Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Hump Day!

Welcome to Hump Day or what some people refer to as Wednesday.  I've been sick with allergies and other monthly problems but was in the office today and guess what!  The tomatoes are in bloom and the lettuce needs another cutting.

I'm finally working again on my test projects which is a hard thing to do when your eyes are having trouble focusing.  I think I might have to take in my cheaters to see if they will help.  But since I can't show you my progress on the test projects, let me show you DeKalb, IL weather as of around 5 p.m. 6.14.17.  I took some pictures when I left my building.  I thought that the cloud formations were interesting.

It's time that I sign off because my eyes don't like to focus right now.  I'll try to post later in the week.

Everybody have a good day.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Manic Monday

Aren't all Monday's manic?  Today especially since it was the first day back to work after vacation.  I'm making through all my emails (100) of them and am now on lunch so I thought I would catch up on some blogging.

My vacation was pretty good.  Didn't do much but relaxed.  The last two days were a bit bothersome since the allergies kicked in and even with my Benedryl Chasers after Zyrtec mornings, I still was sniffling all day.  It's not as bad today so that is good.

I signed up to do a second quilt test pattern and went and bought the material for that.  I am about 1/4 of the way done with the other test pattern so that is good.  I got lazy and didn't even work on quilting stuff for most of the vacation.  Still I should be on track for turning in the results of testing.

Yesterday I did manage to work on my mini owl cross stitch.

That is approximately 1000 stitched.  I want to finish up that last 10 x 10 block (where you see partial stitches) tonight.  I'm debating if I want to start on the Holy Grail one.  I might since I have all but one color of floss for it.  I'll see how I feel.  I need to make sure to spend more time on quilting right now because of the test patterns.  In the hot weather, however, I prefer to work on cross stitch.

I came back to work and couldn't believe how large my AeroGarden was.

Theresa, my friend who works at the Graduate School convinced me to snip it because the lettuce was just sitting there.  Hopefully that will rejuvenate it.  :)  That being said, here is a picture of my first lettuce harvest.  Not a lot but enough for a side salad.  The leaves are nice and tender and tasty.   Yummmmm.

That's the report for today.  Everybody have a great day.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Vacation Thursday

That's right.  I'm on vacation or staycation as it is called and I should be very productive.  Notice that word should.  That should tell you how my staycation is going.  That's ok.  I am relaxing and that IS what a vacation is all about.  So what have I been doing?

Well I've been catching up with some of my gaming friends on the internet.  Offering sympathy to some and congrats to others.  I signed up for a second test pattern from The Quilt Pattern Magazine.  I know.  I must be a glutten for punishment since they BOTH are going to be due around the same time period.  I have been going through old pictures (Throw Back Thursday after all) and I am slowly been working on projects.  So let's get to the pictures shall we?

I posted on Facebook my group of pictures for Throwback Thursday.  I thought my cousin in Alaska might be able to identify them and that led to a nice back and forth conversation on Facebook about the pictures.  They are from my mother's side of the family and Gayla (my cousin) is from that side and has done quite a bit of research into that ancestry.  Thanks to Gayla I found out that my Grandmother Chamberlain (Mertie Christman) had sisters and brothers!  Really?  I never knew that.  We only ever knew Grandma.   It turns out that Grandma's siblings in order of birth were:

Mertie (grandma)
George Ray

WOW!  That's a lot of new relatives, especially knowing that they had children and married, etc.

This was my throwback Thursday collage.

Then I found out that the kids were Grandaunt Bessie's.  This is Grandaunt Bessie.

This is Grandaunt Bessie and was also the throwback Thursday photo that Gayla posted. :)

We also talked about trading off some recipes which led me to look around AND I found some of my mother's recipes that I inherited had recipes from some of my relatives.  I love how mom would make notes and rename things.  For instance she had "Ethel Koltz's Pistachio Salad" and then at the bottom of the index card the recipe was written on it said "Ethel is married to a 2nd cousin in Hinckley.  Great people!  I love those notes!  Now Gayla has some new leads to look up since I remember that the 2nd cousin was called Harold.  It will be interesting to see what she can find out.  I also ran across an older cookbook.

Mom also made notes in that cookbook.

The check marks were recipes she was interested in making and the note about the sorority refers to the time she was a sorority cook as well as their housemother.  She drew two salaries for that and had fun.  She did that AFTER she retired (for the first time).

She also liked to makes notes in the back of the book.

Perhaps after my tomatoes and lettuce are ready to eat I'll be putting in a recipe (or at least their picture).  Speaking of their pictures, I snuck into the office this week before anybody was there and took these pictures of the progress of lettuce and tomatoes.

Aren't they doing great?!

I didn't let those things distract me from trying to do some crafting.  Besides signing up for another test project (and yes I am working on them), I collected up and got organized another project for cross stitch.

I have only one skein of floss to get but am having trouble finding it.  I need to double check the pattern and make sure that I didn't mark down the wrong number.  The other skeins are all wound up on the bobbins and put into my plastic storage for the project.

The company I got the pattern from also included cards which have the symbols already printed on them.  So I took some of the floss and put them on the cards.  That way I don't have to carry around the big box if I don't want to.  

That's all for now.  I hope everybody has a great day.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

It's Friday Jr.

I love the app on my  phone that is Bitmoji.  It has all these cute little things I can send to people and my favorite place is to send to Facebook at the end of the day, etc.

Isn't that cute?  Bitmoji is where I found the Friday Jr. tag.  Here is it.

You can change the look of your Bitmoji but I like this one since I have dark hair, etc.

I worked on my test pattern last night and will work on it more tonight if I can stay awake.  It's been kind of hard lately to stay up for a reasonable amount of time.  Just so much going on.  I'm sorry I can't show you pictures yet but I can show you a picture of my lettuce and tomato plants.

Lettuce - 5.25.17

Tomatoes - 5.25.17

That's about it.  My break time is over and I need to get back to tuition waivers.  Sigh.  LOL.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday Wonder

Wonder of all new glasses came in early.  So I went and picked them up.  It will take a little getting used to but I think I will like them.  Now I will warn you now...what you are about to see is a scary sight....ME!    LOL.

Not the best picture but considering it was taken in the car looking at the rear view mirror and my seat belt is on...I guess it's not the worst picture.  To celebrate getting a new pair of glasses, I also picked up two new hard cases.  America's Best gave me a free see through hard case but I thought to get these two also since they were only around $2 each.

I have been wearing the glasses for an hour now and find that my eyes need a rest.  I'll take pictures tomorrow of my AeroGarden and also an update of the mini owl.  Next week is vacation, or should I say staycation, so I will start to catch up a bit on the Solstice blocks as well as work more on the test project.

Until then....SMILE!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wonderful Wednesday

Today is kind of exciting but also kind of nervous type day.  I am excited to tell and show you my update on the AeroGarden but also excited because I will be going to the eye doctor today.  Haven't been to get "prescription" glasses since I had shingles what...5 years ago?  The cheater glasses (magnifiers) have been doing great for me, and still do, but I need to take the vision test when I renew my drivers license this year.  That is what prompted me to go and get glasses from the professionals this year.  That is also the nervous part.  I hate exams whether it is for eyes or for other parts of my body.  At least the eyes are the least objectionable.

The other exciting news is about the AeroGarden update.  My tomatoes have started to sprout!!!!  Here are today's pictures.

First up is the picture of the lettuce.  You might notice that I have taken the domes off of two of the three types of lettuce.  The Deer Tongue lettuce still hasn't sprouted  so the dome still stays on.  I also took off the dome today since I will be out of the office on Thursday and Friday.  You are to take the domes off when the sprouts start to get to the top.  I thought might as well do it now.

The rather exciting news is on the tomatoes.  They have started to sprout!  My student helper, Noah, will check on them and if they need to have the domes taken off also, he will do it for me.  He's a gem of a student helper.

All of this means that you won't get any new pictures of the garden until Monday.  I can hear some of you say "YAY" to that.  :)    Thank you for putting up with my joy of attempting to do the hydroponic gardening.  I can take the two days off knowing that the garden is being watered, the lights are on timers, and no weeds to pull.  THAT's my kind of gardening.

I hope you all have a great day.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tuesday's progress

I managed to get more _____ cut out for the test pattern and it's starting to take shape.  You didn't really think that I'd show you sneak peak of the test pattern did you?  LOL.   It will be pretty and I'm already thinking of doing a second one.

In the meantime I'm watching my lettuce grow.  Today you can see two of the lettuce types more.  One of them, the Deer Tongue Lettuce, hasn't started to pop through yet but it still has time before I give it a good talking to.

Today's picture of the black seeded is....

How about that!  Isn't it being energetic and growing so nicely?

The Parris Island is keeping it company and looks like this today.

Maybe the Deer Tongue is just waiting for the others to get high enough it can hide out of sight.  Hmmm. ..

I've not forgotten crafting though.  Besides working on the patterns for the Solstice block (which I'm behind on), I have the new test pattern and I also have  the Mini Owl in Cross Stitch.

That about 400-450 stitches one on it AFTER I had to take it back out.  It's coming along though and that is what is important.

Sue...thanks for the update on your Mini Owl.  How do you like that new method of doing it.

Now time for some more caffeine otherwise I might look like...

I hope everybody has a great day/night.

Monday, May 15, 2017

It's a Monday but it's been a good Monday

Today has been a Monday but it's been a good Monday.  Very little problems at work AND.....I can see some of my lettuce in my AeroGarden sprouting.  Yes!!!!  That's the same lettuce pods that I just started on Friday.

What a surprise to come in and see that!  I did find a picture where they estimate the growth.  Here's the picture.

We'll have to see if it really does continue to grow.  I will have lettuce before tomatoes since tomatoes take 7-14 days for the sprouts to appear.

I did manage to get some quilting started but I, unfortunately, can't show it to you until around January since it is a test pattern that I'm doing.  It's going to be cute though!!!!

I will try to work on some cross stitch tonight.  It's boxed up and put away but I know where it is at.  :)

What has everybody else been working on?

Sue Cottle -- How is your Mini Owl coming along.

Friday, May 12, 2017

It's Friday!!!!!

Congratulations everybody.  We made it to Friday.  I'm taking my break to write this entry since I'm so excited.  My AeroGardens came in and they are now set up in my office.

In between my white AeroGarden and my black AeroGarden is my student helpers (Noah) plant.  He asked if it could catch some of the rays also.  He helped me put the AeroGarden's together so of course I said yes.

What is AeroGarden?  The AeroGarden is an indoor garden made by AeroGrow International. TheAeroGarden can be used to grow small amounts of vegetables, herbs, salad plants, and flowers. The seeds for these plants come in special seed pods, or consumers can use their own seeds with a custom kit. (from Wikki).

I have two 3 pod units (they were half price).  In the white one I am trying to grow Heirloom Mighty Mini Cherry Tomatoes.

In the black one I am trying to grow three different types of Heirloom lettuce.

There is the Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, the Deer Tongue lettuce and the Parris Island lettuce.  

The lettuce is suppose to start sprouting within 4-8 days.  The tomatoes take longer.  I'll keep you updated on how it turns out.  If *I* can get this to work, anybody can be a gardener.  Just weeds, no soil, no mess or fuss.  I'm not a gardener but love the gardens bounty so I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.  This would also give me fresh veggies throughout the year and I can mix and match my pods.  

So what do you think?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Simply Sunday

I was going to say Simple Sunday but there isn't anything simple about Sundays.  It's the last day most of us have to relax before returning to work tomorrow.  While I'm thankful for having a job to go to I do grumble a bit on Mondays, I wish there were more hours in a Sunday to accomplish all I like to do (and don't like to do).  Where would I wish to have the extra hours?  At the beginning since I am a morning person?  At the end so I can get more sleep?  It's hard to say.  I guess I will just settle for Sunday to be like it is because it is simpler that way.

What do you like to do on Sundays?  I like to chat with friends and relax.  Most of the times the chatting is done on the phone or in IMs.  Sometimes it is in person.  I also like to do stitching on Sundays.  There is something therapeutic about stitching on Sundays with music or whatever in the background.  A nice relaxing theory.

In reality my Sundays (as well as most of the other days of the week), are split between stitching, gaming, watching or listening to TV and/or a movie and cooking.  Often I am doing all of the above at the same time.  Right now, I have the rock n roll Hall of Fame on the TV, just hung up on the phone with a friend who will call back in about 10 minutes, have my stitching sitting on my printer next to the computer waiting for me to finish this post and get back to it.  I have a movie in the computer waiting for me to press play on and salsa chicken is in the crockpot.

Speaking of stitching, I have to be careful to watch my symbols and colors in my Mini Owl cross stitch.  I took out some new colors to rotate into my portable carrier since I'm in a different section and those colors are so close in shades that I know I won't be able to tell them apart when they aren't on the bobbins.

I'll take a picture of my progress on it in a day or two.  I have around 600 stitches done on it.  This weekend, however, was my gaming weekend and I bought some new dice for it.  Some of you who are not gamers have asked before what does it look like.  It's hard to explain but here is a picture of my new dice.  Yes dice comes in different shapes and sizes because the square ones in games that go from 1-6.

We sit around a table and one person is in charge (me) of guiding the action.  To help visualize, we have these little miniatures to represent our characters.  

It makes more sense if you are there but it is a good socializing event too.  I laughed so hard last night when one of the guys was trying to imitate the sound his hawk made.  It came out, instead, sounding more like a crow.  Every time he said Ka-Kaw we just started laughing. He too was laughing.  We need to laugh more so thank you guys for the laughter and company.

Since yesterday/this weekend was gaming time, it is now time to start on crafts again.  This week I hope to catch up on my Solstice blocks.  I am two behind and on Wednesday it will be three behind if I don't get my butt in gear and work on them.  Will I work on them today?  Probably not.  I'm in the cross stitch kind of mind right now so it will be back to Mini Owl.

I might also try to do some cat blocks this week.  If done right they will look something like this.

I haven't cut the fabric yet because I need to figure out what to use for the background.  It will be a small one with perhaps only 4 blocks.  I'll have to see how it goes.

Speaking of is time for me to stop typing and get back to stitching.  Have a great day everybody!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A start or a restart?

If one picks up a quilting pattern, or any pattern for that matter, and starts to work on it again after a bit, is it a start or a restart.  Time will tell I guess but the main thing is that I'm doing my quilt blocks again.  I'm a little behind (yeah, when am I ever on time) with the blocks but last night I  picked out my colors for one of the blocks and have it laid out so that I can sew it together tonight.  That is a good thing since today another block comes out.

I hope to get it sewn tonight and at least get the colors picked out for the next block.  Maybe also for the block that is coming out today.  Today's block will be the 20th block (hugs and kisses) out of 25.  We're getting to the end soon.  This block is number 18.  Number 19 has friendship stars in it and I like doing those so it will be good.  Hopefully by next Wednesday, when block number 21 comes out, I will be caught up.

With so many projects to work on, what do I do?  Give in and buy a couple more HAED cross stitch patterns.  Not my fault.  They were on sale.  Here are my two new ones.

The black cat one might be done for a Christmas present....some year.  I'm not the quickest stitcher but I do them in a manner which makes me like working on them.  If you can't enjoy the journey, then why are we doing it?

It's time that I get to work but wanted to share this post with you.  I hope you have a great day/evening.  Happy Stitching!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Back in Town...

I went out of town this weekend and spent it in Rockford, IL.  That was nice.  I stayed at a nice hotel which was easy to get to and the rates weren't that bad.  It was the Alpine Inn which is by East State Street and Alpine.  It's really only about 1/2 block away from the intersection so it was quick to find.  When I walked into the Alpine Inn the "nook" for the continental breakfast was off to the left hand side.  On the right you just see some of the sofa that people could wait while their rooms were getting ready.

My room wasn't quite ready so I was told to help myself to the coffee or juice.  It was nice to see that they were having the coffee available 24/7 but they had baby Styrofoam cups.  They did have, however, two different types of coffee available and had tea also.

I had a king size bed since they only have twin size or king, I took king.  That was so nice.  I had PLENTY of room and took advantage of those 4 pillows that were on the bed.  My little room also had a small sofa, end table and desk area as soon as I walked in.

It rained, of course, the whole time, but overall I thought it was a good place to stay.  With tax added in, it was just over $79.  The continental breakfast was pretty good.  Obviously, tea and coffee, but they also had 4 kinds of dry cereal, 2% milk in a gallon container so if you wanted to drink milk and/or have it on your cereal you could.  Also included was orange juice, apple juice, mini bagels with cream cheese, donuts, English muffins, and a toaster so you could toast them if you wish.

I also stopped by Great Clips and got my hair done.  Gotta love their $7.99 specials that happen each year.  I L.O.V.E. to have somebody wash my hair so that extra $4 was well worth it.  Eventually I made it home but have to share with you some new hand fans that I picked up.  These are three different ones and they work beautifully.  

I also made it home in time to finish up my Blackberry cordial that I have had sitting for a week.  it was a small batch which yielded about 1 1/2 cups of cordial and, of course, vodka infused blackberries.  They have been soaking in vodka and brown sugar for a week.

My next batch (next month) will be strawberries or raspberries.

I thought I would end today with a couple of pictures that I like.  This one is a Yellow Magnolia that she has in her yard.

 The other picture that I have to share is from work.  This is what I get to see out of my window if I'd turn around and look at it.

That's all for now.  I have to put my mini owl cross stitch on a new frame and see how it works out.

I hope everybody has enjoyed these pictures and has a wonderful evening.