Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I actually believe in resolutions, if and only if you only have a few and you truly resolve to strive to achieve them.

So it is about that time. I need to figure out my resolutions for 2010. I think I have a few.

1. Read a chapter from Proverbs each day.
2. Pay off Ted’s student loan.
3. Participate in the Town and Gown 5k walk/run/whatever at Homecoming this October at ISU.
4. Lose xx pounds. Trust me, I know the number are will report in my % progress.
5. Do at least one of the Relay for Life craft Fairs.
6. Do 4 CPCU courses.
7. Bust 100 yards from my fabric stash.
8. Finish the project list. I actually went through a part of one of my myriad sewing spaces in my house and wrote down the first 25 projects I saw
9. Finish up cross-stitch projects during lunch.
10. Sew 6 hexes for my big quilt.

2010, bring it on.

Also, although many people are reporting that the first decade of this new century was abysmal, it was actually pretty good for me on a personal level. Let’s just start with DD arriving here….

Friday, December 18, 2009

OK, it’s only been 9 days since I updated. Only 9. Not too bad.

OK, that’s a lie. That’s pretty bad. I’m a neglectful blog owner.

Now down to updates and business.

School: Yes I am on break. And yes, by God’s great mercy and the powers of rounding (89.5% in one class and 89.8% in another) I received A’s in both of my classes. My group work in Marketing pulled me through – we received an A on that big, ugly project. I’m off until Tuesday, January 12. I have already ordered my textbook for one class. The other class is a simulation and that is not ready for purchase yet. So now I sit and chill.

Work: Work is going well. I am on projects that are interesting, challenging and are topics I have a passion for. While many people are off these next 2 weeks, I’m hopefully going to be able to meet with small groups to get details wrapped up on various odds ‘n ends. I also plan to get 8 chapters studied for my next insurance exam. Yes, when I am not in school I take insurance exams for work. One year I did both at the same time. My boss thinks I’m nuts. And then he signs off on every tuition request and exam fee I have. And laughs.

Quilting: That has been back in full swing. I have completed the Bricks and Stepping Stones top, added (wavy) borders, sandwiched it, and quilted the body. I need to quilt the borders, trim and attach the binding tonight. The quilt is to be delivered as a housewarming present tomorrow at 5, so any stitching on the binding I can get done tonight is a welcome help.

Sunday, Renee and I are making stockings. I have an idea for mine and also for hers, but we’ll see if her idea and mine clash. I do not have an idea for Ted’s. Hopefully we can figure one out. I did go ahead and paid a ransom for quick shipping to get brass stocking holders from Lillian Vernon, so now I gotta make the stockings.

My goals between now and the end of the year are to make a denim square, clean up the denim scraps that are on all 3 floors of my house, rotate out the cross stitch project bag, start (if not finish) a reversible log cabin quilt (blocks are done – just quilting and finishing to be done), do the Dorothy Young mystery, and whatever else strikes my fancy. Come January 1, it’s random number generator time.

Resolutions: I’ve been thinking about these. One I believe I will try is to read a chapter of Proverbs each day. It has 31 chapters and lends itself to the daily read.

Cleaning: I have 2 major efforts this winter break. One is to make a stockpile list of food, etc, in case we get snowed/iced/frozen inside for 6 days straight again. Another is a list of 20 projects that need to get done. Some are very small and will take 15 minutes. Some will take an hour. Some will take a while. I need to get this list accomplished so that I can start the new term of school with these things done.

Christmas: OK, the hype behind this holiday makes me nuts. That said, the decorations inside are pretty much done, but my house is a mess for us to function in. I only need to bake for Sunday the 27th, so I have time on that. Presents are purchased, but stocking stuffers are not. So in every area, I’m like halfway there.

Tomorrow we celebrate the Schwitzner Sibling Christmas. That gets 4 of the 6 nephews done. We celebrate with my family on Sunday the 27th, which takes care of the last 2 nephews. I still do not know when Renee will see her grandmother. I still haven’t done Christmas cards. I need to grocery shop.

As you can see, I’m a bit scatter-brained. Marketing does that to a person.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Winter Has Arrived

Today (actually yesterday afternoon) started with this nasty level of weather. In some ways, central IL is nicer than Chicagoland. In some ways, it’s not. This falls in the NOT column.

I like winter. The weather gives me a reason to stay in and quilt. It also has less sunlight and no heat, both of which are triggers for my migraines. So basically I can stay home, do my thing and be fine.

I do hate driving in winter weather. It basically is 10 really bad one way commutes. This statistic has not changed from northeastern IL to central IL.

HOWEVER, the weather has changed. We’ve moved just enough south so that instead of just getting the danged snow and dealing with it (with much better public transportation options), we get ice, or slick spots or blowing and drifting nuttiness. That is 10 times worse than just the snow. You can’t see ice. You don’t know until you are upon it or you see some unfortunate motorist in front of you attempt to navigate it. I am not a fan of ice/slick spots.

Today was one of those days. Yesterday afternoon, I had to take Renee to the dentist for her first filling, which went just fine. It was 34* when we got to the dentist and raining. When we left it was still 34* and raining. I was so grateful to be home and not having to go to my GS meeting that night – 2 other moms went instead. So I quilted during the evening.

This morning, we were spared the snow, but it was slick. Got Renee to school OK and drove on a main thoroughfare in front of a subdivision – that was horrible. Made a left onto another major 4 lane road and that was horrible. Made a right onto yet another 4 lane road and that one was manageable. Got to work a few minutes late, but with the weather, it’s understandable.

The problem down here is that the land is flat and has no buildings or trees. Absolutely nothing to break the wind. In Chicago , known as the Windy City because of the bluster of the politicians and not the weather, there are buildings that break the wind and make the weather manageable. Down here however, there is nothing but flat land as far as the eye can see.

I did get 45 more matchstick blocks done on my Bricks and Stepping Stones quilt. That brings me up to 145 and I need 200, just to be safe. I hope to knock those out by the weekend.

Sewing goals:

Pincushion done for swap on Saturday

200 matchstick blocks done

Top put together

Backing found

Backing found for BRB

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


My scheduled apicoectomy never happened. Believe it or not, the dentist called in sick. They asked if I wanted to reschedule for the next day. Instead of being a responsible adult and saying “yes,” I reacted like a kid who just got a “Get out of Jail Free!” card and said “no.” So yes, I still have mouth pain, and no, I don’t care. It’s really just a dull ache that comes and goes. I am saving up to get it done with all cash, which will make me happier anyway.

Thanksgiving in KS went well – far better than I anticipated. New insights in interpersonal dynamics were revealed, which usually happens when 4 generations get together to break bread. That, and people have no problem ordering up a storm on someone else’s tab. And Renee lost a tooth on Thanksgiving at the restaurant. And I shopped at Penzey’s Spices in Overland Park. And then when I came home, I organized my spices. Don’t laugh. I have 77 different spices, and yes, they all get used.

On this trip, I actually used both of my Vera Bradley bags. Yes, I’m into Vera. I used my Pink Elephants mini hipster for things like the children’s museum and rest stops and the big purse came just in case. Anyway, I’m trying fervently to go back down to one purse. So I’m emptying the contents of both purses and now I’m wondering why there is a mini binder clip in my large Vera.

I now have only 1 final examination to complete and this joy of a term is finally, blessedly over. I do actually need to study for it however, so we shall see how that goes. I’m looking forward to the 4 weeks off and am making a list of things I want to get done that are making me nutso.

Quilting continues onward. I have started Bonnie’s bricks and stepping stones and I can do about 20 matchsticks in an hour. I need 190 matchsticks to get the size I want, so I have to really kick it until high gear. My mini goal is to have the top pieced sans borders by Sunday night.