Saturday, December 18, 2010

From 'up north"

Saturday's weather: Updated: Sat, Dec. 18, 2010, 20:00 EST - 22 °F/5 C, Light snow.... translated: I'm freezing my butt off in my studio!!

The other end of the stick, Marion...I would melt in your heat at the moment but it's sure cold here right now. It's picture postcard pretty, just like you always think winter to be...fluffy deep snow, deer tracks crisscrossing the back field, blue skies today and sunshine.

Enjoy your time with your family in Hong Kong and please give us a report when you return.


Friday, December 17, 2010

It's 33 degsC here, which is very, very hot...

Just thought you'd like to know (!)

I should be packing, cleaning or tidying, but it's far too hot for any of that, so I thought I'd sit awhile, and chat to my friends in cooler parts of the world ! I haven't been able to get onto the page for nearly a week, so I've enjoyed seeing the photos and reading the posts.

We leave on Monday (early) for Hong Kong. It's an eleven and a half hour flight from Auckland, which is itself, a one and a half hour flight from here. It will be a long day. Hopefully we will be upgraded to Business Class (we have friends in high places !) which does make it better but it's still a long time .. The grandchildren are either in HK or on their way, so we are looking forward to some happy times with them. It's been nearly three years since I last saw the eldest three (15,13 and 11) so I am prepared to see big changes..

Sorry to hear of the difficulties some of you are experiencing with the snow. It's every bit as bad in England and Scotland and they are always so unprepared for it ! Be very careful out there, walking and driving seem very hazardous.

To those who showed an interest in the sending of heart blocks to NZ.for quilts for the miners families, I can report that, as of today, over 5,000 blocks have been received, also ,over forty completed quilts and around 25 completed tops. What a response ! Shirley Goodwin (the co-ordinater)has a blog page. She updates regularly and has posted lots of photos of the quilts. It's worth a look.(

O.K.,it's just too hot to sit here any longer. Think I'll go and stand under the garden hose for awhile.!

Here's wishing you all a happy Christmas and chins up, as we face the challenges of another year together !


Thursday, December 16, 2010

am over cold weather

We replaced the furnace a few years ago with one of the high-efficiency ones. These things somehow also collect moisture out of the air, that drains down into the condensation pump that the A/C also utilizes in summer, which has to be pumped up and out from under the house (where the furnace is) via a little hose/tube thing that goes out the side of the foundation. Guess what . . . the stupid little hose/tube thing froze up just outside our foundation, and we had a minor flood on the basement floor. Argh. HVAC guy said I was his second call that day for the same problem. (he said it was 4° at his house that a.m.) We are learning that the little drain hoses all freeze up when it is 10° or lower outside, so the pump was running and the bit of ice on the outside end had it blocked, so it ran all over the basement floor, soaked an oriental rug we had rolled up down there (that was cleaned 2 years ago,,, guess what,,,) I am SO OVER the cold weather.

I dread the day I have to buy a new washing machine. The new current generation of HVAC units are bad enough these days - they don't last - .... washers are worse. Ack.

JANE IN NC - Good to see you post! Looks like you are healing at a good rate and recovering nicely. I don't envy you living in the mountains, on the slopes, with the driveway and all, when it is this time of year. I am sure summers are gorgeous and make it all worth it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

cold here too/

Heat! In Dec. in Florida. Who'd have thunk it?
Mon. was wild wind day, Tues. calmer but still cold. Today started out about 25, got up to 50 by mid-day. Burrr. I covered the Angel's Trumpet, but the winds blew the covers off. The Bleeding Heart got hit also. So far the Phils. have done OK.

My party went well Monday night. Suprised that anyone came out in the cold and wind. Lots of Russian tea, (can I have the Russian tea cookie receipe?) my version of cheeze straws, which are discs, fruit patter, petti fours, and scones. The fruit patter and petti fours came from the Publix (grocery store) which is close by. I was still exausted, and it was today before I recovered. My friends and neighbors were generous, and we had lots of diapers and a nice crib to donate.
I thought I was doing the right thing in sending the grandkids squall jackets from Land's End.
They have arrived in N.D. and DD says they are not really for "winter" there, but more for late winter and spring. The rating was for 20degrees to -10 F. Evidently that is just a guestimate. I called the Land's End customer service, and actually got a live person with "service".
She was in Wisconsin and suggested that DD return them and get the down jackets, which are the same price. She had bought the down ones for her grandsons.
Due to the cold snap DH is working late hours again. I'm trying to remember that this pays the bills, and gives me time to write out cards, etc. His birthday is Sat. so we are hoping to go to St. Augustine for dinner, then walk around and see the sights. Rain is forcasted, but hopefully it will be after 10PM or so.
Time to get the laundry into the drawers, not just sitting around.
That WAS a lot of cookies!
Sara in Fla.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winter storms

Seems many of us in the northern hemisphere are digging ourselves out from the winter storms and we will have a "white Christmas". We've had a lot of snow since it began Sunday morning and it's continued until this afternoon (Tuesday). Himself has blown out the laneway a number of times and because of the blowing snow, there will be more to do tomorrow morning before the quilters arrive. It's nice not to have to travel far in these conditions and today, I stayed off the roads on the advice of a friend who dropped in on her way home and reported slippery conditions. So, I got my snow shoes out and got my exercise that way.

Jane, I'm glad to hear that you're doing so well after your operation. Hard to believe that your brother lives so far away and you, there. Could you ever get him to move up with you to the mountains?

My problem of the day: I bought Emily BTs the mannequin in the summertime. She's very glamorous but the problem is she's about a size nothing compared to the size I sew for...size 12/14 Canadian...might be a little smaller in US sizes. I put my latest outfit on her tonight and it's swimming on her. All I can do is laugh. All that work and how can I display it on something that looks like she has stepped out of an anorexic catalogue. I'm an elephant compared to Emily. The skirt is hanging down around her hips like some kid with his pants riding low and the jacket by the time I get the sleeves in it will look ridiculous. I'm considering going back to hangers.



Woke up today to 5* F/-11*C. Brrrr. Ignoring my advice DB drove down the very steep driveway yesterday afternoon to retrieve the mail. The mail, as I predicted, hadn’t been delivered and then he was unable to drive back up. He had to abandon his car and walk more than half way up. The only footwear he brought from NM consists of one pair of leather oxfords and one pair running shoes. We may well be stranded for several more days. It’s supposed to rise up above freezing tomorrow but probably not far enough to melt out the shaded portion of the driveway. This is all because of less than 2” accumulation of snow.

The pins were removed from the toes last Wednesday and I’m walking around in shoes without aid quite a bit and have been cleared to start driving. After a fairly short time of that the toes hurt so I take a break and sometimes a pill. Unfortunately, with the weather the way it is, driving won’t happen for a while. DB could leave any day now were it not for the weather. He has about 1500 miles to go home. This is truly freaky weather for so early in the season.

Still now sewing here but DB has a tear in his jeans so I’ll patch that with some fusible and a piece from one of the old jeans I’ve been keeping to make a long awaited jacket.

That’s about it from Southern Appalachia.


Monday, December 13, 2010

snow and question about damaged quilt

There is a reason I live in Alabama rather than places further north. That reason has everything to do with cold weather... Of which we have had far too much in the last two winters! We had some lovely snow flurries last night, and woke this morning to a dusting, but incredibly cold weather for this part of the world. No roads were closed in the Huntsville area, as far as I know. However, the school system in TN where I teach is closed. I don't know if it was the incredible wind chill, additional snow farther north, or if someone pointed out to our superintendent how much it would cost to warm up the diesel busses to a liveable temperature, but we got the call last night.
The news that we would be closed was a gift from God, as I needed to be at church to sing with the choir in the program last night, and I had *not* finished grading the tests I gave Friday. At 5:00 when I needed to change clothes and get ready to go, the phone rang with the automated announcement. I went to church, enjoyed the program, stayed for the reception afterward, came home, went to bed, and finished the papers and inputting grades about an hour ago. I also finished writing my exams.
I normally wouldn't be so far behind, but my computer crashed on Thursday, and I have had to load all my programs onto the new computer. I still don't know if we will be able to rescue all my data, which I had not backed up since early summer...
Fortunately, the link to this page is saved on my homepage earthlink's "my start page" feature.
I am still pondering what to do about the slightly damaged hole(s) where inexperienced quilters pulled the knots through the top on my friend's quilt. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. I'm hoping to get the binding on it if I can ever get done with everything else that "has" to be done right now.

Since YOU asked, Joleen, we got the 17" of snow. Spent 2 hours yesterday shoveling. Weston blew out the drive twice and Ken did it again for a couple hours while I was at the shovel. I might post a couple of pics later. Upside is that I dropped a pound.

At church, we had a sign up sheet for shoveling the ares the plow/blower can't get to. Guess whose on this week? Yup, Weston and I. And it's 4 below. Another positive note; those minor hot flashes I've been having come in handy right now. Being in the cold like that also really burns the calories. Years ago I worked in a warehouse that was quite cold and I could eat and eat. Your body burns calories keeping you warm.

OK, speaking of burning calories and hot flashes. do hot flashes burn calories? Calories are a heat measure and it would lead to a small, yet hopeful, conclusion, teehee

We aren't decorating much this year, just our little tree (we have 2) that we do in a cowboy theme. It's very cute with chili pepper light and I use bandannas for the tree skirt. Next year with an 11 month old baby we'll do more. My dd is too excited about her baby girl coming in Feb. to care much about Christmas this year.
See ya later!

Brrrrrr . . . !

The TV says we got 4 inches of snow yesterday, but the winds have been blowing so hard, it is difficult to really know. It is 9 a.m. and 13° F (which is -11°C) and the wind chill effect is -2°F (-19°C). All schools are closed and people are urged to stay home.

JANE in NC, LAURA IN AL - did you get any of this?

So,,, today is a snow day for me, too. Lots of computer time on the internet. Here are some cute videos and such to share: This is a cute video,,, such a good kitty!

and another fun video :

And finally .... if this picture posts ..... why our Shih Tzu, Alex, hated the snow with his short legs. LOL

My Feet Are Freezing

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturday was a snowy day in Minnesota...

We were fortunate in our part of the state - only about 10 inches. The twin cities and on east into Wisconsin received 17 - 20+ inches in the blast that swept thru here Friday and Saturday. Sandi - how bad was Inner Grove Heights? We had a great day watching the snow fall, listening to the wind howl and smelling the cookies as they came out of the oven. DD was home and we got all of the Christmas cookies baked. "How many cookies?" "What kind?" Well, since you asked, I'll tell you. We made close to 800 cookies. Before you decide we are completely insane I should tell what we made: Raspberry Thumbprints, Russian Tea Cakes, Peanut Butter Choc. Chip (new recipe that DD thought looked good), PIA's and Pfeffernusse. Of course the pfeffernusse are only about the size of a quarter and there were 566 of those (we kept track!). So it really isn't that many (but sounds impressive.....). The PIA's are actually called Candy Bar Cookies and the recipe came from my BIL - one of his families favorites. I have made them for years. They are called PIA's because they are a pain in the.... to make. It is a light shortbread type wafer, then caramel & pecans, then a choc. topping - can you say "BUTTER"...... Today we will finish (actually start) decorating. The snow plow hasn't been down our lane yet - for those of you who have been here, you know why we aren't going too far until that happens. Stay warm - or cool - depending on where you live! Joleen in MN

southern hemisphere speak

Bee, I don't know how you're sweltering and we're getting 18 deg C days and rain!! This is December, for heaven's sake. We've had no Spring to speak of either, and only one day in the high 30s so far. I need heat!!

I have been retired for 2 1/2 days. Hasn't sunk in yet, even though I'm wearing the silver bracelet which was part of my farewell gift vbg I have about 10 quilts planned so I won't have time to think about being 'school-sick' when they go back in February. I hope.......

Keep safe in all that snow, all you 'up there'!

I am back again

on a new computer which now lets me use broadband.I threw a real wobbly and told Vodafone that i wasn't paying for something i couldn't use and voila I am now back here. I have been busy as i am now a kitten carer and have 4 of the little dears? One is supposed to go tomorrow but I will have another one to take his place. Both Gus and I are having so much fun , he is wonderful with them . Ellie took one look and we now only see her for meals. Little Cara fell over and at this moment wants her two front teeth for Christmas, she pushed them into her gums and hopefully they will come down again. One day she will learn to walk somewhere not run. SO hot here I just wilt until about 8 pm then do housework. I will send this and see if it goes through. I am unable to access my mail addys, so anyone who would like anoye please tell me your addy. HUGS TO ALL AND KEEP WARM the news has been showing a lot of snow up there. Bee in NZ