Thursday, September 25, 2014

Book #4: The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan is a wonderfully uplifting book.  It is a true story about the authors family.  She grew up in a family of ten children with an alcoholic father whose financial provision was inconsistent.  Her mother, however, used her writing skills to enter the many contests of the era and kept the family afloat.
 
We drove right past Defiance on our recent travels. I found myself looking up various towns on the map that were mentioned in the book. 
 
This one is a true story, an easy read and very entertaining and positive.
 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Silver Lining of Losing Your Email


When we got back from our travels I discovered that my primary email account was deactivated.  Our internet provider is Comcast and despite what their commercials say, they are the poster child for bad service.  We've had an ongoing battle with them for years over redundant charges.  This was their next strategic move - deactivating my account.  It's been a bit of a bother to switch to an alternate email account and I still haven't switched everything since I'm a tiny bit hopeful that we will be able to resolve this (I know....silly me) We still have internet because, well, because they have been charging us for two accounts for years. The funny thing is, though that in some ways it's been a great thing.  I used to want to check my email frequently even though most of the messages were just junk trying to get me to buy something or donate money.  Now I only get a handful of messages a day and have no urgency to keep checking since there is so little to see.  I feel like I've been given more time in the day!

Maybe losing your email suddenly isn't that bad a problem.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Christmas Story House and Museum

A Christmas Story is my husband's all time favorite Christmas movie....maybe his favorite movie ever.  The outside scenes were all shot in a neighborhood in Cleveland, OH.  And, a fan of the movie bought the house, restored it to look like the rooms in the movie and created a museum and gift shop to go along with it.  Since we were nearby visiting Niagara Falls, we decided to stop by and see the place.  We had a lot of fun talking about the movie with the guide and learning all kinds of trivia about the making of the film. 

There is a leg lamp in the window and a Red Ryder BB gun under the Christmas tree, a "turkey" in the oven and the "Old Man's" car in the garage.

At the gift shop you can buy leg lamps of all sizes, a variety of movie memorabilia and even a bunny suit like Ralphie got from his aunt.

It's a great stop on your way through the Cleveland area!

Monday, September 22, 2014

September Travels: Niagara Falls

 
We've been on the road again....this time to Niagara Falls, Canada.  It is one of a very few places in the world that I have visited, but my husband has not.  It seemed like my parents went to Canada several times when I was young.  It was so much fun to revisit the area and see that the falls are as awesome as ever. 
 

We rode the boat, went under the tunnels, saw the whole downtown area and even visited the Floral Clock.  My mother always insisted that we visit the clock and a shrine on every trip to Canada.  I was never overly impressed with either.  The clock is nice, but after experiencing the power and size of the falls it sort of comes up short.  And every year I had my picture taken in front of the clock.
We were even treated to an Elvis impersonator in an outside café!
He had the look down pretty good, but not the sound.

From Canada we made a stop in Cleveland and then a few family visits and back home.  Except for our two nights in Canada we slept in a different place every night!  The pace was a bit exhausting and home was a welcomed sight!

Friday, September 5, 2014

When Time Flies

The summer is drawing to a close and I've started to think about just what I've been doing with my time!

Much of my sewing has been occupied by a project of Son #1.  Ever since he was little he has had an entrepreneurial streak.  He would sit by the road and try to sell vegetables from our garden, jars of "hand made" sand (He would rub rocks together until they powdered into sand.), and anything else that he thought I wouldn't miss.  Now, although he has a real job, he wants to revisit the world of retail.  So, with me as his supplier he will be having a booth at a farmer's market in his area.  I've been producing a variety of small objects to compliment some quilts and larger pieces.  The shop will be set up as a fair trade store so that if there is more interest than I can supply he can draw in other crafters to work within the fair trade framework.
I also made a Dorothy costume (sorry, no picture yet) for our October trip to Autumn at Oz.   It has been a long time since I did any garment sewing and just like I remember...the hardest part is the fit.  At first I made this way too big and even now I think the skirt is too full, but I'm going with it as it is, because after all, I'm living in the "invisible years" so I don't think it will matter a whole lot.

Then....there have been many opportunities to hang with my best girl.  She is so much fun to have around and such a good, good baby.
In between all that there have been a few trips with the husband.  Recently we went to the beach to meet up with family.  It was my first trip back without Seamus and it felt a bit sad not to have him with me on the beach.  I was a little lost.  But with the passing of time we have been able to start to discuss filling our house again with furry little paws. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Book #3: The First Phone Call From Heaven

I actually read this book at the start of the summer but never got around to posting about it.  The First Phone Call From Heaven is by Mitch Albom.  I've read several of his previous books and always enjoyed them.  They tend to be inspirational and thought provoking.  This one had the added benefit of providing a bit of a mystery to the story.  I really enjoyed that added element.  The story focuses on a small town where several people are experiencing phone calls from loved ones that they have lost.  There are a variety of responses to the calls from the receivers as well as those who are not getting calls.  It gets a "thumbs up" from me.

Whenever I give a "book report" I always feel that my reading quantity is rather pathetic especially compared to the husband who devours one book after another.  But then I read this and felt a bit better.  :-)

I tried three times to get this graphic to appear readable, but I'm not too sure I was successful.  If you click on the graphic it brings it up in a more readable form or here's the link to the original source with the graphic is towards the end of the article.



 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Blogs, Life and Choices - and Quilting

It seems like, in general, you either make your life happen or your life happens to you.  And usually we have seasons of one - having some order or control over what is going on in our lives and seasons of the second - reacting to life happening around us.  Lately I've been in that second category of watching life swirl around me.  And consequently blogging hasn't been at the top of my list.  I have a paper by my computer of topics I want to blog about but haven't, for one reason or another.  But I have had so many thoughts and ponderings and getting older means that those thoughts will only stay with me for so long unless they get written down.


Long ago, at the start of my blog I wondered why blogs stop.  I was new to following blogs and would often find one that I enjoyed but taking a closer look at the dates I realized that the writer had been gone for months or sometimes years.  There was no conclusion like a book, no season finale like a TV series, no final thoughts.  The blog just seemed abandoned like someone had walked out of their house one day and left everything behind.  Now, having blogged for several years, I think I understand a little better.  Sometimes life happens.  Other interests take over.  Writing down thoughts and activities no longer adds to our day, it just becomes another thing to do.  Sometimes the whole process of picture taking and editing and posting is more than we want to deal with.  But we still sort of like the idea.  Maybe life will slow down or inspiration will strike so we just sort of put our bookmark in place and set the blog aside.  Then time moves on and suddenly it's been months or years and blogging becomes something we did "back then"- sort of like diaries of old or paper and pencil journaling (both of which I've done in the past).  I guess the main difference is that no one knew when those writings were started or when they ended.  No, I'm not getting out of the blogosphere.....just acknowledging a little insight into some old questions I've had.

That sort of leads me to my second pondering (which actually has a quilting connection).   We often think of choices in life in terms of what we choose, but in reality choices are more about what we DON'T choose.....what we say "no" to can be as important as what we say "yes" to.  Son #1 had a very broad assortment of interests in high school - from drama to art to engineering to logic and debate to science.  But to be good at one he would have to spend less time with the others.  His dilemma was not finding what he liked or should pursue in life but acknowledging the need to say  "no" to other likes.  So maybe my missing bloggers have decided to say "yes" to other interests for awhile and need to harness some of the time and energy spent on blogging in their other areas.  Just like (wait for it.....here comes the quilting transition) choosing fabrics for a quilt.  We may have 20 fabrics that seem to go together and that are all pleasing to us.  But saying "yes" to all of them would create a chaotic design.  So we need to figure out what to say "no" to so that we can accomplish our final goal of a coordinated pattern that we like.  Did we like ALL of the fabrics?  Yes.  But we couldn't make our quilt with all of them.  Did Son #1 like all of those varied interests? Yes.  But pursuing his eventual profession required a total concentration of his time and energy for several years.  Saying "no" to good things is sometimes needed so that we can say "yes" to other good things.

So, life is still happening to me and probably won't slow down for awhile yet, but I'm not ready to say "no" to blogging.....just a bit slow at it.