Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!
True to the stereotype of being the second child, Sarah has to share her spotlight with the actual holiday. Sorry sweet princess. After two days of being a rather ambiguous snow princess/Mrs. Claus/snow fairy, Sarah changed costumes and announced that she was going to be one of the twelve dancing princesses yesterday morning. That worked for me, so off to preschool we went. The parade was adorable. They walked around the parking lot in front of the church and waved to passing cars. Lots of honking and very sweet. Teary eyed sweet.

We forgot her pearls this evening and she wanted her hair down as opposed to the bun she requested last night. The tank top helps prevent "itchiness"....a very bad thing! My highlight for the evening was the fact that she would pull her dress up and in front as we walked to keep it off the ground. Not terribly amusing except that the closures stop at her waist, so when she pulled it forward, it opened up the back and her little rear end stuck out. I will respect her privacy, but do let me say that a good princess matches her knickers to her dress!

So Trixie the Halloween Fairy and a dancing princess donned their funny faces and headed out to trick-or-treat. We have found a sure fire way to get the treats...if they ask for a trick, tell them we'll bring them a kitten, of which we have three that need homes immediately. I think the girls may have even gotten extra candy to keep kittens at bay.

Hopefully you had a fun Halloween too and nothing too scary. I love Rachel's "scary face"'s eat it up cute (in my opinion).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween 3.0

Today is day number 3 for Rachel and her Halloween festivities. We've already had trick-or-treating with Daisy Scouts at an assisted living facility and the Fall Carnival (or "Call Farnival" as Sarah likes to call it) last night. Today is dress like a book character at school. I am catching on to the school thing... every year it's "dress like a book character" at Halloween time. Hence, from here on out, the girls will always be book characters for Halloween in order to save needing multiple costumes. Well, book characters or a sea horse (which no one wants to wear again.. oh man, I didn't post about that - I'll have to do that later).

So here is Trixie the Halloween Fairy. Not a very crafty costume - pull dress out of dress up box, pick up cool striped tights at Target, grab perfect orange wings from the Dollar Tree, stick a black star on a necklace and tie a bow in her hair. Thank goodness it was easy, because that's about all I've been up for! She's thrilled though, so I'm happy.

Coming up next, Halloween 4.0 when Sarah gets her turn in the spotlight. The lighting and fog was just so perfect this morning that I was excited to get out and snap some pictures. I wish my yard looked this good when not viewed from behind the lens of a camera!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


My Grandpa passed away a week ago yesterday. He was 91 and going strong. A fall, about a month earlier, almost did him in. The trauma doctor gave him 48 hours to live due to the bleeding and swelling on his brain. True to form, he was up and walking and talking exactly a week later. Unfortunately, the hospital released him severely dehydrated, with low blood sodium and Pneumonia. That proved to be a lethal combination for him. It is so hard to think that we lost him due to negligence, when he was such a fighter.

He was born in 1918 and lost his mother when he was one and a half. During the Great Depression he and his sister were bounced from various family members across the country. He served in WWII and became a Colonel. He survived multiple motorcycle accidents, several power tool accidents, a quadruple bypass, at least one heart attack and carbon monoxide poisoning. He beat cancer twice. The second time the doctor gave him 1-3 months. Within two months the fatal mass was almost completely gone. A fighter.

My Grandpa loved his family. He was like a second father to me. He taught me how to drive his tractor, then how to drive a car, then how to drive a stick shift. He taught me how to use a band saw, a jig saw, a drill press and a belt sander. I spent much of my childhood summers at my Grandparent's house working with Grandpa (whether I wanted to work or not). He was creative, intelligent, generous, loving and dedicated to us. He was married to my Grandma for 67.5 years. Talk about setting the bar high! He was devoted to her like I have never seen before, being her constant care provider for many years now. I ache for her when I think about what it must feel like to have to wake up without him.

It was so hard to be at their house this past week and see him in everything there, but not be able to feel his hugs, hear his voice (outside of my head), or look into his sparkling blue eyes. Every time I would start to cry I could hear him saying to me, "You tender hearted thing.'', which he has said so many times before. And he was so proud to be a Great Grandfather. My girls call him "Papa" and I know that hearing them say that was music to his ears. We've had the good fortune to have spent several weeks with them over the past few summers and the girls so looked forward to going to Nana and Papa's. I hope that they'll retain some of those memories, of how he smiled when he saw them, of how much he loved them, of cuddling with him in "his" chair.

So the crafty stuff is on hold for a bit. I am exhausted from traveling over 1700 miles in five days with two young kids in tow. The two days that weren't spent driving were spent in the funeral home and at the funeral. And I'm about to turn around and travel another 360 miles on Saturday morning to visit with my Mom and see my Grandma in her new apartment. Here's hoping I can squeeze in a nap or two while Grandma and Grandpa mind the kids! Now go hug someone you love!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pinwheel, Pinwheel

Just some better pictures of the pinwheel top. It's taken too much time and effort to let the poor photo from the other day speak for it. I'm hoping I'm not getting myself in over my head as I consider quilting this myself. I've already bought several extra packs of pins so that I can do a thorough job pinning it and hopefully not have any repeats of my previous problems.

I'm leaning towards quilting this like Melissa of all buttoned up did. Her Kitchen Quilt was what originally inspired me to make a pinwheel quilt (at the time it was two - lofty goals). I've gone back and forth between quilting it along the seams vs. my usual stippling, as I love that crinkly look, but I think following the seams may be a bit easier for such a large piece. Are those words I will be eating soon? We shall see.

And just in case the quilting fairies drop by and knock what's already on the table out for me, I'll start on a Flock of Triangles quilt. I've pulled all these yellows and grays, but am not yet sure which to use or how they'll all work. Should I replace the white with gray? Or try and use the yellows and grays in place of the oranges and keep the white? Clearly still some muddling to do on this one. Good thing I've got something to keep my busy in the meantime.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Random Bits and Pieces

I guess you could say I've been cleaning house...except that my house doesn't look any cleaner. But I am taking care of some things that have been left hanging for quite some time. First, a birthday bunting for my niece, Emma. Her birthday was in September. I mailed it today. October. But in my defense, she has a late September birthday. Nonetheless, I am not a timely person when it comes to meeting birthdays.

Then there's this that's been bugging me for quite some time. Our dull gray porch furniture. It was also beginning to rust, so it really sort of blended in with all the other junk going on on the porch, like leftover kitchen cabinets, random bits waiting for recycling, a box of kittens, etc. Yes, quite the hodge podge porch. But! I have been cleaning it up, putting things where they belong, save the box of kittens....they stay on the porch for now (it's screened in) and spiffing up the furniture.

Our doors are red, so now we'll have candy apple red furniture to match and hopefully brighten things up a bit. Everything needs another coat of red, and I'm out of cans of spray paint, so it's off to the Home Depot again tomorrow. Rain rain stay away. Please, just one more day so I can cross this off my list!

And this is just a really poor photo to give a sneak peek at what is hanging on my banister upstairs waiting to be properly photographed outside. This is just the top. No backing or quilting done on it yet. Still debating on how to quilt it, but at least I'm leaning in one direction. It's one of what was going to be two pinwheel Christmas quilts for the girls which I started last summer. Ahem. Since then sleeping arrangements have changed and I've run out of steam making pinwheels, so now this is going to be the quilt for our guest bed. I just pulled out the two Christmas fabrics (red with snowflakes on it and red and white peppermints) and now it's just a candy colored pinwheel extravaganza. The girls are already slyly asking "Who is this for?". Or maybe they only ask because I tend to give away everything that I make. Since they're bunk bed buddies now, I've got two more color block quilts in the works for them, which I hope they will find under the Christmas tree. This year.