Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Year in review

What kind of year did you have in 2013? Are you glad to see it go or reluctant to let it go? Was it a year of trials or abundance? We all need a new start, and God gives us that over and over. His mercies are new every morning.

Looking back, I see a great year in my rear view mirror. I was more productive in my quilting than ever. I started a new hobby that I enjoy very much (running). My husband and I are closer than ever and were able to have a good vacation visiting a couple of national parks. And, the most exciting is that this year I found out I am going to be a grandmother! God is so good to this undeserving sinner.

I made 19 quilts this year. Two for my granddaughter, and gave 12 away as gifts or donations.


I started the couch to 5k and ran four 5k races, one 10k, and am up to seven miles in my training for a half marathon in 2014. I am so thankful that God has given me a body that can run.

We were able to visit Yosemite, Mammoth Lakes, and Sequoia this year on vacation.

...and God has richly blessed me to be a grandmother to Emma Grace, expected to arrive in February 2014.

Of course I've had some disappointments and struggles but I prefer not to dwell on them. I am learning to count my blessings and look at the rest as opportunities to learn. Do I have bad days? Sure. Do I struggle with things in my past? Absolutely. Do I have wrong attitudes, actions, and sin? Yep. A sinner saved by grace. I enjoy God's blessings despite myself. He continues to be faithful. Looking back, it was a very good year. How about you? Was it a good year?


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Hope you have had an enjoyable day. Merry Christmas from us!

Since it was going to be just the two of us today, we decided to head for the mountains early this morning.

We saw about 40 turkeys, and probably about 30 or so deer. The horses were sleeping standing up. That was wierd, like they were frozen in time. There were only ten cars in Cade's Cove. Hardly no traffic this morning on any roads. It was nice to do a little something different on Christmas morning.

Then I ran three miles and boy, oh boy, it was the fastest I've ever run three miles. Yippee! Check it out on my running blog


Monday, December 23, 2013

Lazy Monday

I am off from work all week and I am feeling so lazy.....I did do some errands, some laundry, a little cooking, a little sewing and even ran three very difficult miles today, but still didn't feel productive. Maybe because I just didn't feel like I accomplished anything.

I made some snow....popcorn with white chocolate drizzled over them with some m&m's thrown in. Addictive. And I did get all the blocks done for the Remembrance quilt I am working on.

I only worked on it for about an hour today. I don't have any fabric for the backing yet, and I realized I am not going to get it finished by Christmas, so I guess I wasn't too motivated.

We are having the local family here for Christmas Eve dinner tomorrow night, so there will be more cooking tomorrow.

As you cook, eat, celebrate, or whatever you do for the holidays....don't forget whose birthday it is....



Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas time....

Finally got a few presents wrapped....

Jesse knows how to enjoy Christmas vacation. Napping.

Spent time today doing some enjoyable cleaning. The regular cleaning is done, but I took out my magic Eraser and had some fun doing baseboards, walls, door frames. Enjoyable? Yes, to me it is. There is something peaceful and relaxing about a clean and organized home. I hope to do some of my annual "urge to purge" this week while I am off work....and some sewing/quilting.

By the way, I am in half marathon training and I ran my longest yesterday. 7 miles! Hips and legs are a bit sore today, but it is a good kind of sore.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Shower for Emma

I was able to go to Louisville for a baby shower for my sweet DIL and baby Emma. Katie is 32 weeks along. We can't wait for her arrival!

There was lots of food, gifts, and even games...

Then this morning I got to go for a morning run in a new place.....that was fun too!



Saturday, December 14, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree

Finally got the tree up.....I've gotten pretty minimalist regarding decorating over the years. I love the simplicity, frugality, and ease of the paper snowflakes.....


Monday, December 9, 2013

Refining my 2014 goals

I am still thinking goals, and thought they needed to be more specific.

  • Make 12 quilts Make playground quilt (Camille Roskelley design) for Emma
  • Make Swoon quilt for us (another Camille quilt; already cut out)
  • Make 3-4 Remembrance Quits (ministry to those who have lost loved ones; have three offers outstanding)
  • Read a classic book (not sure which one yet)
  • Attend all book club meetings (read at least 6 of the book club selections)
  • Teach or assist in a new quilting class at church for the quilt ministry
  • Run, and finish, a half marathon (Knoxville Covenant)
  • Run 500 miles (9-10 miles per week)
  • Participate in the winter women's bible study at my church
  • Learn to sew clothes and make a dress for Emma (my new grand baby!)

...and for a little viewing pleasure.....these creatures continue to come through the yard, usually a couple of times a day....


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Saturday sewing

I am finally back to some sewing after taking a few weeks off. I'd love to get this remembrance quilt finished by Christmas. This year will be the widow's first Christmas without her husband.

I am using Bonnie Hunter's Bricks and Stepping Stones pattern (free on her website, Quiltville). It seems to be my go-to pattern when making quilts from shirts.

I had a sleepy-eyed little helper up in the quilt room today.....



Bass sandwich

If you've read my blog long, you know my husband is an avid fisherman. I love the local bass he catches, but he is mostly a catch and release kind of guy. He only brings home fish that die despite his efforts. I absolutely love bass. I am always hoping the fish die (oops, sorry fishies) so I get some for our freezer.

Last night I fried up some of his bass, had some slaw, potatoes, and peas for supper. And we had some leftovers for today's lunch. Nothing yummier than a bass sandwich on honey wheat homemade bread, with some spinach and honey mustard dressing.

I also decided to up my protein with some of my favorite protein drink.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Hope this is yummy



2014 goals

Been thinking about goals for next year. I love goals. I have learned the excitement of trying new things and reaching for something difficult. Even if you don't meet all of your goals, you have stretched yourself, tried new things, learned important lessons, and had the thrill of finding you can do hard things.

Some good goal quotes:

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. Jim Rohn.

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. Tony Robbins.

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.” ― Louisa May Alcott

“If you're trying to be miserable, it's important you don't have any goals. No school goals, personal goals, family goals. Your only objective each day should be to inhale and exhale for sixteen hours before you go to bed again. Don't read anything informative, don't listen to anything useful, don't do anything productive. If you start achieving goals, you might start to feel a sense of excitement, then you might want to set another goal, and then your miserable mornings are through. To maintain your misery, the idea of crossing off your goals should never cross your mind.” ― John Bytheway, How to Be Totally Miserable

I love the last one.....if you are bored or miserable, change your life! Set a goal, try something new, pray for the Lord to spark a passion in your life. Your passion can spark others.

These are some I am thinking about for 2014:

  • Make 12 quilts
  • Read a classic book
  • Attend all book club meetings
  • Teach a new quilting class at church for the quilt ministry
  • Run, and finish, a half marathon
  • Run 500 miles
  • Participate in a bible study
  • Learn to sew clothes and make a dress for Emma (my new grand baby!)

These are pretty lofty goals and I may not do them all, but I think it is important to have goals that stretch you.

Have you thought about goals for next year? What are some of yours? If you are not used to this idea, you don't have to start out with 10 goals, just set one or two and learn the joy of reaching and accomplishing something outside your comfort zone.


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Hearty breakfast cookie

I found this recipe in my latest Tennessee Home & Farm magazine.

They are YUMMY!

These really would be great for breakfast with a cup of coffee.


Homemade coffee creamer

I enjoy a bit of flavored creamer with my coffee every morning and have been on the lookout for a homemade version. I found a simple recipe here. I can't say how good it is, because I have yet to try it. It was simple, easy, and smells good. I made the vanilla and the cinnamon vanilla recipes, which are the ones I normally buy.

Can't wait to try them out!


Friday, November 29, 2013

Christmas quilt

Time to pull out the Christmas quilt.....


Thanksgiving Day 10k Race

I ran my first 10k event, the Hot to Trot 2013, held at Turky creek in Knoxville. I met my goal time of finishing under 1:11 with a time of 1:10:28 and really enjoyed a nice comfortable run.....the hubby was there in support and I think he enjoyed all the people. It was about 25 degrees, but my cold gear worked perfectly. Can't wait to do another one.



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!


My art quilt I made a few years ago. I love the shadow effect.

Floating leaves is an appropriate title.

Most of our Thanksgiving cooking is done. Just a few things left for tomorrow. Hope all of you have a wonderful, peaceful day and you take a few minutes to focus on your blessings. Philippians 4:11-13.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Prep work for Thanksgiving

Did a little pre-work for Thanksgiving dinner.......

Made the dressing for the freezer. This is a great idea to save a little time. Just pull it out, thaw it, and bake. Also made something new, chocolate chess pies. A friend gave me the recipe. Hope they are for now and one for the freezer for Thanksgiving dinner.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving themed quilts

I you've got a few minutes on Friday of this week visit the quilting Gallery at and take a look at the Thanksgiving quilts. You can vote for your favorite. I entered one of mine in the contest. There's are prizes too! Check it out!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Really good oatmeal

I friend of mine turned me on to steel cut oats. She is under the care of a nutritionist and has done awesome in her weight loss journey. They are supposed to be better for you than regular oats. I found an easy way to cook them.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a sauce pan, add 1 cup of oats and stir around for three minutes. Add 3 cups of water, a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, slide off the eye, put the lid on and go to bed. In the morning spoon some out and microwave them, and add all the goodies to make it taste wonderful. My favorite additions are bananas, dried blueberries, almonds, and a little brown sugar. They will keep a week in the fridge and makes at least four pretty hearty servings.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Homemade pizza

I love homemade pizza. I am always trying to improve it. My recipe is on the recipe page to the left. This time I tried a couple of different things.....

I microwaved the pepperoni to get rid of some of the fat.

I pre-baked the crust about 2 minutes at 475 degrees. Then added the toppings minus the cheese and baked it another 8-9 minutes. We like onions, peppers, mushrooms, Roma tomatoes, and pepperoni. Added the cheese last and baked another 3-5 minutes.


Yum, with a glass of cold tea.

The crust was definitely better than the last time.....but I think I needed more sauce. Still pretty yummy!