Sunday, November 27, 2011

Valiant Effort

Well, I gave it a shot, but didn't quite make it through the whole month of NaBloPoMo.  We had no internet access this weekend, and unless I posted a picture of our fire each night at the campsite from my phone, I didn't have anything to post.

That's what we did almost all weekend.  Hung out and relaxed.  The only major exception was Friday night.  We met my folks for dinner and then drove the boardwalk in Virginia Beach for the lights.  Here are a few pics from the drive...

It was an enjoyable weekend of camping.  Even with the lack of internet!  Or maybe because of it...  Either way, it was great.


Thursday, November 24, 2011


And this is how I'm winding down the day...

By the way, I'm trying out the blogger app for my phone.  So if you don't see a picture, then I screwed up!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Amazing Sunset

Today started off dreary and rainy.  It was forecasted to be this way all day, and for the most of the day, it was.

We ran errands, and did stuff to get ready for our camping trip over the next couple of days.

In the yuck...

The hardware store was out of the wing nuts we needed, so I begrudgingly went back out this afternoon.

I came out, and saw this:

I thought, "That's kinda cool!  The sun came out, and it looks neat reflecting off of the trees as it's setting..."

Then I drove home, and I could tell that it was looking even better, so I drove past the house, just a couple blocks, to the water.  And THIS is what I was rewarded with!

I should have stopped by the house to grab my regular camera, but I was afraid I'd miss it.  So these pictures came from my camera phone.

But I didn't want to miss it!  What a WONDERFUL ending to a dreary day!  IT was absolutely stunning!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our Christmas Tree

I know there are a few days left until Thanksgiving.  But we were working around the house today, and I decided to go ahead and put up our tree.

Luckily, it didn't take very long, as we still have a lot to do around here...

Yes, it's our very own "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree"!  And even plays the trademark music...

Let the holidays begin!

Do you "deck the halls"?  Go all out?  Or are you a minimalist like we are this year?


Monday, November 21, 2011

Vacation ahead

Starting at 5:00 pm I'll be on vacation for a week.  After yesterday's post, you can tell that I need it.

What's planned?  Some house work, Thanksgiving dinner, and CAMPING!  Don't know how much internet access we'll have, and have never tried the blogger app for my phone.  So it will truly be a miracle if I can keep up this every day pace through the weekend.  But I'll give it a shot!

Also, visiting a new campground near the oceanfront that we've not been to before.  Really excited about that.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Frustration is the word of the day...

I got some frustrating news today and have been spending time processing it.  So have had NO time to think of a post today.

Definitely have some sorting out to do, and figuring out some alternative options.

How do you handle life changes, and choices, and stress?


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Odd Squirrel

The other day, there was a squirrel under the AC unit of the neighbors house.  He wasn't moving, and even as walked by, he just hung out.  I came back in and grabbed the camera, and went back out and he was still there....

And stayed for a bit.

I was starting to think he might be ill, as he let me take a bunch of pictures.

And then finally, he took off.  And then kinda hung out on the wall for a few minutes for some more pics.

I think he was bored and wanted someone to talk to, so I happily obliged.


Friday, November 18, 2011

FTF - Sewing Foot

I'm very late for the Favorite Thing Friday party with Shay at Quilting in My Pyjamas.   So late, that I think it's already Saturday at her house!  Ooops!

This week, my favorite thing is my quarter inch sewing foot with guide.

I have no idea why it took me so long to get one of these, but I've been using it for about a year.  It has really made me a better quilter as my seams are much more accurate.

I also don't spend hours pinning everything before I piece it.  And it has increased my confidence levels by leaps and bounds.

I'd used markings on sewing feet before, but the guide on this makes all the difference.

So this little tiny foot is my FTF!


PS - I'm so late today, cause me and my foot were playing most of the day....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Weather related

Yes, it's almost the end of the day, and I'm just getting around to posting.  I've felt pretty miserable with a headache most of the day, and couldn't figure out why....

But I think I figured it out!

We've had a radical weather change from yesterday to today.

Yesterday was 80 degrees, sunny, a little windy, but VERY warm and pleasant.

Overnight, a cold front came through with rain, so today has steadily dropped in temperature and mid day was 45 degrees.

Overnight is going to drop well into the 30's....

Someone even said they saw sleet and snow flurries today.  After yesterday, I'm sooooo not ready for this!  I'm a warm-weather gal, for sure!

Looks like there will be a little bit of a warm-up in the next couple of days.  Not up into the 80's, but warmer anyway.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Today, I want to tell you about my friend Kirk.  

I've known Kirk for a few years now, and have always admired him.  I knew him personally, and then realized we were in the same profession and that he was just down the street from me at work.  He has since left that career path, and had other adventures.

When he read yesterday's post, he shot me an email with some suggestions:
Places you want to visit. A memorable cache. Or if you have time, tell me about a grandparent you loved, or a pet. What scares you?  What words do you notice are mispelled the most?  What are you reading on other blogs?  Do you think it will snow this year and do you care?  Pizza:  pepperoni or pineapple?  Have you ever danced naked?

I promise I won't answer some of those questions!  Trust me, if I have ever danced naked, that's an image you DON'T want!

But he did inspire me with his email, and by just being him.

Here are a few examples:

When Kirk was a Concierge at a MAJOR hotel here in town, he took it upon himself to do an annual food drive from the local restaurants.  He had dealings with these restaurants from the Concierge industry by staying in touch with them, and recommending them to folks staying at his establishment.  No one asked him to do this, he just decided to do something positive.

In 2009 alone - Kirk collected over 2800 pounds of food, and over $1000 in cash donations.

In the 4 year run of the "Green Bean Challenge" - he collected more than 5 TONS of food, and over $2800 in donations.

One person CAN make a difference.

He STILL inspires me.  A few weeks ago, his partner was commuting to work on his bicycle, and was hit by an SUV.  He suffered a serious leg injury, but thankfully is coming along a little better every day.  And Kirk has been there every step of the way as his advocate, his caretaker, and so much more.  And THAT inspires me as well.  He's been amazingly strong in the face of this horrible accident.  And I know Leo is thankful for all he's done (and continues to do) as well.

When I had my surgery, he came by and hung out and brought me lunch.  And didn't judge the state of the house!

And then there was the time that he organized a bunch of crazy geocachers to perform the Macarena dance in a public place as a flash mob event!
Even when the sound equipment failed, he pushed on through and we all danced and sang and laughed like nobody's business.  (I hear that he may be planning a "Hokey Pokey" flash mob, too!)

He has traveled to places I could only dream of going, and done things I could only dream of doing!

There are many more examples that I could share, but you get the idea....

Kirk, my friend, you DID inspire me with your email!  Thank you for being you!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Half Way There

So, I've made it half way in the NaBloPoMo.

Most of the time, I feel like I'm babbling.  I struggle everyday to figure out what I'm going to post about.

I've actually had three separate posts about one quilt.  Definitely stretching the limits here....

Usually, by the end of the day, I'm able to eek something out, even something trivial.

But I'm hanging in there.

And if I can get away with a few more posts like these, that really don't have any substance to them, then I'll be fine!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Fall Quilt Finish

Back in August, I bought a jelly roll (or bali pop, I'm not sure what the difference is) that would be good for a fall quilt.  When I was was recovering from surgery, I decided to figure out what to do with it.

After much googling, I found a pattern for a super simple jelly roll quilt, that I learned later is also called a "lasagna" quilt.

The top came together in no time, and last week I was able to rent the long arm and quilt it.  Here are some final pictures of it...

This is a comfy one.  And it crinkled up so lovely that I just adore snuggling under it...


Sunday, November 13, 2011


Have any of you guys found Pinterest yet?  I'm soooo addicted!

It's like an online vision board of sorts, where you can pin stuff from around the web that you like, but you can also browse what other people have pinned and either "like" it or "re-pin" it.

I've already found several DIY projects that I wanna try, have gotten some inspiration for the house, found some really cool recipes, and much more!

If you get as addicted as I am, let me know!  I'd love to start "following" bloggy friends.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dining out

Usually, every Saturday night my roomie and I go to our neighborhood restaurant.  It's a great little dive that has been around forever, and now we know the owners, and all the wait staff.  

It's just a comfortable place to go.

My roomie is out of town this weekend, so I decided to go alone.

Normally, I don't go to restaurants alone, unless it's fast food.   But this place doesn't bother me at all.

Do you eat out alone?  Does it make you uncomfortable?


Friday, November 11, 2011

FTF - Freedom

Today is Friday, and that means it's Favorite Things Friday.  FTF is inspired by Shay over at Quilting in My Pyjamas.  Go check her out for everyone else who has linked up!

My FTF this week is simply Freedom.  It's Veteran's Day, a day we celebrate and honor all of the veteran's who have fought in wars to keep us free.  11/11/11.

My heartfelt thanks to ALL Veterans!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Catching up over dinner

Last night, I FINALLY caught up with a couple of friends that I don't get to see often enough.  

You may remember the post that I did on November 1st, that was all about friends.  You can find it here.  

We all use to bowl together on Wednesday nights, so we saw each other regularly, and it was easier to keep up.  But asked last night, and NONE of us miss bowling. We miss the company, but not the bowling!

It was great to get together and hang out and catch up on everything that's been going on for the last couple months.  Yes, a couple of months.  The saddest part about that statement, is we love just a few blocks from each other!  A stone's throw!

Working on remedying that, as these two are keepers!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Trip down memory lane

I had to run some errands this morning for work, and decided not to take the interstate, but take the side roads, instead.

This lead me to an area of town that I grew up in, but haven't visited in a few years...  In fact, it lead me to right past the street I grew up on.  So, I turned down the street to reminisce.

The house is pretty much the same, and so is the street.  We moved in there back in 1976, and my parents sold it and moved to a more suitable house in 2008.  So, 32 years in one house.  I moved out in the mid '90s, but it was always a place I could go back to (and did several times).

What struck me was there was probably only one house that still had it's original owners from when we moved in back then on the whole block.  Most of them moved out long before my parents did, but they held out for a while.

The whole general area had a different feel to it.  Not bad, just different.  Old landmarks had been torn down to make way for big box pharmacies.  Houses that had stood for generations were gone.  All in all, just regular old progress.

Still, it was strange to see.

What's the longest you've lived in one place?  Have you been back to see your childhood home?


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Binding Confession

I know that most of you out there hand sew down your binding to the wrong side of a finished quilt.  And it sounds like the majority of you who do that LOVE it.  I've seen it said that it's "relaxing" or "a great stress reliever", etc, etc...   And to be honest, this is how I learned to do it too.

My confession?  I don't really enjoy it.  To the point where I stopped doing it.  No - not stopped putting the binding on.....  But stopped hand sewing it down, and started machine sewing it down.

And yes, to be honest, it doesn't look as good.  It was always "good enough for me".

But now that I've been quilting on the long-arm and seeing really cool results with my quilts, I'm appreciating the look of the hand-sewn binding.  It's definitely a much cleaner and polished look to a finished quilt.

So, I'm trying to love it.  This is the second finish in the last couple of months that I've done it on.  And I do love the results.  I'm working on loving the process.  Which isn't quite there yet.


Monday, November 7, 2011

This is gonna be tough...

No, not a sad post or anything like that.

After my first post this month, I realized it was National Blog Posting Month.  I thought it would be fun to try to post something every single day.

And now I realize why I'm not one of those bloggers that DOES post every single day.


OMG - It's only the 7th, and I'm at a loss.

I looked around online for "Blog Prompts", and those are really not my cup of tea.    "How do you feel about....?"   "What are your thoughts on.....?"   "Describe your favorite......"  

BUT - I'm gonna try to stick it out, and see just how far I can get before it gets so bad that I'm writing what I had for lunch or breakfast or snack or whatever!  Trust me - you don't want to read that......

But for today, I've filled in another day (with absolutely nothing.  How about that???) and I've only got 23 more days to go.

Tomorrow, I PROMISE something more exciting than today.


Sunday, November 6, 2011


I don't know what in the world happened to me this morning, but it was a pure scatterbrained morning.  

Just as we were heading out the door, I realized I didn't have my wallet.  I ran back in to get it, and couldn't find it.  Now - that in and of itself isn't all that unusual.  It could have been in one of several places.  But then it wasn't in any of the usual places.

Panic ensued.  You know that feeling, right?  You're wallet holds all kinds of stuff, and most of it isn't easily replaced.

But I KNEW it was in the house....

And it was.  

Right by the wine rack.  Of course.  Isn't that where EVERYONE keeps their wallet?


We drink wine about once a year, and were heading to a friend's house for dinner last night, so I grabbed a bottle to chill.  And Yep, apparently sat my wallet right down there.

No idea why I didn't look there FIRST!

Hey - I didn't leave it in the freezer where I put the wine to chill.....


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Long Arm Quilting

I rented to long-arm quilter yesterday.  It had been a while since I had been there, so I felt like I had to re-learn a few things again, but it went really well, and I had a great time.  I even had a friend tag along for the company, and she took a couple of pictures.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE long-arm quilting and really need one of these in my life!  Just wish they weren't so darn expensive....  One day.....


(Day 5 of NaBloPoMo.  25 to go!)

Friday, November 4, 2011

FTF - Fall Fling

I've been out of the Favorite Thing Friday loop for a bit.  FTF is inspired by Shay over at Quilting in My Pyjamas.  Go check her out for everyone else who has linked up!

This week was a simple one for me!  My FTF this week is an annual event in NC that I've been able to attend since it started 6 years ago.  It's "Fall Fling" where a bunch of crazy geocachers gather for a weekend of fun, friendship, fellowship, food, finds, and much more!

This is a group shot from the end of the day of the main events.  These people ROCK!  Admittedly, I only know maybe half of them, but it doesn't matter.

These are the kind of people that accept you for who you are, flaws and all, and still think you're cool.  You walk in to the group, and fit right in.

I look forward to this event all year.  The down side is now I have almost another full year until this event happens again.  No worries!  I will make sure I see some of these people before then.  They enrich my life!

And that's my FTF this week.


(Day 4 of NaBloPoMo!  Only 26 more to go!)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sunset on Singletary Lake, NC

I got away this weekend and spent it with some great people.    As part of the weekend festivities, there was a schedule sunset paddle on Singletary Lake.  

I went as the photographer, since my kayak sank a few years back.  Didn't hear that story?  Check it out HERE.  And if you want all of the follow up posts, they can be found HERE in reverse order.

I really think I had as much fun as those people paddling,  and I stayed dry!  I took about 100 pictures, but these are just a couple of the really good ones.


(Day 3 of NaBloPoMo!  Only 27 more to go!)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Yeah - that title was greek to me, too, and I had to look it up.

Apparently, November is National Blog Posting Month.  And the goal is to post SOMETHING everyday.  HA!

But then I realized that I already started off right by randomly posting yesterday, even though I was unaware that it was NaBloPoMo.

Oh, and look!  I've got today covered too!

I have no earthly idea if I can keep this pace up.  I mean, really?  Posting EVERYDAY?  Have you SEEN my track record???  I doubt I've posted 30 times this YEAR!

But what the hey............

2 down, 28 to go!  Wish me luck!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Success comes in many forms

I posted something on Facebook this week, and got some weird looks.  Well, not looks really, cause it's the internet and you can't really see, but I could certainly FEEL the strange looks as it was probably (ok, REALLY) out of character for me.

But it got me thinking that it would probably make a pretty good blog post (albeit a bit more insightful and serious than normal).  Hey - you did read that this is RANDOM THOUGHTS, right???


What makes us successful?  So many times, we judge success by how much money we make, the car we drive, or the house we live in.  Sometimes even by the neighborhood, or who we associate with, or where we dine.

Sometimes it's in our job title.  But sometimes it's not.  I own a small business.  So my title is often "Owner"  or "President".  Four and a half years ago, I bought the company that I worked for.  And for many people, they would call me successful for that.  But I don't see it that way.  Over the last four years, the logistics of my business have change, and I don't really enjoy it.  Don't read that wrong....  I love what I do, but I'm not currently enjoying aspects of it.  But that's for another post on another day.

If my success was based on solely on even some of the criteria above, I'd be considered a dismal failure.

Fortunately - success comes in many forms.  Friendships, relationships, family, and many other ways.  But recently for me, it's come in the form of friendships.

Most of my friends don't care that I make VERY little money.  Or that I drive an 11 year old beater of a car.  Why?  Because they are my friends!

I haven't always been a good friend.  I've gone through slumps where I've been very selfish, to the point of not even noticing my friends were struggling.  And I haven't always known how to juggle multiple friendships at once.  I was really bad at it.  I've slowly, over about the last 5 years, learned to manage this, and come to really enjoy it.   And even more recently, I feel like I've started noticing, and trying to offer to be more of the kind of friend that I would like to be.

And in turn, it has me appreciating my friends more.  The more I contribute to my friendships, the more I appreciate them.  Funny how that works out.

It's also made it easier to develop new friendships into lasting friendships.

And I consider that a success.

What does success look like for you?