Saturday, August 5, 2017

Another Beautiful Day!

Wow, August is really starting well.  Low humidity, 64 degrees this morning for my long run.

I'm training for  a couple of fall half marathons.  I think after four years of running, my active heart rate is finally coming down. I love my Garmin.  It tracks distance, pace, time, heart rate, does intervals, and all kinds of other things.  I can upload it to my phone or computer and see the GPS map of where I ran, the temperature it was, see my pace per lap, etc.

The hubby and Greybeard the big cat enjoyed resting on the screened porch today.

While I was busy trying to finish these two quilts.
Such an easy brick pattern.  Got one bound after this picture was made, and the other is ready to hand stitch down.  Both made from scraps.  Love that. The grey/brown/blue is a gift and since I am not that great still at machine binding, I decided to hand stitch it.  Although, my machine stitching of the binding on the teal one was the best I've ever done!
It's been a couple of years since I made my 14 day sweet pickles.  They were ready to work this weekend.  Got my little pickling spice balls ready.
 In went 10 pounds of sugar.  Now for them to make the juice for a couple of days.
After that I'll water bath can them to put them up.  We love this recipe.  Hope you are enjoying the weather where you are and like me, are doing a little of everything!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Low Humidity for the WIN!!

I am so excited to have a day with low(er) humidity! Yesterday morning I tried to run in the 94% humidity.  It wasn't pretty.  Today we have low 80's with 50% humidity.  Feels like fall!  The hubby is napping on the swing.

We've been out running errands -- bought some fresh corn and visited our neighbors-to-be at our lot and took a tour of their newly framed in home.  Building a home is exciting, and I'm getting more excited everyday about the possibility for us.  We plan to watch the solar eclipse from our lot.  The 6 lots in the subdivided farm are all big, flat, and open with very few trees.  It will be a great place to watch it.  In our area, we expect a little over 2 minutes of total solar eclipse!

My son and his family had another one of their adventures today in Scotland.  They took a ferry from Edinburgh to Incholm island with friends and got to see an old abbey, wildflowers and wildlife, and old bunkers from both WWI and WWII there.  Here are a few of their pictures....





They love Scotland and spend most weekends visiting various historical sights.  I am very thankful they have the opportunity to do so, and thankful I get to see the pictures!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Life

Life is good.  Sometimes difficult but always good.  I have so much to be thankful for.  This summer has really been a roller coaster, but seems to be settling down some now.  I've gotten in some long runs, we've started the estimate process for possibly a new home on a lot we purchased in the spring, I was able to visit with my grand babies, and I've finally gotten back into quilting. It's all good and I am so very thankful.

As I was laying out the big kaleidoscope quilt, I couldn't help but think how awesome a bigger quilting studio is going to be!  I've always been happy with my quilting space although it is tight quarters.  Now that I am allowing myself to think about the possibility of a bigger space, I can't help  getting excited.

Here is the progress on my big quilt.....the final layout inspired by Bruce Seeds' "The Ring" one block wonder quilt.
 The progress.  Fourteen of 26 vertical rows put together.  Still quite a bit of work to do before it will be bed ready.

In other news, I got word a week or so ago that a little hexagon trial size baby quilt I made is going to be published in Easy Quilts summer 2018 issue.  Getting published is always exciting.  Any of you readers made a One Block Wonder quilt?  I know they were very popular a few years ago.  I'm just late getting on the bandwagon.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Musings

The hubby and I both went to the dermatologist last week.  I've had a teeny, tiny red spot on my arm for a few years.  Two years ago, at my last visit, they burned it off, but it came back.  Sometimes it would bleed for no reason, it would go away for a few months then come back.  I knew what it was.  Basal cell carcinoma. I am a researcher by nature and I had read enough to know. Even though I was pretty sure what it was I was still hesitant to go to the doctor.  It was tiny.  I mean probably nor even 1/8th of an inch all around. The biopsy hole was much bigger.
I wouldn't have even had it checked, thinking it is ok for a while since it kind of comes and goes, except my sister had one cut out of her arm in the same place and it left a quarter size hole.  I am pretty good about sunscreen on my face and neck; not so much on my arms and legs.  Evidently the left arm is a very common place to have this type of skin cancer due to the lack of sun protection on driver's side car windows.  I had no idea.  It is very, very rare for this type to metastasize.  They got all of mine in the biopsy.

On the quilting front, it has been a very productive couple of days. I got three labels made and sewn on.  I sign my name differently on the quilt depending on the recipient.  If it is one I plan to keep or give to family, I sign my maiden, and two last names.  One of them is the last name of my first marriage and my son and his family.  I want to be sure my great grandchildren will be able to identify their heritage in my quilts..

I also made and sewed on a hanging sleeve for a little baby quilt I made recently.  I had planned on it being a charity quilt for an upcoming auction but it turned out so cute I decided to submit it to Fons and Porter.  Wouldn't you know, they want to publish it is their Summer 2018 Easy Quilts!  That was a nice surprise.  It is different than anything I'd seen in their magazines so I really didn't think they would like it.  Maybe that is why they did??

....and I finished the quilting on my scrappy star quilt.  I've had the blocks on my design wall for about 5 years and finally decided to put them together with plain cream and white squares.  It turned out adorable and I love it so much.  It will go on one of the twin beds I plan to build for my grand children.

On the running front, I had an incredible, wonderful, endorphin filled run yesterday.  I hate running in the summer due to the heat and humidity.  Yesterday morning I really needed to do a longish run so I went out fairly early for me. It drizzled rain the whole six miles.  Glorious.  My heart rate didn't get up as high as normal, my pace was a little faster, and if felt, oh so good.

Running has been the best exercise for me in my whole life.  I walked for years but it didn't do for me, what running has  - reduced my resting heart rate, increased my bone density, and given me strong leg muscles to name a few.  I admit some runs are just hard, but some are like this one - awesome. I only run three times a week, and do the Jeff Galloway run/walk/run method.  Currently I am doing 2 minutes of running to 30 seconds of walking.

Thanks for stopping by......



Thursday, June 22, 2017

Kaleidoscope or One Block Wonder Quilts

If you'd like to read about One Block Wonder quilts, and see some incredible ones, head on over to my website, rachelmhayes.com .  I also talk about a tool I discovered that will help you pick fabric for one of these quilts.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Kaleidoscope Quilt

If you have never made a Kaleidoscope quilt, you should head over to my website and check it out.  Such fun to make.  Now I am obsessed with the possibilities of this type of design.  Go to rachelmhayes.com  and see more pictures of this beauty.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

No sewing but having family home is better!

My son and his family traveled to the states for a three week visit!  No, he didn't make it before his grandmother passed away, but between the two of them, they still have two living grandmothers and wanted to see them.
It was so, so good to have them here.  They split their time between parents here and her parents in Memphis.  The hubby only got one day with them before he left for his annual fishing trip, but he managed to take Emma for a boat ride, which she absolutely loved.



Yep, she was 'driving' and 'toot-tooting' the horn.  We played in a little pool and a big pool.


She got to ride a miniature horse, drive a Ranger, and play with new friends.




 Her and her daddy even made friends with our incredibly shy/scared big kitty cat.
....and all of this was just while they were in East Tennessee, she had more adventures in Memphis.  I am so in love with these two children.  And so happy they came to see Mamaw.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

11/2/1928 - 5/4/2017

As she reached the horizon where the sea meets the sky, we said, "there she goes," and she went out of our sight.  But...on the other side, she is just as great and powerful as she is seen coming, where others shout, "there she comes!"  Her size is not diminished, neither her person, or influence.  It's just our perspective from the shore. (paraphrased from the Hospice Little Blue Book)

My mom left this world around 5:30 on Thursday May 4th, 2017.  Yet, on that same day, at that same time, she entered eternity and I'm sure was greeted by the Jesus her savior, my dad, her dad, and other loved ones who had gone on before.



Rest in Peace Mom.  Love you.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Watching and Waiting

This weekend, there has been no sewing. No running. Just watching and waiting.  Waiting for what, you may ask.  My mom was moved to hospice care two weeks ago with heart failure.  She is going down pretty fast.  We were able to move her back to the assisted living with some helpers to sit with her when we aren't here.  Just myself and my brother are available to be near.
I've stayed with her the last two nights and again tonight.  She seems so close. She is 88 and has lived a good long life. We've been blessed that her mind is still sharp.  Even now, although she is weak she still knows us, extended family members, and things that have happened years ago.  A family member dreamed a dream when my Dad died.  She dreamed he was walking up a beautiful path the night he died.  A few weeks ago she dreamed he was walking back down the path. A week or so later, she dreamed he was at the bottom of the path, shuffling his feet as if he was waiting on something.  Then a couple of nights ago, he was reaching out his arms.....to her.  We feel like the Lord is going to let my Dad escort her to heaven. She is ready and wants to go.  

Death is sacred. A difficult but necessary part of life.  

I hope I have the dying grace she exhibits.  We appreciate your prayers for comfort and peace as she transitions to the hereafter.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Easter!

From my son and his family......


From me and the hubby.....


And from Greybeard, one of our cats.......

I hope that you celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Blogging

I've not blogged as much in the last year or so as I've done in previous years.  I have a website now for my quilting but I miss the friends I made, who occasionally would comment on my projects.  Last night I pulled out my blog book for 2014-2015 and so enjoyed reading through it.  I'm determined to get back into posting about life - cooking, family, running, quilting, just whatever.  Blogging is a wonderful way to record daily life, and if you print a book from your blog posts every year or so, it will give your children, grand children, or even great grandchildren a look into your life.....

I want to capture some of the wonderful sights my son and his family are enjoying in Scotland.  Here are some pictures they sent recently. I am so thankful they have friends to go on adventures with in their new country.  I believe Katie said this was Sir Walter Scott's home (the "castle house" as Emma and her friend Andrew called it).

Emma and her little adventure buddy.

My beautiful daughter-in-love and sweet baby Haddon, and a family shot.

I worked on a quilt this afternoon.  I'm ready to take the Craftsy class on improving my machine quilting skills.  After doing this for about eight years now, I should be better than I am.  One thing I learned today......don't pick a backing thread without looking through all your thread first.  I picked a grey, thinking I didn't have a navy cone, but I did! The backing was navy and my filler quilting isn't that great.  The bobbin thread showed up a lot more than I would have liked on the backing.
Can't post a full picture yet.  The block is going to be in the next Quiltmaker 100 blocks issue.  I submitted my quilt and they decided to pass on it.  Oh well, win some and lose some.



Monday, April 3, 2017

Race and Vacay

The husband can't really do the beach due to his disability, but he has graciously agreed to go to Siesta Key, Florida for a few days for his wife to enjoy the beach :).  A much needed get away after my half marathon on Sunday.  If you want to read more about my race, head on over to my running blog lateliferunner.blogspot.com.


We did our "once every 15 years beach trip" and we only have four nights and three days here in Siesta Key.  Several of our friends have raved about this beach and it is very nice.

We were surprised and how hot and crowded it is this early in the season.  We are staying at an older complex but we love the screened porch view.

 I was able to get in a couple of miles walking on the beach, which will be all the beach time I allow this skin.  Then we enjoyed sitting out on the porch people watching and enjoying the breeze.


Cleaned up and ready to go shopping, eating out, and maybe to a movie!