Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Check It!

Hi there, Friend!

I've made big changes today!  Check out this blog--notice anything different?! 

Driving to work today, I was inspired to do something creative...then, I thought about my blog, then, I thought about my quilt patterns, and that I should do a pattern page and show them off-


the blog pages are growing!!

I now have a 'Ruby Lagoon Quilt Co.' pattern page! 

I don't have an official website, but this is a start!  I'm excited about learning how to blog, then changing the template and background to personalize it.

(I can see why people get into this)

I went exploring to the other areas of the 'Blogger Dashboard' and began changing colors and backgrounds and text shapes and sizes. 


What do you think? 

I sorta like the sophisticated edge of charcoal grey with the punch of color.  Also, I get to have Palm Trees in the background! 

(this is very important if you have a business named,
'Ruby Lagoon Quilt Co.'!)

(see how much I love the 'asides'--me talking in parentheses?!!)

I haven't figured out yet how to have a conversation blog-wise and then switch it over to my side-comments.  I guess I could use a different font, but would it look like I was talking to myself? 

hmmm!  I do THAT already!  haha!

Here's something I can put you onto--a wonderful website I found for quotes...there are so many, but this one in particular has primo ones:


you're able to put in whatever type of quote you'd like, and up they pop!

This is so great for Journaling, Card-making, Speech-writing, Wall-painting, Shower-singing and many other creative endeavors!

I have no idea whose site it is, I just like it personally. So, here's a quote from the site for you today:

“Enthusiasm is that secret and harmonious spirit which hovers over the production of genius.”
                                                                            Isaac Disraeli

It's great to know that if we face challenges with enthusiasm, that we can make great things happen!   

(At least that's what this says to me...and I am NOTHING if not enthusiastic!)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Survival of the Fittest

(oh, to be in this photo right now!)

Okay, here we are, getting close to the shortest day of the year.  Thank goodness it's only about 3 weeks away. 

I should be used to this dark, gray, drizzly, foggy, shadowy, windy, rainy, unending gloominess, after all...I am a native Oregonian; born and raised. 

However, over the years, anxiety and neuroses of varying types and degrees begin to rot your mind, and then...


comes to call.

I do have friends who stay inside all winter, nearly comatose from this illness.  I am not quite that bad, but it's nearly overwhelming sometimes.

your spirit feels crushed and there's lack of creativity, fun, excitement and energy.

Oh--that's normal?  haha!  maybe for you!

At any rate, today is sun-shiney (finally at 4pm), just before the sun goes down, it's clear, feels warm outside, and the kitties (all four of them) are scampering across the big sand-pile, their bodies silhouetted against the pale blue and peach sky.


(they don't know it yet, but thursday, they'll be 'getting fixed'!!)

'Thankful' for me right now is realizing that the shortest day of the year is only about 22 days away, then the light begins to come back, and I will feel hopeful again that spring, and life will return.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

On to Christmas!

Well, the Thanksgiving weekend is over--
and the Black Friday Pre-Christmas Madness is starting:

in California, a lady pepper-sprayed a crowd so she could grab a case of Wii gaming consoles from the hoard.  

People are robbing bars with shotguns; stabbings and riots ensue over Christmas toys and sock sales; someone was shot in front of a Salem Pizza Hut, cars set on fire while parked in driveways--

Madness is upon us.

I struggle to find peace each Christmas season. What should be a time of preparation and expectation seems like a trip on crack to Alice's Wonderland.

So much hurt, chaos, disappointment, nay, LUNATICS in this battered world.

How to center myself and just breathe?

One idea- I will try NOT to check the news every 5 minutes. The media is so full of drama--anything to get our attention; and it WORKS!

(like a little screaming child, shouting, and we drop everything to race over to find out what's wrong; only to find a hangnail or broken toy.)

So- I will try to exercise more-that should help, too.

Here's a few"Thankfuls" for the last several days:

Friday: my daughter came from Bend for the weekend; love to have her close. And-I braved the wilds of my studio--I did a little sewing, finishing some UFOs, and starting a Christmas gift.

(Haven't had much time for quilting lately--what with blogging and all!)

(Block #1 of the Boo-Boos!  Cute, though!)

Saturday: a huge 'Thankful' which doesn't sound like it, was making two quilt blocks yesterday, which turned out perfect, only to glance at them later, realizing the finished block was 2" larger than it was supposed to be!

Not a big deal unless it's an example for a pattern you wrote, which will be made by about 80 people for a block of the month challenge!!!

Eeekk! Thank you God for helping me catch THAT mistake ahead of time!

Today (Sunday)'s 'Thankful'-- are many...safe travel back to Bend for my daughter, house returning to its usual quiet (which Maggie, the cat appreciates--she also is thankful for Bing Crosby movies!!), food in the frig for lunches this week, a sermon at church reminding us that:

(Maggie Loves Bing!)



(How appropriate!
Also, when we are grumbling, to catch
a glance at our 10
fingers, and come up
with 10 things we're thankful for.)

Thanks, Cory!

You know, I was just thinking...

Being able to breathe, and breathe deeply during this crazy season should be one of my 'fingers'!!

(I won't say which one!).

More tomorrow...

Block #2 of the Boo-Boo!  Cute block though, don't you think?!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hooray for Spankokopita!


I am thankful for my family, close and extended; friends far and near, and how loved I am.

At this moment, we are in respite, watching the Packers/Lions game
Following a brunch. This year, we are 5-- mom, dad, Bonnie, Brian, and me.
The Kennedys are in LaPine, the Strobels are in Portland. It's calm and peaceful, but for the bluster of wind and pounding rain of the next Pacific storm.

I'm writing my message on my IPhone, to see if I can! So far, so good.

My 'thankful' for yesterday is Honey Baked Ham!! Why? Two reasons: 1) my employers gave them out to all the employees; AND it's a Perfect Bite !!

I have never had an entire HAM to myself-/yum!!

In a rare burst of cleverness (lol),
I have, as of today's brunch, renamed The Pastry Delicacy of Greece to,


We ate that and ham and fruit & I'm feeling comfy.

How does a person put a photo into a blog on the phone? Hmmm- it's an experiment. And there are typos today, too. In a years time, I'll look back and see what I've accomplished. I've learned a lot since October 31, the first day I blogged.

I know how to insert photos, and make pages, and I even have 'fishies' to feed
Hope you'll be along for the ride.

Blessings and full-tummy wishes to you, and that you're surrounded by Love and Light.

(Sweet Sunday, Mom and Dad's 'golden')

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monsoon Season is HERE!

               (Look! Not even blue sky in Puerto Vallarta!)

Welcome Back!
(at least to me, I've been away from my blog for a couple days). 

I see the last blog was November 17, and now, it's the 22.  I will briefly say that it is pouring /pooring  rain! and no real signs of letting up for a couple days.  Today is 80% chance, tomorrow 100% chance, and Thursday/Thanksgiving is down to 70% chance!    Woowee!  It's gonna be a Thanksgiving MIRACLE, I tell you!

(enough sarcasm)

Let's catch up on the 'Thankfuls':

Today let's all be thankful for a dry spot (hopefully, you have one), to work, and live.  I certainly am!  my work kitties are banded together into a little shelter I built, and they're not coming out except for canned catfood! 

Yesterday, was Monday, and hard to get motivated w/ the rain.  I really wanted to write, but felt tired--  Sometimes I just don't sleep well.  Oh!  I know!  I can be thankful for the show, 'Raising Hope.'  Have you seen it?  Hilarious!  Last night trying to unwind, i opened my Hulu IPhone app, and watched a couple episodes.   I love to laugh!  It feels soooo good.

Sunday, I saw sunshine at the Oregon Coast--specifically, Cape Kiwanda.  I stopped there to look at the ocean, and sunshine before I drove back to Salem.  (jogging  your memory--I went for a retreat w/ some quilting girlfriends).  It was glorious!  Thankful for SUNSHINE!!

Saturday, I slept in, and then grabbed my gear, and drove to the 'retreat'--friends Shawna, Lori and Phyllis were there, and going great-guns.  Because I was too tired Friday night, and got to the retreat late, I held off on quilting projects, but instead worked on my Affirmation Journal. 

That turned out to be a great thing--  I had been kind of stuck on a new book.  Had gotten one w/ a spiral binding, thinking the pages and cover could expand, but one problemo--I love to use decorative papers, cut to size, adhere them, and then collage over the top.  With the spiral binding...the break between the cut paper, and the spirals left a white space which was really bugging me.  (I've spent the last couple months at a standstill w/ this project; trying to make myself go ahead, in spite of the white space-- just wasn't happening.)

(One thing that is an iron-clad rule in my book: if something bugs you when you're looking at it, it will probably continue to bug you later--so, best to remove it!)

This has seemed to work on my quilts--look at them, and if a certain fabric or block draws your attention (in a bad way), then it may be best to remove it.

--However--!!   What do 'they' always say?:

rules are made to be broken!             haha!

What's an exception?  If there's something in a quilt or project that bugs you,                                                   
                                                           ADD MORE!!


Adding more 'troublemaker' fabric diverts your attention.  Once, a quilt I made needed white.  I hate white, and brown...they're non-colors in my book.  So, when making the quilt, I left out white.  What happened?  No 'sparkle'!  so- the things you learn from color-study!

Back to the book: as I drove to the beach, contemplating my book, I remembered I could take the pages out of the spiral binding, and 'do something' to them (colored felt markers didn't cut it)...I remembered that i had just purchased a couple containers of Inka Gold; in Copper (why isn't it Inka Copper?!), and Gold, AND it was riding along w/ me in the truck with my art supplies!! 

This cool stuff, which I had no definite plan for (other than being cool, and have to have it!..), is like a creamy metallic shoe polish.  Get a little bit of water on a sponge, smoosh it around, and start wiping it on.  I decided as I drove, that it might be the perfect remedy for the white paper issue!

So, once I got the layout of the retreat-house (very nice, but no ocean view--can't compare to Coccoons, Mom!  but there were surfboards!  haha) and settled in, I went 'rogue' and took all the pages from the book, got out the Inka Golds, and the stamp-pads I had, and started sponge-painting the spiral part of the pages.
(oh, i SO love the copper!)

after i did a bunch of copper, I did some gold, and some Tim Holtz 'Vintage Photo' colored pad, and black.  The stamp pads, I just randomly pressed onto the spine of the papers, to make a 'grunge' look.

Once I got the covers back on, and a couple of the finished pages re-inserted, then things began to happen.
(My first page in the book--love, love, LOVE the dragonflies!)

(I love the Inka Gold-Gold! on the spine, too!)
I had been bugged about the spine, and now it was fixed, and the paper, imagination, quotes and photos begin to emerge in random ways; and as I go, I'll add in some rubber stamps, and/or maybe embellishments.
('Imagination is the eye of the soul,' says this PaPaYa art postcard.)

Friday's 'Thankful', looking back now, was flannel Jammies!  I was so tired, that when I got home, I knew I was not going directly to the beach, but instead, go my Victoria's Secret Pink polka dot jammies on, snuggled on the couch w/ Maggie, and took a nap for a couple hours.  This time of year, you just GOTTA HAVE 'EM!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday? WHA?!

Hi there!
How on earth did it get to be THURSDAY?!!  Is it really?!!  WOW.  Thankfulness has crossed my mind, and I've thought daily about things I'm thankful for, but I have been really busy this week, and haven't 'blogged'.

did you miss me?  i'm sure your week has been just as hairy as mine has.

So far, I bundled up a couple bags of remnants to take to the quilt shop, got all the payables put into the computer at work, wrote a 12-page newsletter for my quilt guild, and got that to the printer, took an Affirmation Journaling class, and went to a purse-party/open house last night, and soon will have a fun little purse to tote around.

(I wasn't going to, because I thought those Miche' bags were hokey!  I've seen them on TV--probably QVC--, and the idea of a 'base bag' with exchangable-magnetic covers on the outside seemed goofy, and gimicky.  However, one of the regular Potluck Piecers, Kari, is now a Miche'-dealer.)

(see, it's old-lady-ish, ooky!)
(you can see where this is heading...!!)

Last Friday at Potluck Piecing, Kari (who is also a great cook) bribed me with food, and invited me to stop at her house Wednesday night to take a look at the bags.  I knew I had Affirmation Journal the same night, and didn't want to miss that--who DOESN'T NEED AFFIRMING?!!  but Kari called to remind me on Tuesday night, and I know how that goes; having sold PartyLite...

you do all the calls, ask for RSVP's which don't come, over-invite to make sure you have people there, clean the house, light the candles, make all the food (not to mention grocery shopping), your family asks, 'why don't you ever cook for US like this?!!"  and all you can say is, "because YOU don't give me 25 FREE TEALIGHTS with a $50 purchase, and KIDS!! I can earn a free nightlight, too!!" 

(or something like that!  haha!)

anyway, I figured I'd pop into Kari's and see the action--fortunately, at 8pm, she said I could still stop over, so I did.  I assumed that all the Miche' bags would be large mondo things, that when I 'wore' one, I'd look like a pack-mule...

(did you know that you 'wear' a bag, now?  It's like a part of your clothing!  When you think about it in that context, it makes it easier to understand how to choose one which may look better on your body.) 

I love the way the big zippered purple or aqua, or orange patent-leather bags look, but guess what?!  My body does NOT look like Ashley Simpson or Nicole Richie, or some little unknown 'STAR' of the month, who looks like she's standing on toothpicks!

I have legs and curves, and a big purse is not quite so fetching on that body-type.  I'm big enough.  Instead, I have gone the opposite direction for the last couple years: paring down to the lowest common denominator, a small cross-body bag! 

I totally LOVE IT!  for me, something this size (8" square or so) is about right...wallet, checkbook, cell phone, lipstick, pills, pens and keys.  A cross-body bag keeps my hands free and my body balanced, and doesn't fall off my shoulders.  It's light, so I don't really notice it, either.

(my sweet friend, Judith, in her little apartment)

I discovered the beauty of the cross-body bag when I was taking care of my friend, Judith, a couple years ago.  She was an elderly lady who went to water aerobics classes several times a week with my assistance.  Having two hands free, I could hang onto her, and her bag, and/or walker, and not worry about losing my purse.

At Kari's, it didn't take me long to figure out what I'd love.  They do have little patent-leather black cross-body bags, and little covers, and because they're little, they're affordable!  Because I like bright colors, and they don't have too many, that was easy to decide too!
(it's totally ME!)

Then, I got to eat and have some wine! 

(ever eat a 'cake ball'?  Red Velvet, dipped in white chocolate w/ sprinks!)
(kari's were like this, but on sticks, with sprinks, and stuck into a styrofoam christmas tree!)

enough about last night--
oh!  do you know how hard it is to fall asleep after eating a couple cake balls and a brownie w/ marshmallow-caramel topping baked on?  SUGAR RUSH to the MAX!  haha!  (I'm such a goofball.)

So, what's ahead?  probably cutting some fabric at Greenbaum's after work tonight, pack up some quilting projects and my sewing machine, and, after work tomorrow, meet some friends for a beach retreat--well, we may have our noses to the needle, and footsies to the pedal, but hopefully, I'll get a little start on a couple Christmas gifts.  I'm gonna try to make several things, before the big day, and Thanksgiving weekend, I'm actually off on Friday, so I plan to bivouac in my studio!

Isn't that a great word?  I LOVE 'Bivouac'!

so!!  What are my latest 'Thankfuls'?

Tuesday, November 15:
As someone who loves to write, I'll choose being thankful for letters and words.  Remember in grade school, learning to write on the newsprint with the blue lines, and dotted lines?  An 'a' was a circle with a stick hooked on.  A 'b' was a tall line with a circle stuck on the other side, and so on.  How FUN to find out that putting them together made words! 

Putting words together made sentences!  Putting sentences together made stories!

i couldn't wait to learn cursive (third grade)...it was like a 'secret code'; along with that, were other shapes like an 'a' or 'g' with their curvy parts.  FUN!

I am thankful for words today because I wrote a Christmas poem in 5 minutes, the words rhymed and flowed right out, and i'm thrilled with it.  (I'll share it another day.)

Wednesday's 'Thankful': would probably need to be 'Fun with Friends'!  You can see all the fun I had at the Miche' party, and all the fun at the Affirmation Journal class, which I'll share about another time  (this is a huge blog post!), but there was lots of laughing with ladies, food, creativity, and it surprised me how energized I felt by the end of the night after being creative.  What a gift!  Which brings me to:

Thursday, November 17:
I'm thankful for my CREATIVITY!!  This is one of my favorite things about ME.  I love to brainstorm with others, name things, make slogans, use colors, rhyme words, write poetry, play word games, quilt, build, cook, hammer, cut, paste, and imagine.

(it used to make me CRAZEE when we visited Grandma Bernice's and she'd say, "Use your imagination!"  That's how we ended up under her dining room table-chairs tipped over on their sides for doorways, having tea parties!)

I don't know why God built me the way he did--I sure see all my flaws and weaknesses, but taking the time in November, being thankful for things, gives me a new perspective, and shines a light on what God has put in me, and around me, which I can appreciate, and hey!

I can share my excitement and blessings with others!

(well, Hey, Diddle Diddle!)

is that what being thankful each day might possibly be about?  Turning a light back onto the Person who gave us all of this?  YAY!  I'm smiling right now.  okay, bent your ear long enough--let's all be thankful.  we're given another day to encourage and bless others, and get more work done. 

see you tomorrow,
(see, Caitlin,  green leaves = spring in my book!  MY favorite time of year!)

Monday, November 14, 2011

I love Mark and Brian!

Happy Monday!

i'm listening to 'Portland's #1 Morning Team' according to KGON-radio.  I love Mark and Brian from KLOS radio (satellite feed from LA).  It's totally rated R- but they have great camaraderie, and sarcasm.  The little blurb on now is whether or not men should shut down an argument w/ their wife/girlfriend by walking over, grabbing her into a hug, telling her you love her, and kissing her.

(there was a article they read last week, which stated that was the best way to stop the argument)

A man just called in and stated that he was going to try it this weekend after his wife got mad at him for putting milk in their son's 'sippy cup' when she'd told him not to before.  (the 'milk residue gets stuck in the straw--you can't get it out later to wash it, and have to then throw it out').  While she was yelling at him, he said he remembered the advice, and decided to try it.  He walked closer to her, and she said, "Don't come closer!  Are you kidding me!?"

He did get within arm's reach, and said he thought he was about to get decked, when their toddler son walked into the kitchen with an open bag of cheetos, sat down in the corner to watch, and began to eat cheetos!

That stopped the argument! 

I love the mental picture! 

As far as an argument is concerned, it seems like it might work to me, but of course it depends on the circumstances.  I haven't been in a fight w/ a man for a long time, and most of the time it would be heated enough that I don't know how a man would have enough presence of mind to think about kissing me--but it's fun to think about.  Heck, who am I kidding?!  I'd LOVE for a man to come over and grab me, and kiss me!

(of course, if he CAN think about kissing you--does that mean he has LOADS of self-control--good; or, that he's not taking you seriously or even listening to what you're saying--bad, bad!!)

what do you think?

Anyway--Happy Monday!

So far, I've worked out--got 2.3 miles on the treadmill, showered/foo-foo'd, and got coffee--double-punch Monday--thanks Java  Crew, and made it to work, to get cranked-up before 7am.

(here's my quote of the day: "Better Wired, Than Fired!"
cool, huh?--I just made it up!)

The best part of working out, is the shower at the Courthouse.  I am THANKFUL for that today!!  I love that shower, because at 6am, you have the showers to yourself, if I get a song stuck in my head from the Ipod, i can sing/hum, and it's okay, and I take the opportunity to use the ADA shower, so it's really big, and has a strong, stinging spray.  Lukewarm, please to cool me off, and I can even shave my legs if I want!

Small things, but the other day I saw a friend was thankful for applesauce, so hey! a shower you can love after a workout is VALUABLE to me!  plus--I've been so rigid in my thankfulness!  All the BIG stuff I've been thankful for.  To use up all the days of November, I might have to venture into the little things!

How was your weekend?  Mine was pretty nice.  Got lots done.  Saturday's 'Thankful' would have to be sleeping in!  Sometimes, I just can't do it, or my mind won't let me.  I guess I did wake up about 10:00 am, which sounds good; but after checking email, and ebay briefly, I got sleepy again, so I just went back to sleep ('it's just a nap!'), and then, I woke up about 1pm. 

Okay, that sounds really decadent, but give me a little leeway--I did work five 9-hour days, then helped w/ a 'Potluck Piecing' class Friday night, from 5-10pm.  After all that excitement, you gotta wind down a bit, so I probably was awake 'til 11:30pm or so.  Hey, Whatever!  It was my Saturday!

Oaky-Doaky, Artichokey!  Hey, I gotta say, I found another 'Perfect Bite' on Friday night at the potluck!  (i did say I'd keep you posted.)  This is available to everyone, too!  Try out a Starbuck's Chocolate-Peanut Butter cupcake.  OOOOHHHHYEEAAAHH!

(I'm not sure if that's what it's called.  It's mini-sized, chocolate cake on the bottom, and then this peanut-butter frosting on top)

People who know me well, will know that I do not worship at the Holy Grail of Reese's, unlike many other people.  However, what really turned this into a Perfect Bite for me, was that the frosting was not overly sweet---it had a little saltiness to it, so it was more like a sea-salt caramel flavor.  the 'salty' with the sweet cake put it over the top!

(the best way to savor is to take a moment, close your eyes, and take a small bite.  Breathe deeply, and savor all the flavors with complete abandon!)

~ ~ ~

more Saturday stuff was laundry, and cutting and packaging remnants for the quilt shop, getting about 4 shopping bags of stuff cleaned out of the dining room--and I was able to set up in front of the TV, and watch a couple JLo movies (Wedding Planner and Mother-in-Law) --and catch up on Millionaire Matchmaker reruns on the DVR. 

~ ~ ~

Sunday's 'Thankful' was a miraculous BLT w/ Avocado at McGrath's Downtown.  My mom had one too!  I did order w/ fries, and they were miraculous, too.  Dennis, the chef, occasionally will do a special request, depending on how busy they are.  Now, the Downtown McG's is the only one open for breakfast, but thank goodness they are.  We ADORE Willie our favorite waitress...her sense of humor, and sarcasm can't be beat...PLUS, she's married to Dennis!  So, she's got the ear of the chef--how cool is that?!

After catching up w/ Mom and Dad and beginning to make Thanksgiving plans (brunch at the beach), I collected more remnants from GB's (Greenbaum's Quilted Forest--quilt shop where I work part time), and went home to make more remnant bags.  Maggie the cat, and I were able to watch a movie classic, 'Gigi', and get all caught up. 

Sunday's, 'Thankful'-part B, I guess--is CLASSIC MOVIE MUSICALS!

When you break it down, you can find all sorts of things, huh?  okay, I've had your ears long enough--what are you thankful for today?

ps.  this just in!! Randomness now on Mark and Brian!  Trivia: 'Hop Sing' on Bonanza, was the one to introduce finger-printing technology into a storyline--1800's by the Chinese--into a courtroom on the show.

enjoy your day!


Friday, November 11, 2011


Uh, OH!!
well, I missed a day to 'be thankful!'  I thought about it yesterday, and you know, once you start naming things, and publishing things, then I thought, OH!  I didn't mention my son-in-law Evan!  Will his feelings be hurt?  Oh!  I didn't talk about how thankful I am for my House!  Will its feelings get hurt!?  Oh! Oh! OH!!!

I'm neurotic!  I'd say slightly, but that might be an exaggeration--under -exaggeration.  (medication time?  haha!)

okay, well i can't hold it in anymore...just like cream, my son, EVAN KENNEDY rises to the top of day number 10!

Here we go--pretend you don't know what I'm gonna say!

November 10:
I'm thankful for Evan Kennedy! 

I'm thankful that I was working at the police academy at the time, and had the pleasure to meet him while he was training. 

I'm thankful that I got a chance to spend time with him after his graduation, over in Bend, following my 'polar plunge' into the Deschutes River, the same day with a team of girlfriends. 

(a shot of whisky to bolster our skins against the 27-degree water!)

I'm thankful that he knew/knows how to cook, because that Saturday night, he invited the team of 'Ice Princesses' over for dinner, where we were treated to Avocado-Bacon Cheeseburgers, and Sweet-Potato Fries. 

I am thankful that my daughter Caitlin, and Evan hit it off (not planned by me!); and now, they are happily married.

(in Hawaii on their honeymoon! she's the WIFE!)

Evan is a vigilant warrior, a true friend, a passionate protector, and a Godly man.  He is the perfect person for my daughter, Caitlin.  He is her 'back-stop', her home-plate, her go-to guy, and he makes things happen!  He is funny, fun, sarcastic, and a lot like me.  That makes him a great friend for me, and a fantastic man for my daughter.  And he loves to surprise others.  That makes him an amazing person just to have in our family. 

Did I say he makes amazing biscuits and gravy? 

(oh, YEAH!!)

November 11:
According to all the Feng Shui, Asian astronomers, Las Vegas wedding chapels, and, I'm sure, Yahoo, and USA Today; this date in History is A LUCKY NUMBER!!

Hmmm? Is there a way to hook Luck and Blessings together?  Fortune Cookies spring to mind, and Perfect Bites! 

I love food!  I love to eat it!  I love to Look at it!  I love to see what others are eating in restaurants, to see if I might like what they're having 'sometime.'
As I go along through life, I've come up with the quest for the Perfect Bite. 

So today, I'll be thankful for THE PERFECT BITE!

Here's the deal:
Years ago, there was an awesome movie, "The Mirror Has Two Faces," with Barbra Streisand, and Jeff Bridges.  He's an anal, dry, hunky college math professor, who wants a wife for 'companionship' only, so he picks a homely woman to marry.  She is a college lit professor, passionate about Life, would love to find Love, has this hunky-nerdy professor enter her life, and believes (even though she's an 'ugly-duckling'), that Love has finally found her.  They click, even though she has a weird habit of 'stacking' her food on her fork to create

'The Perfect Bite'...

Here's what it is:
it isn't so much the individual flavors--it's how they combine with one another!

as far as the movie goes, of course conflict ensues, Lauren Bacall is outstanding (as usual) as the 'critical' mom, and happiness finely arrives in the last 2 minutes!


Food and i are connected in a way those who love me understand.  Reflecting on my life, I believe it may have started with the All-Church Potlucks at Court Street Christian Church.  (thank you little church ladies!!) 


here are a few perfect bites that I've discovered.  (not in any particular order!)

1-  Cold, Cooked Prawns with just a dab of cocktail sauce.

2-  Artichoke Hearts in Anything!  (lemon-mayonnaise sauce, pasta, salads, scrambled eggs..the are mostly perfect in my MOUTH, hello!)

3-  McGrath's Fish House has Sourdough Bread Pudding with Hazelnut Sauce, which, when warmed up with vanilla ice cream, is TO DIE FOR!

4-  A perfectly cooked Steak (most of us could agree on that!)

5-  My friend Shawna makes the best killer Caramel Corn EVER.  It has cashews and I think dried cranberries in it.  I stole a bagful at a quilt retreat, and put it in my room, so no one else could eat it!

(okay, I officially hate the person who said writing a blog forces you to be honest.  Sorry, Greenbaum retreaters--i was following the Perfect Bite Muse!)

6-  Once i had some Stuffed French Toast--cream cheese in the middle--warm blueberry compote over the top.  That was a perfect bite--right there!

7-  Honey Baked Ham from the mall is a perfect bite, as far as I'm concerned!

there are millions of PB's to go, and I'll be on the lookout! Here's two more, which I'll never have again, 'til I get to Heaven!

8-Grandma Bernice's Homemade Bread.  She put the strangest things into the bread, sometimes (just 'what was on hand'), but warm, fresh bread out of the oven--cut the heel really thick--about 1 1/2", with butter (jam and creamy peanut good, but not necessary!)...THAT'S GOOD EATIN'!

9-  Granny Margaret's Divinity.  She was known for her Baked Beans, Cauliflower-Shrimp salad, Apple Slice, Oyster Fry Nights, and much more, but at Christmas, she made Fudge, Penoche, and Divinity.  The Divinity was the best, and you can't get that just anywhere!  Okay, another confession (blogging is dangerous to my reputation!):

When we sorted out Grandma Bernice's house  (back about 'ought-THREE'?)
I found a Christmas gift box in her freezer. (We found many of those around the house...she didn't want to use all the 'good' up!--sweet lady) I had a hunch, opened it up, and it was Divinity, which she'd never touched.  Who knew how long it was there? 

I did not leave that house without it, though, I'll tell you that! 

I took it home to Candalaria Blvd, where it was safely stashed for emergencies, and i made it last through Husband #2, and a move back to Granny's house on Browning, where it had originated.  There was a solemn eating ceremony the night the box was finally emptied  (probably about 12 years after it was made!)  That was a perfect moment, in itself. 

Isn't food fun?!  so many posibilities...
(why does that word have so many 'i's???!!!)  Geez!

Wonder what I'll think of for tomorrow, to be thankful for?!  There's so much.  Hey!

guess what?!  I'm off to help with a 'Potluck Piecing' class at Greenbaum's tonight.  There's gonna be food there!  I'm counting on a perfect bite tonight!  I'll keep you posted.

(and on the way home, a lottery ticket 'for luck'!  haha!)
Hooray!  enjoy something yummy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's the 9th, I Better Get Thankful!

Hi There,
I'm on Week #2 of my blog, and I haven't learned to insert photos into the text yet...I haven't been writing it every day either!  AND NOW!!  I realize the entire world (okay, three people on Facebook on my friend list) is/are 'being' thankful every day of November for something.

Shut the FRONT DOOR!  I didn't know there was a memo on thankfulness--where was mine?  I didn't even get a ballot in the mail, and there was an election yesterday. 

For crying out loud--I vote every time!

I really try to be thinkful (that's it!  Think-full!) about being THANK-ful every day; talking to God on the way to work at least once, and telling him thank you for another day for 'do-overs' and doing 'good'.  How many zillions of things could we tell him about if we're specific, though?

So--I can write them on the calendar for November, so you don't think I repeat myself!  (I'll just try to catch up to today for now) 

November 1: 
I will be thankful for my eyesight.  each one of my 5 senses are precious, but eyesight is so vital.  Thank you, God for sunrises, sunsets, smiles!

November 2:
Today I'm thankful for work.  I have a great job/s...one full-time at Quality Concrete, Keizer, where I work with great people at a sand and gravel pit, working with men (mostly), weighing trucks, talking on a CB radio, and smelling diesel when I'm lucky!  I also have a part-time job at Greenbaum's Quilted Forest, where I'm around ladies and color and fabric.
How blessed I am that two employers want me, and the contrast between the two.  I am a prom-queen every day!

November 3:
Today I'll be thankful for my parents' marriage. Helen and Louie have been married almost 55 years!  (December 1)  They have loved me, encouraged me, supported me financially through a lot of my trials.  They have worked hard to keep their marriage together, and thriving, and they still like/love each other.  Remarkable in this worn-out, beat-up, fast-food, 72-days-to-a-divorce-kind-of-world.  Not remarkable considering they made a life-long commitment to God, and to each other.  It's a marriage of THREE.

November 4:  Let's be thankful for KITTIES!!  I love kitties!  Currently, I have 5 in my life.  Lest anyone think I'm turning into a 'crazy cat lady'-- I have one at home, Maggie; then 4 at work, which were born there, from feral parents, and have grown into healthy teenagers.  (they love to play in the sand pile at work!)...

tentatively, their names are Henry, Charlie, Jazz and Sunshine.  They don't much care WHO they are, as long as the 'lady in the office' stops to get them food.  Cats add so much personality, and fun to life.  They're random, curious, independent, colorful companions who make me laugh, their fur is silky soft, and restores my happiness, as I pet them.

November 5: Happy Birthday to my beautiful, exqusite daughter, Caitlin!  I have no more favorite person in this world than her/she.  The day she was born was the best day of my life.  A lot of pain!  but a lot of beauty from that.

(she would be my November 1st thankful thing, before eyesight, but November 5 being her b-day, I saved that for her!  LOL).  'they' tell you how you don't know you can love so much until you have a child--'they' are RIGHT!

November 6:
Thank you God for Lazy Sundays.  I really needed to veg and catch up today.  I had quilt blocks to make, and a studio overwhelmed with projects, but I got about 4 hours in, and made a little headway. 

November 7: 
Thank you God for being able to work out.  Until the last 4-5 years, that was never an interest or priority of mine.  At the police academy, i saw fit/unfit people, and was inspired to do my best, too.  I found that loud rock music, on a treadmill, with my eyes mostly closed!, seems to work for me.  There are so many people who can't move at all, and I can, and when I do, I feel strong, and proud of myself, and alive.

November 8:
Today I'm thankful for food in my refrigerator...there's some there!  A week ago, I looked in there, and there was stale bread, margarine and hmmm, a partly-drunk 2-liter bottle of Code Red.  Then, I got meat from the freezer, cans of olives, tomatoes, black beans, and frozen corn, and voila!  Taco Soup in the crock-pot!  A few more odds and ends one night = fried wild rice!  Leftover spinach salad w/ sun-dried tomatoes + cooked pasta = GOURMET lunches.  Thank you God for food to eat!

November 9: 
Today, I'm mostly thankful for sleep and rest.  Yesterday when i left work, I felt beat-up.  I ached physically, and I really needed sleep.  I had a quilt meeting to go to; but dropped off my quilt box at friend Joanne's house, and all I could think about was jammies, and bed, and extra-strength Tylenol pm.  sometimes, my dad says, 'sleep is highly overrated!'  In this case, sleep was highly UNderrated.

HEH! look!  I dinked around w/ the buttons, and now I have a picture in my text.  It means nothing, but a waiter w/ a frog, but it's cute isn't it!  my first pic!  Okay, that's my exhibit A! 

(and now that I added a few more pics, it's not soooo boring.  I've learned a lot in a week.  maybe tomorrow, I'll be thankful for my brain!)


Monday, November 7, 2011

It's a Good Day!

Right now, I'm looking out at thick black clouds which are looming nearby.  However, they are not directly overhead.  There's great symbolism in that, for a Monday! My day was very good. How was yours?

My day began at 4:20 am when the alarm went off, and I began to come alive.  I really did not want to be there, but I have recently (okay, not so recently-I'm in 'De Nile'!) found a few lumps over the top of the waistband of my jeans!

EEEKKKKSSSSSSSS ALMIGHTY!!  (there's a new one for the Funk and Wagnall's--do they make that one anymore!!)

(Oh, for crying out loud, could the fat go somewhere else, like KIM KARDASHIAN'S REAR!!?  My personal opinion, which I just thought of, is that all the fat in the world should go to the rich people.  We poor people have enough trouble.  That way, the rich can afford to have it lopped off, or sucked out!)

Okay, well, I'm determined not to let the greatest job in the world go directly to my center of gravity, so I'm getting up early, and today, before I came out of the coma, I realized I had put 2 miles on the treadmill.  Hooray!  One good thing about working out at that hour is that by the time you're awake, you're done w/ the workout!

Today's been a great day.  Lots and lots of rock was sent out into the world for construction purposes, my daughter turned 25 over the weekend--how can that happen when I'm only 12 (actlikeit!), and I did get a little sewing on quilt projects done.

That studio of mine is scary.  I need about a month with no food, no phone, no sleep, no 'peeps' to beat it into submission.

One of my friends, Sara, said she's got plenty of fabric, and she won't ALLOW herself to enter a quilt shop until she uses some up.  If that were me (and a whole lot of other people I know---no namin' names!), well...thank goodness that won't happen!

Here's what I really like to do...
I go through my fabric once or twice a year; review, and sort out scraps, unwanted pieces, or things I've changed my mind about.  I put together a big shopping bag, or two; take it to my small quilting group meeting (the 'Twisted Stitchers'), and let them have first pick.  Then, I like to take it to the big quilt guild meetings, and put it on the 'back table.' 

Stand back and watch!

Those women (much as I love them) are like swooping seagulls after a breadcrumb!  It's fun!  I've been the same person.  Once, on the table I spied a small scrap of my 'lucky' orange and yellow check.  I say lucky, because a piece of that went into every quilt I made, and those pieces got smaller and smaller as I went along.  Somehow, I decided at some point that the fabric was to be my trademark.  So- the day I found a little 2x6-inch piece on the back table, I thought I'd won the lottery.  I ran over and showed my friends, and they're like, 'HUH'!?  (Okay, It's Carole, she is a little 'special', after all!)

Do I put that fabric in anymore?  No, because at some point I wondered why all my quilts were looking the same!!  Small thing--every quilt I kept using the same fabrics!  DUH!

So, anyway, here's to Monday!  We got an extra hour of sleep, it's November, the shortest day of the year is coming next month, then after that...the days get longer.  Hooray! 

see you tomorrow.  xox

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tried and True

Hey there,

Well, here I am, my fourth post.  I took yesterday 'off,' because I read some lady's advice on the EBlogger website, who said, in effect,  that 'people are busy, and they don't have time to read and follow everything, so don't post every day, and they'll appreciate you more.'

Also she said, get a 'theme,' so people know what you're talking about, and then you can network with other people who like your theme, and can Follow/Like you, and then you get bigger and bigger! 

Isn't that special....

I wondered if that was good?  Cooking daily w/ Julia Child has been done! (bummer, cuz that was a great idea!  I loved that book!)  What on earth in this world full of words can possibly be said?!! 

I don't know...Do I have a purpose in having a blog?  Maybe...I've had a lot of thoughts about a website for my quilt patterns for years, and never could figure out/afford to build one; and then, sometimes I just think something hilarious or brilliant: "I should write this down!"
Maybe a glog (up-oh, need more cawfee!) blog is part of that.  we'll see.

I also just think I'm quirkily brilliant in my own way, and I want to say so (even if only me, my family, and best buds read it!)...I DON'T want one of those 'here's all about my family' blog newsletters though! 

I am thinking, as I build this, I will share my art, my quilts, inspiration I see, bits of wisdom, things that crack me up, or are weird, and maybe a page for my quilt patterns. 

You'll be getting 'A Little Sparkle, A Little Grit.'


(Let's just think of this as a surprise for me--and you!  I really just begin to write and let the words come out.  That's what's happened so far.  So--we'll tune in tomorrow, and see if we're surprised again!)

I just looked when I opened this up, and I have TWO, count 'em TWO FOLLOWERS!!  On Monday, when I started, I didn't have anyone!
heh!  (take THAT--blogger advice lady!)

What do I know today? Here's a cool quote (from the Brave Girls Club, another site):

"Joy is untouched by circumstance." 

It sounds profound somehow, and then I thought, "Huh?!"  What?

The idea is that happiness comes and goes in fits and starts--dependent on our circumstances.  Joy goes deeper.  It's based on being true to ourselves, taking the time to pause and listen to our spirit, our heart speak.

In the stillness, our nature is to follow what is Right, what is Good, what is Pure= God.  If we're away from that, we have no joy, we're 'cloudy with a chance of meatballs'!

The site even uses a quote by Oprah  (who's probably really nice, but I let my subscription run out because I'm sick of the overhypedblahblahblah):

..."you feel real JOY in direct proportion to how connected you are to living your truth."

Take away the unsettledness and unhappiness of what we see in the world (spread by the media, and our reaction to it), and just have peace, silence, stillness. 

If we allow ourselves to listen for our truth-- who are we, what gives life meaning, who created us; how do we reflect that?

In getting as close to our truth as we can, and living that, we will find JOY!

enjoy your friday, little munchkin. 
love, me

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

O, So NOT Ready For Winter

Well, I just got through perusing the Jackson & Perkins Holiday Gift catalog...'Start NOW!!'  'Get these amaryllis while you can!'  'Time is running out!'

I saw a Christmas tree in a store window this morning on the way to work...which one?  I can't tell, because it was foggy as all get-out; in fact, I drove slowly through the nearby school zone, in case anyone was crossing the street; conquered that, then was coming to the stop sign, which wasn't there!  Why?  Because I wasn't AT THE STOP SIGN YET!

Ooookay, I was saying, 'Carole, you're a goofball!' and at the stop, turned right.  Then, driving down the street, I missed the street to the left where I was to turn...'Geez!'  (check the mirror, back up!)  turn left, head down the street which makes a jog to the left, and I avoid all the cars parked there (thankfully), and am thinking, 'There's sure an awful lot OF CARS PARKED down here-what's going on-a convention?!'--when WHAT!??

the street ends! 


it's the end of a CUL-DE-SAC!! 

where am I?  I have not a CLUE!  In my sleep-deprived-foggy mind, I realize I am lost, and 30-seconds ago, I was fine. 

How weird and scary, and it's the start of a panic attack.
okay-- backtrack--keep breathing--drive back out the way I came. 

At the end of the street, do I go left or right?  50-50 chance (it's like the box of crayons--but that's another story.).  i turn left, and go about 50 feet, and there's another street...hoping it's Willow Lake Road, I chance it, and suddenly things are more familiar, although I still can't see worth beans.

How weird to be lost like that.  Fog should be outlawed!  OR--let's just have a day where we all drive with our eyes closed!  (I personally love this idea, and the images of it)

Folks, this is just the beginning, and I work by a river.  I wonder if I can put little/big red reflectors on the street signs, so I can find my way 'home'!  (you can call me

I haven't even taken you on a drive through the snow with me yet.  Oooooohh, I am SO NOT READY FOR WINTER!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I AM Alive!

Hello World!
I'm not a morning person.  I have a job which I love, which requires me to now BE a morning person.  So--I'm going to bed early, trying to limit my evening acivities, and changing patterns for this lifestyle.  That being said, the only real time i can squeeze in a workout, is at the 'butt-crack' (sorry, mom) of dawn.  That would be about 5:15 am. 

Once upon a time, I would have said there was only one of those per day.  Now, by the time the second one rolls around, I'm just about ready for dinner and bed!  EEEK--is this what 'old' is?

Okay, so I work out, and didn't have my IPod charged, so I used my IPhone for my workout, then afterward, put it into a different pocket of my purse.  At work the phone rang and it was my son-in-law, Evan, who was making sure I was okay, after a 'strange set of events': a phone call early this morning 3:30 from a friend of his, who wondered if I was okay, and that there was a report of another person w/ my name who had died.

When 'the kids' couldn't get me on the phone--(remember: my workout, then I put the phone in my purse on mute)--they were very concerned.  Evan then called me at work.  In "my" world, I'm okay; however, to several people it seemed I was dead.

This does give me a weird chance to reflect, on life...and I do get to say:
'Early reports of my death are greatly exaggerated!' 

(Okay, it is funny to say that, but also it was like a sucker-punch to hear Evan say they thought I might be gone.)  However, I am NOT, I am here!

and--   I gotta lotta livin' to do. 

(is there a song there somewhere?!! Calling Bobby Rydell)