The magic of cookies

I remember when we moved to this house, my girls used to scoot around to the other side of the house to see the landlords. Our landlords are retired and have grown kids and grandkids of their own, but they’ve always treated us almost as their own as well. When my girls would end up in their part of the yard or I’d send them over to relay some message or other, the girls would always come back clutching a few doppelkeks cookies, large round biscuit cookie sandwiches with a chocolaty hazelnut filling:


The girls used to love these cookies, and I must admit to eating a few myself! Today I visited the landlords (to tell him I needed help with an electrical issue in the kitchen!), and I came home with my own “handful” of cookies:

Christmas Cookies

Our landlady wouldn’t let me leave without sharing an entire plate of the cookies she’s been baking. And homemade German cookies are soooo good—Yumm! I couldn’t even get these pics posted before half of them disappeared down the kids’ throats! Time for a coffee and cookie break; add in a couple of quilt magazines, and I’m set.

Veterans Day

Veterans Day 2007 Poster, US Department of Veterans AffairsThe observance of Veterans Day means more than sleeping in (though I must say, that was heavenly this morning!), but I’ll bet my kids have no idea why they’re not doing school today. That’s completely sad for two kids who have spent a good portion of their school years in Department of Defense schools, and whose father is a 24-year veteran of the US Air Force. Maybe we can cut the DoDDs schools a bit of a break, due to the fact that three of the most recent school years were spent at an international school, and not much (if any) mention was made of US Veterans Day.

Other than that, I think that maybe the pace of life these days is so wild that when a holiday weekend comes along, people are just so thankful for the break that they don’t care why they get it. I have to say that I don’t remember my parents ever discussing the whys and wherefores of holidays with me when I was a kid, and I don’t remember much about it from school either. Obviously, it’s up to me now since my kids have school at home, so they may start getting an extra “mom project” every now and again. Yeah, they’re upstairs sleeping late or otherwise vegetating in their rooms, but I think a short discussion about why they’re getting the bonus is in order later.

ITMan is at work today, despite the fact that he is a veteran. His company is one of those that says “we’ll give you the day after Thanksgiving off instead.” I think that policy ought to apply only to employees that are not veterans! 😉 Of course, there would be a skeleton crew aboard at the office on Veterans Day if that were the case, since a huge number of these people who work for government contractor companies like this are veterans, I think.

In the spirit of the day, I think I’ll begin work on a small quilt with a patriotic theme that’s been floating around in my head for a couple of years, and is now destined to be donated to the Silent Auction at the Guild Quilt Show in spring. What about you? Are you home from work today to observe the holiday? What about your kids? Do they understand the significance of Veterans Day? Whatever you do this Veterans Day, say a thank you to all those who serve or have served our country.

Too squashed to quilt!

My quilting room/studio area gets smaller every day, it seems. I fondly remember the days when my kids would leave the house at 7:30 a.m. to get on the bus for school, and wouldn’t be back until 3:45 in the afternoon. Talk about productivity! I had my own room for all my quilting stuff, and I’d spend the day there and it was always nice and quiet. Heavenly!

These days, things are a bit less productive around here. My quilting room is now shared with ITMan’s closets and dressers for his clothes, and two other computer areas/desks besides my own. I have both my girls here for school now, and we’re one big happy family (mostly). We all come down to start the day around 8:00 a.m., school for them and work for me. So much for the quiet! This house seemed huge when we moved in seven years ago, but I think it has shrunk down to Barbie size somewhere along the way. Maybe when we washed it, it lost a size or two?? See I knew cleaning house was a bad idea! Dust is a preservative!

…what we really need to do is knock down the whole outside wall of the house and add about a thousand square feet…

On the calendar for this weekend is a trip to Ikea for another computer desk solution. Yes, I realize that all we lack here in this Barbie house is another piece of furniture! However, it will soon be time to start the machine quilting on The Misery Quilt (finally!), and with GuitarGirl taking up a good portion of my quilting table with the laptop for school, I don’t have any place to machine quilt anything. So off we go to purchase a rolling computer desk thing to add to the already cramped quilting/dressing/computer room when what we really need to do is knock down the whole outside wall of the house and add about a thousand square feet to the whole house. I’m not sure our landlord would spring for that though, so Ikea it is.

When we look for a new house (let that be soon!), it’s going to be interesting when I tell the rental agent/realtor that I need something that has at least five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a den/bonus room type thing, as well as all the usual rooms, super high speed internet lines, and oh, by the way, make sure there’s no noisy neighbors around and it needs to be near ITMan’s office so he has a short commute. Nothing like being high maintenance, right? Do other people have these space issues?

Not quilting, just playing musical rooms!

Not much quilting going on here, but lots of activity. We decided that we should move a few rooms around in the house, so that the girls would have a little more privacy and separation from each other. Their “rooms” were on the top floor of the house, and while the space is sort of divided into two areas, there’s no door in between them. There’s a hallway with a bathroom, but no doors except for the door that leads to the whole set of rooms. This setup was okay when the girls were 8 and 3 years old, but now they’re 15 and 10 and it really no longer works.

So, GuitarGirl (that would be DD#1, now 15 years old) moved into my office/studio, and LittleOne (DD#2, 10) moved into GuitarGirl’s old room, since it’s cooler in the summer. So far so good. Now, the biggest part of the problem (notice I said “biggest” not “only”) is that the only other room in the house that’s available to house all of my own activities is the basement, where ITMan hangs out. It’s not big enough to handle all of my machines, tables, shelves, and cabinets, not to mention my fabrics Continue reading “Not quilting, just playing musical rooms!”

A funny thing happened when I started to quilt on Friday…

I had my day all planned out, but you know what they say about “best laid plans.” We’ve been hearing about our new carport from our landlord since sometime in April. First it was going to happen “in the fall,” then it was “before it snows,” and as it got further on toward the end of the year, it was “morgen, und morgen, und morgen” for about two weeks. Not that this was the landlord’s fault, that’s just how things are here, I guess.

Well, I sat down to hand sew the binding down on the UFO quilt that I took to the Quilt Retreat a couple of weeks ago, and I start hearing pounding and hammering from outside, and lo and behold, they’re finally here to put up the carport. So it was drop everything, move the car, then move the car again later, and my quilting day was punctuated with the sudden sounds of hammering, and the lilting strains of saws and whatever this thing was that they used to dig holes next to my driveway:

Carport building

I wasn’t even dressed when they showed up, so quickly had to do that, then move the car, and then repeat the dressing part after a quick shower. This was the view from my bedroom window at that point:

Carport building

The cats were hysterical. Hysterical as in funny, I mean. They just had to see what was going on, so they kept going to my bedroom window to see the action, but every new noise sent them running for another room. Curiosity would lure them back shortly, only to repeat the process moments after they got back to the window sill.

I did finally get the binding sewn, though not before time for the Guild Meeting, which I wasn’t able to attend at the last moment anyway. A crisis with my oldest daughter preempted the meeting; I really needed to be at home right then.

The carport isn’t finished yet; we’ll see what Monday brings on that front. The crisis isn’t finished yet either, and Monday ought to be interesting there as well.

Sharing the fabric and the gift

Quilts From The Quiltmaker's Gift

Quilts From The Quiltmaker’s Gift,
by Joanne Larsen Line

My youngest daughter Erin has been asking to make a quilt for a long time (never mind how long; shame on me!). I helped her pick out fabric yesterday for a quilt for her bed, and we are using a pattern from Quilts from The Quiltmaker’s Gift. She has a good eye for color, and after I remembered about the newer 1/4″ patchwork foot for the Pfaff machine, she’s getting better keeping the seam allowances consistent. The newer patchwork foot has a flange on the right side, to help keep the fabric from moving out of position as you sew the seams.

I’m trying to let go of my perfectionism, of course. Poor kid, with a mom like me for whom a 1/4″ seam better be 1/4″ or it gets redone. I’m not making her redo, unless it’s way, way off, but I do point it out so she can learn, and she seems okay with that. I’ve never been great at teaching kids anything, but I did try with my older daughter. Maybe it was my perfectionism that drove her off of the whole quilting thing. Well, we all get better with age, I suppose. 🙂