Friday, January 29, 2010

Today Is NOT Saturday!

" Words are a form of action, capable of influencing change."  Ingrid Bengis

This has been a crazy has felt like Saturday all day long!!  So tomorrow, I will have two Saturdays this week!  Yesterday, we played poker at our friends' house...drove through a terrible storm to get there, but had a great time as usual once we were there.  And I came out OK....I didn't win, I didn't lose!  I broke even!  Then we drove home in light rain and a little fog.

This morning we woke up to no power...our electricity was off...which meant no heat, no hot coffee, no lights......and probably worst of running water!  One of the perils of living in the country...we are on a well and when the power is off we have no pump running.  Then when the power did come on, we discovered that sometime in the night or early morning the refrigerator had died....permanently! So we crammed everything into our little auxilary fridge and freezer, putting some items on the stair well up to the attic (the temperature is low enough that it is pretty darn chilly out there!)  Then took off to Loew's to get a new fridge...which will be delivered on Sunday.

We then made an executive decision to not have our "after the rodeo" dinner at our house..the power had been just too unpredictable and no we are going to still do all the cooking and haul it all up to Marti's house to go there after the rodeo...great way to celebrate her birthday by having her host the party!!
Therefore, instead of spending the afternoon playing with my monoprinting, I have been cooking and getting everything ready to take to Fort Worth tomorrow.

My studioQ meeting isn't until Monday so I hope to get a chance on Sunday to practice what I hope to show the gals.  In the meantime, while getting everything out of the dead fridge, I had set my gelatin block out and had forgotten to put it away....about five hours later...I discovered it was beginning to get a little soggy and melty.  I now have it back in a fridge, hopefully it will stiffen back up by the time I want to use it.  I think to use it for monoprinting may be a short session of no more than an hour or so!  We shall see!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Some Accomplishments....Finally!!

"Know that every human being must cross a very narrow bridge.  What is most important is not to be overcome by fear."    Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav, 1772-1810

This quote comes from book I just finished.  "Day After Night" by Anita Diamant.   After reading several mediocre books (except for Alice Hoffman's) it was really good to read a very moving book.  It takes place in a dentention camp in Palestine in 1945...based on true events.  The book revolves around four young women in particular but many others also as they try to overcome their horrible experiences in Europe and trying to get to live in Israel.  I highly recommend it for all!!

Monday, I am hosting the Studio Q meeting.  This meeting will be in place of our January meeting although it is February 1.  Then we will have another meeting the last Monday of February...our usual meeting time.  Because we have two meetings coming up, we did two "recipes" this month.  The first one..on the left is for the topic "The Color or Shape of Pain"...and the second one..on the right is for "Earth Awareness".  I guess I didn't have to have both done and will probably not show both on Monday as I think the second one is really for our later meeting.

Usually the host of the meeting does a demonstration of some kind...I am going to do some monoprinting on a gelatin block!  It is an activity out of the August/September "Quilting Arts" magazine.  I made my gelatin block today....pretty cool!  I am going to practice printing on Friday and will post some pictures so you can see what it looks like.

Busy week coming up....Tomorrow we go to play poker with our poker pals; Saturday, Andrea is coming over and we are going to go to the Fort Worth Stock Show is a matinee showing, then everyone is coming back here for dinner and to celebrate Marti's birthday which is next Monday.

And the weather is due for a has been the 60's, but tomorrow it is supposed to be rainy and get cold.  We usually have some bad weather during the stock sho time.  Saturday it is supposed to be sunny but cold..high in low 40s!  That may not seem cold to some, but it is to us!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Am a Computer GEEK.!

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us"  Ralph Waldo Emerson

We got a new printer/scanner recently...I love it!  I can put my memory card from my camera right in the slot and download pictures so easily...I used to have to plug in my camera or use this other external gadget which made for many more steps!  We also got an external hard drive for Christmas which is really handy.  Instead of burning CDs of everything to backup, I can just plug it in and bingo...there it goes!  

 Of course, I didn't use the drive right away....but the very day I was going to use it, we were getting all this garbage on our computer.  And sure enough, we were loaded with all kind of nasty viruses!!  Seems our "free" protection had run its course and we were wide open!  I think I mentioned how I spent my last Monday....well, come Thursday evening...after downloading all my pictures on the ex. drive..I started to get all kinds of junk again...some very embarrassing...I am just glad neither of the grands were using the computer at that time.  So about 11:30PM, I am back with the tech person...this time "Amy" from far away.  But she was very nice and I hope has now gotten us all cleaned up!  The guy I was with on Monday had left us wide open again...left nothing to protect us at all.  He was pretty busy trying to sell me stuff, which I did buy one program that sounds wonderful !  We will see...anyway, Amy left all the anti programs on the computer to protect us, whereas, Sirhandan had uninstalled all the things he had put on to clean us up.  So, hopefully we will be protected until our new program comes and we can install it. 

At one point, Amy asked me what time was it in that moment it was about 1:00AM...she said it was 2:00PM where she was (does that tell us something???).  An hour later, when we were all finished, she said it was time for her to get off work, so she was going home...and I told her I was going to bed!!  I am usually up until about 11:30, but 2:00 is a little late!  I felt very hung over the next day, without the fun time that should have gone with the feeling!!

Actually, I am enough of a computer geek to know when something is wrong and just little enough to get in trouble!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Really Fun Day!

"The position of the artist is humble. He/she is essentially a channel."  Piet Mondrian
(This is my new "feature"!  A quote with my blogs!

Today all the family from Fort Worth area went up to McKinney to see Andrea's new house.  It is really neat....I know she will love is her first!  We also met her friend Sara, with whom she has been living  since returning from California...a very nice young lady!  The upper left pic is Andrea in her soon to be quilting studio...a really large room above her garage.  The lower left is a pic of the house with her dad in front.  The house isn't completed yet but that makes all the more fun, to be able to pick out a lot of the decor items!  And the pic on the right is Andrea with her dad on our way out! Then we all went out to a yummy lunch of hamburgers to celebrate!

I have been sewing some things for the Cook Children's hospital...This is a lap quilt that I had started in a class on machine quilting several years ago.  My friend Heather was teaching the class...that was before she had moved to Fort Worth.  The center part was divided into radiating sections in which we did different stitches.  I hated to "waste my work" so I finally finished the quilting, added some borders and sent off with Dick to Cook.

I am now working on my recipe quilt blocks for the Studo Q meeting next week...1. the color or shape of pain and 2. earth awareness.  And I finished reading another Alice Hoffman book..."Second Nature".  She is really becoming one of my all time favorite authors!!  This is about the eighth book of hers I have read. My goal is to read them all...even those written 'way back in the 80's.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

And the Remaining facts are....

          Final Froggie Facts      

Fact # 18: Many animals prey on horned lizards...cats, coyotes, dogs, ground squirrels, hawks, other lizards, mice, road runners, and snakes....poor little guys!

Fact # 19: Horned frogs do not make good pets! Handling them causes them stress!! (as though being hunted by all those animals doesn't!!)

Fact # 20: If you hold a horned frog and it appears calm, it is not!  Remember lying still is a defense mechanism!

Fact # 21: Feeding and care of horned frogs can become time-consuming and costly.  Most eat about 80-100 red harveter ants per day; some can eat up to 300!  Harvester ants have a mean bite to can order the ants..less painful than catching, but rather expensive!

Fact # 22: Another really great reason to not have a horned frog as a is ILLEGEAL!!  At least in Texas where they are on the endangered list!

Fact # 23: Horned frogs prey on grasshoppers, beetles, and spiders....see not everything is after them!  They catch their prey with a flick of the tongue and swallow them whole.

Fact # 24: A mad or scared horned frog can squirt a 4 to 5 foot stream of blood from the corners of their eyes!!!  (To me, the most interesting fact of all!)

And the last fact about the fabulous Horned Frog...# 25: Other than Super Frog, the most famous horned frog was Old Rip, which legend says survived 31 years inside the cornerstone of Eastland County courthouse.  His remains lie in a coffin at the Eastland County Courthouse....Road trip, anyone!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The way we like a Texas winter!

Frog Fact # 17: As a defense mechanism, horned frogs can double in size to look like a spiny balloon!

Today, the temperature was in the low 70's!  This is what we like in a Texas winter!!  It is supposed to be the same tomorrow.  Today, we went into Fort Worth and spent some time with the grands.  Their mom had to work but they had the day off....between semesters.  So we watched some of their Christmas movies.."Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" and a Star Trek movie while we had lunch. 

Then we stopped off at the library, got some new books; went by the "Y"..they are adding on a lot of new space to the "Y" so working out is a bit of a challenge with all the machines, etc. being moved around!

Andrea had given a proposal for a house in McKinney...we are going to head up there this coming weekend to see it.   It is a garden home in a new area; I am very excited for her!!  Looking forward to seeing it!

Not how I like to spend a Monday!

Frog Fact # 16: Horned frogs prefer to sit still and use camouflage to avoid Predators.  However, if forced to move, they run a short distance, then stop immediately and hope their camouflage works!

Saturday night as I was on the computer, I began to get all these horrible messages flashing at me that I had a virus, etc.  I figured it was something "out there" trying to sell me somethng so I signed off and shut down.  Sunday when I got on, there was this really ugly green screen on my desktop instead of my beautiful picture of Chaco Canyon!  So I proceeded to get in touch with the Dell tech support.  Was told to run my protection stuff, which I did then if that didn't work, call them back and "we" would try something else!  As it was getting late, I waited until Monday morning to get back with them.

So Monday mornng, I spent 4 1/2 hours on the phone/ least 3 hours of that was sitting on hold!  I have bonded quite nicely with a guy in India...once I got to the right place....I was misdirected twice...but when Srihandan and I finallly connected, he cleaned up my computer and even talked me into buying a stronger antivirus program...Somehow, my free one off the Internet wasn't quite up to the job!

Fortunately, I had not planned on going anywhere today and did have a very good book to read while listening to classical music....and promotional spiels from Dell.  I had planned to do some sewing on my recipe blocks but that will have to happen tomorrow!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Frog Fact # 15: Texas' three types of horned frogs can also be found in New Mexico, Oklahoma, central Kansas, eastern Colorado and northern Mexico.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Great Saturday!

Frog Fact # 14: Kenedy, southeast of San Antonio, was declared Horned Lizard Capital of Texas by the state legislature in 2001.

My favorite kind of  Saturday...did some sewing...took a a pizza for dinner...watched a really good movie!!  Our Netflix was a movie from the Independent Film genre.  It was "The Tunnel"....a German film, done entirely with subtitles.  It was a long one, three hours but very compelling!  The subject was a true story of these people who had escaped from East Berlin and were helping others do the same!  Hard to believe this very thing was going on in the 60's through the 80's while we were merrily living our lives!

Fiinally getting to get to some sewing in.

Frog Fact # 13: The reason for the horned frog decline is considered a mystery!  But over-collecting for pet trade, spread of fire ants having reduced the numbers of the red harvester ant (the frog's dietary preference), environmental contaminants and loss of habitat from agricutural and urban development are often cited as factors.

We had a very good guild meeting yesterday....Ami Simms is really entertaining.  She is very funny and had an interesting slide segment was all the ways you could use quilts! This is a picture of a quilt covered car she showed us!  Very cute....I think I will do that to Dick's truck; it could use a little jazzing up!

We had a pretty good crowd at the meeting too.  Probably because she is a very popular speaker.  There was a workshop on Thursday, but I didn't want to go.  I have enough things to do without adding a new technique to my list!

At the meeting, I introduced the kits for the donation quilt and boy, did they go!!  There were none left; and some members who wanted one,didn't get to do one!  I just hope everyone can get them done and back to me by the February meeting.  Rhonda also introduced the Quilt Show Theme which is: Everyday Heirlooms: Each Quilt has a story!  Then Nikki Mahaffey told about the Challenge quilt.  It is to be a scrap quilt, with at least 50 different fabrics.  I didn't get all the details as Sue and I were holding up her examples while she talked...but I certainly have the scraps!  I just need to know what the sizes required are.  But today, I am finishing up my little quilt for Dick to take to Cook on Monday and hope to get some pillow cases done, too. 

And the night before, as we were without lights, I pulled an Abe Lincoln and read by candle light..I finished the book I have been reading... "A Stranger's Game" by Joan Johnston.....not my kind at all, but it was a who-done-it, so I had to see the mystery through to the end!  Now, I like mysteries, but this one read like a Danielle Steele, goofy romance!   I do not recommentd it at all!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Third Friday in January

Frog Facts #12: The Texas horned lizard has basically disappeared from eastern and central parts of Texas and its numbers in North Texas are decreasing!

Our power went off last night for about an hour and a half....just when we had finished the "great" potential governor's debate!  What a joke!  I had forgotten why I don't like Perry....too much like his predecessor!!

Today, I have a guild meeting.  Our speaker is Ami Simms...a very entertaining speaker.  I heard her in Denton when Andrea and I went to an area guild meeting.  She is the lady who has gotten big in the Altizmeher's Projects.  I have had a couple small quilts donated to her cause which have sold on her website.  I need to make some more.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Busy Day Ahead

Frog Facts # 11: The horned lizard is Texas' Official State reptile.

I got everythng done yesterday except any sewing.  I did discover something I would like to share!  Did you know that glue sticks and chapsticks are practically identical in size and shape???  I had been glueing library cards into the guild library books; a bit later, I reached into the bowl I keep my chapstick in my studio...and guess what I grabbed!  Fortunately, the odor of the glue stopped me from putting it on my lips!  Wouldn't that be fun...not!   I plan to keep the sticks better separated from now on!

Today, we are going to the "Y"; while "in town", Dick is getting a hair cut; then heading down to Granbury to talk to an insurance person; then while there, meeting our friends for Mexican at Mi Familia's.  And it is supposed to be raining.  Then Friday, Guild meeting and home for the weekend!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Texas Winter...Much Improved!

Frog Fact #10: They are susceptible to overheating and burrow or seek shade during hot summer afternoons.

Now this is what Texas is supposed to be in the winter!!  Temperatures yesterday afternoon in the mid 60's so we got a nice walk in.

I am really anxious to get to my new recipe blocks for the Studio Q meeting this month.  We are really skipping January because the last Monday when we usually meet is the weekend of the Guild Retreat at Tanglewood.  I'm not going to it but many of our members are.  So we are meeting the first Monday in February and the last Monday in February, and we are doing two recipe blocks.  One is the color or shape of pain and the other is the earth.

 But before I can get to my fun stuff, I have to take care of some guild duties.  I had to get the books ready to give to area libraries...we have about 25 libraries we donate a book to each year.  Then I had to get a cover letter ready to send to one of our scholarship recipient's college for her second installment of the money awarded to her.  And I needed to contact all the guild members who have overdue books.  Our meeting is Friday and we have announced that January is "Amnesty" month....turn the books in and pay no late fee!!!   We have done this every once in awhile and it really works!  I know people just get busy and forget they have them, in most cases!  Although we have had a few books that have moved away!

Maybe today I can get started sewing!!  I also want to get some pillow cases made for Cook Children's.  They have had labels made up to put on cases and quilts that say something about being donated to Cook by a Stitcher.  I had asked Dick to pick some up for me at the hospital Monday and he came home with about 100!!  That will be a life time supply for me!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Frog Facts #9: Horned frogs like desert or semiarid environments where there is sparse plant cover.

I had a TVQG board meeting yesterday.  Usually our meetings run for about an hour but this one was about two and a half hours long!!  We have a new treasurer and she went over all the finances with us in great detail.  Although she is doing a great job, I have to admit, I am easily bored when it comes to "figures" and balances and all that stuff!!   I know it is necessarily, but if I can remember, I think the January meetings will be something I can do without.  Just tell me how much I have to spend and that is all I need to know.

The weather finally turned of warm yesterday...I went to Sam's and to the "Y" and was actually kind of warm when I came out of the gym.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Frog Fact #8: They are cold-blooded.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fun Time Had by All!

Horned Frog fact #7: "Unlike other lizards, horned lizards have wide, flat bodies that come in handy for camouflage and burrowing.  They have various spines on their bodies and a crown of horns on the back of their heads."

We went to Kathleen's swimmeet yesterday for about half of it.  She did a great job!!  Don't know how she finished up so will need to call her later and see.  It was good to see everyone.  Andrea was there to cheer her niece on and we got to see Colin's new braces which he just got last Thursday.  Then Dick and I went to Fort Worth to get  our H1N1 shots at Cook Childrens....quite a few people there.  We ate lunch at Mimi's Cafe on the way home to use my coupon!

It is still cold here although sunny which makes the cold not so bad...better than cloudy days.  One or two more days of it then a little milder with rain next week.

A few months ago I checked "The Widows of Eastwick" out at our local library.  It was John Updike's last was published 2008 and he died early 2009.  It was pretty good but alluded to a lot  events from the first book on the subject...."The Witches of Eastwick", published 1984, which I had not read.  So I decided to check that novel out to fill in some of the blanks in the "Widows.."  I finished it yesterday; it was not as good.  I think Updike improved quite a bit in the 25 years between, but it did answer some of the gaps.  It was kind of interesting to see some of the current events from that era...Vietman War, use of a wonderful new machine to replace the typewriter called a word processer and cell phones were not even used at all then.  Any way, I am taking a directive from Andrea's blog and writing about books/authors as I finish them.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Frog Fact # 6 and Food Facts

Horned Frog fact #6: "The typical horned lizard is 3 to 5 inches long." And yet they look so fierce!!!  Wait until I get to the "defensive moves" fact!

Today we are going to go to a swim meet to see Kathleen be marvelous with her High School swim team.  Then Dick and I are going into Fort Worth to get our H1N1 vaccination.  The hospital where he volunteers once a week is giving shots to vols and family members.  Then I think we will stop by Mimi's cafe for lunch.  I was on line at their website to get the recipe for Buttermilk Spice muffins, and while there...I signed up to be a member of their e-club.  So as a newly signed member, I rec'd a coupon for a free breakfast entree...which they serve all day.

I have become quite the restaurant coupon person...most of them will send out coupons either monthly or at least for special occassions like birthdays and anniversary and I am all for free food!!  Some of my favorites are Blue Mesa, Red-Hot-and Blue BBQ, Cold Stone Creamery, Rockfish, and now Mimi's.

Yesterday, my quilting friends came and we cut out 900 four inch squares and made up 150 kits with instructions to hand out at the guilt meeting next week.  Hopefully, the kits will all get signed out and then sewn together and turned back in  by the February meeting.  I "paid" my workers  for all their hard work by feeding them broccoli-cheese soup and muffins.....tasted pretty good on such a cold day!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Still cold....Fact # 5

Horned Frog fact #5: "Breaking down the scientific name: In Greek, "Phrynos" means toad and "soma" means body.  In Latin, "cornutus" means horned"...thus the mascot name Horned Toad!

Did you know there were so many pictures out there of Horned Frogs???

We didn't go to the "Y" yesterday...just too darn cold to get out.  The wind was just terrible out of the North.  I talked to my brother in Illinois and they are having snow and expecting more.  Dick talked to his mom and the same in Missouri. At least we are dry, after that little spat yesterday morning.

I have my committee of fabric cutters coming in today to cut up squares and make up the kits for the Donation Quilt 2010.  Then next week, we will have guild members sign them out, make the blocks and returh them by the February meeting.  Our guild meetings are always the third Friday of each month but it seems early this month because the first day of January was on a Friday.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Winter and Fact # 4

Horned Frog fact # 4: "The Texas horned lizard--Phrynosoma cornutum ---is the one associated with TCU.  And the most prevalent horned lizard in the state.

I think we will go to the "Y" today....even though it is really cold!  In listening to the national weather, we are not nearly as bad off as other parts of the country...or even the world.  This kind of puts a question in the idea of global warming, doesn't it?  Although, the far North is having unseasonally warm weather and we do know the glaciers are all shrinking at a fast rate so who knows!!

We are big followers of The Daily Show with John Stewart.  I really think he gives the news more accurately than any of the "serious" guys...and a lot more entertainingly!

We don't normally get Showtime, but for the past couple of months we are getting the channels for free...trying to get us hooked, but we have picked up some movies we would not have seen otherwise.  Tonight we watched a movie titled "Three Days of Rain".  A very interesting study of human nature!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fact # Three

Horned Frog fact # 3: "Although commonly called a horned toad, horny toad and horned frog, the animal is not a frog or a is a lizard".

Here's looking atcha, kid!!  Isn't he impressive? 

A quiet day around here...getting ready to have my volunteers out Friday to help cut fabric for the 2010 Donation quilt....yes, I did volunteer to design and organize the quilt for the show again this year.  We are going to have kits for all the members to check out and make blocks, then will return to me to put together.  I haven't decided on the final design yet until  I get all the blocks back and "play" around with them on my design board.

Then tomorrow night, the bottom is supposed to drop out here and get REALLY cold!!!  But I guess it is everywhere.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Well, the Frogs didn't quite make it....their first loss all season!  So time to put that behind and concentrate on a new season!!!   They sure had the support of everyone in the Fort Worth area.  I was at the "Y" today and there was a lot of us "Seniors" wearing our purple t-shirts!!  I still plan to educate all on the Facts of Horned Frogs!  They are not a real cuddly beast but very fierce looking.

Horned Frog fact #2: "the reason the Horned Frog was selected as mascot...(three reasons were given, but I am giving my favorite)...the horned lizard's tough nature reflected the school's frontier spirit." 
I have all our Christmas decorations put away now.  This year I decided to so some down a smaller tree thus needed fewer ornaments so I sorted through them as I put them away into three piles...those to give away, those to store for "posterity" and those I will use again next year.  So what did I do when shopping with my daughter last week?  I bought two more ornaments...on sale of course!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Go, Frogs!!!

Sunday's paper, with its purple paper, had "25 Things You Should Know about Horned Frogs" so I thought I would share a few with you all each day for awhile!

1. The Horned Frog was chosen as mascot in 1897 when TCU was known as AddRan Christian College University and located in Waco, TX.

Today is the Fiesta Bowl...TCU plays tonight and we are all wearing purple today for the occassion!  We got our son-in-law this TCU flag for Christmas so they can properly show their "true colors"!

It is supposed to really get cold this week, but I think stay dry which will be OK...I can take the cold if it is sunny also!

I am working on my goal setting for the new year...much to do with quilting and not volunteering to do so many other things...just concentrate on my own stuff!!!  Going to be a selfish ol' lady in 2010!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas Is Now Officially Over!

New Year's Eve...a nice quiet evening with just the two of us!  Reading, watching television....and checking on the "blue moon"!  A really pretty evening..Dick in bed by 11:00 but I had to play on the computer for awhile then watch the neighbors' fireworks display

Today, we got together with all the bunch was out of town over Christmas, so we didn't do the gift thing until today.  We had a brunch..watched the kids pictures from their trip to Florida...swimming with the manatees!!  Great fun!  Then while the guys watched football, we girls and kids  played Pictionary...very fun time!

Never too old for Santa, right?