Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Present

Yesterday I had a nice cup of Chai tea in the teacup and saucer that my friend Maxine gave me.  It was made in Bavaria by the Johann Haviland company.

Today I will go to her house to help her celebrate her 90th birthday.

It's said that
Old friends are the best friends. 

And this is true in many senses.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Unexpected gift

Unexpected gifts can be really nice.

Yesterday, my neighbor Brady, whose dog Kayla stays with me from time to time, brought over a jar of homemade chutney. 

Since I'm a sucker for this type of thing, I was very pleased to get it.  It's pretty zippy, and I think it's going to be eaten up pretty quickly.

I hope that those for whom I've made Christmas presents will enjoy them, too.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Linus Connection

Yesterday I went to my first Linus Connection meeting.  This is a gathering of people who create and donate quilts, blankets, and afghans to children who are  " in crisis situations in our area. The blankets go to children in hospital emergency rooms, in crisis centers, in foster care, battered women's shelters, to any child who is in need of a little extra security in their lives."

An amazing pile of blankets was collected.


I had taken a package of fabric a few months ago at a Pflugerville Quilt Guild meeting.   I made a top and turned it in with a backing for one of the longarm quilters to finish up. 
I don't know if it will be returned to me to be bound or if someone else will do it.

The colors were not my favorites, but they played together nicely.

I plan to attend and contribute regularly.  It seems like a good cause and a good group of people.

Friday, November 28, 2014

A Note from Bud

I wanted to share this Facebook post from Bud. 
Bud is my first husband's younger brother.  He stayed with us for a few months many, many years ago after he graduated from high school  Last year, in December, he was found to hve stage four cancer in his bones, his lungs, and I-don't-remember where-all in his body. 
He has posted regularly to share his progress, his concerns, and his great faith in God.  Many of his posts share his trials with pain and nausea, his concerns about leaving his wife, and his difficulties accepting the current limitaions of his body.
But he maintains a great faith in the goodness of life, the greatness of God, and the strength to be found in love.
This is what he wrote for Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!!!

   One of the neatest things about being in a personal relationship with God is when He says "I love you son, here" and gives you one of your heart's desires.  Last night my wife got a phone call from my oldest son, he needed to borrow a stock pot.  So of course she said "sure!" knowing that if she went over there she would get to play with the kids : ) 
   I had struggled to sleep the last couple of nights but was feeling fairly good when the call came through.  I wanted to go "yea, I'll go play with the grandkids" but I knew the next day was Thanksgiving and I would need to have some energy so I stuck out my lip shoved my hands in my pockets and let my wife go without me.
   Then this morning came.  I slept in a little late after haivng the best sleep I've had in a week.  I soaked in a hot tub, ate a yogurt for breakfast and got myself ready for Thanksgiving dinner at my son's house.  The meal was incredible.  Chris' turkey was so moist, juicy, and flavorful it was difficult not to gorge myself.  Between his greenbeans and Carolyn Burgraff's yams, Albert Law's brother's homemade bread and some great sweet tea I barely saved myself enough room for my daugter-in-law's homemade pies - made completely from scratch.  She had pealed her own pumpkins, sliced her own apples, prepared her own crust...I mean completely from scratch.
   But as good as the food was, the company was better.  I got to see the Law family members that I hadn't seen for a while.  From Grandma Bev and the Colonel to Uncle Stan to Grandma Jenny and the Breziks...the fellowship was great!  I got to play not only with my own grandkids but with Albert's too.  By the time we left I was tired, a little sleepy but I couldn't get the grin off my face.  It was one of the best Thanksgivings that I've had in years and I didn't have to do any dishes!  I coughed very little and was basically pain free all day.  I felt so wrapped in God's love it was difficult not to cry.
   I've been lookng forward to posting one of these that wasn't all about pain, suffering, and cancer.  Today God gave me that.  I certainly hope that each and everyone one of you had a great Thanksgiving as well cuz God made mine wonderful today.  I certainly want to thank God, I have so much to be thankful for.  I'm too giddy to make the massive list...all I can say is Thank you God, Thank you God, Thank you God.  May God bless each of you on this fine Thanksgiving evening.
   Yours In Him,
   Mr. Bud
Psalm 100
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Computer Bag

My daughter and I went to Houston at the end of October for the International Quilt Show in Houston.  My niece drove us downtown and did the show with us.  It was inspiring, as always.

My daughter purchased a purse pattern and some fabric and asked me to make a bag for her laptop.  We modified the pattern somewhat, but the interfacing design was really helpful.   Before we left Houston, my niece embroidered my daughter's logo on the fabric.

I made her a makeup bag with some of the leftover fabric.  She found a great piece of trim for it.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Good-bye, Old Friend

I'm saying good-bye to an old, reliable friend today.  The Accord and I were together for fifteen years.  It logged almost a quarter of a million miles for me. At an average of 30 MPG.

A good car.

But nothing lasts forever.  It had some body damage, a little bit of an oil leak, a malfunctioning lever or two - nothing unexpected for the age of the car.

Which is why I bought Buttercup two weeks ago.

I was pondering how to pass the Accord on, as I didn't want it reduced to scrap.  I debated listing it on Craigslist, but was too chicken to allow strangers to test drive it, either with or without me along.  Couldn't find any friend or neighbor who had use of it.

So one afternoon I talked about it to my daughter.  She has a very creative mind.    After we talked about what I wanted and what I might like to do with it, she came up with a great idea.  She placed an ad in Craigslist offering to barter the Accord for a decomposed granite walkway which would go from my patio through the backyard, through the gate and around to the driveway.  NINE contractors responded!  My son in law researched them, talked to several, and picked one.  The three of us met and worked out a deal.

Now I have a walkway, Justin's little sister has a sturdy reliable car, and my daughter and son-in-law have my appreciation and thanks.   My friends can park on my driveway and walk around, avoiding the steps in the front.
My neighbors no longer have to look at a damaged car.
The junkyard will have some business, as Justin plans to buy a new hood and headlight there to replace the damaged ones.

A win-win for everyone except the car repair place!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New (to me) Recliner

My Son-in-law's mother and I gave him a new recliner for his birthday, so I inherited the old one. 

It looks great in my living room and will be a better spot for the occasional male visitor to sit.   It's bigger than the tub chair I had there, but not so massive that it takes over the living room.

I like the little blue side table next to it. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Baby Birds - Second Place Ribbon

My quilt Baby Birds (pattern is Birds in the Air) won a second place award in the Miniatures category at the 2014 Austin Area Quilt Guild (AAQG) show.

I am very pleased and proud and happy, as the astronauts wives used to say.

The quilt is16 inches by 19 inches.  About the size of a placemat.

The award is very special - AAQG always has hand-made medalians on its awards.

I worked on this quilt for over a year and a half - clearly not a lot at any one time, but it was tedious and required more precision than I am used to.  But I'm glad I did it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Vintage C Clamps - used for quilt frame

One of the things I got from my grandmother's estate was a set of four C clamps. These were used to hold the boards of her quilt frame together as she quilted.  They appear to be hand-forged, not machine made.
I can remember helping her lay out her log cabin blocks and rearranging them to make a pretty design.  We spread out the yellows and reds to be sure that they were evenly distributed.

When I turned 21, in the mid 60s, she gave me a log cabin quilt of my own that included scraps from many of the dresses my mother had made me.  Some of the fabrics are disintegrating now, and I am carefully appliquing over them with like-appearing fabric in order to keep the quilt useable.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Meet Buttercup

I've been waiting for MONTHS for my new car.  The old one got hit in late March and I declined to have it repaired.  It's a Honda Accord.  Fifteen years old and paid for.  Over two hundred thousand miles on it.

So, from the ads, I chose a new Honda Fit. In yellow.  With a manual transmission, as I have fifty years of muscle memory hitting that clutch.  I got my license at 14, which was quite some time ago.

Unfortunately, this was the time that Honda was changing things around a lot.  The plant was moved to Mexico.  No 2014 Fits were made.   The 2015s started rolling off the lines this summer, but Austin didn't get any untill August. And the frist few batches all had  automatic transmissions.   Besides, there were no yellow ones.

In August, my daughter made some calls and found one for me and put down a deposit. It finally came in on September 8. In the showroom, under the halogen lights,  it looked greenish yellow, but outside, it was fine.                                                                                       
My daughter followed me to her house, where we showed it off to her husband and some friends.

The next day, my first venture was downtown to turn in my quilt to the quilt show.

Sunday, September 7, 2014



During my trip to Bremerton, we took a days trip into Seattle, riding the ferry over and back

Mr. Bun liked watching the other boats.

This wooden Tall Ship was particularly interesting,


Pikes Market Place was a fascinatin collage of booths - flowers, lavendar, crafted items, vegetables, fish (the ones that are thrown around in the booth attract quite a crowd) , books, artwork, - a little bit of everything.

We had a wonderful seafood lunch at The Pink Door - the restaurant has only one teeny sign, but is very, very popular.  We had no reservations and were lucky to get a table on the patio, overlooking the harbor. 

Back to Bremerton before rush hour.


After Portland, I took the Amtrak up to Seattle.  The ride went quckly; my seatmate had been to the Quilt! Knit! Stitch! convention, too.  We chatted the whole way.

The train station in Seattle is just a few blocks from the ferry, so I walked over there and before long, was on my way to Bremerton.

Karen and Doug were excellent hosts.   They treated me like family.

Their guest room is large and pretty.  Karen had provided a number of novels by one of my favorite authors and I enjoyed reading during my afternoon down time.

 Their deck is very peaceful and cool.  It has a smoker and a BBQ pit, so that Doug can show off his manly cooking skills.

The view next to the deck is of the inlet - at high tide there is water, at low tide, not so much.  But it is a very serene setting.

Mr Bun and I enjoyed watching the koi get fed.

On Friday afternoon, about a dozen of Karens friends came over for a party.  Doug cooked and Karen set out the salads we had put together on Thursday.  Her friends include some of the ladies that she worke with at the telephone company.  I had some good conversations and really enjoyed myself.  Her friends are very welcoming and sweet.

While I was there, Karen and Doug closed the sale of the property next door, where Karen's mother had lived for a number of years.

On the ferry into Bremerton, I had seen a Tall Ship coming into the harbor. 

Over the weekend, we went down into town and took tours of the two Tall Ships that were anchored there.

Then we ate Thai food in a restaurant housed in a building that used to contain a bowling alley.

On Monday, we went into Bremerton and strolled through the park next to the Bremerton Naval Yard.  There are shallow pools where waders are welcome and which contain structures looking like the top of a submarine.  Except that there is water spilling over the top and, at intervals,
spouting like whales.

Next to the park is a Navy Museum, and  we did a quick look-around there.
It was a great vacation.  Thank you again, Karen and Doug.  I'm looking forward to seeing you again in October at our High School class reunion!

Victoria, B.C.

My friend Karen and I went to Canada for a couple of days getaway.  Her husband drove us up to the ferry, then we had about a two hour cruise up to Victoria.

Our first excursion was to Butchart Gardens, which was really incredible.

Mr. Bun was delighted to experience the heliotrope!

The Sunken Gardens were especially stunning.
It was just amazing to me to see such greenery and blooms in mid-August.

The beds were interplanted with several kinds of flowers each, often bordered with dusty miller.

The colors were just spectacular.

The fountain in the Sunken Garden was fabulous.  Beautifully configured to dance and play.

Very short video of the fountain below ------

After a good seafood dinner and a good nights sleep, we visited the Parliment buildings and enjoyed the stained glass windows.                            
 We walked around the town, especially enjoying the arts and crafts booths at the inner harbor.  There are some great houses in the area.

In the afternoon, we had tea at the Empress hotel. Lovely tea, finger sandwiches, scones, and sweets.  A most attentive waiter, Bradley.