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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

May each of you have a happy, prosperous, healthy, and creative 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

TQS Legend of the Year 2008

I just saw The Quilt Show webcast of their Legend of the Year Jinny Beyer and am overwhelmed!

Her gorgeous home, her gardens, her shop, her quilting history, and most of all her color theory are something that every quilter should see for both the visual impact and the educational impact! Her short demonstration on the use of color in quilts is invaluable. This is a show that I will watch over and over to let it soak in deeply.

I have been a member of Alex Anderson and Ricky Timms' webcast from day one and it has been very helpful to me; especially since I haven't felt like going out to quiltshows or workshops much in the past year. Here in my home I've been able to learn from some of the top quilters when it is convenient for me.

If you are a member, you need to watch this webcast. If you are not, it is worth your time and subscription price, just to see this one show.*

[*I really am not receiving any compensation for this endorsement; and no animals were endangered in the creating of this blog post.]

Friday, December 26, 2008

Blessings of Love and Light to You

I found this beautiful Christmas card and immediately knew I had to post it for Debra and Barbara, the Madonna Idea quilters.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Christmas Decor

I especially like this Nativity in lights seen in a neighbors front yard this evening.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Here Comes Santa Farmer

I've been so busy researching genealogy and putting together family history notebooks for Christmas that I haven't had time to blog, or much of anything else that doesn't absolutely have to be done.

But today Joe told me to check out a photo opportunity on Raynolds Avenue. It was so cute I just had to share with all of you.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

SNOW Is a Four Letter Word?

This afternoon when I sat down at the desk for work on my Mom's finances, my 10 Key Adding Machine had suffered Cardiac Arrest and wouldn't compute. Thinking about it, this might still be the machine we had when we moved to Florence 21 years ago. Since I can't function, mathematically, without my 10 key, we had to take an unplanned trip to Office Depot in Canon City and get a new one. It is quite beautiful and the display is much easier to read than the old one. It even has a clock and calendar and memory, if I ever decide to take the time to figure out how to use them. All I want to know is the bottom line, which I will then probably type into a Microsoft Excel file.

Unfortunately, one of the things that is keeping me away from creating quilts, is the amount of time I have to spend on handling Mom's finances. Luckily, Joe handles most of our personal and business finances and I just input the info into Quick Books and generate reports. While a major portion of my career was handling the agencies' budgets and finances, I was never good at handling my own finances, too emotionally involved. Like not acting as one's own Attorney or Doctor. Other peoples' money is like Monopoly money to me and I can handle it very logically.

But I digress!

I am posting about the snow storm we received yesterday. The storm started as rain in the late afternoon, while I was shopping in Canon City. As I started the drive back to Florence in the dark and rainy evening, it was quite difficult for me to see and I had to drive between 45 and 50 mph on Highway 50. By the time I got to the Florence turn off, it had begun snowing big, fluffy wet flakes and I nearly turned off the highway into the barrow pit before I caught myself and saw where the actual turn off was located. The snow was swirling around hynotically in the head lights and it was almost impossible to see where I was driving. Most of the time I could see a tiny bit of the white line on the edge of the pavement, and stayed on the road at around 10 to 15 mph across the hill and down the slope into the Arkansas River valley. Once into town the street lights made it easier to see to stay on the streets and find my house.

This morning it was quite cold and gray but by midday the sun came out and made everything sparkle, even though it remained cold enough for the snow to stay on the trees as well as the ground. The view as Joe drove me to Home Depot was glorious, with the sun low in the west, shining on the snowy prairie and on the mountains, below the clouds that still covered their peaks. Of course, I had Joe pull over on the verge of the highway, while I got some photos. It is a good thing for me that Joe is a patient man, since I'm always asking him to stop for a photo session.

Here is what we saw. This is the hogback and Cooper Mountain, to our north, in the Pikes Peak massif. Normally, I think of SNOW as a four letter word, but there are exceptions. In addition to being beautiful, we desparately needed the moisture. [Be sure to click on the photo, to better appreciate the effect.]

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Family Thanksgiving 2008

Thanksgiving is always a big holiday for my family and this year we had a wonderful time, again. Last year, Dad was in the hospital so Mom, Joe, and I spent the day with him; the kids had their traditional dinner at Carl and Robyn's and then all came to visit the hospital on Friday and were able to have time with Dad before he passed on early Sunday morning. So this year we were really feeling the need to be together.

Derek and Lindsay being greeted by Greg as they arrive with the fantastic soup and flowers.

Joe and I drove Mom to Michal Ann's in Wheatridge (a western suburb of Denver) on Wednesday evening. We now stay at her house since she has two ground floor bedrooms; the stairs at Carl's are too much for Mom and a challenge for me and my oxygen apparatus.

Joe supervises Sharon and Samantha as they prepare Carl's German Chocolate birthday cake.

We have the Thanksgiving meal at Carl and
Robyn's, and since they are vegetarians, Michal Ann cooks the turkey and trimmings, Sharon does desserts and Carl's birthday cake (he was born on the 23rd so we celebrate his birthday with Thanksgiving), Kat makes homemade rolls and sweet potatoes, Robyn does a yummy cashew loaf and fruit and veggie salads, and I fix the whole cranberry sauce and other veggie dishes. This year Lindsay and Derek made a delicious sweet potato and green chiles soup, which was new and a big hit. There were 21 of us at the two tables, from 15 months to 88 years.

Carl and Jason moving second table into foyer, next to the dining room to the right.

Three year old Alex, from Salt Lake City, plays Aunt Robyn's baby grand piano.

In the evening we watched the movie, "Iron Man", which was much more enjoyable than I anticipated. Jeff Bridges did a great acting job in this one; so much so that it took a while to recognize him. The kids have a great time together and make a lot of noise.

On Friday evening we got together at Michal Ann's for a lasagna meal. The children had a great time playing with the family heirloom dinosaurs and jungle animals, that have lived for three generations with Gramma Evy and Grampa Fritz, and have now taken up residence with oldest granddaughter, Michal Ann. Carl presented his Power Poiont show on his trip to Canada this summer in his historic Waco biplane, known affectionately as Old Bar-B-Q in the Canadian northern woods, where it supplied the people at mines and fishing camps on the lakes (on floats in summer and skis in winter) during the 1940s. Part of the presentation was a video of the trip done by the Canadian version of our PBS. He also showed some of his old family photos of us when we were much younger, and some of our forbears who have been gone for decades.

Mandy and Rachel reading together on Aunt Mike's couch. The quilt on Rachel's knees is the one I made for Kaylee when she was born; and she is holding "The Quiltmaker's Journey" which Joe and I gave Kaylee for her birthday this year, to go with "The Quiltmaker's Gift" that went with the quilt. The quilt was made of Quiltmaker fabrics. Kaylee likes to wrap up in the quilt and have Gramma Michal Ann read the books to her.

While this was going on it started snowing and continued all night. It is the first snow we had seen this fall. About a month later than most years, we usually get our first at around Halloween.

Charlie (ex), Sharon (spouse), and Mom at Giuseppe's
On Saturday we drove to Colorado Springs to meet my kids' father and stepmother for lunch at Giuseppe's in the old railroad depot. The seventeen of us had a small room to ourselves and were fortunate to have a great waitress, who took good care of us. We have an interesting family in that Joe and I get along with our ex's and their spouses and have family get togethers that include us all. Time has a way of softening the earlier emotions, and we do share a number of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. (And hopefully, we gain wisdom!)

Carl and Robyn at Giuseppe's (out the windows you could see the coal trains running south full, and north empty. (There goes more of Wyoming!) Alex, Shaun, and Kaylee loved watching the trains.

We drove home from the Springs (through fog on Monument Hill), and the kids drove back to Denver (my ex and his wife now live in Pueblo). I am so glad that we didn't wait for Sunday to drive home, because it snowed heavily and made for slow, dangerous, stop and go driving on Monument Hill, on I-25, between Denver and the Springs. Sharon and her little ones had to stay over an extra day in Denver and drive to Salt Lake City on Monday. Here in Florence, we had enough snow early Sunday morning to turn everything white, but it stopped and melted off by noon.

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful, loving family (even if some of us agree to disagree on politics)! That's what Thanksgiving is all about.