Sunday, March 31, 2013

Miles walked so far this year

January 75.78
February  54.13
March  82.85

Total    212.76 miles toward the 1,000 goal

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Really bad migraine = really big quilt

Today was a super bad migraine day.  I started sewing this quilt top together yesterday and finished it up today.  Not sure if the migraine had anything to do with the size of the quilt, but this one is big for me.  It's about full size.  I hope I can fit it on my machine, but if not, it will be going with me to Carla's house on Thursday for our quilt day.  I LOVE the Accuquilt tumbler die.  This is the 6 1/2 inch one and I also have the 3 1/2 inch and 9 1/2 inch.  Haven't used the big one yet, but I'm sure we will be cutting pieces at the next quilt day.  It probably took me 2 hours to sew all of these pieces together.  I love how quickly it goes together and looks so great with all of the different scraps.

spring flowers

 Just a little walk through my garden to see what's blooming.

Can't wait for the iris to start blooming.

Friday, March 29, 2013

My son's school raffle

Got a letter home last week that my son's class is having a raffle for his class and their theme is School is Cool.  I wanted to contribute something to earn the class lots of money.  Hoping this quilt will help them get more money to buy school supplies.

This is my first attempt at a Trip Around the World and next time I will use the dark colors as the middle.  I used the light and while you can see the X in the middle, the dark colors stand out more.  Live and learn.  This won't be my last Trip Around the World quilt.  I made it with 5 inch strips and want to try different sizes.  It was pretty easy to do and it just needs binding.

Hope someone likes it.

When I wasn't looking

my son got old enough to start driving.  He passed his permit test last week and this morning had his first lesson and then dad took him out for a short drive.  The driving instructor said his biggest problem was he didn't slow down to make a turn.  Sounds like how he plays Mario Kart!  Watch out!

Vacation time

Today begins our Easter break.  10 days of no students, no grading, no standing all day talking.  I'm promising myself some sewing/quitling time every day.  I will also walk every day and get outside to take care of the garden.

I'm also hoping to get to the doctor to see about changing medications again for my migraines.  The new stuff, Depakote, seems to just make me gain weight.  30 pounds in 6 months :( even with all the walking and eating more vegetables.

I'm also going to stay off the computer as much as possible.  It is such a time suck.

Have a great Good Friday today!  Hoping to check in later with some quilt progress.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Science Fair Success

 Here are the many students from my high school looking at all of the projects.  We had about 800 students come through while the judges were working on Friday.
 This is my son's project.  He wrote a computer program to randomly make sounds or blue squares on the Nintendo DS.  When you heard the sound, you pushed a button and when it shows the blue box, you had to touch the screen.  He wanted to know if you responded faster to what you see or what you hear.  He found out that sight is way faster than sound.  The judges were impressed by the computer program he wrote.  He won 2nd place in the Biological Science division for high school.
Here are two of the judges talking to the 3rd place Biology winners.  They attached a microchip to the brains of cockroaches so they could make them go through a maze faster.  They could control the direction the cockroaches moved.  It was the most popular science project there.  Kids were either impressed or grossed out.  I loved it!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Exciting weekend

My son is wearing the bright green wig in the back of this picture.  His robotics team has been working for the last 13 years to earn the blue banner.  Finally, all of their hard work and dedication paid off.  Not only did they come in first place, but they got the Engineering Award for the most community outreach.  That earned them $5000 which they will need because now they are qualified for the world championships in St. Louis on April 27.

In a few weeks they have another competition in Denver, near where my parents live and the National championships are near where my daughter lives.  I wish I had a zillion dollars so I could take off work and travel with them.  Would love to see my parents and daughter.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Quilts in the hands of kids

 My friend took 20 quilts to Mexico a couple weeks ago and was able to give them to a mother and her kids when they built them a house.  I just love seeing pictures of the kids and their quilts.  I really need to get busy making more quilts.  It is such a great way to relieve stress and the end product is priceless.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Elk's Lodge Scholarship

 My daughter made it to the State Level in the scholarship process and was awarded $1,000.  She also found out today she got accepted into UCLA, probably her first choice of schools.  1K down, 30K to go :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013


On our walk today we saw this awesome treehouse.  It is at least 4 stories high!  We walked along a bike trail and many of the houses that backed up to the trail had play houses, but nothing like this one.
I've tried planting a bush like this, but it just died.  These bushes are covered with what looks like very small roses and the bush gets about 20 feet high.  They come in yellow or white.  I just love them.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Orchid Obsession

 I have 5 orchids now and it takes everything I have not to keep getting more.  This first one, my daughters got me Christmas 2011.  It has bloomed 3 times now and every time it gets a bigger bloom spike.  The plant hasn't grown much, but I think I might need to repot it into a little bigger pot.
 This orchid has been blooming for about 4 months.  This is the last bloom on it.
 I got this one right after Mother's Day last year at Sam's Club.  It was marked down to half price and was calling out for a loving home.  It bloomed about 6 months and then put out new blooms on the same old bloom spikes.  It also send out a new spike at the same time.  I can't believe it has been blooming for almost a whole year!
 This one my daughter got for being a judge at last year's science fair.  It put out a second set of blooms on the same spike
And finally, I got this little cutie at Winco about a month ago.  I'm thinking I need a bigger window sill.  They all face east and get a couple of hours of almost direct sun in the morning.  I water them about once a week or once every two weeks and make sure they dry out completely in between watering.  They are near my kitchen sink so have lots of humidity and seem to love their growing conditions.

Prom time

My daughter went to a free prom dress giveaway today and came home with this gorgeous dress, a purse and jewelry.  A couple weeks ago, she wasn't going to the prom, but once she heard about the giveaway, thinks she might just want to go.  I can't believe she is about to graduate!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Getting Inspiration

 My son brought home his class letter today and one of the things on the list of activities caught my eye.  They are asking for donations for a basket to be auctioned off at a PTA event.  I'm so busy teaching and doing things in my classroom, I haven't even signed up for the PTA this year.  The theme of the basket is School is Cool.
So, I started pulling fabrics that remind me of school.  They are also boy themed which are harder to make for me.  I'm hoping to get a couple of quilts out of these fabrics.  One for my son's class basket and one for the Binky Patrol kids.
Now to make time to quilt!

College admissions update

My daughter got admitted to UC Irvine, put on the wait list for Washington University in St. Louis (where her sister attends grad school) and today found out she got admitted to UC Davis.  Too bad there aren't scholarships with any of these.  We are truely middle class because we make too much money to qualify for government aid, but aren't rich enough to afford to pay for college.  I volunteered to quit my job so we could be poor, but hubby didn't think that was the best idea.  Somehow the government thinks we should be spending about 1/4 of our salary on my daughter's college every year.  That might be feasible if we didn't already spend 1/4 on health care.  Seriously.  And it keeps going up.  And our pay keeps going down.  Something just isn't right in this scenario.

I need some serious quilting therapy this weekend.  If only I could find my mojo.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

UC Santa Barbara

The final school we visited was UC Santa Barbara.  My daughter and I could barely walk because we were so sore from all the walking we did.  It was so nice to sit on the beach and watch the kids play in the sand and surf.  Somehow the vastness of the ocean and the sounds of the birds and waves calms the soul.  Nice little break from all the driving and walking.
You have the beautiful mountains in the background and the beach on the other side of campus.  A short drive across the freeway and you are in a very nice little town with lots of specialty shops and a very active downtown.  There were a lot of activities going on when we visited too.  Some type of ethnic dancing and a barbeque as well as a big basketball game.

This is a very nice school, but is down on my daughter's list of choices.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


What can I say, the campus was so gorgeous.  It is in the middle of Los Angeles and one side has the big city skyscrapers and the other has the million dollar homes of Beverly Hills.  We almost got killed several times because the crazy driving.  But once on campus, it was quiet and peaceful.
This is inside the library.  Lots of details everywhere.
Another beautiful tennis facility with a huge stadium seating area.  Wouldn't it be great to play in front of so many people?  Well, not me, cuz I don't know what I'm doing, but maybe if you were really good.
Must take a picture with the school mascot.  We probably walked past this a dozen times.  We just kept walking around and around the campus.  We had to wait until noon for the student store opened and we could get a shirt and sweat pants for my husband and daughter.

The little guy was such a trooper and was still running everywhere after 4 schools.
How could you not love a school with quilt block tiles on every stair of the library.  They were all so pretty!
The buildings were gorgeous.  Reminded me of Oberlin where my oldest went to school.  Most schools out here in the west don't look like this.  There were a lot of open spaces and even though there were a ton of people out and about, there were places to get away from everyone.  This was my daughter's favorite school and she hopes that she gets in.  We hope we can pay for it!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

the cupboard is bare

Well, actually the two giant buckets I use to hold the finished quilts are completely empty.  I can say that I do not have a single finished quilt sitting around, waiting for a home.  Last week a friend picked up 20 to take to Mexico to give to kids in an orphanage and today I dropped off the rest (probably 30 more) to my friend who will take them to Safe Families.  They are growing in my area and are hosting more and more kids whose parents need some time to figure out their own lives.  The kids are safe, loved and not put in foster care.  They get to see their parent often as the families are supported.  I just love that program.

I guess this means I had better get busy making more quilts!  How many days until summer vacation?

Claremont McKenna

Claremont McKenna is part of a 5 college group that are all connected.  If you get in to one, you can take classes at the others.  You can't even tell where one campus ends and the other begins.  It was really quiet on campus on Friday night so I'm wondering how many students go home over the weekend.
They had a beautiful tennis facility.
We were so sore and tired, it was really hard to walk around, so we did a bit of driving around the campus to see it all.

Monday, March 11, 2013

QOV needs help

Do you already make quilts for Quilts of Valor?  They are looking for some more volunteers to help with coordination and managing their group.  Maybe you can help out?  I wish I wasn't working full time, or I would step up.  QOV is a great organization.

UC Irvine

Second on the list was UC Irvine.  Both my brother and sister graduated from UCI and it is so different from what I remember when I visited long ago.  I met a former student who was going to give us a personal tour and we were there just in time for the campus tour put on by the school.  We decided to all walk with them and get the inside scoop on the campus.  My little guy loved the tour guide because he was so weird and told terrible jokes.  

I don't think you can get a real feel for the campus without eating in the dining commons so after the tour, we had the all you can eat in one sitting lunch.  My little guy approved and he's a pretty picky eater.  

My daughter has already been admitted to UCI into the honors program and was offered a $2500 scholarship.  It would be nice having her near my brother who still lives in Irvine just in case.  So hard to send your child far away without having a little safety net just in case.  

After sending my oldest 3,000 miles away (can you believe that was 5 years ago?) I'm doing a little better with letting go.  But since she is the only other girl in the house now, I'm going to miss her even more.  I will be left with boys and strange body noises and no food in the house!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Quilting again

About 20 years ago, I took a quilting class at my church with three other ladies.  One of those ladies has served as a missionary in Kazakhstan for a couple of years and is now back in my area.  She is a nurse at a local school and has 7 kids.  This week she is going with 2 of her kids to Mexico to work on building a house and work in an orphanage.  I'm sending 20 of our quilts with her.  I'm so happy that she is able to be the delivery person for all of our handiwork.  We love to bring comfort to kids all over the world.  Most go to local kids, but it is nice to know we've sent quilts to Kazakhstan, Rwanda, Haiti, New Jersey (Superstorm Sandy), Connecticut (Newton), Louisiana (Katrina) and San Bruno (gas main explosion).
I've been spending so much time using my new embroidery machine that I've stopped quilting.  I need summer vacation so I have time for everything.
The other thing I've been doing a lot of is walking.  The new medicine I'm on makes me want to eat and eat and eat.  I'm never full so to keep me from exploding, my husband and I walk.  I'm still gaining weight every month, but hopefully it is slowing the weight down a bit.  The migraines are better, being only 3-4 a week instead of every day.
These last two quilts are some of my favorite types.  At one of our quilt days, the students from my high school cut these on the Accuquilt Studio cutter.  Carla has the kids sort the scraps into bags by size.  Then they lay scraps on top of the dies and roll them through the cutter. We get a thousand pieces in an hour.  Of course, we then have a thousand pieces to sew back together.  We must teach more kids how to sew!  We have a lot of kids who need volunteer hours.  Again, wish I had more time in the day.