Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Why is it that just when the house is full of cookies and candy everybody decides to go on a diet. Martha baked lots of cookies. Mary baked lots of cookies. Gretel baked lots of cookies. Gretel's girlfriend's mother sent over cookies. Santa brought lots of candy. He seems to be fond of Costco truffles. Then the family decides to have a joint weight loss project. Once a week everyone reports whether they have lost or gained,(no numbers please)and they get encouraged by their peers. I must admit that I could stand to lose a few pounds so I will join in the project but I also notice everyone else went to their respective homes and left all the cookies and candy here.

Monday, December 29, 2008


My daughter Mary collects cows. Not the real ones she is scared of those. But she has cow pitchers, butter dishes, cookie jars, soap dispensers, key chains and timers. So for Christmas I made her a set of cow dish towels. I also made both Gretel and Mary cupcake pincushions to celebrate their membership in the daring bakers.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Quilt For Jim And His Wife

When my son, Jim, was married I made a queen size quilt for him and his bride. Later on they bought a King size bed and always hung their quilt on the wall. So this year I made them a King sized quilt as a Christmas present. The pattern is a double Irish chain and I quilted the shamrocks especially because my daughter in law's birthday is on St Patrick's Day. I made it in similar colors to their original quilt in case they still wanted to hang the first one in the same room. When I shipped it I insured it for a thousand dollars mostly so UPS would take good care of it because I felt it was irreplaceable. Jim and his wife said they liked it a lot.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas. It all began on the 22nd when Mary and the Brain drove up from Ohio and then Gretel and the Tummy flew in from New York. The weather didn't cooperate and the driving left a lot to be desired but by 2 AM Wednesday we were all safely home. We always open our presents on Christmas Eve. So Gretel and the Tummy went and got Austin and we started celebrating with hors d'oeuvres. Pickled herring with sour cream, shrimp, smoked whitefish dip with crackers and celery stuffed with cream cheese and walnuts. Then we tried making origami airplanes like those on the tree but the guys wimped out halfway through. For dinner we had a honey baked ham, twice baked potatoes, carrots, green bean casserole, homemade applesauce and a salad with a flaming rice bavarian and a pineapple upside down cake for dessert. Dinner was scheduled for 5PM but at about 3:15PM the power went out. Edison said it would be back on in 5 hours. Something must have happened up on the main road because we had a steady stream of traffic including city buses coming down out street through the subdivision. Fortunately I have a gas rangetop and in the basement I have an old gas stove with a gas oven. We sprinkled candles liberally through the living room, got a camping lantern in the kitchen and lots of flashlights. Dinner was by candlelight which was very nice. We just scraped and rinsed the dishes.(I wasn't about to wash my good china in the dark) We opened the presents and passed the flashlights around so every one could examen more carefully their gifts. The power came on around 8PM. On Christmas Day my Mom came over for dinner. Martha traditionally makes Lasagna for Christmas dinner. Afterwards my brother and his wife came over with their two children and my nephews fiance. We had a great time with a lively evening.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Former Piano Student

Yesterday, in the mail I received a graduation announcement. One of the little girls I had taught piano to from kindergarten to high school has just received her doctorate in engineering. Michelle was a pretty, soft spoken girl who impressed me especially because she wore the most beautiful dresses to every piano recital, the kind I would have given my eye teeth to have ever worn. Her brother,Michael, was also a student and he went to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. I am sure their parents are so proud they could burst. I am proud of them and I was only their piano teacher.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Hero

Yesterday I went out to shovel the 9 inches of snow we got here. Hubby is not allowed to shovel snow yet. I did about one square of the driveway and the path to the mailbox when Grant, the young man who lives across the street called to me. He has a snow blower. He said, "That's the hard way. Go inside I will do it for you." I didn't hesitate. I did give him a plate of cookies. He said he had noticed that Martha and I had done the earlier snowstorms and was concerned about Hubby. Good neighbors are priceless,

Friday, December 19, 2008


Last night as I was assembling the squares for my nephew's quilt, my sewing machine started making a knocking noise and wouldn't sew. This morning Hubby helped me open it up(farther than I have ever done before) and one of the gears is chewed beyond use. I guess I wore it out. I think the machine can be repaired. It was my Mom's second machine which she gave me when mine died. Gretel is coming over the holidays and we need to assemble her math student quilt. She has a machine but it is unrealistic to ask her to bring it on the plane along with all her Christmas gifts. Perhaps Mary could bring hers up from Ohio as they come by car. If we were not in the midst of a blizzard with 6 inches of snow already on the ground I would have Santa(aka.Hubby) go out today to buy me a new machine. He is likely to do that yet but not today. Me without a sewing machine is a sad thing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More Snow

We got 4 inches of snow last night but it is Martha's turn to shovel and she did a beautiful job. Hubby did go out to fill the bird feeders but he noticed that the squirrel-proof door isn't working on the sunflower seed feeder and Sammy Squirrel was eating as fast as he could. I didn't go to lunch with Mom as I don't drive in snow, not that I can't. Today I am writing out my Christmas cards. I am never the first one to get them out. Helene is usually the first but this year she called to say she doesn't feel like sending them out so she was calling instead. Really a phone call is much more personal. I am really not a telephone person. Believe me I can talk with the best of them but I don't care to make phone calls. So today I am doing cards, wrapping a few gifts and taking it easy, which is what I do most days.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tall Slacks

I am a big girl. I am about 5 foot 11 inches and most of it is in my legs( of course if so much wasn't turned under for my feet I would be a lot taller). Buying clothes is always discouraging. Today I went into the Dress Barn to buy my Mom a Birthday present(She will be 91 years old). As I checked out I asked "Do you ever carry tall sizes?" She said"Yes, tall slacks." I bought 3 pair. The store had a full rack of casual slacks and another full rack of dress slacks. I thought I had died and gone to Heaven.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Candy Cane Drive

During December the Lions have their Candy Cane Drive. For four weeks we beg for funds to support Leader Dogs and other organizations that serve the blind. The first Sunday I stood outside it was 16 degrees and windy. I was told my boots were too thin and they really were. Today it was 38 degrees and rainy. I wore my husbands boots, only one person laughed at them. I was chilled because of the damp cold but my feet were warm. I just couldn't run in them if I needed too. One woman gave me five dollar bills both weeks and said she would do so next week if I was there. Another man in a Lion (football team) jacket gave me a five both weeks but said his jacket wasn't for a football team, it was for a comedy show. Today another man, well dressed in a top coat, didn't give me anything but threatened to rob me. I looked at him like he was nuts and he went away.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Auto List

I think earlier in the year I had told you that I love to make lists especially using Excel. Thanks to Kittalog I was lying awake and thinking of car names which began with the different letters of the alphabet and it dawned on me that there were an awful lot of car names and model names. Needless to say I had to make an Excel list. I reached 200 names but I must admit every time I go somewhere I see more models. Now some cars like Mercedes and BMW don't name their models with fun names like Buick does. It is also surprising to see how many cars have names of animals(mostly horses, cats and snakes but also some cows and sheep. No dogs. That's for buses) Even Hubby now when he sees a different model will say "Do you have that one?"

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pillow Slips

Last Christmas in an attempt to be eco-friendly, I made pillow slips out of Christmas fabric to hold each persons gifts. They were surprisingly appreciated. I had matching pillow slips for the married people. This year I did it again only this time with wildly striped flannel. It makes a funny sight under the tree but it sure makes it easy for everyone to carry off their loot afterwards.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Table Hostess

Last Saturday night the village of Lathrup had their annual Santa visit Christmas party. The Lions Club staffs the party and helps with some of the costs. I tried to get a picture of Santa coming across Southfield Road with his one reindeer pulling the sled and the police stopping traffic for him, but it was too dark and the picture didn't turn out. Inside the party I had the job of "Table Hostess" which meant I would randomly call the tables to come up and talk to Santa. Other Lions were passing out cookies and hot chocolate and another group taking photos of each child with Santa and printing them up as a souvenir of the event. I thought table hostess would be a cushy job. However, the photographers would get behind and tell me to "stall." Parents would say "Take us next" or "I'm sure you missed our table," and then "Could you take us next as one child has already wet her pants." After a while no one waited for their table to be called at all. It was a fun party and the kids were adorable. It was fun to see the parents whose children screamed at the sight of Santa( a lot of them did). They kept trying again and again but the kids were determined to have no part of Santa.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Village

One of my many eccentricities is that I collect those holiday buildings, not the expensive ones like the Dickens Village but the cheaper ones that are bigger by Lemax or several other companies. You can tell the electrical hookups are a little challenging. I probably should have blocked out the cords with photo shop. I also embroider stockings for everyone in the family. So far we have 21 stockings. I bought them from Charles Craft and found out they were discontinuing them. I contacted them and bought another dozen. I still have about 6 left.
Gretel is making fruitcake today and has called several times. I sure hope she is going to give me a loaf. The recipe is my mother's and is called Tennessee Fruitcake.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

When Can Hubby Cook Again?

Yesterday the doctor called to say that Hubby's path report said that all the cancer was removed and there would be no need for further treatment. That is really good news. Tomorrow he goes to get the staples out. My big question is "When can he cook again?" I have been heating up the leftover Thanksgiving dinner and twice almost poisoned the family. Tonight I made tuna biscuits with creamed peas. That's a long way from Hubby's gourmet meals. He still won't be able to lift more than 10 pounds but I'm sure he could cook without doing that, especially if I stood by for any heavy lifting.