Monday, December 13, 2010

It's THAT Kind of Day

27 degrees - feels like 14 - at 9:00 a.m.

I brought Darby's Christmas blanket into the bedroom because the sunroom is just too cold, and Stella immediately took possession. They're dealing with it.

It will be a good day if I can stay inside and quilt and read and do laundry.

Warm house. Coffee. Cranberry candles. Good day.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pink and Green Turtle

To join the other critters on the quilt.

The only reason I had time to do the turtle is because my internet service was out for awhile. Work emails are begging for help and offering overtime, so I have to put my pleasure on hold and carry on for the good of my new company, wherever and whatever it is.

Sadly, my favorite coordinator is no longer with the company, according to an email we received yesterday. That's bad news for me in that she knew all about me and put up with my needing to change my schedule at the last minute or when I didn't get enough lines to make everyone happy. Besides, although I never met her face to face, she was just a nice person to talk to and always pleasant and friendly. I don't have a forwarding e-mail for her, but I hope she's the one who left the company other than the other way around and and has another job.

The good news is that things are a little chaotic as they usually are with a merger, and maybe no one will watch me closely and see if I don't get enough lines.

My first report this morning the doctor chewed and swallowed all the way through her 8-minute dictation, and my nerves were shot when I finished it. Those sounds are amplified when they're speaking right into your ear, and it drives me crazy. Eating hard candy or cough drops is another pet peeve. Don't they know that you can hear it every time it hits their teeth? UGH. And you can't escape, just knowing every few second you're going to hear it again.

So, I'll be hoping for some good dictators this afternoon and a few cups of yummy cinnamon roll coffee. I think Mama just made some cinnamon rolls to go with the coffee too.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ladybug Quilt

Ok, it's back to a little quilting - or getting ready for it. When we go away for the quilting retreat in January, I want to have several things ready, so I'm starting Isley's little ladybug quilt. She's not actually here yet, but I'm slow, so maybe by the time she makes her appearance, she'll have a quilt.

Her nursery is pink and green with ladybugs, and it's been fun to think about what I'll do.

I sometimes get in trouble without a pattern, but I'm kind of making this up as I go along.

It started with this fabric.

And I added some more.

This will be one side of it. Each space will be filled in with embroidered bugs and birds and flowers plus a turtle and an owl. The 5 diagonal spaces will have the letters of her name appliqued in a combination of the fabrics.

Wow. Wonder if this will work.

The other side will be made up of strips of all the fabrics, and each square will be quilted as I go along.

Here are a couple of the critters. I'm a little rusty on my machine embroidery, but it's coming back to me. Some of them need a little pressing and trimming and maybe some starch.

Those owl eyes needed 2 layers of white. Too late.

I think I'm going to like it, and most of all, it's a lot of fun.

Monday, December 6, 2010


I love it when people comment on my blog. Sometimes I'm not sure anyone but my immediate family reads it. And I'm probably flattering myself that even they do! It would probably help if I would find something interesting to write about and not just take pictures of trees and cats.

I hardly go back and read old posts, so I was lucky to find this sweet message from the post about Emily's race back in October.

Tad Doviak said...
Hi, I'm Tad from Tad Needs A Job. Congrats to Anne and Emily for winning the costume contest. I do, in fact, still need a job. Kind of. I'm "underemployed", which mostly means I have a job that pays less than I'd like.

But that's not why I'm here. I'm here because I love to do the urban races and just wanted to let you know how much fun it was to run this race. We had a great time with Anne, Emily and the rest of the racers in Seattle.

Thanks, Tad. They had a great time too.

This is especially nice because Tad was the winner - the real winner - not just the one who dressed up the craziest. I would like to have a picture of the winning team....

Speaking of comments, the anonymous one on the last post gets a frowny face. I'd want to be anonymous too! :-0


I'm not yet clear if I should be a Huskies fan or a Cougar fan. Someone win me over.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Mama found this little guy in her bathtub this morning.

Here he is on the front porch thanking me for his freedom. He'd just better be glad he has legs or he would have been looking at a violent end.

Mama walked into my room earlier with a bath brush in one hand and a dust pan in another asking for help. She thought he was pretty cute (about 2 inches nose to tail) but didn't want any part of removing him.

So how would he have gotten there? These girls are not talking.

Time for quilting again. How about this for some serious cuteness?

Can't wait to get started on this, one of my 3 to take to the quilting retreat.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Creeping Back

When I don't write anything here, I don't even pull up the web site or read the comments, so I missed a few. Thanks Lydia and Gaby for hanging in there with me.

I don't have too much hope for anything interesting happening in December since I won't be preparing for lots of people here. It will be just Mike and Elise, Mama and me, and we'll probably spend some of their time in Andalusia. And possibly painting....

Putting up and decorating the tree all by myself is not exciting me right now. I'm still trying to decide if I have the energy to put away the few fall decorations and bring out some Christmas ones. I'm not motivated today, but the spirit might overtake me later this week.

It's the bleak season now, and I actually like it. There is quite a change in scenery from the last time I posted.

One bright spot at the side door.

I did catch up on some of my emails (although I did have to be prodded by a couple of people), rolled over a 401K from my dying company, talked about maybe, maybe retirement for both of us next year (fingers crossed), and pretty much did a lot of reading and thinking about sewing.

If all goes well, on January 2nd Debby and I should be driving to Cullman, AL, to meet Sherry at the Red Rooster Retreat.

Some of Sherry's advice: ..... don’t get too dressed up. Just be comfortable. Meals are provided.... There’s a little snack room in the big house with a refrigerator to put your things in. We were all sitting around in front of the fireplace last time remarking about how much weight we had gained since arriving even our socks were tight. Remember to pack more projects and sewing stuff in your suitcase than clothes. You can sew or read, from the time you get up until you go to bed if you want—except for waddling in to the dining rooms for meals, so you really get a LOT done.

Wow, 4 days and 3 nights of doing nothing I don't want to. Not having to get dressed to go anywhere. Sewing with people who are also sewing (motivation to stay on task). Delicious meals cooked and served to you. Sitting around the fire at night and knitting or sewing and talking. I think I could love some of that. Plus lots of cousin talk. I can't even remember when the 3 of us were together last - maybe our grandmother's funeral a loooong time ago. That's awful, but we'll manage to catch up, I'm sure.

I'm cutting out pieces for 2 long-promised daughter quilts and a baby quilt with ladybugs for the March baby Isley. Plus I'm packing a few unfinished embroidery and knitting projects.

Speaking of painting, this is the email I got from Mike this morning:

1. Go to some store where they will talk to you. Doesn't matter which
store. And the price of the paint doesn't matter. Latex vs oil not
important. The ability to cover in 2 coats is all. (sounds simple, but I will probably overthink this - and I didn't notice any help on what color paint.)

2. Tell them you want something that might cover sheet rock in 2 coats.

3. Get two gallons.

4. Consider the trim and get one quart. I don't think there is hardly
any of this in that room.

5. Don't start. Important that you not start. (wonder why he would say that...)

6. Look around and see if there's a roller frame and pan. I will buy
the brushes and roller pads. (We have 40 years' worth of paint stuff - somewhere. I think I can find those.)

Time to get started on laundry and cleaning and then a cup of Cinnamon Roll coffee before I start to work.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Blog Vacation

I'm going to be back. I'm promising myself to get out of this non-writing phase I seem to be in.

I have things happening, lots of nice things. I either have nothing to say, or there's so much it's overwhelming.

I read other people's blogs, and I take it personally when they don't keep me updated. It's like a story where I'm unable to read the next chapter. Of course, that's people who have interesting lives, lots of things going on - like quilts or sewing projects that they're working on (and finishing) - or trips or holiday things. It's funny how you feel you know someone by just reading their blogs and seeing their pictures. I saw someone in Montgomery once whose embroidery blog I read, and it was strange knowing the names of her children and what kind of Starbucks coffee she likes but not feeling like I should even say hello. She would probably have even enjoyed meeting a stalker, but you never know!

I'm not even sure where my camera is, or I would have a picture of my favorite fall day today: Misty rain, cool but not cold weather, bright gold leaves in the yard, good smells, and frisky cats. I'd love to curl up and read all morning, but I have a package to mail and a 401K to put somewhere. Plus a new resolution to catch up on all those Facebook and e-mail messages I've neglected.

(Found my camera)

Mike, Emily, and Ryan were here for a long weekend, and that was great. I feel a tiny bit guilty that they had to do some wallpaper taking down, but they did an excllent job, and now it's finished! Even the corners. Even the high places above the vanity lights. They even took down those huge mirrors and cleaned behind them. Answer to my prayers. Now the ladders can come out of the bathroom, and it's time to pick out paint colors.

We had a lot of laughs, ate a lot of food, and had just a few hugs. I miss them, and I'll miss them at Thanksgiving. I'll really miss Emily and Ryan for Christmas, but it's their SD year, and there are a lot of people up there they can't wait to see and who can't wait to see them.

Sherry, Debby, and I are cooking up a getaway in January. Fingers crossed that that works, because it's the perfect way to start the new year.

Here are a few pictures Mike took while he was here at our house and in Andalusia.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Well, November.

I have to admit that October didn't live up to its reputation - for me anyway. Nothing going on worth writing about. No rain and cool weather to enjoy. I think 2 days of rain the entire month, and I have a hard time with heat and dryness.

This morning though it's just a perfect fall day, crisp and cool with a beautiful blue sky.

The cats are enjoying it.

I've been obsessed this month with getting the wallpaper down in the bathroom, and that's taken so much time and made such a mess.

This is the last little bit of wallpaper, and it's waiting for someone tall. The small ladder that will fit in there is not tall enough for me to reach that corner.

I'm probably the only person with 3 ladders in their bathroom. One for ceiling stuff, one for regular stuff, and one for small spaces and climbing onto the vanity.

It's down to the sheetrock, or whatever you call it, dry wall?, and it's in pretty good shape. I think they wallpapered when they built the house, because there is writing on the walls that I uncovered when I pulled off the last layer.

I'm not sure what's going on with this wall though. It's a little different and will probably need something to cover this, but the blue-green is kind of growing on me. I might just try a color besides beige in this tub area. I can always paint over it if I don't like it.

This picture was in my camera from last weekend when I went into my usual convenience store for Mama's Birmingham News on Saturday morning early. It was filled with Auburn and LSU folks on the way to the game. Since I was stuck there with my just-got-out-of-bed look, I decided to take some pictures. This is the only one that wasn't too dark.

Big day today. Mama goes to Prattville for her epidural shot. I'll see what exciting things I run across there. I won't hold my breath.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

October Birthday

Happy Birthday to my favorite middle child, Elise.

I remember riding home from the hospital after she was born and holding her - no car seats back then! We got to hold the new baby all the way home, just cuddling and gazing and trying to keep Dad from stealing too many looks and pay attention to driving.

I've forgotten a lot of things in those years, but nothing will make me forget the bright blue October sky on that ride home. All was perfect in my little world. I had my little girl and an almost-2-year-old boy waiting at home (who looked very grown up after my being gone for 2 days). We had a new house and good friends and neighbors. Mike had a good job (and I didn't, which was a good thing!), and Elise just made our life complete.

I've just talked to her and wished her a happy day tomorrow, and I feel so blessed to have a daughter who is also my friend, one who shares my sense of humor and understands me - and loves me in spite of it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I'm liking it a lot.

The animals - not so much.

Stella/Molly went with me to pick up the paper from the driveway and stayed outside for 3 minutes.

I took this picture from the garage door window because I knew if I opened the door, she would dart in. Which she did.

She came in for a hearty second breakfast of Fancy Feast. The first one had been finished 10 minutes earlier in the garage.

Maddy never turns down seconds either.

What? The other was only Meow Mix.

Does this face tell you anything? Like: I think it is way too cold and damp and my nice furry coat doesn't keep me warm. Pleeeeese let me come in with the cats. Notice the blur of tail wagging hopefully behind her.

This is more like it.

Friday, October 22, 2010


When you have children, it's always heartwarming for them to have major accomplishments: Through the years, we've had a lot of things to celebrate:

Perfect attendance, good citizenship, and graduation awards from many schools. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, cheerleading. Dance and gymnastics recitals. Baseball games, honor rolls, literary awards, college acceptance, and many graduations, weddings and jobs acquired. Lots to be proud of.

So it's with overflowing emotion that I boast about our younger daughter's latest award.

This is an article that Mike sent me today:

Scavenger Dash Seattle community involvement: YMCA

What Happened?:

What a beautiful day to send 24 teams out in search of mummies, a gum wall and the world’s largest collection of giant shoes. Brothers Tad and Toby Doviak of “Tad Needs A Job” took first place with a time of 1:44, but Tad is still looking for a job. As for the costume contest, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind who would win. Congrats to “The Flaming Retardants”, Anne Kertson and Emily Windham for the killer costumes! Scavenger Dash would like to send out a big thank you to Tap House for hosting Seattle’s first Scavenger Dash. We had a great time exploring your city. See you next fall, Seattle!

Second flaming legs from the right.

They had a ball thinking up the costumes after Ryan accidentally named them by seeing Flame Retardant on something in the kitchen. Anne discovered the tights at the fabric shop, and they made the capes and decorated the shirt and capes with felt and duct tape. Oh, and the arm tattoos; can't forget those.

Co-workers Stacey and Melinda came in ahead of them by 5 minutes at 6th place, but 7th out of 24 is not so bad when you consider a little over a year ago, Emily had never been to Seattle. They not only had to figure out a cryptic clue but had to find the location, collect the prizes, and get back to the beginning. There are just a few people in the world who thrive on looking ridiculous and causing people to stop in their tracks and stare and point, and there's never been any doubt we have at least one in our family. Debby thinks 2!

Some other names of the teams. I'd like to see more pictures of the costumes.

Tad Needs A Job
Dig 'N Biz
Ham & Cheese
The Sanely Inane
Got Pain? (Physical therapy co-workers. Good name)
Flaming Retardants
No, You go first
Mad DC Dashers
The After School Specials
Double Dips
Ice Weasels
Lost Cause
No Expectations
Team Sawyer

Here's another close-up. Emily and Anne. You can partly see Anne's "dragon tattoo."

At the other end of the spectrum, I received this precious picture from Lydia of Jacob's school picture. What a sweetie. I know they wish time would slow down and keep him this age for awhile.

Mama and I went shopping yesterday for gifts for Operation Christmas Child boxes through our church. I chose a boy, and it was hard for me not to over buy. I kept finding things I liked, although I have no idea what type of child will get the box, and I'm a little out of practice in knowing what boys like. Maybe I should ask Jacob next time! There are some little Scooby-Doo balls and Lego's that aren't in the picture. And we'll add candy and gum before we turn them in.

Mama chose a girl. I hope she's a girly-girl because she picked a lot of pink and princess things.
It was fun, and now I've found out that we can fill plastic boxes in addition, so I may have to go shopping again. The Target $1 bins are wonderful for things like this. I never pass them up without buying at least one thing.