Sunday, February 18, 2024

Woe is me!! There's a nasty virus - respiratory flu - we both have it and it's grim

 9 days later and still losing the fight!  I went to ModSquad a week ago Friday, there was a change in the weather, so blamed the beginning of it on that.  By Saturday, I was down and out.  And I mean the kind that you don't get out of bed for days!!  It took me a week to get enough oomph to walk a block and back.  Then back to bed.

I was lucky, I was hurting but could still read.  I read really fast - and I loved some books from the library - My DH even went to the library when some reserved books came in.  He's the Best!

The Breakaway by Jennifer Weiner - she's been prolific - I have to check out the ones I missed.

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center.  I'd read and liked one book by her but I've missed a few of hers too.

City Spies book 1 and 2 by James Ponti.  It's a kid's series about 12 year olds working for British Intelligence.  Awesome!  In fact, I told my DDL to get them for the Gkids!  He has one series on Hoopla - Framed is the first book - I've started listening to them too.

Crazy Love by David Lozell Martin  2002!  Our library wraps books for Holidays, (Blind Date promo)  - there's a short description outside the wrapping - but you don't know what you're getting until you take it home and unwrap it!  This one was a great surprise.

The Lost Cause by Cory Doctorow.  Maga vs New Agers It was interesting, thought I'd stop and put it aside, but I couldn't!

The Excitements by C J Wray is what I'm reading now.  It's a paperback and those have gotten problematic for me - the print can be truly tiny and you can't adjust the print size with a book.

Okay, I'm 71 - a fossil - but I love BOOKS!  Much more than ebooks.  Yes, I will resort to them if I can't wait ... laying in bed waiting to fall asleep, real books are perfect!  And you don't have to get out of bed to plug them in - just drop them under the lamp and go to sleep!

We have been watching TV too.  Prime ExPats; and dvds that we still own.  Deep Impact; 2012; San Andreas were the disaster movies.  We also watched Kate and Leopold; Dave; and Must Love Dogs!  All great - which is why I kept them.  If this darn flu goes any longer we've lined up Patriot Games, Begin Again, Wild River, both Sabrina movies  and The Day After Tomorrow!  Whoo-Hoo! 

I have not felt good enough to play in the sewing room, but have managed some epic ripping and some stitches on a embroidery sampler I taught in 2019.  It's been in time out ... I don't want to talk about it.

The weather has been mainly rain with some 'OMG - it's really coming down!'  Good old Oregon.

Okay - that's all the whining I'm going to expose you to.  Believe me - there's more but not as cathartic as I hoped!

Here's pictures of our ModSquad challenge this month.  I was in NYC last fall and found a panel of Lady Liberty fabric and brought it back to share with the group.  It was a great turn-out and only a few kept Lady Liberty whole.  They cut, they ripped, they made it into background ... we NEVER have cookie cutter projects at the end!  And we are always amazed.  Thanks gals!  Next month our challenge is 
'Door and Words!'  Stay Tuned!


Here's my project.  I'm going to offer it to Miss P.  She's the reason we got to go to NYC.  I made it into a pillow  OR  I deliberately made the back side so the bottom 1/2 can be a secret hiding place!  Just in case, she wants to hang it on the wall - she can hide: money, photos, tickets, etc from everyone but ME!  Cause I know about it!! 

Monday, February 5, 2024

Back from Guild Retreat - and what fun it was!!

 My DH gives me a hard time when I go 35 miles up the coast to retreat in a town that doesn't even have a quilt store!!  But I'll never give it up!  Worth it every time.

Retreats:  Are yours like this?   Sew, sew, sew, talk, talk, giggle, talk, eat, eat, eat ...

It goes so fast, and I never get as much accomplished as I dream I will.  But nothing is as inspiring as a room of 'like-thinkers' working on projects, consulting with others and learning something new every time!

We were expecting rain every day - but we did have some breaks and easy weather when we were packing in and out.

A BIG giggle-fest was the PJ party night!

Here's what I worked on - besides the chocolate section of the snack bar!  I bound this garden challenge from ModSquad and laid out and sewed into columns this HST kid's quilt.


I did some other steps to move other projects closer to a finish while I had entertainment in the room.  Pictures to be shown later!!

Out of chaos - the best time AND progress in projects!  Now to keep up the momentum back at home.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

A-Hoy there Matey!!


It's still January!!  So why not start blogging again?  No one knows for how long ... or how often ... but I do miss it.  It wasn't just blogging I gave up.  I gave up FB, Instagram and even writing in a journal.

The problem is - I didn't realize how blogging helped me highlight the year and what was going on.  What quilting I did, and for who.  What were my favorite books ... Of course, things haven't been stellar lately and it's easier to share the fun parts.  

But here we go - here's what's happening in Brookings ... RAIN!  and more rain.  See you next year!

Just kidding!  Warning - this is going to jump back and forth, highlighting what I remember as I remember it!

We had a horrible fire season last year.  Took out our main (only) highway to the rest of the state.  Also took out electric lines over to the coast.  Highway 199 was closed for weeks.  Then just open 4 hours during working hours, with follow-me cars.  It wasn't pretty.  Now they are 'mopping up' the storms we've been having are not helping.   It's open but still likely to have up to hour delays.  Each week gets better.  Fingers crossed!  We managed to get to Portland for Thanksgiving; and Medford for Christmas.

Our daughter L works for US Tennis Assoc.  She was asked to come back again to the US Open Tournament to work with the kid's camp.  It was short notice, and Miss P wanted to go.  Mom said, "NO!  I'll be working and you are not wandering around NYC by yourself!"  P looked at her and asked, "What about Nana and Papa?"  By the time I even heard about it, the plane tickets booked and hotel reserved!! And so yes, we went!  We had a ball.  Sightseeing and Broadway marathon!!  NY is till crazy NY!  Parades at 2 am!!

Rick and I loved  And Juliet.  We had seen a scene from it on the Tony's and I said I want to see that.  Of course, we had no idea we would be going to NY.    The girls loved Six!  About the 6 wives of Henry the 8th.  6 actors were all on stage trying to prove they had the worst of it ... but 2 had been beheaded so whining didn't go as far as it could have!

Meals at Juniors; Museum of Broadway, Top of the Rock, NY Public Library, the 911 Museum, Jazz Club for dinner and more shows:  Some Like it Hot; The Book of Mormon (me & Miss P!!) We learned to avoid eye contact during the show.  Whew! 

2022 was our 50th wedding anniversary and we met all the kids in Portland for a few days together.  Then Rick threw me a surprise anniversary party in January.  The quilting friends and neighbors all met the golfing buddies at our favorite Chinese restaurant.  Cards only and believe it or not - in a small town with limited shopping we didn't get one duplicate!!  

2023 was our 51st!  Didn't even get a phone call from family!  50 = big deal  51 = Meh!  A called us 2 days later, apologizing.  I told L during a weekend call.  Knew she'd remember and feel bad so we joked about it.

Here's some quilts that I made / finished this year.  I allow my quilts to marinate a while and of course, some of them go into time-out for bad behavior.  You have to be firm with them!!

This hospice quilt is "Monkey Business" by Bonnie Hunter.  Fun - it looks like a 3 patch but is a 5 patch!  The lay-out was a killer with the 1/2 blocks problematic.

A ModSquad project finished.  DH always gave me roses.  When he was on a business trip on Valentines Day - and it happened often - he would send me roses.  Of course, there was some mystery with the number of roses in the bouquet.  He was in the south, I was in Nebraska.  Sometimes I got odd numbers - cost differential?  But it kept me guessing.

This year I made quilts for my Birth sisters and brother.  They were long over due and everyone's getting up in age.  Including me!  These pictures were taken in P's garden.  I had her take a gag picture of me holding them up from behind.  Appropriate word!!  Oh my, no one is ever going to see that!!!

Wicked Easy Pattern with blocks inserted.

Crazy 6" block Template set

Pattern Annabelle  
Remember if you want a quilt to have an accent color.  Border it with that color!!

Double Slice with plaids for my brother

This is "Long View" a pattern P and I loved.  It looks like improv - it isn't.  We started it thinking we could get the top done in a week or so ... 3 months later ...!  But fun.  We had our favorite local quilter quilt them and we hung them as one quilt in the show!

Our new Harris Hts neighbors had a new Great Grandson.  He needed a quilt.  I'd been saving this panel for years - it worked up wonderfully.

This fall M - 15 years old now - had to go in for surgery.  8 hours with 2 surgeons - it was scary for everyone.  He's back in school and doing well.  There's follow-up scheduled - they will be keeping their eye on him for the next year.  Thanks to all who participated in our prayer chain.  We could feel it.

My sister N passed in December.  She had been fighting problems for a long time and finally went into Hospice.  We all miss her so much, but know she is no longer in pain.  I couldn't get back for her funeral: the holiday traffic and storms.  Hope to go back next spring for her birthday celebration.  She was a good gal who is missed.

You'll have to wait til the next time for good books in 2023.  And I know I'll remember more things I'll want to share.  Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Not so good at "blog" New Year's Resolutions!

But, been busy!  We moved!!  I came home from our local guild retreat in Gold Beach to an eviction notice!!  90 days.  This has not been our dream apartment.  Love the space; love the view but management is crazy!!  There I said it!!

So DH got on the ball and found us a 'cottage' 2 bedroom, 2 bath, ground floor rental unit in Harris Heights.  Still in Brookings (celebrate!!)

Within a week we had signed the new lease; within 2 weeks we were moving!!  That IS a little fast for 70 year olds especially with a quilting hobby!  And I have to admit - looking at a vacant space needs more thought than we gave it!!  Storage went from awesome to "Oh, dear! That's small!"

But at 70, it IS time to seriously figure how many of my 10 years' worth of UFO (Unfinished Fabric Objects) I will really be able to make.  How much of a 40 year collection of stash will see the light of day?  Not enough to face moving it all again!

I packed us up with a lot of help of consulting friends; friends that lent their dollies (a life saver), a friend that just moved gave us her packing materials and boxes!  Heavenly present!!  And P, who came and packed my kitchen!!

The moving truck came, moved the boxes and the furniture with no problems.  But stash was in open bins, so - we had a stash caravan the next day!!  We moved the bins and also our books down to the garage.  At 10 am three quilting friends, all in their 70s (like us) with SUVs came over.  Hopped out of their vehicles; carried the bins and milk crates to their cars - stacked them - got more ...  In no time at all, the garage was empty.  Off they went to the new house, pulled up, hopped out of their cars, carried the bins into the house and placed them IN THE CUBICLES! Ta-Da!!

The whole thing only took 45 minutes - and that included visiting!!  It was awesome!  Finally, yesterday I paid them with the promises chocolate covered pretzels!  Finding the ingredients we moved and the energy to make them took me longer than expected!  Lasagnas were delivered to those other helpers.

I haven't sewn in the new house yet.  I have sewed on sewing days at guild and at P's house.  The sewing room is small.  And I'm half-ing everything!  Stash; tools; pre-cuts; UFOs; and trust me that's not easy - but needed.  I don't want a storage unit in that 'bedroom'  I want a sewing room!!!  NOW!

I promised the Woolies group they can meet at the new house in April.  I hope to have the sewing room issues finished by then.  We won't be able to have a twin bed in there when there is no company.  I can't even fit my sewing chair up to the sewing table with it in there!!!  I know that sounds silly - but seriously!!  It's true!

Funny story - my DH - after putting up with a quilter in the house for over 45 years actually wants to use the closet in that room!! (Peals of laughter!)  But, nope, he is serious.  So things are headed out.  No room in the rest of the house or the garage!  In fact, we're not sure we can get my car into the garage yet. So things are headed way OUT!!  Needless to say, the GoodWill staff knows me well.

There will be more updates and after pictures.  The before pictures are way too depressing!!

Sunday, January 22, 2023

The storms have moved on ...

Three weeks of storm after storm is TOO MUCH!  The 'last' storm was pouring rain with snowflakes mixed in!!  Not sleet - flakes slowly drifting down between the rain!!!  That's a first!  There were mini drifts of snow when it ended.  

I love being able to see my favorite view again - no weather fronts graying everything down.

Oops - wrong picture.  A Mike's Hard Lemonade semi!! "Over here!!"  That's my 'go to' bottled beer!

Here's our coastal view.

Who wouldn't love looking out at this (in good weather!)  Those trees really make it!

Crab season is finally up and running.  The ocean looks like a farmland community at night - boat lights look like farm lights in all quarters.  

It's not raining, but the temps have been low 50s.  I know I sound like a wimp when I say this ... I about froze today coming home at 5 - and it was 53 degrees!!  So-o much moisture in the air - there must be a chill factor working against us.

I finally got busy and bound a quilt I started in 2020.  Road to Oklahoma - I brought the pattern to a NE retreat and everyone there loved it - so we made blocks and had a raffle - I didn't win!  20 years later (seriously!) I got it out during covid.  The block looks like this:  

Those star points facing into the center are tricky - they really go against the grain.

I was working with many 'time-outs' on this pattern.  I ripped out a lot of points going the 'wrong way'  In fact, I'd recommend sewing it as a 8pointed star block and a 16 patch alternate block! Just saying!

I quilted it myself on my DSM, my regular sewing machine, and then it went into time-out again.  I hate to waste my hands' workability on hand binding!  There is a 'flange' binding that sews on by machine on both sides.  I've been working on it.  It's tricky - sewing long lengths of two fabrics together.  Then ironing them before sewing them to the BACK of the quilt.  (Seam goes toward the smaller fabric!)

Then there are a lot of joins on both fabrics - don't want them at a corner ...


And, after sewing the binding onto the back of the quilt there's a slick way to join the ends.  Binding Clips work really well 'training' it into the correct position. I let it sit over night.  As you sew the 2nd side on, remove the clips as you get to them.  AND it's done!!  Just in time for 'show 'n tell' at tomorrow night's guild meeting.

I'm reading The Alice Network by Kate Quinn.  It started slowly for me, but now I'm hooked and reading it instead of TV!  Must go read!

Monday, January 9, 2023

Winter Storms

Being from Nebraska "winter storm" means snow, wind and freezing weather - it always comes from the North.

On the Coast of Oregon "winter storm" means wind, rain and fairly moderate temperature! And it comes from the South!!   Hard to get used to, even after 14 years out here.

And we've been having a doozy of a storm.  The ocean is wild!  Sportshaven Beach has giant logs and trees tumbling onto the beach!  Then the surf takes them  back out and piles them on a different part of the beach.  It's a gigantic tangle!  And the logs have been deposited by the waves up the beach, over the path and even over the cement sea walls! Best to watch from afar!!

Last night the furnace was on (it's not the quietest one we've ever had) but I heard rhythmic roars, I was afraid the furnace's end was near!   But it was the ocean  a mile away roaring!   

This morning it rained so hard on our bedroom windows I dreamt I was in a car wash!!  It's wild - but with our usual soft wind and pitter-patter rain in between bouts! This is our 3rd week with rain predicted every day. Hopefully, it's helping the drought out here.

It hasn't been constant bad weather - somehow, the storm is more active at night??  That seems weird, but not complaining!  We can see the sun, even if only momentarily, sometime during each day.  And I'll take it!

We been celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary!!  It's amazing how fast 50 years can go!?!  First we went to Palm Springs in October - flying into Palm Springs airport - delightful!  Then laying around in the sun, mainly!  Eating out, of course.  Heaven!

 We drove up to Portland Christmas Eve, avoiding all their crazy ice weather.  Christmas Evening, the Medford gang joined us.  DS is a pediatric nurse, and he could celebrate with us the 26th.  We were the "Intrepid 11" looking for a party!

December 26 we headed to OMSI to see the Marvel Comic Exhibit.  The Grandkids (5 - 16!) were all in Seventh-Heaven!  And of course, their parents are well-aware of the Heroes,  I enjoyed the graphics and watching them get excited.  We all voted for our favorite Marvel character. (Groot is even the name of the newest  family dog!?!)

Then, off to B&N.  As one of their Christmas presents, we had given the kids a GC there.  We bustled into a gigantic sale day with apparently everyone in Portland!!  But we had fun scrambling to see our favorite section; showing other family members books we thought they would like, and a couple of us holding place in line, it circled the entire store!  

DH was the coordinator, letting everyone know about where we were in line, rounding up stragglers when the line was getting close.  We split into 2 groups, paying for the families, not individual kids, trying not hold the line up any more than we did.  It was fun seeing the kids excited over what they got.  I highly recommend it, but not necessarily on a big sale day!

Then, off to Olive Garden for late lunch/early dinner.  The hotel the Medford gang  was staying had a pool - that was great each day to wear out the 'littles'.  Our Medford group headed home the 27th.  We stayed one more day.  

Our Maid of Honor and her husband had just moved to the Portland area days before Christmas!  We hadn't seen them in years.  So, on our anniversary, we met at a local pub and grill for lunch.  And drinks.  And sitting at the table until almost dinner talking and laughing! (No worries - we left a sizable tip!)  Great to get together and get caught up.

BUT wait there's more!!! My DH planned a surprise party at home.  On Jan 4 he told me we had to go to a restaurant party.  I suspected "Proof of Spouse" event.  You know, when you talk about your spouse and no one has met them?  So you have to prove it!!  50 is a BIG brag for having an 'imaginary' spouse!!  But, nope, I was wrong!  Small towns CAN keep secrets!  

He arranged a party celebrating our anniversary, with help from one of my friends to contact quilters!  "No presents, but Doni loves greeting cards..."  There were neighbors, (both) golfers; bowlers; bar mates (DH) and quilters and pool aerobics friends. (me)  We met at our favorite Chinese restaurant.  

Appetizers and wine were flowing.  We visited and met everyone.  Told stories .. Rick had snuck out our wedding album, no one had ever seen me as a brunette or Rick with a mustache!  We would have bet on some greeting card duplication - small town, you know.  But not a one!  And I loved seeing them.  We finished the night with a family serving of Orange Chicken - our favorite. 


Here are some pictures of our January decor.  Snowmen look a little out of place at the Coast.  But surprisingly, at home during storms!!  LOL!

Livingroom book shelves  On the right photo is a snowy day drawing created by my Great Grandmother! 

Over the River and Thru the Woods quilt.  That song is about Thanksgiving!  And I didn't put it up at Christmas, so, it looks wintery, so January it is!!

That wraps it up!  Have a safe winter, no matter what direction your storms come from!

Monday, January 2, 2023

Happy New Year! It's time for the 2022 Recap!


Good-bye 2022 Happy New Year! It's 2023

Let's start with good books this year.  Some of these books were published in 2022 - but I'm talking about books I've read.  I read 87.  That's a 'soft' number because I always find notes written about a book I read but didn't 'register'.

Some of my top Rated Books are:

6*!  Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt  An Octopus who lives in an Aquarium, maybe rules it??  Very entertaining.  Small town on the Coast - it sounded alot like 'home'!

5*  French Braid by Ann Tyler  She's one of my favorite authors.  So everyday, ordinary stories - but you can't put it down!

5*  My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan   Telling the story of a young American woman going to Oxford as a Rhode Scholar.  Very engaging 

John Sandford is a perennial favorite author for me and these are his latest books.

5*  The Investigator by John Sandford  Letty has grown up and is working as an investigator for the Senate?  I hope this is the first book in a new series.

5* Righteous Prey by John Sandford   Virgil Flowers joins Luke Davenport in an amazing story line.  And I love it when they pair up!

Of course, 2022 was filled with quilting too,   There were dog stockings; advent calendars, tree skirts and a fabric challenge made into a table runner.

Drawings of the new pets needing a stocking. The drawing was then turned into either a flap (don't ask) or sewn into a stocking.  Count so far:  5 stockings; 2 flaps.

This panel Advent Calendar was my second finished between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day.  Darn cute!

Cherrywood Lane

My Edyta Sitar Quilt Along: using her pattern Summer Village. She is a fantastic, organized fun leader.  I loved this project because it never got harder!! Three of us Brookings Quilters worked on it each week and all enjoyed it.

My version -  "Cherrywood Lane" was finished with some added trees and a skinny border.  You know I can't do something without changing it somehow. Fernwood Quilting long-armed it and I was thrilled with Lynette's quilting.  I entered in local shows.


I had fun playing with improv triangles - they make really clever NW trees.  I got carried away - Improv Forest and Improv Forestry.  There's a third top - possibly to be finished in 2023!  I'll keep you informed!


A Great-Nephew in Nebraska got married and I made a quilt for the happy couple. When my sister asked me to make a quilt, I asked what colors?  Grey.  Accent color?  Dark Grey!  What does she like?  Cows!  I cannot make an all grey wedding quilt.  BUT, she likes turquoise!  I can work with that!  I found a mostly grey cow fabric for the back.  I loved the finished quilt.  Fernwood Quilting long-armed it for me.  The couple loved it.  Mission Accomplished!


I try to make at least one Quilt Of Valor every year - and P and I fell in love with Plaid-ish, a free online pattern.  So, we precut the pieces and at retreat we made a 70 x 90 quilt with RW&B.  It was presented this summer - QOVs are always a big hit with our Veterans / Serviceman. 

My last finished quilt was "Peek A Boo" from Missouri Star Quilts.  So fun to make - P & I each made a top at an April Retreat.  Here mine is - almost finished.  No that's not Bling on a quilt made by me - It's the binding clips around the edges!!

For more on this quilt (and others) - see the story on my blog on April 28, 2022

This year has been less quilting. I'm 70 now and my hands and eyes take turns slowing me down.  Then when I was raring to go, my EverSewn machine broke down.  Living on the edge of the earth ... it took far too long to get it back to par. 

But I have high hopes for 2023 - doesn't everyone??  No matter how many finishes I make - I love my quilting time.  Look forward to finishing a few favorites and of course, any new quilt that catches my eye!  Happy New Year and here's to all the inspiration; colors; quilts and ideas ahead for us in 2023!