Sunday, September 30, 2012

while making dinner

I quilted up this cute cat quilt.  Someone is going to LOVE it.  I know my oldest daughter would :)

couple more and a long walk

More quilts quilted yesterday and this morning to get me a little closer to my goal.  Sometimes I get discouraged by what I'm not accomplishing that I forget all that I've gotten done this year.  I'm up to 191 quilts for the year.  That's nothing to sneeze at.  I have a long way to reach my goal for the end of the year, but one step at a time will get me there.

This morning I got out before it hit 100 (isn't it supposed to be fall?) and took a 3.2 mile walk.  I took one of my little dogs with me and she was panting something awful by the end.  We both crashed in front of the fan to cool off and then I got a quilt done and lunch made.

I have a box of lab books and a set of tests waiting to be graded.  I sure wish they had a grading machine.  Now that would be something to spend money on :)

Alright, off this computer and to work I go!

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Since going on the Depakote, I've gained 15 pounds.  That's about 5 pounds a month :(

I emailed my doctor and he says that gaining weight is one of the side effects.  It wouldn't be so bad if I had pants that actually fit me.  But, I bought a bunch of jeans this summer and now only a couple still fit.

I'm a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, but really don't want to go back to the meetings.  While it helped me lose about 25 pounds after my youngest was born, I just don't have time for it right now.  I still remember everything I learned ad with some new knowledge off the internet (what did we do before it was invented?) I start my weight loss journey.

Another side effect of the Depakote is severe hunger.  Even after I've stuffed myself with twice as much food as I've eaten in the past, I am still hungry.  So now I have to retrain my brain into recognizing those feelings of hunger and make them mean something else.

I'm also exercising more than I ever have.  This summer my husband and I started walking together.  Actually he started walking and then I felt guilty and went along with him.  We go 2-3 miles.  It is nice having that 'away from the kids' time to talk about work, the house, anything, and know you won't be interrupted by kids needing help with homework :)

Now that school is back, it is harder to get out every night.  We try and go on the weekend nights and even that is hard sometimes because a day like today the temp is supposed to hit 100 degrees.  Um, hello, this is fall!

I went this morning, before it got too hot and if it cools off enough, will go again tonight.

Too bad there isn't a magic pill you can take and 'poof' your pants fit again!  But anything worth having is worth working for.  Remind me of that tomorrow when I'm craving chocolate cake!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

one foot in front of the other

Just keep quilting, just keep quilting!

When I look at my goal of 100 more quilts by the end of the year and see that every day I'm falling further and further behind, I have to remember that the job will get done one quilt at a time.  Every day I can, I quilt, because there are so many kids out there needing hugs.  I'm hoping to get some of the finished quilts out of here this weekend and get more to my binding buddies so I have more room to stack them :)  They aren't doing any good sitting around my house.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Quilting Angels

If you have an extra quilt or 10 sitting around and are wondering what to do with them, maybe you can send them to Gene's cause.  They are hoping to collect enough quilts to pass out at Christmas.  Last year they needed 16.  That seems like such a small number to me.

When we collected quilts for Japan, we sent 1144.  It seems so long ago, but only yesterday when my front living room was filled to the ceiling with boxes of quilts.  It was so exciting every day coming home to boxes and boxes of quilts.  I definitely had my mojo going back then because I was quilting 10 quilts a day.  Now I'm happy to get one done every couple of days.  Energy...where are you?

But, I will be sending along a couple of quilts.  Gene is asking they be teenager size and colors.  Neutrals if possible, but more boy than girl quilts will be needed.  Wouldn't it be great if the kids got to pick out their favorite from a large selection?  I'm sure no quilt will go to waste.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

catching up

I'm behind schedule for my goal of 100 quilts by the end of the year and need to kick my butt into gear.  I did some cleaning, some bobbin winding and bound a quilt.  Time for quilting.  I have 8 more quilt tops that are already matched with backing fabric so I should get those done before spending more time and effort matching tops to backs.  That usually takes a while because the piece I want to use doesn't always have enough fabric.  But, I do love seeing my pile of fabric get a tiny bit smaller as I pick out backing fabric.

There it is...

Found my Mojo!

If you don't know about Margaret's Hope Chest yet, I would love it if you popped over there to see what the project is about.

A mother/daughter team started this group after the grandmother was killed during a robbery.  They make and collect quilts for kids who have a parent in prison.  I can't tell you how much destruction on a child's self esteem there is when one parent is in prison.  I teach high school and have seen first hand how the kids feel they are the ones who committed the crime.

If you have some time and extra fabric, they are collecting quilt blocks to be made into quilts.  You can always send them a quilt top or finished quilt too.

Whenever I start to feel down and discouraged, making a quilt for this group really picks me up!

Have you seen my mojo?

For whatever reason, this school year is really kicking my butt.  I just cannot find the mojo to get things done around the house.

Yesterday a lady called and said she had cleaned out her mother's storage shed and would I like a whole bunch of fabric?  I can never say no to fabric (one day it might bury me!) and so went out to fetch it.  I came home with my van full of boxes, about half of them fabric.  The other half are different craft items, books, notions, etc.

Now, I need to go through, pick out what I can use and share the wealth with a friend who always is willing to take my extras.  She belongs to a crafting group and so they use lots of weird fabrics I have no use for and make dog beds for the animal shelters and lots of other projects.

I need to get quilting, but my sewing room is such a mess right now that I'm discouraged to go in there.  Why do I let that happen?  I think I will put on some upbeat music, spend some time cleaning and get myself out of this funk!

Friday, September 21, 2012

space shuttle

I was so hoping to see the space shuttle fly over my school today.  I'm in Northern California, between Sacramento and San Francisco and along a possible flight path.

My friend sent a student to come get me around 9:35.  We all ran outside and watched a tiny play very far away and thought that was the shuttle.  The kids weren't half as excited as I was.

Then, during my next class around 10:00 another student came in and said, no, this is the real shuttle!  We all ran outside and this time actually saw the shuttle.  Of course, my phone camera can't take a picture that far away, but I know it was in the picture, top, right.  Yeah, that speck :)

I could even see the chaser plane following along.  This group of kids said, 'what's the big deal?  I live on an air force base, I see planes flying every day!'  Oh, how old I felt.  They didn't even know what the shuttle was!  So, we went in and I played a video of the Challenger explosion and we talked about how important the shuttle was to me and my growing up years.  Kids these days take everything for granted.  Of course we can go into space, no big deal!

My dad worked on things that worked on space stuff so it was even more special and made me feel that connection to my dad :)

It was so cool!  I asked my little guy if he saw it and he said his whole school came out to watch it go over.  He thought it was pretty cool too.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

super scrappy

this is another one sewn together by my friend Indiana and I just love looking at all of the little pieces.  A great quilt for a boy or girl.  Anyone who does charity quilting knows boy quilts are harder to come by so I really appreciate having these to pass out to the little boys we serve.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

another one before school

Quilted this yesterday morning before heading out to work.  My favorite quilts are the little ones, they go so quickly!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bright and cheery

I'm finding myself getting lazier and lazier when it comes to quilting, but I need to keep motivated!  I have a goal to reach.  I started this one in the morning yesterday and finished it up at night.  These little guys only take about 15 minutes to quilt and I feel accomplished.  Much like exercising.  I don't like to go out, especially if it is too hot/cold/windy/sunny/rainy/_________ fill in the blank with your favorite excuse!  But, after I've walked a couple of miles, I do feel better about myself.  Why is it so hard to get motivated?  Ugh.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

All that Jazz!

 My son is playing in two jazz bands.  This first picture was taken with the City Jazz Band.  They practice for 6 weeks and then give a concert at the Vaca Jazz Days.  My son loves to play his trombone.
 These next two were taken today with his high school band.  He is playing the bass trombone and loves that he is different from the other 'bones' in his group.  These kids have been together 3 weeks so far this school year and are already putting on one awesome concert!  After 4 years of listening, I finally appreciate Jazz.  It is an acquired taste :)
Want to see how much he has changed since 2011?  Here is a picture of him playing in the Vaca Jazz band way back then
And my post from 2010.  He isn't a little kid anymore!

Friday, September 14, 2012

working slowly

Being back at work really cuts into my quilting time.  I'm still on track to hit my goal of 100 more quilts by the end of the year (Dec 31) but I'm doing most of my work on the weekends.  I started this quilt yesterday morning and finished it this morning.  The quilting on these little guys takes about 15-20 minutes so you know I'm pressed for time if I'm not finding any quilting time during the week.

I chose not to have a TA this year to help me grade papers and I don't have a student teacher either.  I'm hoping that soon I will be able to come home and not collapse on the couch.  The beginning of the year is the hardest time.  I'm hoping to get my energy back soon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A moment to pause

I cannot believe it has been 11 years since the terrorist attack.  Today I pause and remember where I was and how all of our lives changed since then.

That morning I turned the news on and the first plane had just hit the first tower.  I watched, stunned, as the second plane hit.  I called my principal and asked what I should do.  I work right next to a military base.  She said, 'Come to work." I asked again and her voice became very stern.  "Come to work.  The students will need you.

That day, my kids couldn't go to school because the base was shut down, so I had to take them home again.  Only about half the students came to school (the ones that live on base couldn't get off and also wanted to spend time with a parent who was going to be headed off to war because of the terrorist actions).

Most teachers had the news going all day, but I chose to do some science experiment and many kids said they appreciated not having to listen to the news in my class.  They were worried about parents, friends and family who were serving in the military and wanted a break from thinking about the future.

I will never forget.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

so much more productive

Why is it that I am so much more productive when I have a migraine?  Sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself just isn't an option, so I choose to quilt!  On days when I do feel well, I come up with all sorts of other things to do.

My what big hands you have!

 Can you see the difference in the size of his hands.  His right one got stung on the inside of the wrist.  Sure hope the antibiotics kick in soon!
And I should have known better.  75% of the time I eat donuts, I get a migraine.  After having one yesterday, I should have resisted, but the temptation was just too great.  Got donuts this morning and now have a major migraine.  One day I will learn my lesson, but they are just so good!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Note to self

When spraying for wasps, make sure you are DOWN wind!  My husband got stung by a wasp at school on Thursday and his had has swollen up.  I took him to the doctor today and they gave him antibiotics, a steroid cream and and epi pen in case he gets stung again.  The doctor things the wasp had some bacteria on its stinger (or mouth) when it stung and probably bit him.

Chargers Fans?

I think that is a football team right?  Well, all I really know is I had about 2 yards of the Chargers fabric and used the Take 5 die from my Accuquilt Studio cutter and whipped up these twin quilts (about 54x68 inches).  One will go to the Aurora Colorado quilt cause and the other will be donated locally to my friend who visits the returning wounded.  I think my friend can find a Chargers fan who would like one of these.  Now to work on the Dolphins quilt that is cut out the same way.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Got one thing checked off my to do list this weekend.  I will be ready to gift this tomorrow at work.

Cards for troops needed

Cards Can Make a         Difference…..                         
Kelli’s Heroes ‘Wounded Ward” Visitation Teams
are in need of your handmade cards.

We are looking for handmade cards of thank you; get well, as well as special cards for holidays to deliver to our returning wounded military that travel through David Grant Medical Center, Travis AFB each week.

  • Size and shape do not matter, only that they be home made.  Make them bright, full of love, patriotic are the best, as are any holiday themes  ( i.e. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentines Day, Easter, Flag Day, 4th of July). Seasonal are great too!
  • A message of support and encouragement is a must.  Lots of love and support is truly the best.  Message must be appropriate to send in troop boxes or to deliver to our wounded and our veterans.
  • Use only first name when signing cards. Please do not use last names, addresses, phone number or put student pictures in the cards. 

Teachers/Youth Group Advisors: Please bundle them together, and place your contact information on a cover sheet with the cards.  We do want to make sure your group gets credit and a thank you, so don’t forget to let us know where they came from.
Completed cards can be mailed to:
Kelli Germeraad, Hospital Chairman
VFW Auxiliary 7244
Vacaville Veterans Memorial Building                                                                     
 549 Merchant Street
Vacaville, CA 9568

 My friend Kelli visits the returning Wounded Soldiers who come through Travis AFB on the way home for treatment.  She spends all day Saturday making treats for these guys to say 'thank you'.  I've given her several quilts to pass along for me.  She is a tireless hero in my book!

Can you help?

Quilted now ready for trimming and binding

Two of my least favorite parts of quilting, but it must be done.

The Mercy Project

Pop on over and read what The Mercy Project is doing to help children and families in Ghana.

P.O. Box 3005  l  Bryan, Texas 77805  l  214.673.6732

Mercy Project 

There’s an estimated 7,000 children who work in the Ghana fishing industry. Some of
these children are as young as 5 and 6 years old.  All of these children are slaves.
–Mercy Project

Today many in our country will take a day off from our jobs to celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers.  No matter if we’re celebrating at home or at the beach, we’re entering into a tradition that has largely been shaped by Labor Unions - organizations that are dedicated to protecting workers’ interests and improving their wages, hours, and working conditions.  Today as we lounge around or hang out with friends and family, we’re not only celebrating hard work, we’re honoring fair, ethical working practices and the laws that prevent discrimination, abuse, and child labor in our country.  Without these laws in place (and enforced), the most vulnerable members of society suffer.  Who are the most vulnerable? Children. 

Today as we’re celebrating the systems in our own country that strive to prevent injustices like child trafficking and child labor, we’re mindful of the many child slaves around the world who are unprotected and the organizations, like Mercy Project, who are working to free them.

As a mother, it’s difficult for me to imagine my children working 14 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I’m unable to wrap my brain around the thought of my children engaged in long, hard days of physical labor, eating one meal a day, and then falling asleep at night on a dirt floor filled with other slave children.  Yet this is the daily reality for kids who have been trafficked into the fishing industry in Ghana, Africa.  As with much of Africa, there is a great deal of poverty in Ghana. Unfortunately, this leaves many mothers in an unimaginable position: sell their children to someone who can take better care of them or watch them starve to death. Most of the mothers are told their children will be given food, housing, and an education. Instead, the kids are often taken to Lake Volta where they become child slaves and their mothers never see them again.  Thankfully, Mercy Project is working to break the cycles of trafficking around Lake Volta by providing alternate, more efficient, sustainable, fishing methods for villagers – ultimately eliminating the need for child slaves.  Because of the work Mercy Project is doing in Ghana, the first group of children will be freed this month from Lake Volta.
We invite you to watch this moving, 10 minute documentary about the issues surrounding child labor and trafficking in Ghana and most importantly the hope Mercy Project is bringing to children and entire communities in Africa.  Mercy Project is the only NGO working on Lake Volta addressing the injustice of child labor and child trafficking at its root - by strengthening the Ghanaian economy and eliminating the structures that cause the demand for trafficked children.
Whether these ideas of child labor, child trafficking, and modern-day slavery are new to you or you’re aware of these injustices, but need to hear some good news every once in awhile, we invite you to become a part of what Mercy Project is doing in Ghana.  When Mercy Project frees their first group of children this month, we can all celebrate together.


Link to Mercy Project’s Website:

Link to the documentary -
Mercy Project’s Facebook Page -

Mercy Project on Twitter -

Extra Information

Is Mercy Project a 501c3 non-profit organization?
Yes! We are recognized by the IRS as a non-profit organization, and all donations made to Mercy Project are tax-deductible as per allowed by the law. We send year end tax statements to each donor every January.

Is Mercy Project affiliated with a religious organization?
In short, no. But we were founded because we believe that this is the kind of thing that God wants his people to be doing. We are passionate about connecting people with this incredible chance to help the kingdom come here on earth as it is in heaven. That being said, we are proud of the fact that many, many of our supporters do not share our religious motivation but believe in us and our passion enough to want to be a part of it. That means a lot to us, and we work very hard to make sure anyone who wants to be involved can find a place.

The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

" serving the best interests of children, we serve the best interests of all humanity."
Carol Bellamy

“When the lives and the rights of children are at stake, there must be no silent witnesses.”--Carol Bellamy

"God does not want us to merely give the poor perfunctory help, but to ponder long and hard about how to improve their entire situation." -- Tim Keller in Generous Justice  

If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. -- Abraham Lincoln

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.  -- Martin Luther King, Jr.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

sewn together

here's the purple quilt top sewn together.  I just love the tumbler die for my Accuquilt Studio cutter.  Crank out the pieces in about 20 minutes, sew the top together in an hour, maybe 1 1/2 hours and then quilt it.  The longest part is laying it out so no two pieces are the same. It is much easier when you have a ton of different fabrics in a quilt to make sure two adjoining pieces never touch (except maybe corner to corner).  Quilting should take me maybe 30 minutes and then binding another 30 minutes.  BIG quilt done in 3-4 hours.  Not bad.

Couple of little quilts

These little guys are about 28 inches and are perfect for car seat quilts.  One quilted with swirls and one with E's.  Nice to check them off the to do list.

And what would a long weekend be without starting a new project?  My friend at work's sister has bone cancer and my friend said her favorite color is purple, purple and more purple!  So, I pulled out all of the purples I have and am making a HUGE tumbler quilt.  I didn't plan on it being this big, but know that it will cover her from head to toe.  Just hope my machine can handle the width.  I have to be careful not to make them too big, or I have to ask my friend Carla to quilt them for me.  The colors are way off in this picture, but that's what I get for being lazy and taking the picture with my camera.  Should have it sewn together soon and will post a better picture then.

my dad should be proud

not because of the upside down quilt picture, but because I got myself out of the clogged sink yesterday.  It only took about 8 hours, on and off working to get it clear.

I tried putting drain cleaner down, the plumber said not to put it in the garbage disposal side, so I put it on the other side of the sink and let it sit for an hour or so.  Nothing.

I opened the drain from outside and tons of water poured out.  Then, I used the snake and pushed it as far as it would go, which was about 3 feet before it hit the clog.  I had put way too much stuff down the garbage disposal on Friday and knew it might clog up, but thought since I had run a ton of water and there wasn't a problem on Friday I would be ok.  Nope :)

Then, after unclogging a bit and running the hose as far as it would go with water blasting, closed things up and tried again, nope, not fixed.  I let the hose run for about 30 minutes, thinking it might just loosen the clog.  Nothing doing.

Then, I ran the snake again, this time I was able to get it all 25 feet into the drain and was sure I had fixed things, but sure enough as soon as I put the plug in from outside the house, the drain clogged again.  I remembered that when the plumber was here, gunk came up out of the downstairs shower so thought I'd see if the clog was before or after that drain.  I ran the shower and sure enough, it clogged up.  I pried off the drain (ew, gross hair there) and then ran the snake in the shower and after a few good plunges, got the drain to go!  So exciting that my hard work paid off.  And I learned to scrape plates into the trash, not the sink :)  Just hope the dogs leave the trash alone, or we will have to take the trash out every night.  A much quicker fix than dealing with the drain again!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I should have learned

Remember back when I had to call out the plumber to unclog my kitchen sink?  Yeah, that was about 3 weeks ago.  Well, yesterday I cleaned out the fridge and put a bunch of leftovers down the drain.  Things were going along well until this morning.  But now that I know how to fix my own troubles, I've been working all day to unclog the drain.  Ugh.  Lesson learned!

Oh, and I got these three quilts done today too :)  Just the quilting you know, but three more towards my goal of 100 by the end of the year.