Friday, September 30, 2011


Another Friday afternoon in the 5th grade, another stumper!  
Do YOU know what lahar means?  Here's a hint:

Still stumped, like me?
"A lahar is a type of mudflow or debris flow composed of a slurry of pyroclastic material, rocky debris, and water.  The material flows down from a volcano, typically along a river valley.
(When I got home I quizzed geologist hubby Tom, and, as expected, he was familiar with the term.)

The picture below, of the mudline left behind on the trees on the banks of the Muddy River after the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, shows how high the lahars reached there.

And now you've learned a new word!

Last week I wrote that my foot seemed to finally be getting better.  
However, I still had not tried to wear a shoe again.  

Yesterday I did - a very loose shoe, and only for a few hours - but by the time I removed it my foot was back to some serious aching, which is still with me this morning.  We're lucky to be able to wear flip-flops almost year round here, but it would be nice to have the option at some point to wear real shoes.  

AND in other news today:
According to a study by Peter Snyder, professor of neurology at Brown University in Providence, RI, "having a bladder at its bursting point reduced attention span and the ability to make decisions to the same degree expected with low levels of alcohol intoxication or 24 hours sleep deprivation." 
 Turns out that all those potty stops of mine really were a good idea!

And in unrelated 'news',
Hammie got a nice note from Mom in his lunch yesterday...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sewing tip

Margaret passed along this great tip she found.
I'm going to file it under "Why didn't I think of that?"

"A rubber band around the base of my sewing machine is an excellent way to temporarily mark a wider-than-usual seam allowance. It’s easy to follow and stays in place securely, but it’s simple to move for wider or narrower seams."  
— Rita Strobel, San Francisco, California

In the Big Picture

Thank you, Robin, for this reminder, 
which I happily pass on to my friends:
So ladies, keep working on YOUR arts, whatever they may be, 
and I'll keep plugging away and making those quilts!

And always keep in mind (as a very wise quilter once told me) that

Ask yourself this - Will is ever show on a galloping horse at 30 yards? 
Probably not, especially if you wow 'em with color!

But don't think that we stop aiming for those perfect matching seams and points.  Everyone I know (including me) does a lot of frog stitching (as in Rip It, Rip It, Rip It) in the course of most projects!

No wonder this guy is having problems - he's using the wrong kind of needle!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy New Year 5772

Rosh Hashanah  ראש השנה‎, (literally "head of the year"), is the Jewish New Year.  It started at sundown this evening.
 It is the first of the High Holidays (Yamim Noraim "Days of Awe"), celebrated ten days before Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement.)  Rosh Hashanah is described in the Torah as יום תרועה (Yom Teru'ah, a day of sounding [the Shofar]).  
 Traditional Rosh Hashanah meals usually include apples and honey to symbolize a sweet new year.   
Shana Tova is the traditional greeting on Rosh Hashanah which in Hebrew means "A Good Year." (שנה טובה)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Quilting advice

Whenever I make a mistake cutting I'm reminded of an old adage, and resolve to remember it next time.  At least I get the adage right....

This next strip reminds me of a story Mom told me about a time at the beach when I was just a baby.  She put me down for my nap in the cottage bedroom, and later went in to see why I hadn't awakened at my usual time.  It seems that I actually had.  Unfortunately she had left her knitting on the dresser top next to the crib, and there I was, covered in a tangle of yarn.  Apparently I beamed at her and announced proudly, "Me knit!"  So much for that project!  Luckily (unlike the sad stories we read about in the paper, with increasing frequency) I did not get in trouble for her mistake!

Like many moms, I also put notes in my kids' lunch boxes - but never one like this
although I did have my chances!  Just like this one

Last night's show on PBS was on hummingbirds.  I didn't realize there were so many different varieties - as in 315!  Here's one of the peanut species:

Also discovered that some hummingbirds have evolved with curved bills to access curved flowers, and many of the statistics were amazing, especially the number of wingbeats and heartbeats per second.  I loved the closeup footage; while I certainly enjoy watching them at the feeders here at the house (strategically placed for my viewing enjoyment) I don't have much luck photographing them.  I'm also envious of people who have gotten to hand feed them, although truth be told I've never actually tried.

Wonder what awaits me on PBS tonight?

Monday, September 26, 2011


Watched a great show on PBS last night, mostly about penguins.  Thank you, Patti, for the 'heads up'. 
Maybe one of these days I'll get to meet one 'up close, and personal', like this little girl.  Actually did get pretty close to the fairy penguins on Philip Island in Australia.  
If I ever get back to that part of the world, I'd love to spend more time there, although I hear that there are more rules - you can no longer take pictures (we could, as long as we didn't use a flash) and you don't get as close to them as we did.

Wonder Woman


I wonder where I put my glasses, I wonder where I left my keys, I wonder how I put on this extra weight, I wonder where all my money went, I wonder where the day has gone... I even wonder why I wonder!

When I upgrade my cell phone

Alex keeps prodding me to upgrade my phone. I would like to get one with Bluetooth (no idea what that really is except that it will allow me to answer the phone in my new car without having to actually take my cellphone out of my purse.)  But I do fear (with good reason) that a Bluetooth phone might be way out of my comfort zone.

Of course Andy rarely fits into that 'smart' category himself...

This blue tooth makes a lot more sense to a techno-peasant like me.

Read, read, read - when I'm not quilting

Saturday's trip to the library resulted in a pile of good reads - already finished the one Mom recommended, The Goodbye Quilt. Even though it didn't have any pictures (like the one she's reading to Lisa here) it was a quick read.

Every room in our house has shelves and stacks of books (my dream house?) 
but nothing as creative as this bookshelf.  
Possibly this is in a library somewhere?

And what a happy way to decorate a baby's room!
I definitely agree with Margaret's assessment of the situtation:

A very wise person once said, "Books take me places when I have to stay where I am."  So true!  When I'm into a good book, I'm really there!
But this morning I have other 'important' things to do.  Tom's been out of town for the past 2 weeks and flies in around lunchtime... so there 'might' be a few housekeeping tasks I've let slide....
 However, Tom's known me long enough to realize that 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I SPY a finished quilt top

I'm very happy with the end result - pretty cheery quilt.  Should provide lots of entertainment for the lucky recipient.  
Got a bunch of stuff accomplished yesterday - just not the borders on my I SPY quilt.  Long ago I discovered that if I'm not in the mood, I'm waaaay better off in the long run not to work on a project.

So instead of a picture of the completed top this morning, you'll have to settle for some of today's funnies.  At least we older folks can laugh at ourselves - we're certainly given ample opportunities!
 (Reminder to Mom - click on the comics to view them in a larger format!)
And sometimes, we techno-peasants have the last laugh...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

skiing, anyone?

At the risk of jinxing my progress, thought I'd mention that my foot discomfort finally seems to be lessening. It's now more of an ache than a pain.  Possibly it's taken longer to heal than usual because it's the same foot that I injured skiing some 40+ years ago?  Ah yes, another story.
  While in college (outside of Chicago), a boy I was dating invited me on a skiing trip his fraternity had arranged.  A bus would take us up to Wisconsin for a day of fun in the snow, and lift tickets, ski rentals, etc. were all taken care of.  (Too bad there wasn't a lesson thrown in.)  I had never seen a ski slope, or even a pair of skis, but it sounded like fun.  My date had never been skiing either, so he wasn't going to be much help 'teaching' me the fundamentals, but we bravely set off.  

Getting up the mountain was quite a feat in itself but we made it, although I'm sure my (lack of) prowess on the rope ski lift was quite a sight to see.  Once at the top, we gave ourselves a push, and off we went - in a straight line for the bottom.  Of course I had no idea how to slow down or stop (let alone 'steer'), so it's a wonder I didn't run someone over.  The afternoon progressed in a similar manner, until there was time for 'just one more run'.  (It's always that last time that gets you, right?)

On the way down I hit a patch of ice and went down, somersaulting across the slope - and my bindings (which apparently were supposed to come lose in just such a situation) stayed firmly attached.  

Luckily the Ski Patrol was able to collect me and take me down to the first aid station in the lodge at the bottom.

The lodge had a huge picture window overlooking the slope
 and when they brought me in the folks there simply said, "We've been waiting for you."  Obviously I had been their afternoon's entertainment!

 And that's how I ended up on crutches.  

But it's partly my mother's fault 
 because she knew I was going skiing, and right before it happened she made some sort of comment to my dad to the effect that "we haven't heard from Bobbi, so I guess she won't be coming home on crutches." 
You'd think I was accident prone or something..... <G>

Some smiles

It may technically be Fall - but sure doesn't feel like it. 

We only know it's Fall because we're inundated with catalogs, which also provide comic relief. Here are some t-shirts that could make good gifts...

This one would have come in handy last week, on Talk Like A Pirate Day:

And for my teacher friends

And if you're looking for that perfect gift for a Phoenician, this just may be it: