Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Arnold, our new cat, is wonderful. He walks up to you and it sure sounds like he says "Hi." At night he likes to sleep in between Hubby and I. The other night he was all nestled in his spot when he had to get up either to go potty or eat something, immediately Cleo, who had been sleeping by me on the outside of the bed, moved and took his spot. When he came back he laid down on the outside of the bed and growled until Cleo got up and moved. Then he moved back into his space. When you go into the bathroom he runs in with you and climbs up on the toilet seat until you remind him that that is why you went into the bathroom. The only problem is that around 4 AM Arnold gets up and walks to the top of our headboard (it's a bookcase headboard) then he bats at the picture hanging on the wall. The picture isn't worth much the 24 inch square piece of glass over our heads is. He stops when you say "No." Then he jumps over to my quilt frame which squeaks and groans under his weight and then over to the window seat where he bats the venetian blinds. Again a "No," and he sits for a minute and climbs back onto the bed, lies down for a few minutes and then repeats the cycle. It's a lot like being parents again! He is a wonderful cat though, a real joy.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Landscape Design

Wednesday is our last landscape design class. I haven't been so overwhelmed since my Mom and I signed up for a pattern drafting class for sewing. Hubby and I have measured all over our lot. He has taken pictures. We tried to decide where we absolutely had to have lawn and where we didn't want lawn. We tried to decide where we wanted focal points( places we wanted people to see) and where the natural focal points are. We did better on the front landscape but haven't a clue how to handle the hill in our backyard. The teacher told us that to complete the assignment would take about 15 hours. That would mean making the design and actually choosing the plants. We will be lucky if we get a basic design done.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Kroger Parking Lot

As I stood in front of the Kroger store soliciting for the Lions, I had a good view of the Kroger's parking lot. I am amazed that there have been no fatalities that I know of. I watch as pedestrians scramble to get out of the way of cars which randomly go in reverse. Cars turn corners into parking lanes at phenomenal speeds only to find a car backing out of the space. Then there are the people who park their SUV at the doorway to the store, in the fire lane, and run in to shop. Since it is Sunday morning a lot of people come in dressed very nicely, obviously coming from church. Others dress worse than I do when I am cleaning out the garage. People were very generous and friendly and made the job much more enjoyable. Several of the Kroger employees donated after their shift which really impressed me as I realize they don't earn alot.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

White Cane Week

This is the week that Lions around the country collect for the blind. Our group besides donating to the international Lions which really do a lot to prevent blindness around the world, we also support Leader Dogs for the Blind, the Penrickton school for children with mutiple handicaps, and the Michigan Eye bank. Today I stood in front of Krogers for two hours and tomorrow and next Sunday I will do it again. All the singles and quarters really add up. Some Lion chapters still do not accept women and so every once in a while someone will ask if I am standing in for my man. I try not to kick them as I take their money.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Six Saturdays and a Sunday

Someone told us being retired is like having six Saturdays every week and one Sunday. That is so true. Today after lunch Hubby and I went to the garden center and picked out 4 new roses. We bought a Julia Child, Dream Come True, Day Breaker, and Benjamin Britten. The woman in charge of the roses was so helpful and told us which would be shorter and helped us pick the best plants. Afterwards we went and got a dish of frozen yogurt and a cookie from the bakery. I really enjoy running errands with Hubby. I bet the salespeople think of us as that cute old couple.

The cats are doing fine. Last night Hubby took this picture of me reading in bed.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Another class

Today Hubby and I went to a class on roses at Telly's garden center in Troy, Michigan. It was really a good class. For $5 we had an excellent class, coffee, muffins, and a coupon for $5 off 3 rose bushes. The teacher warned us it was too early to plant the roses in Michigan. Last year Hubby planted 4 rose bushes in a specially prepared garden. This year we plan to go for 4 more. Hubby looks every rose up on the internet and in the Ortho Rose guides to make sure we get winners. The ones from last year weathered the winter very well so I guess he knows what he is doing. I understand that Sunday and Monday we will get temperatures in the thirty's. The rose lady said to wait two more weeks before planting in Michigan. I put some of my wintered plants out on the porch, some geraniums, Wandering Jew, Asperagus Fern and some other viney plant(verdant prolifica). I can bring these back inside easily.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Landscaping Design Class

Tonight we have our third landscaping design class. I am totally lost. We were issued our architectural rulers, triangles and circular templates. We were given our homework to draw garden beds and determine the size and placement of vegetation. Hubby and I worked on the homework together for a while and then he decided he needed to take a shower and start dinner. Fortunately it is a very large class and we will not likely volunteer for anything. Tomorrow we are in a class on roses at a local nursery. I am trying awfully hard not to let my brain go dormant.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Running in Circles

Well I had planned on writing in Spanish on Tuesdays but we are learning so much I have to sit down and work it all out. Maybe I'll write in Spanish on Friday. According to my spreadsheets I am behind on my spring cleaning and on my quilt. I have lots of landscaping design homework to do before our class tomorrow. Mary is coming up tomorrow but I will be out with my Mom. Mary can't join us because she needs to rest with her leg up after the drive here and before she goes out to the opera tomorrow night.(Her reason for coming up in the first place.) The cats seem to be adjusting pretty well. Hubby bought a giant scratching post with platforms and Arnold has claimed it and sleeps there. Savannah has apparently decided that Arnold is all right. Fervor has come out of hiding. Cleo still stays under our bed most of the time but comes out every time I come into the room. Maybe I will start to catch up on things now.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Hissy House

Yesterday we drove from Baltimore with our new cats, Arnold and Cleo. They were really good on the trip. When we got home and brought them into the house. Fervor took one look at the new cats and hid and Savannah gave them some fierce warnings. Cleo sauntered out of the crate and explored every nook and cranny of this house including the basement. Nothing seemed to bother her. She gave Savannah wide berth but didn't stop her exploration. Every once in a while she hopped on the sofa and walked across our laps. When I went to bed, several times she hopped on the bed for some petting and then left to explore some more. Arnold on the other hand explored the house by hissing his way around. He hissed at every corner in every room. He hissed at Savannah and CLEO. In fact this morning he is still hissing in every corner and especially at Cleo. He is very affectionate to Hubby and I though and as I write he is in my craft room with me. This morning Savannah made a 15 foot hissing sprint at Arnold. Arnold just stood in awe, apparently he had never seen a three legged cat run before, neither had we. After making her point Savannah turned around and laid down. As I write this blog Arnold is on the keyboard and I just had to reboot the computer. Fervor is still in hiding. Cleo is challenging Savannah a little, I think all is well as long as they all don't wear out their hissers.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Grandma's Ready

Well following my granddaughter's direction, I made more dresses. I finished the sweater for my grandson. I have the quilt for John and toys for the kids. We will stop in Ohio to give Mary her anniversary present. I forgot to make peanut butter cookies so I will try and do that tonight before landscape design class. We will probably have lunch with Mary, get to Baltimore late.( We don't travel at breakneck speed.) Then Friday we will go to the Spy Museum in DC with the grandsons and spend the day with John and family. We will head back to Baltimore visit the cats, Arnold and Cleo, and spend the day with Amy and family. We will head back to Michigan with the cats on Sunday. It is very convenient of these children to live in a pattern which make visiting easy. Probably if we had more time we could swing up to Brooklyn and it wouldn't be to far out of the way, certainly not as compared to Birmingham, Alabama or Portland, Oregon. Do you think there was a hidden reason our seven children live in six different states?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

La Leccion

Fervor es un gato anaranjado y blanco. El es no gordo. Savannah es un gato muy gordo. Ella es un gato gris y negro. Ellos estan mi casa. Monday is Spanish class. Hubby does a little better with the pronunciation than I do, and his vocabulary is a little larger. The class is fun though. There are seven women and two men in the class so it is small enough to ask questions and get lots of attention. I never thought as a retired person I could be this busy. We have Spanish on Monday, dinner with friends today, lunch with Mom tomorrow and Landscape design tomorrow night and because we leave for Maryland on Thursday we will miss our Tolgate Farm meeting on Thursday. Needless to say something has to give, so we let the housework slide.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Unpacking the Loot

We had such a wonderful time at the quilt show. I came back with lots of fabric for future quilts which I already have in mind. I bought quilting needles (the good kind JoAnn's doesn't carry). I found out the blue pounce stuff for copying quilting patterns can be difficult to remove. The manufacturer assured me I could get it out if I soaked the quilt in vinegar. I decided that was more than I was willing to risk. I also bought a pair of electric scissors that a woman who bought them the previous year, said were wonderful. I bought a souvenir T-shirt for Hubby too. Above is the picture from the front of the shirt. He is at the tire place replacing my tire. Here are some of the fashions from the fashion show. Some were pretty and some....

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Windy City

Well, Carole and I arrived in Chicago after a flat tire on I94 (AAA got there in less than 15 minutes) and getting lost for about an hour near OHare. We did get to the Fashion Show and luncheon on time. (I will try later to put some of the pictures on here). We went to Vince's Italian Restaurant which is the best Italian Restaurant ever. We had been there four years ago.
Today we are going to hit all the exhibitors at the convention. Already I saw some things I want, not the $30,000 quilting machine. Even considering the 30+ quilts I have made I can't see it being cost effective. Besides some of the allure of quilt making to me is the time spent stitching and thinking. I know when I make a wedding quilt I always "stitch" prayers for the couple into the quilt.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Twisted Around my Granddaughter's Finger

I got a letter from my granddaughter the other day. We are planning to visit her next week when we pick up the cats. I even took a picture of the clothes I made for her. Then I got this letter. It took me a while to figure out the "and dresses" part. But I immediately got out the sewing machine.

Tomorrow my friend Carole from work and I are going to Chicago to the International Quilt Show. We have done it twice before and really have a good time. We know a great Italian restaurant and a good Mexican one too. She is also teaching me about truck drivers who "flirt." I'm incredibly niave. She says tongue wiggling is not flirting.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Friends and Family

One of the things that has been so much fun about writing this blog has been the reactions of friends and family members. Some of my children read it. Mary often comments but then of course she is Miss Blog. I am pleased everythime I hear from my aunt in Washington State and her daughter whom I have never met and yet she reads my blog and is surprised at how much alike we are. Yesterday I heard from another cousin in Ohio who is a reader. A friend I used to work with reads my blog and says it's like a mini visit. My brother even says I'm funny and coming from a brother.... I find writing the blog is another one of those exercises to keep my mind active. If you read my blog you know that sometimes takes effort. Oh, and I print up my blog and take it to my Mom who refuses to become computer savy even though I tell her a lot of other 90 year olds are. Hubby was wrong somebody does read my blog and he never misses it for fear I might say something about him.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Hubby and I started our Spanish class. I was going to ask " How are you?" but I don't know how to make an upsidedown question mark. We learned our color words. Orange is anaranjado. That's a mouth full. Hubby had Spanish in high school and lived for a while in New Mexico. I took Latin in high school and German in college. One time we bought a Spanish lesson book that had stickers you could put around the house to increase your vocabulary. When the kids came home for Christmas they mixed them all up just to be funny. Hubby had a sign on the door to keep the cat in which said " Cierre del puerta, por favor. "

Monday, April 7, 2008

I Crossed the Big Street All by Myself

The weather today was beautiful. The temperature hit 70 degrees. I like to walk but only when there is no ice and I don't care for the treadmill. I remember staying with my Grandmother in Detroit. She would walk to the grocery store ( she couldn't drive) and she would pull a cart behind her. I loved those walks. I remember passing the public school which had a big fire escape tube from the second floor. Anyway now that I am trying to think green I decided why don't I get a cart that I can pull behind myself and walk to the grocery store. Hubby found a cart for me but he is terrified that I will be killed crossing Southfield Road even though there is a traffic light and even a crossing button. (He grew up in a small town.) So today I walked to the store with my cart. It might have been a mile each way. I bought bread, milk, diet coke and Dove chocolates. My cart worked really well and I got some exercise too. Of course on the way back Hubby passed in the car. He needed to go to Home Depot which I passed on the way. So much for saving gasoline.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Maybe It is Spring

Maybe it is spring. The temperature hit 60 degrees. Hubby hung the windchimes and cleaned up some of the yard debris. Tomorrow the garbage man starts to pick up yard waste. I walked my 1.5 mile loop through the neighborhood. So many people were outside raking, cleaning up, or playing with the kids. Martha turned the furnace off and opened up the front door. A little too much optimism.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Buffing the Bomber

Hubby and I belong to the Yankee Air Force which is an organization which restores old military airplanes. Now I have no interest in old military airplanes at all but Hubby loves airplanes. Every vacation we are sure to visit at least one air museum. He joined the Yankee Air Force to work on the old planes and help with their air show. He wanted to fly in their C47 to Cleveland. Why Cleveland? Because that's where the plane went. He signed me up in the organization so that I can fly with him. I can hear him using that old line,"It's safe, look how old it is."Anyway today all the members were invited to come with a jar of metal polish and buff the bombers. About two hundred people of all ages were there. They even had big posters up about what to buff and what not to buff.

Friday, April 4, 2008


Last December when we celebrated my mother's 90th birthday we bought sandwiches from Panera. When we went to pick them up the sales girl had checked off the deluxe package which included salad and cookies. When we explained that we didn't want these the manager kindly credited us for that and charged us the correct amount. A month later we got the statement from master card and found we had been credited twice. It amounted to over $500 dollars. Now I have a policy that if a clerk dosen't charge me for something and I notice before I leave the store I tell her, but after I leave it is not usually worth the extra trip. We waited a month to make sure Panera would not discover the error on their own then we called Master Card who said we had to deal with the store on a credit error. Today we went into Panera and asked for the manager and explained the error. You would think we were Mother Theresa or something. The manager wanted to buy us lunch and when we said we had already eaten he gave us coupons for a future lunch. He couldn't believe we could be so honest.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Blood of the Lamb

Hubby bought a leg of lamb and is carefully following the directions from his America's Test Kitchen recipe for garlic roasted leg of lamb. He says this is too much work to cut all the gristle and fat from the lamb. He is also making a rice pilaf with currants and pine nuts along with glazed carrots. I am staying out of his way until the dinner bell rings. I am doing my spring cleaning. I made a chart which spreads out the cleaning into manageable chunks. I should finish by the 17th of July. I have two bags of stuff for the Purple Heart from cleaning out my closet and a pile of stuff for the Lions Club garage sale. Hubby wanted to put a picture of a three legged lamb on my blog but I said "Oooh Gross!"

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Dutch Oven

Hubby watches "America's Test Kitchen" on PBS and subscribes to their magazine "Cook's Illustrated." He reads it dilligently from cover to cover. They recommend a Tremontina Dutch oven carried by Wal-Mart. It is cast iron and weighs a ton, but balances the heat properly. Unfortunately after canvassing all the available Wal-Marts Hubby couldn't find it. Finally he ordered it online from Wal-Mart and had it delivered to a local store. I picked it up today. Such excitement. He has a whole slew of recipes he can hardly wait to try.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

It's a Costco Day

The weather on a Costco day is always cold and windy or stormy. Today was no exception. We had an afternoon hair appointment so we slept in late and then went to Bob Evans for breakfast. I had their stuffed hotcakes. They are a little too rich for me. When we were both made beautiful we stopped at Costco for our monthly shopping. They had the cashews but no Lindt truffles. Hubby did see the grill of his dreams. He threw out his old one and has been shopping for a new. He wants one with a stainless steel grate and burners. This one was all stainless steel and had four separate heat controls plus the infra red section. It also had a side burner and an oven! It could hook up to propane or natural gas and all for only $999. I figure if Hubby is doing all the cooking he can have what ever equiptment he thinks he needs. He is thinking about it.