Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Back in the saddle

I can't believe it's been so long since I have been involved with "me"-we've had a tough winter in Maryland and the hubs has had a few health "issues" and I have ignored my sewing machine.  I have not ignored my crochet hooks or knitting needles, but I've definitely missed my sewing machine.

The girls are fine.  The Blondie is doing well, recently presented both a poster session and a talk at a professional conference.  She is definitely a "woman of science" and makes me so proud.  The Redhead has found her niche (for now) in teaching.  She's been in China teaching English to college students.  She's had some incredible experiences, and it warms my heart as a former teacher.  She's doing some excellent writing on her own and again, I'm proud.

I'm still working on Ashwathi and Arun's wedding quilt.  I am hoping I can finish it by their first anniversary!  It's a difficult pattern for me, but it involves a star, and her mother told me her name means "star" so I feel like destiny had a lot to do with this.

I also have a lot of fabric to sew for CoCo, the wonder greyhound.  I'm hoping to make her a few lightweight jackets and have some heavier weight ready for next winter. Go figure, I end up with a greyhound who is not docile, nor does she like to be inside in winter.

I also bought about 12 yards of Dr. Who fabrics for a variety of projects, fleece and cotton.  Spring dresses and fall jackets come to mind first.

The apronista is doing a sew along in gingham, one of my favorite fabrics!  So, the juices are getting ready to flow!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Once upon a time I thought I could keep up with my blog.  That sure was silly, wasn't it?

It served a good purpose in the beginning, and I really felt the warmth of the people who stopped by to read and comment.  Then life just closed in on me: health ups and downs (mine and Lou's), work, organizing the wedding, living through the wedding.

Many people view the fall season as a "shutting down" time when we pull into ourselves and our homes in preparation for the winter to come.  Being Jewish, and celebrating the new year in the fall, has always given me a sense of renewal and expectation of things to come.  I am hoping that I can extend that sense to my blog.

I have gotten some of my sewing set up in the downstairs and welcomed it back into use by making Sarah a new Halloween costume.  I think she is tired of being Madeleine or Minnie Mouse..... This year, she will be Lt. Uhura from the original Star Trek series.  The pattern was ordered online, and after two days of frustration with the arm fitting, I finally just changed it to a set-in sleeve rather than the "cut in one" the pattern called for.  It looked and fit a lot better, and then I saw that in the original series the Lt.'s dress is a set-in sleeve!  Of course, my procrastination gene was in full force, so though Sarah was home for six weeks, I didn't finish it until the night before she left.  Of course, I have no pictures of it, either.  She will take some and send them.  I did order the official insignia and sleeve braiding, and sent along a mini-phaser as I think someone might try and "borrow permanently" the full size phaser I got her for Chanukah last year.

So, both my children enjoy science fiction among their many interests.

To update, the sewing project on the table right now is a wedding present quilt that still needs some stars added.  At least the wedding was only last July, so I am not that far behind on it. :)  There will be some crocheting in the very near future as two babies arrive in November and one in January.  Then I will want to think about holiday crafting.  It's a good thing I only work part time....

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Back in the Saddle, so to speak

Yesterday the grackles arrived to feed at the deck rail.  This is a true sign that spring is on it's way.  Another sign is that I finally ordered an electric shovel to match my snow blower, and that is a definite sign that no more snow will fall.  But, I will be ready for next year!

I have given up on getting my downstairs sewing area set up in the near future and have spread myself throughout the dining room.  Of course, this means my husband, the saint, will be eating and watering his plants around my two or three or more projects going on at the moment.

Tomorrow I will start on finishing up the blocks from the last Bee Balm round.  I know many of the participants have finished their quilts, but I'm hoping my blocks to them can be used as pillows, mug rugs or something.  I never realized so much time would be devoted to dealing with the wedding long distance and I really fell off the wagon on this round.  But, the women involved are wonderful, and I love reading their blogs and catching up with my online friends.

As I work on their blocks, I will continue the wedding present quilt for Ash.  My friend at work's daughter is marrying on July 5th, and though in the Indian culture one does not give gifts to the bridal couple, in the Jewish culture we do.  As we live in the melting pot of America, we each will have to bend a little to respect each other's traditions.  I will not embarrass Ash by giving her the quilt in front of a lot of people, and hopefully she will understand that it is something I "have" to do.

I'm also hoping to start on the spring challenge from 15 minutes play.  I need to get into play-after nearly a year without a hospitalization, Louis ended up in GW Hospital overnight.  He's fine, we're dealing, and I'm done stress eating, I hope.....

Another hope I have for this spring is to regularly write on my blog.  I'm not that interesting per say, but at least my kids will know what I'm thinking about!

Sunday, November 3, 2013


I have been away from the computer for a long time.  Mostly, it is because my laptop is not functioning properly and I had to find one of the others in the house I could use.  We have a lot of laptops around, mostly kept for parts-or so the kids say-but I think they just can't bear to give any of their old computers away.

I have been away for some very good reasons, and hopefully my Bee Balm quilting friends will understand that beginning this week I will start to catch up on blocks that they are patiently waiting for.  The major reason I have been away was Lillian's wedding.  Planning a wedding is a major job in general, when the bride-to-be is more than two thousand miles away and wants to have a hand in the decisions, it becomes fairly complicated.  Add in the reason she is more than two thousand miles away-graduate school-and we really complicate things!

Well, first I can say that the Dr. Who themed wedding was wonderful!  I can't show you any pictures because I was told my camera was crummy and I was not allowed to take any pictures with it.  The kids have all been sharing everything on Facebook, but I don't do Facebook so I don't get to see much.  There were many wonderful and heartwarming things/moments during the day:  Lillian's tiara had belonged to her great aunt, her bouquet included brooches that represented friends and family who could not be there, she looked beautiful in the dress that was an exact copy of the dress I wore which originally was made for my aunt in 1941, my cousin brought the "the Buick" for the bridal car-a 1940 sedan bought new by my grandmother and never out of our family, Jack's face as he watched her walk down the aisle, the rabbi quoting Monty Python-the list goes on. The reception was fantastic-food was good, people had a lot of fun and played with the coloring books and photo booth.  The only minus was that someone took the sonic screwdriver pen from the guestbook table.....but they probably needed it more than I do......but it still  pisses me off.

And the last two notes of worth:  Lillian successfully defended her thesis on October 30th making her the latest Dr. Ostrach and Sarah has signed another contract to finish the teaching year in Beijing.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


George reverted to his adolescence overnight and woke me up at 3AM to let him out; not surprising, little bladder, little staying power.  He then decided that 6:30 (our usual get up time) was fine for a Sunday, too.  So, we went out for a nice quiet neighborhood walk at 6:30, and I went back to bed.  I slept in until about 10:30 and came out to the living room to hear Lou talking with Sarah as she got ready for bed-Beijing is 12 hours ahead of us so it's pretty easy for me to keep track of the time there.

Lou's eye was swollen-it turns out there was a "suspect" weed in what we cleared yesterday, and he has poison ivy on his arm and eyelid.  I immediately started itching in sympathy, and he video chatted with Sarah about it.  At one point he gently rubbed his eyelid and Sarah looked at him, gloved hand and all (it's still cold enough for his Reynaud's) , and said, "Papa, what are you doing?  Are you rubbing G-d knows what crap from your computer keyboard into your eye?  You know, you have got to start asking, Is that something you would let your daughter do?"  then she did about another three or four minutes on it..... she was on a roll, so to speak.

Today it's a bit cooler outside and I hope to get the marigolds in and the mulch spread, then turn to in-house jobs.  Have a wonderful day, no matter what weather!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May wishes

May has arrived in Bethesda with spring flowers and lots of pollen!  Every day Miss Lucy's windshield is covered in a delicate yellow haze that needs to be removed to drive safely.  Today Lou and I spent a lovely hour or so out in the sunshine pulling weeds and grass out of the flowerbed along the brick wall of the driveway.  Then we put Miss Lucy's top down and took a drive to the local Home Depot and bought some marigolds to put in the newly cleaned spots.  Sarah's tulips have finished blooming, as have the daffodils and the narcissus.  The azaleas are popping, and soon the wildflowers that have no name will raise their pink faces to the sun.

I have had a rough few weeks with Lou's medical issues, but he is on the mend and hopefully my days off will become "mine" again.  I am currently part of an online quilting bee again with participants from all over the globe.  I have also entered a scrap swap and I received my bag of scraps from my partner in Hawaii-and hopefully she's received her package by now and has begun to play.  I play tomorrow!

George, our rescue yorkie, is slowly coming around.  I took him to obedience classes at our local pet shop, and he's about 80% better at a lot of things.  He still has a few issues with bicycle wheels, strange dogs, and people leaving-anywhere-our house, their house, the street, etc.  Hopefully, as he gets a little older he will get a little better.

Plans go well with the wedding for October, it decidedly has a Dr. Who theme.  Don't know Dr. Who? Google him, and know that "you never forget your first doctor"-number 10's our favorite.  You may remember pictures of Lillian's clockwork droid Halloween costume, look up the episode "The Girl in the Fireplace".

Sarah is deciding whether to sign another contract to teach another semester in China.  It's been an incredible experience so far, but she does miss home-or most likely, her father's cooking!

Well, George is whining for an outing, so out we will go.  It feels good to be back!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March? Already 10 days in?

I seem to be reduced to a once a month posting of late.  I'm not sure what I'm doing that's keeping me so busy, but I need to blog more often or I'll forget to record things!

George has had two obedience classes and seems to be doing pretty well!  He definitely has "sit" down, he's about 50% on "focus-look at me", about 30% on "leave it!", 10% on "come" and 0 at "drop it".  His breed is not really known for following directions, yorkies are more of a "I'm the boss" protective breed.  He's very smart and very good-and he knows exactly what the bark collar means and doesn't make a peep when it's around his neck.

It's all darling daughter number 2's fault that I bought new jeans and shoes.  I had a return of hers to make at Target and got sidetracked by a big "sale" sign.  I'd been wanting to try on skinny jeans and see what I looked like in them-I'm not tall enough to automatically carry them off, and I'm not short enough to look "cute".  But, the Levi's style I tried on looked pretty good, I thought.  Of course, seeing all the posters of models wearing skinny jeans with wedges and heels meant I had to get shoes for the pants, so I thought I'd look there before going off to DSW where serious damage can be done at any given visit.  And, lo, to my surprise (and I bet you thought I was going to type "lo, these hundred years"-thank you, Old King Cole) there was the cutest pair of taupe pumps in my size and on sale!  Of course, they are 5 and a half inch heels, but what's a little height between friends?  So, I bought them and since I worked on Friday and it's casual day, I wore my new pants and shoes.  And wow-were there a lot of people I could look at eye-to-eye! Have I complained recently about being vertically challenged?  I loved the platforms of the '60s and early '70s because I could be tall.  Well, a lot of people seemed to be surprised that I could pull together "that look"-but what do they know?  WE know that inside every 60+ year old woman is the 25+ year old hottie that she once was, and that sometimes we can flaunt it all over again......

The floor goes well.  We have finished the first part of the base board work, and after a lovely trip to Home Depot with the top down on Miss Lucy, we have stained the quarter round that goes along the flooring in front of the base boards.  We will start attaching it during the week. I do have to say, though, I'm a little surprised at how uneven ALL the walls are and that we did some pretty creative nailing to make it work.

I'll try and post some pictures next week.