Saturday, March 20, 2010

Opening a new quilting store

We have a blog that will let you follow our progress for the new quilting store. Check it out, share the information. Below is the site location.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Exciting times

The worst--

1. My headaches are back in full force. Everyday. And I recently did something to my back so that it hurts all the time, I cant stand up straight a lot, and I am limited in my activities. I really shouldnt complain, since so many people have it so much worse, but really, it's my blog and I can whine and complain if I want, right?

2. I am trying to dejunk the computer room. But there are things that have been there for 10-15 years. Where do I put everything? What do I get rid of? AAAAHHHH

3. Sometimes I weary, worrying about my kids. I wish that when they turned 18 or something, you could stop worrying. But you cant. So I continue.

The Best--
There are so many this entry! And it is impossible to try to order them, so they are in random order.

1. With two of my friends, I am opening a quilting store, A Quilter's Retreat. We are very excited and overwhelmed. We hope to open the beginning of August, although July is a possibility.

2. Speaking of July, Natalie became engaged this weekend. She is getting married on July 2nd, here in the Washington DC temple. Kenny Barlow seems like an exceptional guy and we are super excited for them. Everywhere I go, I think "wedding reception" and look out for ideas.

3. Speaking of August, Katie is due with our first grandchild in August! She has an ultrasound scheduled the beginning of April , and we hope to find out if it is a boy or girl. Then I can start making a baby quilt(s). No one will let me have my grandkids call me granny. I thought that would be so fun. I will have to settle for grandma. boring.

4. Not sure if this is best or worst. Jenna has decided to drive home this April, instead of flying. So I guess I am driving across country with her. We will stop at Cara and Barry's the first night, and hopefully Dan and Val's the second night. That will be super fun. The long driving days will not be super fun.

5. I finished the 4 quilts for my mom. Tags, binding, everything. They are ready to send off. Now I am making 4 quilts for a dear friend in the ward. Her adult daughter caught the flu last year and died 3 days later. She left behind a grieving husband and 3 little boys. I am making cuddly quilts for the 3 boys (nearly done with the tops), and a quilt for the dad. All to be ready for the Maya anniversary of her passing.

6. Plus I have about 4-5 quilts I need to quilt for pay. Yikes this is becoming a nearly full time job. (Not leaving a lot of time for household chores....maybe this should be under worst.....)

All in all, a pretty exciting couple of weeks!

Monday, February 22, 2010

WORST- (in no particular order)
1. Jenna is having a really hard recovery from her surgery. She is in pain, throwing up the pain medications, and missing tons of school. And I can't do anything to help. On the other hand, she is good friends with the Pott's family (Bro Potts in her student ward bishopric, and she has become excellent friends of everyone in the family.) Anyway, Sis. Potts is taking care of her at the Pott's home. That makes me feel much better. And fyi--Sister Becky Potts is a saint.

2. Allie's stuff (from moving back home) is a huge unsightly mess in my living room. I've tried to get her her to do a few boxes a day, but she isn't getting much done at all, so I started doing it myself. I get more done in an hour than she has done in a week. But I hate doing it. We have actually found more than $1500 in checks that she hadn't deposited. We were able to deposit all but $255. That check was too old (2008.)

3. In March, I was supposed to go to the Lancaster PA quilt show, but now I can't go. Disappointing to say the least. I may try to make a long long day trip to the Hampton VA show this weekend to make up for it. (Six hour drive round trip plus at least 8 hours there needed......)

BEST (in no particular order)
1. We had our quarterly quilt group retreat. We all did a paper piecing quilt. We always have so much fun. A lot of the time, I was really frustrated because everyone else seemed to work on theirs with out major problems. But mine kept having such problems! I was so frustrated. But in the end, I got it done and it looks amazing. Now to find a backing and quilt it. Here is a pic. But the border will eventually be a scalloped border instead of straight.

2. Katie and Connor are going to have a baby in August. We are all so excited! I am exercising great self control. I have known for a week and haven't made a single baby quilt.

3. I am nearly finished quilting the 4 queen quilts for my mom. One left to quilt then three to bind. (Binding is the part I hate so I keep putting it off.) I can't figure out how to get these to Utah--they are so huge! I will probably have to wait until April when I go out for Natalie's graduation. But since I am going to Utah straight from Boston, that too, is precarious. sigh....

4. We have had no measurable snow for more than a week. This is very exciting. But we hear more is on the way. Bryce was able to finally clear the bumpy ice mounds from the street in front of the house/driveway. Allie had gotten stuck there, as had other neighbors, but it was an ice sheet several inches thick (several, not a couple). But this weekend, it warmed up into the upper 40's, and he attacked it. YAY.

5. Stake temple day was on President's Day. We spent quite a few hours there and among other things, was able to do sealings for Shirley Lucia's family. (The elderly lady I helped take care of for several years until she passed in her mid 90's. She was baptized when she was 90, but was never able to attend the temple.) We sealed Shirley to her husband, daughter, and to her parents. Happy times.

Guess that's all. My kids are happy. I am happy. This is good.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


1-We finally saw a snow plow. After nearly a week, our street was plowed. Now, dont think that this means the street is now clear. But the top 20 or so inches was cleared. And it also meant that a 4 foot by 3 foot wall was dumped in front of our carefully shoveled driveway. Because we went out every 6 or so hours during the storms, and shoveled about 6 inches each time, our walk ways and driveway were pretty clear. On Friday, we ventured out into the world.

2- During the storms I made 5 quilt tops. One small wall quilt and 4 large queen tops for my mother (to give to home teachers, friends, etc.) Now I need to put them on the longarm and quilt them. Here is the pic of the wall quilt--a replica of the Washington DC stamp. Sorry it's sideways. I dont know how to fix that. :o)

3-Allie moved home yesterday. Some conflicts with her landlord/friend/roommate that they couldnt resolve. So until she finds another place in her price range, she is home. It will be nice to have her around.

4- We have church today. (Shortened because the wards cannot overlap while the parking lot snow piles take up a quarter of the spaces). We have had church cancelled twice recently for the snows, so it will be nice to be there. It was supposed to be stake conference (the satellite broadcast to the stakes on the east coast), but they were all cancelled because of the weather.

5- I have joined our ward's The Biggest Loser contest. We are all on teams, and the team that loses the most percentage weight, wins. We get the support of each other, the motivation to lose, but NO public weigh-ins wearing tight yoga pants and sports bras. ICK. Hopefully joining this group will motivate me. I am going to try to get some of the participating ladies to walk with me in the mornings. Exercise is what I need.

1- Because of all the shoveling, my back is constantly sore. Sometimes just sore, sometimes extremely painful. Heating pads, medicine and my shiatsu massaging chair are all used constantly.

2- Allie's boxes are all in our living room, piled against one wall. Looks terrible. But we dont really have a place to store them. I will clean out a section of the playroom downstairs and put them there, probably this week, but I really dont want do it. Hard to get motivated.

3-Molly and Allie both want the premier bedroom in the house (Natalie's room.) Molly uses it as a second bedroom and as a "friend room" to goof off and watch movies when her friends are here. But Allie will be there as soon as I can move Molly without creating a major disturbance.

4- Because of the 10 foot by 6 foot snow walls completely lining our streets, we have no parking anywhere. We have to cram 3 cars into our driveway, then anytime anyone needs a car, we all have to go move the other cars. So irritating. This is already old, old, old. But we dont expect the snow to melt before late spring. Great.

5- Tomorrow is President's Day and the kids in our county have to go to school as a snow make up day. I told Molly she didn't have to go, but in the end we decided that making up a missed day of work wasn't worth it, so she will go.

I think that's all. I am trying to enjoy yesterday, today and tomorrow. Not only is that a generally good idea, but a snow storm is coming on Monday night and just thinking of more snow is making me cry.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Blizzard of 2010 and more quilts

1-The Blizzard of 2010 (see best #1 as well). Snow like the DC area has never seen before. Crazy. We got 26 inches. We expect to be trapped in our house for another couple of days. A few people venture out, but we see a lot of them have to abandon their stuck cars. It's pretty bad. The above picture is of our picnic table and trampoline. Yes, both are under snow.

2-Schools, businesses, and governments are closed. No one can get out. And we have 5-10 inches of snow coming on Tuesday. This amount of snow puts us over the record snow fall for the DC area in recorded history. And remember--because we average about 4 inches of snow a YEAR, there just isn't snow removal equipment here. So it takes forever to clear streets, etc.

3-Bryce and I both have hurt our backs shoveling snow. Yes, we were careful and did it properly, but it was just too much for too long and it ended up getting to us.

4-Bryce is flat on his back with either food poisoning or a stomach bug. Probably the sickest I have see him. Sad stuff. The roof of our shed collapsed. The shed is DEAD. I called our home teacher to ask if he and his 3 teenage sons can come help me dig out the critical stuff (lawn mowers, spreaders, etc) so they wont get ruined. They will come help in a little bit--they have a truck and live close, so they can probably get out. Bryce and I will deal with the rest, the junk and removing the shed if the winter ever ends.

1- Blizzard of 2010. Can't go anywhere. We went out every 4-6 hours and shoveled about 6 inches each time. We have power. We eat, watch movies and TV, I quilt and quilt and quilt. It's a nice pace from running everywhere all the time.

2-I finished the final touches of a quilt and made 2 quilt tops. I also started a third quilt top which I hope to finish today or tomorrow. I am making 4 queen quilts for my mom--for her to give to 2 home teachers, to Naomi (the lady that drives her to the temple), and to Joyce Binns (the one that comes and cuts her hair every month). They all provide such Christlike service for mom, so together we are making them quilts.

3- On Saturday, we had a snow party. The neighbors on either side of our house treked through the snow and we had a potluck dinner. Chili, sloppy joes, chicken and rice, lasagna, veges, cherry cobbler, apple pie, and ice cream. And as great as the food was, the company was better. The VanGilsts, Bakers and Kennys. Nice time. Then everyone borrowed movies and headed home.

4- We actually had some fun shoveling snow. A snow plow actually shoveled the snow from the townhouses across the street, pushing the huge pile of snow onto the sidewalk between our house and the Kenny's house. Bryce took it as a challenge to shovel through it. First, for fun, he built stairs which Molly attempted to climb. I tried to post the video two times. Each time it looks like it is working, but then, no.

5- We have missed tons of days of school, and probably will miss most of this week. We have missed so many days that they really cannot have us make everything up. At least not reasonably so. Hopefully the days will be "forgiven" by the legislature.

6. I love Jenna's new blog posts. Insightful. Sensitive. She shouldn't be spending so much time on them, but I like them. Check it (Good Happens) out at

That's all. As usual, after I post, I will think of things I forgot. Oh well.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Not much to say, even though I haven't posted for a month!

It seems that the WORST leads to the BEST this entry. So I wont separate them. I'll add quilts at the end, especially if the computer will let me add pictures today.

We are in the cold capital of the world. Usually the DC area is pretty mellow for December. But one of the largest snowstorms ever happened on Dec 19th. And still now, some of the snow hasnt melted. Its been just too cold.

The 19th, the first day of the snow, Katie and Connor were supposed to fly out to Utah to spend Xmas with his family. But every airport closed, every flight cancelled. So 12 hours and 22 inches later, it was Sunday morning, the 20th. Church was cancelled. Everything was closed. Streets impassible. But we got up, shoveled driveway, cars out, sidewalks and a passway to the main street. And Bryce and I drove Katie and Connor to BWI Airport. Yes, BWI. It was crazy. But we made it. And with all the cancelled flights, for some reason, theirs was not cancelled and wasnt even late. So they got home to Utah. YAY.

The day before (the 18th), Allie came over (she lives close), and the rest of the girls were here, so we had a family Xmas dinner, opened gifts to and from Katie and Connor and had a really nice family time. Then the next day, since we were all snowed in, we played games, watched movies and helped neighbors dig out of the snow. (Especially neighbors who were widows, ill, etc.) It’s a good time to do service. After returning from the airport on Sunday, we helped shovel walks of widows and the like in the ward, the ward building walkways, neighbors again, etc. We were really really sore on Monday.

Natalie and Jenna are back at school. Jenna is taking a few GE classes and an ASL class. She has a 20 hour a week job from 12-4 m-f. How perfect is that? Natalie graduated in December (Math ed major) She is looking for jobs and interviewing whenever she can. She is anxious to start earning money because her savings are dwindling with lots of expenses and no income. I miss them.

Allie's car, Wilson, is about dead. It still drives in the horrible way it always did, but now it wont pass inspection (exhaust leak) and the repairs will cost about 6 times what she paid for it. So we've been looking for a car and found a beauty yesterday. 2003 Toyota Corolla only about 77.000 miles. Nice shape. We pick it up on Monday. Now she needs to find a better paying job so she can start earning more than her meager living expenses. (She wiped out her savings to buy the car.)

I have made about 9 quilts recently. I tried a dozen times to add pics, but it wont let me. I finally allowed one picture. The rest, check out my facebook where i put pictures of nearly all my quilts.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

BYU football, Thanksgiving, Black Friday and sewing withdrawl

1. as usual, my body doesnt seem to want to cooperate with the happiness plan. All kinds of problems. Then, for almost 48 hours, I had restless legs so bad I couldnt even sit at the computer. I had to stand, walk, etc. I got about 3 hours of sleep two nights in a row. By Saturday night, my brain couldnt even function because of sleep deprivation. It's funny how rls (restless legs syndrome) works. The more tired you are, the worse the rls gets. But the worse the rls, the less you can sleep, so you get even more exhausted which makes the rls worse, which makes you more exhausted....... you get the picture. Finally, Sat night, I actually fell asleep and got a regular night's sleep.
2. Yesterday we had to finish raking leaves. Katie and Connor volunteered to help over Thanksgiving weekend, but of course, it rained most of the time so we couldnt rake. They left Sat morning and by Sat afternoon, it was sunny and beautiful. So we had to finish the raking alone. Bah!
3. Sit down for this one. It's really bad. My sewing machine is in the shop for cleaning, adjusting, etc. It has been there for a week, just stitting in the queue. And he wont get to it until next week sometime. I could have been using it all this time. But has to sit in the store, just to stay in the queue. I am suffering severe sewing withdrawl. I try hand quilting, etc which helps. And I've cut out pieces for 2 quilts. Now I just need my machine.

1. BYU won the annual BYU vs. U of U football game. We were able to watch the game (instead of listening to it on the computer). Brad and Keva Cochran (ward members) invited us to come watch at their home. They had family in town and everyone was a rabid BYU fan. So that made it even more fun.
2. This weekend, I made some major contributions to the economy, especially on Black Friday. Got some incredible deals. Got most of my Christmas shopping done. Didnt deal with many large crowds or lines. It was all good.
3. I used a gift card (from one of my 5th grade students when I left) to purchase a blender thingy (like magic bullet, but Cooks brand). With the huge holiday sale, and a customer satisfaction coupon, and my gift card, it only cost $1.76! I'm excited to use it. Hope it works as well as I expect it to.
4. I finished quilting (on the longarm) 9 quilts for other people. I should make about $750 on them. Which is being used to buy some more expensive craft and sewing items. Items that I want but dont need. So I use quilting money.
5. On Thanksgiving we went to see the movie, Blind Side. It was so good. The rest of the day I felt uplifted and happy.
6. Earlier that day, we had Thanksgiving at the church. Every year, I organize a potluck Thanksgiving for families in the ward who want to share Thanksgiving with others, but don't have family near by. We had about 35 people this year. No one wanted to bring turkey this year, so I had to do it. I was pretty nervous that the turkey would be dry and awful, and that I would ruin everyone's Thanksgiving. But I used the huge roaster that Bryce had given me for Xmas 2007, and the turkeys were perfect! YAY! Even my gravy turned out. Miracles do happen!
7. For the first time in nearly 30 years of marriage (I think for the first time), I have ideas for multiple gifts for Bryce for Christmas! He is impossible to buy for, but this year, I have like 4 good gifts. Exciting.
8. Our 30th Anniversary is coming up. But we have no idea of what plans to make for it. Sad stuff. ---- Maybe this should be on the worst list. (But how can you put info on 30 years of happiness on the worst list? You cant! So it is here.)