Thursday, December 30, 2021

Some kayaking and fishing....

It was a very cloudy start to the morning and it was still pretty foggy when we got to the lake around 10:45. The boys put the boat in that a former co-worker of Greg's has lent us so they could try it out and get a little fishing in. Nothing was biting but they did have a fun couple of hours. 

Emily and I took our Kayaks for a paddle while they were fishing. It was the first time we have used our kayaks down here and we have lived here for 10 years now! We explored the Carney Island Recreation and Conservation area with their very nice boat ramp. It was about 30 minutes away from us in Ocklawaha. 
Me with Emily in the background.

The lake was really big and we didn't paddle too far from the boat ramp - maybe 40 minutes or so and back. We did a bit of drifting and just enjoying the peace and quiet, watching the ducks dive and pop up in different spots and just breath in some nature. The sun never came out until the ride home so it was a beautiful 70ish degrees rather than the mid 80's they had predicted. Perfect weather for a paddle.
I did a bit of power washing outside when I got home. The back steps are cleared of mold and chicken poop. The front sidewalks on each side of the house are done. That leaves the driveway for the next few days to tackle. I was probably out there for a couple of hours so far.
I have fresh strawberries and Emily wanted breakfast for dinner - so the extra biscuits from the sausage and gravy will be used for strawberry shortcake for desert! She came out mentioning she might be getting hungry in the next hour or so ... which means it is time to pull out the sausage and slice it for cooking.
I see some hexagon stitching in my future with a movie.


Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Hexagon QAYG......

 I prepped a few more of the hexagons yesterday while listening to an audiobook. I have been listening to the Charlaine Harris - Aurora Teagarden series and I am on the last book she has out in that series. Time to find a new series to listen to on Libby! It's free with my library card... but it is frustrating when you start a series and not all the books are available to listen to. I might have to get Audible to listen to more books in the Jennifer Ashley series about Kat Holloway. I really like the 4 books and the accent of the person reading it. Looks like there are 3 books in that series I have not listened to yet.

I checked back and I had originally prepped 14 in blacks. Hmmmm. I have 3 set of 4 and one other single from that batch which means 13.... I am missing one! I prepped 8 grey and another 4 black ones yesterday. Once I find that missing one (I wonder if it fell under the recliner as a 'cat toy'?), that will give me 26 for December. I'll prep another 2 black ones and then I'l probably see what I need to 'finish' up my odd sets of hexagons from previous months that were not divisible by 4.... so every month but February!

Last day of work for me. Tomorrow Emily and I are planning to go kayaking at some point. We also need to finish the garden and plant for 'cool weather' which is essentially anything I grew up in VT in the summer! The boys need to finish rebuilding the ramp into the shed and then will test out the little finishing motor boat a friend of Greg's has lent to us on Friday. Pretty quiet here. I nixed the 'visiting and exploring' I was hoping to do on this break with the surge of infections happening so we will maybe just hit the trail head for some hiking instead this weekend.

I got my booster shot on Sunday.... I was a little surprised when I logged on to sign up for one that they had an opening that afternoon! I took it and just felt a little sluggish on Monday afternoon. 

Stay safe out there.

Monday, December 27, 2021

2021 Recap

It has been a year! Not as many finishes as I normally get but I seem to have moved to more hand stitching which does indeed take a wee bit longer to complete. The Ravelry quarterly challenge did help a bit until this last quarter when my mojo seems to have left the building! The Table Scrap Challenge was also a nice quick 'finish' each month with some scraps or orphan blocks being mostly made into placemats for the table. In no particular order I pulled these from my Facebook album of 2021 quilts. I found a few years ago it was a great way to organize my finishes and so easy to just pull the photos for this post!

I have a handful more of these from the quilt shop hop a few years ago. Maybe the 'kit' box will get some attention in 2022?

My 2020 RSC quilt. I believe one of my girls in our troop claimed this one as hers.

Hand quilted my hand pieced quilt along quilt from 2019 this year.

One of the table topper challenges with some extra basket blocks. Hand quilted.

RSC blocks sewn up into some donation baby quilts this spring.

More RSC blocks for a donation baby quilt with a chicken to boot!

The last niece/nephew graduation quilt happened this year for Charlie. 9 total in the last 10 years I believe. This is a long twin size.

A table topper - hand quilted.

A table topper machine quilted.

Leftover table topper from Sally's graduation quilt - machine quilted placemat

Hand pieced and hand quilted this year Flowering Snowball. (36x48)

A leftover block became a little table topper for a candle mat.

Churn Dash blocks were finally finished off and shipped to my niece for a wedding present this year (only a year late!)

Nine patches has been sitting for over 20 years and got finished this year. The cat loves this folded on the bottom of my bed for his sleeping quilt!

A fall sew along that got hand quilted and finished in the same year! 

Another table topper with some extras.

A placemat in greens.

A placemat in orange. The table is pretty colorful with all these placemats on my wooden table! I love it.

The hand work projects not completed but worked on this year - the Hexagon QAYG which I did fall behind on. I think I need to prep the last 17 for the month of December and get them all stitched up so I can start putting all these hexagons together! I did start putting them in groups of 4 to help get a start on assembling this quilt. Well over 333 of them in this photo. The goal was one a day for 2021.

One block of the Hand pieced Quilt along - Harmony for 2021. I do have the other 3 mostly prepped and in process. Will I get them finished before the next one starts? Time will tell.

I guess I did get a bit done this year! I have to think of what I want to 'do' in 2022. I know I am joining one sew along that starts in January. I have the book and the background white fabric for it and will pull the rest from stash.  I'll continue the RSC.... but I think I will make 'easy' blocks - like nine patches (small for potential jacks chain?) and/or 16 patches this year and then continue the butterfly blocks I started this year. Maybe try one of my new Accuquilt dies per month to play with them in conjunction with the table scrap challenge or the RSC? Lots of things running through my head so we will see what comes of it. It will be as much a surprise to me as it will be to all of you I think!

Wishing you a last week of 2021 that is happy and healthy.

Thursday, December 23, 2021


 Think I should start wrapping presents sometime soon? Hehehe... hubby ordered a bunch so he gets to do a lot of the wrapping I think. I did pop to the local quilt shop last week to get some thread and managed to have a little shopping spree and then handed the bag to him as my 'present'! I tucked the book Quilters Patch into the bag with about 9 yards of white print fabric for the main background print in the quilt. I'll pull from stash for the rest. It is a sew along with my Quilters, Stitchers, and Such group on FB starting in January. I also picked up some bobbin thread, new small scissors, seam ripper and a couple of 2.5 inch packs of squares. 

I do need to come up with the present hunt clues for the kids. I made their 'snake' count down and tucked the first clue into the Saturday morning opening. I need to come up with 3 more clues for each of them. 

I was restocking the cookie tins last night. I made sugar cookie dough which needs baking today. Hershey kiss cookies were completed and the buckeyes (peanut butter balls) are in the freezer waiting for their dip in chocolate today. I think Aidan picked up a package of snickerdoodle cookie mix that will get made as well. 
Hubby did the store run to get groceries yesterday. He said it was nuts! He got some salmon for Aidan's meal last night - which Aidan cooked on the Big Green Egg. I made myself some baked breaded eggplant as I dislike salmon! He also got some tuna for sushi making tonight ... along with an avacado and cuke for the california roll. I'll have the leftover shake and bake and roasted cauliflower! The other 3 like salmon and sushi.... bleck!

I think we have everything for Christmas day - grazing day at our house with the grandparents coming over around noon. I'm thinking - dogs in chili/grape sauce, taco salad and chips, cheese ball and cheese and cracker board, deviled eggs, shrimp, fried ravioli, veggies and dip and I'm not sure if he picked up some deli meat and rolls or not. Should be plenty for 6 or 7 people! Also - all the cookies above!

Despite this the last couple of nights.... (apparently is is very cuddly according to Peanut the cat)

I have added one SC and 3 dc's around the edge of Emily's afghan. I have enough yarn to do one more so I will work on that today. Finish it off and pop it back in the popcorn tin and add a bow!

Then the boy has a knitted cap and his sheep pillow for the next project. I have been watching videos on how to better do the sheep pillow.... so do I pull out the beginning sheep that I started or just go forward? I'll take a look and see if there really is a gap or not and go from there. I think there is only 5 or 6 rows of it done with the pattern so it 'might' be ok to just continue on.... The hat I think has a cable which I have never done.  I need to find that baggie and take a look at the pattern. Both these projects were ordered from Craftsy years ago. 

No kids have ventured out yet from their rooms (it's 9:30!). I suppose I should get dressed and start the day. Cookies will get finished off first and then the car needs to get a wash and vacuum, the garden might get tilled since it is cool and then I really need to get working on the memory quilt that has had no progress the last week at all. Sigh... I don't have to deal with dinner tonight so I should have a good chunk of sewing room time this afternoon and evening to make some progress. 2 - 4 day weekends should help get his project done and back to it's owner in the early 2022.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Hexagons, Lo Mein and and a SMH moment!

 The kids had a dental appointment this morning so I had taken the morning off from work. Greg has his Tai Chi Monday and Friday mornings.  I took my tin of prepped black hexagons and got a few stitched in the 30 minutes of wait time in the lobby. Aidan got a good report and one cavity on Emily that needs a fix next month. 

We did a quick stop at Aldi to get mushrooms for the lo mein dinner tonight. The kids might have grabbed a few extra things to go in the cart and I grabbed some bone in skin on chicken breasts - either for the grill outside or shake and bake in the oven in the next day or two. With the rain predicted it will probably be shake and bake which we have not had in a while. Greg is doing Sushi for his night and Aidan mentioned salmon on the grill. 

Emily and I prepped the veggies and Dad is assisting Emily with the wok cooking right now.

My Smack My Head Moment... I have Craftsy and renewed my membership last week. I kept looking at purchasing classes and it had been a while since I had checked in and really was only watching my 'purchased' classes before I reread the FYI's and the light bulb went on and as I have the membership I can watch ANY of the classes! So, that is my SMH for being a ninny. I have been watching about knitting intarsia this afternoon so I can work on Aidan's sheep pillow after Christmas. Well, that is my 'stupid me' moment for the week. Back to adding edging to Emilys afghan. The boys are headed to guitar soon.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Slow Sunday...

I am not working on what I should be at all this weekend. Sigh. I have mentally pushed back the memory quilt for a possible end of year finish. We will see how that goes. 

Instead it was cookie baking yesterday and decorating this morning.  (Hershey kiss cookies, sugar cookies, crinkle cookies) The boy got a much needed hair cut. I took a trip to Market of Marion for some fresh produce and realized I much prefer it Friday at 9AM than Saturday at noon! 

Way too many people there at that time. I did stock up on a lot of things for future meals this week. Veggie lo mein Monday, I'll bake the eggplant into the first few steps for lasagna but I'll just make them into individual pizza's I think... if I don't eat them all right off the pan! I had a yummy tomato (tasted like a tomato) for lunch and one went into the taco salad with the lettuce for Grandma's this evening. Aidan is making guac for his lunch today. I have yet to try the daikon radish - that might go into a prepped veggie tray for my afternoon snacks in the fridge.... if the carrots, celery, pepper, cukes and cherry tomato are prepped for snacking I will eat them! 

Right now I am relaxing with a few crochet stitches into Emily's afghan. She might finally get it completed for Christmas! It has only taken me 2 years and a month so far.  I did a single crochet all around it and now I am doing a double crochet. I'll probably add a couple rows of that to make it the size she wants. The original pattern can be found for free here at Mama in a Stitch.

Linking up with the other slow stitchers at Kathy's Quilts. 

Friday, December 17, 2021

Those hexagons....


I had a staff meeting yesterday afternoon. I did cut down a few pairs of jeans and then switched to stitching my sets of 4 into sets of 8! Do you see the boo boo? I'm going to have to be careful on how I set these to stitch them. The first 2 were the same but.... that third one in red and blue will need some attention with the seam ripper. I might hold off on that for a bit though and see how many I mess up first! The length of the 2 sets is about 18 inches and that is a 6.5x24.5 ruler on it so it is just a little wider than 6.5 inches. I am just grabbing 2 different colors and putting them together. I plan to space out the colors in each section as that has worked well in the past and I think it will with this one as well. I'll grab one of each of the 12 'sets' and work on getting those stitched into sets of 8, then will join them into a section. That should space out the colors throughout the quilt pretty well.

The phone made the moon a little hazy in the photo but it was nice and crisp in the sky on my walk last night after dinner.

The kids are at their last day of school in 2021 and go back January 5th. Lots of movie watching today in their block days. I think most teachers finished up their lessons and testing on Wednesday so they get a fun class for the last one. I know Aidan's bottle rocket launches got delayed on Wednesday due to rain so his last class will be outside setting off their paper towel rockets. They launched Monday and made changes Tuesday and this is the launch of the changed rockets in science. 

I need to make the 'honey do' list for the other 3 in the household for the coming weeks. I know they want to take the boat out and test it (boat is from one of Greg's former coworkers who does not use it so it has been in our yard for a while). The boys plan to fish a bit. Emily wants to go kayaking with me. They will be rebuilding the ramp into the shed. I'd like to have the driveway and walkway's power washed as well. Lots of mold in Florida turns the cement black or dark grey. I have yet to till the garden so hopefully that can also get done and planted over the next week as well. They have been warned they all have a day to prep and make a dinner for us over the next couple of weeks. Emily is planning the lo mein dish with assistance from an adult for the wok work. I just scheduled Emily for Tuesday afternoon riding for the next 2 weeks. Her normal Saturday is cancelled for the next 2 weeks and I'm assuming on the 1st as well.

I had my follow up appointment with my doctor yesterday on my bloodwork. I had high numbers for my thyroid this summer so she put me on medicine for that. The number came way down with the meds and my energy level is much better. I'm a little disappointed as normally it causes you to loose weight... I had the opposite effect! Sigh, up 5 pounds that I am working to take off.... again! Prediabetic still.... so getting the weight off and maintained is my goal again in 2022. I do not want to tip into that category if I can help it. 

Monday, December 13, 2021

Girl Scout Holiday party - last meeting until 2022!

We had our meeting at my house tonight. The girls love to eat and since we are a must wear mask and no food at the church we meet at - we met at my house tonight. The boys were heading out as they were arriving as Aidan has guitar lessons Monday night. 
We exchanged gifts for our secret Santa, had some nibblers and taste tested the new cookie. 

It seems people either like it or don't. Some girls did not try as they claimed to not like caramel (but it is ok on popcorn?). I liked it, my co-leader did not. Most of the girls that did try it preferred other cookie flavors. It will be interesting to see how they do. I had a box and since the girls were not crazy about them I walked them out to the parents to try as well! There are 15 cookies in a box. 

My co-leader made me this t-shirt! She claimed it was off center and it was bothering her....

So she made another one!

I think they both are perfect! 


Sunday, December 12, 2021

Sunday.... stitching of various types...

I have been slowly working on hand stitching and quilting these Hexagons all year now. I was thinking one per day but life happens and occasionally I get behind. I have stitched all through November 30 and prepped a bunch for December in blacks yesterday. I do love that cat print at the bottom - it was the backing of Aidan's baby quilt from 13 years ago and I am almost out. I just have a little rectangle of it left. I have a few more black prints to use for the rest and then will swap to some grey's.

This is the collection and most are stitched into their groups of 4 by color.

These are the extra's - from months not divisible by 4. I have a feeling there are a few more hiding somewhere....

I started this afghan for Emily a couple of years ago. Think I should work on finishing it up for her for Christmas? I started going around the edge to make it a little wider at this point. It seems she has grown in 2 years and wants it a little wider and longer now! It is a pretty light purple in a Caron yarn but the photo does not show it well. 

I'll have the scissors out and will be cutting down jeans and some heavier weight shorts for a Memory quilt today. Sigh... Christmas is approaching really quickly. Other than a few errands (Publix to grab a Prime Rib and Joanns for denim needles and a present for girl scouts tomorrow night), picking up the front rooms for our gs holiday party tomorrow night I will be stitching and cutting. I hope to have Greg do the kid pick up tonight so I get a few more hours at the house.
Linking up with Kathy and the other Slow Sunday Stitchers.


Saturday, December 11, 2021


I had posted these guys earlier this week. I caught this one in the morning after dropping off the kids to school and when I went out in the afternoon to get them it had turned into the second photo - in it's chrysalis! This will be a monarch butterfly when it emerges from it's cocoon. 

This morning Emily and I headed to our local girl scout camp for a Pioneer Holiday Feast. It was just Emily and I from our troop and a total of 10 girls there. The silver circle put on this event and it was great! The girls churned butter, made a cranberry apple relish, soda bread, chicken and dumplings and two deserts - cherry, apple dump cake and a gingerbread apple dessert. All cooking was done with fire! The old fire cook stove for the bread, a fire in the hearth for the chicken and dumpling and the outside coal fire for the dutch oven baking of the deserts. We all sat down to eat at the end. It was pretty good! A 25 minute hike back to the car and a 20 minute ride home finished up our morning! I think the bread and butter was my favorite part!
The view from Homestead out onto the Lake.

Found this hanging in the cabin =)

This quilt was on the little bed in there.

apple and cheery dump cake and a gingerbread apple cake.

The table set for all of us!

I am caught up on my Hexagons QAYG through the end of November! That is one per day all year. I did fall a little behind so I need to prep black and grey for this month. I seem to have a good variety of those colors for some reason....most are in sets of 4. I do have a few 'extras' from the months that are not divisible by 4. We will see how big it is once I start putting it together as to if I just combine different colors or just add the needed hexagons to get groups of 4. Linking up with the RSC.


Thursday, December 9, 2021


 Well, so much for spending hours prepping clothing for stitching on the memory quilt. Sigh. That is how the week has been going. I got a Pampered Chef Quick cooker that I have been playing with the last week. It does a great job with rice, beans from dry and the stew was good. The boy did not like the texture of the chicken for the chicken that I cooked in it. Will be playing more with this - I did like the black beans and quinoa made in there for my lunch bowls last week. I can't wait to do corned beef as I grew up with pressure cooked cabbage and love it cooked that way (I might have just eaten the cabbage growing up for that meal - a little S+P and vinegar!) Hubby actually used pressure cooking as one of his physics write ups for his class!

Tuesday was a quick dinner then we headed to school for Emily's band winter concert. That's the best photo I could get. She is second row on the right about 4 people in playing clarinet. We heard the chorus, beginner band and the advanced band play.

Yesterday - the tents I had up and airing from this weekend, decided to try and run away in the afternoon (windy!) so they got taken down, stuffed into their bags and put away. I made some homemade sweet potato baked fries and risotto for dinner. I had taken butter out for cookies a few times in the last week and had yet to make them (thinking peanut butter balls (buckeye's) but was missing graham crackers at one point). I decided to make some hershey kiss cookies (peanut butter with a hershey kiss on top). Lets just say as soon as they were cooled for 10 minutes hands started taking them and 'testing' them. There are a few left for now... but the kids are still at school! I had signed up for a Homemade cooking class last night and did not cook along but listened into the program. I'm planning to make it tonight - it was Morrocan Chicken Tangine with couscous. If you have never heard of this website - I highly recommend it. There are a bunch of free classes - and I have been know to sign up just to get the recipe and not do the Zoom (apple cider donuts, orange cranberry scones) .... but, there are a bunch of free things offered with some of them. I did the Farmhouse Cheese board one last week and that give away was from Cabot cheese! This was my single serving version  =)

We have had lots of these guys hanging around on the milk weed bush out front. They will eventually turn into monarch butterflies. I usually have 1-3 butterflies dancing around this area every day. 

This morning was an early start for blood work at 7AM, back home to take Aidan to school for 9 (Emily was an early to school for her horse testing at 8 - her Dad took her). When I got home I put a few things away and then checked online for the 3 grocery flyers - Publix, Aldi, Winn Dixie. Winn Dixie won with a chicken thigh B1G1 deal. I kept 5 out and seal a mealed and froze the others into 3 packs of 5.  While I was doing that - hubby got to steam clean the carpet. Seems Sophie cat (my 17 yo girl) is having some issues and there was cleanup needed on the carpet. I did grab a leek and used up the last of my potato's to make potato leek soup for lunch. Yummy. I had a noon training for troop cookie manager and then a little paperwork for that..... and here it is time to go pick up the kids! That's just how my days tend to go lately. I did finish stitching up these 4 green hexagons during my meeting though. I think I started prepping the last of the browns but have not made it back to the sewing room yet.

I think most of the kids Christmas stuff is ordered. I need to do their Christmas snakes to start on Saturday still. Saturday Em and I have an early start to get to the girl scout camp for Pioneer Days for her age group through hs. (6-12 grades). They are going to do a complete meal cooked over the campfire I believe. It starts at 9 -12 and it is a good 30+ minute hike to where the event will be on the property so we need to get there a bit after 8 to allow time to hike there. No rain forecast but an exceptionally hot day for us in the mid 80's is expected. Mother Nature is a little confused and does not realize it is December!
Time to get ice waters for the kids and some cookies for their after school snack in the car on the way home. Lunch is around 11:30 for them and school gets out at 3:45 so they are usually pretty hungry.