Friday, February 29, 2008

Starting sweater front

The ribbing and first two rows of my sweater front are done. I didn't get as far as I had hoped today. Reading, a lunch date, and some necessary grocery shopping ate into my time. And then there is my addiction to magazines............................

Knitting and reading at the same time is not among my skills. Please look closely and you will notice that the item at the bottom of the pile is not a magazine. It is a book about knitting socks. If and When I finish my sweater, I will give socks a try again. I want a pair with the fancy sock yarn I see so much on knitting blogs.

Tomorrow is Quiltathon. Yeah! I hope I have something good to blog.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Knitting accomplishment

My heart was pounding as I bound off the last few stitches on the sweater back. I have never gotten this far on knitting a sweater! It is so exciting. It is also wonderful to know that I really can do it.

Gotta go now - I want to cast on the stitches for the front of the sweater and get working. I will continue to knit today and also tomorrow, but on Saturday I will be spending the day in my Quilt Studio for the Quiltathon.

Retirement is soooooooo enjoyable!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Confession time................ Controling my weight has been my life long problem. For the past year and a half, I have been on Weight Watchers and have done well. I lost 45 pounds and gained back three in the last few months. I'm struggling to stay within the points limits each day. I want to lose another 10, 20, 30 or possibly 40 pounds. Today it dawned on me that summer is just around the corner and if I want to wear something acceptable for hot weather, I better get back on track. It is so much easier to look decent in the winter with sweaters, jackets, and sweats. I want to find comfortable and appropriate clothes for summer too, but it would be much easier if I lost more weight. The word SUMMER is now my mantra. I posted a sign on my pantry door and on my refrigerator.
I sure hope these signs work as an incentive to work towards a lighter Bonnie for the long hot summer.

My biggest downfall lately has been this tasty treat from Trader Joes - Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds. Dark chocolate is heart healthy and almonds are the healthiest of the nuts. I just don't think it is proper to eat the whole container full in one day!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

More books......

After yesterday's blog about unread books, someone ask me about my quilt books. Does this look like 254 books? Some friends know that I am a "wanna-be" writer and therefore have plenty of books about writing. (I write in fits and starts, but never seriously enough.)
And of course there are also reference books to help with the writing.

No pictures, but I also have collections of books by authors - Mary Roberts Rinehart, Gladys Taber, Jan Karon, Anne Lamont, Sara Lewis, and the list goes on and on.
On another subject, I plan to take part in the Quiltathon (sponsored by JudyL of Patchwork Times) this coming Saturday. Here is the pattern (designed on EQ6) and the fabric pulled for the project. The idea all started with the light green batik fabric.

Monday, February 25, 2008


My plan today was to clean off my desk, pay bills, and then do some sewing in my Quilt Studio. Guess what? plan went astray. I ended up arranging my unread books and doing an inventory. These are the paperback books. And these are the hardback books. 83 unread books in all. (I did not count the unread books on the shelves in my living room.)
These are the three books I am currently reading at my breakfast table.

And this is a cozy little mystery I'm reading when I go to bed. Mr. Bear patiently waits for me.

On average, I read a book a week. If the book is a quick read, I might finish five or six books in a month. Therefore I have more than a year's worth of reading, and that doesn't count all the books I get at the library! Is this normal? How many books do you have in your home that you have not read?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Beautiful things.....

Flowers are always so beautiful and amazing to look at close-up. This primrose is a delicate pink with a mustard-yellow center. What a great color combination. With the dark green velvety leaves and the little yellow pot, this sweet plant makes me smile. I greet it like a dear friend saying "Hello pretty plant".
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When I see a package from Amazon, I see beauty......the beauty of good reading, good fiction, good writing, learning, laughing, crying, getting lost in another age or part of the world. The joy of holding a book and reading is a beautiful thing.

Beautiful things filled my day.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Color Blend

This quilt on my dining room table was made several years ago. It was a kit I purchased from Love of Quilting and put together on a quilt retreat with my friends helping me place the squares. The colors of gold, blue, bronze and beige look good in my dining room where the walls are gold and I have some blue accents. In the center of the table I have put many centerpieces, but recently I placed these red pieces from a collection I inherited. Even though there is absolutely no red in the quilt, the red pieces look wonderful and blend so well with the quilt. I smile every time I walk by - because I like the colors in the quilt and the wonderful red of the dishes.

One thing I have learned as a quilter - colors that don't match can blend. Try different combinations no matter how bizzare they might seem and you never know what will please the eye and give you a smile.

.......back to my knitting............

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Yum, yum. Look at these pans of Cherry Crisp. Today is Women's Fellowship at my church and I will be co-hosting. Our dessert is this yummy looking Cherry Crisp with ice cream. And these beautiful flowers will be decorating the tables. They were featured at the local grocery store and I took advantage of the sale.
The theme of the program today is "Antiques Roadshow". We are doing a different twist on it, bringing some of our treasures and the stories behind them. My brother-in-law will be there as the "expert" (he has been collecting antiques since he was a child), but the focus of the program is on the stories.

Most of my treasures came from family. My mom and dad had collections of Wallace Nutting pictures and red souvenir glass. The little white pitcher is from the set of Haviland china I inherited from my mother's side of the family - an original set created for my great-grandmother's wedding present. The little pitcher hiding behind the red glass was received from my brother-in-law's mother's estate, the tiny pitcher in front was a souvenir that my dad brought back from England during WWII. Finally, the little child-reading figurine in front is a piece I picked up in a boutique shop. It probably is not old, but it spoke to me and now lives on my book shelf.
I'm looking forward to an enjoyable afternoon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Knitting 101

Since I was able to finish all the projects in my home (haha), I decided to start knitting a sweater. Oh how I love retirement. Even though I have a Quilt Studio full of unfinished quilts and a massive inventory of fabric, even though I have hundreds of counted cross-stitch projects waiting to be done, even though I have a whole card-making station virtually unused most of the time, still, in my guilt-free zone of retirement, I have no qualms about starting to knit a sweater! After attending an 80th birthday party for a friend, I walked across the street from the restaurant to check out a little knit shop. Before I knew it I had purchased good wool yarn, a pattern and some Addi Turbo needles. This little shop is service oriented and had me sit down at the center table and knit my gauge swatch. From that swatch they determined which part of the instructions I should follow. I went home well prepared and ready to get going. The shop is also close enough that I can run over there if I run into problems figuring out the sleeve opening or collar. The pattern gives you a choice of mock turtle, full turtle, crew, or V neck. I think I will do the mock turtle.

My family may be taking bets on whether I will finish this project or not. I know I won't get it done in time to wear this winter, but I'm hoping to have it done by next Fall. I'm motivated right now. Will I stay motivated?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Writing prompt.......

There is a writing prompt given in the journal software that I sometimes use. I have been on a journaling/writing kick lately doing Julia Cameron's Morning Pages each day, keeping a food journal per Julia Cameron's new book, The Writing Diet, doing a daily Lenten Meditation journal, and yesterday I started a knitting journal to keep track of a sweater I am making. Today I thought I would write a short piece based on the writing prompt and post it on my blog. Here it is.......

"Tracing the outline of her face from a photograph..."

Tracing the outline of her face from a photograph I realized how sharp her nose appeared. Funny that I had never noticed that before. I thought I knew her face so well. But did I ever really look at her face before? Did I memorize her features? Her eyes always captured my attention, as they were so blue - a light blue, an almost transparent blue. I envied those eyes. Those eyes always seemed to command attention and long looks. No one ever turned away from Carolyn Ann because they were bored. She captured your attention with her eyes and then held it with her ability to listen. She seemed to listen with her whole body - first the eyes, then the tilted head, then the body leaning forward. People poured out their stories at the easy prompts from Carolyn Ann's mouth.
I started to cry again, salty tears running down my face. Carolyn Ann was dead. Her death was a shock, a senseless accident, a slippery road and a careless teenage driver. He was dead too. So senseless and horrible and sad. Two good lives suddenly gone from this earth, leaving grieving families and friends.
The picture of Carolyn Ann was in my photo album. It was a picture taken while we were sitting around a table at Linda's wedding reception just a year ago. Carolyn Ann was dressed in her new blue silk dress with the belted waist. How I envied her that day. She looked so beautiful and so self-assured. She was comfortable in her own skin. Perhaps that is why she was so good at focusing on other people. Aha, there is a lesson in that thought. But then, that was Carolyn Ann, her very life was a lesson to be learned and it came through even in a picture.
Thank you Carolyn Ann - for your brief life and for your example. I will miss you.

Writing can be fun when I am in the mood..............

Monday, February 11, 2008


The month of January has been filled with computer problems and devasting viruses, but at last I have my computer back and am able to post to my blogs.
Last Wednesday we had a big snow storm - around 10-12 inches of snow. The big malls around here (Randhurst and Woodfield) closed, the libraries closed, and our church cancelled it's Ash Wednesday Worship Service.
My front porch bench didn't look so welcoming covered in snow, but if you look carefully below, some critter paid a visit.

It is bitter cold now. We are definitely having an old fashioned winter, the kind that makes us heartier. I love the look of snow covering the world and I really don't mind the cold as long as I am properly dressed. I even enjoy shoveling the driveway, but my doctor would not approve so I welcome the folks who clear snow for a reasonable fee. When the weather is wintry I make soup. Hmmmm - that sounds good. I think I will go make some now.