Sunday, August 5, 2012

We're Moving!

I've decided it's time to take my blog to the next level. In conjunction with a complete Website renovation, I'm moving the blog to my domain at Since I'm also switching to a different blogging platform, I'll be unable to import this one into the new site.

Please join me there to check out the new site. You can access the new blog at or click on the blog link at the top of the page on the main site.

At the time of this post, construction on the new site and blog are still underway so please excuse the mess. To get the blog started, I will be migrating some of the more important business articles and tips to the new forum as time permits.

In the meantime, I've enjoyed your company here and hope to see you at the new site!

Happy crocheting!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Relaxing Winter Afternoon

Outdoor steps leading to our backyard.
Were feeling very lucky this winter. The weather has been unusually mild, although we are experiencing a slight cold snap at the moment. Yesterday was cold, gray and overcast with a slight dusting of snow on the ground. Not a really bad day, just one of those that makes me happy to be snug and warm indoors. I put a vegetable medley (see below) in the Crock Pot to accompany the hamburgers Carl requested for supper, then we settled down in our recliners and relaxed in front of the TV the rest of the afternoon.

Above is a view of the snow on our steps leading out to the backyard. Our house is a split level on 4 different levels. Outside my kitchen door on the 3rd level main living area is a screened porch, and this view shows the steps leading from the screened porch to the backyard.
Gracie, age 8 months

While we were watching TV, I crocheted several more stripes on Blaises baby blanket while our 2 Shih Tzus, Rosie and Gracie, cuddled up on Carls lap. 
Arent they cute? They had both just come back from the groomer and hadnt yet been able to dislodge the bows she put in their hair. They will, though. It seems to be their mission to get them out as fast as they can.

Rosie, age 6 years

Trying to get either of them to sit still for a photo is usually like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree, but Rosie decided to be still for once. Not so with Gracie. I had to chase her down and then wouldnt have been able to get a decent picture if my camera didnt have stop-action on it. She sure is a busy one!
Vegetable Medley

 The vegetable medley I mentioned is really nothing special, but we both like it a lot and consider it one of our comfort foods. Our son, Scott, introduced it to us and, when I first heard about it, I wasnt too enthused about trying it. But, we agreed to and were pleasantly surprised at the flavor. Its really easy, and looks something like this. 

If youre interested in giving it a try, it takes 2 cans of whole kernel corn, 2 cans of green beans, ¼ pound of bacon,  a small onion, chopped, and salt and pepper to taste. (Do NOT drain the vegetables.) Place all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until the bacon and onion are done. Sometimes, like today when I dont feel like fussing in the kitchen, I put it in the Crock Pot and walk away and forget it until meal time. 

(Hint: This dish is even better the 2nd day when the flavors have had a chance to blend.)

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Blankie for Baby Blaise

Blaise's New Blankie
On January 10, 2012, Baby Blaise, our newest grandchild, entered the world. He is the son of our fourth and youngest child, Scott, and his fiancée, Denise. Both Mommy and Baby Blaise are doing well. It’s hard to believe that our little man is one month old already! And, even harder to believe that we haven’t met him yet! They live quite a distance away, but we’re planning a trip to see him as soon as possible.

I’ve made Blaise several things so far, but this is the latest work in progress. If you like the pattern and would like to know where to find it, it is from the Leisure Arts Leaflet #4813, Colorful Cuddlers: 4 Crochet Afghans for Baby by Becky Stevens. The only change I made to the pattern is just the color sequence. I used 2 colors plus white instead of the 5 colors plus white called for in the pattern. Although I really like the color sequence the designer used, I wasn’t able to find those colors locally. So, I made this a stashbuster project since I wanted to get started right away. Sometimes it’s just so satisfying to sit down in front of the TV and cuddle up with a crochet project that I didn’t have to actually write the pattern for. :-)

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Day After (Thanksgiving)

November 25, 2011

We had a really nice day yesterday. We were blessed to have nearby family members join us, although we greatly missed those of you who were not able to. We love you all!

As those of you who follow my blog already know, these past two years have been filled with selling our home in Indiana, making a 400-mile move back home to Illinois where we have spent most of our lives, downsizing the considerable number of possessions we have amassed over the last 40 years and getting things on an even keel so we can get back to daily living and work. Whew! It’s been a trip, so to speak, but the last storage unit has been emptied and we just have some things in the garage and basement to sort through. The big donation to Goodwill hasn't happened yet, but it is imminent. Can't wait to be able to get my car in the garage again! :-)

Because of all the busy-ness of the recent past, it’s been difficult…almost impossible, really…for me to get back to what I know and love…designing. I’m happy to say that as of Monday, I’m back on track and my designer hat is firmly in place. My husband, Carl, begins a new contracting job on Monday, so it’s full steam ahead for both of us.

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday as much as I did. I am glad it’s behind us, though, because I’m really looking forward to dragging out the Christmas ornaments and kicking off Christmas 2011.

Also on the agenda is spending more time writing and blogging. I've taken quite a few photos lately, so I'll meet you back here soon for more updates and photos! In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at our newest family member, Gracie, a little black Shih Tzu puppy who recently came to live with us. She's just as sweet as she is cute! :-)

Gracie Sept 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

When Life Hands You Lemons...

...make lemonade! Or, in this case...barbecue sauce?!?

I hate it when I do stupid things. Unable to find my favorite barbecue sauce locally, I resorted to ordering it from a food seller on Amazon on Monday, July 4th. When I logged in, I found specifically what I wanted and was thrilled to find it so easily. Six bottles of my favorite sauce for $23.99. Not bad, but then came the $9.99 shipping and handling fee. :/ Sigh. Ok, I can live with that. A little pricey but what the heck. It IS my favorite sauce and it's still cheaper than driving halfway across the state in search of the elusive red stuff.

But WAIT! There on the same page was another food seller offering 12 bottles for only $3.00 more each for the retail price of the sauce and shipping and handling. So, for $6.00 more, I can double my order. What's to think about? Without further ado, I pressed the "purchase with 1-click" button and the sauce was mine!

On Tuesday, I checked in on my order to see if it had shipped yet. It hadn't. But then, I saw it. I had ordered a different flavor than the one I intended to. Same company. Same brand. Different flavor. Ugh. Ok, so I like this one, too, but it's my 2nd favorite, and the local store shelves are brimming over with it. What to do? Aha...there it is. The "email vendor" button (or whatever it is actually called, but you get the idea). When I clicked on the button, it gave me a list of suggested subject lines. Among them was "cancel this order." Yippee! I could see my way out of this. I hurriedly scribbled (typed) a short email outlining my dilemma and sent it off. Within minutes, I had a canned reply stating that they were currently reviewing my email. Uhm, hmmm...sure they were...

On Wednesday morning, I checked both my email and the Web site to see if there was a response. There wasn't. What I found instead was a notice that my order had shipped and will arrive within 3-5 days by FedEx. (You saw this coming, right?) So did I, but the eternal optimist in me kept hoping I was wrong.

So, what to do now? If I return it, I will have lost nearly $20.00 in postage. Better to keep the sauce, methinks, and either learn to love it or, better yet, add my own touches to it so it better suits our tastes.

In retrospect, 12 bottles of ANYTHING seems like a lot. It will probably take us until the day after forever to eat all of it, so I'm thinking I may have to find a creative way to get rid of some of it. Maybe I could include some in gift baskets for Christmas along with some of my crocheted dishcloths, hot pads and other yummy foodie things?

I'm really glad my kids don't read my blog, or they would see the handwriting on the wall and "know" what they are getting for Christmas. Shhhh...don't tell them. :-)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Hurrieder I Go...

When I moved into my first apartment, I purchased a small sign for my wall that said simply, "The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get..." I thought this nonsensical little sentiment was funny at the time, and seeing those words on the wall in my kitchen always made me smile. But, there is an element of truth in it that has stayed with me all these years.

The little sign is long gone now, but those words spring to mind whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed with work, short deadlines, etc. And, it  pretty much sums up my spring and summer so far. While our move is months behind us, there are still things to unpack and sort out in the basement and remaining storage units. I know we’ll get it all done and sorted out eventually, but it makes me tired just thinking about it. I think we're getting closer and closer to a major donation to GoodWill so we can be done with it. Sounds good to me!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Catching Up

Our epic move was 8 months in the planning and executing--mostly executing--but it's over at last. We are finally housed under one roof. It feels so good not to be making marathon trips between the two houses anymore. There is still a lot of unpacking and sorting to do, but I'll be happy for the moment if I can just find my Christmas decorations and get the car in the garage!

We've taken the last couple of weeks to rest up and take care of some other things that needed doing, but considering what we've been up against in making this move happen, I can't say that I feel guilty at all. Today marked the first snow of the season (although it didn't really amount to much), so we're grateful to have finished before bad weather set in.

Speaking of Christmas decorations, we bought a new tree this year. I've been trying to get it put up for a few days now, but haven't been able to find the timet. It should be a breeze since it doesn't require assembly and came pre-lit. That's on the agenda for later today, so I'll put up some pictures next time. 

In the meantime, Happy December!