Friday, November 27, 2015

Sale Dates: Thursday (11/26/15) - Moday (11/30/15)
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

                                                I AM NO JULIA CHILD


  As turkey day approaches and I think about all of the wonderful food that goes with it, I have to admit something to you all. I cannot cook for shit- trust me. Ask my poor family. Now and then I have a bright moment but my failures far outweigh my successes.
  Let’s blame my mother- that is where everything starts, is it not?? She was the master- she could cook anything.  She set the bar too damn high. I remember one year my dad giving her crap about putting ice cream in the oven to make a baked Alaska- she showed him –it was terrific! We did not have a lot of money growing up but the food was always plentiful and fantastic. Except for her New England dinner- it had turnips in it. I still don’t like those bastards.
  I also was never home as a teen. My schedule was- band practice, volleyball practice,  archery practice, dating the band director practice, choir practice, play practice, parties in the boonies practice, etc. I WAS NEVER HOME. Then my mom had to go and get cancer when I was a junior in high school so all cooking training would have ended there anyway. Yeah, let’s keep blaming my poor mother.
  Fast forward a few years and to my move to Colorado. It was the week before the dude ranch opened to guests- thank God- and I was helping the cook with dinner for the staff. She was making spaghetti and I asked her if I should throw the meat into the sauce. She told me yes. What she failed to mention is that I was supposed to cook the meat first. Who knew? It sucked, the guys ate it anyway and I was banished from the kitchen the whole rest of the season. Well played, I think!
  After leaving the dude ranch, I wanted to make some of my grandmother’s bread pudding. This is a cold pudding that is not cooked- weird, I know as it has eggs in it. Well, I got done with the pudding and it was very runny- not at all like hers. So, I called her. She went over the recipe with me- Did you let the eggs get to room temperature? Yes. Did you add the bread- yes.  Did you whip the whipping cream? No. Then, in her sweetest, yet most disgusted voice she says- WHY DO YOU THINK THEY CALL IT WHIPPING CREAM? How in the hell should I know? I never attempted to make it again. I still have the recipe in her handwriting and will never get rid of it, but I will never attempt to do it again.
  A few years after that fiasco I attempted to bake my first turkey. Why would I think there would be body parts inside of the fucking thing that I had to take out? Who does this??? People are sick bastards. They kill them and then stick their parts back inside- is this some kind of ritual? I don’t think if affected the taste much- but who knows. And let’s not talk about the time I baked the ham with the plastic still on it- it kept the ham nice and moist- trust me.
  Then, trying to be the sweet newlywed wife I attempted to make Bob my mother’s red velvet cake. I got  two 8” round pans all ready to go- I cut out the wax paper just as I had seen my mother do, greased and floured the pans, put the paper down in the pans then poured the batter into them. As they cooked, there was a problem arising-haha. All of a sudden there was batter pouring over the top of the pans and into the bottom of the oven. Then it hit me- this was a 3 layer cake- DUMBASS!  After the 2 layers cooked, I attempted to make my mothers’ homemade icing recipe. I did not remember there being huge ass lumps in it. Again, I never attempted to make this again. EVER. But it is still my favorite cake ever in the whole world.

  The one thing I could make that tasted good to me was my mothers’ potato stuffing. I always have loved it, but after making it for 10 years and realizing I was the only one who would eat it I stopped making it. Then my friend brings over her stuffing one year and my family scarfs it down. What could her magical concoction be made out of, I wondered?  Fucking  Stove Top and cooked sausage. Really people? It took me a good hour to make the home made crap and she walks in with this? Needless to say I have never made my mother’s stuffing again. And since she always cooked enough for the 7th Fleet   I have not figured out how to make just a little. Oh well.

  So, my peeps, as you are eating your goodies on turkey day, be grateful you are not at my house and have to politely struggle to eat my food.


Happy Thanksgiving to all who all who celebrate!

Friday, November 20, 2015



Okay, so it wasn’t really a great blackout. You probably wouldn’t even be able to call it a rolling brownout. But nonetheless, it was still a traumatic experience for me.

My husband and I arrived home from work at the same time. I thought that I would be the dutiful and ever loving wife and make dinner that evening. So I sauntered into the kitchen and flipped on the light switch – nothing. I called to my husband and told him the electricity was off. He shouted back that the lights in the bedroom were fine. Mystery.

Hubby headed to the electrical panel, figuring one of the circuit breakers had tripped. He came back into the kitchen and said everything was fine, but the kitchen lights still weren’t working. But, on testing, the lights in the living room came on. The mystery grows.

While hubby pondered the problem, I decided to proceed with making dinner, before total darkness settled in. About the time I turned on the oven, the lights in the kitchen came back on. ‘The lights are working,” I informed my husband. “Great job on whatever you did.”

To which he replied, “The lights just went out in here in the living room. What did you do?”

“Nothing, honest!” I proclaimed. So I turned the oven back off. The lights in the kitchen went out and the lights in the living room came back on.

We both agreed that this was totally weird. He thought we should call the power company. I thought we should call an exorcist. For some reason, there are no exorcists listed in the yellow pages of our phone book, so I ended up calling the power company. After pressing one for English, two for electrical problem, three to get set and four to go, the sweet automated voice on the other end took down our address, contact information, account number, heights and weights, hair and eye color, number of children, number and type of pets, what I intended to make for dinner, types of beer in the fridge and finally the nature of our problem. The voice then informed me that a service technician specialist and a SWAT team would be there sometime in the next one to forty-eight hours.

I gently slammed down the phone only to find my husband playing with the oven switch on our electric stove. He would turn the oven on, and the lights in the kitchen would come one. But the lights in the living room would go off. He would turn the oven off, and the lights in the kitchen would go off and the lights in the living room would come back  on. He was thoroughly enjoying himself watching this electrical phenomenon.

For some reason, this seemed to totally enchant my husband. Had I not made him quit, I am sure he would have stood there playing with the switch to our electric oven for the next one to forty-eight hours, until the service technician specialist and the swat team showed up.

Now totally freaked out, I decided to forgo cooking dinner and to instead order a pizza and some green pea soup for dinner. I would also comb through the phone book looking for that exorcist while waiting for out supper to arrive.

I thought I had best get out the plates, silverware and pizza condiments before I did anything else, before total darkness settled into our kitchen. I turned on the oven, which also turned on the kitchen lights, and it was then that I caught a whiff of gas. Alarmed, I called out to my husband. “Dear, I smell gas out here in the kitchen.”

He told me it was just my imagination and to grab him a beer out of the fridge before they got too warm. Now the smell of gas was getting stronger and I was getting scared, concerned and pissed off at my husband. I told him the smell was getting stronger.

His laughter really pissed my off. It is a good thing he has quick reflexes, because the beer bottle might have hit him in the head otherwise. He laughed even harder and I got even angrier.

“Dammit,” I yelled. “I am sure the pilot light on the stove is out and it is spewing gas into our kitchen. The damn house is going to explode and all you can do is laugh.” By now he was literally rolling on the floor, howling with laughter and tears streaming down his cheeks.

“The pilot light is out,” I screamed. “The house is going to explode at any minute and all you can do is roll on the floor and laugh like an idiot?” I was sure the gas had gotten to his head. Maybe I should call 911!!!

Finally he calmed down enough and told me to settle down.

Settle down! Our damn house was going to explode. Maybe I should just kill him now and wait for the explosion to cover up the crime.

I was getting light headed and somewhat nauseated from the gas smell. I didn’t think that a little old unlit pilot light could spew that much gas.

My husband staggered into the kitchen weak from laughter but unconcerned about the gas smell. “Think about what you are saying,” he told me.

“I smell gas,” I insisted. “The pilot light must have gone out on the stove and it is leaking gas into the house!”

“Think about it,” he said again.

“Gas!” I insisted.

In looking back on it, I guess I can understand his reaction. And I can forgive him for laughing so at hard. But in my defense, how was I to know that electric stoves do not have pilot lights.

For you who are curious, it had been an exceptionally dry summer. The ground around the house had settled so much that it had pulled one of the electrical lead wires out of the electric meter. This was causing only one phase of the electrical current to flow into the house. I don’t really understand the whole electric thing, but it seemed that when the oven was on, half of the house would get electricity and the other half wouldn’t. When the oven was switched off, the flow was reversed and the other half of the house would get the power. Who knew??

Saturday, October 10, 2015


            As many of you know, Chip, one of the founders of Chip and Dale Designs, recently had to undergo emergency spinal surgery. The surgery was performed at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. We are pleased to report that the surgery was a complete success and our little buddy is well on the road to recovery.

Chip with hot compress on his incision
            Due to the location and complexity of the surgery, the incision was made in the front of his neck, rather than in the back. This was done to limit muscle damage and to provide a more direct access to the areas of the herniated discs.

Chip the day after surgery
            Chip was confined to his kennel for the first six weeks following his surgery. During this time we searched and researched various harnesses that he could wear that would not put pressure on his neck and back, and at the same time could be positioned so as not to irritate the site of his incision. Most of the commercially available harnesses would simply not work.
            One day I happened to learn of a website for custom made doggie harnesses. I immediately found this wonderful company called Weenie in the Window. It is a small, mother-daughter business that custom designs and creates dog harnesses for dachshunds and other small (and sometimes large) dogs.


            I precisely followed the measuring instructions on the website and measured Chip taking into account the location of his incision. I received an email shortly after placing my order that I would get my harnesses shortly. Whoo hoo!
            You know how sometimes when you meet someone, either in person or through social media, and something just clicks? You know almost immediately that this is a cool person and is someone that you would like to know better. That was how I felt after the first email I received from Dana. Something just clicked.
            Our experiences with Dana and Weenie in the Window has been nothing but marvelous. We highly recommend them if you are in need of a harness for your critter. Their website is:

There is also a link to their web site located on the right side of this page. Simply scroll down to the link and click on the picture. You can also like them on Facebook.

LAST MINUTE UPDATE: We received Chip’s harness in the mail today. We also ordered one for Dale so she wouldn’t feel left out. Here are Chip and Dale in their new Weenie in the Window harnesses. (I have Dale's harness a tad low on her neck in this pic- new operator error LOL). Please ignore the potatoes in the bottom picture- do you know how hard it is to get a good picture of 2 wiener dogs at the same time? Bob was bribing them with pepperoni in the kitchen.


Friday, October 2, 2015

                                I survived another one- but barely
   Hello all!  I made it back from retreat all safe and sound. And I am happy to report I found a wine that when the whole bottle was consumed by one person it did not give me   her  a hangover. Whoo Hoo!
   Anyway, of course I did not get as much done as planned, and it wasn’t necessarily the drinking that caused that. I just took my time and enjoyed the process, as well as the beautiful scenery and wonderful company.


On to the show-
  I got these Packer bandanas finished for my bro- the Packer freak. It is also his birthday at the end of the week- how he got that old I will never know. Seems like we were just riding on the back of that mini bike just last week-


  I finished this little table topper from This and That- I still have to trim the edges and quilt it but since I didn’t have the backing with me I figured I would do this at home- a/k/a  next retreat.

I finished this cute little iron caddy to use with my little Rowenta- I love this fabric!


 The last thing I worked on was these cute little Farm House blocks. I had to raid Susie’s trash bin for the beak for the chicken, and I raided Roxanne’s extra fabrics for the spoon fabric. I love how these are coming out, but I do need to do a little more fabric shopping for jar lids, etc. Oh bummer-NOT!

 We did a gift exchange this time- which worked out beautifully. I got this wonderful Christmas quilt from Jan- she put so much work into it. I will treasure it always-

   My pals, on the other hand, kicked some quilting ass working on stuff.
  Judy and Rae worked on these Bargellos from Hell. I guess the directions weren’t too hot, but they emailed the designer and she did respond that same day and they were able to finish their tops. I do not think I will be making one soon. All they need to do is trim them up and add borders. I love their fabric selections! Rae’s looks like something tropical- beautiful! Terry went with some great bat fabric- both were stunning!

   Here is a close up of Terrys- notice the bats!

   Eileen got this cute bag pieced the first night we were there- isn’t it great?


 Terry got her funky tree all appliqued down- I might have heard a curse word or 2 but I just gave her more wine. Love that background!


 Susie was working on this quilt- she has such great color sense-


 Val was piecing this gorgeous Blooming 9 Patch- bet ya can’t guess what her favorite color is???

 Susie got the binding put on this beauty- she just got it back from the talented Eileen that quilted it for her. It was stunning-and from what I have seen she already has it hanging in the perfect spot in her house.

 Rae was our resident night owl- she was coming to bed just as some of us were getting up! She worked on this scrappy stained glass beauty while we were all dreaming of Channing Tatum- well some of us, anyway-


 The lovely Roxanne got this top done as well as a matching pillow case- it was a pattern she designed- such a smarty pants. But I did hear her say there is a need for an accounting network on cable.  Stay tuned about that-

 Lexie got this top all finished- I love the borders on Mr. Chiilingsworth! I had purchased one of these panels and now I have an idea of how I would like to finish it-


 Judy was working furiously all weekend and produced much more than this, but here is a sampling of what she was working on-

  Eileen also made this darling pillowcase for her grandson- I think he might be a fan of Minions-


  Michele was working on a beautiful quilt from the Missouri Star Block book- and I got this great picture of her ass, too. This may have may have happened after ½ of the bottle of wine I drank during our quilt show discussion idea- more on that below.

Her ass:

  Rae was a doll and brought me 2 of these bags after I begged her on the internet (it really didn’t take much begging- she has a heart the size of Oklahoma)- she is such a  dear. I will love them forever.

  It might have been the wine/beer/mead, but there was talk of a new show coming on cable- and it will not be for your average quilter. It might involve cussing, topless men, and even some quilting. Think of the movies Serial Mom, Magic Mike and then some quilting all combined into one show. It is still in the works, but we have a marketing person and a place to film it, so you never know. Now we just need sponsors- hmmm- ANYONE???
Thanks for reading about my retreat- only 6 more months before the next one- better get packing!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

                               Another retreat around the corner-

   Here it is, another 6 months has gone by in the blink of an eye. And that means that I better get packing for quilt retreat on Thursday! Just call me Last Minute Nellie!

   I have about a billion projects I want to work on, but I guess I better whittle that down a bit. I am hitching a ride and Terry won’t have room for her booze if I bring everything!
  One thing I am going to work on is the Farm Girl Vintage Quilt by Bee in My Bonnet.

This is not in my usual realm on something I would do as I am not a country gal, but for some reason I freakin love this quilt. I grabbed a fat quarter stack of similar fabrics a few weeks ago, then found a great background at Hobby Lobby for 30% off. Such a deal!
  Then, Lori Holt also publishes this pattern-
My daughter loves pigs, so of course I had to add this sweet boy to my massive pattern library. I also started to collect pink fabrics as I do not have many in my stash. Then, I see this pattern that she made out of the pigs-

OMG! I love how she broke up the pigs with the flowers. And, of course the flowers are yet another pattern. Is this designer smart, or what? Guess what else came into my pattern library?? Good god I need to call Pattern-a-holics Anonymous- STAT!


  Another project I am taking is a little quilt from Berties BOM by Bonnie Sullivan. I bought the kit a few years ago, as it was all flannel and I do not have many of those in my stash, either. When I decided to get stuff cut and ready for retreat, I found out the dumbasses that kitted it didn’t give me enough of the applique fabrics. Oh well- after a bunch of swearing and a call out to my homie Terry I went through the 20 pound bag of flannels she brought me I was able to get all of my pieces.

I am only doing the month with the squirrel- one of my very favorite critters.  I hope to finish this if not anything else.

  I also have my fabric cut for my snowball quilt. I have loved this Kaffe Fassett fabric and bit the bullet several months ago and bought yardage at a favorite shop of mine in Lyons, Colorado. Here are my parts all ready to go-

    I have also cut a half dozen more blocks out of scraps so I can test my seam allowance first. For once I am going to do something right.  But we shall see what happens as once I get up to retreat and start drinking all bets are off- right girls???


   I am also taking a few hand projects- including my Crabapple Hill Gardeners Alphabet embroidery. NO-I AM NOT DONE WITH THIS DAMN THING YET SO QUIT ASKING ME!!!

        I will be sharing retreat pics with you all when I get back. And please do not laugh when I tell you I didn’t get anything done.  Or at least don’t tell me you did!

   See you next week!


Thursday, September 3, 2015

                             THE GROW-A -FROG ESCAPADE


   So, I promised you a grow- a – frog story and here it is.
   As some of you know, when you have  young ones at home, all sorts of critters come and get to reside at your home for a while.  And some are not very cute- sorry, iguana lovers. I need fur on my pets.
   We had 2 guinea pigs for a while, which when we bought them  we were assured that we had 2 females. While on vacation, my friend that was babysitting the house called to ask how many guinea pigs we had. My gut reaction was “Crap, one got out”. Instead, it became “How in the Hell did one guinea pig turn into a male?” We now had 3- LOL.

  After the guinea pigs left us,  I then  got the phone call- “Dad wants to buy us lizards- can we keep them at your house?”.  So, how could I say no to 2 little lizards. We had the glass cage from the guinea pigs. What I did not know is that they were actually freakin iguana’s- WTH?  So, of course after the first week the kids didn’t touch them, they got mean and they kept growing and growing and got meaner and meaner. Back to the reptile store they went. I was not sorry to see them go. Again, sorry all of you amphibian lovers. I am just not a lizard type of gal.
   Then, we had to get a turtle. He was a great turtle, for the week while he lasted. Poor guy- I am not sure what happened there.
   And, finally, we get our son a grow- a –frog. For those of you that are not familiar with these creatures, you purchase a tiny, tiny tadpole  via the mail. It gets shipped to you in a Styrofoam container. Then, you put it in a habitat and watch him grow.
   Well, the frog in the store was approximately a 3 inch diameter little guy- not too big. We figured this would be a great, small pet for Sean. We bought a small terrarium that was tall and round. He loved that frog and fed him well. He changed the water as directed, and the damn thing would NOT STOP GROWING. That thing was HUGE! His legs alone could have fed a family of 4! At night we would sometimes hear the frog jumping up to hit the lid in an attempt to escape from his habitat. Sean finally put a large rock on top of the kid so he could not escape. EXCEPT, one night he forgot to put the rock on it.
     Now- picture this- it was the middle of the night, I heard Cramer, our one cat, playing with something out in the hall. I had absolutely no clothes  on at all as the kids were at their dads. I went out into the hall- and lo and behold Cramer had the grow-a -frog trapped behind the little table that was by our bedroom door. I start screaming to Bob- “THE FROGS’ OUT-THE FROGS’ OUT” and I start chasing the fucking thing down the hall, along with Cramer. As I was jumping up and down and grabbing him, the damn thing was oozing some kind of liquid from his whole body (a defense mechanism I am sure) and he kept slipping out of my hands. Good god- I could have made millions if a certain someone was video-taping this instead of laughing his ass off!  Damn you Bob- I could be driving that new Mustang if you had just grabbed the video camera! After what seemed like hours, I finally managed to trap the little bastard and put him back in his tank. I then de-contaminated myself and took a  good, long, hot shower. ALONE.
   When Sean got home that Sunday we told him about the adventure (leaving out details that would horrify his little mind of course) and so he decided to put him in the giant old guinea pig aquarium. I must say that tank got a lot of use!  It took him hours to get the aquarium ready- he scrubbed it, cleaned it, got rocks to put in it, and then filled it all up with new water for his little buddy.  He put his frog in his new environment, and said good night.
   Sean then got up the next morning- and the damn frog was DEAD! After all that! We think he was just so happy with his new large space he just died from happiness! Ungrateful bastard!
  After that, we were done with exotic petsJ. We stuck to dogs and cats- and so far I have not had to chase any of them down the hall in nothing but my birthday suit. Whew! And for that, I am grateful as I am sure Bob is as well. But there goes my millions-
   Happy Thursday, my friends!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

                                                              A long break-

   I bet you all thought I got lost!  I am so sorry for the lack of blog posts. Life the last few months has most certainly gotten in the way.
   It started in June when we got notified by our rental company that our rent would increase by almost $300/month. What a crock. The housing market here has been out of this world a/k/a bullshit and the apartment companies have jumped on board. We looked around and our complex is still hundreds less than others so we had to suck it up, and I went out and found a part time job. In addition to my real 45 hour a week job and my dog collar sewing I now work part time at World Market- a fun little place. I have worked many, many years in the retail industry so this was an easy transition. My co-workers are very sweet and so far I have enjoyed it. Of course, the holidays are coming up and we all know what that means but I am ready!
Chip gets a hot compress on his incision
   Then as some of you know, our dachshund, Chip has had neck issues. It started on the 4th of July. He would cry out in pain at various times- you just never knew what would cause him to cry. After a few weeks of laser treatments and bunches of meds he seemed to be improving, but then seemed to re-injure himself. It was heartbreaking. And stressful- did I say thank god marijuana is legal here now? HAHA. Anyway, after a few acupuncture treatments that we were hoping would help but did not, we decided to go bankrupt and get Chip the surgery he needed. We ended up taking him to Colorado State University Veterinary Hospital in Fort Collins. He went in on a Thursday and came home the following Monday. He is over a week into post-op and is doing well. He ended up having emergency surgery on a major herniated disc and several other ruptured discs in his neck- and they went in through his neck instead of his back as they cut through less muscle going in that way. After the surgery he had a bad limp on his front foot, which was not there before the surgery. They said this was to be expected. Bob did let me know this morning that the limping was much better today. Chip is totally confined to the kennel, and the past 2 days we are thinking he has been feeling better as the whining to get out has started. It is going to be a long month LOL. Thank god I work 3 jobs- poor BOB! We also have a friend that is loaning us another kennel so we can put Chip in the bedroom with us at night as the large one he is in during the day is too big to move back and forth. Why in the hell we ever got a crate that big to begin with is beyond me- it’s not like we have a mastiff.  It will be nice to sleep with the hubby again- not a lot of that has been happening since the 4th of July. Bob is usually the one on couch duty.  I hope I remember how to share the covers- I have gotten awful greedy with the quilts J. And the pillows- good luck honey!
Chip in his Hospital Crate. Note the IV line.
    Our friend, Lexie has set up a Go Fund Me account to help pay Chip’s vet bills- I really don’t want to get a 4th job hooking on East Colfax so God love her. If you know of anyone that may be able to donate even $5 it would go a long way to help us out. We are truly humbled by the generosity we have already been shown. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.
Our Little Buddy
  This past month I have also sewn almost 1,000 dog collars for my other job, so unfortunately I don’t have a darn thing quilty to show you. I am headed out at the end of this month for my twice a year quilt retreat and am looking very forward to sewing my fingers to the bone on projects I want to get done- for me. No dog collars, no presents, etc. I CAN’T WAIT! Just playing, sewing, eating, and of course, DRINKING!
A solemn moment at the last quilt retreat
    I did manage to get all of my fall quilts hanging up and draped over the couches, chairs, tables, etc. It now looks like fall threw up in the apartment, but I love it. And if you are ever visiting, know that you will never be cold! And if you are it is your own damn fault.
     Hugs to you all! I will try to get some fun blog stories up soon- there is one that needs to be told regarding a grow-a-frog and the night it escaped. Stay tuned- you won’t want to miss this one!