Saturday, August 20, 2016

We are Tennessee bound!  The house here in California has sold.  We have contracted on a beautiful home in Adams, Tennessee.  When we move in, the population of Adams will increase to a whopping 646.  It is about 35-40 miles NW of Nashville.  We have five acres and it is a mixture of trees and meadows.  I can't wait to see it for the first time.

Our daughters are moving with us.  Karen will precede us by about a week, and handle the closing for us.  We will caravan with Michael and myself, Laurie, Mason and our six dogs.  I know it will be an adventure we will never forget!  (Trying to put a positive spin on the mammoth effort it is going to entail!)

We are surrounded by boxes and packing paper and tape.  I am trying to see some of the beautiful friends I have made during these 22 years here in California, one last time.  It is a bittersweet time. I will miss so much about California.  I love, love, LOVE California.  But it is time for a change to a slower lifestyle for us, and a bit more space to roam, a quieter existence.  The proximity to my sister and her family is something I have dreamed of.  I am looking forward to meeting new quilting friends, and watching our little grandson explore his new big backyard.  Life will be good in different ways.  I will miss so much about California.  But onward, to the next adventure.  Our "fourth quarter" is going to be amazing!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Two and a half years later!

My last post was in October, 2013!  In December of that year, a beautiful grandson was born, and through an unfortunate and sad situation, he was placed in our care to foster-to-adopt.  The adoption process was laborious at best, but we had the most amazing adoption social workers helping us along.  Mason needed a lot of medical, physical, occupational and lately speech therapy.  Our long dreamed of retirement to TN was delayed, delayed, and delayed again.

Little Mason is 29 months old now.  His adoption was final over a year ago.  His physical and occupational therapy are on hold now, and he is seen for check ups only.  He is exploding with words daily and speech therapy may be ended soon.  The blessings abound!

We are now Tennessee bound.  I will hopefully be posting more often, with pictures and stories from our adventures.  I want to get it written down (typed out on the blog!) so that friends, family, and someday, Mason himself, will have a record of all of the fun and silliness and love and happiness we have shared.  There will be scrapbooks too, but this is for just jotting down memories before they escape my cranium!  

We have contracted for a home in TN.  We are listing our home next week, here in CA.  I am oh-so-ready for this next and final adventure:  retirement.  I may be a Recycled Mom, and I may go by the name Nana, but this is our retirement adventure and I can't wait.

Nana (Joy)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cody visit, Fall 2013

Upon hearing the very welcome news that of our most, um…. difficult    demanding    prolific transcription accounts would be inactive for a week while the dictator himself was on vacation, I promptly made plane reservations to Cody to visit with Mom and Dad. 

After an uneventful, though extremely tardy arrival, I arrived at the house and Mom whispered "look!" and gleefully pointed in the direction of a shadowy corner of the kitchen/dining area.

A dog crate?!

Mom and Dad had lost their last terrier two years earlier and had talked of getting another dog for some time.  They were waiting for just the right one, and not making any sudden decisions.

"A dog?", I whispered back..... remembering at one time they also had a beloved cat, and thinking maybe that was a possibility too.

My Dad said, "Joy?" to get my attention and then held up TWO fingers.  TWO???

My first glimpse:
Boxers!  They had owned them all of about four or five hours before my plane arrived.  And with that, the fun began.  It was so relaxing to just sit and adore the squirmy little puppy bellies and laugh at their antics.  We didn't go anywhere, except out to eat to our favorite Chinese buffet, and to  Walmart for a few items.  The rest of our time together was spent enjoying puppies, sewing, inhaling the delicious food Mom  made, and playing in the snow.  Yes, SNOW!
Here are some pix of (L to R) Javelin (meaning: graceful spear) and Jaeger (meaning: hunter).  Years ago Dad named the home we lived in as kids the "4J Ranch".  (All four of our names, parents and kids, started with J).  He ran the 4 and the J together, using the vertical portion of the J as the vertical portion of the 4, so the 4 had a J "within" it..... He had a stamp made and a sign for the house, etc.  When my sister and I married/moved away - we still referred to it as the 4J Ranch but now, there are four J's living there again.  :)

 Someday, he won't be able to get even one into his lap comfortably!
 We love our chef - she makes great puppy food!
 But I want to go play in the den!  It looks like fun over there!
 Okay, fine!  I'll play 'pull the sock" with Mom.
 ....Until I'm tired....

Big yard, tiny puppy!
After a few days, playing in the big yard was NOT an option.  We got snow, which delighted me immensely.  As usual, it drifted from 5 inches to 30+ inches in various areas of the yard, so Dad got to play with his new snowblower.  If he had not, I'm not sure I would have made it out of the driveway to catch my flight home.  I suited up and shoveled and took lots of pictures.
 Before we went out, Dad was sewing and I loved the way the snow was stuck to the windows!

 Snowpants are "hot" and not in a good way!
 If you click on this, it may "embiggen" - that is my 80-year-old Mom shoveling heavy snow!
 Dad's new toy - cutting right through the heavy snow!
 Sillouette's stable (Mom's much-loved geriatric mare, now over Rainbow Bridge). Love the morning light on the hills behind it.
 The snow drift was as tall as the snow blower.... but it did the job!
 Embiggen these if you can - it's so pretty up there.
 Love this "berm" of snow, almost looks like a wave in the ocean!

 If you look closely you can see the "diamonds" in the snow - I love this!

Sewing did take place while I was there.  And this is where I need to say "thank you" to my quilting friends.
Jenny gave us a quilt for the Women's/Children's Crisis Center home.  It only lacked a binding and I put that on while I was there.  It is beautiful, and the director of the home was SO grateful to get it for one of the beds there.  A quilt can make a strange place seem so "homey" for someone going through a bad time. 

I believe the fabric for this next quilt came from Ellen.  She had given me a zip log bag with strips, all 3-1/4 inches wide, left over after a project.  I decided to just make simple 9 patches, pairing the strips with a white-on-white I had, and I backed it with a simple white Minkee. 
This made an extremely warm quilt (I was getting hot quilting it!) and I think it will be appreciated by someone in very cold Wyoming!  I left it up to the director to choose whether it went to a young girl, or an adult who could use a lap quilt to keep warm. 
The next quilt(s) are made from fabric that I think is from Beth.  My quilting friends blessed me with fabric and it got all put together and now I am not certain what is from who!  The pattern was in a bag with a few blocks, and almost the whole jelly roll.  I'm really glad Beth decided she didn't want it any more! :)
First, Dad and I finished the one that was started.....  We made it child sized, and we abandoned the pattern pretty quickly as we were totally confused,.  We just took the basic idea from the cover picture and worked with it until we were pleased.  It went together really quickly and I love it! 
After we were done, we realized we had an awful lot of that jelly roll left over, so we made a simple rail fence for a second baby quilt!  And then there were a few tiny pieces left and we decided to throw them together willy-nilly and make a changing pad. 
I brought these tops home to quilt....  I am packing up my life/sewing room/house for our move to Tennessee next year, but I hope to clear the dining room table and quickly quilt these tops.  After that, there will be no quilting, I expect, except for my "Ode to the Thirties" quilt I am making along with Yvette.  Until after the move, there's just too much to be accomplished!
A few other random pictures:

 Dad made this using little "biscuits" he made with large and small squares which were combined and then stuffed with batting....  There are 270 biscuits in it, I think.  He had enough fabric left to make the pillow cover.  Mom won't let him give this one away! :)

I get my "cook a lot at a time" from Mom - here she had just made their next month's granola supply, four flavors.  I sneaked a bowl - soooooooooo good!
One of my favorites of the snow.
It was a fun trip and I can't wait to go back. 
When I do, there will be NO lap puppies there! Javelin and Jaeger will be big boxer girls by then!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Trying to get back in the groove..... of blogging

It's been about six months since my last real post, I believe.  I simply haven't made the time, and I am not happy with myself about that, because I really like having my little online journal of family happenings and crafty projects and quilting fun.  

Maybe it was this....

I'm kidding.  It was the best day ever, the most beautiful celebration, and I enjoyed every single minute of Laurie and Jason's special day.   I was tired after we got home, but not six months tired!  I do have one funny story about the wedding I need to blog soon, or my feeble mind will forget the particulars!  

But in the last six months, there's been a lot of just normal life going on.  I continue to battle adjusting to the hearing loss I experienced in September.  It is permanent and it is a pain in the derriere.  Oh well! So be it!!  I have roughly one half of one ear left, and I am just going to be grateful for that! :)

Christmas came and went, the New Year was rung in, renovations have taken place around the house (new floors upstairs, etc) and with every possible opportunity, I've gotten together with my friends to sew, or been in my sewing room stitching away.  

I recently attended a lecture given by one of Karen's favorite professors ever, and now I understand why she was always in the very front row of Doc's classes.  He kept me spellbound for the entire talk.  He is a treasure!

Also recently Karen adopted little Penny, a 4.2 pound chihuahua who is four years old (five this month!) and won her heart the moment she spotted her at a Petco adoption fair.  You gotta be careful when you walk in those places, I tell you!!

She makes us laugh, and due to her size, she often gets into spots that the other dogs don't....  as you can see here.

"Just making sure you have the dishes loaded properly, Grandma", she says!  Karen is her mom, so she is my grand dog!

She gets along with all the other dogs just beautifully.  This was taken on Mani-Pedi day, when they all got nails trimmed. (And two more were at home waiting for their own trip to get trimmed!  Yes, there are six here now.  Quilting is my passion; dogs are  Michael's passion.  Somehow, we make it work!!)

On the quilting side of my life, I've been working on GrandmothersChoice quilt(s).  I'm making two of these quilts.  I held my own until right about the wedding and then started slipping a bit.  I was told by Ms. Brackman in the comment sections that "Y" seams were important to learn, and I agree.... (and I love the feeling of accomplishment when I succeed with them!)  but I've been very relieved that I haven't run into any more just yet! heehee!  There are some "Y" seams in future blocks on the horizon, but I'll cross that bridge when necessary!  In the meantime, I've enjoyed trying to catch up with the patterns Ms. Brackman posts weekly, and making these:

Laurie especially liked the umbrella blocks!

Yvette, Beth and I are working on our "Ode to the Thirties" quilts.  Beth had started this quilt a while ago, and has many of the blocks done already, and they are beautiful.  Yvette and I pick several blocks each month to complete and Beth so far, I think has had the ones we've picked, already completed.  These are the blocks I made from two months ago.

And this is the four blocks we chose to do last month.  I was under the weather and ended up making mine at home alone, keeping my germs to myself!

The dog sitting opportunities come up now and then.  I spent almost a week staying with this pretty girl, who was an excellent walker and very sweet.  I set up my machine on the kitchen table there, and when we weren't hiking around keeping her exercised, I worked on some 12 inch blocks from an old web sampler pattern that I am remaking in 30's fabric scraps that Nancy and Beth and Yvette passed along to me.  When I gathered all the scraps together, the total pile has turned out to be enough to make an entire scrappy sampler quilt (and probably a child's quilt too!).  

I think I have four more blocks to go and that quilt will be ready to assemble.  Yay!

I've also been working on my Four Star Generals quilt.  Yvette suggested we make one set of four stars a month and that is working very well.  I'm making mine scrappy from my Civil Wars stash.  You can see on my OleFrogEyes page that I have reached the halfway point on this quilt.

Two from this month's block are done, and I'll need to make two more.

So now I'm going to hit "post" (and hope that not that much has changed since I last posted a picture-heavy entry and it will work!), and take myself off to bed.  I've been fighting some sort of icky crud germs for over a month, and I think I've had about enough!  I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired!  Hopefully the current regimen of antibiotics will wipe out what my doctor says is strep throat.....  I've not had that since I was two years old and had my tonsils removed, so it's been kind of discouraging the way it's dragged on.  

But I'm going to do what the sign at my vets' office suggests! 


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Happy Birthday to Us!

I haven't posted in forEver, but I will be resuming it as soon as possible.  I miss keeping a record of what I am working on, family events, etc....

But if you happen by here today, please visit my sister's blog and wish her a  Happy Birthday!  That's right, it is the birthday of Snoodles, of  Lilypadquilting (with the adorable Padsworth and Dragondrop, and all the fun giveaways, reviews and let's not forget the duck adventures!!).  And it's my birthday too.  She's the best birthday present I got, the year I turned three!!  

Yes, we share a birthday, but we are not twins.  How special is that?!  For many years, we shared a cake and blew out candles together.  It's been a long time since we were together to do that, but we will do it again someday!!

Love you, Sister!!  Happy Birthday to us!

Joy Denise

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dear Ms. Brackman....

Dear Ms. Brackman,

Please, no more Y-seams for a couple of rows....

The Wimp

No, I really did not send this to Barbara Brackman, the wonderful and much appreciated designer of the current Grandmother's Choice Block of the Week quilt! )

It's my own fault, you see.  Have you ever heard anyone refer to a delightful diet concoction (example: HealthyChoice icecream) and wonder out loud, "how many servings can I have before this is NOT healthy!?!"

Well, I figured if ONE block of the week quilt was so much fun last year..... where I made this beauty (Barbara Brackman's Civil War block of the week, pictured before I corrected one upside-down block!):

Then making TWO of the Grandmother's Choice quilts would be double the fun!  RIGHT???!!

Well, this is true in the case of some of the blocks which are..... well....  which don't involve Y-Seams!!

So far, here are a few of the blocks I've made:

In all seriousness, Ms. Brackman is challenging me in a good way!  I love this new BOW and I'm actually enjoying the blocks with Y-Seams too....  When I'm finished with them, it is very satisfying to look at the growing stack!  I've already mentally picked the recipients of these two quilts and I think the history behind each of the blocks will be especially meaningful to them.  I'm already looking forward to the new block next Saturday!

(I'm keeping track of this quilt's progress, color placement, etc, on my OleFrogEyes virtual design wall.. click here to see: )