Sunday, December 1, 2019

I Believe ....!

I love the month of December .... I love Christmas .... I love Santa! I'm one of his biggest fan.

In honour of Santa, I'm reposting a blog post from a few years ago. It's such a great story ... reminding us of the importance of compassion and kindness.

The story was published in The Country Register, Nov.-Dec., 2005 issue (page 27). I do not know the author. It is a story that no matter how often I re-read it, it always warms my heart.

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: “There is no Santa Claus,” she jeered. “Even dummies know that!”

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her “world-famous” cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. “No Santa Claus?” she snorted. “Ridiculous! Don’t believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad. Now, put on your coat, and let’s go.”

Off we went to Kerby’s General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days.

“Take this money,” she said, “and buy something for someone who needs it. I’ll wait for you in the car.” Then she turned and walked out of Kerby’s.

I was only eight years old. I’d often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me and Mrs. Pollock’s grade-two class.

Bobby Decker didn’t have a coat I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn’t have a cough; he had no coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

“Is this a Christmas present for someone?” the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. “Yes, ma’am,” I replied shyly. “It’s for Bobby.”

The nice lady smiled at me. I didn’t get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons. A little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible. She helped me write “To Bobby From Santa Claus” on a tag.

Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me to Bobby Decker’s house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa’s helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby’s house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk.

Than Grandma gave me a nudge. “All right, Santa Claus,” she whispered, “get going.”

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby. Fifty years haven’t dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker’s bushes.

That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have Grandma’s Bible, with the coat’s tag tucked inside: $19.95.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Road trip .....!

I haven't been much in the mood to do any quilting. It's been so hot here in way Upstate New York. Last Monday I decided that I needed to get out of the house ... so I went on a road trip.

Given that I am not much in the "quilting mood", I thought ... why not visit some yarn shops, get some inspiration. Made a list of four (4) shops I wanted to visit and took off for Vermont.

The first shop I visited was Northeast Fiber Art Center in Williston, Vermont. She had a wonderful selection a yarn.

I had mentioned a while back (May 2014) that I was only going to knit sock, I was NOT going into more complex projects .... Seriously, between quilting, embroidery, EPP and knitting, how many hand projects do I want to juggle at the same time? It was only a matter of time that I'd cave in.

Janet Claire (Moda Fabric Designer) posted on Instagram a Cardigan she had finished and, I caved in! I was looking for wool for this gorgeous project Willapa by Annie Rowden

Unfortunately she did not have enough skein in a lot for me to purchase. At $30.00 a skein, I was not going to compromise on the colour. I do love to support local shops and since I seem to have an obsession for sock yarn, I walked out with a skein of ... you guessed it sock yarn and ....

I learned of a shop hop that was going on. The Great Northern Yarn Haul ....

Sign me up!

I received the wonder bag with some goodies in it. It even has a zipper!

The goodies in the bag ....

Oh my, what a great way to take off into the unknown. Although I had made a list of the shops I wanted to visit, I added a couple more!

My day was spent on winding Vermont Country roads, visiting various shops ... six (6) in total.

My haul ....

Came home inspired and ready to start Christmas gifts ...

Stay tune for Show & Tell!

Thanks for stopping by. Catch you all later.

Monday, June 17, 2019

When life gives you soon to expire cream ...

Make butter!

I've always wanted to make my own butter. I don't know, there's something about being self sufficient that entices me, peaks my curiosity.

I had a container of Organic heavy cream in my fridge that did not have a purpose within the near future.

Hum .... what do I have to lose? If it doesn't work out, I get to throw it out and if it does, I have delicious butter. 

I pulled out my stand mixer and started whipping. Make sure you have a splash guard ... it does get messy towards the end.

What an experience! 

It is so strange to see it going from a thick whipping cream to something that looks like cottage cheese ...

And as you keep going, it liquifies and then you have this ... 

Empty out the buttermilk in a different container and reserve for your favourite recipe ...

The fresh buttermilk will keep in your fridge for approximately two (2) weeks. 

Using your mixer, rinse your butter with cold/ice water by whipping it. It is important to continue mixing it with fresh cold water, discarding the water and adding fresh water until the water is fairly clear. If you skip this step, you butter will not have a long shelf life, and will sour.

Once you're done, mix in a pinch of salt. I used a fine sea salt. I shaped it using wax paper ...


The butter is delicious .... I will most definitely make more!

Thanks for stopping by ... Catch you all later!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Sew it is ...!

Due to various personal circumstances in my life, I have not been able to quilt much. It might explain why I have been feeling so much out of sort. Quilting is my sanity ... my creative outlet. And although I have other creative outlets, quilting is my number one.

As I was vacuuming the cat hairs off a bed quilt ....

I realized how much I miss quilting in my life. It's really not the same. I don't feel the same.

I read on blogs about relatives and friends being unable to comprehend a quilter's need to create and would ask, "how many more quilts do you need? Don't you think you have enough ... You can't even use them all ... Oh, and ... You have way too much fabric. You can't possibly use it all in this life time" etc ....

In my mind, does it really matter how many quilts you have? Does it really matter that you have a gazillion more quilt projects you want to make? Who cares? And ... why don't you mind your own bees wax!

All that matters is that you are doing something that you love and that love is expressed via a quilt that will not only keep someone warm but also serve as a reminder that they are loved ... that someone cared enough to make them a quilt.

I have told my little Pumpkin, when I am no longer on this earth, keep the quilts you want and stand on a street corner and give the rest away!

What's your take on the subject? Have you had people express their lack of understanding regarding your hobbies?

Thanks for stopping by my little corner in cyber space. Catch you all later!

Monday, May 20, 2019

A chapter in my book of life comes to a close ....

I remember Pumpkin's first day of school. Difficult to comprehend where time has gone. From Kindergarten

To graduating from College ....

I am so proud of this kid ... she has turned into a such a beautiful caring and compassionate person ... I love how she decorated her graduation cap .... truly her calling in life

You see, my little Pumpkin has a passion for the environment ... she cares about this beautiful earth that we all live on and has devoted her studies to Environmental Management. Can anyone guess where she got her inspiration?

I'll give you a hint ... those are truffula trees.

More importantly .....

Congratulations Pumpkin ... I love you so much. I wish you all the best as you continue on your life's journey.

Thanks for stopping by my little corner in cyber space. Oh ... I would encourage you to watch the movie The Lorax. A fun and wonderful movie. Catch you all later!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Happy Mother's Day ....!

Are you enjoying time with loved ones?

I am blessed to still have my mum here with me. As I age, I find it more and more important to spend quality time with her. I love her so much ....

Have you ever noticed that as you get older, your priorities change?

Sunday was spent celebrating the day with mom and close family members. Sadly, my little Pumpkin couldn't make it, as she was in the middle of finals. It's her last year!

Happy Mother's Day Mom, I love you so much!

Wishing you all a wonderful Mother's Day Celebration!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

hoppin' ...!

Every Easter my dear friend Cheryl from down under sends me a box of Aussie chocolates. OMG, they are so yummy.

The box consists of your standard treats ... bunnies ... and of course, lots of unique things, one of which is a bilby, an Aussie Easter tradition.

Have you ever seen a bilby? They are so cute with their long ears. This year's bilby ....

Personally, I think they should have placed the chocolate eggs in the back and not the front! lol

So, wishing everyone a happy Easter from way up northeast New York, I can see Canada from my house, to all the way from down under.


Friday, April 12, 2019

What's up ....?

It's been a while since  my last post. I must admit, nothing much in my quilting world has been happening.

What I have been doing is being a cat rest ....

And then there's this one ....

You try getting anything done! lol

I'm hoping to have something to show you soon. Until then .... I'm just enjoying the love from Princess Stella.

Catch you all later!

Monday, March 4, 2019

I have a wedding to attend ....!

One of my nieces, Michelle, is getting married on March 9. I decided that I needed to go shopping for a new outfit. Yea, I'm cutting it close!

For the record, I do not like to shop. I am one of those people that is on a mission when she enters a shopping mall. Get in and get out in record time ... Oh and sometimes, I make an attempt to beat the previous record! lol

Since I live in small town America, I went into Montreal ... At the suggestion of my niece, Stephanie, I headed for the Carrefour Laval. This place is huge! One can easily get lost ... so remember which door you came in ... for me is was Sport Expert.

Stopped at a couple of boutiques to check out the dresses and found nothing. I did notice that there was a Lego store! Bonus ... my shopping experience just improved.

But first, the dress ... Keep focus Carole ... I went to La Baie and tried on this dress ...

Winner on first try ... now for a jacket ....

Bonus ... I'm done! Oh, and yea! By the way, I plan on wearing the same socks ... or perhaps, at the suggestion of my friend Cheryl, I'll wear gumboots! Naw, ankle army boots would be much better! lol

With my purchase in a tow I sought out the Lego store. Around and around I went. Did come across this gorgeous display ...

After I decided I had had enough of going around and around in circles walking exercise, I stopped at the info kiosks and ask for directions .... Yea, the mall is that big that it has info booths with actual people and not just a maps!

Once I arrived at the Lego store ... OMG, I was in heaven .... I love Legos.

I found the perfect fun wedding gift .... don't tell Michelle, it's suppose to be a surprise .... She doesn't read my blog ... hum, I don't think she does! lol

The clerk told me a story about this couple who a bought this set as a wedding favors for their guests ... what a fun idea.

My gift to myself .... drum roll please ....

Nasa Apollo Saturn V rocket ... Did you notice that it has 1969 pieces ... The year of the first moon landing! Oh yea ... I'm excited to build this baby!

Thanks for stopping by my little corner in cyberspace.

Catch you all later ....

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Out of site ... Out of mind!

I've been decluttering, getting rid of stuff. It's amazing how much "stuff" we accumulate when we have a place to store it. Out of site ... out of mind!

I've been quilting for over 11 years (the number of years have been changed to protect the age of the blogger ;), and let me tell you ... you accumulate a lot of stuff ... projects you've started ... put aside ... that you may or may not want to finish.

Fabric scraps ... OMG!

At what point/size is a fabric scrap considered a discard ... trash? Seriously, I have stuff that is less than an inch big!!!

In my defense, my plan was to create an English Paper Piecing quilt using 3/8" hexes .... CRAZY ... by the way the fabric saving has been going on for years, however I cannot say the same for the project ... it hasn't even been started!!!

Time to get rid of stuff!

I cleared out numerous UFO projects that I have no intentions of completing and gave them, along with the pattern, to a charitable organization. You know what they say ... One person's discard is another person's treasure!

As I was organizing stuff, I came across a box of various fabric scraps.

Some were sewn "left over" from various completed projects ... like the wings of a flying geese that you used as leaders and enders, hoping to include them in your next quilt. Not sure that's ever going to happen ....

Time to continue with the purge.

Catch you all later! Cheers!
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