My Favorite Books

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Another Zoom Christmas!


Yes, the old Covid impacts our family again...sorta!
In my last post, I talked about my son-in-law testing positive for Covid (asymptomatic - as was my daughter, who tested negative) and they were quarantined for 10 days.  So our plans changed to celebrate  our Christmas Eve on 12/29 (Jeff was let out of 'jail' on the 28th to return to work and friends!  HA).  Yesterday, December 29th, my daughter called stating she had a runny nose and was concerned!  She tried to find a Covid test and couldn't get a PCR test until this coming Saturday.  Other problem, she was with her niece, Amber, the day before.  Poor Dawn was so upset...first, feeling the need to cancel Christmas again, possibly infecting Amber and just not being able to celebrate Christmas!  I felt more sorry for Dawn than for myself!  We did find a test, thanks to my neighbor, Lori, who was going to Kroger and purchased one for us.  Dawn, once again tested negative with symptoms, will retest in 2 days and gets a PCR test on Saturday.  To err on the side of caution, we decided to forgo a family Christmas in person (again).

So, we decided we'd take some of our appetizers (that's what we eat on our Christmas Eve!  Tons of them!!!) down to the kids along with their presents and do a 'meals on wheels' delivery in their driveways!  And my daughter and Kris/Darrin also had food for us to take home!  I should have taken pictures...this was reminiscent of past Covid deliveries by the kids to our house or us driving to their house to pick up BBQ this past year!  Masks on and virtual hugs!! 

Amber set up a Zoom call @ 5 p.m. for us to eat our treats/drinks and open presents!  Bob and I were too hungry to wait until 5 so we ate prior to the Zoom call!  My son made the best Queso dip and wings (for Bob not me! But I sure ate tons of the Queso).  I made PF Chang's lettuce wraps with ground turkey, my daughter had olive wrapped chestnuts and I made a few slices of bruschetta.   I have to say we still had laughs, tears and more virtual hugs on the Zoom call!

I forgot to mention that my son and grand daughter made a visit to our house on Christmas Eve morning!  Darrin said "it's tradition to be with my mum on Christmas Eve".  He brought me flowers which are still in bloom and just beautiful!  Nice we had a chat with Amber and Darrin.  Kris and Nick went to see her dad who is in rehab and to visit with her mom.  So they did split duty!  HA

And my sweet grand daughter brought Bob some vodka and Moscow Mule mixes!  Yep, he tried it that night!  Amber and grandpa go back and forth on different drinks!  The two of them are so funny!    That young lady is so thoughtful!  

When our meals on wheels were delivered our grand daughter gave me some sweets as well as my daughter.  They both know I love, love Sanders salted carmel's!!!  OK, the red wine isn't so bad either!!!  Just such a nice gesture!

I had this folded book made from my library volunteer buddy, Holly Sifferman.  Holly made the folded book for my daughter's business, which you can see here.  Bob LOVED this book!!!  It is so cool!!!  And Bob being such a U of M fan he just thought it was so cool, which it is!  You can see more of Holly's work on her FaceBook page here.  

And look from all the kids bought me for my pre birthday/Christmas gift!!!   It was delivered in the morning!   A few years ago the 'girls' (let's face it - they are the ones who do all the shopping and buying!  HA) bought me an instant pot for Christmas, which I love and use weekly!  

Two or three years ago they bought me an air fryer that fits on top of my instant pot.  It's quite heavy so Dawn said this is so much better to use and it holds lots of food to air fry!  Each of the girls have one and they were going to bring theirs for us to cook our appetizers on Christmas Eve...they figured they could show me how to use it!   It is quite easy to use, which I did!

 I  air fried/cooked some of our appetizers before we did the zoom call.  It's fantastic!!!!  I loved using the other air fryer but this holds so much and I don't have to lift it.  I'm not big on items sitting on the counter but so far it seems to fit on the smaller counter (along with my mixer) next to the fridge.  Bob is on a mission to find a sideboard/hutch for the dining room to keep these items in, replacing the small cabinet we have now!  HA  Gives him something to research and keep him busy!  I think I'm fine with where it sits but I'll know better when I start to use it. 

And so I am very............................

for the family we have....

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

We 'sorta' snuck by Covid!

 Turns out my daughter called me Sunday to say Jeff (her hubby) tested positive for Covid.  She tested negative but they are both quarantined!  Turns out they only got tested because Dawn was with a friend who called her and said she just tested positive.  Both Dawn and Jeff are asymptomatic, thank goodness!  So we are on a waiting game for Dawn to get her 2nd PCR test on Wednesday @ 8 a.m.  She should have results back by Thursday afternoon/evening.  If she tests negative and Jeff remains asymptomatic, the doctor said he can return to work and activities on December 28.  If Dawn tests positive, then her 10 days will be January 1st!  We are fortunate my entire family/kids are all vaccinated and everyone has had their boosters.  Let's hope that's why kids are doing ok so far.   Honestly, the 25th is just a date on the's more important my kids are safe and healthy and we can celebrate Christmas any day we want!  

And on another Covid note...our Grand daughter, Kayla and our great grand, Rilynn, both tested positive for Covid a week ago!  They live in Ohio and just moved into their new built home, which is a good thing as they were in an apartment waiting for their home to be finished!

 They sent Rilynn home from daycare on a Friday because one of the teachers at the pre school (Ri is only 2 1/2) tested positive.  Well, sadly, it didn't escape either of them...and they were both really, really sick...bad cough, severe headache and of course the resulting fever.  They are both doing better and on the mend although, Kayla said getting your breath back isn't easy.  Kayla is a Beach Body counselor and exercises EVERY day!  But not with Covid!  Kayla had been scheduled to get her Booster vaccine this past weekend...go figure!  These two beauties are out of quarantine on December 25th!  How lucky are they!

But we do have another celebration of sorts!  Amber passed one of her Special Ed certification tests this past Monday!!!  When she and I did video call last Friday, she told me she was studying hard for this exam and was hoping she would pass.  She said you could take it again but she really wanted to pass on the first try!  Amber has such good study habits and she was showing me a trial test she was taking and a book she purchased on her own to help her study.  To be honest the book was 9"x12" and almost 3 inches thick!  I don't think I would have bought it let alone study from it!  But that's our sweet grand daughter.
My DIL, Kris, took this picture Monday night!  They took Amber out to celebrate!  Amber was so sweet...she did a video call to grandpa and I to tell us and show her certificate!!!  We are so proud of her.  She graduates May 2022 from Sienna Heights University.  And I still remember the night she was born and I held her in my arms!!!  
So hope my readers remain safe and wear your mask and get you vaccine and booster shots!  Sorry, but I don't understand those who refrain from doing this.  If nothing else, you need to do it to protect your family, friends and strangers!  Let alone protect yourself!  But I'm not going to lecture anyone...yes, there can be break through cases but at least I feel we'll be better off with the vaccine vs not having the vaccine at all!   Have a Merry Christmas one and all!!!!  

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

10 days to Christmas? WHAT??

I showed my Christmas decorations in my last post and I had some inquires on the quilt I had on our front door.  I did post on FB  some pics of my cardinal but here is a recap of the entire process.    

I traced the cardinal on some background fabric and then I proceeded to free motion quilt around the bird. 

I started this bird in 2011!  This was the beading to outline the cardinal with #15 delica beads.  Yes, they are small but work so well for bead embroidery.

Making progress...this isn't a fast project but I do love seeing the bird come together.

He has a little attitude doesn't he!

This is a closeup of the branch and his little feet!  I don't remember the stitch name for beading the branch but basically you lay a line of beads down for your branch then you wrap about 5 or 6 beads over that line of beads.  Pretty easy and the effect is quite nice.

He looks a little mean doesn't he!  I finished him in June of 2011...think I started in April??

The original cardinal on the quilted backing was 9" x 11".  This is where I started to add fabrics to surround him as the focal point. 
And yes, I just used some watercolor paint to color the leaves and berries that I free motion quilted.

All done...Yep, I had to do more hand embroidery to jazz him up. OK, I get carried away.  What can I tell you!  

Honest, my window on the door isn't dirty!  Must be the light or shadows??  Not sure but I did go and look and it's clean!  HA

So now the cardinal has a home for a month or so.  Then he goes back in the drawer.

Just an animation from start to finish, sorta...I do love beading, love knitting, love dyeing and painting my fabrics and all types of textile work BUT why don't I have the time to 'play' with it all! 

Now Christmas in 10 days!!!  Holy Smoke!  Where do the days go!!!  I left the house today around 9:45,  arrived home at 12:45 proceeded to prep food to make a turkey pot pie, which turned out great!!!  Knitted two rows on my lace top, had dinner, finished dishes and here I sit at 6:30 p.m.  I was a supervisor, project manager, etc. when I worked so I guess I need to get back to managing my time better!!!  Look out world....Robbie might be back!

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Decorations for 2021 all finished!

 Whew!  Must be getting older makes us slower!?!  Or we just decided we don't need to rush and get Christmas decorations done in one day as we have in years past!  At least that's what I feel now - I can take my time - and now that we don't head to Florida on December 27th each year, I can leave the decorations up until I feel like taking them done!  Woohoo!  Now I have the weekend to knit & cook.  I'm making Instant Pot Chicken Royale recipe today - thanks to my Florida buds Marcia and Bill's recommendation - and Sunday I'm baking a turkey breast!  Mainly I have a craving for turkey pot pie!  Good excuse!   Actually our tree is downstairs in the family room.

I like to document my decorations on my blog because I forget what I do from year to year!  This way I can peek at my blog from previous year(s) and decide if I want to do something different!  

Not a lot of decorations upstairs but enough to know it's Christmas!  Yes, this is an applique Christmas table runner I made many, many years ago.

The little tree on the left lights up!

And my beaded cardinal is on a quilt I made last year.  This is the front door and you can see him from the street.  Adds a little Christmas to the outside of our house!

This is a table runner my daughter gave me several years ago.  

This is suppose to be a tree skirt!  One of the quilt guilds I belonged to years ago had a round robin tree skirt challenge.  My part was the bird house and I cut out birds from some Christmas fabric I had.  

Each person took your fabric you passed and created their part to add to the skirt.  I hated to slice up the back to make a tree skirt so I just hang on the back of our couch!  That's the pic above on the back of the couch.

Tree looks crooked!  Or it's the photographer, which is more likely!  HA

Fireplace downstairs has a few decorations.

This is a coffee table my son built when he was a senior in high school!  I remember he won some woodworking award back then....he's 53 now! so you know how long ago he built it!!  Bob and I love this table and won't part with it.  Darrin actually gave to Bob's son and wife when he and Kris redecorated, then it went to their daughter/our grand daughter, Kayla and her husband, then we picked it up when Kayla got married and they bought new furniture!  I'm so glad each of the kids changed their taste in purchasing new furniture.  It looks wonderful in our family room!!!!

So now I can sit and knit this weekend!  Well, after my normal daily chores and cooking!!!  

Thursday, December 9, 2021



And the lace knitting saga continues!  Never thought I would have a love/hate relationship with knitting but I may have!  Actually, this lace top is one of the most challenging knitting projects I've taken on.  BUT one of the good things is my sister is also knitting this same top!  Of course, we can express our frustration and issues with each other, which is SO nice!   It's no fun swearing to yourself when you make a mistake or can't find the mistake!  

You can see the pattern on Ravelry here.

I also decided rather than knitting the top based on written instructions I would go back to reading the chart(s)!  The last time I read a chart to knit from was my lace shawl (here).  The problem I (along with my sister) have is looking at your knitting then looking back up to the pattern and losing your place!  Knitters will understand this...especially if your have several stitches repeated in each repeat section.  Again, something a knitter will understand.  Our repeats are 36 stitches per repeat (total of 288 stitches) and 8 repeat segments (=288 - see at least I know my math!).

These are the knitting instructions for one of the charts we need to follow (there are 3 different charts).  The stitches aren't difficult and the pattern is very well written!  It's just so easy when your hubby sneaks up behind you and says "hey!" and you drop your knitting and lose stitches or the dogs start barking, which also startles you or you have to lift dogs off the sewing table (I try to knit in my sewing room where it's quiet but dogs like to lay up on the table in front of me).  I've had to rip out more stitches than I can count!  HA

You can see some of the pattern here...

And I only have 45 rows complete so far!  Again for knitters, this is knitted in the round so no side seams.  For non-knitters, it means this top is being knitted from the collar can see my scalloped edge at the top (see pattern pic in the first pic of this post).  Once I get past the chest area, it's all straight knitting, which should go faster!  

Until then, I don't drink my wine until I'm finished knitting for the day!!  Now you can see why!  HA

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

A terrible day


Yesterday a terrible crime was committed at my grand children's former high school!  We are all in shock and just heartbroken.  A 15 year old came out of the high school bathroom and started to shoot his classmates....moving his way down the halls until the police met him in another hallway and he gave up without a fight.

This is one of the young persons who was killed.  My son's family knew Tate's family very well as his father coached Nick while he was in football at OHS.  Darrin and Kris have continued to go to the football games  after both kids graduation to see both Tate and his brother Ty play football and they are friends with Buck and his wife (Tate's parents).  Just heartbreaking....

There was a vigil at the church on Tuesday night and another one will be held downtown Oxford on Friday night.  As my daughter said, "Oxford is a Hallmark town.  How could this happen here?"  Dawn also knows the Myre family so it hurts a little more having that connection.

How could this have happened to these young folks...their parents woke up this morning to an empty teens room...there are seven students shot and some remain in local still in critical condition.  Justin (top right) passed away today.....the other three died yesterday.  Actually a police officer put Tate in his squad car and raced to the hospital.  He felt his injuries were so severe he didn't have time to wait for the ambulance.  At least Tate was with someone when he passed.  

You can't help but shed tears for this terrible event.  They are charging the young 15 yr old as an adult.  His father bought the gun he used on Black Friday.  And Ethan Crumbley was called into the HS office on Monday to talk about his 'behavior'.  On Tuesday a.m., around 10, Ethan and his parents were called into another meeting to discuss his 'behavior'.  At 12:45, Ethan walked out of the bathroom and started his killing.

If you are so inclined, please say a prayer for the families of those killed and injured as well as for the town of Oxford.  The town is like a family and will make it but hopefully prayers will ease some of the burden for us all.

Monday, November 29, 2021

thanksgiving 2021

 Hard to believe another year has passed!  Seems like it was just the start of summer and now we're planning for Christmas!!  Time is going by so fast!  Bob turns 82 in December and I turn 75 in January!  Now I know why Bob is always saying "enjoy today because you don't know when your time is coming".  

So, I did enjoy our Thanksgiving dinner with Darrin, Kris, Kris' mom and Amber.  Nick and Braylon did stop by but they were having dinner with her family.  Dawn and Jeff always go to Jeff's sisters house for Thanksgiving, which is nice.  Dawn makes the turkey and other fixings to take over. 

I decided Amber gets her photogenic abilities from her Grandma Nancy!  I dislike getting my picture taken and never do take a good one.  But I just want some memories and the past few years I keep forgetting to take pics of the family!    So this post is more for me than for my readers!  HA  Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving too! 

My lemon and pumpkin pies...only problem, duh, I tried a new pie crust recipe that was suppose to help keep it from being soggy...well, the darn crust was so hard you could barely cut it with a knife!  Oh well, my lemon filling still tasted great!

The kids always purchase their fresh turkey from a farm in their town.  I have to say it was delicious!!!!

This is the smallest table Kris has every set for Thanksgiving!!!   Kris is so good at entertaining and cooking!!!  Food was delicious, as usual.  So much work for her!!  Thank you, Kris!!!!

A.J. always sits up on Bob's shoulder.  He was pawing at Bob's leg and crying for Bob to pick him up!

Amber is a sweetheart!  Hard to believe she is a senior at Siena Heights this year!!!!So beautiful.

She is so photogenic!!!  I don't think I've ever seen a bad picture of her!

Nancy is the same way.  She is Kris' mom, and always photographs so well!  Kris' dad is in a rehab center right we did miss him this year...but he also got a care package Nancy was taking to him.

And our own chef, Kris!  She's also a beauty and such a wonderful daughter-in-law!  Now you know where Amber gets her thoughtfulness...both Darrin and Kris always think of family and others.  They are wonderful examples for their kids!

Yep, my baby, Darrin!  He's a wonderful friend, husband, son and father!  So proud of Darrin and Dawn and how they have turned out as adults!  They were always good kids but as adults they are both super!  Yes, I'm proud of my kids and I can brag on them all I want...HA

And hubby and I!!!  Bob is doing well after the cancer/treatment.  His chest scan came back showing 3 nodules on his lungs BUT they are stable, didn't 'glow' on the both PET scans!!!  So since no growth we can suspect it's from years of smoking but they'll continue to watch! 

I finished my Christmas cards on Saturday so just need to think about getting out Christmas tree and decorations!!!  At least with not going to Florida, I can put the tree up when I want and take it down when I want!  HA  Gotta look at the plus side of things....but I still miss our winters in Florida!