Friday, April 17, 2015


 My wonderful hubby made some very delicious homemade bean soup for dinner last week. It was amazing! However, it did take me back to a warm, hot summer night in June in 1982.

The Beans
  My mother’s bean soup had never been a favorite of mine. My mother’s recipe was a tad on the creamy side- not clam chowder creamy but definitely more to it than just broth. So, I used to add ketchup to it. Now, as an adult that sounds totally gross, but as a kid you did what you had to do to stuff down dinner. If you didn’t like what was on the table, tough shit- there were no options. You ate what was on the table or you didn’t eat at all.
  That hot, muggy summer night was a night of partying- imagine that. One of my dear friends was graduating from high school. She grew up across the street from me, so my dad sent along with me a giant pot of his home made bean soup to the party. Now this one pot could have fed all of Philly. Well, what a party it was. Swimming, drinking, food and boys! After the party was over, somehow I talked a certain jock I had a crush on to let me give him a ride home. I am sure he was a bit tipsy for this to happen. Well, I sat the pot of leftover soup on the back seat and took him home. He lived in the neighboring town- it was about a 2 mile drive on winding, curvy roads. When I got back home, I got in the back seat to grab the pot of soup and guess what- the damn pot spilled all over the back seat of the car! From how much soup I tried to scoop up, the guests at the party must have had the same taste in soup that I did. I have no idea what I used to get the soup up off of the seat- I am sure I was trying to be quiet as it was wayyyy late and I didn’t want to wake my father- or the neighbors. We all slept with our windows open- only the rich people had air conditioners.  I wiped it up best I could and took the mostly empty pot into the house. 
No use crying over spilt beans!
   The next morning, I was up at the crack of dawn- or before- to leave on a trip with my sister to visit my brother in Missouri. I was so hungover I could have cried, but off we went. ( I know- no pity for the under-age drinker with the hangover) My dad dropped me off at my sister’s house and that adventure began. Another blog story – I promise!
   Several days later I got a call from my father- he was not amused. Now remember- I grew up in Pennsylvania which has nice, sticky, humid, hot summer days and nights. Evidently, I did not clean up all of the bean soup. He had been taking some guys back and forth to work with him that week and the car had started to smell. He said it got so bad they had to stick their heads out of the windows and wear gas masks. I can just picture 4 burly construction guys driving down Interstate 81 with their heads stuck out the windows like dogs!
Dad and his co-workers heading to work

 Finally, my dad got in the back seat and lifted the seat up and found- maggots. Tons of maggots! It probably looked the Body Farm in there! The little critters loved the bean soup, evidently. Good for them, I thought- they can have it. He said I was damn lucky I was 1,000 miles away or he would have wrung my neck. And I bet he would have! I was sure glad I was in Missouri- and had another week before I went home and he had time to cool off.

   I never took bean soup to another party- and frankly kind of lost the taste for it at all.  It is a good thing my hubby’s doesn’t even look like my dad’s version!         
    Have a good week everyone!

Monday, April 13, 2015

                                                  Spring Retreat
  Well it appears I have survived another quilt retreat with my girls. What a wonderful weekend we all had! I find it interesting that this time I was wayyyyy less productive than I usually am, but I had the best time ever! I made myself not be glued to my machine, and visited, ate, drank and laughed myself silly.  And not necessarily in that order.
And thank you Brooke, for staying out of the hospital this time! Now I won’t have to kick your ass when I see you in June.
  Terry was kind enough to chauffer me up the hill to our retreat. The first plan was to stop at the casino that I discovered that had Coney Dogs! Now, those of you who have never had a Coney Island coney dog in Pottsville, PA have no idea what you are missing. I knew this dog would not be the same, but I had to try it anyway. It was not bad! There was not enough grease in it, but it worked!

   Of course we had to play a bit on the machines before we left and headed to the house. I, of course, won nothing. Terry did ok, however, and off we went.
   We arrived at the house and got all unloaded, then we all headed back down the hill to dinner. We decided this year we would all eat at a buffet for the first night so we all would have a chance to visit. Well, due to some crack ass law we could not take our 4 month old guest retreater to dinner at the one casino, so we walked across the street to another. I know he looked pretty shifty in that stroller and all, but good lord. Screw you Monarch- there are plenty of buffets that will have us! Bastards.
   Now- it is time to party!


   Sometimes we bring little treats for each other- here is what I brought. I saw these little mug mats on Pinterest and thought they were cute. I was able to use parts of a lone star I screwed up. Glad I saved the pieces!

   The next day we started to sew. And some finished their projects that day as well.  Showoffs! I confess- I had some of my blocks pre-cut before we got there. Here is the start of the quilt show-

My Triple Barn Store
Terry's Triple Barn Star
   A few of us ordered these shirts a few weeks before retreat. Unfortunately Judy’s came in the wrong size and they did not get the new one shipped in time. Of course she got it the day after we got home!

  That night was wine and movie night for some of us. Serial Mom cracks me up every time! The prank phone calls are the best. If you have not seen it I highly recommend it. It does have some foul language in it, but if you are reading this blog that should not surprise you.


    We were lucky enough to have 4 generations joining us for this retreat- Kayden was a lovely special guest. He had a great time! And we all did not enjoy holding him at all - Just kidding!

Me and Kayden
Terry and Kayden
    Saturday the machines were humming- and in between the snacking of the homemade hummus- thank you BOB- We did get some work done.

Randi finished up this charming little quilt-

Roxanne was finishing up this sweet chevron top-

  Susie, one of our resident fabric designers completed this bag using her fabric. We love it!

Val and Randi worked on their bargello tops and got them all done. Boy- it was amazing watching these come together! We were all amazed!
This is Vals-

Here is Randi’s-

     I did manage to get a jean quilt top done for a certain someone. He probably does not read my blog so I will post this picture but I will leave his name out on the off chance he sees this. Holy crap is it heavy! It came out to be 72” x 96”. What in the hell was I thinking? I hope it will keep him warm on those cold Pennsylvania nights.

   Rae got this beautiful butterfly top done- such lovely colors!

  Jan made this wonderful little Betty Boop top for her mom- so fun!

   Michele was a busy beaver as well when she wasn’t working on that big bottle of wine. Is that a pussy willow, Dottie?? She made this sweet little dress for her daughter and this awesome top from Missouri Star.

  A few of the gals stayed up late a/k/a after 10 pm haha and Rae taught those night owls how to make these great zipper bags- so fun!

 Laurie brought this wonderful quilt that just came back from the quilter. She did hand applique on it as well. It was lovely!

    She was also working on a top from Hell. She got a kit and all the fabric was not there. We hate when that happens! I think sometimes fabric companies design these patterns but never make the quilts to test the actual pattern. Dumbasses. She did call the company where she bought the kit and they are working with her to get her the fabric she needs.
  Terry made this lovely blue and brown top from a kit she purchased. This fabric is so much fun! Love the dots!

  LUCY made this great bag- we all wanted it when she was done! She is our other resident fabric designer and has such an eye for color. I have learned so much from her and Susie- and they are so willing to share their knowledge. Thank you guys! (Ignore the bitch in the polka dot pj's- looks like the beergaritas ran out!)

   Susie was also working on this applique top- her machine applique is amazing!

  Terry showed off her mystery quilt that she organized on our Quilters and Sewers Only Facebook Page - isn’t it lovely?

Randi also was putting binding on this lovely- I adore cardinals. She is lucky she made it home with this quilt!

 LUCY brought this beauty to bind. It is a special gift for a wonderful event coming up. Eileen quilted it for her- isn’t it something?


   There were several other projects going on- I promised to be better this year at getting pictures but I am still lacking a bunch. I know Judy was busy all weekend and I only have one picture of a quilt she finished. It is a Quilt of Valor. Judy is prolific making these quilts. We are truly humbled by her dedication and support of this organization. Please go here to learn about this wonderful organization.

    Here is pic of Judy in her apocalypse shirt after she got home- isn’t she adorable?

  We had beautiful weather and we did manage to get some walking in although it was quite breezy. I had to do something to work off that wine and cookies and cream chocolate! We had a most wonderful time with each other as usual. Thank you for the laughs my dear friends. Can’t wait til September! Love you all!



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

                                                    Selling a machine- again!

  As you know by now I splurged and bought a new machine. Yes, I was probably on crack. I am trying to get over that habit but it is not going well. To help finance this little venture I figured I needed to sell my other machines.
  I (actually Bob did all the work) put my old 7530 Pfaff up for sale on  a few Facebook pages and on Craig’s List and got ready for the onslaught of scammers. He received a notice from a sweet woman from up north (still here in Colorado- just a bit north from where I live) after it was up for only 6 hours! We went back and forth a bit with info and I met her 2 days later. She loved the machine and bought it right then! No problem at all!  I am sure she will take good care of that machine and use it well. It was a perfect match and totally meant to be. I will miss the old gal but I am loving her replacement!
  My friend LUCY had Bob put her machine up for sale since my sale was so successful. And poor Lucy- all she has had is one scammer after another. Hopefully that will stop soon and she can sell hers as well. (Lucy keeps bitching at me because I often mention her on here so I changed her name. LOL). That is part of the price for being my friend-haha.
  Then I put my Bernina 630 up for sale. It has been a great machine as well, and though I will not have a sturdy back up if something happens to the new one it is more important to pay the new one off. I have to keep telling myself if the new one goes out, or when I take it in for service I have plenty of other hand projects to keep me amused. And it is not life-ending being without a sewing machine- it only feels like it. Bob is a tad nervous about this machine leaving and me not having a  back-up- evidently I get a tad bitchy if I don’t get in my sewing room for a while every day. I decided to sell the machine with the embroidery unit and their cases, a bunch of embroidery stabilizers, 2 boxes of Isacord embroidery thread, embroidery hoops, several USB sticks of software , the BSR Stitch Regulator, a walking foot, a ¼” foot, extra bobbins, a ruffler attachment and of course the accessory box- which we call the Barbie Case- total copyright infringement. I was getting ready to go on a quilt retreat with my homies and mentioned I was selling it to them. And, lo and behold, one of them bought it! No Craig's List, no listing on the internet, nothing! I was over the moon, and I know she will be as well. Goodbye to you as well, my dear friend, You have served me well!


  I have been making dog collar covers like mad- 490 to be exact I also started this quilt by Hickory Stitchery Dock while spending the day with my sweet friend, Terry. See Lucy- she doesn’t make me change her name LOL. (not yet anyway). She made the most awesome beef and barley soup for lunch. YUM! She even sent some home with me for Bob, as she knows I am a big slacker in the cooking category. Of course I screwed up part of the directions- my own fault, not the pattern, so I had to finish piecing the blocks at home. I almost threw the pieces I had left from pre-cutting in my bag to take with me, but I was cocky and thought- “Oh- I won’t need those”. I should have freakin known better.  DUMBASS. Here it is in all of it's glory. I really love that fabric line.

    I also made some little quilted treats but I cannot share any pictures of those yet. I will share those pictures in a few weeks.
  On another note- I pulled another dumbass move. Shocking, I know. On the way to Terry’s, I thought I should finally wash my car. I do love to go through the automated car wash bay, but I am paranoid I won’t get the tire in the groove thing that it is supposed to guide you in. So, this time I pull up into the thingy-there has to be name for the stupid thing but darned if I know what it is- and the light comes on to reverse a bit. I pulled up too far. FUCK! So, I put the car in gear and tried to go back bit- the car would not move. Oh shit- now what do I do? I actually got stuck! Do I gun it and try to pull ahead? What if someone is behind me? I just lost my $5. CRAP! So, after what seemed like 20 minutes (but probably only 10 seconds) I look down- I had the damn car in neutral!!!! Good lord- some days I should not even leave the house!

  I will get my act together and post retreat pics soon- I promise! I just need to get the rest of the collar covers turned and ironed.
Have a good week my friends!


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

                                                I don’t just rescue critters-
    Boy, nothing is ever boring! This actually happened a few summers ago, but I have not thought about it in a while. The other day Bob reminded me about and said- hey- that would make a good blog! So here it goes-
    I was working part time at the community college, so I had a few days off during the week. This beauty-

  would sometimes join me for lunch. We usually hit Atlanta Bread as it is one our most favorite places to dine. On this fateful day we were on our way home, probably giggling about something – or someone- and lo and behold- there was a freakin baby walking in the middle of the road!  We were in a neighborhood, but this street was still 4 lanes wide and pretty damn busy! The baby could not have been much more than 2. He had a diaper on and nothing else. I slowed the car down, Amber hopped out and grabbed him and I pulled the car over to the curb.

   I dialed 911 and spoke to the dispatcher, all the while waiting for a screaming lunatic mom to come running out looking for her baby. NEVER HAPPENED. The dispatcher then told me that if someone came up to take the baby (ex. the child's mother) I was not supposed to let her take the baby. Oh crap- exactly what was I supposed to do if someone came up to me? Hurry up, coppers- I don’t need to be on that television show COPS- again. Another concerned citizen pulled over behind me, and proceeded to drive around looking for someone that was frantically looking for a baby. NOTHING.  Amber kept the baby company- held him and sweetly talked to him in a soft voice. The baby was very calm and never cried.
  About 10 minutes later the cops showed up. (I was kind of surprised it took this long as we were about 2 blocks from the station, but what do I know). One nice policeman took my statement and Amber’s statement, and one of the other offices took the baby.
  Finally, after knocking on a few doors, the police found out which house the baby belonged in. The excuse was the baby must have gone out the back door and pushed the gate open. Now, let me tell you this WOODEN gate was at least 6 feet high.


  There is no way in hell that baby could have pushed that gate open. I don’t think Superman lived at that house and had a baby. The gate must have been propped open.

   The officers chatted with the gal for a bit, then came back over to us. They told us there would be a process and they would make sure this never happened to the baby again.
  Amber and I popped back into my car and off we went. I am happy to say that we have had many other lunches since then, but none quite as eventful as that day! I still drive by that intersection once in a while, and then think about that day. I saw quite a few cars in front of me that just drove by that baby, never stopping at all. I hope they just didn’t see him- which is scary as well.
  I am not trying to blow my own horn, as sometimes I admit I like to stick my head in the sand and not take care of things that need to be handled. I am just glad my instincts jumped in, saw a baby in need and didn’t even think about not stopping. Maybe I am not a total loser!!
Maybe there is hope for me yet!