Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Well it arrived and is almost over - as I said before - time flies. Fri. morning I went to our Wellness Centre at Northwest comm. Hospital. About 10 minutes from me. I had been taking water aerobics every summer when home in the inside warm water pool for arthritis. It is a milder type of aerobics and the water is like a warm bath. Well 2 years ago the whole summer was shot with do I or don't I have a problem that they thought they spotted on a bladder scan. It ended up that I had a complete hysterectomy and thankfully no cancer. False alarm. I took no classes all summer. Last summer I had cataract surgery and no water for 6 weeks which fell right at the last 3 weeks of 1 session and the first 3 of another session. Well this year I signed up right away for twice a week. Sat. & Tues mornings and maybe that will be my good luck signing up early. Need no more surgeries. I also took a sample class on Fri. am for Tai Chi in the water. It was a nice class with a good instructor but not enough movement for me. I really feel I need as much of the aerobics as I can get.

Between this and gardening maybe I can use a few more muscles and keep myself in shape. Nothing like hauling stuff around the garden for that. Bags of compost, trsnsplanting large hostas, etc. I do enjoy it as long as it is not 90 and humid.

I have a cute little story to tell you. We went to my son's house yesterday for his youngest Tommy's 7th. birthday. The 2 little cousins I mentioned in my last post were sitting at the table after Tommy had opened his gifts. We gave him money to buy whatever he wanted and they were discussing how to spend it. They were probably talking about how much something would cost and then Tommy said "don't forget there is tax on top of that". It just tickled me that they would even think of that. We had a great time with Beef Kabobs and oven roasted potatoes and of course cake and cupcakes.
Jeana and Mike gave me a lovely plant stand with a gorgeous plant in it for a belated Mother's Day. we were on the road on our way home from Florida on Mother's Day. I needed a pot for the front porch and have been looking and this is just perfect. You can either hang the basket or take off the handle and sit it on the shelf which I think looks better.
I love it.
Hope you have all had a good long weekend. We are ordering chinese for dinner so that will be the perfect end for me. No cooking tonight.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Time flies

This week has just gone by so fast. I have been trying to get the garden in order and all my pots and window boxes filled. Monday & Tuesday were just so hot and humid I couldn't stay out very long. I am still sorting out my stash from Florida so worked inside instead. Wednesday it cooled down and I did quite a bit of gardening. Thurs. Sue and I decided we needed a day out so started out in the morning hitting a couple of thrift stores and boutiques up in the Barrington area. There is a very large, very nice thrift shop up there. They have a large room filled with furniture, another filled with wedding and bridesmaids dresses. They also have an area filled with electronic stuff and then they have a huge store filled with normal stuff. We both picked up something but Sue got the prize for the day. There was a gorgeous framed picture of the 13th. tee of the Augusta National golf course where they play the Masters every year. It was called the Azalea 13th. Beautifully framed with the colors that would go in her husband's den. She said she didn't think Jon would want it but sent him a pic and then we sent a pic to my son who lives in Minneapolis as he is an avid golfer and has been to Augusta. She did this with her Mac I-phone right from the store. Snapped a pic and emailed it to them - what a world. Well Jon came right back and said he wanted it and we didn't hear from David first so Jon got it. It was so beautifully framed and was 25.00. The gal at the checkout said Sue had picked up the bargain of the day. Apparently it had just come in and she said they run a couple of hundred dollars. It was fairly large - about 24 x 36 approx. Jon has a very large den and one whole wall is covered with all his degrees and with Sue's degrees but there is another wall it will look good on.

We had lunch, hit a JoAnnes store and I got the new Somerset Studio mag and Sue got some fabric for the new skirt that is popular. The short skirt with the wide elastic band.
We had seen them in the boutique earlier and they started at 50.00. Some local gal makes them. We bought both elastic and 5/8 yard fabric for 6.00. They couldn't take more then an hour to make. This is when you are glad you can sew. Back to Sue's house, picked up my car and drove home. I made a cup of tea and was so tired I actually fell asleep reading and slept for an hour. Felt groggy all night. I am not a napper and always feel worse for sleeping. Probably happens once a year if that. speaking of that it is time to end this and get to bed. Water aerobics in the morning.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Kyle's Black Belt

Saturday at 12.30 we had the pleasure of watching our daughter's 14 year old son win his first black belt in Koryo Gundo which is the Korean Marshall Art of The Samurai Sword. They use wooden rods in place of real swords. He has been doing this for 4 years and really enjoys it. There were 3 trying out for their first black belt. Two Kyle's age and one older student who was there with his about 5 year old son who was taking pictures of his Dad. The master of the class had his movie camera on a tripod taking pictures so they will receive a CD of the performance. We went next door to celebrate at Baskin Robbins then on to the younger 7 year old Luke's baseball game. Our other young grandson who turned 7 on Fri. is on the same team. Both boys live in the same town and have been in the same room for both kindergarden and 1st. grade. They go on to 2nd. next year and may be together or may not. They eat lunch together each day and say they are each other's best friend. Happy little cousins. They both did well at the baseball game and each got a few hits. The coach pitches to them and I was amazed at how well these 7 year olds could all hit. They only take 1 base at a time and they do not keep score so there really isn't a winner or loser. It was a hot day but we were sitting under the shade of a big old tree so were pretty comfortable. I am showing you a pic of Kyle standing outside of the studio holding his certificate. Apparently there are levels within the black belt so he will have a time to go to get the final certification. He never really liked organized sports but likes this.

I had found a sword in a case with a carrying strap at the flea market in florida. I checked with my daughter as to whether she wanted him to have this or not. She said okay as he is very responsible. He has a very nice one his other grandpa made a wall plaque case for it and he has it hanging in his room so now he will have two. Grandpa will probably make another hanging one for this new one.

Kyle enters Fremd High School this year and has been a straight A student this past year.
We are very proud of him.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


You know the old saying "I am turning into my Mother" well I am now turning into my MIL.
Mr. Butler was a gardener extraordinaire and could grow anything. Well Mrs. B could not care a bit about outside gardening. Put a couple of geraniums in a pot and she was done.
That was outside. Inside she had an impressive collection of African Violets. She had a glassed in sun porch on the front of her house that would have faced east. It must have been the perfect spot because she grew violets that were huge and always flowering. She would get a leaf from someone else (or give a leaf to someone) pot it and it would grow in no time. If I remember right she used fish emulsion but I bought just the regular African violet fertilizer and water them weekly with a light dose of this. I have never had an interest in them before and wouldn't have even taken any of hers. I think it was the minis that got my interest. I did manage to get both the minis and 4 regular size ones in a small box and home in good condition. I took a footed cake plate and put the minis on the plate in the glass candleholders (I actually bought these for pincushions)
and surrounded them with my 4 regular ones. We do not have any window ledges in this home so as of now they are residing right in the middle of my kitchen island and I get to look at them all the time. There is a large light fixture over the island so they receive enough light.

If they come out in the right order the first pic is of the entire bunch on the island. The second pic is one of the minis with variegated leaves and bright purple flowers that are so pretty. The third if one of the regular siz with almost white flowers tinged with a violet color.

On to another topic, it is the 24th. of May holiday in Ontario tomorrow. This is the day that Ontario (I am not sure about the rest of Canada ?) celebrates the Queen's birthday and is firecracker day or was when I was growing up there many moons ago. Someone let me know if it is still celebrated as firecracker day. If you are opening up your cottages like a few relatives of mine are doing or celebrating in another way have a great long weekend. For the Americans who don't know this Thanksgiving Day in Canada is the second Monday in October so that is typically when most pull up the boats and shut down the cottages for the summer. Perfect timing. May to Oct.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Green Shoes

This post is for Susan Elliott. I am attaching a pic of my new green shoes. If you read her blog (and who doesn't) she showed pics of 2 dresses and the second one was my favorite and she said WOW look at those SHOES. I said I have a new pair of green shoes - maybe not as high and maybe not with a stacked sole and maybe not as sexy but they are my new green shoes. Made by Life Stride for comfort and I wore them today for the first time. My daughter invited me to the Inverness Garden Club's spring luncheon at the Inverness County Club. It was my gift for Mother's Day. Well unless you are a private member you do not get inside the door of this club. So of course I needed new shoes.

We had a wonderful lunch and Sue offered to make the flower centerpiece for our table. They were to use flowers from their gardens if possible. I have a lot of hostas of various colours so went out yesterday and cut a lot of leaves.

When I arrived at Sues she was still getting dressed so I ended up putting it together. She had cut all the flowers and I filled the middle with flowers then put hosta leaves of various sizes and colors all around the edge of the container. It really turned out very nice. I do not have a pic as I didn't take my camera but Sue took one with her I Phone or whatever you call the Mac one. She is a Mac user.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Computer Troubles

I have been having trouble with my computer. In Florida we had trouble with the 2 laptops and the desk dell getting on the internet even though we had bought an expensive router and should have had no trouble. Thought it would drive me crazy. You never knew if you could get on the internet or not. When not I would give a big yell to the man of the house demanding why mine would not work while his did. He would call the router company and get someone in India and they would walk him through it and it would work for that day but once turned off there we go again. The last couple of weeks in Florida I never turned my computer off so I knew I could use it when I wanted.

Well back in Illinois not that problem but a new one. I picked up a VIRUS and it completely locked down. First time this has ever happened. Well Harv played around with it and couldn't get anywhere so he emailed our wonderful son in Minneapolis and said he would call him that night. David works at the head office of Target Corp. in their computer end. Well they got together on the phone that night and David walked him through it and they managed to get it going. Probably saved us $100. or so in a repair plus we know no one in this area other then stores who do this stuff. We have someone in Florida who lives right in our community who is excellent also.

I never open an attachment from someone I do not know and they are always in my junk anyway. This apparently came from someone I know who of course did not know they were passing on a virus. Lets hope another one doesn't come along anytime soon.

Thank you David for all your help. I am always calling him or asking him about computer things and he is very patient with me. He is the guy who got me started on this blog and he does read it to see what I am up to.

Just showing a couple of pretties today. I was at the grocery store and saw these roses that are a color I love and bought a bunch. I was surprised with the color of the one flower. It has almost a speckled look to it while the rest do not.

No sewing done lately. I am still incorporating what I took to Florida with my stash here and it is a great deal of trouble. I think this may be the last year I do this. Next year just take my beads and ribbons and buy whatever I decide to work on down there -
OR work on all those UFOs.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Beautiful green

The one thing that really hits me when I get home is the lushness of the trees and bushes with their various shades of green. This year in particular because Illinois had such an early and warm Spring and so much of the garden is out and/or flowering. I always say I live in the woods but actually live in a very close in suburb of Chicago - about 25 miles from downtown. The nice thing about where we live are all the trees and wooded parcels. Our little corner of the world is a 6 house court that were built by individual builders and they tried very hard to keep the trees and wooded effect. We have had to remove quite a few over the last 14 years but still have many to shade us. I took some pics just to show how green it looked to me when we returned. There was an Arabian horse farm just down the street that was sold about 2 years ago and homes were to be built there - very expensive homes with large lots - but with the economy nothing has been done yet. It may be awhile. We are in a good commuter location as we are only 10 minutes from the train at Arlington Park race course and about 30 minutes from O'Hare airport.

The first is our house and the second is the side lawn on the other side of our house. You can see some of the trees.
The next is our next door neighbour to the right of us. I love the little turret the builder built. The next is the middle of the court with the 1 large tree and some evergreens. We all go together and have a little bank account which Harv manages and we paid to have roses planted around the outside. We pay the man who does the lawn on a few of our houses to look after the entrance to our court and to trim and manage the middle. I go out and fertilize the roses and haul water over there if it is very dry. It is worth it to have it look so pretty. I was looking yesterday and they have trimmed all the dead wood back and it looks like they all made it through the winter. Mine did also around the front light and up at the house. We have great neighbours and are very lucky.

It is good to be home.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Home Again

We arrived home in Chicago Sunday around dinner time. Had a good trip and good weather all the way so were very happy. We did come thru Nashville after calling the motel on Fri. to confirm they were still open and apparently they were not in the area that was hit so hard. In fact our motel was filled with men and it dawned on me that they were working in Nashville on the cleanup. One fella at breakfast told me they were with the airconditioning company who were trying to dry out the Ryman Theatre (spelling?) and he said the organ was totally ruined and all the instruments in the lower level were all under water and mainly ruined also. What a shame.

Monday unloaded the van, Tuesday was a helping hostess at our Questers end of the year luncheon, Wed. my DD found out where Alice in Wonderland was still playing and went with me then we did some food shopping for me after. To-day I had a 1pm dentist check-up and went to JoAnns before. Got home about 3.00 after stopping at Jewel foods outdoor flower tent and picked up a few things for outside.

Now I have to ground myself and start actually unpacking all my cartons of stuff that I had shipped home. They actually arrived Monday and 2 are still in the hall and 2 more upstairs with the 5th. one the only one emptied. I did empty the suitcases and put the clothes away. I bought home my miniature violets and also 3 of the large ones and they arrived safe and sound. Will take a pic of them when things slow down.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Beautiful giveaway

Lynn from is having the beautiful giveaway pictured above. She is also doing some followup prizes. Go over and have a look. I must spend more time there when I get home.
I have been packing and loading up the van and there is never enough room. It seems the must take list gets bigger every year and the little space shrinks every year. I took 5 boxes to the post office yesterday - 1 to my daughter with books and things for the grandkids and the other four to my house.

My son wanted to know if I had the fridge fixed and it dawned on me that Pauline (otherwise known as FredaB) told you all the bad things about it but not the good fix. I called first thing Mon. morning and he said because it was a fridge he would try and move his appts. around and he showed up at 9 am. Could have kissed him. It was a starting relay. Apparently the click I heard was the compressor trying to start but the relay couldn't. So if you ever hear clicks coming from your fridge open the freezer door to make sure everything is not melting and call your repair guy. It did cost close to 200.00 but he said I shouldn't have anymore problems - lets hope so considering it is going to be unplugged for the next 6 months.

Harv and I went over to the Eustis fairgrounds this morning where we usually go to buy fruits and vegs. They have a very large building filled with food vendors. There were quite a few outside vendors also and of course you know who found some more bargains. I didn't have time to take pics but when I get back to Chicago I will round them up and show you.

Well I am signing off now as I will be packing this up tomorrow. I won't be posting for a few days. We will be home Sun. night if all goes well - unpacking the van Monday and Tues. I am one of the hostesses for our Questers end of the year luncheon. I am either paying for wine or for the paper products so they made it easy for me. I am a good dishwasher so will do cleanup duty. Wed. I will unpack stuff and thurs. have my 6 month dental check so it may be a week before I am back. Take care all and enjoy the spring and all the pretty flowers people have been showing.



Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I decided to try another all velvet pincushion and when finished this one was a little on the large size compared to the first one that I thought was too small. The one problem I have is when the embellishing is finished and time to draw it up I have trouble drawing it tight enough as the velvet is so thick. You can see folds where the velvet gathers do not punch out. I fill them to the hilt with stuffing and then when I think it is done the next night I add more. I did 2 rows of gathering with heavy buttonhole & carpet thread and at least that won't break when gathering like machine thread can. I do small stitches so it will gather nicely. Maybe I am too much of a perfectionist. I decided I did not want it on a bowl or candle holder and was just going to do it flat when I got the idea that I would like a little stand so I took a plastic lid from either a Pringles can or yogurt container and cut a round piece of burgundy velvet about 1/2" larger all around the can. I then gathered it near the edge and pulled it over the top to the inside of the lid where it gathered very nicely. I tied it tight then put it where I wanted it on the bottom and hand sewed it to the bottom of the pincushion. It worked well as it covered up all the gathering and stuffing area and lifted it about 1/4".
I took some pics and hope you can see what I mean. My trouble is I have to keep reminding myself that it is for pins and not do too many embellishments on it. I was sewing a little fan charm on the light green velvet when that thought hit me and I took it off. Also when gathering it does mess up the stitching that is afffected by the gathers.

If anyone who has made these reads this please let me know if I am doing it right or are there some secrets I should know.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May Day

A little late posting this May Day bag and was also a day late hanging it on my neighbour's door because I thought May 1 was Sunday and found out Sat. night it was Sat. I went over Sunday when she was out and hung it on the door knob. I found out when she called me to thank me that her birthday was May 1 which I did not know. I have enough trouble keeping up with family birthdays let alone neighbours and friends.

These are so much fun to make and really don't take very long if you have all the materials on hand. Diane from Diane's Musings started the idea and I bet a lot of bags are being made from her directions. Thanks again Diane.

My friend Mary Anne in Canada gave the names of a few of her friends who are blogging and some having giveaways. The one gal Yvonne of: is celebrating her 1 year anniversery and she has made 300 posts. To me that is incredible - my hat is off to her. Her blog is very interesting. Go take a peek and sign up for the giveaway and make a new friend.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I said goodby to my flea market yesterday after I had picked up a few more things I liked.
I found a hand painted tole tray which I hung on the wall in the sunroom and also a Paris style flower bucket which I will take home if I can squeeze it in. I can picture it on my deck with a pot of foxgloves in it. $3.00 for the tray and 2.00 for the bucket. I continued along until I came to a gal selling jewellery and I found some neat things. Except for things in the glass cases everything else was 3 for 5.00. I found a rhinestone necklace and 2 pretty pearl necklaces both have crystals spaced between. They could be worn together as they do now or each seperately. I have an idea for the rhinestone one. I am going to make something based on the life of Queen Victoria whether it be a wallhanging or a journal. I can use all or part of it for that.

We are still living out of ice chests. Ordered a pizza last night and ate half and the other half tonight. Won't care if I don't see another pizza for awhile. Called Sears service today and they could send a man Thurs. I am going to recall the man I called Sat. first thing in the morning and see if we can get him out tomorrow. If not, a neighbour gave me another name who she said she liked and did a good job. Will keep you posted on the Perils of Pauline (otherwise known as FredaB).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Off to the flea market this morning for probably the last time as we leave here next Sat. Picked up a couple of bargains in the first few minutes. Then found some neat jewellery and bought some orchids for friends. We are having a couple for lunch on Tues. and bought one for her and when I return to Chicago our questers annual end of the year luncheon is on the Tues. after we arrive Sun. night I hope. I bought one for the hostess who is a dear friend and one for me. The travelling 2 are very small ones and maybe I can succeed in getting them home safely if I am lucky. If not, thats life.

I was going to take pics and show you my stuff but made lunch, never went in the freezer, about 2 pm walk over to the fridge and water coming out of the bottom. I kept hearing a clicking sound last night and today and couldn't figure what it was. As if something was trying to turn itself on. Well now I know it was the fridge. The whole thing had shut off but with the light on when you open the door you couldn't see anything was wrong until I opened the freezer. The ice maker full of ice was melting all over all the packages and things left in the freezer. what a mess. Got a big plastic bag and threw out about half. Next door neighbour took home some meat and packages that were still partially frozen and put them in her garage one for me. Took me about 2 hours to mop and clean everything up. Harv went up and bought 40 lbs. of ice and now we have every thing in 3 coolers. Called the appliance man but of course he won't be back until Mon. am. Harv thinks it might be a relay. Let us hope it is something he can fix and we will be living out of the coolers and buying ice until he can. If it can't be fixed I will wait until we come back and buy one up north and then have it shipped from down here the day after we arrive in Oct. I had been thinking of buying a new one and putting this one in the garage for the extra freezer space. Do you think it heard me talking bad about it? and this is revenge time?

Went to a new blog tonight - and she is having a very nice giveaway. I liked her blog very much and will return to it often.