Sunday, October 25, 2015


In 2010 (quite the year) I retired from working for the City of Milwaukee for 32+ years.  I knew that retiring at 55 I would have find a part time job and work for a while, but I decided to go for it and along with retiring, I moved to northern Georgia.

Both were good moves. In fact, the two best decisions I have ever made.

In the spring of 2011 I started working part time for the Sequoyah Regional Library System - at the local library as a research assistant.  Another good move.  I worked with wonderful people in a library - how cool is that!  And, while we had a few patrons who were real stinkers, most were great.

When I turned 60 last August I realized I no longer "had" to work part time.  Financially, if I am careful and budget, I can live a comfortable life.  So, in the beginning of October I gave my notice and the 20th was my last day.

People keep asking me how I feel, being retired for the second time and hopefully, for good.

I don't know.

I am so busy through the beginning of the year, that I really won't have too much time to think about it. With a ton of "house work" to get done, two friends coming for Thanksgiving and a fabulous trip planned over the holidays I am pretty booked.  That doesn't include friends to see, several quilting project to get done with more to start, books to read, dogs to care for and the list goes on.

My friend, Sally, and I laugh about retirement.  She is also retired from her "career" job and works part time at a local library in Michigan.  We wonder how we ever worked full time, maintained our homes, had beautiful gardens, sometimes worked second jobs, traveled, volunteered and had very active social lives.  How the heck did we do it?

Well, we were much younger with more energy.

Now, in retirement we both wonder how we will get done all we want to accomplish.

I know I will enjoy not having to be or go anywhere I really don't want to be.  I know I will love more time spend with family and friends.  I know I will enjoy more "pajama" days spent sewing, reading and doing nothing.  I know I will do volunteer work.  I know I will enjoy day trips to the mountains, hiking and enjoying the area.

It's time.  I'm ready.  Retirement - here I come!

Saturday, July 04, 2015


Moving to a new town and state in 2010, it took me a while to figure out the easiest way to get places. Here in northern Georgia none of the roads are straight and they change names.  You can drive five miles down a road and it will have two or three different names as you travel down it.  Confusing to say the least.

But, I had my trusty GPS and off I went, learning my way around.  Sometimes my GPS got confused, and it would take me on all kinds of adventures.  Some were great, some not so great.  But, most of the time when my GPS got somewhat lost, I learned a new way to get somewhere or found a place I wanted to check out.

My quilt store is in Jasper, GA, about 20 miles away.  My GPS took me on some "back roads" to get to a main road.  Now I use this route all of the time to get to a variety of places.  And, it "introduced" me to the gentleman on the swing.

I never actually met this gentleman.  He would be out there on nice weather days waving to anyone that drove by his house.  He had one of those portable swings with the canopy on top.  In the five years I have driven by his house he has gone through several of these swings.  Exposed 24/7 to the weather, they would get pretty nasty.  I am sure it was his kids who replaced the swings on a yearly bases.

I looked forward to seeing this gentleman on the swing.  Even in inclement weather when I knew he would not be outside, I couldn't help but look over into his yard.  He always had a slow wave for any car that passed by.  I would beep my car horn and wave back.  I think he was a big man for it seemed his arms were long and his hand big even  when looking from the road.

I have seen him many times this spring.  Last week when I drove by, my hand on the horn to greet him, I saw something different.  His swing was pushed very close to the road and it was covered with bouquets flowers.  There was a sign sitting on the swing.  I slowed down, stopped and backed up.  The sign told of funeral arrangement for the gentleman on the swing.  He had passed away earlier that week.

I shed a few tears the rest of the way home.  I have no idea who this man was, what type of a person he was, if he was married and really did have children.  I knew I would miss him, though.

I wrote a note to his family and put it in his mailbox.  I don't know any of them, but I wanted to express my sympathy. I want them to know that this gentleman gave me something very special.  He gave me something to look forward to every time I drove by his home.  And, he made me smile - whether or not he was out there waving - I smiled in anticipation of the possibility of seeing him wave.  What a nice gift he gave me!  The gift of two smiles - his and mine.

And, sometimes happiness is just as simple as that - a couple of smiles.

Monday, April 13, 2015


Yes, I am still quilting up a storm.  Here are tons of quilt pictures.  Some you may have seen before, but are now completed.  Some are new.  Thank you to my sister, Suzanne, friend, Barbara for displaying most of these quilts for me!  You can click on the picture for a better view.

Panel wall hanging for the month of July.  If
you look close you can see the fun quilting.  Quilted
by the Quilt Shop on Main, Jasper, WI

Side view of the Blue Hydrangea quilt.  Quilted by Cathy of Happy
Dog Designs, Garland, TX  This is a soft and pretty quilt.  I purchased
this kit in Colorado in 2008.

My Garden Quilt.  Using the Turning Twenty quilt
pattern, this quilt will grace my screen porch this
summer. Love the blues and purples.  Also quilted by Happy
Dog Designs
Nifty Nine Patch.  Again, part of a BOM through the
Quilt Shop on Main Street, who also quilted it.  

Road Trip quilt.  I purchased the pattern and fabric in 2009 while
still living in Milwaukee, WI.  I finished the quilt top a few weeks ago!
Needs to be quilted.  Fun and easy to make.

Sweet Plum (named after fabric line).  I won a couple of the charm
packs in this fabric.  What to do with them?  Well, I purchased
additional fabric, found a 24" center block pattern online and using the
charm packs, built the quilt around it.  The fabric is wonderful.  This
quilt will be gifted to a very special person very soon.

Back of the Sweet Plum 
Jeannie's Quilt - named after the owner of Ye Olde Quilt Store
in Cedarburg, WI.  Part of a BOM, every month we were given
two block patterns and a fat quarter of fabric.  We had to make
the two monthly blocks using the fat quarter in each block.  The other
fabrics of the block would be anything we wanted it to be.  I made the
center block.  I love the way this quilt turned out.  Cathy of Happy Dog
Designs quilted it.

Illusion quilt.  My Friendship Star Sisters Block Swap group did
a block swap of illusion blocks.  I purchased special fabric for it.  I
loved the fabric so much, I decided not to participate in the swap and
keep this soft and pretty quilt for my self!  Not quilted yet.

Look closely at this quilt and the one below. Same quilt, different fabric.
Offered as a BOM by The Quilt Store on Main.  We had a choice of
cotton or batik fabric.  Well, I could not decide so I did both.  Above
batik version was quilted by the store and needs binding.  When my friend, 

Sally, was here over Thanksgiving she mentioned she would
like a green quilt for her guest room.  Well, I pulled this out and
she loved it. Good thing, because I really didn't like how it turned
out.  Sally paid for the quilting and I am currently hand sewing the 
binding on.  It will be sent to her in a couple of weeks.

Personally, I prefer the red version of this quilt.  Just something about a 
red quilt that makes me happy. This version was quilted by 
Cathy of Happy Dog Designs.  Amazing what a difference the color
and type of fabric used on a quilt can make, isn't it?

Made this little patriotic quilt for my friend Shelley.  It was fun and
I know that they (her husband,  Bob, is my cousin) are enjoying it.
 Quilted by Cathy off Happy Dogs Design

As part of the online block swap group I am a part of, our
first swap was a churn dash block. I have blogged about this
before, but wanted to included it in this post as well.  I added
the middle square in reverse to make it a 25 block quilt and to
add more interest.  Still needs to be quilted.

Another block swap quilt, this time with a holiday theme.  I
added the lattice work.  I love these blocks - all so different
and all so beautiful.  Still needs to be quilted.

So, while I was making my little nine patch blocks for the holiday
block swap (see above photo) I fell in love the with the fabric. Deep, rich
colors I decided to participate in the swap and make a holiday quilt
for myself!  It is not quilted in this picture, but is now complete.  It was quilted
by Cathy of Happy Dog Designs.

Decided I needed a fall quilt.  Again, I the very simple and easy
Turing Twenty pattern.  I love the border!  Quilted by The Quilt Shop on
Main.  I had enough fabric to make a matching table runner.

 House and Log Cabin quilt.  Part of a BOM offered by The
Quilt Store on Main.  If you look closely you will notice that
each house has a different "side" design to it.  We made one
house block and one log cabin block each month.  Again, we

had a choice of using batik or cotton fabrics.  Again, I made both.
The cotton version is currently being quilted by Cathy.  

Close up of the houses and log cabins.  Cathy of Happy Dog Designs
quilted this
one.   She used a dog paw design for the quilting.
  After all, no home is complete without a dog (or cat or pet in general)! I will
be donating this quilt to help raise funds for a dog rescue group.
This is a sweet, girly lap size quilt. I purchased the kit "Weekend Retreat" in
Milwaukee around 2009 and finished it recently.  Truly took only
a weekend make, so it would be a great quilt to make at a quilting retreat..  
Once quilted, it will go to my great-niece, Shannon. I plan to 
make a more boy-ish version of this quilt for her little brother, Zachary.  
Below is a side view of the quilt.

I do have a few more quilts that are currently being quilted and are not pictured in this post, including a a wall hanging and baby quilt.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 09, 2015


While I was waiting around for my farmhouse table to be done, I did find an old, solid oak, small library card catalog in the warehouse where my table is being made.

This is what I saw buried in June's warehouse!

Well, I loved it.  I am an avid reader and work part time at a library.  I needed this piece.

I had moved my TV to over the fireplace a few years ago.  While I didn't mind watching it up there, I couldn't decorate my mantle the way I wanted to.  So, I was searching for a TV stand. What could be more perfect?
Not a great picture.

Roy, the carpenter, worked his magic adding an apron around the bottom of the card catalog and legs to it.
Close up of the "skirt" and legs

I now have a beautiful, completely unique television stand.

Better picture and I love the "moon" effect from
the flash!


So, the farmhouse table odyssey has finally come to an end!  It hosted Easter dinner and I am thrilled with the results.  It was a seven month journey and one with a lot of bumps in the road.

The table was originally delivered as planned right before Thanksgiving.  However, it arrive in pretty rough shape.  I say that because the top was rough - too rough for a table that would be used on a daily basis.  I wasn't happy.  So, June, the lady who I went through to have it made, said she would take back and plain the top down, re-stain it and bring it back.  We agreed, due to the holiday season, that this would take place after the holidays were over.
You can see the crack (left) and also
the roughness of the table.

Within two weeks I noticed a crack in the wood.  I called June and she, along with her carpenter, came to look at it.  By this time the crack was getting pretty wide and longer.  If you looked at the crack from a certain angle you could see that eventually it would run the whole length of the board.  Not good.  So, along with the top needing to be planed, this board needed to be replaced.

Seems like every few days the crack got bigger and bigger!
By the time it was picked up for repair it was over
18" long and getting wider.

True to their word, the middle of January my table top (just the top, the legs and frame stayed) went back to the shop.  It wasn't until many phone calls later and the middle of March before the table top finally arrived back home.

One view of the finished table.  Love it!
Added my quilted table runner - all decked
out for Easter

Served Easter dinner on the table!

Guess I should have ironed the table cloth!

Sam is always hoping for a piece of ham to fall
It took forever for my table top to return.  Seriously, I was starting to get upset!  But, I am so happy with it.

Camera makes everything long orange in color.
None of it is.  
So, the saga is over and the end result is great.  The moral of this story?  Good things sometimes take time and are worth it in the end!