Three trips

It's time to paint the bathroom. And, it's time to do some shower repair. One of the problems we have is that our shower is about the size of a postage stamp...okay, I can't lie. It's really the size of a telephone booth. But, unlike the TARDIS, it is not bigger on the inside. Anyway, the shower jet hitting the corner means that corner is in a constant state of being repaired...a couple of times a year. So, I decided that maybe it would be better if the shower jet didn't hit the corner, but rather hit the floor or a wall. Only took me 13 years to figure that one out.

Anyway, I decided to replace the shower head with one that had more flexibility. Maybe a handheld. So, off to Lowe's Sydney and I go. We get home and I try the hand held and if I used the braket that came with it, it would only spray into the same corner that I was trying to stop spraying into. But, Sydney loved it, so she got that one as a new shower head. And, since our shower was out of commission, I got to try it and it was fabu in her tub/shower.

So, we went back to Lowe's. I couldn't find anything I could get happy with, so I basically replaced the pieces I was taking out with the same pieces, just aiming them at the floor. Would'a worked. But, as I was about to screw the pipe into the wall, I noticed that I had 9 1/2 inches above the pipe that I could take advantage of. And, I remembered this rain shower head from Lowe's.

So, we went back to Lowe's. Haven't gotten to try it yet. Another hour and a half until the grout is fully dry.

Now, when I shop, I shop slow and steady and don't get flustered. But, yesterday, I was with the kid and every time I made a mistake, she stepped in and helped. For example, we used the same self pay register every time we went. I couldn't get the credit card in the pay slot right, despite the picture they put on the side of the machine (and apparently despite the fact I'd just been there). So, she grabbed it out of my hand and took care of the transaction. I got flustered at some point of the day and never got back my gracefulness. I was uncoordinated and clumsy all morning. But, she was cool, calm and collected. Probably made me look like some elderly dementia patient as this child helped me out. But, I don't care. She liked it and we got through the day just fine.

I'm nearly done with LD's quilt. I'm working that narrow orange border now. Already down one long side. But, I've got a couple of NY Eve projects to complete so I'm up and moving.

Washing those dresden plates went swimmingly. The wash water and the first two rinses were disgusting. Truly disgusting, brown. The wash water looked like I'd brought in a handful of mud and swished it into a sink of dishwater. Yuck! No wonder they were making me feel sick. Then, I layed them out to dry and I've got most of them apart as far as I wanted. The white cotton thread she used is tough as nails to get out, tho so it's slow going to try and cause as little damage as possible to the fabrics...which are in FANTASTIC shape. Stiff cottons and feedsack and a few dress fabrics.

Some plates, I'm just replacing one or two wedges. Some I've broken into pairs of wedges so I can put them back together with other pairs of wedges. Odd thing, there are 18 wedges to a plate. I'm used to plates that are divisible by 4, but these aren't. Hmmm. That could make for some very interesting re-construction dilemmas as she seems to have made the plate as big as it came out and then when she joined the last two wedges, she just made them as big or as small as she needed to get it to lay flat.

Secret time. I haven't done that in a long time. But, based on the old methods of handpiecing and scissor cutting, this was a very effective method. And, what tiny stitches. These were clearly put together by somebody that knew what she was doing. Except for the colors. That's so weird.

Take care and have a great New Year's Day. I've gotta get to the grocery so we can have our black eyed peas tomorrow and remember what it was like when our people were poor. Yes, we still do that. And, we each got an orange in our stocking, too. But, they were oranges from MY TREE!



quirky vs weird

Guess I'm not through talking about these plates yet.

After reading all the feedback from yesterday's post I came home and looked at my plates again. I like the idea or quirky, too, but some of these plates are just weird. But, not quite weird enough to be quirky. And, I see so much potential that I just can't resist making a few changes.

So, I'm going to do both matchy-matchy and quirky. I'm going to make as many matchy matchy as I can and then I'm going to take the rest apart and make plates that are more quirky. For example, in the two at the top of the picture below, I can use all the red plaids by mixing different red fabrics to make a whole block with red and some other color wedges. And, there's lots of different blue fabrics that show up in a wedge or two and I can combine them to make a block.

And, some plates can just be a conglomeration of different wedges, so long as they read alternating dark and light. I'd like to get four plates like that and use them in the corners.

But look at that blue and green plate above. It's a shame to leave that one mismatched blue fabric when there's another wedge of the right fabric in another plate. And, for that plate with the blue fabrics and the plaids? There's a ton of light blue stuck here and there that would give me a better contrast with that plaid than the mixed colors above.

But, first they have got to be washed. They're making me ill when I touch them. I'm going to hand wash them and lay them out tomorrow when the humidity is low and then I can start working on them. And, there are about a half dozen wedges that won't be usable. They're just too badly stained and two are torn. But, I have a great collection of vintage prints that I can cut replacement wedges out of.

But, I cannot get distracted. I have to not get distracted. I'm down to the borders on LD's quilt and I so would like to finish that this weekend. I started this border yesterday with a variegated thread and while that thread was great in the quilt center, where there's a ton of variety in fabric and color, it was not good for the border. Not a problem. I have quite the variety of collected thread. So much so that I only buy thread if I know what I want to use it on. No more collecting. Thread is not as easy to store as fabric. But, no more of that either.

I got a JoAnn's giftcard for cmas and I'm thinking about buying Linus batting with it next time it's on sale. That's all I can think of that I need.

Take care and have a great Thursday. It's my last day at work and I think there are only going to be two of us there. I'm planning an early day.



To pick, or not to pick

There are lots of benefits to getting to choose some of your Christmas presents, namely getting to choose the very thing you'd like most.

This is one of those gifts. These are hand pieced dresden plates. They are made with tiny stitches and each is basted around the inner and outer edge. There are 20 total. Only one is torn. Two have mildew stains. The rest are perfect...tho dusty.

About half of them are beautiful combinations of fabrics with alternating light and dark matching fabrics...all the same light and all the same dark fabrics.

The other half look like they were made by somebody else, tho the technical workmanship is equal. Some are these weird combinations of fabrics, where wedges are barely the same color, much less matching fabric. The weird thing is that I think all the fabric pieces are there to make the matchy-matchy plates, but they got put together wrong. For example, there's a pink and purple block in the upper right corner. Except two of the purple wedges have been replaced with blue wedges and two of the pink replaced by off-white. And, in another plate, a blue and off-white plate, there are those two purple wedges and the two pink wedges. In fact, several plates are matchy matchy, except for two dark wedges and two light wedges. And, those missing dark and light wedges are in another plate. You can see an example on the right, just in front of the purple/pink plate. That one has two beige wedges that seem to go somewhere else. I don't get it.

Likely the reason these didn't get turned into a quilt.

Anyway, that poses the choice whether to take them apart and fix them, which is a shame given the beautiful workmanship that assembled them, or leaving them alone, which is a shame considering their potential to be fabulous.

So, I will likely leave all the matchy matchy ones and take as few wedges out of the ones that are wrong as possible and make the corrections. That way, I get to preserve the workmanship where it is practical and I can re-do to make the rest beautiful.

I have a wonderful piece of vintage muslin that I want to mount them to. There's at least enough muslin for 16, if not all 20. And, that torn piece will have to be replaced, which might throw the whole thing off.

And, did I mention they are dusty? I might have to do the thing I hate worst of all and hand wash them and iron them before I can work on them. I hate washing things with raw edges. Sounds like a New Year's project to me. After all, whatever you do on NY day, you do all year, so I plan to spend it quilting.

Take care and have a great Wednesday. Another quiet day at the office.




This time of year, graciousness is really the name of the game. And, it's been at the top of the emotional heap for me, for a while.

Graciousness is greeting your dentist with a smile. It's also smiling at the hygenist, who you know is about to hurt you.

Graciousness is smiling when someone unexpected gives you a gift and you don't have anything in return.

Graciousness is smiling when someone gives you an expensive gift and you gave them a bag of coffee beans and a tin of biscotti and you're feeling really uncomfortable.

Graciousness is when you eat a friend's home made snacks and tell them how wonderful they are...and rush to brush your teeth to get that god-awful taste out of your mouth.

Graciousness is not continuing to send cards to people you don't like...just graciously backing down from that responsibility.

Graciousness is spending time finding things your best friend will like and smiling when you unwrap bath soap in return.

Graciousness is inviting her for dessert after not being invited to her house on the one year she decides to cook after she's come to your house for every holiday in the last 17 years.

And, graciousness is smiling through the stilted visit when she comes for dessert...and doesn't eat any dessert...and doesn't take off her coat.

Graciousness is chatting with the postman and wishing happy holidays to the grocery clerk and the bag boy that just bagged a twelve dollar ham with five pounds of sugar and a bottle of toilet bowl cleaner.

Graciousness is having a holiday free from argument, even if you really want to spend time with a teen that doesn't want to have to actually do anything, not even be pleasant.

As I learn to deal with my fear, and subsequently with my anger, I find that I need, more and more, to work on being gracious. For me, the opposite of being angry is being gracious, no matter what's spinning around in my pointy little head that I'd like to say. As I spend less time on anger, I am required to spend more time being gracious.

Okay, so that's what is on my mind for the day. Hope everyone is having a wonderful Tuesday. I'm back at the office. 80% of my work group is not here, so it's being a really quiet day. Oh, what I could accomplish if every day was this quiet.



And, on the thirteenth day of Christmas

I locked myself in the sewing room. Kinda like propped a chair against the doorknob locked in. And, let Cousin It sleep till 11. That was UNHEARD of.

I worked on my friend Linda's quilt and am almost finished with the inside and then I'll work the borders.

And, I went and sat in the sunroom and crocheted in the sun for a while and let that treat my seasonal affective disorder. Ahh, ya just gotta love holidays in the south. It was so nice to have a cold Christmas. Usually we're in shorts. But, this year, we got to bundle up.

When the kid was up, I advised them both that the first person that said food (as in what time are we gonna eat or what are we gonna eat) or cooking (as in what are you cooking for lunch) or shopping (as in I am locked in the sewing room for a reason) would be fed to the fishes.

Granted, maybe not that great of a threat. But, I think they got the message.

All in all, a successful Christmas and everyone lived until it's time to go back to work. Or maybe it's a successful Christmas BECAUSE everyone lived until it's time to go back to work.

Hope you had a restful and relaxing Monday off and if you didn't, that your workload was light and customers still reveling in good will toward men...and women.



And, on the twelfth day of Christmas

Well, mostly we ate.

We started with this Bubble Bread, or Monkey Bread or Pull-apart Bread...it has lots of names. Anyway, ours was delicious and we needed the fortification...

Because we had a lot of unwrapping to do.

The packages went round the side...

And, round the back.

We had such a good year that we had to use an overflow tree.

And, then we had lunch.

This holiday, I decided to do the traditions. The tablecloth and cloth napkins and good glasses. There weren't many of us, but we used the Christmas dishes. Ham and scalloped potatoes and green bean casserole, home made rolls, Copper penny carrots. And, Rob asked for an old fashioned congealed salad, lime jello style. Ahh, the 60's at their very best.

And, then I washed two mountains of dishes. That's in addition to the two mountains I did yesterday. Note the green linen shirt and the blue Chanukah apron. Oh, and the bulging belly, that's just how I was standing...do you wanna argue about that?

And, then we had desert. Okay, so maybe that bulge isn't just the way I was standing. Maybe it was part how tight I had the apron tied. See my table runner? That's from the little old lady.

After that, my best friend and one of her sons came by and we visited. Now, I'm going to have a sandwich and we're watching a movie and then it's "to all a good night..."

I hope everyone had as wonderful a day as we did. No matter what your traditions are, I hope they gave you peace. Lane


On the leventh day of Christmas

I devoted the day to me.

Rob and I went shopping this morning, before most stores opened. Just the two of us. Much laughing and having fun. We went to the grocery for the last couple of things I needed for tomorrow and a new food processor...Merry Christmas to me! Then, back to half price books for a couple of quilting books I decided in my sleep that I had to have. Then to Goodwill, where I got myself another covered project box. Love those. Great place to collect fabrics,tools and pattern until I'm ready to make a quilt. And, we each found a shirt. I found a great Christmas green linen shirt that is definitely going to be the ta-da for tomorrow.

And, then we came home and I decided to bake. So, out came the big mixer. Heavy lifting, both figuratively and literally.

And, the cookbooks.

I started the vegetables for tomorrow. Rob loves carrots in a tomatoe sauce, called Copper Pennies and they need to sit overnight. I used carrots from my garden. All the carrots I got this year. There weren't many, but they were very sweet and tender.

And, I made an apple pie. And, my friend Cathy's grandmother's Piping Hot Potatoe Rolls that are rising now. That will be rolls for tomorrow and dough to make monkey bread or bubble bread or pull-apart bread or whatever they call roll dough, rolled in butter and cinnamon sugar and layered in a tube pan with a handful of pecans in your part of the world. That will be our early morning snack before brekie in the morning while we open gifts.

And, a batch of shortbread that's chillin' in the fridge.

Oh, and about that pie. Well, it's chillin' now, too.

Just finished crying from It's a Wonderful Life and now it's time to go do the dishes. Yippee. Then, it's just sitting and finishing a bit of wrapping and if I get the time, I'll finish Sydney's zebra pants and she can wear them tomorrow. I got almost done this morning, but still need to add the elastic and hem the legs.

No cooking for supper. Rob brought home our annual tamales. Tamales are a Mexican Christmas tradition and you guys know that we try to honor every tradition we can. They don't have to be ours to be good.

Yeah! dishpan hands. And, yeah! old traditions. And, yeah making a pie, not because we don't already have a pecan pie in the house, but just because Rob asked for it and when I tried to weasel out of it yesterday, he took the disappointment so well. So, nothing to do but make it for him with a happy grin. Sometimes I just need permission to not work too hard to give me just that bit of incentive to "heavy lift".

Nowe, it's the old familiar A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart. Great movie to wash to.



And, on the tenth day of Christmas

Pop blew his top.

I had literally heard all the griping and complaining that I was able to take. Two days, devoted to giving the kid as many of the good holiday memories as she wanted. And, I just got fed up with it.

So, now the fight's over and we can look forward to all the good things that go with the holidays. I'll be doing some baking. Alone. And, I'll be doing some cleaning. Alone. And, I'll be doing some sewing. Alone.

Because, tis better to do than, to listen to others complain about, well, everything.

Okay, making it sound really bad, but it wasn't so much. I just had enough and explained (loudly) that if she didn't want to do any of that stuff, she didn't have to, but I wasn't doing it by myself so she could come in and enjoy the fun parts like frosting the cookies. Poo on that.

Anyway, Rob and I have had a great time. We cleaned the carpets yesterday so we could get the "trail of juice stains" up that goes from the kitchen to the sofa. And, after that, we went on a last minute shopping trip and then gorged ourselves on Indian food and came home and he had a nap and I didn't do much and then last night, after supper, the neighbors came for a couple hours and that was fun.

This morning was much the same. I finished a pair of Charlie Brown lounging pants for Rob and then we went shopping again, and spent most of the morning at half price books and then good burgers for lunch and home. Another nap for Rob and I cut out a pair of zebra lounging pants for Sydney. Now, it's time to clean the kitchen so I can feel good in there tomorrow when I do the last cooking.

Alone. At last, I've found the secret to happy holiday memories. A Christmas cruise just for parents.

Everybody have a great Friday. Two more days and I can go back to work.


Now, we've had dinner and gone out for a holiday lights drive. If holiday lights are a sign of optimism, Austin is very optimistic. Nice. All attitudes are good. The naughty list will not need to be reconsulted.

Take care and sleep well. Visions of sugarplus, y'all. (ohhh, don't be surprised if I use that again, tomorrow night.)



An epic tale

Once, in a time not too far off and a distant land called Tex-as, there lived a hand. Not a particularly pretty hand, but a very artistic hand that loved to sew. The hand was strong, muscular and straight, with wide fingers designed for survival.

On this hand, there was a finger that was the strongest finger for sewing. Unfortunately, on the side of that finger was a scar, procured from a long ago battle with a broken jar and a grocery store manager who didn't give very thorough instructions on how to retain the cap from broken jars so the store could be reimbursed. Several stitches were required and from thence to now, the hand knew that it could never commit a crime because of the very peculiarity of the finger print. (The hand also realized it was hard to take this photo without sending an unintended message).

One day, the hand went in search of a thimble. The hand had a vast fortune that it was willing to spend in pursuit of the perfect fit. Thimbles were brought in from distant lands, like Flo-ri-da and Kan-sas and Eng-land. Old thimbles, new thimbles, leather thimbles, steel thimbles, silver thimbles; all were caused to be assembled into one place so that the finger on the hand could test them for the perfect fit.

But, the finger could find no thimble which gave it pleasure. In fact, most gave only pain and the heartbreak of money wasted on shipping. The hand considered cutting off part of the finger to make it fit one of the beautiful thimbles, much like the older sister did her toe to make the glass slipper fit in the original tale of Cinderella (the brothers Grimm were grim indeed.) But, alas, that was considered a foolish thought in all the realm.

And, then, when the finger had given up all hope of finding a thimble and was considering having a thimble made...at great cost to the kingdom of the hand, The hand tried one last world wide search.

And, there it was. Not available from any sewing outlet or antique dealer or any other source that the hand would have previously considered. No, this thimble was in the warehouse of a folk music supplier that catered to men who play the washboard for Zydeco bands; so not a traditional resource for sewing supplies. It was promptly sent for as a priority from the land of Saint Louis in Miss-oo-rah.

Finally, it arrived. The hand, along with it's partner, Righty, ripped into the offending cardboard and bubblewrap packaging and heaved out the bundle and tore through the tape, all in pursuit of the thimble; so small for the large box it was shipped in. And, then beautiful music began to play as the thimble found its way to the tip of the finger and covered the scar and nuzzled comfortably against the knuckle. Ahhhh, comfort and joy.

While still new, the thimble was shown great love and affection and much purring was done about it's beauty. The finger was loath to take it off, except it made the finger strike two or three laptop keys simultaneously with little control. It was given a beautiful Earnest Steiner, enameled green, walnut shaped sewing kit to rest in when not being used by the finger. An appropriate resting place for an item so long pursued.

And, all was well with the world. Peace reigned.

And, how come I had so much hand sewing to do before I got a thimble that fits and now, I've got nothing to work on?

Everybody have a great Wednesday. I know I promised I wouldn't talk about thimbles anymore this year, but hey, I'm so proud I could POP! I have to surrender it at some point so Rob can wrap it and put it under the tree for me.

Hey, anybody wanna buy a thimble? I've prolly got one that would fit you.



All that and the kitchen sink

So, holidays bring up memories; all kinds of memories. I'm doing happy memories, but happy memories are sometimes weird memories.

When I was a kid, we went to my Grandparent's house for Christmas day. We got up and unwrapped our gifts and dressed and Mama made whatever her contribution to lunch for 60 was and we'd drive to their house, passing many of my Aunt's and Uncle's houses on the way. That was my family; very close.

Everyone came. I'm from a blended family where all the kids were raised together, even though some were actually 1st cousins and some were steps. But, everybody came for Christmas and everybody's kids came except some of the oldest, who had married and made other Christmas traditions before this big event really got started. Everyone visited while my Grandmother and the Aunts made lunch. My grandfather was in the back, cleaning a hand saw to cut through the ham bone so it could be sliced. And, one of the Uncles with a Polaroid as big as the ham I'm cooking this weekend and then a wind up super 8 and a light bar with three floods, blinding people everywhere he went.

First the men ate. The men could have men talk. And, while the men ate, the women fed the children. I know, it's an old-fashioned tradition that we would shudder at today, but this was a long time ago (a looooong time ago). Then, the women washed the men's plates and the women ate. And, don't feel all sorry for the women. I listened to them at table sometimes and they had way more fun without the men there than they ever would have in a mixed group that included their husbands.

The next flash is the Aunts at the sink, cleaning it all up, each in an apron. My grandmother packaging the leftovers, one Aunt scraped plates into the trash, one washed in the huge porcelain sink with Ivory Snow washing powder, one dried, one put away, and one watched the children. And, they laughed and they talked and they laughed and they talked.

Later, when Christmas started moving and my Mom and my Aunt Ducky (sometimes you don't have to make up names for the internet) started to compete to get to have the family, my Dad and his brother and I did the dishes. While the women ate in the dining room, Uncle B would scrape and my Dad would wash and I would dry. And we laughed and we talked and we listened in on the women and we laughed and we talked and Daddy and Uncle B told old stories.

After lunch, any gifts were exchanged and my Grandparents opened theirs. And, we ate divinity candy and chocolate pie and fruitcake cookies and coconut cake and I don't know what else and the grownups drank coffee and the kids listened to the adults talk and tell stories. And, then everyone went home and it was all over for another year.

Unless we all came back for supper...;-)



What did you ask Santa for?

We were shopping the other day. Our last stop was this really cool artisan mall...okay, the last time we went there, it wasn't cool at all. So, we didn't go back. I drove by the other day, declared it cool again from the outside and so we shopped on our way home on Saturday. Unfortunately, between our uncool visit and our cool visit, they'd lost their lease, so there wasn't much merchandise and everyone was packing to move. But, we could tell that for a short time it was a cool place to shop, exactly the kind of place I'd expect in Austin.

One of the first people we encountered when we walked in was an older lady selling quilts. Not special quilts. Not particularly good workmanship. Not particularly pretty. Just an old lady, selling craft fair quality quilts for prices that no one would balk at. I approached her table and saw the hand written sign that said "quilts $40" she started talking to me in a very slow...painfully slow...impeded speech about the holiday quilts I was looking at being table runners. I said "And, they're lovely." and we moved on. What did I need somebody else's quilt for?

But, sometimes, things stick in my head. And, I decided I wanted one of her quilts. No matter what it really was. No matter that I could do better. I decided to go back yesterday and get one. Something. Anything. More to help her than for me.

Because as a quilter, I felt led to help this quilter out. (I mean, we're both quilters. That makes us like family, right?) I don't know why in particular I made my decision. Don't really care why. But, something in me wanted to do this.

Rob and I went to the grocery yesterday morning and he and Sydney were going shopping after that. And, he asked if there was anything I wanted. And, I said yes, I want one of that lady's quilts. And, we both knew it was likely a charitable donation, made in my name, as a gift for the season.

I don't know what they bought me. I know that Rob said the cost was higher than the value of the item. But, I'd rather that those few Christmas dollars went to help out a quilter, who, for all we know, might be rich as Midas. Or, might be a little old lady, on a fixed income, selling her skills for a little extra holiday money. I hope it's the latter. So, that's what it was, and what it always will be, in my mind. A gift to her as much as a gift to me. And, like all good Christmas presents, we're all going to have to wait until Christmas to find out.

But, I know it's a holiday table runner and I'll bet it ends up on my Christmas table at some point. Might be just the thing to cover that stain in my Christmas table cloth.

Take care and have a great Monday. Support the arts if you can. Support the artisans every time you can.



I hope I cry everytime

Every time that Beth dies in Little Women.

Every time that Sophie makes her choice.

And, every time that a somebody that shouldn't be able to, does.

Every time the boy's choir forms while Cary Grant and The Bishop's Wife enjoy the music.

Every time that Scrooge laughs and buys the turkey.

Every time that a pet dies, even if it's just a silly old fish.

Every time that Sydney walks on a stage.

and every time that a good book ends.

Because that means I can still feel stuff. So, I can laugh...

Everytime that silly squirrel we've named Lola digs in the back yard and flips and rolls in the cool spot while I do dishes at the picture window.

Everytime the cat and dog play chase...and the cat is chasing; to the left, the dog chases the cat, to the right, the cat chases the dog, back and forth and back and forth.

Every time Rob tells a joke or speaks in an accent.

Or, when some TV character cracks wise in a dry and witty way.

Or, when I cut a quilt back wrong.

What must it be like to get all dried up and not be able to laugh and cry?



The Holiday Spirit

I blogged a couple of days ago about not being in the holiday spirit. Since then, I have heard from so many people that they feel the same. That's given me reason to think and I'm always one to share what I think.

Remember a few years ago? The holidays were special. Stressful or peaceful, didn't matter. They were a special time. The rest of the year was kinda bland, and then there were the holidays. You could look forward to them. Everyone was anxious for the holidays and excited to see them draw near

Today, we are so bombarded with stimulation; every day hangs heavy with the possibility of doom. The news networks and the politicians have had us so excited and anxious for so long that holidays can't even compete in the anxiety/excitement arena. Holy Roly-Poly.

A few days ago, a friend and follower sent me an email. She lives in Israel. She asked me if I was going to wear my Chanukah apron this year. It took me back a bit. (Thank you Sarah.) A holiday tradition that is so specific to me and my family that it made me sit back and take some thought...and bless her for remembering it.

First, the holidays are not about the presents or the wrapping paper. It's not about the gift count or who can run up the most credit debt or who gets the most holiday greetings. I give my family gifts all the time. But, there are traditions that I can't box up that are the real meaning of the holidays for us. And, they're the things I have to not lose sight of. For us, it's about over abundant food and time spent together and time spent apart and shopping trips (not the buying, but the being together away from home), board games, and candy making and holiday dishes and yes, my blue Chanukah apron. It's about the Camelias that only bloom during Christmas week and Sydney's pink cactus that she doesn't realize is about to burst into bloom, as predictable as the turning of the calendar. It's cold, blustery, rainy days and wondering if the homeless can stay warm. It's about handing out; out the car window, across the street, into the red kettle; where ever my hand can reach. It's about singing the beloved carols and putting up the decorations that have become wrapped up in the tradition for our kid. It's about building people up and doing things that I don't usually do.

And, it's not about worrying whether the stock market will crash or Iran will bomb or whether any candidate for president will actually try to do what they say, good or bad. It's not my business to worry about Sandusky or the grandma in Florida that tried to kill her daughter's ex or whether gary busey cried on celebrity wife swap. I feel sorry for the professionals that have to think about things like that at this time of year (busey has gotta be a holiday bummer!) But, I don't have to think about it and I don't have to know more than I want to know and mostly, that's about it not being any of my business.


I'm not saying I'm going to stick my head in the sand and pretend there are not significant threats in the world. But, I am saying, I've got a kid and the most important thing that I want to have going on right now is sharing with her the good traditions that I remember from all the Christmas holidays of my life. And, hoping that one day, she'll share the good ones with her kids. And, so on. And, in a way, my Grandmother and my Mother and I will live on as long as turkey and dressing.

So, I pulled my apron out this morning and hung it on the hook in the kitchen. Step 1.

Oh what fun
It is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh.



When life doesn't give you broccoli

Okay, so I am trying to be the do-it-all guy. And, we all know that do-it-all is impossible. But, I'm holding my own.

My holiday party was last night. Rob's is a luncheon on Friday. He always takes a side dish and we always get compliments. So, when he reminded me on Monday that he needed a dish, I said "I can do that"...ignoring the fact that I have been cleaning out the cupboards and we have no spare food in the house.

Tuesday morning, I looked through the cupboard and found no inspiration. What am I gonna do???

Tuesday night, I looked through the cookbook for vegetable casseroles and the only thing I had everything for was broccoli rice casserole. Rob isn't fond of rice, but this time, it couldn't be helped.

At 5:30 this morning, I stumble into the kitchen with my laptop open to the recipe and I start pulling stuff out. Except there's 1 cup of freezer burned frosty broccoli left in a bag, near the back.

So, I went back to the cupboard and nothing. I ransacked the freezer and pulled out all the green veggies I had...the cup of freezer burned broccoli, some peas, some peppers and onions and a can of green beans. I steamed it all together, made 6 cups of rice, and mixed up all the liquid ingredients, including grating and melting about a pound of cheese.

Put it all together. Taste it. Wonderful. Bake and Voila!

A gallon of veggie rice casserole. I mean, who needs broccoli. We all know that the only purpose of the broccoli is to be a carrier to make the cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, and pound of cheese sound healthy. Any veggie can do that.

This next pic is for you, Bonnie Hunter. It took months after your post about your sewing trolls for me to find any. But, I stumbled up on them in an antique shop on Saturday and snatched them up. The hardest thing was to figure out which ones to buy. They had about 12. Should have bought them all, but settled on this couple. One sits at each sewing machine.

And, the final chapter on thimbles for this year. I swear. The size 15 thimble came in the mail yesterday. First, it fits inside of a size 12. According to all the research I've done, it's not supposed to. Second, it would fit my pinky, if my pinky was strong enough to sew with. But, it ain't. To make it worse, I cannot find the size stamped on the thimble. It's like the seller just made it up. FRUSTRATING!! At that point, I just said "I give up" and Rob actually raised his voice (an infrequent occurence) to tell me that my unwillingness to spend real money on a custom fit thimble was irrational. And, clearly annoying. Okay, okay, I get it. And, as much as I've tried not to think about spending over a hundred dollars on something the size of a...well, a thimble, I might.

Hey, who doesn't need a good splurge once in a while???

And, this is the answer to Elizabeth's question about the holiday quilt; how many hours, how much thread?

Each corner took approximately 11 hours. The center, including the sashing, took about 14 hours. The border took at least 16 hours, maybe as many as 20. That's because of the pebbling. Another couple of hours to bind and an hour for the sleeve.

I used thread from three different spools on the top, so not exactly sure how much, but I started with a fresh, 1250 yard spool of bobbin thread and I can see the cone through what's left (not much left). I wish I knew how much thread fit onto a bobbin. I used 32 large bobbins. So, I'm going to call it 2300 yards of thread total (including what I picked out, which was considerable).

Everybody have a great Thursday. My day got off to a rollicking start with a very bad meeting. Really, it's a bad idea to try to tell me that what my boss is asking me for is information that I don't need. I tried to politely explain that I am stuck between a rock and a hard spot because them saying I don't need it doesn't mean my boss is going to stop asking. Conversation became heated and I suggested they tell my boss directly that HE doesn't need the information, things calmed down a bit and we got down to some serious work. Turns out that if I say the right thing, I can apparently get the information, whether I'm supposed to need it or not.

My boss likes that I get results. I hate what I have to do to get results. It leaves me feeling like a heel. But, if I tell my boss i can't get information, he goes ballistic (not at me) and makes my bit of being peaved look like a ride on a merry go round in comparison. But, why, oh, why can't we just get what we need with a polite request??????????

Okay, that's my go-off for the day. Have fun. Lane

Jingle bells, shotgun shells, Granny's got a gun.
Shot me in the underwear and boy I had to run.


The quilt

You know the one. The holiday quilt. All wrapped up in bows. It's really a small quilt. I wouldn't want to do this kind of quilting on anything much larger. It started at 42" square and ended at 41 1/2. That's pretty good, I think. I could certainly see how a quilt could shrink more, just from all the thread.

Haven't washed it yet. I won't put it in the washing machine. Wouldn't do much good as it's quilted so densely that it won't really get wet or be soft like the washing machine needs. I'll lay it in the tub....after cmas. That and snip any leftover threads.

I think my favorite thing about the quilt is that the quilting didn't distract from the pieced top. All the time that I was quilting it, my focus was close-up. I only saw the quilting and the colors and fabrics melded into a solid in my eye. But, when I was finished and looked at it from a distance, I could still see the original quilt top.

And, the back. I used a cute holiday card print on the back, and just like the front, I thought it would be distorted, but I can still see the cards in the print.

I am so happy with this quilt. It's great when it all comes together.


Technical details - I quilt on a 25 year old Bernina 930 that is an almost silent workhorse. All metal inside, all I have to do is give her oil and she'll do anything I ask. I don't quilt at a very fast speed; just fast enough to keep up with my hands. It's not a race. I used a new thread this time and I liked it. I used a Coats and Clark machine embroidery thread, 40 wt, 100% poly on the front and on the back, Coats and Clark machine quilting cotton, 50 wt. I am always going to prefer cotton thread because it is easier to pull and I rip a lot. Using cotton in the bobbin, I can pull threads from the back and it's a whole lot easier than trying to pull two poly threads against one another. Size 80 Schmetz universal needles. Supreme slider. Two magic genie bobbin washers in the bobbin to make my bobbins fit the bobbin case better. Quilting gloves, but only when my hands are dry. I don't like the gloves because they restrict my fingers and I can't thread a needle...anything with thread is harder in gloves. So, if I'm hydrated, I don't need them. And, if I'm all dried up like a prune, I use them.

Okay, so we're trying to get our rears into holiday gear. There is not one gift wrapped. Not one card sent. Neither Rob nor I are in the holiday spirit and Sydney is still kid enough to be absorbed in the presents. Tonight is my holiday party. I need to get to work early to help train a new co-worker.

I'm watching TV and there's a commercial with people celebrating what they've completed for the holidays. Fist pumping the air and shouting "Done!" as they complete things on their lists. They suck.

Have a great Weds.



The search for the perfect man thimble

These are the thimbles that didn't pass muster in the order that they disappointed me.

Thimble 1, a common yellow dritz thumb thimble. Fits. But, only if I use it backward. Which means the curves are all wrong. It's designed to contour around the pad of my finger, but because I wear it backward, that contour pushes against my fingernail. I've had this one for several years. It's greatest purpose has been to shove it into a wet leather thimble to stretch the leather.

Thimble 2 is what happens to leather thimbles around here after I've sweated in them a while. That thimble was discovered by a certain over zealous puppy and is holey, but I kept it as a backup. This week, when I discovered I had 3 leather thimbles that don't fit right, I tossed it.

Thimble 3 is the leather thimble I'm using now (and leaving only on high surfaces). This thimble is good, but I don't just want to sew with the pad of my finger like I do when I quilt. That works great for quilting, but for hand sewing, I use the tip of my finger and this thimble offers no protection to the tip. The needle goes right through the stitching that holds the thimble closed.

Thimble 4 is an extra large plastic thimble that I picked up at a quilt show this summer. It works okay, but it's still tight and cuts off the circulation in the tip of my finger. And, it's like releasing a vacuum seal to take it off. But, I've been surprised at how durable this plastic thimble is. I did not leave a mark after binding that heavily quilted cmas quilt. And, believe me, that was hard work. But, more about that later.

Thimbles 5, 6 and 7 are all sterling. They came in last week. Five and seven are size 12. I can barely get the tip of my finger in the hole. Thimble 6 is even smaller, but the good about it is that it fits Sydney, so she's getting a new sterling silver thimble for cmas, even if I don't.

Thimble 8 is a common dritz that I picked up in JoAnns last Friday. Marked extra large and when I put my finger in the "test hole", it fit perfect. But, the thimble is a size 12 at best. Damned lying packaging.

The last thimble is a size 9 that I picked up in an antique store for less than a dollar on Saturday. The reason it kinda works is that it's shallow. I have a scar on the side of my finger and this fits above that scar tissue. But, it's less than comfortable, even though it would work in a pinch.

There's a size 15 that's expected in the mail any day. If it doesn't work, I've found a size 18 in England that I'll try next.

I also got the name of TJ Lane from Sue. I've tried several times to find current makers of thimbles, even if it meant a special order. Except now that I've seen that a TJ Lane thimble is $100, I'm not so sure I can afford a special order. But, I wrote to them and asked them, as professionals, what they suggested I do. It will be nice to hear from someone that knows more about this than me. But, I have to confess that for $100 I can buy antique thimbles in every size from 15 to 20 and have them shipped overseas and then pick from what comes in. And, then sell the ones that don't work.

Okay, so this thimble conversation has taken on a life of it's own. So, at the risk of offending someone, I'll add poor Sydney's perspective to that. You guys have trouble finding undergarments that fit? Imagine that the man in your life went on the internet and studied undergarment and then bought them for you. And, continued to monitor your size and continued to shop with you. AND HAS NO IDEA HOW SUCH GARMENTS SHOULD FIT! Doesn't even get to see them on her to see how or if they fit. And, had to tell her last time that she'd changed size because the poor thing looked like she couldn't breathe.

Anybody watch Suburgatory on TV? It's about a teen girl being raised by her dad. We like it, even though the characters are a bit exaggerated because it's comedy. But, their pilot had a sub-plot about bras. And, I can gladly say that my girl is not going around in ugly, uncomfortable underwear. And, I better be the only one that knows that.

Poor Sydney. While having two dads has many advantages, it also has some real drawbacks.




When I think "I am very disappointed", I think of Gary Oldman in The Fifth Element. There was just a tone of voice and look in his eye that spoke disappointment very clear. Course, he was trying to destroy the world and I'm just trying to get through the holidays.

Okay, I'm going to tell a bunch of stuff I'm not disappointed about, but let's start with the disappointing stuff first.

One. I finished the holiday quilt. It's hanging on the wall. Took some fab pics last night, using the lights from the holiday tree. And, I forgot to upload them. So much for that. A post for another day, as they say.

Two. I've spent $25 on thimbles in the last week and I still don't have one that fits. Oh, sure, I took the measurement of my finger, using both the sizing tool from the internet and a flexible tape measure, and after checking the size, I bought two thimbles that should have fit. One came in last week. Did it fit? Of course not. It's like picking a pattern for a shirt. No matter how much I study the dimensions on the back of the package, the shirt is always either too big or too small. Rats! Anyway, with the thimble that came in the mail last week was a freebie that has a dent in the side. That one fits Sydney perfect, so I guess it's no great loss. And, I'll resell the two I've bought. But, apparently, I need like a size 20 and I can't find one that size. I've found an 18, but it's in England...we do what we have to do. Another post for another day is all those thimbles, lined up in a row. Taunting me for my man sized sewing fingers.

Three. I bought the cutest little sewing kit, shaped like the bonnets my Grandmother used to wear to work in the garden. And, the seller lost it before she shipped...or, she got a better price from someone else. I'll never know. But, it was cute as heck and I am disappointed. Course, I was going to take it apart and make a pattern and give them away and then put it back together again.

Okay, so what went right since last Thursday?

Well, I have more vacation time saved up than Santa Claus, so I took Friday off and finished the quilt and cleaned up the sewing room and went shopping. I knocked out all of Sydney's holiday shopping. YEAH!! She goes everywhere with us when we shop and we needed some time to get out without her and without raising suspicions. She wanted things in zebra prints. I did not buy everything that was available in a zebra print. But, I did buy every third thing. There are two boxes of just zebra print everything; shoes, bags, boxes, shower curtain, picture frame, you name it, she's getting it. Probably the easiest holiday shopping I've ever done. I just walked through stores and found things that were black and white and tossed them into my cart.

Friday night we had leftovers, so that was a good thing. Shop all day and warm up dinner. Doesn't get much better than that.

Saturday morning, we left early to go antiquing. We hit all our favorite places. I tried on thimbles everywhere we went, trying to find a big un'. I even sat in the floor and tried on every thimble on a rack. No luck. But, I did find quite a few other sewing related vintage things that I can't remember...not remembering is going to make a more surprising cmas morn, so I'm not trying to remember very hard. And, I knocked out some of Rob's shopping. Imagine Sydney's disappointment when I was shoulder deep in a box of sewing supplies and called yahoo! and she came running to see my wonderful find...three vintage bobbins that fit Ken Moore. Hey, it was exciting for me.

Our fave bargain was a gently used pair of cowboy boots in Rob's size for $15. We wouldn't normally buy used shoes...don't ask me why because all my clothes come from Goodwill. But, there's just something about used shoes that kinda grosses me out a bit. He came home and checked the number online and they are $130 new. So, he got those and he's getting another pair (new) for cmas. I can say that here because they were only available at a store near his office, which is 30 miles from home, so I sent him to pick them up on Friday. Last pair in town. He already knows he's getting them...wrapping is a formality.

Saturday night, we had pizza. Shopping all day and pizza for supper. Doesn't get much better than that...unless there are leftovers to warm up.

On Sunday, I needed rest. So, I cleaned up all the piles of clothes that were everywhere. Spring and Autumn in Texas are interesting times. Long pants and a sweater in the morning, but by the afternoon, it's shorts and t-shirts and after sundown, we're back to coats and quilts in front of the fire. Consequently, there were a lot of clothes that I had worn for a couple of hours and then piled. After I hung all my jackets, I realized we don't have enough hangers for all our clothes. Too bad. Donate something. Or fold it.

Okay, so here's something I did that was wierd. I don't know, but I may be the only person that would do this. When I was cleaning up the sewing room, I had pin cushions and scissors and needles and rippers and brushes all over the place. But, I can never find the right scissors or needles or ripper. So I pulled everything out, thought about how I use it and then put it all in sets of tools, one set for each of the machines I have set up, and one set for each of my applique projects. One pair of scissors, one ripper, one stilletto, one pin cushion, one pencil, one ruler; a set. And, the rest went into an extra supplies drawer that I'll be able to go to when I set my scissors down someplace unexpected, otherwise known as tomorrow.

Anybody ever had sugarplums? Look up the recipe. FANTASTIC!!! Our neighbor makes them every year and this year, they're going out of town, so I gave it a try. Loving them. I ate a couple yesterday and they aren't even rolled in sugar yet. No bake. They're just dried fruit, nuts and spices and I added a bit of honey. Reminds me of my Mama's fruitcake cookies. Visions of sugarplums dance in my head.

Friday, Sydney went carolling with the school choir. They went to three nursing homes. The first was an alzheimer's home, the second an old folks home and the third an assisted living facility. I was so impressed that she recognized the three different levels of care that people needed and didn't just lump all old people in together. Gives me hope that she'll be able to pick the right place to put me in my dotage.

Okay, that's the highlights. Believe it or not, I was going for funny. Except my description doesn't sound nearly as much fun as my weekend was. Everybody have a great Monday. Lane


When two ends meet

When you've pinned your binding all the way around your quilt, what do you do when the two ends come together?

For years, I just folded the layer that was going to show at a 45* angle and stacked them on top of one another and sewed it down with all the corresponding unnecessary bulk and tight stitches.

Then, I started cutting the 45* angle and folding it under. That got rid of some of the bulk, but the underlayer was not cut and still added bulk.

Many years ago, I saw Alex Anderson join those two ends, and scoffed. Who needs that. It's not that much bulk. Too much extra work.

Now, I'm more refined and hoity-toity about my quilting (ha!!!!) and I can see the advantage of not being able to find that end when I run my fingers around a quilt. Without going back and hunting that down in my dvd's of past Simply Quilts episodes, I've given it a try. This is this year's new skill, so if you do this already, and have feedback on it that will make it easier, please share.

So, the first thing is to mark my quilt. I measure from the inner edge of the last border so I get a straight line from that seam, not necessarily along the outer edge of the quilted border. That outer edge is unreliable as a straight line. I need to measure my final outer edge from some other line in the quilt, especially on one this tightly quilted. That outer edge is all over the place, but I want my binding to look straight against the other lines of the quilt. This quilt will have a 3" border, so I drew a line at 3 1/4" all the way around the outside.

I make my binding and pin it all the way around, laying the unfinished edge of the binding along the line I drew before. And, I get back were I began. I open the binding and fold back the edges to where they overlap, and finger press.

That's not a perfect line, but it's a good starting spot. To get a perfect line, I lay the binding ends at a perfect 90* angle and use a ruler to get the 45 degree angles perfect and mark the line and I pin on that line. You can barely see the black 45* line marked below. I don't want it to be too dark or it might bleed through to the front and what if I marked the wrong place? I don't want that line to bleed through and show.

And, I sew it down the line. DO NOT CUT THE BINDING AT THIS POINT.

If you made a mistake, at this point, the full extent of the correction would be a short seam pick and a line drawn on the wrong side of your binding that might shade through to the right side. If you cut it, you're committed. So, I folded it back in half and spread the quilt edge out.

Perfect (enough)! It was like a quarter inch too big, but I pulled some pins and stretched and repinned it down and that quarter inch was gone. Whoo-hoo!

If it wasn't right, pick out that short 45* angled seam and start over again.

But, since I hit it on the nose, I can cut the tails off and finish pinning the binding down and the only reason I'd ever be able to find it again is because of these pictures. Other than this record, there is no documentation of where that final join is located.

This post will self destruct in 6 minutes. And then, there will be no record at all.

This is the new trick that this old dog has learned this year. Proves it can be done.

Everybody have a great Thursday. Tonight is our tournament game. The team that only lost one game is playing the team that only won one game (us). I'm not sure what that's going to prove. Seems like pouring salt in our team's record. But, for some reason, the school district sports department did it this way and Sydney wants to play, so I'm doing my dead level best to keep my mouth shut. From the coach being disorganized and the practices being inconvenient and the fact that this seems like a bad idea, I'm keeping my basketball booster big boy athletic supporter on and practicing my "Yeah, team!!!"



Brrrrr. Texas finally got cold

I cannot get warm. I stand in front of the vent in the mornings, just waiting to get warm.

Oh, I'm warm and toasty in bed. It's when I get up that the cold sets in. (Hey, I'm a quilter. Bed is warm.) I don't know whether I feel it more because I'm older or because it changed so suddenly; either way, I'm walking around bundled up like the kids in a Christmas Story; wrapped so tight I can't move.

Anyway, a busy boy is a happy boy, I guess. And, I have been a busy boy and have also been in a good mood, so I'm sticking with that, no questions asked.

This weekend, I finished the holiday quilt. Right now the title is All Wrapped Up In Bows. But, that might change as I bind it...if I ever get to binding it. I have the binding fabric, but there just has not been one second to even cut it yet. See, there were problems with a border. I had a one inch border in that quilt and I tried and tried to quilt it as tightly as the rest of the quilt and could not get happy with it. So, I'd quilt and I'd rip and I'd move to another corner and quilt and I'd rip and move and quilt and rip. Leah Day described it something like this...I had become the lady that sits in the back of guild meeting with a quilt and a ripper, pulling out thread and muttering "it has to be perfect, it has to be perfect." And, when I realized I was doing that, I just stopped and said, "this is finished."

And, I've been trying to come up with holiday gifts for everyone on my list...not a long list, but that doesn't make it any easier to think of original ideas. I've asked for an antiquing jaunt this weekend to see if I can find some fun things to fill in the gaps.

I got a little wierd about my search for a thimble. I realized I had gotten out of control when I bought two thimbles and kept wanting to buy more because the prices were so good. But, I controlled myself and the urge for a thimble holder has pretty much passed, too. I have little boxes I can use for that. Don't know why I get so obsessive about things, tho. Gotta get a deal! I probably spent way more time shopping for a bargain than it would have cost to just buy the first, most expensive one I found that fit.

My aquarium is sick. I know, you're thinking, his fish are sick, and that's true too, but it's the tank that I wasn't paying enough attention to and let the water get bad and I started losing fish, so right now, the sewing room is littered with equipment as I try to slowly change that before I lose too many fish. I've already lost about 5 in a month. It makes me sad, especially since it's my fault. But, better I caught it before I lost them all, right? Mistakes happen.

We had our first freeze last night. It was sad to look out across my flower beds this morning and already see things turning black and wilting as the sun came up. Just had to close the curtains and not think about it. Last week, we were having a wierd winter bloom and this week, it's all got to be cut back.

Add to that a surprise basketball game this week. We thought we were done last week. All the parents said good-bye and we'll see you next season. And, then Syd came home and told us she'd missed a Monday practice that she didn't know about. (I don't think that qualifies as missed.) Anyway, the coach posted it on her facebook. Yeah, like I'd have seen it there. Anyway, I'm still making breakfast every morning for the whole family and driving the kid to school so she gets there in time.

Got the binding sewn on my MIL's quilt the other night. I was about a foot and a half from being through and just sat it aside, so instead of being a housewarming gift (cuz now she's lived there nearly a year) it's a holiday gift. Oh, well. Again, it is what it is.

And, work is CRAZY and only a CRAZY person would do this for money. So, we all know where that leaves me. CRAZY. I admit it. No getting around it. And, based on this rambling post, I don't think I can deny a bit of crazy to you guys.

Stay warm. Quilt a lot. Don't let the busy-ness of the season get to you. I'm doing my best to balance what needs doing with how much energy I have to do it. That means some stuff's not getting done. SO WHAT?

Take care. Lane


The barter system

I am a firm believer in the barter system. Especially when it comes to computer work. There's an IT guy at Rob's office and they are really good friends. The guy works on our computers and Rob pays him back with lunches. So, when I get a chance to help pay, I jump right on it. The guy had a quilt that one of the grandmothers made for his daughter. It's a cute quilt. Took me a bit of time to warm up to it because it's all baby pictures and little wool appliques on polished cottons and metal dealy-bobs and a bunny that's stuck on with velcro. Nothing I'd be able to launder and that bothers me about a quilt.

They needed a sleeve. Okay so about 2.5 hours work total, less time than he spent working on my last laptop. Oddly, there was a satiny binding along the top edge, like a blanket binding and I had to sew the sleeve to that. It was hard to get that to stay in a straight line while I stitched to it. But, it's done.

Picture of grandma and the baby in the middle of the quilt. Under my little pony.

I did some cmas shopping for myself this weekend. Rob and I both have interests that there's no point in the other one learning about enough to be able to shop. I wanted a new thimble; one that actually fits. I have man sized fingers and the common dritz thimble just doesn't work for me. I've been using leather coin thimbles that I stretch by wetting them and sticking a thumb thimble in them til they dry. But, after I sweat in them for a while, the dog likes to steal them and eat them. So, I'm going back to metal, but I need a big 'un and big thimbles are hard to come by. I had to learn the sizing and the difference in thickness and maker and etching and all that. And, that was when I started to see them in sterling. Beautiful English thimbles. No need for Rob to learn all that, just for a one time purchase, so I learned it and found a couple of really good bargains and waited and was patient and bid on a few and lost them, and then I got a great one last night. And, then an even better one this morning. So, I'm pretty happy with what I'll be finding under the tree.

Now, I've become intrigued by silver, walnut shaped thimble holders. Except, what in the heck would I do with that??? It's not like a new thimble is going to get any resting time around me, right?

While I was waiting for auctions to end, I did a whole bunch of cooking yesterday. I got two news cookbooks a couple weeks ago, one Indian and one Thai. I'm suddenly feeling very inspired to cook again.

Everybody have a great Monday. Lane