Sunday, September 25, 2011

neighbor friendly

I've been robbed! I was robbed of what could have been a good night's sleep due to my backyard neighbor's over zealous nighttime partying.

I soooo look forward to a good night's sleep that are few and far between. I sooo look forward to my sleep time on the weekend. I need sleep, I want sleep, I want peaceful sleep. It was not to be. When do I get to make up this lost night's sleep?

The partying behind my house continued past 1am. I was praying some other neighbor would be more pissed off than me and call the police to stop the raucous behavior. I was praying they would just shut the hell up. Uh, uh. Nope. Then their damn dog started his incessant yapping. I've yelled "shut up that damn dog" more than once in the past. I finally bought a dog barking stopper thingy... it might be working...when I have it on.

I'm sitting here thinking of a way to annoy my neighbors and try to interrupt their sleep like they did mine.

Note to self: get their address and put the police phone number on speed dial for the next offensive night.

I want a do-over.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

random acts of kindness

Have you ever done something spontaneously just because?

I was in Whole Foods today using my newly acquired little produce bags (you gotta go green at WF you know!). A customer commented on my cute little bags and when I passed her in the store again, I gave her one. Just to put a smile on her face.

Just because I can and I love to do it.

Pay it forward people!

Monday, September 19, 2011

real or reality?

Reality TV. Really?

Personally, I don't know any housewife that dresses up like they're going strolling down the Avenue or engage in cat fights like a bunch of middle school teenagers.

I don't know any teenagers who deliberately get pregnant so that they can become reality tv stars. Nor do I know women who put the value of a dress over the quality of the man they're about to marry and at the expense of all else.

I don't know any women who parade around their kids in the very public eye so that they can give the kids the life they deserve (huh?). I don't know any women who would consider being one of many wives to one man ( how come it's not many husbands to one wife?).

I don't know of any women who parade around their toddlers in inappropriate costumes and encourage spoiled rotten entitled behavior. And I certainly don't know 3 sisters who "work" at doing not much of anything.

So, I have to ask myself, is this reality or some idiot cloning of really bad tv? What discourages me the most is that there are probably a lot of people out there in tv land who think these shows are really real. While these shows, in my opinion, might have some entertainment value from a voyeuristic point of view, watching them is not how I choose to spend my very limited tv viewing time.

What does it say about us as a country when reality tv is so distorted from the real world, but we lap it up like starving kittens. Not to mention that it's mostly women in these shows doing and saying things I wouldn't do even in the privacy of my own home.

Reality tv?


an attitude of gratitude

I don't even know where to go with this. I work for a small, family owned company. The present owner is a 3rd generation family member who hopes one day to pass it on to his son. I love my job. I really do. What I can't stand, however, is the lack of gratitude my boss and his wife have towards my boss' surviving mother. My boss' father passed away several years ago and it was his hard work and efforts that built this business to be what it is today.

I am appalled by the lack of thankfulness for the things these people have. If I had one iota of their tangible goodies, I would not want for anything for quite some time. Yet, they begrudge this little old lady the generosity she so richly deserves. I don't get it, I really don't.

I don't have much in the way of personal property by some people's standards. But what I do have is gratitude for those things I do have and an overwhelming need to give back. Life could be so much worse for all of us, my boss and his family included. They just don't know it or see it.

So today, adopt an attitude of gratitude and do something nice for someone else.

Quote of the day:

If I treated you

the way you treat me,

You’d hate me.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Think - something we should all do before saying anything:

Is what you have to say:
  • true
  • helpful
  • intelligent
  • necessary
  • kind
So many times I enter into conversations that take a decidedly wrong turn. Even as I'm telling myself not to say anything, I blurt out a thought or comment that certainly does not fall into any of the above categories. No doubt, we are creatures of habit and as such are apt to continue a pattern of behavior with family, friends and co-workers that does not serve our or their best interests. Inappropriate conversations is one of these behaviors.

I was fortunate this past August to attend a family reunion in Maine (sigh!). There were 3 generations and 17 people living under one roof for a week. To say that there were different personalities present would be a understatement. I am so used to living by myself that being around so many people at one time was quite overwhelming. However, by being mindful of my own personal needs to be alone (that didn't really happen much) or disengaging from conversations that were not pertinent to me (a lot), I was able to maintain some sense of balance.

THINK is a great tool to use when you don't know what to say, especially when topics of conversation veer off into territory you are unsure of or that tests your mettle. I need to practice THINK more often. It certainly is a way to have healthy boundries with family members who can get under your skin.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I had the unfortunate pleasure of attending a dear friend's mother's funeral a few weeks ago.  I say unfortunate pleasure for the simple reason that no one wants to go to a funeral, but what a testimony the service was to this woman's life.

As I was sitting in the church listening to all the nice, positive things that were being said about this person, I couldn't help but wonder what my eulogy would sound like if I were to die today.  Would good memories prevail?  Would nice things be said about me?  Would I be remembered fondly and warmly?  Would a lot of people attend?  I surely hope so.

My mind further extrapolated this scenario to my present day life.  I want to live my life like my eulogy and epitaph would read.   She was kind.  She was generous.  She was a loving mother, daughter, sister.  She gave back.  She hugged.  She said "I love you".  She will be sorely missed.

Everyday we all have the opportunity to live our lives better, kinder, more tolerant.  When our eyes open each morning (god willing), we can live the most positive day we can conjure up or we can live in negativity, misery and hatred.  I am far from a perfect person;  I gave up trying a long time ago.  But I strive to be a better person than I was yesterday.  Today I choose to be happy and smile as much as I possibly can.  I tell my children I love them everytime I talk to them and honestly mean it.  I hug from my heart and soul.

I want to be remembered, not forgotten.  And I want those memories to be good and full of all the love I had to give.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

quilt progress

I have to say that the tediousness of re-cutting my sister's quilt into a twister pattern is going a lot faster than I thought it would go. I have 2/3 of the quilt cut and re-sewn and it's looking pretty good if I do say so myself. I still have to think about making it bigger by adding a wide border. Unfortunately, the larger the quilt, the harder it will be to quilt it. I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Until then, I will continue to plug away and start giving serious consideration to what quilt I'm going to make for my Christmas project.

I scored some free fabric at a garage sale and have decided to donate the red/white and blue/white fabric to a Quilts of Valor project that will be taking place this winter. The coordinator, Marjorie, will be getting 12 yards of nice fabric in the mail real soon. I love giving things away.

Quote: Gratitude turns what we have into enough. Amen.

Monday, September 12, 2011

monday, monday

There was some statistic on GMA today about how many minutes are spent by a certain number of workers complaining about Monday and having to go back to work. Generally speaking, I am not one of those people.

If I was in my regular routine (which I am trying to get back into), I would have Mondays off from going to the gym. I like that because then I don't have to be out of the house by 5:15am. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the days I nearly dread. Exercise, for me, is a double-edge sword. I know that I need to exercise to stay in shape and ward off the middle-age spread of a post-menopausal body. That said, I wish I could waive a magic wand and make all the benefits of exercise automatic and permanent. Wishful thinking!

Everyone knows the effects of exercise and weight bearing exercise. I've been consistently exercising for 14 years and I am proud of the shape my body is in. I've managed to (almost) maintain my weight for the past 14 years, within about 5 pounds. I've been menopausal for 4 years and at 52, the laws of gravity are conspiring against me. Menopausal women lose muscle mass at a rate that will motivate me to get to the gym in ways nothing else can. Women will lose 5 to 7 pounds of muscle every 10 years. That's enough reason for me to get out of bed at dark-thirty and get my body in motion.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

we will never forget

Ten years ago life as we knew it would change forever. Our children will never know a trip on an airplane without taking off so many articles of clothing. Our children will never know freedom from fear of being attacked and terrorist warnings.

New York was my home state for almost half my life and it's sad to say that I never visited the WTC. It was always there and why would I think any differently? Reminder to self: nothing is forever.

Tens of thousands of service men and women have sacrificed their lives for our safety and freedom. Whether you think the war in the Middle East is right or wrong, the fact is that our men and women are there working hard every day and risking their lives for their country. God bless them.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

garage sale goodies

Boy, I can't believe the SCORE I had at a garage sale today. Someone in a neighboring town was having a crafts sale with all new merchandise including a slew of quilting, crocheting, knitting and other needle arts books. Each book was $3 and they had tons of other sewing and craft related items. I picked up 4 books and templates and do-dads for all of $20. The biggest score was a Supreme Slider for 25 cents. Those things are expensive in the retail stores and I might just have to give it away as I am already using a diy version of it and it's working out pretty well for me. I'll have to think on that for a while.

Friday, September 9, 2011

ack! christmas is only 105 days away

For the past two years I have made Christmas wall hangings for the Holiday Bash the "anonymous" program I belong to puts on. It gets auctioned off along with other types of gift baskets and is a great way for the program to raise money. I can't just make one, however. I make several to give away to friends and family. I really thought that after the mad dash to the finish last year that I would be more on top of it for this year's Bash. HA! I just found out that I need to have it done by November 2nd. Oh boy, I'm in trouble. I haven't even decided what I am going to make yet. On a positive note, I scooped up a bunch of holiday fabric last year after the holidays at a deep discounted price.

I think I better get a move on it. Once again, too many irons in the fire!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

my sister's quilt aka "the tula pink obsession"

This is my current quilt project in the making. That's not to say that I don't have several others in the works. I do. At least one too many, but this quilt is the attention of my quilting focus. It's for my sister, like so many others before and those in line after. I have yet to make a quilt for myself. It seems that the decision making process (pattern, fabric, size) is far easier to accomplish when the quilt is for someone else.

This quilt started out as a charm pack of Tula Pink's Full Moon Forest three years ago when I was attending a family reunion in Maine. It has taken me all of the three years to decide what I was going to make with the fabric and acquiring various other Tula Pink charm packs. Unbeknown to me (duh), fabric lines go out of production and can no longer be purchased through conventional quilt shops. Thank god for Etsy and ebay. If it weren't for these addictive sites, I would not be making this quilt; I'd probably be selling the charm pack of TP's FMF at a lucrative profit. However, I love my sissie and I love making her things. I WILL love making this quilt once it's done. For now, it stares at me every time I pass by the sewing room (aka my son's bedroom) and begs me to spend just 15 minutes a day working on it. I have successfully ignored these pleas for the past 3 days. Maybe tonight I'll get a burning desire to sit and sew. Or not.

I just want to say that there is something perverse about sewing a whole quilt top together only to cut it all apart again. My sister loved the top pre-cut and wasn't thrilled with the notion that I was going to cut it all up to make a twister quilt pattern. Maybe good was good enough? I thought it looked boring as plain squares and always intended it to be a twister quilt. I think it's coming out okay and I hope my sister thinks so, too.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

best friends

Best Friend Quotes: Who's Your Best Friend?

Best Friend Quotes: Who's Your Best Friend? (clipped to

Random thoughts

It's Wednesday and it feels like Tuesday, but I wish it was Friday. Confused? I love three day weekends but they really mess me up when it comes to figuring out what day it is. It is Wednesday though, and that means 2 more days until I can do things around my house that I want to work on. Namely, a quilt I'm working on for my sister.

Three years ago I went to Maine for a family reunion and went shopping with my sister to a quilt shop in Windham. My sister fell in love with a charm pack of fabric by Tula Pink called Full Moon Forest. I didn't look at that fabric again for over a year. By the time I decided I wanted to make something with that charm pack, the fabric line was out of production and not be found anywhere - believe me, I tried. I even contacted Tula Pink herself to see if she had any connections that could hook me up with more charm packs. I then had a brilliant idea that I would make a quilt out of several of Tula's fabric lines: Plume, Hushabye, Flutterby and Prince Charming. That idean turned out to be more difficult than I thought at the time. Apparently, my timing is way, way off. I scoured ebay, etsy and online quilt shops on a regular basis (like over a year) until I was able to acquire all the charm squares and yardage I needed to make the quilt.

I decided I wanted to make a twister quilt with her initial "N" embedded in the fabric layout. I shuffled fabric squares until I thought my OCDness would drive me crazy trying to get the layout perfect. The thing with sewing together 5 1/2" squares and then cutting them up and sewing them together again is the potential of creating a real resentment over handling the same fabric over and over again. I'm almost there. With the resentment, not finishing the quilt top.

My sister fell in love with the preliminary quilt top (pre re-cutting the twister blocks) and loved the size (very large). She wasn't real thrilled with the idea that I was going to cut into the fabric and potentially ruin what she thought was a pretty quilt. To me it was boring just having large squares sewn together, so I convinced her it needed to be done. I should have kept my opinions to myself. I've cut and sewn 9 rows together with another 18 to go. Yipee!!!!!!!!

What I've discovered now that after some rows are sewn together is that it is going to finish smaller than I thought. I knew that I was going to lose inches in the re-cutting process, but until I could actually see it, it's hard to imagine how much smaller it's turning out. I now feel like I need to add a 4" border to increase it's size. More fun and money!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2 years later and then some

I love reading blogs, especially those about quilting and sewing. I am also a newly addicted "pinterest-er". I can get lost for hours and hours looking at my blogs (through google reader) and my pinterest account. I also find that I have a lot to say, mostly to myself. And while this blog started out as a way to chronicle my life (kind of ala PW), I want to take it in a different direction. I don't know exactly where it's going to wind up. Hell, in the end, this might just be an exercise in improving my typing skills - something that really needs improvement. Anyway, this blog might contain sewing/quilting information about my progress (or lack of) on my current project(s), a rant or two or plain old monkey-mind rambling thoughts.

When I first started posting, my husband's death was new and raw. I had a lot of anger, frustration and trauma surrounding his dying and I thought blogging would be a good way to chronicle what was going on in my life and how I got to where I was - I was reliving my past, mistakes and all, via blogging. I am leaving my old posts up for now, but I may decide to delete them in the future...

Not too long ago, my son said something to me that jarred me out of my pity-pot stupor. He basically said that we have a choice in either letting our past become or define our lives (stuck) or just accepting that there were incidents or things that happened and move on. I realized that I was becoming the woman who's husband died of alcoholism and I am much more than that. And that's that.