Happy New Year--a few days into '07. I can't believe that it has almost been a week since I last posted---usually just 3 days at the most between journal entries but here I am. This will be long to make up--just warning you!
DJ and I had a great time with my family over the weekend. My brother and his wife who moved to TN a year ago invited all of us to come and celebrate a family Christmas. We accepted that gracious invitation with fingers crossed. Realize that this is no small undertaking when you are talking 6 kids, their spouses and the 11 grandkids. My SIL deserves a medal for taking us all on -- the thought and prepartions they put into hosting this event! We numbered 22 or 23 people. Other than my parents 50th wedding anniversary in 01 this is the first time we have all been together in the same place. Someone is always missing at the Christmas gathering--either as they have to work (several in the medical field) and you have to schedule when most can be there or distance away from IL. Three of us live out of state now. DJ and I have not gone back at this time of year since 98 preferring to travel in the spring, for example.
The weather held so my sister in CO was able to drive to TN between snowstorms and my BIL was able to get off work to come with my sister and two nieces but will fly out today to get back to work. My sister will drive back with the girls on the 4th. They went back to IL and will stay with my folks for a few days and see the other side of their family.
The Illinois bunch ALL came minus two nephews and one niece who either had to work or had made alternate plans before this all shook out. One brother from Bourbonnais picked up my mom and dad so they would not have to drive. The youngest brother from LeRoy already had a car full---four kids, two adults. My other sister and niece and my BIL from Clinton left a little later as my BIL had to work a half day on Friday. Anyway, they were all there by sometime on Friday. Oddly, the car from Bourbonnais and the one from CO got stuck in a two hour traffic jam on I-57 at Marion as a truck containing hazardous materials had overturned--they were about 30 minutes apart on the same highway though the CO car had crossed over from I-70 to get to 57. They even ate at the same restaurant in Paducah (think that's right), it turned out--again 30 mins apart.
Every body had a bed or a blow up mattress--the ones with kids all were at a 2nd property the hosts own not far from their home. Their daughter wanted to stay with her cousins opening up her room for two adults. Their across the street neighbors graciously offered their guest rooms to DJ and I. It all worked out but we must have driven Jan crazy when the emails or calls came in---constantly shifting, adding and so forth. A big thanks to you, girl!
DJ and I left here on Saturday morning since we were not going to board the cat or ask anyone to come in to feed or water here. Trip took 4 hours almost exactly because 1) DJ was driving 2) no meal stops. Except for a minor misdirection on my part we did not have any problems in the travels though we drove home in almost steady rain.
There was a pool tournament going on and a spirited game of Phase 10 being played. A couple trips to walk the dog. The kids were in and out of the house playing while the adults visited and enjoyed the mild weather. Lots of good food was enjoyed with kitchen helpers as needed. Diane and I teamed up for green bean casserole. A neighbors oven was borrowed to cook the ham. LOL, one year one nephew, probably about 8 at the time, was groaning about the "death hour" and when pressed about what that could possibly mean, he said that is when the adults were done eating and just visiting around the tables keeping them from getting at their packages. After 5 or 6 hours, I was just surprised not hear some comment from the kids about when they got to open their presents. The adults opted out of the gift exchange some time ago but it is fun to see the kids open theirs. Then we had a little "talent" show, much to the amusement of all present. The finale was the adapted version that we wrote to "My Favorite Things" that 4 of us wrote on the car trip back from Grandma's funeral.
My one sister and her family left shortly thereafter to drive back to IL. The rest of us came in for continental breakfast Sunday morning at varying times. Jan had asked my friend Cindy to come over to see me for a bit before we left so it was nice for us to have the opportunity to chat. Mom knows Cindy as well; Cindy and Jan have become good friends too. Poor Cindy though had to see the "goodbye scene" which no one is ever good at doing. She lives some distance from her family as well and probably has to do much the same when she leaves WI.
I came home with two quilts that my mom had made and donated to the Belles towards our 07 goals for the Boys Big Oak Ranch. Norma will recognize the BQ (Debby Beaves design) quilt in the blue and yellow one. The other is a Bright Hopes or Twist block with a patriotic print so it should definitely stay in the States.
I also brought back the new sewing machine that my mom got for me in IL at my request. It is an Innov-is NX 450 from Brother. I overheard my brother say something like "no Linda, no machine"--apparently the decision was made that if I didn't show up at the shindig the machine was to remain in IL. It was not going to be held at my brother's in TN till I ventured up that way. I've paid for roughly two thirds of it and will pay my mom back for the remainder over the next few months.
No, I have not even plugged the thing in and it is barely unpacked actually. LOL, I am a little afraid of it or rather learning to use a new machine when my Viking has been such a workhorse for me for 12-13 yrs. I figure I'll look through the manuals, order a new table insert to fit around it and when all the ducks are in a row, properly break it in.
I awoke early Sunday morning with a horrid headache and probably should have taken some analgesic then. We were at the neighbors house and there were no drinking cups and I didn't want to go opening their kitchen cabinets looking for a glass. I hoped it would go away as the night time ones often do but no such luck. Nothing I took for it touched it and the four plus hour car ride didn't help. Essentially I went to bed once we got home. Not that DJ and I planned on doing anything for New Years Eve--we so seldom do. Heck, I already had the headache even without alcohol, forget the overindulgence part. Our neighbors were setting off fireworks at midnight enough for the whole sub-division so big deal, its 2007, was the attitude at the point.
I heeded the notion that "whatever you do on New Years Day, you will do all year" and pulled out a WTIL quilt since the walking foot is still on it. I was struck on how little donation quilt sewing I had done in the past two months. Other than the butterfly challenge quilt I did in early November or finishing the Toadie top---none. Amazing to me since I never really ever quite finish working on this stuff. That round robin stuff and the commissioned quilts just took over. The top I am quilting is plaid bricks one I made at the fall sew-in in mid October shown HERE. I know I have 5 or 6 more tops that could be pinned at the Belles first meeting a week from today--2 of Mom's donation, 1 or 2 of Finn's and 2 of my own. It never quite stops.
So for today, work on the bricks top. Tomorrow, try to finish the 30's sampler. The snowmen are set aside for now with a January through April done--more than I had a week ago and definitely more than was done last year. No resolutions made but goals that I would like to attain are listed to keep me on schedule. Donation work will take precedence in coming months as it has since 2000. I am itching to do some string blocks for Mary's Heartstrings Project so that will be next on the piecing horizon, I'm sure. Unless I have to make another T-shirt quilt for private school fund raising, I am off the hook for that stuff for a time.
Well, I've prattled on long enough--that will teach me not to wait so long to post, LOL. It is almost lunch time, for pete's sake.