Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sugar and Spice


                          Don't you just love a sleeping, peaceful baby? 
One wonders as she sleeps what goes on in her brain.
With no rocky experiences (except for perhaps her birth journey) and her basic needs being met, she has yet to feel the pain of rejection, the sorrow of loss, and the daily disappointments of life.
On the other side, she has yet to experience a rainbow of colors, the sharing of laughter, the unexpected pleasure of a dip in the lake on a hot summer day. As her Grandmother, you know I wish for her life to be filled with sweetness and spice. Balance.
While she was "percolating" in her mother's warm, cozy womb, I wanted to prepare for her a little warm, cozy haven to wrap herself in as a protective armor.  A quilt.  A pink (sweet) and blue (spice)
quilt.  With blocks that I had found years ago that some other person - perhaps a Grandmother - made in  preparation for her little one coming.  Why the blocks were never joined together and assembled into a quilt will remain a mystery forever, but I set out to change that.
This is one of the 57 blocks I found while out "treasure" hunting.
The blocks I found closely resembles the vintage SHOO FLY pattern.

I got busy with my sewing machine and sewed 56 blocks together - rows of seven across horizontally and rows of eight vertically.  Then a batting and backing were added to turn the top into a quilt. And hand quilting to hold it all together!

When all the blocks are placed together, the pattern becomes quite integrated - you see larger stars and squares in squares. 

Photographed outside; the colors look more faded out.

Once the quilt was done, and there was one quilt square left over, I had to figure out how to use it in the expected book bag/tote for the newly born recipient.

Front of tote with her name.

The block became a hidden pocket inside!

See?  It's making me sleepy already!
On second thought, I think I'll check the world out for a little bit longer...

  There's so much out there to discover, Sweet Little One. 
May it bring you much sweetness and just the right touch of spice!

Friday, July 17, 2015

"Old Girl"

She and I have been together for over fifteen years now. I picked her out the year our daughter was a freshman in college - the first car ever my own! No hand-me-down status.  No minivan.  And, red?
Yes, please! We, like two girlfriends, have been on many adventures together: road trips, windows open and music pumping. Trips to buy groceries and supplies, trips to airports and train stations to reunite with family and friends, trips to get teeth cleaned and back on track with a cure of a park or garden visit.

She, like me, has shown some evidence of aging. Spots and dings, a quirky check engine light warning even when engine is fine. She shimmies when she reduces speed. She, like me, gets check ups and servicing as needed and keeps chugging away. But, there are times I think about getting her replaced. And I recently dabbled with life without "Old Girl."  She got side-swiped on her back bumper while parked in front of our City Nest by someone who kept going past.  Ouch!

Luckily I had rental car insurance on Old Girl for her spa at the auto body place.  And the chance to get modernized with a whole new crash course myself on how keyless ignitions, turn-dial gear shifting
and electronics work on a much newer model: the Chrysler 200.  Make that a black 200 to boot!

With this as a key fob!

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I ended up with "Young Stud" for close to two weeks.
When the call came that "Old Girl" was ready, I realized I was missing her more than I thought I would.

She was beautifully repaired.  Her check engine light was still aglow.  She still shimmied. But she was my old friend and just like the old broken-in shoes, she seems to fit me just right!

Surely this means I am an Old Girl, too.  

I hereby leave my  
"Young Stud" to someone else...for now anyway. 

Please watch out for my OG - we are a team that I
don't wish to put out to pasture just yet!

Monday, July 13, 2015


With our numbers increasing, it was apparent we could use an update in the family photograph department. A date was scheduled with our favorite - and brave - photographer from LCC, Nancy, with her capable (and also brave) assistant, Rachel. She suggested the nearby St. Mary's Seminary as our backdrop.  We had been watching the ever-changing weather forecast with much interest and lucked out with a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. 

Our crowd consisted of several rascals - one is a runner, one is one who likes to find any bathroom, one is two years of age (need I say more?) and two are unpredictable newborns.

Two were interested in water dousing from the lovely fountain nearby. 

Two were dirt absorbers from the grassy area near the fountain and were wearing white leggings. (The remedy from dirty knees was administered by their grandmother from said fountain.)

Two were stripped down to their newborn birthday suits for poses to coo over. Imagine the consequences. Did I mention brave photographer and assistant before?

Witnessing all of the action unfold was pretty entertaining. I can only imagine what was going on through the lens of Nancy's camera! I snapped a couple of candid outtakes with my cell phone to share with you here:

Oh, my.

Truly, though, isn't this the way real life works? 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Catching UP

These days have been quite busy and at times I feel like I just can't catch up!

Running here. running there.

But, it's all good.  Especially good as our family expands.

First with this little guy who makes the best expressions.

And then just about three weeks ago with this little (???) 10 pounds, 9 ounces bundle of joy!

Harper Muriel was born on June 23. We love her name and it's tribute
to her beloved paternal Great Grandmother.

Aside from spending time with the siblings of these babies, we managed
to squeeze in a little North Woods cabin time, celebrate some family birthdays,
go to a couple of parades


check out the new 606 trail.  As well as the new Maggie Daley Park, 
which even has places for adults to play!!

Oh, Summertime...please don't run away from me too soon! I'm trying to keep up with you!