Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cookeville.... Downtown Ice

We are glad to live in a town that is both big enough and yet small enough to host special events throughout the year.

This year they set up in a parking lot... an imitation ice rink and two inflatable slides... one for ages 2-8 the other for everyone else.

What is especially awesome is that our mayor designated a time frame for special needs children and their families... the crowds will be smaller... but the enthusiasm just as great!  Families and children that would otherwise be overwhelmed by crowds and noise had a chance to have fun!


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

En Provence #4 & #5

I stayed up late last night and got up early this morning  so that I could get caught up on this mystery.....   and I did it!  

I loaded up and ran the dishwasher.
I did a couple loads of wash... taking breaks from sewing to switch from washer to dryer
I turned on my new maid (Roomba vacuum) that I was gifted for Christmas and the living room, dining room and kitchen floors were swept clean while I sewed.

Clues 4 and 5 were finished this afternoon.... except for dog-ear trimming and a pressing.  


I am so pleased to be able to catch up with this mystery and may even finish it on time with everyone else!

Check out Bonnie's blog for all the information on this mystery quilt... This is a free gift she gives to her followers every year.  Hurry and download the clues before they are removed for publishing in her next book.  

Now I can really enjoy tomorrow.....going with my grands to participate in the skating and winter slide activities set up in downtown for the holiday.  I love that our town is big enough and yet small enough to do activities like this for families.

I may even have time before the next clue arrives to finish up a customer quilt... or maybe work some more on my postage stamp quilt.

Monday, December 26, 2016

En Provence #3

In between Christmas shopping, cleaning, wrapping, cooking, grandkids and celebrating,  I spent every spare minute this past week working on the mystery.  It was a hectic week but I managed to catch up through Clue 3 this week.

I am ready to begin Clue 4 and I plan to use the same constant neutral I used for the magenta squares.   I'll go back to scrappy for the next clue.  I used up all of my DARK purples on Clue 2... I didn't have very much to begin with.   So now I am moving on to medium purples.

Be sure to check out Bonnie's blog for all the information and links to this mystery quilt.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016


Trash and recycling is another community issue that we have discussed at our den and pack meetings. The different level dens will be taking turns throughout the school year picking up trash around the school yard for their community service issue.   There was a scheduled  clean-up day last Thursday.   I gathered up gloves and WalMart bags and we were ready to go....but we were the only ones that showed up.   No matter... we spent about 30 minutes walking the front yard picking up litter and chatting.... some fun bonding time together.

We have been recycling at home for years... and my grandson LOVES to help.

In a few years when he starts complaining... "Oh Nana... not again!", I will have to use these pictures as blackmail to show him how much fun it can be :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

En Provence #2

I finished the quantity needed for Clue 1 and moved on to cutting for Clue 3. Since they are the same block... just different colors... I thought it prudent to continue doing the same thing rather than trying the new Clue 2 block.

Wednesday was my sewing group meeting and lunch... and I was able to complete all of them before we went off to Red Lobster to celebrate the holidays.

After lunch I went home, got laundry started and began cutting the magenta triangles while eyeing my neutrals.  I wasn't so sure about using them... especially the cream colors... which have a yellow undertone color.  So I went stash diving again and came up with a white with purple print.  I made up  a couple blocks and though I worry about there being too much purple in it for a neutral print... I love the block.

The table and the triangle are actually white, not yellow-ish.  This picture does not show the proper coloring and, though I tried to edit it, I could't get the correct color to show.  The magenta is much brighter also.   I'll try for a better picture if it is sunny out tomorrow.

I'm having to fiddle a bit with that left side triangle.. it seems to want to come up short.   Cutting that little notch in the magenta triangle helps with alignment, but I still need practice to "eye" it better.   I've made 10 blocks so far and with each one I'm getting more accurate.  I have several yards of both fabrics so I have room to play and be picky with accuracy.

The grands showed up for a pizza dinner, and the oldest is staying with us for most of the Christmas break... so I will be trying to fit in more sewing when he goes to bed and in-between holiday activities.

Go over to Bonnie's blog for all the information on this Mystery Quilt, and check out what other quilters are doing for this mystery by following the link-ups.

Monday, December 19, 2016

En Provence #1

Bonnie Hunter's new mystery quilt began on Black Friday.... but I had customer quilts to finish and gifts to make, laundry and cleaning, meals to cook, Christmas decorating and cards to write.    Last night I finally caught up with chores and this morning I began!

I had  "few" interruptions throughout the day, but after several hours of measuring, cutting, pressing and sewing I am about half-way through with Clue#1.

Since I don't have a need for another large quilt (Bonnie's pattern finishes at 87x87) I decided to miniaturize!  With assistance from some online participants I made the adjustments....  

For this mystery I have stretched out of my comfort zone and am going totally scrappy and from my stash!  I know Bonnie always includes lots of neutrals in her quilts, so I have been making aquisitions all year long... and I think it has really paid off.... there are even a couple of Goodwill shirts thrown into this mix. I haven't had to purchase any new fabric!

Love these teeny tiny 4-patches!

I am really loving working with these little pieces!  

Go over to Bonnie's blog for all the information on this Mystery Quilt, and check out what other quilters are doing for this mystery by following the link-ups.

Christmas Parade

We had an opportunity to march with the boys in the 50th annual Cookeville Christmas Parade!

Line up began at 1:30 for a 3pm start.   We were located near a Klydesdale pulling a cart and they allowed the boys to come over two by two to pet the horse.

We wrapped my van in lights and garland and made signs identifying us.

We blasted Christmas songs as I drove along and the boys waved flags and yelled Merry Christmas to everyone!

Lots of fun!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Scouts and Fire Trucks

We are working on our patches toward advancement and one requirement is to speak with a community service provider.   Firemen and fire trucks fit the bill perfectly!

As they were explaining what the Jaws of Life was, the boys were each given an opportunity to hold it!

 Part of the requirement is to find out why the firemen decided to be firemen.....

The trucks of course!

 and helping people

The only difference between boys and men are the size of their toys!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Kelly was able to switch shifts with someone at work so we were able to spend another whole day together.  We decided to drive over to Golden and visit museums... including the quilt museum!

Our first stop was the visitors center, where they told us the quilt museum had recently relocated outside of town to a bigger location.  Well, that burst our bubble.  He suggested we walk the 2-4 mile  trail along the river just outside the center... and that turned out to be the perfect idea.

We spent several hours meandering along, chatting and taking a-gazillion pictures.  It was relaxing and wonderful spending time together.




Saturday, December 10, 2016

Denver and Pikes Peak

Early in November I made a last minute decision to fly out and see my daughter, Kelly.  She moved out there with Tyler last August and I decided to make the time to check out her  new digs before the bad weather came and I couldn't/wouldn't travel.

She met me at the airport and aquainted me with the lite-rail system on the way back to her apartment.

This is an areal view of her complex....That green triangle area is the "dog park" for pet owners.  The complex is right next to the lite-rail stop and very convenient for the 20-minute commute to her second job at a PotBelly Sandwich Shop in Downtown Denver.  Her main job is two blocks to the right of the picture where she is shift manager at a Papa Murphy's pizza shop. It's a quick walk through a shopping area (Kmart, grocery store, shops) ... and that area, as well as her complex, is patrolled round the clock by security guards... making it safe to walk home 9-10 pm after work.

Throughout our time together,  we walked a couple blocks over to Broadway and ate some meals at local pubs that I can't remember the name of.  One was Chezck.... food was similar to German and Polish and very good; the second was a seafood place, unremarkable;  and the third had great burgers, chicken and a large variety of beers on tap!

One day we rode the lite-rail downtown to her job.  While she worked, I spent some time window shopping;  walking or hopping on and off the free bus when got winded to get from place to place. I also went up to the Capitol, but it was under repair and surrounded with scaffolding... not picture worthy.  I went back and ordered lunch from her and then sat outside and watched her work.  I really enjoyed watching her... greeting customers, smiling, talking, wiping tables, etc.  She has grown into an amazing young women that I am proud to call my daughter.

I had several more hours before she was done working and decided to take the lite-rail to visit The Creative Needle Quilt Shop.  There was a 2 block walk to the bus stop then a 10 block ride up to Broadway.  I told the driver where I wanted to go and he told me where to get off.  Unfortunately, after he pulled away and I looked around, I realized that I needed to be 10 blocks farther down Broadway.  There were bus stops along the way, but the buses were all running in the other direction at the time... so I walked... and walked... and walked!  Normally, I walk 5 miles a day with Toby at home,  but the altitude out there makes breathing difficult if your not used to it... and drinking lots of water is important.  Not exactly sure why or how, but it helps you acclimate.

I took my time and making several stops along the way, and I walked the 10 blocks.  The ladies offered me a drink and a seat when I arrived, and I was very grateful!  Once I caught my breath I looked up and the first thing I saw... Bonnie's cards!

I'd already purchased mine from her web page, but it was nice to see them in the store.  I also found myself a few orange fat quarters and fat eights... something difficult to find at home.  Orange just isn't a popular color, but I want to make Bonnie's pumpkins for a Halloween wall hanging or table runner.
When I was done, the ladies told me I could take the bus all the way back to within a couple blocks of the apartment and didn't need to switch to the the light rail.  Kelly had finished working by then and walked over to meet me and we stopped for dinner along the way.

Thursday was our big day together as they both were not working.  I rented a car (theirs had just died) and we drove over to take the cog train up to Pikes Peak.  We got some pictures on the way up.....

But the views from the top were breathtaking!

The views were spectacular and the weather was perfect.   I recently bought a tablet and brought it along so Kelly could teach me how to use it.  One of the features it has, that my camera doesn't, is to take panoramic view pictures.  I was standing near the same spot as the picture on the left, when I took the picture below in panoramic mode... turning from left to right while the camera recorded...... look what it did to that straight rail track!

It was late afternoon  by the time we were down from the Peak and we had about an hour before sunset to see Garden of the Gods.  It is a free park of hiking trails and rock formations.  We had just enough time to drive around the perimeter and take a few pictures before dark.  I'm glad we did.  The next time I visit we will pack a picnic and lots of water and spend the day hiking (walking slowly) the trails.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

And now it's December!

Life has been busy lately and I haven't posted in a while, so here is an update to catch you up on the happenings of my life.

The boys took turns doing the flag ceremony and learning how to fold the flag.  The cost of a full uniform was prohibitive for some of the boys.  Instead we tie-dyed matching t-shirts and presented them with home-made sashes for them to put their awards on.

Earlier in the year I took a class on how to make cement decorations from leaves around the yard.  I harvested one of the Elephant Ear leaves Matthew had grown, made the pile of sand and covered it with cement.   Here it is flipped over and drying.  I quickly made a second one before the weather turned cold.  I still have to "trim" it with dremmel, then paint and polyurethane it, but that will have to wait until Spring and warmer weather.

Brian came by for the regular bi-annual service to my heat pump and found this scary guy slowly slithering on the driveway.... a copperhead!    UGH! I guess it wasn't cold enough to send him hibernating yet!

I worked with some of the ladies from FCE sewing up bag holders and aprons for the regional and state conventions.

We took the boys to Nashville to see the Titans play the Colts (they lost !)  Then a couple weeks later the three boys (hubby included) went to Indianapolis to see the Colts beat the Titans again!  We are gluttons for punishment.

I stayed home from the Indianapolis game and instead worked at Santa's Workshop selling quilted items and crafts that I make throughout the year.

My Christmas Cactus decided to bloom early this year!

There was the Veterans Day Parade with the Knights of Columbus marching.... and a meet-up with a former JROTC teacher for Matthew.

The infamous dining room table was cleared and set with my grandmothers good Bavarian china for a grown-up Thanksgiving dinner of turkey and all the fixin's. (I forgot to take the picture of the turkey!)

Black Friday arrived signalling the beginning of the new Bonnie Hunter Mystery... En Provence.  I pulled fabrics from my stash, but haven't had time to begin cutting yet.

Instead, we had all three grandsons for a day full of activities with cars and legos and balls... and I made a second, kid friendly-kid approved Thanksgiving dinner of ham, potaotes and green beans.
Now it's December and the youngest grandson turned two ... he didn't quite know what to make of the candles on the cupcakes. The candles were eventually blown out with help from his brothers.  They all enjoyed playing with the cars.

The annual children's Christmas party at work .  Trying to get the three of them together and smiling for a picture proved impossible.... but they had fun with crafts, coloring and gifts.

I snuck in a 4-day trip to Denver to visit my youngest daughter, but I'll save those pics for the next post.