our book club reads happy books!

Pardon for the delay…I was cleaning up the glitter…

Yes, this week was Book Club/ Holiday Craft Fest! Read about last year’s craft fest here.

Business out of the way: There was a book: “Wishin’and Hopin”” by Wally Lamb. We liked it – “Best Christmas Pageant Ever” for grown ups!

On to the food:

Brownie ice cream Pie and Cookies

Brownie ice cream Pie and Cookies

Tea Sandwiches and Petit Fours

Tea Sandwiches and Petit Fours

I don’t know what it is: I’m really bad at remembering to take pictures, or we were all starving. Probably both.  Either way, all the pictures I took were of half empty plates! And everything was delicious. Sorry I didn’t get a photo of everything: Candy Cane Oreo Truffles, veggies & dip, spinach dip, hot cider. I’m sure I forgot something. And how cute are these:

Christmas trees made of peanut butter cups and Hershey kisses!

Christmas trees made of peanut butter cups and Hershey kisses!

On to crafting! The glitter and paint were flying!

Decoupage plaques

Decoupage plaques

Balloon painted snowmen!

Balloon painted snowmen!

A good time was had by all! Thanks Stacy, awesome job as usual! We missed everyone who couldn’t  make it! Happy holidays all!


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Say Yes

We’re entering that cozy time of year: autumn. But over the past couple months I’ve found myself reflecting over my summer and thinking about how much difference the word “yes” can make.

I did not go on a big extended vacation, but I had a pretty fun summer. I will be the first to admit that I am a homebody. When you’re favorite hobbies are reading and sewing, you have a tendency to not get out much. But at some point this summer, I made the conscious decision to say “yes” when people invited me somewhere. I’m not sure where this inspiration came from. Was this one of the steps in “The Happiness Project“? (I don’t remember – but if it’s not, it should be!) Is this an adaptation of the  “yes, and …” Rules of Improv Tina Fey described in “Bossypants” ?  (I must admit, the older I get, the more I want to be Tina Fey!)

So what did I gain by saying “yes”? It started out with a concert at the local amphitheater, which led to a couple more with my fellow book club pals, Janet and Stacy. It would be hard to beat the 1st concert where there was free water ice and blood on the stage, but we shared some good laughs. I was glad I pushed myself to go out, which is hard for me to do after work!

Saying yes also led to a reunion with a high school buddy, an awesome trip to Shenandoah National Park and a couple of weeks ago, a trip to the Walnut Street Theater to see “In the Heights”.

I’m sure there are other things I did  that I can’t think of right now, but I know that all these things i mentioned above were things I would have instinctively said “no” to in the past. I’m not sure why. Sometimes we get into a rut and it is easier to stay in than to venture out. But the effort was definitely worth it. I can’t say I have completely changed. There are still times when the lure of staying home wins out. But I hope to continue to try to say “yes” more than “no” when it comes to fun.  I already have another outing planned and am looking forward to more!


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Hello Old Friend

wedding quilt
I felt like a little bit of a pain in a butt when I asked my daughter to lug this quilt I made for her around on her wedding day so we could have pictures taken with it. When I saw the photos, I was happy I did. But little did I know what other repercussions would result.

A couple weeks ago, I got an email from an old high school friend who had seen the picture when she was at the dentist (aka my sister!). Would I like to go to Hershey and attend “Quilt Odyssey”? The sun came out, the angels began to sing, are schedules coordinated, and I quickly replied yes.

This past Friday, on one of the most beautiful days of the summer. we set sail on our Odyssey (ok, we drove, but my car is a boat!). I had not seen Mary in about 25 years. A couple people asked me if I felt nervous about going on a road trip with someone I hadn’t seen in so long. I am a person that gets nervous about most things, but not about this. What I remember most about Mary is how fun, funny, smart, and drama free she was. And saying that about a teen age girl is saying a lot.
This is what I remember about the genesis of our friendship:
At the end of my freshman year in high school, they held try outs for the next year’s musical. In previous years, all members of the Glee Club were automatically in the chorus. I joined Glee Club with the sole motive of getting in the musical. However, when I got to auditions, there was a new director and everyone had to audition! Yikes – my instinct was to run.  The only person I knew there was Mary, who was in most of my classes, so we were sitting together. As we were filling out our audition papers, I noticed Mary filling up her page with a long note. I asked her about it and she said she was basically begging to be part of the show, she didn’t care in what capacity. Sounded good to me – I did the same. The less said about the audition, the better (15 bars of Hello Dolly!). Mercifully it was short. They called the names of those called back and said everyone else could leave, except the following people: you guessed it! Mary and my names were called, and we were assigned to stage crew. One of the best summers of my life followed, painting, building sets, and building a friendship with Mary. I had a best friend and she had a best friend and the four of us were an inseparable unit throughout high school.

What a day we had Friday! We talked non-stop on the way to Hershey.

We got there and checked out the gallery of quilts on display.
Here is Mary with one of her favorites:

maryHere’s my absolute favorite:

quilt blue

After we had seen everything in the exhibit, Mary demonstrated that she still has what it takes to get what she wants by politely getting us a seat at a crowded restaurant with a 30 minute wait in under 2 minutes.

Then it was on to the good stuff: shopping! What a time we had! Inspired by the birth of my first grand nephew the day before, I bought a light of juvenile panels:

caterpillar numbers

Of course I couldn’t pass up the “Gree Eggs” panel.  Dr. Seuss and I have a special relationship!

seussWe shopped till we dropped! We went home with new tools, new fabrics, and new inspirations. My goal is to improve my machine quilting. Mary’s goal is to buy a new sewing machine and complete some projects in progress. And we both have the goal of not letting another 25 years go by before we get together again!