Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I have not been doing any sewing or quilting to speak of so instead of sewing photos, I'll just be forced to post photos of those beautiful grandchildren of ours!

I caught them both in pensive poses the other day. Noah is at the stage where he puts on a forced smile when posing for a photo so I tried to catch him unaware. He has a bunch of freckles like I used to! (click on photos for larger view)

Hayden and Grandpa were watching Dora the explorer when I got her photo. She likes Dora a lot but Grandpa is less taken with the show. He'll do anything for his 'baby girl' though so he even answers the questions Dora asks!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Noah, Hayden and Santa join me in wishing you a Merry Christmas. (photo clickable for larger view)

Friday, December 19, 2008

The karate kid

While we were in New York we missed seeing Noah test for his purple belt in Karate. Craig started Karate back when he was in 8th grade and, except for a few years off while he was in college, has continued his training since. Until recently Noah had no interest in training with Craig. Now that he has started he's enjoying it a lot. He passed his test and is now the proud owner of a purple belt. (click on photo for larger view of my two handsome guys)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New York days 3 and 4

The rain finally stopped by Friday morning. We were lucky. A lot of New England got quite a snow/ice storm. At least it was only rain in NYC.

Before leaving Charleston we discussed what museums we might like to visit and decided that the Metropolitan Museum of Art would be our choice. We hopped on the subway to the Upper West Side. The Museum is on the East side of Central Park so we walked through the park to the Museum. Our path took us by the Castle. It's really a cool building. (click on photos for larger view)

We spent several hours in the Met and could have spent even more if my feet were not screaming at me. I especially enjoy seeing the paintings from the impressionists. If you're never been to the museum, it's more than just paintings. I always enjoy the Egyptian exhibit. Jerry likes the armor from medieval times. The costume exhibit was closed for renovation which was a disappointment to me.

We took the train back down the west side and made a visit to Mood Fabrics at 37th & 7th.

If you are a Project Runway fan, I don't need to tell you about Mood. If you're not a fan, Mood is where the contestants shop for the supplies to make whatever garment is required for that week's challenge. There are a couple of floors of fabric - all on rolls and arranged by fabric type.

There are also shelves and shelves of ribbons and trims. (this photo shows only a small portion of them)

I didn't purchase anything except for a Mood tote bag. As we were getting on the elevator to leave (Mood is on the 3rd floor of the building) a guy was there holding a Mood bag. When he told me they were for sale, I hurried back to get one for myself. Once we were several blocks away I realized that I should have also purchased a bag for my friend Sheila but in my haste I just wasn't thinking. Sheila, if you're reading this, I'm sorry I didn't get you one too!

While walking back up to our hotel, we passed the Parsons School, also an important part of Project Runway. Guess it's obvious I enjoy that show!

Since the rain had finally stopped we decided Friday night would be a good time to get photos of the tree at Rockefeller Center. Apparently everyone else in New York had the same idea! It was getting really cold, but that didn't keep people indoors.

The line of people waiting to skate on the rink seemed to stretch for several blocks. The rink is really rather small so not a lot of people can skate at the same time.

The cold weather remained on Saturday. We only walked around town a bit since we had to leave Saturday afternoon. On the trip home we did not get a sleeper car. Jerry wasn't able to get any sleep on the train. I was able to get a few hours of sleep, but the car was very overheated so it made it difficult to get comfortable.

As we were pulling out of Penn Station we talked about what an enjoyable trip it was and decided we needed to do it again sometime. Jerry said he'd want to do it in better weather, but I think the whole allure of the trip is to be in New York at Christmastime.

Friday, December 12, 2008

New York day 2

Our Thursday in New York was cold and wet. The rain just didn't want to stop and the umbrellas we bought from a street vendor were not very sturdy.

I convinced Jerry that he'd LOVE a trip to Manhattan's quilt shop The City Quilter so we hopped on the subway to the shop. I really liked the shop. It was bright and carried a more contemporary assortment of fabric. I don't think I saw one bolt of reproduction fabric - which is just fine with me! I purchased a New York themed pattern and a couple of NY theme fat quarters just because it seemed appropriate. (click photos for larger view)

From the quilt shop we walked up to Macy's and went in this time. I wanted to visit Santa's display. It was far less elaborate than I remember from back in the 80s when we lived here, but it was still fun to see.

After Macy's we walked up 5th to the Empire State Building. Along the way we passed a church that was once Norman Vincent Peale's church home. Tied all long the iron fences circling the church were these 'ribbons of peace.' They made an impressive display.

These photos of the Empire State Building were taken especially for 2 people who requested them - Noah and my quilting friend Melissa.

We had no desire to travel to the observation deck - especially since it was very overcast. We did go into the lobby to see the decorations.

We walked back to our hotel (we're staying at the Doubletree in Times Square) and after resting a bit we attended the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Hanging in the lobby of Radio City was a Swarovski crystal chandelier. The photo doesn't do it justice. It sparkled brilliantly.

When we lived in NY we would attend the show on Christmas Day. Since we didn't have family in the area it was a great way to spend the day. As always the Rockettes were such fun to watch. Their high kicking is spectacular.

It rained even harder Thursday night than during the day so we still don't have good photos of the tree at Rockefeller Center. By the end of the day my feet were killing me. Sure wish there was a spa in the hotel. A foot and leg massage would be great.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Start Spreading the News

Greetings from New York! Jerry and I left Charleston late Tuesday night aboard Amtrak bound for New York. We arrived here at about 11 am Wednesday morning. We had a sleeper car and boy do they make those things compact! During the day there are two chairs for seating. The two chairs convert into the bottom bunk and the top bunk is pulled down from the ceiling. (photos are clickable for larger view)

The room is equipped with a fold down sink and a toilet, but the toilet has no partition or curtain around it. It's just there next to one of the seats. The reddish brown items on the left in this photo are the sink (in the closed position) and the toilet (under the towel) also closed. Even though we've been married for 36 years, there are still things I like to keep a mystery, thus I did not use the in room toilet!

Neither one of us slept all that well, but it still beats sitting up in a coach seat all night.

Our first visit upon arrival was to Tiffany's. Jerry has a Tiffany watch that has needed a battery for over a year. The local stores won't replace it because of how they would need to open the case. The Tiffany repair guy had it done in a matter of minutes and at no charge.

Right next to Tiffany's is Trump Tower. We had to stop in and see the decorations. The wall behind the Christmas Tree has flowing water tricking down it.

On our walk down 5th Ave. we stopped at St. Patrick's. The photos we took there didn't turn out very well, but it's always an awe inspiring place.

We walked down 5th Ave. to 34th Street to see the decorated windows at the various stores. I don't think they were as impressive as some I've seen in past years, but the fact it was raining quite a bit may have affected our enjoyment of them. Lord & Taylor's windows were nice. I took several photos of them, but it's hard to see the detail in the photos.

Tonight we went to see Spamalot. It was a silly musical - anything from the Monty Python crew is - but we had fun.

We're both really tired - it has been a long 2 days, but we're still planning a full day tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas is in the air

Today the TTT (Trailer Trash Tuesday) gang met for a Christmas lunch and gift exchange. My gift to the gang was beaded scissors fobs.
I tried to make each one different, although a couple of them sure look similar.

We had such fun opening our presents! Karen gave everyone a handmade tote bag. Joanne also had bags on the mind and monogrammed each of us a "green" shopping bag (which actually happened to be red). Sheila made us each a coffee cup cuff so we won't burn ourselves when we visit the coffee shop. She also gave us yummy cookies to enjoy with our coffee. Frances gave pretty kitchen towels and homemade party mix. Virginia's gift was a cute sign for the sewing room. Betsy made delicious homemade candy (which most of us sampled immediately). Janice & Cindy combined with decorated kitchen towels, boxes of tea, and cute socks. Judy made us each a beautiful mirror. In addition Betsy had a special gift for me but I'll have to post of photo before I can describe it.

We were in Savannah this past weekend while Jerry and our friend John ran the Savannah River Bridge run. Jerry did okay on the race, but his Achilles tendon problem flared up after the race so we didn't get to walk around Savannah like we'd hoped to.

Tonight we leave for New York City. We're taking Amtrak, which will be a new experience. We'll be staying at a hotel in Times Square. Thursday night we have tickets to see the Radio City Christmas Show. That's the only fixed event on our schedule. Hopefully we'll be able to see all the decorated store windows. Back in the 80's when we lived in New York we made it a tradition to go to the Radio City show and see the windows on Christmas Day every year. It will be fun to do it again.

See ya when we get back!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Positive Attitudes

I try to have a positive attitude, but don't think I always succeed. I had an encounter yesterday that made me realize I need to work at it a little harder.

I was in a local department store and saw someone I thought I knew. I approached her and it was Linda, someone I knew way back in the 70's when we were stationed in Scotland. We'd crossed paths a few times since here in Charleston.

A bit over a year ago Linda's husband had a horrible accident. He was swimming in one of our local lakes and was attacked by an alligator. One of his arms was ripped completely off. He only survived because of a group picnicking at the lake. Several in the group were nurses and they helped to keep him alive until help arrived. When the story hit the news I knew it was Linda's husband and I've wondered how he's been doing.

Yesterday Linda told me how well Bill is doing. All through our conversation she stressed how lucky they were that he survived and pointed out that good things came from the experience - like hearing from old friends they'd lost touch with. His job was waiting for him when he was ready to return to work (only 7 weeks after the accident!) She was amazed that the story became more than a local one. She couldn't figure out why a news station in Minnesota would find much interest in an alligator story from South Carolina. Apparently they were approached to tell (and sell) their story to several broadcast venues, but declined to do so as they wanted to keep private.

I was just amazed at how positive they seem and I'm sure that attitude contributed to his quick recovery. Now, when I find myself thinking non-positive thoughts I need to remember Linda & Bill.

You can read about the incident here