Looks like I took about a two week blogging break but it was for a very good reason! You see my mother was coming up on a milestone birthday, a round numbered one---she is a Flag Day baby. This past Sunday was Father's Day as well. I was going to get to be there for both but shhhhhh it was a secret. There had been a lot of phone calls back and forth between my two sisters and I over the last month. One minute my sister Janet who lives in near Denver, Colorado was thinking about driving down to Alabama to see me with our mother---"what did I think?" A few hours later my other sister Diane was calling to ask what I had planned for the 13th of June to the 19th! She was getting me a ticket and I would be Mom's birthday present. The return date was pushed back a day to get an earlier flight back to Atlanta but I was going to see my family.
Of course, I could not say ANYTHING about that on my blog---Mom reads it. Janet swore Dad to secrecy but she would need him to make some excuse to pick her up at the airport on the Monday evening (the 11th). It was his turn to keep that birthday celebration a surprise! All kinds of truth bending going on once the plans were made. The thing is that Mom had been asking me to come up for about two months now and even offered to help with the gas money. She had been given quite a bit of fabric from a friend who was making room for some family to move it and the scraps were mounting again.
Unfortunately someone back in Colorado kind of spilled the beans and called my parent's home looking for Janet. Dad had already left for the airport so he could not beat her to the phone. My two youngest nieces were playing ball at the Lexington field so Mom went up to see them play but the whole time had her eyes peeled for Janet and Dad as well as my sister-in-law. One daughter home!
Then came Wednesday the 13th. I swore the Belles to secrecy---say nothing on Facebook about have a good trip!!! DJ and I left for Hartsfield fairly early in the morning and by 1 p.m. I was in Bloomington (BMI) Janet and Diane had concocted a story about meeting for lunch at Avanti's when really she was to pick me up. I told them I didn't care what story they made up but I WAS going to have a Gondola---we took some back for our supper, LOL. After running a couple errands, ordering a birthday cake at Sam's etc we went on up to my folks. Janet pulled over about two blocks from their home just in case Mom was looking out the window---she would see only one driver and in I would walk. Mom was napping by the time we got there. Just about the time I was going to go to her room and ask if she was going to sleep the whole day away she entered the living room where Dad, Jan and I were visiting. She was speechless and started crying. 2nd surprise for the week!
Janet had been knitting a baby blanket----remember that one that she had asked me to help figure out the pattern a few months back, shown HERE? Somewhere along the line after viewing some of Mom's donation quilts she mentioned something about making a boy quilt just in case. Well, you don't have to ask Mom and I twice! That is a bit like waving a flag in front of a bull, LOL. Janet sews and has made a few small pieces but she would need our guidance. We were off digging in the fabric bins, shopping Elsie's Quilt Shop and once she settled on a focus fabric the other go-with's fell into place. Janet cut it out and we had three machines going-- like Elsie's Sweat Shop---by 10 pm we had a Naptime top done minus borders.
I thought I had a picture of the finished up all the way open but here is Jan quilting up her boy quilt a few days later. I had gotten her started by threading up the machine, winding bobbins and doing/demo'ing a few lines but she did all the rest. Mom and I had said we would finish up what she did not get done but a few hours before her flight left on Monday she was trimming it up. I should also tell you that Jan and Mom had teamed up before I got there and had the bindings machine stitched down on 7 or 8 donation quilts. She also had a pile of tops to pin, We did those over the next few days including of course, Janet's quilt. 8 or 9 of them.
Thursday, her actual birthday was fairly low key. My dad had a long planned meeting about a hour away so we girls took off for the Peace Meal site for lunch. I made a lemon icebox cake for her since she loves lemon desserts--no true birthday cake yet. My mom used to be the site coordinator and Dad does the home delivered meals and helps fill in for the coordinator so they both support the program. They gave her a lovely Knockout rose bush! Janet had dinner plans with some friends who also live in Lexington. Mom and I went up to the quilt group meeting at the Community Center. Some of the gals who were in the group when I was still living in IL are still members. They were sewing Christmas stockings for the military that evening. I sat down to talk to one of the gals and told mom that I should have brought her Jem up to help instead of working on my basket stitchery. Mom ran back to the house to get it. Eloyce and I sewed our way through all the cut out fleece cuffs that will be applied to them. Once done they go to State Farm to be filled and shipped out. Eloyce was going to give me a lift back to the house since Mom was going to go on home but I turned around and she was chatting with someone else. See? Even on vacation, I am stitching!!
Friday we had told Mom we were going out for Girl's Day Out at the tea room in Clinton where my sister Diane lives. What she did not know was others in the family were coming as well! Here is the La Tea Da! The parking was behind the building and the others were waiting as we approached. We got her again---hugs all around. We had told her earlier that her boys would be coming on Saturday. By that time we were getting a good bit of "is it true that________?" Who could you trust with all the whoppers or sins of omission we had been committing?
And here is the whole gang------thanks to our waitress who took the picture. Note the birthday girl's tiara?
Seated from left, Kristine, her mother/my sister Diane, me, my niece Allison, my twin nieces Elizabeth and Laura, Mom. Standing behind us my sister Janet and my sister-in-law Jen.
Diane had made a lovely raspberry white chocolate cheesecake for dessert so we had gone back to her house. Even her little long hair chihuahua pup Izzie was dressed for the occasion in her party dress!
Laura with Izzie and Elizabeth with her sister and litter mate Lexie--minus clothing at that point. Even Kristine's puppy Sydney was getting into the dress-up deal with a sun dress on, LOL.
This was a busy weekend for Kristine and her husband as they had just closed on their first home on Thursday evening---and the occupant was still in the house at 9 p.m!! Short sale 7 months in the making. They had to be out of their apartment by Sunday night. Lots of work to be done.
We went home to make a few dishes for the meal at Jen and Phil's lovely home for Saturday and picked up the cake on the way back from Clinton. My brother Phil was away at Boy Scout camp in Canada with my nephew John, his last time since he will soon be turning 18. John recently made Eagle Scout! Diane had given Mom a new digital camera since she was still using my old sony that used floppy discs---some of these were taken with new camera. Lessons ensued over coming days in how to use it and get at the contents. Janet was working with Dad on scanning some of the older family pictures that will eventually be made up into discs for the siblings. Some computer help was given by both Janet and I.
Front row: sister Janet, Mom and Dad, the hostess with the mostest my sister-in-law Jen
Back row: my BIL Rick standing next to my sister Diane his wife. Me, my brother Steve. (Wife Jan was dog sitting her two dogs and her bosses dog so stayed in TN) My sister-in law Ann with my brother Dave
grandparents with the grands who were present
Mom and Dad surrounded by Laura, Beth, Rose, Ted, Allison and Elizabeth. (We were missing 6 of the grands)
By Sunday afternoon Phil and John were back from Canada. Jen invited us back over and her parents were there as well to celebrate Father's Day. Monday evening Janet was boarding the plane back for Colorado and Allison picked me up to take me to Schooner's for burgers and onion rings----yummo! And we pinned that pile of quilts on Monday and Tuesday. Jan quilted, Mom and I pinned.
Here is what followed me home though Diane is mailing a box of blacks and abandoned blocks-------
This combo is straight out of the boxes Mom has on the table in the family room-----I am going to cut out and kit a couple of Prairie Stroll tops for us, one for me and one for her.
And this stuff should work for my Farmer's Wife Sampler------
Since I have been home and unpacked there was the usual laundry and errands to run, paperwork and mail to deal with. I also was shuffling my fabric containers around, replacing about 6 of them with 4 snap lock 20 qt models. I had to make some room for the recent acquisitions and re-organized some of the mess in the closet as well. I filled two of them right back up----one for the paint chip challenge and the other, the Farmer's Wife stuff. I also re-arranged the design wall but I'll post that later. I finished the egg basket stitchery that I had been working on intermittently but more on vacation. Read two books too.
DJ and I had to take my 606 New Balance shoes back to Kohl's for exchange as they were already wearing out in the same spot on both shoes, right worse than the left. I had kept up my walking while I was back and bumped up the distance---till I got another blister on the left heel. I figured I only had about 18-20 hours use of them. DJ was discouraging me from getting another pair just like it but those things are comfortable on my foot, if you discount the blisters. Part of that may have been for walking out in the woods with rubbing sandals when John took us out to see his primitive campsite setup that was his Eagle Scout project.
While I was away he had started to try to replace my drippy bathroom faucet but with the long water lines complications, he called in Lowe's to finish the job. I think this will be a lot easier to keep clean since it had the single lever and no faucets with grooves. He also got himself fitted for a hearing aid that we picked up on Friday while on our errands. Hopefully this will help the decibel level of the TV that drives me bats. He had picked up his new glasses post cataract surgery but those were transition lenses and he decided bifocals would be a better option. Lastly, the dishwasher repair guy was back out to replace that danged gasket which keeps falling out. He and Skyler held down the fort. He is still caulking some siding cracks, priming and painting in the back of the house---ongoing project.
Yesterday I was essentially down in bed----it started with a scratchy throat on Friday and I knew I was probably going to be in trouble. That how it always starts. Yep, I got a head cold, cough, drippy nose--bad headache. Same thing happened that last time I flew------hmmmmm. At least I have remained upright today and feel some better. The closest I got to anything quilty the last few days is just some drawing in EQ and filing away some patterns.
I guess that is about it for this post----------thanks again to Diane for getting me the ticket home and to my parents for putting Janet and I up at the house. Love you guys.