Friday, February 29, 2008

Snow, Snow and More Snow

We got a lot more snow today, maybe 3 or 4 inches. That is a lot of snow as far as I am concerned. Especially because it was on top of another 3 or 4 inches. Hubby shoveled it all and said maybe we should invest in a snow blower. He used to have one but I think he gave it to Amy when she lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Hubby says snow shoveling is his winter exercise program. Then he started day dreaming about an 8 cylinder snow blower.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


It looks like I will be working for General Motors for the next two months. It's kind of exciting to be needed and to use my brain some. I am not too excited about having to get up early and go out in the cold but you can't have everything. The contractor I work for is wonderful and my boss at GM is great so it will be a real pleasant experience. The best part is I will have lunch with other women engineers and we don't talk about engineering stuff. By the way in my post where I had the picture of me with the Earp boys, they were live actors. The real Earps are dead.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

We are Back

We left Phoenix at 10 am. It was sunny and the high 60's. We landed in Detroit at 30 degrees and snowing. We had to clean our car off and we turned on the bun warmers right away. Everything was gray and slushy no more bright blue skies. If the plane was returning to Phoenix I might have tried to stay on but it was going to Green Bay and that wasn't promising.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Rest of the Story

Well we have had a lot of trouble getting a good signal. Since I last talked to you we went to the Tucson Studios. This is where they made the movies, The Three Amigos, 3:10 toYuma, Gunfight at the OK Corral, and Mc Clintock. It was lots of fun. We saw another gunfight and a can can dance in the Crystal Palace Saloon. After that we west to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. It was spectacular. It was a combination of a zoo, mineralogy display and garden. They had a walk through a hummingbird cage. We drove up to Sedona. I think that must be Heaven on Earth. We also drove through the Oak Creek Canyon and played in the snow even though it was warm enough not to wear a coat. Tomorrow it will be 75 degrees here and God knows what it will be in Detroit when we get home.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Tombstone, Arizona

Today we went to Tombstone, Arizona. What fun! We watched the reenactment of the gunfight at the OK Corral. Then I had my picture taken with Doc Holiday and the Earp brothers. We saw a neat presentation of the history of Tombstone, The Town to Tough to Die. We went to a small but good quilt show and Hubby bought me a beautiful silver and coral ring. It was kind of cool 55 to 60 degrees but a lot better than Michigan.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

La Fiesta de los Vaqueros

Today we went to the Tucson Rodeo. The master of ceremonies apologized for the cold weather, it was 66 degrees. We sat in the grandstand lathered in sunscreen and it was wonderful. I have never been to a rodeo. As part of the pre-show activities they had 4 to 6 year olds riding sheep. That's right 4 year olds! It was really exciting. the audience was made of families. Everyone was friendly and well behaved. The horses were beautiful. I found the women's barrel race, the team roping and, of course, the brahma bull riding the most exciting. These are just a few of the picture Hubby took. By the way, that bull is not flying.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

University of Phoenix

While we were in Phoenix I saw several University of Phoenix campuses. Even the Superbowl was played in a University of Phoenix stadium. I wonder how many campuses they have across the nation. We drove to Tucson and went to the Saguaro National Park. We took a 2 mile hike and then a 1 mile hike. Again the weather was perfect, a little cool in the morning but great for hiking. For dinner we had an incredible chili relleno at "On the Border," along with a marguerita.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Warm ar Last

It was a perfect day in the low 70's. We went to the Desert Botanical Gardens. It was fantastic. I never saw so many beautiful cacti and they were huge. After a nice tour there we went to the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. There we went on an hour long hike among the saguaro cacti and the creasote bushes. The only wild life we saw were some cottontails, woodpeckers and quail. The park had lots of people there with their dogs and everyone was quite friendly. The giant tumbleweed is really a sculpture made by a famous artist out of living bushes.

Monday, February 18, 2008


We watched a program on the Animal Channel last night about all the bugs that can live in a house. It was wierd. I was glad I had changed the sheets that morning although I am sure there were a gadzillion dust mites in the beautiful quilt on my bed. I knew we didn't have head lice, body lice, or fleas and I also new we didn't have mealy bugs or flour moths. I sure hope we don't have cockroaches but I learned that they run from air currents so a vacuum cleaner confuses them so they are easy to vacuum. Vacuuming just shakes up the dust for a dust mite, the only thing that gets them is a trip through the clothes dryer. That won't hurt a cockroach, they can even survive the microwave. The program went longer but I couldn't handle any more of it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Getting ready to Leave

Why is it that whenever I am going to go on a vacation I feel the need to have the house good and clean before I leave. It probably is like the philosophy not to wear underwear with holes in it because if you are involved in an accident the emergency room techs will see the holes in your underwear. I worry that if I die all my friends and relatives will traipse through my house and say we really ought to clean this before anyone sees it. Having a friend or relative clean my house would be worse than a stranger. Even if my house is clean there will be enough things one could say like, "Why did she keep this?" or "I wonder when the last time she cleaned the refrigerator was?" or "All the socks and underwear in her drawers have holes in them." (After all I packed the ones that didn't.) So when I get on the plane the place will be dusted and vacuumed, clean sheets on the beds and I will be exhausted.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Healthy Food

Mary is in town for the weekend so I went with her to get some of the foods she finds difficult to get in small town Ohio. We went to the Whole Foods Store. I kept glancing at the people who bought only organic foods and wondering if they looked any healthier than the rest of us. Mary was looking for things I had never heard of. She bought some steel-cut oats to make the porridge for us that she talked about in her blog of a few days ago. She also got some garbanzo bean flour. I know what garbanzo beans are. She also wanted quinoa flour but I have no idea what a quinoa is. She even got some Halloumi Cyprus cheese. We did stop at Petco to see the puppies and kittens who were up for adoption. This was something I could relate to, but I didn't take any.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Today we went to Costco. Hubby usually likes brand names. In fact if Hubby sees two identical products he will buy the one that costs more on the grounds that it is probably better. I did point out that Sam's Club has more brand names but he is not a Walmart supporter. (Flaming liberal that he is.) We have found that the Costco Kirkland brand is usually very good. I use their dishwashing detergent, both the liquid and for the machine, and it does very well. I am in charge of cleanup in the kitchen. Of course while we are there we buy the $15 jar of cashews and the $10 bag of Lindt truffles which we wouldn't ordinarily buy at all. We both enjoy looking at all the unusual things too, like the child's bed that looks like a pirate ship and I loved the wooden playhouse for only $299. Costco is the only grocery shopping trip that I go on. I think it's the Lindt truffles.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines Day

When I was working with all the engineers, most of them professed not to believe in "Halmark" holidays. Of course there is some truth in the fact that Halmark has cooked up a large number of holidays. Sometimes, though, we could use a reminder to tell someone that they are special. I am sure these same guys who didn't bring flowers, candy or a card for Valentines didn't do it for any other day of the year either. Hubby bought me chocolates but he usually brings me chocolate every time he goes to the store. He knows how much I love it. As far as I am concerned Valentines is a good time to tell Hubby, I have never loved anyone so much and never felt so loved by anyone before him.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Dollar Tree

Mom and I went to the Dollar Tree today. As I have said before, that is one of our favorite places to shop. I bought pencils and toys for grandchildren, a can of soup, and a valentine for my Hubby. Mom bought potato chips and a figurine of a clown riding an old-time bicycle. Mom collects clowns. At Christmas I gave the grandchildren $5 gift certificates to the dollar store in their stockings. My grandson called to tell me what he bought. He told his mother they were all things she wouldn't approve of. ( guns, weapons etc) My granddaughter got on the phone and told me she bought dolly stuff and a bear and then continued to tell me for the next half hour everything they had at the Dollar Tree. Next year I will be sure to give all the grandchildren gift cards to the dollar store.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Houseperson

I am a houseperson. I tried to warn Hubby before we were married. My Dad was a houseperson and was always putting in new shelves and cupboards in whatever home he lived in. A houseperson lies awake at night thinking up things to do around the house, like making valences for the vertical blinds or tiling the rise on the family room steps. Hubby is not a houseperson. He says he could live in a cave and he probably could if it had low humidity, air conditioning and internet acess. I nagged my first husband endlessly but with Hubby I only make suggestions--repeatedly.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Let's Get Out of Here

It is eleven degrees out and that is warmer than it was all day yesterday. The wind howls and blows snow in big clouds. The Sun Garden window in my kitchen has ice in the corners and even when I was quilting and the wind would blow one of those 50 mile an hour gusts I could feel the breeze leaking around the windows. The weather forcast says it will be cold like this for three more days with 1-2 inches of snow tonight and 3-5 inches tomorrow. I told Hubby I wanted to get away somewhere warm if only for a weekend. He went up to the trusty computer and arranged for a week in Phoenix. I understand the temperature is in the high seventies. I hate to leave Mom behind but I offered to go on a Carribean cruise with her but she says she always catches cold when she flies. She has a point. Hubby is busy cashing in a Northwest voucher and our 61,000 points from Choice Privilege. We are out of here.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Mary's husband, the Brain, dislocated his shoulder playing racquet ball last week. Accidents are always unexpected and painful, either physically, financially, or to our pride. Some accidents leave life long scars and some people never recover. Others are painful but we recover and sometimes forget they even happen. I hope this is the Brain's type of accident. Still others are painful but in looking back on them we cannot suppress a snicker. For example, Mary breaking her nose in ballet class, or John getting a black eye when he tried to put his pants on, both legs at the same time and fell and hit the toilet. There was also the time Jim broke his finger by sitting on it playing "Duck,duck, goose." My favorite though is Gretel's accident. She was running late and put her shoes on without tying them. She ran outside and slammed the front door behind her catching her shoelace in the door. She greeted the front sidewalk dramatically.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Unmatched Socks

When the kids were little I always had a huge bag of unmatched socks. I always kept them for the sock that got left under the bed or got inside something else. When you cleaned the basement you often found the match or if you looked in the toy box. Then there were those socks you never found a match for. Once I found an unmatched sock with an iron on tape on it with a kids name I had never even heard of. I bet his mother had a bag of unmatched socks. Anyway I thought when it got down to the two of us there would be no more unmatched socks but I was wrong. I do find children's socks from the grandchildren when they visit and sometimes nobody will claim them. Where do there matches go? Some of them I am sure are the result of my method for darning socks. When I find a sock with a hole in it I say"Darn" and throw it away.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Letters to Grandma

At least once a month I write to my five grandchildren. I usually send a photograph that Papa or I have taken. Now the grandchildren are 5,6,8,8, and 10. I remember the excitement when my grandmother wrote me a letter. I wrote letters to my grandmother until she died in 1970. This year at Christmas all the children got stationery in their stockings so that Grandma would get letters back. Three of the children have written me. This is from a letter from one of them. He said it was a drawing of his family as snakes.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


My Dad was an engineer and both of my husbands were engineers so you would think I would get used to them. Engineers talk funny well maybe it's not so funny. I remember when I was 18 years old and still hadn't had my first date. My Dad attempted to console me and said. " Peggy you are like a rose that hasn't been discovered yet. It's just that your not sexy like other girls." My Hubby once said to me, "Your thighs are so soft, they're like Jello." It could have been worse. He could have said Tapioca. When I back out of the driveway he says to me. " Don't hit the mailbox." I'm so glad he told me because I was planning on plowing right into it. My husband's internist has the worst bedside manner I have ever seen. It figures. I found he did his pre-med in engineering. When I decided to become an engineer my daughter said to me. "Don't do it Mom. It will ruin you!" Interesting that same daughter, you guessed it, is studying to become a civil engineer.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sibling Book Club

With seven children with spouses we could have a baseball team but since they are spread out over six states we decided to have a kind of book club. We take turns choosing a book. This time I chose "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini. On the last day of the month the person who chose the book sends out some suggested discussion questions. Answers and comments are due the 5th of the month and the new book is chosen. John chose the book "St. Maximillian Kolbe, Knight of the Immaculata" by Jeremiah J. Smith. It's a religious book but John is sort of religious. The resposes on the Hosseini book were very favorable most were immpressed by the way he could write so well from a woman's point of view.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Hubby has just finished reading the book "Legacy of Ashes"by Tim Weiner. For days he was uncommunicative with his nose buried in the book. When I sat next to him and asked if I could turn on the Weather Chanel on TV, I got a curt "What for?" He said it was a very informative but terrifying book. Hubby likes to read political books. He also finished "Imperial Hubris" by Michael Scheuer and "Homo Politicus" by Dana Milbank. He said they were a little dry but still informative. I am well aware that the government is not as wonderful as we would like but some of these books would keep you awake at night. Hubby also has blogs. His are and His are not fun blogs.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Dinner with a Friend

Tonight I had dinner with a friend and former coworker. There is little as pleasant as having dinner and a glass of wine with someone that you could talk to for hours about family, friends, hobbies, etc. Being retired, even though Hubby is great, I do miss the lunchtime conversation with another woman. I think it is a real danger as we get older to want to stay home and we inadvertently narrow our horizons. I made two New Years Resolutions on that topic. The first was to get out of the house at least 5 times a week( church and the drug store count). The second is to contact one friend a week. I found my friend made a similar resolution. She is still working so the getting out of the house 5 times a week is not a problem.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

My Craft Room

One of the advantages of having a five bedroom house, after the kids have grown, is that there is room for your special interests. I guess children could be called special interests too but I didn't mean them. I have one bedroom converted to a craft room and hubby has one converted to his cubicle. It is very unlikely we will ever take pictures of it because, frankly, it's a mess. The room I use for crafts has its closet over the stairs so it is a big square closet with shelves in it. I also have my computer desk in it with the computer. The advantage there is that I can play Solitaire where no one can see me, but they are catching on. Since I am a quilter I have my boxes of different colored scraps on shelves on the wall and boxes of bigger pieces of material under the counter. I have a sewing machine and a serger. The dress form is a Christmas present this year but I haven't used it yet. I have a long utility table for cutting fabrics and the wall that dosen't show is full of books. It is really a wonderful room. This is where I stay while hubby is making dinner.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Le Moyne Star

I decided to make a quilt for my grandson. Nothing too fancy just bright colored 6 pointed stars and fabrics with planets and rocket ships. So far I have sewed each star and ripped it out at least three times and am now starting again. The 6 pointed stars have set in seams and everything has to be measured very exactly or the points don't come out right. When I took my first quilting class in Pennsylvania over 35 years ago, there was a girl in the class that was making a Star of Le Moyne, 6 pointed star, quilt. We took the class several times because a quilt is not something a novice finishes quickly. This girl finished her quilt and it was beautiful. Then to our horror she gave it away and said she never wanted to see it again. Working on my grandson's quilt I am beginning to understand.

Friday, February 1, 2008

An Accidental Collection

I never intended to collect cookie jars but I have trouble walking through the Cracker Barrel or Wal-Mart without picking up a season appropriate cookie jar. Most of my cookie jars are very inexpensive. Thre last one I bought was the Gingerbread House. It was in in Bed, Bath, and Beyond in the clearance aisle for $2.95. Now that is hard to turn down. When I got it home I found it even had a package of cookies inside. What a deal! The girls bought me the apple cookie jar because I always loved the apple cookie jar their paternal grandmother had. Mary bought me the Noah's Ark jar and Martha bought me the spring flower jar. I had another cookie jar from Martha with fall leaves on it but I broke the top so I use it to hold my knitting needles.

I baked the cookies on the counter. They are oatmeal craisen cookies. Even people who don't particularly like to cook get a craving for cookies sometime.