Thursday, January 2, 2020

The unveiling

It was a fabulous New Year's Day. Quiet and I got a lot done. I like hanging out with friends, but I also like peace and quiet. I listened to an audiobook for a good part of the day. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. I got this book off the book club list from the library. I wasn't sure that I was going to like it, but it's good, although it's long. The audiobook is 15 hours in length -  I'm about half done.

I don't normally provide feedback to the city on anything. I'm pretty content and for the most part, the city does a pretty good job from my perspective. HOWEVER, this past year, they went around the neighborhoods and fixed some sidewalks that were a bit off-kilter. A few spots on our street got new sections in the sidewalk.

I think the engineers who came up with the new concrete made a HUGE mistake. The new concrete is WHITE or quite a light color compared to the old standard concrete color. Guess what? The heat from the sun doesn't penetrate that lighter color and the ice doesn't melt as quickly. And the BONUS? Because of the lighter color, you can't see the ice. Now that's an accident waiting to happen.

In this picture which I snapped yesterday, you can see the ice shining on the concrete because of the direction of the sun. But just that single patch of lighter concrete has ice. The darker section before and after does not. Can you tell me whose bright idea it was to change the formula for sidewalk concrete? Probably someone from a warmer climate. I feel compelled to forward this and other photographs (because it's not just this random patch) - it's EVERY SINGLE section that they replaced with the lighter concrete. This is a HAZARD to anyone walking the streets. I'm sorry - but I walk the streets (well the sidewalks) and this is extremely dangerous. So more money will be spent next year while they rip up these light sections and replace them with dark.

There's ice on those lighter sections of concrete

I've got two more of our block exchanges to show you this morning. This one belongs to Lynn whose theme was the beach. She has all eight blocks.

Beach themed blocks

I took these pictures at the retreat and the lighting in the dining room wasn't great! Sorry for all the shadows. I made two blocks - two easy blocks - that why I made two.

Two starfish blocks

I used a decorative stitch on the sewing machine to add some texture to the starfish. Speaking of decorative stitches - don't forget there's a class on decorative stitches coming up on January 12th. You'll get more tips like this on where and how to use decorative stitches! E-mail me if you're interested. There's a couple of spots left.

Decorative stitches on the starfish

The next set of blocks belongs to Katheleen. Her theme was cows!!! They are pretty darn cute! In this case, we all used the same background as per her request.

Katheleen's cow blocks

And this is the block that I made. I love applique and I love using a satin stitch or other decorative stitches to finish off the edges. Yes - I complain about applique but that's because it's slow compared to piecing blocks together.  I do love applique!

The cow block that I made

The last group of blocks for today belong to Laura. Her theme was butterflies. I love how everyone interprets this theme so differently. Different colors, different techniques, different sizes! They look awesome!

Butterfly themed blocks

Here's the butterfly block that I made.

The butterfly block that I made
I'm busy making samples for next week. I'm not sure I'm allowed to post them so I'm checking. If so, then I've got some cool stuff to show you. Things you wouldn't believe are done with a sewing machine.

But at the same time, I'm still trying to get some quilting done. When I was going through the "to be quilted" pile (I haven't gotten any further on that task so the binding is still missing), I found this quilt of mine that I also wanted to get done as I use it a lot in my trunk shows. Now it's done. I've added it to the HUGE pile of quilts that need to be trimmed or otherwise finished. If I took a day, I could complete quite a few projects in that one day! Mostly adding binding!!!

My quilt - DONE

 I love this quilt. It's so bright and cheery!!

So what did I unveil yesterday??  My Christmas cake! I know it's late and I was given permission to unwrap it weeks ago, but I did buy a container of my favorite Christmas cookies - icebox cookies and I ate one of them a day so I didn't want to spoil myself and add the Christmas cake to the mix. While my weight is just fine, my body fat is a bit higher than I would like it to be. This just means pacing out the sugar intake a bit more.

This Christmas Cake or do we call it fruit cake? Anyway, it came well wrapped.

The Christmas Cake

It was inside a plastic ziplock bag. Then one very large piece of tin foil. Next, two layers of saran wrap. Then one layer of cheesecloth or maybe that's muslin. Notice how dark that muslin is????

Wrapped in cloth
 And at last, there's the beautiful Christmas Cake. Oh my, I had a small piece and it was delicious. Thank you, Shelly!! You're the best! I love it and I'll be savoring it over the next couple of days. I guess it all depends on how large the pieces are!

THE Christmas Cake

She's a pretty darn good baker! I can't be bothered and would likely have purchased some, although the store-bought certainly pales compared to the real thing.

Yesterday we started our Virtual Challenges. As mentioned, I'm walking Route 66. Just checked, I'm walking from Chicago to Los Angeles. It's pretty cool as you get to see your progress on Google Maps. I may have to work out a few bugs in it, but I think it'll be a fun thing to track my distance. I walked 12,383 steps yesterday - the equivalent of 5.3 miles. I'm still in the city of Chicago, but I'm making headway!!!

Life is back to normal today. Stores are open - not that that's a big deal to me, but I need two things and I hope I can get both at the mall. I need them this morning, so I'll be walking this morning, not this afternoon! But not until I write the city a note about those icy sidewalks!! What a shame.

On that note, I'm out of here!!! 

Have a super day!!!!



  1. LOVED The Alice Network. So well written. I hope you enjoy the ending!

    1. I can't wait to get to the end!!!! I hope they find Rose. I see from the reviews that many people like the Eve story, but not the Charlie story.