Saturday, December 23, 2006

Race to the Finish Line...

Here's what's left to get done by Monday--Christmas Day.
•mail Christmas cards (Yes, MAIL them. They aren't even in the envelopes yet. I am getting the family to do this one...)
•bind Grandma's quilt (Yes, the quilting is finally finished! At least the binding is made, even if it isn't sewn on yet!)
•make quilt labels
•bake rest of Christmas cookies
•put together Christmas gift baskets
•deliver said baskets
•deliver any other gifts
•purchase last minute gifts: prayer partner (book? b&b?), books for hubby
•wash grandma's quilt
•practice clarinet for Christmas Eve service
•eeek, do laundry & get packed for trip!
•wrap wrap wrap gifts - note: none are done!
YIKES-better get busy.

Ho, ho, ho!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Wow 2 in 1 Day!

I have never posted twice in one day before! This is a new record!

I realized that I have never written about Jessica getting her driver's license! Yep, the BIG day finally came! She managed to get all of her paperwork together at one time and go to the Department of Public Safety (that's what it's called in Texas) and received her paper driver's license. Then about 2 weeks to the day later she received her official driver's license. She does have restrictions as she is under 18. But she is so excited. She's doing pretty good too. However, she has very little sense of direction and is still learning her way around town. She and her sister are enjoying their newfound freedom. Mom, however, makes them call home on a regular basis. Especially during the busy Christmas season.

Drive carefully,

I'm done....

The cry of the college professor: I'M DONE!

Sigh... But why do I feel so sad? I hate it when the students cry. There is only so much I can do. One must learn the material. It is sooo important to study consistently. Cramming just doesn't work well with organic chemistry. You've got to get the principles. Sigh... There's always next semester. And so the cycle continues.

Now I get to attempt to find Christmas! Where is the tree? Where are the decorations? And, oh, the gifts have to get shipped? What do you mean they won't guarantee delivery by Christmas? There's plenty of time! I still have projects to finish and Christmas cards to send! (If they get mailed, that is.) And dozens of cookies to bake for friends and neighbors, too. I guess I better get busy, tomorrow! Tonight, I'm putting my feet up. Cuz...


Merry Christmas,

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

One down; three to go!

I finished the grades for my organic class today! Now all that is left are the 3 labs. With any luck I'll crank them out tomorrow. I very nearly finished one of the last two lab reports while the students were taking their finals. Unfortunately, I will probably be privvy to much weeping and gnashing of teeth tomorrow when all the students come by. sigh... I must admit I was disappointed in their scores on the final. I do not think they read the questions very carefully. First day next semester, I think we will go over a few of the multiple choice questions and discuss how to approach them aka read the question, look at the molecule, analyze the problem, etc. It seems that they just picked answers without putting very little thought into them.

I can't wait to be all finished so I can get on with the business of getting ready for Christmas! I need to finish the quilt for grandma for one thing. And after I finish that I was hoping to do a couple of other quickie projects. Plus we need to do sooome decorating! And I need to bake cookies for friends and neighbors. Sooo here's hopin' the students leave me alone tomorrow so I can finish up, and it goes quicker than planned! I only have 1 lab report and the lab finals left to grade (and the lab finals are fairly short as far as finals go).

Happy Grading,

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Topsy Turvy!

I completed the top to Grandma's Quilt last night! Here's a quick photo. The inner border is 1.5" finished and the outer border will be 3.5" finished. Now I will put together a creative backing--I purchased some cute fabric that was on sale and there wasn't enough left on the bolt of all one kind--so I bought two different fabrics and finished off both bolts. I also have some of the outer border fabric left that I might sneak in too. Then I am going to machine quilt it. I think I will stipple the stars and put swirls in between where it looks like hurricanes. I think the area between the stars looks like the weatherman's hurricane symbol. I also am hoping I have enough blue left for the binding.

My students took their last regular exam on Friday. I have to go and get busy grading it this afternoon and evening. They will be wanting to stop by my office and pick it up tomorrow. Their final is Wednesday. I still have to write it and grade it. Plus I am still finishing up grading the lab reports. sigh...

Of course, there is no tree up in our house. I have one Christmas decoration up. It's a hallmark singing snowman & penguins. All you have to do is set it on the counter. No lights outside either. Of course, the girls (teenagers, nonetheless) could decorate if they wanted too. It usually doesn't get done around here until I am finished with my semester.

Hope your decorating is going better than mine!
Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Quilting Snow Day!

Here in North Texas we had a little bit of ice yesterday which we don't get very often. On Thursday we all had a half-day of school/work and today I had a full snow day! So I was able to work on my grandma's Christmas present! And I got the top all pieced except the borders. It was a productive snow day for me!

The pattern is from a book called "Bundles of Fun." It's a great book; I like lots of the quilts in it and she shows them in many fabric combinations. I used 12 fat quarters plus 1 yard of the muslin for the stars. I wanted to use a color for the stars but I couldn't find anything that looked right with all of the colors. The one common thread among all of the fabrics was the off-white.

Here are the porch quilts I made for the girls. I call them their cuddle quilts cuz they are small and cuddly. I folded over one corner so you can see the back and how I sewed each strip on.

I finished Michelle's in July.

Jessica's I just finished here in November.

Well, I am going to do a little border work on Grandma's Quilt. She is 93 years old so I had better get it done for this Christmas.

Happy Snow Day,

Sunday, October 29, 2006

1 Little, 2 Little, 3 Little Quilts

Well, yesterday I pretty much finished my 3 little wall hangings for the church bazaar! I only have to put the sleeves & labels on the backs. The center squares are hand-embroidered from this book called "Love Covers" by Tricia Cribbs. She used her mother's embroidery designs and put them together into a large quilt. I knew that I would never get a large quilt done for the bazaar, so I made some small wall hangings instead. This way the joy can be spread around! All of the fabrics I chose to use around the squares are reproduction 1930s fabrics that I had been collecting in my stash. They are machine-pieced and machine-quilted.

The first one I did was "Jesus loves me this much." It is 13" square. used the regular embroidery outline stitch on this one. I wasn't sure how I liked that, so I didn't use it on the next one. I also did all of the straight walking foot quilting before the stippling and I had gone and quilted that line down the border and I sure wish I hadn't done that! I should have stippled it instead. Oh, well. Live and learn.

The second one I stitched was "Love is ..." This one is 18.5" x 12". I used a backstitch for the letters and liked the folksy look better. I think it complemented the letter style more. It is similar to what she used in the book.

The third one is " Joy" and is 15.5" x 19.5". It seems to be everyone's favorite! Both of my daughters really like it. My oldest one has brown curly hair so she says that's her singing!

I may try to get a 4th one finished before the bazaar BUT it is Nov 11th! And I do have to work fulltime and take care of everything else besides. So we'll see. That's why I totally finished up these three first. I'll put their sleeves and labels on before I start a fourth. Hope you enjoyed the photos!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, October 23, 2006

From Paris, France to Hatch, NM

Now that I think I have finally figured out this photo thing, I am going to start posting some photos of the quilts I have finished lately!

Here is a "Turning Twenty in Paris" quilt that I made this summer--July to be exact--for my 16 year-old-daughter Jessica. She was gone to camp for a month and we sort of redid her room for a surprise. My family was so proud of the fact that I had this quilt completely finished in 2 weeks! Mary at Mary's Quilt Shop did the quilting on her longarm machine so I can't take credit for that. Oh, one of the reasons that we did this for my daughter was because she was not just attending camp; she was volunteering at the Juliette Low Camp for disabled girls near Kansas City. She really worked hard for these girls! They had all sorts of disabilities from quadraplegics to autism to deafness. All of the volunteers were girl scouts. I was so impressed with everything Jess and all of the girls did. Way to go gals!

You may notice a lot of eiffel tower fabric. She is into Paris these days as she is taking French III this year in high school. I made some window drapes for her room out of the pink eiffel tower fabric also. Oh and she loved it and was very excited when she came home and found all of the Paris paraphernalia.

Green Chiles are one of the favorite foods at our house especially since we lived in Las Cruces, NM for so many years before moving to Texas. We consider Hatch chiles to be THE BEST! I even did a postdoc isolating capsaicinoids from chile peppers at New Mexico State. So when I saw all of these chile pepper fabrics I knew I had to do something with them!

Here is "Yellow Brick Road New Mexico Style."

I just put the binding on it last week. And boy am I glad it is finally finished. It has just been lacking the binding for awhile. I am afraid I have a few like that. I just don't seem to like bindings for some reason. So I am trying to force myself to get them done. I tried a new method where you do the entire thing on the sewing machine. (Thanks, Susan.) It certainly went faster-so maybe I'll get some more of them done. sigh...

Well, I am nearly finished with some miniature wall quilts for the church bazaar. They have embroidery in the middle. I will post the photos when they are finished.

Happy Stitching,

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

MINI Mania Strikes

Well, MINI Mania has definitely struck our household! In June we purchased our first MINI—a 2006 hyper blue checkmate cooper.with a silver roof and silver swoop. It is a standard, has premium, & cold weather packages besides the checkmate pkg. We all 4 are in love... Everyone wants to ride in it all the time. We ordered it in April and watched and waited for her to be born, cross the ocean, pass through the distribution center and finally arrive at our dealer at the end of June! Heres some photos. Her name is Lil' Lucy.

I started driving her to work when I went back in August, and so she went with me to Oklahoma every day. She pretty much is my car anyhow... But I guess my hubby just missed her sooo much he couldn't stand it. So he found one for himself! So now we have two! His is a used one. It's a 2003 electric blue cooper S with a white roof and white bonnet stripes. (He really liked electric blue when he found it; wouldn't have any other color!) It's a standard also much to our teenage daughters' chagrin! But hubby loves it. His also came with navigation and it's a hoot! It's a "she" as she has a British accent and uses all of these British terms. It is so fun. You want to program the nav even if you know where you're going just to hear her say, "200 yards straight on" in her lil accent. We were going to name his car "Ricky"—that was the original plan—but couldn't do that with that female voice! So he's named her "Sparky". Here's some pics of "Sparky".

If that all wasn't bad enough. We just had to take a couple of days off work—not easy for a college prof—and go play in the MINI Takes the States tour when it came to Dallas! We drove Lucy in the group for a couple of days. Unfortunately, that was all we could spare. I sure did want to go to St Louis and Indy!

MINIs in Memphis


Electric Blue Lineup in Memphis

Now that we have a cooper and a cooper S our daughters think we need to add the two convertibles to the family to "complete the set!" They'd be happy to each drive one! Only one is driving age and she is working on getting her license. She has even attempted the dreaded standard transmission! A friend at work said that he could just see us now...all following each other in our MINIs! sigh


Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I am finally finding the time to write something on here! It has been hectic to say the least!

Here's a quick catch up:
THE BABY'S HERE! One of my best friends is adopting a brand new baby! I am so excited. I started crying when I heard the news. They will make THE best parents and they have been waiting and trying for soooo long both to have a child biologically and to adopt--years and years. The hospital where they are is letting them have a room to stay in with the newborn so they get to stay with her day and night! We are all praying that they come home safely in a few days. I can't wait to see them and hug them. There, I'm crying again!

Michelle's flute recital was just awesome. She is such a wonderful musician. I sure hope she gets to do something with her music at the college level. She just has too much to pick from! She will have to get very good at time management -- that's for sure!

Jessica is busy, busy, busy with high school. She is making a movie, scrapbook & presentation for English class over "The Lord of the Flies." The scrapbook is very cool. I hope I get to see the movie they did! And of course, you know they are swimming in regionals in a week-and-a-half or so.

I went to the "Strip Club Meeting" last weekend. It was fun! My fabric strips are gorgeous and..... are you ready..... already cut for the quilt!!! I also have my black background fabric almost completely cut!! I just want to sew!!! I also organized my sewing table and some of my area. I need to do mucho more work on this! Gotta get goin'.

My organic students take their first test today! I sure hope they do okay. sigh sigh sigh.....


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Super Swims!

Jessica (oldest daughter) swam in her district meet last night!
Dropped 3 seconds on her 200 free and 19 secs on her 500 free! Plus her 400 free relay made 4th place and is going to regionals.
We are very proud!
Not bad for someone who could not breathe 13 months ago!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Mid-Week Crisis

Well, it's Wednesday. Will we make it to Friday??
Let's see what do we have to do:
Grade lab reports
Make slides for class on Friday
Take Michelle to Physical Therapy for Shoulder
Take girls to swimming on Wed & Thurs
Get ready for lab on Thursday
French Horn lesson today
Write quizzes for Friday

Time for any sewing or knitting??? AAARGH!!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Cookies, Cookies and More Cookies!

The Girl Scout Cookies for our troop have been ordered! F I N A L L Y! It took long enough. Not too impressed with that online system. I think it still needs a little work. I had to enter everything twice--it didn't save the info the first time! Shannon said that it just didn't like me. Thank goodness I only had 4 girls' orders to enter plus the booth sales. Shannon had 2 girls to enter. We were both on the phone at the same time trying to get this done last night! Too funny. Anyhow, I ordered 756 boxes aka 63 case of cookies!! Anybody want some cookies??? Hope I can find a place to put them when they get here!

Took the girls to swimming early this morning--7 am on a Saturday! They did not want to go! Michelle had gone to the movies last night and promised that she would get up to go this morning anyways, and Jessica stayed up and watched a movie. They were both v e r y g r u m p y ! AARGH! I don't like that. They want to go and work on things, but then if I get them up, I'm the bad guy. I suppose some day they'll understand.

Dr. Shannon told Michelle she could try to swim today. She is recovering from a small shoulder injury. I hope it goes okay. I am a little nervous about it. I will feel better when I pick them up and she tells me it did not hurt at all! She is supposed to take it easy and Coach Greg is going to watch her stroke closely. I hope and pray this is not the sign of things to come. I'm certain she will do lots of kicking today!¡!

Tomorow is the big flute recital. Michelle is playing a lovely flute piece entitled "Hungarian Serenade" and our good friend Pam is her accompanist. Michelle is also accompanying another flutist, Maria who is younger than her. Shannon is playing also. So it should be lots of fun to hear everyone play. It is in a large chapel at AC. Let you know how it goes.


Friday, January 20, 2006

It's Friday!

Yippee! It's Friday! I survived yet another morning of 3 whole hours of talking nearly nonstop to a multitude of students--some of whom actually interacted! Unfortunately for the general chem bunch, I had to give the gen ed assessment pre-test. I hate that. I feel like they may not feel like they know anything. I just kept stressing that when they retake it later at the end of the semester then they will truly feel like they learned something this semester! Also, a poor grade on the pretest does not impact their grade. Plus I will give them extra credit points from the post test-- they will like that! Students always like extra credit!

Anyhow, I signed up for the Strip Club!! Oh my! That sounds terrible! It is a FABRIC strip club! It is meeting at The Quilt Asylum on Jan 28 and you get a packet of FABRIC strips that are precut for you. So you are ready to sew!! Sounds FUN to me! AND very clean! What better place than the Quilt Asylum to have a Strip Club--too funny. I can't wait to go and get my strips--all batiks--my fav-or-ite fabrics!

I am working on running down the battery on this laptop so it can be calibrated. You just gotta do it! It was updated and now ya gotta calibrate it which means using it until it is totally used up! Sounds weird doesn't it. I'm just glad computers work! Yea for Apple! I've been using Macintoshes since the original 128k all-in-one macintosh and have NEVER regretted it! Best computers out there.

Well, I better do SOME grading of the quizzes today!