Friday, March 31, 2017

Other March Activities

Preparing a lesson on the history of Relief Society in honor of its "birthday", along with a "don't tempt me because it's Fast Sunday" treat.

Finishing up some crochet projects

Dinner at Sweet Ginger Asian Bistro, followed by a concert at the Kravis Center

Dinner at City Pizza, followed by "Phantom of the Opera" at the Kravis Center

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Spring Training - Take Two

Last year as part of our spring-time staycation, we attended a spring training game. Unfortunately, it got rained out. We were given the option of different tickets or a refund, and we took the refund because there wasn't room on our calendar for another game. However, Wayne still wanted me to experience a spring training game, and when he was offered an extra ticket for a bank-sponsored event this year, he invited me to join him for a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Nationals.

This time we had a VIP experience, complete with a special pass to watch batting practice, game tickets in the covered "Cassidy Cool Zone", and lunch provided. It was a wonderful outing, and although I felt a bit like I was wasting time and being unproductive, I did enjoy spending time with my husband and meeting some of his colleagues. And it didn't rain a drop! Florida in the spring really is paradise.

The only baseball player I know of is Bryce Harper, and Wayne was looking forward to seeing him play. I guess he didn't need to prove himself because he didn't even travel with the team. It's a good thing we're not super invested in "our" team, because the Cardinals won. And since that's technically the home team, and most of the fans were there for St. Louis, that's actually a good thing.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Saturdays in March

March 4th:
It turned out to be a gorgeous day for our annual ward picnic.

March 11th:
Trip to Gainesville for Savannah's Baby Blessing. Saturday's activities included playing tennis, exploring a museum, watching the bats leave the bat house, and eating.

Note: For the first time in forever, Wayne missed the Stake Fathers and Sons campout which was held this weekend. As you can imagine, spending time with our own son who had just become a father was a higher priority. It looks like our church family had a good time as well; at least this year the weather was more cooperative than last year.

March 18th:
The weather warmed up enough for our first beach trip of the year. This time it was R.G. Kreusler Park, followed by lunch at Testa's of Palm Beach.

The food was delicious - rolls with tapenade, French onion soup, gazpacho (although I prefer my own recipe), lobster roll with potato salad, and catch-of-the-day sandwich with yummy french fries.

March 25th:
We're impressed that there were only two months between "sunrise at the beach" visits. Just so you know our typical routine, first we find the next marker numbered numbered by the county, walk to the beach, and set up our chairs.

Then I take dozens of pictures, not that I expect any of them to be outstanding, but because I can, and it gives me something to do.

Sometimes there will be some interesting sea creatures, birds, other animals, or even people.

Occasionally I'll try taking a video so our landlocked family and friends can enjoy the ocean waves. Maybe someday I'll be able to do so without the wind monopolizing the microphone.

Once the sun has come above the horizon, we read for a bit. I particularly loved how the sun was reflected in the wet sand this time.

Then I take a bunch more pictures and we check out the next pathway before heading to the cafe to enjoy our breakfast.

On this particular Saturday, after we arrived home, we did a few chores, tried a new recipe for dinner (Potato Balls with Picadillo and Plantains), and then I attended a Relief Society activity which included watching the general broadcast.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mother's 75th birthday. In honor of that, I'm spending the day doing things she taught me. If I lived closer, I'd do these things with her; I wish that were possible.

Enjoying Nature - It's a gorgeous day!

Pulling Weeds
Just like Wyatt learned how to identify a dandelion from his mother, my mother taught me the finer points of
and feeling grateful the carpel tunnel surgery worked (a condition inherited from her)

Laundry and Ironing and Dishes

Making Relief Society Phone Calls - This dislike of making phone calls is another thing I inherited from my mother, yet she also taught me that it's easier to just do it than to sit around worrying and feeling guilty.

Making a Dentist Appointment - See above. I remember trips to the dentist (with a wood-paneled office and hanging beads in the doorways) and being rewarded for good behavior by stopping at the ice cream parlour afterwards.

Baking Honey Oat Bread (her recipe)

Making Progress on Genealogy - I have fond memories of sitting together filling out pedigree charts and family group sheets.

Fixing Dinner - It's a good day to turn the last of our St. Patrick's Day corned beef into a yummy soup to serve with the fresh-baked bread. I'm grateful Mom taught me how to cook and that she gave me lots of practice in doing so.
Leftover Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup:

That's probably all I'll get to today, but every day I do things I learned how to do from my mother. 
They include crocheting and sewing, cleaning and organizing, reading and writing and studying. I'm so grateful for her! 

So grateful we got to see her last weekend, and that we were able to get a 4-generation picture!
Happy Birthday, Mom!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Grandma's Bibs

Wayne's mom has a tradition of sending a set of holiday bibs to her great-grandchildren and everyone I've spoken to absolutely loves them. They're large enough to provide decent coverage, are easily washed and NOT easily pulled off. Besides that, they're fun and festive. Because someday - waaay in the future - I hope to have great-grandchildren of my own, I thought it would be good to record the instructions. Maybe I'll practice before then on babies of friends.

These start with a small hand towel (maybe it's even called a finger towel). Savannah's measured 11" x 17". Cut a 4 1/2" circle for the neck, and then sew 12" of ribbing into a loop. That is sewn into the circle. Add any decorative appliqué that you desire and it's finished!

I found a couple of tutorials here and here that can help you create your own version.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Baby Blanket

A few years ago someone told me about "wing-tipped" needles, which are used to prepare fabric for a crocheted edging. After a while I finally got one and made a few baby blankets to give away. I felt like preparing a few more for future babies this month, and couldn't find my original instructions. So I don't have that problem the NEXT time I get into this mood, here they are.
I used 1 1/4 yards of 44" flannel from Joann, which happened to be on sale for $3 a yard last week. One yard would be fine, but I liked the idea of making it more square. I also used around 3 ounces of regular yarn. When my grandmother made these, she used the cotton thread, and maybe next time I'll try that, but regular yarn still works.
Trim the flannel so it's even, and round the corners (using a small bowl) if you don't want to deal with mitered corners. Serge the edges and then "poke" the holes using a wing-tip needle without thread. I set my machine to it's widest width and longest stitch. The first one I lined up the fabric so the needle zig-zagged over the serged edges, but the second one I lined up the fabric a little to the right, or along side the right edge of my presser foot. That allowed me to fold back the edge when crocheting.

The first round is the most tedious, because the crochet hook (even using the smallest I had, a size ) is still bigger than the hole created by the needle. It took about two hours, but was the perfect task for our four hour drive to Gainesville. Remember to use every other hole, or the ones furthest from the edge, and make a single crochet in each one, and slip stitch to the beginning stitch.

For the second round, which took about a half hour, chain one, and then do a single crochet in each stitch around. On each corner, I picked one stitch to do two single crochets in to help it lay more flat.

For the third round, which took about an hour, I made the shell stitch edging. The pattern for that is five double crochet in one stitch, skip a stitch, slip stitch in the next stitch, skip another stitch, and then keep repeating. Slip stitch into the beginning of the round and fasten off.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Baby Headband

The internet didn't exist (at least not for me) when Michelle was born over 20 years ago, so I wasn't able to record how I made the little headband for her blessing day. And then I forgot I had done so until I looked for her dress last week. In case I decide to make one again, here's how it's done.

Cut a 14" piece of elastic lace and sew the ends together, using a 1/4" seam. Cut a 9" piece of regular lace (about 1 1/4" wide), gather one long edge and pull tight to form a circle, then sew the short ends together. Cut a 10-12" length of 1/4" ribbon, tie a bow. I've learned it's easier to cut it a bit longer and then trim the ends after making the bow. Then attach the bow to the circle of lace, and sew the circle to the headband, covering the seam.  The final step is to find a precious little girl to wear it!