In My Mail….

Last week was a flood of packages in my mailbox.  It was so fun.  It was the perfect pick me up for a bad week.

This package came from Mary Ann.  She has sent things before.  I so appreciate her thinking of me.

She had cross stitch goodies.  Kayla has been busy trying her had at Hardanger.  This is Hardanger fabric so I think this will be passed on to her.

The thread is going on to Kelli.  She was excited to get it!!

MaryAnn said she has a group of quilter friends and none of them scrap quilt except her.  So she gets all the she’s sharing with me!

I love it and LOOK!!  There are a couple Kaffe looking scraps in the bunch!!

Thanks so much Mary Ann.

Karen G in IN sent me the next box.

Cross stitch on the top…but what’s underneath??

Goodies for the kiddos..  They are going to be thrilled!!  
These I confiscated for me….  Who doesn’t love a graph paper composition notebook??

…and then these was fabric….

Oh my.  I love this gray and there’s enough for a backing.  I’ve eyed Bonnie Hunter’s quilt in her latest book…the one with gray and red.  That would be perfect for my living room.  Hmmmm.

…and word fabric??  Yes please.  Is there a chance the gray fabric could pull me out of my sewing slump.  It just might happen!!

Best news of all…Karen is getting an APQS longarm…AND, she offered to do a few charity quilts.  That is the best gift of all!!

Lynn in NJ sent the next box.  This one really had the childcare kids happy….there were all sorts of goodies for them.

Some of this looks like it came from the Target $1 bin…oh they have good stuff at the time school starts.  More blank notebooks..YAHOO.  I’d been planning to go get a few more.  TAPE..oh my.  We go through so much much.  The Altoid containers, I don’t know what to do with yet but they are in my bin of “think something up”.  I need to Google and get some good ideas.  I’m excited to have SIX…enough for the kids!!

There were wonderful puzzles in the box…some glow in the dark.

…and for me…Fabric and notecards…so sweet.  What a thoughtful box of goodies!!

Lynn shared a note with me about her plight as a young widow.  I continue to appreciate stories like hers.  It gives me hope that things will okay.  I know sharing is hard so I especially appreciate it.

I am overwhelmed with the kindness that was sent my way in the boxes.  I love odd bits of the this and that we can use for crafting.  The kiddos and parents love what we come up with.

Thanks so much for filling my day with boxes of goodies and notes and letters.  It’s nice to be the recipient of such kindnesses.  Thanks to all who sent things.

From Birthdays to QUEEN

I had a busy weekend.  It was Carver’s birthday.  Kalissa’s family had a wedding on Saturday so I was on helper duty.  I offered to make some egg bakes and pick up groceries for the party for Kalissa.  I took care of that on Saturday…and on Sunday, we celebrated his birthday.

He is all of three.  Here he is excited as everyone sang Happy Birthday.  Notice the candle in his cinnamon roll.

Kalissa has perfected the perfect easy birthday…serve brunch!  She makes a couple egg bakes the day before…has fruit and then has me make cinnamon rolls and muffins.

It was very nice…simple but nice.

I got a picture later in the day.  Here he is writing his thank you notes!!

We are super practical.  I got him a mason jar with slit lid to use as a piggy bank.  I wrote him a note that he could use the jar to save money to get a swing set in the spring.  They wanted to start teaching him more about money.  The provided him a place to save and a goal to save for…and it made things easy for me for upcoming events.  I can simply give money towards the swing set.

I also made him a pillowcase (it was the wrapping paper), a sweatshirt and a jar of honey.  He LOVES honey bread.  It’s his absolute favorite.

In the evening Karl and I had a special event.  I can’t begin to tell you how fun it was….well let me start at the beginning….
On Sunday morning I got a phone call from Doreen.  You might remember Doreen.  She’s a blog reader from Fredericksburg, Iowa.  Her and her husband Jim have been amazingly sweet to our family.  They were the ones who emptied their change jar and gave us the money to help cover expenses when Kramer was sick.

When Kramer died, they were again generous with food and beverages.  Now, they are at it again.  They gave Karl and I much needed break from our everyday lives.

They had tickets to the Gallagher Bluedorn to see the play We Will Rock You.  The play is based on songs from the musical rock group Queen.

Here is the synopsis:
WE WILL ROCK YOU follows two revolutionaries, Galileo and Scaramouche, on a quest to save rock n’ roll in a post-apocalyptic world where there are no musical instruments and rock n’ roll has died.

Galileo and Scaramouche will join a small group of societal outcasts, the Bohemians, as they fight to take back the iPlanet from the all-powerful Globalsoft, led by the Killer Queen. They will fight for freedom, individuality and the rebirth of rock n roll.

WE WILL ROCK YOU reflects the scale and spectacle that marked Queen’s live performances and earned the band its pinnacle position in rock history. With Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor as music supervisors and “a band without parallel in the theatre” behind the cast, the audience can expect WE WILL ROCK YOU to rock as fiercely as the best of Queen’s concerts.

I thought I had commitments that I couldn’t get out of with Kelli and Buck and the birthday but Kelli said “Go Mom”….and I did!!

Not only did they give us tickets but these were AMAZING tickets….four rows from the stage in the CENTER.  I’ve never had seats like that for anything.  It was amazing.

We had met Doreen and Jim there.  I scooted over to Doreen asked Karl to take a picture.  Doreen said…”no, I really don’t do pictures.  Just take one of your mom.”  So that’s what Karl did.  I went to my camera to write this post and this is the picture he took!!!  Ahh…Suffice it to say, Doreen was wearing a lovely floral top.

That was not the only laugh of the night.  The play was good and charged with energy.  CHARGED.

By the end of the play everyone was stomping and clapping as the performers played the song “We Will Rock You”.  When they got to Bohemian Rhapsody, everyone was singing.  Including Karl and I! It was so fun.  It was a high energy show and we both loved it.

As the show came to an end, we got up and headed out to see Doreen and Jim.  I couldn’t help but think, “Man, this is exactly what I needed…a something to take my mink off of the everything.”  When we saw Doreen we commented about how much we loved the show.  Doreen whispered to me, “I thought you needed something to get your mind off everything.” Oh Doreen, you were so right.

Karl and I are so thankful for the little get away you provided us.  It really was the perfect little something!!  Thank you, thank you!!

So…even though life has been a lot lately, we were still able to step away for a few moments this weekend.  We were reminded that there is definitely more to life than cancer.

..on a side note, Kramer’s sister just had surgery to remove some cancer.  Seriously, when will it stop.

Thanks so much Jim and Doreen…

Improving My Eyesight

Cross stitchers everywhere who are hitting age 50 or so are saying what I said?  How can you see those little holes??

I was a cross stitcher when our oldest three were little.  Then I moved to sewing..then to quilting and not I’m cross stitching again.

In the “old days” I stitched on aida cloth.  For those of you new to cross stitch, aida looks like this.  For aida, you make an “X” with thread from hole to hole.

Image result for aida cross stitch fabric I had young eyes and have absolutely no problems at all.  Nowadays….I prefer the look of linen and I have old eyes.  Linen looks more like this…

Image result for linen cross stitch fabric

Linen is harder.  To make the “x” you need to cross over two threads.  I wear progressive lens in my glasses and even with them, I feel it isn’t easy to see the right hole but I like linen enough more that I work to see those holes.

Then I bought this….Ott Floor Lamp with Magnifier and Clip.

I like it a lot and it has been great.  I do recommend the lamp.  The light is good and the magnifier works well too.

I’ve tried other lights, and for at home, this is my favorite.  I don’t always use the magnifier.  I can’t watch television as well if I use the magnifier.  So I’ve continued to look for something else and this is what I came up with…

I am wearing reader over my normal glasses and it’s the best thing I have done to date.  I wear +2.0 reading glasses over my regular glasses.    It’s perfect for me and I think I’ve finally found the perfect solution to fit my needs.

I stumbled upon it quite accidentally.  I was cleaning out Kramer’s night stand and I saw a pair of readers in the drawer.  I took them and put them in the thrift store donation box.  Then an hour or so later, I went back out and got them.

I had started second guessing donating them as I vaguely remembered going to a cross stitch shop years ago and seeing a shop owner wearing two pairs of glasses like this.  I pop the glasses on and gave them a try.  I’ve been using them ever since.

It’s awesome.  I can perfectly see television and perfectly see to stitch.  I’m in love.  I’m warning you that you might have to try a few pairs to get the right strength.  For me, it was the 2.0+ strength.

I still want my lamp…mostly for light but if I ever try stitching in miniature, one thread over one thread or if I stitch on a smaller count of fabric, I might need the mighty magnifier on the the lamp.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Hanging with Karl

You might remember that Karl and I were making a bit of a bucket list for the summer.  Good news, we did one more thing on the list.  Bad news…summer is slipping away and many things are going to be left undone.  I think originally Karl hoped to do one or two things a week.  That didn’t happen as reality and the work of keeping a home up slipped into place.

We took a break from it all one night after work and headed to Decorah Iowa.  It’s about a half hour from our house and is where we do much of our shopping.

Karl hadn’t heard that there was a food truck in town so was excited when I told him that I was picking the place for supper.  Julie from Patchabilities, who lives in the neighboring town, had it on her Facebook page so I wanted to try it out too.

I heard the food was suppose to be pretty authentic Mexican.  That sounded good to me.

Karl and I found a picnic area to eat and gave the food a try.  We’d definitely go again but there’s one problem.  They’ve cut their hours now to fall hours and that means only over the noon hour.  Bummer.

From there it was Karl’s turn to pick the fun.  He picked hiking.  Oh my.  This momma isn’t used to hiking but I did okay considering…

Here’s where we went.  It’s called Will Baker Park.  Now this didn’t look bad.

It got steeper.

…and still steeper.  I’ll admit, I was a little winded by the time I got to the top of this set of steps.

But at the top was a treat…check this out….

When you look at this picture a person doesn’t realize that we are actually pretty high up.

Whoever built this did an amazing job!!
There were cliffs like this which meant they were there to climb and also to fall from.  It was safe..but remember I’m not a gal that loves heights.

If you’re a Decorah area person you often hear of Pulpit Rock….this is it.  There are streets and a brewery named after the rock.

The rocks gave way to trees…and then to prairie.  It was a lovely walk.

I was sure that these old bones would be pretty sore the next day or that my legs would be hurting but they weren’t.  I think all the walking I’ve been doing all summer has been really helpful.

It was a great evening with Karl.  It was only about a two hour time away but that was enough to feed the soul.

I’m hoping to hit another pathway before the colder weather sets in…Karl and I are not setting the world on fire with our bucket list, but we’re having some fun in the meantime.