Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Whine and no wine...

It's the little things you find missing after a move that gets you....We have a small wine collection and tonight I just wanted a glass of something good...not happening....we have everything EXCEPT the wine cork. And since I didn't want the kids to think Mom had flipped her cork, I abstained from chunking out the cork with a knife...it was tempting, but add to that the thought of swallowing minuscule chunks of cork....I guess I will be buying a wine cork tomorrow. Darn it!
The funny thing is the bottle I decided to open is from 2001. I used to not understand how someone could store a bottle for years. Now I know. I tend to like wine on the sweet side with the exception of some Auslese. I adore Rieslings....There is a really good winery here in Kansas, Smoky Hill Winery, that we love. If you get to Wichita, stop by their store Under the Cork in New Market Square. They have a tasting bar so you can find the one that's right for you. We had a group tasting there once for our dinner group and it was interesting to see who like which wines. I actually like a chardonal they had--it was dry, but good. I was surprised. I bought a bottle. One day cute man and I are going to have a tasting party at our home --- once we get all the furniture bought and organized. It helps to have places for everyone to sit.

Cool Blog Alert

Yep-It is 8:30 and yes, I should be dressed and heading out the door...but look! I found a really cool blog http://onceuponafeast.blogspot.com/ , so I have been productive.....late, but productive on some level...check it out-it is a great foodie site, and the recipes sound absolutely incredible...I'm thinking I may have to add some of these to my table! Inspiration (and tardiness) abound in my household......

Monday, July 30, 2007

Happy Monday!

Picture from Beaver Lake, Arkansas scuba trip last weekend......it is soooo pretty there! The picture is of the cabin the group stayed in--sorry it was from such a distance. The funny thing is it looks like a gentle incline from the dock to the house--it SOOOOOO was not! (I write extended words like that to freak out my spellcheck and any English teachers that might read this.) It was a very sharp incline that made you have to sit down and catch your breathe after you scaled it. If you trip going down, you're toast! But it was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO pretty there....

Isn't it weird how as you get older it seems like the activities from the weekend take a week to get over? Staci and I decided to go to Newton, Kansas to peruse their downtown. It was a fun day of looking and shopping. And to top it off we went to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Wichita, El Rodeo. It was a lot of walking and I am still tired! I'm getting old....

Oldest is still completely happy in Tipton, Iowa. That makes me feel better, it is still hard to have him so far away, but I guess they leave the nest sometime. I am hoping he decides to start school up there once he has been there long enough to get residency for in state tuition. Dad and I will pay for in-state tuition...I don't think he realizes how cold it gets up there though! I had better get started on the hats, scarves and mittens. Luckily I have quite a bit of yarn in my stash....

Thursday, July 26, 2007

21 years ago....

.....I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Yep, I am now the proud parent of a 21 year old...it doesn't seem like that long ago. Things I am thankful for:

1. We got away from his father, who has serious problems that didn't become evident until late.... Luckily we haven't heard from him since court in 1999. That was when everything came to a head and we found out that Mike and his wife Kellie had endangered my son. The stepmother was suspected of Munchhausen's syndrome and Munchhausen's by proxy--that's when you make outrageous claims about a child being ill in order to get attention. Guess who the child was? It was a very hard period for our family but I am ever so thankful for my husband, who was my center of gravity as all the craziness was exposed--all of which I had no idea.

2.I am also thankful for the mediator who then became our case manager -- she recognized and saw through his lies and drew a line legally. We were so completely blessed --it seemed like God put people in our path to protect and advocate for our family. We are forever thankful. As a result, oldest child has grown into a man that I am extremely proud to call mine...

3. I am extremely thankful for the support system I found when Mike bailed and I thought I couldn't be a single parent.

I recognize the blessing of my son and the journey...both his and mine. He has grown into a fine man and has retained the manners and compassion he had all throughout childhood. He is a great kid and I am proud!

Life has it's twists and turns, but hang in there! Oh, and my son's eyes really don't glow red...that's the dreaded photo eye...oldest would think it was cool, so I kept it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Pictures from the weekend

Divers getting ready to go off the dock. This was actually taken from our bedroom window while I hung out and worked on my applique technique. I took a hand applique class Thursday, so this weekend at the lake gave me the perfect excuse to practice. Since everyone but me was out diving, I had complete quiet...it was heaven!!! I wandered down to the shore a couple times and was amazed at how clear the water is at Beaver Lake (Arkansas). I went out on the dive boat with a group Sunday to just hang out on the water. I really think I could get used to living lakeside!
Cute man playing Loch Ness Monster.....
Absorbing knowledge from the instructor and water from the lake.....
View from the dock---it was sooooooo pretty! I can't wait to go back again!
The last guy that favored these hand signs had a little trouble with WATER too....For those of you young puppies, do a Google search for Nixon or Watergate...see you get a history lesson with this post!
Since he wasn't diving deep this time, cute man didn't put on his wetsuit. Needless to say, he got a little red this weekend...
We stayed in a cabin owned by the company he took dive lessons from (Pro Ski) http://www.proskiandscuba.com/ . They have trips down every weekend. Since the Cessna diving club organized this, there were a lot of Cessna people there and a couple others that weren't. It was really fun! I am looking forward to going again. Next time I am considering renting a small car and following the van. This will give me the opportunity to run into Eureka Springs while the rest of them dive to their hearts content.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Gittin' outta Dodge....

A Blurry Buddy picture, but the subject matter is so darn cute, I'm hoping it makes up for the crappy camera issue...

And for those of you English majors out there, I guess I pretty much ruined your day with two words of grammatical white trash Ebonics in the title.....Heck, I don't even think I spelled Ebonics right originally, but close is good enough right? And thank the Lord for spellcheck...I started to type the entire sentence above in Ebonics, but my brain started to twitch when I got to enuff.....

I thought I'd take time for a quick post while waiting for my mother to arrive. She is going to be supervising cute kids while we are out of town. I have fluffed the pillows and put fresh sheets, comforter and a quilt on the guest bed. Though I can't see it, I am sure the cats are contemplating a way to bust into the room and roll around on the beige comforter, leaving large amounts of dark hair on the beige comforter as they did yesterday....Evil little ones, they are.....
I will be looking forward to next week when we get some more furniture for the house and a frame for the guest bedroom. I think a headboard and foot board will give it more of a "feel". Plus it will help show off the quilts I am planning..ulterior motives abound! I read an article in one of the quilting books I own that states the best way to store quilts is fully laid out on a spare bed. Well, by golly, I just happen to have a spare bed at this time! Ever read the children's book "If You Give a Moose a Muffin"? This is the quilter's version...If you give a quilter a spare bedroom, she will notice it needs a new quilt. So she will ask you to go to the quilt store with her to buy fabric. While she is at the quilt store, she will notice the new threads and have to buy some...When she buys the thread, she will realize she needs fabric to coordinate with the original print....After she buys the fabric, she will see a pattern that would be perfect with the new fabric...You get the idea....I am going to write that book once I figure out if I can get sued for copyright issues...Getting sued would really put a bite in my yarn and fabric stash diet..You know that diet, it's the one where you actually benefit from gaining tons of inches and pounds, and they can be hidden in places nobody will ever see. Until you move. Been there done that!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday, Monday...

I did get a couple more boxes from the garage moved to the house. Notice I did not say they were unpacked, but at least they were moved into the house. Although the garage looks like it is filled to the gills when you open the garage door, I realized that there are a lot, but not an overwhelming amount after I opened the door that leads to the garage from inside the house. It is definitely something that I will be working on when we get back from Arkansas...

I have an applique class Thursday and I am really looking forward to it. Friday my mom comes down and Eric and I leave for Arkansas that evening. Since the applique and my knitting are more portable, I will be taking projects from both. It'll be a good excuse to pull out the needles again. I am seriously considering the Irish hiking scarf. That has cables so it will at least keep my attention. I am always late to knit the cool things. Usually 6 months after the buzz has subsided, I look into it...

On the way to work this morning, I discovered we have a Dunn Bros. Coffee shop http://www.dunnbros.com/aboutus.asp in old Town http://www.360wichita.com/Shopping/areas/OldTownDowntownWichita...I love Dunn Bros! They have them in Lawrence, Kansas. The barista said they opened 4 months ago---that must be one of the best kept secrets! It is right on my way to work...I like the atmosphere of the place. I have been trying to behave and make my coffee in the morning, so I did splurge on a really good travel mug from Dunn Bros. Ok-I admit, I am a label whore...I love logos....especially coffee shop logos. I am going to take my knitting downtown one evening and sit and knit there. It would be awesome....They have a fireplace--I think it is an electric one, but it looked pretty neat. If it turns out to be electric when I check it out again, I am going to get one for our bedroom.

I did dig my watercolors and watercolor paper out of the garage this evening---I am going to work on little paintings until I paint myself out of the fear of committing to a large sheet of white paper....I want to do artists trading cards. I am constantly amazed at what other artists are putting out. I have to learn to silence the art critic in my head. Here is a good website that talks about artist's trading cards: http://www.cedarseed.com/air/atc.html

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I found a really neat thing at this web page http://foxyartstudio.blogspot.com/ --actually the whole blog is interesting, but scrap blogging is not something I've heard of. I may just have to try it....let me know if you try it before me....http://www.scrapblog.com/partners/blogher/..
And I soooo want to go here http://www.fabricschool.com/index.html. But there is this little thing called living in Kansas as opposed to CALIFORNIA....sigh....

Bonus post day!

When Cute Man and the kids were at the air show, they came across this and of course, had to take a picture since there is nothing I have a greater disdain for than SPAM--not coincidentally Cute Man loves Spam. But then he used to eat MREs when in the Army so his taste buds are probably numb...I refuse to handle the stuff..it scares me.So he had to rib me....I pointed out that it definitely looked like the crowd was beating down their door for those free samples of congealed, blended and molded meat by-product.....

However, I did get a really good chocolate cake made from one of my community cookbooks while the boys were gone. Son #2 is not a big chocolate fan, so we compromised and used white frosting. I had canned frosting--which I usually don't use, but I discovered if you add a teaspoon of REAL vanilla to a can of ready made frosting, it tastes homemade...

Here is the recipe for the cake-if the above didn't make you queasy... Instead of the dried coffee crystals and water, I just used a cup of already brewed coffee from this morning since I like my coffee a little on the stout side...It's a good cake!

Black Magic Cake

From the Colden Country Cookbook (date 1982) by the Colden, New York United Methodist Women

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup cocoa

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup strong black coffee (2 teaspoons instant coffee and 1 cup boiling water)

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the first six ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients, beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Batter will be thin. Pour into a greased and floured 9x13 inch pan or two 8 inch pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lazy Saturday for Mom

The boys and Cute Man went to the air show at McConnell air force base today while I stayed home and relaxed. I did get some things accomplished, but mostly I read and caught up on my sleep. It was great! I did get some more boxes unpacked, so it was not all play....The boys came back sunburned and tired (of course they claim they put on the sunscreen I gave them)...

Friday, July 13, 2007

A Little Time and a Credit Card......

is a dangerous thing...

I took one of my comp days off today to get things accomplished that I haven't done since the boys have been at camp this week. They come home this afternoon, and no, I still haven't accomplished much this morning except make a mean pot of coffee...and drink it....But hey, I got online and there was this very seductive email from JoAnne's craft stores spitting out a FREE SHIPPING siren call, so of course I followed it (like the little lemming that I am...). Yes siree--

This morning Sugar, protector of all-intimidator of none-was going nuts barking at the patio door. Coupled with chirps from outside the door, I had to investigate. It seems a baby robin has made it's way to my patio. Since it has feathers, I am assuming it is learning to fly and that mom and dad are nearby. Now I just have to make sure the cats stay inside and to watch the dogs since Cocoa (our hound dog) has been known to catch and eat birds in mid flight. I am really not in the mood to have to wrestle her to get a really cute birdee out of her mouth as I have done before. I would take a picture of the little fellow but I don't want to freak out his parents, who are surely in the trees watching him...It is hard when they leave the nest--this I know....

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lookee who's a come a courtin'

Actually this dapper little fellow is so full of youthful bravado, I think he is more likely telling the line of cats at the window that he would kick their rears if only they weren't too chicken to come outside....at one point he had 5 cats lined up at the window as he pranced around the deck chirping quite loudly. Three of the cats got bored and left--only two remain. Of course Smokey cat has such a short term memory, he probably thought it was a new bird every time he blinked....Speckles was sitting there because it was something new to growl at.
It has been a VERY busy week -- even with the boys gone to camp. We are entering a new contract year so I was getting nervous as to whether I would have a job. I'm not sure why since I have been there over 2 years. I got the news that I actually am going to get 5 more hours and a different job duty. It really sounds great, so I am excited about it! YEAH! I really do love my job, so I am REALLY happy about all the new changes. Especially since they are all positive!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Good Day

It started out as a so so day since I really didn't feel all that great this morning, but made myself go in since I had a lot to do---luckily there is a little flex built into my job (I have an AWESOME workplace) so I just went in an hour late and worked an hour later than normal....When I got there my supervisor told me they are changing the way the project I am working on is structured. I have a new task and a couple more hours a week. I am really excited since it is right up my alley. It was a good day.

The dogs aren't real sure of what to do with themselves while everyone is gone, but they'll adjust. I walk in the door to a symphony of howling dogs...and completely disgusted cats.

I am really craving a roadtrip! I want to run down to Oklahoma and visit friends and family. They have gotten an extreme amount of rain as of late and there is a lot of flooding. Thankfully nobody I know has been flooded out, but put everyone who has flooded in your prayers. We Okies can weather quite a bit, but I think all the rain is starting to get tiring for everyone there...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Happy Tuesday to You and Yours

The twins are at camp-oldest is in Iowa and Mom and Dad are left unattended. A sure recipe for mayhem....Actually we met a friend for sushi at one of our favorite sushi places, Sumo. It is a bit pricey, but good for an every so often treat. DH and I then went to Barnes and Nobles to read for a bit. I had found a really good article on constructing a lunch tote in a magazine at the other Barnes and Noble in town, but unfortunately the one we went to tonight didn't have it...darn, it figures. I guess I'll have to head over to the other one Friday. The twins come home on Friday and I am thinking about taking the day off to get things done before they have to be picked up.

I took my sewing machine into the dealer today to find out why it was vomiting thread on the underside of my quilt top when I free motion stitched...the salesman plugged it in...and it worked perfectly. Much muttering under my breath ensued. Isn't this the equivalent of taking your car to the mechanic for that funny noise that never happens in front of anyone who knows that you aren't crazy...well, at least not crazy to the point that you are being looked after by big men in white coats who don't know you've left the grounds of your home....at any rate, I left it there to at least get cleaned and serviced. although it did seem like I was rewarding it for being a bad child....I never did figure out that negative reinforcement thing in child-rearing.....I will go get my other machine from my friend tomorrow so I can at least some of my tasks done that involve my quilt I am working on.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Since Blogger won't let me post titles in the title bar....I will be improvising from here on out. If anyone out there has had the same experience and knows how to correct it, PLEASE email me with your advice. It will be appreciated!

The twins go to a three day overnight camp in the morning. That means DH and I will have the house to ourselves....Hmmmmm. Actually my biggest plan for the couple days is to get a second quilt started. I have enough in my stash to start one that will require a lot of cutting, but it is strip pieced so it should go fast. I also intend to get out a couple old unfinished knitting projects. It would be nice to be able to send some warm hats and scarves to Brandon and his girlfriend.
Iowas winters are probably quite a bit colder than here. I have already decided these will be made from either acrylic or super wash wool. Brandon forgets that wool needs to be hand washed. Did you know that a 6 foot scarf does not end up measuring 6 foot by the time you wash it in cold with jeans? I am sending my next felted projects to that kid. He can felt asto-turf!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Cute dog picture.

After I shot the other pictures, Sugar decided she was going to navigate the stairs. Just take a look at that tongue sticking out in extreme concentration on the task at hand. I finally unearthed some of my knitting projects in the depths of the garage, so there will be some knitting content FINALLY. This blog started out as knitting focused and seems to have evolved into a little of everything, and less knitting. Sorry to those that are here for profound knitting knowledge! Hopefully I am offering at least a little entertainment to make up for the lack of knitting content.
The new cherry tree--planted by two really hardworking teenagers. Good work guys!

Jeremy on the soon to be replaced back deck of our house. I am looking forward to the eventual new deck! Excuse the mess on the back patio downstairs. It is in a little bit of disarray at the moment...
Sugar Baby, protector of all... intimidator of none..

It has been a pretty enjoyable weekend.

On Saturday the twins,DH and I decided we were going to explore some of the used bookstores in Wichita. I found three books I had been looking for and the boys found some for their summer reading bucket too. I found a really cool church cookbook. I love community and church cookbooks---I collect them like some people collect china and other things...I knew this one was going to be great when I saw a jello salad recipe that contained SOUTHERN COMFORT! The other recipes in the book looked really great too, but that one amused me that it was in a church cookbook. Having grown up in the South, I can attest that any cookbook and church gathering is rated by the quality and quantity of the jello salads---or also known as congealed salads...they are made fun of almost as much as fruitcake, but like fruitcake, I'm here to tell you, if you don't like it, you just haven't had a good one!...

After we went to the bookstores, we went to the Wichita Art Museum http://www.wichitaartmuseum.org/. They are free on Saturdays, so that it a blessing to the family budget. Unfortunately the top floor was closed for remodeling, but the bottom floor had an incredible exhibit of photographs by Eudora Welty and her contemporaries from the 1930's. since I am fascinated with that time period, it was fascinating to me. If you are in Wichita and have a chance to go, take advantage of the opportunity to see some really interesting photos. It was really a good day. We also got to wander through one of the nurseries here in town. The boys decided they wanted a fruit tree of their own. Jeremy wanted a cherry tree, which I bought Friday after work. I bought a dwarf tree that only gets to about 12 feet tall. This will help when it comes time to put nets over the tree to keep the birds from eating and disfiguring the fruit. I figured Mark would want an apple tree, but he is fixated on getting a pear tree. With Jeremy's sour cherry tree, we don't need another cherry tree as a pollinator ( you have to have a sour cherry tree to pollinate a sweet cherry tree though), but all the pear trees will require another type to pollinate. So next Saturday we will be looking for 2 dwarf pear trees...It will be nice to have fruit from our own trees, but we are definitely going to be maxed out on tree space after we get the pear trees.

DH and I went to brunch this afternoon with a friend and then to Barnes and Noble. I love that place. I found a good decorating book that was not only on sale, it has lots of really good ideas and inspiration. Our house is quite a bit larger than we had before and I am not quite sure where to go with the decorating. The book had some ideas I'm going to try--a lot of this I can make myself with fabric and a little sewing...

Oldest sounds like he is enjoying Iowa. It is still hard to have him so far away, but I guess they have to leave the nest sometime. I do think the reality of how much things cost has started to sink in though. We are sending a care package this coming weekend. We will be going to Iowa for a visit before the summer ends, so I have to get cranking on the quilt I am going to make for them.

The twins head off to a three day camp sponsored by the Sedgwick County Sheriff's department this week. The boys are really looking forward to it. There is supposed to be a SWAT simulation, so you know they are really excited. Jeremy is into anything law enforcement. He always has been.
For some odd reason I am unable to post titles to my entry today...it is so hard to tell...I think the gremlins got loose at AT&T again. To be truthful, from what we have seen from this DSL that we have gotten from AT&T, I do think AOL dial up is more user friendly. I can say that I would not recommend AT&T DSL to my friends....and don't even get me started on the fiasco I had to go through with AT&T to get our phone transferred to our new house....I still can't believe they screwed up so badly after a full week of daily communication with them.....

Thursday, July 05, 2007

And a Happy Wednesday to You!

Oldest son got to Iowa and has called a couple times to tell me the town he is in is really pretty. We will be going to visit sometime in August before the twins start school so we can explore where he is living and bring him a car. His had to be left here since it needs to just be traded for something better on gas and more reliable.

Our 4th was relatively quiet compared to what is usually is. We usually have a really big get together but this year we were so busy with the move and getting settled that we decided to hang out quietly and just let the kids shoot off some fireworks. It rained quite a bit so we shot in between the downpours.

I did get strips for a queen sized quilt pieced this weekend, so all was not lost. I am having to search for my iron in the midst of all the boxes in the garage, so I am at a standstill until I get the seams pressed... I think I have just about decided that I am definitely going to send this one out to be machine quilted by a long arm machine---I am quilting a lap sized quilt right now and can't say I particularly like the process. I may just need more practice or to have my machine at a different height...I'll play with machine quilting on some smaller quilts. The queen sized quilt I am working on was a really easy quilt made up of charm squares. I picked up fabric for a border today after I got off work. One of my favorite quilt shops (Grandma's Calico Closet) here in Wichita has the best place for 1930's reproduction prints.....Of course, I have to get a new fat quarter of one of the reproduction prints each time I go in...

There is a marathon run of my favorite show "Dead Like Me"... it had been running all day, so I missed quite a bit. I love this show and it is no longer on air...I am going to have to find all the episodes on DVD. The thing I love the most about this show is that at the end there is usually an observation that usually makes you think about life and its meaning...I guess in the end we are all looking for meaning.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

SLOWWWWW internet

Our Internet is running so slow today that I could probably hand write the post and deliver it in person to all of you before this one hits the air! Hubby says it is probably because it is a holiday and everyone is online....darn it!

It has been a pretty hectic week-I have tomorrow off and we will probably hang out and shoot firecrackers. The twins have pretty much spent most of the summer at home watching TV, which is making me feel a little guilty. They do have a three day camp in the middle of the month, but I am going to have to find some weekend excursions close to home.

I am still working on the "first quilt" and should finish it sometime next week. Then I can put on the binding and it'll be ready to wash, dry and be put into service. I have already started my next quilt. It is really a very easy quilt made from 2 series of charm packs (4" squares). I love them! The original charm pack was one that I won at a guild meeting. Since I had the one pack, I purchased 3 more charm packs of the same patterns and then mixed it with another charm pack series. Although I am usually not a pink fan, the predominant color in the charm packs is pink, so that is what I am working with...It is coming together pretty easily. I should finish this one quickly since it is made of simple squares. I am definitely sending this out to be long arm quilted. It should be queen sized or larger when it is done and I don't want to wrestle with something that large until I have more experience machine quilting.

Does anyone have any plans for the summer. Send me a post and let me know what adventures you have lined up.