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! 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Savannah's Blessing Weekend

We had another granddaughter join our family in January, and this weekend we were able to meet her. We also had the chance to spend time with two other granddaughters. Just imagine how much fun we can have with them, and their other cousins as well, in ten years!

Wayne was such a nice grandpa, and shared his blue "juice" with Robyn at lunchtime. She thought that was a real treat. 
I guess I should have expected a playground on the UF campus to be bright blue and orange. Even the rubber chips were dyed blue.
When it got too warm to be outside, we walked over to the Museum of Natural History.

Then it was time for a pizza dinner and Piesano's did not disappoint. The pepperoni rolls were delicious and so were the pizzas - deluxe for the men, bianca for the women, and pepperoni with black olives for the kids.
This was actually a bit later, but I decided to keep the restaurant pictures together. My parents didn't arrive in time for the pizza, so Jeff recommended SweetBerries, and Wayne and I got dessert while they had sandwiches for dinner. Isn't it great that we got to try two Gainesville institutions in one evening?
Our planned "tourist-y" activity was to visit the bat houses. If you're there at sunset and the weather cooperates, you can watch hundreds of thousands of bats leave their nests and fly off to find dinner.

The shores of Lake Alice provided a peaceful waiting spot.
Everything went as planned, and shortly after sunset the bats started leaving. I tried getting a picture, but without much success. You can pretend you were there in person by watching this video. And you can get educated on bats in Florida by watching this one.
 I wonder if Savannah will remember her first exploring day with Grandpa?
In spite of the gray clouds, Sunday was a gorgeous day, and Savannah was given a beautiful blessing by her father. And she got to wear the same dress that Michelle did on her blessing day, which I'm told I also wore.

I hope we're able to take a four-generation picture for a long time to come.
After church we had a delicious lunch of green salad, Texas Toast, "Mom's Lasagna" (from Stouffer's!) and Texas Sheet Cake. I don't know if it was planned or not, but I loved the reminder of Savannah's Texas roots.
And I was grateful for the reminder of my roots, and the opportunity to spend some time, however brief, with my own parents. Thanks for making the long trip!