Wednesday, August 28, 2013

a fair morning

Even though we knew it would be a hot one, we decided to take a chance and go to the State Fair anyway.  We got there early, about 8:15, and by noon we were ready to head for home.  Plenty of time to hit the high points and get our favorite foods.  The silver lining of attending during a heat spell is that any calories consumed simply melt away!  Ian was a good sport and was fascinated by all of the activity.
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Friday, August 23, 2013

assorted thoughts

I finally finished the bind-off for a scarf that I have been working on for quite some time, but a project that didn't need to be rushed since it was for myself and it's the dog days of summer here--80 degrees and plenty o' humidity!  There is a link in the title below the picture that will take you to the source for the directions.  This is not my first Mini Mania, I have shared it before.  And I have shared it with several people that I know, all of them working on their own version now.

Another "Mini Mania" scarf done!

We have had a few babysitting gigs lately, much to our delight!  Since I haven't shared any recent pictures of our little guy, here you go--

This was towards the tail end of one of our many walks, but this time he declined the stroller and strutted his stuff.  Got a little tired, but slept really well!  I can carry him for a bit, but his is packing on the pounds.  And Bob can't even lift a gallon of milk yet, so he has no choice.

I have carved out a some time for a little indulgence in watching this series--
And I can say that I have enjoyed this bit of historical fiction, and look forward to the next season!

I have been learning some more things about the embroidery attachment for my sewing machine--Bernina 730-- and have accomplished a finished project!

This is a pattern and embroidery design from Claudia's Creations.  I felt quite a sense of accomplishment with this, I have a bit of trepidation when it comes to this new venture in computerization.  New to me, that is!  But it really went off without a hitch, once I got it going!  So there will be more ahead, I am sure!  The design CD and instructions are available at Bear Patch.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

not a lot to report

I don't have much to tell about lately it seems.  Just keeping up with the day-to-day stuff fills up my time.  Bob's surgical recovery is coming along nicely, much less pain and now he is back to work for half days, which is great!  There are still a lot of things that he is restricted from doing, but he is finding ways to pitch in and help with a lot of stuff.  Last night I had to purchase water softener salt, and carried those awful heavy bags to the basement for maybe the first time ever!  No need to lift weights when we have the joy of softener salt to deal with!  I have been working on pulling a lot of weeds from flower beds, they seem to be very healthy.  The weeds, that is!  I have been transplanting some things and moving some hostas and perennials to more suitable spaces.  But that doesn't make for very interesting pictures!

Not a whole lot of sewing or quilting or knitting going on, either.  But I do have one thing to share--

A handy dandy little tote bag, a real nice size that is bigger than a book bag but smaller than a grocery bag.  This is the picture from the pattern, Merry Berry Tote by Cut Loose Press--
This one was made from vinyl but I used decorator weight fabric.  There will probably be a vinyl one coming soon!

I did read another book, an actual paper and ink book for a change.  It is a story about an 18 year old golfer who took a year to travel with the goal of playing golf in every state (except Hawaii and Alaska).

Although I admit I did skim over some of the golfy parts about bunkers and course layout and clubs, etc., I did enjoy his account of traveling alone, sleeping in his car, and living on the cheap.  I don't know whether to credit him or his editor, but it was well-written for an 18-year-old.

I will try to put together some more pictures to share, maybe even pulled weeds and sandburs!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

summer reading

Even though it's hard find much time to read, I try to keep a good book on hand most of the time.  And now, with the options available through my library and Kindle and recorded books, there is no excuse to not have a story to get caught up in.  Here are my most recent reads:

Driftless came to my attention because I was looking for a book title Jewelweed by the same author.  That title was not available at that time, but this looked intriguing and I'm glad I chose it.  It is a novel about the people in and around a small community in southwest Wisconsin.  A little intrigue, a little scandal, a little love story, and a whole lot of local flavor.  

Gone Girl was a hard one to get my hands on, I was on the waiting list for the Kindle edition for weeks.  It is a story of the disappearance of a woman.  And a tangled web of interwoven lives.  It left me wondering if the wait was worth it.

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton is a big departure from his typical work.  This is historical fiction about seafaring and swashbuckling at their best.  The usual damsel in distress was involved, but not a key element of the story so I liked that.  I would rather read about the hunt for treasures and the heroics of a bunch of misfits!

Currently, I am listening to a new novel, A Wanted Man, about Jack Reacher, the hero of a series of books by Lee Child.  I'm right in the middle, so still a bit to go to know what's going to happen, but Jack is up to his old tricks.  This character is the basis for a recent movie starring Tom Cruise.  The Jack Reacher of the books is always described as a real big, forbidding kind of guy.  Kind of the opposite of Tom Cruise!

Monday, August 5, 2013

a birthday blog

I haven't really dropped out of sight, just away from this page for a few days.  I have been posting daily on the Bear Patch blog with pictures and information about the Quilt MN shop hop.  That has taken my attention away from "the frayed edge" for just a bit.  Also, finishing up 3 patterns with lots of directions, diagrams, getting pictures and printing everything.  And right in the middle of that, I had a chance to pause and celebrate 60 years!  No earth-shaking reflections, other than realizing I've switched to a new category (60+) on forms that get filled out!  Actually, I'm pretty sure this will be the best decade yet, and I'm happy to be here!

Brita, Ben, Ian, Bob and I went to a new restaurant, Spoonriver, in Minneapolis.  It is right by the Guthrie Theater and the Mississippi River, and I hadn't been down in that area since it became respectable!  There is a great park area along the river, and we walked there aways.  It was a beautiful summer afternoon with fluffy clouds.

Below is a picture of an iconic local sight, the stone arch bridge.  It is open to pedestrian and bike traffic, and we walked across and back.  It's interesting to see the lock and dam structures there.

Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis

Looking in the other direction, we had a view of the new 35W bridge.  Sorta new, anyway.  This is the location of the bridge that collapsed on August 1, 2007.  A tragic event, and not far removed from thought.  Each time I drive across that bridge I am reminded.
35W Bridge in Minneapolis

I knew one of the 13 people that died that day.  She was taking a class that I taught at Bear Patch, and was scheduled to be at class that evening.  But she had left a message for me earlier in the day that she would not be coming to class that night because she was going to an activity at her Temple.  She was on her way there via the 35W bridge when it collapsed.  A sad and strange twist of fate.  She was a bright and vivacious woman that I enjoyed knowing, and wish she was still with us.  

But I don't want to dwell on that sadness, because now I want to share something fun that involves another woman that I have come to know through the hexagon class that I taught at Bear Patch.  Her name is Alice, and she is an admirable lady, handling serious health issues that would slow down the average person.  But not Alice!  She completed the most English paper pieced blocks and went on to other shapes and sizes.  A few days back, I found a little gift bag and card with my name on it.  It was from Alice, and contained the neatest little ice cube tray shaped like.....


So thoughtful of her!  I had to hurry home and get some water freezing, and then enjoy my hexie ice with a little dab of Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, a birthday present from Bob.  So nice of Alice and Bob to take care of my beverage needs!

My wonderful son and daughter planned a birthday surprise for me that was so special.  It did involve some sneaky behavior, which they accomplished very well and leaves me wondering what other kinds of sneaky things they have managed to do without my knowledge!  Probably I don't want to know!  Anyway, they contacted a bunch of my friends and family and collected birthday wishes and memories of times with me, all printed up and assembled into cards and letters.  It is a wonderful stash of goodness, and brings laughs and tears each time I look at them.  There are days when we can feel disconnected from others, but this collection of memories reinforces the fact that we are all in this together.  I know I'm lucky to be 60!