Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Evening Edition & A Free Kindle Book!

First Off! Just a little heads up so that you don't miss TOMORROW's post! I'm doing a fun fun thing with Pat Sloan and some other bloggers, just for kicks...

There will be:

  • 5 Bloggers all linking to each other and showing 3 things. Just for Fun! No prizes-- just linky love to encourage our readers to try new blogs by linking to each other.... FUN is the big thing for the day!
  • EACH blogger is sharing either a tip or tutorial, so you will want to check all 5 blogs
Sound fun? then join us TOMORROW! I'll have the other 4 bloggers linked in my post so you can see who they are!

So on to the freebie book!

Are you headed out of town for the weekend? Want a good beach read? This one came up on my searches today. It’s called The Days Of Summer and is written by Jill Barnett.

Editorial Review

From Booklist

One night in 1957, two cars collide, and the repercussions of the fatal accident form a compelling tale. Orphaned brothers Jud and Cale are raised by their grandfather, Victor Banning, a ruthless corporate titan. Aspiring musician Jimmy Peyton leaves behind gold records and a four-year-old daughter, Laurel, who will be raised by his distraught wife and domineering mother. Years later the three survivors meet after Laurel, a precocious teenager who dreams of becoming a chef, has moved to Catalina, California. Laurel is initially smitten with Jud but then falls in love with his younger brother, Cale. Their long-brewing sibling rivalry erupts as they each fight for the love of lonely Laurel. Barnett delivers a well-written novel filled with enough emotion, passion, and drama to please Danielle Steel fans. Patty Engelmann
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

As always, double check that it is still free before clicking, what is free today may not be tomorrow..and if you don’t like it, never fear, at least the price was right! :cD

It's A Sienna, Baby!!



Let me tell you how much I *HATE* shopping for new vehicles. I hate the whole process. Seriously. All the internet searching ahead of time, so we know what prices are within the range of our budget, how much above cost they are asking, speculating on how low they will go, did I offer too much?

The one thing I really hate is feeling like I had a fast one pulled over me, that the guy next to me got a better deal than I did because he had better negotiating skills.

But I do have to say it was a pleasure to deal with Modern Toyota of Winston Salem! No pressure, fun test drive, great salesman ((I suppose that’s why he’s been there for 30 years!)) and it was not nearly as painful as I was dreading.

We were going from place to place, and all the while my friend Randy was texting me with facts from Consumer Reports on which vehicles were rated best! And before I knew it we were down between two vehicles, the Honda Odyssey, and the Toyota Sienna.

We drove both….and I just have to say I liked the features of the Sienna better. It was a quieter ride, much smoother, and we got more for our money. The rear seats WERE easier to put down on the Honda.....but my seats are likely to stay down all the time, so that was just a small trade off for the other things I did like better about the Sienna.


I have never thought a minivan could be so fun to drive….and this thing? It has MEGA space! Just the fact that it is this low to the ground is going to make loading the quilt bags and cases of books, sewing machine, project bins, sew-ezi table ((Yes, that goes too!)) so much EASIER!

The back seats are stowed down…look at this space! I don’t even think I’m going to need to remove the two second row seats….There is already enough room in the back! As Lisa pointed out on my facebook post ----“ROADTRIP!!” Says it all!

I have NEVER had a sun roof in my life! NEVER NEVER NEVER! Okay. How do I work this thing?!

There are so many bells, buttons and whistles, It’s going to take me a while to get this sorted out. Back Up Camera?!? I hate backing up! Do you think I can do it now? :cD


THIS is going to take some getting used to. No key? Just leave the fob in my purse? You mean I don’t have to dig through all the junk in the bottom of “the black hole” bag to find keys? I think I’m going to LIKE this!

I've thought about this for a long time. I practically LIVE in my car. I haul a lot of stuff from guild to guild to guild, and when my car is loaded, there isn't room for another person in it...how can I take anyone with me in a car that is that full? You can't. So...I have reached the realization that I "NEED" a van. My kids are laughing hysterically at me. But...I need a van!

So where are we going to go first? Sam’s club, of course! Mama needs some more mailing envelopes.

And Friday --- We take the first Sienna Road Trip up to Fredericksburg and Woodbridge, VA!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Blogger Comment Gremlins!


I understand your frustration! Really I do! I don’t have any control over why some of you are able to comment just fine, and them some…who have been long time faithful commenters are all of a sudden caught up in a loop of “log-in-re-log-in-re-log-in!”

I haven’t changed anything for the comments at all. In fact, I made it easier with the previous giveaways that we’ve had ((And this was months ago, not just recently)) to allow anonymous comments!

So those of you stuck in the log-in black hole…..I went on a search and find mission last night thanks to our Quiltville Facebook Friends page!

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And we were off and running trying to find out the nitty-gritty from those in the know….and those who seemed to be locked out on leaving comments at all! I mean, we are willing to try ANYTHING, aren’t we?

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Mary was willing to try ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to give us the low down on what was going on from her end. So..it looks like it might not be a BLOGGER problem at all, but your own privacy settings!

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Charity also figured out that if she signs in with her google account, she has to UNCHECK the box that says “Keep Me Signed In”. So give THAT a try if you are having issues!

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Cathy thought it might be IE9 that was causing her problems. She went back to IE 8, and also unchecked the “keep signed in” box and it did finally let her comment. Which one of these steps did the trick for her? We’ll never know… we are just happy that it is now working for her!

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Rhiannon also found out the same thing…..I don’t know what browser she is using, but when I thought it might be just a firefox issue, I got comments from several that say they use firefox with no problem!

As for me? I haven't had problems on anyone's blog at all. The first thing I do is get into my gmail. That logs me in to blogger, but I don't have that "keep me signed in" thing checked either...Yes, I am one of those who logs in each and every time with a user name and password. In another tab, I open up blogger, and it does fine for me...is it the order that I do things? I have no idea. My gmail and my blogger account are on the same ID so I was wondering if that has anything to do with it?

If all else fails, just use the anonymous log in, and remember to leave me your name and email address at the bottom of your comment so that I can get back to you!

Empty Nests, and the like..


It happened yesterday.

Jeff made his big move to Columbia, SC…..moving out of our home, and into his own life. It was a bittersweet day, being Father’s Day and all, but in a way, it was a good day to do it too….there was no putting it off! So this week, he should know more about that job, what he’ll be doing. He is staying with some friends and sharing rent.

And one of the things I’m most proud of…..he packed up his GED study books and took them with him. He has voiced his intentions of finishing. And I am so proud and hopeful for him!

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And I know I haven’t been around a lot with the way my teaching schedule has been, but just being in the house, really alone --- for the first time this morning feels very strange.

His room is empty…well, of “MOST” of his stuff anyway. And I promised him I wouldn’t paint it pink right off the bat, we’ll wait a while ;c)

The thing that had delayed his moving THIS long, was the problems with his car…..and we’ve been working on getting it safe to drive, and it turns out that it really needs a new motor…which was going to take MORE time, ((and more money!)) and that job in Columbia wasn’t going to wait forever, and he was getting more and more antsy about NOT being down there…..so…this is where things stand now.

Jeff has MY car. His honda is going into the shop to get fixed. We are looking for a minivan for me. ((NEED ONE!!)) and when Jeff’s car is fixed, we’ll swap --- I’ll get the saturn back, he’ll have his honda back, and we will sell the saturn, and I’ll put that money back toward the cost of the minivan. At least this is how it is working in my game plan right now, but it means that I am CARLESS until we find something. We are going looking this afternoon. Much of yesterday was spent narrowing down possibilities by searching the internet. We’ve pretty much narrowed it down between a Toyota Sienna or a Honda Odyssey. They have the space and features I want. Just need to actually test drive some. Today. And maybe tomorrow..and a decision needs to be made quickly…..

Because I leave for Fredericksburg VA on Friday morning….and if we don’t find something, I’ll be RENTING a minivan for a week!

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This little girl is missing Jeff TONS already! Poor Sadie….she keeps checking in his room to see if he is there. She’s following me around like she has lost her best friend…So this morning she and I took off for the out-of-doors to see what’s going on in the neighborhood. ((Sadie is smart, she will do one loop with me, but when I keep going, trying to get 5 miles in….she doubles back to the house, and in through her doggie door she goes!))

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Chloe was out in the garden! She is still her ornery self, but she actually let me pet her and give her a few chin scratches with out complaining too loudly or running away. Maybe it’s the heat? It’s got to be hot in that fur coat she has! She’s still a crank-pot. Don’t let those gorgeous blue eyes fool you!

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I LOVE living out where I can enjoy nature’s abundance! These lovelies were there to greet us along the roadside as we walked. Doesn’t this just shout out SUMMER?!? Well, I wish summer would slow down a bit…I feel like I’ve missed half of it.

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Is there anything more refreshing than a walk through dense wooded areas? Well, I didn’t go THROUGH them….but this is along the road side. There could be snakes and bugs and other critters in there. I’m not THAT brave….but I sure enjoy being surrounded by trees and green green and more GREEN!

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The area I live is called Four Brooks…and here in the picture you can see one of them burbling away. It was a beautiful morning, and it may turn to rain later, so I’m glad I got out while I could..besides…what ELSE is a girl supposed to do with NO CAR?!

I’ve been playing around with the yellow backgrounded jacob’s ladder quilt I showed from the antique mall last week. I worked it up in a 9” block..and it looks kind of clunky. I don’t want to go to a 6” block…takes way too many of them to complete the quilt at that scale…but I think I can spice up the piecing a bit by throwing another design element in there…and if I can get through all the mail, the book orders, and some laundry today….I might get some time to SEW!!

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Did I mention how quiet it is here? Too Quiet. And I’m resisting the urge to make a motherly phone call when he’s not even been gone 24 hours yet. This is HARD!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Evening Edition–Free Kindle Mystery Book!


I have to admit…I was not prepared for my long drive home yesterday. I had loaded my mp3 player with books, but somehow they were either not as good as I thought ((way too much churchy-preachy!)) Or, the line up of parts was scrambled! For instance, when I’d look in the folder on the player, the sequence was scrambled! It started with part 3 in the line up, and then went to 5, to 7…and nothing I could do would unscramble them. I wasn’t ON shuffle….they were just in the folder wrong. How do I fix that? Never mind..I needed to drive, didn’t need to worry about it…

So let’s just say that what WAS available to listen to just did not suck me in enough to make it a pleasant drive. I made up my mind to delete the insipid stuff and get me some REAL steering-wheel-grabbers for my next trip, up to Northern Virgina this Friday!

And while browsing, I came across this freebie for my Kindle as well. I’m in the mood for some suspense, some intrigue! And this one may just fit the bill for my reading pleasures too! So I’m passing it on to you ---

Bone Rattler! by Eliot Pattison

From Publishers Weekly

Having already won an Edgar for his Inspector Shan series (The Skull Mantra, etc.), Pattison makes a strong bid for another with this outstanding mystery set in colonial America. Scottish prisoner Duncan McCallum, indentured to the Ramsey Company, is troubled by a series of mysterious deaths on the ship carrying him to the New World. When McCallum's close friend Adam Munroe and a professor who was to work as a tutor are added to the list of the dead, McCallum, who has extensive medical training, is enlisted by the captain to investigate.

The shipboard mysteries remain unresolved when they arrive in New York, and McCallum's quest for the truth leads him to perilous encounters on both sides of the French and Indian War.

Pattison's moving characters, intricate plot and masterful evocation of the time, including sensitive depictions of the effects of the European war on Native Americans, set this leagues beyond most historicals and augur well for future entries in this series. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Description

From Edgar Award winning author Eliot Pattison comes a compelling, multilayered novel rich in historical detail. Aboard a British convict ship bound for the New World, Duncan McCallum witnesses a series of murders and apparent suicides among fellow Scottish prisoners. A strange trail of clues leads Duncan into the bloody maw of the French and Indian War.

Sounds like a goodie, yeah? It does to me! As with all Kindle Freebies, please check before you download to make sure it still is free. What is free today may not be tomorrow!

Happy Father’s Day!


I’m wishing all the Dads out there…be they sons, brothers, fathers, grandfathers, uncles, cousins, friends, and/or neighbors a wonderful day! Our lives wouldn’t be the same without you! You deserve a special day surrounded by loved ones and family…It’s YOUR day! Enjoy It!

I spoke to my dad quite a bit yesterday on my drive home from Orlando. We don’t get to see each other that often. He lives in Arizona, and I’m clear in the other Corner in North Carolina…but thanks to the wonders of the internet and cell phone..in some ways I feel that we communicate more often and better than we ever have.

Still…It didn’t hit me until THURSDAY that it was Father’s Day today --- and that meant running around Lakeland trying to find a place where I could buy a couple of Fathers Day cards, AND some stamps..AND…find a mail box or post office to get them out fast!

Let’s face it…cyber cards just don’t cut it for some holidays. It doesn’t work for Anniversaries, Valentines, Mothers Day or Fathers Day. I am a card giver. And I was off in search of the perfect card!

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Of course, my choosing of this plaza to purchase my cards WAS largely due to the fact that there was a Twistee Treat in the parking lot! :cD A girl has to have priorities you know! And, the sugar-free-fat-free coconut frozen yogurt was pretty dang good for it being 98 degrees out there! Cards purchased, stamps purchased, and I wrote the cards in the cool A/C of my car while enjoying my frozen treat. Mail box in the same plaza? BONUS! Father’s Day was officially covered!

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I think I’ve posted this pic before. This is my dad and me, circa 1963…I always thought I had the most handsome dad on the block! This is a Minneapolis Summer pic…which means it is at least June/July/August of 1963. I was born in January of 62, so this puts me about 18 months old. :c) And, it’s my favorite pic of us, so will likely be a re-blog for future father’s day and father’s birthday posts!

I stopped HERE on my way home from Florida yesterday!

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This was right off the highway I was on, and I had to go flip a U-turn to go back to it..it was too inviting to pass up! Would there be quilts in here? Only a wander through would tell…in fact..I only found ONE!

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Big Chunky Blocks…thick batting and wild fabrics from the 1940’s with some 30’s thrown in…I loved the fan quilting of course! The one main theme was to keep the blues in the 4 patches pointed toward the center of the block, and many of the block sashings seemed to be red, or had red in them…but that was about it! A true scrap-bag quilt with a wild variety of fun fabrics!

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aren’t these fun!? I love the polka dots, plaids and stripes! And do you see that block on the left? The upper left-most square is a smaller scale of polka dot than the rest, but it works okay. We MAKE IT DO!

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We’ve got extra large black dots…we’ve got white dots on a blue background, and red dots on a white background, and the red ones are even “frugal-pieced” to get a sashing that is big enough! Isn’t this great?! I love how fun the block on the left is…those stripes go every direction, and look at that plaid…and the dots make my eyes funny…WHEEEEE!

No, I didn’t buy it…again, over priced for how worn it was, it’s badly shredded and fabrics have really bled in places. It’s a Utility quilt they were trying to get museum quality prices for! But..a Picture is worth 1000 words….and great for the inspiration!

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I also had to browse the machines! This Wilcox & Gibbs is Very old, and completely frozen up. I wonder about the lady who sewed on this one…what was her life like? What did she sew? Did she quilt? We’ll never know!

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As a Minnesota Girl, I’d LOVE to have one of these…..this one had a really beautiful cabinet front, but parts were missing, and it didn’t move very readily either. Besides, I think Diane told me that these use a special needle, and I’m wanting things with easy-to-replace parts. Still….it’s a Minnesota! ((Can you hear the pull!??))

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This baby had beautiful decal work, but they want nearly as much for her as they would a Featherweight! I think the fame of the featherweight has put up all the prices on vintage machines as well, and it’s getting ridiculous. Still…isn’t she a beauty?! I have too many machines to really want to bring another one home, but I still have to pet them and love them, give their wheels a turn and hope they find their way to a good home somewhere with someone who will clean them, oil them, fix them and USE THEM!

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Behind the Antique Mall was a farmer’s market/flea market! You know you are in the south when Hot Boiled Peanuts are the in thing! I’ve never become very fond of the texture. It’s like biting into little mushy peanut butter balls, but some people love them! Just gotta get past the slimy! LOL! Me? I prefer my peanuts salted..in the shell!

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And you gotta know it is SUMMER when the melons are for sale everywhere. I passed lots of people just parked on the side of the road, selling melons out of the back of their trucks! At this point in the farmer’s market I was too far from my car to want to carry melons around. And being the bargain hunter I am, I would have had to go for the 3 for $5, you know? :cD

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I don’t know if you can tell up the road in front of me how SMOKY it is….this picture doesn’t do it justice at all. I started smelling the smoke and SEEING the smoke again just outside of Jacksonville. It goes up all the way past Brunswick, GA…and the smell is sickening. I put the A/C on recirculate so I wasn’t constantly having smoke sucked inside the car, but it was still really bad.

The fires in and near the Okefenokee Swamp have burned about a quarter of a million acres with no signs that the weather will provide much help with much needed rain. Read more at Jacksonville.com It’s just really sad. They need rain, and lots of it!

Well, today is the big day. It’s the day that I start looking for a minivan to replace my Saturn Vue. I just can’t haul enough in it! Cases of books and 50lb duffels of quilts…Not to mention my luggage, my sewing machine, project bins, etc. I need something with doors that slide open wide for easy access, and seats that tuck under to give me more room. It’s just time! Thinking about a Honda or a Toyota. And Yes. MINIVAN – I already have an SUV, so a Honda CRV is a step toward LESS space, rather than more. My Saturn already has more room than a CRV, so…here we go! Mama needs some NEW WHEELS!

I’ll keep ya posted!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Epcot Day!


When was the last time you did something that made you feel like a kid in an amusement park!? Seriously….WHEN did you last let your inner child out?

I met up with Lisa and her daughter Sabina at their hotel in Kissimmee yesterday morning and off we went for the wilds of Epcot!

It’s been about 20 years since I last did anything Disney….and Epcot was one place I’d never been before. I have to say I was amazed at what my ticket cost, but I just coughed it up and knew it was a day where the memories would be priceless in comparison….

Sunscreen? Check!

Water bottle? Check! (complete with a couple extra packets of crystal light singles to keep me DRINKING!))

Phone battery fully charged? Check! And off we go!

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The first ride we did was like a trip into the future and the monitor in front of us asked us to answer questions about ourselves and our health! And then it makes this cartoon of you….it was SO funny! So I started snapping pics at the screen. Many of them turned out really blurry, but I think you can guess what kind of fun we were having!

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Lisa and I eating our healthy salads and being served by a robot, Jetsons-style! :cD

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It was a very funny start to a very fun day!!

My favorite part was going down around the Lagoon and seeing all the different countries represented. The first place we hit of course, was MEXICO, and because we were so hungry, we stopped for food! ((Yeah, really spendy too of course, but the grilled chicken tacos were delish!))

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Hot Hot Hot! Oh yes….high 90s and the humidity was building as we made our way from one area to the next. We sought out shade and A/C at every opportunity!

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Our next stop? Norway! Yes, I have a thing for posing with statues…I don’t know why…but it’s fun! This guy was so high on the rock I had to go on tippy toes to even get to shoulder level! The Norway exhibit has a beautiful film with areas of the countryside…WOW. Put Norway on my list. I’d love to go there, it’s so beautiful!

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From Norway to China? Oh yes, we are crisscrossing the globe at lightning speeds by this time! What’s fun too, is the “cast members” at each country are young people FROM those countries here on Visa. So you have German kids in the Germany site, you have French kids in the France area, you have Chinese kids in the China area etc…Got to thinking what an interesting job that would be away from home! I guess they come and work for a year, and when their visa is up they go home.

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And it wouldn’t be Disney without running into at least ONE princess along the way! Here Snow White was entertaining the crowds, and posing for pictures with little princess wanna-be girls!

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The USA area is representative of Philadelphia during the revolutionary war. I was enamored by the fife and drum corps! They were very fun to watch, and I really admit to wondering how they were handling the heat with those red coats, wigs, and tricorn hats! Did I mention it was STINKING HOT?!

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SO Stinking hot that we escaped the heat by ducking into a 3D movie version of Michael Jackson in Captain EO circa 1986 or something. Yeah, blurry, and yeah, definitely sweaty, but don’t you like my funky glasses? :cD

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Our wish was about to be granted though! While we were enjoying the A/C and the exciting 3-D-ness of Captian EO…a huge thunderstorm had rolled through cooling off EVERYTHING! The rest of the evening was wonderful….We even got a by stander to snap this great picture of the three of us enjoying the cooler temps…

It was an AWESOME day! I took more pictures, but it would take too long to describe them all, so I’m posting them here for friends, family and YOU to view:

And with that….It’s time for me to bid Florida farewell! I’m driving the 9 hours home today…..It’s been a wonderful trip, and I know I’ll come back in the future!