QC Blog: May 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

We're going to dance with Lord Stanley!!

I just love Mike Lange, the announcer for the Pittsburgh Penguins. At the end of the Pens Hockey game he said something like "Put a spit shine on those shoes Mabel, we're going to dance with Lord Stanley." In his wonderful, distinctive voice, he manages to come up with a catch phrase that makes you anticipate all the great hockey yet to come. I'm not a big sports nut. Most often when guys talk sports my ears (yes ears) glaze over and I don't hear a word they say. I never thought I'd enjoy a sport as much as I enjoy hockey. It all started because I have 3 boys. When the Pens won the cup in 1991, my kids were 3, 7, and 10 years old. I would read them articles from the paper about the players and discovered that it gave us some commonality to talk about. I'd tell them the trades that were happening and read them articles about what the players did at practice. I'd watch things like the skills competition with them and then realized that those hockey players are cute!! I really became a fan then. Now, I read the paper and we compete (unofficially) to see who has the latest news first to share about the team. Since they read the Internet at work, they usually know all the gossip first, but that's OK. We've found that one thread of sports that links us.

I worked on the cathedral window over the weekend and I was right about the way Quiltmaker made that multi-colored block in their Spring 08 issue. I emailed and asked them how they did it and never received an answer. (Original post Aug 08, and update on April 10, 09) Over the weekend I cut two 9-7/8" block of two different fabrics. Then I cut them in half on the diagonal. I sewed them together and trimmed them to a 9" finished block. Then I folded the cathedral window square and it folded rather nicely. I ironed as I went, and that made the blocks easier to fold. Here are some pics of a traditional CW and the multicolor one.

Traditional solid Cathedral Window squares on right, with a small project completed and sewn on left.
Below is a photo showing the back and front of the CW squares.

Two lines are pinned where you would sew on this multicolor CW. Let me know if you'd like me to post instructions to fold a Cathedral Window. This is entirely a hand sewing project.

Have a Great Day!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oh, the memory goes first!

How could I forget one of my favorite pastimes as a child - so simple, yet one that kept me occupied for hours. Writing with chalk. When I was a kid, the colorful "sidewalk chalk" of today didn't exist. All we had was simple skinny sticks of white chalk. My house was made of brick and we used to write on all the little bricks on the side of our house. We'd write our names, and then the names of friends, then the names of boys, then boys we liked, and so on and so on. I even took a picture of the bricks where I wrote the words "Class of 74" on the wall before my mom moved from the house.

Of course, the main reason we bought chalk was to play hopscotch on the street. Those skinny sticks of chalk used to wear out so fast. I can recall using that last bit of chalk as you smeared the chalk to finish up the white line of the 12 numbered box. I loved playing hopscotch. Here was a game that taught throwing skills, hopping and balancing (picking up your rock) skills. It was yet another game my sister always won.

When my youngest son was little, I bought him some of the "sidewalk chalk", thick sticks of chalk in a multitude of colors. I let him and the little girl next door draw all over the driveway. The funniest part was when I looked outside and they had each drawn a full body outline of the other person laying on the driveway. You can be an artist for the day and then the rain will wash it away. Lovely.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Childhood Pastimes

My memory has been flooded with the games I forgot to write about in the last post. One of my favorite games was Red Light, Green Light, Yellow Light, Stop. I just love saying it real fast. There were so many running and chasing games we played like "It" tag and Freeze Tag. We played Sugar Baby and Dodge Ball and Stick Ball. I loved Roller Skating. We had the 4 wheeled metal skates with that wonderful little roller skate key (which I still have). There was such an art to getting the skate to fit over your tennis shoe and not be too tight, but not fall off either. And in my memory, I was able to skate like the wind. Of course I lived on a brick street, so I probably wasn't moving too fast, but I have selective recall.

We spent so many hours playing Hide and Seek. What a wonderful game that was. It helped you learn to count as you grew up. And it was a game of trust. Did you really hide your eyes all that time, or did you cheat a little and peek to see where kids were hiding? I never peeked (much). And when you were done counting, you called "Ally, Ally, In Free." I think that's a variation of what the actual phrase should be, but I don't really know what ALLY is supposed to mean.

When nighttime came around, I'd run in the house yelling that I needed a jar so I could catch lightning bugs. I remember being so impatient as my mom hammered holes into a metal jar lid, thinking they'd be all gone if she didn't hurry. Probably my real fear was the kids would tire of the game before I got out there, and the fun would be over. Were you a ring maker with your lightning bugs? Did you kill them just to see them splatter (yuck)? Or did you capture their magic for a time in your little glass jar and after watching them blink for a time, let them go at the end of the night, none the worse for wear?

Magic is a good word for it - childhood memories.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Pens crushed the Capitals!!!

Whew! That series is over. The Pens crushed the Caps last night in a tense 6-2 game. That sounds contradictory, but there was never a moment during the game where you felt you could relax and say the 'Game over.' What a fantastic game Sidney Crosby played last night. He is a one determined young man.

Last Sunday was a difficult day. It's the first time I haven't had my mom to celebrate on Mother's Day. I'm happy that I have my husband and my boys to celebrate with and they treated me like a queen. But I do miss her presence in my life. I spent a lot of time thinking about my childhood and remembering the games I played every day. One of my favorites as a child was "Ring around the rosie". Can you remember when that was a fun game - when the spinning and spinning till you fell down was just the most fun you ever had in your life? How about playing jump rope and mastering the skill of jumping in while the rope was turning and jumping faster than your sister, learning rhymes in the process. (One, two three four five six seven, all good children go to heaven, some fly east, some fly west, some fly over the cuckoo's nest - Cuckoo! and then you'd jump out without missing.) When there were only two of us, we'd tie one end of the rope to the fire hydrant as our third person, so we could play the advanced jump rope games I enjoyed.

I loved playing jacks and getting all the way to tensies and scooping up those jacks with one hand! There were so many hours we spent sitting on our cement front porch catching a ball and picking up jacks. Seven Up was another fun game we played as we honed our bouncing and catching skills bouncing the ball off the brick wall on the side of our house. My sister loved throwing that ball under her leg and hitting the wall, or flipping the ball under her arm and catching it. She was better at most of these games than I was. And she beat me at all of them. She was especially good at cards and at Crazy Eights, a game she taught me after beating me at 500 Rum for the hundredth time in a row. Crazy Eights was a lot like UNO is, laying down cards of a similar suit or number. At the end of the game, you counted up the cards in your hand and that was the total number of smacks you got on your knuckles by the winner of the game. That was a game I lost a lot. As with all things in childhood, we teach these games to one another. One year, I taught my younger cousin how to play, won the game and delivered the smacks on the knuckles. I guess she told her mom (my aunt) and I must've gotten in trouble for it, because I still hear about it today.

Was life ever so much fun as it was when all we did was play games every day? At the end of the day you hated hearing your mom call and say "It's time to come in, the streetlights are on." I remember my childhood and I remember my mother. Happy Mother's Day, Mommy.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Let's Go Pens!!

Oh, the agony of sports! The Pens are playing the Caps and since I'm a hometown fan, and not a 24-7 sports fan, watching games drives me crazy. My mom used to turn off the TV at the first sign that we were doing badly. That could have been in the first inning of baseball, the first minute of hockey, or the first quarter of football. Sometimes she would tune in an hour later, and inevitably she often missed the best parts of great games. I do love to win, but the anxiousness of the game drives me crazy. It's easier for me to listen to a game than to watch.

In my save the environment quest, I changed my mind about the stainless steel straw and instead I bought a glass straw (for my daily soy drink) at Glass Dharma.com and after a day of getting used to it, I decided I love it. My family thinks I'm going to immediately break it, but I think I can handle it. The website is offering everyone one free straw and charges 3.00 for S&H. My next goal is to use fewer paper towels. I didn't realize how often I reach for a paper towel just to dry my hands until I started trying not to do it. Small steps. We can save the environment.

I found a great new website called StuckInCustoms. It's the #1 travel photography blog, and each day he posts a gorgeous photo from somewhere he's traveled. They are the most unbelievable photos. Each day I visit to check it out. Try it out.

The lilacs are blooming - don't they smell wonderful?

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP