friend, Debbie, of Designs by Debbie and Dixie Too! recently shared that a dear friend of hers -- her quilting mentor -- has been diagnosed with breast cancer and starts chemotherapy on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Debbie posted about her friend Sue on her blog, HERE, HERE and HERE. Debbie is going to put together a 'good cheer' basket for her friend, to give her something to do to pass the time as she goes through and recovers from her treatments. I know how quilters are -- generous to a fault, especially when it comes to one of our own. Please take a look at Debbie's blog and help in any way you can. Especially in the prayer department -- I know Debbie (and Sue!) would appreciate your prayers above anything else!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

glorious weekend . . .

I love weekends. It sounds kind of silly when you think of it ... I don't work and Todd doesn't work a traditional 9-5, 5-days-a-week kind of job, so you might be tempted to think one day was pretty much just like the next for us, but no. Weekends are football and family (because our son and son-in-law do work more traditional hours) and worship and activities at the camp . . . yup, I do love me weekends!

This weekend we've got a group coming into the camp for a fellowship supper; it's a returning group -- they come out in the spring and fall, and they're always fun and *always* bring great food and invite us to eat with them! And then tomorrow, my sister and her family arrive for the WEEK!!! I'm so excited! (Oh, and with that tidbit of news comes the caveat that my posting for the next week *may* be a little slim! Maybe not. We'll see.)

So we're getting ready to head out and be busy and get things spruced up around here. In the meantime, I did have some things to share . . .

Sawyer's first finger painting. I wish you could see the huge grin on my face when I see this! Doesn't it look like he just had a blast?!? And I love the fall colors, too! I can kind of see a turkey in there . . .

I told you last weekend that all the kids were up here; Jason was taking pics for Kim and James for the Christmas cards. He captured some great shots, like this one . . .

Aren't they a darling family?

Sawyer had a really great nap that afternoon. It makes a world of difference when you're taking his pictures after 4:00 pm! Of course, his favorite Aunt Jocelyn was there helping, too!

I love this one . . . walking in the tall grass! It's so sweet how nicely he holds hands!

And this one is darling, too!

And a great transition to this one . . .

Funny, funny story on this one -- it evidently took a whole lot of attempts to finally get this one. Every time James would lean over to kiss Kim, Sawyer would have a fit and start kicking his feet and waving his hands. Jocelyn said it was hysterical to watch! Finally they were able to get one where it actually looks like Sawyer's grinning as his daddy kisses his mommy. So sweet -- but a lot more fun if you know the background story on it!

Okay, so thanks for indulging me in sharing one of my favorite things ... family. I'm off to get busy!! Have a happy Saturday! (Oh, and ROLL TIDE!)


Friday, November 18, 2011

more turkey talk and a little zen . . .

Do you see this . . . ?

It's boring, isn't it? Especially after my pretty red cast that I had last time, with the Alabama "A" on it. This is just ... dull. A pretty color, but dull nonetheless.

So I had an idea. It involved turkeys. It would have involved pumpkins, but we're so close to Thanksgiving, I figured I should stick to turkeys. So I pulled out my fabrics, some fusible webbing, my (new!!!) iron and some felt and here's what I came up with . . .

Kinda cute, right?!

A little tacky glue and voila!! No more boring cast for me!

I also bought a pineapple yesterday, for my darling little turkey head.

Isn't this just AWESOME?!!?

Mr. Turkey Head agrees ... a pineapple is so much better than borrowing Mr. Cardinal's body!

Mr. Cardinal agrees too.

So a turkey day and a zentangle evening! Here's a little look into our introduction to zentangle at last night's guild meeting. This is the little kit that was handed out to us:

The 8.5X11 sheet of paper had examples of different modes of zentangle. Pretty cool. Plus a micron fine point pen, a soft charcoal pencil, four drawing tiles, and a tortillon (which is the long, skinny white thing that looks sort of like a homemade cigarette). Oh, and that piece of paper that had all the different zentangle doodles on it? Cut it out and fold it on the lines and it made an icosahedron, which looks like this:

Here's a closeup of the tortillon. It's a smudger. Seriously.

No really, it smudges. You'll see.

Our first step was to put a dot in each of the four corners and then connect them with a line. This was our 'border'.

Then she had us draw a big loop. There was no right or wrong way, though she did give us guidelines. Once we'd drawn that, we set down our pencils and picked up the pen.

This design was called 'pepper'.

Then she had us do this little criss-crossing opposing lines thing.

Next we did a 'mooka' design (the one that looks like hearts, sort of) and then 'printemps' which was a bunch of closed spirals.

After that we took our tortillon and smudged the lines. See how it gave it dimension? It's pretty cool.

This is Jocelyn's . . .

Hers looked GREAT! She was a natural, that's for sure. I was so glad that not only she picked me up and brought me, but that she stayed and enjoyed herself! We were sitting at a table with a pretty rowdy group of older quilters. At one point we were laughing so hard (and loud) that people were looking at us!! Joc leaned over to me and said, "Quilters have big personalities, don't they?!" LOL!

So the two of us followed the same directions, but look how different they turned out!

So here's our two and two from the ladies sitting opposite us . . .

Isn't that wild?!? We really did have a blast!! The card on the top right belongs to my dear friend Jane, of Grandmama's Stories. She joined Joc and I (and the Stitcher's Group) for dinner last night and then joined the guild, too! I am so excited to have a quilty *and* bloggy friend in the guild with me! And I was so blessed to have my beautiful girl with me too (especially since I wouldn't have been there if she hadn't come and gotten me)!

And . . . that's zentangling! I've got a couple more blank tiles I'm going to play with. The 'mooka' was pretty cool -- it was a lot like stippling -- as is the 'amaze' and the 'echoism'. I can see where quilters could tie zentangling into the quilting and even into an embroidery methodology. It was fascinating *and* fun!!

So that's that . . . and this is Friday -- have a GREAT one!!