Monday, August 6, 2018

Shifting jobs, shifting mindset

I haven't done much quilting in the past 3+ years because I've been not only working, but attending classes to become a teacher. I'm in my last term and this term I'm going to do student teaching. I have good experience in the classroom, but this is official student teaching, or as my university calls it, Demonstration Teaching. Part of the job is playing the part, and part of the job is looking the part. And...I have learned that it is not considered professional to carry your stuff in a backpack. I needed a professional looking bag, so that meant 1) defining what a professional looking bag was, and 2) finding said bag. For my needs, it also had to bring me joy, and be found easily, to grab and go. I think this one meets all my needs.
Even though I love the looks of it, I'm sure going to miss my purple backpack.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

We did a photo shoot

***Maybe sometimes you don't hear from me is because I write a blog and then just forget it in draft mode forever.  This was almost posted ... 2 or 3 years ago.  I had to choose to delete it or just post it late.  Yep, late it is. Here ya' go.

studio 048

Trying to get a good photo of 5 grandchildren is most interesting, but worth it. I sent this photo out with my Christmas cards. It's a great photo of the kids.

Here is the best one of Ben. He is getting tired of "stand here", "look this way", "no poking anyone". He was ready to be the star of the shot. :o)

Wren is practicing being a model. She loves the way her hair swirls. :o)
She is ALWAYS ready to be the star of the photo shoot, or just life, in general. :o)

2014 Christmas letter

Shoot!  Is it THAT time of year again?  Hey Everybody--
I’m writing this a little earlier than usual because I want to make sure to get it to you in plenty of time for you to enjoy it during the holidays.  The last couple of years were so hectic I thought If I planned ahead, you might get this letter, oh, I don’t, BEFORE Christmas. :-)
 So, as it’s near the end of the year, I take stock of what’s happened in 2014. As I look back, I think it’s been a good year. New milestones, new adventures and just changes, in general. We spent a year in Astoria, Oregon, we survived another tax audit and we moved back to the valley. DH got a transfer, so we don’t have to do the long-distance relationship again. Yay! That would bite! I got admitted to Western Oregon University, so we moved to Monmouth. I planned on doing the whole on-campus college experience thing, but after my advising meeting, I decided that there is no way that I want to basically start over and go another 4 years. So--I’m NOT going to WOU (even though we live right here.) Maybe I’ll stick with the idea of taking a class here and there like I have been doing, but we are going to focus on getting out of debt.  Yeah, that’s a wonderful plan.  Like, who wants to spend $ on interest payments anyways?!  It’s been wonderful having such a long time off of work, but I think I’m going to look for work. Maybe part-time work and college. Then, the paychecks can go straight into the debt.  Being debt-free is possible, isn’t it?  I mean, I’ve heard of it happening, at least once.  I think it was my sister’s friend’s cousin’s next-door-neighbor that actually got out of debt, so it CAN happen, right? Right?
 Family up-date: DS #2 got his B.A. this year.  Yay!  He’s moving up in his job and seems pretty excited about it.  His life is filled with family and some fabulous friends.  DD is enjoying raising kids and doing art stuff along with honing her homesteading skills. Between work and studying, DS #1's second year of nursing school is hogging up every. single. second.  He’s making some great memories and lifelong friends.
 The grandkids are growing and learning and just loving life.  3 DGDs are voracious readers (Yes!), DGD #1 is still way into dogs and 8-year-old DGS is quite the awesome chef.  We made gnocchi the other day, he and I, and I was thoroughly impressed at how adept he was with a knife.  You don’t know how much fun I have in telling you, on Christmas day those wonderful, obnoxious, beautiful, curious, boundry-pushing, hilarious grandkids will be 10, 9, 8, 7 & 6. Oh, and did I mention brilliant and stubborn?  Yeah, maybe they take after their Nana, sometimes.  I DO love their mad reading skills, compassion, and their sense of humor.
 This spring we went on vacation with friends to Mexico and Belize and it was an amazing experience. We hung out & relaxed, we swam in a cenote, we shopped and visited and dined. If you’re ever in the Yucatan area of Mexico or in Belize, try the mango juice or the watermelon juice.  They are to-die-for delicious!  We climbed Mayan pyramids, met wild iguanas, up close and personal, thoroughly enjoyed the zoo in Belize and … wait for it…(are you ready?)...snorkled with a whale shark.  It was SO cool!  Unbelievably cool!  Like, you can’t even imagine how cool it was to just jump off the boat and land only about 12 feet from his (her?) face.  I’m over 5 feet tall, but this whale shark’s MOUTH  was like 5 feet wide and the shark itself was about 20 feet long. OMG!  Can you say HUGE?! Yeah, and it was swimming with ME.  OK, me and DH and my friend and about 30 other people, but still, when you’re swimming with a whale shark, everyone else kinda’ pales in comparison.  Yep, I did it! but I didn’t buy the t-shirt.  I bought the towels instead.  I know, it’s a little tourist-y, but we now have 2 whale shark towels from Gladden Spit, Belize.
The weather was perfect for diving, the people were so friendly and the reef was almost too beautiful for words. Obviously, I have to say “almost” because I seem to be using plenty of words right now.  The water was gorgeous shades of blues and turquoise, the plants came in a variety of colors, but the fish … they were just, Wow!  Brilliant jewel tones.  The most memorable to me was a blue Queen angel.  It was the brightest blue and about a foot long.  It stayed within 2 feet of me for almost 5 minutes.  I think it was checking me out as much as I was checking him out.  Simply beautiful.  If we move there some day, you’ll know why.
 When I write these letters, it feels a little fakey. Life isn’t all highlights and fun times, but that’s the fun parts to share.  You don’t really want to know how many times I washed dirty dishes, went grocery shopping or had to plunge the toilet.  You might not even want to know that I had to recover from surgery--but it was for a very good cause.  I got lasik surgery on both eyes.  I had a HUGE correction, so I’m still healing, but you don’t know how good it feels not to be so dependent on glasses.  Oh, I still need readers, but I don’t get a headache if I don’t have my glasses on for 5 minutes.  Life is good.  And sometimes, even the yucky parts work out for good.
 Life has its up and downs, but just know that it’s the people in my life, our lives, that are definitely one of the “Ups”.  Thanks for being an UP.

Merry Christmas ♥ 2014

Saturday, October 22, 2011

just a peek...

It's been forever, so I decided to just bite the bullet and WRITE.
Life is good. Pretty much the same ole', same ole' stuff, but then less drama is good.
I haven't been getting any quilting, because I've been focusing on de-packratting the house. I watched one too many shows of "Hoarders" and decided that we were NOT hoarders, even though it was starting to almost look like it. :-) Got rid of a bunch of stuff and found a bunch more cool stuff. Unearthed a bolt of pale pink satin and started making dresses and a vest for all the grandkids. Unfortunately, Wren grew too much between the start of the project and now, so I'll have to make a different dress for her. 5 dresses and a vest, just for fun. It will be a great photo op when I'm all done. I'll do my best to share photos.
Both grandkids living here are in school now. Wren is in first grade and Ben is in kindergarten. My own kids did well in school, too. Paddy got her B.S. in Art and Jack's still working toward his B.A. and trying to get into nursing school. And me? I'm just plugging along, one class at a time. This term I'm taking a Geology class. It's all about earthquakes and volcanoes. Fun! I'm already over halfway through reading the textbook.

We (meaning my adults kids) are having a Halloween party next weekend, so that means that we need to get some serious cleaning done. Guess it's time to get off the computer and do it!
Hugs to all of my faithful readers.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Exploring My Town

Rick and I had the day off together, so we spent the day taking pictures. All of these photos were taken within 3 miles of our house. I love Oregon! :o) First, this picture above is the little tree that is right by my car.

Here are some of the leaves. We've already had to rake 3 times and there's still another big huge pile that need raked again. This time of year, I am not happy about having 1/3 of an acre.

Wren and Ben were so excited to show us the rainbow. "Look! Look! You've got to use your camera on THIS!"

The string quilt is finally all the way quilted and bound. See, all my little scraps that I save do eventually get used. :o)

Some of the geese at the city park near our house. We are in a migratory flight path and there are thousands of geese here. They are pretty to look at, but they absolutely decimate the farmer'sfields and they aren't doing the new soccer field a whole lot of good. I hope they keep flying south...more south than this.

This is the path on the way to the pond. I love to walk through the fall leaves, especially if I know I don't have to be the one raking them up. And isn't the moss pretty?

Right in the middle of the photo is a Great Blue Heron. I love watching them, especially when they take off into the air. This one just stood there.

2 photographers enjoying the day. (That's Rick, with the visible camera, and of course, me.)

What a picturesque area.

This is part of the sidewalk downtown. I reminds me of a quilt.

I love this sculpture of a grasshopper...or maybe it's a cricket. I know it's made of metal and is about 6-8 feet long. It's mounted outside the second story of Whitlocks Sewing Center.

Here is another angle.

We had lunch here at Casey's, known for hot dogs. Rick had a hamburger and I had a Coney dog. I've read about them and finally got to try one. I forgot to take a picture of the food.

Here's one of the signs in the restaurant. Cute!

I did remember to take a picture of the drinks. Yum!

The outside of Greenbaum's Quilted Forest (my favorite quilt shop) has a scissor-shaped bike rack. I think the different bike racks makes the downtown area just that much more interesting.

Just one of the many quilts hanging in the shop. (Hey Abby, I thought of you when I saw this.)

I took many pictures of architectural details. I thought the texture was interesting, but I only included these 2 pictures. Above, nails imbedded into a brick wall, and below, many layers of paint and some bolts. I'm not sure, but the photo might be sideways.

And lastly, a beautiful eye-catching little flower. It looked a little out of place so late in the season, but I sure enjoyed the bright little splash of color.

Thanks for exploring my town with me. :o)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I got bored with Blogging, I think

If anybody's interested, I'll let you know what I've been doing. Once I'm caught up, maybe it will be easier to STAY caught up. Yes?
September, the new school year started up. The school year is already 1/4 done. This summer, I only had a total of 3 weeks off because I worked at summer school. That was nice. The extra money came in handy for us to replace our deck. Now we have a beautiful and strong deck made of TimberTech decking. It should last quite awhile. I love sitting outside on the deck, under our big old maple tree.
September and October I took dance lessons to be able to participate in Thrill the World. It was an incredible exercise program, while it lasted.
Now, my goal is to make a baby quilt for one of the teachers at work, and one for one of my granddaughters and then make some American Girl clothes for granddaughter Wren. Oh, and some pajamas for all the grandkids.
I also signed up for Weight Watchers. I do need to actually follow the plan, but I guess I'm taking baby steps. I'm ready to be healthier.
All the leaves are falling off of my trees. I love walking through the dry leaves. Not so much when they are soggy, but they are still beautiful. Since I can't upload photos today, I'll just have to leave the leaves to your imagination. :o)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

close-up of the vintage jeans quilt

My sister brought me a quilt top that she got at a garage sale and asked me to turn it into a quilt. It is now finished. Many people wanted to know what the little pictures were, so I took close-ups of the fabric swatches used. For all of you that were interested, here you go...