Saturday, January 31, 2009


I am updating the blog today with just a few items.

First of all-pregnant woman #2 has given birth yesterday at 10 AM. Chase Harvey was 3 weeks early and a little baby at 6#7oz. What is the meaning of that? Birth went well after a little blood pressure problem. I don't have pictures yet. I do have this prepregnancy picture from when we went and saw pregnant woman #1's baby.

So congratulations to our little Ali-pants, and perhaps the office can calm down a tish.

Last week was sit and sew at Pine Needles. And I did not bring my camera. So next month look for Sit and Sew pictures. I am glad it is Sit and Sew because standing or lying and Sewing probably would not work out well. Sit and Sew is the gathering for the Thimbleberries Club, by the way.

Wednesday was embroidery club and we made cards which are really cool. I made 2 baby cards for the pregnant woman

Tomorrow is Superbowl Sunday Mystery Quilt IV. This, next to Retreat, is just about my favorite Pine Needles Event. It is also the first time I was ever at Pine Needles. So, many functions and 2 sewing machines later I am still at it.

Last week my sister Martha and I received our RSC yarn. And since the law of spoilers forbids I post a picture or even describe it I will just say "Oh la la". I had to order a needle set from Knit Picks (I cannot knit on anything but Harmony now). They have been shipped and next week I will swatch (yes, I am going to swatch-as much as I don't want to). I have to finish my GAAranA block this weekend. Constant cabling is driving me nuts. Plus I have 3 cable mistakes in the block now-which is not getting ripped back no matter what.

So I am off to finish my sit and sew block-I bought 2 new rulers for triangles and half squares, and two new rulers for measuring. You know, you think one ruler is just like the next-and you would be wrong. I love my new rulers. That Kaye England is so clever.

Enjoy the superbowl and root for the Cardinals. I don't much like the Steelers, ever since they stole the superbowl from Seattle. But I won't get into that, suffice to say I am still bitter.

Next week-lots of pictures!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Holy Cal Worthington and his dog Spot

First and formost of all-

A big shout out to Graaampaa who is officially older as of today. Happy Birthday Graampa. Card and gift in the mail-

Now for the rest of the story:

So today I was listening to NPR which is brought to me by MPR. Suddenly they were doing a spoiler about the upcoming story on Cal Worthington. Since I am from Washington and not Minnesota, I had to ask Dave-"Did you have Cal Worthington here?" to which he answered "Never heard of him" and continued on his morning prep schedule.

I was so curious I had to turn the radio up and listen. Cal is still selling cars in California, although he is in his late 80's now. I had completely forgotten the "Go see Cal, go see Cal, go see Cal" song. Oh back in the day....

Please listen to the story-you can find it here. Really, listen to it and it will bring back memories of time gone by. Are there still commercials out there like this?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's All Relative

People, my relatives are out of control this weekend.

My nephew, whom I see around on Facebook has this radio gig going on. I believe his slot is oh dark thirty. They probably don't trust the freshman (who know everything) to be on during prime time. This is the information in his own words:

"FRIDAY MORNINGS 4:30-6:30AM!!That's Central Time (+6:00 GMT) y'all. So 2:30-4:30 for the west coast and 5:30-7:30 for the east. You can listen in at Just click on the "Listen Now" link. You can also submit requests on the website or call us in the studio at 507-222-4127. We'd really enjoy that. We'll play your requests.Keeping it real in the realest sense of the word possible,



He says he will play all of your requests. Oh so sorely tempted to call. As soon as I come up with the weirdest most obscure thing possible I'll be dialing.

So after recovering from this, my sister (other sister-the wine sister) sent me this link about my brother-in-law who edited a 700 page book about the Western Papagueria titled Fragile Patterns. (He is seen above with my sister in the only picture I could find at five thirty AM) I was actually impressed by his speaking and thought he would probably be pretty interesting to listen to. Do remember that he has spoken to me several times in the past 30 years or so but usually in one or two syllable words so I will understand. I mean-check out the e-mail sig:

Jeffrey H. Altschul, Ph.D, RPA
Chairman, Statistical Research, Inc. (http://
Chairman, Nexus Heritage (
President, SRI Foundation (

These people send me e-mails with this kind of signature. Like we aren't related or what? Anyway, it gives me boundless joy to razz them about it.

I have to also say, Jay is probably right about my intellect as Dave and I spent several minutes doing wordplay on Papagueria. (We work in the medical field and we just can't help it)

But really, to edit a 700 page book is remarkable. That one could actually wade through 700 pages of the Western Papagueria is stellar to say the least.
So, Happy Accomplishments to all! I start an MPH program next month. Lets see if I can stick with it.
If not, I can always tune into Carlton College Radio whilst thumbing through Fragile Patterns.....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fruit of the Vine....

So this is what my sister sent me a couple of weeks ago-

Dudes, it is totally personalized wine.

I suppose it is a fine Cabernet-reportedly quite healthful (if you don't drink all three bottles at one time).
As you can see it is the 25th Anniversary of their company Statistical Research, which seems to me not to do any statistical research at all.
But I am only an ignorant layman.
Although my brother in law admitted to never using ANOVA, nonparametric or otherwise. So go figure where the statistics come in. I will admit to seeing some research going on around there.
And curiously, my sister does not even drink. I am starting to wonder about this Alice in Wonderland sort of gift.
I refuse to overthink this.

Oh well, it is good for some conversation and a refreshing buzz!

Congratulations on 25 years of success.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Scrap Therapy

Yesterday afternoon I went to scrap therapy at Pine Needles in Cresco. I had already been to software sampler in Racine. I just thought I'd do all the Pine Needles all the time. So I did.

Scrap Therapy is about cutting your scraps, boxing them, and having them ready to make stuff. You cut 5 inch, 3 1/2 inch, and 2 inch squares. From my watercolor days I had a bazillion 2 inch squares already. I have totes of fabric from the mid 90's on that need to be used (so I can buy more fabric). This is stash busting at its best. So yesterday was the cutting class.

These are the boxes with some scraps that Marsha, our teacher (and owner of the store with her daughter Suzie -also talented quilters and all around nice girls) had cut up.

These are the 5 inch squares

These are 3 1/2 inch and two inch. We got a box with the class but I am afraid I am going to need a couple of more boxes. I also bought a bag pattern I can use with the scraps.

Here are the girls, busily ironing and cutting upstairs in class. The nice thing about scrap therapy is if it is getting too late to sew or knit with a clear head, you can cut scraps.
Here is Marsha on the ironing portion of our therapy
And here are Marsha and Suzie working hard to make Pine Needles run smoothly!

Although I am still wondering how I got to be #5 on the Mystery Quilt list when they know I am always #1.
Oh well. It was fun and I had a little shopping spree to boot. Mystery Quilt-here I come!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Construction Zone

In my last post I said to click on a picture to enlarge it. I am finding that this option has broken but am trying a new fix. The breakage is totally on Blogger, not because of my computer.

This fix is a huge pain in the ass. Really. I hope it gets fixed soon because I like to post pictures.

I'm posting this to see if my fix has worked. It's all about a bad html for the image when one drags it around. I cannot even believe I typed that. I can't believe I understand what it means. When I import information like that into my brain some other important information is displaced and deleted, such as how to get home, where the bathroom is etc etc.

News Flash-Pregnant Woman Gives Birth

Still awaiting number two.....
Yes, it is true, Angie gave birth to Cora Rae who is about as cute as a baby could be. And of course, Angie is a very cute first time mother. Nervous. I don't remember being that nervous but then again-this is how it turned out for me:

Perhaps I should have been a bit more thoughtful........No, just kidding.

Anyway, Ali and Patrick and I went to visit yesterday. Ali brought hot dishes (aka casseroles), Patrick brought brownies and I brought myself and the camera. Hmmm. I also pitched in for the sandwiches for Angie and her very cute husband Brian.

So here's what happened. (Sorry to Patrick-why aren't you in any of the danged pictures?)

So here we are, Angie, Cora, Me, and Ali. Ali is due in Feb. I keep telling her I am exhausted by the pregnant women and simply cannot handle another pregnancy at this time. Ali does not understand this at all. Of course, she wasn't fretting about her blood pressure like I was.......

Anwway, Angie went to the hospital last Saturday at noon, epidural at 2, pushed at 4:30 and had said baby at 4:45. We are rather perturbed at this type of behavior for a first time mother. Where's the 30 hour labor and threats of quitting it all and going home? Where are the bruises on her husband's arm from the intense squeezing so he can feel the pain too? And puleese, where is the residual baby fat? This girl looks fantastic. If we didn't already love her we'd probably have to dislike her intensely? Plus, she had the cutest baby.

Here's our little Cora. She was tired when we got there but woke up at the end. I sort of scared her with the flash-I didn't expect it to flash and neither did she!

Here's our sweet Ali practicing for motherhood. Look at all that hair (not Ali's-Cora's!)

And here is me with a happy baby who is getting ready to be not so happy. Have a good life Cora and congratulations to Angie and Brian.

Lastly, just to show that yesterday was cold I took a picture of the thermometer before I left for work. I had to take it though the glass door so it isn't so clear. I certainly would have opened the door and gotten a better picture if the door had not been frozen shut. End of story.

You should probably click on it to make it bigger so you can be sure it says 19 below.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Frozen Hair

It has been cold here for many days. Days on end. And not just a little cold. We have been suffering with the below zero thing for at least a week. It hasn't bugged me as much as I thought it would, but it is getting old. Today I went to the gym and went spinning so I could sweat off my Jimmy Johns Gourmet Veggie. Dave and I left at 5:15 and got to the car at 5:18. At which time my hair was frozen solid on my head. Really. I made Dave touch it just so I'd have a witness.

I took a picture of the thermometer this AM just to prove it.

I also saw another amazing thing today......Pictures to be uploaded and properly blogged tomorrow.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Weekend Was Busy

Saturday started out early looking like this

I think that it was cold, maybe around 5 or so. I got to sewing early.
I love my little sewing space, and especially my two Bernina's

I finished the other baby quilt. The first one was pink and just in time for Baby Cora who was born yesterday (those pictures to follow next week)

The quilting looks like this-can you see the rocking horse? I also had that done at Pine Needles but on the Compi-quilter (I think that is what it is called) Cool huh? And so very soft for the next baby, due in Feb.
Trixie slept through most of this under her many blankets

We sat around and watched some football and noticed that the moon is the closest to the Earth today than it will be all year. Well, we heard it on the news but we saw it out of our back door.

We went to bed early so we could get up Sunday and go to St Paul for a race called the Frigid 5, which was actually a pretty slow 10 K (6.2 miles or 4 laps around the fair grounds).
I was dressed to kill with a turtleneck, sweatshirt, lined windbreaker, leggings, windpants, 2 pairs of socks, headband, hat, and gloves. I probably was carrying another 7 pounds of clothing which explains my slow time. Yeah sure.

Anyway, this was at the fairgrounds in St. Paul where we found Mecca-

Seriously people, does one need anymore than wings, things n beer? I think not.

So the mascot is some famous bear thing which must show up every year because s/he seems to be pretty well known in this race

And here is my slow, slow finish. I was doing pretty well until the 4th lap. I was 34th out of 50 and I ran pretty close to the average time. Still......

So we came home after this, it was 14 degrees by the way, much warmer than predicted, took some junk food over the Blane (I did buy him a can of fruit), came home and continued watching football with some Badger Basketball thrown in.
Last but not least, this is what is on the knitting scene

The Great American Aran Afghan. It has photographed better than it looks in real life, I like that.

A sock and a glove

And a corrected quilt in which I sewed together the rows last night. More of all of this to follow.
Happy Weekend Everyone! Thanks for driving and taking pictures Dave

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Back to the Gym

So, here it is, the first week of January and all the Resolutioners are back at the gym. The place is packed. It is so irritating! I suppose, as a nurse, I should appreciate all of those who have made a resolution to get into better shape and be physically fit while eating fat free chips and drinking diet pop.
However, the majority of these people crowding me in the locker room shall be gone in another couple of months and I will remain, slogging my way along the dreadmill, doing shoulder presses and bicep curls, spinning and sweating.
So while I have to be in the gym in the winter I wish all the people could make their resolutions in the summer so they could crowd the gym while I am not there.
I know, it sounds so possesive of me, but I have been going to various gyms for the past 13 years and it happens every single January. I get pushed and crowded and I am the senior gym user! Dang it!
Sigh, ok, I am over it. Sort of. I'll go back to appreciating everyones efforts and hope that I can get a locker tomorrow.

Monday, January 5, 2009

In which Dave's Birthday almost kills me

Well, Dave turned 55 years old yesterday. The celebration lasted for 2 days. We ate almost a whole quarter sheet cake

And drank some beers and other liquors.....

Dave was feeling no pain. We watched football and imbibed.

He wanted a wallet so that's what he got, along with a DVD he wanted (that is coming in the mail). He is a little blurry opening his wallet, but I think we were blurry by then.

So now the weekend is over and we are back on the strict diets. Well, I have been on the strict diet since the beginning of December. It is hard to stay on the strict diet through the holidays but I didn't do too badly. I have to say that cutting out sugar made me feel much better. And I cut out all sugar. It is hell for sure as my love for cake and cookies is legendary.
Dave is joining the gym so we can go there on the weekends instead of eating and drinking. I think.

I took some pictures of the baby hat and a quilt on the wall.
There is an error in it! Can you see? I don't know how I have had it up for so long and not noticed, but in the 2nd row from the bottom on the right there is a dark strip. That should be light. So I switched it with the light strip 2nd row from the top center and now all is well. I just haven't taken a new picture yet.

Here is my baby hat which you can't see very well. It is from Homespun Handknit, edited by Linda Ligon from Interweave Press. It is patterns of caps, socks, mittens and gloves. This is the baby lace set by Carol Rhoades. The yarn is Malabrigo lace wt. It has a star pattern on the top and then lace on the sides. I didn't have the right needles so I had to improvise a little. I am (im)patiently waiting for the pregnant women to deliver so I can try it on an actual baby.
Happy Birthday Dave.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year-

Well, I am the only one up in 2009 in my house. Dave is snoring his ass off sleeping peacefully upstairs. The birds have not started in yet. The dogs and cats have had breakfast so they are quiet. I love this time of day.

So, last night I made a baby beanie for the pregnant women. Well, it is a template. If the
pregnant woman on the right would have her baby this weekend I could use her baby as a model to see how I have to modify the hat, which I will take a picture of later and add the pattern and book. Actually, there has been pregnant women hysteria all around the office with these two-and you gotta love 'em. First babies for both. They sure take different care of pregnant women today than 24 years ago! They freaking scare the hell out of them. I have yet to hear any doctors advise to let nature take its course and things are normally progressing. Not for these guys nor the last 10 pregnant woman I have worked with in the last 5 years.
Seriously, could I just have a pregnant free coworker/friend/relative year-could 2009 be the year of the abstinance/effective birthcontrol? Although I must say, it certainly amps up the quilting/knitting baby projects. These two are fodder for the next 3 years.
Aren't they cute? Seriously, they really are funny and have been great coworkers. (But very pregnant)
I'll be taking pictures of the hat and quilt, I made the same one for both in different colors. And some other projects. I am working the GAAA and hating it. I liked the GAA better-way more fun than hundreds of cables. I have a mystery quilt up on the wall waiting to be put together. I did another BOTM in which I made the huge cutting error. I think the rule is measure twice, cut once. Only I measured twice wrong. I think there should be a corollary to that one-like measure twice, cut once, corollary a-read instructions twice/corollary b-measure correctly.
In the meantime, Happy New Year-We can in 2009.